Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March Artist: Dry the River - No Rest

I thought I'd wrap up my Dry the River love fest with "No Rest" My fingers are crossed that they will find their way stateside this year so that I can catch them live (which by all accounts they put on one hell of a show what will all that punk roots energy flowing through them) I hope you've fallen as madly in love with them as I. And if you haven't well there's always April.

Back to the song at hand and its awesomeness... I'm not going to lie, the video gets a little weird at times. But hey, when that happens just do as I do and focus on the awesome beard bassist Scott Miller's rocking. What can I say I'm a sucker for them (see pics of the hubby).

"Did you see the light in my heart? Did you see the sweat on my brow?
Did you see the fear in my heart?"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March Artist: Dry the River - Bible Belt

"Bible Belt" just sets me adrift. Its a feeling that's always been hard to explain, its not an overly sad or happy feeling but magical and consuming. I never get the feeling that Liddle is trying to sound like Jeff Buckley as there is certainly a uniqueness there, instead I think its a matter of seeing the world... of being overcome with passion in a very similar way. Whatever it is, wherever it comes from, my heart is so happy to be able to feel it again. That familiar feeling I spoke of a few weeks ago is at its strongest for me during "Bible Belt". This song brings such a calm over me and I find myself listening over and over again; drifting along, my hands skimming the surface of a calm sea and my eyes drinking in the final flames of the sunset.

"If its dark outside you light the fire yourself"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Birthday Cards

I've talked about my relationship with my biological father from time to time over the years on this blog (see "Papa Can You Hear Me?"). Our relationship, for the first time since my pre-teens, is now one of warmth and compassion, at least from my perspective. Warm, but distant, and that is how I prefer it and something tells me it is how he prefers it as well. After all these years this is really the only way we know how to navigate each other. So much time has passed I finally realized that I had to make peace with the fact that I will never truly understand him, nor he, I. Getting to that place was HUGE for me. On those very very rare occasions that we do talk, I allow myself to feel my love for him. When I say "I love you" I do mean it as much as I can when it comes to he and I.

I made a decision while I was pregnant with Stella that no matter how things improved or didn't with my biological dad. That I did not want him in her life. It was such a difficult thing to do. But the chance of her heart being broken by him is just too high. His involvement in my life was so fleeting and confusing I refused to risk that with Stella.

Being a parent means being there for the good and the bad no matter what, no matter how many hours you worked, no matter what life throws your way. My "Step-father", the man I know as and call "Dad" was there even when I pushed him away. This is the man that Stella knows as her grandfather, he has been there from the moment she took her first breath and she has him wrapped around her finger. Its such a beautiful thing seeing them together. You could not ask for a better grandfather and I knew he would be, And after years of being a total shit towards him, it has been the only and best way of honoring him... She is his and his alone.

Eventhough, I made this decision, I have from time to time sent pictures or updates on Stella. I do this partly because of the compassion I feel, but mostly in honor of my grandmother who would have kicked my ass if I didn't at least make these small gestures. And yes, I'd be lying if I said there wasn't some small part of me that does it to remind him of the consequences of his choices when it comes to our relationship. Ultimately though, although he would never ever admit it, he knows that his role and any claim he has to Stella is non-existent.

Over the years he has sent cards on her birthday but she of course could never read them and so it was easy to omit the details of their origins. But now she is oh so inquisitive about everything especially family and where she came from and how our family came to be. It still blows her mind to know that "Ghangi" is my mom. That she took care of me when I was her age. She has only ever known me calling "Paw Paw" Dad. And now she can read and read very well.

A few days ago my biological dad called and we exchanged pleasantries, but anxieties set in when he told me that a birthday card for Stella was on the way. This is such a metaphor for my relationship with him in my youth. He sends a sweet wonderful card that's full of love and often times money. And you think "Oh my goodness he does love me!! See it says right here "you are never far from my heart and thoughts" I'm going to call him right now and find out when he's coming to get me..." only to be met with excuses and nary a phone call, letter, or one on one time until my next birthday or Christmas card.

I know its going to inevitably say "Grandaughter" on it and it too will be filled with words of love and rainbows. So now my head is filled with "then what?"s. Do I try to explain it all to her? She has this fantastic, beautiful idea as to what a grandfather is supposed to be. She will immediately expect an explanation as to why this new grandfather isn't in her life. But like my reasons for not informing her of his existence I know that this card too is fleeting. He will never have to answer her questions. He will never have to take responsibility. Nor do I want him to. Because I know he will tell her what she wants to hear and whatever it takes to smooth things over for the moment but in the end he will never back it up. Its just not in him. So do I keep the card from her? Do I save it and give it to her when I she can wrap her head around it? Do I give it to her and hope for the best? Or do I wait and listen to my heart when its in my hands?

Monday, March 12, 2012

March Artist: Dry the River - History Book

Dry the River are actually a relatively new band and are releasing their debut album, "Shallow Bed", this month. (Spectacular album by the way) Most of the guys come from punk backgrounds. And while there are certainly pastoral/gospelly energies that flow in their songs, none of the guys claim to be religious. I still think its hilarious that despite my unshakable agnostic beliefs I still find myself loving big hymnal energy. (See Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, Jeff Buckley, Florence and the Machine, ect)

Today's song, History Book, is the song that Becca w/ Girls Gone Child posted. When the chorus kicks in oh be still my heart.

