Sunday, December 9, 2012

Goodness, it's been a while...

Well, snow is finally flying around the Orchid House, the kids are sleeping - hell, the entire HOUSE is sleeping, save me and the .....hmm.

Looks like the cats are out too.

There's a lot of backstory to my lull in posting here.

I don't care to drag out the details, so we will sum up.

Got your coffee now? Maybe tea? :-)

Back in July, we were coming to terms with the loss of my dear cousin Tina. That really is something we are not at terms with, so we concentrate on the hurt she is no longer in. It doesn't make things better, but it helps me make sense, I guess....

We were also experiencing major problems working with the builder of our home, as cracks kept erupting in our basement walls, doors and windows were sticking, and the house seemed to be having trouble...coping.
Realizing we were inflicting a no-yard,  no-fun summer on the kids, we scrapped our plans to take them out west for fossil-hunting (those pesky wildfires - from our standpoint. For those affected, think 'blazing infernoes from hell') and went to Chicago. We stayed three days (tall ships, Shedd Aquarium, the Natural History Museum, the tower, you know, tourist traps) and then went to Wisconsin Dells for some more kid-friendly fun. Upon our return, grass was finally in the back yard and watered long enough to actually play on, and we approached the builder about the cracking basement. And garage floor. And driveway. And paid the water bill.

Fast-forward to September, with core-fills throughout the entire basement that didn't stop any movement in the walls, and a new finish-the-basement scheme we hatched, so that my mother could move in with us. By the end of September, we had EIGHT pilings driven TWENTY-EIGHT FEET under our house, to keep it from tipping into the front yard any further. New sod to water Again (hello, new Giant Water Bill) And our own version of 'basement crashers' as we finished the basement - from framing to plumbing, electricity, drywall, flooring, tiling, paint, and trim - in three weeks.

My daughter had a tonsil surgery in there, somewhere. And, to keep my weeks interesting (or something. Maybe I've just never been able to resist a genuine plea for help that involves my children) I am now - lord help me - volunteering twice a week with a classroom reading program, and Once each month to present an artist to 4 sections in one grade.

Since we've clearly segued straight to the pathetic pity party zone - I am going to point out that this whole thing has gone on it's way with NO SNOW until two days ago. I am CERTAIN i am in the minority on this one, but I have a horrible time focusing and functioning when the seasons do NOT do what they are supposed to. I am adrift, people, and it makes me (and thereby those around me) NUTS.


So, let's leave that pity party in the past, shall we? (Good, it wasn't much fun for me either. But I feel better now. Oh, LOok, SNOW!)

Friday night, we endured the usual crappy traffic that comes with heavy wet snow, and went to see the Twin Cities Ballet's lovely production of "The Nutcracker". (That wasn't the Royal We, this post - my brave mother, and my 5 yr. old Siena were on board.) Speaking of parties, Siena finally got to have a buddy party at our house for her birthday (our townhome was WAYY too small for such things), and she asked for a 'nutcracker' theme.  For the invites,  I used a vintage-looking nutcracker scrapbook-page for the card back, then printed the details on vellum (carefully, what a pain in the neck!). Each card was different, and I threaded a sheer pink ribbon through a hole punch on each, and tied the ribbon to a pine sprig and a peppermint stick. I should have thought that through further, as each candy cane was smashed to bits by the post office! I heard they smelled nice, anyway!!

Yesterday, we went Christmas tree hunting in the scant snow, found a nice looking frazier fir, went grocery shopping (food for today) and picked up chinese food (for that night). The kids got most of the tree decorated for me, all I have left today is hanging icicles and a few round colored ornaments left.  I am dressing up the house today too. Remember me mentioning the vellum printing was a pain? I saved the screwed up, pearlized, invitation sheets and cut them into snowflakes (taking advantage of that 'crafty-printed-word ' look). I am going to hang them with pinecones over the bathroom window (still no curtain. Thank goodness it's a high window!!) The rest of the day is for snowballs, making soup, and baking more cookies.

And for counting some serious blessings.

A fixed house, one that has room to take others in.

Healthy children

A yard to play in

Time with family and friends

And a snow day, where we have to stay home. Together.

I hope your day has even more blessings than mine. Thanks so much for stopping by :-)

(Now, go play in the snow....)


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