Sunday, May 31, 2009

If u c Nemo

Honk and wave at us....

Carly(via Blackberry)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sunday Art - Adieu

This is a slightly crooked scan of the card I made for someone who is leaving. Moving. Away. How dare she. :-) Now I have a new place to escape to. Visit. I mean visit. Of COURSE I mean visit.

Inside I have a quote I like quite a bit...

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen


...It's time consuming and I don't have enough of the right color jellybeans to do it. But I guess they're kind of cute. (This is an idea from Hello Cupcake).

Carly(via Blackberry)

Friday, May 29, 2009


Now if I can just find that damn pot of gold....

Carly(via Blackberry)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So! Yesterday I was chaperone for the 8th grade trip to Manhattan. We had the kids almost outnumbered... twelve kids and ten adults. We are friends, after all, us parents, bound together as allies in this war they call "parenting".

It was a long day, I tell you. Especially with one kid, the one who breaks easily and often, who was sneaking Mountain Dew and Skittles behind our backs and bouncing off the walls all day. Catholic school kids, seeing adult video stores (FROM THE BUS ONLY, thank you) and the Naked Cowboy, all in one day.

Speaking of cowboys, I was also keeping an eye out for Marlboro Man and Ree but I didn't see them... if you are a fan of Pioneer Woman, she was/is in Manhattan this week. In a crowd of millions, I somehow couldn't manage to track her down. Phooey. (If you're not a fan, get over there and start reading! I plan to try some of her Photoshop action sets on my photos from the city. )

Ahh... my photos. They suck. They are made of a giant pile of suck. We had a tour guide who had arranged for us to go to the Top of the Rock (which is the tall building in Rockefeller Center). I was eager. I was ready. I had three sets of batteries and I took all of the plane pictures off my memory card after I put them on my computer...and on snapfish... and a few on flickr and... wait, where was I?

Oh.... the Top of the Rock. It shall forever be asterisked in my mind with "That Place We Went That Supposedly Has Fantastic Views But Was Entirely Surrounded by Fcking Clouds." Ahem. And of course, later in the afternoon, when I couldn't go back, it was sunny and clear. (insert cussing...)

I'm not the only one who was slightly disappointed by scheduling... the American Idols are apparently doing a concert on the plaza TODAY. Ooops.

We also went to Madame Tussad's. That was moderately entertaining. Mostly because I could see how tall some of the celebrities are, or aren't. Holy crap, our President is tall. I have a picture of me grabbing Bill Clinton's buns, and one standing next to Brangelina ( Jenn is waaaay over on the other side of the room, blalahahahahaha. ) There was also a George Clooney, in a very nice suit, seated at a cafe table with his hand outstretched. It made a great photo, sitting there holding his hand, what with me in my beautiful, sky blue... windbreaker, and jeans. Hmmph. I went for comfort over fashion. I know. Whatever. There were French girls there who were poking and touching the models (you're not supposed to touch face/hair) and they drove me crazy. Also I swear I spied a real person mixed in with the dolls. My daughter thought so too. His eyes moved. I really think so. Creepy.

I hit the Espn zone quickly to grab something for Mr. Left Behind and Sulking. In the bar there was a soccer game on tv and the crowd went crazy just after I walked in. Aw, shucks, you guys, I didn't even dress up... what? Oh. Who got a goal? I never did figure out. I asked an employee what they were watching and he rolled his eyes and said "soccer" and shrugged. I was hoping for a TEAM NAME, genius.

I need to add a few remarks here about the insanity in Times Square. Part of it is now closed to vehicle traffic, and there are lawn chairs spread all over the street. You read that right. Lawn chairs. Folding metal/ vinyl cheapo lawn chairs. I guess the idea is that it is supposed to give people a place to stop, and sit, and take it all in. Here are my thoughts on that:

  • the cab drivers absofuckinglutely hate it
  • it's kind of random, giving the effect that there is a blackout going on in the city
  • there is not enough hand sanitizer in the city to make me sit on one of those chairs

I didn't see any hookers on this trip. I did see Donald Trump, Jr, I think. He's a tool. I also snuck off from the group and hit Junior's Cheesecake for a slice of cheesecake/carrot cake for the bus ride home. When I rejoined the group they were having none of my nonsense and I had to lead about half of them back to the store so that they could buy some too. Hehee.

