January 31, 2010


My fingers are so swollen, I don't think I can get my wedding ring off. My back audibly cracks and creaks when I turn my head. And forget about sleep. The pain is so depressing, because even crying hurts. Although there's been no shortage of that in the last 48 hours. I had a massage last night. It helped for a couple of hours.
To say I'm utterly miserable and depressed would be an understatement.
The bright spot in my day is that I did manage to get out with the family for a slow beach walk.

January 29, 2010

Moving Story

So it was an incredibly sappy story. The bench in he picture is dedicated in memory of a baby who died last year. The family dedicated the bench to her, and they recently had a new baby. So the picture of the day today is the mother and new little boy on the bench.
If that's not enough to make you cry, I don't know what is. The link to see it is up here.
I got an email yesterday from the Morning Blend producer:
I encourage you to watch The Morning Blend on Friday. Your picture submission deeply moved one of our viewers and we’re going to talk about it on the show tomorrow.
So if you're around, watch this morning. I don't know what the story is, so it might suck, but hey - they're showing my photo twice!
P.S. What do you think that says for my chances of winning photo of the month now?

January 28, 2010

Thirteen more random Thursday Things

  1. One of my photos was selected to be Photo of the Day and is being shown on the Morning Blend, a local morning TV show, today.
  2. 2 years ago I won the same contest from the same show with a picture of C-man catching a snowflake on his tongue.
  3. That picture now hangs in front of a giant hole in the livingroom drywall that is leftover from trying to find the studs for the roofing project, that I'm told can't really be fixed without taking down all the window trim.
  4. Last night Beerman informed me that it'd be good if I won again, because then we'd be able to cover up the hole entirely. You'd think we were destitute the way we live sometimes.
  5. The word of the day from wordsmith is heliotropy. It means worshipping the sun.
  6. I'd consider converting to heliotropism if I ever saw the sun.
  7. Instead, I'll keep taking my 2000 IUs of D3 and biting everyone's heads off from this seasonal depression I have.
  8. At a silly icebreaker at work this week, we had to mention something unique about us. For lack of something better to share in a work setting, I said I speak Portuguese. I've had 2 people approach me since who are also fluent speakers. Who knew?
  9. I have my newly won TV in the bedroom, hooked up to a computer so I can watch all the View Instantly options from Netflix, and I am in love with it.
  10. I've been watching a lot of teeny bopper movies that Beerman would NEVER watch with me, but I secretly love.
  11. Our couch that we ordered in early December is finally in.
  12. It can't get delivered until Tuesday. Do they really have those many freaking deliveries?
  13. I really like ravioli and I'm craving it desperately.

January 27, 2010

More shameless self-promotion

My shot of C-man walking by the lake is going to be featured on The Morning Blend TV show tomorrow. If you're local, watch for it. If not, or you work for a living, you should be able to check it out later in the day at http://www.themorningblend.com

Politically minded

January 26, 2010

A dog's life

Today is our dog Harry's 8th birthday. The dog who was 49 pounds, most of it disgustingly dirty softball-sized mats of hair when we picked him up as a worm-infested, heavily abused, man-fearing dog from a tiny, ratty shelter in Watertown, South Dakota 7 years ago. On Day 1, he fell in our pool. Just walked right into it. On Day 2, he got shaved down to nothing to get rid of the gross. On Day 3, we found out he had a heart problem, which led to an expensive doggie cardiologist visit to find out he has a hole in his heart and an enlarged valve, but just like Monty Burns, it's such a precarious position of homeostasis, that it works for him. Oh yeah, and they told us he'd only live to about 5 as a result.
Happy 8th birthday, my hairy 75 pound dog of love. You just keep breaking the rules, buddy. Because I've never met a sweeter, more lovable ball of hair in all my life.

January 25, 2010

Happily Writing

It's so much fun to see C-man learn how to write. And how he practices over and over and over on his doodle and paper and cardboard and anything he can find. And answering the endless "How do you spell..." questions never gets old. Even when it's to spell something totally bizarre. It makes my heart happy every single time.

January 24, 2010

Out for a sloppy stroll

This certainly doesn't look or feel like Wisconsin in January.
The running water creates some really beautiful things.But some pretty sloppy situations too.
But it didn't matter, because there are always games to play at the park. Like this one - otherwise known as jumping feverishly to get a branch that's way out of your vertical leap.
And Harry was thrilled to be out and about. Not that I'm sure he can see much of it anymore. I think it might be time for a hair cut.

January 23, 2010

Learning new things

After a good time creating things,
We spent our morning at Growing Power, learning about the place and getting oriented to become full-fledged volunteers. We saw worms, and how their sifted goodness makes for great compost.And huge tanks raising tilapia and perch while filtering the water for the plants. And then we checked out the animals - turkeys, chickens and goats. So now we're ready to fulfill some regular volunteering gigs on Sundays, fulfilling my interest in volunteering this year. And C-man gets credit for his kindness and justice project for school. Perfect.
************** In knitting project progress, I'm 18" done with the front of my sweater. You know, that sweater front of entrelac that I've never attempted before and has been taking me forever? Yeah, that one. Only 3.5" to go. Then it's the other sleeve and finishing it. Sigh... This might be done in May.

