Martha Thinks

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wrapping up the Summer Tour

On the last day of summer, or the first day of fall, however you look at it, I went to see U2 at Gillette Stadium for my birthday. Really, what can I say?
Should I say that Bono is awesome and cute and that hearing him sing "With or Without You" live in person made my insides go weak? That I could not believe all of the mad crunching guitars and drums coming from just 4 guys? That it was not just a rock show with one #1 hit after another followed by enormous applause (even though that's true, too) but more of a ride, up and down, slow and fast, beautiful and moving, happy and wistful? It's nothing new, nothing fans don't already know. I won't miss a chance to see them again. Happy Birthday to me and thank you Cindy, it was a "Beautiful Day".
Cindy in front of their spaceship right out a Rugrats episode.

This was cool, though. It was a honeycomb video screen that shrunk and grew. Here it did look like it was about to launch!
proof I was in attendance ; )

Bono as he should be - bathed in a golden light.
"I am a Golden God"... what movie is that from? Betcha lunch.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pocketful of Posies

My mother and her friend, Mrs. Hagan, always had lovely flower gardens and I always remember these little bunches of flowers that would be put together in a coffee mug or little cute vase. They'd be refreshed every couple of weeks for the coffee table. They'd have a little bit of everything. I knew they were from the garden, but really it seemed like they were from a florist they way all of the colors splashed up against each other. Once winter came, they'd have pine branches, berries and white carnations.
Whatever was around, whatever they could share.

Once I gave myself "permission" to use my scissors in my garden (what the heck was I waiting for???) I re-created those lovely little arrangements. Everything here is from my own garden...taken separately, they look o-kay, but together completely charming. Now I see that all of those little bunches on my mother's big old wooden storage box used as a country coffee table without a doubt planted the seeds for my own interest in art, painting flowers, and a love of color theory~

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Mending Wall

"Something there is that doesn't love a wall
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast..."

but like Mr. Frost, I say
"good fences make good neighbors"

Privacy is a huge issue for me. Maybe having 4 brothers and, yes, a room to myself, but not much else. Especially since moving from a town that had a lot of green space where everybody had a yard you could have a touch football game in more or less; to a town where the lots were a wee bit bigger than a postage stamp.

Well, in our current yard we had a 40 foot row of hedges that had been left untended by the previous owner. Overgrown on top was a tangled mess of grapevine leaves. To my country soul, I loved it. It was a home for the bunnies and protected the birds in winter. They had overgrown somewhat into my neighbors yard. We have opposite tastes on what to do with our postage stamps. She is not a gardener and likes her space flat and green. She said "I will put up a fence if you take the hedges down." We took them out 2 weeks after her proposal; 4 months later no fence. So all summer I didn't use my deck because I felt like I was on stage when I was out there, as if the neighborhood was watching my every move. Rationally, I know that they had better things to do with their time.
Finally, I could take it no more and hired a nice carpenter, Dave, to put up a "privacy screen" on the end of our deck. Boy does this piece of wood make me happy. I think it makes the puppy happy, too.
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Autumn Light

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Traveling Man

Husband traveling
how I hate it
All that driving
and feeding kids
and laundry
and dog walking
now I am sure
that those who
do it alone everyday
have no sympathy for me
and I get that
but I was not designed
to carry the spear
not I
Seattle, now England
10 long days
6 more to go
I may perish
be found in a bowl of dust
at the end of the journey.

Friday, September 11, 2009

We Remember

These photos I found in sequential order more or less, taken within 4 or 5 shots of each other and I thought they'd be appropriate for today. I am proud to be an American and wish I could erase the sorrow this day causes so many.

Memorial Day Weekend - putting up a new flag in Reading Square. I love how the school bus is in the background. This is my town.

The Wilson's annual bbq. Games on the front lawn, elementary school next door, hamburgers on the grill, taking time to connect with friends and come together. This is my neighborhood.

Old Glory against a summer sky. This is my country.

how did your garden grow?

June, 2009...we did get started a little late this year...but there was a sunny spot in the yard, not big, but the right size for us to have a little garden. This spot took Rich about an hour to dig out!
In went the tomato plants one by one.

and a few flowers...

big brother got into the act

this was taken today, September 11. We did it! It worked!

that is not a biscuit ; )

granted, it's not the prettiest looking thing in the world, but we feel very proud of ourselves and have many sauces to make with our dozens of tomatoes. Next year, pumpkins? And maybe I'll throw in a little picket fence to "Martha" it up next season.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Oh Yes I Did!

They don't particularly like it...but it cracks me up. And now the neighbors have come to expect these little notes on the first day of school.


