Thursday, August 6, 2009

Love, Peggy

I hope you call or write and when you do here is a little food for thought:

I love to explore Farmer's Markets. I delight in artisanal cheeses and shopkeepers who relish in the delight of their customers. I believe that customer service is not dead. The produce at Super-Walmart is, however, very dead. I know, I was just there. Sad, sad little tomatoes.

I wonder often what it would be like to have my own little farm. Chickens, goats, geese, sheep, maybe even some bees. I've been dreaming about a greenhouse and cold-frames too. But in the meantime, I think I've figured out why my fresh ground wheat isn't rising.

I am contemplating getting an iPhone, or completely designing my own custom paper planner. Not sure which. I have some other projects up my sleeve. Always thinking.

Loving being a wife, mother and domestic artist-in-residence. Embracing creativity, compassion and courage in my journey here on Earth. I yearn to give to the greater good and harness the sweet blessings of wise stewardship, unfettered spirituality and loving service to my God, my family and my country.

House Tour Finale and Going Offline

We're getting ready to move. So, the internet connection is going away. So, I'll end my house tour by taking you to the library downstairs. There are floor-to-ceiling book cases, a lovely sitting area, gorgeous buttercream yellow carpeting and a tidy spot for all the technology.

 I'm sad that this inviting and lovely little space is downstairs far from the activity of my two little ones upstairs. I'll be relieved when we get situated in a one-level house, so everyone can be included in all aspects of home living i.e. folding laundry, piano, games, listening to online radio, reading together. All things that are so much more fun and easier to do in the library.

We still don't have any offers on our home, but we are moving anyway. Because we value our quality of life more than our home, Sam knows that our three-story cottage on a hill isn't working anymore. Sam is working like a dog to keep our realtors, attorney, the bank, his boss and various other official people involved and working for the well-being of this active duty family.

I will probably go through computer withdrawals for the next few weeks. Please call me or write me a letter. You would make Estelle's day! {She can just barely reach the rural mailbox on our country road and she loves to show you she can do it on her tip-toes. So adorable.} I love houseguests, too. Come for some lemonade and we can chat about being creative, even courageous.

I will really miss reading my Google Reader everyday. I feel part of something dynamic and down-right darling. I hope that by moving to a space that doesn't drain my creative and physical energy anymore, I can be as creative and quirky and confident as the ladies I read about everyday.

Virtual House Tour Part II

The master suite was once the attic. An addition was added decades ago to give a bit more ceiling room on one end of the master bedroom and it gave room to add a second bath upstairs. There is also a large closet that really is just a well-dressed hallway. There is lots of character to this little house. For those of you who have been here, there are some changes that have been made for the better. Staging really does wonders for once's sense of space and ownership. We packed away a lot of extra stuff....And we made do with what had to stage. I really wanted to redo the whole color scheme of this room. The green accent wall was there when we moved in. I did my best to use the linens and accents that I had to make this room lovely and modern-enough.

Like in the hallway, I {sadly, reluctantly} removed our bright and beautiful family portraits and replaced the frames with an abundance of nature shots. I think I'm the only one that is really excited about this little detail...but moving on to the master bathroom:

I lament that there is not a before picture of master bath. Just imagine that at one point in this quirky little bathroom's existence were an infinite amount of pink, black and white squares. On the wall. On the floor. On the trim.

But no more. I found a lovely botanical leaf printed shower curtain that tied the colors of the bedroom with the bath. And that brought the browns and blacks of the bathroom together, as well. I'm so glad that I didn't have to paint the bathroom though it was a lot of work.

Actually, my dad and Sam did. While the girls and I spend the week at my in-laws home in New York, they covered the shiny pink and black tiled walls with numerous coats of epoxy appliance paint. Oh, that stuff is toxic. I was sick for weeks as we tried to get the fumes out of the house. But the torture has really paid off. The bathroom has a new floor, new toilet, and a new feeling. It is peaceful and lovely. I feel so beautiful in this space.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Virtual House Tour Part I

We have been enjoying summer to the fullest and I've finally organized the virtual tour of our home. Welcome! We fussed and primped, decluttered and arranged, organized, huffed, puffed and then asked for help to get our bright blue Cape Cod ready for listing on the MLS. The house got ready thanks to the hard work of Sam and many friends who helped along the way.

We've had five showings in five weeks and two open house weekends. No offers, nibbles or even feedback from any potential buyers. This is one tough market. But we are optimistic that it will all work out. And we have a lovely little cottage to enjoy in the meantime.

So, I'll start you on the main level in the hallway. This connects you to the living room. The gallery wall in the hallway actually had some gorgeous prints from a session we did last summer with the very talented Chris Jenkins. If you are in Las Vegas, call her! She has a great temperment, flair for color and she listens to your ideas. But I digress. I thought the amazing family shots would be too distracting to potential buyers. So, I dug through all of my still-life photography that I've taken over the three years and found some great prints that capture the colorful flora on our property.

