Monday, May 31, 2010

Fire Music
Play lists. You folks with IPods probably got about a million playlists, one to suit every mood and celebrate every happening. I don't own an IPod since I am not really an appreciator of music. I am the girl who shouts, "Oh! I like this song" when she stumbles upon a recognizable tune while setting the stereo to scan.
About once a year, I put together a compilation of tunes that speak to me. I've done Halloween themed CD's for our Halloween Hooplas of yesteryear. The last couple of years, I've done music compilations that serve as creative stimulus packages for myself and hopefully for my friends I share them with.
This year, I discovered Pandora, an online music streaming site. You pick a seed song, and it plays music based on that and later your preferences. Being the pitiful excuse for a fan that I am, I all of sudden started discovering who performs all these songs that I have always liked. Thus, the genesis of this year's compilation. They are all a re-discovering of music I've always liked but didn't know anything about it.
As a fun aside, I decided to hand-doodle all the CD labels. It is a relatively short creative project which I can do while the kids are eating lunch or pretending to nap.
Here's a list of what is on this year's CD. Watch out! It's feisty music! I find I split my creative time between listening to musical angst and classic country. This year's hits are all grit and grime.
  • Bring Me to Life / Evanescence
  • Harder to Breathe / Maroon 5
  • It's Been Awhile / Staind
  • Hanging by a Moment / Lifehouse
  • Unwell / Matchbox Twenty
  • You Know My Name / Chris Cornell
  • Right Here / Staind
  • Heavy / Collective Soul
  • Cumbersome / Seven Mary Three
  • How You Remind Me / Nickelback
  • Push / Matchbox Twenty
  • When I'm Gone / 3 Doors Down
  • Extreme Ways / Moby
  • Inside Out / Eve 6
  • Wonderwall / Oasis
  • Save Tonight / Eagle-Eye Cherry

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Heebee Jeebees
It's a been a long while since I got the heebee jeebees. You know that panicky-get-off-of-me sort of feeling? Well, Friday I had a refresher course in what it feels like to be totally wigged out.
Joseph and I went to the old cemetery by the Hattiesburg Library. I don't really know anything about the cemetery, but I knew it has some really old grave markers in it and was anxious to get some pictures for my photo scavenger hunt.
I am neither sentimental or spooked about graves. Of course, I think they deserve care and respect, but I consider graves vacantly occupied. Nothing I am doing up here is going to bother anyone down there. As far as safe places on this earth, I think the cemetery ranks pretty high. After all, there all the bad guys are dead.
We went about the markers, snapping pictures. There were markers from the 1800's.
The cement slab over one grave was broken through. I walked over to look in. The grave was filled with water.
Joseph was behind me and said: "Is that a snake?" There was something inside the grave moving around very slowly. I took a step back. I squinted really hard.
Joseph: "That is a snake. Look!"
Me: "No. It's a glove. " I squinted closer...peered in.
Joseph: "That is no glove. It's moving."
Me: (Clarity) "It's a Blue Bell ice cream wrapper."
Joseph: "Moving?!"
Then he realized that there was water in the grave and the wrapper was floating. At first glance, it did look like a snake coiling around.
I decided to perch on the grave next door to get a picture of the hole into the grave. Maybe it would prove to be good fodder for a future story.
As I sat clicking away, Joseph said: "You know. The grave you are sitting on is the same age as the one that fell in. You might want to get off of there."
Joseph had struck a primal nerve. In a split second, I had imagined myself splashing down through shattered concrete into a water filled grave. I was up instantly....hopping and wriggling around. Whenever the heebee jeebees hit, they go straight into your spine. Nothing short of a few full-body convulsions will shake them out.
After this incident, Joseph and I both had our own regrets. Mine: I had not gotten more pictures of the hole in the grave. Joseph: He had not gotten any video of me hopping around the graveyard.

Photo Scavenger Hunt: Conclusion
After a Photographic Festivus on Friday, I feel like I have now completed the photo scavenger hunt. I got to take lots of fun pictures in Downtown Laurel and Downtown Hattiesburg.
I learned a few things from this experience:
  • I have yet to learn the limits of my camera phone
  • Lighting is extremely important
  • I love doors, door knobs, and windows
  • I could take pictures all day long and just be ok with that
  • My thumb is my photographic nemesis
  • Black and white photos make me feel happy
  • Most creatures don't understand English phrases like "Stand still" or "Look this way"
In usual Kay style, I overdid and now have too many pictures to post on my blog. So, I invite you to see them at my Scavenger Hunt Album at Picasa.
Hope you've been inspired to play! I would love to see what you discovered through your lens.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Emma: "Evy, why do you like to wear dresses all the time? Are you wanting to be attractive?"
Evy: "I think dresses are so pretty."
Emma: "If it is about being attractive, being attractive is more about what's in your heart."

