wayfaringwordhack: (Junebug: Diggin' life)
...or ten. :P

When I saw these oblong stones at the lake this summer, I thought of you, [livejournal.com profile] pjthompson, and those cute feet you posted, so this is for you:

wayfaringwordhack: (web)
Junebug is a little over three weeks old now, and we are slowly but surely working our way into a new rhythm that accommodates the newest* arrival into our family.  The beginning was a little bit rough because he had jaundice, which made him lethargic. He slept too much, didn't eat enough, which made him want to sleep more, and so on and so forth. And I did not know!  I was sure he was sleeping too much, but for once I didn't give in to my paranoia and turn to the Internet to try to find out why.  So, I wasn't aware of the downward spiral he was on until we took him for his 8-day check-up.  Thankfully, waking him to breast feed at regular intervals and giving him daily stints in the sunshine helped get him back on track. It was rough going for a while because we had to set alarms throughout the night to wake him and make him eat.**  He is waking on his own now, and that is a lot more restful for this momma's mind and body.

To make things more interesting, J got the flu and was out of commission for a little while. On the upside, Sprout only had a brief "ill spell" with a couple of days of fever, and I got a minor achy throat, followed by a cough and phlegmy chest. Nothing too bad. Junebug, however, seemed to get the worst of it in that he is pretty stopped up and it has lasted more than a week.  The poor guy really doesn't appreciate having his sinuses rinsed, but that is the only thing to do at this point, says his pediatrician.

Sprout loves her baby brother and has a plethora of nicknames for him that she came up with herself, among them Juney, June Buggy, Juicy, JB... It isn't all roses and pet names, though.  Her shapeshifting (now more identity shifting) includes being Junebug, an obvious desire for more attention.

And because I did say this was a hodgepodge post, please read this entry by [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume and sign the mentioned petition if you feel so inclined.

Speaking of news and true reporting, this weekend promises to be exciting in terms of protests.  Expats are being advised to limit their movements and stay at home if possible so as not to be caught in riots, etc.  Looks like the upcoming elections are going to bring a return of "excitement" to our lives. ::sigh::
* newest and last, I want to write, but Sprout informed me that we are not yet finished making babies because we failed to deliver the asked for sister. :P Not that my 3 year old gets the last word on this topic.

** Despite these problems, Junebug is nowhere near being labeled as failing to thrive, like Sprout was. Breast feeding is going much more smoothly this time, and he is quite the chubby baby.


25 Mar 2013 10:35 pm
wayfaringwordhack: (art journal)
A day late. And a dollar short?

I had a very busy weekend, and last night we had dinner with friends, not getting home until after midnight.

I did work on my chapter, but it needs another quick pass before being ready to share.

Instead, I shall show a snippet of something else I was working on this week.

in the deeps

This piece is hard going for me because I had such a strong flash (inspired by an awesome poem by an awesome person), and I know how I want it to turn out. I've been hesitant to start painting because I fear what I want and what I'll do will be so far apart that I'll despair.  Today, with lots of physical and mental shrugging, I finally starting laying down the paint. It will be what it will be, and I'll doubtless learn from it.  I also scanned the sketch and photographed it so I may be able to salvage it digitally if I completely fail at the watercolor version.
wayfaringwordhack: (critters: horse)
Despite the simplicity of the design I came up with, my wrists weren't very happy with the papercutting. I wasn't thinking about my tendonitis but about my very dull cutter blade when I decided to keep my image simple, and I'm glad I didn't try for anything more delicate.

The logistics of where to cut and what to keep were quite entertaining, and I might like to try more of this technique.* However, I won't be doing so until I get the proper tools for it, including paper that lends itself to cleaner cutting that what I used.

8 Papercut Donkey

Paper-cut Donkey, blue construction paper
* Note to self: Make sure to do really big images and keep tiny, painstaking cuts to a minimum.
A favor under the cut )
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: paper flames)
I highly recommend this post by [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume: An Hour with Junot Diaz.

I'm still thinking over some of the stuff she quotes.
wayfaringwordhack: (art: palmier)
The day [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume posted about someone's flub with a paper shredder, I came across this post about an artist who makes portraits from strips of paper. If you click the link, you'll see other portraits with some close-ups.

