25 September 2006

life is short

Ok, this theme has been an ongoing issue for me and a lot of others I care for. Life is short. Too short to try to make everyone love us. We try so hard to surround ourselves with caring people. But the people who you care for the most can also hurt you the most. Sometimes I think if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. So I should probably shut up. now.

But I have been quiet for too long.

Life is just too hard in the first place to try to get someone to love you for who you are and not forsake you for the circumstances that have happened in your life. Paul had cancer. Past tense. had. Recently, we had a cancer scare. Because of our fear, we called our closest companions. By the grace of God, Paul does not have cancer. The very following moment after we found out the great news we called everyone again. To rejoice in the news. Why does it seem that when people go through trial it drives others away. Like they are afraid of our bad luck. Not everyone, really. It is those those few that turn their backs and run away like we are the plague. It makes me so thankful for those who stick by us through thick and thin.

Paul still hasn't been feeling well. He has been passing the largest kidney stones that I have seen. But it will pass. (literally, not to make a horrible punO) It is the past that makes me avoid sharing things for the sake of others doubts. Life is too short worrying about what others think, or why they don't "like" us. This is the way it is, but I am not going to try to prove my life. These things happen. Believe it or not. Doubt no more. You can doubt, but don't blame your doubt on us, why would I make this stuff up? I am not that ambitious.

My back still sucks. Eight back surgeries down. How many more to go? Who knows. I know that having nerve blocks every three months isn't handling it. I know that it is getting worse. My right leg used to be the worse one. Now the left leg (from the sciatic nerve damage) doesn't like to work. I am thankful I can walk. But, somedays, it is difficult. I am so thankful to have Caden and a loving husband.

Next week Paul starts his new VP position in Chicago. This is going to be a major life change for a while. But the opportunity is too great to give up. Maybe the economy will heal in western Michigan while Paul is gaining new skills and he can find something here after a year or three. He gets to telecommute for one week a month. For that I am thankful.

Ok, on another, less grouchy note...

The leaves are turning. We had quite a breezy day today, so the leaves were floating through the air. We winterized the pool this weekend, that always will be our signal that the seasons are turning.

Caden is doing so well in school. Sorry, Meghan, I cannot find his picture from the first day, but I assure you he is getting tall. He likes to make hair look like a faux-hawk. He does it all by himself, he is so pround of it. There is no toy in the house that has not been taken apart. He loves to take things apart. He also likes to keep everything, much to my dismay. I like neat, tidy, uncluttered space. He knows when I throw a broken toy away, no matter how sneaky i am about it! stay tuned for some Caden art, I scanned it in the computer, now I need to get it out of HP software abyss.

I will leave you with a picture of the quilt I am working on...this is the design..

It is from Denyse Schmidt's book, I have gathered natural linen for the white areas, and graphic black, white, and red fabrics for the red part. I think I am going to make a patchwork of the fabrics with various printed twill ribbons mixed in. That will be in place of the red areas in the quilt. I am sure this will take me about a year! I have too many other hobbies to keep up with!

If you made it this far, I assure you that my rants are few and far between, but sometimes I just have to vent! Besides, it isn't you who I am venting about!

20 September 2006

hotel aversions

As promised, I will share some of our recent hotel experiences. A little less than a year ago, Paul decided to surprise me with our first night out without Caden. We went out for a nice dinner and went to a piano dueling bar. The surprise was that he had booked us to stay at the Amway Grand. Well, they had lost our reservations, and completely fowled up whatever Paul had planned. We had a nice stay anyway, and they gave us some certificates for another stay for free, but it went not so smoothly. No big deal. Apparently this was only the beginning of our bad luck.

The next hotel stay was in May for a trip to Chicago. We stayed at the Westin. It was beautiful, and had a very good view of Chicago. We were quite satisfied, that was until I tidied up the room in the morning. I was picking up one of Caden's toys from underneath the bed and to my horror and disgust I picked up a used condom..ewe... I think I screamed. Needless to say, we immediately got moved into a suite, two rooms at that and we got a wonderful tray of goodies including champagne. They really tried to make up for it.

