Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Days 55-58 - Christmas Cookies

George Strait has the most adorable Christmas Song; it's called "Christmas Cookies" and in it he talks about how much he loves Christmas cookies. He croons about how tasty they are and warbles about his sneaky and greedy obsession. But beyond the indigestion and sugar high, there is a greater purpose - between the time each batch goes in the oven, he has 15 minutes to cuddle and snuggle with his sweetie. So he eats those Christmas cookies all year long. I know. Aw. But good old George makes a good point, I think. The things that seem so important and precious to us during the holidays aren't any more special because of the date; Christmas can be every day of the year if we only focus on what really matters.
Ok, now that I've made my little soap-box spiel, let me move on to my sappy Christmas story. My mom loves Christmas. A lot. I have to get it from somewhere and I am sure it was from her. And my grandma. But that's another post. When my brother Scot and I were young, Mom would let us help her make "Christmas food." We always made fudge, Martha Washington candies, peanut brittle, and sugar cookies. We loved to help with the sugar cookies. It's a recipe passed down from me great grandma. The original recipe actually just says "bake in hot oven." Mom told me that when she asked Grammy-O how long to bake them, Grammy replied "Until they're done!" Now these sugar cookies are soft and delicious. And they are loaded with 5 whole cups (sometimes more) of flour. We used to tag team the stirring. We'd add one cup at a time and take turns stirring into it was all mixed and we had a beautiful soft dough. Then the next day Mom would roll out the dough with Grammy's rolling pin and we'd cut the cookies from it with the little yellow cookie cutter that seemed to get beat up more and more each year. We'd bake the cookies in a "hot oven" until they were "done" and then the fun began. Mom would make icing and we'd sprinkle the cookies with colored sugar crystals or those little multi-colored candy balls. That's Christmas to me - working needlessly hard on something that will be consumed in a matter of minutes. But we really have some fun memories. So when I made "Christmas food" this year, I spread it out over several days. It was really a lovely way to spend the first part of my Christmas season.

Remember to behave well, dear friends. Santa still has time to put you on his naughty list! Blessings and peace.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 54 - Self Esteem

Day 54 was a day of high hopes. Unfulfilled high hopes, but high hopes nonetheless. Josh published a book last year called "Finger Food Fiction". It's this eclectic little collection of one hundred and one word stories. One hundred and one of them. He started this project as an exercise and turned out to be really good at it (no surprise there - Josh is good at everything! Except physics. I'm not being mean - just ask him.) Well he ended up with around 200 of them and was able to pick and choose his favorite and, well the rest is history. He's a published author! So you can imagine how proud of him I was when the owners of the local book store asked if he would like to have a book signing during Carlinville's annual Christmas Market. Hence the high hopes. I spammed everyone in my inbox letting them know the book signing would take place. I talked him up at my work. I told everyone I saw weeks before. I made sure the event showed up in the Carlinville paper. At the market while he was signing books, I wondered around the tents and told everyone I saw (that I knew) to go check him out. He sold three copies.
I was crushed. I thought, what is this going to do to my delicate hot house flower of a hubby. His fragile ego will be crushed. He'll never want to do anything like this again.
I took it a lot harder than he did. After a nice warm Mexican dinner, he was laughing and smiling. So Joshy, Day 54 is dedicated to you. I love you and your talent. "Finger Food Fiction" is easily one of my favorite books and I feel blessed that you shared a piece of yourself with me and the rest of the world. It's truly a better world with you in it!

Plus, you looked damn fine!

Sleep well dear friends! May warm blankets and sweet dreams await you in your beds!  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 52 - Not Much to Say

So you will notice, dear friends, that I skipped day 52 on my previous post. This is because I was sick and spent the whole day on the couch. But I did take my photo!

Not too much else to say about this one. I was sick. Took a picture of my couch. That's about it.

I will continue my posting catch up but for tonight I will say sweet dreams and restful sleeps. Blessings for your tomorrows dear friends!

Day 51 and 53 - Beginning to Look Like Christmas

I am behind on my posting as you may know, but I'm not going to post them all on one post - that would be too much. So here is are days 51 and 53 - we are starting to look like Christmas.