(I couldn't find the in-between years, darn.)

and then I found this little gem from 2005.
I mean, I know they are my kids but how freakin' cute is this???
It is no cliche that they grow up way too fast. They really do.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

little reggae, little ska, lotta soul

Such a fun night! My friend Kathy took me to see the Counting Crows, Michael Franti and Spearhead and Augustana. Honestly, mostly all new to me...or so I thought. I totally recognized the Augustana song "Boston"

...she said I think I'll go to Boston
I think I'll start a new life
I think I'll start it over
Where no one knows my name

I'll get out of California
I'm tired of the weather
I think I'll get a lover
And fly 'em out to Spain..

you know it right? Well the whole night was a joyful combination of reggae, jazz, funk, ska and everything else in between. Lots and lots of dancing. True fans they have, on their feet all night. It a was outside at the Bank of America Pavilion (love that place!) so it felt outside and all closed in at the same time.

Michael Franti and Spearhead have a new song on the radio
Say Hey (I Love You)

I say hey I'll be gone today
But I'll be back all around the way
It seems like everywhere I go
The more I see
The less I know
But I know (I know) one thing (one thing)
That I love you

Michael Franti and Adam Duritz

happy, smiling faces all
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Michael Franti brought these kids onstage to help him sing
"Say Hey (I Love You)"

Adam Duritz, Emmy Rossum and lead singer of
Augustana. Emmy Rossum guesting for the night? Yep
on a cover from "Angel from Montgomery" no less. Loved it!

14 people on stage together most of the night. No egos here.

what I'm painting now

I guess I got a little inspired by vacation and did the first one there. I wish I could do it all day ; )

these bottom two are's not your screen. I was going for a "washed" look.

Oh-ey, Oh-ey, Ohhh!!

It definitely started when I had Ronan. I sat on the couch recovering from the c-section and ate oreos. (eww, those two things are kinda gross together, sorry!) For two weeks, I ate oreos and Jello Tapioca pudding. I still remember it. And now who can eat just 3? or 4? So crunchy, chocolatey, the best! I've gone through "No oreos in the house!" phases, but often then find their way back in. Not everyone here even likes them. But for me, a total addiction. I've gotta shake it.

3 okay?
Posted by Picasawhere the heck did the row go?

I'm not taking the fall for this one...

Pokemon - it's a boy's world

Over these many years raising all these boys I have come to see a definite pattern in their interests. They start out with the truck phase, dumptrucks, augerdrillers, watching the video of backhoes pushing sand around over and over and over again. Then they move on to the dinosaur phase. "Fierce and tiny Compsagnathus" as little Carter would yell running around with his plastic model. Stegosaurus, Platyosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops they were all painted on the bedroom wall by his wonderful mother!

My personal favorite and the toys I still have and I don't care what anybody says they
are completely precious to me - the Thomas the Tank Engine phase.

How I loved (and I really mean that) the pleasant sound of George Carlin's voice narrating those videos. Ringo Starr and Alec Baldwin not so much. This, perhaps the most costly of all hobbies as each train rang in at about $7-$14 a pop and the accessories! A bridge for $50? Yes, all worth it to me. Brady wouldn't go to sleep with out "uck, uck"...Duck, the green engine. Worn to shreds. Metal, then. Paint chewed off. Well, at 16 he's still with us, so no harm no foul.

Finally we come to the Japanese Phase. Oh they won the war, all right. They won the war on the wallets of parents in America with 5 to 9 year old boys. It started off as a tiny ripple on the toy scene, back in 1996. That lasted for about a week. Then full-on Pokemon. Cartoons like Dragonball-Z and Digimon, cards, movies, games. Hundreds and hundreds of cards. Special collectible folders. Letters home from school - "Principal bans Pokemon cards at lunch!" Pikachu - Charzard - MagiKarp - Squirtle - Jigglypuff - make it stop, please somebody, make it stop!!! At that point, these cards were only available in a little collectible store near where we lived, not yet mass-marketed at Target, and believe me, those shop owners are resting comfortably on their yacht in the Bahamas right about now with their winnings.

I signed off all things Pokemon when I knew it was over my head. I wasn't smart enough to play the game. There, I've said it. I provided the goods, but no way no how was I even talking about it. The Pokemon cards of the late 90's are valueless, what a surprise, just a lot of yard sale inventory. But what you say? It's made a comeback? Yes, the little boys like it again. There's a big Japanese brother on the horizon, though. Bigger and tougher. BAKUGAN. Little plastic balls that transform when you throw them on magnetic plates. $9 each. The current wave "must have toys". Money for college? What's that?

Ronan and his friend enjoying the last days of summer.