Saturday, January 31, 2009

Before and After

It was haircut day, among other things. Here's the before and after. He looks so incredibly grown up in the "after" but I guess all moms say that.

And the page for February from the calendar I made. The quotes are "Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone." and "No journey is too great if you find what you seek." I've got to find a better way to photograph this for the March page. Maybe once my digital photograph course starts at the end of February, I'll have more of a handle on this.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Haiku Friday and Super Power Socks

Because it's Friday and it's nine p.m.

I almost missed it
Preoccupied with my life
Three hours to go

And now, here I am (behind the camera) getting the skinny on socks with super powers.


Here's a shot of my chickens. I managed to salvage them yesterday, but the picture doesn't do them justice. I am going to put this aside for awhile since I can't decide if they are finished or not. Done on acrylic paper, cold press with a linen finish. I'm not crazy about the finish but the paper held up remarkably well despite looking slightly bowed (photo taken outside again, in the snow, so there was nothing to stick it down to).

One World One Heart

Photo After Brenda's decision to join in this fun giveaway fest, I mulled it over and thought why not? I couldn't imagine anything I have that anyone would want so I decided to give away something new. Yup, that might be odd, but there you have me. I was just over at the original website for this massive giveaway and see that there are now almost 700 participants. Who knew? Here's a picture of the still white 4 x 6 watercolor 140 lb. cold press paper I will personally create and mail to you. The only only thing you need to do is leave a comment here. Easy, huh? The draw will be on February 12.

White, Part 1

I've risked being politically incorrect with my title but here in Snowsville, I'm living on the edge. Here's a shot I took yesterday of the back of my house where I was standing up to my knees in the white stuff. The pimple on the right is the snow I've shovelled off the deck, the abscess on the left is the pile I've shovelled to access the back gate. If it snows again soon, I'll won't be able to throw it that high. Although, it's nowhere near the amount of snow we had last year.

And just to prove that even when you're almost six, the box that things come in is still more fun than the objects that were initially inside.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snowmageddon Revisited

I gotta tell you that I'm at the end of my rope tonight. It's been snowing since 7:30 this morning. When I went to bed last night the forecast was for 10 cms. (about 5 inches). When I woke up the prediction was closer to 30 cms. (triple the imperial measure). I have to wonder how, with billions of dollars of meteorological equipment, they can misjudge that kind of quantity when it is so close. Honestly, I cruised through the whole day yesterday thinking today would be cake-walk when I could have been obsessing and stressing. In a nutshell, today was a predictably crappy little day. When I got home I was forced to call the company I pay handsomely to clear the snow from my driveway. The conversation (one-sided because their answering machine was on) went something like this, "This is Marge Simpson on 53rd Avenue. You know, the one between 52nd Avenue and 54th Avenue. I'm explaining in detail because you seem to not know where my street is. It's been snowing for the last 10 hours and you haven't come to take even one pass at my driveway. " I removed the expletives. I really did swear on their answering machine. And it felt good. Other than that, I managed to hold my patience until about half an hour ago. And then it wasn't pretty. I'm going to try to slap myself into a better mood for tomorrow.

Yesterday, on the never-ending quest for the perfect band-aid:

Tonight, being patient with me, after telling me a number of times, "Mom, you're not supposed to say that word!"

And one of my dogs, on the back deck, getting away from my bad mood, in mid-flake. She thought her odds were better outside than they were inside, with me:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Half and Half

Another day of ups and downs. Cripes! It's still so cold here. The car a-l-m-o-s-t didn't start this morning. I'm done. I am sooooo over winter. Stick a fork in it! And all those other analogies.

My time in my studio was spent picking at those wretched chickens again. I told myself that I was going to put it aside at the end of today, go back to it only after a bit of a hiatus. But a few of the collage pieces went funny, as if some water got underneath and bled from the bottom to the surface. It looks horrible. Fixable. But it means another stint in the studio. Aaaarrrrrrrrghhhhhh! Frustrating. Just a frustrating little day. Thank gawd I have my health.

