Friday, October 30, 2009


*e*'s 41st question was, "When you close your eyes and imagine yourself as passionate, giddy, inspired and joyful ...what are you doing/creating in that moment?" I've been following Karen's photoshop tutorials and recently she posted one on blocking and writing in text so I gave it a whirl, then I fiddled a little more with photoshop for a few cool effects. I really would like to find the time to learn this program properly instead of wasting so many hours trying to figure out how some basic things work.

Friday Haiku

Halloween's not done
Yet I've been Christmas shopping
Holidays abound

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Yup, it's almost here. I am putting the finishing touches on Riley's costume. Last year he wanted to be the chihuahua "Chloe" from the movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua, so I got a white sweat suit, attached some chihuahua ears, added a faux diamond necklace, did some face paint and voila! This year he wants to be "Bolt" from the movie by the same name. I was glad to recycle the white sweat suit, I've just finished changing the ears, he has made the collar and the side lightening bolt. More face paint and voila!

I have nothing against store bought costumes but when I was growing up, they didn't exist. Maybe they existed in other more affluent neighborhoods but in mine all the costumes were home made. I remember my mother usually choosing what I would dress up as, which I can understand now because it meant she would know how to put it together. The one year that really stands out for me was the year she decided I would go as Aunt Jemima. I was horrified at the thought, I don't remember why, but in the end it snowed on the night of the 31st and the costume was adapted into a gypsy one since the black face would have run in the bad weather. I feel now it was my mother's presence in my life that was the important part of the night, as I hope my own son remembers the same one day. The rules of the night are all the same, though. No apples, no unwrapped candy, parents inspection before any eating. We lived in an apartment building until I was 9, so a group of kids in the building would do the rounds from the third floor down to the basement, then my father would take us over to the next building and wait outside for us while we did the rounds then. I was happy to hear the police were at Riley's school yesterday, handing out Unicef boxes and talking about safety. Things like that go down much easier when it's not me talking to him about it. I often wonder just how much of what I say he absorbs - often times somethings I would rather he not absorb. But when he tells me how to keep safe I know he knows.

Chloe (stay tuned for Bolt):

Daylight Saving Time

Here was my 8:05 a.m.!

Yes, it was lovely. But come off it! EIGHT A.M.!!! At the same time I'm not a fan of daylight saving time, even if it means an extra hour of sleep for one night and earlier sunrises. It's the end of the day that it becomes so much more noticeable. Early morning hours are rushing to get out the door, to the school bus, to my own bus that what's the difference if it's light or dark. I want more light at the end of the day, when I'm more active and conscious. Now with November looming - because it does loom in my world - I'm trying to change that all around. I'm going to try to do a "Celebrate Darkness" month. I'm not sure what just yet, but I'm working on it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Morning Frost

A few frosty shots from my morning walk. Yesterday's rain turned to snow, then back to rain before it all faded to black. I spent a little time in the shed last night digging out the rock salt and the ecologically green stair de-icer. I braved the cobwebs, glad I only had a flashlight to see around me, but I was grateful because this morning both front and back stairs were a sheet of ice. Yes, it is too soon for all this. I'm hoping next Saturday will be dry and a little milder for all the kiddies out and doing the rounds.

Friday Haiku

It snowed yesterday
Oh yes it did, fat horseflakes
Popsicle moments

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Living Large

One of our homework assignments in Patti Digh/David Robinson's LIAV telecoaching class was to do some rock balancing as an exercise to be fully present in our lives. For almost two months now I have looked for the opportunity to do this and it's a lot harder than it looks. My Tuesday morning walk down by the water netted this photo:

And this detail:

Larger than life, three formations of rocks balanced. It wasn't me who did it, but it really threw me for a loop. In September I had sat on the same shore, attempting to balance a handful of small rocks, my best attempt made a pile about two inches high. I didn't see any larger rocks even though they were right under my nose. In the spirit of Patti's writing, and in the spirit of being open, I took this to mean that I need to start thinking large. It's time to let all possibilities in, especially the grandiose and the impossible. I had a very vivid daydream a few weeks ago, something else that knocked me for a loop and I knew it would be a pivotal point in my growth. I need to realize that dream. Over at Beth's place at Be Yourself, she was talking this week about choosing her word for the coming year. Last year my word was "peace", this next year my word is "dream". I am going to dream big.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pet Peeve

One of my pet peeves is writing in books. Not when it's my own books, lord knows I notate, comment and doodle in enough of my own. The peeve is when I find it in library books. I picked up "The Making of June," by Annie Ward at the library. I found it while browsing, hadn't heard of it before but it appealed to me and I am really enjoying it. But on page 91 I found this.

And I realized how much it bugs me when other people decide to edit books that aren't their own property. Oh, so smart, they find typos that the original editor missed and correct it IN PEN write right in the book. I don't know why it gets under my skin so much, it just does.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sweet & Sour

I saw on my calendar that today is the Sweetest Day. I had heard it mentioned at other times but my curiosity led me to google it. Apparently it started in Cleveland in the 1920's by a man handing out candy to the less fortunate and now is celebrated by showing love and appreciation to your friends and family. It's kind of funny it even makes it onto a calendar if you ask me. Before I read that I was thinking it had something to do with the time of year, the harvest, the relativity of the angle of the sun to the equator. And really it is about a box of chocolates. Either way, a good reason to have a mini celebration.

