Friday, September 28, 2012


Weekends are busier than weekdays for me, but I'm ok with that. Time is flying super fast with so, so much to do and I certainly don't want to look back and feel that I missed important moments. But, boy, am I ready to get through with school already! I want it to go by at a nice clip like this, full speed to graduation! 

Most of my days are spend with long stretches of not thinking about school at all because I am in mama-mode 100%. If I get distracted by thoughts of school or -heaven forbid- try to work on school, the kids pick up immediately that I am disconnected from them. And then they act out. 

But if they get my full attention, it's smooth sailing. Like today, so far. They are learning constantly and it is mostly because James and I take the time to answer all the many questions. "Mama, talk about tornadoes." I hear that about 15 times a day. (I was going to say a hundred, but 15 is the literal average.) Mama-mode time is mostly spent sitting at eye level with Bea or Am a foot or less away from my face intently explaining all kinds of things about our world and partly spent teaching them how to do chores. 

(Having chore help was definitely a factor in deciding to have kids!)

It's funny to think about all my friends at school* who think they really know me, but haven't seen even a glimpse of who I am as a mom, who I am primarily.

*excluding Beth of course

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Don't just look with your eyes and your mind, but also with your heart and your talent at what connects you to what you are doing."

Pumpkin Time

My favorite overalls are for sale over in my etsy shop. Don't be fooled by this picture. They are not gray. They are orange. A pleasant sort of pumpkin or tangerine orange.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On Being OK

Yesterday was a really challenging day with the kids. Jeez. Sometimes there is just about as much fussing and whining as one girl can take! I remember fighting a lot with my siblings as a kid and I remember it kind of driving Mama crazy. Now I am in her shoes (except with only a fraction of the young'uns) and I appreciate her patience with us. I could have been more patient yesterday. But, you know what? We got through it. And we made apple chips to boot. So, not a total fail, right?

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Turn

These are the first days of a new season: a magical time of year.

Today I sat in the backyard with a jacket on and a scarf, but the sun was on me and I felt the warmth right through my jeans. For months in has been too sticky and bright to sit in the sun like that, but today it was just right.

Just right for day dreaming.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Guest Post by James of The Gilded Moth. Also known as husband and daddy around our house. 

Wages have been flat for most of the 2000s, yet the cost of living has steadily increased. In the meantime, corporate profits are soaring. We've got fat-cat CEOs taking home hundreds of millions in bonuses. The income gap is worse than ever.

Is it any wonder that so many of us say "tax the motherf***ers!"

We've gotta make a living somehow. I can't believe how many lower income people I know who fail to grasp the simplicity of this concept. As a child, I was raised to believe that "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" was an actual way of life. And it used to be, for previous generations. Baby boomers who didn't go to college could go to work at manufacturing jobs right after high school, get married, have kids, own cars and houses and earn high enough wages to take vacations and pursue their interests. But the picture simply doesn't look like that for a working man or woman in 2012.

I'm just an average Joe. I'm married and I have two kids, and I work hard to support them. My wife also works and commutes 30 miles twice a week to attend classes at USC Upstate in pursuit of a Graphic Design degree. Like everyone else, we have bills to pay. Too many bills for what we earn. Once we've paid for the rent, utilities, phone, car insurance, gasoline, car payment, internet and food, there is nothing left over. In fact, we don't earn enough to get by even on that. (Cancel the internet you say? All of our bills are paid online, and the time and effort that saves us is well worth the $55 each month, especially considering it's our only way to get news since we don't pay for the luxury of cable TV.)

From January to mid April I work a second job doing tax returns. Working two jobs leaves me scant time for my family, friends or hobbies. Time spent at home is merely rest from fatigue. Where's the life? Where's the liberty? Where's the pursuit of happiness?

It's in an offshore account somewhere, and it belongs to someone else, someone more elite. That dream does not belong to American workers anymore.

Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, a CEO, a movie star, a professional athlete or a stock broker. Most of us are made to work regular jobs, and that's OK. Not everyone needs vast wealth or power for happiness.

But when all your time is spent just trying to scrape by, when all your effort goes into paying the bills and just surviving, paycheck to paycheck, forget the pursuit of happiness, where's the life and liberty in that? What is American about it?

Monday, September 17, 2012


Three things I am working on:
1. Learning the sushi menu for my job, an impossible task. There are way too many rolls.
2. Another poster project for school (an event poster for this guy)
3. I have a portfolio review coming up for the degree I am pursuing. I have to pass to continue in the program. Just a little bit stressed about this.

Three things I am excited about:
1. Getting invited to Gamma Beta Phi, an honor society for students who rank in the top 15% of their class. Woohoo! (This doesn't mean I'm going to join, but I'm considering it.)
2. Training my pandora station to know me so well that I never have to use the thumbs down and often get introduced to new bands I love.
3. Autumn. Sometimes, I think the next season is always my favorite. In Winter, my favorite season is Spring. But right now, I am looking forward to making pies and wearing scarfs. Oh, and sneaking a few salted caramel lattes.

