Friday, October 25, 2013

Trifextra 91: My Beast

This weekend's Trifextra Challenge is inspired by The Tummy Beast by Roald Dahl, and the challenge is to write about a beast living in an unusual place.  Last weekend's Trifextra was supposed to be about a fear, and while I didn't enter last week, my entry this week fits both, as it isn't entirely fiction.

It's not real. It's not real.
"Prove it. Just look."
She almost gives in, but she knows.
Hiding in that darkened mirror, the beast patiently waits for her to meet his shadowed gaze.

My beast lives in the mirror.

I prefer not to voice my worst fears, I'm just superstitious enough not to say the words out loud, but I'll admit to one of my biggest fears, which is also my most irrational one. You see, I'm not scared of the dark, I sleep best when the room is pitch black, but I'm freakin' scared to look into a mirror if the room is not well-lit. And I know it's the stupidest thing in the world and I know there is nothing in there, but the tiniest part of me will not tempt fate and look into a mirror if it's dark-ish. Because, well, what if?


I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've entered a challenge on the first day it's been available! This gives you lots of time to check out the rest of the entrants and maybe take a shot at the challenge yourself!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Redscale: An Experiment in Film Photography

I rarely shoot with my 35mm SLR anymore because the cost of developing is crazy*. Every couple of years, though, I can't resist the urge to take a roll or two of shots before going back to digital.  This past summer was one of those times, but I was pretty busy and never got the chance to pull out my camera, so instead I haunted Lomography, a website dedicated to film photography and daydreamed about my own dusty camera.  Last week we ended up taking a trip to the coast, and just a day or two before leaving I found a tutorial for making your own "redscale' film on their website, and decided I'd try it out.

Here's the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse taken with my digital camera:

And here's the same shot with my 35mm using the redscale technique:

Pretty cool, right? Unfortunately, things weren't as easy for me as they were for the guy who wrote the tutorial.  First, I'm not overly competent or patient with pliers. Second, my camera didn't seem to care for my loading the film in upside-down. Neither of which were major deterrents. The third little glitch, though, almost ruined my whole experiment: the film I used ended up tearing out of the canister after my last shot, so I couldn't wind the film back up. I had to take the whole camera into Costco and have them remove the film in their darkroom bag! Luckily, they had no problem doing so and I ended up with a full roll of pictures including a few interesting images.

I'll post a few more redscale pictures along with a few of the digital pictures later on. I have ~1000 digital images to sort through from our trip, plus another roll of 35mm that I used normally, so it might be a week or two before I post them.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

*I almost forgot! The drugstores around here charge $13-$15 for developing, a set of prints & a disc; I just found out that Costco charges $8 for the same three services! If you don't get the discs it's only $3.99, or $5.99 if you want duplicates! I won't be able to blame my lack of 35mm photographs on the cost of developing anymore...

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Trifextra 74: Silence is deafening.

The current weekend challenge at Trifecta Writing Challenge is to mirror this quote in our response:
Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.
--Henry James
My response is a little cliched, in fact all the ideas I kicked around seemed to be. Even so, I kinda like it:

There are three things I find ironic about silence. 
     The first: silence is deafening. 
          The second: silence is deafening. 
               And the third: silence is deafening.

Hope you're enjoying your Sunday afternoon!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Marine Haiku: How I murdered Patrick...

Jenn at "You know...that Blog?" has given us the theme of "Marine Life" for this week's Sensational Haiku Wednesday.

The first five verses are inspired by the death of a poor little starfish when I was 13; the sixth (!) verse references the first poem I remember writing, when I was 12, it happened to be about my favorite marine animal.

Amid shells and sand,
A perfect, ruby sea star:
collection worthy.

Nobody warned me:
a sea star with moving feet
is a living thing.

Sea stars are not meant
to dry out in a hot car-
Leave them in the sea.

After a lone week,
the grand sea star liquefied:
A young kid's victim.

No souvenir, just
sea star murdering guilt to
haunt my memories


My first real poem:
Dolphins swam the moonlit sea...
Symbolic escape.

