Friday, October 31, 2008

Morning walk

For those of you who don't get up early enough to watch the sunrise, I thought I'd share my sunrise with you from this morning's walk. Isn't it amazing?

And, today is "crazy hair day" at my boys school so this is what they looked like going to school this morning! It turned out a little out of focus but, oh well....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Last Pumpkin painting and other stuff

I finished the 5th in my Fall Harvest Series of mini-pumpkins. I enjoyed doing these.

Yesterday's Bible Study brunch was fantastic. Look at the spread!
We've titled our big group gathering times "Paradise Cafe" with the theme of "To know Him is paradise" and we followed a French theme. We meet like this twice per semester.

Yesterday, our class hosted the group "project". The morning focused on prayer with several women sharing and then we did our project. We were asked to take 10-15 minutes of silence and ask God this question: "What would you like me to talk to you about?" As we had thoughts come to mind, we wrote them down. They could make sense together or may not have a theme. We then had trays of beads in front of us and we were asked to choose beads to represent each of the things that came to mind during our time of quiet. Then, we strung them together with a cross. This tool can be used in prayer time similar to a rosary, but ours is smaller and personal. Here is mine:

Starting on the left side, here are the things my beads represent as things God wants me to talk to him about.. and to listen for a response to:
orange bead: my marriage
shell: His love for me (it's symbolic for me being a shell... another story)
long red bead: forgiveness
green swirled bead: Husband
red barrel bead: trust issues
smooth stone: reminder to be still
hematite circle: remember to keep God in the center of all things
forked pointed bead: my thoughts
blue claw bead: my fear
Initial beads: my boys
Cross: remember Christ's love, sacrifice and forgiveness and a time for repentance
The blue spacer beads are a reminder of God's ability in all things... or, in other words, Hope.

I love my little thing and I want to do a necklace similar to this using some vintage rosaries I purchased on e-bay. They are beautiful but wouldn't it be wonderful to have a necklace made where each bead represents something and while you are wearing it and fingering it throughout the day, your thoughts go to those things?

This project was extremely well received and having a room of 70 women sitting in silence for 15 minutes is nothing short of a miracle. ;) And it was amazing to go around each table and hear the women share about the things God brought to their minds and why they chose the beads to represent those things.

And, last but not least, this use to be my studio! Boo hooo! I don't recognize it any more!
Great progress is being made and I'll be glad when they finish so I can get all this extra stuff out of my tiny house! There's barely walk space through our main living area! Eek!

Today has been a relaxing day though, and I needed it. I walked for 45 minutes this morning, got the kids to school, came back and cleaned up in the kitchen, ate breakfast, etc... and then went to yoga. Today focused on back strengthening and boy, I'm sore already! I came home and ate lunch, put away a load of laundry and finished up my little painting. My kids have early release the rest of the week due to parent/ teacher conferences so I picked up Max at 12:30. Sam is now over at his best friend's house. I'll pick him up at about 3:30 and have him put on his swim suit so I can take them back to the Y for swim practice. Sam got his neck hurt in P.E. yesterday so I think I'm going to have him just be in the water trying to work some stiffness out instead of making him swim laps. He can barely move his neck but I think being in the water will help loosen up the muscles some. I've been up since about 3:30 or so and I think by the time we come home from swim, I'll be heading down hill.......

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Well, yesterday, after getting my kids to school, I started out walking to my friend, Martha's house, which is about 2 miles away. We had a meeting to get somethings ready for a large group Bible study this morning... about 70 women. That took a couple of hours and then I walked home. I ran in the door to grab my wallet so I could jet over to Costco really fast because I just needed to be done with the "out running" and get home to start packing things in my studio for the big move out of the room. Well, when I popped in, around 10:30, Chuck told me that some of the construction plans have changed a bit and now, I had ONLY Monday to get the entire studio empty as well as the kids play area. Thankfully, they didn't have much stuff back there since I'd moved things out over the weekend. However, I thought I had a month to move all my stuff out, not ONE day! But I did it. My house barely had a trail to walk last night. By 9:00, I was ready to drop. Every part of my body was throbbing. I'd been going non-stop since before 5:00 that morning. I had to really think about what things I needed easy access to but could go in storage, what things I don't need any time soon for storage, and what things needed to stay in the house for a while. I have a little make-shift area set up for me.

My previous studio was actually in an enclosed back porch area where it had been made into a room by previous owners. It was never built to code and in reality, was very make-shift. Keep in mind that the man who did this also had all his electrical wiring on the INSIDE walls of the house covered by plastic casing. That is how it was when we bought the house and obviously rewired the whole thing. And when we remodeled the kitchen, we pulled out the old oven to find that there was no electrical outlet... it just had wires all twisted together for the electricity. It's a wonder this man hadn't burnt the house to the ground, seriously. Anyway, back the the studio. We are bringing the room up to code as well as knocking out a wall and expanding it as well as redoing the adjoining storage shed which had a rotted roof. The first step in the studio is going to be dealing with concrete and bringing the floor level up even with the house. But, in order to do it, the existing walls have to be saw cut out all along the bottom and steel reinforcements put in. So a series of beams and posts have to be built on the outside walls to temporarily hold the roof. This newly raised concrete floor will extent to the storage room which currently houses the hot water heater, which will have to be moved to do the concrete work. So, that is getting moved today too. I can't move all my things into the new room I will have for a studio until the back room is finished for Chuck to move all his things out there, since we are trading spaces. I'm still a bit sad about losing my room though. But, it will be fun to fix up my own little space from the ground up, with intention. Not just everything thrown in it. I'm thinking of painting a wall a fun color... maybe red.

