Saturday, January 31, 2009


"The merry year is born like the bright berry from the naked thorn.”

My second Shadow Shot Sunday; the young tree in front of our home, in all its bare beauty.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mojo Update

She's never been gone this long. I'm beginning to wonder if she's ever coming back. What will I do with all of these thoughts and ideas? Oh shit! What will I do with all of these art supplies?!

I opened each supply drawer and stared for a spell, you know in that way we creative types do- seeing things only we can see...

I spent the least amount of time in my fabrics stash since, well...y'know-don't make me talk about it. I'm still quite sensitive about my sewing skills...

Embellishments? That won't work until I actually make something to embellish...

Back to bed.

This went on for a few days; each day sleeping longer and later than the days' previous. Hanging out in bed, spooning with the Favorite Guy who is always just the right body temperature for snoozing. I haven't found my mojo, but I've certainly had mo' Joe time than I have in months. It puts a pleasant spin on my lack of creative output. Actually, a very pleasant spin, kinda makes me feel like dancing. Won't you join me?

The music is Sara Tavares', a young, vibrant, amazing Cape Verdean artist. Her sound is a fusion of Afro-Portuguese rhythms, her unique folk-like aesthetic and Euro-pop. The dancing: multi-generational interpretations of traditional African dance; the footwork, the hips, the smiles, the mojo. Swoon.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cover Your Mouth!

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
~Johnny Mercer 1945

I've been thinking (Oh no, not thinking again.) you know how we wash our hands frequently and cover our noses and mouths to prevent the spread of germs? What do you do to protect your mental health, how do you guard your self ? Do you take any special precautions against negative energies and/or parasitic people?

I'm almost embarrassed to say that I don't. As sensitive as I am and as important as these sensitivities are to me, I somehow manage to become host to some seriously negative bugs. Perhaps, it's because I'm a listener by nature, or because I'm nurturing and empathetic or maybe I just need to learn when to say, "cover your mouth."

What, if anything has worked for you? How do you keep the bad stuff out without trapping the good stuff in?

Peace and Positivity

Monday, January 26, 2009

Motivation : Zero

Destination : Bed

Okay, so who stole my mojo?! I've been wrestling with the worst case of sloth-sitting-on-my-ass-doing-nothing-in-a-foul-mood-iasis all weekend. I'm hoping this is an acute case and it blows out as quickly as it swept in. Until then, at least I'm in good company.

A word, before you start your oohing and aahing-she will bite the snot out of you if you so much as look at her wrong. I think I may have just been dethroned with this one-she's bad ass, stand clear!

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shutter Click & Chat 1/25

Favorite Photo Outtakes

Long ago in a taxi far away two child-free (for the night) inebriated adults attempt (read:fail) to capture their elation in the form of a self portrait via disposable camera. What you see here is proof positive that 1. We (well Joe-that's my pea coat at the right) had a great time. 2. A taxi was a grand idea given our obvious perceptive difficulties.

I've kept this picture through the years because we're weird like that! What outtakes have you kept around just for fun?

Next week: 02/01 Everyday in a different way

I've joined the Keri Smith inspired 100 Ideas group on Flickr. In less than a week, my participation has truly inspired me to see things differently- push the envelope if you will, dig deeper. And now, I'm passing it on to you. Photograph something, someone you see everyday in a NEW! different and exciting way.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Virgin in The Shadows

He walked in, kissed her atop the head gently and asked, "Do you want another beer"? It was the last thing she heard before she surrendered to what seemed an eternal yearning-her first shadow shot. Giggles. Truth is stranger than fiction.


Friday, January 23, 2009

So, where were we?

Is anyone else feeling inexplicably fatigued? I'm beat. I've sat here, at my desk a few times; peppermint tea in hand, a blank and generally inviting screen before me and, nothing. A stretch, a yawn, a few sips of tepid tea later and the only thing I've accomplished is finalizing the decision to take a nap instead of writing a post. So, I've gone with it; succumbed to the power of slumber, it was amazing. I think I'll go have some more.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm smitten...

with this kitten!

