the ease

creeping along and easing in.  we all stepped left one space and are getting used to our new skins.

baked apples - recipe in taproot issue 3

the best defense - ginger & orange

remember in the last post when i talked about cleaning out the garage?  …and how it’s usually only the first in a string of cleaning events?  yep.  i called it.  i dropped the girls at school last week and gutted the downstairs to prepare for a new landscape.  when the girls came home alizah squealed with delight saying our house looked like it should be in a magazine.  i guess i’ve set the bar pretty low thus far.  ha!   both girls said it seemed like there was way more room and alizah especially was mystified by the phenomenon.

we have a dining room again.  goodbye work room.  it almost seems like i’m punishing myself since having a big, open, functional work space was so indulgent, but my focus has shifted as is the case from time to time and right now food is the center of my creative mind.

this dining room is getting it’s fair share of use.

hubs has been coming home this week after orientation so we see him for about three hours each night.  this is his last week before going on the road full time.  it’s been a tough month for all of us.  the house seems particularly my own when he’s away which is sort of a hard thing to explain… i used to divide a few tasks that were his alone to complete which meant resentment.  he was notorious for ignoring those tasks for so long that i would silently bubble until exploding in rage.  only then would he finally cave and at that point it didn’t matter any more.  let me explain.  the biggest was laundry.  i know i’ve said before how much i HATE laundry and his only task was to put it away - already washed, sorted, folded, and ready to be stuck in it’s drawer or hung.  the clean clothes would sit out for so long that by the time he finally put them up they’d have cat hair all over them and they’d be in disarray from the kids rooting through them and there’d be a whole new lot coming out of the washroom - now filling the role of undone chores.  

however, now that there is no hubs to divide chores with, everything gets done quickly and easily.  it’s a bazaar and unexpected perk of being a “single parent” if that makes any sense at all.  i also love how excited we all are for him to come home when he’s been gone.  we want to eat him up, knowing he’ll be leaving again in only a couple days.  i cook his favorite foods and the girls swoon over him.  he asked how long this special treatment was going to last & (me being me) i told him to just enjoy it while he can.




crinkle cat

the boy’s load

mae and i spent the day with the boy on tuesday.  i baked biscuits and the boy made coffee and mae played with the mini lalaloopsy he bought after she told him all about them on the phone the day before.  we yarn shopped and lunched and played with crinkle cat who mae was a little afraid to touch at first.  then she got over it and chased him all over the house, properly traumatizing him.

carl got started on his giant cabled scarf which i’m waiting patiently waiting for an update on.  he’s good people, the boy.  i’m sure there will be a post in his corner of the blog about our visit soon (wink wink)

mae wore the sweater i knit for her sister oh so long ago.  it was one of those knit-off-the-cuff sweaters that i never took notes on and i’m kicking myself for it.  a woman at the yarn store asked if i had knit it and swooned.  she went on about it for so long that mae became embarrassed and hid.  ha!  maybe, when the stars align, i’ll go back to it - read it the best i can, and knit along with pencil in hand.  i need to get millie on paper, too.  i never did get to it… i totally suck at that part of design.  i mean, really, really suck.  oh goodness.  ha!


run aways

sometimes you just need to get out of dodge.

we have the great fortune of having friends with welcoming families who live in magical places and invite us to share in it with them.

on the road with the three kid-os

once we arrived i plopped down on the couch and watched some “tv”

these windows are grand!  as grand as the matching set on the other side of the house behind where i was sitting.  it was like a tunnel of light.  flower gardens were in sight and birds of all kinds swooped, hopped, and pecked in view.  the pasture sits just beyond the gardens and the horses can be seen most of the day.  the first morning mae woke up and sat here she squealed, “HORSES!”  i think she forgot where she was for a second.  ha!


mae’s favorite spot

sitting on the hill with my girl after dinner and watching the horses graze, watching the sun settling behind the trees, and talking about all the things we’ve seen and done.

mare’s mother is a child whisperer and she had a special task for the children.  our first night the kids presented us with menus and asked us to choose what we would like for breakfast the next morning.  it was so sweet.  the kids woke up and made sure we had our coffee and toasted breads, applied spreads, and acted as nooka’s servers as the food came off the stove.  cash was extremely excited about the whole thing.  it was so sweet.

