Thursday, August 31, 2006

So tired

I've been in front of the computer all day writing about classified adds and the upcoming volleyball season.
Neither one of those stories flip my switch.
The good news is DH doesn't have to work his second job through most of the weekend. If we wanted to we could go hang out with the Beverly Hillbilly sister.
We have to weigh the pros and cons, pool verses well, you know.
I'll try to say more tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Another day / another layout

I am really pleased with this layout.
I do like the way it looks, love it, actually. But more than anything I am thrilled to have overcome the challenge of getting the paper to work for me. I knew the photo was a good match for the paper color, but I really didn’t know what else to do with it.
I like the outdoor, pond like look of the finished product. I didn’t journal as much as I would have liked to, but I’ll do some hand written journaling on the back for my own records.
I spent most of the day today waiting for volleyball coaches to return my call. I’m still waiting. I am supposed to be writing pre-season volleyball stories for the fall sports magazine. (I can here you laughing, really, it is not my style.)
I called the coaches last night and didn’t here anything back from them. But since today was short-day at school I figured I could get a response today. So, I called and left messages at the school.
I called one of them on her cell-phone. She answered but said she couldn’t talk because she was getting ready to go into volleyball practice.
So I waited.
I called the other one and left another message at school.
I called her at home.
I answered a call from my editor. He asked me to go cover a murder in Stansbury Park. Sure, I said, but I’m waiting for a phone call. He asked someone else to cover the story. I waited some more.
I am going to send e-mails to both of them tonight to see if they will respond in writing.
Meanwhile, I spend most of the day waiting around for the phone to ring.
You would think they would want to have their team written about in the fall sports magazine.
Now I find myself with yet another reason to hate volleyball. (Sorry Tracey)
I went to back to school night with the boys tonight.
The school library took the opportunity to have a book fair and I returned with two “Super Fly Guy” books and a “Sea World Tycoon” computer game.

Now I am just waiting to tuck in the boys. Greet David at the door as he comes home from yet another late night working two jobs then watch “Project Runway.”
I’ll bet you wish you were living my glamorous life.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A spelling miracle

Good news, Wyo. Sis has figured out how to access my blog again. She has been MIA for a few weeks and sincerely missed by those who get daily comments on their blogs.
I finally managed to work in home housekeeping yesterday. The kitchen floor is no longer really, really frightening.
I don’t ever really clean the house; I just have islands of clean. Today the island is the kitchen. It won’t last, of course. But now I can walk across the floor without fear of cutting my toe on a petrified Cheerio, the true test of rather or not a kitchen needs cleaning.
I spent the weekend working on projects for my ScrappinTrends design team assignment.
I posted one of the layouts yesterday. Today I’m showing off a card and a picture frame. Yes, Wyo. Sis, I framed a picture of “Bucky” to send to your daughter for her birthday.
The card idea was generated from watching “Project Runway.” This show is a reality program in which wanna be runway clothing designers are given challenges to design clothing.
The inspiration came from a recycling challenge. One of the contestants used newspaper, and I thought about what I would have done, and came up with paper folding. As a result, I did a fan-type fold on the paper for this card. It ended up rather Asian looking, which was not my goal, but I still like it.
I can’t post one of the layouts. I have been forbidden by my son to do so because he hates the flowers. He is approaching 12 years of age and is against anything that might even slightly be girly, embarrassing, or associated with family in any way.
He is, however, very pleased to be getting old enough to get the priesthood. He told me the other day he has friends his age who do not want to become deacons because they don’t want the responsibility. My boy lives for responsibility. It is all I can do to wrestle it away from him when it comes to parenting my younger son.
DS-A is fascinating me. He came home yesterday with a list of spelling words. My little heart sunk, I hate going through the spelling word battle with my DS-L. I hated doing the battle when I was a child. But I took the paper and asked him to spell the first word.
Hum, he got it right?
Maybe a fluke.
Second word, correct, third word, right on.
Fourth work “ankle” no way was he going to get it right on the first try.
“A ~ N ~ C er, no K ~ L ~E”
It’s a miracle!
I have a child who can spell.
He buzzed through the entire list with nary a problem.
I made him spell the list again for his brother. Then we did it again when his Daddy came home.
How did I manage to give birth to a speller? Genetics is a strange and wonderful thing.
DS-L likes math and DS-A can spell. Now if only they had inherited good teeth and eyes.
DS-L is also doing “chicken fat” in school, an exercise program geared to develop fit kids. I am so happy he is doing it, although I would have hated it with a red-hot passion when I was in sixth grade. He’s been a little achy this week as his muscles get an unaccustomed workout.
I suppose I should do a little “chicken fat” too. Set a good example and all that rot.
Or not.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Absolutely random

