Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tableau Tuesday 6/30/09

Hey all,

Here it is Tuesday and I have been having difficulty tracking all of the scheduling for all of my family along with photo challenges. So what you get is what I've shot - a partial shoot for metal, and a partial shot for rainbow. I won't be in town on Friday, but will try to get it out there ahead of time. Probably. The metal is all a part of a friend - TKD 2nd degree blackbelt and grandmother, and the Rainbow is from a selection of shirts The Boys and I dyed on Sunday.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Afternoon Weekend Wrap Up

My life has been stressful lately, or I should say more stressful than usual. As I'm sure you are all aware, The Boys have busy lives which involve my transporting them hither and yawn. Over summer they are still taking Tae Kwon Do, and on a swim team. They love both, but it takes a great deal of coordination and time to ensure they get where they need to be when they need to be there.
Thursday was a weird day with Farrah and MJ passing just days after Ed. It was also a day when The Boys' Opa had surgery to remove an adrenal gland. The surgery went well and everyone was confident that he would be home resting by Friday afternoon. Unfortunately, his recovery was not as smooth as expected and he didn't end up coming home until Sunday, but all is good now! What that also means is that I worked from home because Oma was not available to watch The Boys. They swim for 90 minutes every weekday, in the mornings, ususally at the same time as I have meetings at work. The pool has WiFi, so I am able to do actual work from a picnic table poolside, but taking conferrence calls while the background noise is splashing and giggling of little kids is poor form. So I spend swim parctice working, listening to calls, and when I have to say something, quickly running out to the car. The rest of Thursday was spent locked in the playroom/office at home while The Boys continuously whined about wanting to play with neighbors and friends, but those conference calls with kids in the background would still be a problem, so they continued to whine. Thursday Night was Tae Kwon Do, and The Boys are now in the same class, which shaves 30 minutes off of the time they are at the studio on oany given day, AND because they are now together, I have an hour to myself, instead of watching one while the other is in class. This coming week, I'll be walking for that hour, with my camera. Last week, it was all I could do to just get everyone there on time...
Friday is my normal day to work from home, and again with swimming in the morning, hooked to WiFi. The Dude took The Boys to Tae Kwon Do, but that is only because he didn't want to tak them to the swim team carbo load immediately following TKD. So I did some laundry, got caught up on e-mails, and called in a pizza order to pick up on the way. Hung out at the pool while The Boys swam some more and ate pizza. Visited a bit with the other parents and got home right at bed time.
Saturday morning came REALLY early, got all packed up and headed to the swim meet. The Dude drove seperately because he had to work. Just as well since he acts like a hermit with a bad attitude when he is there. I timed the first shift, The Boys swam great, I managed to pack lunches this time, so there was considerably less whinning, and we all had a ton of fun. Both Boys won heats, and their free relay teams came in fist. The oldest decided to have another mom write on his back in sharpie, "I EAT RUBY HILLS". Ruby Hills is the name of the team we swam against, but I think it was a bit of double entendre on his part. Even though he is only 8, he's always loved boobs. Who would write such a thing on another kid's back, something she probably wouldn't write on her own kid? It isn't unusual to have writing on your back if you are on swim team, but usually the words are limitied to "Go Sharks!", or "Eat My Bubbles". Of course The Dude thinks it should say, "Smell My Bubbles." My only reaction upon seeing The Oldest and the writing on his back was, "You are your father's son." I was in no hurry to leave the pool after the meet as everyone had defected early, and traffic was jammed, AND I had to haul all my crap out with only the help of two young boys who whined about having to leave at all. I swear, they'd just as soon live in a tent at the pool and turn into merboys. Spent the late afternoon and evening trying desperately to recover from heat exhaustion. It was only 104, while Sunday was 109.! Ended up in bed at 9:00, and felt WAY better in the morning. Then the news of Billy Mays passing - totally random and weird.
Sunday was my nephew's Birthday Breakfast, with Eggs, Pancakes, English Muffins, Fruit Salad, Juice and Coffee, and his cake was a stack of donut holes - it was the cooles thing! And really the only free slot they had between soccer and baseball that day. It was a fun way to start Sunday! Came home and The Dude wanted a nap, so I took The Boys out back and set up the slip-n-slide. They helped me dye a bunch of shirts that were destined for the rag bag with stains. I'll get photos onece I'm done with the final 2 later today or tomorrow.
Becauser Opa only came home from hospital yesterday, I told Oma that I'd work from home today to give her them a break. Only I forgot that my new laptop was due to arrive this morning. The Dude agreed that he's be home so that I could go into the office at 9:00, and he'd take the boys to swim. He called at 8:45 just when I'd decided that he probably wasn't going to show and was dragging The Boys to my office to tell me that indeed he couldn't make it in time for me to get to the office, but would call me and pick up the Boys for swim. Guess what? he didn't do either, so I got to the office and begged my cube neighbor to sign for and lock up my new laptop. Then I left the office and drove The Boys to swim. I had 3 calls during swim where I had to actually speak, which meant I was running in and out to the car. My dad was there to pick up my nephews, and kept talking to me, which was nice, but didn't help me concentrate on my calls. Also had a call on the way home from swim, and another once I got home. The boys whinned (but not much) about wanting to play with neighbors and freinds. I feel bad that they don't get a real summer like I had a s a kid, but I need my job, or we'd be living in a box, or in a tent at the swim club, which again they'd prefer. I also feel under a great deal of stress in trying to juggle all of this without letting it get to me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Gordon won this game no doubt
a flashlight handle he figured out!Guess the item pictured here
It will help you see clear
We have them in the Pacific Northwest
Can we see who guesses best?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Deep Breathing

