25 March 2009

slowly she turns...

i seem to be finding my way back into the rhythm of life. i hadn't wanted to bore you to tears with the woes of my first trimester, but i can now tell you i got nothing done. the belfry, the farm, the everything - it all became overrun with weeds, & dustbunnies, & probably trolls.

the climb out of the queasyzombieness (real word) was rough at first - there was so much that needed my immediate attention. i'm happy to report that i am beginning to truly feel like myself again: hogwarts is back on track, the belfry is coming together, ideas for the shop are racing through my mind, & we (by we i mean manlyman; though i did supervise, & was in charge of the extension cord) mowed the farm out of the clutches of waist-high weeds & grass. huzzah!

we (again here we means manlyman; though i held the hose) even managed to move the blueberry bush into the farm's unused bed. it had been in the garden part of the backyard, & wasn't thriving.

there is yet so much to be done back there, but there really is no need to ruin a perfectly good huzzah by thinking about that. one thing at a time.

the next thing i have to do is start seeds. between odd weather, not doing much tending, & certain neighbor cats whom are not long for this world should i get my hands on them; there are many bare spots. we lost the chard, spinach, carrots, asian cabbage, some of the fennel, & one strawberry.
still, there is much that is thriving, especially the sugar snap peas! weather on our little hill is apparently suited for them. this year we are harvesting more than just our family can eat - thehobbit suggested we turn the whole far back into a sugar snap farm, & sell them. i must admit, that sounds like fun :-)
i'm off - babble at you soon!

23 March 2009

ramblings of a monday morn

mondays are usually set aside for family time. being manlyman's only day off each week, we try to never schedule activities that aren't family-focused. the occasional homeschool events, or golf tournaments being the exceptions. today is one of the latter. manlyman is playing a qualifying round for some future golf tournie, blah, blah, blah thing.

usually when he's away on a monday with his mistress golf, it's nothing but crabbiness at the belfry. thehobbit & i both want to be with daddy-o, so we take it out on each other. not purposely mind you, but it happens.

for some reason that isn't happening today. we both woke peacefully happy, & it doesn't seem to be dissipating. thehobbit began his day by chatting at my belly, then reading a book to mo (mortimer-slivertongue the fish), then making his own breakie, then explaining the fish-poop-powered submarine he's inventing, & is now writing a story about some boy named paul, whilst listening to a documentary on penguins.

i've been quietly sitting here with my cup of decaf soycreamy goodness - watching him, & marvelling at who he is. wishing i could capture some of that brilliant sparkle for myself. i too had it as a child; the combination of non-stop thinker & constant dreamer; but somewhere along the way it got lost. or maybe it's still there, deep within me, & it was only i who got lost from too many years of trying to fit in.

it's wonderful to be a witness to it in my child. some days i admit it overwhelms me, & i think how much easier life would be were he normal. of course i wouldn't have him any other way, & doubt i'd do well with a normal child; but still - easier would be lovely some days.

not today however. today the peaceful happiness is washing over & through me, & is heightening my awareness of how truly lucky i am. what in the world would i have done with a normal kid? truth be told, i'd much rather have a too-long discussion on string theory, than a shorter one on spiderman's powers.

i'm not knocking normalcy, it's just not for me. it was never who i was, nor a world by which i was ever fully accepted. i suppose some kids get lucky, & are born to the perfect parents for them. thehobbit definitely was - though there are days manlyman does raise a confused eyebrow at what goes on here. he's only mostly odd, that man of mine.

sure manlyman is away on our family day, & sure i'm bummed about it - but i think today will be a happy day anyway. i just wonder if thehobbit will agree once i tell him we have to deep clean his horridly filthy playroom. we can't put it off another day - the dust bunnies are beginning to complain.

i hope your day is filled with a peaceful happiness!

