Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 a Review in Pictures

Some scenes from over the past year. These moments make me feel immense gratitude for the life The Boyfriend™, Trolls and I are building together.

I have one more day left of my mini vacation and will do my level best to catch up before midnight on 12/31. In the mean time, I am going to relish the moments we're enjoying - right now - as a family... Rekindling our Massachusetts vibe.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The best laid intentions...

So, here it is a week before Christmas (almost to the day) and I'm still nowhere near complete with the making and the shopping.I'm having exactly zero luck talking myself into being productive, either. I know I should get on with the elving -- I'll feel better, if I do -- but I just can't quite get there.

It's because Christmas is evil. I kind of wish I was a Jehovah's Witness, so I could just skip over the whole Christmas thing. OK... not really.

The fact that Christmas is a week away -- and 2012 just a couple of weeks away -- makes me feel old. Time is just going by too quickly and I desperately want it to slow down. I want to cherish the precious time I have left with The Trolls and ingrain all the seconds and minutes into my memory so, when they're off living their own lives, I'll have them close still.

It's a mom thing.

Speaking of parenting -- the State of Florida (which, the longer I live here, the more I believe is just America's trashcan) -- has been interfering. Not in hugely grave ways, but enough that my desire to home school The Trolls on a farm somewhere in the wilds of New England is reinforced. I literally have to sign a note that declares that I don't want The Nugget to be seen by state doctors to bring his weight down.

I ask you -- do either of these boys look like they're obese? According to Florida, The Nugget is. Because his BMI was something ridiculously high. Because the kid is solid muscle. No, seriously. He's been able to do chin-ups since he was two. He can pick his brother up. He's got a right hook that should be classified us a lethal weapon. So, because of his age, weight and height, I'm supposed to make him lose muscle weight so he can be classified as "healthy." This is coming from the same county and state that thinks it's completely reasonable to make young children start learning at 7:45 in the morning -- and wonders why their tests grades keep dipping. Here's a clue: they're TIRED. But I'm not allowed to let my kids get a few extra minutes of sleep (or myself, for that matter) without a truant officer showing up at the door. Yeah, that happened. The Monkey was five minutes late to school one too many times, it appears.

No, I'm not winning the mother of the year award any time soon.

OK -- now that  I'm done ranting, I'm going to get some elving done before I have to get ready for the Christmas party at work. Crazy, busy time of year.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Inch by Inch

The Etsy shop is growing! I've added more items -- earrings, for now -- and will be adding more very, very soon! The Boyfriend™ fixed my loaner sewing machine, so after I'm done being a little one-man Christmas sweatshop, I'll return to making my fun and whimsical fabric jewelry.

I plan on making the investment -- time and money-wise -- to get more traffic to my page. However, I definitely want a bigger selection up there before I start directing a ton of traffic to my Etsy shop. In the mean time, I'll promote it here and on my web page -- www.samandsady.com.

I have some other updates that I'll get up here in the next couple of days -- including: how I lost the Mother of the Year Award; why I'm considering a career change (to waitressing, actually); how The Best Friend® abandoned me to make herself happy; and the great Christmas Tree Debacle... OK. It was neither a debacle or much of a story, but I'm wicked excited to have the first real Christmas tree I've had since I moved to this godforsaken state (and it's officially The Boyfriend™'s first real tree, period).

Until I can get back to the computer, I leave you with this outtake from this year's Christmas card:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Backhanded Productivity

The elving has been kinda sorta paused and I've posted new items up on Etsy! (samandsady.etsy.com)

Oh yeah! You can have this!
Next on deck: completely confounding The Boyfriend™ by rearranging the house. The Trolls are with The Ex at a Bucs game, so I have some down time. What else to do with down time but completely rearrange the house! OK... so not completely rearrange, just move some tables around (I have to put up my Christmas Village, yo!)

This is gonna be a busy post day, too. Pictures from hanging the lights will be coming. The Christmas goodness that is our house right now, will be coming. And I'll be making a fan page for the Sam and Sady shop.

