Friday, October 30, 2009

My Town Shoot Out - Park Landscapes

I'm coming, I'm coming!  I'm Late, I'm Late, for a very important date!!!!

This week's shoot out theme is courtesy of JarieLyn of Write Place! Write Chick! "When I think of park landscapes, I think about the design of an entire park. This could be a local park or a state park. A park landscape not only includes trees, plants, grass, ponds and bushes but also could include functionality such as playgrounds, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, skateboard parks, tennis courts, swimming pools, etc. Some parks also have decorative items scattered about such as statues, monuments, benches, courtyards, buildings, etc. What makes the parks in your town special and/or fun? Tell us in pictures what it is about your park(s) that captivates you. ... here is a photo of one of the state parks located in my town of Las Vegas, Nevada."
I encourage you to go and see everyone's contributions here!

that date was Halloween, and these are why:

And this year's Pumpkins:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And with every silver lining, there comes a cloud...

Despite, or perhaps due to my overwhelming positive and grateful attitude last night, I received a completely surreal phone message this morning from a person sharing my first name, who is also a photographer who has recently trademarked our nick name combined with anything photography related. She wants me to change the name of my Photo business so that there is not confussion. Of course, I am only one of many businesses with that name, but it still feels like I am being told I cannot be who I am (which of course is not true). I don't deny that she should have the trademark (though if consulted, I would have before hand), and it isn't my primary source of income, but still...

So the conundrum today is - What Do I Call My Photography Business?
I'll post a poll on the right with some of my thoughts, and may add others that come in here.

BTW - it is J9Photo

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So Shines A Good Deed In A Weary World

So today my mood has been bolstered by a few good deeds. Some dear friends have offered their timeshare for a family vacation which we desperately need, and today I received a much needed validation from my boss at work that I am doing my job well. At this point I'm just barely holding it together, and every time someone says or does something nice, I nearly burst into tears. It's been a rough time for a while, and some days it seems overwhelming. Other days it seems like just so much background noise. And still other days I weep just thinking about how lucky I am to be surrounded by love and support, and how wonderful The Boys are, how smart and funny and handsome they are, and all around great kids. They are really sweet and beautiful souls, and I can only try to make sure that any actions I take, or words I say will lead them to the future they are supposed to live, a happy and healthy life full of love. I know it is likely that at some point they will need therapy, and I'm ok with that, as long as it helps them work through any difficulties. I know I need therapy on occassion, and because of my therapist, I am better prepared to help my boys work through any current drama with friends, or each other.
I am getting a piercing, likely in my right ear - maybe an Auricle, or a Pinna. This is to celebrate my weight loss of over 10% from my starting weight. In celebration of getting to my goal and staying there for 6 months, I will be getting another tattoo. I want an Ambigram of Karma going around my ankle, but haven't found one where I like the way it reads, and I've been woring on my own design for it as well. I am celebrating me.
I know this is a rambling post, and don't hold me to any sort of sanity this late at night!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Evening Weekend Wrap Up

The weekend is over, and I'm pooped!
Friday, The Boys had a field trip to the pumpkin patch/corn maze where it was over 80 degrees after having rained early in the week, making for a humid maze, where my hair frizzed and I sweated while following a group of 3 boys, only one of whom was mine. We then went to the pumpkin patch part of the day where they found a corn pit, which is basically a GIANT sand box with dried corn instead of sand. A bit easier to get out of hair/clothes/shoes. Following the field trip, we went home, and I loaded the moon, clouds, trees and fortune teller booth and headed to the school to set up for Halloween Fun Night (HFN). I was doing that until 10 that night, came home and went to bed.
Saturday I was back at the school at 10am to continue setting up. I had to leave at 1:30 for The Youngest's soccer game. I got back home at 4:30, changed into costume and went back to work HFN selling tickets at the door. MDH and The Boys came over to HFN at about 5:30, and my folks were there with one of my nephews. The cafeteria looked great, the Haunted House was a HUGE success, and the dinner was yummy! The raffle baskets were as popular as ever, and the cake walk was epic! I also stayed to clean up until about 10pm. When I got home, I found out that the neighbor and friend of The Youngest was having a Birthday Party the next day...
Sunday The Boys and I went to continue the HFN cleanup from 10:00 to 2:00. After that, I dropped them at the house and ran for the Birthday present, where I also picked up 3 other presents for upcomming parties. I was revelling in the quiet solitude of a kid free experience for that amount of time! Because of all the activity, I had to cram all of the laundry into Sunday night - bleh. The boys were wiped out, I'm still pretty tired, and we all have a full week ahead, 2 more birthday parties this weekend, a Halloween party at school, trick - or - treating, pumpkin carving - you get the idea!