So I will close with Riley playing air guitar. Man, that kid cracks me up!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


A couple of months ago my son and I happened across the kids show, "Martha Speaks" on PBS. If you haven't seen it, or heard of it, the story line is about a dog who eats alphabet soup and instead of the letters going to her belly, they go to her brain. And she gains the ability to speak. It's a terrific show, very funny and focuses on increasing kids vocabulary. So on Friday when we were at the library I saw the original book of Martha Speaks on display. Quite excited, Riley chose to take it home and when we sat down to read it I realized it was first published in 1992. Seventeen years ago! A little thing that seemed to have slipped through my earlier radar, but I'm glad to have found it. And we roared with laughter reading it. Personally, I could hear the dog character speaking the lines in the book and maybe Riley was laughing because I was laughing so genuinely and so hard. Either way, it made for a terrific end of the day.

After a somewhat disastrous "playdate" (I have such a strong aversion to that word that I can't even type it without cringing) this morning, Riley and I spent some rather frustrating time in our art studio this afternoon. I picked away at my chickens, which left me totally unsatisfied. He tried to do so many different things, tried to give me the little time I had asked for but computers went awry, printers went squirrely and we tossed in the towel and settled for some TV, but not until after I snapped a few shots of us in the bathroom mirror. This one is OK, I managed to get both of our heads in the frame and I love Riley's expression. I'm still figuring out my new camera and couldn't easily see how to change the mode back to taking pictures without looking in the viewfinder. Alas, a techie I'm not. I'm taking my first digital photography course in February, after using digital cameras for almost two years now. I'm hoping to be able to be a lot more creative with the medium...well...let's just of these days.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


My little add-on for today. I was trying to get the little picture for CED up on my sidebar this morning - do you think I could do it?! Granted, I only had a limited amount of time to figure this out but I just could not wrap my un-techie brain around the instructions. I'll try again tomorrow since those kind of things rarely go well for me after 8:00 p.m. and tend to gobble up my last bit of sanity. Here's a shot of Riley practically pleading with me to get the camera out of his face. It's only day 24 of this project, I wonder how he will be feeling when it's day 300...

And my creative contribution to today, other than printing up some sheets for collage. It's a new addition to my catalogue of Food Art. Riley requested his breakfast to look like a birthday cake, it seems his birthday is fast approaching and it must be on his mind. It's a waffle with two different kinds of fruit leather for candles. I kind of like this one.


I've been reading quite a bit this year, considering everything else I've been doing. I certainly don't feel lazy, quite the opposite. After seeing the YouTube video by Amy Krouse Rosenthal over at Leah's blog, I ran out and bought (actually, I ran to my computer and ordered) some of her books. The two for adults that are still available, "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life" and "The Mother's Guide to the Meaning of Life", are similar, some of the chapters are almost clones of one another. Maybe that was more obvious to me because I read them back-to-back. The "Encyclopedia" was the antithesis of "The Know-It-All" book I read. Both were funny in places, but this one was more of a personal encyclopedia, choice words interpreted by AKR's life experience. Since she has asked not to be quoted without prior consent, I'll say I found her paragraphs on death the most moving. And one of the funniest that made me just nod my head in agreement (after I stopped crying from laughing so hard) was her piece on the instant bad mood, complete with a chart that starts with what she's doing while humming along in a good mood, followed by "the incident", resulting in an instant bad mood. It is all so very human, and things that have been my experience as well. I also bought a number of her children's books, "Cookies, Bite-size Life Lessons", "One of Those Days", "It's Not Fair", and my son's favorite,
"The OK Book". They are all delightful. Riley likes The OK book because of the art - so simple, the word "OK" turned all different ways to represent a human figure trying out all kinds of things. For some reason it just tickles his fancy. I am really looking forward to seeing what evolves from her "Lovely" project.

Another book I've just finished is, "The Secret Spiritual World of Children" by Tobin Hart. It is as much a parenting book as it is one about mystical experiences of children. It is full of anecdotes of children having visions, memories of other lives, extreme compassion and empathy, none of which I found particularly surprising. I also found it insightful in how to raise my own son as a questioning person. Raised as a Protestant, I haven't gone to church regularly in decades but my spiritual life and growth has been very rich nevertheless. But questions still dog me about how we live our life, how much religion should be put into Christmas, does it center around the virgin birth or can it be seen and lived as a time to be still, generous (in what ever way you can and not necessarily monetarily), kind, mindful, an attitude to really be adopted more than once a year. By Riley's age I had been in Sunday school a few years and was well enough versed in bible stories. We've had a death in the family in recent years but not one that was so close that it touched Riley more than superficially. He asks questions about ghosts quite a bit and about other worlds. And I always try to explain things to him in a way that doesn't leave him fearful but I can't say for sure one way or another what is true or not. It's can be a tricky situation.

