Thursday, September 23, 2010

I did it! Raised $1875 for Breast Cancer Research

Ok, please ignore my last post.  I'm over it.  (My kids aren't quite over it, but husband is, and kids are close).

Yesterday, one gloriously good thing happened.  I reached my goal of raising $1,800 for breast cancer research.  I'm actually up to $1875. 

Let me just say, I'm a terrible fundraiser. I hate selling raffle tickets, gift wrap, gift cards.  It just throws me out of my comfort zone. I'm not a good asker, you might say.

Anyway, I committed to walking the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, but along with it you have to raise $$.  I was already composing my pitch to my husband as to why we would have to write the check to cover the balance due after my fundraising failed.  Anyway, thanks to 17 uber-generous friends, I passed my goal yesterday.  I'm feeling rather proud of myself, actually, with a bit of a can-do outlook today. 

And, really, I do believe in the power of movements, and the movement to find a cure for breast cancer is a mighty one indeed.   I have a dream too -- that some day within my lifetime, there won't be any more breast cancer fundraisers, because there will be effective prevention and a cure.

Now, back to my training!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sometimes this Job is too Much (caution: venting and dirty laundry ahead)

Sometimes this motherhood business overwhelms me.  Not the kind of pain where your heart constricts because your child is hurting -- no, that's something else.  The kind of overwhelming helplessness and later numbness when it just seems like you keep screwing up.  Right now I'm the black shadow of the family. The dark cloud.  And I don't know if it's the right thing.  In a nutshell, I cancelled a family trip because I didn't want to miss my training walks.   They all think I'm selfish, and you probably do too, but  the decision's made and everyone's upset.  It's the hour-long crying from my two older boys when I told them we weren't going that makes me vacillate from feeling sorry to feeling angry to feeling burnt.

Oh, I didn't mean to air all this dirty laundry.  And I'll probably go back and delete it. But right now, I have to stop myself from spiraling into the future and imagining everyone's therapy sessions. Or stay present and bathe my little one, empty the dishwasher, do more laundry, pick up kids from school, take them to baseball, make dinner, repeat.

Perspective.  It really is all it's cracked up to be.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Late August Still Life Paintings

I'm getting used to cycles without my camera (broken, broken, stolen) and so I redirect my energy back into painting.  I don't know what I'm doing with all of these paintings I'm amassing, but I think chiefly I'm practicing, developing and stretching my visual muscles.  Here's two 8X10 still lifes.  My inspiration shot was the cover of the Garnet Hill catalogue.  I really love the one of the cups, but the tea/spoons turned out nicely too.  Sometimes it's so much easier to paint from a beautifully lit photo than my set-ups.
Earlier in the month, I felt inspired to paint my shoes.  I was breaking out of my fruit crate, so to speak, and set up my shoes instead.  Initially, I had painted the background a pale yellow, but after a visit to the Met and looking at Van Gogh's portrait of his postman, I changed the background to a Kaffe Fassett fabric.  I plan to do more shoes and more patterned backgrounds.  This one's a little bigger-- 11X14, but still fairly small.   Perhaps when Jack finally begins his full day of school (a grand total of 2-1/2 hours) I'll have some time to paint again.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

something happened

I don't have a green thumb at all.  I wish I did, because I love flowers, trees, veggie patches -- the whole nine, but gardening just hasn't hit me as hard as some of my other interests.  I always have three containers out front, and I mix it up each year, trying for a spiller, a thriller and a filler.  Anyway, this year, the whole thing went haywire, and I ended up with three giant containers full of beautiful, jack-in-the-beanstalk-sized coleus plants.  It really amused me to no end to see my flower-ful pots turn into big leafy urns.  I mean big too.  I'm going to try and root some to keep them inside over the winter, since I hate to see them die after such a glorious showing. 

The rest of the yard was kaput this year, but there's always next year.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


You might think that spring is the season of renewal, and of course, Mother Nature does a mighty fine job of it then, but fall feels like a season of renewal as well.   Bring some order back from the heady chaos of summer.  The lazy days begin speeding up, guided by other-people's-clocks and the calendar fills up behind your back. 

Inspired by tara's beautiful entry in this joy+ride

what's on the nightstand:

Painters in Paris 1895-1950 (some of my favorite paintings, picked up at the Met)
Kings of the Earth by Jon Clinch (overdue library book)
The Art Spirit by Robert Henri
The Photographer's Eye by Michael Freeman (great book on composition)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (old and utterly untouched)

and a rotating tall pile of other things which strike me just before climbing into bed. 

am loving:

my gigantic coleus plants.  not the container gardens I had planned this year at all, but the coleus is enormous
having the kids home for one more week before the grind begins
iced decaf earl grey tea
training for the Avon breast cancer walk (why does it surprise me that I need a goal to get in shape)
the noticeable buzz as the town readies for fall

summer inspires me by
Setting me loose into the world.  I love walking outside in my pjs and bare feet, garden peeping and dreaming about next year's gardens, spontaneous dips in the pool, the freedom to choose our curriculum, as it were.  Dropping my role as a chauffer and school marm for a bit inspires me to reacquaint my kids and myself with my fun and spontaneous side. 

Summer wardrobe staple that I can't live without

Has to be bare feet.  My feet can get clausterphobic when my shoes feel too hot and sometimes I feel like socks are strangling me so in the summer.  I a also love the look of a fresh pedicure even if the rest of me is a complete mess.  Plus, no socks = less laundry!

Perfect homemade summer meal
Late August corn-on-the cob, chopped tomato and basil from the garden topped with sea salt and ground pepper, salmon on the grill, a hunk of rustic bread and watermelon for dessert.  A trip to the ice cream shop later for an evening walk through town with an ice cream cone.

Three constants in my day
Public radio
Chocolate milk (I have a child who needs a 12 step program for dairy)

the inspiration for these photos
sometimes the everyday chaos of three boys and a busy husband makes my head spin.  Shooting them helps me appreciate the beauty of the everyday moment and lets me keep them little forever (and quiet!).  My camera was stolen a week after these pictures were taken, along with a 400 new pictures.  I shudder to think of someone just erasing my memory card with two clicks of a button.