We put up our Christmas tree which is always a bit of a battle. It is about seven and a half feet tall and takes up half our living room, but I love it; I wouldn't give it up! And of course, our cats love it too. They want to chew and climb and play in it. It's a battle I finally realize I am probably never going to win so I just keep the squirt bottle close and dowse them with water when they start climbing. Anyway, I was going to just put white lights on the tree this year, but Josh suggested red and green, and I think it turned out really nice, don't you?

In keeping with the Christmas theme, we got our first snow the following day. Now, I love fall. I love fair weather - 70 degree days and 50 degree nights are my favorite. After Christmas, I will long for these again, but for now, as the holiday draws nigh, I can't help but be super excited about the accumulation of the white stuff on one of our trees.

More to follow dear friends. I know you are waiting with anticipation. Try to contain it; more will come soon!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

No I Didn't Forget

Hello dear friends. I have not forgotten you nor have I abandoned my project. The holidays have just been a little hectic and in a frenzy of baking, cleaning, and decorating, my mind has not possessed the eloquence to bring you these delightful words. I will be posting in the next couple days though so don't give up on me! In the meantime, share with me how you have been. What's been on your mind? How are the holidays treating you? What expectations do you have?

Sweet dreams dear friends and have a blessed tomorrow.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Days 43-50 - A Whole Lot to Be Thankful For

First, I know dear friends, you are very disappointed. Shame falls from my teary eyes and I hang my head in penitence. I ended my title with a preposition. I know. Dastardly! I know you are disappointed and wish to send the syntax police to my doorstep, but hear me out. "A Whole Lot for Which to Be Thankful" just sounds pretentious. (Notice me shifting the focus from my lack of posting lately to my lack of pretentious syntax? Oh yeah - I am that good!)

Well, much has happened since my last post. A major holiday came and passed. Thanksgiving. A day to give thanks. A whole day where the working world shuts down (mostly) and families gather to eat and visit and eat and nap and eat some more. It struck me last week that this is really a very powerful thing and we tend to just gloss over it like it's nothing. Think about it; we set aside a whole 24 hours for something called Thanksgiving. Thanks giving. Giving thanks. But as I listened to 93.7 the Bull last week, I was overcome with something more than just my irrational love of Christmas music. I was saddened. As I was bombarded with talk of Black Friday shopping and Christmas presents, church at midnight, and other Yuletide goings on I felt a distinct lack of Thanksgiving acknowledgment.
Now I know, we live in a fast paced world where if you snooze you loose, but dear friends, we are wishing our lives away. We have this beautiful opportunity to spend a day counting our blessings and we basically eat ourselves into a stupor and wish for Christmas. I'm not pointing any fingers, mind you; I am just as guilty of this as the next person, but what an epiphany! So this Thanksgiving, I tried to focus on my blessings. Whether it be thankful feelings for lists -

For pumpkins and turkeys -

For just a simple cup of coffee in the quiet before a big day -

Or for surviving my first Thanksgiving hosting -

I tried to be thankful the little things if nothing else. What blessings did you realize this Thanksgiving? I know I don't get a lot of comments on this blog, but I would love to hear how others were blessed this Thanksgiving.

Continuing with the business this time of year brings, Josh and I were lucky enough to attend the wedding of a friend this weekend. Leah if you read this, you were beautiful. Best wishes and warmest congratulations. Needless to say, after hosting Thanksgiving, we were pretty exhausted and happy to be home Saturday night.

I want to also say that I am really getting into the Christmas spirit already and hope to put up my Christmas tree tomorrow.

I shall conclude this evening's post with something a little different. Today is day 50 of my project 365 so it was high time to try something different. I have been reading a little about a photography technique called TtV - Through the Viewfinder. Basically you take a photograph through the viewfinder of a camera you are not using. For today's example, I took a photo with my Nikon through the viewfinder of my medium format Yashika D. I think it has a really interesting affect - 

Well, dear friends, I'm sure this post was more than enough Ezzy even if we are catching up a whole week. So sleep sweetly and have a blessed tomorrow!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 41 - Melt with You & Day 42 - Giving Thanks

Yesterday when I got up I decided to go ahead and start cleaning out the refrigerator. I think I mentioned this before, but I get to host Thanksgiving this year so I have been a cleaning tornado lately. But thus far the freezer has escaped my wild and terrible winds. As I was pulling things out of the freezer, I came across an entire container of sherbet. Unopened. Old. For sherbet anyway. Well, I had pulled that and a few other items out of the freezer to throw away when Josh came into the kitchen. His sleepy eyes brightened when he noticed I had some old ice sitting out. "Can I melt that?" he asked. I told him he could and, excitedly, he dumped the ice in the sink and turned the hot water on full blast. Well he melted all the ice and rinsed a couple other things until all that was left was the sherbet. Yep - we melted that too! It was really pretty in a strange sort of way.

