Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving: Myths, Misinformation & Tradition

As I mentioned below, while I was excitedly preparing for my family's Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday, I printed out some, what I thought were cute coloring pages of pumpkins, cornucopias, turkeys, and Pilgrims and Indians shaking hands for the kids to scribble on while the food is being prepared. Fun, right? After absorbing some new information, I realized why the picture of the Pilgrims and Indians made me slightly uncomfortable, and I ended up putting them in the recycling box.

As I'm taking my lunch break today, I thought I'd entertain myself for a few minutes by brushing up on my Thanksgiving history. A quick search on google brought up a number of articles, and I headed here (http://www.2020tech.com/thanks/temp.html) when I saw the words, "The Plymouth Thanksgiving Story - A very informative collection of information, including some challenging observations from a Native American viewpoint." I encourage you to read some or all of it.

Challenging observations and viewpoints they are. Not because I doubt the accuracy of the information here, but because it challenges us to question what we were taught as grade school children, and the foundation for a very lovely holiday that we are about to celebrate. The fantastic thing about reading about Thanksgiving from a wider perspective is that we have the opportunity to know a bigger piece of the truth, and to share it with the next generation to the best of our ability.

I won't lie... knowing the truth... how badly the people who came to this country treated those who already had lived here for thousands of years... is not exactly fun or rosy. But its important to note that regardless of what the truth is about the Plymouth Thanksgiving, it does not take away from the spirit of the Thanksgiving that we celebrate today.

My Thanksgiving is about coming together as family and friends and loved ones, contributing to a meal that we can all enjoy together, celebrating harvest season,taking the time to outwardly say thank you for something we are grateful to have in our lives, to laugh and play, and to set the stage with a mindset of thankfulness and giving as we enter the holiday season.

I'm really, really thankful for truth and for the freedom I have in this country to seek out truth, find pieces of it, and spread it to other people. Thank you America.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I heart Thanksgiving

It's true.

How I'm preparing and celebrating this year (in list form):
  • I bought my sweet potatoes and mini marshmallows to make my assigned side dish.
  • I am taking precautions to ensure that we have EXTRA gravy this year, since we always run out of this first....
  • I am eating everything in my fridge like a banshee in order to make room for the massive amounts of leftovers I am fantasizing about.
  • I printed off pictures of turkeys and pilgrims and cornucopias for the toddlers to scribble wildly on (Hey, a mom can dream that her child is enthusiastic about art, can't she?).
  • I am seriously ecstatic about watching this on TV tonight
  • I took the day off tomorrow so I can cook, cook, cook.
  • I am cook, cook, cooking on Wednesday so I can wake up on Thursday morning and enjoy the Macy's parade on TV, be with my family that is visiting from out of town, and maybe even go for a long, long walk in caloric preparation for eating all the goodness that awaits me at dinner.
  • I am doing shoulder squashing exercises in order to prepare for my role as person number 12 around a table that is meant to seat 8.
I love it all.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Shhhh.... I'm home alone.

How often does this happen? Seriously, almost never.

I've got the whole house, it's actually pretty clean, and I'm starting to dig in my neglected boxes full of crafting supplies and unfinished projects to make some lovely Christmas presents for my dear ones.

Wish I could share them now, but since I know some of my family members read this blog (hi mom and dad!), it'll have to wait so as not to spoil their surprises around the tree on Christmas morning.

Have a lovely weekend!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

art, his way

Addison, much like me, likes to do things "the right way." And, much like his daddy, he's a left-brainer, He likes structure, logic, numbers, and scientific thinking with a right answer.

I, on the other hand, am, and always have been an artist. I love to create. So, imagine how I have gritted my teeth and tried to keep a smile on my face after spending 15 minutes getting an art project all set up for Addison and I to do together, only to have him sit for about 3 seconds flat, make one mark on the paper and then run off like a banshee. And there I sit at the dining table, alone, with construction paper and finger paints, letting out a huge sigh before I have to clean it all up.

I've tried it all ---- play-doh and paints, crayons, glue, stickers and markers. Now I am smarter and save most art projects for places where someone else has done all the set up (like OMSI). Still, it usually looks something like this.

So, I tried a new tactic.
Knowing that Addison thrives on doing things "the right way" I finally broke down and did what I've tried so hard not to do. I showed him step-by-step how to draw a person. We make the head and the body, the eyes, the hair... all the body parts, and we practice doing it just so.

And if that works for him, then by golly, I can let it go.

Monday, November 17, 2008

churches and webs

This past week has been an interesting one. My son and I both caught nasty cold-type bugs and while he recovered quickly, I have been out for the count. For seven days, my life has mostly consisted of sleep, getting the things that HAD to be done, done (exciting things like laundry and dishes and feeding the cat) - and trying to assure my husband that I do want to spend time with him but I am simply too exhauste-----zzzzzzzzzzzz. Sorry, Ben.

I often wonder how many of you bloggers do it all. Visit lovely places, take exquisite pictures, upload them, write about them, comment on other people's blogs, create amazing handcrafted products and sell them at local craft fairs... It simply amazes me, the webs you spin, and here I am running at a mad speed, trying to keep up.

