Saturday, April 27, 2013

as i write this i am just a little more than two weeks away from moving off of second street.  aidan and i found the perfect little house in ne minneapolis and i can't tell you how delighted we are and how every single detail has fallen into place for us, even down to the unspoken wishes and prayers......... we found out last week we will have three sour cherry trees in the beautifully gardened backyard.  we loved our trees so much and i was almost as sad to leave them as i was to leave the house. but now we have not two, but three.  amazing.  (and this also means that my yearly Christmas gift to friends and family can still happen.)  we will only be about 9 blocks from school, about the same distance from favorite little neighborhood coffee shops and restaurants,  we can walk to Target, Home Dept, the grocery store, and most exciting to me is the new Mother Earth Garden store that is only 3 blocks away.  i am already imagining pulling my wagon up the street and loading it with plants.  (if you live in mpls, their s. mpls store is amazing, and i anticipate the ne one will be just as fabulous!)  

the next few weeks will be a flurry of packing, boxes, paint cans and exciting projects in new rooms as I empty out the old ones, but tucked away in the corners are moments of grief and mourning at the finality of this whole process. the girl who moved onto second street eleven years ago no longer exists, nor does the life i dreamed i would have or the people i thought i would share it with.  aidan celebrated his ninth birthday a few weeks ago and we looked back through my blog at stories and pictures from his younger years and it still hurts my heart to see what we used to be.  i now wonder at my naivety that homemade yogurt, sewing projects and gardens could fix something that was broken.   but regardless of where we stand now those were still good days and happy times and i miss them.

this week spring finally came to the midwest.  the neighborhood boys were out every night playing football and lacrosse and ruling the streets and i could hear them running and yelling as i packed boxes, confident that aidan was in a good place.  last night i sat out on the step with two of my favorite neighbors and shared a glass of wine and a few hours of conversation.  tonight we will probably hang out again and i will go to sleep with a heart that feels full and content after an evening spent with friends. i will miss these moments too.  i am glad they are only a bike ride away but these moments have been our life for the past few years.

so i guess i will sign off today with the words of Winnie the Pooh. apparently he was a wise old soul.

as for me -  i hope to be back blogging again.  i know i have said that before but over the past few weeks as aidan and i reminisced over old pictures and stories forgotten i was reminded of the value of blogging. in the past i blogged to keep up with all my crafty friends and to get more exposure with my sewing business.  i blogged for grandmas and family members far away so they could be up to date with our lives, but i think this time i will blog for us, so we can remember the moments that make saying goodbye so hard, and looking back we can be thankful. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Oh dear, I just noticed it is December 2nd and I have not blogged in months.  Or for that matter, I really haven't blogged for a year.

Truth be told, I have composed many blog posts in my head, it is just a matter of finding the time to sit at the computer and actually blog.  Tonight I am - but I think it has more to do with avoiding the huge pile of work I have to do and less with feeling creative and sharing it with you all.

So, instead of blogging about feelings and sharing photos of idyllic holiday family moments I will just tell you about two local events I am preparing for.  (Or should be, I have a week to go and half my inventory is cut up and strewn about the floor, I am a long way from being ready for Friday.)  But I did manage to whip up some bags for this event which is happening next weekend.   They have all been inventoried, priced and delivered so if you are in the mood for Holiday shopping I would recommend you check the sale out this weekend.  For that matter, you can start shopping on Friday as I will also be here at Tara's lovely home in Highland Park peddling my wares......... if I ever actually sit down and sew some more. (message me if you want details.)   If you live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area you probably know that the NoCoast is happening at Midtown Global Market all weekend as well, so you have many, many opportunities to finish your shopping   I won't be selling anything there, but my friend Amanda has a booth and she sells all sorts of lovely things.  You can check her out here.  

Speaking of Amanda, she and another friend, Jessica recently helped host a "Crafternoon" at my house.  We had so much fun!  I was busy running around and getting the food prepared so I didn't take any photos, so I will snag a few of Jessica's.  You can read more about our afternoon here, and again, if you are local I would highly recommend attending one of their workshops.  It is a great way to meet new people and they always inspire people to be creative and try new things. 

Again, all the photo's are Jessica's.

Hope you all are enjoying the holiday season!  Maybe I will see some of you out and about this weekend at local events or at the next "Crafternoon!"

