Thursday, February 28, 2008

Taken Ill

I've been down and out the past few days. Spent the day in bed again today. Last Thursday I was in bed with a cold and sinus headache. By Saturday I was feeling much better and Paul and I had a day trip on our own (girls at Grandma's) to Dunedin. I wasn't fully back to 100% - still felt a bit out of it - like I just didn't want to do much, but I thought, surely I was on the mend.

Tuesday morning's niggling sore throat turned into a raging fire by Tuesday night and an additional plugged ear with earache by Wed. So. Today sore throat is gone, but my right ear still feels like it's under water.

I've been knitting and crocheting and reading and we did school in bed again today. I'm thankful for my down-time activities, but would much rather be up and about. It is cold outside today, though, so I guess I picked a good day to be down.

I made this cute fingerless glove for Eve yesterday, which ended up being just a bit too wide for her and a bit too short - and the wrong color (she told me twice) - for Maia. So, it was frogged today, which seemed to take as long as knitting it somehow. It's back on the needles with a new pattern. We'll try again.

So that's the news from Golightly Place. Project 365 and my knitting kept me creative today in spite of feeling cruddy. I'm thankful for that too. :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I was playing with my camera and action shots on Friday. I got a number of fun ones, but this one was my favorite.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This n' That

Pajamas and stuffed sweeties and our own sleepy-headed children. What could be better?

Strawberry Bunny was Eve's first favorite bedtime friend, since the age of two. Six years and a number of baths later, she still gets the favored spot along with Blankie every night. The bed is FILLED with many other dear friends - many of them also bunnies, but Strawberry gets top billing.

After the recent Chinese New Year, we learned that Eve was born in the Year of the Rabbit. "Aaaahhh," we all thought. :)

She wasn't thrilled with morning photographs until I told her I was taking photos of Strawberry too and then she was willing to poke her own face out from under the covers.


I'm nursing a cold today. It's actually a good day for a cold: kind of gray and cool; the sun isn't begging me to come outside. It's just a head cold, nothing too bad and I really don't mind. I am thankful not to get sick - or even colds - very often at all and so when I get one, I kind of take it as a good excuse to drink my garlic/ginger/honey tea (it really is quite good!), make soup, and snuggle in and knit or crochet.

My friend, Marie, refreshed my memory on my crochet skills today and so I am finally getting started - again - on my Project Linus blanket. I'd started knitting it a couple of times and decided that this wasn't really something that I wanted to last a very long time, and thought it might be the perfect project for me to brush up on my crochet skills. So, I'm currently knitting a cardigan and pair of socks for myself and the blanket for PL.

While today is cloudy, last weekend was STUNNING. We were blessed to not have any major things to do and were able to go out to the Crowley Nursery, about a 20 minute drive from our house. For those of you who are starved for a bit of sunshine and greenery, please allow me to share with you a bit of our walk.

One of the nursery paths

This is at the entrance to a bamboo grove.

I don't know what kind of plants these are, but they were in the bamboo grove. They look like
something out of a Dr. Seuss book to me!

This flower has a deceptively lovely face! It smells just like Salt and Vinegar chips!

Paul takes a whiff of the Salt and Vinegar flowers.

One of the many greenhouses at the nursery.

I don't know the name of this pink beauty, but it reminded me of bachelor buttons.
They have pretty much everything edible and flowering and gorgeous that can grow in our area of FL. We were there to buy an avocado tree - yay! We also got a jasmine plant that blooms and smells heavenly year round.

This place was INCREDIBLE. It was so full of so many neat things to see and smell. The air was heady with the smells of roses, gardenias, honeysuckle and more. February in FL is just plain awesome. :)

I talked with the woman who owns the place - and lives on the property amongst all the beautiful gardens - and said to her that I was always so surprised that people who live here don't take advantage of the fact that they have beautiful growing weather 9 months out of the year. Star fruits are in the grocery stores as an exotic fruit from South America that sell for two dollars a piece, when the trees grow easily and abundantly here! It just seemed so odd - and frankly, foolish. She agreed and commented how people will come through the gardens and say that they don't like star fruits... until they try one off the tree!

