Monday, December 31, 2012

Tonto Natural Bridge



the facilities to the park are very pristine and well kept.  Ender walked down all the steps to the bridge.  He counted 6, but I believe there are roughly 80.  Ender discovered a tiny opening in a pint sized cave.  Zander had to crawl on his belly to "rescue" him.  It was kind of nerve wrecking because ender became panicked and forgot how to crawl and always wanted to stand and run which proved very sore for his little head.

We decided to cross under the expansive bridge and hike up the creek back to the parking lot. At this point Ender began to melt, melt, melt!  He hopped in daddy's back pack but cried for his mama.   Zander wove a story about him and his buddies rock climbing and camping, which intrigued him immensely and he fared much better.  The passing was tricky.   All the boulders were coated in a treacherous freeze. 

Emerging from the creek bed we found a quiet & sunny spot to eat.   Ender pendulum swung between bites of sandwich and apple so we decided to head back to the car and let him nap.  But he did not agree with our splendid & logical idea. 
Ender refused to sleep and continued refusing the whole 3 hours ride home.  He coughed.  The poor thing coughed the WHOLE time.  And he complained about the sun being in his eyes so I had to constantly maintain a make shift shield for him.  I went & bought a window shade last night.  No more of that nonsense!

Ender threw up when we got home.  It was mostly all the snot and phlegm he swallowed.  Poor guy.
I love having a family!  I love that Zander doesn't shirk away from seeing the sites because its a wee bit more stressful and challenging with a two year old.  

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Eve

And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it. John 1:5

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them. Isaiah 9:2

Ender, fresh and frisky after a shower, sat with us by the fire while daddy told him the story of baby Jesus.  The whole house was dark except for the hearth. We sang O Come O Come Emmanuel, but ender was smothering his face on my lips so I could barely squeak out the notes.  I didn't mind, he didn't stink and I can't sing anyway...  We let the fire die down a little, then sent that boy to bed!  One by one a candle was lit as we took turns praying and pleading with God for the aches of our heart.  For him to let His light shine in a particularly dark area.  Then we lit the Christmas tree and praised Him. We cherish our Christmas Eve tradition. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

1.woodland ginger cookies. 2. woodland garland. 3. drummer boy.
my ginger cookies look better than they taste.  the garland keeps falling down because I'm too lazy to find a better way than scotch tape.  and the drummer boy didn't "perform" until the very last stanza of Away in the Manger when daddy promised he could see himself on "TV".  Diva.

i giddily wrapped the first Christmas present of the year.  the delight is mine to tape & twine!  there are so oh so many people that I could give to each year that i get stressed out because I am only one tiny one.  i rely on the Spirit to just tell me a few (apart from family) that i can handle and then rest in knowing that i am not God or Santa, but simple me.  this is desert soap infused with creosote and chaparral oils that i sent to friends faraway. 

 these frothy photos (the snow effect:) are glimpses of simple happiness in our life right now.  but our hearts are heavy laden with the pain that is searing in other people's lives.  zander & i are mourning the babes from the school shooting, cancer, other untimely deaths.

i appreciate someone attempting to put into words on this blog..... whom i discovered through melanie :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

 heather, heather, heather, you are a talent.  thank you for asking us to do this!  we both felt so at ease, and that speaks volumes.  i will often flit & fly over to your new website to check out all that you create.

one no good autumn day, among rotting leaves, and a rotten idea, i had zander take pictures of me because i thought he was the only person i'd feel comfortable with in front of a camera posing. and as of then, i had no pictures of cora in her cocoon.
  it ended in tears.  i'm a mess in front of a camera.  but just for the record, it doesn't help if the "photographer" is laughing the whole time and telling you not to make that face.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

We're burnishing the town brown!

