Aflux is Pink For October.

I mentioned in a previous blog that aflux would be going pink for October. Normally at this time of year I’m making cute little Halloween layouts (2005, 2004), but this year I felt I need to join this group.

Cancer, all different kinds, has touched my life in so many ways. Two grandparents, one of my best friends, two weeks ago my step-sisters father… all of them were taken by cancer. Recently I became friends at work with a breast cancer survivor. She’s never really gone into great detail about the fight and I’ve never really asked. I know from people that I’ve been close to that it’s something that you can’t really put into words and make somebody else understand. And after taking care of Ada while she fought every minute, of every hour or every day to stop time, to make it to the next meal, the next dose of medication, the next DAY… I don’t have to be told. I’ve never had cancer, but I know. I know the struggle because even though I didn’t HAVE it, I LIVED it for 12 hours a day, six days a week for three years. I was there the day it started, and I was there at the very last moments, when the pain stopped, and the life slipped away. I was there for all of it.

If ONE woman comes across one of the site’s that have gone pink and goes out to get a mammogram then it’s worth it. If ONE mom, daughter, sister, aunt is saved then it’s worth it. Early detection is a ticket to longer life.

For more information on National Breast Cancer Month, visit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Dinner, a drive, and a date with teacher.

Stuart has some body roll.

Saturday: Clean, laundry, dinner with The Crew. Cassidy spent most of the DAY running back and forth between our house and the neighbors WITH random neighborhood kids in tow thrashing the house and the backyard and letting the cat out every 10 minutes. Thanks goodness for hardwood floors. I know I complain they are hard to keep clean but they tracked something through the house that I can only describe as “Eww”.

I really wish I had remembered to put the memory card back in the Canon before we left the house for dinner. I actually took the time to wipe the card clean then got sidetracked and didn’t put it IN the camera. *shakes fist at blondness* Dinner was a blast though and I’m still full from the filet.

Sunday: Went to the Top Driver Shootout AutoX at the Marina. This time I remembered to bring the memory card and took 1200 pictures. That’s a lot. I went through and got most of them organized into subfolders by driver/car last night but was too beat from all the walking, sun and fun to get many of them posted. Unfortunately, early in the day I used the circle polarizer on the lens to take a shot of an Alpina and didn’t take it off for the actions shots so a lot of them came out dark and will need a bit of PS manipulation to lighten them up. I should have listened to Ben and gotten a bit closer to the cars but after watching a few of them spin past cones, it’s not a comfortable feeling planting yourself right in the path of the cars. But he’s right, that IS where you get the best shots. Eventually I want to pick up a better zoom lens but right now I think I need to focus on getting the settings down and making sure I have the correct filter on the lens. heh

Today: They changed our productivity rates at work and instead of getting LOWER numbers I’m like, WAY OVER. I hit 155% at 10:00AM and have been having a hard time motivating myself to get anything done since then. Usually I count down the minutes till 2:30 but today I’m willing them to take longer.

Cassidy got in trouble at school (talking in class) last week and didn’t give us TWO papers the teacher required us to sign so she’s managed to dig herself a pretty deep hole. That means I have to stay after class to talk to the teacher today. I hate that. I feel like I’m the one in trouble and there’s that feeling of impending doom of when I get home and have to tell my mom. Except I DON’T have to tell my mom (well, I will because I’ll call and be all “Remember that time I was supposed to bring you a note home to sign and I didn’t tell you and you got really mad and grounded me? Well I didn’t tell you this but I called you mean names when I got in my room and rolled my eyes 180 degrees in my head and I’M SO SORRY BECAUSE YOU WERE SO RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING!”).

Instead, I have to BE the mom. And that’s SO MUCH WORSE because I’m totally not the disciplinary one in the relationship. That generally falls to Ben. He’s very good at sitting down and explaining things and making sure Cassidy understands consiquences and why punishment is necessary. I just get frustrated. It’s become pretty clear though that Cassidy has learned to manipulate that situation and will come to me instead of Ben if she’s trying to “pull something off”. I need to stop being such a pushover and start putting my foot down more because the only person I’m hurting by NOT doing that is her. It just kills me to see her upset or that look on her face when she knows that she’s disappointed me because I can tell it hurts her and it REALLY hurts me. Like, makes my heart physically ache.

See, they should use that as ammunition for abstinence and birth control for teenage girls. Diapers and sleepless nights and 10 extra pounds of baby fat: Cake. Having your heart broken by doing the right thing when they lie to you: TORTURE.

She got her wish.

My mom used to say to me in the throws of battle, “I hope you have a daughter one day!!” At the time I’m sure she envisioned hot daggers being thrown from her mouth and piercing my impenetrable, black, 15 year old heart and I’d be screaming in my head, “Well, that might happen because I had sex LAST NIGHT! HA!“. Of course, I never actually said that because at the time my mom had six pack abs and could pick up the entire West end of the house with one arm to vacuum under it with the other. Scary.

