Happy Halloween!

Lilikoi as a goat. Maaaa Maaaa!
it is hard to see, but Lili's favorite part of her costume was the goat bell around her neck.


a big spooky package came in the mail today...

Nim used her great reading skills to read the intro letter while all hands hovered, ready to rip into the package the mila-second she was done...

inside were tattoo cuffs... an assortment of wigs, costumes, tights, glasses, fairy wings... the kids (and adults- lets be honest) were beside themselves with excitement. That is, all except Lili. Lili seemed concerned as her father, mother, aunt, uncle, and cousins all changed hair color, styles, and other adornments in a whirl around her.
Thanks NeNe and Randy- What a way to begin the Halloween festivities!


what would have been an insignificant stroll along a path...

...now with children can become quite the adventure... My friend Liz came up for a visit the other day with her two little ones. We went for a long walk in the afternoon. In an effort to avoid pushing the stroller up a monumental hill we took a shortcut on a little path along the river. This ended up being quite a work-out in itself as we (and the babies we each had strapped to us, the stroller that had a diaper bag dangling from it, and Elijah the adventuresome two-year-old) crossed two slippery wooden bridges, an eroded steep hill, and a huge fallen tree in our path. Liz sent me some shots of the stroller in mid air as we got over the tree. Elijah is sitting on the rock looking worried. When the stroller got lifted and then stuck he started to tell us it was scary- and we assured him "No, no, Elijah, this isn't scary, it is funny!"


Lili Update

-It seems likely that Lili will start walking any day.
-She is saying: da da, maaaa maaaaamamama, kitty (kitch-uh), juice (jushhhhhhh), dog (daaa) and with it woof woof (ra ra), gita (ge-t), and more...
-She climbs. Onto this chair, the rocking-horse.
-She gets off things by turning around and inching her butt and legs slowly off. (The bed, the chair, out the front door...)
- She signs all day. (Nurse, more, yay!, sleep, kitty.)
- I feel constantly blessed to be witness the these small yet monumental changes in her life...
Posted by Picasa


Someplace safe to call your own...

that is just your size...

to invite whomever you wish in...
With a soft cushion... It is something we all should build for ourselves...
Posted by Picasa


rocking horse

Here is the rocking horse I thrifted last week (the one I am thinking of how to make pretty) Lili loves it so much that when it is time to get off it there is a major crying fest. When she upset now she will instantly get down on all fours and throw her forehead to the floor and begin to sob. The drama has begun...
For those of you who are writers or who just have a wild hair in you~ head over to Caren's blog here to see what she is doing this November! Crazy! Maybe next year I will do that too...


In Progress

The library downtown had a book sale this past weekend. I coordinated all of our errands around me being able to go to it. In the past I have stuck mostly to the inner area of the sale where all the novels are, and then as an afterthought peruse the outskirts of the tables. This time I bee-lined for the outer ring where they keep odd shaped books and out of date encyclopedias, atlases, and Audubon books. Each book was a dollar, and kids books were 5 for a dollar. It was so exciting. I was looking for books to cut up and use in my art, and I honestly feel like I hit the jackpot. At one point I saw this girl flipping through the atlas of my dreams. It was big and had lots of lists of places in alphabetical order, and graphs. She looked through it for about 3 minutes while I drooled and tried to look uninterested and busy next to her. When she put it back it took all my willpower not to cheer. So I spent ten dollars and came back with a box full of books that are ready to find a new purpose!

p.s. I do have a little guilt ripping into an intact book, even if it is outdated. It is something I struggle with. Does anyone else feel this way?


a handful of things i am thankful for

Dahlia's are in bloom, and for this I am grateful. One of the many perks to living where we do. Some other things I am grateful for (off the top of my head)
  • Our family is healthy. handful
  • We have a very cozy bed to sleep in.
  • Soups: butternut squash, chicken and vegetable, bean and sausage, minestrone, potato/broccoli, and gypsy soup (a mix of them all) I love them all...
  • tea in the chilly weather.
  • A good book or a good movie, somebody sweet to cuddle up with under a fluffy blanket.
  • Homemade food. homemade chocolate chip cookies.
  • My four grandparents (and Alex's Nana) who still give me so much love and support.
  • A sound un-disturbed sleep...mmmmmm...
I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!


something i have carved time out for.

