fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Monday, March 31, 2008

Best Things are Free Day 19


I'm getting older. I'm hardly a twenty-something ingénue anymore. But I can't recall, exactly, when that happened. Probably, technically, at 30.

But the great advantage of getting older is that, although you may not become what you want, you can be who you are. So much falls away. No, I'll never be in the Olympics. No, I'll never be crowned a queen of anything, not a state, nor a state fair. I'll never perform surgery. I'll never train Shamu. I'll never climb Everest. Never say never? Already have. And I'm good with it.

Because the limitations also allow focus. I know at what I'm good and that, at which I'm not so good. I know which expectations I can exceed, and those for which I will fall short.

That said, since I've crossed off state fair queen and orthopedic surgeon, I still have a long, long list of possibilities. It even includes possibilities that were not on the list when I was that wide-eyed ingéneu. I think I know what I can do.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Best Things are Free Day 18

Laughter, like a child's. 

Not the cynical snickering or sarcastic huffs or sardonic hums I have donned with adulthood.

But that sound of five kids in a swimming pool and some made up game of "hamsters with powers" and "evil frogs" (?).

Uninhibited, innocent, joyful, silly.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Best Things Are Free Day 17


I've been reading a few laments on blogs in which the bloggers don't quite believe they meet the standard of the "perfect blog lady". I would venture to disagree that these particular bloggers are not perfect. But I digress.

I have a really big lens for my camera. 70-200mm f/2.8 is a popular lens that I would say I recognize used in magazines and, more recently, in a few überblogs. With this giant hunk of plastic and glass, you'd think I'd use it to photograph things very far away. 

Actually, it is good for seeing things that are close, but from far away. Like so many blogs. 

It's good for zeroing in on one thing and fading out the background and environment. Like so many blogs. 

It's a liar lens. Well, okay, a white-lie lens. Okay, okay, let's just say it takes a different, narrower perspective on things.

The first photograph was taken with 50mm. That is my world. I love it. But worth envy? It is tax time, so that is contributing to the paper chaos, but, still, really: C'mon.

Now the second was taken with the liar lens from the exact same spot. See? How cool is my life!

I'll take perspective over perfectionism any day.


Ich habe Smila's und Sabine's leichte Trübsal gemerkt, sie seien nicht die perfekten Blogfrauen. Ich habe meine Zweifel, daß sie diese nicht sind. Immerhin. 

Ich habe ein riesengrosses Objektiv. 70-200mm f/2.8 ist eine populäre Linse, die ich meine in vielen Zeitschriften und inzwischen auch Über-Blogs erkannt zu haben. Objektiv gesehen, meine man, ich würde das ganz weite her damit photographieren. 

Nö. Eigentlich dient dieses Objektiv nicht objektiv zu photographieren. 
Es dient dazu, das ganz Nahe von weitem zu betrachten. Wie eben so viele Blogs. 

Und dient auch dazu, den gesamten Umfeld und Hintergrund verschwimmen zu lassen. Wie eben so viele Blogs.

Sie ist eine Lügnerlinse. Na gut: fromme Lüge-Linse. Schon gut: Diese Linse sieht alles von einer anderen Perspektive, einfach.

Das erste Bild habe ich mit 50mm geschossen. Das ist meine eigentliche Welt. Ich liebe meine Welt. Aber beneidenswert? Okay, Steuererklärung ist fällig und trägt etwas zum Chaos bei, aber, ehrlich gesagt, nicht genug als meine Entschuldigung zu dienen. 

Nun das zweite Bild habe ich von der gleichen Stelle mit dem unobjektiven Objektiv, der Lügnerlinse, aufgenommen. Siehste? Wie toll ist denn meine Welt!

Es ist eine Frage der Perspektive. Die Damen, die ich "kenne" über's Nähen und über ihre Blogs (soweit frau jemanden Internetmässig kennen kann ... Hey, Langenscheidt's, "interkenneten", wie wäre's?), finde ich absolut perfekt. In der Imperfektion, perfekt. Wenn du's nicht glaubst, versuch's von einer anderen Perspektive.

Ich bevorzüge Perspektive über Perfektionismus jedes mal.

FYI: Found-Object Robot from Gammaraybots on Etsy. The lamb? Kitsch with a capital "K" from the Salvation Army thrift store.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Best Things Are Free Day 16

A place to strut in the sun and be yourself.

Occasionally, rarely, but nonetheless occasionally, a peacock will find its way to our street. 

