Sunday, September 28, 2008

Post Spooky Button

Look at the great button that my friend Deirdre made for the Post Spooky Challenge! Doesn't it look like these witches are brewing up some wonderfully spooky posts!? She's also playing, as are some other fun bloggers already! I'm so pleased some of you are joining in. Hopefully more October lovin' folk will be along as word spreads.

You can find both the button and the list of participants on the sidebar now. I also cleaned up my sidebar and I did a teensy bit (far from completed) of updating on my Bloglinks list. I'm gonna move some of the more artsy links over to my studio blog (sometimes it's a tough call which go where), add more people. It's years outdated!

Only a couple more days until October.... I just looked up on the wall to confirm the first day of October and see my hubby has already switched the calendar to the October page. He has an October birthday and he's got a big ol' note taped to the middle of the month. It reads:


1) Boy chihuahua
2) You : in bed & ribbon
3) Ferrari California
4) white t-shirts

Well, hmmmm. He's been wanting another chihuahua puppy from almost the moment we brought Rosie home, but I'm sticking to my guns no more pets until our big ol' dog crosses the Rainbow Bridge. I'm sort of sure the Ferrari is going to be out of my price range. But the other two.... might be doable. (I'm glad to see I rate above a car but apparently below a puppy.)

I had planned on posting this last weekend but just never got around to it. We had a rather odd week and weekend altogether as hubby was put on a day shift at work for training classes and we all had a go at being "NORMAL". You know, get up when the sun rises, work during the day, eat dinner in the evening, sleep when it's dark outside, traditional weekends home together. How did it go? A bit discombobulating. By the time the week was through we were all a bit sleep deprived and not sure what to do with each other during the strange hours we found ourselves thrown together. And dinner at five o'clock?! Didn't we just all finish with breakfast? Very confusing. But hubby went back off to work this afternoon, once again on our normal schedule.

What a relief. To be back to our normal, every day schedule.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Post Spooky Challenge!

*To find out how to join in the Spooky fun, read on. To find the list of Post Spooky participants, click to the current date main page of Beach Treasure and scroll down the sidebar.*

I have no digital image making skills whatsoever. I don't even have a word/image processing program in my new laptop at the moment. I need to rectify that. BUT, if we waited for me to be able to figure out how to make a cute button for this challenge, we'd all be covered in cobwebs and dust before it came to be. Which might be appropriately spooky, but not terribly exciting.

So, here's the thing. Last year I had a lot of fun creating spooky Halloween themed posts for the entire month of October. I want to do the same thing this year, and I'm challenging you all to play along. I'm also challenging (pleading, asking, begging) someone to make a decent button out of the "Post Spooky" label above. I will reward the button maker with a spooky treat!

All you have to do to join the fun is Post Spooky! for the entire month of October. I'm going to try to post every day, or as close to that as possible. You can try to post something daily, or simply as often as you traditionally manage. The entire post can be spooky or you can add a P.S. (Post Spooky!) to the end of a post that doesn't fit the theme. What fits the theme? Halloween, Samhain, Dia de Los Muertos, ghosts, haunted houses, pumpkin carving, mysterious music, costumes, cemeteries, reflections on the season, harvest foods...... you'll think of something that fits the mood or scene.

I'll add a theme or question to each of my posts for you to use if you want. For example "What's your favorite Halloween candy?" or "Have you ever seen a ghost?" You can use that as your next post, use it later if your idea pool runs a bit dry, or ignore the prompts completely and go wandering off alone in the woods in search of your own themes. Although, wandering off in the woods alone at this time of year.... might not be a good idea..... it's dark in there.... Did you hear that!?..... well, no one can say you weren't warned.

All you have to do to play is -

1. Let me know you want to play and the URL for your blog. (Leave a comment below)

2. Add a link back here (hopefully with a nifty new button in your sidebar, a button that some wonderful bloggerperson can figure out how to make) so folks can find the rest of the participants. I'll add your blog link to a list of Post Spooky participants in my sidebar and then we can all visit each other.

3. Post Spooky for the month of October (and if you celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, for the first few days in November too.)

