Saturday, November 06, 2010

I am My Own Chica

Please do not think I am hosting a pity party, but there are some thoughts nagging to get out of my head...

So. About yesterday.
1. I do like Farm Chicks.

2. I do Love Christmas.

3. Playing along, promoting someone else's book, blog, life…
well, it just seemed like a fun thing to do. It seemed like a blogger thing to do.

4. I felt bad about making it less interesting than I had envisioned.
a. Maria is very sick, and I got it too. Sleep and comfort are rare commodities these days.
b. Crunch mode has begun, and we do not have Geoff's company most of the week.

5. I posted anyway, making the most of what little time, and energy I had.

6. I enjoyed reflecting on those particular memories and activities that I especially love.

7. I enjoyed anticipating what I hope we can enjoy this year.

8. But Chickenblog went out of her league.
8.5 I feel foolish.

9. I feel like a blog slut.
blog slut noun 1. a woman that offers her time and blog space for the promotion of strangers, in exchange for possible blog traffic, feedback, vicarious feeling of being part of the inner sanctum of elite bloggers.

10. My part in some other person's party was basically unnecessary. (With the happy exception of my chat with Miriam.)

11. I would (and may still) take the post down, but I have a long standing tradition of being painfully honest with myself, and I think the post serves to remind me that my efforts, my ideas, feelings, and creations, belong to me, and are best shared only with and for the people that actually appreciate them. I was not disingenuous in the post, but I think I was playing in the wrong league.

Friday, November 05, 2010

I Want To Be A Farm Chick...

Or maybe I am a Farm Chica... a happy woman playing with her family, making their house in to a home, thinking, dreaming, and chasing chickens around. On our "farm" we have garden beds, and feathered friends. In my dreams we have a small barn, maybe a goat, and definitely a new roof! In my dreams our home is an inspiring space, where the comforts of home are homemade, homegrown, and a reflection of our family traditions, new and old.

Today I chose to participate in a Party... a virtual book signing party, taking place right now at a place called Chaps. The party is in honor of a real Farm Chick, Serena, and her latest book. My copy is on its way, signed, and I am looking forward to opening the pages, the anticipation of sharing pretty pictures and new ideas with my family. We have our own traditions, like making gingerbread houses... forgive our use of hot glue!

Serena's book, like her blog, "Farm Chicks :: Serena's Web Journal," looks like a beautiful resource for finding new traditions, fun crafts, and enjoying the pleasure of reflecting on holiday joys.

Waiting for the book to come to our home, I have been thinking about our own traditions and the ways I most enjoy celebrating Christmas. I kept coming back to our City Day. We find a day early in the month of December to go to the city and enjoy live music, a lovely meal, and a walk through downtown. We take in the sights and sounds of Christmas in the city, and it is a lot of fun.

Whether we are having a gospel brunch, or singing along with a choir at symphony hall, it is a treat to hear music, to see the musicians, and to be doing something different and new. Last year Maria really got in to the act when she sang along in the church pageant, and it still makes me happy recalling all those weeks hearing her practice "Do You Hear What I Hear?"

Pretty soon we will be decorating our home, and crafting lovely things both familiar, and new. I am already imagining what we can do to make our little farm, feel like a real Christmas farm, with comforting homemade creations and inspiration. And very soon, we are going to decide on a place to go, a show to see, things to do when we leave our farm and have our Christmas City Day.

And You? Have you settled on a plan, new or old? Are you sewing or gluing or deciding or welding or raking...what's baking for your Holidays? Whatever your plans, I hope you feel inspired to make your holidays memorable and dear.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Home Sweet November Home

Welcome November!
Halloween feels like Holiday Eve. And that makes today the dawn of my favorite time of year. My thoughts and plans, and activities turn homeward, where we gather more frequently. My heart reflects on blessings, new and old. Everything feels more snug, warmer, even slower as the days darken... and yet the anticipation of celebrations, the preparing, and sharing gives everything a heightened pace, a steady buzz.

I am ready!

Well, not really. Rationally, I know that this time of year can kick me in the seat. It gets hectic, and colds come home from school, and school keeps up its steady stream of demands, we get pulled in every direction, and all that time home can be a doozy reminder of my domestic defaults. My stack of "file these NOW" papers fell over and are covering the floor. Pumpkin guts are waiting for me outside on our table. Ferris needs his sutures removed. The shark cage needs raking...

It's all there. All of the regular domestic perils, and ailments, all of the things I have neglected, all of the things I have worked to the bone. But just the same: I am ready! I am ready for family dinners with homework spread across the dining table. I am ready for too many plans, and too little time. I am ready for family traditions, for anticipation, for high expectations. I am ready for family goodness, and absurd ambitions. I am ready for Maternal-Love Deep Storage of Impossible Energy the kind that gets you three places at once, with everything in order and everyone at least mildly satisfied... hey, it can happen.

I am ready to get a handle on this, and I am even ready to admit defeat... those times when the Impossible Energy does not kick in, when I cannot be where I should be, or want to be, or wish to be. I am ready to list all of my hopes and aspirations, and aim high.

Welcome November! I greet you grinning, and knowing full well you are a month full of promise and challenge. Bring it on!

I am excited about Thanksgiving, and the aroma of amazing food cooking in our beautiful kitchen. I am excited about opening our home to friends and family, and sharing laughter. I am excited about where to put a Christmas tree, and finally knowing where our Nativity pieces are. I am excited about making a hundred plans, knowing I'll probably only finish forty-two, and some of them poorly. I am excited about being here, in our home, for one full year, and feeling ever more at home.

I am going to bookmark this page, and bring it out frequently to remind myself that even in the midst of heartache, and roadblocks, that I know about gratitude, that I love this blessed life we are living. I know there are going to be moments, some really long ones too, when I won't remember this feeling, when the challenges will overwhelm me, and I will think I've got it all wrong... then maybe remind me that even in the mess there is something beautiful, something worth hanging on for. And I will need reminding too that messes come and go, and then they come again, so... so what? Relax. Enjoy. Laugh. It's just life.

Just, please remind me. Okay?

Here is my strange bird. A kiwi. Or an owl. Maybe a chciken chicken.

November first is the smell of pumpkin and chocolate, and cold floors in the morning. November is thirty days of remembering loved ones, counting blessings, reconnecting, looking forward. Welcome November. I am ready.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Something is Afoot

Happy Halloween!

We've been consulting with an inferior decorator to achieve a seasonal effect... something subtly thrilling, with hints of chilling. Even Maria stepped up to help us meet our ghouls.

The stairs creek. The rats squeak.

The ghosts are scary, and also chic.

Maria is fangful for the Halloween fun,
and I think that our antics will keep spooks on the run.

Bowler hats and bow ties are dapper wear, but seen on a ghost are clues to beware.

William's special vintage: Insectum Conversio a transmogrification elixir. A very good year.

Top hats and broomsticks, shadows and moonlight... we gather together to play through the night.

Again in the black light,
fog on the breeze,
we'll convene and confer.
Tricks, treats, sweets,
and magic infer.