magic, mischief, & mayhem: haul out the holly!

Fresh Scratch, Kelli Samson, Shelby Payne Photography

So you know I’ve broken my leg. And you know that, before that, I spent much of the fall walking to work through the spooky woods listening to a true crime podcast {not my best idea}. But here are all the other little real life moments since I last caught you up. Because it’s the little things that count.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

After what was truly a YEAR of research, my hubby finally bought his electric car, thanks to this sugar mama. We had to track it down at the last minute by heading to my old haunts in Bremerton for a quick jaunt. We may have stopped at Dairy Queen on the way home and then had snacks for dinner.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

Just another soggy day in the pnw, where we thankfully love the color green! This is my friend Amanda’s enchanting driveway.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

Halloween was a riot. It began with a sweet swag bag of the best caramels ever from my lady at Blush Spa earlier in the week, then we carved a ton of pumpkins because my girls think you need to carve them all {eww!}. Can I admit to you that carving pumpkins is something I’d just rather not do? I know, I’m horrible! Mine was a camper and a car but it didn’t work out so well. My makeup was a little questionable, too. Oh, deer! I was supposed to be a deer. But…

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

My college pals and I got together the day after Halloween for some much-needed catching-up. Until my adult life, most of my friends were always guys. This is Scotty, Myles, and Benny. They have all the dirt on me that you could ever want. Shara, of course, has always been my girl. We were like little Smurfettes in our village back in the day.

We met up in Seattle for an escape room. Have you heard of these? Crazy. One hour locked in a basement room together, finding clues to a mystery and trying to find out the code to open the door. I was sweating! At one point, we unlocked a wardrobe and it led to another room! It was cool, but we didn’t solve it in time and had to be let out. I’d do it again!

We also checked out Starbucks’ new roasterie on Capitol Hill – awesome! They had all kinds of things made in the pnw for sale. It was such a stunning rainy day that that photo of the city is truly unfiltered and just with natural light.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

Still lovin’ my 2nd hand Frye boots oh-so-much. Can’t wait to wear them on two feet again and not just one!

This next batch of pics is from that time Emily and I took the train up on a rainy Friday night {shocker that it was raining!} to visit Stacee in Bellingham and may have drank many Fresh Scratch cocktails on the way and not shut up for the entire four hour ride. Oh, how I love the train! And there is something so exciting about Stacee being on the other end of the ride. She is the best.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

This is at Daphne’s in Fairhaven, where they have the cutest banquettes and the most classy drinks. I don’t remember what I had. I just know I had too many of them.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

I love Honest Foo. How ’bout you? This makes me giggle still!

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

I fell head over heels for these paper chains made from old books and a little gold paint. They’re at Stacee’s friend’s shop. She has a super cool cocktail blog, too!

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

We wound up night number two at Temple Bar {ooh, that’s a location in A Tale of Two Cities! Nerd alert!}, where we enjoyed the Black Dahlia and the Dylan cocktails, among lots of small bites. Those drinks were le bomb and it was hard to not drink too many!

I just love my girl time. We chat about all. the. things. We laugh too loudly and sometimes cry, and sometimes there’s a little blushing. It’s real. I don’t know what I’d do without my girls.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

I had Stacee pull over on the way to catch our train Sunday morning so I could grab this shot of Lake Whatcom. Because, well, that lake is a show-off.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

The train station in Seattle is so gorgeous. I love train stations and trains and train travel in general, which you’ve probably gathered if you’ve been around here a while. Train stations remind me of Jimmy Stewart, adventure. loneliness, a good book, longing, possibility, freedom, and – to steal from John Green – “the great perhaps.” Basically, all the things we live for. Right there.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

I can’t wait to see this. I have loved all of David O Russell’s masterpieces.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

My seniors do black-out poems in our poetry unit. Naturally, I couldn’t resist conjuring up this one. I presented it and they gave me snaps. That’s poetry for clapping!

