Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Homefront

And another one down, and another one down, another shelf Bites the Dust....

That's where I've been living lately, anyway. Right in the packing paper, boxing tape, and magic markers. Living five years without a tv did a lot for my reading list, but it really did a number on the book-hoarding compulsion. Now I have little time to watch the tv we do have, since it's all needed to Pack Them Books.

It's a pretty good problem to have. Donating over 100 books in the last year has been wise, both for the tax-return AND for preserving our bookshelves, not to mention preventing our movers from collapsing in despair. Getting rid of un-needed stuff also frees the mental resources to deal with real problems, rather than procrastinating endlessly about a phone call, a letter, a conversation. And I can compete with the best of 'em in the procrastination ring!

A few wise people have done great things, talking about how having "too much stuff' can be a real symptom of  a problem, and I am not talking a shopping problem. I am talking about the 'you are not dealing with it' problem. I'd say my husband and I got into the 'buy your kids too many toys' problem because we weren't super good at relating to our son's intellectual needs. Scratch that - out and out demands. And, to be fair, we were suckered in by the way his face lit up like a Christmas tree. In retrospect, that should have told us something.

Now, we have the 'problem' of teaching restraint, anti-consumerism, and the concept of having enough.

On the bright sight, hey, at least he loves to read!


That's it for now. If I don't deal with my "you are moving in less than three weeks and your house is barely 1/3rd packed" situation, I'm up for a grim moving day. On the artsy-side of things, I am ordering prints today for a special project I am doing. I really want to move on to my sillhouette project (and I still have to post the magical paper airplanes pictures!), but if I don't get the packing into high gear, I won't have time to do it before we leave. I need a few carrots to go with all my packing-sticks (and won't it  be fun to declutter those.....)

I hope you all have a lovely spring week, and get a moment to examine your own home-front for something to attack.

It's another way to dig up some peace :-)

take care, thank you for coming by, as always.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Snapshot at Orchid and Mayhem

Oh, my. Here is where we sit - starting with the basics.

Health: If great health resides in, say, Baja California, we'd still find ourselves in suburbia, Minnesota. 3 of us down, with Jon as the only holdout in the 'reasonable' health dept. My dear daughter is sporting one tonsil half the size of her throat, and the other about twice the usual size. No strep, but, certainly UnComfortable. With the attendant tummy trouble from having more than a few popsicles since it began. My boy has been feeling off, and is starting to sniffle, and I have everything my daughter does (except the one giant tonsil). To go for the full set, I sent Jon to bed with both kids, so by morning, he should be just as unperky as the rest of us.

Wealth: ohhhhhh, pa-Leeze. This week alone, I bought groceries, paid for my 90% grey roots to be covered, and paid for summer concert tickets, as well as sending the hotel deposit for a Wonderful wedding I am attending this fall. Good thing I bought a lot of kitchen 'staples', because even cheap frozen pizza isn't in the budget next week. I will be using everything in the pantry/freezer to keep me from hitting the market again. April is looking like a Great Time To Embrace Frugality!!!

Wisdom: hmmm. I didn't generate anything of import, to be honest. I rediscovered the great mileage in taking care of myself, with small steps that will make life calmer, which can lead to more joyous moments. I've run across some blogs that I will be adding to the blogroll - there are a few that focus on issues I'm embracing. Learning more about spirituality, trying for art and parenthood with equal attention. Since everyone is on different paths, there is always something someone is learning that I....am not. Never hurts to learn something new.

Food: the only thing that really ticks me off about illness is not tasting - enjoying - food properly. And lacking the commensurate energy to prepare really good stuff. I Think my soup was ok (note to self, chicken breast cooked stovetop on my own, tastes better than the rotisserie-chicken shortcut I usually grab for convenience.) but now I need to make more chicken stock. Oops, more marinara, too. Sigh. Energy would really help here

Homefront: moving boxes are getting slowly packed, but the first order of business is the kids. I am pushing myself to at least keep up with the dishes, the laundry, and the meals. We don't have a closing date yet, so a day or two slowdown is not going to sink the Plan. (hah, there ya were, thinking I didn't have one. I do, You know. It's even in my notebook ;-)

So, if I am not too sleepy - and there is some doubt on that point - I will add the links. Some of the bloggers I am adding are definitely blogging their lives and faith journey, which may not be for everyone. It's a pretty under-represented blog-roll topic for me (in company with foodies and just ahead of underwater basket-weaving) so I will try to label my links appropriately. I don't know what will bring someone here, but it's always my hope to send them off someplace wonderful on a link when they leave.

Take care, everyone.

Do a better job of it than me ;-)


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Poetry Reading, Moving, Not Moving

Another sunny morning is on the prowl, which would be sparking summer-itis in most of us, but the brisk - and frankly, chilly - wind has quashed that feeling. Solidly.

