#NaPhoPoMo


By now I would hope that you all have figured out that I take a few pictures and sometimes share some of them online here and there and over there and, oh, and here under the Big Top too. I take a lot of pictures. What can I say, I am surrounded by inspiration, love and beauty and the extreme need to capture it all so that I will always have it with me. And because I am always up for being inspired and trying to take at least one picture every day, I am all about an exercise like the lovely Karen Wahlrond’s NaPhoPoMo – National Photo Posting Month. In the spirit of NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo, Karen calls us out to take this challenge to push the habit of online creation, quantity-over-quality, just to develop the discipline of a creative practice. To anyone who has ever offered one single compliment for the photos I have taken I have always thanked them telling them that I take literally thousands of pictures and occasionally I get lucky with a few.

Truly.

Karen writes:

My friends, the time has come for a National Photo Posting Month.

Every day, for the month of November, I’m going to take a photograph and post it here, supplementing my regular posting schedule.  I’m doing this for a couple of reasons:

1.  I love the idea of a daily challenge, but I love the idea of a daily challenge that has an end date even more.  I like the idea of creating a body of work — in this case, 30 successive images — even though I have no real idea where this will take me.

2.  I love the idea of taking a moment every day to work on my photography.  Because I think no matter where any of us are in our photographic journey, practice always helps perfect, you know?

3.  I love the idea of stopping and looking around me.  While it’s possible that some of my photos might be staged, my goal is that they’re not — that the 30 days becomes a gratitude practice of the beauty that organically exists around me.  Because really that’s what it’s all about.

So, get ready:  it’s about to be all photographic up in here.  And you should join me.

Starting today, keep your camera on you, and photograph something — anything — and save it somewhere.  To be clear, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to do this — just have a camera (of whatever type), and a willingness to stop and take a photo every day.

And to make this fun, how about we do this:

If you upload any of your pictures online — on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, whatever — tag it #NaPhoPoMo — that way, we can watch all of the amazing photographs as they come in.  See?  They’re coming in already! 

It really is that easy. Have a camera? Have a smartphone with a camera? Stop. Take a picture. Post it on your Facebook or your Instagram or wherever.

I’m all in and yes, I will be sharing here, on Instagram and the #NaPhoPoMo tagboard because it’s nice to share and to be challenged and inspired all the more. All part of the creative practice, yo.

My first official #NaPhoPoMo shot. What? Too obvious? What can I say? This sweatshirt is so me…even if it was in the mens’ section at Target.

good things this week


It’s been a pretty good week, you know. It has been. As long as I ignore the pain in my left foot, which I believe is never going to go away and will keep me from wearing pretty shoes forever unless I WANT to walk like a hobbled, old woman.

I don’t want to.

But yeah, ignoring my left foot, it has been a pretty good week here under the Big Top.

There’s the delivery of next month’s Norditropin. What can I say? Having dealt with not so great service from durable medical supply companies in the past so far I am very happy with the pharmaceutical company that delivers Daniel’s meds and other supplies.

Picking up Hazel from kindergarten and sharing lunch with her is REALLY good. So are the fried egg sandwiches she insists I make for her. I don’t know what they do to her in that kindergarten class but she will eat said fried egg sandwich, a bag of chips, a cup of yogurt,sliced fresh veggies and fruit, two glasses of pink lemonade and she is STILL hungry.

Discovering just how delicious beer steamed potatoes arewith freshly ground Himalayan pink salt…my new obsession.

Having fun at Jodie’s last Back to School night. I warned y’all that this is going to be a year of lasts for her. Here’s one. More to come. I promise. You might have to hold me from time to time. Thanks.

Learning that a picture I took is now part of an awesome display at the Philip S. Raine roadside rest area on Highway 99 south of Tulare that depicts life in the Central Valley of California. Yes, I gave permission and receive photo credit. I just didn’t know that the project was completed. Hmmm…perhaps a road trip? If any of you just happen to be on CA 99 near Tipton feel free to stop and get a picture of you and my picture…please.

