Friday, December 26, 2008

the dog and the chocolate cake

dilo:december 21,2008

It began quite innocently. I received this really cool plate, from my friend, for Christmas.
She mentioned, she had wanted to make a cake to put on it, but she didn't have time. I assured her I would accept this cake anytime later, and not to worry about it.

So on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, she made the cake, a German chocolate cake with coconut pecan glaze, and dropped it off, my husband happily accepted it, and placed it on the counter, meanwhile I was asleep because I had worked the night before.

Tom was in the other room online, reading his blogs, when he became aware of the rustle of wax paper.You see the cake was covered in waxed paper. He came around the corner, to see our dog Wilma eating the cake, it was a star shaped cake, and well now it was missing a point.

Wilma is a 60lb, English coonhound.Who eats pretty much anything you'll give her, except maybe figs.

So like any good dog owner, he called the vets, only to get their answering machine, after all it was Christmas eve. So then he went to the internet, and read the awful things that were due to happen,hyperactivity, extreme thirst,then vomiting, and diarrhea. All these symptoms would occur in 1-3 hours. About the time all our guest would arrive.

So about 3:30pm I woke up, to Tom telling me the story I just told you.The ending of the story, I'm happy to report is boring, nothing happened, she got none of those symptoms, and enjoyed her Christmas Eve just like all dogs do, cleaning up potato chip crumbs, possibly getting a raw carrot that fell to the floor, or a goldfish cracker or two.

Am I telling you this tail, umm tale, to tell you that chocolate is good for dogs, no, not all all.I'm telling you so maybe you'll make sure the chocolate cake isn't on the counter, within reach of the dog.

I'll have to say the only thing Wilma does when we have a piece of the cake,Yes we still have the cake, come on people I wasn't going to throw away the whole cake, I just cut away the dog nibbled part. She looks at it longingly, because well we are not sharing.We don't want to push our doggy luck.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

happy holidays

~~Happy Holidays~~

So this year it's Christmas Eve, at my house. Family is coming. I've made skateylleven Italian meatballs, so we won't run out. I have munchies for the crowd to graze on, drinks to drink, and I look forward to the whole loud mess, as usual.

We'll have NORAD tracking Santa, on the computer, to see where he's been, and where he's going to.It's all computer generated, but it gives me chills , plus watching my younger niece and nephew, watching it with excitement, is enough to put any Scrooge into the Christmas spirit.

There will be music playing, and the dog will get lots of goldfish crackers, from the kids.The only thing missing is my sister and her husband, she has to work a 12 hour shift, so there's no question, the girl has to sleep.They will be missed.

There will be the massive un-wrapping, paper flying ,as people open gifts.It's easy to miss what people get.Something my husband decided one year, the year he decided to buy gifts before Christmas, it was for the 3 of us to open our presents , together after everyone else went home,mostly so he could enjoy our son's, and my reaction, on the job well done, he did in buying gifts that year.
and he did really good.

Whatever your holiday traditions, be them old or new,I hope you have a Merry Christmas, or a Happy Hanukkah, or a festive Kwanzaa, and a most Happy new year.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

the ice storm cometh


Thursday the rain started, then the temperatures dropped, then the ice started forming.When I opened the door to let the cat out, it wasn't wind I heard blowing, it was creaking ice laden branches. Around 9pm the light flickered dim, and then again at 9:30, I should have followed my thoughts, that told me to turn up the heat some, and turn the temperature of the refrigerator down, just in case the power went out. I of course ignored those voices, I was too busy photographing the icy trees, reflecting the light outside my window.

Hours passed, then at 12:15 am ...POP booop, the power was out, My son and I wait a few seconds for it to come on, and then we realized it wasn't going to happened, off we went finding flashlights, and some LED lanterns, that I had bought years before, and use around Halloween, to light the stairs to our walk way. The dog was less than pleased with the power outage, "what was going on, why were we running around, in the dark?" So off to bed we went, me to my electrically powered heated water bed, and he to his room.My husband was already asleep blissfully unaware, at one point during the night, I thought the lights had come on, but I was too warm in toasty in our bed, and fell back asleep, I'd shut them off in the morning. In the morning noticing the lights were still out , and it was cool in the house, I realized my brain was processing a cars headlights going by,not actual lights coming on.

In the daylight hours the ice covered trees were magnificent, in this kind of surreal frozen fairytale like setting.It was amazing to see how ice covered everything was, and how it came showering down when the temperatures outside increased. We sat, read, drank alot of hot tea, and cocoa, made grilled cheese sandwiches, and naively believed the light would be on in the afternoon, just like a friend rumored, no such luck Chuck.

We ate dinner by candlelight, and camping lantern light.We did the dishes a la camping style, we heated pots of water on the stove, to combine with are only cold running water.I slept on our water bed , this time above the covers, in my sleeping bag, surrounded by a cat or two, I got ready for work, by LED lamplight, and missed the heat in my house , and the hot water alot. I felt unshowered, and tired,and I was. I was also a little annoyed that the neighbor had electricity, and we had none, damn it.

I drove to work,Friday night. It was another surreal event, I and the full moonlight were the only light on the road, as I drove, an occasional lone driver would illuminate how ice covered bushes and trees still were in some areas.One road I drove down the trees were bent so far forward, I wondered if they might touch the roof of my little Subaru.I went through several towns where the usual signal lights were out, the funny thing was I still slowed down, just like they were working.I guess old habits die hard. That night the temperatures dropped to 14 degrees.

On my ride home Saturday morning , I got to see those ice covered trees, in the daylight, which didn't make it any less scary, but more so because you could see how thick the ice still was, and how affected everything was by it. I also noticed at the top of trees the stark pointed white tipped branches left behind after all those that had broken off from the weight of all that ice

I arrived home with some necessities, milk, juice, cat food, and bread, as I got out off my car I noticed a white wire, extending from our house to the neighbors, my husband, the jack of all trades,had hooked us up, he used to be an electrician, before he became the boiler repair man. We talked briefly the night before of putting an extension cord, from our house to our neighbors. Well lo and behold, he had done that very thing! I walked over the thick white wire, to be greeted by my son, telling me that "Dad is hooking up the furnace so we would have heat, and hot water!!"

