Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New Rooms!

This weekend we started moving in earnest.

Here is a shot of Ben's new room - freshly painted with a new wallpaper border, and some of his personal belongings moved in.

I realized after posting this that his wallpaper looks rather floral in this picture, so am adding another so you can see it's actually a coral reef:

And here is Ty in his new room, in his new loft bed and comforter cover, enjoying the view from way up high!

And finally, here is my new room ... need I mention where I put most of my effort this weekend?

Settling the boys took priority over settling myself - that will come, too, with time!

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Astronaut Farmer

Tonight the boys and I went to see the new movie The Astronaut Farmer. It was great. All about supporting the ones you love, believing in yourself, and never, ever letting go of your dreams. It got a little slow in the middle for the boys, but the ending more than made up for it. I worried at one point that the lesson was going to be more deep than I wanted to have to explain afterwards, but no worries, it all ends happily and we wanted to cheer at the close of the show!

Both boys turned to me at the end and said "we have to buy it!"

Guess that says it all!

(parental comments: there were a surprising number of swear words, more than I thought warranted, but nothing else worrisome)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sorry for my silence

Apologies to those of you who faithfully check this blog, hoping there might be something new or interesting here to read.

Between starting a new business, keeping school going, getting ready to move, and all the other changes in our lives right now, the blog has slipped to pretty low on the list of priorities.

Quick updates:

Moving is going well, slowly but surely, I take over a few boxes almost every day and this weekend hope to move some furniture.

Kids' schooling is going great, they are really impressing me with their independence and sense of responsibility lately!

New business is going wonderfully, I have two clients who are keeping me about as busy as I can handle right now - as the rest of my life settles down a bit I will be able to work more, but for right now the balance is good.

An Africa update - I am making my airline reservations this week (just shopping around a bit for fares!) and will be visiting Carla in late June -- CAN'T WAIT!!!! I am leading a group of 13 teachers and expect it to be a fabulous journey, on so many levels.

Tae Kwon Do is still making me happy - my yoga classes have stopped for a while, and I miss that a lot (and I know I could do it on my own at home but somehow that ain't happening). Master Ralph has been teaching us a lot of self-defense lately, and I find myself feeling a little like I did when I first became certified in CPR - I would constantly scan the crowds, just waiting for someone to keel over so I could rush in and revive them ... not that I want to be mugged now, but I do find myself thinking "oh, boy, I am SO ready ... just try it, buster, just try it..."!!

Reading: don't have any good titles to recommend - I am focusing on devouring texts and writing manuals and marketing handbooks for professional development, and I am too tired at night to read for fun! I do miss that, a lot - once we move I will re-establish my reading habits.

And ... that's about it, I guess! I am counting on my creativity coming back when all the other stuff clears out of my mind. Thanks for sticking with me!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

In doing some research on writing opportunities, I found a website which lists headlines which were not well thought out before being published. I giggled so much that I had to share:
  • Crack Found on Governor's Daughter
  • Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
  • Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
  • Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
  • Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?
  • Prostitutes Appeal to Pope
  • Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
  • Teacher Strikes Idle Kids
  • Miners Refuse to Work after Death
  • Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
  • War Dims Hope for Peace
  • If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile
  • Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
  • Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
  • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges
  • Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge
  • New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
  • Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
  • Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
  • Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy
  • Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
  • Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
  • Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Queen

Saw the movie "The Queen" over the weekend. It's the story of how Queen Elizabeth responded to Princess Diana's death. First off, I just want to say to any of you who are up on royal protocol that I know officially it is incorrect to say "Princess Diana." But it's easier. So I still say it. (just in case any of you were wondering.)

Anyway, back to the film. I was unaware how much of a role Tony Blair played in this movie, nor was I aware of how much of a role he played in the actual events as they happened. But according to the movie, he was key in the unfolding of the drama in real life, and I certainly haven't read any reviews of the movie crying foul. In fact, I heard that the Queen actually saw the movie and didn't criticize it. Not that that necessarily means a whole lot.

Ok, ok, I will get on with it now.

