Making it right.

I'm completely in love with Etsy. And one of the reasons is that buying handmade items from the people who actually made them is so rewarding, for both buyer and seller. I recently bought this light switch plate from Trixie and Radar. Unfortunately, when I received the light plate it was cracked all the way across the back. (Damn postal workers and their rough handling of packages!) ;-)

I sent a message to the sellers, just to let them know what had happened, not expecting them to refund my money or anything like that. After all, I know there are no guarantees in life, and I hadn't purchased shipping insurance or anything like that. I kind of thought it was just one of those things and I'd say, "Oh piss!" and use it anyway. After all, the front part of the plate was still held together by the decoupage and it was still fairly usable.

But Trixie and Radar, bless their hearts, upon hearing the news, immediately and with no questions asked, made and shipped me a brand new lightplate. It arrived the other day in excellent condition and is now happily adorning the wall of the office in our new house.

To me, this is just one example of the complete difference between buying handmade and buying from the big, impersonal box stores like The Pits of Hell (otherwise known as Walmart). Walmart couldn't care less whether I'm satisfied with my purchase. Their idea (and so many other retailers' as well) of customer service is just blow enough smoke up the consumer's ass to keep them buying. Etsyians, on the other hand, want you to love your purchase because it brings you the same happiness that it brought them when they were making it. They feel warm and fuzzy inside when they know their item is treasured and loved. They want you to be happy because they want you to be happy. They provide customer service because it's the right thing to do.

Walmart? Walmart could care less. They provide customer service because they're afraid if they don't you might find somewhere else to buy your cat kibble and your toilet paper and your Lucky Charms. Oh, no, wait. They're not all that afraid, because they've taken extra steps to ensure your loyalty by running everyone else who sells cat kibble and toilet paper and Lucky Charms out of business...

But that's another story.

So, just a public service announcement. This Christmas season, buy handmade! Support local artists and people who take pride in a job well done. :-) Not the money hungry execs who want to grab more and more of your hard-earned dollars to spend on expensive Scotch and high priced hookers.


Words are very unnecessary.

Eliot was absolutely rotten about going to bed this evening. He stayed up a full hour and a half later than normal, until I finally let him cry it out a bit, then went back in and rocked him until he basically gave in to sheer exhaustion.

Apparently, I've let him slip in bed with Momma one too many times. I think he's getting to where sometimes he doesn't want to go to sleep without me. I knew it was a bad idea when I started doing that, but frankly, I have a hard time sleeping by myself too. Once Eli started third shift, I had a really hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep. So when Mog was up in the night I'd just bring him back to bed with me rather than putting him in his crib. He kept me company, kept me warm (that kid is absolutely hot-blooded just like his daddy, and sweats in his sleep), and kept me from getting up and trudging into his room to comfort him forty times a night when he would wake and not be able to get back to sleep on his own.

So, yeah, I've created a monster. But he's a snuggly little monster.

He pushes himself right up against me, usually wedging his head in under my neck, with his toes digging into my fat gut roll. Gross, perhaps, but cozy. I usually have to pick him up and scoot him back over against the wall once or twice during the night because he slowly scrunches closer and closer until I'm falling off the bed.

This nightly routine reminds me so much of the time I babysat Zayda for Elecia when she had to carry the mail. Elecia had to leave early in the morning for work, and Zayda was still sleepy, so I put her to bed with me and she snuggled in and fell back asleep. I couldn't sleep (probably because of the incredibly loud sound of her thumbsucking!), but just lay there enjoying her warmth and the feeling of her fuzzy jammies up against my skin. She had slung her arm around my neck and scooted right up against me, and I just lay there for the longest time feeling so loved.

It was during those early morning moments, snuggled up with my niece, that I knew for the first time, really KNEW, in the most visceral way that I wanted to be somebody's momma.

You remember the old Depeche Mode song,"Enjoy the Silence"? The lines that go, "All I ever wanted, all I ever needed is here, in my arms..."? Yeah, it was like that. And it is like that now, with my son.

And I am grateful for every moment.


Sale pending.

Our house sold after only ten days on the market. We are thrilled and relieved! But also saddened. It's all too real now, the fact that we are leaving this house.

It feels like the end of an era. We're saying goodbye to the first house we bought together, the house we brought our newborn baby home to, the house we spent our twenties in.

Moving on is always bittersweet. There is excitement for what lies ahead, but also a bit of dragging our feet, turning to gaze back fondly on the road we have already traveled.

