Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sketchbook Theme: "Down Your Street"

So there are themes from which to choose for the sketchbook.  I chose, "Down Your Street."  That is all the limitation there is.  I figured, why not start with a map?  So...I drew a map.  And then I started filling it in with my own feelings about my street.  Well, about my whole neighborhood.  Here is the result.  The photo isn't great, but until I figure out a better way to shoot these pages, it's all there is.  You can click on it to enlarge.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Sketchbook Project - Take II

The kids are gone to their respective schools and are happily settled.   The Attorney and I are in a wonderful place in our lives.  We've hit a rhythm.  And it's slow.  In August, I had three photographs in a local show.  Right now, I have my first "different" project going.  You can read about it here.  The opening was a couple of Fridays ago, and the show comes down this Friday.  I learned a lot.  I'll do it again next year, but with improvements.
Now, I have found a similar, but much larger project.  I'm going to start it soon.  Like tonight.  Or tomorrow.  Or this weekend.  It has to be mailed in January, and it has many, many pages.  Some will be photographs, some will be poetry, some will be calligraphy.  I think.  But I'm not sure.  But y'all, here's the thing:
I'M SCARED.  I have no self-confidence when it comes to this.  So I hope you'll follow my progress, and maybe, just maybe, someone will live near one of the shows and you'll see it next year.
Help me, wouldja?  I need encouragement.
So here's the beginning.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Both Up, Up, and Away

It's official.  Older Daughter and Younger Daughter are both at institutions of higher learning.  That Older Daughter is in graduate school and making plans for her future is no surprise.  It is wonderful, and we are so proud.  That Younger Daughter pulled herself up by her bootstraps, got her head together, and pulled off this wonderful feat makes my heart leap and fills me with joy for her.  She has worked so hard to get where she is today.  She has done what a friend of mine calls, "Human Homework."  We are so happy, and so proud for her.

(It's terribly quiet in here.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Have No Photos Of A Mother's Heart

One of the things I have tried to convey over the years is my deep love for family, especially for my children.  We have been through so much in the last several years, as is the case with many parents of teens.  The teenagers, they are challenging.  And wondrous.
I turned this blog into a photo blog 2 years ago.  I got tired of hearing myself ramble on.  But today I am moved to write about a blogger whom I have never met, but who has touched me in a way I cannot describe.  Her name is Jackie and she belongs to the club that none of us would ever wish on another human being: she is the mother of a child who has died.  Jackie's handsome, brilliant, precious son, Jordan, died in a car accident in 2008, at just 19. Jordan was her first child of four-the responsible oldest sibling to whom her other three turned for companionship and example.  Is Jackie more important than the (scores of)other mothers who have lost children?  Probably not .  There is something about Jackie's writing and Jordan's story, however, that moves me with every single posting.  I feel that if Jordan had met my Older Daughter (which would not have been impossible, given that they went to college very close to one another, at 2 schools with reciprocal class privileges and many cross-campus social events) they would have been friends.  He seems like just the kind of young man that she would love.
All of our children are exceptional in our eyes.  I know that I think that my children are outstanding and a cut above.  I love the way they love each other, and the way they are tuned into my heart.  I love the way we laugh together, and how we have family sayings and stories that will live forever because of our usage and repetition.  Jackie has all of this with all four of her children, and the hole that Jordan's death has left in her family and in her heart is palpable. 
Go visit Jackie.  Lay some virtual flowers down for Jordan.  Read about this incredible young man and the family that loves him.  You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Seven Twenty Seven Twenty Ten: Puppyhood

On December 1, Younger Daughter found a puppy running down the center of a very busy Memphis street.  We all know what happened next!  We did not agree to keep her, but we did agree to foster her until a suitable home was found.  Fortunately for me, one of my co-workers was looking for a dog for her  sons for Christmas.  So we kept the puppy until December 24th.  We got her housebroken (she is SMART) and socialized with our four dogs and the numerous people in our lives, and off she went.  I offered to dog-sit if they ever needed it.
This past weekend, we cared for her.  See how she's grown!  She is a sweet, loving, adorable young dog, and really good company.
We had a great time!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Seven Twelve Twenty Ten: Mural

