Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Journal Topics: Treasured Memories

What memory do you treasure most?

I actually have many treasured memories; most of them involving a loved one.  The easiest way to list these would be to do one for each person.  This may be a long post!  So here they are, in no particular order.

Mom - I have many treasured memories of my mother, but my favorite one involves the two of us building a doll house for Hannah.  We spent weeks working on the house, using glue, wood, and paint to make a beautiful Christmas gift for the only little girl in the family.  When we were finished, we decorated the house with carpet and linoleum flooring, furniture, and pictures on the walls.  We put up wallpaper and stocked the pantry with tiny boxes and cans of food.  While we built, we talked, listened to music, sang together, and just had a nice time being together.  When I look back on that time, it really makes me smile.

Dad - My dad would take us to the beach when we were kids.  These trips were so special.  He would pack up all his fishing gear and we would pack a picnic and our bathing suits.  We brought massive towels to lie on in the sun and books to read when the fish were not biting.  My mother would put cokes in a cooler - we didn't usually have soda in the house, so this was a treat.  Whenever he caught a fish, we would squeal with delight (and a little bit of disgust because of how slimy they were) and watch while he took it off the hook and flipped it into the bucket.  At the end of the day, we would take the lantern and go look for flounder.  Sometimes we would get a few and they would go into the bucket too.  I remember how strange I thought they looked.  After that, we would pile into the car (which always smelled like fish because of all the catches of the day) and on the way home we would stop for ice cream.  Sunburned and tired, but filled with ice cream and memories, we made our way home.

Gina - Growing up with a sister created lots of memories.  Fixing each other's hair, sharing clothes, talking about boys, etc.  But one of my favorite memories of my sister happened only a few years ago, when I was single and feeling pretty lonely.  She took me out to her favorite pub and we spent the evening flirting with guys.  She introduced me to about five guys that night, none of whom I would have considered dating, but it was a bonding moment for us, and that meant a lot to me.

Jon - I have to say, I treasure every day I spend with this amazing man!  The first time we met, our first date, the first time we kissed - all are very special memories for me.  Not to mention the times we just sit on the couch with my head on his shoulder and his arm around me, watching TV and talking.  Or when he's sitting at his computer and I'm sitting at mine, and we are playing an online game together while in the same room!  Everything we do together is fun, even when it's not really a fun task.  Just yesterday we stained a piece of furniture that he built with my dad.  If I have to pick one particularly treasured memory, it would be the first time he said he loved me.  And every time after that!

Grandparents - All four of my grandparents are gone now and I regret not spending more time with them.  My most treasured memories with them are holidays - decorating for them and spending them at their homes.  We don't realize what we have in our grandparents when we are young, and since mine all passed away before I was really an adult, I never really appreciated the history, the stories, and the love they had. I still have the last Christmas gift my last grandparent (grandfather on mom's side) gave me.  We had Christmas at his house and the passed away on New Year's.  The gift was a Christmas candle holder, and I light a candle in it every year to remember him and my other grandparents.

Noah - What a special kid who is quickly turning into an amazing young adult!  I love him more than I can say.  My most cherished memories of Noah are those evenings when I would take him to dinner and a movie.  We both love comic book movies and since there have been so many of them in the last several years, we've always found something to go see.  He's so smart and funny.  I love spending time with him.  Of course with the addition of a girlfriend in the last year, I've seen less of him.  That makes me sad, but I know he has to grow up at some point.  He started high school yesterday.  I freaked out a little, I'll be honest!  I will also always treasure the two trips to Disney World with Noah, especially the most recent one.  We ditched everyone else in the afternoons and rode all the "fun rides" over and over!  It was awesome.  Taking the road trip with my parents to Niagara Falls, hanging out in the back seat with Noah, doing sock puppet shows to pass the time while the trees zoomed past the car windows, not a care in the world other than "are we there yet."  

Hannah - She's beautiful, sweet, and sassy.  I love just talking to her.  She just started 3rd grade and is the most grown up little girl I've ever known.  The night she saw her doll house for the first time, all finished and decorated, with little blonde dolls, was very special.  I also treasure the trip to Disney World last summer, when she met Snow White and her eyes brightened and she just smiled.  Watching her swim in the hotel pool with her brothers, splashing around in the water with her giant eyes and smile is a moment I'll never forget.

Kohl - Again, the Disney trip has to win this treasured memory contest.  Kohl loves elephants, so when he got to ride the Dumbo ride for the first time, I was so glad I was there!  Spending time with him is great because he's really starting to become who he is going to be.  He comes up with the craziest things to say sometimes.  We call them Kohlisms and they are just hilarious.

