journal_028

yo. 12:54 on a Wednesday afternoon, it’s gorgeous out, and as I was setting up the stroller to walk the dude, he started falling asleep, so I laid him down, and am left with a few moments to myself. There are a million chores to be done, but I thought it better to sit down for a few and write, because that usually makes me feel better than starting chores, then not finishing those chores, and then feeling blah.

So here I am. I haven’t written since January 19.

Since then I have … taken a yoga class (so good, my bod got rocked), baby came down with a week long virus, I’ve started making bumpers for his crib with my mom, we planned a near-future road trip, entered a sweepstakes for a home ‘make over’ .. I experienced a two day migraine, had some friends over to watch football (they brought their kitten, so cute), ordered some Girl Scout cookies from my niece, went on a few beach walks, felt super negative, finally took advantage of the two hour massage joe got me as an anniversary gift, saw La La Land, felt super positive, celebrated Granny’s 86th birthday, watched the Super Bowl, kissed my baby on the head 912 times, ordered myself two new pairs of Lu La Roe leggings (I wore a few pairs of TC throughout my pregnancy but they are stretched beyond belief), I did some knitting, read a book, made some food, caught up with some friends, finally ordered my cloth diaper stash, aaand ate a Hot Turkey Platter at the Rainbow Diner. You guys, I love Hot Turkey Platters. … I should have gotten the Gyro though (that’s what Joe got).

I’ve also gone through about 85% of my wardrobe in hopes of opening a Posh Mark closet. There is so much that doesn’t fit me anymore, or I am just tired of/isn’t my style, I figured why not do something purposeful with them? I had already given away a significant chunk of stuff, letting friends pick through or dropping off at the donation bin, but a lot made ‘the cut’ in my closet, we also never took down our summer stuff last year*, so looking at those bins, it’s like, everything can go.. I forgot I even owned half this stuff! Most importantly, I don’t have space to store a clothing collection at this point in my life. It’s time to say goodbye to certain things. So stay tuned for that! .. and yeah yeah, I know a lot of people do it, its hard work, but I like to work AND it’s getting rid of stuff, maybe making a few shecks here and there. Two birds, one possibly-insanely-waste-of-time-and-energy stone.

Dang, I just saw on FB that Ryan Montbleau has a new album coming out! which is exactly the news I needed today.. deep breath, I need to pre-order it. Currently listening to the single, Bright Side, through this link. Additionally, I am flying through Lauren Graham’s new book, Talking As Fast As I Can — reading her point of view is so refreshing and inspiring (Hi, Lauren!)

Okay, it is officially too nice out to be looking at this blazing computer screen. Why is it supposed to snow tomorrow? These Spring vibes are making me want to garden .. orrr sit outside somewhere with a hoppy beer and a sandwich. Well, off I go, peace!



[ some random shots from my “photo shoot” for the Good Housekeeping submission ]

*editing over this I remembered in The Art of Tidying Up she recommends not even HAVING summer/winter clothes, but just having one year round wardrobe and making it work. I also realized I really do operate on a ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ system these days. I used to get dressed up for work, so I had more of a chance to express myself through my clothes.. although my costume has always been – jeans/tee… and now that I work in a kitchen or am painting/cleaning, I need more utilitarian pieces.

[ jeans + a tee, san fran – 2014 ]

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YEAR ZERO


[ The Jet Star ]
—————————————-

Blog entry, http://ourbklyn.com
January 20, 2013
Brooklyn, New York

our home ended up needing to be gutted. we worked on saving it, but the mold grew very quickly – it was out of our hands. we truly believed we could save it. the furniture was destroyed. dragging beautiful pieces of furniture outside. it was super sad.

i am having a hard time now, writing this. my heart is broken. the island is not habitable yet. things are coming together, the plans for our house are being made. i am not sure how to verbalize my empathy and support for the people who lost absolutely everything. its been a life changer for a lot of people and i’ll say personally – it’s put a lot into perspective. driving over the seaside bridge was a surreal experience. honestly just seeing the national guard there, and all of the emergency vehicles. all the ruin, everything is off. it felt so cold. it was the first weekend people were allowed back, we waited in a long line over the bridge as the sun was coming up to get in. the damage was beyond. every single person was and is affected.

the man who lives at the top of our street said the waves were crashing onto his house. they were over 20 feet high. he said there were homes floating by, in the ocean. there are still homes in the water. just sitting there, you can see the peaks pointing out of the water. the visuals are difficult to view. my nana can’t stand the sight – she met my pop-pop on the seaside boardwalk on labor day, 1941. so much has been wiped away. so many bases for so many people.

the rollercoaster that now stands in the ocean – the jet star – was one i’ve ridden countless times. if you look at the photos, the left hand side is your first climb. going around that corner, it always felt like you’d simply fall into the ocean. as a young girl and, into adulthood – it was always one of those really scary moments, you make the turn and take your first drop. the ride was quick, but it was wild. seeing the track in the ocean has a ghost-like abandon to it. it represents freedom and exhilaration and fear and adrenaline. the last time i rode it was may 2011, about 3 weeks before joe and i moved to brooklyn. i threw my hands straight into the air for that first drop, we were free.









