Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Was it a whole year ago that this little pumpkin’ won me 1st place and a day off with pay in our company pumpkin carving contest? Why, yes I think it was. How strange.

And how strange also that just a year ago that silhouette bore a spooky resemblance to Clay Aiken. Or should that be “spiky?”

THIS one is spooky…

Halloween. What a strange holiday.

Vampire Clay Photoshopped by Kelly of LBFCA

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Peek-a-BOO... "D".

This is my daughter... "D". I'm sure of it!

Even though the last time I checked she was a blond and I think the time before that.. a redhead. But it's the eye that gives her away. Such a pretty one.

They say that "the eye" is the window to the soul and I can attest to that... as she has such a pretty soul too.

"D" has friends with pretty eyes and souls as well. This particular one belonging to her good friend "E".

"D" is away at school now and HAS been for two long years. And I miss her... a bunch.

I miss her beautiful voice always singing around the house and the way her hands bring the piano to life with such beautiful music.

I miss her laughter which always seems to come from such a place deep within as if it's just been waiting inside there bursting to be set free.

I miss the gourmet Quesidilla's, Kraft Mac N' Cheese, and the "strawberry smoothies to die for."

I miss my house being perpetually clean.

I even sometimes miss trying to maneuver 2 cars into a 1 1/2 stall garage and being overly concerned for her safety when she's not home at the stroke of midnight.

But most of all I just miss "D".

And no, "D" doesn't stand for "Dramatical" tendencies. But even if it DID... I'd probably miss those too.

Taken the day of her big sisters 1st ballet recital. I call it "Not In The Limelight..."

In My Daughter's Eyes
... and yes, she really DOES have two of them...

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero (I hope)
I am strong and wise and I know no fear (?)
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy
she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes

To hear "D" sing... go here.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Leaves From the Past...

I remember snapping this photo as if it were yesterday.

Whitney was six months old at the time and we had just sold our home in Mamaroneck, NY in exchange for a “second floor walk-up” in Hastings-On-Hudson. Something to do with money, I think... New York is beautiful in the fall… typically crisp and sunny. “Frisky weather” as my now long-time ex liked to call it. Very, unlike the damp and dreary days we've grown accustomed to in Michigan these past many years.

Anyway, we’d moved into this cozy little abode in “the town with the deceptively affluent sounding name” on my 29th birthday. I only remember this because after my husband at the time had left to take the U-Haul truck back en route to his job in “the city” where he was performing the lead in a current Broadway Show, I stood amongst the multitude of boxes and disarrayed furniture and sobbed. I’m still not sure what I was crying about the most… the fact that I now had to somehow deal with all this mess with a baby in my arms?.. or the fact that in all the fuss he’d forgotten to buy me a birthday card… Or, in retrospect, if perhaps that may have been the night when I realized I’d lost my wedding ring…

But for whatever reason I don’t believe at any time that evening did it ever occurred to me that there might come a day when I might look back on that time of our life and just smile, or wish that once again I could be standing in the middle of a room full of clutter with a baby in my arms. Babies grow up so quickly. They do! And we just don’t get a ton of chances to relive the present over again too often. We don't.

Meanwhile, and in keeping with the theme…

I threw this costume together in about 30 minutes… using a Glad garbage bag and some scraps from my sewing kit. This was prior to the day when I would have found myself stressed into ad nauseam over such a daunting task..

This one didn’t take so much effort…

.... which ended up being no big deal since she slept through most of it anyway.

In 1985 we dressed her up as Strawberry Shortcake and that was the first year she actually went “Trick-or-Treating.”

I will never forget her skipping down the sidewalk in Brooklyn (where we lived then), ringing doorbells and shouting “Trick-or-Treat!… and collecting candy through the wrought-iron gates of the brownstones. This was SO far from my memories of the tradition, but I’ll never forget her excitement. That is until she took a nose dive on the sidewalk and tore up her white tights… blood running down and mixing with the green horizontal stripes. Still, I think she continued collecting candy.

My “favorite” Halloween memory EVER though occurred in 1987 after staying up until 4:00 am one morning putting the finishing touches on the “Rainbow Bright” costume. (Please… never, ever attempt to do this at home!) I finished it and trudged off to bed, hanging it on the edge of the door frame and in the morning she said to me… “Mom, I really, really like it… a lot!.. but do you think I could go as Cinderella?”

She went as “Rainbow Bright.”

I'll let these next two Halloween memories speak for themselves…

I think these were probably the last Halloween costumes I made for her...

…and I know for a fact that this was the last October that I had her home.

Perhaps the reason I don't like the fall so much is on account of all the "leaves"...

But still... I wonder how many times I'll have to keep reminding myself over and over again about how quickly these seasons tend to change and how things just have a natural way of springing anew...

...in so many different ways...

:sighs again:

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Turning Over A New Leaf...

Another leaf? Ackkk! Perish the thought!

But anyway... I've decided. I'm not going to think about Clay so much anymore... at least for a while. Because years from now when my children get around to realizing that they're finally cool enough to read my blog I SO want them to know that THEY were absolutely the most precious things in my life. Hands down! And not just some... Rockstar.

Doesn't mean I won't be tempted to share pictures of him from time to time.

Like this one...

