Dec 29, 2015

What Do We Tell the Children?

When I am sitting at karate next to another parent and I say "Did you have The TALK, yet?" we aren't referring to sex. The hard conversation we don't know how to approach is what to tell our kids about police.

The children are pre-teens and some of them are tall. They are awkward and rowdy, able to haul garbage cans to and from the curb and maybe even take the city bus around town on their own soon, certainly big enough to take a dollar into the gas station for candy. These cute round faced children who are thinning out and tripping on their feet will drive soon.  We have an egalitarian household where we don't bark orders and one can argue a point for weeks, but I fear there is one realm where irritability and defiance (two qualities pre-teens have in aces) can get you killed. Where being a petulant punk who's not so round-faced and small, can get you tackled and handcuffed or worse. In these United States we're tasering eight year old children, using pepper spray in schools, and shooting twelve year olds on the playground.

I'm not sure what to say about it to my child who sometimes still believes in the tooth-fairy and is afraid to read Harry Potter before bed, but is big enough to steal my hoodies and flip-flops. What do I say to the kid about officer friendly?  I've got a rambunctious boy who's deaf in one ear and has a panache for running around pretending he's shooting bad guys.  What do I tell him?  Do I talk to him about it the same time all the magic of Santa Clause dissolve into the realities of the 5 o'clock news? Exactly how tall does he have to be before he's considered a "possible threat?"

Yes, yes, of course our perfect children will never get into trouble, never encounter an officer yelling at them, never have a reason to get face down on the cement, never get pulled over and look guilty. They same way they'll never have reason to walk calmly out of a burning building, or huddle into a bathroom and be silent for a lockdown, or duck under their desks and put a book over their heads, or swim to the edge of a pool, or not chase a ball into the street, or refuse to give directions to a skeezy candy wielding guy driving a van, or be smart enough to just say "no."  Not our kids.

Yeah, this is the discourse I don't have an after-school special for, no pamphlet on how to discuss, no first lady to tell us what to shout.  This is the talk that is hardest, because friends and relatives we love wear a blue uniform, because we teeter between just cooperate and 'am I being detained? Am I free to go?' ourselves. And while each parent's 'birds and the bees' lecture is slightly different than the next, I certainly don't want to be the 'abstinence only so we aren't talking about it at all' parent.



Dec 16, 2015

The Darkest Days

When the alarm sounded there was rain and the sun wasn't yet up. I lost the remote and couldn't put Sponge Bob on and so there was no commercial break to tell us to leave on time.  A new lunch box had to be located to replace the forgotten one and a cruddier choice of drink bottle will substitute for the one that doesn't leak all over in the backpack.  The bus driver was sick and some stranger was driving an odd bus this morning and though the route number in the window was correct, I couldn't help but worry what would happen if he dropped all those little kids off at the wrong school.  Perhaps a high school, where all the gang members who eat kindergartners go. Back home I shook off the early morning and set to work inserting a sliver into my left index finger while re-cutting the long side of a canvas whose gesso I am watching dry.

Dec 13, 2015

Mine all mine

Next week I'm going to take myself to lunch and a movie.  I've not done it in decades. Someone is always with me.  But after two weeks of art shows and Christmas parties I feel like I need a whole day of not talking to anyone, not sharing anything and making zero compromises. I bet to some people, the fact that I have to designate a day to do that seems alien and ridiculous to them.  What a thing.

Dec 4, 2015

We Could Take 'Em

This is a fun little tool that will help you understand geography

Nov 29, 2015

Whim's Bakery and Grille

If I had a restaurant I'd make all the breads from scratch.  Pumpernickel and wheat, sour dough and honey, flax and oat, bleached white and brown sugared, then we'd slice them thick and make toasts topped with jellies, jams, and/or different nut butters, local honeys or marshmallows.  We'd also serve grilled cheeses with as many kinds of tasty cheese as you can think of with fresh avocados or tomatoes or apples and other neat fruits and vegetables.  We'd grill them up and odd combinations of them along side jellies and and at night we'd serve soup with the toasts or the grilled cheeses.  We'd have chicken soup, french onion and a very nice tomato locally sourced and from scratch.  You'd be able to order anything from just a slice of toast to a sampler plate of all the fun things. And that'd be pretty much it. That's the whole menu. Toast, Grilled Cheese, Soup.

Nov 23, 2015


Here's a list of things I like:

-instant coffee
-banana bread
-roller skating so fast I can barely breath
-vintage fairy tales
-warm socks that only go up just past my ankles soze I can wear them with skinny jeans
saying "soze"
-websites that don't make one click for each new number on their really incredible list of amazing things that will blow my mind to see (I never make it past three clicks)
-instagram (thanks Ajax!)
-tall brooding poets
-this song (always a sucker for clapping in a song)

Nov 19, 2015

Cool it Tax Man.

