Sunday, December 05, 2010

A Mural is Born

As usual, I can't make heads or tails of how to load the pictures in any semblance of order, so this final picture of the series is the only one in proper order!

The kids painted all the "bricks" by spatter painting red paper with black, white, and gold and silver sparkly paint. The used "recycled" bottle brushes, which make perfect smudgy-spattery marks. I cut them into the "brick" shapes, and they're glued onto the white background.

This year the kids can do so much more! They painted Santa's boots coming down the chimney, and helped shred and glue the "fluff" at the bottom of his pants, which hang down over his boots.

The star at the top of the tree was done tracing the shadow of a star that hangs from the dining room chandelier, in the only 5-minute window the light reflects off the neighbors windows and into my dining room window...just a kewl confluence of events. I had to capitalize on it!

The tree was quick-painted with the chisel-edge of a foam trim brush!

Tomorrow the kids will make paper "stockings" to hang from the "mantle", and I'll paint ornaments on the tree, as well as gluing 3-D items onto the "branches"...and the kids will "glitter paint" them to give them pizazz....

(and don't get me started about the hour we spent assembling the gingerbread was a kit but the kids had a BLAST!!!)

Such a creative, positive energy day!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ready for the Big Day...and I'm Not Just Talkin' Turkey!


That's the word of the day. The word of the Year. The word that most aptly describes this year's Turkey Family Fest.

Or Feast. Whichever *grins*...

Turkey being done in a new way...being "brined" for 12 hours before cooking it, partially downside up, then flipping to "golden" the breast

Stuffing not done *in* the turkey (I wonder if my brother will freak out more than my sister...or vice versa?)

A traditional apple pie....and a non-traditional, done with a "cookie" style topping rather than in a crust.

And the biggest tradition breaker of them all?

A Buffet-style meal, served, not in our beautiful dining room, but in the living room. With the television tuned to the New England Patriots, who are playing football on Thanksgiving for the first time since *I've* been a football fan.

And it will be the first time the family will see the "new" kitchen...the new floor, the wallpaper, and the 2/3 updated paint job. Yanno...I didn't even sweat not getting the painting done. *shrug* they all come here for family, for food, for laughter, and remembering...but I doubt any of them will say ..."Gee, how come Kirsty didn't get that paint job done"...(I'm laughing here coz, my brother the painter, well, he's cut from a different bolt of cloth and as a professional painter...he just might!! C'est La Vie!!)

We spent today getting things ready and it was fun. Busy for the last 13 hours, non-stop things to do...but it was good. Only a wee spat and that corrected fast and I was left with the happy glow of getting things done, being ready, and being happy.

And isn't that the best feeling of all?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holidays Come Pouring In....

Yay oh Yah, we're starting to swing into my 2nd favorite time of the year. And yanno what? All those picayune details that I spent weeks worrying about? The wallpaper, the painting, the's so close to done that I've decided to package up my "worrying" and put it up on a box in the back of the closet.

All things happen as they should, all things will get done if you keep to it. And I have. And..yeah, it's so amazing and good.

Leaves are up and done, and my new floor has it's first waxing completed. All that's left is the drying, and the putting things back.

When the family arrives on Thanksgiving, they will be met with a nice tidy (well, within reason, Martha Stewart might cringe a bit...) home, but the things they will notice aren't the new floor (my sister was oblivious when she came out a few weeks ago). They will notice the scent of turkey in the oven, the smiles of my kids, the warmth of love that will spill out of every corner and wrap us all in the embrace of love.

Now, that, to me, is Thanksgiving.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I've been going to church for the last few weeks as a conciliation to my wife. Church is very important to her, less so for me.

That sounds callous, but my church is ...everywhere...which is not to say that I don't get great food for thought at our Unitarian Universalist church.

The hardest thing for her to understand is that I need time, true alone time, to recharge. As a full time stay at home mom, homeschooler, earth-mom type, I am on call all day. Mind, I am far from perfect, but I am a good mom. I am a good teacher. I am a good wife.

