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Posts by Kristin

bed and a book

i love reading through the previous hobby posts by my fellow o+u ladies. no surprise that we share so many similar likes in hobbies.
knitting. i too loved knitting, but i have come to realize what i really love is all the squishy delicious colorful yarn. the actual act of knitting left me a bit frustrated, and so my needles sit idle.
sewing. YES! i do love my little hand-me-down sewing machine and adequate sewing skills, but once the weather breaks (like now) it too collects a lot of dust. sewing is more of a winter thing for me.
biking.  this is on my to do list. i always loved bike riding, but for the past few years i have been bikeless. that is all about to change very soon. now that both my young ones are at the riding age momma needs a bike too!
gardening. sigh. we rent, this means no garden. because of this, i have been making a concerted effort on houseplants this past year. i am happy to report i have only killed one. 1 out of 6, i am calling that a win.

right now i have not been very active in a lot of hobbies except that last one jessica mentioned, reading. reading used to put me right to sleep. i am NOT joking. if i needed to fall asleep all i needed to do was crack open a book and goodnight world! i was out like a light. this went on for years.my husband is an avid reader and it made him sad that i just couldn’t get through a book. eventually i stopped trying. magazines i could do, but any big books i suddenly became a narcoleptic. last year i decided to try again. i was visiting the library more and more since both my kids became independent readers. they LOVE bringing home stacks of books. so i tried again, and i have no explanation as to why, but this time it stuck. now i get to catch up on SO many great books that most everyone else has read and re-read long before me. i even joined a bookclub in my neighborhood. non reader me! i like it because each month a new book is chosen by a different member of the club. this has exposed me to books i would never have picked for myself. plus we get to gather and have some wine, snacks and laughs. that’s always good.

some of my recent reads:

Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed (though i have to admit, i loved her memoir Wild even more)
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
The Bean Trees (another Kingsolver book)

i started, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, just last night.  already over 100 pages in.  LOVE it.

have you heard of Goodreads? i am probably the last one to know. i am forever the last one to the party. seems like the happening place for all book lovers. like i need another site to become a habit. LOL

most nights this is where you’ll find me, in bed, tucked in under my covers, with a book.

what are you reading these days?

“if we don’t change we don’t grow. if we don’t grow, we aren’t really living” -gail sheehy

i admit, i am a lover of routine. i snuggle up in predictability. there are many reasons why i think i have become this person, but really we do not have the time for that psychoanalysis in this post. :)
one thing is certain, change can be a difficult for me to embrace.

having kids provides an ever constant state of change. “in your face!”, “take that!”, kinds of changes that can be shocking to someone like me. they force me to face the discomfort of change without even trying.

they go from swaddled – to crawling – to running – to driving a car  in lightning speed.
they grow hair, inches, and new teeth seemingly overnight.

we are having that sort of big change right now. our youngest fell flat on her face at the age of one.  no hands to break the fall, instead her face stopped her fall and her little baby chicklet front tooth broke in 2.  the remaining piece eventually abscessed and needed to be pulled.  she has been our gap-toothed, pirate smile, girl for 6 years now.  that missing tooth has been a constant in our every day life. her gap toothed grin and wrinkled up nose was just so “her”. i knew eventually a big tooth would grow in and fill that hole we all came to love so much, but time kept passing and the gap remained.  a few weeks ago her gum became swollen, the tooth was coming. she walks around singing, “all i want for my birthday is my big front tooth.” (sung to the tune of “all i want for christmas is my 2 front teeth”)

this coming monday she turns 7. will she get her wish? …

2008

2658668986_f22af24663_o
2009
4151051040_1e80c8ea31_b
2010
4424130541_ff1d7cf280_b
2011
7411428676_63f9bd4254_b
2012
7984222234_004c774973_b

right this moment,
same wrinkled up nose,
brand new tooth.
change.
BOOM.

casey new tooth
happy soon-to-be-7 to my april fool baby, whose smile lights up my every day.