Oh! I just looked at the time. I have to get dressed for walking. I will leave in about 20 minutes. Once I get back, I'll have to get the kids to school and get myself ready and out the door for Bible study. I have parent/teacher conferences for both my boys this afternoon so I won't get much of a break in between my return from Bible study and picking up Max at 2:05, but that's just how my life is lately... non-stop. I long for a few lazy days. I need a beach vacation! And yes, I know, it's getting cold at the beach... but you see, I don't like getting in the water. I like bundling up and walking when it's kind of cold!

OK, gotta' run....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Day of catch up

Today was my day to stay home and catch up on all the things that have been let go while I've been gone so much this week. Not to mention that since some rooms in my house are getting everything switched around and rooms traded, my house looked like a bomb went off.

I started my day with an hour walk and then dug my heels in. Everything is in as good order as possible considering that lots of things are being moved around. I'm still working through all the laundry though. It's been a long, busy day. And, to top it off, I feel like another bladder/urinary tract infection has hit and luckily, I still had a refill prescription the Dr. gave me last month in case the infection returned over the weekend. I never filled it but did today. I hate taking antibiotics and will be taking mega doses of acidophilus but gosh, the infections seem to hit me outta' no where. Apparently they can be more frequent in women who have gone through menopause, which is me. I know, I'm too young... 44 next month, but it's true.

Yesterday, Chuck and I went for appt.'s with our new primary care Dr. We love her! And, I found that I have actually lost 7 lbs. in the past week! I'm really excited! We also got flu shots yesterday which may be why I've felt so tired yesterday and today.

Chuck and I are going through some intensive counseling both together and separate and it's hard to believe how exhausting emotional issues are. They physically, emotionally, and mentally wipe me out.

Max had a play date with his friend, Anna, yesterday after school while Sam was at a friends house. Since we are doing major work here at the house, I took the kids to play at McDonald's while I painted. I haven't finished my 5th pumpkin painting yet as it still needs detailing but it's almost finished.

Well, that's my weekend so far... tiring....but it feels so much better to have my house clean!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Field trip to the zoo

(click pictures to enlarge)
After walking for over an hour this morning, I then walked the zoo the rest of the day with Sam's class! It was tiring but the kids had a good time. Here are some of my favorite shots.

Sam with his two best friends who can't put their yo-yo's down, even for the zoo, Gerardo and Winston.
And then, here's Max on his new birthday bike!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My baby turns 7 today!

I can't believe 7 years have already passed since Max was born. This is me the morning of my scheduled c-section! Look at that belly! This kid was breech through almost my entire pregnancy and I thought I'd die before I got his little dancing body out of mine. He stood facing my spine with his little butt poking straight out at my belly button. I only gained 28 lbs. with him but they way I carried him, it looked like a lot more!
And wasn't he beautiful? He still is. Each of my boys are special to me for different reasons. Max, was a gift from God to show me what it feels like to be in an unconditional love relationship where you are noticed, special, and affirmed. I get this from a little wild boy who rarely stops moving. He's incredibly affectionate. He was my monkey child. He's tender and sweet. He's giving and thoughtful. He affirms me in my role as a mom and as an artist. He's quick to forgive me. He's the first one to pay attention to my artwork and talk to me about it. He notices. He's an introvert, like me, but not shy. He wears his emotions on his sleeve. There is no guesswork with Max. What you see is what you get. And he makes me laugh like no one else can. These are all the things that I hold so dear to my heart about my baby who is no longer small enough to hold. He is also challenging and can make me want to pluck each strand of hair from my head, one by one... when I'm not squeezing him and relishing the embraces of his arms wrapped around my body like velcro. Yes, this one is a blessing straight from Heaven... this one, this wild little one, shows me a bit of God every day, straight from his heart.

I snapped this picture of him before he left for school this morning. Isn't he a character?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A little catch up

This is where I spend a lot of time on Monday's and Tuesdays:

This is my classroom at church where I teach my Bible study class. This is my room after I set up yesterday. I decided to walk to church since I didn't have any supplies to carry from home. It was a total, round trip walk of 4 miles! My whole day yesterday seemed a whirlwind of running. And I seriously can't even remember all of it even though it was just yesterday. Today was a repeat whirlwind day. I was at the church from 8:50-1:30. I got home barely in time to turn right around and pick up Max. Then, 30 minutes later, pick up Sam. I helped them start their homework and then I had to leave for a counseling appt. I stopped by the grocery store on the way home and didn't get home until 6:30. Fed the boys a late dinner and then had to help finish homework. I finally got them to bed and I'm ready to drop dead. But, I have chicken grilling so I'll eat a little something before passing out.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What do you do when....

