Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fresh Squeezed

She winds up....

And hurls the peel...

She scores!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008


-an impressive selection of gourmet teas, packaged and mailed with great care, by my sweet texan friend, jenni

-and the handmade, handwritten card that came with

-a vintage style tin for storing above-mentioned teas

-a night of scrumptious eats, great music (x2), and fundraising for a fantastic organization that's doing great things for kids in our city

-a slowly growing collection of scarves and greeting cards, made with love and care by a dear, long-distance friend and kindred spirit

-so many days in a row (6 and counting) of beautiful, spend-the-entire-day-outside weather

-colorful colanders overflowing with colorful, local, organic produce

-the sort of friend who comes over the moment she hears you're down, and who brings a mouthwatering lunch, to boot!

-a 2 1/2 year old and 3 1/2 year old playing harmoniously for 4 straight hours, without naps

-soft baby skin, sweet baby smiles, and swinging that baby to sleep

Monday, April 21, 2008

one weekend's work

did i mention that we love freecycle??!!??

in the interest of full disclosure, the swingset did not come like this. in fact, when my brother-in-law showed up to help me load our newfound 'treasure' into the truck i'd rented to haul it away, i anticipated his eye rolls before he ever arrived. and i was not disappointed. the swing set was old and very rusty. the sliding board had broken away from the body of the swing set, and the steps weren't safely secured for toddler ascents. did i mention that the chains on the swings needed replacing? badly.

and yet, i could see potential. i knew in my gut that for under a hundred bucks (truck rental included), i could bring this baby back to life. and 2 days later, with the help of a wire brush, some industrial-strength rustoleum spray paint products, plastic-coated chain at a mere 47 cents a foot, and a hubby who encourages my half-baked projects, we have:
-a swing set saved from the landfill
-a 3 1/2 year old who is over the moon
-a piece of play equipment that we could never have afforded at retail


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Do You Freecycle?

If you don't, you should! What is Freecycle? In summary, it is a community-based network for sending your perfectly good (but unused or unwanted) items to another home, instead of to the landfill! You can track down your local Freecycle group by visiting their website, and using the locater function. Most Freecycle groups operate through a Yahoo Group, where you receive emails from other list members offering up their used goods. In this particular case I recommend that you don't use the daily digest function. While it will keep your email from being overwhelmed with individual Freecycle offers, items tend to go fast on Freecycle. And it's likely that by day's end, the item that you've got your eye on will already have been 'adopted.' In the spirit of stewardship, and our commitment to REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE as much as possible, we are huge fans of Freecycle here in the Gauthier home. Have you seen the video over at Annie Leonard's site, The Story of Stuff? It may just turn you into a Freecycle freak like me ;) If you haven't yet viewed this compelling short, then brew a cuppa, and settle in for an enlightening, frightening, and inspiring 20 minutes.

If you have already stumbled upon this gem of a video at some point in your surfing, then you probably understand how compelled we feel towards 'doing our part' to keep the trash heaps and landfills from multiplying, the toxic chemicals from billowing, and our global community from suffocating under the weight of mindless consumerism fueled by the 'perceived obsolescence' manufactured by money-hungry marketers and corporations to keep us buying, buying, buying....

On that note, here are the (used) items that we've been the grateful recipients (not purchasers!) of, over the last several weeks:

As aspiring (pesco?) vegetarians, and admitted 'foodies' we were thrilled to receive 3 vegetarian cookbooks to add to our collection: The Best 125 Meatless Mexican Dishes (perfect for Robert!), Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings and The Vegetarian Epicure

Ella was the happy recipient of a fat stack of gently used children's books, including classics such as 'Danny and the Dinosaur', 'Dr. Seuss' ABCs', 'The Little Engine that Could' and a thick collection of Classic Children's Poetry. We are firm believers in the sentiment expressed by Robert Frost, that parents should "surround youngsters with so many books that they stumble over them."

I also got a few books out of the deal: a classic copy of J.D. Salinger's 'The Catcher in the Rye' in mint condition, and 2 volumes that caught my eye as a potential future homeschooling mom: The Homeschooling Handbook and one of Rudolf Steiner's tomes on Waldorf educational theory.

Did I mention that generous folks sometimes 'freecycle' BRAND NEW items? I was fortunate enough to be 'the first responder' and recipient of this Conair Garment Steamer...an item I've been eyeing for a couple of years now. SCORE!

Finally, I was able to acquire 2 items that we had not only been hoping to add to our home, when funds permitted, but that will also provide the perfect outlet for my restless hands and itching creative urges! (Check back soon for the 'after' photos!)

A chalkboard for the playroom wall:

And a vanity/desk combo for the 3-1/2 year old who loves to primp and to 'practice her letters.'

There you have it friends- Freecycle: just another (hybrid!) vehicle for saving the planet while also saving your budget! (Who can argue with that?!) Continue to reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose and reimagine!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Rhythms are a force to be reckoned with. There are those rhythms that we can’t help but notice: our daily sleep-wake patterns; as women, our monthly menstrual cycles; and as mothers, the rhythm that reminds us that our 3 ½ year old must still squeeze in an afternoon nap, lest she transform from beloved child into braying beast.

On the flip side, there are rhythms that rush steady and deep through the core of our lives, subterranean rivers affecting us just as profoundly, yet more easily passing under the radar of our notice. Today I find myself struck by one of these strong, yet subtle rhythms.

As you can see, the last entry posted on my blog prior to today was added on Monday, September 10th: the day that we tragically lost our second child to miscarriage.

In the months following, there were at least a dozen valid reasons for my blogging to wane- the hectic pace of 2 working parents, the craziness involved in trying to sell a house in the current market, and the fact that the ‘terrible twos’ are, in my opinion, a myth fully eclipsed by the trials of ‘3.’

And yet, as I sit today to revive my blog, I can’t help but be acutely aware, and a tad amazed, that my voice is returning on April 3rd- just 3 days shy of the date on which we expected to usher another human life into the world. There’s not much more to say than that. In the aching absence of laboring to bring life and breath to our second child, I suppose there are other things (related things) ready to be birthed out of me. Hence, my intrepid return to the blogosphere.

Incidentally, we named the child that we lost last Fall. We named her Wren, after reading this characterization of the species, and finding it both entirely and eerily fitting:

They are mainly small and inconspicuous except for their loud and often complex songs.