Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I am not Martha, and I Don't Care.


Today, I saw the word "tablescape" on an Instagram photo and it sent me right over the edge.  Granted, the table in the photo looked lovely, but seriously.  I can't take any more.  All of this Pinteresting and Style Blogging has gone too far.  Tablescape.  You wanna see a tablescarpe?  Look up there.  That's our dining room "tablescape," with its mis-matched napkins and Daphne crumbs and homework papers.  

I. Am. Done.  

I love my dining room table.  Wanna know why?  Because I have dinner there with my family every night.  Not because of meticulously folded napkins or fabulous centerpieces made of twigs and berries.  

After seeing the word "tablescape" this morning, I finally got the kick in the ass I have been needing.  I finally see how silly it all is.  My house is never going to look like a magazine, and I don't care.  Hey Kev!  Guess what!  It's FINE with me that the living room furninture doesn't really match.  As long as I can sit on it and be comfortable and read "James and the Giant Peach" with you and Daph, that's all that matters.  

I feel free like I haven't felt in years.

In other news, we took the girls to the dump last week.  It was truly educational and inspiring.  And it didn't even stink!


Over Memorial Day weekend, we decided to have a sort of Staycation.  But I don't think I'm going to call it that any more because it's a word that sounds too much like tablescape, so I'm just going to say we hung around town and made the most of what home has to offer.


Kev took the day off on Friday, and we walked to lunch at this French place downtown that we've never tried.  Mussels and Fries.  Yep.


When Daphne got home from school, we rode our bikes to meet some friends at Dry Mill Winery, and Daphne climbed around on rocks while we ate cheese and crackers for dinner.


Saturday, Kev grilled some salmon and we ate on the porch (see tablescape above), and then camped in the back yard.



It was a cold and noisy night.  One neighbor was having a party, and the one on the other side decided that 8:30 pm would be a great time to mow his lawn.  Daphne slept through everything.  Kev and I didn't get much rest.  It's really weird to sleep in a hat.  But it was still fun, and an adventure for Daphne.


She had Eggo toaster pancakes for breakfast, with chocolate chips and whipped cream for good measure (see tablescape below), and it was pretty much the best day ever.


Meanwhile, I knit in the tent because I was NOT inside cooking a big fancy breakfast (see tablescape above).  


Good times for me.


Later, we went to the mall with an agenda, and got all kinds of things except the things we went there for.  I got FitBert (above), and I love him.  This thing is just what I needed.  I feel obligated and motivated, and you just wait until November when it's time for Moms on the Run.  Because I am going to run that 5K and I just might keep on going. Like Forrest Gump.   I even have a coach!  I love my kid. She made me do "Frankensteins."


The thing I was knitting in the tent is finished now.  It's a cowl, and it's going to be a beginner class that I will teach at the Finch.  I hope people sign up for it.


The whole time I was knitting, the yarn reminded me of cheetohs.  I like the cowl, though, and will probably make myself one if we get some colors that don't look like snack chips.

OK...I have been sitting here long enough.  FitBert is probably not too happy with me, so off I go to climb some stairs or something for a little while.  

I hope you had a good Memorial Day.  Stay tuned for the June Swirl.  

PS.  I feel like I should say, for the record, that the person who used the word "tablescape" is a wonderful person, who I like a lot.  I just think there is a lot of pressure out there in the interwebs to have this Ideal Lifestyle, and I don't want to be part of that.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Storm before the Calm


It has been non-stop around here.  The calendar is full, and there are still a few weeks before things settle down a little.  All good stuff but it's pretty exhausting, and hard to find time to sit and knit or read or think.  I end up doing all my thinking at night when I'm supposed to be sleeping.  

Mother's Day was great.  I requested that I didn't have to cook or make any decisions, and that's exactly what happened.  


Kev made crepes.  Daphne made me an awesome card and this painting, which I love.  


We went out for lunch, and Daphne and I did a little sewing:


Definitely a good day.  I have a nice family.

The weather has been weird.  Hot and then nice and then cold and then hot again.  There has been enough "nice" to spend a lot of time on the porch, or outside in general:




The school has challenged to kids to go screenless for 2 weeks and get outside more.  That will be easy for Daphne.  All she wants to do is play outside.  That makes me happy.



The Girl Scout year is almost over, and it seems like we have saved everything for the end of the year.  Last week, the girls delivered cookies to the pediatric staff at the hospital, and all the troops from the school had a big picnic at the park.  