[ the front door was stuck so joe used a crowbar to bust through the window | my dad had a man who was occupying the house as a winter rental, he stayed throughout the storm and if i remember correctly, by the end of the storm the only surface for him to be on was the kitchen table. i need to get the whole story from my dad again | the original plan was to use a dremel tool to cut the sheet rock from the water damage line down.. we spent the day clearing out the furniture, ripping up the floors, all the insulation, and sawing the walls ]



[ joe and dad pushed the fridge out the back door. there is something strangely cathartic in demolition of your own stuff ]




[ checking out the beach ]



[ hotels and churches and local businesses ]


[ ortley beach, new jersey ]




[ point pleasant beach, new jersey ]








[ seaside heights, new jersey .. the last photo of the ferris wheel and the funtown pier sign are taken in seaside park ]



[ aerial shots taken by a friend in January of 2013, posted with permission ]







[ the mold had spread, the house needed to be stripped to a frame. how wild to see it like this! it feels so small ]




[ spring of 2013, my step sister brenda was a driving force behind the construction | on this specific day joe and i rented a u-haul and picked up furniture from several different locations to be delivered to the house. you can see things coming together in these photos ]

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my hutch

It is time to share the story of my hutch. Which wasn’t always my hutch. First, it belonged to my Great Grandmother, in her home in Elizabeth NJ. Then it was passed on to my Nana, then she passed it on to my Mom (it was in our kitchen growing up), and she eventually passed it on to me, when I moved to my second apartment in Philly.

It eventually came to Brooklyn with Joe and I. It didn’t fit up our first apartment steps (we found this out the hard way ..of course) – so it went back to be stored at my dad’s for a year.. when we moved into our second apartment, the hutch fit through the door… hooray!

After all these movings and all these different owners and locations, the hutch had been worn and torn. Something banged into one of the doors when we moved out of New York, so we had shattered glass on one of the doors, and the sides were scratched and damaged from tape and trucks and years of use.

It’s solid oak, with beautiful details. We got both of the doors re-glassed at Toms River Glass ($37.00) – and then got to work! I purchased a quart of a high quality Benjamin Moore paint, in a pearl finish ($20.00) – washed the entire hutch down with soapy water, let it dry, sanded it, wiped again, let it dry, and then got to painting.

The doors came off the bottom portion (I spray painted the hinges black) – I decided to leave some of the original details raw and natural. This piece has such special corners and curves that I couldn’t bare to sand them! .. I also left the knobs original, because they were so worn in from the hands of my family. They needed to stay that way.

While I was at it, I also dragged an old telephone table out and quickly sanded and painted that the same color. It needed a new life desperately that I almost didn’t want to include the photo of it because its so ragged looking! How did I let that thing hang in my home for so long!?

There was a LOT of cutting in, so this job took me an entire day, into dusk. I listened to the majority of the first Serial podcast. I am so pleased with the way it turned out. My last desire is to go back to the glass place and get three pieces of mirror to affix to the back of the interior of the hutch. I thought about painting it a light pink or a white, but I just think mirror would complete this piece.

What do you think!?






Update – Here are some photos of how it looks currently. See how dark? I need mirrors to reflect all the light. Also, check out that telephone table, upgrade – eh?



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[ posts published in january of 2017 – click image for full post]






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1/2015

I am in the midst of a project that involves sorting through folders upon folders of neglected photos and videos on my computer and hard drive. I’d like to eventually put them all into chronological albums / share them with my peoples.
Enjoy the evidence in what I’ll call.. Photo Essays!




[ posing beside the Route 35 make over | dusty dayzes w etta |
bamber lake, pine barrens nj ]



[ beach houses | gulls, up high ]




[ cooking tofu and cabbage | pip on a cat blanket i knitted | champagne fireplace ]



[ stinky first giving a warning look, next comes the snarl ]



[ frisbee ]


[ liz on the beach ]





[ a dinner with friends, and their sphinx kitten ]






[ winter beach scenes ]





[the fam ]



[ first visitor on a sunny morning after a big snow ]





[ valentines dinner, 2015 ]

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journal_027

Hello, hello. It’s 6:55 on Wednesday, January 18th and I am sitting down at my desk to write. There, I said it. So that’s what I am going to do. I had intent to write all day, but things kept getting in the way, the phone kept ringing, more laundry had to be done, the dog kept needing to go out, and come in, I kept tidying, organizing drawers, I kept making more food, taking more photos or … yeah, I’ll admit it, watching more Housewives.

