Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Speaking of flowers

I took the girls to the hospital with me tonight to listen to a presentation while the boys went to baseball practice. It was better this way, really, I'd be able to get them home at a decent time and showered and ready for bed before they turned into pumpkins or over-tired, fighting, spaghetti noodles. The only obstacle would be keeping them occupied, distracted and above all else quiet for over an hour. Sounds simple until you have children and then you instantly know all the pitfalls and many unimaginable ones that can occur in such a scenario.

It was officially medical, complete with a power point presentation, a doctor speaking, tons of medical terminology, medical professionals in attendance, the whole nine yards, all of us learning or re-learning about the pitfalls of bone growing in unexpected and unwanted places in the body after certain traumas and what to do about it. Yeah, I really deal with this stuff.

And just when you think that what you do is important (because it is), reality hits. I looked over and my youngest was about to whack my middle child in the head with the yo-yo she'd brought. A few minutes later I had to get her to turn down the Jackson Five's "ABC" on her ipod and stop her from wriggling to the beat. Then there was a big debate over dessert, who would get it and when and what it would be. Shoes, sweaters, bags, books, papers and bodies were strewn about on the floor and just then my youngest handed me a piece of paper.

She had drawn a flower. Very basic. There was writing at the top, complete with a few backwards "A's" and a number or two. It said:

1. I like the flower.
2. I am the flower.
3. The flower ran away.
4. The End.

There it is in a nutshell. The complex and precarious situation of what it means to be a mother with her brain in so many places all at once. Wanting to be in all of them, not wanting to neglect any of them, but having to stop and chuckle about the basic reality and simple truth that is offered to us by our children. If I were her, I'd have wanted to turn into a flower and run away too. I'm sure of it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Off the hook

I often wonder just what my kids will remember from their childhoods. They already remember so much more than I think they do or think they should and from a much younger age. But where things like the 7 years carting 3 overlapping children back and forth from preschool made quite the indelible impression in my mind, I find that my kids hardly remember those days. It makes me wonder if our focus was at times misplaced.

But it's these lazy afternoons in the middle of the week when Daddy takes the afternoon off, takes them fishing and they catch us a fresh fish dinner from a nearby pond that I know they will remember for some time to come.

He has their full attention. They learn how to bait a hook, cast a line and how to hold a wriggling, wet, slimy fish and even take it off the hook.

They recount these experiences to anyone who will listen, including their entire classes respectively. But preschool is nothing more than a fading memory, or something like a dream where they're not really sure if it happened at all.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thank you

This post is for the co-workers that stop me in the rehab gym and tell me they read my blog the night before. It's for the others who tell me they want every necklace they see me wear. It's for my new friends, old friends, work friends, unknown-never-to-be-met friends who tell me they faithfully read.

It's for my husband, his grandmother, my in-laws, my brother-in-law, his girlfriend (can I say that yet?), and the extended family who also read this ramble.

It's for the friends I know who help promote and for the friends I don't know who surprise with their accolades. And of course for my customers, new, repeat and wannabes, I'm grateful for you all.

You get the point. It's for all of you out there who don't have to read but for your own separate reasons still do. It's for the ones who call me 'artist' and 'creative', I thank you all and am so happy that you keep coming to visit.

As I have nothing more, today I'll leave you with some of the latest uploads to my shop. In order they are barely yellow, simple silver and early purple, this last one made specifically for Sheila and named after my earliest blooming and oldest country iris that look so pretty right now. Maybe tomorrow I'll show them to you.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

One man's junk

"I saw it and thought you could use it to make jewelry on," he said. "They were taking it to the dump so I put it in the back of the truck. It came out of an old church parsonage."

This from the man who has been known to tell me he doesn't like a house full of "hodge podge" furniture.

I just kept quiet, doing little leaps up and down inside where no one could see. This is the stuff that belongs in a farmhouse after all, and being the family that rescues old buildings, animals and even a soul or two, I'm sure it will have no trouble fitting right in with the rest of the hodge and the podge.

It has an enamel top that pulls out, was obviously used in the kitchen and is even on casters and the wheels are made of wood. I wonder what Country Living Magazine could tell me about it if I sent them pictures? I'm sure there would be some great story and they'd tell me it was really old but that it was worth $50 due to it's few structural issues.

Oh well, I'm sure we can salvage it, the man can do the structural repairs and I can do a whole lot of scraping, cleaning and painting before we bring it in. Trouble is it's too big for my office, it'll probably end up in a hallway somewhere, or the mudroom, who knows.

But I leave you with the takeaway message in all of this, that lies in the fact that people that you think you know really well will still surprise you from time to time. Be happy when they do and thankful too. And, sometimes the most thoughtful gifts don't come pre-planned or in pretty packages wrapped up with bows. At times they're disguised beneath decades old peeling paint, on wooden wheels and just a little bit broken.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Just right

It was one of those days where I knew at the end a walk around with my camera would do me some good. I won't run down the list for you of what my day entailed up until that point because we are all busy and I'm sure you don't need my stress on top of your own.

We are all moving from the minute our feet hit the floor until we park ourselves at the end of each and every very long day. At least most of the people I know live this way and it's up to us to self-impose some time-outs.

Sometimes I walk around imagining myself as a 99 year old woman, looking back, telling a story to someone, anyone who will listen.

"That was when we lived in an old farmhouse," I'd say, "we gutted it from top to bottom, kept it from falling to the ground, built it back up strong and new. We had three kids there and added on and vowed to care for what we were given. After all, we knew it wasn't really, only, ours."

