Tuesday, May 31, 2011

hot tub heaven

The hot tub is the place we throw the grandkids (5 year old twins and a 6 year old) when we want to know where they are and give them something to do that will keep them busy.  Kids love water.  Absolutely.  And it makes sense.  We all start out in a water-filled environment before birth, so getting into a hot tub is kind of like going back to the womb, right?

Wrong.  Because this weekend Gramps gave them cantaloupe at the table for a snack while they were out on the deck and in the hot tub.  The cantaloupe was a good snack, except for one thing.

It ended up in the hot tub. In tiny pieces.  And so did one of the small plastic cups, which ended up in the drain.  Like a plug.

So the weekend ends, and I really don't want to go anywhere on Memorial Day.  That was going to be my recovery day.  From the kids.  Who suck all the energy out of me.

The main problem is that the hot tub figured pretty importantly in those recovery plans.  Along with a glass of wine and a certain man in my life.

And the problem there was the minuscule chewed up pieces of cantaloupe that were by that time fermenting in the hot tub.  To empty the hot tub, clean it out, and fill it back up would be ok, except the water takes a couple days to heat up to the point that you don't scream in shuddering cold agony when you climb in.

Steve and I discussed it.  Then he lifted the cover on the hot tub, took a look in and came to report its condition to me.  I was working in my art journal at the time. 

Him: well it doesn't look too bad, the pH is good and it is pretty clear.
Me: where is the cantaloupe?
Him: it all got sucked over to the filter cap. It's stuck there.
Me: let me go look.

So I walked out and looked down in the hot tub.  I saw a few tiny rocks in one of the seats, and orange looking flotsam stuck to the intake on the filter. 

Me: how you gonna get that cantaloupe out?
Him: I gotta climb in to clean it off
Me: hmmm...ok I think it's ok to get in.

So we got into a fairly cool hot tub (the kids like to push buttons and had lowered the temperature by ten degrees).  Steve ramped up the temp, scraped the cantaloupe off the filter, and we settled in to relax.  I had a nice red wine blend to drink, and he had a Bud Light.

We sat there for a while, just talking about nothing in particular, and I was telling him what a good investment we had made in the hot tub.  It did double duty, as a corral for the kids, and a romantic tryst for us.

He was saying uh huh, then he noticed one of the dogs had been left out of the fence when he put them up for the night.  The 17 year old springer was pacing, wanting in.

Him: oh no somehow I left Biscuit out when I put the other dogs up.  Let me go put the old girl up.
Me: ok, just don't get the carpet wet in the house when you go get your flip flops.

Which is exactly what he did.  I watched him shake off water like a dog, then go inside and come back out in his flip flops.  (Did he really think that would work?  No, but he thought I would buy it.)  At that point I was half a glass into my wine and didn't feel like using the energy to bother saying anything.

He put the dog in the back yard, then got back in the hot tub.  He stopped directly in front of me.

I looked up at him slowly.  The look on his face was intense.  He was staring at me intently.  And I know what that look means. 

I looked into his eyes, and he stared back at me.

I waited for him to say something raunchy.  Or romantic.  It could go either way with him.

Then he slapped my face.

HE SLAPPED ME.  HARD.  Hard enough my ear was ringing.


He held his hand up and I saw it.

A huge blood sucking mosquito.

Him: aww honey I just saw that skeeter on your face and wanted to kill it before it bit you.

So he says.  I saw the gleam in his eye after he did it.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

grammy and the flyflap

This has been another weekend of life lessons learned.  For me.  For Maddie.  And especially for Jack.
I learned:
If you spray Scrubbing Bubbles on the shower walls then climb in naked and wipe the walls down with an old rag, you can then wash (with a clean puff, not that old rag) while still standing in said shower.

End result: a sparkling clean shower, and sparkling clean mmm....self.  Two tasks done and dusted in one step.  Sort of.

Maddie learned:
Girls are strong.  And boys are lazy.  Especially if those boys are your cousin and your brother.

Jack learned the importance of the order you don  your clothes and accessories:

The helmet always goes on first.  Even if your grammy and gramps are laughing at you wearing only your underwear and helmet.  You don't give an inch.  Because every 6 year old knows what is important in life.