Now I’m giving a first listen to Birds of Chicago, ‘Real Midnight’ … 33 seconds in and her voice has swept me away. Thank god I shut the laptop on those screechy (yet alluring) Ladies of London (I have a serious infatuation with fellow Virgo Caroline Fleming) .. I just gulped down the last of my lukewarm coffee and cracked open a bottle of sparkling water. It’s the little things, am I right?

Adjusting to writing online in a regular fashion is weird, guys. I am seriously trying to harness the inhibition of my younger self, when I was open and hooked up to an ethernet cord, in a different corner of this house. I was 21 years old when I moved from Philly to the beach, and I had absolutely zero grip and zero expectations of my life.

Now I am here, in what feels like a different lifetime, but in the same place. It’s quite humbling now that I think about it.. picture me right now, eyes widening, thinking- oh, how lucky am I to have shared so many stages of my lifetime in this sweet little house by the sea. Right now I miss my hub and my baby, but they aren’t too far away, and they are safe, so I need to go asljhdsajhdsakjhdaskjhd and take a deep breath … :::: deep breath :::: and relax.

I had an hour and a half conversation with my mama on the phone today, we were breezing ideas around, blah blah blah’ing, and it was so refreshing and wonderful to just chitty chat with her. We have been surrounded with a lot of sadness these past few years, admittedly a lot of it we, she, me, brought on ourselves, but we are in this for the long haul and have been through so much as a family, so when it feels like we are moving past those hurdles and doing our old rituals, it feels nice.




[ snow from earlier this month | when our tree was still up ]

Afterward I got on the horn with Fay, and we were shooting the breeze as well. She and I always talk about creative projects, wanting to one day live abroad, work, clothes, music, everything, so I usually feel inspired after I get off a call with her. I wandered around with my head set on, taking pictures, while she picked her boy up from school, then later got home and started some laundry, telling me about her son’s first homework assignment, a diorama about any mode of transport, and how he chose a water plane, I asked if they would use a tissue box, but she said that he was thinking he’d make it with legos, she also said that she brought home some books from the the Children’s Non-Fiction section at the library on transportation so they will look through those together as well. I adore this girl and the way she learns with her little guy.


[ latest hobby; making baby food ]

By the way, I am seriously loving this album (Birds of Chicago) – and lucky me, they are currently on tour in this area .. I want to pick a show and just go. I miss seeing live music on a regular basis, it’s so important for the soul. Full disclosure, I checked them out to begin with because I was scrolling twitter and Club Helsinki in Hudson, NY sent out a tweet about them playing there soon, I trust Helsinki’s lineup, so I checked them out. I wish I lived blocks away so I could go there on a regular basis, because their shows have never let me down, and they have all been different. That’s something thats a serious lack in this area, walkable/fresh/live music.






[ took the trip to Charmed for some supplies ]

Oh, wait! Thats right, I wanted to explain one photo (below) which is all the books I intend on reading this year. These are all books that are already in my home, and owned by myself (okay one of them is Joe’s but I know he will let me read it once he has finished..) .. Some of them I have already read, have started reading and either need to finish or re start.. I’m actually almost done with The Interestings (I’ve loved this book!) — Can we also talk about how that poinsettia is still alive, and Joe got it for me on December 13th? Can it stay alive year round? he said he asked the girl at the flower shop and she wasn’t sure, but said to water it everyday, I guess we will keep it alive as long as can.










[ photos taken while pacing around the house on the phone ]

Another thing Fay and I do, is bring each other UP confidence wise. At least I hope I do for her, as she does for me. We are both funkettes and it’s always been that way and always will be that way. A facet of our friendship has always been sending each other pics. I actually keep meaning to tell her about the Gwen Stefani song, Send Me a Picture, because it’s too good. Also, You’re My Favorite is my jam. Gwen has always gotten me, or I’ve gotten her, or we got each other. She has evolved big time over her career and I have been a fan since I first saw ‘I’m Just a Girl’ on MTV. I’ve probably already gushed to you but I’m still there apparently.. but to be fair, I prefer No Doubt over her solo stuff. I just love doing hair/makeup or cleaning to her music. Oh yeah, did you see her interview on the Netflix series Chelsea ?? I’m a big fan of that show and loooved Gwen’s interview .. also Drew’s… and Gwenyth’s .. 🙂 I fucking love Chelsea Handler. I haven’t read her two latest books, should I? Dang, My Horizontal Life is available in Mass Market editions … hahah the amazon ‘jacket’ says Handler chronicles what can happen to one very intoxicated, outgoing woman during one night of passion– repeated over and over with lots and lots of men. .. OO LA LA. anyyyyway –




[ fresh air; ]

Wow I just sideteracked so fucking bad with that Gwen rave, back to Fay, we always send one another pics of what is going on in our day, and some of the highlights include: outfits (really good or really bad) and hair’dos (really good or really bad) so here are some photos that I’d normally send only to Fay, but now I’m sending them to my blog, too.






