Saturday, May 15, 2010

Boxes, boxes, everywhere!

Gotta love the moving and packing thing!

I discovered some "treasure" while packing my books today. Treasure in the form of the printed page. Books I've had since I was young, books I've treasured most of my life. 
The stack you see in the photo above are my animal encyclopedias. They are actually called the New Illustrated ANIMAL KINGDOM and were written in 1952. There are 18 of them in the set. Publish Post

I cannot tell you how many science reports were written from these books! Especially since they were first used by my Aunt and Uncles when they went to school - we didn't get them from grandma until the 70's. 

When I was young, my grandfather lived with us. His favorite thing in the world was reading - period. He was pretty much self-educated having only completed the 6th grade in formal schooling. However, he was one of the most  intelligent persons I've ever known. My aunt would spend a LOT of time finding special books for my grandfather - books that would not only excite his reading muse, but books that were educational and beautiful as well. Now, I will tell you prior to showing these images these books are VERY old. I have done my best to preserve them, however most of them have been around for 30+ years so there is a bit of dust, dirt, and use showing. 
The first is this one: 
Yes, I took pictures of book jackets - too lazy to stand there and scan as I packed. 
this is Jacques Cousteu's The Ocean World. I spent hours pouring over this book when I was young. It is full of absolutely stunning photography of the ocean and its inhabitants. 
Next up: 
The National Geographic Society - 100 years of Adventure and Discovery 
If you've ever seen a Nat Geo magazine - then you know just how wonderful this book might be. This book was released on the 100th anniversary of the magazine and covered their first 100 years. For those who might not know - that was 1888 - 1988. 
Next up: 
China - The Land, The Cities, The People, The Culture, The Present

Another stunning photographic essay of China and it's people. It was so wonderfully written and presented that the Geography essay I did using it got me an A+ in high school! Not sure but I'm pretty sure this was 1987 or 89. 
The Good Earth -   The view from Audubon Magazine. 
Another wonderful "coffee table" book filled with amazing photographs from the Audubon Magazine. 

My children have loved these books as much as my grandfather and I did/do. My two oldest spent hours in his lap as little ones riffling through the pages and naming off fish, animals, birds and plants. They loved them - and they learned a lot from them. I'll be keeping these around for future generations. Even if it's in these: 
Yep, ALL of those boxes are books nothing but books. No magazines, no videos, no dvds or games.... all books! Whew - and I'm not done. But I am close! 
Tomorrow I will be packing up my great grandmothers china if I can find enough material to pack with. I'll share photos of those treasured pieces as well. Until then - Happy Saturday ya'll! 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Oh How I Hate Moving!!!

Any move is hard... it represents an unknown, if you will. It is change in environment, social circles, and location. In most cases it makes people both excited and uncomfortable. Its definitely  not settling to move. 
As of right now, we're beginning the packing process. I have stacks of boxes in the living room, just waiting for my families belongings. 
I am packing books today - hopefully with some form of organization... If I don't get overly frustrated, I will try to get some other things packed as well. But there are so many books in my house!!!! 

This is just one completely stuffed bookcase. Please note that both the top and bottom shelves are also totally stacked full as well. I have a full cabinet in the bedroom... and two more bookshelves in the hall, as well as one more in the living room. It's insane how many books we have. People say "well get rid of the ones you've read"... sorry... not gonna happen! 
I'm one of those that rereads books, over and over again. I cannot tell you how many time's I've read VC Andrews first series of books - and every subsequent series! Or Laurel K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. Or Harry Potter, or Patricia Cornwell, or Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Tim Lahay, HOLY CRAP MAN! I got a lot of books!!!! 
I have ALL of the books ever written by some of the authors listed above, and that's just nuts. BUT I am not willing to part with them. Therefore I will be packing books all day. 

I just want to let everyone know that your kind and wonderful comments have been greatly appreciated. I feel like I have a "family" on the web with my supporters and frequent visitors - kind of an extended support system. Which is what I'm loving about the move - I get to take all of you with me!!!! 
It's my "stability" in my changing world. No matter where I am - you guys will always be there as long as I have my computer and wifi! YAY Internets!

Well, it's off to throw  gently place some books in boxes.
Happy Friday!!
PS: I forgot to show ya'll what Our Girl drew me for Mother's Day: 
I just adore the vibe of this picture! It's free and bright and happy, and it makes me smile. It's currently on the wall above my desk along with some other things she's done for me. I'm so blessed with wonderful children!!! Ok - NOW I'm really going to pack (I'm not stalling, really)!
PPS: Please don't forget that starting Monday, we'll be over at WordPress!!! You can head on over there now, and check things out - everything from here has already been transferred! Including your lovely comments, thanks so much! 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

May I have some cheese, please?

