Monday, December 24, 2012

with love, merry christmas

it's hard to add any meaningful words to the dialog around the senseless and heartbreaking tragedy that occurred 10 days ago in connecticut, but i needed to mention here that i remember. 

we are joyfully shifting into christmas eve, moving from the fun and excitement of preparing for this holiday into the reality of experiencing its wonder and magic (our first year to talk about santa: hohoho; preparing for the drive home: guess who we're going to see in just 5 days, just 2 days, tomorrow...). 

but i still remember. 

and like so many others, i am working to strike a balance between grief and the celebration of the season and of our precious lives in general. the temptation to throw myself in one direction or the other is tempting, but ultimately it would be a sham either way. to forget, to move on completely, to turn and walk away - how nice that would be, but how dishonest. 

but to be consumed with grief and anger and anguish, well that is nearly just as shameful. i own this tragedy as a mother, a daughter, a sister, as an educator, a mental health professional, as an american, and mostly as a human being. but it's not mine to be emotionally consumed by. that's selfish and disrespectful to those families in true despair. 

so i strike a balance between these options. i stumble through prayers to the earth, to god, to no one. i read one more book to the little guy, sing one more song, feel grateful that he's so young and doesn't think it's creepy when i hold my nose close to his sweet body, his hair, taking in a bit more. i sign petitions, i talk about regulations, make a donation, attend a vigil. i wonder if there will still be school counseling positions when it's time for me to go back to work, or if funding for my role will be replaced by funding for armed guards. and then i wonder which i'd prefer, if i had to choose just one, when my precious little dons a backpack and heads into the school house. 

and then i bake some cookies, make hot chocolate, visit neighbors, old friends, wrap a gift, laugh, dance with david and sadie, kiss my husband. 

if you look at our house and you see the lights shining, the carefully hung stockings, the parents up late drinking wine, assembling toys, please know that we do these things with joy and sorrow. that our heads and our hearts are not turned away. that we are, as you are too, i hope, facing life courageously, honoring those who are gone (and dear god they are missed), as well as those who are here (my child, you make me desperate with love) with a delicate and imperfect balance of remembering and celebrating. 

whatever your religious beliefs, may the spirit of the season bring you some joy, some solace, some comfort, some light. 
 with love, merry christmas.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

mint condition

i'm pretty sure i willed fall into reality - knitting feverishly through the summer in hope for this mythical season of cool weather and hot drinks. as the days of scorching heat began to shorten, the mirage of socks and jeans i had so desperately sought began to materialize, and with the passing of frankenstorm we are truly welcoming a new season. coats and hats have been added to the mix, and baking is being carried out with abandon.

this morning i clipped some mint from our slowing herb garden in preparation for minty hot chocolates (as opposed to stormy mojitos - oh, you should see our recycling bin this week). i have thanksgiving on my mind and dare i admit i've been thinking about the winter holidays? and all of this is simply to say that i am feeling grateful and energized. it was a long and rough summer and although i understand winter will bring its own challenges, i am happy to be moving on.

as mother nature shows us time and again, seasons pass, storms rage, beautiful days dawn. i'm wishing warm bodies, full bellies, and peaceful hearts for all.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

4th annual 29th birthday

today is my birthday. i am 32 years old.

it is a classically beautiful fall day with cool breezes and hot sunshine. i just put my cake in the oven. it's a version of this, except minus the red wine because the thing that makes this birthday special is celebrating with my guys, one of whom isn't quite 21.

funny how things change. 5 years ago i was celebrating what i dubbed "the big two-seven." a dj friend hosted a special night at an athens bar just for me. my grad school and yoga friends came out. my athens siblings were there. jesse and i were just getting back together. we all got rowdy, stayed up too late, drank too much, and felt like crap the next day. it was a blast. one for the books (facebook).

this morning i was quietly greeted by my two most special boys. tip-toe down the stairs, smiles and kisses, happy-birthday-mama wishes.

tonight the three of us will eat my favorite homemade pizza, followed by cake and ice cream, a walk, bed time for little guy, a glass (or two) of wine for mama and daddy. maybe a movie, maybe some knitting, probably early to bed. it won't be epic (not that any of us used that word way back in 2007). no one will be untagging themselves from pictures on facebook in the morning.

when we wake up tomorrow it will be another beautiful fall day filled with all the things that fill our days: laundry, running, playing, cooking, eating, sleeping, cleaning - a lot like today.

and not that it needs saying, but i wouldn't have it any other way. this is the life that i imagined and wanted to want, but i couldn't quite understand how contentment worked. sure, sometimes i long for a night out, for a weekend, and i should work harder to make that happen every now and then, but when it's all said and done, what i want the most is just to be right here with my boys.

but let's not forget where we came from.....

that's serious party. face. dance. awesome. yeah.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

this moment

a tradition from
{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
it's sunday, i know. 



 and because i can't help it....

