The revenge of Mrs E.

Where to begin? Some stories are difficult to tell . They are living and moving and are yet undecided which way they will go. They started out of the ordinary like stories do , once upon a time, and are now struggling to rise above the commonplace . Fretting over how uninteresting they might be getting, if they are to someday meet their happily ever after , secretly hoping that there will be no such end.

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Yet , this story has a conclusive title. For the little nondescript heroine, Mrs Bear (as she likes to be endearingly called) has been struck. Startled into losing her sleep. Mrs. E (as she likes to be intimidatingly and mysteriously called) has had her revenge.

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It so happened, and not by chance either that as Mrs Bear was clearing away the table after a breakfast of Eggplant Bruschetta heavily scented with basil and a berry banana super smoothie she was very proud of having fed her family that she had to hold her head in its place and sit herself down. Panic  kept her together , this would be the third migraine in three weeks. Mostly blended into the background,her pulse made sure she heard its grating throb.

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” Mrs Bear , close your eyes and sleep.” So said Mr. Bear. So warned Mrs. E.

So ignored Mrs Bear. She lay awake listening to the dismal prospects of impending rain.Bored, she befriended the google monster.He made her feel smart, after a long day of nursery rhymes and squabbles. Too hot too cold, complained she to the coverlet , taking turns to embrace and kick it. Scared to sleep , scared to not. She got out of the bed with the sun and painted feverishly.

She tries desperately to make everyday unlike everyday. Quite so, quite so. She fails. Everywhere are chores.Babies wail. They swallow the day as a whole.

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“Mrs Bear, let be ” So says Big Bear. So alerts and guffaws a gritty laughter Mrs E.

Mrs Bear she gets full of guilt if she let be. In the early morning she grows a shadow of afternoon three.

Mrs E of calculating eyes, of ill short temper, chortles with her thin lips , ” you had been warned, now must suffer!!”

Poor Mrs bear has slept hardly much , her headache hasn’t left. She forgets. It’s been a month.

Now, of course she thinks she will do better. Feed herself better, and make sleeping important. For her story still has a long long way to go. Mrs E ‘s nasty revenge shall remind her.

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Mrs. E , INTIMIDATINGLY and MYSTERIOUSLY so called, is exhaustion. A steep rise, a deep ravine. Don’t let her get YOU.

 

The elephant in the room.

I CAN’T ignore it.  It is too BIG.  Too distracting.

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It follows my mind, sneers at me, makes me shorter than I am. Comes after, goes behind. With its appearance (decidedly handsome ) and its manners (truly appalling) , it puts me down.

mirror-mirror1 My toddler doesn’t trouble me as much as the ELEPHANT in the room. Cool as the summer sea, it smirks as it watches my tea get cold. It humphs a cold, demure ,”No” as I catch myself in the mirror. It makes me give up , tells me ” let go.”

Does it sleep? I think not. Does it eat? A LOT! I feed it. I have fed it for years now. I can’t remember when we met but we did and it has never since left my side.

I remember though , the day when a teacher read aloud to the class a story I wrote while I looked down at a dancing sunbeam. I remember the chill. It was there, worthlessness. I had brought it to school. From home, in my bag, in my heart. For a little girl, that is big weight but I did alright.  Kind teachers always did spot me from behind other tall girls , pushed me on stage, worked on me, gave me lead roles, put me on the debate team with boys whose newly gruff voices scared me greatly. Gravelly voices coming from headless shoulders for I couldn’t look up beyond.

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I kept running away from any applause, collapsing with every word of kindness spoken to me. Undone with every little ‘thank you ‘, I felt apologetic for my very existence. All the while feeding the Elephant in the room. I thought my daddy would save me but I think he forgot.

Now, An Elephant is big. An Elephantine thought even bigger . I am learning to say ” excuse me ” to the Elephant in the room just like my children find their way around me even when I say no. I want to set it free. And I am failing. Too big. Too distracting. I am working on annoying it so much , it would get anngry at me and LEAVE.

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Simple Bear necessities

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Four bears at home

with all their bear stuffs

warm and fuzzy

the little ones especially

a snuggle sure enough

is a simple bear necessity.

