Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I knew I was obsessed

It’s been a crazy day, so no photos for you, just a quick little update.
I took the boys back to the doc to see how they are responding to their medication. DS-12 is responding to his asthma meds, so it appears he does, indeed have issues. The doctor prescribed a daily treatment for him to take on a regular basis.
But the big surprise was DS-8. I took him in to see about rashes and allergies possibly causing tummy trouble. But I showed the Doc a scab on A’s forehead. The point was a rash around the spot where I had applied a band-aid, but the doc asked if he did a lot of picking.
Well, yeah, we are a family of pickers, after all. A does have a real problem with it, though; he always has a scab on his face struggling to heal against his busy little fingers. The doc said the picking was a symptom of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) connected with anxiety. His frequent bouts of tummy trouble could also be a sign of anxiety, as is his stranger danger shyness.
Anyone in the family identify with the symptoms. (You can’t see it, but I am waiving my hand in the air.)
I rather reluctantly accepted a prescription for his OCD and I’m going to give it a month to see if it solves some of my little man’s problems.
Meanwhile, I am self prescribing myself large doses of chocolate to battle the anxiety of my job.
My biggest gut eater is the fact that I am on the school beat and my DH is a school teacher. I’m constantly writing things I suspect will tick of DH’s boss. This is not really likely to cause peaceful feelings and calm nerves.
I’m wondering why I, with my inability to spell, my funky fears of things like talking to strangers, and my general anxiety, decided it would be a good idea to be a journalist.
Sometimes I wonder how good I would be at my job if I were not so neurotic.*

Oh my hell. I just looked up neurotic on Google to make sure I spelled it right, and this was the list of symptoms.
* ...anxiety, sadness or depression, anger, irritability, mental confusion, low sense of self-worth, etc., behavioral symptoms such as phobic avoidance, vigilance, impulsive and compulsive acts, lethargy, etc., negativity and cynicism, and perfectionism.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Guess the photo, win a prize

Okay, maybe I won’t actually give out prizes, since my Wyoming and Utah family are very familiar with the white stuff in this photo.
Yep, it’s snowing.
Which would be delightful if I had no where to go today.
But I have an interview in a lingerie store today and I have all that deep, deep, deep snow to shovel off the walk before I can go anywhere. The driveway is that undefined spot next to the white fence on the right. I know you can’t see it, I can’t either. That’s why I have to shovel it.
If I had my druthers, I would not be talking bras, panties and naughty nighties with some thin beautiful woman.
Instead, I’d be in my pajamas, up to my elbows in paper and paste (with a generous sprinkling of chocolate).
I know, I know, we need the water. But I am very ready for a vacation. How many days is it to Easter? The only problem with our anual pilgramage north for Easter vacation is Wyoming is not warmer than Utah. Is there any way we can move Wyoming a few hundred miles south during the Easter holiday?
Since I don’t have a scrapbook project to show today, I will settle for the obligatory cat photo.
Notice the look of intense concentration. This either means I’m eating something she wants or I’m dangling something she plans to rip out of my hands.

Monday, February 26, 2007

The rest of the cards

Really, I have nothing more to say. I finished the cards instead of writing news stories today. It was fun :-D

