Posted by: ableanna | January 11, 2010

Holiday projects (a visual recap)

mud flood

"mini" reno


Even the smallest of changes can take up so much of the time you don’t have – especially if that time is suddenly taken by a massive flood in your basement. And painting with eco-paint (which is 99% amazing on walls because there is NO smell) , especially wood mouldings and cabinet doors, require about 5 coats a night for a period of two weeks. That’s after 3 coats of eco-primer. But its also the constant chaos you live in that tends to be more exhausting – even if you wanted to take a night off – there’s no place to really relax.

someday space makers

assembly required


dust 24/7

laundry 24/7

But you make do. I still managed to get to work everyday (thought sometimes barely) and we managed to fit a few moments for the more funside of creative projects.

Potato print cards

hand-drawn advent

discussing cookie days


drawing squares

We also found time to walk to the market and carry seven feets of tree home and noted , quite often, that if we had a car every project would take half as much time and getting a tree would take 15 minutes, not two hours.


We enjoyed a full house full of visiting family and friends – for two weeks we rarely had less than 10 people at our dinner table at all times, and we also got out to a few parties too. I think for me, Christmas has only gotten better with age. Yes, it’s stressful, but jeez it’s fun.

20 pounds of awesome

beautiful decor - not mine

cochonet's egg candles

much loved food awaits

new residents

Posted by: ableanna | January 2, 2010

This year…

i will feed the fish more

Well, do I really need to state the obvious? 2010 – more commitment to this space. More commitment to the stuff that really counts.

E told me today “Mummy you are so pretty, only not when you wear your glasses.” I love my kid.

Posted by: ableanna | October 16, 2009

slow down, speed up

It’s getting colder, and yesterday as I walked to the train station, carrying you like I always do, I was admiring your little face cupped in the blue wool hat and how your little nose was perfectly reddened against the chill in the air. You had a mischievious and fun-loving sparkle in your eye and every time I laughed, you would laugh and say “Muuummmy, Sttaaaawwwwwwp” Not that I was doing anything but laugh, and my laughter seemed to trigger your laughter, which would only make me laugh harder. It was this moment, of many moments these days, that I find myself trying to store in my memory, so that I can bring them back at a later date (like when you’re 18). Clinging on to, replaying it incessantly, like that if I repeat it enough over and over it will be etched in all my synapses, unable to work without replaying it first.

I don’t know how this runs with other mothers, but its moments like these were I find myself up at 5 a.m. snivelling and remembering, feeling nostalgic and wistful and frankly, amazed that I am privy to such moments of inexplicably profound beauty and love. And I just want the world to slow down.

Posted by: ableanna | October 7, 2009

An update to get rid of that post

I keep coming here to post, but my last post is kind of a marvel to me as I’m not really sure what kind of headspace I was in… obviously an inquisitive one?

Who knows, but I do know that I hate taking a proverbial dump on my blog, because then I just never want to come back here. All I can think is “Buh, I can’t believe I thought that was something to write about. How embarrassing.” And then I hide and neglect and generally pretend that this space does not exist. But, oh, it does.

So I’m writing to refresh and renew and hopefully next time, have something more to offer. It’s been way hectic over here, I can hardly believe it’s mid-October. Can you? I didn’t think so.

Also, just as an aside, we have an 18lb turkey on order and 13-15 invited guests coming in from out of town etc. and a broken oven. After a lot of tinkering, D has found a way to get it working, so long as he removes the door and the bottom of the oven… and bangs open the gas valve to get it running. That’s our plan! Blow up the house! My friend suggested a “BYOT” affair and I can’t stop laughing about it. I want to make posters.

Posted by: ableanna | September 18, 2009

District 9

D and I watched this movie the other night and in summary, I think it’s a worthwhile flick to watch. But it kind of is disgusting.

