Pumpkin Cottage

Pumpkin Cottage
sit and visit a spell

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mama I am coming home

 Bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan.

Vintage Emporium Long Beach

Living Mr. Lee style.
This morning I woke to....
Ozzie singing Mama I am coming home
His rocker heart singing to his wife Sharon.  
Traveling on the road missing his wife and children.

Other mornings I wake to Louis Armstrong
What a Wonderful World.
This morning Ozzie's lyrics pained me.
Men do not have it better than women.
Yes, they earn more for the same work.
This discussion is about work life balance.
It's about how politics can't be separated from public policy.

The dilemma wrapped around my heart
and grew into  as a lump in my throat.
Women still have an out.
What man  grows up believing they have
a choice to one day stay home with their children?
I am sure there are plenty of men on the road at this very
moment wanting to be home and
torn between providing and being there.

Bloom in all Circumstances

Mama. Papa.
Entrusted with the care of another human
being. In my early twenties I gave birth to son number 1.
My endeavors were no longer important.

From the day he was born and for each of his 3 siblings
each day is for them.

Other women say I inspire because I am driven.
True, I have aspirations but my aspirations are all
wrapped in my children's futures.  My aspirations are
modest and don't involve traveling or having a dream
job.  Long ago I made the choice not to travel for my
job.  To be home every night.  Mr. Lee has made the
same choice.  We earn less but are home every night.

Hens and Chicken from my mother's garden


Motivated by providing an education,
a safe place to run back to and a deep well of
unconditional love. Old school dreams of working hard
and providing a better life for the next generation.

My parents gave me deep roots.
So this recent, but not new, raucous
over women having it all deeply disappointments me.
Read The Atlantic article.
Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique in 1963. 
I read Ms. Friedan's book in the late 80s after child
No. 1.  The book's premise spoke to me then as it does now.
Is this all there is?
Will we continue this debate ad nauseum?
Just because a single women or thousands of women
have to made a decision on what is best for their families.

You made the choice when you had the baby.
On your death bed, I promise, if you 
don't do what is best for your children
nothing else will matter.

God is Love

Any woman who tells you they made
all the sacrifices without impacting their children
is lying. There were opportunities for discussion
missed, a moment where a teen unsupervised
made a bad choice, countless games  and plays
missed.  Award ceremonies and first days or last
days of school missed.

No one balances work and family without scars.
Women of privilege have help.  Nannies, cooks,
housekeepers.  Who watches the help's children?
If you think the book the The Help was set in another
era think again.  I bawled during the movie because nothing
has really changed.  I can't bring myself to read the book.


Really, why are we still having political debates over reproductive rights?
Why are we still writing about having it all?
It is not possible at the same time.

The callous truth is women don't support the choices of other women.
Feminist are disparagingly referred to as women libbers.
Or Rush's favorite fema nazi.
Seriously, I wish I could flush him with all the other waste.

Really? Really? Who are we hurting?
Feminist simply wanted to open doors
for those who chose to take a different path.
I was a homemaker and I am here
to tell you that I loved it and returned to work out of necessity.
My husband, at the time, had lost his job and remained
unemployed for a very difficult year.
I worked two low wage jobs and was thankful.
I rarely saw my children and have suffered the consequences but
I am also very proud of filling the critical role of financially supporting our family
and providing health insurance.

My paternal grandmother was widowed in 1927 with three young boys.
My father was the oldest at 7.  She commuted between two islands for her
teaching post.  Coming home on weekends.
My great grandmother and a housekeeper raised my
father and two uncles.  Her circumstances drove her.
Women are strong we do what we have to do for our families.

The rub comes with guilt.
In The Atlantic article there is a veiled argument
that two incomes are necessary.

Yeah, that is true if you are living in poverty or
in the ghetto or barrio.
Most of us work to not live in the barrio, to
take our families on vacation,
own a home, put decent food on the table.
Nothing fancy.

I am reminded of a discussion I had with my
brother about the attorneys in his former workplace.
Highly paid primarily female lawyers and how they
would discuss making ends meet on their salaries
in front of administrative staff.  Using a term from
the 80s gag me.
It is okay if you have a dream job
and work because it validates your spirit.
Work because you are well educated and talented. 
Don't apologize to the nay sayers.
Rise up to the demands of achievement.
There is NOTHING wrong with living your dream.
Don't make excuses...Don't allow for a crack in your armor.
Stand and lead.  Allow the rest of us to support you.

