Monday, September 28, 2009

Decorating in progress

Just a couple tidbits of current projects I'm working on:

For the living room

For one of the girls' bedrooms

And this morning Fidgeting Gidget mentioned Jackson Pollock and I remembered this website again. Now go make your own Pollock painting!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Craft Fair with a View

I spent the afternoon in Genoa, NV, which is about an hour away from here (and I had no idea). They have a craft fair and candy dance there every year and the craft fair part is HUGE. Great fun!

It's up against the mountains for such a nice view.

Just one of the many offerings:

And even better, the surrounding area is so pretty!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Faux Polaroids

Okay, this site ( is pretty cool. It will turn your digital photos into polaroids. I found it through Shutter Sisters. I really ♥ how it brings out Erin's freckles in the first picture!

Wordzzle on dreams continued

Over at Views from the Raven's Nest, a Wordzzle challenge is posted weekly. The basic idea is to use all 10 words provided in a short paragraph (plus mini challenge words if you can). More information can be found here.

This week's words are (Tibetan sky, symbols, won’t you come home Bill Baily, shadow figures, brain cortex, practice makes perfect, life, start of school, lavender, chow down) with a mini challenge of (mental hospital, falling leaves, apple cider, packing crates, clues).

My way of doing this is to read all the words and look for a few things I can tie together and then just start writing. The more difficult words I then go back and find places to insert. This week happened to turn into a continuation of last week's wordzzle.

Leaving this town to make a life for herself was out. So she would just have find the clues to making a life here. No, she hadn't managed it yet but practice makes perfect, right? You can't fail until you stop trying... But how would she do it? The people in this town depressed her and she was pretty sure half of them didn't have a brain cortex. There were more than a few people here that had to have been in the mental hospital at some point (and only one had a good excuse, having been witness to a Tibetan Sky burial which is only not traumatizing if you're Tibetan or at least IN Tibet at the time). Still, as hard as it was to like them, she felt there must be one among them she could talk to. If only she could find the one.

She walked home from the restaurant, picking a little lavender along the way and turning it in her hand. Fall was definitely in the air now and the tourists were arriving to watch the leaves turn. On Cedar Street the laborers were packing crates with apple cider. She stood under the falling leaves watching them for a few minutes. It occurred to her that it was almost time for the start of school but, being so far ahead anyway, she wasn't sure yet that she'd go this year.

A few streets away on Pine she could here the music starting for Fall Festival. What was that song? Won't you come home Bill Bailey? Hmm... Maybe that was it. She never really joined in the festival much. There would be the inevitable bad palm reader who turned every funny curve of the lines in your hand into symbols representing hokey futures of fortune and fame (which are not much fun when you already know you can't have them). There would be street performers making shadow figures and every kind of fried food you could chow down on. Today she would skip it, being unable to pretend she saw anything in that life. Maybe tomorrow...

WTF? And I LIVE here?!

The tourism slogan of the City of Reno has been "America's Adventure Place" since about 2002 and the marketing group thought it needed updating. The city reportedly paid a LOT of money ($100,000+) for a new idea to be put together with ad campaigns and whatnot. So what did that buy? They decided that the new slogan will be "A Little West of Center"...


The intention is to mean that we are a little west of the center of the United States. For starters, that doesn't really say anything and is hardly a tourism draw. AND it's not even correct! For those of you who are not aware of the geography of the US here's a map with Nevada outlined in red. Colorado is a little west of center and we are two states further over, not to mention that Reno is within 30 minutes of touching the western edge. We are 1/2 hour from California, that's hardly "A Little West of Center" which leaves us to wonder how they came up with this...

On the other hand, we just paid over $100,000 for this so maybe it really means something more like "Has a screw loose" or "A few bricks short of a load" or "Lost her rocks", in which case it's entirely correct. That being said, is that really what we want to tell the world? "Come here and do stupid crap because, hey, we're a little nuts so you'll blend right in"? Oy...

