Thursday, August 28, 2014

Creepy Pumpkins and Crawlies

Today another Dr. Who Tardis design for a phone (in this case, an HTC model) is off to a customer in Florida and another creepy pumpkin is finished. A restaurant in Wickenburg said they'd like to have a few on hand and they think they will sell. Since a lot of tourists come through the town, I want to have three for the restaurant by September and go from there hopefully replenishing their inventory. 

Well, it's August 28th and I have two finished. I don't think I'll have three by September 1st. However, the third one will be in progress. I do have a big custom artwork in progress for a dear return customer, and between that and life's distractions, it's been a real challenge. 

Thank goodness for exercise and the gym. That's all I have to say.  Frustrated? Exercise. Run. Weights. Stressed? Exercise. Run. Weights. Sad? Emotional? Worrying about life? Want to get lost in music? Throw the ear buds on, turn up the music and Exercise. Run. Weights. Plus, I don't care that the gym has music playing. If I don't have my iPod, the work-out is a huge struggle. Especially when I was forced to listen to what the gym was playing. I'm sorry, but Justin Beiber's Baby Baby is going to accomplish the exact opposite of what I need at the gym!

As for life itself, I'm still missing Queen Creek, and sometimes it backs up on me. I want to work on some artwork that accomplishes something in the realm of moving on, creating new memories, despite how hard the "moving on" is. However, with Halloween season upon us, I doubt I'll be able to fit that in with all the Pumpkin fun.

Okay, there is that too.
One thing that does help with this transition is how much it cools down at night. This morning I almost felt a nip in the air. Sure, it's been an unusually cool August ("cool" being 90s and 100s...), but there is a difference here as opposed to the valley with all the concrete and asphalt holding the heat in.

I was putting off sharing this because of time and it wasn't fitting into the context of the posts i was working on. And well...distraction.

Back on the 11th, we were doing our usual evening weekday routines (so who knows what was going on), and then we hear Christian go, "!" And there by the dishwasher was this cute little baby snakie. At first glance, he looked almost like a worm, but then he had this tiny little tongue coming in and out and his little snakie wiggle. 

Chris and I assessed it and it was a good snakie. Not bad snakie. I know many people believe all snakies are bad snakies. But no. We let him go outside to hopefully find his Mommy Snakie, and he can grow up and eat the bad snakies. Bad snakies being rattlesnakes. It's a good idea in this ecosystem to encourage snakes like this one (we think it was a baby kingsnake) around your habitat to exclude the potentially harmful snakes, such as the rattlers. 
Cute little snakie. See the baby tongue?
The kids were freaking out while Chris and I are just standing there looking at it and trying to make sure he was a good snakie. Silly kids. Sure, snakes and scorpions and other critters were possible and I know they were in our Queen Creek neighborhood (a neighbor was even stung by a scorpion), but we were pretty much lucky to not run into anything like that at our house. We had a mouse problem about five years back but it was taken care of.  There would be black widows in the garage from time to time,  and lizards were in a house sometimes.  I'd try to rescue them (the lizards, not the black widows) before they fell victim to Simon (RIP Simon...) who was good at catching things. But that was pretty much it. Therefore, coming from their fluffy almost critter-free suburban lifestyle to our current residence continues to be an adjustment for the kids.

 Until next time...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Priceless Pearls

Sunday Doodle 8/24/14
This post is a little heavy on the emotions of a spiritual level. 

Today's Sunday Doodle contains powerful lyrics from "Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen.
............."Why Can't We Give Love One More Chance? Cause Love's such an old-fashioned word and love dares you to care for the people on the e
dge of the night and love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves..."

This world is increasingly selfish. Just the different attitudes and various political sides to justify one action or another is more prevalent. When in the end, the bottom line is how we treated each other. Borders or not. Skin color or not. Pocketbook or not. Whether they deserved it or not. 

Moving off that particular soapbox, but moving onto others...

I neglected to share last week's Sunday Doodle. The quote on the bottom of that one is from C.S. Lewis.  

"The Fact That Our Heart Yearns for Something Earth Cannot Supply is Proof that Heaven must be our Home..."

