Oct 20th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 4 min read

It’s been a little over a year since I inked a lamppost onto my forearm. I had wanted it for about a year. I knew exactly where it needed to reside on my body. I knew the exact reason I wanted it. Then I do what I tend to do with tattoos, I wait, and then one day I know it’s the day, the day…


Oct 19th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 5 min read

Covid… faith… church… . These three things have a hard time mixing. . I’ve not been inside a church building since February. Early February, I had what’s considered a minor surgery but recovery for me was tough. I was unprepared after four pregnancies and births for it to take my body as long as it did to heal. It was frustrating, to say the least….


Oct 16th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 4 min read

As I sat in my studio this morning scrolling through pictures, gazing out the window, sipping coffee, I realized this was one of the first, if not the first morning I woke up and my first thought didn’t go to guilt, remorse, a pit in my stomach. I woke up different. I woke up a little changed. . First thought: who does what for school…


Oct 14th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 7 min read

It’s the unexpected things that hold attachment that catch me off guard. The season shifted to fall, October walked through the door, slow, and golden. She shrugged off her jacket and sat on the couch with a cup of hot coffee. I hadn’t expected her like that. I hadn’t expected her to linger in this way. . Before, October seemed to come in, fast, frantic,…


Oct 6th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 4 min read

This October feels strange. In many ways, this year has trudged along, slow, steady, slow again. The beginning of the year felt like months would never end. Some days were tiny infinities in and of themselves. Spring sprung and all things COVID with it. Nothing felt fast. Here I sit, a few days into October, and I’m really not sure what happened to September. It…


Oct 5th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 5 min read

I like to have Pinterest boards for my year and a Spotify playlist. They grow and evolve as the year goes on. Sometimes. I pinned the artwork for this post at the beginning of the year. I’ve been in the ‘Keep going’ spot, a lot. Some days, weeks, months more than others. . I wish this week was next week already. Next week we will…

plenty & want

Oct 2nd, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 6 min read

My mind has already raced with thoughts, and connections, ideas, good and bad, dark, and light. . If life had turned out differently last fall into the winter would we be here now? . Is this all my fault? . Is this genetics and puberty and a year that won’t quit for anyone all rolled into one? . They need their friends. They need human…


Oct 1st, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 2 min read

I wonder if our minds are like spiderwebs. We’ve been seeing spiderwebs everywhere this year. When we are out in the woods, walking around the neighborhood, at home, they keep catching your eye or mine. They’re tricky little bastards. You could walk past one the size of your face and not see it if the light doesn’t hit it just right. . Perhaps we’ve slowed…

my boys

Sep 29th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 4 min read

Mental health and seizures can sneak up at any moment. I know this. I live with this. I live with my own precarious mental health that can slink up behind me and rob me of a day or more. Those bouts have become fewer and farther between, but they are there, and they are very real. . A night ago Gav had a seizure. I…


Sep 17th, 2020 A Year on The Porch arstanley 2 min read

I’ve never been a fan of how my hands look. I got the Miesner hands not the Schwartz’s hands. The ones that were made for farm work, kitchen work, heavy lifting, not the slender, graceful ones. I once tried to draw a hand and of course, I used myself as a model, I was happy with how that sketch turned out. When I took pictures…