Emma: "Can I ride in the wagon on the way to the sewing machine shop?"
Me: "No, Emma. You won't be in your car seat."
Emma: "But, Momma, I've never done this before. Just hook the wagon to the back of the van. It would be so exciting."
Me: "It would be exciting, but your momma would probably be arrested."
Emma: "I will be very safe. I will hold on so tight."
Me: "No."
Emma: *pout*

Photo Scavenger Hunt, Cont.
Somehow, my favorite picture from yesterday's hunt didn't make it to my blog. This one is of my Uncle Robert's and my dad's old truck when they were styling around in their youth.
This picture makes me want to write a story.

Things Learned while Picnicking at the Lake
  • You can feed a family of five on a single chicken biscuit from Vic's.
  • Swinging an oversized plastic bat? I've still got it.
  • Water hyacinths may be the scariest plant on the planet.
  • Kids prefer the deep end.
  • Grandpas make picnics better.
  • Nothing moves slower than a kid who doesn't want to leave the lake.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Photo Scavenger Hunt
I am on a photo scavenger hunt! My journaling group is doing this for an inspiration gathering project. Maybe you want to give it a try, too! I would love to see what you find.
On the list of things to photograph: wood, plants, hand-made, creatures, pattern texture, man-made, metal, and letters. The goal is to photograph 3 or more of each of these items and share the pics on your blog or photo sharing site.
Here are some of my pictures I took today on our woodland walk.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It Is Really Done
Oh, joy! My Emma picture is done!!! Thanks to the input of the Purveyors of Art, I now have a finished portrait I am very proud of. I am even officially removing the the question mark from the end of the title: Emma.
step ball change....back step...shuffle, shuffle, hop...turn...and lunge
Happy Dance done!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The MS Gulf Coast Is Still the Place to Be

A Feeling of Completeness Is Washing Over Me
I worked some more on my Emma drawing for my next class. I shaded the hat and worked more on the hair. I'm seeing the end.
Of course, I am sure my teacher will be able to show me some subtle and not-so-subtle changes that will really make this picture look finished. For now, I am very happy with my Emma rendition.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Quote of the Day
There is only one quote from today. How can this one be topped? Evy, you are an example to us all.

Evy: "I am what I want to be."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Quotes of the Day

I was discussing the new workout routine and the accompanying achey parts with my dad. As I sit down on his couch, I wince.
My dad says: "Now you know how your Daddy feels when he sits down."
My reply: "I'm trying to get a head start on being old."

After a lengthy, laugh fest between Evy and Simon using twin-speak and copious silliness, Emma says: "We got to teach Simon and Evy to say real words."

After a fun outing with the kids and returning home way past bedtime, I say: "Let's not loose it here at the end. Lose it or loose it either one."

Me to Emma: "If your daddy tries to give you a hard time, just wiggle that remaining front tooth in front of him."
Joseph to Emma: "Don't do that. I'll faint."

Some Great Things About Driving in a Torrential Rain
  • Watching runoff geiser out of the drainpipes.
  • Using my flashers.
  • Pretending to be in a submarine, complete with pinging noises.
  • Having the confidence to know the road is there, even when I cannot see it.
  • Knowing there will be fish in the backyard when I get home.
  • Making mini-sunamis as I drive through giant puddles in the road.
  • Taking my time.
  • Being simultaneously sleepy and alert.
  • Switching to the warp speed setting on the windshield wipers.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Unanswered Questions
  • Will my body ever be a match for my enthusiasm?
  • How can a little boy be listening but not receiving?
  • How much of my life am I willing to loose to Civilization?
  • When I say "Be patient" to the kids, who am I really talking to?
  • Why do I love grapefruit so very much?
  • Is the music too loud when the compressions from the speaker affect the rhythm of your breathing?
  • When a couple of kids turn a sandbox into a pool, how do you get the sand out of their hair?
  • How many little wooden boxes are too many?
  • Will Evy ever be able to finish eating without leaving a debris field?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dear Ms. Lovelace,
Thank you for your generous spirit. You secretly helped pay for our groceries while my husband was grocery shopping with the kids. When he realized what you had done, he was so dumb struck he didn't know what to do or say.
Now, of course, he wishes he had met you and thanked you personally.
In case we don't cross paths again, know that your random act of kindness was sincerely appreciated. We are inspired to continue your generosity and repeat the kindness you have shown us to someone we have not yet met.
Thank you again. Your gesture was worth many times more to us than the monetary sacrifice you made.