so winter is on where i live. i know the calendar says it is fall, but trust me on this one.  it is cold. it is dark at 4:20pm. D A R K. that is so not cool. once the snow begins to fall it will stick around til sometime mid march or april. i love summer. i love sun. i like to be tan. i like to be barefoot. none of this winter stuff bodes well for me. so what does a girl like me do?   develop some serious coping skills, that’s what. i have a few…

  • candles.  i now buy them like i do milk.  each week a new box of taper candles comes home with me. i light them around 4:15 and burn them all the way down. thank you trader joes.
  • chicken and dumplings. (trust me this stuff has medicinal qualities.)
  • loaveS of banana bread.  some with chocolate chips, some plain, occasionally one just for me loaded with walnuts.
  • color. red mostly. favorite red cardigan. favorite red toque. red plaid scarf.
  • trinkets from sunny california. i bought myself a sweet vintage enamel ring (a yellow flower) and a vintage melmac plate (also with yellow and orange flowers) as my souvenirs from my time in palm springs.  i plan on pulling them out all winter long and pretending i am back in sunny california. this could work right?
  • big tub of petroleum jelly. in winter my skin holds its very own protest. my lips crack. my hands crack. my heels crack. last year i discovered by covering myself in good old petroleum jelly i can avoid most of this. it is not at all trendy or sexy, but it IS a heck of a lot sexier than i am without it.
  • strings of twinkle lights.  not just for christmas.  therapeutic.
  • if i was more of a drinker i would list whiskey, but alas i am a lightweight, probably the biggest lightweight of the bunch, so instead how about some spiced chai latte.  again, thank you trader joes.

come february winter will undoubtedly break me and i will be crying sobbing in my chai, but for now i am finding comfort in these few things.

so tell me your tricks. what am i missing to help get me through the next 5 months?

i will sit here in the dark and stare at my twinkle lights and wait for your answer.

i am a simple girl. i like simple things.

10 dollars in my pocket and an hour to myself at goodwill and i am a very happy camper.

thrifting is my therapy of choice. pyrex bowls and coffee mugs, vintage pillowcases, melmac plates, and shoes are my weakness….

i do not have a green thumb, but i keep trying.

i prefer to be barefoot, but it is almost winter here so i love me a soft pair of slippers (no socks).
and blue jeans, always blue jeans…

i collect stuff.  leaves. shells. seaglass. feathers. wine corks. mason jars full of all of these things litter my windowsills and mantle. oh, and i have a knack for finding love where ever i go.

scarves make me happy…

i have a big heart that and a loud laugh.  i look like my daddy.  i bite my nails, but am trying to quit. i love to dip buttered toast sprinkled with cinnamon into my mug of hot chocolate. i sing loud in my car. i love a hot shower. i cook a great pot of chicken and dumplings and bake a pretty good pie. i prefer iced tea and lemonade, but a cold can of pbr is pretty great too. i make blonde babies and sew imperfect quilts. i have great teeth and terrible knees.  i love the wildness of the ocean, and the quiet of the woods. graffiti, snail mail. and kid art makes me happy. i am 40 years old and finally feel like i like me.

enough about me…. tell me something about you.

here it is my day to write and i still can’t find a clear voice for this topic, which has me scratching my head and kicking my own ass all at once. what does this mean? i am all woman, 100% female. i consider myself independent and forward thinking, but i also love being a SAHM/homemaker too. I used to work full-time and support myself and my first-born daughter all on my own.  now many years later, married, 2 more kids, i savor my time at home.  i feel like my womanhood is stuck somewhere between rosie the riveter and martha stewart.  i think therein lies my problem.

being a “woman” has never come easy to me. when i hit puberty my physical body went full speed ahead.  my mom loves to tell the story of 5 year old me throwing a crying fit in a department store dressing room.  we were trying on those frilly easter dresses that little girls of my generation were stuffed into, matching straw bonnet of course. why was i crying?  because i wanted the dress with the boobs in it. yes, my 5 year old self was already thinking of boobs for some reason assumed that they came with the dress. my mom was very small chested,  so this still confuses me to why this happened at all,  but it did.  fast forward to me now (size G bra)  i guess i should have been more careful what i wished for.  seems this is the story of womanhood for me. every step of the way i never quite “fit”.

