Friday, January 22, 2010


So I decided a while ago that I would let my son determine his own level of internet exposure, which means that the majority of his information would be kept private.

But this is a lifestyle blog, and the new label describing my lifestyle is "mother."

Bear with my while I try to find balance.

Which might require a full night sleep first.

We're all healthy and happy here, though, which is - in itself - enough.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blogging about the Weather. Seriously.

I am about to take back everything I've ever said about the general pussiness of the South Bay peeps in regard to their reaction to weather.

Ok - most of it. Their definition of "serious rain" leaves much to be desired, but I come from North Texas where the weather is frenetic and schizophrenic and likes to put you in your place every spring...and summer...and early fall.

OK - so this is the jet stream. The way that air currents normally flow. Now, if you add another circle of arrows going counter-clockwise in the Gulf and up into see the problem. Clashing air flows. Often cold/dry in the jet stream and warm/wet from the gulf...the perfect recipe for shit like this:

Except with rain and thunder and lightening and wind like you wouldn't believe. (More - recent images here)

What happened this morning was not that. That doesn't happen in South Bay. I can't even find pictures of the "storms" in South Bay because it's generally a nice, steady mountain rain.

Remember that my point of reference includes regular flash floods.

So this morning, at about 10:15 (maybe a little earlier), you can imagine that I was caught a little off-guard when my HOUSE STARTED SHAKING.

Now, I've read All About Earthquakes, but my first thought was that a very large truck had rumbled down the street or that the house across from us had started serious demo.

But no. Neither of those things were happening.

The shaking and rumbling subsided momentarily and my cats decided that they didn't need to hide under the bed.

And then it started again. It heard it. I felt it. My chair rolled a bit. It felt like someone picked the house up and dropped it. Not Wizard of Oz-like (this is not a tornado, there is no upward sucking) but like the earth decided my house wasn't comfortable and wanted it OFF.

The cats resumed freaking out.

I freaked out. The adrenaline freaked Bunny out - there was much kicking.

Finally, a full half hour later, Polly found a spot where she felt safe:

I think they both would agree with me (Kipper from under the bed where he's finally decided he's safe):

We NEVER need to feel that again. Ever. Give me window-rattling rain so thick you can't see the street any day. At least you can see that coming.

Fire Feature

Our back garden has been sorely neglected (seriously - we don't even water it).

I'd love to do more with it than we're able to given that we rent...

How fabulous is this fire bowl?

I have a soft-spot for lotuses. They're just so enticing to me.


Ok - so I chose the worst quality scan for the first picture, but since I'm before coffee anyway I took advantage and didn't do a whole lot to it.

I just used the rounded corners action from Rita's coffeeshop (an amazing resource for PS, PSE, and Lightroom actions and tutorials) and then I applied a little sponging to desaturate the background and saturate the people (that's me on the far left...I was 10.)

I'm not sure I love it, but like I said, I'm pre-coffee....also, I'm no Pioneer Woman.

Interesting aside - this creek is in the town where the Olympic Bomber hung out. When I heard that I felt it was an appropriate place.

Take some time to play today.

PS - I have no idea how to get rid of those white corners up there. Any tips?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Monday, people. Monday.
This time next week, we'll be PARENTS. Is the world ready for that? Am I? Is Kipper?

(I'm thinking he's not.)

Needless to say, my New Years Resolutions aren't going to become active until Husband goes back to work part time, and then I'll ease in.

I've been thinking about them, in relation to this blog and how a schedule might help me not just sit around and play video games in between nursing, changing, and napping. (Which is what I plan to do for the remainder of the month.

So...starting in February my schedule will look something like this:

Monday: Gardening - most of the work will likely happen on the weekend until we get the big stuff handled, so Monday feels like a good day to talk about it.
Tuesday: Cooking/Crafting
Wednesday: "Wordless Wednesday" - several blogs I follow do this. It's a posting of a photo (or two or three) and the only text will be information regarding the photo statistics (aperture, shutter speed, etc) and the rest stands alone. I'll likely post it SOOC (straight out of the camera) as part of my "learn how to shoot manually" resolution.
Thursday: Photoshop Thursday. I have elements 8 - so on that day I'll take either Wordless Wednesday image or another from the same roll (film, remember?) and edit it - I'll even do step-by-step instructions so you can follow along at home.
Friday: GPOYF (Gratuitous Picture of you Friday) Because it's my blog and I can. I'll also do a check-in with how my writing and climbing going, and probably post a picture or two (thousand) of Bunny.

Saturday and Sunday are family days.

So if I can get to where I'm posting once a day that will be HUGE.

I make no promises. After all, I will have a newborn at home. I hear showering regularly is a huge feat when there's a newborn in the house.

Wish me luck!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A few more...

Because what's a New Year without a giant list of the ways in which you suck and can be better?

Reducing our consumption, waste, and clutter are one of the battles I feel like I'm constantly fighting.

To that end, I've made a list of the proper waste-recepticle and have hung it on the wall above our garbage area. It's a weird little spot by the back door...and it's GARBAGE - so there's no picture. Just think up something Martha Stewart would do, make it look slightly more neglected, and there you have it.

This is our list:

This is our crock:

We fill it daily and then go drop it on our "slow compost" heap in the backyard. (It's a drizzly day - and again, it's GARBAGE - so no photos of that, either.)

Recycle goes out weekly. Our goal? Less than one bag of trash a week. With an infant coming. And months of house-guests queued up for Winter/Spring 2010.

I've got plenty of inspiration, though, and I've just subscribed to THIS BLOG - whose goal is to reduce the trash of the world to zero. I know that a zero-trash (as in Landfill trash) is impossible. It's the 21st century. But I also know that our output level can be drastically reduced.

Simple steps we've taken to reduce our trash (sometimes I feel like a broken record, but people ask and so I answer)

* Cut back on paper towel purchasing, and only purchase recycled paper towels at that. In the kitchen we use bar mops to clean the counter.
* ONLY cloth napkins. And cotton/linen at that. Blends don't absorb and if you come from a southern family like ours that loves it's fried know that anything aside from a moist bath towel just won't cut it.
* Cloth Diapers and wipes (again - cotton. Organic when possible)
* Recycle everything possible
* Compost everything possible.

A note about that - we don't compost meat waste because it attracts critters and goes rancid before it breaks down. If we had the crazy welded contraption that a friend of the husband's has - then we would toss our meat in - both the enticing raw meat smell and the stomach-roiling rancid meat smell are contained and the enzymes and the heat and blah blah blah. But we don't. We're Luddites. We have a big pit in the backyard that we throw all of that shit into. (Not literally - NO HUMAN OR ANIMAL WASTE IN COMPOST THAT GOES ON FOOD BEARING PLANTS)

So there you go. Step one. Reduce.

Step two - re-organize. Or something.

PS - there is differing opinion on whether or not you should compost wood ash (from your fireplace) and the decision we've come to is that it will be spread over the grassy lawn part of the property and on specific plants. Because of the pH levels and the chemicals present as it breaks down, it's good for hardier plants but not for delicate plants (like the blueberry bush I feel the need to have.) Which is why we collect it, but it doesn't appear on the list. It's a special item.
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