[ joe’s old button down | adidas three stripe leggings (bought from paragonsports.com) | socks from macy’s (that I bought when I bought my black booties and they are one of my faves) | rug from ikea | turquoise ring purchased in New Mexico | camera strap from ONA

xx afaye

—–

for the inquiring minds, here’s a list of the books
(from top to bottom)

The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
Food Rules – Michael Pollan and Maira Kalman**
Jitterbug Perfume – Tom Robbins****
House of Dolls – Francesca Lia Block
A House On The Heights – Truman Capote***
My Own Cape Cod – Gladys Taber***
The Parent’s Tao Te Ching – William Martin
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues – Tom Robbins
The Interestings – Meg Wolitzer***
The Spirits Catches You and You Fall Down – Anne Fadiman
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway**
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath***
Talking as Fast as I Can – Lauren Graham
The Best of Stillmeadow – Gladys Taber**
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy****
Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen*
The Bible

* – Joe’s
** – to be read again
*** – started/need to finish
**** – started/need to restart

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MLK

I’ve always had an appreciation for Martin Luther King Jr. I mean, what stable hearted American hasn’t, right? But when I was able to take a work trip to Atlanta to learn about him first hand, it took my respect to another level. It got personal, because walking the streets where he lived and being inside his church and standing in front of his tomb, of his fight for justice and peace and righteousness, was a beyond humbling experience for a middle to lower class white female (me).

This country is currently split in two, three, four, 1867 gazillion pieces. It’s unbelievable and baffling, and sad, and sometimes makes me wonder if we really are steps away from getting bombed, or a nuclear war or even hey, a huge comet hitting our planet and totally ENDING this world, why do we spend so much time on hate and segregation and judgement? and debating, name calling, fact checking, and ..fb’ing.

Remember the ice age, the dinosaurs? yeah, that could be us – any minute. like any minute, this minute, this past minute, in 5 minutes, or ..never! we might never see it in our lifetime. My grandparents didn’t see it in their lifetime, maybe I won’t either, or maybe I will, or it could end up being my children’s burden, in their lifetime. .. or not, or never.

My point is that so much CAN happen in a lifetime, so when we have holidays like today, it’s important to take time to reflect on what one man can do in his lifetime. In my heart and mind, MLK, he moved planets in his.

This divided-ness has always been here, but connectivity is the key to living a peaceful and respected life. MLK Jr is a great example of someone who fought so hard that he lost his young life for his cause, and I believe in the midst of what is happening now, Americans all over the country will sit back tonight and absorb how far we have really, truly, come. (instead of focusing on all the wrongness that is happening today, and this week, red state or blue state, it’s bad)

I was watching Good Morning America this morning and there was an interview with Martin’s daughter, Reverend Bernice King (it feels wrong to call him Martin, doesn’t it? But they did on the show, so I am too) – She was brave and eloquently spoke of both of her parents, with an emphasis on her Mother, Coretta Scott King, who’s posthumous memoir “My Life, My Love, My Legacy” is due out tomorrow, January 17. She referenced this quote from her father, which resonated with me –

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

MLK was arrested so regularly, it was unbelievable. I remember in the museum on Auburn Avenue had a timeline, he was taken under police custody for everything, he was stabbed, he was criticized and harassed and ‘bullied’ beyond belief. I did find this timeline of his career, which is a great piece on the social work he and Coretta accomplished. .. just check this little part of the timeline out (i recommend reading it all though!) — this was going on in the first five years of my mom’s life – !

1958 MLK’s first book, Stride Toward Freedom, is published on September 17. At a Harlem book signing on September 20, MLK is nearly killed when he is stabbed by an assailant. Along with other civil rights leaders, he meets on June 23 with President Dwight D. Eisenhower to discuss problems affecting black Americans.

1959 MLK and Coretta make a pilgrimage to India on February 2 and spend a month there as the guests of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to study Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence and to pay homage at his shrine. On November 29, MLK announces his resignation, effective January 1, as pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church to concentrate on civil rights work full time. He moves to Atlanta to direct the activities of the SCLC.

1960 On January 20, MLK moves to Atlanta and becomes co-pastor, with his father, at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Lunch counter sit-ins begin on February 1 in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee is founded on April 15 to coordinate student protests at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and elsewhere. MLK is the keynote speaker at the event. In Atlanta, on October 19, MLK is arrested during a sit-in while waiting to be served at a restaurant. He is sentenced to four months in jail, but after intervention by then presidential candidate John Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy, MLK is released.

1961 On May 4, soon after the Supreme Court outlawed segregation in interstate transportation, Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) demonstrators begin the first Freedom Ride through the South, traveling as a racially mixed group on a Greyhound bus. On May 21, MLK addresses a mass rally in support of another group of Freedom Riders at a mob-besieged church in Montgomery, Alabama. In November, the Interstate Commerce Commission bans segregation in interstate travel in response to the Freedom Riders’ protests. On December 15, MLK arrives in Albany, Georgia, at the request of the leader of the Albany protest, to desegregate public facilities there. The following day, at a demonstration attended by seven hundred protesters, MLK is arrested for obstructing the sidewalk and parading without a permit.

