Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Keeping Me Happy: People, Places, and Links

A blessed Ash Wednesday to all my friends and family observing the day and the season of Lent. We live on a corner lot just across the street from a Catholic church/school and the streets have been full all day with parishoners coming and going and being annointed with the cross on their foreheads.

Being naturally contemplative by nature, I thoroughly enjoy the season of Lent, but I confess, I haven't thought of a particular way to mark it this year. Last year, I gave up complaining and it taught me a lot and brought new practices of observation into my life that I continue. Given that we're still sort of in an adjustment period: seeking out a new church, trying out new stores, finding our way... everywhere, I was startled when my mom mentioned to me last night that it was the day before Ash Wednesday. I have a regular time of devotion every morning and am enjoying the books and lessons I am going through right now, so I don't think I'm going to switch things up in this area of my life this year.

Besides... I feel that kind of inspirational bug that I mentioned in the last post and I'm fairly bubbling over with ideas and projects and there's certainly not enough time in the day to do them all, but I don't want to squelch that energy.

Here are just some of the things that have been lending me inspiration and just... pleasure... this past week:

 The temperatures have remained so very comfortable outside that we are making a habit of getting out a couple of times a week to explore our new neighborhood. We haven't had much snow, but the day we'd planned to go we were met with big, fat flakes. This scene met me outside our front door:



And then we were off heading down the street to the bluff!

Oh, my girls just make me smile...


That's Maia, sheltering her eyes from the snowflakes, and Eve has brought the walking stick she claimed on our last outing.





Apparently, on the way home it was some time for some snowball baseball.



More inspiration to be had in colorful, old homes that occupy our neighborhood. I am continually wondering where we will end up? Where will we finally settle into home?







A couple of days after this walk we worked ahead in our schoolwork and took off on Thursday. I needed to have my knives sharpened and there is a wonderful place over in Northeast Minneapolis that sharpened four of my knives for a mere $12! We could have waited around for the 15 minutes it was going to take, but since Northeast was where Paul and I had spent a number of years before we had the girls, I took them around some of the areas we used to call home. And, as usual, there were new things and destinations of discovery that we had in mind too.




Sewing classes at Crafty Planet are newly on the wish list... maybe for spring or when school gets out...

Next door at Rewind, we had fun browsing and imagining what kinds of funky outfits we could pull together.

I'd wanted to take the girls into Dinkytown, but didn't have change for a meter. We headed over to the West Bank and had some coffee at Hard Times Cafe.


This week brought our first CLAY DATE with our friend, Jen.  Jen just happens to have a wheel in her basement and perhaps enjoys the excuse to get down there and get good and muddy! We'll have a few more classes with her and then I'll teach her older daughter some drawing. Bartering is a good thing. :)






I actually got to try my hand at the wheel too! Eve will get to go first next week, as she didn't get her turn this week. SO fun - there's a lot of freedom in being a beginner. :)



After clay, we'll be finishing our art year by trying out Keri Smith's, Wreck this Journal and have invited all of our Facebook friends - and anyone here too - to join us! It's going to be great fun! I'm sure we'll be pushing a lot of boundaries and we'll all be feeling a little bit, as my friend Kathleen said, "weird", but what a great way to feel as we shift into a new season! :)

A few other things I am enjoying right now:



Danny Gregory's, An Illustrated Life. I remember when he had a podcast before the release of this book where he interviewed some of the featured artists. Such a fun book with ALL kinds of different styles. I've got this one out on loan from the library, but this is going to be added to my wish list for sure.

My Kindles. Yes, I have two. Love the Calendar and Address Book by Seven Dragons and Sticky Notes by Mobigloo. It's the first year in countless that I'm going without a paper planner. So far so good. Those are on my Keyboard. And the Children's Indie Music station on Pandora is a blast to listen to on my Fire. Great artists make great music whether they're singing something for an adult or a single-digit-aged audience.

Listening to my daughter and husband play guitar together in the basement.

Along with everyone else, Downton Abbey. Very fulfilling season finale!

Tea, as always, keeping me company, keeping me warm. I tried the Orange Bliss sample that came in my Lady Grey box of Twinings tonight. Yummy. Stash's Chocolate Mint is a great afternoon treat.

Ooo, yes. And speaking of chocolate, Chocolove Ginger Crystalized in Dark Chocolate was the Valentine's chocolate I bought for myself when I bought everyone else's goodies. Mmmm....

Knitting back on my needles after the longest hiatus I've had since I started knitting 7 years ago. Now that we're a bit more settled, I can concentrate on something more than stockinette stitch.

I've got some Mary Kay parties on the horizon. So excited to get out there, meet some of my friend's friends and begin showing off our new line of skin care: Botanical Effects!

Some more things are on the horizon too, but these are the things that have had me smiling this week and last. What's making you happy these days?
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