Saturday, May 26, 2007

Just For Fun :: Let's play "Find Sluggo."

My Mom sent this azalea photo and in it is one huge slug... let's hope there's only one. Can you find it?

In other games... my high score is 77, traveling the world, trying to get a front page photo of Superman. Mind you, I only played 3 times, so I could get better! See, this is why I get so little accomplished... the Internet is so full of stimulating, interesting, challenging, funny and engaging things.

Have you ever wondered who makes fabric? Not the industrial weavers, though that would be interesting too, but the person who dreams up a lovely pattern and then gets to have it printed on miles and miles of fabric. I recently discovered Heather Bailey and her new line of fabric, "Freshcut." She's celebrating her blog's anniversary too, and I am in awe of the beautiful fabrics she designed + all the beautiful things she makes with fabric. She shares an uplifting, encouraging attitude about life, which is reflected in her profile, where she also shares one of my favorite quotes.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be?"
–Nelson Mandela

Sometimes I go trailblazing around the WWW and discover all kinds of talented and interesting individuals, like this self proclaimed "Mother, Crafter, Designer, Maker, Blogger, Baker, Grower and Procrastinator." It's her birthday this week. She has three sons. She's busy and creative. I love the Internet.

My leanings are really not too surprising.. I tend to visit just about any blog with the word "chicken" in it, and since I call myself "Chica" (my self-amusing, multilingual play on *chicken girl*) I could not help but check out a blog called "This Vintage Chica." And she also has an apron blog "Apronista." Aprons are huge. I cannot believe how many apron bloggers I have come across. And it's infectious... I just know I am on the brink of sewing an apron.

That is all for now. I am going to see about breakfast, then laundry, maybe take a walk with my sweetheart. Be well and drop us a line. Tell us what's new.

Oh, did you find Sluggo? Does this help?

She says she gave him a "flying lesson." He didn't do so well.

Friday, May 25, 2007

An Artful Home

We have artists in our home. Ever since William picked up his first paint brush, when he was 2 years old, we have never had enough paper, pens, erasers, glue, scissors, paint or brushes to keep up with demand. I love it. Maria has been doodling for a while. Last fall she was drawing apples, and recently she has been drawing people. She names each component of her drawing as she goes: "And eyes, and nose, and 'mouf', and hair, and that." We love it when she says, "And that." It's a mystery feature. She also adds legs and shoes.

We all enjoy Maria's art. She draws a crowd...

How about performance art? William and Max are tall enough on their own; together they make a tower.

We have a few things in mind for this Memorial Day weekend, including dinner with James and Deanne. Janice is bringing me to her church on Sunday morning, which I am looking forward to. Belinda and Maria will meet us there. What else? Not much. It's been a very busy school week, so a quieter weekend is most welcome. I hope I can sew, and make plans for a post-school Santa Cruz road trip... ya, another one! It sounds like the boys are going to try and see "Pirates." Yo-Ho!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I thought I'd never get a turn at the computer. The homework load gets pretty heavy some nights.

Is anyone in suspense?

Congratulations Tarie! You get to play with $50 Amazonians. I'll be peeking "Into The Wardrobe" to see what you choose.

You know, it was so much fun pulling one name out of the hat, I couldn't help pulling out just one more. And just as soon as I can come up with a clever prize, I will be sending it to the extraordinary Janece, Amira and Paul.

And now, it is time to sleep. Alex tells me the number of days until summer vacation (with and without weekends.) I am ready for long summer naps and a break from packing lunches.

This morning I stayed at school to take photographs of a flag raising ceremony. One student's father is serving in Iraq, and he sent his son a flag that was raised over the United States' Embassy in Baghdad. Now that flag is raised over the school. All the children and staff, some parents and a visiting Marine officer were present for the flag raising. It was a very moving ceremony. The children sang several songs, including God Bless America.

I often stay with the middle school students when they raise the school flags and say the pledge of allegiance. I like to remember that our country is fundamentally good, that our possibilities and potential as a nation are great and that we are fortunate. Yes, there are problems, but for a few minutes I like to focus on the hope that we as a nation will realize our best aspirations. It's another moment to pray for peace and to be thankful.

I am thankful for flowers and teacups, for my family, friends and memories. I am thankful for the luxury of sitting in a comfortable and safe room, where I can freely express my thoughts, right or wrong, and where I can share it all, if I choose. I am thankful for pens, paper, stamps and light. I am thankful for email messages of support, humor, insight and reflection.

I am thankful for thrift shops, fabric sales, my wonderful car, my cowgirl boots and my camera. I love glue-sticks and glitter, thin crust pizza and organic raisins. I love dogs riding in cars, ears flapping. Happy dogs. I love rabbits, chickens, homemade corn tortillas and the smell of limes.

