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.