Friday, February 27, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are

The weather is changing. I can smell dirt and green, ever so faint on the air. I haven't slept well in weeks. I can feel something waking up inside me, something that doesn't fit into this tidy life. Something wild. Something that wants to move, to do, to become larger than life. Something secret, and dark, swelling up. Something that wants to take over. Something. Something that shows up every Spring, when the ground is wet and warm. Something that might come from belonging to a large clan of women. Something that makes me play the stereo too loud. Something that makes me dance inside my house like dancing will set me free of the house. Something that makes me feel like it's all just preparation. For Something.


The overwhelming theme for me this week is age. I saw it a few days ago when I was getting dressed to go to lunch with an old friend. Bonnie Rait said it best when she said "Those lines are pretty hard to take when they're staring back at you."

I saw it yesterday when I was just too worn out to care about much.

And I definitely saw it this morning as I met with the insurance adjuster about the missing shingles on my roof. I feel unprepared. How do you know what questions to ask? What questions to avoid? How much damage is there? What will it cost to fix? Is it worth making an insurance claim? Who should I call to get the work done? How many slams in old screen door? What child is this that's laid to rest on Mary's lap is sleeping?

How do I pull off all my dreams in a timely manner?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Playing Dead

We've had a particularly busy and off-schedule few weeks, and now that most of the things that were running us raged are done, we are all rather deflated and worn out. To that end, we purchased and downloaded Pop! to our Wii.

This game is great, you just pop bubbles. You can play it timed, against each other, or cooperatively. All in all, the game is much better conceived than I had expected for $7.

And I really must insist that you watch this demo on YouTube. Just so you'll truly understand just how mellow we are being over here. Now it's time for my nap.

Friday, February 20, 2009


I finished the great big overwhelming project yesterday and immediately set myself to putting my house to right. Before I could clean, though, I had to take a few minutes to make pillow covers:

I know it's not the most exciting thing to talk about, but it sure felt great to sew a little something. I haven't had time to sew in weeks. That fabric is taken from the stash, and while it's not the world's most lovely fabric, the colors match the room and it's a huge improvement over what those pillows actually look like. And who doesn't love a bit of free decorating? Those are simple covers that just fold in on the open side. I'm all about removable covers so I can wash stuff.

Washing stuff is exactly the plan for today, and I need to get to it.

Monday, February 16, 2009


This blog is starting to get some comments action on- I just want to make a note recommending to my readers that you read the comments, and of course, leave comments! It lets me know who's reading, and I like a bit of discussion going on!

Friday, February 13, 2009


One of my goals this year is to start dressing and grooming myself like the grown-up, professional woman I am. It is time to toss the Mommy clothes and allow a little of my focus to rest on making myself look and feel better. I'm just saying, it's hard to look somebody in the face and tell them that you are a great professional when you're wearing baggy cargo pants. Even if it is just at school pick-up.

It just happens that our Macy's recently opened a Lush shop! I went there last night, and the smell of clean that emanates from the Lush space is amazing. I mean, that's the squeaky clean smell I wish my house had after I clean it. They really should bottle the Lush smell so I can deodorize my carpets with it. Lush is pricey (in my opinion), but it's all natural, vegetarian and often vegan person care products that certain friends of mine swear by. To that end, I got myself this:

Sorry the picture is fuzzy, it's hard to take a self-portrait in the morning. That is the Ayesha mask from Lush. It is made with artichokes and lots of herbs and earthy clay. A little goes a long way, and because it is all-natural you have to use it up in the course of a few weeks. I reckon I'll be doing this often in the next few weeks- I don't want my $7 to go to waste.

I can't find Ayesha on the website, probably because it is made in the store and has a short shelf life, but it is suppossed to lift and make the face more radiant. The label says the effects last long enough for a night out, and the clerk swears that it's true. As she was very open and honest about her habit of tasting their products, I'm apt to believe her. Also, it smells fantastic.

(*sigh* back to work)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine's Day

This V-day really has me thinking a lot about Ezra. About him as a changing person, about my relationship with him, about ways that I can use this holiday to help him find the joy of giving (I know, that's supposed to be a Christmas thing). And a lot about this little family of mine, and the intimacy that we enjoy. While it is hard to give up the idea of another child, I really love my little family and the dynamic we have.

