Posts tagged ‘columbus’

March 2, 2016

A Labor of Love aka ‘We can’t let shit go.’

Dealing with all the flooding caused by the City demolishing the house behind Hallie (the duplex we bought from the Landbank in Sept of 2013) had worn us out. I stopped posting about it because it seemed rather hopeless honestly. The more days that past, the more the hard work we had completed was getting ruined. The Land Bank stated we had to prove that they caused the damage and so with that and the fiery motivation that drives me, I set off to jump through some hoops.

After estimates, inspections, our insurance refusing to cover the damage (it was part of the process that was required) and SO MUCH PAPERWORK, we finally met with the City Attorney’s office in May of 2015. It was awkward coming face to face with the Head of the Land Bank, the villain of our story. He kind of reminded me of John Ritter from Three’s Company minus the humor , obviously due to the seriousness of the situation. Both Joel and I agreed though, it was hard to dislike the guy.

I had never felt so much like an adult as I did that day, spouting facts with a cool calmness while assuring the City Attorney that the building could still be saved once the water drained. It was exhilarating and completely freaky all rolled into one. In the end, an agreement was reached.

It was about a month before we received the deed to the adjoining parcel of land where the demolished house had backed up to the yard of the duplex. It was another month before a crew could come out dig up the yard and replace the pipes which did ultimately join the two properties. Another month, for all the water to drain out of the basement and for the house to dry out. Another month after that, dealing with all the electrical getting approved. You get the idea, a lot of time had to go by before it could be worked on again.

I cannot emphasize enough how much Joel completely busted his ass on the upstairs unit. I worked on it here and there, but mostly kept Cam from getting into everything. We did have some help for several weeks, when Joel’s friend, Geoff was in town and was looking to make a little extra money during his stay. (Shout out to you, Geoff!! I was glad I wasn’t helping carry out an original, extremely heavy clawfoot tub!) Our neighbor, Tim was also cool and helped Joel carry in the appliances. (Unfortunately, the new fridge didn’t work and I was helping carry the new one out and a replacement back in.) #agony

Without further ado, here’s the completed 2 bedroom, 1 bath upstairs unit of Hallie.

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August 27, 2015

Arden’s Mom

Owl bag puppet copyYesterday began the 1st day of the new school year.

I was nervous.

And excited.

And it wasn’t even me starting school.

Last year, shortly after Arden started first grade. Picking her up after school one day, she told me that her Art teacher was going to a different school and that she was sad. Upon clarification from her teacher, the students weren’t required to have art all the semesters. The Art teacher would be back at their school mid-January. So in the meantime, the kids would have nothing. Arden looked at me so sad.  Honestly, the thought of school without it devastated me. I realize that sounds dramatic, but as a kid, that was my life. I LIVED for Art class. Each of my teachers were amazing and I loved them. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without their guidance and encouragement. At that moment, I knew I was going to have to do something.

I approached Arden’s teacher with the idea, which she was all for. Lo and behold, I would also be able to bring Cam. I’d like to mention that her teacher had the patience of a saint. With 3 kids of her own and being in her thirteenth year of teaching, she was so laidback, but firm, we couldn’t have gotten any luckier. I walked into the classroom the first day and Arden’s eyes just shown. She could barely contain her excitement. I, on the other hand, was hugely apprehensive. I’m used to just making things with one kid, not 20. I nervously waited for the students to finish their assignment before I launched into what we were going to do. The room was just buzzing!  So many wound up little people, wondering what was happening next. At some point, introductions were made, but the kids paid no mind and simply referred to me as “Arden’s Mom.” A title I’d never thought I’d be so proud of, but has come to completely thrill me to the being of my soul. Mama with feather art head dress copyNative american head dress with feathers and paint tree art copy art turkeys copy

And so, for the next 3 months I came in once a week to do projects with the kids in Arden’s class. I had tons of scrap cardstock that I was finally going to put to good use. Most of the other materials I had on hand and the kids already had glue, scissors and markers. While Arden was a whiz at cutting since she was 3, a lot of them still needed practice. I’d make up templates and have some things made ahead of time, while still leaving them to work on the skills they needed.