one: anthropol0gie copper bike, oh!
two: souvenir from Arizona Science Museum - Ender loved the water feature with the balls & track
three: a "vintage" gift in the making
four: mama's copper pot i took & plan to use.  zander is suspicious of it's functionality. he thinks its decorative.  OH! On the contrary.
five: chai scones from World Market.  I can't ever get enough of this flavor!  Ender helped with this batch
six: satin panache from Orly. on my toes, they look so pretty from a distance now! (my toes are rather tom boyish one might say)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Smitten Kitchen

I made chocolate chip cookies from the ever popular cooking blog Smitten Kitchen. Half the batch I added roasted pecans and half were without. People who hate nuts are not kidding. They can take it to a new level.  Sheesh.  Zander turned up his hoity toity nose at my golden pecans. Nuts are so earthy, how can anyone resist! 

This is my new oven, well, the oven that came with my new house.  It bakes differently.  Many dinners & desserts have been felled in the fiery belly of this beast.  Lots of trash can funerals.  Some of them were very dear to me, like my blessed banana bread.  However, I think I am beginning to tame the oven and soon will have mastery over my dishes once again.

Make smaller dollops
Don't buy organic chocolate chips even when they are on the "almost expired" shelf for dirt cheap.
Trust the recipe when it says, "Bake for 18 minutes, or until pale golden brown."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

While the elf was napping, zander set up our Christmas tree.  Ender woke up and beheld!  Lifting his eye brows, exclaimed "Ahhh".  not the most dramatic cry of delight, but it will do for ender.  trimming the tree is one of my most favorite things to do!  Each ornament comes alive to me.  Especially the one's from mama's tree.  Those ones were awakened by my child spirit and I don't think I can ever shake the magic from them.

So while I prance and skip around the tree trying to find the perfect perch for my Christmas friends, ender takes his decorating very, rather seriously....   The ornament has a complex journey ahead when it arrives in ender's hands.  And while he is the source of the precarious situation he is also the guy who will get the job done.  His inventory is strictly felt and pliable rubber.  They are all clumped center left.  Bravo Ender, I love Christmas with you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Its a wonder I found these three small treasure in this sprawling city.  
It was a quiet and colorful Thanksgiving weekend.  Please remember leslie: a sick baby who was cured by the company of his cousins, fried turkey, chicken and potatoes, plenty of rest, southern roots, mothers,  a trimmed tree, the Last Mohican,  and the ubiquitous grace of God.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

For an hour after his nap, he was content playing with a tiny bit of play dough and listening to Charling Brown's Thanksgiving on Pandora.  Still, at this point in his life I am like a diety who can make all things perfect, like this very real replica of the dog we saw in the park that day...  No one else can make a better dog than his mama!  Oh the dark day will soon come when he realizes that I indeed have not been blessed with artisitc skill, not one drop! 
Nonetheless, I love front porch moments with ender.  It is a slow and well pace. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

"The sword of Elendil was forged anew by Elvish smiths.....And Aragorn gave it a new name and called it Andúril, Flame of the West."
Yes, I know, its not a sword, but he did forge it anew and he'll use it to strike the most menacing tree stump!
once upon a time zander became seriously upset with me because I forced him to haul away two chunks of pine trunk from a neighbor's trash pile.  "I wasn't raised this way, Leslie!"  whatever that uppity comment meant....  i don't know what triggered it, but all summer long he scoped people's bulk trash to see if there was any good wood.  And nearly every day after work you would hear that trusty ol' axe swing and crack.  Up at Oak Creek Zander spent a whole day chopping up firewood and hauling it out of the canyon muttering about how much money he is saving. ha ha ha. he is definitely a guy who would rather let his hands do the work instead of his wallet.  except with cool, electronic gadgets.
these two.  they both get a way with so much. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Blustery and Beautiful!

The trees are candlesticks with burning flames, trying to hold onto their fire in the freezing wind.
Ender and I shivered like little fallen leaves seeking shelter in the mild rays of the sun.   I could have absorbed more of the foreign season around me, but ender was adamant about heading back to the cabin.  I had to carry the popsicle all the way back.  When will he realize that I'm with child! 
Zander hiked to the rim to try and catch him some squirrel.  My friends of the forest eluded his scope. phew!  

