Saturday, February 27, 2010

Up and Go

I have a neighbor who is never home. She has two young kids (2 and 4) and they have a life rivaling the Swedish Embassy's social calendar. Half the time (on the days I am not working at my wonderful middle school, yes, I said wonderful) I look out my window as she shuttles her son and daughter in and out of the car and think, you go girl, and half the time I think it's just a little bit too much. (By the way, this neighbor does not read this blog-not that she shouldn't or couldn't). We all live tucked away in our little microcosms. Not much is known about what goes on inside our abodes (except when it's summer and you can hear the cacaphony that is my home)....When I am home, I am home. There's so much housework to do here and my craft actually works better if I am near the glue and pens.

The fact is, I haven't scheduled my kids much (being so young) and now.... it's happening, this spring both the boys will play soccer (with games and practices) and soon it won't be so easy to play build the biggest lego ship and decide whether we'd like to make new playdough or simply do nothing.

Okay, I know, really if you read into this the real answer is that it is A LOT of work to schedule kids' play groups and such.  And, I can't help it.....I like the ability to just up and go and I also like the ability to choose not to. And that flexibility will be achangin' oh yes, it will, but then again I guess we couldn't live like this forever, shucks....well, at least there's always summer.

Friday, February 26, 2010


 It's weird to think that my daughter won't have sisters. And I feel bad about this. 
But there's not much one can do about that.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


 The other day I had ONE of those days....a day that reminded me of a couple of years ago when I started this blog.....I was desperate. I was stretched and stressed and like a trapped animal, trying to chew my leg off. It was not unlike knitting a sweater, a very utilitarian one, mind you, a bulky wool-like thing and yet all the while your two year daughter is unraveling it from the other end. I was left standing there with knitting needles which quickly felt like weapons. All my efforts of getting anything, absolutely anything, were thwarted by a brassy, bossy and very cute two year old who refused to take a nap that day thus squeezing the life out of the entire household (brothers included). Well, at least THAT's what it FELT like......tough work, it's tough some days.

So it's embarrassing that I work for one of the best (if I do say so myself) motherhood (and fatherhood) magazines ever and yet I am a good 5-10 years behind on reading ALL of the great motherhood'd think I would be more "up" on these things but honestly I haven't HAD TIME since becoming a mother to READ about being one. But as you can see in earlier posts about creativity-it fascinates me. Motherhood and other peoples take on said subject...but most of all, motherhood and creativity. For me, one just did not go with the other for some while. And now, I couldn't live without it, the meshing of the two worlds. I'm reading Mamaphonic right now and it is like it was written just for fact I think I'm mentioned on the dedication page....another book recommendation for the creative mom, if you get a moment to read in between re-knitting your sweaters, that is.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Heart Neighbors

I can't say that I am too upset that my two boys missed their Valentine's parties last week. Because there is no such thing as "making valentines" here in Fullerland. The idea of mass producing 25 of anything except cookies looks like too much work for them. And I get it, I do, creativity can only be stretched so far with 4 and 6 year olds with the attention spans of one Mario Kart race. And my oldest has always been prone to give the kind of card that has some type of vicious animated robot who looks like he's going to jump out of the card and maul you (and that you simply can't draw 25 times, people). I just smile when I open his valentine box and inside the princess cards are co-mingling with these bad boys that say things like "Happy Valentine's Day-You're HIGH Voltage! .

On another note, I've found another funky house....but it is in the middle of nowhere. It was built in 1956 on 10 acres, looks like a red barn with huge windows, wide open rooms with wood beams on the ceiling, and a separate studio (see below)-in our price range but I never thought I'd say it, but no neighbors?, we aren't looking to move right now not at all, I just like to look at houses (always have). I get emails from a desperate real estate agent every week or so about another "quaint and original" property here in our county. I like to look at them. I imagine my kids running around in them, how much damage they could do but then wonder....How I could possibly give up the ability to walk down the middle of my road with cell phone in one hand and empty bottle in the other looking for milk so as to get through our bedtime ritual with little miss (I know, she's 2, no more bottles, oops)....There are plenty of neighbors/friends here who will gladly top it off, non-judgmentally smile, laugh and then ask if I've got some eggs for a last minute cookie craving they have. Here there are neighbors who dig each other out of huge snowstorms , have snow parties, scrounging up their last morsels of food to share. They don't mind if my kid is the culprit with the pink eye (oops), we keep an eye out for each other's kids (my neighbor directly across from me once caught my son trying to climb out of his bedroom window to get some toy off the roof-thank you Elena).

