Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ewwww Du Toilette

I work semi-full time for a construction company as an Office Manager. Sometime several months ago we noticed a very icky odor coming from the bathroom area, which happens to be on one of the corners of the building. I assumed it was a plumbing issue, gases or something.

It smelled a lot like skunk, but we'd seen no skunk and have a concrete foundation, so I attributed the odor to bad construction and we've been trying to figure out how to overcome the disgusting smell.

It has only grown worse. AND since the warm summer months have flown by and the air has grown chilly, I have had to start shutting the doors to keep warm, inadvertently enclosing the smell in too.

In the last six weeks the insidious smell began to show up in my office, and in my closet. Not all the time, the smell is worse off and on, and almost non-existent at other times.

We finally decided it was a skunk, and have been making plans to get our hands on a trap or something. (We found a hole burrowed under the building, though we have yet to actually see the culprit.)

I wasn't in a hurry, I had semi grown used to the smell, and didn't know what other course to take than to hope fate would figure out a solution.

However, yesterday as I visited a client of mine (discussing photos they were to buy for their offices) someone noted out loud that they could smell skunk.

I froze, and tried to strangle the wail I wanted to make firmly in my throat before it could escape. Unsure if my fears were correct, I went to my sister shortly after and asked her to smell me.

Sure enough, I smelled of skunk.

She assured me it was mild and not too horrible. Needless to say I didn't feel a bit better.

Mortified I slunk back to my offices and called around until I found a city agency that would lend me a skunk trap.

No luck yet, the office is still as perfumed as it was yesterday, and because of it I will be going nowhere until I can go home and bathe and change.

I am still horrified. But this is how my life works, seriously.

Have I told you about my luck lately? It stinks.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Part of what spurred me to write that last entry was the way I feel this Christmas. Sad that so much has changed for me, and all that I can't share with my kids.

I know I can make it what I need it to be with the right attitude, and this beautiful song on my blog (below) by Faith Hill says it all splendidly.

For those of you who have interest, here are the words:

"Where Are You Christmas"
Where are you Christmas
Why can't I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can't I hear music play
My world is changing
I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too
Where are you Christmas
Do you remember
The one you used to know
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go
Christmas is here
Everywhere, oh
Christmas is here
If you care, oh
If there is love in your heart and your mind
You will feel like Christmas all the time
I feel you Christmas
I know I've found you
You never fade away
The joy of Christmas
Stays here inside us
Fills each and every heart with love
Where are you Christmas
Fill your heart with love


I remember when I first realized I was parenting for everyone else but my children.

Doing what other people expected me to do because I was unsure of my own parenting skills, or afraid of what they might say if they disapproved of my own methods.

This led to some moments I am ashamed of. I am a good parent, and I don't have to allow other peoples opinions or beliefs change what I know is right for my children and me. I finally learned, but sometimes I wished I had learned earlier.

Like all things, I tend to not learn from my mistakes. It would be nice if I could take an experience and the lesson learned, and apply it toward another part of my life. But alas, I am a rock.

I have a confession.

I have been afraid to talk about the fact that I am a Christian.

Afraid that if I did that many of the people who I enjoy through reciprocated visits in blogs and journals and websites will be offended and not visit me anymore.

I am ashamed that I set my own beliefs aside because I hoped to have friends. The truth is that real friends will accept me even if they don't care for my beliefs, just as I do for them. I had forgotten this truth. It took me years to figure this out... elementary school was a nightmare for me, trying to make friends with kids who were too self-centered to be kind. Me trying to be what I wasn't for the sake of acceptance.

Acceptance isn't worth selling yourself out for.

So here it is. I am a Christian.

A hard-core, old fashioned Bible-thumping, God-worshipping, believer-of-Jesus girl.

I am proud of my beliefs. I don't press them on others, unless invited to do so. But neither should I have to hide them because someone else finds them offensive. I grew up in a world my children will never see. A world where cursing was unacceptable on television or radio, where porn and sex didn't belong in public, where Christmas was a time for celebration and good will toward all men and women, (Oh how I miss the decorations downtown and in the store windows! It was so cheerful!) and a time when respecting others was a good thing.

No, this doesn’t mean that I think if someone isn't Christian they are not good people. It doesn't mean I don't respect the religious beliefs of others (or lack thereof) and their rights to practice their own beliefs. It just means that I think there are a lot of people out there who hate religion, and Christians in particular, and have declared war on anything they don't like. The ACLU has wandered far past protecting the rights of others and charged into the practice of tramping over anything anyone wants to complain about.

My son claims to be an atheist and even he thinks it is all ridiculous. The other day he said, "Pretty soon it is going to be like we are in some Orson Wells book, everyone taking medication so we won't have any emotions and won't accidentally say or do anything to hurt anyone else’s feelings!"

Ah, anyway. Agree with me, or don't agree with me. Don't visit my blog anymore if you find me offensive.

It's okay.

I have a right to be myself, and who I am includes an undeniable part of me who loves God and is proud to be part of a wonderful group of people who call themselves Christian.

For those of you who will visit me anyway, thanks.

It's good to have real friends

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Road Trip

I am driving to Roswell tomorrow. Depending on who you are it is either the site of where Aliens landed (and possibly still hang with the locals) or the dairy capital of the Southwest. (The governing body of Roswell doesn't care for the Alien thing... think they are in denial?)

Either way it is a long drive with little to see between. I am on my way to pick up my cousin and childhood playmate, Nicky. She lives there with her husband and his family, and is coming home to Albuquerque to be with family here during the holiday. Instead of her hopping a Greyhound I opted to have some one on one time with her.

I am taking my camera. I am not sure why. Perhaps I am hoping I will see some lone tumbleweed which has some characteristic that might make me famous. Or better yet... an alien. (Though the only type of alien I think I might find is the kind that comes from Mexico.)

No radio between here anbd there, so I will have plenty of time to ponder and create stuff in my head. That in itself is scary.



Not that Cold Yet

Nope. It hasn't snowed here yet. This was last year, and at the time I loved it.
This year propane is ridiculously high and I can't afford to get the tank filled, so I worry. We certainly won't freeze, but that doesn't mean that comfort is in my future.
I had a friend once who would have griped at me that comfort is way too high a priority in my life. But ya know, I am forty now, and my bones already complain when it is warm. Imagining getting out of bed in a room that is below 30 degrees makes me wanna cry.
Call me a baby, but I am not repenting.


Photo by Dawn Allynn

I just realized something. I thought I was bothered by this whole AOL thing, but I am not. Not for myself anyway.

My concern about what is going on with the ads bothers me because it is effecting the people I care about who journal in AOL, I know some people who are really bummed and dragged down by this whole thing. I know there was a time it would have floored me as well, so I can understand the reaction. As a loyal AOL Member for ... dang ... eleven years, I had a lot of emotional stuff vested in AOL for a long time. So I empathize with my friends, and hate to see the impact it is having on some of my buddies.

But for myself, I cannot say that this is a bad thing.

