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Working Girl

Change is good.

Recently I was offered a job. It was totally out of the blue, I wasn't actively looking (remember me focusing on a true workday in my home studio as I prepare for the Farmers Market?)... but out of nowhere, there was an offer. And it was an incredible offer. A position that is three miles from home, surrounds me with beautiful people (of the child and adult variety), takes place during Emily's school day... and, is in the exact building she spends her days.

I was offered a job in her school... during her school day... following her school calendar. What more could a mother ask for?

I may have mentioned here that since the beginning of the school year I have held a part time position as Daycare Teacher in the after school program. A new opening within the school surfaced, I was approached, and everything about it fit so beautifully. I absolutely accepted!

I am the new Assistant Teacher in the 3-6 room (Children's House) at our local Montessori school. I'm so amazed by the timing as I have been seriously considering pursuing Montessori Head Teacher Certification, and this will offer the perfect insight and inspiration for me to move forward with that idea.

I am so comfortable in the school and in the classroom as we have been a Montessori family since Emily was in preschool, seven years ago. This school is our community, and now it will be my place of work. And also... I will be bringing yoga into the classroom. So a little bit of that very sacred kind of teaching will be a part of my life again, albeit in a light-hearted childlike way.

Even though the schedule jives perfectly with Emily's, it is going to change an awful lot around here as we relearn our household routine and responsibilities. I couldn't do this without the encouragement and support of my little tribe, they are pretty fantastic. Family, yoga practice, new job... those are my top priorities right now. I will of course be floating around on this blog as much as I can, but I imagine it will be only 2-3 times a week for a bit. Once a new rhythm is established, my writing here will be more frequent than that.

Wish me luck (and send advice!!!) as I enter the ranks of mothers who work outside the home.

Getting Ready for a New Season


It's hard to believe, but thrifting season (for me) officially starts in one month! I'm pretty excited, it is such a family affair around here. And of course, though it starts early and is always cold those first few weeks, it does bring with it the promise of warmer temperatures. And I do feel officially ready for that.

Things are beginning to wind down in my vintage reserves, I am adding new things to Mayberries Vintage almost daily, making space in my studio and getting ready to bring in new goodies. This week has kept me pretty busy in my shop providing some much appreciated pocket money as we head to NYC for the day tomorrow, so thank you!! I really love running this little vintage shop and when I take the time to tend to it regularly, it hums along as quite a nice (tiny, yet so helpful) side business. It also is the perfect way for me to enjoy the thrill of thrifting without hoarding every little gem that I come across. Sending second hand goods out into the world to be used as an earth friendly alternative to brand new? Well, that's just the icing on one very satisfying cake! the one that got away Did I ever tell you about this fan? Oh, this fan. It is the one that got away... You might recall the photo (or one very similar) as my blog banner for most of the summer, it was a way for me to hold on to it's beautiful turquoise heavy duty self. I remember hesitating  as I listed it (you just can't get fans like this anymore), I talked myself into placing it in the shop with the agreement (yes, an agreement with myself... about a fan) that I would only let the listing stay up for five minutes. If it wasn't snapped up in just five minutes, I would take it down and keep it forever and ever. You can probably guess how this story ends... oh well, I bet it really made someone else's day. ;)


Another truly incredible find, a nursery hamper from the early 20th century. I was so excited when I found it, ran home to list it (over the summer!), and yet... it is still sitting quietly over in the shop. Hmmm... I think the price is fine, maybe it's the photos? You all know by now I have many challenges with my camera, it doesn't capture true lighting and color too easily, if ever. The listing photos for this item were taken before I discovered I could brighten them up and such through editing. The photo above has been adjusted and is how I see the hamper in real life. I should go in and correct the photos on some of those older listings, that would be most helpful I think.

It's time to start dreaming about the amazing finds with a fresh thrifting season soon to be underway. We could still use a few more cast iron pans, and several more pyrex refrigerator dishes (the ones with the flat lids). Maybe this will be the year I find that recipe box filled with the perfect collection of handwritten recipes from long ago. That would be the holy grail of thrifting for me.