That's it. There might be two of us, or twenty. Whatever, I'll be happily immersed in cobwebs and pumpkins and things that go bump in the night all month even if I'm playing all alone in the dark, just me and the spiders.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Me

Every night I pick up a few more of these orange globes as they fall to the grass. I've been eating one or two a day, mostly just sliced with some plain yogurt - the peaches are so sweet - or sometimes on top of cereal or pancakes. Still, I can't keep up with them alone. Hubby and William on the other hand, haven't been able to see the entire kitchen counter being covered more and more completely every day in orange. They walk into the kitchen, look around and wander back out muttering "There's nothing to eat." *headdesk*

So tonight I used up a bunch of them in a peach crisp recipe.

And suddenly, hubby realized we had peaches in the house! I doubt William will be interested, he only likes fresh fruit, but only fresh fruit that has been sliced, put on a plate, and placed directly in front of him. Is it a guy thing? A kid thing? I might try slicing a plain peach for him tomorrow, wave it under his chin and see what happens.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Parcel and Pedestal

First, Parcel -

I found a parcel on my doorstep today. My mom sent me a bunch of surprise goodies.

A couple of cute "fake flicker" candles. I've seen the little fake tea candles, but I've never seen them as tapers. I like that they are striped and polka dotted. A pair of monkey jammies for Joli, a little felt gift bag with a Halloween image on it, a cute little witch (who's perfect for hanging above my sink with her cute little spider hanging down (see her cute little spider!?), and last but not least (in fact, it's my favorite part), an adorable shabby chic style metal soap dish. Which I NEEDED. 'Cuz, I've got a new space on my new sink and I've been thinking "Gee, I really need to get a soap dish now." This one is perfect.

Second, Pedestal -

Here's my pretty new pedestal sink. Sam installed it for us about a month ago while we were away for a weekend. (the old wall sink was cracked) Isn't it pretty?! I don't think I would have thought to pick it out of a store line-up but I'm pleasantly surprised how much I'm really liking it. It's lines are kinda "Art Deco"-ish and it also reminds me of a column which then makes me think of Atlantis and goes with the beach/ocean theme in the bath. I know, it's a stretch, but my brain is very creative. And look at the soap dish, it looks just dandy in it's new home.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nice Nuthin' Kinda Day

If you're looking for a post with a topic or some sort of cohesive theme, uhm, this won't be that post. This is a free flowing stream of consciousness sort of post which is really a lot like my life in general. One thing leads to another leads to another and on occasion, if I'm lucky, I accidentally loop back to a previous idea and make it sound like it's actually a planned train of thought and I'm being incredibly wise.

Today was a particularly rambling sort of day. Just to get it over with, no, I did NOT get any more packing done on those swap boxes. I did not clean anything. Didn't do anything that was actually on my to-do list for today. But still, it was a rather nice day.

My wacky schedule is even more out of whack than usual as hubby's schedule has been switched to accommodate a training week at work. William is coming home a bit earlier from school and football practice as they're having a bye week this Friday. (thank you!) I'm trying to adapt to everyone else's switches and I'm still swept away in my own odd flipped reverse (from most of the world) schedule. Today's went something like this.

Went to bed at 4 am this morning. Hubby's alarm woke me up 5 am. He kissed me goodbye as he went out the door at 5:30 am. I went back to sleep for a half hour. Woke to the phone ringing at 6 am, which scared the crap out of me. No one calls our house at 6 am. Maybe 2 am, but not 6 am! But it was Joe, calling from half way around the world. (You can guess where he is, I'm not sure exactly where, but I'll give you a hint. The country he is in starts with a vowel. I haven't wanted to talk about it. He left last week. It simultaneously seems like he's been gone a long time already and it seems unreal that he's really left.) It was so nice to hear his voice. There's a few second delay in the transmission, which is sort of surreal. William and I got to talk to him for about five minutes. William went back to sleep but I was so jazzed that I couldn't and I stayed up until 7 am when I felt like I could close my eyes again. At 7:30 am William woke me up using my bathroom shower and bumping around going to school, he left at 8 am. I fell back asleep at some point after that and woke up just after 11 am. (Anyone figure out how much sleep that translates into? I think too little for me to have the mental sharpness to figure it out.) I puttered around semi-uselessly, showering, drinking coffee, checking e-mail, herding cats, until 2 pm when hubby came home and we went off to lunch. Lunch led to chatting with people about town and errands and picking up Taco Bell for William and we made it back home 5 pm-ish when I thought it might be nice to get "started" on my day. Somehow that didn't happen and then I was sitting on the couch with hubby and son talking and watching news shows all night. William went to bed around 10 pm and hubby should have gone to bed too but instead stayed up to watch Some Like it Hot with me. It was really fun to see it again since I've actually been to the Hotel Del Coronado since I'd seen it last.

