Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Summer Farewell


Image Courtesy of allposters.com

Can it be Thursday already? And almost September... already?

I welcome the creeping onset of Autumn, though. I honestly don't know that I can think of one person who doesn't like Autumn. I realize some of you may be hanging on to Summer for all she's got as long as you can, but who doesn't love the tilt of the light and those amazing, Kingfisher-blue skies? I know that when we lived in MN, I too, hung on to summer for just as long as I can, but the romance of Autumn in all its splendid colors always swept me away.

Here in Florida, Autumn is, of course, welcome relief - relief that we won't actually get to experience until about mid-October, but relief, nonetheless. I clearly remember the donning of the fall decor beginning among the blogs round the first of September! I live vicariously through all of you at this time of year when we are still in the dog-days of Summer!

To be honest, I have never chosen Summer as a favorite season. I like it, but I don't have the memories of long summer camps or family cabins that some so fondly remember. I often wonder what it would be like to have traveled annually to some same summer resort: the summer resorts that are so hard to get into, since it seems the same families hold their same reservations for years. I'm sure that the same-old, same-old can get dull too, but I also understand how a place can become a "home-away-from-home." And, I confess, I am a sucker for tradition. I like adventure too, but here and there, sprinkled among the steady pace of tradition.

Amy at the Creative Mom Podcast prompted us with a haiku this week. Strangely, as I told her, I have been wanting to write one of late. This was the push I needed and I put my thoughts of Summer down on paper.

Summer

Lazy days away
it's somewhat lonely to me
with everyone gone.


And that's how summer mostly seems to me. I guess I don't have too many memories of a neighborhood filled with friends and long days full of endless fun. And the neighborhoods aren't full these days either. With summer camps for every interest and day of the week and family vacations, the children who might be around to play with each other are shipped out to different places. I don't begrudge anyone their family vacation. We like to take them too! But I'm always happy to know when school swings around, I'll get to see familiar faces around here again. Community life starts up once more.

So, fare thee well, Summer. We've collected some fine memories, but Autumn is just around the corner and I am more than ready to greet her!

Monday, August 27, 2007

A New School Year


Hello everyone and welcome to the week!

First, I would like to thank everyone for stopping by and leaving all the comments about my planner. :) It's funny to me that organization is such a hot topic, but I guess among women, it just is. I know it always interests me!

Today was the first day of our new school year. Eve is in 3rd grade now and Maia 6th. Eve was definitely excited for the day, jumping out of bed first thing this morning and ready to dive into her new school clothes as well as subjects. Maia came a bit more slowly - a bit more begrudgingly - to the table. It's not that she dislikes school, but more that she just loves her free time. Overall, we've had a great day, though. Maia was pleasantly surprised that her new writing course may actually be - gulp - fun?! And Eve's new favorite subject is typing!

We take a "first-day-of-school" photo every year in their new school outfit:






This past weekend I participated in the World Sketch Crawl with some of the Creative Mom Podcast listeners. Having spent most of my summer caught up in knitting, it was fun to get my pencils out again and do a bit of sketching.


I haven't had a lot of time recently to surf around the blog world myself, but I hope to stop by old friends' and new friends' places alike this week. Thanks for coming by here and catching up with me!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Organizing School and Life


Every Friday Kelli, over at "There's No Place Like Home", hosts a "Show and Tell Friday". Since we are going to be starting our school year on Monday, I thought I would share with everyone what keeps me sane as we move through our busy, daily schedule: my Homekeeping/Homeschool Planner.


My planner is a simple 3-ring binder with a clear pocket on the front and back covers to insert a picture. Last year I had two separate binders, but this year I have combined them so that there is no need to double-up on certain items such as pencil cases, calendars, etc.


The cover image of my binder was one I found at The Sparrow's Nest. I customized the Scripture verse that she had on the bottom to something that was encouraging to me. I used a couple other of the forms she'd made available last year in my journal as well. Not everything is available on her site this year, but some still are.


I recognized the birds in the nest that she used for the cover as free, Victorian clip-art and made a similar cover for the back of the journal for Homeschooling, as well as a verse that I find fitting and encouraging.



