Monday, January 31, 2011

On being open...


For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hold your heart in all tenderness. Something healing this way comes.

Those were words I held close yesterday. I needed them badly. I planned to wait, patiently and quietly, until something came my way. My most recent friendship was rushed into too quickly, too strongly, too completely... and I devoted more of myself than I probably should have. We had both been ravenous for friendship and I think that we ended up wholly consuming each other's energy. lol - it's quite the imagery, if you think about it.

My husband planned for us to go to the Y together this morning and was meeting a new co-worker there to shoot hoops with... I needed a cleansing round of exercise that would burn through whatever turbulent emotions I've had lately. I started the day as I always do, at 5:30am... coffee, walking the dog, watching the news and catching up on my online happenings. I got the kids their breakfast early, got everyone dressed so we'd be ready to go- but then my ipod wouldn't upload my new list. I could feel myself growing ANGRY about it. WTH. Why, despite my best efforts, do things not work out for me?!
Still, we took off and signed the children in... but there was an unexpected surprise. This new co-worker brought his wife and young son as well. At first, I was a little annoyed that I might have to talk to someone when all I really WANTED to do was keep myself closed off, put in my earbuds and run until my heart couldn't take anymore. But something else was meant for me... for some reason, I didn't take off as soon as the children were signed in. Something told me to wait for this other woman with the calming-yet-vibrant disposition and kind eyes.

We exercised together and chatted breathlessly... it came so naturally that I mentally pinched myself. And- I can NEVER bring myself to talk while exercising, not even enough to whisper... what's up with that? This new ability to comfortably talk while near breathlessness? Awesome. The time whipped by. It's so soon to find such a friend- these kinds of wonderful happenings never come to me this comfortably.

But I believe it is. Thank God for that... my heart is craving the balm of a solid, happy friendship. This morning was the first of many lessons I still have to experience in this life. Just today, I've learned that the timing I set in my head as appropriate may not be the best timing... it may happen sooner or later. I've learned that I should try opening my soul's arms more often, when I want to close down and protect myself. Goodness won't come if I don't accept it... if I'm not even *there* to accept it.

. As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily.  The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.  ~Terri Guillemets

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Fuel of Love


As silly as referring to a zodiac for insight may seem, especially as a Catholic, it holds truth for me. There IS order and meaning, I believe, in the so-very-visible night lights among our heavens. There are seasons and patterns that undoubtedly either affect or cause great effects in our lives. I don't believe it's a coincidence. There is reason in everything that has been touched by the Hand of God.

The Zodiacal Sign of Cancer commences on June 21st, but for days it does not come into full power until on or about June 28th. From this date onwards it is In full strength until July 20th, and is then for seven days gradually losing its strength on account of becoming overlapped by the "cusp" of the incoming sign Leo.

Such people are easily hurt by the slights of others. These are very complex people, sometimes appearing extremely strong and at other times to be as vulnerable as a child.

These people are remarkably good at accumulating things; indeed, they can be unwilling to throw anything out, even relationships that have passed thei
r use-by date. They are generally over-anxious in financial matters, and make great efforts to gather in money; as a rule, they have unusual ups and downs in their early life and so they are compelled to work to keep ahead, but once they get on their feet they keep there. If channeled in the right direction, their enormous sensitivity can become a great source of strength. Once they overcome their touchiness and master their turbulent emotions, their intellect and imagination enable them to become a success in almost anything they undertake.

The main problem for them is to remember not to let the powerful, turbulent emotions of the moment crowd out their normally rational judgment. Their intuitions are reliable and should be trusted.

They are generally gifted with strong imaginations, and it is very easy for them to become excellent artists, writers, composers, or musicians. At heart they are romantic and of a very loving and affectionate disposition.

On the other hand these people are perhaps the most sensitive natures from any other class of people and if aren’t recognized they quickly give up or get depressed and melancholy. Above all, they require encouragement and appreciation. Their deep sensitivity presents them with valuable and illuminating intuitions, especially regarding those they care for.

They often make excellent psy
chics, and usually have a yearning after the mysterious.

They should never marry young, for their nature seems to change at different stages of life.

People born in this part of the year often reach very high exalted positions. In their home lives, however, they usually go through a great deal of trouble, and are seldom surrounded by happiness, no matter how success
ful they may appear in the eye of the world.

