Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year anyway

I love this commercial, because it reminds me of Bent Objects(check my sidebar)... this seemed like a good way to close out the year.

Balance

This will be my "word" for 2009....a little something to focus on...

I need balance in my diet, as well as my schedule of working, exercising, and resting. I need balance in my spending (!) and my volunteering. I need balance in my relationships.

Here are some phrases that I found when I looked around on the internet --


Balance:

  • physical equilibrium - the ability to retain one's balance
  • mental and emotional steadiness
  • a means of judging or deciding
  • a counterbalancing weight, force, or influence
  • regulated movement
  • stability produced by even distribution of weight
  • an aesthetically pleasing integration of elements
  • to bring into harmony or proportion, to equalize in weight, number, or proportion
  • equality between the totals of the two sides of an account

I am going to spend the next few days doing some art stuff (like the mural... that infield needs some progress) and some planning / preparation for my school responsibilities for the rest of the year.

I will also be having some friends over on Friday. It's a late new year's partay.... and my neighbors are hilarious so it should be fun. We always have a party right around Jan 1st and it skips from one house to another, so now since I have plenty of SPACE space space... (those are echoes....) I'm up for it.

In truth


The space that you used to occupy in my life is now filled with sadness.

For several days at a stretch now, I go along and think "well, maybe I'm ok now". Then a simple phrase of a song will make me cry, sometimes even sob, as I drive down the highway.

I have a deal with myself, for those mornings. When I see the tallest building in the city, I have to stop crying. Or I will get to work, and people will be able to tell that I was crying. There are a few people there (not many) who would ask, "Why?" and I wouldn't be able to answer. You can't consolidate so many feelings into a simple sentence.

Time's relentless march forward is an unavoidable truth that I have yet to make peace with. I struggle with death and loss, even while I look with a wary eye to the year ahead and wonder who fate will steal away from me next.

I have been aimlessly shuffling around "new year's resolutions" in my mind, searching for a neat list to encapsulate that I want to set goals and make plans and be fabulous. And happy.

That bullshit is all just a coat of paint over the top of the truth - I want to stop feeling angry about so many of life's little realities, and stop second guessing myself and stop doing things that I don't want to do. I want to find the peace of mind that seems to come far more easily to those around me. I need to find a new oasis, a place where I can go to recharge myself, physically and mentally.



(Go here and here for the roots this post...)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Your attention please



I'd like to introduce you to my 2009 boyfriend, Leo. (Shh!!! don't warn him, I don't want him to call his lawyer just yet).

Alton has let his hair grow and kind of looks like Johnboy Walton, and Mike is busy with that cocktail waitress, so I guess I'll just practice "Carly DiCaprio" in my best cursive for a while.

PS: are those sneakers?? I guess I have to work on that...I don't care if you ARE the king of the world, mister, buy some shoes.

Hunker down

If I play my cards right, dear Internet, and get a few groceries on the way home, I won't have to leave my house until


SUNDAY.


I have my fireplace, wine, cookies, and all my art projects. What more do I need?


Carly(via Blackberry)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Jon And Kate

(note: wrote this on 11/22, because my life flies past and I will forget to tell y'all about the book)

I bought the book "Multiple Blessings" by Kate Gosselin, as a Christmas gift for Suzy, because as a NICU nurse I know she already loves the Gosselin sextuplets. You may have seen Jon and Kate plus 8 on tv.... if you haven't, defnintely seek it out because it's a trip and a half. Just the thought of trying to deal with 8 children, six of them only about four years old.... well, let's just say it makes me want to lie down on the couch.

And yes, I bought the book because I wanted to read it too. I have no shame. This morning came too early, after chaperoning a school dance/midnight bowling jaunt, but I picked up the book about 7:30 and finished it before lunch. (I used to read like that all of the time. Then kids and life and.... whatever.)

Kate is definitely a warrior, in my book (no pun intended). I have a great deal of respect for the strength of character and determination she shows in her focus on the well being of her children. Her faith echoes through the book in a very sincere way that is never overbearing. She and Jon definitely model how faith can get us through life's most daunting challenges. If I had to do one of those hokey college essays where you must write about someone you admire and it couldn't be a family member, Kate would definitely be on the short list.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm a calendar girl (do you love me?)

I have made photo calendars in the past as gifts for family members, with snaps of the kiddos of course.

Today I'm starting something different - I'm in a funk* and decided to make a calendar that was just all "art"; then I backed off JUST a bit and decided to do one month of various scenic shots I've taken, then one with family, and just alternate that way all through the year.

Here are the pictures I'll be using for January - I have a gift certificate for one free Shutterfly calendar, and it can hold up to 9 photos per page so I'll stick to 6 or 7. Haven't played with that yet, it's next on the list (I always, ALWAYS use snapfish to print my stuff that I scrapbook.)


*Funk is from being alone in the house all day, doing laundry and feeling blah with a giant headache, while the rest of mi casa is at a basketball tournament that ran all day yesterday and today. No, I don't want to be THERE, ... I'm just in a lonely mood. Hence the pity party in the post title.)

Sunday art


This photo is from Rene & Radka and I just think this little weathergirl is adorable. (there is also one of a newscaster with a reporter inset, that's my other favorite).