What about you? What would make your vintage loving heart just go pitter patter? Please, do share! I am preparing my shopping list you know...

fourth folder, fourth photo


Tags. Awards. Bloggy Mentions. They are so full of kindness and good intentions, yet I rarely find the time to respond or properly acknowledge them when they come my way. I always feel guilty about that, but no matter how I try to approach time, I just can't seem to make it expand and grow in a way that allows me to accomplish all that I'd like... so I tend to just feel quietly grateful for the smile they bring to my day.

Yesterday was a little different. I was tagged by Jamie with the 4-4-4 Meme. "Go into your photo archive, pick the 4th folder in your archive, select the 4th picture in your folder, and write about it. Then tag 4 other people to do the same." I took a quick peek in my fourth folder, at the fourth photo, just to see. Well, when I opened this picture I felt as though I had been hit in the chest with the same darkness I remember feeling the day this was taken.

I don't share everything here, though I do share a lot. We all (hopefully) develop our own personal ethics around blogging, for me it's simple. I won't write anything that I don't want my daughter to read (and I'm pretty open with her). I also try to be sensitive to my husband who is a very private person, and is bound professionally by his own set of ethics and a high level of confidentiality. That's it, those are my two rules... I will carry on at times about politics, and I still hope to find the nerve to someday write more intimately about yoga. Both of those things aren't for everyone... that's fine.

It's hard to know what is okay to share about this photo.

I've always believed in the inherent good of every person, that if a person was cruel or inhumane, something must have gone wrong in their life causing that behavior. Someone said to me once, "No Heather, you're wrong. Some people are just born bad." Wow. That's a lot for this Pollyanna to believe. But this past year I stood witness for the first time in my life to one of the saddest, most debilitating, disrespectful relationships imaginable, something I haven't written too much about here. For the first time I wondered if it could be true, if a person could be born bad, possessing not a bit of joy. This photo is a reminder of that relationship, the time when we were breaking free from it's hold. I'm relieved to say it is behind us now, and it has been replaced by something healthy, mutually respectful and extremely stimulating. I can't even express how much easier it is to breathe and smile these days.

While the photo and that time felt very dark and hopeless, today is much brighter. My family will be distilling the lessons from that period of our lives for a long time to come, and there are many. For that I am truly grateful.

Thank you Jamie, for the opportunity to reflect. Namaste.

Abe Lincoln Fest 2009

What exactly is an Abe Lincoln Fest you ask? Well, I don't really know... but Emily asked if we could have one in honor of President Lincoln's 200th birthday this year. So the three of us set out to plan an afternoon that was both fun and exciting while still showing great appreciation for one of the most admired men in history (according to this little family).

First things first, create a festive and welcoming vibe.

Spiffy up on the inside too. Nothing crazy, keep it simple and homespun.

Set out a special cake and some punch. Like any good child of the 70's, make sure to put rainbow sherbet in it. 

Prepare some parting gifts for your guests... how about an Abe Lincoln crossword puzzle, a copy of the Gettysburg Address, a few sweet things, tissue cozy, and a mini stapler... because when you are between the ages of 9-11, office supplies are always well received.

Get things rolling when your friends arrive by playing a rousing Abe Lincoln Game, created by Emily. The object is to roll the dice, move along the path and reach the end. Of course there are many stops along the way where you need to choose a card... they say things like... You need to talk to Lee! Stay back two turns...There is a cow on the loose! Go catch it! Go ahead four spaces... Boothe has been sending scary letters! Stay back one turn... You've been shot! Go back to start... You have just received news that you have been accepted as postmaster! Go ahead four spaces... I'm telling you, this game is a really good time. Head outside for a game of Presidential Tag.

Time to go in and design your own Abe Lincoln campaign/supporter t-shirt! This was a blast. The conversation among the kids the entire time was about different presidents... John Wilkes Boothe... and of course a whole lot of Abe Lincoln discussion. 070 Take turns reciting the Gettysburg Address while your friends videotape you. Some of the kids chose to write their own political speeches, which were so great. You could hear a lot of "Quiet on the set! ...Action in three... two... one...!" Stuff like that. Awesome.088 There was cake and singing. And finally we wound things down by playing Abe Lincoln mad libs... written by Adam. Pretty cool.

I think we pulled it off nicely, everyone seemed to have a great time.

Here's one more little item from the day...

