Summer Download

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Summertime and the livin’ is easy…

You know what is NOT easy during summer? Working. Especially when you are your own boss and you make your own schedule. I am at constant odds with my boss. She says I need to work to pay the bills. I say I need to take the kids swimming because it’s hotter than dogs breath and their brains are rotting from Minecraft. We spend a lot of time at the pool but my boss keeps me up all night with fun games of anxiety. It’s two am, have you thought about your debt lately?

I swear I am getting nothing done the weeks I have kids.

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But I get tons done when they are gone! Sort of. Well, mostly.

The last two weeks I have been into spray-painting backdrops for parties. It’s my new thing. I think mostly because I am so tired of trying to find a blank wall in my house to shoot photos against. I’ve created my own walls! It’s amazing what kind of creative break throughs you can have just walking down the aisles of your local hardware store.

For example, paint drop cloths are CHEAP! Ten bucks for a huge canvas. Twenty for a cloth one. A roll of brown paper is nine. You don’t have to use them to protect your floor while you paint. You can paint on them!

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I made this orange Wonder Woman background out of a paper drop cloth. I’m not super excited about the fold lines but it covers a big space and it only cost me ten bucks. Instant wall. Just blur the background a bit and focus on your subjects.

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The following week we had a Pampered Chef party and I decided to make my own fake Mexican restaurant. I’ve always wanted to do that. Restaurant designer is on my list of coveted careers, right next to set designer and cake decorator. I love designing businesses. Running them not so much.

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Of course we had Brendaritas at my restaurant, in pink plastic glasses no less. It’s funny the things that inspire you sometimes. Now we have a zillion pink plastic glasses leftover. Maybe I’ll let the kids have a sassy pink lemonade stand with them. Wouldn’t that be cute?

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Speaking of kids, we are on a mermaid kick lately. Unicorns are so early 2017. We’ve moved onto mermaids.

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Have you guys seen these bubbles at the fair? They are so cool.

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What is especially cool about these bubbles is that they saved my day. I was having such a bad day the day we went to the fair. It was the end of a bad week. I’d gotten no work done and every day it seemed like all I did was shuttle kids between camp and swimming. I was out of sorts. Payam almost turned the car around to take me home. But I rallied.

Mostly I was just sad that we were getting to the fair so late. Same song, different day. All I really care about is taking pictures. I thought it would be stupid with blaring music and blinky lights, gross fried food, kids begging for money for dumb games that you can’t win and if you do you end up winning you get a 99-cent stuffed toy that cost you twenty bucks. I sulked like a spoiled brat.

But then we got there and the sun was setting right behind these bubbles. We were the only ones there and the kids got to go free because it was kid free Thursday or something crazy. The light was golden and the kids were having so much fun splashing around pretending to be hamsters. My bad mood dissolved with every picture I took. Click, click, click. I was so happy! It’s funny the things that cheer me up.

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And then the rest of the “stupid blinky lights” and blaring music, smelly fried food and cheap toys seemed so much cooler. I may have even eaten a bacon wrapped hot dog and let Bug go home with a stuffed donut that ripped at it’s seam before we even left the fair.

So yeah. Happy Summer. Good luck with working!

Mad Over Peonies

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I’ve been losing my mind over peonies lately, like I do every year. I haunt Trader Joe’s faithfully until they show up in their tight little clenched balls of fury. This is usually in May sometime. They were super late this year. They didn’t show up until AFTER Mother’s Day which is a crying shame in my eyes. To me, peonies are the ultimate mother’s day present and believe me, everyone in my house knows this. I do not shut up about it.

Finally they came in and I bought a bunch, of course. They were so brilliant scarlet they wouldn’t even show up properly in my camera because the red was just plain out of gamut.

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Every time I walked by the bouquet on the table I would try and try again to capture their intensity with my camera. I would stand on chairs straining for just the right angle. This way and that… nothing could really contain their beauty!

These flowers were like bombs going off on my dining room table. I don’t know how people can’t be in awe of them like I am. They must be color blind. Or they grew up in Chicago where they are as common as Oleander bushes along the highway. That is before Oleander bushes got that disease and died out. In Chicago I hear they are as common as freeway flowers. Can you imagine these flowers being as common as freeway flowers?

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I cannot. This is art pure and simple. It was hard for me to even format the pictures into a square for optimal website viewing because I just didn’t want to crop them in anyway.

I’m an absolute nut about these flowers. I’m sure Payam will vouch for that. I never shut up about them. There are a few things that I feel this passionately about and they are: Norah Jones, coffee and peonies. Everything else is just not worth getting all worked up about.  I stand by these passions whether they go in or out of style.

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I mean, come on. Even in death they take my breath away. As the scarlet color slowly faded out of these blooms and the petals fell ceremoniously on my table, I didn’t even want to clean them up. It was like a week long art installation that we would eat dinner around so as not to miss a single shade of loveliness.

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I fully acknowledge that I’ve lost my mind over them.

Le sigh.