Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Day in Autumn

It's still a little too warm to plant mums, the trees are ever so slowly showing signs of their impending gloom. They don't sound dry and wispy as the wind rustles through them. Yet. I imagine it will happen suddenly, from the speckled glossy leaves to starkly bare trees. But it is Fall all the same, that's what the calendar says. This definitely means it is okay to buy too many apples and those bumpy warted gourds. The gourds sit on the kitchen island until I have a whim and put them where they should go. But truthfully do they look good anywhere? I like pumpkins piled on hay bales out front but the gourds always get lost in the mix.

I felt foolish today (moreso than usual) as I ran errands in Ken's rusty old truck and was so proud of myself pulling up to the barn to unload grain bags that I forgot to close the pasture gate. The horse who is much smarter than I ever thought, had a spectacular afternoon walking down our road and picked the loveliest home to gallopy trot through. When I found him a whole two hours after I had finished my chores and come in the house he was standing in the middle of a beautiful vegetable garden. A garden that I am certain was labored in the hot sun for months to finally be reaping a harvest..and I am most certain the harvest was not meant for my horse, though he seemed very guiltless as he saw me approaching. My children were walking down the road from the bus at this point and didn't realize the crazy woman with the polka dotted boots who was trying her best to lead a horse with an upside down halter on was indeed their mother. But being good kiddies they saved the day. I suppose I am not as mad at the horse as one would think, I hugged him tight when we got home which he like most men took a few seconds to relax enough to enjoy. I was so happy to have him home and push all those pretend conversations from my head of telling my husband how I lost the horse ( I could even hear him telling all the folks at work while they all laughed in unison). I will most certainly never ever forget to close the gate again. I hope.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

blah blah and more blah

One of my favorite things about being a military family is living among different cultures around the world. Each place we have lived has changed me, I am grateful for this. Sometimes these changes are immediate like when I watched Turkish women hunched over working in the fields under the very hot sun as the men sat in the shade playing backgammon. Other changes happen over the course of time. Shopping is one, the way I shop now is very different than the way I shopped fifteen years ago. I cannot say exactly why this is. I suppose some of this is due to age, being thirty six with a bunch of kids is much different than being young and more carefree. I am drawn to efficiency and things made with love or thoughtfulness. My son and I have been building a chicken pen and today my hands are sore from the poking wire and my crooked hammering skills.
But this gives me satisfaction. Even though our pen is not level (at all!), I am glad we made it.
We learned many ways to do it better...I hope he retains these lessons. It is a parallel for much of life.

Having said all that as a transplanted Connecticut girl living here in Texas, I am often surprised at the culture here. I love learning and seeing how people live. The schools we send our kids to are very small, they have welcomed us with open arms (literally!). On Friday I watched as a Dad dropped his kindergartner off in the morning, I sat with my mouth open as the Dad was a cowboy right out of a Louis L'Amour novel. I have seen many western dressed people but not any I could picture on a horse lassoing cattle.

I think it was this experience that made me realize while thrifting that these jeans were calling Henry's name.

There is much to take in, to learn and be respectful of. I often dwell on wanting to go "home" to New be around family and all. In the meantime I'll just saddle up and enjoy the ride.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Ho Hum Day

A definite what-do-I-do-with-myself kind of day. Not that I don't have a list! There is stuff to be done everywhere I look! The kids have been in school for a couple weeks now. It has been an adjustment, especially for Molly. She started kindergarten, in the beginning she was thrilled about this but it has snowballed into huge anxiety. She cries everyday--this is breaking my heart. Molly and I have been attached at the hip since birth. I have taken this for granted, her birth was full of drama and I guess since she was put into my arms I haven't let go. Her teacher told me Molly cries off and on and tells her she misses me throughout the day. I hope she adjusts, I would like to homeschool but have mixed feelings. She is so cute and little, I can't help feel like she should be home with me!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cooler temps and whatnot

This was our first morning with a chill in the air. Being from New England I embraced this with the love of a dear relative coming for a visit. I love love love the cold snaps of Sept and Oct. They instantly bring my mind to apple orchards and pumpkin picking. This chilly morning lasted all of about an hour but at least Bubby got to wear his little flannel shirt while we fed the animals. I love being outside early, it starts my day off right.

Usually at the start of the week I try and bake cookies or some kind of treat to last thru the week of lunchboxes. Today's cookies are probably the easiest to make and the favorite of at least three of the kids. They only taste good when the weather cools off.


3/4 c shortening

1 c sugar


1/4 c molasses

1 beaten egg

Add dry ingredients:

2 c flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground ginger

Roll into balls, coat with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees.

