Tuesday, September 30, 2008

7 Weird and Frightening Random Facts About Me

1. I always mix my corn and mashed potatoes together, then douse it all with Lea & Perrin's Worchestershire Sauce. Don't knock it until you've tried it.

2. The sound of those plastic library book jackets makes me very happy. I'd like to have a coat made out of plastic library book jackets. And maybe a matching purse.

3. The only road rage I ever experience is a) when someone is tailgating me so closely that I can't see their headlights, and b) when I'm leaving the proper two car lengths in front of me on the interstate, and someone passes me on the right to fill that gap. Oh yes, I was saving that spot for you. Asshole! And look! You aren't getting there any faster than I am!!

4. Okay, I lied about number 3 being my only road rage. It seems odd to me that the people who do stupid things on the road are invariably talking on their cell phones.

5. I want to murder high fructose corn syrup and monosodium glutamate, and bury them in a shallow, unmarked grave in the woods. HFCS is obviously made from corn, and MSG is made from soybeans, and my husband grows corn and soybeans. So I'm really cutting my own throat by hating them, but they're really, really BAD for you. So if your body needs corn and soybeans, eat them raw.

6. I'm a Patriot and a lover of the Constitution, and I get really worked up about the state of our Country. Pretty sure it's going to cause me to have a stroke someday.

7. I've always wanted a buggy. Or to be Amish. But with electricity. And the internet.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Decisions, decisions.

Our lives are rife with choices, some of which can greatly impact our lives, some of which can take us down the right path - or the wrong one.

Currently, I'm trying to decide whose overtures to accept concerning the ball at Willow Manor, hosted by Willow.

Here is the gorgeous and charming Cary Grant, trying to persuade me to accept his invitation to the ball.

Isn't he sweet?

Clark Gable, on the other hand, uses unconventional and sometimes frightening methods:

Not tonight, dear, I have a headache.

But Clark also has a very tender and persuasive side:

Oh, fiddle-dee-dee. What's a girl to do?
I'll think about it tomorrow.

arose in the morning

Rose, O pure contradiction, delight
in being no one's sleep under so many

Rainer Maria Rilke, October 27, 1925

Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's not easy being vintage.

My beloved parents and siblings, and the home where I grew up. I'm standing in front of my mother. I'm sure she made my outfit.

I don't know what I would do without photographs.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The absurdity of it all.

Haven't written much here, obviously, but not because I haven't wanted to. I had hoped to make this journal a little more positive than my other one - a place for lightness and art and maybe photography. Well, I don't have time for any of that. Actually, that's not a fair statement. I would have time if I made those things a priority, but then (surprisingly!) everything else would go to hell in a handbasket.

Today I've had to deal with less artistic things like why we received a certified letter from our bank, why the BMV told my son he has 6 points on his driver's license, whether our insurance agent sent proof of insurance to the bank that sent us a certified letter. Yesterday, I was on the phone calling every pawn shop in Colorado Springs trying to find one with an HP laptop, because while my son was in sniper school in Georgia, someone stole the one he bought in June while he was home on leave. SURPRISE! Not. It happens every time he's gone for missions or training. The poor guy...he has had to learn early that life sucks. I try desperately to encourage him to have a positive outlook on life, but it's a little hard to get to him through the black cloud that constantly hangs over his head.

It has occurred to me before that perhaps "bad luck" is a method the universe uses to let us know we aren't in the right place or on the right track. It's either that, or God really, really wants to shape us into people with a lot of character and strength.

Have you ever had a run of bad luck? Continuous tragedies? If so, what do you do to remain positive through it all?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A year is a long time.

I've had a string of bad days. All the tiny things added up to a mountain that overwhelmed me yesterday, and I cried at work. I hate when I do that. But when I discussed my day last night with a glass of tequila, tequila helped me figure out that the root of all my anxiety is my son's impending deployment to Iraq. It happens in 16 days.

It's unlikely that I'll get to see him before he goes, and I haven't seen him since June. I haven't seen him much in the last four years, and he's only 22. So, basically, I've missed out on almost one-sixth of his life. Here comes another year, when he'll be on the other side of the world, in a not-so-nice place. And trust me, time goes by slowly when someone you love is at war.