Thursday, August 23, 2012

food for your blah

when you're down and out it's difficult to think clearly and make good, positive, productive decisions. i was reminded of a time like this the other day when i walked david past a mcdonald's and he said - ooo. perhaps it was a coincidence, he may have seen a dog or a squirrel or any number of other, ooo-inspiring things, but maybe not.

you see, when that big storm hit in early july leaving millions in the dc area without power, we were among them. and damn, it was hot. and damn, i was miserable. and damn, that misery was compounded by the already miserable state i was in (see the only one if you don't know what i'm talking about).

and so i wasn't thinking clearly and i made some desperate decisions and among them was to go to mcdonald's a couple times a day (yep) for food and hot (yep, even in a heat wave) coffee, and ice water (delivered in a thimble) for david. this ended when my mom arrived and whisked david and me off on a stay-cool-cation. but we were several days in by then. so when we passed by the mcdonald's and i heard the excited - ooo - coming from the stroller, my first thought was, ah crap.

and while i really do enjoy fast food from time to time, i know it's blah food. and if you eat it when you're blah it will make you more blah.

so the other day, as david and i continued our walk, i began to question myself: why did i go there so much? why didn't i think of something else? and the answer is that i simply didn't know what else to do. and if i was new and limited in resources today like i was then, but better in spirit, as i am now, i can't say what i would do differently. i suspect i would come up with something. but maybe not.

it's not fair of the me now to be super critical of the me then.

i was in a Dark Place. and here's something i wrote from there.

How to survive the heat-wave of the century w/no power:
1) Drive around in your car a lot. Sure, it's no good for global warming, but it gives you a chance to charge your phone, get the news, cool off, & support that good ol' McDonalds*. 
2) Hopefully you hadn't bothered to deflate your air mattress from the last time you had company. You'll need it! Move into your basement, you know, the one you dub "guest room." Ever stayed in a "guest room" that totally sucked? Here's your chance to give your own a try. Yes, it's 2 flights of stairs from the bathroom, but chances are, you've sweat it all out anyhow. 
3) Make sad, desperate postings on FB. The positive support you receive will validate your misery & that will cheer you up a little bit.
4) Be a little self-righteous. FU radio host & all your crappy advice! Go to a movie? With a 1 year old? Go to the pool? It's not even open! Stay w/a friend? We just moved here. AKA don't have any. Bask in the glory of knowing you would never give such shitty advice. You are better than that idiot & while it doesn't cool you off, it gives you something else to think/complain about.

poor angry helen. the saddest part is that i didn't even have enough paper to finish my thoughts. hence the * that never was explained.

and so,

in the spirit of overcoming blah, i want to share a couple of my recent favorite recipes with you. i'm not a food blogger, but i swear these are really good...

jesse's creamy black-eyed peas 

you will need:
1/2 bag dried black-eyed peas, soaked over night according to the package, drained and rinsed
can of cream of mushroom soup
2 T italian seasoning (or combo of dried parsley, oregano, thyme, and rosemary; go heavy on the parsley)
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
6 dashed of worchestershire sauce
enough stock (chicken, vegetable, whatever) to ensure beans are covered by a 1/2 inch or so

combine, bring to simmer, cook 45 min to 1 hour

serve this over buttered brown rice with a salad. you will be happy. (this can be made vegan by subbing vegan cream of mushroom, vegetable stock, vegan worchestershire sauce, and butter substitute in the rice. easy-peasy.)

helen's best dessert-for-breakfast breakfast

this is a three part breakfast treat consisting of who bread from, whipped cream, and blueberry compote. it sounds more complicated than it is. make your bread ahead of time, snack on it, and then use the left overs for this recipe.

you will need:
a couple thick slices of who bread, toasted, day old is just fine. (this can be made vegan by using a butter substitute and any vegan sweetener for the honey. i used pure cane syrup. it didn't disappoint.)

