Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin day!

I'm just getting this post in under the wire (it's 11:11pm - cakes to make and all that) but we wanted to wish you a very safe and very fun Halloween. Here's our little one in the pumpkin costume I've been working on, enjoying a little snack of leaves!

See you Monday!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One Glorious Year

A friend asked me how I felt about my little baby turning 1 year old, and honestly, I hadn't had a moment to to slow down and apply my brain to that thought.  Today is a good day to think about it.

I don't often wax 'religious' on this blog, although my faith is not just a part of my life, but the canvas my life is painted on, but I have to say this: God knew what he was doing when he sent me a girl.  There was a place in my heart that needed softening, a tenderness that was there, but hiding.  Cora brought that out.  From the moment they first handed me this small bundle I felt love, fear, wonder, confusion, joy.  It is no simple thing to love a child.

She was so very tiny, so new, so precious, so perfect.  I've watched her grow these last 12 months from the sleeping little bundle that Matt and I could pass back and forth, literally with one hand,  (we called her a 'single scoop' since we could scoop her up with one hand.  She's a whole gallon now!) to this beautiful, joyful, curious being who fills up my days with light (and sometimes frustration) as she explores her world around her.  She laughs when others laugh, she loves to sit in my lap and turn pages as I read her books, she says 'Oh!', she is no shy little violet and is just as loud as her mama and papa.  I love how she holds my face with her little hands and tries to say the words I say. (but only manages a lispy 'essss' sound)  She has a temper, and is very opinionated.  When I tell her no, she argues with me in baby talk!  Literally!!  But she wakes up with something to say and a smile on her face.  She sings when she hears music and dances when I turn on the radio.  I could just go on and on.  I can hardly wait to spend time with her each and every day!  I'm so glad it was this little girl that came to be with us.  My precious girl, Happy Birthday.

October (1 day old)












And beautiful girl on her first birthday


Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I wouldn't have thought that being a stay at home mom requires so much work, but IT DOES!  When Matt and I were gone to work all day, the house didn't get messed up and therefore, no one had to really clean in, aside from the occasional bathroom scrub and dust bunny sweet.  Now, add to that my baby and then another (not mine, I'm babysitting a couple of afternoons a week - it's like INSTANT TWINS!) Indiana Jones (in Raiders of the Lost Ark) was running from a giant ball made of dust bunnies, dishes, and laundry, that would be my life.

However!  It makes me think through things, plan a little (sometimes a very little) better and honestly, enjoy the small things more.  Here's a taste of my life right now, with projects impending, Halloween impending, birthdays and parties and visiting impending...  There's a lot of impending going on around here.

 (Click on the photo to see more notes)

Yesterday this table was clean.  I envision it being clean again.  Very, very soon.  That pile of laundry in the upper left corner, mostly folded.  That orange felt, mostly a pumpkin. That stocking, well...I'm still in the beginning stages of that, but Christmas is a long way off.  I've got time.  Don't worry.  I'll get it all done...I've got momentum. (as long as everyone stays asleep for 20 more minutes!!!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Art of the Letter

There is just something about a letter.  I'm old enough that I wrote them quite a lot.  From camp to my parents, to pen pals, to friends back home, to boyfriends and on and on.  I know emails are faster, and text is, well, the speed of some sort of waves that bounce around from tower to tower, but here was something so special about getting a little piece of mail in the post box, all for me. 

I love the feel of the paper, the shape of the words written by hand, rather than typed on a keyboard.  Emails have a subject and come to my screen and I can save them forever if I want, but eventually they get lost in a list of other emails, further and further back in my history.  Unless it was something special that I'll remember and go searching for, it is, for all intents and purposes, lost. 

Letters, however, stay put.  I have a box full of them and I can sort through them and re-read them.  Love letters are the best kind.  I only have a few from my honey because by the time we started dating, well...cell phones and email had taken over the world, but they are sweeter than anything else I own.  I have a few precious ones from my grampa, and some dear little (literally - she likes tiny pieces of paper) notes from my mama.  It's like a little piece of that person, forever captured on paper.  Send one to your sweetie, or your baby, or your mama and papa.  Send one to me!  It's the best 44¢ you can ever spend.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pixie Baby

Just so you know, I SWORE I would never be one of those moms who dresses up her baby in cutesy stuff and treat her like a little doll and for the most part, I'm not.  I buy NON-pink if I can find it, but it is pretty rare commodity.  Sometimes I just give in to the flood of pink that is baby girl clothes.

