Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hooked on Books (120/365)

2009 04 30 Photo065 
“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”

John Locke (English Philosopher who made great contributions in studies of politics, government and psychology. 1632-1704)

TIME: 6:43 PM
PLACE: St. Paul's United Church of Christ gym 
SUBJECT: Books

Thank you all so much for your birthday wishes.  I hope I didn't sound too ungrateful in my post.  I am very thankful to have hot water - I just wish it didn't cost so much! 

Tonight I went to an annual hospital book bazaar that is held where StellaDella attends Mother's Day Out.  I didn't have my camera with me, so I had to resort to my cell phone to take my photo for today.  That is why the quality of the picture is not so good.  But, I did a few adjustments in Photoshop and I think it ended up being acceptable.  This book bazaar is a four day event and has thousands upon thousands of books.  I ended up purchasing a 1977 city directory for our town (for genealogy reference), some retro craft books, a couple of fiction books and some magic books for MonkeyBoy.  Tomorrow, every book is half the marked price and on Saturday, for $2.00, it's all you can stuff in a grocery sack.  I look forward to attending this event every year.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday (119/365)

 2009 04 29 IMG_4584
"Praise the spells and bless the charms,
I found April in my arms.
April golden, April cloudy,
Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy;
April soft in flowered languor,
April cold with sudden anger,
Ever changing, ever true --
I love April, I love you."

Odgen Nash (American poet, 1902-1971). "Always Marry An April Girl." 

TIME: 8:56 PM
PLACE: The kitchen
SUBJECT: Chalkboard birthday message

I am an April girl and today is my 42nd birthday.  I am sure you are all waiting with baited breath to hear what I kind of birthday present I received.  Well, apparently, my house thought that I didn't need one and decided to let our hot water heater shoot craps this morning.  So, approximately $1,200+ later, we now have a new direct vent tankless water heater and more importantly, hot water.  It's a 180,000 BTU unit with an 84.0% efficiency rating.  AND next April, we will get a 30% tax credit on our income taxes.  Woo hoo.  So I'm trying to look on the bright side, I really am. 
 
I would of rather had a bicycle though.   

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Orla Kiely - I Love You (118/365)

2009 04 28 IMG_4572 
"A good upbringing means not that you won't spill sauce on the tablecloth, but that you won't notice it when someone else does."

Anton P. Chekhov (Russian, Physician, short-story writer and playwright, 1860-1904)

TIME: 7:24 PM
PLACE: Kitchen table
SUBJECT: Orla Kiely "Flowers" tablecloth

I saw this tablecloth at Target last week and just had to have it for one reason - it has orange in it!  I had painted my kitchen orange in November (see before and after here).  I did not realize how hard it would be to find rugs, dishtowels and tablecloths that would go well with that color.  I'm a little embarrassed to say that when I saw this at Target, I actually squealed in delight.  It's sad, really, how something like a tablecloth can make me so happy.  But it does!  I'm sure HandsomeHusband will be shaking his head at how goofy I am while reading this post.  I know honey, I'm whacko, but that's why you love me! *wink* 

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bridal Wreath (117/365)

2009 04 27 IMG_4543 
President "Bobby": Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
[Long pause]
Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.
President "Bobby": In the garden.
Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
President "Bobby": Spring and summer.
Chance the Gardener: Yes.
President "Bobby": Then fall and winter.
Chance the Gardener: Yes.
Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we're upset by the seasons of our economy.
Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring!
Benjamin Rand: Hmm!
Chance the Gardener: Hmm!
President "Bobby": Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I've heard in a very, very long time.
[Benjamin Rand applauds]
President "Bobby": I admire your good, solid sense. That's precisely what we lack on Capitol Hill.