A quote, "....this is the lesson of authenticity and integrity for children. Their most fundamental spiritual task is to become who they are, just as it is for us as adults. This begins by facing, owning and gently accepting who we are". I like that Hart doesn't always separate the issues children have from adults. As a parent, I often feel inept, without answers and just mucking it all up.

Another quote from the book from the poet Rainer Maria Rilke:

Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart Try to love the questions themselves. Do not now see the answers, which can not be given because you would not be able to live them - and the point is to live everything . Tobin suggests not always answering those difficult questions directly, instead asking your child what they think, giving them time to do the thinking and then re-opening the conversation at another time.

Another quote:

We never parent alone. Beyond whatever partner or community we may have, the child is our partner in parenting.

And still another one:

Development is often like a spiral in that we revisit similar themes in our life, but at new levels of the spiral...The challenge is to heal and learn as we go, to 'get' another piece of the learning at each new opportunity.

I was glad I read it and coming in at just under 300 pages, I did it in about ten days. A good investment of my time.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mr. Freeze

As I mentioned earlier, a friend of Riley's was at our house for the day. And I can't believe how exhausted I am tonight. Maybe it was the lack of sleep this week, but I feel like today just sucked the last bit out of me. It wasn't even particularly nasty weather (which has a habit of doing that all on its own), there wasn't any fighting with the kids, but the stress of being responsible for another little person, other than my own, keeping him safe, making sure he is having a good time, is happy, eating etc. just flattened me. I guess it's something you can get used to, certainly the people who work looking after kids must have ways of not letting their energy leak out. But tonight it's a long soak in some Epsom salts (I sound like I'm 80 for goodness sake, not that there's anything wrong with being 80, some of my best friends....) and hit the hay early. I'll check out my favorite blogs tomorrow when hopefully, I'll have the p & v to leave a comment or two. Until then, here's what it looks like to be sucking on a Mr. Freeze in January. Remember those ice cream headaches you would get as a kid?

And one more thing, I saw this over here. Anyone else aware of I find the whole concept really worrisome. I searched my own name, looking to see if someone had added me, and so far no one has. And I wondered if there was any value to putting your own self on, kind of beat any stalker to the punch. I mean, not that I am such a fascinating person that anyone would want to follow me around, but you never know. Life is indeed stranger than fiction.

Haiku Friday

The week of "The Wall"
Inspiration eludes me
Wake me up in Spring

Odds & Ends

I think this week is called "The Wall" here in the northern hemisphere. Everywhere I turn, people have just "had it" with the season and the weather. Admittedly it's been a little uninspired here too. I've managed to keep my moods in check (most of the time anyway) but except for little bursts here and there, it's been hard to drag myself to the keyboard. So here are a few odds and ends that are running around in my brain lately.

Today is a pedagogical day so my son is home from school. It means little or no studio time for me, Fridays being one of my usual "time for me" days but I am so acutely aware of the fact that he is growing up that I actually like having this extra time to spend with him. Check back in on Sunday night to see if I am still in that honeymoon stage. And a neighbor's boy, the same age as my son, is here with us for the day because both of his parents work. A good deal for all of us because they will play with each other a bit, allowing me to put some of my attention somewhere other than in a five-year old's world. But it got me thinking about being an only child. I have one sister, older by three years, so I know what it's like. It is only as adults that I can appreciate her presence in my life since we had a classic kind of older/younger sister relationship. My son is almost an only child. The almost because he has a half brother who is 21 and living on his own. When he was three, my son asked me if he could have a brother or sister. I almost choked, but I guess he was looking at some of the other kids he played with and saw opportunity to have other live-in kids in our house. I had to let him down lightly with the "no" to that request. So in some ways I imagine it can be a bit lonely for him not having brothers or sisters. In other ways it means he gets more - more material things but more importantly more of my time and attention. Maybe it's a wash.

Something else that has come up this week I saw first over at Oreneta's blog, called Blog Green. It's an interesting project where you do your part to pick up in your own neighborhood. I like the idea of taking responsibility for cleaning up my corner of the planet. Yeah, it might not be my garbage but let's stop splitting hairs and just do it. Imagine if everyone had similar sentiments? I did sign up for the project but likely can not start until some melt has begun here. I'll post some pictures once spring has sprung.