I do wonder, do you work outside your home? Do you have children? These are the things that occupy most of my days and weeks, sometimes keeping me from attending to my blog. But sometimes, I get creative and am able to find inspiration without even stepping outside of my daily life.

Last week, I took a little walk outside my workplace and was admiring all the cute churches, each less than a block away. I thought I'd share them with you.




Also, when I stepped outside early, early this weekend, I was delighted to find this beautiful dew-covered web.

But the best part wasn't the web at all. It was all the walking paths that each little spider had taken, suddenly made visible.

Every leap from leaf to leaf, or drop from tree to ground, was suddenly documented. It seemed like a good analogy for this blog. I love having the opportunity to shed light on my life and share it with you. It brings meaning into some of my daily activities that might otherwise be mundane. Thanks for watching me walk here and there even though I haven't yet begun to spin my web.
Soon, Then...

Friday, November 14, 2008

a wee break to muster up some energy

Sorry for the silence around here. We are up to our knees in colds, ear infection-like conditions, and other states of complete exhaustion.

Please bear with me. I'll be back very soon!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

undocumented, but still good

oh dear, oh dear.

I left my camera at home this weekend...oh the photos that will never be! I kicked myself all the way to my hometown and back. It was bittersweet each time I saw things through the eyes of my camera, with the realization that I had no way to document it, no way to save it and share it with you. Sigh.

Missed photos:
  1. The empty lot that, until a few years ago, held my childhood home.
  2. The life-size statues of bearded men and Native Americans at the infamous Charburger restaurant in Hood River, OR.
  3. The amazing home of some great people who had us over for roasted chicken and potatoes, fresh green beans, freshly pressed apple cider from fruit that grows on their own trees, and an apple galette for dessert (You should have seen the sun room filled with blooming geraniums).
  4. The Gorge during autumn.
The weekends have been so lovely this fall. Calm and full of meet-ups with family, friends, and people from my past. Its getting me all warmed up for the holidays. I guess it time to get started on all the holiday preparation, but I don't want to spoil being in the moment right now with all that planning. I'm just going to savor it for a bit more.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The morning after

I am so elated, there are not words to express.

If you'd like to relive the experience of watching someone fulfill an unlikely dream that inspires, I highly recommend the movie Man on Wire.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to see this amazing documentary of a man who wire-walked between the twin towers in the 70s. Between the movie and Obama's win, I now believe anything is possible with a dream, hard work, perseverance and the backing of good people.

Enjoy the glow, people.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cargo (or something to distract me while the election results pour in)


I'm listening to npr call the election state by state, and its sounding pretty good, but I'm not celebrating til its over.

In the meantime, let's look at some pictures.


felt beads

color boxes


glass beads

painted bamboo

Aren't the colors in this store amazing?

If you haven't already, I highly recommend going to Cargo. It is a feast for the eyes... and a photographer's (or in my case, someone who likes to pretend to be one) dream.


Now back to the election (fingers crossed)...

Monday, November 3, 2008

lovely Portland weekend

To sum up my weekend: satisfying


I kicked off the weekend attending a Halloween party that Martha Stewart would have been proud to attend. We're talking festive decorations in every form in every nook and cranny of this fantastic house, four kinds of homemade chili and all the accoutrements, a chocolate fondue fountain, orange and black jello shots, a full bar complete with Halloween goblets and glow in the dark shot glasses, karaoke, a putt putt green on the front lawn, party favors, and lots of candy candy candy. It was unbelievable.

Lucky for me, I woke up bright and chipper the next morning and Ben and I headed out for a rare morning date to some fun places in Portland.

First stop was the Catlin Gabel Rummage Sale. If you haven't been before, hopefully you can make it next year; it is certainly worth attending. This was the third day of the sale, so things were a bit picked through, but we still found some gems -- mainly books, toys and clothes on the cheap.

Next, we headed to this coffee and teahouse, where I had a chance to browse through this lovely book. I found myself brought to tears by a few of the stories, and just adored looking at the fine art pictures through the whittled down theme of love. I was able to notice the subtle looks between lovers, the tiny gestures that make the works so fantastic and their artists so genius.

Then we headed to Saint Cupcake to pick up some treats. My brother and sister both have birthdays in the first half of November, so my family gathered together to celebrate.

saint cupcake

saint cupcake

My mother surprised us all by showing a compilation of all the silent "home videos" from our early early childhood. First feedings, learning to walk, coming home from the hospital, and all of those memories that would otherwise be completely lost. I had only seen this footage one other time in my life and that was when I was eight. It was a special, special treat and it wasn't even my birthday! Thanks Mom!

We enjoyed dinner together at the Rheinlander, one of the best places in town for a large family group on special occasions. This restaurant gave us a private room and excellent service, and our cute accordion player played some great tunes. They even let us bring in the cupcakes! We really had a great time.

The Rheinlander

We made one other trip to a fantastic place downtown that so many of you lovely bloggers have mentioned.


I can't wait to more of share my photos from Cargo with you tomorrow!