Monthly Archives: May 2012

The MomWriters Anniversary Ball!

Well…  another year has come and gone, and with the Anniversary Ball and the Golden Pens, we say goodbye to May and to the last year.  I never get choked up about the new year, it’s just never been a big deal to me.  But May 31st?  It’s how I measure my year, and my successes and failures.

I’ve grown up with the MomWriters.  I really was just a kid when I first joined this amazing group.  I couldn’t have been more than 22 (but it might have been even longer ago than that).  I was a dog mom, and wrote canine non-fiction.  And like a kid, I was pretty selfish.  I was in it for me.  It was about networking and getting my work out there and noticed.

“Time may change me….”

To be honest, I’m not really sure how everyone put up with me back then.  LOL  But they welcomed me with open arms, and stuck it out with me too.  I can’t imagine a better group of Women, and am so proud to call them my friends.

It’s odd…  to have been friends with people for so long, yet to have never met them in person.  They are as real a presence in my life as any person I see on a regular basis.  Their support, advice, strength, loyalty, friendship, and love has seem me through a lot.  The group may not be as active as it once was (with the changing face of the internet) but we all know that should any of us need each other:  “yes, should you need us, for any reason at all…”  Well, we know we don’t have to look very far to find the support we need.

So, congratulations to all this years Golden Pen winners!  Lovely chatting with you all at the Ball (which is where I’ll be headed again after hitting “publish”)!  And here’s to another 14 years of friendship.  Nothing like the life of a freelancer and mom.  😉

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The worst kind of bad dream…

We’ve all had bad dreams.  The kind where some horrific thing happens to “your” family… but they aren’t really your family, it’s your dream family…  and you are kind of there as both a character and silent observer.  So you feel the pain, but are also able to be detached.  It’s scary, but it’s not real.  A normal bad dream.

Well…

Several weeks ago I had a bad dream.  And not your average, run of the mill, bad dream.  We’re talking the kind of bad dream that keeps you from sleeping for an entire week, and leaves you quaking in bed unable to move because of fear.  Where you wake up and it takes time to realize that it all was a dream, and that your family is fine, you are fine, and they’re all sleeping soundly right next to you.

It was such an odd experience, because it really was unlike any dream I’d ever had before – ever.  I didn’t know it was a dream.  I wasn’t an observer.  I was me.  We lived in our house.  My dream family was MY family.  So when the terror began?  There was no separating myself from what was happening.  I felt it all as if it were real.  And the fact that the dream even followed a real time line, it didn’t jump around, I didn’t change from one person to another…  It really was an odd thing to experience.  Dreams are usually odd, let’s face it, they’re downright weird…  so for this one to play out as if it were really happening was weird within weird.

The dream started with my seeing something in the field near our house.  Even in the dream I wasn’t clear on what I saw.  Just something unusual.  And like in reality, I blogged about it that night.

The following day, government agents showed up at my door, asking about what I’d seen.  They then asked me to come with them to discuss it.  Damon was home with the girl, so I agreed.

It became very unreal as things unfolded…  I was never truly clear on what was happening, but the mounting panic was clear.  Something was going on.  Something terrifying.

We were rushed out in vehicles, a procession led by police, clearing the way.  The sky had become incredibly dark in just a few hours, when it still should have been bright daylight.  I tried to get on my cell to contact Damon and Lily – to tell them to stay inside, in the basement.  Reception was bad, and I could barely hear them.  I knew they were scared.  I tried to tell them what little I knew.  Tried to offer them some comfort.  I wanted to tell them I’d be there soon – even though I had no idea where I (and others) were being taken or what was really going on.  And the phone cut out.

I tried to reach them again, but got dead air.  I couldn’t text.  Couldn’t get internet.  There was no way to get a message to them…  Then there was just a deafening bang, and darkness.

I woke up in a total panic.  Sleep paralysis.  I could barely breathe and I couldn’t move.  I hadn’t felt terror upon waking like that since I was a kid (I used to suffer from night terrors).  But I could hear them breathing in the darkness.  And slowly I got to the point where I could open my eyes and look around.  Saw the light on the alarm clock, the standby light on the tv and the hard drive…   The anxiety didn’t fade, but the panic did.  Slowly.

I didn’t sleep the rest of the night.  I just laid in bed next to Lily and Damon, listening to them sleep.  And I had a difficult time sleeping the rest of the week as well.  Just fitful bursts of sleep – dreamless, but not restful.  Thankfully it wasn’t a repeating dream, but it was so vivid that even now, weeks later, I can recall it with clarity.

I’d never had a dream like that.  Ever.  And I’d always been a very active dreamer (it wasn’t until having Lily-Ann that my brain finally slowed it’s night life).  It really was a crazy ride.  The idea that it was the end, whatever it was…  it was the end…  and I wasn’t there for them, I wasn’t there with them.  It was just so beyond terrifying.

 

Momma Loves a Bargain!