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Town Shoot Out - Classics of Childhood

This week's shoot out theme is courtesy of Ellisa of a thousand words... "What are your childhood memories made of? A game? A park? A special place you used to visit? OR Look around you. Watch for places and things you'd like your children to remember. Or maybe you see children creating memories as we speak. What will be the thing they remember as classic?"
I encourage you to go and see everyone's contributions here!

My weekend was spent almost exclusively at The Boys' school for Halloween Fun Night, which was great again this year! More on that maybe in the morning.

I was thinking classic games from my childhood, along with wondering what The Boys will think are classics when they are older.

Nothing more classic than your first haircut at a real barbershop while sitting on dad's lap! (The Youngest)

Or losing your two front teeth! (The Oldest)

Or if your mom is a photographer and also happens to think that you resemble Alfalfa and Spanky, then she makes you dress like them so that she can get some pictures that she will likely torture you with when you are a surly teen!

And finally, a classic from my childhood, that I have been fortunate enough to share with The Boys:

Good week all!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Evening Weekend Wrap Up

Another busy weekend, and another not burning down the house weekend too!
Friday, The Boys had the day off of school, making it difficult for me to get work done, but I did manage to get caught up on my work e-mails - from a high of 383 on Wednesday, after a 4 hour e-mail outage, to 22 by Friday afternoon. Of course, because this weekend holds a major software release, I was getting updates all weekend, and had over 40 tonight when I checked. MDH took The Boys to the movies on Friday afternoon, giving me a couple of hours to clean the house, after which I felt much better. It's weird how my personal mood is elevated when in a clean house! Even if performing the cleaning puts my back out for a couple of days!
Saturday MDH had to work, so I took The Boys to soccer, where The Youngest scored 3 goals and stopped the same during his game! He was so happy! We got home and I finished up the laundry, packed up the boys, got myself cleaned up and dressed up for a night out. We stopped to visit with my in laws and Granny before dropping the boys at my folks for a sleep over. I returned home, dropped a dinner off for a grieving family, picked up MDH and we headed into San Francisco for dinner with friends. We had a lovely meal with much laughter and great conversation at The Stinking Rose. If you are ever in the city and want a great meal - go there! MDH and I have been a few times, and are always eager to return. Following dinner we headed to Carnelian Room for drinks and the best view of the city. Last night was so clear, you could see Marin, San Quentin, Oakland, and the entire Bay. While it was beautiful, I was hoping for the fog to roll in, because then you get such a surreal view! Then I found out that they are closing on 1/1/2010, so I HAVE to get back before then!
This morning MDH played soccer, and wrecked his knees. I went to pick up The Boys, and they were just heading out for a walk with my Mom.  I joined them, and I LOVE the creek behind their house. I grew up in that creek, skipping rocks, chasing frogs, swinging from a rope, and generally being a ragamuffin every summer and school break. Today's walk with The Boys brought that back. We also met the woman who for the past 12 years has been catching the feral cats, having them spayed and neutered, and releasing them. She feeds the small feral colony, along with some house cats who show up occasionally. She was very nice and passionate about her cats. I brought the boys home and started working on props for Halloween Fun Night at The Boys' school. I finished the haunted trees, a couple of signs, and a fortune teller box (like in the movie "Big"). I still have the moon, with clouds, a witch and bats, some crow silhouettes, and another sign. Those should all be done and ready by Tuesday, so I'm feeling rather prepared this year! (Knock on wood)

