Friday, May 31, 2013

22:52 technology

Project 52

When I saw the word technology on my list for this week, my mind went straight to the miles of cables and cords that exist in this house. Computers and electronic devices of many varieties constantly bombarding any peace and quiet. That wonderful advancement of the sciences that keeps us running to Best Buy and accumulating yet one more piece of stuff because the other one is now obsolete.

My husband is the techno savvy geek around here ... not me. While I might be handy with a few devices, I consider myself more of the other generation of technology. The past generation.
The kind defined below:

tech-nol-o-gy [tek-nol-uh-jee]
  1. the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure  science.
  2. the terminology of an art, science, etc; technical nomenclature

I admit ... this week technology will keep us moving around the circle and over to Maaret.
Without the advancement of technology this blog would not be a reality today ....
but the postal service might still be solvent.

Monday, May 27, 2013

a long memorial day weekend

It isn't over yet, but I'll do just about anything to get out of sitting down to attempt some school work. I've run out of jobs ... well, that never happens. I've nearly run out of jobs on my list and the only things left are: 1) Run to Hobby Lobby for some elastic 2) Exercise 3) Discussion questions for my online class. Blogging for a little bit sounds so much better ... except for Hobby Lobby ... that I will gladly do any time!

Thursday was graduation ... Anna's day. I wanted to share a few more photos from that day. Apparently there were too many camera lenses aimed in our directions because we never got all eyeballs aimed in the right direction at the same time.

Anna's bling was fun to do. I've never seen it done in Arizona, but a candy lei was often adorning graduates in Alaska. A Polynesian custom, some are filled with candy and others made of money.

Our blonde beauties! The flying hair reminds me trampoline jumping days when they were all toddlers.

Graduates at the church on Thursday evening following multiple graduations at different schools ... some ceremonies yet to come.

Whew! That one done!

Friday it was time for a visit to the chiropractor. Tia has been having problems with TMJ. We both have snapping and cracking jaws, but hers likes to keep locking which means I should probably buy applesauce in the gallon jars. If she'd quit leaving it places, she has a mouth guard to keep the jaws separated at night. In the meantime, we've been visiting the chiropractor .... who incidentally told me that my noggin's axis was off kilter on Friday. Go figure.

Probably means I really am half a bubble off!

A stop to visit Randy at the hospital and home for girls to pack.

They headed off to Moab, Utah for the weekend and I headed to the kitchen.

Something is probably seriously wrong with that picture, but I had obligations that kept me in town for at least Sunday morning. So it goes!

So, being as it was a Friday evening of a holiday weekend and I finally had a few hours of unscheduled bliss .... the peaches from Sunday finally got some attention!

Freezer jam, peach sauce and frozen slices for either my oatmeal, smoothies, peach crisp or cobbler ... whichever sounds good at the time. After having to ignore them all week, I'm impressed that I was actually able to get some slices out of them instead of just mush.


Laundry was spent spinning while peaches cooked and smushed.

Excuse that towel with the hanging piece up there. This picture isn't meant to be a selling point because there are only 2 matching towels in the house ... just evidence that the girls' rooms were cleaned before they left!

Saturday I did anything I could to avoid working on a paper for school.

Laundry ... sit at the laptop .... dishes .... sit at the laptop ... ironing ... sit at the laptop.

We scheduled an evening visit at the Rock Springs Cafe with Bruce & Jodi. It has been way too long since we had a chance to visit with them! So glad we did. And then because I really couldn't manage to do any school stuff, we left earlier than needed and stopped to visit Kevin at the hospital.

Sunday I had no choice but to finish that paper and get 'er uploaded. Morning church and home to that paper. A delicious afternoon nap ... and off visiting again in the evening with more friends we haven't had coffee with in quite a while. Quite obviously ... we're the visiting kind over here.

Memorial Day and I'm not leaving the house until after dinner ... at which point I'm going visiting again! In the meantime, I couldn't sleep past 6 this morning and gave up trying. I attacked my To Do List and managed everything from fixing several skirts to wearable (except for that piece of elastic I need from Hobby Lobby), putting away winter clothes (the temps are hitting over 100F now so I ought to be safe packing away the wool), cleaning my craft room, greeting cards into envelopes, Anna's air miles for her flight added to her account ... all kinds of piddly little things. The kind of day where I move from one thing to the next and accomplish everything but school work ....

while I spent moments remembering what today is really all about. Today we thank our servicemen and women who have given their lives to preserve the freedoms that we enjoy today. May we always honor what they have given so that we may freely live.

Friday, May 24, 2013

21:52 laughter

Project 52

Laughter rang in our house today.
Today was Anna's day to celebrate
the end of her high school days.
New shoes were bought.
Speeches were listened to.
Diplomas received.
As joy was shared with friends and family today
laughter filled our world.

Congratulations Anna!

