Sunday, May 29, 2011


Well it's apparently too early for my computer to upload pictures so we just won't have any today.  Sorry.  they weren't really going to have anything to do with the words anyway, so we'll just go with it.

It's not really even that early any more.  I woke up at 5:45 today, and, once I got over my disappointment at not sleeping in, I remembered something:  back in another lifetime, way back before kids and husband and other people's schedules, I was a Morning Person.  Working as a baker required me to be up, dressed, fed, sensible, and in the kitchen by 6 at the very latest.  Often I would schedule myself for a nice run or bike ride before work, too.

But that was a long time ago.  These days, if I can pry myself out of bed before the kids burst forth from their room on the stroke of 7:00 I 'm doing good.  But all just worked.  The sun has come out again after a week of cloudiness, and I decided to try to walk this baby out.  That didn't last very long--despite being the end of May, the ground this morning was covered with a thin layer of frost and I found that I was not dressed at all appropriately.  While it did last, however, it was lovely.  Maybe it's just my imagination, but colors seem crsiper and smells more distinct first thing in the morning.  There are so many shades of green right now and I love being able to actually distinguish between the smell of the fields and the trees (and without the odor of the industrial chicken barns  which don't seem to come into their own until later in the day).  No mosquitoes.  No chattering girls.  Just glorious peace and calm and bright cold air. 

But, recall, it was freezing, and so here we are rambling about it over a very strong cup of raspberry leaf tea.  It really is time to get this baby out--an event which I have no doubt will bring many more bright early mornings with it.  I just need to remember that I love them...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real}


We made fairy gardens a little while ago.  They really deserve their own post, but it hasn't happened yet, so...This is Sophie's before the wind and the cats destroyed it.  It WAS very pretty.


 Sasha inexplicably fell sound asleep at 4:45 the other night, leaving Sophie as an only child for the evening.  Oh, the novelty!  We decided that she should have a special bubble bath in Mama's tub with no big sister around to steal all the bubbles.  She was pretty pumped.  (And, I would just like to add, having only one child at bedtime is SO EASY.  Goodness.)


Sophie's new favorite expression is "I mean it, Punk!"  And this is how she looks when she says it.  I know that I should Not encourage this sort of thing, but she's 2 feet high and it's so funny.


Not long ago, I spent several days potting dozens of garden seedlings for what I believed was going to be Anthony's spring hobby.  Upon completion of said project, I erroneously thought that my part was done.  Apparently I was also supposed to be in charge of watering them and keeping them alive.  (Sigh.)  I will be catching flack about this for years to come. 

                    ~capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~

round button chicken

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

                                      ~capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~


Anthony and the girls surprised me with two beautiful baskets of petunias for Mother's Day. 


Sasha being perfectly happy wearing a new dress and having her hair french braided by Grandma Ruby, all while reading her new I Can Read It book.  A perfectly happy mama snaps the picture.


After getting her ball in the net, Sasha needed a little rest.  In the middle of the field, in the middle of play.  I suggested that next time the sidelines might be a more prudent place for a mid-game nap.


There was a lot of broken crockery this week.  Sophie broke the lid to Sasha's best china tea pot.  Mama broke Sophie's brand new glass with the cow on it.  Sasha broke Mama's willow bowl.  Lots of tears all around.

round button chicken

Books, books, books.

As a general rule, our local thrift store has a fairly pitiful selection of children's least of those of a calibre that I am willing to add to our collection.  But I've got to say, yesterday we struck some serious gold.

It started innocently enough with a book of Frogs and Polliwogs.  But then...wait...a second book with polliwogs?  Off and running.

Next it was a trio of beginning readers published by Sonlight Curriculum.  Since I'm currently obsessed with all things homeschooling (and am trying to convince my husband to join me in this) I snatched those right up.  Sasha is already reading and thoroughly enjoying them.  Score!

For my little Sophie, who is obsessed with dancing and all things ballet, we have a beautifully illustrated book of stories of several classic ballets.  So pretty...and will be good for me, too.

I remember my mom reading these books to my brother and I when we were kids.  I loved the pictures of the germs in the Louis Pasteur one.  Great early biographies complete with good values.  Love these.

I also brought home a stack of classics--The Jungle Book, Swiss Family Robinson, Pinocchio, Tales of Uncle Remus.  Then there were some coloring and early penmanship books (with the stickers still there!), some history books (including a book of activities about Ancient Rome!), and a whole whack of other fun and beautifully illustrated stories. 

