I ramble

{ happy thoughts }

We spent last night and this morning following severe weather developments in our area, and I'm tired of it already.  It's scary and overwhelming, yes, but I have to think about other things or I'll go nuts.

Like... that my heart is filled joy at the outpouring of assistance and good will that Joplin is receiving in the wake of such a disaster.  And that my kitchen -- which is not done, but is close... so very close -- is mostly usable again. So I can get back in there and cook.  I've missed real food.

Last night we made Martha Stewart's Broiled Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Pineapple (thank you, Grace, for tipping me off last week.  I couldn't take it one more day without trying it).  Anything that starts with 'mix maple syrup and cayenne pepper' will get a try in my book.  It was delicious. My husband, who doesn't necessarily like to eat pineapple, liked the spicy broiled chunks of glazed fruit.   Yum...

caprese salad

The other thing that I make a lot around here is a simple caprese salad.  I'm not sure when I started doing this, but it is one of my favorite ways to eat tomatoes. Today I used some that I'd picked up extra ripe from the farmer's market and ate it over a toasted bagel.  Anything crunchy would work.  Or on it's own with a spoon.  Whatever you prefer.

I like to use all different kinds of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil.  I drizzle it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, add ground pepper and a pinch of ground sea salt and then... well, then I gobble it up. 

market peonies

Our small town Wednesday morning farmer's market doesn't have many stands yet, but I was also able to pick up two quarts of fresh ripe strawberries and a fistful of peonies for a song.  I cannot tell you how much these luscious pink feathery flowers have brightened my day.  :) 

We're still under a tornado watch for the rest of the evening... but I'm not going to dwell on that today.  cheers!

xoxo


{ enjoying } sunshine again

Thanks so much for all the sweet comments and compliments on the kitchen project.  You all know how to make a girl smile.  It's such a relief when all of the choices you've made start coming together and don't look, well... awful.

We had a cold snap last week that I am hoping is now leaving us for good.  My optimistic late april potted plants seem to have weathered the worst and we were all enjoying the sunshine this afternoon.

I'm adding several herbs this year.  Mint and English Thyme in this one:

Herbs

And smaller starts of parsley, rosemary and basil in these little planters.  The gal at the nursery was very helpful and urged me to start these indoors as they wouldn't be quite as hardy as the other two, and I'm glad I did.  It will be nice to transplant these soon, though, and watch them take off.  There is nothing like cooking with truly fresh herbs. 

the wittle herb garden

I hope you are glimpsing a bit of sunshine in your bit of of the world today.  xo


{ off topic } the Justin Bieber dream

Blame it on my raging hormones, maybe, but last night I had a dream about Justin Bieber.

No, not that kind of dream.  Ick.  I wasn't even going to share this, but my eldest was laughing so hard and thought I needed to share it with the world.  So here goes nothing.

(begin dream sequence.  Fade in after ripple effect....)

Justin Bieber grows up to be, of all things, an attorney.  And it's present day, not twenty years from now, but he is 20 years older.  And it's a dream, so this can totally happen. 

I know he is an attorney because my husband has to work a mediation with him and he isn't looking forward to it.  He really doesn't care for Bieber at all because of the attitude.  Seems that, in trying to distance himself from the pop stardom of his youth (not unlike Robin Sparkles), le Biebe has turned into a bit of a stressed-out, up-tight, jerkified attorney that no one likes to do business with because he takes himself too seriously.

The whole dream was basically an extended grumble by my husband about how difficult it was to work with this guy.  And how he should totally get over himself because no one cares about the pop star thing except that it was taking the focus off the case and distracting participants. And no one cares about his hair anymore, but it doesn't look like he's balding. 

Which is all a lot funnier if you knew my husband.  The end.

(ripple fade out to black)

Dreams are not that funny when you retell them.  They make you sound like an idiot.

