Thursday, April 28, 2011


My neighbor’s horse had a foal, which as it turns out is a great boost when trying to not talk yourself out of a walk.


He is so cute and spunky (the horse, not my neighbor).  When he sees us he gives a newborn whinny and kicks up his heels.  You can’t help but fall in love with him. 

Yesterday the cows across the street must have been curious, too, as they were right up against the roadside fence.



Henry was talking a mile a minute as I was taking pictures.  He was asking questions like why is a cow a cow and why is a horse a horse?  You know those kind of questions that after a 100 or so make you have a permanent silly glazed eye look?  Well that is what was happening when this rather large beast was coming over a little too fast.


We backed away and watched him for a bit.  He is a hulk and that is a mighty thin piece of fence wire separating Ferdinand from the human race.


By the time we looped around and came back the cows were gone and the little horse was napping.


Henry got tired, too.  The wind came and rustled through the wheat. (is that wheat?)


So we went home and both took a nap.

The end.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

less soft


Losing a pet is never easy.   Our housecat Peter was an integral part of our crazy family. 

I knew he was old.

But I didn’t know what it would feel like not to have him at my feet each day.

He was a well traveled cat, often sitting in his cage beside me on cross Atlantic flights as I nursed a baby in one arm and balanced a book in the other.


Through each move and each new child, Peter was there… a constant companion.

I just miss him so much!

Monday, April 18, 2011

a partial list of happy things

Though the smoke and haze around here won’t let us forget we are still under the threat of fire,  life is going on.

1.  We colored eggs.  And I realized that when I sat at the table with the kids they were giddy and happy and when I would step into the kitchen even for a minute they would bicker.  It was like an on/off switch.  This still makes the happy list just because when they disagree it is usually so ridiculous and as much as I don’t like it, it’s a part of raising kids and already I can laugh about some of the things they argue over.  YOUR EGG HAS BEEN IN THE BLUE FOR AN HOUR.


2.  K and I recently celebrated our anniversary.  We didn’t do anything “special” but we did stay home and I made roast chicken and potato salad and the Celtics were on TV and they won right at the last few seconds.  Happiness? I think so.

3. I came across this web site and fell in love.

4. And happily I finished a major work of art.


Can you believe I sit and do paint by numbers when my house needs to be cleaned and boxed and its contents shipped 2500 miles east?  Me either.  I am embarrassed to admit this, but I did most of it in my bed. 


I can’t stop doing them, it is so relaxing!  It helps to use a wet paper towel to clean the brush instead of water.  I wonder if Van Gough painted in his bed, too?

5. A while ago I read an idea using paint by numbers only I can’t remember where I read it..was it Cathe Holden?  Anyway she color copied paintings she bought at a flea market onto big sheets of paper (collage style) and used it as wrapping paper.  It was like totally awesome. 

And that is all I’s got.



Friday, April 15, 2011

red flag


We have been in a severe drought for a while.  I can’t remember the last time it rained.  Everyday it has been the same little icon on the corner of the newspaper and tv screen : red flag fire danger. 

And everyday life went on, I went on lunch dates and bought cat food.

Until today when I smelled smoke during the late morning.  Soon enough there were several fires burning around us.  There was virtually no humidity in the air and powerful winds made these fires extremely dangerous.

Our loved ones and friends are fine. 

Though sadly several houses have burned.

It scared me. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

a market bag


I recently read that the reusable bags I bought at the commissary contain lead. What do I do with them?  Should I throw them out?  The stores will take them back but they will most likely throw them out as well. 

Feeling optimistic I took out my vintage sheets and told myself I would cut out five bags.    Thankfully I only cut out one as I think I made more mistakes making this bag that anything else I have ever made.  It was almost funny.  

Anyhow it turned out okay, but I’m going to come up with a plan B as I think I would cry if I had to make four more.


There is something nice about sewing with vintage sheets.  Check out this tutorial page on this blog, there’s some really cute ideas. I hope your week is off to a good start!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Night Reflections

Each day brings us new thoughts, new happiness, new woes.  This past week taught me something, it was an epiphany that hit me right between the eyes.  At first I thought maybe it was just a moment of inspiration that would dissipate as quickly as it arrived.  But it didn’t, it’s still here in my brain.  It’s kind of a long epiphany that started with the passage in a book and I’m not sure how I can summarize it without sounding like I’m the drunk guy at the end of the bar who is in love with everything. 

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I’m definitely not drunk, by the way.

Early in the week I read a passage in a book from the perspective of a naive girl describing a woman she admired…

“…an initial acceptance of herself as she was and so of other people with their foibles. And so she did as little scolding or criticizing of others for their foolish behavior or their sins as anyone I had ever known.  It was not that she was willing to compromise with wrongdoing or poverty or ignorance, just that she was a long step ahead of wasting emotional energy on fretting.  And she never put pressure on the rest of us to accept her opinions.  The secret of her calm seemed to be that she was not trying to prove anything.  She was- that was all. And her stance toward life seemed to say: God is-and that is enough.”

Maybe the exact moment in time in which I read this crossed perfectly with the exact moment in time in which my chaotic life was ticking along.

I have an extreme life. 

This is no surprise within our family, my husband has a demanding job- he travels extensively both in and out of the country.  I will never say I am used to this nor that I don’t mind because from the bottom of my heart I mind.  At the same time this is what it is.  And what it is… is life.

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And we have a great life.  The intensity only adds to this and this is where the epiphany comes in. 

Only it’s hard to put it into words.

Most of my life I have suffered with anxiety.  And I deliberately use the word suffer as it is a physical pain to carry around anxiety.  When you carry around anxiety usually you carry around other stuff, too. 

It’s like I am growing up and can finally comprehend that endless worrying is wasteful of me

It’s not up to me to worry, to judge, to be opinionated.

Just as I don’t have to think about anyone in a negative way.  People will judge me but it really has nothing to do with me at all.

It’s just fine to live this extreme life and let Henry eat cereal for dinner in his underwear. 

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All these years I’ve spent being shy and anxious when ironically I really love people.

I am who I am, I don’t need to carry the past within the present. 

I will never be tall.

I will never be a ballerina.

But I will always be a mother to my children,

and a wife to Ken.

The happiness that gives me is all I need to carry within my heart.


Monday, April 4, 2011

thou art woman

I hath no time to write really, but as a woman I am able to magically find time to fit in a post. 

I am feeling womanly today.  Do you ever have days when you are glad you are a girl?  I realize by asking that my brother is going to leave some kind of sarcastic comment, but it’s okay b/c I don’t mind when brothers are sarcastic.

If there was ample time today I would make a wrap-a-round skirt out of this fabric:


It’s my favorite fabric of the week. 

I would make it reversible with a dark chambray cotton and use this pattern minus the pockets:


What’s on your to-do wish list?