That is how Josh and I spent the first half hour of our Saturday together. I know; we're weird. But hey it's cheap entertainment!
Today at church was all about Thanksgiving. We talked about counting out blessings, what blessings really are, etc. You'll be hearing more from me about Thanksgiving this week. For now, here is my clean fridge and the nineteen and a half pound turkey defrosting for Thursday.

Sweet dreams dear friends and have a blessed tomorrow!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 40 - This Is a Piece of Holly

Today's photograph is dedicated to my mom. The Boy Scouts used to sell these pine boughs and holly branches. You could buy kits to make wreaths or centerpieces out of fresh Christmas-type greens. One of my friends at work has a son in scouts who was selling them this year so I ordered some fresh holly. It came in today and since I can hardly contain my excitement over Christmas I had to use the holly for my photograph. While I was wondering around the house wishing for some freshly fallen snow for a backdrop for my holly I started thinking about Mom. She doodles when she is on a long phone call and she used to draw these little pieces of holly and put a note next to them saying "this is a piece of holly." So here you go, Mama! This is a piece of holly.

Sweet dreams dear friends and have a blessed tomorrow!

Day 39 - Pizza

Pepperoni and pineapple pizza is delicious. If you haven't ever tried fruit on your pizza, give it a shot. It's at least worth that. I made a particularly pretty one last night I thought I would share.

Josh and I were both a little out of it last night so there isn't too much to say other than, "Yum!" That pizza was good!

Day 38 - Lovin' the Rainy Nights

Eddie Rabbitt said "I love a rainy night." I have to agree with him. Starshine is great. Seventy degrees is beautiful. But a rainy night sooths the soul and persuades the eyelids to fall together. Rainy nights welcome hot tea, freshly baked cookies, cuddling, pajamas, good books and . . . other things.  Rainy nights also encourage photographers to set up tripods in their living rooms for long exposures.

"Showers wash my cares away and I wake up to a sunny day. Yeah I love a rainy night."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 37 - Wishing Life Backwards

Red said to Green, "Don't be so Yellow." Then Green was Blue.
If Red repeated the phrase, what would Orange do?
Orange wouldn't listen
to what Red said.
Orange would just be glad
he's not Purple.

I hear it said (and say it) all the time - Don't wish your life away. Youth is something we are obsessed with in this culture. So many of us truly don't wish our lives away. At times like these, I wish mine backwards. Life was so much simpler in comparison when we were children. But when I open my eyes after a daydream and find myself 27 with a mortgage and a job that isn't what I'd always dreamed of, at least I can pull out my crayons, inhale the waxy sweetness and remember that age doesn't matter; I am never too old to color.

Colorful dreams dear friends, and have a blessed evening!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Days 33-36 - Catching Up

Wow it has been several days since I posted, but trust me, I have been taking my photos. Let's start all the way back on Friday.

Day 33 - Work in Process
My brother Scot was in town for the weekend and he brought a project with him. He is helping out with this year's production of the Nutcracker at Blackburn College and one of his duties is to create a Nutcracker head. He doesn't quite have it done yet, but he brought it to show me what he has so far.

My mom taught me to crochet when I was six and I still remember her holding up a chained piece of yarn saying how amazing she thought it was that you could turn a simple piece of thread into a blanket, a sweater, a decoration. Well, Scot, awesome job created a ginaormous head out of cardboard. I know it's been a lot of work; it shows, bro. Keep up the good work. I can't wait to see it finished.

Day 34 - A New Car!

