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October 2008

a little of this, a little of that ...

i have been SO out of the blogging loop lately. my mind has been so preoccupied that my normal nearly constant stream-of-consciousness internal blogging has been silent. i hear the kids say something funny and think, "i should write that out." or a thought crosses my mind about something that normally i would come here to write about, but i haven't had any of those thoughts.

but i'm determined to find it again. fall is here, it's my favorite time of the year, i'm slogging through four years' worth of christmas magazines and creating a binder of all the ideas i want to keep for future reference (ie that stack is getting ripped! up! and recycled ... i'm all about the PURGE, baby!), and i'm in "nest" mode. the house is in need of serious attention and some rather giddy slash-and-burn of all the extra stuff. today? unrolled a gorgeous persian rug that we bought almost 10 years ago off ebay - but haven't used for the past year - in the dining room, moved the furniture back in, and i found all the amber lusterware in a box in the garage that i have seen since we moved here four years ago and set it out. the room just glows with warmth and autumn colors now, and it made me so happy. silly, really, but it did. and it reminded me that it's the little things that make life calm.

so here are a few of the little things in my mind today, making me smile:

1. made this for dinner the other night. heated up the leftovers for dinner tonight, and while it tasted even better two days later, the smell was horrid. oh my gosh. even henry - who smells worse at times then any human should - commented on it. that's bad. but the meal was still delicious, so i know i'll submit our air quality to it again at some point.

2. harper desperately wants this costume for halloween. but the price tag? um, no. so we're heading to the fabric store this week and i'll see what i can do. i'm sure there will be face painting involved on halloween night, but she'll be so excited. the girlier and glitterier the better for this little dear of mine.

3. the debate last night. while i was hoping for a greater slam-dunk from obama, i was shocked this morning when i heard independents and "leaning" voters favored him 2-1. wow! i think i wasn't as sure about it because his rhetoric, which is normally so inspiring, wasn't really there. then i started hearing all the pundits talk (the blue AND red ones) and they said that he won BECAUSE he spoke not like a law professor, but like a take-charge and cool-headed leader. he didn't put people off by being overly intellectual, and he didn't let all of mccain's condescending barbs get to him. then i watched all of the exit interviews with joe biden, which leads me to ...

i admit it: i have a crush. he's smart, he's snarky, for an older gentlemen he's pretty darn hot, and he puts the facts out there for the everyday man and woman. i admire him, and can't wait to see him and obama working together to bring some order to the chaos of the past eight years.

5. did you hear tim burton' is doing "alice in wonderland" and johnny depp (of course ... it's tim burton!) is playing the mad hatter?! (also, of course ... who else would he play??) brilliant. i can't wait.

6. grey's anatomy. i'm just over halfway through season four and am DYING to get to the premier from thursday. there just aren't enough hours! and honestly ... the music loop from the menu is starting to drive me crazy, so i'll end this now so i can get another one done before bed.

tomorrow there are projects. gotta hang some shelves in the kitchen. gotta hang some picture ledges in the family room. gotta clear out half the toys in the sun room. and church. harper wants to go to sunday school (presumably to wear a dress, but whatever), so we're off. we need to; it's been awhile. and groceries ... at some point we need groceries. and marc's back out of town next week.

and now i'm rambling. so, okay. goodnight, sweet friends!

an excellent article that puts a finger right on it

yes, i'm being political again. but this article needs to be read. it focuses on just how high the stakes are, and just how scary the republican frenzy over sarah palin is. because, as stated in the article, where the republicans love her because she's "ordinary," the rest of the country is scared shitless because she's "ordinary."

true, she'd only be vice president. but if her being on the ballot pushes mccain into the white house, there are much bigger things to fear.

it will be mine. oh yes, it will be mine.


canon has FINALLY announced the successor to the 5d. there is a god.

i've been waiting for this camera for two years. my 20d has been a trooper, but at this point she's yesterday's news. and it seemed silly to put down the money for a 5d when a new one had, just HAD, to be on the horizon. i wasn't sure the old girl could squeak it out, but now it looks like the cavalry has arrived.

and arrived in style, might i add.

wait ... there's a contractor coming to gut our bathroom next month? what bathroom?? who said anything about a bathroom ... ?

