You are part of the story

first bam everBefore there was Now You there was 52 Weeks of BAM.   Four years ago in May of 2010 there was a group on Flickr created by a talented and insightful woman named Tiffany. It was during this time I began to feel connection with other women from around the world. It was a time of transformation. She created a movement, she did! I had joined Flickr in September of 2009.  I had been posting little tad bits of my life here or there and pretty much daily. I began to notice there were groups, Bench Monday, Facedown Tuesday, and Fence Friday. I noticed there were sort of relationships being formed within these groups. I knew a local photographer who dissed Flickr, she said it was too clicky (giggle….get it clicky) So she wasn’t into it. I can see how she may have felt that way. In the beginning I would be lucky if one person looked at my photographs or even left a comment. Yet I would notice within these groups people seemed to have these strange relationships, like they knew each other or something? I didn’t really understand or get it, until 52 Weeks of BAM came along.

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I joined. The timing was just right. I had just turned 40 and I had just lost my grandpa whom I adored. It was a very emotional year of grasping the fact he was really gone and also tripping out that I had entered a new decade. Week by week I would take a self-portrait.

being carefree in front of abbieIt was so WEIRD turning the camera on me. I had previously been all about the family, the kids our trips and even on our trips there was an obvious absence of me. Sometimes motorcycle man would say “here let me take a picture of you and the kids” and that was always nice, or I may remember to use my timer and take a family shot but more times than not, the kids and Rich outnumbered me in our photographs. And honestly it was a slight feeling of being transparent as in, not being a part of, but more like being an observer of.

after 2 nights in the hosptial with littlest girlI’m sure I’m a typical mom. We put our family before us. It’s a natural thing to behave this way. It’s our honor to be a mother, we should get a badge for it for sure. But Tiffany she began to tweak the way I viewed motherhood.

after I found out they think I need to see someoneI began to think back at my own mother. I have vivid memories of my mom. I can close my eyes and see her and even remember her scent. When I was a little girl, she smelt like green apples and her eye tooth sort of popped forward before she got braces as an adult. She had silky blond hair and she always looked gorgeous, she was in charge of her figure. She worked out in tights and leotards at the gym, she did aerobics and drank tab soda. She had a really clean house and worked full-time and volunteered at my school. She was basically a rock star and my inspiration of what a woman was capable of, which pretty much meant I could do anything, she owned her own business too, so not only could she cook from scratch, sew my clothes and be a terrific mother, she could have a career too.

me and herBUT I also wished she had taken more pictures of her and me together and especially I wish there were more images in print of her. She IS a radiant woman with a down deep belly laugh. Can you imagine had she been in a group like this the images that may have happened?

wordsToday, I’m just looking back. How it all began and how awkward it felt in the beginning to turn the camera on myself. And in this practice I realize it IS an art, it’s not about “oh look at me! I’m amazing and adorable” It’s about capturing a mood, what was happening in that day? The proof, I was there, I was fully present.   And sometimes the moods are not good. And yes, many mainstream every day women may think this strange what I do but I’m not mainstream and I’m rather proud of that little fact.

Please remember.  You are not transparent.  You are not on the outside looking in.  YOU are a part of the story.

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Things my mom taught me

How to be grateful for all the things we have, big or small

How to treat others as we would like to be treated

How to always say please and thank you

How to NOT judge a book by its cover

How my attitude is everything and it can make or break me

How to laugh with abandon…..the list goes on and on.  So much so that I was able to write her nearly an entire year’s worth of things I’m thankful for about her.  So much of the person I am today was shaped by my mother.  I’m fortunate enough to have a really great mom.  She was a young mom but she took her job serious and I benefited from her courage and commitment.  Other boys and girls were not as fortunate.  She took exceptional care of me.  I can’t thank her enough for that.  I still think she is the most beautiful person inside and out. She still protects me and she still wants the very best for me.  She will always be my mom no matter how old I keep getting.  I’m proud of her. It feels good to have a mom like her. So today.  I just wanted to acknowledge her, to say thank you.  I love you mom to the moon and back infinity squared.

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lessons big and small

aus jimiThis child of mine is a gift, all three of my children are gifts and ultimately they belong to God.  We can teach them in the ways they “should” go but ultimately, just as we have been created with free will, so have they.  I left Austin a note recently about our love for him and how we love him so much we have to let him make his own mistakes. It hasn’t been exactly easy so far and to be honest I see it getting more difficult before it gets better.  He learned a big lesson when he had his first car accident and his insurance will be higher for three years, but with that came the privilege to rebuild the damaged car along-side his Dad and grandpa.  It should be three full years of higher insurance rates but since his accident happened on the front end of our insurance renewal, it will be more like a 2-1/2 year increase for him.  I find a blessing in this.

