Sunday, February 28, 2010
All 12, in fact, are now finished. Each block, and I'm not saying I counted or anything, has approximately (see, it's an estimate, and I'm stretching but still "counting" some of this as homeschool math) three bajillion tiny infuriating pieces.
Add to the mind bogglingly small triangles, squares, rectangles and trapezoids my terminal indecision about color and my fascination with every ELSE's color choices (like restaurant ordering envy, but much, much worse), not to mention my general, non-pregnancy-related aversion to the little quilter's helper called the iron, and you will have one hormonal (YES I'm blaming this on the baby; wouldn't YOU?) mess of a piece.
Oh! Oh! Oh! I musn't forget that throughout the quilting retreat I spent a lot of time with my camera. Not the usual method of finishing a quilt top in two days, you say? Well. This year's weekend was particularly poignant as there were several grandmother-granddaughter and mother-daughter pairs stitching side by side in a multigenerational display of loveliness and timeless pursuit of household beauty. I couldn't help myself with the camera.
So try not to look too closely at those points (be they fabric or philosophical), if you don't mind. It's hard to sew over 5.5 months of baby bump. For me. All righty then.
In other news:
My wonderful husband bought me a much-desired (drool might have been involved) book yesterday. Shocking, I know. Its title? Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. The irony isn't lost on me either. Just let me have a moment with it.
Friday, February 26, 2010
In fact, no one is there at those times but our family and our God. It feels a little lonely. I'm pretty sure I hit a low spot recently when one of Sarah's wonderful specialists, a mom, physician and all-around fantastic human being, hinted at me through telling her own story that there might be an element of coddling contributing to the cycle. Or maybe she was just sharing her experience with her son. But I took it personally and then where did I take it? To my family and my God. Briefly to my obstetrician, who instructed me with wisdom beyond what he could have known from my admittedly pregnant-hormone breakdown to rejoin my yoga group and my community. But did I take these issues to a friend? Not really. I wouldn't want to burden anyone. I wouldn't want to appear less than grateful for the abundant blessings my family receives. I wouldn't want to pour salt on anyone else's wounds.
I have felt alone, and lonely, in facing the trials of the past couple of years. This defies logic, as feelings for me so often do. I'm not alone at all. I have a wonderful, large family and friends to call when I feel like chatting or even whining. I have people dropping by ad nauseum to my house-that-was-a-church-and-never-stopped. And I don't fear being alone; I relish it. But sharing my burdens, my particular crosses to bear? Not so much.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I'm waiting for spring.
It can be hard to do.
While I wait, I keep myself busy, mostly indoors (because it's pouring down rain as though El Nino is a little bit of a liar, that's why). I spend my spare time on a little sewing (that cute gathered knit top with fabric button flower), a little seed starting (peas and spinach, anyone?), a little bit of virtual shopping on craigslist (so far of the window variety only although I did find a tempting LOG CABIN for $2,995, "you move it"), a little bit of dreaming of sunnier days when this baby will be born at just about the same time as the summer garden goes in (if it goes in).
Also I spend a little (lot of) time on parenthetical type thoughts. Clearly.
Is it still snowing where you are? Or, like me, are you teased by the first daffodils but thwarted from outdoor fun by the fact that it's not. yet. spring?
Friday, February 19, 2010
Hmm... mine looks a little pasty compared to the loaf on the cover of the book.
I've been baking with my fantastic birthday gift book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I still make sandwich bread the "old fashioned" way, but it's fun to make focaccia and French bread too.
That photo is my first-ever loaf of focaccia. It was pretty flat. And underdone. The book recommended against using the boule' the first day... did I listen? But I'm learning. And that's fun. The authors, Hertzberg and Francois, have just published a new book featuring more whole-grain recipes. (Too bad my next birthday is so far away.) But the latest issue of Mother Earth News includes a few of them! Hurray for frugal and fun!
And healthy. A-hem.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
So this weekend I'm gone to a quilting retreat.
