Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Changes are coming to my life, and the lives of The Boys. The feeling is bittersweet. A family we have grown close to is moving out of our neck of the woods, and on to more adventures. Their oldest is considered by The Youngest to be his best friend. The mom, and my friend is dear to me, and inspiring, and I really am going to have a difficult time not seeing her regularly. She was a point of normalcy as my world was spinning out of control, and she helped me through so much of my time struggling to be who I am. She is one of the most giving and loving and supportive and positive people I know, and I know she will absolutely spread that love and cheer wherever she goes, I'm just sad she won't be shinning near me.

With this sadness and loss, comes a good change for me and The Boys, for we will be moving to the house they are vacating. I am beyond happy to have this opportunity, and am so looking forward to more bedrooms, and a yard again. The Boys can stop sharing a room, and I feel like I can breathe again. I am so very grateful for the people who have helped take care of me and nurture me over these past two years of heavy transition. I only hope they all know how important they all are in my life.

Thank-you to my landlord, a caring man who was more than willing to help me out of my jam, living where I had been. My sister, who kicked my ass, and made me take responsibility for my shit, and then told our parents on me. She made me better at a time when I was completely on the floor. My dear friend, C, who is moving, who told me I was an inspiration when I surely didn't feel like it at all. For inspiring me and bringing along all of your awesomely crazy friends, who I now consider mine as well. I know you are a part of my family. My friend, T, who lost her husband, and who asked if I'd made the change we all knew I needed to make, but she was the one to voice it first. For my BFF without whom, I might have actually lost my mind. I only hope I can return the favor. For M & E who have been here all along, willing to kick my ass and lend an ear and a car in which to move my shit.

And to you, Corky. For coming into my life and making me see just how wonderful it all is, and how loving and being loved can make it all worth the wait.

This morning at drop off

At the middle school, in the rain - several (more than 5) people in the red zones, blocking the driveways, and several dropping in the parking lot (not supposed to do that). One u-turn across a cross walk, and one person cutting across the corner on a right turn to grab the spot on the sidewalk (nevermind the fact that they had a stop sign and there was traffic to wait for).

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Random Thoughts for today

How is it that this auspicious week can come with foreboding. The week before Mardi Gras which over the past two years caused scars. Things can seem like they are moving along, even with some good news potential, and then there is a hiccup. It is something you need to decide how to act upon, if at all. Above all though, you realize that you are having a good life. A life that now includes a kind of goofy, beautiful woman who can make you smile with a thought, a word, a touch. She makes your life more. She makes you want to do better. She makes you feel beautiful and worthy, and heals your broken soul. She fits in your life, in all the gaps, and makes you feel again.

Happy seven months Corky - I love you

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

Kind of a mellow and serene weekend.

Had a hair appointment where I hope my hair person was able to lighten up the dark she did last time, but it is still pretty dark. More reds in it, but still dark. Was at the elementary school to teach art, but the kids had an assembly, giving us only 30 minutes at the end of a Friday that also included a field trip.We did drawings of our noses, and it was extremely difficult for almost all of them, so we will tackle it again. Went to some dear friends' for dinner, and brought chocolate bread pudding for dessert. They hadn't yet met Corky, and I had fun visiting and catching up with them. I think I did a much better job including Corky in the conversation, and she said she didn't feel left out. The Boys hung out with their boys and didn't want to leave.

Printed out some pictures for BFFs son to use in a report. Laundry, errands grocery shopping and a photo shoot for a friend, using a camera borrowed from the ex' gf. Filed the police report on the robbery last week, and helped another friend choose a tattoo design. Didn't get to see Corky at all because she had a funeral to attend in the morning, worked closing and had to open on Sunday. Also, she is spending time with her roommate on Sunday, so I probably won't see her again until Monday, or after. She's working a seven day stretch, which means she'll be really tired by next weekend when we are going out. Found out that a member of my community died from cancer. She was 14 years old, and the entire town has come together to support her family during this difficult time. I cannot even imagine the turmoil, pain and sadness. Finished a baby shower gift for Corky's expected grand nephew.

Laundry and knitting the second gift for the grand nephew. The boys completed homework and built a fort downstairs. Reflecting on how much I miss Diane, and how she won't have the opportunity to knit for a grandchild, or see her boys mature into adults. Also, for the little girl who's life was cut short, and what she will miss, as well as how hurt her parents are, and will be as they witness all of the milestones their little girl didn't get to experience. Corky stopped by after work, which I was thankful for, as I thought I wouldn't see her at all. Had the BFF's son over to hang with The Boys. Thought BFF would hang and visit, but it was a drop and run kind of thing. Made me feel a little used and left me wondering about what is going on.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

This morning at drop off

This morning, we had two in the red zone, two left turns in the no left turn lane, and one three point turn in front of the school.