Today was such a day.

There are a few spots in the area, in which peacocks live wild. Well, as wild as any Southern California suburb can get. Legend has it that the ancestors of these birds were imported to be living lawn ornaments in the gardens of some of the wealthier homes on the hill. Like so many of us imported species, the creatures liked the climate and stayed and nested and brooded and populated. Frankly, the property owners where these birds habitat do not much care for these finest of feathered friends. It seems the home owners find these ornithological interlopers, while perhaps beautiful (a matter of taste), to be large, rude, obtrusive and boorish. They take up too much room, strut about like they own the place and make it just difficult to enjoy the outdoors. Now, you must imagine for a minute some of these property owners who make these complaints and imagine the sizes of their homes, their cars and their egos. 

No wonder the peacocks feel right at home there, amongst their own ...  

FYI: Knoblauch skirt designed and sewn by Claudia G. ANTONIA shirt from Farbenmix, sewn by Sabine. Hey, I made the leggings!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Best Things Are Free Day 15


Because I believe, I just do.

Well, they haven't proven gravity, either. 
Yet, both faith and gravity keep me grounded and soaring. For both, I like to think in terms of relativity and string theory. They are tolerant, inclusive, contradictory and full of wonderment. 

Happy Easter.

A short Intermezzo for an Easter Dress

I have a few thoughts about Easter, including one of the very best free things given us. And also a few thoughts about one usually very level-headed and easy-going nine-year-old boy, who threw an irrational tantrum at the disproportionate number of Easter eggs he was able to find. I'm still wrapping my head around that one.

But for now, a bit of an Easter dress and my little girl's backyard Easter adventures. Again, the kids neglected to put out carrots for Easter Bunny and, again, Easter Bunny took it upon to help himself to our refrigerator, leaving dirty paw prints everywhere. And--true story--as carrots and wilted mâche were not enough for this mythical creature, we suspect E.B. broke into the garage and tore open a bag of lawn seed, scattering seeds and E.B. droppings all over the shelves. "It's Easter Bunny poo! Mommy! Easter Bunny poo! The Easter Bunny really did come!" Easter. Bunny. Poo. I'm still laughing. 

Anna's sundress, well, the buttonholes on the straps were kind of, uh, misplaced at, um, 8:00 a.m. Easter morning, so--ta da!--tie the straps into a halter!

We'll forgive E.B. for the lawn seed mess, as he did bring us this old play stove. I'm happy to know that E.B. is not above a little thrift store shopping and even more happy, that my little girl is just as happy (or more?) with something a bit dented and rusty as with something shiny and new. And how 'bout those cuppy cakes? We had fun.

FYI: fabrics from Hilco, available from FabricBliss.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Best Things Are Free Day 14

Lovely, heavy, afternoon light.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Best Things Are Free Day 13

Rocks and sticks and bugs. Especially bugs.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Best Things Are Free Day 12

A common interest.

So my peeps come to town and check into a fancy hotel without husbands or kids. So, yeah, there's champagne and some of trash talkin' and sewing? You got that right. Just like rock stars.

Nun, meine Leut' kommen nach Los Angeles zu Besuch und checken in ein teueres Hotel weder mit Kindern noch Ehemännern ein. Natürlich wird Sekt getrunken ... und getratscht ... und genäht? Tatsächlich.

FYI: CARA sewing pattern from Farbenmix held up there in the picture frame.

Monday, March 17, 2008

So, are we flying?

That was one year of fledge.

I had 

46 Lift posts
58 Thrust posts
18 Drag posts
37 Weight posts

in one year.

Using this online calculator, I do believe we are flying. 

Thank you for coming along for the ride!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Best Things Are Free Day 11

The weight of responsibility.

My son is nine years old. Occasionally, he will fall asleep in one of the big chairs instead of finding his way into his bed. And I still pick him up while he is asleep and tuck him in bed. But here's the thing: He has a bed way up there. Sort of a bunk bed, but there's no lower bunk. You know, his desk is under there, creative use of space and all that. So putting a sleeping nine year old in his bed without his waking up is, well, quite a feat. First, I lay his duvet over the rail. I get the kid and carry him to his room. I stand on a sturdy chair, lift him to about chest height and turn my arms and grasp the rail under the duvet. Then I sort of shrug with all my might, stand on tippy toes and sort of roll the kid with the duvet onto the mattress.


Most times, right at the shrug-and-tippy-toe part, some instinct wakes the child (like the fear-of-impending-death-by-falling-off-a-cliff instinct) and he helps flop himself onto the mattress.