A-Ha Moments
"The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,
but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil." Proverbs 15:28
During devotion this morning, we discussed the above Proverb. As what is usually the case, I just choose a random bit from the Bible. Preparation isn't one of my strong points.
After discussing what the words like "righteous" and "gushes" mean. We started to formulate what the passage was telling us.
I steered our interpretation to reflect how what we say affects those around us. Do our words encourage others or do they make others feel badly?
Evy said, "Oh! We talked about this yesterday!" ("Yesterday" in Evy context means any time in the past.)
Simon piped up with, "I called that man fat at the track."
Simon and Evy are learning! I am not sure I noticed that before. Up till now, I thought my words had been having no permanent effect. We've been going through a blurt phase with both of them. Teaching honesty and sensitivity simulataneously is a parenting hurdle. It is a difficult concept to master. After all, people live their entire lives and never achieve a balance in this respect.
Today, I realized that Simon and Evy are getting it. I'll count that as three A-Ha moments, one for each of them and one for me. This passage was one of our first blessings of the day.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Picnic in Pictures

Now, Even I Am Impressed
I have never felt called to do portraits. I've actually shunned them, unless stick figures with loop-d-loops for hair count as portraits.
But, portraits was the direction our watercolor class was taking. (From here on out "watercolor class" will be know as "ART class," because we are branching out and I LIKE it!)
I did two drawings of a picture of Emma at home on my own. You can read about these attempts here to get you up to speed: Attempt 1 and Attempt 2. The style of drawing I employed for my initial attempts is called Kay's Crazy ContoursTM and is trademarked. Don't attempt it on your own without permission and the assistance of a hazmat team.
Thankfully, Adam helped me start another portrait in class a couple of weeks back. He had me start with proportions in mind and getting the foundation first before the details. Common sense, right? Probably so, but holding a pencil has been known to effect my IQ.
This is what the portrait looks like after last night's class. Even I am impressed with my progress, and that most always never happens. It isn't quite finished, but, barring fire or natural disaster, I think it will only improve here on out.
I hope this post serves as a testimony to the world at what an excellent teacher Mr. Adam Trest is. If he can bring this out of me, what could he do with you?

Expanding Horizons
Due to serious harassment, I was able to bully my venerable art teacher into teaching me how to do coptic stitch. He had spent one afternoon with a book and a youtube video then was pulling out all these great stitched paper wonders from his satchel and showing them to us.
My only thought: "Oh...I NEED to know how to do that!"
Coptic stitch has been around for like two forevers. Well, maybe not that long, but if you really need to know the specifics turn to the Wikipedia entry on coptic stitch. It appears some old-school Christians made this contribution to the world. I think it will balance out some of the lesser desirable bits of history by so-called Christians, like say the Spanish Inquisition.
One of coptic stitch's greatest advantages to me is that the book will lay flat when open. It is the same thing that makes spiral bound notebooks all the rage. Nobody likes writing over the hump and into the valley of the spine of a book.
With my new found knowledge, I now have a bit of swagger in my step. I whip out my first little coptic stitch creation at every opportunity and say, "See what I made!" Associates of mine appear genuinely interested. Strangers on the street sometimes are interested and sometimes just seem a little creeped out.
It doesn't bother me, though. I know how to do coptic stitch, and I know that means power.