I have tax questions and scoured my brain for anyone I know that can come over and have a beer with me and answer hypothetical tax questions.  Like "What if I gave clothes that I embroidered to Goodwill? Do I deduct the price of the jeans or the price of the jeans plus the million dollars they are clearly worth after my bleeding fingers were done putting little kitty whiskers on the knees? " and "Am I supposed to pay taxes on tooth fairy money?" But seriously folks, I have questions.

Turns out all I know is artists, beatniks, movie directors and musicians. All my tax accountant friends moved to warmer saner climates (Hi Tracy!) So this also means most of my pals have some sort of show going on just about every weekend, we are almost always selling something on social media as well as trying to oh so subtly yell "LOOK AT THIS STUFF I DO! NOW GIVE ME SOME MONEY!" Some of us have a hard time reconciling what we do, with getting paid. It's never enough, but also it's too much! On any given day my emotions about my work swing from "I'd do this stuff anyway.  Here, I just want you to have it." all the way to "I am amazing and I should be getting paid a bazillion dollars for this shiz! Who wants to represent me?!" Which illustrates how bad we are with financials.

I'm making an appointment at a square office today.  I'm going to pay someone to answer my questions about sparkly beatnik money. I wonder if they'll let me pay with art?

Nov 11, 2015

November Thunder & Fatt Cats

It's unusually warm this November.  I'm told because of El Nino.  We're under a tornado watch and there's distant thunder happening right now as the 60mph gusts and the thunder storm we know are coming blow in.  It's unsettling.  I'm talking about the weather because everything else seems so 'regular' that I don't have much to say. But now that I sat still and looked off into the lower left distance for a minute, I remembered that I wanted to say something about the lovely chicken salad sandwich I had at the Fatt Cat Cafe Rockton, IL yesterday.  It was on a very buttery croissant roll and it had fruit in it.  I ate the entire thing and the whole cup of soup they brought with it. I wanted to eat more, they have desserts and that was the whole reason I went, but there just wasn't room.   They had a bread pudding.  I swore I'd come back later in the week for coffee and bread pudding.

Nov 10, 2015

Frosty Grass

Toast is what gets me out of bed in the mornings and trying to quit toast was a total mistake.  I'm sorry toast.


Being in love makes every song about you.


If RuPaul can make this person look like that, then none of us should worry about how pretty we are on the outside again - work on the insides.


Here's a thing I made recently that I like...

Here's some more things I made on Instagram

Nov 4, 2015


In America there are 112.6 guns per 100 people.

At 11:30am today, someone was shot on middle school grounds in my city.  The injured kid was then pulled into the school and a lock down ensued.  My kindergartner has practiced a hard lock-down more times than a tornado drill. I remember three kids from my own childhood had gun 'accidents', more than anyone hurt playing with matches, talking to strangers, or experimenting with drugs.

Oct 29, 2015

Getting Ready for Halloween!

I stubbed my toe three times today.  The same toe.  And it's not even like my toe grew and I don't know how to use it all of a sudden.  It's still a regular toe, it just hurts now.


I've been posting some art and stuff to Instagram.


I cleaned out the front hallway closet and the entry way to make way for winter junk.  Spent a lot of time matching gloves and emptying the hall bench of hats.  I don't know why I have 28 baseball hats, I've never bought a one (with the exception of the Superman one I bought for Jack at Metropolis.) Maybe they're like TV's or Stephen King books, they just appear.  If you don't have one, someone will incredulously insist you take one from them, there are three of them on the curb right now a block from here you can walk down there and get one.


We're having guests this weekend and I suddenly feel like we don't have any guest pillows in the house.  I need someone to incredulously thrust some wayward new pillows into my possession. Do people still put the guests towels out? Is it possible for people with children to even have nice towels? I'm forgoing the nice towels and spending the money on Mrs. Fischer's local potato chips and booze instead.  That's more like the kind bed and breakfast I'd run.  You get crappy towels but we make a good martini and then you no longer care about the scrabbly terry-cloth parts hanging down past your knees after you get out of the shower. We're all that and a bag o chips!

Oct 25, 2015

Ra Paulette Humble Sculptor

I'm watching this video make the rounds on Facebook today, in which a self taught sculptor is carving caves out of sandstone in New Mexico with his hand tools. The man's art is amazing.  The reporter makes sure to tell viewers he only makes $12.00/hour and his custom livable art homes sell for a million dollars.


What do we have against artists making a living?

Oct 22, 2015

Rollin' On The River

I've been skating the bike-path almost every day it doesn't rain and even once when it did.  It's 4.5 miles-ish and it's taking me about a half hour.  I enjoy looking at the river and seeing how the waves are.  Some mornings it seems to barely move, it's all reflective and glassy.  Other days there are waves and I know going into the wind is going to be difficult.  It'll feel like I'm a giant kite battling the wind with my legs and I'll hear my heart beating in my ears on those days.  I'm enjoying seeing the sames sorts of people each day.  There's the regular runners with workout gear and headphones moving on down the road.  There are the walkers in business attire and tennis shoes on lunch/break gabbing with each other in pairs and threes.  There are the new mom's looking frazzled strollering and pulling and adjusting their clothes uncomfortably.  There's a dog who always barks at my skates and at the other end of the leash a pet owner who looks surprised by the outburst. There are the fishermen/women sitting in folding chairs and pop-up tent shades along the banks, they smoke and have some sort of game their listening to and a five gallon bucket for the catch of the day. There is usually a biker looking seriously stoic under a helmet going by in a gust.  Then there's me, wearing all of my derby pads because if I fail to jump or dodge an erratic goose and I it takes me out, it'd be a long sore embarrassing walk home covered in scrapes and goose feathers.  I'm swish swishing along red faced, sweating and listening to Proud Mary, the Tina version of course.

