Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Have Seen...

Today I learned that a former student, and dear sweet girl died. Authorities are looking into the possibility of suicide. They suspect drugs were at play.

When I first met Ashley, she was 15 years old. She had run away from home, and she was scared. She walked into my classroom in the juvy looking as if she was about to cry and swearing she would never be back.

The problem was, Ashley kept running away. And when she ran away, she ran to the arms of a much older man who introduced her to meth. Meth took over Ashley's life.

And promise as she would to never return, the call of the meth was always too strong I guess, and Ashley was back time and time again. Each time she was a little thinner, looked a little less healthy, looked a little harder around the edges.

But inside she was still just a girl. When Ashley laughed the whole room lit up; she shined. Everyone seemed to love Ashley. She was kind, and funny, and wanted so badly to live a good life.

When she was 17, I wrote this poem for her, and a few other students at the juvy who were 'repeat offenders.' I was inspired by Allen Ginsberg's epic "Howl." And while this will never be anything like Ginsberg's literary accomplishment, I offer it now in memory of the sweet spirt I saw in Ashley.

May she finally find the peace she sought, and may her soul finally feel free. Rest in Peace, sweet child. You were loved.

I Have Seen

I have seen your generation.
I have seen your mind.
I have seen the best minds of your generation given over to self-despising, apathetic, complacency,
"This is how it is…
This is how it is…
It is NEVER going to change."
I have seen you walk in
Eyes glazed over and soul-less
A body of skin and bones
I have looked into you
And seen nothing but darkness
I have seen you eaten away by meth,
by an addiction you give your life for,
as you say
"This is how I am…
This is how I am…
I am NEVER going to change."

I have seen you cry.
I have seen you cry,
and I have seen the tears wash away the cloudiness.
I have seen the flicker in your eyes.
I have seen the fire in your soul.
I pray for the day you see freedom.
I pray for the day you fly.
I pray for the day you shout to the world,
"This is who I am…
This is who I am…
I am free at last."
I have seen the best minds of your generation.
I have seen you

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter

I hope you draw your world like Harold, with his purple crayon, only I hope you have a whole box of crayons…the big one with the sharpener, Crayola. ‘Cause they’re the best and your mama wants only the best for you. I hope you color your dreams in aquamarine, sunglow, timberwolf, cotton candy, and wisteria on canvases the size of Kansas.

I hope you stuff those little feet of yours in pink plastic princess heels and imagine yourself royalty, because anything is possible, and honey, when you dream, your eyes sparkle.

And then I hope you kick off those heels and sink your toes in deep oozy mud. I hope you search for worms and frogs, not ‘cause you want to kiss them and turn them into princes, but because you are curious just what this world is made of.

I hope you stomp those feet and say “no” like you mean it. Heck, I hope you do mean it.

I hope you give those lungs of yours a workout screaming “no!!!” because there is power in no and you are powerful. Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently. Not even yourself.

There is power in no, and there is courage in being different, and there is strength that comes in being you no matter what.

I hope you hug. I hope you hug and hug and hug some more. I hope you hand out hugs like candy; that they are like bandaids for healing hearts and mending broken friends. I hope you love without judgment. But when it comes time to pick the one you hug forever, I hope you pick one you don’t have to heal.

I hope you learn to sit by yourself, to be alone, to be at peace, to just BE. I hope life finds you many times at the beach with waves stroking your feet and God playing with your hair.

I hope you buy yourself some rose colored glasses, and if you can’t afford them, then baby, you can borrow mine. I hope in your eyes dandelions never become weeds, but are always wishing flowers. No matter how much of this world you drink down, I hope the glass is always half full.

I hope you laugh. I hope you laugh the kind of laughter with your best girlfriend that makes your face hurt and other people look at you like maybe you’ve lost it. They’re just jealous sweetie. They want that kind of light inside their souls too.

I hope you feel joy. Not happiness, though I hope that for you too. No, I mean joy, where warmth rises from your toes to your eyes and then radiates. Joy, where it feels like a thousand butterflies have simultaneously emerged from their cocoons into a fluttering mass in your chest. Joy, where you know you can be anything and you know true freedom in your soul. Joy, where you’re pretty darn sure that if only you had a set of silk wings, you could fly.

And when your wings tear and you fall from the sky, I hope you brush yourself off, sit yourself down, and start sewing. ‘Cause if there’s one thing your mama has learned it’s that there’s no point in crying about yesterday and it does no good to worry ‘bout tomorrow, so best get down to business today. Your wings doing have to be perfect sweetie. They just have to be yours to fly.