Continuing to buy more and more foods locally and grow more and more of our own foods is a goal of mine this year. We now have an orange, a grapefruit, a mango, and an avocado tree. I've still got a couple of tomato plants in the garden, garlic, beets, kale, and basil. Rosemary is in another bed and I'm getting fantastic, organic eggs from a friend of mine. I'm making an effort to get out to the hydroponic farm more often and I'm planning a trip to another organic farm on Friday. We're not 100% local, nor 100% organic, but every effort, I know, makes a difference.

But, you know, even more than making a difference, eating locally and sustainably connects you to a place. Areas are known by their culinary dishes. Using what is around and available to you is the flavor of your home. I love to think about the different things God put in different parts of the world that shape the culture. And food definitely shapes the culture! What is the culinary culture of where you live? Do you take advantage of the dishes and traditions of your area - even if you did not grow up in the place you now call home? It's exciting to me to move with the seasons and the climate in selecting what we will have on our table. Again, I don't even pretend to do this all the time. But I am working at it more and more!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Really I do...

...have some more interesting posts... in my head! I just haven't gotten a moment to post of late. Thanks to Project 365, I always have photos to share though. So, I've got stories and photos to share, but they'll have to wait perhaps til tomorrow. Supper needs making and doggie needs walking and then, of course, American Idol needs watching. :)

Until then, I found the self-timer on my camera today!

Now Pandora's Box has been opened!

Pretty funny stuff, because I couldn't find my camera's instruction book in English and had to read the Spanish version. Pretty proud of myself considering I only speak an elementary level of Spanish. But I guess I read more than I speak...

So, this was fun. I've never been comfortable modeling for anyone, but by myself I felt free enough to try all sorts of goofy things... which have not been uploaded to Flickr, btw. :)

So, yeah. Self-portraits with no camera in them. Maybe once or twice a month for the project.

And I finished a painting this weekend too. I'm still learning and exploring with watercolors and watercolor pencils. This is taken from a photo I took of Maia last summer as she waited anxiously at the end of the driveway for her cousins to arrive. I see lots of room for improvement, but I see where improvement has been made too.

This time the painting is out of the sketchbook and on a larger piece of paper, suitable for framing. I think I'll hang it in Maia's room.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Shot Bribe

Maia, my older, had to get the chicken pox vaccine today. We were trying to wait until she was exposed, but that's never happened. I know things can get dangerous the older you get, so, at 11, when she needed a tetnus booster anyway, we knew we had to do it.

She was pretty shot-phobic, given that she hasn't had a shot in a very long time and her last memory of it was through the nerves of a much younger child.

We've also had a run-around with just GETTING to the doctor and this was our 3rd attempt. The first was exceptionally traumatic for her and she cried all 32 miles to the clinic, only to not get it that day.

So I bribed her today. Yes I did. I didn't think my heart could take another 32 mile crying car ride: You be strong and do a good job and you can get a Littlest Pet Shop. One of the little ones, but one nonetheless.

It was a great day despite the shot - that she found to be really not that bad. And it was worth every penny of the $4.99 I spent. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

What are you doing for Valentine's day today? Our family will be going to a Mexican restaurant with some friends for a night of karaoke! I'm thinking it'll only be the children from our crowd who will perform, but you never know... :)

The girls woke up to homemade Valentine's and chocolate (not homemade!) from Mama and homemade Valentine necklaces and roses from Daddy.

We had a full, full day of school, but managed a walk when the sun and the temperature rose a bit higher. I have this thing for taking pictures of my girls walking. I'm always behind them anyway, as our dog, Lucy, is a slowpoke! We walk Lucy every day and so there are many, many images of this burnt into my mind. Like their "First Day of School" pictures taken by the front door every year, I should probably have a series of these, showing their progression through the years. I know it's just their backs, but somehow it is just endearing to me.

