Monday, June 29, 2009

Looking through another's eyes

We went to a wedding this weekend in Dallas. I took my camera and took pictures when I could and then asked Will to go around and get some. After looking through the pictures, I noticed such a difference in the style of photography....depending on who was taking the shot.

I am a very organized, symmetrical kind of picture taker. And I leave the setting on Auto as I have no clue what all the other settings mean or do. So I take pictures like this.

Pretty cake....boring picture.

Pretty table....boring picture.

Will is the real artsy kind of photographer.
He sees objects from a different angle. And he knows the right setting for the camera.

He takes pictures like this.

And this.

He makes this cake look like an art object.....which it really was.

And am I just a proud mama or does this look like art?

Will went out on the balcony and took lots of great pictures. This pavilion was in downtown Dallas....I love how this captures the feel of downtown Dallas at night.

And Will always takes pictures like these.
When's the last time you looked at a glass of ice as art?

Now, if I could only get him to teach me.

But he's sleeping when I'm up....and he's out on the town, when I'm sleeping.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Memory Lane

The death of two pop culture icons today certainly threw me down on Memory Lane. I was in 7th grade in '69 when Jackson 5 and their Motown sound hit it big. And then a senior in '76 when the poster of Farrah Fawcett in the red swimsuit hit the press. The hair...the wings, everybody wanted them. Looking back, this was probably the beginning of the end of my innocence. My world was getting bigger than little Bryan, Texas.

For those of you under, let's say 45, Michael Jackson wasn't always weird. He was the youngest brother of a singing group of black boys, Jackson 5. I am going to say this and you just may not believe me....but I hadn't seen many black boys before entering junior high. And so they were still a novelty to me. I was a child of the 60's and our schools were segregated. I didn't know that. You don't know what you don't know....and I didn't have black friends and I didn't know they were out there. Let me remind you there were only 3 channels on the t.v. and no I wasn't dumb as much as not exposed to the kids are today.

The most wonderful thing about Michael Jackson was his voice. I'm talking ABC, as simple as 123, as easy as Do Re Mi, ABC, 123, baby you and me....oh, my sounded like a sounded like mE! I could sing along with him and we blended so well. I would crank up the volume on the little portable 45 in my lime green bedroom with fake blue fur bedspreads that I shared with my sister. I knew every word to every song....well 2 songs at the time. This was a 45 and it had one song on each side.

I wonder what the song was on the flip side of ABC? Trivia.

And then....he got out on his own. And got bigger and bigger. And more famous. And more wealthy. And more lonely. And he morphed into Diana Ross.

So today, Michael Jackson died. And I am sad. But, honestly, I have been sad about Michael Jackson for a long, long time. Haven't you? How does someone get so lost? I hope wherever Michael is floating today that he is free of his worries and troubles.

And Farrah's gone, too.

I have a totally different memory of Farrah. Her poster was everywhere. She was the "it" girl. And while I am sure all the boys my age (and older) remember her, too....I am sure it is way different than my memory. Farrah turned me into an insecure young girl. I mean, look at that skin. Look at those teeth. Look at that body. Look at that hair.

The skin? I was the whitest kid I knew. I never tanned but that didn't stop me from trying. Always blistered. Baby oil and iodine.....deep fried is more like it.

The teeth? I wore braces....and a headgear....that had to be worn to school a few hours a day.

The hair? I had alot of hair on my head but it was the limp kind. And I could get my hair to look like Farrah's while still in my bedroom but step outside....that look was history for the day.

And that body? Uh, I waited and waited for my uh, you know, to develop. I finally bought a padded bra. But this was years before padded bra inserts for bathing suits. And while I would appreciate now the hips and thighs I had then....they weren't anything like Farrah's long leggedness.

Well, you get the point. Farrah was blessed with a beautiful face and body while on this Earth. Her friends and family say she was beautiful on the inside, too. I hope wherever she's floating now...she is free of the painful cancer that took her.

Michael and Farrah are just like us after all. Mortal.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

8 minus Jon & Kate

Jon was 22 and Kate was 24 when they got married. They had twins right away, then 6 more babies within 5 years of getting married. What do you want to bet there wasn't a whole lot of time for romancing.....if you know what I mean. Heck, just watching them prepare a meal and get it on the table for the 8 kids made me tired.

Yes, Kate was wicked. But I bet Jon would be able to get over that if he got his share of attention....if you know what I mean. Men aren't that deep. (Sorry are, just other men aren't)

So Jon finds a skanky 22 year old girl who gives him attention....and now he talks back to Kate and says it's over. More like he found someone to give him attention....if you know what I mean.