I also learned:
You can stop a whining kid tattling on another kid dead in their tracks with a flyflap:
Jack: Maddie just hit me in the head with the light saber!
Me: Come here and I'll hit you with the flyflap. (sotto voce)
Jack: What?!
Me: Come here and I will hit you with the flyflap.
Jack: But Maddie hit me with the light saber!
Me: Come here and I will hit you with the flyflap.
Jack: Why you gonna hit me with the flyflap?  Maddie hit me with the light saber!
Me: Because when I hit you with the flyflap, it will make you forget all about that tap with the light saber.  Because tattle tales get hit with fly flaps.
Jack: (BIG eyes and silence.  Then he turned and walked quietly away)

*Grammy wins again*

Jack looks sad to be leaving doesn't he? 

This was the last lesson he learned today:

There are no McDonalds' on the way home from my house.

Here endeth the lesson.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

puddle of mud

Coming home tonight I was trying to get geared up for three lively 6 year olds...well 2 of them will be 6 in a few days...

Then I drive up and see two of them.  Covered in mud and water.  It rained today...a lot.  And they were riding their four wheelers in it at one point.

Not the rain. 

In the mud puddles.  Six year olds live for mud puddles.  As soon as I get out of the car I see their wet muddy little bodies...I try to steer them away from the mud puddles...they are on foot now...and heading for the big one at the edge of the yard.

The mother of all mud puddles.

Then I get distracted.  I see the garden.  Wet.  Green.  Lush.

I enter the house and realize I have received my lens hood in the mail... That's all it takes for me to grab Big Girl and head out the door.
Kids are forgotten.  Mostly.  I don't think they can drown in a mud puddle.  I make a vain attempt to tell them to "get OUT OF THE MUD PUDDLE!"  This is hollered over my shoulder in my scariest Grammy voice.  But my eye is on the garden.  I get a couple shots but realize I need to move closer to get a better shot.

So I step into the garden.  And promptly sink up to my ankles in wet Alabama mud.

Steve has plowed...it rained, and it made gooshy mud.

I don't know what to do.  Standing there frozen I try to figure out...do I back out and quit?  Do I scream for help?  What to do?

Well if I back out, then getting muddy is a waste of time for nothing.  And I really want these photos.
If I scream, I become a mud magnet, and I will have 2 six year olds up to their knees in mud beside me.  I hear them laughing and figure they are having enough fun.  I don't want to have to hose them down before we go in...

I advance step by step in the mud, carefully, so I don't end up on my back with Big Girl pointed at the sky.  Every step I take, the mud sucks at my feet, trying to take my fancy Yellow Box sandals (read: flip flops with sequins) off my feet. 

We have lost shoes in the garden over the years this way you know...sucked off our feet and swallowed in the mire.

So I am laughing, not too loudly, and stepping, and shooting...my focus was a bit off in some of the shots because the mud shifted and threw me around a bit.

But I had fun.  And got the kids in before they totally destroyed my best mud puddle.

Washed the mud off my sandals in the bathroom sink after wiping most of it off in the yard...

Had to dig the toilet paper stopping up the sink out of the drain first.

Maddie had tried to dry her hands on toilet paper.  Which is why my hand towel hanging up still looked fresh.


Monday, May 23, 2011

secret... haiku

he pours the depth, then...
                           sultry darkness spills over

                   ....sweetness is tasted...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

saturday's child

Today is a day to add to my memories. A day that would not seem special to anyone but me. Just an average day. Another day in my life.

But that is what makes it special to me.

Each dawn breathes new life into me
Each day I live is a wonder
Each grandchild's hug warms my heart
Each moment I watch life happen

Is a moment added to the love in my heart
And though my heart is filled to bursting

There is always room for one more


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Friday, May 20, 2011

past moment

{this moment}
- A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
“This Moment” is a ritual I found on Pamanner's Blog, via Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama. Check out their blogs, and if you are moved too, please leave a link to your Moment in the comment box below.

(I'll explain this one soon.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

the flip side

When I am using Twitter, I don't spend much time promoting myself. Usually I am watching what others post, and reading a lot of articles (yes Twitter is yet another source of things to read for me).  I promote, or retweet, what I like or think might have some value to others.  And of course I chat with my Twitter friends.  For me, Twitter is a place to exchange comments and get instant feedback.

