Saturday, January 29, 2011

Function Over Form

Welcome to the great purge and reorganization of 2011!

Before I launch some other important things for the year, we needed to get organized. It was getting so bad around here that I kept wearing clothes out of the laundry basket rather than open the closet door. So last weekend was 100% dedicated to fixing some tangible, structural problems. We're nearly done, thank goodness, but I feel relieved already. Who knew that the mismatched shower curtains with the upside-down rings that screeched across the curtain rod every morning could be considered a source of stress? Apparently, they were because for the past week I have smiled every time I go in the bathroom and see our mold-free, matching, freely-moving shower curtains.

During tasks like these, it is important to keep the toddler occupied. Finger-painting works. Especially, if you allow her to paint the paper, surrounding floor, and herself. Added bonus: my David Bowie t-shirt found a second life.

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This effort un-earthed a few relics. Take Trash Talkin' Turnleen, for example. Pregnant, barefoot, frosty blue-eye-shadowed, curler-headed, cigarette-slingin' Turleen. When you press her everted belly-button she says things like, "Pour me a double, I'm drinkin' for two!" She was a parting gift when we left north central Florida and now she has served as my daughters first barbie doll.

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We interrupted the weekend so that I could take a marmalade-making class with Courtnay. I feel as if the heavens parted and the hands of my Grandma Marge herself steered me towards this day. Putting food by, as the old timey saying goes, is as authentic an effort as they come. We're lucky around here: some of the most amazing jams and marmalades are produced from the sweet, bountiful harvest of the west coast and particularly the areas surrounding the San Francisco bay. The people who taught the class, owners of Happy Girl Kitchen, were delightful, peaceful, and engaged. Seriously, if pickling carrots provides a relaxed pace that enables you to express these particular personality characteristics then I'm ready to move to Big Sur and can things for the rest of my life.
Thrilled to be learning the skill of canning, I was doubly pleased when the day itself turned so lovely. In the middle of stewing honeyed oranges we had a picnic on the grass in the backyard of the old Victorian where the class was held. We lazed on the blanket in the warm sun, sipping hibiscus tea and eating a salad of winter greens. "I can't believe that a moment so perfect can exist in the world....and that I get to take part in it," was my thought. Funny, I had that same thought while being presented with jewelry by my husband at dinner a couple of weeks ago.
I came home with honeyed oranges, orange rosemary marmalade, and pickled lemons. I opened the orange marmalade on Sunday morning and spread a thick layer on my toast. So good...

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While I was off indulging in a canning class, Tim took the babe to the San Francisco Zoo. Grandma Judy gave us a family pass for Christmas - a great gift (in fact, Ada and I are meeting a few other families there this afternoon).

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Left: this is how she "hugs" animals - by gently laying her head on their bellies. The cats find this much preferred to tail-grabbing, which is something that has just emerged in the past couple of days. 

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The work week zipped by. It always picks up in the spring. Not only am I swamped at work, all of my cases are bizarre or difficult or just sad. Guiding clients through some of these things involves a lot of emotion. Maybe this isn't true for all professionals, but I am an emotional doctor. I have a tendency to hover like a worried mother over my really sick patients and cry harder than the clients after a euthanasia (I can usually hold it together long enough to make it to the bathroom). So when I have my days off, I take them and I let the love and joy of this one replenish me.

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She surprised me the other night by putting on my shoes and shuffling around in them. It was hysterical, so I grabbed the camera...but it was also poignant. I am again reminded that she is watching me and that, with or without my awareness, her character is being influenced by my words and my actions. God, help me to live right so that my daughter can be happy. 

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Parakeet skirt courtesy of the bee in my bonnet: one day I just up and decided to make it. Took about 15 minutes.
 I'm really not lying when I say that I will sew ric-rac on anything.  Cute, no? 



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And that wraps up another edition of what we've been doing. February first is just around the corner and for me this year that means a whole new way of defining priorities and setting goals. There is work to be done...

3 Lovies:

jms said...

I love her in your shoes

Ty's Girl said...

Love the skirt!! Did you use a pattern or wing it?

Peeper said...

Hey H,
I patterned the skirt on a clearance skirt I picked up at old navy. It was pretty easy and I was able to use remnants of fabric and ric rac!