I may get back to the elving thing tonight -- if I don't completely blow my load doing all the other stuff. LOL!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's growing!

The Sam & Sady shop is expanding!

Feeling a little inspired (and bored... let's not forget bored), and home with a sick Nugget, I decided to put together some more products for the shop. But what to put together when the ole sewing machine is on the fritz (and I can't make some kick ass fabric bracelets)? Why earrings, of course!

These are available at the shop: samandsady.etsy.com
The photography is definitely lacking on the product pics. I know this, but would rather put up over exposed and shadowy pics than wait until I can get my white box back in order (and the proper lighting for it).

I'll be getting more products up in the coming days -- especially some fun, funky rings and, perhaps, more earrings. More resin pendants will be produced, too, because I am totally vibing on the resin these days (I even repurposed a ring, whose stone had fallen out with some resin and glitter paper).

More advertising will be coming shortly -- once the shop is expanded enough to warrant it. Right now, with only nine items on there, it hardly seems worth the effort of overcoming my stage fright and abnormally high fear of rejection.

And on the Other Artistic Endeavors front, the mojo is still there. I've got a good creative vibe going and the muse has been incredibly kind (what to get her for Christmas, I wonder). I have a couple of more things I want to tie up -- original art-wise -- and then it's on to crafty stuff.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Frosty the Snowman is a fairytale they say...

I've got my "White Christmas" Pandora music station playing -- and I'm really starting to get into this whole Christmas vibe. I'm pretty sure that I can ride this Christmas spirit thing right on into the new year (God willing and the river don't rise).

I've already started elving, even. I started now in high hopes that I won't panic myself into grinch-mode. My desire to make or find the just right perfect gift for absolutely everyone often leaves me over stretched, over budget and over cranky. Not this year! This year, the elving starts early and I've plotted and planned so I won't go over budget!

Ignore the wall -- I'll explain why in a bit. But for the girls: homemade organic bath goodness!

For my Nana and Gram respectively. Hand drawn love.

And now for the "why my kitchen is destroyed". Well, it's kind of simple and convoluted. The Boyfriend™ has a friend at work whose girlfriend is making him replace his nearly-new kitchen appliances with stainless steal stuff. This is a boon for our house because it means we get new appliances! So, The Boyfriend™ trying to be all proactive and stuff decided to start taking out appliances that we're not going to be using between now and next week. One thing led to another, add a whole heap of boredom (and a Troll-free weekend), and he was tearing up and tearing down tile. So... yyyeah... we'll be living in a demolition zone for a while. Well, at least in the kitchen.

Our version of Christmas decorating.

But seriously! I'm stoked about the potential of getting rid of this circa-1972 style kitchen and getting some modernization up in this bitch. If for no other reason than it'll increase the resell value on the house -- which will get us to Massachusetts sooner, rather than later.

And now for the BIG BIG announcement!

I finally got off my ass and posted some stuff on the etsy shop! Holy shit, right?! The pickings are slim, but it's a start -- and just in time for Christmas! Go! Go forth and check it out. Buy some stuff if you want! http://www.etsy.com/shop/SamandSady

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Twofer -- Things I'm Grateful For

I am insanely, ridiculously thankful for these boys of mine. The Trolls are my heart and soul. The Boyfriend™ is the piece of me I didn't know I was missing -- until I found him. There is no place I'd rather be than with my boys, at home.

The Monkey -- being monkey-ish. Cuz that's how he rolls.

I love this kid. More than he knows. Since he's going through the God Awful Puberties right now, we fight more often than we get along. But this child is solely responsible for teaching me how to love -- wholly and unconditionally. He loves and lives so fully and loudly and I can only hope that I can be so bold someday.

The Nugget -- 'nuff said.

Oh, how I love this child. He's saved me a couple of times in his life. I think he's part guardian angel. He's moody and sensitive. He's quizzical and just so unapologetic about being him. We could all benefit from taking a page out of his book.