 

On a rainy day

with muddy towels and tippy-toes

plays one baby bear

and cries the other, out of sheer perplexity

to grow together yet not entwined

is a simple bear necessity.

 

When wandering uphill

and not carefree

with burdened dusty shoes

In face of too much complexity

for the sake of longevity

A NAP

is a simple bear necessity.

 

On days of winter sunshine

light and gold

to seek solitude

and question their notorious brevity

to sulk when the world says happy

to give in to vain vanity

is a simple bear necessity.

 

For days that do not end

and those that do

in a huff, a puff , a blink

there is no tested remedy

but warm food and a thought to think

for to march on bear paws steadily

is the absolute simple bear necessity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pursuit of laziness

leads to happiness, for one thing.

Sometimes, nah, often I get rather cross at Big Bear for being too lazy. Every Monday , to tell the truth. The one day he is home, poor guy and all he really wants is to be in bed longer and keep me there too. He wouldn’t mind at all if there weren’t any food, we can always eat slices of cheese and dunk cookies in milk.

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It has reached proverbial heights (or lows) that right when I give in to his warm morning snuggles and am just about to nod off myself, one of our kids wakes up too sprightly that he must start to cry. I have to be off my feet just then , give comfort and arrange a quick snack. That starts it! My lawn mower of a brain, in defense of labor. My whipper-snipper hands ready to squeeze dry a day of all its slow pleasures. Rinse repeat.

I will go on! Proud of my little shiny happy people bouncing about, breakfast on stove and Big Bear with a childlike mouth slightly open, sleeping still on a delicious bed. From bed to kitchen without the transition of sitting on the edge while toes wait for knees to rise from slumber queers my thinking. I start to reckon what a perfect little bear , big bear is.On a holiday, he sleeps early, wakes up late , eats all that I make or don’t. What a wonderful unreal child he is.

One of my real children will make a face at whatever is there for breakfast and I will somehow force in a few spoonfuls. I will go on!  Clean up when the new book I started to read feels terribly ignored. Big Bear will call me to sit with him, relax. Lie in bed for the children are fed.  And me? I’ ll look at the trash he hasn’t taken out and think him lazy though my legs will quietly be thanking him.

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I ‘d say we need a vacation,  we need to go out.  A surprised feminist tone saying” I have to do all that has to be done” ,I hear myself. Big Bear proves resistant to all my thoughts on  virtue and utility . As I look at him while he is ‘bearly’ awake trying to pursue another reverie, suddenly enlightened he tells me , ” we are here.” His laziness brings my brain respite, nourishes my perpetual poverty of rest. I wish to sip tea, stare blankly ,completely content void of all content , enlightened and still sipping. I begin to yearn to deliberately do nothing.

I shouldn’t be cross when I can learn to slow down. Some things can wait for tomorrow. Or the next day. Big Bear rescues me. Time to set time free.

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Around these parts

The breeze is broom-y as I type and, for aught I know, everything will be suspiciously still in a moment as if it never did stir. It is only slowly registering that this is home. It amazes me to recall, several times a day, “this is home.”

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I have been feverish , with all my muscles aching. It takes long to get familiar and what was I thinking? It will be laid back, piled pillows and rugs and flowers in vases. I have somehow missed that honeymoon period of affections and have been obsessively worrying over cleanly swept entry halls and a fully stocked kitchen.Only (thankfully) without a print gown and an apron.

The artist’s eye, as I know it, is a condition. It renders you slow. You sit staring into the depths of your new mahogany polished table , start to follow the valleys and rifts of the grain and position your cup of tea, just so you can see the flaming yellow flowers on it as if rising out of one of those crooked dales. Your kid tumbles at this moment ,with his cup of milk of course, and you have got reality to pay attention to, but a part of your mind is plagued if the contours of the cup are diffusing into the nature of wood just right. A few minutes later though , you’ll sweep the cup off the table, tea grown cold and dump it into the sink.