1962 Following the unsuccessful Albany, Georgia, movement, MLK is tried and convicted on July 10 for leading the march the previous December. He is arrested again on July 27 and jailed for holding a prayer vigil in Albany. He leaves jail on August 10 and agrees to halt demonstrations there. On October 16, he meets with President Kennedy at the White House.

The above gives me, that middle to lower class white female, a charge to get out there and make an actual difference in the world. To find my cause. To eliminate labeling from who I am, to not let people label me, a woman who is fighting hard for what she can grasp but has plans to fight harder for more, given the opportunity, or actually, I’ll just have to take the opportunity, now won’t I?

… Since writing and reading what is above, the baby woke up from a nap, its beautiful outside, so we sat in the rocking chair and let the sun bathe us in vitamin D. Our brazen birdies were fluttering overhead from bath to suet, and Stinky sat in the sun spot beside us. We came in, had lunch, and now the baby is playing nearby on a warm spot. I’ve given ‘Another Side of Bob Dylan‘ four listens in a row now. My tea has gone cold and as I wrote that last sentence the votive on my desk burned out, which I’ll take as a sign to get on with the day, and off the computer.

One last thing, is that tonight Joe and I are going to Meeting to attend a Gathering for Understanding in accordance with Martin Luther King Jr Day. It was such a nice event last year, they handed out papers with quotes that you could stand and read. I shared my experience that I noted above, of visiting the street he grew up on, worshipping in Ebenezer Baptist Church, and the museum and his tombstone (which has an eternal flame) .. I meant to note earlier, that something that will never leave me, was seeing his jewelry, his bibles, and most eerily, the hotel key he held for the room, that had the balcony, which is where he was shot standing.

I tried to access my photos of the visit to include in this post, but came to learn that the little input on my hard drive has fallen out .. it’s just shaking around inside the unit. So that is a huge side note bummer. This hard drive has so much on it, I need to get it remedied or all the data off it and onto a new drive. Maybe next year I can share my photos. Dangit. In peace, afaye.

In peace, afaye.

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rebuttal to 1/6/17

hey, how’s it going?

okay so here i am again because after i published that last blog, i thought way too long and hard about what i just did. do i really want to blog? is it worth my time? am i too annoying, i am annoying myself, was that weird? etc. i got some great feedback from girls that i really admire so that makes it all a YES ASHLEY, KEEP GOING. but then, i also realized that i want to just provide more insight into how i am feeling (how needy and whiny am i right now?), but i am not trying to be this or that, finding your tone and your voice is hard work, so is self editing, it’s all something that i have been struggling with as i try to really hone in on my writing and make it count. so bare with me (or give me advice!)

i needed to shake things up so bad i compulsively went and got bangs chopped because when you need to change your life, change your hair, right? also, i am home alone by myself a lot, in-between doing baby things, with down time (my mom gave me a mini lecture yesterday on how i need to learn how to nap, and to nap when he does, even though i have stuff to do, i just can’t right now!) so why not write or focus on this.. even if a post takes me 3 days to finish.

at this moment in time, the galaxy is doing some groovy things, planets are direct, the moon is full, we can see about 5 plants in the sky right now (although it was so cloudy last night that the moon was a glow behind the murky sky, maybe we can get a glimpse tonight?) .. seeing those planets (or them seeing us?) is rare and awesome. it’s a wolf moon (in Cancer), which means be courageous, try new things and be brave while doing it. so i’m going to do that, k?

i’m also watching the entire series of Girls in preparation for the final season. totally forgot jessa and shosh are cousins..!

Rebuttal – noun: An attempt to contradict or disprove an argument by offering a counter argument or countervailing proof.

^^ .. oh yeah, i told joe i was writing a rebuttal to that last post.. and he seemed confused and concerned that i was possibly misusing the word, idk joe, maybe you weren’t confused or concerned. but what i mean is something like …..

self:

can’t stand myself. can’t stand other people. i cringe when i read over things i wrote, and you probably do too, and i can’t blame you. the blogging / micro blogging world is so over satured now it’s basically uninspiring, it’s all tired. what i post, what you post, what she posts, he posts, blah blah blah. i have been posting my thoughts / photos for .. lemme do the math, nearly 18 years now? that makes it legal! ha ha, bad joke. anyway, sorry for posting, but bare with me as i try to be as non-cringeworthy as possible. this is going to be a process.

work:

i feel like i am at an all you can eat chinese buffet and i just keep eating so i don’t have to get up and leave because not only do i not think i have enough in my wallet but i’ll also be sick for days. being a stay at home mom and a work from home mom is no joke. thank the lord my computer is now here!