Of course, every holiday is an excuse for some great crafting. Ezra made valentines for his Aunt Regan and his Daddy. He helped me put together the valentines for his classmates. And, he made felted soap (from The Little Travelers tutorial) to give to each of his teachers.

You start with wool roving. I got mine at a fiber festival a couple years ago and have managed to keep the moths out:

Isn't it lovely? Though I realized after taking this picture that this particular roving is a wool/silk blend. I wasn't going to waste it on soap, so we used my turquoise and purple all alpaca wool roving, which worked well as the soaps we used are purple.

You fill a bowl with warm water and add a little all natural soap- The Little Travelers suggests Dr. Bronner's and of course I was thrilled to oblige! Then you wrap each bar of soap (all natural bar soap works best, though we used glycerin), dunk it in the sudsy water and basically just wash your hands with it until the wool felts nicely. Young children will need help with this, though Ezra really loved it. It was a great way to fill an hour and get wet and sudsy!

You end up with something like this:

Let them dry a few days on parchment paper, then wrap them in butcher paper, parchment paper, or wax paper. The heart stickers I intended to use to hold the little packages closed wouldn't stick to the parchment paper, so I tied each with a little yarn bow. Ezra was very excited to give them out today.

Of course, I had to steal some time late one night to make some Valentine's home decor:

And the scrap bird fabric from the baby quilt decided where it wants to be.

Too Many Words

Blog, I am sorry I've been missing. I am neck-deep in a work project which I am not at liberty to talk much about, but I can say it has me working day and night and weekends packing my brain with legal information. That's what I love most about my job- I get to learn so very much.

But it has put me in the position of not having enough words to go around. And since the blog doesn't pay me, my words have been going to the job that does.

Of course, life doesn't stop just because Mom is on a big project (though housework apparently does). We are also in the middle of school registration season and as the boy child will be starting Kindergarten in the fall, this situation bears much weight. In a nutshell:

"This whole application process is a bit stressful, and it seems that the parents are put into a position of trying to find the best school fit for their children with really very little information to go on. Add that to the pressures of combining a parent's own ways of thinking about education with the particular child's needs and interests. I actually think it's a great thing that we have some say-so and choice- it makes (our school system) very unique.

When I was a kid, we just went to the school that sent a bus by the house and that was it. Because of the new redistricting, it seems everybody I've come in contact with is a bit confused and stressed about enrollment this year-- and that bleeds over to the parents who, at least in my area, are frustrated that we have to make selections from the other side of town. So, I'm just generally uneasy about the entire process, trying to find the perfect match for my son and our family on the whole. I'll be glad when the letters come out in a month or so, and I feel like we at least know where we stand!" -- Taken from an ongoing correspondence regarding registration.

It's like there is some kind of hysteria going on amongst the parents. A friend of mine who has a toddler and is not yet in the throes of this frustration, told me that her best friend (whose daughter will be starting Kindergarten in the fall) literally THREW the paperwork at my friend and bellowed "Here's what you have to look forward to!" before crashing on the couch and asking if there was any chocolate in the house.

Here's a little extra special "go screw" to the asshole who sued the district and made them over-complicate the registration process and distribution of students. You owe us all some damn chocolate.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Do you hear that? The sound of a quiet house? At the risk of sounding like a horrible mother, I really have to admit that I'm really enjoying the quiet now that school is back in session. I wish I didn't have so much work to make up- I'd love to take a nap in all this quiet.

As it happens, I don't really have time for a nap. Instead, I will take a minute to share with you some things I'm trying out this week.

Hanes Her Way panties. A friend turned me on to them, and yesterday I bought the Boy Briefs with ComfortSoft Waistband, and the No Ride Up ComfortSoft Waistband Bikinis. I tried them on when I got home, washed them, then showered and shaved my legs before putting them on. That's right- these are so good, I shaved my legs for them. I realize that they are not the pinacle of sexy, but a girl needs cute, comfy daily-wear underoos. And, the boyshorts are so comfy that they make me feel kicky and sexy. Suck it, Victoria's Secret.

