Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Let's just say it was wise to take a break from writing the past few days.  No one wants to read about depression and blackness even though when I think about it, no one is reading this blog so I guess it doesn't matter.

I'm still at the point of not publishing my thoughts as I don't want potential house buyers to see my current plight.  Fake it until you make it is a good motto!

Today we are posting our home on MLS.  I'm hoping this move will stir up some energy :)

In the mean time to perk myself up I've been having covert therapy sessions with my bestest friends at the local Sonic drive-in.  We have shut the place down the past two nights :)  We just sit in the car with the windows rolled down and discuss all our crazy thoughts and drink cokes.  First rule, nothing leaves the car!

I've also found some solace in my dear friend camera :)  Here's some cheery pics from my back yard!

 Eggs nesting in a carton I brought back from Moscow.
 My Jadite measuring cups sitting on the Hoosier cabinet
 My neighbors were generous!
 Presents I've been making resting on the chicken coop.

Friday, June 14, 2013

I love photography!  I've spent the past four years developing my photo skills.  Let's say my "eye" has been ready my whole life but my "brain" which is supposed to be used for technical skills is still in the infant stages.

4 years ago when my son left for his church mission to Samoa he left behind all his worldly possessions which included a really nice camera.  His final words to me before he left were not "I love you Mom, you're the best, and I'm going to miss you more than burrito's" it was more like "don't touch my camera while I'm gone".

Ok, so one day I got bored and I thought it would be fun to take a drive in the country with my sons camera.  I know, I was defying a missionary!  I could get struck by lightening, but I was willing to take the chance.  Even though I kept looking over my shoulder the whole time waiting to be cursed the drive was lovely and the instrument felt amazing in my hands!  When I started pushing the "take the picture" button I went from empty to exhilarated!  Pure oxygen started flowing into my lungs and I felt intensely calm.  If you've ever played tennis and hit that sweet spot with your racquet you know that great clean feeling when something feels perfect.  It dawned on me that when I was looking through the lens I was actually focused, I'm never focused!  Who needs Ritalin, I found the best drug ever!

Well the day came when my son came home from his mission.  I was torn!  Yes, I was so excited to see him again but what about the camera?  I had already built a client base and had started a little business, was it all over?  Was my dealer going to take back his drugs?

On the contrary :)  Mr. Mellow came off of the plane without a care in the world.  Bob Marley would have been proud.  His newness and goodness were all about his 2 years of service and living without worldly goods.  He was proud of my photography and was happy I had found a hobby that made me feel great!  He said "Mom keep the camera". 

 Here he is coming off the plane and he see's me using his camera to take his picture :)

We now both have camera's thanks to my parents help and we enjoy sharing and learning from each other.  He's working as a photographer for his college paper and I'm taking senior pics, and pretty much everything I deem beautiful.  He's pretty much forced me to learn to shoot in manual mode which has caused a ton of stress to my infant brain but I know it's worth it.

Here's another tennis analogy to photography that he shared with me.  He said "Mom, you can play tennis with the wrong grip and do fine but you'll never advance your skills until you learn the right grip". 

My kids teach me a lot :)

Here's some of my gallery. 

Beautiful day today where I live.  The humidity has pushed out and the sun has the morning sweet light that I love.  Feeling a little deflated, scared and confused due to the job situation.  Had a sweet friend actually drop off groceries for us the other day, very humbled by such loving friends.

Somethings got to give!

Well, I must say the pioneer skirt I was working on turned out pretty cute!  Don't look too close.  I didn't get a good photo of it but I got a good photo of my daughter and her pioneer buddy.

Notice the belt on the skirt?  I had to make sure we had a back up plan to keep it from falling around her ankles as she pushed her hand cart.

So the parents were asked to email a letter to their pioneer kid that they will read at campfire time.  She's the last of my 3 kids that I have spent years writing special letters to for different activities and I'm thinking at this point she's got to feel some level of special.  So here's my last "special child" letter.  I hope she takes it well....

Darlin Bailey,

I hope you don't have them there ticks, fleas or chiggers to contend with.  And I hope the heat's not sending ya to an early grave.  It's been a might bit toasty here in town, just hoping the prairie is being kind to you and that they're not going to have to bury you along the way.

Went to the local mercantile today to get supplies.  They be fresh plum out of hard tack and lard but I made do with some pop tarts and red bull.

Your one eyed dog chased off some varmits today and bout got himself bit by a rattler.  Chased the UPS wagon like he was a member of the Pony express.  That dad gum dog!

Got some washin dun and did some repair work on the suburban.  The garden's mighty overgrown and I've been fit to be tied over them dern weeds.  Won't be much cannin this fall.

