some days are just like that + why tears are good for you

A weepy day yesterday -- don't like to journal during that - only after - after reflecting.

Started in the wee hours of the morning when I was shocked awake by some dream about spiders. ICK. Then it seemed to progress throughout the day. While typing an email, while rushing kids from school to religious education classes, while sitting through the parent's "spirituality session" in the chapel {the one I had forgotten all about!} Thats where the tears really started to flow. Rushing home knowing I had to get home to whip up a quick & simple dinner so we could make it to our first girl scout's meeting by 6pm. I was exhausted by the end of the day. not physically -- mentally.

And you know, it was all because I was thinking about my grandmother. {uh-oh, here i go again} She passed away 8 years ago yesterday and all day I knew she would want me to say a little prayer. And I kept pushing it back to later in the day, or after I got the kids to school. I miss her dearly. Not a day goes by that I don't think about her at least once. I didn't light a candle, as is customary for our family. This is because little guy makes it a little tough -- any time he sees a lite candle he thinks "birthday" and wants to immediately blow it out. I'm sure grandmother {nonna} understands this though.

The quiet prayer and reflection time in the chapel was just what I needed. The person leading the group talked about how we live by, and drive ourselves nuts by, the "ought to's" in our lives. I ought do to this or I ought to do that but maybe another time. Man it really sunk in. Although I could've done without the "okay, now lets turn to each other in groups of 3 or 4 and share what the quiet prayer time felt like for you" um, there was no hiding red, wet eyes. Oh, God. People I didn't even know. So she #1 from the group asked "were they happy or sad tears?" probably trying to understand if I needed medical assessment. I share with them about being reminded of my grandmother while listening to one of the comments the women who was leading the prayer group shared. Sharing like that is not my most favorite-y thing, but it was good to just let it out there.

I felt better after that.
Feel better today.
I love you nonna, and I feel your presence sometimes.
so good to remember how you used to deal with life's little trails. With prayer and faith.
so simple.


blog banner has new look

So I was going for a little something new -- something that would add the crafty side of me. Possibly the font combination took me a tad bit too long to come up with this afternoon {the downside of being a font-addict, is that I just have so many to choose from} but other than that I immediately was drawn to those photos from my stash. And gosh I am so long winded -- I was trying to say something about the blog contents. Blah blah, deep thoughts, blah. Finally satisfied, I saved and well there it is.

I added two of my favorite pics of homemade "crafty" gifts that we gave the kid's teachers this past June. They were fun to make -- mental note made today after finding the photos that I want to make more.

We gave them a theme {the teacher was a fan of turtles} and so I labeled the set of glass marble magnets the "swimmy sea turtles" set. I found a nice quote and typed it on card stock then cut it out to include as a tag on the pouch. I set them up in a little shimmery pouch bag {sold at acmoore for like .69 cents} and labeled a mini jewelry box with the name. She was like "wow, you guys made these?" Well I hope she did like them, I think she did. Useful, I hoped. Then a card I really enjoyed making; it turned out so pretty because of the paper flower. I got the idea about the magnets from the not martha site {real good creative site}

I just love how this flower turned out! This is easy and made of varied round paper shapes cut into with scissors with a brad in the middle -- but any cute thing could be in the middle really -- button, fabric flower, felt shape.


Portraits of a Full Weekend

1 -- Rochester's Best Combination of Art Festivals
the long running clothesline art festival + the new indie market = so much creative energy.
On Saturday after our outing I felt like coming home and making something.

2--our 8 year old boy in awe of the ivy covered buildings near the memorial art gallery. even though there was some kinda shmutzey stuff on my lens and the sunlight was blazing over the top of the building I like it -- looks very mystical. he really wanted to climb it -- thought the ivy was very, very cool.

3--fresh veggies that I have to cook and or freeze. I decided to cook {for a change}. Peppers, potatoes, onions, garlic. All grown right around here {fall is always a better time to do this domestic task called cooking in my opinion :)}

4-- Reflections on a visit to the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall. it is a replica of the memorial in Washington DC and it is traveling the country -- in Rochester this weekend and someone had said it was very beautifully done so we went.
among all the emotions that come to mind while we were there we also
tried to find a way to explain to the kids what they were seeing to help them understand that its not just a wall with names on it. {we haven't been to washington, DC with them yet so this was a first for them}
I have one child that asks alot of questions {our daughter} and one that listens and takes it all in {our son} So as we made our way down the walk I overheard her say to him -- "All these names are soldiers that died, and all these people are in heaven" and he says, "Yeah, I heard about it, there is alot."

