Sunday, October 19, 2014

The One With Frames

OMG! I'm blogging! After an over 2 year hiatus. A lot has happened in that time. But here's a quick lowdown of the last 2+ years:

Remember that house that my husband told me we purchased back in 2011? Well... it was a foreclosure and was pretty much stripped and in need of some serious TLC. Long story short, we've made some improvements.

 My boy is now 7, over 75 pounds, in the 99th percentile for height and weight, and is a brainiac.

My girl just turned 5 and I'm quite certain her sole purpose in life is to be entertained and will stop at nothing to make people herself laugh.

My mother in law moved from Oregon to live with us for almost a year. I will not speak of the details but... she no longer lives with us.

My mother passed away in June of this year, and I've been dealing with her estate and her trust (that we didn't know she had) and probate ever since.

And between work-related high school drama bullcrap stress, major personal stress, and just the challenge of being a fulltime working mom and wife, my body and health are really not happy with me.

But.. more about the above (except for the thing of which we do not speak) later.

For now... one of the ways that I manage stress and find perspective is by drinking heavily being all crafty and brilliant.

When my mother passed away, my sister and I were left with a ginormous hoarded mess.  I don't think losing a parent is ever easy or pleasant, but if you know me, you know that I am ridiculously happy most days and prefer to find the good in all situations. Now I'm not sure if what I'm about to tell is really the good in this situation, but in a very round about sort of way, I'm willing it to be good. (I haven't really started this little endeavor, so .. the jury is still out.)

My grandfather Leroy Greene was an artist. He made jewelry, sculptures and paintings, primarily. (I'll write more about some of that stuff later.)  My mother's home had a vault (yes, a vault, as in steel door, all cement, almost impossible to destroy, unless you're a family of rodents who always find a resourceful way). A few years back, my mother entered into an "arrangement" with a gallery owner in Billings, MT to sell some paintings. Apparently when he came to Corvallis to haul away these paintings, he wasn't interested in the frames they were in. So the vault (and home) were loaded with probably 75 or more empty frames. Some are super nice... I took a bazillion back home to Colorado with me, and left a bunch in the home for the estate sale company to deal with.

Side note. If you are ever in a situation where a family member passes and there is WAY more stuff than anyone ever wants, and you just don't have the time or desire to deal with it, do yourself and your family a favor and enlist the services of an estate sale company. Amaze-balls.

Back to the bazillion frames.





Just so many of them.

And I realized that they really have no value. What was I thinking bringing these damn things home with me? I really should have left them for the estate sale company. Grief, frustration and enormous emotional  trauma will make you do crazy things.

But as anyone with any crafty sense will do, I turned to Pinterest.

Stayed tuned for frame projects. Oh yes. There will be many of them.

Merry Christmas, Friends! Bwaah-haa-haa-haaaAAAAAA!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pork Corn

For Easter, our dear friends Jen & Michelle bought us this:

I'm sure it started as a joke. But... I brought it to work and made a bag. It smells like chemical, which is pretty gross. It tastes like bacon heaven.

There are two sad endings to this story. First, there are only 3 bags in the box. There are pregnant women in my office, and I'm compelled to share with them. They both love it as much as I do. (Now, don't judge me when I say this, but the salty bacon-y taste is so delicious, I actually ripped the bag all the way down the middle and licked the salt off the bag.)

Thanks, Jen, for documenting this:

Second, all 3 bags are now gone.

It only took the first bag to begin the conversation about, if microwave bacon pop is so delicious (even despite the fact that there is not even a hint of "real" bacon included in the ingredients; in fact, it proudly boasts "artificial bacon and butter flavors"), then how much more delicious would homemade popcorn made in real bacon fat be?

Well... this Mother's Day, I found out.  And let me just tell you that this:



If you have never tried this, oh my, you are in for a treat.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I love the spring. Fresh air. New blooms. Birds happily singing their springtime songs. The smell of freshly mowed grass.

Walking in my front door, I was admiring my flower baskets. I happened to notice a few random sticks and tufts of grass and mini-tumbleweeds on my patio below one of the pillars. I looked up, and saw the beginnings of a bird's nest. I tugged on Jeffrey's shirt and pointed out the nest.

One of the things that I love most about being a mom is the joy and excitement in sharing in the new discoveries of my children. Jeffrey was so excited! He exclaimed, "Mommy! I've never seen a bird's nest before!"

Fast forward to this morning.

We kept the windows open a crack all night. It's such a blessing to wake up to that moist, spring air. I got Jeffrey all snuggled on the couch while I went to make breakfast. When I returned, he had an ear-to-ear grin, and lazily said to me, "There's a birdie singing!" Sure enough, the sounds of our resident birdies were filling our home with a happy morning tune.

Downstairs, I peeked out the front window to see how our little bird's nest was coming along. There she was, busily determined to finish her nest. I told Jeffrey to quietly come join me. We snuggled on the living room sofa, watching our friend deliver twigs and grass, and then dancing on top of her new additions until is was just right. And then off she flew again to collect another load.

I sent Jeffrey back upstairs to finish his breakfast. I continued to watch Mama Bird work.

As I watched, I realized that most of the items she was adding to her new home were hard and scratchy. I thought to myself, what do most mommies want for their babies? Soft places to sleep....

Side note: Yes, people. I realize this is a bird. I realize that it is wired to make an appropriate nest/bed for herself and her babies.

But the helper in me was intrigued by this process and I couldn't help but offer her some additional bedding material.

I grabbed a papertowel and began ripping it into long strips. Jeffrey heard and asked what I was doing. I admit, I kind of ignore him for the time being.

