Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Eating at Me

From a blog I read:

then i gave up sugar.
and i had to rethink everything i ate.
i would be hungry and have to figure out what to eat and nothing sounded good because
i only ate sugary things before.
(before means for 34 years i would eat sweet stuff all day long)
then i would have to decide if i was really even hungry.
then the next thought was "why am i hungry?"

i realized that whenever i have an emotion that is remotely strong...bad OR good....
I EAT.
having five kids leads to many strong feelings in one hour let alone a day or a week.

a few weeks ago i was alone in the car and i said out loud
"UGH! my mom was right!"
(my mom is soooo happy right now reading that i am sure!)

I realized that my life IS stressful...not anymore than most people's but still....it's stressful.
and i had been eating all the stress.
if i felt anything i would eat.
then the feeling would go away somewhat.
i would feel more calm and regulated emotionally.
so now that i was not eating sugar....
i was feeling all these feelings because there was nothing to eat!

it was a light bulb moment...as oprah likes to call it.
(oprah really is like a household name...i can't remember my life before she was around??? ha!)

God wants me to feel those feelings. (hey wait...oprah didn't tell me that!)
they are there for a reason.
not because He wants me to be sad...but because i need to work on giving myself to HIM over and over.
and ignoring the feelings by eating them away (so to speak) is wrong.
when i feel that frustration...that emotion...and i want it to go away...i have a choice.
do i deal with it or stuff it down somewhere with a snack?
do i pray about it? do i think about it? or just pretend it's not there and eat something?

I want to think about this, but, more than that, I want it to enlighten me.

I do this, too... Sure wish I didn't, but it's bigger than I am right now.

Out Walking

On Monday I was having one of those "Can Do" days where my mind knew exactly what I had to do, in what order and how long it would take. I graded my papers, packed up my Etsy orders, started dinner and got Kenneth ready to go to my work so I could pick up some things I'd left in someone's office. When we got in the car, I couldn't help but notice how pretty it was outside - the clouds were huge and puffy, the sun was clear and shining and it felt like SPRING!

But I had errands to run. At that moment, I cursed my choices that gave me so little time. Quickly, I ran over all my errands to see if there was anything I could postpone - not really. If I had my way, I'd have been back at the house to get my camera and pack up the kid and head for the hills. What great photography weather!

But I am a grown up now and I have responsibilities. So I finished the errands (only took two hours and some of that was spent at the park with Kenneth!), came home, picked up the camera and went on a walk.

I looked like a complete loon laying down on the sidewalk to take pictures of dandelions in front yards. But I'm 41 and I don't care what people think much anymore.

And I really like mushrooms...

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Price of Fame?

On Saturday I checked my email at noon. To what did my wondering eyes did appear but a billion messages from Etsy!

I wondered what had happened that I was getting attention (a welcome thing indeed). So I checked out Heartomatic. I hadn't been on a front page. Hmm. Oh, there is a section for The Storque at the bottom. Oh, I was one of their Related Items...

It's nice to be related!

But now I have lots of packages to ship! Ai yi yi! So much for a simple life!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wildflowers

Even though I've been working nearly every Saturday that we have the kids, I've still wanted the opportunity to do family activities. While driving home from work last night - I had an idea for an activity. The wildflowers are blooming!

After church, I had everyone rush around and put on outside clothes while I put the roast on and we got into the car and drove a couple of miles to where the hills and open spaces start. We simply pulled off to one side of the two-lane road and got out. We climbed up the hillside and this is what I saw...

Someday I will have lived here long enough to know what this flower is called (anyone? anyone?). The hillsides are dotted with them and I picked a huge bunch to take home. Kenneth spent his time (and, consequently we had to spend OUR time) running and running and running. Up the hill and down the hill and across the grass and on and on.

Here's one of my favorites... I love the flowers on the horizon...




Kenneth is being held down by his arms - one on each side. This was the second try for this shot. He escaped the first one (and started running down the hill...). *sigh*

Stay tuned for more Fossil Falls...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Like this Painting


Should I have capitalized "this" in my title? Hmm...

I really like this painting. The first time I saw it I was floored. It captured a feeling that I never imagined. It was like looking behind the scenes of the bible to what people FELT - not just what was recorded. I like that "this is what it felt like" stuff. It's called "The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection". A bit wordy, I'll admit. It was painted by Eugene Burnand in 1898 or so. It hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Yep, I got to go there once upon a time.

