January 31, 2009

Pay It Forward (that's right free stuff right here)

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! *chicken dance* I won a "pay it forward" from Grey Street Girl today. It was a iTunes card - great prize for me, music is the one thing that I love as much as photography (and my family). As a result I'm happily listening to Patty Griffin's awesome cover of "Moon River."

So...this is the deal on "pay it forward". Now I will have a drawing for a prize. Now, I'm not crafty like other people - I can't knit, I can't crochet, or any of that cool stuff. So, I will give the choices of prizes to three winners.

Each winner may have one of the following:
~~~ An 8 x 10 print (or smaller if desired) of your choice of one of my photographs (yeah, I know a lot of you are photographers too...so, ehhh)
~~~ A $10 iTunes card (copy cat, copy cat, makes you wonder where she's at)
~~~ A $10 Starbucks gift card
~~~ A $10 Amazon gift card (you might be able to pay taxes on something you really wanted)

Here's the catch....if you win, you have to agree to pay it forward on your blog. Simple as that. I think most people gave away handmade gifts when this started but it's not limited to that.

To enter, leave me a comment on this blog. Entries will be accepted until Noon on Tuesday, February 3, 2009. After that, a random drawing will be held of all entries. Best of luck. And...here's the legal eagle jargon. One entry per person, you must be 18 to win...and, what else is the usual blah blah blah stuff that we click to say we read? Anyway - dem's da rulez.

Game on!

Back to the usual blogging network now.

January 30, 2009

beautifully written

Do you long for beautifully written essays about childhood memories, personal follies and other bits of enlightment? You need to discover a person I've recently discovered, Gabby. He stirs so many memories for me.

I don't always pimp out. But...this guy just touches my heartstrings.

January 29, 2009

because my sister said so

JM challenged me today...she thinks I've been Debbie Downer in blogland so she challenged me to be funny. The thing is, I think I'm funny...I'm just not a funny writer. I make witty retorts and I can riff on a theme...but I don't bring the funny. I have other friends that do that so very well. I can barely remember to tell the punch lines to jokes well. So...a funny posting for JM (my sister).

Let's see...(notice the stalling elipses here)...yeah, no. Don't have it. My humor is weird and quirky - when I laugh, I laugh loud. I believe in the power of laughter. When I'm embarrassed, I also laugh. It's cool, right? It's easier to be the class clown than be the embarrassed one. I as always the bestie in high school to my guy friends. That way, if I didn't get a date - it was cool because I was the buddy. I would like to think it's like Watts to Keith and that I would end up with the diamond earrings AND the boy. But, I bought my own diamond earrings instead.

I think I'm a situational funny girl. Or, I'm funny when talking about how unironic Alanis' "Ironic" is....it seems she mostly just had really bad luck. That was funny.

Funny: Tropic Thunder, Kevin Smith, Calvin and Hobbs, little children, tripping (as long as you do not hurt yourselr), the self absorbed, blind-folded musical chairs, George Carlin, The Big Bang Theory, models that believe in their own publicity, Richard Prior, my neices and nephews, some fashion faux pas, Jack Lemmon and Cary Grant, and well-timed, well-played sarcasm.

Not Funny: Will Farrell (recently), clowns, war, starvation, inflation, poverty and abuse (okay those were easy), Larry the Cable Guy, overused phrases like 'git her done', Prince Valiant, people that brag about their accomplishments, re-runs of Roseanne or anything with Rosie O'Donnell, booty calls at 3:00 a.m., or toilet paper stuck to your shoe, being cruel to get a laugh.

I'm sure I'm over looking something.

I went driving again today. Looking for the different and the not so usual. This new collaboration is a good challenge for me as I have to shoot more often. I also won some fabulous textures today (thank you Joy!) that I was dying to play with..so off in search of new subjects. Along the way I found:

A house falling down a hill
falling down

A closed store that used to sell hay

And a beautiful bit of sunshine

January 28, 2009

the in between

I had a thought yesterday while I was driving about the change from winter to spring - the combination of death and life in this weird warmish/coldish winter that we're having in Alabama. It has been in the 50's one week and the the fridge door gets opened and temperatures drop. So, in the midst of death I can see the first brave robins peeking in, squirrels developing a scamper in their step, and the harbingers of spring opening in the shapes of hyacinth and daffodils. Quince is peeking out fuzzy buds surrounded by thorns.