I will go through the camera later, and see what I can salvage. For now I'm off to field trip number two, with Mr. Left. Pray for me. Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth graders today. What was I thinking??????

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Come Fly With Me

So... someone that I've known for a long time mentioned to me last month that he has part ownership of a small plane, and if I ever wanted to go up to take some pictures, maybe we could do that.

Hello? is the Pope Catholic?

We had one day planned, and the weather didn't work out. Yesterday the weather was perfect. I spazzed a little and had trouble finding the airport, and was a few minutes late. D'oh.

Did I mention it's a really small plane?

Small. As in, a Cessna, which is latin for "propeller on a box with four seats inside", and I'm not convinced the two in the back really count.

One funny moment was when we first went into the (hangar?) and I couldn't figure out how the plane would get out, because it didn't seem like the "garage door" was wide enough. I was tilting my head and looking at it and thinking "Huh. I bet I can stand under the wings of that plane and they'd be practically resting on my head. But they're too wide to go out that section of the wall because they'll hit the door. " Then he hit a button, and the whole wall went up, including the door. Oh.

The point of that story is that I know nothing at all about small planes. Which he proved again by asking me to move (I was indeed able to stand under the wings and almost touch them with the top of my head) so that he could lower the wing flaps without whacking me on the head. (He worded it differently.... )

We had to review a few rules. Seatbelts must be worn. I played stewardess and fingerwaved out the two exits (to the pilot, who knew already, but whatever. )

Then after more checking and testing and whatnot, we were off!

Hey look - there's our wheel - it's still on the plane. Awesome, we need that later. I knew that the wheels would not pull up, because they would be... in my seat. So to speak. And there's the shadow of the plane. Cool. So I took about 60 pictures after this one; I'm not even kidding. Of course I mean of the scenery and sky, not the shadow of the plane on the ground. Just so we're clear.

Here are one or two...

Saratoga Lake...

And Lake George...

and... something... maybe Saratoga Lake again, from the other direction, or part of the Hudson? I'll have to think about this one. But I like it.

Well, that's all for today, kids, but tomorrow Carly takes Manhattan by storm... um, by tour bus. Coach bus. Whatever.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Verse 3

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

link - America the Beautiful - lyrics)

This is my favorite verse, and you don't hear it all too often. My love for this song was only slightly diminshed today by one of our new choir members, who I call the Merry Wailer. She's too loud, she doesn't blend equally with the other voice parts, and she holds her notes by trilling like a cheesy german opera singer named Helga. I'm only half kidding. Know the expression "sticks out like a sore thumb?" Exhibit A.

The thing is, we don't HAVE stars in this choir. We are treated as equals. In our songs there are no solos - the entire section will sing, not just one person. We do sing the responsorial psalm individually, but we all take turns doing that. There is no paid Cantor who is singled out above the others.

I can fully appreciate the irony of hating someone when we are in a church choir together. I really can. It's just honestly THAT bad. When we finished God Bless America she belted out that last note at the top of her voice and then proudly said to the person next to her "did I shake the rafters?" - I was pretty happy when Patty said gently "well, you shook my eardrums...." because that last note was NOT pretty. It was too loud and too shrill. Not good, do you hear me? Not.

I know my place. I'm usually on the right notes, and can sing a psalm, often with some degree of an attack of nervousness, and I make my share of mistakes. This girl seems to think she is a much better singer than she is. I sooo long to correct her, but that is NOT my place.

We have a small phrase that appears on our programs at Christmas and Easter as a gentle reminder - Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone give glory). I wish she understood.

