Sunday, December 21, 2008

the one where I start to get caught up

I've blogged several times in my imagination since my last entry but have yet to get any of them out of my head and on to the blog. I've been afflicted lately with an especially horrid case of procrastination and escapism. I've been wasting time playing this silly game called Zuma that I became obsessed with conquering.. Once I did that I was sucked in by the incredibly strong gravitational field belonging to a certain addictive series of books involving some teenage vampire romance and ended up losing about a week and half of my life as I read all four novels. Amidst all this a few noteworthy things should have been blogged about and were not and so I will attempt to remedy that now.

First off.... Thanksgiving. I rocked it Martha Stewart style baby. Okay so the hubby helped out quite a bit but I'm proud to say that our first Turkey Day at home on our own went very well.
It's not the most glamourous picture (I was in too much of a hurry to eat to be bothered with setting up fancy pictures) but it shows the spread. There was lemon walnut brussel sprouts, buscuits, juicy turkey, brown sugar cabbage, stuffing, sweet squash potato casserole, mashed potatoes, cranberry ginger jelly, maple sweet potatoes and gravy.

Each and every thing homemade from scratch thank-you-very-much. I've never been much of a cook (or homemaker type at all really) so making all this stuff was a really big deal. I will admit I didn't plan it out as well as I should have and ended up only getting about 3 hours of sleep the night before because I totally underestimated the amount of time it would take to make the pies. At midnight I thought, "well... it will probably only take a couple hours.. I'll go ahead and make em.." and once I jumped in and got started it became obvious that it was more like a four hour process and I didn't get to bed until about 6 am because once it gets past a certain point in the night I start moving v e r y s l o w l y .. plus I felt the compulsive need to clean the kichen once I got my second... or third... wind.

It all worked out well though and my brother that I hadn't seen in more than a year came in from out of town and ate with us. It was super. Oh and it was my birthday on Thanksgiving this year so I had birthday apple pie.. YUM. Pulling off the grandiose accomplishment of cooking this large dinner was a nice way to ring in my 30th birthday. It made me feel like a real grown up.

So then.... on December 3rd.. exactly ten days before her birthday.. Little Meara began walking! I so love watching babies take their first toddling steps. It's got to be one of my favorite things in the whole world. It's just so adorable the way their little faces light up with happiness and pride at something they've been working so hard on for so long.

ALSO.. incredibly this little one has started talking! I don't think the other two kids started this early and Memer already has 3 words solidly in her repertoire. First she started saying, "Hi". Whenever someone enters a room or the phone rings she gleefully shows off her perfect enunciation and contextual use of this greeting. That started within a few days of her walking. Then a couple days after that she started saying "Dad".

Shockingly she has even combined these two words into her first sentence! "Hi, Dad!" Who knew that this could happen so early! I mean.. I know it's a very simple sentence but still.. she's barely 1!

Now, for the last week or so she's started saying 'done'. This has to do with nursing... I am still nursing Zay and whenever she is finished she will say 'done'. Meara has caught on to this and now she does the same thing. It's sooo adorable.

So those are the big milestones of late. I'm still way behind in a bunch of paperwork and email correspondence but atleast I've tackled this blog backlog and hopefully it will carry over into the other things I'm procrastinating on and I'll see those things done in the next couple days. Send me some "get-stuff-done vibes" if you will please.. I really need it. Happy Holidays everyone!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

That's one BIG SOCK

*picture by Sam Harrel

Yesterday I got to play a bit part in making history. I knit about a hundred stitches into what will hopefully become the world's largest sock. It's been traveling around the world and when I read in the paper that it had arrived here I just had to contribute to the effort. Just so I can say I helped make something that got into the Guiness Book of World records. Cool.

**Even though I brought my camera I was so distracted by the awesomeness of this gargantuan sock I completely forgot to take a picture.. DOH!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes we did!

I have never felt more pride in my country than I do right now. I can't stop grinning like a silly fool. What an incredible time to be alive.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

on politics

Part of the reason that I've been in a blogging slump lately is that I'm spending way to much time glued to the news. Between the scary rumblings of impending economic depression and the historical Presidential election I can't seem to tear myself away from discussion forums and Charlie Rose.

One thing I want to document here is Colin Powell on Meet the Press. He is the first person I've seen on the media address something that I think is very important. With all this talk about whether or not Obama is a Muslim (obviously he is not) the underlying assumption is that if he were a Muslim that would somehow make him unfit to be President. Considering that we live in a nation founded on religious freedom and populated with a very diverse range of people I find this assumption very anti-American.

I'll let you watch this clip and hear for yourselves what Powell says on the matter.

