Monday, July 25, 2005

The Good and The So-Terrible-I-May-Expire

The Good:
The vestibule is finished. Took 11 months but it is done and it is glorious.

The So-Terrible-I-May-Expire:
Our computer died on Saturday. Dead. Nothing. No internet. No photos. No financial records. No business records. There is hope to retrieve the data but I'm not sure when that will happen or even positive it can happen.

I had several anxiety attacks yesterday and the day before. Stabbing stomach pains, etc. Right now I'm on my mother's computer. Just typing this out is causing the anxiety to bloom in my chest.

So, expect me to be very quiet. Unless I can steal a few minutes here and there at my mother's. Maybe I'll try the library. We'll have to see how desperate I become.

Edited to add: I just found out my server has been down since Saturday night also. hmmm... very odd and disconcerting. Someone is trying to kill me.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Missed the 1/2 Way Mark

I meant to check on my progress with my 2005 goals at the 1/2 way mark - that would be July1st. We can all see that never happened. But, in the spirit of better late than never, I give you my goals (and my lack of progress).

  1. Get a job at my employer of choice. (I'll let you know where and why if I ever get a job there)
    - I didn't get a job there but I did just get a job. So... not a total loss.
  2. Sign a book contract/re-evaluate writing career.
    - Still have a manuscript out. It was requested.
  3. Begin a baby book for my FOUR-year-old.
    - HA!
  4. Organize my photos so I can update the kids' albums.
    - Organized chronologically. (that actually means there is more that needs to be done. Shhh.)
  5. Possibly even update said albums.
    - Ha, HA!
  6. Stay on top of disaster we call our home.
    - Most of the time.
  7. Do more with my children.
    - If running them to and from activities counts than Hell ya!
  8. Not yell so much.
    - Accomplished. Except when trying to get out of the door. Or when it is time to eat. Or dress. Or get ready for bed. Or brush teeth. Or do ANYTHING I want them to do.
  9. Take more photographs.
    - YES!
  10. Lose weight.
    - How about put on 10 pounds since the beginning of the year? Hmm?
  11. Exercise more. (that means any little bit will count.)
    - YAY! I did. Then I stopped. But it was more. That's all I said... more. Success!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Putting out a Call...

I am putting out a call for recipes. Summer recipes to be more precise. I have many warm, yummy, comforting winter recipes but no non-cook summer recipes.

So? Got any for me? I love a good salad but alas - the kids? Not so much. Also, they hate any such thing as potato salad or macaroni salad or pasta salad. So, if you have any kid friendly summer-y foods... please post them in the comments.

I think if we eat sandwiches ONE. MORE. TIME. I may have a rebellion on my hands. So COMMENT with your favorite summer dish! And Thank you!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

So Much To Do, So Little Time

I feel like I'm running a race and I keep wanting to just take a break and enjoy but it is not to be.

Driving the kids from point A to point B and back and then to Point C or D or even E or F I see things I want to stop and photograph. But there is NO. TIME. We must HURRY. We are LATE.

What ever happened to the lazy days of summer?

I realize a good part of it is my fault. I did schedule them more this summer than any other. Mostly because when the kids are left to their own devices for too long they start to attack each other. And when they attack I want to lock them all in their rooms and throw away the keys.

Right now I keep hearing how summer is suppose to be FUN. And if they must do chores, it is not FUN. And why can't we go to expensive amusement parks. Why can't I let them play video games or computer games ALL DAY. Why must they get dressed or eat or brush their teeth. Why am I such a MEAN MOTHER? I am apparently no fun at all. God, all the getting dressed and eating! What am I thinking?

In other news, it has been suggested to me that I look into galleries in the area for my photographs. Galleries! I really never thought. I'm not sure it could or will happen but I'm looking. Seeing what is out there. Looking into my options.

As for more festivals... I'd love to do an indoor one late in the fall. I just have to find one. The major problem is the festivals I've been told to look into for next year (& this winter) are VERY expensive to get into. Most even have a juror fee. Which means I must pay them to decide if they want my work. If they don't I don't get it back. If they do I must then pay MORE to have a space.

