Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Home Folks

My friend Carmen and I camped in these coulees, mucked in that creek and shot gophers in the pasture. We've ridden horseback, quads, and even an old skidoo around that yard. We've slurped black coffee, sat in the warmth of the wood burning stove in the kitchen and listened to stories at the table. It is in these moments, I am so grateful for 'home folks' and to have grown up in a place where neighbours are the truest sense of community - they are like family. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Decorating on the Cheap

I am a little concerned.

During nap time yesterday I kept flying down to the burn pit. My legs couldn't seem to carry me quickly enough as I tried to haul as much rubbish out of this house before any of the children could see me throwing out precious scraps of paper, pine cones, or any other tiny piece of garbage they may have collected. I've started referring to their reaction as "the wrath."  Up in Sister's room there are tiny piles of semi precious items. We put up apples this week and the big lids that came off the apple boxes seemed to catch her fancy and sure enough they are upstairs hiding in the corner of her room. There are approximately one zillion tiny plastic bags with tiny precious things in them and each and every night I sneak in there and haul them out.  The problem is, she notices everything that I throw out. She will go to the bathroom and I'll quickly toss stuff, all the while formulating my answer to her questions and now I spend most of my time simply evading her inquiries.

 "Momma, where is that special piece of pretty pink ribbon I found yesterday on the floor in Wal-Mart? Remember that other time two years ago when I found the shiny purple ribbon on the floor *insert any nasty, dirty and disgusting place you can think of."

"Taylin! Look at the hawk out the window!" 

Am I a bad mom?

The only benefit in having real life mini hoarders living in my house is they can easily spend hours outside with a pail in hand 'collecting' things for 'decorating'. For my lazy bones, non shopping frugal ways this has definitely helped in my fall feathering.

Folks, we like to just bring the outdoors in! Forget the Pottery Barn fancy tablecloth and Pier One doo dads, a simple bowl full of pine cones and some ratty ol' leave will do us just fine. We don't even Pinterest those ol' pine cones up with glitter and white spray paint, no m'am, they are just fine as the good Lord intended them to look. The best part is, it can all be collected by tiny hands and can save oodles of moolah. It's true, simply put, my shopping skills are, shall we say, lacking? I don't really love perusing the aisles and don't overly want to part with twenty bucks on a plastic pumpkin, so we keep things simple. I'm not the girl who knows what the heck you are talking about when you mention pumpkin spice lattes, I'm more the apple crisp with coffee - fall kind of girl. So, yes, let's gather outside junk to bring bugs and dust inside. 

I think I know where Scout got her hoarding tendencies from and why Tuffy likes to stop and proclaim the beauty in every. single. rock, stick, and leaf out there. Two hours to walk to the truck? Sure! Why not! Who cares if Old Man Winter is brushing our face with his windy fingers and we can feel his presence in the early morning frost - 'cause we found that glorious pine cone and whipped out the cutters to pull down branches. We are loving fall.

Wheat kernels with candles, in a mason jar, and some scrappy fabric & twine. This takes four seconds to put together and no brain power. My kind of style.


Forgive the horrible picture. It's how I roll. Trust me, these mirrors are not that dirty! This picture is going to drive me crazy. I want to get my little cloth for cleaning my glasses and just scrub the computer screen. Right now.

 The main point of the photo is to show Grandma Myrna what I did with the window sills from the old chicken coop. A similar one went down to my sis, only in a distressed white that a four year old helped paint. 

Friday, October 11, 2013


You. Yes, you,  the quiet encourager - YOU MATTER.

Thank you.

Thank you to the old soul in the young pretty face, framed with red hair who stood across the counter from me and handed my children free, warm cookies. You watched me try and pull my two year old out of the stroller, with screeching babe in arms, and an exhausted four year old standing watch - you looked into my worn eyes and smiled.

I close my peepers and picture the ordinary middle aged woman in white sneakers, who in spite of having teenagers, seemed to remember these 'early days.' When you noted that I am not an octopus and offered to rock the car seat in Costco while I unloaded groceries made my throat feel a big fat lump.

Gratitude fills me when I think of the Grandma who told me I look like a natural, even though I knew I was flailing around like a fish out of water. Dear Grandma-lady, your kind heart, sweet voice, and dainty flowered dress made me almost believe you. It was your words that carried me throughout town to finish my chores, even though my dear babes had almost finished me. 

Thank you to the brown eyed sister who stopped to coo at my babe. Thank you for noticing my two year old's enthusiasm for life, shall we, and giving my back a pat while telling me how sweet they are, even though I know we look remotely like we have spent the week with some type of small wild animals in our midst. Our skirts whipping out in that Fall wind,exchanging words about her grandchildren and my baby were my cup of coffee for the heart that day. It was my moment of community for the week, this stranger provided friendship in those two minutes and my heart was encouraged. Really, she wasn't a stranger, because girls, we are all in this together. 



and many praises to those dear hearts, the encouragers.

It is so easy to put our heads down and worm our way into our own thoughts and not notice those around us. We march about like ants on a mission. Busyness, exhaustion, routine, and a day in age where neighbouring seems to be a bit of a lost art seems to have us all shuffling on our own path.

So, sisters, remember all it takes is a smile, a word of encouragement, or that extra hand someone may need and you are not only giving someone else hope, but placing extra meaning in your life. You, YOU, the revitaliser, you are appreciated!

For the mama with an empty nest, thank you for your kindness. You are valued!

For the Grandma whose grandchildren are so far away, and when your hand reaches out, I am thankful. You matter!

For the mama in the same boat as I, with a full heart, and full hands thank you for your moment to say 'I understand.' You are precious!

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