When I first came to AOL I was into Chat rooms, and role playing. After awhile the chat rooms became crude and the people in them were immature. AOL had decided to get rid of the chat room moderators, so people who like to start trouble had nothing to fear. Role playing was also invaded by the immature crude crowd who liked to jump in and start arguments for the sake of it. (Called flamers... it is best to ignore these guys, but not always easy to do.)
Later I belonged to "lists" where I traded graphics and tutorials and poetry and recipes with like minded people. Made lotsa fun friends. That was great for awhile, but like everything else, gets old after awhile. I only have so much room on my computer for all the cool stuff people can send me, and four hundred emails a day can grow tiresome.
Then I began participating in Forums... mostly the short story and poetry contests. That was a real highlight for awhile. But again, AOL decided to cut back and get rid of moderators, so the whole thing kinda went away.
I discovered journals about three years ago, and though I considered outside blogs, I decided to stick with AOL and go that route. I have been bothered by the fact that I am a paying customer, yet non-AOL customers could have journals for free. Now they are advertising on my journal.
At the prices I have paid for AOL it just isn't worth all of this frustration. Besides the constant cut backs and changes, I am always having posting issues, email that won't send or save, graphics that won't save in the right format. Billing issues, nasty customer service guys I can't understand on the phone, and software that frankly screws my computer up more with each upgrade.
I like these journals. I like the ability to manipulate HTML, and add photos easier, and have more of a say so about what goes in it and how it will look and sound and feel. I like that I have a wider group of people I can meet and who can visit and post. It's a challenge and an opportunity, and I am excited about it.
I am concerned I will end up here alone.
Yeah, that's true. Maybe I'll write here day after day and nobody will come visit, and that would be sad. But I have to think maybe I have made enough friends that this won't happen. And Lord knows there's lots of great new people out there I am looking forward to meeting.
In any case, I have never been the kind of girl to settle, and I was settling at AOL.
This will be good for me, I believe. Moving into any new home and neighborhood is scary.... but it always involves new doorways and new opportunities.
::grins:: I think maybe I'll have a housewarming after the Anyone wanna come?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Busy Week

Photo by Dawn Allynn

I have been working on so much this week... wow... is it a wonder I have time to breathe?

I just got finished updating my new home for the Poetry Dance Hall, and I am still trying to move my other journals over to here. The money I will save leaving AOL will be nice. It's been a move that's been a long time coming, my journals were the last string holding me there.

I have been a member of AOL since 1994. Very odd to think of leaving now. But so much has changed. It's like living in the house you grew up in, except now there's a Mall and a Highway in your front yard, half of your friends moved away, and the property taxes went through the roof. Hard to keep investing in the same real estate when there's better looking housing just down the road.

::sigh:: Ah, everything changes, eh?
Other than the blogs, I have also been trying to catch up at work (not likely if I keep up this blogging) because I only work two days this week.
I also have a sick kiddo with me today. Poor little guy.
Getting ready to do Christmas Portraits for Customers this weekend and am trying to finish up the Gingerbread house backdrop I am creating for the photos.
Driving to Roswell Wednesday to pick up my cousin and bring her to town for the holiday.
Cleaning the disaster my house has become while I lay in bed off and on in the past two weeks with the flu.
Finishing up two websites I am creating for two customers which need to be done by the first of January.
And there's more... but I am just making myself anxious!
I am hoping to get this done and catch up with all my other journaling and blogging buddies out there. If one is you... drop me a line and lemme know where you're at so I can keep up with who I am supposed to visit where!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Insanity and heartache

I have been very low today.

An acquaintence of mine died yesterday, and his wife is in the hospital. Both shot during a break in by some people, for God knows why. He was a good guy. I mean, a really nice guy. Neither of them deserved this.

My heart is heavy. :(

RJ Schaefer

In the Beginning

This is how it ends.

Photo by Dawn Allynn

And this is how it starts.
Everything before this entry was a post in an AOl journal. I transfered it over here because
I don't like the invasion of advertising AOL did with out asking me as because the blogs I am doing suit me better, and will save me money ( I am leaving AOL entirely in January) if you get a minute have a peek at the first one and leave a comment :) I'd be much obliged.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Making Adobe Photoshop Brushes

I love Adobe Photoshop. I have PSP but am not great with it, because I haven't spent as much time in it. I need to learn more of it because I have so much great stuff for it. I like Photoshop for doing things to photos, and I love it for graphics. I recently learned how to create my own brushes in Photoshop using scanned items and photographs. Here's some of my brushes and why I love them:

These are some of my "Birdstuff" Brushes. The collection isn't done yet... but I am having fun with it so far.

Using Layer options and style in Photoshop I enjoy changing the colors on my "brushes"... sometimes creating stand-alone graphics.

I use the brushes to make tags, sign photographs, put watermarks on photos and graphics, make art projects, and (of course!) to do cool thngs to photos. This is a mix of just brushes:

Anyway.... this is just stuff. :) Exciting to me, but all of my obsessions are.

I am NOT gonna start a new journal right now. But if anyone is interested in learning editing tips and tutorials, and exchanging brushes or anything, let me know and we can do it all here. Because ya know... it's all just Drivel! LOL!

(This next item... btw... is another obesssion. A poem type (Nonets) we're doing the next couple of weeks over at my blog Poetry Dance)

Photoshop is really fun for me.
I make stuff I don't have time for.
Who needs time? I am obsessed.
I dream in Photoshop.
I should see a shrink,
Do you know one
who might be
in J-

Friday, November 11, 2005


Some one sent me this in an email... you have probably seen it. It is worth sharing in case you haven't. :)

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

Monday, November 07, 2005


I'm nutz. Simply dingy. I have no time to myself. I am constantly overwhelmed and overworked. Yet I always volunteer to do one more thing I don't have time for. Or take up one more project I can't possibly commit to.


I am an over organized individual who likes everyhting in it's own place. I won't get into the borderline OCD issues I have... but they are there.

Proof of it lies in my journals, if you need proof.

I have many journals. Too many. One for photos. One for New Mexico. One for poems. One for my short stories. One for my blathering drivel (yeah, this one). One for a poetry group. One to keep in touch with old friends. And so on and so forth. It's rediculous. Like I can't do it all in one journal. Right?

Except I can't. I have to have it all sorted out nicely and organized. Heh. Fruity.
And if I needed proof it is nutz... then the urge I had today to start a new one should get me committed. Like I have time. Pffft!

I love Adobe Photoshop and Correl Draw and PSP. I love gradients, and styles, and masks and brushes. I like collecting and making and trading all of the above. So I thought...."Hey! I'll make a journal where I can exchange this stuff and have tutorials!" Like I said. Wacko.
No more. I am putting my foot down. I am gonna just have to fit something else into this journal. I amy not have time, but I already have the space. No point in making another journal. Sharing some graphic stuff now and then won't make this journal explode.

This stuff can be classified as drivel too, can't it?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Good to be back...

Hurrah! My kid is healthy again! (well mostly, but no more pneumonia) and I am almost caght up at work after weeks of missing stuff! Ad I almost have time to have a life again! WhooooHooooo!


Somehow it almost feels like spring. Ahhhhhh.

What a freaking nightmare life has been. There was a highlight to things. I won a $50 gas card at a Festival my little kiddo had last weekend. No need to explain how valuable that puppy is.
Part of me feels exhausted.

Fall is here, which is good cause I like change, but I sure miss the colors of Autunm in other areas I have lived in. New Mexico tends to be brown year around. But if it is possible, it tends to get browner right about now. heh. Ah... but when Christams comes around and the decorating begins... watch out. This is a beautiful place to be!

Speaking of Christmas, is anyone else feeling a little pressure yet? I have five kids and other family members to shop for. I am the poster child for anxiety. It doesn't help that Walmart was already stocking Christmas stuff before Halloween was even a glimmer in my eye.
::sighs:: I guess ya just can't make me happy, can ya. ;)

Life is good. I am not complaining. I am glad to be here. Thanks ful for all the poeple who stopped by my various, neglected journals and left me notes of support and hellos. I haven't forgotten you. :) I'll drop by soon with notes of my own.

