One seamless day

For oft I look at the clock to find

it tick tick ticking another time,

Luncheon dishes sitting statuesque

And half an hour before we dine?

 

This day, another, the one before

stitched, sewed,stretched into one seamless day.

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Roll roll rolling like baby’s fabric ball

Not much bounce and few escapades

‘be it a surprise then

to find folded laundry found

For yet another washing round?

 

Climb into bed and climb right out

An hour thin, a minute stout

Sportingly I say , ” I ‘d sleep with shoes on today”

Time does bend, I’ll make do and mend

Wonder then

How many things I start with

And never finish anyth?

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For oft I look at the clock to find

This moment that is now

turn threadbare, antique

Edges distressed

Flea-market-esque.

 

 

 

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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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.

“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.

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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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Love myself, despite

It is hot.  It could distort-a- thought hot. Melting like morning butter on toast. There is no more coaxing our little pine. It is a goodbye. The babies get sad when I try to explain.

The wind has sat down. You’d think it will move again but it won’t.  It just sits getting heavier. A loss of free will. You’d think evening would bring relief  but by twilight , free will is thickened jam.  Store in a jar and refrigerate.

Pour yet another glass of a chilled something for the children, worry what if even watermelons will evaporate. Check again and be positive that the window panes are starting to swell. Go look once more and be positive it is only an illusion.

love-myself

Be hot-headed. Forget to drink.  A rag doll be. Don’t stop that unsavory lament of how no one cares. Don’t feel like eating. Skip that lunch. A permanent temporary solution. Allow hurtful words to play in your head. Fight for why no one stands for you. Why no one understands. Tired you, tire yourself some more.

Only don’t.

Bear with me, cheer is nigh.

Sit yourself down. Drink something. Eat something. Replenish before you can give again. Get that jar out. Sweet free will. Wash down that hurt. Butterfly float. There is second wind.

Next time, when someone unkind, says you stay home and do nothing. Don’t you wait for someone else to jump in and save you.

Up you stand and say ,” I am a mother of young children, the center of our home, I am the lover , the nurse, the laughter, the art. The heart. The hearth. I am the sum of our everyday and I am the difference our little ones will make.”

When downward bound again, repeat, ” love myself, despite.”

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Study of a jungle

On Elephant back.

Two very fuzzy little boys, slightly sweaty from a night under mosquito nets woke up at day peep. They were packed into the car, warm and giggly and taken to where the elephants stood tall and graceful all in a row.wp_ss_20160317_0003No dilly-dallying , strategically placing herself against the platform, just how her trainer the ‘mahout’ instructed  Miss Elephant let the little boys get on the howdah . Mamma and papa got up too, obviously. The rails were put back on and Miss Elephant set on to tumble and roll through mounds of color and grassy perfumes.

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Kaziranga national park. A new baby!!

A fragrant sunrise and a very quick sighting of a herd of deer, the little boys were beside themselves, dangling their legs in the most precarious ways , trying really hard to turn themselves into endangered species. All the while Papa was spotting away happily, ” a rhino there! there ‘s a baby too!!” ” those beefy wild buffaloes ” ” Another rhino” ” A deer”  , mamma went on whispering warnings ,” hold on” ” push yourself up” ” Don’t let go” .  A jumpy mamma brings the little ones laughter.

Fern fronds unfold and strappy dark leafy trees get taller. A stray branch comes perfectly  squiggly trying to scrape knees.  The slight wind catches up with Miss Elephant and riding on her through the jungle feels like riding on a wispy cloud. A height that doesn’t take to the top of the trees but to the densest middles where if you stood still, a plant would instantaneously grow on you, a creeper would warp over and again. A lake where the tiger comes to drink and a steep turn, Miss Elephant like a dancer makes. All this while the ‘mahout’ talks of tiger sightings and rhinos butting the elephants.

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the barking deer!!

The jungle breathes heavy from the depths of the ground. A soporific perfume hangs, the little boys are lulled into quiet. On the elephant back, they have turned into arboreal creatures, dangling legs one with the tawny branches. Trees that look like fantasy, sprouting leaves in the blink of an eye.

Miss Elephant deposits them back on the platform. Poses for a picture . There are two more trips to make before she can call it a day.

All four pairs of eyes are gleaming. Like they do when one is starving but very happy. It doesn’t stop here. They go back to a warm breakfast and a safari on a jeep into the denser part of the jungle.

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our road to adventure

Enchanted. All thought suspended.

Of rusty time and old grannies.

 

We stayed two days at Big Bear’s grandmother’s rustic village home while we were visiting family.  A big house in a small place, where time has grown old, spry only in the wings of a firefly or the acoustics of a cricket. Either of which may fall with a final flutter into your glass of warm cow milk, in case you were a little boy indulging in creamy sips under the yellow light of an electric luminary. That would make you squirm and old Time laugh.

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Where everyone knows everyone, where old grannies come one by one to look at the visitors. Where the skies seem to bend at the windows, curious, as if to hear what can be said in the absence of a shared language. I can comprehend just enough and not speak at all. Unmindful of it, old grannies peck my cheeks , run their hands down my shoulders, stand back, look,  dotingly smile, sit down, sip tea. I feel too young, too shy. Old grannies, little girls somewhere,soft and fragile, worn and nurturing.  Patchwork grannies , lovingly made with printed cottons, faded reds, inked blues, bleached whites, neatly hemmed. Thoughtfully grown old ,with old man Time.

Where Big Bear’s grandmother sits on a low wooden seat , as she gently gauges the generic roundness of each potato with her brown nimble fingers. With her indestructible iron knife she scores each eye that is threatening to sprout and removes it with jaunty coolness. Unhurriedly she takes off the peel in thin strips as the spud dances in her hand and with a final keen scrutiny plop goes the chipper into a bowl of water. Unwittingly she has brought on a serendipitous collision in my mind. Brought me as close to spirituality as I can get. Made me still, bent my thought like the sky at the window. Patchwork potatoes, fondly grown with pretty patterns of sunlight and red soil.

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Old man Time lets me be.  A dressmaker in a daydream. Dreaming away of chevron skies and rainbow quilts.