Luckily the mayor this morning called it embarrassing and got them to throw it out. So this means that now they'll be making sense? Well, no, not really. The rest of the campaign so far is still a go ahead. According to kolotv's story today "While board members ditched the 'West of Center' slogan, they are moving forward with the rest of the new campaign. It sells our area as "refreshingly offbeat" and uses a talking bighorn sheep to relay that message" Just to make sure you didn't miss that "uses a talking bighorn sheep to relay that message"... Uh, huh.

What is it with this area and REALLY bad slogans? The power company had, a while back, a really bad reputation. They were really hard-nosed about profit and if a customer was behind they were shutting off their power without trying to work out a payment plan or anything. They got a reputation as being uncaring. So they brought in a PR company and did up a new slogan. They made hats and pens and all kinds of junk with the new slogan plastered on it. The employees were brought in to a room for an "unveiling" and when the curtain was pulled back the new slogan said "We Delight Our Customers". Someone started to snicker. Delight? Or de-light? The curtain was closed and the slogan died. All the pens and stuff were boxed up and hidden away. Did we hire the same people to do the City of Reno slogan? I wonder.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

200 pounds and a new blog

It's time to lose the pounds. I'm putting this on a separate blog, all by its lonesome, as I don't think it really fits in with my current blog. So, if you're interested in that story, it's over here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Reno Air Races

Eric has been wanting to see the Blue Angels since he was very small, as young as my boys are now. The last time they came to the Reno Air Races he was living in Georgia and he missed them (again). But this year they're back. We took the kids out there yesterday, paid the exorbitant entry fees ($17 for an 8 year old!?! This isn't Disneyland you know), and enjoyed the stunts and our lemonade. Oh, and the sunshine. I must remember to soak that in for the next few weeks as tomorrow is the Autumnal Equinox and the lovely warm days only have about a month left.

Sorry it's a little blurry. Blue Angels are very fast and hard to photograph. ;)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wordzzle on dreams

Over at Views from the Raven's Nest, a Wordzzle challenge is posted weekly. The basic idea is to use all 10 words provided in a short paragraph (plus mini challenge words if you can). More information can be found here.

This week's words are (dangerous, engine, sullenly, bespoke, evergreen, bauble, medicine, freight, destined, tinsel) with a mini challenge of (carbon, feelers, outright, ballet, fizzing).

She watched the freight train pulling away, the engine gaining speed, and she thought about running after it and catching a ride. Sure, it could be dangerous, but that carbon-burner was headed to Tinsel Town. Even the thought of it bespoke of lights, dazzling lights, and sounds of a town always alive. Of trinkets and baubles. She had always thought that she was destined for the ballet. It felt like the right path to her. She'd mentioned it casually to her mother once, nothing too outright or anything, putting out feelers to see how she'd take it. She hadn't taken it well at all, saying that they could barely afford medicine and there was no way they were taking a risk like that. And so here she was, still stuck among the evergreens in some no-name town. As she sullenly watched the last cars of the train rounding the corner out of sight she felt her dreams fizzing again.

Secret 30: I am my mother

Yup. It's true. I am stubborn, willful, a smart-ass and independent (sometimes too much). Oh, I am some good things too and I get those from mom also. I think the biggest ways in which I am actually different from her are really more about the decades in which we were raised than who we actually are.

My ex once told me that, despite the cliche, he had never met ANYONE who was so like their mother as I am. At the time he meant that as a good thing so I think it still is... I choose to take it as a compliment anyway... When I was in elementary school we were asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and I said "My mother".

I even look like her a lot. Growing up I used to stare at this picture I had of mom in a wedding dress when she was very young (high school age) and I would cover up her hair and be amazed how much that picture looked like me.

It wasn't always a good thing though, being like mom. Sometimes the most similar people are the ones who get along the least... When I was in high school we would get into some epic screaming fights (a few times on the front lawn so the neighbors could have a show) and she would threaten that "You're going to live with your father!" at which point she would tell my younger sister to pack my stuff. But, it never actually happened, and things would calm down again (until next time).

Remember that story about getting suspended? Well, I learned that attitude from her. And learning to be a smart-ass, well, don't forget that she's the one who had me arrested. And the things that used to come out of her mouth while she was in uniform...

