Saturday, September 25, 2010

small vs. big

Ever since we moved into our little country retreat I have taken a walk or jog in the early morning before my husband leaves for work. This habit has quickly come to an end as the light refuses to shine before 7 and I have realized that things aren't exactly the same in the country as they are in town. There are bears out here and several other wild animals of which I would like to remain ignorant. I'm not trying to be overly paranoid but the other day I decided to brave a walk in the early morning light and something growled at me from a large bush. I hastily ran back up our steps, waited a few minutes, then began to think I was loosing my mind. "This is ridiculous! I should be able to walk. There is nothing there!" So down I go again only to be snarled out more ferociously by something I could only hear huffing and puffing (I never discovered what it was). So thus ended my wonderful morning walks.

The other thing I have been musing on lately is that there seems to be two groups of people out there....small dog owners and large dog owners. I, being a small dog owner, have nothing against large dogs or their owners. I am relatively unfazed if they bark at me from the protection of their home or guard their front porch ferociously. That is what they are supposed to do, right? Unfortunately being a small dog owner makes me a minority in Southwest Virginia. In our neighborhood alone I think that I am one of let's see, maybe two. The people here not only have 1 large dog but can't seem to stop there. They have at least 6-7 large and somewhat ferocious dogs. I'm sure they can rest very easy at night knowing that no matter what type of end of the world comes they will stay snug in their beds but it is a bit hard for us small dog owners (who only have one by the way) to function sometimes.

For instance, on one of my invigorating walks I was approaching my neighbors house when she looks at me and says, "Bell's out!" I stared at her blankly. First of all I have no idea who or what Bell is and secondly I'm not sure what I am supposed to do with this information. Seeing that I was failing to act at this seemingly clear announcement she says again, a bit louder this time, "BELL's OUT!" That's when I realize that Bell is one of her many LARGE dogs. Not only that but apparently Bell doesn't play well with others, especially little white dogs that Bell would like to have as a morning snack. So I quickly scoop Lucy up in my arms, who is on a leash by the way, and proceed to walk briskly to my road. All of the sudden Bell makes her appearance. Growling, following me and wanting desperately to just have a tiny taste of the little marshmallow in my arms. I'm saying the whole time, "don't show fear. Dogs know when you are afraid, everything is going to be fine..just keep walking."  The owner is just standing there.  

Once I finally reach the safety of my own road I put my dog down...still on her leash mind you...and finished my walk. This is when my fear goes away and I start getting frustrated. Why do I have to run in panic every time some large dog that is not well trained and not friendly gets to roam freely and attack or growl at whomever or whatever it likes?? Why is it okay to just let your dog out unleashed and unfenced when it doesn't do well with other dogs or other people?? I hate taking my dog for a walk and jumping every time a dog starts barking or pick her up every time a large and territorial dog comes bounding our way.  (by the way I did actually have my previous dog attacked by two Dalmatians while my dog was on a leash and I stood there watching as they literally flipped my dog over and started gnawing on his stomach. If my dad hadn't been there my little dog would probably not have made it).

Maybe I am being overly paranoid but it is hard sometimes to be small in a big dog world. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Finding a home

A few weeks ago I ended a joyous post exclaiming that I thought we had finally found a house.  Since then I have been waiting to share the wonderful news and dance all around feeling the glorious excitement of finally having a place to call home, to put down our roots and start marking walls with the height of each of my children.  Unfortunately that news must wait; that dance must be postponed.

This little family of mine has been looking for a house for over a year now.  We started out just kind of meandering through craigslist and haphazardly driving through some of the neighborhoods we admire.  That meandering turned into a more focused search and from that our hearts began to be filled with the desire to buy a house and settle in for years to come.  This searching has come with much prayer and a lot of waiting.

When we finally discovered a cute 1940s house near downtown our hopes were chained and we were desperately hiding the key so they wouldn't escape and start soaring to new heights. It is very hard to keep ones hopes under lock and key but we did all we could to accomplish this.  We made an offer and tried to push every thought of where our furniture would go, what vegetables we could grow in the back yard, what books we could read snuggled in the living room.  After the offer was made we heard that the owner would accept it but the she was still uncertain where she would live and did not want to make any contractual obligation to us until she knew for certain she was going somewhere.

Even though this news was happy, sad and uncertain all at the same time we still waited eagerly for the answer we so longed to hear--that she had found a place and we would be moving into her lovely home that seemed so perfectly suited for us.

We finally got a call a few weeks ago (when my original mention of the house appeared on this blog) that she was indeed going to sign our contract. So the keys to the chains were brought out and our hopes were tentatively set free although nothing is ever certain until a contract has been signed. The reasons for our apprehensions were realized when the next day we heard that she was having more doubts and was not ready to sign anything.

So here we are, still waiting.... At this point the house is growing into a faded memory of what might have been.  We're trying to move on.  There's still tiny glimmers of hope that spring up when her realtor informs our realtor that she's still looking, still trying to find another home for her own things and memories to go into but it does not look promising.

For now we are staying here, in our country paradise. A place we do not own but are nevertheless enjoying. Trying to remain content with the drive and the distance and still praying and waiting.....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Finds: Scent of Fall

I was at a loss for what to do this Friday. What wonderful things could I find? What treasures lay buried in the world of Etsy?  I finally settled upon something that has been on my mind as fall is approaching.

