I've been trying to look for things that fill me up. I've been sort of depleted, so I've been pushing myself to look for beautiful books to read, or to listen to ridiculous music in my car instead of all the bad news on NPR.

So I'm happy to say that I finally took a moment to finally check out a blog I've seen go by on my Facebook stream a bunch of times. Rachel was a classmate in High School, and she's writing to her daughter in the form of a blog. It's beautiful and raw and honest, and I'm so grateful for it, because it has made my heart feel fuller. I hope she won't mind if I share it here:


You should also listen to her, and her family, talk about being parents:

Getting Goopy in the Kitchen

Spoon Oil: smeared on & working it's magic
In my lovely new kitchen there is a lovely wooden counter top.  It's beautiful, but it was also a little concerning:  It had no finish, and the sink is right in the middle of it, and I was worried about warping and cracking and mildew.  Also, I kept thinking about food-borne bacteria while I was cooking with raw meat.
Stains were a mild concern too, but we quickly decided that we like the stains.  It gives the kitchen that broken-in feeling that reminds us that, hello, we live and eat here.  Still, this counter needs something, but we didn't know what.

Until I was shopping for kitchen supplies, and I found some spoon oil in a little tube.  This reminded me of something I read on 3191.  Do you know it?  You should read it.  Add it to your RSS feed or bookmarks now.  I'll wait.
Okay, so in one post, Stephany describes how to make spoon oil, and mentions that she used it to finish her wooden counter top!  HELLO SOLUTION!

Mineral Oil and Beeswax
Spoon oil is a food-safe mixture of mineral oil and beeswax.  It conditions the wood, fights against warping and cracking, and repells moisture.  It's great for wooden utensils, bowls, cutting boards, and apparently counter tops.

I was too lazy to find a local beeswax source, so I ordered it from Ebert Honey.  I bought the mineral oil at the pharmacy.

BEFORE (with wine stain)
I'm so pleased with the results.  The counter has a lovely honey color to it, and is so smooth.  The water beads right up off it.

This is a fun project!  I wish I could have taken a picture of how goopy my hands got.  I kept thinking how much kids would love helping spread the stuff around.

Things I would recommend:
  • Use a jar with a wide enough mouth that you can get your hand in there.  I didn't do this, and needed a spoon.
  • Take off your rings before you start the application process.
  • If you're undertaking a big project (like a counter), you might want to consider putting on some clothes you don't mind getting slimed.
  • Use paper towels when you're wiping down the surface, and be ready to use a lot of them.  Whatever you use to wipe the oil needs to be clean from wax, otherwise you're just spreading it around.  I started off with using a wash cloth, and I'm not sure if the goop will come out in the wash.
  • Don't try to wash your hands when they're covered with the stuff.  Wipe off the excess with a paper towel, and then rub in any residue.  THEN you can wash your hands if you want.  They'll feel lovely and smooth.

Water beading off the oiled counter

Hello stranger!

A few people have pointed out recently that I haven't posted recently.



Here is what I've been up to:


  • new boss
  • multiple coworkers quitting
  • considering quitting myself
  • new boss quitting
  • not quitting myself
  • suddenly becoming the senior clinician - WHAT?!



I have been busy!  And even though I haven't been posting, I have been creating things!  Usually you can see stuff on my Flickr site, so check it out.

Matthew advised that I ought to post about our countertop, so you can expect to see that next.  It is hopefully more exciting than it sounds.  There are other home-related stuff I could post about too, and ought to, because I'm pretty sure you'll be enthralled by all of it.  AM I RIGHT?!

See you soon, kidlettes.

I love this

I loved it while I was making it, I love it now.  It's like looking at clouds, I see all sorts of things in the shapes that I didn't even know I was drawing.

More Staff Meeting Doodles

This is a scan of a full page: A whale, a quail, and a little deco sort of thing that was totally inspired by the bursts of life that surround Raina in the graphic novel, Blankets.


I drew some not-so-scary (mostly silly, in fact) monsters at our last Staff Meeting.  Behold:


Today, I baked bread.

Just out of the oven.

Here is the recipe.  I used dried cranberries instead of raisins, and I forgot to get lemons so I just used two teaspoons of orange juice in the glaze.

Vacation pictures, Part B

Click through to any of the photos, so see notes and more details.

Steps down to the garden

The view up the hill

The pool

Vacation pictures, Part A

These are pictures I took my first day in the Bahamas:

Leaving a Grey Boston Morning
My Matthew's profile before leaving Boston, on a rainy morning.

After settling in at our bed and breakfast, we went for a walk. These leaves were taking a swim together.

Full Bus
We took a bus to explore Nassau. These buses were rickety little things that barreled down the roads. It was quite an adventure! On the way back to the B&B, the bus was too full, so we sat on these little jump seats that folded down into the aisle. It was a little ridiculous, and pretty awesome. Look at Mr. Simoneau, all sitting pretty wedged in there.

Some Day in Early February


You guys, I am so grumpy!

I just got back from a glorious vacation, and I was remarkably happy to be home despite the gloriousness (I missed my shower, and my bed, and my normal-sized toilettries).  I was so pleased that the transition was going to go smoothly - even the weather in Boston is mild and bearable!

BUT nothing is working!

My washing machine is squeaking, and my internet is broken, and I had to go into work on my work-from-home day because I couldn't access any of my files, and my CAMERA...

Let me tell you about my camera:
I am editing the pictures from aforementioned glorious vacation, and I'm having some problems.  Firstly, I have apparently forgotten the lionshare of my photography skills.  What was I doing with high ISOs in the bright bright sun?  Who knows.  Not me.  IN ADDITION, the digital sensor is so very splochy.  Finally, I've had a hunch for awhile now (like, more than a year) that there's something wonky with my focus.  When I manually focus it doesn't come out right, and when I auto-focus it doesn't come out the way I want it to (I think this has something to do with the view-finder).
Everything is grainy, and out of focus, and has splotches, and it was too sunny and the pictures of my handsome boyfriend are all squinty, and I only took pictures on the first and last day, and I didn't take any pictures of the inside of our hotel, and HELLO I AM POUTING!

Okay.  Grumble.  I'm going to try to post some pictures now.



from the margin of my Staff Meeting Agenda


Family friends, Chris, Jenny, Jordan, and Andrew came to visit my mum for the night.  My aunt Polly was there too, and some other family friends.  It turned out to be a nice little party!  Jordan had never met Polly before, and she became quite a fan when they started coloring together:

Polly and Jordan coloring.

I colored too!  This is a page from Do You Doodle? which has some great prompts to get you going.