Pretty nifty, eh?

(image via Colossal)

And it has fine-tuned an idea I have for a little something I want to make for someone. :D
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
...since I've done a meme.

Even though I could have sworn I've done this one before, I can't find it under my meme tag, so at [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume's "request" I'm doing it again.

In the comments, tell me about a story I haven’t written, and I’ll give you one sentence from that story.  Then do the meme on your own LJ, if you are so inclined, so I can "remember" a story of yours, too
wayfaringwordhack: (soaring hopes)
That is the hope for the teachers who are making their needs known to better help their students at DonorsChoose.org

[livejournal.com profile] asakiyume brought the organization to my attention when she shared a link to a video talking about the joy new books can bring to kids. Check out the video.

Maybe a project will speak to you and you can help kids have a bright today for a brighter tomorrow.
wayfaringwordhack: (critters: chameleon - goofy)
By exactly one month. 

One month ago today, I celebrated my birthday. In Denmark. With my dear sickpea, [livejournal.com profile] frigg. Here is our Denmark trip in photos and a little video featuring a charming Danish birthday tradition.

Jelling Stones, rose bushes with enormous rosehips lining the roads, very cool Danish cemeteries, enough hay bales to make any Impressionist painter swoon, and churches with model ships hanging from the ceilings, these are a few of the things we saw...

denmark collage

as well as the impressive sand sculptures in Søndervig.

sand sculptures

We really enjoyed our time with [livejournal.com profile] frigg and C.

And my birthday was definitely one of the highlights!
The kagemand...me, if I were a cake. :D

But if ever you celebrate your birthday with [livejournal.com profile] frigg, be warned: She has a big knife!

wayfaringwordhack: (Brio)
Today, I got to make up for yesterday's frustrating mushroom incident.

Between a day of telephone calls, vet visits, administrative errands, and shopping, I got to take an hour to go a-mushrooming. This time I went just in front of my mil's house, looking for Marasmius oreades (aka "scotch bonnets" or fairy ring mushrooms/caps). The public lawn is divided in two by a dense line of hazelnuts and butterfly bushes. On one side, I saw a lady busy gathering mushrooms. I almost turned around and went back on the other side. Then I thought, no, I really want to see what she is gathering. So, even knowing that some people are very possessive of their knowledge, I approached her with a smile and asked to see what she had found. She looked a bit distrustful and bothered, but she opened her sack and showed me her caps.

I then showed her mine and asked where she was from. She was wearing a headscarf, which is not typical for French natives, and I could hear she had an accent even though she didn't say much. Again she seemed a bit bothered and said she lived in a house up the hill. I didn't want to push her, but I asked what country she was from. Turkey, she told me, and I told her I was American.  Right away she relaxed, understanding that I was another "foreigner."* 

I wished her a nice day then went back on the other side to let her gather in peace. A few minutes later, she came over where I was, and we started chatting about France and its language, about mushrooms, about traveling, about family. We gathered mushrooms side by side, each pointing out patches to one another, urging the other to gather them, neither person trying to be greedy or proprietorial.

She asked me to walk into the adjacent pasture with her because she was afraid of the cows. She showed me another kind of edible mushroom I didn't know. I told her about lemon balm and where she could gather some. It was exactly the type of chance encounter that puts joy into my day.

Her name is Emine. Upon her invitation, I'll go have coffee with her before we live for Egypt. I think I'll take her brownies and a bundle of lemon balm.  :)

* Not that it matters, but the mushroom thief was Portuguese. 
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
Going to visit [livejournal.com profile] frigg in Denmark.  See you next week, unless I post from her house.  In the meantime, feel free to comment on this entry to let me know what you are up to/have been up to.

wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] stillnotbored's monthly contest is live for August.  Pop on over and post your story prose (paragraph) or poem (stanza) to go with the first line provided. Winner gets a nifty pendant made by [livejournal.com profile] stillnotbored herself!
wayfaringwordhack: (art: bosch flying fish)
This is the week to be dreaming about my flist, I guess.

