Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

HEY, it's another day for feasting and thanking.
We are so lucky to be with friends, family (not mutually exclusive, either, which is a real blessing) and living in the United States of America.
Join with me in thanking someone today for being in your life - that special person who's made a real difference.
Enjoy the day and the pie - femminismo
p.s. There's today's prayer on BlessWhatThereIs.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rethinking and Reinventing ... a Life.

NANOWRIMO is eating my soul. Chores are eating my soul. If you read this post you will be able to see someone adding words to their NaNoWriMo storyline and how dirty it all is. I am not stopping for anything. Even paragraphs, so good luck on following my thoughts. I told the Mister this morning - or suggested to him - that we stop doing everything. I don't want to wash clothes any more or change the bed or answer the telephone or go to work or ... just don't want to do anything.
(Oops! A paragraph.) I feel tired out and used up and washed out. I can't take on one more project in November and yet I have signed up for NaNoWriMo and it's not getting done. I did it in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and I'm wondering if I really need 50,000 more words of something I don't do anything with. Don't worry. I am not truly depressed, but just tired of fulfilling chores that require me to be somewhere else and not working with my hands at doing something beautiful (to me anyway). Something beautiful would involve paint and scissors and glue and glitter and more images clipped from here and there. Will the police come to the door if I don't finish 50,000 words? No, of course not. So I may opt out this year and just give myself a break. I think it would be a big, big relief. I have been getting my e-mail pep talks "You can do it!" type of thing. "I've been there, and we find out we can do more than we think we can." Etc, etc.
I know that and I think I'm doing that every single day anyway. I am learning Dreamweaver and on Friday I updated our company Web site, so there is no lack of learning new stuff. There is also the new copy machine at work that involves printing, stapling, folding, bypass trays, Tray 1, Tray 2, Tray 3 and thick 2 paper, thick 3 - Yikes! Learning, learning, learning, and everything takes three times longer.
Well, I have blathered on long enough. If you have made it this far, you will know I'm feeling frustrated and tired and overworked. I no longer wish to peer into the computer screen for more than 8 hours. I want a break. I want to work with my hands on actual physical objects. So this November I declare myself free, free, free to do what I want (within limits, of course) - femminismo
p.s. Needless to say, I still require more practice with Photoshop!
p.p.s. YES, it did feel GOOD to draw my dream about stabbing the copier!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's a NaNoWriMo Day!

I WROTE 1,678 word at lunch to add to my total at the left under NaNoWriMo.
Yes, indeed, I am so proud of myself.
There will be more to this post later. Right now I am due back from lunch at work.
Adios until this evening.

WELL, I didn't get back to post anything momentous. However, on Monday, a super windy day in Oregon, I got outside in the midst of all of it and took a picture of "my tree." (I'm watching over it, documenting it this winter and spring.) You can see the wind bending the very top.
AND, NaNoWriMo, Candace said, is an especially cruel mistress this year - femminismo

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rewarding Evening ...

VALLEY ART was ablaze with talented artists' work and talented volunteers on Friday the Thirteenth when "Expect the Unexpected" was staged in the gallery - the 43rd annual artist event.
I fell deeply and unexpectedly in love with a watercolor by Jan Su Hirst, titled "Adonis." And in love with many more things too - some of which I will actually have to give away as Christmas gifts.
The annual artist event is always blessed with food "treasures" from the members of the gallery's association, and this makes it a very special night. Here is my choice of just some of the delights from the hors d'oeuvre table. (The plate would only hold so much in one trip.)
On Saturday I volunteered at the Forest Grove Book Sale and my goodness! The rooms were very busy with folks searching for good deals on good reads. And Saturday was the last day of the sale. Those who helped clean up - and they were all ages, as you can see in the last photo - got a good deal on a FREE bag of books. (Yes, I helped clean up. Very worth it!)
I even did some gift shopping. It was my brother's birthday last week and I got him an absolutely first rate "gag gift" book. I'm sure with more searching I might have found something even better, but waiting until the last minute isn't very reliable.
Now I must quit blogging and get to writing on NaNoWriMo. I know I'm missing a lot of great football - I can hear it from the other room - but I still can't be two people at once - femminismo

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Little Bobbie!

It's Bobbie's birthday. Visit his insect blog today. Force your home schooled children to read his stories. They will laugh themselves silly. These are stories about the insects Bobby tormented throughout his youth.
Well, perhaps "tormented" is really too strong a word for a boy/man with a heart made from marshmallow fluff - femminismo (proud sister)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog!