Monday, October 8, 2012

Wow, our summer has passed quickly.  it didn't take long for us to settle in and find a rhythm of our own here in this little house on second street.  we played a lot of games, did some fishing, camping, slept in a lot oh, and did I mention we went to Mexico? I have myriads of amazing photos from our trip, I will have to share them later.

In the meantime our autumn has been busy.  School and homework take up most of our time.  I have also been busy preparing for a very dear friends wedding.  I am so excited for her and I daresay it is going to be a lovely wedding.  

We also have been making and consuming massive quantities of zucchini bread.  When I say we, I mean I have been making it and Aidan has been eating up to a loaf a day.  Breakfast, lunch, snacks, he just can't get enough.  Or rather, he couldn't.  Last week he informed me he needs "a break from zucchini bread and would prefer I make him some pumpkin bread now that autumn is here and all ........."     Really?  I think we have about 20 loaves in the freezer and as many bags of shredded zucchini.  But sure,  any excuse to use the oven in the house.  (the oven in this house is the original 1950'2 oven.  It is slow to heat up, but once it is hot it is amazing and my bakes goods have never looked this good.)

So in case you have zucchini's waiting to be used up I will share my favorite recipe from the Smitten Kitchen.

Zucchini Bread 

Yield: 2 loaves or approximately 24 muffins

3 eggs
1 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips or a combination thereof (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans, liberally.  Alternately, line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla.
Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, as well as nuts, chocolate chips and/or dried fruit, if using.

Stir this into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into prepared pans.

Bake loaves for 60 minutes, plus or minus ten, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.



Sunday, August 19, 2012

its been a long time coming

so this summer i had told a few friends that if they started blogging again i would too.  well, they have but i haven't.  partly because i am always running short on time, partly because it seems vulnerable to share what has gone on recently and i must also confess that when i stop moving i usually fall asleep.   

however today i am doing nothing.  nothing.  really - nothing at all.  i can't remember the last time i did that.  (or at least the last time i sat around in my house.  i did enjoy a few vacations this summer with some leisurely time spent reading and resting by the sparkling blue sea.) 

when i last blogged i was moving.  i have moved now, first into a POD,  then out of a POD, into part of a house and then into the rest of it.  it has been a good move, peaceful and healing almost and i cannot even articulate to you the emotional rest and freedom i have felt for the first time in years.  prayers have been answered, little ones and big ones all reassuring me that this is a place of rest for us and we are not forgotten.  but even in the the last few months as we have enjoyed this home i still have not had time to just sit and be still until today and it has been fabulous.

one of my favorite parts of this new house is a three-season porch that overlooks the creek behind the house. (same creek my last house over looked too.  yes, i am still on second street, but a few houses down.)  i love the deck-  and it has been a place for sleepovers and late night conversations and amazing dinners and gatherings but i have never just sat and enjoyed a book and time alone. today, however, i am home alone and so i decided that in spite of the dishes and laundry and work to be done i was just going to sit outside and finish my book, so there.  and that is indeed what i did.  i was on page 283 of Gone with the Wind when i came out here at 9:00 am with my cup of coffee and next thing i knew it was 1:30 and i was done with all 1024 pages.  but even though i have read this book many times, i forget about how much i hate the last chapter.  i had a sadness in the pit of my stomach as i read it because i don't like the ending, it always depresses me.  except the way it depresses me as a now 35 year old women is very different than the effect it had on my 13 year old self when i read it for the first time because now i can fully understand how relationships can be broken down and whittled away in small, prideful, unyielding moments and before you know it is is too late.  i have read that book so many times over the years but i never identified with the intense despair and loss she felt in the last chapter until now.  not just over the loss of the man, but of the dreams and way of life that she had envisioned and the profound sadness that empty hole leaves.  

did i mention that i was reading Gone with the Wind for book club?  and that book club is just another in a long list of amazing things about this street that i live on?  book club, barbecues, impromptu evenings on a blanket with the babies, a neighborhood handyman, a community, a home - this is what second street is all about. and even in the midst of sad circumstances and seeming end of many dreams Aidan and I have found an amazing place to rest for the next few months as we weigh our future options.   i think our healing will be here in this home, like Scarlett said, she would go '"home, and think about it all tomorrow.  I can stand it then.  Tomorrow..... i will think about it tomorrow, after all, tomorrow is another day."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

packing up.