Sunday Doodle 8/17/14
It saddens me that there are those who are convinced they are not worthy for returning to that place that C.S. Lewis references: Heaven 

The adversary is so cunning and malicious to convince many that it is too late. Or the adversary is successful in convincing them that their demons are too hard to conquer. Or the adversary convinces those that their demons are preferred over the alternative. 

Oh, I'm not perfect (are you kidding me?! HA!). I have them too. Don't for one second assume that I am putting myself in a position of being above these pitfalls that the adversary wants to use to destroy us. Hell no. 

See? I swear.

The adversary is also successful in using his influence on putting us against one another. One of us can be struggling, and due to arrogance of others, we are made to feel we are looked down upon. Or those that feel they have made better choices than someone feels they can point fingers and judge someone for making a bad choice. 

Well, thank goodness church is a hospital for sinners. It is not a museum for saints, no matter how many of those sinners walk around as if they belong at the Louvre. 

We all need the hospital.

I recently finished this piece that I have faith will help communicate the hope and promise of the Lord's Atonement. At least i hope it will. I added words from others that make this point better and are certainly more worthy than I can in all my rambling. 

This piece is titled "Priceless Pearls", from this truth spoken by Dieter F. Uchdorf
Satan’s purpose is to tempt us to exchange the priceless pearls of true happiness and eternal values for a fake plastic trinket that is merely an illusion and counterfeit of happiness and joy.

The fake plastic trinket appears more appealing because of how Satan packaged it. But it's deceitful. The adversary is good at what he does. Then when we do unfortunately accept the counterfeit plastic pearls, some of us feel it's too late to change and go for the real things.  Some of us sadly fall for Satan's lie that we're "in it" and it's too hard to change and fix the mistakes of such exchanges. But as C. Scott Grow declared (that is front and center in this piece):

There is no sin or transgression, pain or sorrow, which is outside of the healing power of His Atonement.

And that's the bottom line. 

Until next time.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

...Not So Rainy Days and Wednesdays...

Hassayampa River August 19, 2014
No, I'm not sad the rain is over, but I do miss the clouds and diffused light. If the sun could just stay behind clouds most of the time, I'd be less bitter about its existence. That reminds me, there was a story on NPR this morning that I missed, but it was about people that have Seasonal Affective Disorder more with the sunlight than with cloudy weather. I looked for the story online, but couldn't find it. Maybe it's still coming up this week.

The Hassayampa River was running crazy yesterday with all the rain and storms. It was only 4:30 in the afternoon and it was nice and breezy and in the 80s. About 5 miles upstream, we stopped near the center of town and stood on the bridge and watched the water. Yes, when we desert rats here in hell get a lot of rain and see running water in washes and rivers, we take pictures of it and talk about it. That's how deprived we are.

I wanted to walk out to the river behind our residence, as we can hear it running. But there is a metropolis of red ants and multiple red ant hills 'guarding' the gate leading out from our yard. I wussed out. I can handle a lot of things, but there's something about millions of huge red ants that make me want to run screaming and throw a stick of dynamite down their holes. Since I'm not a character in a Coyote and Roadrunner cartoon with immediate ACME access to sticks of dynamite, I figured we'd enjoy the running river from the bridge.
This one shows the waves to get an idea of how fast and how much water was flowing.

Hassayampa River and Gorgeous Storm Clouds. Looking South. Sorry for the flabby woman in the foreground.
But yes, Mother Nature may have given Chris a nice birthday present with the cooler temperatures and nice rainy day yesterday. But the gift didn't include being home on time. Below is the main road his vanpool takes to and from work, and as you can see, they had to wait a bit before continuing on home.  At least no one was being a moron and trying to cross the thing. Here is a 10 second video to show how fast and deep it was.
Okay, I meant to include the stupid adventure Christian and I had last Friday. This is how I know God has a sense of humor and he's not done with making sure I'm just one foot from the entry of the looney bin - just so he can say, "Okay, I'm kidding...."  You know, like he did with Abraham when he was just seconds away from killing Isaac.

