Friday, May 28, 2010
I read a ton of blogs. My google reader has hundreds of feeds set up and today's inspiration comes from there.
This picture was posted on the once wed blog. Scroll down to the May 17th post.
I think I may have swooned. The colors. That wall. The moss. The candles. THE..... THE.... THE....
But the following cropped part of the picture was the one thing that my eye returned to over and over.
That moss covered box.
I have an idea........
I have a paper mache heart shaped box that has a damaged lid. (Poca dog was the guilty party). Let's see what the weekend brings.
Thank you to those who are serving my country, and to those who have loved ones serving our country. Thank you to those who gave of themselves and their families as well. We are blessed to be free, but I know that freedom comes with a cost. At my house - we will remember and we will pray.
I have a beautiful life.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Good morning. Super spy top secret project work continues. So another posting without MaggieGrace goodness. But she is back and she is being very inspired and productive.
I said on my facebook last night that I am different now. Some people are worried about that. Let me clear up some things. I ain't depressed. Actually far from it. I feel blessed and fortunate and very happy. I just find myself having low tolerance for petty bull shit stuff. College Girl and I went to eat yesterday - IHOP - mmmmm. We were well after 'normal" lunch hours getting there. Staff is at a minumum at this time and they are focused on getting ready for the dinner hours, I know this from being a waitress in my younger days. A few late eaters were scattered through the dining area, one waitress was serving the entire area, and service was a little slow. The people at the table next to us complained for the entire time we were there - it grated on my nerves to the nth degree. Not the slower service - I understood that - but the whining about it. I am fighting myself constantly to keep from saying what I really think to those kind of folks.
Today is not the kind of day to be around that - all my censor circuits and filters seem to be shut down. Some sort of "malfunction" that would find me telling said people something like this ...
IF YOU WANTED FAST FOOD THERE''S DAMN DRIVE THRU WINDOW AT THE JOINT NEXT DOOR!!!!!! PUL EESE STOP COMPLAINING.
Thats what I mean by different. The good news is that the maintenance crew (ie my facebook circle, my cyber buddies from blogland and some local peeps) is working on my malfunctioning circuitry.
Off the soapbox --- sorry.
Now for some linky linky loves.
College Girl - my oldest daughter - Molly. You guys know her thru this blog from my perspective. I think she is bright, witty, beautiful - on and on. But she is my daughter and I kinda am biased in my opinions. But yesterday she spent the morning at my office with me, getting my help (yup that is funny) on setting up her own blog. Now you can all form your own opinion of my daughter. I am going to ask (beg) for you guys to link over there and welcome her to blogland. She picked a cool blog title too.......
Another one. My loverly niece, Alli, is a soon to be graduate from SCAD. She's thinking on moving to the upper west coast after graduation - look out Jen. I think she will be very successful as a jewelry artist. She has her blog and has posted some new pieces. Go take a look over here... If any one wants to gift me, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Emerson Piece.
One last one. College Girl shared this with me yesterday. This young lady is not only a talented fashion designer, she does the softest most gorgeous pictures. Most def an eye candy site. Take off over here. That first picture of her on the BEACH post takes my breath away.
There you go, some linky love. I promise, take the trips, they are well worth it.
Have a wonderful day.
I have a beautiful life.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Gosh - I hope this works out.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Some 16 hours after she started home, College Girl was safely retrieved from Spain. She was tired (jet lag sux) and hungry (body clock screwed up) and needed a shower. Overslept before they left.
We were excited to see her. We failed to activate her international calling plan and since her cell package is in her name, could not do after she left, so it was a long week for all of us. Only one phone call the entire time.
Okay - it was her first plane flight. It was her first really "big" excursion. It was the experience of a lifetime. SHE HAD A BLAST.
Her impressions of Spain were mostly positive. (except for one Dance Club, that she described as "sketchy") The food. The culture. The landscape and architecture. The people. The lifestyle.
