Friday, March 30, 2012

A Wal-Mart Mornin'

I once read that you would be amazed at what you could accomplish if you actually stayed home five days in a row. This made me laugh uproariously. Staying at home for five days in a row is a drop in the bucket for me. Am I amazed at what I can get done around here? Clearly not-hence the uproarious laughter.

Going out is a huge day.

When I'm folding t-shirts into makeshift diapers and I'm on my last scrapings of baby cereal, I pull out my nineteen page list and trek into the city to hit Wal-Mart. It's a carefully thought out day and some would liken our getting ready to paint the town red, similar to preparing for church. Babies are washed, nails are clipped, clothes are laid out the night before. I haul the bambino's out of bed and we have a special breakfast of cinnamon rolls or some baked oatmeal. Lucy Lou, do we ever talk it up! We talk about going to town three days in advance. Last time we drove in, Taylin exclaimed, "Mama! Look at all the nice houses!" We do leave home, um, I guess once in awhile, but all the talk beforehand makes Wal-Mart sort of  Disneyland.

My cart is generally so full that I have trouble cranking it to get around the corner. Diapers, wipes, food and cleaning supplies spill out. I have to distract my mind from wanting to open the bottle of bleach and give the cart a good cleaning first. "Kids, don't touch ANYTHING! Yes, hands straight in the air-good idea. It'll make muscles holding them up like that."

I'm always worried someone is going to whip around an aisle and snap a photo of me and I'll become one of those infamous ladies on the "Wal-Mart People" e-mails that circulate the internet. I don't think anyone would know what to make of the unmanageable wilds in the cart and the mama adding up her grocery bill in her head. All the baby washing and nail clipping  doesn't prevent Taylin from putting 'lip gloss' with markers on Myla. Oh boy.

As long as our tummies are full, it helps reign in  the children for the morning out. I like going to town to be a big deal, for it to be a fun, special day and I do believe that the way to an extra special day, is  special food, ladies. Healthy, we are not.

The last recipe for our Wal-Mart morning was found in a Taste of Home magazine and was sent in by the brilliant Arlene Riehl.  Try it out! We had canned pears with ours, along with the hollering, 'Come on, let's hurry up! We need to get going!'
I then may or may not have added chocolate chips to our recipe & realized I'm basically feeding my kiddo cookies for breakfast.

Baked Oatmeal

3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted

Additional milk

*In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and butter. Stir into oat mixture until blended.

*Spoon into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350 for 40-45 min or until set. Serve warm with milk.

Now it's grocery shopping time!

linking up here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Love This Moment

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Choose Gratefulness in the Ordinary

Today I'm thankful for that blanket of white. This morning when I wandered the yard it was oh, so quiet with the fog that enveloped us.
Our winter has been mild and unseasonably warm.  I am grateful to have been able to dawdle around the yard.

My heart is happy to be able to see the sun sparkle on the snow, to feel the chill of frost on my cheeks, and to hear the hush of the morning. I'm grateful that I'll cozy into my flannel sheets and have lived an ordinary day; which is extraordinary in itself. My heart was turned and reminded to be in thankfulness for the simplicity of my day. To move my eyes towards the heavens, bow my heart, and quietly praise.
Sometimes, when those nightmares some of us have lived through are brought to mind, we want to shut our eyes tight and shake our heads.  I believe we need to remember our trials in life; remember what we've learned, the comfort we were shown, and in turn bestow the same comfort on others. We aren't meant to live in the past, but part of our suffering, whatever it may be, has made who we are now.

I was reminded to be ever grateful for this day.

"This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it."

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Fun

Tonight, when the Irish Lullaby mixes with shadows of the night, I'll wonder if my girls will sing that "simple little ditty" to their babies as my Momma did to me.

When my big girl leans into me and looks up with whispy hair about her face and asks me to tell whatever story it is, again, her big eyes will shine just a little greener. Hearing her spin tales to her 'baby' I know that that little bit of Irish in her heart is beating hard. While most will throw on bits of green tomorrow and call it a day, I'll be talking to my littles about where they come from and why they call Mamo by that special name.
We like to start celebrating a little early around here! Food coloring and milk is the easiest way to make a party! Thanks to M-Dub for the shamrock straw topper idea. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Karen reminded me of a wall hanging, with an Irish blessing, that hung in my Grandma's house for years. It made her roar with laughter and you knew as her hair was red, that she meant it just a little too much!

"May those who love us, love us;
and those that don't love us, may God turn their hearts;
and if he doesn't turn their hearts,
may He turn their ankles that we might know them by their limping."

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Remember to find a little green in that pile of laundry tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fence Post Pickin

I know some girls like to get dressed up and hit the town. My kind of girls like to get dressed in their best coveralls and pile the kids in the truck. Parties and soirees are so yesterday, digging through old homesteads is where it's at.

