Friday, August 27, 2010

Take 5

sparkling grape juice to brighten the end of our week

Hello, dear Friday, we welcome you back with open arms and a toast (non-alcholic of course!!)here in the nest. Here's the overview of what's happened this week...
1.On Tuesday we hosted a party for the professor's grad students. He suggested we should have one late last week and I agreed (I'm a crazy woman). Thus, invitations went out post haste, food was ordered, and decorations were purchased. I reserved our neighborhood pool house. We were expecting 12 and 20 was a fantastic get together.
2.The road comission is doing major construction on the road where our library sits. I despise getting in there to grab books that I use for our homeschooling lit, but broke down and made the trek yesterday. The chicks are quite pleased.
3.I received a package in the mail from my dear friend, Sara, yesterday afternoon. I may sleep at some point in the near future. 'Tis what dreams are made of...
4.Evening and morning temps are bringing just a hint of fall...and I'm opening the windows and loving every second of it. Do note that "fall" means seventy degrees around here. Bliss.

5.I've instituted a "thirteen hour" policy for downtime in our household that is applicable to the girls on school nights. This means that 13 hours after they awaken they need to go back to bed. We all need the rest and I need the moments without voices. I LOVE the happy sounds of my girls, but sometimes I just need silence. Or White Collar/Covert Affairs/Burn Notice. Lovin' USA and TNT during the summer :)

Pinkies up, darling...

juice and oat better start to the day

Friday, August 13, 2010

Take 5

Ah, glorious Friday, how I've eagerly anticipated your arrival for the better part of the week...however, I'm currently at a loss as to why...

Here's the take 5--five minutes, five moments or thoughts, five reasons to be thankful or look ahead...

1. On Saturday we visited the Titanic. You heard it here first, folks, the Titanic has docked in East Tennessee. The girls and I were first class passengers, the prof was the 3rd Officer. Dad ended up as John Jacob Astor, and Mom as Molly Brown. We were all famous, if only for a few hours.

2. I've been exhausted all week. I currently resemble the crypt keeper. I'd rather favour Julia Roberts. Maybe the use of Lancome would improve the state of my face, or, perhaps I should think about taking a nap...

3. I'm not the biggest fan of humidity. Neither are my hair and knees and hips and fingers and elbows and hands and wrists and... I think you get the picture. It's currently hovering around 92% here at the nest, with a NWS heat index of 108 degrees. No end in sight. Big sigh.

4. We began schooling this week. Early mornings, long afternoons, and protests at bedtime that tiredness isn't felt. I want to join the under twenty camp. SIGN. ME. UP.

5. We're taking care of the Samoyed meaning we go over and feed and love him multiple times a day across the street while our sweet neighbors take their youngest to college. I'm thankful I have time with Legs and Little Bit before I have to approach this milestone, but at sixth and first grades, respectively, I know the moment will come sooner than I I am thankful for today.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You :: Create

My buddy, Sara, hosts a weekly link all about expressing one's creativity. In and of herself, Sara is probably one of the most creative people I know...everything she does results in excellence and beauty and I consider it an honor to be called "friend" by this amazing woman.

When we went to visit her a few weeks ago, I had planned to do something that would bring color and beauty and life to her world. I desired to gift her with something that would last far beyond the days of our trip, and which would remind her that she's thought of and treasured every single day. I also needed something completely maintenance free, as I didn't want my sweet friend to have to call anyone in to assist her in caring for what we would do...

My project began at Home Depot, where the chicks, the Professor and I carefully perused the rows of perennials. As a side note, flower selection is far greater in East Tennessee due to to yearly temperature ranges, but I was quite pleased with what was left in Waterloo, IA.

The girls each helped choose a plant and I picked the remainders. The man of our house stood and bent and lifted and pushed the cart. Even here at the nest, he's a fantastic help with the projects that I usually scheme um, dream up for us. He even has an uncanny scary sixth sense of when I am about to attempt something far beyond my energy and strength level and arrives home to rescue give me assistance when I most need it. He's a man among men, and I'm forever thankful that he chose me.

