Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Okay, I know this is a REALLY random picture, and you are thinking, who the heck is that? (Unless my brother sees this, because he is almost as good as I am at picking out random celebrities on the street.) This is Patrick Fugit. He was the young lead in "Almost Famous" which was Kate Hudson's break out role as well. (Only, clearly, Kate Hudson went on to get bigger and better gigs, while Patrick - although nominated for tons of awards as best male breakout role and most promising actor - opted to lay low in his home town of Salt Lake City, Utah and get back with his band!)
I was coming out of a business next to a burger place by the University of Utah, and there he was walking out of the restaurant. I walked right up to him and told him how phenomenal I thought he was in that movie, and he was both shocked and flattered. He couldn't believe that someone would even have a clue as to who he was. It was fun ... and I know how to spot 'em.
While I was still married, we used to like to spend "date night" down in Westwood, LA - which was right by UCLA. There were really great shops, and restaurants, and theaters. Almost every single time we were there, I would see someone famous. I saw a few soap stars ... "Leroy" from FAME ... one time I saw Lisa Hartman Black during the thick of her career on "Knots Landing." We kept running into her and finally I just had to say something. In true DORKSVILLE fan fashion, I said, "I am such a huge fan! Are you and Ben going to get back together?" (OH brother!)
She smiled and politely said, "I don't know. I guess that depends on the writers." Yeah. Bye-bye now! (I am much more non-challant now.)
My brother was visiting one weekend and we went to see an opening of a Disney Movie at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood. There was an art gallery in the basement and we were walking through and Drew just shouted out, "Hey! Stewart Copeland! How you doing?"
I said, "Do you know him?"
And my brother said, "No. He is the drummer in the band, POLICE." Cool.
Another time, I was dropping off a friend at the airport here in Salt Lake City and noticed a Sundance white SUV waiting by the curb. Standing next to the car was the driver (I would assume) talking with Robert Redford!!!! I had my baby in her car seat and the camera on the floor and thought, I am so getting her picture with him! So I circled the parking lot once and by the time I got back by, they were gone ... I was really, really disappointed. He's kind of a biggie.
The last time I was in Nantucket, my parents and sisters and I were heading into town in their mini-van. We were stopped on the street, looking for a place to park and I said, "YOU GUYS! There's Martha Stewart! Right there ... crossing the street in the white pants with the dog."
They never would have seen her. Lucky for them I have a built in "celebrity radar".
Monday, September 28, 2009
When I first thought about this blog, I took this picture. Now remember, I started this blog (originally) for the purpose of focusing on happy, positive things. For me, this is a positive word. My sister, Leslie, had these little plaques made up for a church meeting, to be handed out, and I asked her to make one up for me too.
I have it in my front entryway and although most days I do just quickly walk on by, there are days when I pause and look at it, and ask myself if I need to simplify my days. For me, this word sends the message that we need to focus on the things that matter the most ... usually the little things, that will matter more in the long run.
I have had a few tiny complaints in the last little while about the fact that I have been neglecting my blog. I have to admit, it makes me happy that anyone cares! And I care too ... so I need to refocus, simplify my days, and save room for blogging time, because this little blog has served me well! It has absolutely given me a more positive, happy outlook on Life is Good! And thank you to those who have been such great positive supporters of it!!!!
Lots of love .... pollydove
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Can you hardly stand how cute this face is? This is my niece, Kate, holding a really, really big pencil! (It's to make a point.) What is better than a brand new #2 perfectly sharpened pencil, with a bright pink, totally unused eraser on the first day of school? C'mon now ...
It is hard for me to remember if I was ever excited for the first day of school. I think I was normally a bag of nerves mixed with a little anxiety. School seemed a bit daunting to me as a child. So many people. So much to remember. Would I find a friend to sit by at lunch? What if all of my friends were eating in the cafeteria and I had brought my lunch? (Oh wait, that happened just about every day, so that one did cause continual anxiety through the years.) What if I gave the wrong answer when called upon in class? Seriously.
But I did love back to school shopping. I can remember going to shop at Bullock's Dept Store on Lake Street in Pasadena. They really just don't make department stores like they used to. Forget the escalators - they had elevators, because there were SO many floors. And I remember there being "bell men" on the elevators and greeters as you got off, although that was probably not the reality of it. It was just a really big deal - an outing, for sure.
