Friday, December 26, 2014

Patience Pays Off

I have been scanning Craigslist for months looking for a nice used loft bed for Lily. Her room is rather small and a loft seemed like it would allow for a lot more space for her to play.

Then, a few weeks ago, I saw the Holy Grail of beds had been just been posted by the Bloomington Habitat Restore. It was a Pottery Barn loft with desk area below. This was exactly what I had been looking for, in great shape and at a very reasonable price. Corey and I drove straight there and I practically flew up to the counter to hand over my money in exchange for the "SOLD" sign.


It was very difficult keeping the secret but we kept the disassembled bed in the garage until Christmas. On Christmas Eve, Corey and I tried to work as quietly as possible to assemble the bed while Lily snoozed in the basement (we told her she might have a glimpse of Santa that way, since he obviously would come in through the chimney of the wood stove). Being obsessed with all things medical, I created a little doctor's office below by making some curtains out of bed sheets, and adding a little plastic drawer set filled with bandages and first aid supplies. I printed out a handful of x-ray images I found online, an eye chart and some signage for her office. I punched holes in the signs and they are hung on tiny command hooks I installed. She can switch out the x-rays and change the "open" sign to "closed". We also added some inexpensive light bars from Ikea to the underside of the bed so that there is ample light, even with the curtains closed.

The bed was a great success and she has been doctoring everything in sight. Such a lucky find and I think I might love it even more than she does.








Saturday, November 15, 2014

The new Lily


Shockwaves hit the Rieman household last Thursday when Lily made a split-second, yet drastic decision. She decided to cut her hair. My lovely friend Leslie was planning to just take a few inches, but after the hair started hitting the ground, Lily made a chopping motion to the back of her neck and said "Cut it to here". I thought she was joking because we talk almost daily about cutting it but she always insists on keeping it super long. Her nickname could have been "Lily Long Hair". It soon became apparent that she wasn't joking and I had to fight the sudden urge to cry. I know that I threaten to cut it whenever we fight over brushing, but here she was, saying she was ready and I wasn't prepared. Within minutes, the deed was done and Lily was over the moon with her new look. I think it's pretty darned cute, myself.

The anticipation…







Her first look…







We like it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Milking

This morning I slipped on my Mom's coveralls before heading out to take care of the rabbit and chickens.  The familiar fabric and smell of the coveralls flooded me with memories of my Mom. As I knocked the ice out of the chicken bucket, I felt transported back to my early years. I was sitting in the patched up lawn chair, scratching a cat and chatting with Mom as she milked.  As we talked about life and the world, the metronome "splat… splat… splat" of goats milk hitting the metal pan kept pace. I remember the smell of the udder wash, the rag from one of Dad's old t-shirts and the steam rolling off the washing bucket. I remember the way her steady, powerful hands could express twice as much milk as mine could in the same amount of time. I remember the gentile and loving way my mom stroked the goat's neck to tell her she was "all done". We had some deep conversations in the milking room. Some of my very best memories in that dusty, cobwebbby space. As a kid, I took all of that time for granted. Now I look back and realize how special it really was. Two times per day for 20 years, I knew I could find my mom and have her (almost) undivided attention. In that room she taught me who I was, and to be strong and brave and how to be a good person.

So now, as I wear these coveralls, I try not to be sad, but to be happy - for the wonderful life she gave me and the memories I like these that will always keep her close.