Sunday, August 31, 2008

A little life, a little death

I was never a person that got overly into birthdays or holidays before I had kids. But the joy and excitement that my kids (and husband) radiate over these events has turned me into a believer in special days. We are not in the habit of creating the three ring circus type ordeals that involve crowds of younglings, hired entertainment and remodeling-type decorating. How do parents survive such a thing? But we do have the kids pick a theme and I try to decorate a cake based on it and make a few fun keepsakes their friends can take home.

Last year my daughter's birthday got overshadowed by my son's bumped noggin and stay in the hospital. She was fine with it and probably noticed the lack of decor and party favors less than her friends and I did. I am now sitting here wondering how exactly we are going to pull this year's thing off in the middle of our current mess. Logan's funeral is on Wednesday, my daughter's birthday. I am not a superstitious person, but I think that next year I'll get a little jumpy as September nears.

We are going to have the party tomorrow. The girl chose a garden theme, thank goodness. That will be rather easy to come by decor, much we can find around the house. I ordered a cake from a family friend who has an amazing bakery and we are all excited for that. (Usually I am a baking fool around party times, but the oven will be blissfully cool this time around.) My husband and I scored big at the store today on discounted springish type trinkets instead of trying to whip together handmade gifts. It has been a bright respite to our days.

I am grateful for all this young excited life around us, even as the little constant voices sometimes feel like a yammering threatening to explode our over-filled hearts. My girl is so excited about her birthday. I am so happy she was born. It all sort of feels like too much, all this celebration of life, the beginning and ending.

So anyway. I will soon have pictures once again. Happy birthday pictures. I do have one more post about all this sadness. One I have been writing to work through all of this. One more and then I am done with it here, in this space I created to capture the happiness in our days. We have a lot coming up in our lives that is good, happy and needs to be shared. Only one more sad post. I am promising myself this.

P.S. The bump on my boy's head is almost totally gone. Whew!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Next verse same as the first, a little more empty, a little bit worse

"Cause you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button, girl.
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe... just breathe"
- from the song Breathe, 2AM

Waking up after a death. It is like reliving it over and over again for awhile. It makes me all dark and thinky like this post. But that is okay. It is part of life. Life isn't all happy crafts and funny family moments. I am realizing it is important to honor the sadder parts too. Not wallow, but remember and lower our heads a bit at the weight of it all.

My husband's best friend died yesterday, effectively changing our world. The world we lived where he made us laugh daily, hard and with all our soul. The world where he was on both our "circle of friends" phone network. The world where he worked with my husband, and where customers called me to tell me how fond they were of him. The world where my kids called him "Uncle". It is gone now, and I am feeling how flimsy are the bonds of expectations and limitations that we weave about ourselves.

We create a timeline in our minds of how we perceive things to be unfolding. We also have alternate timelines rolling around in our hope and fear centers of the brain; a hopeful one, the one that is a little bit better than the actual timeline of your life, and of course the opposite one. The problem with the 'real' timeline of your life? It is just as imaginary as the other two. You think you are stuck on a certain track, you even lament how difficult it seems to change your course... but the thing is, this life we are living is just as ethereal as the dreams and fears we keep bottled up inside.

Death unchains us, from our body, from our reality, from life. Death unchains the ones left behind. Unchains us from the bindings we create. Makes us feel the potential that flows through us by merely being creatures with breath. These deep thought moments within the thick of grief, things seem more clear. Like how fast this all really is. How we should roast more marshmallows. How it really is all small stuff.

Marc and I love life and we love our family and friends. We are blessed and humbled by the relationships we have and have had. We are okay. We alternate between big gulping snotfests of crying and then laughing odd real world joking. Very alive. Very appreciative. Very sad.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My kind of crazy...

The boy has a lump on his head about the size of two peas, right on the tiny bald spot where the hair spirals from. It isn't red. There is no bite mark. It hurts to the touch but doesn't itch. Is it a bug bite? Ingrown hair? Cyst? A lump from a random head bumping that was unwitnessed and unremembered? Do I call the doctor? Go to the ER? Have a drink and chill? Administer ice? Witch hazel? Neosporin? What is this thing on my kid?

