Archive for October, 2009

Pot on the Teapot?

Earlier this week I had a near-tragic experience with this teapot.   



It’s a story that  involves my mother and illegal drugs. I’ll get to that  in a minute, I promise.  But  first, some history.

About a year ago my husband and I chanced upon this store and were immediately smitten.  There were shelves of heavy, cast-iron teapots in a range of sizes and colors, and with various designs imprinted upon their rotund bodies.  We saw an eye-catching blue pot with whimsical dragonflies. There was a rich orange-red vessel across which a dragon flaunted his curling tail. And the teas! 

Green, white, black, oolong, mate, leaves, fruits, nuts, spices;  fragrant blends in loose-leaf form ready for scooping into  bags or tempting tins.  We bought  a few ounces, declared the store a new favorite and went home.  The teas were delicious.  We were hooked. 

On Christmas morning  our house reverberated with squeals of delight when I opened a gift from my husband. My very own teapot.  The warm color and simple leaf design were perfect. 

Now to my mom.   A few days ago when I had my precious pot sitting out in the kitchen, my mom cornered me in another part of the house.

“Why does your teapot have marijuana leaves on it?

“What?  What are you talking about?” 

“Marijuana leaves.  On your teapot.  Did you not know what those are?”

“Mom, I wouldn’t know a marijuana leaf from a fig leaf!”

“Hmph!  Clearly you don’t work in public schools.”

(Weakly) “But…J gave that to me for Christmas, he wouldn’t give me something with marijuana leaves on it.  He must not have realized…”

“Please!  He’s from California.”

“But…but, all their teapots are decorated with meaningful symbols, they’re not just random designs!  Are you sure? I’m checking this out on the internet…  ”

So I did.  And look what I found.


Meaningful symbol?

Meaningful symbol?


I found marijuana leaves.  Leaves that look so precisely like what adorns the circumference of my teapot that I no longer questioned my mom.

Once again, for comparison.



Look familiar?


What I didn’t find:  any indication that marijuana leaves are a symbol of courage, prosperity, hope, joy, peace, or the promise of a really great hair day once in a while.

I was deflated.  Would this be a bad example for my children?  Could I come up with some kind of righteous symbolism for the marijuana leaf before my eldest reached adolescence?  Would that even be a good idea?  

Fortunately, I mentioned my problem on Facebook and within hours a friend came to my rescue with links to photos and discussions proving that marijuana leaves can be difficult to distinguish from…Japanese maple leaves

As soon as I perused the links, my common sense kicked in. Of course they could only be Japanese maple leaves.  Because why on earth would marijuana leaves be on a Japanese teapot?


I'm sorry I ever doubted you, beloved.

I'm sorry I ever doubted you, beloved.


Lesson learnedDon’t listen to your loving, 60+, straight-as-an-arrow-mother when it comes to illicit leaves.  

Once again happy to brew, 



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Are you familiar with the story of Sisyphus?  Here’s a hint:  mythological King of Corinth, condemned by the gods to push a boulder up a hill only to watch it roll down so that he could start all over.  Repeat for eternity.


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As fulfilling and lovely as my life is, I often feel a warm sense of kinship with Sisyphus.  It has something to do with having several young children and trying to keep the  house clean.  Fingerprints wiped from windows and table tops reappear moments later.  Dirt dusted shoes scamper across freshly mopped floors.  Then there’s the laundry.  


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Please note:  this is not my laundry.  I just liked the photo. It’s the shadows, I think, and that cute dress hanging in the middle.


We have this miraculous laundry basket.    I can upend the entire thing into the yawning mouth of my washing machine, give it a good shake to make sure I got everything, and when I set it back in its corner spot, it fills up immediately!  I think it happens as soon as I start the wash cycle.

So housework is the boulder in my life right now.  Actually,  it’s the boulder in my mother’s life right now. I lay around drinking enough water to bathe my youngest child and eating Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares. Mom keeps the house and kids in order.

But that will change before too much longer.  Thankfully, I can shove the rock with one hand and eat chocolate with the other!


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Pink Knockout



Tea pot



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We all experience disappointment.   Beginning at an early age,  our expectations of what will happen are frequently upended.



This little girl expected to make it to home base before her brother tagged her out.


Sometimes the disappointment is devastating, life-altering.  And sometimes it’s merely inconvenient–a let-down for sure–but in the grand scheme of things, little more than an annoyance.  (Like bed rest.)  In such cases, a mature person adapts and makes the best of their situation.


She didn't make it home, but she executed an extremelly graceful pout.

She didn't make it home, but she pulled off an extremely graceful pout!



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Nobody told me it was potentially addictive.  Now I’m too far gone, a hopeless case. And while I can sometimes pull it off, more often the results are not pretty.  But I can’t stop.


Hello, my name is K and I’m a Photoshop-aholic.


Before I started using, I thought this was perfect.

Before I started using, I thought this was perfect.


I don’t know exactly how I got here.  It used to be that I was satisfied with whatever  emerged from my economical little point-and-shoot.  Cropping and red-eye-reduction were the extent of my edits. 


Now this is interesting, yet kind of creepy somehow.  What else can I try...?

I don't know. Something about this strikes me as a little creepy.


Now I can’t leave any photo alone. 


Ok, much better.  Back to full color with a soft golden light.  But now I want to try...

Back to full color with a soft golden light. I feel much better.


And I want a real camera, like this.  


Oh, look at this!  It's kind of dreamy and that light is interesting.  I think I like it!  Hmm, now what should I try?

Interesting light, kind of dreamy. I think I like it! Hmmm, what should I try next...?


I fear my Photoshop issue is just a gateway problem to bigger things.



PS:  This photo playtime was made possible by PW Action Sets, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.

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Exercise, How I Miss Thee!

The stretch and heat

dripping sweat

the sweet


for pounding feet and striding limbs.


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Yes, really.  

I suppose there is never a convenient time for an extended hospital stay, but our recent medical problems struck at a particularly inconvenient time for us.  In the midst of packing up our house, showing it to potential buyers, and tending to all the details necessary to moving a family cross-country, we simply did not have time for me to laze around in a hospital bed for days on end!  (Believe me, I tried explaining this to my doctor many times and she was, shall we say, marginally sympathetic.)

The grace in the midst of all this stress and anxiety?

My Husband:  He was already handling a vast array of moving related responsibilities, and since October 2nd,  has taken on mine as well.  All this in addition to being the sole parent at home and navigating the changes from one job to another.

My Mother:  The minute I alerted her that I was stuck in the hospital, she made plans to be here within  hours.  Then, she spent the next week helping supervise the kids and our home while my husband finished his last week at work.

Family & Friends:  My older brother and his wife sent me flowers, chocolates, and encouraging e-mails; my younger brother  called me at least once every day; friends have called, sent e-mails and provided meals; and a  couple of our brawny pals of the male persuasion lent their muscle to our moving effort.

All of these wondeful people have taken on extra responsibilities and gone out of their way to express love and encouragement.  They were willing tools, vessels for the grace of God which I needed minute by minute as I lay in the hospital and fretted over how my kids, husband, home, things could possibly continue in a state approximating normalcy without my presence.

(Everyone survived, by the way.  So my sojourn in the hospital was not only boring, anxiety-inducing and inconvenient, it was humbling as well. ) 

Two weeks ago we had a moving plan.  It was thorough, accounting for all financial and logistical details.  It was firm.

Now we have a new plan. It might change tomorrow afternoon, and if not then, it might change anytime soon after that.  Or it might work out…

Revising my expectations,


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