Yes, I really never planned on this. I've always been a fences make good neighbors policy person. And unfortunately as I look back through the years it has probably was not a great I missed getting to know Helen who was in her 90's and lived in the Cleveland Park apartment building with us for two years, she having been there for over 25. I missed getting to know neighbors who cooked the curry in one building (actually-scratch that), I missed getting to know my roommate, Emily better when I lived in Boulder only getting to be great friends right before I moved....I never wanted to get too close as I knew I would be moving soon even if I wasn't....moving soon. It's fun to look though. On this kind of property, we practically could have a cow for the milk for my empty bottle but I don't think they would be as much fun as neighbors in a snowstorm.

(The studio-yeah, it's cool.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Inside, Outside

(Outside, inside...many bows in hair and making necklaces, on the drawing table and the kitchen table-fun color palettes) Can you see where life instructs the art?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Simple, Sisters, Snow


30 inches of snow....makes one get a little art done. I am liking simplicity and sisters these days. So here's simple sisterly love. (btw-my scanner is kind of off a bit these days-maybe because I only paid 20 bucks for it-note to self-get a better scanner....someday)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

24 Inches and.....

So there's over two feet of snow on the ground here in Virginia. This is the grandest snowstorm I can remember. Now, this is fun but it is also torture being stuck in my dirty house with stir crazy kids who can't get out for fear of actually losing them in the snow. We will get out though. We will get through.

As you can see above, I've restocked my paints hoping that will inspire me. It has a little. Art just ebbs and flows-it's tough though because my last "run" lasted two years-yeah, wow. How crazy is that?
Time to try to relax....unless of course, I see two feet sticking out of the, wait, that might be my husband.... btw, anyone read any good books lately? I'm needing one of those can't put me down books that don't star vampires or strange kids drawn on notebook paper.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Why Does Time Fly By So Fast When You Get Older?

 (My mother with birthday cake-1946ish)

I've been thinking a lot lately about how it seems that time passes so quickly these days. The business? The crazy whirling of it all? No time to think, to slow down?
And I've been wondering recently if anyone else my age has noticed this too....then lo and behold what do I hear on All Things Considered? (the NPR program that may possibly make me smarter-well at least it makes me seem smart and that is JUST as husband has told me (UVA grad that he is) that he thinks I am getting smarter with all of the reading and listening to NPR that I do and in contrast he is getting dumber as we get older, chuckle's all part of my evil plan folks)
Sooooo......other people have been wondering the same thing.....
 Why does time fly by so fast when you get older?
From the segment:
As people get older, "they just have this sense, this feeling that time is going faster than they are," says Warren Meck, a psychology professor at Duke University.
This seems to be true across cultures, across time, all over the world.
No one is sure where this feeling comes from.
Scientists have theories, of course, and one of them is that when you experience something for the very first time, more details, more information gets stored in your memory. Think about your first kiss.
Neuroscientist David Eagleman of Baylor College of Medicine says that since the touch of the lips, the excitement, the taste, the smell — everything about this moment is novel — you aren't embroidering a bank of previous experiences, you are starting fresh.
Have you noticed, he says, that when you recall your first kisses, early birthdays, your earliest summer vacations, they seem to be in slow motion? "I know when I look back on a childhood summer, it seems to have lasted forever," he says.
That's because when it's the "first", there are so many things to remember. The list of encoded memories is so dense, reading them back gives you a feeling that they must have taken forever. But that's an illusion. "It's a construction of the brain," says Eagleman. "The more memory you have of something, you think, 'Wow, that really took a long time!'

It's fascinating. If you have a minute go to the link above and read or listen to the rest. I know there's always a running joke about me going crazy (my family will corroborate) but I'm so glad it's finally NOT JUST ME thinking these things. Oh, we'll get back to that later, I'm due time.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Snowy With a Chance of Craziness

 I'm going on day four of single parenting right now (because my husband is out of town). My hats go off to you single parents out there, it's exhausting and lonely.

You can disregard my earlier post about snow and fond memories, we are getting dumped on this year.  I don't know if I can suit everybody up (which takes about 30 minutes-no kidding) just to fall in the snow and get ice up their nose and want to go BACK INSIDE within one minute of being out in the winter wonderland. We've been cooped inside for far too long. Anna literally cries at the door not understanding that her mother is too lazy to get on ALL the gear just to stand outside with her while she repeats "Snowman, snowman, snowman" over and over again.
And as a teacher it's exciting to have an unscheduled day off, but not when you're part time and on a block schedule. My son Colin won't see pre-school until March because how one snow day will bump our whole schedule off.

I am really procrastinating right now-I have art due and it's now past due.....thank goodness for Pay Per View...Cloudy of a Chance of Meatballs is showing in my living room with five captive kiddos watching. Now, time to get it we go.....