Last night, I dreamed that we were visiting [livejournal.com profile] frigg in Denmark.*

We met by a little lake that had a "fjord" on one side, lovely steep, rippled mountain** flank plunging into the water, and a small village on the other. [livejournal.com profile] frigg was getting ready to swim and her husband and one of their friends were fishing. She told us we could go on without them or stay, whichever we liked. We boated across the lake alone, and then suddenly [livejournal.com profile] frigg was there, too. We walked through the village, then a shop selling antiques and secondhand things, into a back yard. The little shop was just crawling with teen girls, which must have been in my dream because of a convo [livejournal.com profile] frigg and I had about her teaching art to kids of that age.

Turns out the yard was connected to others--yards on each side, separated by tall plank fences with chain link for the back, giving on to prairie land hemmed by forest--and [livejournal.com profile] frigg's house was the next one over. She had planned a big picnic, complete with all her Danish friends and acquaintances, for our arrival. I didn't get to visit much with her because she was so busy--not cooking but being social! Not really like my sickpea at all--so I spent time counting dark-haired, dark-eyed Danes to see if there were more brunettes than blonds, this bit also coming from a convo about [livejournal.com profile] frigg's book starring a blond Danish boy. 

The Sprout and I started coloring and soon we had a bunch of Danish children doing art with us: painting, building sculptures of sundry materials like wood and paper, creating dye-baths (reading a book about dyeing right now).  One little girl, who looked a lot like  Quvenzhané Wallis in this photo from Beasts of the Southern Wild, told us there was a treasure in a murky pool at the foot of a gnarled, hollowed tree stump. We all gathered round, but the dark deep waters were not inviting. No one dared go in search of the treasure...

Speaking of the dream realm, I don't think I'll be shape-shifting any time soon--unless [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume can teach me how to do it in Wakingland--and I highly doubt our visit with [livejournal.com profile] frigg will resemble what my brain threw at me last night, but there is another dream I had back in 2006 that may "happen."

I referenced it in a post--locked, sorry--but this is what I said: Back in Sancerre, I had another "daughter" dream where our girl, only 2-3 yrs old and riding on her daddy's shoulders, was dressed*** the same way. Same tan skin, same light blond, slightly curled hair.

What I didn't specify but still clearly remember was that we were walking in a desert, rolling dunes around us, but where we were the ground was flat from so much foot traffic, hard-packed sand with sharp pebbles.  We weren't in a maze, but there where sheets hanging all around, making it look somewhat like one.  In fact, it looked like a market or encampment...maybe something along the lines of what we will see in Egypt, when S is exactly the age from my dream. 

A dream tied to an art idea, all the way from 2007, has been on my mind of late, now that I'm back into art journaling every day...
* We ARE going to visit [livejournal.com profile] frigg in Denmark, in just two more weeks. :D
**Very funny considering how flat it is where you live, non, [livejournal.com profile] frigg? :P
*** wearing only a pair of white undies. Don't know why she would be dressed like that under the punishing Egypt sun, though. Maybe after a dip in the Rea Sea?
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: my loves)
[livejournal.com profile] asakiyume, last night, I dreamed we were shapeshifters. You were a veteran who knew what shapeshifting was all about, but I "lost time," and it was you who explained to me that I had shifted...into a bunny!  I wish I would have posted about it right away because there were so many details, fresh in my mind, to record. I know you had two shapes you could do, but now I can't remember them. I believe one was gazelle/deer/antelope... And I know there was a guru and an island and raiders and a penalty for running from the raiders (they were promised a kind of tithe according to the number of people on the island, and when I got frightened and escaped with the guru, they were shorted...) Yeah, it all made a lot more sense in dreamland. :P

But the day happened, and I'm only sitting down now at the laptop.

Julien was supposed to go the Farmer's Market and I was supposed to go to the store this morning, but as we were getting ready, I noticed a putrid smell coming from S's nose, the kind of smell tha that J had when his incisions got infected after his surgery. So, plans changed, and J took S to the doctor. The doctor didn't dare touch whatever it was and told J to get an otolaryngologist (hereafter ENT) appointment instead.  The ENT could only see S at 5pm, when S had an existing appointment to see a dermatologist about a rash on her scalp, possibly eczema, . Thinking an infection trumped itching, we cancelled the dermatologist (who was angry about it and hung up on J).