January 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary

44 years of wedded bliss. Congratulations, Mom and Dad!

A really lucky swan

January 21, 2010

13 trivial Thursday things

  1. I count by 4s in my head when I'm stressed out. I've been doing a lot of counting lately.
  2. My books and magazines have to be pristine. I do not dog ear them or roll them or do anything to defile them. Ever. (Which is ironic, because nothing else in my life is pristine.)
  3. I find the older I get, the less I like vegetables. Except green beans and artichokes. Those are fab. The rest I just sort of choke down because I know I should. (ETA - I also like beets a lot. I forgot about those.)
  4. I'm embarrassed I used to like that philandering bastard, John Edwards.
  5. I have a deep desire to scream until I'm hoarse when I hear people talk disparagingly about those who have no or only children.
  6. If I could move tomorrow to go work and live in another country, I'd be gone before you could even say goodbye.
  7. I'd really like to write a book, but can't come up with a good enough plot to spend the time doing it.
  8. It'd be really fun to be in a local theater company production. Except they're always looking for people who can sing.
  9. I can't sing. At all. You're going to have to trust me on this one.
  10. My socks rarely match one another. They're always close, but rarely a match.
  11. I hate that I drive a minivan. I mean I REALLY hate driving a minivan.
  12. I think the majority of people are only mediocre at their jobs.
  13. I'm never calmer than with a camera in my hand.

January 19, 2010

Apparently it's Christmas again

Beerman's been gone again. (Thank God he's on his way home, because Harry's been plastered against the door with worry - the hairball doesn't do that when I'm gone!) So things are a little extra busy. Which is why we never heard the UPS guy come last night. (I've disabled the door bell because the neighbor kid kept laying on it every time he came over, causing Harry to howl and me to swear, and well, let's just say it's better this way.) So imagine my surprise when I opened the door to go wait for the bus with C-man this morning to find 2 boxes wiating for us on the front step.
The first was a box of presents from Beerman's grandma we never see, because well, every family's got its story, now doesn't it... So that box remains unopened until he gets home. His family, he can have the joy of unwrapping them. Plus, I just didn't have the time, because the bus was quite literally, rumbling down the road.
Also, because I was too busy opening the other box. The one just for me. The one with a really beautiful pair of marcasite earrings from C-man and Beerman that was supposed to be delivered December 19th. You know, for Christmas. Apparently Amazon doesn't know the difference between December and January. Bastards. Anyhow, I have the earrings. And they're really great. C-man has excellent taste. Plus, he was so excited I got them and was wearing them today, he was absolutely beaming. It was very cute. (I tried to take a photo of them in, but I kept getting closeups of my pores that are in need of a facial, and figured this was the better alternative.)
Well, at least that's what I thought he was so happy about. I found out the real reason just before the bus stopped. He turned to me and said, "I can have the boxes for my projects tonight, right, Mom?" "Yes, buddy, you can have the boxes." "Cool. Because one is going to be a boat. But not to take in the tub, because it's cardboard. Bye Mom!" And with that, he was gone.
Anyhow, apparently it's Christmas again. So Merry Christmas. And a Happy January 19th!

January 18, 2010

Damnit, we're out of time!

I would be committing some sort of egregious sin if today's Happy Monday didn't go out to the one, the only, Jack Bauer. That's because, ladies and gentlemen, he's back. And if having something to look forward to on Monday isn't something to be happy about, I don't know what is. What's that? You don't know Jack? Then get started, damnit. Although the kill count is going to have to get updated with the new season. If you didn't watch last night, stream it today before tonight's episode! Because, after all, it'll make you happy.

January 17, 2010

A Sunday at the park

Harry found a tennis ball another dog thoughtfully left behind. The birds were out taking advantage of the grass that's showing.
The robins apparently missed that "fly south" memo.
C-man found the geocache again. Totally amazing.
We even found a buck rub. Which, of course led to the, "Why do the bucks want to let the does know they're here?" Um... to be friends?

January 16, 2010

A long overdue morning of geocaching

Channeling a bit of Grandma as he digs in the tree for the cache...
A proud find. It's amazing how C-man seems to find every single one. Following Dad down the path
Another happy find
A wintry Klode Park
Lake Michigan view
And my favorite shot of the day

