I ramble

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Plant

We're leaving for Florida tomorrow.  One week of carefree days and sandcastles and key lime pie. 

But you know what it is like before you go.  The errands and post-its and the cleaning... running myself into a frenzy, turning on my superhuman powers for those last 48 hours.   What?  I don't have superhuman powers?  Now they tell me.

I didn't realize until this week how desperately I need this vacation.  It will be good to put a physical distance between myself and all of the silly things I feel I 'need' to do, and make a list where "play in the sand" and "collect seashells" are of the highest priority.  I keep reading posts elsewhere about summer that make me wistful for the kind of summer I just didn't have.  I just never felt it.  There were personal reasons for some of this detachment, but mostly I just felt like I was scrambling, trying to catch up, catch my breath.  Make it though.  Fit it all in. 

I welcome the school year, the return of schedules, and the sweet slide into fall.  This last hurrah, a trip to Captiva Island with friends, is the perfect prelude to the slow-down I desperately need. To pause and breathe and exhale and take a moment.  It feels good already.

Have a wonderful weekend (+week), friends!  xoxo


Accomplishing { the list post }

Behold, quite possibly the cutest composition notebook ever:

composition notebook

I am a daily list-maker.  This is no small secret to those who know me.  Everything goes on the list.   (I also like to write in colored ultra-fine-point-sharpies, because the color is rich and bold and fun and I can tell my daily Lists from other lists, like groceries or driving directions.  I am a color girl, so why fight it?) Today's List is:

  • drama camp
  • preschool
  • amex art (for work)
  • edit URG (for work)
  • curtain panels
  • bathroom
  • chicken for dinner
  • run
  • shower
  • laundry

There is no particular order, but it is pretty much a list of the things I can expect myself to accomplish today.  

All about the lists.

The thing is, "Curtain Panels" and "Paint Bathroom" have been showing up on my list every day for a while.  And they have been giving me a complex.  Like I wasn't accomplishing anything, even though I was making baby steps.  But I couldn't mark the darned items OFF. 

It's easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you are spinning your wheels. 

So I finally did what I should have done a long time ago.  Instead of the meta-item "Curtain Panels," I made another List.  A micro level one:

to do to do to do

And now, I can mark off almost each and every step.  I've got one more set of blinds to take down(a large bamboo shade that had to be custom ordered), and have already made the two other panel extensions... As I finish each panel I can "X" it out.  How satisfying is that?   Take THAT, panel number three!  Much better.

And this is for Lera, who says she doesn't tire of my thrifting finds:

new { to me } pitcher

I picked this up on Monday for about $1.  It is plastic so it's perfect for lemonade on the deck.  I still can't get over that people give this stuff away. 

Happy Thursday everyone!  What kind of 'accomplishment' tips do you have?


* the one about the salad and the grout *

There are a lot of funny things that happen when you are remodeling your home. 

Like when you are walking into your newly tiled bathroom
with supplies, like dark tinted primer for the vanity
that the guy at Lowe's who-thinks-you-paint-anything-that-isn't-nailed-down mixed for you yesterday.
Just bringing it in there, 
in case you have 30 minutes to spare and want to 'dig in.'
And instead you drop the unopened can of darkly tinted primer
and it explodes at your feet
running into all the tan grout
and splashing up onto the side of the tub
and on your shoes
and legs
and towels
and the vanity (which is actually ok because that is the only place it's supposed to be).

Splat

And taking some of the towels it landed on, dripping with paint,
and thowing them into the vanity sinks.
And finding even more towels to wipe up the paint
(I'm talking almost a whole quart of thick charcoal gray kilz)
and smearing it all over the place.

And then, after a lot of words that are not very nice,
Thank you, Lord.  For making me the painter I am and knowing that I need to clean up sometimes.  I know that I have a huge can of mineral spirits in the garage.  Please please please please help me get this paint out of my grout.  Before hubs comes home.  Thankyousoverymuch.  I think I need to slow down.  Amen.

And I poured the mineral spirits all over the mess, took my toothbrush and scrubbed. And scrubbed.  Most of it came out.  I worked up a sweat, I tell you.  This mistake was not going to get the best of me.

Because I haven't even done after photos yet, for heaven's sake. 

I also find this particularly funny because I just had the best salad (thank you amy, that tuscan salad is superb!) that made me feel so wholesome and good.  I even rinsed my lettuce with vinegar, so as not to consume anything chemical or yucky. 

