Scattered – I’ve been truly scattered this last two weeks. Some of it is that Jack’s passing, and the anniversaries of other friends who have passed has me distracted (and, sister, I am distracted), but that’s just part of it. It isn’t that things aren’t happening, or that there’s been too much happening, even; I’ve just been having a tough time of organizing what it all is. Welcome to my January – I’m pretty sure that January and February are like this every year, to be completely honest.

So! Random thoughts, no particular order:

1. Chard-
Where have you been all my life? How could I have not known about you until I’m properly in my forties? Holy carp, chard! I want to eat you and eat you and eat you. I want to eat you with rice and tuna, I want to eat you in soup. I want to eat you gently wilted with garlic and olive oil. I want to chop up your delightful rainbow-colored stems and put them into my salad. Oh, chard, I adore you!

So we had soup  last night. Lentil soup with sausage, chard and garlic, to be precise (Oh, Smitten Kitchen,  I adore you!) and it called for this new vegetable. It’s not often I run into a vegetable that I haven’t tried at some point, so I was a wee bit excited in the produce aisle, I’ll admit. I set up the soup and ribboned up the chard to be ready for the last few minutes of cooking, and then while stirring said soup, decided to sample the chard and see what’s up. I called Dearest Will in to join me and my puzzled expression. He took a taste and promptly brought his own puzzled expression to the party. We couldn’t figure this stuff out – there are flavors of bok choy, beets, and citrus in there, alongside a slight astringency reminiscent of spinach, and a delightful crunch. Love. I went back for seconds on the soup because the soup was delicious, and the chard made that happen. So, um, chard may be my new favorite vegetable.

2. Meditation-
I’m trying.* Clearly, I am a slow learner. At least I’ve set up a nice space to focus.**

3. I am about over mean people-
By mean people I don’t mean to say plain old difficult people – difficult people I understand. People have complications and they get difficult sometimes, I get that. We are human, we stumble sometimes, and require qualifications to get the heck back up. But mean people? People who get off on being pushy, who go out of their way to be critical, firmly confrontational like they’ve been around the block on this and they’re doing it for their own jollies? I have no time or patience for it anymore. I’m giving them up for 2013. Life is too damned short for that horseshit.  When I do have to deal with them (like, hypothetically, of course, at work) I’m learning to firmly say, “Ok,” and not get emotionally involved, let the rest roll off like water on a duck.

4. Art, reconnection-
Thank goodness for the people who have never been mean to me. I recently reconnected with a dear friend from high school,*** and she’s still making gorgeous artwork and getting it out into the world. In fact, I need to go to my post box at some point today, because Joie and I traded some work, and I am absolutely stoked to hang her drawing on the wall beside my desk! But listen, there’s something else here too:

Seeing her work has inspired me back into my own work – over the last few months my concentration has been iffy at best, and the work that’s called to me is the stitching – making sewn books, making scarves, sewing. But the reconnection with Joie has brought me back to the cutting mat, and it is downright delicious. I am grateful, grateful, grateful.

Little Things (The Taking Down of) by Joie Scott Higgins

Here’s the picture that she’s sending me, which, if you know me, is so very very perfect.

Joie Scott Higgins is incredibly prolific, and she often has work up for sale. You can check out more of her work on facebook here, and purchase her work from her brandy new Etsy shop here.

5. Book!
Suzi Banks Baum’s delicious book, An Anthology of Babes: 35 Women Give Motherhood a Voice will be arriving into the world next month! I have read this baby in proofs, and I am thrilled at the prospect of holding it in my hands – so many amazing voices! So many really great stories!

And! The Berkshire Festival of Women Writers will be hosting the book release March 1st at this year’s reading, Out of the Mouths of Babes: An Evening of Mothers Reading to Others.† Last year’s production was standing room only, and pretty freaking osm. You can check out the details of this year’s event here. As soon as I have the info on the book being publicly for sale, I’ll post up here about it. Also, I’m sure the info will arrive on Laundry Line Divine  soon – have you been there yet? Lots of good stuff!

So, there we go – just needed some numbers to bring it all together, right? More as it happens ♥

***

*Also, there’s the possibility that I may be trying too hard.
**And saved a plant in the process.
Dear Aloe,
I’m sorry I left you in that tiny pot for so long. I had no idea that you were suffering because of it. Please forgive me. I hope that you will thrive in the new blue pot, and grow big and strong. I promise to move you to a bigger pot when the time comes.
Love,
Apple.
Seriously – I noticed that the one side of the plant was beginning to turn grey, and I thought that it was just lingering ickiness from when we had scale in the windowsill plants last summer. But having transplanted it just three days ago, I’m already seeing dramatic improvement. And she compliments the shrine I’m attempting to build, like whoa.
***This, in itself is exceptional. Most of the people I went to high school with aren’t around anymore, either by dint of short life or the penal system. Of the ones that are still around, there aren’t many that I still feel a longing to be in touch with.
†The event will be hosted by Suzi Banks Baum and Gina Hyams, and feature readings by Suzi Banks Baum, Alana Chernila, Nichole Dupont, Janet Reich Elsbach, Michelle Gillett, and Jenny Laird. WooT!

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