I don’t think my period has ever brought so much hope. This hope is accompanied by lovely cramps, bloating, and irritability, but I like the hope bit. In just a couple of weeks, we’ll get to put an end to this break, and we’re both excited about it. The break did what it was supposed to do. It has found the two of us closer and more committed to our family, and it has found us healthier too. I can’t say that I’ve found that original blind hope that I had when we first started, but I can say that we’re ready for these next few months and whatever they may hold for us.
Category Archives: Photo Friday
This week’s Photo Friday theme allowed me to go back to my photographic roots a bit. I started taking photographs as a child and didn’t take a class until I was a senior in high school. When I did, I took a class at the community college, and I found out that this was an art form that I could be good at if I worked on my technical skills. At the time, I photographed friends quite a bit, but in the coming years, I began taking photography classes at the university, and I discovered that I loved shapes, loved capturing geometry in everyday things. I have always been drawn to architecture especially, so the photos for this week showcase some recent architecture I’ve photographed. It’s funny; for the last few years, I have been challenging myself to step away from the basic shapes and lines–to move on to a new type of subject–but I’m always drawn back to the geometry of things.
The first photo is from the Wolf House. It was to have been Jack London’s home, but it burned down a week before he and his wife could move in. What stands now is a stone structure that is quite breathtaking. This is just a small wall of windows that I liked:
The next two are taken at local wineries. Any time I need a cool architecture fix, I can be sure to find it at these places.
I’m a bit late for Photo Friday, but I do have photos. J and I got to go for a hike today, and it was glorious. One of these photos is from that hike. The other is from our very first trip to the local beach last week (it pains me to say “local”–it’s an hour away). They are two rather different interpretations of motion, but I like them both.
First, I have a couple of Photo Friday shots to share. This week, the theme was Four. First, I present to you four cat toes:
The other contribution showcases some apples that I got at our little farmer’s market this morning. I was frankly quite surprised to find apples so late in the season, but they are local and fresh and juicy and tasty. And there are four of them here:
Second, for those of you who either did or didn’t obsess for me the other day, I had another high temp, and today a lower one. I’m a bit crampy with sore boobs–quit typical of the week leading up to the blood. I did have a dream about taking a series of pregnancy tests that were all positive, but the test results would fade after about three seconds, so I couldn’t prove that I was truly pregnant. I woke up annoyed. Honestly, I don’t think I could be any less pregnant, but I’ll keep you updated.
Third, I’ve been tagged by j. k-c. for a fun little meme involving books, which I find utterly appropriate considering my intimate involvement with the things this week. The rules are as follows:
1. Grab the nearest book of 123 pages or more.
2. Open it to page 123.
3. Find the first 5 sentences and write them down.
4. Then invite 5 friends to do the same.
At my desk, I have primarily reference books related to writing. I avoided The Dictionary of Modern American Usage as well as the Thesaurus. Ugh. So, I turned around to find a copy of Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss sitting on a shelf directly to my right. It looks like my readers are going to get a little punctuation lesson because here are the first five sentences of page 123:
So it is true that we must keep an eye on the dash–and also the ellipsis (…), which is turning up increasingly in emails as shorthand for “more to come, actually . . . it might be related to what I’ve just written . . . but the main thing is I haven’t finished . . . let’s just wait and see . . . I could go on like this for hours . . . ” However, so long as there remain sentences on this earth that begin with capital letters and end with full stops, there will be a place for the semicolon. True, its use is never obligatory, because a full top ought always to be an alternative. But that only makes it the more wonderful.
Popotakis had tried a cinema, a dance hall, bacarat, and miniature golf; now he had four ping-pong tables.