Friday afternoon, after driving 60 miles into Central Phoenix to the doctor appointment with Christian (which actually was fine. That's not the annoying, we made a Rubios run as part of it! Yum!) 

We received three scripts (prescriptions) from the doctor. I expected that. We go to Walgreens in Surprise which is 35 miles from the new residence (no Walgreens in Wickenburg). Okay, try to follow me here. That Walgreens (Walgreens #1) had one of the three medications in stock, but not the other two. The Walgreens closest to that one (Walgreens #2), had the second Rx in stock, but not the first or third. The next Walgreens closest to that (Walgreens #3) had the third one in stock but not the first two.
Three different Walgreens. 

Christian was the one that started complaining. I tried to keep a positive attitude about it. I was succeeding until the LAST Walgreens when we went back to pick up the Rx. Silly me - going to the drive-through to save time! The car in front contains two huge women and they are taking forever. They were probably trying to get meds they wouldn't need if they just stopped eating Krispy Kreme all the time. Okay, that last part was mean. But seriously? I ended up backing up and going inside the store and that car was still at the window. After I picked up and paid for the prescription they were still there. Geez. 

The good part in all this is the pharmacist at the first Walgreens (Walgreens #1) saw the crapstorm that was ahead of me and was very nice to make it as easy as possible.  Someone like her really helps when it's hard to see the silver lining.

I have never ever had that problem before with prescriptions. Friends of mine shared similar stories, but I guess I had just been rather lucky up until now.

And to end this post on something beautiful - but sadly, out of reach - $110 at Macy's. Booooooo! But just in case, I wear a size 9 1/2. But Size 10 works.

Until next time. I still haven't added the snakey adventure. lol

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rainy Days and Tuesdays...

Happy Birthday, Babe!
...Do not bring me down! 

I love morning rain and storms! Thunder and lightning seems so much more beautiful in the morning. And yes, we are invaded with weeds, but it is so green! I never thought I'd say this in August, but I love how green the desert looks. The rolling hills by the high school are especially green. It's just a little taste of how beautiful the desert can be. That's the part of this desert that I do love. It does happen. 

And with the dark storm clouds rolling in - even better!

However, the inundation of rain down closer to Phoenix has caused some flooding. Hopefully all this will help the drought, but the real help comes in the winter with runoff from snow-melt.

Today is also Chris's birthday. Last night we went out for Mexican food and part of Chris's gift was the kids didn't fight or cause a catastrophe on the 30 minute ride to the restaurant or back! The restaurant experience itself could have been better, but it wasn't too bad. If only duct taping your three year old to the booth would be acceptable. THEN the restaurant experience would have been closer to ideal.

Spooky Season is just around the corner if they're already selling Halloween candy in the stores. Who buys Halloween candy in August? If I did that, I'd have to buy more to replace the candy that was consumed. But this also means the craft pumpkins are in stock and I can begin my Pumpkin Art. The one pictured here was finished today and it's off to Georgia tomorrow! 

Next post: Our little snakey visitor last week, how God continues to have a sense of humor when it comes to accomplishing what should be a simple errand, and how awesome it is to hear the river flowing behind us!

I'd try to write about it now, but apparently the universe does not want me to blog today.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mid-week Snippets

Sunday Doodle 8/10/14
I am not sure how this post is going to come together, due to feeling that I have about 100 browsers open all at once in my head. 

Therefore, there may be random turns in this post without warnings or segways. No, there will be random turns in this post without warnings or segways. 

However, the good news is the madness phase of the move is over.  Sure, we're still in the tedious crap phase, but hey, no more madness.

The madness of course is the constant working and overwhelming frustration with the Queen Creek house and the constant back and forth between one extreme edge of the valley to the other. Yeah, the gasoline industry loves us.

We do have to go back again, but this time, it's just to sweep up the backyard and retrieve something. And there is no hurry to do so, since we don't have our renters moving in for a couple of weeks.

That's right! We have renters!
X-man showing off his Pirate tattoo on Sunday!

