29 August 2013

Being Brave

Okay, first.  The title is inspired by this song, Brave by Sara Bareilles, that my friend Bethany introduced me to this evening.  I've been listening to it on repeat, it's really speaking to me right now.  This post started out as a Facebook update and then I went, "whoa, this is wayyyyy too long for Facebook. I should put it on my blog."  Which is what I'm doing.  And it's taking a bit of courage.  (Hold on, gotta push play again.) Okay, now on to the point of my post.

This article/project (Ashamed and Embarrassed That Her Daughter Posed For This Project) (heads up: Along with the article are photos of a nude fat woman - no nipples or genitalia is shown) is making waves in a Facebook photography group I am.  There are a lot of people saying, "well, as long as she's healthy it's okay for her to be fat" and other bullshit like that.

I have always struggled with my self esteem, and a lot of it manifests with issues my weight and other "imperfections".

Shortly after I noticed Carus mimicking me in saying she's ugly and she's stupid, I started really working on my self esteem.  I've been working on showing I think I'm beautiful even when I'm not feeling particularly beautiful. I don't want my daughter to ever think she is not good enough because she isn't _______.  That blank can be filled with anything, by anyone, - not tall enough, not blonde enough, not thin enough, not enough boobs, too much hair, too curly of hair, too straight of hair, too much of this or not enough of that.

And it's all a bunch of crap.

We all have our insecurities, but we STILL need to recognize that they are just that.  Insecurities. (And here I have to say that along with other friends, my friend Bonnie and her pro body image posts she shares has helped me a lot.)

When Carus looks at me, she sees her mom. She wants to wear makeup like me.  She wants to wear pretty shoes or pretty clothes, or curl my hair or blow dry it straight when I do.  Because she is my daughter and I am the most important woman to her.  She is looking to me to show her how to be comfortable in her own body and how to love herself.  I can't just tell her to love herself, I have to show her how it is done.

So I've been working on it, and I think I'm doing a damn fine job at it. I no longer lament how fat I am or how ugly I am.  I will say that I'm feeling blah or frumpy - and then I hang out with friends, do my hair or makeup or nails or, if I have a few bucks, go buy myself a new shirt or something, and THEN I say, "there, I feel better."

Carus is still working on her self esteem.  I did damage before and she's going through puberty, which can be a bitch.  But she is doing better and I think I will succeed in showing her how to love herself.  (And note - I'm just talking about being pretty/feeling pretty, but it's also extending into recognizing and celebrating my, and in turn her, intelligence. Also note, me having a positive self esteem also has benefits for Adam, but in different ways.)

So anyways, back to the article, and my point.  This is the comment I posted on that thread* and I want to share it here too.

"Stop trying to qualify beauty.  Stop saying "it's okay to be fat, as long as you're healthy".  Everyone has a right to be - a person.  You are a person, they are a person.  And all people are beautiful BECAUSE OF their differences (not 'despite' or 'even though').  The differences (short, tall, fat, thin, smooth, hairy, wrinkly, botoxed, crooked teeth, uneven feature, deformities, scars, stretch marks, big boobs, small boobs, saggy boobs, short hair, long hair, no hair, ETC are what make us beautiful.

I think Sue Bryce's message is that EVERY WOMAN is beautiful.  She uses glamour photography to pamper women, who notoriously don't take time for ourselves and notoriously make excuses not to be in photographs.  The pampering makes them feel good about who they are.  And they love the images she takes of them not because she minimized their waist or arm or bum; or because she smoothed out a few wrinkles - they love those photographs because they are a window to their soul.  They show the beauty that she sees.  The beauty that all of those that love them see.  They allow them to say, "I am beautiful and it is okay to love myself."

And it is.  It is okay to love yourself.  As is, with flaws - imagined or perceived or real.  And it is okay for those women in that project to love themselves.  It's okay for you (man or woman, by the way) to love yourself.  Love yourself for who we were yesterday, who we are today, and who we will become..."

*It's a photography group that focuses on glamour photography in style with the amazing photographer, Sue Bryce's style.

28 August 2013


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Busy little bee, buzzing around collecting pollen.

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Winding down

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Monday was a llllllooooooonnnnggggg day.

Like all Mondays, right?

So what better way than to unwind on the porch and watch and listen to the rain fall.

27 August 2013

Down time Sunday

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Summer is quickly coming to a close.

I'm not ready, but yet I am.  September is always a hectic and crazy month and knowing that, anticipating that craziness is making me anxious.

I've been wanting to scope out a local trail (Banks-Vernonia Trail) for fall family photo shoots so I loaded up the dogs and Carus and went to check it out.

I'm very happy with it.  It was lovely and it will be more lovely when the leaves have changed.

I need to go more often too; Leia needs to work on her leash manners.  She gets so excited to go somewhere and go for a walk and go for a car ride and she thought she was going to the park and and and...  She did okay with the bikers and runners on the trail, but the walkers were too easy to approach to say hello.  She loves to say hello to everyone!

After the walk I had sewing time.  I started with the mending pile - mending holes, fixing buttons, hemming things.