Being There (Jack Warden, Peter Sellers, Melvyn Douglas, Hal Ashby-director, 1979)

TIME: 7:27 PM
PLACE: The backyard
SUBJECT: Spirea bridal wreath flowers

Rainy day here.  MonkeyBoy's baseball game tonight was canceled due to wet fields.  So I had time this evening to go outside with my tripod and umbrella to photograph the Spirea which has just burst into blossom.  It reminded me when my mom asked my oldest brother (who was 12 or 13 at the time) to go out and trim the Spirea bushes one June day after they had stopped blooming.  She should have been more specific about the word "trim".  When Mom went out later that day to check on his labor, all she found were 3 inch sticks coming out of the ground! LOL.  Luckily, it is a fast growing bush and in about 2 or 3 years, you couldn't even tell that he had mowed them down.  We still like to tease him about his gardening error.  Isn't that what family is for?   

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Looking Down The Wrong End of The Barrel (116/365)

2009 04 26 IMG_4505a 
"ECONOMY, n. Purchasing the barrel of whiskey that you do not need for the price of the cow that you cannot afford.

Ambrose Bierce (American Writer, Journalist and Editor, 1842-1914)

TIME: 3:28 PM
PLACE: Looking out the Little League Fence, Monroe St.
SUBJECT: Pyramid of barrels

Another T-ball game this afternoon.  It was very warm (82 degrees)and windy.  The wind was picking up the dirt from the infield and blowing and swirling it all over.  The ballfield was definitely not a place you would want to be inserting any contacts today!  It didn't bother the girls though. These barrels were on the other side of the fence that surrounded the diamond.  I liked the rust and the colors covering the bottoms of them.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

We All Scream For Ice Cream (115/365)

2009 04 25 IMG_4501 
"My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate.  That's my philosophy."

Thornton Wilder (American playwright and novelist, his best known work is his play Our Town, 1897-1975)

TIME: 8:43 PM
PLACE: Lebanon Ave.
SUBJECT: Neon sign

StellaDella's first T-ball game was tonight at 7pm.  It was hee-lar-re-ous.  Since this is the first year for playing, the rules basically are: everyone bats, everyone plays the field, there are no outs and no score is kept.   The ENTIRE team is sent out on the field when they play defense.  The batter would hit the ball and the kids would all run together to chase it.  Since our uniform shirts were yellow, and most girls had black or gray shorts, our team resembled a swarm of bees buzzing around the field.   The girls were all so excited to be playing...big smiles were plastered on every face during the whole game.  It was fun to watch.  I took a lot of photos and so did HandsomeHusband.  Since I've already posted a SD T-ball picture this week, I opted to post this non-T-ball photo.  Plus, this place was the highlight of SD's night!

Before the game, we promised SD that we would go get ice cream afterwards.   This particular ice cream stand is open seasonally in our town and has been around for quite some time.  I remember walking here to get ice cream when I was SD's age.  SD had a soft-serve vanilla cone and was very happy.  

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hello. Is There Anybody In There? (114/365)

2009 04 24 IMG_4358 
"Houses are not haunted. We are haunted, and regardless of the architecture with which we surround ourselves, our ghosts stay with us until we ourselves are ghosts."

Velocity, Dean Koontz (American, novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, b1945)

TIME: 8:26 PM
PLACE: Corner of North 2nd and Carr Street, St. Louis, MO
SUBJECT: Windows

Yea for another date night!  I looked forward to this night all week long.  HandsomeHusband and I went to Lumiere Place in St. Louis and met up with a friend and her daughter.  We ate at the Burger Bar - mmmmmm, expensive burgers!  Then we each lost $20 in the evil gambling devices.  HH made his last about 20 minutes while mine flew away in less than 5.  We left soon after.  I'm not a big gambler - I'm an accountant for heaven's sake!  My mom had the gambling gene and she passed it to my sister instead of me.

As we crossed the street to get to the parking lot and our car, HH pointed out that these windows would make a good photo.  They do have character - spooky character!  I'm not sure if I captured the mood I wanted.  Night pictures are soooo difficult and I was getting confused on my camera settings.  <sarcasm on> Shocking, I know. <sarcasm off>

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Angel in the Outfield? (113/365)

2009 04 23 IMG_4351 
"Innings and afternoons. Fly lost in sunset.
Throwing arm gone bad. There's your old ball game.
Cool reek of the field. Reek of companions."