Tuesday when I picked Cassidy up from school she looked very concerned. When I asked her what was up she explained:

Her: Today at PE we had to choose between soccer and cheerleading and I choose cheerleading because I really want to be a cheerleader but then the PE teacher gave us black plastic trash bags and string to make our uniforms and he said not to lose them because we have to wear them to all the soccer games now and they are so ugly because they are BLACK PLASTIC TRAS BAGS AND STRING and that’s not what cheerleaders wear they wear like really cute skirts and shirts and have pompoms and their shoelaces and hair things match the skirts and my I cut my trash bag really carefully and I looked like a BLIMP and it was SO EMBARRASSING and..
Me: Okay! Okay, calm down. He said you have to wear this uniform?
Her: Yes.
Me: And everybody has to wear the same thing?
Her: Yes.
Me: Well, if everybody is wearing it than it shouldn’t be that bad, Cassidy.
Her: Mom, it’s a black plastic trash bag. With STRING.
Me: *tries to contain uncontrollable laughter at the inflection of the words ‘black plastic trash bag’ and ‘string’*
Her: Now I’d rather play soccer.
Me: Well, you choose this so now you need to stick to it.
Her: Can I wear my cheerleading costume?
Me: Your Halloween costume? (From two years ago)
Her: Yeah
Me: That’s not really fair, Cassidy. Some of the other girls might not have uniforms or costumes to wear and then they’d feel really left out.
Her: They won’t feel left out Mom, they’ll feel EMBARRASSED!

We eventually decided that she could take her costume to school and IF the PE teacher said it was okay that she could wear it. She won’t even SHOW me the trash bag costume. Apparently it’s that embarrassing.

Thursday morning I decided that I wanted to wear tennis shoes to work. I never wear tennis shoes. Ever. But for some reason I woke up that morning thinking that I really needed to wear them and I don’t question these things when Aunt Flow is here. I don’t question ANYTHING when Aunt Flow is here. I’m lucky to form complete coherent sentences when Aunt Flow is here.

Anyway, I went into my closet to grab a pair of socks for the first time since last Winter and… NO SOCKS! Well, there were socks, but they were all crew sock and I can’t wear crew socks when I’m wearing capris, I need footie socks. So I spend the next 10 minutes tearing the house up looking for a single pair of my 40 pairs if footie socks and fianlly find all of them at the bottom of Cassidy’s laundry basket. I’m fuming and late getting out the door and thank god there was a pair in the dryer or the entire world might have fallen off its Axis under the weight of my sockless feet stomping like a two year old.

Later I asked Cassidy about it:

Me: Did you take all my socks out of my closet?
Her: No, just the short ones.
Me: ALL the short ones.
Her: Well, I didn’t have any clean socks.
Me: Well those are MY socks Cassidy and when I go to get a pair of socks I’d like to have ONE pair that I can wear in there and just because you have 10 pair of sock that you don’t want to wear CLEAN doesn’t mean that you can take mine because you don’t have any that are clean because they ARE clean you just don’t want to wear them.
Her: Ooooookay.
Me: I’m serious I didn’t pay money to have socks for ME to wear in MY so that YOU can wear them all.
Her: *looking at me like I am certifiably insane”

And then it dawned on me. I’ve had this exact same conversation with my mother!! And it usually ended in her wishing that someday I’d have a hormonal, sock stealing, ungrateful daughter who is forced to wear black plastic trash bags just so I’d have to ENDURE HER WRATH and watch my daggers bounce off her impenetrable, black, heart… and the worst part? In a few years that’s going to happen!!

So I came up with a very simple solution. When she turns 13, I’m running away from home.

Pink for October.

Pink for October

I have decided to participate in Pink For October, a breast cancer awareness campaign. From the site:

Now the challenge is to convince as many sites as possible to promote National Breast Cancer Awareness month (let’s make that International) and raise money for breast cancer research.

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in helping with this event. But even if you don’t have time to dedicate, consider redesigning your site for the month of October — Go Pink!

The more people the better, so if you are willing and/or able, pinkify your site too and let them know you are participating!

Oh what a beautiful day.

Silly girl

Goodness it was a beautiful weekend. It was supposed to get pretty warm here today but it never really did. Cassidy and I walked to the farmers market, then washed my car, then she rollerbladed for a bit and planted even MORE seeds she found. Seriously, if 1/1000th of the seeds she’s planted grow, we are gonna have a small jungle in the front yard next year.

I love the little local farmers market we have about a mile from here. Cassidy had her first taste of shaved ice there about a month ago and now she wakes up every Sunday at what seems like the crack of dawn to remind me, ‘Mom! It’s Sunday and there’s shaved ice at the farmers market!!’

