Saturday, March 29, 2008

Challenge 29 -- Driver of Most Trips

This is our last road trip. My husband, of course, driving, because, well, he can't stand it when I drive. There was a parent's mirror (my term) and my son thought it was a cool shot of the inside of the car. Joe driving, me, and my oldest daughter behind us, her sister beside her, and Sam in the back. I can't figure how he got the picture though!

Challenge 28 -- Autographed Books

This is a book my mother gave me--I don't know where she found it. I have always been the reader in my family--thanks to my Grananny Phillips. (Her name was Nannie, and so we always called her Grananny, instead of Gramma or Granny.) Anyway, Grananny gave me a book for Christmas when I was in 3rd grade; the third Nancy Drew book. I was so disappointed that I didn't get a toy. So I sat down and started my book (my cousins wouldn't let me play with their new toys). A couple hours later, I was nearly
done with the book and ready for new ones. I haven't stopped reading since. I even majored in English, which nearly killed me from reading, but now I read almost strictly for pleasure. Anyway, back to this book: This is an autographed Mark Twain. The book is "The $30,000.00 Bequest and Other Stories." It isn't worth much because the book is in bad shape, and Twain tended to sell his autograph toward the end of his life to stave off bankruptcy. But it is neat to have this. I also have an autographed Dom DeLuise children's book, and several autographed Julia Child cookbooks. All in all, though, I would rather talk to the authors than just have their signatures.

Challenge 27 -- Game Show

I don't watch this anymore because I don't have time, but I used to watch it enought that all my kids would say "Mom, you should go on Jeopardy!" Of course, I never did, but it is fun to say "I could do that" and know that you might be able to.

Challenge 26 -- Contents of My Purse

Contents of my purse, spread out on my kitchen counter: Big wallet, hand lotion, little wallet for chapstick, all those key-ring dollar saver cards (why don't they just lower prices?!), notebook for writing things down, change purse, telephone, pens and pencils, ibuprofen, and my brain (Palm). All on my kitchen counter.

Challenge 25 -- Kitchen Potholders

OK, I haven't really been embarrassed by this challenge until now. We renovvated our kitchen 2 years ago, and these are the only things left from our old kitchen: nasty green potholders. Gross. I am now challenged to go and buy new, red or black or any color that would work in my kitchen potholders!

Challenge 24 -- Wall Hanging Over 3 Years Old

This isn't a wall hanging, per se, but it is hanging in my house. This is a stained glass I had made by a wonderful artist in my neighborhood, Roger Mathews. There are tiles on my fireplace hearth, and I took a picture of the tile in to Roger and told him that I wanted a stained glass window to go into a mission-style house. He copied the tulips exactly, and filled in the rest of the window with blocks. I have one hanging over each of the windows on the sides of my fireplace, and I love the way my room looks.

Challenge 23 -- Easter

I have no Easter photo from this year, yet. I attempted an Easter photo this year. The kids played with my camera (a big no-no) and set it to film rather than photo, and so my photo is a film that won't download. Of course, this year it was too cold to stay outside for a photo, and inside was too crowded with all the aunts and uncles and cousins, so until the film comes back, I have no photos.

This is a photo of the grandchildren from last Easter. My kids are lucky they have cousins on their father's side. My sister's children have no cousins other than my kids (15oo miles away) and one cousin that lives in California (3000 miles away). I think that is sad. I learned a lot being forced to do things with my cousins--people that you may have liked OK, but really had not choice about spending time with them. It teaches you a lot about getting along with people. I learned to get along with bullies; I learned how to spend time with adults because you didn't want to be with the kids; I learned that both very pleasant and very unpleasant times will end soon enough. I learned that you don't have to love someone to miss them, and that family is important even if you don't always get along. You don't necessarily learn this from siblings. I think cousins are important in the scheme of things.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Challenge 22 -- Movie Poster

Not quite a movie poster, but I think I'll be forgiven. I am so excited for this movie to come out.
The poster I have hanging in my scrap/sewing room is Casablanca, my all-time favorite movie. Humor, intrigue, a not-so-attractive leading man, war, romance, friendship, and an unforgettable song. Does a movie get any better than that?

Challenge 21 -- Car I Would Like to Own

I really don't care what kind of car I drive. I simply want a cupholder. Right now I drive a Saab, with the ignition between the seats. What happens everytime I get a cup of coffee in the car? It spills, either on my purse, between the seats into the ignition, or on whatever paper is important in the passenger seat. I want a comfortable car that my children will fit into that has a CUPHOLDER!

Challenge 20 -- Morning Routine

I don't say much before my coffee.

Challenge 19 -- Lunch or Dinner

Dinner, when we can get together in Wichita and watch my TarHeels beating up some other team! I prefer dinner, but lunch with a good friend is always good, too.