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A house of one’s own is a difficult possession, even if it has a linen closet and flowers to match the curtains. For it to be home, it needs a lot of coaxing. For it to be laid back, it needs a  lot of sweating and wearing out.  Its contours diffusing into the nature of our spaces just right. Morning light flushing sleep  out and waking up to jarring superhero stickers on a favorite cupboard and crayon and sticky hands on the mirror glass. It must start somewhere. It is starting to.

For me, it begins with the kitchen and the bathrooms. I need the assurance of sturdy plumbing and smooth flowing drains. With that out-of-the-way, my kitchen painted all white, cabinets and tile, is a striking contrast to my rustic wooden spoons and wicker baskets. I thought I was mature enough to be minimalist but the bohemian in me rises as I dump my cold tea into the sink for the third time. I need a colorful back splash. A Turkish blue and red or plum and indigo to wake me up!I need crystals and pompoms on my window!! I have got to cope with a thousand spills a day after all. I am adding a link in here to Plumb Tile , I was asked if I would do a sponsored post for them. I took it up only because I am in the thick of making the very romantic decisions of what color, what texture , what kind right now. I found that they have a number of designs and brands , even handcrafted tiles ,which are particularly delicious to me , in one place here : Glass tile and stone.

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OH! and I did land up on the fantastic idea of just changing the pulls and knobs of old furniture,  little silver baubles as pull-outs for the drawers of a distressed Manor blue painted baby cot would be precious , wouldn’t they? Knobs and pulls

And gold faucets contrasting with stone washed bathroom walls! Bathroom sinks .  A witty Norwegian touch for the times when I want to stay hidden forever.

I love it when I can recreate an expensive look that I have spent precious minutes admiring on Pinterest for much less. Making lifts me from merely eking out an existence. It is an affliction , indeed it is and I want to never be cured.

As I pursue the wistful dreams of an old brass knocker on my front door and a table beautifully laid out for luncheon, I move around with a duster in hand, which by the way stays in the right bottom cabinet of my kitchen, with toddler in tow and the eight year old aiming with my spray bottle at the vivid sunshine. I am grateful. This is home.

Only mommy

 

badcookHe’s here, always there

looking at me

into my nose

uncommonly interested-ly

What’s that? ,with a pat on my new zit

” Don’t worry mommy, you be fine in a bit.”

Time for tea just as I reckon

set in motion hysterics that deafen

rainy

How could you, how could you mommy?

bite into a cookie and keep it fromm-e?

You shouldn’t , you mustn’t ,it’s only propriety

now CARRY me ,ease my anxiety.

bring me juice in a glass with a straw

hurry mommy, no more of this hee -and- haw

Where are my shoes? find my shoes

No, not you daddy, it’s mommy I choose

MOMMY. ONLY MOMMY.

look at me .look into my eyes

says he with a bossy guidance

throws away my book and pretends it to be good ri-d-dance.

Makes a pout-y face, “uh! ridiculous”

a nice touch, just a bit pretentious.

he is an upheaval, a strong force in the universe

the eruption of deep feelings into silly verse

” I need a hug”

” A big hug” says he

from my mommy

ONLY MOMMY.

and then he calls me “pooh baby!”

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Keeping the home

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is how I spent all of last week. The sound you hear is the reverberating cacophony of doorbells and phones ringing, fragile marked cartons being thrown around as if what is fragile huh!,even relatively?

when does it start to feel like home?
when does it start to feel like home?

We moved in last week. Into our new house, and I can’t say yet , “I love it!”. Hear me out, loving is a process, both baffling and exasperating and in this time of little sleep and too much to do , all I want is to look at some familiar sights and eat a LOT of comfort food. Warming noodles in a cup sounds like punishment though the slurp and the slight fiery tang of cheap food will bring me life. Around here I feel utterly deprived of culinary amusements which is  leading to utter cooking apathy as a direct consequence.

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I think deeply about how I should be planning menus and writing grocery lists when I should be sleeping instead, I am scared. I must admit to being completely stubborn , for outrageously opening all of our life packed in boxes all at once and not breathing till everything had its place. That was a most harebrained thing to do, I realize now that my mind is egregiously scattered. When you sit on a floor covered in boxes and kids who are threatening to start their meltdowns any moment now and know not where to start, it is easier to promptly ignore ,”don’t do it all at once” and just do it. If only I had come across short-term storage before, I would have lived more readily out of boxes and would be less overwhelmed. Anyway, more absurd than this is to answer the question ,” so you are all settled now?” I always do find myself saying ,”yes”. Oh! well!