Nice. But not particularly productive unless we want to play the "quality time with family" card. Which, true. But still not gonna make me feel like I got anything done today.

Speaking of watching the news AND speaking of stream of consciousness, I've had this cluster of songs stuck in my head recently because of the news coverage of all the economic chaos going on.

The first song is called Move to the Country by Gaia Consort. I was just dancing to the song at Faerieworlds last month, coincidentally. It's a sort of silly, over the top, poke fun at us ol' hippy types song and the fantasy many of us have/had about a simpler, easier life based on the values of the "counterculture". It's not a mean song, but I've always thought it was meant to be taken somewhat tongue in cheek. One verse goes like this:

"Everybody on the planet will make peace with their past
Every man, woman child - one at last
And we'll set fire to the mortgages
When the major banks collapse!

I remember a lot of us, dancing to the song last month were singing along, and we sang these words with a lot of dramatic enthusiasm. As if that's really gonna happen. The major banks collapse. Ha ha. Like, too funny, as if anyone would believe.... hahahaaa..... uhm..... yeah...... wow. Is it time to be scared yet?

No. I think I'll just take it day to day. It worked for Scarlett. Watch the news but focus on the smaller view - clean my kitchen, pack my swap boxes, pick my peaches. Which segues nicely to the next song in the mental connection chain.

Peaches by The Presidents of the USA

Sort of silly video. Not sure what ninjas have to do with peaches or "moving to the country", which is the connection to the first song. Maybe it's supposed to be symbolic for modern life attacking us? Or maybe, let's face it, it's just for fun. The song reminds me of Joshua, who used to play the album this song was on over and over again. And when he was tired of it, Sam picked it up and played it some more. For years we had the most lovely peach tree in the side yard and this time of year I was literally covered in peach juice for weeks trying to eat and put up all that bounty. The kids were young enough to think it was fun to help with all that sweet, sticky harvest task and they'd often join me in the kitchen, serenading loudly "Millions of peaches, peaches for me! Millions of peaches, peaches for free!"

That peach tree, so old that it was here in the yard before it was even a yard, before our house was built, which was some time in the 1950's or early 60's I believe, is now dead and gone, but we now have this new peach tree growing just outside the front door and the seasonal peach abundance has started all over again. I mentioned a few posts back that I thought I might have as many as three dozen peaches on the tree this year. Now that they're ripe and I can see them better, I started counting yesterday and in fact we've got something over 70 peaches!!!

Which leads to another song with both "move to the country" and "peaches" in it. It's an old John Prine tune but I first heard it as a John Denver song on one of my many, many (huge fan in the day) John Denver LP's. Yes. Vinyl. Records. Scratched and old, just like me.

Takes me right back to the days when only us odd back-to-the-landers were tossing around ideas like ecology, organic, natural, and herbs. I don't know if they were the good ol' days. They were those days, and then there were other days, and now we're in these days, where all those words have come grown to be embraced by the popular culture and sell thousands of products every second of every day although I'm not sure most folks are much closer to truly embracing the concepts than they were back in the 1970's. Whether those days were good, bad, or a bit of both, I think it's always best to work with where one is now, make each present day count. Still, it might be nice to drag out some of my old music (yes, I still have the those old records AND a record player to play them on) and indulge in a bit of memory lane strolling.

