Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

The children stood trembling with excitement by our bed this morning at 5:50 a.m.

We go from being in technology overload,

to retro,

to complete bliss, all in just one quick glance around the room.

Of course Big Kid #1 is napping in the other room, completely worn out from all the excitement and/or food. I hope you've had a wonderful Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My List

In a season where people often ask, "What's on your list?" I'd like to share my list of a different sort, things I'm thankful for this holiday season. Here no particular order

1. Time off (yay!)
2. gift buying, card sending completed a whole week early (first time ever)
3. tons of help from my husband :) #2 would otherwise not exist
4. my chickens started laying eggs again! their second winter they don't lay unless you trick them with a light to extend their daylight hours (thanks again to the hubby and daughters who rigged the light for me)
5. a babysitter that puts me totally at ease and fills the house with smells of Christmas baking and who has a mellowing effect on the kids (jaw drops open here)
6. my busiest and most successful Christmas knitting season ever (and I thought quitting the farmers market would be my downfall)
7. happy dogs
8. happy kids
9. happy marriage
10. the chance to bake way more than I need to, just because
11. an old friend hopefully moving back to town (fingers crossed!)
12. my ideal job, without it #1 wouldn't be possible either
13. friends
14. creativity. the kind that prompts my son to make a punching bag out of pillows with his friend, and my daughter to write a book so intriguing that her tablemates at school snatch it during free reading time
15. my other daughter's two front teeth
16. hope for the future. for changes coming, for hearts softening, reality hitting. for eyes lifting and a life that continually moves forward.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Is it over yet?

It has been one of those weeks. You know (those weeks), where so many things happen, big and little, stressful things, tiring things, exciting, good, confusing, mundane, exhausting things that by Wednesday you find yourself curled up and squished together in a big chair with your husband for a very long time watching the Blue Lagoon (of all movies) because there's nothing better on but you don't care and you don't want to move and all you need is to veg out. And it wasn't just me, it was him too and today just added to it all and he said he wished for seventeen Saturdays beginning tomorrow. One of those weeks.

But the good news is I made a new hat, and some booties to match, and they'll be up in the shop just as soon as I can snap some more good shots of them both. And the shop is doing well, folks are getting ready for Christmas, I see it every time a man buys a necklace from me. I know it's for his wife and I secretly love the way he's shopping for her from her list because I know he didn't find it by accident.

So here's to a happy Friday tomorrow, some curling up and squishing together time, some vegging out, and wishing for seventeen Saturdays to follow.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I spent the better part of two days baking, chopping, cleaning, preparing, mixing and cooking and when I rolled out of bed Friday morning my legs ached from my knees down, my belly was still full up to my neck and my hands were swollen from too much salt. But, I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat, it was totally worth it as it is every year.

For many reasons it is perhaps my most favorite holiday, only now that I'm an adult. And that is often what I'm most thankful for, the holiday itself, the new traditions we're creating here for the kids, the chance to celebrate with family for family's sake, to recognize our collective blessings and state them aloud. There are so many good things about this day. Then there's the food.

Homemade sausage cornbread stuffing (a new addition),

chocolate cheesecake with an Oreo crust (new this year too, gotta have chocolate),

among all the other favorites

including very old linens on very old tables,

using every square inch of furniture,

down to the simple place cards that I let my girls make every year. I love to see how they change. We even managed a super-moist and tender turkey convincing me once again that it's all about the brine. Trust me. It's one of the best parts, me and my husband in our pajamas, wrestling a 16 lb turkey into a big pot of salty, sugary, watery mix and then flipping it over the next morning. You should try it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What Saturday brings

When the day finally comes when I have nowhere to be, I hardly believe it's real. So I make the coffee large,

sneak off to my office and quietly slide closed the pocket door,

sit in the sun that's streaming through the large window,

and make more of these.

This is the time of the year where I've lost part of the family to the water, but I'm happy for the quiet, still mornings,

and set to revisiting some old favorites for a good friend, this time in a different color.

Just for you, Suz.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

For really no reason at all...