Murals!  We have murals!  All over our city, there is public art of all kinds.  This is enormous, and in our downtown area, just behind our fabulous minor league ball field.
The only way to get just the right perspective would be to climb the fence behind the stadium, and, well...not my idea of a good time.  So this is the best I have to offer.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Seven Eleven Twenty Ten: Baseball

Today we were lucky enough to have tickets to the Redbirds game-they played the Nashville Sound.  We had seats in an air conditioned suite, courtesy of the greatest charity ever, Hope House Day Care, where I happen to volunteer.  Hope House was given the tickets by one of their corporate sponsors.

Both The Attorney and I like to attend one baseball game per season.  We try to go in April or May, before it gets beastly.  This year, it didn't matter...we stayed cool and enjoyed the game.

I like photographing baseball.  They are better if you click on them to enlarge.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Seven Three Twenty Ten: Ten-Nine-Eight-Seven...

We spent the afternoon by the pool at the home of some dear friends today. We talked, ate, swam, and talked some more. Younger Daughter had a marvelous time performing jumps and dives for everyone.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Six Twenty Seven Twenty Ten: Twenty Two

Scary Spice.  That's my daughter.  She's twenty two today, and driving her brand new "Spicy Red" car.  Pictured below with her cupcakes (oven broken:  No MOM cake) and her best cousin/friend.  They're third cousins, but they're also friends down to the soul.  It was a lucky, lucky thing for them to end up in the same class in high school, next to each other alphabetically.  It wasn't until parents' night that we discovered that the "R" she was talking about was the daughter of The Attorney's second cousin.
They have brought the families close together, and we are all grateful.
Bless you, dear R.
And Happy Birthday to my wonderful Older Daughter.  Twenty two years terrific.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Six Eight Twenty Ten: Good Lord, THAT THING IS HUGE!

Seen on the way to Chicago...somewhere in Arkansas, I believe, but maybe in Missouri.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Six Six Twenty Ten: A Room With A View/Pairodocs

We are lucky to have wonderful friends and family members in the Chicago area.  The closest relative is The World's Best Bleeding Heart Attorney's brother, Opera Man.  He and his spouse, (with whom he becomes "pair-o-docs") live in a lake view condo.  We saw them briefly while we were there, but they had other weekend plans far they let us have the condo.  Gorgeous lake sunrises, beautiful afternoon views, it was all ours for the asking. Below are morning and afternoon shots through the window.
We love them and thank them for their generosity.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Six Four Twenty Ten: My Coffee

Anyone who has wasted any spent time  following my blog for the last five years knows that coffee is very important to me.  I cannot settle for a cuppa from the diner.  I have to have good, fresh coffee and the feeling of community that goes with a nice coffee shop.  Everywhere we go The Attorney gets dragged around looking for coffee for me.
We scored quite nicely in Chicago-several great, independent, fair trade coffee shops.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Six Two Twenty Ten: More Chicago

The school that we saw and wished we had sent our children to was called The Nettelhorst.  It is in the East Lakeview section of Chicago.  We were fascinated by the fabric tied to the gate posts all around the school yard.  The explanation hanging on the fence was essentially that the rainbow of fabric swatches is a shout-out to the neighborhood-so diverse and inclusive.  Indeed, we felt very much accepted and safe there.  Feast your eyes.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Chicago-May 2010

The World's Best Bleeding Heart Attorney and I love Chicago.  We have family and dear friends there, and it's just our kind of place.  We love a city.  This past weekend we spent a lot of time in the neighborhood surrounding her brother's lakefront condo.  This neighborhood has what seems to be a wonderful school in it, with lots of outdoor art.  Behold:

Monday, May 31, 2010

Graduation, Part Deux

It was a whirlwind weekend.  Younger Daughter's graduation in Tennessee 9 a.m. on 5/15, and Older Daughter's in Massachusetts at 10 a.m. on 5/16.  We made both of them with room to spare, and had the most wonderful time doing so.  Here are some snippets from OD's graduation, at which Rachel Maddow was the Commencement Speaker.  It was terrific!
First up, proud Mama.