Please read no further if you have not seen the movie – but if you have seen the movie! Can I ask you a question? Because I can’t stop thinking about it. Do you think that this is some type of metaphor for how men think pregnancy must feel? You know? Like our bodies change, our hair falls out, our skin gets patchy, our teeth get weak, our skin erupts, things swell, we get really cranky, we want to eat weird things (like cat food?), doctors kind of take over without really telling you exactly what’s going on, we find ourselves cultishly following any news in pregnancy, we have weapons that men can’t seem to figure out how to use (manipulative weaponry) and you know, generally all we want to do is just go home to the Mother Ship instead of being evicted out of District 9. Or just have a freaking glass of wine already!

Maybe it was just my experience.


Posted by: ableanna | September 17, 2009

Lessons learned in gardening: boston lettuce

boston lettuce tree

boston lettuce tree

I planted quite a few seeds for the lettuce, mid-summer. Only one took root and at one time, this was actually a perfect head of lettuce but I felt a bit flummoxed about taking the whole thing out of the ground so I let it continue growing… into a tree. Great thing about lettuce trees if if you’re like me and generally only use boston lettuce in your sandwich fixings, you can just pluck one leaf off the tree and you’re good to go. No salad spinner needed.

Posted by: ableanna | September 16, 2009

Lessons Learned in gardening: Swiss Chard

I felt uber-accomplished with what I did this year in the garden, especially because half the time I didn’t know what I was doing.

The best lesson learned so far: grow what you know you’ll eat. Case in point: swiss chard. That stuff GROWS and thing is, the only time I have ever brought swiss chard home was a whim-purchase that ended up rotting in a bag in the fridge.

swiss chard, want some?

swiss chard, want some?

Posted by: ableanna | September 15, 2009

Lessons Learned in Gardening: Carrots

Carrot seeds are the tiniest things to plant and I kind of got lazy at trying to space them apart, so I poured the seeds in a long line. The trick is (as I was told later) is to continually weed out the carrots from the carrots, so that they’re spaced evenly enough to grow. I kind of did that, but I think in the end I needed more space in between each carrot.

The main issue I had growing carrots? SLUGS. Even typing the word out makes me want to gag. They are everywhere with carrots and the things disgust me. Maybe its the no eyes-no mouth thing, or the slime-factor, but then worms don’t bother me in the same way. Maybe it’s because they remind me of larger maggots. Maybe they remind me of that time I found leeches on my legs after swimming in a lake when I was a kid. HORRIFYING. I feel like the Wicked Witch of the East when they touch me I’M MELLLLTINGGGG! I’m mellllltinnnnnnngg…ssssssssssss….



It’s a problem. I know I should get over it, but every time I try, I find myself dry-heaving in a corner.

But I got some pretty cool carrots so far! Next year I’ll enter them into the “Weirdest Carrot” category at The Brome Fair.

could have been a contender

could have been a contender

Posted by: ableanna | September 14, 2009

Empty Walls

The irony that I live in a house with mostly bare walls has not escaped me. The fact that I have not put together a photo album or printed very few photos in three years, when my degree is in photography, is shameful. There are so many pieces of artwork I have saved up to frame that I think I might need a lottery win to help out in my budget planning. I can’t bring myself to just tack things up with tape or an Ikea frame (not that these are overall bad frames, but whenever I get to the framing section in Ikea I am completely overwhelmed from showrooms and stockpiles of inventory that even my detailed list Of Things Needed – drafted days before – can’t save me from the instinct of I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW). I know, it’s a weird conundrum.

D is constantly threatening to get rid of these piles. Of course he wouldn’t, because he once threw out a WORKING PEN and he knows what that did to me (and our evening). (Re: Pens & I have a long history together.)

I recently bought this print (which is added to the To Be Framed Someday pile):

by Diana Suyka

by Diana Suyka

You can see more Diana Sudyka prints at her Etsy Shop.

I really want my house to be a gallery. Royal Tenenbaum-esque. I once modeled for Elena Willis, where I stood in a pond in the middle of October, which resulted in this stunning photograph:

Group Effect, by Elena Willis

Group Effect, by Elena Willis

My real point is, that prior to the photo-shoot we went to this Photographer’s house that she was being mentored by and the art collection he had was astounding. Wall-to-wall photographs and artwork. WALL TO WALL. There is something so comforting with that type of visual clutter.