Here is the picture that he is talking about. I can only imagine how offensive all the propaganda about Obama possibly being a Muslim with it's underlying implication of intolerance must be for families such as those of this fallen soldier. To think that a man who fights and dies for his country would be deemed by so many people as unacceptable as a possible leader of the nation based on his religion is horrible.

on matters of my health

I'm feeling so much better these days and I believe that it has everything to do with taking a daily prenatal multivitamin + magnesium suppliment + flax oil Every. Day.
I knew I should have been taking a daily vitamin but I'd let that drift into a once a week sort of habit and didn't think anything of it until these slightly annoying chronic issues grew into headaches and joint aches that were freaking me out. I'm convinced that it was nothing more than a vitamin deficiency because these symptoms have pretty much disappeared these past three weeks with my new regimen of supplements. This goes to show me that there is a very good reason that nursing mothers are told to take their vitamins. Apparently I am not some kind of superhuman that can ignore that fundamental rule of good health. Who knew?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Well.. I'm feeling much better today. B came home from work yesterday and said that he's heard that some kind of bug is going around that gives people awful headaches. Funny but that was incredibly reassuring. I was then reminded that almost every time I feel an illness coming on there there is this paranoid worrying about a chronic condition that always overtakes me. Then it turns out to just be another bug and I get better and that is that. When will I learn?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

kidlet updates and some morbid wonderings

I've apparently been in a blogging funk or something. I keep thinking about doing it and then not following through. So this is me just walking over to the computer and pounding something out.

Zay had her birthday this month. She's a three year old now and it's pretty incredible how fast these kids grow. Her especially.. since she's been about 2.5 yrs old people have mistaken her for a 4 year old. She's a tall one. Her speech is really ratcheted up a notch of late as well and she loves practicing her words by looking at flash cards and naming things. We were watching the Simpsons the other night and there was this part where Flanders and Homer were riding these horses that were running and jumping like ninjas (ninja horses!) and Zay said approvingly, "Nice one nee-hee." (Her name for animals is the sound they make) It was hilarious.

Memer is growing by leaps and bounds as well. She's very adept at cruising along the edge of the coffee table and is VERY INTERESTED in eating. She gets mad if we don't share what we have. It's still primarily her chewing and spitting things out.. not a lot of swallowing going on but she's working up to that. She's also becoming more diversified in her expressions. She's got this mischievious scrunchy grin that is crazy cute.

Quinn is quite a smarty pants and regularly astounds me with things he knows but that I have no idea where he learned them. He picks stuff up like a sponge. He's also testing the limits of his independence by refusing to do what I ask of him regularly. It's frustrating but I try to remain calm and explain things and dialogue with him instead of just being mad and threatening him with loss of privileges every time he does it. I will admit I'm not always successful with that though.

I've recently been kinda freaked out by some weird health issues I've been having. For awhile I was having some serious joint aches, especially in my elbows and shoulders that I didn't understand. I started taking a daily magnesium suppliment and also flax oil and that seems to have helped. Additionally, over the last couple months I've had about 4 or 5 headaches that are unlike anything I've experienced before. Throbbing on one side of my head, blurry spots in my vision and nausea. I think they are migraines and it really stinks. The last time I felt on coming on I thwarted it by downing a dose of magnesium and a multivitamin with a big glass of water. Now for the last couple days I've been feeling dizzy upon waking in the morning. It's when I open my eyes and stretch first thing, it makes my head spin strongly. Very weird.

As a disclaimer I must say I'm rather paranoid about morbid things.. it's just this weird thing about me.. I ponder dark possibilities frequently and today it was the possibility that I could have a brain tumor. It's nothing new.. I've been freaked out by the possibility before but this time these weird head things going on with me are adding fuel to my morbid wonderings.

The thing is.. I don't fear dying for myself. The fear that paralyzes me is that my children would be left without a mother. That thought is horrifying. My babies need me.

I've always imagined and felt that I will die as an old woman though so I find comfort in that strong intuitive sense of what lies in my future.

So.. sorry to get all dark there for a moment but it's what was on my mind today.

Gotta go lay baby down.
More later.. maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


yeah.. so I totally repeated myself there about the house buying. Goes to show how often I reread what I've written previously. I wrote that like it was breaking news even though I'd already blogged it. oh well. I'm forgetful like that.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Another August

August is a month that significant things always seem to take place in my life. It was August 10th of my 17th year when I first witnessed a human being take the breath that marked the beginning of his life. It was in August of my 19th year that I was pronounced clinically insane and committed to the psych ward of the hospital for two weeks after an LSD trip gone very wrong. Then on the 7th anniversary of witnessing that first breath of life, I watched as my son's father took the final breath that marked the end of his life. August is a month that will forever feel heavy and thick with significance for the rest of my life.

August of this year has been marked with a happy development. We became homeowners. My mother extended us a generous offer and we were able to buy the house we've been renting for the last 3 years. Another life changing development in the month of August.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

mmmmmm worms...

