Monday, June 28, 2010

I am a Delicate Flower

Delicate Flower


I never should have mentioned that I was training for a 5K.

Because Murphy and his stupid Law hate me.

I mean, honestly. We increased the time spent running this week - that's what you do when you're training - you's kind of the point. If you do the same thing all the time, your body is quite content to stay right there and never progress beyond that point. So, I expected some soreness, because that's what happens when you increase what you are doing...your muscles get sore.

So...they were sore when I posted about it on Thursday. So sore that I actually took Friday off from running to give them an extra day of recovery - and we ran on Saturday morning, instead, which SEEMED fine.

Until Saturday night, when my ankles started screaming obscenities at me. So, I called Dr. Linda and she said to ice them and take ibuprofen and try an epsom salt soak, which I did on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

But on Sunday evening, my right ankle swelled up to the middle of my shin and it hurt to touch the inside ankle bone and climbing and descending stairs started to become ridiculously hard and (the burning! the burning) I cried a little and called Dr. Linda back and she said to get to an orthopedist ASAP, just to make sure nothing was torn.

So I did.

And nothing is torn, thank goodness.

But I've got strained tendons and ligaments and a no-running-for-a-minimum-of-three-weeks order.

I can, and am encouraged to, walk, though - so I'll be getting my 30 minutes in at the track while the boys maybe I won't be too far behind. I built in a little cushion to my schedule just in case something happened.

Because I am a delicate flower.

Friday, June 25, 2010

On Guesting and Commenting and Other Random Bits


Happy Friday, my friends! I'm guest posting over at Indie Fixx today - I'd love it if you stopped by and read about what a good road trip can do for you...and leave a comment and say hi, too!


Speaking of comments - I've had to turn comment moderation on for the time being. I'm getting an awful lot of evil spam, even with the captcha, and although they've mostly been encouraging ("it's never too late to learn!" "you did a good job!") they really tick me off. I don't want you to have to deal with scrolling past them, so for now, I'll be moderating.


We all went to see Toy Story 3 yesterday. Holy moly. I cried. It's so good, people. Probably my favorite one yet.


Derek lost a tooth on Tuesday night. The tooth fairy didn't show up. She didn't show up Wednesday night, either. Because she kept forgetting to take care of business. But she did manage to get it done last night. Better late than never, right?

Mythical character role play. FTW!


I've slowed down a bit with my forty-one reasons, but I'll pick back up again this weekend, I hope. I've got 21 left to do, and I need to have them finished and put into book format before July 11. I've been compiling the book as I go along, so I'm very hopeful I can finish at least one creative thing this summer...


Speaking of not drawing, I actually HAVE been drawing, here and there. I jut haven't managed to put together anything worth showing, yet. But, we'll just say that flamingos aren't too fond of croquet, okay?

Cryptic! Woot!


Please excuse this post. I'm testing BlogPress. Again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Red, White and Blue


Good morning, people! We're still living on the buzz generated by that USA-Algeria World Cup game yesterday. We may have done a wee bit of screaming and jumping up and down and chanting USA! USA! there in the 91st minute of play.

And by we, I mean me. The boys were excited, too.

I mentioned on Tuesday that I had 95 days until my first 5K in over a decade. Dr. SmartyPants and I have been working through the couch-to-5K program for the past three weeks, and so good. We used to run back before we had children and real jobs and all the other things that seem to creep in between you and exercise.

In the year before I met Dr. SmartyPants, I would wake up around four in the morning, three days a week to work out with the rowing club - either at the gym or on the water. Then, I would go to classes at the university for most of the day, before heading back to the gym to teach an aerobics class. On the other two days of the work week, I'd teach water aerobics classes in the morning and run with the rowing club in the afternoon.

And I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day...which, in smoker-speak, translates to a pack and a half or two.

I weighed three pounds.

Now? I go running three times a week for thirty minutes. I don't smoke. I'm more tired.

And I weigh considerably more than three pounds.


I'm a lot nicer than I was back then...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Counting Days


161 days until we move back to Knoxville
95 days until my first 5K in over a decade
68 days until my birthday
40 days until I see Melinda again
34 days until I get my hair done...and it's WAY overdue
12 days until my feet curl into the sand and surf at the Outer Banks
0 days until the pool finally opens daily

So...that means we're off to the pool today. I hope you all manage to stay cool, wherever you's going to be a scorcher here!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Capital's Capitol

Capital BW

 Good grief.

English is the weirdest language.