Also, because a post is soooo much better with photos, check out some of the the french macarons we got last weekend for the eldest's birthday from Natasha's Mulberry and Mott... yum yum good.

IMG_2919

The sewing bug seemed to leave as quickly as it came around here.  I think now that we are seeing sunshine and warmer temperatures, my basement studio isn't looking quite so tempting.  Perhaps I just need to take the machine upstairs for a bit and have at it.

Happy new week, friends!  xoxo
miss chris


{ pause }

I think it is time for me to take a little break here at the fence.  My real life world, it seems, needs my more immediate attention these days and I'd rather push the Pause button than publish hastily written posts with so-so photos every once in a while. 

grannies

I'll being working on the kitchen as well as some other little projects around the house. I'm not really feeling the sewing thing right now, which is very odd for me. I do have a granny square afghan in the works, though, so my hands have something creative to work on at night. Am I ever so thankful to have picked up crochet last fall!

I'm not sure if this means a week or a month of two months or whatever. I will be back, because I never can seem to stay away.  I just want to take the pressure off myself for now.  Until then...

xoxo
c.


{ popping in } Happy New Year!

It seems like it has been forever since I stopped in here to share anything. We have been busy enjoying time with family and making the most of this holiday season. I hope you have been, too.

Hubs and I took a little last minute trip to New Orleans for New Years Eve. I had never been to the Big Easy as an adult, nor gone to a NYE party where I could get all gussied up.

Monteleone Lobby sparkles<>

We stayed in the French Quarter and enjoyed people watching and eating and music and shopping and all of the Crazy that makes it so fun. I now have an iPhone full of fun photos to share and lots of new favorite foods. (And a few days off from eating, I think. Oh my butter!)

Happy new year, friends!

I have lots of exciting ideas for 2011, too. Here's to a great new year! xoxo, misschris


{ re-entry } after the dottie angel workshop

... and just like that I am back.  A weekend with dearies and doilies and jaw-dropping vintage goodness from all over the world is over.

jessies bag
(sweet jessie's pretty suitcase of goodies)

Sniff.

It was perfect.  Peachy perfect, per dottie angel.

Setting_up(setting up for the apron shoot)

Words fall so short.

 

dottie weekend 136
(the moore mansion, where we worked.  it was a bit Beast's Castle)

We were friends and left sisters.

Beks(beki)

We pushed ourselves with time and space and supplies and tools.  (I had carried on my sewing machine, now named Miss Kendra.  She was quite useful and threw very few fits.  Pfew.  It would have been terribly embarressing if she had been tempermental that weekend.  She has, it seems, aged gracefully.)

Tif-chat(tif instructs, next to mr doily head)

We stepped out of our comfort zones.

Dottie weekend 008(happy garlands)

Scratch that.

trees2(garlands at volunteer park)

We leapt out of our comfort zones.

Slip-1(crappity crap camera phone photo)

I sashayed about Seattle's Capitol Hill in a custom slip, for crying out loud!

Dottie weekend 116

Heavens to Betsy, it was freeing.

Fairy hole (look!  a fairy hole!  I swear.)

I loved every minute.

chris(photo: beki :: artsy crafty babe)

Thank you, angela, for organizing this fantasy weekend in a fairytale place.  You inspire me to follow my dreams.

Trees3

Thank you, mary, for being your sweet helpful self.  You have a grand + bright life ahead of you.   Angela is so lucky to have you assist in all things!

Tif

Thank you, tif, for bringing dottie angel to life and letting us into her special world.  You are a sparkly gem of a person.  Quirky and witty and sweet.  I wish I could keep you in my pocket.

And to the rest of the dearies... what an incredible treat it was to meet and visit with you all!  To have such instant connections with others!  Those meals 'round the table draped with Angela's lovely cloth-of-cloths were just as special as the making and doing and seeing. 

Finally, for Jade and Beki... my comrades in travel and adventure, there are no words.  You girls so get it.  xo

*sniff*

miss chris dearie(tif's photo of me channeling my inner dottie angel.)