Robert Fitzgerald (1910-1985). Cobb Would Have Caught It (l. 23-25). . . Western Wind; an Introduction to Poetry. John Frederick Nims, ed. (2d ed., 1983) Random House.

TIME: 6:44 PM
PLACE: W-- B-- school ball fields
SUBJECT: StellaDella

I got to take StellaDella to her T-ball practice tonight.  They only practice for about an hour.  I believe that's about the length of the attention span of a 5 year old.  The older two were with me, making it feel like a much longer period of time due to their incessant whining about how bored they were.  Luckily, I've learned to tune that out, otherwise it would have been quite irritating.  SD only had to visit the portable restroom twice during practice.  It was a nice little hike to that facility as it was a short distance from the fields.  But, if I look on the bright side; I got some exercise in; the weather was nice; and I got my picture for the day.  So it wasn't too bad of an evening after all! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Claritin Clear (112/365)

2009 04 22 IMG_4337 
I used to wake up at 4 A.M. and start sneezing, sometimes for five hours. I tried to find out what sort of allergy I had but finally came to the conclusion that it must be an allergy to consciousness.

James Thurber (American author, cartoonist & humorist, 1894-1961)

TIME: 6:14 PM
PLACE: The backyard
SUBJECT: Dandelion 

Just a gorgeous day today!  The temperature made it up to 72.7 degrees Fahrenheit (22.6 degrees Celsius).  My sister and I went walking after dropping the kids at Mother's Day Out.  My hair wasn't behaving and luckily my beautician was able to squeeze me in for a haircut right before their school let out.  That's the thing I don't like about short hair - it requires frequent trims to keep its shape.  After dinner I went outside and played around with the macro setting on my camera.  I went for a dandelion photo again.  I hope this doesn't cause anyone's allergies to act up!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Whole New Ball Game (111/365)

2009 04 21 IMG_4233
"What does a mama bear on the pill have in common with the World Series?  No Cubs." 

Harry Caray (American radio and TV sportscaster, 1914-1998)

TIME: 6:57 PM
PLACE: Little League field dugout
SUBJECT: Baseball glove 

MonkeyBoy is on a new Little League team this year.  His coach from last year did not return and his old teammates have been assigned to different teams throughout the league.  He is on a team with many boys who go to my old Catholic grade school.  I wonder if I will see anyone I know at the games this year.  Tonight was practice.  HandsomeHusband usually accompanies him, but tonight, HH had a meeting to attend.  He dropped MonkeyBoy off at 6pm and I arrived about 6:45pm with StellaDella, DramaQueen and DQ's best friend.  It was a little windy and brisk out this evening.  I really hope it warms up soon.  Afterwards, I bought the kids ice cream...I didn't get any, it's not on my diet!   

Monday, April 20, 2009

Helicopters (110/365)

 2009 04 20 IMG_4149  
Paper whirly-birds.
They look so much
like pairs of insects’ wings,
spi-
ral-
ing
down
to the ground,
helicopters landing
on springy tarmacs
to deposit
next year’s forest,
gently,
like precious cargo.

Sweet to think
that trees
once had wings
and flew.

Rainshine, Sonny, Samara (Maple Tree Seeds), http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/samara-maple-tree-seeds/

TIME: 7:04 PM
PLACE: The backyard
SUBJECT: Red Sunset Maple seed pods 

Originally this maple was planted in our front yard.  During a storm, several years ago, it's trunk was snapped about three feet off the ground.  We dug it up and set it out for yard waste pick up.  Then I noticed that a branch had begun to grow from the damaged trunk.  Since I am a softy, even for plants I felt we just couldn't throw it away and replanted it in the backyard.  Except for its wonky trunk it has flourished.  This year both this maple and the maple that took its place in the front yard, are covered with more seed pods than I have ever seen before.  I love watching them rotate to the ground.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

After 'While Crocodile (109/365)

2009 04 19 IMG_4223 
"To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will."

