wilderness apparel

Little known fact: it was on a camping trip that Jeremy first confessed his love for me.

Probably more known fact: that was the last camping trip I have been on. (It’s been eleven years!)

Thus I hold great affection for camping trips, but not enough to actually, you know. Go  camping.

These shirts from Etsy seller Wilderness Apparel are technically for people who are outdoorsy types, so I feel a little dishonest buying them–though they were seriously too great to pass up. I had been searching the site for hand-drawn designs (also lovely, non-snarky designs…is it just me, or is it really difficult to find a graphic tee that’s not snarky or in a foreign language?) The tees in this shop were just perfect. I wanted to get almost all of them. Not to mention the great quality of the shirts themselves (very soft!) and the super-fast shipping. Oh, and did I mention they’re currently Buy Three, Get One Free?

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“life is a beautiful ride” tee by wilderness apparel

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“morning coffee & the mountain air” tee by wilderness apparel
(This one is my favorite, I think.)

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“momma bear” tee by wilderness apparel

So there you go. If you’re looking for happy, good quality, lovely graphic shirts that aren’t snarky or pretentious, go pay a visit to this shop!

wilderness apparel

changed, unchanged

disclaimer: This post was originally written about three weeks ago during a trip to florida. There are no seagulls in Marietta, but there are ferns, with fairies in them.

It’s late afternoon on a Sunday; the shadows are long and cooling, and the breeze coming through the backyard makes you forget how hot it was only an hour or two ago. This moment is the perfect climate for me. The brilliant blue of the sky and the yellow-green of newly sprung leaves, the strange mix of the calls of seagulls and songbirds, the shady mystery of the mass of ferns at the edge the yard all too easily tip towards the ethereal. There are probably fairies in those ferns.

With me here are three boys all devoted to their particular interests: the oldest is engaged in repeatedly pouring sand onto the concrete patio and smoothing it with a steamroller to make a road; the middle son has stripped off all his clothes and is sitting quietly in a wading pool filled with water that is probably too cold even for me to brave; the youngest is sitting next to a container of small toys which he pulls out one at a time, inspects, tastes, then throws aside before moving on the next. As he works, he squeals quietly to himself—it’s his way of carrying on a conversation. He’s the first of the boys to do that.

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 I’ve devoted a lot of time this year to reading more fairy tales, finding they balance a personality that’s too given to cynicism. I’ve been eschewing music that’s intentionally pessimistic and sardonic. This has been out of sheer necessity. You never really think about the worldview behind a particular lyric until you hear your small child sing it to himself. Then you realize the fire you’re playing with in their lives and yours, and you find suddenly that you just don’t have the stomach for it anymore, even when they’re not around.

I recently rambled on the phone to a good friend that I felt like things in my life were becoming “more green and blue”. This doesn’t really make sense, and I realized it after I said it but then couldn’t really articulate what on Earth I meant by it. I’m not a synesthete (though I probably could be if I tried hard enough; F# major is burgundy.) but the Myers-Briggs says I’m intuitive and I suppose that means I occasionally feel things that can’t really be described in words. My favorite colors are blues and greens and have been all my life (except for a brief obsession with pink) so the association is one of returning to beauty, loveliness, and a sense of innocent wonder. I attribute this partially to the fairy tales and partially to the sublime music of a friend, and partially again to the much-needed arrival of Spring and the climate of perfection I described earlier.

I have a board on Pinterest that is titled, simply, “LOVE”. It’s for things that—wait for it—I love. Like really, really love. I have strict rules of admission: I have to literally gasp or hold my breath (I do that sometimes) when I see the image for it to be included on the board. It’s been interesting to see what has been gathered there. There are more bees that I thought, not as many owls as I thought, and lots and lots of greens and blues. And a little bit of pink. Some things don’t really change, I guess.

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I wrote this poem twelve years ago this month. Isn’t that interesting? I had forgotten about it until I saw a link to it suggested under a recent blog post of mine. It’s quite unpolished–I hadn’t ever tried a pantoum before, and the whole thing feels rather rusty (I also messed with the format). Plus I was eighteen. That accounts for a lot.

I climb a winding stair of green
to reach the dome of brightest blue
of all I see below, I’m queen
although I’m only passing through

I reach the dome of brightest blue
and gaze upon the sight below
although I’m only passing through
a sense of longing in me grows

I gaze upon the sight below
the world’s alive, and all is green
a sense of longing in me grows
a song I feel I need to sing

the world’s alive, and all is green
the winding path, the sunlit lake
a song I feel I need to sing
the sun its leave begins to take

the winding path, the sunlit lake
to them, at last, I say farewell
the sun its leave begins to take
as down the mountain path I steal.

to them, at last, I say farewell
and notice where the green things grew
as down the mountain path I steal
what once was green is now grey-blue.

I notice, where the green things grew
as stars come out, the sun is gone
what once was green is now grey-blue
as twilight’s shroud is coming down.

the stars come out, the sun is gone
I think upon the greyish hue
as twilight’s shroud is coming down
I dwell in realms of green and blue

I think upon the greyish hue
that overtook the stair of green
I dwell in realms of green and blue
and of all I see–I’m queen.

changed, unchanged

anselm turns one

We celebrated Anselm’s first birthday during a trip to Florida earlier last month. I headed down while Jeremy was busy chaperoning a school trip since the trip would mean he would be out of down for this milestone birthday. I wanted to be able to celebrate his day with family.

On his birthday proper we had a picnic in a park, but a few days later (after Jeremy was able to join us) we had a real party with all the good stuff, like cake and frisbees and cake and playgrounds and cake and family. And cake.

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Happy Birthday, Sweet Son.

anselm turns one

a woodsy walk, v. 2013

We recently went for a stroll at a local national park with some friends and their children. I thought it a great opportunity to exercise the new fisheye lens, so the camera came along.

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Elder Muse was very happy to be “OW-SIIIDE”, but poor Little Muse was not happy that his place in the Moby meant he got camera in the face every time Mama took a picture. Which was…kind of a lot.

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He ended up hanging out with Daddy instead.

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There was lots of walking and lots to see. Here are some of my favorite moments. Special thanks to the M family for letting me get all up in your faces with the fisheye, and for getting some shots of us as well. 🙂

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a woodsy walk, v. 2013