More photos here in the dottie angel workshop group on flickr. They are worth a look as I left my big camera at home and failed to take many pictures with my little one. 

treed path

However, a word of caution.

You will both want to attack something with a doily and visit Seattle, stat.

Happy Weekending, all!

xoxo

miss chris


{ trending in my head } knee socks

Now that school is around the corner, I have become obsessed with knee high socks.

As seen

I come by it honest.  With double t-straps, even!  Here I am at 5 yrs, in a dress that my mom had made me (ric-rac!), toe-head white hair, and knee socks. 

By the way, that table-lamp combo piece resides in *my* living room now.

Knee(1)

This was right before we moved to Louisiana.  I know this because my mother had just cut off my hair, insisting that it would be too hot and all the Little Girls Of the South would have short hair. 

Our new neighbors mistook me for a boy.

Clearly, she had no idea how popular long luscious girly locks were in the Bayou.

I wouldn't cut my hair again for 5 years.

It was growing out here:

Knee(2)

(Age 6 or 7)

Can I ask, what more does a 6 year old girl want than a stage in her living room?  My father decided to build a fireplace in our Baton Rouge home back in 1978, and it started with a solid wood hearth foundation that extended the length of the room for months.  I was sad to see that fireplace actually installed.  If we had one of those in our house now we would totally use it when we played Rock Band.

And let's talk about the paneling.  Or the TV.  Or the awesome chunky table that TV with rabbit ears was sitting upon.  Or the fabulous painting.  Or not.  We can simply adore this snapshot of the late seventies for being just that.  Wow.

Anyway, this is about the socks.  (And that dress.  It was a fave.) And the socks and strappy shoes combo.

I am smitten.

Is it okay for a grown woman to wear them?  Is it possible to wear them and not look too coquettish or like you are trying to look 20 years younger?   Because I really, really love this.

And I know Fidget can and will get away with this look.

Oh, she will.

Do they make knee socks for toddlers, too?  Because Wonderbaby might need a pair.

We can be one giant knee sock loving family.

Amen.

(PS: You might want to ignore this entire post.  I am pretty heavily medicated as a result of a nasty sinus infection. I'm not making good choices.  Seriously.  I spooned out a quarter cup of mayo thinking it was yogurt.  Ew.)


Still here!

pizza lover

It's really hard to sit down and blog when I've got this clamoring for my attention. (One year, almost!!!  Crazyness.)

ace0001

Summer is here. We are out in the yard.

this morning's project. quick and dirty.

In the sandbox.

_MG_7437

Eating freezer pops and blowing bubbles.

autumn dog

Growing sunflowers. And hydrangeas.

waiting to be planted.

It's been slim pickings around these parts, I know. Things slowing around La Fence have an inverse correlation with things ramping up to hyper-speed here around La Casa...

We'll be around. xoxo


{ laughing } who's the boss?

I fought a good fight. 

I loved my wagon.

We could squeeze two car seats and a skinny teenager in the back seat.  And a dog in the 'way back', surrounded by bags and whatnot for trips out of town.

It was 4-wheel drive and turbo.  And loaded.  Whee!

I loved my wagon.

IMG_3297

But it was becoming too much of a struggle for us all to go anywhere.  And babygirl is about to upgrade her seat (how is it possible that she is almost 10 mos?), which will squeeze the biggest girl out...

So we 'had' to get a new car.

I let hubs do all the looking and number-running and comparison internet researching and showroom visiting. It made me sad, the idea of getting rid of my mama-wagon. 

I loved my wagon. 

Have I mentioned that?

The idea of a bigger vehicle did not thrill me.  There are gauges on either side of our garage door frame because of the last bigger car.  (In my defense, we do have to take a hard right turn before entering the garage from the driveway. It is really shocking that this has only happened twice.)  And the expense.  Oy.

