June 1, 2011

the voice (no...not the tv show)

would it perhaps help if i brought brownies with the yummiest peanut butter icing that we could whip up?  i know that i've said one to many times that my life seems to be on this accelerated path that i can't seem to stop.  which is exactly what i wished for all those months i was scared that i would not find a job.  the job is at times exciting, frustrating, scary, maddening, funny, fun, heartbreaking and many other yin/yang words that mish-mash together to explain life.  and now...now comes another big step.  so, i searched my heart and wondered where does it leave this blog?  oh ramblins... "i can't quit cha...."

i've neglected this and there are days that i wonder if i've lost a voice but still i keep my little notebooks and journals with ideas.  something seems locked with in and i read other bloggers like ...susannah conway who muses about blogs that are always happy and "up".  no one is up all the time but i wonder sometimes if my realism is too much - no one likes a whiner either.  so...let me regale you with some tales from the past couple of weeks. 

as you know, my sweet model christy graduated from high school and i'm very proud of her.  she's been accepted in a nearby college and is taking advantage of the cost savings to live at home.  great news for me as i get to keep my model.  right?  *smile*  we worked hard on her tea and the girls were so happy with all the homemade goodies.  actually, her mom and i were pressed by a couple people to cater other teas.  but...i know catering is not in my blood.  i love doing the occasional party - but that is hard work!  the sweetest compliment christy paid me that she was proud to have adults like me in her life that serve as great role models. 

the next day i flew to baltimore to a three day meeting.  i did get to explore the inner harbor and though i didn't have time to go to the aquarium or the other tourist sites, i did get to eat fantastic tapas and visit with peers.  i also gave my first presentation to the crowd and i'm happy to say i survived it.  *whew*  the funniest story is one morning at breakfast i walked up to a table with two ladies i haven't met before - believe me, there is no mistaking my accent when you hear me.  so as i introduce myself one lady pipes up and says, "oh i know your accent - you're from alabama.  i'm from ___________ (she names a bidder on a recent contract that did not win the bid)"  mind you, this was in a very sarcastic tone.  i just smiled and said, "oh i'm sorry and i was an evaluator too...pity"  just goes to show you to be nice to everyone, you never know who you will be seated next to at one of these meetings.  even better i folded the antidote into my presentation when talking about the procurement process.

came home...paid our first checks....had a great holiday weekend - sat with the nieces, saw two movies and one play.  (movies - the hangover 2, bridesmaids (yes...again)) (play - moonlight and magnolias (about the rewriting the screenplay for gone with the wind.))  back at work this week - today found out about a great opportunity for advancement...but a scary one as i will be working twice as hard. 

in other news, i think i'm moving out on my own by the end of summer.  it's time - i adore my brother but i'm itching to have my own place again.  it will be scary as i'm looking at a house instead of an apartment but i keep telling myself it will allow me to have a honest to goodness studio.  think positive thoughts about me making the right and good decisions.

sorry to be so long winded but i wanted to let you know what's been going on with me.  now i have to work hard to catch back up with you all.  i will read but may not be able to comment on all the great stuff you've written since i've been gone.  i will let you know i've been by.  and i also ask your positive thoughts as i struggle through my blogging voice. 

May 22, 2011

a short break....

the tea went well, the photobooth didn't work out as her momma didn't have room for it...though we did take some photographs.  the week has been dance recitals, sending out the first checks for my work program that i'm heading up, the tea (prep and execution) and now exhaustion.  tomorrow i leave at 6:00 a.m. for two short days in baltimore and running back home to be at work so someone else can be on vacation.  *whew*

so much love but...i will be back on thursday.  i miss you guys!

May 20, 2011

the internet hates me.  it does.  it crawls along at a snails pace and when i'm behind, it acts like the recalcitrant child i know it to be.  i know because i was that same child.  the hurrier you wanted me to go the behinder i made sure that i was. 

and the sun is high and bright as i'm dashing out of the house.  lately i always feel like i'm behind the times.  i'm excited for the weekend.  i'm helping with a graduation tea for my pretty little model, christy, and it should be fun.  i need to get the things together for a photo booth that she wants to have.  i've made favor bags for visits to the photobooth - we should have lots of fun.

