Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tidbits: Clean studio and menus

Oh my gosh, am I tired!!!!!!! But the good news is the house looks really good!! More stuff done tonight:
*Most of the basement was swept and vacuumed (Dy, did I tell you how grateful I am for your suggestion to get a wet-dry shop vac? I love it!), with a focus on the studio and the stairwell.
*A fire has been laid in the wood stove for tomorrow, and both woodboxes are full.
*All the legos, knex, lincoln logs, and dollhouse stuff was cleaned off the toy table and put away.
*All the table surfaces in the studio have been cleared off, the supplies for all the homemade cards and gifts I didn't get around to making for Christmas have been put away, without any guilt attached.

Both kids are exhausted and tucked into bed- they have been helping me clean the house since Thursday! Such hard workers, really. There were some skirmishes, but overall, they have been helpful and obedient. They are both saving money for big things right now (Interlochen, and airfare for Speech and Debate National Comp.), so I will "pay" them each a hefty sum for all the hard work that was above and beyond their normal chores.

My big sister, her husband, and their son are coming over tomorrow at 3 pm. This is big, amazing news, and I am very excited. Their visit was the perfect excuse for this thorough deep cleaning (which I wanted to do, but really lacked the motivation for these last two months).

The menu for tomorrow afternoon's supper (thanks again Dy, for helping with this!) is as follows:
*Salmon poached in a thyme, basil,lemon, and wine concoction
*Roasted veggies (broccoli, golden beets, fennel bulb, cipoline onions, garlic, zucchini, etc.)
*Sundried tomato and garlic polenta rounds
*Homemade pesto-cream (mock)sauce
*Ambrosia for dessert

I have everything done and ready, so I think I should even be able to get to church in the morning if I go to bed RIGHT NOW. Think good thoughts for our get-together tomorrow- my sister told me that if I tear up (over the loss of her youngest son in Nov.) that she wouldn't come over again, so wish me luck. My goal here is to be an open space for trust and communication for my sister and her family, and to start the healing process here.


Tidbits: Sinus headaches, and more cleaning

The Papa Dude got home about 9:30 pm last night, and he and my Mama stayed up late visiting and chatting over Auntie P's chex mix and beer. He was so glad to be home, and the four of us were very glad to see him, too. He woke up this morning, though, with a terrible sinus headache that he has been keeping at bay all week. I brought him breakfast of sausages and challah french toast and industrial strength coffee, as well as a handful of decongestants and sinus pills, and he is feeling a bit better. But I called the P family and canceled the wood gathering event for today.

Instead, the Girl is helping Gramma mop all the floors, and the Boy is down the hillside, carrying up some cut rounds that were felled last year. Last night, as we were all sitting around the kitchen table, I noticed a couple of places on the kitchen walls that did not get scrubbed as well as I would like, so I will tackle those.

I will be taking Mama home in a couple of hours, and then I think we will head down to the studio- it could use some cleaning too! What are you doing today?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Tidbit: cleaning update

My Mama has been here since about 11 am, and we have all been cranking steadily since then, with just a break for a lunch of leftovers and finger foods.

All walls and doors in the kitchen, living room and entryway, the foyer in the bedroom wing, and the bathroom are all clean! We have changed my bed linens, washed, dried, and folded many loads, and I hung up and put away all the clothes that were laying on my dresser and rocking chair in my room. The Girl's room is clean, and the Boy is currently working on the nightmare we call his room.

There is still a great deal to be done, but my mama is willing to stay the night, and help me again tomorrow, while the Papa Dude and the kids go over and chop and chip some wood with/for the P family. I personally think it will be a great deal easier to clean tomorrow without dealing with the kids.

I think I am going to be ready to start painting very soon! I really wanted to get a handle on the clutter and lack of organization still in the basement before I paint, but it is tempting to paint now that the walls are ALL CLEAN!!!!

Okay, Gramma wants me to take her to get her hair cut (maybe I should get mine cut too?), and we are out of tp, pt, and Magic Erasers. Man, I hope "Mr. Clean" got stinking rich off that particular invention! As Ree would say, I heart them. I love them, and want to marry them and have their babies. Not really, but they are so worth the cost! And FYI- don't use the brand that says it compares to Mr. Clean's Magic Erasers, because they don't! Ask me how I know.


Tidbits: Insomnia, deep cleaning, and a cranky pre-teen.

It is 3 a.m., and I am still awake, which is weird, as I have been up since 4 a.m. this morning. I hate it when my Dude is traveling and away. I do love being able to sleep in the middle of the bed, but it is colder- I always seem to need an extra quilt when he is away, and it is hard to get to sleep in the first place. Tonight I am hearing things every 2 minutes. Hard to relax. I am glad he is coming home tomorrow. I need me some sleep!

We had a delightful time with the Godparents yesterday. Lots of food, and games, and catching up. Auntie P's sister was there, too, and it was a delight to get to visit with her, as well as her borrowed puppy dog. I do loves me a doggie fix. Almost as good as a toddler.

Today was not a super day. The Girly and I butted heads most of the afternoon. It was frustrating, and I do not feel like I did a good job having patience or grace. But, we did manage to get a bit of cleaning done. I washed the walls and doors in the entryway, and picked up and swept the living room. The kids (mostly the Boy- he worked very hard today) started working on the bathroom- they scrubbed the tub, inside and out, the ceiling, and 2 of the bathroom walls. We also did the dishes, and kept the laundry going. Tomorrow, I am getting Gramma (I hope), and she will focus on the laundry, while the kids finish the bathroom, and I work on the living room some more, and then hopefully move on to the kitchen- the walls need to be washed, as well as the cabinets and the floor.

