Monday, June 30, 2008

It was the best of times... was the best of times.

We have just returned from our annual foray to Grand Lake Colorado--the 2008 expedition topped 'em all!! Were it not for my ripening tomatoes, my spot on the couch 'neath a fancy ol' lamp, my favorite jeans that i couldn't-possibly- wear-one-more-time without washing, were it not for ice cream and old epsiodes of "law & order"--were it not for those little "homey" things you don't miss before you're away from them--were it not for all that, i'd be yearnin' for a dirt nap due to geographical depression. Simply put, we had a blast. This was the view from the "back porch":

Our first evening, gathered around the table, I excitedly told 6 other people who really didn't care that our house on the lake reminded me of Stephen King's BEST story EVER--Bag of Bones. And sure enough....look what was right outside our little veranda/deck thing??!!

That's right, sister. An owl decoy!!!

Do I remember anything about the owl decoys in the book? Nope. Could i find a reference on wikipedia to explain the spine-tingling penny-in-yer-mouth-taste fear that rippled up my twacked spine? Not at all. Could i be mistaken? sure....i'll have to read up on it. But, i knew we were in for a good time! I mean, any house that reminds you of your favorite Stephen King is just a sure bet for entertainment!!

We stayed at ____________. Now, i could tell you where it was, but the thing is...we might be felons. We are not "fishermen"...not even "fisherwomyns", or "fisherpersons". No, no. We are fishkillers. My children tell everyone: We killed a FISH!!! (sigh) Our lake was "catch and release"--which meant any and all of us could fish, without a license, but we couldn't keep our...quarry? I dunno. Upon reflection, maybe there's a reason people have to have a license for all that. Instead of catch-and-release, it was...catch-and.....and....this was kind of how it went...

JOE: where's that thing???
MEGAN: what thing???
JOE: in-the-box-in-the-box-in-the-box!!!!
MEGAN: Where's the CAMERA!!! It's her first FISH!!!
(like this is any sort of "rite of passage" for Wommacks???)
JOE:...did my mug go in the lake?
MEGAN: (muttering) ooooohhhh! hope-hope!!!
SUSAN: Put those dogs AWAY!!!

MAGGIE: AAA-eeeeee!!!! aaaa-EEEEEEE!!!
(Maggie made this strange high keening sound...the whole time there was a fish out of the was a "happy" sound...just very, very, weird...)

CHLOE: Get MY picture!!! MOM!!'s my fish picture...
(with enormous toothless smile...)


DANIEL: wow. you caught (read: killed) another one. great. (he was the fish-cleaner...)
JOHN: (sotto voice) I think we should STOP FISHING!!

But we couldn't. It was a compulsion...a slimy scaled addiction we could not "kick". We could not admit we were powerless in the face of such mad, crazy, fun...poles came apart, worms pooped, lines tangled, dogs snorted lake water and ate weird stuff...and we all screamed with glee at each slip-slapping trout we stealthily landed. Except me. I can't catch poop-for-applesauce in the trout dept. So, I rescued the fish...catch-and-release-and-a-little-fishy-CPR. I would canoe or pontoon (sort's hard to describe what i did...)...float out to the fish we'd nearly killed, and gently run them through the water...I revived 3 in this compassionate, floating, manner.
I am a trout-whisperer.

And what else did we do??? hmmmmmmmmmm....let me seeeee....Made pancakes:

One of us lost another tooth!!

Saw "nature stuff":

And every now and then....when we absolutely had to...we finally.....slept. :)

We were chatting in the garden with our neighbors today...and i said, "Maggie...can you tell them what happened when we were camping?" (because i'm just sure she'll proudly brag about her 14" trout she caught....)
Until next time...remember:
"God doesn't close a door without throwing you out the window."
E.P., 2000
PS--owl decoys really are creepy...SK or no.
PPS--Guess what Maggie says before she plants zucchini seeds?
"Alllllriiight, ladies. Hold onto yer' hats!"

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Primitive Rug Hooking...

...a fine old tradition, that's as "old as the hills"~~but new to me! My buddy, Sherry Kristoff, can tell you that I've been longing to hook a primitive style rug for years now...several attempts didn't pan out~~wrong supplies, a possible wool allergy (not the case, thank goodness!!)...a little bit o' operator error...(sigh)

A little over a year ago my friends on the PRHG chat board were discussing Magdalena Briner...and it was diagnosable/official. I had been bit by the bug! I made this dollie~~"Maggie"~~who'd holding a Magdalena design...i needle punched the dollie's rug...