whipped cream, make your own. it's easy:
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
1 T powdered sugar
splash of vanilla extract

pour the cream in a large bowl with the beaters from a handheld mixer and stick it in the freezer for 5 minutes. add sugar and vanilla and beat on high speed until thick peaks form. done. (feel free to adjust the sugar. i like my whipped cream on the not-too-sweet side, but it's your choice, go crazy. if you want to make vegan whipped cream, google it and you will get several recipes all using coconut milk. enjoy.)

blueberry compote
1/2 c blueberries, frozen is fine
1/4 c water
2-3 T sugar

combine. cook in sauce pan over medium heat. the berries will break, the sauce will get bubbly. it's done when the consistency becomes thick and syrupy.

layer your treat from the bottom up: bread, compote, whipped cream. enjoy for breakfast if you want to start your day with a smile.


*mcdonald's stopped offering the $1 any sized coffee and would only allow you to buy a small. i thought then, and still agree, that that was price gouging. they had enough cups. they had enough coffee. and they told me i needed to be understanding. if ever i wanted to make a scene. i have been meaning to write a letter to someone about this, but it hasn't happened. my indignation has enabled me to stay away since then, however.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

things i desire for emmaline and all the babies of the earth

my friends, morgan and doug, welcomed a little girl into the world just a few days ago, so i've had babies and knitting and love and friends and parents and early days on my mind. and when i have this combination of things on my mind i often think of the max ehrmann poem, "desiderata," (latin for desired things) as well.

is this poem a cliche? ahh, well in any case, i think it is beautiful.

and so i share it with you in honor of emmaline.

welcome, sweet child!

by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

one thinging (and a simple knitting pattern)

i'm a doer: make, plan, change, move, go. i rarely ever do just one thing. are you the same way?

examples of things i do simultaneously:
  • knit, watch tv on the computer, surf the internet
  • cook, clean, check email on the phone
  • read a book, check back and forth to facebook (did they "like" me? how about now?)

it's as if nothing is sacred. i don't even bathe alone. 
  • take a shower, bathe david, sometimes add in: clean poop from the tub

because sometimes this guy poops in the tub.

i know it's gross, but what can i do?

so anyhow, i don't ever just do one quiet thing. but the other day i did.

i sat and knitted in seed stitch, which is simply: knit 1, *purl 1, knit 1; repeat from*. 

the computer was closed. the phone was away. no music, just a fan: whirl whirl. knit purl knit purl knit.

it's simple enough that if you can both knit and purl, you can do it. but engaging enough because it switches back and forth every stitch. knit purl knit purl knit.

it can pull you in. 

it took me a minute to surrender, but then i did. how nice.

and then david woke up (i was "one thinging" on borrowed time), so i went on with my day. 

simple seed stitch coaster

sidebar: jesse gets annoyed with me because i have no reverence for a recipe. i'm a cook of opportunity. a swapper, an estimator. he thinks i'm flippant. i think i'm practical. when i'm working in the unknown, i'll stick to the map, but if i have a feel for where i am, i feel completely free to meander. this also applies to my knitting, and i hope you will "abide" by this pattern in the same manner....

makes 4 coasters approximately 4x4"

you will need:
3.5 mm knitting needles
sport weight, or just not bulky, yarn (less than 50 grams for 4 coasters)
large needle (for sewing in the ends)

the pattern:
loosely cast on 19 stitches
first row: begin working seed stitch: knit 1, *purl 1, knit 1; repeat from*
repeat first row until you have made a square
cast off loosely in seed stitch
sew in ends

these are going to be a housewarming gift.
 brown paper packages tied up with string... eventually.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

the only one

we don't live in a place where people air their dirty laundry (or clean laundry) in the street (or back yard). instead, for the most part, everyone smiles, children play, cars are clean, lawns are mowed, flowers bloom, and, in my case, insecurities creep up like vicious mosquitoes (of which we have aplenty), biting before you have a chance to slap them away.

there is a lot of shame and suffering associated with the belief that you are the only one. 

i'm the only one who is lonely.

i'm the only one who resents her husband.

i'm the only one so bitter she can't even make a phone call.

i'm the only one this depressed.

i'm the only one going nowhere in her career.

add in a little...

everyone else is happy.

everyone else is sure of herself.

everyone else sits inside her perfect house smiling at her husband and children feeling content and fulfilled.

what a mess.

transitions are always tough (even good stress is stress), but transitions accompanied with excessively negative and faulty thinking are even worse. and i'm guessing i'm not the only one who has made these mistakes.

