Category Archives: Our World

A sweet story and a building project!

I had three completely unrelated things to share seeing how I needed to post a photo for challenge days 18, 19, and 20…  but then I realized I could very honestly share a project the three of us worked on today and have it fit for all three topics.  Yeah, it may be a bit of a cheat – but it’s not a huge one, especially considering I did grab snapshots on both Friday and Saturday, even if I’ve decided to only share a series of images from today.  LOL

But first?  First I have to share a really quick little story that is super cute and totally warmed my heart.  😀

On Friday I was over at my parents place – watching everyone so Mom could go with Dad to an out of town gig.  When Marie, my sister (whom Lily-Ann is named after), got home she came upstairs as usual then asked for my attention.  I stopped working on supper and looked over at her:  “Yes Marie?”

“Moby.”

“Yes.”

“Moby, look.”

And with that she held up the index finger on her right hand as if to say just one second.  Then she bent WAY down to where little Thor (one of my puppies from the Avenger litter whom is now my Dad’s puppy) was standing, and gave him a little pat.  She then stood back up.  “Moby.”

“Yes Marie?”

My sister, who has never been much of a pet person and who does her best to just ignore the other two dogs in the household, gave me a great big grin and an enthusiastic thumbs up.  To which I replied “Awwww….  Marie!  I’m so glad you like him.  He’s a cute little guy, isn’t he?”  She nodded in approval, which made me feel awfully wonderful.  😀

Okay…  now onto my challenge photos.  😉

So, I need to share for something I bought, sweet, and someone I love.  Well…  here are the girl and her Dad working together to put up the last couple of shelves in her room (which he and I started putting up while she was out with my sister Riki earlier today).  I think this series of pictures covers all three challenge topics pretty darn well.

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photo a day challenge for january

Breaking the Silence is Fast Approaching

Though our sky was dark and dreary for much of the day today, my heart was happy as I look forward.  We are coming into crunch time for planning this years Breaking the Silence conference.  This conference is something that is very near and dear to my heart and I am so blessed to be on the board.  And while our key theme this year is a sporting one (focusing on issues in the locker room and beyond) it will deal with the same truths we all care so much about, bullying and living as our authentic selves.  I’m looking forward to another highly successful conference this March.

The website still contains information from 2012, but it should be updated shortly with information on our keynote and registration for 2013:  http://www.usask.ca/education/breaking-the-silence/

Grey skies are gonna clear up, put on a happy face...

Things are looking up! 🙂 The view from my front walk.

And join me tomorrow as we take a look at my “daily routine” in another exciting photo a day challenge post:

photo a day challenge for january

Favourite: on collecting art

I spent a lot of my time through the morning and afternoon thinking about what I could share for “favourite”.  After all, there are so many ways a person could go with such an open ended photography challenge.  I thought about it while brushing my teeth, while running errands, while watering the plants…  It wasn’t until it was almost time to pick up the girl from kindergarten that I settled on my subject matter.  I would share my favourite piece of art.

I’m an art collector.  I love original art.  Due to lack of funds I often have to be creative to feed this particular passion.  Trading and bartering are wonderful things – and something I encourage even in my own line of work.  As a photographer I’m happy to trade time and skill with other artists and craftspeople.

My collection includes work by local talent, and those across the globe from me.  It includes digital works as well as more traditional pieces.  I’ll admit to the inclusion of a print as well – it’s an Emily Carr, and as much as it would thrill my soul to have an original of hers, purchasing one would put us out on the street…  where it’s especially difficult a collection.

And through all this variance, and all this beauty?  My current favourite piece of art is hanging on my fridge:

my fridge

An untitled, four part piece, in ink, glitter, and stickers on construction paper by Lily-Ann Smith and her Uncle, Wilson Yandt:

princesses, puppies, fairies, and a look into the ocean depths.

One of my favourite memories from our first month in this house was watching the two of them sitting at her art station shortly after my brother had moved in.  I loved listening to the back and forth, the love and genuine sharing.  It filled my heart in a huge way.  And I think what they created together is beautiful.  It is bright, vibrant and full of goodness.  There is a real possibility it may end up in a frame before the Winter is out.  I think it would break my heart if anything were to happen to it, so while it’s on the fridge now, I think it will be much safer behind glass.

