Thursday, November 1, 2012


I think something bit me today.

Something crafty.

It's been a long time since I've felt even remotely creative.  Perhaps it's a signal of a (hopefully soon) return of energy after weeks and weeks of first-trimester fog (uh, yeah, it's been that long. I guess I did kinda procrastinate telling you all here...).  Maybe I'll start to feel human again soon.  Maybe.  But for now, I was glad of a little inspiration today.

I've been feeling like every day is exactly the same as the day before.  We've been cooped up in the house with all the yucky weather we've had lately and the days are getting monotonous.  I've had a lot of back pain that is really keeping me down, so that doesn't help.  But today, I politely told my back to "shut it", strapped the baby on in his carrier, and we headed out into the wind and sun for an expedition.  (I'm paying for it now, for sure, but oh well.)  We had a great time collecting leaves and pine cones and other bits and planning what we would do with them.  Andrew had fun trying to shed as many articles of clothing as he could and throw them on the ground as we walked along.  "Haha!" I'm sure he chuckles to himself, "Got those wretched mittens off!"

We returned, tired and chilled, with a fun assortment of natural treasures.

We had lunch, put the baby to bed, and set to work.

The results lifted our spirits considerably.

(And why is one piece of window trim not painted, you ask?  Hm.  How strange.)

I was even inspired to do a few other little fall decorations.

The pumpkins and squash that Jonah grew in the garden this year...

The bittersweet I found growing high in the staghorn sumac in the farm field across the road....

I just love the crazy curls of bittersweet vines.

Jonah was so excited about pinecones.  They were tightly closed when we found them, but I've been noticing them opening up big and wide all afternoon in the warmth of the house.

It's so nice to have a few pretty spots in my house right now.  Considering that within 10 minutes of breakfast every day the house looks like this:

...pretty spots are essential to me.

We clean up, and we clean up, and we clean up, but it's like bailing the ocean, let me tell ya.

And because I chose to do fun projects today instead of cleanupcleanupcleanup, it's quite a bit worse.

It seems like every day, I get to pick:  Tasks Essential to Staying Alive, or Something Fun and Different.

I usually have no choice but Tasks Essential to Staying Alive.  But some days, I decide we'll do without and get to something fun.

On his way home from Minnesota, Nathan bought me a 15 pound box of fresh cranberries in Warrens, WI, evidently the Cranberry Capital of the World.  And oh, cranberries are fun!  I've been doing all kinds of yummy things with them.  A couple days ago, Evan helped me make and can a big batch of my "famous" spicy cranberry sauce.

I add all sorts of yummy things --most notably jalapeno peppers-- and it's always delicious, if maybe a little different every year for lack of an official recipe.

And I forgot to take a photo of the end product, but I can tell you that it is a gorgeous color.  Now I won't have to make it at Thanksgiving, and I have extra jars for gifts.

Oh, I told Jonah I was NOT going to carve his pumpkin for him.  Then I amended that to "I will not GUT your pumpkin" and I did the actual carving after he designed the face, because I just couldn't bring myself to turn him loose with a sharp knife.  Maybe next year...

He did a good job scooping out the innards and cleaning everything up, and he ended up with a cute "jackety lantern" as he calls it.  We don't celebrate Halloween, but I just can't deny him the essential childhood pleasure.

So.  This post is to prove that I'm not a complete bump on a log, but I'm pretty close to it.  Is it spring yet?


  1. how does such a summer lover live in such a cold climate. You really are a southerner at heart.
    I love all your decorations they look really cool.

    1. I don't think I'd want to live "all the way south", but I've heard great things about Tennessee and North Carolina! This is only southern Michigan, but it's as far north as I go, I think.

  2. The decorations are beeeyootiful!

    Love Jonah's pumpkin!

    Evan's hair is still really short.

    Miss you guys!

    1. Jonah was very careful to make sure that the face didn't look at all scary. He doesn't like scary. And Evan's hair will grow. This way I don't have to cut it again soon.

      Miss you, too!

  3. Everything looks so nice! I love that leaf and pine cone garland. I think we're going to have to make one of those too! And listen- just so you know- every house around the world that has children in it ALL DAY LONG looks just like your living room. A bunch of mamas doing our best to keep ahead of the mess, but really, we are out numbered! So take heart in the fact that you are not alone! My mantra lately has been "consider it all joy". And sure, Paul was talking about being actually persecuted for our faith, but in little ways, we can let the Enemy speak lies into our hearts and steal our joy. So I'm up at 4 with the baby when I was up until 11 with the big kid? Consider it all joy! There is a pillow fort in the entry way and people are due over in 3 seconds? Consider it all joy! See where I'm going with this??? It has helped me out considerably!

    1. Thank you, that's very encouraging. Maybe I need to paint a cute sign with those words and put it in my living room to remind me... :-)

  4. nice pumpkin Jonah.I like the decorations on the wall that's really cool

  5. very nice decorations!!!! gave me some ideas for sure!

  6. Oh how this post resonates with the essentials to stay alive or do something fun and different. I SO know what you mean...and if it makes you feel any better, our house looks exactly like yours 10 minutes after breakfast...sometimes before breakfast!

    But, nevertheless, we push on through...and in the end the nature walks and crafting will produce much better memories than the swept floor.