Thursday, September 25, 2014


The angle of the light has changed.

It must happen gradually, but every year around this time it seems to happen all of a sudden. One day I'm sitting in the chair by the window with a book, and then I look up and the late morning sun is falling across the books and floorboards in a new way, lighting up a beauty otherwise easily missed.

I've been in something of a funk the past week. Due in no small part, I'm sure, to the whole sleep situation around here. (Last night various babies woke up approximately 9:30,11:30, 12:00, 1:30, 2:30, 4:30, and after that I don't remember. That was particularly bad but if you cut out two or three of those wakings you have my average night. So maybe this post isn't going to make any sense. I am drinking lots of tea. I blather on about sleep too much on my blog. Sorry.)

So yes, tired. But also just discontent. I would look at a room I'd just cleaned and straightened, everything in its place and all in order, which usually brings such a feeling of satisfaction. And I'd think, This is as good as it gets?! For whatever reason home felt shabby and not good enough.

Truly, this is not how I usually feel. I love our home. But the to-do list in my head was wearing me out with its constant, insistent pressure. I felt dull, like any beauty I encountered would just sort of roll off my back with a shrug and a "meh."

I know myself well enough to know that I'd probably get like this no matter my situation in life. If it wasn't motherhood it would be the daily grind of any job. Our sense of beauty is something that has to be tended to, and I haven't been doing a good job of that lately; and life is largely comprised of mundane moments anyway.

But at that light an ache blossomed in me, a familiar autumnal longing. I felt a little more alive, a little more myself. And the mundane was a little more lovely once again, in that angle of the light.

I think I try to wax poetic about the fall too often, but I always feel that this time of year is so full of hope and grace.

And we are picking apples tomorrow*, so I am very excited.

*I keep thinking today is Friday. We are, in fact, picking apples this weekend. :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Too much paint!

1. Our dining room is no longer pink!

We definitely have more work to do, but oh, what a difference!Hopefully we'll get the new light installed sometime next week, then we'll work on finding new sconces. But we have our dining room back! No more plastic sheeting on the table, no more furniture pushed into the living room, and no more pink! The new color is called Martinique Morn. We're pretty happy with it.

2. I still want to paint a navy/indigo blue sideboard or china cabinet for this room, but Keith thinks if I put a big blue something in here that we'll be limited to palette of blue and green for the whole room because other colors won't go. I'm not sure that I agree ... what do you think?

3. Taking down wallpaper is addictive. I am repressing the urge to get wallpaper out of ALL THE ROOMS. (Blue checked in the twins's room. Dogs in Michael's room. Yellow in the kitchen. Varied shades of pink in the bathrooms). It's near-instant gratification, second only to putting that first coat of paint on a wall. (Least satisfying, to me at least, is that coat of primer. So anti-climactic!)

4. But ... it's also a lot of work. I think we could've knocked this out in a weekend, except we're limited to working while the kids are asleep. It took us a week and a half. When it comes time to paint the kitchen, we might just hire someone else. Our kitchen is HUGE, and there are a lot of nooks and crannies to get wallpaper off/paint on. It would take us at least a month.

5. Speaking of the kitchen. We really do need to redecorate the whole thing eventually, but where do you start? Cabinets? Floor?

Probably the floor, right? It's a bit Dr. Seussical for our tastes. But more importantly, when the previous owner built it in the old garage (which is why our ktichen's so big), she didn't put down any subflooring over the concrete. Which means the kitchen floor is hard, REALLY cold in the winter, and now there's a big crack down the middle of it. But that is a really big project--and definitely not DIY. So we can't just "redo" the floor without it being a huge thing.

And yet if we start to work on other parts of the kitchen first, that floor is still going be there. In a very not-passive way.

BUT. My mother-in-law pointed out that you can pain laminate and tile ... which might be a good temporary solution. It sounds like a lot of work in its own right though ... does anyone have experience with how well painted floors hold up in high-traffic areas?

6. Anyway, when buying paint for the dining room, I brought home a few chips of deep teal. I think I'm going to pain our kitchen block teal and stain the top. Which will make our pink-and-yellow-kitchen even more colorful. ;) But happy colors for the coming winter sounds okay to me.

7. Okay, I think that's enough of that. :) Head over to Jen's for more quick takes!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Geese, Pies, and Feast Days (SQT 21)

1. It feels so good to sit at a computer and type using a regular keyboard. My husband finally fixed some internet issues and set me up an account on the working desktop! No more trying to type on a tablet touch screen! (To those whom I've communicated with up til now, I apologize for the typos. Know that even the effort of typing is a sign of my regard for you. ;) )

2. Now for a very important question: has anyone ever bought a goose? I mean, a goose that's plucked and ready to stick in the oven. I am determined to roast one for Michaelmas this year. But I have a feeling it's not something one picks up at the local Giant Eagle. And I can't really imagine a local butcher having geese in stock either. So if you've ever bought a goose for roasting, let me know how you managed to find it please? :)

3. Speaking of feast days, it was this guy's on Wednesday:

We had buttermilk pie (because I had some I needed to use up in the fridge) and he got to taste it after his twin was in bed.

4. Normally I shower during the twins' morning nap. Dominic woke up yesterday before I had the chance, so I brought him downstairs to play with Michael. I took a three minute shower in the upstairs bathroom and when I got out this face was peering through the door at me.

A huge bruise on his forehead and I-have-no-idea above his lip.

Now he's up those stairs ten times a day. Rather than putting up a baby gate I am trying to teach him to come back down the stairs on his own. We'll see ... the gate may yet go up.

5. Gregory's still just sitting there. Sometimes he tries to will himself forward to no avail.

6. Remember our pink dining room? Now it looks like this.

Yes, that's plain old drywall. But it's glorious. The room is already so much brighter--that pink was eating up all the light!

(You'll notice that the outlets are painted pink ... and we also have to remove wallpaper from the plates.)

7. On that note--I'm off to prime some walls while my husband paints the ceiling!

Linking up at Conversion Diary.