.... you are a women who does not enjoy shopping, and you have a husband who lost a ton of weight and now weighs about the same as you? You steal his jeans, baby! Yep, you got it. And I did it! I was doing laundry this past week putting his jeans away when all of the sudden, I say to myself, "hmmmmm, I wonder...." And they fit perfectly! They are Lee Carpenter jeans and fit me better than they fit him... but don't tell him that. And I didn't have to go shopping! Wooohooo! He did notice them though... he looks at me and has this weird, puzzled look on his face and asks, "Are those my pants." Uh, yes but you can borrow them back sometime. ;) He did say they looked 'cute' on me so... he won't be wearing these much. LOL!

And these, THESE are dangerous for me to have in my house when I'm trying to lose weight and get in shape:
You'd think it would be the CASE of my favorite candy my hubby bought me but no... it's fishy crackers. I love Raisinettes, I really do. But I can only eat a few at a time or I feel sick. So I just don't open packages. But these little orange fishies? Well, I wonder how many I could eat before I got sick? I'm NOT going to find out, although maybe that would cure me... eat until I got sick, I mean. But no, I'm not doing it. Maybe I could have a limit... say 10 a day? I do better if I never bring the temptation things into the house. But when shopping for lunch stuff yesterday, Max asked for fishy crackers and I made the mistake of sticking one... or more, into my mouth. OK, so I probably ate a quarter cup. I'm on rationing now. Maybe I'll put the container in a pain-in-the-rear-end place to reach? Then, there's always the case of Raisinettes.... no, I'm doing good resisting those... As much as I love having a new pair of jeans, I'd rather get to shop and buy my own that fit a smaller, leaner, firmer body. Hopefully by Christmas! Hey, I lost 3 lbs. last week! So I am on my way.

I wanted to try a new yoga class this week and I planned on it until I realized that Wednesday, day of the class, is Max's birthday. I always have lunch with my boys on their birthdays and, unfortunately, the class is around the same time as Max's lunch time. ;( I'm going to confirm his lunch time with his teacher but I'm pretty sure there's no way to make both. I need to pull out the schedule and see what other classes are happening during times I can go. And, I'm planning to have a personal trainer meet with me to get a weight lifting program into place. When I use to exercise obsessively about 15 years ago, I loved lifting weights. I dug out my gloves and am looking forward to that aspect of exercise.
Nothing transforms the look and shape of your body faster, in my opinion. I can't wait to be able to walk in a store and put something on that actually fits and looks nice without spending hours and hours in frustration. I know I'm not alone in this. Shopping could be used as some sort of torture, I think. And what is with designers? I mean, clothes are either made for girls about 16, with these itty-bitty bodies and of really clingy, form fitting fabric. OR, you have clothes that look like something your grandmother would wear. When you are in your 40's, it's hard to find clothes that look age appropriate and body appropriate. If anyone has an advice for designers to look for or stores to shop for real women, please let me know. The only designer I've ever had any sort of luck with is Elizabeth Claiborne. She makes clothes that often fit my body well. Some seasons, it's the designs that don't do anything for me. Or the color palette popular that season. I don't know what is up for fall but I do NOT do anything pink or foofoo flowery. Bleh! NOT me. I love, love, love patterns and textures used in men's clothing and wish I could just shop in the men's department but I don't want to look like a man! OK, enough of the clothing rant.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What a day!

I am worn out. What a day of physical exhaustion! I spent so many hours moving furniture, book case, stuff around the room, cleaning out, cleaning up, organizing etc... And now the elliptical machine in the main living area. Then, I had to go to the grocery store. When I got back and put all the groceries away, I passed out for almost 2 hours. I didn't sleep well last night at all so the day really wiped me. I can count on one hand the number of nights I've suffered insomnia, and last night was one of them. Once I did manage to get to sleep, I had weird dreams all night and didn't sleep that many hours. Anyway, enough of that. I got a lot done and some things reorganized in the boys room. And, I cleaned out their book case and magazine rack. Look how nice! I counted over 30 books on ocean life alone. Sam went through a 2 year phase obsessed with sharks and other ocean life. By the time he was in kindergarten, he could rattle off facts to his teacher that made her feel dumb! She'd often call and tell me about different instances. When Sam gets interested in something, he researches and memorized everything he can about the subject. There's also quite a selection on snakes and insects. Now he seems to enjoy his National Geographic Kids magazines more than anything. When one comes in the mail, the look on his face is like someone handed him a gold bar!

While at the grocery store today, I couldn't pass up one of these gorgeous and delicious organic heirloom tomatoes! Isn't it beautiful? I decided that half of it was dinner! I added some buffalo mozzarella and a couple slices of Black Forest Ham. Yummy!
The flavor of these tomatoes remind me of those grown in Mississippi. They have the most amazing flavor, unlike most of them we get in stores here, which I refuse to buy. These cost a pretty penny so they are a special treat.

I now have boys waiting for me to read with them so guess I'd better run!

This morning's walk

I can already tell that as the season sets in and it gets light later and later, I'll have to change my walking plan, which is a bummer. I like going before the kids get up. Anyway, here are a few shots from my walk this morning. First, you see the moon as it looked just as I walked out of my house.

