Nov 28 2011

Music Monday: Mason Jennings

Do you remember when I broke your clutch and you threw both your shoes at me? Talking your brother into buying us wine cause we didn’t have any I.D.YouTube Preview Image This Minnesota boy came home for Thanksgiving and put on a really beautiful show on Saturday night. It was my first time seeing him and well, now, I’m a little smitten. He’s thoughtful, poetic, gracious and . . . tall. I stood right next to him at the t-shirt table. Tall. His lyrics are simple, painterly, exquisitely attuned to those tiny nothing moments in life that mean everything – especially in retrospect. So lovely.

Nov 24 2011


A beautiful video of a beautiful natural phenomenon for you on this beautiful holiday. Thank you to Mamarstiste for sending it to us.

Also thank you to Lady Homeslice and Mr. Lady Homeslice for folding my little vagabond family into their celebrations on Thursday night. It was truly delicious in every way. You all know how much I love living here – how I very much feel like we choose this city, every single day. But our families aren’t here, and sometimes I wonder if that’s a huge mistake, especially around the holidays. I don’t know the answer to that – it is something that I struggle with, for sure. I miss them deeply. But I do know that we have friends here in this little apple that feel like family – no, that are family.

And today I’m thankful for that.

Nov 22 2011

Sick Day

sick_in_bedToday was supposed to be my day of taking care of business – that is, all the business that needs taking care of before the brood is out of school for the next five days. But Devil Baby is sick, so I’m homebound. So much for shopping for Thanksgiving ingredients. So much for yoga. So much for popping into a store for something sparkly to wear to holiday parties. So much for picking up laundry detergent and toothpaste. Instead, I’m typing in bed next to a fitfully sleeping Devil Baby. She’s got flushed red baby cheeks, a messy pony tail and a lot to say. To call her a dramatic sick girl would be an understatement. Child is one verbose invalid. She’s like Howard Cosell, giving me the play-by-play of her ever deteriorating condition. Every twenty minutes or so she wakes up, feebly asks for a sip of Gatorade as if it’s some magical cure-all elixir, and shares with me the latest and greatest on her suffering, some of which would sound alarming if she weren’t simultaneously extending her pale little fingers in the direction of the plate of Nilla Wafers on the nightstand. So far this morning:

I’m so hot. I’m so thirsty. I can’t sleep. I feel like my eyes are made of glass. I feel like my heart moved into my brain. Something invisible grabbed me and moved me while I was sleeping. I’m going to ask for a bag of air for Christmas to help me breathe better. I’m really worried about myself. What if I don’t get better? Are you worried about me? I think I’m going to throw up. My head feels big. Something is wrong with my fingers. My brain won’t stop talking. I’m really really really worried about myself. My tongue is hot.

Oh, my sweet little drama queen. It is a privilege to hear you weave your tales of woe in that tremulous little voice that you use. Especially, since this will all be a faded memory for both of us by tomorrow.

Nov 21 2011

Monday Music – Lonely Boy by The Black Keys

If you’re married to someone who loves The Black Keys as much as Doctor Dash does, you end up loving them too. This is off their new album, El Camino, coming December 6, and it’s an awesome song with an even better video. Y’all know how I feel about dancing – in all its wondrous and quirky permutations. This guy makes me happy. Enjoy. And maybe shake what yo’ mama gave you a little too. Happy Monday!

YouTube Preview Image

And did you notice that person peeking out of the “office” window at 30 seconds? What must she be thinking?

Nov 19 2011

Yay or Nay?

So, tonight there’s a kindergarten party for the parents to get to know each other, hosted by a few families. It’ll be nice. You know, scratch out a name tag, grab a glass of wine, mingle and probably end up migrating toward the people I already know. Problem is, I don’t want to go. I just don’t feel like it. But I feel like I should. And this morning, as I contemplate doing something sweaty that’ll ruin the awesome blowout I got after my hair cut yesterday, I am truly of two minds on this. That, in and of itself is hardly interesting – I’m of two minds about lots of things. The thing is, I used to love these yearly gatherings. I used to organize and host these parent cocktail parties. What happened to me? Here are my two minds, going at it:

Mind 1: I don’t feel like getting gussied up.

Mind 2: Bullshit.

Mind 1: Doctor Dash can’t go. I don’t want to go.

Mind 2: Since when has being solo ever bothered you? You hate to miss a party.

Mind 1: I do hate to miss a party. But this isn’t really a party. It’s a school party.

Mind 2: You love school parties. You might meet some nice cool new people.

Mind 1: I know enough nice cool people. I don’t need anymore friends.

Mind 2: You can never know enough nice cool people and your future BEST friends might be hidden in this kindergarten class.

Mind 1: Doubtful.

Mind 2: You’re an ass.

Mind 1: Possibly.

Mind 2: You know what’s happening don’t you? You’re turning into one of those old parents – one of those old mommies who are just too cool for school.

Mind 1: Possibly.

Mind 2: You’re not that cool.

Mind 1: I’m a little cool.

Mind 2: It’s those young mommies, isn’t it.

Mind 1: Yes. They’re so . . . perky.

Mind 2: And clueless.

Mind 1: And wide-eyed.

Mind 2: And clueless.

Mind 1: And enthusiastic.

Mind 2: And clueless.

Mind 1: And young.

Mind 2: Perhaps this is your opportunity to take them under your wing – be their wise elder.

Mind 1: Comforting.