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Crafting UFOs

Mom called me this morning. She was taking a vacation from her scrapping project and decided to do some quilting.
While in the process of looking through her supply of quilt blocks, she came upon a set of 48 squares featuring flowers of the states. The blocks had been painted with Tri Chem liquid fabric embroidery paints by one of her four daughters. But she wasn’t sure which of us had done the painting and wanted to know if I would fes up.
Truth to tell, I don’t really know.
I do remember Tri Chem liquid fabric paints. I can still remember the smell and those ball-point tips that gooped up with paint with great regularity.
I can also remember the quilt blocks. My oldest sister made a set of them with embroidery floss, a needle and thread. I’m not really sure what happened to her quilt.
The idea that I would have completed the blocks, but never actually made a quilt out of them sounds like me. But then, it sounds like the rest of the family, too.
You see, I come from a clan of dabblers.
We love our crafts, yes we do! But there are so many projects in the world, we can’t do just one.
At this moment I could be:
Cleaning the house
Paying bills
Playing with the children
Writing a story about amateur radio operators
Making cards for DH school
Finishing the Dogg wedding album
Marking the Relief Society roll
Cleaning up the photos on my computer
Watching “What Not to Wear” ~ which I taped last night because I was watching “Survivor” with the boys because we missed it on Thursday because we were at a Cub Scout Blue and Gold banquet.
My world is a half-vast (to quote Wyo. Sis) land of UFO’s (UnFinished Projects).
I have plenty of finished projects lying around, too. Some I made, some made by other family members.
My kitchen cupboards are stacked with plates I made in college, I have a calendar featuring the cartoon styling’s of my younger brother and two of my scrapbooks were created by my mother.
In turn one sister had a set of bathroom curtains I made while doodling on cloth with embroidery thread and a second has a granny-square afghan, my first and last attempt at crochet.
If the kinfolk ever were to print up the “Family’s are Forever, that’s a promise, not a threat” family reunion T-shirts, our best bet for a successful event would be to rent out a Michael’s, put beds in the back rooms, computers and televisions in the front of the building, order out some pizza and play with the supplies.
Even the fringy athletic contingent of the clan could be entertained by a jigsaw puzzle or two … well maybe we’d better put up a basketball hoop for Tracey.

(Artist are, from top: KB; great-nephew Jake, great-nephew Mace, great-niece Abby, me, little brother). I tried to find some paper sculptures by Wyo. sister, but I couldn't locate any of them.

Friday, February 23, 2007

It's in the cards

While I was at DH school Wednesday, one of his fellow teachers asked me to contribute “something crafty” to a gift basket they are making to auction off for some fund raiser. I’m not exactly clear which fundraiser is to benefit from my work. But it’s something education related.
Anyhoo, I decided to make a set of cards using the Rob and Bob springy, girlish paper someone sent me a few years ago. I love the paper, but as I don’t get many opportunities to make anything springy or girlish, I still have quite a stack of it on hand.
I am making five cards with envelopes to match. I plan to make them blank inside and out, with the thought the recipient can send them for birthday, thank you, friendship etc. cards.
I’m not really much of a card maker, so this has been a bit of a challenge. But fun, too.
I have impressed myself with the use of flower and circle sequins (I bought from Wal-Mart many moons ago because they were springy and girlish and caught my eye) but haven’t much used them.
However, when I brought home a crop-o-dile I started punching holes and attaching eyelet to everything and the flowers seemed perfect for a little eyelet center.
I know this is a lengthy explanation for a simple card project. But I have to blog about something to keep my vast (*snort*) readership happy.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

It's not my season

I tiny tempest in the comments section of my niece’s blog today started me thinking about life and seasons.
Rest easy, K, I am not talking specifically about you, but the photo of your sick self sent me back 14 years to when I, too was suffering from a dramatic case of the sick. It was May 1993, I was living in Logan without a job, or a family, or any idea of what I was going to do with my life.
Not that I am saying that is what is going on in your life. I know you have both a job and great family of friends.
I had just gone through the temple on May 1 and traveled south to go to my friends wedding in the St. George Temple on May 9. I was sick when I went south, but I just kept getting sicker and sicker until I ended up with laryngitis. On the way home I was stopped by a cop and given a ticket because my car registration had expired.
In short, I was miserable.
One year later I was living in St. George, married to DH and pregnant with DS No. 1. We were both unemployed, and he was going to school. We are still paying off the student loans.
I was single for 35 years and I often wondered why (well I kind of knew why I was single) but why I had been given this lot in life.
But, being single did have some great moments.
The whole not having to answer to anyone but myself, having the house the temperature I want it to be, watching the television shows I want to watch, not feeling guilty if the dishes aren’t done at the end of the day aspect of single life still appeals to me.
Last night after work I had plans to settle down and watch LOST.
My children had different plans.
The kids want to eat every single day, sometimes three times a day.
They want to use the computer and get pouty when I’m using it for work.
They need help with homework.
Every night I hound them to get ready for bed.
Then I tuck them in, and last night I tucked them in again.
Just when I thought it was safe to watch the television the youngest one dashed to the bathroom with what he believed was a need to throw up.
So I spent the evening lurking outside the bathroom offering words of encouragement.
Do not get me wrong. I adore being married, I fiercely love my children, I can’t imagine life without my beloved companion by my side.
But every now and then I remember watching television shows without interruptions.
My life is always changing. Just when I think I’ve figured out what I am doing something changes and I’m struggling to learn something new.
Right now the something new is juggling my obligations to my children, my husband, my home, my job, my church calling, my hobby (attempting to become a profession) and myself.
I’m not doing a very good job.
I’m getting fat(ter) because I am not making good regular meals because DH is not home several nights a week and good meals are wasted on the children.
I am spending way to much time and energy on a job that uses my skills, but is not bringing in enough money to justify its existence.
The distractions from my job leave my children wanting more attention from me, and I slightly resent it, because I’m feeling pulled so many directions.
DH is not home nearly enough, he’s not getting enough sleep and I am worried about his health.
My house is a sty.
I do the minimum required of my church job and resent the weekly meetings because they take time I could spend doing something else.
My scrapbook work is at best uninspired.
We all need a vacation.
But it’s not going to last forever.
One day my children will be grown and I will miss them more than I miss my left hand.
My DH’s schedule will eventually settle down and he will be home more often. I hope so, because we all miss him.
I may hit it big in the scrapbook world, quit my reporter job and start resenting my hobby.
So many things can change in such a short period of time.
I guess this whole diatribe is simply a note to self.
This too shall pass.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