And it strikes me that I'm also in the great in between. That waiting period for winter to end and spring to begin. There are harbingers of good in my life but dead bits and pieces are being slowly routed out.

Hope spring comes to you too.
bakery window

yesterday's hydrangea


life is just a bowl of cherries

On a side note - I'm very excited to enter into a new project with my friend, Leaca, called "Far North ~ Deep South". It's a photography adventure between two women from different corners of the world. We're the same...only different. Hope you drop by sometime to see what we're up to on the new blog. Far North ~ Deep South

January 27, 2009

therapy for the unemployed

A morning drive, an apricot croissant, coffee and a green olive boule, straight from the oven. The sun peeking through clouds and evidence that spring is just over a month away. A telephone call from my sister and a laugh at an old joke. A good dose of 70's music and a bit of singing in the car.

All add up to a bit of a cheer up and a healthy dose of reality check. And add in a dash of some want ads that sound promising.

morning musings

it's dawn and the traffic is barely moving outside my windows - the light is gray and the mercury lights are casting a yellow glow on the damp pavement. my cheek itches as a mosquito bit me while I fitfully slept last night. this is the earliest I've awoken in a month.

the shower is warm and washes away the sleep from my eyes and I realize what I've been feeling is grief. grief for a job that I haven't had for a month. I used to fuss and rail at getting up at 6:30 and now I would love to have a purpose to do so. I know that I will love the new life before me but the realization that the denial and lack of motivation was in truth, grief, instead of depression frees me. the mirror reflects the knowledge in my eyes.

my hair wrapped in a sage green towel, the television murmuring in the background - TLC I think. I make my list of tasks for the day. today my focus is the bedroom. my comfort and my retreat. I wonder what to do with the Tarkay that has been my companion over the years. two women at a bistro, I've often wondered what they chatted about as they sipped their wine. was it men, fashion or other meaningles gossip? or was it poetry, fiction or some other bit of knowledge? who knows?

nothing is forever, not even this. the month is almost over and february beckons to me. waving its arms and calling, promises of chocolate and laughter - warmth of a family. and I hear the echoes of warmth that will come again. I hear the giggles of children and it makes me smile. and I rise like Maya...oh yes, I rise.

January 26, 2009

the best advice for a bad day

I've kept this with me for a long time to remind me of what to do on bad days.

January 25, 2009

rural adventures

Rules for a good road trip should include eating lunch before you travel and making sure you print out the actual directions before you go. It's also guaranteed that the cell phone will not ring the entire morning you are getting ready, but the minute that reception might be kind of fluky that the phone will start to ring off the hook. I don't know, maybe someone put a sensor on my front door in case I ventured away from packing? *looks around for sister dear* (I tease)

I've been thinking about finding an old mill for a while since I saw a flickr friend's shot. So, after summing up his directions - hey, I'm great with directions - I got in the jeep and drove northeast to Albertville. I don't know that I've ever been to Albertville, but I've been as far as Boaz (shopping outlets!).

For the record, it was ONE stop sign not two. So the first time I drove by the place I thought, hey - that's a great building - I'll stop by there on the way home. Then, I got by the old guy driving 25 mph and was praying I didn't miss the light. So I followed the signs to a dead end road. But the good news is that I found a great tire swing in the winter dusky light. And I saw lots of cows and barns.

So I backtracked and realized coming at the building from another angle, it was indeed where I was supposed to be all along. Score! Old, falling down, decayed...all the things that I normally do not shoot. A challenge. I had the place to myself as the light was falling fast. An orange sun peeked between tall hardwoods and cars crept by the one lane bridge behind me. My hands were chapped and red as the temperatures fell into the 40's (I didn't wear a coat - what?)

A guy stopped and we talked about the beauty of the place...and how it must have looked in it's glory. The farmland near the mill is gently and rolling. As I packed up my gear, including the trusty tripod, the sky turned a beautiful combination of pale blue, lavender, peach and pink. Like a soft swirl of chiffon drapped over the cloudless sky.

