Author Archives: robynbird

About robynbird

I've been a writer since I could hold a pencil in my hand. I'm learning new and wonderful things about myself through my writing and realized it isn't enough just to write it down, I need to share it. What I have to say may not be Earth shattering, but it is filled with love and I hope it moves those who read it.

a tune for Tuesday vol 86

I first heard Into the Ocean in 2006.
Then discovered Blue October’s back catalog and fell in love!
There is no shortage of feels in their music, and those feels go straight into your soul.
I’ve seen Justin and the guys many times in small venues, and the intimacy they bring is unparalleled.
This is Oh My My from their new album This is What I Live For.
What do y’all think?

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 85

Thing 1 and I heard this fun tune in the car and kind of dug it.
What do y’all think?
Here’s Claire rosinkranz with Backyard Boy.

Please listen resonsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

flea market finds

My sister in law texted me Friday afternoon wondering if I’d be interested in some girlie time over the weekend. She wanted to go to the flea market, did I want to join her? Did Thing 1 want to join us? Did Baby K want to join us?
Thing 1 quickly said Baby K didn’t want to join us. In doing her best to keep Baby K safe, Thing 1 hasn’t taken her out of their house or our house but to go to the doctor the week after her birthday in April, and for the trip from GA to VA in July.

YBW asked which flea market before reminding me that “We’re decluttering”. Then he volunteered to look after the baby while we were gone. So between her daddy and Papa, Baby K was in high cotton and didn’t really care that her mama and Birdie weren’t home.
Meanwhile, I’ve pretty much ‘decluttered’ all my personal things so I went on with a clean conscience.

Shen-Valley Flea Market was a bit disappointing. We were later on in the day and most vendors already cleaned up and left, of the few remaining, most were cleaning up. To be perfectly honest though, it was disappointing. Thing 1 found some great crystals, other than that it was mostly junk.
But that’s OK because we stopped at the flea market at Warren County Fairgrounds on our way to Shen-Valley.

While we sifted through many unnecessary things, we did find treasure!

I sent this photo to Thing 2 with the words: I kind of think you need it. Do you?
Her response: I kinda need it if you haven’t left yet.

When I went back to get it, I noticed something interesting.

Now I (really really really) hope she’ll start using Ken McClure as her pseudonym.

Thing 1 found a seven inch iron skillet in excellent condition. My sister in law is into antique jewelry and found a beautiful peridot(?) ring for a little bit of nothing.

A bag of wooden spools for Baby K.
You know, as an ECE I’m all about open ended toys. She already plays with antique French bobbins and wooden spools, so these just added to her play.

And then I found this!

At first, I couldn’t justify buying it because I didn’t know what I was going to do with it. But the more I looked at it, and touched it, the more I knew I wanted it. So, I haggled with the guy and got a price that pleased me.
It is currently sitting on the antique singer sewing machine we use as an end table, but I don’t think it’ll take long for me to discover its perfect use.
I did a little research and I’m happy to report I got this spool box for a steal!
I now know interesting things about Clark Thread Company, like they created a new way to spin cotton into thread when silk stopped coming into Scotland from France because of Napoleon. They called this ‘our new thread’ and the O.N.T (as seen on the box) was born.
How cool is that!?! I got a super cool (cotton) spool cabinet and a history lesson! It doesn’t get much more Roby than that!

We even stopped at Naked Mountain Winery on our way home.
It was lovely to have a girlie adventure day!
We’re going to make it a more regular sort of thing and all the guys expressed interest, so our next adventure will be co-ed.

I’ve spent so much time in lock down. So much time focused on the two houses, and getting things ready to have my daughter’s family here. I forgot how much fun it is to just spend a day doing spontaneously random things.
We need more shoot days. More flea market days. More spending the day in the park days.
I feel a bit like Belle…

Even if it’s just toodle-pipping around the flea market.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 84

Y’all!
I am absolutely loving this song!
Check out Hell N Back by Bakar and let me know what you think!

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

timelines and titles

Turns out I have a new title to add to my list.
Project Manager.
I mean, it’s not that serious, the title. However the project is pretty serious.
The project is getting this house ready to go on the market.
I mentioned I was concerned it felt like a long time, but between now and May isn’t all that long.
And though the list isn’t terribly long, it’s still a list.

Remodeling will be tricky with extra people in the house. But we’re just going to have to find a way to make it work. Since we’ll be down two bathrooms, (hopefully one at a time) Thing G is moving to his mom’s sooner than originally planned. He expressed his disappointment and anxiety. YBW encouraged him to examine what about the change was causing his anxiety. Thing 1 assured him leaving the home he grew up in was a big deal so feeling anxious about it was normal. YBW and I were gentle with him when we made it clear he was truly without choice in the matter and reassured him of our love and support. We reminded him he was not being thrown to the wolves but going to his other parent where he would be loved and supported. He’s accepting of the situation, and we’re accepting of his feels.

