Friday, October 28, 2011

October 22, 2011.
Lights and Darks -  Taking pictures in public places is still hard for me.  I mean, it's not hard when I'm at the zoo, or a tourist attraction, - but pulling out my big nerdy Nikon at the mall, grocery store or when I'm going for a walk around my neighborhood  makes me feel weird.  On Saturday, I braved looking like the neighborhood eccentric and I went on a hunt for a perfect autumn sky and silhouettes for my Picture Fall prompt.  I was lucky that the sun had come out late in the day, and I was able to capture some magical shots with  golden hour light as the backdrop.   

October 23, 2011.
Empty Tree - I was compelled by the gnarly bark and the bent branches of the walnut tree at the park. This tree, With nothing left to give, waiting for spring to breathe new life into it, in my mind, is still beautiful.
October 24, 2011.
First Day - I started my new job at Terra Greenhouses.  I left the house Monday morning with a gut full of mommy guilt.  Both John and I had thought that Charlie and Kenzie would be feeling well enough to go back to school by Monday.  We couldn't have been more wrong.   On Monday, both kids were still very unwell.  John stayed home with the kids, and I went to work.  After years of me being the stay at home parent, I felt guilty.  Both for leaving and being excited to get out.  
October 25, 2011.
Mastering -  I took this picture of the flags in the staff parking lot Tuesday morning before work with my iphone.  I'm enjoying the rhythm of my new job.  I don't know if it's the act of creativity, or the soothing rhythm of production, but I find arranging greens calming. 
As much as I love the work, I'm getting frustrated with myself for not being able to go as fast as some of the other ladies. I love learning, but what I've discovered is that I hate the time between learning and mastering.  Self awareness comes with age, but I probably should have realized this a long time ago there's been lots of proof: piano lessons, ballet lessons, T-ball, skating, knitting.  Actually, now that I think of it, photography has been one of the only things that I've stuck at.  Learning how to take beautiful images has been just as gratifying as the images themselves. 

October  26, 2011.
Fall Comfort -  Last week, I put away our summer clothes and brought our winter wardrobes out of storage.  I exchanged the bright pastels and crisp, clean whites for the deep, rich tones of fall.  I love wearing cozy sweaters and my favourite jeans, all wrapped up in Fall Comfort.
October 27, 2011.
BAM self portrait - Shower of Falling Leaves

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 16, 2011.
Date Night - Hubby and I had the best kind of date night.  We weren't overdue, we didn't NEED it.  We just wanted to spend some time focused on each other.  We simply made each other, and our relationship the most important priority for a couple of hours.

October 17, 2011.
Bounty - Inspired from my Picture Fall prompt, I mused about what was plentiful in my life:
love, pictures, worry, appreciation, praise, food, shelter, opportunities, mistakes, life lessons, grey hairs, health, time, understanding, Lego, role models, nervous habits, pride, music, friendships, peace, laughter, clutter, books, toys, questions, curiosity, inspiration, romance, family, common sense, kindness and of course, potatoes.
All in all, a pretty good life.  I have plenty to be thankful for.  What is bountiful in your life right now? 

October 18, 2011.
I'm Feeling Like Alice - Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.
"Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out of the way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the same common way"
-Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

October 19, 2011.
Big Day - I've been dreading this day for months.  I should have been dreading the recovery.   (By the way, that tiny little black in white in the bottom corner?  Counting that as my BAM, weekly self portrait.)

October 20, 2011.
Comfort -The Little Man is needing comfort.  The kind that stuffies alone wont cure.  Recovery been a rough go, and both kids are in more pain than I anticipated.  Helping them manage their pain has been my full time job.  Kenzie is old enough and stubborn enough to push past the pain and follow the doctors orders to drink often.  Charlie is stubborn too, but not in a good way.  We've had to literally beg, plead, threaten and bribe Charlie to swallow anything, including his medicine.  In his mind, it stings to swallow, so how could swallowing make him feel better. Poor babes.  I wish I could make it better.