 Can't you just hear it?!
Circle on over to Maaret to see what kind of
howling good time she's brewed up for us.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

hemming jeans with an unhemmed look

Anna probably won't appreciate my saying this, but she has the honor of being the shortest person in this house. That also means that jeans are usually too long for her. And I can't stand hemming jeans. They always look like they've been whacked off and stitched up. 

Last week as she was packing to travel and getting ready to take these along with her, I hauled out the beasty sewing machine, logged into Pinterest, and followed this link that led me to the tutorial on how to do this. I crossed my fingers and had a go at it. I didn't take pictures of the jeans when they were done because they got flipped on and out the door they went. 

My machine has a problem. First of all, I'm pretty pleased that it does anything at all anymore. It has sewn miles of fabric and was a $20 find at a yard sale. I best not complain too loudly or it will quit even the straight stitch! Right now it doesn't want to zigzag for me and I don't have a serger. There was no way for me to magically "seal" the seams before she took off.

A week later she came home and I finally made it to my favorite Hobby Lobby for a few supplies.
Some Fray Check and Heat n Bond Ultra Hold, a pair of scissors and an iron ...

I attached the cut edge to the pant leg with the Heat n Bond, and then applied Fray Check to the edges. I don't know if it will survive wearings and washings or not, but it is worth a try!

The extremely bright side is that the jeans still have their original hem and unless you really peer closely, you won't ever know the difference!

I've been thinking about this for awhile now.
I'm going to add another board on Pinterest ... 
one that is called something like Tried and It Worked!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

peach festival

Sunday we ran to Schnepf Farms to the Peach Festival. I've lived here for nearly forever and this would be the first time I've ever gone. I think that living away from peach trees and the ability to just go pick them gives one a whole new appreciation for the availability of fruit that tastes like fruit!

I think that this week will not only include graduation, parties, paper writing and work, but also ....

canning just a few peaches because this is not a mirror image. There are really two boxes here. Dehydrating some peaches ... eating some peaches ... dripping peach juice down my chin ....

Oh, but they're tasty!

Friday, May 17, 2013

20:52 mother

Project Fifty Two

 The Boy We Want

A boy who is truthful and honest
And faithful and willing to work;
But we have not a place that we care to disgrace
With a boy who is ready to shirk.

Wanted - a boy you can tie to,
A boy who is trusty and true,
A boy who is good to old people,
And kind to the little ones too.

A boy who is nice to the home folks,
And pleasant to sister and brother,
A boy who will try when things to awry
To be helpful to father and mother.

These are the boys we depend on - 
Our hope for the future, and then
Grave problems of state and the world's work await
Such boys when when they grow to be men.

The Children's Book of Home and Family
William J. Bennett
photos taken on Mother's Day 2013

Maaret is next up in this month's circle.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

remembering you

 I really am remembering so many of you.
In so many different places.
In so many difficult situations.
Some of you wondering what the purpose of your trial is.
Maybe trying to find that silver lining in your cloud.
Perhaps making it through an hour of the day 
is almost too much and you've moved to counting minutes instead.
Perhaps you fear for the safety of your loved ones and your friends.
Perhaps it is their health and welfare that makes you ache.

So many situations.
So many places.
If you're feeling like you've landed in a cactus patch ...
even there a flower can be found.
Maybe in the middle of those thorns,
the flower petals are the arms of friends 
and the love of God.
Surrounding you.
Holding you up.
For just a moment.
In your situation ... 
whatever and wherever that may be ...
I'm remembering you.

Monday, May 13, 2013

i trust them

with my mind life.
Really I do.
This book of William Bennett's was really not our favorite 
when they were young.
Our favorite was The Children's Book of Virtues. 
Maybe I should have been reading that to them instead.

On second thought.
Maybe I shouldn't be so trusting of them.
Those boys can be downright strange.
I'm absolutely positively sure that these traits
come from somewhere other than their maternal side.
Certain of it.

Anna is in Alaska for about a few days or more.
She is probably wearing a sweatshirt and I'm grumping because
it's only about 104 today.
Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.
Oops. Off topic there.
The kids were over yesterday and we dined. 
We visited.
We laughed.

It was good.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Nothing eloquent going on over here this evening.
I'm a tired mom who has pushed the limit today.
Just a heartfelt thanks.
Thanks to the mom who gave birth to me ...
who put up with all my human frailties
and still does so on my not so good days.
Thanks to the mom who gave me her son
so that I could share his life.
Thanks to all the surrogate moms out there
who step in and help out my children when they need it.

Special thanks to God 
who has given me the opportunity 
to hold my children's hands for a while
and their hearts forever.

Friday, May 10, 2013

19:52 night

Project Fifty Two

Welcome to the age of
reading glasses and electronic devices
with lit screens at night.

19:52 Night

Head on over to a night through Maaret's camera lens!

