Wednesday, March 30, 2011

theater, snowflakes, graves, daffodils, babies, surprise parties...

how much bluster and hoopla can life whirl up?
first of all, we have three different friends in performing in plays over a couple weeks.
and honestly, what could be better!?
here we are going to see lesley in her school's production of The Odyssey.
i wish we had a picture of her as Athena; her acting and presence and energy and voice are absolutely stunning.
i also wish i could have taken a picture of the rad giant papier-mache Cyclops puppet head contraption the students built, with our friend Skip manning it, so amazing and fun to watch: my kind of circus!
stan did some recording of the performance, and there were rad live musicians playing violin and harp and singing melodies.

meanwhile, it rained, it poured, it thundered, and it snowed a little... 
i read tasha tudor's book in one sitting...

and two days later we saw another friend, Rachel, perform in our local theater's production of the musical Quilters.

in honor of this production, our town is proudly "quilt crazy" with quilts on display at shops along main street. i wrote about it over at our bookstore blog.

entering the theater through a covered wagon,
and of course...
i had to wear my new gunne from sara for the special occasion!

i'm kind of (obviously) a sucker for stories that include heartwrenching themes of quilts made with love and the legacy they pass through generations of women,
told through the true stories of pioneer women.
i hadn't been to a musical in so long; i'd forgotten what the experience is like and i wasn't quite mentally prepared for the emotional roller coaster. i giggled, i gasped, i shed tears.
musicals can be really over-the-top and dorky, but in this heartwarming way that my soul embraces.

especially proud of this little lady, my dear friend, who was also celebrating her 25th birthday that day!
 her mama and grandma greeted her after the performance and (gulp, sigh) her grandma presented her with this sunbonnet sue quilted patch that her own grandmother made long ago. this is a family of women who truly cherish the bonds through time. in fact i think i have mentioned before the insanely magical dresses rachel's grandmother has passed down to her.

meanwhile, um, boys can be pretty cute too.
nick has bought 8 tickets to see his lady's show, yes eight! i jokingly asked him during intermission (his third viewing so far) if it's getting boring yet. he replied quite earnestly: no, not at all. such a prince.

back at home, i got ready for abby's funeral. we always paint rocks to commemorate the cat spirit who has passed on. my marmy, pops, joey, emily and i all put her to rest softly in the earth where she is eternally now surrounded with three of her old cat friends: stormy, harvest, and little miss.
we want to make markers to honor our other two cats who disappeared, bandini and cleo.
under the plum tree, up beyond the little rocky wall, it is becoming a tiny sacred cat graveyard.

after the funeral,
it was straight over to nick and rachel's sweet apartment to await their arrival for her SURPRISE PARTY.
i haven't been to a real true surprise party in like fifteen years.
it was really fun gathering there and waiting in excitement...

and getting the party started with this dude!

rachel has pretty knick knacks in every corner, as you might expect...

after a while, we waited interminably in the dark, trying not to make a sound, except for the precious tiny sounds of contentment oliver was making while nursing, awwwwwww!

and then...
we threw balloons, we flung on the lights, we hooped and hollered, we covered oliver's ears...
for the much-anticipated arrival was upon us!

everybody had a blast.

had to get a family pic since father and son wore matching shirts.
(of course they're the most stylish fam in town!)

well i wore my new dress all day and night, but was so busy taking the pictures that i never got any more of i'll include this for good measure. i reallllly loved wearing it. a young gal i had just met at the party good-naturedly asked me if i "dressed like that all the time"?
to which i replied, i wish! but i do as much as possible!
and to complete some ephemeral cycle in this random post, dear friends, as of yesterday the spring sun is out!
blossoms blooming and beez buzzin. i can't wait to see what comes next.

Monday, March 28, 2011

sisters sharing across the seas

first off, thank you soooo much for all your sweet loving words about abby.
i feel really at peace about her death and i really do appreciate having this forum for writing it all down.
on to happier news: a surprise came in the mail!
sent from a mysterious land far away...
by the sweetest girl and honorary heart-sister,
miss sara of forestlass.
(whose goodness was recently honored by milla, seems we have an actual real little community here ladies!)

i admit it: i'm head over heels for her wonderful hats...she is a knitter extraordinaire.
you might remember the one she sent before, so gorgeously soft and chunky and promptly swept away by darin?
well guess who was the first to plop this new beauty on his head?! again, i have to admit it: the man looks dang good in a beanie. i am sorry i don't have a visual presentation for that fact.
here's me instead, feeling cute and sassy.

in fact, sara sent piles of pretty things to make me feel cute and sassy!
i felt like a princess getting treated to such joys.
you can see a sneak peek of the crowning glory: a beautiful new Gunne!!! looks like maybe i shouldn't have bought myself that other one after all (hell, you can never have too many :D ) i'll show you where i wore it tomorrow.
as always bobe had to help with the unwrapping...

