Friday, July 31, 2009

Rachel's Return

In just less than an hour, Rachel will be landing.


Remember my last trip to see her? Life just hasn't been the same since. So, I made her fly home for the weekend and come see me (well, not really, but I'd like to think she'd hop on a plane at the drop of a hat if I told her to at any given moment--she actually has a bridal shower to attend, but whatever).

We're going to have so much fun--bonfires, South African wine, family cookouts, swimming, summer ale, lazy mornings with pancakes, tintos . . . the possibilities are endless. (I do realize this list includes three instances of alcohol. But c'mon, Rachel's gonna be home, people.)

I'll be sure to take many photos (who are we kidding? If Rachel's here of course there will be photos).

Have a happy weekend!

Ray LaMontagne

I'm so excited. I just had to share.


Maybe you don't understand how much I love him. I've seen him twice before, but missed his tour this past April. Bummer, I know. I'll do anything to see him again.

I think he may be the sole reason why I find men in plaid shirts with beards so damn attractive.

Not familiar with Ray LaMontagne, you say? Shame on you. Just kidding. Kind of. Really though, he's too good of a musician to miss.

Well, now I'll help bring you into the real world and share with you his music. Here's my personal favorite from his debut album, Trouble:

See? I know, now you're hooked. Buy tickets Monday morning at 10am. Just please let me get front row first. I'm still deciding if I should go to Boston or New York . . .

Oh, and I'll let you know once we've set our wedding date.

(This time I wasn't kidding.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Two Skirts

These are the skirts that I've completed so far. Surprisingly, I didn't do anything terribly wrong and they came out okay (and by okay I mean simply fitting, because I've really mucked up quite a few of my "creations" because I didn't measure right or cut wrong--things of that nature).



"Sylvia" is much more comfortable, with cinching at the waist and a much looser fit (which I realize now is much less flattering). "Alison" is tight tight tight and definitely not as comfortable, but could be dressed up a little easier, I think. Both are made with elastic waists (read: I don't know how to sew beyond this).

So luckily, these are wear-able. I've never followed a pattern or anything (because I don't even know how to), so this are really originals. If there are expert seamstresses out there (or seamsters, seamers, sewing-men--whatever), please don't judge these. I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm okay with that.

(Are you new to Ruth Writes? Welcome! Be sure to become a follower and check back often for updates--thanks for visiting!)

Lisa Mitchell

I couldn't resist. I just had to share this.

This is Lisa Mitchell, who was on Australian Idol and whose debut album comes out this week. I just sat here for all three minutes and fifteen seconds completely entranced by this video. She's one of those lucky girls who will always look absolutely gorgeous, even if that means with no make-up and half asleep.

Excuse me, I have a new CD to go buy . . .


Have you seen this?

A friend of mine who just completed a year of AmeriCorps told me about CouchSurfing--finding random strangers who offer you their couch for free. She did it in Portland, Oregon with her friend and thought it was the coolest thing. Her hostess even took them out for the night, showing them hotspots around the city.

I browsed through the site and even found people I know in my area offering their couches! If I travel again anytime soon, I'd like to think I'd be brave enough to try this!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bring it on, I can take it

Today, I was kindly told by a five-year-old that I "probably weigh about one-hundred-thousand-million pounds." Okay, so George Little never knows what he's talking about, but c'mon. Just bash my ego with a stick. SuperTooth guessed better at one hundred pounds (or so I'd like to believe . . .)

We went to this cool park/zoo/hiking place today. My weight seemed to be the subject of conversation all day long, somehow. The wit of little children, really. As we were looking at the emus, Mary read the sign that said they can weigh up to one hundred pounds. She leaned in to the emu through the fence and whispered extremely audibly, "Hey emu, you and my sister almost weigh the same--except my sister weighs more!" And then she turned to me and said, "See, Ruth? You're not alone. Emus weigh a lot, too."

I almost skipped lunch today.

But hey, I can take it. Bring it on, little kids. I may not be four-and-a-half feet tall and sixty-five pounds, but hey, I'm not in a booster seat anymore, either.

This all happened while I brought all three kids to the park, all. morning. long.

What was I thinking? My three-and-a-half mile run/walk from the day before (yes, I finally did it!) was kicking in and my poor muscles were tired. Wrangling three loud children through a park/zoo was not such a good idea.

I always used to judge moms who seemed like they weren't doing anything to discipline their children when they acted out in public. Now I get it. I can't tell you how many evil stares I got as George Little whined and cried while I calmly tried to tell him that he had to sit for one minute (the horror, I know) after kicking his sister down the slide and making her cry. Now not only were surrounding parents judging me for obviously being a ridiculously young mother of three (riiight) but now they were glaring at me for making this child cry. If I had reprimanded him and put him in a real time-out like I would have done if we were at home, I surely would have been been tied to the monkey bars and beaten with the swings. Disciplining in public is intimidating.