Oct 20, 2015

It Could Get Grizzly

I have a really hard time not poking the bear. Especially when I'm right, even though I know the bear bites and has crazy huge teeth.  It's a life lesson that is hard to adhere to.  Sometimes it is important to stand up and fight and sometimes it doesn't really matter to anyone but me, but every time feels like the most important time to me. I lie awake at night obsessing about the perfect stick I could use for poking the bear and even wondering how small of a stick I can get away with before the bear notices me back there jabbing away.  Or what will the bear do if I accidentally drop the stick and it rolls down the hill and bounces off a rock flipping through the air landing pointy side down on it's butt?! I take specific delight in watching other people poke the same bear and then getting eaten, followed by congratulating myself for not picking up the trivial-stick at all.  What the hell?!

.poke a stick at a grizzly bear
make animated gifs like this at MakeaGif

Oct 19, 2015

Lookout! I'm Off My Meds - a Synthroid Saga aka I am not a number, I am a person.

DISCLAIMER: This is seriously long and probably boring to you unless you've been on this particular roller coaster and want to read someone else's story. It's like a birth story that way, you don't really care about until you care about it and then you want to read everything you can about such things.


I was on a very low dose of Synthroid while I was pregnant. My pregnancy was high risk.  I was over 35, had miscarried twice and was on a bunch of hormones and the like to keep things on track.  The generic made me itch, and Synthroid didn't- so I was on it. I went off about a month after the baby was born.

Two years later my doc found a goiter and put me back on it. She said if I took the Synthroid the goiter wouldn't grow and turn into cancer and I'd have more energy, probably loose weight, my dry skin would get better (I am a lotion addict) and my life wouldn't feel stretched so thin all the time.  Those seemed like wonderful things to fix with an easy pill, plus no-cancer! So I set my alarm at 4am every day and woke from a dead sleep to a tiny round tablet then back to dreamland while the Synthroid flowed through my body re-regulating everything.  Finding the right dosage was a slow dance of giving blood every three months and readjusting.

Sure enough I had a burst of energy at first and seemed super happy, then I gained weight and got tired.  I told the doc and she ordered labs and upped the dosage, wash, rinse, replete until I had gone from the very lowest dosage to the very averagest of dosages.   Over the next two years each time I went in I'd report another symptom or two; I was running/skating 15 miles a week and couldn't loose any weight, I had super dry skin, maybe brain fog, maybe irritability, maybe nervouse like I forgot something, crying at the drop of a sappy commercial, joint pain in my feet. Each time I was met with (in hindsight) a dismissive response;

"Your hypothyroidism will cause that, we'll adjust the dosage and see if we can get you on the right track."

"Well, you are in your 40s now and loosing weight is tougher. Here's an app you should use and track everything you eat"

"You should start walking instead of running, you have to let plantar fasciitis rest and heal."

"Take biotin for thinning hair and weak nails."

The symptoms continued to pile on and worsen, me and the doc talked about life stress - Yes, I was in the middle of negotiating a divorce and raising two kids, buying a house, starting a business and adjusting to a new city. Stress can be horrible on a body. Applied at length, it can cause your body to attack it's own thyroid.  This seemed to make sense to me.  Instead of upping the dosage again I decided to try to de-stress.  I started deep breathing, I put my business on the back burner, I made lists of things that are relaxing, I took note of when my mind was quiet.  I let things go, dishes pile up, laundry go unfolded.

The brain fog, the over emotional reactions, the weight gain were all still there.  The ritual offering of blood to The Lab continued - and the thing that made me absolutely panic, my hair, wasn't really recovering.  Trying to grow my bangs out was taking a year not just a few months.

I doubled down on de-stressing, made an appointment with an endocrinologist (six weeks out) and gave more blood to the lab.  This is when my insurance changed and I had to prove I was allergic to the generic.  So I switched to Levothyroxine and itched all over my whole body, then I switched to Levoxyl and itched again - even inside my ears!  I started paying for Synthroid out of pocket switching pharmacies every month to get the free $25.00 for switching. $50.00 every month was getting expensive.  I finally saw the specialist and she was alarmed to find the goiter had grown.  A lot. I scheduled an ultrasound and another biopsy.  I spent two weeks steeped in extra stress about cancer and extra stress about the extra stress.  I read everything on the internet about the four types of thyroid cancer and made a list of questions for each specialist. It was a mess of insurance red tape, worry, and bad sleep.

The biopsy was benign. Thankfully.

