Saturday, August 1, 2009

Contentment and Handmade

You might have noticed I haven't been here much, lately. My sister got engaged! I am pleased to be her Matron of Honor and have been trying to help pin down dresses, locations, invitations, etc. with her. I immediately volunteered to address the invitations, because I LOVE doing that, and no one else seems to... The wedding is in October! Between that, the storm, and being out of town, I just haven't had time to write or read blogs lately. I've also been working on some test knitting, but I think we are getting back to normal around here.

Back when I was starting out as a mom, I really wanted to nurse my kids, but one of my friends told me, "It's so hard, you'll never be able to do it." Of course, that made me more determined to try, but I was really afraid she was right. Luckily I did some research and found a great book about nursing. One thing that stuck with me from that book was the author talking about how being unable to nurse is an American concept. Mothers from most other countries don't have a choice, and don't give it a second thought. I realize some people really have a physical problem with nursing, but most of us have just grown up with everything being easy. And I can't even believe the things my kids are growing up with! Remember when you had to go to the arcade to play video games? Remember when you had to stand in the kitchen while you were on the phone? Remember when you either saw a movie in the theater, or you didn't see it? And when you saw
this at 7:00 on a cold Thursday evening, you yelled for your siblings/children to hurry up and get to the couch before the ONE airing of the Charlie Brown holiday special started. Ah, the good ol' days. Yes, this actually brings tears to my eyes.

I was struck recently by a post that
Wendy wrote about handmade stuff, and how she sometimes feels downgraded from "woman" to "crafty woman." I don't know that any of my close friends feel this way about me; most of the people in my Inner Circle make their own Something. Although I expressed longing for a dark room recently, and the other party said to me, "Would you want to shear your own sheep and comb the wool, too?" I just might.

We've been tightening the money belt here, and instead of being lazy because it's hot and I put dinner off all day so we go for fast food, I have actually had to make stuff. I really prefer to prepare everything myself, but sometimes I just don't prioritize the way I should. One of my little boys had a birthday this week, and requested homemade chicken noodle soup for his birthday dinner. BFJ was not so thrilled to have this in the middle of the summer, but the poor child had actually been requesting this for weeks, so I agreed. It turned out to be a cool and cloudy evening, so it worked out well. And I have an awesome h.c.n.s. recipe from - guess who - my mom.

Today, I finally got around to making some other favorites, including my own pasta sauce.

Never quite perfect - needs a pinch of salt? and yet, so much better than buying it from the store. And fresh basil. YUMMMMMMM. And now, a nod to my mother-in-law, who raised her son to appreciate actual garlic. Along with my pasta, I had some fresh lemonade and I've just pulled some foccacia from the oven, with rosemary from my garden. I think it is because of this recipe that, when I smell rosemary, my mouth waters. I'm looking forward to breaking off a crusty piece! It's nice to be content with what I have. It makes me feel resourceful, and environmentally responsible, and it makes me feel like a good parent to show my kids that we don't need More.

I am looking forward to giving some handmade gifts this holiday season, and I trust I won't need any of
these. I hope my family will know that, were I to be paid for my time, they'd all be getting extravagant gifts! but as it is, they are gifts with a lot of love. And now, for an apology: TWO of my sisters-in-law gave me handmade gifts for Christmas, and as they were garden-related, I did not get pictures of them at Christmas. I'm sorry. But I appreciate them very much, and intend to show you before the garden season is much older.


Thimbleanna said...

Ok, now you've just made me hungry! It sounds like you've had a wonderful time cooking. I have friends who, I'm sure, laugh at me behind my back for sewing etc. I just ignore them and laugh back. Is the yellow new since my absence? I love it!

Candace said...

Congratulations to your sister, Karen! How fun to be the MOH - I was one to my BF many years ago and I so enjoyed it!
I think it's wonderful that you're going "back to basics"! I can't wait for the day when I do that as well at the Squash House - we can even trade recipes! (Especially your Foccacia!!)

Stephanie D. said...

That foccacia bread looks delicious! And I wish I had a sister or sister-in-law who would knit me something for Christmas!