I come from a long line of slightly paranoid people. Each generation grows a little less obsessive and freaky, so perhaps my grandchildren may never have to check under the bed for monsters. My great-grandma used to make her grandchildren sit on feather pillows and sprinkle them with holy water every time there was a thunderstorm. Compared to her I am apathetic to any threats to my little world. Thank you, great-grandmother, for allowing me to feel sane.

But I will admit, that I over-google. There are truly things I should NOT be reading when faced with lumps and bumps and things that scare me a smidge. Upon googling about my boy's head, my fear magnified into a knot of unpreparedness resting between my stomach and bladder, making nauseous and needing to pee constantly. Nervous much?

So anyway, I thought I'd share my random fear-based day, if not for any other reason than to keep my fingers from typing scary searches into google. If the bump is still there tomorrow and isn't smaller I will call the doctor. Until then, I am trying to ignore my freakout genes and reign in the 'what-ifs'. Besides, we are allergic to feather pillows and I wouldn't have a clue how to obtain holy water, so for this evening there is nothing to do but chill.

P.S. I think he is fine. I really do. I should never use google for anything health related. I know better.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blogging Mysteries...

When I have time and long to wander through numerous blog posts reading into the early morning hours, it always seems that no one is writing much and my blog reader is in the teens.

And when I take a couple days off, just skimming through a couple blogs at most, suddenly my reader has over 300 new posts! 300. And I am too busy to sit and read all the glorious, lovely insights to everyone's lives. (Of course, instead of tackling it, I sit and write a post like this one. A procrastinator am I.)

I guess I could let the posts build up until I have one of those insomniac type nights and need a few hundred things to read. But I'll be honest. Now that I know they are out there, it will be hard to stick to my Monday ritual of mucking out the house from weekend fun. Blog reading or cleaning. Organizing or reading. Painting the walls or blogs. Hmmm......

I will sit down, have a cup of coffee and think about it - and while I am at it maybe check out a few posts.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Him: So what did you get on your shopping trip today?

Me: I almost bought a book about math that might help me choose a curriculum for the girl. But it was $27! That seems like a lot. I think I will wait to see if it is cheaper online. (It is.)

Him: What did you get at the art store? (Eyeing the largish sort of bag I was rifling through.)

Me: I found the watercolor crayons I've wanted for the kids!

Him: How much were those?

Me: Uhhhh.... $30.

Him: Thirty dollars for crayons! You couldn't find THOSE cheaper online?!

Me: ..........................

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Awwww... shucks.

Rae over at Rae of Sunshine passed on this award to me because I let her say hotel sex on my blog. I think this is an awesome reason to win an award, but I may be biased. I love Rae's blog because she is so upbeat and fun. I am supposed to pass on the award, which is the whole point - so people can find new blogs and all. But it seems like either the people I would tag have it already, or are on a blog holiday, or are going through some stuff in life and might not want curious blog traffic at this time. And there are also a couple blogs that I lurk on enough to feel like part of the crowd, but the owners would be like, thanks for the award, but WHO are you? Yeah, I am bad like that.

So because I think I am supposed to fill out the questions that go with the award and I dig doing stuff like this - hence having a blog to begin with... I am going to go ahead and do so and beg forgiveness for chickening out on the pass it on part. :)

A. attached or single? attached

B. best friend? husband

C. cake or pie? yes, please

D. day of choice? Friday afternoon or Saturday

E. essential item? computer

F. favorite color? jewel tones

G. gummy bears or worms? chocolate

H. hometown? here

I. favorite indulgence? nap

J. January or July? January, because the husband's business is slow in the winter and he is around a lot.

K. kids? underfoot, coming out of my ears, screaming in the bedroom - oops better go check on that... Just three young people around here, but today it seems like more...