Meet Blu; she is the newest (and I've been advised, the last) addition to our family. Blu is a 9.5 month old Tabby Point Siamese who was abandoned by her previous owners. Per her adoption profile, Blu's special circumstances require she have more human interaction than most cats. Hmm, well...I prefer feline interaction to most humans; it's kismet! "Blu, meet the blogosphere; blogosphere, meet Blu".

Peace and purrs

Monday, January 19, 2009

High Tea & Honey Scones

Intellect rides my imagination and subsequent creativity like the Boo Hag, so last night whilst working my soul, I stopped to read about Black Victoriana. How interesting! Going into this challenge all I had for a frame of reference was Elizabeth Barret Browning' s Runaway Slave at Pilgrim's Point. Although expertly written, this tale works my nerves, not my soul! So, onward I go and lo and behold there is some interesting stuff out there. Art and books and authors, oh my! Ultimately, I stumbled on this site and ordered some books. Good times!
Ever increasing though, is my grief over the untimely passing of Mr. Roarke. How, other than Fantasy Island (Drugs are NOT an option.), does a married American mother of two in 2009 get to try her hand at life as a Black Victorian spinster? Well, of course getting there isn't the whole battle. There are other things to work out, like the dark clothing; so morose. Spinsters are just antique feminists, we're all about life and colo...ahem colour! I've got work to do! Where has your imagination taken you recently?


Take Three Yikes!

You are all so patient with me, thank you. This week has been exceptionally assholiferous; tween 'tudes, parental peril, teen tyranny, technology troubles, excessive alliteration-head/desk! Murphy's Law is in full effect. But y'know sometimes mishaps are a good thing. Next week's Shutter Click & Chat theme is: Favorite Outtakes. We all have those photos that didn't quite make the scrapbook page, but hold a special place in our hearts [photo boxes, hard drives, Flickr]. Well, that's just the photo I'm looking for, let me see it!

Shutter Click & Chat 1/25 Favorite Photo Outtakes

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Take Two

Shutter Click & Chat 1/18:
Your America: The Good, The Bad and, The Ugly

"I remember Marvin Gaye used to sing to me he had me feeling like Black was the thing to be."
~Tupac Shakur

A reviewer once referred to Tea & Honey Bread as, "A Black blog where everything isn't about Blackness". That's how I see Obama's presidency. Moreover, the timing of his inauguration as it falls just days after Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. In the same way we cheer for the teams of our Alma maters' and hometowns'; this election is a win for the team of those who dared to pray, dream, hope and believe in change.

These last two photos show, our work isn't over.

Have a wonderful week!

Shutter Click & Chat 1/18

I'm having technical difficulties, but don't let me stop you-if you're ready to show me your America, have at it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A change would do you good...

This post has been sitting in my edits for nearly a week. Each time I'd try to work on it, my mind told me I wasn't ready. In the same way that it stops me from saying something (albeit only on very rare occasion) that might not be the most diplomatic thing to say.

Last Monday someone fairly close to me went into a rehabilitation center for substance abuse. Immediately the calls started coming in from eager, anticipatory family members. There was a pressing urgency for me to "get on board" with everyone else and their hysterical happiness. "Oh she went, that's good news, keep me posted", I said over and over again in a rote tone. Each time, hanging up the phone and feeling a burning anger, fueled by doubt and a selfishness necessary to survive a relationship with an addict. When she disappoints again, because she always does, let me know how all that happiness works out for ya, I thought as I stew in my own raging sea of painful memories and their corresponding emotions.

Today, I spoke with my mother for the first time in nearly 20 years. Of course I've spoken to her in between, but it wasn't her. You see it was...I don't know, pick a vice-[insert here]-speaking. We'd speak, she and I , a few times a month; verbal sparring, full of vitriol in a cycle of anger that's been part of our relationship for more years than not. Sometimes, I'd avoid it by not telling her who I was. "Hello may I speak with...", she couldn't recognize my voice. This became the system of bypassing her to check on my siblings without incident. But, today was different. I called, she answered and she knew my voice right away. She seemed almost happy to hear it; keeping in mind that recognizing the emotional state of a veritable stranger can be oft-times deceptive. It was odd, for so many years to change in so few days. It was a pleasant "visit", I guess.