******let me put those of you who worry excessively about me (especially when you read my blog postings) at ease. i have changed my ways. i've seen the light. you can put down the phone and finish reading. no need to frantically check in. let's talk soon, but go ahead and get to the end. i'm fine. i swear.*******

so here's the story:

it seems crazy now, but once upon a time i left my job and moved to a land far far away to start a new chapter with my husband, child, and dog. and somewhere between athens and this far off land, i lost my mind and developed the idea that as a stay at home mother and wife my husband must now be my boss.

oh dear god. has anyone else made that mistake?

talk about wrecking your life and marriage with one single thought. bitter, resentful, insecure, ashamed, scared. and these words are only the beginning.

you don't like this meal? = i'm a failure. our baby isn't on a good schedule? = i'm a failure. your gym shorts aren't clean? = i'm a failure. i hate taking the baby to the pool. = failure. fail. fail. fail.


and then one day it wasn't so bad. and then the next day it was a little better. and then i realized that i'm the boss and now life is grand.

jesse can't be my boss. he's my husband and my partner. david can't be the boss. he's a baby and a tyrant and i already had a job working for a baby and a tyrant once and she fired me, so you can see that was no good. and sadie is a sad sack and a sad sack is in no position to be a boss. plus, she's a dog.

so i'm the boss. this works very well. i'm a good boss for me. i give myself lots of positive feedback. i'm very competitive, so i have to give myself challenges and good, constructive feedback. and when i deserve it, i try to make sure i give myself praise: i'm really tip top, a great hire, keep it up, that sort of stuff.

our cars aren't generally clean. our lawn gets mowed sometimes. our laundry doesn't get aired anywhere (but jesse's working on that, but just for clean diapers). we aren't exactly like all our neighbors, but my guess is that they aren't exactly the way i imagine them either.

just because they don't have laundry lines hung in the yard to sun bleach the poop stains from their baby's cloth diapers doesn't mean their babies doen't poop. to imagine it any other way is just silly.

this is not a boss i can take seriously.

 i'm not working for you.

and in the spirit of "the only one," you don't want to miss this....

(good work me. thanks boss.)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

to athens

i wish i were a great writer, i would write athens, my beloved city, a letter, and athens would know all that is in my heart. it would be a love letter at its core, but as all great love affairs go, our relationship has been passionate and tumultuous, so it would be more complicated. in fact, to really say everything it would have to be a love letter, a thank you letter, a farewell letter, a letter of apology, and ultimately a break up letter. after all, i am leaving you, and it's not just because my husband got a better job. what i mean to say is, it's not just me, it's you, too. and i love you, so it is personal.  

but i don't have the time or energy to make it a really good letter. i want it to be the kind that gets folded up, carried around, unfolded, read and reread. instead I'm just going to scratch a few notes on a napkin, spill a little coffee, and leave.

part of me wants to write my letter as a series of lists. a "best of," if you will. some things are simple... my favorite art dog: the one in front of georgia power; favorite bar: little kings. but that just skims the surface. would it be wrong to make a "worst of" list as well? worst hangover, worst boyfriend, worst job loss...  

it is strange, but a big part of what's on my mind are the ghosts. not the people i have hugged goodbye. not the bar or restaurant I made sure to go to one last time. it's the ones I haven't seen, the people to whom I said goodbye long ago. where are you now and why are you haunting me? it's the things that I said, regrets, moments that I let slip by. leaving this city means i am leaving those memories, closing the door, moving on for good. 

and it is bittersweet. i've been here for over a decade. i've been here longer, by far, than any other city. i want to say that i am sorry, and i'm embarrassed, and please, and thank you, and you're welcome. i want to say that i liked you, that i miss you, that i'm glad you are gone, that I'm glad i am leaving, that i remember the time, that you were important. 

most of all, i want to say thank you. you shaped me, tore me down, built me up, shook me up, allowed me to try many versions of myself. 

and now that i am here, is it too obvious to say thank you for my beautiful family? thank you clover street and mrs. moon and fun friday and siblings. thank you nowhere bar for my first drunken kiss with the lovely man who would become my husband (and for willie nelson in the jukebox). thank you little kings for being the perfect place to make our commitment to one another binding. thank you indiana avenue. thank you georgia avenue. thank you uga. thank you big pregnant belly and midwives and madrona and new friends. thank you king avenue for the longest drive home, 12 houses down the street, from the hospital with our hearts on our sleeves, mama and papa as vulnerable as that 2 day old baby. 

thank you athens. i love you. i will miss you.  

yours truly and most sincerely,

p.s. fight to the bitter end over trees even though i make fun of you for it.


i love this song and the sappiness of it mimics my current feelings perfectly. willie nelson's music is a huge part of my athens sound track. on a separate note, i'm dying to get david to a concert... 