I hope you learn yoga, how to make chocolate chip cookies chewy, how to shoot a gun, and the art of not procrastinating on doing the dishes.

I hope you listen to your mother, listen to your friends, but most of all, listen to that voice inside of you.

I hope you sing.

I hope you dance. And I hope you don’t care if anyone is watching.

I hope you stand up for the underdog, stand up for yourself, and stand up for what’s right.

And when the world gets a little overwhelming, I hope you remember that nothing is as big as it seems, except for your mama’s love.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Let's Do 52 - Weeks 13 & 17

I went to the beach this weekend to relax, and ended up spending all day Saturday walking on the sand, collecting sea glass, and enjoying the wind in my hair. I got these pictures (and many more great ones) while there...

Week 13 - Connect
The place I feel most 'connected' with the earth, and the most grounded in who I am is on the beach, with my toes buried in the sand, listening to the waves roll up. Here is my 'connect' picture, showing just that.

Week 17 - Tired
Stumbling upon this little guy was a like a miracle. This baby seal was sunbathing, trying to find just the right way to get comfy with his driftwood pillow. He woke a bit when I walked up to take his picture (I got about 2 feet away from him), but as soon as I walked away, he went back to sleep.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Introducing... Mattsicles!

My friend Matt shared this oober simple recipe for popsicles. We dubbed them MATTSICLES! They are SO good, and incredibly good for you too. These one have 7g of protein each, and only about 88 calories. Awesome!

Here's what you do...

1) Mix one big carton of Greek yogurt with one sligthly defrosted can of OJ.
2) Pour into 3 oz Dixie cups. Put in a stick of some sort (I may or may not have stolen some coffee stir sticks from Starbucks, and broken them in half).
3) Freeze and enjoy!

Now I...Write: Hike-U

I am participating in a writer's workshop at Peninsula College with writer-in-residence Nancy Rawles. Its pretty exciting to be thinking about writing again, after quite the hiatus, and to be starting to dust off my pen and paper.

Today in class I was reminded of a form of poetry I know as Hike-U. Nancy Rawles referred to it today as American Sentences, and stated it was something Allen Ginsberg (who, if you're not familiar with him, was an amazing Beat poet) started. I figured there was no better way to get back into the swing of things than with a short and sweet one-liner. So here for your reading pleasure, two new ones, and three from years back...

Crickets chirp in the velvet dark, inquiring to the others' nights.

Chaos ensues around me, children screaming and running wild.

Eyes nod shut as the students grow weary of her incessant droning.

The digital hollow zero holds no solace – "no new messages."

Musty pages lock away secrets uncovered only in reading.

Poem @ 5th Coffee

Thanks to Tom for posting one of my poems up over at his site, 5th Coffee! Go check it out, and look at some of his other stuff while you're there!

Resurrection Rolls

I had never heard of Ressurection Rolls, but when I read about them over at Feathers from my Nest, I knew I had to try them on Easter morning! Basically, the rolls, when you open them up, are hollow, representing the empty tomb.

They really are quite simple. I followed the recipe from the above blog almost exactally...

You need:
Frozen dinner rolls
Melted Butter
Cinnamon Sugar

1) When your kids wake you up at the crack of dawn because the Easter Bunny came, stumble out of bed, and drop your desired number of frozen rolls on a cookie sheet. Make your tea, and wait an hour or so, or to around the time normal people (read: those without small children) are getting out of bed.

2) Squoosh (yes, that's the term) the rolls to be flatish circles. Pop on a marshmallow and bring up the sides, pressing them together at the seam to make a ball. Place the ball seam-side down on your sheet. Eat a few marshmallows. After all, if your kids are going to have a sugar-high, why shouldn't you?

3) Roll dough balls in butter, then in cinnamon sugar.

4) Let the balls rise for about 20-30 minutes, or as long as it takes your oven to pre-heat to 350 (because you forgot in your sleep-deprived state to preheat the oven). Pretend that is how you planned it.

5) Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.

6) Enjoy!

Let's Do 52 - Weeks 12-16

Here are my pictures from weeks 12-16 for the Let's Do 52 project being hosted by Paint the Moon. I'm missing week 13...just haven't found anything good for the theme yet, but when I do I'll post it!

Week 12 - Handwritten
Tabby is learning to write at school this year, and I love her writing, her spelling, and the things she deems worthy of writing!

Week 14 - Softness

What is softer than cherry blossoms? They are so beautiful, and they just scream (or should it be whisper? I somehow don't think cherry blossoms scream...) that spring has arrived.