One day he brought a car home for me to try.  I drove it around the block and decided it would do.  It was certainly roomy enough.  Really, it was a very nice vehicle.  Very nice.

I said okay in a small voice and the deal was sealed.

And then we went to pick it up on a nasty, cold, snowy Saturday.  It snowed and slushed 12 inches here that day. I did not drive it home or once we were home.  I was skeered. 

He spent a good chunk of Sunday afternoon programming my new car.  I did not know what this meant.  I guessed he meant the garage door openers and the seats.

I guessed incorrectly.

How so?

IMG_3288

Monday morning 8:30 am.  I have checkups for the little girls scheduled at 9 am.

Feeling pret-ty good about our timeframe -- all three of us presentable and with accessories and extra food and teething rings and backpacks and diapers and wipes and... you know.  I got both girls in their newly adjusted car seats.  I adjust my mirrors, the seat.  I get my cell phone out and put it in the cup holder.  I check my lipstick. 

And then I started the car.

SPORTS RADIO PERSONALITIES ARE SCREAMING AT ME.  YELLING ABOUT MARCH MADNESS AND BRACKETS AND BUTLER!!!  BUTLER!!!  BUTLER!!!!

ACK!  THE BABY IS STARTLED AND SCREAMS.

'MOM,, TOOOOO LOUD!!!!" YELLS FIDGET.

"I KNOW!  I KNOW! I'M SORRY..."I HAVE NO IDEA WHICH BUTTON IS FOR VOLUME!   SURELY IT IS THE ONE WITH THE MUSIC NOTES ON IT.  NO.  THAT IS SWITCHING THE STATIONS.  OH, NOW IT IS LOUD AND STATICKY AND...SWITCHING BETWEEN ALL OF THE AM STATIONS. 

Oh wait.  It's this Other button.  The one with the line through it.  Of course. 

I am breaking a sweat and we haven't left the garage.

IMG_2977

Breathing more easily, I take one last look at the phone to check the time.  (I'm not even sure where the time is on this new instrument panel.  I am flustered easily.  You do not want me as your go-to gal in a crisis situation.)

My phone has a message across the screen:

"ACTIVATE BLUETOOTH"  Um ,ok.  Maybe later.  Whatever.  I press the button to make it go away and see the regular screen.  It is now 8:40.

I put the car in Reverse. 

A camera shot of the back of my car appears in my rearview mirror.  This feels weird.  BEEP BEEP BEEP!  It is telling me the WAGON (sniff sniff) is parked out side, to the right.... ok.

I head out slowly, watching mirrors, checking all my spots, trying to get the feel of this much bigger car.

And then.

"TURN RIGHT ONTO MAPLE DRIVE."

What the heck?  My car is telling me where to go?  I didn't turn that on.  What? 

"MAKE NEXT RIGHT ONTO ARTHUR DRIVE"

Um, no.  I don't need this right now.

"Mommy?  What is that?  Why is the car telling us where to go?"

"I don't know sweetie.  I have no idea.  I'm calling Daddy."

"IN 200 FEET, TURN LEFT ONTO WARD ROAD"

(shut UP, already!!!!)

I hit hubs' number on my cell phone and sit there, at the entrance to our neighborhood, with my phone pressed to my cheek, checking the mirror, praying no one comes up behind me.

driving by another farm

THIS IS HUBS, I hear, over the car speakers. 

(Huh?  Heavens.  It's the Blue Tooth.)

Hi honey, it's me, I say to the air.

{HI DADDY!  HI DADDY!} 

HI, WHAT DO YOU NEED?  HI FIDGET!

"TURN LEFT ONTO WARD ROAD"

Um, honey, I think the nav is on and I don't know how to turn it off.  And I don't know where it wants me to go.  And it's stressing me out.  And you're on the speakers.

I KNOW.  I SET THAT UP FOR YOU.  JUST SAY 'CANCEL ROUTE' AND IT SHOULD TURN OFF.

