Wednesday, July 31, 2013

real life

A real life picture:

  • thick throw rugs drying on backs of chairs
  • dachsund Minties
  • Bibles
  • glasses not in their case
  • a package needing to be sent
  • corrections and grading records
  • grocery list
  • a feather carelessly stuck inside a vase
  • staples for a staple gun
  • yesterday's earrings

It is Wednesday morning.  I have a to-do list.  There is a sink full of dirty dishes.  And I sit here.  Just wanting to empty my mind a bit.  Let the words flow out.

The fog descended overnight and has yet to burn off.  It is like that this time of year.  Foggy mornings, sunny afternoons.  And the early evening light, don't tell anyone but it looks like Autumn.  Moving on...

We've been wanting to have a garage sale.  I'm not sure how we've collected so much excess that is so easy to part with.  It's been hard to set a date for the sale because we are rarely off on weekends and the occasional weekdays we do have off together we fill with things like fishing and Dairy Queen.  Priorities, they're all wonky.  Or not.

As un-fun as it has been we've stuck with schooling through the summer.  We've been diligent and firm which stinks sometimes.  Being a responsible grown up is for the birds.  I was a hair's breadth away from a school induced meltdown some time back.  It has proven to be the most difficult undertaking I've ever attempted, this feat of working a billion hours per week while simultaneously homeschooling.  But my husband has since shouldered quite a bit.  He's stepped in to help me get work corrected.  He provides some of the one on one time when a student is struggling.  And the weight is that much lighter.

Tomorrow we are going salmon fishing.  I've never been and I hear it's quite an adrenaline rush because they are so big.  In the area we live we are blessed to be just three minutes away from a great salmon fishing spot.  We will fish right off the beach.

Some of the things I've been working on:

I recovered this chair...... 

 Another real life picture:

  • cast off shoes
  • falling apart little dog bed
  • a desk shoved in an empty space
  • fabric waiting to be sewn

I recovered my piano bench with this chevron fabric that coordinates with the fabric from the white chair...

I painted, sanded, painted (in that order) this vintage desk...

I will be using the chevron fabric to cover two small throw pillows and the fabric from the white chair to cover two larger throw pillows.  That should tie everything together.  The desk will be staying in the living room but needs to find a better position.

And one last thing....

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

perfect Tuesday

Outside my window...  

It is a perfect day.  It began with a marine layer of fog that rolled up off the water and burned off before noon.  Now the sun in shining, sprinklers are going, and for some strange reason the neighbors are having a fire in their fireplace.  In my backyard, the boys have filled two large plastic totes with water and are sitting in them: ingenuity.

I am thinking...  

about royalty and their new baby.  There is just something so romantic about a beautiful Duchess and her handsome Duke husband and their perfectly healthy little Prince.  It is hard not to swoon just a little about it all.

In the kitchen...  

An Angel Food Cake is baking at this moment.  It will be served with baked cinnamon pineapple slices and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  When the cake is out of the oven, in goes Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread.  For dinner I will be making Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, and Peas n' Carrots.

I am wearing...  

Jeans, gray ruffly tank, short sleeved purple sweater, dark blue flats

I am creating...  

My current project is a small desk.  I have sanded it and painted it.  Now I've decided that I need to redo the top of the desk, so I'll be working on getting layers and layers of paint off that top and getting a better canvas to start again.  But the drawers and spindly legs look great and I'm really pleased with the color.

I am looking forward to...

A few days off in August.  Maybe some camping.  Salmon fishing.  Celebrating our 16th anniversary.

From the schoolroom...

Algebra.  Venerable Bede.  The book of Matthew.  Newton's Laws.  Adverbs.  Oh my.

Around the house...  

I've been a tornado of cleaning today.  Not a room hasn't been touched.  I set out to sweep the living room and next thing I knew, I had moved furniture all around!

One of my favorite things...

Aaron McBride.  I adore him.

Monday, July 22, 2013

a day on another island

He said, "Want to spend the day on the island tomorrow?"

And I said, "Of course!"