Week 15 - Unexpected
Somebody put eggs all over our lawn a few days before Easter, and when we came home there was an unexpected egg hunt. I love this picture, as it shows the total and complete JOY on Zeal's face.

Week 16 - Refreshing
Little is more refreshing than a spring rain. Well, unless you live in Washington, and then spring rain is nearly constant. But still...something about spring rains is still refreshing. I love the smell right before rain, and the earthy scent after the rain.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Here's Some Logic For You...

According to Monty Python...
"If she weighed the same as a duck, she's made of wood. And therefore...a witch!"

According to the very educated and scientific website, Peep Research...
"Of course, Peeps resemble birds, and ducks are birds, and ducks float (and don't usually dissolve), and therefore Peeps should float (and not dissolve)."

So...according the amazingly brilliant, educated, and wonderful (oh, and did I say sexy?) Angie...
"Peeps float, so they're made of wood. Therefore they are witches."


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Pasta

Last night I grilled up a bunch of asparagus and chicken breasts. The kids turned up their noses. What?! So today I disguised the same food as this pasta dish, and what do you know...the kids ate it up! Since I was creating this as I went, I didn't get any exact measurements, but this is *about* what it was. :)

On a scale of 1 (uck) to 5 (awesome-ness!) I would rate this dish a 4! A bit bland, but that could easily be rectified!

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Pasta
6 spears cooked asparagus, cut into bite-size peices
2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 lb or so of pasta
1 c. chicken stock
sprinkle of garlic pepper
sprinkle of thyme
a few sprinkles of dried onions
1/3 c. sour cream
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
1/4 c. pine nuts

1) Cook pasta according to directions.
2) In a pan, heat chicken stock and seasonings over medium high. When bubbling, add chicken and asparagus to heat through.
3) In a large bowl, dump chicken mixture. Add sour cream and mix.
4) Toss in pasta.
5) Add parm cheese and mix thoroughly.
6) Top with pine nuts.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Foolsn!

My attempts at fooling the kids:

ME: When we get home we need to clean the toilets and mop the floors.
TABBY: Oooh! Can I help mom the floors?!
(April Fools fail #1)

ME: When we get home we're getting on pjs and going straight to bed! I'm tired!
ZEAL: (sounding a little bummed, but not too much) Oh. Okay.
(April Fools fail #2)

ME: You guys are growing too much. I'm not going to feed you any more!
TABBY: No! That's not nice.
ME: Yups. Only going to give you water.
TABBY: Oh, well if we get water...
(April Fools fail #3)

ME: We get cupcakes for dinner.
KIDS: Yum!
(bring them out and serve eyes light up)
ZEAL: (tasting 'cupcake') Mom, are you April Foolsn me?!
(April Fools success!)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Peep Peep!

I was wanting an Easter wreath to go with my cute nibbled carrots in the entryway. This was the EASIEST thing ever. Here it is in 3 simple steps.

1) Get supplies (wreath, Peeps, glue gun).
2) Glue Peeps.
3) Hang up.

So simple, even a caveman could do it. :)

Messy Monday

Today was one of *those* days and had the potential of going downhill fast. It needed turned around, and it needed turned around fast! So I dubbed it "Messy Monday." We ate dinner without our utensils (I really wished I had pudding, but alas, I didn't). I had thought we would use our fingers, but Zeal started right off by nose-diving into his noodles and using the suck-like-a-vaccum technique. Apparantly he didn't think my vaccum technique was very good, as he told me, "It sounds like you're trying to kiss your noodles or something!"

Then we painted with Peeps. As my mom said, painting with Peeps may be the only thing they are good for. The kids wanted to eat them, and despite my repeated attempts to disuade them, I came out of the kitchen from washing my hands to see Zeal's cheeks full like a chipmunk, and his lips covered in green paint. Good thing we used non-toxic paint. :)


Tabby and I were discussing surgery and I mentioned that usually you were asleep when you had surgery. Her response:

Tabs: "Do they give you medicine to help you fall asleep?"
Me: "Um, yes."
Tabs: "That makes sense."
Me: "Why?"
Tabs: "Because they can't have surgery at night because then they would all be asleep too!"

Friday, March 25, 2011

Nibbled Carrots

Tonight I dug out the Easter decor while the kids were watching a movie, and realized that I have a shamefully small amount! Like, we're talking my Peeps lights (which somehow survived my ex-husband, who threatened to throw them away each Easter), a mug, an ugly-as-sin stuffed Peep chick (which I'm totally happy Zeal has confiscated for his room), and some bunny crafts the kids did last year.