This hat, however, I made for my niece, Faith, whose very favorite color was pink at the time (and is now gold.  Like gold lamé. Go figure.)  They lived in Ohio and she had someplace to actually wear this.  But they have since packed up and moved to Houston where winter hats are just downright silly.  So my sister sent it (and the red earflap hat that I made for my nephew) back to me.  It sat around for a few years, but lack of baby hats that fit Cora's head sent me digging for it.  I'm so glad I kept it now!  Even if it is just over the top cutesy.  Matt and I could not stop laughing when we first put it on her!  (also, with the tie, she can't get it off!  Bonus!)


The original pattern is called "Pixie Hat' from Knit Wit: 30 Easy and Hip Projects and oddly enough, is supposed to be for adults (I made it smaller).  I actually knitted this for myself in orange and, yes, I look ridiculous.  Maybe this look could be pulled off by some hipster waif in NYC, but that is so not me.  So the orange one is waiting for Cora to get older.  This is knitted in a wool/acrylic blend by Plymouth Yarn and the fuzzy stuff, if I remember correctly, is Lionbrand Fun Fur.  (One of the only uses I've found for that stuff!)

PS.  Blogger has done away with spell check in the little post editor, so forgive any weird (or British) spellings!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fetching AND green - what could be better?

I finished up the sweet fingerless gloves I was working on. (They a free pattern on called Fetching) Thought you might want to see. I knit them with a yarn called Lush by Classic Elite Yarn in the colorway 'Granny Smith'. The ends are a little curly and in hindsight, I probably should have blocked them when I was done knitting, but they work the same!

It's so nice to be knitting this fall. Last fall, I couldn't feel my hands so knitting was out. I missed knitting all of the sweet baby things, but she knows I love her. These are going in the mail to keep a friend warm! See Tracy, I told you you were on my wool list.

By the way...what is up with Flickr and their new format which made it really hard to put these photos here? Arg. Anyhoo. I hope your weekend is wonderful. Ours will be another example of 'Chock-tober!' (I hope). See you here on Monday!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The coolest jazz for the coolest kids - The Coal Train Railroad

{As promised yesterday, this post is 2 of 2. 1 of 2 is here}

Your bellybutton stays the same. Did you know that? According to The Coal Train Railroad's song My Bellybutton Stays the Same, it does. Here's what my friend Katy says about her new album over on her site Hand Me Downs.

"It’s great jazz for kids! Coal Train is a collaboration between Katy Bowser and Chris Donohue. It’s music about kid stuff- juice, snuggling, naps, getting along, sharing- with music that we can all enjoy together. We weren’t kidding around when we made this music- we found the best jazz musicians in town [Nashville], with special guests like Jeff Coffin and Rod McGaha jumping in. Kids deserve good music, too."

And let me tell ya, she delivers. I got to hear an advance copy on the way to the pumpkin patch the other day and it is a rollicking good time! Katy Bowser's smooth voice sings about the most wonderfully silly things while the rest of the Coal Train Railroad lays down a gorgeous groove.

Right now you can pre-order the CD, which will be released on Thanksgiving Day, but in case you can't wait (like me) you can help spread the word by telling friends about it and getting two tracks to download for free!

For more info, visit their website:, and become a fan on facebook. Trust me. Your children (or your inner child) will thank me! (be sure to roll over the widget below for a sample)

Standing By: A benefit for East Nashville Cooperative Ministry

{I promised two posts today so this is 1 of 2. 2 of 2 is here}

East Nashville Cooperative Ministry is an amazing ministry that I volunteer for. Here is a group where those of different faiths, socioeconomic status, race, creed, and much more band together to serve people in need in our community. The work they do touches lives all over our community and in fact, it touched ours. They provided us with food boxes and formula when Matt lost his job and WIC and food stamps had not kicked in. Without them, we would have been living on rice and well...rice.