Some of the pictures have a retro look and feel to them. The website has a number of OTHER photos, besides the kids (interesting polaroids, and some commissioned works of children and adults)

In my sleepy state I have failed to find out much ABOUT Rene' & Radka....Wiki has failed me and google is coughing up ice skaters.
This is disappointing to me because I like to know about the artist... one of my favorite gifts this year is a book, "The Private Lives of the Impressionists"... this is a link to the book description, because the review widget sucked... or you would see it right below THESE WORDS.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Yes

I drank the whole bottle (ok, I gave half a glass to Suzy because that's all she wanted, and half a glass to my adult nephew, because that's all I wanted to give him :::snicker:::) --

of COURSE I drank all the rest. It was a lovely red. The back of the bottle says:



" bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch
bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch
bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch
bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch
bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch"



...which could not be more perfect. No, wait... it's a screwtop. THAT made it perfect.




Side note - my cake (shown in the photo down below here) was white with almond flavor; between the two layers I put seedless raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream. Then on top of it all I put more buttercream, drizzled with almonds, more jam, and bits of chocolate fudge. I served it cold and everyone went CRAZY over it. The Boyfriend took a second piece and seriously contemplated taking the big chunk of cake, rather than "his slice". This is why I like him so much.

Seriously

These socks were new about a month ago. DOES HE CHEW ON THEM, INTERNET???


Carly(via Blackberry)

Friday, December 26, 2008

TWSS Jr edition

My 3 year old niece, pointing at her parent's wedding photo:

"I was just a gleam in my Mommy's eye"

Important p.s.: why why do I spend days, no weeks preparing for 6-8 hours of family "quality time" just so they can torture me??? Aaaaagh

Many thanks to Suzy, for bringing an awesome red wine (label simply said "bitch" on front in flowery cursive- it was my personal bottle and I enjoyed it muchly) and to The Boyfriend for talking me off the metaphorical ledge when my meat thermom said "huh???" at just the wrong time. And to Daughter who grabbed up a glass of wine that WAS NOT supposed to be in the family room just before one of the toddlers got it. Aiyeeeee.


Carly(via Blackberry)

Dessert

And then I can kick out all of my relatives, right??


Carly(via Blackberry)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas


Amid the roses, Mary sits
and rocks her Jesus child

While above the treetops
sighs the breeze so warm and mild


And soft and sweetly
sings the bird upon the bough


Ah, baby, dear one
Slumber now.



(from one of my favorite songs to sing at Christmas eve mass)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

White Christmas



From my very favorite holiday movie, Holiday Inn (for you young'uns, this clip is not FROM White Christmas, that's another movie, but it is the song he sings here. LOVE this movie.)

It will definitely be a white Christmas here!

Well, kids. I'm exhausted. I slipped down to the snooty strip mall (S__ Plaza for you locals) on Monday afternoon just before 4. That was a mistake; the nearby GIANT mall was on the verge of literal gridlock - I barely got through before it all came to a grinding halt. I had no choice, a gift for my daughter just wasn't ready until Monday and I couldn't go until I was done working. I didn't even WANT to leave the house after all the snow we had Sunday, and that was part of the problem - people around here lost the last 2 weekends of Christmas shopping due to the ice storm and then the snow. (Some people claimed on the news they were stuck in traffic for 3 hours in that area yesterday. They'd have to carry me away in a white coat. )

Tuesday brought a trip to Fred the Butcher after work. O.M.G. Chaos. I couldn't help wondering why they took orders when they were obviously cutting and packaging roasts when people showed up to ask for them. I spent about an hour finding a place to park, waiting in line, and waiting for Fred himself to cut and trim up my slabs of beef. Yummy.

Today I have some last minute things to do then it's singing at mass this evening. Yay! I have to box up some cookies for Stan.

Monday, December 22, 2008

No more for me please

::::whimper::::::

I miss my nice sunny porch.


Carly(via Blackberry)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Art, revised


APB edited my picture from this morning's post (it seems SO long ago because I wrapped Mt. Everest this afternoon and time sort of stopped, while it snowed outside my windows. Seriously people, four and a half hours. There were some gifts I just put in boxes from Michael's with decorated tops. So sue me. I'd still be in there. And clear packing tape really holds those suckers closed. That will twitch out the wrapping police - you'd have to know my inlaws but there is a Proper Way of wrapping a gift that involves tissue paper folded just so inside the box, tape placed precisely ON THE WRAPPING PAPER, and the to/from tag ON THE BOTTOM so as not to sully the visage of the gift package.)

Anyway, back to the photo. He deepened the blue of the sky to add contrast with the frozen ice, tried to bring the center tree and its limbs out more by, reducing shadows on the center brightening the ice/snow on the dangling limbs...(yes I copied all that from your note, and yes, I like it. I may print a 5x7 out for my office.)

AB sold me the Wacom tablet I use from time to time to touch up photos. Since the remodeling it hasn't been hooked up but now I am motivated to reconnect it after xmas (I have waaaaaaay too many usb devices like cameras and iPods and a mini photo printer all fighting for ports. Oh, and I want my own pc no one can touch, but that's never going to happen )

Is it Dec 27th yet?