Busy week ahead. Let's see. Today, family cookout. Tomorrow, adventure (postponed from yesterday). Tuesday, Cheesecake Tuesday. Wednesday, MANHATTAN, BABY! (class trip), Thursday, much less exciting class trip with Other Child, (what was I thinking??? I am chaperoning A FIELD TRIP????????? ) then a baseball game and race to choir rehearsal, Friday, this that and the other thing to catch up and the yearbooks might come any time now, Saturday, a farewell cookout for my sister, and Sunday we have a choir portrait (after singing together for the last time until fall) then I head on down to Pitt again for a couple of days. Got that? Quiz mid week. Updates via Crackberry.
Peace out. Kiss a soldier today.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Spoiler free

This is my daughter's last year in the Catholic elementary school she is attending. There is a traditional brunch in early June. The graduates receive a gift from the PTA. The graduates then present their parents with a scrapbook they have worked on, in school, keeping the contents a secret.

I love scrapbooking so much I carved a chunk out of our newly enlarged family room, and bought a desk that is off limits to everyone else in the house, for my paper and my stickers and my stamps and punches.... So I can't wait for the scrapbook.

Here's the thing. I *SUCK* at not sneaking a peek at gifts. Every now and then, like I don't know, RIGHT NOW, the book is on her art table - right next to my desk - and it's killing me. I can't WAIT to go through the scrapbook. I let my daughter pilfer some recent family photos - I haven't looked to see what she took, but that is only because the snapfish order that she picked from is in a pile on my art desk and I'm avoiding that pile. I'm trying SO HARD not to open the cover of that scrapbook right now.

Additional temptation greeted me when I opened Microsoft Word. Off to the right side of the screen, over there... the list of recent documents: "My most memorable moment at (school)". "A happy Memory". "Dear Mom and Dad"....

.....aaaaaaaaaghhh. :::thud::::

I will not open them. I will not open them. I don't want to ruin the moment of seeing it all together for the first time.

Looks like it's time to leave the house!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Being silly

Told my daughter about one of my first boyfriends - I met him at Niagara Falls at a regional Lutheran Youth retreat in 9th grade. He lived on a farm out near Syracuse. He had a wicked allergy to hay. How unfortunate. The duration of our romance, he was stoned on allergy medicine. But he was so cute.

We are planning my daughter's graduation party and talking about handing out badges to honored guests, who will then be allowed a coveted seat on the screen porch. Because everyone will want to be there, and it seats...five.

I luv a parade

There is a four year old boy near me repeating "bow chick a wow wow" over and over in a tiny but somehow really loud voice. YouTube is somehow involved. Great moments in parenting.

The Emo Scout... totally hiding behind greasy bang that hang down past his nose, mortified to be marching.

Carly(via Blackberry)

Mini update

I have resolved (hopefully) my paperwork issue. ::::breathe in, breathe out:::

The town Memorial Day parade is tonight. Who doesn't love a parade, especially one with 30 fire trucks? (I'm so not even kidding)

Mr. Carly brought home a box of Pinot Grigio. I shall taste test on the porch after the parade.

Last but definitely not least, I have some exciting plans for this weekend that I'll share with y'all after it happens, perhaps on Sunday.

Carly(via Blackberry)


Sooner or later, each week I have a day where being jobless gets to me.

Even though I have a bunch of things to finish for the school, plus a few family events that need planning and preparation and doing, and I am (extremely lucky to be)receiving a "severance package", once in a while the blues come by and sit down with me for a while.

I watch everyone leave the house and go where they are supposed to be, and think 'where am *I* supposed to be?' - and it doesn't help that I am routineless, despite my good intentions.

Time is moving quickly and slowly all at once. Almost 22 years of employment seems to have evaporated into being just a dream o had after too many fajitas. All that remains is a pile of paperwork that contradicts itself. I spent at least 90 minutes today sorting out one issue. Giant Headaches.

Carly(via Blackberry)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Big fun

At the's Research Paper time for one of my kids.
(My dad has a typewriter something like this. I've always liked it...)

Carly(via Blackberry)

Saturday, May 16, 2009


...that everything will be just FINE.

Carly(via Blackberry)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

More dancing....

