Tag Archives: Family

The Last Days

Although the Holiday Season officially ended over a month ago, I never got around to posting pictures and recapping the festivities surrounding my birthday and Christmas. It was pretty great, guys!

Blaise and I started out the day in style by heading to the Phoenix Art Museum to pay homage to my favorite installation in the whole wide world. I couldn’t really get a good shot of it — it’s a dark room with mirrors on all the walls and ceiling, and reflective tile for the floors. Hanging on strands dangling from the ceiling are tiny LED lights that shift color and quality in cycle. The effect is that you appear to be standing in the middle of the universe, surrounded by stars in all infinite directions. It is so dark in the room that you cannot see your own reflection. It’s very centering and lovely, really, and I hadn’t been to see it in quite some time. It’s called You Who are Being Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies by Yayoi Kusama. I did get some neat shots of other things, however.

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That night we headed to dinner with my family at Tuck Shop which was delicious, per usual. It was fun to get together with everyone in a fancy-schmancy setting.

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My Mom of course needed to get a shot of all the young couples in the family. Obviously.

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(sorry for the intense flash. I promise, although we are all very pasty, we are not quite that pasty).

On that Friday, my dear, dear friend Stephanie threw me an incredible little party that a great handful of my loveliest friends attended. Stephanie had amassed an assortment of delicious foods and we all got to make our own personal pizzas in her incredible wood-burning pizza oven. Fantastic!

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And then, of course, Christmas came just a few days later. I made out like a bandit with a brand new Le Creuset French press coffee maker, some terrific necklaces from my Mom (and from Blaise’s Mom!), lots of chocolate, and a gorgeous black cashmere sweater. I’ve been wanting a cashmere sweater for ages and just have never bothered to buy one for myself, so it was a very nice thing to receive.

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Here is myself and Blaise looking awfully couple-y on Christmas. Don’t you love his Christmas bow-tie / shirt combo? Guess who picked it out?! 😉

Life since then has been pretty mellow. Lots of working, lots of seeing people I love and care about. I’m looking forward to getting involved in some more projects in the upcoming days — I’m reading for a quickening of the pace around here. Lots to look forward to — including Valentine’s Day!

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Sunflowers

I have begun to find that the busier I am, and the more productive, the better I seem to feel. Whether I’m planting seeds, tilling the garden beds, feeding the chickens bananas out of my hand, or even doing laundry or dishes, I begin to feel the stress of everyday life start to wash away and a sense of usefulness and purpose begin to take its place. It is so hard to maintain perspective during the days and weeks that feel work-centric. I feel like a hamster in a wheel, really. But this week has started showing me that there is so much more to life than just work and making money.

I enjoy the sense of stewardship I have begun to develop in this place. I can pick up little responsibilities here and there, and I feel like I belong. This is home, finally. Although I still feel compelled toward the future, driven by my deeply ingrained goal-driven nature, I feel settled for the time being. No more spinning off in random directions. That is how I feel today, anyway.

Today we let the little chicks run around the yard for a good long time. They are getting so adventurous! Me being the overprotective (and slightly paranoid) mama that I am, I got a little anxious after a while and Blaise agreed to put them in a big outdoor cage. They could still scratch around in the dirt and feel the sun and the air outside, but they had much less room to roam. This made me feel a little more secure, although I’m sure the chicks did not appreciate this helicopter-parent-esque move on my part.

We also planted a great deal of sunflower seeds today. Blaise had a bunch of seeds left over from his last crop of sunflowers, so we soaked those in water for a day, drained and rinsed them, and buried them in several strategic places around the yard.

These will be the typical giant yellow sunflowers. Y’know, the ones that shoot up to impossible heights and grow flowers so heavy that after a time they begin to droop. I can’t wait to see them!

On the other hand, these smaller, dark seeds will become Dwarf Red sunflowers. They will still be tall, but much shorter than the giant yellow ones. We also planted more of these than any other.