Next, we have a pair of hawks that flew overhead and perched on these huge antennas. These enormous antennas are only part of what this homeowner has growing out of their backyard. I can't imagine what all this is for. Maybe they are trying to contact aliens! All I know is that I'm glad this person doesn't live on my street! What a sight! But I loved seeing the hawks.
Here is the sun beginning to rise over the mountain that is sort of in view from my house. It use to be called Squaw peak and is one heck of a climb, but was renamed Piestewa (sp?) peak after the Iraqi war got going. It's names after an American Indian woman from Arizona that was killed in action. I still call it Squaw peak and always will. This is what Chuck took me to do on our first 'date'. I thought I'd die before we got to the top! I haven't hiked it in several years now because the coming down just kills my knee, which has been injured twice. When you get to the bottom and you are crying in pain, it's a big clue to stop doing it!
And lastly is the trunk of one of my favorite trees in the neighborhood. There are 3 massive Eucalyptus trees on the next street over. And I mean massive. I LOVE these trees. They are magnificent. I wish one was in my yard! I'm fascinated at the bark of these trees.
Well, I just finished cooking some Quinoa for breakfast so I'm going to eat and then face a day of cleaning out and organizing.

Friday, October 17, 2008

So, I started walking...

I finally decided it was time to stop putting off exercise. Yesterday, I started walking and it felt great, although I was sore this morning when I got up to do it again. I walked for 50 minutes this morning and took my camera along. I only stopped for a couple of shots when I was almost home. And no coyotes today.. of course, because I actually had a camera today. I love this prickly pear with all it's fruit! And this other cactus is on my street. I've stopped and studied it countless times. Today, it had a beautiful blossom on it!

I love the structure of this cactus with all it's waves. The light and shadows play on it beautifully. And the color of it! What a gorgeous blue/green!

I also went to the Y and checked out some things while my boys were swimming. I'm planning to start trying some classes this coming week. I'm thinking some type of yoga.

We're doing some cleaning out and rearranging of furniture, exercise equipment, etc.. in my house so it's a tiring job and mostly what I'll be doing this weekend.

I watched a movie last night called "Goya's Ghost". It was interesting with great costumes and gosh, the make-up artists did a phenomenal job on Natalie Portman. How they can make someone so incredibly beautiful look so awful in a movie is nothing short of a miracle. Tonight, I watched "Definitely, Maybe". I really liked this one a lot.

Now it's late and I'm heading for bed.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Well, I got home from my meeting a little while ago and snapped this picture of my boys and their latest creation. They are both on computer restriction for name calling. This is what Sam came up with for entertainment. A movie theatre for Beanie Babies! The name of the 'film' is "Big Adventure in Little City". He even created backdrop drawings for the various scenes and has Beanie Babies acting out all the parts! I"m cracking up just listening to this story. I love it when they do these kinds of things. Oh, and Max is the intermission... he has a Beanie Baby with a paper guitar singing a song that he's making up as he goes. He sounds like Bob Dylan and he's singing, "I neeeed some moneeeyyyyyyy"!!!

Feelin' better

I'm feeling somewhat better this morning although a little hoarse. But, I did get up at 5:30, dress, and wait for the sun to start upward. Once there was just enough light that I felt safe, I headed out the door for a walk. I think I left about 6:00. It's now 6:40 so it was a good walk. And guess what I saw walking the direction away from my street when I was on my way home?! A pair of Coyotes! YIKES! I've heard about them and have always tried to keep an eye on all the kitties but this is the first time I've seen them. There they were, trotting down the street like they own the neighborhood.

Well, I have a meeting from 11-12:30 today and an appt. at 4:00. Some time, I promised my boys to go look at costumes while they are on break. I badly want them to let me make them but they both are begging for a Storm Trooper costume. I told them there was no way on earth I'll ever spend $40.+ on a costume and if that's how much they are, they can forget it and better start designing. I love making costumes and it's sad that they are getting to a point that it's not fun for them to have me make them anymore. ;(

I'll dig out pictures of some I've done and post them soon. My favorite was when Sam wanted to be a red Stag Beetle. I did google searches, studied the anatomy of their bodies, etc.. and went to work. Then his candy box was an empty detergent box. I glued green felt on the outsdie and then cut and painted felt leaves and attached all over it. He was so cute. That same year, Max was a car complete with working headlights and a gas tank which was his candy box! I really enjoy all the engineering to create them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

another painting

I've felt really run down today and feel my allergies flaring complete with a headache and a sense that laryngitis may attack me again. I've not done much all day. I did, however, finish another of my pumpkin ATC's and started the last of the series.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Finally, some paint

I taught my Bible Study class today, which went great. I was fun playing in paint and teaching the women. After I got home, I spent some time chatting back and forth with a friend via e-mails and managed to paint another pumpkin ATC today. I still have a couple more to do. This is the third in the series.

I had a night of not enough sleep and I feel like I'll fall over any minute and it's only 6:10! I will be putting the boys to bed soon and heading that way myself. Tomorrow morning, especially, I just need some down time. I've been running non-stop for days and I'm worn out. I'm not one with a high capacity for activity. I need my down time.

Maybe tomorrow, I'll tell a bit about Bible Study....