I drove off the mountain watching the round red balloon sinking behind the hills. A thin layer of haze making stripes across the brillance and seeping a feeling wonder deep into my bones. Sunsets like that remind me there is beauty in all the stripped colors of winter's foliage. There is color there for those that search it. And, when I think my life is stripped of some it's plumage - there is color there too. A good lesson for a Saturday afternoon. And, I'm also glad that I went as the whim struck me and didn't wait for today to "plan better." (Seize the day, right?) Today, the light is flat and overcast. It's a day to watch the dvds I rented and to make homemade chili.

In the meanttime, here are some of the shots I processed. I've made some notes on some of them.

We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.
I added texture to this shot because (if you look closely) there is a huge power line support in the background. I'm not talented enough in photoshop to wipe out the lines...so this was my best solution.

abandoned mill
As you can see, the light was falling when I took this shot. None of the building shots were as good as my friend's. I'm not sure what to do different but it will be a good challenge for me to keep trying.

From the power of the water and the speed, I can see how this was a great site for a mill. It makes me wonder what the landscape looked like back in the day. I hope to go back in the spring with the undergrowth is not so dead and gray/brown.

river sunset
I love the colors of the sky reflected on the river.

winter skeletons
I loved this treeline I saw as I was driving home.

rural sunset
The eye can see 20 stops of light they say, the camera sees 5. I wish you could see all the gradiation in color on this shot. It's my favorite of the day.

January 22, 2009

how do you get to Carnegie Hall?

The place is looking more and more like someone is moving out of here. It has that sad, disheveled look to it and I'm reminded why I never really liked the management firm here. Another reason to be happy to move into a home where I can pick wall colors and feel at "home" instead of institutional.

Have you ever tried really hard at something and it just never quite works right? I've been totally fumblefingers this week. Everything I touch just falls to the floor, cracks or something. It is so frustrating. I'm not sure what I'm being told - probably slow down a bit as I rush from thing to thing. Especially pissy? Making a beautiful plate of fajitas and having them drop to the floor face down when you haven't finished wrapping them yet. On the carpeted floor, I might add. Ugh.

Today my inspiration was to take only my macro lens and tripod on a walkabout. I don't care if there is the deadest air in the world, if I pick up my macro lens - immediate gusts permeate the area. Then I can sit and wait, the air calms until I pick the lens back up. What is that? Am I destined not to be a macro photographer? I know it's a weak area for me - it's part of the reason I decided this today - but, it is a challenge.

These are bits and pieces of today







And then, some playing around....

My version of a happy accident
happy accident

January 21, 2009

brain soup

7 Words

I've laid low because I haven't had much to say since Sunday - too much whirling in my brain. Yesterday was emotional and swirled together a myriad of camp stew makings. When spirits are so low, we are filled with such hope and dreams...but the practical nature that I have and my experience in government reminds me the road to recovery is quite long. And, I hope that we can keep this surge of hope, expectancy and pride going during the upcoming tough times.

One of the informal resolutions I've made for the new year is not to buy take out food, except on the rare occasions that I'm out in a group or something like that. My friends all teased me in the past because I would always call from the take out line at the fast food restuarant of the day. I got lazy because I was complacent. Not that I can't cook - it just got easy and boring when I was only cooking for myself. Well, now I have all the time in the world to cook....and, I've rediscovered that I love it. Today I made a lovely pot of soup (summer corn, potato and ham chowder). It's warm and comforting when faced with the cold, brisk weather outside.

Today I ran errands - I like errands these days as they give me a sense of purpose. I packaged DVDs and chatted with the ladies in the post office about our favorite television shows while she weighed and stamped my packages. They're being sent parcel post, which I think loosely translates to pony express second week mail. Except for the one going to Atlanta. It's cheaper to go first class for some reason there.

The scan is one that I did a couple of years ago when someone asked me to write seven works about "me". The final word, "peace", is constant treasure that I search for, then and now. It always seems to me that as hard as we struggle - objects are placed in our path. Just when you think you have smooth sailing, well then the rock falls again. Some of the rocks we place in our own path and some are discoveries. All are lessons. I keep repeating "what doesn't kill me makes me stronger." It also makes me neurotic, impatient, anxious, and spastic at times - to the point that I randomly blurt out loud words at myself while trying to move stacks that keep falling over. But, it is also making me frugal, thrifty, adventurous, giving and thankful. So, an even trade-off.

PS - My friend, Leaca, finished her interview! Click on her name to follow to her answers.

January 18, 2009

a day in the life

I'm staring until you pet me

Anyone want a cat? Seriously - he's driving me insane. Ok, but....if you change your mind. You know how to reach me.

