Sunday, July 27, 2008

Salsa Dancing

This is my leg. I may or may not have been dancing during the taking of this picture. (I was definitely drinking:)
Take note of my super cute shorts (thanks Christine) and my sexy shoes.
This is my sexy friend Shelley. Her hubby should really come dancing with us--don't you think?
This gentleman dancing with her claimed he was from "everywhere and nowhere". He also said his name was, "Heaven."

Christine and ChrisC dancing. ChrisC says it is way cooler (as in temperature) in a kilt.

This guy did a move where he drops to his knees and directs the follower by touching the back of her leg. Loved it....wanna learn it!

I never stop talking and so rarely is there a decent picture of me but my darling husband caught this one. Actually he told me to shut up for one minute and I did!

Christine looked gorgeous and here is the proof:
Shelley and me. Happy happy.

ChrisC was getting tired but still smiling.
We took a ton of other pictures that reveal my more sophomoric humor. Cute butts and lots of cleavage! But I guess you'll all just have to come out dancing with us to see those!

Day at the River

Spending the day at the river with good friends. Beautiful, impromptu.
Oh, and I learned a little something.

There is a rope swing that teens and big folks use to swing out over a deep spot and drop into the cold water. XuMei blew me away when she decided she too was swinging into the water. ChrisC had to lift her up to reach the rope. I was lounging far away from the event and caught this poor shot with the new-ish (to me) camera. ChrisC is standing just above the sunny, sandy section in the shadows, having just let go of XuMei. XuMei is the squiggly flesh colored (thanks Marley for loaning her monkey swimsuit) wiggle below the barely visible rope in the center of the photo. I ran across the rocks in joy and excitement hooting and hollering like a proud mama banshee, unknowingly slicing my foot on the sharp rocks. I hugged her shivering wet body and helped her to reach the rope again. Let me tell you, I was SCARED on that ledge----vertigo-city. I would be hard pressed to go swinging out over that water and drop at the right moment. Luckily Marley wasn't able to loan me a monkey suit that I could squeeze into so I had that as my excuse!
XuMei swung and dropped 2 more times.
And I wasn't able to get a decent shot of it!

Later I apologized to XuMei for not being able to get the camera to work--for missing this incredible moment.
XuMei, "I don't know why you're saying you're sorry, I am not mad. You must be saying sorry to yourself. You must be mad at yourself."
She hopped off the bench we were sharing and went to make "sand angels".
Truer words were never spoken.
Yup, yet again, it is me that is doing the learning or un-learning as it were.
I used to say sorry a lot. For a lot of things. Things that weren't my responsibility. My Aunt Rose tried and failed to break me of this annoying habit. It wasn't until I had young children and discussions of "making" a child apologize to another came up and I really started thinking about the nature of apology.
Later, I saw Randy Pausch's "last lecture series" and he defined a true apology. If you haven't seen this lecture--see it, watch it now. Here is the 10 minute Oprah condensed version. If you have an hour watch this one--it is so worth it. He is a bit un-schooley and I like his definition of an apology. It made sense to me. And for the record:
No, you cannot "make" anyone apologize.
You can force, threaten, bribe and cajole someone into saying words--but they are just words, and while words can be important, in the case of a forced apology--they lack intention. No one can force another person to feel regret or anything for that matter.
We all, each moment, choose our feelings. And yesterday, on that bench, I was choosing to feel guilty about not getting a photo of XuMei swinging with joy and abandon into the cool green water of Mary's River. And I was asking her to absolve me of that guilt. Not her Job. She knew that and now I do too.
(p.s. --I'll get that darn pic of her next time, and I might jump in with her too!)

Friday, July 25, 2008

oh the horror

I was just beginning to get into taking photos. I plugged my camera in to charge the battery.
Moments later, I smelled the ozone as the circuits melted and I grabbed my camera--it was as hot as a frying pan. The charger, stolen 2 years ago out of our van (because I left the doors unlocked while it sat next to us at our campsite--doh!!!) was replaced by a general all purpose charger that had a switch to increase the voltage. Somehow the switch had been moved to the highest voltage and my precious camera was cooked. Stick a fork in it.
Here is the Vodka and Orange juice that I consumed in my grief.

All things have a silver lining--even a cooked camera.
Xander has been dismantling electronics and the chance to get inside a digital camera was akin to winning the lottery. He was beaming as he went to work.
So here is my camera now.