I was giddy when I saw red worms at the farmers market today. Ive been wanting to get a worm bin going for quite some time but never seemed to get around to ordering the red wigglers through the mail. It was so convenient to just pick some up at the market. I just finished getting their new home set up and after letting the kids hold them a bit Ive gotten them all settled in and fed. Im thrilled to be able to continue actively composting even when the pile outdoors is frozen solid in the middle of winter. Yay for worm castings!

Friday, August 15, 2008

the one where they got closer to buying the farm

Today we officially became homeowners! It's far from being our dream home but we're not complaining. The papers are signed the checks are issued and we now own our house. Well our name is on the title anyway and if we follow the schedule this house will be paid of in 2023.

We don't plan on living here that long though. This house is a means to an end as far as we are concerned. The goal is to sell this house within five years and use the profit (which should be substantial considering the sweet deal my mom cut us on the place) to buy some land where we can be away from the city and live a more sustainable lifestyle. Grassfarmers perhaps? I read (and hubby is in the middle of it) Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and we are both inspired by the story of a farm called Polyface. I've had the itch to try farming for a while now but this is the first time that Brett has expressed interest in it and I'm thrilled.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

She crawls!

As of yesterday Meara is mobile.

Monday, July 28, 2008

my wee bonny lass becomes less wee

Yesterday Meara figured out how to push herself backwards from her tummy up into a sit. I wondered if it was a fluke and so I put her back on her tummy and she did it three more times within 15 minutes. I said "Yay!" and gave her a round of applause and she just grinned with the proudest little smile I've ever seen from her.

It's a truly bittersweet thing to see. On the one hand I'm thrilled to see her accomplish new milestones and grow into herself but on the other hand I mourn the loss of my tiny little baby that is no longer. She's already nearing the "big baby" stage of crawling all over the place and I will miss the itty bitty baby that she was.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

the market and alien-eyed creatures

Q, Meme and I returned from the Farmer's market with full tummies. (Well maybe not Meme, hers was filled up with mama's milk before leaving.) Quinn ate his favorite thing- a lemon cream tube pastry thingy that is delicious.

I had my very favorite thing- a pita falafel.
mmmmmm mmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Quinn was hungry enough that my sounds of happiness while devouring it were too much to handle. He actually tried some. It's quite a feat for this little guy. He's a very very picky eater and doesn't brave new foods very often unless he's highly pressured or bribed to do so. This was one of those magical moments that doesn't come very often where he actually asked me to describe what it tastes like and then gave it a shot. His first two bites he gave a thumb half up half down.. then the second bite it was two thumbs in the middle zone.. kinda good kinda weird. Then by the third bite the thumbs were up and he finished the thing off. Of course I had to eat all the vegetables away from the sides of the falafel but it's a start. He did let the lettuce stay, so that's something green I suppose. All in all I was very proud of my picky eater today. I'm going to have to make some falafels at home now to keep this on the menu of stuff he'll eat.

Yesterday I made a quick stop by the cemetery to check on the wee ones. Mamabird was sitting on her nest. I snapped a few shots of her before she got mad at me and flew up to a nearby tree to yell at me. I felt bad for bugging her but I couldn't resist seeing how much the little ones had grown in the few days I'd been away. I know they change fast and I just had to see.

Sure enough they had grown noticeably larger and more feathers! Still in the freakish-alien-like stage but getting closer to looking like birds.

Mamabird was happy when I left and hopped back on over to her babes while I watched from a distance.


blech. That cold weather snap left everyone in our house besides Q with an annoying little cold. Sore throats and congestion. That's not supposed to happen in the summer. arrrgh.

Ah well... life must go on. Zay just went on her first outing with a friend. The girl across the street is five and invited Zay to go to see a Sesame Street stage production at the Carlson Center. It was last minute.. they were literally heading out the door for it but Zay really wanted to and is pretty comfortable with the neighbor mom so I let her go. I think she'll have a good time.

Quinn's buddy headed upriver with his uncle today so he's bummed that everyone is doing something fun but him. So we're going to head over to the farmer's market for something yummy.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The sun returns!

After some of the coolest summer days I can remember the sun is finally back out and temp is about 70. For the last few days we were seeing day time temps in the low 60s with rain and wind and night time lows in the mid 30s.. I actually had to turn the heat on and I don't usually do that until August. Its been a very strange summer weather wise. I was actually afraid that my tomatoes might freeze before they had a chance to ripen. I think they made it through alright though.

I took the kids and bought some perennials on sale and went and planted them on my great-grandmother's grave the other day. I never knew her but I like to tend to resting place and reflect on my ancestors of this land. While we were there Quinn made this discovery-

Zay was especially fascinated and had no problem understanding the importance of not touching them.

"Baby Ah-Ahs!!" (Her names for animals are often simply the noises they make.. like "meows" and "woof woofs".. "ah-ah" is her impression of a raven call.)

Saturday, July 5, 2008


, originally uploaded by harpyr.