It should go rather well with my whine today. I try not to complain a lot, especially to the kids, and even more especially about things they have no control over. I hear our kids friends talk about some of their parents issues and I wonder how do they know this stuff? Now, don't get me wrong, I am a firm believer in letting kids know things that affect them. We sat our kids down when both of us lost our jobs within a month of each other, and we let them know that things would be very tight until we went back to work. We let them know that lights needed to be policed, the A/C needed to be used less, and no waste allowed. They understood and got on board. We have discussed my health issues with them, just so they understand that mommy hurts and they need to be careful when hugging or touching. They know the details they need to know and nothing more. I believe in protecting my kids to an extent from the depth of our issues. For instance, I would not whine to my kids about the fact that we got our last unemployment check yesterday, and we have no more money coming in until June 1. Not something they need to stress about the last two weeks of school. 
However, dear readers, you are not safe from my whine... sorry. If you would rather not hear my problems, then maybe you should come back tomorrow. 
Last night we were discussing with Our Girl the fact that her room (which is the largest room in the entire house) would be used for staging as we pack to move. Meaning she would need to clear out one end of the room so we could use it. She got mad. I don't mean a little mad, I mean MAD mad! She just cannot understand why we would want to put boxes out of the way in her room, why not her brothers room? Her brothers room is a standard 12X10 bedroom, with two twin beds, two dressers and nightstands. BOTH boys reside in there when Little Man is home - there isn't ROOM for boxes. Then she wanted to know why I couldn't keep them in the hallway and laundry room. I explained that we use the hallway to get to the bathroom and the laundry room to wash clothing - no space for boxes there. So she went on to ask "well, if we're moving anyway, why can't we just put the boxes in your office - it's not like you're using it all the time"... WHAT? MY OFFICE? Ummm... I think not sweetheart - this office is my refuge away from it all. It's the only place in the house I can go to get peace, quiet, and connect with my muse. Not. Gonna. Happen. Our Girl's room? Yeah - the darn thing is 20x40 - it was supposed to be TWO rooms, and we didn't get around to putting a divider in - she was supposed to get the back half, and the front half was going to be a Kids Den. But she took over the entire room, spread out all over the place, and we of course ran out of money/time to get the divider up so she wound up with the whole thing. And now she's pissed that I want to use half of it for boxes.... hrmph.. Guess where my boxes are going to be???? HA! 
Her other issue last night was one I almost laughed at. She asked her dad if she would get a room just as big as the one she's in now at our new house - because she didn't think she could handle going to one the size of her brothers room now. I swear ya'll I nearly died laughing. This is pretty much how that conversation went: 
US: Dad and I will get the master, the boys will share, she'll get a room and my son will, as always sleep on the couch. You will be in a regular bedroom. 
HER: Well, I will get the bigger of the other bedrooms, right?
US: Umm... NO - you have two brothers who will be sharing a bedroom, they get the bigger room. 
HER: Well that's not fair I'm the oldest. (at this point I'm not laughing anymore because she's being a pain in the butt and I still have a freaking headache). 
US: Well, it really is fair because there are two of them, and they have to share a room. (and because I get a little cranky over my son) I said: You know, you are not the oldest - Jon is the oldest. Jon is also the only one who has sacrificed a bed and privacy for you kids. He gave up his bedroom for the boys, and never got it back
HER: Oh, so he's going to get the biggest room.
US: NO! Did you even hear what we just said???
HER: Well, not really I was thinking.... 


You know, I love my kids, and most of the time I don't differentiate between my kids and his kids - but when she starts the crap about how she's the oldest, and deserves all this stuff - I have to say something. It's like she forgets that he even lives with us. Not that it would matter much, because she's sixteen and we all know what that means. Drama. 

But, at this point its all good. We're working with the Realtor now to see when we can get the payment on the house - and how long we have until we have to move. If we can play this right and get the customary 30 days - then we're golden, we can pop on up to Chattanooga for a couple of days and house hunt. Then we'll have a place to put all these darned boxes while we get out of here. I'm hoping it works out that way - I hate moving to a storage unit, then to a home - it take so much time and is such a waste of effort. It's NOT efficient. 

Well, I guess that's my whine and cheese party for today. What's making you whine? 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend

Everybody's working for the weekend
Everybody wants a little romance
Everybody's goin' off the deep end
Everybody needs a second chance, oh
You want a piece of my heart
You better start from start
You wanna be in the show
Come on baby lets go!

Yep, I'm a child of the 80's... can you tell? Heh. THIS stupid song got stuck in my head this afternoon and I cannot get rid of it - I've even tried listening to it all the way through (usually that works) but even that didn't solve the issue. 

