Monday, December 29, 2008

an interview on my reaction to the sharp knife denial

"Smart mama how do you feel about this judgement from your parents?"
I am not so sure the rejection was really about the knives per say, so much as the fear that I would be overcome by the power of such amazing new knives and they would inspire me to take on some other extravagantly huge project, like wedding catering, in my already busy life. For those of you who didn't know me when I did a season of this once, not by any intention of mine at all.I had a full time faculty position at a college teaching, but Ii would get these imploring phone calls- how to say no?(Let me caveat- People accuse me of not being able to say no- this is not true I am actually good at saying no,I can go to a home based business jewelry-kitchen tool-make-up- muklti-level marketing party and walk out empty handed, but when it comes to something creative, or a new challenge that's where I have a problem) In fact it got to the point that my husband would answer the phone and tell people who called inquiring that I was really a college instructor and I was not catering anymore!). Really I think it was a case of them being too afraid to add one more thing to my life, even though it was only kitchen tools.
My parents have been know to sometimes skip steps in terms of the logic of their explanations, like the time I was in high school and getting something out of the hall closet and the popcorn popper fell down. It started my dad on a seriously concerned discussion that maybe I shouldn't drive yet because I had not sufficiently developed the ability to foresee and prevent accidents (this story lives on in infamy in our family lore).
"Do you really think you can care for the said knives in a manner necessary?"
I like to think so. While I am a firm believer in letting my dishwasher reach the full measure of it's creation. The power of these knives to cut anything as though it were butter does engender a deep respect and as well as proper care and handling. I could rinse and dry a knife, I think...
"How do you respond to the statement about your children and the knives?"
I do not take this as a slight to my parenting. Those of you who know my crew know I do have a very independent 3 year old who has helped himself to sharp knives, by way of kitchen stools, on numerous occasions in attempts to cut cheese and fruit for himself. Although we know dull knives can actually be more dangerous, the calphalon katana knives could easily sever limbs in a single action. I actually like to think of myself as very attentive mother. I spend most of my day playing with and facilitating wholesome activities for my children, who have little to no TV time (the result of way too many hours of lectures on child development). While I may take my eyes of my children for brief moments like a 30 second bathroom room- 1x a day- Ii have perfected the camel's art. I can accept that in those scarce moments glasses can be flushed down toilets, cake servings procured by way of a lacrosse stick and other such unfortunate events.
Maybe this fear is simply explained by the fact that I have 3 energetic and creative boys whereas I was one of two well mannered little girls which we know create very different domestic animals.
"What did your parents do to make up for this?"
They requested picking up the tab from my recent bedroom redux as an alternative gift. After all sleep is something they can support wholeheartedly for me. In fact they implore me quite regularly to get more sleep. Maybe there was a moral component to it, buying something that might encourage my creative habits would be like supporting the diamond trade.
"How did you parents feel about this post?"
They have yet to know it is posted.
I told my mother as I wrote the post. She laughed then whacked me on the shoulder (insert strong laughter here if you know my mother) and threatened me that Ii should not post such slander about her on the Internet. She said she would rebut with comments saying I did not tell the full story. I reminded her I had full comment delete power.
My father, I told him about my intentions to post as we were buying him a pair of charcoal Perry Ellis wrinkle- release pants at Macy's. He immediately defended himself saying he had been bidding for them for me on ebay but without success (remember I come from thrifty practical stock). He also said he was looking into other knives that required less maintenance that he thought would be fitting for my life. I told him in earnest I desired the knives and he said he'd check his stash in the closet because he had some extras (Whhaattt??) and he might give me, ONE!
my mother just threatened that she would not help me wean my baby if I dared to post my story- can you believe the emotionally controlling behaviors? she accused me of being opportunistic and exploiting the situation in the name of good blogging...me, never!
1. parents who help with the kids 2. creamsicle smoothies 3. playing football in shirtsleeves

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm not mature enough for a sharp knives

My parents asked what I wanted for Christmas so I told them a set of Calphalon Katana knives. My mom got these for Christmas a few years ago and my sister got them last year, so I knew these were an acceptable Christmas list request. A few weeks ago, my mom called me back and said she and my dad had discussed it and they were rejecting my request. They said they did not feel I could manage the proper knife maintainence at this time in my life. Seriously, this conversation took place.

"Your life is very busy...Do you have time to wash and dry each knife immediately after use? If not they will rust." they implored.

"Well, I would try," I promised.

"Well, we just you're too busy right now. You have so much going on. We just don't think you have time for them right now. And they are very sharp and we are too afraid your children might get into them."

So I am left to slave away with my dull J.A. Henkels knives I got as a wedding gift, until I can demonstrate my ability to make that kind of knife commitment. No slicing and dicing with the big boys and girls... I am stuck at jr sous chef.

1. sharp knives 2. parents who make me laugh 3. homemade fudge

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Want to watch a movie?

"Want to watch a movie?" I ask my husband.

"Sure, are you going to stay awake?"

"I don't know, I'll try," I reply jokingly. My favorite way to spend a vacation evening in lounging against my husband, curled up under warm blankets, watching a good movie. This is the scene that replays almost nightly on vacation. It's my before bed ritual.

I rarely make it through the movie though. I usually fall asleep about 15 minutes in and awaken a 1/2 an hour later and trudge groggily to bed, while my husband finishes the movie. sometimes I wake back up and watch the rest but the remaining chunk of the movie is peppered with questions to my husband like "So wait who is that?" or "Wait I am confused what is going on?". Suffice it to say my movie recall is often sketchy and i sometimes add sequences from my sleep-dream state.

The trouble with movies before bed is it leaves you in a certain mood. Like a few nights ago we watched Exodus with Paul Newman about the partition of Israel and Palestine. The next movie on TMC was Yentl and I told my husband we could stay up really late and watch it and celebrate our Jewish heritage, but then I remembered we didn't have Jewish heritage (except for an uncle by marriage) so it would be best if we went to bed instead. Trouble was though after exodus, I was afraid some militants were watching me through my parents sun room windows and I lay in bed wondering if the someone was going to put a homemade dynamite bomb somewhere in the house or if we should load the kids on our backs and carry them to a secure location. Again in my sleepy state I had to remind myself - I was not in British occupied Israel/Palestine and I should just roll over and go to sleep.

1. movie nights 2. thinking about other times and places 3. safety

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the fruits of my midnight hour labors

Still tweaking design and layout issues and still uploading more pieces, but in case you wanted to see my new website-- here you go...www.lesliegraff.com. You can peruse the galleries by clicking on portfolio then select a collection and play slideshow.

