Friday, January 27, 2012

New Color Palette

This is my new hobby. I am in love.

This was me riffing on the red we're using as a feature wall when we paint our dining room. For your web graphicking pleasure, I've added hex codes. And the RGB values are there for printy applications. Enjoy the Quiet Primaries.

What're'y'alldoin' tonight? (Indeed, in West Virginian that is one word.) I'm joining the Twitter #wineparty hosted each Friday by Blogging Dangerously's Kit. Come tweet hello. I'm hoping I can find more of this delicious Chardonnay by new darling friend L brought me. Le dog de Charlotte? Le chein de Charlotte? Wine Shop- halp?

Oh, thanks Google-fu. Yes, Le Dog de Charlotte. Amazing.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Molly became obsessed with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" today. It's the music to a game she found for her Kindle, and she played it until my heart broke into tiny, bloody pieces and I had to tell her to stop. It was one of mom's favorites- she was obsessed with The Wizard of Oz. I still can't watch it. Shane made the mistake early in our marriage of turning it on when whatever network aired it, and then I crumpled like tissue and he had to put me back together.

The sweet, unendurable joy my baby girl gets from this song is so precious. And if I live in my brain, the fact that she's fallen in love with her grandma's song is beautiful. But right now, I'm living in my heart and I'm so sad and empty I feel I should collapse inward.

Maybe grief is a black hole but behind a magic door with keys and if you protect your keys it is OK it is just an idea of a hole and time exists and life is normal. When someone accidentally turns the key, all the whole decade since the death folds into yesterday and it's real and right here.

I had to be bigger than sad, so I downloaded Tori Amos' version and added it to her bedtime playlist- the Birdy Shuffle. I remembered mom hating on Tori for being too sugary and I smiled because Molly is on my side. Her favorite is Daisy Dead Petals. And then it's normal [key locks the door but light seeps through cracks] and we're just listening to nursery rhymes and fangirl stuff and Buffy rocks and Captain Hammer is Mommy's boyfriend but inside my chest the gravity and pressure are still pulling me apart.

Bullet Blogging: Radically Random

  • I just burst out cackling after learning that Demi Moore's abandoned role in the Linda Lovelace movie was playing Gloria Steinem. This is because I caught a snippet of an interview displaying her saying she is frightened she'll be all old & alone & whining that she'll realize she was unworthy of love. This annoyed the ever-loving feminist shit out of me. Worry that you'll never find Big Real Love, or regret mismatched partners, or whatever- but for the love of cats, single women, do not jump to blaming yourself.
  • If I had any tiny bit of empathy I might blame Our Bullshit Culture for Ms. Moore internalizing that tripe, but apparently I am without celebrity empathy.
  • Unless you are Kurt Cobain, because the American Fame Machine murdered him. Any allegation of weakness of character in Kurt still spins me into a spastic rant.
  • Also, if you think Courtney has ever had her shit together enough to commit and get away with murder, you may be overestimating her skills at human function.
  • I should totally have an asskicking 13 tattoo right now, but I don't. My favorite studio held a Friday the 13th promotion and I drove on snowy scary streets to get a $13 thirteen tattoo and there was a big crazy wait, and their couches swallow you into a floppy ball of unsupported-spine and I left after a while. There are two more Friday the 13ths this year, so I still have time.
  • Before the world ends.
  • Because I'm not letting this go.
  • Until 2013
  • If we're still here.
  • My hair's still falling out from anesthesia but is still not obvious on my head so I've stopped freaking out about hypothetical bald spots.
  • My leg nerve pain is pretty much gone, but my back muscles are still cranky bastards.
  • I've gained back all the weight lost during the Dr. Voodoo period. This and watching Forks Over Knives and a thousand other food documentaries on Netflix have made me decide, AGAIN, that dairy foods are pure evil and want me dead.
Image from

  • Yeah, the above fixation with 13 is a Wiccan thing. There are 13 full moons in a year. Being a Wiccan or former Wiccan, depending on my atheist level du jour, means that I also think black cats are awesome and that I do annoying things like referring to god as "she" and believing in chakras while also rolling my eyes at people who believe in newspaper horoscopes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Have a Colorful Garden in All Seasons

