Sunday, July 27, 2008

Moved camera

Ok, so no pictures....yet. Got all moved in and basically unpacked. Or at least the living area is unpacked. There are still boxes of books and craft "stuff" in my room to unpack. And we will not go into OD's room status. But since boyfriend will be coming for a visit in about 10 days, she has something more than "do your room" from mom to get her going.

Love the apartment. I really have to look to see another apartment from my balcony. This morning I walked out onto the balcony and looked at the little pond below and there was this huge blue heron. Way can't we locate the cameras! Hopefully, he/she will be a regular here.

My goal this afternoon, after I drop OD off at work and Texter back at her dad's is to come home and get the rest of the boxes unpacked in my room. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Created a Monster...or Rather an Artist!

I have been journaling for decades now (how sad/wonderful when you realize those years are actually decades). I have always had a sense of lust for paper and pens and diaries. Hand me a diamond from Tiffany's and I'll thank you nicely. Hand me a fountain pen or a journal with a leather cover and nice paper and I'll shower you with affection.

Anyway, my journaling has gone from a strictly written entry only, to art journaling, to a hodgepodge of whatever takes my fancy.

And I have never hidden my journaling. I journal at home in the privacy of my bedroom, at work between calls, in public at the bookstore, waiting for appointments, whenever and wherever I fancy. As a tribute to my boring life, no one has ever read my journal without my knowledge. And those who read it with my knowledge, were less than impressed I'm sure.

I talked openly to my BF about my journaling and as I got more and more into art journaling or decorated journaling and altered books, she got more and more interested. Hence, the monster was created.

BF has collected quotes for the past XX years I've known her. And with the internet and surfing, she has collected a lot of interesting images. From these quotes and images she has put together several altered books on various themes. her latest is "The Faces of Christ". She puts her work down, saying she isn't really doing altered books, (I am working getting her to "own" her art) saying all she does is cut and paste, there is not real art involved. I disagree.

First off and primarily, it fills a need in her. Like for most, if not all, of us, the act itself is therapeutic. We relax, rejuvenate, heal, purge, overcome, celebrate through whatever form our journaling or art takes.

She is creating something. Granted she is not creating the images or quotes themselves, but she is putting them together from totally different sources and combing them in a new form, ie, creating.

She has made "books" for some close friends (like me) and many for herself on various topics, but they are all very personal. What amazes me is how she can tell you not only why an image resonates with her, but also who the artist was/is who created the painting or other form of art whose image she used. The collage above was created from pictures of some of her different books.

There is also a thought process behind what she does, not just cut and clap like I do. She deliberately plans out where certain pictures go in relation to each other. Her remembrance of quotes is encyclopedic. She can pull appropriate message to go with the image or idea she is trying to convey out of the air.

So now when her hand tremors get too bad to cross stitch (and she is an award winning stitcher) she galls back on her books. When she has an idea or thought she cuts and pasts.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I'm so pretty....

Ok, I have heard a lot of different stories in my almost 29 years in the airline industry, most of which has been on the phones in reservations. I have been asked about discounts for prisoners being released from prison. Queried as to why they can't put their 6 week old baby alone on the flight to grandma's house, after all it will sleep the whole way. But today has made me laugh and smile and given me a new excuse to use in life.

A gentleman, who is an extremely frequent flier, called in about his wife's travel a few days ago. Seemed she was going to the Caribbean ahead of the rest of the family and had 2 suitcases, one of which was overweight and was standing at the ticket counter, moving items around, adjusting weight, so she would not have to pay overweight charges. Happens all the time. However, during this adjustment, the ticket counter agent remarked about the large amount of suntan lotion she seemed to have in her suitcases. "Well, after all, she was taking enough for the whole family!"

When she gets to security, she was apparently "targeted" for extra screening and had to be pulled aside and patted down. I apologized if this was inconvenient, however, their job is the safety of the entire plane and if there was something that triggered doubt, that was her job. seems his wife has this problem EVERY time she travels and it is always after she has dealt with female agents.....after all "she is too pretty".

Ok, folks, give me points for not laughing out loud over the phone. No giggles, snorts, twitters emerged until he was off the phone. At which point I lost it.

