October 31, 2009


(this shot is from October 2008)

it seems that overnight the color has come to my little area of alabama. suddenly the yellows and reds have come along with a rush of cooler air. the weather is supposed to clear up and hopefully i can get out and about tomorrow with my camera (maybe this afternoon too as Emme's birthday party is today). unfortunately, the puggie princess cannot go on her outing as her allergies have kicked in and she's rubbed a rather angry looking spot on her back. (poor lizzie)

now i remember what saturdays feel like. that cool feeling where you know you don't have to get up at 6:00 a.m. to rush around and get out the door. i'm still getting the timing down right, but the good news is the new job is about the same distance from my house as the old job was from my old place. three miles must be the magic number. perfect. i will also say that knowing where you're going to park is comforting too.

the job is going well - i'm still getting my feet underneath me as it's a somewhat different mindset than banking. i'm doing lots and lots of reading and i'm so excited to participate in the new grant project. i can't wait until i feel like i'm really contributing. i'm working for a state agency - i've teased that either i'm the bad penny that keeps turning up or the third time is the charm. state government in a state capital is a very small world. it's been fun having people that i worked with years ago (i do mean years - 16 to be exact) come and reintroduce themselves. people that had babies when i left now show me grown ups.

but, of course there are always tests - right? i think i needed this reminder as tomorrow i'm starting a 30 day gratitude project with joy. inexplicably, my battery died yesterday afternoon. i never look under the hood but when i did yesterday the right side cable was all corroded. not horrible, not like it was something devastating...just, a test. these are the moments i'm grateful i have a sweet baby brother to come to the rescue with jumper cables. all is well - i have a new battery now.

i still need to shoot my shot for lens.us.together - a childhood passion. i've enjoyed seeing others this week as i've pondered my shot. i am also going to take a challenge up from another blogger to see my city in a different way. i think that is what has stifled me - when i look around, all i see are hundreds of shots that i've seen time and time again. i need to change it up - shake it up - break out of the mold. hopefully, that will end this period of discontent with my photography because believe me, i'm as sick of window shots as you are. *laugh*

happy halloween to you and yours - hope you have a spooky, spooky good time.

October 29, 2009

think pink, think pink

follow the sun

happy thoughts
silly thoughts
whimsical and giggly thoughts
blessed thoughts
peaceful thoughts
joyous thoughts

blow bubbles with pink bubblicious chewing gum
find one pink flower and put it in a vase
color outside the lines
tell someone you love them berry, berry, berry much
skip down the hall or hop up the stairs
write the word "cancer" on a piece of paper, then tear it up and throw it away
pick the pinkest star in the night sky and make a wish
close your eyes and dream of pink lemonade oceans
cut your fruit across to find the star
laugh at yourself often
put on the oldest music you have and boogie
dance with your sweetie in the middle of the kitchen
snuggle often
write a love letter to yourself
name your toes
type 113440 into your calculator and giggle when you turn it upside down
now, silently fuss at me for being silly
forgive often, start with yourself
imagine running through a field of daisies - now imagine it nekkid
(my mom said nekkid meant you were being "bad")
re-read your favorite children's book
have a slushie but don't get brain freeze
read only the comics in today's newspaper

...try to live today with as much peace, love, joy and happiness that you can scrape together. and then tomorrow, try it again. and repeat often.

sure, there will be sad and lonely days at times, but it makes so much sense to give more of my effort to joy than to dwell on bitterness and unhappy.