I was all ready to pull out my bunny paper and scrap some cool creation. But while I have a huge armoire and two big dressers of scrap-crap, I have ZERO Easter stuff. I kid you not. Not one bunny sticker, bunny paper, or bunny embelishment. ZERO.

This is probably because I don't really like bunnies all that much.

Anyhow, I decided to troll blog-land, and I found some uber-cute carrot crafts! Way cute, and yet they don't scream "EASTER!" quite like eggs and bunnies do.

I made one tonight, this great carrot picture from over at Positively Splendid. Hers is made with fabric and is dimensional. Mine is the dumbed down paper version, but I still love it. I also used another carrot for a simple background for my entryway magnetic board.

Next on my agenda are these amazing yarn carrots from homework. I can't wait to do them, but I need to get yarn first. Stay tuned for them in all of their awesomeness later next week!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Baked Flan

Yesterday I posted on Facebook, "My flan is wiggly" and I was surprised at how many people responded not knowing what flan was. What is flan? What is flan?!?! Only the most delightful dessert ever! Here is the recipe I use over at (which as I've said, is my cooking Bible).

It is succulent, it is wonderful, and it is smooth and creamy, and it is probably like 200 calories per spoonful. You'll see why when you see the ingredients. But it is WELL worth ruining your diet for.

My experience is that it takes longer than the 50-60 minutes to cook. I make mine in a loaf pan, and it took me about 90 minutes. It probably would have been okay at 80 minutes. Just keep checking it. A bit of 'wiggle' is okay, as it will set up more in the fridge.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Nummy!!! Mandarin Chicken Roll-Ups

Its been a while since I posted a recipe, and I love this one! These wraps make me think - SUMMER!!! They are so easy, super yummy, and the kids like them to boot. So here, for your taste buds pleasure, are my Mandarin Chicken Roll-Ups!

Mandarin Chicken Roll-Ups
flour tortillas - 1 per person
cream cheese
chicken, cooked and cubed - 1 breast should do about 2-3 big wraps
canned mandarin oranges, drained
canned pineapple tidbits, drained
cashews pieces
green onions

1) Smear cream cheese on tortilla.
2) Sprinkle a handful of chicken, a handful of oranges, a handful of pineapple, a handful of cashews, and some green onions on the tortilla.
3) Roll up and wrap in saran wrap.
4) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, serve, and enjoy!

Let's Do 52 - Weeks 10-11

Here's some posts for the Let's Do 52 challenge!

Feet or Fear
I LOVE this picture! The idea came to me while driving home and as soon as we got home I had to take the picture!

Power or Up
I took a bunch of pictures for this challenge, and I kept reverting back to this picture of my tree with new buds on it. It's my "up" picture...not because its up high or looking or up or anything, but because spring brings my *spirits* up! Every time I see a bulb poking through or fresh buds on a tree, or hear the birds waking up their vocal cords, I feel a little surge of happy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bring on the Rain!

I took down my Valentines Decor (finally!) today and needed something to replace it with. Its really to early for Easter stuff, and I'm not big into the shamrock and leprechaun things for St. Patty's day. I decided to go with the rainbow theme - a bit of St. Patty's Day feel to it, but also very spring-y. I grabbed the great rainbow printable from eighteen25, who took it from Rebecca Cooper. Print, frame, and there you have it!

For the little picture, I took a 5x7 canvas I had, printed an *old* pic of the kids playing in the rain (in Fairbanks!), and adhered that to the canvas. I then raided my ribbon stash, and made a rainbow edge. Add ink to the edges (blue, for rain), and you've got the finished product.

Simple, cheap, and cute!

And while we're talking about rain, I LOVE this song by Charlotte Martin called "Everytime it Rains." It's definately going on my life soundtrack...

Let's Do 52 - Week 9 - Play/Round

So, one of the points of this challenge is to take new pictures. But well, I didn't this week, and honestly, this is my blog, so I'll put up whatever pictures I want! He, he, he...

I took this picture last Easter. The kids were playing after church on the playground outside, and Zeal kept peeking through the holes drilled in the Big Toy. When I heard Week 9's theme, this is the first picture I thought of. So I'm using it! :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sage Advice

"i do not suggest hypnotherapy and lingerie from ebay.
by themselves or at the same time.."

My friend gave me this sage advice in regards to a solution to depression...
It made me laugh so hard that I had to share it with the world (or at least, with the readers of my blog).

