Monday, June 27, 2016

Busy washing EVERYTHING.

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Thank you to a very dear cousin, we have a working washing machine. 

Almost two months ago our washer broke. We called the repair guy (knowing there was a diagnostic fee) and were told it was a faulty drain pump. We decided not to pay the more than $350 to have him replace it. 

Three orders from three different companies later, we had the part in hand. 

A little more than a week later, one of my very favorite cousins arrived with another of my very favorite cousins (who played with the girls ALL day) and put in the part. 

Turns out it wasn't the only thing not functioning, but at least now we can wash on hot. 

Doing laundry by hand (foot?) or borrowing the washers of relatives during our visits there meant we only did the absolutely necessary laundry. 

We didn't wash the bathroom rug. Turns out it actually still is a creamy white color. :) Who knew? 



So happy to be back in the clean laundry business.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WIP Wednesday, June 22nd 2016

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Creating is my passion, my sanity, my sense of being "up to something", my way of contributing a little bit. I always have a few projects going, many left to the side for months or even years before I pick up the best and carry on. Here's some of what I'm working on this week:
We are in the thick of summery adventures, inside, outside, and away.

Appreciating the abundance of wildlife, anticipating berry picking, splashing, transplanting, shooing chooks out of the garden, pickling radishes, and so much more.



Wishing you and yours a delightful start to the summer!

What are you working on? What are you excited about attempting? What are you proud to be working on? Take a picture or two and share it with the rest of us by leaving your link in the comments.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

10 Reasons My Husband is a Great Dad.

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Because my husband was out of town yesterday, we celebrated Father's Day together on Saturday. 

To further honor how lucky we ladies are to have such a wonderful fellow, here are 

10 reasons my husband is a wonderful father.

1.) He reads to them
And reads and reads and reads and yes, he'll read THAT book again. For the millionth time.



2.) He juggles career, military, and home life.
And still always makes time for his girls.



3.) He loves trying new things.
And is willing to be silly in front of them.


4.) He apologizes.
He's not afraid to suck it up, have real conversations, even (especially?) where he didn't handle it the best he could. 


5.) He wants to make sure our girls can be whoever they are. 
Whatever that looks like. One of our girls really likes trucks. The other really likes fixing things with tools. They've each gone through phases of pants and phases of dresses, and they're only toddlers.



6.) He makes sure to have special time with each of them.
Father-daughter dates, shoulder rides, private jokes, and favorite games. He's a pro.



7.) He shares his passions with them.
It's all to easy too push aside, but he teaches them, shows them, explains, and finds ways for them to participate.



8.) He has snuggles when I have so completely and thoroughly run out. 



9.) He loves their mother (me!!) 
Not only does he treat them as well as he hopes a future partner will, he treats me well in full view, because he loves me so much.


10.) He loves them ever so much.


He will turn back without hesitation or smirk, in a crowd, to go pick up the crumpled clover flower that a certain one year old has been carrying for the last half mile but dropped and sadly yelled "FOWER! FOWER!" Reuniting his girl with her treasure.

He tells them they're beautiful. He listens to them. And he does everything he can to do well by these amazing girls of ours. And that, among other things, makes for a pretty darned good dad.



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Catching up - WIP Wednesday June 15th, 2016

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Creating is my passion, my sanity, my sense of being "up to something", my way of contributing a little bit. I always have a few projects going, many left to the side for months or even years before I pick up the best and carry on. Here's some of what I'm working on this week:

After all the work leading up to my art show and the reception last week, we've been playing a little catch-up. Thank you again to everyone who made it out. It was such a pleasure to see you all, and thank you personally for all your love and support. 

People ask how I was able to paint so much even with two littles, and the truth is that it was in the small moments between and after, and would not have been possible without all of you.


Watching the peacocks at the little zoo at our favorite local park.

After the FOURTH trip, being told each time I needed different forms, I got my car registered in Mass. I'm now official. The blue plates are gone, and it's good to be back.


We're drinking lots of warm deliciousnesses, running errands, breathing deeply, and doing lots of small acts of self care.

