Friday, February 25, 2011

The Walk of Shame

I wish this post was a reminiscence of a drunken college night. I would much rather be posting a picture of me walking back to my dorm wearing the same clothes I had on the night before. Instead it's a different fall from grace. A dose of reality.

Today the Little Ballerina got suspended from the bus for the day. It seems she spit at someone. I have no idea why she would do something like this. I have never seen her hock a looey. I don't know that she knows how. But she will stick her tongue out and blow. Whatever she did. It's disgusting. And embarrassing. 

So today I walked to the school when it was over to retrieve her.

"Why didn't you bring the car?" she asked.

"Because you don't get the privilege of riding in any vehicle. You can walk home."

And so she did. She didn't complain. She didn't whine. She didn't cry. She carried her backpack and her special crystal in a cup that she was so proud of. The whole way home.

I told her if anything like this happens again she will walk home carrying a sign that says, "I can't ride the bus because I spit on people." And the next day on the bus she will wear a sign that says, "Don't sit next to me because I spit."

She didn't have dessert tonight. She is not going to her best friend's birthday party tomorrow.

I sure hope this makes a difference. If not, I'm going to have some killer legs come summertime.

Just keepin' it real, folks.

Now excuse me while I drown my sorrows in a box of Thin Mints and a bucket of Diet Coke.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Shark Shack

Where. The Joy of Love assignment today is Where. Where were you when your heart became his. This was so easy for me. I know exactly where....

Hawaii. O'ahu. The North Shore. The Shark Shack. On his bed. Just BSD. Me. And my friend Sheryl. Not Crow. Although I think she and I could be great friends.

Unfortunately, we couldn't get to Hawaii today. Or the North Shore. Or the Shark Shack. So our own bed will have to do.  

This is how exactly how I remember it. Minus the sandy feet. Plus a few extra layers of clothing. Minus Sheryl.

BSD, Sheryl and I had just returned to the Shark Shack after a day at the beach. We were sandy. We were sunburned. We were pooped. We flopped down on BSD's bed. And laid on our backs for a long, long time. And just talked. And talked. All three of us. The conversation was so easy. It was so comfortable. Like three best friends.

Best friends. 

That's when I realized it. I was with my best friend. 
Having recently walked away from a relationship with someone who didn't know how to relax. Who was married to his job. Who wasn't there for me. This simple little moment was profound.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Joy of Love: Day 22: Portraits

The Joy of Love class is winding down. I would love to go back and make sure I hit each day's assignments, but I doubt that is going to happen. I do have grand ideas for a few of the ones I've missed. But they require warm weather. And members of my family to be home. And willing participants. Three attributes that rarely go together. today's assignment was portraits. Close up. Head and shoulder shots. Indoor. Natural light. I should be a pro at these by now. Right? come I'm not? I'm blaming it on my house. My gear. And the weather.

My house is just not conducive to beautiful indoor natural light photos. I'm convinced. Not sure why. Is it the way it's positioned in relation to the sun and the windows? Is it the lack of windows on the sides of our house? Is it the paint color?!?!?

Since I can't do anything about the way our house is positioned on the earth. Or where the windows are located. Or the weather. I guess I'll just have to paint the walls. Something bright and neutral. This deep yellow/gold color? It's gotta go.

As for gear? I know it's not the gear. I have a great camera. Some decent lenses. But I can't help lusting after a 50mm 1.4. I have the 1.8. It works well enough. I just feeelllll like the 1.4 would be so much better. I've heard mixed reviews on the 1.2 and with the $1500 price tag that bad boy is not in the cards. Anyone here upgrade from a 1.8 to a 1.4 or 1.2? Did you notice a big difference? enough excuses. Oh wait, one more thing. There was NO light today. Totally gray and overcast. But here are my pictures for today. Both are taken with the 50mm 1.8.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Shot Through the Heart

The Joy of Love assignment today is to photograph hands. Doing something you love. BSD and I used to play darts all the time while we were dating. I think we knew where every dart board was located on O'ahu. 

We used to especially love to play darts at the Sugar Bar on the North Shore. The Sugar Bar was a biker bar. A dive bar. With cheap beers. Sketchy patrons. And darts. 

Our favorite dart-playing adventure was the night two bar stool bums challenged us to a game of Cricket. Losers buy the next round. These two locals thought they had the game in the bag. A couple of haoles. No problem.

Little did they know that the more I drank, the better I got. And that night I drank. A lot. So I was good. Really good. Those two bar stool bums didn't know what hit them. But they went down. And BSD and I toasted our win with two Coronas. On them.

