As part of an all-out effort to avoid the paralysis of perfectionism over here at the Lovin -Holbrook household, Behold! Barrold the Great wishes to say hi. 

This is a blog post! It is going to be all over the place. 

There is an extension cord that is snaking all over the place in this photo, and I'm not even going to care. Hi, Barry from Barryville! Hi hey. 

Barry's been upgraded to the living room these days. At our old place in Idaho he was relegated to the south wall of my bedroom, where he had no one to talk to but his own glassy-eyed reflection in the mirror. Poor puppy. Here he is constantly getting screeched at by a pair of asshole parakeets. I'm not sure if he'd consider it an upgrade or not. 

You'll notice to the left there's an old Nugo wrapper left behind by Huck that I can't seem to want to throw away for the life of me because it reminds me that he lives here, even when he is with his dad for most of the summer, and because I am a ninny. 

Today is my first full day as Not-Momming Natalie. She's the part of me that doesn't have to find a sitter in order to do things and can afford to forget to pack a lunch before bed because there is nobody really to pack a lunch for. She is a funny lady, and continues to refer to herself in the third person.

But here's what I've been up to lately, I've been carding and spinning! It's messy work but incredibly meditative. You can see my earlier attempts up top on the left, my most recent attempt in the second ceramic pot (I've gotten so much better), as well as what a professional gig looks like, there in the spools of warping below. Underneath that, I've been using those old metal slide holders to hold embroidery floss. They're the perfect shape and layout for thread cards and needlepointing on-the-go, and I feel like I spot them at antique and thrift stores here constantly. I'm thinking of opening up a shop one of these days and putting some of them in there? But not on Etsy, it turns out. They're being dumb I've been told. 

Wow, this is a real stream-of-consciousness bit going on in here.

Hoo boy, did I mention my goal towards non-perfectionism? I said to myself this morning as I was making my coffee, Hey, my living room looks relatively tidy and well-edited today! Let's make this a blog post! 

But I'd forgotten how once you take a picture of a thing you get to realize how very wrong you were about mostly everything your eyes were telling you, because this living room actually is clutt-ERED, the lighting is terrible . . .  this will never do for a blog post. Also, it is grainy as hell, and I'd forgotten about that Pikachu hat that Huck put on the parakeet's cage about a month ago, even though I see it on there every day. But I'm posting it anyway.

Other things you will notice: there's a bag of llama hair to the right of the bird cage that needs to be carded and spun, and that pile of fabric behind the sofa there is the remaining t-shirt pile I have left to embroider. Guys I'm so close to being finished! Should be shipping next week! Probably I should have been Shipping Them As I Finished Them, but this seemed right to me somehow, at the time. 

On the TV you'll note the paused end credits of the most recent episode of Westworld. OMGthemostrecentepisodeofWestworld!

Oh, blogging. 

My favorite hobby right now is going to my mom's house and telling her all my more bizarre and involved theories about blogging and writing and the state of the Internet and what it all means and how I should do it, and whether I should have to know how to do it before I do it or not . . .  She is very good and patient with me although I am ridiculous and we all know it. But she issued the most fantastic almost-compliment-but-not the other day and it has been rolling around in my head ever since. "Natalie," she said, "if I had your following, your talent, and I looked like you, I'd be making so much money right now."


And now a portion of our program that I like to call


or, if you prefer


wherein I put out into the world some of the wishes I hold that I'm perfectly capable of doing, I guess . . . once I wrap my head around them (none of these things needs head wrapping around though, I realize this), either in here or in somewhere else (hint hint literary agents call me winky wink), in order to make a living off of . . . whatever this is. Again. (Meanwhile I am still hunting down full-time jobs.) (Should I be though?) Maybe you guys can help me do this stuff somehow. This is what I am thinking, anyway.

Ok. The new Anne with an E. I got some feelings about PTSD and how an outsize persona or imagination can work to minimize trauma. Also, why Anne Shirley is NOT Mary Poppins. She's the antithesis, but also they're sort of the same? I started to write this thing the other day but I did it with that rule where you're not allowed to erase anything, you just plow on through? So now I'm a little bit terrified of going back in there.

I also want to write about my prison spoons. 

I want to keep making t-shirts and tote bags and embroideries and weavings! So . . . imma keep on doing that. I do need to figure out how to streamline this operation and keep everyone in the know in a more organized fashion. 

"I've got a project that requires . . . tweaking" with my best friend Kara, Moon and Pine. Girl Scouts for grown ass ladies! We've been dreaming and planning this sucker for two years now, we had a sort of soft launch just before Christmas, but we're finally honing in on what it really wants to be, and I have my fingers crossed that it will take off once it's out there! Aaaaaaand that we can get it out there!

I want to write a bit of a thing on Losing My Religion. (Not the R.E.M. song.) I also feel like I have a beachy chick-lit type of deal in me, maybe memoir? Some kind of behind-the-scenes in blogging and influencer culture in NYC. I also feel like I have a twist on an Anne of Green Gables type of series in me somewhere, involving my chickens a lot, probably. (Oh I miss my chickens!) These feel huge to talk about and daunting to consider. Who wants to help me??

I wanna bring back The Great Beauty Experiment - any of you old-timey readers out there still in it with me? Representin' yo??? Does that belong in here??? It probably does. Probably one of the first things I should do is see if I can find that old mascara chestnut and drag it out of antiquity. Does Babble still exist?? I've always enjoyed blogging about style and beauty, it can be a good source of income, so I hope to continue doing that in here, along with occasional essays. Life / Style / Beauty instead of Babies / Nesting / Style? I need to update my categories. It's on my to-do list. Is it weird going all meta like this or what?

I've been sitting with the idea of social media 'influencing' and have decided not to blindly go with the swirling tornado of "No" that sometimes happens when I consider that stuff. Probably because that seems rash, and also probably because it could be done really well? 

There. I am going to call this blog post an accomplishment even though it is everywhere and rambling. Guys, life after divorce and job loss and moving too many times is weird and messy and sometimes it feels hectic and everywhere and nowhere at once. And I suppose I'm maybe here to do all that with you. We're . . . a thing. Some kind of thing, all of us. So thanks for coming along. This is a fun kind of experiment, isn't it? :)