Monday, October 29, 2012

A Peek Inside My Life

Outside My Window... it is getting dark earlier and earlier, and there is a definite chill in the air; we will change the clocks back soon.
Around the house and garden... Halloween decorations springing up in the neighborhood for the big event on Wednesday night.
I am thinking... that I won't be able to go to the victory parade for the San Francisco Giants (who just won the World Series) this year because I have to go to work. Darn it!
I am thankful for... Paul's return home after Round 5 of chemotherapy. It feels so good to have him back in the house. He tolerates these treatments very well but really hates being in the hospital (and how can you blame him?)
From the kitchen... just a few prepared salads because our new hardwood floors are being stained and sealed, which makes it difficult to move about the house.
I am wearing ... pajamas. 
I am hoping ... that Clara makes the basketball team at her new school. She went to tryouts today and really enjoyed herself.  It would be such a great way for her to make friends and settle into her new environment.
I am reading... the final version of Henry's college essays. He's sent out five applications so far, and he has five more to go.
I am busy creating... not much! I really wanted to do some more things for a Dias de los Muertos altar, but I'm not sure we will have the living room reassembled in time. Keeping my fingers crossed.
I am hearing... the clicking of the keyboard as I get this weekly update out a day later than usual! 
What are you up to right now?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Art of Remembering: My Parents

The Recuerda Mi Corazon blog is hosting an October meme called The Art of Remembering.  You can read more about it here.  In Rebecca's words, the purpose of this Sunday exercise is to "share our most personal memories of loved ones and their forever places in our hearts.  As we take time to do the sacred work of remembering we are filled with the presence of all those now gone that once filled our days with love and comfort."  Previously I posted a memory about my father ( here) and my mother (here). Today, I want to share a personal memory about the two of them together and their eternal love.
                                                                                                                      A Love for All Eternity
Several weeks before my mother passed away, I spent about a week at her hospital bedside. I remember when her demeanor shifted from talking about seeing her grandchildren graduate from college and instead asking if we would be okay once she was gone.  One morning, she said she had been talking to my father, who had passed away the previous year.  She said that he was doing well but he said he missed her "because no one can take care of me the way you do."  And I knew it was true. My mother took great care of my father all through his life.  And he took care of her.  During the last years of my father's life, as he battled the cancer that he knew would kill him, he made a plan.  He created a little red book in which he noted all the monthly household expenses which my mother would face, and he patiently explained to his children where the money was to take care of his wife after he was gone. My mother and father took care of each other in life and expressed their love in the face of death.  I am certain they are caring for each other still. And I pledge to remember that love.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

PPF: Collaged Cabinet of Curiosities

I've been really enjoying the "Cabinet of Curiosities" theme this month at the Sketchbook Challenge blog.  I decided to pull some images from my huge stash of collage sheets and ephemera and make some cabinets.  This is the first one I made - it seems a little dull/dark to me, so I'm working on another larger one with more adventurous colors. I took the butterfly and face photos at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The black and gold images came in a "happy mail" package from my friend Karen of Random Reflections.  The antlered woman came from a fashion magazine and I think the weird anatomy is from a Stampington publication maybe. I think the antlered fashion model is my favorite curiosity. What's yours?
I'm posting this to Paint Party Friday. For more painterly goodness, check out this link.

Life Under Construction

Okay, so a week filled with a new school for my daughter, my husband in the hospital for chemotherapy and half the house unavailable due to the installation of hardwood floors is much more time-consuming than I thought! Hope to catch up on blog reading and commenting soon, and I will have something new up tomorrow for Paint Party Friday. Until then . . . 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

On Chasing Wild Geese

Artists in Blogland is hosting a biweekly challenge called "Fall Fearless and Fly."  The second challenge in the series has the theme of "taking a chance."  The color prompt is "least favorite color" and the quote prompt is "Don't refuse to go on an occasional wild goose chase -- that's what wild geese are for."  I decided to focus on the quote and use Payne's Grey, a color which I find confusing because it is oddly named for a shade of purplish-blue.  I liked the idea of creating my own "wild goose." I used a happy face and a fortune cookie fortune that reads "try something new and different. You will like the results" to complete the page.
As I thought about the quote prompt, I realized that right now, other than in my art, I feel like I don't really have the luxury of going on a wild goose chase. I feel like all the choices being made in my life are so serious and so important that they need to be made thoughtfully and oh-so-carefully. As I wrote in my journaling  "my wild goose will have to wait and that's okay." I know that someday in the future I will be able to return to chasing wild geese, and the geese will still be there . . . waiting.
What about you? Are you up for a wild goose chase?  
To see how others have interpreted the challenge, be such to check out this link.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hello Monday

