Friday, July 30, 2010


Art. Official! Heh... (cough)...

ANYway, happy Illustration Friday. Today's prompt is "artificial".

Now, I'm all for cosmetic surgery when it's restorative/reconstructive... like for nasty burn scars, mamed faces, or other such traumatic injuries. But I'm a bit bothered by the way some feel the need to run to "have work done". Case in point, the duckbill look of the botox lips.

I, for one, like a bit of physical flaw here and there. Kevin Bacon's nose, Dan O'Brien's tooth gap, Jack Black's chubbiness, to name but a few. The "beautiful people" I often find a bit, well, boring.

And really, it's what's inside that counts, right?

Lovingly in illustration,
the nose moled, small chested, stretched marked, big-footed Abby

Monday, July 26, 2010

the buck stopped here

Typical Monday. Busy.

Time line:

8:30 - 9:30: Swim lessons for Meego.

10-ish to 10:30-ish: Take dog for her beauty walk.

11:30 - 12:30: Take Chaco to driving lessons and pick up new modem.

1:00-ish to 2:30-ish: Hook up new modem. Do some work work. Do some housewifery. Eat some lunch (egg sammich!)

2:30 - 3:00-ish: Pick Chaco up from driving lessons, think about the next thing on my to-do list... but WAIT. Here's what we came home to:

Yeah, that's Meego out front, a little too close to some visiting deer. Dude, this is NOT the zoo.

I had to slow down and snap a few pics.

They've been hanging out in our neighborhood off and on for a few weeks. That buck is getting ready for the rut.

Yeah, he can hardly wait!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

Good Sunday to all, time for a look back on the week.

Tuesday was Wolfgang's birthday. The original plan was to go to Elitch's for a day of fun and amusement. But lately we'd been talking of switching phone plans, and we'd found an agreeable one which provided new phones all around. We bargained with the kids- the phones would need to wait if we did Elitch's, and the phones readily won that negotiation. No love loss for me, thrill rides don't mesh well with my acrophobia. Oh, and I got a new phone. It's purdy.

And we still had an enjoyable day of birthdayness. Wolfgang took in some bounty, we had lunch at Famous Dave's, then spent the rest of the day in Manitou Springs. Agreeable day all around.

Yesterday, Magnum and I had a lovely round of putt putt golf with Meego. It was a nice day for it and I'm glad, because his plan B was to go bowling, and I would've had to have wussed out of bowling.

Meego's swim lessons are going... (wait for it)... swimmingly. He's passed to the next level which begins this coming week. Love that video game mentality.

Anyway, here's the latest mural in progress. I'd hoped to finish it by now, but the rib thing has slowed down my productivity some.

I'm sure when Chaco sees it, he's going to make some comment about purple rocks. Bet five dollars.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

it only hurts if I breathe

I'm grumpy. I seemed to have somehow pulled/torn/cracked something in my ribcage and it's annoyingly annoying. The smell of Ben-Gay is not helping.

I'd been dealing with a slight tinge of something there for the past few days, then I did something as innocent as sit up off the bed, but I apparently did it all wrong, because I felt an audible "pop" and here I am now, all Ben-Gayed. Where did that product name come from anyway?

But, it could be worse. I can walk and talk and appear somewhat comfortable. There are just a few unmentionables that are out of the question at the moment.

Right. Bowling. You were thinking bowling, right?

Friday, July 23, 2010


Happy Illustration Friday! This week's prompt is "double".

Remember recess at school? I remember jumping rope with those big thick school-provided ropes. "I LOVE COFFEE, I LOVE TEA....", everybody chant!

To this day, I still love to jump rope. I've just recently mastered cross-overs! Then there's those who do double dutch. That, I've never done. Have you? Doesn't it look like fun?

Jump in with me?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

churchly quiet

A couple of hours ago, Chaco and Wolfgang left on a camping trip. I KNOW! They went without the rest of us!

Yeah, they went with the Neighbor Flanders'. With their Youth Group from church. Chaco and Wolfgang have done other things with this group. Even though we don't go to their church. Even though we haven't set foot in a church in several years for anything other than an occassional wedding. In fact, it's probably partly BECAUSE we haven't set foot in a church in several years that they get invited to these things. Save the children!

There was a time that we regularly attended church. I don't want to be negative, but I will say, "OH the HYPOCRISY!", and so we left.