And just an update, I am feeling MUCH better today. I think sometimes just coming out and saying, "Hey, I feel like crap" makes one feel loads better.

Let's Do 52 - Week 8 - Strength/Green

The theme this week over at Paint the Moon's Let's Do 52 challege is Strength or Green. Today at the park I had taken some really nice pictures of spring grass popping up and I was pretty happy with them. But then I saw this chaing wrapped around a tree trunk (I believe it at one point chained down a picnic table) and I knew I had to take a picture of it. It represents strength, both with the tree and the chain, and there's a bit of green too. :) I'm *really* happy with how it turned out...

Let's Do 52 - Catching Up Again (weeks 4-7)

I know...I'm bad. I have failed at my assignments for Let's Do 52. But at least I'm catching up! Here are weeks four through seven. Week eight will follow shortly. :)

I love this picture. This shows a perspective I love - looking at her from the side when she is full of joy. I took this today on the playground. My kids are such a blessing to me...

Delicate or Shadows
I'm not sure this picture totally fits the theme, but you know what? Its my picture and its my blog, so deal! :)

Obsession or Hearts
I took this picture of Zeal playing with his cars - an obsession of his. Here they are, all lined up and ready to race.

Handmade or Macro
So, I chose to do a 'macro' for this picture. I'm pretty sure that just means closeup? I don't know really. :) So here's a close-up of some moss growing on a tree.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Now I...Dance

I am going to make a confession that I am not at all comfortable making. I have been struggling with depression the last two months or so. You may be wondering what this has to do with dancing. Don’t worry…I’ll get there. Anyhow, I’m not talking wake up feeling blue deperession…I am talking knock me flat on my back depression that has had me in tears night after night (and day after day if truth be told). I have struggled with depression before, but never anything remotely close to this. And the strange thing is, this didn’t come on gradually. It just hit me like a semi-truck.

I was talking to a friend a while back and mentioned to him that I haven’t felt truly passionate –good or bad – about something in a long time. In fact, in my last blog post I talked about how my emotions have been subdued, likely as a coping mechanism for the pain I felt in my marriage (pain that I’m thinking now I have never fully dealt with).

During this depression though…well, I tell you…the last few weeks my emotions have been anything but subdued! I have been feeling raw pain like I can’t remember feeling in a long time. It hurts. I feel like pieces of me are being stripped away. I think the best analogy would be a wound that has a scab over it, and has for a long time, and the scab has suddenly been ripped off, leaving an exposed and bleeding wound. Like I said, it hurts. A lot.

Tonight I decided to go outside and exercise. A good friend had told me to get some fresh air to try and help with the depression, and my ex-husband always told me that exercise is good for the emotions, so I figured it couldn’t hurt, and just about anything was better than sitting inside feeling sorry for myself.

I took my i-Pod outside and started working out. I began by running. Then when my lungs felt like they were going to explode I walked. When I bored of that I did push-ups in my driveway. And then some warrior poses and downward facing dogs. But when the Bloodhound Gang came on I started shaking my stuff (come on, who can help it?!). And then one of my current favorite songs, Every Time it Rains by Charlotte Martin, came on and I danced. I danced like no-one was watching (which likely they weren’t), like no-one cared, like I was alone in the world just me and the music. I spun and plied and leapt around my driveway. And I felt good. I felt joy.

When the song ended I lay down on my cold driveway and watched the stars as I listened to some more music. A tear rolled out of my eye, and I realized there is really a thin line between raw pain and pure joy.

Today in church a man talked about having a broken heart for God, and that literally meant we are opening our hearts completely and without any barriers. To quote from a talk by Bruce Porter (found here), “When our hearts are broken, we are completely open to the Spirit of God and recognize our dependence on Him for all that we have and all that we are.”

Isaiah 61:1 says that the Savior was sent to “bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” (Can I get a resounding AMEN to that?!)

I lay there thinking about this, and then God spoke to me. He told me this pain is a gift. Crazy, right? But He said He will be there for me. And you know what? I believe Him. Because with the ability to feel pain, and with the healing He is going to help me though, I will regain the ability to feel joy too, and all the other emotions in-between.

And when that happens, my friends, I will truly dance.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Now I...Write

I used to write. A LOT. It started as angst-filled love poems, incredibly sappy, heartbroken and, in the words of one woman...trite. We won't get into that story. Needless to say, she was probably right, but I will never forget that statement or how it still cuts to the core. Eventually my writing evolved into works I was actually proud of. But what my writing has ALWAYS been is cathartic. When I write I feel like I'm taking a little piece of my soul and pinning it down to the paper, like one would pin a butterfly down in a specimen collection ( wouldn't THAT be a great idea for a poem!). Because of this, not only is my writing cathartic and very personal to me, but its also scary! Its one thing to write some academic string of words and be told its trite. Its another to put your soul and emotions out there and be called trite!