Watching him find his nitch in this life also isn’t so easy.  I have to believe that God created things this way as lessons for us too.  God I’m sure is continually frustrated with our choices when he knows how easy it can be if we just trust in Him.  And with our children we know it could be so much easier if they just trusted us fully but that clearly is not happening with our first-born and I just keep praying that the day will arrive when his eyes are opened and he just comes back.  He comes back to his roots. It’s a lesson in patience, it’s a lesson in trust.  And lessons are hard, even for us adults.  With each lesson comes growth and that’s also something to be thankful for.  So as his mom, I can only hope he learns his lessons quick.

This video clip isn’t recent but since art is on my mind with the art walk just around the corner I wanted to share this piece with anyone interested in watching it.  Austin had a particularly rough junior year in high school and in this video he had a homework assignment for history.  I could see from the start to finish of the project his heart softened for the time being.  It was a great thing to fully record and witness.

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Oh my word!! One reader away from make over.  My stomach is nervous.  When I finally get that last reader it will take a while.  Be patient.  I have a busy few weeks.  I have a memorial to attend this weekend and the very next Friday is the art walk.  The other thing giving me nerves.  I’m a nervous wreck if you want to know the whole truth.  So I pulled out all the things in my black crafty cupboard because each time the kids opened it to find “something” a small avalanche would happen.  I figured I had better do something about it.  So while I type this nonsense, the pile remains, which honestly gives me even more anxiety.   This is how I feel  You know that song….I’m shakin!  But if you ask any of my family members, especially motorcycle man, he will tell you I’m easily FREAKED out and love to use that exact phrase “I’m freaked out”

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This is what I can see if I lean back in my chair.  That basket if filled with socks, all mismatched that need to be matched and all that stuff on the table needs to be organized and put back in the black crafty cupboard.

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When all else fails and you don’t really want to conquer the mountain ahead.  Just snap a picture of Pablo because as my new friend Jhanis says, Pablo after all is the cutest family member.  And I will always think it’s the cutest when I see my oldest completely focused and has the exact same look of concentration as he had as a little.  Like exactly.

IMG_6304I can’t get my scanner to work or else I would show you.  Alright.  I’ll go clean that cupboard now.  Almost Friday people.  Well for my friend Whose home is Australia not to be confused with Austria, Miss Cathie with an IE.  Happy Friday to you, lucky duck!!

 

 

clean floors are worth celebrating

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It all began Thursday morning.  The alarm goes off at 5:45, I drag out of bed because I have never been a morning person.  My ritual is feeding the animals first, and the kitties they run around my legs meowing and meowing and I think it’s so cute.  I start my coffee and then I sit and read my devotion.  This particular morning had one of my favorite references which is about not worrying. This one found in Luke 12:22-24 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the Ravens:  They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable are you than the birds!”  Those words just never get old to me.  I did all the other mom stuff and had to photograph this rose.  This rose motorcycle man ripped off the rose bush for me.  Yes, I say ripped because he didn’t use clippers or anything like that.  It just made me smile so big when he brought it in this morning. It was a good pause plus I got a kiss with it.  So this is why I begin with the picture of the rose.

Now let’s get to the floors!  Also this morning I just started to freak out a little as the beautiful morning light hit my kitchen floors.  I mean I said out loud “oh my gosh the floors are gross!” “I think I will need to do something about them today when I get home from work, I just have to. ”  And so….I did.  Below is the process and you know it was a beautiful process.  I completely enjoyed the job.  I’m not kidding you.  I crank on the music, grab my camera.  Clean a little pause for pictures and just take the entire process in.  I just know when I finish,  walking on that floor will feel so much better. I still love my cork floors, I just do.  Don’t even regret putting the cork in the kitchen.  It feels nice beneath the feet.  Speaking of feet, try not to look very close at mine.  Bluck.  They could use some major attention, but it’s real.  Just keeping it real.  So now my floors, they are clean and they feel nice and they look pretty, and they shine.  We all know though this will only last maybe 24 hours if I’m lucky, then the crumbs start hitting the floor and pushing against the edges.  And then I sort of ignore it for a time until one morning I will notice the pretty morning light shining on all the bits of chunky dust on my kitchen floor.  But today, I celebrate!  I celebrate my clean floors.  And btw, doesn’t every good mom clean her floors in her work clothes? I bet so.

