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I am still very much under the spell of my scaitica, but laying in bed has given me the opportunity to get something up and running.
Something very special.

Please follow me over to a new space that is near and dear to Laura and my heart.

Windfall Dolls

Peace, Julia

My friend Ginny is holding a giveaway for Laura and my shop.  There is a Waldorf baby doll up for grabs and 4 patterns!  Stop on over this weekend and comment, the winner will be announced on Monday.

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I explain it all over at my new home… At Blogger.

Glimpses into the life

Please say that you will follow me there.

I’d miss you all SO terribly if you didn’t.

PS.  I will still be keeping my WordPress account because I like what I wrote here, and also to direct my friends that used to visit me here, over to my new home.

Do you see that day right there?

Saturday the 12th?

Do you see how it is highlighted in yellow and says….FIBER FEST?

Well, it’s highlighted because I don’t want to forget it.

and it’s only 2 days away….TWO!

Months ago, Laura and I applied  “Adirondack Mama’s Gifts” as a possible vendor at the Blue Mountain Lake Museum for their Annual Fiber Fest.

About 2 months ago we were told that we had been chosen as vendors by the jury.

I know, exciting right!!!!!!

So I marked the day in my organizer and highlighted it, always saying that I would have plenty of time to sew a supply for it once the boys started school.

Plenty of time!!!

Well, I just finished up a two day stretch of working at the hospital, and today….  do you think that I could bring myself to get within 100 ft of my house, let alone my trusty sewing machine all day long?

Yes, I hear you calling to me Singer.  I am going to have to politely decline your invitation for a get together though….You see, I have a gorgeous day to enjoy.

This morning I had a staff meeting (blah); then I met my dad for a really nice picnic visit on the grass at the Inn; then I went for a walk around the lake, got groceries and picked up the boys.

And only now is the guilt hitting me.

You see, we have a lot of shop supply all sewn up ( left over from the Farmer’s Markets), but I really need to make 6 more knitting needle wraps to fill the quota that I wanted to bring for the show.

6 needle wraps (in fact, it’s Adirondack Motif fabric is sitting right here next to me and keeps waving at me out of the corner of my eye…. “Yeah, yeah yeah, I see you pine cones”.) that I have to finish within 2 days.

My mother always jokes that Procrastination is my middle name .

And so, as soon as a close this laptop, I plan on getting jiggy with my Singer.

Just as soon as I come back from my walk to the river with my two boys, that is .

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Have a great weekend friends, and I’ll let you know how the Fiber Fest goes on Monday.

Flowers, that is…

They surprised us with their presence. 

I asked Fran ” Did you plant Sunflower seeds?”

and he said ” No, I thought that you did.”

We realized then, that they must have been dropped down by some birds traveling overhead.  

Im so glad that they took the path over our home.

Late July saw them flower.

Late August they began to wilt and seed.

Almost ready to harvest.

And last night…

 Fran took one head and stripped it of it’s seeds.  They were ready to fall for the birds, but now they lie on a baking sheet.

Ready to roast.

And then to eat, by me and my friends.

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We will have a ton of seeds, so if anyone would like some, I’d be glad to share.

Let me know and I’ll gladly mail them out to any of my friends.

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In case you wanted a recipe….here is the one that I’m trying out.

Roasted Salted Sunflower Seeds Recipe

Ingredients: 1 cup Sunflower Seeds
2 quarts Water
l /2cup Salt

Note: For salt free sunflower seeds, rinse seeds and go straight to step # 7.
Preparation Directions:
Add water and salt in a pot or saucepan.
Rinse sunflower seeds and remove any plant and flowerhead matter.
Add sunflower seeds.
Bring water to a boil, then turn down to simmer.
Simmer 1 to 1/1/2 hours.
Drain on a paper towel until dry. Do not rinse.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Spread seeds on a cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Stir frequently.
Remove from oven when they turn slightly brown.

Summer is still in full swing here in the Adirondacks.

Evidenced by after school hoots and hollers from two little boys who were given a choice to either go home and help make dinner, or go to the beach to get some bees out of their cooped up bonnets.

Silly me for even thinking there would be a deliberation.

And even though the beach was officially CLOSED… I just couldn’t steer my two Hoola Dancers back to the car.

Besides, a Registered Nurse is as good as a Life Guard any day, right?

RIGHT.

They frolicked while I gave my freckles a much needed break from the sun; they are still popping out after our week on the beach.

And yesterday, ahh yesterday.

If possible, it was even more beautiful.

My Aunt Patti and her brood joined us at the beach for 3 hours of glorious sunshine,

play and laughs.

With three of the cutest brand new Kindergarteners that we know.