This is the age old problem. Women have the babies. And the caretaking of the babies and children exhaust us. Men need _ _ _ (you know what I mean) and the women are too tired. So the men go elsewhere.

Good luck with the new girlfriend Jon. I bet she's going to love being a stepmom to 8 children at the age of 22. Good times ahead. Let's see how tired she is after helping you with them all day long.

And quit saying it's whatever's best for the kids. Guess what? I'm breaking up with all 10 of you.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

See it

Just got back from dinner and a movie.....go see this, if you're one of the few people left who hasn't already. It's funny, violent and loaded with cussing. But mostly funny.

And now I've got a crush on him......

Bradley Cooper.

And I want one of these.

We're bleeding maroon....and now purple

My first two children are Aggies, which makes us bleed maroon. But after spending two days at Stephen F. Austin State University, I am starting to bleed a little purple. We were very impressed with the campus, the organized orientation and by Friday, even saw Will ease into a smile. I think it was growing on him, too.

The orientation was so well organized....from meals to charter buses taking the parents to old downtown Nacogdoches for an hour of free time to walk around the antique shops or attend a reception just for us in one of the art galleries. That hour went very fast so Chuck and I didn't make it to the reception. While the parents were whisked far away from campus, the soon-to-be freshmen were getting their classes scheduled for the fall. This was after 2 days of meetings, talks and more talks given by deans, professors, counselors and even the president of the campus.

It seems very real now because Will has an official class schedule. And a dorm room assigned. And we reserved his books. Yep. It's happening.

This is Will's dorm......he's on the 4th floor of the one on the right. Although we didn't get to see his actual room, we saw others. Uh, it's going to be an adjustment. Tiny room full of furniture and one sink. And an even tinier shower that looked like maybe it had black grout. I am going to believe it was black grout. Not white grout gone bad.

This is the cafeteria right across the street from his dorm
where he will eat a lot of his meals. The entire campus is somewhat compact but it is so convenient for him to have this cafeteria right across from his dorm.

This is the Baker Patillo Student Center where most of the orientation meetings and meals were held. This houses a Starbucks, a Barnes and Noble, Chik-fil-a, Panda Express,
a small grocery market, and a movie theater.....
not to mention lots more fast food places, ballrooms,
banquet halls, a bank, and many meeting rooms.

Nacogdoches claims to be the oldest town in Texas and the Old Stone Fort (originally built in 1788....then torn down and an exact replica was rebuilt in 1936) was the first two story building in Texas. It was moved to the SFA campus and just gives a little cuteness to the place. Chuck could tell you more of the history but he'll have to get his own blog. I can just tell you it was cute.

Downtown Nacogdoches......brick streets.

One of my favorite finds was a fabric store among the antique stores. I fell in love with this fabric but it was 49.99 a yard so I just splurged on 1/2 a yard. I am already regretting that I didn't get a whole yard. I have enough to make a pillow, a table runner or another layer in my dining room valance. I'll show a picture of this fabric again in it's new place. All 18 x 54 inches of it.

It's 2 tones of silk woven it looks turquoise/blue/green/lime green

with coral/hot pink polka dots.

Can you see why I just had to have it.....even if only 1/2 a yard?

Got a date with my husband for Father's Day. Because he owes me. I made him a father. We're going to see Hangover or The Proposal. Will says we should see Up. Choices.

The best part of the last two days was spending time with I know once he's off to college those moments are going to be few and far between. This is the time in my children's life that I start wondering if I've taught them everything they need to know. The answer is no.....

And that is why I am so glad he is God's child. I know he'll be okay.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What I've been up to....

I've been trying to diet. Oh, I would love to tell you it's not a diet really, it's a lifestyle....but who am I kidding? It's a diet. I am trying to cut out carbs and sugar....and it's no fun. I am relating to the heroin addicts I watch on Intervention. All I can think about is the carbs and sugar I'm not having....and getting very edgy. That was your warning.....Chuck.

So I crafted the last couple of days to stay busy.

I didn't come up with this idea......but I have certainly enjoyed copying it and making several of these in the past. Here are the two I just made.

One is for a wedding gift and one is just to have on hand.

I used a vintage buckle with some scrap fabric running through it on the top of this one.

I love this's called Galeforce BTN.

On the top of this one I used a vintage-looking lock and old key.

Here are the simple instructions if you want to make one for yourself....
  1. Paint a piece of wood (these are cut 7 x 7....which works great for a 4 x 6 photo), distress with sanding, then wipe clean.
  2. Pre-cut scrapbook paper to 8 x 11. In Word, type up your saying, initial, date, your favorite font. Center the wording and make sure it is at the bottom of the page. Run your paper through your printer. Cut the paper just a bit smaller than the board so there is a small border all around.
  3. Put a layer of modpodge on the board. Lay the paper on it. (I use a small squeegee to smooth it out and press it on firmly). Put two more coats of modpodge on the entire board.....letting dry between coats.
  4. Glue a magnet clip in the center of the top with E6000 glue.
  5. Take scraps of trim and ribbon and little happies and glue them on the top with a glue gun.