Yay! Looks like they'll only be renting for about 6 months or so, however, but we're still happy to have renters. More financial stress taken off our shoulders. 

Last Sunday, we came back from church and Alexander immediately wanted to show us his pirate tattoo. I laughed, not understanding why the nice older lady who teaches him at church would have the kids put pirate tattoos on! Turns out, it was the work of his 14yo sister. Since he was still in his church clothes and his hair looked like it could pass as being combed, I figured it was time for another picture. 

That night, while watching Scrubs on Netflix, Chris comes in and gets exasperated.
Me: What?
Chris: why do you have the Closed Captions on? (Looking for remote to turn them off) Did you turn them on?!
Me: No, but maybe if you watch it with them on, you'll know how words are really spelled.

Chris first said Scrubs was a little stupid (we watched it off and on when it was on prime-time), but it is the perfect mix of humor and seriousness for me. This Dr. Cox line sums it up. And when we did see that episode, both Mikelle and Chris said, "That's totally you!" 

Yes, I know. I'm going to hell. 

And I laughed so hard the other day at this line from 0:12-0:30. I hope I'm lucky enough when I'm 65 to have boobs that are 29 and a face that is 40. Awesome. 

And any show that uses an Erasure song as part of its plot for an episode is good enough for me. I think A Little Respect was my favorite song for the entire summer I was 15. Anytime it was played at a 5-Stake Dance, was a natural high. Especially if I was asked to dance. But that's a bonus. Dancing to it either way was awesome.

Okay, one more: Turk's Bugle witch nails. Hilarious. Reminds me of days of a faster metabolism (when I was in my 20s...before Christian's pregnancy... :sigh: and I could snack on Bugles...)...I could pretend to do the witch nails without eating the Bugles. But who are we kidding? I'd eat the Bugles.

Same day on Sunday the above Sunday Doodle was completed.  And on Tuesday I got an order for a large Dr. Who print! It was sent off to Rhode Island yesterday. 

Now that the madness has settled, I need to get back on the art promotion train. I'm also working on a steam-punk piece. 

As for settling into life on this end of the world - there has been a lot of more rain here than in the valley. That's been nice. It's gotten really green here and it does cool off more at night. 

Has the house building started yet? 

I better not go there.

Until next time...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Oh Captain...My Captain...

Depression is such a dark and vile demon. It encompasses you and takes over your whole reality. It's not about finding the light at the end of the tunnel. It's not knowing or feeling the light exists at all. 

Rest in peace, Robin Williams. You filled us with light.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Happy 14th Birthday, Mikelle!

It is hard to believe 14 years have gone by already. Happy birthday to my beautiful Mikelle! 

Am I really the mother of a high school freshman? When I was in high school, parents seemed so old, frumpy and uncool! haha 

It feels like just yesterday I was waddling through another hot summer here in hell trying to fit (no pun intended) a summer class in before having my baby. Man, that professor did NOT like me. I don't know what her deal was, but she looked at me on the first day as if I was a high school pregnant teen or something. Plus, her voice sounded like a female Stephen Hawking. Only her voice was real - not a machine.  

This was an Art of the Western World Survey class. That teacher wouldn't ever call on me. Yes, it was college, but she indicated she preferred students to raise their hands. Okay, fine. That's what she wanted. But she never called on me. So once, I finally just blurted out my comment/observation to the Byzantine art we were discussing. She responded, "I'd prefer it if you raise your hand." 

I said, "I would, but you never call on me." Yeah, she hated me. lol But I digress. We're talking about Mikelle!

Okay, one more thing about the judgmental professor. I had Mikelle 3 days after the final and I was back at school 2 weeks later for the Fall semester. During that first week of the Fall semester, I saw that same professor in the hall and she gave me a dirty look, after clearly looking at my absent belly and appearing confused. 

After I gave birth to Mikelle, I was caught off guard at how scared I was. She was so small. She was 7 lbs 3oz (pretty average baby weight). But I was paralyzed with fear as if I would do something out of ignorance and kill her. I also felt like I "failed" with her birth and I couldn't stop crying. Looking back, I know all of that was part of the hormones and postpartum craziness, but at the time, it was such a reality for me.  Plus, she did not want to nurse, she would not nurse, and then when she became jaundiced soon after we brought her home, I found myself panicking more than I expected.