Twice this week I've tried new adventures in that I just drove down roads to see where it takes me. I have a compass and a notebook (so I can write where I turned) so I figure I can't get too lost, right? I knew those map reading lessons in ROTC would come in handy one day. The first day - I didn't find anything interesting. Today, I went in search of "rustic". I was thinking barns and such.


I didn't find barns but I found a lake. I wish I could have stopped at the purple "Bubba's Grocery" but the guard dogs didn't look very friendly. But...it was a nice drive in the sunshine. On the way home, I stopped by Oak Mountain State Park. It's mostly gray and brown this time of year, but I enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine anyway.

the edge



Just Peachy

candidly speaking

I've sent out all of my interview questions except for one. So as the interviewees start blogging their answers, I'm going to link them up here.

The first...the beautiful and talented lady from VSM Photography. She is a true blue Texan...down to the bottom of her worn cowboy boots.

Next, a new reader, Anna Russell, who made me laugh outloud at her answers. It was great to get to know a new person and I totally agree with her assessment of pirates.

Everyone else - as you answer - please let me know so I can link you up!

January 16, 2009

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Recently I was inspired by a Finnish photographer, Jenni Penni, after reading Katy Elliott's blog. The shot is so beautifully taken and so flawless that it took my breath away. Sometimes, when I look at what other people do, I want to bang my head against a post and repeat, "why didn't I think of that". But I didn't.

So, this is my version of the inspiration. The same but wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy different. I'm not that clean and pristine (arches eyes at Mandy). So, I adapted the inspiration for me. I wanted a more rustic feel. When I think of hearts I also think of the wonderful poem by e.e. cummings. You know the one.

This was my result....

As you can see...I need some more work on lighting. I cannot for the life of me find how to adjust the exposure on my 40D. And of course I can't find my manual. I will work on this shot again just because I enjoyed it. And, the Shutter Sister had a blog about how to build a light box on the cheap.

The good thing about photographing fruit is that you get to eat it too. It was a good afternoon sitting at the lake, watching a front move across the sky and the lone duck swim in frigid waters while I munched on an apple. There could be worse things in life.

Before and after:

before and after

"the find"


the passing of a master

I loved his paintings. They conveyed a sense of isolation to me but still had a warmth. This one to me is iconic.

oh my bags are packed...i'm ready to go

get outta town

Okay, not so much really. I'm still in the midst of packing and ending the current life in Birmingham. It's an overwhelming task to someone like me that absolutely hates change. Yes, yes, yes - I know cognitively that change is one of the few things you can count on, like death and taxes. But maybe that's why I hate it so much - I mean, come on - it's rep is tied up with "death" and "taxes". It's bound to not be the most popular kid in school, right?

And I know people that love change. And they see it as an adventure. Silly people. Oops, did I just type that? No, really - I admire them. As for me, I'm a creature of habit, habits that die hard. I'm a nester (cancerian trait) and I love my things around me. So...this is difficult.

Plus, who left the freezer door open and could they possibly close it? My toes have frozen solid and the cat is in a perpetual state of fluffiness. He has decided that my bottom is the furnace of choice and I can't sit without him firmly attaching himself there. If I push him to the side, he give me that bateful look like I killed his pet rat or something. I would assign him a human voice but then you might be convinced I've developed winter crazy.

But...deep in my heart I'm glad I'm moving home. Last night was one of my sweet brother's birthday and I missed it. We orphans stick together and I felt sad that I wasn't there to eat cake and laugh with the sibs. I'm sure the LBGs (little blonde girls) were adorable too. I'm sure GA did something quite grown-ey (a southernism perhaps) and everyone laughed.

I'm finding bits and pieces of things I really love. Cookbooks full of recipes that I've forgotten about. Yesterday I made the most simple but yummy chicken quesadillas from a Cooking Light cookbook. I re-read the poems of W.H. Auden and remembered how much I love the poem "Underneath An Abject Willow". Today I will probably read from e.e. cummings. I'm trying to decide if I actually need to keep these 300 or so cds that I have loaded onto my iPod.

So, let me put on another pot of coffee. Flavored this time. And I will put on a pot of soup later today. And I will plug on and on and on. Maybe today will warm so I can get outside and play a bit - this staying inside tends to make me a bit morose, no? Yes.