I recently saw a link to an article posted on Twitter.  It mentioned something about bad psychiatrists, or why not to use a psychiatrist, and my antennae were immediately waving in the air.  I decided to keep an open mind and read the article.  You can read it here

As many of you know, I wear many hats.  I write, paint, photograph, and I am also a nurse.  I work in the field of mental health, but also have had extensive nursing experience in many areas.  (Read this for a little more about that.) 

So as I read this article, the first thing I thought was, people will automatically believe this because Stevie Nicks wrote it.
The second thing I thought was, the information was misleading.
The third thing I thought was, Ms. Nicks doesn't have very much insight into her own addiction.

So here are my thoughts on this article, for what they are worth:

Stevie Nicks states in the article "The biggest mistake I ever made was giving in to my friends and going to see a psychiatrist."  Her friends basically badgered her into going to a psychiatrist until she finally gave in.  She had just gotten out of rehab, and felt great.  But she went to a psychiatrist anyway.  Who got her hooked on Klonopin, and ruined eight years of her life.

Why do I have problems with that little paragraph?  Because where were the friends who sent her to the psychiatrist when she became addicted to Klonopin?  If they wanted to help her stay clean, why didn't they speak up in those 8 years she says were destroyed?  And why did she stay with a psychiatrist who she thought was a "groupie"?  That relationship started off on a very nontherapeutic foot. 

The next thing that caught my eye was the fact that she let the psychiatrist prescribe a medication that is a controlled substance.  One thing you learn in any rehab, the number one rule, is NOT to take any controlled substance.  NONE.  There are even guidelines for recovering addicts for how to deal with any surgery they have to have, and how to deal with pain control without relapsing.  So the statements Ms. Nicks is making are in direct conflict to what recovering addicts are taught.

I am not going to dwell on what happened with Ms. Nicks relapse.  I will tell you all that from my experience, few people are successful their first time through rehab.  Or their second, third, fourth or fifth.  It takes dedication to staying clean, following the information you are given in rehab (and there is a LOT of teaching and information given) and finding someone for support.  Ms. Nicks, sadly, had none of this.

What really bothered me the most is that Klonopin got such a bad rap.  I have been giving Klonopin to patients for YEARS.  Prescribed correctly and taken under the care of a doctor, I have seen Klonopin enable people who could not function, to lead normal lives.

How do I know this?  Because my daughter was one of those people.  She has been going to college off and on for years.  Has accumulated many hours, and much debt trying to get a degree.  Why didn't she finish?

Anxiety.  She has panic attacks, that totally unnerve her to the point that she won't even try.  The big hump for her in college was math (something she gets from me...math is not my strong suite either).  She attempted to pass college Algebra at least 5 times, and had to drop it in a panic because she thought she couldn't "get it".  I tried talking to her, and although she calmed down, she had no self confidence.  Her anxiety destroyed that.

Years later, this same beautiful, smart daughter decides she is going to see a therapist.  Because she is tired of dealing with this anxiety and wants to finish college.  She is determined.  She talks to the therapist, and begins to gain some insight into why she is having this anxiety, and ways to deal with it.

Then the therapist gets a psychiatrist to prescribe 0.25 mg of Klonopin as needed, and tells my daughter to take it before class.  And if it doesn't work, they will find another medication to try.

Side note here: this is the way therapy is supposed to work.  Medication IF NEEDED, and tweaked to the lowest possible dose to provide the desired response.

And guess what?  My daughter takes the medication, takes the Algebra course, and.....


The moment that touched my heart, and that I will never ever forget...is the moment Wretch told me:
"I thought I was a failure, but I realize now that I am not.  That I am smart."
She told me this through tears, and we cried together.  In celebration.  In triumph.

Wretch has tried other medications since then, and together, she and the therapist have found alternative medications that increase her alertness and keep her from having a racing pulse and panic.

And she has passed every course since then.  Even accounting and statistics have been passed with flying colors.  Her grades?  Mostly A's.  And her self confidence has soared.