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

This is one from Paris this summer, just re-purposed after the attacks. It is strange to go about normal life when these things are continuing to happen all around us. My girls are getting to an age where these are things we talk about at home. When they are worried, I remind them there is so much more love in the world than hate. I try so hard to believe that, too.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

I bought this little turkey candle collection at the Girlfriends Vintage Market. I’m shooting all their barn sales now, so it was fun to experience it from behind the lense for a good hour first, scoping things out, then putting my camera away to be a customer.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

This is where I spent my summers growing up. My dad’s house is just up that hill to the left in the background. My step mom still lives there. It casts a spell on me every time. It’s where I learned to knee board and where I spent my first night on our sailboat in middle school.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

Before I broke my leg, I wasn’t getting much time to myself. This is a shot of where I went on a rare occasion recently with no one in tow: The Olympia Farmers Market. I have been a weekly regular for years, but until the other week, I hadn’t been seen August. Sob!

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

I get some dang good sunrises on my walks to school. This was one of them. Guess it’ll be a while before I’m walking to school. My FitBit will be sad.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

Thanksgiving morning was so perfect! Such a lovely, sunny drive over the Cascades to my mom’s, in fact, that I couldn’t stay awake enough to drive. I napped in the passenger seat and we all listened to Lois Lowry’s latest, The Willoughbys Such a fun story! And short. Oh! And we did Thanksgiving Mad Libs. So fun when everyone in the car can now read and write. Holla!

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

My gosh, it’s hilarious to watch Clementine get mauled by her baby cousin! He is really stuck on her. It’s so sweet!

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

When we left Richland, it was all iced over. Goodbye, Thanksgiving, and hellloooo, Winter Wonderland!

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

Brrr. It was a tad bit chilly in Suncadia with this man. The kids threw snowballs with him while I napped in the car. Again. Because apparently that is a thing I do. One day I will be forty. That is the explanation.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

Do you know you can mail letters to Santa at Captain Little here in Olympia, and Santa will write back? Hurry, though, because you’ve only got til 12/12.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

Another fun thing going on here in our fair city? Stardust! This year it’s set in 1959, so it was over two hours of them singing my favorite oldies. I left tired but very happy. So did my girls. It was a very late school night for them!

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

An update on the leg, as I had a follow-up set of x-rays today with my doctor: fractured fibula. Higher up than originally thought. But it won’t be needing a fo-real cast, just this air boot thing I’ve been wearing. I might even get to wear normal boots by next week sometime. It’s crazy what is okay when it’s not a weight-bearing bone.

In other related news, my friends and family are THE BEST. Emily arrived at 6 am after I broke it and took our girls to school so we could go to the hospital, and then the offers for help just started pouring in as word spread. Thank you to everyone for the dinners, the rides, the help with the tree, the chocolate, chocolate, chocolate {!}, the visits. Just, all of it. My heart is so full. This community is what keeps me from moving to Vermont tomorrow. We will just have to stay put for now.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

Also in Oly right now: A Charlie Brown Christmas at Olympia Family Theater. It’s only an hour long and the adults playing the characters are HYSTERICAL! They even do the dances! I laughed my buns off. And I could recite every line. I wonder how many times us GenX-ers have seen the cartoon special?

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

This man right here has had to do so much with me out of commission. I baked him some granola today as a thank you. My life was interrupted, yes, but so was his. However, I could’ve done without him making fun of all the faces I make and weird things I do when I am in pain!

Despite everything, we got up Saturday morning and met my fave photographer and ex-student, Shelby, for about 10 minutes of family photos. We stood in the street at Sherman and Garfield so you could see downtown behind us, and she clicked that camera so fast that my leg didn’t have time to hurt! Love that one of me and Matt. And I love Shelby. She is an honorary Samson.

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

My mom-in-law took me out to lunch yesterday after helping me complete some errands. I still love Phoebe’s Cafe so much. Her goodies are adorable!

 

A photo posted by kellisamson (@mrsfreshscratch) on

And Spruce and Bon Lemon are also lookin’ festive these days! How are you doing on your holiday shopping? I’m nearly there, thanks to planning ahead and this extra time to shop online this week.

And there you have it! We’re getting ready for the next big thangs: Hanukkah dinner, a baby shower, cookie baking and swapping, The Nutcracker, and Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!

And Ho-Ho-Ho and Mistletoe and Presents for Pretty Girls!

xo, Mrs. Fresh Scratch

how i got an unexpected writing retreat.