The fees range from $175-$300. Most leaning toward the $300 mark. I can't imagine where I would find such money. And even if I did... what if I didn't make table? (for an explanation of table, read this) That's an awful lot of money to earn out.

The good news is I did make table last weekend. In fact, I made enough to cover the loss from the weekend before. The sad news is I sold more bracelets than photographs. The 'at least there is a positive' news is I made enough from the bracelet sales to help cover the fees.

Off to do more research and yell at the children to GET DRESSED. EAT BREAKFAST. DO YOUR F-ING CHORES or NO computer or swimming or FUN!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Yet More Randomness

First, you have all been v. quiet lately. Not many comments. Let me rephrase that... NO comments. Comment people. Are you still there?

Second, I'm taking the kids swimming. They are driving me INSANE.

Third, I got offered a job today. YAY! 7 hours a week. For about 25 weeks a year.

I'm going to be a...


librarian. Mostly for kids in grades K-3. At the temple we belong to. The temple. Have I mentioned I'm not all that knowledgeable about the Jewish religion? My kids know more than I. Well, guess it's a great time to learn.

Also, I'll be putting in suggestions for acquisitions. So, if any of you know of a wonderful new book coming out for kids that deals with the Jewish religion or a specific holiday - drop me an e-mail and I'll look into putting on my list. First thing will be getting into the library and seeing what we have. (I've never set foot in the library there.)

And lastly, my brother...

You can read the original post here.

I need to hear from you single ladies. Even if you're not single... if you know someone who is. Drop me a comment. Still no comment from him. Either he hasn't read this yet or he secretly likes the idea of me mate-hunting for him. We may never know.

As for his handsome self...


Now let's hear from you all!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

More Randomness

I had all these things to write about and when I opened the page... they all flew from my mind and out into the yard. And so far? I've been unsuccessful at capturing them. All of the chasing and leaping about the yard has only caused me to break a sweat (because it is still unbearably HOT here). BTW, does anyone know a place where the weather is 60's-70's (F) all year? Because, I'm there. 90 degree weather just can not be healthy.

In other news...

Busy day today. Baseball camp, flute lesson, doctor's appt, soccer game and Dylan and Jeff are coming home sometime this afternoon. Expect craziness to ensue.

I spent yesterday redesigning my website. What you ask? It looks the same to me... not my blog, my website. You can still link to everything from here but you can't link to here from anywhere else. Trying to be professional and all. *cough, cough, choke, hack* I said trying.

Let me know what you think.

Two days until my next and last (for the summer) arts festival. Let's hope all goes well. Maybe. Please?

After that I will decide if I want to keep doing the festival booth thing. I'm not sure as of right now. I may try more fine art oriented festivals. The only problem there is they are more expensive to enter. That and I'll need to invest in a tent/canopy thing if I decide to keep doing this. More $ out. I'm sure this will go over just wonderfully with the husband.

As for my call for potential mates for my brother... still taking applications. I see he hasn't read my blog yet. (I haven't heard from him regarding this.) Until that day comes, I will be mentioning and referring to the original post every day. Be warned.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Hazy Days of Summer

First, I will admit there was yelling. Did you really think we could make it through a whole day with no yelling? I thought you knew me well enough to figure that one out. But it was minimal. And there were no tears. So YAY! for summer vacation.

Second, yesterday? Wonderful. What summer is all about. The first day that has seemed like summer and it is already mid-July. Took long enough!

There was baseball camp. There was an orthodontist appointment. There was grocery shopping and lawn mowing. There was also tennis and swimming. And let's not forget dinner and a movie in an air conditioned room. It was lovely, if not busy.

Today should be lovelier. Baseball camp and soccer. Not a whole lot else. YAY for summer!

Have I mentioned it is just me and 3 kids? No? It is. Jeff took Dylan to cub scout camp. I miss them but things are much more relaxed without the tantrums and difficulty of my third child. Why is he so PERSISTENT? And by persistent I mean unbending and tantruming and a big pain in the ass. Of course he is also loving and sweet and adorable. But life is so relaxed right now - I'm enjoying it.

