Friday, March 23, 2012

This is iPhone Album Three


Yes, all the inspiration I need is a handful of grainy, poorly lit, low res images taken from my mobile device, to bring me to Chickenblog, to play show and tell!

It doesn't even matter that the pictures aren't the best. It's about the moments, the memory triggers, the prompts. I am reminded of details, of entire days and experiences, I see trends, growth, shifts... especially now that I have iPhone Album One, and iPhone Album Two to look back on, too.

What's on your camera phone?

February 19, 2012

Alex asked if he could take my Big Black Beautiful Camera out on the town. He's been learning photography skills, and using them for his paintings. He and I went on a photo walk, looking for the scenes and places he's thinking of painting.

I remember thinking two things:
I love the privilege of hanging out with my children, of connecting, and observing, and I was really glad I at least had my iPhone camera, because I love, love, love taking pictures.

February 29, 2012

Evidently, on Leap Day, a certain Southern California amusement icon is open for twenty-four hours. If you're lucky, and your mother is a bit nuts, you can map a course of twenty-four happyness. Just be sure to keep your day of scholarly rebellion on the down low. Ahem.

And yes, this is a candid shot. Love their synchronized geekness.

March 2, 2012

Speaking of synchronized, Maria and Suki discovered they're bros. There is even a bro dance. I have the happy feeling these two will be friends for life.

March 5, 2012

My mom is in town, and now we see a new trend. She has an iPhone, too, and she is an app-addict! It's adorable-hilarious. During her stay she and I would have these sessions, where she would get me caught up on the new and the cool, in iPhone technology. And honestly, without her tutorials, and some good tips from Holly, and Karen S, I would still be using my iPhone to make phone calls. Silly me. Lol.

So, here I am. Comic me. This app takes an image and gives it a cell shaded, comic book look. And yes, it is pretty super fun to play with, which is why when Maria got a hold of my iPhone she took about forty two pictures, in an hour.

March 5, 2012

Glo-app! A touch screen drawing app, with a glow feature. They think of everything. I love that my mommy has all this hip knowledge and that she can help me keep up with modern devices! Basically, this app is all about dragging your index finger across the screen and doodling. I wrote the name of our Young Makers Club, Love and Rockets. I hope you've heard of our Young Makers Club. It's pretty awesome.

March 5, 2012

And now, Maria is playing with the glo-app, and she is pretty awesome, like her Grandma. Mom, you're smart. For a buck and change, I have a clever app that can keep a small one amused and entertained during those moments when a small distraction is most welcome.

March 5, 2012

Suki Furry Bear.

Ah-ha! So. You can probably imagine all the fun Maria had, walking all over the house, with a hand-held device that turns everyone and everything into a page from Take on Me. Yeah, super fun.

March 9, 2012

Eli. Stop motion. Captured and comic-ized forever!

Okay. I'm done. For now. But believe me, it's hard to put down the iPhone and comic app.

March 11, 2012

At last! The floor cleaners arrive. Yes, they clean the floor, and yes, you have to scoot them out right away if want the floor to stay clean. I love my chicas.

March 13, 2012

I brought Alex, Maria, and Suki barn door shopping. Suki and Alex thought this could be suitable for framing. Wouldn't it be cool? On a wall, outside, and then you could recreate artistic still scenes, photograph them, paint them, maybe comic-app them? We had a good time.

And also, we remembered to actually look for doors to add to the barn. I took pictures of many options, sent them to Geoff and waited to see what he thought of our favorites. Handy-handy iPhone.

March 13, 2012

Here they are. Geoff and I returned to the salvage shop, and decided these two doors will be ideal. They've got a little history on them, a little dust, a little character, and they are going to let some morning light into the chicken coop.

Well, dear iPhone, you've done it again. You have been cute and convenient, a marvelous tool, and I am so very thankful for what you keep, for the play, the aid, the memories. Let us never part!


Natalie, the Chickenblogger

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
:: Inspired by Soule Mama ::

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Obvious Solutions

This morning I was overcome, yet again, with the certainty that I have achieved nothing less than stellar mediocrity. Yes, a minor pity party, and I suggested to Geoff that I might be ready to try something new, something possibly lucrative, or admirable.

Probably, I could have been consoled and greatly satisfied if he looked deeply into my eyes, and said something like, "You're doing great. The world needs earnest, yet middling amateurs like you." Something like that would have sufficed to reassure me that in my own way, I matter. But Geoff pulled out something new. He said, "You should start a business."

And then!

And then, we drove around town looking at buildings for rent, for lease, for sale. And then, I asked all kinds of questions, and he asked questions, and we agreed on some points, and disagreed on other points.

And then! And then, we stopped, and he got a breakfast burrito.

We aren't short on ideas. We have plenty of concepts, and principals that excite us. But, honestly... I scare, easy. I doubt, easy. And, question: Is it normal to be forty-something, and to feel unprepared, too pulled-in-every-direction, to start something big and new?

I know. You're probably thinking... Holy Cramalot, look at their dining table!

You're right. Obviously, we need a much bigger dining table.