Her birth was rather difficult. Not her labor. That was a breeze. It was a flawless induction (I was induced due to my blood pressure continuing to rise. My doctor wanted to induce me even a few days earlier than that, but I had to take the final exam in that class with the stuffy professor first) and a perfect epidural.  However, Mikelle's birth was something else. After two hours of pushing, she had to be extracted with a vacuum and forceps. Turned out, she was "corkscrewed" and that was why the pushing wasn't doing much good after a certain point.

Anyway, no need to go on and on about that. I hope she has a great day. I know it's been a struggle for her lately with this move and the new school.  

Happy Birthday Mikelle!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

First Day of School...and Farewell to Simon

Chris is sort of today's guest writer on the blog. Yesterday we sent an e-mail to his Dad who is serving a mission in the Philippines. I thought it would be perfect for this entry. 

August 5, 2014
Okay, we have now moved 98% into a house that is about 20% smaller and 50 years older. Short 6.5-7 foot ceilings. Just a bit cramped or cozy, but the kids aren't calling it that.

It is a very beautiful area with numerous trees, birds and wildlife. You know how you used to joke with the dogs about the bunnies would be outside sticking their tongues out at them? Well, here, they actually do.

Unfortunately, our Dachshund contracted cancer just before we had to move. Today we put him to sleep because he was so miserable.  He would have loved chasing the rabbits around the big yard we have. It's about 1/3 of an acre. It cools down real nice here at night as we are right off of the Hassayampa river. That's why there are all the critters, but of course that means bugs too. It's a bit like upscale camping.

I had the family start reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning and have offered Hostess Ding Dongs to anyone that can identify parallels from Lehi's family's experience and our current circumstances.

The kids are not happy at all due to the moving, cleaning, organizing, repairing and unpacking that never ends. Mikelle, as a teen often does, is convinced we are ruining her life. Christian thinks that we have stepped back in time technologically 200 years. Today is their 1st day of school. We will see when I get home how that went. They were both rather apprehensive. I am hoping that given some time, things will get easier and more enjoyable for them.

We are disappointed that the construction hasn't begun on our house yet and we haven't found a renter for our Queen Creek house yet. The bank has given us conditional approval for construction, but there is still another month before they will let us start building.

I am getting more sleep but the energy that would give me is being siphoned off by the aforementioned moving requirements.

So yes, as Chris mentioned in the e-mail to his dad, Christian and Mikelle began their first day of school yesterday. I took their picture, but I'm not going to post it because Mikelle does not look happy in it. It wouldn't be fair to her. I didn't take a picture of them separately.

Christian seemed happy when I picked him up and he likes his teacher. He was placed in the right classroom with his learning needs and requirements. Mikelle seemed okay when I initially picked her up. She was even invited at lunch to sit with some 11th graders because they recognized her from church. But she still seemed apprehensive and shy about everything. Then later she said she hated the whole day. I asked her why and she replied, "Because it sucked." I know most of her attitude is not being with her friends at Queen Creek High School. I knew this would be an adjustment for her. But it was better to start her at Wickenburg High School now, then stay in Queen Creek another year and then pull her out of Queen Creek High School. That would have been much tougher.

She begins seminary next week. It is different that she will have early morning seminary instead of Release Time Seminary as she would have in Queen Creek, due to the higher population of LDS students who would be attending seminary, which isn't the case here. 

I went to Gilbert High School and I had Release Time Seminary as well. However, I am excited about seminary for her. She and I went to a stake fireside about it last Sunday night. I became choked up as I recalled my experience with seminary and realizing how long ago it was.  And I looked at this beautiful young lady sitting beside me and couldn't believe she was already in high school and already going to be attending seminary. How did that happen?