...or THIS one.

Meanwhile, in this brief interim, and in the month or so that I have before things start to get crazy again, I think I'm just gonna try to spend a little more time pondering over the blessings in my life, above and beyond him... which have somehow lost focus these past few years and yet have always and will always matter the most.

And anyway, to THAT I'm fairly sure he'd say to me...

Either that or...

So in either case, I win...

Friday, October 13, 2006

It's Definitely Fall In My Neck of the Woods.

Although today that's questionable since… it’s snowing. No, I mean it’s REALLY snowing. Not like the occasional October spittle that we sometimes get but like the big flakey February stuff that STICKS majorly and makes driving trecherous. Really Weird.

And it’s only October 13th…

I’ve lived in Michigan for 16 years now and this it the first time I have ever seen this happen.

I was born… in California on a HOT October day. On October 13th to be exact. My mother tells me the thermometer measured 98 degrees the day I was born. And growing up?… I’m quite sure that all of my birthday parties were held outdoors. At least in my memory… sitting in my bedroom pretending to not know about the birthday preparations that were being carried on in the kitchen and looking out the window I remember seeing green. Lots and lots of green. I also remember swinging upside down on the monkey bars on the school playground one birthday and thinking… “Wow! I’m lucky 7 already!” And I remember not wearing a sweater. I don’t know why I remember that day so absolutely vividly! Perhaps it’s because I think it may have been my first Friday the 13th birthday and I was realizing that the day was going pretty well for me so far.

Anyway, right now… California and 1961 seems like a million miles away.

I used to love the fall. Really. LOVED IT! Even after I first moved to Michigan… back in the days when I use to live in that big house when people would come and do my yardwork FOR me… and when my biggest challenge of the day was to assure that the spider web facsimile or cornstalk/pumpkin assemblages on the front porch were perfectly displayed.

Tough times.

But then “after”… when I moved to this “new” house… with it’s massive expanse of property… I remember still thinking… Lucky me!!!… All THIS!... and all for the mere price of a home! I will love it and nurture it! I will take care of it daily… prune every bush weekly… keep each and every blade of grass mowed within an inch of it’s life… and I have succeeded in doing this for almost a fifth of a century! But those same blades of grass keep growing… and those same leaves keep falling year.. after year.. after year. No, really… trust me! I know each and every one of those grasses and leaves intimately and yes, they are the same ones. They keep coming back to haunt me and I’m sure they are laughing. Sometimes I feel like I’m living groundhogs day over and over again… or doing the dishes… or the laundry… except without hot water.

Bottom line? I have a huge yard. No really… I mean HUGE. I’m not kidding.

But somehow… I guess I just have to keep believing and remembering how much I am gifted year after year on my birthday a beautiful arrangement colored in yellows, oranges and reds. I guess. And this year I cannot wait to rip off the beautiful white gift-wrapping in a few days to be so utterly surprised by all that awaits… beneath… ugh.

I guess all I’m REALLY trying to say here is… Please, to those whom might ever be inclined to send me a gift... Please no Clay CD’s. Trust me, I have plenty!…and in fact you will probably be seeing one your own very self really, really soon... No jewelry. No Bath and Body Works products either.

Library Boy mouse pads are good though...

...as are really beautiful roses...

...singing voicemails… and of course money.

*sends hugs out to various family members*

Anyway, it's nearly midnight, and though it's still yucky outside, so far I don't believe there are any late-breaking bad-news stories to report on this Friday the 13th... except for perhaps the fact that I am now another year older.

Monday, October 09, 2006

When I See Him Smile... It Makes Me Wanna Do Stuff.

For some reason I can't seem to get the following stanza out of my brain...

Baby there's nothin' in the world that could ever do
what the touch of your hands can do,
It's like nothin' that I ever knew.


I know, silly. I mean, there's this whole album of goodness out there and yet I just seem to keep fixating totally on this one little snippet. I just love the way he sings it! No it's even more than that... I am totally addicted to those three lines! So much so that I sat down this morning and opened up my rusty ole' Windows Movie Maker and had ALMOST come up with something decent before I realized how it was way past my bedtime. And then... just by chance, I realized that Shasta had already beat me to the punch anyway! Now I don't know Shasta from Adam, but still, she's so totally cool in my book because she unwittingly saved me from this obsession of mine... and of having to stay up until like 4:00 in the morning probably... PLUS she has the behind the scenes clips which I've been searching hi and low for to no avail... and also, she did a really, really good job. So I'll just tuck my smiley pictures away for another day. *sulks off*


OK, well thanks ALOT Shasta! : ( I really don't remember what this video was all about, but I'm betting it was really good...

... At any rate... as much as I love (and I mean LOVE) his new look, there's still something about that earlier smile that I fell in love with. Ya know the one that he use to do before he knew? So yeah, ok… I know… he ALWAYS knew… but I mean the ones during that time when we were first discovering that he knew that we knew.. that he knew? Anyway, the first time I saw that first one I think my stomach did somersaults. Nevermind that it’s now moved on to doing backflips, there was still something so indescribably extraordinary about those early-on smile memories that I just don’t ever, EVER want to leave behind.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And then, of course, there are always those unexpected little moments when fandoms collide... and completely entertwine themselves.