Also, good news! Before he left, Dylan finished his first chapter book all on his own. So cute in his glasses, reading to himself and being excited about it. It took him 3 or 4 days. Now he wants more and more chapter books. I LOVE this! 3 readers down - one to go.

In other news... my nephew has come to vist. Hopped on a plane and winged his way here all on his own. No, not really. His mom and dad and uncle drove out here. Uncle and dad have left already and my nephew and his mom are still visiting. His babiness! So. Cute. So. Little. Oh, and it's great to have his mom here too. Have I mentioned I'm psyched to be an aunt? (HEAR THIS LITTLE BROTHER. I LIKE BEING AN AUNT. GET YOUR BUTT IN GEAR!)

Speaking of which, anyone looking for a single, 31 year-old, good-looking guy with a kick-ass job? He seems to like kids (mine anyway) and although I'm sure he won't go for having four he may be interested in one or two. Also? He's totally ready to buy a house. BTW, he lives in the Boston area. He majored in philosophy (he is smart!) although he is lacking in basic calendar skills. All inquiries may be directed towards me*. Start lining up girls!

*Note to Mike: See what you have forced me to do? This is all your fault. The time has come...

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Grand Totals...

Well, I've totalled it all up. The figures are in. I did not make table.

What does that mean you ask? It means I did not sell enough to pay for my table at the craft fair. That and I spent more than I made... Means I'm out money for the experience. And although I learned a lot, I'M OUT MONEY I DON'T HAVE.

In other news, I was wrong about the next arts festival. It is THIS weekend. Another chance for me to get more in the hole. YAY me. Not.

Aak! Just realized we must leave for the orthodontist. Running late as usual... will chat later.

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Art & Craft Fair, Take I

Well, you all heard about day 1. (If you read my earlier post on the matter.) Know I was in a sad place when I wrote it and it really wasn't that bad. I met a wonderful fiber artist. She knits. She weaves. She spins and dyes her own yarn. She is a true artist. She is also a friendly, caring, supportive soul. I would not have made it through the last two days without her.

Yesterday was a bright and sunny day. Beautiful, perfect weather. Not too hot, not too cold. The people came out in droves.

They were not buying. From me. They apparently spent all their money at the booth behind me that was selling things made in China and Taiwan. For cheap. They were also buying tons of tiny, fold up, photo album things on the other side of me. They were not buying 'art'.

They were telling their 9 year old sons, "See, you could do that."

They were telling their girlfriends, "You're not buying that. I'll take a picture of flowers for you."

I did sell one pack of cards and an 8x10 matted print. I also sold 6 bracelets. Bracelets that I made while sitting around waiting for people to even LOOK at my work. (It amazes me how many people don't even see my work sitting there.) After I had made 3 bracelets and realized I had nothing to do with them - I put them out for sale. $3 a pop. The young girls loved them. Maybe I'm in the wrong business.

Anyway, they extended the festival one more day because of the rain Friday. I'm trying again. At least I can chat with some wonderful artists. They seem to appreciate my work. There was even a buzz surrounding it among the vendors apparently. They came by now and then saying they had to see the beautiful photographs of flowers they heard about. That was v. nice.

Still, I forgot how hard and soul crushing it is to put your passion in the public eye. Out there for criticism. Out there for the world to reject. The sneering looks - what is with the sneering looks? The compliments help but, alas the infamous but, it is still soul crushing. It is still hard. It is still emotional. And draining.

And I get to do it all again in 2 weeks. Yay.

Friday, July 8, 2005

I'm All Wet

The thunder. The lightning. The rain. And more rain.

Today is my first craft show.

I don't have a tent.

And the rains came.

And I am tired. Oh, so tired as I stayed up v. late putting together the new photos. So I could NOT sell them today. Because of the rains. And a lack of protection from the rain.

Now I want a nap. I want to weep. The tiredness and lack of sales makes me want to weep.

I'm thinking this whole 'photos for sale' thing was a big, expensive mistake. And I am afraid. Afraid I spent a bunch of money we don't have to try to improve our lives. But it is not to be. And again... Failure.

