Feb 11, 2011

sorta sad

Hello readers! The time has come to scoot you on over to the new site. I'm not sure what will happen at the Patton House, only time will tell, but I think you will feel right at home at the new digs. Please jump on over to www.durangomom.com and see for yourself!

Thanks for reading, you are why I keep writing.

Feb 10, 2011


It's a big week for LOVE with Valentine's and all. I love LOVE. I love this holiday. Pink and red are so snazzy together, then throw in some orange and you have a real party. Hearts are awesome, too.


I have a friend and her heart is hurting. This makes me sad.

I have so many wishes for her.

I wish she knew how stunningly beautiful she is. Inside and out.

I wish she knew how strong she is.

I wish she knew that she DESERVES the best.

I wish she understood that alone is OK, even good, and it is not forever.

I wish she would take the time to heal.

She has precious children. I want the moon and the stars for them.

But we've all seen the bumper sticker.

"If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

And, unfortunately, it's true. Cornball, but true.

She doesn't 'read' me so these words are wasted. But I tell her all the time. It just so happens that I believe in love, and this girl that I'm talking about is flat out destined for goodness.

She's got it coming, but not with this guy or this situation. It's a cruddy week to ditch your man, that's for sure.

But sister, hear this, as I beam it out there. It's time. It's time to jump on the freakin' brakes and whip it around. Scoop up those young 'uns and double down.

That's all I've got. I feel a little better. Cross your fingers!

Feb 8, 2011

Valentine's dinner

the water buffalo of love

On Sunday night we will celebrate Valentine's with a special family dinner. We eat together every night; it's the most important thing we do as a family, but Sunday will be extra special. I notified my people that they were each in charge of a course. The fighting began.

Lew is vying for drinks and dessert, as is Della. I hope they will find a compromise. Della wants to scrape the center out of oreos and replace it with whooped cream. For Lewis, it's all a huge secret. How can I buy it, I ask, if I don't know what to buy? He's doing it, he says.

Max is hor d'ouvres. I made him spell it. And explain it. He's making sushi.

I am main course and I'm thinking braised short ribs with mashed root vegetables...they will be pink.

Matt is still deciding. Some foliage, perhaps.

The decorating is the fun part. Lots of candles and music and flowers and my signature random strangeness. As a child, I collected paper weights. I had some real beauties. I dug them out of the attic at home a few years back and they add a touch of wonder to all occasions. I pulled out the red and clear glass ones for my Valentine's table. The kids love arranging them and we added some felt hearts just because felt is so awesome. Lew purchased the red water buffalo with his own money at a festival this summer. The purchase paid for one little girl in Africa to attend school for a year. He is very dear to us and is our official spokesman this Valentine's. Last year we had a squirrel. Yes, we are different.

who's in charge of polishing the candle sticks around here?

What do you do for Valentine's? I'm always on the lookout for the next great idea!

let them eat cake

I so love the looks of this cake. It's just sitting there on the table looking all white and boring, and nobody is too excited, and then you get out the Reed and Barton Francis the 1st sterling cake server, because you got not one, but three of them when you got married, and they should be put to good use, by golly, and anyway, you cut into that plain old white cake and Ta Daaaaah! The cutest heart you've ever seen has snuck inside to thrill and delight!

Oh dear. Did I write thank-you notes for all three of those cake servers? That was A LONG TIME AGO. The statute of limitations for thank yous is one year. Did you know that? My Mom drilled that one in for sure. You're actually supposed to write them right away. Uh huh.

Matt and I eloped. We were hoping to avoid some of the hoopla. Somehow or another it didn't work. We got way too many gifts. I remember standing in the bridal registry department at Rich's in Atlanta. Mom had laid out the directive for me to go and choose a sterling pattern. But I live in a van, I said. She's a smart woman and knew that one day I would live in trailer and might have use for utensils.

So I stood there in the silver section in cut-offs and indian moccasins, and perused patterns with a very stately woman in a pale pink suit and panty hose and pumps. She had a clipboard. Well, I am nothing if not a walking contradiction, and she was befuddled when I quickly steered away from the plain and simple, to the quite formal and ornate and rather expensive.

I went back and forth. I, of course, took into consideration what silver was already in the family. My mothers' and both grandmothers'. Mom thought it would be wise to replicate one of these as they might be split at some point, and it would make a whole. She wasn't so optimistic about my prospects, I suppose. Neither was Miss Bun On Her Head sales lady. And that's neither with a long I.

OK. Let's do this thing. It was between Francis the First and Repoussee.  If you want to go research some flatware, now would be the time. Suffice to say, these two are mac daddy. The stuff of kings and presidents. And why the hell not? Go big or go home, as Joe Kenworthy would say.

I finally chose Francis the First. It's stunning. "Really? Are you sure?" said she.

She was thinking, "Who the hell is going to buy Pocahontas a butter knife?"

God Bless that patient woman and her clipboard. She probably worked on commission.

And if so, she got lucky that day.  Do I have full place settings for twelve? Yes I do. Every serving piece ever thought of. Check. Extras? You know it.

We use it every day. It does not live in a box, as is proper. It digs in the dirt and catapults English peas. It  wages an ongoing battle with the disposal.

When the president comes for dinner, we'll be set.

In the meantime, my little kings and queen will use it.

P.S. Somebody bake me that cake, because I have not a clue! image via projectwedding

Feb 5, 2011

on weekends she wears a tail.

