Tuesday, January 31, 2012

cleaning closets

So I'm trying not to lose momentum with my decluttering project. Today I started working on a closet in the basement that has tons of camping gear and boxes and also some old clothes of mine. Most of them either don't fit or don't charm me the way the used to. (My high school homecoming dress, for example.) But there's a couple I might keep just for fun.

                                                I found this dress in a thrift store, oh about nine years ago. It's cute! I googled the tag and it looks like it's from the 1960s, so that's fun. I wore it to a couple of parties but it's hard to dance in, there's a few seams I need to repair.
I discovered a self portrait is sort of tricky when you're left handed.

                                             Part of me thinks "Why? Why get all sentimental and keep it when you haven't worn it in five years and the chances of you wearing it again are slim to none?" But, I don't know. It's rare, it's pretty and I don't own a lot of those kind of things.

The vinyl pants are another story. They do not fit anymore and seriously, vinyl pants? But part of me wants to keep them just so I can show them to my kids someday and have them roll their eyes and say "really mom?"
And so now all these clothes are spread out on my bed and I'm trying them on and deciding about keeping them. That counts as cleaning out a closet, right?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Speaks for itself

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Secret craft projects...shhh.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yarn Along- a new pillow and some poetry

I'm still working on my second pillow for the couch. This one is "half and half" meaning half knit and half purl. It looks a little strange now but I'm hoping it will all make sense when I'm finished.

As for reading, well. I'm having one of those times where I'm just overwhelmed with delight at my books, what I'm reading and what's in my pile both. First up, The Knitter's Life List by Gwen Steege.
If you're reading this you will probably love this book. Each chapter is devoted to a different item, say hats. And then Steege shows you a millon different fancy cool ways you could make a hat, and profiles some designers and gives you a checklist of different hat styles. And that's just one chapter! I've only been knitting for about two years now and this book had me feeling like I will never master all the amazing things knitting has to offer if I live to be one hundred and twelve. But that's a good feeling.

The other book that made me swoon was The Lady and the Poet by Maeve Haran.  It's a novel about the Elizabethan poet John Donne and his star-crossed love affair with the woman who became his wife, Ann More. I have loved Donne's poetry since high school (Chris tells me he never had to read any Donne in high school, how is that possible?) and I knew a little of his biography but Haran really immerses you in the story. Donne is a great character, sarcastic and charming with a deep soul. And reading about how hard life was for an educated woman who spoke her mind is always humbling. They both sacrificed much to be together but she inspired some of his best work, poems we still read today.

by John Donne

I WONDER by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved ? were we not wean'd till then ?
But suck'd on country pleasures, childishly ?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers' den ?
'Twas so ; but this, all pleasures fancies be ;
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, 'twas but a dream of thee.

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear ;
For love all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone ;
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown ;
Let us possess one world ; each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest ;
Where can we find two better hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west ?
Whatever dies, was not mix'd equally ;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die

Linking with Ginny for Yarn Along.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Who they are...

I've said it before but I'll say it again. One of the most amazing things about being a parent is watching my kids show me who they are. Unity has been wearing these colored hair bands on her wrists for weeks now. It's the kind of thing that would never occur to me but when she does it, it makes so much sense. Now she can carry those bands of color with her all day long.

Brixton has an imaginary friend named Huckleman. We first learned about Huckleman when Brixton started singing songs about him. Of course. Now Huckleman hides and plays and sleeps next to Brixton all day long. "Huckleman, Huckleman, all day long."  Unity never really had many imaginary friends so this is a treat for me.

They are always amazing as they teach me more and more about themselves.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Are you tired of date night pictures yet? Well we're not tired of doing it so....

                                I guess we'll have to manage somehow.

                                  We had a dress up dance party.
                                   and a group drawing project.

I am sorry we don't have any pictures of baby Baird. I guess we were too busy holding him.

and the snow has almost all melted away into muddy slush. so we can go back to the usual. hurrah.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow bound

            Well our weather seems to be changing, the snow is melting and things are tentatively starting to open again. Just in time for the weekend. Sigh. But it is good to know that we can ease out of our snow tunnels and back into regular. Yesterday we were starting to claw the walls a bit, but we managed. We made cookies.

We were out of chocolate chips and the only grocery store I could get to was the discount outlet. Of course they don't have normal chocolate chips, so I had to settle for chocolate kisses with carmel. Since we were going untraditional, I decided to go all out and started throwing in random things from the cupboards. Coconut! Coffee! Peanuts! Oatmeal!

I'm calling them our kitchen sink cookies, and they turned out rather well.

Thank goodness for neighbor friends. Every day this week, we visited Reuben or he visited us. I'm so glad we live close by and can visit each other even in extreme weather. The kids had an art show.

and today Unity's school is open for a few hours and Chris is working at work instead of in the basement and maybe Brixton and I will leave the house. Hallelujah.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Things to do....