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The before floorIMG_6156

My mom brought me back this kitchen towel from Arkansas.  She said “this is so you”  and we laughed and laughedIMG_6158

Dylan even had fun with the cleaning of the floors, he had his own soundtrack going thoughIMG_6165

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I love to keep containers and re-use them for stuff like this.  My rag was an old t-shirt.IMG_6169

Okay so when I use the timer, I’m not super picky about how clear the shot is, it’s just the idea of what’s going on hereIMG_6176

See there, cleaning in my pretty work shirtIMG_6172

Eeeeek, those feet but look at those shiny floorsIMG_6182

And motorcycle man, he mowed the lawnIMG_6189

Our littlest and only girl, had a good idea when she took her school work outsideIMG_6197

and the pumpkins, they still grow
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My very first blog award!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I just very recently met a really cool blogger whose name is Dean  and yes Dean is a gal who lives in England with her darling little T and her hubby!  Her blog is really full of good stuff; I encourage you to visit if you have not already.  So Miss Dean from England gave me a “blog your heart out” award today!!  My very first blog award EVER!!  Well according to Dean, it’s not a “real” award however, I’m gunna say it’s very real to me, like I have arrived or something!! Little old me with not even 100 readers.  Yes, I’m going to say significant award even because I feel honored to have been recognized by my fellow peer in this blog world and to be alongside some really awesome bloggers. Some of these gals have like in the thousands of readers!  It’s completely mind blowing to me.   And here I am!  Completely honored and may even try to do a real live cart-wheel cause of it, in my mind I’m already cartwheeling in a big open field of poppies.  Okay, get ahold of yourself Tracie, deep breaths.  With this award I’m to answer a few questions and then nominate five bloggers who I think are most deserving of this award.  I’m so excited!!!  Dean, you have no idea how special you have me feeling today…on top of the world!

Who/What encouraged you to start blogging?

Life in the Wylde West has been going about just barely over one year now.  However like many of us, I was a big time journal-er growing up, I had diaries when I was a tween, I had journals as a young adult, I used to type in my word processor notes and milestones for my first born and placed them in a binder so sort of like a blog in a binder, then there was a site called VOX, I blogged there years back until they went under.  I came back to blog on WordPress mostly because I have a skin condition that drives me crazy and I was blogging about healthy eating and dealing with my skin troubles and OCD’ness.  But then it became much more fun to write about every-day-ness, and a poem here or there, or an interview with someone I admire.  So it went from Healing the Natural Way to….Life in the Wylde West.  I live in California on the West Coast, our last name is West and had our third child been another boy, his name would have been Wylde but that third child came out a girl and we couldn’t name a sweet girl Wylde.  So I named my blog Wylde!

How did you choose what topics to blog about?

I’m going to say, the topics choose me.  I just get up each morning and as the day progresses I decide what I may talk about. Whether it be a recipe, an interview, a poem, or just what I did that day, of course my kids (that’s a given) or like today, I got this awesome award so, it chose me!

Tell us something that people don’t know about you?

Gee, I’ve literally almost put it all out there already but…..maybe the time I was engaged to my now husband and my parents were out-of-town so we took Mom’s convertible Mercedes, worked to get that top off, and drove to Beverly Hills to act as if we were among the Rich and famous. She left the keys, what do you expect?

What three words best describe your style?

Colorful, mismatched and repetitive (meaning the same few outfits get rotated around)

What do you like to do when you are not blogging?

There’s that new obsession for Mad Men, tinkering in my garden, taking tons of nonsense pictures, hanging out with Motorcycle man and the kids.

Now for my five pix all fellow WordPress gals because I wasn’t sure if I could go out of this WordPress world, I’m really very new to awards and all.  I have a few really awesome friends who blog on blogspot or blogger, or something like that name but today these awards are presented to my fellow WordPress bloggers.

Susan because since the very beginning she has visited my site faithfully and sometimes is my one and only “like” or comment on any given day.  Plus she takes really; really beautiful pictures and I love how she sees the world through her lens.

Heidi someone relatively new to me but I love that she is a witty farm girl from Canada who tells really cute stories about her girls and shares recipes too!

Joyce because she is a working mama who loves her two babes like no other and shares openly and honestly and most often I’m nodding my head in agreement, like I feel just like you Joyce, like exactly!