I've often thought about the mothers who have sent their sons off to war. The ancient Roman mothers, the Greeks, every other mother throughout history - none of them knowing when or if their boys would come back.

At least I have the internet, instead of messenger pigeons.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tea, Anyone?

In a shameless attempt to catch up to my niece's superior photography skills, I purchased (yesterday) a new lens for my camera: a Canon 50mm f/1.8. I love this little beauty so far, though I haven't had much of a chance to use it yet, since I first had to recharge my camera's battery and I've been busy ever since. But here's a preview of what it'll do:

I love the way the background fades away, and we are encouraged to focus on one thing, like the way my imitation chintz teacup is obviously not level on the bottom.

Friday, September 12, 2008

About My New Widget

I first discovered the fabulous widget in my sidebar on Willow's blog, which led me to the discovery of whole other worlds of blog.

The widget is the brainchild of Caroline Smailes and someone called Stray.

I hope you'll try it out. Apologies in advance to those of you unlucky enough to land here at my sparse space. I prefer to think of it as neat and tidy.

Must. Have. It.

Just now, while buying a St. Michael medal to wear while my son is in Iraq (I'm not Catholic, but I'll take all the help I can get), I ran across this gem of an Italian charm:

OH, my gosh, ohmygosh. This little camera is encrusted with tiny brown and white diamonds, and it's ONLY something ridiculous like $583.20 at allwebjewelry.com

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Violin, Oil on Fiberboard, 2006

This is one of few oil paintings I have ever completed. I wanted to put it here because I've never photographed it before, and photographs on my computers have a tendency to get lost forever.

Yes, I know my lines are crooked.

This was quite a feat for me, actually. To paint something I didn't totally obsess over to make it photorealistic. That's because I made it all up in my head, and my head is very fuzzy.

Things to Do Today (After Work)

1. Wash all the dishes I didn't do last night.
2. Laundry: about 5 loads? haha, this makes me laugh.
3. Clean Bathroom. Already done, at 5:30 this morning. Don't ask me why. Of course I was 30 minutes late to work.
4. Wash, peel, slice, and freeze about 20 50 pounds of peaches. I spent most of last weekend doing this with peaches from another tree, the one I consider a "rogue" because it sprouted from a pit I threw to the chickens about 10 years ago. Oddly enough, those peaches, though smaller, have a much sweeter flavor than the ones from the tree I spent fifty bucks on.
5. GET OFF THE COMPUTER!!! (Just a gentle reminder)
6. Get to bed early. (Again with the reminder.)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Roses With Gaudy-an Blur

I'm puzzled over this whole Photoshop thing.

Monday, September 08, 2008

On Disappointment and Wavering Faith.

If I've ever gotten anything I wanted, or prayed for, it's hard to remember. Except for having become a farm wife and the mother of three boys (which should be more than enough reward for anyone), my prayers have gone unfulfilled, perhaps even unheard. And I'm not talking about winning-the-lottery kinds of prayer, but smaller things...desires that are almost insignificant in the larger scheme of things.

Most recently, my heart-welling prayer was for my oldest son, a soldier in the U.S. Army Infantry, who has had more than his share of disappointments, too: difficult high school years, three girlfriends who have dumped him (one while he was in basic training, one while he was in Iraq), numerous thefts of his belongings...I could go on. So when he was given the opportunity to go to sniper school - something he's been wanting for a long time - I was thrilled for him. Hopeful that, at last, here would be a success, something to bolster his faith and his confidence in himself. I prayed and prayed for him, for the clarity of his mind, the sharpness of his skills, for his ability to do math. And that he would be given the opportunity to at last prove himself as the kind of soldier he has always wanted to be.

As usual, the desires of my heart, and his, were denied. I finally spoke to him on the phone last night, and the words "I failed out" broke my heart.

One of the greatest tragedies in life is that a mother cannot do anything to prevent her children's disappointments.

Another tragedy is when you begin to lose faith in prayer.

So I console myself with this, as all Christians do - that God has a good reason for my son to not be a sniper - and that should be enough.