Tomorrow is a big day for some folks, and while I am not at all vested in the big game, there are some aspects of it that I enjoy.  If you haven't figured it out already, cozy could be my middle name. I love feeling cozy. I love good smells coming from the kitchen, a glowing fire, and the whole family gathered 'round in a festive mood. We don't do much TV watching, so it will be a treat to scream for a team (who's playing?) and watch some funny commercials. We can be very enthusiastic spectators! And the Black Eyed Peas are rockin' the half time. We WILL be dancing!

Because I really don't care about the game, I've decided to set up a Valentine crafting fandango on the dining room table so we can make darling little goodies and watch at the same time.

And of course, there will be plenty to eat.

So this is where I link you up. There are lots of lovely ladies out in webland that are far cleverer than I, and I am grateful for their fun ideas. I will be bringing you more Valentine ideas throughout the week, some my very own, but for now check these out!

A sweet design for little hands.

This is a free printable if you just want to print and snip.

Love this! And so will my kids!

My Tiggy is all about a festive drink. This will thrill him...and me!

Max is all about his new email address. I will email him a Valentine...this sweet little video, and bake the ending, if I can pull it all together!

Some people groove on chocolate....yeah me too. Check this out.

And a word about fox tail girl. She's had it on all day. And Max sleeps with it during the week. And I keep picking it up and looking at it and trying to figure out if it's real or fake or what, and where the HELL it came from?! Honestly, shouldn't it ring a bell? It's fabulous and I love it and it reminds me of one of my favorite kid movies, Fantastic Mr. Fox. I hope there's not a tail-less beast wandering around and lamenting his loss on my account.

Have a lovely All!

Feb 4, 2011

long story short

Long before kids came along I had a life. It was a very different life and I can't even begin to compare the two except to say that the first, unbeknownst to me at the time, was preparing me for the second. After I graduated from college I was only clear on one thing; I was free. I loved to travel and I loved change, but I wasn't sure where that would lead. Along the way, I met a cute guy.  We spent ten years 'on the road'. I know my parents were beside themselves. I was a sorority girl from a nice Southern family. Those don't, typically, morph into gypsies. And while my friends were building careers and families and homes and fortunes and dutifully contributing to their retirement plans, I was, well, just all over the map.

I was making pottery with a group of amazing women in Athens. I was tending voodoo lilies at a rare plant nursery in Michigan. I was waiting tables and eating well all over the country. I was living in a tent by a creek in Jackson Hole, in a flop house in Portland a block away from the best bookstore in the world. We would criss cross the country for any reason at all and when that got old, we would hop on a plane and do the same in Europe. Along the way we worked and made friends and found our way. And while our bank accounts were never flush and we would push them to the brink of zilch in our travels, we were making serious deposits in another account.

What account is that? I'm not sure what it's called. The 'unflapppable' account? The 'I can go anywhere and do anything at anytime' account. The first hand 'isn't this world amazing' account. The 'wow! we are all so different, but wonderful' account. The 'I'm scared, but let's dive in head first' account. The 'oh, I get it, there's nothing to be scared of' account. The 'a stranger might just be your next best friend' account. There is really no explaining it and not everyone thrives in the face of uncertainty, but in our travels we found joy around every bend in the road. We met extraordinary people. We lost the fear that is usually associated with the unknown and found in its place excitement.

At times, I was worried that this wouldn't translate into the real world. That we would come up short. What fool takes their retirement first.  These were the grindstone years. The dues paying years. We had nothing of monetary value to show for any of it.


The hardest I have ever laughed was in a hotel in Tangier, where Matt and I shared a room with a fellow traveler. The whole town shut down at 6:00 PM, and by shutting down I mean that the power grid is offed. No lights. No running water.  Decidedly un-American, it was. We were hungry and tired. I have no idea what got us started, but I will never forget the dark room, the thick stone walls, the uncomfortable beds, that man chanting in the alley, the toilet that wouldn't flush, and the laughter so insane that it hurt. As soon as we would calm down, someone would utter some foolishness and it would start all over.


It was late late late... after a shift at a very authentic Italian restaurant in a tiny western town. A fellow I worked with, as all American as my brother, sat across from me as we ate our employee meal and said, out of the blue, through tears, that he thought he was gay. The Gin Blossoms were playing on the radio. Allison Road. He couldn't tell anyone else. We hugged and cried. 'It doesn't feel like it right now, but it's going to be fine.' Or something like that. I don't remember what I said exactly. That night I drove toward the mountains and stopped at the river. I threw my sleeping bag down on the bank of The Snake and fell asleep, worried for my friend. I woke up in the night and there were three moose just feet away from me. I could have touched them.

Thousands of beautiful 'snapshots' spread out across the years.

And then.

They pulled into Port Townsend, WA. They knew not a soul. It was as quaint as it gets. They had their cat, Ruby, a frantic yellow dog named Wilma (who would drink her weight in salt water AND get hit by a car the next day...but be fine) and about $600 dollars in the bank. They were staying in a cute boarding house on the beach, and would look for a place to live the next day, after a visit to the vet, of course. It should be interesting. A cat, a dog, next to no money, no jobs....and the girl six months pregnant to boot....

