Monday, January 31

Someone at this church thrift shop I go to frequently has a really sly sense of humor. They also have the Women's Lingerie rack set up right next to the Maternity Clothing rack!

Sunday, January 30

A new culinary concept from Henry at the Autism Cafe! I came downstairs the other evening, after putting all the children to bed, and wandered around in the usual post-bedtime routine haze. Eventually I became aware of a persistant but intermittant beep from the microwave, its "I'm done, already yet!" call. I yanked open the door and found the bowl of cashews Henry had helped himself to earlier in the evening. He obviously hadn't cared much for them (someone had given us a tub of the candied kind) and I guess he had attempted to alter their molecular structure in the microwave. Nope, still cashews, still candied, just faintly warm. Not bad though!

Friday, January 28

The above image was taken during a brief visit from my cousin and her beautiful daughter. The one below is a scene from my everyday life with boys! For PhotoFriday's challenge "Youth".

Thursday, January 27

Just the other day Peter called to me to come out on the front porch. He has been harvesting icicles and had laid them out temptingly on our bench. "Come see my Icicle Store!" he called. I was charmed, but wasn't allowed to buy one. "You'll just take it inside and it'll melt." So the icicle store has become an icicle museum. It is interesting to examine these ice stalactites when they are safely horizontal instead of vertical and in danger of putting your eye out at any minute.A common refrain of my childhood: "Ho ho ho, you'll put your eye out, kid!" I have restrained myself from saying these words to Peter in the interests of scientific discovery and icicle research.

Wednesday, January 26

This attractive display was in the entrance hall of Henry's school when I went in this morning for his IEP and Transition Meeting. IEP means Individualized Educational Program, and most kids with special needs have them. The Transition meeting was really what I was anxious about this time. Henry is in fifth grade equivalent, and slated to go on to Middle school next year. He has been in this very excellent public school program for less than one year. I was unhappy at the thought of tearing him from such a comfortable and productive atmosphere and dropping him into a program that would be starting up the year he enters. However, the school officials put me out of my misery mercifully quickly and told me right away that he can stay another year in his present program. Didn't even have to beg or negotiate! I felt like one of these jelly bean people as I left, all wobbly (with relief), a few pieces falling off here and there but hey, standing up straight and tall!

Tuesday, January 25

Ever feel like you have too much on your plate? Lately I feel as though I am juggling china plates, and not only that but plates loaded up with many smaller fragile items. When one falls a lot smashes down with it. This plate of objects has been sitting in my studio waiting for me to paint it for months. Time to unload and move on I think.

Sunday, January 23

The boys are having a great time with all the snow and ice.

Saturday, January 22

The candles from the twin's birthday cake Thursday. They only turned 11 but I always add one for good luck, or "one to grow on" as childhood friends used to crow when delivering the final birthday wallop. No wallops here, only kisses and candles.

between heaven and earth. Henry at a recent visit to the Academy of Natural Sciences. He found this small niche between a display of starfish and a hive of bees and wedged himself into it: his favorite part of the visit! Like many people with autism he enjoys the sensation of pressure.

Wednesday, January 19

Yesterday was bitterly cold and grey. Out doing errands I stopped in at the local garden nursery for a quick hit of warmth and color. They were kind of transitioning from the holidays, so there was not actually a lot to see. They had one rack of seed packets ready to go for the "spring sniffers" like me. I was charmed by its cheerful promise and whipped out the camera. As I was snapping the picture an employee passing by said sternly, "Sorry Miss, that's not allowed!". Flustered I apologized and slunk out, with the illegal photograph (this one) burning a hole in my pocket. I guess I stole a little joy. So now I am going to spread it around. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 16

My friend Kelly came over with her two children and we all went to the park. It was a freezing day. The kind where your breath comes out in smoky puffs and comes in like liquid fire. But I needed a change of scenery so we gave it a shot. For the first time I wore a bright turquoise hat and glove set I'd gotten at Christmas. Henry kept glancing at speculatively. Then he reached over (I was pushing him on the whirli-gig thing) and gently removed it. Kept staring at it. Finally he put it on himself. I decided he must be cold and offered him my gloves too, which he put on in a fascinated manner (and backwards) as if never having seen gloves before. Flexed his hands in the thin fleece, staring at them. Finaly he took off the whole set, but didn't give it back to me or drop it on the ground. He held everything carefully, cradling it to his chest like a precious treasure. Very unlike his usual M.O. Once back in the car he lost all interest, and has not even spared glance at these things though I laid them out temptingly next to his coat this morning. Who knows what that briefly tender attachment was all about? Maybe it was just a subtle "I can't believe Mom went out in public wearing that ridiculous hat." moment!