The Boyfriend™ -- it was sheer coincidence that he was making the same face as The Nugget

If The Monkey is my heart and The Nugget is my soul, then The Boyfriend™ is the glue holding it all together. The dude gets me, puts up with me and doesn't mind assuaging me on a daily basis. He should be nominated for sainthood. OK... he's not that perfect, but he's perfect for me and that's what counts.

12 Things - Thanksgiving Edition

It's Thanksgiving -- the time of year when, traditionally, people will go about saying what they're thankful for. I kind of hate that part of the holiday, but only because we should tell those that we're grateful for that we're grateful for them all the time, rather than just a specific time of year.

...Let me step off my soap box now.

This is my 12 Things About My Thanksgiving -- sort of like a list of things I love about this time of year. Autumn is, hands down, my favorite time of year -- especially in New England. The weather is cool and crisp and you know it's time to reap your harvest and batten down the hatches. It's when family bonding happens with a vengeance.

1) My dad's side of the family has a tradition of anonymously writing down what they're thankful for and putting it in a basket. The basket gets passed around the table and each person takes a turn reading someone else's thankful list. It's pretty darn awesome.

2) Cheese rolls. My nana started this one -- cheesy delicious wrapped in a crescent roll. But not just any crescent roll -- potato dough goodness.

3) I have never been able to make cheese rolls because I have absolutely no skill when it comes to baking bread. Yeast and I have agreed to see other people.

4) I am hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner this year. With The Boyfriend™. It makes me insanely happy.

5) I miss my family the most during this time of year -- which is just action packed full of getting together and enjoying the hell out of each other.

6) My Aunt Lis's house -- where we traditionally go for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve -- always smells like fabric softener (though I don't think she uses the same brand all the time) and something else I can't quite put my finger on. The smell of her house is one I associate with love.

7) The smell of my gram's house is the one I most associate with "home." Her house smells like Palmolive dish soap, the basement (but the good basement smell) and her perfume -- which she almost never wears. Actually, I don't think my gram wears perfume -- she just smells that good all the time.

8) My gram can fart. Loudly. She giggles when she does it.

9) We know when it's time to leave when Gram starts getting to go bags ready. She does this even when we're not at her house.

10) I have never left my gram's house without a to go bag. Even if it's just a sandwich bag full of lollipops. The woman is a food pusher.

11) I love the eating holidays. The food pushing gene runs strong in me.

12) I can't eat most traditional Thanksgiving food because I'm allergic to it. That has not hindered my love for it though.

So, tell me. What are your 12 Things for this time of year?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

So, as it turns out, The Boyfriend™ needed stitches...

We're hosting Thanksgiving at Casa de Our House this year. Originally The Boyfriend™'s idea (though he'll never admit it), I ran with it like the wind. Because, really, it was kind of my idea -- insofar as the direction I was turning the topic of conversation was most decidedly heading in the "Let's have the parents over for Thanksgiving" direction.

...Because I'm nuts.

So, because The Boyfriend™ and I would rather hang out watching horrible television, while completely pretending that we don't have stuff we should be doing instead (see The Boyfriend™! TV is bad!), our house had kind of, sort of gotten rather... let's call it "lived in." Not that our parents would be all judgey about it or anything, but still. I'm not comfortable sitting in seven year's worth of someone else's dust; I wouldn't want to do it to anyone else.

...And also because The Nancarita ingrained the whole "when having company, one must clean every possible surface EVAR" thing in me. The bitch.

So, The Boyfriend™ was doing the dishes last night and gashed hand WIDE open (well, the webbing between two fingers). Like, I could see his shoulder, the gash was so deep. I told him he needed stitches, but The Boyfriend™ thought it would be a MUCH better idea to make the gaping wound in his hand talk to The Trolls. Totally gross.