Here is a very small part of the left hand side of our walkway. In the foremost plot we placed two rows of dwarf red sunflowers, and in the bed closer to the car we will put in some carrots.

Once again, I am starting to feel grateful for the way my life is turning out day by day. Not to be goopy or anything, but Blaise is a pretty wonderful partner and boyfriend. I couldn’t be more lucky to have him in my life! I feel closer to my family than ever, I feel stronger, more enthusiastic, and filled with optimism about the future. This is good. This is very good.

For now, I will content myself with a little beverage concocted by dear Blaise himself. Perhaps I’ll even open up a book! Some good music is playing and I feel… happy.

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Weekend Photo Recap

It was a pretty excellent weekend. I’m now camped out in the bedroom, stuffed with good food, sun baked, and absolutely exhausted. Here is what we did.

Sunday morning, I made French Toast with the remainder of our bread and the last of our eggs. The secret to excellent French Toast batter, of course, is vanilla. Luckily, we had some homemade Scottish vanilla extract that fit just the bill.

We headed out to Home Depot for some more succulents and came out with these little guys and some stuffs to repair the credenza display we got the other day. I’m so excited to fill this place at every level with little terrariums! They are so nice looking and oh-so easy to maintain. We then went back to QCumberz for the second time in one week to look for a few table legs we’d seen sitting in the back. The tough thing about places like QCumberz and Charlie’s Corner is that they are filled top to bottom with neat little things I’d love to have.

The dishes with the blue flower pattern on them are the same as my mom’s casserole dishes. I keep seeing them in antique shops, which she says makes her feel old. Don’t worry, Mom! You’re not old! You just have cool dishes!

Corelle Corner! I want everything in vintage Corelle…

Curiosities everywhere. This picture makes me think of Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I can’t believe he died this year…

When we got home, Blaise got to work re-staining the little display case he picked up the other day. After spending several hours on Saturday sanding it down and trying to mitigate weather damage, it was starting to look nice. He attached our newly purchased peg legs onto it later that night and voila! We had our very own mid-century modern credenza.

Monday was just as nice as Sunday, if that was possible. After a late breakfast, we headed off to lunch with Blaise’s grandmother and cousin, Elizabeth, who is in town from South Dakota. We ate at Gallo Blanco, one of our favorite haunts. I suppose I was a little selfish in my request to go to Gallo, because really, I just wanted to go swimming in the pool at The Clarendon after lunch…

Blaise and Elizabeth split some tacos. The above pictured was, I believe, octopus.

I stuck with a little lighter granola, yogurt, and fruit dish. I love that bowl so very much, too.  Here are some similarly-styled ones from Anthropologie…

And then there was much swimming! I love that little Phoenix bench over on the far side of the pool… what a neat logo my little city has.

It was largely a day of food, food, food, because as soon as lunch was done, we headed over to my parents’ place to start cooking dinner for them. They had just arrived back in town after a quick trip to Colorado, and I offered to make dinner for them so they didn’t have to worry about it on their first day back.

We decided we had all the makings for tacos, so we set to work mixing up some peppers, onions, ground beef, spices (i.e. cumin, cumin, cumin!), tomatoes, chilies, and a few scrambled eggs. I think they liked it.

After dinner, my mom took the both of us down to Zoyo for a bit of dessert. Always down for a bit of frozen yogurt.

Today was my last full day of summer. Tomorrow I will head back to school for the faculty potluck, and on Wednesday I will start “New Faculty Orientation” — even though I have already taught for a full semester. Next week will begin my school’s orientation and training, and before I know it, I will have a classroom full of living, breathing, students in front of me. Time flies by more quickly these days than it ever has before.

I am struck by how wonderful this summer has been. I have so many incredible people in my life, and I have been given such good opportunities over the past few months. I can’t be anything but grateful, to be honest. But for now, with the aforementioned full belly, I must turn off the computer and fall asleep. So many ladybugs to make tomorrow!

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