Wednesday, January 27, 2010


This was the best movie I have ever seen that completely explains unschooling so everyone can get it. I only wish he had totally used the word so more people would see it as a viable option.

It also would have been nice if the trailers and reviews didn't hype the sophomoric humor so much. But I guess that's what sells...

Accepted on IMDB

Monday, January 25, 2010

BlogCarnival: Snowflakes

AliciaMae asks us to choose one of the following topics:
  1. Snowflakes - your favorite way to make them or your favorite item on Etsy featuring them
  2. Favorite winter time activity/how to keep kids occupied during snow days (indoors or outdoors)

Well, my very favorite way to make snowflakes is cutting them out of paper to hang from the ceiling and in the windows, which incidentally, is a great activity to keep your kids occupied on snow days! ^-^

Here are some our family made last year from coffee filters...

And here are a few of my faves from Etsy...

How about you?

One World, One Heart

It's that time again!


You may recall last year, I took part in the the One World, One Heart event that was hosted and created back in 2007 by Lisa Swifka. Well it's time again to meet new artists from around the world. I can't wait to get started with the blog hopping!

But before I do, let me introduce myself to those of you who have never been here before!

My name is Diana, and although I make a living by substitute teaching and plan to find a permanent position teaching soon, that's just a means to the end. In my heart and soul I am an artist. Oh, I let others squelch my creative fires for many years, before finally realizing it, but now, I can see my creativity growing by leaps and bounds.

Welcome to my little space on the internet! I hope you enjoy your stay!

Oh, one more thing, I am going to give away a special custom painted postcard to one lucky winner! Here are some examples of other postcards I've created:


For your chance to win, just leave a comment here on this post and be sure to include your email or blog address so I can contact you if you are a winner. On February 14th I will randomly choose and announce the winner here on the blog, and contact you via email or your blog.

PLEASE MAKE SURE I AM ABLE TO CONTACT YOU! Last year some people have left comments with private blogger profiles and no email address, and I had no way of contacting those people. Please make sure when you comment that I can reach you if you win or I will have to choose another winner... :(

And now, I am off on a magic carpet ride to meet the other artists! (I am #410 on the list!) I hope you'll join me! Good luck!

ETA: If I get over 100 entries I will add another prize! So do tell your friends!

ETA: WOOT! We're over 100 entries!!! There will now be a 2nd surprize giveaway to be announced before the 14th. And if we get over 200, I will add *another* prize! So keep spreading the word!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spring is coming...

I have so much I want to post about - Esme's birthday, Benji coming to visit, artwork I've been doing, school, the books I've been reading... - but I just can't seem to focus long enough...

So what am I here to post about now? Bugs.

You see, spring is coming. I can tell. The snow is melting. The weather is warmer. It's raining, not snowing. We don't have the 2nd blanket on every night. And the house is getting bugs. No, not like roaches or ants or anything... but like ladybugs, stink bugs, shield bugs, the occasional house fly...

In the fall they crawl into cracks and crevices, generally in trees, or under leaves on the ground, and do a little hibernation kind of thing until it gets warmer. Well some get into the cracks in the siding and into the walls and when the weather gets warmer they start waking up and move toward the warmth, which this time of year is still the inside.

We usually leave them alone, or pop them out the front door where they can quickly get access under the trailer under the front steps. Yes, we're even kind to the bugs that freak some of out the most. A few days ago, you might have seen the little video I posted; well that woolly bear was not the most unusual bug to pay us a visit this time of year.

This is. This is a green lacewing. A VERY Summer bug around here. They generally aren't seen until May or June, sometimes later. but this little guy was hopping all around us last night, and spent a great deal of time on my hand or arm, washing his antennae. He was so cute, I tried to get a good pic, but the lighting was too low, and this is the best I could do. He's only about 1/2 inch long.

So... Spring is coming... Never fear.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Photo Friday: Damaged

Our Shovel

It's been a rough winter so far...

Wish I could have gotten some better shots of this one, but this was the best... :\

I've also uploaded some other images to flickr for some challenges going on over at DPS.

The first one, I think I might be too late for, but I can't find the current one! It's the Weekend Photography Challenge and the word was BLUE:

Winter Garden sunset...