home:

sink full of dishes, baby toys all over the place, freezing cold cement floors, tarps covering all the stuff outside, never ending stacks of things to donate/return. forming my own version of the magic art of tidying up but it’s just usually a mess you know what i mean? laundry laundry laundry we’re almost out of laundry detergent let me add it to the list, lists for days lists for days.

marriage:

a favorite writer of mine documented her life through 59 published BOOKS – and never really mentioned her husband, because he was a private man and their relationship was private. before this, you may know, i have put a lot about J and me out here, on ourbklyn and social media, etc. our marriage and relationship is so real and private (captianette obvious over here, i know), my point is, i am going to work on being less open with it. whatever you do see of us, has always kind of been a (spoiler alert) caricature of who we really are, and it’ll still usually be that way, but just less of it.

mamahood:

my son is my best friend.

friendship:

see above. ..and below 🙂

right now:

finally taking down all these f’ing christmas ornaments. stinky and pippen just had a legitimate hissing and barking tangled up brawl under the couch (dog crawled under like a momo when cat was already under, joe had to lift the couch up to get them to stop) .. watching the first episode of west world for the third time because i just haven’t been able to focus on it during previous attempts (although i’m finally understanding) .. drinking so much water because i’ve had that chilly spine all day which usually means i am coming down with something, and i am so not in the mood. oh yeah, watched the bachelor tonight and nick sounds like he has marbles in his cheeks when he talks. just realized i mentioned three different TV shows in this post, i watch(listen) to a lot of TV and cable costs so much f’ing money, i just want to get rid of it all. we tried to cancel cable and they wouldn’t let us! they said it only costs an extra PENNY to have cable if you have the internet .. so we still have it, but i’m tired of it… i want cancel it all, but i’ll miss it, but i’ll get other stuff done..

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1/6/17

hey there, how goes it?

It feels so strange after so long to be sitting down and trying to write. I always tend to get myself into this break from writing and then I get back and it’s like .. wait, how do i do this again? I feel so shy right now. I haven’t’ put anything up on this site in such a long time, I am not even sure what I want to become of this space to be honest. I have a lot of ideas of things to do but I haven’t moved forward with it and then I just ponder and procrastinate and blah blah blah, you know the story.

That being said, with the time that has passed, it gives me reason to re introduce myself and where I am in my life. so lets jump off right for the new year, where hopefully I will be a little more present on this here blog.

self:

i am working really hard on self love. it’s really freaking tough to get to a place where it is just a routine. schedules are constantly changing and the weather is always different and then there are my moods.. don’t even get me started on how my mood affects every single thing around me. full disclosure, i almost typed that ‘every. single. thing’ .. but ever since joe told me he thought that was obnoxious i have to refrain. i like it though, so who. the. hell. cares.

i have been eating the best i can, preparing healthy and whole food meals as often as i can (and eating like crap whenever i slack.. not good, i know).. i’ve been taking better care of my skin, constantly dealing with my hair, and attempting to detox from chemical products completely. it’s tough and i know i’ll never get all the way there … *don’t touch my windex!* .. but just starting is forward motion and i’ve learned from experience, stepping back and looking at all the products you use in your day to day life can be kind of overwhelming. and then disgusting. i recently took everything out from under the sink, and everything out from the bathroom closet (which is our utilitarian storage)(towels and sheets are stored in our bedroom closet).. i went through it all, wiped it all down, got rid of a bunch of stuff, and feel a hell of a lot better about whats under the sink.

i’ve been setting boundaries for relationships in my life, and also making sure i put time aside to be truly invested in those who are near and dear to me and recognizing when its time to let go, that in itself is a huge part of self love.

then, the most important part of my recovery, is focusing on my spirituality. i *need* to find time in my schedule to work this in on a regular daily basis, it is something i always let go, but i am no spring chicken, and i have always thought ‘what if’ for being a fit person, a healthy person, an in tune with myself person.

i really do feel better when i am active and outside and sweating, and moving, but i always get on the train and fall right the f off so quickly. so that is a huge part of spirituality for me, because when i exercise and meditate, or stretch, or do leg swings, or a plié, i automatically feel better. it’s amazing and so gratifying yet i still haven’t figured out what method ultimately works for me. hold on, i need to stretch now, my muscles are seriously aching from my thoughts on this…….

k.. i am back, and that felt amazing. what about these people that meditate at home every morning? i just can’t relax in my space, which i am working on trying to deal with, but wouldn’t it be so wonderful to have a meditation room, overflowing with plants, big embroidered cushions on the floor, incense, crystals, yes yes yes. with meditation comes faith, because i need to harness more of that throughout my life. being a Quaker, my faith is based on meditation and silence, and free thinking. on the other side of the coin lays activism, which is a facet i am very interested in applying to my everyday life. how can i use my strengths to better the environment around me, for myself now, the future me, and then my re incarnated self 😉 … and lastly, i want to talk less and do more. action action action, in real life, not online life, be with the people i love doing things we enjoy and be present in the moment. less cell phones and apple tv, more paperbacks and seashells.