Once she pulled a woman over for speeding and the woman would not SHUT UP. The lady kept going on and on and ON that "I wasn't going that fast and you're only pulling me over because you have to fill your quota". Mom patiently explained that they didn't have quotas and "could I have your license please?" And the lady would go on "It's not fair! You're just trying to fill your quota!" and finally my mother said "You're right! If I write three more tickets I get a toaster oven!". Well, of course this went to traffic court later, and the woman told the judge "And she said that if she wrote three more tickets she got a microwave!" The judge looked at mom and said "Officer, did you say that to this woman?" to which my mother replied "No, Sir. I said I was getting a toaster oven!"

My mother also told me that respect was not a right given, it was a privilege earned. She once pulled over an actress who was in town filming. The actress said "Do you KNOW who I AM?" and mom, looking at her license, said "Well it says here you're Xxxx Xxxx". And then she gave her the ticket. (I'm not using the name because I'm not sure that officers are really supposed to talk about cases outside of court and I wouldn't want anyone to get sued.)

Thanks to mom I am a strange breed of hippy/redneck/yuppy, blue/white collar, do-it-myself female. And so concludes the 30 Secrets.

This photo was taken by a family member, probably my dad or my sister Litte-Big, but I'm not sure which.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Baby questions

Son: Mommy? How do babies come out of their mother's tummies?

Mom: Uh... Well... You know how you have a pee hole and a poo hole?

Son: Yeah.

Mom: Ok, well, girls have another one in the middle where the babies come out.

Son: (Pointing at himself) In the middle!?!

Mom: Yeah. But just girls, not boys.

Son: Oh! Whew! I'm glad, 'cause that'd be gross!

Mom: So what made you think of that question?

Son: Well, I just want another person to play with. Mom, how did you get us?

Mom: How did I get you? Your dad and I made you.

Son: You made us? How did you make us?

Mom: Oh, darn, the first bell just rang for school. You have to hustle and get in line. Love you! Bye!

Hmmm... I think I've got some explaining to do...

Monday, September 14, 2009

For his own protection

Sending the boy in a beaver shirt into Ducks territory could be said to be child endangerment. We had to hide it.

Hammers and family

"Why do I keep hitting myself in the head with a hammer?
Because it feels SO good when I stop."
~ Grey's Anatomy

This was a very long weekend. Some of it was lovely and seeing my sisters was (mostly) really nice. The reason for the gathering was not a good one (which I will talk more about in its own post later). And the old arguments that just never seem to go away I wish would just die already.

I drove home yesterday and spent almost the entire drive angry and ranting inside my own head. And believe me, 8 hours is a long time to rant.

Everyone has a "hammer" of some sort. It's something you do that is bad for you, or for those around you. Maybe it's an addiction, maybe it's eating when you're not hungry, or perhaps you're a workaholic. You might even have several hammers in varying shapes and sizes. The reasons why we hold our hammers are many. Some people are too attached to their hammers to let them go. Some think that if they hit themselves enough times the hammer won't hurt them anymore. Some people won't acknowledge that the hammer is a problem. Perhaps they think they don't deserve better than the hammer. The reasons for keeping the hammers are as bountiful as the types of hammers themselves.

In my case the hammer has a name and shares DNA with me. 14 years ago I decided to put the hammer down. I realized that I had a very one sided relationship with it. I kept bludgeoning myself with the hammer thinking that eventually it would become a "normal" relationship. And then, at the age of 16, I realized that eventually enough is enough. I still talk to this person a couple of times a year and I didn't shut them out. I just stopped trying. Because every time I tried I was hitting myself all over again.

Why is it that the people whose hammers are most similar to our own, the ones who would understand the damage the hammer causes better than anyone, are the very same ones who encourage us to pick it up again? And are angry with us when we won't?

Unfortunately there isn't really a "DNA Anonymous" so I'm left to deal with this one by myself. I think that there should be a "Hammers Anonymous". There are two steps. 1.Put the hammer down. 2.Don't pick it up today. There are no lectures for slipping up and accidentally picking up your hammer. Tomorrow you just try it again. Put it down, and don't pick it up.