Challenge 18 -- My Dream Porch

Not exactly my dream porch, but pretty darn close. A screened in porch, on a cabin in the Smoky Mountains, hot tub, and comfortable sitting. Oh yeah, and someone to bring me my coffee and a muffin in the morning. But it looks a lot like this one.

Challenge 17 -- Hanging on the Door

This is my door that goes into my garage. Anything important gets stuck here: Our calendar, chore cards, IOUs from my kids, scratchpad, school calendar, funny magnets, and my college affiliation magnet (it goes on the car sometimes). My handyman thought I was crazy when I asked for a metal sheet to be put on the door and framed out. It was one of the smartest things I did in our renovation.

Challenge 16 -- Whispering

I love the humor that my kids have. I very much love that my older daughter doesn't mind acting silly--sometimes very silly. Here she is in Chicago, at the Art Institute:

Challenge 15 -- Talking on the Phone

Here are my children, doing what they do. I can't get a word out of the boy hardly, nor does he TALK on the phone, but texts at the rate of about 85 a day. The youngest daughter, the one who didn't talk until she was 5? Taking away the phone is about the only discipline I have with her. The oldest? The Christmas gift of her phone is just about the only time she has ever been speechless.

My kids, doing what they do best.

Challenge 14 -- Sibling's Hobby

My sister makes cards and tags. She takes pictures also, but she doesn't scrapbook. Strange, to my mind, but that is how she rolls. She has a friend that she makes cards with, and they schedule vacations to do nothing but make cards and run their mouths. I wish that I had that kind of relationship with someone. I have a lot of friends, but no one that really shares my hobby, or will commit to doing it like that.

Challenge 13 -- Favorite TV Shows

I don't watch a lot of TV, but the kids have the DVDs for this show, and I think it is absolutely hilarious. Remember when MASH was on? My father said that there are people like each character in his office, they were in his Army unit, and that is what made it funny: that you could laugh at these people, while still understanding the people you had to work with and be kind to them. Same with this crew. I laugh at this show a lot.

Challenge 11 -- A Sign that Makes Me Smile

This was a shop that was across the street from us when we stopped for a beer in Prague. Read all the things that this shop offers. I laugh every time I see it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Challenge 12--Unusual Mailbox

This is the mailbox in my house. These are my dogs. The dog on the right, Rufus, hates my mailbox, and loves the mail tha comes through it. So much so that he eats the mail unless I can get to it first. If you look carefully, you can see where he has chipped the paint away from the lid of the box by jumping up and biting it. He has cut his leg on the box, cut his lip on the box, and still, he waits patiently for the mail every day. Silly dog.

Challenge 10 -- Favorite Tree

I have a favorite tree, but I don't have a picture of it, nor can I get a picture of it. It was in Virginia, a huge (at least it seemed huge) beech tree. My grandparents had 16 grandchildren, and I swear, it took all of us holding hands to get around that tree. It had plenty of crevices in it, and holes where the Bunny hid Easter eggs. Many hours were spent under that tree.

After my grandparents moved and after my grandfather died, there was a storm in Chesapeake, and the beech tree was blown down. I can't remember if it hit the house, but it was really close to the house.

It was my favorite tree.

Challenge 9 -- Keys

OK, these are technically my keys, but they are not my car key. My car key stays in my car (locked safely in my garage); that way I never lose them. Losing keys is something I have done a couple times (really, not often), although I have the reputation of losing them. Mostly, until I lived in my own house, I never had a single place to put them. Now, ahem, see photo, I do! I love this little house--it is so brightly colored. I have a bus by the same artiste that has one hook on it. Love these!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Challenge 8 -- Two People

My two people are my sister and her husband. My sister would hate to have her picture on the internet, so I published this view. They met us in Savannah last September. I love these people. I don't ever remember meeting my brother-in-law, and he absolutely brings out the best in me, and I do the same for him. My sister is a true gem, and someone that I try to emulate in several areas. She taught me a lot about having some peace about myself.
Thanks, guys.

Challenge 7 -- Piece of Clothing Worn Twice a Week

This is a sweatshirt that I wear frequently during the colder months. I have a grey one that I wear as much as this one, but it is getting really, really worn. So much so that I will have to get rid of it soon. But the blue one is warm, and wearing it keeps me in mind of a very rewarding time of my life.

Challenge 6 -- My Town

This is the prettiest picture of my town I have ever seen. I have no idea who took it so I can't give credit. I know I didn't take it. This is the Keeper of the Plains, a statue by Blackbear Bosin. It sits in the Arkansas River.
I am not from Wichita, and it took me a long, long time to get used to being here. It is a good place to raise children, and after having visited Raleigh last month, I can say that I prefer here to there now. Mostly because of the traffic there, and the lack of it here.
It isn't pretty, it isn't unique, but all in all, I feel at home here now.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Challenge 5 -- Weather

Can you see my frogs? In the summer, they spit at you and each other, but I love them in the winter. At Christmas, I tie bright red ribbons around their necks. I love my frogs, and smile everytime I see them.