It was a decently sunny day, the loading zone was not completely full, and there was time before the bell rang, so all of these maneuvers were not for any visible reason. Of course I do not pretend to know what is going on in all of the lives of the people dropping off, but I also know that it couldn't possibly be as urgent as the safety of the students.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

At school shenanigans

I would be remiss if I did not own up to my own idiocy in driving around the school.

Last night, while driving to the district band concert, I pulled into the middle school that my kid does not attend. The problem being that I pulled into the exit, instead of the entrance, and found myself driving the wrong way on a one way lane. I was honked at, but waited until it was all clear of cars and pedestrians to pull into the parking area. I did get crap from the people who know me and witnessed it, deservedly so.

This morning at the elementary school, they roped off the front parking lot to keep people from dropping off instead of in the actual drop off loop, but then with a wide open loading zone, two cars pulled into the red zone, blocking the roped off driveway...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

Eventful is the word I am choosing to describe this weekend.

Took a day off of work to spend with Corky. After dropping The Youngest at school, we headed to Capitola for breakfast at Gayles, which is a favorite of hers, and I'd never been to. It was delicious, and amazing. We went to the waterfront and had a walk on the river bank and around town, where we found a shop that smells like Hawaii. We headed to Santa Cruz for lunch at Saturn Cafe - a mutual favorite, and walked the Boardwalk, beach and wharf. It was a beautiful day, warm and magical. We had dinner on the way home at a favorite Mexican place of Corky's, and ended the day home at 9;30. Tired and happy, and me still battling a cough that started early in the week.

Woke up fairly early to work the Destination Imagination regional tournament where The Youngest was competing in improv. Went out to load up my car, to discover that it had been broken into overnight. Gone is my camera, and my purse, and an iPhone. Some damage was done to the car, and Because I have no credit cards, but they did have my checkbook, and health cards, and insurance cards, and library cards, and checkbook. I have to deal with all of that, and replacing stuff, and my insurance company. Bummer start to the day. Corky rushed over to make sure I was okay, and of course I cried because, well duh. Also started my period and developed a yeast infection - all before 10am. Delightful. Worked the tournament, after arriving significantly later than anticipated, putting the score room behind schedule. We ended up catching up for the most part, but the morning was pretty harried. The Youngest's team did not advance to the State tournament, but they had a ton of fun. Came home and went to bed early, sleeping nearly 12 hours.

Lazy morning snuggling with the cat. Spent a bit of time with Corky, then cleaned and did laundry for a few hours. Met with a client to shoot her birthday portrait (with a borrowed camera), came home and made dinner and got The Oldest to complete the homework due Tuesday. The Boys have today off of school to observe Presidents Day. I do not.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Town Shoot Out - Love

In Honor of Valentine's Day in the U.S., we are shooting what we love about our towns.

I went out over the week and photographed people because it is the one single thing I love most about my town. The people. I left my camera in my car overnight (not in the open), and it was stolen by people of my town who broke into the car. So, I do not have the specific pictures from this week (which includes the first Valentine's Day with my love), and I truly had to decide if I still love the people of my town. The answer is yes. I do still love the people of my town. I don't hate even the people of my town who chose, or felt forced to steal from me. I hope they make better choices in the future.

Go see more photos and join us here:

Thursday, February 13, 2014

This morning at drop off

We ran a tiny bit late, and I was the only car in the drop off zone in front, yet one car pulled into the red zone to drop off, blocking the driveway. I actually think this is the same person who does this every time, but wasn't paying that close of attention to the car that was doing this. One left turn out of the driveway, and one u-turn in the middle of the three way stop. Granted there were only a total of 6 cars, and this was half of them...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This morning at drop off

Today was a fairly sane drop off. I was early to both schools, which likely contributed. At the elementary school, there was only one left turn out of the parking lot, and one person in the red zone. No three point turns or u-turns witnessed. Not bad!

Monday, February 10, 2014

This morning at drop off

At the middle school:
At least three people u-turned across the double yellow line in front of the school. Two u-turns across the openeing of a court, blocking traffic. One u-turn across the double yellow line and in the cross walk - the car fits into the crosswalk, and was driving in the crosswalk to do this illegal, and horribly unsafe maneuver - especially considering it is DROP OFF, and kids are actually using the crosswalk at that time of day.

