Red Thread

I know how this Red Thread feels-you will too I think. What a book! It will take one second to read. Please do, people.


Where the eff have you been?

I know, more like, "where have I been." I don't know. I hope I haven't lost all my blog friends but I just wanted to do, and observe without processing. I have been doing a lot of riding. This kind, not this kind like I used to do when my back was strong and my hunger for excitement was off the charts. But those boots side by side are a pretty sight. We are Justin Roper girls. Soren has been busy with archery and now football and baseball--he also has a new babysitting customer who was so happy that her active 4 year old boy liked him-and Soren even cleaned up after the kids.

For back to school, Cyler gave the kids blessings after I took them through a positive intention type ceremony/ritual. I talked about different hopes I had for them during this school year while they did positive imagery using physical objects to help them focus on the things I was saying.

Oil-on head, symbol for health, mental awareness
Sugar-on tongue, symbol for speaking kindly to others
Flowers- around wrists, symbol for creating beauty
Quilt-around shoulder, symbol for safety, shelter and warmth of a loving home
Apple-in hands, symbol of wisdom/knowledge, balance work with pleasure from healthy things
Ellery wants this to be a tradition now. They loved the flowers-and the sugar.
So for me, this year will be:
PTA Arts Chair
Working out
My priorities might even be in this order (at least in my perfect world where I get up every morning and ride till the kids come home and my avatar, "Happy to work at home all day Heather" has deftly cooked, cleaned, organized, shopped and laundered to my high standards and expectations, worked out for me, done emails, checking account reconciliation and pulled weeds, all after washing the car to save money.)
If you're still reading at this point, I will reward you with a fun soiree game for your next get together: "DEF KARAOKE" Two teams-one person from a team dons iPod earbuds and proceeds to sing 10 seconds of a song, not being able to hear her/himself sing. The team gets a point for guessing the title and artist each. If they don't, the other team gets a chance, and then it is their turn. For challenge rounds, have one team choose a song and a player from the other team. The "It" has to sing this song without prior knowledge of what it's going to be (5 points if successful). 'Twer Hilarious!!


Lalala! I found a treasure

Of cotton fabric!

See Hawthorne Threads if looking at fabric and touching fabric, and thinking about what you can make with fabric is like eating a gorgeously dusted lemon bar with shortbread crust.


July 4th

In remembrance of the great thinkers that said that people are free when they are born. I know sometimes it seems we have to fight eachother. And that for some countries still, freedom will be at the end of a long, bloody road. Many are concerned we are losing ours here in the US. But I am quickly moving away from the need to glory in the belief that someone's son or daughter has to bleed to death (or cause another to bleed) for me to be free. I think a good dose of amnesia would go a long way in dispersing some of the attractiveness of war. I'm with Matisyahu. He makes me proud to be an idealist.


Prophet Dub and Buddy

I finally found a Tennessee Walker trainer. Ellery is on Prophet and had her first lesson. You know you're in Texas when you drive down a road called Confederate Park and pass aproximately 274 1/2 churches. One little white one with a steeple had a longhorn standing by the front porch.

The couple is older and only have 6 horses in training. It seems sort of a "winding down" operation. Dub says that's a full day's training if you do it right. I liked him immediately. I know he knows a lot-he's been training horses since he was twenty.

He calls Ellery 'Babe' and me 'Girl' I think in part because he can't remember names.

I rode Buddy an old show horse for padded classes. The pace of this breed is so comfortable but you still feel like you have a powerful mount under you. I am going to have to redo the budget to afford lessons for the two of us but eating more beans and shopping for sales on clothes will be worth it. We had so much fun.

Ellery, fascinated that her jeans got this dirty. The smells of horse and leather--if she gets the bug, I'll get her some boots and she will have lots of dirty jeans in her future.

Robin Hood

That's what the guys at the range call it when you shoot a bullseye--then you shoot that arrow. To the first of many in the future, Soren


Malagasy Model for Parents

Cyler's boss asked him if he wanted to put his bio in for a short term job in the country just east of Africa that starts with an M. Cyler said yes--you know how we roll--the plan for our future changes daily. I immediately went on an internet research rampage--history, population density, culture, food, education, housing. While I was gorging myself on tidbits about the Eighth Continent, I found a blog posted by a British expat. Her comparison of children raised on the "Red Island" and British kids is well-done! Now can you guess which place I am talking about? I wonder how a harp would do there. Kind of like Holly Hunter's piano in Jane Campion's film. It's one of my favorite movies. Cyler kind of reminds me of a mix between Harvey Keitel and Rob Lowe. Can you guess the name of this movie too?



Lone Star Park is a fun and cheap family date. Soren was at Scout camp still so I thought I'd teach Ellery some 'applied math' (cough*cough) at the races. We wagered pretend dollars and Ellery learned about probability, multiplication, and negative numbers (since we always seemed to be in the red.) Hmmm. It was such a nice night though. Pink sunset and the full moon to the left below.
We ate brisket, slaw, and red velvet cake. Ellery won the most money in a single race while Cyler won overall by virtue of the fact that he lost the least pretend dollars. I didn't win a single race. In fact, before one race posted, the #3 horse dumped its rider and flew past us/the finish line running free-in the opposite direction. I looked at my scratch piece of paper and turned to Cyler, "That was my pick." What luck--I picked her because she was the only Oakie horse for the whole night, all nine races. She betrayed me.