We would usually get four or five outfits. Most of it coordinated so we could mix and match. Make our wardrobe stretch farther. I loved plaids, and the fall colors lined up on the tables and racks. We would get a new white blouse ... some corduroy pants. For sure at least one cardigan sweater. My mother would let us get one new pair of tennis shoes and one pair of "school shoes." I think my favorite year of school shoes was in 6th grade, when I got light brown suede saddle oxfords, with a dark brown flap over the laces. I did love those ... especially with my new spankin' white knee socks that I would meticulously roll down just right, perfectly even under both knees.
But even more than my new clothes from Bullock's (because I still had the concern that someone else might have the same thing. Or I would run out of new clothes WAY before the other girls did. Or I might spill something on my new shoes, and then what? Or I might get caught passing notes. Seriously?), I loved getting new school supplies!
A new backpack and a new pack of white lined paper. A new three ring binder with a zip lock pouch in front. New pens and pencils and big pink erasers. (Remember when they came out with ink erasers? The white ones? Loved those too! I don't like cross outs, so it was way cool to now be able to erase even your ink mistakes ... except when you rubbed too hard and it ripped your paper. SO not cool - then you had to start all over again on a new piece of paper.)
I liked having a new little plastic pencil sharpener too. One that would catch the shavings - because what if I had to get up in front of the whole class to sharpen my pencil? And everyone watched me as I walked toward the pencil sharpener, and watched me while I sharpened my pencil, and then watched me as I walked back to my seat and sat down?
(Thinking back - how in the world did I make it through without therapy?)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This is my daughter, Sophie (in front). Sophie LOVES to dance and always has. All of my girls have taken dance classes since they were little, but Sophie got a much earlier start than any of her sisters. And probably because she had sisters in dance, she wanted to be just like them and do that too.
When Sophie was just 4, we were at the studio's annual, year end, 3 hour (endurance testing) dance recital. We were in the audience waiting for Sophie's little fairy clad class to come out on stage next. Apparently, Sophie was crying and did not want to go on stage, so to coax her, her teacher told her she could be the first one in line to lead everyone out.
That made her content, I guess, and so when the music started she marched as the leader, with her star wand held high, all the other little white fairies behind her. They walked out on the stage, crossed the stage, and continued to walk off the stage swallowed up by the curtains on the opposite side.
I thought it was hilarious - but OH BOY, did those other mothers have a fit! You would have thought that this was the graduation ceremony at an expensive college and their child hadn't been handed their diploma! It was so intense for some of them, that I didn't want to admit that it was my little girl who walked them off the stage, thus messing up their little routine!
That's not the dancing I'm referring to though, as my happy thing today! :)
I'm talking about when a song comes on the radio and you're in your car, and you just have to move. And everyone does it, you know you do. Sometimes you might be with people and sometimes you might be alone ... but whether it is your hips rocking in your seat, or your head bobbing up and down, your hands drumming on the steering wheel, or just your fingers tapping on the center console - you do it because you just can't help it. And it makes you happy.
The other day I was giving Elliott a ride somewhere and he started "rocking out" to a song. This is rare for Elliott - he is usually much more conservative and reserved with his mother, but it was just one of those songs, and he couldn't help it. I said, "Elliott, the guy next to us is totally watching you." So he bumped it up a notch and went a little more crazy.
We both laughed and then he said, "Is he really?" And I said, "No."
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday afternoon, there was a fundraising event at the local pool, and the guests of honor were dogs! I had heard about the "doggie swim" a while ago and wanted to be sure that I would remember to go - it was SO hilarious!
When I walked through the gates to the pool area (which was carefully guarded so there would be no escapees), I immediately thought of the Dr. Seuss Book, Go Dog Go! "Big dogs, little dogs, red dogs, blue dogs, yellow dogs, green dogs, black dogs, and white dogs are all at a dog party! What a dog party!" And party on they did!
The dogs who had the most fun were the bigger ones; labs and golden retrievers. The little ones would venture into the wading pool area, get their legs and underbellies wet, and then hover around their owners' legs.
There must have been 100 tennis balls in the pool. It was so cute too - the (bigger) dogs would leap into the water, grab a ball in their mouth, and paddle back to the edge, not quite sure what they were supposed to do then! Volunteers stood around the edges of the pool and gave their collars a good yank to bring them up out of the water. Then they'd shake like crazy, dousing anyone nearby ... and no one cared one bit.