Looking Around, Smiling

Today, I could really believe spring has arrived. The storm that blew through here, over the weekend, was the most winter we had all season, bringing snow, hail, plenty of rain, and deeply cold temperatures across the county. But today? Blue skies, warmer breezes, and that shift in the light... something brighter, longer lasting.

I'll have to remember not to let the longer days fool me... I always wind up starting dinner and bedtime later and later. Wouldn't it be great if we could live our days by the sun? Never mind school start times, and the schedules of the outside world, just follow the clocks we have inside. I guess that's why I am always eager for summer, for the liberties of fewer have to's.

I digress. I was going to write about happy sights. Simple.

The daffodils are making me smile. I brought them home closed tight, and they've all burst open. They look perfectly whimsical, almost silly, utterly playful. They remind me of teacups and saucers.

The hens are sitting in the shark cage until they lay. No more surprise nests! By afternoon, they are free to romp and scratch in the wide open. We are getting a nice inventory. Small, but plenty. I love seeing all the eggs, together, their pretty forms and colors, the prospect of making something special.

More happy sights! My walnut rolling pin... a thrift shop find, vintage, and made locally. My bird hanger, and the pretty measuring spoons Holly gave me one birthday, my aprons, too... happiness. And a new delight, the feed bag turned shopping bag... a thoughtful and fun gift from Patricia and Michael. They know the young lady making these, and when I learn her name, and where she sells, I will share it here.

Spring. It's here. Not perfect, not wholly peaceful and neat, but I am thankful. I can look around and find plenty of reasons to smile... not just for the things, but also for the reminders of people I love, the blessings I enjoy. And I am hoping you can look around, where you are, and smile, too.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The LEGO Cure

Check out Max's cable car!

Sometimes I overhear parents grumbling about LEGO bricks... their kid's obsession, stepping on a brick, finding the toy everywhere. Personally, I can't find the voice to complain about LEGO, but some people, standing in the toy aisle, get very vocal and heated about their anti-LEGO-ness. I just don't get it. LEGO bricks are a toy that perfectly exemplifies endless opportunity: for fun, for learning, for creativity, for engineering, for design, for entertainment, for ingenuity, for invention. For fun... did I say that, already?

Max has been sick. Long nights coughing, sad mornings with a sore throat, and general misery. We've been treating him with warm teas, warmer blankets, and tenderness. I decided to bring home something extra-healing, a bit of unexpected fun in the form of new inspiration.

I happened to be next to a toy shop, where I found Crazy Action Contraptions, a LEGO kit with parts and an ideas book. We hardly need more LEGO parts, but key Technic pieces and step-by-step instructions for new contraptions could be a nice distraction from being cooped-up and miserable. And the look of delight and surprise on Max's face confirmed it... I found the LEGO Cure!

The kit has specialty parts, but not a motor. Max got busy making a push button car, and some of the other devices, and then, with his gears warmed up, he began thinking of something more elaborate, challenging...

By adding a motor to a cable car he designed, he was able to build a Crazy Action Contraption that moved on its own power. He ran nylon string between posts, and ready-set-action! his cable car was on the move!

He's feeling better, on the mend, back to school. Yesterday, after school, he made a much longer line from the porch to the metal fence, and sent his cable car across the yard. More plans, new ideas, making, and healing... I cannot deny, I love LEGO, and the kids who play with them.

*If you have a grade-school age child who loves LEGO, design, fun challenges, and learning about science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM), then please visit FIRST LEGO League! FIRST is For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology and together with LEGO, they have an inspiring and dedicated program to serve young engineers and scientists.*

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lift Her Up

Please, lift Eunice up, in your thoughts and prayers.
She suffered an injury, yesterday. She is in a great deal of pain.
In time she will heal, but she is nearly ninety, and getting comfortable is hard enough as it is... I think this setback will be particularly difficult for her to bear, and it breaks my heart thinking of her hurting, knowing the disappointment she is feeling.

I love her. I wish everyone could know her kindness. She is wise, strong, compassionate, and fun. I don't want this injury, the pain, to wear her down.

Thank you. She taught me about faith, and healing, about so many beautiful things... I know we can help her feel better with our own faith, healing prayers, and beautiful, loving thoughts.

Owl Together Now

Whoo turned six, and threw a great party for owl her friends?

Answer: Izzy is the girl whoo brought birds of a feather to party together.

Izzy and Maria

Maria was looking forward to her cousin's birthday party, and really enjoyed the owl theme, very much... even more so when she saw all the clever details, and fun activities her aunt Holly had in store for them.

It was a full house, that blustery day, but there was room for all, and plenty to do, like painting owl houses.

They also had their faces painted in owl fashion, and the wild weather paused, so they could bounce on the trampoline, shoot hoops, and run around.

From the snacks to the birthday cake... everywhere were fun owl touches and creativity. I think the planner had as big a hoot as the guests!

Happy Birthday, Izzy!

*Follow this link for an owl inspired craft you can try, and turn an old shirt new!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Whooo Whooo!

Maria's Owls, for Izzy's Birthday Card

It's a blustery day,
and we are going to an Owl Party
for Izzy's sixth birthday.
Should be a Hoot!