My brother flew in yesterday from Arizona for a surprise visit. Today is my dad's birthday and everybody is spending the weekend out at the lake cabin. I picked up my bro and we drove out to for the surprise visit. Dad had a big ol smile on his face. It's been two years since Tom visited last. I'm so glad to see him again. The kids had a great time playing in the mud and water. I didn't really venture far from the shaded deck and air conditioned cabin. It was about 85 F degrees out and I just don't like sweating all that much. It's weird that I spend all winter fantasizing about the summer and then when it gets here I can hardly stand to be outside for very long when the weather is like this. I much prefer the half cloudy days with a nice strong breeze and the occasional brief rain shower.. We've had a lot of those this summer and I've been thankful for that. We might head back out to the cabin on Sunday and I'll be sure to take some more pictures from different angles if I do. The few shots I did snap were all taken with a zoom from waaay up on the deck that over looks the water from a big hill.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A second chance

The only way to cope with my intense emotional upset over the destruction of my flower bed was to promptly go out and buy new plants to replace it. Never mind that fully 1/3 (atleast!) of the growing season is past. I couldn't go through the rest of the summer with only a scraggly bunch of lamb's quarter growing where my lovely amaranth had been.
As it turns out a few of the tiny sprouts of amaranth that I started from seed survived and I found some nice big specimens at Anne's Greenhouse to look pretty while the sprouts grow up. I also got a nice big sage plant (not the culinary kind) that says it's hardy to -30F. If I insulate it with some straw in the winter I'm hoping it'll pull through.

I also got a few daisy plants that I'm in love with. One is the perfect shade of purple and so well complimentedby the orangey yellow ones. So bright and happy!

I reinforced the fence against the side of the house and patched up another hole I found with some chicken wire. I think that should do the trick. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


My favorite plants faced an untimely end. Adie, our youngest Corgi got into the flower bed and murdered my amaranth plants. I am bawling like a baby over this. A person should not be this attached to plants but when your growing season is as short as ours there is a lot of anticipation that builds up over the winter. Needless to say, I was really looking forward to seeing my favorite flowers this year. Now that dream is dashed in a few brief moments of puppy mischief. How depressing.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

We rented a movie that has an Ironman preview on it and Quinn keeps watching it over and over and rocking out to the song.

Da Da DA DA DA da-da-da-da-da-da-da DaDaDa
He sings along with the heavy Black Sabbath guitar riff. It's pretty funny. We left Zay with Gramps for a couple hours and took Quinn and Meme to see that movie and we all really enjoyed it. It is my second favorite superhero movie after the Spiderman series. It's way better than the Fantastic Four or even X-Men. Loved it. Robert Downey Jr. was very funny and witty. I'm already wanting to see it again.. gonna have to wait for dvd though. Movies are so expensive in the theatre!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

gettin stuff done...

Major stuff got taken care of today. My mom and her hubby Jon came over and helped me fix some stuff around here. He replaced an electrical outlet that wasn't working properly and patched a pipe so that I can use my outdoor faucet again. She hauled a bunch of boxes of toys out of the basement and out to the shed to get ready for a garage sale and held the baby so I could clean the cat box. I'm very appreciative and slowly warming up to her new husband. As it turns out he seems to be a decent sort of fellow with only good intentions. I'm glad for that.

Our dogs are recovering from being spayed and neutered on Sunday. No corgi puppies for us. It seemed like a good idea at one point but we came to the conclusion awhile ago that it would just be way more effort than we are willing to invest to take care of a litter and make sure they all made it to good homes.

I also got my shop up and running finally. You can see a link over to the left there for it. I haven't been doing anything for the shop lately but I hope to get back to it soon. Right now I just have some small pieces that I finished weeks ago.

I'm trying to get the yard all cleaned up and ready for planting. I got my compost pile all sorted out today. The old compost that is ready for using in beds is now piled up and the bin is empty and ready to take all the food scraps that have built up over the winter. I just stick my kitchen scraps in plastic shopping bags and put them in a trash can next to my back door and then empty them into the pile when spring comes. It's kinda messy but not too heinous as long as I wear gloves. It doesn't smell nearly as bad as one might imagine and occasionally, oddly enough, a very sweet earthy smell emerges from a bag that had just the right combination of veggie scraps. It's quite satisfying to see just how large the quantity of food scraps that we've avoided adding to the landfill over the course of a winter. And it was extremely satisfying to see the rich black humus that came out of my old heap. I'm eager to get it into some beds for planting.
Yay for summer!

oh and one last thing. My brother T called to let me know that he finally got all of my dad's old 8mm home movies converted to dvd. It turned out to be three hours of tape! Ohmygosh I am soo excited to see these.. he said not only is there stuff from when we were really young children but there is also stuff from when our parents went to Rome for their honeymoon and even stuff from my dad's childhood.. oh I can't wait to get the dvds in the mail!

Monday, May 19, 2008

spring has sprung!