He's heavy, but never too heavy. And he's never as heavy as I thought he would be.

I was in the waiting room awaiting the test results. I averted my eyes from looking at the giant photo album on the table of blotchy-faced, sweat-stained women mugging with their freshly born, wrinkled, puffy-eyed humanoids. The magazines in the waiting room had nothing to offer but advice on how to fashion toys out of old plastic jugs, ads for hideous giant plastic yard toys, and articles on doing something with strained onion juice for earaches. I'm too distracted to pull out any work. So I just wait. Wait, wait, waiting. Just a formality, I think. Nothing to worry about, I'm certain. Wait, wait, waiting.

The nurse called my name and I stood to walk over to the next room. I turned to pick up my briefcase laden with laptop and binder and papers and a calculator and cell phone and business whatnot and thought spontaneously how much my briefcase had the weight of a small child.

And it really did.

Positive? Did the nurse mean "positive" in the sense of "positive for me", because she knows I just got a promotion, and that I am going to be moving, and that the new responsibilities include a lot of travel and I have no interest in hideous giant plastic yard toys or applying some alchemy with onions for earaches?

No, "positive" meant I was in the middle of manufacturing my very own humanoid. The nurse really did not understand, did she? I suppose, technically, as a woman, I "could" be a mother (imagine me really wiggling the bunny ear fingers for the quotation marks) ... but me? ME? The nurse simply did not understand.

I needed some air. I thanked the nurse and got outta there. I sat in my car. My cute little 3 series. A company car. But I also had my eye on the cuter z3. A two-seater, people, which would be mine as soon as the promotion kicked in. I turn on the radio and the news is on: Apparently, a woman in America just gave birth to seven babies. 

Seven babies. The hospital staff called the mother "Snow White". 

In other news, in a town in Southern Germany, a new father was able to get out of paying the fine for running a red light, because the traffic camera actually photographed his wife in the passenger seat giving birth. 

Spontaneous birth in the Subaru while going through the red light. This was starting to feel like a conspiracy! There were babies everywhere! A child? I would never be able to carry the weight of responsibility of a child.

But responsibility is made so light, light as mountain air, when a child is your responsibility. I can still lift this sleepy child into bed as I have all his life. I love having the weight of this responsibility. Nine years feels like a week.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Best Things Are Free Day 10

Positive Attitude.

You have free will. You can:

Love it.

Leave it.

Or Change it.

Not much time today for more than fortune cookie wisdom. I take wisdom wherever I can find it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Best Things Are Free Day 9

A deep breath.

And another.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Best Things Are Free Day 8

Always taking the scenic route.

But any route can be scenic, if you open your mind, I think.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Best Things Are Free Day 7

Things Lost.

And Things Found.


This string of pearls was lost. I was a tiny bit heartbroken at the loss. Although the clasp was very old, the pearls were not--as are the things for sale on the Portobello Road: Less genuine than they appear. So it really wasn't much of a loss in terms of Pounds sterling. And it was just a thing. But I did want them and I wanted the memory of the splurge during a trip to London. But--looky there, almost ten years later--my little girl found them tucked away in an old purse. 

I will admit that there was a time, when I chased after things and lost other, more important Things. I sought the best things, at the expense of the Best Things. (Because I do like things. Mmmm .... things...). Luckily, I have found again many of those Lost Things. I found many of those Things with my husband and the children. In my husband and my children. I'm still looking for some of the other, important Things I lost. I think they are tucked away and not lost forever. I'm looking.

Here is a little story of something lost. 
And found.

"The Lost Egg"

One day, an egg was hatched. The little animal said, "Where is my mom?"

The little animal was so so so so so so so so so so so so so so sad, that the little animal cried so so hard.

But soon, it found its mom and dad.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Best Things Are Free Day 6


This is what Spring looks like over here. I do believe that is the State flower.

Can I handle the seasons of my life? I don't know.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Best Things Are Free Day 5

Existentialist thought.
Egg-sistentialist thought.

"The cracked egg."
"Why do I come from an egg?"
"What am I?"
"AAAAAA I have sisters and a mom and dad." 
(In other words, you're not alone).

Best Things Are Free Day 4

A red thread.

At my house, red threads are free. Even if you don't want one, you are very likely to still get one. A curly unwanted passenger clinging to your dark navy trousers or black sweater. Or in your hair.