That other account was full. We saw only the Excitement and Joy of our situation, that others might have called a predicament. We found a precious house for $500 a month. How could the landlady turn away this couple bursting with hope. She couldn't. Matt went to work. They furnished the tiny house with yard sale finds and lots of candles. They kept the wood stove burning and hunkered down for the nastiest winter in Washington history. With the promise of spring, a due date approached.

Words can't express. On a gray day in May a red headed little boy was born. Never have I known such a  love.

And with a storehouse of laughter and tears, the three of us set out on the next great adventure. Every toothless grin was as fascinating as the medina in Fez. His fat warm baby body in bed between us was sweeter than all the pastries in Paris.

What's crazy, is that every day I am still in TOTAL awe and three kids later that account is bursting.

Cashmoney? Not so much.

Wide eyed wonder? I can loan you some.

Jan 29, 2011

stress fracture

I am at Purg. On the computer. Our youth group is skiing and we are having a lock-in tonight at church. Wish me luck. Lots of teen and tween boys and some gross games that they will love. Why am I not skiing on this beautiful blue sky day?  Too much of this and not enough of this. I guess it's back to the lap lanes for a few weeks.

Have a good weekend!


I love this warm fuzzy (literally!) photo.

It's almost February, cats and kitties.

A swimming pool in Phoenix beckons.

I hear your call, blue pool.

I do.

Jan 27, 2011


Just a few links.

I so want this book. I am a big fan of Rob Ryan and the art of scherenschnitte, and beautiful poetry, of course

This is such fun! Wish I'd thought of it! Don't wish for more babies, however! That urge came and went, as is proper!

I am making this with my kinders tomorrow, and hoping for leftovers. Perfect for these blustery COLD days!

Jan 25, 2011

will you do me favor?

In working on 'the new project' it has become necessary for me to define my 'voice' or 'perspective', if you will. On my new blog there needs to be a consistency of purpose that will keep readers coming back for more. For more what? That is the question. And I am trying to answer it . The collective 'they' say that it should be a clear, concise, one sentence answer.

That is SO not easy.

I am struggling.

I am first and foremost an adorer of my children and family. I love them so much that it's.....well, boring. I am not the earnest voice of the beauty of the everyday, but that IS what I find most amazing about our walk on this Earth. Everyday makes me smile. It makes me laugh. It can even get me on a tangent. So let's take out the word 'earnest'. Everyday Mothering? The Joy of Everyday Mothering? But then there are the tirades on bitch slapping, cell phones, nude running, and Groin. (with a capital G, no less!)

Who runs this Dog and Pony show?

Oh, that would be me. Everyday Ivey?

Do you see my quandary? Can you help? Why do you read this stuff? What do you take away? What would you like to see more of? What would you like to see less of?

And while we are on it...because today I am just laying it all out there....I have lots of lurkers! And lurkers, I love you, because I am a lurker, too. When I read a blog I rarely leave a comment. But I need you all today. This is what I want you to do.

1. Leave a comment on this post (not on facebook!) and answer the above questions, or A question, or just say hi, I don't care, but try to leave a comment. I have heard from more than a few people that they aren't ABLE to comment,  that blogger shuts them out. Try real hard and if it won't work will you....

2.  Email me at iveypatton@earthlink.net and tell me that it doesn't work for you, so I can trouble shoot the whole thing.

This is HUGE. Thank you in advance!

What a Fabulous Idea!

My fabulous friend Ann is offering a pottery workshop at her beautiful farm to help you tap into your creative genius and usher in a new season (dare I say it....Spring!) I am so excited! Here are the details and I hope to see you there!

   Sundays March 13, 20, 27
1-4 pm

                   Pit fired pottery workshop and emotional spring-cleaning.

     Learn how to build objects of beauty and have the fire make them even more......  
                    Tap into the elemental forces to help usher in a new season.
                              ·      125.00 includes all supplies

                                Call Ann Friedman for more information:
970 799 4441

don't read this

Testing. Testing. I got a new camera and I am so excited. Here is a photo of my baby with it. She's so darn cute. She is formidable in the Cute Department. She will bitch slap you with cute, if you're not careful. It happens to me all the time.

Hold on a sec though. Let's back up. As a lover of words I am intrigued by the term 'bitch slap'. Aren't you? Yes, I know. What exactly is a bitch slap and what is the origin of the term? The internet is an unbelievable resource. I'll go google it. Be right back.

{Do you ever feel that the internet is really too amazing to be true? Sometimes I fear that Satan himself will one day leap out of my monitor and scream..."HA! I'VE GOT YOU!...that's another post though}

OK. I'm back. That was a major waste of time. Basically it's a flat handed slap delivered in a situation where there is an inequity of power. Which is to say, that it's meant to be demeaning. Not to be confused with the 'pimp slap', which is done with the back of the hand and is 'disciplinary'. No point of origin that I could find, and that was really what I wanted. The HISTORY of it all. Son of a bitch. Did you read Catcher in the Rye as a youth? Do you remember how they spelled sonofabitch as one long word, all together? I went through the whole book with NOT A CLUE as to what they were saying. My pronunciation was ridiculous! Someone should have bitch slapped me!

Good God Almighty let me wrap this up.

I've confused myself and you must think that I'm depraved.

Which is another interesting word..................