Friday, November 09, 2012

At Junipine

 This is Zander's look of "I tried.  What can ya do?" 
 I do not recognize the kid in this picture.  He is so beside himself.  Sincerely, Ender enjoyed his outing with daddy for about an hour.  They hiked to the "tee-pee" and there built a shelter and fire.  The wind and rain snuffed the fun out of ender once it kicked up to unbearable heights.  Zander accounts a screaming, belligerent two year old roaming the woods while he tried to rebuild the fallen shelter.  He cried for his mama (thank you very much) and was horrified that his snacks were scattered across the forest floor. 
It is a good man to take his small son on such an adventure and remain light hearted.

After a snugly nap, ender was a new man and ready to hit the trail again.  He had himself a little party in the fall confetti and made fishing poles out of twigs.  We hit the town for some Indian cuisine and called it a night. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

eating eden

evetree.  images

an apple? i think not!  imagine a ruddy skinned bulb hanging unassumingly from a scraggly tree.  not very appealing, until one day...  the warm fingers of the sun have slightly cracked it open to reveal gleaming garnet.  Encrusted edible jewels flashing in the light.  Too tempting for me.  I pluck and devour. 

I spent my fall afternoons as a kid stealing pomegranates off people's trees with my best friend.  we would gingerly peel back the spongy encasing to preserve the "brains" so we could get as much juicy seeds in our mouths as possible in one bite.  Its messier than ribs.  I'm sure we looked barbaric with the bright ,red juice dripping from our chomping jaws, staining our faces and hands. Oh tis so sweet to be a child eating the redeemed forbidden fruit.

if your babe is ready, let him eat the seeds too. Its where the nutrients are!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Under the Phoenix Moon

Ender and Zander make me painfully happy. 
Last night our church hosted a parking lot carnival and they came in droves! I spun fairy floss for fairy wings and Zander kept eagle eyes on Ender.  They ran a muck together the whole evening.  I love when those team up for a fun time and leave me at my spinning wheel of confectioner candy!  Next time, if ever again I have the bliss of twirling webs of it I will dress up in gobs of pink tool.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Last Saturday began the beginning of the rest of the year.  

Despite scorching October heat, my sister and I braved an urban pumpkin patch with three gnarly and mischievous children.  I loved it!  It was free (thanks groupon).  Ender giddy upped his first pony, (thanks ruby)  and he proved he was smarter than a rat without cheese in a hay maze! 

then we whipped to Nana's house who helped me bake 2 batches of German Pretzels for the Annual Okotober Fest at Katie's einfamilienhaus.
"Prost!" to the original host, Marlene!

It takes me a week to recover, sadly, happily?  I like rest.  But my mind buzzes with ideas constantly.  Cora, such a good girl, is at the control panel of my body and switches gears for me.  She knows how to command her ship at sea.  Once she ends her 9 month voyage, landing on the wide wide shores of life, my load will be lighter and she can fly with me on my top sails or swim next to me.

speaking of which, my couin Peter John is going as Captain Ahab for Halloween!  He's achingly brilliant to think of posing as one of my favorite characters.  Zander calls me Moby when I'm pregnant (no no no I don't mind, its our affection)  I was considering as going as the White Whale....
here is some artwork I"m going to track down to hang in the house.  its simple.  i could kiss that iceberg nose!

from terry fan

Actually check out Society 6 website for some more prints, I'm exploring its eclectic gallery now.