I cleaned my desk…sort of. It still is cluttered because I have too much stuff going on all around my desk but at least it is somewhat organized and on display. Yes my people, this is where the brilliance slightly-better-than-mediocrity happens. If only my blogging area looked like Jenny, The Bloggess’ does…just imagine the kick-ass writing I would accomplish! It could happen…okay, maybe not. Still I want to go to there and try to write and cuddle with Hunter S. Tomcat and Ferris Mewler. Remember that one time where I cornered Jenny in a bathroom and told her how her stories of Ferris made me smile and miss my then recently deceased bitch-kitty, Ginger? I’m thinking I will never, ever get anywhere near Hunter, Ferris or Jenny’s blogging space. I don’t blame her at all either.

Oh and three years ago today, these two gorgeous people promised to love, honor and cherish to infinity and beyond. Happy Anniversary Hollie and Ben! It really was a great wedding.

So yeah, the last week of August has been a good week with good things.

What left foot?

Oh yeah, that left foot.

no longer the somebody that I used to know


I posted on my Facebook that I was having one of those “Welcome to Holland” moments that only parents and families with children in Special Ed would understand. And yes, many of them did understand liking my status and commenting and some even commenting on yesterday’s ranting blog post. What can I say? You take the good…you take the bad…you take them both…and there you have…

Remember that show?

Yesterday was one of those days where I wasn’t enjoying the windmills, the tulips and the Rembrandts that is Holland. It was one of those rare days. No, not sulking and thinking poor, poor, pitiful me kind of days. It was just a day where I was reminded why it is so hard for my child sometimes…as if the challenge of 5th grade, preteen hormonal surges and keeping up with his mainstream peers wasn’t enough. The older he gets it does become more of a challenge as he sees, hears and understands all the time how different he is…thanks to some people and their thinking and modeling to their children (his peers) who begin to think and act just like their parents.

Good job parents!

That was yesterday.

Today is today and I did enjoy my life here in Holland with it’s beautiful windmills, tulips (my favorite) and Rembrandts. Life with my boy, my beautiful boy is good. It’s very good. He reminded me as he always does with his hugs, his laughter and his view of the world. His wise observations never cease to surprise me and make me think. And today I was reminded also by an amazing post by Suzanne that she wrote almost two years ago:

 I recognize where you are from. I used to live there too. I used to have checked off lists, awards of accomplishments, perfect hair, great skin, sparkly eyes, a quick wit,  a clean car, a social life, a large social network, an organized calendar , vacation plans set in stone, and a no overdue library books . But then I became a Mom. And unexpectedly, a mom of a special needs child. A child with no lifelong guarantee, no definitive prognosis and no detailed treatment plans. We have good doctors, we have a good attitude and we have a good family life. 

 My life is good, but not so easily structured. My skin not so healthy, my hair often flyaway, my eyes most often tired. I am up multiple times throughout the night, I rise at 5 and go full speed until 9 at night, still stymied and determined to do more each and every day.  I miss the friendships I used to have, the  once- so- easy to -achieve professional accomplishments- but I don’t miss that world you live in. 

 I am a kinder woman who lives in a world that is no longer black and white. Sometimes gray is good, a salvation, a retreat from something that could be much worse. My priorities were reshuffled for me, and now I would never think to judge another.

 I am always in motion and I am grateful . Grateful for the touch of my child who needs my hands to steady her,  grateful for my child who craves my words to calm her, my child who needs my hugs to soothe her. I am even grateful, that I no longer live …in that black and white world.

Like Suzanne, I also recognize the author of that note left on her car. I used to live in a neighborhood like that too. Thankfully I have moved away…to a better neighborhood….and the result is I am no longer like that person that I used to know.

Thank goodness.

I am so lucky…so damn lucky.

packing up and sending off one of my babies


Well I did it!

With a big gulp and a little tear, I bravely packed up and sent off one of my babies. It was hard, so very hard. Letting go a part of you from a special place in your heart is so very hard! Other people will see her, hear her, perhaps judge her…not too harshly please.

This morning I submitted one of my blog posts to audition for Listen To Your Mother Sacramento.

