Monday, September 26, 2011

Thank God it's Furday...

When we made the leap a year ago from city to country we decided to splurge and hire movers. I had moved my stuff, myself, for two decades plus and that was enough. We were feeling rich(ish), and the idea of paying someone else to handle the headache seemed too good to pass up.
I have since spent a year trying to find said stuff in the sea of boxes still jammed into our basement. I guess I should have been at the meeting that riddled out the method to their madness, sadly I was not. As a result, I do not know where anything is. By now I have forgotten most of what is even down there (perhaps a clear indicator that I don't actually need all of that stuff, but that is a post for another day)
Last winter I was unable to locate my stash of vintage fur coats (of course I never thought to look in the large box marked "taxidermied fish"). A recent flood prompted a mass opening and ultimate score. Out they came, smelling like you would if you'd hung out in a dampish basement for a year, but I was happy to see them none the less. For a hoodie and jeans girl I have a real soft spot for rhinestone buttons, silk linings and dramatic collars that can be turned up on the coldest nights in January.
The kids and I shook them off, aired them out and then spent the next few hours playing lions and tigers and "big pink bear"! 

Oh my! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

First day of the rest of your life...

It has been a bittersweet past few days. Shep and Georgie started school Monday, full days, five days a week. They were gung-ho(ish) at the start, and still are most mornings. I think however Shep is starting to clue into the fact that this is a long term gig. I tend to get the "what the hell"?! look when I arrive at 3:05. I just hand him a snack and give him the "I know dude, I know" hug / back pat.
A large part of me does not want them to go. They seem so little, even though they are almost four and I am assured daily, by each, that they are "big enough" (to do whatever dangerous activity I am trying to discourage). 
I do know however that they need to be with their peers. We have been a gang of three for the better part of three and a half years. For better or worse they are my smaller, funnier co-pilots. I have thought of home schooling, but I believe I have already taught them the most important things I know to be true...
Be kind or go home. Shake your butt whenever the opportunity arrises. Being cute is lucky, being funny is gold. Rock star high kicks are an impressive way to emphasize a point and never leave a high five hanging. Perhaps it's time to pass the torch. 

Some shots of their first day home from the hospital, and their first day of school. Hard to believe we have come this far. 


Passed out the night before the big day...

The obligatory night before layouts of the "first day" outfits...

The day begins...

The big day arrived and was off to a slow start (neither kid looking very stoked), but by the time they lined up to start the short march inside they were both all smiles. I left full of happy and sad mixed with a lot of proud. I got them this far, it is time for Mama to have long overdue and much deserved nap. Xo

Friday, September 9, 2011

Is grumpy a colour?

It's been a moody week. My seasonal allergies have kicked into high gear making me want to pull out my eyeballs, my husband is away on a commercial shoot in the Florida Keys, and my kids have fought non stop since his departure. If I had a dollar for every time I had to repeat myself in the last four days ("for the love of God stop fighting / punching / biting / screaming / sticking that in your ear/mouth/eyes"!) I could buy the Florida Keys.
Blues and greens and deep purples have caught my eye this week. 
A coincidence - I think not.

We make grumpy look good...xo

Monday, September 5, 2011

Vacation Revolution...

A few weeks ago Emma from themarionhousebook messaged me with a bit of an odd request. Friends of hers (who had also been featured in one of her hello neighbour! posts) had contacted her wondering if we would be interested in a weekend of house trading. 
John and Abi live in downtown Toronto, not far from our old house in the busy neighbourhood of Parkdale. They were really wanting to get out of the hustle and bustle and take a bit of a rural break, if only for a few days. Kids and pets can make finding a suitable bed and breakfast a hassle and with a 2 year old daughter, a dog and a Spanish exchange student as a border they weren't having much luck finding somewhere to escape to.
It sounded like a great idea. I love seeing how other people live, plus we had a wedding in the city the following weekend so it solved all sorts of accommodation issues for us as well. I said yes, then immediately went to the hello neighbour! post that featured John and Abi's house and promptly got a stomach ache. Their house was stunning, and tidy...and did I mention stunning? I love my house, I think it rocks, but it's like looking at your behind in a new pair of jeans...others may admire, but the flaws and places that need work really stand out - if only to you. 
So, I spent the week pulling our place from the edge of chaos that it always seems to be teetering on (I recommend this trade idea to anyone, if only to get all your rooms in order at once). The following Friday John, Abi, their daughter Sheba, exchange student Roberto and dog Pippin rolled into Orono for a few days of small town living. They are lovely people, and in minutes I knew our house was in good hands. 
We headed to the city and settled ourselves into their gorgeous three story Victorian. Filled with books, art and hand woven rugs it is as beautiful in person as it is online. Beautiful, but not fussy. It felt inviting and warm, a house that is truly lived in and not just for show. Although completely different layouts and acres more space on their end, I did feel that we share a similar eye. A love of textiles and patterns, wood and touches of quirky (bathtub in the kitchen - how awesome is that?!). 
The weekend was perfect, and when we all met back up on Sunday it would seem things went well in the country too. Everyone was happy and well rested and completely thrilled with the whole experience. We all definitely agreed that this trade will happen again, sooner if not later.

Some shots of Abi and Johns lovely home (that my kids now refer to as "our other house")

House exchange is certainly not a new idea. There are websites that you can join and offer up your residence to folks from all over the world. The idea of the 100 mile exchange however is not one that I had ever heard of...perhaps we made it up. Whatever we did it worked and I think we are on to something. Want a taste of small town living for a day or two? Lets talk...xo