And so my answer to Ms. Nick's article is that in the right hands, and managed by a caring professional, medications can be a wonderful adjunct to treatment....

Monday, May 16, 2011

blue patch

dominated sky, gray clouds
blue patch bursts the seam
nature's eye opens

monday maybe...not

Well here I am.  Another prompt blown to dust this month.  I could say another failure, but in the scheme of my life, it really isn't so. 

I started new job responsibilities at work about two weeks ago.  I was keeping up the daily blog posts at that time, but quickly felt overwhelmed.  How many times in your life have you felt the heavy pressure of too much "stuff" on your shoulders?  That was what I was feeling.  Weight.  On my shoulders.  They were literally tightening up on me. 

Soon, my shoulders were feeling almost bruised from the stress.  Then sleep stopped, and my thoughts began to race.

This is a chronic workaholic pattern for me.  I know when this happens that I am internalizing too much.  The difference between this time and others is that now I have INSIGHT.  I know me better.  Over the years and path my life has taken, each moment has been a learning time for me.  Successes, failures, I see them all the same way. 

Lessons.  Years ago, in the midst of a particularly low point in my life, I ran across a book.  The title caught my name, so I bought the book and brought it home.  I started reading it.  Usually a fast reader, I found myself reading, going back a few pages and reading again, and thinking about what I was reading.

The name of the book was "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" by Eckhart Tolle.  It was like I had entered another dimension.  I began to realize things about myself.  And it changed the way I looked at life.  At how I saw myself.  How I saw others.

It took me seven months to read that book.  Yes, you read that right.  Seven months.

But I have new eyes into my own soul now.  I see what the importance of experiencing the now moments really means.  To be totally here, while I write this.  While I drink my tea.  While I listen to the hum of the clothes dryer.  I have awakened.

So when I felt my shoulders tighten, I knew I had been seduced into old patterns.  And I rejected them.  And recentered my thoughts to the now.  And my shoulders said thank you as they relaxed.

And I slept.  Deeply.  Felt rested when I awakened.  And the job became the job instead of becoming my life.

Now I see I have missed many days posting.  And I am ok with that.  Because I post when the mood moves me, or I want to share my thoughts.  That is what this blog is about.  Not keeping up.  Not gaining anything more than the pleasure of sharing a few simple thoughts.

This weekend I had work to do on my second job.  The job I love.  That gives me pleasure.  I painted, updated our website, and painted some things just for me.  Painting is where I go to refresh my energy.

Where do you go to refresh yourself?  What do you do to bring back energy when it is sucked away by negativity and stress?  I challenge each of you to think about how you keep your spirits and energy alive.  Think about how some things might be or should be different.  Think about what works and how to multiply it.

As for me.....I will paint.
~cath xo 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

my mom's day moment in time

{this moment}
- A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

“This Moment” is a ritual I found on Pamanner's Blog, via Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama. Check out their blogs, and if you are moved too, please leave a link to your Moment in the comment box below.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

maddie and the tooth fairy

Maddie lost her first tooth yesterday.  That isn't really important in the grand scheme of things to most people.  But it is a big mile marker to me.

Steve told me first yesterday.  Then I talked to Maddie, and pretended I didn't know.  This is how the conversation went:

maddie: hi Grammy
me: hi Maddie how are you?
(I heard her taking a big breath of air, like a pitcher winding up to throw a ball)
maddie: YES!
me: how did you lose it?
maddie: I got hit in the face by a basketball and it got knocked out.
me: do you have the tooth?
maddie: no, we couldn't find it

Leave it to my girl to lose a tooth like that.  Smacked in the mouth by a basketball.  At first, I thought maybe she had swallowed it, like a puppy.  But she swore it was knocked out, not in.

So I told her the Tooth Fairy would still deliver if she left a drawing and explanation of the lost tooth under her pillow.  I told her I would leave a message for the Tooth Fairy too.

So Jen got busy with Maddie and this is the letter she left under her pillow:

For those of you who can't read 5 year old,  the note says:
"I lost my tooth and it shot out.  I am sorry."
Sorry appears boldly, probably to prove how sincere she was for not having the tooth to swap for money.  Maddie was probably thinking this would get her a better payback.