Friday, April 20, 2012

sometimes yes, sometimes no

as many of you know, i have been essentially single-parenting for the last few months. as is so often the case, one never knows what one can handle until faced with the challenge. then, that thing that you always thought, "how do people do that?" becomes something that you just do because, well, because you don't really have another viable option.

and others act as though you have done something noteworthy. you know what i'm talking it about. it's that reaction you have when someone tells you they teach middle school: "oh wow. it takes a special person." or, "bless your heart." or, "well at least they don't drug test." and so it goes with my short and extremely supported stint at single parenting.

when people ask me how it's going i almost always say something to the effect of, "oh gosh, i can't complain. i've had so much help this might be easier than before jesse moved." and i'm not lying. i've had tons of help. between the five grandparents, the full time day care, and the emotional and financial support of my spouse albeit from a distance, i really can't say that i know what it's like to be a single parent. but then every once in a while something happens and you really need another person.

tonight i tried desperately to administer an inhaler with a mask to my near one-year-old. the doctor made it sound so easy. put the mask over his mouth and nose, one squirt, four breaths, one more squirt, four more breaths, every four to six hours.... there's just nothing like having a full fledged fight with a one-year-old. you will lose, and you will lose on so many levels.

in the end*, i waited until david fell asleep in my bed, administered the inhaler (one squirt, four breaths, one more squirt, four more breaths), and felt victorious. to hell with every four to six hours. i can't think that far in the future - i did it once, and i'm riding the wave.

but dang, i really miss jesse. and for all the "oh gosh, i can't complain" i share with people, i thought it appropriate to note that sometimes this really sucks.

if you can handle a lot of cussing, here's a video of another adult who made the mistake of a big fight with a little person. seriously, it's worth the six minutes...

* so that is how the story ended, but between the inhaler fight and the victory i did call poison control becasue i looked over at david (who was laying in my bed with me, but i was playing sudoku on my phone and not paying attention - yep. i'll be sure to add that to my mom-of-the-year application) and realized that he was gnawing away at the paint on his stainless steel water bottle. as it turns out, this is no big deal, but i didn't know that at the time, so i stayed calm, texted a friend, and called poison control.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

knit a square: a public service announcement


my friend gail tarver told me about this. it's really simple: you knit or crochet an 8x8 inch square and send it on to canada where your squares join others, are sewn together in blankets, and shipped to south africa where they are given to children who have been orphaned by the aids virus.

a good cause and easy enough. a nice way to use up some leftover yarn or give your hands something to do while you decide on your next project. or at least that's how it worked for me.

for more information, click here

squares can be shipped to 
Laurie Fortier
Hands with Hearts
3022, de la Rochelle
Québec, Québec
G1W 2B2


p.s. david says hi and let's play! :-) 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

craft it (in no particular direction)

first things first --- a huge thank you to jen boro of bring out the chef in you for my awesome bath fizz and soap! i'm darn near inspired to take a shower even though it's the weekend. (don't judge.) sadly, the cute heart shaped fizz didn't quite make it through the usps unscathed, but i am quite certain that it will spice up my next bath time just the same!!

second things second --- let's change this up. i want stuff and i want to give stuff. it's a stuffy-stuff world and i'm a stuffy-stuff girl. how about this?

  • the first 5 people to comment on this blog will receive a handmade something from me.
  • once received, you will be responsible for posting a pic of your new stuffy-stuff along with a link to my blog. 
  • then, if the spirit moves you, you may send something handmade* back to me which i will post and link (if you're a blogger to your blog, or to facebook, or to nowhere if that suites your fancy). 
  • or, if the spirit doesn't move you, just enjoy your new stuffy-stuff and be happy knowing that i loved making it for you.
  • and then we are done. 
any takers?

