Hatton House Diaries

One day, we decided to buy a 125 year old Victorian House in Des Moines, Iowa…….

Day 3 – Minimalism Game – Orphaned Mitten Day November 3, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 10:18 pm
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wpid-20131105_090635.jpgIt’s time to let go of mittens with no matches. I’m giving up on ever finding your pairs, my friends. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out. Maybe next time, I’ll post in Craigslist Missed Connections, but today, you’re out the door. I’m going to work my way up to doing the same for your sock brethren. That’s a much bigger bag, I have a couple weeks.

 

Day 2 – Minimalism Game – Trash It! November 2, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 10:18 pm
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wpid-20131105_090705.jpgDay 2 of minimalism game brought on a big cleanout of the master bedroom and my closet. I set up boxes for sell, donate, trash/recycle, and a pile for putting things away. It was one of those situations that got worse before it got better, but by the end of it, I had two big bags of trash, and lots of organized chaos. Taking out the trash was awesome, going back to the chaos, not so much. 

 

Minimalism Game November November 1, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 10:41 pm
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I’m suffering from big house syndrome. Our house is big enough that I don’t have to declutter. I don’t have to get rid of things, I don’t need to be careful about what I bring in. I can have things on top of things, and never run out of space to live. Or do I? All this stuff just creates things on top of things , making me crazy. It’s messy, and it’s ruining my creativity.

Enter the minimalism game. I watched a friend of mine do it last month, posting the one thing that he got rid of on the first, two things on the second, three things on the 3rd, and so on, and so on. He posted how hard it was at first, but then, as he went on, how freeing it was to move so much stuff out of his house. I thought, sign me up. You can read more about Minimalism game on the original blog post here.

So here goes: November 1st, one box of box of things that I’ve kept in my bedroom for probably a year, and never donated because I was still adding stuff to it, supposedly. It’s out of the house, and I have reclaimed three square feet of my house. Bring on the rest of November!

 

Book Character Day – How an Iowa Start Up, An Iowa Author, and One Frantic Mama Come Together May 8, 2013

wpid-2013-05-08_08-07-15_945.jpgIt’s Book Character Day at my kids’ school, and my daughter loves getting into character every chance she gets (she was an amazing Wednesday Addams for Halloween this year). She informed me last week that she wanted to be Vee from Jill Hathaway’s book Slide. Aviva met Ms. Hathaway at an Iowa Author event put on by the Des Moines Public Library last year, and promptly fell in love with her book, Slide, and proceeded to beg me incessantly all winter long to check if her new book, Imposter, had been released yet. I looked up Jill on Twitter and asked for costume help, and got the response “A pink wig!”

Perfect. I happen to own a pink wig. Done and done. I went off to (or rather, failing to) convince my son to dress up as something other than a movie character (yes, I know they’re based on comic BOOKS, but I was going for creativity points). Then Monday night, Aviva checks back in with me about her costume, and I told her about Jill’s tweet, and my pink wig. I got back a disappointed look and “it’s kinda more red than pink, Mom.” Oh sure, when I wanted it to be a red wig, she thought it looked pink, but now….this feels like the beginning of pre-teen drama, but hey, I can be flexible for going the extra mile on book character day! We can pick up temporary hair color on the way home from soccer practice Tuesday night….plenty of time.

Plenty of time…until I left my wallet in my bike bag after my first of the season ride during the day, and showed up at Sally Beauty Supply with a checkbook, a phone loaded with Dwolla, but no debit card, ID, or cash. Haven’t we all been this parent at one point or another? It’s an hour before closing, the post-soccer kid is starving, you’re starving, and you’re $2 away from having the tasks of the day complete, lacking TWO STINKING DOLLARS. I asked if I could use a check without ID, nope….then I asked if they accept Dwolla, they didn’t even know what I was talking about…I was about to leave in failure, and start racing from dinner to home to back to the store in what I’m sure would have ended up a stressful and potentially disastrous evening of putting together Vee’s look, when a woman stuck her head around the corner and said “Did you say Dwolla?”

Turns out, also shopping at Sally’s was Geoff Wood’s sister, who explained that her brother was involved with ThincIowa and Silicon Prairie News, and she was so surprised/excited to hear someone mention Iowa tech startup Dwolla, that she rescued me and bought the $2 temporary pink hair color for our book character day adventures. Which turned out looking very cool in Aviva/Vee’s hair this morning, even if you can’t see most of it in this photo.

That’s Iowa for you, whether you’re looking to restore a 125 year old house, or start a tech company, it’s far and away, the place to be. The living is easy, and the people are especially nice, in a city that often feels more like a small town than a metro with half a million people. I’m Dwolla-ing Geoff $5. I hope he uses it to buy his super nice sister a beer, smoothie, or whatever appropriate thank you for saving my evening last night!

