Tuesday, August 31, 2010

day thirty one

Another month of daily blogging! It's smooth sailing once I get into it. It's just getting into a rhythm that can be daunting for me. This month of focusing on posting daily images sparked a few writing ideas. So, watch for those in September.

These photos are all from my six days at Clare's Well earlier this month. Hands down, the highlight of the month for me.

Monday, August 30, 2010

day thirty

Felt a bit under the weather this evening. Luckily it wasn't the stomach flu as I thought it could be. I think I just needed to sleep for 9 hours. Practiced a little self-care, rather than keeping current on the blog posting. So worth it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

day twenty nine

 picnic lunch at the beach (completed another 34 to do's)
 bright summer sky
watching this little goldfinch at water's edge

day twenty eight

The day included a trip to the farmer's market for zucchini and the great flowers (love ornamental cabbage in arrangements!). I made this chocolate zucchini cake Molly posted this week. Went to the Y, quick trip to target, some scrapbooking time and watched Evening. I love that movie - especially in the summer - and it always makes me cry. Savoring the last few days of summer.

Friday, August 27, 2010

day twenty seven

A previously posted picture, but I don't have many of me interacting with my home. . . and since this week marks my five year anniversary as a homeowner, it's only fitting to include this self-timer shot from April.

My house isn't perfect - just as nothing in life is perfect - but I love it and it's perfect for me right now. Sometimes I gaze longingly at houses that are at street level, that have a yard, that have an upstairs and a downstairs and I wonder when I'll live in a single family house and not a condominium. Answer is: I don't know exactly when that will happen. Truth be told, I thought five years ago that right about now I'd be making a transition to something different. That's when the housing market was still strong and gaining home equity was pretty much a sure bet. Not anymore. Technically now I'm paying considerably more each month compared to what the financial world says my home is worth, as are many people.

There's been a lot of news about the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this week. Katrina was hitting just as I was unpacking boxes and finding new homes for my plates and spoons. I remember feeling incredibly sad and incredibly grateful as I watched reports of the devastation along the Gulf Coast. I had a place that I was responsible for. That I could love and feel comfortable in. While others were watching (even dying in) their homes as the waters took over.

Some days I give my place a little pep talk and tell it I know you're valuable and I still love you. My goal is to make some day everyday. Thanks, home, for keeping me warm in the winter, cool in the summer and giving me space to laugh and cry and sing and learn and fall asleep each night.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

day twenty six

Looking up under Johnston Hall

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

day twenty five

Celebrate U today at the U of M - employee recognition day. Inspired by these balloon arrangements.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

day twenty four

This picture is from a year ago, but that's OK. Tonight I went out to dinner with Kelsey, one of my babysitting kids, who will start her sophmore year of college next week - yippee Kelsey! We enjoyed a lovely Indian dinner, followed by ice cream and a walk on Grand Ave in St. Paul. We gabbed and laughed about college and our summers. It's been such a joy to be a part of her life all of these years. She's off to be and do great things :) Love you, Kelsey!

Monday, August 23, 2010

day twenty three (and a return of more words)

It's almost time for the students to return en masse. Sorta (actually, a lot) excited about that. Campus is great fun with the hum and hustle of learning and becoming.
So here's a blast from my past. . . on two fronts. First, check me out, second from the right in the first row. I look like a Beatle. Yikes, not attractive hair. And this was probably the only summer in my life when I was actually taller than a few boys. Second, how about this scrapbook layout? Whoa. Lots of dark colors and embossing powder. Not my style anymore. Yet the words on this page are fantastic. I did a great job in this entire album telling the story of my family's time each summer at a resort near Blackduck, MN called Cedar Rapids Lodge (highly recommend it for a family vacation, by the way).

I pulled this out and scanned it tonight because I read today on the CRL blog that Don, the older man in the back row, passed away last week. Don and Vivian were the owners of the resort when we started going there in 1981. They sold it in 1986 to the Addler's, who still own it. We continued to spend a week there each summer until 1995. Some of my most treasured childhood memories are rooted at this place.

And this evening pictured above is one of them. It was the summer of 1986 and the group of us kids had been friends for many summers. This was/is the type of resort where families come back the same week, year after year. We were just about teenagers. Earlier in the week we were hanging out in the lodge, playing pinball and Don caught our attention with, "hey, you kids want to go on a snipe hunt this week?" So we talked about this with him a bit. Lots of questions, like "what are snipe." He told us they were little birds that run around on the ground, in the woods behind the cabins. And the trick to catching them is rapping on the ground with special snipe sticks he would find for us which would lure them into our garbage bags. I think we believed that story in full until we looked up snipe in the lodge's bird book and discovered that in fact, snipe live near water and prefer to run around in the sand. We told our parents what Don was planning for us and were met with twinkling eyes that made us even more curious about what was really going to happen.

Snipe hunt night rolled around. Don had all the sticks and garbage bags ready. When it was dark he brought us back to woods and stationed the oldest of us the deepest in the woods, then staggered us out from there. I was with Ginger and Don put us in a clearing. We sat on the ground and tapped our sticks. But then we started hearing lions roaring and monkeys chirping and there was this red light that kept flashing around the trees beyond us. Then it would get quiet. Then it all would come back. But now there were these howling noises, that didn't sound real. Jeremy and Jeff came running out yelling, "Don's tricked us - he has a tape player with him and he's walking around back here." We all ran out to find some dads climbing down from their howling posts on cabin rooftops and all the adults at the resort laughing and asking where the snipe were. The younger kids in the group were pretty scared.

