out with the old

This year (and let’s be honest, a big, fat chunk of 2009) can totally SUCK IT.  Bring on bright and shiny 2011.  I am so looking forward to a fresh start and better luck in the new year.   There will be at least one baby born to an old friend, three couples getting hitched this summer, camping galore, and lots of cocktails and treats in the yard.

I am not a fan in general of resolutions – seems like  a setup for failure- but I have made note of  a few things I’d like to get done in 2011.  As some of you may know, our garage is *ahem* Stage One Hoarders.  Ever since we moved in in 2007, it has been the dumping ground for things unfinished or unneeded.  Ms. Professor did her level best 2 years ago to clean it out, but well, that was 2 years ago.  It’s mainly the stuff in the middle that is the problem – the perimeter contains stuff we actually use.  So!  Priority number one!  Get the crap out of the garage!  Eventually, part of this space will be converted to living space, so we will need to insulate, dry wall, heat, etc.  All of which will be much easier if one can access the walls.  And floor.  So out with the cedar chest and drop leaf table, too-small bikes, boxes of files, clothes no longer worn, long-dried-up buckets of paint!  We will go from something like this….


to something like this!

In the same vein, it is high time I got rid of clothes, shoes and bags I no longer use.  I am too old for that cheap crap anymore!  Time to invest in some better quality things!  Hence the Spring ’11 board on Pinterest. Our house is way too small to keep all that flotsam and jetsam around.  If I don’t love it, it’s out.  No mercy!  Priority number two!  Less stuff!

Now that the inside is taken care of, time to move outside.  We did some work in the front yard last year, building the boxes and planting some new things.  Time to move to the backyard, so we can enjoy some outdoor dining in proper style!  We have a fair number of very old shrubs and trees back there, but we also have a lot of weeds and holes to fill in.  I’d like to see less of the neighbors!  Given that it’s also Jack’s territory, we’ll have to plant some bigger things to give them a fighting chance.  Maybe also an outdoor fire pit.  Stain the concrete donut.  A shed back there for the rocket box and wood?  Paint the picnic table?  Priority number three!  Better yard!

Also on tap for 2011: More knitting.  More sewing. More cooking/baking. More hiking. More photos.  Just – more.

Some of you seem to think all I do is stuff. Plan stuff. Do stuff.  Make stuff.  All true.  Because if I don’t DO all those things NOW, when will I do them?  Someday, it will be too late.   There is so much to do in so little time.  And I haven’t even gone to Europe yet!

Full disclosure: I also spend a fair chunk of time watching mindless tv and wondering who’s going to do that laundry and those dishes (sometimes me. Sometimes the Geek.)

So then.  Cheers to 2011.  Looking forward to sharing food and drink, camping, photos, hikes, yarn, flowers, more food and drink. And if you need a cedar chest, I’m your girl.


hope springs eternal

While checking the yard for possible wreath-making bits, I came upon a surprising sight.  Buds! (No, not THAT kind.) Just days after it snowed here!  To be sure, there is puh-lenty of dead stuff.  I was a bit negligent in the putting-the-garden-to-bed area.  I need to do some big time shearing. In the meantime, there is this.

Tulip tree



Harry Lauder, dropping its leaves, preparing for the gnarly branch show


If it EVER stops raining around here,  I will get out and take care of last season’s remnants.  Already looking forward to spring’s plant sales, just around the corner.  After last year, when I went to damn near every local sale, I know which ones are worth it (and which ones are worth the preview ticket).  Bur for now, when we are smack dab in the middle of Christmas, there is this.


filling up the cup

It’s no secret that this past year (and most of the one before) has been full of challenges, honestly the worst I’ve been through.  And yes, I know in the grand scheme of things that my worst years are nothing compared to some.  Believe me, I tell myself that almost daily.  Sometimes when it really sucks, when the cup is clear-through-to-China empty, I look around for things to fill it back up.

We’re at the point in our life when most of the people we know have careers and make money.  Actual money, enough to buy what they want and go places that require a passport, like grown ups.  Owning a bar is not a license to print money, no matter how glamorous most people seem to think it is.  It is freaking hard to make it work; frankly, it’s more like a public service to keep it open.  (Unless people think you’re closing, in which case you have your best month ever.)  I tell you this not for sympathy – I had my own little pity party last night.  Then I reminded myself that we’ve been here before, and we buckle down and SOMEHOW make it work.  It becomes all about the possibility.  We widen our gaze and find things to fix, new things to try, and thank our lucky stars that we HAVE something to make better.  And the cup starts filling up, inch by inch.  Not easy by a long shot, but possible.

Such stress makes it harder to appreciate the little things, but that’s when the little things count the most.  That’s when I have to step back and gather around me what makes me happy.  Into the cup, inch by inch.

  • my family is healthy, knock on wood.
  • my daughter is talking to me again.  Turns out showing her the blog I wrote on her birthday was all the convincing she needed that we love her as much as her brother.  Crisis averted (or maybe just postponed).
  • I bought Christmas lights for inside the house last night.  They are white and sparkly.
  • my silver christmas tree
  • I almost finished knitting a scarf.  For me.
  • my Pinterest.com pinboards.  Full of pretty, tasty, funny.  Full of possibility.
  • friends.  Best ever.  Some I’ve been with longer than I lived at home.
  • Downtown Seattle at Christmas.  Food at the Market.  Window shopping.  Mini donuts.  3 Girls Bakery.  Beard Papa.  French Pantry. Also eating.
  • Cocktails
  • Christmas cookies.  And Christmas music.  I might be getting my Christmas mojo back.
  • my sewing machine.
  • wine by the fire when it’s raining buckets outside.
  • how happy Dean is with his new iTouch.
  • Stitch.  My sanity.
  • San Francisco.
  • NYC.
  • What I might do SOMEDAY.
  • Fitz and the Tantrums.  Sarah Vaughan.  Glee.
  • Mad Men.
  • The quilt I made that lays on the couch.
  • Jack.
  • My tattoos.
  • Words.

My bank account might not be as full as I’d like at the moment, but maybe it will be someday.  Right now, my cup is getting fuller by the minute.