Yep, the far north has thawed and the leaves are popping out and sunny has become the norm. Okay so the clouds have been consistently rolling in for the afternoons and we've been getting frequent drizzles but I'm not complaining. I'll take rain over forest fire smoke any day of the week.

I'm definitely feeling the added energy of 20 hours of daylight everyday. Yesterday I was brave enough to try walking all 6 children. Meaning the three human ones and the three canine ones. At the same time no less. Talk about a walking circus. There I was with a baby on my back, a great dane on one hand, two spastic little welsh corgis on the other and a two year old using my skirt to hang on to since I didn't have a free hand for her. And then top it off with a six year old riding circles around us on his bicycle. We must have been quite the sight. That was somewhat manageable until Zay decided that she couldn't walk any more. So then I had her held on my hip with one hand and all three dogs in the other. Which meant that they got all tangled up every three steps and I'd have to stop and free them before the dane had all his legs pulled out from under him and he squashed one of the corgis. That lasted for all of 5 minutes before Zay decided that walking was more precarious than being held. So needless to say, our walk didn't last long.

So that night was topped off by the wonderful experience of Meara having her first late night spell of inconsolable crying. It struck at around 12:30 am and I was up with her until about 2. Fun stuff. Now I'm up way earlier than I want to be with the two big kids. At least Meme is still sleeping. Thank goodness for the little things.

Monday, May 5, 2008

a wonderful discovery

oooh boy....I finally found it. The mysterious Queen video that I'd only ever seen small clips of here and there. I can kind of see why it wasn't featured on the two main Queen music video compilations since some of the camera work is less than stellar. However, I care not. For a die-hard Queen fan such as I this video is a wonderful thing to behold.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

look ma! I can spin!

Lately I've been feeling the itch to change my appearance. I feel as though I've allowed myself to slip into a more "normal" or mainstream appearance and I don't really feel like it's true to who I actually am. I feel as though I'm not standing in solidarity with all the other freaks and geeks out there in the world by masquerading as just your average mom with small children when the truth is I am actually quite different than most people in my ideas and ideals and general outlook on life and society. I've been toying with the idea of a nose ring but I have concerns about it getting yanked on by my small children. I'd like to get a tattoo or two but they are expensive and I have concerns about injecting strange substances into my skin. I doubt they have organic tattoo ink.. I'm not sure it's a good idea even if they did, from a health perspective. I know that it may seem silly to be concerned about tattoo ink but then to go ahead and slather a bunch of bleach on my hair but I figured it's been 8+ years since I dyed my hair last and that it was probably the easiest way to alter my appearance drastically without costing an arm and a leg and not being too permanent.

Well, it was my paranoia about my hair becoming brittle and strawlike that threw a wrench in my plans for purple hair. I left the bleach on my hair for 45 minutes and I could see that parts of it looked pretty light. I thought it was light enough to show of the purple in a few key spots and so I prematurely rinsed. I should have left it in for another 15 - 30 minutes. As it was, when I put the manic panic in it only gave me some very subtle purple highlights. Not at all the dramatic change I was hoping for.

Ah well.. Maybe I'll try again in a month or so.

I got closer to setting up my online shop a few days ago. I now have a new checking account that is exclusively for my store paypal account. This is to avoid any possibility of a paypal glitch wiping out rent money. Now I'm just waiting for the debit card to arrive in the mail and I'll be ready to start listing stuff. Woohoo! I've got a variety of fiber art, wood burnings and paintings ready and I'm thinking about maybe figuring out how to do prints so I can sell some photography, digital art or prints of original paintings or burnings.

Another thing I've been doing lately is learning to spin. I made my own drop spindle and spun up my first yarn. It was and is still very challenging but it's quite fun learning and playing with the oh so soft merino wool. I'm still pretty darn slow but I think my first attempt came out rather nice. I'm now working on some beautiful blue and brown roving that I bought from and it's just wonderful to handle and gaze upon. I was a big fan of fondling yarn before this but making it myself just brings it to a whole new level of enjoyment. I'm now fantasizing about a spinning wheel. Something to work for I suppose. They are pricey and it will motivate me to get busy creating things to sell in my shop.
Here's a small portion of the roving after I fluffed it all up in preparation for spinning.
Playing with this wool has been my beacon of light the past day or so amidst all the barfing. Quinnster and Zayzae have been fighting off a nasty stomach bug they caught from our neighbors. No fun at all when they only thing that stays down is water and maybe some toast or crackers. It's especially difficult for Zay because nursing is such a source of comfort for her and she's not able to keep the mama's milk down. She's doing surprisingly well understanding that right now having nummies= throwing up and therefore she's not begging for it and has been drinking water instead.

So it's late and I really should be going to bed.
One last thing... my brother transferred some really old home movies to digital and uploaded them to YouTube. I'm the one with the thick bangs and pony tail. Interestingly Quinn runs just like me it would seem.