Fresh Scratch, Kelli Samson, Shelby Payne Photography

Fresh Scratch, writing retreatStay with me. This is a bit of a story.

Last week, my senior English classes were in the middle of studying the film Good Will Hunting as literature. I shared with them how much this movie inspired me as a college girl, how it made me want to take risks and go after the things I really wanted in life and not squander a single second. I shared with them that it gave me a huge crush on Matt Damon, but that I eventually saw the light and realized Benny Affleck is more the one for me, noting how good he looked in his beard for Argo.

You’d think among all these good feelings, a lesson on a film like this would be a week well spent, wouldn’t you? I mean, it’s not lost on me that teaching seniors can often kind of kick-ass. But, no. That’s not how it worked last week. Last week, I cried. A lot.

I cried because the movie pointed out to me that I was a quitter.

I had slowly quit the thing I loved and the thing that made me…me. And I had made a ton of excuses along the way, masking my slow burn out with the word “sacrifice” in my mind and, at times, aloud. First it was that my blog was broken. Then it was that I was too busy writing articles that actually, unlike this blog, paid me real money. Then it was that I decided to go back to teaching English full-time because wouldn’t it be nice for the mister to get a new car and for us to finish up some house projects and isn’t that what grown-ups do? Then it was that my five-year plan was up and it hadn’t panned-out. I wasn’t making a living with my writing. So I had to spend more time doing what actually paid the bills. I had to go back to my day job. Which meant I was tired. Which meant, hey! Sleep is more important than waking up early to start my day writing. And on and on.

This is how it goes for an artist, I told myself. Sometimes we have to sacrifice what we love and what makes us who we are for the greater good.

But that’s crap. And I felt like crap for telling myself these things. They weren’t true. I was quitting. These things don’t have to exist outside of one another. They are all a part of what makes me who I am – yes, I am a teacher. Yes, I have bills to pay so I have to teach even though I’d much rather be doing the thing I’m teaching about all day. Yes, I need sleep. But you know what I need more than any of those things? To not be lying to myself that writing can wait. That it wasn’t a big deal that I was letting it go.

Because I don’t really care how much you or I or anyone else lies to other people – I have to keep it real at least for myself. Strangely, a week in a classroom I kind of would rather not be in all day taught me this.

And so it was that I came home Thursday and finally let Matt see me crying about it. I finally decided I couldn’t go on letting that flame die. And so my alarm went off at 4:30 am Friday for me to write a post here. I overslept a little, finally hopping up at 5:05, thinking about the warm mug of tea I was about to enjoy in the absolute stillness of a December morning while everyone was still asleep and while all my best words came out because I hadn’t even had to talk yet. I knew whatever the rest of my day brought, at least I’d have given myself the right kind of start by making sure I got to satisfy my passion before I did anything else.

And then I misjudged the last step on my staircase in the dark, somehow rolling my ankle so hard that I heard a nice, clear, “snap!”

I sat right down and said, “You’ve got to be eff-ing kidding me!” Then I bawled so hard I can only compare it to the nights I’d wake up and realize it was really true that my dad had died. First I was crying because I ONLY WANTED TO WRITE! AND NOW I CAN’T BECAUSE MY ANKLE HAS GOT TO BE BROKEN AND I HAVE TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL!!

Then I was crying because, my god, it felt like my leg was going through the pains of childbirth. You know that kind of pain where you can’t even decide anything and you don’t want to move or open your eyes or even acknowledge this might not be a bad dream?

That.

So, yes, in the end, it turns out I broke my fibula just above my ankle. At least, that’s what they can come up with so far. New x-rays later this week. It sucks, yes, because it’s Christmas time and I have been hip-checked out of the hustle and bustle. And now things REALLY aren’t going to go as planned.

But you know what’s great? At least I have days filled with quiet to write. And to read my books about being creative. And to surf Pinterest. And to maybe catch up on all the New Girl I missed last year.

But mostly to write. Because maybe the universe didn’t trust I’d figure it out on my own last week, so it planned a little writing retreat for me in a way that wouldn’t fail to get my attention.

Well played, universe. Well played.

And that is how Good Will Hunting, in the end, broke my leg.