Thursday, December 31

now stillness




The snow is steadily and unexpectedly sprinkling down outside, dusting the edges of fences and the dried brown gardens.  I awoke at 6am and saw that the sky was red.  About an hour later, I awoke again to see Tim standing in front of the window.  Upon my asking if he was watching the sunrise, he replied, "The snow is coming down quickly."  He enfolded himself back in bed while I roused myself up in the dark house to the sounds of silent snowfall, dreaming dogs, and rustles from the guest room.  I made a cup of chamomile tea and went and started wednesday (my volvo v70.) Somer put her accordion and bags in the back, and we quietly drove to the train station.  Oh, the complex sleep-deprivedness of early morning goodbyes that have been preceded by a late night stay-up filled with talking, backgammon, and lemon-ginger tea.  She disappeared into the station, melting into the dark coats of strangers.  I drove back home slowly behind terrified drivers who were doing 15mph over the muslin-thick snow on the roads.  I thought I would come back home and crawl into bed; I, who need 10 hours sleep to live a sane and capable life.  Instead, I am working my slow way, mouthful by chewy mouthful, through a bowl of cereals, and am considering finishing the movie we started 3 nights ago, although it's 9am.  I know it's New Year's Eve Day.  I have no big plans tonight.  Last year at this time I was at Kripalu, listening to chants and sitting in the sauna, walking the labyrinth in snow and getting lost in the woods when I hiked.  Tonight I think I'll go to bed early.  I think I'll take the accumulation of the past four late nights and say, "That was my end of year celebration: That was enough for me."  All the candles lit, tea sipped, chocolate cracked off and nibbled, all the garlic minced and cheese crumbled, miles walked, treasures thrifted, all the verbal lineage and conversational entanglements.  That sadness that comes when a friend who was visiting, leaves. Finding the balance again, the return to normalcy, to my rhythm.  Tonight is another full moon, but I think it will be hidden by clouds.  Tomorrow I'll wake at dawn to collect the first sunrise.  I'll see if the snow is "coming down quickly."  I'll sigh at the sorrow and wonderful-ness of it all, and slowly start my hundred turnings intended to spin me, eventually, into my studio.  I'll gather all the little tendrils of the past few busy weeks and draw them in, turning them into roots inside, and be nourished.

Monday, December 28

scenes from the holidays


A lot of jaunts down to the park!
All that drilling and sawing Tim was doing in the basement - excuse me, in Santa's Workshop - produced a birdhouse for juncos to sleep in in cold weather! It has different floors inside for them to warm up on.
Tim really liked his fishing rod. A lot. That is the exact same face I've seen on him in pictures of him with Donovan as a puppy.
Self-explanatory.
Still got to work in the studio on some new ideas.
And had a great time hosting Christmas brunch this year!

But about today: there is a little pile of presents waiting for me on the ottoman, Somer is in the kitchen wrestling with the french press, Tim is still abed, I have Earl Grey Jasmine at the ready.  Plans abound.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, December 27

anticipation


The sun has fallen into blue and the house is quiet. I can hear the faint bustle of cars on the road outside as people finish up their late Sunday errands. I am waiting for my friend, Somer, to arrive. A friend who is presently on the Chinatown bus from Boston, soon to switch in NYC to come to Philadelphia. Then, a train out of the city, a phone call, and a car waiting (that would be me) at the station. We've been friends longer in our lives than not.  (I took the picture above, of her holding the moon, about 15 years ago.) I can't wait for shared pots of tea, long catch-up chats, walks, cooking and lots and lots of laughing.  The dogs are excited for tummy rubs. But for now I'm a-waitin'.  Eating clementines and reading Danny the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl, one of my favorite books.  The piƱon incense is burning.  The very air is waiting.  Don't you love it when old friends come to town?

*

Saturday, December 26

afterglow



Day after Christmas and rain is falling. The snow is washing away, which is okay with me since it has become a little grungy after a few days of capturing the edges of life. I have the radio tuned to 88.5, playing Crosby, Stills & Nash.  I feel the need for fresh air on my cheeks, wind in my lungs, and a longer stride for my legs. And time to ruminate over this fantastic week. Somehow, this holiday week, I found the balance.  The balance of me and they.  The balance of solitude and crowds.  There were so many great moments; moments to breath deep and slow down.  Moments to absorb while in the eye of the storm.  Moments to let things pass, and moments to accept what was before me.  I built in unbargainable spaces to reflect and chill - if I don't do this, who will do it for me?  I am learning.