Across from the gallery wall is the entrance to guest bathroom. When we bought the house, this property was the only offering on the market with two bathrooms. Knowing Esra's condition would require us to ask for help from our parents who live far enough away to require a place to sleep, we knew we'd need an extra space to house guests. It is small and quaint and cheerful thanks to the craftsmen-style stained glass overlay I added to the window. {I know, this is a Cape Cod in New England, but I wanted something craftsmen in my house!}

Head down the hallway to the living room. Knowing we didn't have much time to paint or money to reupholster, I redid the color scheme to incorporate what I had. The valances we a quick project and added a bit of flair to the room. I love the copper tones played against the blues hues and white and yellow notes of the furniture. We don't have any area rugs for Esra's ease of movement in her wheelchair. {I did see a lovely rug at Target a few weeks that would go perfectly here. Oh, well. Another house.} The television is tucked in the reformed closet. There were sliding doors, but we removed them and hid all the entertainment gear in the pine hutch.

Stay tuned. The Virtual House Tour will continue soon...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Exploring R.I. Part III

There are always a few shots from ones cluster of memories that truly stand out. I'm glad I caught these.

I love the elephant shot, because it reminds me of my answer to Sam when he asked "what was your favorite part of the weekend?" And I responded, "sitting on a bench under a tree at the zoo".

Sam and I were at the end of our zoo excursion with the girls. As we rested right across from the elephant's eating area, we snacked on cotton candy and watched our large lunch companion eat its hay.

Then it began to rain. Thankfully, we were protected by the tree above, so, we didn't mind the rain. And neither did the elephant. We all went on contentedly eating and relished in the joys of cotton candy, elephants, moms, dads, and rain.

This sunset is at Point Judith, RI. We had just gotten off the fast ferry from Block Island. I couldn't resist attempting a silhouette shot of the boat in the sunset. I am so wishing for my Nikon D300!

But my Canon Powershot is great in a pinch, sense it tucks so easily in your pocket. The other shots are from Providence, RI; Bristol, RI and Block Island.

Exploring R.I., Part II

We were invited by a lovely local family to join them at the Bristol R.I. Independence Day Parade. They have an adult son living with a disability that requires him to use a wheelchair. It was a great way to get to know them and get some insights into parenting a disabled child. We got there early, so there was some time to chat. But once the parade started we were focused on keeping the girls entertained.

Wow, what an event! It was three hours long. We heard marching bands from all over the east coast, saluted veterans, soldiers, and sailors. Saw international groups, tea party demonstrators and some wierd, non-patriotic stuff too. The girls clapped their hearts out and were giddy when they saw the motorcycles and clydesdales coming down the way. I will certainly remember to pack hearing protection next time. I've never seen or heard so many muskets and cannons in my life. I think I was more jarred by the noise of the parade than the children were.

Exploring R.I., Part I

Our 4th of July weekend somehow turned into a tour of Rhode Island. It wasn't planned or thought out. We just went. Sam had an itch to do some traveling, now that the house is on the market and he didn't have a honey-do list to wrangle over the long weekend. He insisted on playing tourist. So, we started simple: The Zoo. (I almost deleted the third picture because 1) I don't remember taking it 2) Its just a mob of people looking at the giraffe, right? Once you find Estelle, the picture is priceless. Her expression seems to say, "What are they looking at? Me?")

On our way home, as we cruised down 95 South, Sam noticed a sign for the Martha's Vineyard Fast Ferry. He wanted to see where it was for "future reference", so we headed of down the exit. The next thing we knew, after driving for an hour and not seeing anymore signs for Martha's Vineyard, we were at Point Judith, one of the most southerly points of the state. This was also the ferry terminus for Block Island. We deliberated as the babies napped and decided to pay $15 for parking, so we could enjoy the afternoon and, hopefully, some dinner on The Block.

Since we chose the busiest day of the year to go to Block Island, we also rode the ferry that had an all new crew. So, the journey over three foot seas took 20 minutes longer than normal. Ugh. But once we got into town, we could feel the holiday pulse moving through the beach air. So many people, bikes, scooters. But walking off the ferry you were immediately in a different world. I love the beachy, cottagey, cedar shakes and hydrangeas feel. Sam and I would love to spend a week at a cottage here, just us.

We ate at outdoor italian place and ate ice cream overlooking the seashore. We found a park on a hill with these knolls that were perfect for teaching little people to roll down them. The look on Esra's face was all we needed to know she loved it. We took the fast ferry home and marveled at our beautiful day.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Seeing the SnapDragon

Thank you for the gracious and expeditious efforts of Dragon Mobility in the U.K. to transfer their promotional materials to YouTube.  There is so better way to understand the immensity of this device than to see it in action.

