30 September 2008

29 September 2008

the scene:

jeremy in his man-chair, feet socked & propped, computer in lap.
me on the sofa (piled high with folded laundry stacks), feet upon the coffee table, computer in lap.
both of us have broken space-bars thanks to ten bitty fingers lured toward anything with buttons. mm, lured toward anything.

clothes dryer buzzes in the kitchen, two glasses of slowly-melting ice, a perfect seventy-four degrees in the living room without a/c...

eli sleeps upstairs. he did not nap today because we were out. somehow we spent the entire morning planning for the month ahead, then ventured out (all three) to stock up on bulk sizes of pesto sauce, chicken, olive oil, and magnolia-scented laundry soap. eli, seated happily in the cart, ate his way from aisle to aisle, munching on teriyaki meatball samples and tiny wedges of pb&j "uncrustables", all while gripping a fluffy tiger halloween costume he'd grabbed from a table.

next, to the regular grocery for produce, milk and bread. same list as usual except this time a handful of speckled red plums and a tough-skinned butternut squash made it into the cart. i am eager for a fall menu.

tonight we went down the street for a birthday party hosted by our friends who own the coffee shop. they live in a great grey bungalow with a sprawling front porch strung with lights and cozied up by benches and chairs draped with old quilts. around an open pit fire, we roasted hot dogs on long branches that had been carved into pointed skewers. i was so wishing i had needed long-sleeves. we left just as the marshmallows were being passed around. eli was entering that overly-tired point of delirium where he starts running energetically from place to place. 

it is good to be with friends in this little town, to be reminded that we have them here.

rarely are we lonely, but we can tend toward being homebodies if we're not careful. especially now that we have a comfy man-chair, cool-weather days approaching, and a stockpile of gourmet pesto.

24 September 2008

garden sale...

just dropping in to share some exciting news in my little creative life.  i went by art & invention gallery today to pick up my paintings at the close of the Tomato Art Show, and it turns out i sold another one! two out of the three pieces i created have gone to new homes. i am so curious who bought them, and so appreciative. 

my feeling over this second sale is slightly bittersweet because tomato garden was Jeremy's and my favorite of the series and we were thinking of hanging it in our house. it's not one that can be recreated because i used original pages from an antique gardening book, but i am thankful someone out there will (hopefully) get some enjoyment from it.

i am definitely encouraged to continue my art work and to spend Eli's nap times painting away in my new upstairs studio.

23 September 2008

the shape of things...

{updated. decided to add a few more 'afters' of the kitchen/dining room.}

i'll admit, i am not always a patient person. being a mother has helped me to learn more about the all-important fruits of the spirit, but it's still a struggle sometimes.

as i see it, there are two kinds of patience. there's the patience to maintain an even temperament, to not become frustrated when your toddler refuses to wear a diaper or decides to test his screaming octaves in the middle of Target. and there's patience that involves the art of waiting (i.e. delayed gratification). i think being a mom has helped me in both areas, because both kinds of patience have become more and more necessary. i've become accustomed to waiting to take a shower until the afternoon, for instance, or waiting to do housework until after Eli goes to sleep so we have more time to play.

probably the biggest test of both mine and jeremy's patience this past year has involved our house renovation. it has required both kinds of patience in equal measure, and i think we'd agree has strengthened our relationship rather than strained it. for the latter, i am immensely thankful, as i've heard the stories of how remodeling a house can really deconstruct a marriage. along the way, i've tried to remind my husband (who is doing the bulk of the labor) of all the progress we've made and encourage him with a vision for what things will become. there are days when a simple project like trimming a closet will make us so happy, and times when all we can see is what's left in front of us.

i have been putting off posting before and after photos, because we still aren't really in a place of total completion with any room of the house. some rooms only need a few dabs of paint and a doorknob, while others have a long way to go. still, i was hoping to do more of an "unveiling" like on my favorite design blogs. but as i said, i'm not always patient and i'm ready to share some more of the progress. i'm including a few of the before photos (which reflect the house as we first found it with the previous owner's belongings.) eventually i'll post a more parallel before/after comparison of each and every room, but for now, this will have to do...

kitchen before:

...and details of kitchen after:

i realize that a potted basil plant isn't really indicative of renovation progress, but it's a sign that things are brighter now:

i love having open shelving:

schoolhouse fixture:

covering a large fusebox:

living room before:

details of living room after:

jeremy's man-chair that i picked out for him. it's a recliner. he loves it:

light fixture replaced a ceiling fan:

dining room before:

details of dining room after:

sitting room (off master bedroom) before:

sitting room still in progress:

this sofa will move to the sitting room once it's finished:

art studio before:

art studio after:

future inspiration board:

a bed for guests:

i might paint the bed eventually...

supply cabinet (needs to be repainted):

waiting to be hung:

[i have to add this little confession, because i think it's funny. in the photo of the leather chair, there were a few clumps of dust as well as several dried kidney beans (eli likes to sort them), & possibly a bug underneath the chair. i noticed them while taking the photo on my knees. i decided it would be faster (and easier) to photoshop them out rather than to sweep.]

to be continued...

19 September 2008

a day with thomas//an evening with jeremy

i've begun to notice autumn's approach and i couldn't be more eager to welcome it. i eased into the past few days on the front porch swing, listening to the sounds of morning. out here beyond the city, those sounds are really calming, especially when my other senses are waking up to the aroma of good strong coffee, the feel of a breeze against my cheeks, and the sight of five large maple trees still with all their green (but not for long).

jeremy and i were talking last night about how we feel like we're always waiting for the transitional phases in our life to end, for the seasons of change to stop or slow down so that we can just exist for awhile. we came to the realization that we'll probably be waiting forever, because change is just a part of life. we will always be experiencing joy over a birth, grief over a death, a new job, an old house [in need of restoration], or some other unseen part of our story we've yet to arrive upon. and whether the changes be good or less than ideal, we decided we need to just rest in the moments while we're in them---to welcome them even.

a recent moment that our family really enjoyed was the day that Thomas the Tank Engine came to town. we bought tickets for september 6th, and headed to the train station for a 25 minute ride along the tracks.

eli loved looking out the window at the passing scenery and sitting in a big seat all by himself. but what he loved more than anything was playing with the little flip-up ashtrays on the arms of the seats; those fascinated him to no end!

he also had fun inside the petting zoo, hugging and feeding the baby goats.

yesterday marked our four-year anniversary. time has flown, and we had much to reflect on and celebrate. we left eli with friends for a sleepover while we went to Margot Cafe for an amazing three-course dinner.

at Margot.

we had planned on a walk downtown, seeing a movie, taking advantage of our lack of responsibility for a night...but at 9:15 we looked at each other and confirmed exhaustion so we headed home. i guess our pre-date afternoon of chasing eli at the park wore us out.

it was still a good day, and this morning we had a quiet (though quick) breakfast at Red Tree Coffee down the hill. then i rushed over to pick up eli who was having a wonderful time in his godparents' kitchen and didn't seem to want to leave. he greeted me with a huge hug and a happy, sticky face. i missed him so much and he was only away from us for 15 hours. and while i realize i'm saying this at a quarter 'til noon after two cups of coffee, i would never trade being awakened at 6 am by my chirping little boy for endless quiet mornings of sleeping undisturbed.