Hello Monday (a meme started by Lisa Leonard) . . . 
Hello new school for Clara and hoping that it goes well. Her new school is a smaller public school about 25 minutes (with traffic) from here. It has project-based learning and students arranged into "houses," with some teachers that "loop" with the students for both their freshman and sophomore years.  I'm hoping she will thrive in this model and will be happier with a change of scenery.
Hello Round 5 of chemo for Paul. Fingers crossed that it all goes well, and he's able to start on Wednesday. 
Hello new floors . . . the guys are coming on Tuesday.
Hello SAT scores arriving for Henry in a few days.   I hope he did well on this college entrance test.  He sent his first completed application off today, and we're hoping to finish up the bulk of the remainder next weekend.
Hello World Series? Our baseball team, the San Francisco Giants, have to win one more game to advance to the World Series.
My art journal page for today is titled "hoping" because I'm hoping for so many good things this week.  Are you hoping for anything special this week?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Art of Remembering: My Mother

The Recuerda Mi Corazon blog is hosting an October meme called The Art of Remembering.  You can read more about it here and this week's memories are at this link.  In Rebecca's words, the purpose of this Sunday exercise is to "share our most personal memories of loved ones and their forever places in our hearts.  As we take time to do the sacred work of remembering we are filled with the presence of all those now gone that once filled our days with love and comfort."  You can read my previous entry by clicking here.
My Mother's Roses
There are so many things I could share about my mother, but today I want to remember one of the smallest details about her life. . . . 
She loved roses. And she had the greenest thumb for them.  I never counted the number of rose bushes she had, but they were scattered all about our yard . . . along the walkway to our front door, in the flower bed outside the living room plate glass window, in the back yard along the side of the house and even one tucked into the small patch of dirt by the side gate. She knew exactly the right amount of watering and pruning they needed, as well as how much and when to feed them. Her rose bushes came in so many different colors and varieties.  And they all thrived under her care.  They had the sweetest perfume. It filled the air when she cut roses and placed them in vases throughout the house. 
Because my mother believed in sharing her roses . . . with her family and with her friends.  She made countless bouquets for me to give friends, neighbors, teachers and anyone else who she wanted to make feel special. She carefully selected a variety of stems to cut . . . some in full bloom; some buds just beginning to open. She wrapped the stems in wet paper towels and then in foil so they would last on their journey to the lucky recipient.  Sometimes she trimmed the thorns, but most of the time, I had to be careful because the most beautiful roses seemed to be surrounded by the sharpest of thorns.
I think of my mom every time I see roses. I remember their smell. And their beauty. And the care she gave her roses. And how she shared them.

Friday, October 19, 2012

An Optimistic Heart

It's been a while since I've posted an art journal page. This one, "an optimistic heart," was very quick. I was so filled with contentment yesterday because Clara loved the high school she visited on Thursday. We were able to complete the transfer today, and she will be starting there on Monday! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Just a Moment: October

Thursday, October 18, 2012 9:45 a.m.
The weather is unseasonably warm. And the air is still. Some call this earthquake weather. Yesterday's temperatures were the same. But it was windy. We call that wildfire weather. 
Earthquakes, brush fires. Huge forces changing the landscape. 
College, Cancer, a Teenage Daughter. These feel like tectonic shifts in my life.
I hear the buzzing of the bees, legs heavy with pollen, as they mine the last of the season's nectar. They give me hope, circling the lavender, dancing their lazy dance in the warm still air.  After a wildfire, there is always new growth. After an earthquake, we rebuild. There is always renewal. 
I think of Clara, checking out a new school today, and I say a little prayer.
The recording of this "moment" is inspired by Alexa's new meme, "Simply a Moment." To find out more about it and to read September moments from other bloggers, check out this post.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Product Review: Easy Canvas Prints