The problem with not blogging every day is I get out of the habit. So, here is another blog and an attempt to get back in blogging mode.
DH started his first week of school Monday ~ the same day he started training for his second job. He’s been gone from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. for days. I feel really bad about his miserable hours … and I miss him. So do the boys. A was crying when I put him to bed one evening because he wanted his daddy.
He has a nutty schedule this week too. He has promised to talk to his boss and explain to him that this is a part-time job, which means he can’t be working every night. He can work maybe three nights a week, if they are not back-to-back days. His body, his teaching job and his family come before the part-time gig.
I’ve put in a lot of hours at my job too, so we will be getting some healthy checks, the better to pay off outstanding bills. Usually we are scrapping the bottom of the barrel, financially, at this time of year.
I’ve been writing for the paper and scrapping for my DT assignment and LSS teaching projects. Meanwhile, the house has gone to pot. Monday I have to get up and just dig into it. I’ve managed to keep up on the laundry fairly well, but everything else is a disaster. I’m pretty sure one day won’t make much of a dent in the mess, but if I can muck out the bathrooms and kitchen I’ll be a much happier scrapper.
DS-A is already making his Christmas gift list. We have been getting fat catalogues full of interesting toys delivered to our house and he’s been wandering around the house with the publications tucked under one arm. So far I have been asked to get him a popcorn machine, a pop machine and “this little plane thing that has a parachute in the back of it, it’s sort of like a plane car”.
DS~L has put in his birthday request for a PS2 game and a cat. Not just any cat, but another part-Siamese part-Persian blue-eyed, female, kitten. That’s going to be easy to find. Not!
It looks like my camera is safely mine again. The newspaper has purchased another one. The other day I had DS-A take this photo of me. Then I got stupid and took some photos in front of the fan. I’m pretty sure I won’t be quitting my day job to be a model.
Boy is this blog scattered, but so am I. This is a lovely peek into my world today.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Boxing day

I have suddenly become the decoupage queen. The last time I did any real decoupage was when I was about 12 and made a garbage can for 4-H. Family members may remember that garbage can, it was wood, four sided and I covered it with images from cards. I remember one very cool card was a fold out with three young women in big dresses and umbrellas. I put one of the fancy ladies on each side of the box. I don’t remember what I did with the fourth side of the box, but I do remember being very challenged because I didn’t have a fourth lady.
If I remember right, the project earned a blue ribbon at the Lincoln County Fair. I have changed so much as I matured (not!)
Printed paper has always been interesting to me. This SEI is not exception. Isn’t it pretty!?
This little jewelry box is really quite small. I measured it against a juice can and the can came up to the second drawer. But I am delighted by the end result. DH dropped me off at JoAnn’s a few weeks ago when he went to the school supply store, and I knew the instant I saw this chest that I wanted to play with it.
In my usual cart-before-the-horse manner, I am just now thinking about what I want to do with it. I have narrowed my choices down to gifting it to a young female friend. (Can’t say more, they all read my blog) Or asking my LSS (local scrapbook store) to put it in her store, and put some business cards inside advertising my availability to scrap for hire.
If I chose the first I make a young female friend happy. (I hope)
If I go for the latter I have to make business cards and commit to being available to scrapping for hire.
I’m still not sure what I’m going to do yet.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Frog shots!

