Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Project 2- Self Portraits

I told you all to expect posts on my projects. Project number 2 was self portraits. I don't have anything much to say about them. They were supposed to show who I am in some way. I hope at least that came across.

Well, that's it. That's me. I thought they turned out well enough. Whether they were well enough for the prof. remains to be seen.

The next post will be on the "Tucson Meet Yourself" folk festival. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Project number 1

If you have been reading for a while you know that I am in a photography class. I had promised to post photos on my blog, but I wanted to make sure the projects were over and turned in first. I don't know why. This first project was called What do you know. It was basically assigned to see what kind of photos we knew how to take and where we are in terms of experience and know-how.

The assignment itself was simple enough: Take four different pictures(out of about 100 exposures) of the same subject. They were not to be slight variations on one another. They had to be clearly different. I chose as my subject an old, worn out boot. It was mainly because I thought a worn boot would have a sort of personality.

When critique time came I realized that I was more advanced than some people but far inferior to others. I expected as much. What I didn't expect was that perhaps I was a bit to obscure in my story. My boot was supposed to be on a journey. Oh well.

I decided to make to story a bit more concrete on my blog and write a poem accompanied by the photos. So without further ado here is:

The Higher Ground

I stepped upon the river bank
In search of higher ground
And laid upon the green grass
When none was to be found

Wandering far from home
I stood upon a wall
That was not high enough
Not adequate at all

I made for distant peaks
My body old and worn
The higher ground was nearing
I'd get there as I'd sworn

I climbed both long and high
To the summit of the mount
My weary life behind me
As I solemnly looked out

My life at closing time drew near
I recognized that truth
I closed my eyes and said goodbye
To old age and to youth.

-Marjorie Napier-

Well, That's that. My next projects are close together. I have to complete on this weekend and another by next weekend. Expect posts.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Walk through the Desert with Me

Sorry for the long absence. I've been busy since my mom got back to the US and into town. She spent a year in Norway, and I'm so happy to have her back.

We decided to go for a walk the other morning for some exercise, and my sister-in-law knew of a path that goes through a very wild part of the city. She suggested I take my camera. For as much as I love to take pictures I hadn't thought of it until she suggested it, but I went ahead and packed up my camera and we were off to our little desert trail.

When we got there I discovered that the path was paved and looped around but was not near long enough for the walk we had in mind. Plus, there was a warning to watch out for scorpions, tarantulas, and rattle snakes. JOY! We went on ahead anyway, and when the path ended we took the rough trail for a while.

I took a good amount of pictures, and now you all can take the walk with me.

This is a cholla(pronounced: Choy-a) cactus. Not the prettiest of cacti, but this one was quite big.

This is a very cool dead tree. Some of you might not find it as cool as I did. I liked it.

A very pretty barrel cactus flower

The same barrel cactus with my mom's shadow

A bunch of yellow flowers growing between the rocks.

An ocotillo cactus

A palo verde tree. These grow such beautiful yellow flowers in the spring.

A very strange, little, spikey thing

A tiny barrel cactus

A neat little bush I found

A very scary spider hole

A lizard that lost his tail

Another cool little lizard

A ground squirrel

A giant saguaro. This is what my desert is known for. Yes, they are giant. For a little perspective see the next picture.

This is my mom next to the cactus in the last picture. Did you know they can grow as tall as two giraffes?

Monday, July 26, 2010

One Good Reason I can Stand to Live in the Desert

I live in the desert. Let's hear a collective "duh" on that. It's hot and not-so-sweaty. Not-so-sweaty because the heat pretty much evaporates the moisture off your skin the minute you step outside. It's like the sun lives inside the earth's atmosphere. Or rather that the sun rises and sets within the confines of this desert. This time of year the monsoon sweeps in and causes the humidity to rise, so it can get miserable for people who aren't used to the glaring sun plus the humidity. Last year the monsoon didn't come at all. Yeah, no rain last year. This year the rains have made good on their promise to actually show up, and that means clouds. Lovely clouds to block out the relentless sun. Here is something else that the clouds do.