It's funny how you can spend hours on a project and in the end it feels so insignificant.It's actuallly kind of disheartening. Seeing my paintings as tny thumbnails they feel so puny and the collections feel kind of sparse. I try to remind myself most of them represent about 5-10 hours of time!

1.my grandpa's fudge 2. simplifying 3.a baby knocking off early

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Am I really that old?


When I look in the mirror I don't feel old enough to have a half grown son, but somehow I am. Today was my oldest son's baptism. Turning 8 just feels like a huge milestone. I am no longer just a mother of small children. We now enter the "scout stage" (just never ask me to wear the yellow shirt- please?!?).

Anyway, the day was great. The night before was not. There were program snaffus, jumpsuit issues, a baby who refused to go to bed. A mother who could be heard saying "You will all endure the wrath of the little red hen!" as she slaved over the specially requested lemon pound cake, the perfectly tinted fondant CTR, the simmering homemade sauce, 4 batches of breadsticks, chicken and rice casserole and other sundry things. While I wish I could just be the buy it all at Costco type, I can't there is something in my genetic code that prevents it. I must say doing a "destination baptism", one not in your locale, also adds to the the logistical trickery.
I am still very sleep deprived and recovering from our traumatic, torturous drive down. Yes the fiercesome snow storm that ravaged New England, we drove through that. It felt ominous and eerie as we drove into the sqwall. I wanted to call all my friends and warn them- its coming it's really coming. We prayed we'd stay on the road and not be one of the dozens off in ditches, or crashed against guardrails or pulled over because our inspection was 3 mo overdue (yep just noticed that). Try 4 hours getting through the state of Connecticut alone at a screaming 10-15 mph pace, skidding and correcting almost the whole way. I was reviewing our will, and the bequething of my possesions (my plan if i die young is to line things up on tables at the church and let me friends have at them) in my head the entire way and was a seriously nervous nellie front seat driver.

(Let this also serve as a reminder to any of you planning on concieving- Christmas is not a good time to have a baby. While it has it's advantages, it just loads the plate at an already full season. I, in my desires to not slight my dear first born, december babe usually wind up doing 3x as much there was the cake on the actual day (a coffee cake as requested) the pound cake for today then there will be the birthday party cake when smartmam will be required to break out her mean fondant skills and craft something exotic like last years R2D2- but I digress)

It really was a beautiful day. So nice to be with family and friends- there were adults there who i once babysit, adults who i was there young women's leaders (see getting old- more clues). An important ritual to celebrate my loving, good son. We were so proud of him for completeing his goal of reading the entire book of mormon himself- every single verse all 531 pages and marking as he went. When my husband suggested we propose the goal I thought it kind of intense and a first was not sure I was on board. 531 pages of scripture for a 7 year old? He assured me it was possible, that he had been challenged to do it by his dad ad did it. So I take this to be a lesson in parenting. Set high goals because your kids can reach them.

1. an amazing committed son 2. a powerful blessing 3. family and friends

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Painting of the Day- moment of grief

Funny story about this piece. I started it, and hated it- it was seriously ugly, wretched, not working (it looked totally different then). I put it up on my shelf and whined to my husband about how it wasn't working. A few days later I decided to take it in a new direction and paint over essentially everything. I asked my husband to get down "THE ugly painting" from the shelf for me. He looked very nervous and asked me to clarify. So honey you think alot of the paintings on the shelf are ugly ? HUH?


Acrylic on Canvas, 18"x24"
1.projects getting done 2. clean playroom 3.a wrapping husband

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Cupcake Ideas

The annual small town Christmas festival = smart mama making Christmas cupcakes for the cake walk. Little trolley's carry you around to all the local establishments- orchards, farms, candy factory, churches, the school each is filled with festivities- oh to live in new england (now if we could just warm it up a few dozen degrees). Here are some ideas if you are doing holiday baking.
If you want come join me on Segullah today, where I talk about the importance of ugly Christmas tree ornaments. While you're there catch Shelah's previous post on writing a great Christmas letter and Jennie's great post "For Zion must increase in beauty..." -- a guaranteed laugh.

1.waking up (after a bad dream) 2. no school 3. a few paintings completed

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Deprivation=Desire

Okay so I am a bit bed obsessed these days. I have been tired, really tired (remember that seminary teaching gig I have got and that baby that gets up 4x a night!) all this has yielded a fixation with sleep. I have bedroom on the brain. So what is on my Christmas list this year? The ultimate sleep inducing bedroom. (You may remember I like Christmas gift themes--last year's theme was floor care: 2 vacuums and a steam mop).

Yes, me, a dream, the credit card, and overstock.com make a lovely combination.
Down pillows- check
Extra warm, oversize, 700 power fill Siberian white down comforters- check
Perfectly hotelly crisp new duvet and shams-check.

I decided to take a new approach to decorating... starting from scratch...building a room from the bottom up. Channelling in the vision of what my dream bedroom looks like and adding the ingredients.

oh and did I mention faux fur blankets?

Totally essential component for luxurious relaxation in my "dream bedroom". I have a thing for texture. (You too can score some right now at Christmas tree shops for 19.99 (deal) or you can really shell it out at William-Sonoma or PB).

A few items I already had: my white noise machine (homedics sound spa a must!) because I like the sounds of rain or thunder when I nap (it drowns out my kids), my Saarinen inspired table, dim able lights, Bose wave radio (got some hookups there), a gigantic mirror (because I hate shrimpy partial view mirrors which either cut off your head or your shoes-- ick), and some seriously high thread count sheets.

So I am counting down the days until I will be basking in fresh pillow frost. Until then sweet dreams.

1.progress 2.new paintings 3.sweet boys

Monday, December 08, 2008

Did you hear the Hallelujah shouts?

Hope shines brightly here on two fronts. Yes, choirs of angels can be heard singing. The first...they just called a seminary co-teacher for me. Don't get me wrong I love teaching-- really I was born to teach. But it is the early am hour that kicks me to the curb- well that and my babies penchant for 4 wakings between 12 midnight and 5:30, my husband's employer sending him on errands across the country in the name of creating great Bose products, my currently slightly overloaded life, and a plethora of microbes thrown in every week or so to bring some ailment of croup or fever or vomit to my house. The every day thing was literally mowing me into the ground. Now I will only live extreme sleep deprivation 50% of the time.