Anyway, we had fun at the park. It was a long day. Tomorrow I plan on forcing them outside (please God, don't let it rain) and making them actually use their imaginations. If tomorrow is anything like today was, I just may be one sad, unemployed college graduate tomorrow afternoon. Just kidding.

I was happy when we finally pulled into their driveway and I could release George Little and SuperTooth to their mother.

Until tomorrow, that is.

I had a silly little movie to show you, but Blogger is being even sillier and won't let me upload it. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.

Pool Days

I'm pretty sure I already have a post called "Pool Days," but oh well. That's what we had--a hazy lazy pool day. If only every summer day was like this . . .

Monday, July 27, 2009

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Yet another installment of the crazy/entertaining/somewhat-weird videos I have of Mary.

Have you ever seen a nine-year-old who knows so many words to Elton John songs?

Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road from Ruth Writes on Vimeo.

Strawberry Swing

This is my very favorite song on Coldplay's newest album. It's strangely peaceful and full of memories for me. See the animated video in the clip above and check out the original full-length version here.

A Dapple of My Weekend

I know, I took all of five pictures this weekend. I was really not in a picture-taking mood. Ever. So I squeezed out the few that I did and you'll have to take my word for the rest. This weekend was filled with:

.Seeing The Ugly Truth (You can guess what happens from seeing 5 seconds of the preview--save your money)

.Early morning intense yoga

.Baking homemade bagels for the first time!

.Visiting the fabric store and buying remnants (I love the remnants section)

.Making a skirt with said remnants (I'll share soon!)

.Eating lots of Greek yogurt with honey and granola

.Cleaning and list-making (duh)

.And lots of episodes of The Office

My weekend was supposed to be filled with, but wasn't:

.A beach trip, and

.A long run (I swear, next time I'm just braving it and running in the rain--when will it finally stop?!)

My weekend was a bit disappointing. Hopefully yours was better?

(Are you new to Ruth Writes? Welcome! Be sure to become a follower and check back often for updates--thanks for visiting!)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

To 'Book or Not to 'Book

That is the question.

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. We've been pretty rocky lately. Actually, our relationship has always been pretty rocky.

The summer before I went to college Facebook was just becoming hip. I immediately signed up, found my future roommate, stalked her all summer, and so it began.

Everyone at school had Facebook. You could look up the cute boys who lived in the dorm room downstairs or the cute boy you bumped into in the dining hall. You could search for long lost friends or past crushes (this was before anyone realized they should make their profiles private, and everyone could see everything). Hours were spent in the same room as other human beings while each one of us would be on our laptops, getting sucked into Facebook page after Facebook page. My roommate and I would be up until the early hours of the morning, not speaking for hours besides the rare, "Oh, go look at so-and-so's profile, they updated their interests and you just have to see it." (You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.)

Throughout college, this infatuation grew. Finally, I moved to South Africa for four months and just couldn't handle the pressure. I "deactivated" (read: canceled) my account. Facebook wanted to know why I was leaving. I selected every option (too much drama, too much time wasted on it, not purposeful, etc). I just didn't want to be wasting time in Africa on my computer at all, let alone a social networking site. Also, internet there was ridiculously expensive and Facebook's endless amounts of photos and videos just sucked up all my bandwidth. It was quick and clean.

I got back to America and the endless nights of jet lag forced me to find something to do online. I signed right back in and Facebook welcomed me with open arms. I knew I always loved it. I caught up on everything I had missed in the past four months and updated my profile. I even added pictures. We were happy again.

Fast forward a year. I never went on. I found that skimming through practical-strangers' photo albums really just didn't do it for me anymore. I wasn't as enthralled with snooping on who wrote what on whose wall yesterday at 3am. I'd get the infrequent emails informing me whose birthdays were coming up, and I just deleted them. If I really felt strongly about wishing someone a happy birthday, I'd just call them. And if I didn't have their number, well, I probably wasn't close enough to be wishing them happy birthdays anyway. I once again deactivated.

Just recently, I decided I needed to be more social. After much deliberation, I reactivated my account (again, Facebook let me right back in. So reliable). I realized that yes, I did miss it a teensy bit. I'm practicing self-control and not wasting every waking minute on it, but I do go on from time to time and see what's new. Before I knew it I was getting friend requests and weird group invitations and messages and realized that even my ex-boyfriend's mother was on it.

I used to scan each person's profile who friended me and decide if I should really accept or not. After all, some of these people I hardly even knew. Now, I don't care much. Facebook isn't the end-all-be-all and I really don't take it seriously. I'm not going to tell you if I'm looking for "A Relationship" or "Random Play" or "Just Friendship" and I'm not going to update my status every five minutes with what I'm doing next. While I will censor any pictures tagged of me and what people write on my wall, I'd probably think a little less of an employer if they didn't hire me on the grounds of something they saw on my Facebook page.

