Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Merry Christmas!


....and I started out with such good intentions!

Oh, well. It's been very busy here, as I'm sure you all have been, and it promises not to slow down until after the first of the new year. Preparations for the holiday and then for our ski trip are taking their toll on my computer time. If I'm not able to get by to wish each of you Merry Christmas, know that I'm sending you well-wishes here!

Have a fabulous and safe holiday, blogging friends!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Santa Baby

We ran into the mall yesterday to pick up some socks for Lulu using some coupons. Predictably, upon entering the store, the Critter NEEDS TO GO TO THE POTTY RIGHT NOW! The store, of course, has no facilities. So we found the nearest public restrooms. Whilst making our mad dash across the mass of retail-shopping humanity, we passed a display for the Santa visit station. Hmmmm, I thought to myself, I wonder what the line's like at this time of day. After our 'business' was done, we exited the store and headed to the Santa spot. They have a train ride set up there to amuse the kiddos while you wait in line. But really? It's just there to part you with your cashola while you're held captive waiting for your turn to spend more money. Or in our case yesterday, the really kind guy who saw the defeated and crushed look on the boys' faces when I told them we couldn't ride the train because I didn't have any cash, and took $4 worth of pity on us in our cash-less state. Thanks, again whoever you were. You are the embodiment of the Christmas spirit.

Santa was on break, and the "will return at" sign with the little clock hands said that he would be back at 1:45.
It was 1:30.
There was NO ONE in line.

It wouldn't have mattered if the kids were dressed in pj's or nekkid as jaybirds, I wasn't passing up that chance. I knew it would probably be one of those "special" memories anyway.....Lulu is super leery of the big guy in red. Any other stranger on the street, grocery store, cars waiting alongside us at stoplights? Hi! How ya doin'?! I love you! Let me blow you some kisses! But Santa? No, no, no. We got lucky and the girl manning the shutter button was quick on the draw:


About 3 seconds later, Lulu went all 'spaghetti kid' on him, fell to the floor, hit her head, and then screamed even louder....until I gave her the oh, so lovely jingle bell bracelet / choking hazzard to play with. (By the way, thanks so much for those Santa, ....my hearing may never be the same.)

At least I didn't have to sit with them like last year.

For $21.99, I have an essential memory of childhood, fodder for the future therapy sessions for everyone involved, and one more 'must' item checked off the Christmas season list.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006



My mother was one of "those" people. The person who can do just about anything well, renaissance (wo)man, a Jane. As a child she showed creative talent early, and was playing tunes by ear on the piano by the age of 2. As an adolescent, she was a semi-professional dancer and talented painter. As an adult she was a fabulous cook, composed wonderful music, and played a mean church organ. She painted beautifully, sketched amazingly, and apparently weilded the knife with skill.

The picture above is of a sculpture made from balsa wood that my mother carved. Balsaman, as we named him, stood sentry over our lives during my entire childhood and teenage years on a little display block hanging on the wall above our sofa. Being made from such lightweight wood, it didn't take much for him to topple from his post, and he got knocked off on a weekly, if not daily, basis. His head would break off each and every time, and my mother would very carefully glue it back on and replace him, whole again, upon his block. Another day would roll around, some child would slam the door a bit too hard, and Balsaman would need mending once more. Through the years when she was focused on raising children, working and finishing up a doctoral degree, Balsaman continued to stand for the creative side of her that she always steadfastly held to.

Balsaman is mine now, and he sits in a display box above the sofa in my family room. I have always loved his relaxed and thoughtful pose, as if he is lost in the imaginings of his own soul. There are many days I've felt just like that. He was beheaded again recently, and I made the unfortunate mistake of using "the strongest glue on the planet" on him for the very first time. I learned that Gorilla Glue expands fourfold during the drying process, and now Balsaman looks as if he's dressed for winter in a scarf. I am contemplating 'restoring' him, but I need to do some research into how exactly that should be done. I don't want another 'learning experience' that might do more damage to this treasured item.

My family always encouraged us to pursue and develop any special talents or interests we might have. As a child, I took art lessons on Saturday mornings from the local artiste whose studio was in the unused wing of the local historical museum. I so loved those hours I had to explore the concepts of line, color, form, and also to physically explore that mysterious building. I swam on the local team, dove competitively, took dance lessons, and was a slave to the piano from five to fourteen. I took up the clarinet in middle school, and had thoughts of playing professionally until I decided that eating really was that important to me. I went through a creative dry spell during my working years as I was focused on my career and marriage. In the last 2 years I have been better about making time for creative self, and have found my current passion: digital photography and photoediting. I'm having so much fun with it. I know that this would have made my mother happy, to see me expressing myself and using the talents God has given me. I'm a bit sad that we were never able to share this part of my life.

My mother died in 2001 after a harrowing, year-long battle with lung cancer. Today would have been her 62nd birthday. I'm so glad I have Balsaman as inspiration to hold fast to the creativity that makes me uniquely me, for I am my mother's daughter.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Those are the ages of my children, for the next few weeks at least. I've been busy, to put it simply, and this has been my longest stretch between posts here. I have been reading the rest of you, but haven't really had the time to comment much. There are many reasons...life intervenes. I would have to say that the biggest reason of all is that little girl up there in the middle of the photo in the new banner(!). Changing nap schedules, newfound freedom in walking, constant vocabulary increase, and just general sassiness have left me without much time on the computer. What time I do get, I've been spending in photoshop and on flickr. They're both just so much fun, and I'm addicted completely. I'm going to try to be better about keeping up here though. Happy Sunday, all!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

One Year

Friday, November 03, 2006

Stuff Portrait Friday:GBU

It's not a university...it's the command from Kristine the queen of Friday. She wants to see the good, the bad and the ugly.

Hot biscuits with butter & honey.....GOOD


Halloween Costumes....BAD


(click on the pic to ready WHY)

Cooking Lip Injury.....UGLY

365.2: al.dente

(click on the pic to read HOW)

Did you play?

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

See it larger in flickr.