we will whisper across the ghostly universe

The holidays always amplify everything. It is a time where we mean so very well and we try and drop off packages of forgiveness and wrap boxes of kindness and tie of bows of thankfulness and sit beside trees of love. We try so hard to spin it all in this tiny window of space. We jam it all inside a calendar box. We tape everything up and then rip the tape off and we can't help but feel so much.
The absence of people is the hardest.
I still want to buy slippers and socks and cigarettes and place them inside of brown boxes with love notes and mail them to dad. Across an ocean. Across a family that I am so very lucky to have and wish were not so far. I know my Joe is feeling this division of time. I see it wash across his face and I hear it in the way he speaks of England. We will sit under a sparkle tree and toast this great man on Christmas. We will whisper across the ghostly universe love letters with whiskey breath.
We will hope he gets our messages-no matter how small.
For the heart it is bigger and beating more madly than ever.
There is a true amplified heartbeat for you.
For all of you.


Scout met his 90 year old great granny today.

She is slowly making her comeback to pie baker extraordinaire
with her new pacemaker and physical therapy.


Who knows where she will end up living- nursing home/apartment/with my parents...
We are just thankful after all she's been through that she is still here.


Kidd Sharp

I have been up since early morning cleaning and sorting.
I am sticking the two boys together to share a room to make a nursery for the new baby.
It's so funny how the last two times I had a theme and mad ideas and everything just so.
This time round we will be lucky to have the poor babe a stocked and minimal room.
I have to-date bought only 1 thing!
(pack of newborn pacifiers)

It's coming fast (about two weeks) and I am in full on insanity.
Do they call this nesting?
I have cleaned and purged so much that I have a giant pile of donations that nearly take over the play room today. This is a good thing.

We don't have a name yet- just lots of ideas that we throw at each other in the evening.
Finn and Blaise are convinced that we will name him Kidd Sharp because they like it.
We don't know much.

We just know that it has finally come to the place of complete love and anticipation that creeps up daily and tightens our throats.
It's almost time for our hearts to push out and expand again-
to pump and shudder with wild love...

image via fffound

What runs through my mind at night- moments before I fall asleep

My other granny- the minister's wife is struggling with a heart that wants to push from her chest. She has a ticker that tocks and knocks and causes her pain. She is weak now and it makes me sad. She is a painter and keeps telling my mother to ask me what I would like her to paint for me. I resist for this whole past year or so. I don't want the last of anything. It sounds so final. What would you have someone paint for you if it would be the last thing they may ever paint for you?

She's sensitive. She may even have it.
The ability to find the information hidden from most of us- from the senses.
Extrasensory perception.
She woke up one time in the night and said a plane crash was happening and it was.
Her son was in a plane crash.
She also woke up and circled a date on the calendar.
Her father died on that day.

I want her to paint my future.
In colors bright and vivid.
I can hang it up on the wall and never be afraid to look at it.
Or share it.
When the light hits yr lens you will see peace
and all throughout your body a feeling will wash right over you.

It will feel like the way it feels when someone rubs your head

and you know that through their fingers pulse love.

Family Small Business Advice. Etsy Thoughts on the Indie Life.

Just thinking about small biz advice...We were so honored to be over on Design Sponge recently dishing out some family biz advice. But really- what the hell do we know? We are still swinging wildly from the learning curve.... :)
BUT- we do love to talk shop with others and we get a lot of emails and Etsy.com convos asking for advice or just to chat and vent about running a family business.

This is one thing I have been thinking about:

A family business will instill the entrepreneurial spirit in children.

It's never too early to talk to the whole family about why you do the work you do.

Our children are living this magical (but real) narrative of what it is like to follow your dreams- what it is like to change gears and choose happiness.

They will someday tell their college roomies over cold beers that their parents were toy makers.

This is ace.

photo via ffffound
concrete hermit

DON'T forget:
3 chances to win $100 on the EO page. http://www.blogher.com/eo-better-together
and check out my giveaway- 200 bones: here

was your hair really once black like a bird?

Finn plays with my grandmother's hands whenever he is with her.
He takes her hand and within moments he is pulling her nearly 90 year old skin from her like elastic bands.
He rolls her dark blue veins that lie like wet rope against the speckled white skin.
She shakes him off and raises the back of his thin t-shirt to scratch his back.
He is my child.
He loves to be patted or tickled or touched.
He will sit submissive for a few moments but then he is again at her looking like a small microscope at all of her oddities:

her brown flaky bits and bobs
her constant bruising
her general translucency

It is as if he may see right through her skin if he squints hard enough.

