Friday, June 29, 2012

where I sit

Operation Be Settled continues despite my roller coaster emotions on the subject.
My sweet Momma got me these chairs for Christmas -4 in total. They have been stored at my parent's home since then waiting for me to move to the farm. Well as we all know that has not happened. So in what I can only explain as a motherly swift-kick to the pants to encourage me to embrace where I am, my Momma had them delivered  to me last weekend.

They promptly found a place on the back porch where they will hold up well to rain and wet bathing suit bottoms and sticky Popsicle drips. 

Several times this week I have found myself sitting in one of these school chairs. writing words trying to explain all I feel, trying to work through the gap between what is reasonable to want, what I am truly grateful to have and what I cannot shake the desire for. Some of these words I have shared. Some I have tucked away till later.  
So far the only conclusion I have come to is that these chairs are darn comfortable to sit in. That and that I should probably pick out a place where that bookshelf I have stored at my parents house is gonna go before it shows up on my door step. The rest remains a mystery. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

head space

My head has been a little fuzzy lately. Well the past few days really. We had a showing on the house and my hopes rose a little high (hopes I wasn't even sure I still had) and it all threw me for a bit of a loop. Thanks to Ladies Night at a local Mexican joint with Tricia and Amy, a lot of laughter and cheap cosmos (ok not that many cosmos) I am feeling better. 
But I also feel like such a loser for letting one showing throw me so out of wack. I know that I have NO control over this whole process. Despite my best attempts I cannot make someone buy this house. And we are happy here. We love this house and this neighborhood. All will be well regardless.
I know all of this in my head, but some days, some days like yesterday I just kinda get lost in my heart about it all and I can't make heads or tales of it. 

In other news I hung up this poster I bought on our trip. Isn't it great?  I minored in Psychology in college, so this poster feels very full circle in a humorous way.
I think perhaps I am determined to turn this house into a one-room-school house. Next up: The Periodic Table of Elements in the bathroom perhaps?


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

parts of today

Today the girls came over. We have been so busy we haven't seen them all break and we were all missing each other. 

 It is amazing how much kids can grow and change even over just a few summer weeks.
Brady will be starting 5th grade (which is middle school for us.)  She is growing so tall. Why do they grow so tall? And she is growing into a beautiful young lady and I am suddenly feeling so old.

After swimming it was craft time. I unloaded a metric ton of craft supplies onto the dining room table and loosely gave directions for making shadow box collages.

Speaking of growing up, Lilly had a birthday and turned the big 1-3. Which apparently means she now has an ear bud implanted into one ear. One more year and then she will be at the high school. High School. Jeez. I am old.

It was good to dive into the crafts. To get my hands sticky with glue and find bits of glitter stuck to me in odd places.

This is my little collage. It is somewhat inspired by coast living in Louisiana and by the book The Crowning Glory of Calla Lilly Ponder.

This is Lilly's. I love the texture of her balloons and her colors.

( Brady and Miles' were still drying at the time of these photos so we will save them for another day.)

The dinning table has not yet recovered and dinner was a hodge-podge of leftovers.
 I sort of crashed after the girls went home. In fact I took a nap  face down in a bed covered with clean laundry and my plans for the remainder of the evening are not that much more exciting.
Who knew crafting could be so exhausting?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

tuesday's smiles -bikes for world peace

Hi y'all. I would like to introduce my new girl, Myrtle. She is my new riding pal.
Remember when I said I only liked sport-like activity in which you could where a skirt?
Well riding around on a cruiser style bike fits this category like a T. At least it does for me.

I picked Myrtle up this weekend after finding her on Craigslist for a great deal (and from another blogging home as it turns out.)
Barely used she is a vintage inspired gal with modern sensibilities. Just like me ( well I like to think...)
Which is what I need. Turns out I am not really an actual vintage bike kind of gal. I need a little more bulk than those sweet cute bikes from the 50's and 60's could provide. Turns out I am as hard on my bikes like I am on my phones and cars.

 So enter Myrtle. I dressed her up with a bell and a basket and hit the neighborhood sidewalks for a little cruisin.
 The last time I had a Huffy bike I was about seven or eight years old. She was called Pink Lightening and I loved her so very much. In fact she was the bike I learned to ride on. I can still remember my daddy running behind me across the grass on the playground of our apartment complex holding on as I peddled and then turning around and realizing I was doing it all by myself. That was a great moment.
I have only three other bikes since Pink, but I have never loved another one as much until Myrtle came along. Perhaps I am just a Huffy girl at heart.