There isn't a place I've seen in this great country that can compare their sunsets to these. I don't know about the rest of the world, but in my mind they don't get better than this.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A "Thank You" to an Engine Driver

A “Thank You” to an Engine Driver

I wake up alone and searching
There’s no movement of the train
I don’t know where I am
All I know is pain

There are gashes in my back
And bleeding from my head
My leg is also broken
I know I’ll soon be dead

My consciousness is fading
I’m back upon the train
It keeps trundling along
A cruel trick upon my brain

I’ve gone to get some water
Lack of sleep upon me
Then blackness pulls me under
No memories to help me

In the desert sun
Train tracks are lying near
I think I must be dreaming
I surely can’t be here

It’s hot and I am thirsty
The trains I’ve flagged won’t slow
I’ll die alone and scared
And nobody will know

I sleep again and dream
My head lies on a stone
I wake to squealing brakes
And then I’m not alone

I lift my blood soaked head
And cry out my feeble plea
One concerned train driver
Has finally noticed me

He has rescued me from death
I might have died in vain
But for a man who cared
Enough to stop a train

-Marjorie Napier-

This poem is dedicated to a man named Bennie Grayson. He saved my brother's life when he found himself alone, thirsty, and bleeding. He was only 14 at the time of his accident. To this day he does not remember how he ended up being thrown from a moving train.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Adventures In Boredom or A Three-year-old Turns Four

The partners in crime are gone for the week. What does that mean exactly? It means less screaming, fewer messes, and less fun. Let's face it, The two of them are not only "Partners in Crime" but also "Fun Engineers".

Roxanne will start an art project and all the other kids will join in. They usually leave a giant mess, but there is something so great about seeing her inspire the other kids to create. She's a child after my own heart. Plus, she's hilarious. She has one of those senses of humor that you just know will develop fantastically as she gets older. She's also what I like to call a "Smart Alec" to her face and a "Smart Ass" in my head. There is a lot less humor and creativity without her here.

Gabriel is the chatterbox, and he invents games for the kids to play all the time. Is there a giant fort in one of the bedrooms with all the kids chattering away inside? Gabriel is the source of the idea and the conversation. There is a lot less talking and building with him gone. Yes, we are bored without our "Fun Engineers".

So now you have the set up for our little adventure. Isabella and Elijah have been forced to entertain themselves which doesn't always turn out as well as Isabella would hope. Let me elaborate.

Last night Elijah had just gotten done "doing his business" in the bathroom. The door was open, and he was washing his hands (such a good boy). Isabella chose this time to sneak up behind him and yell, "BOO!"

"AAAAAA! Ithabella, you thcarwed me!"

Isabella erupted into fits laughter and so did I. I thought it was hilarious, Isabella thought it was hilarious, and Elijah thought it was a crap joke. He slammed the bathroom door and locked it. I didn't notice he had locked it for about 5 minutes. Oops!

When James and I finally got him to open the door he had broken my deodorant to pieces and rubbed shampoo into his dry hair. Apparently, Elijah has finally discovered the fun of making messes in the bathroom, which is something all my other kids discovered when they were three. He picks four. Just when I thought I might escape this particular milestone with him he goes and throws me a curve ball.

I really had no choice but to give him a bath after that. Since he loves taking a bath I guess I ended up rewarding him for making a mess. Oh well, it really was my fault for not noticing he hadn't come out of the bathroom.

I had fun giving him a bath. He really is the sweetest little boy ever, though I still haven't broken him of the you-hurt-my-feelings-so-now-I'm-going-to-scream thing. He sat in there and played and had a good ol' time.

When it came time to rinse his hair he wouldn't look up at the ceiling so the water wouldn't pour into his eyes. I told him I would have to lay him back. For some reason he doesn't trust that I won't let his head fall into the water. So he finally let me rinse his hair while he looked up at the ceiling. It's important that you know this part, because he won't trust me with things like rinsing his hair, but takes my word on most everything else except at mealtimes.