I needed to read that because this week has been kind of rough. On the up side, none of us seem to have yet contracted the swine flu despite dire forecasts by the media. But it was just a bad energy week up here. I ended up working Thursday (to make up for not working on our holiday Monday) and working late. I went in with a bad attitude and I managed to hold my center until the end of the day and then it snowballed.

The previous day Riley came home from school WITHOUT his backpack, which all parents of school age children will realize is a disaster of epic proportions. A search of the school and the school bus turned up nothing. When my son sees his first therapist and that therapist asks him to remember back to the first traumatic experience he can remember, he will undoubtedly recall my reaction to him losing his backpack in first grade. Honestly, why do I so often forget that he is just six years old?

Then, yesterday was a weird little day. I had an early morning coffee with a good friend who I hadn't seen in a while. Important note here, I had a very strong coffee, something I guess I am no longer used to because I jitter bugged through the rest of the day. Right up to 6:00 p.m., I was out of my skin, irritated, unable to complete simple tasks or even a thought. I couldn't even pull supper together which didn't go over too well. I'm blaming it on the coffee. It was so unsettling though, I can't remember being so agitated.

I'd like to suggest that on this Sweetest Day you go out and do a little something to make someones life sweet. Make it a sugar treat, or a mental, emotional, spiritual sweet. One of my classmates in the Life is a Verb class I am taking talked this week about how when she does her groceries, she asks the checkout person what kind of candy bar is their favorite, then she adds one to her order and hands it to the person. I loved that. If we all reached out and touched someone with a small gesture, image how sweet this day would be.

P.S. I love Caramilk.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Shiver me timbers!

I know I'm not the only one freezing my kishkas off. We had our first frost over night last night. I was glad I didn't need the car before the sun (yes, the long lost sun!) came up and melted it off. We tried to walk down by the water with the dogs this morning but fagg-et-a-bout-it. It was so windy it was miserable, even with multiple layers, mitts and hats. WTF? It's only early October, we are supposed to be visited by an El Nino this year and yet the heat has been on full force, the wool socks out. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to lodge a formal complaint with someone about this kind of thing? It seems most of the northern part of this continent is freezing or has been snowed on already. Too soon, yes. Especially after the dismal season we dared to call summer this year. So here I am, on my country's Thanksgiving night, grousing about the menial. Any only 74 days until Christmas.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

38, 39, 40

I can hardly believe that I have caught up with *e*'s weekly questions. Q41 will be asked only this Monday. Here are my tags Q38, Q39 and Q40.

"Gummies, jellies, chocolate, iced coffee, ideas, desires, wishes, hopes and dreams. I'm drinking it all in, digesting it and enjoying every bite." - Scrapbook paper, ink and stamps.

"At first I thought that almost everything brings me job, in some form when I stop and consider it. But much to my own surprise, deep down, my answer was 'my family.'" - Collage, acrylics, glazes, caran d'ache neocolor IIs, watercolor pencils, General's pencil.

"Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years - that there will always be time to..." - Scrapbook paper, masks, stamps and ink.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Retail Therapy

Some say, when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. And with a rainy ped. day ahead of us, Riley and I did just that. He at Build-a-Bear, me at Sears. He getting some new accessories (after a stellar first report card yesterday), me scoring some wool socks for $3.99. Bonus! After leaving the equivalent of one kidney at the vitamin store (I'm a big believer in pumping the immune system during these dark and virus-riddled months), and after leaving the equivalent of another kidney at the grocery store (WTF is up with totals at the cash register?), we are home and shopped out. I did get to wondering in the dairy aisle how far removed from dairy some actual cheese is. I saw cheese, cheese food and cheese food product. What new mutation can they possibly do to extend cheese food product? I shudder to think and yet Riley's taste buds do go orgasmic over such things. Luckily he likes "real" cheese too.

Friday Haiku

This didn't take long, thanks to a couple of swift responses to my blue post.

Friends to the rescue
Got permission to wallow
Pass the chocolate


I have been feeling kind of blue these last few weeks. My own kind of hibernating, I guess. I've been silent, trying to figure out how to pull myself together. Really at a loss for words, which doesn't happen often to me. I've been blog hopping and not commenting much but I am continually encouraged and inspired by the art, the photos, the ideas and process (praw-cess?!) others are going through. I'll find my voice again soon, I'm hoping to pull a Friday Haiku out of myself somehow someway today.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


*e*'s 37th' question: What sparks my creativity?

My simple, one word answer - Everything!

Scrapbook embellishments, watercolor pencils, ink.

'Tis The Season

On my morning walk this:

They may have bird brains, but they are smart enough to am-scray N-O-W. It is alway a pleasure to see them return, though.

And on my afternoon walk, I took a few snaps of a tree on our block, the maple tree that never fails to disappoint. Some years the leaves on the trees just seem to turn brown and fall off, but not this tree, ever.

Friday, October 2, 2009


*e*'s 36th question is, "What do you never want to forget?"

Scrapbook paper and embellishments, ribbon, ink. The back reads:

I never want to forget that everyday is a gift, every moment divine, every wish is heard and, somewhere, all prayers are answered.

Haiku Friday

Scritch, scritch, scratch, rub, rub
My first day wearing wool socks
Yup, fall has arrived

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October Calendar Page

I remember now why I chose this for my October page when I was putting it together at the end of last year. The look of "spent", forgotten, all webby and Halloweeny. It's been grim this last week - cold and dark and generally dispiriting. Therefore, my quotes: "Relax and let everything go to hell" (Sol Lewitt) and "Almost always the creative dedicated minority has made the world better" (Martin Luther King Jr.). It was a dark and stormy week, indeed.