22 March 2009

in which window shopping turns into a rant

my mind has always raced from one thought to the next, jumping ahead faster than i could sometimes keep up. lately it takes all my concentration just to remained focused enough to finish a task. even then, i don't always manage.

today i sat down to look for clothing online (i have a gift card burning a hole in my pocket), but before i knew it i'd wandered to ebay to look at vintage clothing, then found myself looking at vintage maternity clothing, which led me to vintage baby items. i don't even think all of that took more than 10 minutes; clearly a record in ooh-look-something-shiny-dom.

but ooh look, something shiny!

i'm sure it is little more than lead paint on wheels, but it's so darn cute. i wish they made ride-ons like this still.

i would want this highchair even were i not knocked up! this one is way out of our price range, but it sure is pretty. seriously, look at those wheels. if i cannot control anything else, i am determined to have a wooden highchair. i'll have to look at it every day; & it will take up a good amount of space in the dining room; so dangit, i want it pretty!

why are baby things so ugly nowadays? when thehobbit was eensie we had absolutely no money. we happily accepted all hand-me-downs, & gifts for him. manlyman & i were more grateful than i can explain, but i am being honest when i say that the majority of it hurt my eyeballs. it was a mass of bright colors, characters, hideous patterns, & plastic.
it only takes a short walk down an aisle at a baby shop to see that the poor taste was not of our generous donors, but of those who make the strollers/highchairs/carseats/etc. it's all just foul; unless you can afford swank. does that make me sound bitchy or snobbish? i don't mean to be - i just want the things i live with every day to be pleasing to my eye.
i'm not even talking top of the line! i prefer things to cost as little as possible, & i love previously-used things. i just want it all pretty. i want a wooden highchair, a ride-on toy that is not plastic, a strollie that isn't navy blue with rainbow polka dots - & i want my bebe's clothes to be free from cartoon characters, no matter how classic they claim to be.
so as not to end on a negative nellie:
i'm happy that this go around we shall be able to purchase things for the bebe; not the antique highchair; but definitely one made of wood. i'm happy i have a sewing machine now, so i can make blankies (one already started), slings, & clothing. i'm happy i've since learned to knit, so can make beanies & washcloths. i'm also happy to now have generous friends who've already offered their swanky (non-ugly) hand-me-down strollies & the like. happy & grateful for it all.
i'm sorry to have lain the rant at your feet. i truly had not meant to do so when i began this post. it sure felt good though. i suppose one needs to let her bitch out every so often ;-)
** ps. did i tell you yet that the bebe is a boy? yup, we'll have an heir & a spare! **

21 March 2009

my favorite season

i simply adore spring! for me it brings the most perfect weather: warm sun, with crisp, chilly air, sweet with the smells of things just beginning to bloom. excellent for garden parties, nature walks, staring out at the ocean, picnics at the park...

unfortunately yesterday we spent the day celebrating the toilet, instead of the first day of spring. my poor hobbity boy was hit with some tummy woe. it was nothing major; & he's much improved today; but it did mean missing out on springtime fun, & not getting to see his best girl. so yes: today he not only is a slight pain in the arse, he also has one.

i'm sure that's vastly more than you ever wanted to know about thehobbit's tushy & its goings-on, but at least i didn't take photos ;-)

speaking of photos!

these are of the treasures i chatted about last time.

i have yet to put the linens away, because i cannot stop myself from fondling them. not that one would notice they are not where they should be - amid the mess that once was my lovely belfry. it actually may take all of springtime to get my spring cleaning done. sigh.

the necklace didn't photograph very well. it's hard to tell how delicate the teeny pressed flowers are, & i should have put in something to show size. the frame is actually fairly large for a necklace - about 2 inches tall. it's a little heavy as far as necklaces go, but i wore it all of thursday without noticing the weight. it's simply fabulous.

i cannot wait to use the tea spoon strainer thingy. pg brain is taking over my already swiss cheese brain - what in the world is the actual name of the spoon? anyone?

don't you love the little hinge? one other in my collection is very similar. unfortunately i've found that the older ones such as they do not work as well as new ones. they don't close as tightly, so loose bits get out as the tea steeps. it's worth it for how pretty the old spoons are though.

& that brings my allotted babble-time to a close. i would love to sit & chat with you all day, but i have one child asking me for a snuggle, & one treating my uterus like a bounce-house.