I heart

Neighbors with snowblowers are clearing our driveway. (We have one, just didn't get out there yet. )
Pinot grigiot is awesome, even if I broke the cork.
Yankee candle Sugared plums is a new favorite for me this year.
Trident seafoods make awesome Alaskan Salmon burgers. Look for them in the freezer.


Carly(via Blackberry)

Viva la text msg

....My daughter just came racing out to check the school web page. Her friend had sent her a text. No school at ALL this week.

This, of course, means I have two slaves who must do EVERYTHING I tell them for the next three days.

Carly ENJOYS this new development.


Carly(via Blackberry)

Sunday Art - after the storm




This tree in the middle captures what I have felt like at times during this year. Losing precious friends broke my heart... doing work that is unappreciated in various venues made me weary... worrying about family members prevented me from getting the rest I need to cope with everything else. My own medical issues and finances and the depressing national/world situations...it all has weighed me down, and many little parts of me are in need of repair.

The days will start getting "longer" but hopefully "brighter" now, even though today is officially the first day of winter, isn't it? I am hopefull that things turn for the better when the new year comes. That things will "green up" again for me. I am tired of the weighty gloom, of feeling like I must push myself to put one foot forward, then the next, in so many arenas.


I have been feeling a tiny bit better the last month or so; I am looking forward to the new year and the feeling of a fresh start it always brings for me. I will be turning to my art projects in earnest once the holidays are over; I won't be able to share the yearbook stuff with you, of course, but you'll just have to look at all of my other art projects as I work on them.
Hey, it's my blog, right?


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Depressing Christmas songs

What's Christmas without some holiday cheer? Downright depressing.

There are plenty of GOOD Christmas songs that aren't overly cheerful (Chris Botti's "December", with his trumpet playing, is getting me through times this holiday when I am stressed) and there are baaaad for you, lonely brokenheart Christmas songs.

Here are my "Top Ten songs that you should not listen to if you've got no one under the mistletoe with you" ...let's start with one which isn't REALLY a Christmas song;

#10, It's Just Another New Year's Eve by Barry Manilow. He even starts by saying, Don't look so sad, it's not so bad you know. Which is the lyrical equivalent of a man asking a woman "what's wrong?" and she immediately starts to cry.

9. Placeholder for songs about war, poor people, red shoes, ...I have to admit I hate those songs, I really do. SO much, I can't even pick one.

8 You can always try to pretend it isn't actually Christmastime, and play River. I have a nice version of this that I can't find...can't think of her name, but I'll also point out that Sarah McLachlan has done this plenty of times

It’s coming on christmas-They’re cutting down trees-They’re putting up reindeer-And singing songs of joy and peace-Oh I wish I had a river-I could skate away on

7. Another placeholder, but don't get upset. Surely you have a song I've haven't included in this post. Start thinking about it now.

6. Blue Christmas - by Elvis himself...

You'll be doing alright, with your Christmas of White, but I'll have a blue Christmas without you.

5. It's worth a try, so you may as well ask... Please Come home For Christmas by the Eagles, or several other people (just like nearly EVERY Christmas song, sooner or later everyone but Flava Flav takes a crack at it)

Bells will be ringing-The glad, glad news-Oh, what a christmas-To have the blues-My baby's gone-I have no friends-To wish me greetings-Once again


4. The only hoped-for response is I'll be home for Christmas (but not really, because I am away at war... I think the last line says it best...)

If only in my dreams....

3. Another Auld Lang Syne - Dan Fogelberg: bumping into your ex is VERY depressing, no? That's what you get for going to the grocery store on Christmas Eve.

I felt that old familiar pain, and as I turned to make my way back home, the snow turned into rain.

2. Every Year, Every Christmas - Luther Vandross is a bit pathetic, going back to the same place and SHE'S NEVER THERE. Give it up. Move on. (This was ALMOST my number ONE / "worst", but I think Mariah actually starts to cry in hers)

I don't know how love could do this to me-I've waited and waited for someone I never see-But I'm so sentimental, and I'm so hopeful you'll be there-So, here I am every year, every Christmas

(Let's give Luther a few more bars... I miss him)

I've wished for you in my heart and in my head-And I got my answer that first moment that we met-And, oh yes, I believed you as you told me, I believed as you said-You'd be here every year, every Christmas--

and the kicker...

I have my pride, but I'd rather be with you tonight.


1. The champion of all depressing Me Without Yule, er, You songs is Ms. Mariah Carey singing I Miss You Most at Christmas time.

Everybody's smiling, the whole world is rejoicing, and everyone's embracing, except for you and I. Every other season comes along and I'm alright, but I miss you most at Christmas time.


Don't they all just make you want to curl up on the couch and eat every Christmas cookie in the house?

Please pass the kleenex.... and remember what I said up there in number 7, my cop-out placeholder for your least favorite song? See that comments link? Use it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

So. Tired.

Stormy weather+ wine + more baking+ too much to dooooo = Carly, sad and barely standing.

Early to the pillow tonight... Once my sheets get dry and put back on the bed. Yes, sigh, by ME. Zzzzzzzz.

Every day I think about the Christmas cards, but that is ALL I do on those. And nothing's wrapped yet. Nothing. That's on Sunday's list.