Ronald Reagan (American, 40th President of the United States, 33rd Governor of California,  actor, 1911-2004)

TIME: 8:32 PM
PLACE: The kitchen sink
SUBJECT: Schleich crocodile figurine

I've mentioned before that water attracts StellaDella like a magnet.  One of her favorite things to do is play in the sink and give her toys a bath.  We have a collection of Schleich animals that we have been accumulating since my oldest was a toddler.  These are the toy figurines that are lucky enough to get bathed.  You can't see it, but there is a cow underneath the bubbles.  I guess the poor thing got too close to the crocodile's jaws.       

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Purple Haze (108/365)

2009 04 18 IMG_4181 
"Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things just don't seem the same
Actin' funny, but I don't know why
'Scuse me while I kiss the sky

Purple haze all around
Don't know if I'm comin' up or down
Am I happy or in misery?
Whatever it is, that girl put a spell on me

Help me help me
Oh no no... no

Yeah
Purple haze all in my eyes
Don't know if it's day or night
You've got me blowin, blowin my mind
Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?

No, help me aw yeah! oh no no oh help me..."

Jimi Hendrix, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, "Purple Haze", Are You Experienced, LP, 1967

TIME: 2:37 PM
PLACE: The front yard
SUBJECT: Anniversary planter

I think HandsomeHusband gets a Clint Eastwood tick in his eye whenever he looks at this planter.  In 2004, he asked my mother what would be a good gift for our anniversary.  She told him that pottery is the traditional gift for the 9th anniversary.  So he went out and purchased this planter for me.  When he gave it to me, I got upset and started crying, not because he bought me a planter, but because I had thought we agreed not to spend any money on each other.  I hadn't gotten him anything.  I felt bad about that, plus I was nursing StellaDella and the postpartum hormones were raging.  And to top it all off, my mom had just gotten the news that her cancer was not responding to treatment and had traveled to her spinal column.  My emotions were not in a good spot at all.  Naturally, HH took my upset reaction to the gift quite personally and thought I was being ungrateful.  Who could blame him?  But, I do love the planter (it's my favorite color!) and whenever I look at it, I think about how much he must love me to place that type of thought into purchasing it for me.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fountain (107/365)

 2009 04 17 IMG_4156 
"I only wish to be the fountain of love
From which you drink
Every drop promising eternal passion"

Unknown

TIME: 11:48 AM
PLACE:  Bellevue Park
SUBJECT: Lake fountain 

We actually had sun and warm weather today!  I finished up at my client's office around lunchtime.  So I decided to go to the park and bask in the sunshine until it was time to pick up StellaDella.  It was very peaceful.  All too soon it was time to leave and go back to reality.  With 3 kids, a dog, 2 cats, a fish and a snake, I treasure those few and far between moments of solitude.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sunset Shadow (106/365)

2009 04 16 IMG_4145 
"Orange is the happiest color."

Frank Sinatra (Singer, actor, producer, director, conductor, 1915-1998)

TIME: 6:59 PM
PLACE:  The alley
SUBJECT: Power line cables 

Not much going on today.  I worked on clearing out 2008 papers from around my messy desk area.  I thought with the rise of computers, we were supposed to be a paperless society...that is so not happening!  After supper, MonkeyBoy was out practicing his pitching skills.  The sun was setting and I captured the shadow of the power line cables against the factory cinderblocks.  I liked the colors and the shadow on the building.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mondrian-esque (105/365)

2009 04 15 IMG_3989 
Cookie Monster has just destroyed Kermit's rectangle which he was using as a visual aid during his lecture....

Kermit the Frog: Well, ah, what you see here, ah, used to be a rectangle.
Cookie Monster: And it still is!
Kermit the Frog: Huh?
Cookie Monster: It's a wreck and it's a tangle...Ahahahahah!

Kermit's Rectangle Lecture, Sesame Street, Season 1, Episode 0017, 1969-1970, Sponsors: D, E, M, 8, 9

TIME: 11:49 AM
PLACE:  The school cafeteria
SUBJECT: Windows

HandsomeHusband and I ate lunch with DramaQueen and MonkeyBoy at their school today for Parent's Day.  Our luncheon choices were Chicken (Strips with Dinner Roll) or Beef (Sloppy Joe on Bun).  HH and I both chose the chicken.  We now see why DQ and MB are starving when they walk in the door at 3pm - they don't eat all their lunch!  Today however, with a little persuasion from HH and me, they did eat it all - even the green beans.   The windows in the cafeteria/gymnasium have always reminded me of Piet Mondrian's cubism paintings.  After lunch, we walked down to the library for the Scholastic Book Fair, where I was conned into buying willingly purchased books and one Nintendo DS video game (an I Spy title).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing (104/365)

2009 04 14 IMG_3978 
"No one can see their reflection in running water. 
It is only in still water that we can see."