In my planning, I'd sworn (as in "I do solemnly swear") that I was only using perennials for the grand scheme. However, as I was standing looking at the flatbed we were pulling toward the checkout, I made a snap decision; the sunflower was a necessity. I'd gone with blooms that would require only rainwater and a mix of sun and shade, but the brilliant plant with petals of yellow was too much for me to leave behind. I grabbed it, a bag of mulch to match my own beds, a long handled shovel, and a container of miracle grow to round out the supplies.

We returned to Sar's and set to work...J removed pavers and dug holes, I pointed and placed and covered with dirt and mulch. The lasses ate and played frisbee and gave pointers, and my friend and her mostly companion watched from the door wall, snapping moments and laughing and generally looking pleased with the project, which was the intent of the whole give her life and color and joy all in one...something to look at and remember every single day how loved and treasured she in the form of plants that will ebb and return with the seasons, a "garden" that I can come and tend...the promise that I'll keep returning to her door.

Our You::Create for the girl who began the concept:

And the buds with the meaning which best express our hearts...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


As a child, I looked forward to leftovers.

Okay, at this point we'll all take a moment to acknowledge, well, my, um, weird unique traits.

I liked knowing what was coming the next day. The routine, the plan, the constancy of smell and taste. I took comfort in the fact that Mom had prepared enough ahead of time to tide us over in case she didn't feel like cooking the next evening. In all honesty, we had leftovers because Mom overprepared. She made too much, anticipating my brother and me consuming more than humanly possible. Suffice it to say, we were well loved children, but that's another tale entirely.

Bringing me back to...leftovers.

Have you ever noticed that some things taste delicious the second time around? Chocolate cake for breakfast, meat pie, and mashed potatoes turned into pancakes all being prime examples. Other items though, change consistency and color and begin to look pale and mushy and, well, gross. It's the latter that I've been thinking about recently.

Why? Because lately I feel like leftovers. Old. Undesireable. Slightly off. Globby. Pasty. Alone on the plate. Not able to give or present my best to anyone. I even have checked to see if I'm going green and mouldy...written in jest with a grain of truth ringing through.

I don't feel yummy or desirable or even pleasant to be around. I'm not currently feeling vibrant or peppy or like I'm drawing others toward me. Which is a huge problem, because I constantly desire to be a light and reflect Him.

Feel. Therein lies the problem, as it's not about how I feel. My God doesn't intended that I present myself according to how I feel at a particular moment in time. He requires that I give all of me all the time. Sigh. Seriously, though, how is this done when all I feel like is day-old refrigerated grilled zucchini now there's the visual picture I'm sure you wanted in your noggin that has gone mushy?

I guess I'm supposed to move forward in steps, like the song from an animated Christmas movie which proclaims, "Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be walkin' across the floor...put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be walkin' out the door." I'm not feeling like walking out the door currently, but once again, it's not about what I feel. It's about what I do.

One foot in front of the other. Less feeling and more DOing. There are chickadees to chase, sprites that are not content to ride a current. My chicks? They soar.

Three cheers for flight.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Take 5 Friday

Five moments. Five minutes. What amazing or really not so much occurred in your week?

I'll admit, it has been one of ups and downs here in the nest...we've had fantastic and flat out flip-flops, but each second has been memorable and completely full of life.

1. We were able to spend both Friday and Saturday with our Sara, who spreads more love into our lives than one could imagine...we painted, make a volcano cake, watched movies, laughed, cried, and sang from Annie. Don't let the girl ever tell ya she can't sing, because I'm just sayin' even with restricted air and an infection and pure grief she has about the loveliest voice this side of the Mississippi. No bones about it. I know this one probably violates the whole concept of a "moment" but honestly I'm claiming it as a million moments wrapped into one so cherished my heart may almost burst trying to hold it all...

2. We made it home mostly unscathed after way too many hours in a car. The girls loved on each other. I only drank one coffee from Daddy Starbucks what Little Bit called the establishment as a babe even though the duration called for multiple. The trip? Completely and totally worth it.

3. I was able to determine what has been causing the Eldest Chick's fits that have hit the nest like a furious tornado/hurricane/force of nature for the last month or so...big and grown-up feelings in such a smallish body, which is a post in and of itself.

4. I decided that I slightly despise temperatures over 90 degrees, and when they go over 100??? Well, forgetta 'bout it...

5. My Baby turns six today. Wow, that was difficult to type. She's lovely and sweet and full of life and joy and everything that makes women want to be mothers...

Loving this week...