Tuesday, August 23, 2011


 I have had the wonderful privilege to be invited to my grown up children's grown up homes to share the first weeks of their firstborn's life.
This is something I do not take lightly.
I understand that being allowed in the sacred air of the welcoming of a new human into a couple's life, is not something to impair, invade or opinionate.  I seek to be a help and not a hindrance to the process of welcoming the New Person.
These unforgettable times so imprint upon my soul that I can barely speak when I journey home.  Hubby has come to recognize the unmistakable signs of my overwhelming joy/sadness that comes upon me as I process and download all that I have experienced on these Mimi Journeys.  There is a silence that rarely afflicts me as my mind scurries around trying to put all the input that has been experienced into places that have never been before.
 Watching the adult child perform as the loving, caring, sacrificial person you always hoped and prayed would be there amidst their selfish little childish selves, fills ones soul with such gratitude and peace that I become too touched to respond. Words of affirmation are pitiful in light of the crazy thankfulness that the heart feels.
It is one thing to know that your child is a responsible adult.  It is quite another to see their day to day in light of another person in their life that is their life and then, oh then, there is the amazing transformation that takes each of them from loving spouse to the viciously protective, sacrificially caring , copiously loving parent.  Many times, I want to almost turn away, the union and emotion is so raw and intimate amongst this new partnership.

And to think, I was invited to be a part of it all.....Three times.  Blessed beyond description....

Thank you Dear Children, for being beyond what I could have ever dreamed for you....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Leaf Collection of Bags

 Designing Donna http://www.facebook.com/leafgirl65  ordered another batch of mama's collection bags.
 Because we like to live and create a little bit left of center, she gave me some  inspiration by sending some fabrics that she had lying about. These fabrics shot me right back to her salon in my mind, recalling those wildly inventive cuts that she used to give a much younger me. My designing mojo kicked into hyper mode.....

  I loved working with the fabrics from her collection since they 'told me' information as to what they wanted to be; Designing Donna had selected them, used them, liked them and now they were destined to another invention. Short of speaking right out loud, I got it right away for each piece of cloth.

  The top green bag was an amazing batik print that grabbed my attention immediately.  This bag is packed with pockets and a most interesting tie dye lining.  The strap is a Patagonia Belt; sturdy and well constructed.  The batik flowers have vintage buttons accenting their centers. My favorite.

The second bag is made up of five really swell cloth napkins.  Quilted, sewn together and lined with useful pockets and decked out with key, bead and button embellishments, this very practical tote is about as creative as it gets.
 Then there is the Celtic Tablecloth/bedspread Hippie Bag.  In order to utilize the twining Celtic knots that border and center the tablecloth, I cut it on an edgy triangle and used the border to be the straps. Pockets went high up near the straps on this unlined bag and an embellished weighted flap closed it nicely.  Wouldn't be a Hippie Bag with out bells and beads on the point on the bottom, now would it?
 And for the traditionalist, we have another tablecloth from an entirely different neighborhood.  The Safe Bag, unlined and normal looking because I have to remember that not everybody walks on the edge.  Vintage buttons and a useful pocket on this unlined bag make it a market bag that you can proudly use and use again.

 Because Designing Donna knows that I will try to repurpose anything, she threw in an odd quilted pillow sham so as to mix it up a bit.  Adding some bits of brass saddle embellishments procured at an Amish Store down the road from me, this handy little bag is fun and soft and perfect for those outings when just a small bag will do.
 Do you remember this fabric?  Pretend Daughter Kris bequeathed this lovely vintage Waverly Fabric from her mother's collection to me last fall and  I made a diaper bag out of it for Baby Girl.http://sonowiknow.blogspot.com/2010/11/sewing-sidetracks.html.  This wonderful fabric practically makes itself with all it's wizened history and lineny goodness.  It is so full of linen, that it indeed has bits of flax woven in this very nice finished product.  With some of DD's brocade fabric to line it and a few vintage buttons, it turned out to be high on my list of faves.  DD termed it the Autumn Bag and last I heard, she was calling this one her own.
 Some very utilitarian canvas, sturdy and strong, decided to be retro by adding some flowery buttons and vintage pillow case embellished and I could see it being the hit of the Farmer's Market, able to carry books and eggplant quite aptly.
 On this shipment, I got to premiere my new mama's collection  labels.  Baby Girl took care of this for me and I am quite excited about them.  Hence the blurry photo.

So by now, the bags are being displayed gleefully, proud of what they've become and waiting patiently for just the right someone to come and make them theirs.

Makes a mama proud.......

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Crazy Simple Things

Few things put me in a better mood that good weather.  Be it a golden autumnal morning a blizzardly white winter evening or a splendidly, sunny, breezy summer afternoon, I simply have a hard time staying crabby when the weather whispers to my serotonin levels.  It's those favored days that my creativity level soars and my hands cannot keep up with the ideas, thoughts, plans that my refreshed brain has conjured.  
I knew that today was to be a busy day but unlike those heavy humid, heat oppressive days that we have been struggling with, (20 90degree days!~), the numerous chores at hand seemed positively effortless with the  summer air wafting in the hardly-been-open-this-summer -windows.