First up in my journal is my handy, dandy pencil pouch. Don't forget the covered pencil sharpener!


Next is an overview of our daily schedule for the fall. I give a copy to each of the girls for their notebooks, so that they won't need to ask me every day (and every half hour) what we will be doing next! This is kept in a plastic sleeve and on the back side is a page with our association with our homeschool group which identifies us as homeschoolers in case anyone asks (which they never have).


Next, in another plastic sleeve is an encouraging page sent to me from Nancy Campbell from "Above Rubies" magazine. I look for and keep other inspiring pictures, sayings, etc. that I can keep here in the front and rotate out from time to time.



My tabbed dividers are next:


Free, monthly calendars can be printed here.



I got my weekly planning pages at The Sparrow's Nest. You can, of course, just make your own.



My meal planning page is next, but I didn't get a picture of that this morning, as I have to print more out. But I made it from a simple table in Word and imported a few pretty pictures from the clip-art page linked above.

I made my own Bible-study notes page:


After these tabs come the following: Co-op (important pages regarding our homeschool co-op for this year), Lesson Plans, Science Books/Topics (a great book list for science), Books to Read, Notes, and Addresses.

Behind the "Books to Read" tab I have a (looooong) list of books I want to read, another page of books that I have read this year, books for the girls to read for school this year, another page of books to consider/research for school and a curriculum list where I fill in all the books we use this year.

The addresses are also in plastic sleeves and everything is written in pencil to accommodate for changes.

I am sure there are more tabs that may be added over time, but this is quite complete for me at the moment. As I write this, I think that I should add a list of emergency numbers at the front...

Do you have a planner that helps you through your day? Let me know if you post about it! I love to look at planners (for some strange reason, though I think that if you've read this far, perhaps I am not alone!) Be sure to stop over at Kelli's and see what she and others are sharing today! Have a great weekend, everyone

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

One FO and a bit of History


One project down, many more to go! :)

Maia was happy with her "Monica" sweater. I thought the ruffle was a bit too long under her arms. Something to remember for the next one I do for Eve. But it is a far cry from the first garment I attempted and so, a success! :)

We have quite a few errands to run today, so this is a short post. But I thought I'd like to post a few favorite posts from my old blog from this last year to sort of acquaint new readers and friends with a bit more about me and Golightly Place.


***********************
This post was first published Aug. 19, 2006

Well, this is my first entry for my new blog. Welcome to Golightly Place! Shortly after we moved here to the Gulf Coast of Florida, nearly three years ago, I knew our home needed a name. After reading what was to become one of my favorite books (Anne of Green Gables) I had decided that I always wanted our homes to have names. I saw that other folks had named their homes, but that was usually because their homes were farms or estates or the like. The chance that I was going to ever own one of those type of places - maybe EVER - seemed quite slim. "So why wait?", I thought. And so, the names began.

Our first home that I named when we lived in Minnesota, I dubbed "Heron Hollow" because we lived at the bottom of a hill and across the street was a pond frequented by Canadian geese, Mallard ducks, egrets, and, of course, herons. It was just a suburban home, but it is my belief that words are powerful and as Lucy M. Montgomery wrote in her second "Anne" book, "I suppose that's how it looks in prose. But it's very different if you look at it through poetry...and I think it's nicer..." Anne recovered herself and her eyes shone and her cheeks flushed... "to look at it through poetry." And I suppose I am enough of a romantic to wholeheartedly agree.

With our current home, I wanted a name that reflected our desire to live simply and tread lightly (and with light hearts) upon the planet. I consider my home my ministry and hope that visitors will feel the sense of contentment I feel in our home and after visiting will leave refreshed and encouraged in some way. I hope you will feel the same way too!

