Daily Life


Just dropping in to say I am indeed back from my sister’s house, but the day I returned Chris came down with the stomach flu!  So I’ve been pretty busy taking care of things while he’s under the weather – so far I don’t feel sick at all myself, thank goodness!  I’m at our store right now adding a bunch of product to our database and watching the counter, so I’ve blogged a bit at our store blog.  Hopefully after this weekend I can get back into the swing of things.  In the meantime, I’ve been browsing a few of my favorite blogs – Holly has reminded me that fall is about here, Alicia Paulson has been sharing some of her summer fun (including the Oregon State Fair), and Molly Chicken has shared another free tutorial that makes me want to cozy up and stitch away!


Halloween has arrived here at the store.  It is funny to watch people’s reaction as they walk through the door – many come in frowning, with a pouting comment "fall already?!"  It seems nobody is ready for the summer to end, but then are we ever?  This summer sort of flashed right by me, waving "so long" as it went by.  Having a baby will do that, I think.  Benjamin is still a delight – it is fun to watch him consciously trying to reach for object so then he can put them to his mouth.  This morning I brought a new toy toward him, rattling it a bit from side to side, and his eyes were so fixed on it he jiggled his head side to side as he was watching it.  It was really funny.


This is Ben at 3 months with our friend Bobby Michaels.  He’s been spending a lot of time with his grandparents while Chris is sick, so I have missed him terribly.  But hopefully Chris will be feeling well soon, and sometime after this weekend I can get back into the swing of things!  Hope you all are enjoying the end of your summer…

Checking In


Sorry I was gone longer than expected.  I had a wonderful couple of days off with Chris for my birthday, but we had several things come up since, including a death in the family.  The funeral is on Thursday, then Ben and I are spending the weekend with my sister down in Oregon, so my posts will be a little scattered for the next several days.  I will check in tomorrow, but wanted to let you know what was up.

In the meantime, I have been a bit more on the ball on The Weed Patch blog, and I also found a bunch of art photos I forgot I had (including the one above), so I updated my gallery on my website (or you could look on my Flickr too).

Hope you are all having a lovely week – until tomorrow, nighty night…

Store Blogging & Birthday


Hi all – sorry for being so quiet, but we’ve had a lot of fires to put out lately, and I’ve been at the store most of the time.  I am still thinking about my encyclopedia letters – I have C picked out, but so far no D or E.  But it’ll come to me!  I probably won’t pick up again until after this weekend, as for my birthday I get two whole days with just my husband.  I don’t even want any presents, I just want to walk and drive around, holding hands, looking at things and talking about everything we love.  Likely we’ll stick around Snohomish then, because I love this little town, and living in it hasn’t reduced its charm.


I have been doing some blogging on the store blog, though, so if I’m quiet here, chances are I’m not quiet there, and vice versa.  I think it might take me some trial and error before I strike the right balance between the two blogs, as much of what I want to share on the Weed Patch blog I would also love to share here, but is it tacky to cross post?  Oh, I’ll figure it out.

Anyway, these are photos of a trip we took to Snohomish before we moved here.  Ever thought of even moving here.  In fact, I don’t think we were married yet in these photos.


Two sets of lovebirds…


Have a lovely weekend, Happy Birthday to me!