One lady so desperately wanted her dog to go off the diving board, but he was not having it. She tried to lure him with a frisbee. She would back her way toward the front of the board holding the frisbee out in front of her, the dog edging his way along. As soon as he got that frisbee in his mouth, he would begin the game of tug-o-war with her ... she never won.
My friend Stacey had said, "Happier dogs you will never see," and she was right. It was so fun to watch them and every face around that pool had a big huge grin on it!
Post post: A friend of mine made the comment, "They would have to use a lot of chlorine after that." The city does it on the last day of the season and then drains the pool ... oh, that is good to know!!!!
Friday, September 11, 2009
I looked at him in uniform
I thought how many men like him
How many pilots' planes shot down?
I heard the sound of taps one night,
I wondered just how many times
I thought of all the children,
I thought about a graveyard
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Tonight I went and saw Keith Urban in concert. How adorable is he?
On my way home, one of the local radio stations had a "concert after the concert" on the air, and had asked people to call in, tell them what they loved the most about the concert, and then request a Keith Urban song.
Every caller had the same thing to say - He totally includes the whole audience.
I went to my first Keith Urban concert about this same time last year. I was late getting online for tickets so I had the idea to see what kind of seat I would get if I bought just one ... I could get a third row seat, so I went to the concert by myself.
I walked down the stairs, so excited to be sitting in the third row, but then when I reached my seat - although it was definitely the third row, it was the third row in the bleachers, farthest away from the stage. I called my daughter and said, "McCall! Can you please bring me binoculars, I can hardly see the stage!"
"You're in the third row, how can you not see the stage?"
I explained, she suggested that I see if they rent binoculars. They did, and that helped. (That and a big screen the size of Rhode Island.)
When I finally did sit down, it was an aisle seat. I was sitting next to a couple just a little older than me. The husband turned to me and quite surprised asked, "Are you here alone?" (Seriously, who goes to concerts alone?)
I smiled a little and said, "I am. I have a much better seat this way." Their tickets were an anniversary gift from their children, mostly because their children liked Keith Urban so much. (He was trying to involve me in pleasant conversation - I'm sure he felt sorry for me, all by myself and everything ...)
About half way through the concert, a small platform was uncovered right in front of our section of seats ... and onto it walked Keith Urban, his guitar, and just a couple of other band members. Why did I NOT KNOW you could take pictures at concerts these days??????
But that was then. Tonight I remembered my camera, and I had an aisle seat again - I left that seat a time or two to get a closer look. Good thing I was by myself.
It was a phenomenal show ... non stop energy. Keith Urban is amazing.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
This is my son, Elliott. Notice the elated expression on his face. Notice the cell phone on which he is sending mass quantities of text messages to all his friends to share his joyous news. Notice the piece of paper in his right hand. Today he got his driver's license.
But since this is a blog about "my" happy little things, I can't really talk about that right now - but it has reminded me of how much I absolutely LOVE to drive! I always have.
I got my license the day I turned 16. My parents let me take the family wagon - the light teal colored family station wagon, which I might have been embarrassed to drive considering that my two best friends, who had turned 16 just the month before, were driving their very own cars ... Diane, her 67 mustang fastback (which was thee hot year to have in a mustang), and Delanie, her 66 volkswagon beetle, completely rebuilt and customized for her by her father, with a license plate that read: DELANIE.
See, I said I might have been embarrassed, but I could have cared less that day, because I was all alone, behind the steering wheel, in a moving vehicle, heading off to my friends' houses. How cool was that?
I get my love of driving from my dad. If I had to venture a guess, I would say that my dad has driven across this country about 40 times - and he isn't (nor has he ever been) a traveling salesman or a business man who took work trips. We just moved from coast to coast several times and my dad liked to do his own moving.
Side note: Although my dad has had movers help him many times, there was one time, in particular, that I remember my parents moving from their house in San Juan Capistrano. I lived about 45 minutes away, so I drove down to see how the progress was coming with the move.
When I arrived at the house, it was empty ... the moving van all filled and I said, "Dad? Who helped you move?"
He said, "No one."
"What? No one helped you move?!! How did you do that?"
"One inch at a time." He said the only thing he couldn't move by himself was the piano.