Carly(via Blackberry)

Saved again by the clementines


So Joe, Mary, Gloria, and "3 Kings and a Shepherd"(*) rode off to school today in the Clementine crate. The two kings are consorting with the angel "Gloria" in there, while the other king and the shepherd are back in the corner you can't really see -- probably chatting about the lack of any other single ladies around. What? you didn't think the angel in your manger scene was named Gloria when you were growing up? Ours had a sash, that said her name...right?)
This is the same crate that blessed me with being able to feed the kids I took into my home during the ice storm. I'm almost sad to see it go away, because I like the vintage painted look on the sides. (yes I know that's a little crazy; I'm fine with that.)


My father "fixed" the train layout we use under our tree. By "fixed", of course, I mean "made bigger and it's no longer a circle". It's not quite oval, more like a triangular or egg shape --wider at one end of the oval. And there was a diagram sketched on a scrap of paper about these two wires that are on the underside and there's a short and a long wire and they have to go into little tubes and they have to go in the CORRECT tubes or the thing won't work (I will electrocute myself next christmas on a tiny train. ) -- I was so NOT able to focus on the diagram because I was saying "we're late for basketball, we need to leave. No, really, now, we are late, we need to leave." So I'm sure I got negative points on that front.

* this will NOT be the name of our band... but I will form one in this house... someday. We've got enough musical instruments in this house - a trumpet, clarinet, alto sax, guitar, piano, and a yet-to- be- wrapped digital drum set. (about the size of an electronic keyboard, which, Oh, we have one of those too. And I really want an electric guitar if I ever win a stupid amount of excess money.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Not like I was busy

... My kid had to MAKE A NATIVITY. This week. Handmade. There was a Michael's store trip last night I didn't even have time to go along for (still sulking , yes)

So tonight I got home from choir and spent an hour supervising (:::cough:::: ) the cutting of felt (yay that new purple cow cutter I mentioned) and gluing to popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners. Last night was the painting of the heads.

I heart teachers but this one is killing me. Now? We have to do this crap NOW?????

But seriously. Didn't my kid do a great job all alone? ::::eyeroll:::


Carly(via Blackberry)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

$14 therapy

And it will be worth every penny.

Just in case you're wondering, bacon & ricotta. And no I won't eat it all.

Tempting, though. I heart Mr. Pizza Delivery Man.


Carly(via Blackberry)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I quit

I am tired.


I have too many things to do at work (the inmates were TOTALLY running the assylum today, clients were being uber-demanding every hour on the hour - I had one client tell me he had a developer worked for him who knew our tools, aka "LN" ( but it was so long ago he can't remember her name, and the other person on the call said "Oh I dabble in LN" which made me queasy... because if you "DABBLE", it's a given that you really DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING, SO STOP DOING IT AT WORK and please for the love of all cute babies everywhere quit asking me to help you.... )

and at home (still didn't do the cards yet or clear off all the junk on my art table or the kitchen table or that one cupboard that all the cookies need to go into or call to order the holiday roast for the 20 people coming in ten days)

and for school (why SURE, I can make two dozen cookies on saturday to sell at the basketball games on Sunday - at least I really like the mom who asked so it makes it less painful to help

...and we are not EVEN going to talk about the lunch program or the yearbook)

but...


AAAAGH.

it's not like I also have to keep up with the laundry and the bill paying and the other stuff. What? Wait - seriously? I do? WTF?

It's supposed to snow overnight, we could have 3 - 6 " . Mind you, some peeople still don't have power yet after the ice storm. I will work from home like the sissy cream puff I am

(that reminds me, SH. brought cream puffs to work today for a birthday gathering and they were SO GOOD, I had two, piggie piggie)

because I can't even bring myself to drive to the reserved parking space I won in a raffle last month (it wasn't raffled of THIS month so I have been sneaking into it daily. I have no shame.)

Did you know this post would be so random, and scattered? Seriously, I need a long winter's nap. This is what I have been like ALL DAY.

Monday, December 15, 2008

And then, surprisingly, I had a glass of wine

I hurried to school feeling very unprepared for the yearbook meeting only to find the internet connection in the school's computer lab was down AND the teacher (who has to be present in order for me/us to use the room) had to leave at 4, not 5 as I planned. Half the kids weren't there (still don't have power at home). Arrrgh. We got done about 1/5 of what I hoped to do.

I'm torn between "catching up" some of it over Christmas break myself or having some of the girls over or... I don't know what. The online software is tricky and doesn't like a photo I really NEED to use (of the school... on the first page....) but I wrestled with it and started to figure some of it out tonight.

From school I went to the market praying that there would be food there. I literally had some frozen fish sticks in my house and not much else to make for dinner. I was SO relieved to see the parking lot crowded. That was a good sign. I found MEAT and MILK and OJ and simple things that I will never grumble about (prices) again. (And butter with the same lot number that I bought Saturday. Hmmmmm. My big fear is buying spoiled food over the next week or so.)

I spoke to a clerk (who moved some stuff out of my way - he probably recognized me from closed circuit footage as That Girl who knocks aisle displays over and lets her kid climb shelves and be bonked on the head by soup cans) and he said they'd bought a generator so that they could reopen and restock- the rest of the city still has unreliable power. This is truly the worst weather impact in 20 years. I was thankful all the way to the car despite the icy rain.