The counterpart to my niece dancing would be this one of my nephew. I like the picture of her better, but these will make a cute pair on one of my walls. He danced on and off for a good portion of the party.
I had an interview today, and while the job was much more entry level than what I'd be looking for, I ended up with some potential freelance work on the photography side. I spent the rest of the day cleaning the attic with Mr. C.* Since we have a full attic we (well, the HE of we) just toss things up there in no particular rhyme or reason. Proof of that would be the maternity bathing suit I found. My baby is eleven. Years. Old.
* (Miracle - we are still speaking. )

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This Just Finn

Finn has finn-ally had his tank cleaned. Gross. But not as gross as the recesses of a boy's mind.

We talked about how Ted may have been sick because he never turned gold. Or that maybe Finn was tougher because he came from the tough streets of the Petsmart aquarium. Which made me think that Finn is wearing gang colors.

The Fins and the Gills? They are forever enemies. This talk, of course, made my son wonder if they beat each other up, (or if a group of fish just all circle around the new guy and poop, and he eats it?)

Like I said...boys are so gross.
Carly(via Blackberry)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Keep watching

If you wait patiently, a chipmunk face will appear. No really. Keep looking...oh, ...right. Well, you'll have to trust me on this one.

Carly(via Blackberry)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Quick recaps...

My son marched off to work Saturday at 8 am. He dusted a large plant and then my neighbor declared a coffee break. Yes. They gave an 11 year old (some) coffee (in milk). I think he did a LITTLE bit more work for them but perhaps not worth what they paid for. I heart my neighbors.

The party was wonderful. My mother in law is frail these days but she looked beautiful and seemed to have extra energy saved up for the party. I took a few photos of the happy couple with all of their grandchidren, and some with all of the cousins that came from near and far. It went by too quickly... I managed not to whimper too loudly when they carried the cake out of the room to CHOP it into TINY PIECES. (ehhhhhh!)

Mother's day was ok... I tend to buy my own presents and cook for myself on this particular holiday. I'm not a huge fan of it. We can't all be perfect Hallmark commercials, now can we? I did get a shelf set in the garage - - and after asking for it and explaining (twice) what I want on it, I know can walk out from my kitchen into the garage without tripping over shoes, soda, beer, and cleaning supplies. I am going to call it a win.

PS: Just for Poly - the end of Amazing Race really killed me. I wanted him to win. Don't hate me.

Or actually....

This was more like what I had in mind, but I could probably still improve that mess up in the ....nevermind.

Sunday Art

I have been off the grid for most of the day today... but wanted to share this photo of my niece. When you are ThreeAlmostFour and have a twirly dress for a very special party, it is a happy day.

Ignore the ghost in the upper corner... I need to go back and finish editing extraneous junk out...or crop it or... I haven't decided...

Friday, May 08, 2009

Let them eat cake

Here it is.... More details in a day or two.... I'll be busy celebrating two people who still absolutely adore one another after 50 years...... How lucky they are!

Carly(via Blackberry)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Deja vu

I had an appointment near my college yesterday, and so I detoured to go and walk around the campus. I took pictures in a little courtyard that I used to visit once in a while. It was an oasis of peace and quiet and it still looks exactly the same... right down to the single, almost randomly placed, hedge -- clipped to a very specific height because the girls stand behind it with this as their background, for one of their senior photos. (At least, I did. And no, you can't see. It was 22 years ago. I don't wanna.)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Leave me alone...

"Ivy", leaves and flowers (all gum paste)

I am ready for this cake to be DONE. I'm also making daisies and roses.

Carly(via Blackberry)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

That's not what you meant

The other day a friend of ours came over to drop off some extra mulch and help us spread it in my flowerbeds. He had been shoveling mulch all morning at school before that and I gave him two Naproxyn, which are for loosening up a backache.

Tonight we are all working at the school concert doing a bakesale. He just turned to me and said, "hey (Carly), do you have any more of those little blue pills?"

I guess it's good for him that we had to explain why we all laughed.

Carly(via Blackberry)


Suzy's plaque...for my cake for saturday. This is color flow, which is like icing with no butter or crisco.