The second reason for hope-- I am currently buoyed up with reinforcements (the illustrious SUPER Sherry is here). She is subjected to my tireless broken record recording which says, "I'm really, really, really tired" (one of my famous lines from childhood) she also gets this line, "Do you mind taking the boys, I just need to lay down for a few minutes." All I can say is smartmama is actually getting sleep (could it be a 2 hr nap?), crossing a few things off the to-do list, the house is running like a well oiled machine (no thanks to my doing) and my children are happy as larks (again no credit to me)
1. Brother N. 2. painting again 3. eye appt alone~

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Thanksgiving truths

(11 days in Utah and Nevada)...
1. My boys love Foosball and ping pong
2. The new bridge being built over Hoover Dam is so freaky- scary -high I hope to never drive across it.
3. The red dirt of Saint George can occupy my kids for HOURS.
4. My baby loves the fountains at the Bellagio.
5. I never knew there were so many varieties of cacti (many neat new plant shapes to inspire paintings).
6. The best friends are the ones you don't see for years, yet everything picks up seamlessly despite the passage of time.
7. Time with family is always valuable.
8. My 3 year old has no fear on the windy hiking trails at Zion's
9. My seven year old loves taking pictures but needs to learn more flattering camera angles when shooting mom.
10. 11 days of eating at Toto's (in Lv - rocking cheese enchiladas and carnitas), in-n-out burgers and milkshakes, cafe rio salads, sonic limeades and onions rings, and a few trips for frozen custard will yield a +3 increase when I step on the scale.
11. A red eye with 3 kids in the last row of the plane yields sleep for them and not for me.
12. au bon pain at the airport makes killer cranberry macaroons dipped in chocolate.
13. My baby does not like the St George Temple Visitor Center.
14. The Philadelphia Airport has very cool art- love love love their sculpture displays!!
15. About all sorts of dinosaur tracks- gallator tracks, swim tracks anyone?
16. One promised round of on star wars vintage pinball machine can cause tears.
17. I still love city lights at night.
18. Tuacahn, live nativity, is colder than New England, and also where Elder Holland hangs out.
19. Red rocks are beautiful.
20. I need a down comforter.
21. I like hot tubs better than luke-warmish pools.
22. Indoor/outdoor pools amuse all children.
23. Parenting efforts can pay off.
24. Don't pass up free cookies.
25. My husband doesn't want to spend money on expensive chocolates.
26. Edward Herrmann, best known for playing Rory's grandfather, on Gilmore Girls, flies coach USAir with his family and also spent the holidays in Las Vegas.
27. No pets are allowed on top of hoover dam.
28. Cafe Rio workers can rival Tom Cruise's showmanship in cocktail while making a salad (I only recieved this special show- I guess I have the non-native utahn look about me)
29. A trip this long= much laundry.
30. Showers with 5 spraying heads rock (no wonder they always have droughts here!
31. I have way too many pictures to post.
1. catching up 2. getting naps 3. a mom to help out

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Piece of the Day- Attracted

Yes I am finally home from thanksgiving vacation and seriously swamped. That is swamped with a capital S. To pass the posts until I have time to write- I leave you another new painting.
1. fridge now full 2. online shopping 3. teaching

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Piece of the Day

In all my lack of time, I'm trying to kick out some new paintings. This new series kind of merges the feeling between my TS gardens and chain garden paintings. Here is the first in the series- 30x40". (yes my vacation filler is posting new pieces)
1.swimming 2. lemon pie 3.cousins

Thursday, November 27, 2008

one year

One year ago I was in the hospital tucked under warm white blankets giving birth to my baby boy. My pregnancy was complicated at the end(well actually all the way through but really at the end). Every night I would wake up, waiting to feel him to kick, to know he was still alive. Every few days returning to the hospital for ultrasounds and test to be sure he was still well. Sitting at my computer at 2 am every night, reading articles, weighing out the risks. After ardous weeks of postponing delivery to allow more time for his lungs to mature, each day weighing life. His day arrived, a joyous birth and exultant relief to have a healthy baby boy only to discover to everyone's surprise that he had a very large blood clot occluding the portal vein in his liver. Tears, blessings, many prayers, weeks in the NICU, carefully mixing doses and injecting his little arms and legs day and night, all of my hopes for him hanging on a resolution.

He stands one year old today- a testament of God's miracles, my thanksgiving. Happy birthday baby!

thanksgiving dream

I wake up, full refreshed, and put on cozy clothes play a great morning game of flag (okay never mind tackle- I like to plow people down) football with my friends (kind of like they do in glossy magazine ads and preppy commercials). The air is crisp and cool and refreshing. Just enough of a fun game to work up a good appetite. We take turns on the sidelines looking ever so chicly casual in our colorful scarfs and muddied grass stained pants and vintage college shirts sipping hot chocolate heavy on the marshmallows. Then I shower and change into perfect jeans and a cozy sweater. My crowd of favorite friends and family feast on a delicious meal (which is made exactly the way I like it- a well seasoned bird, stuffing with mushrooms, hand mashed yukon gold potatoes, bruleed sweet potatoes, homemade dripping gravy, fresh baked rolls, black olives, peas with pearl onions, cranberry jello and my friend Jennifer's pies-- all this without my slaving or dish doing on my part) Then everyone snuggles up in front of a cozy fire on comfy couches in warm socks and talks and laughs late into the night and of course eats lots more pie. While children play quietly and peacefully.

Thanksgiving is never quite like my dream that but still I am thankful for all that I have!
1. family 2. security 3. blessings too numerous to count

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Piece of the Day- Diligence

A new painting 18x24", a cousin of the piece entitled compassion (the orange one). Playing with the branch, the patterns, colors, emotions.
1. internet access again 2. down comforters 3. good mexican food

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Painting of the Day- Burning Bush

Here is the lesson in "always have your sketchbook handy". A few weeks ago I went to the temple with some of my New England blogging lady friends. When we arrived my baby was asleep, so I stayed int he car with him. I didn't even think to bring a book to read (even though I have 3 unread on my nightstand) or my seminary lessons to plan (although I did read someons scriptures in the back of the lewis-mobile). I did however have my trusty sketchbook. This painting came to me as I looked at the bushes lining the sideway at the Boston Temple- it's not done yet, but I love the red leaves.
1. thoughts of resteraunts 2. getting corn on sale 3. helping neighbors

Monday, November 17, 2008

support your local gunfighter

I posted my first post on Segullah today. I have been thinking about it for a few weeks, mulling a couple ideas, but at the last minute got totally nervous and came down with a terrible case of writers block. (It's just a blog post for goodness sake- what a silly I am.) So if you feel inclined to bring me some blogging chicken soup, pop on over and show me your love today. Make the new girl feel special and not so nervous Nelly. Anyway, here's one of my new pieces I've been working on it's entitled compassion.
1. meaning from writing 2. a great husband 3. "earn a party" clean up game