My son and Mr. C went through the piles I left behind in my frustration (I did put some of his stuff into the dresser after sorting out a "try these on" pile and a "give to our friends" pile, and a "HANG THESE THE EFF UP" pile). So there is a great improvement there.

My daughter who is NOT in Kindergarten has to MAKE a manger scene by hand and has been avoiding this for a while. It's due Friday and that was good for some bickering tonight.

but my hamburger and mashed sweet potato dinner? it was delicious.....

Other Monday news

WFH this morning, now doing some holiday catchup. Random thoughts:

  • I waaaaant a big burger. Not much food left around here, no telling if the markets are stocked up again. So much stuff was lost in the power failures due to the ice storm(worst one around here in 20+ years - some people STILL have no power and won't have it for a couple of days.) Hence the previous meltdown.
  • My kids got invited to perform in an honors band of sorts, or as I put it "the ones in the area elementary schools who can actually play a note or two" - - they handed me the sheet and more or less said together "...but we're not going to do it". Um, I have been paying (at a catholic school, you have to pay for band lessons) for how long? And you WILL in fact be doing this. You want to see two little faces fall like the stock market. Bwahahaha.
  • Yearbook meeting today. ::::cue horror film music::::: Right after school, they're all twitchy and don't want to do... actual work. This could be problematic. Cue the wineglass and coooookies.
  • Did I mention I made a ton of cooooookies this weekend, because I had power and no place to go? At one point I was rolling out the laaaaast bit of sugar cookie dough and I was tired and just wanted to sit down and one of my little visitors said "that looks like fun" (they had all been busy with decorating the trees and playing our Wii) and I just kind of sighed "yeah, I guess so." My sister burst out laughing and made a remark to the effect of "Geez Carly, let the poor kid cut out some cookies".... it really was funny- I was just so exhausted by that point and it didn't occur to me to let her cut some out.
  • My trees are up. I plan to write out card envelopes tonight. Zzzzzzzzzz. Or nap.

The grinch mommy

I walked into my son's room to find his camera (which was on my desk- ha!) And his drawers were hanging open and all stuffed randomly with crap and I just snapped.

I dumped them all. I also pulled all the crap off his closet floor, and I have this little mess now.

I *will* go through the clothes(I recognize I am not in a good mood at all today and can't go completely ballistic on him). Also because they obviously DON'T all fit in the dresser and need to be downsized. We have told him to weed things out and shown him the process, but it obviously aint happening.

But, he has lost the PSP and iPod that were left lying about despite repeated warnings that they have cases for a reason. He might get those back next week.

Please send happy thoughts my way.


Carly(via Blackberry)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dear MP (aka Spiderhair)


Better ... I like this sweater more. You still need a stinkin' haircut though.... and seriously, you want to be an effing professional poker player?? Grow up. I hope that's just some dumb internet rumor. I mean I know that girl who thinks she's your girlfriend works in Vegas, but whatever.

(It's not you Mike, it's me, maybe I'm just annoyed today because certain people I know are REALLY annoying... dunno)

Another year has flown by

... I am typing my mother in law's Christmas letter for her again.

This year it is making me very heavy hearted. There are many words missing. Over the last few years her writing also has gotten markedly smaller (you could fit two lines of her writing inside of one line of "school paper") but this year it is also wandering all over the page; lines are slanting way up, out of nowhere. I don't think she can see those blue lines on the paper, at all.

It's very hard to read, but please don't think that I am annoyed by this or feel like it is "inconvenient". I only feel sad.

The change is very apparent to me... and my job for today is apparently to cover over it, and put a smooth gloss on it all, for the sake of 3 "boys" who may no longer have their mother this time next year. And for her brave husband who still refers to her as "my girlfriend", when they have been married almost 50 years.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thankful

I am thankful to still have power & heat. I am watching my friend's two kid because they are BFF's with mine. So it's lilke I sprouted two pair of twins overnight.

I am thankful to have an intact roof. I slept well last night while some of my neighbors had a tree in their bedroom.

I am thankful to have food. I have enough od certain things to easily feed the kids. Like a big box of clementines I put in the cart for no particular reason the other day.

I am thankful that I went to the grocery store yesterday and got what I needed most (laundry detergent). I also got butter. The cases had no power all day but the butter was still really hard so now I can make cookies. I am thankful I got extra cash at the atm the other day.

My friend said 200 people were waiting in line at Lowe's for generators due at 8 pm last night. Some of them already had That Look in their eyes. We as a society are so dependant on power, it's scary. (My mother's neighbor has a fireplace but NO WOOD and their power is out. It's not lile we didn't know this storm was coming for days.

Peace out - I gotta make breakfast for the twins.


Carly(via Blackberry)

Friday, December 12, 2008

A few parting shots


The sun came out briefly to shine on the ice coating on all of the trees. Chainsaws will be buzzing this spring, for sure.


D and I walked to the park. We saw firetrucks, firemen dealing with downed wires, town trucks scurrying around. A rough day. The trees are beautiful, but it comes at such a steep price when limbs (or entire trees) fall




We watched the branches on this tree; areas of ice would suddenly fall (loud crackling, cascading crashing sounds).
My neighbor now has part of a tree in his bedroom. He said the whole house shook as if there were an earthquake (the tree roots literally heaved up out of the ground as the tree fell. ) Then there was a prolonged loud noise -- hundreds of icicles hitting his house (falling off the tree branches) and the eventual crash when the tree hit the house. He has no power and can't even contact a human at the power company.

