Recently in Pictures Category

Date day: a photo journal


I'm usually more about words than pictures, but Mark and I had a lovely "date day" on Saturday, and I managed to both bring and use the camera, so I thought I'd make an exception and show you a photo journal.

First, my look for the day. I'm calling it suburban weekend boho:

Suburban boho weekend wear

And now, our day!

Diner breakfast


Flowers and chairs

Gerbera daisies


Bird houses--Heider's Country Store

Windows and photo sign--Lucketts

Boxer statue--Lucketts

Red chairs--Lucketts

The menu


Bag of beignets

Crazy misspelled Jesus van


The cheese and charcuterie plate looks delicious!

I like your makeout van. Does it have an 8-track and tunes?

That van is awesome! It reminds me that we have a week until the end. Get prayin'! Hahahaha.

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Scenes from Christmas


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Vacation in photographs

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We're safely home. Wonderful trip-I can't even pick a best part. The photos don't do it justice, but I thought I'd share a few anyway.

Heather at the Columbia Street Flower Market:
Columbia Road Flower Market

Sign seen from the bus:
Sign seen from the bus

St. Paul's Cathedral:
St. Paul's Cathedral

Latte served with a tiny ice cream cone at Fortnam & Mason:
Coffee and tiny ice cream at Fortnam & Mason

Houses of Parliment and Big Ben:
Houses of Parliment and Big Ben from the Eye

High tea at The Orangery:
Tea at the Orangery

Enjoying our last night with some room service:
Room service! Last night of vacation


Yay! Progress on the goals, and a lovely time! London is one of those places I never tire of seeing photos from. Although the picture from the Eye of parliament and Big Ben reminded me of a Doctor Who episode!

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What's in the bag?

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Yesterday, Hillary asked for a picture of the contents of her readers' bags. It is her early birthday wish! Who am I to deny a woman a birthday wish?

This is the contents of my bag. It's pretty typical, except that my keys and cell phone are not pictured (because they only go in the bag when I'm headed out).

The bag itself is from Rose City Totes and was purchased at the Saturday Market in Portland. My friend Skye had one at BlogHer and I loved it so much I ran right out to get my own on my next Portland trip. It's the perfect size and shape and zips closed. I'd love a few more, especially since the print I picked, though really cute, isn't terrible in keeping with a lot of my clothes.

The little bag with the stenciled owl on it was a gift from an online friend, and it houses my traveling pharmacy--Epi pen, inhaler, migraine pills, allergy pills, Tylenol, etc.

The pink pouch with the hedgehogs on it is from The Dainty Squid, and I can't recommend it highly enough. So cute, great prices, has held up great (I've been using mine for over two years). It serves as my wallet and currently contains no cash and the following plastic: two debit cards (personal account and joint account); bank-issued Visa; Discover card; $100 Visa gift card I was given as a birthday gift; library card; driver's license complete with terrible picture; Sephora Beauty Insider card; Costco card; very old gift card from Best Buy; insurance card; coupon for a pair of free jeans in-store only at the Gap (who do not carry my size in store); and Unique (my thrift store) frequent shopper card (25% off on Thursdays!).

The tampons are self-explanatory.

The purple and white case houses a pair of oversized tortoiseshell sunglasses from Zenni Optical, where I buy glasses like candy. The case itself is old and I think from Target.

The black square with the rubbed off logo is the compact Sephora gives you when you buy a gift card. I bought a GC as a gift for someone and kept the mirror. I'm a selfish ass like that.

The square with the water aviator girl on it is my business card case, from Uncommon Goods. It was a birthday gift from Mark last year. It holds my professional grant writer business cards and some cards I collected from clients on my last business trip. They don't seem to have this design anymore, but they do still have the other card case I have, this one (which I use for personal cards).

The package of baby wipes are a thrifter's staple--I always have something similar in my bag, since hand washing facilities are not always available. I used to use hand sanitizer, but I really hate the way it smells and feels--baby wipes are gentler, and at least they get the visible scum off my digits. My very favorite things to carry, though, which I have but don't seem to have in my bag right now, are these individually packages wipes from Giovanni. They are expensive as heck when I see them at Target, but I've seen them in T.J. Maxx/Marshall's quite a bit recently and have been stockpiling them.

Next to the baby wipes are the inevitable pile of receipts and coupons that find their way to the bottom of my bag. In this collection I believe there is a Caribou Coffee receipt/coupon, a McDonald's receipt, and a receipt from a Turkish restaurant in Fredericksburg. Above that is the stack of change that meanders to the same place, right now just three quarters.

At the very top is a small black moleksin that contains my thrifting list, a pen, and a tube of Stila Pearl Shimmer Gloss.

Whew! I didn't think I carried much until I started typing it out! And Hillary is right, this is fascinating. I'm definitely going to be peeking in on her other birthday wish granters!


thank you so much for posting. I love the little hedgehog.

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The writing on the...rack


Though I thought the pictures looked pretty, I never really got the appeal of having someone paint words on your body and take photographs of it. I've seen a few people do it on their blogs (like here), but never had any desire to try it myself.

So, tonight, when I saw that Karen Walrond (yeah, I know, I'm her fangirl) was painting words on folks' bodies at a BlogHer art event, I didn't think a whole lot of it. Cool, not interested. But after a bit, walking around and seeing people and reading what they had chosen, I decided to give it a try. Karen wasn't doing the writing anymore, but another lovely woman (whose name I so sadly did not get) was. I thought of a word, got painted.

And felt fucking great for the rest of the evening. There's something to this.

Photo 172.jpg

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Don't I look like Jackie O? Just a little bit?


Turns out, I LOVE sailing.

Me, or Jackie O?

Me, or Jackie O?

Me, or Jackie O?

For reference:
jack and jackie sailing.jpg


I totally see the resemblance.


You look fabulous!! Sailing definitely agrees with you! :)

Ah, that looks so relaxing and fun. Neat!

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As beauty does


I've always hated the way I photograph. I don't believe I am ugly, but I sure look that way on film a lot of the time. I'm not one of those people who shies away from cameras, because I really feel like photographs are important historical markers and memory devices, but I'm always inwardly groaning when I see a camera pointed in my direction.

Or at least I was. Over the past year, two things have happened to change my photo phobia. The first, which I told you about before, was having my picture taken by the amazing and inspirational Karen Walrond. Karen is soon to release a book of words and pictures called "The Beauty of Different," and I can't wait to get my copy. I know from my own mini-session with her that she has an amazing talent, both when she's behind the camera and when she's not, for making you feel like everything about you is fine, is, in fact, beautiful. I can't thank her enough for what she did for me in just a brief meeting (and one of the pictures she took the day I met her may end up in the book!).

The second thing is actually a little bit funny. I got a computer with Photo Booth, and I started playing with it. Photo Booth is a little bit like a mirror with a response mechanism--you can take a million pictures of yourself, and it's easy to see, right away, what "works" and what doesn't. Using it has taught me something I probably should have figured out already--photographing well is about how you hold yourself. Anybody can take a bad picture, and people who take consistently good ones have either learned how to hold themselves to make themselves look good, or do so naturally. The flaws I have always seen in pictures of myself aren't due to my being ugly, or to some devil that lives inside the camera, but mostly to my carriage when having my picture taken. I learned that, somewhere along the line, and I can unlearn it.

Since I'm feeling all body positive and open today, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite Photo Booth experiments:

Photo 1.jpg

Photo 2.jpg

Photo 49.jpg

Photo 64.jpg

Photo 66.jpg

Photo 78.jpg


Beautiful!!! What a great outlook to have. I'm one of those who hates having pictures taken of myself; something I'm regretting since I have so few candid shots of me with my daughter. I just always have that stuck out chin that photographs horribly...LOL

Love the pic with the wine!!! :)

Lovely photographs! I am in the same boat. I don't think I am ugly, but I always think I look dreadful in pictures and dread them as a result. And I know this anxiety/awkwardness just contributes to more bad pictures of me. I've often thought I should experiment more with self-portraits to try to get better about it, so I'm glad to hear it worked for you!

LOVE. Miss you.

