My name is dionne. To my dad I'm dionne nickel. I’m a mommy and I’m a wife. These are the best and most important and fulfilling jobs I have ever had. That last sentence is one I thought I would never utter, but it is probably the most profoundly true thing I can say about myself. In addition to my husband and daughter, I share my home in Portland, Oregon with two cats and five chickens. I make things. I plant things. I watch things grow. I am a poor student of a few very wise teachers. I am a proponent of Waldorf education. I don't know if less is more but I do think less is better. I usually know which phase the moon is in. I don't understand how my car runs. Were it not for the comments such attire elicits, I would wear overalls everyday. I prefer my desserts with texture. When I am forced to watch films that contain them, I can't wait for action sequences to end. I am an unexceptional photographer. I am a mediocre singer. I am really good at untying knots. I write in books I read and lately have taken to reading them twice. I am a second child. I like beets. I fall asleep on my side and wake up on my back. My alarm clock is a six year old. I like flocks of birds when, as one, they change direction in mid-flight. I also like the smell of manure, warm wind, big clocks, clavicles, storytelling and storytellers, the clanking of rigging against a mast, predators, mason jars, thermoses and things made one at a time by hand. I like dogwood trees when they are in bloom, coffee cups that are absurdly large, copper roofs, cellos, spinning wheels, bees, hard bound books and people who wake up happy. Above all other varieties, I prefer a #2 Dixon Ticonderoga pencil. I love my daughter's curls and the gap between my husband's teeth. I like hex tile and brown eyes and the sound of strong wind as it finds its way through a dense fir forest. I wish my life held more ritual. I wish I could let go of regret and stop wanting to apologize to almost everyone in my past. I wish I could apologize to almost everyone in my past. Cherimoyas are my favorite fruit.