Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The reluctant model

The origin of the pout....none of my children do it finer than she. She used to frown (hard) as an infant while she slept. You think I'm kidding, I have the pictures to prove it. We'll laugh (hard) about them when she gets older.

For now, you can purchase this little hat here in my shop. Super soft organic cotton, a favorite with the horse lovers of which there are many in this part of Virginia. More colors/styles to come, stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mellencamp and my kitchen

I've never thought of myself as much of a cook, but I like to cook, or rather I like to bake more. My kitchen activity goes in fits and spurts as time and my mood allows and this week is off to a good start. I made Ina Garten's "chicken stew with bisquits" last night which is probably the family's favorite meal. Roasted chicken, stew from scratch with cream and butter, and bisquits from scratch too, baked right on top full of goodness so good that it oozes right over the top of the dish. When I eat it I know what comfort food is.

Next week I'll probably be back to whatever I can find in the Trader Joe's frozen food section (which isn't bad) if I had to guess, but for now the family can live it up. I've gotten better with practice and lots of it, feeding a family of five a home cooked meal every night is a bigger challenge than I ever realized and when anyone complains about the menu....grrr....don't get me started.

All this reminds me of how far I've come though, and I'm thankful for the challenge. I used to feel like the woman in John Mellencamp's song, "Pink Houses" when he said, "I remember when she could...starve a block". Yeah, that was me in my 20's.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I'll admit it, I may be organized in some ways, but when it comes to stashing away old junk and corraling the endless stuff that accumulates on desktops and bedside tables and in kids' rooms I fall short. WAY short. I'm working on getting better at keeping things organized in the house, but as one who keeps track of things by laying them about so she can see them, I've got a long way to go.

We made major progress this past weekend by way of a yard sale. As hard as it is sometimes to let things go, it's always a great feeling when they're gone. It's like my neighbor who swears up and down that "going to the dump" (or getting rid of the junk) is akin to kneeling at the altar. He brings his burdens, lays them down and leaves them there. I like it.

One by one as our possesions were loaded up and then at the end of the day when the rest of it went to Good Will I truly felt better. I realized I hang onto things from the past as though the future hinges on their presence. I now know that's a completely misguided notion and one that's based on fear rather than reality, low esteem rather than self-assurance.

The kids will continue to outgrow their clothes and need new ones, the couch I have currently will one day be hideous like the last one, and dysfunctional relationships can and will be replaced with ones that work, lift up and encourage.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Favorite parts

Just before the weather turns really cold, just before the leaves really begin to fall, while it still gets toasty warm during the day, it's the perfect time to go camping.

My favorite parts of the weekend had to be the campfires,

the way the sun streamed through the trees looking all smoky-hazy like,

watching the kids find fossils on the beach (zillion-year old shark teeth, so crazy)

the sun shining just right on the water,

fluffy beach grass making me think it's still summer,

and endless blue sky.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Because life is just that fast...

This is a recent addition to the collection sitting in a little box on the old treadle sewing machine that sits in my office/studio. My husband's great grandmother used to make clothes for her children and grandchildren on this very machine. It still works. It still has all its parts. It still has the orginial manual and some random patterns from the 1950's or thereabouts.

Somehow she had time to make entire outfits for multiple children multiplied over years and spanning generations. I make one little necklace and can't find the right time to take the photos needed to be able to list the thing in my Etsy shop. But that's the name of the game right now and we're not even nearly the busiest family around. On purpose.

I blinked and my youngest has two front teeth coming in, likes a teeny-bopper pop radio station and knows what "skinny jeans" are and loves them.

My middle child turned into a serious bookworm, fan of anything that makes her laugh and has a knack for making things disappear (this irritates her mother).

My oldest is somehow now a football player (in a baseball/soccer player's body), expert on amusement rides and walks around like he's a teenager.

All the while their father and I struggle to keep the wheels in constant motion. Work, house, animals, kids, fun, dinners made, groceries stocked, allowances doled out, sporting events attended, not to mention a zillion other little things. But then you know that. Your house probably seems the exact same way.