Some kids were more than happy to follow my basic instruction, but most often than not, their minds and creativity took over. Everytime, they’d swarm around me like baby ducks, asking for assistance or proudly showing off their work. One boy’s paper bag owl puppet, became a Minecraft-type owl complete with a sword for an arm. One kid, instead of making the porcupine out of toothpicks, asked to make Sonic the Hedgehog out of toothpicks. One girl, no matter what the project, always managed to turn it into something with a dragon. I wasn’t an Art teacher and we weren’t technically in Art class, so why not? We had that freedom.

Then there was Cam. In his carseat, he’d either nap or rock himself. He never cried. Maybe because, at all times, at least 1/3 of the class would be out of their seats to play with the baby. Doing silly stuff to get him to smile or try to feed him a bottle. As time went on and he grew, they delighted in seeing the new things he was able to do. The teacher would remind them to get back in their seats and finish. They would, only to be replaced by new kids eager to make the baby laugh.

My time there went swiftly. Once the actual Art teacher was back, I cried. When I would drop off Arden to her classroom in the morning, I’d still have kids asking when I would be back to teach them Art. I was able to come in a few more times after that, for holiday parties or for science experiments, just so we could have an excuse to make things together and play with a baby.

I think of all this as I drop off Arden yesterday and feel a bit sad. I hope I will have some opportunity to come in and work with this new class. To get to know the kids and see some of the returning ones from last year. Just then, I see Arden’s teacher from last year and ask for a hug, which of course, makes everything better. porcupine from art class mrs uncaphers copy

October 22, 2013

Food on the Move : Columbus Food Trucks

If you are not familiar with Columbus’ Food truck scene, you are missing out.
Fast and affordable, these mobile chefs have so much to offer. Joel and I were getting adventurous with food trucks before they were popular, but now there is so much more variety to chose from. This may not apply to you, but for me I am easily daunted by trying out ethic-inspired restaurants, only to find after I’ve gotten the meal that I don’t like it. Figure in a family, plus tip and it feels like a wasted endeavor. I find food trucks so appealing because every thing is simple. Their small menus are written out, detailing the real and fresh ingredients of each item. You can try several dishes, without breaking the bank and best of all they are kid-friendly. Keeping Arden contained in a car seat to enjoy a meal has proven much more effective than trying to drag her out from under a table and keep her from eating the ABC gum.

Places like Dinin’ Hall in Franklinton, 400 W. Rich (right next to downtown) https://www.facebook.com/DininHall http://www.dininhall.com/ offers a common ground for food trucks to meet through the week. Not only does it provide recognition for up and comers, they provide a welcoming spot that they’ve carved out of an abandoned industrial building for folks to grab a bite inside or out. Their website explains the ordering process, as well as provides a monthly schedule of the trucks lining up to feed Columbus folks.
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If you don’t live or work near downtown, here’s some other ways to track down tasty eats.

1.) http://streetfoodfinder.com/

2.) http://roaminghunger.com/ These first two allow you to search for trucks by choosing a city.
Next a map will open up, showing who is serving during
that day and where they are located. Be sure to check the times they are operational, it fluctuates.
(For you folks that don’t live in C-Bus, try it out for your city too.)

3.) Facebook or Twitter. Don’t have time to stop, but see a truck you’d like to try? Chances are they have some sort of social media presence. Look them up and track em’ down.

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Our Favorites!

GREEN MEANIE
http://www.greenmeaniefoodtruck.com/
https://www.facebook.com/GreenMeanieFoodTruck
An eclectic mix : Try the panko breaded chicken croquette sandwich and fresh cut fries. (OMG! SOOO good!)
Location : On the move, but post locations on Facebook. (Usually the night before.)