I still love Facebook, but we're really in more of an open relationship now. I don't care if the layout is changed every other week with new silly gadgets and applications, and it won't care if I don't log in for weeks at a time. We've come a long way. We've been through a lot. It's okay now.

I'm curious: what do you all think of Facebook? Do you have a profile? Do you use it often? Are you addicted? Do you hate it? Do you boycott? Do you think less of those who use it?

This social phenomenon (which I truly believe it is) fascinates me.

. . . . . And don't even get me started on MySpace.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fancy Schmancy

Check out these adorable earrings by Jana of The Art Process on Etsy:

"Dancing Ladies"

"Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater"

Aren't these lovely? And they're only $10! I just may have to buy a pair . . . (And be sure to check out her accompanying blog!)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Starbucks, Swans, and Swings

This morning I took the kids to Starbucks for some hot chocolates and brownies. I think we're going to make it a Thursday morning ritual--hey, bribing kids with sugar to sit in Starbucks quietly for ten minutes while I get my morning caffeine isn't such a bad idea, right?

Mary, SuperTooth, and George Little (not their real names, clearly) were actually well-behaved. Which is a surprise, believe me. It wouldn't have happened without that sixty-second super-stern talk I gave them in the car before we went in (I really don't know what's with the "s" alliteration today).

After that we went over to the park across the street and visited the geese and ducks. We even saw swans. I'd like to think that I planned this stuff out and did it purposely for some educational field trip, but I didn't, not really. I'll tell their mother I did though, I think.

Mary and SuperTooth really got into taking their own pictures, which I thought was pretty cool (see the photo below--Mary said it was "like an explorer capturing them through the branches"). I love to see how excited they get about something fun like photography. They even told me they wanted their own cameras. I practically had to pry mine out of their little fingers before they broke it.

After that, the playground called to them and they thankfully entertained themselves for awhile. I'm trying to encourage them to use their imaginations--I can remember playing outside for hours as a kid, even by myself, just wandering the yard talking to my dolls and making up stories (wait, is that weird?). Mary, SuperTooth, and George Little still need some encouraging though.

All in all, it was a fun morning. At least we got out of the house and into a different town. Who knows what next week will hold . . .

(In case you're new to the blog, these are not my children. I'm a nanny to two of them and one is my little sister. Despite the fact that I get asked all the time by silly mothers, "Which one is yours?" and "Oh wow, are you with all three of them?", no, I did not give birth at the age of twelve. Just so we're clear.)


Have you guys seen this?

While reading one of my very favorite blogs, Heart of Light, I came across one of her posts about this alternative way to incorporate new veggies into meals--the CSA box (Community Supported Agriculture). Seriously . . . this is brilliant.

You just go to the Local Harvest website, type in your area code, and find things in your area--farms, CSAs, farmer's markets, co-ops, and restaurants. You get a box (I think every week) filled with a random assortment of veggies and fruits, which is a great way to experiment with never-before-eaten foods.

If I had my own kitchen and actually cooked for myself (I suppose one good thing about living at home is having Mom's homecooked dinners . . .), I would totally do this. Check it out!

(Are you new to Ruth Writes? Welcome! Be sure to become a follower and check back often for updates--thanks for visiting!)

(Photo via

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Monstrosity of Wal-Mart

I just saw the film "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices." It was incredibly good--I would highly recommend it. I think you can even see it in pieces on YouTube. Check out this hilarious, yet disgusting, clip:

Hairy Larry

There once was a man named Larry,
Who was so very hairy.
He found out one day
He had to work at a bay,
And brought back a fish named Barry.
By: Mary

Rainy Afternoon

What are you up to this afternoon? Here in Connecticut it's absolutely gloomy--a perfect day for staying in bed and cuddling up with a book and some tea.

I spent some time this afternoon looking through old photographs with Mary on the living room carpet, in attempts to organize them.

I just love seeing old pictures from my childhood. I especially love when you come across a really old one and a really recent one right next to each other--it's so strange to see backyards changing and children growing and new people entering our lives, don't you think?

PS: The interview went extraordinarily well. I'll update tomorrow!

(Are you new to Ruth Writes? Welcome! Be sure to become a follower and check back often for updates--thanks for visiting!)

Rain + No Bed = No Fun

On this drizzly gray morning, all I want to do is climb back into bed with my kitty.

Instead, I'm trudging out to Hartford for an AmeriCorps interview.

Wish me luck!

(Photo via .littlegirlblue.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Dapple of My Weekend

I spent my weekend catching up with old friends, driving in the rain, attemping my first stitched notecards, catching up on sleep, visiting the Brimfield Flea Market with Abby, finally seeing Amelie, early Sunday morning yoga, skinny vanilla lattes from Starbucks, tanning in the backyard and reading Emily Bronte, baking banana-rum-walnut biscotti, and late night not-so-scary movies.

How was your weekend?

(Are you new to Ruth Writes? Welcome! Be sure to become a follower and check back often for updates--thanks for visiting!)