May 15, 2011

all the cool kids....

in my other life....

i would live in a house shaped like a  triangle on the beach...somewhere warm and happy.  where children laugh and adults giggle and the air smells like warm cinnamon cookies baking in the oven.


and you would come over for simple lunches.  and we would chat for hours while watching the sea and the waves dancing.  the salt would make our hair wild and wooly and we would laugh belly laughs that made our sides ache.

then after sunset, we would go to the carnival and ride the merry-go-round until we were dizzy.  we would sup on wonderful foods and eat with our fingers - never spilling a drop or worrying about being messy.  carnivals are know for that kind of thing you know.  

after the carnival we take a walk on the beach.  there we could stare at the stars, wish on shooting stars and solve the world's problems.  there would be peace and understanding - and somehow we would figure out how to feed the starving children and make mosquitoes turn into butterflies.  because the world definitely needs more butterflies.

then, when we are tired, we would slip into cotton sheets and sleep sweet dreams of happy places and wonderful things.

the life of simple joys, no worries, and plenty of love is for me - the rest is gravy on my potatoes. 

May 14, 2011

the weather predicted rain so i settled in for a sleep in.  but, the weather was wrong and now i feel guilty that i didn't plan better for this gift of a day.  all is green and vibrant.  the kind of green that you think you should say verdant instead.  you know, to show that you have an appreciation for the depth and lushness of the green.

the sky is blue - that beautiful light cornflower blue - with huge puffy clouds floating along.  even the winds are still so they move slowly....slowly... like my body creaking along on wounded knees.

i need to get up and get busy.  maybe take in a movie, get some fun food and go by the nursery - i'm going to dive into the world of succulents this year.  i've been obsessed with hens and chicks for a while.

i'm slowly catching up with all of you writers....boy, give a girl a few days off and you write over 700 blogs between the lot of you.

and if you want to know more about yourself...please check this out...you will know so much more.  

and, check out i want a real love by my fave modern poet, jonathan b tucker.   think i could find the guy version of this?

May 12, 2011


everyday i talk on the phone, sometimes for hours at at time.  i worry because lately i've been at a loss for words here on the blog.  it feels that i just talk so much that all of the words are squeezed out of me, wrung dry and my fingers are parched for want of a rain shower. 

we waited and begged for spring and it seems that summer is almost here already.  weird how that happens - or least it seems to happen here in the south.  we have that small window of springlike warmth and then boom, in comes the heat.  today is the heat....and while i'm wondering. 

have you ever avoided reading a book because the reviews are so good that you're scared the book can never live up to the hype?  i find myself doing that with 'the help'.  i tiptoe around it quietly - looking at the yellow bookcover and caress it time to time, thinking about cracking the pages.  then i put it down again.  it sits on my nightstand in quiet reproach.   

today on my ipod:  somebody else (jeff bridges), wicked game (chris isaak), you found me (the fray), rolling in the deep (adele), drift away (dobie gray), long long time (linda ronstadt), this guy's in love with you (herb alpert), shameless (garth brooks), right in time (lucinda williams)

May 8, 2011

bits and pieces

i finally downloaded shots from the camera that i've taken over the past two (or so) weeks.  funny what can happen that short span of time - there's been flowers, family, funerals, and i'm sure other words that start with the sixth letter of the alphabet.  i'll share some of them here....in the meantime, i'm sending sweet wishes for mother's day - i hope yours was as beautiful as mine.  i made pulled pork and banana pudding - nothing fancy really. 

i saw "something borrowed" last night with a good friend and her sweet hubby spoiled us with grilled steaks.  we brainstormed over an upcoming photobooth at christy's graduation tea. 

May 6, 2011

i forgot

i can't remember where i took this shot - i know it was about a month ago because the dogwood is blooming. 

reading some james baldwin this morning in addition to my normal book that i always have started.  baldwin is always the sort to be "in your face" about stuff but always a good reminder with "not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced." 

it's mother's day weekend so i hope all of you that still have mommas out there squeeze her a bit for me.  for those who's momma's have passed - my heart is with you.  i miss mine everyday, but more so this weekend.

i was going to write more but honestly...i forgot.  hope you're having a beautiful day.

