Friday, August 31, 2007

A Post Worth Sharing ...

This is terrible ... I have no time or energy to blog these days. Sorry :(

My time is being taken up by this and this. Oh yeah, and this!

However, I do want to share an amazing post with you all regarding making your own toys for children. I have decided that Santa is only bringing handmade toys this year, so this post was a big help.

Thank you Amy.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Holding On to Summer.

We, like many of you, are doing all we can to hold on to the last days of summer here in the U.S.

We are wading in our pools ...
We are painting outdoors (some of us paint naked) ...
We are sharing quiet moments under the trees with our new puppy ...
We are eating outdoors as much as possible ...
And we are basking in the glow of the sun as often as we can ...

Soon, the colors will change, the birds will leave, and we will bunker down for winter. But for now, we are continuing to enjoy every last moment of summer in Maine.

Have you ever been to Maine in summer? If not, you really should. No life should be lived without experiencing the beauty, abundance and simplicity of Maine. Come on over, there are still a few days of summer left! But if you miss it, there is always fall! Did I mention that no life should be lived without experiencing Maine in Autumn ?


Monday, August 27, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Antiquing With Bobo.

On Tuesday, Isaac, Meg and I spent the day shopping with Grandma Bobo (my Mom). It was a real treat. We went to Pizza Hut (Daddy came too), Downtown Bangor (where Meg bought a Webkin), the Antique Store (see above & below), and the Farmer's Market (more about that later).

How many people can take their 2-year old to an antique store? I can! Isaac and Meg just love antiquing ... because, of course, there are so many unique treasures to be found. Isaac loves to walk around looking at various items while exclaiming, "Mama. that niiiice!" And Meg truly appreciates the beauty and history of older objects. She has her heart set on an old wicker baby buggy that is just $2,200.00!

And I just love when I take the kids into a higher-end antique store like this one. The clerks all give me the hairy eyeball as though I have some kind of nerve to bring kids into the store. But I have full confidence that the kids will be respectful ... and they always are. So, I ignore the stares and carry on with pride.

No one bought anything on this trip to the antique store ... but we wanted to :) Meaghan loved anything to do with babies, Isaac loved the above mirror (notice that he is checking out his tongue?), Mom had her heart set on an old hoosier, and I ooohed and ahhhed over all sorts of things that my Mom thought of as downright ugly (but I am certain many of you would appreciate).

Have a Great Weekend!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


This past Saturday was a special treat for both Isaac and his new puppy, Chase. They attended their first "outing" together ... to the "Downtown Dog Day" in Bangor. There were SO many dogs there. It was somewhat overwhelming for the puppy and me, but Isaac thought it was wonderful. Every time that someone would stop to pat Chase, Isaac would beam with pride and share in the patting.

He also decided (very firmly I might add) that he was going to be the one to hold his puppy's leash. This was new for both of them. And all went fairly well.

Except for when Chase wouldn't do what Isaac wanted ...

And Isaac began to get frustrated ...

So, Mommy took over. And Isaac found an opportunity to dance & sing instead ...

It was a short but sweet outing with our Chase. I was quite surprised to see that there were many Australian Shepherds there. I have always thought of them as somewhat rare, but I am finding that they are becoming quite popular. Most folks I talked to about them stated that the breed is simply the best family dog. I agree. So does Isaac :)


Monday, August 20, 2007

The Library As a Social Event.

We simply love libraries ... of every shape and size ... in every town. But one of our favorites is the Bangor Public Library. In 1998, this once modest library was totally renovated by an extremely generous donation from our own Stephen & Tabitha King. Now, it is no longer just a library, it is bibliophile heaven! And visiting there can be more of a social event than even a town parade. Isaac and I have been fortunate enough to bump into many of our friends there as well as to meet many new ones. And though it is a huge place that now serves the entire population of Maine (not just the city of Bangor), we are still always greeted by name. That is Maine for ya!

Anyway, Isaac is at the age where he can really appreciate a trip to this library. It is a 45-minute drive for us ... but worth every second. He runs through the library doors with joyful anticipation of what awaits him inside ... people, books, toys, flowers (their gardens are beautiful), elevators (a real treat), movies, puzzles, and especially kids! This is a real social event for him.