Good news! DH fixed the problem with my blog so now I can download photos. I can’t believe how difficult it is for me to blog without art. I am just so uninspired and the blog itself is rather dull.
It appears I have reached a new level in my writing I’m a writer / photographer dare I even say photojournalist? Naw, that’s to much of a stretch, I guess I’m just a writer with a great enthusiasm for photography.
As you can see, I have been taking frog photos. It was fun and creepy at the same time. I was sitting on the ground focusing in on jumping frogs while children stood all around me, frogs held in their cupped hands.
The potential for a frog in my shirt was pretty high. Fortunately I escaped the humiliation. I say humiliation, because I think I could have lost what small professional stature I have should I go shrieking and flailing in the lake.
I wasn’t the only one a little squeamish about the operation. The woman in charge of the frog jumping contest did plenty of hopping herself when renegade amphibian athletes took off in her direction.
I’ll be writing the story about the frog jump, cardboard boat race, et al on Monday.

Everyone will be back to school on Monday and I don’t know what to do first. I have a huge stake of “shoulds” including writing, bill paying and cleaning. A-7 just asked me if I was going to bring my camera and take a photo of him with his teacher on the first day of school. Of course I am! I still have the camera in my possession and I won’t answer the phone if it’s the Transcript calling until after I walk the boys to their classes.
A-7s teacher was a student teacher in DH class a few years ago. We have heard good reports about her.
One funny thing, while she was in DH classroom she did and experiment with dry ice and water. After she finished the experiment she capped the bottle and put it in DH closet. Later in the day, as he was teaching his class, the experiment “exploded” blowing the door off the metal cabinet. This story makes my chemist son A-7 very happy to have her as a teacher.
L-11 is very pleased because he has the math expert teacher. L-11 has been speculating all summer about how much he wants to be in Mr. R’s class. When he found out he would indeed be in the class he did a dance of joy.

DH is probably not quite ready to return to the classroom, although he is ready for summer to be behind him.
He will be starting training on a part-time job this week as well, so I suspect he is going to be very tired. The job is working the Friday night graveyard shift at a truck stop / convenience store. DH has plenty of convenience store experience, but I worry about him because he will be sleep deprived, which is never good for a person’s health.

I’m picking up extra hours too. We have a termite invasion to pay for, among other things.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Crazy, busy schedule

Today is the one day this week when I don’t “have to” work, although I do have notes from the cooking class I attended last night and “should” write them up while they are still fresh.
It’s been a crazy, busy couple of days. In order to retain possession of the camera, I have to work ~ a lot. Wednesday I attended the Business to Business Expo and the Taste of Tooele as well as the Chamber of Commerce breakfast on the fascinating topic of “business lending” Yawn.
Thursday I spent the morning writing those stories and went to a cooking class at the local grocery story to learn about Asian Cooking. Tomorrow I get to attend Stansbury Days where activities include a Frog Jumping Contest and Cardboard Boat Race.
Sunday I am teaching a class in Relief Society (the woman’s organization of the LDS church) about family and children. I had a lesson on faith all prepared for last week, but apparently I managed to get the dates mixed up and someone else was teaching the class.
Saturday and Sunday DH starts training for his part-time job working at a truck stop / convenience store. He will be working graveyards on Friday. Fun, fun, fun! He started back to school on Wednesday. We haven’t seen much of each other lately.
The boys start back to school on Monday.
Next week I have to write up the Stansbury Days story and the cooking story (If I don’t get it done this week) I also have to finish a 2000 word story about the Chamber of Commerce, research and write two stories about local volleyball teams and their starting season for the Fall Sports Magazine, and attend the Stansbury board meeting.
If I ever get papers from, I need to make some projects for my DT assignment. I also have another Ya-Ya class on Saturday and I want to make another project to advertise for classes in September.
I finally managed to get a photo downloaded. YaHOo.

Somewhere I hope to make room to paint the living room. The photo I did manage to download is one of the shots of the furniture as rearranged in the living room. Picture the walls sage green and the wooden furniture a combo of black and sensible hue and you get the general idea of what I hope to accomplish here.
If you don’t here a lot from me over the next week, consider yourself fair warned.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Bye-Bye photos

I appear to be photo jinxed.
Not only am I blocked from downloading photos to my blog. I don't even have a camera anymore.
Monday morning my editor called and told me the newspaper had been robbed. The theif took the cameras and lenses. The only two cameras spared was mine and the camera he (the editor) had taken home with him.
So this morning I relinquished my camera.
I get it back tonight because I have to work all day tomorrow at the "Business Expo" followed by the "Taste of Tooele" (I hope that isn't as scary as it sounds)
Thursday I am taking a free cooking class from a local grocery store and doing a story about it.
On Saturday I'm covering the frog jumping, cardboard boat, triathalon excitment of Stansbury Days.
It's going to be a crazy week. Made more fun by the camera relay.
Stupid thief.
The cameras have probably been pawned and s/he is just getting off a nice little high.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Holding pattern

We are experiencing technical difficulties.
Please feel free to amuse yourself on this link until the problem is solved.