In all actuality we live on an island.  We live and breathe island.  But our island feels like home and other islands feel like destinations.

So we drove aboard a big ferry and took an hour trip to San Juan Island and the town of Friday Harbor.

The view as we waited to board the ferry...

That long line of cars was what we were waiting in.  It's a BIG ferry and everyone boarded  fine.

This was the view through the front window after we boarded.  We were in the upper level, right up front.  To our right was open view, to the left was a wall.  The boys explored the ferry a bit, complete with elevator ride and sight seeing from the top deck. 

Ferry traffic in the Puget Sound...

My Blake enjoying the sights.  Isn't it just beautiful?

Somebody gets to live here!!  Gorgeous place.

Once to our destination we did some driving around and exploring.  This was a little beaten path to a historical something or other about an English Camp and an American Camp.  Sheesh, I should know but I was too busy taking pictures.

A beach.  There were lots of pretty beaches.  An island, remember?

Friday Harbor.

We ate lunch here, sitting outside at a picnic table.  None of us had seafood though.  We're burger lovers.  And this place had fresh cut fries!  My burger was a mushroom swiss with lettuce and tomato.  And cool ranch dressing to dip those fresh hot fries.  Heavenly!

A beach facing west.  I took off my sandals, rolled up my pants and waded in the water a bit, letting the waves splash my legs.

The teeny-tiniest little lighthouse ever (according to me)...

We really had such a great day in the sun that day.  Great pictures and great memories.  I love those kind of days.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

this Tuesday

Outside my window...  it is 70 degrees and overcast, possible thunderstorm tonight!!  The grass is turning brown as it hasn't rained in awhile.

I am thankful...  for good things, for change

In the kitchen...
  I am making meatballs and noodles in alfredo sauce with fresh green beans for dinner.  There may be some candy bars hiding in the cupboard for later.  : )

I am wearing...  Dark jeans, a coral lacy tank over a lavendar tank, with silver sandals.  My hair is in a messy french braid and I'm wearing my favorite chandelier drop earrings.
I am creating...  a furniture redo, an old student desk is getting a facelift.  I am sanding now and will be painting it a very BOLD color.  Excited!
I am reading...  Grace For The Good Girl  because I am just that and I have a lot to learn about grace.

I am looking forward to...  a family day tomorrow.  My Aaron is taking us out to the SanJuan Islands via ferry boat ride.  We don't have any plans beyond that.  Just wandering around, seeing sights, being together.  

 Map of Orcas, Lopez, Shaw, and San Juan Islands

Around the house...  my houseplants are not doing well.  I think it's time for a replant with some fresh soil and fertilizer.  I've had one of the plants since I was 15!  Also, I have two mint plants (different kinds) and one is thriving and one is looking horrible and has bugs on it.  I'm so not a green thumb!!  We have a big stack of stuff in the garage, expanding daily, of garage sale items.  We are not hoarders at all so I'm surprised we have this much stuff to get rid of!  Having a sale sooooooon!

I am pondering...  God's grace.  The book I'm reading now (mentioned above) and the book I just finished (The Shack) have really brought my soul to thoughts of God's goodness, His desire, not for us to do good, to be good, but to commune with Him.  He doesn't want our obligatory actions but our heart and our fellowship.  How often do I forget this?

One of my favorite things...  my new address book.  I'm busy, busy filling it with addresses as I purpose to WRITE MORE LETTERS and connect through snail mail with those I love.  If you are reading this and I know you, get me your address, please!! 

A peek into my day...

  • up at 6:30 recording weekly, quarter, and semester grades
  • coffee and a hot shower
  • housework
  • recycling drop-off
  • library
  • open swim at the pool
  • eyeglass frames shopping.....I like these:
  • pay a bill
  • pick up my paycheck
  • Wal-mart
  • touch-free car wash
  • buy produce
  • blessed and wonderful chiropractor visit
  • home to ice my neck/shoulder so I won't be too sore from my blessed and wonderful chiropractor visit
  • dinner preparations 

A quote for today...
  I am a sort-of musician in that I play the piano and violin the very best I can and  I sing when my heart is happy.  I listen to music intently and can be affected by it deeply.  So, recently I found this and immediately copied it.  It speaks my soul.

