Thursday, July 28, 2011

 E worries about her dreams and a while ago she listed off  bad dreams she remembers that are troubling her sleep. "Remember that dream I had about my hand falling off?" She said. She often asks me if I remember stuff, like we share a collective memory pool. She  asks me what she is thinking sometimes and gets really frustrated when I guess wrong or say I don't know. She simply doesn't understand how our thoughts are separate
"Yes, I remember, that was because your hand was squished under your body and went numb, when you woke up, you couldn't feel your hand. It didn't really fall off." 
"What about the dream where Zac got eaten by a crocodile?
and the dream where I get run over by a car with  shark teeth?
And the dream where Aber has a shark mouth on his back
and the dream where you get pulled off a ladder by a bunch of mad weeds
and the dream where I am sitting in a chair with arms and hands and feet and body parts all over me
and the dream where there are ducks with shark teeth.
There are a lot of shark teeth in her dreams.
When asked if I remember my dreams, I told her about dreaming that I was really thirsty and every time I went to turn on the tap, something other than water would come out. Emma thought that was a pretty lame dream and told me I would be better off not dreaming at all. 
Not as cool as shark teeth.                                                         


Aint I just the jet setter. Two days ago I whipped the kids up to Eastport to spend the week with Buggy and Grampy and now here I am in Detroit!  Kidless! Kidless in Detroit! It is such a strange feeling to be kidless. I feel like I'm floating. I also feel like I have forgotten something. I keep checking for my wallet.
Eastport was a very short visit but I did get to have time with wonderful friends. I wish the Hopkins clan could live in my pocket. It is the nature of life out there to be super conscious of how one lives and my friends are so wonderfully wildcrafty (Amy!) and macrobiotic (Ann!) and self sustaining (Beavers!) It is very inspirational.  I raced home the next morning to make it on time for my farmer's market gig (Which was super fun, lots of kids participating with percussion, lots of smiling faces and tapping toes, which is as close to dancing as it gets in New England.) Then up at 4am to get to the airport on time and now Detroit!

I have been wanting to come here. It seems like such an interesting city, and so far it is living up to my expectations. Driving around the power plant where Dennis is working is pretty shocking. Abandoned factories, huge apartment complexes trashed  with all the windows busted out, graffitti, ( Not the Shepard Fairey / Banksey kind.) totally sketchy, perpetually dark under-the-bridge nastyness. The other day, Dennis drove past a car completely engulfed in flames in the middle of the off-ramp. Some parts of Detroit are really harsh. Then I got down town and there are all of these great buildings and things happening. I went for a walk around and checked out the GM renaissance building which is super modern and fancy and filled with business people speaking every language from everywhere on earth.
Walking around the down town, I was chatted up by people at the stop light, waiting in line at a shop,walking down the street, everyone is so friendly. Its like Canada or something. Maybe a midwestern thing.
 One other thing I noticed in my first hours in Detroit: Fancy, fancy men. Usually in a city you get fashion ladies tripping about all over, and they are here too, but the men! I am talkng three piece suits! hats! (not baseball caps, real hats, fedoras, newsboy hats, really fancy matching-the-suit hats!) GLEE! fancy leather shoes! I guess it's motown so what should I expect, but I'm used to men who stop at clean jeans and button shirts. To see a man walking around with this much attention to detail made me want to go wash my hair and put on a skirt. I wonder how I can convince my husband to adopt this style.
my camera is in the shop getting fixed, so no pictures, too bad. I'll have to find an outdoor cafe and sketch the fancy people. and hey! I can actually do that 'cause I have NO KIDS! I can also go to the art galleries! And boutiques! and I can go into a bar and have a drink! In the middle of the day! But right now I am going to take a nap in this air conditioned hotel room.
cheers friends and family!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Keep calm and carry on

I was thrown for a loop today. I was talking to my Mum, to say bon voyage because she and Dad  are going to be out of contact for the next 20 days or so whilst they ride a refurbished fishing trawler around Greenland (!!)
 In the most offhand way, my mum says,"Oh you may not have heard yet, but your father and I had...well, we will call it a boating incident."  Then she proceeds to tell me how they came to sink their boat the other day. With them aboard. A mile from shore. Apparantly somebody *cough* forgot to replace the cover on a through-hull which is there to get at the impellar (this is a jet boat) and as they were going for "just a short jaunt" they were not totally prepared for emergency, so when the boat started to fill up with water and sink they had no flares or whatnot. They were wearing their lifejackets and the water was warm enough and some kids on shore saw the whole thing and ran for help. Mum managed to swim halfway back to shore (with one dog trying to climb on to her head) and Dad stayed with the boat. (With the other dog trying to climb up on his head.) The guy who came to rescue Mum was alone with no life jacket, but managed to get her aboard, and she felt it wasn't appropos to point out that he was not following proper boating procedures. Long story short, they all made it back to shore, boat included.  Luckily there was a
cat there to help haul the waterlogged boat out of the water and there was also a nurse (who was also diabetic!) who had a glucose moniter on hand so Mum could check her blood sugar. (Interestingly, blood sugar spikes with adrenaline, not the other way, which is what I would have expected) So there was the perfect scenario to sink a boat: Witnesses, fair weather,good water temperature, tractors, nurses, everything a man overboard could ask for. But what threw me was expectations. I honestly never expected to hear that my parents, who drilled boating safety into our heads (and general safety as well) Who have decades of boating experience, would ever be found in this situation. It is so wierd. And it is a reminder that in every day, every mundane thing you do, there is the potential for disaster, so be prepared for it. You never know what that drive down the highway could turn into, what could happen during that sunny trip to the lake. Luck favors the prepared. No matter how many times you do something, do it like it is your first time, or last. But it also reminds me that "Happy Disasters" (the ones where nobody gets hurt ) are a really good tool for jolting you into staying alert and never taking things for granted: A boat that claims to be unsinkable can sink. You are really the only thing that is looking out for you. Don't fail yourself. My parents stayed really calm as their boat sank and that is probably the most important thing of all:  Keep calm and carry on, as the Brittish said in WWII.
Happy adventures.

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's all in the way you think about it. Or as the talking heads say: It's how you frame the dialogue.
If I decide the day is a bust and the kids are out of control and there is nothing I can do about it well then that is exactly what will happen. But if I make the conscious decision that this boat is going to bloody well sail to Happy Land and drag myself out of the scuppers to do it, that happens too. A fart noise (or best of all, a real mom fart) is key. I was actually right in the middle of some horrible rant when I made this discovery. The kids were falling apart because  of she-got-the-X-and-I-wanted-it syndrome (which had been going on ALL day), and I finally cracked. Bending down to get on their level, (they, at this point were rolling on top of each other with their feet up each other's noses) to school their asses about life, a very distinct trumpet-like sound emitted from myself and it cut through the wall of crazy like a hot knife through butter. Instant giggles. Mood transformed.
It was that easy:
Act really mad, get in lecture position. A few words in, cut the cheese. Everyone giggles.
Now you can talk about the problem from Happy Land.
You're welcome.