Monday, May 17, 2010

They Are All Awe-Inspiring
I am so blessed to encounter so many people in my life that inspire awe. Everyone has talents and gifts, but some people really maximize those gifts to the betterment of those around them. They are the sorts of people that improve lives and add sparkle to the world. These are some folks and one or two of their gifts that just this week have inspired awe in me. They probably didn't know it at the time, but now the secret is out.
  • Emma's thoughtful ways
  • Joseph's resilience
  • Simon's happy heart
  • Evy's will
  • Kyle's omniscient knowledge of the world of literature
  • Martha's limitless possibilities
  • Chas's life stamina
  • Adam's innumerable artistic talents
  • Peige's example
  • Bev's life knowledge
  • Jan's creative and giving heart
  • Ms. Ruby's friendly nature

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Family Day
First thing this morning we gathered up the younguns and headed out. We had a big day planned.
We started at Lee's. After all, all roads do lead to Lee's Coffee and Tea. Once we tanked up on fruit, a muffin, and tea, we walked over to Lauren Roger's Museum of Art. They currently have an exhibit of art inspired by space exploration. Joseph and I have seen it several times, and thought it was time that the kids got a peek. They really enjoyed it. Turns out, there are two interesting aspects of art for them right now: the size (bigger = better) or sculpture (if you can touch it, it makes it better). There were some really big paintings and some cool sculpture pieces, so they were not disappointed.
We then hit the road to Hattiesburg to visit one of my favorite spots, Shady Acres. It's a roadside stand on Hwy. 49 just north of Hattiesburg. We had good southern fried foods and then picked out some flowers to plant in the garden. Of course, before we left, we had to grab some pralines and divinity. Stopping at Shady Acres without a decadent treat is like going to Paris and shunning the Eiffel Tower.
We then did a drive-by of Pep's Point Water Park. I haven't been there since I was a teenager. Everything looked spiffed up and ready for summer. The kids went crazy when they saw the water slides. Let's just say, there is going to be a trip to Pep's Point in our near future.

The Hattiesburg Zoo was next on the agenda. We thought today was Zoo Blues because of a sign we had seen yesterday. Apparently, it wasn't. However, we had a great time. We arrived just as a rain shower came through. Evy thought it was most definetely the end of the world. But, as soon as the rain passed, we entered the zoo to a cool and breezy good time.
Some of our favorite attractions today were the bullfrogs in the gator pond, the tadpoles in the garden pond by the train depot, and the snake sunning on the walkway. They were new attractions to us, so they really stole the show.
Next, we jaunted over to Calico Mall. If you have never been, it's a cool little flea market in downtown Hattiesburg. It is within sight of Sack's and the train depot. I found a nifty neat little cigar box and a tiny leather purse that I want to put my journaling stuff in. Right now, I carry an entire backpack of journaling stuff with me everywhere I go. It is embarrassing. So, I will be trimming down the supplies to fit in this little leather treasure.
I also found this awesome-to-the-max printer's cabinet. All the drawers are there and work great. I think it only needs a little paint to be A-1. It was priced well out of my price range, but I may make them an offer.

While I was plundering through other people's junk, Joseph took the kids over to the train depot. They found lots of fun there. It mainly centered around a fountain.

On the way home, I stopped in C'est Le Vie Bakery. It is hidden in a little strip mall on Hardy Street across from Crescent City Grill (which, by the way, is THE Best Resteraunt in Hattiesburg). The gent at C'est Le Vie makes the most amazing bran muffins. He puts only good-for-you stuff in them and they are the pinnacle of deliciousness. You wouldn't think that an unassuming muffin could muster this level of deliciousness, but, yet, here they are. I bought his last two, and he generously gave me the remaining almond croissant. I have never tried the almond croissant. After today, I still haven't tried it since the entire croissant went into Joseph's gullet. But, he assures me it too was a delicacy.

It was time to be home. But, for a moment, I lost lucidity and decided we would go by Bogue Homa Lake before finishing the last trek to home. The kids had been napping in the van and woke up squealing when they saw we were at the lake. It had been a happy, but long day. Now, they were suffering from the short-nap crazies. As soon as we let them out of the van, they scattered like rabid monkeys.

We knew it was past-time to go home when things went in this direction. (See picture above.)

Still, I tried not to let the day end. We found ourselves driving behind some hot-rodded trucks on trailers. They were headed to the Bogue Homa Mud Bog. Not knowing anything about the mud bog, I followed them down some pig trail into the back woods. Turns out, there is a pay-to-continue spot at the end of that pig trail. Even I knew we were in no shape to enjoy a mud bog, tonight. So, I turned around in the road and took us home. The mud bog will be on our list to do next time.
So, now, I am hoping we can all take a minute to be a family of big lazy lumps for the rest of the evening and maybe even get to bed early. Maybe I am just having another moment where I have temporarily lost lucidity. Or, maybe...just maybe...we'll get the perfect end to a perfect day.