Hello, my name is Sara and I haven't picked up my hammer in 14 years.

And know what? It really does feel so good when I stop.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Road trip

This was shot from the car in motion. I took a lot of pictures out the driver window just to see what I might get on accident.

This was also taken from the driver window but I did stop the car to take it at least. This was in an area where there is nothing to stop the cow from walking up onto the road so you have to be careful driving though there (unless you want mass quantities of beef for dinner, I guess).

As I was just getting to the edge of Oregon (about 5 hours into the trip) the sun was setting over the irrigation canals. The next three hours were in the dark but, as the speed limit is lower in Oregon and I drive slower in the dark, this was good because it kept me from getting any tickets!

Friday, September 11, 2009


My plans for the weekend have changed. Don't they always? I'm heading up to Oregon, to family. I'll take my laptop and try to say hello but I may be a wee bit absent. See you very soon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Secret 29: I'm stubborn in the extreme sometimes

Okay, so stubborn is a little obvious and there's more to it than that. How have I never mentioned this story? I was sure that I had and yet here we are and no scouring of my blog has turned up a mention of it... Strange.

Here's another high school memory. I was in the 10th grade, making me about 16 at the time. It was early in the morning, before school had started up, and I was sitting in a hallway with friends. I had taken my shoes off (because I seriously hate to wear shoes if I can avoid it) and one of the guys, Woody, wanted to be funny and took my shoes. He made me chase him to get them back and I was furious. I had to run through wet grass in my socks and I wouldn't have time to change them so I was going to have wet feet all day. AND he wouldn't apologize.

So I took his glasses.

Yes, perhaps a childish thing to do (I was only 16) but I did it nonetheless. I told him that I would give him back his glasses when I received an apology. And then the bell rang and I went to class.

Shockingly, I was called out of class to the principals office. He asked if I had the glasses with me to which I pointed out that the glasses would be returned, as I had already promised, when I received an apology. Rather than reply to that he asked if they were in my backpack to which I pointed out that he did not have the legal right to touch my backpack without a police officer present and hands off. He threatened to call my mother and I told him to go ahead. So he did. My mother arrived and he told her that I had stolen some kid's glasses. I told her the rest of the story that he left out. So she asked, in clarification, if the basic story was that he took my shoes and got my socks all wet and refused to apologize so I took the glasses and said I would give them back when I got an apology? I agreed that this was the case. She looked at the principal and asked if Woody had apologized yet? The principal sputtered a little and disagreed that it was necessary. Mom said that she saw a very simple solution here where Woody would apologize and I would give him his glasses. Needless to say, I got the apology and he got his glasses. And I went back to class.

Sitting in second period, Biology, I was distracted. This whole thing had kind of pissed me off and I felt it was rather unfair. I hadn't really been asking for much. While I was sitting there and feeling somewhat sorry for myself I was playing around with a paper clip, twisting it into various shapes. Eventually it ended up being wrapped around the metal piece at the top of my pencil that holds the eraser, with the two ends sticking forward. I looked at this, and then at the plug that sits on top of the desks in the science rooms and thought "I wonder what would happen? Does electricity move through wood?". And without really thinking much more about it I stuck the thing into the socket. I had half expected the light show but what I hadn't anticipated was the loud bang. The teacher was a bit upset but, well, she overreacted I thought... I went and sat in the principals office again.

And then I went to my third period class, P.E. (Physical Education). Man, I hated that class. So we were sent outside to run a mile (4 laps around the track) like we did everyday. Now having had a REALLY bad morning so far I just wasn't into it and was already a little tired. So I walked the mile. Well, I started to, until one of the teachers came over to yell at me during the third lap. By this point I'd had enough yelling for the day and didn't listen to her. She followed me and kept screaming. So I decided "screw this" and walked inside and picked up a badminton racket to start the next activity. She came in too and now started yelling at me that the TA (teacher's assistant, a senior) had told her how I was mouthing off and said I was going to "kick her ass". Um, what!?! I had never, and I mean NEVER, said anything even remotely like that about any teacher, much less to a TA. But she wouldn't listen. So I decided to ask the TA why he would say something like that? What on earth had I done to piss him off? At this point the other teacher, a very large man, who I think was also the football coach, got involved. For no reason that I could discern he refused to let me question the TA and also started to yell at me. At which point I threw the badminton racket on the floor and told him, in no uncertain terms, exactly what he could do with it. Then I turned around and walked to the principals office (cause why not? I'd already been there twice today and I think we were starting to become friends...).