And it's snowing


This tree is also in my new blog header; I guess I brought this on myself. (Header photo is last winter, this shot is from today).


This is the same set of trees from the post below, zoomed back a bit. Brrrr.



Snow on top of ice is always a baaaaaad thing.

yeah, we're screwed now....



Ice is coating everything. And it's starting to snow. My neighbors have a large tree ON their house. I took this picture at 8 a.m. ; it's now almost 10 a.m. and the two left trees are now on the ground and rapidly being covered with snow.




Right now I still have power but L (the dad of my kids' best friends) who lives about 20 minutes from here said the power company told him he's out of luck until probably Sunday. So I may have FOUR kids under my roof for the next couple of days, since my gas fireplace has a battery backup for the ignition and we'd at least have SOME heat...

Rut ohhhhh.... and Rooo dooo dooot doo dooo. (Did the Office suck last night, or was I grumpy? I like the wrapped desk, but hated most of the show otherwise.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

hey Office fans

THIS picture is awesome. (As seen on OfficeTally )

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

NOW


I know you're all tired of this, but NOW, finally, I am happy with this card.


If I won the lottery I would just start taking art history and design principles classes like crazy. I love to do this kind of thing but I would not say I'm "a natural" at it. It's artwork for me. But fun.

It didn't hurt that I went to Michael's last night - with Suzy - she bought more Fimo packages than I could count (making Christmas gifts) and I bought silver embossing powder and Christmas paper on clearance. Wheeeee.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Slightly Better


Still not ready to open up an Etsy shop, but I am happier with this. The background (the actual CARD) is still cream but that got lost in the scan.

I turned it all a quarter turn and I may have smudged the edges with the black ink a bit more than some people would, but I like it now, so I guess that's what counts. The gold looks yuck here (wtf is with my scanner?) but nice on the actual card. But, I'm thinking about ripping that piece off and using black (with silver or white) wording. The green just is not working with me.

thanks for the help, ladies!

Dear Michael, get a haircut


Holy crap. Even I can't give you a pass on this one. OMG - you have spiders, no, hairy tarantulas - all around your ears - no, wait, nevermind. It's your hair. *
I won't say too much about the sweater, except - for some reason I hate it. (Also the pink shirt was not tucked in, which was bad too.) Get a stylist. Preferably one with good hair, and have him/her fit you with better clothing and take you to wherever good haircuts are made and just DON'T do this ever again.
And then I'll buy your book. Only if you promise to use the money for good haircuts. Ooooooookay?
*I had a very much alive, very much annoyed wasp in my house this morning. A wasp!! It's 25* out. Where the F did he come from? He is now CHILLING out on my porch. Screw you, stingbug.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Need opinions


So, I am making this card for my friend, who has been unable to join us at all this season for choir rehearsals or mass. She wrecked her achillies much like Misty May did. Well, minus the sequins, fake tan, and skimpy dress, and plus one badly placed ladder. The narrow, winding spiral stairs to the choir loft are NOT crutch friendly.

So, I stamped and embossed but the card is leaving me rather meh. There's all that plain beige space around the stamps*. Should I sponge the edges? pop the torn pieces of paper off and put them on a Christmas-y printed paper? Make tiny snowflakes with an embossing pen and emboss those? gold or white? Add some sort of 1" wide border / frame to it all?

Help?!


(*Santa postage stamp is from Inkadinkado and the others are All Night Media, bought all at Michael's )

SoupHead

More tales from the front lines of Don't Laugh At Me if You Are Child Free.... Have Pity

#1 - Him:

Last night the endless campaigning for a puppy continued. Mr C tried to help by pointing out that "you don't like to go out in the dark to bring in the garbage can from the curb. What will you do when your dog needs to go out and it's dark?"

::::elaborate eyeroll::::::

"Daaaaaad, I can't talk to a garbage can."


#2 - Her:

At the market she came up to me and told me that the soup she wanted was too far back on the shelf to reach. I went to "help" (knowing that she's as tall as me and there probably wasn't anything I could do). She put a foot on the lowest shelf and I boosted her up and she dragged the column of cans toward her... and you can see where this is going. BEAN! Right on her temple. At least it was one of those small styrofoam covered microwavable individual servings.

Caring, kind mother that I am, I nearly collapsed laughing (but only after realizing that she was laughing). She would NOT walk around with a container of frozen lobster bisque pressed to her temple.

Teenagers these days. Hmmmph.

Carly plays with clay

So, I saw a graphic in some spam from NBC (selling various trinkets related to NBC shows) and it was Dwight wearing a Santa hat. I "hat" to make one for MY bobblehead.

I know almost nothing about this medium other than the name and that "it's clay and you bake it".



The fimo clay was VERY hard to work with - they make a "soft" version now for goldfish like me but I wanted the red with embedded red glitter. It left red alllll over my hands. Luckily it washed right off or I would have gotten even MORE strange looks at work than usual.




I put saran wrap over the Dwight head once I saw how much red
was coming off on my hands. Then I made a couple of attempts before I ended up with this slightly Seussical hat.