Friday, October 19, 2012

We desert people dapple a little in fall

~what little decorations i have stored away with the cobwebs are now up!  and they are all resting on our fireplace mantle, a cozy row of earthy whimsy. 
~ender frequents the recycle garbage can and finds all sorts of trinkets and treasures, like this beer bottle.  its clean trash, so I am pretty lax with letting him dumpster dive.  you know, his daddy once found a great pair of hiking boots dumpster diving in the back of REI, so it can't be that bad....
~Zander and I are engrossed in Bram Stoker's Dracula. He is listening to it on tape and I'm nose in book. The Count is cunning and sinister.  Dr. Van Helsing provides some grandfatherly warmth to the story, otherwise, I couldn't endure all the spook!  When we come together at the end of the day to talk about it, zander provides the recap with accents and I fill him in with tidbits of information I find in the footnotes.  He is totally right, reading a book together is like going on a great adventure with someone; you inevitably bond.

Friday, October 12, 2012

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower"
the first leaf to fall into my hands this autumn came with two spring yellow birds. an odd juxtaposition perhaps, but out here in the desert it is truly our second spring of the year. the long arm of summer draws back and people and animals alike emerge from their cool dens to find butterflies, bees and hummingbirds banqueting once again on the desert flora.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

fairy lights

i think it all started with my auntie terrye residing in an oklahoma version of Ariel's cave of wonders.  she is always coming up with something new to adorn her garden and creating it herself.  one of those treasures are hanging mirrors.  the sun looks into them and the reflection is a fairy dance of lights.  ender likes to try and stomp on the delicate display, but the fairy feet are always too quick in their frolic.  the pictures do not show, but the mirrors are all adhered prettily down some fishing line.  i made these for my sister.  i make them for my mom and eventually for myself.  one day.  mama also has a glass star filled with distilled water that mingles beautifully with the light.  we are always on the hunt for a piece that hangs and reflects resplendence. 

Monday, October 08, 2012

Two years under your belt

Oh, and by the way, i think you jumped on the bandwagon of the terrible twos.  I was hoping you would disprove that as mere superstition and rise above the status quo... alas!   There is a glimmer of hope, though, for my unrealistic expectation for you.... your orneriness has coincided with a persistent cold....

Friday, October 05, 2012

weird happy kid.
eating a homemade fruit smoothie popsicle.
dropping it in the dirt and rocks
continues eating
comes inside and throws it all up.

having recently gone through a spell of first trimester vomiting, my empathy increased for the little guy and I felt our friendship solidify as i returned the favor in comforting him through the ordeal.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

 i really need to do mr. potato head a favor and purchase some glasses for ender....

he is stark naked because we are in the casual beginnings of potty training.  it is more like bringing a puppy home. or a terrorist who specializes in IEDs.  our house is a playground for his landmines. 

Successes:  While sitting on his potty, I weaved this pretty amazing story about a bear and the mysterious disappearance of daddy and his even more peculiar return.....

I told zander my tale and he liked it, to which I beamed with pride.  Zander wants to start a story telling "club".  I'm not sure who would join....  Turns out, he is really into hearing stories rather than reading.  he listens to books on tape incessantly.  For a long time I felt cast aside because it was me who read to him at night while he cleaned his guns. I've been replaced. But I accept it now.  I find it beneficial for him to listen to his book and for me to read.  He is my pronunciation coach.  I might know a word's meaning, but i butcher the sound of it.  Its important to me to speak correctly the words I know.  Besides, I have a new audience coming up who will love (or be forced) to listen to me read!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sew, a needle pulling thread

here you go my lad.  your very own counting bean bags. 

zander set up my sewing nook in the living room.  one day i will knock out a wall, in one of our side rooms, create french doors or a bay window that will look out onto our fruitful land, and there I will sew.  For now, i get to keep a watch on all the variety of people that walk down the sidewalk.  Its like an Indian buffet of spices out there!  The variety is impressive.  I wish they came with floating clouds above their heads that told their thoughts.  Rated for sunday paper comics, of course. 

i made this a long time ago.  an old picture frame, cork board with decoupaged scraps of paper on it (Simon & Garfunkel's "The Condor" piano music) and nails tapped in.  It hangs, as you can see, my scissors that snip into steel like butter, spools, and bobbins.  Zander hung it above my machine for quick access.  My sewing space is way out of place in the living room, but still so at home.