YBW and I created a preliminary timeline yesterday. One that we’re both comfortable with. It started out a bit with him questioning my proposed timing. But then I expressed my concern about pushing everything off. I said I’d rather get it all done and breathe than be panicked about getting it finished in time. When I likened it to his travel anxiety he had an ah-ha moment and agreed to my proposed timeline. (He’d rather get to the airport early, get through security then use that extra time to walk around or sit at the gate than be running through the airport to get to the gate before the plane door closes. TBPH, I feel the same damn way.)

So our prelim timeline looks like two bathrooms asap, one right after the other.
Painting immediately after the holidays.
Flooring in March.
Pressure washing the exterior and lawn and garden touch ups in April.
All the myriad things can be inserted when and where most applicable.

The master bath plain old boring builder grade stuff that’s never been changed in the twenty years YBW’s lived here. We talked about changing it many times and right about the time we were ready to pull the trigger, the new house became a thing and we abandoned those elaborate plans.
Now we’re just going to update the floor and tile, light fixture, faucets, and cabinets.
Thing 1 and I went looking at tile Friday morning. (both my girls love any excuse for a trip to the hardware store)
We found this tile for the shower and tub surround.

We chose these beautiful porcelain tiles. The white ones are .79 and the carrara looking ones are .99 and I plan to set them vertically. We found 12 x 12 squares in a gorgeous gray for the floor.
Done and done.

On my calendar today is to call the contractors.
My notebook and pen are at the ready!
I got this!

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

tricked out kitchen in a smart house

When it comes to the new house, YBW is eager to make it a smart house. He’d love for there to be a central command (thingie) that we can tell to do what we want it to do. You know, like saying “OK Google” or “Alexa” but it’ll be connected to all of our house and have it’s own name.
It feels so Varrick to me.

(For those of y’all that don’t know, this is a The Legend of Korra reference. I did not enjoy Korra anywhere near as much as it’s predecessor, Avatar: The Last Airbender, which I absolutely adored.)

Anyway…
YBW is all about making the house work for us. To be able to control lights and thermostat and even the garage door from a tablet. That if we weren’t sure we’d turned out the lights on the ground floor he could push a button from the bedroom so we didn’t have to go down and back two flights of stairs. He wants the house to do as much as possible from a central hub.
I love to watch his brain work. See his face get all excited at the smart house possibilities. He’s committed to making our forever home one that does all the things we need, and many of the things we want.
For the most part, I’m interested in learning how to use it once it’s set up, but I’m less enthusiastic about choosing how to set it up. He’s cool with that, as long as he can get his geek on. He’s super patient when I ask questions that probably aren’t applicable, or he just explained to me.
I’m more concerned about surround sound for the big tv, and speakers around the house so I can play music. But there is a bit of pleasure at the thought of being able to turn things on and off from a screen…
We each love what we love, right?
My husband loves science and math and tech and super cool nerdy things. He is getting to play with that in creating a smart house that works for him.
I support this fully!
I’m like, get your geek on, bud! Hook it all up and make it do your bidding. (But please let the command be “Zhu Li do the thing” so I’m constantly amused.)

I want to get my geek on in the kitchen!


This picture is the kitchen at the model.

My kitchen will have a bigger island (my favorite design option). It will have another row of cabinets above the wall cabinets up to the ceiling. The hood vent will be hidden behind cabinetry. And the lower cabinets will have more drawer units than cabinets with doors.
All the cabinetry will be navy and look a little something like this.

I’m salty about paying so much for a brand new house and having wire shelving, so…
I may want to trick out the pantry.
I’m already designing closet systems for our closet, probably Pax from IKEA, but I’m also looking at Easy Closets.

The laundry room is on the bedroom level (thaaaaaank yooooou) it’ll start out boring, but I’ll fancy it up too.
With a roof deck, main level porch deck, and ground level back yard, I’m getting excited about designing outdoor spaces too. Plant life and lighting, water features and accessories will create beautiful spaces for us to be outside.

Now, if YBW’s smart house can control outdoor lights and fountains, etc. or could somehow make my laundry run, I’d be inclined to get as excited as he is!
“Zhu Li do ALL the things!”

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 83

Nearly six years has passed since this song was released, but I’m hearing it quite a bit lately. And I remembered how much I actually love it.

Even though it’s possible you’ve already heard it, I’m curious what you think after hearing with new ears Cecilia And The Satellite, this beautiful song by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Monday thoughts

My brain feels like it is chock full of mush. Something between the texture of cream of wheat and raw pizza dough.
It could be because that storm is headed this way.
It could be because I still don’t feel rested.