It's going to be a long road ahead, for both of us. It's going to take equal parts strength, perseverance and patience to let go of her habits as it will mine, and I can't expect her to be anymore understanding of my defenses than I am of her dependencies. I didn't come to this hardened place easily and I don't believe the soul-kneading process of softening my heart to be a fundamental task. But, I'm here today admitting it, and as I've come to learn, "admitting is the first step". "Hi my name is Tameka and I'm the hurt, angry adult child of an addict. Deep breath.

Peace and Strength

Friday, January 16, 2009

Work it!

Your soul that is!

Old picture, same story

As 2008 was waning I followed a link on uber-cool-finger-on-the-pulse-of-the-good-stuff Yvonne; I found Work Your Soul. Work Your Soul is a bi-weekly challenge blog. As challenge blogs go, participants are given prompts/topics and a time frame with which they will produce a piece of work-in this case artwork, bi-weekly on Fridays.

Challenge blogs are plentiful throughout the blogosphere, it's just a matter of finding the right fit.
They can be the push you need to get past a creative block every now and then. Work Your Soul's first challenge prompt of the new year is up now. What can I do with a Victorian theme? Your guess is as good as mine, but I plan to put some (and my) soul into it. Winks. We'll see just what I-and the others, come up with some time between now and the 30th of January. If any of you are interested, stop by and see how many ways you can Work Your Soul.

Peace and Thanks, Yvonne!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hot for teacher?

Generally, I don't write about what's happening in current events, because-well a bunch of someone elses already have. That, and I'm generally eating a bucket of sugared cereal or a donut and a vat of coffee as opposed to listening to talk radio whilst sweat beads balance atop my flared red nostrils struggling to suck in enough oxygen-rich air to push through a few more arduous treadmill strides.

It seems a Washington teacher, Matthew Hirschfelder appealed his first degree sexual misconduct with a minor charge and won. Hirschfelder challenged the charge citing the young woman- an 18 year old choir student of his, was 18 and therefore not a minor at the time the alleged (she says yuppers, he says uh-uhn) sexual misconduct [relationship] occurred.

State official, Larry Haler (guess which letter goes here) is a prime sponsor of a bill to revise the laws and mandate jail time for future offenders. Teachers who engage in sexual misconduct with students age 21 and younger (with a 5 year age differential and, in the same school) will face a minimum 5 years imprisonment.

Skeptics say this is unconstitutional; if 18 is the age of consent you can't criminally charge teachers for violating ethics. Those in favor believe it sends a strong zero tolerance message. It also protects developmentally delayed students who are often in attendance at public high schools until age 21. I say, had Missy Mischief Pants spent more time in, oh...say math class she'd have known that Mister Slimy Singing Teacher Dude had 1 wife and 3, THREE, tres, trois children with another on the way. (Must be all of those damn breaks and summers off.) This leaves ol' Matt-Daddy with approximately 36% (per WA State child support calculator) of his music teacher's salary; not exactly going to put her up in a castle on a hill-not even if he snagged one at a foreclosure auction. 36% of a music teacher's salary is lunch money!

What say you? See the AP article here.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Parenting by the book...

Because blunt force trauma is NOT an option. (Note: I am a steadfast advocate of AP and any reference to physical trauma/corporal punishment is an outlet for my perverse fantasies of being a crazed bad ass.)

Ah the joys of parenting. I knew my time would come-you know the time when my sweet child would be abducted by the Bad Attitude Aliens from Planet Tween Brat and implanted with a device which affects their ability to discern from acceptable acts and those of assholiness. Actually, I lie. Jordan- while his ability to tell time and make curfew is often questionable-(as is much of his overall pubescent male judgment), he is exceptionally pleasant. I thought perhaps, just maybe by some FAR stretch of the imagination- given my own youthful personality offenses, I had bred some advanced well-adjusted aptly social neophyte. Not.

