Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Get This, These "testicles on my chin"

Through one of those roundabout processes too complicated to explain (and yet I would still be willing if you asked because that's just the kinda gal I am), I was exposed to the following link.

It's no secret how I feel about Mike Rowe and his existence in my life. He is so many of the admirable things I find in a human being. And after watching this video, I appreciate him all the more.

I was ... no, AM ... the daughter of a steel mill worker. Even more, I am the oldest daughter of a single steel mill worker, meaning as the oldest female in the household, I took on the roles of worrying and cleaning, thrust upon me beyond my choice and before I came to understand and celebrate my feminism and my female liberty. I mothered my younger sister and I learned the value of hard work. I learned about food stamps and government-issue cheese and butter, and about mold and how the children in my neighborhood would pity my family for being without a mother.

I saw my dad come home with burns on his skin, on his arms where the fire burned through any joke of protective clothing. I heard the stories of how steel-toed boots offered at best a false sense of protection when a stronger force deemed to exert its will. Dad told so many stories of the men forced on disability by a stronger will than their own ... and unfortunately, too often those stories were tinged with envy. The men he spoke of, you see, were done with their working time.

That's part of what struck me the most about the video that looms just beyond my diatribe. It's a speech given by Mike Rowe, Mr. "Dirty Jobs." Near the end, he talks about coming to a critical realization suddenly while filming a segment that found him with "testicles on my chin." He talks about how our society has come to castigate the notion of hard work, how we celebrate the escape from it, and in turn, create a class of worker to be shunned ... when the reality is this person who works the hardest is the one to be celebrated.

It's funny. And it's no secret that I lost my own job back in March. Hell, our country lost an INDUSTRY, the industry in which I worked. So when I hear someone wax philosophical about work, my interest is piqued. And yet the kind of work we're talking about here doesn't have time for piqued interests. It's too busy.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Butterfly's Big Day

Too tired to add photos right now, a somewhat-tedious process of firing up my computer (I'm using Elephant's laptop right now), plugging in the camera, downloading to my computer, uploading to the Internet ... But I couldn't let the day end without a final bit of musing on my little girl's second birthday.

Even though it's been those two years since the trauma of her birth, it's all quite fresh in my mind sometimes. Tonight would be one of those times.

It's probably quite ridiculous, I suppose. She's healthy and happy, loving and tender, smart and kind. We're all so very, very lucky to have her in our lives, especially since she was a Surprise Baby. But I still see that tiny little being of 23 ounces, the one I first met who became my very special little girl. I still sense that disconnect, that disbelief that I am so lucky to have my little miracle. That worry, here let me just say it already, that she could so easily be taken away. I have learned, after all, how precious and fragile is this life.

But she is so tenacious. No matter how much fragility haunts the inner recesses of my soul, I just have to picture her cheeky laugh as she replicates one, then another, physical stunt of her brother's. They have this toy barn, one of the Little Tykes or Fisher Price plastic numbers, about two feet tall, they love to play together with. In fact, I gave Butterfly a set of barn animals today to add to the fun, seeing as how a certain book is her favorite. Anyway, she LOVES to climb up on top of the barn, straddling it like it's a pony. (How funny. I just saw the irony in that.) She's a daredevil, hanging from the monkey bars, climbing onto the dining room table not long after learning to just walk ... and so on.

Funny, too, is my girl. Learning that as well from her Ubba. Ah, but you know all this, how much I love the two of them. How gracious this world was to bring them into my life.

So .. I am thankful, even as this life passes too quickly by, as the wee little baby who once fit into my cupped hands rips the paper off of birthday packages with such amazing gusto.

Happy Birthday, Butterfly!

Small Art Challenge

Second challenge for The Pink Couch.

Whipped together, lol, in about five minutes from after-party bits.

It's a 4"x4" card, ripped edge. The center part is from a blower-noisemaker; the braid at bottom is from crepe paper/streamers (purple tie and yellow part), a ribbon from a gift (orange part) and the rest of the blower-noisemaker-- the cardboard part you blow into -- (the blue part.) The flowers are torn bits of wrapping paper, with a tiny crumpled ball of wrapping paper for the center.

Thanks for this super fun!