This is the capitol building, in the United States' capital city.

It is a capital idea to visit the capitol when you are in the capital. But please, do not make the capital error of bringing food items into the capitol and trying to get them through security. While it isn't a capital offense, the capitol police do count their diligence as their capital asset.

You should probably capitalize many of those instances of capitol, but my capital characteristic is one of laziness in the area of capitalization.

Have a capital weekend, my friends...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

More Camera Love


For the past four years, I've had an Olympus E-500 digital SLR camera. Before that, I had a point and shoot Olympus that took really nice photos, and that's what prompted me to go for the Olympus DSLR, but while Olympus excels at the point and shoot game, I have never been satisfied with the E-500. I always felt like I was always wrestling with the camera to get a good image. I even tried renting a lens last summer (a very expensive quality lens) to see if it would help me create what I wanted to create with the camera, but I was still disappointed.

So, for the last year I've been researching and reading and lurking about camera forums and dreaming and sighing and generally being annoying to my family by complaining every time I took a picture. I thought I wanted a Nikon D90, and I talked about it so much that even my children walked around talking about the D90, as if it were the holy grail.

But then Canon released the T2i. Canon! My film SLR is a late 1990s Canon Rebel. Dr. SmartyPants has an old Canon AE-1. I love Canon. And so.

I have my new Canon. And so far, I adore it. It captures light so much more easily than the Olympus ever did, even with the kit lens, and the photo I've posted shows that (at least to me) better than anything else. You see - Derek has these amazing green eyes, flecked with amber, but my Olympus always made it seem as if he had brown eyes, and muddy brown eyes, at that.

Now, there's nothing wrong with brown eyes. Dr. SmartyPants has brown eyes. But his brown eyes are rich, deep, chocolate eyes that make my knees go a bit wobbly and my face get a bit flushed. That's not the brown that I'm talking about. Derek's eyes always came out looking like a little mud puddle on the side of a soccer field.

But this camera...this camera give us this...

Green. Flecked with amber. Dancing with light.

Thank you, Canon. Thank you for showing off my boy's gorgeous eyes. I love you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Great Big Bundle of Potentiality

Blueberry Morning_2

Do you ever feel like just anything could happen? Like you're sitting on a see-saw on top of pile of possibilities, and no matter which direction you go, something new and different and scary and exciting is waiting right there?

I'm feeling like that today. I'm a little jittery and on edge and maybe just a bit irritable with it.

Sorry, kiddos.

I don't have any idea WHY I feel that way. That's the weird thing. I just keep looking out the window for a sign, but it's raining and kind of hard to see anything, let alone a sign. I am looking for promise and possibility and opportunity everywhere I go.

But mainly I just see dirty laundry and dishes and dolls action figures piled on the floor. And dog hair. And ewwww...what IS that?


I will be drawing today. I'll forget the laundry. I'll use paper plates. I'll sweep the dolls action figures under the rug. There's a painting in me, trying to get out - that's what that feeling is, I'm sure of it.


I could just take a nap.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Joshua Boost

Have I mentioned that I love my new camera?

Big. Big. Love.

Monday, June 14, 2010

On Cameras and Photoshop

orange daylily

My sweet Dr. SmartyPants surprised me with a new camera last week. I've only been, er, "hinting" for, well, ever. So, I have spent the last few days completely enthralled with it, and ignoring pretty much everything else.

Including Dr. SmartyPants.

Then, today...I installed Photoshop. I figure the Smart One and I can reconnect in another couple of years.  I mean, what's a couple of years out of a lifetime, right?

Sorry, honey.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Shadow Fountain

Fountain shadow

On the way to dinner - a nice sparkling fountain, a silly family and and iPhone.

Really. What more does a girl need?

For more sparkling shadows, visit HeyHarriet! and click on the links!

Friday, June 11, 2010

SoFoBoMo. Yeah. That is What I Said.

41 Reasons

Because I am a joiner. Because I love a project. Because I have a new camera...

I'm participating in Solo Photo Book Month, or SoFoBoMo. What is SoFoBoMo, you ask? Well - it's a dash to create a complete Solo Photo Book within a 31 day period, containing a minimum of 35 photographs. This isn't just taking 35 pictures in 31 days - it's actually compiling them into a book that could, ostensibly, be sold at the end of the project.

Linda told me about it, and I think she's going to participate as least I hope so.