The unplanned morning visit to the doctor comprised J's trip to Pau (1.5 hrs away) to get his and S's diplomatic passports for our move to Egypt, so he had to reschedule to tomorrow. 

Instead of spending a day alone, relaxing and writing, I had to nap to try to nip an oncoming headache in the bud. It helped only marginally, and at the ENT's office, the headache came back full force.  Not because of anything seriously wrong with S, though, thank goodness.  The little squirt had stuck some stuffing from one of her toys up her nose, and the ENT was able to pull it out in no time.  We were very relieved that the problem was quickly taken care of.  She has to wait until Saturday now to see a dermatologist about the itching.

In other Sprout news, I bought her her first pairs of underwear today. They are too big for her, intended for 2-3 year-olds, and she'll only be 22 months tomorrow. She is very excited to have undies and has had no accidents. She hasn't had any accidents for a while yet, and she often goes to the bathroom by herself without us offering her a potty opportunity, just goes to sit on her potty and does her business. We've been taking her out without a diaper for several weeks now, even in the car, which we didn't dare do before (even though she is diaper free at the house, if we were going to the doctor or the store, etc. we'd put on a diaper just in case). She is not completely potty trained, but she also had her first diaperless nap today.
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
Our Aussie friends left today, so I'll be back online again, but maybe more so once we leave my mil's house at the end of the coming week.  Yep, here again because we came with S and S to enjoy the Bastille Day fireworks at Carcassonne.  Photos of that coming tomorrow.  

Sadly, our friends arrived sick, and I caught their crud (only not so bad) a few days in.  Because of all the ick, we didn't do much. The Sprout is manifesting signs of it today. :-<  I hope goes through it as quickly as I did. In any case, I predict much caring for a congested, aching baby in the coming days.

Anyone care to tell me what I missed? What have you guys been up to?
wayfaringwordhack: (writing: paper flames)
When I'm at the mil's house, I just can't write. There is something about this place that eats my writing brain.

I have been busy, however. I smocked a too-big tank-top that I made in....oh, 2009, before leaving Mayotte. Remember the one I wore in Paris while pregnant, [livejournal.com profile] frigg?  That one.

I made a pillowcase for Soëlie.

I made a cushion for a chair that I'm renovating for S and painted the chair as well. I could have finished reassembling the chair today, but I need to buy some hardware.  Tomorrow, I hope. I want to show before and after photos.

I also painted a flower for J's gram's birthday, which we will be attending Saturday. Don't feel like uploading a photo now, so I'll share that later, too, if I think about it.

Oh, and we sorted stuff for Egypt.  

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we are going to Millau to camp, and Julien will go paragliding. Then Saturday, birthday party, drive to Bordeaux, pick up friends from airport, and a week of holiday fun will begin. Who knows, maybe I'll even write a little...

Of Dreams

30 Jun 2012 10:39 pm
wayfaringwordhack: (Sprout: my loves)
I wanted to do sketches for these dreams, but if I wait until I have the time to get the sketches right, I'll never post. So:

A couple of nights ago, I dreamed that the Sprout was a shapeshifter. She first shifted into a purple, gerbil type critter, then into a strange thing I have no name for. It looked eerily like an elongated trilobite, but it/she was about 6 inches long and covered in beige and brown mottled fur with two furry appendages that she could curl up over her back like a scorpion's tail, but the appendages were a bit more mobile.  While in her critter forms, I followed her closely because she was just a baby shifter and might have problems changing back on her own.  She ignored me completely, her mind seemingly totally animal-like. No conversation, no human mannerisms.

 She was darting and scrabbling all over the sidewalk by an Egyptian cemetery--no, no pyramids in sight--so I sat on the steps leading into the graveyard to rest; she was as active as a critter as she is in baby form. I remember there was a strange smell, both intoxicating and repulsive, but now I can't recall what odors I thought of in the dream.  

