Archive for the ‘family’ Category


April 13, 2011

Simple times. Cat t-shirt. Check. Bubble gum. Check. One eyebrow. Check. Brotherly love. Check.


on raised beds & butlers & why I don’t feel like a badass

May 19, 2010

A large part of why I picked the plot of land I picked to plunk down ‘roots’ was because of the fine, fine, river bottom soil.  I have some not-so-secret dreams of growing lots and lots of vegetables and even more flowers.  Currently I only have three peonies producing no blooms (not even buds, my friends!) and two tomato plants that I now have to just yank up from the ground and give them a proper burial in the compost heap.  Last evening I discovered that the excessive amounts of rainfall finally did my little guys in. There is a slight slope to my site and they have been swimming in puddles of rain water.  On the drive back to my boyfriend’s farmhouse I got real quiet and sulky. The reason: my sad tomato plants. I’ve gardened for many years, now. Mainly guerilla gardening in small little swathes here and there where I would squish in as much as the space could possibly handle. Why now, with this dreamy soil and oodles of (for me) space, can I not get even a simple heirloom tomato to stay put and throw out some roots? I tried to snuff out my tears as my boyfriend and I walked up to his door. Right beside the screened-in porch sits a striking tomato plant as fat and vibrant as a two year old toddler. Even though I planted him and have been giving him lots of love I was resentful that this healthy specimen was at the ‘country’ house and not the ‘city’ house. And that there was only one plant and not rows and rows of them. As I climbed the 100 + year stairway to the bathroom with my ‘overnight’ bag I got sulkier. My boyfriend and I say ‘country’ house and ‘city’ house in an effort to make living between our two respective houses seem exciting and fun. Not stressful and rushed.  I sulked because the idea of two houses seems romantic and decadent.  Very Gwenyth Paltrow and Madonna (who can afford two sets of hair products and makeup so as to make the overnight bag obsolete). The truth is, though, that there are two houses that need laundry folded, dishes washed, and floors swept. And a dog and a cat who are equal members of our family, but reside one each in the ‘country’ house and the ‘city’ house. And they both need and want lots of snuggles and playtime. So what did I do? I went to bed reading an article on raised garden beds and then dreamt about butlers in tuxedos.

Martin & Osa

March 19, 2010

My friend Kylie and Brett introduced me to Martin and Osa several years ago. Two Kansas kids looking for adventure away from the tumbleweeds and windy plains. They found it in Africa and beyond. It sounds romantic and dreamy. Visiting the museum in Chanute, KS sounds like a fun road trip. Not this weekend, though. Tonight I’m having a sleepover with my nieces to celebrate SPRING BREAK 2010!!!!!!!!! What are you all doing this weekend?

Photo by Steve Hebert for the New York Times.

niece love

February 23, 2010

My niece is the sweetest thing EVER! She could very easily give the card company that I work for a run for its money!


January 4, 2010

Happy New Year, friends! I want to wish you all oodles of comfort, joy, love, adventure and peace. My time off from work was not filled with projects and baking like I had thought. Instead, it was filled with a big fat blue moon, gobs of fluffy snow, and late night walks along creek beds. Things I hadn’t taken the time to realize that I needed.

I haven’t yet sat down and made my list of resolutions. The thought gets me a little panicky, and all things considered, I DON’T NEED PANICKY!  I saw this picture on my desktop today and it put me into a quiet sort of mood. It’s me and my family and boy, are we filled with joy and light! I mean, my hair practically GLOWS!  So, although this is not an official resolution, I do want to try to remember to let go and feel some of that ol’ timey goodness. 

And you? What are your resolutions for 2010? Think about it and tell me. I read somewhere today that energy follows thought.

I likey.

a little magic

November 9, 2009


Friends, I’m in! I didn’t get to move in on Halloween as I had anticipated (rain, driveway delays, by-the-books inspector!), but I did manage to spend my first night there on the full moon. A good omen, I hope! It’s truly been a whirlwind. I haven’t yet spent more than 3 consecutive hours there while awake and that has been a big ol’ drag. But if I’ve learned anything from this experience it’s patience.  I also got to celebrate my 35th birthday surrounded by my friends and family and a 4 ft. long party sub. I really know how to quickly class up a place, but listen, when you have a craving for the Kitchen Sink sub sandwich from a place in your hometown that you thought surely must have gone out of business by now and then your BFF and your boyfriend secretly arrange for it to travel a distance of some 80 + miles on a bed of ice. . . whoosh!!!!! It’s likely to take the wind out of you and make you smile so big that you get a weird aching sensation at the base of your head. And then to top it off your wee niece individually gift wraps large marshmallows and faux limes………well, I don’t think I really need to say more. EXCEPT, I do promise to get images of the house to you all soon. Once I plug in my computer and Internet service and find my camera.  I mean, last week I wore the same outfit three times! Also, I’m currently using butcher paper as my window treatment in my bathroom. Again, I sure do know how to class up a place.