Taoist proverb

TIME: 4:43 PM
PLACE:  The backyard
SUBJECT: Swing and water reflection

We have a swing-set in our back yard that HandsomeHusband built when DramaQueen and MonkeyBoy were toddlers.  Over the years, ruts beneath the seats have been made from the kids dragging their feet back and forth while swinging.  These indentations fill up with water whenever it rains.  Water puddles, of course, attract StellaDella like a moth to a flame.  When we took the dog out today, SD played the "Will it float?" game.  She gathered a few items: a leaf, some long stems of grass, and some white rocks from the driveway.  The leaf floated.  The grass floated as well.  The white rocks, sank like a, sank like a...well, they sank like rocks.  You can just make out a couple of them in the above picture.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays (103/365)

2009 04 13 IMG_3969 
"For winter's rains and ruins are over,
And all the seasons of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and
flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins."

A.C. (Algernon Charles) Swinburne (1837-1909), British poet, critic. Atalanta in Calydon, chorus, st. 4 (1865)

TIME: 7:32 PM
PLACE:  Front yard
SUBJECT: Purple Sand Cherry blossom

Today was the last day of spring break and my sanity today.  It was rainy and chilly yet again.  To top it all off, it's Monday.  I finished up taxes for my family and my neighbor from down the street; cleaned the master bedroom; did a couple of loads of laundry and several other sundry chores.  What a blah day.  The good news is, I was able to use my new-to-me tripod to take today's photo.  HandsomeHusband found the tripod at the Goodwill store last Thursday and bought it for me!  Isn't that sweet of him to think of me while he was out and about?  That's what I call a romantic gesture.  Thanks again babe...I love it!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Godfather Peeps (102/365)

2009 04 12 IMG_3941
Don Corleone
: Tell me, do you spend time with your family?
Johnny Fontane: Sure I do.
Don Corleone: Good. Because a man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.
[gives a quick look at Sonny and affectionately embraces Fontane]
Don Corleone: You look terrible. I want you to eat, I want you to rest well. And a month from now this Hollywood big shot's gonna give you what you want.
Johnny Fontane: Too late. They start shooting in a week.
Don Corleone: I'm gonna make him an offer he won't refuse. Okay? I want you to leave it all to me. Go on, go back to the party.


Tom Hagen: Mr Corleone is Johnny Fontane's godfather. Now Italians regard that as a very close, a very sacred religious relationship.
Jack Woltz: Tell your boss he can ask for anything else, but this is one favour I can't grant him.
Tom Hagen: Mr. Corleone never asks a second favor once he's refused the first, understood?
Jack Woltz: You don't understand. Johnny Fontane never gets that movie. That part is perfect for him. It'll make him a big star. I'm gonna run him out of the movies. And let me tell you why. Johnny Fontane ruined one of Woltz International's most valuable proteges. For three years we had her under contract, singing lessons, dancing lessons, acting lessons. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars. I was gonna make her a big star. And let me be even more frank, just to show you that I'm not a hard-hearted man, that it's not all dollars and cents. She was beautiful, she was innocent, she was the greatest piece of ass I've ever had, and I've had it all over the world. And then Johnny Fontane comes along with his olive oil voice and guinea charm and she runs off. She threw it all away just to make me look ridiculous. And a man in my position can't afford to be made to look ridiculous. Now you get the hell out of here. And you tell that gumba that if he wants to try any rough stuff that I ain't no band leader. Yeah, I heard that story.
[Hagen has been calmly eating his meal throughout Woltz's tirade]
Tom Hagen: Thank you for the dinner and a very pleasant evening. Have your car take me to the airport. Mr Corleone is a man who insists on hearing bad news at once.

