Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ah, Nora

I'm a fan.

She's beautiful and has such a sultry voice!

This is her performance of "Man of the Hour"
as seen on the Tavis Smiley show.

This song is from her CD The Fall.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Book Review: The Relatives Came

I haven't made much time in my life for reading these days. Home improvement projects seem to be keeping my hours filled. But the other day I did take a few minutes to sit down with this 28 page picture book, The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant (illustrated by Stephen Gammell).

Why'd I grab this book off my personal library shelf? Well, a friend of mine was having a huge family gathering to celebrate two birthdays and the end of summer. She had so much planning and cleaning to get the place ready for the relatives and the big shindig. Her preparations made the title of this book come to mind.

But I think this is a whole different kind of story.

This book is a joyful look at the chaos and love the came together when the relatives from Virginia came to stay for a while. The trip was long, and lasted all day. But once the relatives arrived,
"Then it was hugging time. Talk about hugging! Those relatives just passed us all around their car, pulling us against their wrinkled Virginia clothes, crying sometimes. They hugged us for hours."

The illustrations in this award-winning (Caldecott Honor) book are just wonderful. To me, they look like colored pencil drawings, but it might be watercolor. The images are joyful with lots of little details to make you giggle, like the girl feeding her hot dog to the dog, or the grandpa spilling part of his dinner on the baby's head.

And unlike my friend's situation, where she had to get the house ready for the guests, these relatives came to help out.
"They helped us tend the garden and they fixed any broken things they could find."
The relatives stayed for weeks and weeks, and when they had to go home, they were missed. I wouldn't mind having a family like that.

But then, this is a work of fiction.

Highly recommended!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Secrets: August 29, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

These three secrets put a twinkle in my eye:

Oh, man. I'd NEVER be happy if this was my criteria!
According to my blog statistics,
I get very few visitors each day.

I use this as a means of self-expression.
Having other people read and respond is pure icing.

It's been great having the diagnosis.
At first, I thought it meant that
I had ANOTHER thing wrong with me.

Then I realized that the thing wrong with me
now has a name.

Better yet, it has a therapy.
Now I have a toolbox of strategies
to help me remain stable
and live my life.

The happiest things
tend to be the small things.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Easter in August

We've lived in our home for 17 years now. For most of those Easters, we've had an excellent Easter Egg Hunt each spring. My husband is the best at hiding Easter eggs. Challenging hidey holes, but still easy enough for the kids to find.

Our back yard is hilly. We've had railroad ties portioning off part of the garden area from the hill below. Well, this week we've been doing some major demolition in the yard, including removing those railroad ties. Guess what rolled down the hill when the wood was removed?

Guess this particular egg was hidden a little too well several years ago! Dare we look inside?

Ah-ha! This is from the year the Easter Bunny was on a healthy kick ... no chocolate eggs or Hershey kisses or jelly beans. This is the remains of pistachio nuts!

Oh, the things you find ...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another Sneak Peek

Here's another preview from Jodie's senior picture session #1.

Again, we won't be able to use this as the official senior portrait since it's in landscape mode and too much of a close-up.

Oh, my! But look at those eyes and that impish partial smile! This girl just kills me.

Pretty *and* Sweet *and* Smart *and* Good-hearted.

(ooops ... I sound like I'm bragging again)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Senior Photo Shoot Sneak Peek

Jodie is a senior in high school this year ... that means it's time for her to get her senior portraits taken. She asked me to be her photographer!

We had her first (outdoor) photo shoot last week. I've barely scratched the surface of editing the photos.

I do so like this one!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Facebook Status of the Day

Some of the status lines on Facebook really get me laughing.
I read this one in the morning.

It had me giggling off and on all day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Secrets: August 22, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

These three secrets gave me pause for reflection:

OMG! This SO reminds me of a friend of mine!
Is this yours???
(e-mail me privately!)

But the medication helps!

When I was little, every year for my birthday
I wished for a party with 100 people.
My siblings laughed at me.
I thought I might actually have that party
when I got married.

No sucha lucka.
Then I thought I might finally have my wish
fulfilled for my 50th birthday.

Only one sweet friend ever understood my desire.
I hope my wish comes true before my funeral.
I'd like to enjoy the company of my 100 guests.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Julie's Summer Break

My highly intellectual daughter, Julie,
made a trip home to Idaho from Pittsburgh, PA
where she's attending grad school.

She's majoring in modeling. This is her
"Really. Tell me what you want. I'm all yours" pose.

She's such a serious young woman.
Not an ounce of sarcasm or fun in this girl's body.

Just like her mom.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Simon's Cat Comes Back for More

Love this inquisitive cat!

