Friday, September 30, 2011

stopping to smell the flowers

Day 14:  FA-LOA-WAHS!

"Thinking bee, thinking bee..."
(Yes, that is an obscure movie reference up there.)
(I do this often, some might say too often.)

Anywho, I don't like taking photos of flowers.
It's hard.
Thank God for photo editing sites.



"This time, this time, this time!!!!  That's diabolical!"
"Black and yellow, HELLO!"
Okay, I'll stop now.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Insert "fall" pun here.

Day 13:  From a Distance
(at least I think it's from a distance...)

I made a fall wreath for my door.
It was suppose to be a summer wreath.
I had it all ready to go in the spring and then somehow I talked myself out of making it.
I thought it wouldn't work out right.
Then I decided to just go for it in the fall when I rediscovered the wreath wring in the gardening box.
I picked out some fall colored fabrics from the stash, and
"from a distance" it looks like this:

But here's a close up too.
And an extreme close up of the bunting.
Sometimes I do these projects and I am amazed at how thick I can be.
I laid out the bunting letters and attached them to string with hot glue on the back side.
But I neglected to think about the fact they had to be backwards because of this.
So it said EMOCLEW when I turned it over!
Uh, duh.

And just 'cause here's what it looked like before I added the bunting and before the weather got to it and make it look a little limp and deflated.
I mean, understated and fabulous.
;)
Happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

fade to black...

Day 11:  Something Fun

I know I'm suppose to post a photo of something fun.  I don't want to.  Well, to be fair, I'd love to do that.  I just don't think I've got it in me.  I can put on my happy face like I do other days.  I can pretend life doesn't have me depressed and sad.  Or I can get real for a second and just say, I lost my joy.

Somewhere along the way I stopped laughing and having fun.  I stopped finding the joy in the details.  The stress of every day, of feeling like the only responsible adult has paid a toll on my outlook.  Honestly, I've never been what you'd call an optimist.  So maybe to the world looking in, I'm much the same as I was before I started feeling this way.  But I don't feel the same.  At all.

I don't have any energy and I find myself quick to anger.  Instead of taking a deep breath and tackling issues from a different angle, I blow my top and start yelling (at anyone in my path).   I have to drag myself out of the bed in the morning.  I use to laugh at something my kids said everyday, not so much these days.  Don't even get me started on how my relationship with J has degraded.  I feel beaten down and broken.

The complete antithesis of fun.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

there's a wall around my heart.

Welcome to day 10:  something I made! ♥

I debated what to share.
I've made quite a few things lately... not all good, but not all bad.

I decided on my summer landscaping project.
Also known as the driveway straightening/rock wall project.
But it was also called a few other choice things...
But I digress.


Our drive was curved so we cut off part of the lawn to straighten it.
(Basically, the darker color dirt in the drive is where there use to be lawn.)
We cut out pieces sod and transferred them to an old garden bed we were looking to turn into lawn again.

Garden area, before and after laying sod.

This project was suppose to be a Jeff and I project.
He helped mark the lawn with spray paint so we knew where to cut.
And he helped sod and dig the first 6 feet or so.
The rest fell to me.
And then his mom came to visit and helped out immensely with all the digging!
God love her!

The rock wall was put together using only rocks we already had on the property.
It was a challenge.
I love puzzles though, and that's basically what it was.
(And to be fair, Jeff did help build the first 10 feet of wall and bits and pieces further on.)
I love how it came out.
There is some talk of adding (purchased) cap-stones to make it more uniform with cleaner lines.
We shall see.

And here's a glimpse of my next project:

New triangular garden patch.
Smiles, all around!
After I added my herbs from the veggie garden and some lavender from another garden along the house (that is going away).
I've since added mums and my blueberry bushes.
Irises tomorrow?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mini-me(s)!

Day 9:  Faceless Self-portrait

Yes, they are feet.
But beyond how dang good looking my feet are,
there is another story here.
This is about the kind of mum I am.
The other two sets of [little people] feet belong to my two boys.
Yes, I painted their toes.
It was the first time, but not the last.
And I've even painted their fingernails too.
I don't feel the least guilty or bad about it either.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.
And if my boys want to be like me and do the things I do, I say "have at it".
Time marches quickly and the days when we can get away with this sort of thing are limited.
Besides I want my kids to be exactly who THEY want to be.
Not what the world thinks they should.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

that's right, that's the sound of crickets.

Day 8:  Technology

So, this day almost was the end of me.
I don't know.
Technology?
Really?

This is the technology I prefer...
No technology.
When the tv, internet, cell phone and all related "noises" in my life are turned off.