“childbearing hips”, “morning sickness”, here again i never fit in these accepted female boxes thought to be normal. pregnancy (all 3 of them) were absolute horror scenes.  i did not glow,  i was green.  i did not have morning sickness,  i had all day sickness. it did not last 3 months,  it lasted 9. it did not matter if i gave birth to a boy or a girl,  it was always the same.  my mom always told me it was the reason i was an only child,  she was SO sick she was never doing that again.  i guess i thought i would be different.  (i now know this is why babies are so darn cute.)  i had to be medicated (a huge taboo in pregnancy) but it was that or dehydrate, go to the hospital, be put on iv fluids, leave hospital, repeat.  so i took my medication and hoped that i was not damaging that tiny fetus my somehow flawed womanhood was already letting down before they were even born… enter the guilt. i truly felt my womanhood was flawed and therefore broken. this was unacceptable to society, to me.  now move onto child birth. again, FAIL.  no home births, no water births, none of those blissful scenarios. my first-born i developed preeclampsia. that was a fast and furious delivery as my blood pressure tipped the scales.  #2 was the scariest day of my life, with a happy ending.  my son was looped twice in his umbilical cord but that was not known until it was almost too late.  lets just say he needed to be ripped (literally) out of me to save his life. he lived and so did i, but my insides would never be the same. #3, again 40 weeks of sickness and guilt. breastfeeding, the next step in womanhood wonder and bliss.  ugh.  my very large boobs (the ones i wished for at 5) only made it near impossible for my babies to latch on.  i was engorged and huge and in pain.  my nipples cracked and bled. i nursed and cried, pumped and cringed, again feeling nothing but guilt.  my brain screaming, “WHY CAN’T YOU DO THIS?!?!”  (you being me.) again i was broken,  failing at something that others did so naturally and happily.

i could go on,  my broken vagina. my inability to go to the bathroom “normally” after birth #2 that continued for 5 years until i succumbed to surgeries required to try and rebuild my broken parts. my flawed uterus, ultimately removed a year ago… i am the lemon on womanhood.  i did not feel empowered, i felt defeated. reading my own words, this sounds like a long winded whine,  but truly it is not.   it is just me saying that we should not buy into all the literature and pressure pumped out into the world on how to do things,  and what makes us “womanly”.   those lofty ideals breed pressure and guilt.  shortly after my hysterectomy,  i was connected with a friend of a friend who was having a horror show of her own, all tied into her uterus. surgery would end her painful suffering, yet still she wavered.  why?  pressure.  peer pressure from her own kind, women!  women looking down on her for her choice of following through with a hysterectomy.  how it was unnatural, how she should continue to fight this beast inside her for the sake of nature.  screw that.   i totally understood why she was struggling emotionally with it all.  she too was carrying this guilt. she, for whatever reason, was born with a malfunctioning uterus, and because of society’s opinions all in her face,  she felt like she was failing by having that removed.  can we all give ourselves a break please!  can we not buy into these grand visions of womanhood.  instead can we all agree that we all have our own path,  our own parts, and sometimes we just don’t “fit” into any box.  being a girl is hard!  lets not make it even harder on ourselves.

i strive to be a positive person,  i do.   there is more than enough sadness, heartache and madness in this world. i think trying to put out a little positivity is a good thing.  i wholeheartedly believe in karma. i believe you get what you put out in the world, so i try to put out good.  that said, some things do rub me the wrong way. i am human.

so here’s a few  (feel free to chime in with yours in the comments)