L. life isn't complete without? family time spent together

M. marriage date? March 23

N. number of brothers & sisters? one younger sister and a few other long stories

O. oranges or apples? apples

P. phobias? walmart

Q. quotes? A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man. - ee cummings. Not really my favorite, but apt for the season, eh?

R. reasons to smile? I get to be home with my kids and they get to be home with me.

S. season of choice? fall

T. tag seven peeps! Uggg.... social anxiety setting in.

U. unknown fact about me? syndactily

V. vegetable? broccoli

W. worst habits? tantrums

X. x-ray or ultrasound? I don't want to know...

Y. your favorite food? a meal someone else prepared

Z. zodiac sign? Scorpio, and I own it baby

Okay, my kid is yelling, "There is evil afoot!" Must go see if someone or something needs exorcized. Not that I am qualified for such an activity, but wouldn't that put some spice into an otherwise quiet Wednesday?

Monday, August 18, 2008

What? It's fall? Where's my checkbook?

Where in the heck did summer go? Suddenly we are tumbling straight into autumn and all the extra curricular activities that revolve around the public school year are starting up. We've kept up with piano and violin lessons over the summer, but Kindermusik class starts up soon. Then today my girl's dance teacher called to find out what classes she'll be taking. I told her to sign her up for ballet and that she wanted to start tap. Then I asked what age you have to be for tap, because I have a little boy who is interested.

When she heard "boy" she wanted to let my kiddo try it out, even though he is still 4 and she usually waits until age 5. Boys are a big hit during recital time, not to mention I am sure she is thinking if we sit on it another year something like soccer, karate or a more typical 'boy' activity will capture his interest and my pocketbook. So we are going for it and I let her know I won't be insulted if she finds my kid too much of a distraction. Because well, he sort of enjoys being a distraction, it is how he defines himself. But at the same time, his energy could possibly be a good fit for dancing and performing. So we will see.

We had a pretty decent conversation even after I reminded her that we homeschool, which she always forgets and reacts to in the uncomfortably weird way. But we got past it and talked about how hard the local kindergarten is now that it is a full day academic program, and how many boys had to repeat the grade. (I think she was justifying my decision not to send my son this year since he was still four. Ya think?) I laughed and said, "Yeah, there is NO way my boy would be able to sit at a desk all day yet." Then she immediately asked me, "Why? Is he ADHD?"


I said. "NO. He is FOUR. He is a boy. He likes to run and jump and yell. I just don't see him easily trading that in for sitting at a desk quietly for 6.5 hours per day." We ended the conversation well. I wasn't snarky, and she wasn't edgy. It wasn't uncomfortable but just a little weird. I found it sad that she automatically assumed my kid had a diagnosable disorder because sitting still for hours on end would be hard for him. And oooohhhh, it would. His teacher would be BEGGING me to drug him. Because not only is he high energy, loud and curious, but he is a ringleader type who gets other kids involved. Of course, as his mom, I dig this about him.

I have always wondered if my kid would be 'pegged' by teachers as ADHD because he is so active. He would be hard to have in the classroom, I have no doubt about that. But he shouldn't be drugged just to make it more convenient. It sucks for the kid who is naturally more hands-on, visual and energetic to have a label, just because the way his mind works doesn't fit with the typical school model.

Even though I have expected the ADHD label to be thrown at my son sooner or later, I sure didn't expect to hear it so soon. I mean, he isn't running into traffic or demonstrating dangerous, self-harming behaviors. He is just a happy, loud, life-loving four year old. I know that it is so common a term now that people tend to overuse the diagnosis. But this is exactly what makes me sad. It is too easy to blame the child for an uncompromising system.

But anyway - the kids are signed up for all their frantic fall fun. It sounds like a lot but the dance classes are all on the same night, once a week, and violin, piano and Kindermusik are all on the same day, every other week, so it isn't as bad as it sounds. (At least that is what I am telling myself.) Wallet-wise though. Eeeeek!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

He Said/She Said

This is not a picture of a bookshelf.