The morning breeze would be ideal at the new home with the corner fireplace (just a simple gas one, but it works for me!!) but at the townhome it just makes me want to sit here and drink coffee (ok, nothing new there). I feel a little more inspired artistically than I have in a while, but today is not the day to do anything about it. Too many items on the to-do list.

I took my mom out last night to a poetry reading in Minneapolis at Open Book. There is a group of Loft (a fabulous non-profit Twin Cities writing program) writers that are in the Foreward program, and they've published a chapbook with a few selections each. I've had the pleasure of getting to know one of the writers - Sue Crouse - who is as encouraging as she is creative, brilliant, and inspiring. She's working on a large selection of poems to send out for publishing next year, and I am immensely pleased for her. Despite her range of interests, she has taken time out for reviewing my work and helping me understand ways to better my writing.

When someone like her offers such support, it's criminal to not take advantage of it. So,  after we get settled in, I am looking forward to her input and her advice on the troll-wife poem, and maybe even the 'God's Dremel Tools' piece. Even better, she sometimes sends stuff my way for feedback, which is always enjoyable for me, and quite an honor. I have had the chance to beta-read for a few writers now, and I think I get more out of it than they do!

So, that's new business for me - both the mundane and the extraordinary. Many calls to make and boxes to stuff, so off I go. I hope you find something inspiring this week - maybe it's dinner, maybe it's a new story, maybe it's just the wind inspiring some kite-flying. Whatever that feeling is - go for it. It's a beautiful time of the year.



Friday, April 6, 2012

Allergies. You Suck.


a fine Good Friday this is turning into.

If God has any buckets sloshing about with extra grace, please pardon me as I push my way to the head of the line. Just once, today.

My children will be grateful.

For the rest of you lovely readers, your friday is already better than mine :-)

Unless the pollen has you too ;-)

Take care,


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lead Feet

Not warm ones, either, at the start of this blustery Tuesday :-)

The northern skies seem to chasing the clouds south east today, which is not precisely typical. Since I am forecasting weather with my thumbs lately, I'll go out on a low-hanging limb and say there's a low-pressure system around these parts. Making the skies match my slow moving feet.

I really wanted to be motivated today, but the early spring - Thank You VERY LITTLE, Global Warming - pollen counts are turning into a Major problem for the hay-fever inclined. Get one of these systems in the neighborhood and the sneaky stuff becomes in-escapeable. Mind you, I can't even see the pollen, but the Weather Channel insists it's there, and I am nothing if not a dutiful hypochondriac.

So, anything positive on my plate?

Let's talk houses.

By the time I was nine, I think I had totted up about 5 or 6 different residences - houses, trailers, basement apartments, you get the idea. One of my parents had different ideas than the other about what constituted 'stability'. Considering it took me until the age of 33 to feel like I had some, you can see how well That worked. Between the homes I lived in that were simply unsuitable, to the ones we had to leave because of house payments or rent money in short supply, my experience in houses that felt like 'home' was pretty thin. And I pretty much decided that if I ever settled down enough to have kids, they were NEVER going to endure that!!

Since 2004, my husband and I have been in this townhome, the one we bought while I was pregnant with my son. Since I had very little of my own furniture, for a long time our place felt like it was still 'his'. Over time, we've chosen furnishings together, as we could afford it. The place feels like both of us. Being a corner unit in a quad, we have North windows and a West-facing deck with glass doors. The first floor walls are a creamy yellow or parchment, and upstairs it's all greens, blues, and greys. The basement rooms are greens and yellows too. We have hardwood or tile on the main floor, and colorful art and pottery on the walls. On sunny days, I love to be there, and on grey days, my kids room is my favorite room in the house - we seem to have found the perfect blue for their walls. When I'm tired, my bedroom feels like a hug.

We are moving into a beautiful new home with earthtoned walls - from deep cream colors to light browns. Cherry floors and slate-colored tile on the main level, soft carpets upstairs, deep woodwork and hardware, and light colored doors. Our backyard faces a pond (home to frogs, turtles, a few fish, and some hungry birds!) so I am envisioning a summer of fireflies, froggie houses, and reptile discoveries in the garden. The front of the house has a big deep porch, perfect for drinking iced tea or lemonade, and roomy enough for a bevy of trick-or-treaters.

Despite having all this coming at us in the future, the kids have worries and concerns - who wouldn't? We aren't far from their friends, but not as close as next door. I don't know who can watch the kids in a pinch, and who is incapable of - or flat-out uninterested in - handling it.

This means it's on us - the parents. We need to set the example of friendliness and fun, inclusiveness and adventureousness. We need to show the kids the benefits of having snacks and lemonade at the ready in the kitchen, and a slip-and-slide in the backyard, with batteries in all the flashlights in the garage. The kids need to know that if you want an adventure, you have to be ready in a heartbeat for when it crosses your path (for instance, the one that runs between the yard and the pond.)

Holy crap, I really, really wish I was better at parenthood.

Time to brush up on them skills ;-)

Have a lovely day, everyone!!