** i'm having blogger issues again. if the post shows up wonky, i apologize - blogger has it out for me **

19 March 2009

platform 9 3/4

we went with dear friends on a homeschool adventure yesterday - on the train!!! this trip took us a few hours up the coast, to the sleepy beach town of buena ventura. as usual, the mamas kids were beyond excited to ride on the train.

the entire day was magnificent, but the highlight for us all was the flea market across the road from the train station! we each came home with a bag filled with treasures (photos later).

here is a sampling of our day:

the train "station" in town. it was literally a platform with benches, alongside these tracks. the train to take us back home was delayed, but at least we had each other, & loads of butterflies to watch.

the beach there is so quiet; i imagine in part to it being off-season. the section we claimed as our own was very rocky. it made for great climbing, & of course rock-collecting.

main street was filled with gardens, little parks (parkettes?) & potted plants.

i love older buildings! this one was off the main drag, & looked onto a be-fountained courtyard.

the fountain in all it's post-st patty's glory. green dye & soap? all that foamy white just beneath the lower tier was just that - foam!

leading to & from the fountain were tiled channels. happily none of the kids fell in when walking atop their short walls. i want to see what these look like after a rain.

i feel so lucky to experience days like yesterday. homeschooling has brought us more adventures than i ever dreamed possible. today we're going to recuperate - wow is it tiring lugging a huge bebe-belly from here, to there, & back again!
have a lovely day :-)

15 March 2009

embracing what is

i spent months stressing that manlyman & i weren't able to tend the backyard. the farm did get attention, & the lawn section is merely slightly out of control, but the far back? it is beyond wild! it is nearly waist-high with cheeseweed in the open spaces, & the aggressive australian plant (whose name we do not know) is creating a literal forest between the giant pecan tree, & the farm.

still unable to begin tackling the wilderness; but unwilling to deal with the stress any longer; i decided to accept it. after all, if we truly aren't able to work on getting it under control, why not just appreciate the beauty, & deal with how much work it is going to be later. it's not like we can do anything about it, right?

yesterday thehobbit & i braved the far back: he to chase butterflies, & search for ladybugs, & i to breathe deeply, & look at only the beauty in the chaos. here are a few photos:

peeking out of the cheeseweed is the butterfly garden that my roots&shoots group planted a few years ago. only a few of the original plants have survived, but those that have put on quite a show.

i actually swallowed my fear of creepy crawlies waded through to get a closer look. here are two kinds of daisy (my favorite flower), & a stalk of mexican sage. isn't it beautiful?

even closer in there were more stalks of mexican sage (they are so tall, that the tips bent down nearly to the ground), & some parsley!
this wildflower is a favorite of mine. i don't know what it is, but each spring it pops up here & there in the far back. it grows to about 2ft tall, & i just cannot get over how delicate it is!
i'll show you photos of the australian forest next time.
i know our plans to extend the farm this spring shall have to wait, & i know we're going to have a ton of very hard work once we are able to get out there - but it is what it is. for now at least, i'm no longer stressing, & i'm enjoying the beauty of it all.
** edited to add:: the evil plant is "silverleaf nightshade" about a decade ago someone on the block brought some back from australia, & planted it in his yard. over the years it took over the neighborhood. according to websites, it's only supposed to get 3ft tall, but ours can get as tall as 12ft - it's insane! thanks for the heads-up rubelin! **

13 March 2009

lost: one's marbles

after a full morning of working on homeschool projects, (yes i did procrastinate most some of yesterday's to-dos) thehobbit decided to set up a marble run on the dining table. apparently it was a big deal; requiring an audience, & microphone.

i usually stay away when he's deep in his imaginary world; so i don't ruin things with what he calls grownieupness; but i had to take some photos so daddy-o could see what goes on around here during work hours.

i sure do enjoy this little hobbity kid of mine! i sure hope the new one is just as interesting.


ps - did i tell you he's been taping labels to things around the house in spanish? a great way to learn vocabulary words, but it's hard to brush one's teeth with a paper note taped to one's brush.

12 March 2009

there's no place like home

do you ever have days where you just love being home? i'm having one of those, & a cup of soycreamy decaf coffee to boot! fortunately i'd planned on spending the day cleaning the belfry, catching up on homeschool projects, & tending the slightly neglected farm. not the most fun way to spend the afternoon, but at least i won't be out in the world, wishing i was tucked away in my little belfry.

there is still much to be done to make the home work better for our lifestyle; large storage pieces, slipcovers for the 2 queen anne armchairs, curtains for the rooms that 3 yrs later still have the ugly shades that came with the place; but i love it here.

this empty frame/sconce is on a wall in the bigroom. i had originally intended on putting in a mirror, but i never got around to it, then decided i liked it empty. the walls in this room are in desperate need of color - we are contemplating a soft oatmeal. by we are contemplating i mean that i am, & that manlyman knows he'll be the one doing the painting, so is hoping i'll decide to stick with white.