"the strings sing the heart... and known be the glory of silence in this dance of light... those moments between each note... that living pause between each breath"


Monday, July 15, 2013

a breather

I am looking into the face of two full days off.  Although we are schooling through the summer, we are NOT touching schoolwork for the next two days.  This momma needs some time off.  The boys are getting a little worn down as well with the workload.  So we breathe.

Summer is busy at my job.  We are dependent on tourists, campers, and vacationers and they are in abundance in these warm months.  My days are rarely shorter than nine hours.  This is not fun.  One recent week I racked up 45 hours.  Not fun.  Not ok.  I like earning a bit of money but not at this cost.  Anyway, just a little transparency there on my part.

We've had a couple opportunities to swim at a nearby lake.  We have to hike into it and once there we have a sweet little spot with a rock that is fun to jump off of.  It's maybe 6 ft up, not a lot, but it makes me feel brave.  Especially when I'm the first one to dive in!

For Independence Day we took the boys to the carnival in town.  Our town finds any and every reason to hold carnivals and/or parades but this is the first we've been to in the 4 years we've lived here.  It was a perfectly sunny, warm evening and we bought them each a fistful of ride tickets.  They even used some of their tickets so Dad could ride with them.  Aaron and I sat on the grass for a time listening to the live band play then joined up with the boys again to catch the fireworks show.  We brought blankets and laid on the grass under the fireworks and felt them burst in our very chests.  I can never see fireworks without thinking of our Star Spangled Banner and  the story behind it's inspiration.  Tears, every time.

That's all for now.  Need to finish recording grades then get some dinner started.  What we'll have I don't know because "someone" forgot to defrost meat (that'd be me).  Yep, it was one of those 9 hours days again.

Monday, July 8, 2013

to step away and draw closer

The washing machine stopped working.  My Aaron fished a handful of change, bobby pins, and earrings out of the pump.  After getting it all put back together, it runs like a dream.  If you don't pay any mind to the broken knob that takes a wrench to turn if your grip isn't tight enough.

He is so good to have around, that man.  He makes dreamy grilled cheese sandwiches.  And fixes things that need fixing.  And holds me on the front porch on warm evenings.  Would it be bragging to say he does laundry and dishes on his days off while I'm at work?  Well, he does.


Today I shut down my old blog.  It was my writing home since September of 2006.  And it no longer exists.  I had been feeling a pull to stop writing all together.  Discontented with the blog community, discontented with my lack of writing inspiration, discontented with the time I didn't have to spend writing.  Those things have not left my mind.

Social media, in general, leaves a sour taste in my mouth.  I have only this blog, Facebook, and Pinterest (although I'm not sure that counts as "social").  

Facebook holds a draw to me as a way to keep up with happenings, but it also leans toward a way to spy on folks without investing time and love into them.  And that's sad.  And that makes me want sever my ties there.  If it weren't for my far away family that are all on FB, I'd do it this instant.

In that same breath, I feel the desire to bring back old fashioned letter writing, printed photo sharing, greeting cards.  I'd probably miss out on some things, not be "in the loop" anymore.  But what connections I did have would be deeper, richer, more purposeful.


Would folks send me pictures of their babies via snail mail?  Would they still alert me of new mailing addresses and happy vacation details?

On a sarcastic note, I'd be devastated to miss out on everyone's work-out plans, diet plans, camoflaged and vague family troubles, complaints about restaurant service, and pictures of their dog's underbelly.

Yes, I could probably live without that.

But I'm still in a middle place about walking away from Facebook altogether.  I think it holds me too tightly and maybe that's a struggle I'm really going to have to get serious about.

I don't want my life lived on a screen.  I don't want my relationships to exist online.  I don't want to be uninvested in people that God has placed in my life.  I have a modest 184 "friends" on FB but wouldn't it be so much more awesome to kindle just 5 real friendships, nurture them, grow them in real time, and in person?

And those are some things to chew on.