metaphoric for the rest of my life.  i thought that it would be easier to have this whirlwind. i have been waiting, waiting for two years and suddenly it all comes down to this week. moving, signing, finalizing and in the midst of it, remembering. packing boxes, sorting through pieces of your life.  sorting through memories you thought were sacred, or that maybe meant something.  memories i have been avoiding, but as i sort through and separate piles....."goodwill.....garbage, pack away......."  i am doing the same with the memories and everything i have stuffed for the past few years feels uneasily close to the surface.

aidan and i were discussing memories tonight.  he has a few he "hopes he never forgets."  only eight years old and he realizes the value of the good ones.  i hope he can hold on to those and forget the rest.  he took a little video as we toured the house,   memorializing his favorite climbing tree, his desk/fort under the stairwell, secret hiding spots. my list is just as long. little nursery, his strawberry garden, first steps in our first house, newlyweds full of fresh dreams.  now strangers.  as we grew apart i put more time and energy into our little old house and now as we get ready to say goodbye and move i just wish i could spend a few more days here making a few more memories instead of doing dishes, fretting over messes and the endless list of chores and projects i always had for myself.

the good news is, however, we are not moving far. we will just be moving a few houses down from this one, remaining on second street. i like to think we are taking a little sabbatical.  we are moving into our
lovely neighbors home for the year and already i can feel the arms of the neighborhood wrapped around me with care. and as much as i crave my own place and that feeling that it is "mine" i am looking forward to this time of rest and just being.


Monday, April 16, 2012

the house sold.

the couch did too, someone picked it up this weekend. lots of memories on that couch. lots of books read, lots of sick days and naps under our favorite blankets.

(it was a jungle gym too. totally indestructible.)

My bed - someone is picking that up tomorrow. We won't speak of any memories there.
(What did we do before we could unload everything on Craigslist?)

Or for that matter, what did we do before Pinterest - the source of all inspiration these days? This weekend my mom and I loaded up my vehicle with pallets we found on Craigslist because I decided I am not taking my bed with me. I would like a different one. One similar to the bed in the photo below, which yes, I found on Pinterest and I am going to make it. so there.

note the pallet base?
I now have a pile of them waiting for inspiration.

and the headboard? I may have found some old barn wood too.
(Except I do not plan on painting the word love on anything. ever.)

And it is quite possible I am going to get carried away and say "who needs a couch?" and decide to make one of these too. Oh, and BTW, I found an old door to use.

So, in case you haven't noticed, what is quite obviously lacking from this post is a plan for where I will live with this furniture I plan to make. Small detail. Have to focus on what makes me happy, right? Because searching endless rental listings does not inspire me at all. As a matter of fact, this is the exact opposite of what I wanted to do. I wanted to move Aidan into a home. Our own little home where we could start fresh and make daybeds out of pallets if we so desired. (Aidan also has some plans. He sold a bunch of his deck furniture and his basketball hoop with the intent of building a fort in his new backyard and maybe getting a tee-pee. (???) Whatever makes him happy, right?)

Unfortunately that plan is about 6-8 months out now. I toyed with renting an apartment or condo and squirreling away cash, but the thought absolutely depresses me. Not as much for my sake as for Aidan's. He needs to ride his bike in a neighborhood, and play in the grass, not spend his summer shuttling between his parents condos. So I guess we will move twice. We will have two adventures. Make two sets of friends, but we will have grass and sunshine.

So check back - I will let you know where we end up. And this weekend when I should be diligently packing up my house, you might find me with a belt sander and the table saw. (I do believe it will be cheaper and more effective than therapy.)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

perfect day

maybe I should rephrase that - perfect moments. the days have been long and weird, but I have had some perfect moments.

like this one.....

and this one.

we have had amazingly warm weather this week and have thoroughly enjoyed it. the warm weather also brings all the neighbors out, so this weekend brought a few awkward conversations as well. "I noticed someone's car isn't in the driveway anymore........." Really? You noticed that? Pure genius you are. Others have been kinder, "We are so sorry to see the 'for sale' sign. please let me know if we can help you with anything........ we love you and little Aidan and are so sorry you have had to go through this." Those times I have to bite my lip so I don't cry. I love my neighborhood, the people here have been so good to me and have been the greatest support over the past two years. No words needed, no expectations for witty conversation, just kindness. dinner. shoveled driveway. glass of wine, or just a quiet nod and wave.

Things are still in limbo, but things are good. Really. I am doing well, we are doing well. We really are. Aidan says it best - peace. just a feeling of peace. peace washing over even in the midst of this hardness. peace that passeth understanding, because i do not understand it, but i am thankful still for it.