Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

In no particular order:

Good:    This candle on our dining room table.

Its an  LED, but you would never guess.  We have another on the bookshelf (but really we've been moving from room to room with us.)
They flicker, are made of real bee's wax, run for something crazy like 400 hours, and create no polluting smoke.  My sister got a set of these first, and right after we finished making fun of them we sat down and ordered some ourselves.  We got them at Target online, not sure if they sell them anywhere else.

Good:    Activities that keep all three children happily occupied for a long time--like this one.

Pattern blocks, for hours (almost) of busy, constructive play by all ages.

Bad:  Aforementioned minivan , "Lois" whose heat decided to break on the coldest day of the year.
Good:  Same minivan, whose heat just as suddenly began working again, on the second coldest day of the year.  (Back on the Good list--for now).

Good:   These (used to be blank) canvases.

I got a small pile of these for cheap at Job Lots a couple of
years ago.  The kids have done these paintings over the last
year.  They have also re-used them several times, by just
painting over their old pictures.  Just the right size for hanging
with a thumbtack, or propping up on the bookshelf.

Good:    This kitchen concept.  My sister (same as above) sent me this link.  We're both loving it.  I'm trying to figure out ways to incorporate some of this natural system into my own kitchen.

Good:    If It Were Up To Me  from Cheryl Wheeler's, "Sylvia Hotel".  The kids enjoy the Potato Song from the same album. (Sorry I couldn't get the whole song for you--you can find it on YouTube with obnoxious videos).
Bad: That this song needs to exist.

Good:  Homemade hand-me-downs.  This hat, I made for Wylie 7 years ago, also worn by Juniper, and now Kale.   It also has a matching poncho--super cute, but not real practical for toddlers.

Kale 13 mos.-(last week)
Juniper 16 mos. Wylie 3 yrs. (4 years ago)

Wylie 16 mos. (6 years ago, hard to believe)

Good:   My Sonicare Electric Toothbrush.  I usually think simple is better, but I also really dig great oral hygiene.  These are super for that.

Good:  Nettie pots.  I used to have one of these from The Green Store, but it broke several years ago.  Now I just use the tea kettle from my daughter's tea set (don't tell her).  It works great when trying to fight a sinus infection.

Bad:  Head colds that move from one family member to the next so slowly as to render you housebound for just about 14 consecutive days. In the winter.  With three young children.  And, require you to use said Nettie Pot to avoid a sinus infection.

Bad:  Stomach virus (anytime really) but especially when just having recovered from a head cold.

Good:  Cord wood.  

Good:  The man who cut and split it all (I did do a fair bit of the stacking).

Ugly:  Minus 12 degrees Fahrenheit on several different occasions in one week.  

Sunday, January 23, 2011


The other night I was jarred awake by a loud cracking noise.  It was a frigid night (-6 F) and I thought maybe a pipe had burst, or one of the timbers in the attic had split.
But, the next day we did some research and found that we had had an actual earthquake.
The epicenter was about 4 miles from our house, and it measured 1.4 on the Richter scale .  As far as I know there was no damage done.

Maine is not known for its earthquakes.  Blizzards, yes, black flies, mosquitoes, cold water, lobsters, yes, yes, yes. But not earthquakes.  If we lived in California this would be uneventful.  But this is Maine.  (O.K., it was still relatively uneventful, but it has got me thinking).

It is easy to imagine my life will always be as it is (the children will grow--too quickly, of course) but with all of us in our places, doing what we do, settled.  It is a settled way of life here in Maine.

The reality is though, things could change at any moment.  No one knows what will happen, or when.

I guess I'm feeling like this is a chance to stop and take note.  To appreciate and make the most of the opportunities I have to do what I love, and somehow spend less time on the things that I don't enjoy (laundry comes to mind...)

There is a quote I love, "The way we spend our days is, of course, the way we spend our lives" - Annie Dillard (I think).  Somehow that tiny earthquake makes this thought seem even more important.  Let's not waste anytime on the unnecessary (I've already got some ideas for the laundry situation).

Life is unpredictable,  and nothing is permanent.

Indeed, even the very ground is shifting.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Monkey Business

After taking Kale (13 mos.) off of the kitchen table--again,  I said to Juniper,
"I think this baby is half monkey."

 "Mama," she said, "he's ALL monkey".

She might be right.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


We had a blizzard this past week.  Not as much snow as our neighbors to the South, but enough to make things pretty again.  We're loving it.

During the storm...

And after the storm...

Hope you're enjoying the weather where you are.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Sometimes (rarely) I am able to sit down alone, and take the time to look around at our home and my life and wonder, "how did I get here? When did I become an adult, a wife, a mother, with three children, a new house, chickens, a mini van...?" I am amazed. And so grateful--even for the minivan.

Of course there are days that drag slowly along, but most of the time I am startled by the fast pace life seems to have taken. The seasons seem so much shorter than when I was a kid. Even the winters here in Maine (except maybe March) seem to fly by.

I realize with awe and a bit of sadness, that my first baby is beginning to read, and that my round little girl has outgrown all her roundness. And then I catch my breath as my third baby wriggles from my lap to chase his brother and sister.
Who was it that said "Babies don't keep"?

This blog is an attempt to slow time down a bit.

An attempt to capture the best (and some of the worst) moments in order to better appreciate each day, to savor the time with my children while they are small, and to share with friends and family whom we don't see very often.

Thanks for reading.

- Jasmine