Being very very very careful

We bought some corn, kettle corn for Ben, a flat of strawberries and some of the BEST shortcake I’ve ever tasted before. The secret ingredient is orange extract. We get it every time we go now and the lady always give Cassidy a cookie. So. Good. When we got home I let Cassdiy cut all the strawberries. Before I’d let her cut a FEW but Ben keeps reminding me that I need to start letting her do things herself. I still hovered, but she cut HALF the flat and still has all her fingers!

I’ve taken just over 400 pictures since I got the new camera. Getting used to all the settings and ISO and aperture and depth of field and exposure metering and SO MANY SETTINGS is a little more difficult than I thought it was going to be. But, I’m getting there. I’m starting to realize after just a shot or two what I need to do to make them better. But, it’s still a lot of experimenting and a lot of unused pictures. And a lot of looking at other people’s shot on flickr and checking EXIF data to see what they used in different situations. But, I LOVE the camera. Every time I use it I love it more and more. And even if I just get one picture a day that I think is worth it, I’m happy.


Sweet Love.

Sweet. Sweet. Love.

I was reading Dasbecca at work today and she was talking about getting the XTi. YESTERDAY they were still showing as preorder on Amazon’s website and the ship date was showing as October 2nd. Then! Becca said that she had called Best Buy and they had them IN STOCK! WHAT?! In stock?!

I immediately called Ben and told him, “This girl Becca, who’s blog I read! Well, she said that Best Buy has the XTi and on Amazon they show them IN STOCK AND OMG I WANT ONE CAN I HAVE ONE RIGHT NOW TODAY BEFORE TOMORROW?!” I think Ben hates it when I start sentences with ‘that one girl who’s blog I read’ because it’s usually followed by girl stuff he thinks that no man ever needs to know about. I think this time though the shrill, excited, almost insane tone I was talking in made him listen.

So, this was my second birthday gift. I already knew I was getting it but since they weren’t supposed to release till October I had resigned myself to waiting. But instead! Ben when to a local camera shop and got me the camera, a common lense to get started, a UV filter (more to protect the lense than UV) and a 4GB flash card. I was supposed to meet him at the camera store but took the route that shouldn’t have a lot of traffic but did and he had all this purchased, bagged and waiting outside the shop when I got there.

This thing is a BEAST. It has so many setting and color modes and bells and whistles that reading just the BASIC camera settings had my head spinning. As the days go on, I’m going to study the book and play with settings. I plan on knowing this camera very very well. I have dreamed about owning a camera this nice for a long, long, long time.

SO! Enough already!

The very first shot taken. I know now why the flash is really the one thing that people complain about. Need to start learning to play with ISO settings:


A shot of Cassidy who is very worried that Marty and Doc might not get the train up tp speed before the end of the tracks and becoming a little annoyed at the camera in her face:
My favorite.

So, the shots aren’t great. But I’m so scared of DROPPING it and constantly trying new settings. Once I get comfortable with it I plan hope that my shots improve.

Five years later.

There are so many blogs out there where people with much more eloquence will write. People who have deeper insight and who have personal stories to share. So I will try to keep this short and tell you what the day means to ME.

To me today is not a day to place blame or to point fingers. Or to say what COULD have been different or what WOULD have been different. September 11th, 2001 was a tragedy. It was a horrible event that reminded us to hug our children, thank our parents and cherish our chosen partners. We learned that America has real heroes that walk the street everyday unnoticed. I think today the most important thing is to remember. Just remember.




I make one of these posts every year. 25, 26, 27 and now 28. For some reason this year the whole “getting older” thing didn’t really seem to bug me. When I was 26 I remember I had a bit of a mini nervous breakdown that involved anti-depressants, lots of chocolate and days of calculating out how many more days I had left to live if I reached the average female lifespan. Goor lord I was a mess!!

This year… meh. I’m older. I take more naps and I’ve begun to realize that parts of my body are never going to be 18 again. But that’s okay. I’ve made lasting friendships that I’ve grow to appreciate more and more. I’ve gotten a grown up job (even of I DO work with a bunch of people who can spend half a day freaking out over WHO THREW AWAY THE CHEESECAKE). I get to see Cassidy learn and discover something new every day. I’ve started to REALLY appreciate the little things in life. A night spent on the couch cuddled up with Ben. The days Cassidy want’s to hang out with ME after school rather than the neighborhood kids. I day spent laughing and shopping with one of the girls.

Last night I spent an evening laughing and having an awsome time with an amazing group of friends. And I’m pretty certain that even if I hadn’t had the beer and the shots it still would have been that much fun!!! A had decided early on in the night to make a funny face anytime that Jason pointed the camera at me. I ALMOST succeeded!

Ben REALLY spoiled me this year. He bought me things that took a lot of work, thought and love. More important than the awsome suspension and the dream camera was the thought. The act. The selflessness. He sacraficed things that he’s wanted for a long time. And things he really needed so that I could have things that I wanted. And he did this all on his own, just for me. That act of kindness and selfless love was the single best birthday gift I’ve ever gotten. Thank you, Ben, for the best gift ever.