tortoise

slow goes it.

there are times when i’m all hare - jumping around like hyper prey.  not now.  not this week at least.  now i’m all tortoise.  my to-do list is ever growing and my ideas are still whirling but rather than go nuts trying to keep all the balls in the air, i’ve decided to breathe and think and watch instead.

the girls were both sick yesterday - fevers and upset tummies and i’m not convinced either is 100% better now, but they are up and about and more themselves at least.  because of this, hubs has gone up north to his godmother’s viewing alone. alizah asked me today, “why did they both have to go?”  i asked what she meant… “sharon and rita.” oh.  the simple answer is that they both had cancer.  i thought about it today while hoeing between plants (in a vain effort to knock down some weeds).  today is one of those - if every day could be like this - days.  the sun is out and warm but there’s a cool breeze and low humidity.  i’d be at work right now, watching it waste away through tinted windows had i not taken the plunge to live.  yep.  choosing life is better.  there will be trying times and we’ll be scraping by and i’ll think WHAT HAVE I DONE???  and hopefully i’ll remember the tortoise and go steadily through the muck.  rita left us with some regrets and i think that’s the saddest way.  what will i regret?  what will i be proud of?  i’m determined to make sure a life wasted will not be on the list.

of course, i’ve been steadily picking and stitching all the while, too.

monster mani (or bigguns as i like to call him) is happily perched in my hanging plant.  for more information or to knit one of your own!!!! you can check him out here

on the needles:

it doesn’t look like much now, but someday it will be THIS!

and the dude socks.  i’m not entirely convinced though.  they seem… small.  even when stretched out.  this is making me very, very nervous.  you can peep the pattern here.

and for some reason, the powers that be have planted the quilting seed in my friends and me.  i’m no quilter - i used to sew a lot, but no quilting.  as with everything i do, i’m sort of winging it.  i’m loving the purl bee right now for the mini quilt of the month thing they have going on.  check it out

so, now that i’ve gotten into the rhythm of cutting and sewing again i think i might actually be ready for… real quilting - as in… some sort of attractive pattern.  HA!  the “practice” quilts have found their way into our hearts no matter how bazaar the patterns.  this one in particular i had to drag out from under the children just to take the pictures!

in closing, i’ll share a story from this morning.

hubs and i were laying together staring out the window next to the bed.  he rolled over and asked, “how did you get that?” and touched just below my chin.  i’m really into simple answers right now and the simple answer was, “i was playing hopscotch in my tap shoes.”  of course, this incited howling laughter.  “why would anyone think that was a good idea?”  i don’t know.  playing alone at recess was my thing and i really, really liked wearing my tap shoes.  of course i slipped and of course i fell flat on my face and of course i had to get stitches.  what i didn’t anticipate was the “beard” the stitches created.

i hope everyone is have a slow, thoughtful, and laughter filled thursday xo

 

"Around the Farm" (or "Around the Garden")

joining farmama again this week!

i don’t think i’ve ever really described my “gardening” technique here… and really, it’s because i don’t have one.  my garden is a complete mess.  really.  i weed slowly and i don’t till anything.  at the end of the year, our plants are left as they are and in the early spring i go out to assess the damage of winter.  i yank out any plant skeletons that are still standing and throw soil, compost, and manure all over everything, cover it all with dry leaves saved from fall, and ignore it again until i’m ready to plant.  really scientific, i know.  my idea of fertilizing is dumping more compost and manure on everything.  i water only when things are looking particularly dry and i try my best to let nature take it’s course.  obviously, this garden doesn’t support my family financially so all i have to loose is the simple pleasure of harvesting for the dinner table.

THE MESS

it’s pretty hard to tell what’s going on here, but i have a keen eye!  when i look into this haphazard mess, this is what i see:

bush beans, mae’s corn, broccoli, bib lettuce

jalapenos, peas, tomatoes, and radishes bolting (mmm radish beans)

we have two types of strawberries - one variety (??? bought so long ago i couldn’t tell you) produces small berries, but in huge quantities.  the other produces huge berries, but in smaller quantities.  we love them all equally, of course.