("Maggie" lives with Rochelle Fugate these sure to check out her dollies! Rochelle is one of my favoritest doll artisans...she makes "the list" with the likes of Scott Radke & Akira Blount~~)

But, i digress....(maybe i'm feeling a bit dolly-making-ish???? hmmmmmmmmmm....)

Anywho. I am hooked. and whenever i come across something new (to me), i devour anything and everything i can find on the subject...books, sites, and other artist's knowledge...

My first completed rug is here, on the Primitive Rug Hooker's Group blog...a gift, for my husband, for father's day...a daddy robin with 2 little eggs. It is nice to have something in our home that i have made, myself (a rarity...). As some of you know, these past few weeks~~heck, even months!~~have been stressful,'s a season, i know, and will pass in time...and i must tell you. Pulling strips of wool up through a linen burlap backing is the best therapy i have found thus far! Easy on the hands, lovely on the eyes...and Maggie, who is 4, is enchanted with the wool "worms". (which does not bode well for my stash, I can tell you!) She was at my side for most of this rugs creation (you may visit it on eBay June 15th-21st 6pm MST):

This rug is included in a pattern book that my daughter Chloe and i have created together~~i can tell you, her folk designs are MUCH better than mine. They are primitive and whimsical in the purest sense of both words...nothing contrived, everything honest. She's quite the little artist!! We both have little poems in the book, along with 16 charts to hook or punch...this poem is companion to the above hooked rug:

*Ain't a 'Fraidy Cat!*

I ain't afraid o' Halloween,
not skeered o' haint or witch~~
I ain't afraid o' Hallow's Eve,
it's just a merry stitch!!

I ain't afraid o' Halloween~~
I'll wrastle boo or bat!I ain't afraid o' twelve o'clock,
I ain't a 'fraidy cat!

Megan Wommack ©2008

Until next time~~



Thursday, June 5, 2008

"Nothing gold can stay..."

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost~~

Frances May Arnold

May 1st 1927 ~ June 4th 2008

Banned from most K-Marts in Weld County...wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt...and friend. Such a wonderful list of credentials to carry away with you!

Grampa Francie will be so missed~~

...and her memory lives on in the sparkling eyes of her grandchildren~~

Frances was a firecracker. Absolutely. Her strength, character, and personality were exactly like the beautiful flashes of flower shaped sparks that light up summer skies in early July--I'm sure she's still that way. I am certain.

Now, the little gal in the green sweater (above left) is Maggie and she is 4. She is Francie's great-granddaughter. While Frances was passing, beginning her journey, Maggie was blocks away at a play date with her buddies...and one little fella she didn't quite "take to". She would sweetly tell the little boy,

"okay...that's enough....



Francie lives so many ways. :)

I could be a complete milk-toast, and still raise strong, beautiful, daughters. It’s genetically destined.

It rained here all day yesterday. It's still's grey and cold and dismal outside....but when Frances passed, it was in a room filled with light, with peace. A room filled with love as she was surrounded by her family...

It was airy, the light seemed a very pure, pale, blue...the back-drop for a rainbow's promise.

A few moments after, I found my husband and his uncle in a small coffee-kitchen in our hospice. The three of us just stood there, looking out a picture window at the grey and stormy sky....Uncle Gino noted that this was not the sky that Grandma Francie was seeing...her sky is blue and full of beautiful white more storms of pain, no more grey. We stood looking at the sky....and then, there was this vibrant, powerful flash of lightening...the kind that's pure light...the sort of lightening that illuminates the entire world... that moment, I knew all was well and as it should be. I turned to Joe and said:

"She just got there."

I have only known Francie for about 9 years--while I admired her strength, her humor, her spirit, I did not know her as well as I would have wished. My sorrow is, mostly, for her wonderful family. A family that is becoming my own, over the years, as we share in the joy of birth and celebration--and now, share the grief of death. The emotions in my "heart" today are a perfect mixture of grief and joy. Francie is cutting a rug on a carpet of clouds, while we all sit here--quite blue--on a cold and lonely earth. How well we know~~nothing gold can stay.

The one thing, a memory, I have gone over and over again these past few weeks, is when Francie and Duane came to see our new little house, years ago. I had planted "just a bit" of mint in the flower beds. Francie told me that I'd better dig it up, pot it, and re-plant it in the pots...otherwise it would spread everywhere. I was 20-something, so what did she know? A lot, as it turns out. That freakitin' mint is everywhere. And now, it's wonderful nuisance-of-a-memory....Francie was right, she always is...

With the single exception of the song, “yellow bird”, which Harry Belafonte did not record…but I know Harry did sing that song...somewhere, somehow—my abundant mint is proof.

You can probably tell what she thought of me:

goodbye, "Grampa Francie"~~

your are loved and missed, quite dearly.