We haven't played in years. Since before we had the ballerinas. But for Valentine's Day this year I got BSD some "love darts." Just like cupid would shoot. 

And this weekend we taught the ballerinas how to play. 

Good times. Ahhh. Good times.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Holy Smokes...

We had a bit of a scare on Saturday. The weather reports kept warning that the high winds combined with the dryness made for prime wildfire conditions. And sure enough. As we were hanging out in our front yard Saturday morning we saw the smoke. We thought nothing of it at first. But then it was getting thicker. And darker. And closer.

Everyone went to go check it out. The Big Ballerina came back in tears. Shaking from head to toe. The dunes were on fire. And spreading. Fast.

"Call 911, Mommy! PLEASE! Call 911!" she begged me.

You know you're in trouble when you call 911 and they put you on hold. But the dispatcher assured me the fire department was on its way.

We watched trees engulf in flames. And wondered if we should pack up what we could and leave. We gathered a few things. Threw them in the back of the car. And waited. And watched.

Luckily, there is water that separates us from the dunes. Water that stopped the fire from continuing into our backyards. Thank goodness the winds blew the flames parallel to the houses instead of up the street toward us. And thank goodness for the fire fighters who got it under control. 

(I am standing in our next door neighbor's back yard here. The zoom is only at 55mm. The fire fighters are close. Too close for comfort.)

The picture below is taken this morning in the same spot as the one of BB above. All of the vegetation is gone. This is one of my favorite places to take pictures. I was actually thinking of a photo I wanted to take in this spot that very morning on my walk.

All of this used to be covered in those pretty reeds. The fire started from the far end. About three streets away.

But, we're all ok. Nobody was hurt. Everyone's house was spared. I just need to find a new favorite location to take photos. And gather all of the important papers together in one place so we're prepared for something like this in the future.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday: The Valentine Edition

I'm still high on love this month. Even though I've fallen pitifully behind on my Joy of Love assignments. There are still, what, 12 more days in February? Still plenty of assignments left to photograph. I'm going to squeeze out every last ounce of the pink, the red, the frills and the ruffles.

We had our special family Valentine's celebration. It was fantabulous. If I can get my act together (aka... finish project extra tunics) I'll post about it soon. But I know some of you are wondering if I caved and bought that super sweet Bronco for BSD.

Wellllll....let's just say that BSD received this on Valentine's Day instead...
 Betsey Johnson nightie - TJMaxx (Originally $82. $10 on clearance!)
Shoes - TJMaxx (beautiful Italian leather. $15 on clearance!)
You can't walk out of Victoria's Secret with a pair of undies for the price I paid for both!

Was BSD disappointed? I don't think so. 

But...I did get a call on my cell phone from "Doug" telling me he knows I want his vintage Bronco. That he'd love to let me take it for a test drive. And...he's willing to 'entertain an offer.' Said he'll 'give me a good deal on it.' 

I wonder if Doug reads my blog. And if this picture is enough 'entertainment' to give me a realllly good deal. Stay tuned.

Check out what others wore last week here at the Pleated Poppy.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tunic or Not Tunic...

Today was the day. The tunics were due. At least the dawn's early light was welcoming.

 I had three sleeves left to set. I couldn't finish them last night. I was too tired. Plus, LB was at a party. BSD was at work. Leaving the Big Ballerina and I free for a dinner date. Just the two of us. This never happens. Three guesses where we went. And the first two don't count.

Did I get them done?

It's ok, BB. You can come out.

Phew! The Big Ballerina doesn't need to arabesque au naturel. And I'm happy to report...
 neither do the others.

I'm not going to lie, though. I had to call for backup. I was lost on those collars. Luckily, a friend came over Friday morning and squared me away. 

The best part of today was crossing the threshold into the costume room.  Oh boy, was it thrilling to be in there among the racks of tutus and tulle. It was intoxicating. 

So intoxicating, that I now have THREE MORE TUNICS TO SEW!

But, you know what? Next time I'm bringing my camera in with me...

Oh, and the sleeves and hem are unfinished. They wanted them left that way to tailor them to the girls. I didn't go all fancy with the pinking shears. ;)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ten on Ten: The Valentine Edition

February 10, 2011. Ten on Ten
BSD's birthday. Minus BSD. 
Snow day. Plus two ballerinas. 
Equals one LOOONNGG day.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Joy of Love: Gift From the Heart

BSD is the best gift giver. Not only is he extremely generous, but he puts so much effort into finding the perfect gift. And then he presents it in a special way. I remember one Valentine's Day after a romantic dinner, our server presented me with a little robin's egg blue box with a white ribbon. Yep, a coveted Tiffany's box. Inside was a gold heart locket. The locket now holds a picture of each of the ballerinas. I wear it often. The ballerinas love to open it and see their faces inside.