The END!

but P.S.
{did you read James Joyce when you were on your quest for the meaning of life as a young adult...Ulysees, to be exact. I tried but gave up about half way through because it's stream of conscious and it's gut wrenching to follow and that's apparently what's happening right now even I'm not sure but aren't words fun hello Mrs. Larson and Mrs. Atwell they were my high school english teachers who read my blog and that makes me nervous and i just wish satan would jump out right NOW with a bitch slap.......

that was fun and you get to see that i have a rich fantasy life or poor! and really this is the end}

Love Ya


Jan 24, 2011

hello friends!

Posting will get sparse around here. I am working hard on my other project, trying to learn some tricks on my fancy new camera, and my calender is full of extra curricular stuff, too!

My head is swimming with all sorts of fun that I will be sharing soon!

And Valentine's is just around the corner. I have lots of thoughts on that.

Stay tuned!

Here are a few fun links to get you going this week.

This is a sweet Mom interview. I want to be her friend so she'll take me to her island. Shallow, I know.

In the coming week I will be posting an interview with my friend, Jamie Jo, who, just yesterday, cooked her families food FOR THE MONTH!!!! That's WILD! ! For now, read about it here on her blog! And I'll get the nitty gritty details on the whole thing. Like what drugs she's on....that sort of thing.

I know I said that I was not making a new years resolution. But I changed my mind. Here it is. I am going to bake a different cake every month. Simple as that. And it will make everyone in the family happy. My bon appetit magazine came yesterday and I was inspired by this.

And one last little tid bit. Is this psychotic or nifty? You decide.

Jan 20, 2011

happy day

Today is my sister's birthday. She is a lovely person. We sing to each other on our birthdays and it's a bit scary. We try to carry each note of the birthday song for as long and loud as possible. It's not something you can do in the presence of others. My principal walked in on me last year as I was singing it and she just stared at me, shaking her head. I had to keep singing, as it's a tradition.

Nanner, I love you! Get ready!

Jan 18, 2011


Have you seen these? If you are driving from here to Flag or the Grand Canyon be on the lookout! We made the trip not too long ago and they blew me away.

"Did you see that?! Did  you see that?! Did you see that?!" I kept shouting.

You don't expect this sort of art in the reservation. The landscape is beautiful, but bleak. After I figured out that there were lots of them, it made that long stretch of drive exciting.

The artist's name is Chip Thomas. Most of his installations are in the Navajo nation and span three states. They won't last forever, as they are wheat paste, so keep your eyes peeled. For more info about Chip, check out this awesome site.

And thank you, Chip!

Jan 14, 2011


Here are some fun links for your viewing pleasure.

this recipe made me hungry for the south. i think i'll put it in the crock pot before skiing!

anthropologie, why are you so good? love the trailer. love the quilt. and that was our station wagon!

i love love love a before and after. this one rocks! seriously!

it's not too often that i see something that i HAVE to have. but check these out. they make the cut!

i'm liking this blog. vegan. simple. sassy.

and next time i am in new york, i am eating here. italian and bocce, how could that be anything but wonderful?!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Jan 12, 2011

a little prezzy

I am off to work in a minute, but first things first. Do you have your 2011 calender? You do now.This is a free download from a new design blog Jeannie Jeannie and I am liking it. Download it from here and print on card stock! Thanks Jeannie, for spreading the love!

Jan 11, 2011

winter blahs

I have a touch of the winter blahs. I made a conscious effort to recognize that fact this morning so that I can work to eradicate it. I am tired of the freezing cold and our house gets almost no sunshine as we are snuggled onto the north face of a mountain. Those are the reasons. What is the remedy? This bike would do the trick! Isn't it darling?!

It is part of the Seoul cycle design competition and I think it should win. Read more about it here

Stay away from the blahs, OK?

Jan 10, 2011

pet peeve

This post was brought to you today by the letters B, A, and D.

I was eating lunch at my favorite restaurant the other day and it happened. The woman at the table next to me answered her cell phone and proceeded to have a long and obnoxious conversation about storage unit rentals. She went into great detail. She left no stone unturned on the subject. The whole restaurant got to listen, and it literally stopped all other normal conversations in their tracks.

After about 5 long minutes of listening to her in stunned silence, I did it. I stood up. I turned around. I stared.

"Are you for real, Lady?" my eyes asked her. (I didn't say a word!)

Her voice dropped and she continued, but I hope she withered just a bit inside. Yes I do.

So consider this post a little tutorial on proper cell phone etiquette. Actually, let's just call it common sense, so that we can all feel beholden. Here are some rules in no particular order.

1. It is rude to talk on your cell phone in a restaurant. JUST DON"T ANSWER IT. I would go so far as to say, don't even look at it. It is NOT an emergency. If you must answer, then take it outside.

2. Are you checking out at the grocery store? That's a real live person in front of you and it's rude to be on the phone. Rude and awful.

3. Are you driving a 3 ton moving vehicle? No phones, folks!

4. Are you at work? This is so obvious, but I think it might be shocking to some. Drum role please! Cell phone use should be at a MINIMUM! Ditto texting, facebook, ...

5. Are you sitting in a theatre? OMG! Physical violence is almost justified. Certainly a 'shout out'!

6. Chatting with a friend? The living, breathing human in front of you takes precedent over the buzzing bird in your pocket. Duh.

7. Don't give your child a cell phone. What ever happened to trust and faith and freedom.

I was at church the other day and the woman beside me was texting like mad. Wow. She then pulled a novel out of her purse and proceeded to read. You can't know the restraint I demonstrated. That's not a good feeling to have.....IN CHURCH! Help me Jesus!