And you have to say it in the radio anouncer voice - "a NNNNNNNNNNNNEEEEWWWW Caaaaaarrrrr!!!" Well ok. I didn't get my new car on Saturday. We won't talk about that. It's been a rough day. But I did pick out a new car on Saturday so I thought it only fitting to give the old one a little homage - but only a little.

RIP Sunbird. Or DIP (Drive In Peace)!

Day 35 - Potato Soup

Josh and I love the Klondike Gold potatoes. They are red skinned potatoes with a yellowish flesh. I think we got them by mistake one day but they were so good when I made my garlic mashed potatoes that we just kept buying them. I find it interesting that something grown in the ground can be so pretty. They are, after all, just roots, but in the early afternoon sun they look so beautiful. I picture a woman with heavy but perfect features, eyes closed, hands to her heart, facing the sun after a long bout of cold dreary weather. It may be fleeting, but the light warms her skin and the shadows wallow heavily amoung the crevices of her flesh . . . but then again, maybe they are just potatoes.

Day 36 - The Jury's Still Out

Ok. So as I alluded to earlier, I am getting a new car. Well, I got a new car but, oh my goodness, was it a fight today. I ended up having to use a different payment method than planned and I am not 100% comfortable with it. But we don't have much choice other this so I guess it will have to do. I can't go another winter with no heat or suspension and holes in the car roof. Pray that we can make this work! Don't get me wrong. I love my new car. It feels like it was made for me. Today has just been really strange. Hence the mind dump that is happening before your very eyes.

Jury's still out. I pray it's half full.

Peaceful rest to you dear friends, and may your tomorrow be filled with blessings!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 31 - Dirty Socks and Day 32 - A Little Bit Country

Yesterday at work, Karmak's Green Committee hosted a "Dirty Sock Contest". Basically, we took plain white tube socks and put them over people's exhaust pipes and had them run the car for about 30 seconds. The point was to find out how much emissions the cars gave off. The results were pretty surprising; most people at Karmak have really clean cars. The dirtiest sock, however, was REALLY dirty. Here is my buddy Bob holding a sock on the tail pipe - and hopefully holding his breath!

I was on hold with a customer at work today and the hold music was a country station. I don't know the song that was playing but for a moment, I was transported from my desk to my grandmother's camper many years ago. I could smell the fresh air and hear the hum of my mom's sewing machine. My brother and I ran through the woods along a little creek. The leaves rustled so gently and that good ol' country music played as Mom and Grandma sewed away. It was a great escape from a really crappy day. Funny how little things like that can trigger such strong memories.

Sleep well dear friends, and may you enjoy a flashback in the near future - it's good for what ails, ya! Blessings and peace. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Days 29 and 30 - Changing Times and OId Friends

The time changed. Profound, right? But did it really change? People say "You gained an hour of daylight" or "You lost an hour of sleep" but really, let's face it. We are not actually changing time. The hour of daylight is neither gained nor lost; it is just adjusted a little due to our perception of that hour. I know that we have not actually changed the time. I feel it in my bones, and my muscles, my stomach, my eyes - my body is still on the old time. Anyway the point I am getting at is we as humans do not have the power to actually change time. Only koala bears can do that.

In preparation for hosting Thanksgiving a my house this year, I was working on cleaning out our study when I ran across an old friend - my very first SLR film camera. There was no film in it, but I advanced the frame anyway and pressed firmly just to hear the familiar chu-clink of the shutter. The smell of metal and plastic and chemicals still lingers on my fingers. I can almost feel the squeak of fresh film rolling through spool. Hello Nikon FM10!

Pleasant dreams friends and have a blessed tomorrow!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 28 - Free Chairs!

Not long after Josh and I got married, a friend was selling her couch and love seat. She gave them to us for a really good price but we were then left with a question - what to do with the old couch. It was still in decent condition and didn't really warrant being thrown away so we set it out by our driveway with a sign that said FREE. It took a couple days but finally a nice couple came along, loaded it up and took it to its nice new home. Now I wouldn't say I believe in total Karma, but I really do think that what goes around, comes around. Josh and I were heading home from Dad and Kelly's today when we drove past a house with two chairs out front with a sign that said "Free Chairs". They obviously wouldn't fit in our Grand Am so we headed back to Dad's and asked really nicely for Dad to help us out by loading them in Kelly's Rendezvous. So, needless to say, we are now the proud owners of two awesome free chairs!