I have been happily married the last 10 (nearly 11 years and we have been a couple for 16 years) to my husband, P. I have homeschooled my girls, M (age 9 1/2, starting grade 5 on Monday) and E (starting grade 2), since my journey into motherhood began. I have used some of Charlotte Mason's methods in our past years of schooling, but I am going to be using this method almost exculsively this fall to see how things go. I am excited and ready for our new year and look forward to sharing some of our schooling adventures with all of my blogging friends. I need to work some more on this blog, so I will continue with another post at another time. Please stop by and visit again soon! :) Blessings, Mrs. Pivec

Sunday, August 19, 2007

We Are 1


"Tuxedo Cat's Birthday Party" by Jamie Wogun Edwards
courtesy of allposters.com

Once upon a time (okay, a year ago today) in a land far, far away (the southeastern peninsula at the bottom of the United States) there lived a woman, not too young and not too old (but just right!) who had stories she wanted to share. This lady missed the girlfriends she used to spend time with in her old home and was finding that as her children grew older, many of her children's friends' moms - who were her friends too - began going back to work or became chauffeurs for their children's numerous activities. She'd invited many to tea or lunch, but often there just wasn't enough time in their busy weeks for a visit. But the stories were still there. The seasons would come and go and the children would grow and say funny things and the lady would have questions or thoughts she was pondering upon and wondered if anyone else felt the way she did.

One day the lady discovered a new world of blogs! Here there were sites as individual as the bloggers themselves. There were pictures and stories and conversation and prayer. The bloggers welcomed and celebrated the seasons of the world as well as the seasons of their lives. Recipes, crafts, and interesting internet sites were shared. Some bloggers even had contests and others did things "together" with knit-alongs or art crawls. Books were discussed and reviewed, homeschool curriculums and techniques were reviewed and debated. Resources were shared. And so, the lady decided to build her own little place in this virtual world. She felt welcomed in this new place and decided to stay awhile.

It's a different world, it's true, from the one she has always known, but it's interesting! Now she has met people from many different parts of the world, and though they have not met in person, like pen pals, I think they consider their friendships no less genuine: just different. Conveniently, they meet whenever they are able: early in the morning over a cup of coffee, or late into the wee hours when the rest of the family is tucked in for the night. It's a home-away-from-home... or, rather, a "home-within-the home," this blogosphere. She's glad she's traveled through this year with so many new friends and hopes to have more years to come!

Okay.

I'm tired of talking about myself in third person. Hee, hee. :) But I really am glad to have been doing this for a whole year now. I suppose I'll continue to do it for as long as I am enjoying myself as much as I am now - which is quite a bit! I'm sincerely happy to have met as many of you as I have. I am ever-thankful for the sharing of your lives and for your interest in my own journey. I hope we'll continue our conversations for some time to come.

Thank you, everyone, who has stopped in and taken time to comment and join in the conversation.

Please, if you do visit or even just lurk from time to time, please just say hello in the comment box today or whenever you read this. I'd love to stop in at your place and say hello too!

OH!! And before I forget (again), I wanted to share the "Nice Matters Award" with my another, sweet blogger friend, Laurie. I meant to put her on my original list and then I simply forgot when I counted seven. I am rebelling and adding another name, because, gee, Laurie is just really nice and she understands that nice really does matter. :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Feelin' the Love and Random Bits

Today is just a collection of odds and ends from the week. I'm thinking of doing a bit of sidebar work around here today, as I think I ought to spiff things up around here as I get closer and closer to my one year anniversary of blogging. :)

We picked up this book earlier this week at the Goodwill bookstore:

I never pass up anything like this, because my girls absolutely love polymer clay! Most children we've ever had come visit us love the stuff too and quickly get quietly absorbed in their creations.

The books are important though, I think, because otherwise there tends to be a lot of just ball rolling and color blending going on. Not that those things won't eventually lead to something, but the books give so many wonderful ideas that the children begin creating right away.

I never concern myself with the children "copying" from a book. They learn techniques in this way and then the original ideas begin to flow. Primary colors, along with white and black are inexpensive and easy to start with and make really nice birthday presents for your children to give or receive. Michael's often has sales on polymer clays and themed, small kits are available too, that come with instruction sheets.