Vivian   I just love her and I don’t even know her!  I found her one time while I was just looking around one day and I love her heart for God and she is so encouraging to me, she always stops by with kind words and advice even.  Although she hasn’t blogged for a good long while, it’s my hope she can find some time because I just plain like her.

Caitlin a very talented young, HARD working gal who is one of those bloggers who has over a 1,000 readers!  She is just incredible and although I’m twice her age, I completely enjoy what she has to share on her blog.  She’s darling, entertaining and she also shares recipes! And even though she is very popular she still will come visit little old me!

the red pants

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Do you know what it’s like to take a jump picture with your timer.  Fun.  I will just say fun.  I have no remote.  My camera only takes one with a cord.  So I have to practice lots.

So I got those red pants.  I can’t believe how happy I am about it.  16.00 and they fit well and they are RED!  I’m living on the edge.

Today is the BIG day.  Abbie has her try outs for cheer.  I have sent up so many prayers today, I tucked a note inside her P.E. clothes and have both speeches ready for if she makes it and if she doesn’t.  We will not know until Friday.  The waiting will be killing me.

Last night Mr. motorcycle man did make his pasta dish and cheesy bread and I’m so happy I have a partner who helps out like that.  I sat with Abbie and went over vocabulary words as he made our carb filled dinner!  My kind of thing you know.

pastaAustin ordered the right fender for his bug and once that arrives they can fix it back up and actually start driving it again.   And guess what!!  It arrived!!

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It arrived today.  That’s what the big box is!! Austin will be happy. 

I picked up my prints at Costco yesterday and mailed them to my friend and as I reviewed what I had picked I actually wondered why I picked what I had?  I enlarged an artichoke for pete’s sake.  I started to sort of panic, like why didn’t I have the pin wheel printed or something more interesting.  Then I started to talk to myself about how it shouldn’t matter and how I’m just glad to get my face out there in public and talk to some people.  I mean I never claimed to be awesome or anything.  I just shoot what I love and things that make me happy and well sometimes it’s an artichoke.  I should really stop worrying about this art walk and go with the flow.

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I have to finish today’s post on the topic of Farm Fresh to You.  I’m in love with this service.  I took  a picture of the delivery in the morning light Tuesday with my “real” camera and I have to share it here with you.  I also never like to waste a single stitch of what they deliver and since it’s farm fresh, with no chemicals and stuff, it goes bad sort of quick.  Not all of it but say the things like lettuce and spinach.  So today when I got home I made the spinach with some tomatoes and garlic over last nights left over pasta with a sprinkle of cheese.  Pictures below because you know I’m a lover of food photo’s.  Plus I need ideas for the radishes.  Please let me know if you have any ideas about that.  I have a bundle to go through.

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the usual this and that

Silly I know to even go on like this but here I go.  Today is busy.  I have to pick up my prints from Costco, then get to the post office to mail them off to my dear, dear awesome friend who will then place them on foam board for me cause she is awesome like that, then pick up the soccer player from school, to then take him to his physical so he can play on the soccer team, in which he has already let me know “mom, you can stay in the waiting room” Not so excited about what the physical will entail and no way does he want the mother who birthed him and breast-fed him to be anywhere near the room when the “exam” is done.  So then I need to pick up the littlest and only girl from her cheer clinic.   And well that’s really all because Motorcycle man already let me know he has dinner covered.  Pasta dish with cheesy garlic bread, in which I say “you don’t even like pasta”  in which he says “I’m taking one for the team”  Gosh it seemed like so much more in my mind but I’m pretty sure I can pull this off with ease.  I guess I just needed to write it out.  I may even have time to read, but most likely I will be watching the girl practice for her cheer try outs for Wednesday. I also have half a notion to pick up those red pants I saw at Costco.  I know really huh? Tells you how much style I have that I’m gunna buy a pair of pants at Costco.   I just realized when I went to the funeral on Saturday that I had not too many clothes, like two pairs of jeans (one really tight pair) and a few maxi skirts and that was about the extent of it.  So I think a few more pants in different colors would be a good idea.  Oh and there’s that one thing that I need to do, fill the back pack with school supplies for the outreach Abbie’s school is part of.  There is that too.  Oh, I can do it.  Wonder Mom powers activate!

photoThis morning as the sun peeked in.  I’m so grateful for another day.