She says: I have a few books on order for the kids. I'd really like to get a bookshelf so I can organize and keep the books from piling up around the house.
He says: We should finish the trim and repaint the living room before we buy another bookshelf.
She thinks: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She says: Well, the trim has been sort of an ongoing project for oh, about four years now. Just a simple bookshelf would probably fit our life better than a project right now.
He hears: Let's go pick out paint colors!

Later at the paint store... (two WEEKS after the books have arrived and are piled around the house, waiting for a bookshelf.)

She says: This 'caramel' color is nice, with 'cloth' for the trim.
He says: Look at these cool texture paints. Look sparkles!
She says: Oh no! That would be too much work. Let's stick to what we know. Quick and easy color change. Remember, the bookshelf goal? Shouldn't we prime over the dark green we have on the walls?

Later at home with the TEXTURED paint, and NO primer. (Though he did in fact, finish the trim! The sole reason I am writing this on my blog and not packing my bags. I kid... I kid... I think...)

She says: This is like trying to paint with toothpaste! Are we doing this right? This is going to take forever. We are in hell, aren't we?
He says: .....................
She says: Seriously. This is bad. This is going to take our whole weekend.
He says: .....................
She says: @#$%^&*?!!!

HOURS and HOURS later.

She says: We are out of paint and need something like three more coats. We've already gone through two gallons of this stuff and how much is this going to cost us? (She is saying this to his back because he is walking out the door to get more paint.)
She calls out: Bring me back a damn bookshelf!

Hours later. No end or bookshelf in sight....

She says: Let's call it a night. In fact, let's call it a weekend and just do a wall a night next week and finish it up next weekend. Please, for the love of all that is sacred, let us stop. Let us salvage Sunday. Let me shut the heck up.
He finally LISTENS and helps her put the room to livable order. Around 10:30pm they get the overstimulated kids to bed. Staring wearily around the truly horrible looking room, they think somewhat dark and troubled thoughts based on exhaustion, paint fumes and general too-much-of-each-otherness.

This is also NOT a picture of a bookshelf.

She thinks: Our marriage will probably survive this, at least the trim looks good. She also can see the benefits of using a laundry basket to hold books. It is sort of portable at least.
He thinks: We need to get that girl a bookshelf. How in the heck is she going to do laundry when the basket is full of books? I mean, where are we supposed to put all of these paint covered clothes?

Part of the above sentence was a lie. In case you don't know me in real life, it was the part about me doing the laundry.

She says: I need a drink.
He thinks: Woo, hoo, I am going to get lucky! And I sure deserve it after all the hard work I did today.
She gives him a LOOK, that HE. TOTALLY. GETS. and finally, finally, they are on the same wavelength and they retire to separate rooms to spend the rest of the evening in peace and quiet. The end.

Fantasize much?

See it more clearly here. And seriously. Do it. Give a scrawny guy an accent, some booze, and some funky punky polka band thing and I am all screaming fangirl.

I spent HOURS tonight discovering Gogol Bordello. Oh. My. God. Suddenly I am young twenties again and traveling somewhere, anywhere, broke, full of mischief and life. This takes me right back to my old school lusts like The Pogues and Ashley MacIsaac, though they are more are the Celtic brand of dirty sexy musicians and Gogol's all Slavic hotness. I found it on a blog somewhere today and would give credit for it but can't remember where so thanks random blogger, this made me crazy happy.

My husband's all shaking his head like "WHAT kind of woman did I marry?" Ha! As if he didn't know....

Friday, August 15, 2008

My husband has a secret

It is a good secret. But it is starting to drive me a little crazy.

See my husband in this picture? He's on the far right running through the playground with my kids. This photo sort of defines him.

He is fun. Exactly the kind of fun that enjoys running like a child through a playground. The kind of fun that likes to pick on the people he loves like the sarcastic little brother he is. And he is picking on me. Oh lord, is he picking on me. Because he knows I like to KNOW things. And he's been planning a mini-vacation for the two of us and won't let me know what it is. Isn't that so frustratingly sweet?