There has been an influx in duck-lipped (grossly exaggerated pouting) eyes-rolling, foot stomping, hyperventilating tween girl in a tizzy antics 'round these parts. And the worst part is, "nothing is wrong". "What's wrong?" Mumbles, "nothing". "Well why do you look like that?" "Like what", as the first eye roll is delivered. "Like this". I put on my thespian mom hat and engage in a brief game of charades. Whining ensues, as she says something unintelligible followed by "Nothingggggggggggggggggggggggggggg". Lips begin to stretch, eyes roll and roll and rolllllllllll, she rocks back in the seat to gain momentum as she rises to full erectness and stomps her flat little fresh-mouthed girl feet across my floor (when I'm annoyed I become unnecessarily territorial, other examples include but are not limited to; "You had better clean my damn kitchen") and into her CLOSET-also known as "Oh-my-god- I-really-hate-her-camp".

The best part is she will emerge shortly after with the NERVE to interrupt my double Alka-Seltzer on the rocks and a repeat of a repeat of Forensic Files (I need to be reminded that the criminals always get caught.) and says in a dulcet tone, "What're we having for _____(insert: breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner-just for plain ol' shits and giggles). Essentially she says, "Hey Robot Lady sans feelings! Yeah you with the stretch marks; no slacking on the job!" Sigh.

So, I bought these books by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein today. One is for me and the other is for us-after all, we're in this thing together, she and I. I used what would have been my new Moo cards money, I figure promotional materials aren't practical in the penitentiary; first things first. I'll let you know how it goes. At least I have another night of American Idol auditions to chortle over and glazed donuts. Winks.

Peaceful Parenting


In the past 5 days, I have attended a yoga class, briskly walked 10 miles and climbed nearly 1000 feet. As much as I would love to share my musings with you all this fine evening (read: 1:34 am), I must remove myself from the dining room PC lest I succumb to the siren song of glazed donuts in the pantry. I'm sure you understand. Winks.
Peace and Willpower

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pen Peeves & Pen Pals

Only my dear friend and former colleague, Annie understands my pen/penmanship neurosis. I can not write in blue ink, I'd save those for her. I will not use a pen that has been chewed, labeled, cordoned, or is missing a cap. I can not use fine points, gel pens, felt tip markers, wide barreled pens or pens with an abrasive, scratchy feeling flow. If I get a false start- I.e. the ink doesn't begin to flow upon touching the paper resulting in retracing of the first character of my writing, I toss it. This is what the first page of my journals, notebooks, sketchpads are used for-that, and those pesky words you have to write out in order to spell correctly! (Does that happen to you-it only looks right in your own handwriting?)

Today, all four of my Bic Atlantis super smooth comfort grip retractable black medium ball point pens were missing amidst the Mercado abyss. And as usual, I was met with raised brows, Scooby faces and silent prayers of invisibility as I launched into a near tear-filled rage. Where are my pens, I have shit to do!

Fast forward through my phone rant, a piece of heavily iced coconut cake, my third glass of Diet Coke-following a week-long Diet Coke detox and, a nap. Favorite Guy takes me to the Mega Lo Mart to purchase not one, but two packs of my perfect pens and a Whatchamacallit. I'm in histrionic housewife heaven! And for good reason, I have a pen pal.

Not since the grammar school foreign language pen pal program have I had a pen-pal, and now I do. Even better, is you can too. Awesome Etsian and zinester, Patti of No Somos Nada Zines is conducting an upcoming zine project using letters from various pen pals. How cool is that? I found out about the project and alerted her of my interest after purchasing my second zine in her "Who is This Woman?" series. I received my first letter last week and can't wait to write her back with my contribution to the project!

When is the last time you sent or received a handwritten letter, just for fun? If you are interested in this project you can reach Patti via Etsy convo.