I still haven't used my easel, which honestly is all I really want to do. I think that may be why I was crabby and easily irritated today. I need to create. Need to make time for it to be important in my day to day life.

Okay, I am feeling tired now, and need to take advantage of that, and get some rest! If I can crash now, I can hopefully get 5 or 6 hours.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A day after Christmas plea

Dear Uncle M and Auntie P,
The kids are bringing games, toys, and cameras to share with you, can I bring my easel? Do I have to leave it at home? If you let me paint at your house, I will gift you with one of the paintings, okay? Not that you would want it, as I just have this craving to just get my fingers all painty and just play, so it would be very abstract. But I would offer, none the less.

We could work out a deal........ I could make you a double batch of my (in)famous biscuits that you love so much, and serve them to you with real butter and homemade jam, and then you could sit and watch me paint. Wouldn't that be fun?! No? Well, you can't fault me for trying. ;-)

Your loving friend, and the demented, er, devoted parent of your godchildren,

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas update

Merry Christmas to you!

I have a cold, was up till 2 am wrapping gifts, and then woken up by the kids at 6 am. So I am tired, and headed to bed- we have to be up and moving tomorrow morning, as we are off to celebrate Christmas with the kids' Godparents.

But I did want to pop in and say a very merry Christmas to you, and to share with you my fabulous gift. This is pretty much what mine looks like, but it came with a canvas carry bag, brushes and an acrylic paints set. I was not expecting this, and it was an amazing surprise. It it way cool, because it means the Dude thinks of me as an artist- as someone who needs an easel. I love that.

We had a wonderful time at the Christmas eve service last night, and tonight we had an amazing meal of pork roast marinated in an orange-fig jam glaze, with roasted root veggies (long red radishes, organic baby carrots with the stems on, red and gold beets, a fennel bulb, and a whole head of garlic cloves), roasted fingerling potatoes, and homemade challah. We forgot the pie, and the butternut squash, but we had plenty of good food to enjoy without them.

It snowed a bit today, and the kids were very excited, especially Piano Girl. She is so very much a snow bunny, and thought that snow on Christmas day was just about as perfect of a gift that there ever was.

We just finished watching Stardust, one of our new movie acquisitions from Santa, and it was very enjoyable, even though I haven't read either the book or the graphic novel. The Dude has both of them in our downstairs library, so I think I will put it on my reading list for next year.

I also have some good news! I already wrote it up and posted it on the WTM boards, so go here and read how proud I am of myself!

Much love to all of you, and wishes for a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Field trip and Christmas stuff

Today, one of my former Nature Study students and her mama picked us up and took us to The Museum of History and Industry to see the Audubon exhibit. It was a wonderful exhibit, and great to see his work framed and hanging up rather that just photos of his work in our coffee-table book about Audubon. We had a great time, and it was so much fun to be with our friends. I have to admit that I do not miss teaching Nature Study, but I do miss seeing these folks every week.

When she dropped us off, my friend was nice enough to let her daughter stay to work in the studio. Our friend PonyGirl came over for the fourth and last time before Christmas to finish her oil paintings. So we have had a wonderful afternoon of making and wrapping gifts. I of course spent most of that time messing around on the computer, so I have nothing to show for the three hours the girls were creating. Oh well.

So far, for holiday happenings, we have made Ree's sugar cookies and taken them to a cookie exchange party, the Dude and I went to his company Christmas dinner here, and we have done a tiny bit of shopping. We went with a dear family friend to Molbak's and drooled over the bright pointsetias, and the kids also decorated the living room and it looks so bright and festive. I feel like I wasn't in the Christmas spirit until the Dude and I walked into the bright, light-filled room last week. Now I have to scurry to get ready for the holiday! I know we don't have much longer, but I want to find some more fun stuff to do before next week.

I will try to take some photos of our tree and decorations to post tomorrow. Gotta go for now- dinner needs to be early so Boy can eat before I take him to the basketball game (he plays his french horn in the pep band.) in an hour or so.

Hi. I'm here.

Hi. I am not even going to apologize for not blogging for the last while. It has been crazy busy here, and I have been feeling quite overwhelmed. I have been dealing with grief-induced panic attacks, a wet basement (We are so blessed- The flooding was mild, and the basement is dry again, but we are actively praying for no more storms!), crabby teens, a hardworking Dude who is struggling with his work company's lack of moral ethics, and three toddler-cats who cannot seem to be in my studio space without barfing up hairballs on my newest works. Sigh. I won't even mention the decluttering and organizing that hasn't happened, the cookies that haven't been baked, the gifts that have not been yet made. Sigh.

But the deal is, I am here. I am blogging today, and I will try to retrain myself here to post daily. I need to get back into the rhythms and routines of our life. I do feel quite lost, lately, but I know I will feel better if I am expressing myself here and through art.

For now, I will sign off- I have three tween girls all down in the basement with me, all working on making Christmas gifts. Now to get *me* going on the homemade gifts!

Thanks go out to those of you who still come and check out the blog- I do appreciate you, but you also fill me with blogger-guilt when I go for long times without writing!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Tidbit: Flood

Hurricane force wind-storm-flood warnings all over the whole state. The basement is flooding, I will check in when I can.