But I also need some me time. My diet coach helps me get that when I get something in my inbox that says "have you walked today?" Walking helps me calm down, slim down, and take notice of the wider, natural world around me.

Still, I find I need more than the 3-4 days a week a get a 30 minute walk. One of these Sunday's they will head off to church without me and I will rake leaves, or paint my kitchen woodwork or ...something. I'll do it in silence, a rare commodity for me. For several hours there will be no one asking me a thing, no one I need to speak to, just letting me charge up and breathe.

I so crave that.

And, despite a deep-seated pessimism, I am working hard, so hard, to embrace my pagan beliefs fully, to find the blessings that are hidden in plain sight, if we but take a moment to see them. Things like the brilliant iridescent green on a mallards neck that I spy as I drive past a small pond; the glimmer of a bold yellow leaf before it falls, the absolute purity of a white, fluffy cloud drifting silently overhead.

Sometimes the blessings come from people I speak to, or things that I read, or even something I overhear.

Today I found my hidden blessing in church. Heh. Who knew?

"You need not think alike to love alike."

That was Francis David, a Unitarian "martyr" (one of a very few U/U martyrs) just about five hundred years ago in Transylvania (google him, he was pretty neat...) .

Five Hundred Years. And a message as fresh today as ever it was then.

Thank You, Francis David.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Home Work

No pics, the end of a terrible and frazzling week....

the leak in the upstairs supply line was found, and fixed...

....which necessitated ripping out 9 tiles from the kitchen ceiling installed last year....

.....................which necessitated ripping out an additional 25 tiles because of the way they dovetail...

Raised the blood pressure (again)....

but tis done. (and we won't even talk about the welding that had to happen )*( that close to the almost 200 year old floor joists....)

New ceiling tiles came home with Lee yesterday, and were installed in under an hour today. Well, okay, 2 hours, including ripping out and prepping the strapping. My butt is reminding me that I am not 25 anymore, and going up and down a ladder 50+ times is not an exercise that came even close to replicating my normal walking routine!

I bought a shelf to mount between the kitchen windows, and when I install it, will prep the last wall that needs painting prior to...

....painting all the woodwork so that I can.....

.......................install the wallpaper.

Can't start either job until Monday as I am working and churching and working again this weekend. Glad I get a chance to sing in the choir this week, been two years and I've missed it. And alto's are a valuable commodity in the choir! (isn't it nice to be needed?) Then, Sunday I'm in charge (OMG?!) of the Halloween Party at work for the kids at the Village, the apartment community where Lee and I work.

Kids, with multiple issues, in costumes.

Yeah, just another regular day at work (ha ha)!! My "costume" consists of an orange tee shirt I made last year...jack-'o-lantern in the front, and "Staff" on the back. Yay.

I LOVEEEEE Halloween, and the only part of my job I truly hate is that I miss dressing up, and handing out candy at my own home. Still, it's a good job, and I am lucky to have it.

Things are coming together, and the kitchen will (hopefully) be done by the end of next week. The saga that began in early July with the mysterious leaking dishwasher hose floating my floor tiles, will finally be put to rest, and I will have (a completely unexpected) kitchen rehab.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

If Wishes Were Fishes...

I can't believe it.

I missed it.

Okay, I didn't *miss* it...I missed the opportunity to photograph and forevermore capture the much anticipated highlight of the fall leaf season.

Two days ago, such beauty, such incredible beauty surrounded our house. We are the only house on our street that is totally surrounded by maples.

Shades of yellow, gold, tinged with auburn, deep ruby, russet, blending into oranges...poised for a moment in time.

Colors that teased one's eyes to *look*, *look*, dear Goddess, *look*...

Drink it in, suck it deeply into the spirit, let it gild you...

My words cannot adequately describe the intense, vivid beauty.