Peace and the perfect pen

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Shutter Click & Chat 1/11

I'm an American Idol and I'm Going to Hollywood, Baby!

Okay, Cool Kids, as I mentioned last week; I am perversely intrigued by American Idol and have been since season one. I watch, I comment, I judge, I vote and, I threaten to stop watching every time someone I kinda, sorta worship gets eliminated. Admission is the first step.

So, without further ado, here is what I'd wear to my audition had I been a decade younger, and $300 richer: Earrings; Pretty in Peace- Dress; Dear Delight - Boots; Enzo Angiolini

And, this is what I'd sing If I was half the chanteuse I think I am after a 6-pack of the fine lager whilst strutting my kinda-flabby-work-in-progress-mom-stuff across the kitchen floor. (Alice Smith is all about it, and he's cute in my "artist-dude-groupie-way", so ignore the poorly timed recording and just listen, mmkay?)

And Simon Cowell, the stallion that he is- after a case of the fine lager, whilst strutting my kinda-flabby-work-in-progress-mom-stuff across the kitchen floor, would send me to Hollywood; after a few sips of whatever that happy ass Paula Abdul is having!

Now, I know some of you are shy, but bring it. It's my party and everybody is going to Hollywood! Who cares if we're waiting tables. Winks.

Shutter Click & Chat 1/18: A Piece of Your American Pie

Next week, 1/18: I think we need to take this party to the Inaugural Ball-Show me a piece of your America. I'll take the good, the bad and the ugly. Hmm...


Friday, January 9, 2009

Creative Block Fail

Charmaine's Creative Block post got me thinking...Oh no, not thinking. Yes, thinking. The creative mind is befuddling. Common sense would dictate, "if you can not come up with anything to create, then just don't create anything". Right? Of course not. Creative minds and common sense lack the kind of symbiotic fusion that our more analytical counterparts employ.

When my day begins, if nothing else I know-almost intrinsically, I will produce something creative; a new jewelry design, a doodle, a blog post, a meal-something! When I choose not to, it's almost always "the taupes" and, even then, I can spend innumerable hours internally philosophising and engaging in silent rhetoric about my complex, depressed mind. But, when I cannot create, I am not well. It's a guttural cry with no sound; it's the psyche censured.

I've been fortunate; dabbling in different media usually guarantees the production of something, but recently that's changed. After the Crafeteria III craft your fingers off jewelry design binge, I packed my beads and wire away. Then, the holiday hoopla bust your gut bake-athon, put the kibosh on cooking. A card-making swap was the paper crafts party pooper, zine production is underway, but not quite ready for praise and presentation...heart starts racing, palms begin to sweat. What's a crafty maven to do?

I tried to clean and rearrange my, not. I moved a few things around, started toying with my tchatchkes and before you know it, I was in the yard taking the photos in this post.

When my day begins, if nothing else, I know-almost intrinsically, I will produce something creative! Photos: Carved wooden hands-a gift to myself for doing my first craft fair. Vintage "T" printing blocks-a gift to myself for my 300th blog post. Resin typewriter-Dollar Tree goodness.

What new techniques, ideas and inspiration have you discovered amidst a creative block fail?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Always a Bridesmaid

It seems I've been the veritable bridesmaid of the blogosphere; e-sauntering about, placing encouraging little tidbits and asides upon the feet of my favorite bloggers all the while producing nothing of my own. And, here is where I'm supposed to say- tearing off my taffeta gown and uncomfortable (I considered DIY amputation) Dyeables shoes, "Well no longer, I'm gonna..." Not so fast, I'm not gonna do a damn thing about it because I've got a heaping helping of shit to do. Shit that I should have done already, but sorely misguided, I slapped a big ol' "S" on my chest-y'know, being the Super-Shit-Doer-in-a-Crunch heroine that I am. Well, was-because now all this shit-doing does is make me irritable and ornery and foul-mouthed. Okay... and, dishonest, truth is I like to cuss. Cussing is like verbal pepper; an acquired and unnecessary spice for some and the missing ingredient for others. I digress.