Right after the picnic, Daphne had field hockey practice.  That was Friday night.  Then, Saturday, she had 2 games.



We had a nice big storm on Saturday night which cooled things off a little.



And by Sunday the rain had mostly stopped just in time for the Girls on the Run 5k.




Kev was Daphne's running buddy again.  She beat him by one second again.  I love her face in the last picture.  She was so happy and proud.  

They have decided that next time, I will be Daphne's running buddy.  This might be the biggest challenge of my life.  But I am going to do it.  I have until November to get ready.

Coming up, we have a Girl Scout trip to the landfill, a camp out at the National Zoo, and their bridging ceremony/cookout.  Kev's family is coming to visit.  I am hosting my book group and teaching knitting classes and going to various meetings for Girl Scout leaders.  Daphne's birthday is coming up.  Field Hockey continues.  And end-of-the-year school stuff is happening (Field Day, Donuts with Dad, class party, teacher gifts, etc.)  It's all really fun, but it's a lot.  I told Daphne I am looking forward to summer, and I meant it.  There needs to be a little slow.  

Daphne is turning 9 soon.  That is half-way to 18.  Good grief.  We definitely need a little slow.  



Friday, May 08, 2015

Another Shirt, and More Things



I have made it through the first seven days of Me Made May with three knitting projects, three sewing projects, and a screen printed tee shirt.  Daphne even played along one day with a shirt and bag that she made at the Finch.  I will never be able to make it 31 days without a repeat, but I am pretty stoked that I made it this far.  Maybe next year I can make it through the whole month.

I also made another shirt this week.  I'm saving it for a day when I plan to leave the house.  That probably won't be today.




Daphne is sick.  Again.  So we're kinda stuck here.  I need some Me Made Housepants for days like this.


On Wednesday, she was fine.  She even ran a practice 5K in the hot hot heat after school.  


While Daphne was running, I stood on the side of the track cheering and sweating and cursing the summer that is to come.  It was only about 82 and I was miserable.  I keep telling myself "at least there are berries, at least there are berries, at least there are berries."


We celebrated Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with You) with these pancakes:


I had a little trouble with the molds, but they were still delicious.  Next time, I'll get some cooking spray.  Seriously.  Buttermilk.  It's magical.

Daphne is home from school today, watching cartoons.  I have chores to do, but I really want to sew or knit.  Or watch cartoons with Daph.  I think the best plan is to go do some chores now and leave the afternoon free for something fun.

Happy almost Mother's Day to all the good moms out there.  You are all awesome. 

OK, garden...time for a good soak before it gets above 70.





Monday, May 04, 2015

I Made a Shirt, and Other Things


Sigh.

I am never going to be able to catch up on this blog.  That makes me sad.  There are months of things that happened, really good things, that aren't here.  But I think the best thing to do is just start writing again and try to make it a habit, so here goes.

I recently made a shirt.  It is pictured, above, but the color isn't quite right.  It's really more "Harvest Gold" than it is "Kraft Mac -n- Cheese."  It's also a little bit big.  But that's OK.  I learned a lot and I did it with no supervision.  AND, I used French Seams, so take that, Project Runway!

In the world of people who make things, May is a big month.  Me Made May, in fact.  And what you are supposed to do is to try to wear something you made every day of the month.  If this happened in November, I'd be in good shape.  But you can't really wear a lot of knitted things when it's 80 degrees, so this isn't gonna be easy.  I've made it to Day 4.  We'll see how far I can go.

Speaking of Day 4, it's May the 4th, so Happy Star Wars Day to all the cool kids out there who celebrate that sort of thing.  Our little family will be celebrating with Star Wars Pancakes for dinner.


Spring finally happened.  It stopped being cold all the time, the cherry tree bloomed, and we've been eating on the porch a lot.


I have decided to try to learn how to keep succulents alive in container gardens.  First, I have to get a container and some succulents.  So this may not happen until NEXT spring.

I've been working at the Finch off and on, which is good.  The other day, I was walking to work when  suddenly and mysteriously my travel coffee mug started leaking in a few different places, so I was walking and coffee was dripping everywhere and I was making a big mess on the sidewalk and I was worried I would get coffee on my new handmade shirt which I was wearing to work that day for Me Made May Day 2.  But, I was conveniently right across the street from the coffee shop, so I decided to go in and wash my hands, throw away my leaky mug, and get some new coffee to take to work.  But the line was REALLY long, so I would have been late to work if I stayed, so I left and went to work with NO coffee and when I got there, there were DONUTS!  Donuts on the one day ever I have no coffee.  Stick THAT in your stupid song, Alannis Morrisette!  But I guess I figure if a leaky travel mug and donuts without coffee are my biggest problems, life is pretty great and I should just shut up about it.