Join the fun!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

2013 Run or Dye Pics

Long-time, no-write. Not going to bore you with excuses, or tempt you with promises.
Just wanted to share some pictures from today's Run or Dye 5k. I may have only walked it, but I still finished.

We finished! No doubt that Gina would-she is still jogging 3-6 miles almost every day in prep for the 60 mile  run/walk for Susan G later this month.

"Tough"-ish faces 

Posing w/Gina's 2 oldest, Kylie & Ashlin

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Just A Random Update

My sister, Gina, is doing well. She hasn't had her surgery yet; they rescheduled because she had a sinus infection and a day later she found out it would've been moved anyway-all non-emergency surgeries are being rescheduled because of the antibiotic resistant strain of Staph that our area has apparently been hit with. She isn't doing any radiation or chemo right now, they've decided to put her on immune suppressants and just keep an eye on the spot in her lung and throat. Now that she's not struggling with the side effects of those two treatments she's feeling better, although the immune suppressants create their own set of issues for her and some days are worse than others.

It's harder to write about her than I expected. It's too difficult to write about how I feel about her illness, but I thought recording my memories would be easy, that in doing so I would be able to cope better. There are some truly funny times that I would love to talk about, some rough times, some happy times. Some moments that are just memorable for no real reason at all. But when I set out to write about things like that it feels like I'm giving up in some way, like I'm focusing on the past because I'm worried there isn't a future. Which I know isn't true, and it's a little silly to think like that, but I over-analyze everything and can't help but feel that way when I try to write these things down. I hope to get over this soon, since most of these memories are fun to talk about regardless of why I initially thought to record them.

Now that she's feeling better most days, Gina has signed up for a 3-day, 60-mile walk to support Susan G and breast cancer research (we've found almost no lung cancer awareness programs outside of stop-smoking support). She has started walking again, she was able to do 5k's as late as last fall but the last few months she hasn't really been able to run much, so having to restart with just walking is a little disappointing for her. I always say I want to walk/run with her, we used to do a 2 mile jog 3-4 times a week when we were younger-then I got a serious boyfriend and wasn't nearly as interested in jogging at 9pm anymore! Anyway, last week I finally decided to quit making excuses and I walked her home. It's ~4 miles and took us an hour and 15 minutes. It was rough-if I had remembered that it was all uphill, I probably wouldn't have quit making excuses to get out of it! The quality, one-on-one time with her was great though, plus I was finally able to get a picture of the tree I moon over every time I drive by.

We're supposed to go again tomorrow. Wish me luck :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Anything is a Trigger, in 100 words

Every week I check out the prompt for Velvet Verbosity's weekly 100 Words challenge. Every week I think about participating, mentally forming an entry but rarely do I follow through.  This week I tried harder, and since the challenge host got to meet Queen Latifah last week she gave us an extra day to finish the challenge-otherwise I might not have made it.***

This week's word is "shake"; we can use the prompt however we feel, as long as the result is 100 words. My 100 are titled "Anything is a Trigger".

no advice
none too helpful

watch for signs -
ha, good luck -
            the effect is inconsistent
one beer, one case;
one shot, one pint, one fifth -
            doesn't matter
expect the worst,
don't bother
hoping for the best-

            just hope
your smile
            isn't too big,
            too small;
your tone
            isn't too happy,
            too sad,
            sarcastic at all.

Don't be noticeable.
            but, again,
it doesn't matter -
anything, nothing,
            is a trigger.
Just survive until
you are
            safe in bed.

in the morning:
don't ask
            why his hands shake,
be sure
bruised feelings
            aren't visible
on your face.
                        is a trigger.

I figure since this is my first time participating in the challenge that I might as well fully participate and include the blog hop--be sure to check out the rest of this week's entrants!

****Edited-I misunderstood the blog host's post, she doesn't meet Queen Latifah until this week. The extra day was because she hosted her friend's poetry :)****

Sunday, March 10, 2013

February's CQJP block

We're a third of the way through March and I am finally posting last month's block for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project. I didn't set out to make an all-pink block, especially since I'm not actually big into Valentine's Day, but I discovered I have a lot of pretty pinks in my stash (which was still unpacked at the apartment even though we'd been there almost 6 months-have I mentioned I hate unpacking?).  

