Monday, January 31, 2011


a long, long, road

Every night while I'm making dinner Keira is squeeking and squawking down there wrapped around my leg, waiting, waiting for dinner.  She loves to eat and so believes she cannot wait even one second longer to satisfy her hunger.  "Please be patient," I tell her.  "Keira, please don't whine," I say.

Turns out, I might as well be talking to myself.  I just might be the most impatient person there ever was.  When I buy something, I want it yesterday.  When I see something I want, I have to have it...yesterday.  When I list some artwork on Etsy, I want someone to love it one minute later.

It might be that the very things I am teaching my daughter I am also teaching myself.  Every day we pray together at dinner and when I put Keira to bed we pray together then too.  Of course, I am very thankful for all the blessings in my life.  Maybe I should also pray, "Jenna, please be patient" and "Jenna, please don't whine."

It was always my intention when I had kids to try to see things from the their perspective so their concerns would also be my concerns.  Next time when she wraps her arms around my legs in a desperate attempt for food, maybe I should say, "I know, Keira, I know."  We all have things we want so bad.  But...maybe we could have Patience instead.  The road ahead is long.

Friday, January 28, 2011

blue berry luck

So, I found this in my shoe this morning when I went to put it on.  I've heard that Blueberry Muffin in your Ugg is a good omen.  I'm pretty sure it's true :)

It also rained on my wedding day.  And I spill salt all the time, accidentally, but still.  I'm sure some of it has ended up over my shoulder at one point or another.  I have never broken a mirror, except on purpose for a mosaic project, so I'm clear on that one.  I can almost always blow out my birthday candles with one blow.  I used to eat apples with peanut butter every day after school for my snack when I was little and I was rarely ever sick.  I don't find four leaf clovers very often but my mom can pick them out of any field on any day.  That's gotta mean something since we're so closely related.  She also owns a black cat named BOO.  Now, that's gotta be bad luck though, right?

Who cares about luck anyway...Life is what we make of It.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

snow and cats and dogs

This morning Keira and I were playing in her room before venturing downstairs when she began to hoot and holler like some kind of excited, twittering birdie.  Pointing out the window, she was eying up the new neighbor playing out in the snow...a dog!  There might not be anything as thrilling in the life of a child as a doggie who is just their size and always wants to play.  She proceeded to wave goodbye to him from the window as we left her room :)  So sweet.

Snow day, here at home.  14 plus inches and I had quite an adventure shoveling myself out.  Boy, oh boy, was that a workout.  But I enjoy the result...feeling productive, clean straight lines, having the option of getting out of the house on the fly.  Howie was plowing for two days, poor guy, but that sweet husband of mine brought me flowers when he came home this afternoon.  Just because :)  Am I lucky, or am I lucky?

When I wasn't shoveling, I was snuggling up inside with a cozy fire and a warm coffee in my new, blue checker mug that I gave myself for Christmas.  Keeping me company was a playful Keira, taking me around the house, showing me what she wanted to do or get or say from one thing to the next.  She does not talk in our language yet, so I find when I say, "Show me what you want..." she doesn't get frustrated with the idea that I am a slow-learning individual who has failed to understand her language.  The cats were lazing about today too, with Ollie curled up on my jacket on the floor, laying by the cold outside and a pile of wet boots.  As if there were no better place.  Savy was more reasonable, finding a little nook amongst the couch pillows.  All in all...a happy day here at the Beehive.
smart Savy
Ollie boy

sweet Keira Belle
tulips from Howie:)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

the sound of silence

It's all stillness and quiet and white everywhere.  The sticky wet flakes falling from the sky today were a welcome pause in a busy life.  I love how the background of the world seems to freeze while in the foreground fluffy flakes drop silently and are the only thing in motion.  And...the sound of silence.  Is there anything more peaceful, yet persuasive at the same time?

There are so many things I am jumping at the bit to do these kinds of days.  One of the best...cozy up on the couch with the favorite down comforter and pass the time in slow motion with a book.  But today...I think not.  Here are some tidbits from what happened instead.  I have answered the call of silence and this is what I've made.  Coming soon to my etsy Shop :)

ah, snow days


Monday, January 24, 2011

what's for dinner, you say?

Let me tell you a very short, but very delicious story...Once there was a girl.  One day she saw a recipe for Beef Wellington.

So she bought the ingredients, plus a few yummy extras like potatoes for frying, spinach for cooking, and some bread to top it off.  They might have looked something like this.

She grilled the sweet onions, hearty mushrooms and Filet Mignon in bits of butter and thyme and then wrapped them all in a pastry sheet like a present and put them in the oven to bake.

While the girl was cooking, her husband went outside to stock up on wood for the stove and her daughter played with 5 cans of cat food, placing them in and out of a wicker basket, surprising herself all the while with her skills.

Then she fried the sliced potatoes in a drip of olive oil until they were golden brown and just a bit crunchy around the edges, like so:

When she couldn't stand the delicious aroma from the oven anymore for fear she would die of hunger, she took it out, placed it all on a dish, and sat down with her glass of pinot noir. 