Such people have deep love for what they call "their
own people," for family customs and for tradition.

This is all so very true of me.

My life has always been in the extreme- either joyous or depressed... by the year, season, month, week, hour, minute... moment. I do crave love. I don't expect much but I do require some degree of love. And I can tell if it's genuine or not... this is why I don't have many close friends. Being close to me means that I will shower you with all the love within me. I cannot love partially or slowly. I cannot go along on a facade of romance, friendship or devotion within family. I can tell when I'm not appreciated or, at the least, respected. I can tell when someone no longer wants that love and devotion I give them- no manner of seemingly sincere reassurances will convince me otherwise. My intuitions are usually right, although that is rarely, if ever, realized for some time. Still- it is painful when that has ended... when I'm no longer needed. I need to be needed. Wanted... appreciated, even. That is all I require of giving loyal, all-encompassing devotion to someone. I don't want gifts... just love. Appreciation. Respect for that devotion. When I love, it IS all-encompassing. I feel the need to protect that person from outsiders but also, even from themselves... even when I know it could end that relationship. I love the good part of them that *they* might not even know is there... the good part that is being ignored and should be cultivated instead. I know it's the part of them that needs attention. Pointing that out is sometimes not appreciated- I understand that. It's hard enough for me to even do this *because* I don't want to hurt them... but it needs to be done. I see it as protecting that person from him/herself, as they haven't/aren't seeing it on their own.

But when it ends a close relationship, I find myself wounded into the depths of my soul. It sounds dramatic, yes- but nothing could be closer to the reality of it. I give all- and all is broken. To accept me is to accept all the love I have to offer. In an attempt to avoid further torment in their rejection, I have to swiftly and abruptly declare my last accolade. When it isn't returned in Sincere Kindness, at the very least, I shut down to them. I MUST. It's my cancer personality, I suppose. It is the only way I have to protect myself.

Past boyfriends have accused me, at the ends, of loving them too much. They can't handle it. Fortunately, my husband can... he welcomes it, always accepts every devotion, lets my love wash over him and always returns that love in his own ways. I am so blessed to have found such a man, a partner who can stand up to this degree of devotion and still love me during the ebb and flow of my frequently changing moods. Because when I love, it's complete and true... and sometimes smothering if you don't want it ALL... if you don't let it wash over you. There's nothing I can do to prevent it. There's no other way for me to love. And I cannot exist in that relationship if it's not returned in even the smallest degree.

When any relationship is over - and they're ALL deep, ALL meaningful - my soul feels crowded. It literally feels like my soul is filling up with so much ungiven love that I will surely burst. I *can't* hold it back or control its flow... so I shut down. As I said, it's my only protection. I can function on a basic, outward level... only my mind and already-established stabilities to keep me going... until I find something or someone else to spill it onto. Giving Love fulfills me.

My family is a beautiful outlet for this but I have even more than that... a well of love that never runs dry... a well that is always overflowing at the brim. At the moment, my husband and children are within my well. They're loved more than any other wife and mother could love this husband and these children. Still, I'm feeling capped at the moment.

A continuous, free flowing fountain of love is my fuel. Giving love fills me up with it. As I grow older, I feel more and more like I was ushered into this world to give- to shower others with enough love to inspire confidence in themselves and their work. But yes- I am selfish enough that I need some small degree of reciprocation... a kind, genuine word is enough.

I hope to find that outlet for all of this love soon... an opportunity to let my love flow again, freely and purely, and feel safe while doing so.

In the meantime, I'll be throwing myself into Life. Loving my family fiercely but tenderly, investing all the care I can give to my young business and keeping my heart open to whatever Loveliness is meant for me. God created me with the rule that Love was to be my fuel- for me to express it and receive it in return.

This week will be one of refocus, self-nourishment, accepting all the love that comes my way and trying to let that cap burst forth from my heart... to let my love flow as it has always been meant to.

Hold your heart in all tenderness. Something healing this way comes.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Getting IT together

We have three children. And a puppy. Thankfully, the dog is the least of my concerns... Bella is a sweet girl who always waits to do her business outside, keeps my kitchen and dining room floors immaculate, loves playing around and shimmies herself under our bed when she's done with the kids' natural rough-housing. When she emerges from her hiding place, she leaps onto my husband's or my lap, puts her front paws around our necks and nuzzles us all over. With William, she actually tries to sneak in gnawing on his goatee. It's cute. Like I said, she doesn't make any more work for me, a stark contrast to my first expectations.