October 27, 2009

popping in really quick

hi all....i must say i miss visiting with you all throughout the day, seeing what you're up to, the photographs, the crafts, the cooking, the drawing - all of the goodness that you all inspire me to pursue. but i'm so thrilled to be back at work.

i've hit the ground running - meetings all day today and starting again in the morning. the project that i am working on is exciting and it felt like home walking back into an agency where i worked 16 years ago. new faces, older faces....all so welcoming.

things are coming together slowly, after all - they only had 48 hours notice i was coming so little kinks are being worked out. and....i have two gorgeous walls to decorate so i can't wait until i can pick out shots to display there. and, if the weather improves - i'm excited to have a chance to photograph triplets this weekend!

i hope your halloween plans are shaping up - i'm going to a pink poodle birthday party for my youngest niece, and if it works out, maybe a doggie costume party with the girly pug.

xoxo (yes, i really mean it)

October 25, 2009

building the dock

one of my favorite old sayings (it's one that i used to spur me on when i went to college later in life) is 'for your ship to come in, you have to build the dock'. it makes sense to my weird right/left brained mind that the ship just can't pull up because you can't access the ship without a dock and gangplank. so, if you don't make the errrr, groundwork, then you cannot reap the benefits of your hopes and dreams.

today, i've been repairing the rotted planks in my dock. studying a bit of the issues i will be working on, reviewing my old work wardrobe to make sure it's ready to go, washing clothes, getting my paperwork together for orientation, putting away so many of my leisure clothes. it feels good, you know? in some ways it makes me wonder why i waited to do this...some of these things needed doing while i was away from the daily grind. i'm sure a spot of depression was part of it all.

i think in a bit, i'll go to the store for a hardy, healthy, meal that will now probably be restricted to the weekeds while i'm adjusting back to the workweek. it will feel good.

hope you're enjoying your glorious sunday. it's a beauty down here.

October 23, 2009

October 22, 2009

the waiting...

is over. beginning monday i will be gainfully employed again and i couldn't be happier. as i said before, i've learned many things during this ten month period and hopefully am a better person for it.

that being said....there will be a few new photographs - not of apples, leaves or acorns - this afternoon. hope you stay tuned for those.

then have to be a responsible girl and read the notebook of information and prepare to hit the ground running monday morning. you would not believe how well i slept last night. no more panic attacks at 3:00 a.m. prayers are answered and hard work pays off.

i will miss you all during the day but i'll still be around visiting - it just may take me a bit longer than usual. thank you for the support during this time. your good wishes and cheerleading kept me going on some dark, lonely days. but i do think of how thrilling it will be to come "home" and catch up on your daily doings.

xoxoxoxox (mean it too)

October 21, 2009

again, i show this blog is aptly named

if this post makes no sense to you, please refer to the subtitle of my blog - this is bits and pieces of my thoughts tonight.

exactly one year ago i was standing and taking in this view. breathtaking really. if you've never visited oregon, then you should go. if i didn't have family so firmly planted here, i would want to live in portland. seriously.

i may have an unhealthy attachment to the show, glee. i do. the combination of geeks, singing and the tartness of jane lynch gives me a jolt of so much happiness that i am glued to my seat. for me, this is a show that lives up to the hype.

i love all the meatloaf recipes that i've received after monday's post. it reminds me of julia's love of sharing recipes and food in her book. i want to be babette and make you all a feast. i've been gorging lately on two buck chuck from the local market - it's good for a girl's budget. but i will admit, i might moo at any second. hopefully chicken will be on the menu this weekend.

the light coming into the window this season is so gorgeous that i can sit and stare at the objects i put there to bathe in it. i look at the chinaberry tree and think it could not be more gorgeous.

and i look at the almost ten months that have passed and am truly thankful for lessons learned. my brother challenged me today - to look at this point in my life and to embrace the change. to love it and say thank you. so i've tried to do that. my list is still growing with things that have changed me for the better.

i think last year at this time, i was arrogant. i thought that i did such a wonderful job and no one could ever let me go because i was so good at what i did. i've been taught the lesson that no one is irreplaceable or indispensable. last year at this time, i was proud. i was proud of my accomplishments and thought i had arrived somewhere in my job. i've been taught that no matter your accomplishments, what really matters in the end is that you love and you are loved. love is what has carried me through so far and will continue to carry me. i have become quite humble and in that, i have found some pride.