Those are great! You have beautiful lips. Really! :)

I've been that way about photos, too. Great way to be positive!

You are so pretty!

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Snow day


We woke up to snow this morning, and it hasn't let up for at least two hours. I don't think we're going to have it long--it's over 35 degrees--but it's sure nice while it lasts.

Ata thinks so, too.

Ata in the snow

Ata in the snow

Ata in the snow


Awww! That last shot of Ata with the tree and the fence should be your holiday card! It's beautiful!

He looks so content. Does he do that thing where he scoops up snow with his nose? I LOVE it when dogs do that.

Snow certainly suits Ata. He's so handsome!

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Love Thursday: A boy and his dog


I couldn't not share these pictures for Love Thursday. Mark and Ata--peas in a pod.

Ata and Mark

Ata and Mark

Ata and Mark

Ata and Mark

Ata and Mark


Oh my gosh, my dog is a cuddler, too!!! Don't you just love extra-large lap dogs? Ata is gorgeous! Happy Love Thursday. :)

That dog's face is HUGE! The entire dog is huge! I love him!

Awe! And I thought Rascal was a big guy. Do you know what Ata might be, breed-wise?

Omg, I had no idea that Ata was so huuuge! How cute!

So sweet! Awesome, awesome face on that dog. God I love dogs.

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Love Thursday: Moving towards those I love


I wrote a bit ago about how torn I am about moving farther away from my family. As we get closer to our moving date, that isn't changing any, and I don't think it will. It just plain sucks to be moving farther from home when you want to be moving towards it.

But there is good in this, as well. I have a wonderful, close group of friends from college who mostly live on the East Coast. To make myself feel a bitter better, I did some mapping. Instead of being three days' drive or a 3 hour flight from my wonderful friends Howell and Melinda in the Boston area, I'll be a day's drive or an hour and a half in the air. From Mychy in New York, we'll be only a couple hundred miles or a quick commuter flight (or a nice train ride). And from Ron, who took the great picture in this post, we'll be less than an hour's drive. I haven't lived anywhere near these folks since they graduated from college in 2000. And I still miss them all the time. I may not be so lucky as to have the family I was born into around me, but I will, finally, be closer to my chosen one. I love these people the same now as I did nearly ten years ago, when we all lived within a few doors of one another. It will be good to live in their world again.


Hey there, here from SS. I just wanted to let you know that I love what you wrote there.

It's great that you have friends and family that you love. Best of luck on your move and happy Love Thursday!

Hmmm. "bitter better?" Mr. Freud, your slip is showing.

I laughed at bitter better as well...

It'll be great to have these people in your life on a more frequent basis. So there is a certain amount of Hurray for moving!

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As I mentioned, one of the best things to happen to me at BlogHer was to meet, chat with, and have my picture taken by Karen Walrond. I can tell you, now, why Karen is such a great portrait photographer. She makes you feel beautiful while she's doing it. Having my picture taken makes me all kinds of nervous, and yet when Karen had her camera all up in my face, even though it was in a room full of people and exactly the type of situation guaranteed to send me running for a benzo, I felt calm. I felt safe, like she wasn't going to laugh at whatever came out of the camera. She's just got that kind of presence.

I didn't automatically like all the pictures she sent me. When I first looked at them, I wanted to criticize myself--bad skin, frizzy hair, all that. I looked and thought, "why did I, on that day of all days, not bother with makeup?" But there is something else, too. I see Karen, pointing out to me on the little screen on her camera what she sees in this shot or that one. Pointing out my pretty. (As it turns out, I can share that with you, too--while Karen was taking my picture, Bossy was taking Karen's.) And it really, really helps. I know that I am not and likely never will be the type of person who just takes good pictures naturally. I'm all angles and planes and I make funny faces and I show way too many teeth and I usually look gawky and geeky and awkward, because that's pretty much how I feel. Like them or not, though, none of the pictures Karen sent me are gawky, geeky, or awkward. Even the ones I didn't automatically love I could see myself in, and not be embarrassed.

And then there is that one shot: the one I was hoping for. The one that I can look at and see exactly what I look like, to myself, inside. What I hope I look like to everyone who sees me. The one that shows who I am.

Thank you, Karen.



How lovely to have found the one you think suits you best. It's a lovely photo.

Just beautiful, Grace. Just absolutely beautiful.

Yep, she got you. Gorgeous.

Gorgeous shot! ::sigh:: Now I'm even more bummed that I had to sell my ticket for Blogher.

Awesome. I know what you mean about geeky & awkward (& gawky), but I think you're beautiful. Truly.

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Pointy faced guest


Look who picked our yard as a vacation spot?
Our pointy-faced guest

She even brought the kids!
Mama with babies

Mama with babies

For some reason, I am guessing that her run-in with the all-canine welcoming committee is going to convince her to seek a more habitable environment.

At least I hope so. Ew.


I don't particularly love her, but I still think that her snarl looks like a smile. Are you sure she wasn't giggling?

I gotta say, those babies are pretty cute!

Mom looks pretty fierce though.

Well, forgive my ignorance, but what is it, a rat? The ones we have here are brown. Looks kinda cute in the pics, but you don't want them around. I once had one flying out of a closet we hardly ever use, it was the only time I've ever seen our dog, who has NO prey-drive at all, come to my rescue because I was screaming so hard. The rat ran for its life, dog barely missed it and I called the exterminator who came that afternoon and got rid of it. Such excitement!


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She's leaving tomorrow, and I can't say I'm sad about that. She has been fun and educational, though!

And I thought you might like to see her.

Pepper and Grace


You guys are saints! She's a cutie, but I can see the Lab-crazies in her eyes.

but obviously crazy.

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Goodwill bathroom stall


I so rarely see good graf anymore. But this I had to share (pardon the crappy picture I took with my crappy phone).

Graffiti at the Goodwill

Any idea what that could possibly mean?


Maybe they are talking about the formaldehyde in Victoria's Secret bras? That seems a stretch though.

Too bad there isn't a career in writing puzzling things on restroom walls. I could so love doing that for a living.

This is the best I could come up with…

A comment that formaldehyde doesn't REALLY kill and preserve 100% of "gross things" so therefore, little bacterias and stuff are in fact getting it on inside?

Other thought, is it a song lyric? Or poem?

There is, I think, a Panic at the Disco song that includes a lyric about formaldehyde.

It may or may not be the same song based on Natalie Portman's role in Closer, though, so maybe I have no idea.

Inside joke?

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Happy New Year!


Didja miss me?

I missed you. I definitely missed blogging. Having a week or so off was really good for me though--I had a very relaxing and refreshing holiday, and was able to get in some really good paper journaling, which I've been trying to get back to and being distracted by blogging. So all in all, a very good thing.

There's lots I want to tell you, though. I've been thinking a lot about progress and goals, as one is apt to do at this time of year. I've also been really really inspired by the blogging my friend Rachel is doing at Crunchy Turtle these past days--she's captured a lot of what I want to do. So Rachel, be forewarned--I'm going to be copying you in my next few posts, which are all going to revolve around those subjects.

In the meantime, though, how about some pictures from our holiday in Minnesota?

(You can check out the whole bunch here.) Mark gave me a new camera for Christmas, and I am in the gooey early stages of love with it, so I've been snapping a bit excessively.

Before we left for Minnesota, we opened the presents my folks sent us here. Here I am peeking over that pile. It contained books, wine, and coffee!

Grace peeks over presents
(Please note that my hair is wet, not greasy, here.)

Since we flew in on Christmas Eve, one of the first things we had to do when we got to Mark's parents' house was to wrap the gifts we'd brought with us. Not Mark's favorite chore, clearly:
Mark wrapping packages 2

Christmas Day itself started with a lovely breakfast, complete with mimosa action and cappaccinos (they have a machine, and now I really really want one). Then, presents! Here I am showing off a favorite present of mine, a Liverpool FC t-shirt:
Me with Liverpool t-shirt

Both the food and the decor at Mark's parents' house is amazing. Wanna see some antipasta?