And, like this post, are a bit scattered but still showing up.


What are you working on? What are you excited about attempting? What are you proud to be working on? Take a picture or two and share it with the rest of us by leaving your link in the comments.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

10 Small Acts of Self-Care

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I have no words for the recent acts of violence, hate, and gross ignorance.  And, while I have a slight allergy to brevity, I will not even attempt to cover any of my thoughts on the subject.

Instead, like putting on your own gas mask before attempting to help another, I offer you 10 Small Acts of Self-Care that can be done in just a few minutes

I am not a great activist, nor an outspoken protestor. I do however believe in the accumulation of small acts of love, patience, courage, generosity and more. Both to ourselves, and to others. 

Being a stay-at-home-mom of two toddlers (that are less than two years apart) it can be hard to notice the pressure drop in the proverbial cabin, and so hard to be all-here part of the time, rather than partly here all of the time.

Taking a few minutes for self-care is not selfish. We cannot uplift others without meeting our own basic needs. Taking a few moments to recharge our own batteries, give ourself a few more spoons 

10 Small acts of Self-Care


1.) Breathe Deeply

Seriously. 

Breathe in for at least four counts, and slowly exhale for the same. 

Any time you start to feel yourself getting tense, about to scream, or however it looks for you, fill your lungs and blow it all out. Go outside, repeat. Clear your lungs, fill yourself up, let go of your exhaust, exhale completely.



2.) Drink something warm and delicious. 

Here's the kicker, drink it while it's still warm. The first time. Boil the kettle, start a fresh pot of coffee, whatever your preference, and savor it.

You can even get fancy and warm up some milk (any kind you prefer) with a little sweetness to add, and serve it to your kids too. Our girls love a little sweet vanilla milk (milk with a little honey or maple and a splash of vanilla extract) and we savor it while I drink my tea or coffee.


3.) Wash your hands and face.

Warm water in cooler months, cool water in warmer months. Like brushing your teeth, this basic act can boost our well being and set us back on a better track.

Bonus points for lotion or soap that you love how it smells. I can vividly remember the smell of an oatmeal soap (unscented) that I made at a workshop in my teens. It doesn't have to be fancy, perfumed, or anything of the kind. 

Revel in the water running over your hands. Smoothly caress them in the water. Lovingly dry them on a clean towel. These hands are dear friends, incredible instruments, and could use some thanks.



4.) Count Your Blessings

It's so easy to get bogged down in what's difficult, what's not going the way you'd like, or be overwhelmed by senseless acts of horror blaring on the news. 

We are so incredibly blessed.

I'm not making any comment about which versions of the-powers-that-be that you believe in (or don't). 

We are privileged. We are RICH. 

We have food to eat, clean water to drink. We have so many choices between this luxury or that, between this opportunity or that experience, spend time with these people that love us or those people that challenge us (or both!), or even keep our own company. 

Even just thinking of five things for which you are grateful, can help you see life in a clearer light.


5.) Drink a glass of water.

Treat your body to some hydration, your brain to some fog-lifting h20. 

Most people don't drink enough water. Add a squeeze of lemon, a mint leaf, a slice of orange, or drink it straight up. 



6.) Stretch.

You don't have to even attempt yoga. 

Take a deep breath and try to touch your toes, lift your shoulders and move your spine a little.

Bonus points for baby dinosaur noises.

Even just push your shoulders back and front a couple of times. 

You ask a lot of your body. 
Take a moment to check in with yourself, even if it's half a moment to move something that's tight or tense. These small radical acts of self care bring more goodness to our world.



7.) Eat some vegetables. 

You can find scientific studies supporting just about every kind of dietary scheme. 

They pretty much all agree about eating vegetables

Cut some carrot sticks, more than you'll eat now, and store the rest in the fridge for later.

Plan to have a glorious salad. There's no reason for salads to be boring. Walnuts, apples, grapes, orange sections, almonds, pine nuts, goat cheese, dried cherries, blue cheese, parmesan cheese, nooch (nutritional yeast), your favorite vegetables, and even just a simple splash of vinegar and olive oil can turn an obligatory serving of greenery into a real treat.

