the loomers!

As many of you probably know, Alex took my last name when we got married.

The night we decided to get married we were in the pinkish dark up on the top deck of my families beach rental soaking in the warm salty air of the NC coast. Our hearts were all jittery with the commitment we had just decided on, and that is when Alex told me he would like to take Loomer as a last name. He explained that although he loved his Carmona roots and family, there were already so many of them~ and there were very few Loomers to pass on the name~ so it just felt right to him.
It seemed so novel in that moment and I accepted his offer to take my paternal family name that night. I worried aloud what his Dad might feel about it, and I teased that his man friends might make fun of him. I also knew this was one more notch in some people's minds of me being weird or annoyingly against the grain. In any case I felt honored that I was with a man who suggest such a thing. Maybe a little bit of the feminist in me was gloating too...
I do think it is a shame that each of us has such varied and complex genealogy and ancestors, and it is only the paternal side that gets noted and passed on. My grandparents were Oakley, Westervelt, Francisco, and Loomer. Alex's grandparents were: Powers, McDermand, Carmona, and he doesn't even know his paternal grandmother's maiden name. Anyway, of all these last names, Loomer is what is being passed on.
Aside from it being "weird", there is a practical reason why not to do this. It was VERY difficult to make this legal. It seems wildly sexist to me that it was so hard~ but that is how it is. People look at you like you have three heads. Getting Alex a new social security card was the biggest rigmarole headache... it was ridiculous how nobody knew what to do with him.
And people are always confused about Alex and David being brothers but having different last names. And I still have a nagging feeling that somehow I stole the father to son heritage~ or messed up the rational order of things at the very least.
I know a lot of folks are probably thinking "f-en hippies" while rolling their eyes when we have to explain that he took my name. But a lot of people say "that is really special" too.

It has become normal to me as the years go by but I was reminded of it all when Alex went to the vital records office last week to get Eliseo's birth certificate. Ralph, the man who types up the birth and death certificates for Buncombe county, looked at the form Alex had filled out. In the space reserved for my maiden name on the sheet Alex had written "same". Ralph stared at it for a long time and then cleared his throat. Then he said to Alex, "So uh... did you marry a relative?"

"The Loomers"
(plus honorary member: cousin Gita)
These were created for us by my friend Liz. Aren't they amazing in a slightly creepy (because they look so much like us) but fantastic sort of way??? Each doll is so thoughtfully made with tiny tiny details. Lili has been really enjoying playing with them. Click here to visit Liz's etsy shop where she custom makes these sweet dolls! (although at the moment she is taking a short hiatus while she sells her house and buys a new one)


tuesday. town.

driving to Kindermusik in the morning.
Lili's amazing Kindermusik teacher, Miss Beth, sing-reading a story to the kids...
2nd grocery store of the day. As we were walking out I said "Thank you sooooo much for being such a great listener in Ingles today Lili! You were awesome!" and she replied, "I didn't scream!" and I said "Right. thank you for not screaming."
Seo tagged along and slept most of the day. We went and filled out his birth certificate at the vital records office.
She looked so peaceful as she napped between errands in her car seat.


and how do you know for sure? because when I am driving up my mountain (especially if I have been gone for a while) my whole body tingles with joy.
and what if your heart is divided between homes? ah yes... part of my heart is next to a still, quiet, and dark lake in New Hampshire. Part of my heart is with my family and dear friends not in my physical place. I still think where I am right now is my true home ~ at least for a long time. a teacher of mine once said that for her a place wasn't a home until she planted tomatoes. perhaps it really is as simple as that.



dear Mom, I love to see you cheesing out with Lili.
She is so lucky to have such an involved and fun grandmother. Although I might be driven crazy by the "150 kids songs" cds you brought as a gift~I will at least smile when I hear them~ remembering you and Lilikoi singing and dancing and clapping along on the first listen.



Remember a time when it was both fun and acceptable to take baths with your friends or siblings... no hesitation to strip down and just splash around a bit with some floaty bath toys? Watching Lili in the bath with her friend the other day made me long for some of my girlfriends and a hot tub to soak in... sort of the adult version of this simple fun.


baby goats

Of our four goat babies, 2 nurse from their mother Rain, and 2 we have to bottle-feed. Our goat Windy births and cleans her babies and lets them nurse for a little bit, and then completely rejects them. (Supposedly she does this because she was bottle-fed herself.) So, we milk Windy, and then feed the babies her milk in a bottle. The first 2 weeks we fed them every 6 hours, and just yesterday (they are 2 weeks now) we cut back to feeding them 2 times a day. At this point they will start to eat grain and foliage as well as the milk. As troublesome as it was to get up at midnight to feed them, the bottle-fed babies are incredibly friendly because we are their surrogate parents. Every time we walk out of our house they run the the fence and start crying out. Lili puts on her boots and walks up there several times a day to see the babies and talk to them. Pretty much her conversation with them consists of her saying "Hi Goaties!" over and over...


Attempting to do some sketches/drawings for some new paintings with Seo on my lap. Challenging, but even the little bit that I was able to do was satisfying.
{I am testing out this 25% rag vellum paper that is acid free and non-yellowing, non-cracking. I am curious to see what it does when I use it with glue...}


missed times

*One of my best childhood friends, Caren, came to visit us for a few days. It didn't take Lili and her daughter (who is 2 years older) to start bickering like siblings, but they had plenty of goofy, fun times mixed in as well. Caren and I caught up over glasses of wine late at night, and played/parented the girls by day. These are photos from when we dragged the kids (three car seats in the back of the Subaru!) to the thrift store to try to find some clothes to fit my new postpartum body(friends are so good for that kind of thing.) Of course the fitting room with the harsh lights and honest mirror is rarely a feel-good place to be, but the girls brought some humor to it all. I had to break up their silliness once they started licking the mirror however.
It was sad to see them go back to New Hampshire...
*We had baby goats!!!

3 girls and 1 boy from our goats Windy and Rain.
We named the first two girls Crimson and Clover, and have yet to name the other girl.

Easter in the neighborhood: all the neighborhood kids before the egg hunt.

After a sweet family time in the morning, we had an all day extravaganza under the hot sun with our neighborhood. The kids ate jelly beans and hard boiled eggs, and the adults started drinking cocktails at 10:30 in the morning. (We all took impromptu naps mid-afternoon)
We borrowed a meat smoker from a friend and smoked 6 chickens and a bunch of our pig meat all day long. We finished up our smokey dinner just as dusk set in. And then everyone carted their exhausted kids home to put them bed.

*It got hot and we started to make Popsicles again.

* Seo started to smile. You really have to work for it, but it might be the very best feeling in the world when your child smiles at you these first few times.

It is far from being worked in, but I squeezed in a little more time to set up my new studio ♥ ♥ ♥


of course












We are having some computer troubles this week, so I am having a forced blog break while the computer is being fixed. In the meantime you could scroll down my sidebar and check out all of the awesome art in my Etsy favorites. I hope you all had a springy and lovely Easter.photo courtesy of my friend Caren