Sunday, August 29, 2010

Finished Piece

It's a beautifully quiet Sunday here, and I was able to finish my journal piece.
Without setting my alarm early!

It went through several transitions.

Adding blue, green...

Adding, adding, covering, layering...


Contemplation adds to the changes.

Thinking as I put it together..

About vulnerability, weakness,

weakness and strength.

That there are places and times for hallelujahs, and different times for quiet and searching.

I feel the piece is finished, but I am not finished with these thoughts.

Have a fabulous day!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I have been making an effort to MAKE time to work on this journal. Otherwise, it just 'aint gonna happen. I can hardly believe this, but-are you ready for this? I set my alarm a little bit early. Alarm and early just should not be in a sentence together. Please note the part that says "a little bit." Just 10 minutes. But it's a start and I kinda like it. I set my coffee the night before, and it's ready when I come downstairs. That helps.
And that I have only done this twice.

I started with a quote from this book:

It's the second time I'm reading through it. It seems like each paragraph has something for me to chew on for at least a week.
But after I wrote out the quote and thought about it all day, I wasn't coming up with anything.
Until I heard a new song by Amy Grant: "Better Than a Hallelujah"
The chorus rang true for me and has stuck for quite a while..

"We pour out our miseries,
God just hears a melody.
Beautiful, the mess we are
the honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a hallelujah."

I'm glad I printed it out-I realized I did it wrong in the journal!

This little bird was a Tim Holtz stamp, but he's no where near finished..

But the process will be good.

And it's a great thought to keep in my mind this week.

I'm turning in early...
Good night, all!

p.s. I was encouraged to link this to Inspiration Friday at Southern In My Heart. Stop by and take a look at what inspired others!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rediscovering the Art Room

Today I want to begin by thanking all of you for your comments. To be able to get through this crazy life with others is worth it's weight in gold. Yes, I was pretty frustrated the last few days. Thank you for commiserating with me. And, yes, there was humor in there, somewhere. There has to be. Otherwise I will sink! Sometimes this life is so ridiculous, we either have to laugh or cry. Sometimes both. At the same time.
Brenna has had an amazing two days of High School. There are the best people watching out for her. I am completely humbled when they tell me how glad they are to have her at the school and look forward to seeing her impact on the other students.

Today I am in Barnes and Noble working on this post. I have done my first day of driving Brenna to High School, driving back after lunch, picking her up and dropping her off at her old school, where, for this year she will continue her academics. (This will change by next year, as we are beginning to fundraise for the money to pay the salary for  a special ed. teacher at the High School.)
Anywho, it's 107 degrees today and I thought this would be a good spot to work on this post until I go drive to pick up Miss B. after school.

I kept walking past my art room today....

What a disaster!!!!! I have not spent much time in here over the summer. 
Lauren and I started some projects. 

We never got around to finishing them, though.

Brenna's artistic endeavors are all in here.

As you can see, I haven't quite gotten around to figuring out what to do with all of her projects.
I think that's what fall is for?

I looked at all the stuff piled...

Fits and starts of ideas...

Then I thought, this would be a great day to begin working on my journal again.
I have really wanted to journal lately. (Gee, I wonder why?)
I have a really cool journal that my sister made me for Christmas.
It's in here, somewhere...


The Alice is for ....I can't believe I will tell ALL of you this. 
It's for my first name.
Yeah. My dad was sort of old-fashioned when it came to names and he stubbornly held on to the belief that it was a "beautiful name." But my mom didn't care for it and decided I would go by my middle name.
As I got older, dad tried for YEARS to get me to go by my first name. He even bought me a mug with the name Alice on it. I let him keep it. Ah well....at least it makes me smile now!

My sister has a way with metal, don't you agree? 
I did do a couple of pages in this journal.

I have had lots of ideas of what could be put down on this paper....
But it really takes some time and commitment to begin a journal entry. And to finish it....well! That would be part of the discovery of what I want to put down on paper, right? 
But I am consistently learning that unless I make that time, I won't find it. Even if it's 15 minutes, it's a beginning and that's what is important. I can have the idea in my head (ha ha ha!!! like there's room!) and let it grow until I make my next 15 minutes count. Kinda like looking forward to dessert.
I always have room in my head for thinking about dessert.
But I think my rambling point is that it won't get done in 15 minutes, and that's o.k. I won't despair that I don't have time to finish, but rejoice that I fit something beautiful into my day.

So, here goes! I had enough time before driving to get Brenna to plop the journal on my desk-on top of all the stuff. (If I begin to move the junk I'm doomed. I'll think I need to organize it somewhere else and loose my time.) And I began my first layer.

Impressive, huh?
Not really, but I do have some ideas brewing.....
Have a great day discovering your 15 minutes!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

School Days....

O.K. I can report that I have both girls back into school.
I cannot say, however that I have been the calmest of people during this whole process.
Ask my husband.

Here is a rundown of the last few days.
Friday. Doug has to work all weekend, he can't help us move Lauren to school.
Doug doesn't have to work all weekend, he traded shifts and can now help us.
Doug has to work all work all weekend, they are no longer allowed to trade shifts at the last minute.
Doug will go into work EARLY and finish up in time to drive with us to take Lauren back to school.

Lauren needs her passport.
Friday she makes an appt. to get it renewed.(Might I add that this is the day before we take her back to school?) The post office does not like the birth certificate she shows them and is sent to Hall of Records across town, where she waits for 2 hrs. to get a different copy. She is very entertained while waiting, as there are several groups of people waiting to get married. Lauren decides that this is definitely NOT the way she wants to have her wedding.
She rushes back to the post office, opens her wallet to pay for the renewal of her passport and the woman behind the counter spies Lauren's old passport in her wallet. "oh dear." says the woman. "You all ready had a passport? I don't think I will tell you what you could have avoided doing this afternoon down at the Hall of Records had I known you had a passport......"