A good sized basket is essential. I can put a water bottle, keys, cell phone and camera in mine. I could even pack a lunch if I was going far enough to warrant a picnic.While we were camping we hauled all our toiletries items and change of clothes to and from the bathhouses in a bike basket, so see they are super hand AND cute.

The more I ride my bike the more I think perhaps I am beginning to understand the sanguine natures of countries where traveling by bike is more common than cars. When you are riding a bike you can't help but still be your 10 year old self at heart.

Even now, at age 37-going-on- 38, coasting down a slow hill with the wind in my hair and the sun shimmering down through the trees is still one of the best feelings in the world. I am happy, unencumbered, alive, and very present in the moment and the moment only. It is a welcome break from the multi-tasking nature of almost every other part of my life.

Perhaps we don't need more peace talks. Perhaps we just need more bikes.

Monday, June 25, 2012

make-do {and make lovely monday - summer fresh


I have one more week of full summer vacation before I go back to work. 
One more week of playing the stay-at-home momma, of taking naps and going without make-up 
for days at a time and watching old episodes of Miss Marple.
There will still be a few more days off after I start back thanks to the 4th of July, and work will not be at the full tilt because there will still be two more weeks till the kids come back, so it will be more like a slow re-entry than a full head-on collision.

To celebrate this last week of domestic bliss I am embracing my settled motto and doing a little bit of nest fluffing around here. To start I threw my trusty ole white slipcover on the sofa. Imperfectly thrown on, but good enough. Isn't that sorda the point of slipcovers anyway?

Next I hung up this vintage New England souvenir tablecloth I found at a new flea market last week.
Isn't it lovely? I got it for a steal and it is perfectly faded. I think it just brightens up the whole room and fits that huge space over the couch so well.

To hang it up, I just clipped two curtain clips to the top corners. I want to use white ones but I could only locate black ones in my junk drawer. I know I have spare white ones somewhere I will just have to dig deeper.

Even though our school break is short, summer weather and summer hours still linger into September around these parts and somehow hanging this little tablecloth up helps to remind me of that. Even thought we will soon go back to our school/work routine there will still be lots of time left for floating in the pool and eating summer salads and bike rides just before dusk. Still time to have friends over for bbq chicken dinners on the back porch and making jello-pops concoctions. Now what is more lovely than that?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

sundays challenge-blessed are

Be the change.

Friday, June 22, 2012

vacation - back in time

The Land Between the Lakes is a national recreation center partially developed under JFK's leadership. As you can surmise, there are two huge lakes, the result of a madmade dam, and this park/camping/recreation area is the land between them. We chose it because of the location (half a days drive for us,) the prices (our rustic cabin was only $35 a night) and all of the things to do in the park and in the surrounding areas.

By Saturday we had lots of sun, laziness and camp food. We were ready for a little shade, intermittent air conditioning and a meal we didn't have to cook or clean up from.

So we headed for all the activity spots and took a little trip back in time.

We drove around the Bison and Elk Prairie. See all those Bison? Yeah there is no fence between me and them. No I am not in my car. And yes they were closer than they appeared. I took at least a hundred pictures of them not much different than this and I will spare you that slideshow. But boy was cool. They are huge! And the babies, like most babies, were adorable. Especially the one lazy one who kept laying down in the tall grass while the herd moved along munching on grass. Every now and then mama bison would notice and grunt and huff until baby bison got up and rejoined the party. I have a kid like that.

We also went to the Homeplace area. This is a farm set up to look and run like a homestead farm would have in the mid 19th century. The farm is a working farm and they donate a lot of their produce to those in need.

I of course was most taken with the house. I could have spent all day noticing all the little details. I loved the white washed walls. So fresh. It really lightened up what have otherwise been such a dark space.

The day we went just so happened to be Kids Day at the farm. This meant that the kids could participate and do typical kid chores from the 1850's in order to earn things that they could barter with at the general store. For instance when they "weaved a blanket" they were able to trade it with one of the  renactor's for a "dozen eggs" that they could then trade at the store for treats like candy and old fashioned trinkets.

Miles loved the "going to school chore" and he received a bright red juicy apple for his hard work.

Some of the other chores included hauling water (these buckets were SO heavy!) and working the garden.

Here is Miles weaving the blanket as mentioned...

and Beating rugs.

And Wylie sweeping the porch.

The boys had a blast and I think that they and Sweet Man could have stayed all day and watched the men working in the woodwork and blacksmith shops. 

Another place we went that day was the Ft. Donelson National Battlefield area. 

The complete tour included a lot more than just the battlefield, there was also a museum, a hotel (my favorite) and a cemetery.