May 4, 2011

resistance, though futile, is also silly

it's late on a day where i've ran late all day long.  except to the noon webinar - i'm the host for the noon webinar and i can't be late.

the pugs snore and curtis stone is talking about food on the television.  not that i'm really paying attention.  the blinds are open to the backyard and as sit here at the computer, i wonder if the neighbors across the viaduct wonder about me sitting here in front on the laptop.  i wonder if they wonder what i'm typing or doing.  i would wonder about them if they sat where i could see them. 

i need to go to bed.  somehow this morning i turned over and turned off my alarm.  when i woke up at 7:30 (i have to be at work at 8:00) i couldn't remember hearing the alarm - a tiny bit of panic set in.  i've been reading my latest book 2-3 pages at a time, barely able to hold my eyes open.  and still i sit here listening to lizzie snore a bit more loudly. 

why am i resisting?  probably because it means a rinse and repeat of today, only on thursday.  life at work has been spent mostly this week on the phone clearing up issues - the easy stuff already cleared up.  i wrote a giant issues list and left it to greet me in the morning.  i also have to finish my remarks for my very first national speaking engagement - i'm kinda freaking out about that.  fortunately it's one of three panel sessions all scheduled at the same time.  maybe no one will pick my panel discussion!  i'm excited and terrified all at the same time.  oh, before you ask - the exciting title of the panel discussion is "successful implementation of your i-apd." 

April 30, 2011

it matters what you see

i haven't played with textures in a while, so
this friendly poppy is from a week ago, the day before easter i believe.

i can't believe what all has transpired this week.  it has been a week of heartache, courage, and some renewal.

by now, you know of the devastation that has struck alabama, as well as other states in the path of the wednesday storms.  while we are no strangers to the fury that is tornado season, this system of storms hit such populated areas that is was impossible to get out of the path.  heartbreaking stories - stories of courage - stories of survival - stories of the lowest of low (looters) - and stories of generosity.  it will be a while before we dig out of this, but i know we will.

on the same day, my uncle passed away unrelated to the storm and a couple hundred miles away.  it was expected, he was 86.  sitting at the funeral yesterday, we laughed and we cried.  his daughters spoke of his values and his life - memories flooded over me of time spent at their house in the summer.  i will say, the playing of taps on the bugle and the flag presentation ceremony shook me to tears.  my uncle fought in ww2 and the flag was presented to his son who fought in vietnam. 
today on my ipod -   heavenly day (patty griffin), rise up (diane birch), hello it's me (todd rundgren), hey leonardo (blessid union of souls), how come (ray lamontagne), hideway (the weepies), hold my hand (hootie & the blowfish), hold on you (jeff bridges), the honey tree (mostar driving club), songbird (eva cassidy)

April 27, 2011

stolen fruit

iphone - moon & branches
UPDATE (4/28/11):  thank you friends for all the thoughts, prayers and worry about me, my family and our beautiful state.  the devastation of the tornadoes that stuck yesterday is heartbreaking to watch unfold.  my family and i are fine.  however, there are at least 130 confirmed dead so far in alabama.  i mourn for their loss and i mourn for their families.  how ironic my quote from when i wrote this blog yesterday morning.  death is a companion to our lives - it sits beside us ready to snatch us away at a moment's notice.  it makes me grateful to be alive today. 

today from the quote journal:  "live every day like it is stolen from death."  (from the art of racing in the rain by garth stein)

how delicious to think of treating days as stolen fruit without the guilt.  now i'm thinking of the peach or pomagranite juice dripping down my chin...in the summer especially.  or drinking from a hose pipe.  can you imagine living your days that way?  what a wonderful perspective. 

i admit it...there are days that i hum and ho through life.  dreading the getting out of bed and dragging myself to the office and then drudging my way home to throw together dinner.  ugh - who wants to live that way?  not me.

today on my ipod - real wild child (iggy pop), bent (rob thomas), stay on the ride (patty griffin), life less ordinary (carbon leaf), don't stop 'til you get enough (michael jackson), i go blind (hootie & the blowfish), love train (the o'jays), some kind of wonderful (grand funk), don't stop (fleetwood mac)

read this week - bloodroot (didn't like it - i'm typically a sucker for southern writers but this one depressed me and i didn't see a real resolution.  i also did not like the myriad of voices in the writing), a year on ladybug farm (it was pleasant but not "literature" in that i did not learn anything earthshattering or there were no real societial issues)

if you haven't followed relyn's month of passions you should.  today i talk about my passion for music.