This red thread (look carefully) in reality is the leash to an imaginary pet, one Merry Dog. Nice Merry Dog.

Roter Faden is "red thread" in German. But roter Faden also means, figuratively, leitmotif (a German figurativism for a German concept. Sorry.). In other (English) words, a recurrent theme, for example, things that are free. If you are reading this, you have likely made a few things with red threads yourself.

Before this piece was trimmed, it was part of a new thing I am working on. My looking around for free stuff has a purpose. There is a method to this madness. I looked at a milk carton and got an idea. And this red thread is holding that idea together right now. It's all about looking around.

The world inspires. The mind creates. And the soul...I don't think I can make assumptions about the soul. But if it the world is inspiring and the mind is creating, I imagine the spirit is soaring, or glittering, or glowing or maybe settling close and comfortable about your shoulders.
Something like that.

Der roter Faden. 

Rote Fäden bekommst du bei uns umsonst. Auch wenn du nicht möchtest, erhältst du höchstwahrscheinlich einen roten Faden. Ein kleiner unwilkommener Mitfahrer am Hosenbein oder auf dem schwarzen Pullover. Oder auch im Haar.

Dieser roter Faden (schau genau hin) ist die Leine für einen bestimmten, unsichbaren Merry Dog. 

Es gibt natürlich die roten Fäden in der Literatur, der Geschichte, im Leben. Und diesen Monat ist mein roter Faden die Free Things. Und nicht umsonst, denn beim Herumschauen kommt frau auf Ideen. Ich habe eine Milchdose in Betracht gezogen und bin auf eine Idee gekommen. Der Rest dieses Fadens hält die Idee zusammen.

Die Welt inspiriert. Der Geist gestaltet. Und die Seele...nun bin ich kaum in der Lage etwas über die Seele zu sagen. Aber ich bin der Ansicht, dass wenn die Welt inspiriert und der Geist kreiert, dass die Seele fliegt, order schimmert, oder glüht oder gemütlich sich um die Schultern anschmiegt. So in etwa.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Best Things Are Free Day 3

Free, unsolicited advice. 

Today, in the line at the post office, the gentleman behind me told me how to take care of my boots. It's my own fault, really. I have, as I said, this 80s soundtrack in my head right now, so that does lap over into my clothes for the day. I'm wearing some Doc Marten's knock-offs. Knocked off by Prada (is that possible? Knock something off and make it more expensive?). Anyway, it's a lot of black leather to not solicit polishing advice from somebody who takes shoe polishing very seriously. And this gentleman takes his shoe polishing seriously. Much more seriously than his good-for-nothing brother-in-law and serious enough to have this lady, who works in the corporate world in San Francisco, to send him her shoes for polishing. (People do tell me the most incredible things sometimes ...). 

In addition to polish and shoe trees, which I have, I also need to acquire a heat gun and old socks to store against dust. And I need to polish these boots after every wearing. And then hold the heat gun on low and heat them gently for 15 minutes after every wearing.

Uh-huh. Right. I'll get right on that.

This is the information age. Information everywhere. If you need more information, perhaps from distant solar systems, this satellite dish is there on the curb for the taking. Boy, if I had a pick up truck, I would have picked up and trucked this. I don't know what for. But I'd think of something. Table umbrella, maybe?

Die unaufgeforderte Beratung. Heute in der Schlange im Postamt berat mir der Herr hinter mir meine Stiefel nach jedem Tragen zu polieren und mit dem Heißluftgelbläse zu wärmen. Selber Schuld, denn ich habe, wie gesagt, die 80s im Kopf spielen und dies trägt sich auf die Kleiderwahl heute über. Ich trug Doc Marten Knock-Offs, Knocks-Offs von Prada (ist das möglich? Etwas als Knock-Off produzieren und teuerer verkaufen?). 

Auf jeden Fall, ist das ja eine Menge schwarzen Leder um einfach nicht über die Schuhpflege von jemandem, der seine Schuhpflege sehr ernst nimmt, beraten zu werden. Und ernst nimmt der Herr seine Schuhpflege, viel ernster als der Taugenichts-Schwager und so ernst, dass eine Dame in San Francisco ihm ihre Schuhe zum polieren schickt. (Ich bekomme auch eine Menge Information unaufgefordert ...).

Zusetztlich zu Schuhspanner und Polier, was ich ja habe, brauche ich eine Heißluftgebläse und Baumwollsocken gegen Staub. Ich möchte nach jedem Tragen die Stiefel polieren und 15 Minuten mit der Heißluftgebläse wärmen.

