Friday, November 16, 2012

This Moment

This Moment - A Friday ritual inspired by Soule Mama
A simple and special moment that I want to hold onto and cherish.
If you feel inspired to do the same, please 
leave a link to your moment in the comments.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

For the Love of Lobster Mac and Cheese

One Friday night recently my neighbor popped in after supper.  Miss B was already in her nightgown.  Five minutes later and I would have been too... anyhoo this lovely neighbor wanted to know if we enjoyed eating lobster.  Why yes, we do!  Apparently her daughter, who is a recent graduate and now a marine biologist has been doing some fishing/lobstering work on the side for extra money.  She invited Miss B and I over to pick out a couple lobsters to take home and cook. We threw on boots and sweaters and were there in a flash.  We are no strangers to live lobsters, my dad being a recreational lobsterman and all, so Miss B was not at all squeamish about picking out our haul.

These were quite honestly the biggest lobsters I'd ever seen.  I ended up steaming them for 15 minutes (a far cry longer than I generally would), and we picked them and had lobster rolls the following day.  But we still had a ton of meat - ah such a problem, I know ; )  I love sweet fresh lobster straight up.  Steamed and maybe dipped in a bit of melted butter, but that's it.  However my taste buds being a bit wonky these days I decided instead on a lobster mac and cheese.  Normally I find dishes like this absolute sacrilege, I mean why mess with perfection, but like I said, these are strange times.

I ended up using this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa.  Miraculously I had all the ingredients on hand, or worthy substitutions (I used Comte instead of Gruyere).  It was insanely good!  My plan was  to serve it one or two meals and freeze the rest in smaller portions for the darker days of winter, but it was so crazy good the hubs and I ate it for both lunch and dinner until it was gone.  I cannot recommend this recipe enough.  If you've ever been tempted by lobster mac and cheese I implore you to use this recipe.  Yumm, yumm, yummy!

Thanks neighbor!  Now plotting her tasty thank you.  Maybe a jar of the rose petal syrup we made this spring?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Where I've Been

The lovely Salmon Falls River sporting in fall costume.

Why hello there!  You may have wondered what black hole I have fallen into...well it is a black hole of happiness so to speak.

While I have not been blogging I've been...

Celebrating a second heartbeat!!

Spending a lot of time in the bathroom.

Spending a lot of time on the couch.

Spending a lot of time on our other couch.

Calling my hubby and asking him to bring sandwiches home for supper.

Celebrating a second heartbeat!!

Getting really good at saying no thank you to opportunities to do more.

Getting really good at just being, but getting at least a short walk in every day.

Telling Miss B she is going to be a big sister.

Watching her process this, and do a happy dance because she is so excited.

The next day answering her questions about whether or not you can marry your brother ; )

Still celebrating that second heartbeat and now feeling flutters of movement!!!

It is now a rare day when I actually vomit - yay!  And though I can still over do it, I feel my energy is on the upswing.

Dressing up as a super hero, maybe super mom, for Halloween, cause you know, I am ; )

Anyway, I hope to reconnect with this space, with the caveat there may be a few more things baby running through my noggin.  Just saying.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fairy House Festival

This fairy house was made from a gourd and I adore the little ladder.
 We attended the 8th Annual Fairy House Festival in Portsmouth, NH this year and it was enchanting!

This bridge is amazing!

Miss B dressed as a baby fairy (hence the lack of fairy wings) complete with blue hair : )

Gardens in full bloom with fairy houses nestled among the flowers.  Spotted among the fairy dwellings were miniature swings, twig ladders leading to fairy sized lofts, teeny beds with feather blankets, seashell lined walkways and acorn cap bowls filled with itty bitty fairy food.  The attention to detail that went into these pint sized creations was awe inspiring.  

What a darling seashell swing!

Lot's of bark and lichen in play here.

And the tiny table and chairs - oh my word!

This one has cattails and feathers.