Sometimes it get's kind of crazy up in here. It's a fine line between laying down for a rest/coma  in the afternoon or bundling up to go out and get some sunshine. Sometimes the yellow blaze wins out and you'll come home just as tired, but there will be contentment tucked away in your heart. Really, what could be finer than pickin around in the east country with a best friend?

Much to my husband's demise, I can see nothing finer than soaking in a bit of history. Since there are no museums in sight, someone's old pad works perfectly for me and my pal. Driving home with a truck full of tins, window sills and simply goy-geous doors is enough to make a grown man shake his head and scold us like we're children.

We just can't be stopped.

Visions of our kids someday actually being big kids, gives us dreams of our own shop to create junk from our junk. What could be better? What could drive our husband's crazier? We just need to adopt some skills and possibly some muscles. I think i Phones are in demand so that this chica and I can stay in touch. The two hour drive get's in our way and  if only we could snap photos of the junk we happen across and could send it to the other sister--wouldn't we operate more smoothly? It's all about efficiency, practicality, and lunacy.

This lady's husband is cleaning up a rig we'd be able to pile all our kids into, legally, to scour these places. He doesn't know that it's a truck for Gina and I both to cruise in with the kids for picking yet, he just thinks it's a good family vehicle. Yoohoo! Didn't I hear you say, "welcome to the family?"
I wish this was my babe, but alas, she's a daughter of the east country land. I love her.

As I've mentioned before I love the stories about these exhausted houses. True or not, some are better left to the imagination.

There's one old place that never had power brought in until the mid seventies, prior to that they used coal and wood for their cooking and heat; the things we take for granted. These sweet souls never had children, so the neighbors adopted them as grandparents. In the fall the couple would squirrel up for winter, the neighbors helping haul in supplies. It was said you could hardly move in the blessed house for all the provisions stacked hither and yon. The nearest town was over fourty miles away and with a good blast of snow in our dark, short days, they could be stuck in the house for up to two months. The neighbors would ride in regularly on horseback to check on the couple-later when they got a power toboggan they would ride over the drifts to see how they were. The Mrs. stayed on the place until 1998, until she moved into a lodge in town, where she still is today. I hope someone sits with this lady and will write her story someday.

Next time you pass a veteran home, if you are sitting with those that lived nearby-ask about it. Find out what those walls hold for stories and sneak them away inside of you to pass on. This is how history remains relevant and alive. It's what reminds us of what we are made of, where we come from, and helps us move into the future with eyes opened wide.

At least this is what Gina and I tell our husbands anyway.

Monday, March 12, 2012

An Invitation Awaits You

I love my stomping ground. Alberta was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta and I do believe that this province is a little like royalty; she shines.

My girlfriend came home from East Africa and commented on our sunsets. She soaked in every moment of the beauty of Tanzania, but driving up her gravel road to turn into their farmyard, she knew she was home and knew it was beautiful! Why do we have to travel across the world to be reminded of how pretty our homeland is?

Come, let's go on a little road trip of my province. I'll pack cinnamon buns and cold tea in the car and we'll drive with the window down. You'll realize why my heart belongs here.

Now, all you lurkers out there, tell me where your from! What's unique to your province/state/town/yard? Tell me of the beauty out your window right now. The Gypsy Mama has a national delurker day (or something like that..) it's a day when all the bloggy spies step out of their box and leave a comment! I think it's a grand old plan, because I'd be ever so happy to hear where you're from. I'd love to meet you.

Welcome to Alberta!

***Special thanks to fellow Canuck and kindred spirit at  R(etired)N for sharing this video in the first place. I love everything you share!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Rustic Love

This afternoon there are a few moments of silence in this house. I have a smattering of stuff I wanted to share with you and I was going to write a post with a motley crew of thoughts. Alas, I know my yap portion would be too large to shove that all on one post. For the next few days, watch out for bits of random. It's how I roll.

FTW features beautiful photos that capture things with a bit of unpolished feel; her 'rustic love.' These photos win a spot in my heart. I don't really chat fashion or art, but I can spot an old homestead miles away. My love of history makes me want to kiss an old barn and weep when any ancient of days building has to come down. I don't just love looking at these photos, I have a weakness for storing up the stories in these scenes as well.

I was out to visit some friends in the east country when much to my girlfriend's demise I whipped out the camera like a foreigner here for a visit and started shooting photos in her house. Nope, not of the chubby babies and little girls riding their hawses, but of the woman's banister. Ay yi yi! I do believe I might have flipped my lid.
Bonnie, you're a dreamboat! Thanks for explaining how to rotate this

The first time I saw the banister and lil gate blocking tiny feet from tumbling down the stairs, I knew it held a spot in my ticker. Her husband built it and I love to sing it's praises. Let's have a moment of quiet to view that piece of art in all her glory. Yes and amen.

Now, tell me sisters, do you have stairs in your home? Do they lead to a dungeon or take you up to the highest tower in your house? Do you have an old quilt draped over the banister, a photo wall leading up those steps, or nothing but the neat stripes that are left on freshly vacuumed stairs? Any rustic love?

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