Friday, April 29, 2011

{This Moment}

Inspired by SouleMama, {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

What Makes Me Excited

I know, intriguing headline. Almost throws into question the family-friendliness of this blog, doesn't? Are you prepared for what you are about to read?

Last night, I did it. I tapped into an excitement I hadn't even know existed...

I purchased my first appliance.


I'm 42 and I've never actually purchased an appliance before. We've either rented or purchased houses that already had appliances.

Okay, wait. I'm wrong. We did buy an extra freezer. Hmm. Somehow that didn't do it for me.

But, a new washing machine - yea, baby!

It isn't the top of the line. But, it is an Energy Star-rated machine - and having helped launch the Energy Star brand for EPA many years ago, it made it extra special to walk in and ask for an Energy Star appliance and actually have store clerks who knew what I was talking about. It was a moment like no other -- my career and domesticness colliding.

It's really not that fancy. Middle of the line, really. White. It's a top loader (I couldn't do the front loader -- though tempting for other reasons, front loaders are not as predictable in felting). And, it comes tomorrow and I can hardly wait.

When I called my husband on my way home from the store, I was giddy with excitement. He laughed. And, as only a husband can say (and get away with because I'm confident in my career and my role as domestic goddess), "Congratulations, you are officially a house wife." Lol. Sorta.

Truth is, I spend an enormous amount of my time doing laundry - so it really seems appropriate to have a good machine. Now, if you really want to knock my socks off, help me get a dreamy laundry room (oh, the visions I have!) instead of the 175 year old granite, creepy basement where it now resides. But, for now, I'll take my sparkling, new, highly-efficient machine and be a very happy domestic goddess.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Spring

I've been so busy trying to force Spring inside my home.

That I didn't notice that Spring was already happening outside.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Find Peace, Tranquility and Muscle Relaxation in One-Hour or Less

{photo via Emily Estes}

Okay, I got you, didn't I? Who doesn't want peace, tranquility and muscle relaxation? And, in an hour? Is that really possible?

I didn't think so.

But, then I discovered Watsu. Yea, you read that right. Watsu. Have you heard of it? It is Shiatsu massage practiced in a heated therapy pool. In one word? Delightful. Your body floating in perfectly heated water while stretching and massage eases away tension.

I'll be honest, for the first ten minutes I was not convinced. I felt hesitant. Could I really let go enough -- let someone else be responsible for keeping me afloat (and I realize that a therapist could have a field day reading into this statement!)?

But, I was in the hands of physical therapist and Watsu practitioner Emily Estes - and, well, she has some magic ability to put even the most tense at ease. Not long after I thought it impossible to relax, I entered another zone. I floated effortlessly in the water gazing out the windows that surrounded me (it was a particularly wonderful day as the snow was falling and it made me feel like I was swimming in a snow globe). Trees and sky surrounded me. Warm water enveloped me. Bliss. One hour later I exited the pool the most relaxed I'd been in, well, I can't even recall.

Emily, a long-time practitioner at a local physical therapy center, recently opened her own wellness center in Dresden, Maine. It's a bit off the beaten track - and, honestly, it is that very fact that adds to its wonderfulness. The Wild Grace Wellness Center is a bit of heaven tucked in the woods. The building boasts some of the most soothing colors and decor to be found. When you enter the door, you enter another world. A world of calmness, of healing, of bliss. And, the building is built with the environment in mind, which, in my book, makes it even more perfect.

For those of you who might be undergoing physical therapy -- if aquatic therapy is prescribed, Watsu may be covered. For those of you who lack insurance reimbursement, the full hour of Watsu is $90.

In addition to Watsu, the wellness center offers massage and yoga -- and, more wonderfulness is in the works!

What are you waiting for? Book a Watsu appointment today - and tell Emily you read about it on Maine-lyHome.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Goodness

Easter was a big deal growing up.

At least, that's what I remember.

Easter egg dying. Sunrise church services against our will. Egg and pancake breakfasts my mom was often involved in organizing. Easter outfits. (I'm going to see if I can't dig up one of these old photos because my recollection is there are some winners. No offense, Mom, I'm sure that was the style...) Having to don a winter coat and mud boots over pretty Spring-y Easter outfits. Baskets with goodies. Always predictable. A hollow chocolate bunny (which became the source of competition among siblings...who would have theirs the longest). Underwear (why, I have no idea). A new book. There was, of course, an Easter egg hunt -- sometimes inside, sometimes out. It is Maine, after all. And, Easter could be gorgeous and warm or blustery and snowy. And, I always remember us sorting jelly beans. Dad loves licorice so we'd give him all the black jelly beans. (Now, I am the recipient of black jelly beans. Genetic love for licorice, to blame.)

That's how I remember it.

