Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Everything!

I can't visit right now (can you imagine?) as we are reveling in the day, but I did just want to wish you the most peaceful, joyful day (whether you're celebrating Christmas or not).
I am so grateful for all of this and more.
Merry Everything, dear one.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Solstice with the Molstice

Yawn.  We had a lovely Solstice that ended late, late with a backyard fire and some spiked eggnog (sans spike for the boy).  Fortunately, all animals were sympathetic this morning and let us sleep late. Heavenly.Yesterday started with my favorite part of our seasonal celebrations... The Celebration Ring.

I just never cease to be thrilled by the choosing of the ornaments and the lighting of the tiny candles.  By popular demand, we were swiftly on to Finn's favorite part of Solstice - The Present!

'Tis quite challenging to get a small boy with a new bow and arrow to hold still so...this is all I got for ya.  Mama holding the beautiful bear bow for just a second while the quiver was being loaded.  I swear he almost slept with this whole contraption on.  Is there anything more heart-warming than giving your child something you chose so very carefully and finding that you chose right?  He loves it, just loves it. I always want the one Solstice present to be special and I want it to have something to do with nature. Check and check!

Finally! I did it.  I got a damn Gingerbread House and we actually decorated it.  I had to laugh this morning as I checked out my friend, Hillary's, blog as she bought the same one and for the same reason. (Theirs looks a lot better than ours, I have to admit.) I'll never make my own GB house ever again.  The one time we had a good one was the time Finn and I spent about 5 hours at another friend's house making them. She had done all the work, all we did was bring decorations.  I mean, this woman made gingerbread walls for like SIX women and the spackle icing!  We worked on it for hours, brought it home, and Luna ate it while we were out later.  I had to go to bed with a rag on my head. Finn was really little at the time and he walked around for weeks saying, "BAD DOG. BAD, BAD DOG. YOU ARE A BAD DOG." Sigh. Poor Luna...just doing what any good Lab would do.

Sexy Solstice Jackdaddy - expert builder of quivers and beautiful Solstice fires.  Wouldn't he look good on this...?

Yep, the good ole' lit up motorcycle on 37th street.  We always go on the Solstice to see the lights down there.  We thought it was quite good this year.  That house that is around the corner from 37th is THE best again.  Last night they had a fire in the back and there were folks out there meditating on world peace.  Of course I sobbed.  Hard to explain why people meditating on world peace makes me sob, but it does.  Bless those lovely people who decorate their homes and bring such joy to the rest of us. Sniff.  But that was not the end of the coolness...oh no...

Is this store not the best thing you've ever seen? Oh honey, I was downright smitten.  Jackdaddy had to pull me away and remind me we were there to see the lights.  Does that not look like something out of a magazine?  I wanna meet the person who owns this store.  I like him/her. I already know I do.  I gotta be in that space and absorb its goodness.
All-righty ... I've got some thrift love coming your way tomorrow and ... oilcloth. Oh, lovely oil cloth.
Merry Rejuvenation to ye!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Unexpected

I am not really sure what to say except that... you just never know.

Uh-huh.  A mouse in the bathtub.  A. MOUSE. in. the. bathtub. Gnawing on a wet washcloth.

Poor little button.  I'm sure he was sick because he was just kind of sleeping (dying?) and nodding off.  I put a big, thick towel over him and put him outside.  He poked around in the leaves then curled back up in the towel.
This is a little too wabi-sabi for me, but what's a girl to do?  Old house, cold weather, mouse.
The funniest part is how we found him.  Finn had a couple of friends over and they were having a Scooby Doo marathon.  One of the kids had to poop, but was feeling a little Scooby scared, so he asked me if I would go with him.  He was sitting and I was cleaning the sink when he says, "Uh, Michele, there's a mouse in the bath tub."
He was right!
Seeing as how we have 2 cats and 2 dogs in this house, he's a damn lucky mousey.  He's a bit unlucky in that I had just put some Barkeepers Friend in the tub that morning for some industrial cleaning that I was going to do later in the day.  I do this about twice a year. Usually I just use baking soda and vinegar, but every now and then I have to go chemical.  I hope, hope, hope he didn't ingest any. Sniff. 
What's in your tub today?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gussied Up.

Oh, we're getting gussied up for the season around here.  I can't tell you how fun the holidays are for me now that I have a little one.  I'm just a happy mama. 
I do have to tell ya that my Christmas took a little turn for the, oh, well, let's just say that things got different this year.  Want to hear the story? Uh huh, I know you do.
SO...FinnigantheCurious and I were in Whole Foods, prime-time of 5pm, the north store (crowded and tiny).  We're in the middle of said tiny, crowded aisle when Finn stops and says really loudly (wherever does he get that loud voice from? Ahem.): 
"Mama. I want to know right now, once and for all, IS there really a Santa or is he something that grown-ups invented to make Christmas more special for kids?"
All eyes are glued to me with horror and anticipation.  Mothers with small children are frantically trying to get away from us.  I'm frozen.  I finally gathered my wits about me and told him that this was a conversation that required sitting down and having some hot chocolate.  So we did and you know how it went from there.  I had to pitch him on the magic of the myth and all the non-Santa goodness that Christmas contains.  We're not  Christians, but I did tell him why it's special to them (his Grandmary and  his Mema will be so happy).  We both cried and snuffled a bit, but it was ultimately no big deal. Whew.  I'm half relieved and half sad.  He also informed that it was "mostly my fault" that he figured it out because, apparently, my face looks "really weird" when he asks me if the presents are really from Santa. You know us mamas... all our fault.
Anyway, the demise of the Santa belief has not hampered our participation in the holiday cheer though, no siree. Even the garden is playing along. Just LOOK at our satsuma!!! We got two...TWO of them!  They were DE.LIC.CIOUS!  I mean, sooo good and juicy.

