Thursday, February 27, 2014

New Work!

I have been trying to spend as much time in the studio as possible.  (Does that explain the lack of blog posts? It should.)

I have week or two until Adam is back at work and I no longer have the luxury of spending long day time hours at the studio.  I feel like I am constantly behind.  The list of things I want to make never getting shorter...  but a few nights ago I trudged through the snow carrying a backpack with a tripod and a camera and a giant box of mugs and bowls.  I had attempted to drive down the road to The Clay Studio of Missoula and promptly got stuck.  After a few tried I got unstuck and I parked on a main road that was getting plowed and walked.  My arms ached by the time I got inside.

First learning how to use the wonderful camera I borrowed and then moving one piece at a time through three small boxes of new work. I snapped pictures for hours.

By the time I was done, there were eight additional powdery inches of snow on the ground and I left my car sitting where it was and chose to accept a ride home in a vehicle with four wheel drive instead. 
I figured it was better to get home and leave the car than be stuck somewhere in the car at one in the morning...  Who was I going to call?  

Looking at all the pictures it dawns on me:  I have gotten a lot of pieces done - and that is encouraging. It gives me a little push to go and push for few more hours.. a few more days...  and make the most of the time I have. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sunday Snapshots - A Day Like Any Other Day

A gift arrived in this giant box....  and the box is just as awesome as the new sleds. 

While Adam took the kids on a cold and windy sled ride. I finally finished our present for Sylvan...  and yes, it is late, very late!   Here is his very own fort kit. 

At dinner every night Sylvan takes one look at his food and screams: "I don't like that!  I don't like that food!  I don't like that!"  The rest of the family is almost done before he takes his first bite of his pinto bean, onion, spaghetti squash and cheese quesadilla...  and....  a big grin spreads across his face.  He does like the food.  As a reward for trying his first bite Sylvan snapped this picture of his sister.  (She ate all her food, and half of his.)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hearts, Hearts and More Hearts

I actually managed to mail out Valentines on time - last year.   

I think it might have been a fluke...  
This year, like most years, I am behind.  There are neat rows of heart shaped bird seed cakes sitting in my dehydrator - waiting to be shipped to loved ones across the country.  We will get them mailed eventually. 

Just making the cards and bird seed cakes for Ivory's kindergarten class took a dedicated session of card writing after school each day - and she cut and wrote and decorated each card on her own, diligently crossing off each of the twenty names on the list. 

The night before we stuffed them into Ziploc bags and I added a cautionary DO NOT EAT tag.  This treat is for the birds.  

The morning of, Ivory asked to be woken up early, so that I could French braid her hair into...

.... the shape of a heart.

Ivory: "oh. Mama.  You are bringing Vegetables to my Valentine's Day Party?"

Adam made a beautiful heart shaped Pizza for dinner with fresh kale, tomatoes and locally cured meats.  Yum. 

Between the kneading, rolling and baking of the pizza.  Ivory and Sylvan and I mixed up a second batch of bird seed cakes for family and friends. 

Do other folks do their crafting on the floor?
We made a mess of bird seeds and paper pieces.

We walked around the neighborhood and delivered a few cheerful notes - a few days late. 

And the hearts we made for family and friends that live far way...  I need to figure out how to ship these with out breaking into a million little pieces....  but I promise they will be worth the wait.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Monday Misadventure

We decided not to drive down the Bitterroot to meet our friends (and go ice fishing) because they had no phone reception and the last message I received from my friend doubted the ability of our car to reach the cabin.  We own no winter gear - no cross country skis, no snowshoes and the potential walk with the kids to the cabin seemed overwhelming.  So instead I turned to the internet to try and find something we could do without cross country skis or snowshoes.

I found this: A few years old post about a place called Renova Hot Springs.  They were there in February and it looked fun...  so I googled directions.  We packed lunch and off we went.

We stopped to eat our lunch in Butte, MT and wandered around the historic section of town.  The buildings are beautiful.  Intricate details that speak of a wealth that once was.