I finally made it to Journeyman!

Click here to play Make-A-Word word game, and TRY to score better!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The fine art of procrastination

stoooped Blogger won't down load my photos! All I could get was this photo of DS-A in his fun-box. :-(

I have stories to write, pages to scrap, a lesson to prepare for church tomorrow.
I have piles of laundry, a dishwasher full of clean dishes and a sink full of dirty pans, and DS-L has a talk to prepare for church tomorrow.
So I did what any sane woman would do, I rolled up my sleeves, enlisted the help of my husband and children and re-arranged the living room furniture.
The furniture fairy (otherwise known as my Mother) delivered a truck load of chairs, tables and other odds and ends several weeks ago. I have been simply walking around the mess for days. But today I decided I couldn’t stand it anymore and put things in their place.
The theory was I wouldn’t put the furniture away until I painted the walls. However, money for paint is not in the budget this month, and it may not be there next month. Frankly, the furniture was driving me nuts. Now it’s in what I hope will be the permanent location.
In the process of moving furniture, I inadvertently created a “kid living room” where the boys can play with their PS2 with their friends. Now the oldest one is planning the sleep over for his birthday on Sept. 12.
After moving everything around I took photographs and did some digital painter. It’s not a perfect paint job, but it helps me get a better grasp of my vision, and see if it is something I can live with for more than a few days.
I kind of like the look. One funny thing I noticed after I “painted” the walls, the mirror is reflecting the old white walls. I tried to paint the reflection but it didn’t work very well, so I decided to leave it be.
DH and I went and bought a printer yesterday. As you can see by the box, it’s a HP. I prefer Epson’s, but we have been having problem with the ink clogging, which lead to the eventual death of the old printer.
The boys immediately compensated the box the printer came in as their official “fun box.”
If you don’t have young children, you probably are not aware of the “Fairly Odd Parents” song;

“Fun box, oh fun box,
small and square and dark.
“Fun box, oh fun box,
check out these cool fun locks.”

I’ll be singing it in my sleep.
The boys used a piece of Plexiglas and made a window in the fun box. They wanted me to post photos, so here they are.
DS-L suggested DS-A should wear a “fun box” for his Halloween costume. I like it.
Speaking of funny children, DS-A has developed a dread of thunder storms, and we had one last night.
The poor little monkey was so scared he was crying and had an attack of diarrhea. Afterwards he told me, “All my throw up went out my butt.”
Gotta love his way with words.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Random acts of thinking

The downside of my resolution to lengthen my stride and tighten my belt is I have too much to do and too little time.
This pack of goodies is a fine example. I was headed out the door for an interview (for one of the five stories I am working on this / next week) and found this RAK (random act of kindness) from one of my friends.
Normally I would come right home and get scrapping.
No such luck, I'm much too busy.
I'm struggling with the blogger right now too. It posts photos an a rather random manner, so I don't know which of my photos will actually work until I down load them. So I haven't proof-read this entry on Word Perfect before putting it on my blog.
While I am being random let me just mention a few random things going on in my life right now.
  • Our printer took a dive. So that's one more thing we have to buy. I use the printer a lot in my work, as well as in my scrapping ~ so while it isn't exactly a necessity, it isn't a luxury either.
  • New technology. I am not a technophobe, but I am a little technoweary. Really, why do I have to learn how to run a new printer? I am beginning to understand why my grandmother refuesed to learn how to use her new dryer and my mother is stressing over her new computer. There's only so much room in my brain for new information and the disk is getting full. I'm already deleting random files. I wish I had some kind of zip drive backup for my brain.
  • When we went clothes shopping I splurged and bought myself a pair of flair legged jeans. I love them, Stacy and Clinton were right, they do look good on me! But twice in the past week I have shut the pant legs in my car door.
  • I want chocolate and caffine. There, I feel a little bit better now.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Happy blogiversary

Today is the first anniversary of my blog.
In honor of this auspicious occasion, I am doing a year in review. (Cue violin music)
Walk with me through the misty water colored memories of the way we were.

