Friday, August 28, 2009

red shoes are best

L-R newest to oldest:
At right, my Italian sandals purchased 8 years ago and worn each summer
Middle are the Clarks classics, so comfortable and now faded to a sort of orange
Left, newest by Klogs, nice and cushy on my feet when I am at work

You may remember that I have a thing for red shoes. If they come in red, that's always my preference. This dates back to being a tiny person with Christopher Robin style buckle shoes, in red of course. So it was an early imprinting.
Recently I was in a store in downtown Rockland (which is such a hip town), The Black Parrot, which is a unique store where everything is overpriced. Everything from books on architecture to clothing to Marimekko bags to hair accessories to interesting kitchen stuff. So it's great looking, but nothing that fits my budget. Usually.
Mine are the Danskos at right
Except for when I spotted a rack of shoes in the back at 60% off. And found these. And they had my size (amazing! I am a size 9 US or 39-40 Euro, like most people it seems). So I had to buy them.
They are the happiest shoes ever, made by Camper, and they match all the beautiful skirts I have been sewing this summer. They may be my best score to date.

OK now I need to get back to my blogging break in which I scramble to find time to do my school stuff, house stuff, kid stuff and family stuff! But I couldn't wait to tell you!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

the summer's rollicking finale

I have barely had time to download my pictures off my camera lately. We have been busily enjoying summer to its max...our annual trip to Moosehead Lake, and a first visit to Reid State Park yesterday (real waves, big surf, people getting pummeled by waves and suits full of sand).
anders was the best at this
sophie has the best hair and a great splash
carl and sylvan being cute and sporty
The creative endeavors at Moosehead this year were mostly along the lines of utilizing air mattresses and bicycles in unusual ways, wearing our bathing suits all day, taking multiple swims, and laughing a lot.
air mattress flotilla
a devilish smirk that can only mean he's up to no good
a quiet moment one morning
when sylvan was the only one ready to go swimming before 9 am

My school semester began yesterday and the kids won't be in school again until September 14.
mr. crafting dadda catches some surf on a boogie board
So I toted along my management text to the beach and even read some (3 pages!), though it was hard to compete with 1) the view, 2) the peoplewatching, 3) the overheard conversations floating on the breeze ("he only had one eye but he was still a great bowler..") This is my hardest time because I have no regular time in which to do my school work.
drip castle magic
Remember that I promised you a glimpse of Jonas's sailing trophy? Here is The Harbor Cup, 3rd place:
So I am taking a blogging break for just a bit, until I get my feet on the ground. We'll see how long I can stay away.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

a little like a 3-Ring circus

...except it was in the backyard of a friend and the performers were all these adorable and wonderfully talented kids. Some might have been daunted by the potential for chaos, but not this hardy and generous soul! Another day in paradise: HOT and sunny, perfect weather to see a show on my lunch hour from work.
the parade comes around the block
yup, it was hot and Jonas is ready to start the show
the stage was set!
that's a cherry tomato on her nose:
the two clowns ate them!
two brothers pogo-ing
zebra and lion in a tango
the expression of triumph after a wrestling match
a naughty monkey (sylvan!) stole a bite of banana
...and crawled all over the unsuspecting bystander!
a two-headed mermaid jump-roping
and yes, that same show-stealing future blogger
mentioned in the previous post
made a terrific sideshow,
as she danced and mowed the lawn, intermittently.

maybe the fun can stop soon?

Friday evening found our family at the Camden Yacht Club for the Summer Sailing Program's Awards dinner. Here are the knees of two friends, proud mamas of two seaworthy mates!
It was gorgeous and hot and blue skies, so we could almost forget those 6 weeks of gray fog and rain. When Jonas was NOT complaining about being out in a boat in that. What I was so amazed by is that by the end, he was sailing alone each day, and wow, yet another skill that I don't share! That still just sort of blows my mind! It's a great program and Jonas would sign up for all 8 weeks next year right now.
We picnicked outside, there were certificates for all. And some special sailors received recognition for their seamanship, hard work, dedication, helpfulness, and/or racing skills.
The side show was this little yummy ladybug and perhaps future blogger with her camera in hand. And a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e elbows!
So you (wait: I just had to kill a mosquito that landed on my finger as I typed. I know it had Buddha nature, but Oh Well.) caught a glimpse of my second Barcelona skirt...
with this fun, bright peony fabric. I suppose a better blogger than I could tell you the fabric designer, but I am just terrible at that. C'mon Rhea, help me out here. And photos soon will show you that I have QUILTED MY QUILT. Yes, by machine, not by hand because I actually wanted to have it done in my lifetime and hopefully by winter. So all that is left is the binding. I had a lovely lesson at Alewives with the super nice and patient Rina (former primary school teacher, can you picture it?) and I am hoping for more time with her to do the binding.
This is a gift I made for Miss Black and White polka dotted skirt, mentioned above. It's the Shop Around Town bag, not super heavy duty, but good for some library books, a visit to the farmer's market, or art store. It rolls up pretty small and can fit easily into a purse.
And the only photo missing from this post is:::

My boy, holding his silver Harbor Cup Award for excellent seamanship in the Intermediate class. Wow.