And that is all I have for you today. Nothing extraordinary happened - just a couple of free chairs. Just something to keep in mind next time you are thinking about doing something a little selfless.
I hope, dear friends, your weekend went well and you have a blessed week!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 27 - A Train that Won't Ever Come

Today was a nice quiet day. Josh and I had originally had plans to go car shopping this morning, I had a photo session planned for this afternoon and there was a play we were going to see tonight. Absolutely none of that happened today. We decided that we didn't feel like going to look at cars today so we planned a trip for next week. My client canceled the session due to a sick little one. And we are sticks in the mud and decided to stay in tonight. Boring I know. But it was great to get to spend a nice relaxing day in our pajamas, just the two of us. We did, however, take a little road trip this afternoon so I could take some photographs of Josh. He is one of my favorite subjects of all times. This is not just because he is my husband, but he is so relaxed about it. He may give me a little crap here and there, but he will stand anywhere in any position for me and he will do it without complaining. You can't ask for a better model than that! We traveled out to the tunnel in the road by the mine then out past the mine to a little abandoned train depot. It was a beautiful day for photographs and the depot had so many interesting backdrops, I couldn't resist stopping. While posing for one the photographs, Josh started joking about waiting for a train that was never going to come. Waiting for a train that will never come. I know he was playing around (not to mention he is highly influenced by the pulp fiction and noir literature he has been reading lately) but wow. The vision of him sitting alone, casting a long shadow in the late afternoon sun, squinting down silent train tracks . . . it was almost like he stepped straight out of a noir right there. Waiting for his own Godot. And really, aren't we all.

Sweet dreams, friends, and enjoy the rest of your weekends!

Days 25 and 26 - Days off Work

It's been a few days since I posted, but I assure you I have been taking my photographs. Thursday was a busy day as usual. Josh was off work to visit Blackburn College - our Alma Mater. Many of you may know this, but Josh has written a book called Finger Food Fiction. It is a collection of one hundred and one stories that are each one hundred and one words long. He was on campus visiting his creative writing teacher and her current creative writing class. And being the sweet husband he is, he wore this awesome sweater I got for him -

When we first met, Josh wore these Hawaiian style shirts over plain white tees. All the time. Every day. Even when it was 40 degrees outside. He has evolved a bit and will, wear a jacket now but when he let me get him this sweater, frankly I was ecstatic. The colors are Autumn if I ever saw them and he looks ADORABLE in it. (Sorry, Joshy, I mean rugged and manly.) He came and took me to lunch wearing it just because he knows how much I love it when he wears it. (Ok girls, it's ok to say awwwww now.) Ok. I guess that's enough about the sweater. Point is, I really like the sweater and I love it when Josh wears it.

When I was very young and my brother Scot was even younger, we were sitting on the floor together. I was drawing and he was bothering me. He wanted me to play with him and I wanted to draw. I kept telling him to leave me alone and he kept bugging me until in a six year old fit of frustration, I balled up a tiny fist and brought it down with a crack on his skinny little knee. Now, I swear to this day that I put that pencil down, but my baby brother still carries a little blue scar on his knee from where the pencil lead embedded itself beneath his skin. Why is this relevant to my day 26 photograph, you may ask? Well, I have a confession. I absolutely took my photograph yesterday, but in my infinite absentmindedness, I deleted it today. I don't know what I was thinking, but it is gone. <Insert stupid little sad face emoticon here.> So I took an extra photograph today to represent when I did yesterday -

I had yesterday off so I spent it putting the bedroom back together, which included a lot of book rearranging. Also, I got to go to my first book club meeting. That was pretty awesome. So that is all I have for this post. Look for my Day 27 post shortly.

