Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bon voyage

One thing I've really noticed with this pregnancy is how refreshing a good night's sleep is for the body.  It is transformative.  By the time I go to bed each night, I am dragging.  This sounds so dramatic, but it honestly feels like my body is in shambles . . . I honestly don't have the capacity for much more.  But when I wake up the next morning I feel refreshed and rested, like myself again.

With that in mind, the boys and I are flying out of Minneapolis this evening.  Our flight leaves at 9:50 PM and we arrive in Seattle at 11:00-ish PM (1:00-ish AM CST).  This will be after a 3.5 hour drive to the Twin Cities this morning.  I really wonder how it will be for me by the time I drag myself into bed (after potentially wrestling the boys into bed) in the wee hours of the morning.  Oy.

We are headed to my parents' house for the next three weeks.  I am really looking forward to enjoying the beautiful spring: budding trees, blooming flowers, the lush, green grass.  Sweater weather.  And being caressed by the fresh, cool, damp air.  Dreamy.  Waking up to zero degrees F this morning, that seems like a distant reality, but a reality which will be mine tomorrow morning.

Much love to all.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The fellas' main obsessions these days

Diego and his bug terrarium.
This collection includes: flies, spiders, asian beetles & box elder bugs
He puts in wet cottonballs for them to drink from,
but doesn't refrain from imposing the predator/prey dynamic.
He spends a lot of his day hovering over it,
adding to the collection and wondering how soon the spiders will eat.
I thrifted this 5-gallon tank and terrarium cover last fall --
I knew it would get heavy-duty use, but already??
We still have a thick snow cover!

Truen and one of his many "houses".
Trubies is MEGA into building fort-building this winter.
He hung a towel from an open oven door on this one,
clipping and pinning an extra blanket and scarf to create a wall.
The drawer and open cupboard form the back wall --
and the little thing you see hanging from it?
That's his "animal skin".
Truen and Diego are wearing their "twin" shirts --
It rarely works out that they wear them at the same time,
but somehow it worked out in these pictures, taken on different days.

Jamie: participating in or pilfering whatever his brudders are doing.
In this case, he is happily posing in front one of Truen's paintings.
He was also heavily involved in Truen's little "house" in the picture above --
I had to make him a separate fort to ensure he didn't wreck it.
He also hauls the footstool over to Diego's bug terrarium,
squealing, watching, attempting to break in, etc.
Other hobbies include
Lego destruction, crayon-eating, and scissor stealing.
Doesn't he look just adorable in his undies?
What a little fella ♥

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dust goblin? Or Dust fairy?

This morning Jamie and I were in the bedroom.  I had just gotten him dressed and the sun was streaming in through the window, illuminating all those tiny little dust particles that we never see otherwise.

He noticed them, said, "Heeeeeeey....!" with that crooked little grin, and immediately began his attack.  Yah! Yah! and Yah! as he chopped at floating dust with his stealth ninja-hands.  Diego and Truen both did the same thing at similar ages, though I think Diego's attack was more of a cupped-hand "gathering" assault.  But then, Jamie has been exposed to way more battling via his brudders by this age.  Shoot, he's an eager participant.

But it got me thinking.  I wonder if I ever battled floating dust?  Would have even been a thought in my mind?  I remember imagining dreamily that the softly drifting particles were little fairies or sprites or perhaps even living sparkles, but that would have been when I was older. 

Did I battle dust at age two?  I wonder.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Library expansion

This is a long overdue update.  The last time I posted on our library expansion project was December 2011, when our little town was still in the final thrust of moving toward the goal of acceptance and commitment by the townspeople and city council.

So much has happened since.

The synopsis for 2012 is as follows: the project was approved by the city council, our Friends' group donated $4,000 to the library board towards the purchase of the empty lot next to the library (the total price was something like $6,500 . . . can you believe it??), the library board approved the architect's new layout, a contractor was hired, remodeling/expansion begun in the fall, and the library was closed for 3.5 months during renovation.

Our newly expanded library re-opened in mid-January.  It is amazing.  It finally looks like a real library.  There are comfortable spaces for browsing and quiet reading.  Instead of feelings of claustrophobia, there is an aura of quiet pleasantness.

The following three pictures show the library BEFORE.  This, and I kid you not, was the library in its entirety.

Squished.  Unpleasant.  No space for activities.  No solitude.

Here's what it looks like now, AFTER expansion --

Not only is it a more pleasant space for quiet reading and browsing, but there is an amazing amount of potential for expansion and growth.  Public meeting space.  Room for activities and events.  Room for more books and bookshelves as the collection grows.  No more sidling sideways through the stacks to get by someone.  Airy. Light. Attractive.  It pleases me endlessly.

Isn't it just awesome??

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Woodpecker

Now that we have Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening under our belts, we are working this little charmer --

The Woodpecker

The woodpecker pecked out a little round hole
And made him a house in the telephone pole.
One day when I watched he poked out his head,
And he had on a hood and a collar of red.

When the streams of rain pour out of the sky,
And the sparkles of lightning go flashing by,
And the big, big wheels of thunder roll,
He can snuggle back in the telephone pole.

~ Elizabeth Madox Roberts
   Favorite Poems Old and New

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


I was always the kind of girl that saved everything.

Pretty much anything was fair game in the realm of keepsakes and nostalgia: rocks, pressed leaves, notes, necklaces, socks, holey underwear, pots, plants, dried oranges, pressed orange peels, hats, hair ribbons, clips, drinking cups, markers, magazines, beauty products, shoes.  Heck, you name it.  I've probably saved it.

This is one of my fine qualities (ahem) that drives my tidy husband insane.  And I'm sure it drove my mom insane before him.  I was like a giant, heavy nostalgia magnet unable to let anything go.

But no more.  As I get older, I am slowly making my move to the other side.

I am starting to get ruthless.

Clutter irritates me.  Useless junk piled up in storage spaces drives me batty.  Broken toys feel my wrath.  I am more than ready to chuck whatever unfortunate excess that comes across my path.  I can't take it anymore.  Even items I once clung to with tender remembrances aren't very safe anymore.  I just don't have the capacity of time or energy to preserve it.  Or perhaps it just isn't as important to me anymore.

I announced this to Blaine the other night and got an effective huzzah! amen! it's about time! in response.  I'm finally catching up with him in this dept.  It used to be a fight, but now I'm joining his team.

We have several avenues to remove built-up junk at our house.
  • Semi-valuable, useful, and rare items are sold on eBay or consigned
  • Ordinary but useful items are given to thrift stores; ditto on excess toys 
  • Excess paper products, recycled; likewise on all the other recyclables
  • Trash = garbage

Consigning has actually been very useful.  You pay a fee to the consignor to sell the item, but there is absolutely no work involved and that makes it sooooo worth it.  You can also sell larger items or stuff of regional interest that wouldn't necessarily sell (or sell for much) on eBay.  We've succeeded in ridding ourselves from horded household items, dumpster-diving quests, and portions of the lifetime accumulations we've gotten from several sets of older folks moving to a smaller space.

Just this weekend, after organizing a work space to attack my gargantuan mending pile (which was eventually halted by a sewing machine malfunction), I was grim in my resolve to rid ourselves of some of my last holdings.  That $1,000 wool rug that we bought before having children?  The one we've never used because our cat Lester peed on it the first time we ever unrolled it?

Yeah.  That one.  That baby is getting the boot.  I am done.