But here is what I know:

• He's lined up my mother to watch my kids for a long weekend in early September. When I confronted my mom and asked her if Marc had been talking to her about certain "plans". The freaked out look on her face and her asthma attack made me realize all the 'clues' my husband has been strewing were real.

• My husband doesn't fly. He isn't discounting it for the future, but I assume he wouldn't be planning his first flight without me knowing about it first as I imagine I would be his pre-flight counselor. So this means our trip involves a drivable distance or somewhere near enough to reach by train for a long weekend mini vacation.

• However, he keeps leaving clues about Las Vegas, but I think that is only because he knows I really don't want to go there. (The messing with me thing he likes to do.) Though he mentioned wanting to get our vows renewed by Elvis and part of me would dig that. I could see him taking a plane to go to Vegas, unlike me, he has a hankering for the place.

• My husband does not camp. I am trying to wear him down on this, but I don't imagine him changing his stance on camping any time soon. In fact, I am guessing he has booked a hotel room that I would never entertain in a million years. I tend to book according to price and he insists he has loftier needs.

• My secret guess (and it is a secret because he doesn't read my blog), is that we are headed up to the little northern Michigan town where we spent our honeymoon. I mentioned this once and couldn't really read his reaction. The only thing that makes me think this might NOT be it, is he was really agonizing over where to stay, and he has favorite places to stay already picked out there.

I love knowing things. If I were to have to name my main hobby it would be research. I am usually the one who figures out our trips, does the map-questing, hotel calling, price hunting. I find the restaurants, events, parking, everything - it is what I do. Being out of the loop is sort of lovely, but as it draws closer I get more antsy. I could totally snoop, or I could even get him to spill as I know part of him wants to. But... I just don't know. It is a good problem to have but I will have a hard time leaving the kids without knowing where I am headed.

So anyway, there it is. My lovely problem. Do I snoop? Do I get him to tell me? Do I chill out and enjoy? I used to pride myself in spontaneity, maybe now that my kids are a little older I need to embrace that dusty part of myself.

And shhhhh.... Don't tell my husband that this is eating me so much. He likes to pick on me by throwing all these unknowns in my face. But I enjoy frustrating him back by acting all "meh, whatever". You know, like ignoring the boy you have a crush on. Pretending it is no big thing. It's just the way we do romance, playground-style.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Oxymoronic Enigma


How many opposites define a person? How is it the truth lies somewhere in the middle, when the middle feels so unfamiliar?

What words define you? I find I am a mess of oxymorons, though I find that word unappealing. Enigma is too sexy really, for what I am. I get frustrated, with my comfort in the fringes.

Social Hermit

Friendly Aloofness

Eloquent Rambler

Fearful Optimist

Middle-of-the-Road Extremist

Sometimes I connect with a person and we are so much alike that our words tumble in phone gripping giddiness. A conversation that doesn't know how to end. But the underlying fact that we are connecting over our tendency to live on the fringes is often courting a terminal friendship.

Today, a five minute phone message turned into an all morning internet research assignment, turned into an email tag, turned into an hour long phone call. How wonderful to find such a compatible voice living in my small town. Yet within our odd sameness are glaring opposites. That dance that happens when encountering other homeschoolers. "Are they 'my' kind of homeschooler?" It sounds divisive, but in the end it usually matters to someone.

It is so hard to believe that people with such a similar lifestyle, as in eating the same diet, parenting the same, cleaning the same, same hobbies, shopping habits, schooling, child-feeding, google-seeking, dress preference, nature-loving, family-centeredness, are people from different planets. Even as their minds form the same thoughts, mouths speak the same words, lips curl in perma-grin over such random discovery of each other - the deal is folding, the tide is turning, the prognosis grim.

So, where do you go to church? - is such a simple question for most people...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Art Fair Day

Today I supported the local artists. I love the art fair. Our town hosts two giant ones each summer. But usually it is so hot that I truck through the booths just to see what I am not going to stop to buy. Today was a lovely fallish day. Perfect for walking slowly through the art fair, chatting with artists and making impulse purchases.