And how about this tree?
Harnett tree

Not to mention, the wine! Both of these bottles were older than I am!
Decanting wines

The weather was a trip as well. Winter Wonderland! It was well below 0 when we got there and when we left, but got up above freezing a bit in between. Always too cold to spend much time outside. Lovely from the window, though. See?
Back of the Harnett's house

And I know you want to see that snowman closer (and check out the power of my new zoom!).
The snowman, Day 6

Does it look like we had a fantastic time? We certainly did. It was a perfect holiday, with no stress, no responsibility, and no worrying. It's actually a little bit of a bummer to be home and face the animals, and the house, and the plans that need to be made and goals that need to be committed to. But I think that is, in part, how you know a good holiday--you miss it when you get home.

Now, for some less happy news--for those who don't follow me elsewhere and don't yet know, my grandmother is dying. She has been declining for a few weeks and is now almost certainly in her final days. She is 98 (would be 99 in March) and has had a long and full life, and she is ready to leave this world, but it is still heart-breaking and I am having a much harder time dealing with it than I would have expected (in part, I'm sure, because it's hard to be so far from home when something like this happens). I likely won't say a whole lot about that here, because it's not something I am really ready to talk about publicly, but I thought you should know.


How did I NOT KNOW ABOUT RACHEL'S BLOG. Good grief. I've been living under a damn rock.

LOL @ Frog.

Grace, seriously, I missed you! So glad you and Mark had such a good time. That snow is amazing and so is your new camera. What brand/model is it. I've really been enjoying all your flickr pictures! Their house is gorgeous! Mark's family is either really short or you guys are tall.

Also glad I'm inspiring you! Now we're even.

Happy New Year Grace! Those pictures are wonderful! Just like one would imagine the perfect Christmas to look like, and I'm so jealous of that snow!

So sorry to hear about your grandmother. Mine was 93 when she died which is a fantastic age, but I wished she could live forever. I still miss her a lot because we were really close.


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Love Thursday


This is what love looks like to me.

sleeping huey


Delicious picture!

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What I did today



Next time I get the brilliant idea to open a business, remind me that I'm lazy?

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A rare moment


I don't usually do this, but I'm feeling ridiculously thankful and full of love tonight.

mark and grace 5


Cute couple!! And I love your tattoo!! And don't drink too much of that new BFF or you'll have a headache. ;-)


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NaBloPoMo #27: Love Thursday


I don't think Huey realizes this is the same creature he spends half of his waking hours chasing after and howling.

huey and atticus

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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Happy Halloween!


Long live the homemade costume!

Halloween...early 80s?


That is so awesome. Is one of those cute bears you? Care Bear STARE!

You were all so cute! I loved Care Bears--still do actually. :) You should post this on Flickr--there is a Care Bear photo pool that this would perfect for. :)

Matching little haircuts too. Adorable!

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Friday love: where the heart is


When you grow up here, how can home be any place else?

Home in fall

Home in fall

Home in fall

(Pictures by my mom, who is almost certainly rubbing it in.)


Thanks Beautiful!

Oh, mountains and fir trees and fall color! When I go home to Oregon for a visit, just the smell of the place puts my soul right.

What beautiful pictures!! :) I love fall!

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Our house, 10pm, Monday

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It is their world, we just live in it.

mark with the boys

mark with the boys 4

mark with the boys 2


Guess there's no room for you, huh? LOL

That's adorable!

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Welcome to my world


It occurred to me, astute photojournalist that I am, that my avid readers might like a look at this mysterious Bins you hear so much about. So I took my trusty (hardly) digital camera with me to thrift today, and snapped a few shots. I felt weird doing it--people were not looking at me in the friendliest ways--but I live to serve my adoring public, so here you go:

store from front corner
Here you see as much of the store as I could get in as possible, from the front left (near the entry door).

store from back corner
This is from the opposite side, the back right corner, and is once again as much as I could get in.

av refuse
This is a big pile of VCRs and DVD players. There is always a table like this, with what seems to be rotating stock. Makes me proud to be an American to see this, let me assure you.

clothing refuse
About 1/3 of the store is devoted to these tables of clothing. This is the hardest part to shop in, for me, as sifting through table after table of clothes gets tiring. In the rest of the store, things are mixed up so it doesn't get boring.

general refuse
Most of the store looks like this, with tables (and sometimes bins, like you see in the second picture) of what I'd call "general refuse." Could be anything and mostly it's not sorted in any way. This is my favorite part, because you'll never know what you'll find.

These pictures don't really give you an idea of the enormity of the stuff in this place, but they're a first try. Maybe I will get bolder as a photographer if I keep trying to do this. Looking at them, just like being there, gives me this combination of adrenaline (what might I find?!) and sickness (how did we get to be a society that throws this much stuff away?).


Whoa, even I'm daunted. I've seen this sort of set-up on a smaller scale on market stalls and at festivals, but not a shop that size dedicated to it!

Good lord, I've never seen anything like that before in my life. It reminds me a bit of Amoeba Records in LA, which had a similar scope of ridiculousness.

Bands must love it there.

omg. I love the bins on sight!

I don't think we have those here.

If I come to your town, will you take me to the bins? Please?

That's just...staggering. I think I'd go nuts in there with all of the disorganization and the sheer volume of crap to sort through. It's almost kind of sad to look at!

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Images from a birthday

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leo birthday kiss

birthday nap with leo

ata with birthday hat

mark and ata with hats

new painting


Dogs with hats! So cute.

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Pretty pretty princess Grace


Turns out that if I wore a whole lot of carefully applied and expensive make-up, I'd look like this.

grace made up.jpg

Go to Taaz to do your own.

Thanks to Jenny for the toy.


so you become in soft focus when you wear makeup?

ooh, so annoying!!! i cannot upload a photo!!

WUSS! You should have tried out the hilarious hair.

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Bloom table


Wanna see what else I've been working on?

Of course you do--that's the joy of a captive audience!

bloom table

This is what I am calling the bloom table. It's my second attempt at a collaged table top (the first was years ago and it's really too bad I don't have a picture of it, because it was very cool). The materials are basically all re-used: thrifted table, pictures from old magazines and calendars that I either thrifted or had around. The only thing I bought was the varnish with which I am now coating it in the hopes it will be somewhat durable. Even the Mod Podge I attached the pictures with originally and the paint brush I am using for the varnish are leftovers. So that part is good. And doing a completely apolitical collage like this, which focuses on pretty colors and shapes rather than any greater meaning, has been good for my psyche. I haven't decided yet whether to just varnish the wooden legs or spray paint them a bright color. And then I think it's going to become my nightstand.

I really love collage as an art form because it is so free-form. There are no wrong answers, and it can be as sloppy or as precise as you want it to be. I rarely plan a collage out--I just keep adding and moving things until it feels right to me. This isn't a great method in terms of making things come out perfect or neat, but it is what has felt best to me so far. As always, when I look at this finished product I see how I should have done it differently (for example, started at the outside and worked in to avoid bare edges), but all in all I am pretty happy with it.


gorgeous! i love it. i've been wanting to do something like this. maybe i will now!

that's really pretty.

Your bloom table is beautiful!

I am a collage artist also.

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Impossible not to love them

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Check out this idyllic scene from my house last night.

Atticus and Yuel sleeping next to each other in the same position


Aw, peace in the kingdom. I love your dog - looks a bit like mine. In other words, gorgeous.

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Happy Valentine's Day from Atticus and Esme


Atty and Ez remind us that it's not just the kittens and their mama who are cute.



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I make no bones about it--Yuel is my favorite of the kittens. I'd love to keep him (her?). Yuel is the slowest, cuddliest, shyest, sweetest. Also, to my eye, the cutest. So I thought I'd share.

yuel on scratching post.jpg

yuel on scratching post close-up.jpg

yuel on scratching post 2.jpg

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A kitten frustration


A week ago, we had adopters lined up for all of the kittens.

This afternoon, the last of those adopters backed out, for various reasons (and some without reasons). We are now back to square one, with four nearly eight-week old kittens and nary an adopter in sight.

