Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Drum roll, please....

Apparently, I'm a big tease. I am, aren't I? Several emailed to ask politely if I'm pregnant. Gosh. That hadn't even occurred to me. Nope. We're done in that department.

We bought a house! Woo hooooo!!!! And we get to keep our current sweet home. Woooooooo hoooooo!!!! Even though I've been on Cloud 9, I am flat out exhausted by keeping up with two homes and all the logistics associated. (Plus, I am far behind in the 2009 entries to Quick Books for my husband's business. Details.)

We are readying our current home for renters. I am just thrilled to keep this sweet, sweet place. For a while in October and November, we entertained the idea of selling it and I was just beside myself. I love this home. Sure, it's old and it has it's issues, but it just a wonderful space. We have spent almost fourteen years here together. I go on a trail run from my back door. The gardens are phenomenal after years of work. The problem is that this precious little cottage is 940 square feet and the four of us are just bursting it's seams.

Our "new" home is a rancher born the same year as me. Yep. She's an early seventies girl and let me tell you, every aspect of the seventies is still intact within her solidly built walls. I will be spending many months painting. That's painting, not sewing. Good thing I love color, and painting.

So now, you can look forward to many posts about moving, painting, redecorating, and creating new gardens, I guess. (I know, I know. I promise to keep it interesting.) I have some other things brewing in my head that will surely make it onto the page. Alrighty, then. Time for me to go get busy. It was fun keeping you in suspense for a few hours though.

It's been an exciting start to a new year!

I've got big news that I'm burning to tell you, but I haven't even had the time to talk with my sister yet, so I'd better get on that first. I promise to come back to this space soon and share.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Healing thoughts...

... for those suffering in Haiti.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

indoor "sand" box


dried beans....

horses, elephants, and trucks... oh, my!

just a few minutes here and there for mama...
you get the picture.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ice Fishing, of course.

We always go on an outdoor adventure together at least one day on the weekends. That's our routine, like a glue that keeps us tightly joined. It was 23 degrees when we walked out the door this morning ( a much better alternative than staying inside with cabin fever percolating.) Since we don't have ice skates, and there's not much snow left, well then, fishing it is. We walked, wrapped like polypropylene mummies, to the pond.

The tedious process of cutting through the ice extracted a hunk that was around 6 inches thick. This was deemed safe and we proceeded to make the surface of the pond our playground.

Ta da!!!! An ice fishing hole. Initially, there was so much excitement around this hole and the possibility of catching a fish. We sat, we watched. No fish. The kids and I have an adventurous attention span. We were not the most loyal fisher persons.

Before long it was just daddy by himself while the kids and I walked all over water.

(Now, I recognize this is no big deal to my Canadian friends, but for those of us who have grown up in the southeastern United States.... a month of below freezing temps is just not reality. Honestly, I still can't wrap my brain around it. The rhythm of my days is seriously warped.)

I found myself wandering around, looking for images to capture. The kids were in bliss discovering things beneath the ice. Often I looked up to find them nose to the ice, oblivious to any discomfort. It was a brand new way for them to experience the pond that they know so well.
A lovely way to spend the morning, if I do say so myself (and I'm not much of a cold weather person.) We will always remember this day that we cavorted on the water of our pond. "Magic" is what I heard our daughter say to our son. In our own little world, we made history today. We walked, ran, slide, and fished on water. It will be entered into one of our family chapters... "Remember that winter when it was so cold, for so long, that we...."

Friday, January 8, 2010

gardening indoors....

I saw this post this morning and it inspired some creativity on my part. We have become weary of indoor play and craft projects. Another day at home with single digit temps at the start. It's brutal and it's not as if there is any snow to actually play in. Our spinach and arugula has frozen under the frame. The kids were bummed. I was bummed. This many weeks of such cold temps are just not the norm around here.

So this little project was a perfect way for the kids and I to reconnect with our little gardening souls. A sweet potato and an avocado.... that's what we had in the house. I looked here and scrolled down to discover how to plant an avocado. I dug out my bulb forcing vases. We also planted the amaryllis bulb given to us. We had leftover dirt from the kit, so we found another vase and started brainstorming what else we could plant. We got out the leftover seed packets, and were fingering through them. I looked up. A rosemary stalk blossoming tiny perfect lavender blue buds. Ah ha! We had rescued it from the snow where it had been smashed and broken to the ground. We cut it's end and placed it in pot of dirt. (I'll ask my husband for some rooting hormone when he comes home. It should give it a stronger start.)

It felt so lovely to have dirt on our hands. My six year old told my three year old about how plants need water, light, and dirt to grow. Then we marvelled that the avocado and the sweet potato would root and grow without dirt. They named our new friends, Mrs. Avocado Egg and Mr. Potato Head. Perfect, don't you think?

Now we get to watch them grow when nothing outside is sprouting right now. The anticipation and the excitement got me all jazzed up too. I can't wait for warmer temperatures. Last year in February we were turning beds and planting potatoes. I can feel Mrs. A.E and Mr. P.H. growing as I write. Can you?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


My daughter received a wonderful gift from my parents which has inspired hours of play on her part. Many of the items within the gift were ones that my parents or my husband and I could have made (had we the time.) The mantra was "simplify" though, and the investment was well worth it. These tree blocks and furniture for the fairies, along with some small baskets, green wool roving, and a family of little felt gnomes were the contents of the gift.

There were some additions that were not purchased items, but things collected from outside. My mom and daughter glued some pine cones and bark for trees. They made their own little table and chairs with twigs and bark. Then my daughter added in her little felted bunny, and we felted food for the baskets. Really, it has inspired additional creativity and endless variations of imaginary play. The most important part has been that it has contributed to all inside play during these twenty degree days. There is no dollar value that can be placed on a mama's sanity.

This is one of my favorite kinds of gifts for my children. (I've become kind of picky after nearly seven years of watching toys come in my door.) It's important to me that toys generate imaginative play, but also allow my children to create the "stage" for the play as much as possible. It seems that the less "props," the better. Shoe boxes become sleds, blocks become houses, wide open oceans and pastures are created with blankets, fabrics, or silks. I am realizing that less is really more. My children are teaching me all along the way.

Since the holiday stress is over, I'm ready to try my hand at making a few fairies of my own. I borrowed a lovely book from a friend that I plan to use to make some of my own. It's titled "Felt Wee Folk: enchanting projects" and written by Salley Mavor. If I didn't already have many of the supplies, plus the book to guide me along, I would most likely purchase this little kit. It seems very fairly priced, and similar to what I envision making for my little girl's birthday in just 3 months.

So, how about you all? Was there a favorite gift for your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew? Sometimes the most unlikely things are the biggest hit. I know, don't tell me. Your two year old was just enamoured by the cardboard box and that one year old? All you needed to give him was wrapping paper to crumple again and again. It really is amazing isn't it? Kids need so little to entertain them.