Some prospectors came by to make an offer on the homestead but we aint taken the offer.  Waitin for some rich folks out of St. Joe to come out on the next train to make us a real offer.

Hope you're readin out of the Good Book and gettin some fire in ya.  We been workin on that Preach My Gospel program and know we'll be the better for it.

Your Pa still aint got no work, I'll be sending him out west soon in search of gold.

Well, we love ya and pray mightly for your well being.  Just put your shoulder to the wheel and push along.  Kindest regards, Ma and Pa Miller

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

So one of the things I'm good at (luckily!) is how to make something out of nothing.  With our income situation being more than depressing over the past few years I've had to come up with all sorts of ideas for gifts as it's either make something or just simply smile real big and help do the dishes at the high volume of baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties, grad parties, congrats parties and farewell parties we are invited to.

Recently I gave someone a rock.  I know, not very creative but I was desperate.  It turned out to be ok as the recipient was leaving for a mission and I told him it was a Tennessee rock that he could keep it in his pocket and whenever he felt homesick he could rub it with his fingers and feel close to home.  I mean, I would like that as a gift.  And it was a pretty rock too.

So this week it was a baby shower.  Fortunately I'm a pack rat when it comes to craft supplies and I keep very random things that at one time I looked at and my ADD told me it was pretty and it needed to be saved from a lonely existence.  I did spend money which kills me but it's going to go a long way.  I went to the local lumber store and found an 8' 4x4 that was untreated and bought it for $8.00.  I brought it home and had my husband cut it down to a bunch of 4" squares with his chop saw.  I used the hand sander and buffed the corners and the edges and then brought one block into the house to be decorated.  Here's what I came up with from my ADD collection and a few painting skills.  When you break the price down it cost me .30 and it was very well received!

Ugh, woke up this morning and wishing I could skip today.  We've had several "lookers" at the house this past week but no new offers.  My husband found out yesterday that the two most recent jobs he applied to turned him down.  So far he's had 3 companies fly him out for interviews and then said no.  Trying not to take anything personal right now. 

Also, just to add to my uncomfortable thoughts I'm fudging a sewing project for my daughter's pioneer trek which needs to be finished today.  Luckily I found an old skirt pattern and an apron pattern, very random that I had them.  Dug some prairie looking fabric scraps from my obsessive collection, replaced the broken needle off my machine that snapped several life times ago while trying to hike up my bra straps, got out the ironing board and started making up an outfit that would make Prairie Vogue proud.  But because I'm fudging it, anything could happen.

We did break it to our newly graduated senior that her dreams of attending The University of Alabama this fall are all but dead.  Who would have thought that a southern state school would cost $42,000 a year?!!  I put on my happy face and sweetly asked her if she had ever heard the term "gap year?"

So I'm off to photograph more of our belongings to post on Craigs List.  Last week I sold enough to pay our cell phone bill and buy a few groceries!  I've got about $7.00 in my purse, let's see what amazing things I can do with it today ;)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I know.....bor-ing.  But there is a very good reason for the boring blog page.  I'm 47 and I'm one of those tweeners stuck between knowing how to use a keyboard and never took a computer class kind of bloggers.  I'd say over the past 4 years I've started 10 blogs and never got past the user name and password portion of the design.  So I've given up on trying to get the look I want and I'm simply going to write, because writing is what I want more than cuteness.  Who knows, maybe the day will come that I can create something amazing here but until then we're going with the blue background and falling objects.

I will say though compared to a lot of people my age I am much more advanced in the world of social networking to the point where I sometimes surprise myself.  I operate my Facebook page quite strategically, occasionally I tweet, and I have 2 Instagram accounts that have over 150 followers each.  So I'd say I'm not totally lost when it comes to computer and networking skills. I just wish I really knew what I was doing.

Here is my family.

Uh, where's the download tab for pics?

Found it!  See I'm not totally useless.

It's me in the middle, my husband in red, our son Elliott and our daughters Sage (blonde) and Bailey (the other one).  They are the reason I've started this blog.

I want to share my story or stories of how we all started and how we all got to this point and how we ended up not only empty nesters but with an empty nest egg.

I hear it's pretty common today to be 50 and broke.  I hope it is or I'll feel lame if we're the only ones.

I also need a space to store all my ADD moments.  You see I'm very creative and there is no where to put it all.  So perhaps I can store it all here.  I love to cook, paint, draw, write, grow things and take pictures.  It's not uncommon for me to all of a sudden make a meal for the sole purpose of photographing it.  I tend to bounce around a lot and sometimes it gives me low self esteem, but on other occasions it gives me a lot of joy.

I'm hoping this blog page has more to it than what I see, maybe there are some cool tabs or something I'll accidentally run across.  But until then I will just write and maybe add a few pictures.