My specialist ordered the highest dose of Synthroid I'd ever taken and more labs, then an odd thing happened - the name brand also made me itch. It made my gums itch.  I'm sure I looked like a tweaker, scratching and twitching and brushing my teeth as often as I could - drinking water non-stop. The Endo wondered if I was allergic to the die they put in the higher dosage and we talked about maybe taking two pills of a lower dosage... then it occurred to me...


Originally I'd never had a single symptom of hypothyroidism.  I was put on it to stop the goiter from growing and it grew anyway.


My family full of thin, hyper, stoic, carb eating Italians, who have always had a thick head of black hair far into their 80s had never had any hormone issues.  I  was sitting in a specialist's office pudgy, tired, irritable about having given up toast, crying that my hair was falling out, growing a goiter and trying to figure out why my body wouldn't cooperate with these meds.

I asked the specialist the single most important thing I've said in the last month...

"What if I didn't take anything?"

I've been off for 3 1/2 weeks.  I have to go get labs next week and of course we're monitoring the dreaded-goiter situation. She warned that I may get tired or gain weight and that if my symptoms got really bad we could try Armour Thyroid tablets (A natural med made from pigs and less reliable in the dosage measurements and so less prescribed.)  For the first few days I monitored everything including my pulse. I felt confident in giving it a try and monitoring how I felt.

How I feel after 25 days:

-I feel freaking great.
-Of course I stopped itching.
-I have energy.
-My pulse and blood pressure are way down.
-I'm more patient.
-I'm making less lists.
-I can handle multi-tasking again with lots of background noise.
-My joint pain is gone.
-Having a hard time sitting still (hyper just like old times.)
-Jumpy legs at night again.
-No sneezing hay-fever or snotty head.
-I look forward to skating/running/walking - its fun!

and some unexpected things happened:

-I stopped using my inhaler for the asthma I was diagnosed with about two years ago (the same time I started thyroid therapy.)
-I have more spit in my mouth than I ever remember having - like I could spit on the ground RIGHT NOW an not even have to save it up for a minute first!
-I find things funner and funnier than I did before.  The same old corny jokes and dancy antics we have around the house are super entertaining to me again.
-I'm not starving for toast all the time.
-My hands and feet are cold again - all the time.
-My skin cleared up and seems more elastic
-My face seems less puffy.

Some weirdo things that maybe happened - not sure yet:

-I'm wearing silicon contacts today - I thought I'd give them a try and see if they make my eyes itch as badly as they did last summer (I already paid for a month and couldn't use them because of the itching) and they seem just fine.
-I feel less like I'm hanging around above my body with a detached head as an annoyed observer and more like I'm in my body participating in life.
-Whole bits of vocabulary are making their way back into my brain.
-I'm finding life interesting again.  Like I suddenly wish I had a good book to read, I am painting more and HELLO BLOG!

When I was first diagnosed I spent hours reading about Hashimoto's and pregnancy and cancers.  I devoured everything I could find and especially liked first hand accounts and blog entries that talked about symptoms and dosages. This is my account.  Most of the symptoms I listed as better are things that would be better after alleviating a hypothroid situation.  Not the opposite.  However, it seems taking a dosage not really needed was actually causing my thyroid to under-perform making my symptoms even worse and my number to progressively worsen. Continually upping the dosage was creating a circular problem. I don't really know for sure - I could still be wrong, I have a few more days of 'detox' before I see if I crash into bed an exhausted mess, but right now that seems very unlikely.  

What I gathered from years of reading, is that this isn't an exact science yet - it can take years of adjusting to get people where they need to be and most of the symptoms are also symptoms of life and natural aging and stress.  They aren't imaginary symptoms however they aren't easily measured. It can also be a lot of pressure for a doctor to look at numbers in a lab test that seem askew and not want to make those numbers fit into a box with an easy pill.  Doctors need to listen to how a patient feels and see beyond the symptoms - see the forest for the trees and patients need to be their own advocates reading everything they can and trusting that subtle changes aren't in their heads.  I'm not saying stop meds, I'm saying your symptoms are real and there are many options and you have to keep reading and charting and working until you find what is right. Don't be reduced to a number.

Oct 17, 2015

Standard Momming 101

I got barfed on. At one in the morning I put a beach towel over the tiny spot that hit the sheet and went back to sleep.  Every time the kid rolled over or breathed different, I woke up and asked him if he needed to barf again.  He didn't but by 5am my tough little guy who normally rubs dirt in a wound and keeps running, was wincing with belly pains and I could feel the fever radiating off his back. So I warmed up the car and we went to the doc.  The nurse got us into a room right away because all the usual trouble makers one finds in a waiting room are still sleeping at 6am on a Saturday, leaving us lone writhing wolves, panting and half crying, to usher into an even smaller room and out of clothes (well, I got to keep mine on.) About an hour of crappy cable TV later a doctor entered in time to witness the very last belly pain of the morning and confirm I would be cancelling all plans for the day in lieu of getting pee on my hand, helping the nurse coax very good tasting medicine into a body, and the longest game of 'Eye spy with my little eye something blue that you're wearing' ever played.  Another hour, a can of apple juice, an anti-nausea pill, a Motrin, and a Popsicle went by. The kid slept and I read the entire internet on my tiny screen while sipping the bitterest burnt hazelnut coffee in Illinois. Then we went home with instructions for Acetaminophen and rest (neither for me, I'm sure.)