January 15, 2010

Random Stuff

  • I've got a cold. My throat hurts. And I can barely keep my eyes open. Guess where I got that?
  • My popovers were featured on last Friday's One Word Project (January 8th). Life got hectic, and I forgot to shamelessly self-promote. It really surprised me, since the other entries are all so professional, and I entered to learn a bit more about photography. But I'll take it.
  • I'm getting my hair cut today. I can't wait. I love getting my hair cut, and it's overdue by about 2 weeks, so it'll be really good.
  • On this date in 1967, the Packers won the very first Superbowl. I am willing to bet my parents still argue about whether or not it was actually called the Superbowl.
  • Nobody argues about where the money went that they gave to my sister for safekeeping when they made that bet.
  • If you're on Twitter, and half-obsessed with Haiti, there are some great tweets coming from @firesideint.
  • I ate a big breakfast. It's part of my quest to go back to eating more protein and working out more.
  • I'm reading The Help. After I got over the style in which it's written, I'm really enjoying it. Which is great, because I've been in a bit of a book dry spell. But I have 4 sitting on my nightstand waiting for me after this one.
  • In our quest to make 2010 our year of winning contests, Beerman submitted a recipe to the local paper for the Bacon Bakeoff Contest. We got a call the other day saying his recipe was going to be one that they tried. Which is funny when you realize he has previously mocked bacon desserts, doesn't make desserts himself (that's my job), and thought it up in about 20 minutes.
  • When I got to work, I discovered someone brought in kringle. I would have passed it up since I'm not hungry, except it was from O&H Bakery. Seriously, the best.kringle.ever. Passing that bakery on my way to work each day was the best part about living in Racine.
  • Only 76 more days until a long weekend at work.

January 14, 2010

Sometimes it consumes me

Trapped miners in Pennsylvania, a tsunami in Indonesia, the Hurricane Katrina devastation in New Orleans, and now, of course, Haiti... I see the images and hear the reports, and it haunts my nightmares. And I'm not talking metaphorically here, people. I really do get a little more involved than some might consider healthy.
In the spirit of that, here are 3 really reliable donation options for you. It's as easy as a click. If nothing else, do it just to spite Pat Robertson.
Where I put my money: Partners in Health
The old standby: Red Cross
Clean water needs: Charity Water

January 13, 2010

Oh, the resolutions

This time of year is always a bit of a struggle for me. The lack of sunlight. The holidays are over, and it's such a long stretch of work with no day off until Easter. (My work doesn't even give MLK Jr Day off. WHAT?!?) The sicknesses that seems to spring up, in spite of my best efforts to keep us pumped full of vitamins and wash our hands a lot. And did I mention the complete lack of sun? Combined, it always feels a bit like a death march to Easter. Or at least to the days when you can wake up and it's not completely black outside.
And of course, besides a month-long vacation on my favorite beach in the world, the two things that really help me with the funk are a good diet and exercise. Coincidentally, they are also the top 2 things I DON'T want to do this time of year.
So while I'm not one of those who is resolving to lose weight for the new year, I'm resolving to exercise and eat better to try to get me out of this funk. 5:30 a.m. spinning, here I come. Ugh.

January 12, 2010

So it's only Tuesday?

I have a sick kid who I am going to pick up from school at 11 in the hopes that some couch time will help him. There's a ton of work to get done at my job. Blogger doesn't want to cooperate and is posting things on the wrong dates. My head hurts. I'm all anxious over some test results. And Mark McGwire broke the cardinal rule - there's no crying in baseball!
Since I've gotten all my bad stuff out before 9 a.m., the rest of the day is going to shine a lot brighter.

January 11, 2010

Happily Monday

Seriously, does it get any happier than a fresh latte from your favorite coffee shop? The smells, the aromas, the shushing of the milk frothing, the cheery conversation with the barrister who on occasion gives your dog a bath...
Coffee. It's a happy thing.

January 10, 2010

Putting it all away

The Christmas tree went down on New Years Day. But the Nativity scenes always stay past 3 Kings Day. C-man had great fun putting the kings out. But last night I realized that 3 Kings Day has long come and gone, so today it was time to put the Nativities away too. Of all the Christmas things, the Nativities are my favorite. I have a hand-painted one, a cheap one, a Fisher Price one, a hand-carved wooden one from South Africa, and then I have this small one. I love them all, because they all mean something, but this one is my favorite.Many years ago, I was a teenager living in Brazil, thousands of miles away from family. And at Christmas, my sister - against the advice of EVERYONE - mailed me this creche. It's glass. And she mailed it to me during a time when even letters from the US were getting stolen in case they had dollars in them. But somehow, it made it. In those days pre-email, the mail was my rare connection to home. And getting a package, let alone a special package, was a really big deal. And I remember that feeling every time I look at it. That feeling of being connected to family. So it gets put away for another year. For another day to again be pulled out, to remember the importance of family and holidays and doing something special to connect to those who matter most, regardless of the season.

January 8, 2010

As the snow continues...

Wine club tonight. A much needed because oh my God this hair is a nightmare hair cut tomorrow. Some snowshoeing in-between. And in spite of everyone complaining about the foot of snow we got overnight, I kind of like it. I think it's because it all feels quieter. And softer. Like a big blanket. And I love that. I really do like snowy days.

4 Days of shameless begging left

You've only got 4 days left to vote for my photo. You know, if you want to and all.

January 7, 2010

Want to help me win?

So I entered another photo contest with the Christmas kissing picture. You have to register, but it's free. So click HERE and vote for "Sealed with a Kiss"!