Fall in Ohio. My sister, my nephew, and my niece. Perfect excuse to get outside and play with some photography. I think I came home with some good shots, and I know my sister will love them regardless. I’m far from a professional photographer, and I think Mother Nature makes all my photos 200x better, but I can’t complain too much honestly. They’re not perfect, and working with two bickering kids is a challenge. But we made it work, and I think the few hours I spent taking them and the subsequent editing are worth it because I’m giving my sister the gift of a family photo she’s never had with her children until now. ♥
Another year, another birthday. My husband keeps telling me “it’s just another day” and I think he wonders why I don’t look at it as such, but what fun is life if you don’t make a point to celebrate days like today?? I’m another year older, with a few more grays and a few more wrinkles. What’s not to celebrate?!
After years of feeling miserable on my birthday, I think I’m finally turning things around. Last year wasn’t so bad, but I think I’ve definitely improved this year. The husband surprised me by “going to work” early and returning with a bear claw and iced coffee for me to wake up to. Later in the morning my mom picked me up – with flowers, chocolate, and a card in tow – and we went to breakfast. Then it was out for thrift store shopping where I found a really adorable pair of white leather boots – pretty much brand new – for $3. Then we headed to one of the local antique stores where I scored BIG. Okay, in my opinion I scored big – other people might think I’m crazy. Actually, my own husband will probably think I’m crazy when he sees what I bought.
Anyway. First up was this really awesome industrial-sized bobbin/spool. The antique shop is a big building full of smaller vendor booths, and this particular booth had things marked 50% off, so the bobbin came home with me for all of $11. I plan to showcase it somewhere near my spinning wheel because it’s just really awesome. Then I found a cute necklace there for $3. I don’t know how ‘vintage’ or ‘antique’ it is – I saw quite a few things in booths that weren’t at all antiques – but I thought it was pretty.
My absolute favorite find, however? The Lazarus French Room hat box. I’ve been wanting a vintage hat box for a while now – I have in my possession one of my own grandmother’s hats, a few hat pins, and some scarves as well as a pretty brooch that was my great-grandmother’s, a pair of cuff links that were my great-grandfather’s, and some other misc things. Lazarus was started here in Ohio and has a lot of great history, though it is sadly no longer in business and hasn’t been for some time (We used to shop at one when I was a kid, but at some point it turned into a Macy’s). A little internet search turned up a PDF document from OSU, and it looks like the “French Room” was changed to the “Wedgewood Room” sometime around 1953. So that makes this box roughly 60 years old? It’s a little worn and stained, but compared to the other boxes I found this one was in fantastic shape! And it’s an absolute perfect way to store my family’s heirlooms that I’ve received. ♥
Overall it has been a fantastic day, and I’m really thrilled to be done with the birthday moodiness I’ve experienced in past years. Let’s hope this trend continues as I near my 30s over the next 365 days :)
Graduation Day arrived yesterday. I teared up a little as I watched my stepson walk the line after having his name called, but I quickly choked those emotions back. It’s just what I do, and what I’ve learned to do after years and years of heartbreak and frustration with this whole dysfunctional family dynamic we’ve had. You can see it in the pictures – my husband and his son with their arms around each other, smiling in the photo. It’s natural for them. Father and son. No strangeness or awkwardness to it. The photos of the stepson and I show a different story – his hands to himself, and I nudged up right next to him so, at least for appearances sake, it looked like we were happy to have our picture taken together. I don’t give him a hug, or tell him how proud of him I am – even though I want to – because it feels like I’m crossing some invisible line. I’m just there. That other woman. Dad’s wife. That’s all I think I’ll ever be, even after all these years. The life of a stepparent, I suppose.
Bitter and sweet seems to be how my life generally tends to play out, and I guess yesterday wasn’t much of an exception.
In this tiny little recipe book I have a secret little treasure that I love so very, very much.
That, my friends, is a recipe for zucchini bread, written in my great-grandmother’s own handwriting. That woman was such a baker. She had some of the most amazing recipes, and every year she’d put together little holiday gift boxes full of fudge, buckeyes, peanut brittle, etc. She’s been gone a long while now, but there’s not a holiday season that I don’t miss her little homemade treats. I feel very thankful that, even though the majority of her recipes died with her, I still have a small piece of her.
(sidenote: check out the new marble slab and rolling pin! I can’t wait to make a pie!)
Two cameras worth of photos to edit, which is very… boring. All those shots of the lake? They all end up looking the same after a while. I know there was a reason for taking all those photos, but perhaps next time I’ll remember that just a few is perfectly fine.
The weather didn’t want to cooperate, and the perfect sunny weather the previous week had turned to cold and rainy. To make it worse both of us were sick. We made do, though – either sucking it up and going out in the rain or finding shops to duck into to wait the heavier rain out. I spent most of our days feeling high from medicine but trying to power through and make the most of the trip, and then we’d return to the motel where I’d crash hard asleep on the couch while we watched TV. We’re the epitome of exciting, aren’t we?
Despite the weather (and being sick) we managed to see and do quite a bit. Pasties for lunch, hot chocolate at the cafe/book store, beach walks to see the shipwreck remains, lighthouses, waterfalls, Presque Isle with its monster rocks and heavy winds and crashing waves… not a bad itinerary, if I do say so myself.