Yay!! Our house had dropped down to 55 degrees, and the mud room was even colder, colder than the temperature in our fridge, where the temperature was rising.By the time I ate my breakfast in my heaviest wool sweater, the heat was slowly rising, the smell of heat is wonderful, if you haven't had it, for a 24 hours or more. I went to bed that morning, in sweats, with a cat joining me for warmth. I woke up in the afternoon, to warmth, and no lights, but no lights, is nothing compared to no heat.
The hoards of candles I had received as gifts, many a Christmas, did us well, as did my little LED lanterns.

That evening at 6:30 precisely, the lights came on, at first my husband didn't realize, because we had turned the lights off, the first day we were without power.
But quickly we got the picture, and celebrated, with pancakes, and bacon. after all I had to work that night .

Saturday, December 06, 2008

day 155 | stop mo laundry

This was my first foray into trying stop motion, using Windows Movie Maker.
It was unreal how many times the program crashed, and I restarted over and over.

What the hell Microsoft,were you thinking when you created this program.Lets create a program, that's kind of lame, and crashes alot, once the person using the program gets really proficient at it, you crash and freeze up more.Seamless interface would be a lie, it was more like dogged determination, that I would prevail.
rawr!
I don't want to sound totally disrespectful, for this program has been helpful in my learning curve, of video. which i really like doing. :)

But at the end of it I got tired, of taking a single still, and did video.I compressed 7 minutes of still photos into 1 minute, shooting 95 stills, and adding a little video at the end.

the music is by engeo

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

tea city


I'm not sure if there is a tea city, but if there is, I'm a citizen.

A lovely flickr friend, sent me a tea gift certificate, for $5 dollars off, and I figured, I have to check this out, because money off, if well money off. So I went to Adagio teas to check it out, I was able to purchase a black tea sampler, with 6 teas, and a special blend made for my zodiac sign.

I received it in two days, with no extra postage paid, the 6 cannisters are packed full, and the tea is awesome, it's actual loose little leaves, not dust in a bag like most tea bags. My favorite flavor so far is golden monkey, now I know it was the name that attracted me first because sometimes I am a 12 year old , but it's smooth and yummy just like a great black tea should be, and I love to add milk to my tea, and it only added to it's wonderfulness.

So if you want to be a citizen of tea city, why don't you come by and have a cuppa, the water is always hot enough.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

oh the places you'll go

Another visit to museums, for Zack's art appreciation class.

come take a look

I feel lucky , to have figured out, what really attracts my eye, as an artist, it's definitely the patterns in thing, those lovely repetitive colors or shapes, and if they occur around me even better.
I'm thankful, that I looked at it I didn't pass over any object, no matter how mundane. I found my pattern to look at, no matter where it occurred.

If you have never viewed anything on a PictoBrowser, you just click on the image to advance it, or rest your mouse in the bottom edge of the browser, and a thumbnail scrim will pop up.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

bird rescue

I'm not exactly sure how a little bird, got into my potting shed, but it did.

I keep the birdseed in there, in two old playmate coolers, they are perfect containers, they are mouse proof, and keep the seed fresh and dry, they also have great handles, when I need to fill the bird feeders, I can take them with me.


I walked into my potting shed to do that very thing, fill the feeders. I heard this fluttery noise, then I spotted a little slate colored junco, flapping against the windows. I thought for a minute how to get him out, I opened the barn door wide, and considered shooing him out, but then I thought that would just scare the poor little birdie,or drive him deeper in the corner of my potting shed.Slowly I reached my soft gloved hands toward him, caught him and cradled him in my hands, feeling his warm little body nestled in my gloves. I stepped outside, slowly opening my hands, where he sat for a second, then picked up off of them, rising up and flying away.

It made me feel happy, like I had received a little gift.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

the B word


That's right, I'm going to type it, Bra!
There is something to being forty something, that gives me a new appreciation of the need to wear a bra.A proper fitting bra. Even Tim Gunn, says the foundation of a woman's wardrobe, is a proper fitting undergarment.

Before gravity, or weight gain, or lactation, changed and modified my girls into something other that what I expected,I began as a small breasted, almost flat chest young woman, and grew into a more well endowed, cross your heart type of bra Woman!
I used to be able to get away with tank tops, or camisoles, and even a sports bras, but then I began to notice, that these undergarmets of my youth didn't really cut it.As gravity will have her way with your body I noticed my breasts decided they were very enamored with where my feet are, decided they should head in that direction. At first I ignored this, until one day looking in the mirror, I realized those wayward sinking bumps on my boobie horizon, were my nipples, and how in the hell, did they get there, and why? Was my body paying a cruel trick on me, or did I just need a bra. oh the betrayal!

So online I went ,and bras I bought, sometimes successful, sometimes not at all. I figured if the bras I wore without trying on, didn't fit me well, it was a waste of my time to go to a store where a bra lady would help me, find my right size, because there is no right size with me.Part of my reluctance was that I believed I didn't have the right body shape for a bra, I had sloped shoulders that's why, my straps never stayed up, I decided I was a size I really wasn't, and wore mostly bras that didn't fit right.

Until a dear friend clued me in to my delusions, the error of my thickheaded ways, she told me to to run, not walk, to go to Lady Grace, and I did reluctantly.There I met Stephanie,a very nice sales consultant, she did what all bra ladies do, they measure, and have you try on, and they adjust your wayward girls in the bra, what a concept! . Her assistance was non judgmental,gentle and told me most women wear the wrong bra size until they get fitted for the right one!!She turned me around, helped me see the light, and buy the right size
It was amazing to wear a bra that fit right, there was no pinch, no slipping strap, and the girls were looking up again. I actually enjoyed wearing a bra, because here's the shocker, it felt good!!