  • the pink explosion that comes when you have a little girl.  WHY?  why does the little play kitchen have to be pink and lavender?  why do 89% of the clothes have to be pink, fuchsia and leopard or some variation of? can’t there be more primary colors?!   i just don’t see the need for all that pink.  can’t my girl love  green, or black, or red?    and while i am on this topic, the whole princess gig really rubs me wrong.  why is that most little girl clothes are A. PINK and B. say “sweet” “cute” or “princess” on them… in sequins no less, pink sequins! BARF.  i want my girls to be individuals. strong, feisty, kind, spunky & independent. those clothes, and all they stand for, are just not that message. can’t their clothes say smart, funny, and strong instead?  or better yet, “i am awesome.” in black.
  • the saying “love you to death.”  can’t really explain it, but it just makes my skin crawl…
  • when you walk past someone on the street and they will not look at you. BE KIND! LOOK UP! SMILE!  why not?
  • those election signs stuck in every green space imaginable.  it does not make me want to vote for your candidate.  quite the opposite actually.
  • butt crack. not just for plumbers anymore. everywhere you turn these days.  i don’t even particularly like my own, i don’t expect you to want to gaze at it, so cover yours.  please.
  • OB/GYN exam rooms.  seriously,  the fish mobiles?  the painted flower motifs? and the worst of worst,  fuzzy golf club covers on the stirrups.  (yes i have put my feet up in something that should be covering a 9 iron and a driver. ) when i am naked from the waist down and in the most vulnerable position possible, i do NOT want to put my feet up in golf club covers and imagine my doctor on the back nine…  no thank you.
  • weak handshakes.  you know the ones,  their hand feels like a limp dead fish in your hand.  what is that?!?!  grab my hand and shake it!  with feeling!!!!!
  • mean people.  they suck.

i can feel my blood pressure rising just letting my mind wander to the things that irk me,  so i think it’s a good time to stop.  maybe i need to go meditate on happy thoughts like apple pie, kid belly laughter, bubbles, and kittens.

but if we happen to pass one another on the street, please look up, say hi and shake my hand… firmly.

I think there are 2 very distinct camps when it comes to desserts. Team cake and team pie.  I used to play for team cake. Chocolate with buttercream frosting, banana cake with chocolate frosting, and of course carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Somewhere along the line, I switched teams. Nowadays I am all about the pie.

As a kid I have serious memories of this one little diner my Pop-Pop would take me to, Fegleys. I think I need to mention I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country. They take baked goods seriously there people! This little diner had the widest assortment of fresh homemade pies every day. Apple pies, double crust, crumb and dutch apple. Every cream pie imaginable. Egg custard, raisin, blueberry, rhubarb, sour cherry, and my fave, cherry crumb…  The food was good, but I think many came just for the pie.  So much so, that when we sat and ordered our ‘usual’ ( hot roast beef sandwich with gravy and fries) we ordered our slice of pie WITH our dinner.  If you took your chances and waited til you were done eating, your pie of choice might be all gone.  We were not taking any chances.

Oh course as an adult, I married a man who dislikes cherries in all forms, so this cherry pie loving girl needed to find new pies to love.  In autumn I am all about the double crust apple. Hubby likes it with a scoop of chocolate ice cream. No à la mode for me, I like my pie just as it is.  My son loves toasted coconut cream pie.  We do live in Maine, so blueberry pie is a must.  My friend Diane makes the most heavenly chocolate cream pie on the planet. Those are all very good, but summer is never complete without 1 homemade peach pie. We have a super short growing season up here in the north.  I have been searching for ripe peaches at our markets but none SMELLED like peaches.  They have to smell like peaches for me.  I was beginning to think this might be the summer without a peach pie.  The horror! Lucky for me, just last week I traveled to PA.  My dad and I went to market on Saturday and I was in search of peaches. I found plenty.  I bought enough for a pie and wrapped them up and packed them in my car for our long drive home to Maine. I knew I needed to make the pie quickly, so I emailed my husband (who happens to be an awesome baker) and asked him to whip up a batch of our go to double crust recipe. (America’s Test Kitchen recipe.  no fail crust. I promise.) He did, and had it balled and waiting for me in the refrigerator when I got home.