The Godfather (Marlon Brando, Al Martino, Robert Duvall, John Marley, Francis Ford-Coppola-director, 1972)

TIME: 6:53 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen counter
SUBJECT: Marshmallow peeps

I could have posted pictures of the kid's Easter baskets, the egg hunt, the silly-string fight, or the plate of Easter cookies.  However, since this was a family holiday, and I am half-Sicilian, I decided to post this picture instead.  I used my artistic license to pay a tribute to my favorite movie of all time about family values - The Godfather.  This is from early in the movie when the head of Jack Woltz's expensive thoroughbred horse Khartoum, is discovered by him in his bed.  In the role of the Khartoum's head is a chicken peep (decapitated by my Cutco scissors) and in Woltz's role is a bunny peep.  Special effects are provided by red food coloring.  Both peeps were harmed soon after the scene was shot...they were eaten.  I hope you have enjoyed my interpretation of this classic scene and have a Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Eggs-xactly (101/365)

2009 04 11 IMG_3764 
""A likely story indeed!" said the Pigeon, in a tone of the deepest contempt. "I've seen a good many little girls in my time, but never one with such a neck as that! No, no! You're a serpent; and there's no use denying it. I suppose you'll be telling me next that you never tasted an egg!"
"I have tasted eggs, certainly," said Alice, who was a very truthful child; "but little girls eat eggs quite as much as serpents do, you know."
"I don't believe it," said the Pigeon; "but if they do, then they're a kind of serpent: that's all I can say."


Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson] (1832-1898), British author, mathematician, clergyman. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, ch. V, Macmillan (1865)

TIME: 8:09 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen table
SUBJECT: Gratuitous dyed egg picture

I hard-boiled 34 eggs today.  10 eggs were eaten soon after boiling, by DramaQueen, her best friend and StellaDella.  1 egg was eaten by HandsomeHusband after dinner, and 1 egg was shared by DQ and SD after being dropped on purpose accidentally while we were dyeing them this evening.  So, if you've been keeping score, it's 12 eggs consumed, 22 eggs remaining.   SD is still campaigning to eat another egg before she goes to bed.  *Sigh* Apparently, I need to make hard-boiled eggs more often.  

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jack's High (100/365)

 
2009 04 10 IMG_3715 
"Men are like a deck of cards.  You'll find the occasional king, but most are jacks."

Laura Swenson


TIME: 8:11 PM
PLACE:  Top of the entertainment center
SUBJECT: Jack

Today was a overcast, rainy, very chilly Good Friday.  HandsomeHusband had the day off work, the kids were home for Spring break and I found it hard getting anything accomplished.  I was also quite uninspired today in the picture taking department.  Finally, I took HH's advice and took a photo of Jack lying on top of the entertainment center.  He hangs over the side and observes the comings and goings of all of us who dwell in the house.  He loves to be up above it all, surveying the lay of the land in the living room.  

Thursday, April 9, 2009

HNT...Not! (099/365)

2009 04 09 IMG_3632
“When you're a beautiful person on the inside, there is nothing in the world that can change that about you. Jealousy is the result of one's lack of self-confidence, self-worth, and self-acceptance. The Lesson: If you can't accept yourself, then certainly no one else will."

Sasha Azevedo (
American Actress, Athlete and Model, b1978)

TIME: 7:48 AM
PLACE:  Bathroom mirror
SUBJECT: Me

Time for another self-portrait!  It's been 90 days since my first self-portrait, so I decided I needed to do it again.  Lucky you!  Since January 9th, I've gotten a tattoo and lost about 20 pounds. (I'm not sure if you can see that in my face or not, but posting a full body portrait is not a bridge that I want to cross just yet!)