And so it continues. I am grateful that there have not been any injuries.

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was rainy (thankfully) and full of middle school homework, which was not complete until After 4:00 pm on Sunday, but more on that later...

Work in the morning and teaching art in the afternoon. This week was all about Chinese brush style paintings to pair with the Lunar New Year feast at the school. Some of the kids "got it" much easier than others. Some were hell bent on finger painting, and one was in tears. Overall, I was impressed with their ability to adjust the brush strokes to meet the style. With watercolors, that can be very difficult. Found out I have the possibility to move into a bigger place, that may be only slightly more expensive, and that excites and unnerves me all at the same time. It would mean that The Boys would no longer have to share a room, and I would have a yard for The Pets again, along with a larger garage. Dinner was burgers, oven fries and baked onion rings for dinner with The Boys and Corky. Went to The Folks' with dessert that Corky made. It was a yummy chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (mine and my Dad's favorite). Had a great visit, though a bit late for us all.

Spent the morning arguing with The Oldest about homework. We ended up driving to the ex' gf's house to pick up a needed folder.

As I was driving there, I was reminded (as I often am) of a family I knew back when The Boys were attending preschool. This was a Scandinavian family (and for the life of me I cannot remember which country - wait, Denmark, yep Danish family). No clue why that is so difficult - white cross on a red background for the flag... And one of my college roommates lived in Denmark half of her life. But I also have a dear friend who is Norwegian, Same flag, with the addition of a blue cross atop the white one - so go figure... But I digress. This family really freed me up when it came to kid birthday parties. The one I attended, had the parents inside, drinking tea and coffee (with silver tea service), eating cake and visiting, while the children entertained themselves outside. This was the first party I had ever been to that was not scheduled down to the minute by a terribly overwrought mom, and centered around the birthday kid. This was a party that adults could enjoy by having intelligent and grown up conversations without interruption. It was heaven and has informed my party throwing ever since. That is not to say I didn't plan things for The Boys to do with their friends, but it has been tempered by this memory. Now? The Boys plan their own parties, and I help gather stuff ahead of time, and show up with stuff and food.

Anyway, The Oldest eventually got down to business and mostly completed his homework before bed time. The Youngest spent the day alternating between playing games on his iTouch, and the computer, and asking to go do parkour. This is something he's been watching videos of, and wants to give it a shot. I told him as soon as The Oldest finished his homework we'd head out. Even in the rain. I worked on some stuff on the computer, organized my bills, but mostly knit. I have nearly completed one of the baby hats for Corky's grand nephew. We all went to bed relatively early after the late Friday night.

The Oldest got right into finishing his homework first thing in the morning. He also cleaned out his binders, folders and back pack. When all that was finished, my Mom came over to drop off Valentine's treats for The Boys. The surprise was that she included Me and Corky with treats for each of us. Pretty cool. My Mom has really come a long way from where I perceived her to be (whether she really was in that space, or not). Following her visit, we headed out in the light rain to practice parkour, which also turned into an earthworm rescue mission, as it did stop raining, and there were multitudes of worms writhing themselves dry. The Boys picked up about three dozen and got them back to dirt where they have a much better chance of survival. We came home, drenched from rolling around and everyone showered and had hot cocoa. I printed the homework for The Oldest, got out a weekly communication and actually wrote this :-). Also looked at and commented on all of the Shoot Out pics, and continued knitting. I should have the hat finished Monday, then I can start on the next one. The Boys had Mac & Cheese for dinner and I had lentil soup. I researched parkour for kids in my area, and the two nearest offerings are at least a 40 minute drive. Will still see if there is something nearer to home. We all went to bed at a relatively decent hour.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

My Town Shoot Out - Entrances

I have been in a self imposed break from photography, as I am currently working two wedding books, along with trying desperately to knit 11 balaclavas for a party in a month. I gave up on the balaclavas, but still have two baby hats to go...

I pulled this from the archives of 2009. This doorway is still in my old neighborhood, damned near across the street from Corky, and I'm almost certain leading to a rental or in-law unit.