 

Almost Back From Vacation March 26, 2013

Filed under: Family Stuff — hattonhousedsm @ 8:21 pm

I had a flurry (I’m cracking myself up…just wait) of activity on my blog last week, setting up my home art studio and the studio portion of this website, and then went dark for a week. I was traveling to and from Denver, Colorado, for my other passion, following US Soccer. My family and I went to “The Battle of the Hoth,” a snowy soccer match between the US and Costa Rica in qualifying match for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. If you’d like to know more about our soccer travels, head on over to Soccer Family Style, and follow our adventures there. I’ll be back to work on the house soon, I promise….right after tonight’s game vs Mexico.

 

#BlogElul Day 3 – Intentions, And How We Harvested Our Rooster August 22, 2012

Filed under: Family Stuff,Urban Farming — hattonhousedsm @ 6:12 am

Yes….I’m starting on Day 3. Maybe I’ll go back and do Day 1 and 2, but I found this project on Day 3, so here we go.

@ImaBima posted about Elul, the Hebrew month before the Jewish High Holidays, where we, as Jews, are supposed to be introspective and reflect on our past year as we prepare for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. My friend, Adam Schaffer posted his contribution to #BlogElul, and I was intrigued, given our last few days here at the Hatton House. So I thought I’d party crash day 3, and see how this goes. The blog is in desperate need of post-vacation updating, so at the very least, we’ll have that.

I’ve been thinking about “Intentions” quite a bit in the last 2 days. Two days ago, I awoke to the sound of a rooster crowing at 9:40 AM and I thought, “That has to be one of my chickens. Only I would have a rooster that thinks dawn is at 9:40 AM.” Our chickens are about 4 months old, and there was always one that was a little bigger, but I was advised to wait for the telltale crowing or egg. I went outside and of course, the crowing stopped. I didn’t want to falsely accuse anyone, so I went inside and googled “Buff Orpington Rooster” and found a post on determining chicken sex (stop snickering…this is serious). Armed with this new information, I went back outside, and to my great dismay, one of my chickens had larger feet and sickle tail feathers. I waited until the crowing the next morning (this time at 6:30 AM) and confirmed, that yes, we had a rooster, which is illegal within the city of Des Moines. He had to go. I looked on Craigslist, but there were so many roosters already posted for $1-2, and there was no way I was going to sell him for that after raising him from a chick, to have someone else slaughter him or use him to fight. He was my responsibility.

Talking about killing aging hens after they stop laying in a few years is not the same as needing to dispatch a rooster right now. In a few years, we’ll be experienced urban farmers, and we’d be able to handle it. Yesterday, we hadn’t even had an egg yet. And things were about to get real. I posted on the Iowa Urban Chicken Farmers page and got connected with someone who pointed me to a YouTube video  produced by Permies.com. In it, she not only describes in detail how to harvest a chicken, but has the most beautiful manner of putting you at ease with it. And she got me thinking….

How much intention do we put into what we eat? This isn’t just about keeping kosher or not (I don’t) but about thinking about where our food comes from, who benefits from what we eat, and what happens to the animals that we pretend don’t have lives before they get to the butcher counter. I hadn’t thought about the life the chicken that was already in my fridge lived, and yet, you have to face it when you butcher your own food. It’s a pretty intense experience, but I’m glad to have done it (OK, I sat next to my husband and watched, but I was there). It’s like the tomatoes from your garden are so much more satisfying than store bought ones, but on the whole other level of connectivity and consciousness about food. So, as you move through Elul, whether you are Jewish or not, observant or not (this is my first awareness that I was supposed to be doing something prior to Rosh Hashana) I invite you to harvest your food (it can be from a local farmer, if you don’t have your own backyard rooster) and eat with intention.

 

New Writing Partner, Thanks to the Animal Rescue League July 24, 2012

Filed under: Family Stuff,Things We Love About Des Moines — hattonhousedsm @ 4:37 am
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We decided it was time to bring a new friend into the house. We had taken in a cat that couldn’t be cared for by his previous family, and when he ran away, the kids were heartbroken, and we were missing our mouser/birder. (Sometime this year we’ll get the roof work done, but until then, the attic is one giant birdhouse.) While looking for our lost cat at the Animal Rescue League, we peeked at the cats up for adoption, and saw Pumpernickel. He was hanging on the side of his cage, seeming desperate to come home with us, and his determination paid off. We haven’t set him loose on the attic, but he does seem to be a great cat for my writing. Sleeps with me, but not on the keyboard….we’re off to a great start. Welcome, Pumpernickel. Thanks for picking us.

 

If you’re in Des Moines, the ARL has too many kittens and cats right now. Please consider going to see if anyone is hanging on the side of a cage, waiting to go home with you.