Monday, April 21, 2008

freaky weather and kiddo updates

Well the old man's grip seems to have loosened considerably in the few days since that last entry. Now the daytime temps are in the 50s and our backyard is more than a third melted. That also means the dog poo glacier has melted and our front yard is so so icky. Tomorrow is to be a poop scoop marathon day. yay.

Oh more fun topics, Meara's first two teeth broke through on the 16th and now they are emerging in full force. She's getting so grown up! Also doing lots of rolling. I think she may become our little athlete. Zay wasn't quite so active at that age but she's definitely making up for it now. She's like a wild monkey girl running around the house using the biggest voice she can muster half the time. She also loves to sing. She's surprisingly good at carrying a tune for a two year old, I might add.

Quinn hung out with my dad on Sunday and got to drive his first snowmachine. It was a last chance sort of thing, with how quickly it's all melting but he had a great time anyway. It was one of those little kid size snowmachines (that's Alaskan for snowmobile in case any of you lower 48 folk were wonderin) I wasn't there but dad said he took right to it and commented that he seems to pick things up very quickly. He's a sharp one, that Quinnster. We signed him up for soccer this summer. Unfortunately I don't think we're going to be able to do that and teeball since they take place at the same time. He's bummed about that but I think he's really going to like soccer... and if he doesn't he can go back to teeball (little league??) next summer. His best friend who lives across the street is into soccer so he wanted to give that a try and see if maybe they could be on the same team.

I took this picture today and got a serious case of deja vu and then realized it was because I took a very similar picture almost two years ago.. check it out.
( I know it's blurry but I love it because it shows off that lower lip action that I love to death)
Now compare it to the one with Zay.. she's older than Meara is now but I'm wearing the same shirt.. I swear I did not set that up on purpose..
Serious deja vu....

Friday, April 18, 2008

old man winter won't let go

ugh.. it's snowing... again. Twice now our backyard has gone from being 1/3 snow free to being a winter wonderland all over again. Big fat fluffy snowflakes are falling for for the second major accumulation in two weeks. I wish I could say at least it's been warm but that doesn't seem to last either. Two days ago it was 20 degrees, which would normally be considered somewhat warm but the wind was gusting so hard that it felt like 20 below zero out. Brrrrrrr. I just want it to be spring already. We keep getting taunted with the promise of it only to have it snatched away again. blech.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Here's a little video of the kids goofing off yesterday.

Our favorite things...

This song is hilarious. Any knitter will understand. It was performed at a gathering of Yarn Harlot fans and recorded by The Heathen Housewife

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I can't believe it...

, originally uploaded by harpyr.

My wee bonnie lass is already a quarter of a year old! Sweet Meara is a dream of a babe. So easygoing and happy. I think it helps that she has the most entertaining brother ever. He can make her laugh like nobody else.. even me! Zay is getting better at eliciting some laughs from Meme but it's only because she's caught on to employing the same crazy antics as Quinn.

In other news, I'm actually trying to avoid sitting at the computer much lately because my back has been super achy. I think it's because I don't have a decent chair to sit in and I need to get more active on top of that.
It's good and bad.. Good because I'm working more on my art but bad because I really want to spend some time playing around with The Gimp since I just downloaded the latest version and found a whole slew of really awesome brushes to use. I created that new patchwork tree banner with a few of them. I'm playing around with banner ideas and that was my first finished result. I hope to have my etsy shop up soon. I have enough inventory but I need to get a different bank account set up so I don't have to worry about a paypal mistake wiping out our rent money. I've heard that's been known to happen before.. not too often but enough that I don't want to take any chances.

Well gotta run. Quinn's couch cushion fort is collapsing in on him and he's hollering for some help.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Nick Drake

I wrote a little something about the day my husband and I discovered the music of Nick Drake. Pop on over to the site I posted it on to check it out.-

Edited to add- the link wasn't working so I broke it. If you copy and paste that link it should work. By the way, after rereading this little essay a few days later I realize that it's pretty corny. Be forewarned.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

the first sentence

My dad's sisters came by yesterday and I got to hear the story of my first words. Now I know why my mom and dad always had a hard time remembering what they were.. it's because they weren't there to hear them! The story went that my aunt D (and maybe aunt P but I'm not clear on that) was with my grandpa at the building site of our house. Apparently my dad was sort of detail oriented about how he wanted the house built, whereas grandpa was of the mindset "Lets just get it built" and on this particular day was doing a fair bit of griping. I was probably around age three and hadn't spoken a single word yet. It was very clear that I could understand everything that people were talking about but I was refusing to speak. So on that day, while grandpa was doing all this complaining I finally said my first words, which happened to come out in a perfectly formed sentence-

"What's YOUR problem?"

