Friday, February 27, 2009

The state of things

Last weekend I had an idea and decided that it just had to be done. So I drove to the paint store, bought 10 samples of paint and started testing them in my kitchen. And this is how it looks, still, today. Every day this week I walked in there and examined and stared and turned my head and tried to envision the space and color. I think I've finally figured out what I want. I'm staying with the green that was in there to begin with. And this means heading back to the paint store to buy a gallon of paint to cover over my "brilliant idea".

Of course my epiphany came with a tagalong that I felt must also be carried out right away. See the mirror on the wall? This is our front room. The room you first walk into when you come into the house. It suffers for a lack of purpose. No one knows what this room is or what it does except to contain a huge mirror. Our piano is stuck right in front of it but it doesn't fit well. So I decided it had to come down. Immediately of course.

So I stayed in my pajamas, grabbed a hammer and screwdriver and started pulling at the baseboards and the wainscoting that covered the bottom half. When it got to the mirror, my plan was to just start pulling the (10 foot) mirror off and to "see what happens". Jeremy just stared at me, left the room, and returned a few minutes later with a rug to cover the floor, a box to put the broken pieces of glass in, gloves, goggles, and shoes for my um, unclad feet. He took over most of the work wearing a cowboy hat to protect his head (he made sure to point out). We pulled and hammered and scraped and eventually, piece by piece, the mirror came down.

With a little help of course....

Finally it was finished. To our surprise, the wall is in pretty decent shape and shouldn't take too much work to fix the little holes and scrape off the remaining glue. Notice the green paint in the bottom corner? I didn't keep my paint samples quarantined to the kitchen... they started spreading to other rooms as well.

After craning my neck and squinting my eyes in hopes of seeing a full room in a tiny patch of color, I think I've finally decided on the paint for this room as well and it's not green OR blue. In the meantime, while certain walls are having identity crises, I'm enjoying a leisurely friday afternoon playing a very crazy game of memory with Ian and crocheting in between turns.

(See where my mind is lately? Tearing down mirrors, painting random walls, and bouncing between knitting and crocheting which have sent my fingers tripping a few times. But I discovered a new yarn store and I just had to get a few skeins of yarn and now another project is on the way.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Homemade Tuesday

The yeast has been proofed in my little white bowl.
The bread is quietly rising in a corner of the kitchen.
The beans have been soaking since last night, nearly ready for the soup that's planned for dinner.
Sawyer is napping.
Ian is playing quietly in his room.
Henry is sleeping, snuggled at my feet.
And I am knitting little house helpers. They are wonderful and oh so pretty to look at. I want a big stack of them for my kitchen, in all colors.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Post birthday bash

My post birthday recovery is over... I didn't intend to ignore this little space here but it appears I did. It's been a good week though, filled with lots of naps and quiet time. I'm not sure I will schedule two birthday parties back to back like that again. But it was wonderful and Ian loved the attention and gifts and cakes and every little thing about everything.

He's officially 4 now and takes every chance he can to tell people about it. I love this picture, he's not in focus and it's a bit dark, but he's just so genuinely happy at this moment. Recognize the candles?? So the cake's a little ... short... but making any type of gluten-free/dairy-free baked treat bounce and stand tall is a bit difficult. Maybe by his 14th birthday I will get it just right... hopefully. He didn't seem to mind though, it tastes great.

And Henry wanted to say hello. What an incredible little friend he's turned out to be.

I'll be back soon... there's been knitting and painting and cooking.... and can you believe it's almost March?

*Henry pic from NP

Saturday, February 14, 2009

4 amazing years

Happy Birthday Ian Jeremy...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Counting birds

Ian and I are getting ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count! It's an annual event that happens across the country in order to take a tally of the birds we see in our own backyard. Experts are able to use these numbers to compare with the previous years species and total numbers. It takes as little as 15 minutes of your time just one day or you can spend hours over the 4 days counting bird sightings. We are reading up on bird species, hoping to identify some when we go out looking. Here's a list of the top birds seen in 2008.

It begins on February 13 and goes for 4 days. All it requires is 15 minutes in your yard, counting individual birds (identifying them if possible), and then logging online to report your findings. You can even boost your chances of seeing them by putting out birdseed to attract them.