Cancel Route.

SAY IT LOUDER.

CANCEL ROUTE! I am yelling at myself in the rearview mirror.

{CANCEL ROUTE! CANCEL ROUTE! yells Fidget.}

"CONTINUE 1.5 MILES TO HIGHLAND ROAD AND TAKE A LEFT"

CANCEL ROUTE!!! I say, hubs says and Fidget yells at the same time.

WAIT, MAYBE YOU HAVE TO SAY CANCEL ROUTE AFTER I HANG UP.  WHEN I HANG UP, WAIT FOR HER NEXT INSTRUCTION AND JUST SAY 'CANCEL ROUTE'.  

passing soybean fields

It's not a Her.  It's a him.

IT WAS A HER YESTERDAY.

Well, it's a him.  And he's bossing me around.  And I don't need this right now.

{CANCEL ROUTE! CANCEL ROUTE! }

OR YOU COULD PUSH THE PHONE BUTTON AND SAY CANCEL ROUTE.  I HAD TO GIVE IT A STARTING DESTINATION WHEN I WAS SETTING IT UP YESTERDAY, SO I PUT IN THE DOC'S OFFICE.  SO AT LEAST YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GET IN TROUBLE WITH THE NAV.

(Which is nice, because the only thing that could make this even more fun would be if he were RECALCULATING and getting impatient with my agenda.)

Okay, okay, I am saying.... I want to cry and I am breaking into a full sweat. CANCEL ROUTE! CANCEL ROUTE! yells Fidget.  God bless her, she's trying to help.  It is now 8:45.  I don't even know how to hang up.  I push what looks like a phone hang-up button on my steering wheel.  After a few seconds I hear, "unable to establish connection."  Good enough.

"TURN LEFT ON HIGHLAND ROAD IN 150 FEET."

CANCEL ROUTE! CANCEL ROUTE!  Fidget and I are yelling.

"CONTINUE NORTH ON HIGHLAND ROAD FOR 2.3 MILES AND..."

I am losing it.  I start pushing buttons, still yelling, CANCEL ROUTE, hoping ONE of them will cancel this Helpful Feature and make him Shut Up Forever.

But, no.

All of a sudden I see my dashboard display has changed -- it no longer has the mileage and direction, but says:

DRIVE IN CIRCLES TO CALIBRATE TIRES.

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.  I was not thinking nice thoughts.

And then I started laughing so hard I just about peed my pants.

Somehow, and I'm not sure how exactly, I pushed enough additional buttons to get out of that one.  And that is a good thing, because the last thing we needed was to fight between our navigator and the vehicle itself.  Oy.

"TURN RIGHT IN .5 MILES ON 4TH STREET AND CONTINUE TO HWY 40, EXIT LEFT." 

{ CANCEL ROUTE!!  CANCEL ROUTE!   Mommy, that's not working, is it?}

No sweets, it's not....

morning drive.

We arrive at the pediatrician's office at 9 sharp.  Got in, got out.  Kids are great.  Dandy.  We got back in the car and I took a deep breath.  As we turned out onto the road we hear a lovely female voice: 

YOU HAVE NOW REACHED YOUR DESTINATION.  IF YOU NEED ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE, SAY 'CONTINUE'.  IF YOUR TRIP IS COMPLETE, JUST SAY 'END ROUTE.'

Slightly exasperated and completely doubtful, Fidge and I both gave it our best 'END ROUTE!

And, by golly, it worked.

I haven't heard from Bossy Him or Bossy Her since then.  Perhaps they have found each other and are living blissfully, tucked between a fan belt and some washing fluid.  I am a little afraid that one day I will start the car and they will have -- by some stroke of magical science -- multiplied, and demand a family road trip to Branson.

It could happen.

(All of these photos have been taken over the past couple years on roads near our house... peaceful without the soundtrack, huh?)