Here's a rainbow here in town a couple of weeks ago. I only caught the very end of it before it faded away, but it still makes me smile. Just like you guys do. ;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Just a note :)

Just a note to explain my absence... I haven't updated any of my journals in a while because I have had some problems here and there...

My sweet little ten year old, David, was diagnosed with pneumonia, on top of already suffering a bout of asthma. I don't have insurance right now, so the last couple of weeks have been daily efforts to get him what he needs, and nights with little sleep while he struggles to get over his illness. On top of that lovely situation oldest boy has been having school problems, and the staff there don't seem to understand that I have more than one child to take care of or why I can't show up at the drop of a hat. How can I express my frustration?


Anyway, it'll get better, just wanted to let everyone know I am still here, just overwhelmed and busy. I have to update the Poetry Dance Journal before anything, but when I am caught up I'll be back. :)

Dawn :)

Friday, October 07, 2005

Halloween Graphics/ Cookies

Just some simple Halloween tags for anyone who wants to save them to use in email... or if you like copy and paste them to your journal right from here :)

And I am not gonna reprint it here because I don't have permission... but if you are interested this is a link to some yummy (I have tried them they are good) funny cookies:

Cat Poop Cookies <---------- click for the link

Serious Drivel

I got this as an email the other day on another screenname where I get about 100 emails a day. (I have no life... have I mentioned that lately?) It is just frustrating enough that I had to share it with you.

The following is the email exactly as I recieved it:

How Smart is Your Right Foot?

This is so funny that it will boggle your mind. And you will keep trying at least 50 more times to see if you can outsmart your foot, but you can't.

1. While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.
2. Now, while doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right hand. Your foot will change direction.
I told you so .....And there's nothing you can do about it!

Halloween (Acrostic-ly)

Happy children dressed
As ghouls
Laugh and dance in darkest night
Lured by costumed friend and sweets
Observing customary fright
With make-upped visage armed and clad
Excitement bound by thinnest thread
Entranced once more by 'Hallows Eve
Night ending only once in bed.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Whoooo Hooo ! Halloween!!

I love Halloween. Perhaps it stems from my love to be somebody else. I love masks, make-up... pretending. My mother wanted me to go into acting, because I was always "putting on" as she called it. (When I was ten I would adopt a scottish accent and pretend she was a distant Aunt I was visiting when we were in public. Which went over well until whoever I was speaking to found out I was telling stories. Mom didn't find it amusing until many years later.)I started on AOL years ago as a roleplayer. Creating charcters for chatrooms like The Red Dragon Inn. Back in those days I was paying by the minute and I am sure I single handedly payed all the AOL employees their saleries. These days I tend to limit my ecentricities to dressing up yearly and acting as a costume designer and make-up artist for friends. I am already quite booked this year.

So... in the spirit of Halloween (pardon the pun) I will be liberally sprinkling my journal for the next month with recipes, jokes, graphics, ideas... and whatever else strikes my fancy in honor of Halloween. :) If you like it... snag it. If you have something of your own... leave a comment, or a link to your own journal, or send me an email... or a link else where. Whatever. I love it. I love it all....

Moohahahahah....(okay... sorry... I am geting out of hand here.)


So anyway.... the first thing I am gonna share is gross. If you have a weak stomach... don't do it. Having a party? Wanna gross out your friends? Here's just one of many yummy recipes sure to make your guests stop dead in thier tracks and wonder just what exactly is wrong with you.

This is called Kitty Litter Cake...

Yeah. You heard me.

No real kitty litter... it is a cake, but looks bad enough to fool anyone. Totally edible... totally disgusting. lol.

Here's the recipe:

Cake Ingredients:

1 box spice or German chocolate cake mix
1 box of white cake mix
1 package white sandwich cookies
1 large package vanilla instant pudding mix
A few drops green food coloring
12 small Tootsie Rolls or equivalent

1 NEW cat-litter box
1 NEW cat-litter box liner
1 NEW pooper scooper

Prepare and bake cake mixes, according to directions, in any size pan.
Prepare pudding and chill.
Crumble cookies in small batches in blender or food processor. Add a few drops of green food coloring to 1 cup of cookie crumbs. Mix with a fork or shake in a jar. Set aside.When cakes are at room temperature, crumble them into a large bowl. Toss with half of the remaining cookie crumbs and enough pudding to make the mixture moist but not soggy. Place liner in litter box and pour in mixture.Unwrap 3 Tootsie Rolls and heat in a microwave until soft and pliable. Shape the blunt ends into slightly curved points. Repeat with three more rolls. Bury the rolls decoratively in the cake mixture. Sprinkle remaining white cookie crumbs over the mixture, then scatter green crumbs lightly over top.Heat 5 more Tootsie Rolls until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake and sprinkle with crumbs from the litter box. Heat the remaining Tootsie Roll until pliable and hang it over the edge of the box. Place box on a sheet of newspaper and serve with scooper.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A few Hawaii Photos :)

I can still smell the salt in the air... ah how I miss it already!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Honey... I'm home!

I am back... it was fun...! I will be here over the next few days posting and telling... but am so swamped right now I don't have time to do anything but...ahhhhhhh! ::grins::

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Out for a bit....

Just a note to everyone who's been leaving comments (thanks guys... if you have a journal or blog or even enjoy email, you know how I appreciate it!) I intended on leaving some comments of my own and dropping by everyone's journals... and doing some updates tonight because I am leaving in the a.m. for a week and am not certain if I will have internet access where I'll be, so I wanted to make my rounds. However, it has been a crazy day and I can't manage it. As it is I am visiting my own journal via Internet Explorer since my Mums computer doesn't have AOL and my laptop can't access her DSL. Hmmm...

Anyway, I will think of everyone, and bring treats back to share. I'll miss ya guys!


Friday, September 16, 2005

Creating Fun

I mentioned in my last entry that i would show some photos of my kids last weekend. I have to say, I am impressed with their ingenuity. My sister and I grew up in New Mexico, and spent our summers in west Texas. While we enjoyed an occasional trip to the lake which was quite a distance from Albuquerque, or a swim in a pool when we got lucky (we actually lived in an apartment building that had a pool one summer, and I was the happiest kid alive) or maybe even a visit to a water slide and twice (glory!) a vacation in the vicinity of a beach, we didn't often see water. Not the kind you play in.

My boys went this summer to Viginia Beach to visit their father and spent a great deal of time at the beach. My seventeen year old was in heaven, and bought a skim board. A skim board is like a surf board, except that it is thinner and usually shorter, and very lightweight. I found this explanation of skimboarding online:

"Skimboarding is a sport similar to surfing which takes place near the shore. The skimboarder stands about twenty feet from the ocean with skimboard in hand and waits for a wave. When they see a wave they run towards it with their skimboard still in hand. Upon reaching the wet sand they drop the board and jump onto it as quickly as possible. Once on the board, the skimmer must remain as stable as possible and prepare to make the transition to the ocean. The skimmer then (hopefully) glides out into the ocean toward the oncoming wave, banks off of it, and rides it back into shore. There are many possibilities for riding the waves and this is where skimboarding gets really interesting."

(If you want to learn more about skimboarding, this site is a good place to start.)

So anyway, here's my boys now ... all excited about skimboarding, and living in New Mexico. Got a board with no place to go. Hawaii looms in the near future, but of course, being kids, they cannot wait that long.

So off to the backyard the ran, shovels in hand, and dug down into the dirt in our backyard which is probably 60 percent clay, and created an impression in which they dropped a blue tarp.

And then added water.

So all the boys, my own two and my stepsons, ran outside attired in shorts and boxers and proceeded to skimboard.

You need to see it to believe it:

Goofy moments

So... my oldest boy is into breakdancing.