It was while I was walking Sir Scout on his mid afternoon potty break that I realized how much simple things absolutely enchant me.
I noticed all the flowering weeds on the city property where we take our MAPB.  I watched how the deep blue of the late summer sky showcased the flimsy white clouds flitting around the stratosphere.

I came back in determined to continue to notice The Crazy Simple Things.
 Next on my agenda was Tomato/Spaghetti Sauce Making!  Fav Photographer Mom had an abundance of tomatoes.  My tomatoes needed company to round out a full day of sauce making.  I was about to have Hubby set up the beloved KitchenAid to puree the parboiled, skinned maters, when my Simple Thoughts stopped him.  I says to the Hubby, 'Never you mind.  I do believe I shall use my handy dandy hand masher squisher thing from Pampered Chef to accomplished this task.'  And what do you know?  It worked just grandly for this humble task.  

I truly don't think I could cook without my garlic press.  I've had this baby since 1975 when I worked in a gourmet/import shop.  And my scraper!  I've had that before I married!  After watching years of Graham Kerr's Galloping Gourmet throughout my teens, I just thought every chef wannabee had to have a scraper.  So I ordered mine through a Lillian Vernon catalog in the late 60's.  It's rosewood handle is still wonderful and with the exception of a little bend on one corner, it looks pretty good after years and years of scraping dough and scooping errant tomato juice from my cutting board.  

My Santoku knife is a new friend.  As is my most wonderful Food Network silicone spatula/spoon tool. .  I have managed to span the decades in delightfully simple tools that make a chore into a delight.
 Look around.  Open your windows.  Saute some onions and garlic and breathe deeply.  Let the breeze carry you outside and list in your vacationing mind all the simple things that you just couldn't do without.

And enjoy.

Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language.

Henry James
British (US -born) author (1843 - 1916)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kindred Spirit Friend

Kindred spirit - Idiom Definition - UsingEnglish.com

The first time Kindred Spirit Friend entered my home, she knew that we needed to know each other better.  Twenty two years ago, she came to help out on a homeschool cooperative effort that our group did every Friday.  We shared skills and talents with the children of our group and it was my turn to do crafts with the 9-11 year old girls.  It was also the day that I had my first appointment with a psychologist to deal with the agoraphobia/anxiety disorder that I had struggled with for nearly ten years.  KSF came willingly.  It was also my 36th birthday.  This was well noted by KSF since this was the date of her own dear mother's birthday.  Upon further discussion of this phenomenon, it was discovered the my Hubby shared the birth date of her own dear father.  See?  Kismet.

In the years to follow, we would enjoy the unfolding of many, many kismetian aspects of our parallel universe lives.

  • Our children are nearly the same age.  I had an extra one just for interest.  My youngest was only a year old when we met so she has known KSF all her life.
  • We homeschooled our children.  We both have been involved in the pro life movement in a proactive way.  Our husbands worked at the same government installation.
  • We are voracious readers; hers more non fiction, helpful knowledge kind of books; me, more entertaining fictional bent.  Independent movies are quoted frequently at our gatherings.
  • Our Third Children are crazy funny people.  Nothing was more entertaining than eating lunch while her Third Child read to us from an antiquated sex manual, in a proper British accent.  Much choking from laughter ensued.
  • We talk with our hands.  Kinda dangerous if you're nearby.
  • When I moved away from her, I received lengthy hand written letters in artfully designed envelopes, some with silly messages on the outside so as to entertain my mailman.  Or maybe scare him off.  Postcards were her speciality.  The more absurd, the better.
  • We both think that the other one is the most extraordinary person alive.
  • We both had rocky, interesting childhoods and now see the humor/wisdom in them.
  • We can call each other with grim news, sobbing and uncontrolled and we know what to say to each other to calm each other down.
  • I called KSF first when my mother died.
  • She called me when her father had a stroke and I got to the hospital first for her.  We both cared for our invalid fathers at home for a lengthy period of time.
  • KSF and her wonderful husband, Boseph, took my mother to a theatre an hour away, in their pick up truck to see 'Much Ado About Nothing', when our local theatres did not carry it.  My mother was not an easy person to take to the movies due to her loud commentary.  But they took on the task and made it memorable.
  • KSF, when asking what she could do for me on the occasion of my mother's death, and I responded that she could do the eulogy, and she did so with great love and compassion.
  • The first Thanksgiving in our new town, my sons opted to travel to her house to celebrate rather than be reminded that they were the new kids in town on a holiday.  That, and the fact that one of our most fabulous Thanksgivings were held at her house.
  • She has designed a stained glass window in my home.  KSF and her Hubby came to my home the first weekend we arrived, to pull up carpeting, fill in paneling, hang anaglypta, paint and now provide poetry written for me in my Renee Busha` Not Yet Memorial Library.  After this past weekend's visit, it appears she still has a vested interest in the RBNYML since she informed me that she has the companion piece fabric to my new living room curtains and has plenty to cover the cushions on my wicker and Busha' Bed (a couch her husband made from the head and foot boards of an old bed of their daughters)  in the library for it's makeover in the fall.  See?  In all the land of fabric, we managed to pick out the same designer.
  • She is the artist I wish I was.  I live artistically, vicariously through her.
  • We stay on the same side of the fence politically but our religious preference are delightfully different.   We learn from each other through our discussions in our faith beliefs.  I am decidedly Calvinist, while she embraces Arminianism. ( Of or relating to the theology of Jacobus Arminius and his followers, who rejected the Calvinist doctrines of predestination and election and who believed that human free will is compatible with God's sovereignty.)   We have both been involved in Inner City ministry and have learned a great deal in the doing of it.
  • We have camped together at a music festival for thousands. 
  • We have tended a garden together.
  • We love to write; she studied English/Writing in college in her grown up years; I just pretend I did.
  • I barely graduated from high school; she dropped out.  We both think that we are pretty much the  smartest people we know.
As our visit this past weekend came to a close, I kept having to ask myself if this could have been real, it was so perfect.  We chatted and sat on the porch and farmer's marketed and lunched at the co operative, we watched the movie Temple Gradin http://www.hbo.com/movies/temple-grandin/index.html from the comfort of my bed.