Thursday, March 13, 2008

this is it

I tried calling my mom this morning but only spoke with my aunt Nik. My mother apparently can't be bothered to take any calls this morning. Cause she's getting married this afternoon. Well this is it for me. If she marries this chump.. then I am putting some serious distance between her and I. I refuse to be dragged along for the ride towards the impending train wreck that is certain to result from this course. I can't allow myself to be close to her and not be affected by her really bad decisions and since nothing I have to say seems to make any difference I need to separate from her to protect myself and my family. It really sucks that my kids beg to go see gramma but I can't let them go over there when there is a strange man that I don't know or trust. I think my mom may be having a mental breakdown.. or she's always been this crazy and I just didn't realize it. I fear it may be the latter.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


ugh. I just called my mom to ask her how it's going and she said that it was still on for tomorrow. She apparently has no backbone. I told her that nothing has changed. He's still insecure and controlling and yet she's letting him call the shots. If she gets married tomorrow then I'll know it's because he wants to and she doesn't and yet she doesn't have the nerve to stand up for what she wants. My respect for her is very minimal at this point and it's only going to go completely down the drain if she goes through with this supremely dumb decision to marry this kid.


Just when I had pretty much come to terms with the realization that my mother had lost all sense of rational thinking she surprises me yet again. She showed up at my house this morning with the news that instead of getting married tomorrow she's going to break up with John today and ask him to move out.

Wow. I was really stunned. Happily stunned but still very surprised that she actually came around to realizing that getting married to this guy probably wasn't a good idea. She had just come from a meeting with her therapist (whom I know also thought this was a bad everyone else in the known universe) and I suspect that her realization must have been helped along by whatever they talked about. She confessed that John is controlling and insecure and that she just knows it wouldn't have worked out. She doesn't want another divorce in her future. (Note: These are all things that I told her.. especially the stuff about this guy being obviously insecure and controlling by pushing this marriage issue so early in their relationship.)

Being as I don't really have much trust left in my mother after all the less than stellar decisions she's made in the last 4 years or so, I'm only allowing myself a modicum of happiness about this decision. I don't want to get all ecstatic that she's come to her senses only to find out that she's been talked out of this by John and ends up marrying the dude anyway. She did seem pretty resolved to this decision though so I doubt that will happen. When he's moved out I'll breathe a bigger sigh of relief. I've only exhaled halfway at this point.


Today I discovered a photography technique called Through the Viewfinder. It's basically using a camera (usually digital) to take a picture through the viewfinder of another camera- usually one with a large viewfinder like an old Kodak Duaflex or the like. But before I read about what type of cameras these photos were being taken through, I went and grabbed my mom's really old, broken Canon AE1 SLR and tried taking some pictures through it's really tiny viewfinder. I had some not so satisfying results and then went and learned about the Duaflex and promptly went to Ebay and put in a bid for one. It isn't like I really need another hobby but I've sort of had limited interest in photography lately and this new technique has revitalized it so I'm going to run with it for awhile.
Here's my favorite result of my first hasty attempts at this. A few more can be seen on my flickr account.

I'm off to bed now.. I'm up waaay to late reading about this ttv business!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

its hopeless

My mother will not listen to reason. When faced with logical and valid concerns about her decision to marry her boyfriend of two months next week she (and his) only response is that they are doing it because they want to and because they can.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Patchwork Tree

Knitting has been taking a back seat to my newest interest- embroidery. My first project was a blended piece. The trunk of the tree was knitted in some novelty yarn and then couched onto the fabric background. It was pretty much freeform. I didn't draw anything out beforehand and just dove in and started stitching. I learned a lot and went through stages of not liking results and then just continuing to work the piece until I liked it more. Ultimately, I'm happy with my results from my first foray into embroidery. Well.. not technically my first since I did a couple things in high school but this was the first time that I actually picked up a book to learn a specific way to stitch.
I'm on the home stretch of my second project. I think I'm done with the main image and now I just need to put a fabric back on it and finish the edges nicely. I'm still trying to decide what color to use for the border. I'm thinking I'll keep it minimalistic and just use some black fabric for a border with stitching done around in the same color as the branches.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

artistic inspiration

Recently I've been spending alot of time browsing the handmade goods on Etsy.
I find it to be a wealth of inspiration. So much so that I've gotten back to some other art forms that had been shoved to the wayside by my newfound love of knitting. A few years ago I discovered woodburning- or pyrography if you want to be really geeky about it- and just loved it. There's something so haunting about the finished product that I just love. Perfect examples can be seen in my favorites list which is linked in the sidebar as Beautiful Things. There are a couple of tagua nut pendants that are done with a combination of burning and oil painting that I just adore and have inspired me to try my hand at something similar. I bought some tagua nut slices and took my cheapo wood burning tool to a couple. My results have been less than what I hoped for and I think part of the issue is that my tool is just inadequate. It's the $10 dollar variety from a craft store. I'm going to keep at it though and see where it goes. I went and got a piece of basswood to practice on and found that it's much easier to get nice results from that than the tagua.