Or, did you catch Jackson Browne on The Colbert Report tonight? He's got a new album out titled Time the Conqueror. He explained that it is meant in the sense that time ultimately conquers us all. I sure get that one. Man, Jackson Browne is getting old. I'm getting old, we're all getting old! Okay, now I'm channeling Magenta - "You're lucky. He's lucky. I'm lucky! WE'RE ALL LUCKY! [laughs.]"

I told you, it's all stream of consciousness at the moment.

So, on the To Do List for tomorrow:

Find a ladder, pick the rest of the peaches.
Drag in some chicken wire. (don't ask, it involves cats)
Dig out old John Denver and Jackson Browne albums and listen to them.
Finish wrapping up swap boxes.
Find my Halloween and Samhain CD's. Maybe RHPS Soundtrack as well.
Do some laundry.
Maybe download new Jackson Browne album from itunes.
Clean off dining room table.
Put some of the clean clothes in the bedroom INTO drawers so I can find transitional wardrobe items. (It's becoming cold enough to want jeans in the morning an evenings, too hot for them still in the middle of the day)
Plan dinner, maybe even make dinner.
Watch more news.
Remember to take my antibiotics (dentist prescribed).
Eat yogurt and peaches.

I challenge you all to post your own stream of consciousness posts. And then, let me know so I can come float along through them. It'll be Farrrrr Out, Man!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumn Equinox

I like the sharp contrast and balance between light and dark in this photo. It seemed to fit the day.

I hope everyone had a merry Mabon, whether you celebrated it, reflected on it, or just paused for a moment to acknowledge the passing from summer to autumn. I was busy today, in a good way, but I wish I'd felt a bit more balanced on this "balanced" day. This evening I felt a bit harried, flustered. (Honestly, I think it was a lot about hormones - this too shall pass.)

This was a long, hot summer and I'm relieved to be moving into the crisp fall season. To me, autumn always feels a bit like coming back home each year. I'm looking forward to this year's visit. We've got a lot to do during our time together, me and autumn - play in the leaves, drink cup after cup of hot tea, visit the pumpkin patch, do some cleaning and some harvesting, enjoy some noisy football games and some quiet reflective walks.

What are you looking forward to in this new season?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Sookie Stackhouse Moment

The other day I told you I'd tell you about my "Sookie Stackhouse" moment. I'll say no more to explain that and let the story speak for itself.

About a week ago, headed out of town for a football game, I went through the local Burger King drive-thru window for a veggie burger and iced coffee for the road. The girl at the window convinced me it would be cheaper to order it as a meal (it wasn't) and since I don't like their french fries, I ordered the meal with onion rings. When I got my bag, I pulled around to the parking lot to set things up for the drive, only to discover they'd given me french fries. So, I went inside to fix my order.

I walked in and the only people there, except workers in the background, was a young woman behind the counter and a customer, a guy waiting for his order to come out. I walked up to the counter.

"Can I help you?" asked the counter woman.

"Yeah. I ordered onion rings, and they gave me french fries."

"No problem. What size was that onion rings supposed to be?"

"Just a small."

The counter woman yelled back my onion rings to the cook and then turned back around.

I started to pull my fries out of the bag and said "Do you need me to give you the French fries back?"

She waved her hand at me. "Keep'em"

"Oh. Well, I don't really like French fries."

The guy waiting for his meal was standing about two feet away and slightly behind me. He piped up. "I like French fries. You can give them to me."

Well, that's sort of a forward thing to say, but I assumed he was just teasing. This is a small town and folks are chatty. Still, I really didn't want the fries, so I finished taking them out of my bag and turned and handed them towards him. His eyes got big and confused.


"What?!" He looked uncomfortable.

I laughed and said "You just said "I like French fries. You can give them to me."

"No I didn't."

"Yes you did. I know you were teasing but really, I don't want them."

He laughed nervously, looked at the woman behind the counter, who looked at me, and then back at him. He looked back at me and said "I didn't say that. I thought that, but I didn't say that." He looked back at the counter woman. "Did I say that outloud?"

She looked a bit wide eyed as well and she said "Nope. You didn't say a word!"

We all just stood there for a few seconds. We all laughed again, a bit nervously.

"Okay, that was sort of creepy" said counter woman.