A while back I won a give-away from the Bloom, Bake and Create blog for an 11x14 canvas from Easy Canvas Prints.  It was super easy to use their site to order one of my photographs printed on canvas.  I was so happy with the canvas that I ordered a second canvas using a photograph from the same series.  When the second one arrived, I was a little disappointed because there were noticeable differences in the width of the two canvases and the grain and color of the background canvas.
So, I decided to call the company. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of customer service I received!  First, the phone was answered by a real live person. And that real live person turned out to be in Austin, Texas. It turns out Easy Canvas Prints is a small business that actually cares about pleasing its customers.  I explained my disappointment to the person on the phone. She explained that they had just changed the background canvas to a finer weave, white color. She wasn't sure why one of the canvases was thinner, but she told me to take a picture and send them an email.  I did, and they replied promptly that they would send me a replacement free of charge so that the pair would match.   I was really pleased with the result and hung the pair in my bathroom.  The canvases arrive, packaged very  carefully, to ensure that they are not damaged. 
The canvases are a nice quality and very reasonably priced because the company always has some sort of a promotion going on. The 11x14 I purchased is generally priced at $62, but I paid $28 using a promotional code.  I was so happy with my experience that I ordered another much larger canvas (18x24) of this scarecrow photograph to hang in my office, and I love it.   Although originally priced at $103, I received a promotional email where I was able to purchase it for $35! 
On the whole, if you are interested in trying out a canvas print, I would definitely recommend getting on the email list for Easy Canvas Prints and then ordering one once you get a promotional code.  The promotions have always come with free shipping, which takes a while, but I'm willing to wait longer for free shipping, and the company is very clear about the time the canvas will take to arrive. Let me know if you give them a try or about your experience with other canvas companies. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Festival

Behind the scenes: tamales, corn dogs, pumpkins and pie. October, 2012, Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Street Photography: Pumpkin Festival

During a huge street festival hosted by my town, I decided to practice my street photography.  I decided to start by wandering about  to see what I could find. Some people were easy to capture, like these two super heroes above. I asked if I could take their picture, and they were happy to oblige (although the focus is not quite as crisp as I would have liked). I found some other interesting characters as I wandered, like this guy:
And this baby who had had too much pumpkin festival:
But my feet were getting tired, so I decided to follow some advice I read about street photography.  I found a comfortable place to sit and waited for interesting people to come to me. 
The hard part was trying to capture people without too much background distraction, but I did find this pair interesting:
And I enjoyed the fun being had in the kids' area:
And my patience was eventually rewarded with my absolute favorite capture of the day:
Aren't they fantastic?!? 
It was such fun to spend a good hour trying to capture good street portraits. I
 took all these portraits with my 50mm fixed lens and my camera set on the "running man" setting in an attempt to be less obtrusive and not spend too much time fooling around with settings.  What do you think of my street portraits? Got any favorites? And do you have any good street photography tips to share?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hello Monday

Hello Monday . . . a meme originated by Lisa Leonard.
Hello 700 square feet of wood.  We are finally going to realize our plan of getting rid of the carpet upstairs and replacing it with hard wood floors.
Hello first drafts of personal statements, recommendation requests and completed college applications for Henry. It looks like the application for Michigan State will be the first one out the door (waving to my lurking friend Joan), followed closely by University of Oregon and the so-called "Common Application" for private Universities.
Hello to Clara's orthopedist. She has her final physical therapy appointment this week and then a visit with the orthopedist where she is hoping to get the all-clear to return to full activity.
Hello gym. . . . ummm, I haven't been in two weeks, and I need to get back there!
Hello to more playoff baseball. Our S.F. Giants made a miraculous comeback to move to the next round.  Not sure if we'll attend any games, but we're rooting for them nonetheless.
Hello street photography. I worked on this during the Pumpkin Festival over the weekend, and I'm looking forward to posting the results.
Hello "Pass the Book". . . it's time to send one back to Sian and send the other on its way.
What's up with you this week?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Art of Remembering: My Father

