For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

See How They Grow

Over the past week, I have been working on a very important project. 

My family has been going on vacation to Lake George every summer for the past 17 years.

The very first year we went, 1995, we went for a ride on the Minnehaha, a paddlewheel steamboat that gives one hours cruises on the lake.  Before you board the boat, each group poses for a picture.  After the cruise is done, the pictures are available for purchase.

We bought that first picture back in 1995, and that started a tradition that has yet to be broken.  Even after the kids no longer had any interest in riding the Minnehaha, we went back JUST to have our picture taken. 

Each year I would come home from vacation, frame the picture, and hang it on the wall in our living room.  When I painted the living room last week, I took all of the pictures down and noticed how discolored many of them were.  We only have that one copy of each picture and it made me sad to see them that way.

My project this week - photo restoration.

Here is a before and after.


I finished all of the pictures!

Here they are in order.  Watch them grow!  (click on each one to see it larger if you want)

And finally, this is the picture taken this summer.  I didn't really want to get it taken because Adam wasn't with us on vacation this year, but Adam insisted that we should not break the tradition! 
We may not have had Adam, but Jojo joined our family this year!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Logo Mojo

I am currently in the process of setting up a
small photography business.   One of the things
that has been slowing me down has been my
search for a logo.

Keeping in mind that a logo would be around
long term for the life of my business, I felt it
was worth much consideration (kind of like
choosing a husband).

It had to be something I wouldn't get tired of.
It had to be something simple.
It had to be something colorful because I LOVE COLOR!
It had to be easy to read.
It had to be easily converted to a watermark.

After finding the design that I liked, it was another
whole issue to find a font(s) that I liked.

There are many thousands of fonts out there!
I must have looked at most of them!



I have actually had it for a few weeks now, but I
wanted to try it on and wear it for a while to make
sure it feels right.  And it does.

The font for my name has a unique flair to it, with sweeping tails on a few of the letters.  I also like the shape of the letters, somewhat looking like calligraphy.   It contrasts nicely with the very simple round font of "Photography".

 The image in back of my name makes me think of a flower, or possibly a dandelion.  Since I love to garden and I love flowers, this felt right.

 At first I thought I had to choose one color for the background, but then I asked myself why?  Why not keep the graphics the same but vary the color of the background?  So I plan to mix it up instead of keeping it the same. 

And it even looks nice as a watermark...

 Now that I have a logo,  I can make a website and business cards.

I am deciding what items I would like to offer to my customers, and getting samples of each one to show what it will look like.

I am determining what I will charge for my services.

There are so many little things that must be considered.

It will all come together soon. 

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Ladder of Success

In my 52 years of life, I have done many things.
I have also NOT done many things.

For instance,
I have never dived head first off a diving board.
I never went on Space Mountain.
Or the Tower of Terror.
When I became a mother, I would not fly in an
    airplane unless we went somewhere as a family.

I would say that I am probably more fearful than
       the average person.
I always think about the "what ifs".
What if I fly somewhere without my kids and the
       plane crashes and my kids have no mother?
What if ???????????????????

It's funny - I consider myself an optimist.
The glass is always half full, not half empty.
But in reality, perhaps I don't really live my life that way.

Over the years, I have conquered many fears.
This usually happens when the benefit of facing
        the fear out-weighs the fear itself -
like flying alone to Florida for my Dad's 70th birthday,
    or flying to be with my parents when they were
    in the hospital.
Being a parent also forces you to do things that you
    might have previously feared because of your love
    for your children.


Until today, I have never climbed higher than
   maybe 8 rungs on a ladder.

But I was painting my living room and my husband
   was away on a business trip.

Before he left he asked me how I was going to paint
    the high parts of the wall.  He reminded me that he
    has a bad knee and wouldn't be able to climb up
    and down the ladder.

I really wanted to finish the room.........

So I went up a little higher
    and trimmed more of the side walls.
Then I went up another rung.

And another.

And another.

Before I knew it I was at the top of the ladder!
I was painting the highest part of the wall!
I wasn't shaking!
My legs didn't feel like jelly!
I was SO PROUD of myself!

My living room used to be gold. 
Now it is "Persimmon".

This is the time of year that many kids are headed off to college.  They are forced to deal with things by themselves, without their parents.  For some it will be harder than for others, but I'm sure they all have fears.

And they will be forced to face them.

And they will conquer them.

One rung at a time.

"If you are distressed by anything external, 
the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to
your estimate of it; and this you have the 
power to revoke at any moment."
                                        ~Marcus Aurelius


Monday, August 15, 2011

A Good Screw

Nothing makes me happier than a really good screw.