Sunday, November 16, 2008

a delicious weekend in the city that never sleeps

So I returned from New York last night... the city still on my mind. I left still wanting to walk around the balmy 60 degree streets at all hours of the day and night, showtunes still echoing in my ears, my mouth still craving more meals of exotic foods, and lingering thoughts of the MoMA.
We drove down Friday morning, past the stunning Manhattan temple and checked into our Times Square hotel where my children promptly devoured the Godiva chocolates waiting for us. We then set out for Turkish food, feasting up kebabs, pita, and pilaf and my children's a favorite Gazoz soda and cherry juice in an outdoor courtyard. We walked on to the MoMA. It was fun to see my 7 yo old walk into a room and know a Chagall, a Picasso, a Mondrian, a Rousseau, on sight. My 3 year old was entranced with the sculptures and astounded patrons as he stood at the windows noticing every detail of color and design that passed in the city below. It was exciting to watch as he stood before pieces and traced the movement of the shapes and patterns in the air. My baby on the other hand was overtired and forced me to rush through the gorgeous Van Gogh exhibit. I have seen many Van Gogh's in person, but truly this show was breathtaking. The Boccioni and Klimt pieces also begged me as to stay but alas, my children's rambunctious feet beckoned us to leave. I begged off 5 covetous minutes in the museum store and then we walked back through the gently foggy evening air passing down and across so many landmark buildings and streets. We stopped for a wooden subway car to add to the train collection and jamba juice (my boys new love- we new englanders don't get much in the way of restaurants).
At the hotel, my boys tumbled into their jammies and crawled on the pillowy hotel beds as I got ready for my gala event. All glammed up I walked the few blocks through time square to the theater where it was held. Nothing like being all dressed up and walking through the NY city crowds.
The fundraiser was fabulous. Delectable food and I love a great open bar even if it means I just have variations of every juice soda known to man and garnished with a variety of drink accessories: sprite with a cherry, fresh grapefruit juice, half gingerale half cranberry with a lime twist. Fabulous performances by a couple who have performed in numerous Broadway shows. Great presentations and awards from the VBF. Always a treat to meet up with such a great team of people I have worked with over the last 4 years. Did I say great auction items. I only left 550$ lighter than I arrived? (good deals I promise) ohh and I ran into Daniel Radcliffe exiting the theater as I passed by on my way to the hotel (celebrity sightings always add to the NY experience)
Saturday I taxied off to Beth Israel for the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Conference. (I am the developmental expert for the VBF) A morning of great presentations, by the world experts, if only all medical professionals had this important knowledge. I did 4 hours of psycho-social support counseling with families. These families have often been through so much whether it be trying to find the right diagnosis and treatment for their child or trying to cope with the stares and comments they are constantly bombarding with when having a child with a visible difference. I love being able to use my professional skills in this way. I gain and learn so much from these families and individuals. Truly a reminder of all that is precious and good and where our beauty and strength truly lies. After the conference, I then raced back to the hotel to greet my boys. Smart daddy-o had taken them out for breakfast and a day at the Natural History Museum. We all walked down to Hell's Kitchen to sit upon pillows and feast upon Moroccan tagines, before leaving the city. Finally we retrieved the car and drove 3 very tired boys home. There's the weekend update!

1. NYC 2. VBF 3. beauty in so many forms

Thursday, November 13, 2008

so it was like one of those dreams...

where you show up and realize school is starting and you don't know where to go. But this time it is real life and it goes something like this... T-20 hours to big New York Gala and I look around and realize.
1. My skin is pasty- late New England fall to be precise- "ages since I've seen the sun" white
2. My toes need to be painted - they will be seen but NY society peeking out from under my dress.
3. I still haven't decided which jewelry to wear.
4. I still haven't decided what to do with my hair.
5. My nails need to be filed.
6. My eyebrows could really stand some attention.
7. My legs need to make peace with a razor.

Then there is the matter of the yet-to-be-packed suitcase.
Today started badly...actually I can't really remember when today started in between the many croupy night wakings of my baby, then I rolled out of bed to teach, then it was getting the world in motion, I literally begged for Heavenly Mercy (multiple times throughout the morning) in the form of a nap. After hours of unsuccessfully trying to get my tired baby to sleep- I went for the last resort- a car ride. We drove for 25 min -- no luck- so after McD's oj and hashbrowns and a car ride home. I kept feeling like my body was going to into screen saver mode I finally got him down. I conned SS#2 into sitting by me on my bed. Finally- sleep. Well for 15 minutes until ss#1 pounded on the door- half day today- and our every loving and concerned bus driver will not drive off till I show my face at the door. Then the fussy one awoke again and I was on homework patrol and making dinner for myself (one handed- baby in other arm trying to grab the water chestnuts I was slicing) and my neighbors (o the spirit prompts to often crazy actions).

maybe this is all just a bad dream too- we'll see in the morning...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cupcake Class: Sea Creatures

Tutorial: How to Make Sea Creature Cupcakes (jellyfish, octopus, goldfish, starfish).

1. Frost cupcakes with blue frosting.
2. Sprinkle with confetti sprinkles

for octopus: Roll out pink laffy taffy and shape into head. Place 8 pink sour spaghetti pieces on for tentacles. Add frosting eyes.

for starfish: Roll out yellow laffy taffy. Cut into a star shape. Add eyes. Add sour spaghetti for seaweed.

for goldfish: Use gummy crabby patty pieces cut notches to make into fish shape. add icing eyes.

for jellyfish: roll out purple laffy taffy shape into head and cut tentacles. add icing eyes.

Use blue sour spaghetti pieces for decoration.

Monday, November 10, 2008

on the death to my gorgeous mid century red plate

My husband a phone call the other day first reminding to open enrollment benefits at work and secondly to remind him that beautiful glass objects that your wife adores should not be put on a shelf 18 inches from the floor where your toddler son can huck it like a frisbee across the dining room shattering your design visions in a single shattering crack and 2 trillion tiny pieces.

daddy owes me...

(Update: Debt repaid with the purchase of one 40x60"- 1960's MCM mirror-saved by craiglist)

1. hair fun 2. napping kids 3. a lesson with help

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Andy Warhol spoke to me in my dream...

and told me I don't look like a real artist. My hair is not asymmetrical, funky colored, or especially textury. My clothing and accessories pretty simple, straight forward. Usually dressing up means a clean black skirt (I am talking about cut, not fabric because there is usually something smeared on me). Dressing down jeans and sweater (I will here profess my detestation of tennis shoes if that counts for anything-- uglier than sin-- and unless I am running distance or playing a hard core sport I will not wear them- but I digress) Suffice it to say I am not exotic. Smart mama is not bangly, wild, eccentric. I look too...I don't know... normal.
Then Andy got on my case about my personality. He took me on a journey through dreamland to view the lives of artists. You know those who exude interesting artiness, to the point that you kind of consider them a special subspecies because they think and act very differently than you or I. It became obvious to me that I lack the artist "weirdness", okay PC that, the "passionate flair and flamboyance." I don't go by a mono name, nor am I named after anything organic, and no, no obscure literary figure either. I don't live in a uber-chic loft, and hang with an crowd of "interesting characters" (no slight to you my peeps). You know what I am talking about: scarf wearing poets, bald tortured playwrights, a hippie women getting PhDs studying tribes and funky anthropological stuff, struggling actors, soulful gig playing musicians, and others tortured by arts and passions.