January 15, 2009

In which I become verbose, witty and find my sense of humor

So, I was interviewed by Tangobaby. You will see the five questions below. I will warn you, I apparently was bitten by the dissertation bug this morning and grew quite verbose in my answers. You can skim if you like - suffice to say, I was witty. Yes, yes...I promise.

Now, perhaps you would like to be interviewed by me? Come on, it's fun I tell you. Let's lay down some legalese on how that can happen:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. (there you go - ok, that will make sense later in the blog I assure you.)

********************************5 QUESTIONS****************************************

1. Tell us about the little sneakers in your icon. To me, and knowing you're a little Southern girl, I immediately picture you as a grown-up version of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. Am I right on that one? What do those little shoes say about you?
The shoes – my chucks. I love them and would live in them if I could. I was for many years a shoe girl. Loving the high heels and all of that, even now I see pretty shoes and lust for them. But, I put on my first pair of chucks and knew I had met my sole (smile) mate. Currently I have three pairs but the brown pair are my favorite. I know, brown is not quite as edgy as black – but I’ve been known to break a mold once in a while. Now, as far as Scout – she’s one of my favorite characters…and it’s compliment to be compared to her. She’s fearless (but fearful when appropriate). She has an intense sense of right and wrong – that describes me to a tee. And she is what she is – a champion for the underdog, curious, southern and a boyish girl. I think Scout grew up to be quite a charmer.

2. For those of us who only know the South from what we see in the television and movies, share a little piece (or a big piece, your call) of what it means to live in the South and to have been raised there.

This is an interesting question. Almost the first thing that springs to mind is a defense of southern women in that we’re not all Scarlett, Blanche or any other stereotypical woman from the screen or books. But we are. Stereotypes arise for a reason, right? I would like to think that I take from each of them the good qualities but not the bad. But…I’m sure on my bad days a little bad may leak through. After all, isn’t Scarlett’s badness what made her so interesting instead of a minor character like her sister Suellen?

Alabama among the sister states is the cradle of the Confederacy. The place where George Wallace stood in the University doorway and declared it would not be integrated. I grew up in Montgomery, Alabama. Where all things about the South came to a head. It was the capital of the Confederacy. It was where Rosa Parks grew too tired to move to the back of the bus and it is where Dr. King preached. One of my favorite quotes is by Dr. King – “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Yes, we have rednecks that cannot accept the war of northern aggression never came. Yes, we have unemployment, illiteracy, poverty and all of the things that can oppress a nation. But I would argue you could find this in any state. You can find prejudice – hatred – self-involvement – fear – anger, anywhere. But, Dr. King also said something else, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

I’m proud of our state – it is beautiful and full of rich history. From Huntsville – a home of the space program, to Tuscaloosa – home of one of the greatest universities (Roll Tide baby), to Birmingham – where Bessemer steel was invented, to Montgomery – well, yeah, I’ve told you about that, to Mobile – home of the first Mardi Gras, to Gulf Shores – home of sugar white beaches.

I also love being able to say “there you go” and have people nod their head and understand what I meant.

3. Your photography, besides being very beautiful, is very simple and intimate, very Zen-like. What are you trying to share with us when we look at your photographs?
I think my photography is sort of all over the place. But I seem to be settling into a style that a friend of mine calls modern bohemian. I’m not sure what that means. I think some of it comes across as Zen-like because that is me in a lot of ways. I’m not a frou-frou fancy girl (hence the chucks). Yes, I love getting dressed up as much as the next girl – but, no ruffles or lacy stuff. I think my photography is the same way. I think my photography is feminine in that I like curves and soft lines. I like unusual colors in unusual places. I like a touch of whimsy. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is “see the unusual in the usual – look at the word through different eyes. You might be surprised what you see.”

4. Of your five senses, what makes the most impact on you in your perception of the world? What are things you crave to experience?
I’m a texture person – in eating, decorating, and all facets of my personality. I’m constantly reaching to touch something. But secondly, I remember things by smell. I can smell my mother’s perfume and remember her standing there spraying it on. I can remember the scent of freshly laundered sheets on the line and the scent of honeysuckle in the back yard.