I used to like to watch my kids play with cardboard boxes, too.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Helping Out an Old Friend

The best job I ever had was working in the Children's Room at the Fullerton Public Library. The work environment was wonderful. My supervisor was exquisite, energetic and dedicated. My co-workers were great. I learned a lot. I had a lot of fun. (I even fell in love!)

Because of that job, I wanted to become a librarian.

My plans to get a Masters in Library Science fell through. Life got in the way. (I fell in love again and had a family). But my love for libraries never died. I've worked in private business libraries, academic libraries, public libraries and elementary school libraries off and on - both for pay and as a volunteer - during my entire adult life. Online, I have a library of needlework finishing techniques.

Organizing and retrieving information is second nature to me.

So I've kept in touch with my favorite workplace throughout the years. Facebook has made it simpler than ever to read the latest news.

Unfortunately, with all the financial trouble California is having these days, the Fullerton Public Library is having some real difficulties. The library's acquisitions budget has been cut by over 90%. Therefore it has almost no money to purchase books, DVDs and magazines for the current fiscal year.

Patrons interested in helping can donate materials on the library's wish list through the Adopt-a-Book program in a variety of ways. The library makes it easy to help you pick just the right material for you to purchase. It can be your little way to help the entire community.

In addition, the Friends of the Library have some innovative ways to help raise funds for a variety of library needs.

The Friends have recently opened a used book store! It's conveniently located right across the street from the library on the northwest corner of Commonwealth Ave and Short Street. Current hours of operation for this summer season 2010 running through the end of September hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays from 10:00 until 2:00.

So now's the time to check your shelves and donate! Perhaps you have boxes of books you no longer need, are simply storing, but aren't worth the trouble to sell yourself. Donation has got to be more economically sound than paying for storage. Donate them to the Friends!

Books and other media in relatively good condition are wanted for their sales. Sometimes very old books sell if the topic is unusual or the book is out of print. One person's trash is another person's treasure so what you no longer want may appeal to others.

The Friends also have a bookshop on Amazon.com called Ostrich. The Friends list books on Amazon and sell to buyers all over the world. There are over 2,500 titles listed on Ostrich. This is the place to go if you are looking for the more rare or out of the ordinary book. Prices at the online store are competitive when compared to others listing the same item.

You can keep up with the Friends of the Library activities by subscribing to their blog.

Please consider helping out my long-time friends and the community where I grew up, either by purchasing books from their store, by donating new material they need, or by helping to spread the word.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Secrets: August 15, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

Only one secret caught my attention today:

I recently realized something. Now that I no longer value the opinion of one of my sisters, I've been much more able to trust my own judgments than I'd been able to do for decades! She had too much influence over my life.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Springtime Snowball

I'm really not tired of summer. But I seem to be wistful about other seasons today.

Springtime Snowball

Friday, August 13, 2010


This girl is known for the twinkle in her eye.
Wherever Jodie goes, Magic happens!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sunday Secrets: August 08, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

Today, these three secrets made me smile:

Love this sentiment.
Sometimes I see my daughters act this way.
Gives me hope.

I've been doing this for quite a while.
It's easier to do in my 50s than ever before.
What a relief to act on the outside
what I feel on the inside.

My daughters get the brunt of this.
In many ways, that's made life easier for them.
In other ways, it just proves what a big
pain-in-the-ass I can be.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Last week as the sun set over Post Falls, the entire cloud was outlined by the setting sun. The tree held the spotlight.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Remembering Spring

I love the cherry trees that line the sidewalk at the end of my block. The soft and bright colors set against the new blue sky are so welcome after the cold grays of winter.

Remembering Spring

Now, as the summer sun beats the energy out of my system, I gratefully recall the gentler hues of early spring.

* * * * *

Weekly Gratitude
For 52 weeks, count your blessings and document them once each week

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Riverfront Park

Last year Dale and I went to a concert put on by the Spokane Symphony. After the concert, we walked through Riverfront Park. Such a lovely evening. First, candy for the ears ... then the eyes.

Riverfront Park

On the left stands Spokane's iconic Clock Tower. The blue lights on the right form the top of the American Pavilion from the 1974 World's Fair.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pretty in Purple

I don't know the name of this flower, but a lot of them popped up in my neighborhood recently.

Pretty in Purple

* * * * *

Macro Monday is easy to play,

snap a macro (or close-up) photo,
post it on your blog
then go to Lisa's Chaos
and sign Mr Linky.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Secrets: August 01, 2010

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. I find it to be an insightful sociological experiment.

Today, these four secrets caught my eye:

So many people in the midst of grief
have heard these words.

They don't help and can often
make the pain more acute.

I give strangers sincere compliments
just to make their day.

Me too.
People that don't understand can be awfully cruel.

And then there are these not-so-hidden disabilities ...