And now my Thursday Riley, taken at the end of the day. His hands still make little motions when he is stirred while sleeping. Another little detail I will miss once he out-grows it *sigh*:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I can't believe I squeezed something creative into this long day today. Last night my 17-bead string fell apart. You can imagine the names of the deities I called out to then. I managed to find all of them scattered in my sheets then tonight, when re-stringing it, I decided to leave off a few that really didn't do it for me and put some new ones on. So this is what it looks like now. I've made a lot of these and find that personally, I like the feel of the larger, smoother, rounder beads.

And of course, my boy. I caught him singing into his microphone this morning. Too much!

I've been reading, lots to report there soon. The last few days have just knocked the starch out of me. I'll have plenty to catch up on.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good Day

It was an incredibly productive day. After a weekend that was, well, not horrible, just hormone riddled mixed up with a bit of cabin fever. I managed to get hours in my studio this morning and the afternoon and cleaned the house, did two loads of laundry, shovelled (twice) and walked the dog. It's been snowing lightly for the last few days. Sometimes it's a little harder, sometimes it's like fairy dust. I just let the dogs in from their evening outing in the yard and it looked like they had diamonds in their fur. See, I said to myself, there are some nice aspects to winter. It also wasn't too cold today, if you were dressed for it.

But down to the nitty gritty. Here's my Riley photo for yesterday, it's the full Sunday morning sprawl in the armchair, watching cartoons - you can tell by the blank look on his face:

and another for today. Remember the slinky?!:

Here's a shot of a journal page I did for Emily's question number 1. I did start the questions on tags, but had so much more to say than what would fit on a tag, so it morphed into a journal page. This was done in my moleskine journal, I gessoed the pages first which turned out to be a good thing as today I primed the next two pages without gesso and almost wore through to the other side:

And one last shot, albeit a poor one. I should have set up the tripod but, you know how it is. It's some chickens I've been plugging away at for a bit, finally felt like I was getting somewhere today. It's on acrylic paper - a first for me, although I'm not crazy about the texture, it has very rough canvas kind of finish on it:

And is if THAT wasn't enough. I heard from AKR about my application as Ambassador of Lovely. Unfortunately there was a glut of applicants but was asked to be part of the Department of Immense. Naturally I accepted, I feel quite honored.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Just pics

The end of a very long, kind of hard day.

Here's one after winning a game of Mouse Trap with me:

And a classic tub shot. I'll miss this look once the teeth start falling out. Next month he'll be six and I know the tooth fairy is waiting in the wings.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Trying to hide from the camera.

Haiku Friday

Because it wouldn't be Friday without one. While driving to the grocery store this morning the radio station was talking about how hard this cold snap has been on the homeless men and women and what the charities in the city are doing about it. It really made me shift off myself as I sat with my warm coat and boots on. It's a bit sappy, even for me.

It's cold now for me
But what about the homeless?
It's unthinkable

A cup of coffee
A bowl of soup, hot shower
Could you give, if asked?

How To Be A Shmuck

I am a little sleep challenged. I usually go to bed early, staying up to 11:00 is really late for me. And this because my older dog has been getting me up in the night to, well, you know. So it's not unusual for me to get up once, even twice during the night. Every night. The third wake up call is trouble for who ever elicits it. So here's the series of events this morning. Wake up call at midnight, then again at 3:00 a.m. Back in bed, at last but my ears attuned for sounds, like any good mother. 4:45, from the darkness comes:

Riley: Mom?
Me: Yes, Riley?
Riley: (silence)
Me: YES, Riley?
Riley: (silence)
Riley: I love you.

A little later, 2 hours to be exact, I apologize to Riley for yelling. He says, "huh?" and I remind him of the conversation. He literally falls down laughing and says, "Oh, I was asleep!"

ha ha

So I guess it's not unusual that this then happened. We are eating breakfast and I look up, see a bit of daylight breaking. Because I not only obsess about the weather at this time of year, I also obsess about how long or how short the days are, I was curious to see what time the sun was coming up, knowing that the days are lengthening, even if it is only one or two minutes at either end. I look down at my wrist and this is what I see:

