Sunday, September 30, 2012


Marguerite and I did some scavenging in the garden late afternoon.  We have a HEDGE of tomato plants, loaded with blooms - and one very small handful of cherry tomatoes to show for it.  Damn.  Here's what I was able to bring inside after Marguerite was done grazing:

As my mom says, "the good thing about gardening is that there's always next summer."

Quote of the Day

Genevieve:  Mom, if you are feeling concerned about our safety, just go ahead and look the other way.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


September feels like a better month for me than January for resolutions.  I naturally lean in to setting goals, examining dreams, pushing my limits, etc. this time of year.  My friend Ali bases her consulting business on the simple concept of accountability.  So, here's my punch list for this season:

1.  learn more about photography
2.  get current passports for all members of my family
3.  cook Thanksgiving dinner
4.  start knitting again

My deadline is the first day of winter.  Thank you, accountability board/blog readers, for being here for me.

And here's a moment of sister love for you to enjoy:

The Story of Old Monroe

We first met Monroe seven years ago when we were in the process of buying the building that is now Drew's art gallery and our home.  Jeff started feeding him after he jumped off the back of a flatbed truck rolling through the Duluth lumber yard and found himself in Edison.  He slept on a mangy beaver pelt in the loft of Tombstone Tony's, the barn that is now the woodshop, and tiptoed onto Jeff's porch for food.  Jeff asked us if we'd keep feeding him after he left - and he was thinking about calling him Monroe because he'd been doing a lot of work there lately.  Drew and I both quickly said, "sure, we'll take care of him" without even looking at each other.  He was here first. We'd take good care of him.

It was a long winter that marked the beginning of our renovation project.  Drew was working long days between the woodshop in Deming and our future home in Edison, and sleeping in Bellingham.  He set Monroe up with a blanket in a box that is now our kitchen, made sure Gunther (who was living in his van in our driveway and working on the building) fed him on days he couldn't make it down here, and cranked the shockingly inefficient propane heater up on nights the temperature dipped below freezing to keep old Monroe warm. 

By the time we actually moved in, Monroe's rough and tumble street smarts of a tom cat had softened to a cat who knew how to appreciate and show gratitude for the good life.  He stuck close to home, slept close to Drew, and tolerated the cats and kids that grew into our family.  He became a fixture in the gallery, sleepily greeting visitors, working the crowd at openings, Berit's constant companion, sleeping in the jewelry case, and shedding on everything.  He was loved by many.

Friday, September 28, 2012


It was a long sad day today without our cat Monroe.  He has a great life story to tell, and I will tell it, but not tonight. 

Luckily our friends Matt and Christina brought the girls a new doll house and mermaid painting to keep them distracted and happy. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Marguerite napped for a full two hours today - tile saw blaring and all.  I think it had something to do with her new big girl bed (bed is a word we use meaning a mattress flopped on the floor).

Lace Makers

The lace makers visited last night. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Edison Women's Club

The Edison Women's Club has been keeping the street lights of Edison burning since 1917 and other community minded awesomeness.  I went to my first meeting tonight, paid my $3 in annual dues and took my place as the newcomer in a circle of women who have been doing things their way for a long time.  It was a welcome seat to take. 

Thanks to the Edison women of 100 years ago who recognized the need to leave the kids at home with dad once in a while.  That's well worth $3.

(I found this sketch of Edison at Urban Sketchers. )

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Lead

In an effort to keep the sisters out of the way of new bathroom construction we headed to the Children's Museum for a music class and then on for a lunch date in downtown Mount Vernon. 

Marguerite, by default of her birth order, spends a lot of time following her bossy big sister.  Today was different.  She wanted to be first, in the lead, MINE, STOP IT GiGi, Hey, me first. 

No doormats in this family, that's for sure.

We played in Pine Square for a few minutes after lunch.  Fall looks good on that town:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

House Project: Tile, Odds and Ends

A kind man named Alex has been spending eight hours a day holed up in our bathroom tiling the shower. Here's it is so far:

The glass is now in the medicine cabinet:

And other minor details fell into place like finally screwing this sweet bottle opener to the wall that we got last Christmas,

putting up a hook for my apron in the kitchen,

and de-uglifying dresser hardware.

Oyster Run

The Oyster Run was today.  THOUSANDS of motorcycles roll through town.  It's loud.  It's a scene.  It will go miles in helping me appreciate the quiet that tomorrow's Monday will bring. 

The girls and I watched from the gallery porch for a while.

Genevieve really liked that most of the biker chicks had bedazzled pockets on their jeans just like hers.

Hopefully she doesn't want to start wearing leather chaps to preschool now.

And the dead foot on this bike was the all-around highlight of the day:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cared For

I'm struggling along this weekend with a cold.  The girls are surprisingly understanding and showing off previously undiscovered skills.  It reminds me of when my mom broke her arm skiing when my brother and I were 9 and 12.  I learned how to do laundry, Darren learned how to cook on the stove top and we both learned that sometimes mom needed nurturing too.

Here are my caregivers, at the ready with endless yards of unfurled toilet paper in case I need to blow my nose:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Best Drawer Ever

Genevieve:  Stella, come see my new room!  I'll show you the best drawer EVER!

That's the dress up drawer she was touting.  It went the distance:

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I have a baby with gold spun hair.  Just sayin'

House Project: Kings and Queens

It just so happened that a certain wife of a woodworker was dreaming of having her own custom bed...

Dream realized! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My One True Path (of least resistance)

I wonder what the carbon footprint of this nap is?

I fell back into the familiar path of least resistance today.  I realized this morning that I was banking way too much on how the new upstairs to our house was going to suddenly get me a full night's sleep.  I was operating under this delusion that two little angels, all scrubbed and clean in matching jammies, would say "goodnight mama" in unison, tucked into their own beds with sleepy smiles on their faces at 7 p.m. 

WTF was I thinking??  Now I'm back to rolling with whatever modge podge sleeping arrangement and schedule I can piece together in a 24 hour cycle that will add up to two well rested girls. 

 Sometimes letting go of expectations is all it takes - and ice cream helps too.  And coffee.  And wine.  I'll stop there...