Can you help me with something before you go?
What is it?
I want to take a picture of the kids sitting on the wall in front of the house.
*SIGH* Well I have to get gas before work, and someone dirtied every pan in the house making waffles and bacon for breakfast, so I have to get those all in the dishwasher before I go so the cleaning people can come…
It’s the first day of school, I need a picture.
OK, if we do it quick.
Everyone outside, NOW!
Why do you have your backpacks and all your stuff?
Dad told us to bring them.
Put them down and come over here.
But if they don’t have backpacks, how can it be a ‘First Day of School’ picture?
I just want a picture of the kids on the first day of school. We don’t need props indicating the day and time. I will label the picture, “First Day of School, 2011” in this new fangled thing I have called my laptop, and that’s how we’ll know it was the first day of school in 2011.
It’s stupid to do it without backpacks.
I love it when you have and idea for something and ask someone to help you execute it and then they tell you how you’re doing it all wrong.
Fine. Dudes, MOM SAID DROP YOUR STUFF ALREADY AND GET OVER HERE!
DON’T YELL AT THEM! NO YELLING AT ANYONE ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE CALM AND HAVE A GREAT GODDAMN DAY.
I’m not going up there. I’ll fall.
Stop wiggling around and acting like a spaz and you won’t fall. Sit still. Smile.
Aaaahhhh… I’m gonna fall, I’m gonna fall… *Whimper*
If you don’t smile and look happy so I can take the picture I’m leaving you up there for the rest of the day.
This photo is entitled:
Portrait of a Payoff Possibly Not Worth The Effort That Went Into It First Day of School, 2011
I’m obsessed (as I tend to be) with two things this week:
1. My awesome new camera, a Canon Digital Rebel T3i that I got for mother’s day. I know, spoiled much? I also got 10 ballet classes at my favorite studio, a new set of silverware and handmade jewelry. Jason has two settings: 0 (a Snuggi, still in the Walmart bag from where it was purchased) and 100 million (this year). Gotta love him for it.
2. This crazy tree in the desert just East of my house. It’s this old, wacky dead-looking thing with lots of knots and branches at strange angles. It was already cool in kind of a creepy, belongs on a haunted street in front of a haunted house with haunted bats living in it kind of way. Like that tree in the Berenstain Bears book, Spooky Old Tree. Have you read that one? It’s a favorite around here. The point is, this tree could have been that tree.
Then, last week, the tree exploded in tiny purple flowers. It was completely unexpected to me (though admittedly, I know little about things that grow, so the tiny tomatoes that have been appearing from behind the flowers on my tomato plants has been pretty unexpected to me, too). The tree didn’t grow leaves or anything, it just sprouted these gorgeous lavender blossoms all over the grey, rotten-looking wood. I thought it was stunning. It’s like the Helen Mirren of trees. It’s not trying to hide its age; just managing to look amazing in spite (and moreover, because) of it.
I’ve been so captivated by this tree and excited about my new camera that even though as a rule I think nature photography is lame and boring, I’ve been out on the side of the road obsessively photographing the tree. So, since it’s Nearly Wordless Wednesday (300ish words is ‘nearly wordless’ for me, haven’t you learned that yet?), you’re getting my tree pictures. Stop rolling your eyes; it’s a cool tree. And I won’t make this a habit. I’ll try to keep most of my Portrait of a Lone Saguaro at Sunrise photo essays to myself. Probably. Unless it’s a really cool Saguaro.
I stole the idea for these nails from Kara (who I met IRL the other night and she’s totally adorable). I’d seen them in the grocery store calling my name, seducing me. Come buy me, I’m awesome. If you wore me you’d be young and hip again. OK, you were never really hip, but you might be now. Except no one says hip anymore. You’d be off the chain – or something. Sorry, even I don’t keep up with the terminology any more. But I’d resisted because stuff like that is never as cool as it looks in the package. Then I saw them on Kara’s blog and I swear to Beelzebub I made a special trip out to Walgreens right then to get them. I packed Jonas in the car with no shoes and we went right over and got them. OK, I also needed tomato soup for my dinner recipe. But it was practically only for the awesome nail sticker things. Yes, I was that lady ahead of you in line at Walgreens with a shoeless three year old buying hounds tooth nail stickers and a single can of condensed tomato soup. And they did not disappoint. I think I might be younger and hipper now. Or something about a chain. Rad. Certainly radder.