April 23, 2011

one week in a day

there is a young girl in my neighborhood.  most days you can find her in her front yard with her ipod and headphones, singing her heart out.  people drive by and laugh....even my brother laughs.  but still she sings.  she sings like she is jennifer lopez or some other superstar diva.  yesterday, i sat outside listening to her.  and no, she can't carry a tune in a bucket.  but as i sat and listened, i smiled because you know what....she believes.  she believes she is a superstar and i wish we could all be that way.  i wish that we all believed in our superstar powers.

i could take singing lessons from her.

this shot is from last sunday's full moon...the cherry on top of the very best of evenings.  i loved the way the moon was a beacon through the heavy spanish moss.  it rose fast, almost faster than i could set up my tripod.  and as i got ready, my brother and sister-in-law stood watching its beauty with me.  life is good like that, you know?  or mine is....i have way more blessings to count than negatives. 

i started another art journal.  this one is much more personal.  in some small ways i like that it's private and mostly very raw.  i've also been on a major reading kick - i went to the book store today and restocked on some new authors that i either researched or are on the book club list at the store.  i've been keeping track of what i've read on a blog page.  i've also given them stars (the more stars the better) but i'm not sure how long the stars will stay.  it seems my opinion of the book changes sometimes.  i bought a fake diana lens from photojojo but so far i'm not happy with any of the shots.  there is no way to focus and it feels mostly weird.
i did a swap of spring photographs - i'll have to show you the one i got in the mail.  it's bokeh-licious.  speaking of spring, i have to confess i'm addicted to peeps.  i should be very glad that easter is tomorrow before my bum begins to resemble a peep chick.  i'm also rather fond of the cadbury caramel eggs.  *sigh*  speaking of cooking - i tried the pioneer woman's recipe for sour cream noodle bake and it was yummy.
today on my ipod -   feels like home to me** (chantal kreviazuk), must have been love (pat mcgee band), you can't always get what you want (the rolling stones), wonderland (angie aparo), all for you (sister hazel), breakin' me (jonny lang), daniel (elton john), gravity (sarah bareilles), at the stars (better than ezra), wasting time (jack johnson), where you lead (carole king)

quote of the day - how wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.  (anne frank)

*totally my wedding song if i ever get married again.

April 19, 2011


this shot - taken with my iphone is at the navy pier in chicago.   

a lot of things have been on my mind lately - kindness, little irritations, if a ladybug is always a lady or does she get a little wild on the weekends, magnolias and gardenias getting ready to burst forth, the love of a family..........you know, this and that.

i've decided that i can be kinder, slow my pace, listen better and probably even eat better.  i can rid myself of negative thoughts better and be braver.  i can work to notice miracles and good things and not be so critical of others.  i could be more forgiving and patient...maybe even smile a bit more.  dispense hugs more often. 

i don't do all of these things often enough and today i want to remind myself that all of these things are possible...maybe i need to keep a card in my pocket.

what would you keep in your pocket?

today on my ipod:  tell me true (sarah jarosz), that's where it's at (sam cooke), empire state of mind (alicia keys), if i die young (the band perry), i and love and you (the avett brothers), happy (sister hazel), hard to please (the weepies), constant craving (k.d. lang), doctor my eyes (jackson brown), dreams (brandi carlisle)

April 16, 2011

when good film ....

gets hacked up by a photographer that doesn't know her camera.....and then she takes it to a walgreen where it gets hacked even more.... this was shot on a pentax full manual, obviously overexposed and then apparently there were all sorts of light leaks.  this is black & white film made to be processed on a color processing system so i'm not sure where the blues and pinks come in except that perhaps the processor was not calibrated or the whatnot.  the more i stare at them, the more some of them appeal to me.  not in the hey, look what i shot way but in the weird, bad photography sort of way. 