Truth be told I am more of a weird artist than I like to admit-- I think constantly in a stream of images I try to mentally "tune them in"-- think like a radio station with static only in picture form. I scribble them in sketchbooks and hope at the end of the day when the laundry is done I'll remember enough and have some shred of energy remaining to recreate them in paint. If you ever wonder why artists seem spacey and distractable- this is why...

Maybe I am failing to nurture my artist mystique? If I seem more like an artist will people respect my art more? Or the better question...will they pay more?? (smart mama laughing). Is this an expectation is it part of artist PR and spin? For now I guess I am stuck playing up the enigma angle-- she looks like just a normal mom but is really a crazy artist.

Cupcake Class: Sock Monkeys

How to make sock monkey cupcakes:

1. Frost cupcake with chocolate frosting.

2. Place a chocolate covered graham cracker on top

3. Twist open a golden Oreo open one, snap in half.

4. Attach the frosted open half, for mouth region, with a bit of frosting.

5. Place red mike and ike or hot tamale on for mouth.

6. Attach half of on frosted Golden Oreo for the top of the head with a bit of frosting.

7. Cut to Harbio black licorice wheels. In half, use chocolate frosting to attach as ears.

6. Use mini Junior mints or M&Ms as eyes.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Cupcake Class:Space Edition

If you are looking for Outer Space themed Cakes. Here are tutorials for constellation, alien, planet, and UFO cupcakes. You can also see my rocket and earth cakes and rocket cupcakes.

How to Make Constellation Cupcakes:
1. Frost cupcake in Blue frosting.
2. Roll out yellow laffy taffy.
3. Cut out with tiny star cutters (Wilton)
4. Add sprinkles.

Aliens Cupcakes (idea from Hello, Cupcake)
modified due to my jumbo donut holes...

How to make UFO Cupcakes
1. Frost cupcake in Blue.
2. Sprinkle edge with confetti sprinkles.
3. Place zebra cake on top.
4. slice donut hole in half.
5. frost 1/2 in blur frosting fro UFO dome.
6. Roll out green laffy taffy or air head, cut into strip for band.
7. Place dome on top of the UFO.

How to Make planet cupcakes (Not Shown)
1. Frost cupcake in blue.
2. Sprinkle edge with confetti sprinkles.
3. A small slice from each cut side.
4. Separate an oreo (golden or regular) place a bit of frosting on the top and bottom.
5. Place cookie sandwich style between cut donut hole to make a ring.

Disclaimer: We were going to make these planet cupcakes at cupcake class. I had tried it out a few weeks previous. I knew I needed a lot of donut holes so I special ordered them from a grocery store bakery. Well, when the holes were picked up they were huge- Super Jumbo Size. While I appreciate the generosity it adversely affected the aesthetic and balance of this weeks designs and I had to scrap the planet design completely due to the bad proportioning.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Resurrection

I just finished teaching seminary and looked out my window to see this. The sun rising through the fog. Light rolling forward to fill in the spaces through dead barren trees.

1. beauty in my backyard 2. resurrection 3. truth

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Why I need a bikini

I was getting ready to step into the shower and looked in the mirror. Certainly there is work to be done here. I have passed the 9 month post baby grace period. Last week, I had to take measurements for a new dress for my little upcoming gala event in NYC. The tape measure brought to my attention that my waist is a full 5 inches greater in circumference than it was when my husband married me. In case you were wondering no, it's not muscle... it's winter storage (some thing I can live off of if a really bad Nor'Easter hits).
Why can't I seem to get the motivation to exercise? Is it because I like painting or blogging more? Is it because I am weak and lazy? Is it because I can't find the time when someone isn't crawling on me? Or is it I am so dead tired I can hardly form sentences or walk a sobriety line some days? The answer is... all of the above.
The problem is I need a stronger motivator. Surely the motivator of "good health" is so vague and ambiguous. I see it like this... if I work out today does that mean I will like to be 93, 7 months, and 4 days versus 93, 4 months, and 27 days if I don't? See that is just way to far out to matter much. At that point I might be wanting to give up a few extra days. Not enough inspiration to make me break a sweat.
I need something stronger. Hence the bikini, see if I was forced to walk around in public like that, that would be a motivator. Shame, humiliation, public mocking, now there is motivation. Luckily, I though I have the strong religious standard of modesty. So I am left to continue my course, hiding it all under a covering black tankini, sparing the world my six packless abs and still wanting for motivation!
For the record I really don't stress about size and weight, and I really do want to work out- for "my health's sake"
1. a great grandma 2. real dinner 3. joy of voting

What? I've been walking around in 7's?

My husband gave me a few hours of solo shopping time and a stack of Am Ex gift cards for my birthday 6 months ago and today I finally cashed in. I started at Marshall's because I am indeed shamelessly shoportunistic. I piled a cart high with items. The dress room patrol lady's eyes widened as I approached. I explained to her a few sentences at a times as I returned every 10 minutes for a new stack of 8 garments. That I really wasn't sure what size I was or what styles looked good on me any more. After whittling down the cubic yard, I checked out with 2 bags. I proceeded on to express (my $30 off 75$ coupon in hand) with the design of getting a new white shirt. possibly some jeans and some cute sweater vests on sale. After relying on the advice on the 20 something old salesgirl eyeing my backside in various pants, I left with another bag.

