Simple Sunday

from the files...one year ago.
Nothing like a papa sleeping with his wee one.

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Thrifting

As many of you know, we are building a home. With two little ones, it definitely creates a challenge. A fun, drawn out challenge. (Mostly because SOMEBODY has to make sure the baby is not eating nails while mama and papa get things done.)  And somebody has to to do the phone calls, errand running, on-line research, and paint colour picking out. Yup. You guessed who. Luckily, this seems to be the part of general contracting that I half-way understand. And luckily too, seven year olds are very good at coming on yet another thrifting expedition. Stemming from my ancient memories, I realize that 25 years ago my parents took me on many such adventures. Simply because we were also building our home, and in the process our lives together. I recall being in many such places with my mother and stepfather, browsing through another families heirlooms, searching for our own.

Interesting how these things work.

As I said to my stepfather last week, I realized that through doing this-( the search for drawer pulls, the medicine cabinet of my dreams, and the wall grates) that at a young age I discovered a love of history and the heritage of the place I call home. These old houses… I fell in love, as a child, with not just the fact of the houses, but the stories they had the potential to tell.

And so, bringing my own little ones full circle to the same spot I lived in as a child. (Searching through ancient silverware, old desks and cupboards, hand planes and strap hinges…) Realizing too that my daughter sees my childhood as ancient history. Much as I did with my own mother and grandparents. I recall too being seven years old and saying to my dad, “Dad, tell me a story about when you were a kid…” and thinking it was a whole different time and universe. And in a way, it was.

(This was a recent trip to the Fort Andross Antique Market. A dear friend and I made the trip before we remembered that the flea market section is only open on the weekends… and thus, we made due with drooling over expensive and beautiful antiques. AND a trip to a certain gelato haven…)

 (ida)

Greenhouse Happy

With the genial warmth of April fully upon us, greenhouses and growing operations all over Maine are opening. We ventured out to one of the largest around — Moose Crossing Garden Center on Route One in Waldoboro. We resisted going on opening day, but only barely. And we were delighted and amazed by all they had to offer so early in the season.

We went in search of pansies and strawberry seedlings, but found a wealth of variety and color in the warmth of the large pleasant greenhouses.

It’s a wonderful field trip for kids who love to pick out their own plants and ride between fragrant rows on wagons. And for color-deprived mamas at the end of winter.

wagon riding

violas

happy faces

in the cart

greenhouse

strawberry babies

english rose

perennial view

geraniums

Now we truly love starting plants from seed here at Your Midcoast Mama. Nothing is more wonderful than seeing seedlings unfurl in their little starting pots or trays; there is no better lesson in patience and nurturing. But there is something luxurious about the instant gratification of buying trays of gloriously colored flowers and sturdily-started reliable seedings. After the longest week of spring, getting my children back to health, it was oh-so-necessary to bask in the tropical warmth and bounty of these greenhouses.  This mama highly recommends a visit, if only to gawk at the incredible variety of annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, bushes, vegetable starts, and herbs. Especially on a dreary, drizzly day. Is it supposed to rain next week? We might just have to return to be enveloped in bright and fragrant warmth.

Moose Crossing Garden Center is located at 3033 Atlantic Highway (Route One) in Waldoboro. Drive north of Moody’s Diner and you can’t miss it. They welcome children (even those who find plucking flowers irresistible) and their friendly staff members are eager to answer questions (including about which fairies live in which flowers) and will even listen happily to incessant yodeling between the rows of flowers.

(Erin)

A Blessing

I had planned to write a post about wonderful Easter preparations. About dyeing eggs naturally and alternatives to candy and a glorious egg hunt filled with laughing children in the sunshine by the sea. About felting sweet handmade gifts and crafting elaborate egg trees. About how Mamas are Easter Bunnies and Santas and Tooth Fairies and maybe have magical powers and stuff.

But the craft day we’d tried to plan fell through. Twice. Kids were sick, mamas overtired. It never happened.

Now my girls are sick.

(Oh, isn’t that a sad face!)

