To watch the rain

Ansel pulled this chair up the window to watch the rain.

The sun did not shine. 
It was too wet to play. 
So we sat in the house
all that cold, cold, wet day. 
- from The Cat in the Hat


Smart phone, is it time?

Last night I dreamt that Jess got me the iPhone6, set it out on the downstairs counter, and I found it much to my surprise.

I woke up immediately following the dream but kind of forgot it (you know how that is when you wake up), but felt this very real excitement in my woken up state.  Then I remembered that in the dream I was living with a smart phone.

What is my subconscious trying to tell me?


This boy loves to "swhing"

We spend lots of minutes, nearly hours on the swing each day.  He loves to close his eyes, smile, and say "happy."


on maintenance

This past month, I've spent a lot of time on home maintenance.  I've unclogged roof gutters, plastered window frames, cleaned the old hot tub, painted touch-ups, fertilized the lawn (and have I mentioned weeding?).  I admit that I (sometimes) get a kick out of these projects and feel a sense of accomplishment.  However, yesterday evening, Jess and I spent two hours replacing the the inner workings of a toilet.  After we finished I said, "If this thing leaks after we've done this, I'm going to swear."  We laughed, it was not possible.  We had followed the directions meticulously and replaced the whole thing, except the porcelain.  Turns out, it was possible and it started leaking again. However, I did not swear, but I was ticked.  I went to bed and dreamed of leaking toilets and failing at fixing them.  I woke up to thinking about the toilet.  It must be fixed!  I have got one last thing to try, and if that doesn't work, we are getting a new toilet!

A lot of life seems like maintenance.  You've got to maintain your material possessions  You've got to maintain your physical health.  You've got to maintain your relationships.  You've got to maintain your spiritual health.  You've got to maintain your mental acuity.  I've found it really is a balancing act and at times you've got to make sure you've got your priorities straight.  Sometimes I may have a leaky toilet scenario in any number of these areas, and the best I can do is try to improve.  Complacency can have damaging effects (including a high water bill!), so even a small move in the right direction is progress.

And now, back to thinking about how I am going to try to finish fixing that toilet.  Arghh!


Any food with the word "dump" in it is unfortunate

Is it just me or does the name "dump cake" discourage you from ever wanting to try a dump cake no matter how good it looks?


faux-thermal imaging

Second simple good: the joys of iPad photo booth.  These little boys (and their mom) cannot get enough.  Ansel absolutely loves this picture.  He laughs every time he sees it.


It's time to celebrate the good

Let's lighten the mood, eh?  I need a little less deep thinking and some more good celebrating.  So that's what I'm gonna do.  First simple good:

Pumpkin chocolate chip bread - the signal, to me, of fall.  And it's always fun to rework the recipe so that it's still good but healthy too, like add apple sauce, cut the sugar in half, and add flax flour.  My little family and some of Oliver's friends have nearly finished two loaves in two days.  


Perspective and vulnerability

It is alarming how quickly my perspective on life, what's most important to me, what I'm concerned about changes.  Like a fierce wind, switching this way and that, my priorities are whipped around constantly and it's exhausting.

Deep down, I know what is most important, my foundation is sure, but then I get caught up in the everyday.  It seems to have a pull on me that I don't like.  I want to be even-keeled.  I don't want things to knock me this way and that.  I want to improve because I want to be a better person.

Lately, situations have happened and controlling my reaction to them has been more work than what I would have expected.  I thought I was tough and had it together, and in someone ways I do.  But I need to be more together, more secure, more focused on the good instead of surface issues.  I want to have the wisdom, the perspective, the concern of a 60 year old. 

I feel like my main problem may be selfishness.  This seems strange to me since I am a mom and nearly every moment is spent giving to others.  But the point is, I guess, I am doing it all without complete love because I am caught up in way too many other lame things.  

Plus, the other day I was asked what I do to relax.  I couldn't think of an answer. I rarely relax.  I know this is not uncommon, but I find I need to physically and mentally.  Study? Art? Exercise? Music?  Probably a bit of all of the above.

Overall, I need to remember I'm rich with goodness all around me.  There is love filling my cup and it's full. The problem is, I'm only sipping from it. 

Look, I am rich. Ollie made this cash today, along with a 1,000,000 cent coin.



Am I the only person out there who can't seem to master the art of coupons?  Don't get me wrong, I have tried. I've wanted to be a coupon lady, saving money is in my nature, but I always come up short. 

"This coupon is expired."

"You have to buy five of these rather than four to get the 75 cents off."

"Oh, sorry, you've got to get the 18.5 oz size to get the discount."

"This coupon only works on Wednesdays during the fifth week of the month." 


A while back, I decided to bag the coupon saving and rely on in-store deals.  Same thing happened.  I'd try to buy five boxes of cereal in order to get a $5 dollar gift card; except, it never seemed to work out that way.  I could never buy the right combination of cereal to get five bucks.

Is saving some cents really that difficult?  Is everyone getting fooled into buying things that they think will save them money, when really, in the long run, they have spent more than they would have otherwise?  Or am I just not able to hack it?  Probably, hopefully (for my sake), it's a little bit of both.


into September

Ahh, September.  A wonderful month all around.  I had the best Gala apple yesterday.  That apple pretty much sums up what I like about September: fresh, crisp, clean.  I've begun a clean start on bettering my posture.  Yep, that's right.  I've recently learned that I've got some weak muscles and some stressful tendencies that are causing me some guff, so here's to strengthening.

In other news, Ollie's first day of school went well and he loves it.  And just today, Oliver told me he likes Kindergarten just as much as the beach.  Wow!  

And Ansel has started talking lots.  His words not only include mama, dada, and ah-ee (Ollie), but also fishes, pushes (the boy loves the swing), car, nose, eyes, ears, yesch, and no.  One can tell he's loving his newfound communication tool.  

And finally, hikes.  We've been on some beauties lately.  Nothing matches the freedom the outdoors provides to children, to anyone!