Don't get me wrong, 
I love all those devices for the convenience they give.
For the hours of "babysitting", 
for the hours of "me time", 
for the enjoyment of spending time together as a family watching a good movie or playing a game of mini-golf on the Wii.
It's all good.
But when those things go quiet, I tend to focus on the things and people who really matter to me.
And that feels good.
Way better than what technology gives me.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Little Birdie Told Me...

Day 7:  something new

New?
What's that?
I have three kids and one income coming in.
We don't do "new".

But I suppose this might qualify.


This is Elvis.
We got him about a month and a half ago.
He was bigger than all the other 'keets in the cage and sat perched on the very tippy top spot.
The epitome of the "king".
So first we were calling him "the King".
Which of course, morphed into Elvis.
For 2 days he was silent.
I started to think we misnamed him!
And then he started to sing...

Yep, he's still got it.

I love this little guy and want to keep him toasty warm in the frigid Maine winter months.
Which are quickly approaching, dang it!
Sooooo, I made him this:


I didn't sleep well on night #1, worrying that the flannel backing was going to be too heavy,
and suffocate him.
Phew!
Big sigh of relief.
The big guy is A-OK!

I made it from old fabric I had laying around and recycled flannel receiving blankets.
Everything old is NEW again.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Knicker Bocker Bear

30 Day Photog Challenge
Day 6:  Childhood Memory

Meet Mr. Knicker Bocker Bear.
I ♥ him.
A lot.


It shows.
His nose is ripped and frayed.
His head has been re-attached several different times.
And very inexpertly I might add.
I still think he's the most gorgeous thing.

I was a painfully shy child.
(Sometimes I am a painfully shy adult, but I digress.)
I use to get lost all the time because I was too shy to ask for help.
I once wet my pants in the 1st grade because I was afraid to interrupt the teacher to get permission.
I cried on the school bus when someone other than my sisters sat with me.
Once I got so upset, the bus driver let me off at the jr. high, and my parents were called to come get me.
Ok, I think you get the idea.

Mr. Knicker Bocker was my best friend growing up.
He always made me feel better.
He never minded that I was a socially awkward mess.
He loved me for who I really was.
The me the big wide world rarely saw.
He's always been with me.
Even at 40 years of age, he has a special spot in my home...
and my heart.

I often pray my children don't have the same shyness I did.
That I can raise them to be braver and bolder and just plain happier that I was.
If not, I know my daughter for one has a special friend all picked out.


Meet Mr. C.T. Bear.
He's well on his way to being aggressively loved.
I ♥ him too.



Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Golden Oldies

30 Day Photog Challenge
Day 5 - Someone you ♥

Well, talk about a no brainer.
This is one of my favorite candid shots of my kids.


My crazy beans!
And yes, I suppose I could put a shot of J here as well.
If only I had a good shot.
Or a recent good shot.
See, the thing with J is that he's been ill the last 3 years.
The docs have been stumped.
They have settled on fibromyalgia for a diagnosis.
I still don't know if I agree with that.
But I do know that recent snaps of J reveal his misery.
He looks tired and in pain.
He rarely smiles in them and if he does it's one of those forced smiles.
Those smiles make me sad.
I use to make myself crazy trying to help him feel better.
But over time I've come to realize if he doesn't want to do the work to feel better, any efforts on my part are fruitless, hopeless, and utterly useless.
I wish he knew how much we all miss him.
But all is not lost.
Sometimes we still get a flash in the pan.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Color me happy!

30 Day Photog Challenge
Day 4:  my favorite color

It's been a long time since I've thought about what my favorite color is.
Well, maybe not that long.
I do have little children and they like to ask questions of that nature...
Maybe I just haven't had a permanent favorite color for a long time.
My tastes are changing every day, 
nowadays.

So, what is my favorite color today?


Green.
The lusher, the better.


Doesn't this green just do something to your insides?
It takes me to another place.
A calmer place.
A happier place.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I've got my head in the clouds...

30 Day Photog Challenge
Day 3:  Clouds

First, I totally forgot to take any pictures of clouds.
So I had to go do it today.
In a rush.
Accepting whatever random cloud happened to be floating up there.
\
It was quite a shock to realize how much I love taking pictures of clouds!
♥♥♥
I am not a landscape photographer.
I take after my mum, I like pictures of people.
Or animals.
While I can appreciate a great picture of a pile of rocks,
I am not motivated to take pictures of them myself.
Or to invest the time to get GOOD at taking said pictures.
But I couldn't just pick one snap for this day.




Now wasn't that fun?
If I go missing for hours at a time...
I may be out taking cloud pictures.
:)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Who is that fat woman?!?

30 Day Photog Challenge
Day 2:  What I Wore
Okay.
Holy God.
This was hard!
I don't know how you blogger chicks do this weekly.