Last year I spent a good deal of my preparation time, um, er, freaking out about all the talented quilters and designers and whether I'd stick out like a sore thumb.
This year I was invited back! But the retreat weekend snuck up on me a little. That was good because it condensed the panic time.
My fabrics are chosen and cut; even my back-up complementary fabric is cut in case of last-minute change of mind. Not that that ever happens to me. My sewing machine, cutting mat, rulers and overnight bag are at the ready.
Last year the retreat was on a remote mountaintop in the middle of public forest land, enhancing its exclusive mystique and my sense of removal from home and hearth. This year, by sheer coincidence, the venue is moved across the road from me. I may sleep at home in between hours of frantic, I mean earnest, stitching and creativity and fellowship with the neat women and artists I was privileged to meet last year.
And I hope to share pictures of my completed quilt top when I return. From across the road. (Why did the chicken...?)
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
(This is how Jake has been since Day 2 of joining our family. A snugglebug to the furthest extreme. Our little friend Hannah and her sister were scared of dogs. But he's not just any dog.)
Regardless of my mixed-up feelings for dogs at the point of loading him into my van, the emaciated one in front of me clearly needed rescue. Our vet suggested we leave him there for hydration, further evaluation and a flea bath, so even though the girls by this time were crying at the thought of leaving "our" dog behind, we did leave for frozen yogurt.
For a decade Jake has been such an integral part of our family that I barely noticed his aging. Sure, I had a few moments of breakthrough panic when I realized he probably wouldn't still be with us when Madeleine and Sarah leave for college. And, yes, when a friend's dog locked into him with savage teeth for no apparent reason I cried over Jake's newly scarred face and continued trusting demeanor.
And we used to have a bunny but he died a couple weeks ago.
I know I should but I'm not sure I can forgive the President for failing to write back. At least have an aide send a postcard for crying out loud.
Anyway. Jake is nearly 11 years old now. He's a little gray around the temples. I'm worried. We'll never find another dog like Jake. I'm not sure whether we should consider a puppy (yikes) to help keep Jake young and to ease the blow that's likely coming in the next three or four years.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
I have an embarrassingly slight understanding of weather patterns and may, come gardening time, rue the day of my great joy over our sunny, warm and dry February. El Nino, La Nina, La Pinata, whatever it's called, I love that sunshine!
I sat in an Adirondack chair soaking up sun like the lazy, I mean pregnant, mom that I am.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
As I recall, I was driving like a maniac (my favorite way to drive, evidently) to get home in time from the grocery store when I rounded the country corner to the see this. I would love to say it re-centered me and caused me to stop and marvel at the glory of God's creation, but the truth is, I debated whether to pull over to take the picture at all.
Then, later, when I saw it on the screen I was amazed at the way an everyday beauty such as that could become so everyday.
Just yesterday I was at my ob's office, crying over the sale of my horse and committing to find a way to go to the exercise class I gave up last summer due to babysitting difficulties. Can you imagine how, um, interesting it must be to be my obstetrician? One minute I'm waxing rhapsodic about the joys of expecting this baby and the next I've jumped into the subject of feeling not just rural and remote but a little stir-crazy and practically housebound hermitic. (Is that a word?)
This morning Laura had approximately seventeen potty training accidents, two of which involved her sitting on top of the closed potty and "going" while fully clothed. I received about eleven thousand phone calls and for some reason didn't turn off the phone. I cried on a friend's (telephone) shoulder about feeling isolated. I spoke with a former client about his real estate goals and told him I'm expecting my fifth baby and not such a good decision maker at this point, on his behalf or anyone's. Great. On call number three thousand and twelve I spoke with a mom of twins who invited us for a walk and I just about melted down over the thought of scheduling such an event. Then in a separate call I learned about a local family's tragedy that shamed me from feeling sorry for myself. And then my mother offered to watch the girls so I can rejoin the yoga class.
It's a roller coaster. But just for a minute, at the top end, we should try to reflect on a beautiful sunset or other everyday miraculous event. Right?