I have thick, curly hair that seems to only get thicker and curlier the older I get. About a week ago, I noticed that my hair dryer of about 15 years wasn't really getting hot or drying anything exactly. Being that we are in the throes of winter, I have to dry my head every day, so yesterday I sucked it up and bought a Conair Ion Shine with Cord Keeper, for the exhorbinant price of $20 USD.

I guess in the years since I've investigated hair dryers, they've all gone Ion. I like it so far, and have to admit that it does indeed create less frizz -- really very important for a person known for having great big hair. I really love the cord keeper function as I don't keep my hair dryer out (that would be cluttery) and have to lug it out of the closet every freaking day. But the absolute, very best thing about this dryer is that the diffuser stays on. My old dryer dropped the diffuser on my head on a daily basis, and I'm pretty sure I've suffered brain damage over the years by being beaten in the head with this necessary attachment (remember, big curly hair. I have to use the diffuser).

I actually opened the box in the store, attached the diffuser to the dryer and proceeded to wave it around frantically. Ezra didn't even notice this wild display, but a few other customers regarded me with wariness. When it held, I knew I'd found what I'd always dreamed of. A dryer that really holds the diffuser. Not being maimed in the mornings is worth $20, and I must admit that I'm thrilled the old one finally died and allowed me the freedom to not get knocked in the head daily.

Thanks to the Hive Mind over at Ask Metafilter, I am also trying out a new (for me) cleaning product this week. Those who know me well, well know that I take my cleaning and cleaning products very seriously. I don't like harsh chemicals, but I do love a clean home. Many months ago I read a thread on Metafilter about Dr. Bronner and his magic soap. It's worth checking out just because the guy was such a nut. As it turns out, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap is good not only for cleaning your body (though I'm not about to try castile soap on my body, I need MOISTURE), it is also good for cleansing your soul. And your house. Mix a little of it with water in a spray bottle and go to town. Walgreens was out of the Lavender scent, so I got the Peppermint scent. So far I'm liking it, and I just have to say it-- now our shit don't stink. My bathroom now has a faint peppermint scent, and the stuff really did a decent job of cleaning without leaving yucky chemical residues behind in my shower. I'm usually a Method girl, and I doubt I'll give up Method entirely, but for cleaning sinks and showers I might be converted. It's just hard to argue with a soap that cleans, deordorizes, and saves your soul.

So, happy me roundup. I'm really following my dreams this week. Underpants that don't ride up, a hair dryer that doesn't beat me about the head and shoulders, and now our shit don't stink. The temperature is falling to 20 degrees Feirhenheit this afternoon, so I have to close up the curtains in anticipation of le Cheney sucking the heat out of my windows. And I have to get back to work.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Second Quilt

This is for
Mollie. A baby who surely thought she was being born into a terrible, hard, cold world. And the amazing people who took one look at her and knew that she is theirs.

I must admit that I'm thrilled at how well it turned out.

I'm really smitten with the dove flannel. I have plans to see if I can find more. Click the picture to see the lovely details.

For some mysterious reason, it even has a little loop with which to hang it up.

This is the second quilt I've made, the first being a few years ago for my son. Ezra's really doesn't count as I had no idea what I was doing and the whole thing is wonky. While Mollie's quilt definitely has issues (see hanging loop, above), I put a lot of time into figuring out how to best do it properly.
Quite fittingly, all those squares of fleece are scraps from baby blankets past. I used over half my scrap pile practicing with two new sewing machine feet (walking foot and free-motion foot). The quilt itself went together pretty quickly, but I spent days figuring the whole thing out. I loved every minute of it, and am absolutely smitten with the quilt. I can't wait to make more, and am adding a quilting machine to my wish list, since my machine can't handle anything much larger than a baby quilt.

I have one more baby quilt to pull off before May, but the next small sewing project in the queue is a draft dodger, then I have my sights set on some spring pants for Ezra and myself, and a top or two from a pattern I picked up. I need to work on my pattern skills. so the clothes should be a lot of fun.