Friday, June 21, 2013

FO: The Etsy Shop!

I did it.  I opened an Etsy shop.  And, to my own astonishment, I made my first sale the same day I opened the shop!  Didn't see that one coming, but it was certainly encouraging.

If you are in need of baby and/or toddler clothing and/or accessories, please stop by!  If you aren't in need of those things, you can show your support by liking the shop's Facebook page!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cold Black Coffee

I found this in my list of unpublished blog posts.  I originally wrote it in a notebook several years ago.  It's funny that I had been struggling to write something about Grandma.  It was here all along.

"There are two chairs on either side of the fireplace in my grandparents' living room. On one side is Grandpa's over-stuffed recliner with its worn out springs from all the years of use. This spot was always designated for Grandpa's chair, although the chair itself changed throughout the years. Once a chair was worn, the leather cracking or the upholstery fading, Grandma would banish it to the basement where it resided next to a nearly identical fireplace in the TV room. Upstairs a brand new replacement chair would appear and Grandpa would settle into the first nap of many in order to break in this new chair.
On the other side of the fireplace sat Grandma's armchair, which was always a little stiffer. Grandma didn't sit down often. She always had a cup of coffee set on a coaster on the hearth next to her chair. It was always in the same tan and brown mug, although for a brief time she switched to an over-sized pink polka dot mug that we bought her. She would brew the coffee fresh in the morning, but after pouring her cup, would inevitably busy herself with some household chore or meal to prepare, thus leaving the forgotten coffee to cool on the counter.

Eventually it would be time for a break. After searching for a few minutes, Grandma would remember where she left her coffee, reheat it in the microwave until it was scorching, and relax with mug in hand in her armchair. Grandma drank her coffee black, no nonsense, no need to gussy it up with cream and sugar. It was a simple, hot beverage that served its purpose: to warm you up and keep you going.
As children we loved to sit and cuddle in Grandma's lap, it was the coveted best seat in the house. If you were in Grandma's lap, you had her undivided attention and nothing short of kitchen disaster could take her away from you. Grandma would make sure to move the hot beverage to its home on the coaster so as not to spill it on us, and we would climb into her lap. This is where I tasted my first cup of coffee.
I do not remember all the details, but I'm sure it was the desire to drink this magical drink that was only for adults that lead me to request a taste. Grandma was sure I would not like it, and insisted that I must wait for it to cool first. Patience is a trying circumstance for a child.
The liquid was cold and bitter. Grandma was right, I didn't like it, but I drank it anyway. It made me feel like a grown up. Perhaps if I could just will myself to drink it, I might "learn to like it" as I'd often been told of certain foods on my dinner plate. Perhaps, if I could learn to like this cold bitter drink, I would be an adult and do all the thing I couldn't as a child! Alas, it was not true, but how was I to know? To this day, I will happily drink the cold coffee after the pot has cooled. It takes me back to my childhood, to Grandma's lap, where, for a time, this simple morning cup of joe was magical."

Monday, June 17, 2013


I took my blog down for awhile.  At first I just felt too tired.  Having a toddler is exhausting (some of you might already know that) and trying to come up with interesting, witty blog posts was, quite frankly, last on my priority list.  By the end of a day of tantrums, time-outs and refusing to eat (and don't even get me started on what Ellie did), all I wanted to do was sit in front of the TV with a giant bowl of ice cream and let my brain go numb.

Then, my grandma died.  I had several half-written blog posts in my head about how wonderful it was to grow up knowing my grandparents so well, how much she taught me, how lucky we were that she got to meet so many of her great-grandchildren, and how I didn't realize how alike we were until she was gone.  But I could never get the words to come out right.  There really weren't any words that could do it justice.  So I just took the blog down.

I took it off my list.

I stopped trying to force it.

And things started to get better.  I decided to finish projects that had been in limbo forever.  I finished the gift for my cousin's baby, I sewed Ellie's pillowcase dress, and I opened the Etsy shop.
I still feel exhausted at the end of a tantrum-filled day, but they aren't all bad.  Ellie is at a really fun age and, inbetween the Terrible Twos, she's a little sponge that can't wait to discover new things.  I'm finding all of my little projects extremely cathartic (and maybe a tad healthier than that bowl of ice cream).