Once I realized this was going to be all pink, I decided to offset it with all black embellishments. 

I love how it turned out. Once I find my box of crafting stuff I might add some beads to the almost white patch on the left. It's actually three pieces of the same fabric, so there were three seams to decorate, but since I didn't think to keep out anything other than my black floss it ended up kind of plain compared to the rest.

I haven't pieced March's yet; since the first to blocks were mainly just one color I am probably going to continue the monochrome theme.  Although it really matters on what I find in the first box I touch this afternoon--it may be a mix of colors instead!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Unpacking still sucks...

I hate unpacking. I have moved so many times in my lifetime that you'd think I'd get used to and start to enjoy it, but not really. It's still on the same level as housework or maybe it's even as low on the list of fun as a dental visit is. 

The two main reasons I hate unpacking:

First, I have to look at every.single.little.piece of hoarded treasure I see--books, craft supplies of all mediums, photos, notes and other personal ephemera-some of which is legitimate memorabilia while some of it is probably trash.  This habit of mine makes it very time consuming to try and get through even one box, making it much easier to just hunt for that one picture or piece of fabric I know I saw in that one box rather than attempt to unpack until I absolutely have to.

Second, I rarely actually help to pack up the rest of our stuff, since I have to handle all of my stuff myself, so I never know where anything is-like the paperwork I actually need, or the camera or battery charger (of course they won't be packed together which means I will find them a week or two apart and both are worthless without the other).  But since unpacking it means I won't have to dig through unmarked boxes I won't be able to put it off forever.

Anyway, I believe I mentioned back in September that we had moved into an apartment a couple months after we returned from Florida and recouped a bit. We thought that would be our last move before buying a house-which is ~2 long years away still. But our two toddlers weren't too happy in the second-story two bedroom we originally chose. But you know what sucks more than unpacking? Constantly having to put your kids in time out for being kids. And so we spent a couple weeks looking for a house with a yard within 15 minutes of my sister's house, and moved in two weeks ago.  

And with this being our last move for a couple years, hopefully anyway, I don't have a legitimate reason to not unpack everything. Although before I can actually focus on that, I am going to attempt this weekend's Trifextra Challenge and I need to upload the crappy cell picture of my February block for The Crazy Quilt Journal Project-2013, hopefully the first box I actually make it through has the camera and the charger in it, then I can put off the rest of the boxes for a little while.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

January's CQJP13

Since I've been slacking the last couple of weeks, I never posted last month's block for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project - 2013.

This picture isn't the greatest; I had to use the camera on our phone as the rechargeable AAs for my camera were swiped for a random toy that I now cannot find.

Technically it is finished, but I still want to tint the lace so that it isn't quite so bright white.

I'm almost finished with the basic piecing of February's block, I'll try and post my progress this weekend.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Final Act of Revenge, in 33 words

I feel like I'm still complaining a lot lately, not so much here, since I don't post as often as I could, but in emails or talking to certain people in my everyday life.  I realized last week that a big part of my complaining is just a means of escape from constantly thinking of what my sister is going through.  Another way for me to escape reality is to write, especially about topics that aren't my sister.  With this realization comes yet another attempt to get back into regular blogging, which brings us to the second challenge in a row that I am participating in.

This week's challenge at Trifecta is to use the third definition of the word bitch creatively, in 33-333 words. The third definition of said word is:

3: something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant

I tried to stay away from this overused cliche, but I just kept coming back to it and finally gave in.

She clutched the pillow 
and waited 
for the last sign of 
softly whispering
the words 
he had told her

"Life's a bitch,
and then you die"

(I made my husband read this, he said I can't sleep with him tonight!)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Trifextra-Pigeon Poetry

This weekend's Trifextra challenge uses a photo prompt.  There are three photos for us to choose from, and I have chosen this one to inspire my 33 words:

Photo credits: ZeroOne / / CC BY-SA

Sometimes I perch
And contemplate:
     A step forward-
          A rush of wind upon my face-
               And then-

Do not worry though,
Those moments are fleeting,
I know 
my wings
Prevent my fall.