So - for my project, I'll be shooting 41 photos (overachieving nerd syndrome...I know.) I'm 41 years old - I'll be 42 in August, so I thought that finding 41 reasons to celebrate life would be a great way to countdown to 42, and to remember all the wonderful things that having another year on this planet's a celebration of the myriad ways our lives are enriched every day, and how when viewed through the proper lens, ordinary things become extraordinary.

I hope you'll join me on the journey - I'll be posting daily at my project blog, and would love to see you there, cheering me on.

After all - what fun is a journey without friends?

♥ Diahn

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

On the Kindness of Strangers

Ready for World Cup

We've got World Cup fever all up in heah. Games start Friday, but in my guys' hearts, they're already playing. It's made even more sweet by their soccer team's first victory on Sunday.'s been a long season.

Anyhow - we celebrated the win by letting the boys pick out new soccer balls - they, of course, picked World Cup replica balls. Thankfully, they were on sale.

Except for the one that cost $150.

So we didn't buy that one.

They've picked their teams on their own - Derek's rooting for Mexico, Joshua for Brazil, Dr. SmartyPants for Italy. I'm rooting for the USA. Because I feel guilty if I don't. Even though I know they won't win. I'm an American, dang it.

So, anyway - for the last couple of days, we've spent as much time as we could reasonably afford playing soccer in the park. And Monday, one of those rare, random, happy events occurred that leaves me feeling all warm and fuzzy about my fellow human beings.

If you've read here long know that's rare, indeed. Me liking humans, that is.

The guys were kicking their new balls into the soccer net frame, when a complete stranger on his lunch break happened by. The ball headed right toward him. He had his hands full with his brown paper bag lunch and newspaper, so he did what anyone would do. He dropped his lunch and paper.

And started playing soccer with my kids.


He played goalie for at least 20 minutes, while the boys did their very best Beckham impressions.

And when I say he played with them, I don't mean in a kind of half-interested way. He was fully committed...


You can even see his lunch over there on the side of the soccer goal.

My kids were fully elated...


So thanks, Mr. Soccer man. Way to brighten up a gorgeous day even further...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Fetch Me a Mimosa, Please.


I had one of these trees outside my bedroom window when I was growing up. It was a perfect match to the color of my walls - mimosa pink. My mom painted the room in a pale pink and then used a feather duster to splash darker pink and white on the walls.

Gosh, I miss the 70s.

Anyway. Every time I see one of these in bloom, I think of that room. It had a Sears and Roebuck canopy bed, and Scott Baio and Erik Estrada pictures on the wall. There was a Barbie Dream House in the corner. I used to hide behind the sliding doors in the closet with a flashlight and make movies.

That's not weird, is it?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Dear BP. You Suck.

Brown Pelican

There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.

Robert LyndThe Blue Lion and Other Essays
Irish essayist and nationalist (1879 - 1949)

I painted this pelican as part of The Spirit of the Gulf Challenge, to which I was invited by Dan. (Thanks, Dan!) Suzanne McDermott began the challenge as a way to channel our creativity into a giant outpouring of love onto the Gulf of Mexico and the inhabitants, environments and livelihoods that are threatened by the never-ending stream of crude oil pouring from BPs Deepwater Horizon oil well.

It's been so frustrating to watch this slow-motion disaster take place over the last six weeks. The Gulf has always been my beach, up until I got married and we moved far away from it. I grew up taking trips there as a child. When I was in college, it was a three hour drive away - close enough to go and stay for a day, if I got up early enough and was willing to drive back, sunburned and exhausted.

And I was always willing enough.

My favorite sight to see is the brown pelicans gliding across the water, searching for a meal. On land, they look so awkward and silly, but when they spread those glorious wings out and soar across the whitecaps...when they spot the perfect fish and dive under the emerald green waters...they are majestic and perfect.

Other birds are threatened by this massive spill, as well. These beautiful animals have no control over the situation - all they can do is sit back and wait and watch.

Just like the fishermen. And hotel owners. And restaurant owners. And the lives of every single person who lives in the states where the oil will wash ashore.

And the lives of every single person who eats seafood.

It is so far-reaching that we cannot even begin to understand how far-reaching it is.

I love the idea behind this challenge - to call attention to the beauty that exists on the Gulf Coast, and I would like to invite any of you visual artists to participate as well, but I would like for you to take it a step further...for instance, wordsmiths - paint us a picture with your keyboard.