Blessings, friends!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Days 23 and 24 - Cooler Weather and Warmer Feelings

My grandmother and mom used to make homemade applesauce every year. They would go to the orchard, buy some the "seconds" (I guess the apples that weren't pretty?) and then spend a day turning them into delicious, sweet, chunky applesauce. The smells that filled our house on applesauce day are a big part of the reason I love Fall. What better way to welcome this colorful season than with apples, cinnamon, and Grandma! We are well past the point of applesauce day in the Schesvold household; matter of fact, it never came this year. (Or last . . . ) But last year, Josh and I stopped at the tiny Carlinville Farmer's Market to pick up some Malham's apples and the gentleman there stuck two giant green apples in my pockets. Something about his eyes reminded me of my grandmother and those apples . . . those apples were the prettiest, sweetest, tastiest apples I had had in a long time. So yesterday when I was at the grocery store, I found some Malham's apples and bought a few. Blushing coyly in the late autumn sun, they became Day 23 of my project 365 -

 Well, you have met me, you have met Josh, and you have met Pablo. Now you get to meet Ilsa Meg.
Ilsa has been a bad kitty. She is not a popular kitty at my house right now. On Sunday, as you may know, I painted our bedroom. Well, it took Monday night to paint the trim and last night to finish the touch up work. Sunday and Monday nights, we had the bed in the middle of the room - away from the walls so I could paint them. Last night we moved the bed back against the wall so when Ilsa came flying into the bedroom to come to bed with us, she launched her ten pound self right into Josh's . . . man area. Yeah. I know. Ouch. As I said, she is not a popular kitty at my house right now. But dang it if she isn't adorable! 

Rest well dear friends. May neither the frost nor the bed bugs bite and have a blessed tomorrow!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Days 20, 21 and 22 - Oh the Colors!

The second year wedding anniversary is typically either the "cotton" anniversary or the "china" anniversary (according to Google) and since October 11 was my 2 year anniversary, Josh and I decided to go with china. We could really use some new sheets, but we are hosting Thanksgiving this year and 8 plates was absolutely not enough. So I have been on the hunt. See, I guess when it comes to certain things I am really picky. Take, for example, my wedding registry. I searched high and low to find a comforter for the bedroom. I registered for three I think, received two as wedding gifts and still none was exactly what I had in mind. By the third store we registered at, Josh was ready to kill me and wouldn't let me leave until I had picked on. (By the way, I love both the comforters we received as gifts and I do use both. Thanks to Mom S and the girls at work!) The china, though, was quite easier to pick out. At Bed, Bath and Beyond, they let you sit down in this little room with them and look through this book filled with this amazing china. Beautiful china! Well, we found one right away that we fell in love with. So we asked how much it was. They wouldn't tell us. I know. I thought it was weird too. Well, we got home and just got on our registry on-line and found that one place setting was over $100. We asked for 12. There was no way we were getting that for our wedding - wwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much. We left it on the registry anyway and, yep. You're right. We didn't get any. Except for one soup bowl. It was sooooooooo pretty, but we had to return it. (Because what do you do with one soup bowl?) But luckily, when we went to spend our wedding gift cards we found some solid colored plates I loved at Target and got 4 settings in a spicy color and four in a sagey green. I love them! They are heavy and pretty and have been great. So I thought I would get more for this anniversary. Guess what colors Target doesn't carry? Yep. Spicy orange and sagey green. But Saturday while in Springfield we found chocolate brown. And OH. MY. GOODNESS. They look amazing with my orange and green.

Sunday was an eventful day as well and I spent my late afternoon painting our bedroom. I decided to be really brave and paint about a third of the room burnt orange. (Don't turn up your nose until you come over and see it. It is actually really pretty!) The rest of the room I painted an olive green color.

Do you see a trend? What can I say - I love love love those earthy colors.

Nothing quite so colorful today, I am afraid, but I did get to wear a new pair of shoes that I absolutely love.

Boring I know but it's been one of my favorite things about today. My other favorite things include getting great feedback on some portraits I did and having lunch out with my mom. (Hi Mom! I had a great time seeing you for lunch today!) Finally, I want to give a shout out to my Josh - Happy 7 Years Together - Not Married, But Happily In Each Other's Lives And I Love You!
Happy November, friends. Sleep well and have a blessed tomorrow.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Days 18 and 19 - Real Spooky

i know what is real - really.
i can feel it
in my toes
in my head
in my belly

but really what's real is more than a feel
it can't be shadows
that's too silly
no one would spend their days
with puppets
in a cave

i know what i know and
although it's not too appealing
life as it is
it is mine
it is right
it is freeing
and i am living it

not staring at some wall
i know reality when i see it, after all

                                                                                                Day 18
(If you have never heard of the allegory of Plato's Cave, look it up on Wikipedia. I promise this will make more sense if you do.)