I needn't have worried about her changing. She did a backflip, and POOF, was my toddler again. :P

We wandered down to the beach to find J. He was studying one of the pillar-like gravestones planted in the sand. Not in Egypt any more, though, judging from the names, which, naturally, I can't remember now. They made me think of a mix of Nordic and French is all I can recall.

With the waves pooling around the headstones, I wondered who would want to be buried in such a place, and my thoughts went to war veterans for some reason. I tried to memorize one of the names so I could look it up on the Internet, but I didn't write it down when I woke. :(

Then the next night, I dreamed the Sprout and I were riding double along a lane that passed between meadows and woods. It was one of those drowsy days where the sunlight is a golden presence in the air; and insects, their wings aglow in the syrupy light, hover above grass with nodding seedheads; and the smell of warm earth and cool tree shadow form an intoxicating perfume that makes you drowsy and revives you by turns.

Our horse was ambling along, head down, almost as if sleepwalking, following a flatbed wagon, whose heavy iron wheels squeaked with every turn. S and I were talking about plants, where we would camp that night, etc. when [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume rode up behind us and commented what a lucky girl S was, getting to learn so much and see so much beauty. (This dream must have been in relation to the comment you left on a recent post, [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume.)  I started to reply when suddenly, over [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume's shoulder, I saw a stone colonnade, somewhat like this, appear in the woods, its slender gray columns green twined and flower draped, its worn flagstones dappled with emerald and white light. 

"How beautiful!" I exclaimed.
[livejournal.com profile] asakiyume followed my gaze and nodded. "It is." Judging by her tone, she had seen it before.
As I stared, a portal formed in the archway in the distance. It opened onto Paris, the Eiffel tower framed in its center. And suddenly my sense of wonder vanished. "What a bore!" I thought. "Why not an exotic location?" 
wayfaringwordhack: (Brio)
Yesterday was stifling; heavy air, 38 degrees Celsius/100 F. It was heaven to go down to the beach and wade up to my knees in the cool bay. See-through shrimp and tiny fish came to nibble at our feet. Who needs to go to Thailand or a spa and pay to have their feet immersed in a fish tank?

Last night, thunder rolled omniously; lightning purpled the looming clouds. Wind snatched leaves from trees and tossed them like confetti to greet the coming storm. The storm disappointed, spattering us with only a few drops before going somewhere else, where the party was perhaps better.

Disappointed, I closed my shutters, left open the better to watch the light show.

We woke up to a day that topped out in the low 70s, the sky still gray from last night's unkept promise of rain.

The Sprout and I had sourdough pancakes for breakfast and then headed to the seaside to pick a bouquet.

photos )

We came home with this cyberbouquet of flower photos to share with all of you and , this last one in particular for you, [livejournal.com profile] pjthompson, if you want it :)


Oh, and my new icon. Brio. I like a little brio in my life.
wayfaringwordhack: (Default)
via [livejournal.com profile] coffeesvp

How awesome is the idea of having microadventures?!

I vow to have one and will post about it. Thanks [livejournal.com profile] coffeesvp for sharing and Alastair Humphreys for the inspiring idea. 
wayfaringwordhack: (sail away)
[livejournal.com profile] asakiyume made a lovely, poetic post this morning that reminded me of these photos I've been meaning to post for, oh, over a month now.  :-/  

I've mentioned before that I live on the borders of Land, Sea, and Sky, but somedays, it is hard to tell where one realm begins and the others end. It is a special kind of Bermuda Triangle. 

If you go walking on the cliffs of a morning, take care where you set your feet, unless you have wings to lift you, or fins and gills to save you if you fall...
sky waves

Layers of rock. Land longing to become one with water, one with air? Or a tactic of the land to encroach on realms where it does not belong?
land and sea

the sea and sky

Beware the fog. Sometimes Sea and Sky join forces to confound the Landed. 
cloud cover

In some places, the Landed have built seawalls, but they cannot do completely without the water, and the Sky laughs at such measures.
sea wall, st jean de luz

A video of the song I was listening to while making this post:


wayfaringwordhack: (Default)

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