With the saran wrap clipped snugly over his face I felt a little like this was veering toward a snuff film. Icky.



I baked it, tried it on him, and it chipped a little; I baked it more. I'm okay with the thought that I more or less suck at FIMO clay sculpting, but I am proud to say Suzy is the champion at that. (For an example of her skilled artwork click here .) Hey, I was proud of myself for even THINKING of texturizing the brim with a tiny serrated pumpkin carving knife blade.


The finished head, in front of a screen shot from "the Alliance" (season ONE....)

If you look closely at that white square, lower left, it is a thermometer and it shows I do indeed have the fire blazing. The interior of my family room is 74*, and it's now 30* out on my enclosed back porch. (And for those of you keeping score, I am off the clock now. Really really.)

How I entertain myself

.... while I work from home:

  • eat tiny bits of the maple walnut fudge my mother made for me and pretend I am not thinking about grams of carbs
  • answer the phone, hear "if you would like to hear this message again, press 1, otherwise hang up" and press 1 about 6 times (it amused me that there was no ACTUAL message, it came from a number at the town offices/police station and was probably either meant to be a blast message like "don't use your water, it's having a problem" or some other issue that I really think I should actually know about but, c'est la vie. They'll call back, right? )
  • set the fireplace to 73* because it was freezing in my office (which is why I am now working from home)
  • marveling that someone would spend close to $250 on 9 pieces (barely 5#)of cheese
  • listening to the ACTUAL blast message -- they DID call back --which hilariously enough, is about blasting that will be going on as part of what I guess will be a major construction project (basically a "don't call us when this starts happening, just relax" screen)
  • more fudge
  • waiting for Dwight's new hat to dry so I can photograph it (I glued the chip back on the brim ) Now his head is off balance and he sort of shakes in a way that is open for dark humour.

Progress

Here is the current state of the hat for my Dwight bobblehead, snapped while I was avoiding leaving for work - it's 8 degrees out this morning.

If you're wondering, it is on a shrinky dink tray which is about 4" square. It fits because I wrapped his head with saran wrap and made it right on him.

I don't think I baked it enough and need to consult Suzy. (I tried it on him and part of the back brim flaked off)

More / better photos later including an action shot of my hands covered in red Fimo color. Aaaaaieeeeeee.


Carly(via Blackberry)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Obviously

...I haven't been using my bike all that much.

Can you see the fresh dusting of snow ON THE BIKE?

Summer, pleaaaaaase come back soon.


Carly(via Blackberry)

Heated seats

...optional. At last MY seat is the smallest it's been in at least a year. But not from being on THIS seat.


Carly(via Blackberry)

Sunday Art a la Tim Holtz


(Like my new header up there? I did it sort of quickly because IT'S SNOWING TODAY. I say "sort of" because I always rather muck around in my template. I've tweaked it over the nearly FOUR years I've been at this, and so now some of the widgets provided by Blogger don't work quite right. I should just start all over (weeeeping....)

Also, I hate xs.to and am trying ImageShack to host the header. We'll see if they drop me. WTF people. )

On to the art!!! If you are a scrapbooky sort of person, you may know who Tim Holtz is. If you know ME very well, you'd know that I loooooove snowmen. (I am happy to see the Santa's and the tree packed away and just decorate my house with my snowmen collection for a couple of months. Sorry but it's true - the snowmen mean "WORK" for the holidays has all been finished. Shopping (done) cards baking wrapping etc.... yucky. )

So, Tim does a "12 tags of Christmas" series on his blog and here is today's tag. Lovvvvvve it!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Dear internets

Can someone please explain to my son that when it is (::::wait let me check::::) 35 degrees out, you don't wear shorts to go to your friend's house?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho



I am SO doing this to MY Dwight bobblehead. Hey, it's an excuse to go back to Michael's, for some Fimo (clay).

Last night was the school concert - when the boys stepped forward to do ANOTHER dance number the crowd went wild because they remembered this. The song this time was Last Christmas, and the boys did some synchronized boy band moves and retro stuff like the 60's style swim, and something that looked like digging, and other things that just KILLED the crowd. My son and his best friend were in front and the three other basketball players were right behind... it was SO hilarious.


With five boys, and 15 girls, this could have been outvoted, but we have a really really awesome choir teacher, who really helps the kids to enjoy performing. Sometimes she just stands back and lets them go - one class did a whole sing/ tap number that they worked out themselves, based on about half the class having had lessons. It was a great concert and I love to see the entire student body on the stage & bleachers at the end all singing the same song :::sniffle::::

I am off from work today. Wheeeee! I did squeeze in watching last night's episode of the Office (OMG, one of the funniest yet this season!!) but now it's clean, shop, laundry, blah blah blah...! Happy Friday everybody - only 20 days till Christmas!!!

PS:

Every year around this time I notice a spike in hits and when I get around to checking, it's on this post which has the lyrics to "that donkey song", so I am surrendering.

Here they are. I have no shame. Please read at least ONE other post in my blog before you walk away with your eee-awwws all in order.

