Monthly Archives: March 2011

Have I mentioned…

I love my camera!


I am having so much fun with it!

I was worried I wouldn’t use it.  That is laughable to me now!


In other news I have about 50 projects in different stages of completion, some closer to being done than others.  I need to buckle down and knock them out one at a time.  This hopping from one to the other isn’t getting me anywhere.




Tomorrow (fingers crossed): Chicken and A Spare Goose

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Filed under Feeling Fartsy, So Random

Even closets can be pretty.

We moved into this house in November.  It was a foreclosure and needed some work.  We painted and made the necessary immediate repairs. We have lots of big projects in mind for the future when we are ready financially, physically, and emotionally.  I say emotionally because home improvement stuff can take over your life if you let it.  Der and I work together very well and rarely argue in day-to-day life.  Put us in a home improvement store with two different views on the cheapest, safest or cutest way to do something and our horns lock.  So we have to prepare ourselves mentally.

Our house was built in 1976 and I think that was the last time the closets were painted.  Plus the previous owners had some weird shelving or something that they had attached to the walls with liquid nails.  They took whatever it was with them and left scars and remnants of liquid nails on the walls.  It was ugly and icky.

As you can see our closet is odd in that it has this blank wall front and center.  His side is on the left and my side is on the right.

I eventually want to redo all of our closets with closet systems, but for now I decided to challenge myself and see how cute I could make my closet for less than $50, not because I can’t spend more, but because I thought it would be fun.

So here’s what I did.

First I scraped as much of the liquid nails off as I could and filled the umpteen million holes with putty and sanded.  Then I painted.  I asked myself multiple times what on earth possessed me to decide to paint when the memory of us putting 30 gallons of paint on all of the living space walls and ceilings was still so fresh.  Painting is like childbirth, you have to allow yourself time to forget how much you hate it so you can focus on the awesomeness that comes from it.  I had not given myself nearly enough time.

I love this color.

That might be why it took me three days to finish painting such a small space.  I told Der I felt like a slow Loris.  If you don’t know what that is click here.  So cute and yet painfully slow.  I wonder if they want to move faster but are physically incapable.

I also get distracted easily, but to my credit there are quite a few distractions in this house.

I found a mirror at Goodwill (you may be wondering if I shop anywhere else)  I bought it a few months ago knowing that I wanted to paint it, but was not sure where I was going to put it.  Once I decided I wanted to paint the closet wall turquoise I knew where the mirror would go and what color it should be.

I took lots of before photos of the mirror but can’t find them.  I am tired of looking so here is a photo when I was playing with the frame after it was painted but before I put the mirror back in it.

The mirror was a tarnished gold color.

I found these racks on a different trip to Goodwill and for some mysterious reason knew exactly what I was going to do with them.  They were 99 cents each and they told me they would make perfect jewelry organizers.

I am not a big jewelry person.  I mean I love jewelry. I love how it can take an ordinary T-shirt and jeans outfit and bump up the cuteness level infinitely.  I do not however care for wearing jewelry.  Comfort is king to me and less is more when it comes to comfort. I like to own it, I like to buy it, I even like to display it, but I am not much for wearing it.  My jewelry storage has changed multiple times over the years.  My most recent storage method was a plastic shoe box buried in my closet.  I am so fancy!

I dismantled an old CD tower painted it white

You can see the CD tower here midway through dismantling the spice racks are off to the side post paint job.

This is the only part of the tower that I used.  It was 99 cents at GW. I painted it white too.

Now for less than 50 bucks and a limited amount of grief I get to smile every time I open my closet door.  And on the rare day I feel like wearing jewelry it’s all there for me to peruse easily.

I put a small plastic tray on the top shelf of the middle rack to hold smaller items that couldn’t be hung.

What do you think?


Filed under Feeling Fartsy, On The Cheap

And More!

I remember this day.  It was before Benny’s relapse.  We were at clinic.  Benny didn’t mind if they took his picture, but no he wouldn’t leave my lap.  I was pregnant and haggard and made them promise to do their best not to get me in the shot.

I have a big poster of this shot, but until now did not have the jpeg for it.

He looks like he is giving autographs.

I could just eat him up.  I swear I could!

Thanks again for the abundant gifts Darci.  You are a superstar!


Filed under Brain Stew, Rodents aka kids


In June it will be 5 years since Benny died.  He will have been gone as long as he was here.  That thought guts me.  It had been about 4 years since I had seen a photo of Benny that I had never seen before.   And then came Darci.

Darci is the Director of Communications and Marketing for Steele Children’s Research Center/Dept. of Pediatrics.  Benny took part in a study after his relapse and that’s how we met Darci.

The bottom right photo was a signature Benny pose.  He would move his hands likepincers and make  wonk noises.  He usually did it when He was feeling selfconcious.  Darci made this collage.

Being the lady that she is, Darci emailed me to ask me if I had given permission for Benny’s picture to be part of an art installment at the hospital.  I wasn’t sure.  I had allowed Benny to be in several photo shoots.  I have also given out personal pics of him to groups requesting one for various fundraisers and artworks.

Darci described what Benny was wearing and I knew exactly which shoot it came from.  I arranged to come down to the hospital the next day. None of these photos are from the shoot for the picture on display at the hospital.

After Benny’s death I would make at least one trip a month to the hospital with toys for the toy box and to see the fine people who after 2 1/2 years of helping us through the hardest battle of our lives are like family.

I went religiously while it brought me comfort, but when it stopped helping, I stopped going.  I hadn’t been back in over a year.  I went back knowing that this would probably be the last time.