Kale was the only boy - we took him everywhere - he was our "protection"
They eat at strange times -breakfast is around 9 or 10 - potato omlets mom you gotta learn how to make those.
The food - everything is so fresh. There were no great big stores like super walmart. And the markets were awesome.
We went out every night.
One bit I am no so sure I am excited about........
I would go back tomorrow.
Where would she go? Was there a favorite? Yup
My little girl is growing up. Happened so fast. She is also now seriously considering an internship application in Amsterdam. The two of us have changed in the last several years. Happened gradually, like it is supposed to. While I will always be her Mom, the conversations going into this trip and as she has returned are sounding more like we will are becoming friends.
I'm liking this a lot.
I have a beautiful life. I have beautiful children. I am trying to embrace the wanderlust part of this one right now. Its hard, but I am so glad she wants to travel and experience things.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
But this post is not about that. This post is about tiny things that make my house the home it is for all of us. These are things I noticed.
There is a loose brick in the floor in the living room. It used to bother me, then I noticed that it is where we all stand to say goodnight. It is right where we stop to let the others know that we will be in the back part of the house. I'll always be able to see my girls - stop right there and talk to us.
My kitchen screen door sticks - it's an old fashioned wooden screen door. You have to hit it just right or the top or bottom corner will stick. But it also is the most used door in my house. Family, friends, even the cute UPS guy, uses this door. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I am going to make the front door inviting. Not so worried about that any more. Gonna pretty up the entrance that really gets used.
We have one bathroom, and the mirror is always marked up. Toothpaste spatters, water spots, you know. But that mirror is also our message board. Since we all used the same bathroom, I keep dry erase markers in there and we leave notes to ourselves and one another. When I came home from the hospital - I found a note that said - "glad you are home" - written there. The fun part is that many of our friends also leave notes on the same mirror. I really think that is way cool.
There are clothes draped thru the house - I know - laundry should be put away. But guess what - I didn't wash any of those clothes, The Man did. He also dried them and separated them. His are on the dryer - Softball Girl's are on the video stand - mine are on the daybed. We do occasionally get a bra or pair of cute little panties in the wrong place, but that's because Daddy really don't wanna think about his girls wearing those things. That is an unselfish act of service on his part - I appreciate it too.
The rose at the porch corner - needs a trellis to climb on - but it came from the yard where I grew up. There are crepe myrtle trees at the driveway end - they came from the yard where the man grew up. A really pretty little red maple tree reminds us of Mama Norvan - the mans grandmother. My yards are not lush - I have a black thumb, but those are important items in my yards.
I am glad to feel like this is my forever house. I do know this is HOME.
See details in your house - tell me about them.
Love and beauty surround us - look for it.
I have a beautiful life.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
But he did not bring flowers. Not the first time. There were no broad declarations of love and support. No cards. No letters. Not his style at all.
But people, DO NOT FEEL SORRY FOR ME. Because in the middle weeks of this recovery, he got home one afternoon with this............
Yup - cubbies for my studio. Now my facebook friends have all seen this, but I missed posting it here. So no don't feel sorry for me, this man knows what I like. And when he discovered this was going to be discarded at work, he snagged it for MaggieGrace world. I think he kinda gets me -- what about you?
SAY FREE!!!!!!! I couldn't really jump and do the happy dance, but I was very very excited.
Look carefully at the other end, that section has been added on. It is now detached and sitting on the top.
As quick as I am fully able, I'll be rearranging the furniture in my house and in the studio, to accomodate this lovely. This is going to really work nicely and I have been looking for one that was affordable. I also have tons of those baby wipe tubs, that will be used for even more storage containers for this. I'll be using ModPodge to dress those containers up.
Speaking of ModPodge, I (specifically my lamp repurpose) was featured on the Mod Podge Rocks facebook page yesterday. Go here, to find lots of linky goodness for crafty peeps.
