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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Say "Cheese"!

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” --Elliott Erwitt

Today, Callie and I got up EARLY to get makeup on and out to the beauty shop by 7:30. Heather was surprised to learn how difficult Callie's very healthy hair (that's what Heather kept saying) is to work with! The simple bun that she'd planned had to be adapted for her stubbornly straight hair. But, the end result was really pretty! Then, Callie got dressed there at the beauty shop, to the delight of the older ladies who were in for their regular Saturday morning appointments. By the time we left, Callie's hair was beginning to fall a bit, so Heather reinforced it with another 10-15 bobby pins and we took off.

We were to meet Britney (the photographer) and Callie's friend, Claire in front of one of the large downtown buildings. When we got there, the wind was really blowing, so we ducked into the recessed area of the front entrance to wait. Claire arrived and then we noticed that Callie's hair was really starting to fall down, so I took out most of the bobby pins and we left it in a covered ponytail.
When Britney came, we took off on a great adventure---finding interesting places for photos. W first went to her favorite spot: an old building with a blue exterior and arched doorway. Then, we went across the street where there were a few concrete pillars standing---the remains of an old overpass, we assume. At first glance, we wondered about the vision there---there was trash on the ground, a few muddy spots and lots of mosquitoes. But, once Britney had Callie squat down on a blanket, with her dress spread out, you could see how neat the spot was. There were tiny white wildflowers behind her and lots of green vegetation--I can't wait to see how those turned out!

Then, I suggested a place across the street that had a cement wall with vines growing on it, so Callie gazed this way and that as purple martins chirped happily from a birdhouse nearby. Callie asked to go down to the riverfront, so off we went. Britney is new to the area, so she was not familiar with the Barnwell Art Center and its arboretum. We decided to check it out. While some of the photos there will probably be really great, it was unbelievably hot in there and we were soon covered in sweat! Being outside didn't seem nearly as hot as we exited, so she shot some pictures under the trees and on the open, terraced area near the riverfront as kids played in the fountains nearby.

All in all, it was great fun and Callie looked so pretty! I can't share those pictures yet----we want some surprises for the wedding!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New Again?

Well, today was a productive day! With school officially out for most of us, I forgot yesterday to go do inclusion services at the year-round school around the corner. So, this morning, I got up early to take Emmi to the vet (she needs shots) before school. Then after an hour of teaching, I dropped my car off at the glass shop and got a ride back home.

With Emmi conveniently out of the house, and no car to run errands in, I set to sewing. I was able to work on Callie's dress with few interruptions and made great progress. While Jana's dress had buttons all the way up the back, I decided to put in an invisible zipper in Callie's, with buttons over the top. I was a bit worried about all the tulle and the buttons loops getting stuck in the zipper, but it all worked out well. The zipper is still "tight" and takes a bit of tugging to get it up past the satin waistband, etc., but I think it's going to work! Now, please, please, please---FIT!
I covered a bunch of buttons last night and made the embellishments for the ballet slippers. So far, I've been unable to find blank shoe-clips, but I have one more place to look. If not, I guess I'll take apart some old clip earrings and use the backs.
I really like how they turn out---I hope Callie likes them!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008


"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." --Alfred Adler

Hmmm. On the way home from work Wednesday, I stopped at a traffic light for a few minutes. While sitting there, I noticed a lawn service working on the yard of the bank on the corner next to my car. Then suddenly I heard a really loud "thunk!" Rock? Stick? Something had hit my car HARD! At first I didn't see what it was, but then saw the rear window on the back passenger side of my car was shattered. I backed up and got the attention of the boy running the weed-eater and rolled down my window to tell him what had happened. We found his boss on a mower nearby and took a look at the damage. It's not a very big window, but it was shattered completely. The owner of the service was very nice and assured me that he would pay for everything in full, so after exchanging information, I went on my way, agreeing to call him with an estimate from the repair shop.

Well, unfortunately that little window is worth a lot more than either of us could have imagined. And once the price was quoted, the hard part began---getting him to pay for the damages. We've gone back and forth for a week now and finally I have decided to use my comprehensive insurance to get it taken care of. Part of me was angry because of "the principle of the thing"--here I am claiming it on my insurance and he gets away with owing absolutely nothing. But, after some thought, I concluded that it really was just an accident and if the situations were reversed, I would certainly be thankful if someone did this for me. In the long run, my rates won't be affected at all (so my agent tells me) so I get my window fixed and do a good deed for someone. I guess that's actually the "principle" that I should be living by anyway.
Monday, May 19, 2008

New Tricks

"You can't teach an old dog new tricks." --

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Well, Emmi really isn't an old dog---she is only 8 months old. So maybe there is hope in teaching her new tricks.
Thursday, May 15, 2008

Living My Dream

Today I saw this article about Callie's friend, Claire. I've always loved Claire---her energy, her positive attitude and love of life (although I must admit that there were times when she was much younger and her energy almost wore me out! haha) But what a great girl she is. She is living her dream right now and I hope that it brings joy to her and to all those whose lives she touches.