OK. I'm done for now. It's called a pet peeve.

I'm just trying to save the world, alright.?

Happy Monday Folks!

Jan 7, 2011

The why of it all

why not?
I like to write. I started this whole thing a long time ago and was just capturing random thoughts. I had no idea where I was going with it. Somewhere along the way I found my voice. I found my confidence. I found some innate sauciness that I had shelved in the throws of mothering and being an adult. I often feel that blogs are too self involved, and I try to stay away from any sort of judgement or lifestyle issues. I read blogs to be inspired, to glean a fresh perspective, and to see how other women make it all come together in a harmonious and balanced way. I also love to laugh and love to see the joy in the lives of others. It sounds like I'm asking a great deal of the internet, doesn't it. Not really. I surf for a few minutes and then go about the art of being a human with three kids, two jobs, and a mountain of laundry.

All this is to say that 'the patton house' is about to morph. I have decided to push my comfort level and expand on what I have been doing. In the very near future I will be launching a new site on a larger platform. It will be about mothering. It will be about growing. It will be about nourishing and flourishing. It will be about finding the joy in the every day. It will be about you and me.

I will be asking for favors in the next couple of weeks. There will be surveys and interviews. Hopefully, they will be fun. I promise not to take too much of your time. I am so very grateful for all of my readers. I am thankful for your insights and your wit. I am always amazed at how similar and totally different we all are. I hope to celebrate that idea in my new venture and I hope you will all come along!

Jan 6, 2011

Girls Only!

As I surf the blogosphere I see lots of posts about 2010 in review and goals for 2011. I don't really want to review 2010. It was good and I just finished living it. As for goals for the coming year, don't we all want to do better?! Of course we do. So let's move on.

There are two things that I love about the new treadmill (see previous post). I LOVE that I can run wearing just about anything. I run in my pajamas. I have run in my bathing suit. Don't get excited. It's one of those triathlon bikinis....very boring. In short, I am able to run in things that you can't really wear out of the house. Matt suggested running in the nude. I respectfully declined. I said to him, "There is really no one on this earth that I want to see RUNNING in the raw."

And then I paused. And gave this some deeper thought.

Which brings me to the second thing that I really love about our new treadmill. Sometimes I can get to thinking about something interesting and run for a long long time without even noticing the miles flying by. The proper term for this would be 'in the zone'. Today I got in the zone. And I'd like to share.

Thank you, Matt, for the prompt, and let's take a closer look at who we might like to see running nude in 2011. Screw resolutions.

This is such a no-brainer. Hello Hugh. We watched 'Australia' the other night and I think it was good. I was in a daze! It's a sprawling epic saga about, well, Australia, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.  Holy smokes he's special! I generally go for a nerdier type (as you will soon see) but Hugh in his sweaty, period garb was almost too much. He can also sing and dance, which is a big plus for me. They cut the scene in the movie where he was running nude across the outback, but if you think about it real hard you can imagine it! Moving on.
But let's stick with the name Hugh, OK? Hugh Grant. It's the hair and the accent and the wit. I'm not sure how he'd look running nude, but I don't really care. I'm betting we'd all sneak a quick peak. Thank you for making all those silly British rom coms. I'm happier cause you're here.

Bear with me for one more Hugh, please.
Mr. Laurie, you won me years ago as the patriarch in Stuart Little. I like the dark side, too! Please get thee back to England and take a role that doesn't require an American accent! And you're looking fit there....are you a runner, by chance.

Enough with the Hughs, though.

Drum roll please....another singing and dancing hunk with an accent. If you want some non-stop Ewan McGregor, go rent 'Long Way Round'..... a sometimes boring and self involved account of his motorcycle trip around the world. It's wonderful! :) He doesn't run nude, however, just lots of (clothed) motorcycling. 
Do you see a pattern emerging? I should just move to the U.K. Colin Firth is lovely and plays my all-time favorite movie role . Watch 'Love Actually' this minute and see him bumble into the most romantic scene of all times. I truly can't picture the nude running, as he is so dignified, but I'll just keep trying.

If it's all right with you, I'm going to switch genres. Let's move on to the Food Network. Betcha didn't see that one coming, did you?
Can't really explain this one, and truth be told, he's getting a little too big for his britches. But I wouldn't mind having dinner with him and putting him back in his place. The man can cook, however, and if he's smart he should also run. All that food will eventually catch up with him.

Brace yourself, because I REALLY can't explain this one.

Alton Brown knows more than is healthy or normal about food. He's nerdy. He's aging. But he's got that special something. Just come over and cook me something complicated and I'll set you up with my friend Suzanne. Y'all can run together.

Don't worry, no Emeril, I'm done with the foodies.

How bout musicians.

 Glen Hansard. I've written about him before. Irish. Pure Soul. I'd rather see you sing than run nude, but if wild dogs were chasing you fresh out of the shower what choice would you have? Let's watch him sing for a moment, shall we? And don't miss his movie, Once.

I'm going to leave off here, because I have a real life to live, but I will say that this brief foray into pure fantasy has been amusing for me.

Who floats your boat?

And would it be weird if I made Matt speak with an accent?

I hope you all have a lovely year filled with lots of love, big laughs...the kind that make your face hurt, good health, why not some wealth, and little fun fantasy!

bad feng shui

Enquiring minds want to know.