There was also a copy of the Berenstain Bears in the Dark which we have read no fewer than 10 times since I gave it to them at bed time last night--what better way to pass a very windy Wednesday indoors?  Yes, we love us some Bear Country stories here. 

In the end, the whole lot--two large shopping bags full--cost less than $17.  Add those to the new puzzles I picked up at the dollar store and I think I've got a handle on the Basket of New Diversions I'm putting together for once I'm confined to arm chairs with a nursing baby in a few weeks (or days, if we're lucky). 

Victory is mine!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

It's been a week of "real" and I'm still trying to learn the habit of having the camera at the ready to turn that "real" into "funny".  So today I settled instead for some much needed "pretty". 

Apparently I can only add one picture today. 
Although it never fails to utterly delight both the girls and myself, I rarely indulge in the frivolous luxury of fresh flowers.  I have been lusting after these, however, for weeks and finally decided that I would just buy them.  After all, they are pretty and they are paper so they will not begin wilting and stinking unless something very unfortunate occurs.  Pretty and virtually foolproof.  I really need that this week. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

pretty, happy, funny...real.

Today I'm joining up with Like Mother, Like Daughter for their Thursday link up of pretty, happy, funny, real pictures.  I get a little wordy.

It was a bit of a double victory, really. 

The outside of my sliding patio door has been completely inaccessible for months.  As soon as the temperatures dropped below freezing, the door froze shut.  Then it snowed.  Hip deep.  There was no going around the house and onto the deck from the outside, either.  I now only vaguely recall having virtuously washed most of the windows on one of the last decent days of the fall.  It seems that Sasha helped.  And that is how I happened to spend the last 6 months with paw prints and swirls of muddy water at a certain 4 year old's height  mocking me every time I sat down at the table.

I can hardly be called fastidious, but this bothered me.

Waiting for the snow melt around the house has been slow going, but at last, just this week, we made it onto the deck.

I am not a big fan of window washing most days, but it was with no small amount of satisfaction that, armed with Windex and an entire roll of paper towels, I informed the girls that we were Going Outside.

It was a bit strange to finally walk out into a place that I have been able to look at but not go to for such a long time.  And it took such a very small amount of time and supplies to get the doors clean.  It might have been anticlimactic had it not been for Victory #2.  The roasting pan.

Apparently, sometime way, way back before it snowed, I had fed some leftovers to the cats in my shallow roasting pan and neglected to bring the dish back in.  I'm bad for that.  I didn't give it another thought until I wanted to roast a ham last week.  Found the chicken roaster.  Found the massive turkey roaster.  Could not even imagine what had become of the shallow roaster (also known as the lid to the chicken roaster).  You can imagine my surprise and delight upon finding it freshly thawed and full of cat hair and other winter debris right there on the patio.  Right, it seems, where I left it. 

I suppose there's a lesson in that.

(And the mess below should be a really pretty button. But it's not. Maybe next week.)

<center><a title="Like Mother, Like Daughter" href="" target="_blank"><img src="" width="200" height="200" alt="IMG_8896-3" /></a></center>

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

And so, dear reader, here we go...

I have been writing blog posts in my head for several years now, but have always shied away from actually attempting a blog.  Not only do I have little confidence in my ability to maintain a running commentary on my life, but I've been completely intimidated by the idea of the Very First Post.  How exactly do you start something like this, anyway?  Most of the blogs that I love have several years of archives and each post seems to be a continuation of an ongoing visit with friends.  No preambles, no introductions needed.  Then, just today, it dawned on me that anyone who might chance to read a blog written by me would already be  thoroughly acquainted with me and would not require anything like an introduction.  So.  One problem solved.

The other, perhaps larger, issue that has kept me away from blogging has been the fear that blogging would make me even more self-absorbed than I already am, and that's hardly what we need right now.  However.  Last night, in a post on my most favorite blog, Like Mother, Like Daughter, it was proposed that blogging allowed the writer to be more content with her own life--taking pictures, albeit edited, of her world, kept her happier with what she had and with the efforts that she was making.  It occurred to me that perhaps this kind of perspective might be just the remedy for certain attitude issues I've been dealing with.  Maybe if I were to take more pictures of the domestic catastrophes around me, maybe if I were to consider my daughters' hijinks in the light of what great stories they would make...Maybe I would laugh more and holler less.  Maybe I would feel more prepared to take on this third baby that impends.  Maybe my phone bills would be a little less.

And so, in an effort to appreciate my own little pocket of the world more fully, here we go...

(And just for the record, I have absolutely No Idea of how to make this stuff work.  I hope that there will be pictures.  I hope that there will be links.  I hope that the entire blog is not always bright aqua.  Bear with me.)