And yes, on a somber note, as Chris mentioned in the message to his dad, we did put Simon down yesterday. I was waiting for a day that Chris could do it, but it wasn't working out with the demands of the Queen Creek house and a training schedule Chris had that messed up his usual days off. I noticed Simon yesterday morning had very labored breathing. He wasn't whimpering, but he looked so miserable. He wouldn't even eat. The night before, he acted interested at one of Chris's sandwiches. I heard Chris say, "I've never given a dog the food off my plate before, Simon, but I will for you."

I prepared the kids of the plans that morning for me to take Simon in to be put down. They seemed to take it okay. They were prepared because when these tumors became apparent and he was diagnosed, we told them it was going to happen soon. 

I called the vet that is almost directly located behind our land where our house is going to be built. They said they usually don't euthanize an animal unless they've had it as a patient before. I told them our situation, that we had just moved to town, and that we were going to be building a house behind them in the next year (knock on wood). I said Simon was seen and diagnosed previously by our vet in Queen Creek. I explained his symptoms. They agreed and I brought him in a couple of hours later. They were so sweet about the whole thing. But I had Alexander with me. That was going to be tough. I had Alexander give him a hug and a kiss. I didn't want to be in the room with Simon when they euthanized him. Plus, Alexander, while calm as he was drawing pictures, isn't a toddler to leave unattended - even with a couple employees right there. 

Mikelle made this montage tribute
We wanted to bury Simon out on our land later that evening when Chris came home, so they put Simon in a box for me and sealed it. Alexander was busy drawing and showing his pictures to one of the office ladies, so I used that as a distraction to sneak out and put the box in the back of the car. When I came back in to get X-man and we were leaving, he asked where Simon was. I wasn't sure what to say. Well, I did know what to say, but I wasn't ready to say it. I said, "He is sick, so we had to take him to the doggie hospital." That seemed to satisfy his inquiry for the time being.

I drove to our land (which as the crow flies, is close by, but it's more than a mile to drive around to it from the vet) and placed the box with Simon's body in our storage shed that is already on the land. When Chris got home, we drove out there and buried him. Christian seemed to really have a hard time once he saw the box, and we were digging the hole.  I don't blame him. Simon was here when Christian was born. I have a lot of different pictures of Christian growing up with Simon. I'm not able to get them together now, but I want to.  

Anyway, we put a lot of big rocks and boulders on top of the hole after we filled it with dirt and we went for ice cream afterwards.

Until's Mikelle's birthday!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Still Riding the Storm...

No, these aren't my kids or my house. Thank goodness!
Public Service Announcement: Even though a lot of painting needs to be done, don't rely on a 10 year old and 14 year old.

However, if you're desperate, you might have to do it anyway. Let's break out the Picard Face-Palm again:
Last Thursday, after just the kids and I (as Chris was working) worked on painting touch-ups at the Queen Creek house and having the disgusting hallway carpet replaced, we picked up Alexander at my angel friend's house (seriously, she's been awesome to "adopt" Alexander from me during these marathon working sessions at the Queen Creek house). Heading back to Wickenburg, the last ten miles were met with lightning and thunder (some very very close) and the last 3 miles or so in heavy rain. About two minutes after taking shelter inside (and rescuing a couple of boxes that were getting wet), the power went out. Due to the craziness of the storm, I knew it was only a matter of time. The kids are still having a hard time getting used to the power outages. We had one the previous weekend as well due to a storm. In Queen Creek, I remember one power outage from a storm and it was 8-9 years ago. That was the only one that lasted a few hours. Any others lasted only a few minutes. Therefore, the two power outages we've had in this new residence has proven to be another new experience for the kids. They aren't fans of them.

Chris was about 45 minutes away, and I figured it would be possibly longer due to the storm. The kids cuddled with me on the bed, and it was quite funny hearing how they were making up words to a goofy song.

However, you know what's really fun during a crazy storm with a power outage? When a dog decides that's the moment to take a giant crap on the floor. 

Then again, I've concluded that it's clear symbolism of this whole moving experience:

Storm: Packing up our home and changing our lives with a move across town in the middle of SUMMER in HELL. New schools, new ward (congregation), not really knowing anyone, the pain of moving such as the packing, unpacking, etc...