I had forgotten all about these incidents until this last weekend. This time we stayed at the Omni. As we walked through the hall, Paul and I looked at each other and smiled. All of of previous hotel experience memories come flooding back. What is that I hear? Oh yeah, it is the incessant yapping of a poor little lonely dog trapped in his room. I love animals, but, come on. This animal was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It barked and barked and barked. You could here it all the way down the hall. But our room was right next to the yappy dog. I was surprised to find out that they let dogs stay there in the first place. Their policy is no "yappy" dogs. Well who would ever admit that their dog barked and decide to stay somewhere else. This dog seemed to be in distress. I hope it doesn't do that all the time. Needless to say, we moved to another room. All was well. I feel bad for that dog. It was obviously not happy.

I don't think that we have bad luck, we just have interesting experiences. Besides, good or bad, depends upon how you look at it. What was important was that we had a good time.

18 September 2006

renegade loot...

We went, we saw and we collected...a lot. Paul and I had a really nice, but really busy time in Chicago. Caden had fun too. This was the longest we ever left him with a babysitter. Twenty-eight hours, I think we called like eight times and we missed him terribly. But he had a lot more fun here than if he went with us. Besides, Paul and I got to have a very exquisite dinner. Paul had the best steak that I have ever tasted, it literally melted in your mouth, very decadent. (It better had be at the price that we paid ;) I think it is important to do these things every once in a while to reconnect a little and be reminded what it is like to have a "date" and be a little carefree. But it was so nice to come home to our son.

I took a lot of pictures of the things we collected, so I thought I would share with you!

First, the things we purchased:

"treelets" by Jill Bliss and Shinpei. I was lucky enough to get the very last copy. I am a huge fan of Jill Bliss's work. She lives in San Francisco, which is only about one hundred miles away from where Paul and I grew up in Auburn California. We went to San Francisco at least six times a year when we lived in the area. Jill even signed the book to us. So nice You can buy her work here..

We also got her 2007 calendar which was hot off the presses.

I love love love October's picture:
The calendar is a collaboration with Saelee Oh, who is also so so talented, I would love to purchase some of her work too.
Sadly, Jill couldn't bring any of her lovely prints safely via air, so she didn't have any, I really wanted to purchase a print. I will just have to do it online one of these days!

Next I bought a porcelain pin by erin at eek design at etsy, she has been a contact on my flickr because we have a similar hobby/passion. She was so nice and it was nice to actually meet someone you "know" via the Internet.

I also got to meet Heidi and her family from my paper crane. She was, of course, as sweet as you would think! She is talented, Paul even liked her soft sculpture trees and smores on a stick, what an imagination she has!

We also purchased some beautiful hand pulled papers from golden hen press



last, but not least:

fused glass hair pins from kiki


some fabric hair pin from piddleloop

Here are various pictures of all the free things we got for being one of the first 500 to visit on Sunday...

believe it or not, I have even more pictures on flickr. We had another funny hotel fiasco, but more on than later! Thanks for visiting!

15 September 2006


yippee!!! We are going to the Renegade Craft Fair in
Chicago tomorrow!!!

Even better yet, Paul and I are going...alone! This will only be the second time that Paul and I have left Caden overnight since he was born over five years ago. So it will be nice :)
We got a fairly good deal at a very nice hotel, so that will be even nicer. We have a great sitter who just so happened to be free. She is even taking Caden to Church and a birthday party she needed to go to. He will have so much fun. Probably a lot more fun than going to a busy craft fair to look at art. He loves his babysitter, he says she is his "favorite girl". (other than mom of course)

I have some good news to share...
Remember the computer incident we had over six months ago? The "borrowed" computer was returned to the Montcalm County Sheriff's office! I had to drive an hour and a half both ways to go pick it up, but we are so happy to have it back. Paul had to completely overhaul it, and, of course, all of our info had "disappeared", but other than a few other minor problems, it is in good shape.