He pulls at her white thin hair and says:

Old granny was your hair really once black like a bird

Yes dear the darkest hair in the hollow

Granny were you once a little girl

Yes dear

And it goes on like this long enough that every single time
I wished I had a microphone to make this history real and frozen.

And her hands.

They are so foreign looking to all of us because they have been around the sun so many times.
I wonder what all they have done.
These hands.
Lately I am most fascinated by her penmanship and pies they produce.
And of course the way they calm down the generations of us.

He begins again.
And Granny stretches her long fingers
out against the cool of the laminate kitchen table and smiles.

(wrote this last night at my every three week writing group that I love. I love that we are starting to become a group that just might make the world a more magical place)
photo via we heart it

I hope three is just as lovely as two but with less diapers

Blaise turns three years old on Monday.
I have been weepy just thinking about it.
Today my parents and my gran came for a small family birthday party.
We did potato soup, cheese balls, and cake. Yummo.
Blaise opened pressies with gusto and we all smiled a lot.
Pièce de résistance was the yellow remote control Lamborghini from papa.
All the boys in the house went wild for it.
On Monday I will post the yearly click.
Today I just stare at the little boy with blue eyes who throws tiny arrows at my heart hourly.

You never write the narrative of yr own sadness until the moment it happens.

I would have pulled bong hits today.
I would have drank hard liquor.
to forget

Today wasn't like any other day I have ever had.
I have never had to wake someone from slumber to deliver bad news like the news I gave today.
When you are younger than you even know you are and you are in love and most of yr problems can be solved in 24 short hours you don't look into the future and see heavy shit.
You just see much of the same.

You just forget to focus on the future and what will happen.
People tell you things and you look at others lives but it is never yr little life.

You never write the narrative of yr own sadness until the moment it happens.

Joe's father died last night.

It's like there is a giant hole in England now
in his town
in Joe's heart

And when I had to put my arms around him
to hold him and tell him
it was like he wasn't all there
like he had shrunk to the size of a boy
and even my strong strong arms
wrapped right around him
couldn't do enough

pirate smile

I wonder what my grandmother feels like approaching her 90th birthday.
What does her body feel like and is she scared of being so very old?
Most all of her friends are dead.
She is keenly aware of this as she collects their obituaries
in shoe boxes categorized by year-all the way back to the 1960's.

I am scared of death like every single flipping day.
She just hums and bakes pies and loves Jesus and tells me things are just fine as she traces circles on my hand with her long nails.

In the car a few weeks ago the Athens, Ohio sunlight saturated her skin through the window. She looked so old that she almost looked like a baby.
Her skin is so relaxed and wrinkled that it is as soft as my toddlers.
I had to restrain myself from randomly stroking her.

Tonight on the telephone she told me how she went to The Randys concert last night.
She is 89 and out way more nights a week than me.
She talked a whole bunch about the weather and berry picking
and what the women's club made for the July's nursing home craft drop off.
I said "yep"a bunch of times and stared out the kitchen window.

But when she's gone I will miss the nonsensical babble of Kroger's grocery store charging entirely too much for Crisco or the way she calls me Matilda even though she is fully aware that my name is Amy.

Imagine yr on a beach.
Like a good one in California
and the wind is warm with just the touch of cool that you like
and yr tan without it being bad for you
and "Tiny Dancer" is blaring out of waterproof speakers
and yr not worried about anything...
That's the kind of feeling I have with her in my life.

"What the hell do you think Leona really puts in that pizza? "

We drink Woose here (water and the last of the juice), we drive down Belly Road (Cooke Road for locals and quite bumpy), Blaise is addicted to Diddies (pacifiers) and we love to eat Saladza (pizza topped with salad)
I love our little family language...

So Saladza is my go-to meal for warm weather.
For the kind of day when you have been going going going and cannot face the kitchen.
It is a great substitution for takeout fatigue syndrome.
You can even do it on the grill!
It is simple and a great 15 minute meal!

The boys eat greens so easily when they are topped on pizza!
I like to make a nice mix of greens each week for the family.
I am fully into feeding the kiddos arugula, radicchio, and endive now and getting their palate used to peppery and different kinds of greens.
We do love blue cheese and ranch round here too- I just want to make sure the kids are not growing up thinking they must smother their salads with white dressing from a bottle.
I like that they will eat olive oils and vinegar and feta now with greens.
Baby steps away from dip dip (ranch! you devil!)