Did you know they have anti-nausea pills? I just always thought you had to ride it out and barf all the barfs you could barf - like a helpless shrimp, squirming on the cold tile floor of the bathroom.

Link telling you about all the things you probably don't have 

Oct 15, 2015

Autumn Again

It's Autumn again and the leaves are crunchy in the yard.  The giant spider web is up on the porch and the kids are planning and plotting costumes.  I'm doing the giant purge of things as the flip flops and shorts that will fit next year get packed up and the sweaters come out.  Likely this weekend I'll stand on a small ladder and carefully balance seven giant wooden storm windows into place and seal up the house for the winter, but I like to seal it up first smelling clean.  So I've begun the moving of couches to rid the living room of old Cheeto smell.  Next I'll slather all the woodwork in lemon oil and make it all slippery to the eye.


My ten year Blogoversary came and went. I don't know what to say about ten years.  But I keep going.  Markedly less because of my recent personal life changes.  I just didn't feel like I wanted to share anything during my divorce process.  There was plenty to say, but I spoke it out into the air where it would dissipate. This is the place for some permanence. (Unless of course the Internets implode and the Robots take over Earth and erase all previous evidence of human kind and my ten years of droning on about Cheeto crumbs and unmatched socks gets blinked out of existence, or if Blogger gets phased out by Google... whichever comes first.)


I'm soo out of style I can't care. It's only become apparent to me because I have a middle schooler in the house and she keeps getting taller and so I have to make trips out into the world and spend money on clothing in stores where I could also be buying flouncy sweaters with extra yards of fabric knitted in the front ready to billow out like a lovely fuzzy jellyfish if I choose to spin, arms outstretched to the world whilst autumn leaves fall all around my pumpkin-spiced knit knee-high socks barely peaking out of my slightly worn leather boots fashioned in which the fit forces me to continuously stand with my toes coyly pointing towards each other.  While this bohemian chic seems like something made just for me all flowey and cozy and comfortable and quirky, turns out I like jeans and a hoodie paired with tennis shoes and I like standing with my feet planted firmly under me and my hands on my hips like Wonder Woman.  It's efficient and also I am ready at any time for a child to fling themselves at me, or to run after a ball before it hits the street, and to shove my pockets full of phones and water bottles and stretchy gloves.  There's no catching a kid falling out of a treehouse in that flouncy sweater - we'll both be tangled in a boho nightmare of woolly yarn and leather buckles and choke to death in a snarling gypsy scarf heap.


My Gentleman Friend is taking me to see The Rocky Horror Play on Friday night.  I've never seen the movie or the play.  When I told our friend who is in the production this, they rubbed their hands together called me a virgin while cackling with anticipation.  I'm slightly nervous about this whole thing now... I feel like I am about to be the only person in the front row without a rain poncho while Gallager gets his Sledgeomatic out - only I've seen enough Rocky Horror pop-culture snippets to know the proverbial Sledgomatic could involve lingerie and or dancing.... or toast and I looooove toast. So it might even out.

Burnt Impressions Toaster Plates. Rocky Horror Picture Toast

Aug 21, 2015

Jack Says

"These Toys are Eat Soap Separately"
"I'm drawing skella-bones, they protect your heart"
"when you twist things beginst each other the get mixed up"
"EMERGENCY! Cold bread! Cold bread"

Aug 10, 2015

Children, Musicians, Hippies, Artists & Poets at Willow Creek

I painted things when my little ones were coaxed to the creek to catch craw-daddies and get mud behind their ears.  I had the sun on the back of my neck when I stretched it looking over the rise of the little road to see the corn reaching up from the glen with golden fingers into the August sky.  I rested my paintbrush in the dirt when my son ran back to camp with a tiny dead fish in his water wrinkled fingers.  He asked me to cook it for him. When I told him it was too small to cook and made him throw it back into the creek I saw him steal a taste.  He licked it's white belly and then threw it overhand into the clear water where I'm sure it settled to the bottom and found it's way into the bellies of the craw-dads.  All the while behind me, my daughter changed from her soaking wet mud-shoes into my dry sandals and was charmed away to another campfire by intriguing musical instruments. 

Aug 4, 2015

On Self-Sufficiency

I asked the kids to get themselves ready to run a few errands with me today.  A mere three hours later, my eldest had taken a full shower, was coiffed and ready to go.  My youngest was also dressed and ready making sure to wear his plastic fake monster teeth, an inside out long sleeve hoodie he's outgrown with the hood up, matching blue socks under flip flops, and plaid shorts.  Great job kids, thanks for getting yourselves ready. Yes, we went into the store like this, luckily he tired of the teeth.