It is never a failure to stop and attend to your children.
It is not a failure to support your personal dreams.

Work to provide a life.
Work because you toiled to arrive.
Work because you will make a difference.
Work to lead and mentor other women.

Fellowship.  Support and admire women.

Seriously?  Over-educated spoiled rich women whining,
yes, whining is not attractive.  
Blah Blah Blah
Damn asses. Forgive me.
I read The Atlantic article in two sittings it was so hard to stomach.
Stop complaining.  You embarrass me.  Put on your big girl panties.

The dilemma these women of privilege are mulling over is understood
by any woman of color and every immigrant mother.

It's not like the average woman can take a sabbattical from
one great career to another great career.  
I want to scream.  Oh, how I wish I could run in the streets and
beat them with Mr. Candycane.

If your 80 hour work weeks are just too hard
try a back breaking
strawberry field picking job.
In the elements 7 days a week.
There but by the grace of God
go I.

So angry, my heart is ready to weep. 

Really, haven't we learned what the feminist sacrificed?
It wasn't about having it ALL at the same time.
It was about opening doors.
Have children.
Don't have children.
Wait until later, reproductive freedom,
or decide not to have children at all.

Did you like the days portrayed on Mad Men?
The clothes and furniture yes.
Mr. Lee and I were so uncomfortable with the treatment of
women and all the cheating we had to stop watching.

I am exhausted stepping down from the soap box.
My thesis may just be hidden in this post.  

Julie from the Vintage Emporium can bring it.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wow Weeeeee

After my period of darkness.
It has a slow process into the light.
It is just sonshine now.  Yes, SONshine.

Orange toes to celebrate.

Celebrating handicapable.
Let me introduce Mr. Candycane.  He is very popular and
whenever we go out I feel more confident and safe.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012


The most imaginative people are the most credulous,
for to them everything is possible.
                                    Alexander Chase

We find fun where ever we go.  No money necessary.
Use your imagination.  This is Cost Plus.
We find fun in gardens.
In crafting and in thrifting.








Tuesday, June 26, 2012

car love

California Dreaming

This bus at $70k is out of our price range but a dream of mine.

Taxi anyone???

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Diva Strikes

There is so much to share.
First, in a nod to public policy and transparency.
I am procrastinating because I should be working on homework,
and yes, Mark, you probably inherited that from me, but we always get
it done.  And I don't procrastinate at work.
Always do the ickiest stuff first.

It is just a lampshade turned upside down.
Totally her vision.
I am sure she is inspired by the beautiful
African women we often admire.
With brightly colored robes and amazing
hats rivaling even the British. 

Have you ever seen the women attending a Baptist
Convention?  So beautifully dressed with
amazing high heals and hats to write home about.

When Jacob opened these photos he said.
"Ahhh, she looks like a queen." Such sincere
admiration.   And he didn't know what I had written.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fridays Forever

Found new blog to add to the blogroll..  It is so all about
embroidery right now.  Shiny Happy World.

This weekend will include some painting.
The last assignment for my Policy Analysis

Before you doze off on me, a book for the
nightstand.  Jenny Doh's Art Saves.
The journey or process really is the joy of
it all. It is in the doing.

With quotes like this:

Don't ask yourself what the world needs;
ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that.
Because what the world needs is people who 
have come alive.
                                         Howard Thurman

A Fairie Garden

Surrender your fear.

                          This too shall pass. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Future Masterpiece for the Garden

See the two of us in the background?
Girl in the foreground with our newest
future masterpiece.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Keep it Simple

In relationships.
In communication.
And in love keep it simple.

Find your common ground and
nurture it until your cup continues to runneth over.

Mr. Lee and I love music and cars.

Every road trip has a play list.
Today's top song was....

Lips like Sugar...by Echo & the Bunnymen

There is NOTHING like hearing the little
voices coming from the back seat.

Lips like sugar.  Sugar kisses.  
Lips like sugar.  Sugar kisses.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Vaya Bags

Where would you like to be in ten years?
In ten years, I would like for Vaya Bags to be an
example of a local, handmade, all women-owned and operated
business that is thriving while helping the environment
and the community. I’d like to help prove that you don’t have 
to sacrifice your values and squash the people around 
you to make it in business.

What a refreshing philosophy often lacking in today's society.
What harm could possibility happen if every single person in America
did well according to their desires and abilities?

Every day I find inspiration from those who create.

This treasure didn't make it home with me but I may just have 
to go back.  It's 1970s sensibilities and color orange.  
Orange has been a color of comfort during my recovery.

