Serenity Now!

I don't think that I've ever read the entire serenity prayer until today but by golly today was the perfect day for me to see it. The above shot is from the Taos Pueblo church with the mountains in the background. Here it is:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr


A real Gem!

I know it has been forever since I last posted. July and the beginning of August are the absolute busiest times of year for our office. Somehow we always survive and manage to get everyone registered but I am seriously looking forward to the Fall right now.

My brother Ham is currently in a hospital in San Diego waiting to have his gall bladder removed. We are still waiting to find out if they can do it laproscopically or if they will have to open him up. For everyone's sake I'm praying that they don't have to do it the old fashioned way but he is pretty bad off. I am so thankful that his girlfriend Angelica made it there last night. She has taken charge and knowing that she is there has been a huge relief to my Mom.

My brother is definitely a serial monogamist and we tease him that growing up with 3 sisters has left him incapable of living without a woman in his life. He had a string of disastrous relationships that usually escalated into major drama. Angelica is the first grown up girlfriend he's ever really had who has a real head on her shoulders, a solid career of her own, and who actually really seems to care about Ham. She posted on Facebook that Ham was her first priority and that she would be there for the duration. We all met her for the first time in July when she came for the fourth of July. She fits really nicely into the craziness of the house and jumped right into the teasing and back and forth that always ensues when we are all together. My mother told me this morning that if we didn't know it already that she is an absolute gem.

I am still struggling to understand what she is doing with Ham to be honest with you. In my opinion she is way out of his league but obviously he makes her happy. He was just in San Diego for business but she has taken care of the hotel and everything else. Hopefully they will be able to make it back to Miami next week but if they have to make an incision he might not be able to fly that soon.


Cream of the crafty crop!

I mentioned a month ago that I was worried that I wouldn't get into my favorite craft show, the Strange Folk Festival, this year due to record number applications. I heard today that I had gotten in which literally made my month! They accepted 150 crafters out of 350 applications and she called us the cream of the crafty crop.

I really think the longevity of my blog and number of followers made a difference this year as they said that they were using web presence as a factor. Since my Etsy shop is on vacation for the summer and my twitter account has been a ghost town for months this little blog is about it.

I will definitely need to start speed knitting to get myself fully stocked for the fall. I will be in good shape for the Strange Folk festival in terms of inventory but if I want to do some other shows I need to get busy.

If you are local in the St. Louis area there is another great show coming up this weekend called theSoulard Market Park Arts and Crafts Fair. There will be 80 local independent artists and crafters selling unique, modern handmade wares. I plan on going by with my nieces to check it out. The Upcycle Exchange will be there collecting donated craft supplies if you have some things cluttering up your craft room, unlike me of course.


Carnival Duty

Something you probably didn't know about me is that for 4 days every year since I was born I've been a carny worker. My dad is a Lion's Club member. This year was the 75th annual Rolla Lion's Club Carnival. It's one of the old timey carnivals where the whole town comes out and plays games and rides the same rides every year. Every year we wonder what rock some of the people crawl out from under because you never see them any other time of year, but they have plenty of cash to spend on worthless prizes.

The two most important holidays in our family are therefore July 4th and Thanksgiving (this is when the entire Lenox clan comes together). You can miss Christmas and Easter but don't even think about missing Carnival Duty. This is the only time that my Mike proves his worth to my father. He works a good 15 hours each year in our current stand the steak sandwich booth. He cut onions, made sandwiches and handed out sodas like a pro. He may not be able to work cattle but he can make a damn fine steak sandwich.

The girls enjoy working my uncle's nice safe stand. Unlikely the cat doll stand that we worked from the time we could walk to when we were pimped out to the old drunk players who would keep handing us their hundreds when we were in our teens. I went to see the new cat doll stand and I think I totally insulted the worker's manhood. I told them how when I was 3 years old they would have us out there picking up the real baseballs, dodging the men throwing them at us at 50 mph. They have little nerf balls now and sticks to pick them up with so they don't even have to bend over. Total wussies.
The top shot is me with my sisters, none of whom worked as many hours as I did this year. I made change without a calculator or cash register for several hours straight every night. It was the only job I could do sitting down but I didn't complain. This is my Mom. I can't remember ever showing a picture of her. She was the keeper of the stuffed animals. I don't think she put many hours in this year but she has definitely served her time through the years.


6 months to the day...

Footloose Necklace - sculpted lost wax casting in Bronze I had a different post planned for today but on my way into work this morning I realized that it was 6 months ago to the day that I fell and broke my ankle. You can read about this delightful experience here if you missed it. When I realized this I got that pit in my stomach as I thought about how helpless I had felt on that day. These items are part of a treasury I threw together in tribute to my poor unlucky foot here.