Our most recent trip was particularly delightful as Isaac met and enjoyed two sweet little girls (and I got to have a bit of adult conversation). They played toys, picked flowers together, watched bugs, chased one another around the courtyard, and simply had a great time getting to know one another. It was such a joy to watch. With their Mom's permission, I give you the following sweet images:

We may not remember the names of these sweet little girls, and we may or may not see them there again. But the beauty of the library is that there are always old friends to greet us ... always something to do or share together ... always fun things to borrow ... and always new friends to meet. You simply can't go wrong there.

How do you feel about your local library?


Friday, August 17, 2007

A Conversation With My Son.

Isaac: (pointing to my nose) "Mama nose."

Me: "That's right. That's Mama's nose."

Isaac: (pointing to my ear) "Mama ear."

Me: "That's right babe. That's Mama's ear."

Isaac: (pointing to my mouth) "Mama mouth."

Me: "That's right. That's Mama's mouth."

Isaac: (hand on my left cheek) "Mama face."

Me: "That's right babe. That is Mama's face."

Isaac: (both hands on both my cheeks) "Mama so cute."

Me: (beaming with pride and joy) "Thanks babe. That's right. Mama is so cute."

I am totally in love with my son. And that was even before he thought I was so cute!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Appreciating the Tranquility of Home.

I constantly vacillate between whether rural Maine is the best place to raise our family or whether we should consider moving to "the city". For those who have read this blog since its inception, you are all too aware of my indecision on this matter. But can you blame me? I mean, our rural country setting is just so darn peaceful, beautiful and relaxing. We can hear ourselves think. We can enjoy nature. We can raise farm animals. Heck, we can run naked through the woods without a soul seeing us! (Ok, we haven't done this yet ... but there was this one night ...).
However, there is the 'other side' that just keeps calling to me ... cities have museums, parks, public pools, playgroups (ok, I hate playgroups...), theatres, PEOPLE, craft groups, awesome libraries, etc... all within walking distance. And I want my son to have all this. But I don't want him to lose out on having an amazing backyard where he can freely explore, or a small farm of animals that he enjoys, or the tranquility that living among the woods provides. Sure, we are just a 45 minute ride from Bangor but sometimes that feels like too much. But maybe it isn't. I mean, maybe that is the answer? Maybe I should just learn to 'enjoy the ride'. That way we can have the best of both worlds. Hmmmm....there's a thought. But I must say, that thought doesn't cut it in the winter! I loathe driving back and forth to Bangor in the winter and that is when I become ready to put the house on the market and buy a downtown home on 1/8 of an acre within walking distance to everything.
But the next time those thoughts creep in, I need to remember the days that Isaac and I travel just 8 miles to Sebasticook Lake, where he thoroughly enjoys the water, the ducks, the tranquility ...
And I also need to remember that it is here - our rural home - where Isaac finds his greatest joys. It is here that Isaac asks to come back to every time we are away for too long. "Mama, I home now", he pleads. Then when we pull into the driveway, he will happily exclaim, "Mama, I home!" as though he had been away for eons. He, like his Mama, enjoys his own company as well as the company of trees, birds, flowers and rocks. And though he needs to get out into the world to meet and greet people and to enjoy the excitement of the city once in a while ... he is thankful to come home to this quiet space when the excitement has worn off. So, at least for now, I think we will stay right here (that is, until my Seasonal Affective Disorder kicks in).


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I Just Love Vintage Clothing Patterns.

Apparently, for quite some time, my Mother-in-Law sewed nearly all of her children's clothing as well as her own. During her estate sale, we found piles of used patterns stashed away in a box. And now, as I look through Halis's baby/toddler pictures, I recognize that so much of what he wore was made by his Mommy. I love that. I want to be that kind of Mommy too.
I must admit though, that buying kids clothes at yard sales for 50 cents is much more economical than creating my own. But maybe I can make just a few things for Isaac and myself. (I did make him that Turkish Tunic that I am so darn proud of). So, I went through that pile of patterns and picked out way-more-than-a-handful patterns to take home and try. And here is just a very small sampling of the ones that I took:
I am just wild for all these vintage patterns and can't wait to try them. And here is the bonus ... my Mother-in-Law was the same size as me when she was my age! So, the patterns for me are just perfect. Well, I suppose Halis might argue against them being "just perfect" as he thinks some of them are hideous. Like this one:

And I absolutely LOVE it. I just love that era of clothing. And this may be one of the first things I make for myself, including the matching headpiece. Sure, I may not wear it to the mall (for one because I don't go to the mall) but I think it would be so cool to wear around the house.
And how sweet are these bell-bottomed giraffe overalls? Isaac will thank me for them later, right?
So, I will be busy something of these goodies - I hope. And the whole family may soon be outfitted like the Brady Bunch. Good times!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Time to Lose the Fro.