But the children? Ohhhhhh- those children. It's a good thing they're adorable. I know how to do all kinds of things because of their mischief- namely, Grayson's mischief. You know how our parents always told us, as children, that they hope we have children just like us? Grayson is that child. x6! He has a rather impressive list of misdeeds... fortunately, the nearly 3-year phase of flushing miscellaneous items down the toilet has ended. This Mama has had her fair share of removing the toilet from its base and snaking, hooking or just plain STABBING things out of the sharp curve at the top.

The very first time, I was horrified. I will never forget the first "haul" of goods from the toilet... a mini Disney princess Barbie, 2 child-sized toothbrushes, a skeleton key, a wad of cotton balls and a Thomas train engine. I am very much a DIY-er and knew that this would probably be an ongoing issue. Thank goodness for Youtube tutorials! I learned how to shut off the water supply line, flush/plunge/soak up all the water I could out of the tank and bowl, disconnect the water supply line, remove the flange bolts and lift the entire toilet *straight up* and gently set it into the tub, how to remove all the disgusting wax ring gunk from the base and bottom of the toilet, dig out all the items and reset and connect it all back together. I've done this dozens of times... so much so that I could probably win a Nascar-style toilet removal/replacement race. I have no hesitation anymore.

Grayson just has peculiar (ie boy-like) ideas. His sisters love to knock over his block towers. What did he do to resolve this issue?

Yes- that IS a block tower with peanut butter adhesive. <sigh> What can I say? The boy loves his peanut butter...

 My hands weren't full- they were overflowing!

Fortunately, he's past all of that now. Mostly. Our youngest child, a girl, soaked up a lot of "inspiration" from Grayson. But they still get into things and make messes. I can never seem to keep more than one floor tidy at a time anymore. As much as I want to sew and dabble in whatever my ideas are at that moment, I'm always sucked into an endless whirl of cleaning. And let's not get into the laundry issue... I stopped folding years ago. With as much as they pull their things out and put them back in, there's no point. I divide the clean laundry into a stack for each person, then divide those into socks/underwear, jammies, tops and bottoms and hope they all fit when I shove them in! lol

But I really need a way to get IT together. IT being, of course, that even balance of providing a clean home, wholesome meals and clean clothes while making time to read to the children, bake with them, teach them to be responsible for their home and belongings - did I mention that I also watch a 2.5 year-old boy during the school year as well? - take trips out and about and still... make time for what I need. Alone.

So I've made a schedule and postage-taped it, with every edge sealed down, on the front of the fridge so I can't tear it off in frustration. ;)

It's hilarious, isn't it? But it's my goal... and even if I substitute activities, ignore them all together or can't keep up, I can look - at any given time - and know what needs to be done. I can catch up or call the day a wash and do better tomorrow. I know what I need to do to keep the house, meals, children and husband TOGETHER enough to give me the freedom to do what I need for me.

I did fail, however, in making time to water my plants. This is how to dry herbs, Mariel-style.
No matter how much I try, I can't keep any plants alive in this house. Well, except for the plant that hangs over our kitchen sink... that sucker's been alive for a year and a half, shockingly, and I've periodically checked to remind myself that it isn't actually silk. lol

(It's the one hanging behind my head, on the day that I accidentally killed the lobsters before cooking them.)

 Thank God that He takes care of my outside garden and makes it fruitful, despite my [admittedly rare] interference.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

On pride...

I'm a proud girl. Pride is a family trait- sometimes an ugly one and sometimes the fuel we need to survive. As much as I dislike it sometimes, pride is a large part of who I am. It has saved me from bad situations, bad relationships and has fueled me to be the best self I can muster.

But lately, I found that my pride was taking me somewhere I should never be... keeping up with those around me. We live in a fairly affluent suburb and, especially with our eldest child in school, I felt an increasing need to appear as "one of them." It was for our children, I thought to myself. I have to do this to make life easier for them... why let our children be slowly ostracized because we don't look or act like everyone else? The Quirkiness runs strong in me... I shouldn't be so open with our lives and feelings, not laugh so freely and loudly, not share my ways to be frugal, not talk about how doing without is a freeing way to live. As this past fall went on, I felt less and less like my content self. I mean, how could I with that as a goal? It is never enough. It is never satisfying... my natural pride was being henpecked to death, by not letting it out in my own way. I wasn't proud of being like everyone else... being like everyone else was draining my psyche of all the joy it once had.