And here it is with a picture.....this is the engagement picture of the couple. Hopefully, they can replace this with something fun from their wedding day.

Monday, June 15, 2009

if I twittered....

I will not join twitter. When would I brush my teeth? Between home email, work email, facebook, this blog, the million blogs I read, television, the land phone, the cell phone, texting and that thing called life, I just don't have time for it.

But if I did twitter, I would twit this........

Do not confuse love with enabling.
- as heard on Intervention, the A&E channel, moments ago -

my belief

Is it Mother's Day?

I went in to fix my first cup of coffee and look what I found........

And sure enough, in the 'fridge was a bowl of oatmeal

with orange slices and strawberries.......

from this kid who's asleep on the couch
with his dog and Harry Potter book......

Better than Mother's Day.

Totally unexpected and directly from his heart.

He's not for sale. Don't even ask.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

life before digital cameras......

I was looking through old photos prior to Will's graduation because Jordan was making a slide show....and most of our photos are in photo albums. I know! So vintage! Anyway, it made me think of how many rolls of film I took, got developed, only to end up with one or two decent pictures. Remember those days?

Buy the film, take the pictures, take the film to be developed.....but only after you took all 24 or 36 pictures (which could take weeks), then wait 3 days for your prints to be developed and finally pay for the developed pictures even though they're junk. Oh, and I have doubles of the junk because I was always optimistic enough to think they would all turn out great and the grandparents would want one. There were some bad, bad pictures.

But now, the "bad ones" make me laugh.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

nothing and something

Since I went to work for the school district 5 years ago, I get to experience "summers off" like the kids do. The years I stayed home raising children and doing all of my odd jobs, summer was just a very hot, very humid, very loud (kids were home all day) time of the year. A time of year I only put up with because we didn't have to set alarms every day. But you can bet I counted off the days until school started back up.

But now........oh,'s deliciously quiet and I feel like I have miles of days of nothing ahead of me. The reality is about 10 weeks....but that feels pretty good considering an office worker only gets 2 weeks a year.

Or if you're Chuck, you have earned 5 weeks a year after 30 years but you don't take them because what if the place fell apart while you were gone? True story.

I started the traditon of doing nothing the very first week of summer. By nothing, I mean nothing. Except sleeping in, eating, and maybe loading the dishes. Nothing. This makes Chuck happy because I am spending no money. This week. Just wait.

The second tradition I started was having a list of projects for the summer. Things around the house that get put off during the school paint the back door, repaint my bedroom, clean out the hall closet.......etc. So starting Monday, I'm going to get busy. The cabinets around here are shaking in their hinges.......cause when I get the paint out, there's no telling what's going to get painted.

If you work in an office and you are reading this and it's making you angry/jealous.....that I get 10 weeks off.........just remember that you make way more money than me. WAY MORE. It's all a package deal. I work very hard (physically) for a sixpence.........but in return I get the summer off. So don't be jealous. I am sure your life is wonderful and when you do get those 2 weeks off, you probably go somewhere very exciting.

And speaking of office workers, one of those is my daughter, Jordan. I want to send you over to her blog today to read about her friend Christi and her need for your prayers. If you are uncomfortable praying for a stranger.........then just ask God to keep you in this day and remind you of your own blessings. Because this story is really about that. Go there now if you can.

About prayer.......I think there's power in it. I've seen the power of prayer as I hope most of you have. But sometimes, what we pray for isn't the result we get. And that can make us turn away from prayer. Let's not forget that "prayer" is really just dialogue with God or his precious son, Jesus. I used to only pray when I needed something. Usually by the time I turned to prayer it was more like "begging." If you've raised've begged God for patience, I'm sure.

But somewhere in my 30's, I began to pray for strength and just started dialogue with God. He knows me, he sees me, he knows what I need. Do I really need to ask him? I think he just wants to be in the middle of it with me and by praying to him/talking to him.......I get a stronger connection to him and he gives me the calm I need. And isn't it just polite to thank a giver? And isn't he the giver of all things? amen.