Oh the stress and agony of it all! To choose just one and then sharing it. I know I lay it all out bare naked here but this was hard to do. Still I knew I must be brave and just do it. After seeing and falling in love with the LTYM Open Mic Salon at BlogHer11 in San Diego, I knew that some day I wanted to audition for this production.  Directed and produced by stay-at-home humorist Ann Imig, LTYM is a “national series of live readings by local writers giving Mother’s Day a microphone.” With this circus act of mine I have so many stories to share…too many stories to share…like any other mother or grandmother or daughter or son out there. And so, with a little…okay, a lot of encouragement I chose a story to share.

Do you have a story to share? I bet you do. “Remember, regular everyday people with a story to tell make up the heart of LTYM. You don’t need to call yourself a writer. You don’t need any performing experience. You just need to share the story in your heart or on your mind.” Submissions for LTYM Sacramento are being accepted now until February 13. If you are a Sacramento or Central Valley area blogger, writer, mother, grandmother, daughter or son with a story to tell please consider sharing it and submitting it to LTYM Sacramento.

 

 

holiday runs


I got me some new kicks. Kind of pretty, aren’t they? They feel pretty good on the runs that I have taken them out on too.

I’m hard on my shoes…really hard. Well, except for those Loubies because I can’t walk very well in those because I am clumsy and awkward. But I do look amazing wearing them and sitting or standing in one place. Actually, I look hot! But yes, I am hard on my shoes. These Mizunos are my 3rd pair of running shoes that I have bought this past year. One pair was trashed and never the same again after that mud run my son in law challenged me to. As for the others, well there are a number of opinions swirling around as to when a runner should replace their shoes. Me, I am a listen to your body while running kind of girl. My shins and knees don’t lie and when I choose to ignore them, or other body parts, I pay for it. So I listen…and I get myself some new, pumped up kicks.

Just in time for the Runner’s World Holiday Run Streak.

Yup!

I’m running that again.

It really is not such a big feat and it really doesn’t take that much time…one mile…less than 11 or 12 minutes. But after last year, I came to discover just how important it proved to be for me. The stress is different this year coupled with anxieties and just the struggle of getting up some days so, again, I need to be running in order to juggle this life under the Big Top. Thank goodness I have something cute (and more than functional) on my feet!

Meanwhile, because it is Christmas time under the Big Top, it is time to deck some halls, which I confess, is kind of hard to get all excited about and motivated to do…except for the fact that Daniel is all over it and so is Hazel…and Fallon, Fallon is just loving the lights and STUFF that she is determined to get at because they are shiny and look fragile and not meant for a one year old. Oh, and Zoë is coming home for a holiday visit. Yes, the Big Top must be decked…no matter how long it takes. So I hauled out the Christmas boxes, set up the trees, hung some stockings and garland after a 4 mile run earlier this week. I figured that I was already hot and sweaty, I may as well get sweatier.. And I did. While stepping back, basking in my sweaty glow of an awesome run and even more awesome sense of accomplishing at least the start of hall decking, I saw in my blog feed what my friend Linda was doing to with her holiday decorating.

I have to admit I have always wanted to do more with all the medals I earned than hanging them on my scarf rack in the closet. Sure, I haven’t ran any races like I did before. I just can’t afford the fees. But I still run, and wear out running shoes. And I remain very proud of every single medal because I earned them all.

And so I hung them all up on the little tree in our family room.

The one that started it all.

The one that fractured my hip.

And the first time after the hip stress fracture.

Another run with Mickey and Friends, which earned not one but two medals.

It felt so good to wear TWO medals after that race!

Soon enough, I was rocking another half marathon.

Then I PR’d…I give some credit to Linda for cheering me on.

And finally, my birthday gift from my son in law where my blinding, white legs really weren’t an issue because they were covered in mud…as was every other part of me.

And here it is, the holiday running tree. It’s a tree decorated with so many memories. It might not be the Christmas-iest of trees here under the Big Top, but it has just as much heart, soul, love, tears and hugs covering it. That is what makes a Christmas tee special here in my circus tent.

This one is done and it sparkles and glows. Tomorrow the rest of my circus will join me in covering the other ones with even more memories and love and heart and soul and hugs.

But first, I will need to run.