So I felt like curling up in a ball today. I was only in the office for an hour and a half. Between having to wait for my mom to get to swimming for my kids and going to lunch with friends, and knowing that I'd probably not make it back to the office before having to pick up the kids... However, during that time I was called out on a conference call for giving an answer to someone that was not what people wanted to hear. What they failed to ask, or even care to understand is that the person who asked for my guidance wanted to be hand held and only wanted a checklist, but the real answer and method of doing this actually takes more thought than that. Unfortunately no one has time to think anymore, they just want to be told what to do.
Following that uplifting experience, I was slammed in an e-mail for not answering another person when in fact I had sent out the request and was waiting for an answer. So a peer got the answer and sent it, and the requester complained to my boss. AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!! I really wish they would just let me do my job and stop piling all this additional stuff on me!
The lunch took 3 hours - mostly because I had verbal diarrhea and just needed to get it all off my chest. I was exhausted after that, but because I also had to take the boys to TKD this afternoon, I have been working since dinner on the actual deliverables for my job. at 11:30 pm, the system I needed went down for maintenance. I was only 2 items away from completion, so I'll have to finish tomorrow morning, but I wanted to get it done tonight.
And because this really does fill me with such joy:

I'll get to the weekend wrap up (maybe), but since I didn't have any photos I wanted to wait to get them from the person who did shoot. I had fun though, and The Boys swam really well - I'm very proud of them! And The Dude was grumpy and sat listening to his iPod, unplugged from the people around him, but what's new about that...


Audrey is the winner today
It's my guitar which I long to play!
She even managed a rhyming guess
Let's just see who wins next!

