Monday, September 29, 2008

The Campitarians

Morning sunlight and campfire smoke

This weekend we went camping! The weather was perfect and it was so much fun. The Bohemian spent the weekend feeling super-manly at Bikes Blues and BBQ while the boys and I roughed it in the wild with my folks. OK, you got me, we weren't roughing it exactly but with a 2 and 4 year old a tent, latrines and limited running water is majorly roughing it.

Dew covered spiderweb in the morning sun

The original Campitarian. Mr. Golden Curls, what a goof. He wore his "camping hat" (aka plastic bowl) all weekend. We decided he was starting his own cult since we went camping on a Sunday and he looked so freaky!

Not even camping can keep the folks from a Razorback game!

Lil' Spitfire has a live one! It's not camping until there's a campfire and smores!

Ooie Gooie Goodness, that smore's nearly as big as his head.

Dirt covered, scraped knee boys enjoying some smores

We have a visitor! Our good friends join us at the campsite and we get to introduce their little girl to the wonders of the smore! She was born only 3 weeks after Mr. Golden Curls so they've been buds from the beginning.

Grandpappa helps the kiddos

Grammy helps the tiny one up the steps. I promised the boys some swimming so on the last morning I kept my promise, and rued it, it was freezing!

The boys were lovin' the camp chairs

The Bohemian having a macho moment, well, macho until I started running through the grass like a big dork trying to take his picture!

Thanks Carl Dog for giving me this much better pic of the Bohemian!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Writting's On The Wall of my one and only Lil' Spitfire. Mr. Golden Curls never ever colored on the walls and neither did his little brother until we moved into this brand spankin' new, never been lived in by anyone, walls painted by professionals house. All of a sudden he has developed this brilliant talent where he senses when Mamma will be out of pocket for at least 2 solid minutes and then is mysteriously magnetized to the lone pen that happens to be within his reach. In a few short weeks we have gone from zero things colored in our house to:
  • one window sill
  • a wall in our bedroom
  • a wall in his bedroom
  • his bed frame
  • his sheets
  • the train table
  • a train building
  • a train
  • my computer desk
  • a entire couch cushion
  • all of his limbs
  • the bottom of his feet
  • his face
  • his hands
  • a table

Thursday, September 25, 2008

For The Birds

Ever since our sod got put in we've been constantly moving the sprinkler around our yard. As soon as I move the sprinkler to the backyard and go inside the most beautiful birds come out to play. They fly through the drops, splash in the puddles, show off for the ladies, it's so much fun! Yesterday I found a baby turtle the size of a quarter! I'm starting to feel like I'm in a Disney movie. There are so many creepy weird insects I can't keep up! Though I must admit, most of those are being poisoned. Sorry, I've never been fond of insects.

I believe the bright blue birds I was watching are Indigo Bunting, if not I'll be hearing from my Dad! The little guy in the first picture was sitting pretty on a branch right out my kitchen window.

The birds play and preen in the puddles and fly through the sprinkler.

I thought this yellow bird must've been a different kind, but after googling Indigo Bunting I'm wondering if it's the female. The males are so bright in the sun!

The little yellow one alone fluffing up and getting in the spray of the sprinkler.

They just kept multiplying! At on point there were even some cardinals in the mix.

Those splashes are being made by some crazy fun loving birds.

Peek a boo! This big 'ole grasshopper was hanging around outside the boys' window.

He was at least 2" long

Hope you have an enchanting day today!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Are We There Yet?

