Thursday, February 23, 2012

High and low

Busy-ness visits us here at the Suite farm. 

It seems periodically I find myself in a mess of multiple and double-booked appointments, frantic mornings and exhausted evenings. Yes, it turns out, there can be too much of a good thing.
Ballet and tap and jazz and flute. Algebra and The Story of the World.
Chess class and Gypsy rehearsals.
And now the ceremonial planting of the peas otherwise known as the beginning of gardening season
then the attempt to wedge in dentist visits and my own yoga and fiber art classes; 
not to mention the dog-sitting and the farrier visits...
between the exceptional and the everyday....

 Sooner than later I'm looking. 

I'm looking high and low for some quiet time.

Sarah and I snuck away to the coast. 
Grace and I had a date at Sweet Life Patisserie.
Salvador and I have driven a million miniature miles on his Cars-themed play rug.
Laura and I planted those peas.
Madeleine and I read The Hunger Games.

I'm knitting while the girls dance.
I'm dancing while the children sleep.

I'm doing too much and I can tell I'm at that point where not just something but everything may give.
Give way.

So I'm looking high and low for that quiet.
Sometimes it's easy, like a spendy coffee on a rainy day or a new novel to read while I wait.

But other times it's more difficult.

What do you do when things are out of balance, to find your equilibrium again?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Building Valentines

Today I made a pile of happy little scraps.

Partly because today I am missing the old.

Isn't it funny how we (I?) so easily romanticize what's left behind?
Beauty is here, and now, and also in remembrance of what was good but is gone.

It's good to reflect on past prettiness and it's, I think,
even better to pick up those scraps and stitch a prettier future.

Fourteen Valentine's Days ago we lost our first baby and the devastation was exactly that -- immobilizing, personally tragic and as heartbreaking as anything I ever care to experience again.

I remember dwelling, then, on our marriage vows and the "for better, for worse" part, 
sure that day and the days that followed it qualified as worse.

Before that Valentine's Day I was in love with the holiday, in love with expressions of affection and the celebration of friendships and romance to which the day lends authority.

I tend to wear pink and red year-round.

But on that day, and for a couple of years after that, Valentine's Day had more than a shadow of sadness.
I know that many people struggle with holidays. I didn't really understand it until then, and I would venture to say that while I'm not going to be glad for that loss I can be grateful for the compassion the pain brought me.

Happy Valentine's Day, Friends. 
I hope your roses are red, your future is a patchwork of prettinesses, and your beauty is true.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Creating coziness

 Our new farmhouse is a little drafty and a little, well, little
Real estate agents would call it "cozy" or "charming." On a bad day I call it cold and cramped.
 On a good day I make the best of it and relish the close quarters as we have school and play and craft 
all in the same spaces. 
(See that ironing station there? I am ridiculously proud of it because I whipped it up in ten minutes before my quilting retreat, where they sell the same item, sans vintage linen topper, for $35. And now I see them all over pinterest (That site is yet another way for me to understand that I know nothing about technology.) 
and I want to say, I made one too! For less than $5! From a useless TV tray and scraps of fabric! 
And you can too! (Feel free to shed your punctuation sensibilities at any time.))
Grace continues to work on the timeline that, it seems by definition, never will end.
 Jack Frost visits and I think again about digging up more plants from the old homestead. 
I think about it but I am just too overwhelmed with 
the thought of gathering shovel, containers, gas money to trek back there. 
And then, won't it be nice for the buyers (please, buyers, be gardeners!) to be surprised by the bounty of heirloom planting there in much the same way I am beginning to see some shoots of joy to come 
in tiny green buds and brave little emerging bulbs here at the creekside? It will. 
I am paying it forward in the plant department.
And I'm quilting for coziness and craziness ... and we mustn't forget ... for draft protection.

I also cook too much, but no related photos at this time.
What do you do to up the coziness factor in February?