This is the most gorgeous bowl ever. I love the colors. We left this to browse other things and to give us 'think on it' time and decided it was very worth it. When we came back to buy it had been moved. For a brief bit I thought someone had bought it while I was trying to be responsible. So when I spied it on the shelf... had to have it. And I am so glad I did, especially since while I was at the booth there were a couple women that were being so snooty. Loudly calling the guy untalented and pointing out flaws in his work. WHY? People can be such jerks.

Okay, I know in any craft there are certain desirable standards created by different fine art authority people, and all that crap. But I actually know a bit about pottery. I studied it for awhile. I befriended an AMAZING potter who told me the best thing I could do for myself if I wanted a career in the field was to marry rich and to get a job at a frame shop. (His wife was a successful lawyer.) I actually did get a job at a frame shop. I was offered the position on the same day he told me that little gem of advice actually. Cool story, but I am talking about rude people here. Not how I failed to marry rich. (Opted for happiness instead and I only regret it on Mondays.)

Anyway. Back to the rude people. The guy I bought the bowl of gorgeous colors from (which my new camera doesn't capture at all) had a "booth" which was really a rectangle of homemade shelves and tables. He had no tent to cover him from the glaring sun. He wrapped his pottery well, in recycled bags and newspaper. No fancy bags with logos and stickers. No business card, brochure, website. He didn't carry the typical high revenue 'collections' of pottery. Where someone might drop a couple hundred dollars (at least) to have a set of matching mugs, pitcher, cream & sugar set, bowls, platter, etc. This little dude just had random artsy pieces. Full of color and whimsy. He did this for love, not a paycheck. You are either gonna dig his imperfect genius or hate it. But WHY would anyone hang out in his little rectangle of pottery love just to say mean things? It doesn't even make sense to me.

New camera not catching the magnificence of this piece at ALL. Bummer.

So that sealed it. I had to knocked those jerks out of the way to buy this bowl. And then this cup too. Now, the cup was a total impulse buy and I have already used it many times today. Totally worth it.

These we got from a local hippy woman that was probably the nicest person I have ever talked to. Lotion, massage oil and bath oil. The thing is, the lotion smells amazing in the bottle. But I have this weird chemistry that makes most scents turn overly sweet when they sink into my skin. And for whatever reason, I forgot to test this at the booth. I just was so in love with the smell. (And I usually don't do smelly stuff so I am out of practice.) So now I have this huge lotion that feels awesome on but smells blah. I want to mix something spicy in with it, or citrus maybe. Does anyone know how to do this? Would I just add some essential oils to the lotion? Or is it too late to add stuff. I am lotion disabled. I've tried google, but haven't had luck on learning how to add scents after the fact yet.

The last thing I bought was an amazing photograph from someone I work with at my fake job. I don't have a picture of it because we ordered a big unframed print from him. I would send you to his website but he doesn't have one either! I'd give him heck over that, but he is a new daddy and is a full time (overtime is more like it) photographer for the local paper and does this art show thing on the side. I suppose he's a bit stretched for time. The poor darlin was so bumblingly embarrassed about telling me how much his print would be. You can tell he is new to the game. Like he can't believe he is asking someone for money for a picture he took. I am all like, own it baby. Just tell me the price, because it is worth whatever you say. I just need to know if I can afford it now or need to save up for it for later.

I always want to hug the artists that get all trippy about pricing their pieces. It is cute and sad because people can be really loudly opinionated without thinking about the time, effort, and bravery that goes into showing at an art fair. The people walking around gawking at this gorgeous stuff are not taking the time to make enough art to fill a booth. Let alone giving up a weekend to sit here selling it. If you can do that, you are an artist and should never feel bad naming a price for your art. Even when the weird self appointed judges of artistic talent wander through and critique your stuff loudly and ignorantly. Don't wonder if you have talent, or lower your prices and aspirations. You never know when someone will shove those doubt-makers aside and throw money in your face because your art touches their soul.