Spare time is proving to be an elusive thing around here. I have so many projects that I have my eye on that it is hard to chose how to spend my time. One project I have in mind is to fix up this wooden rocking horse I got at the goodwill. It is painted yellow, green, and red and I have many ideas to turn it into a funky, bright, and cute horse. I am thinking about making a little saddle for it too. I am also in the beginning stages of making Lili a pair of wool slippers. I am so excited about it. They are going to be light-blue with little red dots... She needs a warm pair of slippers to protect her from our concrete floor.
project I have done a few times lately is to make bread. I hope this begins to fall into the day-to-day category rather than project category. Making bread from scratch is really not very hard, and it is so rewarding. I have had a lot of success with the buttermilk-honey bread from this bread book. Click here for the recipe. (for the egg wash I use 1 egg yolk, 1 T. of milk, and 1 T. of poppy seeds) I cheat and make instant buttermilk (by adding a little lemon juice to milk and letting it sit for five minutes). This time of year is just begging me to fill the house with scent of baking bread and squash soup bubbling on the stove. Here is a picture of an open-faced PB&J using Erin & Adam's yummy plum jam on a loaf I felt very pleased with.


Pick of the Week: JuJu

Well...I think her name is JuJu...
The title of her blog and flickr page is "JuJu Loves Polka dots" so I am imagining her name is JuJu. Or she is a mysterious type, and JuJu is her pen name... Either way I am totally smitten with her bright colors and 3-D compositions. I also am in love with the fact that she does so many different things and works them all! I am personally tormented by how many artistic directions I am in love with. (Visual journaling, painting, oils, acrylic, mixed media, jewelry, book-making, relief printing, mono-printing, earth-based-installation, oil pastels, artist books, watercolor......) So to see another artist boldly doing so many different mediums is refreshing. And it is good for me to see that her work translates across these mediums too.

Here is what she has to say about this: "I wish I could stick to doing one thing but I frequently get distracted by new passions. My husband says I have a whim of iron"

I love that! A whim of iron...


a little something

We live on a dead end dirt road 15 mins from any type of store (except one backwoods beer store that sits on the county line of a neighboring "dry" town.) I try to take a lot of walks but with our stroller we are rather limited to our 2 mile road. Sometimes I feel like I am pacing as I re-walk the same walk day in and day out. This repetitiveness has some benefits- such as I notice the seasons changing very acutely, It is peaceful, It is a nice length walk, I feel in touch with nature, very nice air to breathe... but sometimes I dream of living in a city or little neighborhood where we would walk on sidewalks and be nosy about other people's lives, and houses, and flower gardens. I would stroller in any direction and get lost among colorful houses with cute porch rocking chairs and nice stonework...
I used to live like this, and now I live in the woods... sometimes you just can't have both dreams at once you know?
One little thing that makes me smile every time I talk a walk is this big yellow pig that lives in a culvert nearby. It just appeared one day last year with no explaination. This is one of our dog Atticus's favorite drinking spots, so you can only imagine his surprise when he bounded up for a drink! I like to think this pig is part of my cheering squad as I pace our dirt road each day.


Happy Birth Day dear Lilikoi!!!

I took the day off from work (I am still at Red Moon for a little longer...) to spend the day with Miss Lili. We have had a mellow, sunny day. We set up a little alter to honor her on the kitchen table with some flowers from the garden and some photos...
I put out out our birth necklaces. In the last month of pregnancy last year my friends threw me a mother-blessing party. One of the special things they did to mark this rite of passage for me was to each bring some sort of pretty or symbolic bead. A lot of friends and family from far away also sent me beads. (If you don't see your bead on here, it might mean you are part of the crew that sent me beauties after I had assembled the necklace. I still have plans for these don't worry...) This necklace means so much to me. I love to feel it's weight and remember all of the amazing and thoughtful prayers and wishes people bestowed upon my birth journey. At the mother blessing each person also brought a bead for the baby, and I strung that for Lili before I knew she was a girl...
During Lili's nap this morning I found my old notebook where I had written Lili's birth story a few days after her birth. I have been meaning to type it into something legible ever since, and finally found my motivation this morning. I was special to reread my play for play of the event. I had forgotten about the part of my birth where I would flop back down in the water (I birthed Lili in a birthing tub) after a contraction and close my eyes, and this scene would pop up. A lot of women experience the feeling or sensation of the ocean during labor, but for me I kept seeing a hillside of green grass rippling in the wind. I am so glad I wrote down my experience right after. That image would have been lost if I hadn't...

And as a final note about Lili's special day: Lili chose to be born on her grandmother Kathleen's birthday. This act immediately boosted me to #1 favorite daughter-in-law (sorry Ema!) During labor for the most part I stopped talking for the last 4 hours ( I was in labor for 71/2) One of the last jokes I was able to squeeze out on the ride to the hospital was to joke about how every woman just dreams of having a baby born on the same day as their mother-in-law!
But seriously, it is special, and so, Happy Birthday to you too dear Kathleen!