our bedroom is another i'd like to paint - don't tell manlyman though, he thinks it's just the one room currently in contemplation-mode.

that little purse hanging on the hook is made entirely of wood! i found it a few years back at a thrift shop, & fell in love. the cigar boxes used to store bits in my gramma's garage, & yes those are my quidditch goggles! (they're excellent when cooking over a campfire! no smoke to burn my dainty eyes, not to mention i look fabulous.)

the last room on today's tour is the kitchen. i want to keep the walls white, but the lower cabinets are stained - apparently we are wild when we cook, & splatter food all over the place.

the paint for this room is definitely going to be dark sage green. we've had the chip taped to one cabinet for 2 years now. we are not only messy chefs, we are excellent procrastinators. i'll be able to handle the cabinet painting - they are all lower ones, so no need for ladders & people with long arms.

the giant cauldron houses potatoes & onions. i wish it weren't plastic, but i imagine i couldn't lift a cast iron one of that size. we bought it for a hogwarts ball years ago, & i couldn't bring myself to pack it away with the hallowe'en decor.

& that brings today's babble post to a close. now that i've spent all this time talking about my house, i need to get off my arse & start cleaning it. thanks for visiting my belfry!


09 March 2009

well before the dawn

that is what time it is right now. the sky is quite dark, & all feels still around me. mind you that dratted rooster on the next street keeps crowing, but he crows randomly through the day, so i don't think the sun is going to make an early appearance.

i couldn't sleep; bad dreams woke me, & wouldn't leave my mind. nightmares can be powerful things if thought on for too long. it's amazing how those little movies from our sleeping hours can affect us so deeply. usually i give in to dark thoughts, & spend the remainder of the night tossing & turning - not tonight however. tonight i decided it was much better to get out of bed, & refocus my mind; so that is what i'm doing here.

well technically it's no longer night. nearing on 6am; though still rather dark; it is well & truly morning. i suppose the feel of night is due to the recent changing of the clocks. my body (& the sky) thinks it's not yet 5am. that suits my sleepiness better, so we'll go with that time instead.

before thehobbit came along, i was an early morning person. i loved being up when it was still dark, loved watching the sun rise. when we lived in the canyons that lead to the beach, i worked the morning shift at a coffee house. we opened at 5am, so i had to be out the door freakishly early. manlyman being a night owl, couldn't believe how i managed, but i didn't mind. in fact, because of where we lived, i got to see many rabbits, raccoons, & coyote as i walked to my truck.

once a mama, my love of the early morning vanished. having to get up because some little creature insisted it was time, really honed in on my rebellious nature. oh you're telling me i have to get up this early? well then i definitely don't want to. the joke on me? that little creature never settled into normal waking patterns. for the past 11 years; no matter what time he's gone to bed; he has gotten up with the sun.

no longer a morning person, & unable most nights to stay awake as late as manlyman, i'm now the family's limbo-lander. i wonder what this new bebe is going to toss into the mix? perhaps he/she shall never outgrow the newborn stage of sleeping, & forever wake every 20 minutes!?!?! won't that be fun?

which are you? night owl, or morning person? curiously sleepy minds want to know.

08 March 2009

in which we are proud...

the majority of the dragonfly artisans (& their assorted families) met to witness miss oddsox's first art show last night. the venue was small & crowded, but we all enjoyed ourselves, & were ever so proud to see our friend's work displayed for all to see.

well done sweets!!


07 March 2009

all morning had been a bit off; child out of sorts, me brewing yet another cold, list of to-dos lengthening of their own accord. i assumed the whole day was doomed to be spent similarly. happily i was wrong.

i sat in a cozy chair with delilah (laptop liberated from manlyman's workplace), & immediately felt a peaceful calm wash over me. it was the most surreal feeling, coming out of nowhere like that. i just sat for a bit, immersing myself in it. i began to notice the warmth of the sun through the window, to smell the freshness of cut grass as rubelin rhythmically took the mower back & forth across her lawn, to hear the gentle sounds of thehobbit as he played quietly in the playroom, to feel the soft kicks of thebebe in my belly.

i have no idea what brought on this change of mood, of being. it arrived as randomly as did the offness of the previous few hours. i don't plan to waste the gift by trying to determine how it came about, i merely plan on enjoying it as long as it lasts.