I was living in London the year Diana and Charles got married. I was on the street watching the processional the day of their wedding. I was the same age as Diana - less than 6 months difference - and I felt a connection to her - not that I am unique in that way - but I did feel as if we shared something in this world. In contrast, I never felt any connection to Sarah Fergusen, though she, too, is about my age, and honestly I think she sounds like a really fun person. Anyway, I stayed up-to-date about Diana's life, following the births of her children and the demise of her marriage, and I remember vividly the moment I heard of her death. I was pregnant with Ty, it was a Sunday morning, and Steve brought the newspaper in to me - I was still in bed - with the news.

I did not get out of bed that day.

Two years later, I was in Paris and visited the spot where an impromptu shrine to Diana was set up. It's a corner close to where the road goes into the tunnel where the accident occured. People brought flowers there the day after the accident, and two years later there were still fresh flowers placed there regularly. It was very hard to see, yet I sought it out deliberatly.

Now, watching this movie, all the emotions came flooding back to me and I found myself relieved that I was sitting alone in the last row of the movie theater so my crying did not bother anyone else. The movie was really done so carefully, so respectfully, that although I was crying, I was also aware of a feeling of surprised satisfaction that the movie makers had not exploited the event or the person to make their film.

I have no way of knowing how accurate the depiction is in the film. They certainly showed a lot of the Queen's personal life that I assume they have no real way of knowing about. But, as I said earlier, I have not read any reviews of the film that point out how wrong it is, and I did read that the royal family watched the movie and did not make a statement disavowing it. And since Tony Blair is still prominent in British politics I have to assume his part in the story must be based on reality. So I have to say that, royal family watcher that I am, I really learned a lot watching this movie. I was pleased with the way the writers presented the human side of the royals, the way they showed the inner struggles and the conflict they had to overcome during that time.

I still find myself looking at any magazine which has a photograph of, or headline about, Diana. I probably always will.

Monday, February 05, 2007

KP Comprehensive

I am starting a new chapter in my life ... I am going to be a professional writer. I am not too sure exactly what that means right now; I will be stepping out on my own to do freelance writing as an independent consultant. It's very exciting and very scary.

I have always wanted to be my own boss, to set my own hours and follow my own direction. I have had numerous opportunities to write for many non-profits I have been involved with, and for church, and for school. I have, actually, been a writer for quite some time - but now it's Writer, and I am going to get paid for it!

I am worried that suddenly, now that I am putting "professional" in front of my name, that I will be unable to write anything at all. I have been extremely self-conscious about my vocabulary lately. What if all my words leave me and I have to say things like "It was nice." because I can't think of any more precise or descriptive words to use? What if I am hard-hit by the dreaded writer's block? Everyone has heard of it, everyone knows that every writer gets it once in a while, there's clearly no way I will be immune.

And even writing here. As I am typing RIGHT THIS MINUTE I am putting all kids of pressure on myself, wondering if what I write here is of the appropriate caliber to be the blog of a "real" writer. What if people look at this and think to themselves "who's she kidding?" What if I think that?

But you know what, I am still going to do it. I have to, quite frankly. I have to earn money, I have to become focused and productive. Even though today there were at least two instances where I absolutely could not think of the word I wanted to say (possibly more, I just remember two), I am going forward on faith that my talents will come through for me because they have to.

KP Comprehensive is going to be my official name.
A comprehensive approach to communication.
I can write a brochure, or I can develop an entire marketing plan. I can edit a newsletter, or I can design an all-inclusive communication strategy. I can coordinate websites, sales pieces, PR releases, and logo'ed merchandise. Comprehensive. It all fits together - it must fit together - to be successful.

And you will all be invited to help me build a client base, just as soon as I get business cards made :-)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Heated Car Seats

Tomorrow I am going to a seminar in St. Paul and my neighbor is picking me up at 7:30 AM. I am looking forward to it not only because it should be a good seminar, but also because this neighbor has heated car seats.

I have often said that the older I get the more I will pay to park close to wherever I am going ... heated car seats kind of falls in the same category. When I was younger, the thought of paying extra for luxuries like heated car seats or nearby parking spots seemd foolish and a waste of good money! But now ... well, now I like life's little pleasures, and appreciate them so much more.

It's the coldest weekend of the year in Minnesota but my bottom will be warm tomorrow ;-)