This is a guest post by the talented young Miss Kate Wilsson. (But you knew that because I don't actually know jack about gardening. I attract guest writers who do, probably by way of pity.) I love that the article is really about color, and I do of course aspire to be a gardener so that I can continue to be a vegetarian when the Zombie Apocalypse happens. Enjoy, and then check out Ecofriend (where Kate writes) for practical eco-tips to better your footprint. Or to garner skills for a post-apocalyptic 2013. Whatever. -Heidi

Creating the illusion of perpetual bloom in the garden throughout all seasons is mostly good planning, part art, part science and good luck along with a little extra labor. There are certain tricks that can be used to fill pockets of colors in the garden during the summer with a little bit of effort. The garden can be transformed into a lush and colorful space by implementing a few helpful tips given below.

1. Deadheading One way of making the flowers re-bloom until the seed sets in is by removing or deadheading spent blossoms. Periodic deadheading will benefit annuals as well as perennials as this will encourage the flowers to re-bloom. Once the seed sets in the flower is spent and will not bloom again. Deadheading can be done by sniping off from the base the entire flower part which is spent. For those flowers with multiple buds, you can cut off from the base just near to the unopened buds.

 2. Shearing Plants that have multiple flower buds can be sheared off once the flowers have all faded by shearing out about 1/3 of the plant. The plants recover quickly and in fact this process rejuvenates the plant by giving it new foliage and new buds. For plants like geraniums and Brunnera, you can shear off the dead leaves and flowers right near the new growth base. They will recover and grow back quickly.

3. Step pruning Pruning perennial plants in step form is a clever way of prolonging the blooms. This can be done by visually dividing a clump of plants into three sections with a front, middle and back. When these plants are about 6 to 8 inches in height; prune by at least 1/3 and 1/2 of the front and center section. Let them grow up to another 6 to 8 inches tall and then prune by 1/3 and 1/2 the front section. This type of pruning will give a step or three levels of successive blooming. According to this pruning, the rear section will bloom first and when it fades out the middle section will bloom. Finally, the front section will bloom to cover the faded previous blooms in the other two levels.

4. Re-seeding Annuals can bloom throughout summer but some annuals do not respond well to deadheading. For annuals such as verbena and cleome bloom and run out before they can set in new buds. To prolong their bloom, they can be re-seeded about 4 weeks after the initial seeding. If you have grown these plants by seedlings then you can seed some at the same time so that the plants that grow from seed will bloom when the seedling blooms fade out.

5. Feeding Plants require feeding as they expend a lot of energy while giving out blooms so your flowering blooms will still require fertilizer boost every 3 to 5 weeks. Super or triple phosphate is excellent to give a kick boost to your plants for boosting bud set and root development as it is a balanced supplement.

6. Mix in colorful foliage By sprinkling your garden with a few hardy shrubs and sprinting annuals, you will never run out of colors in the garden. Plants like the bronze sweet potato vine, sambucus, orange cannas; chartreuse and pale pink and cream Weigela augment and complement the flowers in the garden. These shrub plants have colors of their own and create the perfect illusion of riots of flowers in the garden. You can incorporate these shrubs in your garden so that you never run short of colors.

About The Author: Kate is a blogger by profession. She is fond of writing, travelling and shopping. Recently she bought a White Tv Stand for her living room. These days she is busy writing an article on wave power for her blog Ecofriend.

Heidi's plug: Look! There's a DIY bike generator! This is an obsession of Mr. Bones' and we plan to use it to watch Romero movies as research when Zack* invades.

