Monday, March 30, 2009
(Five lunch boxes stand ready at the door for co-op day.)
(Five piles of laundry waiting for Kiddos to get their hind ends down stairs and get them folded!)
(Five silhouettes at sunset)
(Five charms to wear over my heart)
Friday, March 27, 2009
"Consider the mustard seed, a seed so tiny it can fall to the ground and lie unnoticed by human beings and birds alike. Given time, though, the seed may sprout into a bush that overtakes every other plant in the garden, a bush so large and verdant that birds come and nest in its branches. God's kingdom works like that. It begins so small that people scorn it and give it no chance for success. Against all odds, God's kingdom will grow and spread throughout the world, bringing shade to the sick, the poor, the imprisoned, the unloved."
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The Kiddos found the four walls of the house and the company of each other tiresome. The dogs paced over the wood floors. I shivered inside my fleece and jeans.
to pull out some new yarn to cast on for a couple of dishcloths.
The household settles down. The fireplace draws us in . . . and warms us, inside and out. The drips slide soothingly down the glass. Fresh grace for a rainy afternoon.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
is what greeted my eyes when I opened the pantry late this afternoon. An extra-large, jumbo pack of Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Goldfish, freshly ripped open, enjoyed, and left . . . hanging . . . absorbing the moisture of the air and dangling precariously on the edge of the wire pantry shelf, ready to fall either onto the questionably clean floor or into the unquestionably dirty trashcan. Someone was being lazy, irresponsible, and selfish with their snacking habits. Someone was going to be found and directed back to said pantry, clip closed this bag of snacks, and forevermore remember that food costs money, gets stale, and needs to be appreciated. The lecture was already gaining momentum in my mind, and it was a good one!
First to question the suspects.
Oldest Daughter (The Logical One): "Mom, you know I can't eat dairy or wheat. Of course I didn't open the bag of Goldfish." (slight toss of head)
Oldest Son (The Strong-Willed One - therefore, the one who always gets blamed for everything!): "I just ate breakfast at noon and I'm full and I've been studying in my room all afternoon. I promise you, this time it wasn't me!" (warm sideways hug for extra emotional appeal)
Middle Son (The Social One): "No, not me. I was at Ricardo's house and then we stopped by to get Mike and the three of us went to Ahnkit's and Michael was there and we called Chase and he came over and then all of us went to Sean's garage to play ping-pong and I suggested we have a humongous scooter race so that---what are we talking about? Oh, Goldfish? No, I haven't been here all day." (giant freckled smile)
Youngest Son (The Dreamer): "Goldfish?!!!!! We have Goldfish??!! I didn't know we had Goldfish! Can I please have some Goldfish, Mom? There are still 22 minutes until dinner!!" (wide open, expectant eyes)
Youngest Daughter (The Baby - therefore, the one who doesn't get blamed for anything!): "Mommy, I can't even REACH the Goldfish!" (slightly pouty lower lip)
So, there you have it. No one opened the Goldfish that are now slowly softening in the Southern atmosphere. Any other suspects? Man of the House at work, The Dogs have not successfully developed their manual dexterity to the point where they can open the crimped top of a chip bag, The Cat passed away 6 months ago, and even I (in my various states of inattention and distraction) would probably remember eating a handful of dry cheddar Goldfish.
Yes, we have on our hands a Very Great Mystery. And I can bet these mysteries don't just happen at MY house!
Monday, March 23, 2009
When I first put this little arrangement together, it was perfect for winter. The splitting seed pods of the crepe myrtle looked as stark and bare on their dried branches as the landscape outside. And when the candles were lit, they glowed softly in their lantern holders. But now we've bumped into the seed pods over and over during the course of the winter, scattering them everywhere, the lanterns are dusty, we're needing a fresh tablescape to look at and remind ourselves that spring is HERE!!
These adorable little tin pails (Target!) popped into my cart this weekend, and I picked up some perky pansies and Easter candy.
Table arrangements do not happen to be one of my creative gifts. For me, it's got to be simple, simple, simple, and if you can bring an element of the outdoors indoors, so much the better!!
So, Middle Son punched holes in the bottoms of the tin pails. (If you look closely, you can see these pails were only $1 each!!)
I did a little planting. And opened a bag of Easter candy.
And there you have it . . . a very simple and sweet centerpiece that reminds me of the fresh new life and bright, happy colors of the season.
Oh, wow, I love spring!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
After this, I'm going to do a couple more dishcloths, and then I'm going to move on to something a little more exciting . . . to me. I'll show you when I decide what that will be.
In the meantime, I'm going to wipe counters with this and clean glasses with this and polish my sink with this and marvel every time I hold it that it came from 2 needles, a $1.50 ball of yarn and my hands. Why does it feel so dadgum good to have created something?
Come to think of it, Mr. "Brooklyn Tweed" had to start somewhere too. He might smile at my excitement over a knitted cotton dishcloth . . . but I think he'd understand.
(By the way, you can find the pattern for this dishcloth here.)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Our two dogs. On normal days, on normal weeks, man's best friend, defender of the property, comforter in sorrow, salt of the earth. On normal days rules are remembered . . . rules like where to sleep (your own threadbare dog bed) and where to pee (outside).
But not this week. No, this week rules were forgotten, guidelines abandoned, authority trashed.
The first was a minor, albeit appalling, infraction that could be overlooked.
What is this?? A dog on a couch?? An absolute no-no in our house!! This scoundrel was taking advantage of my being out of the room and jumped up to comfort Middle Son in his hour of distress . . . stomach flu.
The comfort was obviously noticed . . . appreciated . . . enjoyed. This transgression was motivated by love. This can be forgiven.
The next infraction, however, pushed all boundaries of grace and unconditional dog love. The incident began innocently enough with a visit from My Mom. My Mom who pet sits for a living. My Mom who smells (to the canine nose) like many and varied dogs and cats. My Mom who entered Husker's front door with the smell (to the canine nose) of many varied invading and marauding dogs and cats. It was not to be tolerated. Husker greeted her and all the invading and marauding smells at the front door and immediately knew what he had to do. Mark his territory. Tell all the smells and the visions and feelings they conjured up who was boss, who lived here, and the boundaries of his domain. So, he lifted his leg and marked. All over my curtains. All over my custom . made . dry . clean . only . silk . curtains.
Rules have now been remembered, guidelines restored, authority re-established. Grace is given. He is, after all, only a dog with the need to enforce his territory. He knows he was wrong, the guilty face says it all.
He is still loved.
And now I'm off to the dry cleaners.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Now, let me hasten to say that not one of these pages would work in any room of my house. No, my home is decorated in saturated deep red and warm, soft golds and deep mahogany leathers and touches of earthy, mossy greens. But this house, this between-the-pages-of-the-magazine-cover house, is a house I can live in in my dreams.
In my dreams I can live in an old farmhouse that has white-washed wood floors and a long pine table where we pull up creamy, distressed ladder-back chairs and white organza curtains billow at the windows and giant bunches of snowy hydrangeas sit up on the mantlepiece.
There are four reasons why this house only exists in my dreams:
2. Pets (namely one shedding golden retriever and one muddy shepherd mix),
4. My inability to ever get #1-3 completely under control.
No, a snow white house is not a good mix with these 4 factors. But I can dream. Oh, I can dream!
These fabulous pics came from Vogue Knitting Presents Debbie Bliss. I can only imagine what multiple skeins of pure white cotton yarn would look like after living on in my house for 6 months as I attempted to complete an entire coverlet! But isn't it pure joy to look at??!!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
This is a Southern Living Magazine recipe that I've tweaked a little for us.