HNT is an acronym for "Half-Nekkid Thursday".  For those of you who wish to know more, you can read about it here with guidelines here.  Today's participant's links are in the comment section of Osbasso's blog post today.  Be aware, some folks do get more than just "half-nekkid" LOL.  So if nudity bothers you, DO NOT click the links!  (FYI - I didn't comment and am not a participant.)  My opinion?  The "nekkidness" doesn't bother me at all.  I'd love to participate in that way, but alas, due to current circumstances, it wouldn't be prudent.  I do think that many of these photos are amazing.  I mean, I had a hell of a time just taking this picture and these folks can get very creative.  And be honest, who doesn't enjoy getting accolades about how attractive you are?  You may now commence praising my beauty.  *gigglesnort*

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Peony Promise (098/365)

2009 04 08 IMG_3434 
"...peonies, their favorite flower, are saluted by the Chinese, according to their form or color, by these delicious names, each an entire poem and an entire novel:  The Young Girl Who Offers Her Breasts, or: The Water That Sleeps Beneath the Moon, or: The Sunlight in the Forest, or: The First Desire of the Reclining Virgin, or: My Gown Is No Longer All White Because in Tearing It the Son of Heaven Left a Little Rosy Stain; or, even better, this one: I Possessed My Lover in the Garden."

Octave Mirbeau, Torture Garden, "The Garden," Chapter 5

TIME: 1:25 PM
PLACE:  Front yard flowerbed
SUBJECT: Peony shoots

These peonies were given to me by my mother from plants she grew in her backyard.  Mom's peony plants were given to her from her mother's plants.  Originally, the above plants were located by the back porch of our first home.  My mom planted the tuberous roots for me soon after DramaQueen was born in late October of 1997.  When we moved, eight years ago, I dug up the peonies and replanted them here.  I am so very glad I did.  I cannot wait for them to bloom so I can cut bouquets and fill the house with their fragrance.  That smell immediately transports me back to my childhood, when Mom would do the exact same thing each spring. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vote Early & Vote Often (097/365)

2009 04 07 IMG_3419 
"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting."

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (32nd president of the United States, 1882–1945)

TIME: 12:27 PM
PLACE:  H-- R-- School
SUBJECT: Polling place sign

Today was an election day.  Our city had a mayoral, several township and school board races for the citizens to cast there votes.  The mayor was unopposed, as were some township and school board positions.  At 12:20pm, I was only the 24th person to cast my vote.  I think when HandsomeHusband voted around 5pm, he was about number 53.  That's not a good turnout.  I'm thinking the numbers were low because first: many races were unopposed, and second: there was no local or bond issues for people to get worked up about...therefore, voter apathy prevailed.  But, still, I'm glad I went and did my civic duty by voting. 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Through a Glass Darkly (096/365)

2009 04 06 IMG_3417 
"If it wasn't for myopia,
  We could see to Ethiopia."

Unknown

TIME: 3:29 PM
PLACE:  The Eye Doctor's office
SUBJECT: DramaQueen's new eyeglasses

DramaQueen's new eyeglasses came in today, so after school we went to the the eye doctor to get them.  She is not happy about having to wear glasses all of the time and is campaigning for contacts.  I'm thinking that junior high (in another year) will be a good time for contacts.  I told her she looks adorable in her glasses.  Little Miss Smartypants told me that of course I would say that to her because I'm her mother.  Sigh.  I am sooo not looking forward to the teenage years, they are not going to be easy. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Everything's Just Dandy (095/365)

2009 04 05 IMG_3404 
“The dandelion's pallid tube
Astonishes the grass,
And winter instantly becomes
An infinite alas.”

Emily Dickinson (American Poet who has been called the New England mystic, 1830-1886)

TIME: 3:40 PM
PLACE:  The front yard
SUBJECT: Dandelion shadow

We woke up to a steady rain this morning.  It was fairly breezy as well.  The perfect day for a nap after stuffing myself at another honors brunch with DramaQueen.  When I awoke mid-afternoon, the sun was out and I wandered outside to see what photos I could take.  I took several photos of the dandelions, the bane of HandsomeHusband's perfect lawn existence.  Out of all of them, I liked this shadow photo the best.  Soon after I returned inside, the sky clouded over and it began to rain again.  April showers have arrived.  I hope everyone has had a wonderful and restful Sunday!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Life Is Just A Bowl of Berries (094/365)

2009 04 04 IMG_3395 
"Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did."

