Thursday, April 30, 2009

cheery thoughts for a rainy day

We have been in some desperate need for rain. Yesterday Texas proved to me that once again things are done in a bigger way here. It's not just a cheesy saying on a postcard.

I was out and about early somewhat embracing my to do list among the cloudy skies. I was envisioning the gray days of my home in New England when a soft gentle rain would fall and tap against our old farmhouse windows. That wasn't the case here. It rained buckets. When cute toddler boy and I walked the 20 feet into the post office it looked like we had been in a dunking booth. I have been rained on in many places but never like this. My hair immediately went into shock. It curls and frizzes and I start to resemble a cross between Little orphan Annie (before she was adopted by Daddy Warbucks) and an Irish Wolfhound. It is a given that when this happens I will run into people that I know-but-not-very-well-but-have-to-say-hello-or-it-would-be-rude. You know those people? That is the negative of being a military spouse. Moving so much it is rare to elevate your friendship into one of being able to laugh at someone's hair or that their son is jamming his mother's keys in his mouth to make himself gag (why does he do this?). So we greet and say things like "it was nice seeing you" or "if you need anything, please call". And in this case I walked away making duck noises with my sandals.
This is why I made cupcakes yesterday afternoon. To cheer up the day. Nothing is more welcome than coming home from school and seeing a plate of cupcakes on the table.

Three things to be happy about today:

1. It is so green outside.

2. The birds are singing with joy most likely from the rain and the worm buffet they have been given.

3. I will talk to the man I love most in the whole wide world in seven hours or so.

Happy Thursday.

Monday, April 27, 2009

silhouette wall

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss my Gram. So maybe it was being inspired by Stephanie's silhouette wall months ago that came to mind as I was blasting some 1940's music (can you blast 1940's music and still be cool?) that made me finally do something with the silhouettes I lovingly stare at every couple months. Ken and I had ours done about ten years ago (the smaller ones in the photo). Shortly after that I received the ones of my Grandparents. Last week I bought two oval frames, lined them with craft paper and carefully placed their profiles. They might be hung wonky and add to my Olivia Walton-esque living room but they make my heart happy. I hung a velvet handpainted flower done by a distant relative that passed away years ago. I never met her but her art work inspires me to no end, she ties in all in because she is family. And family is what's most important, right Unc J?

Back to Mrs Walton...I put crocheted doilies on the back of the couch because of her. I picked this flowery couch four years ago because of her. I wear aprons with bias trim mostly because of her and this summer I will shell peas on the porch while my kids play all because of her.

Hope you are having a good week!

Friday, April 24, 2009

How I Mow the Lawn

This is the way I mow the lawn
mow the lawn
mow the lawn
This is the way I mow the lawn
when my husband isn't home.

I drive the mower really fast
really fast
really fast
I drive the mower really fast
when my husband isn't home.

I run over too many rocks and sticks
rocks and sticks
rocks and sticks
I run over too many rocks and sticks
when my husband isn't home.

I even chased this cute little hen
cute little hen
cute little hen
I even chased this cute little hen
when my husband wasn't home.

Today I almost slid in the pond
slid in the pond
slid in the pond
Today I almost slid in the pond
On my husband's brand new mower.*

*This is a true statement, only it is worse than that. I drove the mower to the pond after mowing to check on my dear duck Prudence because I was too lazy to walk. I was staring with love at my dear duck Prudence before I somewhat panicky realized I drove down the embankment. It all ended well. Later Molly offered to take my picture as I sat on the mower:

S'pose it serves me right.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

slurping noodles and an Award!

I have joked in the past about feeding the kids Ramen. It's no joke. Add some shrimp and whatever vegetables you have on hand and it's not so bad.

This is a typical meal when we are rushing around getting everyone to where they need to be. Which is never the same place but always at the same time.There is something satisfying about serving up their bowls cafeteria style and being out the door quick as a wink.

What are some of your quick dinners?


Thank you Debby from The Pink Bird House for this award... you made my day extra special!