We were fortunate enough to get our books used at a garage sale and the Goodwill. I know the Klutz books are widely available at toy and book stores. The book on the top in the picture above actually originally came with clay, but we just went and got our own. I would suspect that a good place to find these books used, if you are so inclined, would be to look at the used offerings on Amazon.

Polymer clay is fun for big people too, but heaven knows I don't need another hobby right now!! LOL! I'm happy enough to fuel my children's creative flames and see what develops!


And here we have Einstein:

He is our neighbors' dog and he will be having a sleepover with us tonight while his family takes a short, overnight trip out of town. We invited him over yesterday to have a good sniff about the place so that he won't be too nervous tonight. And sniff he did!

He was not willing to stop to have his photo taken!

Oh, and just LOOK at this delicious picture sent to me by my brother-in-law (I like to call him BIL)! This is baby Celia that my family and I welcomed into the world back in May. She's just SO cute and I long to hold her again! See how she always has her little hands open - even when she sleeps? Her mama and daddy say she's got "Fossey jazz hands!" It makes sense though, because her mama-turned-lawyer's undergrad degree was in theater!
And how about that leopard-print diaper cover?

Celiea's mommy tells me that after she eats, she doesn't like to be held and fussed over. She needs room to digest. You know, stretch out a bit after a big meal and a full tummy. So she likes to kick back in her Boppy for a while to let things settle.

Finally, Lisa graced me with yet another award this week! Wow, Lisa, thank you so much! I love my Ozzie friends!


The award was started by Bella-Enchanted

"This award will be awarded to those that are just nice people, good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world! I am naming this award the Nice Matters Blog Award I will begin my naming a few of those that I feel deserve this award and I would like for those awarded to name 7 others."

My awards go to:

TaunaLen
Andrea
Kelli
Jewels
Barb
Kathleen
Aimee

Whew! That's all I've got in me today, folks! Have a great weekend and may God's blessings be upon you and your families. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wowie! Another Award!

This must be a good blogging week for me. :) Rhonda Jean has sent an award my way:



Now, I must admit, when I first saw the award, I was a bit confused. "The power of Schmooze"?! I can't say that I've always thought of that word in a positive light... but Rhonda Jean seems so nice, and if she got the award, I'd better do some more investigating!!

I found my answer here. And now I am a proud recipient. :)

I suppose if schmoozing is linked with conversation and relationships online, then I'm all for that! And I'm happy to pass it along too!

I knew exactly to whom my first award would go and that is to Kelli at "There is No Place Like Home." There is a reason that Kelli often has 48 comments or more on any given day. Not only is her blog a warm and friendly site, she is a dedicated commenter!! When my blog would register a big goose-egg for days on end in the early days, I'd always know who'd been by when it finally registered: "Comments: 1". Thank you, Kelli, for being the best "schmoozer" I know. :) Kelli has a big, warm heart that resonates throughout the pages of her prolific posts. She, like Reeve, lives with her blessed-to-have-her-for-a-wife-and-Mama family in Texas.

My second award I will give to Jessica at Ocean of Creativity. Jessica is a happily-married teacher and busy mom of her one and a half year old son. She likes to dabble in all sorts of creative projects including scrapbooking, drawing, ATC exchanges, podcasting (her podcast is called "Halfway There" and can be found at iTunes) and knitting. She not only converses via the comments section, but is often sending out sweet little cards an packages to people - including me! :) - in real life! Such a sweet gal.

Finally, Amy, at The Creative Mom Podcast, gets my final Schmoozer Award. Amy lives with her partner and two great little boys in San Francisco and produces an inspiring podcast every week for her growing crowd of listeners. Despite coming up with loads of stories, links, creative prompts, and ideas, my messages to her have never fallen into a vacuum. She is always quick to respond with a kind and helpful word.

I'm thankful to each of these ladies for becoming, to me, genuine friends via a virtual world. Enjoy your awards and pass them on! :)

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Little Bit of Knitting and a Little Bit of Church

A short post today, I think. I have a bit of a headache and have been a bit stuffy today. Perhaps it is the slight dust allergy I have acting up. While I am not allergic to our cats, I do think that their habit of coming in our room and laying on our bed with their shedding cat bodies (which collect dust) probably doesn't help matters.

