Like, whoa.

This spring was hard work. I was sick for six weeks. I was practicing for my first dance recital in years. I had to get the garden underway. I had more ideas for embroidery than hours in the day. I got some news that I'm still trying to process but caused some serious writer's block. Shawn's gig schedule shifted from laid back winter/early spring mode to ALL THE GIGS, ALL THE TIME. There have been out of town visitors and things have just felt nuts. I hustled a lot. I forced myself to sit down and write when really, it was the last thing I wanted to do. I embroidered any time there wasn't something else to do. Yeah, this spring was hard work.

Last weekend, we got out of dodge. We went to the Redwoods with friends and while I wasn't feeling great part of the weekend (Hello, horrible hangover. Thanks for reminding me how old I really am.), it was definitely helping.

Then, Monday night, our last night there, we came back into range after being in the woods and near the ocean without a signal most of the day. My phone went nuts. There were 14 orders and so many convos and emails. I looked at Shawn and said, "What the fuck?" We figured it out quick enough, while the orders kept coming in. Three of my items had been featured on this list on Buzzfeed


I've had some nice press in the past but nothing like this. I freaked out a little. I am one person who makes everything I sell by hand. I pack every single order myself. I am acutely aware of how much I can do in a day without further damaging my right arm. I also needed supplies that were strangely hard to find locally. I had a lot of things scheduled for when I returned, and oh right, I was leaving town again the following week.

I need to say I am incredibly grateful for the Buzzfeed post. I don't want anyone to think I'm not. The orders were great. Also great? The reminder that I know amazingly supportive people. So many people said so many nice things. It felt like the work I'd done this spring paid off in the best possible way.

But, I've worked a lot since the moment we got back from the Redwoods. I haven't made anything new. I also didn't cancel any of my plans. After the first 48 hours, I felt on top of it and I know that when I'm feeling stressed, my friends are what I need. 

My birthday was yesterday. A few days ago, I asked Shawn if we could go to Voicebox for my birthday, reserve a room and invite some people. I am not really a karaoke girl but it sounded like exactly the right kind of stupid fun I needed, knowing that everything was going to ship today. I was shocked that I was able to assemble a group of friends, last minute, on a school night, for karaoke. It was fantastic. I was right - it was exactly what I needed.

This morning, as I put the packages on the porch for my mail carrier to pick up, all I could think about was this Kurt Vonnegut quote, part of which I recently embroidered:

"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"

Thank you all. Seriously. Because If this isn't nice, I don't know what is. Thirty-nine is looking pretty great so far.

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stuff and things

so, i kind of took a break. sort of.

i've finished book one. that's the first time i've said it and meant it. i could hand it to someone to read and not worry that there are glaring plotholes (although i'm sure there is a lingering typo or two.) i could. it doesn't mean i'm quite ready too. i'm working on it. also, i'm working on book 2 already. at least in my head. i've got a basic outline, i've started doing doing research (cloning nightmares are imminent) and i'm taking a lot of notes. i'm talking through ideas here and there with shawn and things seem to be moving along. its also stressing me out a little.  i'm having ideas for books beyond this series and kateri said "don't look now, but i think you're a writer." things have gotten real, yo. i'm a writer?!

so instead thinking about it to the point of a panic attack, i've just been ignoring it. here are a few of the ways:

  • canning. boozy cherries were the latest.
  • reading. i'm doing that thing where i swallow books whole again. there's a what i've read on my summer vacation post coming soon.
  • playing with inkodye.
  • making birds say stuff. 
  • and making purses again.
  • garden and yard work. neverending. 
  • plans with friends. trying to catch up from the spring of monkey sadness has been both rough and fun. 
  • marathoning orange is the new black like its my job. i know i am not the first person to tell you to watch it if you haven't already but seriously, watch it.
  • writing about scary movies.
  • oh and hey, i just saw pacific rim. holy swiss chees, that was fun. 

anyway, its been fun. i know i need to start writing again but not putting myself right back in that headspace where shawn's asking "what's for dinner?" and i'm thinking "salad but also, i'm going to have to kill that character, aren't i?" has been nice. i'll get back to it all soon enough.

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year in review

Theme of this year: YES

Best Month of the Year: November

Best Day of the Year: November 30

Worst Day/Time of the Year: April

Favorite Person of the Year: Shawn. Always.

Favorite Moment of the Year: Picking Kateri up from the airport. Finishing the book.

Favorite Movie: Moonrise Kingdom. or Cabin in the Woods. 

Live Show of the Year: Rebirth Brass Band's grammy homecoming show at the Maple Leaf Inn. And that time Shawn's band opened for Rebirth.

Best Thing I Bought: Running Shoes

Favorite Trip: The Redwoods in May

Book of the Year: The Element of Lavishness by Sylvia Townsend Warner and William Maxwell

Project of the Year: Writing a novel for Nanowrimo

TV of the Year: Treme

Dessert of the Year: Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake

My Resolution(s) for 2013: Be better. Do better.

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i'm feeling it. yes indeed i am.

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on the road

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today we spent the day packing all our stuff for renegade, downloading podcasts, packing the car, tidying the house for the dogsitter, running errands... tomorrow morning we're leaving on our first road trip in a very long time and its huge. 4,476 miles in 3 weeks. we are REALLY excited. i'll be posting here, on twitter & facebook and flickr - if you'd like to see what we're up to.

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my year in review

Theme of this year: change. again.

Best Month of the Year: january

Best Day of the Year: june 25

Worst Day/Time of the Year: april 22

Favorite Person of the Year: shawn. always and forever.

Favorite Moment of the Year: meeting my nephew

Favorite CD of the Year: evelyn evelyn - evelyn evelyn

Favorite Movie: exit through the gift shop

Live Show of the Year: evelyn evelyn at the park west

Best Thing I Bought: mini cupcake pans

Favorite Trip: portland in january

Book of the Year: feed by mira grant

Project of the Year: a super secret gifty project inspired by this and these.

TV of the Year: big bang theory. again.

Dessert of the Year: orange creamsicle tart

My Resolution(s) for 2011: carry less baggage. and surprise myself. again.

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music monday

we listened to a lot of charlie brown christmas this weekend. A LOT. and here's an odd fact: linus & lucy was the recessional at our wedding.

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flashback friday

a picture of shannon as a baby seemed appropriate today since she had a baby boy of her very own this morning. really, i can't believe the same little girl i met when she was 7 years old, playing my little pony, is now a mom! and that shawn & i are now an uncle and aunt. so crazy. so good.

welcome to the world ethan!

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wednesday wishes

every fall i get a little wanderlusty. we used to take a big vacation every autumn after yom kippur. we usually left on simchat torah, which marked the end of the holiday craziness for me. simchat torah starts tonight at sundown so i can't shake the feeling i should be heading to the airport. add to that a dream i had last night about cinque terre, where we spent a blissful week in 2003, and i am raring to go.

alas, it is not to be. between moving plans and epic to do lists there are no vacations in the foreseeable future. maybe next year.

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flashback friday

how is it that i am 30 years older and yet this picture could be from yesterday? disheveled hair? check. squinting at the camera? always. sugar in hand? tic tacs, yep. ridiculous shoes? natch. (those are wonder woman slippers and i wore them all. the. time.) and gee, what's that i'm doing? making a break for it? indeed. the wanderlust started early.

my mom also gave me this picture today of my grandpa and i engaged in our usual friday night activity. what on earth was that activity you ask? well, i put rollers in my grandpa's hair while he watched dallas. every. friday. night. for years. anyway, mom and i both got a little weepy. its been 5 years since he's been gone. we miss him. bunches.

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