Friday, January 29, 2010

I Love Fight Night

(365 Day 25 photo)
Back in class today. The bag is great, but sometimes this Sunday School teacher just needs to hit people.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

He Who Controls the Spice...

By the time I realized I was out of curry powder for this Moosewood sweet potato soup recipe I had, it was too late to run get some and my poor, hungry children were sneaking rolls. So I pulled out another of my favorite cookbooks I got way back in La Leche League that encourages a "make your own" style of cooking and looked up how to make my own.

Even though I only had the whole mustard seed, coriander, and black pepper, it was still good enough to flavor the dish. And it was kind of fun to blend them to taste.

Monday, January 25, 2010


The vacancy our good old cat, Celie, left last summer has been temporarily filled. This little stray with a broken tail was meowing incessantly at the front door, so we took her in on the condition that she only stays if the dogs aren't aggressive toward her. We've kept them separated and let them mix only with us holding their leashes or collars for a short time. One seems harmless, the other, we're just not sure about.

But a couple of weeks have passed and we've named her, upgraded to a fancy litter box with a filter, treated her tail when the end fell off, got her first round of shots and a leukemia test, my son made her some toys, and now Spot has fallen under her spell. So, I don't see how we could let her go now. Once a cat has slept by you, climbed your curtains, burrowed into your dirty clothes pile, undone your knitting, and, yes, even shed a part of their tail on your bedroom floor, that's it. They are family. (I know, "ewww" about the tail.)

I think Spot is taken with her. No longer shaking in fear when he's near her, he dances around her trying to get her to chase him, which she is all too wiling to do. They tear around the room in crazy circles, but never try to hurt one another. She was totally spent and about to fall asleep in that pic above. I think they like each other. In fact she's sitting calmly by the door where his nose is sticking out underneath, sniffing her.

Now, if only Mo will come around, we can put out the "No Vacancy" sign, and our pack will be complete. Wait, we were going to get chickens...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Growing Up is Hard To Do

It's official: my kids are outgrowing play pretend.

I'll probably only have a few more chances with my youngest.
There was a day when I would sigh as I heard the order, "Play... play... play..." repeated, mantra style, by my first child, toddling after me with her little farm animals. But, I always did.

Though it was mentally exhausting at times to fuel the imaginary pursuits of my kids at play, it was a wonderful escape from new adult cares. I was no longer the sleep deprived mama with work piling up, but the voice behind the southern belle cow. And my flair for drama was instilled in my little ones as we reenacted Disney movies, Watership Down, The Hiding Place (nothing too severe), or Boxcar Children.

I spent many hours crawling around as a mama cat or wolf and let the babies' tea parties be the scene for acting out moral dilemmas. But tea parties turned to natural disasters, then morphed into Star Wars episodes. I could do a mean Chewbacca or build elaborate lego ships.

At least once a week I'd "adventure" outside, preferably on a trail, with either Pocahontas or Hercules, depending on which child was with me. We always carried either babies or swords. If we ended up at the park, the jungle gym equipment would be our spaceship with wood chips as lava. (We still do the lava thing.)

And the fun we had often drew other kids into the game. Our kids never really minded our attention being split between all the others, and I believe it's because they received so much from us at home and knew that other kids didn't always get this.

Just a couple of days ago my son and I were at the playground and collected an extra player from among the kids for hide-and-go-seek. Now, we do rule at hide-and-go-seek. So, as we waited patiently on base for him to realize we'd already made it there, we sent each other a silent look that said, "ahh, amatuers."

I'm going to miss this. It didn't hit me until this year when my oldest child seems incapable of playing pretend with her brother any more, that it won't be long before he won't play either. Hhhhhhh! -That's my sigh.

I like playing. It's one of the best selfish perks of having kids. But, I'm sure God has plenty of uses for this "gift" of mine after my kids no longer need it. I just know that I have to make the most of these last play days. Not get too busy, as I can at times, to travel into the imaginary with them. And then, when the time comes, I won't regret not spending time with my kids (aside from leagues and organizations) when they were little.

Then, there's always grandkids.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Years Resolution, Sort of

When I joined a 365 photo pool, I thought it would just be a fun little outlet. I had no idea how time consuming and frustrating taking a photo of myself every day could be. And it's only day 16. Finding time to do this hasn't been easy. I mean, even the blah pictures take time to set up and adjust for focus, not to mention the dogs pacing in front of the lens. I find that my cybershot isn't near the camera I thought it was- poor focus, no bokeh.

Even so, I am seeing myself in a new light. I've never taken as many photos of myself as I have in the last 16 days. I'm having to look at myself... A LOT. And I'm not as weirded out by it as I thought I'd be. I even like them.

I'm also appreciating my old minolta so much more now.