Flash forward 24 hours -- past the point of safely stitching the wound closed (unless you want to run the risk of massive infection) -- and we're at an urgent care clinic getting the talking wound checked out. The doc said The Boyfriend™ should've had stitches (while implying -- really strongly -- that The Boyfriend™ was a jackass for not getting Handy, The Talking Gash checked out sooner). I gloated. The Boyfriend™ got a tetnus shot. It was awesome.

And in other news, the cleaning-in-preparation-of-cooking festivities continues. Ironically, I'm not mad about doing most of it myself. It's the price I have to pay for being right. Totally worth it.

It's not The Boyfriend™'s hand, but this picture is another from the bajillion I unloaded from my camera. I don't know why, but I heart this picture so much. It's The Nugget, being unusually camera shy.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pictures -- I took some!

Some photographic snippets from our trip up north this summer. Remember, don't be a douche and steal photos. These are mine -- no using them without permission 'n' shit.

This is a covered bridge in Greenfield, MA. It was mostly washed away during Irene this year. The Boyfriend™ and I smooched in it. It was cute... and schmoopy.

Washington DC has some phallic monuments, y'all!

The Trolls like to be contemplative while contemplating monuments. And the heat! It was ferociously hot that day.

This was a bridge in New York City. The Boyfriend™ took the photo. Who knew he knew how to use a camera??  

This is SOOC. It's called the three sisters garden or something like that. Beautiful. A little creepy. Right in Goshen, MA
Wherein The Boyfriend™ convinces Trolls the house is haunted. And the ghosts proceed to leave The Trolls notes -- everywhere -- for the rest of the trip.

This has nothing to do with Massachusetts, except that it's a great pic of The Nugget and The Boyfriend™ and I heart it! With all my heart, even.

Twas a Thursday Night in Florida...

And all through my house
Not a human male was stirring
Not even my spouse (err... The Boyfriend™, I mean. But "The Boyfriend™" doesn't rhyme with "house"... so what are you going to do?)

The children were warned,
as I put them to bed,
Not even to play
Don't even... something that rhymes with "bed."

Credit where it's due -- I tried. But a poet I am not. Unless you count the angsty stuff I wrote when I was a teenager and it was cool to write poems that talked about death and decay and life sucking. Because everything sucks when you're a teenager and it's cool to write melancholic poetry about it.

...Unless you were one of the preppy kids (remember preppy kids?). Then it wasn't cool to write poems talking about eviscerating your soul. If you were preppy, you didn't even know what poetry was -- unless it was a school anthem. But school anthems hardly count as real poetry. Thus, the whole high school caste system begins -- thems of us that know what actual poetry is, and thems of them that thought thems of us that knew what actual poetry was were weird.

But I digress. As usual.

So, yeah. I have the whole house to myself (in case that wasn't obvious). The Boyfriend™ conked out early. The Trolls are pretending to sleep (and I'm pretending that I can't hear them playing). I should be doing something remotely constructive and getting-off-my-to-do listy -- and I will (promise). But I'm enjoying the fact that I can wander from room to room without a Troll asking what the answer to number three is, or demanding something to drink because he's "SOOOOO thirsty! And dooooessssnnnn't waaaant waaaaater! (pleasecanIhaveasoda?)"

I'm trying to practice doing less... because trying to begin a simplicity practice when it's holiday crunch time is SUCH a good idea... and enjoying the lack of to-doing. But, fuh rillz, it's hard to enjoy doing nothing when the big monster of "stuff to do" looms large and in charge.

So I blog. Which means you have something to read now while you're trying to procrastinate, too. See? I'm so helpful!

Namaste, y'all!

(P.S. I'm about to load some pictures off of my camera from my Massachusetts trip. This may be a two-fer blog kinda day. Don't say you weren't warned).

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Here those sleigh bells jingle...

Halloween and Christmas decorations co-mingled in store aisles? Check!
Christmas carols clogging up the airwaves -- before Thanksgiving? Check!
Black Friday gossip floating around the workplace -- before Halloween? Check!
Nary a gift idea thought up nor handmade goods started? Double check!
Panic that I can't possibly get it all completed and still pay my bills? You betcha!