We even love snacking on thawed frozen peas. They're a little sweet, and pop when you bit them making them fun to eat.



8.) Basic acts of grooming

Clip your toenails. Or brush your teeth. Comb your hair even just with your fingers.

Do whatever it is that you need to do but have been so busy putting out fires since the little ones hit the floor running.

It's amazing how human we can feel again after taking but a few moments to treat ourselves as such. These simple acts of soul-first-aid can be all it takes to give ourselves a bit of a fresh start.

When traveling these often fall to the wayside because we've stepped out of our normal habits and routines. Sometimes, when life is in flux or change, or even just the normal business of life, we forget to reset, restart and regain what we've put aside for the moment. 


9.) Challenge Your Mind

Read a chapter of a new book, read an article you disagree with, watch a Ted talk on something you don't understand, learn more deeply about something that may have controversy attached - like chocolate.

I highly recommend Tsh Oxnreider's series 


There's only a handful of posts but she covers topics like A Brief History of SyriaCoffee and how it gets all the way to your cup, and What you might not know about Cerebral Palsy among others.



10.) Give yourself a little grace.

You're doing just fine. Really. 

Even if you're not ok. 

And, not to spoil anything, but it's going to work out somehow. 

Take a deep breath, dust yourself off, pick yourself up, and keep going. 

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Getting ready for my Artist's Reception - WIP Wednesday, June 8th, 2016



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Creating is my passion, my sanity, my sense of being "up to something", my way of contributing a little bit. I always have a few projects going, many left to the side for months or even years before I pick up the best and carry on. Here's some of what I'm working on this week:

 As you may have heard, seen, or been told by a little birdie, I'm the featured artist for the month of June at the River Valley Coop here in town. (details here

I'm simultaneously a nervous wreck, and very glad that it's a small show in the seating area over by the bathrooms of a (natural foods) grocery store.

The reception is from 5-7pm, there will be live music and refreshments provided by the coop. If you're in the area stop by! I'd love to see you!

To get ready and distract me a little:


We did some dyeing - play silks, a couple myrrh-colored shirts (not pictured) and some bits of wool to exhaust the dye.



We made some infused water to help stay hydrated.


Got to work loading up with free mulch from the transfer station, on our way back from picking up some pies for dinner before the reception.


And sent some friends off on an adventure, among other things. 

What are you working on? What are you excited about attempting? What are you proud to be working on? Take a picture or two and share it with the rest of us by leaving your link in the comments.
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Monday, June 6, 2016

Three Inspiring Women Bloggers

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I started this blog over nine years ago. I've posted on and off throughout those years. I've been an avid blog reader for longer than that.

Here are three bloggers that keep inspiring me to come back and write here. While I may not be as prolific or as professional, if you're ever looking for inspiration for life, balance, confidence, or incredible beauty look no further:




Best-selling author, Tedx speaker, photographer, speaker, and more.

She's not only wildly convinced you're uncommonly beautiful, she reminds us to look for the light, that the way we're different is what makes us beautiful, and to take moments to savor our life and breathe.







Author of books on simplicity, and countless articles on living authentically with your life's purpose, and her world travels with her family including their three children.

"Part intrepid pilgrim and scrutinizer of cultural oddities, part whimsical homebody and charming troglodyte, my name really and truly is spelled correctly. You pronounce it as though there’s an i, like Tish, unless you’re a Starbucks barista, in which you pronounce it Lucy because you give them a fake name to avoid the hassle."






Mother of five, author of three books on family creativity, and editor-in-chief of Taproot Magazine.

Inspires me regularly to slow down, savor these moments and these stages, that there is magic in homemade, and that in our own quiet way, in our own quiet lives, we can still add beauty and wonder to the world.





I cannot fully express my gratitude for these women, their carefully crafted words, and their willingness to put themselves out there in the blog world and in person. 
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