The Recuerda Mi Corazon blog is hosting an October meme called The Art of Remembering.  You can read more about it here and read this week's memories at this link.  In Rebecca's words, the purpose of this Sunday exercise is to "share our most personal memories of loved ones and their forever places in our hearts.  As we take time to do the sacred work of remembering we are filled with the presence of all those now gone that once filled our days with love and comfort."  As soon as I read about this meme on Gloria's blog, I knew I wanted to participate because I thought it would be the perfect run-up to Dias de los Muertos (a Mexican celebration of remembering those who have passed away that occurs on Nov.1).  I definitely plan to put up a Dias altar this year, especially because I did not do one last year.  So, for my first Sunday in The Art of Remembering, I want to share this memory of my father (you can see a collage I made in his honor up top). 
My Father, the Balladeer
I spent all day today at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival selling tamales to support the High School soccer team. Our booth was in a parking lot turned food court which also contained a stage. Mid-morning, a cowboy band began their set, and I heard the familiar chords and lyrics of the cowboy's lament, "The Streets of Laredo." The song brought me immediately back to my childhood. . . a childhood where my father was always singing cowboy songs and Mexican corridos. As he puttered around the house or rocked his children to sleep, he sang The Streets of Laredo, The Yellow Rose of Texas and, my favorite, The Red River Valley.  
One of my favorite stories involved him and his compadres going out drinking while my mother stayed home because she was pregnant.  Apparently, they felt guilty  and so went home and serenaded her in the wee small hours of the night!  
At my father's funeral, my brother asked the vocalists to sing "Red River Valley." There wasn't a dry eye in the house as they sang, "Come and sit by my side, if you love me.  Do not hasten to bid me adieu. Just remember the Red River Valley. And the cowboy who loved you so true."
Dad, I will always remember you.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Class Review: Ode to Nature

At the end of summer, I took Alisa Burke's online class, "Ode to Nature."  I wanted to post a class review before I start my next class with her (Sketchbook Delight, Part 2), so here goes! Overall, I really enjoyed Ode to Nature, and I got a lot out of it.  For me, it was the right class at the right time.  It built on the drawing and sketching skills I've been developing this year and fed my love of photography. The class was scheduled over five weeks and cost $50 (although I enrolled at an early bird price of $40 or $45). The first week focused on journaling about nature. The second week featured photography prompts.  The third week was all about sketching, while week four featured a wide variety of art (drawing, doodling, painting, collage, etc.).  The focus of the final week was making crafts. If you check out Alisa's blog (here) and scroll back for the last several weeks you can see many examples of the type of projects featured in class.
The class was organized around an invitation only blog with written lessons supplemented by videos. The amount of content varied from week to week - the journaling lesson seemed particularly thin to me, while week four had a HUGE number of ideas and projects. I really like what I produced in weeks 2, 3 and 4. . . I feel like these things extended me in really good ways. Week 5 (craft and decor made with painted leaves, stick and rocks, etc.) was definitely not for me. The videos and lessons were both well done and provided different types of instruction.  I like Alisa's teaching style enough that I decided to take another of her classes. Overall, I think the content was quite good, although $50 feels just a little pricey perhaps.
I have two small criticisms of the class. First, the class seemed to lack a sense of community. There were three different places to post your art work and comment on others work: the blog; a flickr site; and a yahoo group.  Although this allowed participants to use a forum with which they were familiar, it led to a fragmented feel in my opinion. That said, I did make a few new blog friends (Hi Andy!).  The other small issue I had was that Alisa never seemed to visit any of the forums.  She certainly never commented on anything. She answered emails, but I'm used to instructors being more involved during the course. When I posted a question about this, people said this was typical.  These things were small drawbacks, though, and overall I would give the class a B+.
I'd love to hear what other people thought about the class or other classes taught by Alisa Burke!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

PPF: Cabinet of Curiosities

The theme for this month at The Sketchbook Challenge is "Cabinet of Curiosities."  At first, I thought this simply meant collections similar to what a naturalist might own. Then I did a bit of reading, and I realized it was more about a collection of the odd and inexplicable.   So, I embraced the fanciful and created this drawer from my cabinet of curiosities. It was fun and easy, and I could see expanding the "skeleton moth" into a Dias de los Muertos piece. I could also see making another drawer in a different style - mixed media collage and acrylic paint.  Luckily, there's still lots of October left to play with this theme! What would you put in your cabinet of curiosities?
I'm posting this to Paint Party Friday.  For more painterly goodness, check it out here!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

For Marti

Earlier today, my dear friend Deb lost her mother to cancer.  Although I never met Marti, I know she was a wonderful woman from the cards and emails we exchanged - not to mention the extraordinary daughter she raised and granddaughter, Carrie, she influenced.  I was touched beyond words when Marti, then already in pain and reaching the end of her life, took time to send me a long note offering comfort after Paul was diagnosed with cancer.  Marti, you will be missed. This one's for you:
Gone from Sight 
by Henry Van Dyke

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. 
She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!”
“Gone Where?”
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. 
And just at the moment when someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: “Here she comes!”
And that is dying.