'Tis the season for panic, resentment and grinch-like behavior. I'm determined, this year, to get with the holiday spirit; to throw myself head first into the joy of finding just the right gift for just the right person. I love nailing the perfect gift!

What I don't like is the pressure. I don't like the consumerism that's become par for the course during the holidays. I hate that the Trolls' Christmas lists look like the inventory order form for Toys 'R' Us. Ironically enough, I hate that The Boyfriend™'s wish list is decidedly sparse -- mostly because he's impossible to shop for.

But this year, more than anything, I am steadfastly determined to do it much differently than last year! We'll be decorated and festooned. We'll have a big ole real tree, too! We'll put up Christmas lights outside and rack up the light bill! This is The Boyfriend™'s first Christmas with Trolls, so... we need to show him how it's done. I actually can't wait to get out the lights and the decorations and rig up the house until it looks like the north pole's sister location. I can't wait to intermingle our old Christmas traditions with the new ones that include The Boyfriend™. This Christmas will be very good!

Right now, though, I should be in the study and turning all of my down time hours into a veritable one-person sweatshop of Christmas making. Right now, I'm procrastinating by rambling here about how much I'm panicking about Christmas. Oh, the sweet irony.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Full Moon

Oh how I adore a full moon! Not even being spooked out by American Horror Story (the one TV show I actually want to stop what I'm doing to watch) quite dulls how much I love bathing in the mother's radiant light. It's like being awash in blessings.

Bright blessings to you, too, my fellow travellers.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Behind...And Other Double Entrendes

My, oh my has it been a while since I graced the interwebs with my blogging presence. It's been crazy, here in the Land of S. So much going on, most of it having nothing at all to do with my plans, ambitions, life lists or The Two Year Plan.

My day job moved into its new corporate headquarters. Because I hold a position of some importance (read: I'm salaried. In other words, free labor), thems of us with a rather important title were put to work for most of the weekends in October.

As ill humored and ungrateful as I sound, I'm actually quite pleased with the move. The new location shaves 20 minutes off of my commute home each day which, when you add it all together, gives me back a WHOLE DAY in three months. That may not seem like a lot to most people, but 20 minutes a day means the difference between my feeling harried and harassed when I get home, and my being able to relax and be a sane human being for the remainder of our waking hours at the homestead.

So, I've been plumb worn out with not a whole lot to give toward artistic (and other) endeavors. I DID manage to find enough stamina to make The Boyfriend™'s life rather hellish for a few days. But that's why he loves me -- for the particular brand of craziness I bring to the relationship.

Yesterday was the end of daylight savings time and a return to the normal cycle of light and dark. In theory, I understand the necessity of daylight savings time, but I equate it to communism: great on paper; horrible in practice. But with the return of the regular cycle, my body has found its rhythm again. How I love these shorter days and the call to hurry up and get ready to hunker down for the really short days. My DNA reaches back through time to a place where people busied themselves with canning and preparing and readying for long, cold winters. Since I'm a New England girl, that hard coding in the DNA, despite modern conveniences, is still a very important survival instinct. Prepare. Get ready. Don't waste the daylight, for there won't be much soon.

...I spent the goodly portion of yesterday in the kitchen, hacking up veggies for soups, chicken for stock and my poor middle finger. This particular finger has taken quite the beating lately. 

...I wish I hadn't let my second attempt at a kitchen garden go to pot. Though, now that the weather's cooling off considerably, perhaps I should make another go at growing potatoes. Potatoes, as it turns out, are finicky beasts, who prefer colder climes and steadfastly refuse to grow in tropical locales, such as Florida.

And lest I go one blog post following a singular train of thought, off to other topics...

The Two Year Plan, while still in effect, has been delayed. Mostly because The Boyfriend™ suck at follow through. Yet another reason we're perfect for each other -- neither of us minds when the other one gets distracted by something shiny; likely because the other was already distracted by some other, different shiny thing. So, it's go time effective January 1st. So, it's only a four month delay, but, I think, a necessary one. Had to get the crap behavior out of our collective system.