All that Jazz

I ended up going to DH school today to cover an assembly featuring a Utah Jazz player, Dee Brown.
First, understand I don’t give a flying fig leaf about basketball or the Utah Jazz. But DH and the school have been trying very hard to “earn” the visit from the basketball player, and they called my boss, so I ended up on Jazz duty.
I checked my children out of school early (I know, shame on me) to go to the assembly and sit by DH while I covered the story.
Imagine my surprise when I found myself impressed by this 22 year old 6 foot tall athlete.
For the record, I didn’t see him play. I was impressed with the way he talked to the students about the importance of setting goals, surrounding yourself with positive people and getting an education.
In spite of being quite small for a basketball player, he has managed to land a spot in the NBA. What’s more, he took his college scholarship and while knocking the socks off the basketball world with his ability, he took 20 credits a quarter and graduated from college in three years. He is currently 30 hours away from earning a master’s degree.
The young man really has a good head on his shoulders. I’m glad I took my kids to listen to his lecture.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Random acts of photography

Ginny plays hide and seek ...
And hangs out on the fringe of society.

Another scrap book page.
This one features princess Abby.

Timing is everything.
On the left A was in a good mood and willing to have me take his photo.
Not so much on the right photo.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Baseball and taxes

We ... that is to say DH ... did the annual visit to the accountant to see if we get paid or have to pay the government. They are paying us, thank heavens. I was sore afraid my “independent contractor” work coupled with DHs second job would put us in deep yogurt.
We get back about two / thirds of what I earned last year. Which kind of makes me wonder what the point is of my working?
But then again, since I work from home and earn peanuts we get to deduct things like the computer, some of the house mortgage, and even phone bills if I have the presence of mind to keep track of how much time I spend on the phone making or taking business related calls. As this will require a phone log, I don’t hold out much hope that I’ll be able to deduct any of the phone bill next year, but I am going to give it a try.

We ... that is to say I ... also registered DS-8 for baseball. He announced last spring that he wanted to play baseball, but as the season was half-over, we were unable to get him on a team.

In return for a $40 fee we were given this baseball shirt. (which, I noticed as I scanned it in, he has already smuged with dirt playing outside with his bat. White t-shirts for baseball playing boys, greaaaaaat idea!)

It will be interesting to see how he takes to this sport. He loves to catch and throw things ~ things like super balls, pencils, stuffed animals, hockey sticks ~ while laying on his back in the middle of the floor. I suspect this will result in him being a great outfielder. He's a lefty and he has a really good arm, but unless the batter is suspended in the air above him, I don't know that he will be mutch of a pitcher.

I am not thinking hours sitting in the sun at ball parks is going to be fun for me. But mothers do have to make sacrifices, and maybe it will result in a good scrap book page or blog entry.