Birch bark, rosehips, and smooth beach stones - lovely.

Most of the young attendees came dressed as fairies, 
adding to the magic of the event.  

A bubble tower blew out a constant and generous stream of bubbles for the little ones to chase and pop, in between face painting and constructing new fairy houses in an enchanted forest fairy village set up on Pierce Island.

The bubble tower made from a very nicely adorned stepladder.  Brilliant.

Getting lots of new ideas.

It was enough to tucker out my own little fairy.  

A fairy version of peter peter pumpkin eater.

This yarn shop complete with loom and spinning wheel was one of my favorites.

Just look at the milkweed pod baskets filled with naturally dyed yarns!

This fairy observatory was awesome!

Complete with teeny, tiny scrolls presumably of the stars. So sweet.

We are already looking forward to attending the festival next year, and I am certain we will be making a lot of fairy houses in the meantime.    

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Taking it easy

Miss B had developed a cold...  Then her breathing seemed faster than usual so I thought I'd just take her into the our local walk-in clinic for a quick lung listen by a professional.  Fully expecting to be told it was fine, just a cold.  Not the case at all.  We ended up in the ER with Bronchiolitis.  Breathing stuff is scary!!  So thankful for such wonderful medical staff!  And the next day at the follow-up a double ear infection!

So last week we were laying low.  Miss B missing her friends and dance class too : (  We were itching to get outside, so we decided a short fall stroll through lovely Vaughan woods was in order.  Sunlight and fresh air are healing no?  Well, actually this did not work out well at all, Miss B got quite winded quite fast, and the woods were full of babies and their people!  We spent our time trying to slowly stroll back to the car, while taking the trails less traveled and going off trail to avoid the little ones and sharing our sickness.  Crazy!  We felt like spies sort of.  Miss B was very good about it all.

I remember as a child my own mother took me to the beach one time after a doctor appointment, for the sea air to work it's magic.  This seemed a lot like playing hooky to me and it was thrilling.

Miss B just loves fall - its powers of transformation.  Each day feels like a holiday...maybe the trees will look different.  The discovery of one beautiful leaf after another.

We're back to our regular things this week, but I/we still feel worn out.  But I have missed this space and will work on getting back in here.  I do appreciate your patience.

Wishing you a restful day.

Friday, September 21, 2012

This Moment - A Friday ritual inspired by Soule Mama
A simple and special moment that I want to hold onto and cherish.
If you feel inspired to do the same, please 
leave a link to your moment in the comments.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Things we are loving

One of our favorite librarians, Miss Kathleen, recently introduced us to Mo Willems and his pigeon books.  Pure genius!  I think it's really hard to be so flipping funny in so few words.  Just amazing.  One of the books we borrowed from our library had a disc with Mo reading Don't Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late and it was out of this world.

Miss B is enjoying the games and printables on the pigeon's website.

The perfume I am wearing's called tomato plant.  Only available for a limited time...and in your nearest garden.

Completing outside projects before winter.  I finally bit the bullet and resurfaced our paved driveway myself.  It actually came out remarkably well.  I like to think all my years of squeegying the floor of the creamery translated into my awesomeness with the driveway squeegee.  It also helped that all the neighborhood walkers cheered me on.  I felt like a superstar.  Love our neighborhood.

Dream catchers - we're on a kick of sorts...and they do seem to be helping Miss B sleep better.  Next up we want to make a giant one out of a broken hula hoop.  How fun would that be?  Also, it would make it so she doesn't have to spend so much effort positioning herself directly beneath the small one we made initially.  Here's a great tutorial from NativeTech and another from That Artist Woman.

The September light.  It is so golden and with the crisp air you just know it is important to enjoy it now while we have it.  Much like many things in this world/life.

Monday, September 17, 2012

These Days

Trying to get into the swing of fall routines.

Soccer.  Dance.  School.

