Hangman with Liam

With the missed letter “L”:

“Hang on. Give me five minutes to draw the head.”

Hangman with Liam

If I win, he draws the rest of the figure as a clown.

The executioner, and his dread lever… the crowd around the platform…. the folk song (unexpected!) as the answer.  100% Liam.

It’s whirlier

My experience of Boston is definitely whirlier, more crowded than in the lazy, bohemian days of July, when I had the city practically to myself, and I would walk the streets alone,  late at night, in beautiful gowns, puzzling the locals.

People say, “where are you from?”

boston boston

The weather has continued to be beautiful; a few hot days earlier this week, back to cool and lovely today.

distorted feelings

The boys and I are sunburned and tired but happy; we ended up staying out all day today, watching the U.S.S. Constitution go out (from the Navy Yard) and sail back in (we were on Fish Pier for that).

It was the first time I had raced a battleship in a taxi.

Constitution sailing

Above, the view from the pier, with the ship under sail. Bri is in her usual spot now, fore fighting top. The two photos below were taken by a Navy photographer from the deck of the ship, and posted on the Constitution’s Facebook page.

fighting top

Sea Cheese

From the ground at the Navy Yard, the people who were around us watching the ship go out were all exclaiming over the beauty of the day, of the ship, and commenting with delight on the top captains, up in the rigging. People were saying, “Look at that tall, strong girl on the fore top!”

When she waved down at us, and the boys waved back, they said, “Is that your SISTER?”

The photo below was on their way out of the harbor; Bri is pretty high up in the rigging above the foresail; you can see her climbing.

Bri Of The High Seas 3

This was the ship’s last sail until she comes out of dry dock in 2018. When we go out in October, the sails will be off.

Bill comes home from Italy this weekend, and we move to Cambridge on Sunday.

The lads and I got their school schedules finalized on Thursday. They each got exactly what they had hoped for, and we all loved the high school (Cambridge Rindge and Latin). It’s practically on the Harvard campus; sandwiched in between the cluster of museums and the main Cambridge Library. The kids and the teachers are friendly, open, intelligent, everyone seems free to be who they are. I really like that. Liam’s guidance counselor is fantastic. I’m sure that they are going to be in a good place this fall. I’m glad it’s all set.

I’m psyched to see Miss Fish next weekend, and spend a few weeks in Tucson, swimming, working, shipping books.

Happy. Tired. Sunburned.


My, what a time it’s been. It’s good to be feeling human again, find my own self in my skin. For so long now, I’ve been a machine, moving toward the goal. At some level, that’s still the case, but the creative work is no longer at the fore, its all admin until the shipping is finished. It’s still work, of course, but it doesn’t consume my consciousness.

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Like any type of birthing process, the travail of the final blaze of work in service of press and production of the CGB book set is fading from my consciousness, and now I’m just a squirrel, working in my database, agog at the many names and pre-orders for the book. I admit, I hadn’t really been keeping track in past months. And I don’t really think about books in terms of how many copies sell. I write odd little manuals, that’s fine with me.

However. There are rather a large number. I still don’t know exactly how many, I won’t have final counts until I finish the data entry; there are things to look up, things to check, to solve, new orders to add. My database is what I will live or die by in the shipping; one slip of a line could essentially destroy me. It sounds dramatic, however, the fact is that if I ship a thousand orders incorrectly, I will have no way to ship a thousand more in replacement or adjustment. This has turned out to be a project of a scope that I never would have tackled, had I any idea. That is both worrisome and thrilling.

I knew that if I kept a very conscious count of the numbers while the project went into overtime, they would floor me, and make it too difficult to imagine how to handle them all, or make me feel badly for taking so long. In fact, just thinking about how to successfully release the digital edition of Volume II before shipping is a bigger thought-ball than I can fit into my head. It is no longer possible to email large groups of people without getting a professional license. Which I am not doing, because I have no intention of emailing anyone, about anything, unless it’s a personal message or I am replying to a query.

Karen Beningfield and I have a plan, which I hope will work smoothly. I’ll put up a post on Monday morning with a link, here, on the Book Blog, and on our Facebook page.

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My bank account, after paying last week’s installment to the press and my own bills, is down to 54 cents, which is amazing, if not in the least surprising. It’s been an interesting couple of years.