Coming up next week is a fabulous benefit for ENCM at the Belcourt Theater in Hillsboro Village which, if you live in Nashville, you should SO attend. Not only is it for a great cause, it's awesome music! More details below!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 @ 8pm

at The Belcourt


Standing By – a benefit for East Nashville Cooperative Ministries

with performances by



Fly Golden Eagle and Rae Hering

Tickets on sale now at The Belcourt

(Link directly to ticket sales)

RSVP and discuss this event on Facebook

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chasing the sun :: Fall leaves

Lets face it. Fall is freakin' awesome. (as long as the sun doesn't hide for too long!) Cora and I, at the first sign of sun, head out on the street to walk and soak it all up. Only one tree on the street is turning so far, but we stood under it for awhile, taking in the glorious colours. We also brought back some leaves for the table to add to our little pumpkins, but the cat ate a bunch and then we found orange coloured hairballs later. Gross. But we tried!!

Hey, if you are in the hood and know me well enough to know my address, bring your kiddos to my house for music hour! Tomorrow (Thursday) at 10am.

One more thing...Tomorrow I want to tell you about some really awesome and important things, so I'll do 2 posts. These are things I KNOW you want to know about, so I'll see you then.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chasing the sun :: In the garden

The last of our produce from the CSA is coming in. (one more week - sniff sniff) The red peppers and tomatoes seem so scandalously red, there on my worn out 50's Formica-esk countertops. Add to that the decorative Jack be Little pumpkins that came and we are reveling in things made bright by the sun. I took lots of pictures to remind me of the reds and oranges of summer when the days seem to have all faded to the same shades of grayscale. Isn't there just something so lovely about the sunshine on the shiny red skin of a tomato? (or is this weird to notice and like...hmmm)

(I love how she looks like a little butterball in her winter layers!! Sooooo sweet)

We will continue to occupy puddles of sunlight wherever we find them, storing up for the winter.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chasing the sun :: Pumpkin Scones

{OK. I'm back. After what seemed like forever of clouds, clouds and more clouds, Someone heard my desperate prayers for sunshine and sent the clouds away. (IN SPITE OF the weather report!!) I spent so much time outside and feel much better for it. For those of you who are wondering why the gray days get me so down, it's called S.A.D. and it makes me S.A.D. Forgive me if I revel in the sunshine for the next couple of weeks. I'm chasing the sun to it's winter bed and saving up the last rays as pictures in my head. I'll share them with you!}

Pumpkins, in their deliciously orange skin, remind me of the sun, so I made some pumpkin things to warm us, as the sun does!

The recipe is one I found a few winters ago and is a favorite around here! It can be found in it's entirety here, on Joy of Baking.

Pumpkin Scones
from Joy of Baking

Scone Dough:
2 cups (260 grams) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (72 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I add 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/8 tsp cloves. So good!)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup (50 grams) white chocolate chips (or raisins)
1/4 cup (30 grams) toasted and chopped pecans (optional)
1/3 - 1/2 cup (80 - 120 ml) buttermilk (fast way to make buttermilk from milk)
1/2 cup fresh or canned pure pumpkin (if using canned pumpkin make sure there are no spices or sugar added)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the raisins or white chocolate chips and pecans, if using. In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin puree and vanilla
and then add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix the dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 4 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash (see J.o.B. page for egg wash) and sprinkle a little Turbinado sugar on top, if desired.

Place the baking sheet inside another baking sheet to prevent the bottoms of the scones from over browning. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 8 scones - share them with friends (or a sicky husband who is wandering around with a blanket on his shoulders, sniffling)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time off for good behavior (and lack of sun)

Hey friends,
I'm giving myself a long weekend in which to fill my brain up with things to say here. I'm plumb fresh out. All of our plans to run around the city like mad folk, taking photos willy-nilly has been thwarted by a whole lotta rain and a leaky roof. I need a nap, a tall, tall ladder, and for the sunshine to come back. Seriously sun. I mean it. Enough is enough! I may have to resort to a tanning bed...or drugs (legal ones...ahem!).

Never fear. I leave you with cuteness.