2005 left to right...Aurora, Sam, and Eben

(I leave you with a drawing of Sam’s take on his ride into school on Friday.)

And a wish for a lovely rest of your long weekend.

My friend Heather is holding the ultimate in Swaps….

I am so psyched to be a part that I thought that some of my visitors might be interested in joining in the fun.

If you are, just follow this link… Vintage Swap

The instructions are clear and the premise is fun.

The more the merrier!

For those of you that are vegetarians or are afraid of butter you may want to skip this post all together.

But for those brave souls that are up for a decadent dinner, follow me.

To paradise.

A dinner so scrumptious, that it didn’t even make it’s way into the refrigerator to be qualified as a leftover.

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When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things that my Mom would cook for us was her Shepard’s Pie.

Traditional Shepards Pie is made with ground lamb and either peas, carrots, or both with a layer of mashed potatoes on top.

My mom’s recipe (although I have put a bit of my own spin onto it) is a variation on the traditional Pie.

It is tastier than tasty and is layered like a yummy cake of savory.

Recipe

Brown the following ingredients together in a Teflon pan.

1 1/2 lbs of lean ground beef.

1/2 onion.

2 cloves of garlic, crushed.

Sprinkling of salt, pepper, basil, thyme, sage, rosemary, parsley,oregano, mint (the last 7 were all together in a seasoning grinder called “Country Herbs”).

Drain off excess oil and set aside to rest.

Boil 1 bag of frozen sweet corn, drain well and set aside.

Peel and cube 3 large russet potatoes.

Boil until fork tender and drain.

Place potatoes in a bowl and mash with a hand masher.

Here comes the most important part….

Mix in 1/2 cup of butter and a splash of milk.

Now for the layering…

I use a shallow stoneware casserole dish that was a wedding gift, it cooks so evenly and doesn’t burn like I have found glass to during past attempts at making this.

Here are the layers, bottom to top.

Meat

Corn

Potatoes

and the cherry on top….a sprinkling of finely shredded mixed monterey/cheddar cheese.

Bake in a 400′ oven until cheese is browned and potatoes begin to rise like a souffle.

Then and only then, may you dig into the deliciousness which is Shepards Pie.

I send my regards to your arteries with this one.

But seeing my little boy gobble it up by the spoonfull at the end of his first day of Kindergarten made me even more aware of the reason that they call it…

Comfort Food.

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Breakfast visiting with my boy.

Independence.

Ham-ing it up.

Best buddies so psyched for their first day.

Promises from his super nice teacher to fix his name, which seems to be written EVERYWHERE in the room.

“See ya’ Mommy!”

After the expected cry (by us, not the boys), we put on our brave faces(ie,sunglasses) and had a wonderful walk around the lake with our sweet Mom.

Then off to the grocery store and back home (where I swear my eyes burned a hole into the clock.)

And then 3pm came.

and Whitie joined his parents at the end of the driveway.

To wait for his brother.

Who had 

Video: THE BEST FIRST DAY!

What a marvelous day.

Open House for Kindergarten was everything I dreamed it would be.

Not a single question went unanswered, and I was reminded that there ARE other people in this world that are capable of caring for my boy…..

You know…other than my twin, husband, brother-in-law, and my parents.

Eben thought it was a complete HIT and was so excited tonight to go to the Open House Picnic with me.

We brought a blanket and claimed our spot in the sea of parents and rowdy Elementary kids in the field.

After we had settled for a while I noticed Eben staring off into the distance.

Then he rose and started to run.

I called to him..“Eben, what is it?”

“It’s my teacher!  She’s here!!!” he yelled over his shoulder.

I watched as he ran to her side and waited for her to finish talking to another little kid.  I saw her stoop down to his level once she recognized him.  I saw as they started talking; all smiles and nods… in the mutual interest of fast friends.

His face was lit when he returned to our blanket and my heart swelled.

” I hugged my teacher and she said she can’t wait to see me tomorrow!”

We went home afterward to spend the rest of the night together, relaxed and early, in anticipation of the big day ahead.

Fran helped me with getting things together and packing up his lunch bag.  And as I began sticking animal stickers onto the inside of Eben’s insulated bag (a little surprise when he opens it at lunch), Fran told me what a good mom he thought that I was.  He told me how his mom had never packed his lunch and how he always thought that the kids who’s moms packed their lunches were the luckiest kids ever.

As I stuck the final sticker on the inside of the bag I felt my throat begin to close.

Then the tears just started to fall.

And Fran hugged me for what felt like an hour and whispered all the things I needed for him to say and knew that he meant.

” This is so good for him.”

” He told me how excited he is to go.”

” I know that this is hard for you.’”

” He will still be our little boy.”