I could NOT believe that. My dad was almost 60 at the time - he's my hero!
That was actually a valuable lesson for me that day. Years later, I wanted to paint my living room. I didn't have anyone around to help and I didn't want to wait, so I did move my piano to the opposite side of the room and back, as well as the couch, dining room table, and big iron bread rack ... one inch at a time.
(End long Side Note here.)
My siblings know that I love to drive, so when we are all out together, I will usually offer to be the designated driver. I have a pretty good sense of direction too, so I am better (no offense to my sisters) at finding my way around.
When my kids miss the bus (like Sophie did this morning), I will only complain because of the time element, not because I mind driving all the way to school. I enjoy the radio and it gives me an excuse to get an earlier start on my diet coke for the morning!
I have said many times that my dream job would be to be a personal driver for a family. (Not a limo driver - too much of their time is spent waiting.) I would want to be the girl who runs the errands, takes the kids where they need to go, drive the daddy executive around to his clients, or his clients around when they are in town on business. (Notice that I didn't mention the mom in the family. She has to stay home to do all the work and keep the household together so while everyone else is running around it doesn't fall apart.)
Okay - you get it, right? I am so tired right now I am feeling punch drunk ... good times! Good thing I'm in for the night and don't have to drive anywhere.
But I really do love to drive! Love it!
Monday, September 7, 2009
Growing up when I did (you can do the math), the norm was to wear gold jewelry.
During my high school years, my friends and I would sometimes go to the jewelry mart in downtown Los Angeles and buy all kinds of gold treasures to wear. It was always an adventure too. Starting with remembering how to get there, getting on the right freeway, trying to find parking, knowing which building had the best deals, and trying to get the best price ... all the while being on the lookout for the crazies on the street. (Note: we were always accompanied by one of our parents, but that didn't mean any of the above wasn't applicable to them as well.)
We would buy rings, and bracelets, and tons of skinny gold chains, all different lengths - if you were really stylish, you wore multiple chains at the same time in ascending order ... remember the "S" chain? Loved that.
We were always searching for the perfect charms too. At least some, if not all of your necklaces, had to have a charm on it.
I'm not even quite sure when gold went out of style, but it did. I was a little disappointed too, because I liked my gold jewelry, and I didn't think I looked good in silver. I fought the trend for as long as I could before giving in ... but what I came to realize soon enough was that I LOVE silver jewelry and white gold and platinum - oh, wait, I don't have any platinum yet. :)
My wedding rings were gold, so after my divorce I decided to get myself a little something to wear on my left hand - just next to my ring finger. I found the little crown ring at a kiosk in the mall in Salt Lake and I had to have it ... I adore that ring. I considered it sort of like a symbol for myself - that I was on my own now, but could wear my little princess crown with my head held high. Kind of like a symbol of "girl power."
I think too often times, as women, we tend to get bogged down in the routine of our roles and it is easy to get discouraged. We have very demanding roles, especially as mothers and working women. I wish it was trendy to wear a tiara, because maybe that would help us remember our own great worth. This little crown ring is my tiara. I really do love my role as a woman and as a mother, and putting that ring on absolutely reminds me of that ... every time I wear it.
(I know LOTS of women who should be wearing tiaras!!!)
Sunday, September 6, 2009
A resident photographer of Nantucket Island once wrote, Nantucket people have an intimate relationship to the land, water, weather, and seasons. The physical beauty draws people out, and being outdoors on Nantucket is an important part of life ... The light is clear, clean, and soft, conditions that every photographer seeks.
Being on Nantucket Island is truly like being in a different world. My parents first bought a home to restore there in 1992. They have restored two additional, amazingly beautiful pieces of property since then, and I have been fortunate enough to have visited several times.
One of my favorite things to do while I am there is to take long walks to photograph the beauty that only exists there. The first picture above is of a boat in the harbor ... and all along that side of the harbor are bushes of hydrangea.
Because of the damp sea mist that permeates the air, hydrangeas grow in abundance all over the island. I know hydrangeas are certainly not indigenous to Nantucket, but they do seem to thrive in the humid climate as opposed to ... well ... where I live.
I had heard from a few different people that I wouldn't have much luck trying to grow a hydrangea bush in Utah, where our soil can tend to be mostly clay, and our summers extremely hot. One of my neighbors down the street was an avid flower gardener. She had tried to grow hydrangea before but told me that she rarely had any blooms before her bushes had just given up and died.