Friday, October 16, 2009

My Town Shoot Out - Sunrise/Sunset

This week's shoot out theme is courtesy of Sherri of Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.... "What's not to love about sunrises and sunsets? My favorite times of the day for a photo shoot are the early morning and late afternoon because the constantly changing play of light on and around the objects I am shooting. I love the silver and sepia tones of of the sky and water a couple of hours before sunset and the purples, corals and pinks of the setting sun against azure skies. My husband and I love living close to the Gulf of Mexico in our picturesque little city which is built around 4 salt water bayous off the Anclote River where it meets the Gulf. We have vacationed in the Hawaiian Islands often and the sunrises and sunsets with the added elements of mountain peaks are equally stunning. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's sunrises and sunsets!"
I encourage you to go and see everyone's contributions here!

I have many photos of far flung places with sunsets and sunrises, but this was taken in my town, at sunset, about four years ago and was not altered in any way. I have an entire series of this one evening, and I love the clouds in them all, but with this one you get a sense of the hills surrounding the valley where we live.

From J9 and stuff
Another song that was running through my mind while thinking of this week's theme:

Happy Weekend All!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Music Monday

Since The Friday Shoot-Out theme, this song has been going through my head:

And while we're on a doo wop ride, one of my favorites:

And the songs I sang as lullabyes to my boys:
For The Oldest:

For The Youngest:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Evening Weekend Wrap Up

Last week sucked. This week brings more preparations for Halloween Fun Night. This year I will forego trying to burn down the house, unlike Last Year. And because I'm using power tools, I will also not have any injuries!
Friday, The Boys were invited to a Birthday Party Sleep Over at a classmate's house. They've never gone there for playdates, and the classmate has never come over here either, so I said no. I want to have at least been to the house before I say yes. They were really angry at me, but I don't like sending my kids anywhere I haven't been. Plus, The Youngest had an early Saturday game.
Saturday was freezing foggy early soccer game. My folks were there to watch, and The Oldest complained alot. The Youngest scored a goal, so he was happy. Immediately following the game, we checked prices on supplies at the Restaurant Supply Store, and tried to drop off 4 CPR dummies for use in the Haunted House. MDH ran errands, and while he had a break, I ran mine including buying myself a new pair of running shoes (which I actually use for walking). Came home and started building trees for the decor. I'll get pictures up when I'm closer to getting something that actually looks like a tree... There are 4 semi-built trees in the garage, that can be taken apart and flattened out for storage. I need to bring home paint to finish them. I also have to measure the tables so that I can buy table cloths. There are clouds and bats, a diner and city limit sign still needing to be done, but I can knock those out fairly quickly. The trees are going to take the longest. I also did laundry, and we ordered pizza because we were too tired to cook.
Sunday MDH had an early soccer game, and I did more laundry, switched us all to flannel sheets in anticipation of more cold weather, thought about working on the trees some more, and decided to use the roto-zip for pumpkin carving this year, which will hopefully save my aching hands. I tend to go a bit overboard in the carving department, choosing VERY detailed carvings, that I then spend the entire 2 days before Halloween carving, leaving me slimy, sticky and my hands curled in claws of pain. We attended a celebration for a friend receiving his black belt in Karate. That was nice - we haven't seen these friends since summer and we've been friends since High School. In fact, she introduced MDH and I to each other. Stopped at my folks to drop off some clothes that don't fit my size or style, and came home to play in the backyard with The Boys before dinner. MDH also had an evening soccer game, and as I type - all three are watching Arly Army talk about ammunition. Also today had a "A Christmas Story" moment when The Oldest used the F-word. Because we have Bertie Bots Every Flavor Bean, and have eaten all of the not disgusting flavors, I made him eat a soap flavored bean. He picked Sardine by mistake and spent the next 45 minutes crying and gagging before we made a deal that he could hold a bar of soap in his mouth instead. He chose that. Ewww. And in case you have no idea what this is or has to do with 'A Christmas Story", I found the clip:

