At the pool this afternoon, Helen was playing with Marley, the teenage girl that lives down the street (we were actually trying to get Marley to teach Alice how to swim, since I can’t get in the pool for another week, but Alice wasn’t participating). Anyway. Marley got up because the phone was for her, and Helen asked, “Where’s Marley?” I teased her that Marley had left since Helen wouldn’t go to the deep end with her, and Helen said, “Well, F***.”

In front of my mother.

With exactly the same inflection I used this morning when I dropped something on my foot in the laundry room. Helen was downstairs and out of earshot, or so I thought.

I got up close and personal and said, “I’m sorry, what was that? What did you just say?”

She looked at me. She looked at my mother. She looked back at me… “I said… ‘duck’….?”

“Um, no, I’m pretty sure that’s not what you said.”

She looked down, said, “I’m sorry,” and gave me a hug.

I said, “That’s okay. Just be careful, OK, kiddo?” and dropped it.

Ai yi yi.

Wow. Just…. wow.

This quilt, by Kathy York, was featured in Quilting Arts Magazine, which I received yesterday.

I have been daydreaming since. THAT is the kind of thing I need to be doing. That RIGHT THERE.

I’m so stimulated.

And to think, our little girls are about the same age, I think. Her daughter might be a year older than Helen, but they’re close. I wish she lived nearby. I’d call her up and invite myself over or something. Simply amazing.


I’ve always been a creator. Either by performing the same song over and over while standing on the hearth in my parents’ den to drawing, coloring, sewing, painting, anything I could get my hands on. I had to create.

When I was in 2nd grade, the teacher had stacks of green-and-white striped accordioned used computer paper in the corner of the room, so that we’d have paper to draw on (the other side of the paper was plain white). When she wasn’t paying attention, I’d rip off a stack of it and carefully put it in my desk. I’d use this paper to draw houses (I was going to be an architect, you know), princesses, horses, and anything else I could think of.

I drew this one picture of a princess, and it was the most beautiful picture I had ever drawn. She had rings on every finger, fur cuffs and waistline, and layers upon layers of multicolored ruffles in her skirt (with sidebustles, the high fashion of 1980, of course). I gave this, my most prized possession, to my mother as a birthday gift that year. I remember being really excited to give it to her.

Three months later, she gave it back to me, charted and stitched in cross-stitch, complete with my crooked second grade signature.

Princess in Cross-Stitch

It still hangs in my parents’ house, just outside my mom’s art studio. I don’t know that she sees it every time she goes in there, but it makes me very happy that my treasured masterpiece from second grade is there with her. Eventually I’ll come claim it and display it next to some treasured artwork by my own children, but for now, I’m content to have it over there, where I probably notice it more because it hasn’t been absorbed into our chaotic home.