Go see more photos and join us here:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

This Morning At Drop Off

This morning, in order of appearance:
Not one, but two cars in the red zone in front of the school, one of which was blocking the driveway.
Today I pulled through the drop off loop, and so:
Three separate people deciding they didn't want to wait to get to the drop off zone, and dropped their kids in the parking lot, making the rest of us wait before we could get to the drop off zone.
A line of cars waiting for the drop off zone, not pulling all the way forward, also making the rest of the cars wait that much longer.
Someone pulling into the bus drop off zone for the special day kids' bus. Thankfully there was not a bus waiting.
Someone pulling out of the teacher lot, not looking for cross traffic, and cutting off another person, who was approaching from the right (giving that person the right of way).
Same car, also pulled out of the parking lot to the street turning left, when there is no left turn during drop off and pick up hours.
Two separate sets of moms and kids walking up the severely narrow driveway, with cars parked on the side, and cars driving in and out. On the best and sunniest days, this is a dangerous practice.
A u-turn in the intersection of a three way stop.

Given that it is raining, but still. Can we please take care in driving around the elementary schools, and understand that the safety of all of the children is our own responsibility.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

This morning at drop off

Today included a three point turn, executed in front of the school, blocking traffic in both directions, while shifting the cell phone from one hand to another, all the while talking. Also, a small child (kindy? 1st grader?) getting out of the car on the street side. And a minivan pulling into the red zone in front of the school, effectively blocking one direction of traffic so that your kid can get out closest to the school. And this was all well in advance of school starting. No need to rush in this way, endangering everyone in your wake people...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

More weird dreams

Had another weird dream, which when examined this morning, leads me to believe that I am still working on opening my heart to love. I've had to repair and rebuild my broken heart, and my work is unfinished. Now the layers of protections and walls are being peeled away, and it scares me. To open myself up to another, completely, no protection from heartbreak. It is what Corky deserves, and I continue to work on it, but I'm not totally there yet. Do I love Corky? Yes. Absolutely. Can I give her the love she deserves? I don't know. There is so much wrapped up in my own issues of self worth. Am I worthy of love, well of course, we all are, but that is something I know on an intellectual level. I don't truly feel that. Not yet. What is weird, is getting out of a bad relationship and marriage was about me deserving so much better, and not losing my self respect and self worth. And now, I still have residual worries about being there again. Even though, I KNOW, I truly KNOW in my heart that this is so much different, and in so many ways. I just don't trust myself about it. I thought the ex loved me, and I think he did, at least for a while. I do not know when that stopped. Was it an instant? a series of events? A continuing decline? How do I protect myself against that? I don't, and I can't. I need to let go of it entirely, and stop allowing it to define my life.

More work to do.

And a song that was running through my head as I fell asleep last night:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

A weekend where I came to some conclusions, and my stress level evened out (a bit). This weekend the ex had The Boys, and The Oldest has strep, so of course, I got to hear about all the missing assignments, and the fact that The Oldest cannot swallow a pill. I know grown adults who cannot swallow pills, so I don't see a big deal. It isn't a battle I am picking, but the ex evidently is far to inconvenienced by this that there was a yelling match and The Oldest ended up in tears. Thanksfully, the gf of the ex interceded on The Oldest's behalf, and they figured out a workable alternative for him, that the ex was likely still not happy about, but too fucking bad.

Worked with the 4th and 5th graders on a colored chalk still life. They are really looking good, and some of what I teach them about art techniques is sinking in. Spent the night at Corky's, and I was exhausted and ended up sleeping in.

What followed sleep and preceeded breakfast can only be described as my complete conversion to a) loving a woman and b) morning sex... I was so in the clouds the entire rest of the day. Corky worked closing, and I finished adding the photos to the October wedding book. I knit like a mad woman, finally finishing the one balaclava I'd been working on for a week. At that rate, it will be months before I have enough to supply The Youngest's birthday party... I took a break from knitting to read a book I'd borrowed about a month ago. Fantasy and really detailed, so it took me longer than I expected. I read well into the morning, and went to sleep with it still partially unread.

Slept in again, this time at my own home and spent the morning finishing laundry, and working on the quotes for the wedding book. I was able to talk to Diane's parent's and have a great visit with them. Gathered more knitting and food and headed to Corky's to "watch" the superbowl. I spent the game time knitting, taking breaks to watch the commercials. I enjoyed hanging out there, and got a portion of a baby hat completed. Came home when The Boys arrived, go them to bed and finished the book I'd started Saturday. Had a really weird and sad dream where I felt like I needed to break up with Corky because of my fear that I cannot give her what she wants. I'm not ready to make that level of committment, and I'm not sure she's doing herself any favors by waiting for me to get there... Fodder for therapy this week for sure.

Still stressed out about money, have this week to order those balaclavas I won't be knitting, sign up The Boys for swim team, and likely pay for that, and order nerf bullets in bulk... Also, rent.

I hope to have a more relaxing week, but not likely. May you enjoy your week.