I’ll be putting up delights in the Shop for the next month, Treasure Boxes, metalwork, one-of-a-kind pieces. The usual delights.  Have a peek if you like, there are three rather beautiful boxes in there now, plus of course the book pre-orders, fine art prints, and the Volume II Bead Assortment (which is all beads, no findings, and what beautiful beads they are…)

I am grateful for your support in all forms, past, present and future – love, links, orders, tomatoes, good wishes. You name it, I am thankful for it.

Anyway, if you’ve been thinking about a bead kit, a book, or a Treasure Box, or putting in your wholesale order, now is a rather nice time on this end. And remember, only the pre-orders of Volume II and the two-book set are going out of my studio, signed, with postcards. After that, shipping will be a bit less personal, done by Amazon, Helby, etc., so if you want the traditional package, please order before September 15th.

Love! And thank you, for everything.

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just another mindbending sky

It was a beautiful day in Boston.

Boston skies

I registered the boys for school (papers accepted!), signed the galley corrections for the books, sent a freakload of email, paid my bills, and made eight Treasure Boxes in some of the pretty cigar boxes I got downtown.  No charge for the boxes, of course.

I love this building on the corner of Mass Ave. and Tremont. The green turrets slay me.

Mass Ave and Tremont

There is a real yarn-bombing mindset here. Fuzzy poles and bridges everywhere, very nice.


Bill will be in Boston tomorrow, which is great timing. I am definitely interested in a kiss or three.


I am astonished that we are moving to Cambridge in two weeks (during the Crush, too) and even more astonished that I myself arranged it, due to the every bit as astonishing circumstance that I have two children still in high school.

Of course it’s fairly common in this world for people who are not suited to things to find themselves doing them.

flowers on a summer evening

When I was a child, I naively thought I was only responsible for my own education. I knocked off 12 years in 10, I was so motivated; I was in university at the age of 16. Well, the joke was on me; I was clever, but I hadn’t twigged to some really obvious things, like how life really works.

This morning, having filled out an inch-high stack of repetitive, dated forms, in which I was asked to hand-write the same information over and over (I am amazed that these forms have not improved in my lifetime) I must now get on the bus and go to School.

Whatever they tell me to do, I must do. If they need a document, I must procure it. Clutching my papers, I am off to try to do the best for my boys, to try to stand in for Bill, who will soon enough be here to take over.

Bill has no qualms about School, like the noble people I must now go submit my paperwork to, he’s given his life to education. Me, I feel like a wolf, submissive, uncomfortable, hoping for the best.

cool and chewy

It was a lovely cool day today in Boston. I’ve retreated to odd hours and back streets, because the city is filling up again.

One of the things that fascinates me about entire blocks of identical row houses or brownstones is how each segment has been pimped or trimmed or painted through the years to give it individuality.

pretty night in boston

This street has so many lovely examples that it’s hard to choose which one is my favorite. But I admit a fondness for the simple, clean white.

there is plenty of summer left

In my dreams, I am living summer. It’s probably a piece of me from later today, after I sign and submit the final Volume I press galleys. Temptation is strong to just sign them all without a final review and move on with life, but that would be undignified after all of this work.

I’m achy and thrashed, in and out, but that’s just to be expected. It’s completely normal. In eight weeks, this feeling will be forgotten, and the happiness of delivering content will fill me. This is a perfect time to look not only in the mirror, to see where I am putting noise in place of signal, but at the mirror image of what makes me happy.

Administrative work is in my crosshairs right now; I’ve singled it out of the herd of distractions and positively identified it as the down side of my life in society. It dogs days, it steals pieces of peace, it eats little bites of my mental rivers, it is the rock that I am tied to and cannot seem to cut away from, but I see that this is mostly because I am linked administratively with other humans, and so am often prevented from acting swiftly. Things drag on, papers useless and useful stack up.

I am infested with determination. I must get this soulless section of my life, dreaded Admin, smaller.

All Dead

mouse and hedgehog in glass boxes, Museum of Natural History, Harvard

I realize that I am really hungry; twelve hours ago, at 10 pm., I was deciding I was too beat to walk out for dinner. Right now, I won’t make the same mistake. The morning was cold, but I’ll bet the day has turned sparklingly summery and that in the fringes out here in the South End a girl with a manuscript can still get a table.

In Cambridge there are suddenly so many people, milling about, each campus is full of tours, freshers with their parents, many people feeling awkward in new spaces. I can only imagine the malls, the Target store. Everyone will be out shopping this weekend- it’s a tax holiday in Massachusetts, presumably to help people handle school supplies and college move-ins.

This is a day, a week, to walk the edges of the hive of humanity.