So If you've always believed you were a bra misfit, because you weren't the right shape,it isn't true sister, you just need to go get measured, and you will see how great your shape actually is.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

working title

Over the last 3 years, I have participated in some type of attempt at daily self portraiture.I began in 365 days, here the main focus was a daily picture, which at the time was a struggle, I have insecurities or had insecurities about how I looked, I got over that, and rarely cringe at photos of myself, there are times , more then not, that I enjoyed and found it to be very empowering. my attempts at year 2 , really were that attempts, I just really had been there done that before, and for me, it wasn't creative, it was more of an annoyance, and that's silly, to continue with something you don't really feel.

This spring flickr introduced video, which I thought cool, but it really doesn't apply to me. I never did videos of myself,i couldn't imagine it. Then I received my first invite to a group called "just say no, to video" and frankly I was intrigued, as to why I should say no.. So I started to do videos, and well It was exciting and creative, and huge eye opener.

If I thought I might balk at still images of myself, there are body angles,and chin doubling, you just can't hide in full motion video,so you either grimace, or get over your big bad self.

In July I joined 365 minutes,at Ipernity. A groups started by two friends from the original 365 days.
At first, months before I started I felt intimidated,by what others were creating and then in July I got over myself and I jumped in.Though it makes me grimace to admit I have a less the firm chin,or belly or anything, that also the beauty of it, it's gone in a flash erased, by another action, or music, or image I am portraying. It's an honest views of my life, of me, of my need to be a poseur video rock star wannabe, sometimes, but mostly they are real, and fairly mundane.
What will I do next July,when I finish, well i guess I will decide that in July.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

the big love post

So this post isn't about the HBO series, but about how you love your family. They make you feel huge amounts of pride, even when they do the simplest things.

This video was taken on my ride home from my Open Studio weekend,my son, his girlfriend, and her friend, were great about helping out.
There is something for me , when your riding in a car filled with family, and friends, that just is cozy, and gives me the warm fuzzies. Come take a ride, won't you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

printmaking


I have been a print maker, steady for the last 6 years. Over the last year and a half i have done strictly relief,linoleum block, wood cut. I've pulled prints, full of line and form. I am mostly a representational artist, but I have begun to revisit my love of pattern and color. Before that I used to switch back and forth between etching and relief printmaking,then I decided in the Autumn of 2007, to just strictly do relief.





I didn't suddenly hate etching, I just wanted to focus, on one thing, at that time I figured I would switch back and forth on a yearly basis. When I came back in September to the studio, I thought alot about , How now it was 2008, and I should be doing etching, but I didn't really feel like switching, which frankly had my little obsessive mind worried,maybe I just didn't have any skill at etching , where I had skills at relief printmaking, and then some, maybe that's why I didn't want to switch. Then thankfully my inner wisdom, took hold of me and game me a shake, and said "there could be worse things, are you really questioning whether you should continue doing a type of printmaking that you are really good at?"
Yes it's true, I can be that insecure about my art. So I took a deep breath, and realized I'm the one setting the schedule here, so it was up to me to choose. I chose to continue on with the relief.



Well that was until I joined in the soft ground practicum, where we experimented with soft grounds, and it was great, wiping a copperplate, came back to me, with ease, phew! It made me want to take a little break from doing relief printmaking, and concentrate on etching.
Recently a artist friend and I decided to trade prints, she has one that I really like, and vice versa, it's also giving me the idea to return to an old set of plated, I haven't printed in years, and revist them, and possible go from there, and create another version of this quilt series, I started over 5 years ago.
Either way, the possibilities are endless.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

yoga-riffic update

I am pleased to report, that I did commit and mostly do daily yoga.I am also pleased to write that it has changed the flexibility, and strength of my body. Are my arm rock hard, well they are firmer, and jiggley part under my arm, doesn't jiggle anymore.
I found another benefit, It made me slow down and focus , on myself, get in touch with how I was feeling, and how I would feel after I finished. Which was empowered and relaxed. It also delighted my dog, in the fact I was down on the floor, and she could give me a nose lick now and then. Will I stop my daily yoga? No. Did it hurt my back? No!!
Will I sometimes be too busy, yes, unfortunately, but you know on the days I had to skip, I was all the more determined to do it, the next day, and I did.
Did I have to play new age music to get into the whole yoga thang? Nope!
I found playing my new music obsession , named Adele, if you don't know her, you should, this girl can sing, plus her music is sublime. You should play the music the resonates with you, and that will do you the most good.

So will I return to my glory days as a couch potato, no. I will become a limber yoga-mama that sometimes sits on the couch. Yes ma'am.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

falling off the wagon

Not that wagon, but off the daily posting wagon, called NaBloPoMo.
I've been busy .

Last weekend, was our Open Studio weekend, it's changed from past years, it became more of a print fair, all the artists at Zea Mays Printmaking showed their work, if they wanted to join in, in years past, only the full time members showed their work, that gave somewhat of narrow view of what the studio was about, and what kind of art was being produced.

Do I like the change? The answer would be yes! It freed me up from bring every print I've ever done to just 20 prints, that represent me the best. I also made my usual greeting cards,which a young woman thanked me for making.Every year,she looks forward to them, she can't afford, to pay for a print, but she can afford, my cards. That was great validation for me, sometimes I question whether I should do them, but that was answered by her, I really appreciate her for telling me, it quashed that self doubt that I had about it.

And now for the video part of this post, a glimpse into our Friday night preview party.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

print fair north

This weekend marks Open Studio weekend at the Arts and Industry building, where my studio is located.
On Friday we are having a VIP event, for print collectors, friends and family.We have rearranged the studio, so people can flow through, view our prints, and maybe even purchase.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

the day after.


I'm still happy and hopeful. I feel blessed that my fellow Americans believe in hope and goodwill just like I do. It makes me very proud, to be part of this historical event.

If I had to describe how I felt in one word, it would be proud, than satisfied, and then ready, for a change.

Ariel at Electrolicious summed up the phenomena, of election night perfectly in this lovely set of pictures. That displays the feeling of shared emotion.All in one word, mostly.
Though I wasn't at her gathering I was at one of my own,watching the election results come in,with friends and acquaintances, we were enjoying a good glass of wine, and a yummy nosh, for that alone was worth it,and to think this country stopped what they were doing to pay witness to this defining moment, along side me, gives me the warm fuzzies.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

get your vote on

and look what happens.

