Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things--
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut falls; finches wings;

Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough,

And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

Yesterday Sophie and I visited Heartland Farms, an intentional ecumenical Christian community situated about an hour South of Hays, where a handful of Dominican Sisters and Mennonite families live, pray and eat together. Their lifestyle is a template for simple, holistic living: a commitment to small-scale sustainable, organic agriculture; holistic health; alternative energy; community; justice and non-violence. Our afternoon visit was a good reminder of how the natural world illuminates the spiritual, and how "the tyranny of things" (a phrase I borrow from my good friend Katie) often keeps us from community with others.

Here Sister Ginger holds Sophie in front of the flower garden. The Sisters were overjoyed to have a baby visit and their great delight gave me great joy in turn.

Here we are among the alpacas. The community uses their wool to make yarn. In the background, you can see three-year-old Michael in his baby blue galoshes. Michael introduced us to Heartland along with his mother, my good friend Heather, who is one of the gems I've discovered out here in the middle of nowhere. She's a Pacific Northwest, Quaker transplant to Kansas who has the most fantastic legs and wisdom to match.

At the center of a meditation labyrinth.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Carl's father, Carl, Jr., spent two weeks with us in July in order to help Carl build a new front porch. Here he is with Sophie on the Fourth of July with the porch-in-progress.

And here's the finished product. We still need to paint the front door red, but hopefully that will happen this week-end.

Admire the craftsmanship, won't you?

And yes, I did put my baby in overalls today. I think they're very cute, but maybe I've been in Kansas a little too long... I know one thing is certain: Donno (my mother) will not approve.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ph.D. / R.I.P.

As many of you know, I've spent the last six years working towards my Ph.D., completing my coursework, passing comps, even slogging through most of my dissertation research. Well, as of next week, it's all been for naught. I have officially withdrawn from my program. The past year and a half have made this decision pretty easy: lots of exciting playwriting/screenwriting opportunities, a move half-way across the country far away from my research and adviser, not to mention baby; and yet there's a little bittersweetness as with all good-byes.

So here stands my fond farewell to being a graduate student: goodbye long hours and low pay; good-bye bitch sessions in student housing; good-bye to that yummy, musty library smell; good-bye footnotes; good-bye M.L.A. Good-bye archives, microfilm, and checking your ballpoint pens at the door. Good-bye professors one and all--the great, the good, and the good for nothings. But most of all, good-bye to college campuses in the fall. Nothing makes me feel more at home than your breezy, leafy quads, an empty notebook grasped in my eager hand and a pencil behind the ear.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Weather Report

It's 100 degrees today without a cloud in sight, so what's a playwright lately turned stay-at-home-mom to do?

Go to the pool, of course! I stuffed myself into a pre-pregnancy bathing suit (not a pretty sight) and hit the local pool, which is fabulous, by the way, complete with fountains, slides, and a separate shallow pool especially for little kids.

Sophie neither loved nor hated the water, but since it's 100 degrees with not much else to do, here's hoping she turns into a water baby soon.


For Grandma Sallie who has said, "more pictures please!"

Good Morning

Every morning, I leave Sophie in the big bed with her Daddy so I may get a couple of hours of writing done, and every morning, she bullies her Daddy over to the very edge of the bed. Who knew someone so little had such power?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

For Donnie

Which is the best costume for the day?

Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Exhibit C


N.B. Accessory provided by Donald Sanders, Inc.