A friend brought up the issue of homeschooling. That thought had been simmering under the surface but I hadn't really yanked it out until she brought it up. It FELT like the right thing to do but DAMN- it was quite a leap to take. Our daughter is very like me- proud. She naturally takes offense *at herself* for doing something incorrectly. She'd come home from school terribly upset that she'd made a mistake. Yes- we have to work on that... but in the meantime, she felt separated from her classmates because they didn't care if they made mistakes. They, and her teacher, didn't know why she was so upset - to the point of her eyes filling up with tears - because she didn't understand something. I felt the same way in school... and no teacher had the ability (probably not even the inclination) to soothe the worries out of my mind. I knew that she'd go on, just as I had, and cry right through high school. It wasn't until I was homeschooled, starting in the 7th grade, that I had the TIME to deal with my feelings. I *could* be allowed to cry, sob even, that I just couldn't understand what was being taught. Yet. There's no time to deal with that in school but at home? I had all the time in the world. It wasn't until I stopped BEING TAUGHT and started reading the lesson plans for myself, that I came to really handle the fact it was okay to not get it right at first. That I had time to learn without being left behind... the only person I had to keep up with was me. That it wasn't about school... but about LEARNING. It took me nearly two years to finish 7th grade but I had so adjusted that I was able to do all of 8th grade in 2.5 months and start high school - and the daunting challenge of instituting and maintaining an excellent GPA - on schedule.

Because of all those memories flooding back, I decided that homeschooling our daughter (and subsequently, our other children) would be best for her.

As the weeks go on, I find myself releasing all the silly expectations that had been building since school first started. Other people's expectations of what a mother and children and family should be have a weakening hold on me. No one has the ability to ostracize my children in school, for their own behavior or the choices we have made as a family, because they aren't there. They can gleefully walk into any setting and just be their joyful, open selves without the feeling of judgement coming back onto them... the younger two don't even know what that feeling is like. Our eldest is starting to forget the judgement she felt in not having/doing the IT things. I like it that way. They're free to be themselves. They can freely enjoy the adventure of new experiences for what they are, instead of what others may perceive them to be.

And I can do the same- again. I feel more like myself than I have in months. I am focusing on my health, our family, our home and our goals again. I no longer worry what other people think of my big, jiggly backside and belly when I run at the gym- I'm hauling ass and it feels good to ME. I don't have to find/muster up trendy things to wear while out and about- I can wear my paint-splattered jeans to the store, if I've been doing a project. I can take pride in doing dirty projects myself again. I can ram through the snow in the driveway instead of shoveling it down to the asphalt and salting the bejeezus out of it... because I didn't do that out of needing to but because I wanted to avoid wisecracks at the school bus stop.

This feeling is freeing... having my pride be MY OWN again, and not distorting it to fulfill others' expectations of me and my family. I was much happier, my husband was much happer, our children were much happier and our home was much brighter and warmer when I was free to be me. To allow my family to be themselves. To allow our home to be what it is. To let the joy fly, wildly and proudly, in all the moments in which it was inspired. And there were many.

Every day, I see more of that joy flooding back in- I know I made the right choice. Even if I stumble, the freedom of this pride in our family and home will pull me back in. Those joys have always been irresistable... and now that I've given us permission to freely live in it again, I can't wait to see where it takes us. I look forward to feeling like a proud woman instead.

I'm a little late but... here's to a happy, healthy, bright and wondrous 2011- Joy will not get away from me this year!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Camera!

As you know, my camera $hit the bed last week and my picture-taking habit has been festering. Well- thank you, Best Buy, for having a way more awesome camera than I planned on getting... nicer even than the one I was hoping for (but wasn't going to get because I'm too cheap) but at the same price as the nicer camera. I love sales, especially when they're 30% off or more!

Nikon Coolpix L110- I lurve you! I can't wait to capture all the kinds of things I usually do but I REALLY can't wait to capture all the lovely scenes that no camera I've ever before owned had the ability to do. You, Oh Nikon, will be taking pictures of beautiful nighttime skies, the sweet happenings that occur in the low lights of dusk and dawn, scenes outside of my car windows that are actually visible and delicious dishes that have only ever looked like swirly blobs of color before now. You, Oh Nikon, captured the hide-grain of our leather couch... it was then that I just KNEW we'd be blissfully happy together.