Monthly Make: Halloween Bookmarks

I love creating art in October for two holidays - Halloween and Dias de los Muertos. I don't think I made anything last year at all! So I resolved to change that for this year and bought some new paper to inspire me (it's from Echo Park's Chillingsworth Manor collection). I signed up for a Halloween themed book mark swap and made a couple of different designs.  The two pictures on the left show the front of the bookmark, and the image on the right is the back.  Here's the second set I made:
Again, the fronts are on the left and the back is on the right. I think my favorite of all is the "Nevermore" one, but I favor a fairly flat bookmark.  Although these were fairly simple to make, they still seemed to take all morning. I just don't think I'm a very fast paper crafter!  Regardless, it was a fun morning, and I'm calling these my "monthly make" for October.  Got a favorite in the bunch?  And, I was wondering, are you a fast crafter? Or a slow poke like me?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A peek inside my life right now

Outside My Window... dark skies full of stars, as the fog disappears this time of year.
Around the house and garden... the apple trees are heavy with fruit, and there are a few flowers left in the raised beds, but it's time to replant.  Farther afield, there are pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere, as Half Moon Bay is the "pumpkin capital of the world, " and the Pumpkin Festival is happening next weekend.
I am thinking... about what passes for "normal" these days.  Paul just completed round four of chemotherapy. He will have to complete eight rounds total, all done in-patient at the hospital  and each lasting about 4-5 days. He starts a new round approximately every 21 days.  When he's done with chemotherapy, we will assess what happens next (but it's likely that the Doctor will recommend a bone marrow transplant).  His treatment/healing is a much longer process than I think I had realized.  I am thinking that I have to recognize this as "normal."  One week in the hospital; two weeks home.  Repeat.  Aside from being a bit tired and losing his hair, Paul feels surprisingly good.    The new "normal" is enjoying what we can, when we can. It's guarding against infection and taking lots of pills.  But it's also going  out to our favorite Chinese Restaurant (Xiao Loong in San Francisco), and Paul continuing his consulting business.
I am thankful for... all your thoughts, prayers and good wishes.
From the kitchen...  a fantastic turkey lasagna brought over by my friend Barbi.
I am wearing ... an orange San Francisco Giants t-shirt.  Our baseball team is not fairing well in the playoff, and we are already beginning to think about next year . . . 
I am hoping ... that we all survive my daughter's teenage years. She seems determined to make every possible mistake, and I think she is learning from them.
I am reading... lots of college applications, as my son Henry begins applying to schools in earnest this month..
I am busy creating... sketches on the theme "cabinet of curiosities"  and artwork for Dias de los Muertos.
I am hearing... my husband snoring.  It's a welcome sound. I'm so glad he's home.
That's what's going on in my life. What's up with you?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Storytelling Sunday: A Night at the Ballpark

Sometime last week, my son Henry and I went to the ballpark.  The players were great:
The fans and stadium electric:
But, for this mom, it was all about him:
And me:
When the kids were little, a favorite bedtime book was "The Big, Big Sea." It's about a mom and a daughter and their moonlit walk by the sea. Late in the story, when the daughter is curled up on her mother's lap, the mother whispers "Remember this moment. It's the way life should be."
That's how I felt about this chilly night where we shared a blanket . . . and a hot chocolate.
  At some point, it came to me that Henry will be off to University next year.  Startled, I said wistfully, "This could be our last baseball game here together." He looked at me and said, "Nah. I'll come home and go to games with you. . . as long as you buy the tickets." Then he smiled that smile of his, and my heart melted.
I didn't say it out loud, but I thought to myself, "remember this moment; it's the way life should be."
And when we got home, I got on the internet and bought us tickets to the playoffs. I mean, can you really blame me?
This story, in pictures, and just a few words, is brought to you in conjunction with Sian's Storytelling Sunday.  For more wonderful stories, check out this link.