(Notice from this picture that a) I apparently haven't taken a picture of the house since last winter, before the garage was completed, and b) I have no Photoshop skills. at all. zero.)


I missed my blogoversary!

Just realized that I made my first blog post a little over a year ago--September 25, 2007.
Three cheers for blogging! I have really enjoyed having this space to share photos, record my thoughts, bitch and complain, blather on randomly, etc.

Thanks for listening to me.


Color me happy.

We keep changing our minds on paint colors for the new house. The office is finished, decided, done. The color of the walls in every other room still hangs in the balance. I start off browsing paint chips, thinking for our bedroom I want to go with something warm and slightly orange. But the names of the colors distract me, and I end up fixating on paint chips with names like "warm comfort."

Ah, yes, of course "warm comfort" is the color with which I should surround myself. Isn't it obvious? "Warm comfort" with perhaps an accent wall of "misty memories."

Except that "warm comfort" and "misty memories" are both purple. I can't abide purple. I don't know why--it's just always been my least favorite color. I've been a big fan of green for years. And all earth tones in general. But lately I've been more of an orange lover, and brown. Brown is also my friend.

And yet, I find myself drawn to "distance" and "quiet storm," both in the blue color family. And who wouldn't love to wake up every morning to walls of "warm muffin" or "bagel"? (Except that they're both the color formerly known as yellow.)

This is my dream job--naming shades of paint. When I grow up, this is what I want to do. Obviously the goal is to find a designation that conjures up warm and fuzzy feelings from people, so much so that they purchase the paint (which cannot be returned) before realizing that it is in fact some hideous shade of putrid baby vomit. Then, ideally, they'll fall in love with another brilliantly named hue to cover their putrid baby vomit walls. I already have some great ideas.

How about "alopecia"? It will be a lovely buff color, with just a hint of peachiness. It's got a ring to it, doesn't it? Thought so.

Next up, "burnt hominy," the color of unhappiness. Yellow.

For the green family, we will have "verdad" representin'. As in, "honestly, that is the ugliest shade of green I've ever seen in my life."

Round things out with "montrous hunger pangs," otherwise known as brown, and "truthiness," a coordinating off-white color.

And finally, "delirium." It will be purple.


Our house is officially on the market!

Here is the blurb from the real estate listing:

"You will be taken by the charm of this extremely well cared for older home in a quiet, low traffic neighborhood. Newer furnace and roof and many improvements and updates. Square footage above does not include the 12 x 48 finished and carpeted attic area. A complete list of improvements is in the office. See this one today. It won't stay on the market very long at this price."

Nice. Couldn't have written it better myself.

Link to pictures. Should have taken Mog's swing down before the picture taking. Oops.

Word of the day.




There are so many different types of love.

Eli and I have a steady flame, cultivated and carefully tended over the years. It began as a spark that ignited between us and grew. Some days it burns brighter than others. We each add small bits of kindling to it from time to time, to keep the fire burning on those days when neither of us is paying attention. For thirteen years, now, our fire has burned. It has never gone out. I am confident that it will always be there, warming us. Inviting us to draw nearer each other.

Molly came into my life like a flash fire. Unexpected, and out of control. And while people who loved me warned, “Don’t touch that: It’s hot,” what could I do but stick my whole hand in, just to check? Molly burned too brightly and too ragingly, until her fire consumed itself and went out. There was nothing to sustain it. It kept going, crazily, and of its own accord, until one day it didn’t. And now there is a profound coldness in my heart, there where the fire once was. And there are burns, with their awful red aching throbbing, but which are bound to heal, in time. Leaving the faintest of scars along the fire’s path, marking the route it took as she raged through, leaving not only me, but all of us to stand in her wake and wonder, with nothing to do but shake our heads and marvel at our own ability to survive.

(I am still reeling from this loss. I know I will be okay, but in the meantime, I desperately need to be buoyed up by the people who love me. Are you guys out there? If you are reading this, please comment on this post, just to say hi. Just show me you are there and that I'm not alone.)


Books and blocks and trains, oh my!

We are in love with the library. Tonight when we needed to get out of the house so that the realtor could show it (our first showing!), we went to the library to hang out for awhile.

They have a Thomas the Tank Engine train set with magnetic train cars and a winding track, wooden blocks, and all manner of other toys, in addition to shelves upon shelves of books.

Eliot loves it here. When we visit during the day, we always make the long climb up the stairs to the third floor to say hello to our friend Kate, the coolest reference librarian in town. (Hi, Kate!)

Other momentous happening of the day: the haircut! Check it out. He's a big boy now. No more being mistaken for a girl.