Yet, I am not unhappy. A Mexican corn on the cob with feta and corn will make me happy to bits. A juicy lime on the side will make me roll on the floor, now that we have the space. I was wondering last week if we ll make it . We will, now that I have begun to use my paints and brushes, I know we will.

turkish designs in my bohemian home!

From house to home, it is a complex relationship. Imperfect, moody ,consummate even. That reminds me ,I must get dressed and meet Big Bear for lunch. I hope the kids will be nice and we can dig into a large platter of dumplings and cold beer. I know, I know we ll drink in the day. Just a little. We just shifted. We are excused. We ll take a cab back to this place we are learning to call home.

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Goodbye old friend.

All of last month there has been a flutter in my stomach. I have been cleaning sorting , packing , giving away, secretly dreading the day when we move. And here it is upon us. I have complained often how much work packing is, but why oh why is it really so shockingly easy to dismantle this entire life and stow it away .

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The dust you hold, old friend is all ours in this moment, short-lived. My babies have left marks on your walls, shaken wildly your  creaky doors. You have seen us bare, in body and in mind, seen us make love , seen us fight. You have held our secrets, contained our anger, spread our joy. You did not seem to mind our moaning your lack of space. I wonder if there really were a lack, you made space for my growing belly, for a new baby and bassinets and high chairs and cots and for all the thousands of crafts we made. You held us up these five years in the most unsightly desperate moments and kept us from falling out of giddy excitement.

You know more than I, of times that have gone by.You know I am a fool. Hold me up for now, old friend. Till new residents take you from me, till someone else looks out my window tomorrow and you are freshly painted. The children are excited, yet they ask , ” Mamma then who will live here?” .” Are we never coming back here?” All happiness must be tinged, dear friend. I know that now.

I’ll hold you, dear friend. I wouldn’t forget. It will be hard to look back at you and not think of you as our own little corner,to have not the sight of your trees in the balcony. You are already looking away from me, distancing yourself like the good friend you are. Pushing me out, pushing me forward, I know you. I won’t be back but you ll stay. Here and in our memories. In old photos that will pop up time and again. When the children will talk, you know they will. We will. I have got to go make another home, so babies can not feel much pain. They are tiny for it. Send me with some of your rusty , swaying  third floor strength, friend.

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May you know more life, more lovers’ sighs. May they tend you well. Farewell.

You have been our home and will.

From the bundle of boxes that I am until on this earth I be.

 

 

“Rachel’s day in the garden” – a review and the fun we had being yogi bears!!

Think of cushioned socks walking on wooden floors. Gingerly , with soft thuds is how this mamma is treading the ground with her freshly three-year old. Gently, she reminds herself , gently. So what if he expresses, in no uncertain terms , anything with a hint of vegetables or with an accidental pronunciation of healthy  as ‘horrible’- I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy that peculiar roll of  “rrs” ,but really I am worried. Who could adequately put a finger on the mysterious reasons why a toddler is the way he is? Or why he chooses to chew on wires? Or why sticky toffee in my hair is just so funny?

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There are days and there are days. The latter leave me wobbly in all sorts of ways.  When Wednesday last weeble wobbled and refused to go down, I decided to take out a book I had long ago received to review. Not a good day for trying something new but I can’t resist odd outcomes ( being all wobbly might be held responsible for such decisions) So , with profound dignity  I  announced . ” Here’s a new book, Who wants to read? ” ” No one” , of course.

I  got my eight year old on my side and started to read with him to make my three-year old want to .( Yes, go on tell me where to get my smart parenting prize from!) .The book is called ” Rachel’s day in the garden” by Giselle Shardlow . It is a yoga story book for kids.