The bodies of these fillies were flawless. Strong, fine muscles. They were like bullets on toothpicks.

The thing to wear nowadays for the single jetsetters is a babydoll dress with cowgirl boots. Thanks girls for posing for my blog. As for this broodmare, I was shod thusly:

Speaking of horses, we have a new neighbor. Mom and baby colt are both bay tobiano paints. The colt has a wide white blaze and is THE cutest thing and I am in love with him. There is another mom and a cremello baby but the owner keeps them in the barn during the day because they get sunburned.

The dogs came with us to try to say hello to the foals. We also said hi to the emus and fished a bit in the pond at Bob Jones Park. The dogs explored around the pond--Bodhi was half cream, half green-black sludge. Ciboney is a lady and keeps herself presentable.

Ellery caught a couple of bass and a sunfish. She is so freaking fun!


So Soft Spahday on Solstice

We had a sleep over in my bed last night. The boys are at scout camp and I only had one thing on my appointment book today-a Dr. Hand appointment for him to view my splint technique for my convalescing finger. So I (aka Phoebe Marimba) gave Ellery a spa day. First I had her jog with me (made her cry)--girl needs to get in shape. We ended on a good note though with jumping jacks and yoga stretches. Then "Welcome to So Soft Spa." The following services, rendered by Ms. Phoebe Marimba, helped Ellery have an age appropriate spa day and a chance to catch up and talk about life lessons (hard things get easier the more you do them, wash your hands when handling raw meat, always drink lots of water, tuck the pelvis in and keep abs engaged, and treat yourself well after working hard):

Old polish removed
Geranium herbal bath by candles
Shave legs, Wash and condition hair (scalp massage), pumice heels, Mt Dew rinse
Lay on bed--moisturize lips, clean ears
Facial massage with light moisturizer, witch hazel pads on eyes/palms
Body massage with lavender lotion

Lunch followed: breakfast burritos with turkey bacon, fresh tomatoes and avocados with seasoned salt, and lemon yogurt.

Citrus and sunshine nail polish. Good color for summer solstice today.

Voila! Buffed and puffed.
Interview with Ellery:
"The workout was very hurtful but at the end it was very fun."
What was the best thing about spa day? "The candlelight."
What was the massage like? "Oooh it felt so good like I was in a real spa."
What could Ms. Marimba do next time to improve your experience? "Give me a pretty updo hairdo."


Sorry Dad

Families have myths and legends--stories they tell eachother over and over to help them make sense of their lives together. Like when David flew his airplane into Dad's rice and said "Sorrry, Dad." (This is said in a long drawn out sing-song with the tone dropping on the word 'Dad.' Forever after when someone did something in our family that irked my Dad we would, all or some of us seven kids, would say "Sorrry, Dad" hearkening back to the time of the plane in the rice:

"Sorrrry Dad:"
  • that I snuck out of the house (and church dances--I thought surely no one would notice my pump wedging the back door open) so much
  • that I wrecked the Volvo (and the truck. . .etc)
  • that I said that I wished I was born a Rockefeller
  • that you didn't like any of my boyfriends that were named Shawn/Shaun
  • that I changed my major on your dime
  • that I repeated the joke "Knock knock. Who's There? Dwayne. Dwayne who? Dwayne da bafftub, I'm dwowning" ad nauseum
  • that I'm not orthodox
  • that I grew hips and didn't become a trackstar according to our plan when I was 9. (Did you let me beat you when we sprinted or did I win fair and square?)
  • about bloodying your flesh as I clawed my way up and over your shoulder while trying to get away from Santa Claus.
  • about saying "EEEeeewww!! There's so much blood!!" in front of your patient as you were performing a tooth extraction on her.
  • that Sam, my showhorse (read moneypit) was a mentally unstable, crazy-eyed mountain of a thing who acted like everyday was his first day of training.
  • that the bumper sticker on my car said "Put Something Exciting Between Your Legs, Ride An Arabian"
  • that I gave you that "haircut" that one time (well you were in the Air Force at one point in your life, so a buzzcut was not a total anachronism even if that wasn't the hairstyle you had originally wanted.)
  • that I peed the bed and had bad dreams so much
  • that I moved far away and cant' see you when I want (this would be the only thing I'm really sorry about since all of the above, I tack up as the follies of youth.)

In Spite of it all, you have loved me. I love you back.

Happy Father's Day to you and all ya'll Dads who deal with your children's follies of youth.


Steak Umms, Plagues and Mermaids

Happy Summer. Sunny warm days. No hectic schedule. So, who gets a cold in the middle of June? Me. And on the tail end of a gut-wrenching, mind-numbing migraine at that. My finger is still in a splint-so the way I'm feeling now makes me wonder if I'm a hypochondriac. But steakumms have saved the day--that day when I have nothing in my fridge and no energy to get to the store. I cook up a batch and can make either a hot sandwich, or chop it over a green salad. I saved the packaging for the costume I'm making Ellery.
We are having Family Home Evening for the ward at my house tomorrow. (If I'm not feeling better by then, just shoot me.)Inspired by Coney Island, I am hoping some kindred party spirits come with homemade costumes of sea creatures and mermaids to have a "Junk Mermaid Parade."