I want to experience Provence when the lavender is blooming and I want to see Tuscany when the golden light hits the fields. I want to see Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower and sip wine at midnight from a small café. I want to lie in a green field in Wales and I want to light a candle at the Vatican. I want to sit on my front porch at dawn, watching the pink and lavender fingers crawl across the horizons of the lowlands of North Carolina. Then I want to pick up my cup of coffee, softly call my dog inside and make breakfast for someone I love.

5. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be? Give us as many details as you can.
I think I really just answered this didn’t I? I guess I learned a long time ago that I should read ahead. Remember that silly test where all you really had to do was sign your name and turn it in? It got me.

Right now….actually, my answer surprises me. Right now I wish I was at a job making an honest living. My current ambition is to be a nursing home administrator and I want to run the kind of home that you would want your mother to go to, if she had to live away from you. Both of my parents died of cancer. Mom nursed dad at home for three years before he passed and some of the indignities that they went through together, well, I wouldn’t want that for anyone. She loved him and gladly did it. But cancer changes a person and she suffered through a lot with his pain. My sister did a lot of the nursing for mom because I was not in town. That is a guilt (my sister says false guilt) that I will bear for a long time before I let it go. Anyway, neither here nor there as they say. I saw a home in Portland, Oregon actually that I would love to duplicate – I felt as if I was walking into a home instead of an institution.

Frivolously? Right now? I would love to be on a beach somewhere with a lovely cocktail, a handsome man and a fantastic book. And of course, with my camera. I may need a job, but I’m not dead. *grin*

January 14, 2009



today I took a drive, past the traffic, past the congestion, past the urban-ness, to the country. there were stretchs of road before - miles ahead I could see a lone car. and the sun shone bright through my windshield. and the wind blew cobwebs away that I let collect this morning.

I took my camera though nothing jumped at me. everywhere had no treaspassing signs and barbed wire. keep away. keep out of here. nothing wanted to let me in. but it couldn't keep me from looking. haybales haphazardly lined the ruts in the muddy winding road. old men burned leaves in front of their trailers. trains slowed to a crawl. and still I drove on.

the jeep didn't speed. it went exactly right. the heater warmed my cold feet and my cold heart. I went as far as a cavern and then I turned around to come home. everything is brown and the sky is blue, blue, blue. the fields blurred back into traffic and the traffic blurred into buildings and the buildings blurred to the city.

the sky turned peach and orange and bled through the bare branches of the pecan tree outside my window. dinner is cooking and like the hydrangea...I'm stripped of all that burdened me this morning.

January 13, 2009

Pop psychology and fear

In looking back at life we sometimes string together a necklace of sorrows to horde and worry when we feel the lowest. We rub and polish them, knowing the comfort of the dark hollow as fear anchors to that deep well that serves as our drink.

Sure, in the string there are a few sparkles but we bankrupt the emotions so not to allow the sparkles to overtake the necklace. And we wonder...we are astonished that we ended up again in this place. Then, again, it is comfortable here...it's a place we know when we feel sorrow for ourselves. Like fuzzy slippers.

It's when we begin to feel joy and happiness that we fear. We grow afraid that we will lose that warm, dear, cherished glow that a tiny seed starts in our heart. In that fear, we suppress the joy - we're afraid that others will be jealous and poke holes in the fabric. We're afraid that if we have joy that something will snatch it away and smash it. But we cannot dwell and live in that fear. I tell myself that constantly. That if I keep calling fear to me - that it will continue to visit and dine at my table. My witty companion, entertaining me with bon mots of my failures, tweaking my ego with dirty gritty film noir of my pettiness or times I allowed myself to be mean or cruel. I mean, who could love someone that unloveable, right?

I think that's why I've been so obsessed with light and the color aqua lately. In moving, I've flung open the doors and have begun to take out all of the trash in my life. Friends that have known me for a while, have listened to my thinly disguished bravado of "I'm moving" for the past five to six years. They've patted my hand and smiled as I have grand plans. Now, that fears have eaten at my table - I've had to face their whispers. And, I don't like it. My fears are no one I want for my friend. They have horrible table manners. (Not to drive a theme home or anything there)

Loved items are finding good homes. Excess is being dealt with. Can't live without are going with me. I'm lighter every day that passes this month. I'm rediscovering bits and pieces I've hidden in the dark. Though there are stumbling blocks I'm navigating, I'm making it. I am making it. Not that I won't be scared again - not that I'm walking with a blindfold....but, I'm doing alright.