Okay, that ended up a longish rantish sort of post. I had intended a light fluffy post about my new art. But I guess the hecklers bugged me more than I realized. So I guess the moral of the story is to buy impulsively from artists whenever possible and together we can end the tyranny of the self-important critical ones. The end.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I should have known she'd like photography





The photo bug might have stuck but I think the wacky hat phase has passed. :)

Here are some of the photos she took on our walk the other day. I have to admit, these shocked me. I actually teared up over a couple. I know I am her mom and I am biased and the old camera definitely has a superior lens. But I think the eye of the photog taking these pics was a bit superior to the one using the new camera :) If you want to see any of them larger then follow this link to my flickr account.







There are so many different projects we can do with photography. I may have to start the girl her own little photo blog. :)

Breaking in the new camera...

This look means, "Get me out of this seat because I am totally carsick." We can't travel very far without him needing to throw up as soon as the car stops. True story. Needless to say, we don't travel much. We live six miles from the state park. It was about five miles too many. He didn't mess up our car, he actually never does. But I hope nobody walked in the grass by our parking spot!

He recovers quickly. And we are off. Notice my daughter has my old camera (her camera). It's size doesn't stop her from lugging it around. She is tougher than I am.

Look in the picture above this one. Notice the tiny sandy area in the trees located in the distance above my husband's shoulder. That is this area. I shot this using the zoom on my little point and shoot. It is more impressive when not reduced for the blog as you can actually see benches and details on the hill. I am so happy with my little camera!

Daddy showing her how to zoom.

Getting the perfect shot.



The girl and I were taking nature shots to use in future photoshop art. We have big plans that involve fairies and good stuff like that. Of course, I had just as much fun taking pictures of her taking pictures. Wait... yeah. That's right.

We discovered this little fairy dwelling that some previous wanderer had left behind. Proof that kindred spirits walk among us.


The camera even does pretty well on a dark foresty path.

At this point Daddy was getting a bit impatient with the female creative souls in the family.

On the way back. Taken while the car was moving at least 45mph.

All in all a successful trip with my new little camera. And the boy didn't get sick on the way back home. Yay!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Poachers are quick...

I just got a call on my business phone. It a salesman from 'something, something syndicate' and they wanted to let me know they wanted to republish the article about me that ran in my local paper. They were kind, excited about the article, happy to reprint it because 'that is the kind of piece they do'. Then on and on, not answering my questions. Not even repeating the name of the organization when I requested it. Not being clear what exactly was being published, where and when.

Just needed my email address and fax number so they could send me a proof. Then they would send me a commemorative plaque, oh and you know how everyone uses google? They will put it up on google for free, for a month and I would see how that would help my businesses google rankings. On and on, sweet and flowery. Just needed my email, fax and address. Never answering any of my questions. And I had a huge one. (One even bigger than how in the heck does one 'put something up on google'?)

Like, wtf are you doing trying to sell me the article I WROTE??? Because, see, I am a freelancer and I wrote the whole entire special section she was poaching from. Basically advertorials for local business women, (and embarrassingly enough, yes, I had written one for myself, but only because I make my husband do one when it is the boys' turn - and fair is fair.) But miss sunny britches was going down the list of these women acting like some kind of AP syndicate person who will reprint these articles in some mystery publication then send you copies (and bills) of a proof for a plaque and 'to be put up on google'.

Ummm... I am afraid once I realized I wasn't going to be given any information about this company, and I had no name or number from the caller ID, (unknown origin), I wasn't very pleasant to the person. In fact I let her know that I she had the misfortune of running into the point of origin for those pieces and as soon as I hung up I'd be contacting the newspaper she was poaching from. Not that they can do anything about it.

I wonder if the woman who called even knew what she was doing was wrong? Or if she believed she was offering people a service that she herself would want if she had an article (advertorial - way less cool) printed about her in the paper. She must have one of the least fun jobs in the world whether she knows or not. And today, I didn't make her job easier.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Camera Upgrade/Downgrade

Well. My old camera finally decided to act squirrelly enough to get replaced. It still functions. But poorly enough to freely give it to my six year old daughter without hesitating. Not that she doesn't deserve a good camera, but in it's day, the old camera was not something you bestow upon a six year old. Even if she is a perfectionistic one.