Mind 2: You can’t avoid them forever, you know.

Mind 1: I can certainly try.DownloadedFile

Nov 14 2011

Music Monday – Evolution of Western Dance Music and the Lovely Lykke Li

interactive2Check out this cool graphic depiction of the evolution of music. It’s sort of mind boggling and I can’t help but think of the spread of contagion – of the musicians, elders, kids and dj’s carrying this music from place to place back when music had to move physically, if it was to move at all. Heady, no?

Also, on this very tired Monday morning after a late arrival from Boston last night, I just want to curl up with the musical equivalent of a warm fuzzy blanket. Enjoy Lykke Li’s cover of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow – so pretty, as is she. I’m intrigued by her because she’s quirky and weird – the kind of girl who would put bells on her ankles and sing a cappella in a public square. She played to a sold out First Ave last night while we were on an airplane hurtling through the night. I would have liked to have seen her, but I wouldn’t have traded this weekend for a hundred shows. We went for Dash’s cousin’s wedding, and in an absolutely jam packed weekend, we got to squeeze in lots of fiercely lovely time with our family and all of our East Coast peeps. It was intense, fun, and as always, bittersweet. I miss everyone. YouTube Preview Image

Nov 8 2011

Ever wonder

horse(Photo of Buddy and his wooly friends taken by Mike Braucher of Braucher’s Sunshine Harvest Farm)

what all the vendors at the farmers market do after the markets close for the season? Well, I decided to find out and boy, was it ever inspiring to chat with and get to know my fave farmers, fishmongers, bakers, ranchers, cheesemakers and chefs from the Kingfield Farmers Market. I know some of you are Kingfield luvahs like me, so you’ll find this little sneak peak behind the curtains especially interesting. Check it out!

Nov 7 2011

Music Monday – Dawes

dawes_img03_hiresThese fellas were here on Friday and thanks to Creeper Bud and her uncanny knack for winning things on the radio, I got the see them perform twice. During the day they played a short set with lots of Q and A from The Current’s Bill DeVille at the tiny Minnesota Public Radio UBS Forum. They are adorable, talented, and so very soulful. They guys looked rumpled and sleepy but sounded anything but – and listening to Taylor Goldsmith’s honest and thoughtful answers to DeVille’s questions just made me love them even more. Being in that intimate space allowed the story telling to shine, and really that’s Goldsmith’s strength. The words, his words, are very beautiful. That night at the packed and sold-out First Ave, the four of them morphed into a bigger louder band and they completely swallowed up the adoring crowd. Goldsmith looked almost feral at times. Not sure why, but I am always taken aback when a folksy, Americana band starts to shred. So good. Here’s Time Spent in Los Angeles, by Dawes.

Nov 3 2011

Sheep Lawn Mowers?

03SHEEP1-articleLargeDid you guys see this article in the NY Times about agricultural start ups? The tough economy has caused some people to think out of the box, get creative and get back to our roots. Eddie Miller is a 23 year old who started Heritage Lawn Mowing Company in Oberlin, OH. His sheep eat your dandelions and grass, no fossil fuels are consumed and he doesn’t have to feed them – a win win win. Regardless of its chances for actually working as a business, it’s a charming idea and a good reminder that while big food and agriculture is running amok, there are lots of people on the ground – literally – who understand and are working for change. Supergirl is going to flip when I show this to her. She’s been begging for a goat for ages.

Nov 1 2011

Sweet Sleep.

goodnight_moon.jpg_320_320_0_9223372036854775000_0_1_0Paul loved to sleep with his mother. Sleep is still most perfect,
in spite of hygienists, when it is shared with a beloved.
The warmth, the security and peace of soul, the utter comfort from
the touch of the other, knits the sleep, so that it takes the body
and soul completely in its healing. Paul lay against her and slept,
and got better; whilst she, always a bad sleeper, fell later on
into a profound sleep that seemed to give her faith
. Ch. 4, Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence

I read Sons and Lovers years ago and have been carrying this quotation around ever since. I even figured out a way to shoe-horn it into a terrible short story once. I think the sentiment is lovely and so true. When my kids were babies, I was never too quick to shoo them to a crib. I always knew their time sleeping with us was finite, making it ever the more warm and delicious.

During the weeks that Doctor Dash works nights, the kids have started a sleeping-in-my-bed rotation. Aside from the squabbles about who gets to go first in a given week, I have to admit that I like it. They all sleep so differently, my children.

Saint James always reads later into the night than I do – sleep plays hard to get, but then keeps a gauzy hold on him late into the morning, leaving lingering yawns and puffy eyes. Supergirl is such an early bird, she falls asleep pretty much as soon as her head hits the pillow. It’s like a little switch gets flicked and she’s out. In the morning, the opposite is true and she’s bright eyed at the word go. In between, she’s as still as a stone. Devil Baby fights sleep, but once it claims her, she sleeps a long time. She seems to go on epic journeys in her sleep – her legs fluttering through water, climbing rocks, running on dirt roads. She’s the hardest one to sleep with, but the one I need to do it with the most. After a fraught day, with too much yelling and stubbornness on both of our parts, sleep washes it all away and we find our peace, deep in the night with her little legs strewn over mine.

Just like when they were babies, I know this is temporary. At some point Dash will stop working nights or they’ll just get too old to want to come to my bed. But for now, I do so love waking to a skinny bum in the small of my back or a little hand clutching mine – and hearing the murmurs and sighs of their secret sleep lives.

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