Tomorrows challenge will be much easier.  😉

photo a day challenge for january

Looking Back

There are times when everything is so chaotic in our lives that it can be easy to idealize the way things used to be.  Of course, the truth is people’s lives were full back then too…  but it is nice to envision a fairy tale simplicity; the not-quite-accurate bygone days.  There are times though, when you stand still long enough to realize our lives really aren’t that much different.  Our values are the same, as are our priorities.  Okay, so that may not be true for all people, but it is for us.  Family comes first.  And we do everything we can to give Kid Kid as amazing and rich a childhood as we can.  The holidays just tend to put the focus there, even for those who normally are too busy living to really notice.

an aged black and white photograph, digitally enhanced to appear so, of the girl with Santa.

A quiet moment with Santa.

Remember the Children

Tonight hold your little ones close, and remember the beautiful lives cut short.  Light candles, spell cast, pray, whatever you feel comfortable doing.  My heart breaks for the families involved, who can no longer hold their children.

These are the names you should remember:

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel Davino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dawn Hocksprung, 47
Madeline Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Russeau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6

Alive.

Quiet like the dawn crashing upon the rocky shore of darkness.

Full of noise, full of life.  A roar of silence.

Too loud to speak.

Self-aware.

In all things I am.

I exist.  Sentient.

Feeling, knowing, being.  Thunderous.  Mute.

Heaving towards stillness, the permanent precipice, the denouement.

Beauty in knowing acceptance.  Birthing terminus.

The rocky shore of darkness as the light creeps quietly away.

Waiting to be reborn.

Me, spewing my bad poetry on an unsuspecting readership.  😉  It had to be done.  Sorry all.  Just one of those days/nights.

Hot Water Heater Blues

We took possession of our new place on November 10th.  November 15th we handed over the keys to our old place.  November 21st our hot water heater spews water on the floor.  Yep.

So, we kinda figured, after trying our first bath here, that we’d need to be looking at replacing the hot water system here.  If your heater can’t produce enough hot water to get the tub to your five year old’s belly button?  It’s a good sign it’s not working well.  But yeah…  todays epic adventure (complete with cat stranded on top of the washing machine terrified and mewing loud enough for the whole neighbourhood to hear as the water crept closer, and in the end trapping her in the laundry room) kinda synched things.

This is not fun.  We need to find an eco-friendly professional who understands the need to balance a desire to be as green as possible with a practical need to stick to a budget.  Someone who can help us figure out the best system for our family, which may well include multiple options working together to create a system friendly to both our Earth and our pocketbook.  I’m not looking forward to having to find said professional in a hurry.  This is definitely the kind of search I’d like to take my time with…  but I suppose that’s the way it goes.

Here, something fun.  Go make food in jars:  http://www.bystephanielynn.com/2011/07/50-different-foods-you-can-put-in-jar.html  ‘Cause mason jars make everything look cuter and taste better.  🙂

Remember Me???

Hey!  Remember me?

Yeah, it’s been a while.  I know.  Things have been a little crazy hectic here.  But we finally got everything moved out of the old house and into our new home (and the garage and shed).  No, we aren’t actually unpacked yet…  but I’m making slow progress.

We have our computer/crafting nook set up.  Which, let’s face it, is of prime importance in this family – and I’d suspect many more others than will admit to it.  The girl has already been busy at work both on the computer and sitting at her own little craft station, making all sorts of things.

The girl’s bedroom is MOSTLY set up.  For now her mattress is on the floor and she does have some boxes still that need unpacking.  She has usable space though, and her clothes are all accessible in her closet.  So I’m happy with where we’re at there (for now).

We moved in our little antique “three bears” kitchen table and chairs yesterday so finally got to use them.  If you remember way back when, I blogged about them when we first bought them.  🙂  They’re super cute, but I’ll be honest…  while their style fit in perfectly at our old place?  They don’t match quite as well here.  So I’m open for suggestions on how to paint/stain/refinish them to help them blend a little better in a European kitchen.

Our bedroom is partially put together.  Still a long way to go in here…  but we have a bed, a closet, and a tv (as well as a butt load of boxes).  I know it will come together yet, but yeah.  Our room isn’t exactly the priority.

The bathroom requires some work…  new tub, new vanity, new counter top, new light fixture(s), new floor.  Honestly?  I think the only things I’m okay with keeping are the toilet and the sink.  So we’ve definitely got our work cut out for us in there.

