MODERN DAY MARTHA

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  • Archive for January, 2010

    Love

    Friday, January 22nd, 2010

    Valentine’s Day is coming.

    I got to thinking about love today.  The love I have for my Mama, my Joey, my Hilary, and my (as yet unconceived) children is all so different.  I’m looking for creative ideas to express those different loves to my loves this Valentine’s Day.  Any thoughts?

    Experiment

    Thursday, January 21st, 2010

    I’m reading this book.  Don’t get judgy on me.  It’s awesome.  An example of awesome is this quote:

    You bear God within you, poor wretch, and know it not

    I’ve been sitting with that idea for several days, and it really resonates with me.

    Would you like to do an experiment?  It’s probably raining where you are, so an experiment where you don’t have to go outside might be nice…

    Will you sit with the idea that God is inside you for a few days, and let us know how it goes?  I hope you do…

    It’s raining, it’s pouring

    Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

    Is it raining where you are? We’re in the midst of a torrential downpour here. It was seriously scary to drive today, which meant we were inside for most of the day.  Luckily we have wonderful friends who braved the crazy roads and came to relieve us of the ensuing boredom of being stuck inside all day. After they left and the girls were down for a nap, I got thinking about rainy days when I was a child.

    I’ve always loved the rain. I love the different sounds it makes, love watching it from the warm side of a window.  I remember recesses full of “Heads Up 7-up” and board games in the cafeteria at lunch time. I remember grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for dinner while the raindrops pinged off of the tin roof of the deck.  I love being outside in the rain, feeling it on my face, seeing it bead up on my raincoat. I love the splash of a good puddle.  I remember going out hiking almost every rainy Saturday of my childhood (I’m sure it wasn’t EVERY one, but I remember it that way), spying animals running free under the assumption that all the humans were far away.  I remember the invigorating weight of being soaked to the skin, and the joy of changing into warm clothes. Those are some of my very favorite memories.

    So I got to thinking- what traditions will I set up around rainy days for my girls? It’s supposed to rain all week, so I’m planning a flexible schedule of making cupcakes, painting, eating grilled cheese sandwiches, maybe watching a special movie,  and, of course,  getting out  in the middle of the downpour.  Those puddles won’t splash themselves, you know.

    Do you have traditions around rainy days? Any wonderful memories? Do share!

    Be still

    Friday, January 15th, 2010

    I read this today and wanted to share. This is Vera Farmiga, talking about the book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (a book that looks AMAZING, by the way).

    “In one sublime passage, she [Dillard, the author of the book] talks about how in order to see things in all their dazzle and beauty you’ve got to be still. I’ve always found that paragraph very poignant, because in the age of high-speed Internet, fast food, and express checkouts, we attack everything at breakneck speed- so many people cannot, will not, and do not know how to be still.”

    Do you take moments to be still? Can you make one today? Will you?

    And will you share with us the dazzle and beauty you see?

    I have a confession to make

    Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

    I write poetry.

    There.  I admitted it.

    I usually don’t think of myself as creative.  Creative is my aunt, who is an author.  Creative is my friend, who takes such beautiful photographs.  Creative is Martha, not our Martha, but the other one :)

    You know what?  I’m done downplaying it.  I’m creative too.

    I bought myself a notebook at Target on New Years, and I’ve been consciously making time to write.

    How do you nurse your inner creative sparks?  And how do you keep yourself and the others you share your life with from downplaying your own and their own creativity?

    Getting Crafty in 2010

    Monday, January 11th, 2010

    LensBaby7

    My sister and I have been talking about working together on a bunch of projects this year.  We are both very excited to make both things for our homes and for ourselves and our children.  Today we spoke for a little while and solidified our intent to get our craft on.

    She started making a tangible list of projects and that has inspired me to make a list of projects too.  With the thought of creative list making in mind, I was wondering what blogs inspire you.  We have discussed it here on MDM in the past, but I was wondering if anyone had any new inspiration blogs to offer.

    A few that I have been enjoying and gleaning inspiration from are:

    Burdastyle – a site dedicated to sewing and altering patterns to express your own individuality.  There are a whole bunch of free patterns that you can download and and print out, and some that are offered at very low prices.  Their blog is very active and frequently makes say out loud, “I want to make that!”

    The Purl Bee – While I would classify myself as NOT being a knitter, I do enjoy fiber arts and one day will put myself in that category.  Until that time, I find a lot of inspiration for projects from the Purl Bee.  They have many knitting projects but they also have a lot of other types of projects too.

    Nap Time Crafts – I love this site because it constantly reminds me that even with small children I can still make time to work on projects.  She has really colorful and cute projects for herself and her home and often puts together tutorials for the things she makes.  She’s very big on sharing knowledge and telling her readers how she made things and I LOVE that attitude.

    The Little Green Notebook - This site is run by a woman who is a great home decorator.  She is getting back into the game and opening her business after having children.  She posts projects she has worked on for both herself and her clients, things that inspire her and how she did the occasional project too.  I find a lot of inspiration from both her designs and in where to buy certain items.

