Sunday, August 29, 2010

The DH, redefined

I have always had a few Designated Handbags. You know, the ones that sit around with only one purpose.  The gym bag, for instance, or the diaper bag. These are classic DHs.

Recently, though, I've noticed that DHs have taken over the doorknobs and banisters of our house on a somewhat larger scale. It seems I currently have quite the fleet of DHs. I think I have at least ten. I don't know if this is a sign of hyper organization or extreme laziness.

Whatever the case may be, I'll let you be the judge. For, in what may be the stupidest blog post ever, I now present to you--my patient readers--a photo-documentary of my DHs, called:

This Day in Designated Handbag History!
(All handbags were photographed in their natural settings with no staging or digital retouching.)

Let's begin in the bedroom. Here we have the aforementioned gym bag. Permanent residents of this bag include my iPod shuffle, deodorant, a small towel, a water bottle, and a ziploc with dipes and wipes for Maddie.  I throw other stuff in there as necessary.

Next up we have the farmer's market bag. This thing can hold about 7,000 ears of corn and heirloom tomatoes. I love filling this one up.

Then we have the cutesy camera bag.  Spare lenses live here.

And then the manly camera bag. It has a much more comfortable shoulder strap, for times when comfort trumps cuteness.

Next up is the cross-stitch bag. It lives on this doorknob in the vain hope that I will actually see it, be inspired, and finish up my nephew's sampler. Austin, I promise I'll finish it before you have kids of your own.

And here is my super-awesome computer bag, which I use when I go to the library to work. Inside you will find Kate Turabian's guide to MLA style. (We have another copy that lives on my husband's desk.) What? You think it looks like a diaper bag? Why, it IS a diaper bag. But don't tell anyone. 

Moving on to the current actual handbag. Whatever bag I've used most recently usually ends up on this doorknob.  Wallet, phone, etc reside here.

Detouring briefly into my closet, you will find my DHs-in-waiting.  (Okay, I can see this is getting a little silly. Moving on.)

The final DH in the bedroom, this is the Bible bag.  The Gutsy Dad and I bring this to our neighborhood fellowship once a week. It lives in my bedside table.

In the hallway you'll find the pool bag. Towels, swim dipes, and sunscreen live here.  Alas, it is just about time to put this one away for the season.

Now we'll move into the more public areas of the home. Near the entryway, we find Jillson's school bag.

And the Gutsy Dad's school bag.

And any and all canvas grocery shopping bags waiting to go back to the car.  (There are usually 4 or 5 of these here.)

And "the Maddie bag," i.e. the little diaper bag we use when we need to leave her somewhere else, such as the church nursery. (We keep our stash of other diaper bag options in the girls' closet in their room. These were unavailable for photographing due to naptime.)

Phew. This is getting exhausting. We're almost done. In the kitchen you'll find our recycling bag.

In the closet in my studio, you'll find my lovely array of scrapping and teaching totes.

And last but not least, amidst this fine collection of bags belonging (mostly) to my children, you will find their designated library bags.  (The dotted brown and white ones. You can only see Maddie's. Jillson's is hiding right behind it.)

And that's it. Does anyone else have DHs?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mini Mania!

Lookie!  Lookie! See what I made today?  This came together lickety-split using the new "Triple Play" kit from CTMH. I can't wait to make the blue one and the orange one.  The finished size here is about 4x4.

Here's the cover, velcroed closed.
Here is the first page.  I love that lacy corner stamp in the upper left. (Not to mention the cute girls on the facing page.)
Next set of pages; look closely to see the tiny, two-step button stamps.
This is the centerfold that literally unfolds. Here it is closed.
And here it is opened.
Close-up of the left side.
Close up of the right side.  Yes, the photo crosses the fold--and I love that, too.
Next set of pages.

Last set of pages.

The view from above.
Something funky is going on with the formatting in this post, but hopefully I can hold it together long enough to tell you the rest of the essential information.  If you would like to get everything you need to make a mini album just like this one, plus two others, all for only $5, just click here.  (Okay, so you will need your own photos, adhesives, and acrylic blocks, but everything else is included: all papers, the stamp set, four mini ink pads, all the die cuts, the velcro, the ribbon, etc.)I'm thinking the blue one will be perfect for photos of a brand-new baby boy, and the orange will flatter some Italy pictures quite nicely.Happy Crafting!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Do You Not Know Me At All, Child?

Jillson: Mom, you do not have to get so excited about everything!