The Boyfriend™ also got it into his craw that web pages of the real sort be procured, FEINs applied for and gotten, and businesses of all varieties fermenting and readying themselves for take off. It kept him distract for a week or two. But I am now the proud owner of "Sam and Sady -- Enterprising Enterprises", which I will be combining with the as-yet-developed Etsy store -- and my web page (which I need to go develop some). With Christmas just around the corner (EEK!), it's prime craft making time. Between the developing of the Etsy store and this blog post, I've given the shop some thought. While I want to include a bunch of handmade goods, I also want a place where my less graff-leaning, naked lady art can be viewed and displayed.

Speaking of graff -- The Boyfriend™ in all of his loveliness got me an airbrush! The heretofore partially closed door of stencil art has been reopened with his gesture! He thinks I'm not thrilled. He is sadly mistaken.

And speaking of all of that, I must away myself to the land of art and airbrushes. I promised myself I'd get this stencil cut out and do some airbrush work tonight. While the longer hours make this night owl exceedingly happy, I do have a day job and Trolls to get to school way too early in the morning.

I promise: more posts very soon -- including the long promised Fearlessly Phobic Corn Chowder.

In the mean time, I wish you all the very best of everything your heart desires!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

So hey! Guess what?!

I have internet at home again. It's been months and months, but... I can now blog from something other than my iPad (which I still love, and will use like it's my full time job, but the ease from blogging from an actual Internet connection, with an Honest-to-God computer that can load multiple pictures at one time... priceless!)

Right now, we're watching a math DVD, because The Boyfriend™ insists that we will teach The Trolls math DESPITE Florida's lack-of-logic-in-teaching-math and I'm syncing my iPhone and... did I mention that we have internet at the house (but no longer have free cable. Gee whiz, I'm so sad about that... NOT!)??

Also, have I told you, lately, how much I love the fair? I wanna be a carney when I grow up!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

So this is what happens when I try to be productive...

...though I guess it's progress, of a sort.

He needs a sinisterly safe name. One that children could combine with "Old Man..." but also denotes a servent's position in an austere Victorian home.

(if you look closely, you can see my awful handwriting on the opposite page. LOL!)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Soup for YOU!

I don't often like to brag on myself. More often than not, I am so racked with insecurity that I can't or won't admit that I have any kind of talent or gift to offer, and that whatever it is that I happened to create was pure luck.

Except when it comes to soups. That is one arena that I am absolutely proficient in. Dare I say that I excel at soup? Yes. Yes, I do.

The weather in Florida has given us a tiny window of cool weather respite, and it actually feels like fall. Fall, in my opinion, is perfect soup weather. Tonight, We're having corn chowder (a recipe I've adapted enough from the original that I feel comfortable enough to post as a fearlessly phobic cooking entry), but I couldn't resist making a pot of creamy tomato soup. This batch will be going in the freezer for later, so we have a ready meal when our window of cool weather lasts longer than a weekend.

Mmmm... Soup!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Full Moon, Front Porch and Musing

The Fair just passed in my neck of the woods, in Massachusetts. I miss it. I miss the roundhouse full of kitschy folk art, pies, and the largest produce a man can grow. I miss the livestock pens. I miss the rides and fair fries. I miss the annual parade that announces the fair's beginning - and the unofficial beginning of Fall.

I miss FALL. I miss the chilly nights, the foggy mornings, the three layers of clothing required (so you can peel it off as the day progresses). I miss the going in that happens as a natural response to the changing season - readying yourself for the upcoming winter. I miss the smell of leaves and chimney smoke. I miss the changing colors of the mountains. I miss a REAL Halloween.

If it wasn't obvious, I miss home. The urgency to get back there had sort of waned the last couple of months. Once The Trolls came back from their visit, I got wrapped up in trying to reacclimatize to their rhythm, while trying to maintain focus on The Two Year plan, and fell behind a bit. I got a little lost in the what's happening now and less focused on the where I want to go.