October 19, 2009

memories, cooking and other bits

it seems as though it's been forever since friday night. time has been doing funny things lately - it's blending together. i will attempt a quick wrap-up. saturday i spent with a sick niece (the baby) and then sharing cotton candy with the older niece after she got home from the fair. i've caught up on my diego watching and know more about penguins, porcupines and red-eyed tree frogs. after babysitting we all gathered for football (roll tide) and steaks on the grill. poor little emme was so upset not to be able to go outside but the air was not good for her croup. (it so broke my heart when she ran into my arms crying, 'please, please') sunday was church - though the niece's singing was canceled for another day and lunch.

i went exploring sunday and reliving very very very old memories. is it weird that i don't remember a lot about first grade? i remember the teacher's name and the smell of that paste we used to have at school. i remember the play yard as the house we lived in was on a hill overlooking the school yard. i used to have a picture of my brother and i playing on the yard.

i also remember this house. the first halloween that i remember, i remember being scared to go to this house as it was rumored that a witch lived there. we were never allowed in the yard. as you can see now, it's been damaged by fire and is unsafe to explore. it's a beautiful house, i wish i could remember it in its full glory - i bet it was gorgeous. i also remember going trick-or-treating at the governor's mansion about five blocks away. the governor himself gave out the candy.

time changes everything - it expands and contracts in proportion to many things in our lives.

last night i cooked meatloaf and homemade mac and cheese. neither one was a great hit. i'm not a meatloaf person so this was my first attempt, maybe i will try again. the mac and cheese was adequate, though my brother didn't like it. i did redeem myself tonight though with barbeque pork, chips and baked beans - the guys loved it. i also made christina's crostata again and i'm happy to report both nephews had two slices - major score.

i will admit, i'm sick of apple, acorn and leaf pictures but i'm feeling completely uninspired. typically my advice is always shoot through it so, i'm trying...more shots to come soon. until then my friends, sleep well, sweet dreams and happy thoughts.

ps - i'm finally reading 'my life in france' by julia child and i adore her voice. now that i've seen the movie, i can read it and hear meryl streep as julia in my head. perfection.

October 16, 2009


i was set to be all proud that i reached 200 followers and then suddenly two followers departed so i'm back down to 198. there is always an ebb and flow to these things - people think they're interested and turns out they're not, they clicked accidentally, they quit blogging, they became disinterested, they joined in hopes i would return the compliment. *shrugs* just a odd observation on a friday night. the first really 'cool' night of the fall.

i'm sipping on some instant cappuccino, english toffee, it's fairly nice for an instant though i think it's mainly sugar of some sort along with some caffeine and coffee flavoring. it went nicely with the breakfast for dinner thing (bacon, eggs and cinnamon toast) as i couldn't for the life of me eat something else chili-based this week. it seems i planned poorly with taco soup, homemade chili and then hot dogs this week (which always means chili dogs in our house). i should think some variety would be in order. maybe potato soup? that sounds so wonderful. maybe sunday.

the answers to the giggle quiz were fun to read. as i read each movie i thought to myself, oh yeah - i love that one too. here's a funny story about jokes though. my nephew loves to listen to blue collar when we drive home from school and one of the staples of that channel is larry the cable guy. now i really don't care for his humor, especially since it's totally a 'character' he's created that i find mostly offensive. one of the themes larry infuses in a lot of his skits is edible panties - i try to switch the channel most of the time, but today my nephew questioned what they were and why would someone wear something like that. picture me trying to explain this one lucy. * laugh * i think i mumbled something about it's not really something you really eat (making larry's jokes about them somewhat funny) but something used during intimate moments. yes, i said 'intimate moments' and then i lamely recommended he ask his dad. (i hear you laughing at me)

and while i'm telling you how lame i am, can i admit i always laugh at the halloween movie from disney with sarah jessica parker? (it was way before her carrie days) do you like haunted houses? i don't care for them as i can't stand to be chased or startled. even when i see you coming - it just freaks me out. we did a haunted house for our neighborhood a couple of years until we scared children so badly that they refused to come to the door for candy.

i'm suddenly wanting a caramel apple.