Caddie Woodlawn


I finished another one of the children's books I've set myself to read this year - Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. I've known about this book for YEARS, but refused to read it - I think I thought her name was stupid. Caddie- like a golf thing.

The book is about Caddie Woodlawn, a pioneer girl living in the Wisconsin during the 1860's. What struck me at first was that the book took place at the same time and place as Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods. But that is where the comparison ends. Where Laura never talks about the difficulty of being brought up as a pioneer lady, Caddie is faced with it constantly. Her father made a bargain with her mother - he wanted to improve Caddie's frail health as a little girl by letting her grow up "with the boys" - outside, wild and free. She seems to have had a lot more spirit and spunk than Laura had, but so many other aspects of her life were different than the Ingalls family - more children, a father who didn't have a wandering heart and BROTHERS, that you can't really compare them together...

One thing that I find interesting about books like this one is that girls are always the same no matter what year it is. We want to be wild and free and yet we like the responsibility that comes to us as women and mothers. I liked seeing into Caddie's thoughts and heart, something that I didn't get to see in the Little House books. Harumph!

Another thing that I always think about when reading books of 'a long time ago' is how much less stuff they have. No WalMart. No dollar store. No 8 bazillion little doodads to buy from gumball machines to clutter up your house and life. I know that I would have not liked doing without so much, but I do wish I had fewer things to worry about. (Please God, don't answer my prayer with a house fire!)

To Fossil Falls - A Heather's Tale (or Fossil Falls pt. 1)


When we were first married, nearly five years ago, Brian told me about Fossil Falls. It's an old lava flow out in the middle of the desert where you can see lava formations in all their glory. I, being the rock-o-phile that I am, have wanted to go there ever since.

We had the kids on Monday, due to a kind trade with their mom (although with much trepidation on the mom's part because the kids had coughs). By 8:30am, we were on the road!

Mack always looks like this in pictures. I don't know what she THINKS she looks like, but I don't think she knows she looks like this. Kiff just looks like Kiff. He has NO idea that he's going to be in the car for nearly five hours... Bwa ha ha ha ha (and Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo to me). He doesn't look this serene later.

Here's the road on the way out of Bakersfield. Lots of farmland right before the canyon. You can see that V-shaped notch on the right? That's the canyon!

It's not really this green, but I can't help color-boosting my pictures. It makes it look so fairy-talish... Hobbity, too!


Rocks. And grass. Cows. And fence poles.



This is right before we enter the canyon
See the rocks? Crumbling little by little...



Because it was morning, there wasn't a lot of light where we were driving. You get pictures of rocks for this part. The better views were in the afternoon, on the way home!



After the canyon, we started getting into desert-y areas. I love the way Joshua trees look - so other-worldly! Brian suggested that we stop because we didn't HAVE to be anywhere at a particular time. It's funny how I don't think about that... When we got out here at the side of the road, I immediately found bones (jawbones of something with TEETH) and a beautiful piece of white/clear crystal. I tried to take a picture of it, but the only thing in focus was my thumb. Not remotely interesting.

It's pathetic to you, maybe, but this was the "snow" we were so excited to come upon. As I said "Three!" to take the picture, they all threw their snowballs at me!

Pringles make the trip shorter... (I love the dill pickle flavored ones...)

And here's a big rock. Just in the middle of the scrub. Weird.

Color faded as we got into the desert. It probably didn't help that I had the white balance off on the camera, but oh well...

This was the first blob of black lava rock we saw. Burned rocks. In the desert. So there.


And, lo! What should before our color-starved eyes should appear, but a cinder cone of red, coming ever near (er)!

More huge chunks of burned, blackened rocks.

And then Cinder Cone mountain. (hill). It's redder than this picture. It's REDDDDDDDDD!

Next post: Fossil Falls proper!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A-Templing We Will Go

On Friday, Brian and I both were fortunate enough to have time off from work to go to the temple for the first time in months... Since my work schedule changed to every Friday and Saturday, we haven't been able to go. But I was off by 1pm and we were in the car cruising down the highway by 2pm.