I did get a tip however, that the best place to try and grow one would be the north east side of my house ... so that is where I planted my hydrangea bush, almost 10 years ago.
The pink blossom above is from my own hydrangea bush ... nestled sweetly in the north east corner below my deck. It has been a faithful little bloom producer every year for a long time now. I will sometimes still count the blooms and give that bush a small silent cheer for keeping up the good work in less than ideal conditions.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
This beautiful face belongs to Chloe Ray ... just one of my favorite five children. Chloe is and always has been a bright shining star for me.
Shortly before Chloe was born, my older sister had lost her fifth baby to SIDS, at just four months old. It was a very sad time for our family, but I admired my sister's strength and courage as she carried on with grace after such a tragic loss. Her faith in a loving Heavenly Father helped her find that strength, believing that there would come a time when she would see that lost little boy again ... his death has become a "tie that binds" and that family strives to live just a little better so that they can have the blessing of being with him after this life.
So when Chloe arrived to join our family, 20 years ago today, I was a much more worried mother. I made sure that she slept on her back or side ... if she was sleeping too long, I would wiggle her just a bit to make sure she stirred ... I would try and watch her tummy rise or put my hand in front of her mouth to make sure that she was breathing okay as she slept.
Like all of my other babies, Chloe was born with just a hint of light blonde hair. But when her hair did finally make an appearance, it was a pretty strawberry blonde and curly - well, that was different! She was adorable.
Chloe and I used to take naps together when I was pregnant with Elliott. One day we were laying in my bed singing songs and she said , "Mom, I'm the best singer in the family, huh?" She was only three at the time and I got such a kick out of her bold statement. I said, "Well maybe you are." She developed a sense of self confidence at a young age which I certainly didn't have, so I couldn't help but admire that about her - still do.
I had dropped her off at pre-school one day, we were running late so she was the only one on the playground as she made her way to her classroom. I watched her jump out of the car, her curly pony tail bouncing, with her little school bag dangling from her arm ... she wasn't too far from the car and she twirled around, smiled at me and waved - then she skipped along, not the least bit concerned about being the last one to her classroom.
You know that expression, my heart took a picture? Well that day, in that moment, I understood exactly what that meant ... because my heart took a picture, and my eyes welled up with tears.
I am so lucky to have her - I love this girl!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I have always loved newborns. I can remember when I had my first baby, my mom looked at pictures of her right after her birth and said, "Were you scared to death when you saw her?" She was a fairly dark shade of purple and covered with an orangish pasty something, but she was my first - I didn't know any different, and she was beautiful to me! All 8 lbs. 10 oz. of her!
Birth, in and of itself, is truly miraculous. How those little tiny beings are formed within a womb. How they are nourished through an umbilical cord (a miracle all on it's own). How they can grow and become a little person, with all the working parts, in only a matter of months ... they come to us so helpless, so dependant, so pure and precious - having left the presence of a father in heaven. Truly, a gift from God.
I love the way they smell. There is no way to describe that either. But there is a distinct, fresh, clean, beautiful smell to a newborn baby.
They grow and change much, much too quickly for my liking. I wish they could stay in that phase for at least as long as it took to get them to us.
When I had my son, he was a big, chunky 8 pounds, 13 ounces, with a rather large head - according to my nurse. And that little guy turned out to be my very best baby too. He slept better than my girls had. He burped better than my girls had. And he almost never, ever spit up. Which made him smell fresh and clean when I held and cuddled him, and I loved that.
Elliott was only about a month old when my friend, Delanie, said to me, "I feel kind of sorry for you, because I know how much you love newborns and he surpassed that right into infant stage. He is huge already!" But I enjoyed him so much as a baby, that I knew I wanted another one ...
I remember holding that next tiny baby on my couch one day. She was my fifth and I sensed, my last. She was probably only a couple of weeks old (if that), and a friend stopped in, having brought my older girls home from school. She said, "Is that all you do all day? Just sit there and hold her?"
I had to answer, "I wish this was all I did all day. Just sit here and hold her."I wanted to savor every moment of that newness of her - breathe her in as best I could. Hang on to the sweetness of a newborn, my beautiful little newborn.