B is for Ball, Birthday, and Benjamin

This has been a pleasant week so far – a good mix of productivity at home and at the store, one-on-one time with Ben, some visits with friends, and some artsy stuff done too. I always forget day to day what I’ve done, and thus can’t recall what progress I’ve made on my to do list, so consequently I’ve started keeping a weekly to do list – each weekend I write up a list of things to complete during the following week. Sometimes in the morning each day I’ll highlight what I’d like to get done that day, to help keep me focused, but I mostly like to keep things open because with the store, a baby, and the nature of life in general, you never know what kind of a schedule you’ll have.
I love lists. I love to cross things off a list, even if it is "take a shower." The list for this week had a little bit of everything, like take a walk, vacuum, enter products onto The Weed Patch’s website, crochet some flowers, play with Ben, cook dinner, etc. B is for Ball, because I crocheted Ben a ball to play with (see photo above). It is just plain Red Heart verigated rainbow yarn I have leftover with something else, but it crocheted up into a really nice big ball. It has a bell inside to give a little jingle, and I didn’t fill it too full, so then he can grasp it. Earlier this week I had picked up the unfinished project to move it out of my way, when I noticed his eyes following it. He really stared at it! So, I finished it right then and there and gave it to him to play with. He grabbed it and put it in his mouth (well, not the WHOLE thing, as it is the size of a pummelo).
B is also for Benjamin, of course. I couldn’t possibly do a B entry without including him. What kind of mom would I be?
This is Ben having a bath in our kitchen sink, about a week ago or so. I think these are all a week or two old.
This is him chillin’ with Grandma at the family reunion two weeks ago. He does that a lot. Just chillin’.
He attended his first birthday party this last Saturday. Our goddaughter Elise turned two this last Friday, and there was a big fat party for her – with a Curious George Theme. Andy describes the party rather accurately and amusingly, so I’ll let him tell the tale.
It occurred to me at the party that within a few years, if things go on as currently planned, our casual get-togethers with our two best friends are going to be just like that – a dozen children running around to keep track of. As there were about that many children at this party, and all under kindergarden age, it gave me a little taste of reality. I liked it, fortunately, but whew! Am I going to be tired. And BUFF.
But happy. 🙂

A is for Armadillo


Well, A is for Alphabet. I love the alphabet – what a great invention! Symbols that stand for certain sounds, that when you put them together in a myriad of ways, you can communicate with people. How cool is that? I wouldn't be able to blog otherwise, let alone share in the knowledge of peole I'd never met, except for whatever memorized stories had been passed down from generation to generation.
This alphabet card is part of a set that I received as a baby gift for Ben. I love them! The illustrator is Melissa Sweet – she does darling works that mix fabric collage with watercolor. I especially love how broad the animals for each letter are. C isn't for Cat, but for Camel; D isn't for Dog, but for Dragonfly. How fun is that?

Ben also has an alphabet quilt, courtesy of his aunty Holly, which I unfortunately haven't been able to hang yet. I knew she was makingme a quilt, but had not expected this – it just amazed me. She appliqued one object for every letter of the alphabet, with Dick & Jane and ABC fabric quilt blocks making up the rest. Some of the letters are what you'd normally expect, such as A for apple and B for ball. But with other letters she was even more creative. I found N is for Night, and Z is for Zipper to be among the most unexpected. A nod to the guys was T for Trogdor, a Homestar Runner character that they like, and Y is for MX + B (which is a mathmatic formula that eqals Y, which you probably recall fom high school). W is for Weed Patch, our store, and she appliqued our logo. I love this quilt. What a gift!

This is a letter A that I started in pen and colored pencil – I was going to do a whole alphabet, until I realized how long this A was going to take and I gave up for other things. I would love to do an alphabet book, in felt, like a touch and feel book, for Ben. I saw something like what I'm thinking on Flickr once, but now I can't find it at all. Oh well.

Encyclopedia of Daily Life

I have gotten a little behind in reading the blogs I enjoy keeping up with, and today I read a lovely blog from Bella Dia, who shared a wonderful idea for a series of postings. She calls it Encyclopedia of Me Meme – I have no idea what Me Meme is, so I’m just calling it an encyclopedia of daily life. Here’s how she explains it: Starting tomorrow, August 1st, I’m going to make a post each day of the month beginning with ‘A is for…’ and on the 26th day, ‘Z is for…’ My posts will be different random topics that somehow relate to my life and at the end I should have something similar to Amy Rosenthal’s Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. "

I think this sounds just wonderful! I love questions and prompts like this, I always write better that way. I’m afflicted with this awful problem where I think of all kinds of interesting things when I’m out and about, no where near a writing instrument, but when I get to the computer or journal, I can’t think of anything useful to say whatsoever. Or, if I can think of something interesting to say, I can’t think of how to write it, so I sit there and stare at the screen or blank page. That’s why some of my favorite books are those where the author has written about topics I think about, and I spend the whole time pointing in my head and saying "yes, I know exactly what you mean!"

So I’m really looking forward to this, although I’m hoping I can commit to it. Normally I wouldn’t worry about it, and would just write as it comes to me, but she started this on August 1st and my birthday is on the 26th, so if I keep up that means I’ll have a whole alphabet of life to look back on. I am also afflicted with a remarkably poor long-term memory (when it comes to my life experiences – I can remember numbers and what products we sold at the store two years ago, and things like that, relatively well. But I couldn’t tell you what my childhood lunch box was, or what trips we took every summer as a family. Sheesh!), which is why I took up journaling, and now blogging, in the first place.

