I trust that with just a glance at the above two photos you quickly concluded some of the things that this blog WILL NOT be.
I'll elaborate just a bit for those of you who aren't quite sure. While these things are admirable and often coveted by me, this blog WILL NOT contain . . .
- photos of my home-made bolognaise sauce, from tomato seed to garden to shabby chicly (I know that's not a word; I made it up.) organized kitchen to bubbly goodness in brightly colored Le Creuset to extended farm table on the porch with family and friends of all ages enjoying the delicious, colorful, nutritious goodness while mason jar candles sway in the light summer wind.
- tales of the sheep and I together, beginning with that that first shearing and ending with antiqued photos of the sheep being cuddled by my three children in their mother-knitted sweaters for the cool fall hikes along the river's edge.
- a pdf. of the shopping list I've designed, with spaces for notes about which store I visit for which staples and symbols for coupons best to use at each location.
- my tips for organizing the linen closet, neatly enclosing each sheet set inside the matching pillow cases, labeled shelves for each bedroom's linens and that uncluttered area saved especially for readying the home for guests.
- how-to's on "last minute breakfast ideas for hurried school mornings" and "welcoming the children home with loving treats at the end of the school day."
My truths aren't like that - those aren't part of my story. I may spend too much time worrying about not pulling off the "Martha Stewart with scruples and a loving touch" but I just checked to see that the Le Creuset oval dutch oven is $234.95 and I am involved in other pursuits.
- My pots and pans don't match, though there are some really nice pieces that have held up since the wedding and we gave Tim a cool wok for Christmas. Last night, I proudly prepared and served a delicious and nutritious slow-cooked meal that everyone devoured- when Emma and I bragged to two friends what a scrumptious, garlic-infused dinner we had enjoyed, they simultaneously asked, "Where'd y'all go?"
- I don't have a sheep. I did lovingly raise four chickens from birth to adulthood at school last year, coddled them, photographed them, taught children to love them, cleaned up after them, talked to them, chased after them on Washington St., and learned their different sounds (really). I can sew, but not on a sewing machine; and when my children need patches 'sewn' on for scouts, I much prefer the sticky stuff that binds the badge to the material into eternity.
- I have been a coupon person, and I hope to be one again. I have known the feeling of 'beating the man' at the Publix, leaving with a "saved" total larger than my "paid" total. I just couldn't keep it up, though. I couldn't win the race. I quit. I did. I just wasn't in it to win it. I bowed out. For now, I am eternally grateful that Tim is willing to do the grocery shopping far more than me.
- I organized my linen closet once, and I found a lot of neat things. I found a stained glass window that Tim bought before we married. I found pictures in frames that were on my desk at my job in Raleigh in 1998. I found some gifts for 'that special someone' I had bought right when we moved into this house nine years ago. I found a lot of ball point pens - many, many. And a large plastic red and white clothespin. I did organize the sheets in sets, and it looked great. I felt so good whenever I opened that closet. I did.
- This morning at breakfast, I signed papers, Tim laughed with the kids, Molly looked for 'needed' art supplies and ate the gluten-free, sugar-free breakfast she prepared herself, Emma ate - oooooo, I'm not sure what Emma ate, and Harry ate birthday cake from his friend's birthday dinner last night. Really. I haven't yet prepared this afternoon's loving, tasty and nutritious welcome home from school snack.
So that clears that up. I want to do those things; really, I do. You could say that I am somewhat of a procrastinator. Or, you could wait until later to say that. Or you could write it down on a list and just know that you'll say it later.
Sometimes I don't get to the things I want to get to. I wanted to get the house beautifully decorated for Christmas, with lights strung from the rooftop to the lowest branch, all for my children to love. I did. The photos above were taken this morning on the front porch, January 5, 2012. This is part of my 'claiming what makes me special' campaign. Two days before Christmas Eve, Tim surprised the kids with blinking lights on a few bushes on the left side of the house. They loved them! On Christmas Eve morning, Harry and Emma took the box of lights to the front porch, faces aglow with anticipation of the spectacle they would soon create. They took down the groovy carving that hangs on the back of one column and carefully strung lights two thirds of the way up the post, using wide blue painters' tape to secure the hold. They still hang there proudly. Today, the box still sits on the small, Granddaddy-made picnic table to the right of the door, and the groovy tree carving rests atop, as if he patiently awaits his return to view. All of that is true.
Let's face it; the house didn't shine out as our neighborhood's example of taste and beauty in celebration of the birth of our Lord. We don't have our Christmas decorations 'put up' and our tree proudly stands now to celebrate Epiphany tomorrow. I didn't have small, decorated gift bags for those un-announced friends that drop in and the last minute art project we tried two days before Christmas didn't exactly work and has been 'taken care of' by Tim.
All of that is not to say it was not a holy and wonderful celebration. It was! I was late, as usual, at doing some of the things that needed doing. But we did 'press pause.' I could tell you stories, and maybe I will, of the fun that Emma and I had gluing together a wreath out of cheap, shiny red balls. I could tell you about the singing that I heard from sun up to sun down from Molly, as she 'hung out' and went about her days off. I could tell you about the "hole" that Harry and his friends dug in the back yard and how it became a lake and how proud they were and how gorgeous the new water feature is. (Okay, not that last part.) I could tell you about all of the laughing we did and the way the fire went non-stop on Christmas day and about the way my grandmother ended up telling us old stories about how great it was growing up, poor, in a mill-town, surrounded by family and friends as far as she could walk. I could tell you about how I am still cleaning up sheets and blankets and pillows from all over the house because there was family and friends and neighbors who played and laughed and spent the night and stayed lazy in the mornings. I procrastinated, as usual. I did. But somehow it always works out. Stuff gets done and some amazing things happen that can't be planned for.
Just now, as I took a break from cleaning to get edit some photos and then took a break from that to work on this blog and then put that off for just a minute to check out what was happening on Pinterest, I found this:
The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life. -Jessica Hache
So, for now I think I'll write a blog and take photographs of people I really dig!