There's a whole list of charity organizations that are helping clean up birds and beaches, helping defray costs for families directly financially affected by the spill, helping boost the spirits of people living in the nightmare of watching their way of life disappear, and keeping the disaster on the top of their senators and congressmen's to-do list.

Let's don't sit this one out, peeps. We have an incredible voice.

It's time to shout.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Say What?


My baby said the f-word yesterday.

Wait. I need to wail that one.

"Mah BAY-bee said the EFF word yesterdaaaaaayyyyyy."

In his defense, he read it at the library. More specifically, on a sign near the bathrooms on the outside of the library. It was a sign about that area being a no-smoking zone, and someone had expressed his or her feelings about that law in the only way they knew how - with a sharpie marker and a choice word.

But I tell you - hearing that word come out of my darling boy's eight year old mouth was like a knife through my heart. It was like hearing it come out of this mouth:


So we had a little talk there at the library bathrooms about that word, and how we don't use it in our family. And I skirted the issue of what it means, because that was Derek's first question...sorry, kid. That's a fifth grade question.

And I'm just not ready yet.

Later in the day, the boys were playing in the living room and I HEARD IT AGAIN. Let me explain this one... Joshua likes word play. One of his favorite things to do is to speak in acronym. He'll say, for instance, "Hey Mom, I'm going O.S.I.T.F.Y!" Then I get to translate. "Hey Mom, I'm going OutSide In The Front Yard!"

Yes, it's a lot of work for me, but it is funny, and he has yet to stump me.

So. Anyway. They are playing with Legos, and there's a battle raging under a chair, and Joshua says, "It's an F.U.C! Get it? A Fight Under the Chair! A F**K!" I looked up at him just as his head whips up from under the chair, his eyes grow twice their normal size, and he starts apologizing. "I didn't...I won't...I was an accident...I'm so sorry..."


We talked again, I may have threatened the loss of his remaining stuffies, and he was horrified and so far today there haven't been any slips. I guess I should be thankful that he read it on a sign rather than learning it from me. It's not a word I use often, although there was a day, way back when, when it was my favorite curse word EVAH. Now I limit myself to an occasional "dang." (And that's only used ironically...)

For me, the f-word creeps in when I watch the news and see the mess in the gulf and the lack of response. I may not say it out loud, but I often think it, as an adverb, an adjective and a noun to describe the effort, the mess and the oil company.

But now, Mark is heading down to the gulf to straighten everyone out, so maybe I can shelve that particular expletive for a while.

Godspeed, Mark...kick some, uh...tails, yeah, tails!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Soy un Perdedor


I have so many things to say. And do. And draw. And paint.

And yet.

I'm down to one diet coke a day, and the lack of caffeine is painful...especially right after lunch, when my brain shuts down and I spend the next couple of hours pleading with it to stay awake...just a little while longer...

And then I take a nap. And there may be a little drool involved.

My Mama Dee used to take "half-a-naps." She'd lie down on the couch, having just scrubbed the kitchen floor, close her eyes for 15 minutes and then pop up refreshed and ready to tackle weeding the back garden or cooking supper for 30 people. "I'm gonna go take a half-a-nap, Diahn. Y'all stay inside until I'm up," she'd say.

My naps are not half-a-naps. They are full-a-naps. There's dreaming involved. And the aforementioned drooling. And they are longer than 15 minutes. By a lot.

I'm just thankful my boys know how to entertain themselves. I keep waiting for the day when I wake up with a sharpie marker moustache, and their lives end as they know them. It could get ugly.

I hope that when my withdrawal period is over, I'll be back to my usual antics. I have many literary birds to stack up, people.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

How-To Guide: The Food Service Edition

Good morning, students. By students, I mean you, Matthew...and any of your twenty-something-I-am-a-medical-student-and-therefore-much-smarter-than-any-of-you-people counterparts.

Ludicrous? I Concur.

Today, I would like to help you all understand the correct way to serve a table of lovely women who are out away from their spouses and children for the evening. It's very important that you do this correctly. These ladies work hard. They deserve a night out free of pretentious young whippersnappers eager to prove their worth by belittling them.

Before we get started, I should explain one very important thing about those ladies...

Girl's Night Out

They are the ones paying for the meal. And the tip. Please remember that.

Now then. Are you ready? Get out your pens and paper, and let's take notes, shall we?