I proceeded to fashion show for smart daddy-o. A while back we switched form the "looks nice" "kind of cute" " I guess it 's okay" subjective ambiguity to a strict 1 to 10 rating scale. Engaged in a game of chess I was not getting full attention. We did a preliminary round and then the strong competitors went on for a second round of numerical judging. green shirt ...6... really?... (ok return), chunky grey sweater...8...(keep), new jeans #1...8... (keep), new jeans #2...9...(keep), then just to get a reference of the new clothes to my current closet. I put on the jeans I wore shopping knowing he wouldn't recognize they weren't new...7... (seven is the fence between keep and return)
"What I have been walking around in 7's! Well then I guess it's a good thing I went shopping today isn't it. You told me when i bought these 2 1/2 years ago they looked really good!"
We worked through the rest of the pile.
"humph, So what is a 10?"
"I don't know, I guess I'll tell you if I see it," my husband laughed.
"So this isn't fair, this elusive ten, nothing is a ten then, really is there no ten?" comically jesting my husband that perhaps this ten was elusive due to the body wearing the clothes and not to the actual items themselves??
Really I have only received a 3 a few times for something he thought beastly ugly. A 5 is his way of saying-- NOT GOOD! So I guess next time I'll say on a scale of 3-9.
1. birthday presents redeemed 2. silent shopping 3. bargain candy

Monday, October 27, 2008

friends, followers lend me your ear

I have to laugh at the lingo of our day-today's winner the letter F


First...we will start with Facebook "friends". Now the use of this term is liberally applied (think sunscreen on the beach your first time out of in the summer season). I mean if the dictionary were to define friend in the manner of facebook it would have to include the following entries: a loose acquaintance, someone I send a Christmas Card to, someone who signed my year book "with love you like a sister", someone whose name pops in my brain about every 2 years or so, someone who likes me more than I like them, someone who who I like more than they like me, someone who I know I should remember more but my brain just can't recall, someone I feel social obligations to, or quite possibly a real true, heart and soul friend.

Second the new blogger term...followers. I have yet to switch to the follower set-up. I guess I have to wait a while for them scary jim jonesesque connotation to wear off. The follower word make me think: screaming Beatles groupie or or shady hippies with mystical leanings. This word of power as though the blogger can command a cyber uprising of their followers who hang on their every word.

What words are next.

1. kind service of others 2. prizes for goodness 3. racing thoughts spilling out

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Oh Robert Frost it's not that easy!

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and sorry I could not travel both...

Yes, that is pure recall from my 3 grade coerced poetry memorization. It just popped into my head because right now I am working on a big new painting (Yes the paint is wet on my palette as I type but I took a break for some fresh choclate chip cookies which will be coming steaming out of my oven in about 2 minutes-- just enough time to blog) And I keep finding myself at an impasse: continue this? change this? add this? try this? this color? this pattern? My brain is exhausted with the millions of small decisions in this piece. All to create color harmony, flow, mood, tone, message...

Maybe for poets it's 2 roads but for artists it's more like 257 roads diverged in a yellow wood. Try to make that poetic sounding Mr. Frost.

1. clean house 2. new painting 3. music on the Ipod

Friday, October 24, 2008

free sub-zero

"Wow! A free sub-zero. I'd love one of those in my kitchen," I thought as I saw the red lettered words scrolling across the marquis at the bank inside my Wal-mart. I glanced back up a few minutes later after laboring with my son on the appropriate place to stash the Viva paper towels post check out. "Free sub-zero sleeping bag when you open an account," the rest of the message scrolled on. I chuckled to myself. So ironic for our economic times. I guess they are trying to snag the foreclosure niche market. Someone should really talk to their marketing people...I don't think the "soon to be homeless, need a sleeping bag" crowd will be making big deposits.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

creativity... like rodents

I love inspiration and ideas. I am an artist. I couldn't survive with out these dear friends. At 12:30 at night when they surely come, they like rodents and cockroaches--unwelcome guests. My husband questions when I tap on the light in the middle of the night, the cause for this my bedside scrawling.
"Sorry, I just had this poem in my head about crayons I had to write it down so it would let me go to sleep."
While I welcome these interesting thoughts, they are very brazen. Thinking they can come to me at all hours and I beholden to committing them to a scrap of paper or a sketchbook. They must keep within the bounds I have set for our relationship. I will reiterate them here for future reference...Creative thoughts only in waking daytime hours, not racing through my mind at 100 miles an hour when I am trying to get to sleep (already an hour or two behind schedule). Any good recommendations on mental mousetraps or brain raid highly appreciated.
1. having help 2. morning naps 3. 66 cupcakes baked

Sunday, October 19, 2008

cupcake class: Creature edition

For the love of cupcakes, please not one more cupcake post from smart mama! Sorry my faithful readers hoping for something witty today- you just get more confectionary creations. Sorry I must archive them here once and for all.

How to make octopus cupcakes:
How to make turtle cupcakes: Penguins inspired by the book Hello, Cupcake. (although they didn't not turn out right due to a change in frosting and the eyes being delivered 2 hrs to late by UPS!)
1. excited kids 2.parents who help out 3. supplies to create with

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cupcake class:Red Sox Edition

My apologies for the string of cupcake posts. My 4 week cupcake class teaching gig, I have cupcakes on the brain. This issue is for Red Sox Nation in honor of Thursday night's game. Perfect food for a Red Sox themed birthday party or game day party. Here is a tutorial for all you Red Sox superfans.

How to make Baseball Cupcakes:
1. Frost cupcake with chocolate frosting.
2. Edge with green jimmies.
3. Roll out a circle of white fondant.
4. Place fondant over top of a mini donut.
5. Place on the cupcake
6. Add red details with rope licorice.

How to make Red Sox cupcakes:
1. Frost cupcake with chocolate frosting.
2. Edge with green jimmies
3. Roll out cherry air Heads candy.
4. Cut out the shape of 2 red socks.
5. Place small dot of white fondant on heel and toe and dip in white sugar.
6. Roll out fondant into snake and form into letters.
7. Place decorations on the cupcakes.

How to make Wally the Green Monster cupcakes:
1. Frost cupcake with chocolate frosting.
2. Cover with green jimmies.
3. Add icing premade eyes (available and Country Kitchen SweetArt)
4. Use Wilton sour cherry balls for nose
5. Use harbio rope licorice wheel for mouth
6. Use 1/2 of a oreo cookie for brim of the hat
7. Roll a half circle of fondant in blue and black sugar (to get navy color) or tint with Wilton colors
8. Form a B out of cherry air head candy.
9. Add hat pieces to the cupcake.
1.supplies on hand 2.exciting games 3. Halloween carnival fun

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

about Segullah

You may have noticed the "I write" banner in my R sidebar or the "I am reading" Segullah magazine in my L side bar and wonder what it's all about. I'll explain Segullah is a group whose purpose is to with encourage literary talent, provoke thought, promote greater understanding and faith amongst of LDS women. They publish a journal twice a year which is a collection of works by LDS women. (You can also read more in the issue archive). They also feature one artist's whose works each issue.