I could find my way through the parking garage with my eyes closed.  I have seen every floor of it.  Ridden in both of its elevators.  Climbed both sets of stairs.  I even got to use the “Doctors Only” exit once or twice.

I know the walk from the parking garage to the side entrance.  Benny and Jeremia and later Conrad would take turns at pushing the automatic door button.  Walking past the volunteer offices, the gift shop the outpatient pharmacy through billing and up the elevators to the third floor.  I honestly cannot count how many times my feet walked that path in the span of the 890 days of Benny’s post-cancer life.  The parking garage and path to the elevators haven’t changed but just about everything on the 3rd floor has changed.

Now the hospital is just another painful reminder that change is the nature of life.

So Darci showed me the photo, I bawled, she said she’d try to get me copies and then she showed me some photos she had of Benny and me.  Whenever pics were taken we were given a print or a jpeg, but it was always just whichever one they thought was the best.  All of the others were forgotten, by me anyway.

To have “new” photos of Benny is the rarest and most priceless gift!

Thank you Darci!  Thank you for caring about us.  You are a wonderful soul.  I am thankful to call you my friend.

Benny watching his very own magic show. I remember this well.

In 8 separate emails Darci sent me each and every photo she had of Benny on her computer.  When I got them I gasped and cried.  Derek and I held each other while we looked at them.  I forced myself to stop looking halfway through.  I wanted to drag it out as long as I could.  To see my long lost baby’s face in new ways.  Children have lots of firsts that parents rejoice in.  When your child has died and you have passed the first anniversary you don’t have anymore firsts.  What a horrible thing.

What is not to love about that face?  Such a beautiful soul.

These photos are little treasures for me.

We were always laughing and goofing around.  Here he tries to eat my face.

We had so much fun together.
You can practically see the love pouring off of me.
My hair served as my inaudible scream.  I was helpless.  I was powerless to change the events that were unfolding. I am very proud of how we walked and continue to walk this journey.  And continue to be grateful for the people it has put in our path.
I love you moonman.  You sure are cute!

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Filed under Brain Stew, Rodents aka kids



Conrad sans his two front teef. Ami is really hopeful to lose his teeth soon.

I love, love, love my new camera.  I have to force myself to sit in a quiet room and skim the owner’s manual and figure out what all of the symbols and settings are.  I have little to no attention span for such things.  I just want to go take photos.  I want to find the light!  I don’t want to have to stop and learn the important stuff.

This is frustrating, but I know if I want to make full use of my new friend I will have to buckle down and do the work.  I also need to sit and figure out the damn software. Right now there are a bunch of photos lost somewhere in my computer from my new camera.  I have many that I want to share here.  I think I figured it out…

I have a been a busy, busy girl.  I have been working hard on my hypno-therapy.  I have been slaying dragons and saving princesses, or whatever the female version of that cliché is.  I feel like it’s working.  It’s not hurting that’s for sure!  I have one more session until I graduate.

A cool pic I took.  It doubles as a hint about my latest project.

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Filed under So Random

Gifts of Benny

I went to visit the hospital today.  A friend of mine who still works there called me because there is a picture of Benny on display and she wanted to make sure I had given permission.  Thanks Darci!  Years ago I gave permission for the photo shoot and had been given a poster size copy of one of the pics from the shoot, but had no idea they were still using the pics.

When Benny died  I was painfully aware that I would never take another picture of him, never have new memories with him.  That was a very bitter and painful pill to swallow.  It’s almost been 5 years so I figured I had seen every photo ever taken of his sweet face.  In the beginning I would get surprises here and there someone would share a photo I had forgotten, but it’s been a long time since anything new.

The photo I saw today was one I had never seen.  I burst into tears.  It was a huge gift!  When Darci showed me the pic and saw my reaction she said she would try to get me copies of the shoot and remembered some photos she had as well.  I am so excited and cannot wait to pour over my new gifts.

I have lots of thoughts and feelings that were stirred up today.  I want to write about them but I still need to sort through them.

I am grateful to know that I am thought and loved by so many truly good people.

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Filed under Brain Stew, So Random

Everyday Nonsense.

I am not lost to the pit of despair.  Thank God!  I have actually been doing very well just super busy.

I started a part-time job.

I have been working on supplementing my wardrobe that is 99% jeans and t-shirts.  I am allowed to wear jeans but they have to be dressed up in cuteness.  So I have been on the look out for cute tops and accessories.

I have been going to hypnotherapy.  More on that later.  So far so good.

I have been taking care of the day-to-day nonsense of life that can carry us away if we let it.

We found out Jeremia is a genius…well not quite an official genius, but still super-duper smart.  Which I already knew but it is nice for him get that much-needed boost of self-confidence.

My brain is planning several DIY projects I will sharing with you hopefully sooner than later.

I will be getting a new camera very, very soon.  I am so excited.  I am getting a Rebel. So if my pics still suck after, I will have no excuse.  I am sure I will think of something though.

Now we are off to take the boys to see Rango.

We are also on a quest to find new shoes for Jeremia.  He is beyond picky about shoes. Finding ones he likes that don’t cost too much is not fun.  It is exhausting.  Wish us luck.

We had shreaded pork tacos with some of the frozen leftovers from the roast.  YUM!

This photo has nothing to do with anything.  It’s just cute.  Ami has everything he needs in this pic.  His “Lightning Queens” , his silly bandz, bag worn like backpack full of stuffed ducks and bears, favorite hat and some unidentified snack item all over his delicious face.  It is good to be Ami.

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Filed under Brain Stew, So Random