The video explains itself pretty well (this blog now has a voice!), sorry it's a little dark. There was no way around all of that back lighting! Emily did the time-line when she was nine years old, I love this creative way for younger children to take on big research projects and feel really proud of their work.

Well, I guess that's about it. I should go clean up the place now... that sherbet is sticky! Thanks for stopping by our party, it was great to have you!

Looking for more ramblings? Stop by the Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op!

Why Does Busy Come in Spurts?


I've got a pretty long list for the next few days... rearranging my living room all afternoon was not on the list. There is an interview tomorrow morning (more on that later), two very important craft projects to complete, Abe Lincoln party festivities to finish planning and execute, a 29th birthday celebration for our food co-op, the chocolate festival in town, my friends annual Valentines Day bash for the girls... I'm thinking of bringing cinnamon rolls this year. Would that be weird? I know it's not the expected addition to a dessert table, but they are seriously perfect and how often are you served a fresh from the oven cinnamon roll... should I go for something expected, something chocolate and raspberry-ish, or do I trust my instinct here and go for the cinnamon rolls?

So yes, there is lots to do...

But I did manage to help Emily complete her Valentines for school TWO DAYS before the kids are exchanging!! That's a record and I am feeling pretty good in the parenting department about that.

Have a wonderful, long weekend everyone! I hope there is a little champagne or red wine and chocolate too... somewhere in the mix!

Shhh, Don't Tell Winter...

... but I just spent the morning washing my front porch. And the hose wasn't frozen. And I took my coat off. And now I'm wanting iced tea with lemon... it's too soon to feel this way, I know. But for today, it feels really, really nice.

In the Interest of Science

I'm not sure if it was for the advancement of her scientific understanding, or simply an attempt to avoid her veggies... maybe it was both.

What's a mother to do when gathered around the dinner table with her family, and her child asks if she can extract the chlorophyll from her spinach salad?

You know the answer, she lets them. But don't be fooled... I'm onto her. Suggestions for veggies that cool things can't be extracted from are now being accepted.

morning, noon and night :: feeling complete

This was taken Friday morning, that's Miss Hazel. She's a beauty but quite hard to photograph so I don't get to share too much of her here. She's perfectly chill and would lay there all day basking in photographic glory - but unless her eyes are open, she looks like a shadow and not much else. And the girl sleeps a lot, those hazel eyes of hers are usually closed. Anyway, I took this and immediately after felt complete in this morning, noon and night project.

So, it didn't last as long as I had planned, but that's okay. It's time to move on and get back to blogging, maybe not with with the same frequency, but there will be words here nonetheless.

There are recipes to share.

There is an exciting new project going on at the new home of the Obama family that I wanted to tell you about, in case you didn't know already.

There is new writing that I posted at The Simple Green Frugal Co-op.

There is a very special birthday coming up of a very special president. The 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln... and Emily is planning a party. Can you help me? Do you have any ideas for food, crafts, decorations, activities that would totally rock the afternoon away for a bunch of 9-11 year olds while simultaneously honoring one of the finest men ever? Tall order I know... but don't be shy, any and all ideas are greatly appreciated!

There are apologies to seek as I am swamped with email and can't seem to locate more time in the day for answering all of them. I'm sorry, it really bothers me and I have huge guilt around it (I really need to let that go), I hope you are more patient than I am about this.

There is also going to be a monthly giveaway on this blog. It will be held on the first Friday of each month (starting THIS Friday!)... for no reason other than it's just fun. And it feels like a little way that I can say thank you for being here. To make it realistic (and a good challenge) for me, I've given myself two rules.

1. I can spend up to $10 on supplies and/or goods (not including shipping).

2. I can give up to two loving hours of my time each month to put it together.

What do you think? I'm looking forward to this in a big way! You will see vintage delights, handmade items, killer homemade cd's (I should check with the resident lawyer about this), maybe recipe booklets, used books that I discover while thrifting (I just picked up a new to me Rumi book while thrifting this weekend... good stuff like that) and so on. I'm also open to including goodies from other people that might like a little exposure for their indie craft, vintage, music, or writing business. Feel free to contact me (email link at the top left of this page) if you want to chat about that.

This blog is back in the saddle friends, stay tuned.