October 15, 2009

an apple a day...


here's the thing, it's pink october which all of you know by now is the national breast cancer prevention month. you know my story of my mother who passed away from breast cancer and the dangers of not receiving adequate health care in the three years preceding her diagnosis. all of us have probably known someone that has been touched by this horrible disease in some shape or another. hopefully you know more survivors than you know of women who have lost their life.

prevention is where it's at - early detection can save a life. don't think you're bulletproof. okay? that's me coming at you straight, no punches held back. be safe - just like momma said, safer is always better than sorry. simple but true. don't put it off.


it seems a lot of people i read are a bit blue and that is easy to understand given the change in season and the crazy weather this fall. but, as i type, the sun is struggling to come out and play a bit. so that is a hopeful sign.

so, i thought we should all share what makes us giggle. after all, laughter is the best medicine they say. so, that good belly giggle that starts down deep and erupts into bubbles of happy laughter - what causes it? for my niece last week, it was playing hide and seek with her stuffed puppy. for me, it was seeing my pug howl a bit for his supper.

i always laugh at 'young frankenstein' and kevin smith as silent bob. facial expressions are key in both really. lately, it's been the show 'glee' - it's such campy fun that i can't help it. and if you want a real live application (for those that don't watch tv), you should check out ps-22 children's choir from new york. (ok, so this is more touching than funny - sorry for the slight detour)

this is what i want to know:
1. your favorite funny movie
2. your favorite joke
3. your favorite funny memory as a child
4. who can always make you laugh?

these are my answers:
1. young frankenstein
2. cinderella comes in late from the ball and tells her fairy godmother to go ahead and turn her into a pumpkin. the fairy godmother hesitates, trying to give cindy a break but cindy becomes more and more demanding. finally, the fairy godmother asks why is she so demanding, did she meet a prince. "no," explained cindy, "there was this new guy there....peter peter."
3. the time that we convinced my uncle (who was a total city kid and scared of anything nature related) to climb up a 12 foot pole and jump into the lake. he split his swimming trunks and was soooo mad. that ties with the time my uncle (another one) came around the slew too quick with my father skiing and slung my father through the woods on his skis. i learned lots of new curse words that day.
4. my sister can always make me laugh - we have the same sense of humor.

October 13, 2009

a list

:: lunch and meandering with a dear, dear friend. time stands still when i'm with her even though we talk about her children.
:: hopeful phone calls (prayers are appreciated)
:: red apples on my desk in a blue dish
:: graceful oak leaves, whimsical grape leaf and perhaps a tiny elm leaf
:: the spider packed up her web and left for parts unknown
:: warm slippers on my feet with a sandwich for dinner, simplicity
:: anticipation of a better night's sleep
:: the last piece of apple crostata (warmed) topped with lemon ice cream
:: a new book in my purse, courtesy of a friend - a voucher for $25 in traded books in my purse. perhaps a shopping trip tomorrow?
:: the first cool day of this fall - gray overcast and dark but for some reason i don't mind.
:: pulled out the makings for chili to put in the slow cooker for tomorrow. i love chili.
:: clean sheets and a full night.

October 12, 2009

October 11, 2009

catching up

i know you guys are tired of some combination of nuts, pumpkins and glass. hopefully i can go to the fair sometime this week. today it's cooler and i am going to make christina's rustic apple pie in a bit. i think sitting and watching the leaves fall while i peel apples sounds like a perfect past time for a sunday afternoon (the oak leaves make such a beautiful spiral as they float to the ground). later i'm making taco soup (or chili).

last night i went to see 'whip it' with ellen page and drew barrymore. i know the movie was panned by the critics but i really loved it. i think i remember watching a calmer roller derby when i was a child - but this just looked so fun. it also made me remember that marcia gay harden is just a fabulous actress. she is so subtle and nuanced that i adored every scene that she is in.

