Wednesday, September 09, 2009


i've been feeling stuck for awhile now....but today i learned something. raising little girls does not mean that i have to confine myself to the house and do laundry, sweep, wipe pee off the floor and yell because they are keeping me from doing all of the above. i CAN break free from the routine.

we went on a drive.(in the buick with all it's cracks, rips and rust and the new 'no farms no food' sticker).

all day long.

stopped when we got tired, hungry, etc. etc. and on more than one occasion i was someplace that i'd never been before...and that felt SO good. it's incredible what a change of scenery can do and i'm certain there are a number of still frames in my mind that will stay forever in my memory. have you ever been to peterson? or on deep river rd? 221st ave., wykoff? i recommend any and all of the above.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

currently listening to....

....Craft Sanity ...and loving it! This is Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood's podcast/blog, and is full of inspiration, humor and sincerity. A great way to pass the time while folding laundry in a home with no television.

I've also been listening to the birds a lot, while fighting with the overgrown bushes in front of the house. I've suceeded in pulling them all out now, and am so anxious to get some native plants in the ground that will add some beauty to our home.

On a further gardening note, I've decided to turn a large area of the front yard into my vegetable garden. After spending too much time contemplating which part of the backyard play space I was willing to sacrifice for this venture, it struck me that we don't use the front yard for anything, and it's the ideal sunny spot to grow our food!

What's going on in your gardens?

Friday, March 13, 2009

whole food

check out my little 'i heart natural food' addition! this engine makes it so much easier to find recipes that use local, organic, and whole foods, and is my new best friend when dinner time rolls around.

in regards to food, have you heard of this amazing book? Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day it's true. it really only takes five mintues, and the results are amazing. we have had fresh bread on our dinner table all week long! yum.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

a space to call my own.

a friend recently gave me some really good advice. 'do something that can't be undone every day.' it really got me to thinking that it's a bit of a tragedy that i live in this house and don't have a square foot that's just for me....for the things that i don't want undone. i spend so much time reorganizing thelma's art supplies, why don't i do this for myself?

so, i did. and i am thrilled with what i came up with. this is the little nook at the top of our stairs. most of the floor is thelma's bedroom, but i have now claimed this little space. our activity yesterday (in lieu of chit chat club!)...was painting the walls! i found a pint of paint in the shop that i had picked out for the kitchen, and delip thought it was too blue. so, i used it here. thelma did (most of) the rolling all by herself!

i love yarn...the colors, textures, all of the fibers working together to create something beautiful. OK, not always beautiful, but not easily undone! i couldn't resist the urge to arrange my stash into this rainbow of wool.

this sewing machine was given to me by my grandma florence, who passed away last spring. i think it probably dates to the 1960's, and still works like a charm. i've only recently begun to take sewing seriously, but am looking forward to the day when the built-in cupboards in my space will be home to piles and piles of fabric.

only thing missing? YOU. come over anytime and we can drink coffee and tea and create something together...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


oxbow log cabin

Thelma wants to live is apparently her idea of a "dream house"! Which translates to: tons of room to run, fresh air to breathe, and river otters in the zoo across the street that could entertain you for hours.

the will to blog...

...i might just be regaining it. until 10 pm last night, i had no idea how much weight i'd been carrying around on my shoulders for the last 8 years. its gone now. and in its place...HOPE! so, a fresh start, dear friends. if you haven'y given up on my blog completely, then stay-tuned!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

grandma flo.

it has been almost a week since she passed away, and i still don't really feel like sitting down and writing about it...but i don't trust my memory, and there are things that she said that i want to write down before i forget. it seems i have a very good memory when it comes to useless information, and it all goes to shit when there's something that matters.

i should feel lucky, because it all happened so fast....even faster than with my grandpa. i was pregnant with thelma when he died. so, here i am again....pregnant, and dealing with the loss of another.

my grandma was second to oldest of 11, and the first one to die. all of her brothers and sisters were in lima, wis. for the funeral on tuesday. she gave birth to 10 children, and is survived by 26 grandchildren, 31 2/3 great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great grandchildren. her cup was always over-flowing.

she was 16 when she met my grandpa and got pregnant. that's why they "had" to get married. didn't keep her from being married 66 years and it certainly didn't keep her from getting into heaven. her first and fifth children share the same birthday. they are exactly 5 years apart. she was busy. there's one particular picture of she and grandpa and those first 5 sitting out in the yard that i stared at for a really long time on monday night. she would have been 22 and he, 29. she looks SO young. and breath-takingly beautiful, surrounded by all those little ones. those were the days when they were still working the family farm in lima, before they sold it and moved to the house in town at 619 W Prospect St. (incidentally, that house is for sale right now...for $94,000. seems a small price to pay for the house my dad grew up in.)

i think she stopped cooking once all the kids were grown up and moved out of the house. i only remember being at her house one time when she was using the stove, and she was cooking liver and onions. i was probably around 10. her oven has since served as storage for paper plates, extra napkins, and whatever else she couldn't find a place for in the cupboards. the microwave served a similar function.

she saved everything...and knew just where everything came from and why she was saving it. (i inherited this from her, much to my mom's dismay. i used to save gum wrappers when i was a kid because they smelled good and i might want to re-live that smell later, after the gum was long gone.) a box of things she had set aside for my dad had two such peculiarities inside it. one was a tiny brochure boasting the incredible results of oil of olay beauty solution that i would guess dated back to at least the 1960's. the other was a tiny newspaper clipping giving women advice on how to tone up their lower abdomen after the birth of a child.

my grandma had this amazing way of journaling, a system of record-keeping that not too many families would be so lucky to have. she wrote all over everything....calenders, books, cards, boxes. if you were to go through the piles of things at her house right now, you would be able to learn anything you possibly needed to know about the Brunner family. as an example, i'm going to use a toy that she passed on to thelma the last time we were at her house...i think it was in the fall after we finished raking her yard. its one of those little playskool wagons that has blocks of all different shapes, sizes and colors that fit inside it. what i can make out to be the first note on its original box says "Purchased Christmas of 1965, when at 619 W. Prospect". "Please do not give the box to the child!" on one end..."OPen Here". the other end is taped shut and says "I taped shut". "12/1987 Please Adults take out the wagon and give to child." "p.s. This box keeps wagon and blocks together (no blocks lost to date)" "Nov. '92 all pcs. still here" "We got these for grand kids at christmas 1965 at 619 W. Prospect, Durand, Wi." "2006-1965=41 years. Oct. all pcs. here yet." this is just what's on a box of blocks, people.

i got to visit her last wednesday. i was lucky that she was still somewhat alert when i arrived at the hospital. i took her hand in mine and told her i was there. she opened her eyes and said, "i love you so much. i've been waiting for you." her sons and daughters happened to be holding a family meeting to decide what to do next, so i got to sit and hold her hand and be still. it didn't seem to matter so much that we were sitting in a hospital was peaceful. i will forever cherish the memory of her...Florence M. K. Brunner.