I am having a slightly better day today - feeling a little stronger. Gonna try to get back to my bootcamp schedule next week. I'm ready for some semblance of normal again.
Have a great day. I have a beautiful life.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Fast forward - to last month - I am healthier - I feel great - I have been diligent in followup for the breast cancer. I am eating right and working out. I thought I had a kidney stone, the docs thought it was a stone - I was sent home from the office and from the er with that diagnosis. Then BAM -- the phone call - the trip to the office - the words hung out in the air - hospital --- surgery --- follow up.............recovery
BLINDSIDED. Totally unexpected. Which is probably the case for most people who discover that they have cancer. I am, once again, very fortuate, they say they got it all.
So 4 weeks to the day - I celebrated being a survivor - AGAIN. With way too many others, I walked those laps. With my supportive loved ones, my friends, people I only know casually, I walked. It was a very emotional night for me.
See I walked with the knowledge that I have no treatments to endure. I walked with the knowledge that my life will pretty well continue on its normal course with only a few incoveniences. I walked with the docs assurances that I am now cancer free (again). Many of the people around that track with me don't have that. I am fortunate indeed.
But I walked --- and I bought luminaria for friends. I read my name many times on bags around the track. Thank you for those friends who purchased bags in my name.
I visited with many Friday night. It was fun to celebrate surviving.
Softball Princess - me - The Man at my Address.
It is a victory no one should have to celebrate. But we did. And we smile and we go on. And we push IT to the back of our brain.
Left to Right - Becky Jones, Sandra Dove Smith, me. All of our girls play ball together - we are all survivors.
I am battling IT right now. What is IT, you might ask? FEAR - FEAR - FEAR. See I was being so careful to do my followups, I was eating healthy, I was exercising, I see my docs regularly, I'm doing what you are supposed to do. I always thought I might have breast cancer again, or a metatastic cancer from that. Renal Cell Carcinoma - a totally different and unrelated cancer - found by accident because of a suspected kidney stone. This scares me.
What if there are more? What if they don't see it in time again? What if? What if? What if? And in talking to others about this -- the what if monster haunts their dreams too.
I am not depressed, but I am battling this huge thing right now. I promise this will not become a pity party site - I'll be back to MaggieGrace goodness asap. This blog is about me - about creativity - about life - love - and the pursuit of happiness - about the journey that is. So I share my thoughts here.
Right now I am scared - and nobody can help take that fear away. So I'll do what I did in the past - refuse to give in to FEAR. Because allowing IT to remain so strong will take away the joy of the blessed life I have.
So I am embracing strength and joy. FEAR - YOU DO NOT HAVE A CHANCE.
Y'all have a wonderful day.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
So - I had these lamps. Cast iron and heavy brass floor lamps. Free lamps. The wiring was damaged, they were in terrible shape. We used them at halloween because they were creepy. And they have been sitting by my kitchen door since then - please don't judge me.
So - I had this little cancer surgery. I'm home and have some serious restrictions on my physical activities. I actually feel sorry for the Man at My Address, he would come home and I was all ready to paint walls and do other stuff, because I was sitting there looking at them ALLLLLLL DAAAAYYYY.
That night light lens - ModPodge - great stuff. I simply covered it completely with a garden themed tissue paper.
A little bit of an issue with stability on the wine glass assemblies. Think Think Think.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
But my blog buddy - JulieAnn did. We had planned for her to spend some time with me anyway after the event. The event was over on Sunday - she did not fly back until Tuesday. So phone calls were made - apologies raised for the house not being really ready for guests - and JulieAnn came to Comer GA - late on Sunday night - April 25. Yes I allowed a stranger into my house exactly 9 days after losing my left kidney.
Sunday night -late - the softball princess drove us to Athens and met JulieAnn, who then followed us to the middle of nowhere. If she was freaked about how far out we were, she did not let on.