inside was a very cool book,  feathers from the rooster Matt Hooper, who escaped a fox!, dried lavender, little notes, prettiness abounding.

this is one talented girl with an artist's soul...check out the amazing drawing on the box.

the little rose colored skirt she sent me ties up in the back like a tiny corset. flirty and flouncy, just how i like em. 

and a beautiful sprial pendant encasing a piece of rose quartz, which happens to be one of my favorite stones.
i wore this the day abby died. i felt wrapped in love, and so grateful to incredible sharing women who send gifts through the post. one of life's true delights!

sara, thank you thank you thank you for your fresh and wondrous sweetness; you are a treasure.
go check her blog here...the newest post is breathtaking!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

missing abby

our sweet old lady cat abby died last night.
she was 17 years old, my sister got her when she was a tiny kitten and she spent her whole life with our family.
my brother joey hardly remembers a time before she was around.
once, when she was still a young and adventurous lady, she disappeared for four whole months.
my brothers matt and joey were in a band and they named it "missing abby."
she showed back up one emotional afternoon when addie was weeping in the backyard,
came bounding straight into addie's arms like a miracle.

we think she had a stroke the night before last and she deteriorated over the day yesterday, pacing in confusion and unable to do her normal activities like eat or jump up on the couch.
late at night, darin and i held vigil by her side, stroking her and thanking her for being such a wonderful cat and companion all these years. she couldn't purr anymore, or even move her head, but i think she was content to die in the midst of the household she loved, and at 1:30 a.m. she crossed over.

it is a strange and moving experience to watch life pass away, to see breathing, so constant and unheeded, slowly come to a stop.
i am so grateful to be able to have a little time to spend with those i love, both human and non.
i think her little spirit is doing some pretty work in the universe tonight.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

could spend a hundred years adoring you

when you have a new dress, everything is magical.
i ordered myself this pretty gunne from the lovely etsy shop laiet for a wonderfully reasonable price.
i already have a similar one but addie has been borrowing it for the last couple years and i don't really have the heart to wrench it away. so i got myself a new dress, and i am in love.
like brigit wrote, this is the outfit i could wear forever.
it makes me feel me.

so i drove up the hill (listening to miss magical herself, joanna's glorious album from last spring which feels perfect for this time of year) to go to the thrift stores in camino and pollock pines.
at snowline hospice i filled my arms with 4 bright cushions in orange, patchwork blue, teal green and bold ruby red, with the notion to redecorate my living room. i saw an old friend with his two little beautiful daughters and it started snowing outside. my heart was singing as i made my way up to addie's house.

i knew i couldn't stay long in her winter wonderland. 

just a dash and a twirl in the snow in my admittedly wintry dress.

addie had been running on her treadmill.
took a break to have a cup of coffee with me in her cozy kitchen.

i left her to work on her homework in her cozy ship house as i headed back into the blizzard to try to make my way home, a wayward snowbound pirate.

after a very scary, very slow drive following the snow plough for 10 miles, i made it back down to our rainy hills and got off the freeway and away from crazy drivers. meandered instead through the wineries and freshly blossoming apple trees of the farms of apple hill.

and look who i happened upon grazing in a foresty herd:

they seem like remnants from long ago,
with their rugged handsome faces, big shaggy coats, fur encrusted with moss and weeds.

geese were landing and preening on the pond,
castaways from their journey's reverie.

with misty breath, by the winding road, water shaking from my hair and the sound of goats and geese,
i felt the memories of what seems like a hundred years of rambles through these hills.
like stopping at the old pear orchard that is gone now, for a midnight talk with my old friend nate.
18 years old and full of wild whisperings of things to come.
memories have been flooding my soul this early spring, it happens when you return again and again to haunt your old haunts.

 the smell of woodsmoke and wet barns,
a leaning ladder, a rowboat perched along the shore,
the quiet plop of jumping fish.

back at home, darin and joey and emily were recording music.
the night rolled along and we gathered together for stories and ridiculous laughter. we watched the first edit of the next part of epic dust (so good, so exciting!) and stan and jamie and lesley came, bringing homemade beer, and we played balderdash.
oodalally what a day!

in my new dress, with the rain and wind, these crazy endless early spring storms...
i feel young and old. cozy, serene, and wild at once.

gunne dress: vintage, etsy
white shawl: thrifted last year
pouch necklace: gift from milla
amber necklace: gift from jocelyn
green scarf: i've had forever, maybe it was my mom's?
white underskirt: thrifted last year $1.50
boots: thrifted a long time ago
moonstone ring: gift from sara
sage green ring: gift from claire