Friday, December 25

Thursday, December 24

Christmas Eve Day


Peace and calm to you today!

Wednesday, December 23

snow day





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...and some new postcard sets in my shop:

I hope you are really enjoying the little pleasures of your days too!

Tuesday, December 22

secret ravioli





While Tim was out on Sunday, I secretly made ravioli. Whole-wheat ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta. I've never made this in particlar before and it was an interesting experience. That dough takes coaxing to stretch! 

I had them all dried and in the freezer by the time Tim got home. They needed to be a secret because I intended them to be one of his gifts. Then yesterday, when we exchanged gifts, we played Hot-or-Cold till he found them (in the freezer.)

We had some for dinner: mighty tasty!

Have you cooked or baked anything fun lately?

Monday, December 21

Solstice!

You know, I've never celebrated the winter Solstice before. It's only been in the last couple of years that I even started paying attention to these divisions of the seasons - the equinoxes and solstices. I think they're pretty fascinating. Days that mark the balance between fall, winter, spring and summer, between light and dark, and that have stretchy histories that lead back through the ages. Back to the times when darker or sunnier times really meant the difference between life or death.

I like how there's not a lot of cultural hoopla (read: commercialism) around the day. It comes a few days before Christmas, so Tim and I can exchange our holiday gifts today in relative peace and quiet, (there's sunshine!!) and enjoy our time without rush. We can go on to celebrate with our families (in the ways that they do) on wednesday and thursday without that harried, toss-up feeling of looking for my holiday calm and spirit somewhere along the highway between houses.

So I've got some Bob Dylan on the record player and have plans for banana blueberry muffins later. I'd like to go for a hike, and the snow's deep out there - blue under the blazing sun. The icicles are melting in dripping rhythms and the sparrows are boxing under the feeder. 

Have a very, very happy Solstice today!

Sunday, December 20

snow pleasures





Tim made this sign. He's banging around in the basement building something. I think I know what it is. More details later.



And yes, we got smacked by a wonderful snowstorm! Love it.

That would be my "I think the camera's frozen but I'll still kind of smile just in case this takes" face, and that's Tim's "Um, the dogs are up to no good over there" face.

We're having good times over here!

Thursday, December 17

A wee break

Taking a break for about a week! Enjoy your weekend and your holidays if I don't get back before then!

Best, Brooke

Wednesday, December 16

:: collections


partial mug collection. Yes, there's only two of us, I know...but one can experience so many moods, and one must have a mug to fit, mustn't one?
Some of my ceramic tile collection to brighten up the kitchen. Which is already very bright.
Studio. Been having some productive days. And I still need to frame that piece by knitalatte.
Dining/Living room. Another sort of collection. (I have a lot of collections.)
I collect rocks, too. You can see some here: some from Cape Breton, California's Lost Coast, the Appalachian Trail (first hike with Tim.) When I travel I bring home rocks. Once (ahem, on our honeymoon), we got stopped by the X-ray people because the rock was so large; it was showing up as a black mass on the machine: very suspicious. We got to keep it. I bring the rocks home and glue where they're from on them, cut out of book letters.
And then there's rocks like these: nameless. Could be from Switzerland, Italy, Canada, or the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. We thought we'd remember, but we don't. We waited too long to label them.

But we're still keeping them.
I also collect favorite books, afghans, vintage white glass lamps, wool blankets, and polaroid cameras. I do not collect cats. Sometimes I don't even know I'm collecting something until I look around the house and see, oh, say, 4 or 5 of them. Like my wool hats and gloves. Or my vintage Pyrex bowls. (Tim: "Don't we already have a bunch of these?)

I do love my collecting.

What do you collect?

Tuesday, December 15

a day for getting things done.


An interesting day full of errands, organizing, some matting, framing and hanging, some finishing and photographing of projects for Etsy, some general tidying of studio (finally! pictures on the walls: mine and others' works), a walk in the city...whew!

You know those days that seem like they're full of maintenance? For your body (shower, shave), your house (vacuum, laundry), your pets (walk, feed), your pantry (restock), your sanity (take a stroll)? Today was kind of a maintenance day - but a good one. Not a drag-your-feet one. Tying up some of those loose ends so I can breathe again. Getting things in order and focus around me so I can do the same inside of me.  Trying to find that balance of work and play. Slowing down. Breathing. Having patience. Taking stock.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Yes.