Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Happy List

  1. Kit Kat Bars.

  2. Instagram.

  3. Camping.

  4. Photography.

  5. Sitting around the dinner table with my family.

  6. Coffee with a friend.

  7. Clouds.

  8. Slow dancing with my husband.

  9. A day at the beach.

  10. The change of seasons.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 16, 2011.
For Life -   Did you know that morning doves mate for life, and return to the same spot year after year to nest?  I caught an intimate moment between these two.  Old married couple or young love?  Both. 

August 17, 2011.
Crime Scene - The mess under Josh's bed looks like a crime scene.  A Lego riot, with some minifigs horrifically dismantled. 

August 18, 2011.
Symmetry - Last week's Picture Inspiration prompt was about balance and symmetry. Capturing balance in a photograph was tough for me. I don't see the world this way.  My eye tends to be drawn to asymmetrical compositions.  I did eventually get this picture of The Kids running shoes, but I don't know if it screams balance or symmetry.  Maybe I will identify better with next weeks prompt. 
August 19, 2011.
Tilt - A busy day getting ready for a weekend camping trip left me frazzled and my nerves frayed.  I only shot one picture - this one of the fence.  I was uninspired by it so I played around with the editing.  Tilting the fence added interest.  After, I googled tilt - from wikipedia :
Tilt is a poker term for a state of mental or emotional confusion or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in the player becoming over-aggressive.
Yup, that was about how my day was going. 

August 20, 2011.
Learning to Fly - This cute little guy was tossed from the nest, landing right beside our campsite.  Mama bird watched as he hopped around a little and then made his first tentative flight to a low branch.  Way to go buddy.
August 21, 2011.
Back to Reality - We arrived home from camping to find our front window broken.  Good thing that my trip left me relaxed, refueled and able to breathe through life's little hiccups. 
August 22, 2011.
Uncertain - The Graduate statue stands outside the high school where two of my kids will be going in the fall.  I went there to meet with staff about my son's resource support.  I have my fingers crossed for a successful September, knowing that, even with all the preparations and plans put in place, it remains uncertain.
August 23, 2011.
TaDa! -  Nothing feels better than a project completed.  I finished my shower gift with days to spare.  The hard part will be giving it away. 
August 24, 2011.
A Day Without Colour - A collage of images from my morning photo walk, all captured in black and white. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Runaway Road

In 1980, my mom signed me up for the book of the month club.  I was part of a club - the Book Club.  I felt privileged.  I had bragging rights that a younger sister doesn't often get.  I was a brat.  But could you blame me -I was just so excited to get my books in the mail. The fact that they were hardcovers made them all the more special. 

Sadly, I was never really a book of the month club member.  Mom must have signed me up for the free, no obligation trial offer.  Two books were all I ever got to read. I remember the outrage when a third book came in the mail. 
"I bet they think that the books come and you will feel you have to keep them when your kid sees them.  That's what they are counting on."  Mom said to one of her friends on the phone, "Well, that's too bad, because it's going back!"   I thought she was all talk.  I believed that she would at least let me keep the third book, and cancel after that.  Nope, true to her word the mystery book was returned.  The third book was never taken out of the packaging.   

But it's the second book that I've been thinking about.  The second book I received in the mail was The Runaway Road, by Stan Mack.  The story is about the Puddle Family who are packed up and ready to go on their annual vacation to the mountains.  Just as the Puddles began their journey, the road had other plans.  Instead the road runs away and takes them in a new direction.  The road, who was  sick of the mountains, decides it wants go to the beach.  Metaphorically teaching The Puddles that life doesn't always goes as planned, sometimes even the deepest engraved routines change with life's winding road. 

I can relate to the Puddle family, change is constant.  And I can also relate to the road.

Just like the road in the story, I ran away this weekend.  I made the list, packed the clothes, the toiletries, the first aid kit, the grocerys.  I planned the meals and prepared dinners and salads, then I made a bee line out of town. 

I ran away because in order refuel for life, I needed to separate from it.  I left behind the distractions  - the drama, Gramma's half empty messy apartment, the uncertainty of what September will bring.   I left it all behind and found peace.  When we returned Sunday afternoon I could breathe again.  Ready to handle whatever changes the road may bring.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 6, 2011.
Him - My husband and best friend, all dressed up for a wedding.  I am a lucky lady. 

August 7, 2011.
Dried - One expected growth, change; without it, the world was less, the well of inspiration dried up, the muses fled.  - Charles de Lint
August 8, 2011.
Sad Pickle - At the dinner table Charlie took a bite into his pickle and discovered a sad face looking back at him.  "Mom, look at my pickle.  I found a face."  he said, "You should take a picture!"  Of course I should. 

August 9, 2011.
Worker Bee - Did you know that aerodynamically a bee shouldn't be able to fly.  It's body is too big and heavy for it's wings.  And yet a worker bee flies from flower to flower all day long, his leg growing heavier with pollen at each stop.  Just a random thought, from a random picture.

August 10, 2011.
Tall Shadow - If feel small on the outside, then step into the light.  You will cast a shadow who is tall and impressive.  Find the light and see yourself in new ways.

August 11, 2011.
Pocket Knife - We gave The Little Man his first pocket knife.  It was one that John found when cleaning out his Grandpa's room.  The knife is old and dull, but I was still worried Charlie was going to cut himself or worse poke his eye out.  Turns out he did get a tiny cut on his finger.  I found him hiding in the bathroom, his finger wrapped in toilet paper.  He was more upset that I might take his knife away than he was about the cut.  Secretly, I was happy.  The tiny wound taught him so much more than my warnings.  Some lessons can not be taught, some lessons we have to learn on our own.  Pain included.