After I explained what had happened the principal said that I had no right to say or do what I had. That I should respect the teacher for no other reason than he was my teacher. Period. I told him that my mother had taught me that "respect is not a right given, it's a privilege earned" and I was under no obligation whatsoever to show respect to someone who was incapable of respecting me. My mother was called again. Around then the teacher came in and I had calmed down a little. I said, very calmly, that I was ready to discuss this as an adult. His response? He said that there was nothing to discuss, he was right, and that's it, no discussion. And he walked out of the principals office and slammed the door. I just looked at the principal like, see what I mean? My mother then arrived and told the principal that, while she didn't necessarily agree with what I had said, she would defend to the ground my right to say it. I loved her for that. She was the only person who had been on my side all day, really. It goes without saying that I was suspended at that point for a few days. When I came back I was put into the "other" P.E. class which was actually the same one only the female teacher was officially my teacher instead of the guy (the classes were combined so it didn't really change anything). The old teacher flunked me and the new one gave me a C so I got a D in the class, the only D I ever received.

Now I've grown up and had the chance for a little perspective, I suppose. I'm still not sorry I took the glasses. I'm a *little* sorry about the fireworks, though it was actually (mostly) an accident. I'm not even that tiny bit sorry about what I said to the teacher, though. He was an ass and if it had been a job I would have quit. If I saw him today, I think I might say it again just for spite. Okay, so maybe some things never change.

Secret 28: This one time, at church camp...

When I was a junior we moved yet again to my third and final high school. My very last class of the day was band and as I walked into the room one of the girls already there stood up, pointed at my sister (Little-Little) and I, and said "YOU'RE THE BLANKET GIRLS!". Oh... no...

So... That past summer I went to a church camp called Camp Harlow. I'd been going to the week long summer camp every year since I was 5 and I loved it. My sisters took their turns being camp counselors, I still have my first camp t-shirt (and can *just* squeeze into it. it's very stretchy). But that last year went a wee bit differently.

I didn't know most of the girls in my cabin. On the very first day of camp two or three of them went to the bathroom and dyed their hair green. I thought it looked cool but apparently it gave our cabin a reputation and we were more or less shunned. Sad. Oh, well, we had fun anyway.

Every year the camp splits the all of the kids into 4 groups and calls them teams. Each team was supposed to earn points and at the end of the week one of them gets to brag that they "won". Near the end of the week there was to be a talent show, another way to earn points. The group leader had a great sense of humor and thought our idea was perfect. I would just like to say RIGHT HERE that our idea was run by the group leader and APPROVED. We were not renegades, and we followed the rules. AND I learned this in the first place at a church revival. Anyway...

So I get up on the stage in front of the entire camp with a microphone and a blanket and it went something like this:

"Hello! 3 of my cabin mates are outside and I'm going to bring them in one at a time. They don't know what's going to happen yet but I'll explain it to you real quick. I'm going to bring them in one at a time and have them sit them down on the stage and I'll cover them with the blanket. Then I will tell them to take off something they don't need. The idea is that they don't need the blanket and they should take the blanket off, but this could be fun."

The first girl came in and sat down. I put the blanket over her and asked her to take of something she didn't need. She passed out her shoes. I said to her, "you might need your shoes later. Take off something you don't need." She gave me socks. I said, "well, no, you might need those too. Isn't it getting hot under that blanket? Take off something you don't need." She sat there for a minute and then says "Oh!" and takes off the blanket.

The second girl comes in and sits down. She is covered with the blanket and I say "take off something you don't need". Over the next couple attempts she gave me shoes, earrings, a bracelet, and a couple other bits and then, like the first girl, took off the blanket.

