Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Five little wobbly steps.
Three uncertain shuffles as soon as Dad left the room and two much braver strides when he returned.
Congrats my little man.


Affluenza. Or why Whitney is slowly turning into an old man.

We are remodeling our kitchen.
Which means it is the perfect time to buy a new 8 foot long antique cabinet for the studio.
Which means it's a great opportunity to finally organize and clean the studio, until it is just so.
Which, of course, means that it is a great time to rearrange my son's room.
Which means my house and my life have fallen into complete disarray.
Of course.

I am on the other side of the tunnel today.
Kitchen: built pantry, sold island, rearranged furniture, purged until all remaining items will fit in a reasonable amount of cabinet space. Chugging forward. Slowly but surely.
Ray's room was a quick fix, move the dresser, pivot the crib et voila! 10x more play room.
My studio. Ouf. That's not really a word but that is the sound I make when I think about the fact that I am still not done cleaning and sorting and purging and organizing. Almost, but not quite.

So far I have purged one complete car load of stuff. About 3 large trash bags full of trash and 4 bags full of recycling. Among all of this debris, all of this clutter, I have come to the realization that I am a hoarder. A pack rat. I'm the old man with 27 baby food jars full of random screws and nails.
This troubles me more than anything else in this world. I never really stopped to think about all the extra weight I keep piling onto my mind and my body by never saying no when I am offered a box of old things. By never thinking do I really need this now?

No, my philosophy has always been, "oh, but I might need that 6" x 8.35" piece of black plastic someday" and "you never know, this vintage plug/phone line adapter, that might come in handy..." I have extras of my extras and backups for my backups. Enough is enough.

But wait here's the kicker: I spend even more time worrying about selling all of the no-longer-needed-things than all of this put together! Naturally, I blame eBay and her hippy brother Craigslist. I can see the inherent value in any given thing. It might only be a penny but I know it has value. Where I seem to go wrong is in making it my problem that this item and it's respective value get put into the right hands.

So here are a few things I have learned in this past week or two. Maybe you can glean a little wisdom from them, maybe they'll just make you laugh. Either one is fine with me:

1. Do not go shopping with someone that you feel even the teeniest bit of competition towards. Trust me you will come home with bags and bags of crap you do not need. And honestly it'll all be stuff that just makes you feel bad because you bought it with the wrong intentions.

2. Do not work at a store you would shop at. I've now made this mistake twice and I have all the rubber stamps to prove it.

3. Instead of asking yourself "hey, in this vast expanse of a world, is there a possible use for this item?" ask, "hey do I have a use for this item, right now in my life?"

4. Instead of thinking to yourself "ooh, but I could sell that." Think, "NO NO NO. I will not buy another useless item because someone else might want to buy it from me." (This one's personal. Your main source of income might very well be selling things on eBay and that's great, I used to do that too.)

5. There's an old saying that has come back into fashion these days and I don't think it's half bad. "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."

My new mantra.

6. And last but not least. Even if you spend your money on a kajillion used items and thrift store finds versus one brand-new shirt. $50 is $50 (right dad?)

I think the really deep meaning I've come to find in all of this is that for me personally, when life is in the pits and things are uncertain I used to feel reassured and calmed by my things. When life is grand and only getting better, I don't really need all that junk anymore.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

on the menu

::Thursday was the Crazy Ivan salad with Citrusy Black Bean Soup.

Lettuce - fresh from the garden
Onions - from the garden
Roasted Baby Beets - Wolf Moon Farm via the Food Co-op
Goat cheese - Haystack Mountain
Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) - bulk co-op
Molasses-Balsamic vinagrette - recipe here

Soup - StaceyP, the magician behind the underground soup co-op

::Friday was Steak Salad with Gorgonzola and New Potatoes and Green Beans.

Lettuce - le jardin chez nous
Elk Steak - hunting last season
New Potatoes - grocery store
Gorgonzola - grocery store
Green Beans - Jess' Garden

::And today...

Buttermilk Pancakes with Momma's Apricot Jam (which the dogs stole off the counter - Rats!)
Egg salad sandwiches and left over potatoes.

::Other sweet treats tested lately:

Honey Nutters - SO GOOD. Best airplane food ever.
Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting - best recipe for cupcakes yet.
Punitions - French punishment cookies

Tomorrow Cherry Clafoutis, as soon as I can find my pitter...


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

new post.

We went on vacation.
The first vacation we have been on since our honeymoon 2 years ago (happy anniversary love). And it really wasn't so much of a vacation, it was a long weekend away from the house with everyone in Luke's family. 

This was a pretty low budget, quick little vacation and it's funny but we really did have a great time just being with each other. We hiked and explored and played in the water. It was really fun. I can't think of two other people I would have rather been with.

You can see all of the other vacation photos over there -> on flickr.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bon Anniversaire!

a very special happy birthday to my momma.
we love you.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

note to self

Hi self, I'm going to repeat this in case you didn't hear me the first time:

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. -Helen Keller

Small but grand accomplishments lately:

*new faux bois pants for Ray
I embroidered the left leg with a heart with an arrow through it and an R in the middle.

*I made Ray another pair of pants - in red, white and blue stripes - just call me patriotic.

*I made a new small zippered bag today, with my new oilcloth.

*I moved my zucchini from the front flower bed to underneath the corn (supposed to be good at deterring the buggers that like to crawl up the corn).

*I staked my tomatoes and gave my beans some new strings to climb up.

*I planted my new Ichiban Eggplant and my last pepper.

*I moved my lemon basil, which seems to be doing better these days.

*I planted my beets, swiss chard, spinach and some more radishes along the side of the house.

*I sold the display cabinet that used to sit where our new PANTRY is being built.

*I made the yummiest tuna salad for dinner (I added 1/2 a cucumber and a bunch of green beans) with fresh berries for dessert.

And my to-do list continues...



Jimmy Buffet

More new photos on Flickr.

Friday, July 3, 2009

what's in a name?

Sometimes I have these small, mini-life-crises; wherein which I struggle to define myself with a title.

Mother, Wife, Daughter. 
Artist, Crafter, Creator. 
Artisan, Chef and Gardner.
Friend, Companion, Tourist.

I suppose these titles are all worthy and plenty. They don't fit on a resume; but I don't even have a resume. Besides a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Daily Log ~ Dlog?

Ray bear is still getting up in the wee hours of the morn. Usually around 3am but lately it's been twice a night. I could go for a full night's rest. But it's getting hot here and I never sleep very well when it's so hot. Yes, we have AC but it's still not the same.

I worked out in the garden all morning. Put the cucumbers out. Planted the sweet corn. Pulled weeds and thought about where to plant all the rest of my new flowers. I discovered that I have purslane growing in my garden beds, a pretty common "weed" I understand, but also edible and delicious! Chock full of vitamins, minerals and more omega 3 than any other leafy vegetable.
This had me thinking, hmm.. what else can I eat out here. So we went to the Library and I got a couple of books on foraging and eating "wild" foods. Yum! Yum!

That was about it for today. Ray bear is seriously considering walking and I need to seriously baby-proof! I'll tackle that tomorrow.

We've been going on bike rides early in the mornings before it gets too hot. My new bike trailer is awesome! And I really like being active.

I re-stacked the wood pile yesterday and Fat ol' Charlie bear, a.k.a. the-escape-artist is still finding a way out. I think I'm onto him though and I should be able to block his route.

Busted out the crochet hook today. I'm going to make a new net-like tote bag. I'll post some pics. New things in two of my etsy shops. My debut as a fashion model :)

More dlog tomorrow. I figure if I can't think of something deep and insightful to say I should at least write about what's filling my days.