August 12, 2011.
Another Beach Day - I can't believe we are halfway through August.  Four times while writing this post I have typed June, instead of August.  Summer is winding down.  Days at the beach will soon be replaced with early mornings and homework.  I want to press the pause button.  I want to hold on to days like this. 

August 13, 2011.
Birthday Girl - Today was Mom and Paul's annual corn roast/Birthday party.  This year was a special milestone number for mom -65!  My brother, sister and I gave her a train trip around the Credit Valley.  I think she was tickled with her gift, which came complete with a engineers cap and a train whistle.  TOOT TOOT!

August 14, 2011.
Messages to Heaven - At Uncle Gary's 10 year remembrance gathering, the family released balloons to heaven.  It was bittersweet watching the younger generation set their balloons skyward, sending messages to the man they never had the chance to meet.    
August 15, 2011.
Counting Rings - You can count how old a tree is from the rings on the trunk.  Today my mom adds another ring.  Happy Birthday.  xoxo

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

a letter to my mother

This post is an excerpt from the love letter I gave my mom on her birthday:

Dear Mom, Today as we celebrate you I wanted to let you know how important you are in my life. Happy Birthday. Just like it is hard for me to believe that my kids are growing up, it's hard for me to believe that you have reached this milestone. You have traveled sixty five times around the sun, and with each passing you have learned a little bit more about yourself, with each time around you have grown more beautiful.

There are so many moments in my life where I felt your love and pride. Moments where you made me feel like I was the most important person in the world. And today, I am wondering did I leave you with the same feeling? Do you know how much I love you, how proud I am of you?
I am proud that you let your emotions flow so freely. I am proud that you are the kind of lady who  laughs so hard she pees her pants.  When something sad touches your heart, you cry just as easily.  You live out loud.  Experiencing your life to its fullest.   

I admire how courageously adapted to the stages of your life.  Whether the changes of your life were new and exciting or challenging and difficult, you have met them with an open heart.  Always remaining optimistic about what the future may hold.

I am thirty seven years old.  An adult.  Gone is the mouthy child who thought she knew it all.  In her place stands a woman who still looks to her mother as a compass when making decisions.  A sail when she needs encouragement.  And an anchor when she needs comfort and stability.  Thank-you for these gifts.    I love you so much, xoxo.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer's Growth

Summer is the space between springs promise and fall's bounty.  Summer is the season to grow.
As a child I often suffered terrible growing pains in my legs, the kind that would wake you up from sleep.  My mother would give me a baby aspirin and tuck me back into bed.  I would whimper in my bed as I waited for the medicine to work.  This would wake my older sister.  She would get up and wrap my legs in the afghan that Aunt Marg knit.  As long as I could remember the people who loved and cared for me always helped me with my growing pains.

I have experienced so much growth this year.  It's not surprising.  My one little word for 2011 was thrive:
(1) to make steady progress; prosper. 
(2) to grow vigorously; flourish

Maybe I didn't think my word all the way through.  Growth often uncomfortable.  And while a baby aspirin and my legs lovingly wrapped in a blanket isn't going to help my growing pains, it is still my family that I am look to for comfort and encouragement.

When I was editing my pictures, putting together the collages for this post, I felt overwhelming feeling of love and pride.  Seeing us camping, at the beach or just hanging out together, I know that John and I have built a strong foundation.  A strong base that will support all of us as we grow and thrive.  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

July 26, 2011.
Gratitude - The air conditioning stopped working today.  I am so lucky that hubby is in the trade.  Within the hour, it was back up and running.  You would never guess the culprit: a fat caterpillar crawled inside the compressor and shorted it out.  RIP Mr.Caterpillar.
July 27, 2011.
Six - Things two things I want to remember: At six, he still sleeps with his blanket and Mr.Bunny.  At six, he drags these guys downstairs with him for morning cuddles.

July 28, 2011.
Craft Day - Today the boys made Sockies.  They have dreams of one day selling these toys on a mass market.  Watch out Mattel.

July 29, 2011.
Gold - My golden girl, in the golden hour at the beach.  Fills my heart.

July 30, 2011.
Spectators - The boys watching a game of ladderball at a cousins barbeque.  We had such a great time.  Okay, maybe too good of a time.  I swear this was in focus when I took the picture.

July 31, 2011.
Hangovers Suck -  geeze, what was I thinking?  Hangovers in my late 30's feel so much worse than they did in my twenties.  I spent the day in bed, Sam kept me company.

August 1, 2011.
A New Project - I don't sew.  Or at least I dont sew well.  But hey?  Why would I let little things like ability and knowledge get in my way.  Wish me luck.  

August 2, 2011.
Nightcap -  I took my daughter out to the movies tonight.  When I got home John and I had some quiet down time on the back deck.  A nice way to end the day.

August 3, 2011.
From where I stand - From where I stand it rained last night.  In my pyjammas, with my morning coffee in hand the air smells green and wet, this is my world, from where I stand.  

August 4, 2011.
Three boys, One frog -

August 5, 2011.
Sweet Tooth - Overheard at our house, "Mom, I hope that my loose tooth isn't my sweet tooth."  Love that kid.