Also, Caden is doing great in kindergarten. He has made a lot of new friends, and has greatly improved in his writing and drawing in just a week! He even has a little "girlfriend". (he he) He did have a little problem on the bus ride home on the second day. I mentioned it to the morning driver the next morning as not to embarrass Caden and she talked with the afternoon driver. So far, it has been resolved, although, today the bus stopped one stop down the road for a long time while the driver had to settle the kids down. It seems it is a rowdy bus. I am still considering driving him home from school, but I do not want to "baby" him too much. Besides, he probably wouldn't want to anyways, he likes watching "the big kids".

I have gotten a lot of great mail lately, and I plan on blogging about it early next week! I have been trying to blog this all week, but every time I started, something came up, or the computer needed to be fixed, or it was cloudy and rainy and I couldn't take good pictures. Excuses, excuses, but all true! I think that the computer is almost all organized and all but a couple of the programs have been loaded, so blogging won't be so laborious! Such is life! I will try to take some pictures of the craft fair and share all of the crafty coolness with you!

03 September 2006

kindergarten: t minus 2 days...

This is the, hopefully, Internet safe version of caden's backpack label. I designed the monkey and put his name and our phone number on it and printed it out on fabric transfer paper. After learning it doesn't adhere to his nylon backpack, I ironed it on to linen and embroidered it onto the back of his backpack.(can't put it on the front because it gives the strangers an opportunity to know his name and call him, all these new safety rules..) I printed out a plain monkey to embroider on the front of the backpack. He loves it, so that is what counts.

We went to a destruction derby last night. It was the State Championship, who could miss that? It was a lot different than the ones we went to in Auburn (California). The arena was a lot smaller. So you would think they would have less cars in it, right? Oh no. Seven to eight crashed up cars dueling to the death. The bleachers were close to the track and a sign stated "enter at your own risk" greeted us. Very funny...ahem, not. We got a seat as far as we deemed safe, but in the middle of a match, Caden had to go potty. So he and I trudged through flying mud balls and the chance of a flying car part to the potty. I actually got hit in the forehead on the way back to our seat. (Which, if you know me, is quite appropriate because if you can get injured somewhere, I will...) I was literally dragging Caden as fast as I could, as he was screaming with delight. Quite an adventure (in the white trash/ way out in a hick town sorta way!) Fun was had by all. No...really!

Paul is off doing a contract computer maintenance job today, so Caden and I are car-less. (not complaining, we just haven't found the right truck/jeep yet) So Caden and I are going to take a nice walk, it is a beautiful day. I am looking for some birch peelings for my first adventure in encaustic collage.

01 September 2006

our garden...

Our first garden in this house is coming to it's summer's end.
here are some pictures.

Our wildlife have planted lots of sunflowers for us.(we feed them all black sunflower seeds since I rather have sunflowers grow than the weed like mixture that results from regular bird seed. besides, the birds seem to love it, it even attracts the brightly colored birds.)

a yet to open sunflower.

the hydrangea's last hurrah.

and some late summer bouquets from the garden:

these hydrangeas are from the same bush, I love that we get all of these colors, earlier in the summer the blooms were bright blue, now we have lime green with tinges of pink and blue.

a late summer bouquet.

a close-up on my one and only dahlia, I think the chipmunks have eaten all the others, or rabbits, or some other form of wildlife, we have them all to chose from.
In fact, we have had the biggest problem with chipmunks, there has been a bumper crop of babies this year and they are not afraid of us. One sits on our front porch, right by the front door, chirping loudly all day long. Somedays it gets on my last nerve, Caden scares it off and it comes right back in less than one minute!

Last, but not least, my biggest helper...

Caden, of course.

and our intrepid observer...

our little kitty, all grown up Zoe. She loves to watch us out the window, but she really enjoys the chipmunks, squirrels, and birds at the feeders, she hunches up like she is going to chase them right through the front bay windows!