An excerpt from a letter to a friend, & a shift in my writing:

We live in a world that praises the sleepless, the busy & the sociopathically cheerful despite it all.

Full excerpt to follow.


October Holiday Prep

Advent Calendar!

This is actually a post from 2010 that I’ve rescued from obscurity. Originally a series of mindless commercial plugs fueled by a holiday consumer madness, I’ve taken the original thoughts & fleshed them out. Holidays are special to me, and as I grow older, I feel more reflective each year. I’m alarmed by the Christmas madness that comes up a month earlier every season, & as an adult, I have a growing awareness of the sort of craziness that people put themselves through during this season that I cherish.

I have such high aspirations for the holidays; tree, lights, presents, baking, candy making, house decorations.

My parents always bought us one of the 12″x12″x2″ advent calendars with chocolate in them as we counted down the days. It says a lot about us, that we had one sweet per day, never much extravagance. I’d get one very nice present that I’d lobbied for in the months leading up to Christmas, but was never certain that I’d get. Stockings were the best, because Santa would cheat & sneak other little presents & treats into my stocking, as a surprise. The spirit of Christmas as Shawn defines it is alive in the stockings we both spill out across the bedspread on Christmas morning, while neatly wrapped packages sit under the tree – we usually already know what’s in them. But not the stockings.

It wasn’t until I grew up & moved out on my own that I started seeing advent calendars that didn’t resemble the ones I grew up with: these were a hybrid of a Christmas stocking & what I knew of as an advent calendar:

Burlap Sack Advent Calendar

When did this happen? I love the organic look, & my inner child is doing a little dance at the thought of that many tiny presents…but that is a lot of stuff. “Stuff” being a dirty word these days – I get that that they’re customizable, & if I were doing this, there would be Fran’s Chocolates, iTunes cards {little ones}, small toys or tools – can you imagine five of these containing one Swiss jewelry file a piece?

…I don’t think anyone would do this for me as well as me. Maybe some kind of exchange program where Shawn & I both fill one up for the both of us is in order.

If we’d had one of these when I was a child, it would have put a lot of pressure on my parents, who weren’t always able to, say, buy 25 straight days of presents. I think it would’ve been filled with satsumas, nice chocolates, & maybe three of them would have something small off of my list – the things I still wanted, but weren’t a high enough priority for the lobbying campaign. If something didn’t fit in the pouch, my dad would probably have written up a series of clues, as he did one year, leading me on a scavenger hunt around the house.

As an adult, I think it would be fun to have one of these for a holiday party: have everyone draw numbers & then watch the trades & sweet hoarding begin. Because 25 days of presents is a lot in a year when all I want is a pair of dress boots, a yoga top & a clean house.

October begins with Etsy Boot Camp newsletters filling my inbox, new earrings half-finished on my bench, the last of my enormous wardrobe selling one by one on eBay. I’ve decided to start the season of selfishness off by selling my most prized sweater, because I’ve only worn it once, it is that precious. Once it’s gone, I’ll probably never find another one like it. It’s a fitting symbol of my new mindset: you can’t have everything. Where would you put it?

October ends with gold & red leaves pouring down our streets ahead of the first November windstorm,  newly finished work being photographed & edited, a trip to the gem show, & a daylight lamp being installed in my office.

♥ Momo

Knitting Obsession: Habu.



Currently obsessed with: Habu. I’m not even obsessed with their yarn, really, as much as their photography and design. Does that make sense? If I can get some good light, I’ll try and put up some photos of the things I’ve been knitting, because I’ve been knitting up a storm. If knitting were bike riding, I would finally be on a two-wheeler, and no longer running myself into the muddy ditch all the time.










♥ Momo


Merry Christmas!


+ Happy Holidays ♥

Happy Halloween!



The Great Pumpkin is coming! Happy Halloween!

♥ Momo


Book love.


I am joyfully almost always in one bookstore or another since the beginning of the year… always shopping for someone else. My solution of photographing the books I would like to have for myself to revisit at a later date is fun, although less fun than walking triumphantly out of Elliott Bay Books with a three foot high stack of books in one arm & a cappuccino in the other. {The EBC makes the best cappuccinos . Thank goodness they’re in my neighborhood!} If my growing iPhoto gallery is any indication, I’ve saved my pocketbook at least for the immediate future. It’s so easy to get carried away after being cooped up for three months.

Booklist I

♥ Momo

Wanderlust 2012

Out + About


I’m finally getting out & about under my own steam! It’s so nice to be free again, & much sooner than expected, although my doctor says that I won’t be able to be on my feet to the extent that I was in October for another year, or maybe too. I view this news with alarm.

My new schedule means that I catch the light on my way home, & I’m back to prowling {limping} around the hill with my camera.

♥ Momo


New Couch Love.

Couch love.


We have a couch! This shouldn’t be the joyful news it actually is – but we’ve buckled down & started buying grown-up furniture.

The Helpers


Guarding the new arrival.



♥ Momo

Forgive My New Year Rant.

Via ModernHepburn.

Let’s talk about disordered eating.

To paraphrase the frequently reblogged quote: “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” This is especially true of women, who with everything we still deal with in this day & age should be supporting each other so much more than we do. Obvious example: the odds are good that no matter who you are -especially if you’re a woman- you have something you don’t like about your physical self, a belief that you are somehow “in progress”, a work yet unfinished & requiring constant vigilance & evaluation. You may not even think about it that consciously, but I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t have something, however small.