October 21, 2011.
Serving Up Kindness - Being kind isn't difficult.  Accepting charity is difficult for me.  Not because I don't feel worthy of kindness, I do.  Receiving kindness makes me feel uncomfortable, kind of like when someone gives you a compliment.  It's challenging for me to just say thank you, and accept with an open heart.  This week, our family has been flooded with kindness.  With a heart full of gratitude, Thank you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 8, 2011.
Keep It Simple - The Picture Fall prompt was Keep It Simple.  Simple pleasures is what we were all about Thanksgiving weekend.  We went camping and I couldn't have been more thankful for the  blessings in my life.  Over and over I said to my guys, "We are so lucky, we have such a good life." 

October 9, 2011.
Strengthen The Things Which Remain - Summer is holding on a little longer.  When we saw the weather forecast, we just couldn't resist going on one last camping trip.  While we were away, The Little Man found a lonely caterpillar.  One of the things that Charlie and Kenzie like to do together is build small scale survival structures from Les Stroud's Survivor Man book.  A perfect place for a caterpillar to live for a couple of hours.

October 10, 2011.
Preparations - My Picture Fall prompt was Preparations.  We were asked to spend some time photographing our kitchen preparations.  I definitely didn't feel like cooking.  Instead, we got take out, but I did set the Conversation Starters on the table.  It's been awhile since I put them out and everyone enjoyed them.  Made take out night feel like a big family dinner.  Goes to show you that most times sitting together, talking and sharing is just as important as what gets served.

October 11, 2011.
Growing Brains - Thankfully, The Little Man likes homework.  No kidding.  I think he wants to be like the big kids so badly, that he embraces homework as a chance to grow his brain.  I love how this picture captures his concentration. 

October 12, 2011.
Father's Pride - Another homework shot, this time with Charlie trying out his Devil costume.    I love the look of pride on John's face. 

October 13, 2011.
Good Day Sunshine - Actually it's been raining here the last few days, but Picture Fall's prompt had us looking for sunshine today.  The wind and rain washed the leaves off the trees and made the sidewalk glow a golden yellow.  Using this one as my BAM, self portrait for the week.

October 14, 2011.
Champagne Birthday - Today is Josh's fourteenth birthday.  Fourteen on the fourteenth - a special year for him.  To celebrate, we had the family over for a party.  Party preparations took up most of my day - I always get a little worked up whenever I am entertaining.  Anyways, at one point during the party I stepped outside and noticed the pink sunset sky, and felt the hair on my arms raise a little.  Exactly a year ago, on his birthday there was another beautiful sunset.  A gift from the heavens, to a sweet special boy. 

October 15, 2011.
Mid Month Message - Going into the second half of October I know that my family is going to be pushed to the limit.  Both Kenzie and Charlie are getting their tonsils out.  Shouldn't be a huge deal, but the anticipation of my kids going under general anesthesia has me a little stressed.  I'm trying to be calm, but inside I am a wreck.  I have a few days of playing nurse maid to the kids, then it's back to work.  I will finally be starting the new job I blogged about a couple of weeks ago.  I know once the ball is in motion, we will be fine.  I will be fine.  It's the thought of all our upcoming stress that has me stressed!  My mid month message for myself is to "chill."

Friday, October 7, 2011

September 30, 2011.
Running For Terry - Tried to get a picture of The Little Man at his school's annual Terry Fox Run, but he wouldn't "pose" for me.  I think I like the action shot better anyway.  Terry would be proud.
  October 1, 2011.
Sweet Boys - Josh and Sam sharing quiet moment Saturday morning.
 October 2, 2011.
Curled and Cozy - I joined Picture Fall, an online photography workshop by Tracy Clark.  Today's prompt was to take a picture of the quintessential fall leaf. 
 October 3, 2011.
Hang On - Today's Picture Fall prompt was a beauty challenge.  We were asked to go looking for beauty beyond the brilliant fall colours.  I shot this vine on my rusty back fence.  The vine is hanging on as if to cling on to summer a little longer.