So, I have an easy-to-make Split-Pea soup bubbling on the stove, so I don't have to think too much about dinner. At 7:00 p.m. this evening I go to my knitting group. This will be just the 3rd time we have met together, but already the group is growing and is a lot of fun. I think we may soon outgrow our little corner at Starbucks!

Speaking of knitting, I have a few things that are currently in process. Some of the projects I'm working on now are going to be Christmas gifts, so I can't be showing everything.

The tank top is a sweater for Maia. I will be making one like it for Eve too, in colors she has chosen . The pattern is a Knitty pattern called Monica from the Spring 07 issue. Maia liked the colors in the original pattern, but Eve is going for her usual hot pink with an orange ruffle!

I actually finished the back of the tank this weekend and now just have to knit and add the ruffle, add the straps and seam it up. So, I guess I'm a bit more than halfway done with this one.

This next project is a Christmas gift, but I don't think its recipient frequents this blog, so I think it is safe enough to show. It is Ann Budd's free "Basketweave Scarf" pattern from Knitting Daily. It's knitting up quite quickly for me and the yarn is so soft!


I actually have more projects on - or getting ready to be on - my needles too. As, I said before, I can't talk about them all, but I am going to be knitting up two Harry Potter house scarves for my twin nephews and I'll share the progress with those as they come along. Otherwise, it's time to start being sneaky and secretive! :) Have any of you begun to work on Christmas projects?

As you may have surmised, I am not one to like to save things to the lsat minute. Not that I never have, but if I can steer clear of added stress, I'll do it!

And some good news for the girls and me this weekend. We may not be "church-free" Christians any longer. I don't want to be jumping ahead of myself, but we visited a church (the first we've been to since leaving our old church after Easter) and everyone liked it very much. The best part for me is that I really wasn't looking for or planning on visiting this church, but the whole thing just sort of "fell" into our laps. I like it when that happens. Oh yeah, and this church just happens to be pastored by our next-door neighbors.

There is more to this story, but I'll save it for a bit later. But we're feeling happy. Just really happy. :)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Frugal Subversive Award




Hello everyone!

I'm back from my mini-break. It was very nice and I caught up on a number of small projects and some reading. I've also come back to the surprise that Lisa nominated me for a Frugal Subversive Award! Aren't those piggies cute? Thank you, Lisa! I've never been awarded anything on my blog before and I must tell you, I coveted the award started by Rhonda Jean, because, really, it's just what I'm all about!!

Rhonda Jean writes:

This is the start of a new meme - the Frugal Subversive Award. I am giving my award to three bloggers who consistently turn their backs on consumerism to live frugally in a creative and authentic way. These bloggers have made me think in innovative ways about my own life and how I can make a difference making, reusing, and just saying "no" to mindless spending.

If you are given an award and want to take part in this meme, you can in turn select three other bloggers who have inspired you to be a frugal subversive. Passing the rules on with the award will make it easier for everyone to participate. Congratulations on the award. I hope it helps you spread awareness near and far.

MEME RULES

1. When you are tagged, write a post with links to three blogs who have inspired you with their frugal creativity or innovation.

2. In your post, please link back to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme and save the award graphic.

3. Leave a comment or message for the bloggers you’re tagging, so they they know they're received the award.

4. Display the Frugal Subversive Award badge to identify your blog as part of the movement that is turning its back on consumerism at any cost.

So, again, thank you, Lisa, for nominating me, and Rhonda Jean, for creating the award. It is meaningful and I hope that it spreads the message of the importance of the citizens of wealthy countries to choose lives of voluntary simplicity, frugality, and eco-consciousness. I believe these lifestyle choices are a way that we can live more equitably with the rest of our brothers and sisters on the planet. For me, it is as that bumper sticker says, "Live simply, so others may simply live." Even with the choices I make daily to live a simpler life, I know that our family lives as kings compared to some. It makes it easier to practice saying, "no" to so much of the unnecessary extras that are continually pushed in our faces when I think of them and the state of the planet.