After my debacle yesterday with Our Girl it seems things have evened out a bit again - she apologized for arguing with me and I apologized for snapping, and now we're back to our normal selves. She even volunteered to fix dinner tonight - well, actually she commandeered dinner preparation because she knew my head was still freaking pounding. Unfortunately it's beginning to look like this is going to be one of those bouts of Fibro - the ones that send me to bed for days on end, the ones that even mass amounts of anti-anxiety, muscle relaxers, or pain killers can stop. It's a nightmare when it starts, and it continues to be a nightmare for several days. And of course it could not have come at a better time - of course! We got an offer on our house this week. We have about 60 days to make our decision. 60 days to pack up a house, get medical and school records for three children, decide on mental health placement for our youngest son (if he's not released by closing), and find a place to live in our new city. It should get pretty interesting around here! 
In a way I'm excited because we will be "starting over" in a new town, and in another way I'm really apprehensive because we will be starting over in a new town. I guess it's just a matter of perspective. We can be positive and look at this as a huge opportunity for better - or we can be negative and look at it as losing our home, that's paid for because we can't find work here. 
I prefer to take the positive route, and even if we take a hit on the value of the house - it's all CASH money in our pocket - every dime. And that will give us a nice cushion to live on until we do find work. I can only hope this headache disappears soon - I've got packing to do!!!

Tuesday's Time Out

I guess I need a time-out... 
Yesterday was a really rough day for me! After doing my bloggy thing and writing a post for Monday Monkey Minute I had a monster of a headache. Of course the headache is directly related to my Fibromyalgia - and tends to make me quite an irritable mom. 
My children KNOW this - yet they don't seem to understand that it doesn't matter to my pain what day it is, what event is planned, or what I want to do. I am a total slave to the pain when it rears its ugly head. A combination of weather and stress caused this recent uproar, and it won't stop until the pressure rises some more. 
So, last night, even though I planned to cook a lovely dinner for everyone, we wound up having hot dogs. Mainly because I was in too much pain to cook, and because Our Girl neglected about half the kitchen when she was cleaning Sunday night. I STILL have dishes in my sink even after she had kitchen again last night. 
When she was asked to do the kitchen, she calmly informed me (in her stooped over posture) that her back hurt too bad to stand in front of the sink...
Umm.... WHAT? 
Ok, so I will have to say that she went out Saturday with her BF and they picked strawberries, all afternoon. She came home with a sunburn across the small of her back. So I'm sure it aches a bit, and it's tender. 
But, after a day like yesterday filled with painful naps and tender spots all over my body - I lost it. 
I looked at her and quite calmly said "You know Girl, I don't care one iota about your minuscule back pain. Your pain is going to go away in a day or two, and honestly won't get better if you baby it - however my pain is gonna last until the good Lord sees fit to take me out of this world. I didn't CHOOSE this disease, it chose me. I did not wake up one morning and say - Wow, I wish a different part of my body would hurt so bad I want to cut it off - every day of my life. No, I did not! However, Our Girl DID decide to go stoop in a strawberry patch for an entire day, she should OWN her pain.
Needless to say, I hurt her feelings, callus and cold as I am. Which in turn hurt my feelings because I can't stand to make my kids feel bad about things. 
What makes my outburst even worse... the damned strawberries? They were used in a strawberry pie for my mothers day gift. (Even though I don't LIKE strawberries, didn't have the heart to tell her that). 
I managed to not only make her mad, but her dad stopped the "Family Movie" with dinner - which managed to piss everyone else off. So I whipped out my standard apology - Sorry guys, I guess it's just been one of those days... and I skulked off to my room. 
I feel bad, of course, and I'll speak with her when she gets home to apologize "for real", but it won't matter, because Our Girl holds a grudge. I'm in for a week of hell and I brought it on myself. I know that I did... and for that I need a time-out
So, what have you done to deserve a time-out lately? 
As always, thanks for stopping by! Don't forget, this time next week, we'll be over at WordPress!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Monkey Minute


It never ceases to amaze me the wonderful people I find on the internet. The bloggy world is full of them. Folks with amazing stories about overcoming adversity, abuse, or divorce. People who have or are fighting amazing battles with disease, mental disorders or sickness. Very rarely do I come across these stories as they unfold, until now. 
There is a lovely blog I follow called My Pixie Dreams, the wonderful mommy of this brood of pixies has just been informed that her barely 16 month old daughter has cancer. So - the blog community is getting together to show some love for this wonderful little family - and I'm joining in the fun. 
So - without further ado - Todays Monday Monkey Minute! Please link up and show the love!!!


Now, here is what you should do - first head over to Ian's place and grab the button! 
Next - link up on his list, and post using the questions below! 