She was very happy.  The end.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

the best kept secret

Who would have thought a wood stove could be such a big part of my life?  It's kind of like having a baby.  You have to feed it, nurture it, clean it, tidy up after it's mess.  If I'm not actually attending to it then I find myself still thinking about it, at least.  When was the last time I put a log in?  Is it getting cold in here?  Should I put my boots on now and get all bundled up to make the trek outside for more wood, or later?

Don't get me wrong...I actually do love it :)  I'm just surprised, that's all, that it could be so...involved.  Giving it all that attention does have it's perks for us.  It's a great place to scrunch up next to with a book and a fresh cup of coffee.  The cats have yet another place to sleep.  We get to spend next to nothing on our heating bill.  All great things!

I've discovered that people who own wood stoves are like their own secret society.  You can never really be inducted until you own one of your own but then, and only then, do you get the best kept secrets about how to use it properly and to the best advantage.  Since we've had ours, we find that people love their wood stoves and talking about them too. example right here, right now :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

92 strong

So, here we are. 92 strong and counting.  We are known as the O'Brien family.  Some of us by name, most of us by number.  Most of us are still here on earth, others in heaven, including Granny.

Let me explain.  Way back when, Edward O'Brien fell in love with Gertrude Spalding.  They secretly got married and a bunch of years later ended up with 8 children.  As Poppy likes to tell the story, Granny said..."Just one more," after each child and so the O'Brien clan began.  We each have numbers, starting with the first daughter born, Pat (otherwise known as Aunt Pat to me), and so on and so forth.  As each family member was born or inducted into the family as Outlaws, otherwise known  as "inlaws" in everyday lingo, they received numbers.  I am number 29.  Howie, my husband is 76, my daughter Keira is 87, and my other baby in heaven is 92.  We are now up to number 92, soon to be 93, as one of the cousins is engaged and his Outlaw fiance will become the newest edition.

We hug a lot.  More than most families in fact.  We really love to hug :)  We also have shirts with our numbers on the back as if we are one huge soccer team.  But let me tell you, if we were a soccer team...we surely would kick the other teams' as*#s.  We are not a whimpy bunch, to say the least.

Last year we had our latest family reunion with as many members as could get to the States for the event.  As there are so many of us, it is expected that not everyone lives here.  Christy and Tim, and their respective spouses, live in Mexico as missionaries.  Chris is living the dream in Maui.  I'm sure there are more spread throughout the world that I cannot remember at this time. the family reunion we all received our own John Deere hats in honor of Poppy's love of the franchise.  We are a unique bunch and are proud of it.  Yeay, O'Briens!  There is no family quite like ours :)

everywhere i go...

last night i went to bed with the winter song from nick junior stuck in my head.  to my amusement, i awoke with it still stuck there this morning.  normally, this could be a bad thing, but it's not so annoying when the song is so sweet.  it goes something like this and is sung by a cartoon moose called Moose..., do, do
days are the sunniest
jokes are the funniest
rabbits are the bunny-est
hives are the honey-est
troubles, they're the none-iest
Everywhere I go, bom, bom
berries are the fruitiest
shoes are the bootiest
puppies are the cutie-est
treasure is the lootiest
teams are the rootiest
horns are the tootiest
Everywhere I go, do, do
birds are the tweetiest
candy is the sweetiest
socks are the feeties
tricks are the treatiest
drums are the beatiest
lunch is the eatiest
Everywhere I go

this is just a little tid-bit but it has many more verses and personally...i find them very true to life:) i don't really mind these lyrics rolling around in my head for hours and hours and hours....and....hours. if they're still there tomorrow, though, i might have to seek professional help!

the complete song lyrics on nick junior

Friday, January 21, 2011

shame on me

I was mortified when the neighbor knocked at my door this afternoon.  On any normal day this would not have been a problem but today...I was mortified.  Dishes piled in the sink.  Keira's toys strewn about about the floor.  Boxes of craft goodies sitting on every surface.  I sigh even now, as I think back.  All the friendly neighbor wanted was to ask if I could feed his daughter's hamster while they're gone.  Little did he know that my entire afternoon was filled with a twinge of regret due to the unexpected visit.  If only I could keep house like the idyllic 50's wife and make it to the door without falling into a disaster area.

I've been so preoccupied lately that I wasn't even aware of my messy life until I was forced to notice it.  Valentine's Day is coming soon, as we all are aware (or should be at least :) and I've been making things to sell in my shop.  These last two weeks I have surrendered myself, my family, and my poor cats, Oliver and Savy, to my creative addiction.  Turns out I was neglecting the very ones whom I love the most, all for the sake of my fancies.  Shame on me.

I need to know the secret of living without being obsessed with only one thing at a time.  That way I might be able to clean up once in a blue moon.  At least I don't have a stickler for a husband who insists the house always be clean and neat.  Thank you, Howie B :) does your house look these days?

Testing, testing, one two three

this is my first blog post and i am testing the layout, of which...i seem to be having problems with so far.
if only
jenna b