Unfortunately there is still residual affects from that dreadful day that I'm dealing with. I gave an hour long presentation this morning and my foot was throbbing and swollen by the end just as it usually is by the end of the day. Ice packs are still my best friends and comfortable shoes are even more of a daily consideration. The ossification going on in my ankle now has the potential of making the fall a lifelong struggle which scares me but I'm still trying to stay positive.

I knew it was going to be a long recovery and that it would be hard which it has been. It's amazing how much more I appreciate the little things like being able to drive myself around or learning something new about my camera now. I'm very thankful for all the positive thoughts that were sent my way from you all.


Thoughts on Taos

This will be my last vacation concentrated post. In some ways New Mexico already seems so long ago. I have a frame filled with some of my favorite landscape shots ready to hang right over the student's head in my office to try to bring a bit of that peace during the chaos of the coming months at work. After Santa Fe we took the high road to Taos while our travel mates headed back to the airport. The high road had some lovely views but honestly we were more impressed by the low road in some ways. You follow the Rio Grande River for much of the way and you have actually more mountain views that both the driver and passenger can enjoy.

This was supposed to be when Mike and I had good quality time together and I got to focus on my photography some. The later happened as planned, the former not so much. Mike forgot his laptop adapter in Santa Fe so he was unable to write or play much online which made for some grouchiness on his part. But he did enjoy the peaceful B&B environment and spent hours out on the porch reading in the chair above with the string of chilis. We stayed at the Adobe and Pines Inn which is 10 minutes from downtown Taos and has a beautiful stream running through it and a zen rock garden with a labyrinth.

The day that we got there happened to be a feast day at the Taos Pueblo, the longest continually inhabited building in North America, with a corn dance. The Pueblo Indians have been living there for over 1,000 years and still maintain much of their culture. You can't photograph the dances so I went back the next morning to get some shots. The sun was already blaring when I got there so I didn't get any great shots but I like this one.

The first night there I took off with my camera right before sunset. I found a great spot where I could park which was the start of a trail with great views of the sunset and mountains. I took several of my favorite shots ever that night. I'm actually still processing the raw images from that night and there are more gems still to be discovered I know. Both of the shots at the top as well as this my favorite tree in New Mexico.
tree at sunset
The last morning we were there I woke up before sunset, which shocked my family to death. I saw the sunrise from behind the mountains, visited the Rio Gorge Bridge, drove to D.H. Lawrence's ranch at the top of a mountain, and visited his memorial all before breakfast while Mike slept in.

I will probably be going back there next year to take a photography workshop without Mike. It is by far the most beautiful place I've ever been. Mike didn't really like the vibe in Taos like he did the rest of our travels. There is a certain uptight, rich former hippy tourist feel to it. Santa Fe has a much more laid back scene. I will definitely never go in the summer, prime tourist time again. I was told late September is a great time for taking pictures.

Tomorrow I'll try to get back to some regular blog material, whatever that is....


Santa Fe Fun.

We just got back from the farm for 5 days, but I will talk about that later in the week. Today I'm going to share my great admiration of Santa Fe. I don't have many pictures from that fair city as it was all about enjoying the moment on those days and not so much recording it. The top shot is my favorite of Mike and me from the whole trip. It's taken in the backyard of the restaurant we ate at on our last night in Santa Fe. And these are our traveling companions for the first half of the trip. Brian Katcher and Sandy are about the most laid back travel mates you could ever hope for. Whatever we suggested was a-ok with them.

We were laughing about my airheaded ways and we really enjoyed each other's company thoroughly. When my floppy hat caused shadows in all the indoor pictures on the first day of the trip I was freaking out thinking something was wrong with my camera. It literally took me all day to figure out what the problem was which had us laughing for hours.The amazing thing about Santa Fe is all the random art everywhere. The freeways are filled with it and pretty much everywhere you look is a statue or mural along the sidewalk. This is in addition to all of the stunning views of mountains and random rock formations like the one below along the road. I got pretty good at taking pictures from my car as Mike was generally not inclined to stop whenever I spotted a photo op as they were everywhere.
We didn't bother going to any art museums as there was so much free art to take in everywhere you looked. In addition to all the random art there were art galleries that you could wander through even when you knew there was no way in hell you could afford a thing besides maybe some postcards by the door. We also walked around the state capital building which is covered with artwork by New Mexican artists. You can just wander the halls while lobbyist and government workers hurry past conducting the business of the state. We walked into the governor's office and shuffled past the secretaries station mumbling don't mind us we're just here for the art.

Mike has decided that Sante Fe is now his favorite city. Poor New Orleans is now a distant second.

(c) Lenox Knits, 2009|Created by NSD