Monday, October 13, 2008

just some stuff

Max came home a week or so ago with this little construction paper guy he made. Max's personality comes screaming through when you realize that he made the guy so his shirt would open revealing a hairy chest! LOL! And check out the key ring!

I thought I'd share my dead insect collection. Yes, I have one and I know I've mentioned it before. I did decide to contain it and get them all off my computer when I sorta' freaked out a girlfriend one day when she realized they were real. Now they are kept in a glass top cigar box. I love looking at them and find them beautiful and fascinating. I don't know if this makes me a little sick or not. But hey, other artist's collect bones and teeth! While I've threatened to make a charm bracelet out of my kids baby teeth, I haven't gone there yet... and I do not collect bones.

I have been a collector of things since childhood. I started my first scrapbook when I was 7 years old. My scrapbooks from high school are pretty awesome but falling apart. It's funny to see the things I saved. I've been going through them some lately. Over the years, I've had to cut down on some of my collections because, well, you just run out of room! I do have a collection of Hall pottery from the 40's that I love, since my maiden name was Hall. I don't have room to have all of it out but have some of it above my kitchen sink on a shelf. I had to get rid of some of my books because they really take up a lot of room. I still have a bunch but often get rid of a book as soon as I read it. I have 5 shelves of books in my art studio for the sole purpose of destruction... for art's sake! I have several old vintage quilts of my grandmother's. I saved a million small trinkets and things from childhood. I'm such a visual person and love having something to look at to bring back memories. I started collecting rocks and beach glass a few years ago and now, when I go to the beach, that is like a meditative thing for me to do on my walks... just searching for treasure. There is nothing more soothing to the soul. These are just some things I collect...

What do you collect?

Chuck, the chef

I thought I'd post a picture of Chuck making those delicious pizza's this past weekend!


I got my computer back and they were able to retrieve all my data from my old hard drive so I didn't lose anything! I'm doin' a happy dance! Chuck got me an external hard drive last night and will be hooking it up tonight! Now I won't have to worry anymore!

I have had the most busy day today. And it's still not over. I still have some things to do for Bible Study tomorrow. I spent an hour setting up my room, 2 hours in a meeting about tomorrow, took Sam to Borders, picked up my computer, took the boys to swim, and got home a couple of hours ago. I feel so behind!

I need some art time BAD!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I remembered!

The 5th pizza was BBQ chicken with red onion and buffalo mozzarella.

Getting ready

Well, I just finished cleaning off my desk hoping that my computer will be ready to pick up tomorrow.  But, it may be as late as Wednesday.  I'm crossing my fingers, toes, and eyes for tomorrow.  I miss it like you wouldn't believe!  Chuck bought me an external hard drive today so I'll be backing my stuff up daily, from here on out.

I also spent a LOT of time cleaning in my kitchen today.  I know I mentioned that Chuck was cooking Friday evening for 7 friends of his.  Actually, it was more like hosting a small family reunion for one of his biker buddies from high school.  Anyway, Chuck served up 4 different homemade pizzas which were  more Wolfgang Puck style... and let me tell you, he could go up against him any day!  He made:
Tandoori chicken (My personal favorite that just has flavors exploding in your mouth.  You have to just sit with your eyes closed, groaning, to really absorb the amazing flavors of the mango chutney, tandoori chicken, spicy Indian sauce, buffalo mozzarella, and cilantro)
Thai chicken (with a peanut butter/honey sauce, curry chicken, green onions, and cilantro.  Yummy but rich)
Italian sausage with red bell pepper and red onion
heirloom tomato, basil, and buffalo mozzarella (my second favorite!)
Seems like there was one more but I can't remember.  I was only able to eat 2 small slices of pizza's #1 and #2.  I have eaten left overs the past 2 days and still haven't tasted the sausage pizza.  Anyway, when Chuck cooks, he's MESSY!  I cleaned up most of it Friday night, some on Saturday, but today, what was left was the worst.  He created his own version of a clay oven by purchasing several clay slats, which he pieced together on 4 racks between our two ovens.  He cooked the pizzas directly on the clay tiles.  Well, I spent God knows how much time today chiseling these things to clean them.  And, even more special was the bits of dough baked to the very back wall of the oven where he didn't realize how large he had made the pizzas and that they were hitting the back wall of the oven.  It was quite a clean up job.

Max hasn't felt his normal self today.  He's been coughing.  At least, if he's going to get sick, there's no school this week.  But, I have a meeting in the morning besides all the set up I have to do for my Bible Study class Tuesday morning.  And then there's Bible Study Tuesday so, I'm really hoping he's not going to get sick because I need babysitters!  I'm still trying to find someone to watch them.  My mom is in Flagstaff celebrating her 20th anniversary with my step-dad and I can't remember when she's getting back!

Well, guess I'll sign off for tonight.

my poor, poor computer

Well, I took my computer into the Apple store yesterday to find that they will have to put I a new hard drive.  First, I'm thankful it's covered under warranty.  Secondly, I'm feeling some panic over it... actually, a lot of panic.  Nothing has been backed up on my computer since I got it last Christmas.  Chuck was in the process of creating a system in the house where all 3 computers would tie into a central back up system and get automatically backed up daily.  However, my computer crashed before he finished it.  All my photos are my main concern.  I feel sick to even think about it.  Hundreds of photos.  Also all the weeks of work on my class proposals, etc...  I'm praying they will be able to recover everything.  I should have it back at earliest tomorrow but as late as Wednesday.  I can't wait to have it back.  I hate using my kids computer.  Their mac keyboard is so different from mine and I make a ton of typos on it.!

