Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tag City

Me in my "Teen" Years...

In the past months I have been tagged three times by my blogger friend Louise, and twice by my friends Lauren and Annie. I have been a bit conflicted about the tag thing, as I am still trying to figure out what my focus and intentions are on my own blog, not to mention I really hate chain letters, and somehow tags feel a bit like a chain letter. Maybe I was just feeling writers block when it came to tags...I like the freedom of writing about what I want, not what I am possibly expected to write. Anyhow, I think I may have been secretly waiting for the "7 weird or random things about me tag", because I can easily write about that !!

Here are the guidelines for this tag...

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. {or less if I already tagged pretty much every blog you know!}
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Now onto the 7 weird things about me, you might want to get a cup of tea for this's gonna be wordy!

1. I am referred to as "Sir" on the telephone at least once or twice a week, and have been ever since I went through puberty. ( I have a pretty deep voice), I have many stories to share about it...

2. A great prank I pulled off in College was to impersonate various "Frat Boy's" on the telephone, in order to have them come to our neighbors, ( anti-frat-boys) apartment during Rush week to pick each one of them up. This went on for the whole week. It was deeply satisfying. To this day, they still do not know it was me... (talking to dude's as a dude, is quite an experience!)

3. I loved and still love Barry Manilow, (even with his jacked up botox, face lift, crazy face). I can vividly remember the Christmas that my parents gave me the "Barry Manilow Live Album". I was so excited I was almost jumping up and down, then I looked up at my brothers and saw them looking at me like I was a freak, and proceeded to collect myself. I spent many days in my bedroom as a young girl playing his albums on my red box shaped record player. I can still sing every word to every song...his lyrics and songs have touched my soul on a very deep level...(yes, I know this is very cheesy! ). During some painful periods in my adult life, I broke out his albums that I still own and played them over and over, it was quite healing. About 10 years ago, I was able to see him in concert for the first time, while I was in training for a job, in Rochester New York. I went with a fellow trainee, who I have not seen or talked to since that week, and found out she had the same love, and played the same records as a kid. We both cryed uncontrollably (which we did not expect) and sang almost every word to every song...and didn't feel ashamed. It was as if we unlocked parts of ourselves that we had hidden deep inside for years....

4. I had two different nick names as a kid. Charlie, was what my Aunt and Uncle called me, and still do to this day. They even gave me a bottle of "Charlie" perfume one Birthday, I liked that. The other, which is the weird one, was bestowed on my by two of my older female cousins... "Amos Mooperhead", we were all Mooperhead's, with a first name attached, Makes for a great email address.

5. I was once a DJ at an after hours joint in the middle of the Hood in Downtown Detroit. I was one of a trio, and we called ourselves "The Alley Cats". While one of us handled the mixing board, the other two of us danced for the crowd. I landed upon this gig, by complaining about how bad the previous DJ's were to the owner, saying something like "I could spin some better tunes than that !" Mind you, none of us had any experience whatsoever, we just faked it till we made it...

6. I absolutely hate chewing gum. The smell, the look, the packaging, the sound of it when someone is chewing it... It just freaks me out like no other thing on earth. I can't have my children chew it around me...I just can't take it. I have to extract myself from social situations in which someone is chewing that nasty stuff.

7. Some of you may already know this one, but I have a thing about dirty feet...can't stand having them, or my children having them, so we find ourselves washing feet before bed, even if we can't wash anything else. I also, cannot walk anywhere, even in my house with bare feet, (except for the beach). I always have to have something on them, slippers, socks, shoes, flip flops. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my Father had a rule that we always had to have slippers on our feet in our home when we lived there. There was hell to pay if we got caught without them... Sometimes I try to break this affliction, by running through the house or the yard with bare feet, but I just can't get very far without having to cover them up quickly.

Yes, I am weird and I own it !!

While we are in Tag City over here... I am going to answer another tag... a Name Tag, Louise got me on this one.

Here’s how it works:1. Players must list one fact, word, or tidbit that is somehow relevant to their life for each letter of their first or middle name.2. When you are tagged you need to write your own post containing your first or middle name game facts, word, or tidbit.3. At the end of your post choose one person for each letter of your name to tag.4. Don’t forget to leave a comment telling them that they have been tagged, and to read your blog....

I am going to use my first name on this one...

A~ Abundant, in every facet of my life right now, and Appreciative for it !
M~ Married, happily I might add, something I was not sure would happen to me. Let's not forget Mother to, that I am for sure!
Y~ Yippee, I am finally done with this Tag Post !!!

As for tagging other bloggers...the only one I can tag is Louise, for the 7 weird or random things...So have at it !!