Obama 338 electoral votes
McCain 156 electoral votes

Monday, November 03, 2008

I am a Real American

Over the last weeks I have watched senators and,Sarah Palin, make statements about who are the real Americans.
In my opinion we all are, no matter how diverse our views may be.We are all real Americans. We are all in this together, to face the issues of our time, as a nation.

I encourage you to show yourself, and this website brings that point home succinctly.
Think about participating and letting your real American voice be heard.
I am a Real American.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

mum show

Smith College has two flower shows a year. A bulb show in the spring, and a chrysanthemum show in the fall, besides being small, and just about flowers, you can also tour the rest of the conservatory, which is a plant lover's dream.There is always something blooming, or fading...the koi are fat and vibrant, and if you have a sharp eye , you can catch a glimpse of the frog that lives there, too.
I went this weekend with my Mom and my sister, and my best friend Denise.We had a great time, my mother went through rolls of film, like she was breathing, and we all had a wonderful visit.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

dubious beginnings

and so NaBloPoMo begins...and all I have to show for it is a lame video.



Today is the first day of my staycation.Yes, one of the newer words in the american lexicon, that I agree with fully. There is nothing like a home based vacation, it's fairly inexpensive, and mostly relaxing. Mine will be some of that, but it also includes preparing for Print Show North, which will occur next weekend.
Getting ready for open studio weekend, is exciting, and tiring.
And with the way everyone's finances are this year, I'm definitely going to price my prints accordingly,so they will be hopefully affordable.

Now back to my less the stellar video, in my excitement about being on staycation, and doing my first video for NaBloPoMo, but 124th video, for 365 minutes group at Ipernity,
I realized I had only recorded 30 seconds, I need to fill a minute, for the group, so the rest of it I filled with pictures of myself...ummm I promise this won't happen again, really.
I promise, cross my heart, hope to die.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Halloween

a small video, about pumpkin guts.

Friday, October 24, 2008

your brain on, your brain

this is a jpg. your brain is making the movement.

NaBloPoMo

I haven't decided if I will this year or not, I did pretty good last year, but I did miss a day,If I do daily post it may be from my daily video project, over at Ipernity. Because unless the days get longer, I really can't see,having the time to write daily, and edit video. As I write this I think I will lean more towards, sharing my daily video, maybe with a little written blurb. Maybe.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

time flies

A few weekends back, I went to the farmer's market in Hardwick. Across from the street, is an old Church, and an even older cemetery.I spent a sunny autumn sunday taking some photographs.

free fall-ing




Thursday, October 16, 2008

yoga-riffic

So I've been continuing on my daily yoga goal, and it's been working, less pains, and twinges, more standing upright with better posture, in my past life I was a hunchback, and at times I try to return to that posture, as it's so attractive, on my flabby little body.

I have been doing daily rounds of sun salutation .
Now would I just start doing sun salutation on my own without taking a yoga class at all, I don't think so, I think I would be confused, and not get the full benefit. But In saying that, I tend to obsess and worry about things, I'm not sure of, and that gets in my way of just following the directions, and figuring it out on my own.I think the link I posted, is clear and concise, so you could figure it out by yourself, but I recommend if you have the opportunity to try a yoga class, like an Introduction class. Do it!(now!)

So if your couch to 5K plan, isn't doing the things for you that you thought it would, maybe some daily yoga, would fit better.It would support those twingy knees, and sore backs, that sometimes speak very loudly, and won't budge. Yoga will quiet all that, make you stronger, more flexible, get you in tune with your body.

Like the Nike ads say, just Do It!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

face value

The other day, I joined my son on a trip to our local art museum. He's taking an art appreciation class, so he is required to visit a few art museums.He invited me to join him It was relaxing, we had fun and this video is a result of that visit.


music by the unique brad sucks

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

the bitch is back

some days you just have to bitch.

Today was a good day, though it started out late. I had one of those surreal moments this morning in bed, as I looked at the time, it wasn't registering in my head why my clock read 8:15am, not 7:30. My brain briefly asked "why is the time, wrong on your clock?" Then quickly recognition came to me, " damn, I'm running late, there is nothing wrong with my clock!!"
Uggh thud, out of bed I slow motion moved, to get showered, fed, and off to the studio, my plan to get there earlier wasn't happening today.Why I thought I would somehow wake up with out an alarm,is beyond me.
What else is beyond me , is my inability to commit to exercise. It's annoying to me how I can find reasons not to do it, yet dislike the squishy over 40 belly I have become.
You know what I'm talking about , that belly that showed up one year, in the forty somethings, like some uninvited relative that just won't leave. It just hangs around like a life preserver, for just in case, I drown on the couch!?!
I mean honestly , what is my issue? When I begin regular exercise my body loves it, I get that endorphin buzz, I get more energy, more flexible, less concerned about my less than perfect body, I begin to accept it, because I'm more in tune with it.I actually feel , dare I say empowered.
I unfortunately am really good, at falling off that wagon, over indulging on sweets, becoming more sedentary, more achy. Man, what a whiner I can be about this.
I started the Ass project '08 in august, I was doing well, until I pulled some back muscles, I may want to hang with Mr. Bowflex, but I ended up overdoing it to the point of back spasms...which frankly sucked. It stopped me dead in my tracks, did it stop me from returning to a jiggling goddess? No!
What saved my back muscles, and the soon to be developing hole in my stomach, from all the Motrin I was taking, was yoga.
Yoga, that four lettered word, that frankly I should be wanting to hear, was my lifesaver, it stretched out my very tender muscles, it decreased my pain, and cripes, it even kept my arms firm.Without endless rep of bicep curls or tricep extensions.I made me use my own inflating weight, as the weight I would lift to keep my muscles strong, firm , and flexible.
What a concept! This is the ultimate in no frills exercise equipment, I guess it's true, that all you ever need to succeed is yourself.So this may be the day to vent my flabby little spleen, but it's the first day, of my commitment to daily yoga.
In 39 days will be our Print Fair North, at our studio, I'm using that as a small reasonable goal to aim for, daily yoga for the next 39 days, if it doesn't change my body, in strength, and flexibility, then I can stop. Become a couch potato, grow that third chin to accent the developing second chin, I've been growing, and wallow in self pity (waaah!)