I had planned to download photos for each month. Alas, blogger is not working for me today. Maybe I'll get it to work later today.
August 2005
Back to school
Soccer Mom
Katie and the bird in the basement
Pressed Sage

September 2005
Hurricanes Katrina / Rita
Oldest DS turns 11
Aggie van crash
Gold toes

Ya-Ya scrappers TP the house
My oldest DS gets his first pair of glasses
We haunt the house for Halloween
I compete in a pumpkin carving contest

Photo a day ~ I have a lot of art
Remembering books and learning to read them
Why I vote
The small miracles that make life worthwhile

Christmas lights
My 47th birthday
Playing with words
My youngest DS turns 7

The quest for a shiny sink
My pink fuzzy slippers
A list of my favorite movies
All that deep, deep, deep snow

My first design team assignment
My life list
The saga of the big chair
My first pea encounter of the first kind

A visit with the Red Hat Society
DS-7 wins the science fair
We eat at Virg’s
Rain, and snow, and sunshine ~ spring weather

Prizes from my Mother’s button box
Chicken and lambs
Spring cleaning
Easter with the family

DS-11 sings for his spring concert in the heart of Salt Lake City
I take some photos of my Ya-Ya girls
DS-7 discovers baseball
Musings on Dad’s Purple heart

So I’m white bread
It’s a cat’s life
Covering the high-flying wedding
My mother comes for a visit

We take a trip to Dinosaurland
Flags and fireworks
The death of our beloved Katie Cat
A visit with the Beverly Hillbillies

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sensible hues

I think I have settled on colors for my living room.
Drum roll please.
The colors I have selected are Sagey, Black Suede and Sensible Hue.
I pretty much have to use Sagey because of my on-line use name, Sage Hen.
Sensible Hue, on the other hand is a given because the name of the color makes me laugh. I know it’s an unconventional way to pick paint color, but it works for me.
Being a wordsmith, I have always been fascinated by color names and wondered who had the fun job of figuring out if a hue was Sensible or Cottonseed or Forest Ridge (these are other options in my color pallet)
The painting of the walls is a big event in my life.
I’ve been puzzling over the colors for the four years I have lived in this house.
Currently the living room walls are a nice, clean, boring white.
The room has potential to be quite dramatic. It is a good sized room with crown molding and a quality neutral carpet. In short, it’s a blank page.
For a long time I just used the living room as a large, neutral colored hall because I didn’t want to do anything to it until I had furniture I loved.
Due to the generosity of friends and family I now have a room full of furniture. While I don’t love all of it, I am pleased with several of the pieces and I can work with the rest.
But they don’t match. So the time has come to tackle the project.
I plan to paint the walls Sagey, and leave the ceiling and crown molding white. (Although I could paint the ceiling a sensible hue, the jury is still out on that decision.
I am going to paint the bookcase, and chairs black with a little crackle aging technique thrown in for good measure. I’m leaving the hutch alone, it is a sensible hue. I will paint the tops of the end tables the sensible hue too, except for the one piece which already has a nice light wood finish on the top of it. The bottoms of the tables will be painted black.
Pillows, accents, etc will include the three shades plus a little of the maroon color to mach the sofa.
If you know my mother, please don’t tell her I am going ahead with the project. She called me on Sunday with a long list of ways I could economize. Not painting the living room was on the top of the list.
It’s not that I care what she thinks; I just don’t want to hear about it.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Bucks and Blue Ribbons

