Category Archives: Thinking/Noticing

right now I’m…

noticing :: how very delightful it is to have a stack of brand new supplies for creating something beautiful.


feeling ::  excited, inspired and a bit over-whelmed as I start making plans for homeschooling next year.

smiling knowingly :: at this bit of wisdom from Donna Simmons (found in “A Rough Guide to Sixth Grade“), “And the more children you have, the more you have to be, on one hand, rigorously well-organized and, on the other, relaxed.  It’s a question of balance – when to let go and when to make sure it happens, whatever it is!”

wondering :: how it is that a 4th grader and a 6th grader sounds so very much older then a 3rd grader and a 5th grader?  I have no explanation.


thinking :: that people just really shouldn’t talk to me in the morning during the hour after I take my pill (which makes me feel unwell) before I can eat (which makes me feel better).  If only they realized that we would all be a lot happier that way!

finally :: starting to learn to use my camera the way that it’s supposed to be used…but just starting.

as the sun goes down

enjoying :: the couple days a week that the big kids randomly send the two little ones out with tiny market baskets to gather herbs from the three half-barrel gardens I planted, for kneading into the herbed almond flour bread that’s fast becoming their specialty.

thinking :: I may have found a new craft to become obsessed about.

stitchesThe darling stitch holders above are a gift from a dear friend.  And she sent along the little bits of tatting below, just to entice me.  And well, it worked of course!


I really should have pressed them before the photo so that you can see how truly sweet they are in their miniature perfection (instead of in their rumpled, just pulled from the envelope state).  I’m thinking these can’t go to waste.  Maybe some dainty trim on a pocket?  Part of a necklace?

glad, so very glad :: to be able to knit again


appreciating :: the old vanilla extract bottle full of flowers, that Iain placed at the window beside me when I was too ill to be up and around.

pleased :: to see them still blooming and also to know that I no longer bound by their side night and day.

loving :: berry season being underway!

missing :: the freedom to go outside whenever and however I want (photosensitivity concerns).

at play

thinking :: that if nothing else, our shade gardens will be well weeded.

finding :: twilight rapidly becoming my favorite time of day.

feeling :: tired still.  Still moving slow.  Still needing to take it easy, but taking more of an active part in life as each day passes.  And that is a very good thing.


snapshots: camping by the ocean




m and the rest


beach towel

galen on the beach




sand castles



dragonfly on hand





~the sound of rain on a tent, like a giant pan of jiffy pop

~hot boards underfoot, with a dusting of sand…the air thick with the sticky-sweet smell of honey-suckle

~boyish voices, so very excited, telling tales of adventures; pickerel. turtles.

~gifts of heart shaped stones dug from damp, smooth sand

~gooey marshmallow, clinging to gritty skin, glowing by the light of a dancing fire

~a vast expanse of starlit sky as waves crash beside us

~and the joy of being home again, tucked up luxuriously in a warm, dry, comfortable bed


A different kind of consumerism…

I’m back again.  But I’ve been posting so infrequently that I’m sure you didn’t even know that I was gone!

The kids and I spent a week visiting family.  Were back now, safe and sound, but vaguely out of sorts.  It was a great visit, but different, of course, from being at home.  We live in a different rhythm, we eat different foods and it takes a while to come back to normal once home.  Also, we’re never quite the same people when we come back.  Just like the maple tree below, that I photographed before we left, and found completely bare when we arrive home.  It’s amazing what one week can do.  The littlest one now says “daddy” and “mommy” more often then “dada” and “mama”.  She’s added several new phrases to her repertoire, including, “do again!”, as in, just sang “Itsy-bitsy Spider” for the twelfth time in a row?  Big smile and “Do Again!”  Also, “excuse me” (seriously) and “thank you!”; polite little munchkin that she is!