I’ll totally admit it, it’s not something I’m ashamed of.  I’m a tried and true thrift store shopper.  It’s rare that I buy something “new” for myself.  I’m hard on my day to day clothes, so the idea of spending $20 for a t-shirt that won’t give me any extra wear over the $3 one I can get at the Sally Ann?  Well…  it just doesn’t make much sense to me.

Today was a thrift store day.  🙂  My mom sent me a text just after nine to ask if the girl and I wanted to head out to Warman (a town with a most awesome thrift store only about fifteen minutes outside of Saskatoon).  And as usual when Mom sends out a message of this sort, the answer was MOST DEFINITELY.

Well, in addition to the two new pairs of board shorts and plaid button up shirt for Damon, and the G3 My Little Ponies and shirt for Lily-Ann, we spotted my latest and greatest find:  an antique kitchen table with three matching chairs.  It didn’t have a price tag on it, so Mom inquired with one of the ladies…  only to find out that it wasn’t for sale, that they were going to put it up for auction.  I think it was REALLY obvious how disappointed I was, as shortly afterwards they pulled someone out from the back room who inspected it closely and said that they would be willing to sell it to me for $30.

Yeah!  That’s right!  Thirty bucks for an antique table with drop-leaf and three matching chairs.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, and I’m sure to mention it again…  but here it is today – just for good measure:  We live in a small house.  Roughly 620 square feet for three people, seven dogs, a cat, a turtle, and a parrot.  That’s not a lot of space.  So we don’t have a table.  This table?  With the leaf hidden below?  It’s the perfect size.  And it has THREE chairs…  I mean, it was CLEARLY meant for us.  😉

It’s scratched, it’s stained, it’s well worn…  but all that just adds character.  This is a beautiful, old, solid wood set.  And I think it’s got just loads of potential.  Damon thinks it’s ugly, but based on how much I love it, gave me the go ahead for the purchase – and even helped me load it into my Dad’s van after he got off work.  I can’t wait to get started fixing it up.  It really is going to be perfect for us.  And seriously!  $30 for four pieces?  Yeah…  darn good thrift store day.

My pretty little “three bears” antique table and chairs! LOVE IT!

Awake, Asleep (pictures of a girl and a chihuahua)

So, in less than a week Caesar has managed to push his way firmly into our little family.  I have a feeling he may well be staying on past his engagement with the ladies.  LOL  Of course, I can’t say for sure one way or another just yet…  but if I were to place a bet?  It would be that he may very well have found his forever home.  When kid-kid announces “I think he needs to belong to me, he just loves me TOO much”?  Well…  that says a lot.  And what says even more?  How about a quick iphone capture or two?

Awake and getting comfortable to hear a chapter from the second Harry Potter book.

Awake and getting settled in, ready to listen to a chapter or two from the second Harry Potter book.

 

Asleep shortly afterwards, time to turn out the lights.

Asleep shortly afterwards (my movement woke Caesar), time to douse the light.

 

Tonight, my friends…

Tonight, my friends, is a very simple blog post.  I’m far too exhausted to do more.  Actually, I went down for a nap at about six, and fell asleep without taking any melatonin.  Seriously, I don’t nap because I don’t fall asleep without taking it.  And I napped.  Would have stayed out for the night too if I hadn’t needed to get up to put the girl to bed.  LOL

I’ve just been pretty wiped lately.  Lots of things needing my attention in preparation for the Pride art show.  In the end, I’ve decided to keep it simple, and may actually be doing rather small scale printing too.  It turns out I may be able to have one of the square support pillars in the space – which would be an interesting way to break up my work and display multiple smaller pieces.  I generally prefer larger scale work.  Nothing like a photograph at 20×24 or larger to inspire thought and discussion…  but I do like the idea of keeping things clean and being able to display more pieces than I’d have been able to otherwise.  So we’ll see.

Okay, off to bed for me.  I’m just far too exhausted to be on here right now.

Night all!  Be good to one another!

The Mayfair Community School Family Tree

Early in the school year, the staff at Mayfair Community School invited students and their families to come in and have their picture taken by a fauxtographer at no charge.  Normally, we wouldn’t have been interested.  However, this particular set of photos was going to be used for a special project – and we definitely wanted the girl to be able to be involved.

Since I have such a HUGE aversion (and rightly so) to posed studio portraiture, we dressed in a corny theme.  I figure if we’re going to have it done, let’s poke a little fun at the whole process while we do it.  So we each put on our Blue Jays jerseys – and headed off to the girl’s school.

It was everything I hate about studio shots by folks who really don’t know what they’re doing as far as composition goes (which is about what I expected).  Sit here.  Lean this way.  Turn your head towards the camera.  No, not that much.  Tilt your face to the right.  Put your arm here.  Now hold it….  There you have it!  The world’s worst family photo!  BUT!  It’s for such a cool project, so I suck it up, smile, and say nothing – until I blog all about it, and then I can rip on the entire process and mock the whole thing – ’cause that’s just how I roll.  heh heh

So, what was so cool that I felt the need to force us to endure such torture?  Well, it was the Mayfair Family Tree:

I couldn’t fit it all into the frame on my little iPhone…  but I think it gives you a good idea of what we’re looking at.  🙂  And it’s pretty darn cool!  Even better?  They put our family photo near the bottom, where the kid can actually reach it to show people.