Chuck tried to load Sam's photo software onto their computer in order to download all the photos from Sam's camera, which is full right now.  No luck.  Wouldn't work.  so, the plan I had with my boys to go to the Desert Botanical Garden flew out the window.  We were all so disappointed.  But what we like going for is to photograph everything!  

Our temperatures have really cooled off here.  Yesterday, our high was 77!!!!!!!!!!  For those of us use to 100+ degree temps., it feels like a huge cold front!  My favorite temps. are 45-65 degrees so we're almost there.  However, our cold snap is heading back up the chart as it is suppose to be back in the mid 90's by the end of the week.  That's still gorgeous weather for us and really is not that hot since we don't have the humidity.  THAT'S what will kill you!

I ended up taking the boys to a late breakfast park picnic with McDonald's burritos.  Then I played football with Max while Sam took pictures and made movies with my camera.  We then went to the Apple store.

When we got home, three nights of not enough sleep hit me like a ton of bricks.  I had to lay down.  I slept for almost 3 hours!  Then I got up, got the boys bathed, and took them to a movie.  We saw City of Ember.  It was a good movie.  Interesting.  not my favorite ever but it was good.  We saw Beverly Hills Chihuahua last weekend and it was so cute, but, we had a family that sat behind us that had no business in the theatre.  Rude doesn't even begin to describe it.  Selfish, would be another word.... oh, and let's not forget inconsiderate.  There was non-stop talking, a young one who never sat down but instead banged our seats the whole time, and a baby that fussed and cried through most of the movie and these people would not take the baby out.  Since I am hearing impaired, I missed a LOT of the movie dialog simply because all I could hear was this family, especially the baby.  I was pretty ticked off by the end and next time, I'll go get theatre management.  I would never inflict my selfish desires on an entire theatre of people who have paid their money to come relax with their family.  When I had small kids, no matter where I was, when they couldn't be calmed right away, we left, whether it was a theatre, restaurant, store... anything.  Yes, it was inconvenient for me, but considerate for everyone else.   Why should others be punished?  OK, so I'll stop my rant.  Anyway, I'll wait for that particular movie to come out on DVD and rent it so I can have my sub-titles.  I LOVE closed caption options!  I'd like to kiss the feet of the person who came up with that idea!

I need to go shower and get ready for church.

Friday, October 10, 2008

still no pictures

And no computer either.  Well, my own, anyway.  My computer is only 10 months old and it won't even open a window to start.  I have to call Apple and see when they can get me in to check it.  In the meantime, I'm using my boys computer and am having the hardest time getting use to their keyboard.  I fix a million typo's.  And, I can't load any pictures or get to my folders in my mailbox, etc... it's driving me nuts.

I went to school this morning to read in the boy's classrooms as I do every Friday.  It's really fun.  I did a ton of cleaning yesterday plus had 3 hours worth of appts.  I didn't get enough sleep the past two nights and I'm dead on my feet.  I'm waiting for Chuck to get in the bedroom and get himself dressed and outta' here so I can take an uninterrupted nap.  We are having company over for dinner, all of whom I do not know.  For those of you that know me well, know how I feel about these kinds of things.  I hate the "meeting" part and small talk.  I"m sure it will be an enjoyable evening once I get past all the introductions and such.  Chuck is making a variety of homemade pizzas including Thai Chicken, Tandoori Chicken (my favorite...I could make myself sick on it!) and I think he said BBQ along with some traditional stuff on another or two.  So at least there won't be a million pots and pans to wash afterward!

I just wanted to quickly check in.  My kids are out of school all next week but hopefully I'll get some artwork done to share.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


OK, so everyone won't think I had evil parents, they were trying to do what they thought was right and being protective of me when they made me break up with this great guy. And I probably should have told them what all the other guys were really like but I was afraid they'd never let me date anyone! Had they had notes to compare Bryan to the rest, then they may have made a different decision. And had I been even a little rebellious, I'd have kept seeing him. But that wasn't in me. I'm more rebellious now as an adult! So mom, you weren't a bad mom! I love you!

I survived!

Well, I survived my mammogram and hopefully, the compared results from the last one will be fine and I'm off the hook for another year. Hallelujah! I had to wait a really long time but enjoyed a nice conversation with an older woman sitting next to me so it helped pass the time.

Today, I had the priveledge of finally tracking down and talking with someone I've wanted to talk to for over 25 years. When I was 17, I dated the nicest guy ever. I have always wanted to thank him for how well he treated me, respected me, and made me feel special. Today, I got the chance to do that. It was wonderful getting to catch up with him on his life and it was as if no time has ever passed. Coming from my VERY southern Baptist background, my parents had issues with his coming from a Catholic background and finding nothing wrong with occasionally drinking alcohol. They forbid me to see him. They did not know then, that just about every other guy on the "approved list" not only drank, but weren't exactly as they'd expected in other ways either. Only Bryan was really what they'd have wanted me to date but they couldn't get past the alcohol issue even though he had never drank when we were together. Anyway, you can go back and undo the past but I did get to thank him. And that was important to me. He's now a successful television journalist for a station in Alabama and I'm really happy that he discovered his true passion and followed it.

