It's been a wonderful month so far, truly lovely. Perfect weather, and I've had moment after moment of that feeling, when none of the mundane annoyances of surviving in the modern world can touch you, because you're hanging up the laundry in the evening sun, or eating homemade hummus with parsley and tasting parsley as though for the first time, or being embraced by your loving child as you walk down the road, humming, smooching, and and picking flowers to "gift" to the goats.
Shall we do the boringish worky stuff first? I've put barely any work in to the dollbiz lately. It's frustrating, especially because I am the one keeping myself from getting with it, and I do so want it to work out. But you know, by the time Jane's in bed and we eat and clean the kitchen (sometimes) I am so brain dead, and I'd rather watch an old Hitchcock, know what I mean? I need a vacation, and it is coming soon. Huzzah! In the meantime, the doll I hoped to sell on Etsy didn't sell after all. It was meant to go to Australia, but the shipping cost was prohibitive, and the mother-buyer in question has a lot on her plate, which I totally understand. It's a bummer though. I hope he goes to Australia someday anyway. After I completed him I decided I couldn't bear the frumpo get-up I'd put the first doll in, the red head. So I made a new set of clothes for her. I tried to do photos for the shop yesterday but it was just a disaster. For one thing, the art direction. For another, the photography. I can't get the color quite right. It's somewhere between this:
I'm taking her down to Portland when we visit my folks this weekend, along with my cameras. If my mom (art director) and dad (photographer) can't help me with this, no one can. Going to go through the boxes of all my old doll stuff, too, for props and things. And, PLEASE HELP. This doll needs a name. Ideas? Comment if you have a thought! I'd be so grateful.
The weather here has been SO beautiful, and we've been taking advantage of it, at home and abroad. Would you like to see where we've been in the last week or so? We've been admiring the new crop of wildflowers in our neighborhood.
This is Baby sniffing the flower, with foley by Jane. Jane has been refusing to walk lately (after a lifetime of refusing to do anything but walk, even before she could). She's been riding in our Maya wrap, which she has named the "pocket." Convenient. Piggy and Baby can ride in the pocket too. I can walk farther (further? Anything further, Father?) and with less exhaustion and frustration than before, since lately she's started demanding "Hold'ya!" (as in, "Want me to hold you, Jane?") within feet of the house. This also allows for lots of hugging and snuggling, another a strange sensation. I think even a little bit of weaning has had a profound effect. I've never really been snuggled by Jane before, unless a) she was nursing, or b) she fell asleep in my arms, after nursing. I have to admit, I love it. So, lots of walking in the pocket, along our favorite road.
It's hayin' season, as the feed store down the road proclaims. Is there anything, anything more provocative, I ask you, than an open gate with a NO TRESPASSING sign? Besides her cuddling firsts, Jane fell asleep for the first time in some place other than her bed, the car, or someone's arms. A real first.
She's also working on her last teeth and has been acting completely insane. Like a toddler, in fact. Her growth in all areas has been staggering. Taller and taller, cuter and cuter.
She can climb a ladder, jump on solid ground (as opposed to from the couch to the ottoman, how many times will I have to say no?????), and swing on a big girl swing.
Well, an abbreviated version, anyway. This is at Twanoh State Park. We went there last weekend. It's about an hour's drive up the Sound, and as Matt said, is pretty much all you could ask for in a park. The water is warm, I tell you. Warm! This is not the Puget Sound of my childhood, where we waited until we couldn't feel our legs any more and therefore couldn't feel the cold. Then we could really have fun. It's on Hood Canal, a beautiful spot, mostly wooded with plenty of relatively clean restrooms and a snack shack. Lots of picnic tables. The air was filled with deliciously scented barbecue smoke.
On the day we went, it was a minus tide. The beach was covered with oyster shells.
It was almost impossible to walk. Fortunately Jane had the awesome swim shoes her Grama sent. Matt wasn't so lucky, but managed to avoid lacerating himself on the shells, broken shells, and barnacle covered broken shells. It reminded me of having shells bits removed from the sole of my feet with tweezers, needles, or the Waterpik when I was a girl. And the barnacles--there's nothing worse. Jane nicked up her knees a bit but we escaped without injury. A rainbow of tiny crabs skittered around in the shadows, scavenging broken clam shells and fighting like greco-roman wrestlers. Also, many starfish.
On the drive home, with Jane sacked out in the back, and the warm air breeze blowing in the window, all I could think was Summer summer summer, like a mantra. There's something about the Sound. As soon as I even catch a glimpse of it, I feel released. You know when you're short of breath, or stressed, or just thinking about breathing too much (happens to me in yoga) and all your breaths are shallow? And then finally you breathe a deep, cleansing, grounding breath that puts you in just the right spot between heaven and the earth? That's how I feel when I see, when I smell the Puget Sound. On the way home, we saw snow on the Olympics. Matt remarked that it's not a normal sight for him. I feel taken aback too, when I see them. I suppose I always saw them, when I grew up here, because now they are where I expect them to be. But I do feel surprised, now.
They are remarkable to me after this long absence. It's been ten years since I lived on the Sound. I told Matt that someday, when we buy a house (which always makes me snort with incredulity), I'd like to be closer to the Sound.
This post would not be complete without mention of my early birthday present. It's probably the best present I ever got, particularly because it was a total surprise. It's not my birthday for a few weeks, but when a box showed up at the door, Matt suggested I open my present now to get the most use out of it. He handed me the package--it was even tied with baker's string, and if you can't get your jollies from a brown package tied up with baker's twine, there may be no hope for you. As soon as I held it I knew what was inside.
These green beauties. For the past four summers I've worn the same shoes as these, but in a caramel leather. I bought them in Menorca when we were there in the summer of 2005. They are a traditional shoe specific to that island, and they are perfect. The mold to your feet (okay, so that part hurts) and stay on with just a perfectly placed ankle strap. The are comfortable, flexible, and if you buy them on the island, cheap. The soles are often made from old tires. The ankle strap can be flipped up and the shoe worn as a slide. There's also a version with a buckle for fishermen. They are the best, and I was passionately in love with mine. I still have them, but they are unwearable. And Voilà! The next generation. And it was such a perfect present, equal parts utility, novelty, and romantic nostalgia.
Yes, it has been a very good summer. Hope yours has, too. Here's to more of it.