Monday, August 29, 2011


Hello Friends.

It has been an emotional week.  I came home last week to a "Notice to Vacate" on my front door. We have lived in our beloved rental home for five years.  I came to this house as a bride and it is the only home Noodlebug has ever known.  It was my hope and dream that when I left this house it would be to move into a home of my own. That is not to be. Our landlord has decided to move a family member into the house instead. We have to be out by mid-October.  Adding this to the fact that my husband still doesn't have a job after over a year makes everything that much harder. 

I started packing and looking at rentals this weekend.  The rentals market isn't great because so many former homeowners are flooding it due to foreclosures.  I am a nester.  I don't need a big fancy home but do need a nice clean space for my family to live in. The rentals I saw (in our price range) this weekend made me cry. They smelled like smoke, had old dingy carpet, ancient appliances and sketchy neighborhoods.  I was told I couldn't even paint any of the rooms to make them feel a little less institutional.  It was depressing.

I'm really struggling right now to remain positive. I am trying to remind myself of my many blessings.  I still have a job with benefits. We still have our health and people who care about us. Those are very big blessings.  I haven't forgotten. But I'm having trouble holding it together. Especially when I am surrounded by the memories of everything that took place in our current house. When I look into the backyard at my husband's beautiful vegetable garden and realize that someone else will reap the benefits.  When I realize we will have to say goodbye to our wonderful neighbors.  It's very hard and there is a lot of grief along with the uncertainty about what will happen to us.  All I can do is keep packing and hoping that we'll find a new home soon.

This song has been running through my head lately:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Time Out

Life has thrown my family an unexpected curve.  We're okay and this too shall pass but I need a few days to digest everything. Be back soon...

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Put Some [Red] Shoes On and Suddenly Everything's Right

I think if these shoes were on my feet, my day would be a whole lot brighter:

(Image Source)

I'm glad they aren't in my size or I would be scheming to spend money I don't have in order to get them onto my feet. 

I'm starting to feel as if I have bitten off more than I can chew. I joined a new swap (more on that later), I am working on potential Halloween costumes for Noodlebug, I am planning a 50th birthday party for my husband that is only a month away (yikes!!!), I need to make a circle skirt from a tablecloth for Dia de los Muertos, I need to tag items for the upcoming Just Between Friends sale so I can make a buck and then I need to do all the normal stuff I never get done.

I think I need a vacation. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tale of a Goldfish

Back in June, my husband tried his hand at winning a goldfish for our son at the local Fair.  Money was lost but no fish were brought home.  When the next local Fair rolled around a few weeks ago (the one where I won a blue ribbon for my knitted scarf), I thought I would try MY hand at winning a goldfish.

(not the actual game we played---image source)
I won!!!  My 3-yr-old was so excited.  He immediately named the goldfish Dorothy (those of you with children will know why)  and we took it home.  I felt proud I had rescued the fish from the Fair. I had some goldfish bowls left over from Noodlebug's first birthday party so we simply bought some rocks and fish food.  The fish did not like its new bowl.  There was a weird magnification effect going on.  So, in my attempt to give this fish a better life, I invested in a 1 gallon tank with a bubbler and live plant. Everything went along swimmingly (pun intended) for a few weeks until the fish started to get white spots last Friday. Yes.  It had the dreaded "ick" along with finrot.  I cleaned the entire bowl thoroughly and put the fish back in. It got worse.  On Monday, I skipped lunch and went to Petco for help. I bought water conditioner, fish medicine, another plant and a 5 gallon tank. I called in to work and said I was taking a long lunch and drove 18 miles home  in my "Hail Mary" attempt to save the fish. I left the poor sickly thing in its new tank and returned to work.  I could not stop thinking about this fish.  I became consumed with saving it---spending money and time that I do not have. When I went to pick up Noodlebug at his grandmother's house on Wednesday, my husband called to say that Dorothy had passed.  We chose to tell Noodle that Dorothy was on a playdate.  After work yesterday, I stopped by a tropical fish store and picked up a new larger goldfish.  And some better advice on how to take care of it.  Dorothy 2.0 is now swimming along in the tank. Happily, I hope.