I remember break dancing in the 80's. A date took me to a club in Milwaukee where he spun on his head for an hour while I watched, from the side, embarrassed.
(This, from me... who was into punk and bouncing off of walls and trying to look like Madonna or Cyndi Lauper... pleeeeze)

Anyway, I never dreamed my son would be into break dancing. But he loves any kind of dancing, so I should have figured. He also into martial arts in a big way, and other fighting techniques. He is into something I do not understand called capoetta. (spelling?)
We live in the country, no trees, no water, not much to do, so the kids get creative and find entertainment. The other day they set up a surfing pond, (photos later) and while it was getting ready they put out cardboard and practiced their "moves".

I tease my son all the time, because he is there all legs-akimbo and flaiing about and he calles it dancing. (yeah... he laughs at my "moves" too) So I took a photo and played with it, animated it. It's silly. It's stupid. It has a bad word in it so forgive me.... but I have to show ya because it cracks me up. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Nobody Knows me but my Dog

...and though this little quiz can tell you some of it.... there's still a ton you don't wanna know... lol.
QUIZ : Dawn's Drivel
Found this link in SINS journal (octoberoots, Tidbits ... thanks for the cool link) and you can make a quiz of your own when you're done. :)

Friday, September 09, 2005


I got tagged (grins) by Courtenay to do "The Seven Sides of Life", so here goes my answers...

Seven Things I Plan To Do Before I Die:

1. See my children through college and help them get a good start in life.
2. Publish a book.
3. Go to Ireland and Scotland.
4. Throw away anything I don't want anyone to see when I am dead. (lol... yeah, think about it.)
5. See a few lost friends and say hello again.
6. Write memoirs down for my children and grandchildren.
7. Take my parents and my fiance somewhere wonderful.

Seven Things I Can Do:
1. Give good advice.
2. Write.
3. Photograph.
4. Create new from old.
5. Apologize when I am wrong.
6. Love without reciprocation.
7. Help others help themselves.

Seven Things I Cannot Do:
1. Keep from talking too much.
2. Keep from worrying what might happen.
3. Help when members of my family are arguing amongst themselves.
4. Manage my money well.
5. Watch others suffer without wanting to help.
6. Keep my opinions to myself.
7. Sleep when I have things that I am excited about, which is almost every night.

Seven Things That Attract Me To The Opposite Sex:
1. Confidence
2. Intelligence
3. Humor
4. Someone who has and stands up for good values and morals.
5. Good fathers.6. A nice mix of romance and strength
7. Excitement for living.

Seven Things I Say Most Often:
1. I love you.
2. Hey, guess what I read today...
3. Did you do your homework? Well then, is your room clean?
4. I missed you while you were gone today.
5. I am going to ground you for the rest of your life if you don't... (at which point they grin, because I am full of it.)
6. Did anyone feed the dogs or cats? Hello? Hello?
7. Oh gawd, get up! We're late for school again!

Seven Celebrity Crushes:
1. Sean Connery
2. Mathew McConnahey
3. James Spader
4. Orlando Bloom
5. Antonio Banderas
6. Ewan McGregor
7. Liam Neeson

Seven people I want to do this:
1. Celeste (gdireneoe)
2.Derek (deveil)
3. Aude (audedu84)
4. Dawn (princesssaurora)
5. Sue (dakbdimble)
6. Cynthia (sistercdr)
7. Jodi (jouell3935)

Friday, September 02, 2005

Photo for Katrina's Victims

I haven't mentioned the disaster on the gulf coast too much because I am so frustrated I am not quite sure what to say. I've lived through a couple of hurricanes myself (I was in Florida for Andrew) and a few other scary natural ickies (an Earthquake and a volcanic eruption in Italy that all frightened me bad.) And I never had to go through what those people on the Gulf are going through.

It kills me.

Our family has donated what we can... and I am trying to also volunteer through my local chapter to do what I can physically or otherwise. I suspect it won't be enough... and I am struggling with it.

I can't get past thinking that we can get food, water and medical aid to other countries when we are at war a lot faster than we are doing in our own backyard. And I was under the impression that we were trying to be prepared for distasters in case of terrorist attacks... If this is any indication of our preparedness levels, we're in trouble. As are our counrymen in need now.
My heart goes out to them, all of them... and I am doing what I can.
Here's my photo as suggested by John:

Thanks John.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

New and Old and Just Plain Fun

I've had a lot of projects going on lately. I have a big family, as many of you know... five kids and one handsome boyfriend.

I work full time and do photography when I can....(like sleeping) plus managing my website, participating in photography groups I belong to, and my journals. I enjoy writing, but do precious little of it anymore. I started a new journal recently which Spencer from over at Spencer's Place is going to lend me some help with as I'll be on vacation soon for a week. (More on that later.) The journal is Poetry Dance, (click on the Ladybug stamp below and you can get a peek) And we're doing weekly poetry assignments and bi-weekly challenges. Tomorrow the new challange starts.

I've also been working on my website (as mentioned) and while it has a way to go, I am fairly happy with it these days. Kat gave me the idea of the hosting service so I owe her a big Thank You! If anyone has the time to have a look and let me know what looks good and doesn't... kind proof it and give me some honest feedback I'd appreciate it. My mom says it's wonderful... but she loves me too much to be constructive. lol. :) Anyway... the website is,

drop me a line if ya have any comments, good or bad. :)

The vacation I mentioned is Hawaii... my mother is treating my kids and I... (whooohoo!) so I have three weeks to lose wieght so I can fit in a bathing suit (uh-oh) and then from the 22nd to the 27th of September I'll be in photographers Heaven. Heh.

Well, the day grows long and I have more journaling to do... just wanted to throw something out that wasn' an assignment, and before Friday Hope everyone is having as much fun, and far less stress than I am!

Round Robin Challenge "Labor"

It's Round Robin time again ... and as always I think a lot about what I want to post for each challange long before posting time might come along. I like it when my photo means something for me, and I like the photo to have really been a challenge.

This week the topic was "Labor" and was chosen by Robby of "Robbie's Ruminations" . I had a hard time at first, but ended up realy enjoying this challenge. As always, I am gonna tell ya why. :)

Have you ever noticed how the things we love leave marks on us? The calloused fingers of a guitarist, blisters on the soles of a runners feet, stretch marks on the belly of a mother, and even those tiny creases left over from a life of joy which we call "laugh lines". Our pleasures often leave evidence of their existence.
My father has endured a lifetime of hard work and hard times, a lifetime which has left evidence of it's own in it's wake. Swollen, painful joints and a rash of scars are part of who my father is these days. But his hands are a wholly different matter.

My father has made and sold pottery for more than thirty years now. His fingers are knobby and stiff, his palms covered in callouses, the skin thickened and stained from contact with the molds and clays. Yet what his hands proclaim is that my father has worked more than thirty years doing something he has loved.

Though he doesn't write, draw, or wield a camera as I do, my father and I share a deep love for creating. My father expresses his romance through the business he's built, through each piece of pottery he turns out. Sure, he grumbles now and then ... but the truth is that he couldn't walk away from it if he tried. For though it is a career, a job, a living ... it is also a labor of love.

Which is why I chose this photo of my fathers hands to represent my entry for this weeks Round Robin Challenge.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Who I am in Black and White

I had ideas of what I wanted to do for this weeks Round Robin Challenge, but (of course) things happened and none of the projects or photos I hoped to do panned out. So, I went through my exisiting photos to see if there was one, maybe, that would fit the theme of "Who I am in Black and White."

Well, this one is certainly Black and White. And it IS me. And, yeah, there are elements of it which are exactly who I am.