Then on Monday, we spent the morning getting to know each other - JulieAnn is beautiful, smart, funny, and talented. She unpacked all her goodies and I got to live vicariously through all the pretties. Did I mention that the Poca Dog - loved her?
Monday midday - I decided to call my favorite junk haunt in my town - the Hardware Store. We love Steve and his wonderful wife Carol. I wanted to see if we could get upstairs. Think old fashioned store and antiques and stuff upstairs. I really think JulieAnn began to grasp just how small my town is, when Steve started asking about my surgery. But yes we could get upstairs.
So into town I went. Shh. Don't tell the docs. We poked around and explored. Gathered up stuff and to the checkout we went. Well some was not priced, but Steve just pulled a number out of the big blue sky and away we went.
Of course there were buttons and other goodies. I got us a bowl and we poked and picked and laughed and totally enjoyed ourselves. Oh. how much fun. I was so happy she decided to come on even if I was moving very slow and had to nap - a lot.
On Tuesday - we took her back to the interstate - but had some time to spare before she had to leave. This is another SHHHHHHHH story. The Man at my Address insisted that my mom go as a chaperone - to "watch me". Well we went to an antiques store and I found the captains treasure chest of mis-matched silverware. Keep in mind - I have a 12 inch incision that is 10 days old across my abdomen. I couldn't pick the basket up off the floor to go through them, so I did what any self- respecting junker would do. I eased myself to the floor and dumped said baskets out and proceeded to dig through them. My mom - you know the chaperone who was supposed to watch me - did just that. She watched me - mouth ajar - wordless - pale faced - thinking "oh shit" - get in the floor. I bought 12 pair of silver for bracelets for 15 dollars - 24 pieces of silver for 15 dollars - not too shabby.
This is JulieAnn my beautiful friend - she needs a job in research in the Athens area - so she can be closer. My mama loved her - my family loved her and would welcome her back any time. I just wish I had felt better - then we could do some serious junking.
One more note - JulieAnn cut me off some stunning trim. As she was packing thinks up, my mom asked her what she was going to do with her portion of that. Won my mama's heart when she answered - in true creative person style - "look at it". Come on ladies - we all know that answer is the right one don't we.
JulieAnn - please come again really really soon. Love ya.
Monday, May 10, 2010
And her big sister.
Her version of the pole dance - an inside joke from my recent hospital stay - she shares my twisted sense of humor. Every girl deserves to feel this stunning and (shh don't tell dad) sexy at least a few times in her life.
Friday, May 07, 2010
I grew up poor, not in the no money for food way, but in the every penny was accounted for way. We always had what was needed and planned and saved for what was wanted. The house we lived in had space heaters, but no heat in the bedrooms. I also spent many nights at my grandmother's house with the same kind of heat.
Winter nights were interesting. Back up to the heater to get warm, run to the bed, crawl in the covers and be really still once you got your spot warm. Those covers were not fancy bedspreads with matching sheets, they were basic sheets with handmade quilts and afghans. Those handmade things had weight to them, substance. That feeling stays with me today.
CANCER - what an ugly word. It hangs in the air almost like you can see it. It echoes off the wall - that phrase was from the Man at my Address. It temporarily sucks the breath out of you, especially if it comes as unexpectedly as this did. I went in for a kidney stone - I came out a statistical freak. A second primary cancer. Not everyone gets this priviledge of two completely unrelated occurances.
I called a few friends. I facebooked the series of events. I spoke with my pastor. I turned to my natural weapon - sarcastic humour. I refuse to bow down to it.
Here is where I want the special to come in.
As quick as word hit the the streets and the internet - people responded. People near to me. People far away. Friends, family, total strangers. Churches all over the world prayed for me. The support, the encouragement, the love, the prayers, the blanket of healing fell over me. Almost as if it was tangible. Like I could reach for it and wrap it around me. Like those quilts handmade by my grandmother and mama, on a cold winter night.