Summer and Six Things

There is lots to tell. The house is staged and life goes on. We are enjoying summer so much more now that it doesn't include painting, packing and all the rest. Instead we are enjoying BBQs, zoo trips, love from grandparents, getting to know cousins, dinner on an island, our first time on a catamaran, rolling down hills, ice cream by the bay, swimming lessons, taking the school bus, chasing bugs, playing in the sprinkler, and going to bed contended every night.
Over the week, we'll tell you more about all of our adventures. And give you a virtual tour of our house. Its such a lovely place. Any one moving to Connecticut?


Six Things:

Sensibly Styled, a new site creating stylish yet modest outfits. I love the blouses they pick too.
Heather Ross inspires me to have magic markers and sketch pad wherever I go.
Design Mom always has a fun book of the week pick. 1000 Times No will be on our next library check-out list.
Diggin Food shows you how to make a super simple squash trellis.
Simple Mom is going back to the basics. I'm looking forward to reading her installments on managing hearth and home.
Ali Edwards writes a touching, mid-year essay on nurture, her word of the year.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Come Tweet With Me!

When I need a break from the renovating and house-staging, I crawl down to the library tucked away in our basement and read my Reader and Twitter. The blogs and tweets I read are connected to creative and savvy people and I feel inspired to do more creative and savvy things. One definitely has to be savvy for Twitter. I am slowly getting the hang of it. But I like Twitter better than chat rooms and forums and the like. Its short and sweet and there is never a dull conversation. Plus, you can decide who to follow or not follow at any time. This how-to segment helped me figure out the direct message function, which I've been confused about. I still need some clarity on hash-tags...I'll learn as I tweet. So, come tweet with me.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Elegance Tomorrow

Renovation is in full-swing here at our house. The poodle-skirt pink tiles in the master bath are getting ripped out and wainscotting put in its place, plus all the woodwork in the whole house is getting a fresh coat of Poetic Light. (That's the shade we picked out of the No-VOC paint available at Home Depot.)

I was thinking of something for inspiration, and this Oren Lavie song, called Her Morning Elegance, came to mind. Add the great lyrics and strings to this glorious, visual meal, and I have enough creative inspiration for one weekend full of elegance-waiting-to-happen.

Every Penny Counts

Thank you, devoted readers for sticking by me for so long. I've decluttered the site and am working on some upcoming features. Stay Tuned!

In the meantime, please support our amazing affiliates that have just come on board. {Click on the ads to the right} Order that grain grinder you've been meaning to add to the food storage from Earth Wave Living. Put together a design for some custom shirts at Spread Shirt. Even splurge on some new organic face cream at Our Green House. Or maybe you've recently been concerned about protecting your identity or maybe even your children's identity and credit. Consider LifeLock. Want to spruce up your digital scrapbooking skills or enhance your storytelling abilities. Sign-up for a class at Jessica Sprague. Oh, don't forget, the Fourth of July is coming up. Retire your old flags and splurge on some new ones at American Flags!

Here is my last suggestion: Are you going to see Esra this summer? Pick up a Signing Times DVD (or two) and learn some signs. She would be tickled that you know her language.

There is certainly something for everyone.

Your support of BwIG Affiliates is support for Esra's Trust. All commissions go directly to benefit Esra's Trust and the purchase of her power wheelchair. Every Penny Counts!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Breakfast and Bling

I was taking some old, forgotten jewelry to the pawn shop. {No, I didn't pawn my Young Womenhood Recognition Award. Tempted...but I did learn that there is no market for silver, only gold.}

 Estelle found it on the table and decided breakfast wouldn't be complete unless she was bedazzled with bling. I guess it made the oatmeal and raisins go down better. She ate all of it.

Seeing the Potential

Our first road trip for the summer took us to the Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, RI. With our new van at the ready and a special butterfly exhibit just opened, we packed a picnic and hit the road.

We had a lovely day together. The greenhouse was bursting with gorgeous flowering plants, amazing scents and butterflies flitted about all around. I never seen so many different kinds of butterflies all in one place before. A great exhibit and worth the trip to Providence. Plus, the zoo was a big hit. The girls loved seeing the giraffes and elephants, plus watching the seal lions swim near them as they peered through the aquarium glass. But we really loved the Flutterby house the best.

{bright thought: This exhibit would be a great location to film an evening news story about Esra. I think the butterfly is a great choice as the brand for our campaign. There is so much beautiful potential in Esra. What a great backdrop this would make to highlight our need to help Esra get her wings!}

What a great outing. As the butterflies supped on their feast of nectar around us, we thought about the amazing potential that, not too many days before, was growing in a cocoon. We are all about potential at the Edwards house. This was a great moment to rejuvenate our focus remembering our purpose and priorities as we gazed upon the realized potential flying around us.

We're so glad we took some time to visit the Flutterby exhibit. There we found color, energy, delight in God's creations, and time together to enjoy one another's uniqueness and indelible potential that is nurtured in our little family.

Happy Summer!