Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Today I flew in a very small airplane with my husband to and from our job across the state.  It wasn't my first time to fly in this particular airplane, but it feels like the first time EVERY time.  The stress of the whole thing wears on me mentally and physically.  The day starts early and ends late and my life literally flashes before me like every other minute.  I'm hot and cold and cramped and need to pee and can't, but all the while feel happy for the break from driving and for the fact that I'll be back at home in bed with my babies instead of having to spend the night away.  I pray so hard the entire day (and night before) that it almost hurts.  The story of Stephanie Nielson played over and over in my head and all I could think about is that I would choose to live.  If the plane crashed, because they sometimes do, and I was hurt or burned really badly, I would choose to live.  I would rather live in pain and watch my children grow than to die.  Flying in that little tin can contraption makes me face death and the prospect of leaving this Earth and everyone behind.  I am forced out of my bullet proof comfort zone and made to look at all that I am blessed to have and consider all that I have to lose.  What terrifies me most is the thought of my kids living without my kind of love.  The love that only a mother can give them.  And then when my husband and I are flying together, I think about how they would also lose their father...their real life super hero...their protector.  Anyway, it all adds up to a very long and soul-searchy day.  The thing is...I come out on the other end feeling so thankful to God for every breath in my chest.  I actually feel more alive having been so close to death, even if it was only in my mind.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Camping Out with Grandma & Grandpa

Talk about making some memories!  Mom and Dad came up a few weeks ago and we took Harrison and Emerson camping on the ranch where we live.  There is a perfect spot under a canopy of trees that even has a fire ring.  Dad scrounged up the pup tents we used when my brother and I were little.  We went camping quite often when I was growing up and Mom and Dad have kept the gear in their garage over the years hoping, I'm sure, that some day their grandchildren might be able to use it.  (See...it DOES pay to be a pack rat!)  Well, everything was still in working order!  Dad set up the tents and stoked up a fire, Mom made cozy sleeping pallets in the tents, the kids explored and played in a fort that must have been made by the family that lived here before, and I prepared to cook hot dogs and s'mores.  Harrison and Emerson colored wooden masks that morning and we read a book and did a little play by the campfire once it got dark.  It was perfect.

We had a good night's sleep and awoke at about 7 the next morning.  Dad got the fire going again and I cooked bacon and fried eggs for breakfast.  We even had coffee in my french press!  We just don't mess around!  The kids had a ball.  They almost enjoyed it as much as Mom and Dad and I did!  I really can't wait to do this again!

Happy Camper,
Outside Lisa

P.S.  Harrison was covered with chiggers the following Monday and had to go to the school nurse because he was itching so badly.  Next time we go camping, I'll be sure to spray the kids down with OFF to keep those little devils at bay.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Farewell to October

This was our first October in our new home in the hill country of Texas and I just can't help but marvel at how beautiful it was.  These are the last pictures I took of our yard in all it's October glory and I just had to share.  The last few nights have been pretty cold and the images in these pictures will not be seen again for another year as frost has nipped and transformed just about everything including my nose!  I pulled out the heat lamps for the hen house and our dog Maisy and decided not to cover any of the plants in the yard because there are just too many and I'm okay with Winter having it's way.  We have mostly perennials and evergreens, anyway, but I was really sad to see my beloved Zinnias go.  Also, I hated losing the basil and figs.  The figs were so close to being ripe my mouth was watering, but alas, they are not going to make it this year:(  I hoped to harvest some Winter squash and tomatoes from the Fall garden, but no such luck.  All the blooms and baby squash and tomatoes are gone, too.  Next year I will know to plant the Fall garden earlier and I'll be better prepared for the cold season.

I am happy to say that the lettuce, arugula, kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, mustard greens, sage, and chives are holding up nicely, as they should.  The first head of broccoli made it's appearance last week!

Goodbye, October.  It was good.  You will be missed.

Outside Lisa

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Get Your Protein!

The Fall garden is overflowing with beautiful lettuce and greens right now and my girls are laying up a storm so I've been taking advantage and making myself some pretty great salads lately with yummy boiled eggs for protein.  I pick every leaf myself and usually don't even wash it because there is nothing on it...no chemicals, no dirt...nothing.  Well, to my surprise, today in my gorgeous salad I had an extra little something special to up the protein content even more...A TINY CATERPILLAR!!!  I was at the bottom of the bowl, where stabbing no longer really works for lettuce and you have to start scooping.  And there he was, like a thorn in my organic gardener side, rolled up tight looking like a peppercorn.  I thought to myself...I didn't use peppercorn, what is this?  And then he started to move!  All I could think about was...have I already eaten his friends?  his parents?  Needless to say, I was DONE with my salad and tossed Mr. Peppercorn into the garbage.  Organic gardening has its ups and downs.  You just have to take the good with the bad and enjoy the adventure!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Standing Tall

Standing Tall, originally uploaded by outside lisa.

I recently signed up for a photography e-course called "You Are Your Own Muse" with the amazingly talented Vivienne McMaster. It is a study on self portraiture. This is such a fun and adventurous journey for me and I am learning something new about my style and my soul each and every day through the lens of my camera. All the while, we support each other through our online classroom and flickr group. There are some really amazing women participating and I am delighted that many of the women I met at Squam Art Workshops were drawn to the same course. This is going to be really fun!

I took this photo in the pasture near our house at dusk and over-exposed it for effect.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fall 2010 Photo Book

Check out the Shutterfly Photo Book I just made for my Mom.  If you've never been to Shutterfly, you're missing out.  I have made several books on their site and they are great.  In fact, I prefer photo books over prints in albums these days.  They're neater and hold up better in my opinion.  Hope you like the book, Mom!

Monday, November 1, 2010



Minnie Mouse & Ninja Fighter

Lights, Candy, Action!
We do it up BIG on Halloween every year.

We made it through an awesome Halloween weekend.  The school Carnival was Saturday and we had a party on Sunday.  Whew!  Now it's time to put away all the decorations and drag out Fall!