"Now", I said to the crowd, "the next girl is my sister, and I love her, but she's not too bright. This should be fun." So she comes in and sits down and is covered with the blanket. I say to her "take off something you don't need". After a few minutes I've taken hair barrettes, shoes, socks, a watch, etc. "No, you don't understand. These are all things you might need. Isn't it hot under the blanket? Take off something you don't need." There's a lot of shuffling around and a few gasps from the crowd as it's obvious she's taking off her pants. As she passes them out to me I giggle and say "but you probably need these. Take off something you DON'T NEED." There's a muffled cry so I hold the microphone closer and she wails "I don't have much that I don't need!"

"Sis, there is something you don't need. Take off something you DON'T NEED. Aren't you hot under that blanket?" She starts moving around again under the blanket and passes out her shirt. At this point the camp leaders (church camp, remember?) are having a fit and demanding that the girl controlling the curtain close it. But she says "No! I want to know how this turns out!" and the show goes on. As this is happening my sister passes out the bra. And then panties.

I look out at the crowd, who is now on the edge of every seat, and say "Oh, sis... What you didn't need was the blanket." And I, very dramatically if I do say so myself, ripped the blanket off of her. As I do this every girl in the audience leans back in horror covering her mouth and says "Oh!" and every guy in the audience leans forward expectantly and says "Oh!...". And then my sister stood up, fully clothed, and took a bow. She grabbed the microphone and says "And you all thought I was naked!" and bounced off the stage. She had worn two sets of clothes in the first place. Did I forget to mention that?

Anyway, the camp leaders told my older sister Little-Big, who had previously been a counselor, that "your sisters are nothing like you" and did not invite us back the following year. And I started my last high school with a reputation right from the gate...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The paint bug is biting again

During Blog Camp we spent most of our time in the kitchen/dining/family room. Was it because it was convenient to food? There was a dining table to fit all of the laptops? Or because the front living room is, as yet, not very inviting? I'm going to say it was a combination of these things. So, since I'm feeling somewhat energetic, I'm going to begin painting the daunting living room. The two tallest walls are approx. 19 feet high (second picture) so it's guaranteed to be an adventure for Eric and I to tackle.

We've decided this room shall be blue, in two shades as below. Tonight I'm going to start with the walkway upstairs (which I surprisingly have no pictures of) as I also want to create the family picture wall that will go there.

** On a side note: Yes, Ali, I did use the Sherwin Williams color visualizer because it's convenient. It's not that I don't love Valspar, though (I promise), I just don't have a fandeck of their paint chips yet.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I had a very rough day today

My very hard day.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

In pictures (mostly)

We decided to get up close and personal with the landscape today.

We stretched towards the sun and drank in the light.

We swayed along with the breezes.

And we enjoyed the pretty spots that took our breath away.

And we got to meet a lovely fellow named Bob, our new lizard friend who's only fault, near as I could tell, was that he didn't blog. Yet.

Secret 27: Coins are my stones

I collect coins. I have more than 30 countries but I don't know exactly how many. I have them from countries I've been to, places friends have been to, and coins I bought out of the register at work when people accidentally paid with them. They are my stone collection. My oldest coin is from 1822 but it's so worn down I can't be sure what country it's from exactly, though it appears European.

We couldn't get to Denmark Blog Camp so we brought Denmark to us. Though julochka tells me that these coins are worth so little now they won't even open the pay toilets anymore.

Friday, September 4, 2009


I guess some people didn't have a good time at the Rib Cook-Off. And this was only at lunch time!

Secret 26: An S on my chest?

While I was pregnant with Erin I was a waitress in a casino. I dreamed of having a Monday to Friday job with holidays and weekends off. So when the opportunity came up to be an administrative assistant I jumped for it. But here's where it got tricky... When I started I was 6 months pregnant but it wasn't obvious (I'm tall so the baby doesn't stick out as far). I was being hired to replace a girl who was leaving after the birth of her own baby, due 6 days before me. I did not tell them I was pregnant because, having already had two children, I knew I bounce back quickly and I just wouldn't take time off.

