Friday, August 24, 2012

White paint

I haven't painted a room white-ish in years. I think it was in 2000, when we were getting our house in Columbus ready to sell. My brother and I painted all night, painting several rooms white.

Since we bought this house we've used a lot of color.

There are also bedrooms that are forest green with chocolate brown woodwork (the woodwork was already painted in that room), a lovely ocean-y blue, and a warm orange-y color. I like color. The dining room is going to be a rich burgundy. I still don't know what I'm doing with the kitchen.

But since all of the main floor rooms open from the hall, I decided that it should be white-ish. So I put paint swatches up for several weeks and compared them at different times of day. It needed to be a clear enough white that it didn't look dirty against the blue and white in the butler's pantry, but warm enough that it didn't look stark.
I like it.

Next up: the main bath is about to be remodeled. And it's going to be mostly white. But I have a plan to get my color in there.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Happy, sad, strange, mysterious

When Andrew was little he would climb into my bed very early in the morning and while I was still trying to sleep he would play with my face. As he pulled on it he would create different expressions and say, "Happy, sad, strange, mysterious," to describe the contortions through which he was putting my face.

At one point today those words came to mind and I realized how perfect they are to describe the way my life feels right now. The back-to-school season is bittersweet as yet another of my kids begins college. Those lovely, hectic, stressful years of homeschooling four kids went way too fast. Two of my kids are full-fledged adults. The third is well on his way. And even my baby is a very self-directed, hard-working, almost 17-year-old, who is looking for a job and planning to begin college classes in the spring.

Being Grandma-on-baby-watch has me feeling at loose ends. I'm having trouble settling into working on any projects. I can't make set-in-stone plans for the next couple of weeks. I can't wait to see Helen. I think about her--and, of course--my Bepper, all of the time.

My house still has major projects to be done. And minor projects which we know will go on for years. There is also some regular maintenance and clean-up that needs to happen, and that pool leak to fix. All of this to do with sons who are busier than ever and a husband who is home less than 60 hours a week, about 25 of which are for sleeping. I think both of us--and our bank account--have project fatigue.

Life feels strange right now. The hubby and I are both in the medical tests/doctors appointments/referrals to specialists circus. The political landscape seems rocky. Our household budget is being severely tightened. Things feel slightly out of focus.

And yet, I am happy.  I think that Andrew, at two, was profoundly descriptive of life on this earth.

Monday, August 13, 2012


I'm not great about praying. I'm lazy. I forget. I get busy or tired or distracted. Mostly distracted. But I do still manage to pray  at least once a day. And I do lots of little, spur of the moment, situational prayers.

One thing that I pray on a consistent basis is that somewhere out there God is watching over three young women who will be as perfect for my sons as Evan is for my daughter.

Happy anniversary to my daughter and her wonderful husband.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Playing with pickling

I'm still trying to get over my cold, but I couldn't take sitting still today. I decided that being outside and getting my vitamin D would be a good idea. I did some more work in my garden and ended up with a lot of little green cherry tomatoes that had fallen on the ground or were growing in spots where they ended up sitting in the dirt.

Yesterday I found a recipe for basic brine and I pinned it so that I would be able to find it when I needed it. I decided that I needed it today. I like something zippy with most of my meals, so we go through a lot of pickles. I'm determined to fill as much of that need from my own garden as possible, so it seemed like a good time to get started.

I didn't have the time, inclination or energy to can today, so I just played a little with some refrigerator pickles. The big jar of the green tomatoes is just brined. The smaller jar has brine and red pepper flakes. I discovered that I had twelve pounds of carrots and part of them were needing to be used, pronto. So I sliced up a pound of them and combined them with some sliced onion, garlic pepper, and red pepper flakes. The cukes are just in brine and garlic pepper. I did them mainly to see how they would turn out.

Tomorrow, if time permits, I am going to do some bread and butter pickles and a couple of small jars of squash pickles and beets.

I love taking the goodies that are coming from the garden now and doing tasty things with them to keep them for the winter.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

I don't sit still

Come over here close. I need to tell you a secret.

You know the wriggly nine-year-boy whose teacher can't wait to put him on Ritalin? That's me. Except I'm a 40-something mother and grandma--I just haven't met my grandchild yet--and I haven't driven a teacher crazy for years.

But I don't sit still well. I manage in church, because I love it. I manage, barely, for other events like movies and concerts. I move around during Bible Class. And if I do have to sit, I doodle. And squirm.

Sometimes one of my sweet friends will let me borrow a child to watch during church, or Bible Class, or a Bach Collegium concert. And it looks like the child is the only wriggly one.

But he's not.

We had our family retreat at church this week. There were people who were concerned that I "never sat down" or that I didn't get to "enjoy the retreat." Believe me, I enjoyed the retreat plenty. I got to talk to friends, work in the kitchen, and talk about homeschooling, Lutheranism, and raising our kids. I got to sing some good hymns, plus the Te Deum and the Venite. I got to hear some incredible music. I got to see teens and adults and little kids dancing and laughing together.

It was good. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

But please don't make me sit still.