Now I know why the grocery store clerk bagged my eggs with my canned goods, that guy cut me off in traffic, and the item I wanted was sold out.....I'm too pretty! I am laughed about this all day. If you start saying it as the reason for things happening, you can't help but lighten your day. So now, when you get your hair done and it're too pretty. That dress doesn't fit're too pretty. No longer can someone just having too much going on it their lives be an excuse for bad tempers, after're too pretty.

So everyone...repeat after me....I'M TOO PRETTY! and see if your day doesn't go better.

(extra points are given if you say it with a straight face, no giggles and a toss of your hair or pouty lips)

Walking with a Purpose

I have been slack this month about walking. Between getting ready to move and the heat and humidity, both being in the 90's, my mileage has dropped dramatically. But once moved, that is going to change. I am right next door to a 2.5 mile paved walk around a small lake. No excuses then!

Two weeks ago, while on vacation and taking care of numerous little odd jobs, I managed to read up on some of the blogs I follow. &rew of Urban Paper Arts (who is fantastic by the way) is one of them. Reading one of his posts on taking a walk and photographing flowers inspired me to take a walk myself. Of course, I get this wild hair at 11am when it is already 90 degrees and 80% humidity, with the dog and my camera.

First off, it was nice to walk without poohing and peeing being the primary focus. Although it was midday and the light was actually too bright, I did take some interesting plant pictures (at least to me they are interesting). I looked at the pictures and realized I had focused on the "private parts" of the flowers.

However, after about 30 minutes, both the dog and I were dripping in sweat and headed back to the house. My next walk with a purpose will be for windows and doors I think. I have seen several postings of people on vacation and the windows and doors they saw on their trip.

One thing I did take a picture of is a fashion "don't" ..... plastic daffodils in front of this wonderful faux Victorian house. They have them all down the fence in front and red plastic geraniums in baskets by the front door. One day, at 430am, they just might disappear. I do know pooh when I see it!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Railroads and Rites of Passage

About 3 blocks from my soon-to-be-old house are the railroad tracks which cut through the center of town. If I take the dog out in the evenings I sometimes walk up that way and follow the tracks for a couple of blocks.
As part of my "walking with a purpose" I noticed a couple of the box cars recently had graffiti on them. with the heat of the summer you can smell the creosote from the cross ties and it took me back more than 4 decades to summers I would spend on the railroad - literally.
A brief family history...I should be working for the railroads rather than the airlines. My paternal grandfather was a conductor for IC (Illinois Central). His house was a block from the tracks in the town where he lived and we would stand on the sidewalk and count cars as the trains went by.
Then on my mother's side, her grandfather and uncle were both engineers for IC. Her mother and stepfather worked for GM&O (Gulf, Mobile and Ohio). My step-grandfather ran a crew which painted and repaired trestles in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama - in the back beyond. My grandmother was his cook for the crew.
Because they worked in rural areas for the most part, the railroad made them "camp cars" they pulled to where they were working and leave them on the siding. The camp cars were actually converted box cars made into living quarters. My grandparents had one car. Theirs had a small bathroom, double bed, small storage area and living/office space. then there was a dining car which had a kitchen area and a long dining table with benches. Besides a car to hold the work supplies, there was also a car for the men to sleep in.
This is where I learned to cook when I was only about 7-9 years old. I learned to cook for 12-24 at a time. My grandmother would fix a couple of different meats, 4-5 veggies (all fresh in season), rolls and/or cornbread and desserts. My "job" was to make the desserts and the Eagle Brand Lemon Meringue Pie was the first pie I can remember learning to make. I have to fix at least 1 every summer, if I can stop myself from eating the Eagle Brand milk right out of the can.
But one of those rites of passage we all go through in our lifes involved those camp cars.
There were doors, like regular house doors, on the sides of the cars where normally there would be the huge, sliding doors. And the steps hung from the car itself and for clearance purposes the steps where set up really high, even if you were a kid who was tall for her age. But at the end of each car was another door. I had to open one door, step onto the coupling (the thing which joins the cars), close that door and lean over and open the other door and step in. I knew I was grown up when I could open 1 door, lean over, open the other door and just make one step on the coupling to step over into the other car.
To this day it's harder for me to cook for 2 people rather than 20.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

When all else fails....

blame it on the dog.