Ja. Okay. Mache ich, keine Frage.

Das Informationszeitalter. Überall Information. Solltest du mehr Information, vielleicht aus dem All, brauchen, hier ein Satellitenschussel, der als Sperrmuhl umsonst herumliegt. Wenn ich bloß einen Pick-Up Truck hätte, hätte ich diesen gepick-upt und getruckt. Wozu weiss ich nicht. Sonnenschirm im Garten, vielleicht?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Best Things are Free Day 2

The German word is Ohrwurm. "Ear worm". Which sounds pretty nasty. And sometimes it is. But it is not some auditory parasite. Not exactly, anyway. It is a song you can't get out of your head.

I have ear worms almost all the time. It is a mighty strange soundtrack to my life. Mighty strange. My favorite ear worms come from when I accidentally hear a song I haven't heard in forever.

This is my ear worm right now. It reminds me of being a teenager, riding trains around Europe in the smoking section, where all the kids my age hung out.
... and fading to Hassler's Cantate Domino ... and now Surf Punk's My Wave ...

RCRDLBL, if you haven't heard by now, is a great source for new ear worms. And it's free.

Ohrwürme. Ich habe sie ständig. Läuft gerade Musik nicht, spielt in meinem Kopf einen sehr komischen Soundtrack ab. Sehr komisch.

Ich habe es eigentlich gerne, wenn der Ursprungs des Ohrwurms nun aus einem zufällig seit langem nicht mehr gehörten Lied hervorgerufen wird.

Momentan läuft dieses mir im Kopf. Es erinnert mich daran, Teenager zu sein und im Raucherabteil im Zug um Gleichaltrigen kennenzulernen zu sitzen.

RCRDLBL, sollst du noch nicht wissen, ist eine exzellente Quelle für neue Ohrwürme. Und alles umsonst.

Best things.

I completely understand the "no free lunch" theory, that nothing, nada, zip, zilch, big goose egg zero, is absolutely free. Not even the air we breath. Just less than 8 billion dollars goes to the Environmental Protection Agency to, supposedly, protect the air we breath.

But I would like to try another exercise in mindfulness and spend 30 days looking for things that are free or pretty darn close. Things thrown away, tossed on the ground, overlooked or are just there.

The theory goes, those are the best things in life. I'm going to go look for them.

Today, I went outside and smelled tulips in the air. I don't know where the scent came from, but it was tulips. A thick lightness, watery sweetness of tulips.

I'd love to have anyone play along! Maybe not 30 days. Maybe just one or two?

Ich verstehe soweit die "No free lunch"-Theorie, dass nichts, nada, écouter, niente, nulla in diesem Leben umsonst sei. Nicht mal die Luft, die wir einatmen. Hier zuhause bekommt die Environmental Protection Agency etwa 8 Milliarden Dollar um angeblich die Luft zu schützen.

Nichtsdestotrotz möchte ich 30 Tage eine weitere Achtsamskeit-Übung unternehmen und zwar Sachen, die nichts kosten, finden. Sachen, die weggeworfen sind, die auf dem Boden liegen, die übersehen werden bzw. einfach da sind.

Die Theorie besagt, die besten Sachen im Leben umsonst seien. Ich werde mal suchen gehen.

Heute habe ich in der Luft den Duft von Tulpen gefunden. Ich weiss nicht woher, aber es roch nach Tulpen. Eine schwere Leichtigkeit, eine wässerige Süße von Tulpen.

Über das mitspielen würde ich mich sehr freuen! Vielleicht nicht gerade 30 Tage, aber 1 oder 2?

Monday, March 3, 2008

A tooth. A tooth that is a fairy.

A tooth. A tooth that is a fairy. Equals Tooth Fairy.

Whenever I become the Shrill Hausfrau, I have my reasons. Like this little artist.

I read this book in two days. 540-something pages. Such prose. Simple, straightforward prose.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Pretty please

A pretty picture. And wishing you a happy day.

I could post about Pacific Homeworks. But then, after my venting about California schools, I would have to rename this blog "Shrill Hausfrau with Internet Access". (But did you see? On Feb. 29th, the Wall Street Journal wondered aloud why Finnish kids are so smart, too).

Just this: If you are in Southern California and need home improvement, and are considering Pacific Homework, don't bother. If you have any self respect, don't bother with Pacific Homeworks. Just walk away. 


Related Posts with Thumbnails