If you’ve visited our house recently, you’ve likely walked in the front door and said, “Well that’s an interesting addition to the decor…”
And I’ve said, “Ah yes. That’s a birthday balloon.”
You: I see that. Who’s birthday is it?
Me: Jason’s. February 3rd. You know, 69 days ago. His office gave it to him and he brought it home. Within 7 minutes Jonas had pulled the string off and it perched itself there. At first we were too lazy to get out a ladder and pull it down, but now we’re just kind of impressed with how long it’s lasted. We are researching if there’s a world record for helium-filled mylar balloons sticking to the ceiling in a stationary place. Bennett’s going to called Guinness (he’s the the family world records expert and liasion).
Additionally, with no relation to the above or really anything:
(Edited, because y’all are whiny babies about your TV shows, to add – THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPOILER AHEAD)
Tuesday night we were watching House. The big boys were in bed and Jonas was drinking a sippy cup of milk and snuggling with Jason. We usually let him stay up 10 minutes after the other boys go to bed so he can settle down and not disrupt them when he goes to bed. Did you see Tuesday’s House episode? The one with the sick guy who’s a hoarder? And so House sends the Aussie and Jane from Joan of Arcadia’s uptight twin sister over to the guy’s house to look for things that might be making him sick? And Jane sees two human feet under a tarp against a pile of crap? And she lifts up the tarp and you’re waiting for it to be a rotting corpse or just two ankle stumps or something grody, but it’s just an actual living girl?
All of this happened too quickly for us to realize it was getting gross and slap a hand over Jo’s eyes, so he saw the whole scene. His reaction?
Jonas: She’s not a dead person! She’s alive!
It’s like he’s this tiny little adult who actually understands EVERYTHING suddenly. I keep thinking he’s just a little tuned out lump. Probably time for him to stop watching medical dramas with us. At least until he’s 13.
I showed tons of property over the weekend. Here are some shots for my Nearly Wordless Wednesday.
Tempe on Friday:
A fabulous kitchen in a strange Tempe neighborhood. The houses were newish (2006) and highly upgraded in a Tuscan kind of way, but close together and to the street.
Trees out the tiny window in the Tuscan house.
Chandler on Saturday:
This pool was so gross my buyer said even if it was drained and cleaned she didn't think she could ever swim in it. We wondered if there was a dead body at the bottom.
There were totally fish in it.
This house was really nicely repainted and recarpeted. It felt totally move-in ready. This doormat stain stood out as the last vestige of the previous owners
Seeing a half-filled pool makes me nervous. The people who know pools say in Arizona if a pool is left empty for more than a day or so it will need to be resurfaced because it will be irreparably damaged by the sun.
North Scottsdale on Sunday:
DC Ranch is gorgeous. Especially from mountain-facing patios.
I loves me a margarita bar! (Any pool with swim up seating is a 'margarita bar', FYI.) If you buy a house like this with me as your agent, you can expect me to randomly show up at your house with my swimsuit and a pitcher of margaritas from time to time.
Whoever owned this large, pricey house before the bank foreclosed on it may have had some artistic talent, but absolutely no taste. There was a lot of effort put into making that drywall column look like stone. A lot of wasted effort.
Oh, and look! An actual wooden garden gate over a faux finish garden. Weirdos.
Please, please, no more. I'm allergic to tacky and I'm starting to get a rash.
And finally, Fountain Hills on Monday:
Not a bad view for a $230K townhouse in Fountain Hills, huh?
I had to touch these flowers because I thought they might be fake. They weren't. Love them.
This tree made me feel like I was somewhere with actual seasons.
I love a nice clear shot of Four Peaks. Of course from this back yard you'd need a hightop table almost in the pool to enjoy it.
Water run-off for montaintop living.
I'm not sure if he slept last night, or snuck out into the desert, diguised himself as a tiny saguaro and allowed birds to build a nest on his head. Both are equally plausible.
What? What are you staring at? Is there something on my head? Why are you laughing?