Monday, October 25, 2010

Questioning Sanity

It was a jumble of the last two things I do each night before I go to bed—feed the cat, and run the dishwasher. The thoughts in my head must have crossed, because I poured cat food in the dishwasher detergent holder.

Oh, we laughed, shook our heads, and took pictures, but deep down I was a little concerned, and seriously questioning my sanity. That night I posted this as my Facebook status: "Just poured cat food into the dishwasher detergent holder. Aaaaand with that, my multitasking days are over."

Well guess what? You wouldn't believe how many people responded with tales of the funny things they have done. Cereal in the fridge, remote control in the freezer, a soup pot returned to the cabinet with soup still in it, liquid dish soap in the dishwasher (resulting in suds all over the kitchen), and a telephone in the refrigerator—each response made me laugh harder. And feel better about my own senior moment. 

Now I know I'm not alone in my brainless endeavors (whew). Would you join the fun, and tell us some of the silly things you have done? I think a good chuckle is a fine way to start off the week, before our thoughts get all jumbled up again.  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

He Lost His Ring

Actually, he lost it last spring.

We thought for certain it had fallen into the depths of his piano, during a tuning session. We looked into the bowels of that complicated instrument. No ring.

We thought for sure it was in his workshop, having fallen into a pile of wood shavings after he removed it for tool-gripping comfort. We swept and sifted. No ring.

We figured it must be in our bedroom, dropped down behind the nightstand or his dresser. We searched and rummaged. No ring.

I decided I'd make him a new one, and quick, lest some unknowing lady try to catch his eye, believing him to be single. Still no ring.

Nearly two seasons have passed by sans ring. Next week, we will celebrate 11 years since the first time I put a ring on his finger, and I didn't want our anniversary to sneak by without a replacement. So last night, I finished his new wedding band and slipped it on his finger. Finally, a ring.

"The A Ring" is now listed in my shop.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How We Live Creatively

Almost exactly seven years ago, we found ourselves with a toddler, another baby on the way, a newly-purchased fixer upper, and very little income. It was time to get creative.

The mounting needs of our house and growing family was a turning point for us. Armed with time and a willingness to learn, we eventually shaped our lives and our home to fit who we are. Without realizing it, creatively solving everyday problems became a way of life for us.

How We Live Creatively As Homeowners:
Over the years, we have worn many hats. "A" has learned the ins and outs of plumbing, and become the resident electrician. He taught himself appliance repair, fixing our dryer and dishwasher by taking them apart and observing how they work, then finding the defect. He replaced our roof, completely renovated the kitchen, plastered a few new ceilings, and installed crown molding. (Of course, his trade is carpentry, so he did not walk blindly into many of the home-improvement projects he tackled.) He has also built many pieces of furniture in our house, the majority of which was made from scrap material left over from jobs.

 Me? I learned how to sew roman shades, refinish furniture, and install a thermostat. I became the household painting extraordinaire, furniture rearranger, and declutterer. I managed to repair our quilt, and rigged up a funky shower curtain to help with our weirdly-shaped bathroom situation.

We have made our home into a place that reflects us, not worrying too much how things will effect the resale value someday down the road.

How We Live Creatively As Parents:
We have all become teachers to one another. Informal art lessons as well as silly doodle time are regular occurrences, and art and craft supplies abound. At-home piano lessons give way to intense jam sessions with a recorder. Classical music plays on shuffle between U2, Pink Floyd, and Bob Marley.

There is nothing better than good ol' fashioned outside play, or a couple of crayons and a sketch book. A visit to the library, a walk to the playground, or a quick soccer game usually keep our girls engaged. We have multiple toy boxes full of toys, but they have languished, losing out to rowdy spy games with their neighbor friends. The girls have embraced their inner MacGyvers with their inventions and gadgets, and Daniel Boones, running free and plotting adventures, as kids should.

Our house is full of books—quite possibly, too many. Children's books, grown-up books, glossy picture books, a selection of the classics, and craft books for all ages and skill levels. So many books means there is always one within arms reach, to leaf through, pour over, or get lost in.

How We Live Creatively In General:
There are so many resources and opportunities now, which makes creative living quite easy. Anybody willing and able can learn a DIY method of doing just about any task these days. With the help of  books and online video tutorials, "A" has repaired our cars time and again, and we have even learned to fix our own tools. 

Creativity in the kitchen is something we all have to face at one time or another and, like most of you,  I have pulled-off some epic meals and snacks made from random pantry items. 

A little ingenuity goes a long way. Freecycle and Craigslist  are scoured regularly, and odd needs are fashioned from re purposed items. We barter, and trade services when we can. We search for information online, and call experienced friends for advice (or even better, for help). 

We have failed many times. Fixing the digital camera (friends, please do not attempt this at home) or figuring out where, exactly, the water dripping into our bedroom was coming from were forays we were not successful in. Sometimes we are victorious in our efforts, other times not so much.

We have also gone without, and learned to be grateful for what we do have. After all, it is times like these when living creatively—through creative problem solving—matters most.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thinking, Feeling...

Thoughts and feelings—sometimes coming at you in rapid-fire fashion, sometimes welling up slowly and eventually crashing down. I suppose it's the variety of ideas and emotions that spices up our days, for better or for worse. Here's a catalog of what's been spinning in my head and heart over the past week.

I am...
Curious, about the unknown story of these vintage chandelier beads from Buenos Aires. Loving their substantial weight and cold, smooth touch. They were sent to me by a friend, who commissioned a few necklaces to be made from them, and kindly offered up the remainder of them for me to play around with. Or as she put it, "get all artsy on their arses."

Relieved, to have found a new home for Han Solo, our very loud rooster. We visited him the other day on the farm, and it turns out he is now King of the Ducks. There were about a half-dozen ducks following him around!

Autumn-ishfor obvious reasons.

Acorn top by "A," crochet acorn pattern here
Concerned (hopeful, helpless), for a classmate of my girls, who was just diagnosed with Leukemia.

Happy, to see the rustic simplicity of this garland by Daisychestnut

Grateful, that even though my husband was recently laid off, I have lots of orders, and can contribute financially to this household.

Proud, of a ring I recently finished, that was unlike any I had ever made.

And you?