Monday, April 20, 2009

This is a cute little book especially if you have scrap fabric hanging around. I read about it on a blog (?) months ago. So far I have just enjoyed looking through it and digging through my scraps but one of these afternoons I will make something. When the time is right, and the garden is in and the kids have no activities and the house is clean...then I will make a pot holder. Why does the house have to be clean for me to sew? Is it possible to procrastinate something that you love doing?

Thanks for your anniversary wishes...

I'm still in the achey heart stages of missing him, the floodgates of whining want to burst open, but lucky for you I talked to my sister for two hours yesterday and she listened to my pathetic woes, this is why she is so dear to me. Sometimes we talk about eating greens and grilling fish and other days like yesterday she picks me up out of my puddle and tells me somewhat insulting jokes about our oldest brother. This always makes me feel better.

Friday, April 17, 2009


you and me

will live in a house by the sea.

We will welcome the salty wind and the squawking gulls.

We will plant berries and flowers and trees. And it will be our home.
April 17, 1993

I will row you around in a boat and we will drop anchor and read.

You will have a crooked hat on.

Our mothers will visit and skinny dip at night.

We will laugh.

And we will be happy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


This I am certain about: I need to plant things. This is more than "I like to plant things". I really mean that I mean it. Really. I mean it.

sugar snap peas

It's true that I can't immerse my hand in compost or manure and stir it up like a bowl of cookie dough. I have to wear gloves and even then the manure part of it kind of makes me nauseous. This is canceled out by the splendor of tiny seedlings emerging from under their soil blanket only to be coaxed by the warm sun and a splash of water to grow, grow, grow. See what I mean?

This is our first planting season here and the earliest planting zone we have lived in. It feels weird to me to feel behind already and it's only mid April. I have much to learn, the soil is very clay-like and I'm worried about eventual root rot...even though we added sandy topsoil to the garden it's still pretty packed solid. Nonetheless my gardening "therapy" will continue as I dig and plant thinking about life and its wonders.

I try not to think about Connecticut and the nook and cranny greenhouses scattered among country roads with mossy rocks and lush green grass. Instead I think of Texas and the hot sun and cowboy hats and steaks and pick up trucks and how my neighbor called last night and I couldn't understand a word she was saying (I reckon the deal was her accent) and yellow roses and how our place is a "ranch" not a "farm" and fire ants that bit between my toes because I was wearing flip flops in a pasture (I mean a corral) and junk like that.

I'm also thinking about this skirt and how much I want to make it.

The pattern is Anna Maria Horner, who inspires me to no end as we are close in age and both have many kids but um...she is a cool designer with gasp factor creativity and I am well...not a cool designer but I did once make plaster hand molds of my kids hands.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hoping everyone had a terrific weekend. It was a nice weekend here...filled with stormy weather (even a rainbow!) and Easter related activities. The bunny has come and gone and left it's malted, speckled eggs, of which I ate twenty too many. Gross, yes? It didn't seem so at the time.
My sewing machine has been going full speed keeping my hands busy. I finished Molly's Birthday Party Dress from Oliver +S. It is perfect for a summer party or for market shopping with baby to buy wooden toast to make mother a tea snack. Mother's love wooden toast.

I wanted to thank you for your nice comments from my last post. They gave me strength which I really needed. Easter has given me renewal, and today on this brand new day I shall focus on the positives and find beauty in them. Sorry to get all sappy!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Did you know?

Did you know I bought this book yesterday because this illustration looks like a plumpified version of my wee boy? I also wish they still made buggies like this. I should be taking Henry on more walks.

Did you know yesterday and today I had a red cabbage and pickle sandwich? And no I am not pregnant.