CILANTRO
http://cilantrofoodtruck.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cilantro/378766378915419
Latin Fusion : Try the empanadas or the Californian (this guy’s sauces are amazing!)
Location : On the move, but can frequently be found at 3000 Morse road in front of Ohio Academy.

TATOHEADS
https://www.facebook.com/tatoheads
Potatoes: Specifically hand-cut fries with all sorts of toppings.
(Joel and I tried some loaded with meat & cheese and it was more than a meal. We were in a delicious food coma!)
Location : On the move, but does post locations on Facebook.

RAY RAY’S HOG PIT
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ray-Rays-Hog-Pit/110463212345454
Located: 2619 high street (behind ace of cups)
BBQ : Yum! tasty brisket!

BOSTON BERT’S SEAFOOD
http://www.bostonbertsseafood.com/
https://www.facebook.com/boston.bertsseafood
Located : 3867 Indianola (in the parking lot of Keith’s Service Center, across from Marzetti’s)
Seafood : I enjoyed their shrimp po’boy sandwich.

MYA’S
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myas-Fried-Chicken/219658511482327
Located : 3166 N. High Street. Corner of Pacemont & High (on the side of convenience store)
Fried Chicken : Get it WITH the honey sauce drizzled on top. Believe me, it’s a mistake not to!

We also have a no-name, obscure little truck we LOVE for tacos. The best we have had by far!
Located out on the West Side by James Road, across from the CVS. Sometimes it’s open. Sometimes it’s not.
(I know, not very helpful.)

We’ve just had the most enjoyable experiences with these trucks. The people are so super nice.
Everyone is always so gracious and thankful that you took the time to come by and support them.
So the next time you want something different, try a food truck and support local!

October 11, 2013

*~Happy Birthday to my Husband~* + Hallie : Week 3

Today is Joel’s 30th birthday and I think despite me mentioning that we have such a huge age gap, it doesn’t really hit home until people see it in print.
(I understand.) He is definitely capable way beyond his years. It’s probably unfair, but in my mind there isn’t anything he cannot do. To be generous he avoids tasks like cooking, baking, making invitations and decorating, so I can reach for some of the glory and feel good about myself too. Seriously though, when it comes to fixing things or building things or figuring out things, he is your man. I mean for example, he built me a new computer, because mine was on it’s last leg and made hungry animals grinding sounds. He actually went to Micro Center, purchased all the parts to build me a tower and sat on the floor and built it. I didn’t even know regular people could do that. Apparently, when he was 14, he built a computer that was cooled by water. This may mean nothing to you, but I’m impressed. This guy’s skills come super in handy at Hallie, because there is an abundance of mess that needs fixed.

I mentioned in a previous post that the water pipe for the Duplex was ripped off at ground level. Below are some photos of Joel replacing all the pipe so we can have a new meter put in.

1.) Break-ups cement, make a clean cut through the pipe (so it’s not bent anymore.)
2.) He adds on compression fittings to connect new and old pipe. All to the specifications of the water company.
3.) Fits on spud connectors.
4.) Ready for new water meter.

Ready for the meter copy

Unfortunately, even though this all went in without a hitch, when the water man arrived the next day, there was yet again more drama of not being able to locate our water main line to be able to turn it on and other folks would have to come out and to make a long story short, it’s still not on. On Friday, they are supposed to be coming out again and fingers crossed, because this has drug out far too long.

1.) Siding painted in the front. Joel deems the sprayer ‘magical’ as the task was completed in 10 minutes, as opposed to the half hour it took me to prime the one side of the porch.
2.) Siding and trim was replaced all along the porch sides and ceiling.
3.) Bushes were planted in front and sides of duplex.
4.) Railing put in.

At this point, I’ve become a little downtrodden because the more new we put up, the more glaringly obvious it become with all the other tasks that need done. Among those needed is a process called tuck pointing (replacing all the lost mortar in between the bricks), power washing the outside, replacing the rest of the railings, putting in crown around the pillars and painting the ledges. Most of all, I want to take down the darn boards covering the windows, but we are just so up in the air if it’s a good time to yet or not. Thankfully, we had an awesome day today we took off to celebrate. (I’m not sure who had more fun for his birthday him or me.) It’s going to be difficult getting back to the grind tomorrow.