But more and more, I feel the pull back home. The NEED to be with My People is strong. The need for my children to be raised in a nurturing, like-minded community is imperative. I need to feel like a part of a community again- even if it drives me nuts that everyone knows everything all the time. You can't wipe your ass without your phone ringing so your neighbor can ask you what you had for dinner. I ran to Florida, among other reasons, to escape from that, but now I would give anything to have it again.

I need to buckle down and focus. It's likely that I over committed myself to too many things, in an effort to get back home quicker. But I think if I simplify and focus on one or two very do-able things, I'll get to where I want to go. Slow and steady wins the race, after all.

To Do by October 13:
1) Get Products up on etsy
2) Fix sewing machines so they work properly so I can have more inventory on hand.
3) Devote Sundays to cooking for the week, so I have more time. :)
4) Start advertising etsy shop.

Speaking of advertising, I'm still toting with the idea of shutting down my Facebook page. It seems unnecessary and chaos creating. But social media is where it's at these days, and a good place to advertise the etsy shop. Decisions, decisions.

In the mean time, I am going to go do some research on a topic that I'm going to keep close to the vest right now. If/when it starts coming to fruition, I'll let you know. Make that item number five on my to do list.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Month of Pictures

I have no idea what day this is. I DO know I've been woefully remiss with my daily updates.

Here's what I've been up to. I either really dig it or really hate it. I haven't decided yet.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Month of Pictures - My World (Thoughts on Irene)

This sketch was one I started while The Boyfriend™, Trolls and I were back home, in June. We were enjoying the first of two or three idyllic days - just enough sun, not too hot - taking it easy after having driven for two days. The Trolls, of course, were antsy after having been cooped up in the car for far too long, so I decided to take us all to a local swimming hole at The Pumping Station.

The river was far too cold for adults (and barely warm enough for two Trolls used to the bathwater-like temperatures of the Gulf of Mexico), but we Were enjoying the energy of the moment and the fresh air.

As The Trolls dared each other to get in the water first (and tried goading The Boyfriend™ and me in, too), I got out my sketchbook to capture the covered bridge that ran the spance of that stretch of the river. My sketch time was short-lived, though, because we were soon off to other adventures, but I didn't think too much of it. In fact, I remember thinking "I'll finish this the next time I'm here", not realizing that very soon the bridge wouldn't be there for me to sketch again.

It's just a bridge, but it's also a piece of history - of MY history. Of thousands of people's histories. Generations of kids - including my own - swam under that bridge. Generations of kids made out with each other in the cozy confines of that bridge - including The Boyfriend™ and me. Every year, a new group of adolescents dared each other to sit in that bridge and wait for the ghost of Eunice Williams.

The bridge is gone now. Washed away during the flooding brought on by Irene. It makes me sad. I won't get to finish this sketch, while sitting on the banks of the river underneath it.

I suppose I'm being dramatic - a covered bridge washing away is by no means comparable to the levies breaking after katrina. But that a piece of history is gone. A thing that has always been there - part of the fabric of my life - is gone.

If nothing else, the urgency to get back home is even stronger. I don't want anymore unfinished sketches in my book.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Month of Photos - My world... Day... Something

I've been remiss in this month of thing. I blame The Boyfriend™. Actually, no. I don't. He's been a damn dream putting up with me. My head has been such a CF lately and I've been taking out a LOT of baggge on him. Ahem.

Here's hoping he forgives me. LOL!

And here's a photo from back home. Where the Two Year Plan will come to fruition for us.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Month of Pictures - My World, Days 12 &13

OK... So it's only one picture, but the ominous green glow in it should count for something.

My head, she is not a happy place these days. I can't get out of my own way. I keep trying to claw my way out of the hole, but it's like free climbing a shale wall: it looks like a solid foot hold, but it'll crumble the second you put any weight on it.