We went to Phoenix for a sofa and Matt's life long dream. I said that in this post. Matt says that's a stretch and I like to think that I am his life long dream. But he's wanted one of these for a long time. And now he has one.
And in this picture it looks small. But it's not. It's very big. Very. If I so desired, I could roll straight out of bed and right onto it. At night, I lie in bed and stare at it. And if I haven't run on it, I feel guilty. It breaks all the rules of proper feng shui. But, I must say that I am in love. It is snowy and wet and rainy and cold and dark outside. Running is a bitch to begin with, but add those factors in and it's a no go. I'll take any excuse!

But now I have none. I am starting to LIKE running. I have never run this consistently in my life. The other day I got on it, and before I had even thought much about it I had gone five miles. Almost effortlessly. I am staying away from any new year resolutions around this because I don't want to jinx it. Matt, of course, is training for a marathon.

Matt is a natural born runner. One of those disgusting types that can shoot out the door and run 12 miles without a care. On our first date (in Georgia) he asked me to go to California with him to run the Big Sur Marathon. I don't recall him training at all.

I won't say that there is a marathon in my future. It actually sounds like torture. But not as torturous as it sounded 6 weeks ago.

My favorite trail is just out the door, but it's buried under several feet of snow.

When it melts, I'll be ready.

{If you are in the market for a treadmill, the Woodway is awesome. It has a much better 'feel' than health club treadmills....go here for info.}

Dec 22, 2010

that time of year

I have always loved calenders. As a child, I loved to peruse them.... cute animal calenders, themed calenders, and even, or maybe especially, those free ones that came from the hardware store with stock scenes from all over the country....there was always a waterfall, an old mill or covered bridge, the autumn leaves in Maine or Vermont, snow covered mountains, and a craggy shoreline. I didn't know it at the time, but the young wanderer in me was already charting a course with those calenders. I still love calenders, maybe it's primal, and now is the time that I always crave a new one.(duh) For the last few years I have been loyal to the same artist, Nikki McClure, and was going to re-up with her again. But then I came across this mac-daddy calender review of all handmade or letter pressed artists with their offerings. Crud. What now?

Go here to see way too many fabulous choices. I was stymied. And then 'the one' revealed itself to me.

Hello Beautiful! You can get it here.

I may or may not be back again in December. If not.....Merry Christmas to you all and may 2011 be your best year ever!

Dec 18, 2010

more fun?

If you've been paying attention you know that my hair color has changed. I said "subtle highlights" and I got full-on blonde. Part of me says 'fix it right now' and the other part says 'work it, baby'. Which brings me back to my lack luster wardrobe.

Right now I am in snow boots and down. I would rather be in that darling red dress and those tights. She is sassy! Palm Beach or Palm Springs would work.

Let me get a firm grasp on the situation and I will post a picture. In the meantime, peruse Mrs. Lilien.

Dec 17, 2010


teacher's gifts out the door (coffee and chocolate)....check
school party goodies made (see above)....check
tree up and decorated.......check
packages mailed.....check
white lights on house.....check
candles everywhere...check
platinum blonde....check
house a wreck.....check
snow falling....check
red wine in my future....check
full of good cheer....check
thankful for all of my readers....check

Dec 16, 2010

i heart bruno

I love this video. He is darling and she is beautiful and the tape trick is so clever. And it is so singable and dance-able and happy. Listen once and you're hooked. Call in the kids and have a little family dance. And then walk around all day with Bruno's sweet smile on your mind and a song in your heart.

Dec 14, 2010


Tonight we all sat around our table at Zia and ate and laughed and chatted. The stools there are VERY tall, so we try not to get too raucous. We cover many topics at dinner. We talk about the day, and friends, and, of course, school usually comes up. My children are stymied by all the rules at school. We discuss them a lot!

And this is where parenting gets tricky.

I do not, necessarily, want my kids to follow all the rules. In fact, there are some that we advocate that they break. So many of the rules were made with worst case scenarios in mind. Others are just plain silly.

Example: Della came home on the first day of kindergarten and said that she was NOT going to do 'hips and lips'. (hand on your hip and finger on the lip when walking to and fro around the school). Don't do it then, Sister, I said. And she didn't and doesn't. Instead she walks quietly. Genius, that girl.

Good manners, yes. Respectful behavior, yes. Moral high ground, yes. All the other crap. Maybe and maybe not.

Just try not to get caught, buddy.

They never get in trouble. Seriously. Their teachers say that they are a joy to teach.

So either they have achieved a zen-like state around the rules because we have disarmed them with our nonchalance, or there are some very deep covert ops going down at school.

I hope it's a bit of both.

Dec 13, 2010


I think of this as our family song. All of it a beautiful journey. Matt has always said that our primary job as parents is to believe in our children. To teach them to fly. I try to remember this when I am bogged down in the details. To shift over to the joy of the moment. To laugh, to hug, to learn and teach.....to fly.

Slow down this holiday and say yes to the flying.

This is a good one for the tread mill, too. I can bang out some miles with Dave.

Dec 11, 2010


We went to Phoenix this past weekend. We were on a mission for two things....a sofa and Matt's life long dream. We acquired both.

When it comes to travel we are of two minds. There is the part of us that would prefer to camp under the stars, and then there is the other part that will only settle for four or five stars. I'm talking luxury. I'm talking high end. So it's either in the dirt with a tent and the critters, or the polar opposite. We are exciting that way.

The thing about luxury resorts is that they are really expensive. And, by nature, I'm thrifty.