But all is not lost because my gadget obsessed hubby had already purchased a new camera. He liked to have it at work to take extreme close-ups of projects. It is water and shock proof.
If only camera's came Renee-proof!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Upon A Pawn

Once upon a time,
sat a pawn upon a chair.
Upon the chair I sat upon a pawn,

Written by Grandma, Xander, XuMei, ChrisC and me after Grandma sat down to dinner on a pawn.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Why I love Linda Hessel or The REAL KEY ingredient

Chocolate is really important around these parts right now. Really Important.

I stopped to pick up XuMei at a friend's birthday party and was caught red handed in the kitchen eating spoonfuls of frosting right outa' the jar. Yeah, it's that important.

This chocolate binge I am on reminded me of a sweet post from an amazing woman who blogs over at:

Four Little Birds.

Here is the excerpt:

After helping me mop up the mess, Jake said, rather pointedly, “I think it’s getting to be chocolate season around here.” And then, when I didn’t respond to his satisfaction, “We need to go into town and get the key ingredient to happiness.”

I mean, really, I’m laughing just writing that out. Who could stay mad? Thankfully the kids got their papa’s sense of humor. Because clearly I take myself and my life way too seriously and occasionally need to be nudged back into the reality that these things don’t matter and that by giving them power I am causing my own suffering (not to mention that of those around me.) “With a little help from my friends”… in this case the ones I gave birth to. Yeah, chocolate is good, but I know what the real key ingredient is around here!

---Linda Hessel

Well, it is Chocolate Season here, too. And not just for me---for all of us. XuMei loves a good piece of chocolate as a soothing balm or a pick-me-up. And my Ma, who lives with us, and at 67 has decided she is deschooling herself , will indulge whenever the fancy strikes her. She points out that it tastes better "without all that guilt". When I was younger I used to wear a button that had a Sandra Boynton hippo on it that said, "If wearer is found depressed, administer chocolate immediately". In another life, I was depressed and I ate a lot of chocolate. Now I agree with Linda, chocolate is lovely, it is the frosting on the cake of life, but if life is shi!!y, it's pretty much just sh!t frosting.

Linda gets at something profound in her story: what really matters. The real key ingredient. And it ain't the chocolate!!!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

If it's not a Utilikilt, It's CRAP!!!!!

Beware the Beefy Kilted BAD Guy.
He may use his laser eyes to fry the "goods" of the Beefy Kilted GOOD Guy when he least expects it. Like when the Beefy Kilted GOOD Guy is standing on scaffolding......

- -
(I love the word "Scaffolding". Just say it a couple of times. It feels good)

ChrisC got a Utilikilt at the Oregon Country Fair. I have no time to blog because I cannot keep my hands off him.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why I love Qacei

Qacei took a picture of this moth that landed on XuMei's hair. As part of a series of posts about people and ideas that have influenced my thinking I am telling this simple story of a young woman I only just recently got to know:
I seriously love this girl. She is amazing. She blows my mind. She is an unschooler.

I was hanging out with a couple of cool beans: my Nonie (of Babble-On Sisters fame), Kat (of kat craft fever) and Mary (the one who inspired blogging for me with Zenmomma's Garden) and somehow the discussion of breasts and breast development came up and I was mouthing off like I am wont to do and I asked,
"Is that NORMAL?" (about something XuMei had said)
and Qacei responded,
"There is no normal."

Holy Shitake Mushroom.
She is so right on, Sister.
It brought tears to my eyes.
And still does even now as I think back to the look on her face. She wasn't judging me and she had no fear-- she spoke her truth, a truth so loud and clear in it's quiet simplicity....and I am temporarily shamed, shocked, stunned changed.
I might even have evolved a little today!
And you could too if you check out her blog:
Normal is So last week

Monday, July 7, 2008

Maybe they were poisonous?!

After we spent all day in a tree picking these:

I discovered the kiddo-pies on the couch like this:

And this:

Apparently, the cat thought it was a good idea too.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What bubbled up

Mary from Zenmomma's Garden said , "Let it bubble up." And so it has. And here it is:

ChrisC brought dry ice home from work and we played and played with it.

He was astounded to discover that I had never played with dry ice. This was my first time stirring the smoking cauldron and when I looked closely I saw these white bubbles coming up and popping on the surface of the water. While I was having a magical moment staring at the bubbles ChrisC and XuMei and Xander devised a cork gun out of a 2 liter bottle and some old pvc pipe we had lying around. They shot that cork 15 feet across our yard!
That is what "bubbled up" for us today!