  1. If you aren't asked about the wine list, don't feel a need to offer a comment. Say something like, "very good, ma'am." Or maybe try a "right away, ma'am." Please don't volunteer your qualifications as a sommelier and go on to to tell everyone how disastrous their choices are. If you truly are the sommelier, try to just have good wines on the menu and shut up about it, okay? 
  2. When someone orders a particular kind of beer, feel free to use the advice in number one, above. Your comment that you are a beer snob implies that her choice is a poor one. Given that there were only five varieties of beer on the menu, and that three of them started with "Bud," I'm not sure you are in the best position to judge. Further - if you are offering suggestions as to kinds of beer to try, and you don't actually serve them at your restaurant - it's just annoying.
  3. Don't talk so much. While we are all compassionate and kind women, we really don't care how hard your human anatomy class is. If we wanted to hear whining children complaining about their schoolwork, we could have all stayed home.
  4. Please don't lecture. If you ask someone if they'd like a salad, and they say "no," don't feel that you should caution that person that eating her leafy greens is a healthy choice. Are you kidding me? I'm a 41 year old mother of two. I know all about eating my leafy greens. I invented eating leafy greens. That's all I eat. Give me my freaking crawfish pasta and begone, you pretentious little turd dear boy.
  5. Respond to questions with appropriate answers. If someone happens to ask upon what their delicious goat cheese is placed, and you answer "toast," it seems a bit condescending. We realize it is toast. We've probably even made toast at some time in our various careers. Perhaps a better answer would be, "sourdough bread that has been lightly toasted," or "a nice artisan wheat bread that was placed on the grill for a moment to bring out its nutty flavor." 
  6. Don't assume we're simple. If someone wants to keep her fork, please don't remind her that she has another fork to use. Maybe she doesn't like the other fork. You don't know. Maybe she just neglected to put the fork on the plate in time before you snatched it out from underneath her and now you're calling attention to the fact that she's holding a fork in mid-air for no good reason. Some might call that rude and inappropriate. I call it minus 5%. 

    What the Fork?
  7. Please just go away. We aren't there to talk to you. I see that the restaurant is almost empty, but please, please, please stop talking to me. Please. I don't care that you've surveyed 600 of the 1000 beers available at that restaurant in Memphis. Crystal doesn't care that you're working on a full-body tat and that you fly to San Diego once a month for fill-ins. Marie doesn't want to hear you expound on the multitudinous qualities of capers. We are there to talk to each other. And you aren't that cute.

  8. Pharmaceutical pens are just pens with logos on them. Really. See - here's what happens. The pharmaceutical marketing people order a bunch of pens and they have them customized with their own logo. They aren't magical pens. You can get the exact same pens in a bank. Only those pens have bank logos on them. Please just shut up about the pens. We weren't going to steal them anyway. We're grown women. We have our own pens. If you'd like, I can point you to a website where you can order your own pens just like them. Customized with your own ludicrousness. 
  9. Don't say "ludicrousness." Seriously, just don't. Especially when you follow up by explaining to us that it comes after "I concur," in the dictionary. It doesn't make you sound smart. It does make you sound like an ass. 
  10. When taking a picture of a group, be careful what you say. For instance, mentioning that you're taking the picture while we are all looking up at you because that helps to even out any sags and wrinkles is probably not the wisest course of action. That, of course, implies that we needed help in that area, AND EVEN IF WE DID, are you seriously going to say that to someone? Just take the picture, pat yourself on the back for minimizing the age indicators and shut up, already.

So. I think ten is plenty, don't you? After all, if you're still struggling after all that quality advice, I'm not sure that food service is a wise choice for you. Matthew...if you happen to find this article, I want you to know I'm writing it for your benefit. You see - I walk in a restaurant with a percentage that I want to give as a tip in my mind. The things the server does or doesn't do either increases or decreases that amount.

You got less than half of what I would normally tip.

Ladies...I enjoyed our night out so much, despite the constant interruptions. Next time, let's just sit at the bar...

Olive St. Bistro

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

There and Back Again


I left here eight days ago. Since then, I've...

  • driven 2400 miles
  • visited with parents and nieces and nephews and in-laws and great nieces and great nephews
  • and best friends
  • and new friends


  • driven with the top down on gorgeous sunny days
  • driven with the top up through thunderous storms
  • sang at the top of my lungs
  • marveled at the quiet


In other was a wonderful trip. I'm exhausted. I have so much to tell you that it will take me the rest of the week. Tomorrow I'll be sharing with you a special How-To edition.

And it has to do with this guy:

Ludicrous? I Concur.

Trust me. You don't want to miss this one.

But for now...I have much unpacking to do.