Sophistication Follows Me Nowhere

I was in San Francisco Thursday and Friday…..but less than 24 hours. I had planned on it being a super sophisticated trip since I was all by myself and staying in the Clift hotel…..but apparently sophistication follows me nowhere.


The Douche

Palm Springs is a really small airport. There were only a handful of people in the security line. Piece of cake. I knew I had nothing metal on me…..but as I went through the round full body scanner I was stopped. The woman said the machine had flagged my hair as unusual.  I told her they WAY overpaid for that new machine.  Then she launched into a lengthy lecture about the algorithms of the machine and why my hair would be deemed as unusual and maybe I could hide a weapon in it and it wasn’t anything against my hair…..blah blah blah.  Huh?  And then she confiscated my toothpaste.  That made my blood boil……because she let me keep my huge container of contact lens solution… it didn’t seem fair to the toothpaste.  But mostly my blood was boiling because I’d just read an article on the rampant theft in airports by TSA and I felt like this was toothpaste robbery in a way.  And I was also thinking about the government intervention into school lunches and it was all too much and I was starting to feel like Aaron Stampler in Primal Fear.  I asked her if she was going to throw away my brand new tube of toothpaste and she said yes.  I told her how I felt about the wasteful nature of the toothpaste confiscation. I asked how many tubes of toothpaste she confiscates on a daily basis.  A lot. She said the homeless go through the trash anyways.  Fantastic…..the homeless will eventually get my toothpaste…..after it’s made the rounds in dumpster sludge.

And you would think this was the end of the story…..but it’s not…. [Read more…]

Make Good Choices

Did you read the article about the young girl who was nominated to homecoming court as a prank? I love that this attempt at a cruel joke backfired.

Photo source: CNN

Ugh. Kids can be so mean.  I was sucked into being mean at times. I’m not proud of part of my younger self.  In elementary school, there was a young girl named Melanie in my class who was very overweight.  She had freckles, flushed cheeks, and red poofy hair….which made her the easiest target for everyone.  She wore a Beam Me Up Scotty shirt….not Star Trek but the paper towel. I remember taunting her under the monkey bars because she couldn’t hold herself up.  I play over scenarios in my head all the time like what if instead of taunting Melanie I’d said:

Hi Melanie, I have this urge to make fun of you. But just so you know, it’s not that I really have a problem with you, it’s that for a split second…. I thought that making fun of you might make me feel better about myself because, well,  I’m feeling really insecure. You see, another girl, who I really wanted to be friends with totally dissed me today.


Hi Melanie, I think it’s really cool that your mom sent in that rebate for the Beam Me Up Scotty shirt.  My mom buys the other brand of paper towels….probably because they are the most inexpensive. We don’t really have a lot of money either.


Hi Melanie, I think it’s awesome that you live on a farm.  I had a duck once, but it died. I can’t imagine having all the ducks and chickens that I wanted. It must be like Christmas everyday.


Hi Melanie, Guess what? I suck at the monkey bars too…..mostly because I have no coordination and my arms resemble awkward little pipecleaners.  I guess I thought if I made fun of YOU it would deflect the attention off of me. Want to help me make the world’s longest clover chain during recess today?


And all of that makes me think about the “butterfly effect”…..and how one action can have such enormous implications…..but I’ll stop there because then this post would turn into a book.


I always tell Boo that when someone is mean to her: it’s their problem….not hers. But it’s not an easy concept for children to understand. I think what I love most about the homecoming story is that so many people in the community stepped up… make things right.

Last week Boo had an emotional week at school. One day she threw the teacher’s penguin in the air and broke the overhead light. Accidents happen but it scared the beejeezus out of her. The same day she broke a hula hoop (long story) and had to go to the Principal’s office. When she got in the car at the end of the day she was devastated…like it was the end of the world: I had to go to the principal’s office. Daddy is going to be so mad. Let me tell him Mommy.

And I told her:

We’ll never be disappointed in you……as long as you take responsibility.

If you make things right, you don’t have to feel bad about it anymore.

You release it: *poof*

So we went to Target, and she bought a new hula hoop for the school with money from her piggy bank. And she was so proud… much lighter.


She couldn’t wait for school the next morning to present it to the principal and tell her how sorry she was.


Make Good Choices via


Boo’s teacher told me yesterday that she had to tell Boo 3 times to do something….and told her she’d give her ONE extra chance before Boo’s behavior card turned yellow for the day. When they got back into the classroom, her teacher noticed that Boo’s card was yellow….and the teacher hadn’t turned it. When asked about it, Boo said “I turned it yellow myself….because I disobeyed you.”  When I asked her about it after school she said “I took responsibility….just like Daddy always tells me to.” Seriously? Can I freeze time at this one moment?

It just reiterated that all I want in life is for my child to do what’s right.  I don’t care about the grades. I don’t care about the awards. I don’t care about the achievements. I really don’t.  My parents didn’t place that pressure on me. They just let me know that they had high expectations for me to do the right thing. When I was younger, even if my report card read: A, D, C, A, F my mother would write “GREAT JOB!” and post it on the refrigerator for the world to see.  And my dad wouldn’t say a word. I knew he wanted all A’s…..but he also knew that I knew that I could have done better.  So why did he need to say anything? It would have just made me feel bad. What good does that do? Every once in a while he’d offer to raise my allowance if I made better grades…..and sometimes it worked….but it was totally up to me. I was accountable to myself. [Read more…]

Vintage Cameras for Jen (Shop for a Cause!)