The staff of Segullah also writes an almost daily blog which is well written and discusses thoughtful topics. I recently joined on as part of their staff (working with their blog sampler). The sampler features blogs of Segullah authors and staff and also highlights other blogs of inspiring LDS women.
The staff of Segullah is amazing, a group of incredibly talented women. Kathy Soper, the Editor-in-Chief, has just published her second book The Mother in Me, a compilation of writing about mothering (the good, the bad, and the not often talked about).Kathy's previous book, Gifts, was a compilation of writings about the experience of having a child with Down syndrome. As a child life specialist and someone like myself who did graduate research on how a child with special needs impacts a family, I so applaud this project.

My shameless plug...I am going to be the featured artist in the spring issue of Segullah (so another good reason to subscribe). I consider it a huge honor considering past featured artists include: Cassandra Barney, Jacqui Larsen, Rose Datoc Dall (incredibly accomplished artists). It will showcase about 15 of my pieces and I will be debuting new pieces.
P.S. For any of you in Utah, who want to meet some of the amazing authors, this Saturday, October 18, is the book launch party for The Mother in Me from 2-4 p.m. at Deseret Book in University Mall (Orem). Which will have great food, great stories, great poetry, great prizes, great company. All royalties from sales of The Mother in Me that day will be donated to the Stephanie and Christian Nielson Recovery Fund

1. a new reason to create 2. inspiring women 3. something good to read on my bedside table

Friday, October 10, 2008

fullness of joy

Motherhood is a service and a reward. The great reward is being taught by your children. So I was taught today of JOY!
Baby brains are notorious for getting overloaded by stimuli. They feel with such intensity they have to turn away. I love the ebullient laughter that bubbles out of my baby. He gets so excited and laughs so much that he has to turn away. When was the last time you felt that way? So happy it was more than your brain could handle. If you haven't felt that lately try to find a way to get back to it.
1. a good haircut 2. JOY 3. naps

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

cupcake class #1: halloween cupcakes

Well, I survived the first week: me, 20 kids, 66 cupcakes, and 2 helpers (we were down a helper so it was a little harried) 66 cupcakes. Here are the Halloween themed cupcakes I taught them to make for any of you interested in making them at home.
Spooky spiders
How to make spooky spider cupcakes
Pumpkin patch
How to make pumpkin cupcakes
Outrageous Owls
The owl idea is courtesy of an awesome book Hello, Cupcake! (but slightly modified)
1. one week done 2. feelings of relief 3. remembering

Monday, October 06, 2008

Growing into myself and losing the fear

Okay, I'll come right out with it. I am submitting a piece to the Museum of Church History and Art Competition and it's due Friday so I have been working on the submission. At any time in the past, I would not likely have entered (because well I am not really a competitive person) and if I dared enter I would never have publicly announced it. Why? Because I didn't like, no make that loathed and feared, failure and rejection. Now, I don't care. There is something liberating about growing into yourself. Of being happy enough with yourself and being passionate about what you do to face rejection or failure. And not only to do it alone, in secret, but to let others watch you not get it as well. To know from the start the most likely outcome (yes statistically maybe only 1 in 4-5 make the show) is that the piece will not be accepted, and that I will be handed the "thank you for playing, please try again card". Then translating that into "not good enough" or "not what they wanted" (which is a nicer way of saying not good enough) and not feeling discouraged or ashamed. So today I am patting myself on the back, not so much for the painting (which I do like especially because it is unique, and breaks from the normative style of most submissions) but because I have learned to be me, to jump in especially when everyone is watching.
1.courage 2. celebratory chinese 3. new friends

Friday, October 03, 2008

Profundity from Wal-mart grocery shopping

As I watched the rotisserie chickens turning round and round, baking in the heat of the oven I thought, so too is my life.
I started out fresh, unseasoned.
Then loaded onto the spit of life, each day round and round I turn getting juicier and tastier and nicely golden.
One day, when my time is up I too will be fully cooked and get put in a box and sent over to the other side.
Hopefully, to be greeted by many smiling faces who will pronounce upon me "Well Done!"

1.weekends 2. impending fun 3. new opportunities

Monday, September 29, 2008

the preparations begin...

Cupcake class: 4 weeks x 3 designs each week x 20 kids = 240 cupcakes = one sucker mom= $500 profit for the PTO= trips to 5 stores in search of all the necessary candies and cupcake construction supplies = yields vats of candy and junk in my dining room.
As you can see it's taking it's toll on my kids and my #2 is put to task demonstrating his preschool classifying skills acting as the official Mike and Ike color separator.

1. finally finding black licorice ropes 2. copy machines 3. deeper sleep

Friday, September 26, 2008

the world is his oyster/clam/mussel hybrid

A while back my 7 yo son took great interest in a NPR story on the emerging field of biological engineering and the new college degrees in this field. For a science lover like him, it would probably be an excellent fit. The other night over dinner he got this excited glow in his eyes as he explained to me his great creationist ideas.
His plan was to identify the genes from a vast range of sea creatures that created given characteristics and then to remixthem to create these new species to his own liking. (As thought it were like making brownies- just add a bit of this DNA a bit of that and stir) I applaud his creative desires, and hate to quash them with a debate on the ethical ramifications and practicality of such engineering, but it just made me think about what lies ahead for our children? I know how drastically the world has changed in my short 32 years of living. I have to wonder what lies ahead. Truly the world is his oyster or in his case maybe an oyster, clam hybrid with a little mussel DNA thrown in for dramatic shell contrast...
1. thoughts to ponder 2.time with friends 3. kissing my sleeping boys

woman power

I am the such a proponent of strong women. No not bossy, mean women, women who make things happen, women who do hard things, women who do the right thing, women who lead, women who speak up. There is a power and influence that women have founded in intimacy and caregiving. As women our perspective is unique and our voices powerful in the softest lullaby and loudest cry. So often this power goes underutilized or at least underecognized. As women we shape the moral foundations of society we lay the bricks upon which all else is built. Many of my painting have relational themes. My reaching tree series is one of my most favorites and I have recently picked up working on it again. This is my latest addition to the collection. I consider them my feminist paintings. They are to me the embodiment of great women. Firmly rooted and with a solid core, a belief in themselves as agents of change, as powerful, and as a creators of beauty, giving forth life to everything around them. Their beauty, their goodness, their endurance, their acts of faith and kindness, their teachings, reaching up and out in a dizzying array of influence. So imagine yourself as this painting and feel inspired to greater strength and purpose.
And a special shout out to my mom who is truly an example among women and taught me what it means to be a great woman -Happy Birthday!!