Anyhow, I used to write. And I used to perform. I would read at open mics and perform at SLAMs. I loved it. There was something exhilerating about putting it all out there. It was kindof like the academic, spoken-word variation, of stripping. I was bearing it all, standing there naked, asking for applause, but knowing the audience could just as easily boo me. There is a great song called "Breathe" by Anna Nalick that says this so perfectly: "If I get it all down on paper, its no longer / Inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to / And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd /Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud /And I know that you'll use them, however you want to"

For whatever reason, except on rare occasion, I haven't been writing for quite some time. In fact, its almost as if I haven't felt like I've been able to write. I could go into a long psycho-analysis here about why, and maybe I will in some other post... But as a teaser it involves a husband and learning to shut off emotions so things just don't hurt so bad. One can't just turn off pain, though. When you shut off one emotion you shut off them all. I think my emotions, which used to be so raw, so out there, so on my sleeve, have been dampered a bit, and with that, a bit of my spirit had faded too.

But anyhow - that is neither here nor there. What is important is that I want to write again. I want the words to spill from me like they used to. Right now, for whatever reasons, they won't. But I figure with some gentle nudging, a little poking and prodding, I can coax some of those words (and some of those emotions) out of hiding and onto paper.

Tonight I wrote this. Is it phenomenol? No. Is it even great? No. But its a start, and I'm happy about that. I chose to write in my favorite of all poetry forms - the pantoum, which consists of 10 repeated lines. This isn't a very strict pantoum, as you can see most of the lines are not strict repeats. The poem didn't turn out at all how I intended. I started it, imagining I was going to write a poem about the vast love that can be expressed in silences. Instead, well...instead I got a poem about endings. Hope you enjoy, and wish me luck as I try to persuade the words to flow from me as they once did...

Nothing – A Pantoum

He stares at me, saying nothing, yet
saying everything in his silent
between words.

There is everything in his silence,
and there is nothing.
Between his words
I see truth.

And there is nothing but
a quiet declaration of resignation.
I see truth,
a chasm between us.

He quietly declares his resignation.
His defeat and loss fill
the chasm between us
with velvety blackness.

Defeated and lost,
he pauses.
In the velvety blackness,
he stares at me, and there is nothing.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Scrabble Charms

Quite a while ago I had seen this great post over at Chasing Cheerios, where she used her kids' scaled down artwork to make necklace charms. I loved the idea! Unfortunately, the pictures on the link seem to be broken now, so you can't experience the awesomeness. Anyhow, Scrabble tile necklaces are all the rage now, so I decided tonight to try to make some myself.

First I did this one, with a pic of my kiddos, as a gift for my mom. This picture by no means does it justice - its actually rather cute. This was SO easy. I printed off a contact-sized picture of the kids that had plenty of 'white space' around the actual part of the picture I wanted as I had to cut the picture down quite a bit. I then used some 'Glossy Accents' to adhere the picture to a Scrabble tile and make it all shiny and pretty. I also used that to adhere the necklace-hangy-piece (yes, that IS the official name) to the back of the tile. Wait to dry, add a spare chain you have in your jewelry box, and you have yourself a beautiful gift, for less than $2.

I then had to try my own spin. I'd seen a similar type necklace at this great etsy site (I *so* want the 'read' earrings!), and decided to try it myself. I just glued the tiles together using the Glossy Accents, waited for it to dry, and added to the back. I am TOTALLY in love with this! I had to make one for my dear friend Laura too. I'm thinking next I may add a matching hair barette. So fun!

Valentines Boxes

Today I decided to make little boxes for Valentines Day goodies for the kids and my mom. I had found these little cardboard boxes for super cheap, decorated them up, and there you have it - cute V-Day boxes. Not that the kids will care, but Mom will hopefully like hers. Now I just have to figure out what to put in them!

Giggle of the Day

This car was parked next to us today when we went to Swains. We giggled and giggled because the dog totally looked like he was in charge and just waiting for whoever ran into the score to come out so he could drive off again. The pics not great - didn't want to look like a creepy stalker - but hope it makes you giggle too.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Now I Sing, and So Does Tabby!

Tabs saw my post "Now I...Sing" and wanted her very own post of her singing. So ladies and gentelmen, here is my budding star, singing a household favorite, Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree!