A couple of days ago they started sneezing and hacking. Then last night they spiked fevers and coughed all night and woke up crying several times (but never at the same.) Today, the day before Easter, dawned chilly and cloudy. I looked around my bedroom, mounded high with laundry piles, the girls with their fevered pink cheeks and glassy eyes and knew I had to let my expectations go.

I felt lame. Exhausted. A little depressed. Sweaty from tossing and turning with a nursing fevered baby. I forgot to make coffee and eat breakfast. Couldn’t get the day jump-started.

This is not a post about miracles. It’s not a post about the impending Christian holiday. It’s a post about uncanny coincidence. About how people are wonderful and human after all. About how something small– a gesture, an object– can hold meaning and beauty and inspiration.

When we checked the mail today, there was package from an old friend. A very lovely and sweet lady who I knew when I was a young girl but haven’t seen in years and years. Not since I “grew up,” really. But thanks to Facebook we’ve reconnected, even across the years and miles and she has seen pictures of my girls and followed our happenings online. (Social media at its best, really.) I had no idea this lovely little package was coming or what it contained.

I’m not really sure how she knew. I don’t even think I had posted about the crafting I’d wanted to do for Easter. But look what she made and sent to my girls….

(A baa baa ball for Tess!)

whooo are ewe?

(Whooooo are ewe?)

(The chicken or the egg? Who cares, they’re both lovely!)

(Doesn’t this lamb seem to skip from her egg?)

(Emmaline exclaimed, “Look! A child of the forest! And I marveled over the tiny details of an acorn-cap hat, blanket-stitched hem dress, sweetly painted bead face, “shooting” star on her collar, and how my sweet friend could possibly know that Emmaline’s favorite color is red.)

What beautifully handmade joy! What incredible timing after the long night we’d had and how uncanny that felted hollow eggs was the exact project I had wanted to get to before this weekend.

I take it back. This was a mini-miracle. A bit of fate. Almost-magic. A blessing.

Have a beautiful Easter or simply a Sunday full of unexpected joys.

(Erin)

And the chicks…

turn into hens. Beautiful beautiful dominiques.

Unfortunately, all our birds were eaten by a hungry fox,  so the girls and I are lustfully dreaming of more…

tis the season.

(check your local farm supply store come May for chicks….! Or, alternatively, at my husband’s advise, check online for antibiotic free hatcheries.)

(ida)

Posted in DIY

The Mills (dreaming of summer!)

After the super bizarre weather at the end of March that had us at the beach, I have been dreaming of the days of summer that had us swimming nearly every day.

My oldest daughter LOVES the water, and always has. My youngest, however, thinks it is the absolute worst thing on earth. She hates it with a real and intense passion. (Anytime she nears the bath, she screams… I have been trying for a while to make it a calm and peaceful experience for her, to no avail. Mind numbing screams. I hope our neighbours forgive us…)

In any case. My oldest is a fish. And because of this, we were at water most of the summer last year, and she learned to swim. Something that, admittedly, took me until I was about 11 to do. (Shameful, huh, growing up on the coast of Maine? My love of water is closer to my youngest’s… I like it mostly for it’s cleaning purposes, but otherwise I like to sit on the sand…) My daughter’s absolute favourite swimming hole is Damariscotta Mills, which is, technically speaking, in the foggy area between Newcastle and Nobleboro.  There is a sweet shallow beach for the wee ones, sharp pointy rocks for the big kids, and a bridge for jumping for the adventuresome types.  Thankfully, my daughter still loves the side where there is a strip of sand and grass for the babies to play.

On some mornings (ones when I didn’t have to rush off to work) we would pack up our cooler full of snacks and head out the door, finding ourselves at the Mills before anyone else. It would often still require a long sleeve shirt for the first hour, and then layers would be shed and my girl would be up to her waist in the cool of Damariscotta Lake. I would have to remind her not to go too far, as much as she wanted to. She was bound and determined come summer’s end that she would swim to the middle. Ah, my little fish.

(The Damariscotta Mills swimming hole is a challenging place to find if you aren’t local and don’t know where you are… But if you can find Alewives Fabrics, you can find it. Just keep going up the hill!)

(ida)