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And then I made Carus some jammie shorts.

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25 August 2013

Look at all the green

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So much green.

So many plants.

Too bad most of them are weeds....well, grass.

Fucking straw.

It was supposed to PREVENT weeds and grass, not encourage it.

At least, that's our theory of where the grass came from.  We don't have that type of grass in our yards and we're pretty sure our neighbors don't either so it had to have come from the stupid straw.

This is my before picture.  I tackled it with the intention to remove all the weeds and the straw, and then found our yard debris bin was already half full so I didn't have enough room for all of it.  I cleared out the weeds around the plants, from the edges to the middle, and found my tomato plants and my teeny cucumbers.  After filling the debris bin I just started piling the rest of the grass and weeds in the center and I'll finish clearing it out next week after trash day.

I don't think I'll get much more out of this garden.  The green beans seem to be waning and though there are tomatoes on the plants, they've been there for two weeks and they aren't getting any greener.  And the tomato plants are kind of small.

The cucumbers! I went from 6 plants to 3, and they're only 3 inches tall/long.  They haven't grown since I planted them and I don't know why.  They all have one cucumber (one has two) that are the same size as the plants but yeah, not much going on there. Robert said, "we could have baby pickles."  Problem is, there are only three.  I've heard from others that their gardens were growing weird this year so at least it's not all me.

At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Do you know what a Trombone player is called?

Do you know what a trombone player is called?

Well do you?

We do.

They're called Tromboners.

Heh heh Trom-boners.

Yeah, we enjoy being immature at times.

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We got Adam a new (to him) trombone for his birthday this year.  (Thank you Ebay)  It was at the top of his wish list.  It came early, and he saw the box delivered, so he got it early.  He is very excited about being able to play on his very own instrument throughout high school.

22 August 2013

Yada Yada-ty


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231/365 - Covered in dye. (Getting rid of my roots...and my grays. I don't mind the gray hair, but I do mind the roots.)
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233/365 - Curly pug tail
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234/365 - Kitty paws
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21 August 2013

Saturday was a Grand Day

I had a great Saturday.

I started out getting my hair cut and styled.  I'm growing it out, but I still need the occasional trim to get rid of split ends and keep it healthy.  It's down to the small of my back.  The hairdresser straightened my hair for my style for the day.  I've never had my hair straightened before - I'm usually trying to curl it - and I liked it.  Maybe I should get a hair straightener now...

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And then!

We went into Portland to meet up with my dad.  It's been 5 years since I've seen him even though he's been in Portland a few times in that time.  He's a truck driver and rarely comes up here and when he does get up here it's only for a few hours and usually during the week when I'm stuck working.

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I went over to G's house (a friend) to make blackberry brandy with her and her friend A*.  And drink wine (this Scuppernong that is like my favorite) and other drinks.  I tried actual brandy for the first time and though it was a cheaper brand (since it was being mixed with fruit - ginger and lime) it was still good.  It had a butterscotch-y, vanilla-y after taste to it. And A mixed my second lemoncello and cranberry juice and it was more lemoncello than juice and I wasn't able to finish that drink.  And then we played Mexican Train Dominoes and laughed our heads off.  It was a great night and I can't wait for the next one (drinking or not, I'll hang out with them)!

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*Their names aren't G and A.  I'm just not sure about how internet famous they want to be so I am giving them monikers to go by.  I'm not being super creative, it's their first initial.  

19 August 2013

Final summer days

224/365 - Simba was not amused by the puppy's antics.  Leia was bouncing around, shaking her toy and trying to get me to throw it for her.
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225/365 - The grand parents took the kids camping for a couple days and on the second night Robert and I went out to hang out with them for a bit.  We were able to go because the campground was only about 30 minutes away. If I had known they were going to camp so close (they were going to go about 2 hours away) I would have tried to get a couple days off to go with.
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Some other photos from our time at Jones Creek Campground.

226/365 - Leia is always trying to get someone to play with her, and with that cute of a face it's hard to say no.
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 227/365 - Had to make a Costco trip and Adam went with to help me lift the heavy stuff (dog and cat food bags) and hoping to get free samples.  Since they didn't have free samples out on a weeknight I bought him a strawberry sundae from the concession stand and while we were waiting for it I noticed the reflection of the lights in his glasses and thought it looked interesting/cool.
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228/365 - Friday I FINALLY was able to get out to the garden for the first time in a week during my lunch break and picked a bunch of green beans. I cleaned and canned them into 7 quarts. :)
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15 August 2013

Canned garlic

Sunday I avoided my computer and editing pictures and canned the garlic I harvested last month.  I decided to mince it and can it because we have found that we use a lot of the store bought minced garlic and if they can do it, how can I do it. So to the internet I went to figure out how to do it.

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I used this post as a guideline.

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This huge head of garlic had 27 cloves in it by itself.

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Garlic clove.

Carus helped me peel the cloves (Adam helped a little too) and it did take quite awhile.   I reserved some of the smaller cloves to replant this fall for next year.