Have a fabulous long weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday.

The Musician aka Ariana (you know you know it's me.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Battling the Gray

No pictures today. I can't bear to take more photos of overcast skies. We did get out to story time at the library which was lots of fun. We were joined by a sweet mom friend and her daughter who is just a smidge older than Cora. Cora and her baby friend played in the fountain and her friend, an early walker, kept her mama on her toes by trying to lick all of the puddles in the courtyard. Fun times. Now, off to bed. Maybe sunshine will greet me in the morning!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Training her up in the way she should go. Sorry that this is just a tiny little post. We are still recovering from a fun weekend! October is full to bursting!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chock-tober :: Oktoberfest

It seems like every nook and cranny of this month is filled with festivals, fun, and friends (and apparently lots of things that start with F.) Between MOMS club activities, free stuff going on in the city, and birthdays, we are going somewhere most every day! I'll be posting pictures from our adventures around the city for the rest of this chock full month.

This past weekend we hit Nashville's Oktoberfest, which was HUGE this year with food, a kids section, more food, a couple of stages (where we never heard ANY polka music! What's up with that?!) and more food. Oh, and the Biergarten, lest we forget. Here's a little taste:

Friday, October 09, 2009

Apple Crisp for sharing

Oh, the unparalleled enjoyment of sharing a meal with friends! We had friends over last night, all with babies about Cora's age in tow, to enjoy homemade pizza, salad, and dessert. The food was delicious, (we all contributed parts!) the conversation was easy and full of laughter, the babies had fun crawling all over, and visiting the dog crate again and again to loose the poor cooped up Freckles (the dog) who has 'pizza crust entitlement' issues, and scaring Gizmo (the cat) half to death with their advanced crawling and walking abilities. (He's used to Cora, who can't quite catch him!) It was quite easily the best dinner party I've ever attended!

We wrapped up with an apple crisp with vanilla ice-cream for dessert and then THEY WASHED MY DISHES! I Cannot tell you the glory of coming downstairs in the morning to a clean kitchen. I wanted to dance on the linoleum! And the Apple Crisp was so good, I had some for late breakfast! (see photo above) I'm quite sure it has less sugar and more fiber than your typical sugary cereal, so I didn't have even a pinch of guilt.

Now I have no idea where I found this recipe, but I must have had it before and liked it, since I scribbled it down onto an index card. I've tweaked it enough that I feel fairly safe in sharing it with you and not infringing on anyone's intellectual property. So here we go:


Apple Crisp - for sharing

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

- 10 cups peeled, cored and sliced apples. (the peeling is optional and we used a hodge podge of mostly apples from our local CSA and some store-bought Cameo apples, and Golden Delicious)

(apple mixture)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 Tbs all purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- a pinch of nutmeg
- a sprinkle and a half of cloves
- 1/2 cup of water

- 1 cup quick cook oats
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter, melted

Place sliced apples in a 9x13 inch casserole pan. Mix together the 'apple mixture' excluding the water for now, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over the apples and apple mixture.

Combine the topping ingredients, (I recommend adding the brown sugar to the melted butter first and then stirring in the rest a bit at a time) and crumble evenly over top of the apples.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350F. Serve with vanilla ice-cream!

As usual, I'm taking the weekend off from blogging. See you Monday!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A composite of chaos - an oasis of yarn

Once again, life is speeding up. I find myself filling my days up with things that are good for my soul, rather than things that need to be done. (besides caring for the babe) I often think that my desk is an indication of how my life looks, or at least the inside of my head. So today, I bring you, my desk. Click on the photo to go to flickr to see more comments there.

This is perhaps why I knit. A small set of orderly things that I can pick up, work at for awhile, see real progress, then set down, mid-row or mid idea. So in the middle of the desk you'll find this. My current project.

A glorious little thing I can work on when tackling the dishes seems impossible and I know the baby won't be napping for long (because boycotting her nap is her favorite activity!!). I can make a ball of string into something to keep me or a friend warm! FYI, it's Fetching from Knitty knitted in Lush yarn in Crab apple green colorway. A little oasis of peace in my otherwise chaotic day. I hope you find yours today!
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