I have a post up at Craigslist about them, as well as on Petfinder. I've gotten quite a few initial emails, but so far nobody is willing to pay an (IMO small) adoption fee or sign a contract guaranteeing they kitten won't be declawed, will be spayed/neutered, and will be indoor. Those are all non-negotiable for us. We would rather turn them over to the Humane Society than adopt them to homes that can't or won't agree to those stipulations. we are. They aren't hurting anything and are fun to have around, so it's not that big a deal if we need to keep them for a week or three more, but I'm still frustrated with the adopters all bailing at the last minute. And concerned...are we doing something to alienate them?

To make me feel better, I took some pictures of Feliz and Noel.

feliz and noel.jpg

feliz and noel 2.jpg

noel attacking camera string.jpg


I think it's fairly likely that your terms for adoption would be "alienating" to some potential adopters, but if they're non-negotiable terms, then you can't worry about that.

The kitties are so adorable.

Hi, long-time lurker here!

Your contract doesn't sound unreasonable at all, but maybe people are wary of leaving a cat with claws indoors all day, the combination of the two? I hope you find all of them homes soon!

And Noel's eyes are gorgeous-- so blue!

While your terms are totally reasonable, I think I'd have a hard time with an individual putting stipulations on my pet ownership. It's not the same as when going to an organization and adopting from them. It makes me get my defences up, even though I'd never declaw or let my cat out unattended (we leash trained ours), and I believe strongly in spaying and neutering.

I guess I just don't believe strongly in being told to do so by someone else.

They are stunningly cute.

I am right there with you on the declawing but I can't do the indoor thing. It feels too much like prison. My cats loved the outside world too much and I'm glad they got to experience it. I know most of my shelter volunteer friends were on the "indoor only" bandwagon, too, but I spent 6 weeks indoor only when I was hospitalized, and I could not do that to another being.

Hmm...maybe I should be more clear. These people who have bailed? They all knew about these stipulations to begin with. So unless they thought about them and then decided they couldn't/wouldn't comply, it can't be these things that have caused them to bail.

That being said, I have been treating these adoption of these kittens just the same way I'd treat dog adoption via rescue. I don't see what difference it makes if I'm an individual or a rescuer. I mean, breeders regularly have the people who BUY pets from them sign similar contracts. It is (IMO) part of responsible change in guardianship.

As for the indoor/outdoor debate, I'm not going to touch it. I know I won't convince anyone, nor will by mind be changed, so best not to stir the wasp's nest. :)

Can I ask what you think you'll accomplish with a contract? Are you going to follow up to ensure the terms are met? Would you take legal action if they are not? Or is this just to prove a point? I'm a little befuddled by that.

I'm all for screening and ensuring that adopters have the same pet-family values, but I'm not sure of the how/why with a contract.

Basically, the point of the contract is to have people make a commitment to treating the pet in the ways we've laid out. Again, it's really standard practice--I've never heard of a shelter or rescue that didn't use a contract, besides the city pound. Even if it doesn't end up being legally enforceable, it at least gets people to promise to do certain things, and is a way to gauge their commitment (are they willing to make those promises?).

I've never heard the indoor/outdoor debate. Am curious. But too lazy to think of what it might be.

Grace - thank you for answering all my nosey questions.

I wouldn't sign a contract with an individual from whom I was adopting an animal. Organizations, if they're reputable like the ASPCA, have some constraints on them that make "crazy person stalking me and bringing a lawsuit b/c they can't give up their animals" a lot less likely.

And, you're not an adoption agency. You're a person with cats. People can get cats from the ASPCA with fewer limitations. Why would they sign a contract with you? They don't know you from Adam, why would they sign a contract that would keep you in their life for the life of the cat?

Why don't you hook up with an actual adoption organization? Keep the kittens at your house as fosters but put them up for adoption through the ASPCA or a private agency and let them handle the paperwork? That might get you, and potential adopters, everything you want and provide the reassurance of an arm's length transaction.

We tried that, Char. The ASPCA will take them, but they won't allow us to foster them--they only allow us to pay them a per-kitten fee and give them to them, to be kept in their facility until they are adopted. This doesn't seem to be in their best interests, as compared to being fostered in a home with their mother. Private agencies have been unresponsive. So we listed them through the agency with whom we foster dogs, and they require us to use an application, require an adoption fee, and get a contract.

Also, re: breeders, they run businesses. So, again, assurance that you're not dealing with random over-involved and crazy pet lovers.

Keep this in mind: it takes very expensive litigation to determine that a contract is, in fact, not enforceable. It's very risky to enter into contracts with unknown quantities, which is what you are.

I applaud your desire to find good and loving homes for these kittens. I think that you're more likely to be able to do that through a reputable third party handling the adoption details.

"So we listed them through the agency with whom we foster dogs, and they require us to use an application, require an adoption fee, and get a contract."

So, why am I under the impression that the contract is with you and not the agency? Am I incorrect?

I still think a contract with YOU is an imposition to most people. With an agency, I don't have any idea. Maybe you could just chat folks up and get an idea about them and not ask them to sign a contract. Why have people sign a contract you wouldn't, and think you couldn't, enforce anyway?

your second attempt at a collaged table top looks fabulous.

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Appealing to the voyeur in me

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This is the coolest thing. The photographer, David Ichioka, set up a camera with a timer to take pictures of people sleeping, together or alone, at 20 or 30 minute intervals. I think my favorite set is this one, of a woman sleeping with her dog, but they are all fascinating.


That is super neat, such a cool idea. I'm glad you posted it!

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Kitten weigh-in, 6 weeks


The babies are six weeks old tonight/early tomorrow morning, so we weighed them in tonight. They're not as compliant as they used to be, so we have to use restraining measures.

Noel is still the biggest, at 1 lb 9.0 oz.

noel 6 wk weigh-in

Feliz is next, weighing 1 lb 6.0 oz.

feliz 6 wk weigh-in

Yuel, who was the least excited about being weighed, is almost as big as Feliz, weighing 1 lb 5.2 oz.

yuel 6 wk weigh-in

And finally, Holly is still the baby (though she clearly has no idea that's the case) at 1 lb 3.2 oz.

holly 6 wk weigh-in

And yes, I am aware that Yuel and Noel somehow switched names at some point. Now that the kittens are big enough to definitely tell apart, their names are set, but early on I did mix them up. So, for edification, the one with the black nose is Yuel, the big one with the fewest markings is Noel.


Why is it Yuel and not Yule?

Because my spelling is poor.

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Kittens cubed

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So yesterday I thrifted a couple of brand new pop-up cat cubes (like this) for our pride of cats. The adult cats played with theirs for about 15 minutes (mostly hiding in it in order to ambush one another) and then they were done. The kittens, however, LOVE the cube. Love it so much that I made them a bed in there. And y'all, the cute is almost killing me.

kittens in cube 4

kittens in cube 3

kittens in cube 2

kittens in cube 1


These photos make me talk in a high pitched voice "Kiiiiitttttieeees!"

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Daily dose of kitty

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Can't help it...

This one is Holly with Leo.

leo and holly

And this is me with Noel. You can't tell in the picture, but he was just about to rip off my nipple with his tiny sharp kitten claws.

grace with noel


That photo of Holly with Leo is AWESOME.

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Kitten Update, Day 37


It's been a while. I thought maybe you all were missing the kittens.

These first two pictures are rare glimpses of all four kittens, holding fairly still, in the same frame. From left to right you see Holly, Feliz, Noel, and Yuel.

4 kittens, day 37

all 4 kittens, day 37

This picture just shows three of the kittens, Feliz, Yuel, and Noel, but it was too cute not to show you.

feliz, yuel, noel, day 37.jpg

This next one is close-up of Noel, who is still the biggest of the lot--fat little thing.

noel day 37

The next two funny pictures are of my baby tabby, Feliz. In the first, he's showing his mean face, in the second, his table manners.

feliz day 37

feliz's table manners

Finally, here's one of Mama. She's looking a lot better these days--weaning is probably a smart move at this point--the little ones are half her size by now.



Are you keeping Feliz?

Nope. Not going to keep any of them, sadly. Three cats is plenty.

OMG, I want Holly! Why must you live so far away?

At what age will they go to their new homes?