*the handmade stuffy-stuff doesn't need to be anything fancy or big or of professional quality. just made by you with or without love (preferably with).

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

in other news, david is 9 months old today! and damn cute! to prove it, here are a few pics from playtime this morning....

mom said orange pants are totally hip.

getting to know you, getting to know all about you.

who's that baby?

hey - that's me!

i'm getting sleepy


too many? sorry. just wanted to make certain you got your fill. and as a reward, enjoy our favorite hip-hop sesame street video.

Monday, January 23, 2012

wherever i go, there i am

you know how people get married thinking their partner will change? and they are always wrong? 

i thought once david started crawling (or scooting, as is the case) we would make an effort to keep the floors cleaner. turns out, that is an untruth.

sorry, buddy...

david demonstrating his mobility

Monday, January 16, 2012

the truth

the other day my mom told me a story.... once upon a time she was a young, single mother of four who had recently woken up to a robber in her bedroom. a few days later she found herself at the dentist explaining to the hygienist, "i can't floss - my house was robbed." she laughed at herself as she told the story. i can just imagine the thoughts going through the hygeinist's mind. after all, crazy lady, what does getting robbed have to do with flossing your teeth? brow furrowed quizzically, what exactly did they steal?

but i so get it. 

my life is wonderful. i am filled with gratitude and awe on a regular basis. but i get it. 

my anxiety has been through the roof lately and it seems to be getting worse. i recently found myself crying at my computer thinking about the flights i will soon be taking to d.c. i usually don't freak out about flying until i am on the plane and it's too late. this premature meltdown isn't a good sign. we went to a cabin with some friends for the weekend and i vowed, seriously, that i will never take another unmedicated trip that requires ANY mountainous driving (or passengering, as it were and always is). i know i have every reason to be a bit more stressed out these days. i am facing 4 months of single mothering followed by a move 600 miles from home. these are stressful things, but debilitating? no. they shouldn't be debilitating.

but here's the thing -- i don't want to do any work to get better. i feel like i already do enough. i see a therapist. i work out. i eat reasonably well. i have good relationships. my mental health should be fine. i don't want to do anything more. 

what do i want? i want drugs. i want something magical to fix me. i want to be a normal person and let things go. my aforementioned therapist likes to offer suggestions - have you considered meditation? do you want to try tapping therapy? you can do yoga on the plane. take a deep breath - how does that make your body feel? there's a website you can go to to learn about blah blah blah. but i just don't want to. i'm not saying i won't, but damn if it doesn't feel good to just admit that right now, i'm just not willing.

so i get it. your house was robbed - you can't floss your teeth.

but my mom still brushed her teeth. i bet she brushed twice everyday. she didn't give up completely and neither will i.

as my husband says, the good thing about parenting is that you only have to do it one day at a time. when i look at the whole picture, it's just too much. but when i look at today, well, i can do today. i can even like most of today. so as unwilling as i am to do any "work" on myself, i am totally willing to do all the things that today requires and i am even willing to enjoy a good portion of them. 

but i'm not going to floss.

and speaking of teeth, this little guy has FOUR!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

a quickie...

ok. ok. so i know we're barely beyond new year's day, but if there was one thing i learned from christmas it's that you really can't start hand-making too early. for this project i was inspired by the "festive felt wreath" of value village as well as the felt garland project in the book, "handmade home" by amanda soule.

valentine's day wreath
valentine's day wreath:

  • 1.5 felted 100% wool sweaters cut into 2x2"(ish) squares (these sweaters were purchased from the project safe thrift store for about $1 each during a bag sale)
  • embroidery floss (or whatever you have that's thin enough to be threaded on a kneedle and thick enough not to break. i doubled the floss and it worked very well. fishing line and jewelry wire are some other possibilities)
  • needle (whatever size needed, just make sure it will pierce the felt)
  • braided yarn tied in a bow (or a bow left over from christmas or some other adornment. i thought knitted cherries would be cute, but wasn't motivated enough to make that happen)

after felting and cutting the sweaters, thread them on embroidery floss (doubled up for strength). tie both ends of the floss together very tightly to form the wreath leaving enough floss to make a loop at the top for hanging. secure yarn bow with floss. enjoy.


i don't celebrate valentine's day as a romantic holiday (too much pressure for my tastes), but i like the pink and hearts, especially the cinnamon hearts!