I was warm. I was comfortable. I was loved. And in those moments of weakness and darkness my support network became my strength and my light. Not just mine either, my entire family. In the good moments that occured, this blanket of support celebrated. When the fear or pain won the battle and I felt sorry for myself, this blanket wrapped tighter and reassured me that I was not alone.
I'm starting here with recognizing two friends - and so many more for an unexpected act - that still amazes me. MaryAnn and Jen immediately set to work putting together this. Their friends and some of mine are contributing. Overwhelmed does not begin to describe the feelings I have. I do not quite know what to say - except thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you. I have never met either of those ladies face to face, but they both are among the friends I am closest to. The contributors are amazing as well, and the donors too. I wish I could see and hug and thank each one personally, it truely means so much. Again a corner of that blanket that I can pull around me.
My work team at my grown up girl job - has rocked. Being out for some three weeks and no major crisis to come back to.
Melissa - we have been friends for many years now. Our Girls are friends. She has organized food and has called and checked and made sure that I'm ok. A true angel and one day, I might actually grow up and be like her.
Becky - I really don't have words here either. She stayed with my family at the hospital during surgery. She and her husband brought food and encouragement. A text or a phone call. Took the softball princess to her prom dress fitting when I couldn't. And I know that I can call her anytime.
Jones Chapel UMC - they are my extended family. Susan, our pastor, was right there, praying and loving and building the family up. I know that Donald Sartain wore that bandaid with my initials on it. Veronica Reno - called and visited and checked. And the food - nobody goes hungry physically or spiritually in this church.
MCHS, SMACK, and FURY SOFTBALL - who knew when those girls were playing t-ball just how important we all would be to one another. Thank you thank you thank you.
Family - near and far. the distance doesn't separate the heart does it. I love you all so much.
Ellen - email after email of beautiful words. To build me up. My family up. Time taken to care for a virtual stranger. Awe inspiring.
Local Best Friend - hospital visits, home visits, laughter, love, the knowledge that no matter what - you are there - amazes me. Even though you think my hair looks like a frazzled chickens ass. To think that night that I listened to your story would come to the kind of relationship we have - never in a million years. Thank you - and you know I love you too.
Sam's Mom - Jennifer - an unlikely series of events brought us together, but look what we gained. Thank you for everything - for understanding the bad jokes, for contributing to the raffle, for chocolate and even a book I can destroy in the name of art.
JulieAnn - a blog buddy who decided to come stay with me a week after my surgery. I am so glad you did. I enjoyed getting to know you a little better. The poca girl loved you. My mama loved you. I'm looking forward to spending more time with you.
Facebook - Texts - emails - phone calls - blog comments. Read them all - printed most of them - keeping them. Visits - flowers - food - cards - notes. It all mattered. It all still matters.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
There will be more posts about prom to come, but this one is just about a fun little detail.
College Girl's bare tootsies. Standing in the covered bridge at Watson Mill Bridge State Park. Take note she is dead on 6 feet tall in this format.
She is barefooted because strolling out on a covered bridge in these was not exactly comfy or safe. Add 5 inch heels to a 6 foot tall girl and she is imposing. But that's her - prissy and frou frou and very feminine in her attire.
Softball Princess - is beautiful too. But some what more practical in her attire and lifestyle. She's a serious athlete and you can tell that by looking at her. But prom night she was stunning. Every girl deserves to feel and look like a princess on those special occasions. Again more of that in the next few days.
When we bought the dress, we bought the very first one she tried on. I knew it too. The smile on her face told the entire story. It fit and it made her feel great. She came to me later to ask about shoes. She knew what she wanted but wanted me to be okay with it. Her choice.......
Yup - converse sneakers. Bright shiny white canvas, with a really pretty black and silver print on the flap. The barefoot boy also sacrificed and wore the traditional white loafers with his tux.
So there you got it. A portrait of my girls' personalities summed up perfectly in one shot. I love this picture. How about you guys????