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Rachel and Sammy

Rachel with her little puppy goes out into the garden to explore the stirrings of newly arrived spring and like children and puppies do, they catch the movement and make it their own. Now when mamma turns storyteller with a book that is visually compelling and along with her voice lifts her hands and bends her legs , the bawling toddler starts to listen. My eight year old , who considers himself averse to picture books, now that he is a big chapter book reader, thinks the  illustrations are “cute”.  The bright , catchy art is by Hazel Quintanilla . There is an observable texture to the pictures and a lot of pattern use which we particularly like.

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For listening little boys, mountain pose and tree pose and warrior pose are mesmerizing words. Especially when mamma tries to do them and fails. The talking begins and we talk of the smell of rain and the seeds we’d like to grow. The eight year old throws in an astounding fact about caterpillars and so we know that caterpillars are picky eaters too but they grow into beautiful butterflies still. What a relief! The toddler is carried away by the fluffiness of the puppy and now starts to move his legs. We turn into yogi bears and all fall down.

We find Rachel doing the various yoga poses in a circle on each page as the story moves on . There is a list of yoga poses for kids and a parent-teacher guide at the back which is rather handy for special persons like me who are born into the land of Yoga and yet have stayed blissfully ignorant.  Yes, I am an awesome mum like that.

rachels-day-in-the-garden4-400We had a fun reading time and for once I don’t think I’ll mind rereading it a number of times. Toddlers are so fond of repetition ,why? And trying the various poses and falling and seeing my children laugh as they prove more agile than me. We found the book a great way to connect and well, looking at my kids laugh is ridiculously comforting somehow.

Hoping , Yoga will enter our lives in these sweet beginner like ways and calm will descend ! Hoping, someday I will be wobbly no more.

Here’s an Amazon link if you’d like some hours of imaginative relaxing fun:

Rachel’s day in the garden

Here’s how the memory of our reading time is stored in my head, just so you are curious:

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PS: Alexa Bigwarfe sent me a complimentary copy to review. This post is not sponsored, though, and all words (unless quoted) and opinions are mine.

 

anything-but-all together-trifling News and flowers.

Dear Reader

Thank you for still being here and before any wild ideas start to fly , allow me to hush them by saying ” No, it isn’t that kind of news.” It still is wacky wonderful news though!

just for me

First of all it is this little (awesome) space of mine’s Birthday. I have babbled here for a complete year now. I would like to think it has not all been tiresome twaddle. Your narrator is making a poker face here , dear reader, pretending not to, but wanting you to say that you have loved it. Just being jolly here. I am still the bashful wench I was a year ago, addicted to worry and afflicted on most of my days by crabby kids.’ Most of the days ‘can easily turn into a number of weary weeks, you’d know if you have a bunch of those. Or even one.

ugh

 

I haven’t been able to toss away my clothesline , and haven’t turned into the wonderful keeper of the house with the well stocked pantry and exquisite copper kettles but I have found that I ain’t missing funnybones. There isn’t wholesome wisdom I  have to offer,  I  have a serious deficit. Neither can I promise to daily dabble. But if you would stick around I  have a lot coming up. To wit, prior to this place here, I could not have associated  words as blogging or writing or illustrating with me but a year later , I wish not to disassociate myself ever. I am definitely more well-endowed (intend the pun or not!) and more balanced than a year ago.

Here are some flowers I want to offer.I really do mean the Thank you. They will look pretty on your phone!

wallpaper 1spring for your device ,here

WP_20160518_08_24_58_Progiant bloomers,here

WP_20160518_08_24_07_Prothe whole bunch, here

 

 

In other news , I took up the 100 days challenge on Instagram. I post a painting  there everyday. If you haven’t taken a look,  pray DO!!

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My preoccupation with it, has hit me so intensely, so wholly , that my ears have become capable of reducing my toddler’s intense tantrums to the decibel of soft falling snow ( I  am in air conditioning). It is awfully addictive. Terrible love, I tell you. I am living pictures. Condition me to wear woolly padded socks in the blazing sun , I ll do it. I  must mention that Big Bear has been rather cuddly and cooperative.

Wait there’s more! We are moving. Rather soon now. I won’t wander with words on the state of my mind on account of that . I have a picture to let you see .

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I am going to do a series of posts here on how our new home evolves room by room. Stay around . What’s not to like about a new start? All of us need one.

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