It takes practice to live consciously, but, lest you think it is drudgery, let me assure you that it is a very rewarding way to live. Not only does it lend purpose to my life, but I feel it adds intellectual stimulation and creativity born of necessity. If, for example, I don't buy x, y, or z, is there something I can use or re-use or borrow to be able to do whatever it is I want to do? And if I can't figure out an alternative, can I wait and perhaps find that I don't need it anyway? Could I even pray for an alternate solution to come to mind? Do we remember that God will provide for all of our needs? Do we give Him the opportunity to do so?

I think I could go on and on here, but I need to nominate some others for the award and spread the joy!

First, I would like to nominate Marianna of Cardinal Acre. Marianna regularly shares the steps she is taking toward a simpler life. She has terrific links and great ideas. She may very well be related to me! :)

Next, I will nominate Reeve of Country Roads. I don't know that she would think of herself as "subversive," but she does live simply, creatively, and authentically with her husband and two children in Texas.

Finally, I will nominate Sara at Walk Slowly, Live Wildly. She and her little family continue to downsize. Her latest adventure is traveling across the country in an RV they have refurbished to run on used vegetable oil and outfitted with many environmentally-friendly products on the inside. Her blog is widely read and it thrills me, because not only does she have an environmental message, it is Christian.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Vacation


Hello, all. I am nearing my one-year anniversary mark of blogging, as well as the start of school; for us, August 27. I have decided to take a week off of blogging just to quiet my mind.

I may still pop around and visit you all, but for the most part I will be taking a bit of a reprieve in order to catch up on a few things and perhaps organize a bit before things get busier again around here.

So, I'll be checking back in in a week. Have a lovely one. :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

More Rain, A Birthday, and Veggies


Like a moth to a flame, my children are drawn to the rain. Not the sprinkles, mind you, but as soon as it starts pouring, I can be sure to hear excited voices asking, "Mama, can we go outside?!"
No thunder or lightning means it's a "go." Notice the blur on the pond compared to the clearer pictures at the end of this post and then you, too, can "see" the rain.



Yesterday was Mr. Pivec's birthday. I got him an Orange Jasmine tree from the Florida Native Plant Society. Maia drew him a book (all about him winning a golf championship!) and Eve bought him a plant from same said society, to go in his butterfly garden.

Does the cake look impressive? :) Here is the recipe:

Ice Cream Cake

1 large container of whipped topping
2 boxes ice cream sandwiches
caramel topping

Starting with a thin layer of whipped topping on the bottom of the pan, layer sandwiches, caramel, and then more topping twice and end with the whipped topping.

Freeze. If frozen overnight, let thaw about ten minutes before cutting/serving.

Oh, my goodness, your super-sweet tooth ought to be satisfied!

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you should know that this kind of dessert is not my usual style. If it were my cake, I would likely have made everything from scratch , using organic ice cream and real whipped cream, etc. But on birthdays around here, if it's a boxed cake you want, or a purchased cake, or an ice cream sandwich cake, then that's what you get!

Aaahhh. On to greener, healthier-looking pictures. :)

This weekend, Paul began working on the fencing to go around the garden. Yea!

Notice the clear water?

It is such a small little thing, but it will be a nice size for our family, plus, a few plants will likely find their way into our flower beds as well.

The seeds have arrived!! I order my seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. They are a wonderful company, working to protect heirloom varieties and have been helpful for me in knowing what just might grow here in this sub-tropical climate, so different from my northern, Minnesota home.

I have ordered:

2 varieties of kale
2 varieties of beets
3 varieties of tomatoes
2 types of lettuce
onion
spinach
and
garlic , which will arrive in the fall for planting then

I am very excited and hopeful! I just picked up a new book from the library called, This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader by Joan Dye Gussow. I am reeeeeaaaallllly looking forward to reading this and being inspired! I'm trying to finish up my other books I've got out first, though.

More rain today. It doesn't make hanging out my clothes very easy, but it does make good weather for reading!
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