The Christiana River on Sunday morning.  It was really fascinating, as the incoming tides created sheets of ice stacked atop each other, with rippling water between them, at least five layers deep.





Sweet November Knit Shawl – I really love this. The yarn drapes gorgeously, making this the perfect “hippie-chick” shawl to be worn with long skirts and a wandering gaze.


My very creamy potato soup. I could teach you, but I’d have to charge. Maybe one day I’ll post my secrets.


Peach and Berry Crisp. Easy-peasy, literally a basic crisp recipe spread over sugared fruit and baked until browned and bubbly. I used frozen fruit and it turned out great.


Like, really great.


Like, take a million pictures of my food great.

Added bonus pic:


Not quite done, but moving forward at a surprisingly fast pace.

Going for a new world record.

Friday night was super casual.  I put a frozen pizza in the oven on aluminum foil, that’s how lazy I was.  I didn’t even want to wash a pizza pan.  Watched some TV, went to bed pretty early.  I knew what I wanted to get done Saturday morning, and since I scrubbed the daylights out of the apartment last weekend, I knew it wouldn’t take me long.  So when I woke up, I put some bacon in the oven, grabbed my knitting, and finished the toe on the first sock of the first pair of 2013.  I began to get my chores list in my head when the phone rang.  My mother, telling me they were already about halfway to the apartment.  It takes them about two hours to get here, so I knew I had ONE HOUR to get everything done.  I mopped.  I scrubbed.  I vacuumed.  I did not do laundry; I did not shower.  I cleaned the whole place, including dusting, in 56 minutes.  Yes!  I sat down for about 5 minutes and the knock came at the door.  I was able to relax and enjoy my time with my parents knowing that I had accomplished all my weekend cleaning and wouldn’t have to get it done after they left.

So here’s the thing: My dad wanted to call Friday night to tell me they were coming and Mom didn’t let him.  She also didn’t call me at 8am Saturday.  She figured if they had called I would have spent Friday night cleaning, or gotten up freakishly early on Saturday to clean, and she wanted me to rest and take it easy.  That’s all fine and good, but I have OCD and I live in a basement apartment.  There is cleaning that MUST take place every weekend or I get really nervous about rodents and pestilence.  I know that I worry too much about it, but honestly, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to basement apartments, no?  So I think I felt more pressure when they were trying to take the pressure off my shoulders.

Most of the time, when I have feelings like this, I have no idea if it is my problem alone, or something that “normal” people feel, too.  Having emotional problems and living too deeply in my own head makes for some great writing, but it can make me feel uncertain about my own feelings.  Are these feelings normal?  Do other people feel resentment and anger against their family even when they know that the family is truly trying to be kind and helpful?

Keep it in your heart.

It does occur to me that many families don’t lay in bed together singing “Jingle Bells” a couple of weeks after Christmas has ended, but my family isn’t wired like other families. It’s just me and my homey, keeping it all together and getting through one day at a time.

I did grow up in a crowded house, with two older brothers and an older sister, assorted cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and occasional girlfriends and boyfriends all hanging out in my parents three-bedroom saltbox at any given time. We were, and still are, a weird and wonderful bunch. We like fun music, comedies that make us belly laugh, big family get-togethers, and so many people in one room you have to holler to be heard. We love art and music, and if we can have them both happening in the same place it’s a double win. It’s wild and awesome. We often say we prefer fun over comfort any day of the week. I have these amazing memories of growing up in this non-traditional way, and I wonder if I am doing my part to make Stephen as weird as I can. I don’t mean that I want my kid to be a weirdo, I mean I want him to have funny memories, odd traditions, and mostly I want him to know that no matter where he goes or what he does with your life, he can always come home for a good time.

Let the madness ensue, and let us always have fun.

Smells like Pine Sol

My OCD is kicking in hardcore today. I have emptied my kitchen, scrubbed All The Things, installed new shelf liner, run all my dishes through the dishwasher (yes, even the clean ones), put everything back, then cleaned the rest of the house with ferver. I do love a clean house, but when I get like this it can be hard to exist. I cleaned for seven straight hours, stopping only twice, once for lunch and once just to sit the hell down for a couple minutes.

The thing is, my place isn’t even dirty. I barely have dust. I guess I just can’t help but behave like this when I get stressed out. I know that some people might say that there are worse things than cleaning under stress, but this isn’t like straightening a bookshelf. This is real-deal, balls to the wall OCD. It does go hand in hand with my depression, as just Thursday night I ate an entire pizza, laid on the couch, and cried for about two hours. Why? IDK. This is just how it happens around here sometimes.

Now though, in the soft glow of my living room lamps, I feel good. I feel like I have some sense of control, even if it is over something like my kitchen.

How do you handle stress?


The years move on and on, children grow, we morph and change into what we have to in order to survive this crazy life.  It is a good thing to sit with my coffee this morning, watching the news and thinking about all the things I can do with my year to improve myself and my family.  My little one is still asleep in his bed, and I check in on all my blogging and Facebook friends to see how they are spending these first hours of a fresh year.  It is not the first time I have been grateful for all that the Internet has offered.