Sunday, April 25, 2010


My New Years resolution for 2009 was to do less and think more. I was deliberate about decisions, often choosing to make none and let whatever happened happened. After almost a year and a half of quiet in an extremely busy life changing year, I have started to unfold again.

I'm not exactly sure how to explain it - it wasn't deliberate and nothing happened that caused me to say "this is time." In much reflection, I realized that there was a gentle disassembling of myself for a few years, a quiet space in between, and perhaps now a rebuilding.

(I've been staring at clothing pattern packages to much - my drawings seem to resemble them)

My life is blooming with projects I'm working on now - I've started drawing for the first time in years, I'm slowly thrifting back all the audio equipment I sold off (and thanking my lucky stars I didn't get rid of my vinyl), and I'm finally making plans to get the songs I've written over the last ten years into something by Christmas time.

I'm rusty, my skills are shaky, and I have to relearn a lot of things, but it feels good to stretch in this direction again.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Family History

On a crafting forum I frequent, we were invited to tell our best story. Sometimes the best stories are the simplest stories, so I told some stories about my grandpa growing up on a farm in western Wisconsin. I wanted to put one or two of them here for posterity.

Anna Skroch, the woman on the right, is my great, great, great grandmother.

My grandfather was a farm boy in western Wisconsin. My great grandparents had four children, and when my grandfather was two my great grandpa was jumping off the barn roof into the haystacks for fun with friends, only they forgot to take the pitchfork out and he landed on that and died. The farm was sold, and the four kids were split up, my grandpa and "aunt sally" (as we knew her) going to their grandparent's farm, while his mother and the other two children moved to "town."

The two horses on the farm were named Dexter and Prince. They were Clydesdale's, enormous. They were for pulling machinery, wagons, or the sleighs during the winter. Dexter was gentle, and would often wander into the cow pasture - he thought he was a cow. Sometimes when the farm kids were bored they would saddle up the different animals and see how long they could stay on them. Pigs were the worst, running and squealing, but the cows would just stand there. They would ride the horses bareback but they were not ever saddled.

My great, great uncle was the very first person to have a car in that tiny Wisconsin farming town. He was a debonair and dashing with a movie star mustache. He made all the girls swoon. When my grandpa was very young, maybe five or six, Uncle Al came puttering up to the farm to fetch my grandpa and take him into town for his very first taste of ice cream! They put, put, putted along, startling all the horses on the way into town, all the farmers shaking their fists and staring at the car for scaring the chickens. As my grandpa told it all the eligible girls along the route came out to take a look at my great uncle in his automobile whenever they went somewhere.

They eventually made it to town, feeling like they were flying at 20 mph, and someone had packed ice in sawdust and hay and kept it until June in a cellar, and they were making ice cream! They had not yet wired that tiny farming town for electricity, and the farm was too far out for the iceman to come and put ice in the icebox, or perhaps they could not afford it so they had never made it before.

Anyways, they stood in line and got ice cream, and then piled back into the car. They started put, put, putting back to the farm in the car and my grandpa took one lick of the ice cream and PLOP! it fell off the cone, went through the floor (I'm not sure how this worked, but apparently part of the floor was open in this car) and right into the road!

So much for ice cream!

Friday, April 23, 2010


Jon and I went to see Jonsi last night. It was my second recreational trip to Denver since I moved here. We ate at a small (but good) thai place and little did we know we were eating dinner next to the opening act, Death Vessel. We both did a double take when we saw Joel take the stage! The performance was done at the Paramount, which was a very beautiful (if ramshackle) art deco theater.

Jonsi's show was top notch. Studio 59 did the production and it was an amazing, almost theatrical performance.

You can check out a little of what I'm talking about here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

White Russian

More of the hat parade - can you believe I have twenty of these to show off?

Today's hat is a 1960's straw hat, simply trimmed with Millinery Net and a grosgrain ribbon. The dress is another thrift store find. It's very 60's and I can imagine someone wearing this with an enormous beehive - the sleeves are really southern country line dance! I wanted a red belt to wear with this dress to match the red buttons on the collar and shoulders so I made one, and I had to replace the elastic in it since it was worn out. Some of you may recognize the shoes from my wedding!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hat of all trades...

A little black 1950's number, tidily trimmed with millinery net and nothing else. Perfect for running errands and a short social call.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What a day for a hat parade...

I went mountain biking for the first time in Colorado today. Just when I was getting really really good at sandy twisty trails the terrain goes and changes on me.

Common obstacles include:

Long, unending uphills only conquered by the granny gear.

Rocky, loose descents (which are not pictured here since I was too busy trying to not wipe out...)

More rocks - note that this is not a good representation of how many rocks there really are.

The occasional friendly hiker


Lots and lots of horse poop.

Overall I think I'm going to be an expert at rock gardens by the time I'm through with this state. I'm formulating a plan to move to all fifty states and get good at one technical skill per state. Then, after I am finished with this adventure, I'll kick ass at mountain biking!!

After mountain biking, I did what any good person does and spraypainted my tackboard "heirloom white" to match the walls...

He's a quick before and after!

Classy, eh?

Also, inspired by the Godard films I've been watching, and all things 1960's french I decided to chop chop chop some bangs into my hair...

Here's another before and after. .

You'll have to forgive me, I was buying 20 vintage hats in a thrift store, and laughing like a maniac.

This picture is blurry but it describes the feeling I get when I purchase vintage hats. I start creeping around laughing hysterically at my good fortune!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Grace Pouring Forth Like a Fountain Flowing...

Let us who are afraid find refuge in Christ, and redemption assured in his name.
By day and by night we delight in your love and forever your word will reign!
Sing Allelu!

Happy Easter!

This morning I was out for my Sunday run. The streets of my city were quiet of cars, the sun was out, and the biting spring wind had quieted.

I was meditating on the concept of grace as I ran, on the wondrous fact that someone had loved broken, tired humanity enough to come rescue us. Of how suffering has come to ease suffering.

I thought of the example of grace given to us, and how when it comes to struggles with grace, I mostly struggle not in extending grace to other people, but to myself.

I am chronically not good enough. Consistently a failure.

But someone loved me enough, wanted me enough to send me to the desert to learn of grace, to show mercy to every aching, bitter part of myself. To claim every step and misstep as wonderful.