It seems a most curious host of people are reading my blog, and not commenting on it. Today while I was at my scrapbook store, one of the ladies told me she reads my blog regularly. Hummmm. I have discovered my friends from my St. Geroge life read it, and now and then I get comments from scrappers I know via the internet. All this time I thought only family members were peeking into my life.

So, if you are reading this now, please just sign in so I have an idea who you are.

I finished another layout for my DT, this time I used my metal and rub-on embellishment. I like it a bit better than the first one, but I’m still not feeling in the groove with the papers. I do love the rub-ons, lace, and punch outs and I am working on making some cards using all the goodies in my box.
I’m feeling a little technique driven right now. I want to play around with hand stitching and paper folding and the like. I’m hoping all this experimentation will eventually lead to some really outstanding work.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Crop-o-dile to the rescue

I’m working on a design team project using very soft, feminine paper. It’s beautiful, but I’m flummoxed, because as you know, I am surrounded by boys.
The first page featured DH. I’m not exactly happy with it, but I think it kind of works.
I have been playing with photos of my absolutely adorable niece Abby, and I might end up doing something with her on a page.
But moments ago I came up with this …
I have some corrugated metal knocking around my scrap space from six months ago. I’ve tried to do something with it and it never worked for me, so I ended up hanging it up on my wall in hopes inspiration would hit.
Today it did.
I used one of the rubons, the metal, my spiffy new Crop-o-dile (a hole punching, eyelet setting tool) and one of the tags from the kit to make this piece. I don’t know if I’ll end up putting it on a card or a layout, but I love the mixture of metal and flourishes on it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

All Castle's Eve

Today was castle day, which means last night was castle eve, the night when mothers of sixth grade students throughout the land armed with glue guns, spray paint and hundreds of tiny rocks help their sons and daughters finish their castle making project.
I can’t complain too much, DS-12 did most of the project himself. He’s been carving foam core and taping poster board for weeks. (Which is not so good for the family room carpet, but I never have visitors down there, anyway)
We stayed up until 10 p.m. to complete the finishing touches, but his castle did turn out pretty snazzy.
Today I went to see everyone’s projects, and boy, are there some talented parents of sixth grade students. I saw pink castled and black castles and castles covered with plaster. Of course none of them were as outstanding as DS-12s project. I’m just saying.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Rugged beauty

I was driving home from a ground breaking ceremony last night and decided to pull over and take photos of a storm coming in through the valley. I was taking the back road and this is what I could see in every direction.

The photos do have some editing to cut out broken down buildings, sleletal remains of a creature at my feet and telephone poles. But life is like that, sometimes you have to overlook a little ugliness to see beauty.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I love this guy

I’ve decided to keep DS-12. Not only did he let me take this photograph, he cleaned both his bedroom and his living room and did a spectacular job.
It all goes back to the electric carpet sweeper DH gave me for Christmas.
DS-12 loves it.
He always has had a love / hate relationship with vacuums. When he was still small enough to push around in a shopping cart, he insisted we take him past the vacuum display at Wal-Mart every time we went in the store to pick up his diapers.
We gave him a toy vacuum for his second birthday, but an unfortunate incident with his cousin, wherein she had the top of her foot scrubbed off when her older brother set the vacuum on top of it, gave him a healthy fear of the machines.
I never could get him to vacuum.
But he loves the carpet sweeper.
I sure wish we had bought one for him, er, me, earlier.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Got it!

Thanks pudding!
I took your advise and went outside with a spray bottle to make droplets in order to photograph them.
Now if I can just remember the trick when it really rains.
The secret is out for Valentine's Day
I've been spending most of the day writing about the "secret" to a good marriage. Apparently you are suposed to be nice to your spouse.
Who knew?
It's more complex than that, or course. There's a bunch of advice about respecting each other, trust, love and commitment. But the basic rule seems to be "Play Nice."