January 11, 2009

and then came Sunday

After the deluge of rain, there had been a faux spring in the south with birds chirping and trees peeking forth tiny leaves. Buds were spotted beginning to pop open and daffodils were spotted shaking out their ruffled heads.


The sky was clear and gorgeous. You could smell the clean scent of fresh earth, a bubble of joy burst from my lips in a gasp when looking at the rebirth, the renewal of hope.

green and blue

I spied a small pot of miniature iris at the grocery and of course they had to be mine. I put them in a small white concrete pot that I've been saving for just the perfect occasion.

iris high key

Yesterday the rain began, but it was still warm. I wandered in and out of antique and thrift stores, searching for a bit of pretties to brighten my day. I've been obsessed with aqua lately, looking for exactly the right shade for my new bedroom.

The evening was lovely with snacks of goat cheese spread, fresh french bread, blackberries and a lovely pinot grigo. I felt cosmopolitan, nay - maybe even slightly French...perhaps Belgian. It was a satisfying end to a week.

But then Sunday comes. The temperature has dropped in 24 hours from 63 to 37. And while in the great scheme of things, that's not that bad...it's harsh on a southern Belgian girl. The day is gray and overcast. The cat has decided that he must throw up in places where it's difficult to clean up. I forgot to put leftovers in the fridge last night, which in a way worked out...because - The fridge popped up (it's circa 1960) during the night and began to defrost. My hair is a mess and I realized I purchased two pairs of sweat pants instead of a sweatshirt and pants. (shut it - it's better than jammies in this cold apartment) I have boxes to pack and food to cook now that the fridge decided to defrost.

But...the irises are unaware of the horribly bad, exhausting, yucky, poopy-headed day. They are blooming like crazy and may perhaps serve as a reminder that despite it all, we choose our happiness. *wipes hair out of face* I guess I better get to it.


January 9, 2009

the art of longing

I was inspired by the vintage chair today when she asked what are ten things you cannot live with out. In thinking about that - beyond the obvious stuff like my camera equipment and car, I started thinking about the things I have of my parents.

My mom was an artist - even though she would pish-saw that definition as she thought her talent was more in reproduction. Back in the days, she was fantastic at ceramics - even winning blue ribbons at the fair. I do not have any of those pieces though I love to visit my aunt who has a ceramic cat my mom painted. My mom could look at almost anything and draw/paint it. So, when I gave her this funky mother's day card, she immediately painted the angel on it.


Also in the shot you will see a photograph of my parents and me when I was about three months old. One the back of the photograph is my great-grandmother's writing telling my mom she will have a larger shot sent later. I have no clue if it was ever sent. You will see a book given to my parents when they married called "Whom God Hath Joined" and the copyright is dated 1953. It has an unknown signature inside with the year 1956. I think that's the pastor's signature. There is also the needlepoint pillow top that I worked on during mom's different surgergies for cancer. I haven't picked it up since she passed in November 2006. I still need to take it to be stretched and turned into a pillow. Finally there is a pot of tiny irises in a white concrete container that I found for a steal ($5).

What I couldn't carry outside are two pieces of furniture that I cherish - ones my father built from scratch. My favorite is a china cabinet that I picked out of the ethan allen catalog and my dad built as a wedding present. The other is a chest that sits at the foot of my bed that my dad built. There is my grandmother's china - it's simple really, white with a silver band.

These things I cherish and treasure.

Earlier today I posted a tribute to one of my favorite surrealist authors, Cooper Edens. He seems more widely known lately for his children's books - but, I have some of his out of print work called "With Secret Friends" and "The Art of Longing". I love his illustrations and his quiet poetry.

cooper edens

And finally...the tiny irises. Just because I loved them today. I hope you do too.



Celebrate the solitude. It knows your name.
It baths you in the moonlight and you dream.
It allows yearning, knowing what you will and will not do.
The shadows of your heart slip away into the past.Longing becomes familiar.

Step into the mirror.

You become -
the one incomplete
the one completed
the one blind
the one all seeing

Waking you are at the end of your past.
Be happy.
Realize happy is desired.
Embrace what you do not know. Run along the path and face the sun.
New, rejoiced, smiling - reborn.

Do your best, think the best and let go.

My tribute to a little known artist - Cooper Edens.

January 7, 2009





turkey tails
Turkey Tails