I just brought home 57 bucks from the county fair. Who knew? I had been waffling for several days about rather or not I wanted to enter my scrapbook pages in the fair.
Risks: The pages would get beat up or lost
I wouldn’t win anything and be humiliated
I would win something and other scrappers would resent me
It wouldn’t be worth my time
My pages would be scrap lifted
Benefits: I get to show off my work
If I do win, I can do a little self promotion
On paper, the risks outweighed the benefits. But I decided to just go ahead and enter some pages, along with my lawn chair, based on the self promotion line in the benefit column. I need to make some more money, and one way to do it is to scrapbook pages for other people and teach some scrapbook classes.
I spent the Sunday before the fair going through my book, pulling everything that might fit in the categories and came up with 16 layouts to enter. The entry book said “only ribbons” would be awarded, so I didn’t expect to get any cash for my efforts.
On the Monday before the fair I spent an hour filling out all the little slips of paper and attaching them to my entries.
When I took my kids to the fair on Friday, L was very impressed by the “Best of Show” ribbons, but I didn’t see any of them attached to my pages. However, I was pleased to see three sweepstakes awards.
But today, when I went to pick up the pages, I couldn’t find my “Zoo Encounter” layout, until someone helped me. Sure enough, there was a comet sized ribbon attached to it (along with $20 prize money).
L was very impressed by my winnings. He sat right down with me and organized all the ribbons in piles, while DH and I ripped the comments off the cards and read them.
It turned out to be a fun little reward for my effort.
Comments included: “Love the idea! Very cute page”
“Cute picture, wow- awesome sewing loved it!” (this was attached to the “Act Like You Love Each Other” page)
“Very cute concept! I would have liked to see a picture of you on the page.” (as if!)
Mostly they liked the photography ~ the two pages I submitted with a lot of doodling were given red ribbons; they were the only red ribbons I received. Hum, I guess the judges are not in on the doodling trend yet.
Anyway, it proved to be a rewarding experience in many ways.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A pinch of this, a bit of that

You have before you another entry with a pinch of this and a bit of that. I should be working on some SB pages, but I am thinking about taking a nap. It is Sunday afternoon, after all.
Back-to-school clothes shopping was not the nightmare I expected it to be. I let L have his head a little, picking out his own clothes, and there was not screaming, crying or yelling.
But it did cost a bundle.

L is my classic kid. He went for jeans and kaki zip-off leg pants and T-shirts with simple stripes on them. A, on the other hand liked the jogging pants with stripes down the leg and T-shirts with graphics ranging from brains to a skeleton hand in a baseball glove.
You wouldn’t know to talk to A that he had this wild streak in him, but he does. He loves to cuddle with mommy, and he’s not at all outgoing or talkative, but he is always throwing, running, swinging and making that boy noise. You know the one, the shisss, pfhissh, shisss, sound of motors of speed or whatever it is.

We bought church slacks for the boys, too. They already have white shirts, but until now we have been making do with black jeans. Now they are wearing the official polyester permanent press knit pants of Morman males over the age of 12. L bought a tie, too, because in a little more than a month he will be 12 and will be ordained a deacon. He and his daddy decided he better start wearing the tie now, so he can get into the habit.

I took this photo of A this morning as we were getting ready for church. The marble chute is something his daddy brought home from one of his classes. A has been entertaining himself for three days dropping marbles down the pipe and knocking over various other toys.
I loved the way the light in this photo sets a mood.

This photo was taken Friday of the hobo spider in his web right outside our front doorstep. The bug guys pointed it out to us while they were here drilling holes in the walls. L was fascinated by the web. It is made in a funnel shape and the spider is down in the bottom of it. The spider is the black spot in the middle of the photo. You probably can’t see it really well, but I wasn’t interested in getting too close to take the photo.
Shortly after we took the photo, the critter was exterminated.

Tomorrow I go to pick up all my scrap book pages. I submitted 16 layouts for the county fair. I don’t know if there is any prize money involved, but I figured if I could get a few awards I could list them on my flyers for my free-lance scrapping for profit business. Hey, it’s worth a shot.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Brief update

  • The bug guys have come and gone. The basement bathroom is off limits until Monday and the rest of the basement is recommended limited exposure. I snuck down to check out a few things on my computer but no time to scrap or watch TV down here.
  • Last night we all watched TV while sitting on the master bed. DH had to try to sleep through "What Not to Wear."
  • I took the kids to the County fair during the height of the spraying. L got sick on one of those whirling rides. (Not that I blame him, I always hated those things!) He didn't throw up, but he was not in a good mood.
  • I won a few prizes for my scrapbook pages. I didn't have a chance to look at them closely, the kids wanted to go out to the carnival. I bought $10 worth of no refundable tickets and we still have $4 left. No chance we will get back to the fair. Oh well.
  • Today we go school clothes shopping and DH and L have already had an argument. It's going to be a fun day!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Boy in a hat

What is it about this boy in a cowboy hat that makes me want to take photographs? He looks so good in that hat!
DS-A was invited to a cowboy-themed birthday party yesterday and had his first rid on a horse.