(This is third attempt at a new career since I've been married. It is the third time I have failed. It is the third time I have lost more money than we can afford. Anyone have a hole for me to climb in?)

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Now that vacation is over...

The 4th, the 4th - it is over. Back to our regularly scheduled summer program. I'm not sure I'm ready for this. My first real look at summer vacation.

The sports. My God, the sports! I'm just now realizing the flaw of having 4 boys. I'm not a sports person. The boys are. The many, many sports. Why? The soccer every night. The all-star baseball. The traveling for the baseball. Have I mentioned I'm not a sports fan?

Honestly, I like to watch my kids play. I just wish I could have a highlights reel. Just the 10-15 minutes my son is up to bat, running or fielding. Not the rest of the 2 HOURS of play.

My other problem right now is that I was gone for a week. A whole, glorious week. A week of an ity, bity newborn. Smelling so good. Little baby cries. No running. No NON-STOP talking. Just sleeping and those little cries that are so angry and cute - yes, cute - in their littleness. No SCREAMING. No WAILING. No whining. No talking and running and jumping on me.

All this goodness left me with a to-do list the length of my entire body. And the circumference of it too. And that my friends is LONG.

I actually spent a good portion of yesterday on the phone. The phone. Why so long on the phone you ask? The appointments that needed to be scheduled. Trying to find a groomer with an opening this century took THREE phone calls. Three.

Golf camp took FIVE phone calls to actually speak with the right person and get all the info. The registering. The checking with the Grandpa financing the golf camp. (It was his idea.)

Doctors needed to be called. One child needed to see a doctor. Yes, I came home to a rashy, upset stomach, sore throated boy. Who does not have strep (YAY!) but may have appendicitis. Or not. Must keep an eye on tender spot in lower right quadrant. No reason found for rash and sore throat. (YAY/BOO)

Grocery lists were made and menus planned. No shopping was done as I actually RAN OUT OF TIME. What kind of world is this? Now I must shop with 4 boys. And take a dog to be groomed. And run many errands. With FOUR boys. Have I mentioned the FOUR boys I must take with me? And the dog?

And the last bit of oh-so-wonderful news... I am having a sale of my photographs on Friday and Saturday at a local summer festival. Set-up is at 7am. - A.M. I must be there until 8pm. P.M. For TWO DAYS. What was I thinking? I'm hoping to sell a photo or two. If not, I may have to up my meds. Wait, I can't. They're upped as far as they go. I may have to commit myself. Did I mention that Friday my husband is working? That I have 4 boys? That it looks like they will have to spend many, many hours sitting with me at this festival while people scoff at my photos or ignore me all together? I think I may be sick...

I really must go lie down. I'm not feeling so well right now. I've been up since 5:30. Walked the dog, did some laundry, put away the dishes in the sink, emptied the dishwasher, read my e-mail, and wrote this entry. Now I'm tired and feeling sick at what is to come this week. Think good thoughts. Wish for many sales.

Sunday, July 3, 2005

I'm Home!

I'm home and already it is like I never left. Except for the unpacked suitcase. I suppose I could make a quick getaway.

No, I'm glad to be home. Happy for all the yelling and screaming and barking. I forgot how much the dog barks.

There have been shouts of happiness and tears already. I've already been told, "You are so mean!"

I've cut one kid's hair and have 2 more to go. My to-do list for after the holiday weekend is growing.

The year is 1/2 over and I haven't checked my progress on my goals for 2005. It may be best this way. But be warned... the goal update is coming soon. I'm afraid the results are not good.

Today is a day of baseball and holiday celebrations. Tomorrow, more celebrating. Then it's back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I would like to note that I finished the sweater. You've forgotten about the sweater haven't you. The non-evil yarn sweater for my brand new nephew. Remember? I finished it while I was visiting. The sweater laid out in it's beautiful finished form...

And now for a picture of the sweater on the gorgeous tyke:

Off to prepare for the day! Have a great holiday weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2005

More Flowers!

We are off to the Missouri Botanical Gardens today.
Just me, the baby & his mommy. And 2 cameras.
Pictures will have to wait until I get back to New York.