Now I... Sing

As promised in my post, "I Used To...", here is the start of my "Now I..." series of posts. I used to sing. In 8th grade my mom and I were sitting in the counselor's office trying to decide on an elective for me to take. The counselor mentioned choir and asked if I sang. My mom kinda laughed and said, "Maybe in the shower." That was it for me. My stubborn streak kicked in and I dug in my heels. I wanted choir. I took choir, and I loved it.

I continued to take choir in high school, and loved singing. I started singing on my own too - in church, at talent shows, and my favorite...the national anthem at the Tacoma Dome for the state wrestling tournaments.

In college I continued singing. I was part of a few different church worship teams, and sang the national anthem at the 'senior night' WWU basketball game (which is how my 'true identity' was revealed - Mr Viking couldn't very well sing with his mascot head on!). Even after I was married I sang, mostly for church things. And every so often Zack would ask me to sing to him.

Sometime around the time I moved to Alaska I stopped singing. I became, like my mom had said so many years prior, a shower singer only. And that has where I have remained. I enjoy singing, and will occasionally 'rock out' to a song on the radio, but I haven't really sung just for me (or for anyone else for that matter) in quite a while.

So in lieu of that, here is me...singing on completely embarassing! But, like my last post said, "What would you do if you were brave?" I guess I would post a video of me singing. Ha ha! So enjoy, or don't. Either way, know that its not that I "used to" sing... I still do! (Kareoke, here I come - it is one of my goals this year!)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

If I Were Brave

What would you do if *you* were brave?

Earrings, Take 2

Here's the 2nd pair I made. I wore them for the firt time today and got compliments! Fun!

Let's Do 52 - Playing Catch-Up

Soo....there is this photo challenge going on over at Paint the Moon Photography called "Lets Do 52." The basic premise is that there is a new photography challenge each week for folks. I got in on it a bit late, but here's the 'challenges' thus far:

1) What's Your Viewpoint?
2) Togetherness or Metal
3) Abandoned or Doors

I'm going to attempt to 'catch up.' Looking through all the other folks' pictures is a bit daunting because they are SUCH high quality! I've got a little point and shoot camera, I don't know how to use photoshop or any other photo editing software, and well...sometimes I kinda suck at photography. But I have to remind me this is a personal challenge, not a competition! And if the challenge helps me to grow and take better pictures, then its worth it! Plus, it should be fun!

What's Your Viewpoint
This is a picture I took when Dad and Lisa came to visit the first week of January. We were at Hurricane Ridge. I stood at the bottom of a hill to take this picture - I love how it looks like they're crossing a mountain peak!

Togetherness or Metal
I chose togetherness for this one, and took a sweet picture of my daughter and my hand. The photo isn't superb, but I do love that little hand.

Abandoned or Doors
So this is my son's boots abandoned by the front door. I took a bunch of these, but I like the angle on the picture the best.

This week's challenge is Blessings or Tiny. Stay tuned for that picture sometime this week.

I Used To...

I have been in a funk lately, down and out. This is not the way I wanted to start a new year, especially when I had such high expectations for 2011 (read about them here). As I said in that post, at the start of 2011 I made the decision to stop allowing life to happen to me, but rather, to make life happen for me! Unfortunately, I haven’t been doing so well with that thus far.

Last weekend I took the kids roller-skating. We hadn’t gone in quite a while, and it was a blast! When we were taking a slurpie break (gotta love the blue raspberry!) I was telling the kids about how when I was a teenager I used to be a really good skater, and I used to go every weekend.

Later in the week I was talking with a friend, and mentioned that I used to dance. I mentioned to someone else that week that I used to sing, and to another person that I used to write poetry.

I realized that is a lot of “I used to…” Unfortunately, I also realized that I don’t have a lot of “Now I…” I can give you a litany of excuses for this, some of which are really good and very valid. I am the single working mom of a four and five year old. Add to that some OCD tendencies and a desire to be perfect at everything, and you’ve got a woman whose time is generally consumed with work, raising children, and making sure the house and things are as perfect as she can get them with the remaining time she has. In other words, there just isn’t time for all of those things that “I used to” do.

I’ve also got a lot of not-so-good excuses too… I’m too old to skate, I no longer have the body of a dancer, there’s no reason for me to sing, and I have nothing left to write about. They may be bad excuses, but I have been using them anyhow.

The problem is, those “I used to…” things are the things that made me me. They are the things that brought me joy and happiness.

