Photos of how I hang my photos. Note the couch that is exactly like the one featured in a Sunday NY Times article on super classy decorating -- well they didn't call it that. Mid-century modern in a small apartment is what they thought it was about. Really it was about super classy decorating. (Craigslist, $250, yay me!)
We are another one of those small house families, so we keep all of our art supplies and games and puzzles (and library books and kid's nonfiction books and school stuff, including finished schoolwork to save) in our dining room. Oh, and my CDs, and some magazines, too...) Our living room opens onto the dining room, so everyone walking in the front door gets to see it. Actually, even people who don't walk in get to see it. You just have to knock at the door. Schwann man, Jehovah's Witness lady...everyone sees it. Here's what it looks like tonight. (I might come back and edit out the overhead light. I think the picture would look much better without it.) And here's a closer look at how I store our art supplies. It's an entertainment center that I got at a church rummage sale for 30 bucks. The baskets on top are for finished school work to sort through/keep for posterity -- one basket for each kid. Next to that are some photo boxes that actually do hold photos in case I ever start scrapbooking again. Then a bin for paints of all kinds. Below that are labeled plastic drawers with all kinds of art supplies. The big drawers are full of paper, puzzles, and games. It's all totally accessible to kids without driving me crazy. I tried to do a close-up of the cool sticker labels on the drawers, but I'm not sure it came out well enough to make it worth it. They are glittery and funky fonty. Oh, and here's how it looks when my sweetie comes over with his kids and two five-year-olds stay up way too late with the slime they made at the science carnival, the "metal findings" drawer, and the "clay tools" drawer...And in case you're curious, here's a sample of what's in the metal findings drawer.
For awhile now, we've been taking these lovely containers (as far as I can tell, they are #5 plastic) to restaurants with us, so that we've got something to bring our leftovers home in instead of a styrofoam container. Last week (or maybe it was the week before?) I took the concept a step farther, and we went to the local sub shop down the street. I asked if they could make our sandwiches in these, to eliminate the carry-out trash. They thought I was weird, but agreed. So here they are -- fast food with no trash! Yay! PS We took out the removable dividers to make room for the sandwiches, but the dividers are great when we go to the Rio (beans or rice on one side, chile relleno on the other, so the only thing I leave behind is the leftover margarita. Oh, wait, there never is any leftover margarita!)
I've been feeling guilty about not posting anything -- tons of stuff going on and I'll compose entries in my head and then not actually make it to the computer to write them, but mostly it's been the idea of pictures that has me all worked up -- seems like it will take to write explanations for all the pictures I have wanted to get up. So I thought I'd do a bunch of pictures with not much text just to post something, and I'll try to go back and add text in the next couple of days...
A couple of days after I made my threat to the boys about starting an awfulbrothers blog, I stumbled across a link to a sustainable living blog written by a woman in our area. I was super excited at first, because I read her intro and profile and thought, "Hey, it's true that this lady has a husband, but she's got three kids and I've only got two. And she's got a full-time job that might even be more exhausting than mine is! So if she can make a serious commitment to reducing her family's carbon footprint and eating only local organic food, I can do the same thing!"
Then I read on. Oh. Well. Never mind. She quit her job. So now not only does she have a husband, which I don't, she can devote all of her time to creating an environmentally sustainable family life. I'm not bitter! Really! I just wish that I could find a role model who is enough like me that her example would seem doable given the constraints on my life.
So then I decided that maybe I can just do it anyway and be the role model for other single moms who are trying live in a way that won't accelerate global warming and give migrant workers cancer and increase the disparity between haves and have-nots. Maybe interspersed with the videos of my kids fighting with eachother (still haven't figured out how to download those off my phone, but I will soon, I promise -- I know you can't wait!) I can post inspiring stuff about our sweeping life changes! Yeah, that's the ticket!
Except, the problem with changing your life is that you have to change your life. Or, as my dad always says, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." So all week I've intended to start riding my bike to work. But I've been running late, or had plans after work that would make biking complicated, or...this morning I woke up and they said on the radio that we were going to have 20-30mph winds all day, with a good chance of rain turning to snow. Yeah, I wimped out. And I shouldn't have, because the rain didn't start until after I was home.
This week, I was standing in the yard talking to my mom and watching the boys (aka Darth Tyranno and Snake Eyes) fighting again. Each came running to me with tears and tales of the woe inflicted by the other (evil) brother. Then they ran off to start the cycle again -- Sebastian jumps on Dante, or pinches him, or kisses him on the lips. In retaliation, Dante -- twice his brother's size -- swings out a leg to trip Sebastian, or elbows him, or pushes him to the ground... Feeling helpless to do much else, I took out my cell phone and started filming it. "I'm going to start a blog," I threatened, "and call it awfulbrothers.blogspot.com and it's going to be nothing but videos of you guys fighting." They liked the idea.
Figuring out stepfamily life, parenting four kids respectfully while staying sane, keeping the chaos of life to a minimum (I'm a Virgo and an oldest child, what can I say?) and trying to live out my values...never a dull moment around here!