Friday, April 29, 2011

Be Realistic

... Demand the Impossible.

Do y'all know 20X200? Their mission is to help connect artists who want to sell their art with people who are looking for art [prints] at an affordable price. I learned about it when James Griffioen of Sweet Juniper! had two prints available on that site. I bought my favorite right quick.

Today I ordered the print pictured above, and I can't wait to get it. I just can't stop looking at it and keep noticing things I hadn't noticed before... like the Obama poster. But it was the solar panels and wind turbines that caught my attention first and made me fall in love. The nuclear cooling towers aren't thrilling me, but I guess even in an ideal world, things aren't perfect.

The contrast of the horse drawn buggy and the bicycle drawn dog tickles me. And the recycle bin makes me happy! And chickens in the road... and the train...

I'm not getting paid to brag on them or anything, I just think it's cool.

.::.

UPDATE 5/2/2011: I just found out that if you use the following referral code as a coupon you will get 10% off your first order from 20x200 (and I will get a $5 gift card). So if you are so inclined, shop away... www.20x200.com

XD93DA6

25 to life in Central Valley

HEARING ON MOTION RE: NEW TRIAL (GUILT PHASE)
THE COURT FINDS THAT THERE WAS SUFFICIENT EVIDENSE TO SUPPORT THE VERDICT AND THE VERDICT WAS NOT CONTRARY TO THE LAW. MOTION DENIED.

HEARING ON MOTION RE: NEW TRIAL (SANITY PHASE)
AFTER CAREFULLY REVIEWING AND WEIGHING ALL THE EVIDENCE THE COURT HEREBY FINDS THAT THE EVIDENCE PROVIDED TO THE JURY WAS NOT SUFFICIENT TO MOVE DEFENDANT INSANE AT THE TIME OF THE KILLING. THE VERDICT IN THE SANITY PHASE WAS REASONABLE AND NOT CONTRARY TO THE LAW. MOTION DENIED.

REPORT AND SENTENCING
SENTENCED TO STATE PRISON FOR A TOTAL INDETERMINATE SENTENCE OF 25 YEARS TO LIFE.
SHERIFF TO DELIVER DEFENDANT TO DIVISION OF ADULT INSTITUTIONS AT CHOWCHILLA

.::.

There's a bunch of stuff in the court minutes about fines that have to be paid too. I'm not too clear on that since I'm pretty sure she doesn't have any money, after being in jail for 2 years. Chowchilla is up in the Central Valley, about a 5 hour drive from these parts (I mention that just for perspective -- I don't plan on making that drive).

Another article here.

April 29, 2011

Oh, I cried last night, seeing the destruction in Alabama and throughout the region. I can't imagine waking up to that mess and loss this morning. Just... heartbreaking.

I am so grateful for my family and my home.

Lori is supposed to have her sentencing this morning (third time's the charm? maybe there won't be another continuance), as well as hearings on motions for a new trial. New article here, not much new there, though.

It is also her 41st birthday today.

Meanwhile, I will get a pin today marking 10 years at my job.

How the time does fly.

Monday, April 25, 2011

While getting ready for bed...

Austin: I want to see the hamburger guy movie.

Mama: Hamburger guy? Oh, hammer, you mean Thor.

Austin: Yeah, Four.

Mama: Look at me.
[points to mouth and shows him top teeth touching tongue]
Thor.

Austin: Tttthhhhorrr

Mama: Thor

Austin: Five, six, seven!

Mama: Brush your teeth, smartypants.

The Army

It's been like 3 weeks since I posted any music. That must be some kind of record here. I heart Ben Folds.

Speaking of the army... a recruiter/outreach type came to came to Austin's preschool sometime back. My initial reaction was something along the lines of WHAT THE FUCK? THEY'RE ONLY FOUR YEARS OLD! AND THE ARMY IS COMING TO THE SCHOOL?!? WHAT THE FUCK?

But. BUT. Austin was stoked. STOKED you hear me? They gave him this camo stretchy nylon thing that is supposed to be a book cover, but he was wearing it as a hat. And he kept saluting me (that's right kid, I am your superior officer -- for the time being). And I had to ask myself... what if he did want to enlist? I wouldn't be happy about it (not because I'm anti-military or anti-patriot or whatever but because I DON'T WANT MY BABY TO END UP DEAD). But if he wanted to? Am I the kind of mother that would try to talk him out of it? Worse yet (or better yet) am I the kind of mother that would just tell him NO you are NOT?

I don't think I am. I think I have to support him in what he wants to do. No matter how scary it is for me. I have friends with sons and sons-in-law in the service and I know they are proud of their boys, but I don't envy the worry and physical distance it adds to their relationships.

PS. This is not a possibility that ever occurred to me with Maya (just because she's a girl?), but it certainly is possible. Although she would have to get a lot better about getting her butt out of bed in the morning. I have my doubts.

PPS. AND I know that he is only four and just because he thought the soldier that came to his school was cool doesn't necessarily mean he will want to join 14 years from now. But I'm a mother; don't expect this to be logical.

the light

Saturday, April 23, 2011

preparations

Boiled and ready to dye. There are more cooling.

Someone stole a basket of strawberries already.

The missile looking things are water guns.
The Easter Bunny reuses the buckets and
plastic eggs every year.

italics = mama

Thursday, April 21, 2011

watering the grass

seeing

Do you see him?

I know you don't. Here. Let me zoom in a little.

Does that help?

Little turd machines (rabbits) are hard to get pictures of.
They always take off.

Here's another. Mmmm... salad.

Maya hollers Mom! A grasshopper!
Without pause, I grab the camera.