Luckily, I am a pro at finding a travel deal. I used to have a crush on Clark Howard. (and if you don't know who he is, chances are you're a bit poorer for it.....literally.)

I once found a round trip plane ticket to London for a hundred bucks. You can bet I was on that son of a bitch the next day. I rented a car for thirty dollars, drove to Edinburgh, and Matt proposed over a greasy bag of fish and chips. He escaped from the Sea Shepard (now famous as Whale Wars on prime time) and we lived happily ever after. But that's probably a separate blog post. There are a few more details involved.

All I'm saying is that I love to find a good deal. And I love a swank hotel. And we found one in Phoenix. Hello Fairmont Princess. (Go here to book it for the price of a Days Inn on I-40.) Beautiful swimming pools, an amazing tennis complex, golf course, water features galore, and the most exciting Christmas decorations you've ever seen, nestled into a truly  astounding dessert landscape.

A room is a room, and this one was lovely, but, give me gardens any day. I am from the city of roses, but have never seen roses like these. And when the ground is covered with snow at home, an orange tree is pure fantasy. And then there were the bunnies. Darling bushy tailed bunnies everywhere... frolicking on rolling green lawns. Seriously. I know that someone was lamenting them as pesky vermin, but dang, they were precious. You can bet that my children exceeded the preferred spa resort decibel level and the personal space rules trying to catch them, too.

They also rolled in the grass, like dogs, because we don't have 'lawns' in Colorado.

And that lemon tree was made for climbing.

I can't begin to describe the water features.

All this is to say that the Patton family can sometimes have a large 'foot print' when overnighting somewhere. My children are well behaved and quite polite. They are also curious and intrepid.

"Mom, how do they make that fire burn in the middle of that pond?"

And, as God as my witness, I did NOT say....

"Oh honey, swim out there and see."

more later......

Dec 8, 2010

eye candy

Never in my life have I been moved to decorate a cake in a frou frou sort of way. It's not my thing. I do decorate cakes but my standard design is lots of icing with pansies and ferns and odd ball animal figurines. Pansies and ferns are what's growing when my young 'uns birthdays come round, and I just like funny thrift store plastic animals. But check this out. Darn, it's nifty.

I think I'll make it.

However, DO NOT hold your breath for pictures.

Go here for the recipe.

And this is decidedly fall-y, not christmas-y. So get this. I am going to change up the colors just a bit to make these colored Christmas lights....WHICH, if you have a firm grasp on my ESSENCE you know that I am all about.

Blogs are such a self involved affair, aren't they?!

Love you all!

Nov 28, 2010

sunday night

snow snow snow snow snow. the boys went skiing today and della and i stayed home and finished lots of projects that we had started over the break. a big christmas package will head to georgia this week. never in my life have i been this ahead of myself. knock wood. right now i am feeling so relaxed that i can't even get up to go get my camera to upload pics for you. i can't even use capitols. i'll show pics tomorrow.

never underestimate the beauty of the muffled silence of snow

that's a little poem from me to you.

bonne nuit.

Nov 22, 2010

Cool Craft #2

I love pom poms. Who doesn't. They aren't super Christmas-y, but they are quite festive. I will mingle them with colored lights in the entrance hall. Go here for the tutorial on how to make them.

Nov 21, 2010


I must say that Max has a certain 'star' quality.

"Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."

Nov 20, 2010

did you know...

Last night the Patton house was abuzz with children. Cousins plus neighbors plus the Pattons. And the Patton house isn't very big. Both fires were lit. Alton Brown's mac and cheese was in the oven.  Daddy had whole wheat chocolate pecan cookies going in the mixer. And the movies were waiting by the TV. But alas, the first choice movie was scratched. Drat. But Sophia, my niece, had a solution. And after my second glass of wine it sounded like a great idea.

"You wash them in the toilet." she said.

"You do, do you?" said me.

"Uh huh. You squirt in some dish soap, drop in the DVD and then flush it."

"And that works?"

"Yep." she said

Max looked at me skeptically. He knows me well. He didn't think I'd be buying that one.

"Can we try it, Mom?" he ventured.

"Sure. Why not."

Because eight kids crammed in my bathroom flushing DVD's down the john is better than eight kids running wild all over the house. AND the kid in me knows that it's a pretty awesome thing to do on a Friday night. They set up an assembly line and washed our entire DVD collection...and the ones we had checked out from the library, too.

Did it work? Did Edward Scissorhands come clean?

Not telling.

Let your kids figure it out.

They'll think you're off your rocker for suggesting it.

Happy Weekend.

Nov 19, 2010

happy birthday

Navajo Lake

On 'the daily'...Colorado River...Moab

My sweetheart had a birthday this week. I run hot and cold about writing about him for some reason. I guess because it seems so very personal to me. (I've pretty much already said it all in this post.) But we had a funny little exchange in the hotel this past weekend that made me laugh, and reminded me for the gazillioneth time why I'm so crazy about him.

He is so kind. He has a way of making strangers feel special. He notices what someone needs and he does it.

We were in the lobby eating breakfast this weekend and he was making one of those waffles that they offer these days. A VERY old man hobbled up and was looking at the breakfast spread with utter confusion. Matt said good morning to him and announced that he was making himself a waffle.

"They're pretty good. I'll make you one, too."