My note said this:

I saw Jen's post on Facebook this morning.  The Tooth Fairy came through.  Jen said Maddie was up before the alarm went off, running through the house screaming:  "MOMMY MOMMY LOOK WHAT THE TOOTH FAIRY LEFT FOR ME!"

It was $5.  Yes.  Five dollars.  And a printed letter from the Tooth Fairy, AND a handwritten note.  I think the Tooth Fairy is a bit OCD with the accent on obsessive.  I should have had a talk with the Tooth Fairy personally last night.

And this is the new Maddie:

I look at that photo and see a tired little girl who has had a BIG day.  She has had tooth-loss envy since her cousin Jack lost his first tooth.  But she has now arrived.  She is a bona fide member of the Tooth Fairy Club.

I feel a little sad at this point.  Every tooth she loses is a step away from childhood and toward adulthood.  If I could, I would find that tooth and glue it back in her mouth.

But sadly, time only moves forward.  So I celebrate for Maddie.

And sorrow for me.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

for mary on mother's day

I've been trying to figure out what to get Mom for Mother's Day.  It isn't easy to find something for someone who really doesn't want much of anything, and I always let holidays slip up on me and find myself cardless.  Maybe it's time to try something a bit different.

So this post is for my Mom.  I wanted to spend a few moments talking to Mom.

I don't think I have ever told you thank you Mom.  I know I haven't been the easiest daughter to raise.  I was pretty passive aggressive and downright whiny as a child, and I don't think that has changed much since I grew to adulthood.  So today I am putting on my grown up drawers in order to say a few things to you.

Thank you for being so strict.  I thought you were so mean when you made me do chores, and dumped my drawer in the middle of the room when I didn't pass inspection so I could fold my clothes again, the RIGHT way. 

Thanks for the curfew you set (even the night before I got married).  I thought you were mean when you gave me a curfew, and made my dates come to the door to pick me up.  I realize now that you were taking care of me, making sure I was safe, and learned some morals.

Thank you for telling me I did a good job when I helped clean house (the bathrooms were always my job you said because I did it so well).  I still take pride in cleaning a toilet and making it shine.  I never felt like it was a "dirty" job that was beneath me. 

Thank you for teaching me to do things right, and to believe that any time I did something, it should be done to the very best of my ability.

Thank you for giving us Christmases that were a wonderland of surprise and magic.  I know it wasn't easy to do, but I appreciate the effort, cost and time it took after raising three children of my own.

Thank you for teaching me table manners.  This may not sound like much, but there have been many times in my life when I was dining out and thankful for the lessons of sitting up straight, not talking with my mouth full, and chewing with my mouth closed.

Thank you for telling me the night before I got married that if I wasn't ready, I was not being forced out of the house.  I'll always remember that the next day when I left for my new life as a young wife, I did it with my eyes wide open with enthusiasm and excitement.

Thanks for short-sheeting my bed the first night Steve and I spent in our new apartment.  It was a real icebreaker, and our laughter and relaxation that night has carried right down through these 40 years of life together.

Thank you for never speaking with prejudice about other cultures and races.  I didn't realize how blessed I was by that until I saw prejudice and hate in the world around me.    People are just people to me, and I got that at home.

Thank you for teaching me that just because I am a woman doesn't mean I'm less smart than a man.  I saw you fix plumbing, fix the TV (back when they had "tubes") and run a house alone while Dad was away on flights.  I always thought you could do anything.  I grew up thinking that all I had to do to learn something was read a book or take it apart to figure it out.  Because you did.

Thank you for being the voice of reason this past couple years, when I called for advice about things.  You made me stop and think, before I went diving off a cliff (figuratively).

For all that you have done, I say thanks Mom.  You were the one with us most of our growing years.  You were the one who influenced us most of those years.  I think you did a pretty damn good job too.

Thank you.  I send this little post to you for Mother's Day, to tell you how much I love and appreciate everything you have done for me, because I learned to be a mother from you, and my children learned those lessons from me. 

From generation to generation, the strength of our family goes on.  Carried by the strength and  love taught by my mother.  Happy Mother's Day Mom.