Here's to the start of a beautiful friendship...

(And yes, that lamp IS swinging in the background... but for the grace of God did this not capture my daughter on the table, getting away from our Puppy-in-Chase. :P)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Waiting for Spring...

I love snow- there's no question there. I spent a lot of time skiing and snowboarding during childhood... my grandfather's Christmas present to me, every year, was a season's pass to Song Mountain. I'd go there with him and my mom and ski every weekend. As I grew older, Grandpa couldn't go with me anymore and Mom had married my [wonderful] step-father... she had sweet children who needed to be nursed. Not that I minded... it had started to Not Be Cool to hang out with your mom on the slopes. ;) When I started babysitting and lifeguarding, I started buying passes for myself - I was SO proud that I could pay my own way and buy myself new equipment! Mom even set up a checking account for me when I was 14, attached to my childhood savings account at the credit union, and taught me how to write checks and balance the account. <props to you, Mom>

I spent every waking moment I could at Toggenburg, making friends and snowboarding... (and maybe even making out with my boyfriend in the off-course forest trails. shhhh) I even worked there when I was poor and in college, living on my own, so I could not only have a free season's pass but be PAID to enjoy myself. w00t! Not that that would have stopped me... I brought my board everywhere, even while looking for a Christmas tree with my boyfriend's sister. Hey- there was a hill and I was already going up it, why not snowboard down? lol

(I'm on the left)

But as the years have gone by, my snowboard looks sadder and its edges have gotten duller... I REALLY MISS snowboarding. My awesome boarding pants are even more sad. I couldn't fit into those bad boys if I wore a corset. Ohhhhhhh, how I long for the days when I had to wear a belt to keep them up! lol. The past 7 years have brought me a husband, three children, a home and a rather unforgiving schedule... not much time for boarding. Every year, I say  "I'm GOING to go *this* year!" but I never do. When I tried to go with my mom (avid skiier, still) last year, we ended up getting a huge rainfall that melted my beautiful powder down to nothing... so warm, in fact, that not even the snow makers could keep it on the ground long enough to stay open. :( I was so bummed.

I still love the snow. Who wouldn't love coming home to a sight like this? You can almost feel the warmth emanating from within...

or this? So cozy and snow blanketed...

or taking our Bella-pup for a walk past these...

or bundling up a sweet little snow-berry of a girl who stubbornly insists on walking IN the snowbanks?

I love winter, I really do... but the grayness has a breaking point sometimes. Without snowboarding as a distraction, I get a little restless. I feel the need for some color- the kind of color that sprucing up home decor could not possibly provide... I desire colors and brightness that only Nature can fulfill.

As I was looking through my albums for flea-market treasures yesterday, I came across some photos/memories that even further intensified my near-lust for the lush greenery of a central New York spring/summer landscape. At the same time, I feel like maybe putting all of these pictures together will somehow satisfy my longing for Spring and warmth and light and a garden of lavish produce.

So here they are-

Not to be outdone, the farmers' market pics also somewhat fulfill that hunger of mine...

 Enjoying some hot cinnamon donuts, fresh from the fryer...

I miss you, Spring- and hope you don't keep me waiting too long this year...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A favorite topic... flea market finds!

Once upon a time, while lamenting that I had nowhere to go *just for me*, my husband ordered me to go out and enjoy myself. Great guy, right?!

Except that I am SO cheap. I think the Rescue Mission is outrageously overpriced... I don't want someone's old bedsheets for $5 or used jeans for $10. I can buy them NEW at that price, if I look around at Marshall's or TJMaxx long enough... and it will actually be something I want, not settling for something that's just barely tolerable. I usually wait for movies to come out at the $1.75 Hollywood theatre in a crusty suburb just outside the city, to which I bring $10 in sushi. :P That's my kind of trade-off. I just don't like wandering around a mall and paying retail... the benefit of a new item is marred by the knowledge that I could get it far cheaper another way. And I can be kind of callous about it- I once asked DH to return a pair of diamond earrings that I received for Mother's Day so I could use that money to knock down/rebuild an annoying wall and install my dream light fixture for the kitchen. Yeah- I know... I'm mean. He knows it and loves me anyway, so there! lol

Anyhow- during my Ordered Time for ME, I stumbled upon our city's flea market.


