Friday, May 29, 2009

Baby Banana Brush...

Loves the amazing things they have for babies these days. My sister-in-law recommended this and baby l loves it. It was designed by a very smart dental hygienist. It would make a great baby gift I think.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hearty helping of collage...

... a failed dieters attempt to hide the brownies? Maybe. Meet our fridge. A long time ago, little c and I saw a craft segment on an episode of Martha Stewart where she hot glued magnets to large buttons and we went a little nuts with it.
Here is my grandpa in his Merchant Marine uniform, my grandparents on the day they got engaged, photographs of our sweet girls, some cousins, our beautiful niece on her wedding day, postcards from our favorite destinations, ticket stubs, quotes we love, friends, copies of the first portraits little c made of us (we look like Mr. & Mrs. Potato head), some "I love you" notes, pictures of some favorite flowers, the latest in little c art creations, the magnet phone numbers for the dentist and the auto body repair man (just in case)... My mini gallery of Raoul Dufy, a favorite artist.. an invitation to an unforgettable event... an American Flag.. some of the things we love.
It's a crazy mess and yet it so much resembles our life, the happy part, the part where we get to celebrate together...
You won't find our fridge in a remodeled kitchen in Architectural Digest, but we like it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Family Skunk Work...

C coined the phrase "skunk work". It is the brainless type of work that must be done. There is no way around it.. there is only through it head down .. one. step. at. a. time. until. it's. finished. It's called skunk work because skunk work stinks.. or so they say.

Our stinky project was removing the wall paper from little c's little girl bedroom so we can turn it into a tween heaven. Everyone has their own system for removing paper I found. We tried several of them. None of those systems take large swaths of paper off in one swoop.. all systems remove paper one small piece at a time. So, after 12 hours effort, we were three quarters finished.

My sister and my niece came over to help and we sat covered in old wall paper glue and wet paper gunk and swapped stories and laughed most of a blue skied Saturday. C thought we were overly silly. Brain dead work can do that to you.

Finally after a few hours we got to laughing about our chore, little c said, this isn't wall paper removal.. this is "lame loser work" (my apologies to all professionals.. we do not really think this.. mostly). "This" My sister Christine laughed and said, "This is what I'm doing with my illustrious university education.. 'lame loser work' AND answering the phone for my son's ring-a-ding friends!" That's not really true, but we had a great laugh.

But, you know after all the wall paper was removed, (not that I wish it back on the wall), I have to say that what we were really doing did not stink like a skunk nor was it 'lame loser work,' but instead we were doing something simple together. It was a day of joy. Really.

Skunk work can mean different things to different people. If it's really that bad, I say don't do it. I love to iron, some people hate it. I hate cleaning bathrooms.. I take it back you have to do some things. I like to do the dishes. It only takes 15 minutes and then the kitchen is clean. There are few things in life worth doing that can have such happy and successful results in such a short time.

There is skunk work in most every job. I love to paint boxes, but don't always enjoy the sanding. I have learned to find a sense of accomplishment in it however, because I know what I want the end result to be.

So many times we say that we will be happy when. I do this all the time. I will be happy when I accomplish this or that, when my house is finished, when my child sleeps through the night, when I am able to exercise more. Worst of all, there are those of us who will be happy only when we make it to heaven. But how will we find joy in heaven if we have no experience with it here. But, when we can find the purpose and joy even in the skunk work of life, then we have found happiness now.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kissy Kissy...

These little Kissy Kissy blankets are so wonderful. They are very small, just to cover baby or for baby to hug and hold. They wash up softer everytime and make the most wonderful gift. There's a hole schlew to see HERE. Thanks Boo!

Jack & Sarah...

Jack is a nervous, very intense attorney whose wife is expecting. When the time comes for the baby to arrive, he has neglected to pack the back. In a neurotic panic to pack the bag he falls down the stairs knocking himself unconscious. It has the beginnings of a comedy, but then in the hospital he awakens next to his mother who informs him that Sarah, his wife and the love of his life has passed away in childbirth.
He is so devastated that he becomes a drunk for a time and refuses to see his baby. However, his parents stage an intervention and when he wakes up from a drunken binge to find the baby next to him.. he realizes how much he loves the baby and cleans himself up.
I don't know whether to recommend this film or not. It has some very strong language in it that more than usually feels unnecessary and out of place. On the other hand the writing is pretty good in spots and some of the acting is superb. The entire plot line about Jack's workplace should have been cut because it's just distracting and not to the point. However, Sir Ian McKellen brilliantly plays a drunken friend that Jack picks out of a dust bin.. who cleans himself up as well to help with the baby.. charming.
What I liked about the film, is Jack's explanation of what it feels like to lose someone you love. .. so I guess I thought it was valuable for that.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer Chandelier...

Since I moved into this home, quite a few years ago now, I have loved decorating this chandelier with all kinds of junk.. it makes me happy. Yesterday, I found these pink daisy ornaments with glitter and thought how fun to have hearts and flowers for all summer long.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Last Chance Harvey...