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Good stuff

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Jenn over at Breed 'Em and Weep has a great post up today. Among other things, she writes:

It’s why I like it out here in blogland, because people are less neutral than they seem to be in person. There’s a certain audacity (or idiocy, some insist) to Putting Your Stuff Out There. Certainly the blog idiocy theory has been argued in full. But I see value here, value that I’d like to coax into my real life.

This puts a finger on something I've been trying to articulate for a long time, and I appreciate it. Y'all should go over there and read the whole post.

In other good stuff, we had this amazing spread for our first course for dinner last night:

amazing antipasta

What you see here is (from top left): Marcona almonds, sesame flat bread, chianti salami, Braeburn apple slices, Serano ham, lightly dress microgreens, shaved fennel, marinated fresh mozzarella, lavender dusted goat cheese, and assorted olives.

It was so good I forgot to take pictures of the rest of dinner. I am a lucky woman.

Long live the three-day weekend.


That is my favorite kind of meal - lots of tasty little things including cheese glorious cheese. I ate serrano ham at the fancy food show last weekend, which is remarkable only given that I have been a vegetarian for 20 years.

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Kitten Update, Day 29

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OK, weigh-in time!

Noel is still the biggest of the bunch. Her Day 19 weight was 12.6 oz, today she's at 1 lb 4 oz.

Feliz is next. He was 11.6 oz at Day 19, 15.2 oz today.

Yule is still after Feliz: Day 19 weight was 11.4 oz, today he is 14 oz.

And Holly is still a teeny little thing. She was 9.8oz, today she is 12.4 oz.

In the past few days, they have learned to play. It's hysterical to watch. Less funny for Illy, I think, as she tries to nurse them or just lie down where they can get to her and they all jump on her head.

We are letting them have free run in the bathroom for as much time as we can now, so they'll be able to play and so Illy can teach them to use the box when she's ready. The picture shows three of them running around in there, with Mom. The fourth was there too, but hiding behind the box. Once again, Feliz seems to be the least camera-shy of the group.

illy and kittens running loose

When she's not minding the young'uns, Illy has discovered she likes to spoon with Atticus. I think she might be going into heat. Wonder if she knows he's fixed?

illy and atty spooning


Aw they are turning into little cats!

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Not all bad


Lest you think things at my house are all bad, I give you the following photo series:

mark and leo.jpg

mark and leo 2.jpg

mark and leo 3.jpg

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Kitten Update, Day 19


I know you were wondering! Everyone is still happy and healthy and growing, and they are beginning to get a bit friskier and more playful. Updated pictures:

Noel and Feliz
Noel and Feliz are still the big guys, but Noel has overtaken Feliz. She weighed 12.6 oz today, to Feliz's 11.6.

Yuel is just slightly smaller, at 11.4 oz.

At 9.8 oz, Holly is still the runt. But she's healthy, she's growing, and look how cute she is!

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I am back in the U.S. of A., with new stamps on my passport, worn in long johns, and an air of European sophistication. OK, well, a stamped passport and dirty long underwear, anyway. The trip was truly out-of-this-world fantastic. I have a little travel diary that I may or may not transcribe here later, but in the meantime, suffice it to say that it rocked. Seeing my friends was wonderful, I loved Oslo, and the whole trip was the perfect mix of touristing and relaxing. Honestly it couldn't have been better.

And now I'm home, and real life will commence. Real life that is going to take some uncomfortable turns for me in the next months. But I'm sure I'll have plenty to say about that in the future. For now, here is a picture of me at the Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo.

Grace at Vigeland Sculpture Park

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So much to tell you!


I missed you!

I'd love to regale you with stories about how wonderful my Christmas in Oregon was, and I do have lots of those stories, but damn it's late and I spent all day traveling, so I'm gonna to keep it to the essentials. New kitten pictures, now with NAMES!

The tabby is now called Feliz. As in Feliz Navidad. He weighed in today, Day 12, at 9.6 oz.
feliz day 12

One of the black and white kittens, now called Noel, has gained even more quickly and is the same weight as Feliz!
Noel Day 12

The next biggest kitty, Yule, weighed in at 8.6 oz.
Yule Day 12

Finally, there is itty bitty little Holly, who only weighs 7.2 oz. But she's growing!
Holly Day 12

All of the kittens surprised us when we got home today with how big they are and how much more they look like little cats than they did when we left. Their eyes are open and they are starting to explore their box a little bit. Mama is a little bit skinny, so we're redoubling our efforts to pump calories into her, but she looks good too and is obviously taking excellent care of the babies.

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Day 6 weigh-in


Finally, individual kitten pictures! Keep in mind that when these guys went to the vet on Monday (Day 1), the biggest of them (the tabby) weighed just about 3 oz. So they've grown quite bit.

tabby on scale
The tabby weighed in at 6.2 oz.

blk whi 3 on scale
The largest black and white kitten at 5.6 oz.
blkwht 1 on scale
The medium black and white kitten at 5.0 oz.

blkwhi 2 on scale
And the littlest kitten at 4.4 oz.

(The four pictures each show a kitten on a postal scale.)


It's amazing how much cats start out looking like little rats. But cute little rats.

The cute. It's overwhelming!

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I am cool with the lion bedding down the lamb and all that, but do they have to do it on my bed?

ata and cats on bed

(The photo is of a large white dog, Ata, stretched out on the bed, along with two cats, the tabby, Atty, and the tortie, Esme.)

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More kitten pictures

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No reason me feeling crappy should deprive you of this.

illy with kittens

kittens day 3

(The top picture shows the mama cat, Illy, who looks kind of like a Siamese with tabby points, and her four kittens. The bottom shows just the kittens, nestled together against her stomach. There are three black and white kittens and one brown/gray tabby kitten.)


Oooh my goodness!!!!! Kitten cuteness! So sweet! Love kitties. Big smiles : )

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Feline belly picture


Illy, day 1, 4 lbs, 12 oz.

illy day 1
(The photo shows a very thin cat.)

Illy, day 53, 7 lbs, 8 oz.

pregnant illy
(The photo shows the same cat, much fatter.)

Cats gestate for approx. 63 days. She's been inside for 53 days. We should have kittens within the next ten days.



Go Illy!

Oh how I wish humans only gestated for 63 days. You'd find out you were pregnant and give birth a month later -- perfect!

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Where are the cats?


When you can't find Atticus and Esme, it turns out they might be making out in the linen closet. I remember the days when these two hated each other. Ah, young love.

Atticus and Esme in the closet
(The photo is of two cats, Atticus and Esme, curled up together on a shelf of folded sheets and blankets in a linen closet.)

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Decking the halls


Last night, with the help of some good cheer in the form of a hot chocolate spiked with Cointreau, I set about decking our halls. Or our kitchen and living room, anyway. Given that we have a plethora of pets, we have no chimney, I'm allergic to pretty much all trees, and we're going to be gone for quite some time over Christmas anyway, some compromises had to be made. That being said, I'm very happy with the results.

The stockings (made by my mom, and just like the ones I grew up with at home) were hung in the window with care:
stockings in window
(The picture shows six homemade felt stockings hung on the curtain rod in the kitchen window. Each has the name of a family member: Mark, Grace, Atticus, Leo, Esme, Atakan.)

And the tree is a foot tall rosemary plant. This is suitable for several reasons, including the pet and allergy ones mentioned above, and the fact we can plant it outside and use it for cooking later.

Of course, due to its small stature, it's a bit ornament heavy. But that's OK.

rosemary tree with ornaments, left side

rosemary tree with ornaments, right side
(The pictures show the right and left sides of a small rosemary plant shaped like a tree. It is hung with several safari-animal ornaments, including an elephant, a hippo, a crocodile, a monkey, etc.)

Not even a quarter of our ornaments fit, so we had to add the set of AKC dog ornaments to the stand the tree is on. You can't see them very well in this sub-par photo, but there are four doggies hanging from each shelf.

tree stand with ornaments
(The photo shows an iron plant stand. The tree is on the top shelf. Each lower shelf has a framed photograph on it, and there are dog ornaments hanging from each shelf ledge. The entire stand has lights and tinsel on it.)