April 15, 2011

digging ditches

chicago is tall, fast, windy and fun.  it is full of good food, taxi cabs, el trains and people who laugh at my accent.  there are rivers and buildings - tall, both old and new.  and i had a good time.  well, except for that sit inside while it's beautiful outside kinda thing.  and that whole cheerleader thing they do when we states get together.  trying to force ditchdiggers into superhero mode.  since when did it get to be a bad thing to do something well?  my daddy said, even if you're a ditchdigger you have to do a good job or the whole system collapses.  right?  on the boat tour wednesday, the guide told a good story about it.  it seems a while back, there was a company in charge of replacing pilings in the river system, they drove one set of pilings too deep and it pierced the tunnel system.  then, they didn't get around to fixing the hole (cost = $10,000) and let it go until the hole grew and burst into the tunnels, causing $1 billion in damage. 

see, proper ditch digging is important.  and admitting to your mistakes.

we were asked to come up with a theme song during the meeting....somehow the powers that be didn't like my suggestion of "jump in line"....but i'm rather fond of mr. belefonte. 

places visited:  the theater district, the navy pier, architecture boat tour, shaws crab house, monk's pub

items left in hotel:  pentax camera, shoes and 1 book (they are shipping the camera and shoes, i said they should keep the book)

books read on trip:  three (the gurnsey literary and potato peel pie society, staying at daisy's and the three weissmanns of westport)

today on my ipod:  grind me in the gears (edwin mccain), smoke gets in your eyes (the platters), dream a little dream of me (the mamas & the papas), stuck in a moment (u2), all in all (my friend steve), rebecca (pat mcgee band), broken (peter searcy), wanted it to be (sister hazel), all apologies (nirvana)

April 11, 2011

catching up

hello friends.  it's early monday and i'm packing to fly to chicago.  yesterday it was 87 here and i read that the high today in chicago will be in the 50s. brrrrr.

as usual, i will be stuck inside a hotel - this time with about 200 people as we struggle to understand how the new rules will effect the state and what we will have to do to make it happen.  oh, that exciting life of health IT.  how did a banker girl get wrapped up in all this glamor?  *laugh* 

these shots are from the last week or so - i think a combination of dashing out at sunset one day and going to the park another sunday.  there is just something dreamy to me about the pink cherry blossoms - they look like tiny cotton candy roses and i was tempted to snack on them...sorta.  the weekend was quiet....mostly.  friday night i had dinner under the lemon slice smile of the moon while listening to acoustic guitar players and chatting with friends.  saturday was spent cleaning and sunday was spent in errands and getting things done to being out of town.  excuse, but perhaps those in charge could squeeze out an extra day in the weekends? 

i'm still obsessed with reading - though none of this week's books were just superduper.  i've started a book page on my blog for those interested in seeing what i've been reading lately.  oh.....and i got these gorgeous felted roses from my friend suzan....i can't wait to make a beautiful pillow with them!  this shot doesn't do them justice but i wanted to leave them wrapped until i can do my work with them. you should check out her shop as she has beautiful things!!!

i hope you're having a beautiful spring! 

for some reason, this reminds me of the snake in jungle book.....what was it's name??  

April 3, 2011


life is getting in the way of blogging and photographing.  more to the point, work is getting in the way.  there are days that i envy people at home that can take time out during the day to write, to photograph, to visit.... but i know my responsibilities and what i need to do.  and being a bit envious of it all...well that serves no purpose.  so... just know i wish i was there with you exploring.

then the weekend comes and it seems that i work a lot on weekends too.  now i could fuss and kick and pout about that...but, believing in doing the very best - i can't leave what needs to be done...undone.  last week was testing - this weekend was doing root cause analysis about why our system didn't go live as it was expected.  *sigh*

tomorrow is taking care of contingencies and explaining to the powers that be why it happened.  in the mean time - i got to visit my girls for about an hour - they're getting over colds just like me.  i can't believe she's not a baby anymore.  she's not even a toddler.  she got her first official haircut.  i have determined i cannot blink anymore - i'm sure to miss something like a wedding or a graduation.

i hope my shutter finger hasn't atrophied.  hope you had a beautiful weekend.