During this time of year I love the cool breeze that blows through the house. It seems to make everything smell and feel fresher.  I also love to burn candles in the evening, when it is cool and dark earlier than normal. I love to be surrounded by delightful scents.  The smells that embrace you after baking, as you walk in the woods, as you stroll through a ripe fall orchard. 

Here are some finds that will bring the smells of fall and the holidays into our homes.







Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Things I say almost 100 times a day:

put your crocs in the basket!

christopher leave lucy alone

just a minute


focus on what you are doing

look in front of you when you walk

Things I do almost 100 times a day:

pick up the shoes and put them in the basket

wipe the counter

take lucy out 

Things I should say but don't:

it's okay

i love you

you're doing a great job


Things I should do but often don't:

hug after boy randomly steps on car, runs into wall, stubs toe, or any other manner of small injuries that occur somewhat regularly

forget about the laundry and ironing and spend hours just reading to the boys

run outside with the boys

leave the shoes alone and let the boys pick them up eventually or find them when they are frantic to go outside

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Holding On

Lately I have been holding a little tighter to the blessings that surround me. Those little moments that so easily and quickly pass me by without notice.  The brilliant blue eyes of Christopher as he sings his undecipherable words and exclaims over every small detail of his life. The goofy faces and surprise kisses from Peter as he sneaks in tiny moments when the attention is drawn to him. The very insightful observations of Warren who acts more and more like an adult trapped in a small boys body and his sudden outbursts of joy or cries of frustration at the happy and difficult things in his life.

I look on these moments even more as we wait for so many things. So many thoughts can easily overshadow these everyday moments. Concerns that the house will not be as clean as I want it to be, that there seem to be more needs that I can keep up with in my family and in those around us, that the book I chose for book club may not be a joy to anyone else but me, that my business may go through a dry spell or that I won't be able to keep up when it doesn't, that we will never find a house in downtown and will continue spending much of our precious time in the car, that the growth of our family would stop here and not contain more tiny faces and brilliant smiles.

All these things can distract me from the breathtaking beauty that I am immersed in. The beauty of my precious boys. The beauty of a healthy marriage and loving family. The beauty of fall as its cool breeze rustles through the trees and caresses our faces.

I am learning. Slowly. Painfully. I am learning to stop wanting more and to make the most of each of the moments I am given today.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Finds: Bag lady

I don't think I quite fit the normal reputation women have for accruing more bags and shoes than they could possibly use. I probably end up going the other direction which is somewhat unnerving when I find myself tromping into church all dressed up with my messenger bag slung over my freshly ironed Sunday clothes.

I love the bag I have. I bought it on etsy a few years ago from August Lately. Unfortunately when I look her up I find that she might have decided to take a different direction with her business. I loved her bags and she found a fabric that matched me perfectly. The down side of the bag is that it is the only one I carry. It doesn't match when I wear black and it's not necessarily the dressiest thing I own.

I find that the few times I do end up dressing up to go somewhere I am at a loss for what to put my stuff in.  Gone are the days of a cute clutch or tiny purse. Yes, I am becoming my mother. I was determined I would not be one of those who carried around all their life possessions in an enormous bag that you can't really find anything in anyway. I have however had to realize that I can't just carry my wallet and a tube of lip gloss. There are so many other things that are now necessities such as wipes (in spite of the fact that none of my kids are in diapers anymore I still carry around a package of wipes), several tubes of lip gloss all in different shades, piles of receipts that I am sure I will need later, toy cars I pick up behind my boys when they drop them on the store floor, several packs of gum from fruity to minty, etc.

So this Friday Finds is dedicated to bags.  Bags of all kinds really but soon I will be in search of something that will grow with me. That can handle the non-diapering stage and yet adjust when I need to add diapers again so that I don't want to carry around 2 or 3 bags everywhere I go.  A bag that would look great joining me to the store but also to church or on a date with my husband.  So here are a few lovely finds.










Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sipping Tea

There is so much I want to post but I am finding my time already blurring into the next day and there is still so much left to do in this one.  I do hope to get back into my writing routine. I hope to revisit Friday Finds once again as I have already let things go for another week.

I am sorting through what it means to have a blog. What it means to be real. How open are we supposed to be with our readers?  How much information do we share regarding our trials, joys, lessons, and everyday life. I found myself very much blessed by my sister-in-law's latest post about the struggles she has been going through in trying to have another baby and loosing 3 in the space of 4 months.

So as I sort out what to say and what not to say I will leave you with the few everyday things that have highlighted my life this past week.

First of all I decided that this would be the time to completely revamp the look of my products. I have changed the labeling of my soap to reflect a more clean look instead of what I have been doing (which was a bit wordy for a label).  I also spent way too much time designing and ordering official business cards, making and posting a new perfume and body butter and also making a dog shampoo bar which I am going to post soon. I used it tonight on sweet Lucy and it did wonders for her coat! I am very excited about this one.

The other major change I have made this week is switching from coffee to tea. If anyone out there knows me at all they would have just let out a short gasp at that statement. I have been drinking coffee since I was in 4th grade (you can blame my parents for that).  Even a month ago I would not have been able to envision my morning without it and yet for some reason a switch just flipped in my mind. I suddenly thought, I think I would rather be drinking tea. Maybe I am getting old. Maybe I am verging on insane but I have thoroughly enjoyed the transition. I stocked up on several black teas (I definitely would not be switching if it was to herbal tea) and look forward to it every morning (it's the little things!).  Me and the boys also have tea time almost every afternoon but I will get to that more some other time.

More to come either personal or mundane.