Hallie the Duplex Week 3 railing and landscaping copy

Hallie the Duplex Week 3 front with blue siding copy

October 8, 2013

Letting go of your past.

I had this step-mom that was mean. She heartily embodied everything that fairy tale step-mothers do. From the not-letting-me-eat, making-me-clean-non-stop, to keeping-me isolated-from-people-because-I-might-tell and of course, doing her very best to humiliate me and make me feel small.

I don’t know what this woman went through in her life to cause her to be so angry. But she was. She was tall and very aggressive and enjoyed nothing more than bullying me. Not a day went by that I didn’t get slapped or have my hair yanked. The mind-games and the mental and emotional abuse were the worst. At age 5, I’d lost my mom to illness. It was lengthy, filled with pain and in the end completely destroyed my family. My dad desperate to fill the large emotional void in his life, remarried hoping to find some flicker of happiness and a caring parent for me. He should have kept looking because this woman was damaged.

I was unruly and willful. I had gone from bubbly to anti-social. With my mother’s sickness, I had missed most of kindergarten and was passed back and forth between grandparents trying to help care for me and my mom simultaneously, while my dad drove an hour each way to work. I wanted attention and didn’t understand what was going on. Then one night it all came to a screeching halt when my dad tearfully picked me up from the babysitter’s at 1 a.m. and couldn’t stop crying.

It didn’t happen right away. Initially, there were constant battles between her and my dad on how to parent her son and I. We were only 6 months apart in age and this new set-up of them moving into our house and suddenly expecting to ‘be a family’ when our previous wounds had barely scabbed over was too much. They kept taking sides, each believing their own child when something was missing or broken. She finally pulled ‘the mom’ card, claiming she was better at parenting because she was a mother and insisted my dad back off. Doubting himself, he did, thus totally ushering in her free reign to terrorize.

Some of her most cutting comments were:

1.) That she would make sure that I needed to visit a psychiatrist by the time she was done with me.
2.) That I should never have children, because I would be a horrible mother.
3.) That she always knew when I was telling the truth, but would punish me anyway.

It took me YEARS to get past everything she put me through. I continued to have dreams of flying to get away. I was always, just barely out of her grasp. I was lonely, angry and felt like the world owed me.

Except one day I finally realized that everybody experiences some sort of pain and loss in their lives. It varies in devastation and form, but it’s there.

My point in sharing this with you is this: There comes a time when you can’t blame anyone else for your life anymore. You are an adult. You can think, feel and do for yourself. If you don’t want to be unhappy or be the victim then you have to do something about it. You can make things change. Sit down, make a list of your goals. Research. Write down all the necessary, attainable steps to achieve them. Work on it. Every.single.day. Break the cycle. Believe in yourself.

Arden and I saw this lovely clip last night and we were completely captivated by it. It’s so inspiring.
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Poster Survive copyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G88zqPxJ00&feature=share

October 3, 2013

What’s new with Hallie-the-Duplex : Week 2

Hallie Duplex, week back of house copy On Saturday morning, we woke to a sick child, broken car windows for half our street (including Joel’s mustang) and deflating news from the water man that in the scrapper’s haste to make off with all-that-was-metal, they broke off the main source water pipe in the ground. What this means for us is, we cannot get water until we tear up the surrounding cement basement floor and fit new pipes. *YAY!* While we were hoping to power wash and paint (with our newly purchased handy paint sprayer) this coming weekend, it will have to wait until next week when the water can be turned on.

In other news, Joel’s electrician friend will kindly be able to obtain a permit for us that will be $150 as opposed to the previously foretold $400. Oddly enough, if you are a homeowner and live in the home, it is easier to get a permit than if you are just rehabbing it for future renters. Oh, laws and rules, how you baffle me!