But I believe, I will discover, the exact opposite.(fingers crossed)(see, more exercise)

Saturday, September 06, 2008

pain in the ...

I want to write ass project '08, because that would be so cute. But really it's my back...it started on Sunday, it was beautiful sunny, there was a breeze was blowing, my husband was going sailing, I wanted to join him, but my back had other ideas, the spasmy painful kind.

How did the back pain occur, I'm thinking Mr. Bowflex, might of had something to do with it, but I'm denying that for now, even though I know I'm probably right.

I find at 45 years of age,I do something physical, that my body protests about, it's 2 or 3 days later, I get the soreness, well this time I got the pain....grrrr.

So I spent Sunday icing my back , and taking Motrin every 6 hours, I can be such a good patient/nurse when I want to be. It helped, and then later that night a hot shower, and my arnica shower gel helped too, along with more Motrin. I was able to go to work, and I thought I was on the mend until my 5am rounds, at work, and my bra began to feel like a vice grip , as it was trying to become one with my back. So I took more Motrin, and I tried not to breathe too deep. As much as I wanted to rip my bra off, I can't really let the girls fly at work. Though the pharmacy tech, that always looks at me at boob level, might have liked that.

Thankfully I could drive home with my bra unhooked, and by the time I reached home, my Motrin was working, and the ice packs were ready. I went to bed feeling less pain.
Well I maybe went to bed like that but 6 hours later my back muscles had had enough, and wanted out of the bed, no more sleeping, and the spasmy pain was back full force.

Needless to say, I wasn't handling it very well, I was weepy, and pissed at myself for being a baby, I was worried I might have to call out sick, and then my tired mind, started saying "what if it never goes away, then what will you do then?!?!"
Luckily my body ignored my mind, and the Motrin began to work, so I got on my hands and knees, and did cat stretches which started to help, in a way that made me glad I'm still able to remember yoga stretches .

By Tuesday my back was in much less pain, and no more spasmy muscle feelings, though I still stopped myself before I sneezed , or coughed, that was more fear based, because over the weekend it hurt alot to do those very thing, I even went with out Motrin, but I didn't go with out doing my cat stretches, which evidently amused the dog, because she gets playful every time, I'm kneeling doing them.

I also was really good about resting my back, no heavy lifting, and I took a week off from Mr. Bowflex, and I walked a few days instead.
Next week I'm planning on going back to Mr. Bowflex, but I will decrease the weight by 5 or 10 lbs. And I'll stretch before and after, something I've been being stupid about.

I'll also get right on treating this pain, if it comes back, instead of thinking it'll just go away.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

'08 AP-week four

My commitment to this project grows, as my ass is hopefully shrinking.
I think I may have seen some results this week, no wait let me rephrase that I did see some results.

The other day as I got dressed , I put on my favorite turquoise colored t-shirt and my most comfy pair of denim shorts. It wasn't until I walked by the mirror, that I caught a glimpse of my shrinking belly roll . My body was more gravity defying. No, wait that's too strong a word, it was less jiggly. there was less jiggling going on.When I flexed my arm, I had a firmer muscle under there, a bicep and triceps, for cripes sake.

My brain has an Oprah moment, right then and realized simply that, exercise is good for my body!!! That exercise, that's right I'm using the E word again,helps build muscle tone.
I am shocked and pleased at how frickin' simple this whole concept is, and why I let it allude me. I'm actually using moderation when eating. Moderation, not dieting. I eat two oreos instead of 6. I'm eating more fruit and veg. I'm still having my ice cream. And stop the presses!! I'm drinking more water, even.

I look forward to my visits to Mr. Bowflex,I no longer mock them,I'm getting more flexible, and strong doing a a few sets of yoga. Who knew endorphins could feel so good.So so so good.

I'm four weeks in, and I feel great. Yay! me.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

'08 AP-week two

So as I work my way through week two, what have I found.

This is starting to feel good, and I'm being more successful as I mix it up. I also noticed, there are small muscles under my soft flab that are firming up, and that feels good.

I walked up a flight of stairs with out having to catch my breath, not that I was out of breath, but I would take a moment and stop, then continue on.

This is the second week of my staycation, so I'm hoping to lay down a firming foundation, before I go back to work next week, and that changes my motivation to exercise, slightly.

and now for this weeks video.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

the wednesday project

As I don't want a lot of unwanted ass attention, I decided to post my proclamation on Thursday, beside the fact I just read the post over at Mrs.G's, today.
But from here out I'll be posting on Wednesdays, about the disappearance of my double twin, I mean my chin.
Over at Derfward Manor, a gauntlet was thrown, okay not really thrown, but it makes for some dramatic blog entry, if I say that.

It's all about the '08 Ass Project. A motivational tool to get off mine and get moving, A suggestion is to use the couch to 5k running plan. But I know myself, and sometimes repetition gives me a reason to rationalize to stop. So I'll be doing a mixture of that, and walking, and swimming, or something.

Other committed people(bloggers) will posts pictures of their body parts, as they firm up and get into better shape. Because I like to do things a little different I will post a little video , as I'm in the midst of a video Self Portrait over at Ipernity called 365 minutes.

So this the part where I roll the video, of my rolls.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

the holiday In Amsterdam (part 3)


So when In Amsterdam there are things you should remember.

1. Taking a walk.
That wide cobblestone path, that seems like a walk way, is not. It's the bike path. And there are a lot of bikes in Amsterdam, alot! You'll be tempted to walk down this path, because it's in great condition, but as you're walking, you'll hear a far away ringing sound, that becomes more insistent as it approaches behind you, this is the bicyclist, asking you to move...NOW! The smaller narrower path is the sidewalk, so get on it.