A few minutes later James walked in as the water was draining out of the tub and "reminded" me to make sure he stayed away from the drain (Because of the germs [Don't ask]). I replied to Elijah quite sarcastically, "Yeah be careful Eli the drain will suck you down." Elijah immediately moved away from the drain to the far side of the tub, and I had to assure him that he really wouldn't go down the drain. I'm glad he takes my word on things, but it reminded me that I have to be careful about sarcasm around him.

Today he is four. I hope for his 5th year of life that he:

1. Learns to read

2. Stops screaming every time his feelings get hurt

3. Has lots of fun

4. Loses a few of his speech impediments

5. Retains his sweetness of temper and loving nature






Monday, July 5, 2010

My Favorite Holiday

The fourth of July is my favorite holiday. We never had any set traditions growing up. Sometimes we would go to see the fireworks sometimes we would set them off ourselves. Legally of course when we lived in a state that allowed that sort of thing. One thing is for certain there was always patriotic music and most of the time there were fireworks.

You might be asking why Independence Day is my favorite holiday. It wasn't always. Ask any kid what his/her favorite holiday is and they will probably tell you it's one where he/she can gorge on candy or get tons of presents. I was a normal kid, but the 4th of July has always had a special place in my heart. There is nothing negative associated with the holiday for me. I look back and mostly see nothing but hot days, fireworks, music, and fun.

Now there is a deeper significance to it. Something I never took into consideration when I was a kid. Love for my country. So what does being a patriot mean to me? It means not only love for my country but for the people who live here. Love for the constitution written by men with vision, inspiration, and even genius. Love for all the beautiful land that I have seen and the parts that I have yet to see.

Now I'm not going to sit here and boast about America being greater than all other nations. I've come to realize that almost every person in the world loves their home more than any other. To me America is the best place on earth, because it's where I was born. If I was forced to be somewhere else for any amount of time I would literally kiss the ground when I got back. I just love my country that much.

So is there anything that I feel could use improvement in this great country? YES! There are many things that I think would make this country greater. The number one thing is to end the bickering, mudslinging, and flat out hatred. I don't care what side of a debate you are on if you have to stoop to name calling, lies, and character defamation you do not deserve to be in office. This constant war of words is exhausting! This doesn't just go for politicians. I know most people have heard their mothers say, "If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all." Listen to your mothers, and respectfully debate an issue. If you can't then SHUT UP! I believe words are power. Use that power wisely.

*clears throat* So I took some pictures tonight. They are just not as good as last year. I tried to use my tripod. I need a better one. It's just too wobbly. Wobble is a photographer's worst enemy. I was waging a war with wobble, and the wobble won. <---- alliteration hee hee! Anywho, here are the pretties.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Remembering the Waves

Remembering the Waves

The sun shines through my eyelids
I am remembering the waves
They offer the only comfort
To be had on sunny days
And when they touch my feet
And the wind grazes my hair
I taste the salty sweetness
Of the briny, sticky air

The sand is warm and moist
I make impressions with my feet
I'm gathering the seashells
That I probably won't keep
And the seabirds call to me
To join them on their dives
Alas the time has come
For me to open up my eyes

The atmosphere is dry
And no moisture touches skin
No toes upon the beach
No ocean to be in
I lift my lids to difference
The arid desert looms
I must be contented with
The Sonoran cactus blooms

-Marjorie Napier-

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ideas come from Strange Places

Just a short post today. I've been racking my brain all week to think of a suitable post to follow "Finding a Father and other Fluff" but I just couldn't. Just an update on that situation then and a little extra something else.

Wow, it's been a big week and long lost family members are coming out of the woodwork. They are Mexican so you can rest assured it is a big family! *coughstereotypecough* Well, if the shoe fits... Anyway, it's been really fun getting all their messages and friend requests on facebook. I'm just having trouble keeping them all straight. I guess that if that is the worst of the problems I have I must be doing pretty darn good.

On to the Ideas

I think I might finally have an idea for a book! It came to me in a dream the other morning (no it wasn't about vampires) and I had the feeling that I had the dream before. So I have to do a little research and find out about the timelines and geography and other things I'm not going to tell you all about just yet. I also am not sure about character motivations and all those technicalities. I'm hopeful that that stuff will come to me later.