Challenge 4 -- An Elder You Respect

It is strange to think of Dean Smith as an "elder", but he is. I have never met this man, and yet my respect for him grows with everything I hear about him. For someone to speak disrespectfully of him draws my ire. My impression of Dean Smith is this: He is an humble man who is brilliant at his profession. He is an inspiration for everyone to do the right thing, leading by example and not by words. My one real regret in my life so far is that I was not involved in some way with the basketball program while I was at Carolina. I tell my children that the athletes are not role models because of their athletic prowess. Rather, Dean Smith is the role model--he taught the game, changed the game, and inspired those who play. However, this is not his whole contribution. He integrated the game in Chapel Hill, he used his celebrity to change that part of society, and he inspired me to not see race, but people. He set an example for people to follow, and I am glad to do that.

Thank you, Mr. Smith.

Challenge 3 -- Artwork

Our challenge is to post artwork. This is my daughter with some of her drawing. She loves Leonardo da Vinci, and has copied some of his drawings. She is a bit of an artist herself, and has the temperment that goes along with that, for good or bad.

The Best Time of the Year

We are smack in the middle of the NCAA tournament. Some people love to celebrate Christmas; some people enjoy their birthday. I know people for whom the advent of Spring is worth living through the rest of the year. Me? Give me the Tar Heels in the NCAA any year. Nothing touches it when we are doing well; nothing is worse than when we lose. Winning the dance is a feeling that is like nothing else. (Some things are better, but, like childbirth, one tends to forget the intensity. I never forget the intensity of winning this tournament, and I have lived through it 3 times. Nothing better.)
By the way, I was in St. Louis to watch them and see the above photo taken.

So forgive my lack of posts; forgive me in advance for my future lack of posts. I am watching basketball!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Finally Finished Another Book

I finished World Without End by Ken Follett this week (finally!). Loved it-but I loved Pillars of the Earth, too. I have a good friend who studied architecture and switched to history and now teaches in St. Louis. Anything mainstream--he can't stand it. I read Pillars of the Earth when it was first out in paperback, and suggested he read it. He resisted (he wildly resisted!), but finally broke down and read it. He read it every break he got at school, and he loved it. Thanked me for making him read it. I can't believe that it is now on Oprah's Book Club list! Sorry, Tim!

Anyway, I really did love World Without End--it did get a little soap-operatic at the end, but I still loved it. I wish there were men like Merthin, however, it is a work of fiction!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Challenge 2--Newspaper/Website

I am not at my own home, and the challenge is to take a photo of my newspaper. At home, I read the paper every day, and rarely even speak to anyone (nor encourage anyone to speak to me!) until I have read the paper and had at least one cup of coffee. Since I am not at home, I will post a photo from a website I check every single day--my daughter's high school. I wish that the announcements link was closer to the top so I wouldn't have to scroll through the whole page, but I didn't design the page, the kid down the street from me did, and he didn't ask for my input until he was finished (darn kids!).

Challenge 1 -- Goals

Barb is challenging us to post a photo that corresponds to a theme every day this month. I think it is a great idea, and I am going for it:

Goals: Short Term, or Long Term? Short term, my goals are my New Year Resolutions: Write more, lose weight, blog weekly. Long term? I haven't set goals for that far ahead, because they change. If I had to make a goal, I would say that my long-term goal is to grow old with my husband. I chose him--no, God made him for me. That is my goal, and my short-term goals certainly contribute to that long-term goal.

Another Book, and Nothing Creative

I am in North Carolina, ostensibly to help my sister recover from surgery. She has been discharged from the care of her cardiologist, and is doing very, very well. Still slow, but getting there. I will go back home on Tuesday, and I am excited about seeing my husband, my family, my dogs, and my house. And my beautiful, clean, organized scrapbooking room. I have not done but one creative things since I got here (on February 16), and I am feeling very hemmed in. Amazing that when I am scrapping, or sewing, or whatever in my room, I don't feel creative, but when I am not doing any of those things, I feel very uncreative. Odd.

I have read books, however. About 7 of them. I still have 3 Saint books to read and make tests for (can you see that my steam for that task gave out a long, long time ago?!), and I am in the middle of the last book I brought, World Without End, by Ken Follett. I have read all of his books, and this one is up in the top 2-3 of his works. I am really enjoying it.

The book that I have finished that I really, really liked is Dough, by Mort Zachter. I loved reading the story, but I also loved how honest he was about reconciling his feelings of love and fondness for his uncles with the anger he felt after learning their secret. I would recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys memoirs.

Finally, I am back in TarHeel country, and finally go the chance to see my Heels in the DeanDome (it was built after I left, and I have attended concerts there, but never seen the team play). My friend with the connections, Moneypenny (yes, her real name), called with the great news. Could there be a downside? Of course there is, in my world! The tickets are for the day I leave, at 3:39 in the afternoon! Maybe next time.