We're all going a little stir crazy here, with our third and possibly fourth snow day in a row.  We petitioned the gods of the Internet for help, but they mocked us cruelly.

Snow Day!

               We are still in the midst of a snow week, which has led to the slowing down and shutting down of almost everything. What do you do with two small kids on a snow day? Well.....

                           You put on a show with all your stuffies.

                                    You have a picnic.

                                          You make new shoes for baby.        

                                                   See her outfit?

                           You look in amazement at our busy street gone silent.

                                      You watch the snow out the window.

You write letters.

And today we get to start all over again. What shall we do to celebrate this snow day?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Yarn along- more pillows


And we have more snow! I see a lot of reading and knitting in my future this week. I'm working on another pillow for the couch since I had such fun with the first one. I'm hoping to make three total, for a makeover for our poor old couch.

As far as reading goes, I finished The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides last night. I enjoyed it but I didn't love it as much as I thought I might. It follows the lives of three college students in the 1980s as the struggle for meaning and direction post-graduation. (There's even a small shout out to the Quakers!). It's not as good as Middlesex, but Eugenides is still a great writer and it's worth a read.

We are also dreaming over seed catalogs and planning our spring planting. Beets, cabbage, carrots, califlower, broccoli, squash, kale, spinach. Yum.

Linking with Ginny for Yarn Along.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


It's so rare when we get snow. And then when it combines with a day that's already a holiday? It's perfect. Everywhere we went in our neighborhood people were out playing in and enjoying the snow. We looked at the tracks in the sidewalk, both human sized feet and otherwise. We saw our garden transformed into some other place. We waved at neighbors carrying their sleds to the hilly street. We helped our neighbors work on an igloo. It collapsed but still. We pilled into Megan's house, peeling off piles of wet gloves and watching cartoons while drinking hot cocoa.

and then this morning it was gone. But possibilities for more hang over us, just waiting. Maybe.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weekending- snow day

                            I spent most of Friday just pinching myself, trying to believe that I had really passed the test. It still doesn't quite feel real but I am so relieved just the same. We watched the most gorgeous sunset from the front porch, it made even our busy gritty street look awash with wonder.

                          Saturday we were massively busy, running from a birthday party to our incredible rotating date night. The party was at an ice skating rink and Unity had fun once she got the hang of it. For date night we hung out   with Cooper and his fam while Sophie's parents hit a happy hour. I am constantly thankful for this community we've helped create. Sunday morning we woke up to this: see above. It fell softly but steadily all day.   I walked alone to Meeting for Worship, remembering how much I love snow. It is easy to love snow when it only happens once a year, or less. Our city pretty much shuts down whenever it happens so walking outside feels festive and valiant and strangers are greeting each other and kids are sleding down closed off hilly streets.
My own kids are feeling a little sniffly so they stayed in. Unity and I had a mother daughter knitting party, topped off with some hot cocoa. Now they are curled up with Chris watching Mary Poppins. What else is a snow day for?


I realized the morning shot doesn't really do the snow justice, so here's a twilight shot off the back porch.
Linking with Amanda at Habit of Being.

Friday, January 13, 2012

such a long time coming

Today I passed my drive test. This has been such a long process for me. It's been over ten years since I had a license. There's so much I want to say about driving and fear, and overcoming. About living most of my adult life and all of my almost five years as a parent without driving and how that's shaped my life and my family. About my plans for driving in the future, how much and where and when. But that will come later. I just had to say, I did it. Finally.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Field Trip

Line 'em up!

All the children were very well behaved on the bus. Ahem.

and move 'em out!

Today I got to be a parent chaperone on a school field trip. I have to admit it was a little nerve wracking being partly responsible for 22 preschools, 21 of which were not mine. In public. But it all went just great. We had lots of parent volunteers so that was good and two seasoned teachers to lead us along. We took the bus to Seattle Center and saw Frog and Toad, the musical. Which was great and really well performed.

Brixton spent the day with a babysitter and when we got home he told us all about "Brixton's field trip" to the park.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

And then some...

This weekend I practiced parallel parking, getting ready for my drive test on Friday. It's Friday the 13th, that has to be lucky, right? I got to spend some time with my dear friend and former roommate Eve, in town for a few days from New York. I got to test out our new slow cooker, a Christmas present from my parents. It works! Yum.

I've also been on a cleaning and organizing New Years kick. I'm using this free calendar which gives you small simple tasks to do each day. I mostly like it cause it gets me in a purging mood and then I get a lot done. I created a small mountain of baby things to pass on. It was strange looking at them. How is it that I'm not signing and creating super baby food for my babies, but instead I'm filling out paperwork for, gulp, kindergarten?

We ended the weekend by starting the new season of Downton Abbey which is just as good as I hoped. It's a big country house upstairs-downstairs drama with fabulous actors, and settings and just...everything.

Linking with Amanda at Habit of Being.