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Can't catch a drip

A few years ago I saw a magazine featuring the most amazing photos of dew drops reflecting flowers in a garden. Ever since seeing these photos, I have tried to duplicate them, and have failed miserably.
Today I tried again.
We had just finished supper and I was clearing off the table. It had been a dreary, rainy day, but as often happens at the end of dreary, rainy days, the sun came out from behind a cloud and set the world a sparking with all the rain drops.
I had changed from my Sunday go to meeting clothes to my Sunday evening p.j.s, but I still scurried outside to see once again if I could capture the reflection photos.
I didn’t.
There must be some secret to the macro setting on my D-rebel that escapes me, but whenever I tried to focus on a drop, I ended up with a photo of the tree behind it.
Still, it is looking springish outside.
I am mentally ready for spring, but the community needs a lot more snow to get us through the long hot summer.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A numbers game

DS-12 just returned from a trip to Salt Lake City for the Math Counts competition. According to their website, MATHCOUNTS® is a national math enrichment, coaching & competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement.
He was on one of the first teams from Tooele County to join in this event. They did not do well, but he had a great time and brought home a cool t-shirt.
While he was gone taking tests, DS-8 convinced DH to put together the basketball part of the game table they were given for Christmas.
It’s just a little commentary about my DSs. The older loves his school and logic problems, the younger is all about throwing and catching a ball.
Meanwhile, I set the timer to clean the house for two hours. All I managed to do was clean the kitchen, (including the refrigerator) and that did not include mopping the floor. No wonder my house looks like a sty, I can think of so many things I would like to do in two hours, and none of them are clean the kitchen.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The cat's in the paper

I’ve been asked to write a story about “the state of marriage,” for the Valentine’s edition of the newspaper. (It is being published on Feb.13th) I was talking to my editor about the story and possible art when she said the photographer suggested something scrapbookish, like maybe some scrapbook pages and did I have any wedding scrapbook pages?
As it happens, I do.
Word up for the Bowldoggs, you are going to be in the Tooele Transcript on Feb. 13. I’ll buy extra copies for the family.
I’m supposed to get permission from all involved including the models and the photographers. If I don’t hear otherwise from any of you, I’m going to assume I have the go ahead to run the pages.

Meanwhile, this is my latest scrapping project.

This morning I heard DS-8 in the bathroom giggling. Then he came out and said "look what Ginger is doing."

I looked, and this is what she was doing. I had two instincts, the first was to strangle the cat. The second was to take a photo.

I am happy to announce Ginger is still alive.

I hope to scrap the photo of Ginger helping herself to the toilet paper sometime today. I’ve also sent a copy of the t.p. photo to stuff on my cat. It strikes me as the sort of thing they might like.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ice, ice baby

DS-12 is growing up and I’m not quite ready for it to happen.
Last night he was called at 4 p.m. and told the Boy Scouts were going to a hockey game at 6 p.m.
He was kind of dragging his feet about going, but I knew he would have fun, so I encouraged him to go, gave him $5, (DH gave him money too) and sent him on his way.
Actually, I sent him out the door about three times, I’m sure you know how that goes.
5:53 p.m. ~ he left to walk to the neighbors who was in theory going to drive him to the church.
5:56 p.m. ~ he returned and asked DH to take him to the church. Neighbor was running behind schedule.
6:07 ~ he returned again to change into his Boy Scout shirt. Apparently he needed it to get in the door of the hockey game at a reduced price.
He was home a little after 10 p.m. with tales of exciting scoring and two fights, one real and one pretend.
His school is sponsoring a sixth grade dance (I can’t say I’m on board with the idea, but they didn’t ask me, did they?)
The other night we had a long conversation about popularity and morality and the chances that one could be both.
Truth to tell, DS-12 does not have the stuff that makes one popular. I think he is handsome, but he doesn’t like to play sports and he is way to analytical / logical to play those flirty courtship games of 12-year-olds.
Rather, he observes and finds the whole courtship dance somewhat ludicrous.
The boy is very confident, perhaps too confident in some ways, but he just doesn’t get the whole social game.
He comes by it honestly. I am a born introvert. My newspaper background has helped me chat up strangers as if I am interviewing them, but it certainly isn’t my natural instinct to strike up a conversation.
His father confesses he was a wall flower while in school, too.
DS-12 is bright enough to know the whole teen-age angst won’t last forever. But it sill puzzles and saddens him sometimes.
It saddens me too. I wish there was some way I could send him to a school where everyone shared his same values, if not his quirky personality. But I can’t. And he has too learn the same way I did, that being cool is more than fitting in, it’s being comfortable with yourself.
Maybe some day I'll be cool, too