2. Crossing the street
- the streets in Amsterdam are narrow, cobble stoned,a different pattern then the bike paths. When you first arrive, after the jet lag goes away. When you first walk the city, your eyes will be upward, looking at all the cool architecture, the gables, the cornices, the pulleys at the top of the gables. You won't notice when you cross, that you standing in the middle of the side streets,you won't notice until a car stops suddenly, where the driver doesn't flip you the bird, they instead encourage you to continue, and to be polite you should, don't stand there encouraging them to go, because they'll stay there, waiting for you to go.So just go, and say thank you.

3. the bill, please. or Mag ik afrekenen. say (Maahk ik ahf-ray-ken-neng)
When you eat out, ask for the bill. The restaurant will let you sit for many hours undisturbed, not like in America, where they are in a rush to get you out of there. Your waiter will watch you stretch, drum your fingers on the table, it's not until you ask for the bill do you get it. The Dutch are laid back people, and forthright too. They don't beat around the bush, which is refreshing. They also don't bring the bill, until you ask.

4. the Tram
When you get on the tram, get on in the back, that is where the conductor is.From him or her, you can buy a ticket or a strippenkaart. In Tram have a seat, and remember that accordion looking middle does take corners, just as you would imagine it would,by bending at an angle.

5.the strippenkaart-
this ticket gets you on the tram. You should consider buying them in strips of 15, as it's less expensive. You can buy them at a supermarket, or a smoke shop, and this is the kind of smoke shop that you can buy cigars , and cigarettes at not the other kind of smoke shop.
You can still buy them on the tram, but they cost a little bit more.With srtippenkaart in hand you'll get on the tram seamlessly, not holding up the other passengers behind you.
The stamp on the strippenkaart will get you travel for up to one hour, they are stamped with the date, time, and zone in which you have boarded.
They can also be used on buses, remember with a bus you get on in the front.

6.Electricity
In the Netherlands, the voltage is 220. Before you buy a voltage converter, look at the electrical things, you are bringing with you,most likely they are dual voltage. Look at the input voltage listed, if it gives a range, like 100-250V, you're in like Flynn. You just need a plug adaptor, because the Dutch use the two pin continental plugs. We were able to recharge batteries, for our camera's and charge our phones, and charge our laptop too, all with plug converters.

7.Albert Heijn or Dirk Van den Broek
these are supermarket chains. You can buy food, soap, booze, baked goods, delicious yogurt, tissues,water, but you cannot buy any of the OTC drugs. No Nexium to go with that spicy salsa, just chips. Also you buy your grocery bags, and they're at the front the the register line, not the end. They are worth their price 0.25Euros. They are big, and carry alot.

8. it's pronounced Gowdah not Goodah.
Buy some Gouda cheese.Find yourself a cheese shop or a Kaashuis.
Ask to try some, be it young or older aged Gouda it's all good,some of the cheese shops will even vacuum pack your cheese if you want to take some home with you, on the plane.
Where it'll be mistaken for plastic explosives in your luggage, so customs will search your luggage. I kid about the explosive part, but you'll still get your luggage searched, even when you tell them on your custom form, that you have it.

9. Good shoes
bring your best, most comfortable walking shoes, because really if you wanted too, you can walk the city of Amsterdam, it gives you a wondrous view,the cobblestone sidewalks and streets are lovely to look at, but your feet will complain at night about the whole thing. What I recommend, soak your feet, in the tub or in a basin or whatever ,nice warm water, a drink or a beverage of choice is recommended, talk about your days events and soak those dogs, you'll be surprised, how un-sore your feet will be the next day.

10. Money
Don't take alot of money, with you, instead bring your ATM card, you'll get the best daily exchange rate that way, and they are everywhere. If you're still not sure about using an ATM, get some Euros at your own local bank, but still bring your ATM card.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Amsterdam Holiday (continued)

Zaterdag, 7 June Amsterdam


We are now well rested, it's amazing what a little jet lag will do for your sleep, I think we slept at least 9 hours,it's amazing, how it can change your outlook, on things. We are happy, and ready to go. well kind of. we all, us the parents, and the young man, are having a little trouble agreeing on an earlier time to get going, we'd liked to get out of the houseboat before noon, and well Zack has other ideas.

So Tom takes a walk to our local bakery, returning with some yummy thing to nibble on while we wait for Zack to get moving.

We also continue to leach wi-fi off of someone, and we thank them for that, some morning routines are hard to break.A morning surf with coffee, as we were eating breakfast and watching the canal traffic go by, we are also visited by the water birds on the canal, the ducks and the screaming greebies, and all have babies, as soon as we open the windows, they come by hoping for food, i don't have much to offer.



I walk around to take pictures, and look into the church down the neighborhood, where a wedding is taking place. I heard the bells earlier, but didn't want to be standing out there in my pajamas,just to see the bride.

The weather continues to be a little too warm ,frankly. I am discovering that travel sized deodorant, is really only good for it's size, it really does nothing else. I smell like I've been participating in some sport event.




But regardless of my smell we walk to the neighborhood called De Pijp (say da pipe) there is a great open air market, called Albert Cuypmarkt. You can find anything here. We buy some fresh cherries, some warm in the paper bag roasted nuts, they are salty and fresh, and the macadamia nuts are huge, Manua Loa, should be ashamed at the size Macadamia's they sell, because they don't compare. We also find some AAA rechargeable batteries, for our travel clock that died, 6 hours after we arrived, though it has been running for 6 month straight before that, it wasn't in to actually being a travel clock.

That night we have a great dinner at Meghna(Utrechtsestraat 28) which is just down the street from us, Tom and Zack haven't had Indian food before, and we have a really helpful waiter, who is good at explaining, what's good, and they decide, we all choose chicken dishes, and they are wonderful fresh, and we enjoy it fully. I have a Kingfisher beer, a little hoppy but nice.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

holiday in Amsterdam


There is something about the word holiday, as opposed to vacation that makes it seem, like it's so much more. In America we use the word vacation, in Europe they use the word holiday, which sounds like a better deal.
But actually whatever word you use,last month I went to Amsterdam with my husband and my son.I had been there two years previous. I went with friends we stayed on a houseboat, we fell in love with the city.
My plan was while I was there, I would blog daily, and write about it, but realistically there were 3 of us using the same computer, and well typing with any type of speed, is not my strong suit, so I opted for the moleskine method...pen and paper, what a concept, and portable too.
So with out further adieu, I'll now blog about my trip.