So here's poor Meego. Siblingless for a few days. Stuck with just the parents. He's not a fan of only childness. In fact, he started lobbying for a younger sibling a couple of years ago for the sole reason that he realized that Chaco and Wolfgang may someday move out of the house, and he didn't want to be the only kid left. (pssst, not gonna happen... the younger sibling thing)

But in the meantime, it's just the three of us for now. I thought we'd take advantage of that and do some things more geared to his age and interests.

I'm just trying to remember what those are.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

in the middle

Wolfgang's birthday today! (say "happy birthday").

Wolfgang, the middle kid, is at the forefront for the day. Hard to believe it's been 15 years already.

I may have said this before, but, of the three boys, I think that Wolfgang is the most like me. We have a lot of the same interests and personality traits. That kid's gonna go far! Or not...

Either way, I wouldn't trade him for anything. These 15 years have gone by so fast!

I am blessed.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

POOF! Another week in the books.

It was a busy one around here. Meego started swim lessons this week. Off to the pool every day. He loves the pool, but he's not quite as self-sufficient as we'd like, so he's getting a good education, AND he gets to swim.

As priorly mentioned, Chaco and the Subaru bonded over two days of intense crash practice crisis avoidance training. He did really well. Friday afternoon was the "recital" where we all got in the car, and he took us through the course. Squealed the tires a few times. Meego asked, "what was that?". "Chaco's squealing the tires". "Oh, I thought it was someone screaming from one of the other cars".

And FYI - since Agg79 asked - the Subaru is manual transmission. I will add that it was one of only 2 "sticks" in the class, and the other one was driven by an 18-year-old that already has his license and just wanted to complete the crash course. Chaco pwned 'em!

Oh, and the Subaru survived! (Actually, I think she had a blast too).

Wolfgang, not to be outdone, has been running regularly with a group for a few weeks now. He wants to stay in shape over the summer to be ready for Cross Country. He talked me into going to a specialty running store last weekend for new running shoes. They do this whole gait analysis thing, and the "our school's team gets a 20% discount" didn't hurt either!

At work, I got a couple of new assignments that round out the schedule just right until the kids go back to school. And both are online assignments - no comutee!

As for play, I've got another mural w.i.p. to cover up the wall smudges. The weather's been hot during the day, but if one gets up early enough, the mornings are pure beauty! I get up early enough.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Happy Illustration Friday. Is it HOT or WHAT??

In light of the heatness, I decided to go to cooler climes for this week's prompt, which is "breakfast".

As a mom, and sole female of the household, I see it as my job to take care of the physical aspects of feeding the fam. And I admit, I don't always attack the chore with gusto. In fact, I have yet to figure out what we'll be feeding on tonight.

SO, I really admire the women of more primitive times/cultures, like the Inuit woman depicted here, who had to really work to provide some good eats. In our house, we usually have "jump up" breakfast...

... as in "jump up and get your own".

Thursday, July 15, 2010

crash course

I can sort of remember driver's ed. It was part of the high school curriculum, and one or two days a week, we would do driver's ed instead of P.E. Two other girls and I drove around in this big old station wagon with our teacher for about an hour or so. At the end of the semester, we were deemed competent enough.

Well, times have changed. There's no driver's ed at the high school. Plus, we don't live in a little podunk town with 3 traffic lights like I grew up in.

We dropped Chaco off at Master Drive this morning. He's been doing well with his chauffeur duties, but now it's time to let the professionals take over. He's doing what I call "The Crash Course" all day today and tomorrow. There's a slalom course! Hydroplaning! Skid Pad!:

So I'm here wondering how my baby's doing. No, not Chaco. He's probably having a blast. I'm just worried about our poor Subaru! She'll probably need a new transmission when this is done.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

So I was out running this morning. As is typical, I left my neighborhood and made my way to the middle school track where I ran around a bit before looping around back home. There were about 4 other people at the track. One was the consistent woman I mentioned earlier, the others were unfamiliar.

Consistent Woman wears earbuds, so not much of a conversationalist. Fine. Usually, as I encounter another runner, I'll say "hello", or "good morning" or whatev. As I went by one of the unfamiliars, an earbudless man, I gave some sort of aforementioned greeting. He in turn said, "good job". But it wasn't just "good job", it was rather emphasized and came out as, "Good Jaaaahhhhhb!". Funny how such a simple phrase can be such a nice thing! And a nice way to start the day. I plan to pay it forward. Really, it is so easy to brighten another's day!