Dear God,

Please be with your child Christi as she faces her current situation. Give her your calm in this storm. Give her doctors the right solutions for this tumor. I believe you hand-pick your messengers and you have certainly picked a fine one here. However, she is someone's child, someone's wife and someone's mother.....not to mention a friend to many....and we want her with us much, much longer. We want her well. She is full of your light and this dark world needs her among us.


your child, Julia

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ohhhh, you're a sly one Mr. Will

I went up to Will's room on Sunday looking for a book that I wanted my mother to have. I couldn't find it, but I did see the condition of his room, his bathroom and the gameroom. Fortunately for him, I had a graduation party going on downstairs and his graduation ceremony to go to in the next 1/2 hour. I just flushed the vision until I could deal with it. (that's called growth)

For those of you who think I am a little fussy about things being picked up.........this is way beyond that. I'm talking stacks of dishes and bowls of old macaroni & cheese.....well, I think that's what it was now black.

Oh, and I figured out that he just works out of his laundry baskets even though he has always told me that he puts his clothes away. And while there are hardwoods in his room, it was carpeted with clothes.......some dirty, some clean, some outgrown and not worn in months.

Okay. I know. He's a teenager. And I listen to Chuck when he tells me to just leave their room to them. Don't worry about it. They will clean it up eventually. But I draw the line at black macaroni & cheese.

So he's grounded until his area is "model home" clean. I say "model home" clean because my kids know how to shove stuff in closets and under beds......well, what kid doesn't, really.

So today there is a knock on the door and it's a couple of his friendgirls (a friend that's a girl but not a girlfriend). They are here to help him clean.

Me: Will's grounded.

Him: They're here to help me clean.

Me: NO, you are NOT helping him clean.

Them: We don't mind.

Me: Well, I do. It's not your job.

Him: They want to.

Me: You're going to let them see that mess?

Him: Yeah, they don't care.

Them: We don't care.

Me:.....................shake my head and walk fight's gone.........

I guess it pays to be Will. Jordan and Cameron are shaking their heads right now reading this...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Check it off the Life List!

Done. The last child has graduated from high school. Bittersweet moment.
But more sweet than bitter.
The feeling I have is ...........aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh.

The graduate's cap waiting to be donned.....

As of Friday, I had done nothing towards planning Will's graduation get-together. I hesitate to call it a "party" because it was 11 family members only. Not a wild party crowd. Will spent his Saturday hitting 3 parties so I think he was perfectly fine with just family. Plus we had to squeeze it in between church and leaving for the ceremony.

I ordered fajitas from Lupe Tortilla's for lunch......

We watched Will open gifts........

Laundry basket full of towels, a first aid kit, a clock, a blanket

and a little of this and a little of that....

Even the dogs watched......of course, they had to be held.

We had 3 cameras going.....and a video camera. Poor Will.

He got his robe and gown on.......
whoops.......I mean cap and gown.....

(my nephew Jack caught that mistake and reminded me we don't end sentences with prepositions.....thanks, Jack....I owe you something. Heck I owe everyone something.....and I said robe and gown.....because I love sleep so much that I couldn't say gown without thinking robe.)

We headed to the ceremony..........

We like to do things "BIG" in Texas. At the risk of being obnoxious.

Cousin Mark, Sister Jordan, Cousin Jack.....gave up their day for Baby Will......

And then we watched this for 3 hours.......uh,huh. 3 hours.

985 graduates waiting for their 30 seconds on stage.......

But this part was worth it all.

This moment is full of emotions......

relief, sadness, happiness, hope, regrets, wishes and dreams.

High school graduate with his sisters. These are the two girls that helped raise him. He should make an awesome husband some he is certainly used to girls....or being henpecked....however you want to look at it.

And then we came home for dessert. There's a local bake shop that makes their own ding-dongs....2 layers of chocolate cake with creamy filling, dipped in heavy fudge. It's a diabetic coma looking for a place to happen. Each ding-dong is huge and can feed at least 4 people.

But I needed 6 of them so I could spell out W I L L 0 9.........
would any of you like a piece of leftover ding-dong?

And then........the young man that just graduated
from high school.....
had told us all afternoon
that he felt like Harry Potter in that red gown.
And so it was inevitable.
He grabbed a bamboo cane
out of one my floral arrangements
and turned into Harry Potter.
Proving you cannot take the boy out of the man.

Poof! He's all grown up! Like magic!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Just a typical Saturday around here except...

......I burned Chuck's privates this morning.
Maybe I should explain.

Chuck was sitting at the computer when I came in here. I had just fixed my first cup of coffee. He turned the chair and it hit the coffee cup and it spilled right on his lap. Less than a milisecond, he stood up, screamed and ran out of the room.

Well, good morning to you too!

He is going to be okay. But he is burned down there and I am feeling very guilty.
It's not like I did it on purpose........but it was my coffee.
I brought him a frozen bag of corn to put down there. He says that made a big difference. I asked him if he needed to go to the doctor. He says no. I am pretty sure he may be sterile now.