This will be our first year doing it but it's a great excuse for the family to get out and observe nature, taking notice of the little creatures in the process. Only two days to go!

Photo by NP

Monday, February 9, 2009


Henry moved in over the weekend... and I think he's happy with his new home.

Sawyer follows him around saying "mmow, mmow" while trying to hug him and Ian does anything he can to make Henry jump and play. He loves to climb on our laps to be rubbed and to fall asleep. We love him already.

He came from the local shelter. The boys and I occasionally look online at the cats and dogs just for fun trying to imagine what they would be like here. When I saw this little guy's face I told Jeremy I wanted to go and see him. He looks nearly identical to the cat, Logan, we had before our kids were born. Logan drove cross country with us when we moved but died after being hit by a car a few months later. We've always missed him. When I went to see Henry, I was struck by how similar he was to Logan and realized that I just couldn't leave him there at the shelter. So now he's home... renamed from Harley to Henry... something familiar to him yet making him ours.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Worms and kitchens

A batch of red wigglers have finally found a home here in our basement. They really dislike the light so we were torturing them in the name of curiosity but we were so excited to see them. It's been almost a year since our first attempt through Craigslist which didn't end up very well. So today we finally made it to Pistils Nursery to get a good batch. And I'm excited to see how our worm bin does... it's supposed to separate the worms from the compost naturally as well as give us some good compost tea. Now we'll have a third way of composting our food. What the chickens won't eat, the worms will, and what the worms don't eat our compost bin outside will gladly welcome. One more step in having less garbage to throw away!


And I have found a new love... it's a kitchen in a kitchen. I was browsing through house pictures one day and saw this adorable little eclectic home, full of color and unique odds and ends, and right there in the kitchen was a little person's kitchen. Brilliant! I have thought about getting a little bigger kitchen for the boys since they do love to "cook" but it never occurred to me to have it in our kitchen so we could all cook together. So this morning when I was at Grasshopper with Ian, I saw they had little wooden kitchens by WonderWorld on sale. It's a hit so far and if only dried beans and paper bacon and eggs were edible, dinner would be made...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Isn't it funny how we never seem to take pictures of the ordinary things around us? I thought for sure I had a more recent picture of our rocking chair but this was the first one I could find and that's Ian there... at 20 months old, which I guess is fitting since he's the little culprit who broke it. This afternoon he climbed up onto the back and it fell, backwards, hitting a few things on the way down. Several joints have come apart and one of the panels in the back broke free at the top splintering into several pieces. When I came in and saw it laying there on it's back, all cockeyed, I knew it couldn't be good.

You know that moment when you realize that something has just happened and by the sound of it, it can't be very good? And then you hear the crying and you realize that someone was hurt at the same time? And then there's that nanosecond when you've just happened upon the scene and determined that a) no one is dead or bleeding out and, b) your beloved chair is broken... and you have to react. It's this nanosecond, that moment in time that feels like an eternity, where your synapses are firing messages to your body and all you hear is the adrenaline rushing through your brain. It's that moment that determines the type of parent you are.

Do you instantly rush to your child's aid no matter what disarray the room is in or what happens to be lying in pieces at their feet? Or are you the one that calmly picks him up, knowing he's physically fine but wanting to comfort him anyway? Or the one that knows he's fine and you rush to the chair, or vase, or whatever precious item has been sacrificed to the annals of childhood and send him to his room even though he's still crying over the shock of being flung in the air? I'm beginning to see that it is me... that one... the latter... the one who gets upset at the sight of blood, not because it's blood, but because it means they must have been doing something crazy in order to get hurt in the first place.

When I knew he was more shocked then hurt, I rushed to the chair's aid first. My poor antique rocker. It was given to us the first year we were here by our neighbor. She didn't have any room for it anymore. Her parents gave it to her as a sweet 16th birthday gift, some 35+ years ago.

For now it's tucked away upstairs in a spare bedroom. I'm hoping we can find someone who specializes in repairing old wood furniture by hand. It's too beautiful to not at least try.

Ian is fine... he's over the drama and the only thing he has to show for it is a red scratch on his elbow. I'm beginning to see it though... the future with my rough and tumble boys and as beautiful it may be, I think I'll keep the antiques away for awhile.


I know some people were having problems commenting recently. My husband thinks he fixed it so give it a try and let me know if you have any problems.