Monday, April 18, 2011

On a Hill in the Holler

I realize our home needs a lot of work. Just ask Dave how many times I have picked up a real estate magazine in search of a better place. With intense grassisgreeneritis I would study each property and choose a handful of places that were definitely "better" than ours. Our house is old, it doesn't have a ton of character to make up for the age, the kitchen is atrocious, our property is 100% hill, some of our neighbors are sketchy, and what animal lover wouldn't want a little more property? We even went as far as to put our house on the market once.

But something has clicked; I have not looked, in earnest, at a real estate magazine in over a year. I feel dedicated to our plot. Maybe it's because I can finally see all of the visions that hung before my eyes when we first bought the property (10 years ago) becoming reality. Or maybe we have just invested too much time, energy, and money to walk away now. Or, I have finally fallen in love.

With my new love goggles I see the house's character, the kitchen's potential, the beauty and protection of the hill, all of the work that we have done here, and the neighbors? What neighbors?

When we bought this property it was just a house on a hill; figuratively and literally, there was nothing else - no fences, no out buildings, no landscaping, no paths, no patio, no pasture. Now when I pull into my driveway I see the home that we have created together.... and I cherish it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Saturday: A Poem

It's raining
It's pouring
friends come tomorrow morning
lots to do
the house is poo
today will not be boring

I'm cleaning
I'm tossing
my kids just need more bossing
the laundry's done
the washer's run
my list still needs more crossing

I made it
shipped it
the money, I have flipped it
it's in the bank
you I thank
recession I have nipped it

I'm raking
I'm spreading
Too much mulch I'm getting
now some here
now some there
my plants can now stop fretting

I'm dicing
I'm chopping
my good man is out shopping
carrots shredded
cabbage dreaded
the coleslaw in a bowl is plopping

More laundry
more cleaning
chaos is finding meaning
a few more tasks
I'll have to ask
the kids to please stop screaming

This poem structure is too hard!!! Oh well. You get the idea.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I have many momentous blog posts brewing inside of me. I really doo. I am a little backed up by life and all (you know, stress does that). I will get them out. Even if I have to sit here all day, I will get at least one good post out.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Go Blow Eggs... the Modern Way

My Grandmother was a huge influence in my life. She was the matriarch of our creativity. One of the fond memories I have of her is us blowing out eggs together.

To blow out an egg, one must first make a small hole in the top and bottom. My Grandmother did this with a needle. Carefully gently work the needle to create a small hole on top and a slightly bigger hole and the bottom without cracking the egg. Not the least stressful thing you'll ever do.

Once you have the hole, and about half a dozen cracked eggs, you put the needle up in to the egg and twist it all around. You want to scramble the sucker so there are no yolk sacks intact to block your hole.

Then you put your mouth around the top and BLOW. Blow some more. Try harder. Keep at it. Here it comes. Shoot it went back up. Man, your face is red. Take a break. Blow again. All that for just a dribble? Try harder! And so on until, eventually, you have a break through and the slimy egg comes shooting out of the tiny hole. Now you have an empty egg to decorate and last forever.

Well, my good friend, Molly, and I wanted to get together and make empty eggs to decorate and have forever. So I collected about 3 dozen eggs from our chickens and headed over to her house with them, a few needles, my boys, and baked french toast for brunch.

First we eat. Then we start on the eggs. The needle I brought ( a leather awl) was consistently cracking the eggs. Frustrated to see any egg be wasted, Molly suggests we try a dremmel tool. I try to wait patiently without continuing to crack eggs with my needle while she and her husband Jon set up the dremmel.

Max almost PASTED OUT!!!!!Because he blew 16 eggs out!! (max wrote that)

Molly quickly figured out how to make perfectly round smooth tiny holes in the eggs with the dremmel. No more wasted eggs.... and we commence to blowing. After 10 minutes and near hyperventilation with only one egg each finished, Jon the tool man suggested the air compressor. I just laughed it off. I my mind the air compressor was a loud and scary monster that was used on giant metal machinery like trucks and tractors. Next thing I know there is a tube snaked into the dining room and Jon is poised to blow an egg with what looks like a tattoo gun for the Jolly Green Giant. I will not bore you with my account.... here is a video....

After a bit of tweaking to the air pressure we had an assembly line: Molly at the dremmel, I scrambled the insides, and Jon, in the blink of an eye, blew out the egg. My Grandma was smiling down at the comedy and efficiency of it all.

Mystery Escape

Otto, the fearless leader

When we leave our home for an outing there is a complex string of tasks regarding the animals that must be executed for their protection. The dog door must be capped from the inside keeping all canine beasts in the house and out of the yard. A gate must be placed between the kitchen and living room leaving Otto and Maive, the big dogs, on the living room side and Rock, a JRT, and the cat on the kitchen side. The door which connects the kitchen and laundry room must be latched to remain open 4" so the cat can access her food and litter box without the company of the JRT. We exit the kitchen door (our house is a "back door is the front door" kind of a house).

Yesterday the family and I set out for a morning of egg blowing and brunch with friends (that's another post, folks.) I let the chickens out of their coop to graze the yard while the dogs were locked in and we were out.

When we returned Maive, one of the big dogs who likes to hunt, was darting wildly around free range style - not in the fenced in dog yard mind you - free like a bird.... bird.... bird?..... the chickens!! Wait! Rock, the JRT, and Otto are both barking at me from the yard! The cat!

Maive, the huntress and Houdini

I tell the boys to wait in the car until I determine who is alive and who is dead. I approach the house and the door is already open. What the? In the kitchen I see the cat sleeping happily by the fire. Phew. But the gate is still up. Huh?

Max and Evan ignored my request and when I came back outside to tell them they could get out Max was yelling "The chickens are alive! I found them! They are alive! They are behind the barn! How's the cat?!" "Alive!" I say.

I will never understand how the door got open, Maive got out, the dog door got open, and Rock got on the other side of the kitchen gate with Otto and out into the yard. Critters sure do keep you on your toes. I can't tell you how many times I wish I had a surveillance system.

All is well that ends well. But what about the next time I leave the house?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Final Painting

With a little help from my artist friend, Viki, I put the final touches on the painting.

Here is the impression I last left you with....

That was taken with my ipod - so not a very good photo.

Here is the painting that my happy patron left with on Saturday...

Back to felting this week - there is nothing in my etsy store!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

It's Not Mundane It's My Life

I am so grateful for my day to day life. My daily routines comfort me. In my home with my family I have all that I need. Aside from the never ending itch to create, there is not much I crave.

When I wake up I sit at the kitchen table with my laptop checking all of my super important online happenings. Dave has either left early for work or is sleeping in on a weekend. I make coffee. I stoke the fire. At some point a puffy faced squinty eyed sleepy headed boy walks into the room. He climbs into my lap for a brief, but cherished, embrace, asks for a breakfast treat, and then disappears into the living room to watch TV or play a game. And then the day can unfold, usually into some version of the day before.

I would not trade my routine for anyone elses or for a life of travel and adventure. Although, a tropical island get away here and there would be a welcome break from the norm.

Friday, April 1, 2011

More Better

Here is where I left off yesterday...

Here is where I finished today...