Friday, May 6, 2011

a moment back in time

{this moment}
- A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
“This Moment” is a ritual I found on Pamanner's Blog, via Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama. Check out their blogs, and if you are moved too, please leave a link to your Moment in the comment box below.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

being kreativ, la segunda parte

Tonight I finish the lists I started yesterday...that would be 5 more blogs I follow along with 5 things about myself.

First, the blogs...
6. The Titanic Swim Team- written by Steve Harris, I picked up the blog by clicking on a link on another blog (see what I mean about checking out those blogrolls!) and have been following him as he and his wife spend several months in Honduras volunteering with Mercy International to build homes for the poor.  It has been a fascinating story, and you have to love someone who can live in rustic conditions and still manage to post blog updates.  Check it out.  You won't regret it.
7. Derek's Home and Business Blog- I have gained some really good tips reading this blog.  Tech stuff for adding things to my blog, and all kinds of things related to social media and business...he writes in a relaxed down to earth style, and adds some nice personal touches too.  Give him a spin and a comment if you enjoy his blog like I do.
8. Angus Wilson Studio- I found and liked this person's Facebook page.  One of those recommendations you get on the little old side bar you mostly ignore.  Only I didn't that day, and I am so glad.  The artist in me loves his style...crisp lines, vibrant colors, he reminds me of my favorite Impressionist Van Gogh, but puts new life into the method.  Take a look and see if you don't respond to his art....
9. Rabin Photography: "One Million Tulips"- this is a photography blog...with stunning photos...it is one of the blogs I have followed the longest, and his photography speaks volumes.
10. Some Days or Now- this is one of the first blogs I followed, and if you follow the link you will see why.  Deanne is on hiatus from blogging I believe to focus on herself, but if you read her last entry and watch the video, you will see why I found her blog so captivating and touching.

I hope you enjoy the blogs I shared...there are many more, and after sharing these I will try to add a link to some of my posts so that you can check out other blogs.

I have to tell you 5 more things about me.  It would be easy to share the positive things, but I am going to track down a different road and share some not so positive things.  If I am going to share, I feel I need to share the warts on the behind of the fairy princess...

6. I can be cruel to my family at times.  I feel safe and loved, and this unleashes my tongue in a very bad way at times.  I have come to believe that it isn't always ok to say what you think to your family because you think they are stuck with you and should take it.  It is just too easy to forget that and say some things that cut.  Case in point, I said some things recently to a well loved sister that still haunt me.  We talked things through and have moved on, but I will have to chew on this a while to absorb the full lesson from the pain I caused her.
7. I am a dynamo at work, but can be a real slug at home.  Home is like a cave to me and at the end of a work week I just want to hibernate.  But unwinding that much makes it hard to wind back up the next week for work...I seem to have a hard time finding a productive middle ground.  Of course when the grandkids come, sluggo comes alive.  There is no vegetating with 3 kids 6 and under.
8. Horror movies and roller coaster type thrill rides give me a rush of adrenaline that makes me physically ill.  I feel like a monster.  That is why I never worked in the ER or ICU as a nurse.  I hate adrenaline rushes.
9. I don't want to end up like my favorite grandmother, dying a slow death from dementia.  It was the fear she voiced to me most often, and it was what happened to her ultimately.  I have seen too much dementia, and I would rather die fast and suddenly than to linger. 
10. I kick walls when I get angry.  Luckily I have a boss who lets me vent like that in his office, and if I do it here at the house, I make sure I don't leave scuff marks or holes in the wall.

So now you know some of my blog loves, and some of my warts.  This was a bit hard to write, but I hope you enjoy what you have read.  Or that at least you aren't disgusted.  :D

We all have warts, we all like different types of blogs and have different interests, and that makes life a challenge sometimes.  But I think it is what spins this blue marble we live on.

And maybe, just maybe, I have learned a bit more about myself by putting these thoughts into words.  Thanks to you all for reading. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

being kreativ

Being kreativ isn't easy.  In fact sometimes I feel like I am scraping the inside of my brain and it's empty.  Add to that a new set of responsibilities at work that have me feeling drained at the end of the day, and a prompt I decided to take on this month (to blog every day), and you have a recipe for total brain washout. 