These are my random thoughts today:

We’re starting to get the hang of life around here. All these humans and canines in one place. We’re finding our way at becoming members of one household.
Baby K alternates from ‘most adorable baby on the planet’ to ‘face slapping and scratching demon baby’ in a way that is perplexing but makes a kind of sense. She is trying to get nine-hundred-seventy-three-thousand teeth all at once, but damn! Of course then she’s all lovey and snuggly and sings songs with you and you forget she was demonish.
Never a dull moment in life with a toddler.

August is here, and I’d normally be gearing up for going back to school. Only that’s not a thing this year. So disappointing.
I’ve contracted with a family to essentially tutor their daughter as they navigate online school. At least I’ll be able to work a little. I like the idea of working with kids to facilitate their learning. I’m hoping to schedule with (up to) five kids scheduled twice a week.

I have this concept that time is on my side when it comes to design plans for the new house and preparing this house for sale. In reality, it probably isn’t.
We’re about to schedule the ‘low voltage’ appointment to decide where all the extra normal and fancy electric stuff will be. Within another sixty days, we’ll do the appointment I’m most enthusiastic about, deciding things for the kitchen and bathrooms.
The house is scheduled for summer 2021 delivery.
In this house, we need new flooring on the first and second floors, and some rooms painted. We have to ‘unpersonalize’ by removing all our family photos etc. Our bathroom must be updated, and possibly the bathroom YBW’s sons use(d). Thing 1’s family can’t move until Husband N has a job and they can purchase their own home. Thing G is supposed to be moving to his mother’s ‘by the end of the calendar year’. Sooner than later would be good at this point because construction can’t take place conveniently with five adults and a baby sharing two bathrooms.

My brain isn’t working the way I’d like it to. I’m having so much more aphasia of late. Some migraine aura but no pain. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not really doing things to promote brain health, or because I’m so damn tired.
I know I have to find balance in figuring how to make time for myself while engaging my fam. I’m working on it.
I think naps may become part of my days until I finally feel rested.

It occurs to me these thoughts are so very Monday.
Even though I feel off kilter, I am filled with love and gratitude. I am hopeful.
When I begin to feel better, that hope, gratitude, and love will fuel me living my intention and nothing can stop me!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

one week in

One week in and we’re (mostly) settled.
Baby K’s room is organized and furnished.
Seven large (reusable) shopping bags of food and one cooler of frozen food found a place in our cabinets and freezers.
Dog beds, food, treats, leashes and harnesses organized.
Thing 1 and Husband N haven’t yet organized their clothes in their room, or been able to put some things away. But they have comfy pillows upon which to lay their heads. And yesterday, I (think) I fixed the shower curtain rod so it won’t fall down randomly in the middle of the night.
We’ve got new magnetic cabinet locks in the kitchen, and gates at the stairs. We say, “Off!” more than we ever have before, but the giant puppy is learning he can’t express his love by climbing up the front of us. And even though dogs aren’t my chosen animal, he and I are becoming especially close.

I’m joyful to be around my daughter and her family!
I am also exhausted!
I don’t know if it’s that I’ve forgotten how hard it is to be a stay at home mom, or if I just blocked it! Of course, when my babies were babies I was twenty years younger.
Baby K keeps us on our toes.
I’m having a hard time not wanting to spend all my time with her.
In the past, if they were here, it was for a limited time and I had to get as much time in as possible. Now, they’re here all the time. I’m beginning to realize I can pace myself.

Thing 1 and I ran to Target yesterday. With the exception of the drive here, a pediatrician and vet visit, it’s the first time she’s been out in the world since they left here in March. She didn’t quite know what to do with herself!

I’m working to remember that my life is different than it was a mere week ago. I’m working to remember that I’m separate from my daughter and granddaughter. That I can do my me things while they do theirs.
That said, I’m currently watching Baby K, clad only in a diaper, go through a stack of CDs while her mama tells her, “No ma’am.” and is guiding her to put them back in the bag from where they came.
I’m amused.
I’m joyful.
I’m doing my me thing while still enjoying being with my daughter and her family.

From Baby K’s room at the opposite end of the hall from mine, I just heard Thing 1 tell Baby K, “Come here and let’s get dressed. I’m tired of you being a diaper baby.”
I giggled.
Exhausting or not, why would I want to miss that?

Humans are so much more adaptable than we realize.
We get all complacent. Inertia keeps us stuck in our ruts.
But when presented with an opportunity to adapt (for the most part) we’re super capable!

One week in and I’m realizing how truly blessed I am to be with my granddaughter.
One week in and I’m realizing how exhausting it is to have a toddler in the house.
One week in and I’m realizing my daughter is a grown woman and mother and doesn’t need me to actively mother her.
One week in and I’m realizing balance is the thing that will keep us going.


We got this!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 82

I’ve liked many Twenty One Pilots songs over the years.
(looking especially at you Chlorine)
But this new one wormed its way into my ear and set up residence and I’m cool with that.
Let me know what y’all think about Level of Concern.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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