My October Sketchbook (and more)

I've got a lot of artistic impulses rumbling around inside my brain this October, including doing some sketches on the "Cabinet of Curiosities" theme over at The Sketchbook Challenge.  And artwork for Dias de los Muertos.
This calaca named "Butterfly" was inspired by the Fall Fearless and Fly challenge at Artists in Blogland.  The first challenge called for warm colors and inventing the future.  I love the way that Dias de los Muertos connects our pasts with our future, so I'm posting to that challenge.  
I've got a couple of other October projects on the way, focusing on Halloween and The Art of Remembering.   Here are some prayer cards and paper from Echo Park's  Chillingsworth collection which I will be using for those:
What's on your creative agenda this month? And please don't say Christmas stuff! LOL!
See you tomorrow for Storytelling Sunday  . . . 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

PPF: Cairns in the Field

As I posted yesterday,  I'm very much drawn to the idea of cairns. I was thrilled to read the  personal, reflective comments left by others who are also drawn to the special meanings held in a simple pile of stones.  So, I thought I would share, as well. One of the most affecting books I have ever read is Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr, which ends with the construction of a cairn. I'm sure that's one reason I find cairns so meaningful.
This is the first art journal page I've made incorporating cairns.  It was a bit of a struggle, and it feels a little overworked, but, in the end, I'm okay with the arts and crafts vibe.  I'm sure you'll see more cairns from me in the future! 
I'm posting this to Paint Party Friday.  For more painterly goodness, check out this link.


A few weeks ago I posted some photographs of stones I had found, and my friend Karen of Random Reflections commented that she liked the one I had posted of the "cairn."  This really struck me because the idea of cairns (or piled stones) has always spoken to me, but I had not thought about them in quite a while or made the connection with the photo I took.
And then I went on a walk and saw this:
And this:
I think cairns may become a recurring motif for me this fall.  I love it when art brings me back to a place or a significant concept about which I had forgotten. Does this ever happen to you?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Autumn Still Life, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

LSNE Completed!

In September, I followed along with Shimelle's class, "Learn Something New Everyday" (LSNE).  Each day I thought about Shimelle's prompt and turned it into a lesson learned for the day.  Later on, I translated my lesson into a singles sentence and created a collage to illustrate it. My "album" was a set of triangular pennants, which I hold together with large rings.  You can see photos of it up top. Today I'm posting my last eight lessons from September.  You can see my earlier lessons, as well as my blank album, the cover and back,  by clicking on this link.
Lesson #23 reads "Being a parent is much easier when you have a partner to share it with."  When my husband Paul is having good weeks, it reminds me of the days before he was diagnosed and how much easier it is when I can share the challenges of parenting (especially the emotional part) with someone else. I need to remember that I don't need to be so worried about taxing Paul's psyche. He's tougher than I realize.  So, maybe that's actually two lessons learned!  My next lesson is lighter, "I should not forget how much I love art journaling." I blogged about that lesson in this post.
The next two lessons come from good days.  On the 25th, I did some negotiating with Clara and learned to "suggest alternatives when you don't like the plan." And, on the 26th, I went to a baseball game with Henry.  The brief lesson is " Savor life's precious moments and remember them always."  You will be able to read the full story on Sunday, as part of Sian's Storytelling Sunday meme. I hope you'll come back for it.
And a couple of frivolous lessons - Day #27: "I am looking forward to a crafty October." I blogged about my plans yesterday, here, but I also want to mention a meme called "Fall Fearless and Fly," which I also hope to do.  And the next day, I created something about my television obsession - "I have to watch for the beginning of the fall TV season or I will miss it!" You see I always used to know exactly when my favorite TV shows would return, but as I was checking through the "On Demand" menu, I realized that many of my favorites had already begun. I quickly caught up on Parenthood, Grey's Anatomy and a few others.
And, my final two lessons. The penultimate one comes with a bit of a story. Over ten years ago,  I met up with a bunch of other women who also belonged to the monthly scrapbook kit club, "Club Scrap."  We meet occasionally for crops and tea, and several times we've attended Club Scrap retreats together. We also hold our own retreat once a year called "Scramp Camp." I went on Saturday and had a terrific time. I completed three projects and six scrapbook pages. But the most important thing I did was hang out and talk - with women I have known now for longer than I realized and who genuinely care about each other. I learned "I really value time spent with my friends from West Coast Scrap."  And, finally, a lesson to wrap everything up, "Awareness leads to learning."
Do any of these lessons resonate with you?