So, I've been doing lots of shtuff (happy medium):

Designing jewelry for my Etsy shop and consignment; love is in the air with Valentine's Day just around the corner. I'm also teaching biology, more specifically I am teaching orgasms and simulust. This is 9 year old-ese for organisms and stimulus, but the former is pretty funny. Isn't it? Ponders all sorts of dirty jokes around those two words. The Favorite Guy and I have given up our former lives of leisure (read: laziness) and returned to the gym. Guess whose mat was closest to the farting yogi? I had to break my zen for a moment of road kill thoughts to keep me from bursting into childlike hysterics. Yes, flatulence is funny. "Whatevs Grandma, I'm mature in other ways, it all balances out". And lastly, I've been missing all of you-so I'll be back soon with pictures of all of the shit I've been doing. I'm documenting it for proof of, I mean blog fodder. Winks.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday already?!

Cripes! Sunday evening, I was bored-which is a no-no in our house. If ever the children say they're bored, I send them off to "learn something new". Oh the hypocrisy!

I really had no right to cry boredom since my workspace is chaotic, my lesson plans are incomplete, my abs need tightening, legs need shaving, hair needs conditioning; nonetheless, I
had nothing to do. So, I did nothing. And, now it's Tuesday and I'm playing catch up! Unbelievable! I need a beer. By the way, The Buzz blog is buzzing with creative freshness, have a look!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Shutter Click & Chat 1/4

A Self Portrait

Me. In the morning. In my usual Anemic Mom Couture: a hoodie and pajamas. (and of course, Naturally Natalie's vegan peppermint lip balm)

Next judgements please! See, American Idol is one of my few guilty pleasures and the season begins on the 13th. So, I was kinda thinking we should all go virtual shopping for our audition outfits and the song that will send us to Hollywood. Oh stop, you know you love, love, love it!

Shutter Click & Chat 1/11: Hollywood Baby! And don't forget your theme song. Who's in?

Friday, January 2, 2009

On Second Thought

This beautiful hand carved wooden number 2 is available from Art By Winona

"After you my friend". I don't like to go first. I never eat the first piece of bread from the loaf. The first slice of cake just doesn't taste the same. The first pages of my notebooks, sketch books and journals are always bare. My favorite recipes are leftovers from the previous day- y'know after the flavors meld and all. Babies are cuter the day following their torturous arrival. Shoes feel better the second time you wear 'em. Tuesdays have an appeal that Mondays are lacking. The second time around is much like the first, only with better planning. At least that's what I always say.

It's the second day of 2009. The hangovers are gone, hopefully-if not you might be pregnant. The guests have left. The house is in order or at least getting close. Resolutions are under way if they haven't already been broken. There is a stillness in the air outside and a comforting silence within. I feel focused, energized, steady and calm. My thoughts are in motion and my gait is steady.

There is an undeniably inviting feeling about all things second except of course, being second best. Although, on second thought I'm feeling-amidst all of this second day serenity, if my personal best is second best then it's still first place for me.

Happy not quite so new year everybody. I hope there's a peaceful calm surrounding you as you make your way through the trials and triumphs of another year.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

An American Rhapsody 2001

Based on the true childhood story of director Eva Gardos. When a young family is forced to flee the unrest of communist Budapest, their infant child, Zsuzsi (Suzanne) is sent to live with an unrelated family on the countryside. What was supposed to be a temporary arrangement turns out to span the entirety of her formative years. This arrangement proves life altering for both families, but especially Zsuzsi when she is reunited with her now fully assimilated American birth family.

I'm still unsure how, when or why this movie wound up in my Netflix queue, but I'm glad it did. An American Rhapsody is a love story: parental love, self-love, young love, familial love; it's all in there. Having myself grown up between two geographically close households with staunchly polar socio-economic, political and at times ethical exemplars, this film really moved me. The relationship between teenage Zsuzsi, her birth parents and the family who cared for her delves under the tender surface to reveal just how conditional unconditional love can often be.

Have you seen any good movies lately?
Happy new year!

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