Thursday June 5 Logan Airport- Boston, Massachusetts

We just went through security, I remembered to wear my Ecco shoes, so i could slip them off, and walk through with socks. Not have to bend over untie. So here we sit, near our gate, watching the Big TV, which is on CNN, over and over it plays that Barack Obama has won the nomination for the Democratic party which I take as a good omen, for our trip, as I am an Obama Mama. They've just called us for boarding, I'm looking forward to getting back to Amsterdam, to see the houseboat, the canals, the cobblestones of the street.
Our flight is your typical red-eye, and older smaller plane, where they have the little movie screens in the aisle, and the purser, who tells us, he won't make a lot of announcements, so we can all sleep, feels the need to go up and down the aisles, offering water...Water....WATER! i want to shove the water bottle somewhere...so he'll shush and be quiet.


Vridag -6 June Schiphol Airport, Netherlands

We have arrived, 30 minutes earlier, which is nice but we have time to kill before 2pm, when the houseboat will be ready.
We pass through customs, they are patronizingly friendly and ask us if we will be riding bikes around Amsterdam, I mention we are staying in a houseboat on the canal, they remain friendly, but the patronizing tone stops...does this mean we are cool now?

My husband and his little nicotine monkey need to walk outside, I am sleep deprived, and take every sign so literally, that I question whether it's okay if we go out the revolving door that's marked to buses and taxis...my husband silently rolls his eyes, and lights up, he and his little nicotine monkey take a deep inhale, and all is good. We stand outside in hot weather, like mid 80's degree weather...a thought circles in my head... that perhaps I should have packed more pairs of shorts.
The weather report at home for Amsterdam, spoke of 60-70 degree weather....ah well welcome to global warming.I also discover my dual band phone, not so great, but luckily my son has a more modern phone, and it's quad band, so after figuring out I need to dial the country code, we connect with Rene, who is the owner of the houseboat, he tells us the should be ready at 2pm, and he'll see us then.

We go back into Schiphol, to keep cool and kill a little time, before then. We purchase some wi-fi and surf on Zack's Mac. I send of some local emails, I'm meeting up with a friend I have known from Flickr, and I send her off a email, to get an immediate reply, as we are now in the same timezone, she in Rotterdam visiting her boyfriend. As we kill our wait the people watching is fun, there is a young Mom and her Daughter, waiting for her Daddy to come home, It makes me think of my son, who is now a young man sitting across from me, and how when they are little they hang on your every word.

Finally it's time we take a cab, into Amsterdam. Our Cab driver is older, and speak only when spoken to,so we have a quiet ride, but we are all, a little sleep deprived,and not really talking either, so it's okay.


We arrive at the houseboat!! We have the great fortune of meeting Rene, the owner, what a great host, friendly, colorful, his personality fits the decor of the houseboat perfectly.We go over some new improvements of the houseboat, since I've been there last, he points out the magnet if we drop the keys into the canal, Tom learns how to use the Senseo coffee maker. I also enjoy how Rene speaks of the canal being a public road, so we should shot the windows on the houseboat when we leave, not that anything has happened, as far as theft, but we should be wise about it.
If you saw the number of boats that pass by daily you would agree.


This time around it's a little different I know my way around the neighborhood, I'm familiar with the boat, it's still great to be back. We go off to the mini market,and pick up some breakfast things, and stop in one of the bakeries for something for lunch, which we bring home and eat on the houseboat, we also decide to take a little nap, which is great, before we go out for supper.

After sleeping for an hour or so, there were a few snooze alarm hits, we're up to find supper, that night we eat at Na Siam a wonderful Thai restaurant, on Kerkstraat, reasonably priced it costs 53Euros for the 3 of us, the spring rolls were light and crisp, the Singha, relatively cold. Our food was fresh, so delicious, and cooked to order, this is the night we discover they would let us sit for hours and hours, they don't bring the check until you ask for it. So we ask.
By now our jet lag has caught up we watch a little TV, that has dutch subtitles, then we are off to sleep.


Friday, May 16, 2008

work , one of those levels of limbo...

that Dante never wrote about, probably because it was his job to write, you know.

I've worked as a nurse for 24 years. I mostly love my job, until the management turds decide, they need to save money by trimming cost such as staff. They tell you out of their lying two faces, that it's about the patient, that it's not about the money (LIARS!) They think that a cool way to cut costs is to minimize staff, because of what they consider a low census,they never take into account the acuity, that would require some thought or a backbone, to make that decision against the matrix, yeah, that's what they call it. A f*cking matrix.

To make this long story short, let suffice to say, I ran around like a freak, keeping my nose above water. or kept my patient's nose above water, between the suctioning, and medication administration, to sending my patient off the floor for a test at 0400, it sucked!

I shouldn't have to be stressed out in an environment, that stressful from the git go, I should be able to take care of my patient, fully...FULLY, no short cuts, no by the skin of my teeth, I should be an asset, because I do a great job, not because I have enough experience to keep afloat. there is something wrong about that type of logic.

I just try to believe karma has to pay those turds back eventually.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

promtastic


This weekend my son and one of his friends, took dates to the Junior prom, though they themselves are seniors. The Junior class, knows a money item when they sponsor one, and invited the Senior class.

What impressed me more than that, is my son, went with the friend of the girlfriend.He also bought her wrist corsage, all I had to ask is if he bought one, at first he said "no", then he went out an ordered one. I was also impressed with how he and his date both looked happy, posed for pictures. If it hadn't been for the frigid weather, the girls would have been really happy in their gowns with no jackets or pashminas to wrap up in. I was just as impressed there was no pouting or grandstanding, that they were social with us,and were good sports posing for the few pictures I asked for. I'd like to think I was that savvy at that age, but who knows if that's true.