christina's crostata
omg - this may be the best thing i've ever made - she is right, the orange zest is just everything.

friday night i saw my itty bitty bit of a niece - i won't be able to call her that much longer - she is getting so big. as she played at the dinner table and ate butterbeans off my plate, my heart was filled with so much love that i could just burst. completely burst...and again when she said 'on the lips' when i kissed her goodnight.

this guy has been hanging out on the front porch for a few days now. i think from the pictures i've searched that he's a golden silk spider and he's definitely an orb weaver as his (her?) web covers the entire front of our bay window. shudder. i've tried getting closer but there are what are called warning webs or anchors in the way. though the bite is not poisonous, it can hurt for a few days. (i'm not going to chance it)

this has been a gift of a weekend. it was predicted to be stormy and ugly - instead we have beautiful, cool and the sunset last night was golden and glorious. hopefully we will have another today. hope your weekend is golden and glorious too.

October 10, 2009

October 8, 2009


when the person you love has cancer, your world tilts on its axis. you can run through the stages of grief in the twinkling of an eye and air feels like it's sucked out of your lungs. then you have to start fresh.

you take stock and figure out how to support them in their fight. don't back away - cancer is not contagious. be there for them. hold their hand. that is the one single piece of advice that i can give you. cancer is not always a death sentence - not any more. as dylan thomas said 'rage'. fight it with tooth and nail.

i came from fighting stock baby and i can put up my dukes with the best of 'dem. this is a lesson that comes in with any hardship. hope you develop your fighting skills too.
part of christina's pink october challenge

October 7, 2009

October 6, 2009

the ususual

what's been going on in your little world? i've been catching up with my reading - taking a day off is always interesting because it takes me forever to catch up with you.

the weekend was quiet - saturday night my sister and i went for a drive down to watch the full moon. it was beautiful and we had a good time talking about anything and everything. sunday was even more quiet really. i can't really tell you one thing that i did besides play with the still life shots that i showed you.

yesterday was the busy day - doing paperwork, washing clothes and errands. cooking for the weekly family dinner (now that the monday shows are no longer in re-run). i've perfected the broth for the pot roast to one can cream of mushroom soup, one envelope of brown gravy mix and one envelope of onion soup mix. add the roast and later in the day add any combination of veggies you like. nothing was left last night but a few carrots.

oh the high life i live, right? *chuckle* don't be all jealous now. the state fair starts this week though i seem to be the only person in the family that is excited about it. the one thing i've been looking forward too. so, i guess that means i have to decide if i want the shots well enough to haul a tripod around myself. even with the carbon fiber legs, the thing isn't lightweight.

so, i hope your week is off to a good start. mine is like the tortoise - slow but steady.

October 4, 2009

still life projects

while i'm continuing my search for inspiring photography subjects, i've been working on some fall still lifes. you will notice a variation on themes (lol)

October's the month When the smallest breeze Gives us a shower Of autumn leaves. Bonfires and pumpkins, Leaves sailing down - October is red And golden and brown


drama queen


and the sooc shot for georgia

October 1, 2009

::honest scrap::

The Honest Scrap Guidelines~
1) Say thanks to the presenter of the award.
2) Share 10 Honest Things about yourself.
3) Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design or those who have encouraged you and then inform them of such, of course.

an award from my friend, april. thanks april - you're one of my favorite reads (xoxoxo). she has fab taste in music, photography and adorable hats.

i love this award as it tends to make people dig a bit deeper to find out things about themselves but...after about 18 months on this blog, i'm not sure if i have any old tidbits to share with you all....much less ten. whew. that's a lot when you're counting them down. but i'll give it a go (trying not to bore you completely out of your head). plus, the last post was sort of a downer (but important to share).

10:: i'm a movie nut and though i will go see a chick flick with my friends, the movies that i really love are the sci-fi ones. give me a good sci-fi movie and i'm in heaven. once, i went to a star trek movie by myself and was the only female in the theater.

