Looking for Signs of Life

A brown curled claw
skittering along the ground

Singular movement amidst
the frozen expanse of pavement

Only when you get close enough to see the fingers,
knuckles scraping the rocky surface,
can you distinguish the knobs of an oak leaf,
stem protruding like a tail

Propelled by the wind

a legion of birds wrapped in wing
a chipmunk
a squirrel,
a lizard scampering by

All alive according to the eye

But in this cold raw place between snow and spring
dry, brittle leaves are all that dance
born on the rhythm of weather patterns and wishful thinking

Strip of Summer

A strip of skin

crisp to the touch

kissed by the sun.


An out of context reminder

that summer is falling away.


Flowers bloom

but look sad next

to the heads of wild grass

bowing low

laden with seeds.


Vibrant yellow,

brown edges

creeping closer to the center.



all will be dry and brittle

like a strip of sunburned skin.

Damn the Weather, Man

That’s a very precariously placed comma.

I don’t wish eternal damnation upon all meteorologists, nor do I have the authority. However, as an anxiety-sufferer who already has enough on her plate, weather reports add another element of doom and gloom.

Perhaps if I didn’t live in New England at the ever-encroaching tail-end of winter . . .

from realbodywork.com

Perhaps if the cold clime didn’t make my already shriveled trapezius muscles jerk ever upward . . .

Perhaps if I woke up in the morning, looked at the thermometer and decided on my wardrobe at that moment on current conditions . . .

Perhaps if I could notice the gentle unfolding of the season with my own eyes rather than through the lens of radar screens and predetermined dates on the calendar . . .

Maybe, then, I wouldn’t be psychologically distraught at the impending snow storm we’re about to get.

I wouldn’t be worried about the fresh shoots that I’d unearthed beneath their layer of winter leaves. I wouldn’t bemoan the loss of soft earth between my fingers that I’d felt just this weekend. I wouldn’t begrudgingly look at the lightweight fleece jacket hanging forlornly on the doorknob.

I wouldn’t feel trapped. I wouldn’t feel like I was experiencing a relapse into unforgiving ways. I wouldn’t be nervously anticipating the loss of something I’d only barely gotten a grip on.

Driving home and noticing shutters pulled tight against the windows of a historical building that I swear I’d never noticed shut before, I actually thought of banishing all weather reports from my existence. If I didn’t know I was supposed to be battening down the hatches, I might delight in the snow. At the very least, I’d adjust accordingly when I woke up that morning by pulling on my knee socks and down coat. I wouldn’t obsess. I wouldn’t worry. I might actually live in the moment.

And that, dear people, is really what this is all about, isn’t it? It never really was about weather reports. That’s my irrational psyche’s way of pulling attention away from what is really at the heart of the matter. If I can blame the weather man for my obsessive tendencies, then I don’t have to take the onus on myself. That I can’t live in the moment. That I can’t still the whirling dervish in my mind and so must look to external forces, such as a lovely spring day, to calm me. Or, in their absence, to name as the reason for my failures.

If only the sun were shining, my heart would be light.

If only spring had truly sprung, my mood would refresh.

If only I had no prior knowledge, I wouldn’t obsess and worry.

If only it were that easy.

(Though weather reports and the attendant technology do pull us out of synch with the natural rhythms of the earth and our surroundings. ūüėČ )

Bunkin’ Crazy

Two nights ago I stayed up until two in the morning searching for Ikea hacks.

Yes, that is correct.  I deprived myself of precious sleep to troll the internet for the most perfectly imperfect set of bunk beds I could find.

I’m in that seasonal state of flux that rolls around every 3-4 months. ¬†This time the feelings are even more urgent because ‘winter is coming’ (at least I don’t have to deal with white walkers – thank goodness!) and everything – our minds, our activities – turns inward.

I’m starting to notice that maze of boxes I left in the basement after a summer scavenger hunt; the piles of clothes that need to be sorted into bins after leaving the drawers to be filled with sweaters and fleece that -just-won’t-fit (at least if I want the drawers closed!); the clothing, supplies, books, toys . . . that my children are starting to outgrow that don’t need to be junking up the joint.

In this sorting and stowing maelstrom, the need for bunk beds in the room my middle and youngest daughters share is making itself vehemently known. ¬†As if the insistent reminders of my middle daughter would let me forget. ūüėČ

In my dreams – that’s right I said MY dreams – I would get a bunk with a rock wall to scale the top bunk, a slide to descend, and a secret nook below. ¬†If not for the problem of maintaining a marital bed, I think that would still be my ultimate dream bed – regardless that I’m supposed to be grown up. ¬†Alas, I don’t think my husband is looking to relive his days on a tight bunk on a Coast Guard ship. ¬†Besides, I can’t afford and/or justify the exorbitant price tag.

If you can afford or justify it, get one - they're gorgeous!

If you can afford or justify it, get one – they’re gorgeous!

Bunk beds in the midrange are still overpriced for the level of quality the consumer receives. ¬†Wood? ¬†MDF with a veneer that looks sickly plastic? ¬†Weirdly placed slats and drawers? ¬†So I figured, since I’m not going to get what I want, I may as well make the price a little more tolerable.

Enter Ikea.

But I’m stubborn and still trying for the extra storage and whimsical details of other bunks I’ve seen and so went searching for hacks to make my own. ¬†If my bedtime that night is any indication, I did not find one. ¬†Some of them looked like hacks. ¬†Some of them would work for a college student used to precarious positions, but not for my rowdy children (especially on the top bunk). ¬†Some of them included far too much carpentry for my tastes. ¬†So I guess that makes me lazy and cheap and incredibly hard to please.

I almost broke up the marital bed even without my dream bunk because my husband was none too happy with me when I finally crawled in. ¬†Call it my seasonal nesting, I could not rest until I’d found a solution (or given up in defeat that morning). ¬†It’s driving me nuts that the current system is not working and yet I can’t find a satisfactory replacement.

Then the neon postcard from a local charity came in saying they would be making the rounds soon to collect. ¬†That’s all I needed. ¬†I went into hyperdrive, stockpiling all I could to clear it out!

If I can talk my father into going to Ikea with me while you’re at work, I can get the bunk and we can break down the crib and donate that. ¬†And the mattress. ¬†And the crib sheets and the crib set . . .

Maybe it’s reverse nesting. ¬†But that’s another post.

If you’ve learned nothing else from this post: Know that bunk beds are ridiculously overpriced and one should not shop for one during a seasonal stir-up or under the effects of extreme sleep deprivation. ¬†Happy Purging and Dreaming!

Non-superstitious Scenes from September 13

I set out on an errand with no particular subject in mind for today’s photos, but camera safely stowed in the passenger seat. ¬†Then I spied this scene on the side of the road.

I couldn't decide between this shot, wild grasses and golden rod framing it out . . .

I couldn’t decide between this shot, wild grasses and golden rod framing it out . . .

Or this one with the focus on the reds and reflections.

Or this one with the focus on the reds and reflections.



Scenes from September 2


Baby frog (or toad Рthe girls and I have not sorted that out yet) that started out on our porch, then hopped under the chairs, off the edge under the rail, onto the grass from the raised flower bed Рall through which we gave chase.  Then most likely a  heart attack as my camera flashed at the poor little thing as I focused.  He looks huge here, but so tiny and delicate.


I’ll climb the walls if I have to in order to get away from you people!


A few mosquitoes, damp grass, the softly falling first leaves of the next season, a photographic excursion the night before the first day of school where time seems to stop, the season of summer suspended in its last breaths.

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