To me it's just another example that my son, is ready to go off to college, and survive and make decisions, all on his own. Which makes me very proud, but also a little sad. When they are little, you look forward to them growing up, and then one day they have, and though you knew that day would happen it still pulls a little (alot!) at those heart strings, and can bring a tear or two to your eye, knowing that they are ready to begin another chapter in there lives, separate from you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

novice video discovery

With there being video at Flickr now, I am exploring doing a daily video. I's been an amazing 7 days. People who I know by the pictures they take, are now moving , speaking, I'm hearing what their voices sounds like, our different but similar dialects.

I'm a total novice at this video stuff. if you had told me 1 month ago I would be doing a daily video selfie, I would have told you "no way!you're crazy!" It's not that I didn't like video, it's just that I couldn't imagine, me expressing myself that way, I'm kind slow in my geek abilities.
But now I am,I doing a daily video, and it RAWKS! I love it's immediacy, I love that I have no idea what I am doing,and I'm having so much fun creating these 90 second little slices of life.I'm learning mov. files can be smaller, than avi. I'm learning which of the cameras, I have can accomplish small files, but great sound.
I'm watching in awe, at my contacts, and what they are creating, and how they are revealing themselves, it's great, and inspiring, and I am so thankful, to pay witness to it.I'm also thankful for the glimpses of humor, that keep my smiling big.


Friday, April 11, 2008

video on flickr!

I belong to flickr, it's a great photo sharing site. There is as much of a community there, as there is here. The newest development at Flickr is the advent of being able to upload 90 seconds of video.
It seems like progress to me, another avenue to create and express yourself visually.

What has surprised me is the vehemence of people against it! Like huh??? The commentary has been amazing to read. There is even a group at Flickr against it, and they have an online petition you can sign to voice your disgust. The people against feel it will destroy the sanctity of the still photograph. Are you serious!?!

This is my take on it, I feel that the same wonderful, real, hugely creative people, that take those breathtaking , and charming photos, I love will, do the same with their videos. And I'd like to say for the record here, that very thing has happened. I now am able to supplement the photos, I love with these rich little video clips from their life, and frankly I am in love with it. It gives me the warm fuzzies, it makes me feel good and smile alot.

and honestly, it's only a video, if you press play.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

happy birthday ,Zack! part un

I think as a blogger,and a Mom, it is correct of me to write somethings about the birthday boy.As it is his nineteenth birthday, what better time to tell it like it is.

19.his favorite hat.He went through a hat phase, all he wore was this baseball cap until it was smelly and faded. a well loved cap. I believe he wore hats exclusively for 3 or 4 years.

18.Swing! He definitely is an all or nothing kid.He's playing at a friend's house, here he is giving it his all.
17.psyched! this is his 3rd birthday, and he got a Batman helmet, he wore that for the rest of the day, plus his BFF Luke gave it to him , so he was all the more excited to receive it.

I believe he is saying " COOL!!"

16. naked and grinning - and flashing your mom, is a lot of fun. His expression delights me.

15. the right tool ,for the right job -during the hat phase, He also loved to dress up from carpenter, to Indiana Jones, to a mean Ninja Turtle.He also wore the knees out of all his pants.



happy birthday ,Zack! part deux

14|teenage mutant ninja turtles! how a ninja turtle, likes to enjoy his juice and curly straw. Hanging tough with the other turtles.

13|bang! guns in all form and shapes have become a favorite toy . This is before the "hat period", though interestingly enough he is wearing a necklace he made, when we went to visit friends in Santa Barbara. It was something he wore everyday, until the string broke.

12| loyal-what can I tell you about this, nothing beats a good friend, and a sandbox, and matching helmets.He has always been loyal to his friends.
11| a kind and gentle boy-he is an only child, but has always been kind, and gentle with kids littler than himself.
10| renewable resources-many activities, seem to go better, faster, quicker, when using your tongue plus it was so funny.Not only does he have unboundless energy, he displays a wicked sense of humor.
9.birthdays rawk!- before Ninja Turtles, there were soft purple bunnies with long ears, who knew how to "karate chop".I believe Sesame Street, could be to blame (not!) for that, but I distinctly remember it.
8. sass- At 2 years old, it was never terrible, it was the age of questions, and the famous catch phrase "in a minute" existed, to haunt me. As I said it often to him evidently, when began replying to me the same way, it made me do a double take, but it was funny, in a karmic payback kind of way.
7|play-lots of play. The name of this play center escapes me, but we went a few times. It made me wish for knee pads and gloves, but I joined in climbing the tubes, sliding the slides having alot of fun.My kid is cool, he lets me play, and doesn't make me feel like I can't.
6| halloween rawks! at the grammie and grandpa's house, getting the Halloween dole.
dressed as a ninja turtle, he had a cool shield and sword. By now the mask was off.
5|make believe- imagination is healthy and strong, and it thrills me that my kid, has great Halloweens.He wore this costume , often and delighted in scaring others with it.
4| discerning tastes-Zack was a kid that ate like a bird. But when he liked something watch out. He loved the lemon slice cookies, and enjoyed a beater now and then.This may be around Christmas, as I was making those lemon slice cookies, even then.
3. my aim is true- this is the house we live in now, this was my first time seeing it.
Zack and Tom stopped in this house days before , while I slept after the night shift. They came home beaming with excitement.I believe that may be Indiana Jones right there. Notice the gun, holster, and hat on a hat.
2| music-he's always liked music, and I thank him for bringing me in 21st century. I have seen his musical tastes range from Korn and Limp Bizket, to now the Roots and Talib Kweli, and frankly I'm thankful for his latter tastes.

1| pride-I have always been and always will be proud of my son, from his wicked sense of humor, to his fashion sense, and the computer skills, that helps his parents often, when they forget how.He is calm , and level headed, and has been the best movie going partner for years.
Happy Birthday Zack , and to many, many more.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

happy easter




I hope yours is full of laughter, good food, family and friends,
and a peep or two.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

spring bulb show

You can tell it's March, the Spring Bulb show is at Smith College.