 And last but of course not least, farm fresh to you was on my doorstep this morning as it is every other Tuesday and those days are the best kind of days.  It was most likely there when I got a tap at my back window at 1:30 a.m. as the first-born was locked out and I ran first frantic to the front door even though I heard the tap at my back window.  It was probably there then but I was too in a panic to find where to let my son it at;)

farm freshWhen I proof read this, still could have mistakes but anyway…I read this and it’s all about me, me, me but I just write these things so us gals can stand united and be nodding our heads like, yes! yes! I get that or the mom’s who have already done it…yep, yep…I remember that.  Or the mom’s who have this in their future,  oh wow, so I have that to look forward to?  So even though it’s all about me, it’s really all about US.

 

mom’s remedies

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I’m not going to admit that I’m full blown sick but I will admit there are signs of sickness revealing itself.  My throat hurts pretty bad.  So instead of bowing fully to the bug I will medicate with home remedies.  We already did the homemade chicken soups but what about VICKS?  When I was little it was our go to when we had colds.  Mom would rub it on our chest and throat and wrap a bandanna around our necks.  My father-n-law takes a finger dab and eats it.  My friend Monica said the warning to not eat it doesn’t really count, it’s like the speed limit, do we really ever drive the speed limit?  Well I do mostly but since I know my father-n-law swears by it, and Monica also says eating it is the bomb, whelp I had to have a dab full.  It wasn’t as amazing as they both described.  I made a pretty terrible face, Dylan saw me do it and said “Mom, you are not supposed to eat that stuff!”  my response, “Papa eats it and swears by it”  he responds with “Papa was in the military, he can do things like that, but not you”  But I did, and I also lathered it all over my chest and neck and tied on my  bandana.  I will not succumb to this cold, not entirely, just a tiny bit.  When I stopped by the drugstore on my way home from work, I wanted to buy the BIG tub we had when I was growing up.  The big tub was almost 20.00!!! So I got the tiny tube for 5.00. I wanted the biggest tub I could find because my friend Monica also told me that if you put vicks on your feet when you have a cough and put your socks on over it, then the cough will be surpressed.  I have tried this too in the past and it does work.  Since she shared this trick with me, I also lather my kids feet up with it and bundle them in socks so they can sleep better at night when they have a cough.  Thanks to her I have adopted this home remedie for years now.

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 See how tiny this 5.00 tub is??

photo (2)This is the sort of stuff I deal with around here, my silly second born photo bombing me.  I have to admit, he made me laugh.

I also remember summers with my great grandma and she kept vicks at her bedside.  I’m not sure why but I think I remember her putting it on nearly every night, that or she just smelt like vicks a lot.  Maybe she was using it for preventative measures?  This has me ending today’s post with the prayer my great grandma would say with me each night as she held my hand until I fell to sleep.  I have such great memories with her and my great grandpa, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time with them as I was growing up.  The prayer went like this “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep but if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take”  I remember I used to ask my grandma “why would I pray for God to take my soul,  I really wanted to keep it. “

Apples and Rain….yes more apples and rain;)

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Someone read my blog about CHANGE and she did something about it.  I received the most beautiful handmade necklace today in the mail.  It read “change” and it truly touched my heart.  I have a dear friend who has a name but I like to call her Ocean’s Child, first because she adores anything to do with the ocean and the ocean it reminds me of her.  Second, I like John Lennon, he is my favorite Beatle and well wouldn’t you know, it’s his birthday today!  How crazy is that!  I really love that song Julia so very much and in the this song it has a line “Ocean Child”. My friend has a  beautiful Etsy store called Two Mermaids  and she makes beautiful hand blown beads and she sells fun ocean themed gifts and mermaids of course….everything mermaid!  You should go visit her store, you will not be disappointed.

So remember earlier today I talked about rain and apples?  Well since it rained we wanted to bake of course but not our apple pie, nope.  We decided to make apple pizza instead.  Below are some of the images from our rainy day baking.  I don’t like writing recipes out very much, I’m not a big measurer and things like that so sometimes it’s hard to stop and really think about how to tell someone how we make things but I have tried of course, after all I do have a recipe tab.  This recipe does have measurements though because it’s not really ours, it’s Mrs. Ostgaard’s apple pie recipe from when all three of my kids went through the 5th grade.  They all made this pie, we just happened to use her ingredients and turn it into a pizza instead.  Meaning we just rolled the dough flat instead of placing it in a pie dish.

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While the apple pizza baked, we ran out to play in the rain.  Below are my two favorite shots of the rain girl.

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IMG_6066Singing in the rain….what do ya think?  She loves to sing and dance of course.  She has my mom’s old ski jacket on from back in the day.

TA DA!  Apple Pizza

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