Here’s what we HAVE been able to accomplish.

1.) Back shingle-type siding has been removed and disposed off. The wood siding underneath is fantastic! Very excited to see how it will look once primed and painted.

2.) We were not so lucky with the vinyl siding in the front. Upon deciding I really couldn’t bare to look at that beige atrocity anymore, Joel promptly ripped it down, only to discover that there wasn’t much wood actually underneath. Instead, plywood and insulation were popping out. SO, we began the tedious task of putting up pine siding and applying white primer to help seal it.

3.) That crazy-clinging ivy vine has been removed , albeit one side left to go. We’ve also removed the remaining overgrown brush.

4.) A cracked, up-heaved cement walkway lines the side of the house and we pried that up in areas to allow for plants. We decided not to go crazy with the landscaping, as it will be on us to keep maintain, plus everything will die off as winter nears anyway. I opted instead, to just split out some of my hostas and decorative grass from home and plant them here. We also purchased several evergreen bushes and mulch that will go in place after the power washing. I’m excited to cover up the eyesore that is the concrete pad with mulch. It will serve a dual purpose, not having to all be dug up AND it will preventing weed growth.)

Of course, there are still many nay-sayers that feel free to spout off their opinions as they pass. It is amazing the things people will say out of superstition, sheer stupidity and fear. I understand that change is difficult but this neighborhood has seen it share of despair and is on the uprise whether they are ready to embrace it or not. Fortunately, there are many positive comments as well. Continuously hearing “It’s about time!” really makes us happy and helps keep us motivated. It may be a small difference, but at least we are making one.

Hallie Duplex, week 2 side view copy

Hallie Duplex, week 2 front view copy

September 26, 2013

How I became a trash-picker + Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color Contest

When I moved to Columbus from Pasadena, CA. I didn’t have much. Before leaving I purchased a compact Saturn with a roof rack and brought along what I could pack into (and onto) the car. Arriving here, I took a decent paying job training as a vending machine driver. This required me to get up at the crack of dawn, to be at the shop to take inventory and to load my truck, repetitively lifting 50lb. at a time. Oh and I also was expected to drive a 20ft. box truck on the freeway, in a large city, which I had obviously never done before. But I had a crazy positive attitude AND I needed money.

The first couple weeks were hell. I had to navigate around an unfamiliar, busy city in a hulking vehicle, sometimes parking downtown in very tight spaces, all in the name of restocking goodies. The job was very physical. I went from just riding my bike as my only form of transportation and exercise to, what felt like boot camp, a full-on complete body work out 5 days a week. I didn’t have any furniture, so I slept on the floor and my muscles ached, to say the least. It wasn’t all bad though. I could eat more than my share of cookies, candy and snack cakes without gaining an ounce. And it was all for free. One of the perks of the job. It was marvelous.

Out on my route one day, I spotted a disheveled looking dresser by the edge of the road. You would definitely say it was ugly, with green paint that could be described as the color of pond scum. Which was overlaying a darker green that peeked through in areas and could be accurately named “Mold’. I couldn’t imagine why anyone held onto this hideous thing to begin with, but I desperately needed a dresser. I pulled my truck over and upon closer examination, found that it was a very nicely constructed, solid piece. With my newly acquired strength, I hustled that 5 1/2 ft long x 3ft tall x 2ft wide bad-boy (by myself) up onto my truck (with no ramp) and was on my way.

I only lived in an apartment, so out on the balcony this beast went. I taught myself how to strip, sand, prime, paint and seal it. Being that it was my first, it didn’t turn out exactly like I would have wanted it. But I still have it 14 years later as my bedroom dresser. Since then, I’ve hauled home quite a few pieces of furniture, a lot of them for free. My daughter’s dresser and bookcase in her room. The mirrored dresser in kitchen that we used as our drink station for our wedding as well as quite a few of the lovelies in our living room. Check out our room here: Erin’s Happy to be Home Room Read about which pieces were reworked and remade to what you see now and HEY! while you are there, be sure to vote for us! We’d love to win some paint to use on Hallie-the-Duplex!