And he did. And he joked and they laughed and he put the old man at ease. The man sat down, and when his wife arrived he announced that this kind young man was making his breakfast. Of course, Matt got hers going too.

The waffle maker, at this point, went a little bezerk. It started beeping loudly.

Old people get flustered at funny things and the wife started shouting.

"Mr. Waffle Man! Mr. Waffle Man!"

Mr. Waffle Man quickly fixed the situation and delivered her hot waffle. Matt chatted with them while they ate and told them that we were there for a big soccer tournament. They had noticed all the families and the soccer uniforms. "You must be a coach." they said.

"No, My son is a player. I'm just a parent." he replied.

And then she said it.

"But you're too young to be a parent!"

Matt was loving it. "You heard her, didn't you?" he said.

"Yes, dear, I heard her."

We got on the elevator to go back to the room.

"Is there any cure for advanced glaucoma?" I asked.

Because sometimes it's fun to be evil.

Her vision was fine, actually. Matt does look young. And he is sweet. And, of course, now he is Mr. Waffle Man.

Happy 46  Love.
Lewis, Matt, and Max in Malibu.

Nov 15, 2010

weekend in review

We went to the Gaylord Sheppard Soccer Tournament in Albuquerque. Lost all 3 games, but Max scored a goal and we all had fun.

Went to Trader Joe's to stock up on cool packaging and cheap wine. Worth the trip!

Went to REI for the first time in my life. Not sure why we go to an 'outdoor' store when we go to the big city, as that is the only type of store that we DO have in Durango.... creatures of habit, I guess.

Ate at this very fun and festive restaurant in Bernalillo. Highly recommend!

Bought some of these.

It's nice to get away, if even for a night, and be reminded of the joys of a big(ger) city. Albuquerque almost feels foreign, with it's Mexican flair.

Note to self, go more often.

Nov 12, 2010

the rainbow room

I have not forgotten about the photos I promised of Della's room redo. I really haven't. The truth is, I am so thoroughly put out with my picture taking ability that I could just scream. Why can't I take a decent photo? Why does it always look like a dank fog has just blown in off the North Sea? I know that I can blame part of it on my camera. I had a better one and it was in my purse and salad dressing got deep into its bowels and ruined it. So there's that. But in general I'm a lousy picture taker (I'm even scared to use the word photographer) and I have a hard time retaining concepts like aperture or whatever. I need a camera that does it all for me. This one. Because 'photographer' is not on life's to do list.

I've taken the 'long way round' to sharing some crappy photos of Della's room, haven't I? I LOVE this room. You can see it from the kitchen table and it literally GLOWS! It was an awful little storage room before with ripped up linoleum and a gnarly paint job, poor child. I found a carpet remnant from our old trailer (sounds glamorous!?)  and carpeted for the sake of warmth and playability. And then I went a bit haywire on the painting. Bearing in mind, that 'subtle' is not often in my vocab, here you go. Fog and all .

I did have the presence of mind to leave two walls neutral so my sweet girl won't go insane and fling herself off the rainbow bridge. My two favorite pillows in the world are on that bed...a needlepoint Taurus bull that came from my great aunt Wyche and my ultimate thrift score..."viva mexico" in 
Bargello cross stitch.

A few more 'favorites' are the hand knit turtle stool from Firefly and the lamp with children climbing all over it that I got for Christmas one year in highschool. Daddy made the shelves. That's a portrait I did of our favorite cat growing up, but it will be replaced one day by a flamenco dancer on black velvet in a gilt frame. (I saw it and it slipped through my fingers at the thrift store....it will add the right edge) I do not like the duvet cover, it's too matchy, but it's what we had and will do until the proper one presents itself.

This is another personal favorite. This sign has hung on her door for most of her life. Lewis made it at around age 4 and it says...... for those of you with limited kid speak abilities.... 'weapon girl'. Because we are a peace loving group of folks.

And check this out. This is my mom, as a little girl. I love the outfit and the muff and her sturdy little legs in those white socks and the sweet bangs. Who does it remind you of? Yes, just a little!!?!

So there is the redo in a nutshell. The final touch will be a canopy from the ceiling over the top of her bed. To keep the fog out. Happy weekend ya'll!

Nov 11, 2010

first snow. yikes.

A Laura Driver Lantern hanging on the front porch...so pretty with the snow!
Good Morning! It's snowing! And the mad dash begins! Della is asking for her Little House book  with the recipe for sugar and molasses snow candy. Max has had his ski suit out for weeks and thankfully Lewis and Della's are in the closet...not buried somewhere in the garage. Hats, gloves, scarves, shells, smart wools, boots, long underwear, and on and on and on. Add ski gear and sleds and two sets for each kid, for when the first set is soaked or muddy, and you have a recipe for mild hysteria, a swimming pool in the entrance hall, and a constant set of something drying by the woodstove. I had sort of forgotten. I remember now and we're only about thirty minutes into the whole thing.

 Give me my Bogs and a down jacket over my pajamas and I can make it all happen. But just barely.

All sweet Lewis wanted to do is go pee in the snow. His urgency was compounded by too many zippers, but he made it! Oh, to be eight!

We had leftover pizza and hot cocoa for breakfast and Daddy got them all to school on time. I think I'll attempt to organize winter stuff today.............happy first snow, friends!

P.S. Aren't I lucky to have a sweet sister, who will graciously point out to me and the world wide web that "my knees are falling"!! I don't even know what that means! Thanx Nan! :)