Tonight I'll pick a name from the hat and share some of our Blogiversary celebration with one of you. I hope you come back and share your celebrations with me, your triumphs and trials, the little things that make you pause... I am thankful for 5 years of blogging, with the best technical support I could ever hope for. Thank you for playing with me, supporting me, listening and participating.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tomorrow is it: The 5 Year Blogiversary! Given the number of things that Should be done, I probably should Not be envisioning a party, streamers, individual cupcakes, and general merry-making, but I can't help myself. At least I can enjoy my happy, harmless vision, and then tomorrow night I will pull a name from the hat and someone will have their own reason to celebrate... 50 reasons.

What would you do with 50 Amazonians?

You could bring home the book Anne and I are devouring: "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver People are going to be talking about this one! It's 'An Inconvenient Truth' in the gardens, on the farms and at our kitchen tables.

50 Amazonians would help bring home A Blu-ray disc of "Planet Earth- The Complete BBC Series" This one narrated by David Attenborough. We watched some of the episodes, which are spectacular, and I would love to have the series on a disc, so we could see the whole thing.

Yanina hopes she wins, so she and her girls can apply their Amazonians to "Guitar Hero" for the PS2 I haven't played, but if it's as much fun as "Dance Dance Revolution," then they'd have a blast. I know they have musical talent, so I hope they'd invite us over to watch them play.

If I could add my name to the drawing (gee, couldn't I?) I might apply my big winnings to one of these clever Nordic Ware cake pans, shaped like a castle. I would say it's practical for any occasion, but we would find it especially useful for Alex's birthday party. No Medieval Knights of the Round Table party would be complete without a castle cake!

So, what will you do if you win the Blogiversary Amazonian Giveaway? Get your name in the hat before Thursday, May 24th, 6 p.m. PST. I hope you play! I hope you win!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I knew the results of the art contest for quite some time, but I had to zip-it, so my son could get the good news through the official channels. Now I can share! Announcing the grand prize winner of the school yearbook art contest. (Insert drum roll) Alex won with his vision of the completion of the last school building.

We're happy for him. He worked hard on the painting and even harder on the concept. For many weeks he was pacing, deep in thought, trying to come up with the best image for the theme: "Imagining the future." Then he went so far as to photograph Max around the school buildings, so he could capture details and have help with the perspective. I love the final painting and the fact that he won is very special, but I am most proud of the process. He planned and worked, and worked some more. He draws a lot, but he is less experienced with painting, so I know he felt particularly challenged and I admire him for seeing it through. Our whole family made it to Open House, where we got to see Alex accept a certificate and stand up with his peers. Good stuff.

School is the main theme around Garage Mahal these days. It's all still a novelty for us; the celebrations, occasions, fundraisers, activities and social calendar of school life. Home schooling was mellow by comparison. I have a number of things to accomplish for the yearbook and for teacher appreciation day, and Max's class is having an end of the year party. Do you know I am middle school room mom (mostly by default)? Am I supposed to plan a party? Oh, dear. The rules for middle school are different from grade school and I only learn this when I make a mistake. It's the middle of May and I still haven't received the Room Mom Handbook and Rules Guide

Speaking of busy, it's almost June, so we'll only be getting busier. For a while now we have been planning Alex's 13th birthday party. We love our themes and we have a great one this year. Last night Geoff and I were discussing the (sort of dreaded) fact that we will be hosting a party in our untidy home and that we had better get busy on that point. When we did a countdown we were fairly stunned to realize the date is fast approaching! Lookout! June is full of family birthdays and there is sure to be plenty of school related hoopla, so I think it would be wise to get jumping on all fronts... now.

Right now, today.
Wish me luck.
I'm off!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I have CBD:

Compulsive Blogging Disorder.
Somedays I determine to shut-up, to give it a rest already. I think a few days without a post might be welcome, especially if I were to clean house, and unfunk the car, instead of blogging. Then thoughts start simmering and ideas take hold and suddenly I realize I've been composing in my head; I admonish myself a bit. I reason with my thoughts and bargain with my brain. I suggest to myself that not every flight of fancy or cute-cute happening needs to be broadcast on Chickenblog. (You've had the same thought? It's OKay, I don't mind the truth... sort of. Be gentle.)

CBD is a demanding disorder and I cannot resist its powers, so I post more often than I should.

I wrote down the names of the people who asked to have their names thrown in the hat. I may have added your name even if I wasn't sure you were actually asking to celebrate the 5 year Blogiversary. Odds of winning 50 Amazonians? 1:11. Lucky! Someone will get lucky anyway. Someone tried to enter 12 times under various pseudonyms, including: Delilah, Sasquatch of the North, and Granny BooBoo. We cannot help but admire the genius behind the greed. The drawing is Thursday, May 24th. Have you dropped your name in the hat? It's not too late to leave Chickenblog a comment, a little feedback. De-Lurk today.