For the rest of you, beware, I have one more tag left in me, and I might just bust it out very soon...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Last Week in Review

We had a busy, fun, and in the end relaxing Thanksgiving Vacation. My younger Brother Andrew made his way from Detroit, Michigan ( The D they call it, thanks to Eminem) to visit with us. We had a great time.... We were busy, and managed to get around town quite a bit. Went to see Ben Harper at the Civic Theater, an amazing show! Went up to Camp at San Clemente State Beach with one of my other Brother's ( I have 4 total !), Steve and his wife Sandy, and their 3 Hairy Dogs. Although we had a great time, it was COLD !! I have since reminded myself not to camp in November ever again... P.S. I was to busy keeping warm to get any good images of the campsite, so the Beach Photo's will have to do..

We also had a yummy Thanksgiving Feast with our good friends Kellie and Phillipp. I was introduced to Pomegranates, believe it or not, I have never tried a fresh one before...we had the juice and seeds mixed with Champagne... My new favorite fruit! I tried to get some food porn shots of it... (just for you Caroline !)

Chloe's handmade place cards

Maple Roasted Turkey with Sage Butter

I spent the rest of the weekend just chilling out...working on a hand embroidery project, watching TV, cleaning out my art/sewing studio, and writing out my long Christmas shopping list. If I am a fast worker, I might just be able to give out a few handmade gifts this year. By the way If you plan on doing any creating in front of the TV, and have 3 to 4 hours to spare, check out this Bob Dylan Documentary, its great, even if you are not a Dylan fan !

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I submitted one of my aprons to's, Prairie Girl Apron Contest. I am honored to be one of 5 fabulous winners! I am receiving a copy of the book to the right, so exciting for me !! After the camping trip I just took, I am sure feeling like a Prairie Girl !!

Check out the other aprons, some absolutely beautiful work to see !!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I picked up a very used table for my sewing studio this past week. I was looking for a square table, and let me tell you, it's hard to find one used. Turns out this table needs quite a bit of work, sanding, and staining. It's most recent life was spent with a group of "20 Something Dudes" that used it for poker games. The one great quality it does have, is it is very, if it is not the most beautiful wood or design, it is going to serve it's purpose. It came with extensions as well, so I can get the whole family creating..

I did a little sanding, just enough to get the yucky stuff off...and decided to paint some flowers on the corners. This is something I have always wanted to do, paint flowers, but have never done it... So, I figured this was the best way to try it for the first time, on a not so important piece of furniture.

Lately, I have been browsing through this used Crewel Embroidery Book, circa 1962. I picked it up on one of my recent thrift store adventures.. I just love the flowers and have yet to try crewel, but was able to do a bit of free hand on the table after first tracing the design on a piece of paper. We have terrible paint brushes around here, so I ended up using pine needles from our tree to paint the stems, and add some texture. Chloe even got in on the fun. I still have more to do, so I will post more images when it is done...

How about some Sunflower Inspiration... We went out to La Milpia Organica Farm for their Monthly Potluck Dinner...and they still have Sunflowers growing...These were stunning...

Hope you all find inspiration in your day...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tooth Fairy

Chloe had a her very first visit from the Tooth Fairy last week. It was an extra special visit because she had to have an abscessed molar pulled at the Dentist on Thursday Morning. Apparently the tooth fairy really pays up when you have to have your tooth yanked out ! P.S. The Dentist reprimanded me when I used the word "yank". Of course Chloe was not in ear's distance when I said it.., thankfully.

The week before when we had the consultation to find out what to do about the abscess, the Dentist and staff really put a positive spin on the whole idea of loosing a tooth. They showed her the metal spacer that would be put in to take care of her "unhappy tooth". Chloe was so excited about it, she used her newly learned math skills to count down each day before we had to go back and get that "really cool looking spacer". I asked the Dentist whether we should tell her that he was going to pull out that unhappy tooth, and he said, Oh no, not till the day of the appointment. Now, when I was a kid, the experience was quite different from what my kids are seeing. This Office is so darn "kid friendly", all the way down to the Pac Man game and the Prize cupboard, and although everyone that works there keeps calling me "Mommy" and it starts to annoy the hell out of me (thought only my Little's reserved that right), I see that my children love to go there, and have no fears at all, very different from my experience. So I am truly grateful for it. But... I think they needed to be much more honest and up front about what was going to happen to Chloe. Of course, I realized that was my job...but if I had listened to them.. I think it would have been even more of a shock for her than it was. Luckily I had a talk with Chloe the night before and told her everything that was going to happen, and she said "I didn't know they were going to take my tooth out !!"