And then I spent a half hour with my head in the fumes of mineral spirits.  It's all about balance, right?

Also, I need to find a new toothbrush.

: : : the end : : :

* I've had a couple emails about my sense of humor with this little mishap.  The thing is, it was a mess, but it wasn't the end of the world.  In the Big Picture, I'm just a comfortable suburban housewife with very few things to worry about on a daily basis.  This really is the Small Stuff. And am I ever so thankful for that.  xoxo.  happy weekend. *


Chop Chop.

Starting fresh.  Getting rid of 10 inches of weight and bother.

Chopped.

Immediately felt better.

Chopped.

And a little sassy. 

Taking photos of yourself is tricky.  I'm kind of camera shy, so this post was especially daring.  Look at me go!  TWO pictures!   

I'm hoping between my new cut and the upcoming girls crafting weekend at the lake, I will even muster up the daring to work on the the quilt I'm started for Fidge.  She's asking about it now.  Cutting pretty fabric is hard, though.  It's intimidating.  Especially when you are winging it without a pattern. 

(By the way.  Have you seen the Echoes project?  I'm in awe of those ladies.  Oh, to play along.)


meme squared. Because it's Friday and I'm procrastinating.


flickr meme

The concept:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life? (I cheated here.)
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

I stole it from Ali. You'll have to check the click through to flickr for my answers

=============================

Need more? Ok!  I was tagged last week by my dear friend, Liz...
The rules:
Rules are posted at the beginning. At the end the post the player tags six people, then posts their names. Then the player goes to each of the named people's blogs and leaves a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog. If you've been tagged, you do the same, letting the person who tagged you know when you've posted your answer. Your answer, of course, is the answer to the following questions:


1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

10 years ago I was 26 years old.  I had a two year old and was living in my first house as HomeOwner.  I was in Southern California.  I was a stay at home mommy, toying with the idea of going back to work.  My backyard had like 20 rose bushes, but I didn't take very good care of them.  They didn't mix well with toddlerhood.  This was the year before I got divorced, so I don't remember it being full of happiness... (Sorry for the buzzkill.)

2. Five things on my to-do list today

1) Strip the beds.  Wash the sheets. 
2) Make some progress on new shirt
3) Walk 2 miles
4) Check in with work
5) Remove kitchen window treatments (tried this, but hubs is going to have to put some muscle into it)


3. Snacks I enjoy

- Cheez-its.
- kettle corn
- muffins

4. Places I've lived

Baltimore, MD;  Portland, ME;  Baton Rouge, LA;  Natick, MA;  Rockville, MD;  Richardson, TX;  Springfield, MO;  Columbia, MO;  West Lafayette, IN;  Orange County (Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Orange, Aliso Viejo), CA;  Lees Summit, MO


5. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

- Move somewhere close to the beach
- Travel
- Open a specialty store of my very very own
- Sends the kids to any college they want
- Buy hubs an RV to take to Mizzou football games
- Get boxes at Busch Stadium and Farout Field 

I am way too lazy to tag people.  So if you're running low on post ideas, consider yourself tagged!  xoxo


Monday

Posting a picture or two a day this week.  Our highly-anticipated warm spring weather is finally here, and has brought with it a whole new list of things to do.  And I know you know how that goes...

If I'm being really honest with myself, this is also a pretty big test for me, because blogging (and bloglines...) has become such a part of my routine that it is threatening to take over. 

she is getting so big

So I am going to take a cue from Fidget and sit back and get a better perspective.

keeping an eye on things.

There are things to do and picnics to plan and dresses to make and deck-time with friends... and none of that gets done when I am sitting on my duff prattling on and on about stuff I'd like to do.  ;)

Here's to a productive week, friends! 

(And more delicious weather.... Heavens to Betsy, we had a beauty of a weekend!  My Grammy always said that -- Heavens-to-Betsy.  I have no idea what it means, but it's fun to say.)


Why is it

that you need a vacation to recover from vacation?

Back from Arizona

I got back two nights ago around 1 am.  Arizona is so stark and beautiful.  And lush.  Is that possible?  To be dry and stark and severe and ... lush??  hmph.

Yesterday was a bit of a blur.  Today I am rested, but so far behind.  Work, housekeeping, groceries, unreturned calls and emails...

gritty and wet.

At some point I am sure it will all settle back down.  (Much like when you change the water in a fish tank and even though you know it's cleaner and refreshed, it still looks cloudy for a day or so.)

spent buds.