I don't remember everything I've ever bought - my goodness, so many little things like books and baubles and lamps and dishes - but wow, the collective amount has been substantial. I've been going EVERY Sunday for the past two years, barring maybe twice for severe weather that I literally could not have driven there, much less safely. I don't buy anything anywhere, if I think I can get it at the market. As an added bonus, the things I've found are so much more superior, in both quality AND character, than if I'd bought off the shelf in stores I can actually afford. So many little things really add to the quality of my day... my surroundings are beautiful, to me, and I really don't mind staying home. Since my camera is angry today - some kind of foggy funkyness going on inside of it - I thought I'd share my favorites...

***Prepare for an image overload***

Mirror- $10. Rocking chair- $15. Cabinet in the corner, from which I removed the glass front (a nightmare with three young children) and hung a gathered toile print- $20
 Gorgeous, 8x10 seaglass wool textured rug from Crate & Barrel- $40. PERFECT condition and professionally cleaned, complete with receipt.
 The turn-of-the-century mantle. Yes- it looks like a regular mantle... no big whoop, right? It looks nice enough and rearranging the room gave us what seemed like a LOT more floor space. For $50, it was a steal!

 But THIS aspect of it? Gobsmacking. Gorgeous.

Vintage Singer sewing machine ($2 rubber belt and painted white got it looking like this), in working order. $20.

Yellow silk armchair from the 60's- $23. Our Lady of Czestohowa in an antique, dark wood frame- $10. The print inside is a page from a 1910 Vatican newspaper, in Polish. Love it.

Dry sink- $35. Seattle bar print- $3.

 The girls' dresser, which was in wretched shape but the glass knobs entranced me- $10. A few layers of spraypaint did the trick.

See what I mean about the drawer knobs? They're awesome.

Belgian oak filing cabinet- $40. Yes- it's all solid. Vineyard woman print, matted, framed and signed by artist- $1

Yes- you see that right... a retro-style SCHWINN in perfect condition, with bell, mirrors and a basket- $120. By far the most I have ever spent at the flea market... but since I'd been lusting for this exact bicycle just prior to seeing it at the market, I knew what a steal it was. I ended up buying a trailer for it soon after and toted kids and groceries all over our pretty little village. Can't wait for the spring, to start it up again! <3

"!", you ask? A handmade German nativity set, of course! ;) The heat from the candles propel the upper fans around, turning the different tiers of figures inside. Frickin' awesome, especially for $10. Look up the cost of these bad boys sometime... I would have never bought one of these, barring sudden possession of a small fortune. And probably not even then. lol

Evie, laying on a $3 quilt. Practical and unique... I really love the matching mis-matchedness of this pic. :)

Copper kettle- $5. Before on right... on left, what happens with you rub a little salt and lemon juice on copper. Cool, eh?

A set of twelve teacups and saucers, with purposely different patterns, from Crown Staffordshire of England. They came in the original boxes, from an estate sale, and were marked 1952. All twelve- $30. I was irrationally excited over this aquisition. lol
especially since I had this idea in my mind, all along... frequent tea times with my daughter after her schoolwork was finished and sharing special moments with dear friends. It's perfect.

East Lake Chair in the corner- $45. Scale (functioning)- $1
I'm holding a sick 2 year-old Evie, whom I didn't know had caught Fifths disease- my poor lethargic, achy, blotchy little woman... she slept for days.

My cozy armchair, which made an appearance yesterday, in my new sewing room- $10. The back is covered with soft, deep-orange velvet. 

To close, one of my favorite finds was the very first... an enormous frame with my favorite part of my favorite Gustav Klimt print. It's 2x3 FEET large, professionally framed and the guy gave me a great deal on it because he'd been carrying it around for nearly a year without even an offer. Can you believe it?! $10.

It is showcased as the only item on the only full wall in our master bedroom. Barring an absolute disaster, this print will stay with me for life. Precious.

I hope everyone has a cozy, delicious evening. :)

As a warning, I'll be posting garden and farmers' market pics tomorrow... you'll just have to bear with me until I either fix my camera or buy another. Shouldn't be very long- I have new aprons to photograph!