Dustin Hoffman plays Harvey who has done nothing very well. He has failed at marriage, parenting and did not become the Jazz pianist that he wanted to be.
He goes to London to be a part of his daughter's wedding and finds that no one really wants him there and behaves less than graciously. He's hurt and he lets it show. He takes cell phone calls at the table!!! (That actually drives me nuts!)
Then he meets a lovely woman played by Emma Thompson, who helps him to behave like his better self... I think they find that they are each other's last chance. I love films about redemption and this script has a double dose.
The script is wonderfully put together, but the depth brought to these characters by two very fine actors is simply breathtaking.
I think this sweet little film is a gem.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Corn Black Bean Salsa...

This recipe needs a little tweaking, but it's good enough that I smell like the garden patch..

1 can corn drained
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 stalk green onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 bunch of cilantro finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1 Serrano chili seeded and chopped
1 large avocado diced
a bit of Cholula hot sauce to taste
a smidge of sea salt
a tiny bit of black pepper

Friday, May 15, 2009

"A" Monogram Box...

I had a special order and ended up painting to of these..
so if you need an "A" to go.. it's in the

My Favorite Modern Artist...

... most recent composition by
little c
I love it!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some Where That's Green...

I'm a fan of Mandy Patinkin since his performance in Princess Bride.. "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." Anyway I love this album and the funny song from Little Shop of Horror, which I have never seen by the way and don't really want to because I have built my own little ideas about this funny song that has become kind of tender to me...

A matchbox of our own

A fence of real chain link,

A grill out on the patio

Disposal in the sink

A washer and a dryer and an ironing machine

In a tract house that we share

Somewhere that's green.

He rakes and trims the grass

He loves to mow and weed

I cook like Betty Crocker

And I look like Donna Reed

There's plastic on the furniture

To keep it neat and clean

In the Pine-Sol scented air

Somewhere that's green

Between our frozen dinner

And our bedtime, nine-fifteen

We snuggle watchin' Lucy

On our big, enormous twelve-inch screen

I'm his December Bride

He's Father, he Knows Best

Our kids watch Howdy Doody

As the sun sets in the west

A picture out of Better Homes and Gardens magazine

Far from Skid Row

I dream we'll go

somewhere that's green.

Pear Salad...

This is my new favorite salad!
1 head leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces.
3 pears cored and chopped
5 ounces Feta Cheese crumbled up
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
3-4 strips of very crisp bacon crumbled
1/3 cups white sugar
3/4 cup pecans
2-3 tablespoons of water
1/3 cup olive oil
6 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons white sugar
2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
a smidge of black pepper to taste
In a skillet over medium heat, stir 1/3 cup sugar, 3/4 cup pecans and 2-3 T water continually until sugar has melted and caramelized the pecans. Transfer nuts to waxed paper and allow to cool. Break into pieces.
Dressing: Blend oil, vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp. white sugar, garlic, salt and pepper
In large serving bowl, layer lettuce, pears, cheese, bacon, and green onions. Pour dressing over salad and sprinkle with pecans. Serve.

Monday, May 11, 2009

That's life... a few thoughts.

A friend of mine spoke in church a few weeks ago. She talked about the sanctity of life.. the holiness and grace of birth and the sweet and tender godliness of death.. of saying good-bye. Sometimes friends can say the things that lay unexpressed in your own heart.
Life's journey is one that has so many things that are completely unique for each person and so many things that we all yearn for... can we find love, understanding, community, family, work, adventure, purpose.. joy?
C and I have both said goodbye to friends in the past two weeks. One friend took his own life. We don't judge, but we know that some of those important things were missing in his life and that his heart was broken.
Another friend literally waged a 3 1/2 year war against the disease that eventually took her life, but then with the most divine grace she accepted God's plan for her and slipped away peacefully with her family around her.
You don't ever know what's coming and I was taught just this week that it's unwise to waste precious moments living in fear, but rather have faith in the process and pray for the strength to deal with what comes... Have you ever noticed.. a lot of older people are good at this?
Every time I have gone to a funeral, I have had two distinct feelings and impressions at every one I've attended. The first is that a person's life is gift, a gift to the person who lived it and a gift to everyone around them. Each life touches another. People are remembered and loved by someone, but often by very many. The second thing is that a death, even of a person who is very old and has been very sick, never feels like relief even though people say that all the time, but instead leaves a space like a hole in the universe that only that unique individual can fill. I have lost grandparents and great aunts and uncles who were very sick, to whom life had become a burden.. and yet when they are gone.. it's still very sad. A friend of ours lost a child that only lived 2 hours.. and yet when I see that family, I always think of sweet boy who is missing... always. So, I don't know if age really matters. People are unique and beautiful spirits and they make their mark.. no matter how long they stay.
I believe that at some point the grief of loss will be erased and replaced by the joy of eternal reunion, however the moments in between are so difficult, painful and often lonely. But, in those difficult moments of great pain.. there is something holy and sacred, something of exquisite beauty... I believe it is our hearts teaching us how greatly we love and our spirits reaching for the greater faith to carry us home to each other.

An Evening With John Denver...

If you ever need just some happy music ... this is a favorite recording of mine. I LOVE it. It's become a favorite of baby l.. It has all most of my favorites.