"And maybe when the bitterness has gone, there'll be sweetness on our tongues once more"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

35/35 March Update

Woah March crept up fast. Its time to check my 35/35 list and get a progress report. Life's been a little hectic lately but overall I've still navigated with my list in the back of mind and I'm finally able to mark something of my list WOO HOOO. I'm still so grateful to have the list and its really made such a positive difference in my life.

Things To Do
1. Read 12 books. -
4 turned out to be a dud for me. (Radio Shangri-la) I keep going back and forth between reading a new book or embracing an old one, especially since I finally have our books out of storage (JOY!)
2. Send birthday cards to my nearest and dearest -I'm staying on track with this and love it still.
3. Fix my watch -to be done as soon as the budget allows
4. journal daily (even if its one sentence) -Unfortunately I haven't touched my journal these last few weeks. But I'm determined to get back on track this month.
5. Discover one new musical artist a month -January's artist was the Temper Trap, February was Gogol Bordello, and I'm madly in love with March's Artist - Dry The River.
6. Wear more jewelry-check
7. Wear more scarves-check, I actually bought a few more and have enjoyed them tremendously.
8. Complete at least one non-food Pinterest project per month-check and check, last month I made these incredibly cool owl valentines for Stella's class and these great t-shirt necklaces. Lots of project are on tap for March now that I have my sewing machine and all things crafty stuff back.
9. Blog at least once a week -February, started strong but ended a little weak, I totally blame Leap Year.
10. Make gifts for friends and family-to be done as soon as the budget allows
11. Create wardrobe I feel shows the "real" me.-made HUGE progress with this in February YAY!!
12. Finish one sewing project per month (once it arrives from storage)-I just got my sewing machine back (one month early) I plan to start racking up the miles as soon as I stop hugging it.
13. Learn to properly knit and crochet-coming soon!!
14. Learn how to play one good song on the piano-boo, I have yet to work on this but the year is still young.
15. Try one new recipe a week.-I've been averaging about about one or two a week, I really need to post more about them. I'm going to work harder on that this month-see blogging more.
16. Create Stella's reading nook-NOW UNDERWAY
17. Begin Stella's yearly art books a' la my Pin-spiration. -not yet
18. Learn how to braid Stella's hair.-working on it, I have been practicing though.
19. Research and (if possible) join the local arts council.-not yet
20. Complete my first children's book and submit it to a publisher-i have a solid draft, now i'm researching for it.

21. Plant and nurture no more than 3 plants for the entire year. -I've been planning, I can't wait until spring.
22. Walk 365 miles (not in one day mind you)-grrr no comment
23. Shoot a handgun (its that or break plates my friends)-to be done as soon as the budget allows
24. Give my hubby at least one long lingering kiss per day-check
25. Get a new tattoo-to be done as soon as the budget allows
26. Take at least one new photograph a week-Do photos for the shop count? I have taken more than usual but I haven't purposefully taken one to meet my one a week challenge.

Trips/Places To Go
27. See at least 2 shows at the Orange Peel-We will be seeing Trampled by Turtles in April
28. Take Stella to see a Play or Ballet Performance-to be done as soon as the budget allows
29. Visit Tryon, the birthplace of Nina Simone (sigh)-to be done as soon as the budget allows
30. Visit Black Mountain preferably overnight with my awesome hubby.-to be done as soon as the budget allows
31. Purchase year passes to Chimney Rock Park/Hickory Nut Falls and use hell out of them-to be done as soon as the budget allows-those bitches are expensive.
32. Go on at least one date a month with the hubby.-check

33. Get the internal volume turned up on my hearing aids-DONE!! And its oh so awesome.
34. Complete a juice fast-to be done after my clean eating month.
35. Eat clean for one month-I'm thinking sometime in the summer.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March Artist: Dry the River

I've been a longtime follower of Girls Gone Child for awhile now. Becca has such a magical way with words and I adore her thoughts on parenting and nurturing imagination and self esteem in her children. I also love her taste in music. I've often posted about certain artist she turned me on to. But let me say this...if it wasn't a little creepy, and way too expensive to travel across the country, I would drive to California just to kiss her (most likely on the mouth) in gratitude of introducing me to Dry the River.

I've been a bit of a sucker for the earthy, hymnal kind of sound as of late. I know everyone and their hipster mother are singing the praises of Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes ect. But they just doesn't speak to me, although they should what with their poetry and beards. However I do think them solid bands and I'm glad that they are getting attention.

But I digress. Dry the River has oh so many ingredients that just rendered me all mushy inside. First and foremost frontman Peter Liddle and his voice; which awoke in me sensations and feelings I thought had died 15 years ago and oh my god was it amazing to feel them again. The web they weave both lyrically and musically is just intoxicating. I cannot stop listening. I'll admit, like my Jeff Buckley these guys aren't going to be everyone's cup of tea, but dammit they are mine.

"Just because we're beasts of blame by nature, doesn't mean that you should carry it again"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

One of the million reasons my husband rocks socks.

One of the greatest lessons I learned about love from my husband was that its the little things that mean the most. Its not about the grand gestures, whether or not they got you the most expensive gift.

It's knowing that he still likes to watch me sleep when his beard tickles my face in the middle of the night when he comes in to kiss me.

It's him proclaiming the handmade owl valentines for Stella's class, that say "Owl always be your friend", the cutest valentines ever and meaning it with all his heart, despite thinking it all a "hallmark" holiday.

Its how after nearly 10 years, and even though you've talked about it before, you still can have a twenty minute conversation about Van Halen and how they don't make them like Diamond Dave anymore. And how both Dave and Eddie were idiots for never respecting the importance of each others role in the band.

Happy Valentines Day.