Miss B came home Friday and informed us that it was her last day.  We said right, now you have the weekend off, and then you'll go back to school on Monday.  No, she insisted, they said it was the last day.  We're out.  Oh, bless her little heart.  I want this transition to school to go so smoothly, and it is turning out to be quite a transition indeed.  Particularly the saying goodbye in the morning.  When I pick her up, she does not want to leave...and she speaks fondly of school and her teachers...still we are struggling to adjust.  And tears are spilling.  I just want her to be happy.

Soaking up a few more barefoot days at the beach (I just realized I deleted the pictures from our last trip - agh!).  Making plans for winter beach days (with hats, and boots, and scarves and most likely snowpants!).  The ocean is just such a comfort.  We feel so lucky to be so close to the sea.

Lot's of tomatoes and canning - my local shop is actually out of canning jars!!  Hoping to try this recipe for tomato jam from Food In Jars tomorrow.  Our kitchen is a fruit fly free for all.  My usual apple cider vinegar and dish soap traps do not seem to be working.  Tomatoes must be so much tastier.  Anyone else have any ideas?  I'm all ears.

The sun has nearly dried the grass now, and the garden is calling.

I hope your day is a gentle one.

Friday, September 14, 2012

This Moment

This Moment - A Friday ritual inspired by Soule Mama
A simple and special moment that I want to hold onto and cherish.

If you feel inspired to do the same, please 
leave a link to your moment in the comments.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bench Makeover and Flame Retardants

Before - in good shape, but tired and worn.

Sometimes it is rewarding to complete something doesn't it?  This little project was low on time, cost absolutely nothing, and makes me feel great every time I see it.  Yay!

In cleaning my Nana's house and trying to declutter a bit to accomodate a hospital bed in the living room, this little bench had to go.  It is old, old, old but is in nice shape and I had visions of tucking it under the vanity/desk in Miss B's room.  I put it in the garage for a couple weeks (that wasteland indeed ; )  And dug it out the other day about a half hour before supper.

All I needed was a screw driver, and this puppy came apart easily.

I unscrewed the 6 screws holding the seat on, and then folded my fabric in half and tightly folded it over the top of the bench (over the existing fabric).  The existing fabric was held on by little nails.  I was planning on securing the new fabric with staples (but my staple gun appears lost in the afore mention garage abyss).  For now I held it on with masking tape.  Yes, you read that right, masking tape!  When I put the screws back in I used my cordless drill to screw them in as I needed more power than just my elbow grease to punch holes in the new fabric.  The screws seem to be holding the fabric on nicely.  When I find my staple gun I will staple the edges, but for now it's good to go.  In less time than it took whatever I was making to finish in the oven.

Now isn't this better?
Sadly it doesn't fit underneath the vanity, but it brightens up Miss B's room anyway, and we both love it.

The bench was free, the fabric from my stash, screw drivers and cordless drill on hand.  Very, very satisfying!

Did you all catch this article in the NYTimes Magazine this weekend?  It made me feel ill.  Now we're considering getting rid of our old couch, and maybe getting a futon instead?  Flame retardants are scary indeed.

The article basically reinforces and lends legitimacy to my slightly impractical desire to acquire an antique fainting type sofa for our sun nook.  Wouldn't that be nice?  And safe to boot.  I can see more projects with old (pre-1979) furniture in my future.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

This Moment

This Moment - A Friday ritual inspired by Soule Mama
A simple and special moment that I want to hold onto and cherish.
If you feel inspired to do the same, please 
leave a link to your moment in the comments.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Day of Preschool

Yesterday was Miss B's first day of Pre-K.  She has been very, very excited about starting school.  After initially bounding out of bed and to the coat rack by the front door in her pj's declaring she'd just have breakfast at school, she seemed thoughtful, quiet and patient.  After oatmeal and cheese for breakfast, and vitamins and hairbrushing etc. it was absolutely pouring.  We ended up driving rather than walking, which made poor Miss B have to wait even longer.