The gold is edible gold dust and is painted on with vodka or lemon extract.

Carly(via Blackberry)

Como Esta??


My 11 year old is bringing his Cinco de Mayo project to school today. Did you know that 4,000 Mexican soldiers defeated 8,000 French soldiers in the battle of Puebla? Badass.

May all of your margaritas be salty, mi amigos.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Because I wasn't doing anything, I thought I'd blog

So this week I have to sit in a waiting room and twitch for 90 minutes while my kid gets her braces off. Yaaaay! But I have 1,000 other things to do, people!

We are having a big family party and I need to make an amazing cake so I am pulling Suzy into the effort to help ensure it will be A+. I need to make some flowers and things today (in between making two batches of cupcakes for the school concert, and oh, we have to GO to the school concert, which kills an evening...) and she is going to help me make a "50" plaque tomorrow. Hopefully.

The state wants me to come see them so we can chat about my job search. Yeah. That. Hasn't started yet. Yikes. It's a fairly routine thing but still.

My son was bored and decided to start a business. This required my help to make a flyer, help him make himself a calendar with all of his upcoming baseball games and family events, and so on. He is only allowed to work for neighbors/immdiate family for now, doing things like raking, weeding, car washing, and helping with spring cleaning major tasks; he is NOT mowing a lawn because he's too young in my opinion. But the neighbors all seemed impressed that he was willing to work (and they said yeah, too young for mowing).

I am scanning old photos (holy out of date hairdos!!) for the party and in the meantime I am loading music to iTunes from my brother in law... standards.... to make a mix for the party. My iTunes is used to a steady diet of country and Tween so it is basically going What The F..... ?

Throw in some extra singing at church (icky Dick won't shake anyone's hand because of Swine Flu even though we have NO CASES reported in our area...) and it means Carly is going to be very happy when Mother's Day comes and I can sit and RELAX!!!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sunday art - old newspaper edition

Here is a shot I took while I was at my friend's house collecting ticks. Blaaagh. Anyway. This is actually their neighbor's property but they all enjoy fishing and boating on the pond. You can see some of the storm damage that hasn't yet been cleared. Chainsaws for everyone!

Jasc Paint Shop Pro Studio is a utility that came on my Dell pc and has afforded me the luxury of not really learning Photoshop yet. It does some of the basic things like autocorrect, crop, clone out people - I mean, things - we don't want in the photo, and so on. It also has a few artistic effects like this one, which is supposed to resemble an aged newspaper photo.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Stop by, bring me a tea or Chai Latte, and we'll swap

Well, friends, I don't think I used enough orange flavor in the cupcake batter. It's not really all that orange-y tasting. Disappointing. Maybe some zest... that's a zen question -- do I need more zest?? I will work on that further. On many levels.

I frosted the cupcakes with milk chocolate frosting and then I made orange frosting - you can use it make a dainty spiral sort of shape on top of the chocolate, if your orange frosting behaves...

Or just put a sort of squishy dot if it doesn't. I decided to add pecaaaaahns to a few. (I love my granite counters.... but these cupcakes are really getting lost in the pattern, huh?)

It really didn't cooperate, so I just took a fork and swirled the two flavors together.

(now THIS is complex cooking - isn't it? Next food network star, right here. I really just wanted to take some close up shots and work on camera settings. Some of the reject shots were pretty rough!)

Swirled frosting cries out for pecans...

Geez. I need to light from more than one angle, don't I ? I just wanted a picture of cupcakes! Sheeeesh.

Hey... there are only twenty-two cupcakes... looks like my son has passed by this way.

Seriously - Earl Grey tea, and I will share...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Things I wonder

Why do cupcake papers come in packs of 50 when a cake mix makes 24 cupcakes?

It's like the whole 8 hot dogs / 10 rolls deal.

Orange flavor added to classic yellow cake mix. Chocolate frosting waiting on standby.... And yes I usually don't like chocolate but when it's with orange I can enjoy it.

Carly(via Blackberry)