Monday, December 14, 2009


Apologies go out to those few of you who actually follow my little blog but mostly apologies go out to myself for neglecting this space for so long. I am still trying to understand what this space is and what pieces of myself I really want to share here. Part of me wants to keep this space light and joyful, focusing on the silly moments of my life whether I'm learning to sew or sharing little home keeping tips and ideas or anything silly that strikes my fancy. Another part of me desires this space to be introspective, philosophical, and for deep reflective writing. True it could potentially be both and I suppose it has been to some extent. Mostly I want to be committed to this space, to writing. It seems, however, that wanting and doing are two very different things that can be difficult to harmonize at times. I will be going back to Colorado for a couple weeks. Upon my return it is my sincere hope that I may become more serious about writing. Exploring what it is I have to say and finding my voice.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spring Cleaning in the Fall.

I have taken an interest in house cleaning, home keeping, and all sorts of things related to being a homemaker. I am finally embracing my new job title. With any new job there is usually some training provided so I headed to the library for some training manuals! Five or six books made their way into my book bag, all about how to keep a clean, clutter-free home. Yes, I know the basics of operating a vacuum, using a dishwashers, and making the bed. But looking at all these books I realize there are so many more things I could be doing to create a truly clean, comfortable home for my little family of two.

My favorites from the library so far are two by Monica Nassif titled, Spring Cleaning and Laundry. They are both sort easy to read references with beautiful photographs that almost romanticize the idea of cleaning house.

"Remember that spring cleaning is about taking care of yourself, not polishing an unrealistic image to present to others. The notion of home care as self care is the opposite of perfectionism - that tyrannical yardstick that makes you feel as though you can never measure up... Always give yourself permission to be human. And let the little things slide once in awhile."

This is something I am going to try and remind myself when the daily chores are weighing down on me. The next time I brush off the dusting or mopping the kitchen floors because it seems too daunting of a task, I can ask myself, "Annette, are you not worth the effort?"

(Photographs via Walk a mile in my underpants)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ummm... maybe not.

Yes, my husband is very good at all sorts of things mechanical and electrical. Heck he was able to restore a 1953 Seeburg jukebox that was not even able to take a coin to make it able to play our 45 record collection fabulously. So when he offered to try and work on my sewing machine I thought why not? There were a few terrifying hours as he figured out how to take it all apart and started trying to clean it up. Fortunately my husband is also able to admit when he's in over his head. And he was! Which is why I am excited to be finally picking up my machine today after a week in the shop. Now I can get back to being a busy elf!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hand sewn thank you

This is a little thank you card I made for my husband's grandfather's wife, Wylda. She had given us a beautifully quilted butterfly pot holder just like this one some time back. That pot holder is done with free-motion quilting outlining each of the butterflies. Wylda is a very gifted quilter! When she heard I was getting interested in sewing and quilting she sent me this unfinished one as a special little project to try.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Handmade Christmas

My sister sent me some of my nephews and neice's old baby clothes. Can you guess what these adorable outfits are going to become as gifts for my nephews and niece?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Geography of Bliss and The Principles of Uncertainty

I just finished The Geography of Bliss right in the nick of time. It is due back at the library today! An excellent book full of little insights. (I have a tendency to like those type of books best!) As you can see I filled up a few pages of my little black book with little quotes to hold onto and ponder.

Eric Weiner takes the reader on a journey through ten different places in the world. Some places Weiner visited are known for their happiness factor, Switzerland for example. Others known for being particularly unhappy, like Moldova. Because in the end you can't have one without the other.

I especially enjoyed the chapter on Iceland. Never before had I thought of Iceland as a place I'd like to travel to and visit until reading Weiner's account of the people and the culture he encountered there. Iceland seems to be a place where one is free, even encouraged, to fail. Sometimes in this American society failure is feared instead of embraced. Perhaps we could learn a little from our Icelandic counterparts.

Weiner makes some claims on how one can achieve happiness and where can go to find it. He does not however claim to know it all either, which I appreciated. The one message I was left with was happiness is whatever and wherever we make it. Happiness is as much a choice as anything else.

Maria Kalman's The Principles of Uncertainty was another book I finished recently that I greatly adored. Kalman's illustrations are wonderful! I couldn't help but smirk and giggle throughout the whole book. It is as the inside jacket cover promises.

Any words I would write about this book would not do it justice. The only thing I can say is go pick up a copy at the library or at the bookstore. You won't be sorry you did. Promise!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Rotary Phones

Do you remember those fabulous old rotary phones? I wish I could go back to the time when you could put your finger in a circle number slot and turn the dial around, listening to the click, click, click as it spun back. For the longest time my grandparents held onto their rotary wall phone. I loved making calls on that phone. Occasionally I would dial any old random set of numbers, making sure to hang up before I actually made a phone call, just to listen to the sound it made.