We are talking obsessions here all month long, this post covers a few of mine.

  1. PYREX -  cannot get enough.  colors, patterns, WANT!  If I walk into a Goodwill and there is a pyrex bowl,  there are very good chance that that bowl is coming home with me. Making this pie I used my favorite blue pyrex bowl and my pink pyrex pie plate.
  2. PIE – (nom nom nom) team pie represent!
  3. SUMMER – summer fruits, summer sun, summer everything. My summertime requires 1 fresh homemade peach pie. Now I can happily check it off my summer manifesto.
  4. PHOTOS of food, aka ‘food porn’.  I love food photos.  Especially messy, in the process of making something, food photos. My camera got a bit sticky and dusted with flour making this pie.

So here’s my bit of food porn from me to you… Summery peach pie.
summer's pie

blanching

rolling the crusts.

summer's filling

ready

mine.

Seriously, look at the color of those peaches!!!  Photographer’s and eater’s DREAM all in one. Pie is sexy, yes?

Recipes you say?  Sure! I love Hannah’s Sweet as a Georgia Peach Pie filling recipe. And of course every pie deserves homemade crust, I absolutely swear by America’s Test Kitchen Recipe for my crust.

Erika once posted this on my Facebook wall, “When I think of you, I think of peach pie.”  I like that.  I dedicate this post, and this pie, to Erika. If only all the O+U girls could come over and share a slice with me, now that would be awesome.

Some day I will have a pie potluck party, everyone is invited, all you need to get in is one fresh-baked pie, then we eat!  Now that’s my kind of party.

One more little obsession, this song… about peaches…  I can’t help myself.

obsessions, yeah i have a few… most involve thrifting, so i never feel too guilty about picking up one.more.pillowcase., when it is just a buck at goodwill.

but obsessions can come in other ways, like coveting. i covet certain things. i long for them, pine for them, look at them online. see them all over flickr which only feeds my obsession, but rarely do i pull the trigger and buy any of those things i covet. i tie them into my thrifting obsession and think to myself, “maybe today kristin, maybe today you will happen upon those sandals.” not only is that chance more than slim that i will ever see ANY of those sandals at goodwill, but for them to actually be in my size?!?! yeah, dream on dreamer. what do i do instead? i buy crappy sandals, because they are cheap. and what do cheap sandals inevitably do? break. and usually at the most inopportune times. like walking around the city with a friend… and then you are left with one broken shoe and a barefoot march back to your car, ending your night out. ( been there done that.)

this year i pulled the trigger on one of my covet/obsessions, saltwater sandals. so many pretty colors! i loved the navy, the orange, and silver. i went with silver. trouble is you can only get them online.  i hit “buy” and waited.  to say i was excited for that box to arrive is a huge understatement. i felt like a kid on christmas!
they came when i was not home.
my mail lady did not leave the box.  :-(
nooooooo!!!!! (exhale)
so i had to wait 1 more day to drive to the post office in town and pick up my pkg. EXCITED!!! i brought it home and tore it open, oooh pretty….
ou salty1

ou salty2

oooh shiny.
then i tried to put the first one on. hmmmm tighter than i hoped. then i stood up and it confirmed my already sinking feeling, they are too small. not a lot, but just enough. small enough that keeping them is silly. trust me i am tempted to force them on and keep them. but alas, i will box them back up and send them on their way back to CA and wait for the next size up… that’s the trouble with obsessions, they do not feel your pain.

ou salty4

“ENJOY YOUR SHOES!” it says… pour salt in my wounds why don’t ya.
until we meet again shiny sandals.
soon…

soon.

————

do you covet/obsess over stuff?  do share, because i need new stuff to obsess over.

“Cure for an obsession: get another one.” -Mason Cooley

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