That's what the Bohemian and I like to blurt out whenever something's happening that we don't like and I'd just like to scream it out now! Whew! Whatever I got last weekend (flu maybe? or flu on the heals of poison ivy and topped off with massive allergies from the construction and a neighborhood full of new sod?) was worse than I thought and knocked me out for more than a week. This morning was the first time I woke up feeling like there was obvious improvement. I over did it a smidge this morning planting flowers with the boys outside. I went in feeling sweaty and woosie and a little concerned I'd put myself back at the beginning but I think I'm good and that tomorrow should find me nearly normal. Thank goodness, I have a fantastic special order to begin that I'm very excited about. Not to mention the fact the the house is pretty discusting at this point. I've cultivated some domestic science experiments in my day but I think I've topped my best with the state my toilets are in right now! I wouldn't be surprised if they contained the cure for all major diseases. Big time brownie points to hubby who is ever improving his nursing skills! All week he bought groceries, took care of the kiddos every moment he was home, catered to me, put up with nights of endless hacking coughs and even did the dishes! Woo-hoo, what a sizzlin' man!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

From Bob Ross to Edward Kienholz: My Artistic Evolution

My artistic evolution was a very slow one, truly an evolution. I don't think my parents recognized my inclinations as something that could be encouraged with classes or field trips. They weren't unsupportive, quite the opposite, I was always the one they came to for creative advice of every kind, they were very proud of my fledgling art projects and I knew it. They didn't have that "we just thought you'd do something with your life, we thought you'd be a doctor" mentality, they just never said "hey, lets get this kid to an art museum!"

The first time I did go to an art museum was in Buffalo NY, I was 18 years old and had been taken there by an ex-boyfriend who, I didn't realize at the time, was trying to win me back through my growing love of art. In my ignorance I wasn't distracted by the motives of my company but I was so distracted by my disbelief that these major, historical masterpieces would just be left within the reach of grubby art loving hands, sneezes and general air gunk that I spent the whole time thinking that these must instead be reproductions and that the real deal must be locked safely away in some super secret, waterproof, air proof, sneeze proof, grubby hand proof bunker in the desert. I realized later that I had indeed been in the presence of the real deal and had unfortunately missed out on the experience because of my disbelief.

When I try to think back to when the whole art thing started for me, I guess it was always there. My dad always drew these funny cartoon faces that I often requested. My mom's artistry was expressed in beautifully decorating her home and crafting, sewing in particular. That crazy lady could whip things up out of mid air. I once saw her get ready for a 4th of July party and decide 15 minutes before departure time that she wasn't festive enough, pull out the sewing machine and fabric and (without a pattern) create a stars and stripes vest and don it in time to walk out the door without being late! When I was a kid I could sit forever perfecting my coloring skills. I looked at fellow colorers and tried to imitate what I liked and avoid what I didn't and, like a true budding art nerd, I grew annoyed at the limitations of the crayon. In grade school I got a book on how to draw teddy bears wearing different outfits. My personalized teddy bears were the amazement of my peers and started to be heavily requested. Had I the entrepreneurial sense of Diana I could've been in business for myself, but I didn't so I took special orders on my classmates' teddies, what kind of clothes they wanted on their bears, did they want a hat etc. etc. and then gifted my early works.

I continued to teach myself to draw through books, but they got a little more sophisticated than teddies, thank goodness. I took my first art class as a high school Jr. and was sorely disappointed. Draw a picture of your summer vacation was not the kind of artistic stimulation I was craving. Art club was no better. The only thing I remember doing with them is painting silly Halloween backdrops for the school's Halloween dance. I left high school in possession of fantastic self-taught drawing skills but artistically illiterate.

College was artistic heaven for me ("You mean I can get credit towards an actual degree for taking a film history class?!"). My world went from my self-learn books in my room to an entire history of art from the first cave scribble to the present. I was overwhelmed in the most wonderful way. Then I got to take my History of Modern Art class and I was hopelessly head over heals in love. Roy Lichtenstein, Joseph Cornell, Frida Kalo, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anselm Kiefer, Egon Schiele, Edward Kienholz, Cindy Sherman heart beats faster even as I type their names! I happily lugged my 50lbs of art history books around campus just for the joy of discovering more of this world in the dark of a lecture room lit only by beautiful art slides by the hundreds. As I unearthed and studied my heroes my art finally started becoming what I had envisioned since the beginning, something expressive, something me, something full of emotion; sadness and joy all rolled up in a mess of beautiful paint, mixed media pieces and finally an installation. My artistic evolution felt complete.