September 25, 2013

The Not-So-Fun-Facts about Hallie-the-Duplex

Joel and I were eager to start working as soon as we closed. Not because we think it’s fun, but because in our-little-plan-in-our-heads, we anticipated obtaining Hallie much more rapidly. In reality, due to all the technicalities of the process, it wasn’t possible. So now to put it bluntly, we basically need to haul-ass to get the outside up to code. We have 60 days from the date of sale. (We are given 6 months for the interior.) Since we are doing this as a side project, and there is only so much daylight after work, it really doesn’t leave us much time before it starts getting too cold for these kinds of shenanigans. 

NS FUN FACT #1: Climbing ivy is a enormous pain (in your entire body) to remove from brick. It is so well adhered to the sides of the house we both could swing on it. Seriously.

NS FUN FACT #2: When we originally toured Hallie, it was pretty obvious she was hard up for some good old-fashioned back-breaking work. Once vacated, scrappers wasted no time stripping her of a every last bit of dignity. Taking every appliance, the furnace and any copper wiring. This translates to = we have no electricity. Turns out a lovely $400 will have to be sadly parted with in order to obtain a permit from the City just to be able to rewire Hallie. *Gulp.*

NS FUN FACT #3: Hallie is haunted. Or so say the locals, who are endlessly entertained by us, as they stand in their yards or on the sidewalk to watch our labor. Stories vary from 1 to 4 men being executed in a drug-deal-gone-bad (Is there such a thing as a positive drug deal experience?) The lost souls are apparently trapped in the building, unable to find closure. When I point out that there had been a raccoon who had taken up residence in the 2nd floor (thus making noise and shuffling around) no one seems to make the correlation that it (or another animals in search of shelter) was the source of the ‘haunting’. Today, I calmly explained to a chatty fellow (who has lived in the neighborhood his entire life) that Hallie hasn’t given me any creepy feelings of doom when I’m working there, so I assume that the structure is at peace and happy now. (Who wouldn’t be excited at the very prospect of getting a make-over?!)

When Joel researched it, he did find that a previous occupant had died and the death was unsolved. It doesn’t say that it was in the house. (Insert spooooky music and WOO-ooo! That’s my ghost noise.)

 

Here’s what we’ve done so far:

Photo #1: Ivy ripped down from the front of the house.

Photo #2: New door installed and painted (still needs trim.) The vinyl to the left will also be removed and a 2nd door for the upstairs entry will be placed there.

Photo #3: Terrible shingle-type siding in the process of getting removed to expose the well-preserved wood underneath. This will be power-washed and painted the same blue as the door. Also, awesomely large brush pile we’ve acquired. Oh and a new door was put in back here by Joel.

Photo #4: Our new trailer! To haul away our awesomely large brush pile, bring us more doors, drywall, tubs, vanities and the lawnmower. An incredible time saver and a welcome relief to the Outlander, who is usually abused beyond belief.

 

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Back view removing siding and brush 3 copy

September 19, 2013

Behind the scenes.

Months ago, Joel and I started a lengthy process, taking a step toward what we want our lives to be. It’s scary, it’s hard work, it’s tremendously time consuming, but it’s ours, all ours. It took tons of research and scouting locations, dealing with shady people and meeting really fantastic, upstanding ones. We want our time to be our own. For our knowledge, expertise and skills to be valued and put to good use. We want to make a difference in the city we live in.

If you have ever been in downtown Columbus, it has come an incredibly long way from where it was 15, 10, even 3 years ago. So much has been done to revitalize the area. The beautifully scenic views along the Scioto River, where folks can enjoy a stroll by the many fountains or rest on a nearby bench or porch swing. The Columbus Commons, taking a empty lot that was once the home of City Center and turning it into an outdoor Community Center. There are always activities. Exercise classes, a carousel, movies on the lawn, festivals and other events. Before that, the Campus area underwent an enormous overhaul, bringing back life to a very run-down section of town. Now, there are new apartment buildings going up all over the city, offering dazzling views and a trendy lifestyle.

