Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Autumn!

I'm eager to lay eyes on the reds, golds and even browns of fall.

I love the idea of "Harvest Home" celebrations at the equinox, putting up a pantry for the winter, and Michaelmas. Turning inward, reflecting on the events of the year, and storing up to go into the "long dark" of winter.

Of course, before all that turning inward, there is much to be done---a garden to clean up, closets to pare down, linens to wash, dusting, polishing and generally laying in. Oh, and of course, I must go seeking a goodly supply of local honey.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

There are sick people in this world...

I am saddened and disgusted today. I think of my little blog as a refuge and a place to go to interact with like minds. But from time to time I am reminded of how icky some people can be.

While digging around, spending a leisurely Sunday morning learning how to use more of the analytics tools, I discovered that recently I have had a *ton* of hits to a picture I posted over a year ago. This was an innocent picture from a past birthday of my grandpa giving me my birthday spanking. I posted it because I thought it was funny. Well, it seems that it spread like wildfire, especially through Germany (no offense to anyone German, I'm just saying.) And it was coming up from keyword searches "birthday spanking" along with a lot of really disgusting other pictures.

I've removed it from my blog, and I am working to remove it from the various search engines and web crawlers. However my stomach is crawling over the fact that a nice childhood memory of mine has been compromised, and I doubt I will ever fully extinguish the photo from the internet.

The moral of this story? Be careful of what you post. I am now really feeling worried that I've posted too many pics of my kids, too much personal information, and in general opened myself up far too much. I'm probably not going to be posting as much for a while, while I sort through past posts and use the webmaster tools to see what people are really looking at.

Friday, September 17, 2010

It was a nice day for a hike

We spent last Sunday at Prairie Oaks, which IMO is the best metro park around here!

One of my favorite color combos, courtesy of nature.

I've been trying so hard all month to get close to a monarch, and finally I got it!

Zack, airborne


Gathering pollen.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Did I mention I got the younger one off to preschool last week...

Hurray! Nate's off to school! (And mommy get's a whopping 2 hours and 20 minutes to herself...)

He's already made a friend named Graham. (And also mentions a girl name Riley, lol.) My baby is growing up, and as always I feel mixed. I love the free time---four mornings a week! I mean a block of time for coffee! Reading! Breakfast meetups with friends! Scrapbooking! Yoga! And yet I find myself more often than not, just padding around the house, or heading to do an errand. Yeah, you could say that I miss him. Is it any wonder I'm crossing my fingers that our district won't have all-day kindergarten up and running next year?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I baked today :-)

I've been getting all homey for fall and I baked these Cornmeal Buns from The Frugal Girl today. OMG!!! They are too good. I've already eaten two (small ones, really) and I'm really impatient for the husband to get his tail home so's we can eat! Tonight we are having BBQ pork, sweet potatoes, a small spinach salad, and these lovely buns.

This week I did a very smart thing and picked up a pork loin roast for $8; it will end up feeding us for 4 days---last night it was roast w/ mashed potatoes and corn, BBQ tonight, tomorrow pork fried rice, and Friday, if we aren't completely sick of it, I will probably scrap up the odds and ends of the roast in some baked beans and serve it with more rolls! I estimate that the cost per person for each of our meals is only about $1 a meal. Not too shabby!

Monday, September 13, 2010

What we've been up to...

Not much :-)

I am reading a lot:

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterly (Our book club read this month)Understanding your 7 Year-Old by Elsie Osborne
Restore. Recycle. Repurpose. by Randy Florke with Nancy J. Becker
Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart
The Plantagenet Prelude by Jean Plaidy
Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in
an Indulgent Age
by Dan Kindlon, Ph.D
Salad Makes the Meal by Wiley Mullins

I am switching back and forth a lot; hopefully I will finish a few titles in the next few days. Books are like potato chips for me lately---I engorge myself beyond my limit.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What's new in the garden...

Not much. Getting stuff cleaned up for winter. I did get a cool weather crop of lettuce and spinach in, so we should have some nice produce before long.

Other than that just enjoying the butterflies for as long as we can. I haven't seen a hummingbird in a few weeks, so I think they might be gone.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I've been kinda busy...

Things have been pretty fast paced around here. The younger son got back to preschool this week, plus we had Labor day stuff, yardwork, laundry, bills, shuttling boys to various lessons, and all the other busy-ness of life. I am hoping for things to settle soon.

I am also at a bit of a crossroads. I'm finding that I'm a bit bored with some of the things I've been doing, and really not finding a reserve of energy for all the crafting. I'd like to resume scrapbooking---I am now a full year behind in my chronological books---so first I think I need to clean out the craft space. Also I am preparing notes and outlines for NaNoWriMo. And I am reading A LOT of books. Meeting up with my book club has inspired me to remember that first and foremost, I love to read! Our current title is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, and it's a wonderfully mysterious, creepy, dreamy read for autumn, especially inspiring for Halloween.

Halloween is coming, which is my little son's birthday. We are on family "austerity measures" so I'm struggling with planning activities and decor on no budget. The struggle is mainly with myself---I have tons of materials. I don't need to buy stuff. And yet I find myself somewhat embarrassingly depressed at not being able to buy stuff. Oh sure, Nate will have a party, and we'll get him a couple gifts and it will be great. But I am realizing that I am somewhat addicted to just running out and buying whatever little odd-and-end I want. It's like a crutch---my real want is to express myself and be creative, but I do so by buying stuff, which is not creative at all.

Then there is Christmas, right around the corner. This is another struggle. We are tired of the greed fest, we are tired of our kids just being overwhelmed by stuff. And it is so hard to express this to family members who show their love through "gifting." (And we can't blame them too much because we are just as bad sometimes.)

Lots to think about.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

8 Years of Marriage, and it's still very, very cool

Ken and Myself, 8 years ago today.

I wanted a sort of retro wedding.

Same church my folks got married in; same dinner jackets for the men, too!

The title of my post comes from "the toast." My brother in law gave the all time best, most eloquent, most thoughtful toast ever. It included the story of how when Ken met me, he told Stefan "She's very cool," and how as time past, that kept changing to "she's very, very cool," to "she's very very very cool," etc. People still comment about that toast!

The aerial view of my reception. I think our wedding was a testament to simple, romantic and inexpensive weddings. We did the reception in the church gym, and the only big expense was that I insisted on a caterer, because I couldn't envision my mom cooking for 150 people on my wedding day, and I had a florist which in retrospect I didn't really need, but I was not terribly confident in my crafting ability then. We did a luncheon, and Ken and I did the decorating. Our friends helped the catering crew clean up at the end. All in all it was a charming little wedding, it was over fairly early in the day, and aside from being a tad hot that day (our 108 year old church has no A/C) it was a lovely day.

My favorite memory was after our "getaway" from the church, in Ken's pickup truck, we ended up at Schiller Park, where we strolled around for a while, in full wedding attire, taking in the gardens and the various people waving and cheering to us. When we returned to the church mostly everyone was gone, and do you know what we did? We ended up at the pastor's house next door, talking to her about the meaning of marriage, for like over an hour. It was a really beautiful, meaningful way to start a marriage. And a wonderful marriage it has been.