Massive post to make up for my absence…

Forgive my absence, I’ve been having a helluva time trying to update here. Something on my computer isn’t compatible anymore with livejournal, and my master tech person (Jeff) has yet to really investigate for me… I’ve written two entries only to have them completely vanish on me (which was so frustrating I threw up my hands and stopped trying, until now). Then we went on vacation, and I’ll just be honest- I have appreciated the time away from the screen. Anyway, I’m back, and I’m hoping I’ll iron out all these technical issues soon. And I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to post this successfully…

So, over the past couple of weeks we have… 

:: Watched Asa turn one year old on the 24th of July! My big boy!

:: Went on a lovely 6-day vacation up north with my folks

:: Came home to an empty and mostly clean basement apartment (which is a big blessing, we weren’t sure how smoothly that transition was going to go…)

:: Had lots of good, simple, fresh food- mostly shared with friends and family. We seem to rarely eat alone these days, and it feels just right.

:: The garden is bursting with goodness, and I’m quickening my pace to keep up with it.

:: I’m actually getting a little reading done!

:: Trying to practice some simple daily routines- make the bed, wipe down the sink, empty dishwasher, drink more water, at least 15 minutes of exercise/yoga, etc. So far so good.

And now pictures. Lots.

Vacation was lovely. 6 days of blue water and sky, mild temperatures, and good conversation. Can’t get much better than that!

This vacation spot is one that I’ve gone to almost every summer of my life. A row of little cabins with a playground and a lake… it’s so nice. 

I loved being in the cabin. I love how simple everything becomes. Just a few changes of clothes, a couple of books, a little bin of toys, and lots of fresh air. It seriously makes me want to toss about 95% of the things I have.

I also found the ridiculously cheesy art on the walls to be incredibly refreshing. Yes, that’s a placemat hanging on the wall there. Not pictured is a plush fish mounted on the wall, a shag carpet wall hanging thing that says "God cares", etc. It was great. Like, I experienced that kind of liberation in the winter when we were dumpster diving, and now again with all of the things my garden is giving me. Not having as many choices gives us an opportunity to just work with what we’re given- opening up all sorts of room for variety and creative expression. In the process, self-consciousness and envy are less likely to rear their ugly heads, and you spend less time thinking about how things should be or what other people think, and you just accept what you have and enjoy yourself. Am I making sense? Anyway, it’s strange- one would think you’d feel more free with all the choices everywhere, but for me it just takes up too much brain space. Cheesy cabin art gets me thinking philosophically, apparently.


My mom reading.

Swimming at the lake was lovely. My sister and her kids came up for a few days, too.


The kids played really well together, and I am looking forward to doing this for years to come.


When I got home the garden had exploded. Everything grew like a foot and I had a bazillion things to harvest. Here are some raspberries forming!

The first tomatoes! Little juicy bites of sunshine.
Do you see what I mean? Kaboom!

I’m very pleased with the front yard which is *nearly* finished now. It will all fill in and be lovely over the next few years. But I did it. Front yard = no more grass!
Is it crazy that I’m already daydreaming about cooler weather? No, probably not, considering that we were recently dealing with temps over 100 and awful humidity. Ugh. As much as I love all that comes with summer, I go brain dead in that kind of heat. I much prefer brisk breezy days with warm mugs and a few choice scarves… Anyway, my point is, I’m already looking forward to indoor projects. The first one being this basement of ours. Before and after anyone? Yes. Well, at least the "before". Here’s the view from the side door and stairs up into the kitchen.
But looking straight ahead, it takes you down the stairs.
To the left of the stairs is our lovely messy laundry/seed starting area.
Then next to that is the kitchen! As excessive as it is to now have a second kitchen, I am thrilled. I mean, my kitchen is a small galley type and I’m always juggling for space to store things. So, these cupboards will be filled with lesser used appliances and home-canned goods and things like that. The fridge will now hold Jeff’s homebrew and my lacto-fermented goodies. The stove won’t be used often, but I love the idea of using it for late night canning sessions while Jeff and I watch a movie down there and stay cool. Oh yes. Downstairs kitchen will be amazing.
Beyond that is the bedroom, which will turn into a guest room/my sewing space.
Bathroom is awesome, but even with my love of color this turquoise has been kind of burning my eyeballs, so I’ll probably change that someday soon. It’s a lot more *zing* than this picture shows.
We’ve got to finish a little tile-work in the shower,
Jeff’s soon to be music/computer/tool lair. He’s oh-so-excited. And I’m excited for him. 🙂
And the new play/entertainment room. We got this sectional a while ago from my parent’s, and we were using it in two parts- one part in our living room and one upstairs for my sister’s area. So we scouted a cheap kid-friendly couch on craigslist for our living room and moved the sectional down here. It’s great. I don’t even care if the kids bounce around all over it and it’s serious lounging for mama and papa after a long day. There’s room for me to wind down with a movie while still working on projects or folding laundry… I’m feeling luxurious with all this space, can you tell? I’m in the process of moving more toys down, but this space will stay simple and well-used, I think.
That was another thing that vacation did for me- toys are going to be purged! The kids had just a few toys while we were up north, and they played with them wonderfully. I’m hoping that in moving toys from up to downstairs I’ll be able to weed out a lot of unnecessary clutter- which I really think only serves to confuse their play. I may keep a small tub with some things to rotate in/out over the course of the year. But yeah, we don’t need so many toys.
The stairs are good, but I think I’ll probably staple down some old carpet pieces at some point, and if I’m inspired I might repaint them.

Found this video of the tour from the other day. Our garden has a few pictures towards the end. Fun!


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