I've discovered through Esty that something called Art Cards Editions Originals (ACEOs) are very popular. Basically any kind of art in a 2.5 x 3.5 inch trading card format are really popular collectors items right now. I've been looking for a way to make money from home and I'm going to try to plug into that market and see how it goes. I've almost finished my first piece which is a combination of knitting and embroidery. It's cute. Not exactly how I pictured it in my mind but it's been a learning experience. I'm having a lot of fun brainstorming and being inspired.

Friday, February 22, 2008

valentines day and family drama

oh the Mama drama never seems to end. I've been struggling to avoid being too emotionally invested in the choices my mother makes for her own life. It is, after all, HER life. It's just difficult to watch something chug along that appears certain to end in train wreck. She's got this new boyfriend... well fiance technically, who is - get this- 30 years old.

I will be 30 years old this year.
My husband is 31 years old.
My mother is engaged to a man younger than my husband. I find this very disturbing. Even if he weren't so young, I would still be disturbed that she's already engaged to a man that she's only been dating for about a month. She'd probably already be married if she didn't have to host a memorial this coming August for her deceased husband. She didn't think it would be proper to be remarried before that is taken care of. *snort*

I could go on and on about some other choices related to this newest development but I think I'll leave it at that for now. I'm trying to come to terms with seeing my mother in the harsh light of reality without the rose colored glasses of childhood. It has been quite unpleasant to say the least. It seems I must accept that she just isn't going to be the typical gramma for my children.. baking cookies and stuff like that. She's like a kid who refuses to grow up. *sigh*

on a happier note- Valentines Day was really nice. B baked a delicious German chocolate cake and bought some yummy chocolates for us.He bought me an obscenely expensive box of Godiva truffles that were positively divine. I've never had a more delicious hazelnut truffle. It was to die for.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Well.. we finally got ourselves a vehicle to call our own! Whew.. what a relief. Our subaru broke down way back at the beginning of the summer and we've been borrowing my father's old Ford Explorer and occasionally my mom's truck ever since. Car shopping is such a pain in the neck. It's only compounded by the fact that we needed a car that could fit three carseats in the back. Turns out subarus are a tight fit, if we would have even been able to at all. Since we need something big enough to also haul a great dane, that eliminated sedans. We were left with the choice between a mini van or an suv. After reading lots of reviews of various different options we decided to go with a Toyota 4runner. We were fortunate enough to find a really clean 1996 model with only 113,000 miles on it. It's running beautifully and we all fit so nicely in it. I'm so relieved to finally have that taken care of and since we spent well under our budget, we've even got some money left over to take care of some pressing dog care issues... Namely getting the two corgis fixed.. No puppies for us! Way to much of a headache that would be, we ultimately decided.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Second time's a charm!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

DMV angst

oh man.. Brett told me I should maybe study a little before I go take the written driver's test and I thought it wasn't necessary. After all, the last two times I took the test I passed on the first try. Well... I went in today and even though I passed all the questions about actually driving, it was the stupid questions about the finer points of law that got me. And the silly little ways they try to trip you up by wording the answers weirdly. Argh. I've been procrastinating on getting my Alaska license but now that I need to apply for the dividend online and I can't seem to do it without an Ak license or ID, the issue has come to a head. I guess I have to go back tomorrow. After I study. Blech.

oh well.. At least I got to get out of the house
and see some ravens, which I always enjoy.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I'm finding it's really hard to make myself blog with any semblance of regularity. Going from two to three kids has been a rocky transition. My "me" time has been severely reduced and when I finally do get a free moment to sit down at the computer I generally spend it all checking my messages and reading my favorite blogs. I'm much more of a reader than a writer these days. And yet it seems very important for me to put my thoughts on paper and keep a record of this time. It may be difficult at times but I am aware that it is quite fleeting and before I know it, Quinn will be gallivanting off to his extracurricular
activities, Azalea won't be needing me to wipe her bum and Meara will be taking her first toddling steps. There will be more time for knitting if I just have patience.

I'm feeling quite a bit of annoyance with the two bigger kids and I imagine a lot of it has to do with cabin fever. January is usually the hardest month. It's still ridiculously dark all the time and the big cold snaps tend to happen. Today it's -20F. Not the worst but still pretty darn cold. Temperatures aside, getting out of the house with the three kids is major work. It takes about an hour just to get every one dressed, suited up and buckled in. Besides that, we only have one vehicle right now so I don't have any way to get around when Brett is at work even if I wanted to. I would love to go to the library but that was hard enough with two... I'm dreading the thought of three. I'd need a shopping cart to haul the toddler, baby and all the books around in!

Okay.. I actually need to wrap this up. Azalea and Meara are both sleeping and Quinn is at Dana's house. I've used up as much "me" time on the blog as I'm willing to.. I need to use the rest on some knitting. The time budget is tight!
Here's what I've been working on lately. Cables!