Friday, October 9, 2009

My Town Shoot Out - Silhouettes

This week's shoot out theme is courtesy of Carrie of This Is My Town. "I chose silhouettes because I think they make such striking photos. It's like getting the best of both worlds in one shot: black/white and color. The first time I got a silhouette shot was quite an accident. My kids were playing on the beach and I was capturing it on camera. When I got the photos uploaded to my computer, I realized I had missed the details of their faces but the resulting silhouette was very nice. I hope this topic isn't intimidating, but a chance to learn something new! Find a familiar object, turn off your flash, and shoot into the sun or against a backdrop of dawn or dusk. I look forward to seeing your results."
I encourage you to go and see everyone's contributions here!

This is the first shot I thought of for this week's shoot out theme, and was unable to really go out and shoot around town during times of day when I would get good silhouettes.

From J9 and stuff

From J9 and stuff
I threw in this one as I was looking therough the archive:

From J9 and stuff
Happy Weekend all!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

So what's up

This week has been rather shitty. One of The Boys' friends lost his father to cancer. I feel betrayed by my love, and my head is spinning. I'm not eating right, not sleeping well, have a headache, and don't know what to do. It's open fucking enrollment for benefits at work, so I have to be able to analyze the 6 health care choices, and pick what's right for us all, while realizing that the Optomotrist I've been seeing SINCE COLLEGE, is not on the new vision plan for work, which will cost me an arm and a leg to continue to see (pun intended). So now I can go to Sears eye center... I need to see my chiropracter (also not covered by my health benefits). There are only 78 shopping days left until Christmas, and I have The Oldest's Birthday before then. Work is draining, the PTA meeting from last night was tense - and 3 hours long. Halloween Fun Night is right around the corner, and I'm getting more stressed out as the days go on. My budget tracking is still hit or miss, though more hit than miss. On the bright side (really, is there one today?) I am continuing to lose weight, which I have been working on doing since the beginning of August. The Boys are doing well in Soccer and Theater, and we are all relatively healthy. I am still grateful for my life - the good, the bad, and the really ugly. I'm happy I live with boys because I don't think I could take girl drama on top of what is going on. Yes even with the potty talk, the fart jokes and the belching, I love The Boys. I also love MDH, though this is a particularly rough patch in our relationship.

And now that I've vented, I feel just a teeny tiny bit better.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Evening Weekend Wrap Up

Friday was a busy work day, and a good day in the classroom with the boys. After school, we walked to watch the home coming parade, played at a friends, then walked home and had dinner.
Saturday, The Youngest had an early soccer game, and I worked 4 hours in the snack bar. Afterward, I picked up The Boys at Oma's, stopped by Sis' to raid her Halloween costumes, stopped at Casper's and came home.
Sunday was laundry day (mostly). The Youngest had another soccer game, and I declared it a neighbor free day, so it was pretty quiet.
The weather has been getting cooler, and it's got me in a bit of a blue mood.

Friday, October 2, 2009

My Town Shoot Out - A Photo Study of a Building

This week's shoot out theme is courtesy of the My Town Shoot Out management team. I encourage you to go and see everyone's contributions here!
I chose the Shannon Community Center in my home town. I spend some time here, as do many of the residents of my town. This recently renovated building serves as a place for classes through the city, weddings, a preschool, and lots of other events.

From J9 and stuff

From J9 and stuff

From J9 and stuff

From J9 and stuff

From J9 and stuff
Happy Weekend all!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy October First

This is the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is hysterically funny and cute:

Check yourself, check a loved one, or a buddy - but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE CHECK!