I know it'll pass. Off and on, my whole life, I've dealt with mild depression. I won't say that my coping mechanisms have gotten better with age, but at least I recognize that when the wall is crumbling, I need to stop - just for a minute - and examine why. The only way out is through.

Upside: I do some pretty amazing work during these periods. So I turn to my brushes and pots of ink and canvas... And I process. I let the canvas speak for me.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Month of Pictures - My World, Day 12

The Boyfriend™ teaching the The Nugget how to play chess. My heart, it's melting!!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Month of Pictures - My World, Day 11

(Apparently yesterday was day 10).

The Trolls having a last-day-of-summer-vacation swim.

I joined them in their pool mayhem shortly after this picture was taken. While it's a man made, chlorinated pool, there is something about the water - even this kind - that soothes my soul and calms me down a bit. I must remember to honor my mermaid half a tad more.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Month of Pictures - My World, Day 9

The Boyfriend™ and The Nugget, building dinosaurs (with my finger in the corner there).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Moment of Gratitude While Sitting on My Front Porch

Today was a particularly exhausting day, but not for the usual reasons. I'm on day three of my moon cycle - and this day is usually heinous. My body is worn out and demands rest on this day of the cycle, and the best thing I can do is honor that demand. Resistance is futile.

It was also open house at The Nugget's school tonight. I met his teacher and am ever so excited about the year for him, knowing that he has a compassionate teacher who is in it for the love of teaching. So far, I've heard nothing but positively glowing statements about her methods, her classroom, and about HER. I admired the way that she gently, but firmly, established her "alpha" role with The Nugget - even while I was standing there. It was a moment of cooperative "parenting," and put me even more at ease.

I have tomorrow off from work and am looking forward to the long weekend with The Trolls and The Boyfriend™ before school starts. While filled with a bit of here and there, it's also an opportunity for us to batten down the hatches and gear up for the school year. In anticipation of the chaos, I've gone a bit off the deep end and implemented a by-the-hour school week schedule, in an effort to not only mitigate that chaos but allow more structure and being present for each other, as a family.

Being present is something I am even more acutely aware of these days. Our trip to Massachusetts planted the seed and a startling wake up call, by way of The Monkey's report card, fertilized the roots. My children suffered for a lack of my being truly present for them. *I* suffered for a lack of being truly present. My relationship with The Boyfriend™ suffers from that lack, too, as well as a lack of listening. And while it will be an uphill battle to undo the damage wrought by my ignorance, I am grateful that I had this epiphany in time to fix it.

There are certain things that I wish I had the luxury of: homeschooling The Trolls, making a living from my art, so I can stay home and not be beholden to the clock. But being present and aware of that desire to simplify allows me to give more purpose to my days, because I am working toward that goal. Building the foundation for the realization of my dreams, by researching homeschooling, sustainable living, how to make my etsy shop successful, homes and land for sale in New England, will allow me to have EXACTLY what I want, rather than some facsimile thereof. So, in a way (and as frustrating as it is), I am grateful for the interlude between now and THEN - when I've achieved my goals - and here and THERE, so that the foundation I build is solid. So that I learn to breathe and be present. So that I walk this path with mindfulness.

Between here and there, and now and then, I can create memories and traditions. Memories of paths explored during the remaining time in Florida, to take with us and give us something to reminisce about during those long winter nights in New England. Traditions that can translate to whatever home we're in. Habits and guidelines to sustain us as we transition from one cycle of our lives together.

The last - and I think the most important - thing I am grateful for tonight is the realization that it's not too late. Time has a funny way of speeding by, but I have the power to slow it down. I have the power to stopnthe clock, if necessary, to give myself a couple more seconds here or there to make sure that I am not late. And as long as I am moving forward toward the realization of my dreams, then there is no such thing as too late.

A Month of Pictures - My Life, Day 8

The Monkey, facing his fear of heights and trying to climb the tree.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Month of Pictures - My World, Day 7

Nightly games of chess with The Boyfriend™... Sometimes with a glass of cheap, but delicious, red wine.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011