Friday, November 6, 2015

Heebie Jeebies

I've been going to bed around 9:30. Sometimes earlier, frankly. I've been looking at my phone so infrequently that I only have to charge it every three days and the last photo I took was from Monday: a sick, feverish little one restlessly passed out on my chest while I rocked and read a book. Things have been quiet, to say the least. This season in the city right now is giving me the heebie jeebies. Did we all fall asleep and wake up in April? Yesterday it rained, out of nowhere! My poor chickens were sorely unprepared, not even jackets, let alone rain gear. A warm, gentle, spring rain. And yet--it is getting dark at 5pm! I want wind and driving rain, the harshness that makes us find the strength inside ourselves. I need some real November right now, to match the rhythms my body knows to re-adjust to. Biking home from a staff meeting last night, warm in only a skirt and light sweater, something just felt wrong. There are flowers blooming outside, poor dears! They don't know what's about to hit. They don't know that we're missing the most glorious part of Fall here (which comes about a moth late for my liking anyways). I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the snow to fall or a storm to come. Meanwhile the world goes on, the lights in our jack-o-lanterns have gone out, those in our lanterns will soon be lit. Today a trek, over meadow moor and dale (well technically onto the subway) with seventeen little ones, to the wild open of Prospect Park, to let us all breathe a little.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Applesauce Applesauce, Yum Yum!

Continuing my roll of Autumnal kitchen activities, I made applesauce this weekend! With the help of some little hands. 
 I got a three pound bag of seconds macintosh apples at the farmer's market and set my little helper to washing duty while I chopped them into quarters.
 I didn't feel like getting out the food mill, largely because I didn't know where it was and I like my sauce a little lumpy. I just use my knife to take out the seedy bits inside, I do this all the time at school too so I've gotten really fast. Faster than a corer, I think, and you save more of the apple.
 Then my little helper helped me chop them up smaller so the bits of skin in the sauce wouldn't be too big. I like to give kids real knives so they learn safety rules from the get go. Obviously much supervision is essential. As is pre-chopping into bits that won't roll: carrots into quarters, apples into eights, etc. For younger kids (younger than 4-ish I'd say), I've seen people use these to great success. 
Once chopped, into the pot they go with a splash of cider (I used about a cup and a half) to simmer on low while my helper napped. An hour or so later it was all mushy like this and voila! Applesauce. I mushed it up some more with a potato masher, tossed in some cinnamon, and put it into jars to give away before taking any pictures. This made about three pint jars full. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Baking Bread

I woke up this morning to a serious wool-socks-and-sweater-necessitating nip in the air. The kind that makes you pull your quilt up to your chin and fight the urge to instagram pictures of steaming cups of chai and the aforementioned wool socks. F yeah!! I almost don't care that there are supposed to be highs in the 80s all week. Almost.

For some people, according to pinterest/the internet in general, this weather awakens an urge to put pumpkin in everything. I'm not a big pumpkin person. I like carving them, but the flavor is always a little... eh. Even when I make pumpkin pie I use butternut squash. Butternut squash is soooo the new pumpkin. Let's hope it catches on. But really, even more than that, these chilly, dark fall mornings inspire me to bake bread. It's slow, it's relaxing, it smells good, and there's something just so cozy and homey about setting that magical combination of water and flour and yeast and sugar under a damp towel by the warm stove and pouring a cup of tea while the first cold morning light peeks over the trees. Ahhhhhh.
That is all. I'm going to go eat this with a giant slab of butter and think about dinner. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Kindergarten Clothes

Tomorrow is my first day in the kindergarten. Eeek! I've been at the school for almost two weeks getting ready, and met the kids today, but tomorrow is the first full on, no parents, school full of children day. I'm having lots of feelings, mainly about clothes, because apparently my mind always wanders to aesthetics in times of great change.
While in reality I'm going to be wearing a lot of repeated ratty sweaters and leggings, blessedly hidden by my long apron (kindergarten salaries=not a lot), this is what I'm wearing/using in my dreams, and what I'd do given money to burn/what I hope to build towards together with my friends sewing machine, patience, and babysitting money (what am I, 12?).
Beautiful enamel dishes. Because let's face it, cooking and cleaning are like 70% of my job.

Long linen skirt. If white weren't a disaster waiting to happen...
To be sewn, but image found here.

Apron. For staying neat as well as lots of fun pedagogical reasons. I like the extra detail in this one.

Low clogs. Beautiful, park-friendly, comfy as heck.

Market Basket. For toting along treasures/band-aids on park adventures.
Your local co-op. 

Tunic. Because I have to wear something under my apron. Sewing this tonight out of this fabric with pink topstitching. 
Pattern by the Purl Bee

Onsie. Because I mean look at it. Plus getting dressed is hard and this eliminates a step.

Inside shoes. I love this convention. These seem a good combination of cozy and sturdy.