William Allen Butler, (American lawyer and writer of poetical satires, 1825-1902)

TIME: 4:48 PM
PLACE:  Kitchen counter
SUBJECT: Hulled strawberries

I braved the "Mart of Wal" (WalMart) today, while StellaDella was at a birthday party at the nearby YMCA.  DramaQueen was with me while MonkeyBoy and HandsomeHusband were at MB's baseball practice.  I needed to pick up some items (toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex - it was a paper extravaganza!) and something to make for dinner.  I found my main course ingredients and then saw that they had 1-pound containers of strawberries for just $2.00 - Score!  So we had beef & vegetable fajitas with strawberry shortcakes for dessert. 

Each year when strawberries are in season, I am reminded of a conversation at my family's supper table about 27 years ago.  My sister who was about 6 announced that strawberries were not fruit, because they have their seeds on the outside.  This caused quite the stir in our family unit at the time.  But, as it turns out, my little sister was partially correct.  To quote from http://articles.gourt.com/en/strawberry - "The strawberry is an accessory fruit; that is, the fleshy part is derived not from the ovaries (which are the "seeds", actually achenes) but from the peg at the bottom of the hypanthium that held the ovaries. So from a technical standpoint, the seeds are the actual fruits of the plant, and the flesh of the strawberry is a vegetable. It is greenish-white as it develops and in most species turns red when ripe."  The things you can find out on the web are amazing.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Duck Amuck (093/365)

2009 04 03 IMG_3356 
Rufus T. Firefly: "Remember, you're fighting for this woman's honor, which is probably more than she ever did."

Duck Soup (Groucho Marx, Leo McCarey-director, 1933)

TIME: 1:44 PM
PLACE:  Bellevue Park
SUBJECT: Female Mallard

After StellaDella's preschool let out, she and I went to a local park to feed the ducks.  This park is different from the one that I walked the trail with my sister and took the turtle picture.  I remember coming to this particular park with my family when I was a child.   There used to be a play structure my brothers and I would play on that looked like a rocket ship.  That "ship" is long gone now.  I also remember one winter got so cold, that we were actually able to ice skate on the lake.  But, it is now MANY years later and springtime.  The ducks were happy to see us with our stale hotdog buns.  SD had a good time heaving the bread into the water and then demanding having me push her on the swings in the playground.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Put Me In Coach (092/365)

2009 04 02 IMG_2908
“I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house.”

Yogi Berra (American professional Baseball Player and Manager. b.1925)

TIME: 6:24 PM
PLACE:  The living room
SUBJECT: StellaDella: T-ball player

We signed StellaDella up to play T-ball this spring.  Tonight was supposed to be her first practice.  She and I went to Target this afternoon and she picked out her glove (she chose a pink one, natch!).  Unfortunately, the weather did not co-operate and her practice was rained out.  She was slightly disappointed, but recovered quickly and was was soon engrossed in watching "Chowder" on Cartoon Network.     

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

You Do Bring Me Flowers (091/365)

2009 04 01 IMG_2861 
"Wise men say only fools rush in
But I can't help falling in love with you
Shall I stay
Would it be a sin
If I can't help falling in love with you

Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand, take my whole life too
For I can't help falling in love with you

Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand, take my whole life too
For I can't help falling in love with you
For I can't help falling in love with you"

George Weiss, Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore, Elvis Presley. "Can't Help Falling In Love", RCA Victor Records, 1961

TIME: 8:12 PM
PLACE:  The Study
SUBJECT: Anniversary flowers from HH

Today is our 14th wedding anniversary (no foolin', I've posted a few pictures on my other blog of the two of us from the big day).  I cannot believe that it has been fourteen years since we were married.  It seems like yesterday.  The Elvis song I quoted above is the song playing when we had our first dance..."our song".  I loved everything about our wedding, the flowers, my dress, my shoes, the food, our cake, the music, having all of our family and friends with us - I just loved everything!  But the best thing about it was the fact that I got to marry my HandsomeHusband.  I'd marry him all over again in a heartbeat!       

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