Sunday, March 7, 2010

ask and ye shall receive

measuring spoons

This is such a common issue that is is boring to even type the sentence but here it is - I have a hard time asking for things for myself. I really adore being taken care of and appreciated, but I also get embarrassed when a fuss is made about me. Confusing, even for me.

So when my birthday rolls around Andy's mama always asks what she can get for me, could I give her some hints please. On one hand and then the other I feel pleased that she wants to get me something that I would really enjoy and happy that I might be getting something from my mental wish list, but also that I feel a bit greedy giving a list of specific gifts that I would like. I end up being a bit evasive like "oh yes, I'll think about that and write you an email with some ideas when I get a moment" but I don't.

I have this ingrained belief, even though I have intellectually discarded it, that I should be happy that I am getting any gift at all, and count my blessings. That it is somehow impolite to have specific desires for presents. It's so strange, but I know exactly where, in my family, that feeling comes from. As I said, when I think about it head-on it is so silly. What I actually believe is that it is best to give small, wonderful presents of real quality that the person would appreciate and want to keep forever. Or, baring that, something they can eat.

So, I had a little talk with myself and when my birthday rolled around again this year and I was asked for some gift ideas I created a list. And emailed it. Big sigh of relief here. It was a short list - about 6 items - and I tried to spread out the options - 2 books, 2 art prints, 1 kitchen thingy and 1 wearable and a clause that I would, of course, be happy with anything she thought I would like. And, low and behold, a couple of days after my birthday I received a gift in the mail, from my list, and I loved it.

These are the Blossom Measuring Spoons from Beehive Kitchenware. I have been eyeing their goods for over a year and when these new spoons were added I just wanted them so much. I don't usually covet goods like this so I had to take the urge seriously. They are handmade of Pewter and have such a great feel in my hand. I know they will be the last measuring spoons I'll ever need. The first time I used them I just though "someday these are going to be Grandma Gillian's measuring spoons" and I can't tell you how happy that thought made me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

catching up

Painting Valentines

I realize that I never shared these photos from our Valentine Day crafting. Miryam and I have been doing most of our projects together during √Čamonn's nap because he is just so enthusiastic about helping that it's difficult for us to concentrate and feel relaxed while creating. When we sit together during the nap we are trying to be quite so he get a good rest and so the stillness is already there for us to settle into and focus on our own work.

But I also know that getting messy and crafting with some joyful chaos is also important so when we were making our Valentine Garland we made sure to include our boy as well. We got 5 or 6 colors of paints in reds, pinks and cream and covered card stock with lots of paint until it looked, in Miryam's words, "just absolutely perfect". Then we used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to trace hearts on the back of the cardstock which we then cut out, punched a whole in each side and threaded with some cream wool yarn.

little hint about the paint - at a tag sale this past summer I spent about a dollar and went home with about a million of these small terra cotta flower pot saucers that are glazed on the inside with no whole at the bottom. We use them for sorting and such but I've also discovered that they work well as paint dishes. They are very shallow but the diameter is small so the paint doesn't spread around too much and they clean up quite well. Plus, they look really sweet which, to me, is very important when I am attempting to convince myself that taking out the painting supplies is, again in Miryam's words, "an extremely good idea."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

the pre-spring slump

unrelated photo of the children bring the kitchen scraps out to the compost

This not-really-winter-or-spring business is a bit hard on me. I've lived in New England for my whole life and I still feel that March really should be spring but, truly, it isn't. March is on the verge - I'm pretty much done with winter but spring isn't quite here yet. I'm done thinking about mittens and hats but not quite ready to start in on dresses and hunting down sandals. I'm not quite sure where I am. I feel like I should be starting the spring cleaning so that as soon as the weather turns, even the slightest bit, we can spend as much time as possible out of doors and because the house is (in this vision...) so organized and tidy. But, the motivation to get that going just isn't there. I am feeling a bit sluggish and out of sorts. I can see what's coming ahead but we're not there yet.

I've been feeling a bit distracted mentally. I've been having a hard time being present and in the moment. I have been generally unmotivated in this liminal space and blogging, and creating in general, has suffered for it. I've been in the mind of "getting stuff done" rather than paying attention to the process. Rushing through chores instead of letting the children help. There doesn't appear to be too much to report but I am sure that is because I am seeing too much forest and not enough trees.

I'm going to try to follow the sunshine a bit and get some photos of what is happening around here, and to share them in this blog, in an attempt to bring my focus to now. I intend to be around more often, using this space to draw my attention in a more vibrant direction.