Since KSF knew me when the agoraphobic disorder that plagued me for years was at it's zenith, we never have traveled together.  Yet.  This weekend, it was decided that if we aren't buying the house together that we looked at Saturday, we really should go on a trip, celebrating her 35th anniversary and my 40th to our teenage sweethearts.

This kind of friendship makes a girl want to be a better person if for nothing else that to make your kindred spirit smile and be proud of knowing you.  It urges you to embrace life and enjoy the sharing of it with someone that 'gets' you.

Thank you KSF for our time together and your long travel to get to me.
I am blessed by knowing you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sweet Adeline

I clearly remember being pregnant with Eldest Son and having this niggling fear that I dared not speak of.  It hadn't been that long since Eldest/Admin had been the baby and my new mama protectiveness and passion for my firstborn was still coursing through my veins.  Finally, one night, I admitted my deep, dark secret to Hubby.  I nearly whispered in the dark, as we watched the in utero shenanigans of ES while E/A slept sweetly between us.  I said, in that quiet tone, 'But what if I don't love this baby as much as I love My Firstborn?  We have gone through so much together; I have grown up through her and her mere existence has changed me forever.  I owe her.  How can it possibly be that I could love another as much as I love her?'  
 Wise Hubby.  He is used to my rants, my self doubts, my fears, and with a sleepy voice he responded, 'You don't take away the love from this one; your heart multiplies, not divides.'  He probably rolled over and slept peacefully while I considered this new perspective.
 Indeed, one second after being introduced to my sleepy Second Child, First Son, I could almost feel my heart enlarge in order to hold this new love.
 And the theory proved true again and again.  Hubby was oh so right.
 Then Grandmahood came into my life to nearly form a whole new heart to encapsulate all the love that is to come.  Miss Vivien started the Gramma Heart within me.  She made sure there was plenty of room to fit all the cousins I'm sure that she knew would follow.  And good thing for that!  Lil Lady cozied right in  filling more of the space in breath.  Funny thing about this Gramma Heart; it makes ones countenance peaceful, ones wisdom honed and ones ability to let major things roll right off the back in order to assist and share life with the beloved grandchild.

 This weekend added a whole new chamber to this Mimi's Gramma Heart.  Sweet Adeline arrived in a flurry of medical intervention to assist her harrowing birth.  Funny thing about harrowing births.  You admire the wee little peanut of a girl's tenacity and feistiness.  You admire your son and daughter in law as they handled the medical emergency with grace and peace.  You view your 'Little Boy' and his Lovely Wife in a new light as they begin the amazing, incredible and scary journey of parenthood.  I could almost visibly see and feel their previous limited hearts, expand and grow right before my very eyes.  A wonderful thing to behold.
 So as we left Sweet Adeline in very capable hands today, silence filled our car as we ventured home.  Picturing her grapefruit sized head in the hand of her daddy.  Sighing with the image of her mama sweetly feeding her with the patience of a saint.  Trying to imagine her growing each day to fill her preemie clothes.  Wondering how to divide up my time to accommodate all my precious grandgirls.......
But I need not fear anymore about dividing up my heart.  That dilemma has more than been taken care of.  I know now that only the time needs to be divided.  The love is multiplied over and over again....

God Bless You, Sweet Adeline.....Mimi loves you abundantly.......

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