GUERILLA GARDENING

i’m sure everyone has heard of guerilla something-or-another… guerilla knitting, guerilla gardening, what ever… my garden is the master.  there are things growing in this little patch that have found their way all on their own.  pictured here: chamomile, mint, sunflowers, tomatoes

last year i had herbs in pots all around the main garden.  the only one that thrived was the chamomile.  everything else stayed very small, and/or died early in the season.  i was VERY discouraged.  this year i decided i would plant an ALL herb garden on the side of the house where they could dig deep for water, spread and flourish.  so, where are the pics of my gorgeous herb garden??? they don’t exist because nothing is growing in it!!!! UGH!  these herbs… i’m telling you.  

however, something magical has happened in the main garden.  as i weed, i find mystery plants.  the chamomile i never planted is HUGE and flowering every day.  i’ve been harvesting this gorgeous plant daily for at least a week.  then, i was just telling my mom how sad i was that i didn’t plant any mint this year because i’ve had a taste for it every day.  i finally just bought some fresh in the produce section of the grocery store.  no joke - that day i was weeding in the garden and found FIVE mint plants growing.  WHAT THE???? it’s crazy.  there are little tomato plants growing all over the place in there, too.  the best little guerilla plant this year though has to be those darned sunflowers.  i posted at the very beginning of the year that i was “weeding” them because they were popping up everywhere - even in the lawn.  but the ones growing in the cracks of the driveway take the cake.  for sure.

alizah suggested i leave things as they are and just see what grows next year.  “it’ll all be a surprise garden next year!”  you know… it’s not too bad of an idea ;)

so, that’s our little patch. the dill and cantaloupe are thriving and the raised bed/cold frame seems to be a success.  can’t wait to do this again next week!

in other news, we paid mare a visit yesterday.

her littlest one woke up from his nap prematurely and ran into the back room looking for his mama.  i was sitting at the computer and through sleepy eyes i fit the bill.  he jumped into my arms and fell right back to sleep.  it gave me an opportunity to soak up some sweet snuggles and take pics of the girls working.  i’m an isolated crafter - and am quite shy to be truthful.  if you’ve met me you’re probably laughing out loud right now at the thought of me being shy, but i swear it.  i can’t imagine going to the spinning or knitting groups and forcing smiles and nods.  BUT, watching mare and faux work was lovely.  there is something inherently beautiful about women working together - crafting, cooking, pinning, snipping…

how nice to visit friends on a wednesday!  HA

i’m not sure i’ve completely accepted this new phase - it might all just be a dream.  right now, the bread dough is rising, the dishwasher is humming, the coffee is hot, the girls are playing, the fan is gently blowing drawings and paintings i have pinned to the wall, and it all feels good.  i’ll work a little on a new knitting project i casted on last night, and i’ll plow through some laundry, but we don’t have a routine.  in time i think some routine will evolve, but we aren’t necessarily routine people.  

i know every single thing out there will support it’s importance for children and i agree (for the most part), but i know that rhythm works better for us.  the ebb and flow, subtle changes, the surprise day to (insert destination) is what keeps us going strong and happy and thoughtfully.  i guess i could compare it to taking a different route to work once and a while.  most people drive (or walk or ride) the same route every day and their brains go on auto-pilot.  if you take a left at moller instead of reed?  you wake up!  your brain turns back on and you begin to think and look and find things.  i’d like our days to be like that.  i don’t want to “get through” or slip into a routine where our brains go on auto-pilot.  i want to be awake!

 

 

he says i'm calm

and i am.  i’m comforted knowing i’m going to get all the errands done on my list TOMORROW instead of standing in a little art store on the corner of “where’s that at?” and “who is this?”

the girls and i took a trip to the fabric shop and loaded up.  first project on the list was a small quilt and pillow set to pack for sleepovers at the grandparent’s houses.  each girl chose a main fabric that they LOVED and mama helped pick the contrasting fabric…  i got the idea for these simple sure-let-the-kids-help quilts here.  isn’t it a great little instructable???  the pillows are just simple sqares, sewn and stuffed.  

mae wasn’t at all interested in cutting or pinning (or stuffing for that matter) but she DID want to help mama on the sewing machine.  she sat on my lap and helped guide the fabric through & was very pleased with the final product. :D

alizah was much more hands on - she had her hands working every step of the way.  i helped her guide the fabric through the sewing machine, but she worked the pedal.   when she floored it and nearly took in my finger (!) i sighed and said, “oh alizah, i do NOT look forward to the first day on the road with you!”  then i flung myself back and forth as if she was driving and we both had a giggle.

mae bird’s set:

alizah lucy’s set:

even though it might be 88 degrees in the house right now (with windows open and fans whirling) alizah has been curled up with her pillow and quilt for the past two hours.  i still need to press it and quilt it together (we’re thinking of hand tied points using embroidery floss).

we have big plans for tomorrow!  i can’t wait to share!!