I also had another idea for a book last night right before I got to sleep, but I'm not sure it's that original. So that one is up in the air right now. At least there is a clear character in this one. I just don't know if that character is likable enough. We will see.

All in all I think my week has been pretty great for book ideas and bad for blog ideas. It's also been a great week for family. Happy Father's day everyone.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Finding a Father and other Fluff

Finding a Father

It's been one heck of a couple of weeks and I was determined to blog more. Even after I told you all my hiatus was over I was forced to take a while to reflect on some recent developments in my life. Such as it is, I guess this will be an over share day. With over sharing though comes a greater understanding of who I am, and I hope you don't object to knowing me a little better.

I was watching Glee last Tuesday night. If you don't know Glee is an awesome show about a high school Glee club with lots of singing and dancing and a sexy teacher. Anyway, on the commercial break I went to the computer to check my facebook page and such. When I got onto my page I discovered I had a new message. I looked in my message inbox and to my utter astonishment I had been sent a message from none other than my long lost father whom I had never met.

Have you ever thoroughly convinced yourself that you didn't care about something that perhaps you should care about but can't bring yourself to admit it, because that would mean a disappointment if what you wanted didn't ever happen? Well, this father issue is something that I had convinced myself that I didn't care about. I've even said I didn't care on this very blog. So when I got his message on Tuesday it was more than a punch in the gut to realize that I actually DO care about getting to know my father. A lot.

In his message he expressed regret for not being there for me when I was growing up. The fact that he felt the need to apologize for something so thoroughly out of his control pulled on my heart strings and brought me to tears. He could have fought to be in my life IF he had had any money to speak of and IF he had been a legal citizen at the time. As it was, he was in no position to do anything about it, and I believe my mother had the right to want to move on with her life as well. I have zero blame to lay at the feet of either of my parents. It wouldn't be fair. Everyone deserves a chance to move beyond the past and apologies are wholly unnecessary. What matters is what happens now.

So what does happen now? I hardly know how to go about getting to know my father. I have lived so long without one. I only know that I will do my best to get to know this man with such a good natured face with thick accented and lovingly expressed words of regret and joy at finding his oldest child.

Other Fluff

I changed my blog layout! I think it looks a lot better. What do you all think?

Oh and I was given the Sugar Doll award by Cruella Collett at The Giraffability of Digressions. http://thegiraffabilityofdigressions.blogspot.com/

Mari AKA Cruella has expressed that there is an unwritten rule about this award that she dislikes. It's usually only given to other women. So she went ahead and passed it on to a man. Good for her I say. I'll follow her good example in non-sexism and pass this award on to an awesome male blogger that I recently discovered. His name is Spuds and he writes a blog called Carrying a Cat by the Tail. http://blirred-reality.blogspot.com/ He is the single father of six, and his posts are always uplifting. As a matter of fact, they are hilarious. I'm not sure who else to give this to who hasn't already received it, so I'll be content with just passing it on to this one awesome blogger.

For those of you who love pictures. I took my youngest outside in the heat the other day because he was restless. I figured I could get some pictures out there without the other kids jumping in the way. Perhaps the afternoon sun was a little much for optimal photographing conditions, but I took them anyway. Enjoy!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Parenting the Child You Have

Parenting the Child You Have

I would like to take a moment to remember James Lehman who recently died from a long illness. For the past couple of years I have been receiving his newsletter Empowering Parents. You see I couldn't afford his really expensive parenting program DVDs, But I figured his newsletter was the next best thing. I was right. He said that you should parent the child you have and not the child you wish you had. This brings me to an example I just HAD to blog about as it is a prime example of parenting while absolutely blind to the defects of your child.

My mother was having a conversation with an old friend the other day who happens to hate her daughter's ex-boyfriend to the point of ridiculousness. My mother and I happen to know said ex-boyfriend very well. Anyway, my mother's friend asked if we had heard from him. My mother replied that she hadn't. Here's where it gets interesting. She told my mom that she was "worried" because she had been smelling pot around the house and thought perhaps that the ex-boyfriend had passed on and was haunting her house.