The most precious gift he ever gave me, though, was my Christmas gift about five years ago. We were searching the Electra site for a bicycle for the Big Ballerina's birthday. I clicked on this frilly, girly, limited-edition bicycle, and oohhed and ahhed over it for a minute before continuing on.

BSD tucked that moment away, and on Christmas morning I woke up to this under the tree...

I have to admit, I was a little irritated because we weren't supposed to spend any money on each other. I think we must have just spent a bundle on something for the house. We promised, "Nothing big."

But, I have so many wonderful memories wrapped up in this sweet cruiser. Every time I hop on I can't help but smile. Because BSD knew it would blow my socks off. And I feel loved.

For Valentine's Day this year, I WISH I could surprise BSD with this beauty. I know it would blow HIS socks off. Can't you just see him cruisin' to the beach in this little cutie?

With one of his retro longboards on top?

That Bronco is parked right along my daily route. I drive by it constantly. I don't know how many more times I can pass it without bringing it home.

Monday, February 7, 2011

In Over My Head

It seems like everyone has a talent. Something they're naturally good at. Maybe it's singing, or swimming, or selling. Everyone has "their thing." Right?

So how come I don't have a "thing?" I like a lot of "things." I ping around from "thing" to "thing." But nothing seems to stick. There isn't one "thing" that grabs me and holds on. Hence, the title of this blog.

One of the "things" I like to dabble in is sewing. I like the IDEA of sewing. I love seeing all the fabulous things people can whip up with a sewing machine. I can sew simple things like curtains. Things with a straight seam. I wish I was better at it.

So what did I do? I went ahead and volunteered to help with the costumes at the Big Ballerina's studio. I wrote on my volunteer form, "I can make....SIMPLE things. I'm good with the glue gun. But I don't think I'm capable of sewing beautiful costumes."

I guess reading is not the people-in-charge-of-the-costume-department's "thing." If it was, I surely would not have been sent home with this...
See that stack of white fabric on the right hand side of the Big Ballerina's sewing space? That is a stack of fabric that is supposed to be whipped up into six tunics. By Saturday. Tunics that require gathering, setting sleeves and elastic. No glue gunning required.

See that stack of sewing books on the left hand side of the Big Ballerina's sewing space? That is my attempt at sewing these tunics. Off to the library I went. It's what I do. I research. I gather. I procrastinate. I guess that's my "thing."

What can a person do who is good at researching, gathering and procrastinating? hmmm...maybe write a blog?

If you don't hear from me before Saturday, now you know why. And if the Big Ballerina dances naked in the upcoming Sleeping Beauty performance, you'll know why. Too bad they're not doing the Emperor's New Clothes.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Ones They Love...

One week down. I'm still cookin' on the Joy of Love assignments. I skipped Friday's assignment because I want to wait until BSD returns for that one. But Saturday's was "The Ones They Love." This was very easy for both of the ballerinas.

Meet Bunny.
Bunny was given to the Big Ballerina when she was born by my mom's boss. Out of all the stuffed animals BB had, Bunny was the one she latched onto. BB's name used to be embroidered across the bottom, but that, along with the stuffing in Bunny's left arm are now long gone.

I can still picture BB toddling down our street in San Diego dragging Bunny behind her. She never went anywhere without Bunny then. And even though she doesn't take her everywhere she goes anymore, Bunny is still the first thing she packs when she goes on a sleepover. I know I'll shed a few tears when she no longer needs her beloved companion by her side at night.

Meet "Bumpies"
Can you tell what it is? This is the Little Ballerina's most precious possession in the world. It is the bumpers from her crib. They have gone everywhere with LB since we removed them from her crib rails. They have been left behind in stores. And I've had to drive over an hour back to retrieve them. The Little Ballerina sleeps with it every night. Cuddles up to it in the car. And cries out for it when she's sad or hurt. Nothing calms her down like her precious bumpies. It even got her through her most recent trip to the dentist.

Bumpies is literally in tatters. I have sewn it dozens of times, but the fabric is completely threadbare. And bits of fluff can be found throughout the house. Time is running out for this loved one. I honestly don't know what will happen when it finally disintegrates. Hopefully it can hang on for a few more years. Or LB will be completely lost.