(Oh, yes I do! Granted, I was singing the Dora theme song at the time and probably could have toned it down a notch or two, but seriously, child, when Mommy is excited, Mommy is excited.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Thanks, Dad

Gutsy Mom:  Hold on, Jills. Let's check the instructions first.
Jillson:  Instructions are for sissies.
Gutsy Mom:  What?
Jillson:  Instructions are for sissies.
Gutsy Mom: Who told you that?
Jillson:  Kiki. He taught me that on Heron Island.

Leave it to the grandparents to undermine all our hard work.  And yes, my dad's grandchildren call him Kiki.  He is down with his manhood.  It must be all that non-reading of instruction manuals that keeps him so tough.  For the record, the Gutsies are an RTFB* family.

*Read The Freaking Book

Friday, August 13, 2010

Seven Up

(Not the soda, and not the social studies documentary. I had to watch it for school; didn't you?)
It has been over 100 degrees here for umpty-nine days in a row, and I am done with it. It was not like this last summer. I feel betrayed by Kansas.
I love it that my daughter says “sonnet” instead of “Sonic.”
I have turned into a total gym rat. I am there five mornings a week, and I have my special little cadre of gym friends. I do the classes, I use the machines, I get beaten to a pulp by my trainer. I love it. I feel so energized and happy all the time, thanks to my getting routine exercise and having a place for my children to play--quite happily--while I sweat it out. 
I recently had a discussion with my friend Libby about whether I have ever enjoyed exercise, and my answer was a resounding no. I told her that while I had never enjoyed the actual exercising, I have often enjoyed that great feeling you get after having done it. But I think that is changing. I think I am enjoying the actual exercise, and I think--nay, I know for sure--that I have had this feeling before. I had just forgotten. 
Now I feel proud of what I can accomplish while whirling through the air with cheesy jazz hands, the Lady GaGa blaring, propelling myself over not one, but two steps. (Thank God for an incredibly talented instructor who offers a Double Step class.*) And I remember why I once, in college, decided to become certified to teach step. (Which I did. I enrolled in the course, studied the books, took the exams, and bam! I was a real, live aerobics instructor! I know, I know. This is either shattering your image of the Gutsy Mom or boring you to tears.) At any rate, I have been doing step aerobics, off and on, for nearly twenty years, and I still love it. 
Do you ever feel like a moron when you do something you once loved, realize you love it still, and wonder why in the world you haven’t been doing it all along? That’s what this year has been like for me. First the choir singing, then the step aerobics, and now...
The word nerd. Oh yes, dear readers, she’s back and ready to geek you out. I am now officially, unofficially self-employed as a freelance editor and proofreader. 
On somewhat of a whim, I put some fliers up at a local college advertising my mad skills as a proofreader, and lo and behold, I now have three clients. (Okay, so I’ve always had the one client. But he doesn’t pay me for my services.) So now I have two paying clients, and one who bribes me with back rubs.
It makes me SO HAPPY to help people improve their writing. I had forgotten that feeling, too. I had forgotten that one of my favorite parts about grad school was critiquing the work of other writers. Welcome back, Gutsy Editor, I have missed you!
You know what else makes me happy? The gratitude and excitement my clients have displayed when they get their papers back from me. It makes me so happy that something I do (and enjoy doing) pleases them so.
And you know what else makes me happy? I can do this work any time of day and from anywhere, as long as I have my computer, an internet connection, and relative peace. 
And you know what else makes me happy? GETTING PAID! Watch out, Lu’s, here I come! (Incidentally, I am reading a fantastic book called My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire which I highly recommend, along with the author's website. These have helped me at least start with a vaguely professional frame of reference. I’ve also been rereading The Grouchy Grammarian as well as Eats, Shoots & Leaves and my all-time favorite, Woe is I. I'm in nerd heaven!)
I am now extremely self-conscious about every word I type for this blog, because I fear each sentence will come under scrutiny. Who does she think she is, calling herself an editor? Does she not see those misplaced modifiers? And don’t get me started about her comma usage... 

While I always maintain that a great deal of comma usage is an art form and subject to interpretation, I’m just going to say right now (with apologies to my mother): I am not perfect.
Covert Affairs is no Alias, but I am watching it anyway. I do appreciate Chris Gorham on several levels.
It’s five o’clock somewhere (here) and, therefore, cocktail time. I’m thinking G&T.
Have a marvelous weekend,
The G.M.
* Let me bust myself by explaining that when said awesome instructor informed us one day in class that she would be staying here another year, since her husband, alas, would be going on a Ridiculously Long Business Trip, I blurted out “YAY!” and thus revealed myself to be a completely insensitive, self-centered idiot. I tried to recover, but really, you can’t take back a “yay.” Let us all just remember that when someone tells you his or her spouse is headed out on an RLBT, the ONLY acceptable response is “Oh, I am so sorry to hear that.” Woopsie.