1 –  How old do you act? Hmm... I think I pretty much act my age most days, others - I'm WAY older than in reality. Fibromyalgia can do that!
2 – As far back as you can remember, what did you want to be when you grew up? A mom! That was my biggest aspiration as a child, second place was Nurse. I've got seven kids, guess we all know what I got to do! 
3 – If you were to write a book based on your life, what would the title be? The Mad Mad Mad World of Magimom
4 – What’s something that you do that’s considered “childish” by most? I get excited over little things, like baby animals and stuff... I am not very good at containing my excitement! 
5 – The last question isn’t a question.  Write a story of a time of when you or someone you know overcame great adversity. 

My mother is my hero in overcoming adversity. She lost my dad just after I turned 13 (three days). Needless to say, she persevered when she felt like crying. She not only cared for me, but for her aging parents as well. She finished her education and started a new career all while doing her job as a wonderful mother and daughter. She taught me how to live, love, and rejoice in life's little things - for that I am eternally grateful! 

SO, now go show Michelle some love, link up with the Monday Monkey Minute, and have a Happy Monday! 

Holy Monday Batman!

So here we are, Monday - after Mother's Day weekend. Seems to me that last week FLEW by and that the weekend was here and gone without me even realizing it! When the alarm went off for Our Girl this morning I wanted to shoot it in the face! Thankfully the hubs takes her to school, so no face-shooting was required. However 15 minutes after they left it went off again - then I really wanted to shoot it in the face - until I realized it wasn't an alarm, it was the low battery warning, and if Our Girl was going to get to school on time the rest of the week, then I needed to put it on the charger. You see, something funny happens to hubster when his phone dies... He seems to be able to perfectly time anything he needs to do in between those annoying beeps. If he goes to the bathroom he usually walks in right after it beeps and is out of the bedroom before the next one has time to go off... or he just doesn't hear it period. So I got up and found the charger - and a free outlet in which to plug it. So now I'm up - funny thing, hubs got home and went straight back to bed this morning... sigh... 

As for the original intention of this post - well - I had planned on getting everything switched up and moved over the weekend, and to announce that we were picking up stakes and moving over to WordPress. But, alas, the best laid plans of gerbils and women - things went awry. Not the blog - the blog is good, both copies running just fine in both places. Maybe I should say I went awry. I'm still trying to solidify my decision. I've been on blogger for over a year and it's served me well. However, within a DAY of putting my Photography Blog over on WordPress I already had a follower and comments! What??? How the heck does THAT happen? So... this week is preparation, and I will mention it every day that I post. Then, next Monday - you will find us here! I have manged to get everything except the last couple of posts imported over there, with comments - and will do the same this Sunday to pull the remaining posts and comments over. Then it will be all WP all the time! 

So, tell me dear readers - mistake, or best thing that ever happened to my blog? What service do you use to blog and do you like it? 

Happy Monday All - 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day

Dare I say we've made it another year moms... by now everyone has opened the homemade card containing the macaroni necklace, mason lid pincushion, handprint in plaster or other equally adorable, precious memory of our babies childhood. After all it is these things that make us smile on a rainy day as we happen to find that sweet little card from a bright 6 year old. Nothing warms my heart more than opening my "scrapbook box" and digging through the items inside. Cards from years gone by, gifts on paper, artwork, and a myriad of memories float up out of the box. 
I think of my mom, and the many sacrifices and heart aches she had because of me. Raising me - a headstrong, opinionated, fearless child, who knew no boundaries and rules. 
I used to go to Hallmark and pick out the prettiest, sweetest, heartfelt card I could and I would give it to my mother after writing a quick note inside. Usually the note read something like this: 

Words cannot express how much you mean to me! After lots of looking I found one card, that said some of what I want to say... I love you mom! Happy Mothers Day. 

My mother invariably cried. Every time she opened the cards - she would first read my handwritten note, then the message, then she'd bawl. 
"You always know the perfect thing to say"... 
Well, I may not know what to say, but I know how it needs to be said, I choose cards that evoke strong emotion in me. If I read it and nearly cry thinking "That is MY mom" then it's right... 

I don't do Hallmark anymore, or cards at all really. I call my mom and we talk for hours, about me when I was little, her memories of her mom, my childhood memories... we remember the things that made our relationship comfortable and strong like it is today. 
I'll be calling mom in a few hours, she had to work today... of all days! But she'll be home tonight, and once she settles in, we will talk awhile, and maybe, just maybe I won't miss her so damned much. 

I love you Mom! Thank you for giving me life!
To all my "Mommy Readers" - Thank you for giving my blog life - and Happy Mothers Day!