work:

aaah, work. it has become such an abstract thing for me. what do i do? how do i do it? how can i get paid? how do i assert myself? when will business pick up again? where should we do this when should we do that who should we hire what do we pay them can we pay them we we pay that can we pay this when do we want to do this that that and this this and that make this do this make that yes yes more of that but less of that or maybe more i don’t know where to go go go. …. that being said, this summer was the most challenging period in my life thus far, and it was great. we had positive feedback at the store with the full menu, and gained a lot of insight into what direction we need to take this upcoming year of business to be the best version of ourselves. i created a little video to offer a glimpse into my life as a store keeper this summer, i have some regrets about the footage, i guess at times it might be too much, but it is created and it is out there and i just need to deal with it, or take it down, should i take it down? i don’t know.

there has been a little team albatross stuff going on, photo gigs, digital brainstorming, some catering gigs, lots of book keeping in the coming months, menu development, recipe testing, and lots of reconstructing the physical space of the store, which i can speak for myself and joe, we don’t really know where to begin.

oh, did i mention its cold as can be in gensto? the heat doesn’t work very well. so we need to figure that out too if we are going to be spending so much time working in there. so long story short, the store is my #1 priority work wise, we need to be in a prepared and positive place by memorial day weekend of this year, and this includes many facets across our inventory, our advertising, our menu, and our methods. so stay tuned for that. … and in the mean time if you need a photographer, a caterer, or a painter (walls or furniture), i can be your gal.

home:

our little beach house that could. i really love the ‘home’ that this space has grown into for our family. we have done a handful of big changes this past year, and have some exciting projects planned for this year. the major conflict for me, is that #1 we don’t own the house and #2 another big hurricane and everything could be underwater. i fantasize (something i need to slow down on, because it’s not getting me anywhere) about one day having my very own house. with wide creaky floor boards and big windows, spilling light, and a lawn and a shed, and a guest room that just sits there and i don’t have stuff stashed in the closet or under the bed or anything like that, because it is just the extra room. this might never happen, i know, but i am a sicko with zillow and i recently said to joe, while driving through the pine barrens, something along the lines of, “isn’t it wild to think that our house if out there, right now? with someone else living in it? and it will be our house, our first house” .. because we agree we don’t want a brand new house (nor could we afford it) .. so our address, and home, and yard, basement, shed, are chillin out there, with snow dripping down the eaves into the pile of leaves.

marriage:

it’s good. i am still learning new things about joe, and striving to be the best version of myself for our marriage. i am safe in the manner that he loves me and comforts me when i am feeling like the worst version of myself. for that, i know i am blessed and i am grateful for our relationship every single day. we make a great team. growing into the role of mother (he, the father to my mother), has brought me to a higher understanding of who i am meant to be and what kind of role i want to play in our family. it a challenging yet wonderful big ass piece of that pie of my life, and although we can make each other nutty i am a giddy little girl every time he comes home. bottom line, i just want my husband close to me and me close to him, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

mamahood:

i realized today that the phrase “pride and joy” has taken on a real, totally insanely huge meaning for me. i am honestly kind of speechless right now, trying to find the words to convey what these nearly 8 months have been. to be completely transparent, i haven’t written much anything about what motherhood has been because i have been experiencing it so constantly and intensely.

i’ve had this conversation with joe a few times, about how i really had no idea what kind of love to expect. i was afraid in the final months of my pregnancy, riddled with thoughts about what if i can’t love this baby enough or what if this baby gets on my nerves and i just want my old independent life back or what if i don’t like the baby and the baby doesn’t like me ..

these are completely legitimate things to be pondering before you meet your first child, for the first time, by the way. if anyone ever says something like “oh i never wondered those things, i knew it would be fine” — they are full of shit. or they aren’t in tune with themselves and/or they are robotic. or maybe they aren’t, i don’t know, who cares, my intent is not to judge any mothers, but whatever, that isn’t my point .. what was my point? ..

oh yeah, loving my baby. it is natural and instinctual and tiring but the most fulfilling job i’ve ever held (go back up there to work and erase everything and write in “i am a mama” .. because that is really where i feel the best right now) .. i have found such grace in taking care of him. i love making him meals and getting him dressed, taking him on walks, socializing him, listening to music, reading, driving around in the car, playing, oh boy, i miss him right now, writing this. he is gaining indepedence these past few weeks, and his feet have lost that super soft babyness and you can now see his neck when he is sitting up.. but he is still such a baby and i am not taking a single moment for granted.