"Definitely" said customer guy.

"Definitely." I agreed. "But still, if you want them, you can have them." I offered him the fries again.

He shrugged, took them, and said "Thanks."

My onion rings came up, I got some ketchup, and left.

My husband is always complaining I read his thoughts but y'know, I assume most wives can do that little trick. But a perfect stranger!? (Well, I don't know if he was perfect. He was a bit on the chubby side - maybe all those fries.) And I swear, I heard him clear and sharp in the air right next to me. So, if you watched the first episode of the new HBO series, there's a scene in Merlotte's where a young kid is complaining about being stuck in a small town, and Sookie answers him, only realizing that he had only been thinking it, not saying it outloud, when she sees the freaked out look on his face.

So, that's my Sookie moment. It's not that odd things haven't happened to me in the past, but I think this was one of the odder ones.


More psychic ability. I can read my cats' minds. "Hey, look, Mom just pulled up in the car." "Do we care?" "Yeah, she might feed us." "Oh yeah, we care." "Should we get up and greet her?" "Nah, we don't want to look too excited." "Oh right, we're cats." "Right." "But maintain eye contact." "Gotcha."

Oh, and if you want to see some gorgeous autumn and Halloween displays, check out the photos of my friend's shop I put up today on Laume's Studio.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The News from My Yard

I'm sitting here on the couch tonight watching television and feeling sort of pitiful. I went to have a temporary crown put in one one side of my mouth this afternoon. For those of you who don't know me well, or might have forgotten the six dozen times I've mentioned it in the past, I have a dentist phobia. So I got no sleep last night (helped out by my stupid dog who decided to bark and bark and bark....) and was a bundle of nerves by the time I got there. I had to tell them that while the broken molar I need capped wasn't causing me a speck of problem (knock on wood), the OTHER side of my mouth had been paining me for a couple of weeks. Turned out it was a cavity in the back molar that was borderline root canal scenario.

So the dentist decided that took priority and gave me a temporary filling and antibiotics. If it stays good and fixed for a few months, I can have a permanent filling or maybe a cap done. If it doesn't, well, then I get my first root canal.I think he thought it was gonna hurt a lot to work on cause he sure kept sticking me up with more anesthetic. It didn't hurt (well, a few mild tweaks), but it sure made me think he was worried it would! Honestly, I've had so much sensitivity to hot and cold and pressure on that side of my mouth recently, I was glad to be getting it fixed. Me. Glad to be in the dentist's chair. WOW. Well, glad that if I have to be in the dentist's chair I have a dentist to go to, as opposed to not having the ability to have it fixed like a lot of people. My first choice would have been not to have needed to be in the dentist's chair in the first place. Duh.

But my point is, he shot me up so much that now, five hours later, I'm just starting to have some feeling in my mouth. I'm hungry but I can't eat because I keep biting my cheek. So, here I am, feeling sort of pitiful. Hubby just went on a sympathy trip to find me a smoothie.

I'm browsing through a new magazine, Country Home. It's got lots of great Halloween and autumn ideas. I'm in my annual crazy Halloween mode (I've been trying to hold off until October before submitting you all to nothing but seasonal posts - not sure if I can wait until then though) but I have only found a few magazines worth buying and bringing home. A lot of them have a pumpkin or two on the cover, but don't really follow up with much inside. I bought Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, which is always a good buy no matter what, and Country Living. I read them late one night and was only moderately happy with them but I think it might have been because I was too tired to really see the pages. I'm gonna give them another chance tonight. I've got a couple more here too. I don't buy magazines much, maybe one or two a month, but I tend to buy (and save) more of the October issues. Anyone know if Martha Stewart is doing a Halloween issue this year?

See, I couldn't wait. Like my new hat? Green! A hedgewitch type can't pass up having a GREEN witch hat! Of course I'm not a very competent hedgewitch lately - here's part of my garden behind me, all overgrown and ignored.

I snuck up on Miranda sleeping in the middle of the old hammock. With her stormy coloring, the fallen leaves around her, the torn and faded hammock cover looking sort of mummy-ish, I thought it was a good seasonal image.