I want to send out a special ‘Thank You BIG TIME’ to Melly, Erich, Annie & wee ones, and all my friends for my birthday celebration.

And another HUGE THANK YOU to the best homebuilder in the World: Matt Mozier of Hickory Ridge Construction!

still perched

October 8, 2009



Pretty things for the head. Red lipstick. Maybe that’s all a lady needs .  

The house is truly coming along. My mom came for a visit in which we had hoped she would help me to unpack and put my things into tidy little places, but, alas, I am still not living there. It was fun, though, to show someone the space who has not seen it once except for the few and random shots that I place here on the blog.  The best part, though, was watching my nieces do pirouettes across my wooden floors. Where I see headaches and decisions yet unmade, they saw dance floors and secret rooms to play detective in. What a delight to watch their imaginations go wild!

doors, unicorns, make believe

March 1, 2009

Today I went over to my sister’s house to chat with my brother-in-law who is building my house. He had some crusty old doors from his grandparents’ farmhouse that he wanted to show me. They were weathered, dusty, wasp’s nest built in the panes. Perfect. I’ve already purchased two beautifully ugly doors months ago. Uniformity lacks spirit. Wrapping my brain around new construction is difficult enough. Having every second person ask me if my house is going to be ‘green’ or sustainable is boring and tedious. So, listen, I may not have solar panels, but I have some crusty doors that were somebody else’s first. They are not new. They are recylced. Reused. Loved.

two old doors

 Nina, my wee niece who is nearly 5, was wearing a tank top and shorts when I arrived there this morning. It wasn’t even 20 degrees outside. There is snow covering the ground. She had beach towels strewn about the living room floor. SHE WAS AT THE BEACH.  It was real enough that I could smell pineapples and hear the ocean. And I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a unicorn gallop by and pause for just a moment to wink at us.

A very dear and special part of my work closed down this week because of the economic crisis.  Some of my mates lost their jobs. I kept mine. There is much emotional fluttering going on in my heart, stomach, and brain. I feel small, young, and vulnerable. Make Believe seems appropriate right now. I think I will go to Hawaii this evening. Where will you go?


February 22, 2009


I watched my nieces this past Saturday evening while their parents went on a date. We watched ANNE OF GREEN GABLES and ate popcorn with the lights turned low. My nieces are 4 1/2 & 7 1/2 yrs. (this is what they would say).  Something in the movie made me declare, “Well, I’m not married.” Which made Nina (4 1/2) say, “Aunts don’t marry, Gigi.” “They don’t?” Then Ella (7 1/2) came to my defense (?) and said, “Sometimes they do.”

 “Well, maybe when they’re older.”

Hmm. So, here I am, shin-deep in my 30s and my wee niece who, typically, would consider someone who is, say, 8, old, considers me not “older”.  AND, ‘aunts don’t marry’?. . . Does this mean I get to pass GO and collect $200?


Whatever. This spinster has a bitchin’ foundation.

supplementary matter

November 20, 2008

This afternoon my brother-in-law/house builder called me. I thought that for sure my building permit had been issued and I could drop my pants and scream enthusiastically around my work with  fair reason. Instead he said that my sister was in the hospital en route to have an emergency appendectomy. O. My sister, now she’s a gem. She’s as lovely as spring. As wound up as winter. I am who I am because of her. Only she’s kind, beautiful, has a husband, a home, and the two most precious daughters this world has known. And she exercises 3 to 4 times a week.

From today’s incidident I learned:

  • I work for a magical place that asks, “why are you still here?” when you explain why you need to leave.
  • 300 telephone calls between family that seemingly convey nothing, no news, convey EVERYTHING.
  • Carrying a large bag offers dig-thru entertainment when your sister floats to a netherworld and it offers plenty of room for contraband 22 oz. cans of Sapporo smuggled in with cuban sandwiches from the outside world.
  • When your sister, straight from recovery, sees you and asks after her husband don’t say, “He’s off to find a woman with all her organs.” The nurse may glower and your sister may just look at you still in pain, not comprehending.

The appendix is about the size of your thumb. It is, typically, a pale yellow pink in color. Think summer sunset or pink lemonade gum. It has NO PURPOSE. Except, according to my sister’s doctor, to pay his house payments. He showed me a picture of her appendix. This paragraph is the appendix of this post.

Appendix II: Just spoke with my sister and she is sore, but doing well. Dashing off to see her pretty face now.