contemplating a bee

yesterday after school, henry and i ran a couple of errands. we were on the hunt for a shirt for school picture day tomorrow ... we have this tradition four years running of him wearing a striped shirt for pix. but alas, stripes must be out this year. not to mention it's supposed to be 80 degrees tomorrow and every store only has fall/winter clothes in stock. hmph.

so we left the mall and stopped by the tile shop, because our bathroom WILL BEGIN next month, if i have to sell my eggs to make it happen. henry followed me up and down the aisles, reading his lego magazine and sighing with boredom.

so we left the tile shop and headed home. we got there just as marc finished mowing the yard and harper was running around with a soccer ball. as the kids played and marc headed in for a shower, and i noticed there were quite a few bees buzzing around my sedum. then i noticed this guy sitting on top of one of the flower clusters.


a beautiful bee specimen, to be sure. but my goodness ... this guy was a bruiser! after watching him for, like, five minutes, i realized he wasn't going to fly away any time soon. he was just laying in the flowers, enjoying their intoxicating nectar and getting high on pollen.

in my world, stationary wildlife = macro opportunity.

while this bee laid on the sedum like it was his own personal hookah bar, i started to contemplate my own life of physical activity, or lack thereof.

my mom and sister have signed up to do the indy mini marathon in may and want me to join them. i said yes immediately, but have yet to sign up. why? well ... partly because that means i have to commit to being in indiana in may, and that's sorta tough right now. who knows what will be going on in our life in may.


but also because i just haven't found my groove with getting back to the gym yet. i was so motivated before becca's wedding two years ago, but between working for memory makers and writing the book and all of marc's travel and all the stuff the kids do, etc. etc., i just really can't find my motivation this time around. i feel very isolated in my life and schedule, and it's too easy - when i DO have free time - to relax and say that I need a break, too.


i have marc's support - he's pledged a trip to ireland for our anniversary next year if we both hit our fitness goals by then, and my sister and i have talked about keeping each other accountable by phone, but taking harper to the child care center at the gym is just hell. she feels the kids' room is torture and she screams and cries and runs for the door. it's hard to tear my mental game away from that and focus on a workout. not to mention there have been several times that just as i hit my stride or get a couple of laps in at the pool, there is a page over the intercom to come get my child. then i'm sweaty or chloriney for nothing. and that's demoralizing in it's own way.


but on the other hand, those are just excuses. and i'll soon end up like this bee ... bloated on my own preoccupation with my own little plot of land and too weighted down with that preoccupation to move on to the next flower and see what it has to offer. i don't want to fall off into the land of no return ... never again to see myself with a cute figure or care about my appearance; i'll just be content with my own little semi-agoraphobic piece of earth. but that isn't fair to me, marc, or the kids. i need to embrace life, embrace MY life, and get moving. and sign up for that damn mini. once and for all. and like the bee, at some point i will have to fly away before i'm too weighted down by my responsibilities and fears that i'm unable to achieve lift-off.



6a00d83452997369e200e553d2b5e18833 a lovely friend, woman, mother, wife, scrapper passed away this morning because someone ran a red light. the shock has not yet worn off ... aleida was someone who always made me smile, always made me feel like there was a bright side, someone whose spirit and joy was contagious and infectious. there was talk of getting a group of us together at some point, and i couldn't wait. to actually meet this larger than life presence and drink margaritas and tell dirty jokes sounded like heaven.

and now she's gone. and i'm just so, so sad.

but in passing, aleida also taught me something. with a post she recently wrote on her blog. she challenged me to something i've been so terrible at doing - being IN my life. she wrote that one day she wouldn't be around and she suddenly realized the importance of passing off the camera and getting in front of it with her kids. maybe the photos won't be perfect. maybe i'll hate how i look. but my kids will have a record of me being in their life as more than the documenter, the cook, the chauffer, the nurse, the secretary, etc.

and the fact that aleida had this revelation so close to her own last day just gives me chills. how i will miss her, and already do. and to brandon and the kids, god bless you. my prayers are with you.

i now heart matt damon. big.

even bigger than when he was f***ing sarah silverman.
and that was big.