Do any of you remember a few years back when a local deer treated my Charlie cat as a salt lick? Well, a young relative of that deer came by for a visit recently. This one was even younger, not a fawn but just lost it's spots looked like. It was sniffing noses with three or four of my cats while Rosie jumped up and down from behind the screen door like oil popping in a hot frying pan, barking up a storm. By the time I grabbed a camera, he'd (she'd?) had enough of a yappy little dog was on his way.

I've never seen such a fuzzy deer before, look at that cute butt!

The peach tree that my husband accidentally planted by the front door has been giving us peaches for a couple of years now. Maybe a half dozen the first year, a dozen last year. This year it looks like we have two or three dozen up there. I like how bright they show up in this photo, like little orange photo orbs caught in the picture.

Two nights ago we had a teeny wind storm. Well, it didn't feel teeny, it whipped up suddenly and blew the trees around like those nylon dancing guys they set up in front of car lots and such. I say teeny though because even though it was sort of "fun scary", all I could think of was that if it was "scary scary", like the folks that have been dealing with the recent hurricanes, it would be NO fun at all. It only lasted about five minutes and then it was over. I went outside and picked up the peaches that were on the ground.

Don't the orange look pretty in the green bowl?

A late night snack with tea and reading. Just finished that book. It was another good one, a new series for me, by Charlaine Harris who writes the wonderful Sookie Stackhouse southern vampire books. Have you been watching True Blood, the new HBO series based on them? I have. I actually ordered HBO just so I could watch'em. Except for what appears to be the need for an overly graphic gratuitious sex scene per episode, it's totally great! (not that I mind a sex scene, but I prefer mine on the suggestive side, particularly when I'm watching it with my teenage son). Speaking of Sookie.... never mind, maybe tomorrow.

Hubby came back with my smoothie a bit ago. It's great because I have a straw and I don't have anything to chew, but it's still a bit odd as it tastes sweet and cold on one side of my mouth and it tastes hot and salty on the other side of my mouth.

If you want to see the fun box of Halloween goodies that arrived from my mom yesterday, hop on your broom and fly on over to Laume's Studio.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm Here

I haven't posted for almost a week. I'm fine. I don't know why I'm not posting. Part of it is I've been dancing with this buggy friend hubby brought home. And busy. ACTUALLY WORKING IN MY STUDIO. And visiting bloggy friends instead of writing blog posts of my own. I've had "aha" moments every day, things I've thought I wanted to share with you all. But then when I get in front of the screen I just go blank or rethink whether anyone really cares about it or I don't feel like taking photos. Just one of those odd moods I guess, drifting through my calendar.

Just watch, now that I've explained why I'm not posting (or not really explained it really, 'cuz I'm not really sure why myself), I've probably unjammed things and I'll be back blabbering away by this evening. (And really, could I have used the word "really" enough in that last sentence!?)

Or not.

We'll see.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

When is a Birthday Not a Birthday?

When it becomes an anniversary.

Like everyone else, I'm reminded of that fateful day in 2001. Tomorrow, 9/11, will be the seven year anniversary of that tragedy that touched the lives of... well, not just Americans, but the entire world. Glued to the television images that day, as so many others were, a thought flashed through my head for a instant. I was selfishly grateful, guiltily grateful, that it happened on September 11th and not September 10th, as that was Joshua's birthday and if it had happened on that date, it would have changed the meaning of that date forever.

It was to become an ironic thought. In April of 2002 Joshua was killed and September 10th was forever changed anyway. It was no longer just the date of Joshua's birthday, it was the anniversary of his birthday. Another of many anniversaries we play out silently in our heads every year. The anniversary of his death, the anniversary of the last hug, the anniversary of another Thanksgiving without him at the table, the anniversary of another summer without a visit... This year, Joshua would have been 26.

