Monthly Archives: August 2010

Simple and not

First, the simple:

This book, Living Simply with Children by Marie Sherlock found it’s way home with me from the library. I’ve only paged through it so far but I’m excited by what she has to share. The first part of the book is all about the “whys” and the second about the “hows.” I’m especially looking forward to the “hows” since that is the hardest part. I’ll share more once I’ve read it cover to cover.

The not so simple is the fact that we are now back in our house (yay!) after two weeks of living in a hotel while the plasterers/painters did their jobs. The house looks wonderful, but now I’ve got to unpack everything. It’s actually great timing to do this since it fits right in with our plans to simplify in regards to our stuff. I’m planning on being very mindful about what I unpack to keep and what I unpack to get rid of.

I’ve focused so much of the boys stuff and I feel for now we have a pretty decent handle on it. Time to take a break and get a handle on my stuff. That’s the not so simple part.

Although my studio is now that beautiful shade of aqua I’ve been pining for….

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I have boxes upon boxes of fabric, books, magazines, and fiber.

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And guess where I shoved everything that didn’t fit in a box?

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Scary, I know. And remember, there is also a wall of yarn behind all that stuff. Yikes. So the question is, it’s easy for me to let go of my kids junk, or the Skeptic’s t-shirts (enter the contest yet?).  But my stuff? I love it all yet it’s stifling at the same time. I need the room to work and this summer I’ve really felt my creativity being stifled. There is a lot of sorting, planning, a lot of mapping out but very little follow through and not much doing. I used to think I could never have too much yarn, fiber and fabric but it seems as if it’s time to whittle it down. Might be time for  a stash sale and time to be a bit more realistic on what I want and what I need.

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Filed under home, simple

What’s a mother to do?

Ninety degrees, no breeze and humidity so think you could cut the air with a knife. The house full of the plasterers/painters which means you and the boys can’t be there, relaxing and enjoying the two wimpy window air conditioners that try to cool your little house. Your choice? Drag them all off to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, of course.

A brilliant move, at first. The newly reopened visitor center was cool and full of interesting stuff. Happy boys watched birds at the the feeders outside the window, checking out the exhibits and asking a million questions. Should we go for a hike? YES!!

We started off okay. We checked out a backpack full of goodies and picked a shady trail. We enjoyed the view, and set off into the woods.

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And then what shall forever be known as the Great Compass Battle of 2010 broke out. The boys were hot, tired and the mosquitoes had found us. Their mama was dragging them off into the woods and now it was discovered that there was only ONE very awesome thermometer/compass in the backpack. And it had a clip to hang it on your belt loop. If you know boys, you know that there is nothing better than something that can be clipped onto your belt loop. And that is how just two minutes later this peaceful hike turned into bloodcurdling shrieks in the middle of the forest.

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Math Boy gave in right away, realizing it just wasn’t worth it and went to look for snakes. Knittykid and Spinner fought to the bitter end when I was finally able to convince Knittykid that there was no possible way his little brother would ever give in (he is almost two, after all, and he bites) He tramped off in a huff. We made it another 50 yards or so and at that point I realized this was not the day and wisely convinced them to head back for and early lunch.

We ate and headed back into the city to play with friends and nap in a shady park. Reminder for the day to myself: don’t push it mama! Not every adventure will be an idyllic outing and that’s okay. No sense in forcing what’s not meant to happen. Enjoy the little moments and move on to something else. Your day will be the better for it!

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Filed under kids, outside

A simple contest

This week has found me with new challenges. The final tornado repairs on our house are in full swing. Our house has been overtaken by plaster and paint, which means we are spending our days out and about. It’s a nice break in a way,  a vacation in our own city, but not going about our usual routine puts a bit of a stress on everyone. Math Boy has been with his grandparents for a week having some big boy time. Knittykid and Spinner have been bumming around with me all week, heading out to the Children’s Museum, Hyland Park Reserve and whatever other outdoor spaces we’ve found ourselves enjoying. I’ve realized how blessed we are with our amazing parks here in the Twin Cities. We have huge wildlife reserves, state parks, county parks, city parks…..many right in the metro area. I’ve heard it often said that Minneapolis is the greenest city in America and I believe it. Now if only I could remember my camera when I leave the house…..

I’ve been trying to knit this week, but making little progress. I have an idea in my head for a vest I’d love to knit for Spinner, but I also want to write the pattern down. Of course this involves a chart, which involves trying to learn how to chart using the computer, which isn’t going very well. I can’t figure out how to chart cables. I might just go old school, draw it by hand and scan it in. I have little to show for now other than a wrinkly little swatch. We’ll see where it goes.

Since our house is in a uproar right now I have nothing really new to show you, but I did come up with a fun idea for a contest a few days ago when hanging laundry.

My Simple project involves not only simplifying for the kids, but for the Skeptic and myself as well.

Any guesses what this might be?

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I’ll give you a hint. If you have anyone of the male gender in your house, you have a bunch of them. The older the male, the more you certainly have.

Figure it out?

Yup, it’s the classic grungy t-shirt, full of holes. And the Skeptic has heaps.

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The contest? Guess how many he has. After the plaster work and painting is finished I’ll be cleaning out his collection (I’ve warned him!) and thinning them out. To give you an idea of the magnitude of the shirt collection:

  • It fills up one and a half dresser drawers, along with a pile on top of the dresser that I can’t fit inside when all the laundry is clean.
  • He’s in the audio business, which means he brings home a lot of free t-shirts after his gigs. He keeps them all, even when they are bands he hates.
  • He’s a hard working guy and therefore feels the need to have t-shirts for greasy work, grungy work, sweaty work, painting work, shop work, show work, everyday, and for good.
  • He has t-shirts that he got in high school. And he’s now 36.

That should get you started!! The contest rules are simple:

  • Guess of the number of t-shirts my dear husband has; leave your guess in the comments. Be sure to leave an e-mail address. If you’d like, give me an idea of what I should do with all those shirts. I have a few thoughts  in mind, but maybe you’ll think of something I haven’t!
  • If you’d like a second entry, place a link to the contest on your own blog and let me know about it in your comment. Then leave a second guess.
  • I’ll leave the contest open until August 30th.
  • The prize….I’m not totally sure about it yet but it will be something yummy and something crafty.

My goal is that he should be able to fit them all in one dresser drawer, easily. Now to convince him to let that many go…..

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Filed under contests, simple