I've hardly picked up a paintbrush since graduating college and moving out of my campus studio. After graduation I actually used my degree as a graphic designer and worked for a card company. I guess that filled my creative needs and then, well, life just takes over. Marriage, kids, moves, new jobs...I started to really scrapbook after my first boy was born. I started out saying to myself, "There's no way I'm getting addicted to this corny craft, I'm an artist just making a baby book" but I was gone before I knew what had happened. But that is a completely different revolution! I debate painting again but don't know if I ever will, I don't know that I really need that any more. Time will tell. Right now I'm pretty content playing around with paper!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Yard Is Born

When we moved into our house we kind of expected the whole yard to be sodded. We were a little surprised when they only did the front, leaving the sides and back a mess of dirt a debris. Once our front yard started to green up I think the builders realized how bad the rest of the yard looked and they told us they had decided to sod the rest of the yard. What a relief! Today was the day.

Yesterday Lil' Spitfire stood like a statue at the back door watching a bulldozer level our backyard and clear it of grass and debris

This morning we were awakened by a mob of men unloading palettes of sod. I made the mistake of looking out the front window to see how big the delivery truck was. "What is that guy across the street doing?" I ask to my sleepy, pre-coffee self. "OH! He's peeing!" Another of the joyous moments of living in a place people think is uninhabited.

Mr. Golden Curls and Lil' Spitfire peak out to watch the guys rolling out the new lawn. Lil' Spitfire didn't leave his spot at the door until they were finished!

Ahhh, lush green yard. Well, not quite. Right now it's more like slightly browning crunchy yard but with about 3 weeks of watering it twice a day it should be perfect. I can't believe how much bigger and cleaner it looks now! I am a very happy gal today, I'm feeling more like this is a house, maybe even my house, and not some kind of bizarre temporary shelter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Out L(Ike) A Light

Saturday evening the remnants of hurricane Ike were making their way to our part of Arkansas and I was getting sick. My husband had just spent the weekend out of town doing manly guy things, you know, video games, movies, burping without recourse, and was heading our way too. He had to take a little detour to...(hide your eyes moms)...take some hippy hitchhikers to Little Rock. This wonderful man stopped to buy soup for me (all together like you just saw a cute puppy: "awwww!") and by the time he got home I was feeling the sore throat, body aches and fever. I couldn't wait for him to take over the wild monkeys so I could stare blankly at the tv. That tv zombie bliss lasted about an hour and then the electricity went out! It stayed out for 24 hrs meaning I was one sweaty feverish chickadee that night without AC or a fan! I was also a bored little chickadee since it took 4 days for cable/internet to return and I had barely enough energy to move from my nest on the couch.

Ike has moved on and my cold is slowly following. I'm back online, all is becoming right with the world again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I've Been Scheduled

When I keep a schedule I can keep my sanity. I haven't had one in awhile and it was starting to show. I can now breathe a little! I was working myself up into a stressed out ball of panicked nerves so I finally sat down and wrote out a new schedule. Without that silly thing to look at I either panic at all that needs done and the feeling that it all needs done RIGHT NOW! or I pace circles in the living room carpet trying to remember what I was just on my way to do.

When I very first decided a schedule was in order I tried the schedule-every-cotton-pickin'-minute-of-your-day method. That sort of worked, because I'm a perfectionist control freak, but bored me to tears and put me in a tizzy anytime something unscheduled had to happen. Then I settled on the more relaxed schedule where I have a short list of things to accomplish in the morning (in any order that catches my fancy that day), one for afternoon, and one for evening. These are all things I want to do every day. My afternoon list includes a weekly chore (ex. Monday is clean all floors day) Then after each set of things has been accomplished I consider it my free time That means, barring too many unexpected head injuries or diapering incidents, I can have 3 free times! This is when I will pester people with email, rant incessantly on my blog, make know, all the really fun stuff that I would sit around doing all day if it weren't for a schedule.