We cross the continental divide.  Now all the rivers flow east - to the other ocean.

The mountains were beautiful.
The air warm for February and a wind whisked around us.
The pool was drained a warm trickle of water running in and out again through open drain pipes. We plugged the holes and hoped for a quick fill.

We explored the river bank and when we returned the water level had risen by  - oh - an inch?

We will go back.  When we can pitch our tent and camp and hike and fish and wait to fill the hot spring.   But for now, we resigned ourselves to having had one massive misadventure.  On the way home I tryed not to think of how much gas we wasted, on how much I could have done at home or in the studio and my never ending list of personal failures.

We crossed the continental divide into driving wet snow. Now all the rivers flow west and we are still hours from home.  The car is crawling, the kids are singing and I am glad we spent the day together.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Snapshots - Fun in the Snow

Our snowman is buried in a fresh layer of snow. 

The view from our neighborhood sledding hill. 

Adam and Sylvan heading down the hill. 

Going, going...

... gone. 

Snow ice cream in front of the furnace. 

After our fingers and toes warmed up, we got an early start on valentines for Ivory's class mates. 

Heart shaped bird seed cakes, ready to be hung in branches, on porches or in front of windows.

Our Sunday in Snapshots. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

"Not a Baby Anymore"

Sylvan's arms are wrapped around my head.
He hugs me tight.
I dread the day he no longer cradles my head against his head.
It is nap time.
"I'm not a baby anymore."
He giggles.

We have so many benchmarks behind us.

Sylvan has been out of day time diapers since last summer.
I never even carry extra clothes for anymore.

I had been staring at the present shaped sticker on the calendar that denotes his third birthday.
I have been nursing for a better part of six years.  First Ivory, then Ivory and Sylvan and then just Sylvan...  and I was ready to move on to a new routine.  One that didn't require me nursing at bedtime, at night, in the morning.  In six years I have had two complete nights of sleep.
I look at the calendar.  "We will ween then," I think, but as we neared the date I decided that weening on his birthday would be too sad for him and me.  Then Adam went out of town for a week and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to ween.  My body let me and, in spite of having many conversations about weening, Sylvan didn't catch on - at first - then the tears began to flow and he was shaking with heart broken sobbing.  "I am happy for booby.  (new approach)  I am sooooo sad for booby."  A long sobbing intermission.  "Booby would make me feel better right now."   My heart melted around him. I hugged him and rocked him and told him I loved him.
When the evenings normalized, there were mornings of tears and begging and I would crawl out of bed with him and pour him a coveted bowl of milk and cheerios.  He would eat a few bites and we crawled back in to bed to sleep the last few hours of the night.   By the time we reached his birthday both our evenings and mornings are without tears and we are living in a new now.

He certainly isn't a baby anymore.

He pulls his little chair into the space between the kitchen counter and stove.  He beats his eggs and pours them into the small cast iron pan.  He pushes the eggs around until it thickens.

He loves to cook. He will help me in the kitchen over pretty much any other activity going on in the house.

He knows when to pull the "I'm to little" card.
Me:  "Hey Sylvan, can you please pick up your legos?"
Sylvan: "No mom.  I'm just a little guy.  I am too tiny."

He knew it was his birthday and his party and he counted down to it for a week.
The day of, he wouldn't let me go to yoga.  Panicked that if I left he would some how miss his party.
All day he was worried: "Mama, you got the ice cream?   Mama, you have candles?  Mama, were is the cake?"
After each errand he would check in with me: "Mama, you forgot the ice cream?"
"No, Sylvan it is right next to you."
"No it isn't"
"Sylvan - in the box right next to you"
"Oh".  (Big smile and giggle of relief.)

He chased around with friends
He blew out his candles.
He ate his ice cream and the raspberry icing off of his cake.
He opened his presents.

And at night he wrapped his arms around my head.
He hugged me tight.
He isn't a baby anymore.