This is a Civil War battlefield so of course Wylie already knew so much about it. He and Nathan got out at every marker and read every sign. I have to say Miles and I were very grateful to have brought our books. We are getting better at this Battlefield thing.

Wylie  completed a booklet and was sworn in as a Jr Ranger for Ft. Donelson. He got a metal pin and everything.

After we were done "with all the history stuff" as Miles said, we went to the Planetarium for a good  science fix for him and then we re-entered the 21st century and high tailed it to a pizza joint for yummy, yummy hot dinner that scarfed up like we had never eaten hot food before.

The next day we packed up camp and came home.
And that was our vacation 2012. So. Much. Fun.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

we interrupt these vacation post to obsess about roofing

(all pictures from Pinterest. Click on images to find source.)

One of the things will do if we stay in this house is put a new roof on. Not right away, but eventually. Our roof is not getting any younger...

For years and years I have loved metal roofs. Specifically red metal roofs. There is just something about them that makes my little heart go all fluttery.

Driving home from Land Between the Lakes we went through a county where it seemed like almost every house had a shiny metal roof on it of some color. Big houses, little houses, medium houses. No house was left behind when the roof man came to town.

I love the look of this all white house and roof. So clean and fresh. 

All the green roofed houses looked like Green Gables. So pretty. This house looks like an hidden English Cottage from Cranford or Larkrise to Candleford minus the satellite dish.

This house and it's location are pretty dreamy as they are but man that roof just sets it off don't ya think?

This house has a black roof and looks very cottage-sophisticated. The black is a little too serious for me but it is striking against the white.

In the end however I love the red the best. A red roof is just so cherry. And apparently these suckers last forever. Low maintensce sounds perfect to me right about now, buried under laundry, still-unpacked suitcases and a honey-do-together list that seems a mile long.

So am I crazy for my metal roof love? Any of you have metal roofs?? What do you think?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

paducah pit stop and some thoughts on being settled

 Sweet Man and I kinda like to do things a little differently. For instance taking a fairly indirect route somewhere so that we can cross 3 state lines within minutes of each other. So we can see where rivers converge, and bridges meet. So we can see things we have never seen before, no matter how provincial or mundane they may be to some. This is why we took back road highways and went to Paducah on our way to The Land Between the Lakes. Even though our campsite was on the opposite end of the park than Paducah. 

Wednesday morning, after we had a good ole Bob Evans breakfast (so yummy) and made our Wal-Mart run for groceries and forgotten camping supplies we headed downtown to see historic Paducah right on the River. I love the old buildings, the brick streets and the obvious love for art that this community has.

We ate amazingly creamy and delicious homemade ice cream at River Place.

I shopped at the Twisted Willow, an adorable shop that reminded me a lot of Anthropologie but smaller and more local.This shop reminded me of the one I used to daydream of having. These days I don't want to have this store as much as I would like to be able to shop in this store.
When did bigger is better become such a standard, even for local shops? I miss the small one room shops where you could really get to know the owner and you always find something small, reasonable and unique. Maybe I am just fussing and missing the small downtown experience I grew up with. Le sigh.

We saw other things in Paducah. Old Trains, Biker Churches, the Ohio River up-close, really cool wall art, old brick streets, cozy looking patio restaurants.
But it was hard at times to be settled. To be present and concentrate. See we had a showing at our house that day and I was miles away, unable to fluff my house for viewing. We had 5 showings last week and one very weak nibble and so as we walked around Paducah I was at times only half there. Part of me was firmly planted in the Land of What If.

At some point during our camping trip I looked at Sweet Man and said, "We have to have an end date. We have to have a date when we will decide to stay where we are and be settled about it. Move forward with life at this house, in this neighborhood, this town." At some point I have to be able to fluff my nest again. Hang things on a wall -be it in this house or the farm house. So we picked a date. And it felt good. It felt freeing. Like a kid who is out of control finally getting some hard and fast boundaries I was able to slow down and breathe. I was able to relax.

Does this mean I am giving up? I don't think so. I think it just means that I am open. Open to another plan. Open to not having to have what I think I need.  Opening myself to trusting that the best will be and the rest will fall away.

I still drive by fields of green and hope. I see cows in pastures and I smile. I still (from time to time) redecorate the farm house in my mind, plan parties there, imagine strolls across the meadow at sunset.  But I also see life in this house.  I see the color of the paint I will cover my hardwoods with (gasp! I know!)  I see my farmhouse sink installed here. I see more chickens in the backyard and the boys and I riding our bikes around our lovely paved streets. 

So that is where we are. House still for sale, farm still for sale, hope still rumbling around, life moving forward. Settled.

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