Image credits:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Inward, Turned

I almost missed an opportunity to use my blog as a protest. I did cram in a quick & dirty template redesign and was able to turn my background & text black for the SOPA Blackout protest. I'm sure I've missed a thousand opportunities to take action, and I'm letting that be OK. I'm largely indifferent to the Republican primary campaign, I'm changing the channel when news that hits me hard is aired. (Children missing, someone stabbed close to home) I'm clicking away from "Call for Artists" posts. I'm cultivating a dark-of-the-moon, gestating, dark, quiet, healing time. This has made winter far more tolerable- so much so that I hope I can revisit this feeling every winter, when the frantic rush of the holidays clashes so loudly with the earth's cool, fallow season.

I'm seeing my body & being as located in time as well as space.

I felt so proud, so vital, to have eaten so well and lost some weight. Now I've gained some back, during the bed rest and healing. It's OK. It's a softness, a temporal cushion and a time when rest is more important than motion.

I feel acutely fragile, both emotionally and physically. Somehow I am comfortable with this. When the bed rest was prescribed, I was on the other side of a shift. I'm on the aftermath now, and this new person/body understands transition and delicacy and quiet in a way that woman couldn't imagine.

All this said, I'm moving now more fluidly, my nerves and bones are more right and strong than in years. My muscles, understandably, are still healing from the surgery and are learning new structures. Something has settled, though. The scar is flatter, the skin silken but thick. The swelling around the new artificial spacer is gone completely- my body is comfortable with the new, better support. My trainer let me do real, strong work today. The heat at my temples wanted to yell, "finally!" and the muscles that got a real work-out feel wonderful. We laughed together at the trial-and-error of our hacks to the upper body equipment for a patient with an arm and a half.

I have more energy than I did when I first returned to work. I've been drawing (I need to take some time to scan the new sketchbook) again, and I might finish my Sketchbook Project 2012 book. Or not. I'll let my body guide me without expectation.

I wrote that: guide me without expectation. That's something huge, a perspective I used to see from outside and wish I could assimilate. It's been the arc of my life since mom died. Going into flow, surrendering to the same Universe that hurt me, was such a struggle. There was a wound in my psyche from that hurt, and the changes were marrow-deep. Pregnancy, mothering, art, then managing the shop were all fraught with a need for perfectionism that undermined the pleasure in all of it. I have been fully and comfortably present for so little in this long, difficult decade. Seeing that now, it's impossible not to follow with the idea that this physical hurdle was a necessary lesson.

This is new, too. Thank you, my curved snake spine for this knowledge. Thank you, pain, for teaching. Thank you, quiet and rest and winter for stopping the frenzied cycle. Thank you, disability, for teaching me to protect my limits. (And thank you immeasurably for the privilege of knowing my abilities are returning and expanding.) Thank you for my flaws, cracks, scars, and memories. Thank you for tears, worries, the unknown, and for courage. For knives, bolts, stitches, blood, and bandages.

"thank you,
thank you

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Treasure Nest Tuesday: Boho Bling

This gorgeous, fancy ass necklace & earring set is from Collage. Jamie, the owner, made this herself, but she also features jewelry and art and clothing by other creative geniuses as well.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Official Theme Word for 2012

My dear Alexis Yael first introduced me to the idea of choosing a word to direct your energies and intentions for the year. This seems light years better than self-loathing resolutions that just ensure that you begin each year with the attitude that You Are Not Enough.

[which is bullshit]

This year, Shane and I both are focusing on learning to be mindful. We're working through a great book he found:

Here is the Kindle version: Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World, which is what we're using. I think I'd prefer to have it in physical form, though. There are layout choices that make reading annoying on the Kindle app and some places for notes in the real book.

I've been using the "body scan" practice a lot to tune back in to my body when my brain starts its crazy-making hamster wheel thing.

I feel really excited about living in 2012. For one thing, we've had a blast making fun of end-of-the-world stuff, and are planning an epic bash on December 21st. But beneath the hilariousness of thinking we little Earth Monkeys can predict the end times, I feel like there's been created a sort of collective mojo around this year. Something very fun and irreverent and change-y colors my feelings.