Last week I was awarded the Kreativ Blogger award by not one but two people.  They have blogs I love to read. 

One is fairly new to me, To Gyre and Gambol, by Thom Brown, who has some wonderful things to say, but what really blew me away was the time lapse photography of a tree outside his office, set to some beautiful music by Rod McDonald .  Don't think it sounds very interesting?  Then check this out and see if you feel the same after watching it...I saved it so that I could watch it in the mornings with my first cup of tea.

The other is one I have been reading for a longer time, Hajra Kvetches!, by Hajra.  This is one of my favorites.  She is witty, with a sense of humor that knows no cultural boundaries, and we connected from the very first comment I posted on her blog.... 

So I felt very honored to receive these awards.  The "rules" are that you pass it on to ten bloggers, and tell ten things about yourself.

Now since I won it twice, does that mean I have to do double duty?  Well I could easily find 20 blogs of note, because I read over 50 blogs on a fairly regular basis...I spend a lot of time reading.  Blogs have been an eye opener for me.  They have touched my heart, made me think, made me angry at times, and I have loved every minute I have spent reading them.  But as far as 20 things about myself, I don't think I am that interesting or complex...not 20 lines worth.  

SO I will share 10...but I encourage you to look at my blogroll, and check out the other blogs I read.  In fact, if you travel around blogs...one of the best ways to get to know a blog writer is by what they read, and I have clicked my way through some wonderful links.

So without further ado, I will list five blogs tonight, and five tomorrow night, in no particular order:

1. Hipstamatic World  Because I love my iPhone Hipstamatic app, and follow this anonymous fellow on Facebook...awesome community of photographers and photos.
2. Dirty Footprints Studio  The art and artist (Connie) is amazing....
3. Enter the Between  Margaret Duarte is on a writer's journey to publication and gives some excellent advice along the way for other writers.
4. Aaron Outward  On a remarkable journey back to health, Aaron discovered a love of photography which has sustained him on his journey....and is well worth reading, with stunning photographs for the eye...
5. Best Posts of the Week by BettyL...now it may seem strange to include a blog that lists blogs, but the uniqueness of this one is you submit your own blog to the list.  What is an easier way to sample blogs and find a variety of things to read?  Give it a try.

Now five little tidbits about me:
1. I sleep with Darth Vadar.  He says I snore.  I tell him shut up, the force is with me, and if he wants to survive to wake up, stop telling lies about me.
2. I trip and fall.  A lot.  And I have the cracked teeth and (slightly) scarred upper lip to prove it.
3. I have a deep, penetrating fear of going blind.
4. I can't shut up when I see someone mistreating another person.  I truly love people, and have been known to get in people's faces (that are bigger than me) to protect the more vulnerable.  I believe to the toes of my soul that we ARE our brother's keeper.
5. I rarely cry, and have been like this since I was a child.  When I do cry, I am usually mad.  I shed the soft tears when I am alone, or when someone catches me crying.

That is it for tonight, sweetboogerbloggers.  I'll finish this list tomorrow when I have recovered some brain cells....thanks for your patience on my post, Thom and Hajra.  The blogs that take the most thought are the ones I mull around in my head for a while, and this was one....

I hope everyone grabs a few minutes with their morning coffee, or nighttime wine, to check out the blogs I have posted.  And take a few extra minutes to comment if you like them.  We don't all like all blogs.  And that's ok too.  It is what makes the world interesting after all.  Variety...it is the spice of life.

xo and over and out...

number one

...Here I go again...entering another contest...what's gotten into me?  The person who never wins anything (well except that wonderful Rapidstrap camera strap) has decided to enter another contest...

A photo of me and mom...something touching...and if my photo is good enough...

Mom wins 6 crystal wineglasses and an iPad2.  Which translates to I get the iPad and she can have the glasses...well maybe I want the glasses too...might as well be totally greedy...

So what touching photo did I enter?  I chose a moment of bonding between my mom and me.  A moment of touching closeness and emotional congruity that only a mother and daughter can share:

Mom loves me, her firstborn daughter, so much that she gave me the universal sign of approval...

I always knew I was number one in her life.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

shifty eyes

Day three of the May prompt from NaBloPoMo and I am brain dead.  No ideas, no thoughts.