And finally, for those who have been interested in seeing the bookshelves that T built (err, assembled–and sorry about referring to myself in the third person), here they are in all their glory with a bonus shot of our little cat, Zoe. For some reason they don’t look nearly as massive in this photo, and I can’t, for the life of me figure out how these books filled a whole ten boxes. There seem to be so few once they’re on the shelves! I will admit that we still have another large bookcase in the office as well as small bookshelves built into the desk and another small bookcase to the right of the desk, but those books filled another four or five boxes. We are a slave to our books. One day I dream of a full room with walls lined with floor to ceiling built-in bookcases and two very comfy reading chairs. Ahhh…that would be lovely.
Have a good weekend everyone! And if you made it this far, you get a gold star!
I’m finally settled in enough to take part in the new Photo Friday. This week’s theme resonated with a feeling I’ve had more than ever since we moved: tranquility. Below is my rendering of the theme:
Pictured is our boy cat, Pierre, who loves our new fireplace. Since it’s been raining, we’ve lit a fire every night, and he loves staring at it, stretching in front of it. The boy is in love with the fire–and so are his human mamas. J will come home from work, and during dinner, we’ll have a fire. We’ll eat, and then she’ll lounge on the floor with Pierre, enjoying the crackle and glow. Unfortunately, the floor seems to have caused my back to go out, so I admire them from the chair or the sofa.
There are so many elements of our new hometown that make me feel tranquil. Perhaps it’s that everyone is slightly buzzed on really good wine most of the time; perhaps it has more to do with the green rolling hills and temperate climate. Whatever it is, I feel more at peace than ever here, and for that I am ever-so-grateful.
In honor of Calliope and her recent struggles, our Photo Friday theme this week is Grover. My contribution is the cover of my favorite book as a child: the classic The Monster at the End of This Book:
With everything Calliope is going through right now, I hope a little old school Grover will make her smile should she happen upon my little blog.
This book has always been a special one to me. It’s one of just a couple of little things I have left over from my childhood. Even as a kid, I was a book collector. I so loved having my mom read me this book when I was little. Somehow, I had this book when my parents’ home burnt to the ground in a wildfire ten years ago. I’m grateful to have the few things I do. The current fires in Southern California have me reminiscing quite a bit on that time for my family. It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years. It’s horrid to think the same thing is happening right now for so many other families.
On a happier note (since I have been pretty focused on the negative lately), I start my ovulation tests tomorrow, and I will probably ovulate Tuesday. This will be our first go with the new and improved shipping method. I’m excited and nervous, and feeling like we’re starting all over again. Wow.
My sister was visiting all weekend, so I was a little anti-computer, but I didn’t forget Photo Friday. In fact, a gift from my sister was the inspiration for my finger photos. She has this thing about giving me cocks. Actually, I have been giving them to her for awhile too. Okay, it’s a downright cock war–err fight–but I think she’s winning. Anyhow, below is the cock finger puppet featured on the finger:
I showed my cat Cleo the cock as well. She was quite unimpressed:
Sorry about the icky quality of these photos. I accidentally left my ISO settings on 800 making for really grainy shots. They’ll do in a pinch though.
We’re gearing up for this week’s insemination. Actually, I’m just trying to get prepped for the school week after having guests again, and I’ll likely be focusing on the insemination at the last minute. In the meantime, I’m drinking my green tea and taking my Vitex in hopes of some super fertile days to come.
We were going to go to our Pride festival today, but today also brought our first real rain of the season, so we opted to sit at home with my sister and watch movies. This turned out to be much more fulfilling and relaxing–and I didn’t have to see my students out in public, which is always an awkward ordeal, even at non-queer events. They just don’t see me as a human that eats, sleeps, or even leaves the university. If only they knew.
It’s been far too long since I’ve participated in Photo Friday, so this week, I am debuting some of my brand new camera’s first shots. I’ve had the same digital camera for about seven years (it was my first, a really sweet gift from J), and for my birthday, I got a new one from my sweet, sweet mom who has had me snapping photos since I was about five years old.