We had Pre-K orientation at the primary school for my middle child.
We rode the bus and met his teacher and checked out the classroom and met some of his new friends.
It was fun.
He had a blast.
Then it came time to take my photos.
How the hell does one take a full length picture of oneself?
I tried several methods.
Finally landed on the self timer.
And, of course, the beans had to be in the shot too.
:)

But I must tell you this brings up all my reverse body dismorphic quirks.
(I know, there's probably no such thing.)
But I tell you, I get dressed and look in the mirror, and I think I look pretty good.
Then someone (and yes, this time that someone was me) takes a picture of me.
And I am left scratching my head...
Who is that fat woman wearing my clothes??
I swear, when I looked in the mirror, I didn't see her.
I can't be the only one who is weird like this.
Can I?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Self Portrait

30 Day Photography Challenge
Day 1:  Self-portrait

So this is a picture I took of myself a few weeks ago.
I chose it because it shows where I am in my life at the moment.
I just turned 40 this year.
(gulp)
My SIL brought these feathers to a family reunion...
For the "teenage" girls.
Her exact words as she was busy giggling.
My response?
"Leave me alone.  I'm having my mid-life crisis!"

So I may not be young anymore.
I may not look as cute in feathers as the kids do.
I may have left my cool days far behind me.
It doesn't matter,
I still feel like I'm young and cute and cool.
;)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

30 Day Photography Challenge

I saw this challenge over here.

 I think I'm going to give it a go.  I really do enjoy taking pictures (not that I'm very good at it, but I still enjoy it!).  Plus I'm not doing so well on making regular posts on my blog.   Not that I'm losing sleep over that, but that's a whole other story.

Ready, set, go!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Arch Nemesis

She's relentless.
And messy.
She makes me want to pull my hair out by the handful.
She pushes me to the very limit of sanity.
She's tricky.
I think I've got her licked,
but, nope, I don't.
She's back for round 2 (or round 32).
She makes me long for days of peace and quiet.
Days when I could sit in one place for 5 consecutive minutes.
When my life was a whole lot cleaner.
But the feeling I get when I've taken all she's got, 
And victory is mine...
Priceless.
So long, diapers.
Potty training complete.
:)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm crazy, you're crazy.

The day has come.
I will begin potty training in earnest.
I say potty training,
but what I mean is the battle of all battles!
The bladder against all that is cleanly!
The crazy-mommy making task to top all other tasks!
I don't have teenagers, but I imagine it's quite like this.
Struggling with a 2 year old brain,
trying to get them to see the wisdom of following mom and dad's advice.
Whatever, MOM!
I do what I want!!
You can't make me!
Tee hee.

Please God, make this relatively painless.
Forget that!  Make this quick!!
I feel my mind melting already and we are only 3 hours in.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The 5 year hair experiment...

So, when I turned 35, I hatched a plan...

I've always felt that women over 40 look better with short hair.
Don't get me wrong,
I don't mean short, butch I almost look like I could be a boy short.
I mean shoulder length or shorter.
Short and sassy!
SO, when I turned 35, I had really short hair.
Like this:
I thought "This is it, girl.  In five more years, you won't look so hot with long hair. You better do it now... if you ever want long hair again."
So I embarked on the 5 Year Hair Experiment:
Grow it as long as I could before I turned 40, then CHOP it!!
It got pretty long.
There was a "just a trim" disaster incident,
where my sister trimmed an inch or so off the under layer only to drop down the upper layer and...
yikes!  There was a 6 inch difference!!
(note to self:  get your hair trimmed MUCH more often!)
So 6 inches came off maybe 6 months before my 40th bday.
Here I am the weekend before my 40th:
The last two weeks were torture.
It wouldn't do anything!!
I wore it in a pony tail or bun the whole time and FRIZZY!
Hello, brillo pad.
So glad to make the trip to see my sis and say Sayonara!!
It still needs a few tweaks.
I want it shorter in the back and less of a bob look.
And I need to color it RED!
But seriously, hello short and sassy!!
(In the interest of full disclosure, I did freak out for about a week.  It was a big change!  I'm not saying I cried, but it was close.)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Monkey See, Monkey Do

My daughter, who is my youngest, likes to be like her big brothers.

As in, they like light saber fights, she likes light saber fights.
They hate broccoli, she hates broccoli.
They want more TV, she wants more TV.
They pick their noses, she picks her nose.
You know, all that good stuff.

Well, she also likes to take her shirt off when she's they're hot.
I wonder when the time arrives that this is deemed no longer "appropriate"...
I don't want to become the "creepy" mom who lets her daughter run the neighborhood naked.
God knows I've never made a social faux pas in my life!
Hee hee, as if!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Who's made U laugh today?

