Saturday, November 12, 2011

Random photos of recent days...

 Gazebo on a favorite trail.

 One of my daughter's recent dragons.

 The artist at work.

 Part of an ongoing attempt to spruce up my entryway.

 Ongoing stair project for the entryway. I might finish it some day.

 My boy.

My other boy. The triumphant leaf catcher. :)

Cheese! Wow. I am shorter than I feel.

 Love this of my daughter peeking at the sunset.

My tree. Only one around left in leaves.

We're doing our best to get and stay healthy through one of the most virus filled autumns we've experienced and trying to appreciate the last bits of the season. We had the first snow fall last week, and it is always so beautiful those first flakes. But, they let us know that we better soak in the sun and the earth whenever we get a chance; sore throats or not. Winter, she looms.

Hope the weekend finds everyone surrounded by the people and places you love! 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A girl and her dragons.

My daughter loves dragons. She reads book after book about dragons. Her favorite books are ones with lead female characters that befriend dragons. There are a surprising number of books like that actually and she's gone through quite a stack of them this year. However, I am always on the lookout for more. If you know of any dragon books where the dragons are the good guys. I'm all ears.

She also writes her own stories about dragons and their brave girl trainers. She watches movies about them whenever she can find ones that cast dragons in a favorable light. She doesn't like stories that stage dragons as the beast to be conquered. She feels that dragons are misunderstood creatures with powers that need to be respected, not feared. She's as adamant about this as she is about not eating food that is shaped like animals. Love this kid.

And as if this isn't enough dragon-filled fun for one young girl, she also makes clay dragons. Constantly. She's gifted almost everyone in our family with their own personal dragon, and she has plenty left over to guard her bedroom.

Some of her first clay dragons.

My personal favorite one besides the one she made for me (which I failed to photograph for this post).

Recently I found a cute little shelf at Goodwill that after a good scrubbing and a few coats of white paint, makes a perfect home for some of her dragon creations.

Oh, how I love these sweet dragons. And how I love my little dragon girl.

Halloween Conquered

Yep. Even my dog. We're THAT family.

A sweet Alice and a freaky sith Jedi, Savage Opress. Some Star Wars geekery for you on a cold November eve. We're that family too.

The cousins in their superhero splendor.

She had that bunny bag stuffed with candy by the end of the night.

Captain America would only let Alice hold his hand. Awwww....


Won't be long before I'm thinking thoughts like this again. Halloween candy and I have a love/hate thing. All in all, Halloween 2011 was a smashing success all around. A weekend full of beautiful weather, wonderful company and too much sugar. Can't beat that.

Halloween is one of our favorite times of the year. We love the silliness involved, the excuse to dress up in costumes in public, the generosity of strangers. For a glimpse of past years' Halloween fun you can see here and here. We do tend to get into this holiday.

Well, onward and upwards toward the deep dark winter now, huh? Hmmmm.... might need a chocolate or bar or two to wrap my mind around that thought. Good thing we're well stocked! Wishing everyone a happy weekend filled with sweet treats!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2011: The Year of the Pumpkin

Once upon a time, back when the kids were little, I thought it would be fun to show them how to carve pumpkins. So I bought a nice round pumpkin, we looked up cute pumpkin faces online to decide what to carve. Then I sat my sweet babies around me and they watched with gigantic eyes as their mother took a big knife and did this....
 And they screamed and burst into tears.

It was then I realized why therapists are an integral part of society. And that was pretty much the end of me even attempting to carve pumpkins until this year. We've painted pumpkins, stickered pumpkins, pretty much anything that had nothing at all to do with murdering pumpkins.

But this year I saw THESE!

For those that don't want to click over, they are Pumpkin Teeth. SO COOL! And I bought some because, dude. Pumpkin. Teeth. So I petitioned once again for the opportunity to show my family how murdering carving pumpkins can be fun. And I won! Yay! I am happy to report that no children were harmed, emotionally or physically, in this endeavor. I cannot say the same about the pumpkins involved.

We did this a couple weeks ago, hence the shorts and sun, but my camera cord went missing and I just found it today when I was trying to find something else. Go figure. Maybe next time I am searching for something I'll find my missing brain.

I am happy to say that my family is now on board
with the whole pumpkin carving thing:

 Pumpkin fang teeth!

 An originally designed pumpkin wolf. Awesome!

 Had to get a shot of the mess. At least part of it, this was semi cleaned up.

 Our cheerleader.

 Daddy's pumpkin. He used a design from a book and it looks really cool when lit.

 I just crammed as many teeth as I could into mine. Yay, pumpkin teeth!!!

 Setting up the display.

Trick or Treat!!!

The countdown starts now! A whole weekend of Halloween festivities begins in just a few short days. Wishing everyone that participates in such shenanigans a very Happy (and safe) Halloween Weekend!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Update: Fall 2011

I finally got a new phone so bear with my artsy 'hipstamatic' prints I've been taking with it. It is kind of like playing with a polaroid camera with endless film. 

This has been an unusual autumn for us. We are usually quite healthy in the fall and winter and then we all succumb to a few bugs come spring. However we are just ending our fourth round of viruses already this season and it seems to be a common thing around town. It might be a loooong winter. So there has been quite a bit of this around here...

There is of course there is the gorgeousness of fall walks when we are out of zombie mode. The colors have been amazing, but dare I say less POW than the past couple years. The temperatures dropped fast at the end of August and then we had a series of wind storms that blew down quite a few leaves early. So the leaves on the ground are already quite brown and the leaves left in the tree are already rather sparse. We've been spoiled the past few years with the color show. But it is still the best time of year for hiking. No bugs, no sweating, that lovely fall smell in the air, crunchy leaves underfoot. It's lovely.