When Mama Bird was away, I tip-toed onto to the front porch and placed my little pile of papertowel strips just beneath her nest, and tippy-toed back inside.

No sooner than I had shut the front door and made my way to the window, Mama Bird was back, with a beak full of twigs and grass. She landed on the porch, observing this interesting pile of new material. She hopped around for a while taking it all in. Then, dropped what was in her beak, and replaced it with papertowel.

She came back twice, each time taking all that she could hold, until the strips were gone.

Her nest was by no means finished by this time, but there was a joy in my heart. Pretty cool to know that I helped Mama Bird build a home for her family.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Where you can put that lesson

It has been months. I miss writing. But, time is scarce and the mood to regurgitate the craziness of my mind's wanderings just doesn't strike when a keyboard is nearby.

And while there are so many hilarious moments  (and thoughts) to share, which I'm sure would elicit a few chuckles, if not a couple of belly laughs, I find it incredibly curious that the moment strikes when the topic isn't really something that I'm sure I want to get fully involved in. And by "involved," I do not mean "included." I mean absorbed by; engrossed. 

I believe that in order to live a virtuous life, it's important to be a perpetual student of life's lessons. I have found that for me, specifically, most lessons aren't learned by observation. In order for me to really "get it," I have to be an intimate participant. And sometimes (ok, often) I don't "get it" the first time. But, inevitably, eventually, I will have that illuminating moment when the switch flips and, "Ahhhhhh!!!!" Gotcha.

The spousal unit and I were reminiscing (over some delicious crab and a glass a Cabernet) about the last several years - all the loneliness and pain, and peeling away of our grip, and refining, and praying (and begging and pleading), and trust, and faith, and unknowing, and thrill, and gratefulness, and rejection, and cruelty, and lies, and mystery, and glory, and celebration. And ultimately our receiving an amazing (and impossible) gift of the desires of our hearts, which began with a dream, and then a hope, and then a move to Colorado. I'm reminded of those long nights when I would be jolted awake by God's voice telling me, "Be specific," and asking me poignant questions like, "Do you believe I am who I say I am?" I remember being so thoroughly in tune with God that when He whispered, I answered, "Yes, Lord."

Prior to the move, I worked in an industry (sadly, an industry...) where there was a lot of talk about authenticity and community, but very little in the way of authenticity and community. It affected us. Deeply. And not in a good way. I look back on those years and see clearly where we were blessed - with close friendships which will never be lost, replaced or forgotten, where we could be completely vulnerable and spiritually naked, and be completely embraced and encouraged. We were blessed with the knowledge and experience of God's presence and provision, and the promise that we are more precious than the birds of the air, and we need not worry about what we will eat or drink or how we will be clothed. I look back on those barren years with fondness. Life seemed desolate, but the soil of my spirit was rich. I'm so, so grateful for the lessons learned.

Lessons don't always reveal themselves at convenient times or in comfortable ways. I'll admit that there are times when I want to tell a lesson where it can shove itself.

But then the still small voice whispers shouts in my ear, and I'm reminded that people are watching and I need to be cognizant of my response. (That voice, by the way, is the spousal unit's.)

And then I'm suddenly reminded of the stupid crap that Christians say.

Sorry. That's a bunny trail I'll avoid for this post. (One of these days, I'm going to write a blog about that.)

I'm learning lessons. Lessons that the people we hold in high esteem are faulty, broken people and will ultimately reveal their humanness more often than their humanity. Lessons that conclusions, most often, are something that are jumped to and not arrived upon. Lessons that the miles in someone else's shoes always seem shorter than the miles in your own, until you take the time to review the map. Lessons that any hedge you build around yourself or others will be hurdled on either side. Lessons that they made erasers on the ends of pencils for a reason. Lessons that joy is to be lived, not pursued.

And lessons that the more I learn, the less "the noise" matters.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Boots and Scarves A-Plenty

Looky what I scored:

I pretty much fell in love with these Born Concept boots the moment I laid my eyes on them.

The spousal unit and I went shopping at the 16th Street Mall in Denver for our anniversary. I love this time of year because there are boots and scarves a-plenty! I swear, I wish I had a closet that looked like this:

I'm a sucker for boots and scarves. They're kind of my signature fashion statement. I wear a scarf almost every day from fall to spring - unless it's warmer than, say, 70 degrees. At that point, wearing a scarf in 70 degree weather seems a little ridiculous. Unless, of course, the scarf looks like this:

 Scarves are so versatile.

This is one of my favorites:

Green: my favorite color.  And I love it with this New York & Company trenchcoat (which I scored the day after Christmas last year for about 75% off.) What a bargain!

**Side note: The buttons were not sewn well onto the jacket. Four buttons have fallen off...  Luckily for me, button-sewing is a skill I learned way back in the day. Fallen buttons do not sway me. However, I have yet to sew one button back on. So, now my jacket pocket is full of buttons. While fallen buttons do not sway me, my lack of motivation does. There. I said it.

Here's another scarf I love:

RED! (With a green jacket, of course.)

I'm passing on these girly tendencies to my daughter, who flips out at the sight of shoes and little hair things. I have a feeling I'm going to be very poor when she is a teenager. I hope the spousal unit can score another job to support her impending shopping habit.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Ordinary Autumn Eve




 And this:

...makes for a really nice evening.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Challenge

The beginnings of a nice quiet evening, and perhaps a new blog entry:

But, then.... bedtime fail.  Snuggled with Eden for over an hour after bath and stories. I finally had to turn it over to daddy to work the snooze magic.

And now I'm too tired and unispired to write anything worth while.