Jul 30, 2015

"This Is My Ninjit-Suit"

I took the kids to see the TMNT movie in the park downtown last Friday.  To the disappointment of the people in the lawn chairs behind us, Jack rolled, kicked, ran and did somersaults for 90 minutes. I'm not even sure he actually saw any of the movie.

Jul 26, 2015

Thick Days

These are the thick days of mid July filled with humid sunscreen and stinging bug spray.  Every cool pool of water has tiny feet begging to sneak in, though the well worn swim suits, sun faded, stretched from chlorine and slightly grayed on the underside from lake mud are at home on the floor of the front hallway.  Left over fireworks and grilled beer soaked meats waft through the neighborhood replacing the tiger lilies and lilacs sweet redolence. There is barely time for the free waterpark ticket, the theme park coupon, the ten hour air conditioned sleep and the last canoe trip.  Back to school supplies loom in frigid grocery store aisles.

Jun 22, 2015

Link Storm Saturday

Saturday morning, it was overcast and beautiful for sitting at Sinnissippi Rose Gardens to paint watercolor roses with 317 Studio & Gallery.  When the air is thick and humid you can push paint around for a long time before it dries on your paper, it's perfect.  After class I meandered down to Rockford Vintage Market where we sat down over Vintage 501's hand cut french fries and heard Swingbilly RFD playing an earnest rendition of Folsom Prison Blues before stopping by Toad Hall's booth and picking up some superman comics for the kid and a Rockford Cabinet Company T-shirt from Bygone Brand's Booth.  Then we made a run for it through the light rain to the car and over to the Bee's Knees General StoreYolo's Cupcake Shop, Salvanged by Sonya's & RAD. I ended up my day of local fun at Culture Shock looking to hear King of the Demons play some all ages goodness.

Jun 19, 2015

The Best Iced Cream I've Made Yet

Whipped Cream
Coco powder
Powdered Sugar
Brown sugar

Jun 15, 2015

Sunflower Update

I built a cage, they snuck in under to eat seeds and sproutlings.

Jun 3, 2015

May 29, 2015

Something At My Sunflower Sprouts

I put them in the dirt and it took three nights for something to come buy and eat them. I'll plant more, I want these flowers this year and last year I gave up too easily.  I'm off the get chicken wire.

May 28, 2015

My Ten Year Anniversary Is Coming up

Aug 11, 2015 Bombadee's Garden will be ten years old.  Ten years of posts, links, rants, photos, artwork, bad poetry, videos, books, lists, and comments.  I feel like there should be some sort of celebration.  Maybe cake, dancing and a top ten or something...or a bottom ten (haha!) I'll have to think about what such an events warrants.  Maybe I'll finally update my Blogger Profile Picture...

May 24, 2015


I tried all last summer to grow giant sunflowers next to the deck.  I wanted the flower faces to be at eye level during midsummer dinners so we could watch the birds fly in and eat the seeds.  But some asshole from the neighborhood wildlife community kept creeping by in the middle of the night and digging up the seeds for a late night snacks. After loosing another row of seeds this spring I planted some in an egg carton in the house.  Every day I put the seedlings outside for a day of sun and then I bring them back in at dusk to keep them safe. They're a few inches high now and I think I have to put them in the dirt or watch them suffer from not enough root room.  I'm going to try to devise a screen or some sort so they don't get bitten off at the base and munched late in the night.  It makes me anxious.  It's scary to send my sprouts out into the backyard...  Imagine when I have to send my actual children out into the world!

May 21, 2015

The End of Preschool

He's going to be five.  I went to his preschool graduation today where he won an award for being among the top ten kids who've had the most books read to them over the last month.  Jack likes the same books over and over.

He likes:
I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato
In the Night Kitchen
Ahoy Pirate Pete
We're Going on a Bear Hunt
Go Dog Go
Any Curious George
Any Sponge Bob
Roli Poli Oli
No David

I know most of these by heart, so does he.

It was an emotional graduation as it was a very tough year.  Jack will freely tell you he doesn't like school.  When I drop him off the teacher has to peel him off my hip or my leg and tell him he has to stay and he buries his face in his hands and sobs while I try to get out of the room as fast as possible.  It really puts anything I do while he's at school under a big wet cloud.  When I pick him up, he's happy, playing and smiling and runs up ready to go.  I ask him if school was fun and he says yes.  Sometimes I ask why he doesn't like school and he says he just misses me and being home.  I ask him if he played with any one and he always says "I just played by myself."  I know other kids like him and are happy to see him, as I drop him off and pick him up every day and I see their reactions.  The kids even recognize me now as "Jack's mom" - so he is not ignored or disliked, he just doesn't feel he has any pals at school and he doesn't look forward to it. Repeat this day 180 times.  So to see him today, march up and get a medal and wear his square hat and sit with his class was a joy and a relief.