I don’t really know what A is going to be tomorrow, or what any of the other letters are going to be, but I’ll just go with the flow and see what happens. Let me know if you are participating, I’d like to read what other people are doing. Its not too late to join in!

I like this guy.

"In Seattle you haven’t had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it’s running." – Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder

Breakfast in Tub

I had a nice morning today. Well, at first it wasn’t so nice – I kinda feel like I’m coming down with something, and I did something rotten to my neck because I can hardly move it. So I took a bath to see if I could loosen it up a bit. Aaaaahhhhhh…. I haven’t taken a bath since before I had Ben. (Well, I’ve bathed, I just haven’t taken a bath. So, here I am in this gloriously yummy water, complete with orange and peppermint essential oil, when Chris brings me my favorite tea, then proceeds to make me breakfast and bring it to me in the tub. He hands me this mess of eggs and veggies, which really didn’t look all that good, but it was GOOD. Really good. He just brings it in, and says he hopes it tastes good, then "oh, and I took photos for your blog." That was the best part, it cracked me up. Now he’s taking photos for my blog. I love it.

It’s kind of hard for me to remember to take photographs of my life, which is especially unfortunate as I never seem to remember much of anything unless I have photos to remind me. Blogging has been a wonderful way for me to start taking more photos. So has having a baby.
We’ve been pretty busy around here, but pleasantly so. We’re starting our most difficult and exhausting, but fun time of year – converting the store to fall! Within about two weeks we should have all the fall stuff out, and it is so much fun. I don’t know what it is about September and pretty much the rest of the year – it’s like a universally loved season. I really enjoyed spring this year. And I am thoroughly enjoying summer. But autumn….oooo, I can’t wait…

Back again


We are back from the family reunion. It was an extremely pleasant time, as usual, and thankfully not too hot this year. It seems that people tend to dread their family reunions (at least that is what I hear most often from folks), but we look forward to our annual get-together with great anticipation. Although my family is rather large (extended family in the 3 digits somewhere), there weren't as many people in attendance this year. Sadly, this is due to a number of health issues. I hadn't realized just how many of my family are down for one reason or another. An aunt is likely soon to pass away due to complications from failed kidneys, a young cousin is fighting a brain tumor for I think the third time, and another cousin currently occupying a nursing home bed for 6 weeks awaiting a second hip replacement. Last year one of my sweet uncles, the first of his generation, passed away from Alzheimer's (and now an aunt is showing signs of it also), and the year before that a cousin lost her battle with lung cancer. Another aunt is currently dealing with a body that won't process any nutrients from the food she eats and is thus very very weak and frail.

I always thought of us as such healthy folk, with little to no complaints or major stresses in our lives. Now, as I tally them up, it hits me that we are going through a lot right now. Family is so important to me – I can't imagine not having all my aunts and uncles and cousins. I often lament the fact that I was born the last of my generation, and thus came in to things with everyone already advanced in age. I won't get to enjoy them as long, and my children may or may not remember most of them. And they have so much to teach us.

I have been asked on many occasions, since I had Ben, how many children we plan on having. A rather person question, but I haven't minded answering. We always said we'd start with one and see how that went, then go from there. We've never been parents before, we had no idea what it was like, so how would we know how many kids we'd want to have? Now that we have Ben, Chris' answer to that question has lately been 12. Of course I have no intention of bearing that many children, but I most definitely want more than one. I love the idea of being surrounded with family – I'd like my kids to experience what its been like for me to enjoy such a large extended family. So, God willing, if we are able to (physically, financially, and of course mentally!), we'd like several. Although, I've never had to care for more than one child at a time, so I guess we'll move on to two, and again go from there. 🙂

So, not that anyone is really interested in that much detail about how many kids I want to have, but that's just part of what I got to thinking about when musing over my weekend. I really just intended to pop in for a quick hello before heading off to bed. My brother and sister-in-law are watching Ben for the day tomorrow, so I'll have several hours to myself to get our house back in order, and hopefully get a few more things in my shop.