And yet, I am reminded of that blog I read recently, the monks creating their mandalas of sand, only to let them be carried away on the wind.

Such beauty, we are reminded, is transient.

The beauty we long to capture...we can.

We can hold it in our hearts, and carry it forth into the world.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Autumn in New England Means...

Well, it would have been better if blogger would cooperate and switch the photo's but the pie came first, the jelly second.

Being somewhat frugal, a few years ago I bemoaned all the peelings that went to waste after making a pie (actually I had made apple pie filling and canned it, which uses a TON of apples). And yes they are *lovely* in the compost bin, but I always felt there must be more.

And guess what...there is! Apple Peel Jelly, is made using the peels and cores, cooked down, left to seep out all the good yummyness of the apples, and then strained into syrup.
The resulting jelly is a beautiful pink (even if you use green apples!) and the flavor is ... just the right balance of crisp apple, and sweetness.

I'm glad I was able to can something this year! T'was a very slack year for canning, though I did a lot of freezing.

Next years garden is already being planned...tomato seeds, and pumpkin seeds and and ... in time. Can't make myself order the seeds until the New Year...a traditional way of saying "yes, this winter will end, see, my seeds have arrived!"

But for now, there is fall, and apple pie...and jelly.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Posting

Suddenly it's really Autumn here in the Northeast. The leaves turned almost overnight from green to yellows and gold. It never fails to grab me how fast the passage of time has been flowing around me of late. And by "of late" I really mean the last 6 years or so. Something about adding a few kids to the family managed to simultaneously speed up and slow down my internal clock.

Lest you think that's an impossible juxtaposition, I beg to differ. Suddenly, it is Thursday. Wasn't it just July and I was frenetically packing for our camping trip? And yet, yesterday, didn't the kids and I spend 5 minutes, that passed like 5 hours, trying to catch the breeze-blown leaves fluttering from the maple in the side yard?

Something about them makes me younger. I may joke about being 'old woman" but inside, I still feel youthful. Maybe they help me look at the world from a tighter perspective. All this talk of global economy, and global village leaves me feeling powerless, and often, frightened. But bring that wide world down the the microcosm of a 6 year-old, and suddenly...there is joy and curiosity, and beauty in every thing I behold.

Funny, I started out thinking I was going to write about my disordered kitchen, the way I am feeling stressed and trying desperately not to be...
and instead I find myself looking things from my kids viewpoint, and am feeling the thrill of discovering what's under the old wallpaper, wondering about the transformation of new wallpaper, and what will it look like when the plumber pulls apart the wall upstairs to find our leaking pipe...

and not like a nervous adult wondering about the mess, the cost, the fuss...

Funny what a change in view can do for the spirit...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Been Gone So Long

Life has been busy. Full-on hectic, as life with kids can be. So hi and welcome back and yeah. Sorry I've been neglecting!

Updated pix of the youngest kiddos....Rob in March, using our "leprechaun" glasses as "goggles"...too funny!

Lissa just got her hair beaded in this pic. It takes about 2-3 hours to braid and bead her. The good thing is that she's done for about a month after the efforts. And she loves tossing her head and having her beads "clack, clack".
And KC, doing a "Santa beard" in the tub.

In order, Chet is now 24.5, Rob just turned 14, KC is 6, and Lissa is 3.5....
I'm done with diapers, pretty much, bottles long a thing of the past, and the kiddo's are at that stage where helping Mommy is fun. Oh, how I love this stage!
Because Mommy wears long skirts all the time, our sweet lil gal also prefers dresses or skirts...however, she's a boy in girls clothing! Oh, my, that one is twice as much work as ANY of the boys...maybe even combined!!
She'll not take crap from any of the boys, stands up for herself, tantrums like a pro, and yet still is prone to random acts of sweetness, a hug for brother KC when he's sad, or a full-on body slam from across the house hug with her sweet face tilted back and an "I loooovvvee you mommmmmmy" as her wee arms wrap around my legs.
Life is good.