Chris - My best friend and constant source of support, Chris is always there when I need him.  Always ready with a quick word of advice or encouragement and of course, a smile.  I have a treasured memory of Chris, of sitting on the Orange Street pier something like 8 years ago, late at night, just talking about everything and anything.  We just sat there and talked forever.  I'm not sure I had ever had an experience like that before; just opening up to someone and talking to them about everything.  It was at that point that we became closer as friends and our relationship really turned a corner.  Rather than just being friends, we became something else.  I'm not even really sure how to define it.  Kindred spirits, perhaps?  I love our yearly trips to Birmingham to the Sidewalk Film Festival.  While I will most likely miss this year because of income-related issues, I can't wait to get back to it.  I miss spending quality time with my Chris and am looking forward to a time when I can do it again.

So many special people in my life and so many special memories.  It's a bit hard to really express all of them in a simple blog post.  But this was a great exercise, because it got me thinking about how much I care about all the people in my life and how much I enjoy spending time with them.  It reminds me of what is important - spending time with loved ones and making treasured memories that will last a lifetime.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

From idea to reality

I've been thinking a lot about creativity and productivity, as well as individuality in what we do as people.  I've come to the conclusion that I really like making things with my own hands.  I like tailoring things to fit my exact vision of what it should look and feel like.  It's exciting to me to design and make something, to see a finished product come out of what was first just an idea.

Writing is like this in a big way - to fashion an entier novel or a short story out of words is a very exciting activity for me.  I've gotten back to that lately and it feels great! 

Knitting and crocheting also fulfill this need to create.  Making blankets, wash cloths, clothing (haven't actually attempted clothing yet, but I will soon) and other items is a very satisfying practice.  Not only does it provide an outlet for creativity, especially with colors and patterns, but it also gives me something productive to do while watching TV or having conversations with people.  This is good, considering I am trying to keep from biting my nails (a nervous habit that returns when I'm under stress.)

I would like to try sewing.  I think I could actually be pretty good at it, and making clothes seems like a fun and creative way to pass the time.  Quilting is another thing I would like to try.

I did a fun experiment in mosaic tiles and would love to do that again.  It was an awesome experience and I can see myself doing mirror frames, table tops, and picture frames to use in my own home decor. 

I would like to try beading.  Making necklaces and earrings would be a great creative exercise with the added advantage of always having something that matches every outfit!  I'll think about that more and figure out a way to get started.

I love watching other people discover this same trait in themselves - the need to create.  Jon has it, too.  He paints and draws.  He's also an awsome crocheter - and now he's going to kill me for revealing that online!  Last weekend, we spent a day with my parents.  My mom and I cooked and gossiped and Jon and my dad spent the day in my dad's wood shop building a side table for the apartment.  Jon designed it and it's going to look awesome when he is finished with it.  He keeps telling me how much fun he had working on it - even though it was an extremely hot and humid day.  I'm pretty sure he's going to want to go back this weekend to continue working on it.  Which is nice because I get some mommy time that way! 

I think that's one reason I'm so eager to get this children's theatre started.  Theatre is like that too - you create a reality from an idea (the script)  How it is interpreted and carried out is up to the team involved.  I love that process - going from idea to reality.  It's just amazing to watch something unfold and become what it is going to be.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Colony Central: The Colony: Discovery Channel

I don't normally like reality TV, but I really am enjoying this season of The Colony. It's most likely because I'm sort of obsessed with post-apocolyptic scenarios. I have been since I read Alas, Babylon and it made me start really thinking about what would happen in the wake of such a disaster. How would I react? Would I survive? Would my skills be useful in this situation? Or would I just sit down on the ground and cry? It's an interesting question and it has been very interesting watching these colonists explore their own reactions on this show.

Colony Central: The Colony: Discovery Channel

Oil Spill News

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. -- BP finished pumping fresh cement into its blown-out oil well Thursday, virtually assuring there is no longer a chance of oil leaking into the environment, according to company and federal officials.

Locally, officials have started removing boom from the water and are planning to further scale back cleanup operations as the amount of visible oil at sea and on shore has been reduced to nearly nothing following the capping of the well three weeks ago.


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Journal Topics: Red

Tell me about things that are red.

What an interesting and kind of odd topic!  Things that are red.  First thing that comes to mind is food.  There are lots of delicious red foods, including fruits and veggies - and most definately Italian food!

Red is a very dramatic color.  Fire engines, blood, eyes that have been crying - these are all red.  Tragedy seems to emanate from the color - but that's not all. 

Red is the color of roses and of love.  Valentine's Day stuff is always red or pink (which, of course, is just red with some white mixed in!)  Red is life and death.

I don't normally wear red - certain shades of it pretty much turn my whole face red.  There are a few things that I do wear that have some red in them.  Oh, and I own a few pairs of red shoes.  Sexy, right?  So that's another thing red is - sexy!  In shoes or cars.  Or lingere...

Red is the color of anger.  That's always a fun one, right?  When someone is "seeing red" you should probably stay out of their way! 

I find it interesting that so many emotions (seemingly conflicting, but maybe not) are associated with the color red.  It has made me really examine my own feelings about the color and its connotations.