Have you ever been screwing when it's really difficult to keep it in the hole?  It keeps slipping out no matter how hard you try to keep it inside?

I am about to paint my living room and I am in the process of removing all of the switch plates, vent covers, and brackets for window shades.  Many of them are attached with those idiotic single slot screws that are basically worthless!

This is the absolute WORST.  It has a single slot and the slot is so shallow that the screwdriver slips out before you can even turn it one rotation!  SO FRUSTRATING!!!!

 This one is not as bad.  At least the slot is deeper!

It is my opinion that we should do away with ALL SINGLE SLOT SCREWS.
Like in all aspects of life,  when something better is invented, the old technology is phased out and before long you can't even buy it anymore.  

Who would ever use a cassette tape if a CD was available?

How about a black&white TV?

As far as I'm concerned, as soon as there were Phillip's head screws, the old single slots should have been retired!

This baby is George Clooney of all screws.
Or Robert Pattison, Bradley Cooper, Clive Owen, Ryan Reynolds, Chase Crawford, Gerard Butler......

This is a good, solid screw.  Nothing will ever slip out of this screw.

 So if they stopped making single slot screws, what would we do with all of our flat head screwdrivers?

All of you who manufacture screwdrivers, don't fear.  
You can always market them for many other uses, 

To stir paint. 
To pry things open.  
To get things out of the crevices in your hardwood floor.
To get the mud out of the bottom of your shoes.

You can also use it as an ice pick.

It can also be used as a weapon.

What other things do YOU use flat headed screwdrivers for?????

Thursday, August 11, 2011

See What the Cat Dragged In

My cats have brought many little creatures into the house over the years.  We have a cat door from the deck to a screened-in porch and we sometimes leave the sliding glass door open from the porch to the house.

Mice, moles, and even chipmunks have been found running around INSIDE the house.

I can usually tell that something is awry when I hear the dogs' nails scraping on the floor as they run at high speed trying to catch whatever critter has been deposited in the house.


And I was definitely not prepared.

We had just gotten back from vacation and I had loads of laundry to do.
So I went down the basement stairs.

It was a nice day outside, so I was very surprised to see Momo and Tigger laying in the dark at the bottom of the basement stairs.  I talked to them in a high, sing-songy voice, "What are you guys doing inside?  It's a nice day!  You should be outside!"



Both cats had followed me into the laundry room.  I'm sure they wanted to see my reaction up close!

I SAW RED.  Lots of red.  Too much red.

I screamed.  I screamed so loud that I woke up the girls two stories above me.

My laundry room looked like a crime scene.

I will spare you the gory details (I blurred the bad parts of the pictures - I realize some of you might be eating your breakfast as you read this!)

So here it is................................

A very large rabbit!

 This is a very content Tigger watching over his 2nd breakfast of the day!

 There were little tufts of rabbit fur all over the floor, along with the red stuff.   There was even fur stuck on the front of my dryer.

 Oh, and here is one of the missing body parts!

 I was very happy that my husband had taken Monday off from work.  We put it in a ziploc bag and into the garbage.

We are wondering just how this cat managed to bring
a 3 or 4 lb. rabbit into the house and down the stairs
to the laundry room.

Did the two cats work together.

Did they wait until the coast was clear, or were we
in the kitchen eating our breakfast and just didn't notice?

Was the rabbit alive hopping around the house for a while
like all the other creatures that came before it?

Only one person can answer these questions.

And he's not talking.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shining, Gleaming, Steaming Flaxen Waxen

Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair, shining gleaming steaming flaxen waxen. Give me it down to there, hair, shoulder length or longer, here, baby, there, mamma, everywhere, daddy daddy hair! Flow it, show it, long as God can grow it, my hair! 

Annie has had long hair for just about as long as I can remember. 

Over the past few years, it has been like pulling teeth for her to agree to let me trim an inch off the bottom.  She loves it really long so she can wear it in a ponytail, braid, french braid, messy bun or just plain down straight.

Over the past few months, however, she has voiced a desire to maybe get her hair cut - not just trimmed.  It seems like as soon as she says it, she changes her mind and decides against it.

Last night, we talked about it again.  When she woke up this morning, I asked her if she wanted me to make an appointment for her to get it cut.  She said YES.

We went to Studio549, where she consulted with Linda Pelletier.  Linda has been cutting our family's hair for many years.  They came up with a plan.

Annie was a little apprehensive before she made the first cut.

In a matter of minutes, her long hair was gone.

Linda showed her how to blow dry her new style...

And voila!

So beautiful!

Annie was verrrrry happy with her new look.

 Sooo pretty!

The last time her hair was this short, she looked like this...........

.......but now my little girl is so grown up!