We surrounded Don at the bonfire after and joked that we knew all week he was up to something. He said he didn't know what were talking about - that he was helping chase the snipe out to us. We just needed to tap for them and they would have come running. Yep, we weren't buying it, but roasted marshmallows with him anyway. 

We knew earlier in the week that this would be Don and Viv's last year as owners. One of the families were like the Von Trapp's and they planned a farewell party on Friday night in the lodge for everyone at the resort that week. The dad, Cliff, and mom, Cheryl, rewrote lyrics and us kids became Don and Snipes. We sang "Northern Fish" to "California Girls" and "Hey, Hey We're the Leeches" to "Hey, Hey We're the Monkeys." We had practice times during the week. And there were props too. We wore black garbage bags to be leeches. We played fishing pole guitars and tackle box drums. It was our one and only gig. Cliff and Cheryl also rewrote "Oh Danny Boy" to "Oh Donny Boy" and performed it together. Here we are:

Somewhere in my bedroom at my parent's house I have the one and only audio cassette tape recording of us performing that Friday night.

Ah, good memories. Really, really good memories. Don, I hope heaven is full of snipe, lots of sunnies and walleyes and chocolate shakes. Thank you for being a special person in my life.

ps - Tammy, if you're reading this - Ginger and Jeff are Ginger and Jeff Stark, who you went to school with.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

day twenty two

This was the scene on one of my kitchen counters at 7p CDT tonight. I joined some of my Unravelling friends for a "take a photo when it's 7p where you are" challenge. Thanks Stacy for suggesting we do this!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

day twenty one

The summer harvest has come to Minnesota. Everything is ripe and abundant. I love how this vendor at the Farmer's Market is thoughtfully shining up his tomatoes before putting them out for sale. I watched him for a few minutes as I admired these flowers.

I don't spend much time these days with children, but this afternoon I joined Tammy and Laura to create some personal vision boards using magazine images + words. Laura has a little boy named Carlo. He's precious. We read a book together after dinner and he was making amazing connections. There's a small yellow circle in the book that I pointed at a few times, then he started pointing at it, then at a round button on his shirt. At first I thought it was a coincidence, but he did it three more times! He's just over a year old - amazing! Maybe this is common for little ones, I'm not sure. He also signed "more" after I'd finish reading so I read it again. I was in awe of him and the family that surrounds him. What a treasure.

Friday, August 20, 2010

day twenty

dreams come true

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

day fourteen

fill with only what is truly important.

i'm off to clare's well tomorrow for five nights of nature, books, fabulous food, fascinating people and time just to take it all in. i've scheduled a picture post to launch each day i'm away, so you can see some of what i'm enjoying.

be well.

Friday, August 13, 2010

day thirteen

more preparations for next week

Thursday, August 12, 2010

day twelve

Change is in the air.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

day eleven

Gathering supplies for a project I have planned for next week.

day ten

Primary election day in Minnesota. I was #288 to vote in my precinct at 6:20 pm.
Not the best turnout.

Monday, August 9, 2010

day nine

It's the "I forgot to take a photo today photo." I'm calling it just GO.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

day eight

I took a nap this afternoon. It's been a long time since I intentionally said to myself, "I'm going to take a nap now." I really needed it. Blessings for the ability to slow down and rest.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

day seven

Writing today at the Black Sheep Coffee Cafe. It felt good. And it brought me back to a time when my thoughts were so different than they are today. Just a bit of disbelief pinged inside my mind as I wrote. "Was this really me?," I thought. I could quickly answer yes because the feelings still bubble to the surface quickly. They are sad. They are happy. They are confident. They are scared. They are proud. They wonder, "where will I go?" And they say, "this is me."

Friday, August 6, 2010

day six and 7 link blog challenge

Another from my archive - felt like an instax photo scan day today. Lighting wasn't optimal (as the flash fired), but I love the shadows on this photo.

Susannah featured this 7 link challenge on her blog a while back. I was reminded of it when I received her snazzy new e-newsletter in my inbox this week. Here are my links:

•My first post
•A post I
enjoyed writing
•A post which had a great discussion
•A post on someone else’s blog that you wish I’d written - from Kelly Rae Roberts
•My most helpful post
•A post with a title I am proud of
•A post that I wish more people had read

Thursday, August 5, 2010

day five

Punch pizza + summer shandy = it's what's for dinner

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

day three

Photo from last summer. Delighted when I found it on my computer this evening. Deserves some viewing.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

day one

I'm taking a bit of a word break on my blog for the month of August, taking a nod from Susannah Conway's idea for the August Break (click on the August Break photo on my right sidebar for more info). I'm hoping this will bring back some routine and inspiration for me to post more regularly. I posted every day for a month in December 2009, and surprisingly, I enjoyed it and didn't find it irritating or overwhelming. Sometimes I really overthink what to fill this space with and it ends up limiting me, big time. Here's a photo from day one. Word light the rest of the month.