But there are other changes as well….friendships rekindled, priorities rearranged, ideals relaxed, new and novel experiences shared.  There has been just the slightest of shifts, and we just don’t quite fit exactly back into the life we left.  Such is the way things go, always growing and adapting, and on that note…

A month or so ago, I started re-reading Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids.  The first time I read it, I felt like it was an affirmation, because it really falls right in line with how we strive to live.  This time I’m delving deeper, not so much into the book, but into our lives.  It occurs to me that there are still several areas that would benefit from simplifying, the two main ones being crafting and food!  I’ll talk about the later at some point, but I’ve made some interesting discoveries about the power of creativity and the role of inspiration.


I’ve cut back on computer time across the board, not just the time that I spend here.  Most days I just check my email.  A couple of times a week I look in on a few of my favorite blogs.  Then there are weeks like last week, when we were away, and I didn’t touch a computer for seven days.  This paring down wasn’t premeditated, just a result of life being the way it is at the moment, but I’ve noticed the strangest things.  For one thing, I no longer feel so scattered.  I’m more likely to finish a project that I start.  I no longer find my mind racing as I scheme and dream about my next 20 projects (or more!).

It’s not like 100 years ago when your neighbor might have a new style of knitted lace or a fashionable new cut dress to share.  You can find information on absolutely anything, at your fingertips, any hour of the day.  Which is incredible, and wonderful and….over-whelming. There is no end to the inspiration.  Wow.  But the other side of that is, there is no end to the inspiration…
fire 1

And maybe there is such a thing as too much inspiration??  It may just be in my nature and perhaps there is no one at all who can relate to this, but I think I’ve spent a good portion of the last several years over-inspired.  Too much of a good thing.  There are so many wonderfully talented women and men out there, who graciously share their lives and their art so that others may benefit.  It’s really incredible when you think about it.  I was kind of shocked when I realized that this is the number one way that consumerism finds it’s way into my home.  It’s strange, but it’s true.  These amazing people, with the very best of intentions, the very same people who rail against consumerism in a more mainstream sense (myself included) are the ones most likely to inspire consumerism in me.  It’s of a different sort, to be sure, but the effect is still the same.  There is the feeling of more, more, more!  And the feeling of over-whelm when it is all too much.  When I see a darling sweater knitted for a child or hear about a spectacular and heartfelt birthday celebration, even other people’s thrifting scores, get me going and starts my mind spinning.  It’s not a matter of trying to keep up, but of just being so blown away with the beauty of an idea or an object, that I can’t get it out of my mind.  Which would be fine, nay fantastic (!) if it happened every once in a while, but there is just so much potential out there, so much beauty, that it’s possible to sit and find new ideas constantly.

It’s all very interesting, and somewhat alarming, to me anyway.  I love being able to reach out to other people who are walking a similar path, to be able to get a glimpse into their lives.  I don’t want to entirely give that up.  I’m sure there is a balance to be found and I’m learning a lot, thinking and experimenting with it.  I’d be interested to hear other people’s ideas and experiences!


Tonight I’m….

*eating leftover frosting off of a spoon

*cramming for a set of birthdays that somehow snuck up on me

*trying to think through the details for the party this weekend, what to make, what to cook, what to buy…

~one year ago tomorrow~

*looking at old pictures

*sewing buttons on a sweater

*wondering where a year went

*or ten for that matter

*adding to an old Rainbow Bridge story and starting a new one

~yesterday-having a mini-celebration with visiting family~
*taking the time to watch them sleep

*feeling awed and proud and a little sad

*looking forward to the future, but hoping it will take it’s sweet ole’ time in getting here

*vowing to slow down for this next year, to live in the moment and cherish each one

*dreaming about who they will be next year, and tomorrow, and 26 years after that