We're getting ready to head out now, so I hope every one of you has had a lovely Valentine's day! You can hardly go wrong with a day dedicated to love, now can you? :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Butterflies and Valentines

Look what landed on my wall this weekend! :)

I saw this idea in "Home Companion" magazine. I love anything botanical/nature inspired, so this was a perfect idea for me. The butterflies are simply taken from free clip art online, printed, cut, folded and stuck up on the wall with a re-usable putty.

It's a fun addition to our living room. :)

We are gearing up for Valentine's Day around here. I keep one folder full of regular Valentine creating materials and I pull it out every year. But every year is different, of course; our tastes change for color and texture and so there are always new things added to the standard supplies.

Eve set them all out before we began working. We always need a lot of room, so we chose the living room floor so that the girls could listen to Johnny Tremain on audiobook on the stereo while we worked.

And there's just nothing link a last-minute scramble to get you inspired! Tomorrow is co-op day and the girls each need to pass out 29 Valentines. So, "assembly-line style" was also added to the repertoire this year.

Valentines for family and close friends can be worked on at a more leisurely pace on Tuesday and Wednesday.

When I was at the dollar store about a week ago, I picked up some cool, little, printed Valentines from the I Spy books. I thought the children might enjoy finding "hidden" items on their Valentines. They were bright and cheerful and certainly more original than the typical printed super heroes or television characters.

But I just couldn't do it.

I just can't bring myself to buy those. Like Halloween costumes and birthday cakes, they're just not the same from a store. I know some children like them and, truly, if my children really didn't want to make their Valentines this year, I wouldn't make them.

But it's a tradition now.

Sarah dropped in to say hello.

And they do look forward to it, even if every year it does get to be a bit tedious and every year I begin to hear, "Can we take a break?" And the big mess sits on the floor for a day or two.

There seems to be some unwritten rule in my head that we are a handmade, homemade family. It's not a hard and strict thing, but just something I always seem to look to first. Then, if our ingenuity or time is not on our side, we will purchase. I don't mention this to judge how anyone else does Halloween or Valentine's or whatever. I am just saying that handmade and homemade are just things we value and it works for us.

I'll be sure to share our finished creations in a day or two!

Friday, February 8, 2008

January Mosaic

I'm about a week behind with putting this together, but I've got things organized now. It's fun to see everything together. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Japanese Picnic Table - Finished!

Thanks to my trusty helpers, the table is finished. :) My girls are at the age now when they are not merely "helping," but are really great help! Thanks, Maia and Eve!

Eve indulged me today, too, so I could get a shot for here and Project 365. Lucy volunteered to be in the shot. She is always there: my little, white shadow. :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Imagine... A Japanese Picnic Table!

I've been playing around with my word this week and, as usual, shooting images for Project 365. As with any sort of art, when you begin to look, you begin to see so differently. Light and shadow have become very important lately and force me to stop in my tracks and run for the camera. It continues to be an interesting project and process... and therefore an interesting life. Such is the pull of living creatively. It is mostly energizing and occasionally exhausting. It is a lifelong learning process and so, for me, it is magnetic and necessary.

I share with you, here, some images from the past week. The only complaint I have about my word so far is that it automatically starts John Lennon's, "Imagine," going in my head. It's going to be a long year if that happens every time!

Today we skipped our P.E. park time in favor of staying home and working on repainting the picnic table in the back yard. The color is an homage to Monet's Japanese bridge in his beautiful garden in Giverny that one day I will hopefully see. I have officially dubbed it "The Japanese Picnic Table."

Maia was a bit concerned about how bright it would be, as she often is with some of her mother's ideas. :) lol! Oh, well. I am happy to be remembered that way! I will share completed table photos in the next post.

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