All this could be a reaction to spending most of 2011 in chronic, nagging pain and then capping the year off with a major spine operation. By comparison, even the apocalypse looks appealing. So anyway, I feel good feelings about 2012. I like 12s. I LOVE threes and fours, so twelve is just perfect. I see numbers in geometry. Three is an inverted, uterine triangle. My four is an equidistant cross, and twelve is a zodiac clock of the year. Twelve is whole and ordered and good.

So do you do the resolution thing? Is it positive? Does it work for you? Anyone have any other new ways to kickstart a new year? Do you feel The Big Ol' Twenty Twelve Mojo or is it just me and people with too many books of Mayan calendars?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Marriage: Of the Mundane & the Magical

We woke to the sound of our daughter in distress, and we went to our unspoken but seemingly choreographed roles. I took her in arms and cleaned and warmed her. You stripped the bedding and found soft, clean blankets. I told you without speaking that I had an easier day ahead- You knew I remembered you had an urgent week at work. You went out for her favorite drinks and I comforted her and attended her through the long night.

I slipped in and out of dreams during the fretful, chaotic night. In my nightmares she was sick, so sick, and I needed you and tried to call out but couldn't make a noise. I tried to walk and I couldn't, so I crawled to you. 

When you came home to us, you steered me gently to bed and kept me from pushing- always pushing- too hard. You kissed us both and we collapsed almost at once into hard sleep.

I had somehow become invisible to my real life, but couldn't live my old one either. No one knew you, or our little hollow. My old apartments were filled with my family but I couldn't get in to them- they weren't home. I called your number and it never rang true to you. Your name was gone from my phone, our address didn't exist. But I knew, and I would find you. I made my way out of my little hometown to the city. I walked, feet bare, to our hidden neighborhood through a long, strange dream-road. I finally found our home, and you held me, and I sobbed like earthquakes and you held tightly.

This morning, we launched snips of aggression at each other like sport, then we both saw the pattern and we both breathed carefully, and stopped. The strain of balancing moods and emotions weighed on me, seeming to be so much work that I'd never learn how to live in marriage. I thought like I so often do, that I am terrible at this. At teamwork, compromise, compassion.

Then you kissed me sweetly and I melted.

Then you left and I cried for my thoughts always spiraling out to failure.

Then I nestled into your smell in the sheets and found what I was seeking.

I always find it. I lose it so easily and carelessly, the understanding. I toss it around like an annoyance rather than nurturing it like it's a living, breathing thing. This entity that exists between two people, this marriage is our creation like our child. I forget and I ignore and I resist and then, always, the mundane falls back like a curtain and I see us and I remember. I forget and remember 1,000 times a day. I always find it- I always find you. Because you are here- you are home, and heart, and center, and sun.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Let's Talk About Personal Aesthetic Theory

By which I mean: I got that Changeling* instinct going and I've been daydreaming about growing out my hair and/or a new face jewel. I dreamed I had Zooey Deschanel's hair, prompting a morning of musing on Facebook and then some Photoshop play:

But seriously, I have bang envy. I've never rocked a thick, chunky bang since the horrific poofs of my teens.

How fucking hot would this be?

And here is my question, "Would a labret or Monroe piercing be all busy and crazy with my nosering?" answered with stick-on jewels:

My reaction? No: in fact, it's pretty damn sweet. My husband and coworkers are WRONG. I may start pricing a labret piercing. Yum.

Heh- scrolling through this post I think I really dig my regular ol' BuzzPixie hair. Also, I wish my eyebrows looked this fabulous without shadow. Alas, they are puny. And half of them fell out with a little bit of my head of hair because of the anesthesia. I am never having surgery again.

I have writings of actual substance in me, I really do. But today is not a substantive day. Today is a day for coveting pop star hair and blog-play. For leftover sugar cookies and sodapop. For very possibly wearing my yoga pants (read: pajamas) to work. For staging a pretend concert at my kitchen sink and waking a groggy girl to a coveted snow day. It's a day for which the word lollygag was invented.

*My mom called me a Changeling, coining a new meaning for someone who drastically changes her appearance because she is an impulsive and easily bored person who lives in a Universe where Manic Panic exists.