Wednesday, May 4, 2011

To Plant A Tree

This is the year my house will get a tree. Or more than one.
It has roses and grape vines, lush grass and abundant weeds; vigorous perennials and yummy strawberrys, heavenly lavender and large bushes - but not trees anywhere. So now it's time. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

How to train a spoiled/annoying/dang cute little dog?

    I have a dog - a little toy - and dang she is so cute. She loves to cuddle and follow me around - but she is spoiled rotten. I didn't realize this until our other dog found a new home - but this girl is super spoiled. She was always submissive to the other dog but now that he is gone - she is "top dog" and it's showing.
    So how do I train this girl? I've been to some training classes (different dog) and know some of the techniques but they aren't working for her! I've heard - don't give your dog too much attention - it spoils them, they think they are in charge - but she's way too cute. So today I practiced "ignoring" and some basic training. I've gotta get her to get some manners fast though. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Inspiration: Blind Photography

    His name is Pete Eckhert. His seeing eye dog's name is Clancy. He is blind, and is a photographer. He didn't get into photography much until he went blind. "Sound gives an image just like light gives an image," Pete says. "Sound wraps around images and if your in the sound's shadow it will give you a description of where and what the thing is your looking at." 
    His images are ethereal, incorporating double exposures using a Mamiyaflex TLR. 
    To see his photos and an amazing video go to this link here

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Superbowl Sunday

    It's superbowl Sunday. I'm not a huge football fan - OK, not really a fan at all - but superbowl is special. It's American. And the commercials are hilarious even if I can't ever get into the game. OK - Tiger Wood's commercial last year - not so great. But everything else... is it horrible I Tivo it for the commercials, skipping the game? Nah, I don't think so (though I know several people who would). 
    Happy Superbowl everyone. It's like a holiday after all. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Empty Feelings & Finding Purpose

    What does it mean when you feel "empty?" Are there no feelings going on? I often have this out of sorts, "empty" sort of feeling - notably at night - the day is done, I should feel relieved, but instead there is a gape: now what? People with depression understand this feeling well - it is often a warning sign, our minds telling us something is up. In my long experience dealing with depression, I've learned to heed these warning signs. 
    One of the things that has helped me get out of this slump of emptiness is a gratitude journal. I often find myself thinking about the things I'm most grateful for to be a catalyst to reorganize my thought processes, moving into a more productive way of thinking. Another thing that helps me is sunlight - there is very little right now, and I desperately need some. I have a lamp that treats SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder); think I will go sit by it for awhile.
    In the meantime, here are some things I'm grateful for:

  • My child's eyes, knowing, wise, full of tears and then joy almost simultaneously 
  • The color of the sky right before a summer storm - that vibrant blue that crackles with energy
  • Charcoal pencils - instruments of power for the images inside my mind
  • Cold that shocks and wakes me up making me shake and feel alive 

    I often ask myself while feeling these empty feelings, what am I doing? What should I be doing? What do I want to do? I know what I want to do - I want to be at a beach, walking in the sun, letting the ocean swell around my feet. That isn't feasible at the moment but what is? What is meaningful? 
  • Drawing, creating - anything - is meaningful, as is writing (creating)
  • Smiling at someone is meaningful - letting warmth in, connecting
  • Holding my husband's hand is meaningful to me
  • Listening to someone is meaningful - just listening, not trying to be heard, but actually hearing
  • Being here, being alive, being a spirit being of LIGHT - that is meaningful - my existence is not accidental, it matters

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Creature Comforts - The Perfect At Home Pedicure

     It is extremely cold outside. Too cold for snow, too cold to want to be out there (though not as cold as yesterday). Time to pop in a movie, make some cocoa, and indulge in some creature comforts - in this case a pedicure, at home.

    Step 1. Establish your space. The movie - check. Cocoa - check. Nail supplies? Here are the basics: 

  • Polish remover - non-acetone is a good gentle choice, bump it up to the heavy duty stuff if you are removing a lot of polish
  • Cotton Balls
  • Cuticle Pusher
  • Callous Remover
  • Cuticle remover gel & tool
  • Lotion
  • Base Coat
  • Polish 
  • Optional - Nail Art Stickers
  • Top Coat
  • Toe Separators
  • Optional - Quick Drying Polish Drops, Spray, or top coat
  • Clippers
  • Nail Files
  • Optional - Foot spa mmmmm
Step 2. Do the pedicure!!
  • Immerse in foot spa, or clean feet well in some other way.
  • Trim toenails straight across to prevent ingrowns and not terrible short. 
  • File with course end, then smoother end.
  • Use callous remover - the ped egg is good, but don't be too rough - or a simple pumice stone can do the trick. 
  • Apply cuticle remover gel and let sit for the instructed time, usually 1 minute. Wash off well, push up cuticles with cuticle pusher, and trim if desired with trimmer. 
  • Lotionize!
  • Wetten cotton puff with nail polish remover, wipe down each toenail with puff - this preps for polish. 
  • Insert toe separators - in a pinch use t.p. 
  • Apply base coat. 
  • Apply two coats of a high quality polish - I prefer OPI, China Glaze, or Essie (in that order). Make sure it is free of the nasty chemicals the FDA warned about - it should say "toulene free, DBP free, phosphate free," or something like that.
  • Let the polish dry a few minutes before applying a sticker (with tweezers) if you want stickers.
  • Apply top coat. 
  • If you want, apply quick-drying drops (OPI & Essie make great ones) or spray (OPI & Sally Beauty have good ones). 
Step 3. Relax, keep your feet up, and watch your movie!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valentine's Day - Top Ten Gifts

    There were several Saint Valentines, according to wikipedia, and no one's quite sure which one inspired Valentine's Day or whether it was the collection of martyred Saints. In any case, it's now as much a holiday as any other, and here are 10 things to give (or request).

1. These cute pillowcases for him & her - perfectly sweet. 

2. A (worth reading) book to improve your relationship, or find one. 

3. Something for the kids in your life.

4. A great movie - this one made me laugh and cry. 

5. Valentine's Day Cupcake Kit - need I say more?

6. There is something sensual about a locking diary...

7. Something for him.

8. Make your own cards for a personal gesture.

9. I love Canon for their gorgeous vivid prints.

10. Because no Valentine's List would be complete without chocolate...
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