My obstetrician was still fairly green, having only completed his residency recently. This made him much easier to push around. When I first told him that I wasn't going to take time off he tried to insist that I take 2 months. Um, no... Three kids and a mortgage means I can't. At a later appt he asked me to take 1 month. No. Then 2 weeks, etc. Can you tell I was wearing him down?

At 8 months along I told my bosses about it. I had to as I was finally beginning to look obviously pregnant and the sweater wasn't going to cut it anymore. They were LIVID. The manager asked why I didn't tell them in the interview (Legally I didn't have to and I wanted the job?) and I pointed out to them that it wasn't relevant since I won't be taking time off. The office manager (a mother of two) sputtered a little and said that you can never know what will happen. I had already had two kids. I knew that my pregnancies are easy (not even morning sick. sorry.) and this would be no differnet. They were angry but they didn't fire me.

At my last doctor appointment, a week before my due date, my doc asked me to AT LEAST take a week. Well, my bosses were angry and that just wasn't going to happen. I pointed out that if he induced me on a Wednesday then I would take Thursday and Friday off and he'd have the weekend. It's almost a week. He looked at the calendar, said "Today is wednesday. How about today?" and I went in to have a baby. I took a grand total of 5 days off.

When I went back to work my boss said I must have an S on my chest. His wife later told me that they didn't even believe I would come back until I did. But after that I got a lot of respect around the office. Go figure, since I was just doing what I needed to be done. The one time that I wasn't trying to impress my boss at all, I did.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Secret 25: I was at Mt Saint Helens

In 1980, when Mt. Saint Helens erupted, I was there. And I was almost too close.

My parents were scenic photographers (one still is) and they were taking pictures of the smoke. I was there with my parents and siblings. I was just over a year old and my little sister was 8 days old. At the time we had one of those pop-up trailers, the ones you could tow behind a car, and it had no real heating in it. Because my little sis was just a wee thing my mother decided we should go to a hotel for the night so everyone would be warm enough.

In the morning, at about 8:30, the volcano erupted with a massive earthquake (5.1) and caved in part of the mountain and caused volcanic mud flows. Ash flew hundreds of miles and covered everything. And the campsite that we had been staying at was gone.

My sister says I owe her my life. Guess I do.

The photo is from here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Off to school we go

It was once mentioned, when I was in high school, that we often don't "see" the people that we interact with daily. Our parents, our teachers, the person at the grocery store. We interact and talk with them but often only see them as they relate to us. We've seen them everyday for so long that we don't look at them with fresh eyes anymore. That's when I was asked "When is the last time you looked at your mother's face and really looked at her?". I thought that was incredibly odd since I looked at her everyday. But then I got home and saw my mother and it immediately clicked what they meant. I still saw the mommy that I saw when I was little but mommy had changed. And so I began to really see who she was and keep in mind that she was a seperate person. I saw her.

The next day I went to school and looked at my teachers and thought about how, at the end of the day, they will go home and have a life. They didn't just exist while I was at school but had cares and worries and joys of their own. And I saw them.

Every 6 months or so I have to remind myself to do the same with my kids. I have to take the mental image of them in my mind and throw it out. And then I look and them, at who they are and what they feel, and I see them fresh. My oldest grew up in a second this morning before my eyes. Last year he was argumentative and bitter. Last year he was a smart little boy who had no confidence in himself. Today I saw a boy who is getting a little lanky and developing his style (he loves button shirts). I saw a boy who is happy, loving, and wants to do his homework. He's still smart but now he is starting to believe it too (I'm SO glad we held him back!). He's becoming a little man.

My middle child is turning into my artist. He's creative and loves to draw and read. He's an early riser (which he did not inherit from either parent). He's mischievious and full of life.

My little girl's change was a little shocking to me. She's not so little anymore. She is now a school aged child. She's excited about school and learning and thrilled she gets her own backpack. She's noticing her clothes and wants to wear skirts (and won't take those shoes off). It's hard to see in the picture but she's getting a little lanky too.

Today I saw them and they all grew up a little. I'm thrilled to see the people they are becoming but I wish I could also hold on to who they were just a little longer.