Friday, February 4, 2011

What She Wore: Then and Now...

I guess I suck at following the rules. Either that or I'm a brown-noser. Turns out today's Joy of Love assignment was What They Wear. I kinda did that on Wednesday. Oops! So, I either get a big fat goose egg. Or an A+. To make up for my lack of obedience I combined What They Wear with Then and Now for today's assignment.

The Big Ballerina started dancing a few weeks shy of her third birthday. If you could even call it dancing back then. She couldn't even gallop. She looked more like a gorilla than a racehorse as she hobbled across the floor. But the smile on her face. And the joy in her heart. Were undeniable.
BB is now one month shy of her 11th birthday. And still dancing. It hasn't been an easy road for her. If she wants this she's going to have to really work for it. Sometimes she does. And sometimes her head is off in the clouds. But the smile on her face is just as bright. And the joy in her heart is just as pure. So we continue.

Here is BB this evening. She is wearing a very special Christmas gift. Her first pair of pointe shoes. Being old enough and strong enough to finally go "on pointe" was like finally reaching out and grabbing that brass ring. Finally being good enough. Finally being...a Big Ballerina.

And the winner of the CSN giveaway is Mandy. Congratulations, Mama! Send me your email address and I'll get your gift card to you right away. Will you be buying something pink or blue with your prize?!??!

I tried to be all fancy and post the picture of the random org generator to show that this is legit, but I could NOT get it to copy. You'll just have to trust me.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Burly Surf Dude: Then and Now...

Today's Joy of Love theme is Then and Now. I love this theme. I really wanted to take some NOW pictures of BSD, but he's not here today. Even so, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to apply this theme to him so I am using a picture I took over the summer. I think it goes well with this THEN picture that an old girlfriend recently sent back to him.

It was ripped out of one of those old sticky-back photo albums. I guess she figured it was finally time to let him go? The top left-hand corner was torn, and the colors were all funky. CRAZY PINK. Which goes well with my Valentine theme. But even BSD was neon. So I tried to doctor it up a bit. I'm guessing he's about 16 here?

BSD has always been a surfer. He grew up in Southern California. And the way he tells it. He spent every day this way. At the beach. Surfing. Without sunscreen.

Living in Virginia now, he still spends every minute he can... At the beach. Surfing. With sunscreen.

When he can't get in the water, you can find him in his "surf shop" shaping boards. 

His hair may be a little darker. His face a little fuller. He may no longer live in sunny southern California. But Burly Surf Dude is definitely still that 16 year old surfer boy at heart.

I heart you, BSD! 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What They Wore Wednesday...

The Joy of Love assignment today was "how they look." You could interpret this any way you wanted, but since it's What I Wore Wednesday, I decided to combine the two. And since this workshop is about love I tried to play up the Valentine's aspect of the outfits they chose for school today when I was editing the photos.

For the Big Ballerina that meant trying to make the pink in her shirt pop.
top - Dillard's
jeggings - GapKids
Boots -

The Little Ballerina was actually a walking billboard for Valentine's Day today. Her shirt was decked out in hearts. Her skirt in frills. But the colors were subdued so we added in her umbrella since it was a rainy day here today. SEVENTY TWO DEGREES...but rainy. It was insane to have such a warm day in the sea of near freezing temps we've been experiencing this winter.
shirt, skirt, headband and leggings - GapKids (gotta love their 45% off sales!)
booties - Marshall's
umbrella - Dollar Tree

OK...and since this IS What I Wore Wednesday, I'll go ahead and post a picture of my outfit too. No fancy processing. Or background for that matter. But hey, I did wear pink too. And ruffles.
sweater and belt - JCrew
tee - Target
jeans - Lucky
necklace - local surf shop

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Joy of Love

It's February 1st! Whoohooo! I am so happy to have January behind me. It was a rough month. Plus, I love February. It's all about Valentine's Day. And hearts. And red and pink. All things girly. Sign me up.

Another reason to love February? The Joy of Love workshop started today. It's all about photographing the ones you love. And documenting a different "theme" each day. And it's free. Take pictures of my peeps? Learn something new about my camera? Sign me up.

Today's theme was "what they do." Of course, I wanted to photograph the Big Ballerina dancing. But today is the one day of the week she has off. So instead, I caught her doing the other thing that consumes the rest of her time.

The workshop is free. And fun. Anyone care to join me? It's not too late. I'd love to have a buddy. It's also not too late to enter the CSN giveaway.  Who couldn't use $25 of free stuff for your home?