....other than this is where my thoughts are, tangled up in my surroundings, scooping leaves out of dog bowls and watching the colors fall... cuddling up on cold nights when darkness comes too soon... preparing for Thanksgiving and bringing to mind all those things I am so thankful for....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Confetti and horses

I went ahead and made a second version of the necklace I posted about last. The vintage glass button pendant is smaller and it's kind of fun to wear both necklaces at once.

The following hats are the result of a custom order, based on the one in my shop. A woman wanted some of my organic hats with horse appliques for herself and her horse friends for Christmas. How fun, I'd love to see a group photo. And I finally hung my vintage hat stand in my office and used it. It's a much more cooperative model than the live version (aka 6-year old daugher). Enjoy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Taking time

Today I had the time, or rather I took the time to make a few things and listed this one in the shop.

It had been a long week, and it was a very long day yesterday. I attended (and helped coach--yikes)my son's team during his first adventure with a local Lego Robotics competetion. I can assure you that was an event like none other but one I'm sure to be involved with for years to come as evidenced by his one statement, "This is one of the best days of my life, Mom. I want to do this next year, all through middle school and in high school too." Oh boy, how can a mom argue with that?

I was a reluctant participant at first, but especially after yesterday I fully realized the value of the experience and how it pertains to his life now and in the future. The boy is well on his way to a world I know very little about but his talent is clear and his focus is undeniable, even enviable.

So after dragging myself out of bed this morning with a sore body and big bags under my eyes from sheer exhaustion from the day before, I settled myself in the office and proceeded to dig through beads. A few orders were filled and I had the chance to play around. It was just the slow day I needed.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Little things, big things

I was sitting in the office, in the window knitting away and I heard the tractor start up. Normal. I watched as he drove slowly by me and noticed the auger attached to the back. Not normal. The auger is for big jobs. The auger is for digging big holes. I ran down the household "to do" list in my mind and nowhere on it was dig...big...holes.

He's up to something....

Then I remembered our conversation about the raised beds he'd like to put in the garden for next year. Great idea, weeds grow like crazeeeee out here, must be help from the cows who used to graze here for years and years. I pictured tiny little plots maybe 6' X 6' or something like that. This just goes to show what I've learned over the years of being married to this man: 1. when he sets his mind to doing something he does it well 2. he does it completely 3. he usually does it much bigger, more organized and well planned out than I originally thought.

This, of course is in direct contrast to the way I jump into projects with both feet before looking, get sidetracked half-way through and am then on to the next thousand things that distract me. Which is maybe why I started cleaning out the refrigerator in a dress 5 minutes before we left for church. Yeah, that's right. He made me stop. When we got home he took over. He emptied it completely out, scrubbed it down better than an operating room after surgery and I had to pinch myself when it was all over.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why we like the country

1. There isn't a neighborhood association to tell you what you can and cannot do.
2. The outside is just as important as the inside (sometimes even moreso) and space to run and play is part of who we are.
3. It smells good.
4. Getting away from people forces you to figure out who you are. That's important.
5. I can tell the kids to "go outside and play" and not have to worry about them getting snatched.
6. It's pretty almost everywhere you look.
7. You can see the stars and have big bonfires and play baseball without smashing any windows.
8. The kids can ride their bikes without leaving home and without helmets like it used to be.
9. They know how to play with virtually nothing for hours and have a ball.
10. I can run without ever leaving home. Follow me.....

I start off at the tire swing and go past the tool shed,

across the slate path,

down the hill,

past the firewood,

by the dogs (hi dogs),

past the chickens (hi chickens),

up to the beanfield,

down the path that the man of the house cuts for me,

by the neighboring field,

dodging the deer tracks,

and past the newest brushpile waiting to be burned (hint: this is what yard waste looks like in the country),

into the trail through the woods,

past the old remnants of farm,

under the big branches,

and old cedars,

out into the clearing and past the neighbors,

saying goodbye to the summer's poison ivy (good riddance),

dodging the mine fields full of black walnuts that smell strangely like lilies in springtime,

past the old rusty farm implements left behind so long ago,

and the well-house-turned potting shed,

next year's garden,

crazy children,

and back up to the house where the cannas have forgotten it's November and are on their second bloom.

Around and around I go, over to the barn, out to the road, and back, and I feel awakened, alive and at home.