the red boots

hmm i cant remember if this was before or after the great grasshopper attack of 2012.  i’m thinking after.  (thanks for the shot mare <3)

mae was pretty peeved that mama went riding without her.  she and i hopped on and went for a solo stroll not once - but TWICE (and my butt is still paying the price)

it’s a good time to talk.  she asked me a lot of questions and we talked about all sorts of things like gm crops and all the things you can make out of soy.  ha!  kids are open to just about anything and i’m a wealth of weird knowledge.  how many other opportunities do we have like that in our days though?  such a blessing.  she said she likes how good i am at driving horses & that she wished we had one so that i could teach her all the things i know.  it sort of broke my heart a little.

she is so very at home here.  boots on, horse noses to pet, wide open spaces to hoot and run and ride, dirt to sink her toes into…

we’re grateful for the hospitality, warmth, & kindness.  i hope we can make it back soon with alizah in tow (who, if you’re wondering is finally coming home from camp!  she cried when her dad picked her up and begged to stay another week.  woah.  when i talked to her she said she’s a changed woman and will no longer be wearing shoes or sleeping indoors.) 


now that i’m a fully functioning human again, i’ll be here more.  i’m switching things up a bit.  

as circumstances change, so do we. xo

the system


it’s been a wholly hard time and that’s not something to be shared or remembered.  no documentation needed when the walls cave in.  but, it then dawned on me that maybe i should begin notching out the moments on my timeline of severe flames so that i can map out patterns or cycles.

i think sometimes we prepare without our conscious mind being privy to the information our subconscious holds.  i cleared out my entire work space.  i needed it clean and fresh.  i needed to see no wips.  i needed to let my mind rest.

we played, but stayed in.  it was quiet with blinds drawn.  the outside world was desert hot and desert dry and the garden laid to waste.

i had projects to finish and i raced to do it.  i worked into the night and wee hours of the morning stitching and pinning and raving about completion.

i gobbled up time with my sister friend and drank as much iced chai as my stomach would hold.


it all came down - slowly like a leaf on the breeze - drifting back and forth, lower and lower until landing softly.  quietly.  my symptoms rose up from my shoulders and rolled down day by day. three full days of “rest” but mostly of writhing and whining.  such a baby i can be sometimes.

i’m not usually one to be pulled by emotion - or bullied by it.  i spent all of my tears when i was young and you’d be hard pressed to wring one out of me now, but this past week the damn broke and tears flowed easily - while i made dinner - or did dishes - or lazed around in bed - or talked to my mother - or did nothing at all.  i hate to cry.  my eyes burn and it gives me a headache.  emotional hang over?  feeling bad makes everything bad and having a chronic disease means facing this side of my life regularly.  i hate asking for help.  i hate waiting on others to take care of things for me.  i hate being weak.  i hate these flare-ups.  i hate having to sheepishly admit that there is no cure which is almost like saying there is no hope, but that is the dark side of the pain whispering to me.

twice a year the pain comes for a visit.  always.  once in the summer and once in the winter.  this time was the worst ever since my diagnosis.  water balloons in my joints.  nails piercing my hands and feet.  skin burning.  bones cracking.  head pounding.  muscles twisting.  strength departing. hair coming out in clumps.  arches falling.  tendons slacking.  speech scrambling.  sadness rearing.  joy dying… a little.  but i’m a pheonix.  every death brings life.

we’ve been pro-active this time around.  i’ve been trying to edit my diet.  i’ve been trying to keep the sun behind the shades.  i’ve been trying to keep my body moving (yes, h - we started doing tai chi!  the kids laugh and the dog barks at us).  i’m trying to wait it out.  i know the flares can last a month and i’m not at all happy about that.  the timing is BAD.  it’s our last month of summer!  i had classes to cancel and trips to bow out on.  it’s painful just typing this.  i can’t knit.  

i was talking to the boy about it because he knows, maybe better than even hubs what i went through when i was diagnosed.  when i told him about the flare he knew what it meant.  when i told him i couldn’t knit he said it was the worst part of all.  yes!  HA!  so right.  he’s so, so right.  oh the sweet friends i have.  sensing enough to call.  checking in like clockwork.  pitch and tone saying, “i feel you and it’s real”

now i’m spending my days like an old person… sipping tea and watching the pool fun from the shade venturing only into the lazy river and cursing those damn kids for bumping into me.  every jerk makes my joints scream…. 

but also holding onto these last days before big baby girl is a SIXTH grader and little baby girl leaves me for kindergarten.  trying to savor.  trying to grip.  trying to love.

knees bent.  step forward, weight forward.  weight back.  turn.

systemic lupus sucks.

if you’re interested in more information about this crappy disease,

check out this very non-crappy website. xo