friendship:

this has been a major theme for me the past .. always. so i was going to be done after ‘mamahood’, but felt like i had something to say, so here i go. as a child, i never understood why my mom had friends that she would mention or refer to, but they weren’t still her friends. it seriously perplexed me, one example is a friend of hers called Beverly. i believe she lived in Delanco, which is where my childhood best friend Sandy’s grand mother lived, so after Sandy and her family moved out of state, i’d visit her in Delanco (it’s about 20 minutes south of where i grew up, right past the ice skating rink) … so every time we would drive into Delanco, my mom would mention Beverly. i have this specific memory of the car turning this sharp turn under a bridge when i realized and possibly asked my mom what came to be of her friend. it’s one of those blurry memories of mine, where i learned something big about life .. relationships come and relationships go.

i now have a bigger understanding that this will be a facet of my life forever. that being said, it’s an ever evolving roller coaster of wit, humour, dancing, meals, sorrows, secrets, on on on on. i fucking love it and it makes me so sad. clearing this subject is making me tense, because just knowing people can be really exhausting. do you feel like that?

i was recently talking to my dad about the new social circle that comes with being a parent, being friends with your children’s friends, etcetera. he said it was all good, it comes with the territory, i’ll be fine. But I looked at him and said “i just don’t know if i want to be involved with anyone else”.

it clicked for me, saying that aloud to him, because i got to the point in my life where i was spreading myself too thin, trying to stay in touch, be grateful, be punctual, be responsive, in the moment, invested, thoughtful, etc. well you know what, i just can’t do it anymore. i am letting myself off the hook, maybe, to let a fresh breeze come in, but i have had some major awakenings and when it all comes down to it, it’s just all about family.

i am talking about the people that are your blood relatives, but also the people that are people with your people and you can support and exist together, and feel full, emotionally nourished, and inspired after being in their presence. it also boils down to getting older and your friendships having so quickly accrued so many years. it is wild to know that i have female relationships that have been around as long as i’d been around when we first met! (example: a friend i met at age fifteen years, has now been a friend for seventeen years) – it’s brilliant.

right now:

i’ve taken an afternoon to myself, to get some things done, and i am sitting here with a nearly empty glass bottle of san pellegrino, enjoyed in a cabernet glass;neat, some chocolate, fireplace crackling, dog snoring, wind whistling kind of day. some christmas decorations are still up, albiet making me a little crazy, i love the twinkly lights and the white pine draped over doorways and adorning the mantle. the fragrance has gone with the freshness, and i am nearly burned through my thymes fraiser fur candle this year, which is sad, because it’s a serious nose orgasm! i have more than half of my big jar yankee candle that joe got me, balsam fir, which is nice but it’s different nice.

this year i made us each a stocking to hang. the majority of the supplies were ordered online from purl soho, and then i went on a joanns run for some thread and fishing touch notions. joseph’s has a special button that my mom gave me, which was on her father’s Navy peacoat. the structure is wide, denim, and boyish, mine reminds me of an egyptian bootie (which needs to be finished before packing away, the ribbon is still just pinned), and joe’s is made of the softest flannel i’ve ever felt.

ah, i am feeling super inspired now to move on with the positive creative projects i have in my mind. i washed my hair and it’s pinned up to dry in the ultimate top knot, slipping toward my forehead.

well then, chippity chip, time to get on with the day! i am going to clean up and listen to the Hamilton soundtrack for the first time, because Mandy is obsessed and informed me that Jonathan Groff plays King George so … !! (it’s on Spotify)

PS – my deconstructed/DIY windex post on ourbk is still one of our biggest google hit posts

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HEY!

So I haven’t been here since I was freaking out about having a baby. Well, I had him (we named him Joseph) and he is beautiful and my life is so full… too full? Not sure, I am definitely stuffed. I have every intention of writing my birth story and sharing some pictures of our first weeks together, but I just haven’t had a chance.. but I will get to it. I have to.

It’s June 30th and our season here starts in two days, July 2, which is also the anniversary of opening the store one year ago. I am sitting here feeling so empowered because we finished our menu this morning and it is OFF TO THE PRINTER! I have been dreaming of this moment for as long as I can remember… and now it is happening. I also just placed a massive order with our food distributor and I have a laundry list of things that need to get done, but I was somehow guided here to capture this manic and beautiful moment in time before scooping baby up and heading off to run a bunch of errands and do lord only knows what. Yesterday we got our new equipment delivered.. eee!

I wish you all could come to the store this weekend to grab breakfast or lunch, if you are reading this and you CAN come to the store, freaking come, because we need the support!

In other news, our garden is looking beyond amazing. Other than flowers this year we have raspberries, tomatoes, strawberries, thyme, sage, basil, oregano, rosemary, red onion, and swiss chard.. and of course, the ever obnoxious spearmint, that I can’t get rid of (I’ve tried) …. I’ll have to take some pictures of that to share with you. Also of the interior of our house, it looks so nice.. and the nursery, and lions and bears oh my!

Did I mention yet that my not even 7 week old baby rolled onto his side today? whoa. Okay I have to go. HI and bye!


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