I just use a quick Trader Joe's or Whole Foods dough ball and top it with any leftover yummy veg and meat and cheese. Sometimes I use mozzarella and basil and pepperoni. Sometimes I do fancy pants goat cheese and vegetables. Tonight I used chicken sausage, tomatoes, and mozzarella and I topped the pizza with a quick green mix and homemade vinaigrette dressing.
(I would love to know any quick and delicious homemade salad dressing)

We drank big glasses of orange juice and talked endlessly about the hot weather and all of our plans for the summer. We missed our daddy as he was at the workshop all day and thought about what we might do for the rest of the weekend.
Saladza Night! Love it!

title post- Mystic Pizza 1988

"I left a piece of skin in a movie theater once so it could watch movies all its life."

Follow the red line, originally uploaded by ~ nebe ~.

I don't often know what I am going to blog about until around noon. Obviously there are times I know that I want to write about something in my life, but I do not draft posts or keep little lists. Sometimes I do regular series type things or such, but really I try and be loose and fluid here. I just feed the kids and shoo them away to their beds and sit here and type.
Sometimes I sit for a bit and stare out our dining room window at our neighbors air conditioning unit. (must get fence this year) Or sometimes I slam coffee, but I always try and levitate my mood and find my 90 minutes that are all mine. Mine like the only child I am kind of mine.
I try. I have been thinking a lot of about balance and how busy we are with Little Alouette.
Can I just say Holy Wood! It has been really tricky staying on top of things. Everyone has their own method, mine involves just looking at a week like the way a toddler eats.
At the end of the week did we all get enough time with each other? Mondays usually suck, but Fridays shine like diamonds. Did we all talk and kiss enough? Was Candyland played? Did we say no at least three times to things that are not going to matter later? Were many books read? Did I pretend? Did Joe know how much I love him and have I thanked him? Have a thrown him down on the couch and reenacted a scene from 2002? Was I treated like a queen at least once? Did I take time to dance with my kids? You know I don't hold Finn up in my arms and dance with him much anymore- he is so big. I better do that as much with Blaise as I can. Did it all even out? This is how I roll.

And so anyway I have been thinking about no matter how busy I get I won't stop coming here. Here is where I allow myself to remember with clarity who I am. Here is where I sing my songs. Recharge. It's like my daily pit stop and I don't think that these 90 minutes here mean lost track position like it does in a real race. I think I get my motor running and you should hear me purr through my days...
How the hell do you do it all? xo

title post- Margot at the Wedding 2007

I love ya since I knew ya

Two things.
The Swedes (yo motherland!) are just cranking out some cool shit in the freakishly young and this song is my quintessential drinking song from my youth.
So when me and Hannah were in high school and crashing into Dr. A's liqueur cabinet we would often play this game:

drink every time Sting sings Roxanne
every time
and then put on lip gloss and think yr cute
before you fall down and puke
and that's how we rolled in Appalachia

I won't be recreating any Roxanne memories tonight, but I will be nostalgic bc it is what I do best...drip drip drip...
2008 was fabulous and heartbreaking and amazing and hard and full of love and kept reaffirming the facts of my life...
I am blessed. I am lucky. I am charmed. This family of mine rocks and I am on my path.
Now let's see what kind of wonderful we can make in 2009!

OH YEAH! and posted EVERY SINGLE DAY in 2008.

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sunday's child will fall through faith

christmas sneak, originally uploaded by turnsharp.

I have been sneaking around today.
Hiding trinkets. Wrapping pressies...
We will later have our 2nd annual Solstice Duel.
I love this time of the year. I love being the holiday sneak.
Where do you hide the loot?
Kiss Kiss


On the banks of the river on a well beaten path

We just got in from our little adventures. I have loads to share and a ton of photos.
I will just love ya and leave ya with this one.
Tractor girl.

Questions from pals in like 1989:

How are you such a good driver Amy?
How do you know how to use a stick shift so well?
Is there a secret to parallel parking?


Yeah dude. Drive John Deere's and learn about gears before yr ten.

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I could go crazy on a night like tonight/When summers beginning to give up her fight

I am on a pilgrimage now.
Packing for the getaway and quite sad about leaving Joe.
I am going to hole up at
my parents and write and unleash the kids to the wild hills of Appalachia.
I am going to drive my road and deal with dial-up. (gasp)
I will be around, just not as much.
I will find a way to blog everyday though, because I am rock star like that even in the sticks.

I can't lie. I am a bit sad about the Bigfoot hoax.
I saw something
Yeti like when I was a child on my parents land.
It can cause me to draw breath quickly even today when I think about it.

People have made fun of me always about it.

I don't research Bigfoot or keep up with anything that is not plastered in the media- I just silently believe.

I can't help it. You would believe in little green men too if you saw one at the bus stop all alone an Autumn morning you were eight.

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