Austin's favorite monster hunting ground,
the baby walnut grove out back -- volunteers
from the neighbor's.

If it were possible to get rich off of rabbit shit or walnut shells,
(crows eat all the nuts) I would be a gazillionaire.

.::.

Question of the day:

What's better, a whole lot of messy real
or a little bit of neat fake?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nickelodeon, I love you

Tonight I watched Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Freedom to Believe... Or Not.

It was all about freedom of religion in the U.S. and featured interviews primarily with Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Agnostic and Atheist kids. There were stories about a Mosque in Tennessee that was going to be expanded and the way some citizens there protested it as well as a public school that had The Ten Commandments hanging on the wall for years before someone asked for them to be removed and the protests that followed by the Christian students that wanted them hung back up. There was an especially moving story about some kids that were part of an Interfaith group, and the things they learned from one another.

I was so moved by it all that my heart began to beat faster and I cried a little. It really was very meaningful to me and I think it would be good for everyone to watch, not just kids. They didn't talk much at all about Hinduism, Paganism, Buddhism and others outside of Abrahamic religions, but it was only a half hour show and I thought they did an excellent job. If you get a chance to watch it, let me know what you think about it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

love this

The way the cat nuzzles the dolphin and licks its [fishy tasting] face. CUTE!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

just a dream

I was at work, only my cubicle was more like a booth at a diner. I knew he was coming. I could see his hood a couple tables down. I tried to sneak a peek while he was making his way around the room. Was he the devil? No, more like an angel of death. Completely cloaked in dark layers with only his sparkling eyes visible. (He didn't have a scythe.)

There was a woman with him. She seemed to serve as his voice and hands. They were there to collect payment. Payment for time to stay. I handed her a $20 bill.

.::.

This was a dark one even for me. I guess I shouldn't read things like this (keeping in mind that I sit all day at work): http://health.yahoo.net/experts/menshealth/most-dangerous-thing-youll-do-all-day

Monday, April 11, 2011

the sabbath

Keeping The Sabbath on Saturday is a big deal for my parents. They attend the Seventh Day Adventist church right down the street from our place... my parents live immediately next door to their grandchildren and on the same street as their church. This is a good life. For us anyway.

For years now, Maya has attended church with them. She has many friends at church and I know them only by proxy. I always think this must seem very odd to some people. That I am so detached from my daughter's religious life.

But I have never been a church person. Even as a small child, the stories of Christianity didn't ring true for me. That doesn't mean I need to keep my kids from getting whatever they can out of it.

Austin has been a few times, and seemed to enjoy it. But after just a couple times he started telling my mom, "sorry Grandma, I can't go." I'm not sure why he can't, but I won't make him go. I told my mom if he wants to go again, he will.

In the mean time, he and I are back to our old tradition of walking/exploring on Saturday mornings.

.::.

This weekend we found a couple good size boroughs burrows. Not sure whether this is the home of rabbits or ground squirrels. This is why we don't walk very far from the house in the dark. If you stepped in this, you could easily break your leg.

Friday, April 8, 2011

of course

Today was supposed to be Lori's sentencing. But big surprise (not really) the defense requested and was granted a continuance. Try again next week. They will also have a hearing on their motion for a new trial. I don't know if that means she/they will be appealing/having a new trial, or if they are just trying to appeal and the judge will have some say in whether that moves forward.

New here? Get the recap, but it is not for the faint of heart.

Monday, April 4, 2011

That's the Way Love Goes

One of my most powerful memories from childhood is my grandma singing all the time. Especially if she was working in the kitchen (which frankly, she hated hates to do). But for the life of me, I don't think I could name one song she would sing right now. I do remember her teaching me How Much is that Doggie in the Window, but I don't think that was what she would sing to herself...

Anyway, I heard this song the other day (not for the first time but it had been some time) and while I don't think it was one she would have sung (she says country music is too sad) I can imagine myself singing this in the kitchen into my old age.

In fact, when Austin didn't go to sleep right away last night after we read his three favorite books, I asked him if he wanted me to sing a song and this is the one I sang. Knocked him right out.

I still need a catalpa

If there is a part of my body that is not sore, I can't hear it not complaining over the parts that are. I spent the weekend pulling weeds (didn't make a dent) and digging holes and planting trees and it was wonderful.

There is an Italian saying that translates to something like: You plant grapevines for your children. You plant olive trees for your grandchildren. This speaks to the slow-growing nature of olive trees. I now have one baby olive tree in the back. I'm not too worried about getting fruit from it, I just like olive trees. I also planted an avocado tree. Not sure who you plant those for. Maybe your second cousins.

The "baby" olive tree is about six feet tall and I managed to bring it home in my little Camry. Just imagine Mary Poppins pulling her floor lamp out of her carpet bag and you'll have a good idea of what it looked like when I was pulling that tree out of the trunk of my car.

After the holes were dug and the trees were planted and the hose was drug around, I decided on a whim to try and pull down a dead tree? large shrub? something that had been dead so long I don't know what it was. One by one, I pulled downward on the branches and the dry, brittle wood broke free. I made a pile just behind me and kept pulling and breaking off branches, being careful to close my eyes and turn my head as I pulled, lest I get a splinter in my eye. (Because obviously I wasn't wearing goggles. Or gloves.) As I worked my way down, I had to squat to get ahold of the thicker branches. As the last one broke free, I felt my weight tip too far back and I went down on my butt and rolled backwards onto my pile of branches. My back and hand are a little scratched up, but I'll live. Sorta dumb, really. Dan helped me up and looked at my back and all I could say was "it [where the tree was] looks better, huh?"