Nighty night for now…


Happy at Home

My time at home on maternity leave has whizzed by so far. Today Benjamin is 10 weeks old, so I’m halfway through my leave time. It is interesting how different I am at home than I am at work (at least, how different I feel). I’ve been puzzled by this for the five years since I first noticed it. It occurred to me the other day when I was taking a walk outside how good I feel when I’m not indoors. Everything about me inside brightens up, my brain is more awake, and I think and see things more, and…I’m just…happier! Maybe that is what is effecting me at work? Until I got my job at the hospital, I had spent every day of my life with a significant portion of my time spent outside. In every school I’ve been to, I had to go outside to walk from class to class – elementery school, high school, and college. We lived about 12 miles outside of town on 10 acres in the country, so there was always stuff we had or wanted to do outside.

Once I started working at the hospital seven years, I spent every day all day indoors. Being inside all day long, especially when I can’t even see through a window, makes me feel like I’m very slowly dying – kind of like a flower wilting due to insufficient water and sunshine intake. Whenever I feel down, I always feel significantly better almost immediately upon walking out the door, no matter the weather. It just feels right.

I must admit that the thought of going back to work really does not thrill me. It’s not the work, or the people – I do enjoy it, for what it is – but the whole corporate life, being inside all day, looking at numbers and figures, just does not appeal to me. It is not my passion. It makes me feel like I am missing life instead of living it. It is interesting to me how much women have shunned, some quite emphatically, the stay-at-home lifestyle. Our mothers worked so hard to make it into the "man’s" corportate world, to be considered as equals in all ways including the workplace, to be seen as more than "just" a housewife and mother. This subject comes back relatively often in my conversations with my great friend Holly. We love being mothers, wives, and homemakers. I love to spend time with my family, care for my son, be helpmate to my husband, clean the house, cook delicious meals (or try), create beautiful things for the home or as gifts for loved ones, and everything that goes along with all this. I even enjoy laundering and folding my son’s little outfits. We eat healthy homecooked meals, spend more time with our family and friends, get more exercise and fresh air, and are more involved in each other’s lives. I love this. It makes me feel alive. Now, why haven’t I felt this way for the last 7 years in my job? Do I have a bad attitude about my job? Do I need to make better use of my time, be more organized, work harder, or make better choices day-to-day? Or was this job really only meant to be temporary?

All people are made deliciously different. Which is wonderful. It is the spice of life. Some people want to work full-time in a job and setting like mine. But right now, I just can’t imagine wanting to do that. And I guess that makes me feel guilty sometimes, like "not everyone gets the priviledge of staying at home to work as a wife and mom, somebody has to work at these places so they can run properly and provide the services the community needs, so I should just work and be grateful about it." But then I think that perhaps some people do not find what I do all day very appealing either. Let’s see, today I have done several loads of laundry, washed our dishes, fed and changed my son multiple times, cooked dinner, picked up the house, wrote thank you notes, fed the cat, said hello to a neighbor, taken Ben for a walk outside, and a number of other related tasks. I was on my feet for probably 11 out of the 12 hours of the day. My own meals, personal hygene, and other needs went on hold, as my son’s came first. Many folks might find this to be a completely dull life. But I absolutely love it. It makes me happy. It makes me feel at home, that I’m doing what I was made to do. Home, God, family, and creating are my passion. So why do I feel so guilty about it? Its like if I’m happy, then I must be not be doing what I should be doing, because toiling to earn a living shouldn’t be fun – treating myself, playing, is fun. Not being productive. Work and fun are mutually exclusive, right?

My heart knows this is emphatically untrue, but my head is having a hard time with it. I seem to be one of those people that is only happy when they are miserable, because I tend to make things so darn difficult. Silly me! I see this is something I’ll have to think and write on more over time.

Enter the strawberry. Don’t ask me why in the world a jar shaped like a strawberry the size of a soccer ball appeals to me, but when I saw it, I knew it belonged in my kitchen. I don’t collect strawberries, and didn’t particulally need a cookie jar. But the thing just makes me happy. Every time I see it in my kitchen, it makes me smile. Happily, the price was within my budget, so I purchaed it. And now it is in my kitchen and makes me smile every day. That’s all. And I’ll just leave it at that!

Except of course for the usual photo of Ben.

Sigh. I am happy.

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