I love my kids.
They always make me laugh.


Today, my 4 y/o Ethan and I were talking weather preference.
I said, "I want summer",
to which Ethan replied, "I want winter."
(Oh, ornery age 4!)
So I ask Ava, at almost 2 y/o, "how about you?"
She says, "I want cookies."
Um, me too.
Then over lunch Ethan and I were discussing cheese.
Specifically, types of cheese and what he wanted.
He says, "I want who cheese."
(I don't know what "who cheese" is,
but I trust he does.)
I couldn't help myself though.
I replied, "You're too young for hoochies."

And lastly, on the drive home from Target,
where I resisted the cutest pair of wedges, thank you very much,
a "Shake&Go" car went off in the back seat.
If you don't know, it revs.
Low and kind of gravelly.
I started freaking out.
Why is my car making that sound?  What is going on?
Then the toy says, "speed?  I am speed."
The light bulb goes on.
I am so dumb.  :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Green with Envy

I painted one of our bathrooms!
It use to look like this...
 Hello, boring little bathroom!
(loves the tp roll on back of the potty - classy.)
After a lot of debate...
And I mean years worth...
I settled on Botanical Green.
Hold on to your hats!!
Hello, Luscious Green!!
Okay, I have to admit,
when it first went up,
I was nervous.
Really nervous.
Like am I really going to have to paint this bathroom white next week kind of nervous.
But she grew on me.
And after a little of this:
(Dang.)
And a lot of this:
Now instead of looking at this,
 suddenly we're looking at this:
So earthy and beautiful.
(but in the interest of full disclosure, it does give one's skin a disconcerting hue.  Maybe not such a good color for the vanity mirror.  My little boys don't care... green is awesome!!) 
I have an art project planned for the walls.
But, another day. 
Now all I need is a cute little window over the throne to let in some natural light.
Baby steps, baby steps.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mind Melt

So I was going to attempt a post today.
I figured it was time.
And just as a opened up a new post,
Don't ya know it!  I remembered...
I'm suppose to make beef stew for supper...
In the crock pot...
Should've been done 2 hours ago...
Dang it!
So this post will have to wait for another day.
But on the plus side, I am in the middle of painting,
and if I wait another day, I might actually be able to show you what I'm doing.
But to be real, this is me still.
I do things on my own timetable.
(Don't rush me.)
xoxo

Monday, February 21, 2011

:D

It's vacation week at school.
I had plans.
Sleep-overs and day trips.

Things never go the way I think they will.

God wants me to learn that life isn't about how things go or don't go...
It's your reaction to how they go that matters.

Big smiles everyone!
Big smiles!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Daily Struggles

Last week I tried to make a t-shirt tote.
FAIL!!
I might try again, but right now the sting of failure is too fresh.
Wish mine looked as cute as this.
Sigh.
Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to post a photo of my travesty.
lol @ me!


I'm not sure,
but I think I might suck at this blogging thing.
Or maybe I'm just in a funk.
I have cabin fever for sure... I need some warm weather.
BAD!
So, what's good for spring fever???
That's right,
SPRING CLEANING!!!
Time for a closet reorganization.
Watch out linen closet!
You've got my name all over you!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Quilts, quilts, quilts

Well, this week I've been mostly pouring all my creative energy into scrapbooking,
BUT  I did want to share some quilting projects I've done in the past.
(I have two matching quilts for the boys room in the planning stages.)

The first is the Sister's Quilt.
 (Meet Jaycee, the sweetest kitty ever.)
The concept of this quilt was to work with a group and each do a section of each others quilt.
But you couldn't see your quilt again until the end!!
I have seven sisters so that was my group.
You start with a 12X12 center square that you produce,
then you pass it on and someone else does the next portion.
Each addition had a theme of some sort,
like triangles or stars and stripes or something pretty.
This is how mine ended up.
I love it.
A little too much.
(It needs some serious TLC.)

Quilt #2.

I did this one by myself, but it was a sister project though.
One of my sister's sent out 2 quilt blocks every month.
Your quilt was made by crafting 2 versions of each block.
So every sister that made one, has a quilt with all the same quilt square patterns.
 I wanted to use black/grey in each square,
and the rainbow radiating from the center grew on it's own.
I love how bold it is.
And there are a lot of details I love.
And I used a wool blanket inside instead of batting so it's really warm!

And finally, Baby Hugs and Kisses Quilt.

I made this one for my daughter.
I found the idea for X's and O's on the web, 
and just did all the figuring to make it the size I wanted.
It came out a little too short, but not bad for my first free-hand quilt.
 (Little Miss Ava!!  ♥)
XOXO