I am someone who often puts up a mask. Sometimes it is a smile when I am crying inside. Sometimes it is one of bravery when I feel very frightened. The truth of who I am is that I do not like for anyone to see me as frail, needy, or unhappy. Often this is a good thing, because I find that the mask often helps me to actually feel the way I am pretending to feel. (How's the quote go? Fake it 'til ya make it?) Sometimes, though, I just feel lonely, sad or scared behind a mask I chose to wear.

I am also someone who is very creative. I love to paint, write, draw, whatever. I love to invent. Inventing myself, or reinventing myself, is dang near a hobby.
I am also one who likes to dream. Awake or asleep I enjoy the hope and vision dreams bring me.

And, deny it though I may, there is an element of darkness about me. I used to roleplay in games, and I always chose the wicked character. I tend to think it's because I play a good guy in life all the time. I also think it comes from feeling like I get stepped on sometimes. (Wanna see wicked? Watch me flip out when someone treats me badly in public... ohboy.)

Oh, there's more. Lot's more. I can imagine sitting here writing for the next six hours about all the things that this photo says about me, light and dark. But perhaps the most important thing I can say about myself that this photo doesn't... what I would have liked to share if I'd taken another photo, is that I am someone who is glad to be alive. Thrilled to be able to express myself. And greatful to have so many loved ones around me in the journey. :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Happy in my Photo Gallery!

Well, this isn't a big deal as things go, but it made me feel good.

I was recently invited to show my photos at a website which had used one of my photos for a story. ( I have my stuff available at a Stock Photography site.)

I hadn't visited the site before, but I really enjoy dropping by. It's called VerbSap, and it has some great stories there. (You can even submit your own, but so far I have not had the nerve.)

Anyway, I don't get to show off real often, but I am pleased as punch and wanted to leave a link for my J-land friends to visit. :)

VerbSap Art Gallery

While you're there, have a peek at a few of the stories, among other things. It's a neat site. ;) The main site addy is VerbSap.

No photos to post today, my sweetheart dropped my laptop, so I am sans my photofiles. Ah well, at least I still have him, clutzy fingers and all! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Nobody Knows me but my Dog

...and though this little quiz can tell you some of it.... there's still a ton you don't wanna know... lol.
QUIZ : Dawn's Drivel
Found this link in SINS journal (octoberoots, Tidbits ... thanks for the cool link) and you can make a quiz of your own when you're done. :)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Do not stand and weep

Most you have probably already heard, but for those who haven't, our dear friend Kat, who writes the AOL Journal entitled "From Every Angle" suffered the loss of her sister and nephew today in a car accident.

I have been sitting here, wishing I knew something I could do for her, and at a loss, because there is nothing.

I know Kat because I frequent her journal a great deal. She is a wonderful photographer, a sweet person, and has a gentle soul. My heart breaks for her.

If you get a minute and the inclination drop her line. I know from experience how much words can mean when you've lost someone.
Love ya Kat.

Do Not Stand and Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that swiftly blow.
I am the diamond glint on newly fallen snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the soft and gentle autumn rain.

When you wake from sleep in the early morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft, starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Secrets and Confessions

Have you ever had a secret you wanted to tell someone but couldn't? Have you ever felt a burden lifted because someone else shared a secret you could relate to?

I don't have a lot of secrets. They are adverse to my garroulous nature. For me keeping a secret of my own is akin to holding my breath for ten minutes. Interesting concept... but it just won't happen.

I can keep other peoples secrets, strangely enough. I don't even blab things in my journal that I have promised to keep close to the vest when I know that nobody else will know who I am talking about.

But my own secrets... well, I am like a sieve and water. It just all comes pouring out.

Which is healthy I am told. There is a saying, "You are only as sick as the secrets you keep". I don't know how true that is, but I feel like fairly healthy individual.

In any case, a friend of mine introduced me to a website, or blog, called Post Secret. People send postcards to this fellow, created by the individual and inscribed somehow with a deep, dark secret they want to let out, and he posts it in his blog. Some of the stuff is sad, horrible, painful, and more. It's like watching a train wreck, you want to look away, but there's a part of you that looks anyway.

Some people have responded that the postcards have echoed a secret they themselves have harbored, and upon reading it, they felt release from as if from a large stone. I have had a gamut of emotions I don't quite know how to catagorize.

It's not a good site, it's not a bad site. It does have a lot of hard honesty on it. And like most journals it is an outlet for thngs someone else needs to share.
If you'd like to see it you can visit it at Post Secret.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

My Boys Are Back!

Whoopie! My kiddos are back. Yeah, and though they like to pretend they didn't miss me, I noticed I got plenty of hugs and kisses yesteday evening without having to beg for them. I took this photo at the airport:

And though the photo isn't a good one, (I was nervous about using the camera at the airport, never know when someone is gonna say something to you about that kinda stuff) I gotta love it. I mean... I missed these two silly birds, ya know?

David is showing off his new book, Harry Potter's sixth installment, for which he stood in line four hours to recieve during his trip to Virginia. Logan is wearing new clothes, of which he is proud and showing off. Both boys seemed to have had a great time. They got to visit with thier sister Danielle, who lives in Houston and went to Virgina with them. They saw the beach, saw the sights, and drove their dad crazy. He got a mini version of what I deal with daily. lol.
My mother decided while the kids were gone that she wanted to take them somewhere on a holiday while they and she were young enough to enjoy the trip together. Afetr some mulling it over she decided to take them to Hawaii, and then decided she needed adult company so I get to go too. (YES!) I went when I was a child, so I know how wonderful this will be. I can't believe she taking us, the trip can't be inexpensive. I could never have afforded to go myself, much less take me and three other people. The trip is in September and we'll be staying here: Sheraton Moana Surfrider Hotel.

Well, I am going back to work. (yeah, I do that too) My work computer is acting nutz and I have to figure out how to fix it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

To be or not to be.... healthy.

I am on a diet. I have been on a diet of some kind or another since I was a teen. Sometimes a weight loss diet, some times a weight gain diet, sometimes a get-myself-healthy-because-I-haven't-been-eating-so-hot diet. Whatever.
I try and pay attention to what I eat, but I happen to love food. I don't much care what kind of food, it all appeals to me if it is done right. I am not largely over weight, but I have been, so I really watch my peas and carrots. At the moment I am trying to drop a few pounds.
My sister is deathly afraid of weight. She looks ill most the time, and we've spent years trying to get her to gain. While she believes us that she looks bad at this weight, she also can't get past the anorexic mentality that won't let her put on five pounds. I'd personally rather be chunky than too skinny.

Though what I truly want to be is healthy, at whatever weight I may be.

That's the true answer, isn't it? To be able to get out of your chair without groaning, and stand without hearing your knees pop like firecrackers. To not be malnourished, anemic, and prone to every virus and bacteria that wafts by. To know you can eat things that taste good and satisfy you, and at the same time know you are eating things that promote health and long life.
My father used to say he didn't want to live past 55. He's well past 60 now, and not saying that anymore. I don't think he ever meant he didn't want to live a long life. I think he just meant that he didn't want to grow old, if growing old means things like respirators, chronic pain, and the inability to enjoy the life he is living. When you're young you have no idea how short life starts looking when you get up in years. And it isn't necessarily that you don't have that many years left to live... it' how many healthy and productive years do you have left? I might live until I am eighty, but how great is that if my least 20 years is spent hurting so bad I am not happy living it?