Well, the procedure went well, I was told she was a very brave girl. Before it was done I was able to sit with her in the room while she watched a movie. The Dentist, (who is a very sweet and gentle man) came in, and then I said Goodbye. That walk down the hallway out of that room was agonizing. I knew that it would not be good for me to be there...because I was not sure that I could be calm for Chloe...but at the same time, leaving your child with someone else is very scary. In my mind, I knew she would be alright, and that she was with Professionals, that do this procedure over and over again, but that emotional side to the Mothering Instinct can be so overwhelming. I had Blake with me, and he decided to have a "throw himself down and scream like a monster" tantrum in the waiting room, because he wanted to stay in Chloe's room and watch the movie, so is a twisted way, that took my mind off things...

The rest of our day was spent laying around watching movies, and sleeping. It seemed like the reality set in for Chloe, that this spacer thing was not as cool as she thought it was going to be. She had to eat soft foods, her jaw hurt and she couldn't be herself. There was alot of crying, and hugs, and nose blowing. I felt so bad for her, not only because she was hurting, but because this is one of many yucky events she will have to endure in her life time of growing up and experiencing the world. I just kept remembering, how much being a kid sometimes is a real your fantasy world can easily be shattered by life. Check out the picture she drew for the Tooth Fairy....

As for that Illustrious Tooth Fairy...she left a hefty sum of $10, and a very long handwritten note, ( I think her printer was malfunctioning). Chloe thought that was pretty cool... She has now announced to me, after counting all of her acquired cash, that she has "ninety ten dollars" to her name... A rich little girl I say !!

Fast forward to today, Tuesday... Chloe is doing great ! She healed within a day...and all is well...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Professionals

I thought I might share some images that my photographer and good friend, Ashley Newton, took of Chloe and Blake last year. Maybe you recognize one from our Holiday Card? We did those at Ashley's studio, Ventana Kids.

Ventana Kids is in College Area, right down the street from us, (they also do on-location photography). If you look at the images, notice the striking Orange color that is painted on their walls, it really makes for a great backdrop for photo's, of course orange is one of my favorite colors !

What I really like about Ventana kids is that they do photo journalistic style photography, the shoots are a lot more natural and fun, and they capture the kids as they really are. There is no stress involved and no patronizing baby talk. I know that sometimes I can get a nice image of Chloe and Blake on my own, but they just don't compare to Ashley's work.

About a week after this shoot last year, they called me back in and showed me a beautiful slide presentation, with music and all, to help me pick what images I wanted for my home. Of course, I had tears in my eyes..

FYI... Ventana Kids is doing a special, unadvertised, "on-location mini-shoot day" at a Del Mar beach on November 11. That's this Sunday, and they still have spots available. For this event, their session fees are $150. Which to me, is a great deal. The nice part is that they will donate all their sessions fee's for the week of November 12th to the American Red Cross. Pretty cool...

Check out there website here. Also, look at their Blog, it will give you a great idea of their work on location...their is some amazing images. I will leave you with an image that is on Ashley's Gallery Page. When I went in last year for our shoot, I was only intending on having Chloe and Blake photographed, I was suffering from a sinus headache and felt like I looked terrible. Somehow I ended up in all the fun, and got this beautiful photo. Ashley and Ventana Kids are definately the Professionals, in my book !!

Thanks Ashley...

Sunday, November 4, 2007


With soil under my finger nails, many aches in my back, and weary eyes, I am so grateful for what I have become a part of..... A Community School Garden....

To see photo's from my Day, click here. All of these photo's were taken by our Garden Historian, Emil..

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Fun !!

We had lots of fun this Halloween, despite a creepy crawly cold and flu virus...

We did some decorating, and some pumpkin carving...first time Chloe carved herself !! I have to say it's my favorite part of Halloween....carving, then lighting, then inhaling the smell of pumpkin insides as the candle's burn away. Someone who came trick or treating actually thought I was baking something...


Chloe's Kitty Cat Pumpkin

Blake's Scary Pumpkin

The whole family's pumpkins...The Tree was inspired by my friend Annie

During the day, there was lots of fun at Blake's Preschool, and Chloe's School.

Chloe was San, Princess Mononoke

Anne (Chloe and Blake's Fairy God Mother) came to Chloe's class for a Halloween Party
Love those Red Wings !!

Blake was a Cowboy, one who did not like Momma taking pictures of him.

In the words of my friend Lori who took this picture "The little cow poke has been on the range to long !"

The coolest "Mom" Costume, ever... A Mexican Wrestler

Last but not Flower Costume...things have been quite flowery around here lately and thanks to my friend Elizabeth, who found this absoulutely fabulous vintage smock at a church rummage sale, (for $1) I was able to be bright all day...