*still amazed by it all, now and forever


Five Senses Friday: Smelling

The sense of smell is a tricky one for me. As is true for most people, it has the capacity to invoke strong memories in me. Unlike most people, it’s a warning, alerting me to the possibility of becoming ill. Sometimes it’s hard to reconcile the two. How I long to be able to sit and smell my Grandfather’s cologne and be transported back to my childhood, laying in his lap in their living room and the feelings of safety and peace that well-known scent conveyed. These days it would trigger the exact opposite; fear and panic. I remember reading a book shortly after I became very ill. I could only read a little bit at a time before the ink would start to get to me, quite the blow for a life-long bookworm. The main character was talking about a package that her mother sent from halfway across the world, how she pressed the skirt to her face and just breathed and breathed because it smelled of her Mama. I remember crying because at the time, the smell of my own mother made me ill.

These days we lead a lightly scented life, full of naturally occurring smells. There are blessings in this too. You really do become more keenly aware of subtle aromas and notice things that might otherwise have gone undetected.

Some of the things I’ve been smelling this last week:
~baking smells; Irish Soda Bread, blueberry muffins at the beginning of the week and blueberry crisp toward the end (my supply is dwindling).

~wood smoke and damp earth

~the warm dusty smell put off by the light bulb in my sewing machine when I run it for hours on end

~the unique scent of different pillows as I cuddle each child before sleep

~cooking smells; stew with red wine, roasted root vegetables, Moroccan Carrot Soup, roasted chicken and Yorkshire Pudding

~Spring carried on the breeze

~baby hair, sweet milky breath

~the old, odd smell of new to us wooden chairs

~wool and lanolin

~freshly split wood


Five Senses Friday: Seeing

I’m taking part in Kyrie’s count down to the arrival of her new little one. Each Friday, for the next five weeks, we’ll be exploring one sense.

I regret that today’s sense is not hearing! Wee Miss Màiri Rose really giggled for the first time yesterday! Up until now when she was tickled or excited she let out this sound that fell somewhere between a scream and a cough, but last night she laughed a real for real laugh. Oh my. Sweet, sweet girl of mine…

~Morning view~

What I’ve been seeing this week

  • Wet sticky snow clinging to trees and later a steady flow of water dripping down from the eaves
  • the occasional rock protruding out of the white
  • lots of work to be done, in the form of piles of yarn and fabric, stacks of books and project lists
  • A little boy, with fixed concentration, very carefully pressing a fork into balls of peanut butter cookie dough, first this way, then that.
  • A sky full of birds heading home
  • sunshine on golden yellow yarn
  • a smiling baby with a cat tail rubbing her check
  • bare forsythia branches, brought in from the snow
  • light lasting well into the day
  • the wood pile dwindling
  • a sleepy head on my breast
  • Big boys rocking a very little girl
  • The biggest boy of all cuddling her to his bare chest at night
  • a different slant of light
  • a little dormouse pointed out by a little goose boy
  • flippy floppy boys bouncing on a trampoline
  • a look of surprise and joy at the first spinning of a swing
  • bright blue skies
  • little ones growing and changing and growing and growing some more.

~sketches and notes in my note book on plans for little wardrobes for the coming seasons~


Rosebud Pink

Would you just look at what my dear friend Heather sent me??

A whole bag of rosebud pink yarn! And now to decide what to use it for…oh, the possibilities…

Thank you all for joining me on my little Thinking/Noticing series. It wasn’t actually something I planned, it just seemed to fit where I was at for the last couple of weeks. It’s also an interesting little snapshot of life during this postpartum period. I’m glad to have that bit of a record. I may well keep up with the occasional post in the same vein, but I think you can also expect some more regular style posting this week. I’ve lots to share; a couple of knitting projects, a hand sewing project, some machine sewing, some fabulous crochet (not my own work, obviously, as my crocheting is far from fabulous), I’d imagine you can expect some pictures of little ones, especially considering the fact that a certain little one will be turning one month old (!) this week, and I still, still haven’t finished sharing Christmas presents and Iain’s birthday with you. So, there are lots of options, now all that remains to be seen is if I can manage to find the time to post about any of them!