I used to drink a lot. Partied with the best of them in my Navy days. Woke up damn near every weekend and lots of week days with a hangover. Eventually I began to rethink my ideas on "fun" and lowered my alcohol intake so that the next day wasn't so painful. Started drinking more water, eating before I went out, going to bed before the sun could rise. Not that I am not still capable of staying out and getting ripped like the rest of 'em, it just doesn't appeal to me anymore. The next day isn't worth the pain of instant gratification.

I guess what I am saying is that I treat all of life that way now. Except that instead of fearing the morning after I am watching out for the years after. Trying to give myself the ability to enjoy my golden years, should I be lucky enough to have any.

Long walks, lots of smiles, and healthy food when I can manage it.

And of course, I still enjoy the not so healthy stuff once in awhile.

Can't save all the fun for when I am eighty now, can I?

Monday, July 18, 2005

Marraige and Taxes

So, there's an article I read on AOL, (From USA Today) and the title read: AOL News - Divorce Drops, Along With Marriage The article caught my eye, because I am not married.
Brian and I have been "co-habitating" for about three years. My two boys and his two boys and one girl live with us. We've considered marraige, quite seriously, off and on since we moved in togehter. We both strongly believe in marraige, and want to be married. The report says that we fall in the 40% of couples who have kids and live together, part of a growing trend that suggests that the divore rate is dropping, but mostly because people are simply chosing to live together rather than marry at all.

The article doesn't go into why, perhaps, marraige is in the decline and cohabitation is on the upswing. It does mention that it's not a good thing for the kids, which I can believe.
For Brian and I the reason we haven't married is simple economics.
We both live so close to the cusp of "getting by" that every dollar counts. And we frankly can't afford the tax penalties of marraige. What we'd lose, in both taxes and benefits for our kids through the school system and the state, is not worth making it legal.

We went to an accountant a year or so ago and had him help us calculate what we'd lose, gain, and break even in. Getting married would cost Brian and I almost $5000 a year (rounding it off) and for a family our size with our income, that's devastating.

Sad, isn't it? We have a government and an administration that supposedly supports marraige and morality, families and children, and ecomomic growth. But the marraige penalities and costs of the same make it difficult if not impossible to hang on to what you have if you decide to "make it legal".

Our family is okay. Brian and I share so much love, and the committment is there even if the document isn't. Our kids know it, and so they have the security of a family, whatever the legal letter says about us. I'd like to think we were a better model for them, I'd like my children to marry rather than live together. But perhaps if they lear to commit, and stay committed, it is enough.

I don't see tax law changing any time soon, and I suspect, as the article says, that co-habitation is here to stay.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Crazy ...Crazy for feeling so Lonely....

Well, since my last dramatic entry my kids made it to Virginia.

We had to pay an extra $50 fee for David because he is only 10 and technically they won't let Logan be responsible for him, because he is 17. Their sister, Danielle, was supposed to meet them on a connecting plane (they are all flying together to see their Dad in Virginia) and Danielle is 18 so able to be responsible for David. The problem was that they didn't tell me they wanted Danielle to meet the boys at the plane when it landed, so she was at another terminal where the plane they were headed out on was waiting .

Logan called me from the airplane which had just recently landed and notified me that the attendants were telling him that he and his brother could not go to thier connecting flight and they wouldn't take David to meet Danielle. Logan wanted to know what he was supposed to do. I basically told they attendants thier options were to get david to Danielle, or take him home for dinner since I was in Albuquerque and could see no other options.

Needless to say, David got to Danielle and to Virgina with his siblings intact.

I am relieved.

The kids have called since to say they are having a blast, a fact for which I am so glad. Thier dad loves them, and it's an opportunity for bonding they all need.

I am alone at home these days, since the boys have gone Brian's kids are with thier mom for the week, and he is out of town working. I should be grateful for the peace, but I find myslef unprepared and lonely. Irrated with myself for not being the independant person I think of myself as being.

I am capable of hanging out with myself, just not thrilled at the prospect. I work all day in an office alone, rarely seeing another breathing body, drive home alone on a thirty minute ride that both soothes and rests me, and when I get home I am usually accustomed to having a modicum of human companionship.

In lieu of people, the past two nights I left my back door open so my five kitties could slip in and sleep with me.

I am quite sure I looked like the crazy old cat lady, draped with kittens while I slept on the couch. Alas, I fear I doomed to be just that if I react to being alone this way when I am older.
Geez. I need to get out and get a life.

::grins:: Ah well, I suspect the image of "crazy ole cat lady" will suit me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Mood Swings

What a life I live. Balanced somewhere between sweet joy and never ending frustrations. I have something to be thankful for in that I have the balance anyway. My ex-husband used to keep a journal of sorts, almost a poetry book. He wrote one or two liners that used to express his feelings at the moment.

One of my favorites was:
"I am angry with my friend today.
At least I have a friend to get mad at."

I feel that way alot these days. Had a huge fall-out with my sister on my birthday and it's not a pretty scene these days Fighting with both of my kids school's over their IEP's and other issues. Car problems, hormonal problems, house is absolutely disgusting, and I am too tired to clean it, or care.


This morning I put my two boys on a plane to Virginia to see their Dad. My youngest, David, was scared to fly because he is afraid of terrorists. I worked to calm and reassure him and not show my own echoing fear of the same. I can't change the way the world is, and I don't want my kids to be trapped by fear.

This is where I do the big sigh thing and grin kinda crooked.

On the other hand I have this great new camera, a Canon Digital Rebel XT, which I absolutely love. Got a nice package with it, including the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens, a wide angle lens, three filters, a soft carrying case and a hard body case, a tripod, an extra battery, and a great extended warranty. I've taken over 1500 photos in the last few days, and over 600 of them were keepers. I am, as I have said before, obssessed.

Also, while I will miss and worry about my kiddos, I am glad to see them go somewhere. David has no memory of the ocean, and I want him to get out and see the world a little. Tonight they are going to this great seafood buffet in Virginia Beach that I used to love. Lemme tell ya, that's somethng for a mom to smile about.

Today the electric was shut off at work, so I have an excuse to go online at my mum's office, (hurray!) and enjoy myself a little.

There are reasons to have joy everywhere, I just have to stop for a bit and see em. :)
This is Kalikai, a sweet little girl who is affectionate beyond words:

Monday, July 11, 2005

Shutter-buggin' :)

Well, got my camera the day before my birthday (July 8th... I am now a grand ole 40 years old) and not a moment too soon! My sister and I had a luau/beach party themed bithday bash for the two of us (her birthday is right before mine) and I wanted the camera to have memories... and oua-la!

I am still digging through the photos of the party, so will share those later. For now I am gonna post a few of my new shots, (I am still getting used the the new camera, so it'll take awhile to get up to speed.... ) I can't tell you what a good time I have been having!

As always, insects find thier way into my lens. The fly was fascinting, and the Black Widow, while creepy, was lovely. I had a hard time letting Brian squish her, but my heebie-jeebies won out.
I have about 600 new photos, some which I am sure I'll share eventually, but for now I am gonna go looking at everyone elses journals. It's a workday, but I am gonna take an hour or so and just browse. Yup, yup, yup!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Singing :)

Do you ever just love a tune?

Here it in your head and wanna find the lyrics? I love this song... hear it in lotsa movies and decided to hunt the lyrics down.


Strange lyrics.

Still love the song!