I'M WITH DOROTHY. There's no place like home ... even if it takes a while to get used to it again.
It is good to travel and be exposed to other viewpoints and actually experience from high above how great and wide our part of the world is. Flying over Lake Erie - seeing just a bit above its surface the cloud formations that looked like some kind of fancifully concocted foamy dessert topping- was awesome. You wonder how many of the Native People, who once lived on Lake Erie's shores, believed it had no end. To them it would have seemed as wide as the ocean to us.
The plane was so full on the way from Salt Lake City (first stop) to Detroit that we were encouraged to check carry-on baggage at the flight deck. (Or they were going to start taking it away from us!) So I gave up one bag not remembering that Scar, my body guard for the trip, was in that bag. With the chocolate!!
I quickly found my bag in Detroit at the luggage carousel and guess whose little head was sticking up? Yes, Scar. Sent with me by the Mister and mistreated by me in the worst way. Scar had gotten hungry along the way and got into the chocolate. What a tummy ache he had. Fortunately there was a doctor in our group who administered an enema (oh, poor Scar!) and he was soon feeling better. Scar, not the doctor.
The Model Student Assistance Program coordinators' meeting I attended got me all fired up to go back to work and sign up new Oregon teachers to attend the Model Student seminars to get the help they need to improve children's lives. The next three-day seminar for teachers in Oregon is in March 2010. If you know an Oregon teacher, have them contact me. They will learn to set up a core team within their school to learn to identify and help at-risk students. (Many schools already have their own programs, and this one doesn't take the place, but gives additional support.)
Meanwhile, when all the meeting attendees went out to dinner, I got another unbirthday celebration thanks to Earl W. He takes delight in "gifting" me with more and more birthdays. And it's OK with me as long as another year older isn't included in the deal. I got a delightful slice of tiramisu.
I had asked Mark Bernardin, a coordinator from Ohio, if he would do a magic trick for me. He has been doing magic since a visit to Disneyland when he was around 11 years old. He told me he had a card in his wallet and asked me to guess what it was. I was thinking the Ace of Spades. Then he said "Don't think of something easy. People are always guessing the Ace of Spades of the King of Diamonds."
I gasped, "I was thinking of the Ace of Spades!"
"Well, think of something harder he said."
So I thought about it and said, "OK, the seven of spades."
He wiggled the card from his wallet after I said this. It came out the six of spades. I was a little disappointed. I really wanted him to guess right.
He looked at me and said something like "Sometimes I come up a little short and I'm off a little." Then he flipped the card over and written on the back in black marking pen was what is in the picture: Off by one.
Well, it was a good productive time in Michigan, but I'm glad to be home. When I found Scar trying to use my BlackBerry to call home I knew he was missing Oregon too. Even though he had me and the queen size bed all to himself - femminismo

Friday, November 6, 2009

Great Day Today - Inspirational

THE conference I'm attending in Detroit, Mich., is for coordinators of the Model Student Assistance Program (I'm the coordinator in Oregon), offered free of charge to teachers, for identifying and helping children at-risk. The Masons of Oregon pay for the whole program - which includes professional seminar leaders - and teachers' lodging, meals and supplies.
Listening to the great work going on in the different states across America from other state coordinators, I have become inspired by the goals of these people to help teachers and, first and foremost, children.
But now I must get some sleep. It's 11 p.m. Eastern time, but back in Oregon it's much earlier. My little pea brain doesn't know what is going on. Talk to you soon and don't let me forget to tell you about Mark's magic trick - femminismo

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Landed in Detroit at 3:47 p.m.

Here I am safe and sound in Detroit, Mich. Yippee. I am entering this post to justify lugging this heavy old laptop around two airports. Aren't you happy?
The clouds over Detroit were the most beautiful I've ever seen, even if they did have "turbulance" written all over them. Giant Johnson & Johnson cotton puffs made to cushion the angels' falls. I took a picture, but have no way to put them on this computer. This Life magazine archive photo will have to do. (It was taken in Florida in 1946, I think.)
Maybe when I get back I will trade in this computer for a lighter version with a card slot.
Love to you all! I have met wonderful people so far - femminismo

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Piece of the Moon.