Last night I chose to get a sitter and go skating. Yups, by myself. Yups, at age 30. I think the average age at the rink was about 13, and aside from the guy working there and the 6-yr-old learning to skate, I was the only person on the rink on quads – everyone else was on rollerblades! But you know what, the moment I walked in and smelled that roller rink smell (is that a combination of stinky feet and teenagers who haven’t yet learned the value of deodorant?) I was happy. The freedom I felt when skating exhilarating, and I loved the speed and the grace of it. I felt like me.

So I have decided that I need to make all those things that “I used to” do things that “Now I” do. It doesn’t matter that I’m ‘too old’ to go skating – skating makes me feel young. It doesn’t really matter that I don’t have the body of a dancer – I have the spirit of a dancer. It doesn’t matter that I have nowhere important to sing – singing makes me happy. It doesn’t matter that I think nothing in my life is worth writing about – it’s worth it to me to write.

Stay tuned…I’m going to have a series of “Now I…” posts over the next few months, because like I said in my original post about 2011, I’m ready to make life happen. As a friend and coworker says – it’s time to kick life in the @$$. I guess that means I better get out my butt-whooping boots, and start dancing.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Wandering through the aisles of JoAnne's today I saw some beautiful beads and knew I wanted to do something with them. I've never done any beading before, but figured I'd give it a shot, and I got the supplies for some bead earrings.

Here they are. What do you think? Not bad for my first pair, if you ask me! Anyhow, these took me all of about 10 or 15 minutes, and when I priced it out, cost a whopping $1.60.

Squooshed Planter

I love, love, loved these banged up little planters over at Family Chic (which, by the way is one of the best blogs EVER). Plus, what better way to get out your aggressions than beating up things with hammers?!

I however, have a black thumb, so I opted for silk flowers from the Dollar Tree. Loving the bulbs better, but since I can't kill silk flowers, I'll be content with these.

Several nights ago I took my hammer to a can we'd used that night for dinner (black beans, in case you were curious). It was quite fun actually! I applied a few coats of purple paint that I'd gotten for free from some sort of online promotion months ago, and waited patiently for it to dry.

Tonight I added silk flowers and set it down with the rest of my entryway decor. Ta-da! Happiness in a beat up can for only $2. Now, can you really beat that?

Heart Art

I ran into this great Heart Specimen Art over at Embellishing Life, and I knew I just had to try it to add to my 'classy' Valentines Day decor.

Today during my trip to the Dollar Tree I found a great red frame guessed it...only one buck! I knew it would be perfect.

This was by far one of the easiest crafts I have done. The only 'issue' I had was getting over my OCD for long enough to accept that my hearts will not be perfectly and evenly spaced. :)

This is what I did...
As I watched 'How to Train a Dragon' with the kiddos I used my heart punch to make a slew of hearts out of some old book pages. I then hot glued a piece of tan fabric to the backing of the frame. Using pop dots, I affixed the hearts in as straight of lines as I could, leaving room in the middle for my bigger heart. For that one, I used a chipboard heart, which I inked red. Slip the whole thing in the frame, without the glass, and voila! Heart Art is born! Total time, about 10 minutes. Total cost, $1 plus random supplies I had on hand. Yes, this one was a success.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hair Clip Obsession

They are soooo cute, and soooo easy, and soooo tiny and precious! :)
I think I might be slightly obsessed with hairclip making. No pictures tonight, though, as some of them are GIFTS! Who might the lucky recipients be?!?! Hmmmm...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fun Little Bits!

I've been seeing all these posts on various blogs of folks making cutesy hair clips. So today when I was in JoAnnes getting a styrofoam ball (another craft that may not get posted - its turning out a wee bit ugly!) I picked up 2 bags of hair clips as well. Below is what I've made so far.

Here's my fav one in my hair... I'm calling it 'book love' - I just cut a strip from a page of an old book, and stuck a felt heart on it!

And here's the headband, complete with book page flower and sparkly ribbon! I'm not usually a headband type girl, but I kinda like this one! :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Spreading Love and Good Fortune!

When looking for additional things to add to my V-Day display, I found these cute little felt fortune cookies over at Martha Stewart's website. Now, I'm not normally a Martha type gal - way too complex for me - but these looked like something even I could handle.I didn't want to fill mine with goodies like she did, so I glued my edges shut and added a felt 'fortune.'

I made up 6, added them to a little purple pot, threw down a few more mussel shell hearts (I'm kinda loving those little guys), and ta-da! Here it entry way. I'm still going to make a topiary (post to follow at some later date), but that will probably end up elsewhere in my house.