In my foggy-headedness this morning I had put both my watches on! Again, Riley fell down laughing. So nice I can provide comic relief in this house. But it was pretty funny.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I don't know how much more I can say about the cold, but I'll try. I'm sure there is a haiku or two in it for tomorrow as well. There were a few funny incidents today, altogether. Driving my son to school, the car doors wouldn't close fully. I think the metal on the car has retracted in certain areas, and no matter what I did, the two doors I opened just wouldn't completely shut. Luckily we don't have to drive far, but we did have to listen to the ding-ding-ding-ding of my car telling me that a door was open. Ditto for my scraper - either the plastic has retracted or the glass on my windshield has changed shape because no matter which way I turned the crazy thing, it wouldn't scrape any frost or ice. We had to sit and wait for the engine to warm enough to melt the frost on the windows enough to see. And every one's cheeks were bright red, no matter if they'd driven their kids to school or walked. There was even one mother who had wrapped a scarf around her mouth and nose and her eyelashes were covered in frost! I don't think I have ever see THAT. Also, the locks on the inside of my house are all iced over. You know it's cold when you look forward to Monday which has a forecast high of -18 and you say to everyone you meet, "oh, that's not bad".

So I got about three hours in my studio today where I proceeded to do a series of truly dreadful sketches (again). I feel a little funny posting them, but what the heck. I started with the last Christmas clementine (it was truly beyond eating), then after the sketch I had to take a picture with the orange in case in the future when I look back in the book and I can't figure out what the heck that shape is.

Then my eraser, which was getting a pretty good work-out today and a piece of popcorn. They are all pretty mundane, except for the owl owl owl sketch which I did for my next canvas or work on paper. It's a vision I've had that I'm finally getting to since I put the fish to bed, quite excited about it too. And I worked on my tag questions from Q52. I'm really liking those because I can do a bit, put it aside and do something else, come back and tweak it, add a thought.

And lastly, my shot of Riley. I caught him from behind with a piece of packing styrofoam balanced on his head, mesmerized by the TV - he stood there long enough for me to get a number of shots with him none the wiser.


After my musings yesterday about my car, and still in this deep freeze, I have to admit that I am in awe of the fact that our cars work at all when it's this kind of cold. It would seem perfectly natural to me today if I looked out the window and saw dogsleds running down the road and people in fur-lined parkas carrying harpoons. Now there's some good old stereo-typing for you. I also have to wonder what would make anyone choose to settle here, I mean back in the days of discovery and colonization. The explorers surely must have landed in July.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Square Tires and Honking Horns

It was a day of square tires here. The temperature is in the -30's. And I say "is" because that's where it "is" staying for another 4 days. If you've never lived in a cold climate, the concept of square tires would be foreign. You know when you're parked and the bottoms of your tires are ever-so-slightly flat? Not flat, flat. Just a little more level with the ground. Well, once those tires sit overnight (or any length of time) and it's positively frosty, it's as if they maintain that shape so there is this clunking sensation when you pull out. AND as if that was not symphony enough to my ears this morning, it was so cold my car had this high-pitched whine. Uh oh, I thought. This car is really not happy. Another thing my car does when it's very cold is that it honks. Only when I turn the engine over. When it's a little cold, like - oh, say minus 10 or 15, then it gives a little toot when it starts up. Today it blasted like a New York City traffic jam. No sneaking around today for me.

So with this deep freeze wave we're in, I decided there was no way in hell I was going downtown to work tomorrow. This morning, before my boss had time to collect his thoughts, have a cup of coffee or knew what hit him I declared, "I'm working from home tomorrow". I took him by surprise and all he could say was OK. For that I am very grateful. I'm also grateful Old Betsy started up tonight when I got off the train, honking, whining, clunking and all.

No lovely scenic photos of this winter wonderland today. Just my boy. It's getting harder and harder to get any kind of natural picture of him. Whenever the camera comes out, he starts making wild faces and hamming it up. I guess that's what it's like being five. He got 35 out of 35 on his first test today. A test in Kindergarten! It was just some oral reading, but he is the only anglophone in his class, in a french school, and the only one in his class to have gotten all of it right. I'm so proud of him.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Up Close and Personal

It's been a bear of a day. Riley's first day at daycare after school. And the first day for the schoolgirl I hired to come in and let my geriatric english setter out during lunch hour. It all went smoothly, without me controlling anything. Imagine! But I'm bagged and need to do it all over again tomorrow. So, without any further ado, my daily photo of Riley. I like this because it's early morning and he doesn't really look all that awake.