Guess the item pictured here
It is a piece you can hear
We have them in the Pacific Northwest
Can we see who guesses best?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm here, but not feeling it

It was a very tough week for me emotionally. I've been feeling left out and like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. I'm really getting tired of being the peacemaker and go between. I'm also tired of being completely and nearly solely responsible for many of the things in my life. I had a mental breakdown on Wednesday, which is not nearly as fun as a Foggy Mountain Breakdown... It had me bawling, and not the sad, movie type crying, but the let it all hang out sobbing, or as Oprah calls it - The Ugly Cry. By Thursday I felt a bit better, but still held under the weight of it all being just too much. Thursday night, I went out with some friends to Shecky's, drank too much between the pre-event, event itself and post-event, and had a killer hangover on Friday which didn't clear until almost 10:30. I really have to remember that I don't drink much or often, and I am decades past two week, Buffett inspired benders. Almost had another crying jag at the pre-event happy hour when a friend said that she and another friend needed to just come over and drag me out of the house because she was feeling like I needed more breaks than I get. She's right, and she was also right in knowing that I would not just up and pop over to one of their houses for a break. Re-realized that as neurotic and over thinking as I am, and as crappy of a self-image I have had in the past, that I am much more secure than many of the other people I know. I guess it comes from years of event driven therapy ;-) Had a weird dream Friday morning, not weird in a weird, creepy or scary sense, but weird in the I've never had that type of dream before. And no it wasn't a sex dream - I've had plenty of those! I woke up and wrote in my journal about the emotional support I am not receiving in RL, and how that likely translated into why I had the dream I had. I have too many people I know IRL reading this blog to actually post what the dream was about, which bothers me on a whole other level. I wanted to make this a record of my thoughts and feelings, and I'm still finding myself editing what is here in consideration of how much shit I will get because of who I am, and because I'm honest about what is going on. SIGH. I'm getting to the tipping point on giving a rat's ass about what the hell ANYONE thinks about me, my family or my life.

Missed out on a couple of Photo Challenges, and actually did a shoot for money earlier in the week. Also almost complete with the edits to the wedding book I've been working on. It involved photo shop and adding a few pages, finding lyrics and ensuring page layouts were good. Almost ready to go to print! What I did shoot last week:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

And because it actually cheered me up:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Monday Afternoon Weekend Wrap Up

Another busy weekend!
Thursday was spent cleaning bathrooms, and taking apart The Boys bedroom in search of the DS that has been missing for 5 weeks. No dice, so my next adventure will take on another room in the house. The Dude had to work, so I stayed home with The Boys instead of going out with friends. I could have taken the boys with me, but it's at a decent restaurant (read not McDonald's or Red Robin), and I would have spent my time making sure The Boys were taken care of, and watching to ensure a food fight didn't break out, instead of visiting. Add to that the fact that we're not particularly flush with cash at the moment, so it's just as well.

Friday was The Boys last day of school, so I spent some time there watching as the 3rd graders received their certificates to progress out of Pathways and onto 4th grade. I was teary eyed because I'll miss those kids, and next year I'll be bawling when The Oldest ends 3rd grade. After working, I pulled all of the boxes out of the garage, while The Dude cleaned out the shed in our backyard. Unpacked and repacked all of the boxes to figure out what to sell at Saturday's garage sale. It took about 3 hours, which included moving all the things I'm keeping to the shed out back. There are only two things I couldn't move by myself, the Christmas Tree and my Great Grandmother's Persian rug. The Dude worked Friday night too, so I didn't go to the school moms happy hour to celebrate the end of school. I did get to watch Bedtime Stories with The Boys, and it was a surprisingly cute movie. I liked it, and may be starting to come out of my movie boycott.

Saturday started at 6, and I was out moving all the stuff around by 7. The Dude set out all the signs, and I got it all set up by 8. Our neighbor across the street brought over a table of stuff, and kept me company all day. I ended up selling about half of what was out there, she sold almost all of what she had, and had the rest packed up and put away at 1:30 or so. Because I was outside all that time, my house was a disaster when I came back in. I cleaned and ran to grab The Boys some take out. A friend stopped by to visit, which was cool because we hadn't had a chance to do that in a while. The neighbor kids hung out the rest of the afternoon while The Dude slept, and when he got up, I attempted a nap, but he is far less successful in getting them either outside, or quiet. The Dude took care of dinner for The Boys, and I made myself eggs, fake sausage and toast. Relaxed in the evening by playing WHATZIT games across the country. Reflected on how someone can think that offering $20 for a working treadmill is a good idea. Finally got it together enough to start taking Immunitea for this chest cold that I now have from doing too much with too little sleep.