This weekend I am linking early enough to encourage you to join in the fun too!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Hope Deferred

This morning I was high. Higher than I have ever been, especially on an emotion as fickle as hope.  I usually stick to casual optimism, a well-guarded heart, etc, etc. In my experience, hope leads to disappointment.  This morning, though, I couldn't reign my optimism in.

I started the day off knowing that my sister would get the results of her latest scan around noon. If three rounds of chemo and six weeks of radiation did what they were supposed to do she would be well on her way to remission. If not, three weeks at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, with me tagging along as her caregiver, surely would do the trick. 

I couldn't control the hope that was filling my soul today. The buoyancy of it made me giddy, and I am not one to ever "do" giddy. I could barely sit still, I talked to a couple co-workers about the news expected, I swear I was having hot flashes even.  I tried to resist it, I fought it as best I could, all morning. I checked out the updates on a few bloggers who have recently endured hard times: all of them had at least semi-positive news.  I reminded myself numerous times of the tragic nature of hope. I pictured myself floating atop a geyser powered by this optimism and the outcome when the well ran dry, so not pretty. But still, my hope lifted me up.

It wasn't long after noon that I started to feel deflated. Between the lack of news, the sentimental songs on the radio, and the typical come-down effect of such an overwhelming amount of emotion, I began to realize I had been right all along.  Gina wouldn't return my texts. She wouldn't answer the phone.  To be fair to her though, I tried not to be aggressive and only called twice and texted only a couple times.  In a last ditch effort, I drove to her work at six, still hoping for good news.  And she wasn't there, but my mom was, and she had a little bit of info. And around 8, my sister was finally ready to give up a little bit of info as well.

The tumors in Gina's lungs have pretty much disappeared. Unfortunately, the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in her abdomen.  Instead of the more extensive, fairly invasive, treatment at Mayo which would have destroyed the cancerous tissue in her lungs, she will soon begin a fourth round of chemo, more intense this time, as well as radiation to both her chest and her abdomen.  But she is expected to be in remission by April.  

A mix of good and bad news. 
There is still reason to hope.  
There is still a need for a guarded heart.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

List & Resolution Limericks

This week at MadKane's weekly Limerick-Off, there are two different themes to play with.

Her normal first line challenge is to use one of the following lines as the starting point for the limerick:

"A fellow was making a list"
"A woman was making a list"

Her second option this week is to create any limerick relating to New Year's resolutions.

This week, I am entering one of each. First, my resolutions related limerick:

Every year a man made it his goal
To see his team win the big Bowl,
He'd be ever so cross
when they suffered a loss
And would take weeks just to console.

And my list making limerick:

A woman was making a list
of reasons to avoid slitting a wrist,
or sitting on the edge
of a high window ledge,
and realized her point might be missed.

If I was in the resolution making mood, I'd resolve to enter the Limerick-Off sooner than two hours before the deadline, but I'm likely to break it. :)

CQJP13 January Progress + Another CQ WIP

I am currently working on my January block for the Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2013. I had thought I might be done with it this weekend, but last night was in a bit of a funk and undid the same seam treatment three times. Then I gave up and went to bed.

I also wanted to remove the lace piece I added, as I have decided it is too white, but first I am going to try and dab alcohol inks onto it while still attached to the block, since I did a really good job of sewing it on securely!

Another crazy quilted project I am working on is repairing a purse I made ~8 years ago. It is the very first, and only, CQ project I have completely finished. I have several blocks completed that are waiting for just the right project to go into (like 99.9% of all my crafting supplies), but this is the only one that has been turned into a finished product.

A couple years ago it was used as a chew toy by my brother-in-law's dog.
I circled a few of the seam treatments in need of repair. Something I didn't take a picture of was the damage to the lining-completely destroyed.

I'll post the finished January block sometime before January 31st!