Friday, August 30, 2013

This Moment

Playing along with Amanda today... in her words: 

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


A portrait of my kids every week for 52 weeks.

Audrey in the quietest room in the house, having a cracker, escaping the tile installers.
Henry in the driveway, talking about his "crazy hair."

Monday, August 26, 2013

Right Now

Right now, I'm hobbling around like I'm an 80-year-old arthritic, sore from 48 hours of constant chipping, scraping, scooping, hauling, loading, unloading, scooping, hauling, and unloading. Everywhere we turn in our house we track, breathe, taste, and are surrounded by dust, despite my best efforts of containment with plastic sheeting and painter's tape.  Our kitchen is out of commission as is every potty down stairs, and we've lost an entire parking place in the driveway due to our debris deposit. 

Right now, we're prepping for new tile in the kitchen, laundry room, family room, half bath, pantry, and master bath! What a weekend... but it'll be sooooooooooo worth it!

I can't wait to show you the 'after,' and have something else to write about!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Well, we are having fun, aren't we? (What have we gotten ourselves into...?) Hope everyone else is having a quiet, relaxing weekend!

Friday, August 23, 2013

This Moment

Playing along with Amanda today... in her words: 

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Corners of Our New Home, Part III

Isn't it funny how a little progress in one room can lead to the finishing touches in another room, and that feeling of success can push you on through other rooms to polish off the little things left undone?

If I don't watch it, this house is going to start feeling like home after all!

Oh, wait, it kinda does already!

In keeping with my little series I've got going on here (see the first and second post to catch up), today I present the next room joining the 'Mostly Finished' column on my ta-done list: the Multipurpose/Play/Project Room (which I am trying to rename the Balcony Room because, well, the first name is just too much of a mouthful).

This most recently finished space is actually where the finishing touches of other rooms have been coming from- recovered pillows, the curtains for the kids' rooms, the re-framed family photos, and lots of stop signs and pretend banana-and-tomato casseroles.

It was also the room that contained the last few boxes needing to be unpacked, and I'm not sure why it was so late in being finished, but it's (mostly) done now!

Long live the Balcony Room!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


A portrait of my kids every week for 52 weeks.

Audrey after bath time, trying to keep herself from smiling for the camera.
Henry just before bath time, making sure every inch of skin is covered in sand or grime.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Right Now

Right now, I'm...

...eyeing the woods off the back of the house and planning more underbrush clean-out before it gets too hot.
...wondering exactly what we'll do with the fairly large pile of brush already out there... I'm thinking bonfire, if only it would rain a little and dampen down the dry, dry grass!
...smiling at the independently spelled, independently written signs, notes, and cards here and there around the house.
...feeling inspired by my most recent book indulgence, An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler.
...also feeling the absence of a garden here in our new space, and catching myself daydreaming up designs, locations, and chicken coop incorporation more and more frequently.
...serving almost every meal outside on the picnic table, as the mornings are still in the low 70s (for now).
...planning trips to explore the local thrift stores, get our weekly groceries, make it over to the home-improvement store, and get my transmission checked out this week. I'm sure I can find time to do it all.........
...loving the time spent with good friends and fancy food, family and goofy kiddos, and finally just the four of us at the end of a long and lovely weekend.

With this little break in the summer heat, I have been reminded that autumn is on it's way, and it's really not that far off. Even as the temps climb back up to where they normally are for us at the end of August, this reprieve has been enough to stir in me little more energy, a little extra motivation, and a little more focus on tasks that will settle us in for the ramping down of the season.

May we all feel a little of that pre-autumn spark as we start our week. Happy Monday!

Friday, August 16, 2013

This Moment

Playing along with Amanda today... in her words: 

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

They Did This To Themselves.

I mustache you a question... anything grand planned for today, or are you shaving it for later?

Sorry, couldn't resist!

Have a good Thursday, y'all!

By the way, they did this to themselves, but the cheesy caption is all my fault. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Corners of Our New Home, Part II

We are still working in almost every room around these parts to flesh them out, settle them down, and basically make them feel lived in. We up'd the square footage with our move, and I've really struggled with scale in my decorating (especially since we're trying not to run out and spend spend spend on extra furniture, new decor, etc).

For some reason, Henry's room came together so effortlessly, while I've really struggled with Audrey's room. I'm not sure if it's because I'm just not that inspired by her choice of wall color (a very light buttery yellow), if it's because she's at an age where she loves something very specific one day and the next can't be bothered with it, or if it's just because I have a creative block due to all the technical stuff still demanding attention (like where our water is coming from, who will fill our propane tank, or where the heck our septic system and lateral lines are). Whatever the reason, it's taken longer than I'd like to admit for her room to come together.

However, it has (mostly) come together.

There are still a few things waiting in the wings to go on the walls (including a special painting from Gramps), and I really want to redo her stash of sheets and quilts, but for now, it's at least at a place where she declares she loves it... for now.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


A portrait of my kids every week for 52 weeks.

Henry just before bed time, brushing his teeth, "My mah seh-el-fuh."
Audrey hiding in a cluster of huge oaks in our front yard.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Right Now

Right now, I'm...