The rest of the day was just a whirlwind. I had to pick up a babysitter, who took the boys to swim today, in my place. I had to go to an appt. with Chuck. We got home, got the sitter delivered to her house, and then I had to do homework with the boys. Now it's almost bedtime. I barely ate today and finally got some pita and hummus in my stomach so I'm not dizzy. I don't know why I do that. You'd think I'd be stick thin for the amount I eat. I'm not a snacker either. But I really need to start working out. It's that word "start" that is stopping me. Ugh!

So, no painting time today. Tomorrow I won't get any either due to other time consuming appts.

New Artist's Group and other stuff

Yesterday was, in a word, exhausting. I have a low capacity for constant running around and I am CRAVING some alone, quiet time. I taught my Bible Study class yesterday and got everyone started on a cool new project, which I think I already spoke of in an earlier post. I'll have to check. Anyway, I was running late getting there and I absolutely hate running late for anything. And running late for a class where you are meditating just really sucks. I was literally shaking when I sat down and it's hard to clear my mind when I'm like that. I don't get the full benefit of class when I walk in the door frantic. I usually get there 30 minutes early but yesterday just didn't happen like that. In spite of it all, it was a successful class. Our class ends at 11:30 and I didn't get home until 12:30 having to clean up and put supplies away. Thankfully, I live only 1 mile from church so no driving in traffic.

I caught up on e-mail, did some house stuff, ate lunch and then it was time to start the kid pick up. Got the boys home and homework done. Thankfully, neither of them had a lot. Chuck called and said he still had 3 more meetings that day and wouldn't get home until 10:00 so I had to take the boys to swim. But, frantically, before I could do that, all in the hour of getting the boys home, snacks, homework, and ready for swim, Chuck came in and I had to press his dress clothes and cut his hair! (boohoo.. he made me buzz it all off again!) I was happy to have that 30 minutes of swim practice to sit and read the latest issue of Quilting Arts.

My babysitter arrived and off I went to my new Mixed Media Art group, after a nice cup of coffee to get my butt off the floor! We had a really nice meeting with 12 in attendance. I think it will be a fun group. We have a wide variety of talent in the group. My best friend, Fran, couldn't make it due to her monthly treatments for her illness but we planned our next meeting around her treatment next month so she can attend! Fran, I made them get out a calendar for you! ;) It will be fun to gather with like minded people each month.

I woke up this morning at about 4:45. I'm a morning person by nature but really wish I could've slept another hour. Once I wake up, my brain goes into high gear and I can't get back to sleep. But I LOVE being the only one up in the morning in the dark. I love watching the sunrise. My studio is actually on the west side of my house so I get to see the amazing Arizona sunset every evening (which also heats up my studio a bit too much for my liking) so in the morning, I just have to watch for the lighting of the sky and I start running back and forth to my front window for the sunrise. I love winter sunrises the best. I don't know why they are more beautiful but they are. I watch the sky streaked with colors that can never come in a tube of paint and my heart sings. I feel like it's God's morning greeting to me, personally. It brings me joy.

This time last week, I had my migraine and had to cancel my mammogram appt. God, how I hate, hate, HATE having those things done. But today is the day. I can expect to suffer for several weeks in the aftermath. OK people, you'd think that if man can get a rocket to the moon, they could invent a better way for mammograms other than the pancake method. Seriously. I always think that machine is going to cause some kind of permanent damage to my breast tissue. It sure feels like it. I mean, when they tell you, "hold your breath and don't move", they actually think you CAN breath at that moment?!?! As you stand there gritting your teeth fighting tears. Geez, the suffering we women do.

Woo Hoo, it's Wednesday, my only t.v. night! Project Runway is my favorite show but I think tonight may be a special show or something since now, the 4 in the final run all have to create collections so I need to check when that episode will air for the actual Runway show. I'm still ticked that Kenley didn't get her snotty butt kicked off two weeks ago. I just can't take the arrogant, argumentative attitude. I love Korto and Jerell's designs this season so I think it's going to really come down to the two of them. Although, I'm interested to see what LeAnne does with her designs now that a challenge isn't in place. The collections for the runway are really the chance to see the heart and vision of the artist at work. It's the place they can be true to themselves so I love seeing what they do.

OK, I know ya'll are tired of reading. Sorry I don't have pictures to post. Don't know if I'll get any painting done today since I also have an appt. I have to go to with Chuck this afternoon and my boys have early release from school every Wednesday. So they day is already eaten up before it even gets started! Ugh! And next week is fall break! We didn't get fall break when I was a kid so I don't know what's up with that. It throws me off my routine! Now I have to find babysitters for stuff next week.

But maybe can get a painting started. Max brought in some pomegranates yesterday and I said to him, "Hey, can you not eat those yet? I need to paint them". He gets my art at only (almost) 7 years of age and it's so cool. So yes, I get to paint them first. He's my little affirmer.