So for now, I am collecting my potential visual clutter. Keeping tabs on artists I might someday want to buy from (including the work from Elena):

The Lion and The Unicorn, by Kristine Moran

The Lion and The Unicorn, by Kristine Moran

The garden, by Kristine Moran

The garden, by Kristine Moran

Kristine Moran via Design Milk

And so the pile grows, much to Dave’s chagrin.
Anyone know someone who likes to frame work for free?

Posted by: ableanna | September 11, 2009

Life, the universe and everything

The moment E was born, the idea that I was returning back to work in nine months time was immediately garbaged. We had little-to-no-money at the time. But. Before I digress… I am a little embarrassed of how judgmental I was throughout pregnancy and right after I had given birth. I had this whole IDEA of what parenting should be – Dr.Sears attachment parenting theory, co-sleeping, no tv, staying at home, cloth diapering, breastfeeding etc. I had very opinionated opinions on these subject matters. What I didn’t take into account at the start of the parenting road is the complexities of those realities and that CONTEXT is everything when implementing your ideals into your routine. I’m not saying I abandoned these ideals in parenting, but I definitely saw that cloth diapering does not work well without a working washer in your home; attachment parenting is fine so long as your child never weighs over 10lbs and you can somehow shower with them; co-sleeping is a necessary evil in some desperate evenings and only doable if you can actually sleep beside an infant; no TV is definitely better than living with it, but some days… some dreary days in winter when you’ve been snowed in for weeks, without a car, the tv seems like a life-line to the outside world or for a little reprieve to cook without dangling your baby over the stove; and breastfeeding bonding is WONDERFUL save for the learning curve, the start-up pain, hard breasts, smelling of sour milk and embarrassing moments in restaurants when you hear another baby cry.

My experience moving from stay-at-home-mom to working-mom has been equally eye-opening, specifically to those less fortunate women who don’t have the OPTION to stay-at-home. Finding affordable childcare and then the hope to find affordable childcare that makes you happy to leave your child in the arms of another care-giver are tremendous hurdles. I don’t actually know how single-parents balance the juggling act, but those of you who do do it, should receive daily showers of praise and awards. You should also been given a spot in the Cirque du soleil – far more impressive than juggling 10 bowling pins at once or being a Human Pretzel. Actually, with that said, all parents deserve this.

I know now, just like Louis C.K., to reserve judgment when it comes to other parents (starts around 6:40 of the video).

(Admittedly I can’t get past my knee-jerk judgment of non-parents. Maybe it’s envy. But when I hear them talk about how TIRED they are and how the have NO TIME, all I can think is: DUDE. YOU ARE LYING. Anyway, I’m working on it.)

Dooce recently posted a query on her site regarding the big stay-at-home versus working mother debate and with over 1000+ comments, it’s a fascinating insight into the lives of women across all walks of life. (Seriously, take a moment to scroll through her post and then the comments.) It confirms that this debate really needs to be more in the forefront of politics and community. Why it seems to be held in private amongst friends is astonishing. Why there isn’t a larger discussion afoot does not make sense since it affects every parent. And there are a lot of parents.

Now to the point of this post. I went through the ringer recently with a bad-childcare experience… not that it was BAD bad, but it wasn’t great. We were recently granted a spot at a nursery school we had been on the waiting list for – and let me tell you, it has transformed my life. Not only do I love the school, E loves the school. I love the teachers, E loves the teachers. No more drama at drop-off and on the way home, I am privy to a wide variety of excited stories and creative events she participated in all day. Also, having relatively no commute has shaved off a good three hours to my day – the routine feels serene, not harried. It now seems like we’re not playing catch-up all the time, but rather we’re able to participate in our daily lives and do fun things with that time. I barely recognize the person I was two weeks ago. And that is a very good thing.

Brome Fair

I guess the Universe granted my request. Thank you Universe, thank you.

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