Tag Challenge

This tag is for the challenge over at The Pink Couch.

It's in celebration of my Birthday Girl, turning 2 today! Yes, I stopped party preps to do this, lol.

It's a cupcake wrapper base, with bits of party napkin along with crepe paper flowers topped with buttons, and birthday candles. The hanger is from a package of brand new tights ... opened just for the birthday party!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


This one comes courtesy of Kerrie. (OK, and how freaking cool is it that I just blasted off the coding for that link without a second thought ... skool is working! I'm gitting smerter at web stuf!")

Anyway, Kerrie, an inspiration as you'll find out reading about her amazing accomplishment-so-far, points out that lots of bloggers have their niche ideas for their blogs; Kerrie's going to start a Thank You Thursday.

Another blogger, Tara at The Pink Couch, plans an all-day Blog Party on Saturday, with games and prizes every couple of hours. I'll try to stop in, because it'd be fabulous to win one of her amazing creations (check it out. See? I don't lie, do I?) but it's Butterfly's Big Day, so we'll see.

Let's see ... I'd also like to mention Mai Ling, whose cooking makes one weep with joy ... and is a wonderful friend, and Amy, who writes about life with a kind of grace and honesty rarely found.

As for me, I have a hard enough time with regular stuff, so I'm afraid I can't make such a commitment as a regular Thursday event. (I haven't even filled out my blogroll yet!) But I'll pick up this fun little challenge, also from Kerrie, and pass it along. The rules, she says, "are to use only one word to answer the questions below, then pass it on to six (only six?!) fellow bloggers and tell them you did so."

1. Where is your cell phone? Table
2. Your hair? Ponytail
3. Your mother? Pathetic
4. Your father? Tender
5. Your favorite food? Indian
6. Your dream last night? Usual
7. Your favorite drink? Coffee
8. Your dream/goal? Employment
9. What room are you in? Living
10. Your hobby? Everything
11. Your fear? Victimization
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Mothering
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren't? Content
15. Muffins? Chocolate
16. Wish list item? Slice (handy link provided)
17. Where did you grow up? Seattle
18. Last thing you did? Class
19. What are you wearing? Clothes
20. Your TV? On
21. Your pets? Family
22. Friends? Irreplaceable
23. Your life? sigh
24. Your mood? Crazy
25. Missing someone? Constantly
26. Vehicle? Two
27. Something you're not wearing? Ring
28. Your favorite store? Book
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. When was the last time you laughed? Class
31. Last time you cried? Earlier
32. Your best friend? Children
33. One place that I could go over and over? Anywhere
34. One person who emails you regularly? Many
35. Favorite place to eat? C (get it? hee)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Clouds and colors

It was so beautiful this fall weekend. For about 15 minutes, the most ethereal, Halloweeny clouds wisped their way across the broad blue sky.

Attempts to leave the park were pre-empted by a gorgeous fall display just begging to be caught and shared.

Of course, I am lucky enough to have my own burst of gorgeous red every single day, regardless of season.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Life as a Blog Post

We've been busy the past few days, and ironically I kept thinking as I snapped photos how the content would be perfection for this blog. The ideas involve those photos, however, and as it's 1:25 a.m. and I'm set to get up at 7:15 a.m., I mostly wanted to throw in a tease for you and let you know I'm still here and will be back soon ...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Here's something my fair city does right: October days.

There's nothing like October in Seattle. Oct. 1 dawns with a glory of riotous color in the leaves of trees, and the month walks out on the 31st naked-branched and content, certain of its accomplishment in chaperoning summer into winter.

The days in between are breathtakingly frigid, a shock to the system after an especially overly hot summer this year. Walking outside, your face trails puffs of your breath whose warmth is stolen quickly away.

And the sky! Oh, the sky! Such a startlingly pure blue it hurts the eyes to look at it. The clarity of color, absolute in its perfection. An exquisite backdrop for the indescribable joy of the leaves.

The flannel sheets are located, buried deep in the linen closet, accompanied by the flutter of a distant memory of disbelief they'd ever be of use again. The extra quilt looms large and fluffy on the bed, sheer joy to slide under on nights that herald the return of cold floors.

I love these days.