i love him more now because he speaks to the gut-wrenching, stomach knot-tying fear and apprehension i have daily at the thought of the republicans winning in november. they are caught in lies every time they open their mouths, they manipulate the integrity of their opponents to come across as "victims;" they are classic abusers - lie, hit, kick, then apologize and sugar-coat. and seriously, if i hear sarah palin say one more time "thanks, but no thanks" about a bridge that she did, in fact, say "thanks, but no thanks, though i'll just keep that money" to, i will literally hurl. the republicans need to start letting her speak for herself at some point, because the news will run out of sound bites pretty quickly if she's embargoed to say only that she politely refused a bridge (false) or that she's a pitbull with lipstick (um, pitBULLY, maybe). and at this point, even the most unbiased news outlets are trying real hard to find something unbiased to say. (and if you follow that link to read the article, you'll notice a quote saying palin is popular because she's an "insurgent." yeah ... isn't that what we've been calling the iraqis? are they popular now, too?)

ugh. sorry. i know i said i would let this go, but i truly feel that information needs to get out. people need to be informed and educated about what we're up against; it's uneducated party-line voting that will bring this country to its knees. all i hear about the republicans is that they lie, and all i hear about the dems is that they are looking the other way - which faces the future. how is that a bad thing? seriously ... someone tell me!

oh, and here's matt damon:

since the creative portion of my brain is on hiatus ...

we are FINALLY getting close to gutting and remodeling our basement bathroom so that for the first time since we bought the house we'll have a second functioning shower. given six of marc's family will likely be heading up for thanksgiving, marc's been told this project is now at URGENT status. as in, october or die.

but now my brain is incapable of making design decisions. my favorite thing to do when i'm bored is mentally redecorate my house ... or any other house, for that matter. but i just can't get it together on this bathroom. for various reasons. one of which is i am seriously limited by space, which limits what i can do.

here's the thing: the room is about 5.5x7.5 feet. it's just big enough for a small sink, toilet, and shower. with a little space to stand and dry off/use the sink. and there's a window next to the shower, which demarcates where the shower has to be.

i toyed with the idea of 12x12 tiles on the shower surround, 1x1 slate tile on the floor (fell deeply and madly in love with the tile, and am now convinced that it has to be used), and paint the walls. then i realized that, because of where the window is, that won't work. or else we'll have to build out a section next to the window on which the shower curtain rod would be mounted. and that seems dumb.

so now i'm thinking about running subway tile around the room ... like a wainscot behind the sink and toilet, around the corner, under the window, and then up the wall to start the shower surround. and then use the slate tile on the floor.

here is a pic of sink/mirror we'll have, and the slate tile i already bought plan to am thinking about using:

IMG_0151 Rsz-tile

now, imagine this: put the slate tile on the floor, replace the circle tile behind the sink in the photo with 3"x6" subway tile, and paint the upper part of the wall a mocha brown color. and put a white quilted shower curtain on the shower. good? not good? subway tile + slate tile = totally not going together or = different and very visually pleasing? would biscuit tile be better than white? i like the idea of white opening up the room, but maybe it wouldn't be right with the slate ...

and is mocha brown paint with the mirror too much? would you ixnay the mirror and go with something frameless or framed with silver/brushed nickel to match the lights?

i would totally go a different direction if the basement wasn't one large room. the bathroom really needs to flow with everything else color-wise and style-wise, in my opinion. the basement walls are a sandy beige because it had to look good with the carpet we inherited from the previous owners. the couch is deep wine-ish red, the curtains are chocolate brown. marc's office is the one difference - it's a greyish blue. which, with everything else, is what makes the slate floor perfect.

ugh. i hate this. it's a room smaller than many people's closets. why can't i figure this out?!

what would you do?

eta: now that i'm looking at the sink and tile next to each other, what about using the 1x1 slate as the wainscot and shower surround, and one of the large 12x12 ceramic tiles pictured above with the slate as the floor? would that be too dark in a room that size? or would it make the space feel cozy and spa-like? especially if the walls were a light but warm color like the floor? the only light will be the one window and the two light fixtures by the mirror and possibly a vent in the ceiling with a light ... and i'm having a storage cubby added between the shower and the wall that will stop about 4.5' up and i'll have a small lamp on there as well. doing that would at least double my tile expense, but maybe it would look nice ... ? oy.