My arms and neck are covered in hundreds of little, red, itchy dots. They came up Friday night, after I pet the dog on the couch. I am the only one affected in the family. I am blaming the dog. Texter took her for a walk and the dog charged through foliage of different types and I think whatever rubbed off on her, rubbed off on me.

Now there is only so much benedryl I can take and still work, pack, etc. So after taking OD to work this morning, I am going to run by the Doc in the Box and see if they can give me something for it. And stop and get cammimile lotion. And did I mention it's on my lower lip. I don't carry off the "pouty" look very well.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Tour de France

Today is the day.....Tour de France starts! My men in spandex for almost a month. A daily buffet of buff butts....I mean, great cycling!

I have NO idea why I have gotten so caught up with this sport, but about 5 years ago now I happened across it on TV and have been taken with it ever since. July finds me in front of the TV with all the dedication of the most rabid football or baseball fan.

This year, 2 American teams (a rarity for Americans to be there to begin with) High Road, with my man, George Hincappie, and Garmin-Chipotle (sounds like a Bobby Flay spice rub!)

There are no clear riders to root for this year, but just like I always bet on the gray horse in horse racing, I am rooting for George Hincappie and High Road to do well.

And don't forget some of the most beautiful country in the world they ride through. French countryside is lovely and if you watch the nightly show with Bob Roll on it, you can laugh away.

So it's July, my daughter's are shaking their heads and hiding at mom's little quirk.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Sometimes abundance is a burden and not a blessing. I started thinking about abundance when I read Patricia Mosca's posting to celebrate abundance.

I just finished clearing out a closet full of stuff in preparation for the move next week. I have a huge mound of odds and ends of sheets, fabric, sports equipment, quilting frame (bought at yard sale and never used) and tons of other stuff. Other than a couple of suitcases and Christmas items, things in this closet have not been touched since I moved almost 5 years ago.

So I am sending out my "abundance" in the form of Helping Hands Mission who will come next week and take away a porch load of "stuff" which can be given to people who need it or sold to benefit others.

My ship of Abundance is being sent forth to help others. I will be receiving in return less clutter and physical "stuff" to carry around. My lightening up my physical load, my mental load gets lighter also. But Patricia's drawing of abundance is prettier than this pile I have to get into trash bags onto the porch!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Drugs and Daughter and Live is So Not Fair

I had stated in an earlier posting I was no longer allowed (giggle) to medicate Texter because I can't tell the difference between benedryl and aspirin. If that is the case, then how come she gets all the "good stuff"?

Case in point....literally. When she got here a little over a week ago, she complained about a "pimple on her butt". I, being the loving, caring, kind mother that I am, told her "now you know what it is like to be a pain in the butt". Well, it was funny when I said it at the time.

Several days later, after she had gotten her eyes rolled back to a normal position in her head from my remark, she complained it "really hurt".

Now Texter is the child whose arm could be laying on the floor beside her, blood everywhere, and "oh, it's just a scratch". So I have learned by the time she tells you "it really hurts", it REALLY HURTS! (Of course, for paper cuts she needs 6 band aids.)

So off to the Doc in the Box we go. And here she gets to show her ass. In fact, they ask her to! Did I mention in order to go to the Doc in the Box she put on her jeans, which being a normal teenager are not a loose pair? Prone, on her stomach, on the "procedure" table she goes. Out comes the needles to deaden said butt. Out comes the "thingy" to puncture said butt.

Her complaint through this....SHE CAN'T WATCH WHAT'S GOING ON! I guess her future as an EMT is secure. From my point of view what came out of that hole in the butt should not have been coming out of any hole on any part of your body. Did I mention the doctor thought I was getting much to much enjoyment out of her "pain in the butt"? Hey, what's a little revenge when you can get it.

So big bandage goes on the butt. I got some of the industrial strength tape so I could change her bandage for her (see I do care). She got: (1) antibiotics (of course, the softball sized red area on her butt is why I brought her in to begin with); (2) her favorite, a pair of paper shorts to wear home that could have fit me, her and the dog and (3) so unfair, the davoset. I raised her, I'm taking care of her, I have to listen to the "it hurts to sit", why don't I get the painkillers?

Does this slow her down any? No, you can still lay on your side and monitor cell phone and laptop. Warning however, she did take a picture of her "wound" on her cell phone. Be thankful she does not have your phone number!