my plan for this post had been vastly different from the above. the deep, introspective out of the way; let's get on to the fun: my addiction to love for the japanese dollar store!
i haven't gone since the last time i mentioned it; not that i haven't wanted to; i just have yet to share all the treasures from that day.

i bought these for a certain little birthday boy. the colored paper is a sturdy card stock, just perfect for a rambunctious 3yo artist. i had planned on sewing a tote, but when i saw this horrid, zippered pouch i could not resist! oooh that fabric is just terrible enough to be fantastic! i also tucked in a tin of beeswax crayons, to make this an excellent on-the-go art kit.

i'm not fond of plastic, but when i saw these trays i knew i had to have them. i bought 4 not knowing what i would do with them. in the few weeks since their purchase, we've used them for snacks, tea, corralling art & craft supplies, & even for holding used tissues during the last pestilence. they store easily in the drawer that houses placemats, & wipe clean with little effort. it's nice when an impulse purchase works out so wonderfully.

that's all for today. i'm off to make lunch for my wee boy - in typical hobbity fashion, he is starved unto the very brink! i wish you could see him. he is curled up in my chair's twin, watching a favorite show, with the most how i doth faint from lack of sustenance look on his face.

i hope you have a lovely, calm, peaceful day. or at least you get lunch before perishing ;-)

04 March 2009

my current wip

i haven't posted many projects of late, so thought i'd show you what i'm currently working on:

it should take me another 4 & a half months to complete this project; but i think the results will be more than worth it.


03 March 2009

monster-slaying, day-brighteners

thank you for the birthday-love; both here & via email. you made me feel well & truly celebrated. i hope you all got to have cake!

i woke today in a funk, but before it could take over completely i decided to sit with a mug decaf soycreamy goodness, & think about things that make me smile. not the grand things; like my child, or my man, or all the ways in which i am blessed; but the little things. those tiny things that make a day just that much brighter.
by the time my mug was empty, my funk was more a shadow in the background, than a threatening monster. with camera in hand, i walked about the belfry, so i could capture just a few of the things that have been brightening my days of late. here they are, in no particular order:
* my new tea cups from the japanese store! most of my dishes are a creamy, white cafewear, but i could not resist these sweet cups. i love how chunky they are, yet how dainty the design. of course what sold me was the wonkiness - just perfect for me.

* watching thehobbit work with my calligraphy pens. as usual, rather than learn the proper fonts, he's come up with a few of his own. i'm not sure which i like better; the curlies, or the going back & forth between upper & lower case letter. & nope - that wasn't his name written over & over.

* everything is in bloom! it's not quite spring, but mother earth doesn't seem to care. all around me i see things in various stages of springitude (real word) - heck, we're eating sugar snap peas from our wee farm already. these euryops line the front of the belfry. not only are they beautiful, but they grow quickly (into huge bushes,) & are drought-tolerant.

* thehobbit's newest hobby: artist trading cards (atc). my friend doc introduced him to the cards years ago at a little weekly camp we'd created. he had fun for a day or two, but the interest didn't stick. recently; through a chain of homeschooling events; he was reintroduced to atc creating. this time interest definitely stuck.
minidoc wanted to do an atc swap at disneyland (friday was the unofficial homeschool day at disneyland - in addition to my birthday), so all last week there was a mad frenzy to create as many cards as possible. auntiepaper brought over the blanks, as well as some extra bits and bobs - thank you auntie!
as with the calligraphy, there has yet to be a day without an atc session; so i've gathered all the atc accoutrement into a low basket to enable easy access (as well as easy clean-up). you can see from the below photo that daddy-o couldn't resist making a card - you know that golf-themed one was not made by the littlest member of the family.
i like that the size of the cards allow for nearly instant creative gratification. i also like that they re-use something that would just end up in the recycling bin (food boxes).
oh - he had a fabulous time at the disneyland atc swap. doc wisely brought blanks so kids could make more after they'd finished swapping - which they did :-)

so those are just a few things that make me smile right now, and brighten my day. thanks for letting me share.
something bringing on a frown is my inability to use the ampersand button. what the!?!!! it doesn't seem to be stuck, but all of a sudden no beautiful ampersand shows up, no matter how hard i push, nor with what i threaten it. i'm sure a few of you have noticed i'm more than a bit ampersand-happy. i'm off to figure out what is wrong, before i have to type and too many more times.
and (shiver) on that note, i'm off. have a lovely day, please do!

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