The grapevine is the mountainous area south of Bakersfield that you have to go through to reach LA. I love the geological structures - you can see how the earth has been in major upheaval (when is our next earthquake? Eek!). For a few months between Christmas and summertime, the mountains are vaguely green. I didn't see any wildflowers, but the colors were beautiful, nonetheless...



Rocks! I love rocks!


Look! It's us in the back of a tanker!



Here's the first peek you get of the temple from the freeway. (It's the little white tower-looking thing above the white car) It was bumper to bumper (of course it was - Friday afternoon! All the movie stars are getting up and going to their stylists to get ready for the evening!)

The best thing about the temple is the absolute peace I found while within its walls this evening. I have been so overwhelmed mentally with STUFF. While I was in the temple, performing work for my ancestors, I was able to let that all go. I was at peace. Utterly.

Goodbye temple! Until next time...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Magic Mushrooms

Have I mentioned I love mushrooms?


Brian thinks they are all poisonous and that I'm going to die because I touch them.


I just love the idea of sitting under one.


Like a little house.

Bakersfield Sunsets




The rain and clouds have made for some stunning sunsets. When I was in college, I'd come home between semesters and go out in the backyard every evening to watch the sunset. My family was very into watching TV - which I hated, so I ran away to be alone and quiet. Being outside, looking up at the sky, made me think about things bigger than myself. Any concerns I might have didn't usually go away, but the mental break made me forget, even if it was just for a little while. My favorite time of day is just when the sun is going down - it's magical looking at the sky, trying to figure out exactly where day ends and night begins...

My future hangout, our backyard, is going to be a work-in-progress for a while so I won't be able to meditate back there. But once it's habitable, watch out! I'm going to be the sunset queen again.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Taking Time for NOW


I picked up a book this morning called "It's All Too Much". I've only read a few pages, but it's forcing me to ask myself whether the Things I Have In My Life are taking me toward or away from my life goals.

I ask this because I've been thinking about ALL THOSE BOOKS I have squirreled away in closets and out in the garage. I don't really have time for them because I'm doing my paper beads and teaching those college classes.

But I'm not very brave about getting rid of things. The book asks, "Who's the boss? You or your possessions?"

Ay yi yi!

Macro Mushrooms


It's continued to rain, but Bakersfield has grown more and more beautiful. It only took four and a half years, but I now think this place is great! The mushrooms that grow in my front yard on the old stump are HUGE! My camera makes them look haunting...

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Morning


I was woken up at 7:30am this morning with a phone call from my sis-in-law/sitter. Could she please pick up the kid in 15 minutes? So I got out of bed and went into the kid's room. He'd been up for about an hour in the middle of the night, crying for no good reason, so he was still asleep. That keening wail he does when he's asleep-crying is so hard to listen to - it cuts me - so I was awake for awhile afterwards. Of course, he was still sleeping. Quietly. Too bad you can't save quiet sleep for when you really need them to use it - at night! I picked him up, breaking my back by leaning over his bedrail, and hefted him over to his brother's bed (Alex only uses the bed four nights/month - it's a good extra space). There I peeled off his sleepers and changed his diaper. Kiff woke up slowly - smiling first with his eyes closed and turning over to hide under a pillow. Naked, butt up. Attractive! He has a small hole at the base of his spine that stares up at me when he does that. My almost-perfect baby...

So we got dressed and he ran around the house collecting toys to shove in his pocket to take to his aunt's house. I'm of two minds about that - one, that he's taking all his toys and he'll lose them, but two, he's taking all his toys and leaving my house clean! Hurray! Too bad for auntie's house.

She was late so we played outside for a bit. We found weedy-flowers growing in the lawn (they are pretty). Kiff thinks all flowers smell so he tries to sniff everything I call a flower. I hate leaving him to go to work.

If I had my wish, I'd be at home all day. I love being home. Of course, I am superstitious and think that if I say that, I'll be struck down with unemployment...

Enough rambling. Off to bed...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Watercolor Wednesday


Kenneth was picked up early today by my sitter (sister-in-law), so I had an unexpected hour. My paints were still in my bedroom (of course - why would they be anywhere else - sheesh!) so I cleared off my bed and arranged the works in progress on my trusty art board (I've had it since high school) and got to work.

There was a moment when I thought to myself, I've done enough for today - anymore and you'll start to ruin them.

But I continued on.

And I think I've ruined several.

Live and learn, eh?

I like this one. Maybe.