Monday, May 6, 2013

will they shout from mountain tops?

Last fall I posted a note to Anna that I'm really fond of.
It was a parent's hope that they had taught a child the important things in life.
Sometimes it seems that we get so busy with the day to day living,
we assume they know it all by osmosis or something.
It's kind of like teaching them to drive a car.
I've been driving for a looong time and am not sure
I would remember to teach them all the little nuances that I now take for granted.

In parenting, as in everything in life, our actions teach so much more
than our words ever will.
Our oldest child will soon be turning 26.
It has been quite a learning experience.
A learning curve that isn't anywhere close to being over.

Our children have all been born of us, given as gifts to us by God 
for whatever time He deems they have on earth.
We have been borrowed these beautiful children.
Sometimes in the busy days that seem to be our life I wonder what they have learned.
Have we, as parents, done our best to teach them from the first time our hands held theirs.

   artwork by Andy Buck

What kind of moral character will they display to the rest of the world?
When they come of an age where they develop their own sets of morals and values,
will they be able to stand for them?
Will they have the guts to stand and shout from the highest peaks?
Will they cower and stay silent?
Will they be able to stand firm in the truth, whatever that truth is for them?
Will they lead by example, not spouting words which have no meaning for them?

Recently, I had the pleasure of hearing how one of mine has come to this point in life.
I had the pleasure of listening to a very animated telling of a situation at school.
A situation where someone made a derogatory comment about her own belief system,
and how she stood up for what she believed in.
In a school that has a reputation for educating some of the toughest kids,
many of whom are in trouble with the law and many more who come from 
deplorable situations, she stood up for what she believed in.
She taught them a very vocal lesson about respecting the belief systems of each other,
no matter what they are.
She stressed to them the importance of not only respecting each other, but respecting themselves.
She told them they don't have to settle for less than they deserve.
She tried to get them to understand that waiting for the right thing is much better than settling
for the wrong thing.

And then I had my answer.
Will this one stay silent and not stand for truth?
No, she will not.
She will shout from mountain tops, even to those who don't want to hear it.
She will fight for what she herself believes in.
She will stand firm in the truth.
And someday when her hand are lined and gnarled ...

artwork by Lewis Isaac Testa

those lines will hold many stories of lives she touched
with her honesty, her passion and her freedom to shout from mountain tops.
Yes, I believe she will shout.
And I will be her loudest champion.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

mushrooms in the desert?

The front yard of the place we're living in is all rock.
Except for a weed or two or more ... there really isn't any grass growing out there.
We have drip systems that water plants,
but they are on the other side of the driveway.
The side in question is all rock. 
One day as I was leaving, I noticed rocks that appeared to be protruding.
Reminded me of seeing ground squirrels or moles or some other
kind of critter that run in tunnels under ground and pop up through holes to drive you nuts
and wonder if your house is going to sink someday from all the tunnel digging.

Went to take a closer look and couldn't believe my eyes.
In Alaska, where the climate was wet damp and the trees so dense that 
sun rarely hit the forest floor, I could understand mushrooms.
We had all kinds of beautiful mushrooms there.
I've had mushrooms growing in a desert lawn that was being irrigated.
Here ... in a pile of rocks with no water supply?

My clothes closet has a lot of tan, black and white ... I'm okay with that.
Mushrooms that blend into the earth?
I'm not seeing any beauty going on here.
Maybe that means my closet could use some color as well!

Maybe they're poisonous and the scorpions are going to eat them and then ...
I won't have to worry about those nasty little critters who I'm sure have no purpose.
Maybe Maaret can tell me what they are or I could probably do the google thing
and figure it out myself.

I don't know what they are but they are not visually appealing at all.
I'll probably get a "ticket" from the HOA next week for them.
That's the way it works around here.

Friday, May 3, 2013

18:52 quiet place

Project 52

Usually this place is covered with children shrieking with laughter
as they frolic with joy.
This day it was a quiet place.

As our children grow and are busy leading lives that seem to be
heading off in so many different directions, some days ...
though I once thought it impossible...  even our home is a quiet place.

Other days, like lately when I'm trying to squeeze in a 30 minute nap and only manage 10 minutes ...
I wish I could master sitting upright in this quiet place long enough to close my eyes 
for just a few minutes. 

I was asking a crew sitting outside the other evening what they thought of 
when I said quiet place ... and then I wanted them to guess where I 
had been that morning. They couldn't guess. 
I got answers like: library (nope ..was there last week), empty gas station,
bathroom. I got quite the looks when I told them where I had gone.

I found ...
A place that was peaceful and serene.
A place filled with beautiful flowers.
A place that had only one other car besides mine.
A place where trees offered shade from the harsh sunlight.
A place where benches offered places for reflection
and perfect stillness.

18:52 Quiet Place

Maaret always has such creative ideas for this project .. take a look!