Here she is, in a crowd, waiting to march in.  We found each other from a LOOOONG way away.

Immediately post-diploma.  On her way back to her seat.  I could hardly see through the tears.

Forget the 365...Here Is May, 2010: Graduations

Younger Daughter graduated from high school on May 15.  Here she is with her REAL b.f.f., Flower Girl, who graduated the next weekend.

Here are the proud mamas.

Here she is, pleased as punch with herself.

And here she is, dancin' out of the building with Flower Girl.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

When Is A Baby Not A Baby?

My baby turned 18 yesterday.  I've never known a child to want to be 18 more than this one.  It's as if a magic switch were going to be flipped and she would be grown.
I sent her a text during the week:  "What kind of birthday cake would you like?"  Her answer, "I want my Sponge Bob cake, mama."  She has had a Sponge Bob cake every year for five years now.  I was sure she was kidding.  I said, "Are you serious?"  She said, "Yes."

This child has never called me Mama.  When she was little, I was Mommy, but have been Mom for at least 12 years.  

My baby.  My big girl.  My puzzle, my challenge, my mystery.  My love.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Four Twenty Three Twenty Ten: Two Good Friends and The Fringe That Binds Them

Today is the birthday of my beloved friend, Barby Doll. On her birthday, for the last 8 years, I have also always thought of another of my dearest friends, Tall Pretty Blonde. The reason for the connection is below: My North American Fringe Tree, which was a gift from TPB and is always in glorious bloom on Barby Doll's birthday.

So happy, happy day, dear Barby, and happy Arbor Day, Dear Blonde. I love you both with all my heart.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

36 Years Ago This Week

These are my parents. This photo was taken on April 20th, 1974, at the wedding of my dear friends, J and B.

My father's detached look was, well, because he was pretty much detached in those days. He got better with age. My mother's smile was genuine. She loved people, and social occasions made her smile. Plus she loved my high school friends.

Most of my life I have been told I look like my father. Now I know it's wrong. I see myself in Mom.

I miss them both. A lot.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Four Eighteen Twenty Ten: Socializing

We had a very social weekend. On Saturday we hosted my friend of longest standing and some of her family. Since they are out-of-towners, we made the obligatory pilgrimage for ribs and barbecue. YUM.
Today we had my good friend, "E'erbody", as we call her, join us for coffee and CBS Sunday Morning. After that our favorite neighbors came over for brunch, which involved an inordinate amount of fresh fruit and a delicious quiche with Gruyere and Black Forest ham, which I made in honor of my father who loved to cook, and LOVED Gruyere. The day was gorgeous-cool, breezy, sunny and clear. The fruit was unbelievably fresh and juicy: pears, kiwi, pineapple, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and two kinds of melon. I always like a little fresh lime and mint with my fruit, so I put that out as well. Even if your guests don't choose it, it looks great on the table. I don't like to make fruit salad-I think everyone has ONE kind of fruit that they always end up picking around, so we just cut the fruit up and put it out all over the table, and everyone can make her/his own combination. Today, I just had kiwi, strawberries, pears, mint, and lime. It was all sweet and luscious.

Later still, our good friend Music Store Owner came over, supposedly for dinner...we were not hungry enough to cook a big meal, so The Attorney made her a fabulous sandwich of fresh turkey breast, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and some of the Gruyere from this morning's quiche on Ezekiel bread!!

We love to entertain-join us for a weekend sometime and we'll make sure you're well fed. (And Susan-the skies are very blue in Memphis these days-you should come see!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

???/365 Four Ten Twenty Ten: Oh, Crap

I CANNOT keep up with this poor old blog. I'm too freakin' busy. So I'm doing the best I can, but I feel sure I will not reach 365 this year. As my lovely Older Daughter would say, "Whatev."