1. a husband coming home 2. painting joy 3. ice packs

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

keeping it (not) simple

I wish I could keep things simple but, somehow I never manage too. I try to fit in all the really important things, and then I throw a bunch more things in on top of that. I try to fight it at times, but deep down I think I like the complexity or I lack the ability to walk away. Like today I was doing some trial run cupcakes (9 completely different varieties) (because yes I am a total sucker and agreed to teach a 4 week cupcake class to 2nd-5th graders for free). This also with the help of 3 little boys. My dining room is still recovering from the aftermath of target buyout and I have been madly painting (2 more 30x40 trees half done) because I am in a painting groove and I want to get every last ounce out of this sudden burst of creativity before it leaves me. I am trying to be good mom and keep the house clean, fill my boys days with play and fun, and stories, and love, and attention. I know I should be in bed, but there I go again with one more thing. Sometimes I wish I could relax more and do less, but I get joy from the richness and the many things I do. I guess it's a constant battle- just have cake or cake with frosting and sprinkles--no matter how hard I try I am always the latter.
1.chicken 2. trying again 3. thoughtful prayers

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

on a roll

A new 30x40 painting from reaching tree series with a more kandinsky twist.1. my little appretice 2. new shows 3. getting something done

Monday, September 22, 2008

done!

aspen panels (60"x40"). I now have a temporary filler for my dining room wall which has been in need of paintings!
1. lime bars 2. peaceful bed time 3. building with blocks

Sunday, September 21, 2008

piece of the week- mountains

I miss seeing the beautiful mountain views of Utah. One of my favorite things from my college days was walking home looking up at the mountains especially when the snow was rolling in. I started this piece a few years ago and just recently came back ot work on it- It is acrylic on canvas, 24x36.

1. inspiration 2. Utah 3. memories

Blogs I love

Sheree recently highlighted me as a blog she loves. I feel really special because she is such a fun, "cool" person. We bonded last summer over shared makeup, late nights, and talk of glowsticks. I would love to share more of the blogging love with some other great bloggers- I am supposed to pick 7- that is torture for one like me who enjoys readership of many blogs. One of the treats of blogging is finding new blogs that you love, and the way it mixes circles of friendship so I'll try to mix some circle here...
LL over at Lewis Family Letters- Always a diligent poster- seriously you know something is going terribly wrong if she hasn't posted that day. So fun IRL and has a great laugh- you may know her from her great semianry condolence basket- and know for sneaking em choclate in church.
Becky at The Orton Family- seriously fun and (funny) and an amazingly strong woman who I admire and can't wait to see again. She even brings me moose munch (how can you not like someone like that.
Shelah at Hitting the Ground Running, My BFF, who permeates the blogosphere and is also known for her writing at Blog Segullah and FMH. I live through her vicariously running achievements while sitting on my couch eating pie. She's a super smarty and does great book reviews and has been my confidante of the past 15 yrs!
Courtney over at Five Under Five- Her life is always full of adventure (just can't imagine keeping up with triplets and 2 others!) and she is settling into New Jersey living.
Catherine aka Bluestocking mama, One of my favorite friends, and a great writer, busy kicking out her her dissertation on women's online literacy (which totally justifies my blogging) Who has to hurry and finish so she can come visit me!! WTG!
Ellen- big red EP- A fellow LDS New Englander, with so many talents, and heart of gold. Her photos are beautiful and she is just type of person you want as your friend!
Lei at My many colored days- A fellow creative always dipping her fingers in many pots, so inspiring and talented, She is a great friend and always creating beauty. One day we are going to get together and just create!

Friday, September 19, 2008

doing my part to keep the economy strong

Smart mama is single handed working on improving the consumer spending indexes. If you know me you know I love 2 things 1. GIVING (my parents used to forbid me from giving away things as a child becasue I couldn't stop) and 2. GOOD DEALS. So when all the school supplies went 75% off at target I took that as my call to buy it up and do something with it. What I was going to with 2 carts full o' supplies (sadly pictured is only the loot from my first trip--I actually made another subsequent trip with equal damage and the angle does not provide a full view of the magnitude of damage I did) I didn't know exactly. But I knew I could find good homes for all of it. I am such a believer in education and love to help. I made up super cool backpacks full of cool stuff for school auction events, basket for the teachers drawing for teacher appreciation week, supplies baskets for the school offices, a jumbo basket for #1's teacher, pen bouquets for all the elem teachers, some to be used for students in our area who are in need, a giant load to be shipped to others will be going to Operation Iraqi Children and some to be shipped to help children in the Congo. I also have most of my sons supplies for next year already stocked away. I love to give especially when my dollars get to go 4x as far! You can imagine the shock and surprise though when my husband returned home from a business trip and couldn't even walk through the dining room.
1. a husband who never objects to my "giving"
2. sales
3. giving

Thursday, September 18, 2008

man my subconscious is pathetic

So last night as I was drifting off into dream land ... when my first dream appeared it was about spilling a pitcher of orange juice all over the kitchen floor. The dream me somewhat annoyed, mopped up the sticky slop on the floor, but then the semi-awake part of me realized this was a dream and that this was an especially lame dream and while I may have to put up with mopping up spills all day long, I did not have to put up with it in my own dream. So I stirred myself fully awake slightly annoyed with this frustrating dream and started over falling back asleep in hopes of something more exciting --Enter second dream... about bad sticky canned frosting on a cupcake. What? Hey is this lame dream night or something?!

By now I am getting upset. I have had a long day, I'd like a nice relaxing, escapist dream... something really good. But this is what I get?? Freud help me out here- what do my orange juice and bad frosting dreams mean? Certainly not wish fulfillment-- Please!! If this is what I dream about at night how pathetic must my life be? Seriously insomnia sounds more promising.

Generally, I am a creative dreamer, I have dreamt in blog (complete with sidebars), and dreamt in facebook format the other night, I also have dreamt in full episodes of various TV shows (including the office). Maybe something is wrong at the dream department (has anyone read the seems? excited for the next book this month?) All I know is I am going to bed tonight and this time I am holding out for kissing and a beach.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

if it weren't for you son...

My life would be ordinary... My kitchen would not get sprayed with water, nor my carpet with Windex or limeade, the side of my desk would not be used to try out new colored pencils, chalk pastels wouldn't be smeared on the PTO posters, the bag if donuts would still be full, and that Halloween snow globe at target would still be intact. When you have your own children you will appreciate this post.
(this all thievery, destruction, and vandalism occurred before 1 pm today and yet I still l love you!!)
addendum- I was just reading to him on the floor and told him I was getting all the "grouchies" out of him today, to which he responded, "But mom I have a whole load of grouchy fertilizer stored in my garage and a spreader to spread it with!" Oh where oh where does he come up with these things?)
1.sunny walks 2. planning 3. "stopping to look at beautiful things"