(And the title of this post is because sometimes, in August, in Maine, there is just so much fun all the time that I feel a little stretched at the seams. I mean, it's all good, but it's just all so much, all the time. I am more of a February type of gal, cozy at home, happy by the woodstove, happy to be in bed by 9, not a party animal. I'm taking some deep breaths.)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Thank you all for contributing to my growing list of Grandma-isms! Jake is totally digging them, especially "Lord love a duck!" since one of his students is a real duck-lover. Please do add more as they come to you.
The Buttercup Bag Sew-Along was a delight---lots of quiet concentration, some laughs, differing approaches in all of our collective creative wisdom, great fabrics, and some yummy treats. I brought Cheddar Cheese and Dill scones from my very favorite baking cookbook, Once Upon a Tart. (And as an aside, the distributors all seem to be out of stock of this gem, so quick, buy up the ones on Amazon! A used one is going for $1.50, for Pete's sake! I am serious, do not let this one go out of print without owning it.)
that's mine, up front with the blue buttons,
a gift for a favorite girl called Sophie
Someone around here recently had a meltdown about the kids not being more on top of their chores (hint: it wasn't me). In the back of my mind I had been meaning to make something based on an idea Soule Mama had on her blog awhile back, called a chore board. I was too lazy (still am) to find the link on her blog and re-read the post for the details, but whatevs, I think I got the gist of it here and have adapted it to our use here with input from the lads.
So essentially it's just a bulletin board covered in some pretty fabric, with some pockets on it. Each boy has two pockets, an upper one and a lower one; they each picked the fabrics they liked. The top pocket is for Chores To Be Done, and the bottom one is for Chores that Have Been Completed. At the far right there are two more pockets: Indoor Chores and Outdoor Chores. Each boy has three chores of his own that stay the same each day, each written on a little cardstock ticket. Then each boy picks one Indoor and one Outdoor chore (also on the cardstock tickets), or alternatively THREE Indoor chores (since going outside is sooooo boring in this gorgeous summer weather we are finally having), tucking them into the To Be Done pocket when they are selected in the morning. Once you have completed a chore, you move your ticket to the bottom pocket. If you do extra chores each day, above and beyond your own three and however many Indoor/Outdoor ones you have selected, you get a point towards some incentives like selecting a favorite dinner/dessert, watching a movie, etc.
The result has been very positive, so far. One boy would much rather live in his books, which sometimes results in an unpleasant crash when he is asked to participate in normal household life. Today, knock on wood, he was engaged in chores for most of the morning, and then had some very lovely playtime with Legos and his brother, and a moderate amount of reading. Which I think brought him some balance. And certainly helped us, both emotionally and with the regular maintenance of the home.

So that I was free to work on this:

And this.
The first Blueberry Pie of the season.
The filling recipe is from the Moosewood cookbook, but since I was out of lemons I used lime zest and juice. Delish, but honestly, hard to screw up a blueberry pie with fresh berries. The crust recipe is from Jerome and Frank, my two boys from Once Upon a Tart (have you ordered it yet?!), who helped me get over my pie crust anxiety so that I will never have to buy a gross store-bought one again. They give such wonderful step-by-step instructions in their book, with pictures. And there's all these great sidebars and stuff, like little quotes, as in Jerome saying something along the lines of: "I never use lowfat milk when baking, I mean why would I?" I just love those guys. Are you sold yet?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Collecting Grandma-isms

OK, so you may know that my husband is a teacher in a Waldorf school. He will be with his class for their final year (8th grade) this coming year. And he uses expressions in the classroom, to show surprise, chagrin, shock, that we might not hear other places except maybe a facility for older folks. Such as: "My Land!" or "Oh my stars!" or even "Oh my stars and whiskers!" Another one, from Hannah: "You bet your sweet bippy!" Jonas made up this one: "By my blazing bloomers!" And while I know that my dear husband is capable of *other* types of expletive language, learned from ghetto rap in his youth (and look how he turned out), I think it's so sweet that he is passing along these quaint turns of phrase.
a tightrope for spiders
I have learned of a new one from my friend Miss Smith lately, which I am hoping we (collectively, in our various corners of the world) can resurrect into popularity: "Toodle pip!" Do you love it?! She says it's mostly used by older New Zealanders and it means "Bye! See you later!"
my A-line skirt as basket
So. Here is the question: Can you share with us any unique Grandma-isms from your neck of the woods? That way I can give them to the Mister to share with his class and we can preserve these bits of our linguistic heritage with the next generation. Please don't be shy!
So check this beaded ribbon out, made especially for me by Robinsunne as a thank you for proofreading her latest book. And see that pattern in blue? Robinsunne used it because it was my doodle, you know the thing you do over and over in high school algebra class, if you aren't very excited by the content of the course, and perhaps also you have terrible basic skills and want to try really hard NOT TO BE NOTICED under any circumstances?
The nifty thing about it is that you can squinch it all together and make neat designs. She also tells me that you can actually cut it, without a bunch of beads flying everywhere. Not being a beader, this seems really miraculous. So you could use it as trim on a bag, or an accent on an ATC. Neat! Also, it elicits a really visceral response from me that makes me want to either rub it on my cheeks and maybe even lick it. Sorry if that's TMI.