In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Monday

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,

It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Horatio G. Spafford 1873

Treasures found during the
Southern California Quilt Run.

Felt art.

Geraniums whether in art or in the garden are perennial

Our family's favorite fabric. The Ghastlies
The Quilter's Cocoon will have kits available
to complete the quilt below. 
For contact information see their link under "Ghastlies."
The shop will also offer a class to complete Mrs. Ghastlie.

Don't you think the border fabric would make a lovely
old fashioned dress?

Find addition photos on Pinerest
Enjoy Monday.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Pai's (Father's) Day

There is much to say about my father.
He was the oldest of three boys and lost his own
father at the age of 7. 

Red, White and Blue

He fiercely believed in the value of education.
His mother was a teacher and she
had instilled a deep regard for both
the teaching profession and education.

Curvy Wire

Education was something you took with you.
While other children were pulled out of school to
work in the other farmers' fields.  My father
worked alone until the school year ended.

It was a hard life but he never complained.

Tractor Quilt

Such a simple man.
He was honest.
An animal whisperer.
Tender hearted and generous.
He was a good friend.
Loyal husband. 
So proud he was my father.


As I enrolled in the second to last class
towards a Master's early this morning,
I said what we often say at home to our
children.  No one graduates alone.

No no I've had parents, a husband,
and children sacrificing quality time
nearly every weekday and on weekends for
the achievement of this goal. Siblings and
friends cheering me on.

Spotty Fabric

When I cross the stage to gather my diploma
the whole get-along-gang is with me in spirit.

Thank you Mr. Lee for staying up with me
finishing homework all these years.
For entertaining our kids, for driving as I read,
study and write. 

No one ever graduates alone.
Thank you my darlings.
Happy Father's Day to the best Daddy ever.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

15th Dating Anniversary

Mr. Lee and I have celebrated each month since our first date.
A Friday the 13th long ago.
Thirteen is still my lucky number.

Still celebrating our blessed life.

Things we have in common.
The love of cute things for me to wear.
I am the queen of costume jewelry.
We choose bright colors with a vintage sweetness.

Japanese bookstores like Kinokuniya.
Seriously any bookstore will do.
Including used books.
See "Sawing"  should be "Sewing"
Sense of humor...a must have in our relationship.

Sterling Silver roses from our cottage garden.

Princess shoes. Glitter, lights, and jewels.

Watching kids play.

Creating lists of road trip locations to visit.  Miette in San Francisco.  

Creating craft lists.
Honey dos.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy Birthday No. 1

Happy Birthday.  Sweet Boy.
Grown into a  young man.
We are very proud of you.

Born under a full moon on
your proper due date.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sunday Wrap Up

Finding MollieMakes Issue 14 at Barnes and Noble.
Sweet story.  Engaging conversation.

 Come in closer for the details.

Los Angeles

Patchwork Show in Culver City
Helms Bakery Building

Reminds me of Jacob

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Elf Music Under the Stars

My brother Joe has joined us on many road trips.
Joe often falls in love with the cute places we visit.
He says, "I could live here."
Phoenix in spring....no way Joe it gets toooo hot.
Long Beach totally doable.
San Diego too far south.  At least, I say I am not going
any further south when my heart is in Northern California.

Yesterday, we headed to Joshua Tree for an open house
and concert.  The nicest welcoming people ever.
No pretension just genuinely warm.

Jacob calls Shari Elf, our host, the Art Queen
and she is. Yes, this is her real, parent given, name.

Years ago I read about Shari and her World
Famous Crochet Museum in Crochet magazine.
Do you know how sometimes something just
clicks?  Shari's art is just like that for me.
I never grow tired of it and it speaks to my soul.
It is her sweet spirit shining through.  

See the Joshua Tree?

I contacted Shari in advance to ask if the venue was
okay for children.  Sometimes the venue isn't
appropriate or it is an adult party.  We rarely
go any where without our entourage but we
also don't want to offend any host.


One very happy boy.

Art Queen Shari Elf  Giggly smiles. 

Shari says take a fashion risk...  She was a seamstress but dreamed
of playing a bit of music and making a living as an artist.  Dreams
can and do come true. 

Next week the Art Queen will be celebrating Gay Pride.

We would attend but have already committed to the
Southern California Quilt Run.

You Could Live Here

Shari's Art Studio                                                                                                                  

Thank you Shari and the whole Art Queen participants.