And how does a Mommy keep her two-year old still long enough to have Daddy take an electric shaver to baby's head? Well, Mommy serves him M&M's and gives him a noisy and colorful box of push pins to play with:
And after all that fuss, the two-year old needs his rest:

Daddy is getting so much better at cutting Isaac's hair. It looks great! (Even though he jokingly gave Isaac a reverse-mohawk in the beginning of the haircut).

Monday, August 13, 2007

"Party Animals" Library/School Totes for Etsy!

Gosh, I wish I knew how to take better pictures of my handmade goodies. I mean, these bags are simply gorgeous! I want to keep them all. But I fear that the photos don't do them any justice at all. Ugh. Anyway, enough complaining. I will have these sweet bags up on Etsy by tomorrow.
Each bag comes with its own little wallet for carrying a library card and some snack change. They are all fully lined, triple stitched, and measure about 11" x 13".
They were so much fun to make and will be even more fun to use or give as a gift.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Work-in-Progress Friday.

I am currently working on a self-designed embroidered quilt using some vintage Aunt Martha transfers that my Mother-in-Law never used. This is the first block ... and it is taking me a lot longer than I anticipated. In fact, I thought I would have all 8 blocks completed while I was away on vacation. Ha! I guess I didn't realize what it would actually be like to vacation with a 2-year old!

Oh, and I absolutely love this basket that I store my stitching in. It is an older Longaberger that I also inherited from my Mother-in-Law. I am NOT.... I repeat... NOT a collector of any sort of decor (I do collect vintage kids books) ... but I did inherit several Longabergers that I am wild about. They are simply so darn useful and so naturally appealing. I carry this particular basket with me wherever I can do some stitching ... the beach, the lawn, friend's houses, etc... and my Mom is always commenting that the basket is far too expensive and collectible to be carted around in grass and sand. She finds it appalling that I am actually using the basket. To her, this is nearly sacrilege. I think this is hilarious! In fact, I think I am purposefully negligent in my care for this basket when I am around my Mom just to watch her reaction. I mean, it is a BASKET for God's sake ... not only is it unimportant in the grand scheme of things ...but it begs to be used. It begs to hold items. It begs to be carted around. And if it gets totally worn out, the universe will certainly provide me with another basket.

Ahhh, but such is the difference between my Mom & I. She likes to look at things and keep them pretty until the day that she sells them for next to nothing at a yard sale. Me, I like to use things up so well that by the time I am through with them, they are nearly unrecognizable. How one woman could have given birth to the other is beyond us. But we like each other just the same.

Anyway, I will be travelling to my Mom's house tomorrow with basket & stitching in tow. Halis plans to paint Mom's new garage while I stitch. Maybe I will sit really close to the wet paint ... or even underneath the ladder Halis will be using ... to see if I can't get a few paint drips on the basket .... just so that I can report back about my Mom's reaction :) Poor Mom... her daughter has a twisted sense of humor.


Thursday, August 9, 2007

My First "Tag" Meme.
I have been tagged! Yes, there is such a thing as "Tag" in the blogging world. The whole "Tag, you're it!" thing really excites me, I must warn you. I suppose it will get old in time ... but for now ... because I am fairly new to blogging ... I have been looking forward to this.