But there are also many areas still that remain vacant, abandoned and desolate. Back when Joel and I worked for the Census, our job was to hit the street, collecting statistical information from the residents of our great city. What we found were streets upon streets, where only a handful of houses were actual occupied homes. Some had up to 85% of the buildings on them boarded up and deserted. I’m talking tall, beautifully constructed, regal brick buildings that once housed elegant citizens. Entire neighborhoods that were lively and well-to-do, brought to their knees by changing times. With our eyes, we see what once was and we want to bring it back.

So we dreamed and planned and yesterday, finally (after much impatience on our part) closed on our first duplex. It is overrun with vines and brush, trash, buckled floors from water damage and it even comes with our very own raccoon. But it has good bones, solid structure and two very handy people to make it right again. Last night as we celebrated, it felt like a turn in the tides. Embarking on a new adventure that we hope through this blog and photos that everyone will enjoy along with us. Eventually we are planning to acquire more. We’ve already been scheming and plotting for another. 🙂

The name of our new joint business venture and logo I designed. (I made us shirts months ago!)

The name of our new joint business venture and logo I designed. (I made us shirts months ago!)

Side view

Another side view

Another side view

August 29, 2013

I never thought I would be a stay-at-home parent.

Once upon a time, I scoffed at the idea of staying home with a child. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the thought of caring for a little person ALL.THE.TIME. It ended up happening by circumstance. I no longer worked in an office. I became self-employed and I worked out of my home studio. My entire upstairs became devoted to my work space. I have giant shelves of card stock. Boxes upon boxes of envelopes in a rainbow of colors. The extremely sturdy, wooden built-in bookcases meant for displaying actual books and knickknacks, I immediately claimed for my own. The largest room in the house isn’t my bedroom. It’s my studio/jail were I spend most of my day designing, cutting, assembling, printing, making things. (I say jail because often times it’s quit difficult to get away from work when it’s always right here.)

Then I had a kid.

It started out innocently enough. I’d have her up in the office with me in her little blue tent. It was purchased at a yard sale for an awesome steal of five bucks. She’d lounge around and I got orders done and it was all good.

But that didn’t last long.
Because she grew.

The little tent was great for newborn-not-doing-much-of-anything-Arden, but not 7 month-old-Arden. No worries. I had a new plan! I’d keep her in a play pen AKA a pack-n-play. (These were apparently renamed from the 70’s because the new and improved devices for keeping your kid corralled in one spot, no longer collapsed on them or pinched the crap out of their arms and legs.) This would be great! I could work and she could play and everything would be jolly.

But it wasn’t.
Because she didn’t want to be exiled in a padded mesh and metal box.
She wanted to be getting into all my supplies and exploring. So she would howl at me and hold up her arms until I took her out.

She learned to pull herself up on the wooden knobs of a squat dresser that houses my ribbon stash. It sits without legs beneath the table where all my printers are lined up. Eventually becoming strong enough to stand and pull the drawers open herself, only so she could get at my supplies with her chubby little hands and dump them everywhere. There is nothing more fun than watching things fly up in the air and scatter. Nothing except maybe the reaction of my Japanime eyes getting ginormous like they might pop out of my head at any moment. She’d laugh at me as I would try not to lose my shit.

This is what I’m reminded of today as I clean up my work sArden in her baby newborn tent copyArden eating in a mess on teh floor copypace. It is currently in complete disarray and in reality has been for quite a while. She’s not so good at organization and quite frankly, neither am I. Creativity at it’s finest, right? There are scraps of card stock all over my work table. Invitation samples, print layouts and hole-punch dots from making banners. Along with pictures she’s colored, her play kitchen, a mass of dolls, puzzles, books, horses and My Little Ponies. Odds and ends of trinkets she likes to collect.

And I’m sobbing.
Because I miss her.

Crafted in Carhartt

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