Some of you, dear friends, work with me so you know that Halloween at Karmak is a HUGE deal. So today's photograph captured what I think is really the heart and soul, meat and potatoes of a Karmak Halloween. Jimmy Lee, you are Halloween at Karmak!

                                                                                         Day 19
Safety and warmth, dear friends. Until we meet again.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 17 - You Didn't Tell Me You Were Gonna Kill It!

At work, we always go all out for Halloween and something new for the last couple years has been a pumpkin carving contest. I decided I try my hand at it this year so last week, we were given pumpkins. Beautiful, orange, Halloween pumpkins. Mine has this amazing flat side that will be perfect to carve up. It's squat and cute and that deep orange skin has been taunting me. I have moved it from the table to the counter, to the living room and back to the kitchen. It has sat on the washer, in my bay window, and for a moment, in my bathroom. It's been calling me - rife with infinite possiblities, thousands of glowing horrid faces, ghastly gouls, witches and cats and ghosts all calling out "EeEeEEEeeeEEezzzzzzzzzzyyyyyyyyyy" (Yes that is how ghosts spell my name in my head) and I turn away knowing it isn't the right time yet. Just not the right time . . . for the last five days, all I have wanted to do to my pumpkin is

Whoo! I feel better now!
Rest well friends and have a blessed tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 16 - A Blustery Day on Pooh Corner

I hope everyone battoned down the hatches and road the wind out somewhere cozy and safe. By the time I took my photo for the day most of the gusts had subsided, but you still get the picture (get it? It's a pun!)

I recently read a wonderful book called "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff. It is an introduction to Taoism explained using the stories of Whinnie the Pooh. I highly suggest it to anyone looking for a thought provoking yet easy read. The wind today made me think of the scene where Pooh goes to Owl's house. Owl chatters on and on about all these things he knows and Pooh - well he just mostly sits and listens. Then when Owl's house falls down, Pooh is the one with the idea to send Piglet for help. If there is any lesson in that for me it is that knowledge isn't eveything. I have been stuggling a lot lately because of (what I feel is) my lack of knowledge. But thinking about good ol' Pooh Bear makes me feel the tiniest bit better. There isn't anything wrong with being a little simple or in the dark. I am trying to be less bogged down but what I Don't Know. What I Need to Know, I already know. And that will be my saving grace in the end.
Blessings and peace dear friends.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 15 - blech!

My first thought for a photo for today was a toilet. I'd like to just flush it down. But when I took a photo of my toilet, it made me think of being sick more so than fed up. So here is my sink. I'd like to wash my hands of this day -

That's really all I have to say. No eloquence tonight, dear friends. Today was unequivocally the pits. (Except having lunch with Mom and the really sweet story Josh wrote me.)
Peace and safety through the windy gale!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 14 - Yep. It's Raining.

I took some senior portraits today - thankfully before the rain came. Had a great time, took tons of photos. I actually went ahead and snapped my 365 photo while I was waiting.

These boats were lined up all neat and patiently waiting for someone to come hop in and take off. They remind me a little of the weekend my dad got remarried. This was about 9 years ago now I think and at the time I wasn't speaking to him at all. The weekend he and my step-mom got married, I spent with my mom, brother, and some friends out at Beaver Dam camping. That evening when the sun had gone down and only the stars and a pale sliver of a moon lit the sky, one of our friends, Mike, suggested we take the canoe out on the lake for a little midnight spin. I can't tell you how calm and peaceful and beautiful the lake was that night. The canoe sliced through the water nearly silently and the sky coruscated with stars. After several months of intense frustration, confusion, denial, and certainly many more trying emotions for an eighteen year old girl, I had finally found a place of peace. Silence and utter knowledge that I was ok where I was, that time would heal some wounds - even if it left a few nasty scars - and that friends come in all shapes, sizes, and ages flooded me. That someone else's father took me to that place of peace made no difference. We were all just people. All made of the same stuff and all staring at the same twinkling sky and inky water.
My dad and I have a great relationship now. I am sorry I missed his wedding, but not sorry about finding that piece of peace. Funny how a few row boats can bring that back.
Sleep well, friends. Keep safe and dry from the storm.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 13 - The Rains They Are a'Comin'