I never know how any of these anniversaries will affect me. Sometimes I go sailing through them just fine one year, only to have them hit me like a semi the following year. Sometimes I work things out before the date. Sometimes it hits me after the date. Sometimes I'll be dreading an anniversary, feel it creeping up on the calendar, and then the date goes whooshing by while I'm busy with life and I don't think about it until later, maybe that night, surprised that I could have missed it. This April we were in Paris during the anniversary of Joshua's death. I knew it was coming up but on that day we were busy, happy, the date blissfully forgotten. And yet, in the wee hours before dusk of the next morning, nine hours ahead as the time and date finally caught up back in California, my body remembered. I woke up suddenly in the dark, alone and sobbing.

Sometimes I'm more angry than sad. Or maybe it's more of a frustration. I deliberately put symbolic hands over my thoughts and sing "La la la la la - I know you're there but I'm not listening!" But even those anniversaries when I'm fine, someone else in the family is having a hard day or week and I'm there to hug or talk or just acknowledge their memories or pain. We tend to all "take turns". We cover each other. You'd think that this road would be sort of predictable, but what I've learned all these years down it, it's anything but.

This time of year things get even more confusing as the happy and sad get tossed together. William's birthday was yesterday and Joshua's today. I remember how relieved Joshua was at nine years old that he didn't end up sharing his birthday with his baby brother. We try to downplay Joshua's birthday now because William doesn't need that sort of association. In fact, the last few years, with everyone's schedules making it so hard for even the three of us at home to be together, William's birthday has started to slop on over into today. It gives us a way to keep the date a joyful one. I think Joshua understands. But the date is wedged in on both sides, the other being 9/11. Even having very minimal personal ties to the tragedy, I suffered real and long lasting Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome after the fact that year. Too, that was also the year hubby battled cancer and we had to pack up our most precious belongings and wait as a forest fire crept closer and closer, within a quarter mile of our home. So my personal grief over the loss of a son gets all tangled up with my grief and fear and anger over the way our lives changed forever when our family's innocence was shattered in the summer of 2001 and when those planes were hijacked and shattered the innocence of the entire world in September.

It's a common phenomenon, this blending of tragedies. Anyone that has experienced a loss of any kind knows that any subsequent loss drags all the previous losses in ones life out for another round of light and shadow games. It's probably a good thing, it helps us to process and reprocess in bits and pieces so that we don't just do it all at once and explode (or implode as some folks do). But it's not a lot of fun, say, compared to a nice little anonymous date on the calendar that rings no bells or blows no whistles. It's not as fun as a day when the worst thing written on the calender is "Go to bank - deposit rebate check, William - dentist 1:30, and Dinner with Shelly 7:00". The older I get, the more my ball of losses gets snarled up, the more I learn to appreciate the beauty of an ordinary day.

I'm okay this year. As okay as can be I suppose. I can't tell you whether I'll be okay tomorrow, or next week, but I'm not bad at the moment. I will probably choose not to watch much news coverage of the anniversary tomorrow. But that doesn't mean I won't be thinking of everyone, all of us round the world, with losses big and small, private or shared, new and sharp or old and worn. One thing I never forget - every date on the calender is an anniversay for someone.

Joshua and William - December 1992

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Happy 17th Birthday William!

Monday, September 08, 2008

And Now Time for Something Completely Different!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Moments in a Life - A Weekend and a Meme

I stumbled on this Meme over on this blog and wanted to play. I don't know what the meme was originally called but it made me think of how our lives are such a crazy quilt of different moments and experiences.

I was thinking similar things this weekend when I was out of town for a couple of days and chose not to use my camera. It's wierd for me not to whip out my camera. I feel sort of lost without it. It was hard to watch all those little vignettes and moments sail by in time quietly, without holding on to them photographically, just noting them in my mind. It was an interesting experience for me to just let things go.

It's amazing how many moments make up even an ordinary day, especially when we try to see things with a "live in the moment" eye. I was feeling a bit grumpy about having to spend my entire weekend traveling and doing family things instead of doing my own thing, but it ended up being just a fine way to spend my time. Even the long hours driving were pleasant and filled with unexpected gifts. I got to see the first stand of autumn colored trees just outside of town, golden cottonwoods tucked in near the river. I saw a mountain stream sparkling in the few hours of sunlight that make it to the bottom of a steep canyon. I saw burned forests so still and ashen they looked like a living sepia print. It's hard to capture what a particular sight evokes, what a moment "feels" like. I think that's why I love photography so much because, when it does capture the moment, it's magical.