The crazy metal tree is up again this year.  I can't take a decent photo of it to save my life, but I got a few swanky new ornaments.  Remember me telling you I was gonna become an ornament girl? Oooo, I am, I am!

Glittery, sequiny shroom from Anthropologie.  Girl, I could just die and go to Anthropologie heaven.  Shoot me now.

A jeweled elephant. I mean, a jeweled elephant!  Swoon.
And, just for showing off, a little something I made years ago when Finn was itty.  Little ole' Advent Calendar made out of match boxes.  It's so precious, I just love it so.  I have to admit though, the scurry to remember to put something interesting in there for 24 days is for the birds.  This is the kind of thing that good mamas do properly.  I am always shoving dollar bills in there while he's in the bathroom peeing. Not that he doesn't like the money, it's just that I feel like I'm faking the old-fashioned mama thing.  This year there is a strong candy/dollar/Silly Bands theme.  I also browbeat Jackdaddy this year into buying some crap for it.  He came home with a bag of amazing, amazing rocks from the rock store.  Speaking of show offs...

It's all so lovely and magical. 
We've got to celebrate the Solstice first though!   I look forward to Solstice the mostest, really.  That's where my heart lies - in the old ways.  We'll do all our special stuff.  I'll try to get off my lazy arse and show you some pictures, but don't hold your breathe - I'm hopeless these days. I didn't even send cards out this year and that is unheard of for me.  Oh well, and so it goes.
Merry Everything, y'all!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Baby Cricket

 I told you it was gonna happen, didn't I?  New kitty.  Another trip to Town Lake Animal Shelter.  Another afternoon of mama spent sobbing over all the ones we didn't choose.  Ah, the things we do for our spawn.  
So, this is Cricket.  Cricket because it (he) makes a lot of noise.  "The Chinese" (you know, all Chinese people! lol) keep a caged cricket in the house for good luck.  I have no idea why a constantly chirping critter is lucky, but I'll tell ya something, this chirping thing will be lucky if I don't strangle it.  Uh, I mean, well, nevermind.  He talks a lot.  Course, he fits right in here cuz we all talk a lot, but we don't whine. OK, most of the time we don't whine. Anyway, he's cute as hell.  Did I mention he's noisy?
Moving on...
I am sooooo much more patient than I used to be.  I guess having a child and becoming a gardener throws one into patience boot camp -  like it or not. I do like it, being more patient, but I have my moments.  Like now.  The spa is mostly done except for staining.  Therein lies the rub. (Get it? Rubbing in the stain...) I can't really, really landscape until that is done and well, you know how long we take to get stuff finished around here so, who knows when it will get done and so just this teeny bit of stuff has gone in because I applied for a city rebate and I had to get it in or lose the money.  It kind of depresses me when they're all just sitting there so obviously newly planted.  These poor small, but cheap! plants that look so forlorn until they take off growing in the spring.  Everything looks forlorn now anyway as "winter" is here and my yard is all browns and browns and browns.  I don't really mind because I love brown, but it does make the old garden kinda...bleak.

 Some switchgrasses...

Some Gulf Muhuly, a Senna (yum) and more salvia alongside some dismal rock remnants (which will be replaced when and if I can convince FinnigantheCurious to come to the cemetery with me to get big ones. He's on a cemetery strike.).

  Some more switch grasses and some fall obedient plants and a relocated agave and, um, oh, another salvia.  Oh, and my mosquito breeding pond.  I'm thinking of going into business breeding mosquitoes and selling them to folks in other states who don't have any.  All those poor Californians out there with no mosquitoes.  Don't you think that's a great business idea?  My mama is just the funniest woman,  as I've told you before.  She used to just hate it when people would ask her what her husband (my Daddy) did for a living.  She had this checklist of absolutely hysterical stock answers for them:  shepherd, mosquito breeder, jockey, wizard ("Wizard? What kind of wizard?" "Oh, just a wizard wizard."), etc..  I fall over laughing just thinking about this.
Speaking of colorful...

 Some thrift love for you...  Check out this vintage Lego table I found! Surely made by some sweet grandpa.  (Remind me to tell you sometime about me painting it a pale green color because I really don't like this dark teal, but  then changing my mind and wiping it all off in a frenzy before it dried.)  I'm redoing FinnigantheCurious' room for the 576,899 time and this is gonna look soooo good in there. If I ever get it done, that is. Poor little boy.
However, the big boy is happy these days all because of this:

Any idea what it might be?  Uh, huh.  I'd have no idea either if I didn't live here.  It's an espresso machine.  A big, fancy thing he found on Craigslist and is redoing.  Once it's put back together it will be RED!  
Come on by for a cuppa...he's really into it.  You  might have to pretend to be interested in the machine though.  Don't worry, it's not hard - I do it all the time. Heeehawwww don't tell!