Category Archives: the mistress

I Still Have a Few Tricks Up My Sleeve

This was the present I was most excited to give this year.


I was torn between wanting him to open it on the first night or waiting for the last night. Or maybe his birthday (which falls the night after Hanukkah ends).


But Quinn decided on last night for me. He grabbed the package from the closet and said ‘For you Daddy!’ There was no turning back.

If you’ve been visiting here for a while you’ll know the saga of My Husband’s Mistress. It’s over now—we closed on the sale in September. It was such an ordeal that we almost weren’t sad to see it go.




And now with a Christmas trip to his family looming and no place of our own to stay, well, there’s a void.

So when Niall opened this last night and was pouring over it and Jake said ‘It’s a little bittersweet, huh, Nye?’ to say that I had a lump in my throat would be an understatement.


I ordered it through Apple and think the printing is really nice. I’m thrilled with the finished product and I think Niall really liked it too.

If you want to see more pictures of The Mistress you can click over here.

A Difficult Choice

I’m superstitious.

I wish I weren’t (I think it’s stupid). I fully understand that just saying something isn’t going to make it happen. And yet, I knock wood. I know that purchasing baby items before a baby is born doesn’t sabotage a pregnancy. And yet, I didn’t have a single diaper in the house before my first born came home from the hospital. I worry about ‘jinxing’ a situation by talking about it so I keep quiet until I’m sure of the outcome.

So I didn’t mention that we were selling the Mistress until the contract was signed and the deposit was sent.

It’s a sad moment for us.

We live in a small unremarkable house in the suburbs of New York City and we don’t particularly like it. We are tied to it because of commitments we’ve made and we accept it for the most part and make ourselves comfortable. The lack of space hasn’t much mattered to me because I knew that six acres of lovely fields and woods were waiting for us someday in Southern Vermont. And you all know how Niall feels about the house. (At times I’ve wondered who his true love was.) But we’re currently a one income family for all intents and purposes and the one income isn’t enough to support two homes.

There are always choices to be made.

Could I put the baby in day-care and work full-time and possibly make it so we could reasonably hang on to the house? Probably. Do I want to? No. So we have made a choice to give up one dream for holding on to another. It was hard to get here. We tried to make it work and frankly, we made it worse.

We’ve been up there weekends cleaning and clearing and making the most of the time left.

These canning jars were all found in the basement of the house when Niall bought it in 1991.

Many were filled with tomatoes (at least, that’s what they appeared to be—no one tried them to be sure). They date back to the early part of the century and are tinted varying shades of blue. We used some of them as vases to hold wildflowers on the tables at our wedding. Now they sit all in a row along the tops of our kitchen cabinets. I hope one day we can pack them up and bring them back to Vermont and have them line the shelves of a different house.

The closing is scheduled to take place in the upcoming weeks and it’s a relief. A weight has been lifted and we know it’s the right thing to do. But it’s sad and hard and I wish it could be different.

I tell myself with a lump in my throat: we do what we have to do to make it work.

And I hear my mother’s voice saying: this too shall pass.

Beating a Dead Horse

If you’ll indulge me one more post about my method for piecing curves I’ve got a few things I’d like to clarify.

First off, what made me feel like a dummy wasn’t how I did it. Actually, I kind of like that I dreamed a quilt and made it real all without being taught, well, anything at all. Why I felt silly was that there was another, very simple and obvious method out there that didn’t occur to me and that I didn’t put it forth as an option. Also that Niall had tried to explain it to me—at length—and all Andrea had to do was draw me a simple diagram and—click! (Anyone else out there a visual learner?)

I can report that I’ve tried both methods now and I think they both have their merits. For this particular quilt I like cutting both the pie and the slice from one piece of fabric because the design works nicely with pairs. I do think that cutting from two templates makes for easier sewing. Much easier sewing actually. And when using scraps, and in situations where you don’t need two pieces of each fabric I think I’ll go with that method.

As a final word I’ll point you to Niall’s comment left on the last post. Maybe you’ll understand what he’s saying or maybe you’ll see why I didn’t get it at first. Either way, it’s time to move on.

I’m making slow progress on the Roundabout quilt. The delightfully lazy afternoons of July are calling to me and the sewing machine hasn’t been all that compelling of late.

All the photos in this post (and yes, they are completely unrelated to the content) were taken this weekend in Vermont. We’ve been clearing out the front rooms in our house in preparation for an upcoming project. (Details to follow soon.) There were no fewer than five sewing machines in various states of un-usability upstairs. Does anyone know if these are of any value?

If nothing else, they’re fun to photograph!