"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Touch of Spring

I've had a very real need for verdant things lately. I decided to breathe some fresh life into one of my houseplants by creating a little scape of sorts:

I remembered my grandmother kept fancy seashells in her potted plants, and knew I had to give it a try. I stuck mine up to look like fungus, though. I also added some moss and clover from our yard, a pretty feather I found, some vacant snail houses, and bits of rock I found that are interesting: red basalt, smooth river pebble, and some petrified wood. I catch a fresh breath of spring each time I walk past that plant.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Toilet Paper Plans

I've been saving my toilet paper tubes all winter long, not because I'm a kook but because I've had big plans with them. Plans that I can finally execute now that it is planting time:

We'll see how this works. I'm being very optimistic about it. Grow, my pretties, grow!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Reverent Partying

Lucky for us, our brother's birthday happened to coordinate with a brief stint at home while he recovered from surgery. Lucky for me, I got to take a few appropriate photos of him in reverent celebration:

Happy birthday, buddy, and we'll see you in a few short months when you come home for reals.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Big Two-Six

For my 26th birthday, I set 26 goals to accomplish before the year was over. It was a conscientious effort on my part all year long, but I feel that I'm a better person than I was last year because of all these experiences. I'm going to make this an annual tradition for myself and have compiled my list of 27 goals for this upcoming year.

I set goals that I knew I could reach with just more effort than what I exert naturally. Some goals were things that I already do without encouragement but that I felt develop myself into a well-rounded person, so they should count for something. Some of the goals were things I've wanted to do for ages but haven't gotten around to doing quite yet. Other goals were exercises that I knew would help keep up my talents and skills. Then, some goals were to encourage me to learn completely new skills.

Some of my goals have already been documented on the blog-o: here, here, here, here, and here. (Plus a lot more goals that I don't want to bore you with, plus some more goals that I haven't documented, plus a few goals that got replaced with others or just didn't happen this year, drat.)

I've never been much of a New Year's resolutions gal because I think every month, week, and day is the time to rededicate yourself to your goals. What about you? Do you keep yourself motivated on a regular basis?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Another Round

Here is the next installment of Kirk's fabulous desserts, courtesy of Alyssa:

It is Michelangelo's David carved out of ice cream. He is quite buff and well-toned, don't you think? What an excellent specimen of human musculature. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I keep feeling like this little fellow needs a best friend...a red horse, perhaps?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Twinkle Twinkle Little Shoes

Twinkle twinkle little shoes
here is what I'll do with you:
hide your age and make you shine,
cover up each little line.
I'll make you look so neat and new
with glitter! How I love you, shoes!
     -impromptu ode by me

These scuffed shoes got a new and happy life with a layer of fabric paint, followed by generous amounts of glitter, followed by more fabric paint to seal in the glitter. Every place feels "not like Kansas anymore" when I wear these twinkly slippers!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Around Here...

Around here, we've been replenishing our food storage like mad- women and -men, which means that I've had fruit juice dripping down my elbows for what seems weeks on end as I peel and slice delectable fruits in preparation for drying.

These used to be fleshy pears, now they're just their humiliated and delicious remains. Nom nom nom! I get a lasting satisfaction from canning and preserving my own food, in case you hadn't already noticed. Feeling and living independently is one of the best things in the world to me. What sorts of things give you lasting satisfaction?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

We're Those Parents

Unfortunately for the pipsqueak, we're those parents...the kind that like to laugh sometimes at the expense of our own child's dignity. Poor thing! Lest you worry for her, I feel I should remind you that kids are resilient, and we have total faith in our kid's ability to survive us.

Here are just a few photos to cheer your day, hopefully. When I need a bit of a boost, I look at these pictures to procure that medicinal laughter I need every day! They're not the greatest, but they crack me up. (Probably because it's my own progeny, let's be honest.) So, in no particular order:

Babykins Smartypants


Appalled that we made her wear grandpa pants

Sunshine smile

Exterminating those sugar bugs


Thrilled I haven't wiped her face off yet

What do you do when you need a good laugh?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dusty Old Men

I recently presented a few pieces at a poetry reading for the book that I contributed to. It was at Ken Sanders Rare Books in SLC, which according to my sister smells "like dusty old men." I'm pretty sure she meant to say books, but I told her anyway that I loved the smell of dusty old men because it's full of wisdom and goodness. I tried out a new poem for the crowd there and wanted to share it with all y'all:

Her Growing Sorrow
By Laura Nielson Baxter

When her sorrow arrives in a box
she decides that she doesn't like
the way it looks on her.
She knows nothing about how big it will get.

So she puts it on once
just to say she's worn it
then forgets about it for a while.

She sits on her porch
watching cheery people
and trying not to enjoy too much
the sorrow she's wrapped herself in.

But it's heavy and warm, smells so fresh
that it's hard not to like it
at least a little.

She sits alone on the couch
that once was her daddy's
fingers stitching fast but mind
working faster.

She thinks on her sorrow
neatly folded in the closet
and gets it out to wear.

She talks at the phone
but can't listen anymore
because her sorrow's grown and
keeps getting in the way.

So she just talks on and finds it hard
not to talk about how big
her sorrow's getting.

She decides it's easier
to wear her sorrow all the time
than pull it out only
when she needs it.

So she wears her big sorrow
sitting, watching, stitching, talking,
all tangled up.

While we were enjoying some other fancy poems by other authors, my sister and I co-drew this wee little sketch of Ken Sanders himself, a person I imagine is the best of dusty old men.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sisters Rock

Sisterhood is a deep and abiding relationship...but that doesn't mean sisterhood has to be serious!

Some people you can just tell they are related because they share the same laugh or the same face, and others have relatives who are different in nearly every way! Can you tell these two are sisters? Do people recognize you and your siblings are being closely related?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Vibrant Values

I have the pleasure of spending hours each week interacting with the teenage girls in our neighborhood. Recently, they embarked on a major project to put on a fashion show to represent the values they believe in and I was lucky enough to be able to help them. So much work went into planning and executing the show! One of the many sub-projects was to make a T-shirt for each girl to showcase the array of values we were representing. We cut out our own stencils and used tone-on-tone fabric paint for a subtle look:

It was a beautiful pile of colors, indeed. This mountain of bright shirts reminds me of all the hard work and hilarity we shared with one another. It makes my heart happy to see things like this! What makes your heart happy?