My workload has been light, by design. I have just one tutor student presently, and she's been out of town. Yesterday, I attended a fun and effective workshop at the mother ship in Denver. With all of this training and brushing up I've been doing lately, with not much of a student pool to crack the whip on, you can guess what my kids are (forced into) doing with their free time! HA! They probably can't wait for the start of school!

Good job, everybody. Good job.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Happy Illustration Friday, once again.

This week's prompt is "diary". Now, I've never kept a written diary, but I remember the intrigue of them when I was younger - in the days before the internet. I think I had a couple of friends who kept diaries with connotations of deep secret secrets!

I never really had the initiative to keep one though. I was more on the extroverted side, and when I did partake of the necessary "quiet time", I was usually drawing or painting or just lazing about in general.

I discovered blogging a few years ago, however, and I've been oversharing on the internet ever since.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

the juicer, the chicken, the fireworks

That pretty much sums up my 4th of July.

Ours was a success, I'd say. The day started out nicely enough. Saturday afternoon, I'd put our Power Juicer for sale on craigslist. We bought it about a year ago when our soft-sell-watching-too-much-late-night-TV kids convinced us to do so. Yeah! We could use it for surplus veggies from the garden! Make our own V-8 type thing!

Surprise. Soft-sell-watching-too-much-late-night-TV kids don't much care for veggie juice. Neither do I for that matter (Magnum will eat/drink anything). They wanted me to make fruit juice. Well, we don't grow our own fruit, so in the end, the "homemade" juice would actually cost more to make than just to buy already in juice form. PLUS, I'd have to go through the pain of cleaning all those pesky juicer parts.

For sale: One Power Juicer.

On Sunday morning, I found that someone had answered my ad. I called her number. "I can't eat solid foods! I'll take it!" She lives south end of town, I live north end, so we arranged to meet in the middle. I drove to the designated exchange place where I received a call that her borrowed truck had thrown a coupla lug nuts, and they were waiting for replacements.

They weren't far, so I just drove and made the juicer exchange literally on the on ramp to the interstate. Good thing I'm not a drug dealer.

Later in the afternoon, it was off to the annual 4th o' July pot-luck block party. This is always a fun time catching up with neighbors and meeting new ones. My new cool next door neighbor, whom I'd only spoken with briefly a couple of times, makes a mean Teryaki chicken. It's SO mean, she would not share the recipe with the rest of us. It's like some ancient Hawaiian secret!

The night was topped off with the traditional plethora of illegal fireworks - pretty much a display of testosteral manliness - while we womenfolk just gabbed away, despite the noise, in true womanly fashion.

I think our forefathers would approve.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy Independence Day to my fellow U.S. citizens!

And here we are, July already. The weeks, they are a-speeding by. Let us slow down and take an inventory, shall we?

For starters, I got a lot done off the to-do list. Summer catch up type things like get the kids in to the dentist - they were all overdue. Also got Meego in for a checkup at the doctor's. Lucky for him I was able to find his shot record. So now everyone's caught up, medically anyways.

On that note, I am way way overdue for both dental and physical checkups, but they can both wait....

The training at work that was in last week's Silver Liningness? Welp, completion of that earned me a slick, company provided Wacom Bamboo Tablet and Pen. I've had my eye on these for a while as they are handy for creating digital artwork... not that I create digital artwork for work, but... (can we say, "ulterior motive"?).

I've just started learning how to use the thing for such extracurricular activities, and I have much learning to do, but here's a ferzample of my baby steps on that recent ant illustration:

Oh, and then there's my Giga desk! It's making a nice difference in my work productivity. It's kind of funny. I remember when I worked in the land of cubicles, how I would strive to make my workspace more like home. Now I work a good deal from home, so try to make it more like not home.

This week, Magnum and I watched Chinaman. It's a foreign film. Danish. I liked it, but a word of warning: The ending is so very sad!

The End

Friday, July 2, 2010


TGI Illustration Friday! This week's prompt is "giant".

I remember once when I was a little kid. A friend and I were in my backyard smashing ants with plastic croquet mallets. At one point, my friend - a boy - commented, "His family is probably going to miss him tonight", referring to the recently murdered ant. And yet, the carnage continued.

I, however, stopped and pondered that idea. Did ants have families? Was I killing Mom? Dad? Uncle Joe? I never felt right about smashing ants after that.

In hopes that the Karma doesn't catch up to me, I dedicate this week's Illustration Friday submission to the powerful ant. A true giant among bugs.

And.... uh.... sorry about Uncle Joe.