My initial reaction was "Wow! I wish I could do that!" and then I wondered, am I living my dream? You know, actually, I am. Not that my dream is that glamorous or earth-shaking, but when I was about 9 years old, my dream was to be a teacher--a special education teacher. I knew without a doubt that was my calling. The other dream that I recognized many years ago was that of being a mother. Those may not sound very ambitious to some people, but both have been so very rewarding to me.

I also realized that along the way, my dreams have changed, too. Not really changed, I guess, but I've added new dreams. In recent years, I dream of being able to do full-time volunteer work and I dream of being able to travel and visit my kids and future grandchildren without worry about taking time off from work, etc. I don't know that any of those dreams will materialize, but who knows---in a few years, I may discover that I am still living my dream.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008


"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."--Henry David Thoreau

Whew! What a busy, busy weekend! I added about 2,200 miles to my car this weekend, but it was all worth it to be able to see Callie have her recital and graduate from UNC. And, I even got to spend the weekend with Jana!! While the weather on Saturday was beautiful, we weren't so lucky on Sunday. Just about the time we were ready to hike to Kenan stadium for the ceremony, it began raining. We grabbed a few plastic tablecloths from the Wesley Center where we'd had breakfast and took off. Sitting on the bleachers, we were part of the shortest graduation ceremony in UNC's history!! We were all soaked and chilly, but Callie is now a graduate!

We drove most of the night to get home on Monday night, taking turns driving and sleeping in the car. Once home, I was sure glad that I hadn't planned to work on Tuesday! I was exhausted and the respiratory illness I'd been fighting all weekend was hitting me hard. I spent the day on the couch or in bed and am now feeling much better!
Sunday, May 4, 2008

God is Good!

"Adoption is the new Pregnant!"--Unknown

Valine and I went over to Canton yesterday to celebrate her "milestone" birthday (Happy Birthday, Valine!). After national news reported on a tornado touching down there Friday morning, we weren't exactly sure what we'd find, but since our hotel room had already been reserved we decided to go over and check it all out.

As it turns out, the weather was absolutely perfect!!!! It was beautiful and the damage wreaked by the tornado had already been cleaned up. (Fortunately, there were no injuries in the 2 spots it touched down) The sky was blue and the wind was blowing. In fact, it was cool enough that we were really glad we had thrown jackets in at the last minute because we wore them most of the day.

While cruising through one of the pavilions, I spotted and commented on a t-shirt in a booth for babies and expectant moms. It said "Adoption is the new Pregnant". While it most certainly has been a source of controversy among rich and famous celebrities, instead I immediately thought of my friends, Todd and Michaela who have gone to great lengths in order to have a baby and have now chosen adoption of a baby girl from China. While they have been completely at peace about this wonderful process, I know there are times when the longing for a child must be completely overwhelming. The process of adopting from China is a lengthy one and they still have 2-3 years to wait. Meanwhile, every young couple at our church is either pregnant or has a brand new baby.

Then, this morning, Michaela asked me if I'd heard the news. Their social worker called them this past week about a domestic adoption that she thought they might be interested in. A bit apprehensively they agreed to meet the young mother and then decided that they were indeed very interested. And they learned Friday night that the mother has chosen them to be the parents of her baby boy and he is due in 5 weeks!!!!! FIVE WEEKS!! Amazing! I was moved to tears when she told me knowing how desperately they (and all of us) have been praying for this for them!

God is Good!!
Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Little Bit Of Bling

"There are no mistakes in lace, just misdirected threads that present a new challenge."--Barbara Bulgarelli

I know that the Macro Challenge was over yesterday, but I had one more picture that I took that I thought I'd post (well, actually a couple that are related to the same project). These are the little vintage buttons (about 1/2")
that I picked up in Warrenton last month, as well as some tiny tatted pieces that were very delicate and nice.
My mother was able to tat----I remember her buying tatting shuttles on year when my grandmother (her mom) was visiting us. We sat out in the sun room and Mother told us that she wanted us to all learn to tat. Sounded like fun to us, so we began. She had purchased leaflets with directions for each of us and we all started working with the thread and shuttles. A few hours later, Grandma and I threw our shuttles aside, completely frustrated by our inability to make the tiny knots and patterns. Meanwhile, my mother was working on a long row of intricate little loops. Mother continued to tat from time to time and was able to produce some pretty edgings that she used on pillows, towels, etc. So, when I saw these little medallions, I completely appreciated the time and skill involved.

Anyway, I know that
Callie doesn't usually go for much sparkle and frou-frou, but with a little bit of silk ribbon, I think these tiny touches of bling might be just right for her bridal toes!

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