Tuesday, April 23, 2019


I think with a house full of daughters I got the pink covered. A pink room with pink costumes, a few of which are from ballet performances. Pink has been a very present color in our home for 19 years. It was never a favorite color to me but as time has passed I have grown deeply fond of the presence of pink in our lives. PS isn’t that little hand made paper unicorn the cutest?

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Meals for others

{Happiness is} A good meal. Sitting down to a nourishing meal is so comforting. My daughter’s classmate welcomed a new brother to the world. I offered to bring the family a meal. I tend to do that, maybe too often, just tell people I will bring them food rather than ask. I think it is because I know how erratic the days are with newborns and other small children in your care. The day can easily get away from you and the thought of supper often brings feelings of overwhelming deficiency. I spent the morning making short rib ragu. The kind that is sinfully delicious. This is not a healthy low-fat meal but a real deep nourishment of fats and protein and warmth. All things postpartum mothers need during recovery. 

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Calmady Children

Have you ever looked at an image and been enchanted? I had that experience yesterday when I visited a second hand store near where I live. It had always been a place I wanted to go inside for the joy of simply looking around. I had the time and decided to just go on and take a look. A friendly shop full of happy people greeted me at the door. I took my time looking around at all the things. From furniture to decor to dishes and artwork. There was plenty to see. And plenty of those “oh! I remember these” moments seeing various household items from childhood. As I neared the back room I noticed this painting was displayed in the corner. Oh! My heart just felt full of sweetness. This painting is so endearing! I have learned that the portrait in front of me is a 1930s reproduction of Sir Thomas Lawrence’s 1823 painting called Nature (The Calmady Children). The girls, Laura Ann (younger girl) and Emily, were the daughters of Charles Calamdy of Devonshire. Lawrence said it was “my best picture......one of the few I should wish hereafter to be known by.” I completely understand. When I look at this painting I feel that he took great joy painting this portrait of two lively little girls, as all girls ages 3 and 5 tend to be. Full of natural curiosity and energy they must have been so entertaining to observe. I can imagine him first attempting to do a more formal style portrait but learning how children these ages are unwilling to sit still long realized how disingenuous the final painting would be. Rather than trudge on in formality, I imagine he just decided to paint the girls as they were. Sweet, gentleness with frequent movements. That is the nature of children being fully engaged in the moment not swaying from their need to be active. It came home with me because of all the things my imagination thought paired with my knowledge of sweet little girls. A reminder of the unique sweetness children bring to the world. 

Monday, March 18, 2019


I spent yesterday cutting plastic bags into strips. Bags and bags. Today I spent a few hours making big balls of plarn. I still have many more bags to sort and cut. This project requires many parts that need to be completed before a bedroll sleeping mat can be finished. This has become my Lenten focus. It requires me to set aside time each week to work on each part of the process. Some days I just focus on the plarn and sometimes I sit down and work a few rows on a mat. I would like to finish two by Easter but 5 would be terrific. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Inner Beauty

This sweet little orchid has been so very happy. I have always loved orchids. Such elegant beauty wrapped up in sensitive mystery. In college I would dreamily look at them in stores always too afraid to bring one home. Not long after marriage I bought one. We had an apartment in DC and getting an orchid seemed like an adult type of plant. While I did my best to make that orchid happy it eventuality withered away. Years passed and my dreamy goal of tending orchids that would bloom and flourish lingered in my memory. Yet I never had enough courage to bring one home. Then one day I was at the local chain home improvement store getting something we needed. As usual I went to admire the orchids. All the colors and lovely blooms. It was hard not to feel happy seeing them lined up row after row. As I wandered the aisle I found the end cap with discount plants. I am a sucker for discount plants. I noticed this forlorn looking orchid its blooms drooping and its leaves starting to brown. Sadness. I looked at the price tag. Once an $8 plant was now 50 cents. I decided it needed someone to believe in its beauty. Fast forward two years later and this sweet little orchid will bloom twice a year for me. Since then I have rescued two more orchids. They too bloom biannually. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to have the courage to cultivate the inner beauty you have yet to bloom. 

Friday, March 08, 2019

Plastic Sleeping Mats project

Current situation is all about plarn, plastic yarn, making. I need to make lots of it! I have been tapped to help with a project through our church for a Lenten service activity. We are working on making sleeping mats for the homeless out of plastic bags. I am this side of crazy in my collection efforts. I went to the local grocery store to collect used plastic bags. A whole shopping cart full! This past week has been all about making the plastic yarn. Each 3’ by 6’ mat requires between 500-700 plastic bags. Or about 6400 yards of plarn! That is a LOT of plarn. Good news is that this upcycle project will provide an useful item for people in need and it makes this eco-warrior’s heart so happy to remove plastic from the landfills. I have been so impressed with my local friends and their willingness to offer their time in helping me collect bags. As of last night I have a true truckload of bags! So that means I am now a yarn making factory. One thing I know: I am not decently skilled at crocheting. I’m learning though, and wow, it has been funny to feel so excited to learn a new craft. It’s has brought back many memories of my learning to knit. Wonky shaped items and those numerous questions: uhhh is this correct? Why is this so funny shaped? Is this a stitch? Oh, wait, how do I do this again?