I was relieved that soon I won't have to watch him bury his face in his hands anymore. I was relieved that they won't have to peel him off my leg anymore.  I was proud we made it - he and me. I have a box of Valentines he makes for me at school.  They each have a heart and say "Mom" & "Jack" on them, sometimes "Ella" is in there too. On particularly hard days, he'd make two for me at school.    This awful school year where we read together and worked on a little homework together and were separated fr a few hours each day and we lived.  We made it. He's taller.  He can write my name and his. He can speak better.  He can do his own seat-belt.  He knows the days of the week. He has life experiences that don't have me in them now.

I hope Kindergarten is better. I keep wondering what the drop off routine will be.  Will I have to walk him all the way to class? Will he like it? Will it be worse? Will he find a friend he likes? I have a good deal of anxiety about it.  I know there's nothing that I can do until next fall when we see how it will go. For now we just count down the last ten days of what I thought was the easiest part of a school career, but for Jack (and me) may have been the hardest.

Apr 22, 2015

The Addamses

Adult Wednesday Addams was a you tube hit that I liked.  I read today that the Addams Family Estate has sent Melissa Hunter a cease and desist and You Tube pulled all the videos.  Fans immediately re-posted them, so if you google Adult Wednesday Addams, you can still watch a host of these videos.  Some of the comments I read on Facebook regarding the quarrel:

M.N.  "Some people just don't understand publicity.  They wanna hoard their ideas and allow them to collect dust.  Ignorance and stubbornness are a toxic combination, yo.

H.R. "ridiculous... Others have posted season 1 and 2 but this isn't the first person to have their videos pulled for parody."

N.L. "This makes me very angry"

I'm appalled that people feel entitled to other's ideas like this.  I have great respect for the Addams Family and their Estate.  While I adore the Adult Wednesday Addams series, if the Addams Family feels the character is too true to the original version and isn't enough of a parody to be a departure then they are entitled to decide how the character is presented or not.  Perhaps the Addamses would prefer not to be exploited in fan-fiction like the Star Wars Empire or the Super Hero Complex because... well, I'd say they don't even need to give a reason, it's their right to decide.

While I understand once you send art out into the world it's hard to know how people will feel about it and who it will be shared and re-interpreted by, I stand with the cartoonist's family on this one, out of respect, adoration and some semblance of decorum and legality. Though I'd like to see more of the series - I understand why it's been locked down.  We are not entitled to be the voyeurs of Wednesday Addams or any other person in the family, fiction or non, just because we love it.

Apr 6, 2015

How Jack Yells It

Jack laying on the floor yelling "Emergency! Emergency COLD BREAD! COLD BREAD!"


I recently almost had a list with everything crossed off of it.  It lasted about four minutes. Living at a break neck speed trying to stay in front of after school activities and homework and the odd jobs I take to make ends meet is aging me in a way I don't like.  I need a vacation, but then who will prepare for the vacation and really it would just feel like the same invigorating schedule in an unfamiliar place making it tougher to complete tasks.  It'd take a very long time to save up for the sort of vacation where people do things for you and bring you drinks while you lay on your back and look past your toes at blue waves crashing into the powder white sandcastles happy sun-screened children build.  Really I'd like to just save up enough to hire someone to come over here and help me get caught up on the day to day junk that piles up, then maybe I'd like to sleep in for two days in a row.  I need a clone or a robot or some extra money.

Mar 12, 2015

If you didn't get it the first time - now's your chance.

They went fast last time.  By the end of the summer we were desperately trying to hang onto five for our own bookshelves.  So here you are internets - The Toughskin Rhinoceros Wrangler Company 2015!  get one - or three :)

Feb 23, 2015

ipad white screen of death


lilk2300 - Latest answer on Jan 19, 2015 02:10AM
"Hello, my ipod has apples white screen of death but when hold select and menu it turns off and it's still white and then it beeps twice i did this exactly 18 times please help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111"

ccln789 Nov 14, 2009 09:50PM "Hey i just learned how to fix the white screen of death all you do is hold the home button then while still holding down the home button hold volume up button then while still holding those buttons go head and hold the power off button and hold that until you see the apple sign and THIS REALLY WORKS SO TRY IT"


Just had to do this - totally worked.

Feb 15, 2015

That's how tired I am

I am so tired I fell asleep while wearing an itchy wool sweater, during the Sponge Bob movie, with a theater full of valentine's chocolate filled children, cheering at the very apex of dramatic cartoon crustacean action, nearly spilling the small bag of popcorn I was holding in the dark.

Feb 2, 2015


It snowed over the weekend.  The park ranger even sent the Girl scouts home from their camping/ski trip early for fear they'd have to stay until they were plowed out today.   Luckily I was the drop off end of the the carpool and didn't have to go out and get them at the beginning of the storm.  I spent a good deal of time yesterday digging out, but just like cleaning house before the kids are asleep, it just kept coming and by the end of the day I was under another foot mess.  It's hard to believe tulips will start poking up through silvery ice water in just six-weeks. But thus says the groundhog.

Jan 28, 2015

Surrealist Poetry by Siri

I sometimes tell my phone to write things down while I'm driving.  It doesn't always hear what I say correctly and I always forget to erase the note. If someone looked in my phone they might assume I keep a bunch of surrealist poetry in there. I present to you 5 lists I have very few clues to. I can tell you I think List #6 is likely a love poem.