Harem pants! Crawling around on the floor in jeans blows. I'm not feminine enough to wear skirts every day and feel good. Enter the fancy pajama pant. Gonna sew the crap out of these. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Compound: week I

Welp, I moved. It went as well as ever, which is to say: poorly. For someone who does it at least once a year I really am truly a terrible mover and packer. But it happened and my old apartment now looks like this:
*single tear* 
ah, well, onto better things. Right? I don't know. Looking back at it now I really did love that apartment. I think I was away so much right before moving that it was easy to emotionally detach from the space itself, but it served me so well! I think I did a lot of coming-of-age there and I dearly hope that someone moves in who will give it the love and care it needs.
But... welcome new home! 
lol. jk. it looks nothing like that anymore. I took that before A,S&E's stuff got here, when I was just starting to unpack myself and fluff. Then it turned into a box fort for a few days... and now it's livable. I'm going into this homemaking adventure sloooowly, trying not to make any decisions too fast. 
 For example, I'm 100% living out of a cardboard wardrobe box right now. Impressively, those are nearly all of my clothes. Underwear, socks, etc are folded Mari Kondo-style in a miniature pine dresser in the corner. Longer term plans include:
+ big wardrobe for all closed storage
+ sleeping loft (currently I'm folding my futon in half during the day and covering it with a quilt which actually works crazy well.
+ Shaker pegs, potentially around the whole room? for hanging a few baskets, clothes, chairs...
Oh yeah, and I live with an almost-four-year-old now! It's awesome. He's awesome. His parents are awesome. Non-traditional nuclear family structures for the win! There was obviously some stress with unpacking--deciding whose stuff to put out, how to arrange it--but we're somewhat settled in. Full tour to come once we're really unpacked (pictures on the walls etc.) This post is all over the place...but frankly, so has been the last week. We're all in, it's official, no turning back! Let's see how this goes! 

Friday, August 14, 2015


Seven days. An entire full week. Home with a bag of clean laundry and nowhere to run off to for a whole week. 
Home with chapped skin, dirty hair, and paint still clinging to the backs of my legs. 
Home with just one bag, not even barely full of my sleeping bag, warm clothes, play clothes, clothes I gave little thought to the combination of. 
Home, full of love and beauty and spirit.

Grand central station has this very particular smell, you can catch it when you get close in the tunnel. Something like diesel and hot and old cement. 

Performance art involving ripping apart your duct-taped hand from someone else's will leave you smarting with bruises.  

Watching the sparks of a bonfire fly up into a meteor shower. Try as I might, nothing else in the world seemed as powerful in that moment as the beat of the drums and the love and the wild. Try as I might, picturing skyscrapers dwarfing the trees with their star-clouding light, looming down on us with their corporate significance, their power felt hollow, inconsequential, fleeting. Embers floated down and stung my eyes. 

Standing in a downpour with more water pressure than most showers, frantically shutting my tent flaps to vainly try to mitigate the impending damp, then lying down on the flooding river of a road and letting the water wash over me, under the waterfall off the roof until my clothes could ring out a river. 

Home again, floating again, not engaging with people or space. I have hidden myself away, but not yet donned the mask of the city. The sparkle of the forest remains in my eyes, unaffected by the fluorescent dark of the tunnels. 

Home again for long enough to process, to heal, to find my way of being in this place.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Moving Right Along...

Last time I wrote here I'm fairly sure I was in the process of waxing poetic about my current vacation. Then my phone died, then my computer, then finals,  graduating... and then I became a nomad. Haven't spent more than three consecutive nights in my own bed since early June. "Home" became more of a place to dump and re-pack overnight bags, refill travel size-Dr. Bronner's, maybe attempt to do laundry somewhere other than a stranger's sink. And somewhere in the midst of all that, I decided to move. To a STUNNING apartment a mere three blocks away, with a washing machine and huge private backyard, beautifully renovated/restored everything, and my cousin, her husband, and their three-and-a-half-year-old son. Whaaaaaat. They were thinking about moving closer to his school, I was thinking about how I was going to be able to afford my current apartment on a kindergarten assistant's salary (answer: by working too much and eating a lot of rice and beans), and then this wonderful place opened up... So nontraditional cohabitation it is!
I'll have a room, about 115 square feet, but with high enough ceilings to build a loft for my bed. I plan to have little else in there but a small settee, a small drop-leaf table/desk, a chair or two, a wardrobe (no closet!) and my bookshelf. Maybe not even that. Likely a few plants as well, and a crate floating around somewhere.  Anyywho, here's a moodboard:
The only things I need to buy are that settee (going for the brushed heather cotton in flax), which I'm mega Craigslist stalking, and a wardrobe (pictured is the Ikea Fjell, but I think I'm going with the Hurdal because it has a drawer and a shelf, not just rod space, plus I think they discontinued the Fjell because I can't find it.). The real problem is going to be what to do with the rest of my furniture. I don't plan on living in this place forever, and some of my things (rug, table, many chairs, bed frame...) I know I will want to use again. Thankfully the place has a basement (with tools!!), as do my parents. But a lot of my stuff is of the old-Ikea variety and is ready to be passed along. Who wants it? I'm definitely scraping my dresser, my comfy chair, a few lamps, curtains... I'm posting it for sale on Instagram with the hashtag #wwmovingsale before I send it off to ye olde craigslist. And if you offer to help me carry boxes (moving goal: no UHaul), I'll just give it to you.

We're doing a walkthrough with the landlord next week so I'll get some proper shots of the place then, but for now here's a few I grabbed at the former tenant's party (she's a friend).

There will most definitely be a garden. And a swing. I'm picturing myself walking out there in the mornings in a hand-knit sweater and wellies, hanging up my laundry while sipping earl grey from a handmade mug, looking very picturesque walking between billowing white sheets... and then in the afternoons, gathering produce to make a beautiful family dinner with the help of little hands, then settling into some handwork or research while it's in the oven and he plays quietly... we'll see how that goes.