I'm gonna' shut up now. I can't imagine anyone is still reading this... And hey, all you out there all over the world reading my blog, how did you ever find me? My site meter shows visitors from places I never imagined so leave me a comment sometimes, those of you visiting me here! I love comments, even if it's just to let me know you are reading!

Monday, October 6, 2008


OK, I finished my little painting. I hope it's identifiable!

Just catchin' up

Today was a really busy day. After getting my boys to school, I went directly to a meeting to discuss my Women's Bible Study class for tomorrow with one of the women co-teaching with me. Our third wheel is out of town so it will just be Martha and me tomorrow. We are starting a project meditating on the story of the woman touching the hem of Jesus' robe and being healed. We'll be doing an imagination exercise tomorrow and then continue with this same passage for several weeks with different exercises. We'll be doing some writing and then starting an art project that will run for several weeks. After meeting with Martha, I spent about 2 hours setting up my room for class tomorrow. It takes longer this year setting up the basics for what we need because my class size almost doubled! After setting up, I came home and spent about another hour and a half typing out hand outs and stuff for class tomorrow. Then, before I knew it, it was time to pick up Max.

In the midst of my morning, I forgot to go to the grocery store for lunch stuff for my boys. I told them to pick up their lunch boxes in the school office but guess what? I TOTALLY forgot and almost had a heart attack when I realized it. By then, it was too late. However, there is the school lunch food... and there were 4 options to choose from today. But, do you think my boys did that? NOoooooo... they both chose to go hungry! Figure that out! Little stinkers! Needless to say, they were starving when they got home.

After getting the boys fed and started on homework, it was quickly time to go to swim practice. Chuck couldn't take them today so I had to go, meaning, I wasn't making dinner. Not that I mind that part, since I don't like cooking... but, oh well. I spent swim time journaling things swimming through my head.

We got Wendy's on the way home and then the boys finished homework, got bathed, and had just enough time to watch a movie we had rented. While they did that, I worked on another watercolor ATC. I borrowed a green pumpkin from Martha today. I think that's what it is anyway. Some kind of squash. It's still in progress due to the constant interruption I got trying to paint it! I'll do my pen/ink work on it and it will be finished. Here it is now almost 8:30 and I'm just eating my Wendy's salad.

Tomorrow night is the first official meeting of a new art group here for the west valley. My friend, Marilyn and I have been talking about starting a group for a couple of years now. Well, she took the bull by the horns and now it looks like we have quite a group planning to attend tomorrow evening. I'm looking forward to it. Although, Fran reminded me that the debate is on t.v. tomorrow night and I hate to miss that because I really need to see it! I don't know if Fran is planning to attend with me or not because of the debate. She's way more political than I am. It's funny, our friendship contains some of those elements you hear that you should never discuss.... religion and politics. Fran and I are opposites on both with me being a born-again Christian and she being Jewish. And then she's really liberal when it comes to politics and I'm really conservative. Yet we can discuss our thoughts and opinions without arguing and fighting and agree to disagree. It's really a gift, I think. And she makes me look at things in a new way, no matter what it is. We haven't had as much time together lately as we have in the past and as much as I would like. I've missed her. Fran, I have missed you! I'm sorry I didn't get over to cut your hair today! ;(

I'll go and see if I can get my painting finished so I'll have something to post.

Friday, October 3, 2008

My drug of choice

is, by far, paint. No, I do not eat it nor do I sniff it! But there is just nothing that can calm, rejuvenate, or refresh a soul like paint. For me, today, it was watercolor. I've been focusing so much on my Art Unraveled class proposals that I haven't had time to just sit and paint. Today, I woke with my 3rd headache this week but it went away fairly quickly with meds. I went and did my weekly reading session in each of my boy's classrooms at school. Then I headed over to Fran's after a quick trip to the post office, a load of laundry tossed in, and dishes loaded into the dishwasher. My times with Fran have been FAR too few in the past couple of months and it makes my heart so sad to think of all the time I've missed her lately. It was good to catch up a bit today even if we only had a couple of hours. So, I painted. When I was in Target yesterday, the ornamental squash and pumpkins caught my eye and I knew I had to paint them so I bought a bag of them. This painting is a tiny, ATC size. For those of you that don't know what an ATC is, it's an Artist Trading Card, the size of a playing card (2-1/2 x 3-1/2 in.). I am kicking myself now but I joined in on an ATC swap with the Every Day Matters Sketch group so I have to create 6 to trade. And, I swear... NO MORE SWAPS! I don't know why I keep joining in when my art time is so sacred and I want badly to get some new art in my Etsy store! Arghhh... I"m so mad at myself! But it will be fun to get other little pieces of art from other artists. There are some really phenomenal artists in this group.

Normally, today is Family Fun Day in my house. My day with my boys to watch movies, play games, etc.. However, they have missed swim too many days this week due to either my being sick or Chuck not feeling well so, they have to go swim today. Tomorrow will be Family Fun Day. I want to go see the new Beverly Hills Chihuahua movie. It looks really cute. I'm hoping Chuck can go with us. If not, I'll take the boys myself. I'm sacrificing my pajama day! Believe me, it's a sacrifice! I live for Saturday's now so I can be a pajama hermit! LOL! Wouldn't it be great if we never had to get out of pajamas? ;)