Here's the beginning of Ellery's seahorse costume. Doritos, Gatorade, Duct tape and beads. Putting this together has kept her occupied while I alternatively nurse my many ailments. She also is giving a talk as we speak in Primary today. I'm missing it--waa. Another project she worked on is apparently a Home Depot Dance Party. Here is the invitation I found while picking up the dress-up mess upstairs.

I wonder what a dance party at Home Depot would be like (especially in the 'wood section'). Fun to think about.


Kindred Fiction

I found a kindred spirit in a fictional character. If I could shop, travel, decorate a house, throw a party, ride a horse (hilarious--see the movie) or educate a son with someone, I would wish to do it with Auntie Mame. I want her as my aunt, but she'll just have to do with being my new icon. Has this ever happened to you? Have you wished a fictional character was real, and a good friend of yours? Who was it?


Been There Done That

Do I remember how to post? It has been so long. Ellery and I were invited to my neighbor's townhome just outside Breckenridge Colorado in a resort town called Silverthorne. We packed up the truck and did the 12 hr drive no problem--I knew there would be views like this. At Sapphire Point, we gave the kids sunflower seeds to feed the squirrels.

I got a few to come to me, but they preferred the younger kids. See the little squirrel by Ellery's right hand? A Snow White moment-not unlike a maiden and a Unicorn.

Andrew, Ellery, Amanda and Lexi. We took bike rides across bridges, played Sorry and Jacks, sat on the patio sipping warm drinks, the girls took bubble baths together, window shopped at the Outlets, saw a movie, explored towns, and stuff like that.

Lexi and Ellery at the Continental Divide. The locals bring their dogs up here if they happen to get fleas. The lack of oxygen kills them instantly (and almost me too). The altitude got to me too--dry skin, tired feeling. Ellery got a headache. But, the view----the view is beautiful.

We traipsed through the small surrounding towns--Frisco with its cool museum village--(I read a personal history of a girl who skiied to a winter dance, danced till 1am, skiied back and got home at 5am, all while it was 60below outside. Her grandmother told her "We won't be doing that again!"), Georgetown with its fun park and shops (here's an old fashioned candy and ice-cream parlor. They had fresh cinnamon carmel popcorn spread out to cool--it made the shop smell delicious.)

We were going to leave on Mon. so Ellery could get back for school but we decided to stay AWOL longer--the kids took a raft trip down the Blue River's spring run-off. They were the last run of the day so the cute college guides let them go down twice!

In a more violent battle with Ellery's underwear elastic than I would like to admit, I did something wrong to my finger. Here's my other healthy one for convenient comparison:

Now the arthritic "I am an old hag who eats frog eyes for breakfast"-finger:

I caught the tip of my finger on the elastic while pushing down under Ellery's jeans for a weggie-avoiding adjustment and *snap*. I heard something pop and now I have a Dr. appt next Monday. For the moment I wrap it in a splint. I was advised to RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). I don't mind saying that the elevation part is entertaining to me, for I can, for purely medicinal reasons, walk around flipping the world the bird. The chuckles I get from medicinal bird-flipping makes up for my increasing worry that harp playing is in jeopardy. I may have to get a tendon re-attached. I tried playing yesterday (stupid) only to wake up this morning at approximately 3:18am with a throbbing digit. If I can play the harp again without having surgery, I would just live with the disfigurement--but with stretchmarks, cellulite, fine lines on the face and neck, I am inclined to keep the growing list of disfigurements at a minimum and have the procedure for cosmetic reasons. We'll see what Dr. Hand says--(his real name is Dr. Han). haha


Baby Baby Baby

Gotta see this. The perks of having a teen as a sibling.


Going the Way of the World

My harp, named Grail, broke a string and now I feel like she's a hillbilly missing a tooth in front. I haven't changed it yet because there is only one piece I'm working on that has me play a high E. But I will eventually get to it--fix what's broken, renew the over-used, bring order out of chaos. The effort it takes to do simple things like change the string-or:

Dye a bleach spot on my black skirt,
Cover chipped finish on my coffee table,

or re-faux my music room wall (victim of heavy rain fall that seeped through the roof)

proves to me there is a God. The skill and intelligence to do basic renewal and redemption-to reverse the natural tendency of the universe toward entropy and chaos--what must it take to prepare, stabilize and maintain a planet to sustain complex life forms? I know the concept that it is a mathematic given that at some point, somewhere, at some time, it was bound to happen. But what are the chances that the above objects "going the way of the world" will happen to just get fixed-without intelligent intervention. This is why I want to believe in God. This is why I want to believe a resurrection or continuation of consciousness of some sort can happen. So, I can fix my toothless harp and the bleach spot on the skirt. Cyler can fix the table, and I'll have the painters come look at what they can do to fix the wall. And someday God will fix me.