  October 4, 2011.
Morning Light - Charlie's Hot Wheel left on the deck's railing reminded me of spring days that we spent here together.
 October 5, 2011.
BAM - Who's That Girl? - I had my hair done last week, and went a little darker with the colour than I normally do.  I just can't get used to the new shade.  It's been almost a week, and every time I look in the mirror I am shocked.
 October 5, 2011.
Little Reminders - For today's Picture Fall prompt, we were asked to photograph a word or a phrase, a little reminder of how you want to be living your life.  I choose PLAY.  Remember a couple of weeks ago, when I said we had our last camping trip?  I lied.  The weather is going to be so nice, we decided camp for Thanksgiving.  The one word I want to sum up our weekend is play.
 October 7, 2011.
Subtleties - I collected all the different shades of red, orange and brown I could find to put together a monochromatic vignette.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandma.

 My daughter and I were chatting the other day about how often you should brush your hair. We both agreed that even though it's not recommended brushing 100 strokes a day, it just feels so good.  I was reminded of a time where my hair was brushed over and over again.

I remember sitting on my grandparents front porch.  It was coffee break on the last day of my week long stay with Grandma and Grandpa. I sipped my lemonade from the orange plastic tumbler, while she and Grandpa drank their coffees.  I sat one step down, between my grandmother's legs, while she brushed my hair dry in the summer sun.  I didn't have what you would call pretty hair.  My hair was wavy and coarse, a mousy shade of brown.  To top it off, literally, I had a double crown, so it looked like I had a small squirrel on top of my head.  Anyways, that day sitting in the sun, sipping lemonade, with Grandma, I felt pretty.  I don't know if I have ever felt more loved. 

I think about Grandma a lot but especially at this time of year.  Yesterday would have been her 88th birthday, but that's not why autumn reminds me of her.  Fall was Grandma's favourite season.  Thinking of the fall, without thinking of Grandma would be like fall with out the brilliant colours, or fall without the crisp cool temperatures.

With apologies to all the rock stars in my life - my husband, my parents, my children, my best girl friends, I am going on record as saying my maternal Grandmother is my all time favourite person.  If you met her, you'd know why.

She was born Angelina Tibando.  Being of Italian descent during a war where Italy was your enemy, couldn't have been easy.  Not one to hang her head in shame, Grandma signed up to help the war effort.  It was her army girlfriends who renamed her Cora - but I'm not sure why.  The army was where my grandparents met. Grandma had slipped and fallen into a mud puddle, and Grandpa helped her up.  They were married six weeks later.  

When I think of what love looks like, I think of my grandparents.  They loved each other beyond words.  You could feel their love when you were in the room with them.  When Grandpa died, Grandma slipped their love letters in his front pocket.  "Grandma," I said to her, "Why are you sending them with Grandpa?  Don't you want to read them?"  No, she wanted to send them with Grandpa, that way when she's gone, none of us would be able to snoop. I assumed that the letters were filled with cute little I love yous, but the way Grandma blushed told me I was wrong.

The other thing I remember about Grandpa's funeral, is that Grandma asked us not to wear black.  She herself wore a yellow dress, the exact same shade as a Black Eyed Susan.  Grandma was sad, but strong.  I knew that she would miss my grandfather, but I also knew that she was going to be okay.

Of course she would be okay. She wasn't about to sit around and wait to die.  Seriously, this is what she said to me when I remarked one visit that I thought it was neat that she was trying to root a rose she had been given.

I don't usually remember Grandma with sadness.  I miss her, but I know she would want us to remember her in her yellow dress, laughing, trying new things and exploring her world.  

me and my pet squirrel.

grandma and I at the "falls"

a love beyond words.