My grand-ma and your grand-ma were
Sit-tin' by the fire. -
My grand-ma told
Your grand-ma:
"I'm gon-na set your flag on fire."
--Chorus:Talk-in' 'bout, Hey now !
Hey now ! I-KO, I-KO, un-day
Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-n?.
- Jock-a-mo fee na-n?.
-Look at my king all dressed in red.
-I-KO, I-KO, un-day.
I bet-cha five dol-lars he'll kill you dead.
--Jock-a-mo fee na-n?
(Repeat Chorus)
My flag boy and your flag boy were
sit-tin' by the fire.
- My flag boy toldYour flag boy:
"I'm gon-na set your flag on fire."
(Repeat Chorus)
See that guy all dressed in green ?
-I-KO, I-KO, un-day.
He's not a man;
He's a lov-in' ma-chine.
--Jock-a mo fee na-n?.--
(Repeat Chorus)
Iko Iko

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Counting Down

Well, I've been away, and probably will be most of this week, because of a combination of grueling work hours, migraine headaches, and the fact that I keep over committing myself. Hopefully next week will see a normal activity load and I'll have more time for my journals. :)

I also ordered my camera, and hope to have it by Friday, so once I get acquainted with her I'll be dropping photos in here again. :) Thanks for the great comments and nice things everyone has said. I check my email by phone when I can't get online and it makes me smile. You'll never know how I appreciate it. Can't wait to have some time to visit everyones journal like normal.
I miss everyone out there... just in case you're wondering!

While I've been stuck at home with no camera and no internet I've been drawing and playing around. Here is my latest Mermaid, she needs work, but I need a break from her, she took six hours and I am gonna stop awhile. :)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Branching Out

I am missing my camera. Going bananas folks.

I moved to Sicily when I was 22 for three years. I was a young woman used to having a car, a phone, shopping malls, and nightclubs. When I got to Sicily I didn't have a car, a phone, and wasn't near anything that even resembled a nightclub or a mall. I had a television. Everything on it was, of course, in Italian.
It took six months for me to get fluent in Italian, a year to buy a car, I never had a phone. I found a nightclub or two my last year there, and never found a mall. So my first few months I had to change my life and think of new things to do. I couldn't veg out on the phone or the TV, so I had to go on walks, I made local friends, I discovered a whole new country because I had to.

It was good for me.

I guess this is good for me too, kinda. No camera, so I am branching out. I can't take pictures, so I am taking the photos I have and playing with them. I actually did some sketches in my drawing pad for the first time in a year this last weekend. Wow.

I have limited internet access too. None at home, just at work. And at work I hafta pretty much stay late to use it, because I am way to busy during the day. So instead of hanging out on the net and getting to do my journals ::sniffles:: I am on my laptop writing my stories, drawing, painting. It's been nice.

But if I don't get a camera soon I am going to go looney.

I hafta save a little more and I should have it soon. Buying a new digital.... have my eye on this Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT. ::drools::

When I get that bad boy I'll have no life... just losta photos of everyone else's life. ;) LOL.

This is a drawing/manipulation/photo that I worked up this weekend. Hours into this baby. I am not kidding. Not everyone likes it, but I just love it.

Makes me feel good looking at it. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


I am doing a painting for my mother and sisters office at thier business. I got commissioned to do it six months agao, and halfway through it I stalled out and ran out of energy. How's that for reliable? This, my friends, is why I don't like to make commitments. I am not always good on the upswing.

I do lots of creative stuff. I call myself an artist, and a photographer, but I am not sure there is really an appropriate one word description for how I see myself. I paint, I draw, I write, I take pictures and do pottery and little things I call clay doodles. I like weaving and making baskets, sewing, gardening, scrapbooks, making costumes, decorating my ouse, blah, blah, blah....
I like making things. It's a positive thing, creation. It's something I can do, and then look back at it and feel good about an accomplishment. Strangely enough I feel the same way about cleaning house. I can work at it for hours, listening to music or watching a movie sporadiaclly, nd when I am done I not only can see what I have accomplished, but I have made my surroundings a better place to be. How nice is that?

I submitted three pieces to be considered for an arts festival today. I haven't done anything like that in awhile. Two photos and one pencil sketch, and I am incredibly nervous. Partially because I am afraid they won't like my stuff, partially because I am afraid they will. If I get accepted it means I get a booth to sell my stuff at for three days during this Festival, which is all about food, music, art.... and I will have a lot of work to do to be ready. Talk about an opportunity for accpomlishment. Or self-recriminations. heh....

Ya know what I miss? a close friend, locally, whom I can share my interestes with. Like I used have when I was younger. When I had fewer responsibilites, more time, and the energy to blance multiple relationships. There's someoneout there, I know who wants the same thing. I hope to take a course at the University this Fall, who knows... maybe I'll meet her there?
What a meandering mess this entry has been. Not at all what I had expected. Ah well, that's me... a little of this and a little of that!

What makes you feel good? What lifts you when you need a lift? Any good ideas out there?

Crying to the Sky

Okay. I normally stay away from talking about bummer things here. But I hafta share, because I am so low today I have cried enough tears to create a rain forest in the Sahara.
I have these kittens, long story, but they all live under my porch. I have been trying (frantically) to find them homes, to no avail. Slowly but surely I have come to love every last one of them.
This morning I was late for work, and in a great hurry I backed out of the driveway. You can guess, I imagine, what happened.
I heard my 16 year old screaming at me and looked up, and here was one of my dear kittens flopping around madly in the driveway, obviously injured. My first thought was I had crushed a leg or something. Horrified I jumped out of the car and ran to where the kitten was and grabbed her up into my arms. She had a profuse amount of blood coming from her head, and one eye was popped out, part of her skull was crushed. She couldn't be saved.
If she could have been, I wouldn't have put her through that.
I won't go into more gory details, but we put her down. I bawled in the front yard for half an hour before they could make me bury her. I have relived every awful moment of it all day. If I had taken a photograph the image could not be clearer in my mind, and I am just broken to pieces.
She was just a cat, I know. I didn't mean to, I know. But she was a living, breathing, playful life which came to an awful end, and I can't get over the tragedy of it.
I will be okay. My kids will be okay. But I just needed to share how sad I am. Sometimes being an optomist doesn't keep the blues at bay.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Biggest Little Things

Have you ever found yourself forcusing on the big things, and missing the little things? How's the saying go? "I can't see the forrest for the trees." I remember a few years ago I got a new pair of glasses and was in awe at what I had been missing. I have always loved the world, loved to see what was around me. But with the glasses came the utterly amazing revelation that it is possible to see individual leaves on the trees. They are not simply large green smudges on the horizon of my vision, looking for all the world as if they'd been painted with a sponge. I could see the individual leaves flutter in the breeze. I watched that first tree for thirty minutes. Then it was on to blades of grass, items in my own home, and the fine print on everything I could lay my hands on. Maybe that's another reason I am so fascinated by photography. My camera allows me to see things my eyes would miss by themselves. They allow me to see the world up close and tiny, to view details in a large way I'd normally miss. And the recorded image becomes a memory I can keep forever.