Three things that are inspiring me these days:
1. A school book, go figure.
2. Having a friend as good and true and honest as Beth, even if her sparkles are sometimes distracting.
3. Edna Millay's poetry and biography. This poem makes me happy because it is a clever take on a love poem with a bit of silliness thrown in for good measure. (She and her sisters used a rudimentary form of darge-speak with each other!)

I brought my little song
   And laid it on his knee;
He smiled and shook his head,–
   "What has this to do with me?"

I took my little song
   And laid it on my breast;
It stirred and 'gan to cry,
   I hushed it back to rest.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

New In Shop

I got this dress for keepsies, not to sell. But when am I ever going to wear an amazingly sexy, minty refreshing 1970s maxi halter gown? Even if the sheer cape makes it no less than perfect, I can't very well wear it to school or waiting tables. So I am putting it out there for someone who might get more use out of it. :)

For what occasion would you wear this look?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What She Wore :: Frida Baby

I only titled the post that way because I have "Santa Baby" stuck in my head. (Possibly thanks to a friend who reminds us all on facebook that Christmas-song-time is coming up [not that he hasn't been listening to those songs all year].) Anyway, back to the post. Beatrice has this amazingly fun outfit that she likes to wear for dress up. Yes, that's right, she wears clothes sometimes. But only sometimes. (See flickr page) I made the skirt and James took the pictures.

The skirt goes all the way to the floor and she calls it her Laura skirt. Like Laura Ingles. We read that earlier this year. We started The Chronicles of Narnia last week, but it didn't work. Her eyes just got too darn big with wonder while I kept tearing up due to an excess of nostalgia. It's fine. We'll wait a few years until Amby is ready to join us. For now we'll stick to My Father's Dragon

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Break?

After that long weekend of nothing but school and work, I am glad today is over.

I honestly did not know if I could get everything done. Plus James was sick and Bea had a cough.

Today all that work was due in my classes and I turned it all in on time. Now I can relax and enjoy all of tomorrow with NO homework! I think I'll take the kids out somewhere and take photographs.

In my photography class, we are doing a section right now on landscape photography. I'm going to read the essay on it tonight and look at some Sally Mann images.

Do you like my dress?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Taking Time

Today I took some time during the kids' naps to just have fun and not even think about school or anything else. I just played. Who doesn't like to play? Mostly I played dress up.
This dress is a thrift store find from ages and ages ago. It's tiny. Our recent austerity measures have led to my waist shrinking enough to zip it. :)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Touching Base

Don't worry, I'm alive! But barely. I've been getting more hours lately, which is prefecto because James keeps getting cut. Every time the kids are crying for me not to go in to work, I just think about it as helping James and that makes it easier. I don't hate my job or anything, but it is draining and it does take me away from them and the whole mountain of things I still have waiting for me to do when I get back.

I have been posting more often on my other blog. Mostly because it is required for school. Speaking of school, it is going well. One of my teachers is great and the other is a sadist. But I'll win him over before long. I have him for two classes so I have time.

Oh, did I tell you I started a flickr account for my photography? Check it out.

One more thing: Bill Clinton's speech. Holy moly. Did you see it? (Can I just vote for him?) It was a really good, really long speech with a lot of figures and claims thrown out there. But the awesome thing is that it checked out. I told James after I heard the guy from Fact Check on NPR, "I guess Obama's campaign won't be dictated by fact checkers either, but for more honorable reasons." My favorite part of the speech? One word: Arithmetic.

I have a question for my pals on the other side, an honest, out-of-curiosity question. How do you deal with the Romney campaign being called out constantly by Fact Check and Politifact, aka Pant on Fire. How do you feel about the Romney campaign standing by claims that have been proven false by these non-partisan, unbiased organizations?

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Boy, have I been busy! With my job and school and parenting, I'm spread pretty thin and we're only a week into the semester.

In one of my classes, the first assignment was to design 4 posters in one week. Not so bad, huh? Each poster is about a different font of our choosing. Anything. But here's the catch: The fonts featured in our posters are the only ones we can use all semester! No trading or sharing. My four fonts are all I get. So I chose (I hope) wisely and went with two really strong sans serifs and one great serif plus a total novelty odd-ball to have a little something in my bag of tricks.

Want to see what I have so far? Ok, now these are untweaked, but you should be able to see where I'm going with them. The purpose of this class is to broaden one's portfolio by giving us a chance to try new styles and ideas out.

I know the text is illegibly small. S'tch-k because it's better to see it as a shape of text for assessing the overall design. Which is your favorite? Is there one that just makes no sense or makes you mad or turns you off?

They aren't due until Tuesday, so any feedback you give really could help improve my chances of a good grade as I have time to change things!