Power outages: The additional sadness and depression that comes from a move like this. The annoying and arduous continual work on the Queen Creek house (painting, replacing a door, fixing the floor from where Alexander pulled up the wood trim pieces previously, etc). When the power outage lasts even longer than a couple hours, it symbolizes how every time we turn around, there is something else that needs to be done.

Dog crap on the floor: The "are you fricking kidding me?!" madness that has occurred during all this such as BS like the car tire two weeks ago, the transmission immediately after that, needing to get a new car in the midst of all this, kids whining and complaining and fighting constantly, things flying out of the back of the truck, the air conditioner at the new residence not wanting to cool if it gets over 105 degrees outside, etc...etc... Need I go on?

Koi Fish piece from 2011
However, there are good things. I've mentioned my wonderful friend who keeps Alexander at her house for hours on end while we work at the Queen Creek house. And Chris being home a whole hour earlier (the whole reason we moved here) is a blessing within itself. And because I don't have the neighborhood weight room anymore, I obtained an 18 month membership to a nice gym down in Surprise. That has been an oasis of peace for me in the midst of the storm. It's about 25 miles away, but it's so worth it as it also has childcare, so Alexander can have fun playing with other kids while I work out. There are blessings. Just like during the power outages (and dog crap on the floor), there is the beauty of the storm, lightning and rain. 

Another blessing that has occurred is I found this Koi Fish piece I did in 2011. It was previously misplaced and found in a bin of stuff (from my classroom at the high school) in the garage. I couldn't deny the symbolism of the Koi Fish itself and where it falls into this point in our lives. The Japanese Koi Fish means good luck, but they also are associated with perseverance in adversity and strength of purpose. I would say that fits!

As for new art, I did complete another one this week, but it's going to have to wait before being shown, due to personal reasons.

I want a "Toothless" Night Fury
This previous weekend had another marathon paint and work day at the Queen Creek house. It was a good day to be working on the garage as it was below 100 degrees, cloudy and then rainy. The downside of that is making sure our stuff in the trailer didn't get damaged by the rain.  

Then as we were finally leaving around 9:00pm, Chris announced that he wanted to take the kids (the two older ones) to a movie. 

We were exhausted and I was covered in paint. And even though I had showered 12 hours earlier, it wasn't obvious due to the state of my clothes and how tired I was. "Gross" doesn't even begin to cover my appearance. However, he wanted to make sure the kids were rewarded for the hard work. He wanted to make sure they weren't forgotten when it's easy to do in the stress of this madness and all the work that needs to be done. 

The movie issue put me in a dilemma, because I wanted to just go home and they could be rewarded later. But it was really important to Chris. We were in two cars, but it was raining and would it be a good idea to leave a trailer full of stuff in the parking lot of a movie theater on a Saturday night? I think not. Especially in the part of town we would be in because that particular theater had the time for How to Train Your Dragon 2 that would work for us. 

Yes, I was stressing out. It had been a long day and I was beyond shredded and SO DONE with this chaotic freak show that this move has proven to be. However, as I stated before, Chris was really wanting to make sure the kids saw the movie. I didn't feel comfortable driving the trailer in the rain and dark, but I didn't feel comfortable having it left in the parking lot in the rain either.

What ended up happening was Chris took the trailer on to Wickenburg with Alexander, and I joined the two kids with the movie - at the 10:15pm showing with paint all over my clothes. I looked beautiful :sarcasm: . The three of us got out of the movie at midnight and it wasn't until after 1am that we arrived home. At least the freeways and roads were empty and peaceful. Once arriving home and hitting the bed, I announced that I would be taking a literal day of rest. No churchy for me that morning! Therefore, no Sunday Doodle. 

Things are getting back to normal. Well, kind of. And slowly. 

There will be another Queen Creek trip this weekend. Please please please I hope this is the last one. I don't want to go back to Queen Creek again unless it's for the big Halloween party in two months or if I'm getting my hair done! You think I'm going to give up the best hair dresser? No way. 100 measly miles aren't enough for me to find a new one!