Friday, January 14

Took this picture a couple of weeks ago when Paul and I were out in the Bay Area. We went hiking at Chimney Rock in the Point Reyes National Park. Lured by the magnificent views we wandered off the trail till we came across this sign, which essentially said "If you are close enough to read this sign you are close enough to this unstable cliff edge to die. Get back!"

Not particularly wanting to die for beauty just then, we obeyed, telling ourselves that there were plenty of good views from the trail. And there were too. As we rounded the path for home we came upon a cove with dolphins playing in its waters.

Monday, January 10

Some of us took my friend Dianne out tonight for her birthday to a Japanese restaurant. Got there first and I asked the waiter to surprise her later with some "little thing" he could carry out with a candle stuck in it. I knew she would not order a dessert, and had myself no idea what to order for a sweet in a Japanese restauarant. (Unsophisticated I know.) He brought out this adorable little arrangement of a dish of grayish green ice cream (with requisite candle) surrounded by little half moon dumplings that seemed to be stuffed with some icy, beany confection.
I am guessing that the ice cream was green tea flavored(?), but I have no idea what the little frozen dumplings were. All very mysterious and delicious!

Sunday, January 9

There was a reception today for the show I am in at Artists' House Gallery. Paul came in at the very end with the boys. Thanks to Lorraine the gallery director's generous platters of home-baked cookies the little guys were content for a while. Maybe too content: Henry started to feel right at home and pulled his shirt off (a common occurrence at our house). Peter valiantly leaped to the rescue, but not before I grabbed my camera. Just could not resist that juxtaposition of Henry World intersecting with the Art World. If only he'd wear sunglasses/nose rings/a tattoo maybe we could pretend he was a performance artist!

Friday, January 7

The Andirons seem to be both holding the flame and basking in it. By the way, we were burning an old, cheap, wooden chair that could no longer be fixed, NOT one of Paul's hand-crafted masterpieces.

I realize I've talked a lot about the frames, but haven't really shown the process. Here are a few on trolleys in Paul's shop waiting for final finish. I felt a little embarrassed going in and working in his shop, where my frames were taking up so much space. Somehow the role of "The Boss's Wife" was not one I could really relate to positively. But the folks who work in Paul's shop were really nice and helpful, and accepted the intrusion gracefully.

It was a busy one, but worth it. Lots of joy. Having Paul got pneumonia right before the final holiday push made us go into "triage" mode: jettison what was not crucial and act decisively on what was. Christmas cookies were cut from the program, visits with relatives were maintained, that kind of thing. The frames got finished up for my upcoming painting exhibition, and I got the fun of helping gild. Even stressed out and hurrying to beat the clock, it was pure pleasure to be handling those floating airy sheets of gold.

Monday, January 3

My old friend Liz stopped by with her new baby. Daisy the cat was fascinated by little Benjamin, who seemed to return her interest. Then they both yawned and went to sleep. What a life!

Saturday, January 1

Paul and I just got back from a quick visit out to the Bay Area. We got to visit with a lot of our family who have migrated out there. I love San Francisco but this trip the only city things we did were sleeping (my mother-in-law picked a great hotel for us), shopping (our luggage was lost for two days on USAir) and eating dinner (wonderful restaurants). The rest of the time we were out of the city and we saw more wildlife in action than I've ever seen before: Gray whales migrating, dolphins leaping, salmon spawning, sea lions splashing, quails bobbing and hawks riding thermals only feet away from us as we walked along a cliff at Point Reyes. I kept wanting to look over my shoulder for the "Wild America" cameras. It all seemed too perfectly real to be real if you know what I mean. What a fantastic place. But happy to be back home with our boys. Lots of wild life in action here too.

Happy New Year everybody!