That will probably be it for holiday decorations, given our constraints. However, I'm pretty happy with it. Beats the hell out of the giant wind-filled Santa my neighbors have in their yard. They never have the wind on when I drive by, it seems, so they just have a puddle of Santa in their yard. It's kind of sad, actually.

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More prized items


1976 edition Our Bodies OurselvesThis picture is of my 1976 edition Our Bodies, Ourselves book. It's probably kind of a silly prized possession, as this same book can be had on Amazon Marketplace for $.01, but it is a prized possession anyway. I also have a mimeographed copy of the much less accessible first edition of the book, but it doesn't make as pretty a picture.

I got this book while I was writing my undergraduate thesis, which was about Our Bodies, Ourselves and Ms. magazine's health care coverage in the 1970s. And honestly, I probably did get it from Amazon for $.01 or similar. But it's not monetary value that draws me to it, it's what it stands for. Our Bodies, Ourselves was and continues to be an amazing project, and it was with this edition that I learned about that. Plus it's just a really cool old hippy book. I recently added the 1978 Ourselves and Our Children (found at the Goodwill) to my collection, and it's quickly becoming a prized possession too.


I have that! And I love it too. It's quite an inspiration .

Yay! That's the edition my mom had when I was growing up, but unfortunately it fell all apart. The one I have is a later edition, that definitely isn't as nice a historical artifact.

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Mark has started calling Yogi Smeagol the Beagle. Which is funny, really.

Smeagol totally attacked Ata like 2 seconds after this picture was taken.
(The photo is of Ata, a very large white dog, and Yogi, a largish beagle, lying close together and smiling.)

Clearly a killing machine.
(The photo is of Yogi looking up with an angelic expression.)

And so miserable!
(The photo is of Yogi with a big smile on his face.)

Happy Sunday, y'all. Gotta go help with the lemon-poppyseed Challah French toast now.


I can see the look in Smeagol's eye. She is planning something.

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More important objects

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low-top Converse All-Stars

This is a pair of black low-top Chuck Taylors (or Converse All-Stars). It isn't that these particular shoes, which I think I bought off Zappos a couple of years ago, are significant to me, but rather than this style and color of shoe is significant. I've had a pair of shoes just like these, or a high-top version of same, constantly for probably 16 years. My first pair of Converse was like a religious awakening, fashion, rebellion, and nostalgia all wrapped up in a low priced, made in the USA (then, not now) shoe. And I have been a convert to the Church of Chuck ever since. My uniform, at many ages, was built around Chucks (jeans, black tshirt, Chucks; baggy cargos, cami, Chucks, etc.) They used to make me feel hip, then ironic, and now, just...young.

I honestly don't wear my Converse all that often anymor , but I will always have a pair on hand.


In high school (I graduated in '81, which is important for context), my daily uniform consisted of an Izod shirt, jeans and Chucks. I had alligator shirts in every color and Chucks to coordinate with same. Purple. Orange. Red. Black. White. Baby blue. You name it.

I saved my white high tops for playing basketball.

I miss the ease of having no fashion sense. ;-)

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Objects of my unexpected significance


Yesterday, Jenny of Triumphantly Jenny posted a brief review of the book Taking Things Seriously: 75 Objects with Unexpected Significance, Basically, the book is photographs of objects that artists/literati/etc. give significance to and short essays about why. An interesting idea for a book, I think, and an even better one for blog fodder. So I went around my house last night and looked for significant objects to photograph. In doing so, I learned that there are very few objects that have a lot of significance to me--mostly objects are just objects--and those that are significant are generally representative of larger concepts. But anyway, I'll post a few over the the next few days.

living room bookshelves full of books

The first object I chose is actually objects. It's the built-in bookshelf in my living room. The value of this object is both literal and representative. It's representative of my need to horde books, and my love of organizing things. Literally, it houses some of my favorite books, which are objects I do treasure, as well as some pottery I like a lot, made by the potter in my home town, and some photographs I cherish (photos are definitely among my most valued objects). And, of course, it holds the urn with Chance's ashes.

Plus, if you've never been to my house, isn't it fun to look at the picture and feel like you are looking through my stuff? I did no touching up or reorganizing for this photo, just snapped the bookshelves as they are, in all of their cluttered glory.


You have rainbow books too!

Do you organize books by color on purpose, or did it turn out that way? (It looks cool, BTW.)

It's on purpose--I saw it in a magazine and thought it looked cool. Mark keeps messing up the cookbooks (lefthand side) though.

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Best laid plans


I had this grand plan that I was going to use this month to make my great entry into photo blogging. So, of course, my digital camera isn't working. Instead, a picture of home, taken by my mom and sent to me. Probably just to rub it in.

picture of Umpqua River

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Pictures with Eugene


I am going to have SUCH a hard time letting this dog go.

grace and eug 1

grace and eug 3

grace and eug 4

grace and eug 2

grace and eug 5

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This dog has had enough for now.


I don't usually post the images from my dog-of-the-day calendar here, because, well, it would get annoying. And also probably be copyright infringement. But because today is Friday, and because it is not yet 9 AM and I am already fed up, I'm making an exception:

picture of frowning dog

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I just realized I haven't introduced you all to our new foster dog, Eugene.


After our long break from fostering, we decided it was time to start up again. Since our house is pretty much in shambles anyway (more even than usual--I actually put my foot through the shower wall the other night), there isn't much they can hurt, and we're going to be home steadily from now until Christmas. So we went last week and met a beagle mix, at the pound, and Saturday we brought him home. And named him Eugene, because we're cruel like that.

Eugene is a fantastic dog. He's clearly been someone's beloved and cherished pet. He is the cuddliest thing ever, loves to sit on your lap and sleeps contentedly (and quietly!) right next to me at night. I really wish I could find his people, as I'd assume he lost them, but since I can't, I am dedicated to finding him a great family to replace them. Honestly, I'd keep himself if given half the chance.


Eugene is simply lovely. I feel sure that he is going to make someone very, very happy. His white fur is so white that it glows!

What a sweetie! Love the ears. :)

I so miss your menagerie . . . :(

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A meditation on my body


I've been thinking about my body a lot lately.

This is not exactly news, as far as being a woman in Western society goes. We think about our bodies a lot. In fact, we're more or less obsessed with them, as a rule. I know I am and have been in the past. But lately, I am really trying to think about mine in a different way.

With me, it usually starts with clothes. My body has a tendency to fluctuate quite a bit in size and shape, so the clothes that fit me last fall don't necessarily fit me right now. In fact, I've realized during this past couple of weeks that I have basically no pants that I don't have to hike up every five minutes. Also, my bras are too small around and too big in the cups. So off to Ross I go.

I get sick of doing this. It's wasteful, buying new clothes every season because last year's models don't fit now, and I am large enough that I have a real problem finding thrifted clothes in my sizes. The shopping is also frustrating, as I hover between plus-sized and not, and have a generally hard-to-fit body. For every pair of pants that makes a reasonable approximation of my waist-to-hip ratio, I'll try on at least a dozen that don't. Due to these frustrations, I can get kind of twitchy about the whole subject.

What I am trying to internalize, though, is that clothes not made to fit me is their problem, not mine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my body. The path it travels between a size 14 and a size 18 is not a negative reflection on my character. My breasts are not less attractive at a 38B than they were at a 36C. And I have an absolute right to buy myself new things when the old ones don't fit--nothing makes me feel worse faster than facing getting dressed in the morning when everything in the closet is the wrong size. While it is a hindrance financially to have to buy new clothes every season in order to have things fit properly, doing so not a reflection on my character or even on my physical attractiveness. It is also not a reflection on something bad I'm doing--I don't yo-yo diet. I don't binge eat, at least not recently. My current slightly-smaller physique is due mostly to the bout of food poisoning that left me down nearly 20 lbs in four days a month or so ago, but I've made no particular effort to keep that weight off, or to put it back on. I try to eat a reasonable diet and eat when I am hungry, what I'm hungry for. I'm not physically active enough, but at this point in my life, given other health and lifestyle issues I am working on, I can accept that. I'm doing just fine.