Daphne is good.  She scored 2 goals at field hockey last week, leading her team to a 2-0 victory, but I missed it because I was working.  She has recently become Led Zeppelin's biggest fan, and last night Kev taught her how to play Kashmir on the Fender, which is cool.  The Girl Scout troop will be spending the night in tents at the National Zoo next month, which is very exciting, and Daphne will be 9 one month from tomorrow, which is very crazy.

Meanwhile, Kev is busy saving the world with satellite technology.  You can see a story about it if you can find video of 60 Minutes from a couple weeks ago.  SUPER cool.  Really proud of him.

I am going to try to blog more.  I miss it.  Plus, I can't remember stuff that happens if I don't write it down.  Happy Spring, everybody!


Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Embracing the WInter


Daphne is at school today, which is a rare occurrence.  They say it might sleet this afternoon, causing early release.  It also might snow again on Thursday.  I started making tally marks.  Yesterday was Snow Day number 10.  I am thinking we still have one or two more to go.  And that's OK.  I am embracing the winter.  Because no matter how much snow we get, it will melt.  It might be a pain, but it will go away.  Everyone on the Facebook has been posting pictures of the beach..."Oh, I wish I was here!" they say.  Not me.  Snow > Sand.  Snow melts.  Sand never ever goes away.  Plus, it's hot at the beach.  I'll take the snow any day.  And as you can see below, we've had a fair amount of it lately.


Our biggest snow happened when Kev was out of town.  We got about 10 inches.  It was on a Saturday, so it didn't affect school or anything.  One of my neighbors came over to help me shovel, which was great because it would have taken me hours to do it by myself.  I actually like shoveling, though, truth be told.  Don't tell Kev.  But I think it's fun.

We've been doing lots of wintry things.  I took the Girl Scouts ice skating one day.  It was a blast.  I was the only adult to skate!  All the other moms sat on the bleachers.  I don't know why.  Skating was so much fun!  Daphne is getting the hang of it, I'm happy to say.  We need to go back soon.  And we definitely need to go back in summer when it's hot outside.


While Kev was gone, we had some Mommy and Daphne style chili. 


There has been a lot of hot chocolate.


And sledding, of course.


There is a hill behind Daphne's school that is pretty good for sledding, so I took Daphne over there after the BIG snow.  After about 15 trips back up the hill, Daphne was exHAUSted.  I wish I had video of the dramatic slow-stomp back to the car.  Can't.  Take.  Another.  Step.  Too.  Tired.  Need.  Food.


After all that, it was a perfect night for chili dogs and the Karate Kid.  Wax on.  Wax off.  That Mister Miyagi.  So wise.


And we've been doing a lot of hunkering down on the couch to read.  This book (Wonder) is one of the best books we've ever read.  I think all kids should have to read it, maybe in 5th grade.  Required reading.  Daphne and I are reading this together, and we are also reading Matilda as a "whole family" book.  We read a chapter at night if there's time before bed.  HILARIOUS book.  The Trunchbull.  Genius.


On one of the recent snow days, we decided to put on our snowpants and trek through the snow down to the diner for breakfast.


And then back home, past the trail:


So pretty.  


But the best BEST thing we have done to embrace the winter is take a little trip up to Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia to stay in a cabin for the weekend.  It was perfect.  


We got to try snowshoeing, which is hard work, but really fun.


And we got to spend a couple hours on the Awesome Sled Run of Awesomeness.  Up the conveyor belt:


Down the hill:


Over and over and over.  The most fun I've had in a long time, and a much needed family activity.


And then, s'mores.


WInter is awesome.  When it was time to leave, Daphne cried.  Big sad crocodile tears.  Here she is. smiling through the sad.  Poor kid.  I felt like crying, too.  I didn't want to leave either.  Cabins in the snow with my family are my favorite.


Daphne was tromping around outside the cabin, and I took a picture of her.  I kept looking at it because it reminded me of something.  Then, I realized what it reminded me of.


Bigfoot. Buddy. Daphne. Yep.

Well, I think we might get one more snow on Thursday, and then I reckon Spring will start battling to make its appearance.  I am looking forward to seeing colors outside besides white and gray, but still.  Winter is good.  So it's OK with me if it wants to hang around a bit longer.