She is adoring her new raincoat (thrifted and in awesome condition).  I worry it is a little too juvenile - but dude, she's only four once right?  And in the right mood I like to think I could pull a raincoat like that off as well : )

The drop off went well, though, not at all as I envisioned.  We were perfectly on time (according to all the clocks we saw in the school) and yet somehow, somehow, her class line had already left the gymnasium and gone to their classroom.  Note to self, be at least five minutes early from now on. A kindergarten teacher took Miss B under her wing, and said she would drop her off at the appropriate classroom as she went by it.  I think this teacher thought Mr and I would walk along with Miss B, but Miss B, all shy smiles took this teacher's hand and said "See you later alligator."  To which we dutifully replied "After a while crocodile." Then we watched her leave.  She seemed so excited and brave too.

On the drive home of course I cried a bit.  It's such a milestone.  Then I hustled around finally buying an umbrella...and then catching up on dishes and before I knew it, it was time to pick her up.  I connected with some of the other moms I knew from last year at various activities, as well as some other neighbors I had not yet had a chance to meet.  I think I will look forward to the pick up chitter chatter.

Miss B seemed happy, maybe even a bit older (really in just two and a half hours!) but kind of cryptic about her day, so I didn't push it and as the afternoon wore on I learned all kinds of things.

The girl's bathroom is MAGICAL!  I think this means automatic flush and automatic faucet.

Her teacher's favorite color is pink.

They read a story about how not to miss people when you are away from them...Miss B demonstrating a special hand kiss that will make it so I don't miss her while she is away at school.  Oh my teary word!

Here's the book, The Kissing Hand.  I may just have to borrow this one from the library.  It made quite an impression on Miss B.

On another note, Miss B is now using the phrase "Silly pants" all the time.  I think that one is from me actually - silly pants indeed.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Glitter Painted Horses

Last week Miss B noticed a few dings and scratches on a toy horse she has.  She asked if we could paint spots on it to fix it and I suggested we take this project to the next level with glitter nail polish.  She shrieked in the affirmative and we were off.  Such a simple project and we were both thrilled with the results.  I'm not a huge fan of these plastic horses, but painting them to make them your own is a whole different story.

Plastic horses (thrifted or gifted)
2 bottles nail polish (one glittery, one pearl)

Equals a very fun time.

If you wanted to get real fancy you could paint swirls or designs or whatnot, but Miss B was quite happy with brushstrokes here and there, and I was happy to see her rocking out with her own technique.

Maximus's newly glittered flank.

Friday, August 31, 2012

This Moment

This Moment - A Friday ritual inspired by Soule Mama
A simple and special moment that I want to hold onto and cherish.

If you feel inspired to do the same, please 
leave a link to your moment in the comments.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Butterfly Bush Love and Good Clean Fun

 Mermaids plus dish soap equal hours of fun in shade.

 Cutting the hydrangeas back so that the oil (crikey, I almost typed "olive oil" I wish!) delivery person can actually make a delivery when they chose to.  Fall is in the air.  We generally try our darnedest not to use our heat until October (or was it November?).  We are of the put another sweater on, no shame in wearing a hat and scarf inside ilk.

This butterfly bush is so incredibly fragrant I could swoon!  I am hoping to save seeds to start more bushes in the spring.  Last fall I wasn't thinking far enough ahead, but this year I am.

 Lavender and Thyme looking good.  
Love to run my fingers through these on the way out the door.

Butterflies - this one in the lavender, but more are in the 
butterfly bush.  Sometimes 20 at a time!  

Today at Miss B's Pre-K orientation there was a huge billboard in the cafeteria covered with the loveliest butterfly fabric.  Actually two fabrics, each of which I had made dresses with as a teenager!  For a long while butterflies were a power animal of sorts for me.  Maybe power animal isn't quite the right phrase, but I had/have quite an affinity for them.  I saw this familiar fabric as a very good omen.  Which is good, it may be harder than I anticipated not to get teary over my little one heading off to school.