Did you know that house plants are really good for you? I think we all knew that, duh. But skimming this article makes you want to go buy more plants. The Boston Fern is a good one, and they are at all the large chain stores this time of year. I bought this one in a five inch pot last August and have cut it back three times. The top ten house plants for removing toxins are:

Areca Palm
Peace Lily
English Ivy
Weeping Fig
Rubber Plant
Dwarf Date Palm
Boston Fern
Gerbera Daisy

Did you know when we moved from the States many years ago to Turkey we left behind our piano. An antique piano we had restored and hauled cross country four times. My brothers are not sad we no longer own it as they each probably have hernias now from moving it for us (thanks, guys). But for many months I cried over that piano. I am certainly not a gifted pianist but the comfort it gave me was sorely missed. Ken surprised me with this modern version one Christmas and it has brought me endless joy. And to the joy of my brothers it weighs 19,995 pounds less than the old one. I am a sad pianist meaning that feeling blue is when I play the best. Did you know I will be playing the piano an awful lot (stress the word awful) now because these bags mean my lovely dancing bear is traveling away. He is away right now and will return for Easter weekend before he leaves the country.

There's not much to say about this as I know he is in the Air Force by choice and it is inevitable for him to go but at the same time I get swallowed by emotions. If he wasn't so durned lovable this wouldn't be so difficult. It makes me cry until I laugh at the absurdity of missing him. Have you ever done that? Once we were saying goodbye at the airport and we both were laughing hysterically through our tears, sounds strange but it only made me love him more.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

who took over my bathroom?

Maggie ( she was heading out to meet her date)

Hadley and her boyfriend... and yes he passes the test, I really like him!

It's that time of year again. The time of year when it looks like someone had a Mary Kay party in my bathroom.
Yes, it's prom season.
Hadley and Maggie love to get dressed up. And I love to sit back and watch them cluck and fluff their feathers. Maybe because Hadley is off to college soon it is with bittersweet teary eyes I watch them hobble away in their new high heels off to make lifelong memories. They definitely don't look at these times together with nostalgia...yet. I hope their paths in life keep them close in heart and spirit. They are my heart and spirit! I look at them with such awe, they are such kind hearted people. The years have flown by and truly I gasp at how quickly. Weren't they just sitting side by side in a buggy with Hadley clasping Maggie's hand like a favorite blankie?
These girls, shrill with laughter or emotions, each and everyday. Their Dad and I want so much for them, but mostly we want them to be happy. I am filled with pride for these two, they truly make the world a better place.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

being lazy and links

How lazy are you when you fail to link while posting? I'm guessing pretty lazy cause all I can do on this blustery gray day is walk by the toys strewn everywhere, the laundry still in the dryer, yesterday's mail on the counter. Where is my umph?

This is the beauty of blogging. Unlike the television-- blogging at least makes you feel productive even if it's reading about all the stuff others are doing. Even if all they are doing is taking pictures of crayons in a jar, somehow that is inspiring.

Hadley and Maggie have a play this afternoon, they have been nervous about this play as it is part of a competition, because of this, their nervousness somehow equates into me being lazy until I put on real clothes and drive to the hall to see them. Of course Henry loves these idle days as I am more apt to sit on the floor and do puzzle after puzzle and let him drive little cars over my face.

I suppose it is pretty ironic as yesterday I blogged about embracing spring's to-do list. This is all because I have done the leg work to put the front porch together but the weather, in the most rude manner, has refused to cooperate.

Here are some links I have been scouting through that maybe, just maybe, you might like, too.

For some inexpensive bento box love go here. We presently live in a small Texas community and while it is growing on me I still hyperventilate at the no recycling concept. When we moved here the schools were using styrofoam trays. But now they use reusable (-:

And while we are loving Japanese things check out this etsy shop.

I like this fabric:

I love these sandals for my kids. They are durable from church to beach and call me old fashioned but I like the two buckle thing. This reminds me of a story about my brother Mike who many years ago was complaining at not having a significant other. He was blaming it on the small town Connecticut woes when he said this... "Call me old fashioned but I would expect a hot meal on the table when I come home from work." My sister and I howled with laughter. He has three sisters, didn't we teach him anything???

I buy the sandals here. But have seen them in a few kids shoe stores.

I am now completely exhausted from putting in all those links. I shall go have a nice relaxing beverage before poopie pants wakes up.