Everything in our environment feeds this body dysmorphic disorder , even the “health”-focused publications, which have their own agenda. They have investors to feed too, you know. {I do not apologize for bad puns.} I think that the women I know {including myself} walk around isolated in their issues -job, relationship, body, health, weight… it all seems to come down to weight. A personal example is that I’m trying to get healthy again after three months of total inactivity, & while facing limited weight bearing movement for the next year or so. I’m not happy with where my body’s at – who would be, after playing couch potato for any extended amount of time?

What I’m getting at is that we’re all walking around wrapped up in our own issues, bumping into each other long enough to look up, startled, & make a snap judgement of the person in front of us. I’m lucky: I have an awesome metabolism, & beautiful parents. I’ve been told many times since I became an adult that I look like a perfect 50/50 mix of the two of them. I am my mother in miniature, with my dad’s jaw, & I got the Japanese legs from his side of the family, but stretched out along a 35″ inseam, which I proudly declared to so many people before I realized one day that it really pisses them off.

I’m realizing that I piss a lot of people off. Because I’m wrapped up in myself – I would smack me too. I assume like so many people do that when people see me, they not only see who I am physically in front of them but also everything that I see when I look at myself.  However irrational, I think that they’ll see that I’m slightly over my usual weight, & that I’m tired because I stay up too late stressing over the same things they do. I assume that they will understand any blunders in whatever I say because they know that I’m essentially a nice person, who isn’t actively trying to piss them off. Alternately, when I’m looking at them, I only see a beautiful woman who’s wearing boots that I totally want, & who has gorgeous posture, & I can’t possibly know what their personal issues are at that moment unless they tell me, which they haven’t, & because I’m too wrapped up in what’s wrong with me by comparison to think about what’s going on with them.

We are all to some extent extremely self absorbed, & I consider myself to be pretty bad. I blindly & joyfully join conversations about food; talking about the food blogs that I read, the recipes I love that call for three sticks of butter, my unabashed love for the Top Pot Maple Bar. I assume this is a conversation that I’m welcome in; most of the time, the women having them are friends, or people I’ve met & have been talking to, & I assume that my input is as valid as everyone else’s.

But no fewer than twenty women, & probably a few more than that have stopped, their looks now icy, & coldly made cracks about how “cute” I am, because I talk too passionately about food “as though (I) actually eat it”. True quote, no paraphrasing.

I’m sure they think they’re so original, because they all laugh so loudly at the hilarious joke they’ve just made. They wait for me to laugh too.

It’s a snarky thing to say*. It’s wildly inappropriate at the best of times, & alienates & isolates me by labeling me as “other”. It puts them on one side of the line, & me squarely across from them. It makes me feel bad. On the one hand, I want to say to all of them, “Of course I fucking eat – you eat, she eats, we all eat. What the Fuck?”. {I try not to swear, & I realize that it would only undermine my point, but when people make me feel small, I get upset.}

What I find myself saying instead is something idiotic about ha ha, that’s hilarious, but you know, I do eat, & here, I’ll eat this, & that, in front of them – just so they’ll welcome me back into the conversation. Oh, & if they might never say it again. There are repeat offenders. I know why they’re saying it, & I know that for the people I know well enough to be around them & give them time to say it again, it may just be part of that social dance we sometimes do. Especially when you’re having a bad body day – we all have them, even if you think mine might be less alarming than yours, because it’s mine, & not yours. I have the same feelings as respects mine, for the record.

Those people who don’t know me – I write this for you, because I started this column with that quote about how everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle, & I’m about to make it relevant. You don’t know that I have genuine, 100% legit allergies to most of the artificial ingredients in shelf stable junk food, which means that my food choices can’t & aren’t fairly compared to those made by women who can eat everything in QFC without a trip to the hospital. You have no way of knowing this, & so you might feel alright about your back-handed compliment, but it’s important that you consider that whenever you’re talking to someone, you just don’t know everything about them. Maybe you’ll consider wether it’s really necessary to make that particular crack, or if you could keep the conversation positive. I guarantee that I have yet to meet someone who is intentionally trying to piss you off just by existing. {I’ve also had someone get upset with me for this…it was awkward.}

One woman I worked with about 6 years ago actually decided that this was an “allergy” – quotations to mean that my allergies were bogus, a cover for some kind of bizarre healthy food eating disorder she’s declared I had early on in the office gossip. She subsequently tried to get me to eat something she swore was homemade but was actually commercial box cookies with a particular dye in them – to prove that I was lying about why I eat organic & healthy food. {I knew how that particular cookie smelled, & called her on it. She went off in a huff.}

I’m looking at this draft & wondering if I’ve said this well – all of what I’ve written ought to fall into the “well duh” category, or the “she said what??” category, which is always validating to me, of course. But at the end of the day, I keep finding myself in this same awkward position, replaying the conversation at the end of the day & wondering what relationship/connection I’ve lost because I handled it badly.

Covering myself by joking that if they feel that way now, they’re really going to hate me in a few months when I get back into shape only further entrenches me in the “other” category. I know, I face-palmed when I got home. What is the right comeback, anyway?

What I’m trying to do here is change the conversation & start over. I promise not to rattle on about my “problems”, which are really only my business anyway, if you promise to talk about the food you love in the future without all those deprivation-mindset qualifiers. I want a more compassionate relationship for all of us, & I hope you understand.

♥ Momo

*Who’s said this to me? A family member, women I’ve worked with, friends of friends, former friends, girlfriends of boyfriends’ friends. Women in a store who overheard me talking to a friend in line at that store. I kid you not.


New Year: 2012

Swiss Roll & Tea

Happy new year!

Wish me luck. I’ve got big plans for this year, & only 354 days left to start them.


♥ Momo