I wonder what I'd have the glory of seeing if I could apply that vision to everything? To not miss the fine details of those I love, friends I cherish, events I can live in for a moment to brief to catch a breath in? I have some fairly deep thoughts about my parenting the last couple of years, which I'll share when the opportunity arises.
Have any photos of something tiny you might have missed without a camera? Or a remembered moment when you took the time to focius on the details? Share em with me.... I'm in the mood to have my friends (this is you guys) relax with me and share the good things, the little things, that tower over the big things we sometimes focus on. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The World Beyond

This is a sketch I did when I used to live in Sicily. My husband was stationed there, this was after I had already gotten out of the Navy myself, and my son and I went there with him. It was a fabulous three years. I learned Italian, learned to cook the wonderful food, learned a lot of wonderful things. It made me appreciate a lot of things I hadn't before (like the price of American fuel, and having things like a washer and dryer and telephone in my home) and gave me a taste for things I hadn't had here (I miss the way everyone sat outside at night at talked to their neighbors, and outdoor mercados).
I want travel for my children. I love them and would miss them if they left (I miss them when they are gone for the night, much less living somewhere else) but as a parent I want what is best for them. And I truly believe that seeing more of the world you live in helps you grow and learn in a way nothing else can. We are more than a product of the neighborhood we grow up in.
I have family members that have encouraged their children not to go away on trips because it would be too far away. They managed to keep their family close to them, but at what cost?
My oldest boy, Logan, wants to go to Japan. He'd like to learn the language and the culture. If I could secure him a spot at a University there I would let him go tomorrow. It'd break my heart to say goodbye, but I'd be joyful at the prospect that he'd have that opportunity.
Aside from the fact that he'd get to see and do things, he'd have the opportunity to hear the views of others beyond his own borders and let them get to know him and his own values. We had a wonderful exchange student last summer from France, Aude. She loved it here so much she has a journal she calls I love America. How nice it would be if we could have more interaction with others and they could come away with that sentiment. My friends don't like me because I live in the same city or neighborhood. They like me because they got to know me, and vice-versa.
Travel also has the added bonus of opening your mind for possibilities. I think if my kids travel they'll come away with the sense that nothing is beyond their reach, be it another shoreline, or a career they wish to pursue. I can't think of a better lesson to teach them :)

Monday, May 02, 2005

Play Time

Play Big Or Stay Home!

My family plays hard. We wrestle, hike, camp, laugh ... huge. Heck, we're a family of seven. Can't do anything small at that size!

My buddy let me have a peek at his online photo album, and the photos from when he visited Spokane, Washington. I found this pic, which he claims was taken there at The World's Fair Park. (C'mon Michael.... I know YOU... you play big too... admit it... this is your backyard... ain't it! lol!)

Anyway, had to share... doncha just wanna slide? lol!

2003 - August Roadtrip photo" alt="rowan > 2003 - August Roadtrip photo" src="" border="0" height="450" hspace="0" width="600">

Friday, April 29, 2005

Great Sites

Get your Hot Links Here!

I love surfing the web. I have a rediculous list of favorites both in AOL in Internet Explorer. I share my favorites fairly often, dropping them down in my journals and emails like crumbs left behind by Hansel and Gretel. What I share depends on my mood, of course. I have several journals, (I list them under other journals) each focusing on some facet of my life that is important to me. This one is the reflection of my life, and my family. My links tend to be family oriented here. My others focus on photography, writing, poetry, New Mexico and plain old Drivel.

So, since this is my family oriented journal I am going to share five websites that suit thefamily thing. And my current mood. :)

1) This is a fun page... simple, but surprisingly cool: imagiNation

2) I got this from someones elses Journal, and I am obessesed: Draw a Pig

3) This one needs speakers... but you'll love it: Singing Horses

4) I have used this site so many times, for so many reasons, that I should have a membership. Drop me a line if you need to know how to save yours: Tombstone Generator

5) This one needs java, but you can download it from the site. Plus, there's links to other cool stuff: Kaleidoscope Painter

And a link I think my mother would like? REI Adventures

Hmm... I think I am gonna have to do this in my other journals. It was too much fun!

Splendid Moments

Another quiet evening at home :) Keri, Mitchel, and Patrick are with their mom (Fridays are normally her nights) and both my boys are sleeping. (Logan in his bed, David is behind me curled on the couch.) The Dalmation is snuggled against my foot, a strategy, I believe, bent on ensuring that if I make a move to go anywhere he'll know it.

The only things I can hear is the hum of the heater, ( I have it on low, it's still a lil' nippy outside,) and the gurgle of the fish tanks. (We have three, a five gallon, and 55 gallon, and a 250 gallon ... all in dire need of cleaning.) I suspect that soon I will go bundle myself into the welcoming embrace of my bed and see if I can keep my eyes open long enough to read. Have I mentioned I love to read?

Brian is working tonight, but will be home around 4 a.m., and we'll sleep in tomorrow with any luck. I see him every day, we work together. I see him everynight when we come home. We spend very little time away from one anther. I am fine when he isn't here (Because I can do things like write in my journal and get some housework done,) but when he's gone for even a short time, I am very happy to see him again. He is soothing to my soul. Just thinking about him, his kind eyes, and the way he smiles at me, brings a smile to my face as I write this.

Am I corney, or what?

I can't help it. Whatever I may lack in material and monetary things seems insignificant in contrast to the joy this family has brought to me. :)

I know this poem (though I must admit, shame on me, I don't recall the author) that comes to mind when I think of Brian:

Not for the whole wide world I love thee,
Sweetheart, light of the land and sea...
The wide, wide world could not enclose thee,
For thou art the whole wide world to me.

Beautiful, is it not? If anyone has any poems, quotations, or little lines of their own to share with me about love, or those they love, I invite you to share them with me. :) Love shared goes a lot further than love kept to oneself. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Sick and tired of being sick and tired

It has been a difficult week, to say the least. We’ve all been sick, and just about the time we start to feel better it seems to mutate and pass itself around again. Uhg. Logan and Mitchel have both missed three days each of school this week, not to mention laying around like plague victims all weekend. Poor things.

Logan has been talking about getting a job again, since we have hope that his jeep will be in running condition and registered by this time next week. It’s hard at that age to work, balancing school and school work, family responsibilities, and his own needs (like Karate practice and just having some social time with his friends,) and then working ones butt off for next to nothing while an adult who seems to hate kids towers over them. I gotta give him credit, he knows what it will be like, but still wants to do it. When he’s working he deals with it stoically. I remind myself it is good experience for the future – real adult life often involves many of the same obstacles and downfalls as being a teenager. I just can’t help wish as a parent that I could help him find a job that would keep him working hard, give him a paycheck that made it worth feeling so worn out every night, and gave him the feeling that he was doing something with his time that he loved. Not that many employment opportunities for teens though, surprisingly enough to me.

Mitchel has also been considering work, though at 14 his options are even less than Logans. I think we’ve convinced him to consider yard work and odd chores in his grandmother’s neighborhood. It’s god honest work that can pay a decent wage when you do it right and motivate yourself enough. Mitchel is a hard worker, I think he could make a ton of money.

We’ve been having some issues with David, who has been crying and starting fights with everyone a lot lately. I don’t know if it is the illness,or something else, but it is evident he has something going on that worries me. Sometimes I wanna holler at him to just stop, but I know David well enough to know if he’s acting this way, something’s going on. The trick is to find out what the problem is.

Brian and I have been talking about getting married, we’ve been engaged almost two years now, and keep putting it off for one reason or another. (Paying taxes as a married couple is a bigone…. Yupyupyup….) I like the idea of being his wife, giving the kids something traditional to see and live around (marriage… the old-school thing to do) and I don’t much care about ceremonies and whatnot. Brian wants a ceremony, and he wants some financial stability so I won’t inherit his debts as his wife. Plus, the truth is, we can’t afford to be married for a dozen reasons that are more important than the paper that won’t make us any more committed or in love than we are now.

We’ve been thinking about summer vacations. Probably going to do the camping thing again at least once, and hopefully something bigger, like the Grand Canyon (which is sooo close) if we can manage the time and keep the kids in one place for a week during the summer. The trouble with five kids is that there is so much individual stuff going on it is hard to plan a group thing… ever.

*Thought for the day: How lucky I am to have such little worries as I do, when the bigger, scarier worries are not a part of my life right here and now. I resolve today to remember my blessings and be grateful for the love of my family.