And another shot from my backyard tonight. It looks like a rabbit went hop, hop, hopping along sometime late this afternoon, judging from how much the prints are filled in with (our latest) snowfall.


I almost got beat up on the subway coming home from work today. I tried not to stare, I really did. But she had a nose ring. Like a bull has. And then THAT ring had a little ring under it. The subway car was crowded and we were kind of squished up together and there was only so many places I could look, if you know what I mean. And I was trying to be nonchalant, the only thing I didn't do was whistle. But I just couldn't help myself. I just kept imagining what it could get caught on in an ordinary day. So imagine, if you will, the type of person that would sport that and the reaction she might have if someone stared at her. I was so happy to get off and transfer trains. I saw the fists clenching.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Time Flies

I don't know where the second half of today went, I turned around and it was 7:30. Still so much I want to do...But it was a productive and a creative day. I finished my fish! Yay! It actually has a lovely velvety kind of texture as the background. I do still miss the original orange but am pleased with the results of the collage. I like the humor I managed to sqeeze in and the words I found seemed perfect (Without thinking, I sang from the depths of my heart). It is a little piece - only 5 x 7. On watercolor paper, I started with a layer of acrylic paint, then collage, and watercolor crayons and pencils. I have hardly used this medium, so I'm pleased with the results considering I'm a novice. The paper held up amazingly well considering how much I did to it. It is a little curled here - I had just sprayed it with fixative out on my back deck and decided to take the picture there (in the snow!) since I get much better and truer lighting outside.

I found a bargain today and although it went against my purchasing embargo this month and next, well what can I say but I had a gift certificate from Christmas for the store, so it's money that was already spent. Looky here - 15 Caran d'Ache neocolor II for $21 - you'll see the little sticker in the corner that explains the mark-down, it seems someone snitched the white one out of the set. It boggles my mind that someone would sneak in a dark corner, break the plastic seal and steal one crayon. Anyway, since I had a couple of whites at home, it was a great deal for me. There are a number of very nice colors in this set, along with the classics of course.

My photo of Riley today is of him on the phone with his favorite aunt. I realized how late it was getting and I hadn't pointed the camera at him yet today so I was kind of chasing him around the house while he talked and he did his best to avoid me. I love the pose, hand on hip, trying not to laugh and still give me the gears. My goodness, when I look at this I realize a) he is no fashion plate (just a victim of cold weather-layering - don't worry I don't let him out of the house dressed like that) and b) how badly he needs a haircut. Tuques are doing us in this year, I'm afraid, as I don't look much better with my hat-hair and my scary face since this morning was the quarterly burn-off at the dermatologist. The results of growing up before sunscreen...

Another thing I have been playing with can be found here, which I found over at Karen's site. Great idea, so do-able, I am so very unstressed with this and enjoying using all kinds of medium. I'll post some later in the week.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


After I finished my yoga routine this morning Riley jumped on the mat and watched the very end of the tape. I love these shots. He soon realized that it looked a lot easier than it really was to do. But he's been watching me for so long, he wasn't too bad - for five years old. We also went skating later, so we got our share of exercise. I'm so happy that I've been able to keep up with CED. I know it's only a week but it was a difficult week with school and work starting up and some really nasty weather. Lots of possibility for excuses for not picking up the camera or the paint brush but I did anyway. And it feels good.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

And another thing

There is this K-Tel commercial airing now, promoting a CD for kids, it's called something like K-Tel Pop for Kids 5. I shudder to think there are four previous CDs but mostly that there were four other commercials. The ad has about a dozen 9 and 10 year-old boys and girls, the girls all tarted up and the boys looking like the original N'Snyc, and they are singing and dancing to these love ballads. The first time I saw the commercial I thought it was a spoof, not realizing the tv was tuned to Discovery Kids channel. I know I'm talking censorship but really, there ought to be laws. And our current laws are serving the wrong people if our government requires that Scholastic book order forms get sent home from school in brown paper packaging (as if it was pornography) yet allow such blatant advertising with a dearth of morals.

More Snow

I have noticed how beautiful some of the snow piles here are. The last storm had quite a bit of wind (actually, most of our storms have quite a bit of wind) which can leave beautiful drift patterns - almost like sand dunes but they are snow dunes and a whole lot colder. Here's a couple of shots from my backyard, and of course the January 10 picture of Riley, hat-hair and all.