Here is that damned tree again, only this time, totally green with the white dogwood in front of it in bloom.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Another One For Cat

This is the room we re-did last weekend. It had started out blue when Older Daughter inhabited it, remained blue when Gigi moved in, but with new color trim and all new "stuff." Most recently, it had been a bedroom for Younger Daughter's B.F.F., Flower Girl. YD and FG had painted it purple together. Now everyone has flown the coop, so I decided to take one of the spare rooms and make it my office and a sitting room for our guests . The color isn't exactly right-incandescent light and no flash, at night...what can I say?
But quite a transformation, I think.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

75-80/365 Three Twenty Seven Twenty Ten: For Cat

On my facebook page, my fabulous niece the inimitable Cat, clothing designer extraordinaire and all-around cool person, said, "You're always doin' something!" These first 6 photos are for her. They are the before and after of my front garden, which was ignored for over a year while I was busy avoiding a melt-down. Avoiding a melt-down took all my energy. Anyway, in response to Cat saying that I am always doing something, I said...ok, so this weekend I'm going to paint a room and plant my front garden! 1/2 done.

The top two are BEFORE.

The middle two are one hour into the project

Done! Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

73-74/365 Three Twenty Five Twenty Ten: Tree

Here is my tree, photographed again Monday the 22nd and today, the 25th. You can see that today there are petals on the ground. When I awoke at 5:05 this morning, we were in the midst of an enormous thunder and lightning storm. It was windy. I started worrying immediately that my tree would lose its petals prematurely. That is what drove me to stick my camera out the car window on the way to work, despite the rain.

March 22

March 25

Sunday, March 21, 2010

61-72/365 Three Twenty One Twenty Ten: Catchup!

The cool used book store in my favorite part of my little area has a great window display right now-all the book covers are blue. I have window displays of clusters before-biography, mystery, politics, etc., but I have never seen one that was strictly visual. I love this window! At first I didn't like the reflection being so prominent, but I grew to like this photo.

...and this one. Sort of. But not as much as the other one.

Anyone who has followed this blog or its mother-blog in the Five! Years! since I started blogging will know that I love coffee. I love coffee shops, coffee cups, and all things coffee. Imagine my delight when a new breakfast and lunch place opened and I got to go with my beloved to meet a dear friend for COFFEE yesterday morning! FUN! The coffee was DELICIOUS. I had cappucino. YUM. At any rate, this photo and the next few below were taken inside the new shop. We'll be back. It was very bright and airy. Loved it!

Coming soon, across the street, is a restaurant serving "Low Country" Food. I have not yet experienced the pleasure, but I am sure I will love it! I pretty much love food. It runs in the family.

Guess you can tell what the place is called, anyway!

In the restaurant where we had our morning warm beverage, they are creating a shop. It has a superb looking cheese case, wonderful homemade breads, specialty get the picture. This part of town is known for its restaurants and independent shops. We have had a shortage of moderately priced eateries down there, but that is changing. Face it-nobody has money to burn.

Exit here.

I photograph this tree nearly every year. This year I am going to try to photograph it often to record the progression. This picture was taken on Wednesday, March 17th

This picture was taken on Saturday, March 20th. The bare tree to its left is a gorgeous white dogwood when it is in bloom. You will see then the tulip magnolia a deep, dark green. The contrast is striking.

I discovered this wasp nest under my porch ceiling the other day. How does one get rid of this?

This unholy mess is one of the pieces of desk in my cube at work. At a point, I had an office. Then we moved. Everyone from managers on down went into cubes. Recently, my new boss suggested an office again. I actually like being out with the other people. The offices are too isolating for me. The ony good thing is I would have bookshelves for all my crap. Look at all the pictures! It is obligatory for my coworkers to bring me photos of their children, plus I have my own family all over the joint.

Bari is a favorite place of the Attorney and me. They have a wonderful bar with a terrific bartender, and although we don't drink much or often, he remembers us every time. Since her MS diagnosis, we drink even less. We both miss our Friday evening Cosmopolitans with Brad.