This week’s theme, “Button Up” was a fun one. I love buttons, and J and I absolutely love button jars. My mom and grandma–all of the women in my family–have always had jars of buttons, and as a kid, I loved to sit and stare at the ones my grandma had on her shelf. When J’s mom passed away a few years ago, J wanted me to have all of her old sewing gear, and with it came her mom’s button jar. I believe these are some of the most interesting personal artifacts that women leave behind. J and I have started our own button jar too. In the photo below, her mom’s is on the right; ours is on the left:
This next photo shows some serious button action:
There you have it. Happy Equinox, everyone!
Glamour shots of our favorite kitchen gadgets is the assignment for this week’s photographic follies.
My first selection here is my KitchenAid mixer. It’s not that I use this thing every day, or even every week, but when I do, it makes me happy. It’s no secret that I love to cook, and I love to bake. For years, I had a little plastic handheld mixer that was fine, but I would always admire the gleaming steel of the KitchenAids when I spied them in department stores or friends’ kitchens. Then one year for my birthday, my mom gave me one of my own, and here she is (the mixer, not my mom):
Ahh, kitchen gadgetry perfection!
The next is J’s pick: her espresso machine. It’s a cheap little thing that I got her for her birthday one year, but it is also one of our most-used appliances. We both do a lot of work online, so when we sit down for lengthy shifts at the computer, we always fire up the espresso machine to get ourselves through. Luckily, I find decaf espresso to be just as good, so that will be my drink of choice rather soon. Here is our trusty espresso machine:
Finally, because I love cooking so much, it was difficult for me to leave a few things out, so I have an honorable mention category. First is my knife. This is a wonderful knife with lovely balance, a great weight, and a high-quality steel blade. I use this thing daily to cut up nearly everything. Second is our corkscrew. We break these from time to time because, well, they get a lot of use. We love good wine, and being in California and within a half-day’s drive to some of the best wine appalachians in the world, how could we not?! Last is the garlic press. We searched for years for a garlic press that would press more than one clove at a time without the need for a pair of pliers to squeeze the handles together. One day, we found this one–I don’t know where–but if it ever breaks, I’ll be mortified.
So there you have it–our favorite gadgets (in the kitchen, that is).
In my experience, people who don’t live in California most often associate it with Hollywood, L.A., beaches, warm weather, and the like. And they aren’t completely wrong. We have a lot of that here, but those things exist almost exclusively in southern California. There is a whole different side to this place, though–a wild, misty, and prehistoric place where thousand-year old trees stand hundreds of feet tall. This is our California: our redwood forest.
I have lived in northern California all of my life, but I moved to the north coast about fourteen years ago where I now live amongst the oldest and largest trees on the planet. To live on the north coast of California is to live almost symbiotically with these trees. We walk through them all summer, see them fall to their deaths in winter storms, mourn them as their corpses are hauled off by greedy timber companies–a single tree cut up to fill two giant trailers on trucks that fill the highways. We see the bald patches on mountainsides where the same timber companies have clearcut whole groves, whole ecosystems, so that someone can have a redwood planked deck.
After living here for fourteen years, one would think that the sheer awe inspired by these trees would fade, but over the years, I have fallen in love with these mystical giants time and time again. Of late, J and I have been camping and hiking amongst them every chance we get. Below is a photo of one such excursion. J is on the trail on the left. The giant mass taking up the right of the photo is just half the width of a redwood tree:
This is a fairly typical redwood grove: the sun filters through those few areas where the canopy opens up; giant sword ferns nearly swallow the bases of the giant trunks; and a thick, fluffy soil filled with redwood needles called duff covers the ground.
I never have been much of an environmental activist, but living amongst these redwoods and seeing their devastation has made me a life-long advocate for these trees. We really are in danger of losing them all, and as cliche as it may sound, I truly hope our children will be able to run amongst them, try to wrap their arms around them, and smell their sweet, earthy aroma one day–and that they won’t all be lost to lumber companies. Friends, if you’ve never seen them, please find an excuse to do so. You’ll be changed forever.