The green looks more green when I daydream,

the barn changes every time I see it,

the kids do what they naturally do,

and I know it won't last forever. But I try on these walks to soak in every last bit of it. To make it part of me, to make memories instead of flying by life so fast and calling myself productive.

So I save the lilacs and plant more peonies. I spread lilies around the outskirts and know that they'll root themselves. I give the iris their room and replant them as well, knowing that old Mrs. Webster probably planted the original ones well before I was born. There is history here. I can feel it. It reminds me and humbles me when I know that this life isn't all about me. I like that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Currently reading, not knitting

I'm reading this book now which is pretty good for me considering the fact that when I discovered knitting I all but stopped reading books. Entirely. But the books are creeping back onto the shelves and I'm thankful for their return. I don't read anything and everything anymore like I used to, no, now I want the books I read to mean something to me. To make me think, to inspire me to take a closer look at the way I do things or the way I don't do things or to consider doing things I'd never considered before. I sound like a book snob, I know.

Luckily, I stumbled upon this one. I mentioned it a while back and gave you a link where you can hear an exerpt. For those who didn't click on it before or for those who want to hear it again, here it is.

As I read I'm constantly wondering if I know what the author means, if I really even understand any of what she's trying to say, but when my throat closes up with a big lump and I have chills all over I know it means something to my life, but I'm not yet sure just what. Yet.

All I really know is what occurred to me today after reading a few chapters while I was changing into my running clothes. She says in some sort of way that you must tend to what you want to see flourish. You must give it attention, as the sun gives the garden, day in day out, without fail, without complaint, because that's it's job. It's an easy concept to comprehend and even one I thought I was doing a pretty good job of, toward my kids, toward my husband, toward the house, the laundry, my job, the dog and yes, even the garden.

But what occurred to me is that I also have to tend to me. I need to give myself attention. This isn't what you might automatically think, especially if you watch shows like "What Not to Wear" and "Oprah" and the like (by the way, I like those shows, no offense). I'm not saying I need more pedicures (I've never had one in my life), or more "me" time, or girls weekends or shopping or spa treatments.

Rather, it's what happens in the quiet moments inside my head, during and in between the homework and the housework and the work work and the rest of it that I could improve upon. It's the messages I'm sending myself that need tweaking, it's the inside me that needs tending to.

If you get the book it's worth the read, I promise. I plan on starting it over just as soon as I finish.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Smile, it's Saturday

Spring wakes me up and I find the urge to start making more jewelry. I'm a casual sort of girl that likes t-shirts, jeans, flowy skirts and flip-flops and these simple necklaces seem to fit. I wear them constantly because they're easy, comfortable, simple yet intricate and I can change them whenever the urge hits and I often do.

I've added this new one to the shop.

And the next one was added yesterday and sold in just a few hours. I love it when that happens.

I was under contstant supervision during the photo shoot.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Job hopping

Growing up I had a friend whose mom seemed to change careers every few years. She started out as a nurse, then became a full time mom of three and dabbled in photography for a bit, art, then real estate, back to nursing and then eventually retirement.

I don't know if she could never make up her mind, if she didn't really need to work, or if she just had so many different interests that she flip-flopped from one profession to another. Whatever the case, I think of her as I flit from one thing to the next, often overlapping all three of my supposed jobs.

One is serious and bona fide career, the next is motherhood and the last has sprouted from a hobby, and the near necessity of giving my brain a creative outlet not related to anything but just that.

So please enjoy some recent additions to the shop. First we have garnet and glass followed by pinkish and finally red raspberry. And then you'll please excuse me while I go nurse allergies, a bloody nose, do laundry, tend to the weeds, plant the new rosebushes and peonies, water the grass and line up playdates, all while I take a "break" from my real job. Happy working everyone, I hope you enjoy what you do.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Get Lost

While I may think I know where I'm going, that I have at least some of the answers, and that my life is on the right track, time away usually reminds me that I could use some improvement. A rut forms when we go through the same paces without time for contemplation, for an alternate tempo, different scenery, new relationships. Slowing down and changing the channel for a time is the only way to really see, to hear, to listen, enjoy, embrace, think, sleep, eat, feel.

And while the idea of getting permanently lost is tempting,

I realize that it isn't necessary,

that "to do" lists aren't terrible,

but they certainly aren't everything, and that putting them down for a time makes them easier to come back to. And when we do come back, we can see them from a new angle and with priorities straight.

My kids often ask me why we (humans) have to go to sleep. Bedtime isn't a favorite of theirs as it interferes so with play and other important things like more play. But it isn't just sleep that without which we would all lose our minds, but it is rest as well that we all really, honestly, cannot live normally without.

So I hope you too can find the time, here and there, to sneak away and come back better than ever.

I've added it it to my new "to do" list.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Heavy on the white

We've gone from green to yellow to white all in what seems like just a few days. No matter how long it's been, there's no mistaking the feeling that accompanies Spring.

Doors and windows open, baseballs popping in the front yard, training wheels and jump ropes on the gravel, the blur of the hula hoop and the sweet, sweet smell of the plum trees. The bees know it, so do the groundhogs who've come out and the 10 or so deer that graze through the young wheat fields each evening all around the house.

My eldest has climbed aboard the riding lawn mower and is now in charge of the backyard, under close supervision from Dad and the dog. My youngest has taken big brother's place at the chicken coop with her sister. Allowances all around.

I dig up and transplant the young lilac shoots and watch the peonies begin to pop up, red through the dirt. Ferns hang from the porch and flowers again grace the porch steps. It's a welcome wake up from the cold, the snow and rain. Slowly we thaw and open to the sun.

Just like the flowers.