I've been watching with great interest a Flickr project called Pictures of You. In it, women post photographs of themselves at different times in the history of their bodies and write notes on them explaining what was going on, how they felt about their bodies at the time, and how they feel about looking at the photos now. I submitted some pictures of my own, but as yet they haven't been added (the group may be closed, I'm not sure). Going through the photos and thinking about what to say about them was extremely cathartic, though, as was the prospect of sharing my thoughts, so I thought I'd do my own little exhibition here. Step right up for a brief photo history of Grace's body:

beach picture, 1994

This picture was taken in the early summer of 1994. I was 14. If memory serves, I was about 5'10" and weighed about 145 lbs. I wear a size 8 or 10. My breasts and hips hadn't developed yet and looking back at this picture, I had amazing legs. At the time, I had just started being truly concerned about my body, but weight wasn't an issue--I spent all my mortification on how tall I was and how I didn't have any chest to speak of. Looking at the picture, though, I see comfort, confidence, joy.

beach 1997

This picture is also at the beach, almost exactly three years later. I'm 17 and just about to leave home and high school. I've gone up another 1-2 inches and gained 15-20 lbs. I wear a size 12. By this point, I've begun to be concerned about my weight on and off, particularly the inner thighs I am blissfully showing in this shot. Looking back, I think I look fantastic, of course. I still have almost no chest, and it still bothers me.

with Simon, 1997

This picture is at the end of 1997, only about eight months after the previous picture. You can't tell, but I'm actually 10-15 lbs lighter here than I was before, due to a stressful first semester at college (my freshman 15 went the other way). I'm still generally in a size 12. However, I have started to really obsess about my body at this point, in part due to being larger than my new boyfriend (also pictured). Oddly, the first thing I notice about this picture now is how incredibly fat my arm looks. I think it's just a weird angle or something, because I know it wasn't that big, but I can't help but think it looks terrible. Guess I still have a long way to go.

lifeguarding, 1998

This incredibly silly picture, taken in the summer of 1998, represents probably the best shape I've ever been in as an adult. It is at the end of the summer when I got my lifeguard training and certification. I worked at a public pool and swam a lot (which also explains the hair and the tan). I'm at my full height by this point (about 6'1" but I am still calling it 5'11.5") and probably weigh about 160 lbs here, still in a 12. I honestly don't remember if I knew then how great I looked, but I sure know now.

smoking, summer 1999

This picture was taken the following summer, 1999. I'm 19 here. I've just been very very sick and my weight is way down--probably back down to 145 or close to it. I'm swimming in my size 12 clothes and have no money to buy anything else. My hips and breasts have started to actually come out by now, and my body just seems weird to me. Looking back on the picture, all I can think of is how much I love that haircut.

summer 2000 with sunburn

This is the following summer, 2000. I am 20. I am back up to my regular (at that time) weight, probably 165-170. I've moved to a size 14 in most clothes. I've developed a love/hate relationship with what I now think of as my enormous ass, and I wear baggy pants all the time. I still feel pretty good about my body, though, as shown in my typically short shirts and lack of sleeves. Looking back, it is hard for me not to think of this as my best natural body.

with Mark, 2002

This picture was taken in September of 2002. I'd just turned 22. My post-college weight gain has started, so I'm probably about 180 here. My breasts have blessedly grown and with the help of a push up bra I can actually fill out the front of that dress. I remember being concerned about how I was sitting when we took these pictures, as I wanted to be shorter than Mark in them (he's about 5'8"-5'9") and not have my legs squished up so they looked fatter. I guess it's safe to say I now officially have weight concerns. It bothers me that I weigh more than Mark, even though I know I'm much taller and built heavier. I'm wearing a size 14 and periodically try to get back into a 12 through crash dieting.

with Ata, 2005

This photo is, I believe, from the spring of 2005. I'm 25. I'm at around 200 lbs, struggling to stay in 14s and branching out to 16s much of the time, and really, furiously unhappy with my weight. When I saw this picture the first time, I mostly saw fat arms and belly rolls. With more retrospect, though, I don't think I look bad at all, and I remember the day (The Mighty Texas Dog Walk) as being a great time.

halloween as rosie the riveter, 2006

This is last Halloween, almost a year ago. I am probably at about 215 here. I'm wearing men's jeans with a 38 waist, and I've moved into a lot of size 18 clothes. I didn't show many people this picture when it was taken, because I thought it made me look fat (and honestly, it does). However, I have to end with it for the sake of symbolism now. I am a strong, beautiful, competent woman, no matter what I weigh or what size my pants are, and that is what this costume was supposed to be about. Comically, it's also an illustration of how wearing clothes that are actually too big for you does nothing to make you look smaller.

Today, October 3, 2007, I am 28. I am still about 6'1" and I weigh somewhere between 205-215, I think. I have on brand new jeans, which fit me perfectly and make me feel good, and they are a size 16. Whether I remain in this size, or go up, or go down, it's fine. That's not what that is about. This is about realizing that I look good in ALL of these pictures, and that the changes in my body are fine.


You carry your weight so well! You look great in all of those pictures, and even in the last picture, you definitely do not look 215 lbs.

I don't comment in your blog often, but I read it all the time ... and I just had to let you know that I think you look fabulous!!

Aw, thanks. This honestly wasn't me trying to troll for compliments, but I'll definitely take them. :)

Wow...tenacious snail had a post in her LJ the other day about how we think of a 200 or 300 pound woman as being big...but that most people have no idea what a 200 pound woman actually looks like. This confirms that for me. 200 pounds is less than I imagined. (I have a skewed perspective I think, being on the chicken-leg end of the scale).

It also confirms for me what I had begun to suspect...that women who think they are fat are not women who *I* think are fat.

Every size I've seen you at, you look good. Honestly.

Jess, you have to remember that I am extremely tall for a woman and also pretty bone-heavy, so I have always weighed more than it looks like I weigh. Even when I was very thin, I was never near as light as I was expected to be.

That being said, I think it's absolutely true that we generally have very skewed ideas of how numbers (weight, sizes) and bodies correlate, particularly those that are at the other end of the spectrum from our own. To me, everyone under size 8 looks like they must be size 0, you know?

Two thoughts I had during this post:

1. Jesus christ I look like a douche in that photo. I hope, but doubt, that that was halloween.

2. I also look really skeletal in it, which is funny, because I'd gained literally 45 pounds in the two years prior to the photo.

Other than just talking about myself, I'm going to go on a limb and say that I'm not sure only "western society" makes ladies think hard about how their bodies look. Not that I'm a great defender of "the west", just that I feel like it's a more global phenomenon.

Sorry, not a costume--it was a formal, I think. You have a lot of make-up on. I think it's funny.

You are probably right re: non-Western women, I just don't think I can speak to that. And for God's sake, knock off the "ladies." It makes me cringe.

I guess I do forget that you're so tall. But still, its not just you. There's an illustrated height weight chart floating around on the internet, and even looking at the women in my height range, I realize that I mentally clump a lot of people as "near my size" when I see them, but don't necessarily mentally clump those NUMBERS as "near my size" if that makes any sense. Its kind of an interesting phenomenon.

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Making Monday easier


If you are having that cranky Monday feeling this morning, I suggest taking a trip over to the American Humane website, where they have posted the winners and finalists of their pet photo contest.

Not as good as another hour's sleep, maybe, but it'll do.

P.S. This one is my favorite, hands down.

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Still life with cat and dog

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This is a photo my friend Howell took while he was visiting a couple of weeks ago. I just love it. It's a good snapshot of what life looks like at my house.

Esme and Ata


Awe! Great picture!

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At the zoo


Austin has a really cool zoo. It's actually a rescue/preserve, which is why it's so cool. When our college buds were here last weekend, we went there. Our good friend Howell took this picture of me with a great big turtle tortoise, and I loved it so much I had to share.

Grace with giant turtle


If I were a betting woman, I'd say that was a tortoise. Cool photo, though!

And so it shall be.

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A tail of two kitties, or, last night at my house


Once upon a time, there were two kitties. One was a big tabby named Atticus, the other a more petite tortie named Esme. It seemed that in their interactions, Atticus would have the advantage, as he outweighed Esme by a good six pounds.