More on my weekend later. There was football, visiting with Sam, lots and lots of shopping both necessary and recreational. I want to take some photos to share. Meanwhile, on with the meme.


Here we present a list. Highlight those tasks that you have accomplished in your life. And then add a new task to the list of something memorable that you've done that isn't on the list yet.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins (I'm not sure if I have or not, but I've watched them swim with my kids. And I've swam with sea lions and other animals)
03. Climbed a mountain - How big a mountain are we talking about? I've certainly climbed little mountains. And I've climbed ON mountains. I haven't climbed anything that required climbing equipment and I don't ever plan on doing so.)
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive (I've driven a Porsche, a BMW, A Mercedes. Any of those count?)
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped (Not planning to, either!)
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s nappy
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon (Nope, but I had a hot air balloon almost land on my house roof and crash into, breaking, the top of my tree!)
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten tipsy on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse of both the sun and moon
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states (I think I've managed about 21 of them so far, plus six foreign countries)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had/Have amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach (for all the time I've spent on the ocean, I don't know if I've ever been walking on it at midnight!)
50. Gone sky diving (another one that doesn't tempt me even a sniggle!)
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love (not in the way you're probably think of, but yeah)
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie (no, but I've been in several plays and a television documentary)
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted a river
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert” (I don't think I can say I've been on television as an expert, but I've been interviewed on television and radio both, and I've been interviewed for a newspaper article as an expert - several times)
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house (more than once!)
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently (does shorthand count? I used to know it so much that I would THINK in shorthand!)
95. Performed in a Rocky Horror Picture Show
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour (no, but I did see John Denver three times, I used to be a huge fan)
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge (driven over it often, but never walked it)
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking (well, I didn't actually stop just because someone was looking!)
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a TV game show (Almost! - I came in second, for which there was no prize. If I'd gone with my gut, I would have won)
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (but I've been to the top twice)
122. Slept 30 hours in a 48 hour time frame (I've probably come close)
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read “The Iliad”
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream (at least some of them)
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident (not that I know of!)
150. Saved someone’s life (I wonder - not directly, but you never know)
151. Organized a HUGE event!

And my addition -

152. Seen something you can't explain with science.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

San Diego Zoo - Things with Feet

When I was down in San Diego we went to the zoo. Before we left, Joli got her hair put into these adorable pigtails.

I kept calling her Cindy Lou Who.

In her cute little black and white outfit. I want shoes some Mary Janes like that.

I love otters. And I love how this shot turned out. I had to hold my camera up over a wire fence to get it.

Joe making sure Joli didn't go over that fence to swim with the otters.

Ugly cute. A warthog. I can't look at him without thinking of the Disney version.

Beautiful flamingos - this flock was a paler shade of orange than other flocks I've seen. I wonder what causes the color variations. Genetics? Environment? Diet? All of the above?

That these birds were plenty vibrant!

What's the buzzzzzzzzz?

Some adorable bugs.

Unlikely friends.

Beautiful but I wouldn't want to meet one in the wild!

Possibly the cutest scene in the zoo.

Lots of things to take photos of, sadly my batteries died about halfway through the day and refused to pay twice the going rate for them at the little kiosks throughout the zoo.

A baby giraffe. I wanted to take a photo of all of him but my batteries ran out right after I snapped this one.

Flipped my batteries around in my camera and got one more picture out of them. (did you know about that? If you flip your batteries, you can usually get a few more photos) A tired family ready to go home even though we hadn't seen the monkeys yet! They get to go to the zoo all the time, they have an annual pass. But I don't. I wanted to see the monkeys. They sat down and rested while I went in search of them - monkeys that is. They were all sleeping. The monkeys. So we went home.

I put Joli in her jammies that night and took out her rubber bands. I love how her hair fanned out after being tied up in pigtails all day. Lisa said she had Bozo Hair. LOL!

If you want to see the beautiful botanical photos I took at the zoo. To see San Diego Zoo - Things with Chlorophyll, go to Laume's Studio.