May 30, 2013

Tied Fabric Garlands

This was my rainy afternoon project:

Strips of cloth, twisted cord, and some handy knot-tying skills (ha, not really).
Oooo, the picture on Pinterest wasn't lying. This is looking pretty good!

Ta-dah! A tied fabric strip garland! Made four of these, start to finish, in about two hours. Gonna use them as decorations for a Jane Austen murder mystery party in July. Thank you, Pinterest!
Here's the actual pin, in case you want to see. There are some other great garland ideas on this site!

May 26, 2013

On the Brink of Something New

"We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly."

-- 1Corinthians 13, The Message

Words. Refreshing, revealing, relate-able words from Corinthians that echo through my own thoughts. Realizing, perhaps for the first time, how vast is this God whom I believe in. So unknowable, so mysterious. So utterly beyond the box I've constructed for him all my life. So much beyond, my mind cannot hold him. Even his Spirit, just his Spirit, is enough to overwhelm me some days.

I reach through the mist toward a dream. An old dream. I can't touch it yet, but I'm getting close. I can't see the details but it's taking shape. We're on the brink of something new. My fingers push impatiently at the next few days, eager to meet this new that is coming. But my feet are firmly planted in the present and I can move through time no faster than anyone else.

So I wait. As I have waited. As I was told to. Maybe, just maybe, the waiting is almost over.

I guess we'll have to wait and see.

May 23, 2013

Just Beachy

I was mighty grouchy this morning. So was a certain little boy.
So we took ourselves to the beach after lunch.

We found our happy.

May 22, 2013

Down the Rabbit Hole or Medication, pt. 2

Step into my house. Time is measured differently here.

He doesn't eat during the day. A banana here, a waffle there, perhaps a small bag of fruit snacks if I coax him. That's all.

Until magic hour.

Meds wear off just after dinner time. Then he's HUNGRY. Like a bear coming out of hibernation. All the meals he's missed, all the calories he hasn't had, he makes up for in one three-hour binge. Watermelon, chips, chicken nuggets, yogurt, popcorn, cantelope, toast, cereal, chocolate milk. He eats and eats and eats and I'm left wondering where he's putting it all. But we keep the courses coming until he has his fill. Only then do my mommy worries settle a bit as I mentally add up calories and realize with relief that he's not going to starve.

That's our life on medication. A daily routine of feast and famine.

He's lost a little weight since the meds. Nothing to worry about, the doctor assures me. All the same, the little boy who used to eat constantly night and day is no more and I'm still trying to adjust.

"Are the meds helping?" the doctor asked me yesterday at his check-up.
"Yes, they are . . . " I trailed off, watching my son bounce off the walls in the exam room. He always bounces off the walls in exam rooms. It's one of the constants in life.
"They haven't solved all our problems, " I explained. "But then, we weren't expecting them to."

True. The meds have helped. School work comes easier. Social situations are better navigated. Restaurants are no longer on my list of Places to Avoid. Even listening and following directions seems to happen more often.

But the medication has not fixed everything. Caleb is still a highly energetic boy with sensory needs. He still struggles to function in a classroom setting, even with me right by his side. I still refuse to enter the black hole that is Shopping with the Boy. And he doesn't sleep much.

In fact, some days I wonder if the meds are doing enough.

But I should note here, and thankfully so, what medication has not done. It has not changed my son. He is not a zombie, staring off into space, out of sync with the world while evil pharmeceuticals run unchecked through his veins. He is still Caleb, creator of monsters, builder of legos, player of computer games. He's still in love with the beach, all things related to Halloween, and is the most recent Dr. Who convert in the house. He still tells me stories. He is my little boy. Meds and all.

May 15, 2013

I Dreamed of Green

I always wanted to live some place green.

I remember the day I decided my favorite color was green, because there was so precious little of it in the desert. I stood on the roofless playhouse my dad had built, looking out over the endless miles of dirt and Joshua trees. I promised myself when I grew up, I would live some place green.

By the time I was twelve, I was convinced I had a black thumb.

My parents had given me have a little plot of dirt in a corner of the backyard for my very own. It was a sunny, happy little plot, under an apricot tree. And I was determined to have an herb garden. I marked it off with a little wire picket fence. I painstakingly drew grids on graph paper and planned where every plant would go, taking into account amount of sunshine and water each needed, how big each plant would get, etc. I even put a patio chair in the corner, so I would have a place to sit and enjoy my garden. And over the next few years, I attempted to grow every herb you could think of.

First I tried growing them from seed (yeah, that didn't work).

So then I tried buying the actual plants: dill, basil, oregano, mint, thyme, sage. Everything herb-like that Wal-Mart stocked in their garden department.

I dumped months of allowance and babysitting money into my little plot. I planned, I planted, I watered.

And they died. One by one. The dill couldn't take the heat. Neither could the basil. I over-watered the aloe vera, rotting the roots. The sage shriveled up under the intense sunlight.

The one and only plant that survived my years of black thumb-dom was a lavender bush I planted under the apricot tree. Maybe the shade made the difference. Or maybe the water didn't leech away so readily. Whatever the reason, that one lavender bush took hold of the desert soil with abandon and within a few years, grew to a monstrous size.

Oh, how I loved that bush! Every spring I could look forward to a profusion of little purple flowers and a scent that captured my heart like no other. More than that, it proved I could grow things. My thumb wasn't black; the gritty desert soil simply conspired against me. The lavender gave me hope and when I moved away for college, I was sorry to leave it behind. Actually considered several (ill-advised) plans for taking it with me.

Now I walk the green grass in my front yard, delighting in all the little growing things that call it home. A newly planted daisy bush. Phlox that is coming back to life for its third year. Tiny nastursium leaves popping up out of the soil in yellow pots. Sweet pea seeds, planted but not yet sprouted. Lavender growing both in pots and in the ground. My yard will be a riot of color and beauty this summer. I have finally found a place where I can grow things.

I finally live some place green.

May 3, 2013

Welcome Sunshine

It's don't-leave-chocolate-in-your-car kind of weather.

It's a beach-towel-hanging-over-the-deck-railing-to-dry kind of day.

It's a sand-between-your-toes afternoon.

This is August in May.

Summer weather already? Yes please, and thank you!

Beachy days make me so happy.

Laughing, shrieking children. Jeans rolled up. Sports-brella providing shade.

Friendly conversations under an unbelievable blue sky.

I'd forgotten the world could be this beautiful. Five months of misty gray will do that to your memory.

I can feel myself waking up. The world is waking up with me.

It's going to be a beautiful summer. Made all the more special because it's come early.

It's the sand-collecting-in-my-trunk season. And I aim to enjoy every single minute.