And I'm a patient model. This late night photo composition is expanding my creativity to get a picture that looks good, even with lens limitations

So I'm sticking with it for now, knowing that if I'm uninspired, I can always take a dumb picture of my feet and go to bed.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

One Happy Pot

I got to christen one of my Christmas presents yesterday (thanks Grandmommy and Papaw!) It's a 6 qt. enameled, cast iron dutch oven and when combined with this book, it produces a real happy meal.

It was as easy as a crock pot, but faster, and the meal wasn't soupy. Once it was in the oven, I didn't have to do a thing but talk to my sister over coffee for an hour.

Apparently, its all about the layers (of which you can only see one in the picture.) Frozen chicken, wine and vinegar, seasonings, potatoes, mushrooms,then broccoli with a few bay leaves tucked inside.
If I could've quickly found my ingredients in the black hole we call a pantry, the prep would've been a snap.

No side dishes, no sink full of dishes (at least not from this meal) and it smelled fantastic.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Faves

All that's missing is Starship Troopers (nothing like the movie) and The Hiding Place, my favorite book by Corrie Ten Boom. I can't find it. Maybe its in a box ready for the next hurricane evac. Anyway, since my children have gotten older, I find that I mostly read practical how to's and knitting patterns. For instance, I just got a new cookbook and will try my first dutch oven recipe tomorrow.

I thrive on that, but there's something comforting about escaping into fiction on a rainy day. I'm so satisfied by it.

So, next up: I have to finish the last couple of chapters of this and then, since my daughter watches Pride and Prejudice constantly, I think I'll do some Jane Austen.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

9 Down

This 365 Days thing is not easy. Taking a photo every day isn't that hard, but I'm my least favorite subject. It would probably help if my tripod wasn't broken and I was getting outdoors more. I'm not really sure how long I'll be able to stick with this. On the other hand, I'm not a bored or antsy subject and I am having to think creatively to take a semi-interesting shot.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I have always liked that word. Especially when applied to the fun stuff: the things I blog about. Getting back into my yoga practice today felt very good. I pretty much need this kind of thing.

(365 day 7 photo)

But it's only in the last few years that I see I am practicing calm, forgiveness, and slow, thoughtful reaction, or (even better) no reaction at all. I have literally felt like shaking as I caught words on my lips before letting them fly, breathing and holding onto them. Much like sinking deeper into asana or running well past my marker just to see that I can. I can take so much more because of all this practice.

Thank you, God, and everyone who's given me so, so much practice.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I See the World Through the Lens of a Polaroid ca 1979

(365 day 5 photo)

Maybe I'm overusing this application- taking the easy way out of perfect composition, soft focus, and dreamy tint. Maybe I'm too cheap to waste my birthday present on a camera I can't afford film for, waiting for the day pack film is back in production.

Probably. But everyone finds beauty in common things. And I'm drawn to blue collar, low budget,tweaked self expression. Hence the size of the "Cheap Stuff" label in my sidebar, there.

And though I wouldn't call myself an "artist," we all are really. Whether it's martial arts in the garage to blow off steam, or toying around on the piano while soup simmers, or quietly humming a different tune for each person you see each day, or navigating a tricky conversation with grace and care, we get the ordinary chores of family life done all day long, and we do it with flair.

Regular people indulging in art is joy and balance.

Her Coat is of the Tabby Kind...

(365 day 4 photo)

My sister picked up a little something for us when she was house sitting last week. 2 months old, crying on our porch in the coldest winter I remember. She actually used our feral cat house a few nights 'til we got home and caved. She's a Jennyanydots.

Now for introductions. (sigh)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Watchin' my Shows

(365 day 3 photo)

I'm not a total bum- I did my daily photo.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

365 reject

But I liked it.

90 Years

Yesterday Papaw turned 90. So today he'd say he's practically 91.

I've always loved visiting my grandparents home, I'd always come home smelling a little of his pipe smoke.

He beat me in a race when he was in his late 50's. Monday, I went back to an amazed second grade class and told them that, "My Papaw is faster than me...and he's retired!"

He and my grandmother had this bike rebuilt by a friend for me. To this day it is still the best bike I ever had.

I wish I could find that photo of him taking my brother and I fishing on Shady Lake once in a canoe. I felt like an Indian girl floating in the middle of the lake, throwing back fish that were too small. (They were all too small.)

My children see him as the one who played "monster" with them on the floor, the one who hung a tire swing for them, who searches for Easter eggs they hide, and who sat around an imaginary campfire with them in the backyard.

He's still spoiling them with Dr. Peppers and candy. My daughter sits next to him in his rocker in the garage, talking, while my son digs through his tools, looking for something he can make stuff with.

What a great day. Happy Birthday, Papaw. I love you.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Why is This so Hard?

Joined the 365 Days and Shutter Sisters 365 had a tough time finding a shot I even sort of liked for my first 365 self portrait.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cabin Fever

Oh yeah, we've got it.