This recipe is from my high school history teacher, he's sweet and old fashioned--just like the cookies!

Cookies in our house are held in my Gram's metal cookie jar. She of course would think I was silly for treasuring her apple but as a kid it was always on her counter with peanut butter crackers. It was as much a part of her kitchen as her round pedestal table. The cookie jar looks small but holds 4 dozen cookies, and every time I reach into it I think of her.

Time to get the sheets off the line. I love clean sheets day!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

patchwork quilt

I have been working on patchwork quilts for Sam and Henry. Today seems like an appropriate day to share them as they are fairly patriotic. It was a dreary morning full of fog and drizzle, I got the kids on the bus and thought about Sept 11. It conjures up all kinds of emotions. By the afternoon when the kids were due home I went outside with Henry. The neighbors had put out their American flags, the sky had cleared and the sun was bright. To see the flags waving boldly against that crystal blue sky really renewed me. I am proud of my country.

Monday, September 8, 2008


It was a nice weekend around here. Friday was my birthday which put the kids and Ken into a high energy party mode. Everything turns secretive and they hush when I walk through a room. Truly this is my favorite part of even having a birthday. I don't even mind the yards of scotch tape I pull of the dining room ceiling from the rolls of crepe paper. They all unite and never fail to make me blubber at their kind hearts. Is this too mooshy? As the kids get older their creativity grows with them. I love this, it makes me so happy to see them dive in a project--this is a gift in itself.

Hadley makes me a card each year, the "Mom" one is my favorite. She cut each tiny circle flower individually from Mary Engelbreit page a day calendar sheets. Maggie outdid herself by sketching Ken and I at a recent military function. And Sam surprised me by buying buttons. He bought me buttons! I wish I could have seen him picking them out and paying for them. They surprise me, I needed one of these emotional moments to reassure me they are doing just fine. Moving and going to a new school (especially the high schoolers) I often feel like the bad guy. I want so much for them! Should I keep going on and on about my kids and my birthday??? Me me me!

But yes the weekend was warm and sunny and we filled any time we could with chores. The little kids played in the sprinkler while the older ones opted to earn some extra money mowing and stacking hay. Henry got his huge mop of hair cut off and looks like a sweet 1950's boy.

I managed to sew quite a bit, though mostly boring stuff. I want these curtains done so I can work on something fun.

Here is the computer desk cover, the previous one I made was a floral pattern. The front room houses most of Ken's books and decor and has western feel to the design. I bought some reproduction western fabric for the windows and hope to finish and put the room together by the end of the week. Yee haw cowboy.

Friday, September 5, 2008

yard sale find

Having been through another move I find myself not so thrilled about thrifting lately. We were over our household goods weight allowance (again) and this layers on a nice slab of guilt. As a family we love to collect books, so much so the movers always ask us if we own a library. But the books don't weigh me down (hah), it is the abundance of stuff I have. The stuff that I know will never make again. I like to be organized, I guess my mind thinks if it is all neat and sorted it doesn't mean it's too much.

I went to a yard sale today and found this lap desk. It was still in the box. That's a definite sale, right? $2 and still in the box. I didn't have to deal with any mystery grime . But it didn't give me my usual yard sale adrenaline rush. I will give myself another couple weeks to perk up and do some thrift store digging, if not send my sisters out to do an intervention.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


See curtain. See Dick and Jane themed playroom.

I wish I made the curtain longer, but it will have to do for now. I like to learn things by doing them wrong first. Nah, that's a lie, I don't like it, it is just the way it is. The playroom is slowly evolving to accommodate all the ages of my kids (16-22 months). The older kids are spending less time in there, but is is a nice sunny room to play in. No matter where we live we usually try and sacrifice a room for the kids (oh sewing room, there will be a time and a place for us). It works for us, when the mess gets too big I can just close the door.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

household neglect

My blog needed a new face. It has taken several tries and I'm still not sure about it. It has been an investment of my time! Usually when Henry naps I clean and cook and if I still have time I sew. After the long weekend the house is well...messy. And here I sit, tap tap tappin at the keys, like there is no laundry to be done or supper to make or CLUTTER to be picked up. Henry is going through a stage where he'll take the stash of cloth bags from the play kitchen and fill them with anything that will fit. His stash comes from every room he ransacks. He's ruthless! When he needs a bag he empties them wherever he is standing at the moment. But yes he is cute and he's definitely Mama's baby. His curls must soon be cut off as the last three strangers to say hi while out and about have called him a girl.

ironing to be done

clothes to fold (this is two of five loads)

potato salad doesn't make itself, but the potatoes are cooked, I get points for that.