Although autumn (the season) technically lasts from September 21 through December 21, the vivid foliage colors only last a couple weeks. When I woke this morning, partial cloud cover made for some absolutely delicious light and I decided to try to capture what I hoped would not be the last of the fall color this year. But lo and behold when I put the photos on my computer they were very greenish -  not fall-ish at all. You can imagine my disappointment as, by the time I realized this, it was dark. So I am praying for low winds and gentle rain tonight. I'm not, however, holding my breath. (A purple Ezzy would not be a good Ezzy.)
So instead of sharing a beautiful photograph documenting some of the last fall beauty this year, I will share one of photographs I took during a portrait session this afternoon -

The Root's - if any of you read this, thank you so much! I had a wonderful time this afternoon.

The thing about portrait photography is it is a natural high to me. Seeing people smile and interact with each other makes me feel like I have an in. I have the unique opportunity to capture someone as they truly are. Sure maybe the first few poses are a little stiff sometimes or maybe the wind is blowing too hard or the sun is shining in a wrong spot at the wrong time so the photo doesn't come out quite like I'd hoped, but at the end of each session, I get in the car and drive home smiling.
Thank you to any of you who have given me this beautiful opportunity and also to those of you I will photograph in the future. I am blessed that you allow me to capture your essence.

Well, dear friends, the rains are coming so snuggle up next to your loved ones and blessed dreaming!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Days 10, 11 and 12 - Thank God for Weekends and Techie Husbands

Wow. What an interesting set of days. Wednesday woke me gently and sweetly with a terrible sinus headache. Blech! There isn't much more to be said for Wednesday. My photograph for the day is of spaghetti noodles -

Look like brains, huh? That's all I could think of. How much my brain hurt.

Thursday was marginally better but I almost forgot to take a photograph! Luckily, my sweet Pablo P was posing adorably right before bed. Blog readers, meet my baby - Pablo Picasso Bouillon Schesvold -

He is 7 years old and very much a mommy's boy.

That brings us to today. Today is Friday thank goodness! With rain on the way I chose to photograph some fall leaves. They may not last much longer if the promised storms deliver. Living in the moment and enjoying it now isn't quite enough. So captured in the immortality of photographics, here is my breath of autumn -

A blessed evening friends. Enjoy this cool autumn evening.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 9 - About time for a rant . . .

I'm not a fan of politics. I don't keep up with them and typically, any information I have about a politician or his/her campaign I get from Josh who, thankfully, is way more informed than I. But today, I am having a REALLY?!?!? moment. So here it goes. Today when I got home form work I checked the mail and found this --

That's right. Not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR political fliers. REALLY?!?! Four? It wouldn't be a big deal but I have gotten at least two a day for the last two weeks and I have had it. All these stupid things do is cry and whine and moan about how the OTHER candidate is hurting Illinois. They're costing us all money. Let me lay it out for you, politicians. I. DON'T. CARE. Wayne Rosenthal, I don't care if Charlie Landers called your mom fat in the first grade! What are YOU going to do to fix Illinois?! Lady with the babies on the flier, I appreciate that you are against abortion, but are you also against trees? Do you all hate the environment? Because all you are doing with these stupid - yes I said STUPID - and wasteful fliers is playing a schoolyard game of he said/she said. I don't think any of you should win. My cat would make a better state rep than any of you if all you can do is bad-mouth each other. Shame on you all! Tell me what you are going to do to fix the schools, to create jobs, to do your stinking job! What is it about politics that is so attractive that the loudest richest mouth wins? When did it stop being about helping people? And why on earth is it so important to win the stupid thing that you have to drag each other through the mud?! Just be nice, for goodness sake! If I were Santa Claus, you wouldn't even get a lump of coal in your stocking - you'd get nothing! Campaign to me when you have something constructive to say - when you have actual ideas about how to fix my state. None of you gets my vote. Ezzy out!

Dear friends, what you have just witnessed is Ezzy going off. Any of you that are still reading, congratulations. You can wipe the spittle from your cheek and politely excuse yourself - I promise I will try to be better tomorrow. Blessed evening and restful sleep to you all.