Anyway, I've got lots to share.  Lots.  Like I said, I'm behind.  But I'm trying to right myself and get back on track before I settle down to my daily rounds in blogland and flickr.  I've dabbled here and there and -- oh my -- is there ever a lot of fun stuff going on.  It can overwhelm a girl.  I'm looking at at my unread bloglines numbers and they kind of freak me out. 

i don't know what this is.  Pretty, though.

I took almost 400 photos during our stay.  The harsh sunlight was a challenge.  Fun, though.


slow down slow down slow down!

driving by another farm

Twenty five minutes south of downtown Kansas City. 

I am so lucky to live here.  This is the stuff I see every morning.   Like, on the way to the store.  And preschool.  And the orthodontist's office.  And I think to myself, one of these days I'm going to just park at one end of this long road and walk the whole thing with my camera and take some wonderful shots.  Because some day this will all be built up with subdivisions and no trees and no fences and no horses and we will talk about how these used to be horses and barns and fences and huge pastures and....

Well, I haven't done that yet.  We went to the KC zoo yesterday and on the way I snapped these from behind the glass windows of the car.  And even though the conditions were sub-prime, you get the idea.  In this country of suburbs and urban chaos and traffic and 4 lane highways, there is still a lot of this.

And me, with my camera pressed to my face, asking telling hubs in the most patient voice to slowdownslowdownslowdownslowdownslowdown! 

IMG_2958

We're headed out of town at the end of this week for an annual trip to Arizona.  Which also means there is just a ton of work to do before I go.  Office work, house work, and stuff that should have gotten done weeks ago, but must now get done because family is coming to stay with the kids so we can go play.

Hopefully the planets will align and I will get It all done before Thursday.  If not, that sound you might hear in the background is just me, in my most patient voice, asking the world to slow down

IMG_3297

Here's to a good and very productive week.  :)


Thursday + fading blooms

Looks like there won't too many more cherry tree photos...

the window in my sewing room

The blooms are falling.  And it's pretty gusty today, so who knows how many will be left by tomorrow.

petal love.

All the petals are taking cover on my front doorstep.  It's pretty.  I took a million photos of them and they're all so pretty that I can't decide which one I like best.  But I messed around with this on in Photoshop and it's kind of fun.  The others are at flickr.

vintage ironing board(Know what I have been doing this week?  Extending the hems of six 84"curtain panels to 90".  That's it.  They're for the basement media man den space.  I hate doing curtains.  And these particular ones kind of shredded and slipped around on the machine, like a masculine version of bridal satin.  Ack.  It wasn't fun.  They are not pretty or exciting, but they are done.  And now?  Now I have to hang them.  And you're not going to see photos of that either.  I'm not even sure why even I told you about them.  Who the heck wants to read about that???)

Oh and I thrifted today.  I hit a mother-lode of discarded embroidery.  And a slim wooden ironing board that makes me so happy for reasons I can't yet understand. 


Closer.

I need to borrow some of Beki's mind-blowing energy+ability-to-get-stuff-done and just wrap this one up already.

just about done.

The hem isn't done. 

I still need to hem the bottom.

And I can't decide what color pillow to make. 

Or pink?  I like the pink pillow, too.

And so it still isn't finished.  But it's reeaaallly close. Oh, and the thank-you prezzies that I promised aren't done yet either.  But they'll get done; please don't flame me for that.

So that's about it, other than the fact that I am disturbed by how excited I am about American Idol tonight.  I love me some David Cook.  We have never watched a whole season before, but it's fun.  Neil Diamond Night should make for some cringeworthy entertainment.  They each have to sing two songs.  Will Jason Castro sing Red, Red Wine? (I've read rumors that he chose September Morn and Forever in Blue Jeans.) What save-the-world-message songs will Archie turn into Muzak?  Will Brooke forget the lyrics again?  You know she'll do You don't Bring Me Flowers. I'm not sure what Syesha will do, but I don't really care.  She's got Broadway written all over her -- which is great -- she's just not a popstar.  Cookie, though... Girl, You'll be a Woman Soon?  Hello Again? I kind of hope he takes something really upbeat and makes it his own, like he did with Mariah's Always be my Baby...   I like that he keeps us guessing.  (Can he make Sweet Caroline edgy?)

Oh, and here's more of my cherry tree.  Because I can't be stopped.

IMG_2443