Now, of course, we have our own family traditions. Many the same. Like mud boots and Easter dresses, for example. :)

It's certainly a favorite holiday around are just a few of the reasons:

Because decorating eggs brings out the kid in all of us.
Because we need to be reminded about the importance of surprise.
Because of the wonderfulness of discovering a brightly colored egg in the very dead garden....
Because baby fingers on eggs are about the most precious thing ever...
Because my eldest loves to have sisters with matching dresses...(I'm guessing this might be the last year of that!)
Because there is really nothing cuter than the cute guy you love with his girls in Easter dresses.
Because pretty dresses and white tights don't matter when you spot an egg in the dirt.
Because this almost 2 year old caught on to the whole Easter egg hunting thing in a minute...complete with gasps of excitement upon spotting an egg...followed by an enthusiastic "my got it"...followed by calling out while in motion "eggs, where are you?"
Because an egg hunt brings out the intense focus in a near 2 year old...
...and a wonderful, but sometimes a little sassy-of-late 7 year old.
Because sisters in yellow dresses find such great delight in the simple findings in their baskets.
Because white tights and party shoes -- big and small - are the cutest thing ever, really.
Because a cute dress and hat can make even the grumpiest church goer seem cute.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Brilliance in Recycling - Just in Time for Earth Day!

I love getting new toothbrushes -- it's like the equivalent of new pencils on the first day of school - a chance to start over.

Honestly, I have never thought twice about tossing the dated toothbrushes--in the trash they go!

Until I saw this new toothbrush. I spotted it in the toothbrush aisle and was instantly drawn in. A toothbrush made from recycled yogurt cups (not to worry, the bristles are new!)! How cool is that? The only thing cooler is that the very minimalist packaging serves double-time as a postage-paid envelope for returning your toothbrush to the company for recycling. Cool, huh?

Friday, April 15, 2011

{This Moment}

Inspired by SouleMama, {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see

Monday, April 11, 2011

Heaven. Or, is it the devil?

My dear friend and author of SupperbySix is a fellow Etsy-a-holic and she turned me onto this deliciously dangerous temptation. Heartsy. It's what happens when Etsy (handmade marketplace) and Groupon get together. Holy moly. Check it out.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April Planner

April is here. It started with a big snow storm...I wonder how it will end? Time will tell. In the meantime, I've got a busy month planned...
  • Plant easter grass. Yea, I was supposed to do that last month. Didn't get to it. Is there still time?
  • Attend the Maine Fiddler's Concert. This concert (now in its 11th year) takes place at The Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath, Maine and is, in part, a fundraiser for Maine Fiddle Camp. It is a ball...and always makes me want to re-engage in learning to play my fiddle.
  • A Psyanky date with my husband. I know, sounds kinky, huh? Not to worry, Maine-ly Home remains a family-friendly blogsite. But, I've been dying to give this wonderful craft another try since my friend Jeanne graciously taught me last April. And, my husband has agreed to do it with me.
  • Visit some baby lambs. I must take my lamb-lovin' toddler to see some baby lambs. Oh, how I can't wait!
  • Find some forsythia for a little spring forcin'
  • Make a birthday crown for my baby who is turning 2!?! 
  • Start thinking about a yard sale for MayFair Weekend.
  • Find some new mud boots. Cause it's clear it's going to be a very muddy season. Maybe the muddiest yet.
What's on your planner?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Signs of Spring Continued

As I mentioned the other day, it feels ever so important (and, today, this very foggy, wet day is no exception) to capture and share signs of Spring. This is a shot I captured the other day. Yea, I'm thinking it's going to be a messy Spring.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Oh, hello April!

Okay, how did that happen? It was just March...and, today I turned on my computer and realized it was April 4th.

The good news? We missed April Fools. In our house, we have discovered that with young children who learn of April Fools, the bad jokes and pranks continue well beyond the 1st. It's a nightmare, really.

I think the problem is that on Friday, April 1st, in the wee hours of the night I got a text message.

It read: School cancelled.

Snow day.

Yup. Just when we thought we were in the clear, a Nor'easter (that's what we New Englanders call a nasty storm with wind and wet stuff that comes at us from the Northeast) blanketed this great state with a whole bunch more of that white fluffy stuff.

Only this time, it wasn't so light and fluffy. Heavy and wet. So heavy and wet that it through those just waking up branches for a loop, or rather a tumble. Power outages were widespread. No foolin'.

I must admit I was rather grumpy about the whole thing the minute I heard that text beep on my phone. I had an ambitious day planned - one that wouldn't come to fruition with two girls in tow.

But, when I looked out my window and saw that beautiful blanket on what can be a pretty ugly time of year, I found a better attitude. Mostly. We played in the snow. Contemplated snow bunnies. Baked. Painted. And, then welcomed in a busy, sunny weekend.

April: John Updike's take

A Child's Calendar

In keeping with tradition at Maine-ly Home, here's John Updike's take on April. Have you gotten your copy of A Child's Calendar? It really is such a wonderful book with a monthly poem by Updike and beautiful illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman.

It's Spring! Farewell
To chills and colds!
The blushing, girlish
World unfolds

Each flower, leaf,
And blade of turf--
Small love-notes sent
From air to earth.

The sky's a hear
Of prancing sheep,
The birds and fields
Abandon sleep,

And jonquils, tulips,
Bloom bright upon
The wide-eyed hills.

All things renew.
All things begin.
At church, they bring
The lilies in.