But you see, I was not crying so much for the loss as for the relief.

Relief that he is going into such a wonderful school.

A school that can count his parents, grandparents, and great grandparents as alumni.  A school that is sweet and nurturing and stimulating… a home away from home.

The tears dried and my breathing steadied.

My boy and I took a bath together and then I asked him to go get on his jammies.

When I went into his room…

he was sitting on his big bear holding the book that I had laid out to read tonight.

A book that I had been saving for today, since I bought it 3 years ago at the Thrift Store for a quarter.

So now starts a new tradition.

For a new chapter in life.

A tradition of ending the night with a book instead of a show

and snuggles with Mama in a big cozy bed.

My mind is open and I am bubbling with optimism for tomorrow.

 

It feels like this was taken yesterday.

I promise I haven’t been ignoring you all since I got home, it’s just that I have been working at the hospital for the past two days.

Keeping busy is a good distraction from the imminent start of Kindergarten on Thursday.

Tomorrow the boys have an Open House for their classes, so wish me luck that I can keep the tears at bay.

And then, I don’t even want to think about the shape that I will be in on Thursday come 8am.

Sniffle.

Boo.

Hoo.

Blat.

How can those babies be going to Kindergarten already?

Happiness and love are restored in my life with the arrival home.

Unpacked and decompressing in the company of my nuclear family.

HEAVEN.

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PS.  Thank you for your support during my meltdown.  It really helped.

NOW COMMENCES THE VENT EXTRAORDINAIRE

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I am going to pretend that our vacation ended 2 days ago.

The wheels have officially fallen off.

Yesterday Fran and my morning was spent arguing and then attempting to regain the good times that we were having the previous 6 days by bringing Eben to the zoo.  Which was really very nice, but basically the only nice part of the day in regards to me and Fran. Afterwards, the guys went to some wharf or something while Emily and I had gone into Kittery to the outlets. On our way home, Em CASUALLY told me that we were going to have to….

“Clean like CRAZY tomorrow.”

Apparently you have to pay for cleaning of the rental house ahead of time…..WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?

Well, I was NOT going to spend my final morning of vacation cleaning!

So as soon as we got back to the house, I got to work.

In typical Julia fashion I huffed and puffed and stomped around the house sweeping and spraying and wiping with Emily.

Oh, and did I mention the sighing…..there was a whole lot of that mixed in too.

FINALLY, Fran came in and started helping, he told me to go get some wine and he would finish the rest ( in other words… go get tipsy so that I don’t have to listen to your huffing, puffing, stomping, and sighing.)

No such LUCK pal.

After we had overhauled the kitchen and officially declared it off limits we all went out for a really nice dinner…REALLY YUMMY.  Then we returned home to settle the baby and Eben into bed and then we rounded out the evening  arguing over what time to leave the next day….

I pretty much wanted to leave as soon as the sun rose, but Fran wants to drag it out, go to the beach, go find more shells,and get some souvenirs.

SO, here I sit at 7am on the day that we are leaving for home, stewing over the fact that Fran has gone for a walk on the beach in the POURING rain  and I can’t even pack the car because he has the keys.

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You know the saying, ” She lost her top.”

Well, for the past 6 days the top of my pressure-cooker-internal-TOGETHERNESS-meter has been slowly and quietly shaking.

Yesterday was just enough for it to totally lose it’s cool.

SERIOUSLY, I LOST IT.

I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but I am a very solitary person.

Independent

Self sufficient

Introverted.

Call it what you will, but claustrophobia and I do NOT make good bed fellows.

So, with that said, I am highly anticipating the return home.

I miss my cats.

I miss MY family.

I miss my sewing machine.

I miss my bed.

I miss MY car.

I miss my alone time, which was ever so fleeting at home, but even more prevalent that it has been here in Maine.

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Thanks for listening to me.

I’m sure I will miss this time greatly looking back on it in the future.

But, you see,  I seem to have a one track mind right now.

And at the moment, the direction that it is pointing me in is HOME.

We ventured into Boston Mass today to do some sight seeing and act like real tourists instead of just beach bums.

Our first stop was the New England Aquarium.

Where we spent several hours mesmerized by the likes of these

And this

And my MOST FAVORITE.

This little guy and I seemed to have quite the connection….he posed for me for 20 frames.

(it was hard to choose just one to use in this post).

And after we had our fill of sea life, we went on a tour of  2 of the oldest ships still in use in the US….

The USS Constitution, which is getting quite the face lift.

And an old ship from WWII which was pretty impressive.

100_8935

Of course once we returned back to the house, we rounded out our day with a swim.

Because seriously…

what sort of Beach bums would we be if we took a day off from the ocean?

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