I was a little kid while the Vietnam war raged on, my parents being nearly new immigrants to this country were not personally involved, and I never knew anyone who had been in this war until much later in my life. But this is what I remember from the early 70s; I played with one of the neighbor girls and her brothers and other siblings during those earliest summers I remember. They were a fun family - lots of kids. My little sister was not born yet so I was an only child pretty much and It felt so good to play with a bunch of kids. The dad would always talk over the fence with my dad, possibly comparing gardens of homegrown veggies and compost piles or maybe how he made homemade wine. Whatever they talked about it was always friendly.
One day they were gone.
Just moved out and left. They left a void where the friendly used to be. No one knew where they went. Then, later, but I don't know how much later, we found out that they moved to Canada. Took the family out of here.

I missed my friend. I didn't know and understand until later just why the war would make someone do that. But I still missed out on a friend back then. I don't think the neighborhood was ever quite as fun.

All that makes me wonder about the long-lasting effects of war on us.
As I got older I met other kids that had dads, brothers or uncles involved. When I was older still I worked with a woman whose husband had been in the war. I commented one day on my plans for the weekend that included going up to Toronto to see Miss Saigon. She got this look on her face. Said she could never go see that after what her husband told her about his time there. My husband currently works with a Vietnam vet, he will occasionally share things with the guys but mostly says he "doesn't like to talk about it."
These days positions on the war are so varied -- and I'm not trying to make a commentary here.
But I wish leaders would learn from the past. Wish some of them would reflect more on what long-lasting impact is taking place right now in our current generation.
Kids get it in their own way. They shape their views from our reflections; good and bad. I hope we will we have a generation someday that does not rely on wars to solve problems. Will we ever have that? I wonder.

So the word for me this week is Reflect.
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first day of school

It wasn't that they were miserable about school, or anything like that, it was just that Mommy was out there snapping pictures in her jammies {the mommarazzi} and little brother was out running around in a pull up and nothing else. "Maaaaaaaaaaaa, the bus is coming?" {translation : mom go back inside with that camera and yer green pajamas, pleeeease! and take the nekked toddler with you!}
But, its funny to note that this morning when I sent this picture via email to family and friends I cracked a joke about them being whiny, and later I was thinking, man I just love those little faces.
I love, love, love, them


Wow, Its September Already?

Back from taking a week break from blogging. I would like to have something to post about scrapbooking done lately --I missed the deadline for posting on "Balance" for the one little word challenge but it was still useful to ponder this word and use it as a starting point for a LO. I've been over at flickr to set up an account for the "daily something" and just haven't figured out a username yet {silly I know} I agonize over coming up with a unique name then just end up with my own name on it anyway. what a silly girl :) I do like the flickr site and also the slide site to add more fun stuff to the blog. Still compiling my faves list {there are just so many good ones} I've seen this on many cool, creative blogs but how do you make it fun to read, yet manageable to update and share?

Only thing to share are some pics of the how the"daily something" challenge is progressing -- some days I realized that i have the story but not a picture to go along, so I've just been using the actual object, if I can, and use the stuff that makes it safe to use in scrapbooking {like the Chinese take-out menu} the routine has grown on me, and I don't feel bad about skipping a few days here and there. Although there is a little story everyday that should be shared or written about {before we forget it} -- it doesn't have to be artsy, or even follow the rules {if there be rules these days} of what is commonly known as scrapbooking. I really just love to use photos but the idea of using found objects from the day also seemed fitting. On the front page of the mini album I'm using {a quickly growing out of} I added a little paint to match the similar shade we used in our bathroom just repainted. One of the daily something pages that followed that is of the bathroom being painted so I thought that was a nice tie-in.

Mine has definitely taken a turn to more of an art journal/place to quickly jot down thoughts/exploration of sorts. I realized when I was setting up the pages above...flowers in garden one day and Chinese takeout night....that I was making it a little too complicated trying to find a matching patterned paper to go along with a theme....that's when I realized its not going to be the patterned paper I reflect upon six months from now - its going to be the story. But of course I was liking the color combo of the red Chinese chopstick packaging and the pale blue together :) that combo is just really pretty. But after that day I made it a little less consuming.

Watercolor thank you

Still enjoying the watercolor for card makers class. Since I wasn't able to follow along each day I'm still busy practicing some of...