This article today in the NYTimes has me wanting to give figs a go.  Anyone with experience overwintering them in a cold climate?  We're zone 5.

I hope your day is a pleasantly fragrant one.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dancing Around Dementia

This weekend was a bit of a blur really...though I will say it was a happy one.

Saturday Miss B, her little friend and her mum and I all went to check out the dance studio where the girls will be starting lessons in a couple weeks.  Our girls galloped around the room, flip flops slapping, and seemed a bit like little bulls in a closet (no china thank goodness).  We are so fortunate to have received as hand me downs a lovely pair of tap shoes (by the looks brand spanking new) in the required color and just the right size for Miss B so we have only a few things to pick up at the thrift shops...and some new ballet shoes.  Raiding the dress up box for tutus.

My dear Nana who has been suffering from dementia for quite some time was ill last week and had taken to bed, and it seemed her candle had blown out in some way, but she seems to have perked up a bit, and is drinking and eating more, and it was so, so nice to see her and to see her so excited to see us during a few moments of lucidity.  My sister and I spent most of Sunday rearranged their living room to try to make it more inviting and useful for she and Gramp, and so that it can accommodate the hospital bed that it now houses.  Now they can both see the television, and the lovely water view, and they can sit and hold hands as they tend to do (so sweet!).  Change can be hard, but after a bit of heckling (directed at us), even Gramp came up with some shocking suggestions (like moving his favorite recliner!).  Sometimes people surprise you.  There is much more I would like to say about dementia but I think for now I will let it simmer a bit.

I am loving, loving, loving these prints by Nikki McClure (and found on Momfilter) and am already asking for these for the holidays - I think 6 would be reasonable right?

Miss B has a little friend over for the day and they are making a circus, from a vintage magnuteer magnetic circus set I got while thrifting with my sister last week.  Our kitchen (where the circus is set up of course!) is a nice, nice place to be this rainy morning.

Hope your day is peaceful friends.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer Visit

Quite cousin time.
My sister, aka Auntie, and Cousin H came for a visit last week.  It's a rare treat to have them visit us and it was super fun.  We started with the Lantern Festival of course, and then had a day of good food, thrifting and pool time.  We wrapped the visit up with walking for takeout pizza...they live out in the woods basically, so being able to walk to pick up food or a book at the library or whatnot is a novelty.

We made sure to go the the Friendly Toast in Portsmouth, NH for breakfast.  I love this place so much I was actually thinking about it as I was drifting off to sleep the night before and planning to bring a cooler and gel packs so I could bring my leftovers home (their portions are HUGE)...and we were planning on some thrifting afterwards.  Of course I totally forgot about this plan, so we could only bring home our left over toast...which was still delicious.

This place is great for kids.  They can get a half portion of anything on the menu.  Miss B always gets the Flying Fish Scramble (smoked salmon with scrambled eggs).  It's nice and loud in there, and there's a ton of cool kitch with which to play "I spy."

Warning, I'm not a huge fan of their coffee, but they have a great tea menu.  Be sure to ask for it.  I generally get the Napoleon Dynamite tea.  I also always get the Mexican Mash, which is too spicy to share with Miss B, but a risk I am willing to take.  No trip is complete with out a trip to the loo.  I can't vouch for the men's room, but the ladies' room always has a unique toilet seat.  Generally it is clear plastic resin of some sort with either candy or rubber ducks within.  A huge hit with Miss B, and me too for that matter.

Cousin H engaging with sidewalk art.

Strong Auntie holding up Miss B.
 We've been talking all summer about taking Auntie and Cousin H to our friend's pool...which we use while he's at work and generally feels like our own private pool (complete with enchanted frog).  We spent the afternoon and it was soooo nice.

Our friend, eyeing us a bit warily.

Good summer fun, and such a treat to have the two of them here!!