I can't really say I began Saturday morning well. It went something like this:
6:45 a.m. I hear weights clanking and it wakes me up. What??? What is Doug still doing home? He was supposed to go into work early to get HOME early.
I stagger downstairs and greet my husband with, "What are you still doing home?"
Unbeknowst to me, he was up half the night taking call from the hospital.
We have to take our DAUGHTER to SCHOOL.

Naaah. More like this:

Lauren begins packing Saturday morning.
We are leaving whenever Doug finishes work. On Saturday.
Did I mention she BEGAN packing Saturday morning?
Did I mention Dad also wanted her car washed before leaving?

Lauren and I pack up the car (after she talked Brenna into helping her wash the car) and I take one look at her shoe box and say, "did you go through these shoes?" No. "Let's do it now." Shoes begin flying out of the box onto the driveway and I manage to keep throwing out her shower shoes, which she keeps picking up off the driveway.

Doug gets home and we leave at a good time, and hit lots of traffic.
Lauren's dorm is fabulous, it is the one that got the make over during the summer.
She's ecstatic to see all her friends, her new room mate is a doll.
We put everything away and say to our eldest, "Do you want to get groceries?"" No... I can do that later." "Do you want to get dinner?" "No....I all ready made plans with my friends."
She has a car this year, can you tell?
So we left.

Sunday is the day before Brenna begins school. She is happy and excited. I feel like I will vomit at any given moment. I have scenarios of all sorts running through my mind. What if she gets separated from her buddy and doesn't know where to go? What if she whips out her cell phone and uses it? Where will she put her bag? Should she use a locker? It's all the way upstairs. No way can she get there and to her first class on time. Can she get to her friends on time and have a snack? Does she know where the bathrooms are??? What if she is exhausted from keeping up with "typical" students all day. It's supposed to be over 100 degrees today. Will she get overheated at lunch time?
You get the picture.

I snap at Doug most of the day, who graciously asks me if I need a hug. To which I reply, " NO."
Brenna goes happily off to bed and promptly falls asleep.
I do, eventually. Until 4 a.m.
Don't even ask what was going through my mind at 4 a.m. 
At those hours of the night, most people's thoughts aren't pretty.
I eventually go back to sleep and get up early and get Brenna up. (Her alarm didn't work.) 

She wakes up with a smile.
As we are leaving (on time!!!) I can't find my car keys. I can't find the spare car keys. The minutes are ticking away....no car keys. I am praying fervently to SEE the car keys and I hear Brenna yell, "Here they are, Mom!!" Sure enough right where I left them yesterday.
In the lock of the front door.

We make it to school in time and as Brenna takes a look at all the students in the main hallway she says, "Oh. My."
Her buddy is there and ready and willing and off they go, arm over shoulders to face a brand new day.

Maybe I'll go back to bed.

Friday, August 20, 2010

End of Summer

It is getting down to the wire around here.
My least favorite time of the year.
The end of summer.
The end of lazy days. Of sleeping in (a little). The end of trying to make large decisions such as, should we go to the beach today or just hang by the pool?

The end of hitting Starbucks with my girls on a daily basis. Watching funny movies together. Endless supplies of library books. Coloring and puzzles all over the floor for days. Bike rides on summer nights to get yogurt. Playing cards. Eating outside with the twinkle lights.
The end of a long day at the beach and no one wanting to leave yet.
Sandcastles, sand crabs and iced tea.
The smell of freshly dried beach towels.

Staying in a bathing suit all day.
The beach chairs off of their hooks and always at the ready.
Crickets and shooting stars. Splashing into cool water on a hot, hot day.
The smell of suntan lotion.
The end of not wearing a watch. Or make up. Or doing my hair.
The end of the four of us being together as a family, day in and day out.

Now it's time for packing up the eldest and sending her back to school on Saturday.
Wondering how she is adjusting, missing her laughter, her presence.

Brenna will begin High School on Monday. I had to throw out her old back pack. It was purple.
I don't clean stuff out really well the last day of school. I tend to chuck it in the closet and then panic two days before school begins that I haven't cleaned stuff out for the following year.
This year I found a peeled orange in a baggie and an old cereal bar. 
And some unidentified stain on the front.
Thank goodness she got a new, cool bag for school from her Auntie Carol. Brenna likes it alot.

Wish me luck through all these transitions. I don't tend to take them well and usually I'm pretty sad for a while. 
I think I'll keep my watch off for just a couple more days....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Babysitting A Labrador.....

We had so much fun babysitting, well, DOGsitting this past weekend!

Meet Roxy:

I know!! Isn't she just the best????
Miss Roxy isn't quite a year old and has WAAAAY too much energy.
But we helped her expend some of it.
And, yes. It was fairly early in the morning, which explains Brenna's p.j.'s!  (About 7:45. I hope my neighbors didn't mind too much...)

First, Brenna shows her the ball.
Second, Brenna chucks the ball as hard as she can into the pool, and Roxy makes a dive for it.
Make that launches herself into outer space.

In she goes!

the ball is retrieved, and her mission is accomplished.

Now to the business of shaking off excess water. None of likes excess water retention, right?

Roxy will now do this over,

and over,

and over,

and over.

Until half of the pool has been emptied,
or we are soaking wet,

or until we just say, "game over."
Then she gets very unhappy and just does NOT understand why she can't come into the house.

Happy dog!