My new friend, Paula, of On A Rainy Night tagged me with the following Meme. I needed to find 5 answers to the following categories... So, here goes:

~~~ 5 THINGS MEME ~~~

5 THINGS I LIKE (Besides my family & friends of course):

* Watching couples walking hand in hand.
* Airports.
* Hotels.
* Vintage Children's Books.
* To watch people receive awards/honors for something amazing that they have done. I always cry tears of joy - whether I know them or not. I just love to see people recognized for something. I guess that is why I occasionally watch Oprah!


* Sadly, I was separating from my husband, Halis, after just 2 years of marriage.
* I was moving into my very first apartment.
* I was trying to date again after being with Halis since I was 15!
* I was getting to know my now very best friend, Melissa.
* Then, thankfully, I was dating my husband again ~ and learning how to make our marriage work after all (AMEN to that!)


* Chocolate anything.
* Ripples Chips.
* Pasta anything.
* Animal crackers.
* Apples.


* Yell Fire by Michael Franti.
* 1000 Miles by Vanessa Carlton.
* Let It Be by The Beatles.
* Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohn.
* Just about any Elvis, Dave Matthews, Sting, Paul Simon, Beatles or Sesame Street Song.


* Leg warmers.
* A size 36 bra.
* Pink lipstick.
* My faux Michael Jackson sparkly glove.
* My MC Hammer pants.

(This used to read 5 Things You Would Do If You Were A Millionaire ... but since there are no "Ifs" about it, I changed the wording.)

* Adopt two more boys from Haiti (because all our children are Haitian and we just have to find them).
* Set up all my children for their future (money market accounts, college, etc).
* Buy a house on the ocean - in Maine.
* Make sure Halis doesn't have to work anymore by making wise investments.
* Give $ to worthy causes such as Haitian Roots.

So, now you know just a little bit more about me. And now, I am hoping to learn a little bit more about the following people ...

Mandy Brelsford
Holly Boulton

So, TAG, You're IT!


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Cheeky Puppy...

What is happening to me? I am SO slacking on this blog. My mental health requires that I maintain this blog ... so I am sure that my rut won't last for long :)
Anyway, it seems that Chase has replaced his Dad as my spot-saver in bed (see previous post photo) ...

Cheeky little puppy! Well, that's all I've got for today ... enjoy!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Remembering Our Blessings.

I am sorry that it has been so long since I have posted here. I am sure that I do not have legions of fans awaiting my every word and photo, but there are a few of you (thank you). And although I do blog in order to share my life with others, I mostly do it to chronicle and make sense of my own thoughts and deeds.
And after the emotional weekend that Halis and I just experienced, I certainly feel the need to sort through my "stuff". Though all is quite well in our world, we spent the better part of our weekend continuing to sort through his belated Mother's household things. He and siblings held a large Estate Sale this weekend ... and let me tell you, if you don't already know ... it is never easy to watch strangers paw through your loved ones former life.
Some extended family came by to wish us well with the sale ... and many of them stayed to share loving stories about Halis's parents. Though these stories are absolute treasures to us ... they do conjure up intense feelings of loss. Many tears were shed. But many smiles were shared as well ... and that is what I need to focus on.
Good Lord, Halis and I have been blessed with such incredible people and experiences in our lives. We have been left with some amazing legacies ... and some big shoes to fill! Halis's Mom, Halis's Dad, my Pepere, my Mimi, Mrs. T, Marilynn Catanzaro .... what amazing people we have been loved and taught by. What lessons in love, courage, strength, generosity, truth, morality, tenacity, and devotion we have been blessed with. I hope we are forever mindful of these gifts. We certainly were this weekend.
All these thoughts lead me to want to make GRATITUDE a common practice on this blog. I am feeling the need to sort through and remember my blessings... on a regular basis.
Please indulge me :) Perhaps these regular gratitude lists will serve to remind you of all the blessings in your lives as well.
... when I climb into bed at night, the scene in the above photo is what I am greeted with!
... Halis was raised by incredible parents who put him and his siblings above all else.
... Halis will do the same for his children.
... my parents are always there when I (or my family) needs them.
... Halis and I know the value of a job well done.
... my son asks to "go home" whenever we are away for too long. And when we get home, he acts as though it is the greatest place on earth.
... Wende shared this video with me.
... I am beautiful (see video).
More gratitude to follow. I'd LOVE to hear about your blessing as well!
Lots of Love,

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

NOW AVAILABLE: Custom Made Purses, Totes & Quilts!
As part of my campaign to get serious about creating an online indie-craft shop via Etsy, I have begun making various samples of my work ... hoping they will elicit some custom orders.
I am currently working on a photo memory quilt that is turning out so beautiful. However, I cannot display it here until after I have gifted it. I am thinking that perhaps I could take some Christmas orders for custom made photo quilts by displaying some on Etsy ... so I will give that a try soon. Until then, check out some of these beauties on Flickr.
I have completed some personalized purse/totes to display. Here is one that features a photo from the day that Isaac came home to us from Haiti:
These bags are fully lined, very sturdy and truly beautiful. I can use any photograph to make them - without any harm to the photo. Clients can choose the size of the bag as well as the fabrics. Pricing will be $20 - $25 w/ free shipping. These will make great gifts! I plan to make several for my own family.
I will continue to make goodies on a daily basis and post them when I can. Thanks for looking! Please spread the word if you think some of your friends and family may be interested in placing a custom order. Thanks :)