    Steep Street - As a photographer, I have been finding great inspiration from this blog.  She always inspires me with her creative use of PhotoShop and her ability to capture the light and see things in angles that I might not think of.  She has really inspired me to learn my software better and be able to use my tools to create more creative art pieces.

    What has been inspiring you lately?  Are there any projects that have been bouncing around in your brain lately?  Are there specific colors or themes that have really been catching your eye lately?  Where are you finding your creative inspiration?

    Connecting: Part 1

    Saturday, January 9th, 2010

    Do you remember that the word I chose for this year was “connect”?

    Perhaps I should say that it chose me, because my goodness, it has been an inspired and inspiring week.

    I’m going to do a series of posts on the way I’ve been incorporating this word into my life and routines, and I thought I’d start with the way I begin my mornings- connecting with my body.

    I realized that toward the end of the year I was getting really short tempered and not so pleasant to be around. And I realized that I wasn’t getting enough sleep. So I started getting to bed earlier (by 10), and as a result, found myself waking up, completely on my own (instead of by the regular alarm of “mama, mama”) at around 6. I decided to get up and actually do something with that time before the girls woke up, so I got a Kundalini yoga DVD to do in the mornings.

    Kundalini yoga is different from other practices of yoga – it’s not the style you think of with poses and long deep stretches – it has quicker movements and different breathing. It’s a perfect practice for me for the morning – it incorporates movement that wakes up my body, and meditation that wakes up my mind. (I’m using this DVD, and highly recommend it.)

    I’ve also been paying more attention to the food I put in my body; I’ve cut out all gratuitous sugar (the obvious forms of it – I’m still eating bread with sugar in it) and I’m trying to not snack unless I’m actually hungry.

    In the evenings I’m doing a Jillian Michaels workout to build strength.

    Through this process I’ve been trying to focus on working with my body, rather than my natural inclination which is to declare war on it. The concept of connecting has been key in this, and while my body hurts (oh it hurts), my attitude and approach to it are far more enthusiastic and positive than they have been in the past.

    How do you connect with your body? Are you friendly or do you find yourself feeling adversarial?

    And do you have any workout DVDs that you love? (I’m always looking for more!)

    Once in a Blue Moon

    Monday, January 4th, 2010

    Blue MoonI took this picture on New Year’s Eve, which was the second full moon of the month of December, and therefore a blue moon.

    We talk about stuff we do seldom as something that happens “once in a blue moon.”  So, I’ve been thinking about my “blue moon” stuff, and realized some changes I want to make.  A letter I want to write.  A chore I ought to do.

    What is a blue moon thing for you?  I’d love to help you do it :)

    Viva!

    Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

    The balcony garden has returned! After the mass death of our annuals, (and a tearful discussion about the life cycle of plants), we cleared out all the plant corpses and hit the plant store.

    100_6442

    The tomato managed to survive, as did the Kalanchoe, which is thriving. We added Nagoya Rose,  Lithodora, Panda Plant, and Purple Scallops.  The last two are also types of Kalanchoe, which hopefully bodes well for their survival rate.

    Z chose all of the plants, and has the responsibility of watering and singing to them.  (It’s her own honed technique, I’m not gonna mess with it.)

    My favorites are the Panda plant:

    100_6449the leaves are fuzzy! And the brown spots look like panda eyes! (Z chose it because the leaves? petals? protrusions? look blue in person.)

    and the Nagoya Rose:

    100_6458-1

    It’s a kind of kale, and is really gorgeous.

    It’s wonderful having living things in the view out the window again.  I love having a very visual reminder of small and simple daily growth and progression. The girls have already spent significantly more time playing out there, despite the cold.

    Long live the balcony garden!

    {connect}

    Friday, January 1st, 2010

    A new year! Hooray!

    I love the opportunity a new year affords me to look back, look forward, assess where I am and where I’d like to be.  Last year, right about this time, I came up with a list of themes to focus on for the year.  They were:

    Love
    Create
    Dance
    Celebrate
    Worship
    Minister
    Taste

    I set a number of my uberlist goals around them, and tried to check in throughout the year.  I succeeded in some areas better than others; in one or two I think I actually ended up farther back than I ever started.  But it was definitely a worthwhile endeavor.

    This year, I’m just picking one word, one concept.  (I was going to pick two, with the second being “simplify”, but that seemed somewhat ironic.)

    My word for the year is connect.

    There’s just so much there. I want to connect with my family,  my body,  my friends, nature. I want to connect with a sense of peace. I want to connect the steps between wanting (ie. an organized house), and doing. I want to help others connect with new friends, new ideas. I want to connect my own thoughts in new ways.  I want to connect with the Divine.

    What are your goals for the new year? Did you come up with an uberlist? If so, please link to it! I love seeing what other people come up with! (If you want to see mine, go here.)