I felt real grief at the death of our goldfish.  I am such an animal lover and I wanted to do right by that fish. It felt like some sort of negative commentary on my life that I couldn't manage to keep a goldfish alive.  I struggle a lot with envy.  I get really angry sometimes that I don't have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom. I get frustrated that other people are raising my child while I head to work each and every day.  I got it into my head that things with the fish would have been different if I could have been home to take better care of it. I know that is kind of weird but I guess it's the place where I am right now.  I'm hoping that this new fish will survive my lifestyle.  And I'm hoping I will learn to make peace with it myself.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

AUTUMN with Matthew Mead

Fall is my very favorite season. It's a time of renewal and new beginnings. Not to mention beautiful color and one of my very favorite holidays.  (hint:  You get to dress up in a costume)

Last year, I bought a copy of Matthew Mead's Christmas HOLIDAY magazine.  It is such a beautiful magazine full of lovely photographs and inspiration.  I enjoyed it so much that I have purchased every issue since then.  His latest release, AUTUMN with Matthew Mead will be released next month! (I ordered my copy back in July)  This issue (along with previous ones) feature an appearance by popular blogger Stephanie Nielson. I'm looking forward to this one because Stephanie shares the details about one of her famous Back to School Feasts!  I can't wait to see what inspiration awaits in this issue.

Get your own copy here!

P.S. This issue also includes one of my very favorite bloggers, Amy Powers.  She is hosting a giveaway for the issue over on her blog. Find it here!

Monday, August 15, 2011

5 a Day Books: James Marshall

I'm linking up to Imagination Tree's 5 a Day Book Challenge.  This week, Noodlebug and I are reading the books of James Marshall.  Marshall was another favorite of mine from childhood.  James Marshall did the illustrations for one of my favorite childhood series by Harry Allard---the Miss Nelson books starting with MISS NELSON IS MISSING!  I'm saving those for when Noodle is in elementary school. For now, we are enjoying Marshall's GEORGE AND MARTHA series.

I believe there are seven books in the series and our library had five on hand:


These are short books about two hippo friends.  Adults will enjoy the humor and there are a few teaching points as well. Noodlebug didn't quite understand why Martha would be mad that George was spying on her in the bathtub.  (She subsequently picked up the bathtub and threw it on George's head) It did make a good lesson in privacy.  We also are very vigilant as a family about putting on sunscreen every day.  Noodlebug often fights me on this.  In one story, Martha refuses to put on sunscreen and ends up in bed with a very bad sunburn. What a great moment for me to reinforce the importance of sunscreen!  So far, we are both enjoying these books very much. We'll have to look for the remaining two when we got back to the library.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thought for the Day

From Martin Buber---

“If they ask me in the next world,

‘Why were you not Moses?’

I will know the answer.

But if they ask me,

‘Why were you not [Amy]?’

I will have nothing to say.”

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Come See Me on Facebook

I've decided to try something new and I have created a "page" for this blog on Facebook. If you come and "like" me, you will get notifications of new posts in your feed.  I'll try to keep only the most interesting posts there.

Go here to "like" me!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Action Pack 5 is Here!!! Wahoo!

The latest issue of Whip Up's Action Pack is here!

This issue is all about Chalk and Cheese.

Those two very different materials that might look similar but are really not similar at all. In this pack you will find projects to keep you busy no matter what the season. From kitchen science experiments to outdoor art and craft projects.

40 pages of crafts, science, cooking and games exploring the theme of Chalk + Cheese:

Make chalk + cheese

Kitchen science

Chalk boards & chalk bags

Sidewalk games

Plaster crafts

Cornflour experiments

Plus More games, crafts, science & cooking.

This is a printable downloadable emagazine – with no advertising and only $5.

I can't wait to check it out!  Buy yours here.  I'm heading over right now to get my own issue.