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Category Archives: Beauty

Hoppin’ Down the Bunny Trail

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Today my mom, sis, Norah, and I dyed Easter eggs.  We skipped the artificial food coloring and made our own dyes.  I never liked chemistry class but this experiment was so much fun!  And messy.  I think I may have permanently dyed mom’s white porcelain sink. 

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My favorite was an earthy green we got from mixing turmeric and boiled red cabbage.  We discovered a lovely blue from one of the concoctions–I think it was baking soda, beets, and red cabbage.  We wrapped one egg in red onion peels and dropped in hot water giving us a speckly tye-die egg.  Spinach and daffodils yielded a pale yellow.  We put rubber bands on a few eggs before dying for variation.  Norah enjoyed crushing the blueberries and spinning an egg around in the beets.  One note:  dropping a white egg in coffee simply makes a brown egg.  I already had brown eggs in the fridge.  Doh. 

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Romantic Notions

My lovely husband invited me for an afternoon on Lake Jocassee today.  We paddled to a secluded cove for picnicking, napping in the sun, and exploring.  Alright, I napped in the sun.  Scott turned into a 9 year old boy–he threw rocks in the water, tracked the borders of our cove, planned our survival in case of catastrophe, and debated building a fire. 

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Jocassee is my favorite lake.  I have deep romantic notions about her water.  And I have some fear of her.  She is not warm and welcoming like Keowee or Hartwell.  She is cold and beautiful and unfathomable.  I love to swim at the base of the rocky cliffs where the water is freezing black deep.  I can lose myself staring into the earthy green moss dripping with froth at Laurel Fork Falls.  I’ve even imagined how powerful it would be to give birth in one of the pools carved out by the waterfall.  Of course, it might be a little cold and I’d probably scare some trout fisherman out of his waders! 

Enough rambling.  I had a lovely day on the water with my sweet hubby.  We didn’t make it back to the landing before the gates shut.  Thankfully, the park ranger was a former student employee of mine and he was merciful.  Now I stink of boating gear–a musty smell of neoprene–my face is sun-pinked, and I carry tiny glistens of sand in my skin. 

I sparkle.             

Due Date

What do you do on a due date such as this?  Today I should be bulging with belly.  I would complain with some pride about my backache and my difficulty sleeping.  I would be toying with ideas of spicy food, acupressure, sex, herbal teas, or maybe, the dreaded castor oil.  I would spend hours doing Yoga.  I would make final preparations–are those tiny cloth diapers spotless and handy?  Is that a dog hair on my chocolate Moby?  Have the ceilings been scrubbed?  Video camera charged?  Birth supplies ready?  I would be vibrating with the excitement of birth.  Would it be as beautiful this time?  Would I choose waterbirth or something different?  What new strength would I find?  What newness would I learn of God? 

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Instead, here I am–drinking caffeinated coffee with flat(ish) belly; knowing I’ve already learned new lessons and God is as with me today as he was in September.  And the strength–I have already found it and carry it with me today.  My husband already caught this baby and we have already held him.   

Today means that I can release the last breath I’ve been holding.  And breathe in the deep of the Child already given to us whose name is Peace.          

Mimicry

Scott and I indulged in unintentional mimicry last night.  In our pre-parent times, when we lived on an escarpment above Albany, we had a standard date night:  chips/salsa at Chili’s, coffee/book-buying at Borders, and then the treacherous winding climb home. 

Helderberg Escarpment

For last night’s date, our plans went awry and before we knew it, we were sitting in Chili’s; a place I love only for salsa.  Unable to help it, we gravitated to B&N.  The coffee was not wonderful and–ahem–not fairly traded.  Like old times, I found myself on the floor passionately gazing at the poetry shelves. I could buy a book.  Which one?  I chose to pass over my beloveds.  I pushed Neruda back in place.  I lingered for a moment on Clifton, Sarton, Levertov, and Oliver.  Atwood held me for a breathless second.  I refused to make eye contact with Rilke–he is too powerful and would overcome my intent for new words.  Without looking back, I snatched Anne Carson’s The Beauty of the Husband.  Someone new!  Would I like her?  Would she me?  Clutching her in my hands, I sat in the car as we drove in the snow (also a frequent occurence on NY dates).  In the warmth of home, I absorbed her words:

Beauty convinces.  You know beauty makes sex possible. 

Beauty makes sex sex.

You if anyone grasp this–hush, let’s pass

to natural situations.

Other species, which are not poisonous, often have colorations and patterns

similar to poisonous species. 

This imitation of a poisonous by a nonpoisonous species is called mimicry.

My husband was no mimic.   

Off to a promising start.

Surprised by small things

My friend, Laura, recently introduced me to the wonders of spaghetti squash.  What an amazing vegetable!  Who knew squash could masquerade as pasta?  Is my enthusiasm naive?  Does everyone know about spaghetti squash?  Laura taught me her culinary ways:  Slice in half (not easy–imagine arm muscle on the pumpkin carving scale), scrape out the guts, boil 20-30 minutes, submerge in cold water.  Then the fun:  scrape with a fork and watch the spaghetti pile up on your plate.  I tossed mine with some pesto sauce.  The Creator is incredible.  What a surprise he crafted in this mundane-looking yellow veggie!  How he must delight in small things (like me).   

Well, that is about all I have the energy to blog.  I had a birth last night and the need for some sleep is muddling my brain.  I can happily report that an unmedicated woman gave birth to a peachy perfect, alert baby last night.  And it was her first time.  And it was in a hospital.  Birth.  Yep, good stuff. 

Small things.

Moonshadow

The beauty I have seen today:

  • A sweet postpartum mama and her precious 6 week old.  It is an incredible experience to watch a couple become parents. 
  • Norah dancing around the house in her polka dot undies singing Moonshadow.
  • My friend Laura’s campus Bible study and her unfathomable care for others. 
  • A two-year old’s positive thinking while on the potty:  “Poopy, come out.  Come out, poopy.”
  • The amazing play table Scott built for Norah’s dollhouse.  Wow.

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And the ugly:

  • An advertisement for a local pregnancy seminar:  So You Think You’re Smarter Than Your OB/GYN? taught by an OB, of course.
  • A grocery store scene.  I hate witnessing those. 
  • Words I said.  I squirted tart in a friend’s eye. 
  • My hair.  Um, I really need to wash it.  Really.