Sunday was up at 6 again because The Cat wanted out. Decided to just stay up instead of climbing back into bed. Got dishes done, breakfast made, and laundry started. More Immunitea, coffee and folding clothes while listening to Squeeze:

The boys were going stir crazy so I took them on a four hour hike at Sunol Regional Wilderness - the hike to Little Yosemite isn't difficult, my kids just had to stop all the time, and whine about being hot, and when are we getting there, and all the things that make them who they are. Once they were able to get creek side and practice skipping stones, all was good again. I'll have the photos tomorrow in Tableau Tuesday. Got home to find that The Dude had grocery shopped, and I did more laundry, took a stab at another WHATZIT, and read a book.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Gordon wins the prize tonight
Won it he did with brains and might
A Croc indeed it surely be
That last clue was a gimme
Guess the item pictured here

It is a piece of clothes you wear
We have them in the Pacific Northwest
Can we see who guesses best?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Town Shoot Out - Begins with "M"

Sarah Lulu, in honor of her grand baby's arrival in this world picked this week's theme. Anything beginning with "M".
I recommend going to look at everyone's home towns. You can find us all in the comments of Patty or Reggie Girl's Blogs, or in the sidebar from Gordon or GingerV. Please to enjoy!

First off my favorite Moon shot, taken on the way from Yosemite to Mono Lake.

Next up, My favorite Mouser, taking a break from the hunt.My Most recent Moon shot taken just a week ago. I like the sunset clouds with it.These final two images were not taken by me, but I thought Mother-in-law fit the bill!As did Monkeys!And to send you off for the weekend, every time I see a picture of Pearl Slaghoople, this song won't leave my brain.

And because this song has been going through my brain all day (until Ernie K-Doe invaded):

Good weekend all!

Just one more thing to worry about

Because my mom guilt and all of the other reasons I have for worrying about The Boys, and wondering exactly how much I will be spending on future therapy weren't enough. I present to you sideways toes.

Yes, I said it. I'm now thinking that squeezing out another season of The Youngest's cleats, and giving in to his demands of the cool rocker converse high tops, which do NOT come in wide widths may permanently damage the kid's feet. He came in after stubbing his toe on the wall - and no I didn't ask how - I really didn't want to know anyway. When I looked, I noticed that he was walking on the side of his pinkie toe.
Thinking that it may have been an affect of the wall, I looked at the other foot, and saw it's similar sidewaysness, I was only moderately relieved. No trip to the emergency room, but still...
I had to wonder, and then I looked at The Oldest's feet. I'll give you one guess as to what I found.

I'm thinking this is from The dude's side of the family, because I do not have sideways pinkie toes. I have high rider pinkie toes, that do not touch the ground at all, or just barely.

Oh, and ignore the fact that The Boys feet are not at all clean. They run around barefoot 365 days a year, only donning shoes out of necessity - the No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service kind of necessity at that.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Patty was very close
But Iasa is the one to boast
A Mossy Chiton is what you see
Here in California by me!

So, I participate in some challenges that are not based on submitting photos. One of those is a WHATZIT Challenge started by Gordon. I also follow Question of the Day. I've found that I like puzzles, and even completed the Locked Room in about a week, with the help of a couple of cheats. They keep my mind moving, and I gain satisfaction from solving these.

In honor of Gordon, I am starting my own WHATZIT. I need a better name than ripping off Gordon's, so send suggestions my way, but for now it is J9 WHATZIT, and if you can guess the item in rhyme even better, though not required!