Very much worth the humiliation of a terrible family photo, don’t cha think?

A Photography Preview for Reche & Family

When I first received the booking form filled out by Reche, I knew hers was going to be a fun shoot.  You see, the two of us have a past connection.  Her brother and I were very good friends back when we were still teenagers and young adults.  It seems like a lifetime ago now, but good friends never really stop being friends – even when they lose touch.  So getting to see Reche, meet her family, and work with them all really was a treat.  🙂

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… the best family sessions, are those when the kids are allowed to just be themselves.  Let them play, let them show off their personalities.  Sure, it’s nice when everyone is looking the same direction, but those captures that really show how a family is together, that shows those connections?  It really is SOOO much better.

Thanks for the chance to work with your family, and reconnect with you Reche.  It really was a treat!

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Preparing for an Art Show

I’ve been working through how I intend to display the couple pieces I’ll be doing up for inclusion in the PRIDE art show mid-June.  Working in a digital medium, as I do, it’s very different when it comes time to talk about print mediums and mounting.  I’ve got a couple ideas for how to display the pieces I’ve chosen – but we’ll see.

In an instance like this, where there is a strong message that is conveyed by an art piece, mounting isn’t as simple as gallery wrap canvas, giclee, frame, or foam board.  The mount has to maintain the truth that is being spoken, but not overrun it with a message of it’s own.  It’s trickier than one might think.  And to be honest, I’m putting as much thought into the mounting of these photographs as I did into their creation and capturing.

Time is sneaking up far too quickly for my comfort level though.  Very soon there’ll be no time left at all, and I’ll be in a panic.  LOL  It really is getting to be crunch time.  Time to figure out measurements, and processes.  Time to begin piecing it all together.  I’m excited, are you?

Hail Caesar!

Well, Caesar arrived on his Westjet flight early this evening.  Sweet little old man Chi.  😉  It’s been a while since we’ve had a senior Chihuahua in the house.  And he already reminds me of Noelle…

There really is nothing like a wee little old Chihuahua.  They’ve got such spunk, and are just the sweetest little things.  I remember Noelle – near the end…  couldn’t see, couldn’t hear, only had four teeth…  but she was still determined to boss around the other dogs at her play group.  Her silly tongue hanging out the side of her mouth, giving sideways kisses.  I’d forgotten just how much I missed her until this silly old boy showed up with his sideways kisses.

And just like Noelle, Caesar is a total Daddy’s boy.  Right from the moment they got off the plane – both of them instantly had a connection with Damon.  Sure, I’ll do in a pinch…  but Damon lights their faces right up.  Nothing like the glow of an intensely happy Chihuahua, basking in the love of the person they’ve chosen as theirs.  And I see that glow already on Caesar – even in the couple hours he’s been here.

Caesar was supposed to be coming here for his “last hurrah”.  His sperm tested out well, and so he flew out here to sire some puppies this year.  But I can’t help but wonder if he may also have found his retirement home with Damon – who appears to be the person of his dreams.  😉

It’s Just Home!

As much as I love hitting the road for an out of town dog show, I really do love coming home after one even more.

Traveling is awesome!  Very seriously, I adore pretty much any form of travel.  Road, rail, air…  it’s all good.  I absolutely love going places – and going places with my dog is even better.  And the crazy familiarity of the dog show scene is always grand.  The same faces, the same busyness, the same routine – all repeated in a different place every few weeks is such fun.  I really do enjoy it.

And when you are away, the stresses of home all kinda melt away.  Sure, there are new stresses and things to replace them.  Even away from home I’m crazy busy with a ton to do – and yeah, sometimes I need to be up at 5:00 or 5:30 to be in the ring for 8:30 or 9:00 (which is definitely NOT part of the usual routine)…  but it’s great.

The very best part though?  Is how much being away makes you appreciate being at home.  There really is NOTHING like coming home.  Even before being a mom, I was always happy to be home with Damon and the rest of the kidlets…  but now that I get to come home to my little girl too, it’s even better.

I’m laying in bed right now, with her legs mushed up beside me as I type – almost knocking the computer off my belly.  Just listening to the sounds of the keyboard, the air filter, and her breathing.  This, to me, is home.  There is nothing better.  The dogs are all asleep around us.  Damon is upstairs, probably playing a computer game, with the Parrot chatting at him.  The cat is roaming the stairwell – looking for anything suspicious – and the turtle is sitting in her favourite spot, half in the water, half out.  Everything as it should be.  Everyone well.  Everyone doing what they always do.  It’s just home.

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