I'm working on an etsy specific schedule like this where I have things that need done daily and others that would be better as weekly or monthly things. It's amazing how much time I have when I follow the schedule! Yesterday I was determined to stick to my schedule and I did it! Not only the necessary stuff but I had tons of time to do whatever the heck I wanted, which yesterday was:

1. relisting a few items to my shop
2.proof reading all my etsy listings
3.making some minor changes to my shop announcements, policies, and appearance
4. unifying the copy in my listings a bit
5. adding metric measurements to my listings
6. getting a little more done on my craft room
7. emptying a few more boxes

It may not seem like a lot but the etsy stuff was tedious and necessary (though I rather enjoyed it). I actually was a little embarrassed that I had so many spelling errors! I think I need to start reading more or something. I used to have great spelling but now it seems to be on the decline. I blame the internet.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's In Their DNA

Boys. Rowdy, dangerous, don't always pay attention, leap before they look, snips and snails and puppy dog tails. They can't help it, it's in their DNA and now one of those boys' DNA is on his shirt, my coffee table, my new carpet, my sofa, my kitchen towels and my favorite pair of lazy pants. Somehow while "napping" he managed to fling himself from the couch and into the metal corner of the coffee table. Poor guy, he was very brave while Mamma worked hard at staying composed and trying to decide if this was worth figuring out where the emergency room was and sitting in it for 3 hours before the nurses washed it off with soap and water and sent us on our way. After a call to my mom ("mom I have a minor mommy emergency I need your advice on") I decided a trip to Pappa for a second opinion and then Walgreens for liquid bandaids would suffice. Mr. Golden Curls thought liquid bandaids sounded like a super cool thing to go shopping for and acted like we were at the candy store when we hit the bandaid section. He pointed at each and every different style of bandaid (of which, I must admit, there are an impressive number) and each time he said, "Mamma, look what I found!". I was just concerned about keeping him quiet and locating the goods as quickly as possible so as not to suffer any "look at that kid's head, what a crappy trailer park mom, what's she doing here, she should've taken her kid to the emergency room" kind of stares.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Be Still My Soul

This weekend was full of wonderful in-law fun! And no, I'm not being sarcastic. I think I'm one of the few people on the planet who really does like their in-laws! My husband and I are always in awe of the fact that we both have families who raised us well, are still together (and should be), and where everyone on all sides gets along. This weekend the church that my father-in-law has worked in for the past 25 years threw him a blowout bash and we went to celebrate this major accomplishment. Spending 25 years in ministry period is a huge deal but doing them in the same church is practically unheard of. It was wonderful to see them both honored so beautifully, they both deserve it. The best part was that my husband and his dad sang a duet Sunday morning, How Great Thou Art, and then that evening my husband sang Be Still My Soul, which he does sitting at the piano and so soulfully, that I tear up every time. As an adorable itty bitty cherry on top we also got to celebrate my youngest nephew's first birthday! Congrats on surviving your first year with 3 older siblings Baby JW!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Why, Why, Why?

Why do I do it to myself? I take a day full of potential happiness and fun and decide instead to do my grocery shopping at Walmart where all of our culture's acceptance of mediocrity is bred and perpetuated. Could this place consistently suck any more than it does now? How can a company so negatively inspire their employees that there's not a single checker who doesn't expect the customers to do the majority of their job? I've been saying for years I'll never go back and I was doing a good job before we moved. In my old town there was a Walmart Neighborhood Market where you could get the good prices and people did their job. When we moved there was no NM and I was torn. I can go to the grocery store and get fantastic service (they even take the groceries to the car!) or to Walmart where I save money on my growing family but am so angry by the time I leave I could spit fire from both nostrils and spew nails from my eyeballs. I think I'll pay extra at the grocery store from now on!