However, Esme had many tricks up her sleeve, including seeming to be uninterested in Atticus' exposed belly.

atty and esme

Being a cat, however, Esme was unable to feign disinterest for long. Soon she was licking her kitty lips in anticipation of her attack.

atty and esme

At the sight of Esme's renewed interest, Atticus went on the defensive.

atty and esme

But alas, his defensive posture was too late, as Esme went in for the kill!

atty and esme


Go, Esme!

(Have you two pulled out the seagrass carpet or is it just strange lighting?)

We pulled out all of the nasty sea grass. We're going to put down laminate, but it's currently backordered, so we're on bare concrete with lots of old dried glue on it. It's lovely, let me tell you. It's actually kind of nice, though, because there is no longer any reason to worry about what the animals are doing to the floor.

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New hair


I finally got it together and got my hair cut today, and I am big with the post-haircut happiness. It has been thinned by about half, as well as de-mulleted, and I feel so much better! I'm even beginning to have some love for my natural hair color. Which isn't to say I'll never dye again, but it's good to be au natural for a bit.

grace new hair front

grace new hair back


It looks great! I got my hair cut today, too...not that short. I wish I could wear mine short but it just doesn't suit my face shape.

I think I'll sleep sitting up because I just hate to ruin that "someone knew what they were doing" style. : )

I know! Mine doesn't look nearly as good this morning as it did yesterday. I think it has something to do with the stylist being able to do that round brush+blowdryer magic that just doesn't translate to my home environment. Still, it's much better than it was.

Do you have pics of yours?

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More foster pup pictures


I just couldn't resist...

Sonny close-up

sonny sticking out his tongue

Ruby in profile



Stop. You are killing me.

Soooo sweet! Makes me want a dog. Or a dozen dogs.

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New addition

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Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Friday!






Hope he's feeling better.

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Love Thursday: Family Portrait


In honor of Love Thursday, and the last day of NaBloPoMo, and just because I wanna, I give you a family portrait of all of the mammalian inhabitants of my house, taken last night, by my friend S. This isn't the one we're going to use on the Christmas card, since not everyone is facing the camera, but it's still my favorite.

Family Portrait

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For your amusement


Here's something you probably never expected to see:



Whoa - looks lovely - is it what it looks like?

Yes and no--it is a wedding dress, but it's not mine. My friend S. is selling the dress on Ebay and I offered to model it. I really like the dress, though--I would definitely consider it if I were getting married.

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In our Sunday best


Mark and I got all dressed up today to go to my good friend's wedding. It was a great wedding and we didn't look too shabby, so I thought I'd share.



Oh, that is such a happy, cute, photo!! Y'all look adorable.

We were happy to have both of your cute selves there!

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Rosie the Riveter


My Halloween costume.





That is so totally cool. I wish I'd done that. This Halloween, I dressed up as a twentysomething malcontent with a caffeine fixation. Your costume was much better.

That is a great costume.

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As you can see, our newest member has made herself nice and comfortable.




What a cute kitty!

Also want to say that
I'm loving your women's poster series - thanks!

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Atticus on the hunt


These are just too funny. Every night, a tiny lizard comes and sits on the screen on the outside of our french doors and tortures Atticus. And every night, Atticus tries to attack him through the door. Observe:

Atticus on the hunt

Air Atty

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Ata the lap dog


Atakan, our younger dog, is completely convinced that he is a lap dog. I think in his mind he weighs about 10 lbs. In reality, he weighs about 120 lbs, I think. When these pictures were taken, it felt more like 300.

Ata on Grace's lap

Ata on Grace's lap 2

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More pictures from my trip


picture new my parents' house

picture of creek crossing

picture near my parents' house

picture of Border Collie, Gus

picture of my parents' garden


Yeah, and buy my home-made banana bread as well! I'm 100 percent in Medford right now!

Love your pics. I've often thought Oregon might be the place for me.

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Another perspective

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Ata curled up picture

As you can see, Ata is really quite tiny.


he is surprisingly smaller!

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How cute!


I feel sure that pictures of my dogs will improve your day. Or, you know, just improve mine.

dogs lyng around picture

Bridget in kennel picture

Grace and Ata picture

Grace and Ata picture


I can see from their glowing eyes that you've opted for the less smelly, less slobbery, less poopy, "Robo-Dogs". I salute you for entering this 23rd century.

Dogs rock! Cute pics.

Pictures of your dogs do improve my day. That is why I added you as a flickr contact, hope you don't mind! One of the main reasons I am looking forward to getting out of grad school is so I can adopt a very large dog.

Your hair color looks gorgeous, btw... that's the color a want.

What gorgeous dogs! Have you got three now? In the third picture that puppy is just adorable.

definitely made my day better. thanks.

yay for huge and lunksome dogs!

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Especially if you happen to be a shoe...

Atticus playing with a shoe

Atticus playing with a shoe

Atticus playing with a shoe

Atticus playing with a shoe

Atticus playing with a shoe

Apparently all that shoe fighting is very tiring.

Atticus crashed out

Atticus sleeping

Atticus sleeping


Awee! My kitty loves playing with shoes too : )

Your kitty is so,so cute! My daughter has 3..of course she now has her own home, my beast of dog would not do well with kitties in the house. I wish he did, we have many a mice out here.

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Welcome to the pack


Ladies and gentlemen, I present Atticus (Catticus)!


cute! he has trouble in his eyes. how old? and what's his story?

What a beaut! He is SOOOOOO cute. Out of curiosity--as a feminist, can you speak on your opinion about owning all-male pets? Is it something you ever think about? I just ask because I've always been partial to female pets, and currently I wouldn't consider getting anything but a female pet. I sometimes dog-sit for a woman (who happens to be in an almost entirely all-woman profession, a single mom of one daughter, and a lesbian), and I'm always mystified about her ownership of a large, assertively-male MALE dog. Why would she go through so much effort to surround herself by female humans and then get a male dog? Anyhow, it's something I've always wondered about, and I wondered what your opinion on the subject was. But getting back to your cat--he's gorgeous!! I already love him. What's the story behind the name?

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He's here!


Actual text about our adventures in picking him up to come, but until then, pictures!!


Looks pretty comfy in his new home, no?

Leo in the garden

Exploring the garden jungle.

Leo with a toy

Learning about toys.

Leo after a bath

After his much-needed first bath.

Isn't he cute? So far he's an absolute joy, but I'll fill in the details later.


he is a beauty, grace! can't wait to meet him!

Did he really change colour after his bath, or is it just a difference in light between the two shots?

What a cutie. And he's so chill! The pictures crack me up: "Leo exploring his new toy" = Leo chilling beside his toy. "Leo exploring the garden" = Leo laying in the garden. Even his post-bath pose is relaxed! And I had the same question as Nella--did he really change color so dramatically with his bath? If so, he really did need a bath!

Yes, the color change is all bath. He was filthy. He'd been living outside and it showed. In reality, he's pure white.

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There will never be another


There will never be another dog like this dog.


(sorry if I am double posting) I know there are no words for you right now, Grace. Dogs are the absolute best thing that can ever happen to a person, IMO. We just don't deserve them. I know you loved Chance with all your heart, and so did he. I doubt he would have chosen any person other than you. As I recall, you saved him from an unhappy life. I am so sorry he had to leave you.

Oh my God, honey. I just saw this. (My cell phone's battery is gone right now, so I can't call you.) Chance was a phenomenal dog. I'm just stunned. I can't believe he is gone. I am so, so very sorry. I will never forget the last time we saw him. I'll never forget how he felt under my hands as I pet him. I'm grateful to have those memories. Thank you. Damn it. It is so fucking unfair.

Oh Grace, I wish it hadn't turned out like this. I know how much he meant to you and Mark. I wish I had met him, but the picture we have in Casa de Monkies of you three after he got a training certificate is one of my favorites. He's so lucky to have had such great people as you and Mark.

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Worth a thousand words


Cuddly Bow and Chancers

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Another argument against BSL


This is Sahara. She is somewhere between 2 and 3. She's half Pit Bull, half Boxer. She was rescued within minutes of being put down.


Are you fostering her?

Nope, she's Mark's friend Michelle's dog who came over for a play date last night. She wore both Bow and Chance out.

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