So yeah…  exhausted.  But I am slowly putting things together.

Damon had taken the last two weeks off to help pack up the old place, move, and get started on the unpacking.  Today was his first day back at work.  It feels kinda odd not having him around.  I’d gotten used to it.

Today was also the first day I used my new key fob for our alarm system.  I’ve never had an alarm system, so it does take some getting used to.  Gotta get in the habit of pushing those buttons when I’m supposed to.  LOL

Today the girl had her school photo retakes too.  And yes, I’m sure this one will turn out MUCH better.  She was just too darn busy playing with her friends in line to want to bother with the picture last time.  Where today it was just her in the room, so it went much easier.

Further, today marks the International Day of Remembrance.  A couple years ago I had organized a candlelight vigil down at the memorial bandshell beside the North Saskatchewan River.  This year I’ll mark it quietly at home with my family.  And I do ask that those of you who aren’t doing something en mass do the same.  Just take a moment to remember all those amazing people who lost their lives simply for having the courage to live authentically.  It is simply not right that so very many *trans women and men are murdered EVERY YEAR for being themselves.  It is so beyond a time for change.  Some Women have penises, and some Men have a vagina – get over it.  People should not have to die because they don’t fit into some other persons idea of what “man” or “woman” means.  My *trans sisters and brothers are incredible, strong, brave, compassionate individuals and they should not have to fear for their safety every time they leave their homes.  So yes, if you do nothing else, take a few minutes out of your day to remember the many, many men and women who have been brutally murdered for the crime of being who they genuinely are.

Leaving Home

The big move is only four sleeps away.  The girl says she’s excited about it, and I believe her…  but I know she’s feeling some anxiety too – even if it’s below the surface.  The way she’s cuddling in extra tight at night, and has been keeping me awake (even though she’s fast asleep herself) the last few nights tells a very clear story.

We are all excited…  but it’s tough to leave your home behind.  For the girl, this is the only home she’s ever known.  For us “grown ups”, it’s the longest either one of us has ever lived in one place.  Nine and a half years isn’t so easy a thing to shrug off.

All the anxiety and stress though?  I have a feeling it will melt away once we walk in the front door of our new house.  After all, we wouldn’t have chosen it if it hadn’t felt like home the minute we had walked in the first time we viewed it.  And it did.  It really did.  So I know we’re leaving behind a home we love, but we’re gaining a home that I think we’ll come to love even more.  🙂

The Chihuahua Avengers – 5 Weeks Old

Our Avengers litter has made it to their fifth weekirthday.  That’s right!  The boys are five weeks old today.  😀

I’d had grand plans about taking proper stacked photos to mark the occasion…  they are looking SOOO nice.  Really great angles on them, strong rears, nice fronts, wonderful toplines.  I wanted to show them off a wee bit.  But yeah…  grand plans.  LOL  The fact of the matter is we are five sleeps away from moving house – and well, there are other things that had to take priority.  I did, however, take them for their very first outing.

I haven’t bought the boys their own carry bag yet.  Roo, Marnie, and Alice each have their own….   but we figured Alice probably wouldn’t mind sharing, at least for a little while.  So I popped them all into her travel bag, and brought them to school with me when I picked up the girl.  We made sure most of the kids had already cleared out, and we opened the bag for all the teachers to see.  They got held, smooshed, and generally just totally loved upon.  It was a really great experience.  The boys all handled themselves really well.  There were some nerves, but for the most part they did fabulously!

While Damon was busy packing, I had the girl give me a hand taking some photos of the boys.  Yeah, they’re just the same old iPhone pictures I always take of them, but they will have to do until we get settled in the new place.

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We also thought y’all might enjoy seeing the boys in action, so we nabbed a couple of videos of the boys wrestling:

For video #2 click here:  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151099592627353

We have for sure homes lined up for a couple of the boys, but we are still looking for one more forever family.  So, if you’re interested, drop me a line!  You can meet their parents, Roo and Sweets, at http://sidhe.tobi-dawne.com/Welcome.html  At this point both show prospect and pet homes are being considered – so drop me a line if you’d like to be on our list.  🙂  My address for handling and puppy inquiries is at the Sidhe Dogs website.

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