It is rather sad, really that he hasn’t been on a horse before now. Both of his grandpas spent a lot of time on horseback. Grandpa L was completely horse crazy as a child and never really got over his love of the critter.

We have photos of DS-L riding Old Yeller, Grandpa L’s last horse. But he had to sell it when A was very young because of his health (grandpas, not the horses).

Cowboy hats bring back so many memories of my childhood. My father always wore a dusty, crusty, sweat-soaked hat when he worked the ranch. He used it to keep the sun out of his eyes while he bailed hay and fixed fence and walked the ditches for irrigation.
My grandfather, on the other hand, had quite a wardrobe of handsome hats. All of them were Stetsons. Every time he came to visit my family he perched the hat on a safe high place, and woe be unto the grandchild who should touch it.

Yep, he was a real cattlman, was my grandpa. He wore Stetson's and Pendleton shirts and thre was probably a specific brand of jeans and boots he wore, too, but I don't remember what they were. Having the cattleman wardrob no doubt save him a lot of fuss when it came time to dress. As for shopping, I don't recall him ever shopping for his clothes, that's why he had his wife and daughter.

As we are getting ready to go school shopping this week, I am a little suprised to see my DS-11 express an opinion of what he wants to wear. He has been planning his school wardrobe all summer. I sure hope we can find what he wants, because if we don't it will be a very, very bad day for everyone. Who told pre-teens they were entitled to have opinions, anyway?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Back in the saddle again

I’m writing a shorter entry today after yesterday’s epistle. I spent much of yesterday preparing for a birthday party my son was to attend on Aug. 2. Alas, somewhere along the way, I forgot yesterday was Aug. 1. I had him all ready to go, gift wrapped and supper on the stove for the rest of the family when DH (who is commuting to SLC for a few days to take some classes) arrived home and reminded me I was, in fact, a day early.
I still entertained myself with the way I wrapped the gift. The party is for the son of one of my Ya-Ya’s. She handed out spectacular invitations for the cowboy party and plans to have a pony at the event for the young buckaroos, so I had to pull out the stops a little for the gift.
DS-A picked out the present, it’s a cap gun revolver. I had to talk him out of buying the caps to go with it. Now days it’s a little dicey giving toy guns to children, but as his father is a horseman from the Utah boonies, I’m pretty sure we can get away with it.
I put together two 81/2 X 11 pages for DS-A school book yesterday. They were photos of him and brother on the first day of school, and him with his first grade teacher. That means I’m only about a year behind, because he will be starting second grade this month.
The pages are not spectacular, but they are done. I’ve been woefully negligent of my children’s albums since I discovered the 12 X 12 layout. The plan is to put all the “events” pages, birthdays, Christmas, etc in books for the kids. Each has their own school book where I (in theory) document each year of school with a few photos and samples of their work.
These pages are not works of art by any stretch of the imagination, so I have a hard time doing them. However, they are good pages to do when I’m in an artistic slump. They help me get the juices flowing once again, so to speak.
My boss from the newspaper called yesterday and I told him I needed to work more hours or I was going to have to find a different job. I told him I wasn’t threatening him or anything, just letting him know the situation.
He quickly told me I could have as much work as I wanted. They have had an intern doing a lot of the tedious beauty pageant, county fair stories this summer, which has been good for me in a way because it is so hard for me to get any work done with the family home. However, the intern will be going back to school soon, which should help.
Somehow in my fog of money woes, I forgot that I actually do have a job. (Well, actually I have several, but I only get paid for the one) What’s more, I know what I am doing, I have a college degree in the field and I am pretty good at it. I don’t know why this fact escaped me, but it did.
I don’t have to abandon the track I am on; I just have to step up the pace a little. I can’t tell you what a relief this was to me to realize I’m not going to have to turn in my notebook and camera (beloved camera) and work as a clerk in a drug store.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Starting now