ANOTHER gorgeous day here in Oregon. Well, our part anyway. A little cool this morning, but lots of sunshine in the afternoon.
Geese are flying -VvV- all over the place, back and forth in no particular direction. I guess they are feeding somewhere - Vvv - waiting for temperatures to drop a bit more and then they'll take off for southern climes. (This is absolutely a guess. They are much too high up to converse with and I haven't been flying in some time now. The V's are my geese!)
When I go to Michigan, I am hoping there is a duty-free shop at the airport in Detroit. I enjoy looking through them. Sometimes even treating myself to something I don't need. I believe on the return trip I will be stopping in Texas. I'm sure that's the quickest way to fly from Michigan to Oregon.
Today at work I printed stationery - colored letterhead - and actually got our new printer to cooperate with me and print No. 10 envelopes with the return address in color. It's these small triumphs that make life so worth living.
My pal, Dawn Sellers, was asking about the next library book sale. It begins in Forest Grove on Monday, Nov. 9, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. This is open to members only. They get first choice. You can become a member at the door, Dawn. (Incidentally, I haven't heard from you lately on Twitter. I know, I know ... I should talk!) The sale goes on Tues and Wed, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. (yes, Veterans Day it's open; come in the side door off the parking lot) and Thurs-Fri, 10-5; Saturday, 10-3, bring a bag, fill it for $5. Wow! I just checked out Dawn's blog and her "Days of Poe." She has two really cute necklaces ("Nevermore") and other great stuff. What a fabulous exchange!
Hope you enjoy the two views of tonight's moon. One is the real photo and the other one I couldn't resist "solarizing." I always open that photo editor and vow not to do more than crop ... but then I get carried away - femminismo

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Beautiful Day, Busy Day!

I GOT a lot done today, with a head start before I had breakfast by beginning a load of clothes and doing the dishes. The back yard was beautiful in the sunshine, with the golden leaves from the neighbor's tree glowing in the back right-hand corner.
My friend Barb is coming tomorrow (from Michigan) and is going to stay with us for a few days before I leave (for Michigan) on Thursday (without her) - yes, you read this correctly - so I am getting "the guest room" ready.
In preparing for the trip, I am packing a quart size Ziplock bag with teeny, tiny bottles of fluids and am limiting myself to one small carry-on bag so I will be able to take my laptop. I will find time, I'm sure (hahahahahahaha!), to rack up more of a word count for NaNoWrimo, even though I'll be attending a work conference. I hope I get to the electric outlets before anyone else at the airports!
After a little house cleaning today I picked up my brother and we went to the local library book sale. He brought two big bags - one for each of us to fill. Look who I found for sale! Not a book, but a very special little person. He had his own balloon, but I didn't buy him. He told me he was meant for a little girl with blond hair and wanted to wait for her. No problem. I know men and their blondes.
We waded through lots of books. I found a delicious Maira Kalman book. I'd already bought several from Amazon and was happy to find one I didn't have - for a mere $1.50, sans postage. I saw my friend Sylvia at the sale and we went upstairs to look at foreign language books because she'd seen some Indian religious tracts, we think, with some comic book-style drawings. I found a great dictionary - English descriptions with the foreign word after - and Sylvia found a great Hebrew "dictionary" with the word and drawings. I think we'll use these for collage and trade some pages. One of the book sale volunteers let us in the "secret" storage room (not really so secret) and there were boxes and boxes of books bound for the sale where I will volunteer. There were lots and it made my fingers itch, wondering what treasure was inside them.
I saw a wonderful book at the sale with a big price tag. I denied myself the book, hoping it would remain unsold and make it to our book sale. (That's where the unsold books go.) But at the last minute I sneaked back (right beside Sylvia; I don't even think she saw me!) and I grabbed it and bought it. After all, it was for a good cause: the library! The cover says "Great Ideas." It's a huge hardbound book, a sort of self-promotion piece by the Container Corporation of America. They must have underwritten all of these artworks and along with them are great quotations.
Here's some examples. Well, I guess you can see why I didn't want to take any chances on losing such a find as this. I've regretted some purchases, but regretted more the things I didn't get when I wanted them.
After the library it was shopping for a pair of tennis shoes while my brother perused Barnes & Noble. Then we went to have lunch at the Golden Arches. I indulged in a small chocolate shake. Good while cold. I took my brother home and then went grocery shopping. (yuck!) Sunshine when I went in, dark when I came out. Waaa! It seems on one of the most beautiful days yet of November I was inside all darn day. But it's only the first day! That's right!
Oh, before I forget I have painted journal pages (with no journaling yet), and I've discovered what Kelly Kilmer said is true: Don't think about it too much. I just started sticking some things down and like them. Also, this morning, when I peeked inside the journal, I found the shoes I had cut out were turned over and I liked the back side more than the real looking shoes.
And the face with the huge eye got all mixed up and twisted together with a cutout hand, since nothing was glued down yet, and I really like that too!
Have a great Monday tomorrow - femminismo