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After they were all FINALLY peeled and rinsed, I minced them up with my food processor (seriously love that thing).

I put the minced garlic in a pot and covered it with boiling water.  After letting it sit for about 5 minutes, I drained it reserving the water and then packed the garlic in half-pint jars leaving about 1/2-inch head room.  I then added about 1/8 tsp Citric acid (used the Ball Citric Acid stuff) and used the reserved garlic water to cover the garlic in the jars.  I removed air bubbles with a plastic spoon, cleaned the rim, and put on the lids and rings.  I processed the jars in the pressure canner at 10 lbs pressure for 45 minutes.

I'm very happy they didn't turn bluish-green, which is a possibility because of a chemical reaction between the garlic and metals in the water or utensils used to process it.  I used plastic as much as possible and crossed my fingers.  It would have still be safe to eat, it just looks weird.

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It's taken 3 days to air the garlic smell out of the kitchen.

14 August 2013

I was doing well

I was doing well with keeping up with my blogs and then the weekend happened and I avoided my computer.

Thursday, while working, Robert and the kids called me to rush over really quick - Wilbur was being cute.

He likes my basket as much as Timmy.  (220/365)
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Friday we got to see a lovely sunset and a rainbow. (221/365)
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Saturday I did a photo shoot. (222/365)
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07 August 2013

Can you do the can-can?

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I like canning food.  It makes me feel productive and industrious.  Especially if I'm canning something I grew myself.

I only got two jars this time, but I'm hoping for enough summer left to get quite a few more.  I'm not having the greatest gardening season this year though so I'm not holding too much hope.

06 August 2013

Funny kitty

My silly Timmy kitty thinks my new basket is a new bed for him.

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05 August 2013

Beach day

We haven't gone to the beach at all this summer so thought we'd remedy that Sunday.  It was hot here - in the 90s - and was supposed to be in the 70s at the beach.

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Notice I said "supposed to be".  Yeah.  It was sunny and hot up until that final set of hills where we saw low clouds.  Unfortunately, it was full on fog and the temp dropped to a lovely 72 and continued to fall.

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It was 60 and foggy on the beach.  The kids and Robert walked up and down the beach a bit, while I sat on a blanket and read.  My ankle has been doing well as long as I don't push things and I knew that if I did a lot of walking in the soft, dry uneven sand or on the wet compacted sand it would be hurting bad by the end of the day.  Plus it was nice to spend some time with my book.

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216/365 - Robert brought me back a heart-shaped rock from their walk.

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I was visited by a seagull.  He was either wondering if my book was good, or if I had any food.

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After their walk Adam and Carus spent some time digging a hole in the sand.  Robert helped by pushing sand into their hole for them to dig out.

I didn't take my big camera as I didn't want to get it all sandy and I thought it would be a nice break from worrying about getting a photo.

I had my cell phone, and Instagram to share with, though.

I hope we have the chance to go back to the beach before the end of the summer, or if we can't/don't make it, I hope next year is filled with many more beach trips.

04 August 2013

How does the garden grow?

Someday I need to plant a flower garden with silver bells and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row. (But with actual flowers.)


214/365 My garden.
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I feel like it's mostly weeds.  Mostly grass weeds, which I have no idea where it came from...other than it probably came from the damn hay that was supposed to be straw that didn't grow. I need to find another option for mulch next year because this hay/straw thing is not working out.

At the end of the season, I think I'll dig up as much as possible and then cover the entire thing with newspaper to smother anything else out so next spring isn't as freaking maddening.

The green beans are doing well - the pole beans more so than the bush beans.

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I'm still fighting bugs that like to eat my plants, like this little grasshopper thing.
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And this bug, which from what I can find is a cucumber beetle. (Looks like a green lady bug.)
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Lady bug - good.
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Yoda keeps trying to come into the garden while I'm in there.  I don't like latching the gate because I'm going in and out often enough that it slows me down. He mostly listens and only occasionally do I catch him nonchalantly wandering in.
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Itty bitty green beans to be.
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Sunlight through the leaves.
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Green beans are doing so well that they needed additional support.  Most of the vines have gone up and down the trellis I built and are probably on their way back up again but I can't tell which vine is which and where it's been.  I can only tell where some are going. Maybe my neighbor will get some vines on their side of the fence.
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I was starting to wonder if/when those carrots were going to need to be pulled.  Maybe I should have wondered sooner....?
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Tiny cucumber.
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Marigolds.  Next year I need to plant MANY more marigolds.  All the plants along the marigolds are bug free. It might be because the bugs are all enjoying the green bean plant on the other side of the garden, but I really like to tell myself that it's because of the flowers. (And then I wondered if I could make a bug spray and google found me this: marigold bug spray )
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Volunteer sunflower - I didn't plant the seed.  Good thing I recognized it and didn't think it was a weed.  It has some of those little grasshopper things.
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Tomatoes - Pretty sure they're roma tomatoes.
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Carrots all cleaned up.
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Green beans - one pile is pole beans, the other bush beans.
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Neighbor's sunflowers which are peeking over the fence.
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