July 2006 is not officially nothing but a memory.
Hip, hip, Horray!
I am now officially starting a new month, a chance to start with a new attitude.
Which makes me wonder why do we pick arbitrary numbers for ourselves to start projects?
“On Monday I will start my diet.”
“My New Year’s resolution is to exercise every day”
“When school starts I’m going to get up and clean the house first thing in the morning”
And for two or three days we do really well, eating vegetables, setting the alarm clock and walking around the block, making the bed and cleaning out the dish washer.
Then something happens to derail the plan and we are back waiting for the first day of School or New Year’s to get to work again.
I am a fine example of this fool-yourself form of procrastination.
I had plans for this summer, oh yes I did. I was going to paint the living room, refinish all the lawn chairs, bust out piles of scrapbook pages and enter them in every contest, publishing cattle call, and design team out there.
But on Monday, June 20 while I was in the shower I hit a bump in the road and never managed to get back on track.
What happened on that fateful hour, you might ask? That was the moment my Mother called and said she was going to come for a visit.
Now a visit from my Mother is a rare and wonderful thing. She never leaves her home to travel to parts unknown. I do mean never.
We put aside the schedule for the week and scurried around like ants getting ready for a visit from the queen, getting our house in order and arranging for our royal visitor. Shortly after she left we went on our little vacation, returned to the termite infestation, etc. etc. etc. and never really got our feet back under us again.
I don’t know why I didn’t just pick up my schedule and carry on in spite of the bugs, the visitors, the death of my cat and the month stretching on long after our money was gone. But I didn’t.
So here I sit at the beginning of another month with resolutions swirling around to:
get the laundry done first thing every morning,
and scrap the pile of commissioned pages for J ~ who will pay me for my work,
and ask my newspaper if they can give me more work,
and make up some projects to be presented for scrapbook classes,
and put together a flyer so I can pick up some more clients,
and get school shopping done,
and plan a weekly menu so I don’t spend all my cash going out to eat,
and pay the bills as soon as they come in the house,
and get in some exercise,
and back up all my photos,
and order some more photos so I can have them to scrap with,
and remember to pray, read scriptures and find time for myself.
The trick, I suppose (besides paring down the list a little bit) is to make the resolution to do this long list of things a little at a time a day at a time: without calling the game on account of rain, or heat, or phone calls from friends who are having troubles and need to talk.
I watched a program on TLC called “The Messengers” while the show itself didn’t impress me, one idea from the program did. Several people were sent to work on a farm then do a two minute speech on the topic “struggle.”
They all went different directions with the topic, but my mind went to the struggle of birth, of life, of death.
I thought of plants ~ as found on this farm, struggling to grow from seeds, poke their head out of the ground and grow in spite of less than ideal conditions.
I thought of the farmer who struggled to keep his plants alive, struggled to harvest them, struggled to sell them and struggled to feed his family on the small profits.
The show spoke of the struggle of emigrants who picked the crop ~ a backbreaking labor, for a chance at a better life. And I thought of Leonardo, a native of Ecuador, who recently opened a fabulous restaurant in our town. I interviewed him for a story about his business, and marveled at his tale of working 18 hours a day with two different chefs, and being thrilled at the gift America offered him of employment. “Since I was 17 I was trying to find a job,” in his own country, he said. But when he came to America he had no problem finding employment.
In spite of an accident that left him on crutches for four years and sent him back to his country, he returned, worked, and bought supplies for his dream restaurant until he could open it in a most unlikely location, in a tiny diner just off a round-about in a small town in Utah.
But his cooking is truly phenomenal, the best shrimp scampi I have ever tasted, (and I have tasted plenty!) He continues to struggle, working from 9 a.m. to midnight in his little dream restaurant. But it is his dream.
Today I get up with my long to do list and my short list of resources.
But I have a lot more resources than Leonardo of Ecuador, and a lot less in the way of obstacles.
Certainly if he can continue the struggle and the dream of raising his four children in America while owning and operating his own restaurant, I can continue with my own struggles and dreams.
The trick is, keeping my eye on the prize, and starting each new day as if it were Monday,
or the first day of August,
or the first day of school,
or a new year.