Monday, April 23, 2012


This is a picture from last month - waiting for the train to cross on a rainy Saturday morning. Just like I'll always think of all the fighter jets zooming over our house in Maryland, I will always think of trains and tracks and crossings around here. I had no idea how much shipping is still done by rail. It fascinates me. Even though a train like this can make for a bit of a delay, I consider it a good day if we are first in line to watch it cross.

The kids are obsessed with Thomas right now. Not sure if there's any conscious connection between the real-life choo-chooing and the blue guy on TV, but either way, you could say we are fans of the whole "train" genre at the moment.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Why I Didn't Want to Keep My High School Yearbook

Regular readers of my blog (thank you) have probably noticed a pattern. When I am not sewing or crocheting in my "personal" time, I usually am organizing. Sorting something. Depending on my level of motivation, these sorts of projects either go very quickly and are highly satisfying, or they drag on and follow me around on to-do lists and sit in piles in the corners of the room mocking me. This week, it has been the latter type. I am trying to reduce the volume of my saved school papers and mementos - cards, news clippings, programs, etc - from three cardboard boxes into (I hope) two small plastic boxes. There is only so much of one's past that one can sanely haul around from house to house.

This project takes so much time though, because I get so engrossed in reading all these little treasures... it is an experience of many mixed emotions.

I was this close to tossing my high school yearbook. All the coolness and cluelessness of high school distilled into one heavy, black and white, pretentious hunk of bookshelf real estate. Reading it makes me feel like I'm sitting in the cafeteria, surrounded by people who I am certain have It all figured out. High school was not all that much fun. Even sitting at my own lunch table of friends, my own familiar and friendly little social island, felt like work. Having something clever to say. Getting the joke. None of this came easily. Most of the time I just wanted to go home.

The signatures don't even make me want to keep the thing around; there is something fake about them, too. It is a lot of pressure to capture a true friendship in one scribbled paragraph.

But underneath the yearbook there is more in the box: art, notes, schoolwork, journals. This is real. These mementos make me happy, make me feel secure. Hey, I DID matter. My friends wrote me some really sweet birthday cards, every year. I have thank you notes indicating that I was apparently a Very Good Friend. Tests with good grades and encouraging notes from teachers reminded me of why I liked school at all.

How nice it would be to go through high school without the self-conscious baggage. To be in an environment of youth and learning and fun and soak it all in with a healthy dose of perspective instead of a backpack full of angst. My mom told me that every morning as an adult she would wake up feeling grateful that she did not have to go to school. Ditto. I am much happier here. I'm not sure I need to be reminded of that high school cafeteria feeling every time I look through the yearbook.

But, rumor has it I will regret chucking the old YB, so it can stay... for now.

As for the rest of the stuff in the box...

Being reminded of what seven years old feels like? That is priceless. This journal and others like it will be the parts of my past that I will always want to keep.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Five Alarm Radishes

We made our first harvest last week - sweet little radishes!

Amy was thrilled; both kids loved pulling them out. Amy could hardly wait to try one at dinner.


These were some darn spicy radishes. Wow.

I warned her, but she bravely tried one anyway, and after a bite (that was chewed and swallowed), she simply declared. "I don't like radishes."

So much for that.

Must plant them again in the fall, when some cooler temps might yield a sweeter result.

Lesson learned: in South Carolina, March is too late to plant radishes.

It was still fun anyway.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


I am such a happy girl; I got THIS close to a giraffe.

Amy went on her first pony ride (note: she would not ride the carousel, but had no hesitation about getting on a REAL horse).

Later, over dinner, we were chatting about our fabulous day at the zoo, and I mentioned that Amy's pony was very cute. She replied, "No Mommy, he wasn't cute. He was MAGNIFICENT!"

Definitely a great day.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A New List

Lately, the inside of my head has felt like this:

and while the messes get cleaned up, the kids are fed and happy and we all have been enjoying very pleasant and busy days, I can't shake the feeling that comes each evening: I am no further along than I was when I started this day...

I have a list, as I always do, of small-ish projects that I would like to complete in the next few weeks. They are projects of very little true importance, but accomplishing them would add greatly to my personal sense of completion - sorting boxes, organizing files, yada yada, all my usual favorites. But those sort of projects usually require my full focus, and I have two kidlets that rarely allow my full focus to proceed without interruption. And lately, by this time of night, when the house is quiet and I could get something done, I just. don't. have. the. energy. Not in a whiney, there's-something-wrong-with-me type way, just in a "it's been a long day already, and I would much rather just sit on the couch and read than create a new budget spreadsheet" type way.

So, to combat my mild depression over "what do I do all day, and how come I can never seem to cross anything off my list" I decided this morning to write a new kind of list. And this is what it looked like by the time I took its picture about 15 minutes ago:

So there, I do accomplish quite a bit in my days, even if my obsessive-compulsive List of Things to Organize doesn't say so.

I feel much better now.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

On Easter

What a happy, beautiful Easter.