milestones

What we do when we don't know what to do :: {new poster and postcards}

 

My daughter just had her second birthday earlier this week.  It's unsettling to think how much she's accomplished in a year compared to how little I have.  Now I know, helping her accomplish all of those things was an accomplishment for both of us, as parents, but nonetheless, I stand humbled and reflect in wonderment at what she's managed to do.

 

I was aided in my self-reflection with two horrendous earaches that lasted the better part of a fortnight which rendered me almost completely deaf.  Actually, rather than say I was deaf, I would say that my hearing was inside out, so while I could not hear Heidi squeal with glee at her birthday cake, I could very much hear my own jaws chomping down on a huge slab of it (okay, two huge slabs).  I'm afraid I got a bit dramatic about the whole deafness thing, and plunged full-force into a Beethoven-like state where all I wanted to do was feverishly work.  I guess the big difference here, aside from the (obvious) real-vs.-temporary deafness, oh, and the genius factor, is that drawing doesn't require hearing at all, where music really, well, does.  
We're also approaching a precipice of uncertainty, with unemployment popping its ghastly face up from around the next bend, so all I can think to do is draw, draw, draw.  And, really, I guess that means I have made progress in the last year -- towards doing more of what I should be doing, and relying on it more to bolster me in times of distress and doubt.  Next on the chopping block is that crippling perfectionism.
If you haven't seen it yet, here's the finished alphabet poster of musical instruments:
An A to Z of Musical Instruments -- available in four color stories.
The next thing I'll be rolling out very soon are some postcards.  They're all about the color yellow and how much I love it right now.  (But of course, we'll do the rest of the rainbow as well!)  Here's a sneak peek:
What?  Béarnaise is yellow!  I'm sure you know someone who would appreciate this postcard.

 

 

 

Hello, world

I don't have a story tonight, or a recipe, or any of the usual things.  What I do have, for the first time ever, is an Etsy store.  I could go on for pages acknowledging people, thanking them for their patience and inspiration, but I'd rather just show you what I've got to offer so far.  The photos were taken by my amazing friend and cohort Lindsey Walters of Miscellaneous Media Photography.  Thanks to everyone past, present, and future who supports me doing this.  You know who you are.

And now.....Weather Mouse!




Firsts :: {lemony spinach salad}

Tonight my daughter Heidi figured out that she could chew raw leafy greens.  She's been reaching for my salad for months now, but before she would just suck the dressing off, or sometimes almost choke on a leaf that she tried to swallow whole.  Tonight she tried again.  She sucked off a few leaves (thoughtfully draping the spent leaves back in my bowl), and then she realized that it tasted even better if she chewed the leaf up.  She sat in my lap, feeding me a leaf and then herself a leaf, wiping lemon juice and olive oil all over everything and both of us, and laughing at the sourness of my hastily made, poorly balanced salad dressing.  Perhaps "first salad" is not an achievement many parents consider a milestone, but we all have different values.

I also couldn't wait to get a crayon in her little hands.  I offered them to her months prematurely, just because I didn't want her to miss a moment of drawing pleasure just because we didn't have the right materials at hand (and by "at hand," I mean quite literally placed on the play table next to whatever else she was doing).  We spent a few months practicing not eating the crayons, then we practiced gripping them and applying pressure to the paper.  (We're still practicing staying on the paper and off the furniture, books, and clothes.).  Once she knew what the crayons were for, she caught on pretty quickly.  Then on July 21, 2011, she did something amazing.  She drew a dog.

 "Do[g]" | Crayon on Mama's leftover newsprint from figure drawing class. |  7.21.11

My first titled drawing, as you might already be aware, was "running snail and rainbow" (I was a tad linguistically precocious).  When I couldn't decide what to name my Etsy store, and I was over-thinking it horribly, and trying in vain to be clever and catchy, I remembered with what authority Heidi had told me that what she had just drawn was a dog.  "Do[g]."  Period.  My mother reports that I said "running snail and rainbow" with the same sort of authority, and since I can't imagine that I've ever had that much confidence about anything since then, I thought the name was perfect.

Heidi's first "Dog" hangs framed on the wall, and several other dogs, cats, horses, balls, and "softs" are filling up the rest of my abandoned newsprint pad left over from college.  This weekend I'm opening running snail & rainbow, and it'll be another big first for me.


Lemony Spinach Salad
This is what you should eat when you crave something that tastes like a tasty nutrient bomb.  I eat it when I'm sick, when I'm well, when I'm sad, and when I can't think of what else to eat. 
Make your dressing: combine one crushed clove of garlic, a forkful of dijon mustard, a soup-spoonful of yogurt, a pinch of salt, two soup-spoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil, and a soup-spoonful of lemon juice.  Stir or whisk it together.  Adjust the flavors to your preference, adding more lemon or more oil or more salt til it tastes perfect to you.  I (obviously) like mine on the lemony side.  Toss with spinach.  Eat it and be happy and well.