I read an article that raised my hackles a bit, but I didn't fire back a nasty comment to the person who tweeted the link.  The reason I didn't?

Because I don't believe in straining at gnats and swallowing camels.  I want to have time to think about what I read.  Consider every possible angle.  To try to see it, and think the way others might. 

Then if my hackles are still up, I'll open my mouth...

I don't always stop and think before I speak.  I've eaten foot plenty of times....

So I am sitting in the living room, my mind wandering, and I get a "plink" on my iPhone.  Means someone is trying to tell me something, I just have to weed through about 5 programs I have running to find it....

I find the message on Facebook...seems there is this smarmy little Mom's Day thing going around; you put up a photo of your mom as your profile photo, and post this little "as a tribute to Mom, blah, blah, yada, blah" and leave it until after Mom's Day on Sunday.

I don't usually post much of that stuff.  It's not that I don't feel it, or understand it...

I just march to the beat of a different mom...

Until I saw what my oldest daughter had posted for her profile pic:
Taken in about 1981, when I was a young mom...I saw it....
and started laughing out loud....and laughed so hard that I had tears in my eyes....
my daughter types that she sees a photo of a beautiful family that is happy.
Nice sentiment isn't it?  Not too smarmy.  I think about it...

And laugh again...I know we were happy...sheesh I was living it....

Take a close look a the faces in the photo and see if you notice what I saw when we had it made....
Granted it was one of those church specials that you buy, they sit you down for thirty seconds and poof two shots and you are out of there...three hours of getting ready for 2 minutes of photographer's magic....

BUT...I noticed...and still do...

We are ALL looking in different directions....and I have an astigmatism so I am looking in two different directions myself...that adds up to 5 people staring in 6 different directions...

I don't even want to consider what we might be thinking about...
We never had another photo like this one...so it IS unique...
and every time I want to laugh, I pull it out and look at it....

After I finished laughing I thought "what the heck!" and posted this photo of my Mom:

By the time I found this photo, cropped it, resized it, and edited it a bit to soften up the old girl's face (this is my profile pic for the next several days after all)...I was too tired to find the little saying and copy and paste it...so I tried to think of something short and sweet...finally I remembered something that appealed to me when I first read it:

mirror, mirror on the wall....
I am my mother after all....

Maybe Mom will cry tears of joy when she sees it...
But I doubt it. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

john first

There is a lot of significant news going on in the world right now, but in my little corner of the world we had a significant event of our own yesterday.

John turned one.  He's a bruiser of a baby, and just beginning to walk.  John's world revolves around his family, his next meal, and how many things he can get into explore in the first minutes after his feet hit the floor every day.

John has a sunny disposition.  John has a temper.  John looks at how we open things and immediately is able to figure out how we did it and repeat it. 

That means there is going to be a lot of drawers and doors duct taped shut around here.  Until he figures out how to peel tape.  He's already a master at tearing paper.  Off packages (good), pages from Gramps' mechanic manuals (not so good). 

He is the only grandchild who single handedly dismantled his own party decorations.  After the celebration yesterday, he tore down his banner, pulled the centerpiece off the table, and kept us all scrambling to put stuff closer to the ceiling, out of his reach.

I look at John and see the future.  The possibilities.  The world will one day be John's.

And just maybe John will make the world a better place.

Happy Birthday John.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Well, here I go again.  I tried the NaBloPoMo prompt for March, and failed.  Life got in the way, and all of us that write blogs, and all of us that read blogs (I belong to both groups) know that life always comes first.

You have to deal.  No getting around it.

It's been a pretty oddball couple of months since I started that last prompt.

Let's see how this month goes.  I have new job responsibilities at work that are using all my brain cells up.  I still have half a business in California that I have obligations to (well really it is more like a third since my sister Vicky is the legs and heart of it).  I have grandkids who are my life and breath, and often almost succeed in robbing me of both during a busy weekend.  I have my painting, and photography to focus on, in all my spare time. 

I have a life.  Just like all of you do.  And even if I don't post every day this month using the "maybe" prompt, life will go on.  It will be interesting to see where it leads me this month. 

Maybe I just might succeed.