Guess the item pictured here
It is not an item to hear
We have them in the Pacific Northwest
Can we see who guesses best?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wednesday Morning Weekend Wrap Up and Tableau Tuesday

Another lost weekend! It all started on Thursday. The Boys' class had an overnight camping trip to Pescadero. I took two days off of work (which necessitated working until 1am all days preceding the trip, as well as hours over the weekend catching up).

Thursday - Left The Dude at home, packed everything up and headed to the coast. Spent the morning on a Marsh hike looking at restoration efforts, and learned about Dodder. Had lunch on the cliffs overlooking the sea lions and the Monterey Bay. Even spied a ring around the sun! Spent the afternoon at the tide pools looking at starfish and anemones. Watched and helped The Boys set up the tent, had dinner, and hung out around the campfire listening to stories and watching skits.

Friday - Breakfast at camp and a redwood hike, followed by lunch and packing up to come home. The Youngest got carsick on the way home, and barfed up the Doritos, Cheetos, and Hawaiian Punch he had with lunch, then he slept all the way home (which took about an hour longer than it should have). Got to swim pictures with enough time for The Boys to change, shower and swim off the grime from camping. Rushed from there to final dress for The Oldest's theatrical debut. Got home with just enough time to shower and change for opening night, also had to get a tired and whiny Youngest ready to go. Opening night was really cool, grandparents, an aunt and uncle, cousins and a classmate were all there, and Sis even brought flowers - He is really completely at home on stage, and did an excellent job. Had to bribe the Boys for a weekend night with no movie because:

Saturday - The Dude had to work and The Youngest's final baseball game of the season was at 9:00, we were there at 8:30 for warm ups - which I had to use a donut bribe to get to on time! The end of season potluck and BBQ immediately followed with trophies and good food, sodas and playing on the playground. Got home mid afternoon, and tried to clean and do laundry, but didn't get far before it was time to drop The Boys at Oma's house for a sleep over and make it out to a friend's 40th birthday party.

Sunday - Finally got to sleep in, picked up The Boys at 11:00, so that I could drop The Oldest for closing matinee at 11:30. This one I video taped, and it was just as cute, and he did well again. A few more friends from school came, and we stayed at the nearby park to play for a couple of hours following the show. Once home, I worked for a couple of hours and had dinner, the rest of the laundry and even more cleaning that didn't get done. Did I mention that next weekend, when there is no theater, no baseball, and not yet a swim meet, I'm having a garage sale? I HAVE to get through all the crap and get it together to sell. GAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So here it is Wednesday, late and I'm trying to just stay afloat in this sea of household chores - head barely above the surface, and yet am I doing any of the things on my list? Oh, no, I'm typing a blog. Hmmm - wonder why I'm so easily distracted.....

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday Evening Weekend Wrap Up

Wow! I had to go back to my calendar to even see what I did this weekend. Take a deep breath, and you may need a glass of wine before this is over - buckle in! Ready? OK.