Just to be clear: Woman smells pot. Woman's mind does NOT go where mine went right away when I heard that part of the story *coughdaughtercough*. It has to be a pot smoking ghost of an ex-boyfriend! This is extreme parent denial, and maybe slightly insane.

Now I know a lot about this person's daughter. I know I know more than she does. Her daughter is far from a saint. If I weren't loyal with secrets the things I could tell her..... And since the daughter is an adult I am under no obligation as a concerned adult to tell those secrets.

My point is, why is this woman unwilling to admit to the defects of her own child? It's because she was parenting the child she wished she had. She allowed the wool to be pulled over her eyes over and over again, because she was unwilling to cope with having a child that made bad, even dangerous choices as a teenager. She was unwilling to admit that she had done anything wrong or had failed at anything or just didn't know how to deal with a situation as a parent. I can't even begin to say how dangerous I think this is.

How many of you out there know parents that will rush to their own child's defense even when they are in the wrong? A parent that refuses to accept that a bad situation could have arisen even partly from their child's behaviors or choices?

I guess this is so disturbing to me because I have a mom that refused to give me an out when I did something wrong. She did not make excuses for me or my brothers. Granted she didn't always know how to handle a situation, and she didn't always handle things the right way. That's to be said for every parent under the sun. I CAN say that she always called us on our BS, and never defended wrong decisions we made. So at the end of the day when we mess up we can't blame her for not teaching us right from wrong.

What I intent to do as a parent is try my hardest. I intend to always call my children out on their BS. I intends to defend my kids when they need it and discipline my kids when they are in the wrong. I intend to keep my blinders off so I can truly see my kids for who they really are. That way I can encourage them to improve where I see needs improvement. If any of my children are doing something that is selfish, greedy, judgemental, etc. I reserve the right to point those actions out as wrong and to try and help them learn how to handle the situations that life throws at them differently. That is my job.

I would also encourage everyone who is a parent to Google Empowering Parents and get the newsletter. It has helped me a lot.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hiatus Over and Partners in Crime

Hiatus over

So I took a break. Thought you were rid of me didn't you? Haha, Fooled you! Well, the reason I took a long break was because it was the end of the school year and lots of things were happening at once. Then I just needed a little while without feeling the obligation to blog. It feels good to be back though.

Partners in Crime

Today my brother trashed the bathroom.
There was water everywhere.
I went in to help him.
I put hand soap in his hair.

And when we were done in that room
We moved on to greater things
Painting on the table
Some brightly colored rings.

After that we trashed the sofa
With peanut spread and jelly.
Mom won't find half-eaten sandwiches
Until they're really smelly.

Then we ran around the house
Like we were going crazy
Until we were told to tidy up.
That's when we acted lazy.

-Marjorie Napier-

Thursday, May 20, 2010

An Extra Tidbit

I had another funny thing happen yesterday that I totaly forgot to mention on my blog.

Well, you know that I went over to the college to sign up for a class. While I was there I had to get a hold on my record removed. Something about a missing graduation date, but it was a mistake.

After I got that taken care of I had to talk to an advisor. She was so helpful and told me all about how to pick a class and later how to register. Before she got me registered though she asked me about payment and financial aid all that good stuff. This is how it went:

Advisor: If you choose to do financial aid you are going to have to give your parents' financial information.

Me: No, I shouldn't have to do that. I'm old enough to where I can be considered independant.

Sister-in-law: She has five kids

At this point the advisors eyes got as big as dinner plates, and her eyebrows shot up into her hairline.

Advisor: Really? There's no way you old enough to have that many kids.

Me: Well, yeah I'm 29.

Advisor: You look so much younger than that. That's a good thing!

At this point I was grinning from ear to ear. In order for a person to have to fill out their parents' info on a finacial aid form they have to be 22 or younger.
Did everyone hear that? I look 22 or younger! Even if I'm getting older I don't look like I am. Haha! This was probably the best compliment I have received in a while. *does another happy dance*

I'll end with some pictures of me from baby to now.

Baby me

kid me

teenaged me

me at 22

me now