All Kinds of Awesome

FYI- that title is totally misleading.
I mean, well, it is true that if I’m involved, the awesomeness factor goes up tenfold, but it’s been pretty mellow round Lj House. So mellow, in fact, that yesterday I was about climbing the walls, trying to figure out something to do. I was seriously revisiting the childhood summer doldrums where you lay around on the couch… whining about the heat… and how bored you are. I’m sure you hate all teachers right now as you contemplate a return to your desk job tomorrow… Really, though, when a kid is like that, they’re just being lazy. I know this because I was being a lazy bum and I needed to just start doing something.
Back in the day, I was never bored; I was a crafting queen. My resume reads like Laura Ingalls Wilder meets Martha Stewart. I threw myself into homemaking as soon as I could. I started baking and taking care of small children when I was a preteen. I loved baking so much that I decided I wanted to be a baker for my career, until my mom informed me that bakers rise at 2:AM so the bread has time to rise and is ready for consumers. That squelched that dream, but I’ve always baked until recently. Now baking is reserved for special occasions and for when the kids want to make something. I find myself spinning my wheels during down times- my goto activity has always been baking, but baked goods also are fatty, carby and usually the ones I like to make are also unhealthy, so I don’t do it so much anymore.
Did you know I also used to have my own paper making and soap making business? In my early twenties, I was one of those people who would rent a booth and I would go to all the farmers markets, bazaars and festivals hawking my wares. My evenings, after I put in eight or more hours at my childcare job, were spent melting fats, cutting soap bars, waxing batik covers for my handmade-hand bound journals, picking flowers to color and texturizing my handmade papers- I was a ridiculously busy girl. I always had something going on!
When Bradley and I met, we made beer together, i made candles by the dozens, we made furniture, I picked up gardening from him- we even tried our hands at self sufficiency. I learned to grow, can, dry and preserve food in an effort to work toward not relying on modern conveniences like stores. We did pretty well but never became even close to self sufficient. I started quilting and using clothing scraps for things like handkerchiefs and cloth napkins. For years, I refused to purchase Christmas and birthday gifts. Everything had to be handmade!
Paper came into my life in a big way right around the time when Gigi was born. I found scrapbooking when I ended high school and embraced it as an art form, but it languished until the scrapbooking/stamp craze took over, and then I was truly smitten. I was an expert gift wrapper and bow maker, I’d craft anything that had to do with paper- I loved paper! Paper took over for me as my primary artistic outlet. I joined collectives and collaborative online groups where we made books together via mail, while I still created art pieces, cards, entire books of collated/stacked/embellished pages. I loved it!
Over the years all of these things have been lost for one reason or another. In my job, every once in a while a need is called forth and I’m way impressed with the acumen of frontier-woman-style knowledge I have. This year I canned applesauce, made butter, quilted, and crafted with my students. It felt good to know how to do that. I tie dye with my students every year, homage to my batik and tie dye days in my late teens and early twenties, but I do little else.
Until yesterday. Yesterday I got all of my beautiful papers out, my marvelous adhesives, my lovely embellishments and I went to town. I left everything out all night so I could return to the table again, today, and at the end of it I have two dozen handmade cards that remind me that I can still do this stuff. My kids are big enough now that I have time to process, to think, to compare patterns and colors and play with templates. It was really, really fun. I’m planning to play with paper again, very soon.

Just because I was crafty today doesn’t mean I neglected your passionate need, your driving desire to see my derpy run pic of the day. I wouldn’t withhold that from you, dear reader, because, indeed, I did run today. I ran pretty well because it was gorgeous and in the 60’s when we went. I tried running downhill a new way today. And I mean steeper hills- the ones I usually walk down because I realized I’ve been tightening up my hips and bracing my knees on hills which makes me really jar hard as I go down. When we hiked down from Heather Lake, I used my thigh muscle so like shock absorbers and it felt really good, a lot like what I observed a record breaking triple jumper doing as she ran to the pit, so I tried that kind of running. I’m telling you what, I could fly down a hill like when I was a little kid again- fast, furious and not scary at all. It was amazing! It made me want to go run downhill again, I could actually remember why running down a hill was fun. I’d call that a pretty awesome nonscale victory! 🙂
and in case you were wondering, I was running downhill during this pic!

One Comment

  1. Cassandra Bell

    I love reading your blogs. Funny you wrote that you wanted to be a baker. One of my many fond memories with you as a child is making cookies. Me and my parents drove by our old houses about a month ago. Oh to be a kid again.

    My excersize consists of walking up my stairs a few times a day. I just know I will be a runner like you some day. Keep up the good work : )

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