Sunday, September 29, 2013

Knit Night Memories

We gathered once a week for years.  Knitting, Thai take-out, wine, talking, listening, a lot of laughing.  My pre-kid social life, carved into each week - which at the time felt crazy busy, packed with graduate school and career drive.  We shared weddings, milestone birthdays, break-ups, selling and buying houses, new jobs, new love, and life.  I remember Aimee's last knit night.  It was her first time away from her new baby.  She sat on the edge of the ottoman, fleece zipped all the way up to her chin, purse leaning against her ankle, keys in her hand.  She looked like she was holding her breath the short 30 minutes she stayed.  She didn't take her knitting out of her bag.  She said she felt like she was missing a part of her body, her arm, or her heart.  She stood up and said she had to go and was out the door in one motion.  I wasn't a mom yet, but I knew I'd feel the same way as her when the time came.  I also knew I'd miss my friends.  That there isn't always room to fit it all in.  To be balanced. That I would try to do it all and that it would be hard. 

After Genevieve was born I kept knit night up for a few months.  Long days at work, sad and separated from my baby, career and motherhood grinding metal and shooting sparks.  I'd bring her with me, holding tight to the time that was ours.  We were always too tired.  Too hungry.  Too engorged.  Too frazzled.  Too far from our nest in the dark.  It didn't work.

Moments and time with my knit night ladies are starting to trickle back in.  Last night, after putting the girls to bed, I drove to Samish Island to Annie's cabin, our annual knit night retreat revisited.  The fire was going, lips and teeth were already purple from wine, dogs asleep in their negotiated corners.  I stayed til midnight.  Catching up in real time.  The now so much different, lives always changing, friendship spanning it all.

Annie's cabin on the beach.  Full of relics and cobwebbed vignettes.  Treasured.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

September's Last Saturday

Wind, rain and extreme coziness in Edison today.  Drew and I sat on the covered porch and listened to the deluge this afternoon. 

Here's the latest addition to our porch (which seems to be in a constant state of rearranging), a Smith & Vallee Woodworks reclaimed fir bench.

I roasted the last batch of tomatoes and the house smells AMAZING thank you very much.

 A break in the weather let me enjoy this brimming-over-with-throw-back-nostalgia view of our place from the street.

(note the "new" school desk seating on the gallery porch for when you need to take a load off after taking in all that art)

New signage for the gallery is in progress.  I'm excited to show you when it's done. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Secret Towns

Half time kindergarten has its perks.  Now we know what it's like to have G gone all day in school, so days off are carefully crafted collages of fun and down time for my newly exhausted five year old.  We went to the LaConner Library this morning for story hour.  Fewer things are more awkward for me than singing songs and holding hands with strangers, but I sucked it up and participated.

While we were walking through town for lunch Genevieve said, "this place is gorgeous!  I just want to walk slowly and look at every building.  Is this even a real town?"

On the way home we stopped at Christianson's Nursery to buy a hardy fuchsia shrub for an empty corner along the fence, and to visit the rabbits.

Weekday excursions to quiet places, normally crazy crowded on the weekends, leave us feeling like we have whole secret towns to ourselves.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Manikin Family

New Discovery!

When shopping with young children, encourage them to join the manikin family.  It will buy you 10 minutes of uninterrupted time to focus on something important, like finding a tunic that doesn't make you look like a shapeless sack of potatoes AND covers your backside in those damn "skinny" jeans.

House Project: Paint

The last few weeks have been a torn up, loud, dusty mess.  Muddy boots and lots of men in and out and up and down the stairs.  Sanding, grinding, sawing, hammering.  I didn't know all that was part of painting a building.  Now I know. 

It was worth it.

Rotten window sills were replaced, holes patched up, spider highways caulked, deck trimmed out in cedar. 

The cottage trim was painted to match the house,

and the doors refinished and rehung now that we have gutters to protect them from the weather.

Opening and closing doors without having to hip check them is such a treat!

Next Up:
New "front" door for the house
New light fixture over front door
Moving a 2,000 pound concrete sign without forklift access.  Egyptian style.

Outside is Still There, Waiting Patiently

Week two into Kindergarten and we're still swirling around in that place of change. Time apart for this sister unit has expanded.

So has my time alone with Marguerite.

A rearrangement of time and togetherness.

I knew going into this that one less daughter to care for during the day wouldn't mean less work and more time - but I did resolve to fit something in I haven't consistently made time for in recent years yet have craved.  Walking.  Running.  Yoga.  Outside.  Wind.  Rain.  Sun.  Air.

It's happening.  Carved out of our day and in to our routine. 

With gratitude. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Quote of the Day

Cousin Paul: G, did you know that all orange cats are boys?
Genevieve: Because they are all lazy?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Quote of the Day

Genevieve has discovered a new spokesperson.  Her sister. 

The setting: Both girls driving the bus cart in the grocery store.  Genevieve spots a sweet mullet two guys up from us in line.  She whispers to her sister. 

Marguerite then YELLS:  Hey!  Guy!  Guy with ugly long hair!  You need to go to the hair salon!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

North Pacific Style Luau

We have a lot of luaus at our house, a little South Pacific visiting the North Pacific.  Drew is the fire dancer, his fire stick a broom, and Marguerite dances wildly to the drums of whatever YouTube has to offer.

It's pretty spectacular.

River Otters and Real Art

A mama river otter and her two babies played on the dock this afternoon.  We watched the babies jump on their mama's head until she had enough and scooted everyone back in the water, single file gliding out the slough.

Genevieve, daughter of an artist, felt the sudden need to paint an otter.

Genevieve:  I don't want to paint on just silly paper.  I want wood, with a hanger, and a hook from the gallery, and I want to hang it in my room like REAL art.
Drew: Alright, I'll sketch out an otter for you and you can paint it.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kindergarten and Mimosas

Genevieve's first day of Kindergarten was today.  I've been wound up tight for the last 36 hours.

Here she is, getting ready to meet Stella and Nell in the ally to walk together to school.  Buzzing with excitement and nerves.

The Edison posse convened.

Saying goodbye and walking out of her classroom was heartbreaking and terrible.  

Coming home to my breakfast of mimosas and donut holes, shared with my friend Lisa, made it bearable.

Mimosas on the first day of school was my mom's tradition, a path of moms following the bus to Rosemary's house for kid-free revelry and sisterhood.

She had the right idea.