...loving our big boy's fresh new 'do! He was so still and brave while getting his cut, which really helped this amateur family beautician!
...actively shopping for a few key pieces of furniture needed for places here and there in our new spaces, and focusing mainly on used stuff with character off of our local craigslist.
...hoping to go pick up a new-to-us beautiful round coffee table today, full of said character!
...peeking up at the shelf of home-canned goods every time I open the pantry, and smiling with satisfaction at the 12.5 pints of muscadine (or mustang?) grape jelly put up last week.
...feeling relieved that the last 1.5 gallons of un-jellied grape juice is now productively turning in to wine- to then be turned in to vinegar- on my counter top, and no longer waiting for it's turn in the canner.
...hanging family photos, re-covering pillows, and pushing us ever closer to 'settled' (another post on our place coming soon)!
...still smiling at the outing with friends and family to celebrate my 31st trip around the sun! What a great time... and a fun chance to sport fun new sandals, too!

Right now I'm teetering on the line between the reemergence of our old rhythm and the lingering chaos of our move-in process. Like the hubby said this weekend- we're past Phase One, but there's still a long line of stuff waiting for attention. I guess I'd better be off to focus my attention on some of 'em.

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 9, 2013

This Moment

Playing along with Amanda today... in her words: 

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Wild Babies

Lookie what we found in the front yard:

Alas, Leeloo found the first one, but these two got away, and I was able to show them to my Wild Babies before kicking the dog back into the house and restoring them to their nest.

There were several pleas for making them members of the family, but bottle-feeding cottontails who will turn around and demolish our future gardens didn't make for a very strong case... so we tucked them back into their fur-lined nest and hoped the mama would come and get them... and she did.


They were cute, though.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Nectarines and Stickies

What is it with me and hoarding summer produce? Seriously, it's not like I don't still have 6 or 7 jars of peaches put up from June, or that the house is all settled and there's not a thing left on my to-do list.

And let's not forget that if for some reason I did find time to work in the kitchen for multiple hours, I still have three gallons of muscadine grape juice to turn in to jelly.

But 25 pounds of nectarines from the co-op? Oh, yes, please!


Oh, nectarines, I do love you so. I just can't resist you. But this time around there wasn't enough time to can you in spiced syrups, or dice you into chutneys and pickles... so a quick dip into boiling water to slip you out of your skins, a rough chop, and a bath in vitamin C water is all you got before it was off to the freezer with you!

The real story here, however, is not the nectarines themselves. Oh no. The real story is the help for this project- it was awesome. Let me just say- I didn't have to ask, I didn't have to instruct, I didn't have to assign jobs, these two helpers just showed up, watched for a few minutes, and fell right in to step.

Audrey peeled.

I cut the slices and dropped them into their vitamin C bath.

Henry scooped them out of the wash and put them in their freezer bags.

There was no fighting. There was no yelling. There was no complaining... and there was work that lasted almost an hour and a half.

At one point, Audrey looked up from slipping skins of nectarines and said, "Bubba, you are doing so good! Good job Bubba! You too, Mama!"


So there's that to add to the list of why stone fruit in the heat of the summer, when we're all trapped inside by 109 heat indexes, is so gosh darn irresistible to me.

We froze four gallon-sized freezer bags of nectarines before having a break for dinner and a romp in the sand as the sun went down, and after the kids went to bed I finished the last 5-7 pounds of fruit solo. I decided to turn the remainder into nectarine fruit leather, or "Stickies" as the kids call them (and appropriately so, once they get their hands on them).

It was the least I could do to say thanks to these two helpers of mine... well, that and maybe not get more next week!

Nectarine Stickies
Makes 2 quarts of puree that, depending on your dehydrating methods, 
could turn out a ton of thin leather or a fair amount of thick

5-7 pounds of ripe nectarines, peeled and cut from the pits
1 tsp powdered ginger or 1(ish) inch grated fresh ginger
juice from 1 lime

In a large non-reactive pot, slowly simmer nectarines, ginger, and lime juice until fruit starts to break down and look real soupy. With an immersion blender, or working carefully in batches with a stand blender or food processor or food mill, puree soupy nectarines. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and evenly spread puree. Place in an oven on your lowest heat setting (probably 200 degrees) for 6-8 hours or overnight. If using a dehydrator, don't forget to spray your fruit leather trays with non-stick spray!

Once dry to the touch, cut into desired shapes and sizes and store with layers of wax paper between them in an airtight container, and they'll keep for a month or three (if they're not gobbled up right away).

While we worked on our fruit, I told the kids that when winter came and all the trees that grow nectarines are sleeping and not growing fresh nectarines, we could go into our freezer and grab a bag of fruit and enjoy them and remember summer, and Audrey said, "And they'll taste even better because not just you made them, Mama, Henny and I helped, too!"

So true, Sister, but then again, anything made with love tastes better... don't you think?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


A portrait of my kids every week for 52 weeks.

Henry in a feather boa, as we unpacked the dress-up stuff.
Audrey 'thinking,' after once again dressing herself (I love how she loves this skirt).