Sometimes I wonder why we're in such a hurry to find the next bigger and better technology. Especially when the older ones were built better, lasted longer, looked and sounded beautiful. Maybe that’s why I married my husband. He appreciates the old technology. Collecting old radios and now a 1950's Seeburg jukebox.

Things during my grandparents’ days seem to be so much simpler. I am sure they weren't with the Great Depression, World Wars, and other hardships. Yet still somehow I romanticize it and long to return to those less technological, more sociable times.

Because really technology has pulled us apart I think. Yes, now we can communicate instantaneously by email, blog, facebook, twitter. But we never see a person facial expressions change, or the hear the tone of their voice, or even see their handwriting scrawled across the page knowing that their hands touched this same paper.
(Image via Science Kitty)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dance lessons

When learning a difficult step, move, piece of choreography in a dance class I will get frustrated with myself from time to time. But in dance I am capable of pushing past the frustration, focusing on the move at hand. I take the move slower if necessary, breaking down into it's pieces. Or sometimes I will just press on, knowing I be able to do it after a few more repetitions or by studying the instructor more closely.

In life however, I am much more critical of myself. In difficult, challenging situations if at first I don't immediately succeed, it's not try, try again but rather give up. Be hopeless, loose faith. Why do I do that to myself? Arg. That question alone is frustrating!

How can I channel that same try, try again thinking that I have in my dance class into other areas of my life that need practice?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Knock knock

This poem is amazing! I love his performance. Enjoy! Thank you KC for sending this to me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day 6: Scenes from Halifax, Nova Scotia

Public Gardens

The Citadel

The noon day canon firing.

View from a canon barrel.

A deck chair from the Titanic seen in the Maritime Museum

These lovely gentlemen provided us with lovely send off!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 5: Scenes from Saint John and Saint Martins, New Brunswick

The Saint John River will actually switch the direction it flows at high tide! Here it is at low tide going out into the Bay of Fundy.

Saint John River later in the day at slack tide when the river is still. Unfortunately we couldn't stay long enough to see high tide, darn cruise ship schedule!

Saint Martins Sea Caves

Hunting for wishing rocks on the beach.

Found one!

The lobster boats tied up at the dock of Saint Martins at low tide.

The covered wishing/kissing bridges of Saint Martins.
Saint John City Market

Built by ship builders, notice the ceiling looks like the hull of a ship!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Solitary Weekend

Friends filled the empty spaces you left behind.
Friday was giggling girl talk.
Saturday held healing dances,
and good dining conversation.
Sunday transpired with sewing lessons and
a walk in the beauty of an autumn evening.
Friends filled some of the empty spaces you left behind,
but not all.
Empty were the moments looking into your blue, grey eyes
as I shared stories of my day.
And the nights,
oh the nights.
I dreaded crawling into that empty bed
knowing that it would hold one tonight instead of two.
Absent was the touch of your hand brushing my face as I fell asleep.
Missed were those middle of the night cuddles.
This weekend made me all the more grateful
for the gift of your love.
How blessed I am to have you as my companion through life!

Waking the auditatory senses

The conductor is so expressive and the musicians dance throughout the song. But with such stirring music how can you help but not dance in your seat! I just may claim this as my new favorite song.

I've been a fan of Bobby McFerrin for awhile. He understands the craft of music and makes it accessible while composing equally interesting and beautiful creations.

(both found via persisting stars)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Day 4: Scenes from Bar Harbor, Maine

Wildflowers of Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park- Thunderhole

Acadia National Park- Sand Beach

Acadia National Park - The Meadow

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mirror Images

Do you ever look in the mirror and wonder who the person is starring back at you?

Day 3: Scenes from Boston

This is carved into the sidewalk in front of the statue of Samuel Adams to symbolize where the old shoreline used to be!

The New North Meeting House

Paul Revere lived here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Homemade Pesto Pizza

Patrick and I had fun using our new pizza stone last night! We made homemade pizzas. I was in charge of making the pizza dough. I used a recipe from Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food which was as promised very simple and surprisingly very easy. Patrick made his pesto and then we topped the pizza with shiitake mushrooms, sauted onions, articoke hearts, mozzeralla, and gruyère cheese. The pizza was delicious! I'm excited to use our pizza stone again and again. Next up, trying to mimic the wonderful pizza dough of Delancey's pizza.

Day 2: Scenes from Newport, RI

The Breakers

St. Mary's Parish
where President John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier

Salve Regina University

The Cliff Walk