I sketched these vintage cameras over the summer and really had no plans for them but then, today, as I was brainstorming ways to help my friend Jen (who you read about here) I got the idea to offer them as prints to raise funds. Jen is a very talented photographer so I’d like to think that maybe the sketches were meant for her from the very beginning.

Jen Thompson via via Am I Still A Girl)

For $6, you’ll get all 4 vintage cameras sketches as an instant download that you can print as many times as you like. There’s even one combined print.  Frame them and use them as home decor or print them onto t-shirt transfer paper for clothing. 100% of net proceeds go straight to Jen’s family for help. If 100 of them are downloaded that would be $600 to Jen and her family…..imagine 1,000 downloads! Plus, you get these cute little cameras in return too as a thank you!


Click the image to view the listing:

Shop for a Cause: Fundraiser for Jen Thompson (  - Vintage Camera Prints via

Print them on a t-shirt transfer! Would that be an Instama-Tee?

Note: click here to see photos of a t-shirt transfer iron-on process (scroll to bottom)

Shop for a Cause: Fundraiser for Jen Thompson (  - Vintage Camera Prints via

I know many of you have been asking for an update. I don’t have a lot of information myself but what I think I can share is that Jen had surgery yesterday and it was much more serious surgery than they anticipated. She is in ICU still in Jupiter, FL with her family.  They are all very far from home which makes things even more difficult.  I just want to help alleviate a little of their burden right now so they can focus on Jen.  So many people helped me and my family during my months of cancer treatment……and I want to do the same for her.

You can also make a donation via Jen’s website here.

Show support here by posting a Shot for Jen!

Please pin and share with your friends….especially if they like vintage cameras! Thank you!


Also for Jen:


Be Still Digital Download via

What’s in My Camera Bag

What's in my Camera Bag via

Links to equipment on list:

Camera:Canon 7D with HD Video
Backup Camera: Canon T1i with HD Video
Every day lens: 50mm f/1.4
Wide angle: 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5
Zoom: 28-55mm f/2.8


And I fit it all into my Epiphanie camera bag . This is my blue Epiphanie Lyric camera bag…..and I love it so much I use it as my purse. It just trekked all the way to San Francisco with me. I love that it’s cross-body style…but I can also change out the strap to a shorter braided one. Although, I always prefer the across the body carrying:

The Epiphanie Lyric Camera Bag via


Ha….did you think I was getting all “blue steel” on you with that pose? How’s this one….it’s more me: [Read more…]

The Lil Journal Project | Day 20 (Link Up)

When my father passed away, he left binders full of business cards, napkins with phone numbers and zillions of contacts. He was such a social person with a huge network of friends. I would have loved to see a map of how he knew everyone and where he had met them. My social map isn’t so complicated….it was an easy map to lay out:

The Lil Journal Project Day 20 (Link Up) via


And that leads me to today’s prompt: [Read more…]

Dear God, I’m Taking Them Back

I’ve been feeling like a bit of a fraud for keeping that profile photo up of myself with long hair…’s not who I am anymore.  I’ll replace it soon.  My friend Tara cut my hair today and bleached the top….fun, right? I’m off to San Francisco tomorrow….if any of you live in the area come and say hi!

The Cancer Chronicles (Hair 6 Months after Chemo) via


It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 months since I was here: [Read more…]

Office Panorama

Fun with the new iPhone panorama function last night:

The right side of my office:

iPhone Office Panorama via

A photo wall in my hall.  I think I like the curved wall effect. Maybe I should remodel:

iPhone Panorama of Photo Wall via

How did I manage that wall? It was pretty easy actually. I used my laser level run tape all the way down the hall for the top and bottom line. Then I made an identically spaced tape line on my guest room carpet. I arranged the photo frames on the floor first, then transferred them to the wall.  As long as the top and bottom edges of the top and bottom frames line up the middle ones won’t matter as much!

The Lil Journal Project | Day 18

If a GPS was tracking your every move for a week, what would your map look like? I sketched a little map of the roads I typically travel from day to day in my journal and traced the routes: (I looked up my address on Google Map to help sketch an aerial view).

The Lil Journal Project Day 17 (Driving) via

I thought it was so cool that this guy (Aaron Parecki) wore a GPS device for a few years and tracked his movements.  Look at the cool GPS log of his travels for the first two months of 2012 in Portland:

GPS Logs Portland Jan-Feb 2012


If you drive as much as my husband in a day you might want to just do a daily map. Or maybe you are laid up in your house and can’t leave…..track your movements in your small space.   Remember the day I mapped out my bathroom trips during chemotherapy ? Ok, maybe I embellished the little twirling movements….but that map told a great story…..about the lesson of picking a seat closer to the bathroom!!  5 bags of fluid in 5 hours….insanity.

The Lil Journal Project Day 18 (chemotherapy map) via

The journal project for today is: [Read more…]

DIY Reclaimed Wood American Flag

DIY American Flag Home Decor from Reclaimed Wood Pallet via


Here’s another painting I did last weekend from reclaimed wood….a rustic American Flag for our outdoor living area. It took under 45 minutes to paint:

Flag Home Decor from Reclaimed Wood Pallet via


The only labor intensive part was making the canvas from a reclaimed wood pallet. First, the pallet was dismantled and then the pieces were attached to two boards: [Read more…]