9:: i have this weird rule where i try not to talk politics or religion on my blog because i've seen too many people get way judgmental about both subjects. i've even lost friendships because people couldn't agree to disagree. however, i will be happy to answer any questions you have as long as you agree that we all have a right to an opinion.

8:: i love pretty panties and back in the day would just randomly buy new ones because i liked the colors or the pattern. conversely, i hate bras and tend to wear two or three favorites all the time.

7:: i do not wear white shoes (except athletic shoes) after labor day or before easter. i know fashion rules have become rather lax about this whole issue and i've tried doing it but it just feels wrong.

6:: i have a horrible habit of nicknaming everyone i know. i think part of that stems from having to live with a nickname almost my entire life. char is the first nickname that i loved - even though everyone else says my family nickname (lanie) is so cute. (ugh)

5:: i'm an avid reader - everything from magazines to textbooks. if it's in this house, i've probably read it at one time or another. as a child, i would take a volume of the encyclopedia and read it like a novel. if i find an author i like, i binge on reading them until i'm glutted.

4:: mean people and rude people really tick me off. not that i think everyone has to wear white gloves and be insipid, nor do i think that white lies are always the best way to go - but i think there is a kind way to deal with most things and wish that everyone could figure that out.

3:: in light of number four, i think people who make jokes that are hurtful and go 'just kidding' really meant what they said and, therefore passive-aggressive behavior like that really ticks me off too.

2:: as i'm typing this out and thinking, jurassic park is on for like the billionth time and i'm watching it. i do that with movies i like and books - watch or read them over and over and over. movies i watch whenever they are on: when harry met sally, jaws, field of dreams, anything alfred hitchcock, and twister. there's probably more but these are the ones that pop in my head. books i've read repeatedly: little women, the secret garden, ten little indians, living a beautiful life, and to kill a mockingbird.

1:: i totally hate shaving my legs. it seems like such a waste of time and effort when i could shave them again the next day. but, i can't stand to see hairy legs either so i guess i would do it regardless - i think it's a plot invented by men as payback for us making them shave their faces.

now:: i think i'm supposed to give this award out to some other people. i forget how many (looks back quickly - seven). i suck at this - that should have been number one. so, i'm going with dani, beth, toni, christina, kate (country girl), cora, cassandra, awww hell. i always feel sort of hurt when i don't get included - so, here's the deal - this is the part of awards that i really hate, the naming of some and not naming some others. i think everyone i read is pretty fab and i'm always interested in new stuff about them. if you want to play along - go for it. if you don't like awards and think this is way too long - all good, no worries.

for then, for now, forever

almost five years ago, my life changed for ever. what i didn't know at the time, her life changed three years before and she didn't tell anyone because she hoped it would go away. she hoped it wasn't bad (but she was scared in the middle of the night). she didn't have insurance coverage when it first happened - she got it later on, after it had spread. three years she waited, until the problem was much to big to ignore. (and she never said a word)

the first year we were thankful and held her hand through it all. we prayed the surgery had 'gotten it all'. but, waiting the three years allowed those insidious cells to travel other places - silently working their evil magic, shaping pockets of wicked, wicked, wicked horror to be discovered later. it seemed we would fight one demon with three heads before the demon was victorious and we were bereft.

that demon was breast cancer. one of the most curable cancers there is, if it's detected early. it's been said, many, many, many times. funds are raised every year for research to find a cure. never think you are bullet proof. breast cancer strikes people from all walks of life, all colors, all races, all socio-economical status. odds are you know someone effected by breast cancer or you, yourself have been affected.

if you are in the risk group - have your mammograms, do the self exams - make sure your breasts are healthy. even if you're not in the group - do the self exams and have your baseline mammogram when your doctor recommends it. such a small thing for those you love. do you love them enough to give them this gift?

part of christina's pink october challenge