DOMINICK THE DONKEY (THE ITALIAN CHRISTMAS DONKEY)
(Allen / Merrell / Saltzberg)
Lou Monte - 1967


Hey! Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
It's Dominick the donkey.
Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
The Italian Christmas donkey.
(la la la-la la-la la la la la)
(la la la-la la-la la-ee-oh-da)

Santa's got a little friend,
His name is Dominick.
The cutest little donkey,
You never see him kick.
When Santa visits his paisons,
With Dominick he'll be.
Because the reindeer cannot,
Climb the hills of Italy.

Hey! Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
It's Dominick the donkey.
Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
The Italian Christmas donkey.
(la la la-la la-la la la la la)
(la la la-la la-la la-ee-oh-da)

Jingle bells around his feet,
And presents on the sled.
Hey! Look at the mayor's derby,
On top of Dominick's head.
A pair of shoes for Louie,
And a dress for Josephine.
The labels on the inside says,
They're made in Brooklyn.

Hey! Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
It's Dominick the donkey.
Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
The Italian Christmas donkey.
(la la la-la la-la la la la la)
(la la la-la la-la la-ee-oh-da)

Children sing, and clap their hands,
And Dominick starts to dance.
They talk Italian to him,
And he even understands.

Cumpare sing,
Cumpare su,
And dance 'sta tarantel.
When jusamagora comes to town,
And brings du ciuccianello.

Hey! Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
It's Dominick the donkey.
Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
The Italian Christmas donkey.
(la la la-la la-la la la la la)
(la la la-la la-la la-ee-oh-da)

Hey! Dominick! Buon Natale!
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
(hee-haw, hee-haw)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Jazz musicians do it better

Any fool can put out a Christmas album(and sooner or later, most pop and country singers do) but I prefer it to be done by real musicians (twss, yes, I know).

One of my favorite holiday albums is "a Dave Brubeck Christmas". I love anything with plenty of piano, and 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' really moves.

Speaking of piano, you can pick up the Vince Guaraldii Trio's 'a Charlie Brown Christmas' and just play Linus & Lucy over and over like we do. (I have to confess, it's my ringtone right now. My kids are crazy about that song. There's still time for us to learn it by Christmas -no pressure, but I did buy the sheet music).

If 50 year old cartoon soundtracks don't grab you, try Chris Botti - December is relatively new (out last year perhaps) but I find myself repeating it at work because it's much more mellow and helps block out cubicle farm animal noises.

If you HAVE to have singing, take these :

Snowfall, & Goodnight: Manhattan Transfer - the Christmas Album (still jazz, yes).

Diana Krall - Christmas Songs (even though on the cover shot Girlfriend looks like she's MIGHTY tired, still a good energy all round)

Frosty: Harry Connick - Home for the Holidays. (Sidebar, I saw his daughter sing with him on tv and she's every bit as beautiful as her mom. )

That's all the time I have tunes for. Or something like that.


Carly(via Blackberry)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Ode to my desk

Why art thou
so friggin' buried,
you "fake wood"?

(wait, is haiku 3 - 5 - 3 or 5 - 7 - 5? )

School stuff and Christmas lists and oh, bills, I remember those (or often don't)
Yearbook orders (what was I thinking, doing that this month? Oh, right, the deposit is due)
Why is it that MY kid is the last one to bring his lunch order form home? ( I type that up too... and it's due... wait for it... TODAY... to someone else, not crazy me)

I am soooooooo happy I have Friday off from work. I hope to get my holiday shopping done. It will still be an all-out sprint to Christmas, but I won't be in the malls anymore.

Cake Wrecks


This is an awesome blog I've stumbled upon.... Cake Wrecks

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The other Michael

...that I have love for is MICHAEL's craft store.

We just got a brand new one around here and I didn't get there until tonight.

I'm still giddy.

Big aisles of beads. Scrapbooking stuff by the ton. Books and magazines to browse for hours. A huge CLEAN store to wander through.

Watercolor paints and brushes and paper and. ::::reaches for paper bag:::: it just goes on and on. I got some watercolor pencils to play with (I used to paint in college but I'm pretty far away from that now). I'll be going back for sure!

I don't know why I collect more art projects than I will ever possibly finish (no the mural is not done, but I do a little almost every day until my mouse wrist hurts too much. )

I guess I just enjoy arts and crafts time. Almost as much as snack time, and nap time.


Carly(via Blackberry)

Hey Mike




Different pose! Better. Slightly interesting, even.. I'd say Bond-ish, but I guess then you'd be double-oh-8? (groan)

Here is the story... at least it's NEW material and not a rehash of the same old, same old.

PS: To answer the question in a comment on my last Dear M post, MP was a diversion from a really crappy summer. I know he's a little bit of a dork unless he's swimming. I just really needed the distraction, even if he is just basically an imaginary friend.
There were people in my world who made me pretty miserable and called me unreasonable when I protested. If you say things to me over lunch that you know might make me cry, when so many people are around, just to satisfy your ego and/or your curiosity, then why would I continue to have conversations with you?

Monday, December 01, 2008

My resignation

I am clearly destined to limited success as a motherly figure.

I came home to find that my son had sorted the laundry.

BUT

He *somehow* failed to notice this pair of tightie whities, accidentally snagged on a hook we use to hang the grocery bag holder. I imagine the last time he chucked dirty clothes in the basket they lingered there, and No One Else Has Noticed.

Seriously. Outta here. Two week's notice.

;-)

Carly(via Blackberry)