So I've been playing with my new camera and having fun. It certainly does what I need it to do. It is a little hard to get used to a new set up after seven years with the same camera.

Box of mini Beatrix Potter books.

Awesome dotee dolls I've received in swaps. A "Haunted Dotee" on top and underneath her hangs a "Mommy & Baby" Dotee.

I didn't utilize all the features on the old camera. And though I really enjoy taking pictures of my silly little life, I really don't feel like spending a crazy amount to pursue this hobby. So when it came time to replace the old girl I looked lower down the camera food chain. I wanted something more portable so I'd be more likely to take it along on hikes and such. So I went strictly point and shoot this time. It is a fancy point and shoot, but probably not overly fancy compared to the insanely lovely cameras out there. Still, even without the potential bells and whistles I have a huge learning curve ahead.

ATCs (artist trading cards), that I received in swaps.

I should credit the artists here, but I am in a hurry. Will try to come back and do so later.



So far I love how fast it is. Probably doesn't take much to overtake the capabilities of the old camera. The flash actually doesn't ruin pictures like my old flash did (though it doesn't take pics very well without a flash it seems.) But to be fair it was pretty dark when I started taking pictures today. I can't wait to carry it around with me a bit and try it out for different types of pictures. It looks like my old camera's baby, the sizes are that different. I can also take almost six hundred pictures before the card gets full, then I can just erase the card and start over. That is probably not an original concept to most people out there. But I have been married to those old mini cdr's for my old sony for so long, and that novelty wore off a few years ago. Especially when they stopped carrying them in stores.

My blog is already a little photo-heavy and I am guessing that it might get a little more so before the shiny newness of the camera wears off. Oh well, at least I might be more inclined to carry this little guy outside of the craft room more often than I did the old beast. Action shots, here I come! :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008



I was looking through old photos tonight. I noticed these almost three year old photos of my kids holding up letters. I can remember taking them like it was yesterday. It was for an abandoned project, a holiday card. In fact, I think the year before I took these pics was the last time I followed through on handmade holiday cards.

Something made me piece it together tonight. Finishing it felt good. Now instead of holiday cards I think I will order a print for my wall. The message is apt throughout the year. Finding old projects and wrapping them up also brings me a small sighing sort of peace.

Tonight I am feeling calm and humming inside. Wishing everyone a peaceful weekend.

Click here if you want to see the photo larger.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Playmobil... sigh...

Remember playing under the table? It was a magical, secret cave where play took on a whole new dimension.

No grownups allowed. Even if they are BIG fans of toys.

Being photographed in the sacred under-the-table zone, is borderline blasphemy.

But tolerated. Ignored is more accurate. As in - don't encourage the insane lady with the camera and eventually she will drift away to the computer. Then we can get all Lord of the Flies-ish. Nah. Well, not usually.

And playmobil toys + being under the table playing = Neverland

I know I ooze all over playmobil stuff on this blog. But I can't help it. I know it is plastic and all that, but oh my gosh, how can a grown person feel so much joy over these toys? Seriously.

Remember this? Remember the Playmobil bag my husband walked in carrying earlier today? The mushroom fairy with hedgehog, baby. Oh yeah. The daughter thinks it was for her. Ha! The son got the cool little pirate guys in the pics above.

It seems a bit spoilish around here with the new bikes and now new toys. But whenever my husband is in the next town over he is required to visit the coolest little toy shop within 200 miles of here. The only toy store near us that carries playmobil. He was there today and I somehow scheduled his day with a big break in between jobs. This is a grand scheme of mine actually. I mean, in a decade or so the kids will be all done with these toys, right? We will need something to do in retirement. We don't gamble and golf balls hate me. I wonder if I will even be able to sit under the table then. Better start with the yoga now that I am properly motivated.