Friday was fine, the usual get The Boys off to school was a bit different because it was Donuts With Dads morning, when the Parent Faculty Club provides donuts, juice and coffee for the kids and the special men in their lives, be they Dads Step Dads, Uncles, Grandfathers, or Family Friends. It starts 30 minutes before school, and The Boys were proud to show off The Dude to their classmates. But for me it meant getting The Boys ready early, and The Dude out the door too. That went uneventful (which some days is all we can hope for). Next thing I know, there are helicopters hovering over The Boys' school, and the house. I figured there was probably some sort of traffic back up, but NOOOOOOOOO. I left my house for a quick trip to shoot the Sunol Water Temple (see Friday's post), and the overpass to get to the freeway on ramp in the direction I wished to travel was closed. If I'd known, I would have gone through town. Instead, I had to go about 10 miles out of my way turning around and coming back. And the news vans were circling like vultures too, so I knew it was big time. You can actually read an account here, but I figured it out by listening to my radio on the way out. I wasn't surprised by the accident itself, as I've seen near misses a bunch of times, but the car hit the tanker - the second trailer on the tanker, so the driver had to have seen the first section go by, and then decide s/he could get, what, under the second trailer? So I got back home, and to The Boys school to volunteer for my usual Friday Art. We ended up under lock down about an hour later while hazmat did air quality tests, and the kids freaked out. As of tonight, the road next to the high school is still closed and 4 houses are still evacuated, I think mostly because of all of the equipment still at that outlet from the storm drains. They tested all of the drains in my neighborhood, and we couldn't smell the fuel at the house or school, but we did smell it both a block East and West. Friday night was the swim team kick off BBQ, and the traffic made it quite the adventure to get through town to the pool. It was also my sister's birthday, and her family was there too. We tie dyed shirts, played "get to know you" games, a trivia contest, little kid alligator races, a pie throwing at the coaches, BBQ, salads, desserts, chips, soda, oh and swimming. The Boys were exhausted! Oh and I won 2 chairs at the raffle which will come in handy all summer at the meets! Got home after 9, and the boys went to bed. I stayed up (though I have NO CLUE why at this point).

Saturday The Youngest had an early Baseball Game, and I bribed the kids to get to the field on time by promising donuts for the second morning in a row. We got there in plenty of time, the game was good, The Youngest hit well, but was distracted while fielding - I think it was a combination sleep deprivation and sugar coma. The Dude had left the house early to attend high school graduation for the son of friends, and teach another son of friends how to SCUBA dive. He also helped set up for that nights party. I got The Boys their lunch and snacks, got us all changed into more presentable clothes, and headed to the party. It was nice and quiet, the boys swam even more, played ping pong (Table Tennis), soaked in the hot tub, played drums and soccer and had a blast. I got to visit a bit with some friends I hadn't seen in a while, but I was distracted while keeping track of The Boys and ensuring a mild level of mischief. Got home around 10, sent the boys to bed and stayed up again too late.

Sunday morning I cleaned out the garage while The Dude emptied out the off site storage. He came back and we loaded it all into the garage. Ran to the store, made a potato salad, got the kids fed, then went to a kid rock concert that was a little young for The Oldest, but he liked it because he loves music. Both Boys sat and listened during the first set, and when invited on stage, spent the entire second set dancing and playing air guitar. They had fun! Stopped by the house so The Dude could catch a nap, and went to The Folks' for Sis' Birthday Dinner. It was nice, the food was great, and the boys all played together. We were even fortunate enough to witness the fledgling of a nest of 4 (what I think are starlings). This was a bit of a forced fledgling as The Oldest opened the drawer they were nesting in. They all managed to make it to the top of the fence before nightfall though, so it couldn't have been too much earlier than they'd have done anyway. Got home just in time for baths, showers and bed.

Oh, and I also did all the dishes, laundry, rinsed tie dyed shirts, washed the dog bed because Duke puked sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning. I wonder if he'd had friends over for a party, and the dryer lint trap looked like it could support a small litter of pups - yes there was that much fur in it!

And today? Today was The Youngest's first day not in after school care, so I picked him up at 11:50 while on a conference call, made him lunch (OK, opened a lunchable). That was after the other 2 simultaneous calls, one on each ear where I was asked a question in both within seconds of each other. Thankfully, they both understood what I was doing, and waited patiently while I split my brain into 2 distinct meeting answers, and managed to coordinate the muting and unmuting of phones correctly. I also got caught up on my project paperwork, answered questions via e-mail, IM and phone (making me acquire adult onset ADD), ran The Boys to swim practice, The Youngest to Baseball, back to swim to pick up The Oldest, make dinner, and do dishes (again). I'm pooped, and this weekend shows no sign of being any less a scheduling nightmare.

I certainly hope you were able to relax this weekend, and though it was busy, I was spending time with my family and friends, which I would rather do than just about anything else!