List #1
Don't frack me bro
Luna film fest
Blue tape
Sort toys

List #2
La vie en rose
When I'm small
Dancing rhinos
Minute man
Of very true

List #3
Ferrymen Antelope

List #4
Hungarian Raspsody
1141 Main
Wireless hifi please
Multivitamins full set of Autobons
Salmon yes, tuna & yellow tail no

List #5
Of Maillach and Sherman
Louis the magician 773822917

List #6
Thomas' heart
Tim Stotz
Gulf Shores

Jan 15, 2015

Jack Says:

Regarding the tag in the back of his shirt: This shirt has skeeto bites in it.


When my stomach was growling: Your body is telling you it's hungry.  Get a bread, I don't want to hear your body anymore.


Jan 12, 2015

Slow on the Draw

"GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A man practicing his open carry right was robbed of the gun he was openly carrying.

William Coleman III was robbed of his Walter- brand P22 just after 2:00 a.m. October 4 in Gresham by a young man who asked him for it — and flashed his own weapon as persuasion.

Coleman, 21, was talking to his cousin in the 17200 block of NE Glisan St., after purchasing the handgun earlier that day, when a young man asked him for a cigarette, police said.

The man then asked about the gun, pulled a gun from his own waistband and said “”I like your gun. Give it to me.”

Coleman handed over the gun and the man fled on foot.

The suspect is thin a black male, between 19 and 23 years old, clean cut with a small patch of facial hair on his chin, and short black wavy hair.

He is roughly six feet tall, wearing grey sweatpants, a white T-Shirt and flip-flop sandals.

The weapon he used in the robbery was described as a possibly semi-automatic, black gun, Gresham Police said."


Jan 11, 2015


We stopped thirty-eight times to get the snow out of a wrist cuff and drink hot cocoa.

Jan 10, 2015


I was watching snow fall to the left, swiftly change direction and flit right on the endless breath of wind responsible for the biting chill in my hands.  The old mechanic scurried to and fro past the open door, grabbing potions and oils, tools and rags while I rubbed my hands together trying to warm them.  Boat propellers and trap shooting trophies filled dusty shelves next to a pot of coffee I'm sure hadn't been washed since my last oil change. I spent a long time looking at the tall cardboard tube of Domino Sugar imagining it being grabbed several times a day dispensing into thick cups of burned and sour coffee.  It's letters rubbed off and the dark oil of machinery and human fingers layered into a fine shiny amalgamation across the side.  I recognized my car's engine running in the next room and looked up in time to see the mechanic rushing back and forth again, raising my hopes. It was another thirty minutes of watching the snow agitate through the glass and uselessly rubbing my hands together before I would make my escape.

Jan 9, 2015

We Are Not Singing This Year

Photo has nothing to do with story, I just liked it.
I always mean to make a great Christmas post but it doesn't happen.  The season is going so fast with such twists and turns that it's all I can do to keep from getting whiplash much less pausing to carefully write my thoughts on the season.  Just when the Holidays wrap up, it's my eldest's birthday which I always go to extra efforts to observe lest it be overshadowed by the above mentioned festivities.

This year we considered a sledding party until the actual snow came.  It was accompanied by negative temperatures and meaner wind-chill factors.  We opted for a good old fashioned house party.  We are in fact inviting boys to this one.  No biggie, they just happen to be friends that are also boys.  We also are not having cake... well, maybe cup cakes but they're going to be cool NOT cute. We aren't singing any happy birthday songs and mostly we'll just be hanging out and maybe playing some music.  Maybe we'll make a play list, and have some dub step, and maybe Uncle Joe will bring over his laser music light show and a black light and a disco ball, just in case anyone feels like dancing or something or whatever.

By February, I'll be officially ready for a couple chocolate hearts chased with a green beer.

Jan 8, 2015

The Zen of Beard Trimming

This is the cover art I was honored to do for C.J.'s book. There's only a week left to order a copy.

Order your copy of this book HERE

“The Zen of Beard Trimming: Stories of Punk Rock, Poverty, and the Search For Peace” the personal memoir memoir of speaker, writer, and activist C.J. Campbell. C.J. wakes up every day with the weight of the world on his shoulders; shoulders held up by a pair of crutches. The book is a journey of trying to navigate a world not built for him as walks through life with Cerebral Palsy questioning everything from Capitalism to the very existence of God. When Campbell is not looking for love with Scandinavian models and a good burrito. He looks to smash the social constructs and apathy by any means necessary. If it means putting his own body on the line by walking 75 miles. This irreverent, brash, and at times heartbreaking memoir also includes a foreword by co-founder of Invisible Children and creative force behind the infamous viral documentary “Kony 2012,” Jason Russell."

Jan 3, 2015

childhood idols

Gilligan was a pot head
Vinnie Barbarino is in a cult
Mork committed suicide
Fat Albert is a rapist
The ghost of Jack Tripper is all I have left