There is the ever fun 'leaf catching game'. Ongoing seasonal fun.

And lots of family time. My favorite time.

Look how TALL my girl got this year!

Of course I'm rather short, so it isn't that hard for a 10 year old to catch up to my height I suppose. And, Internet... meet my chipmunk cheeks. Chipmunk cheeks, the internet. They are the reason I still get carded for alcohol even though I'm am flirting with 40. So basically, I no longer hate them. 

 And can you believe how scampish this one is?

And how cute this little crew is?
I could eat them up I love them so.

Sigh... there has been so much more but it is hard to keep track of it all. I have been making a lot of dolls and plan on posting about them soon. And there's the usual ton of other things that tap on my brain pestering to be blogged about and then slither back out again when I actually sit down at the computer. Perhaps my new phone will help me keep track? I discovered Evernote recently and looks promising for an 'on the go' sort of task list organizer. Might be a good place to capture those tricksy blog post ideas before the skitter away. Hmmm... I wonder if there is a laundry app for my phone?

Wishing everyone a healthy season and lots of time spent with the ones you love! Happy Monday!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wizard Love

I dare you to try to listen to this song only one time. Well, I suppose you have to love the Harry Potter world and cutesy stuff for that dare to really apply though. I've probably put half of the views up myself.

Lots of fun stuff happening lately in our world. The cool fall air, colors and the baking that is inspired by such weather helps, of course. Halloween is just around the corner.

We carved pumpkins for the second time in my children's existence. I know! I've tried but the kids have refused for years. I guess the first time was so scarring, it took a few years to build up to a retry. It was awesome this time around though. I took pictures, but cannot find the cord for my camera to put the photos on my computer. Hopefully I can get those up before winter.

Just a quick post for a tired evening as I am winding down fast. Have a good week all!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

I was in college when I first coveted a computer. A friend had a sexy (for the time) little desktop Macintosh, the kind that had the 'hello' message when it started up. Rather dating myself there, eh? It was years later, after I somehow bumbled my way into a graphic arts job at a small town newspaper that I actually started to use Macs on a regular basis. Then the lust turned to full blown love; it happens that way sometimes. A few years later I bought my first personal Apple so it was Macs for work and play from that point on.

A couple iMacs and more years later than I care to admit... I write this from my new 13" MacBook Pro. My first laptop.

Here's my baby on her 'gotcha' day, my newest Mac adoption. Another one of those big summer events this year I meant to blog but never got around to.

I won't even get into ipods and itunes. So to say I'm an Apple fangirl is an understatement. I'd like to think that I've got some Apple cred. Proof. I have some. Remember this post? More specifically this picture:

Look closely at the bottom left corner of my door. Here, let me zoom for you.

Yeah, still hard to see. But you can probably guess that is is one of those Apple decals you get with every gadget/computer purchase. Yep. On my entry door. I'm that geek.

Here's a photo from two years ago and you can see the sticker was there even then. In fact, there has been an Apple decal in that corner for as long as I've had a personal Mac, so that means before my daughter was born. 10 years. And I have a thing about entries and exits - the statements they make, but that is a for a another wordy post on a different think-some day.

So yes, I almost cried when I heard the news of Steve Job's death last night. My husband and I found ourselves up until 3:30 a.m. thinking those kind of big/small thoughts that the underside of morning brings when faced with mortality and the end of an era. Today I am thinky and overtired and pretty much just grateful for the chance to live in this world. And to be one of the lucky ones that has the opportunity to sample an array of Apples over the years. Overthinking it? Likely. But why not? 

Over the past decade all of my personally earned income has been created on an Apple computer. It is also correct to assume that much of the money I spent on entertainment and personal presents were on Apple products or on itunes. I don't see that changing in the future; I mean Disney World continued to thrive after Walt Disney passed, and I assume Apple will do the same. But today feels/is different. Today is that transition phase where Apple hasn't yet lost its living brand, yet that brand is no longer living. It feels weird.

I have so many more thoughts, the children of too much caffeine and too little sleep. But mostly they can be summed up with quotes from Mr. Jobs which is more appropriate for this post anyway.

"When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."


"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Yes, and yes. So this is my wordy, non-minimalist, very un-Jobsish tribute to an innovator that I've admired for so very long. Thank you, Steve Jobs. For remaining hungry and foolish in an all too serious world.

An Unapologetic Apple Fangirl

Friday, September 30, 2011

Countdown to Halloween

 The official changing of the kitchen blackboard.

 Bits of costume already arriving.

 Trying out the twirlability of a new petticoat.

Someone wants to be Alice in Wonderland this year. Since we will be doing many layers due to what will likely be our coldest trick-or-treat experience in a long time, what you see here are some of the under-layers to the costume (which has yet to be delivered). Armwarmers, tights, petticoat and even a white rabbit purse, all from one of my favorite online places, Sockdreams. The petticoat is sparkly. I am in love with this little girl art punk look thing she's got going on.

 Surprise! That's my guy, the blur zipping past.

Loving this white rabbit bag. Alas, it is very shallow and won't work for a candy bag and my girl won't let me do surgery on it to remove the stuffing to allow for such use. She said she'll carry her flashlight in it. Cute though.

I know it isn't even October yet, but the leaves are turning rapidly around here and the air has been COLD for a long time. It feels like it is past time!

Anyone else planning their Halloween costumes yet?