The second is for a weekly assignment that runs from Wednesday to Wednesday, I think, called Assignments. This week's word is Streets:


...during rush hour...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday

I am so tired right now, and was just skimming the blogs I have on my reader, not planning to reply to any really, or even take the time to post anything, but I read Jamie's post about Wishcasting Wednesday and it struck a chord with me - as tomorrow is my gift-daughter's Sweet Sixteenth, and I wish her much - so I had to post something small...

She asked: What do you wish for your family?

And to that I reply:
  • I wish my gift-daughter Esme a life of joy and laughter, love and happiness, enough to be satisfied but not so much to lose the drive and desire for more: more life, more learning, more exploring.

  • I wish my father health and happiness and joy, contentedness in his life and where things are now.
  • I wish my mother peace and love and light, and happiness and joy.

  • I wish my grandmother health and joy and vitality.

  • I wish my Sunshine peace and joy and laughter and love, health and well-being, and a feeling of safety and security.

  • And for everyone in my family, whether by blood or history or heart, I wish you enough. (And yes, I am referring to that cheesy, get-the-tissues-out story that you've been forwarded a million times in your email, but in case you haven't seen it, you can read it here.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

OMG Soup!

Jacqueline made the BEST soup tonight! I don't know the recipe but I have never had soup so good! And she made baked fish and squash (because not all the kids would like the soup) and OMG! SO GOOD! Ok, well I can't say on the squash, because although I was the one craving it and picked it out at the store, I didn't want it tonight... But the SOUP!!!

There was pollock - which she had baked in butter also and it was like CANDY! - and scallops and broccoli and... other things I don't even know! It was just SO yummy! Maybe she'll post the recipe... ^-^


Melt one half stick of butter in a large pot.

Add 1 stalk celery sliced, 1 yellow pepper diced, four slices of bacon cut into 1 inch pieces, 2 broccoli crowns diced, 1 tablespoon diced garlic, and 1 large carrot shredded.

Cook over medium low heat until the bacon is done, the veggies are all cooked through, and the broccoli is starting to slightly brown. Add 1 32 oz. jar of spagetti sauce with mushrooms, 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce jar full of water, 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.

Turn heat up to medium and bring to a boil.

Add one pound of pollock that has been cut into one inch cubes. Continue cookiing, stirring frequently until the pollock is mostly done. Add a one pound bag of frozen bay scallops. Continue cooking until the scallops are done, about five minutes.

Giveaway at Enchanted Revelry!

Tristan at Enchanted Revelry has hit some pretty big milestones over at his blog: his 300th Follower, 200th Post, and 40,000th Hit!!! So naturally he's having a Giveaway! YAY! And it is filled with creative sparkly goodness! I won't spoil the surprize, but head on over to this post, check it out, and enter to win! But hurry! It ends on Friday the 22nd!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I made a video!

15 Reasons Why Marriage Matters

From Marriage Equality USA

  1. Marriage offers 1,138 Federal benefits and responsibilities, not including hundreds more offered by every state.

  2. In times of crisis, spouses have hospital visitation rights and can make medical decisions in event of illness or disability of their spouse.

  3. Employers offer spouses sick leave, bereavement leave, access to health insurance and pension.

  4. The law provides certain automatic rights to a person’s spouse regardless of whether or not a will exists.

  5. Married couples in elderly care facilities are generally not separated unless one spouse’s health dictates hospitalization or special care.

  6. Married couples are permitted to give an unlimited amount of gifts to each other without being taxed.

  7. The law presumes that a married couple with both names on the title to their home owns the property as “tenants by the entirety.”

  8. A married couple, by statute, has creditor protection of their marital home.

  9. Many married people are entitled to financial benefits relating to their spouses, such as disability, pension and social security benefits.

  10. With marriage, a couple has the right to be treated as an economic unit and to file joint tax returns (and pay the marriage penalty), and obtain joint health, home and auto insurance policies.

  11. When a spouse dies, there is no need to prove ownership of every item in the household for taxable purposes.

  12. A child who grows up with married parents benefits from the fact that his or her parents’ relationship is recognized by law and receives legal protections.

  13. Spouses are generally entitled to joint child custody and visitation upon divorce (and bear an obligation to pay child support).

  14. The mark of a strong family and healthy children is having parents who are nurturing, caring, and loving. Parents should be judged on their ability to parent, not by their age, race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

  15. For adults, a stable, happy marriage is the best protector against illness and premature death. Decades of research have clearly established these links. (Burman & Margolin, 1992; Dawson, 1991; Verbrugge, 1979).

What's the Scoop?

What's the Scoop is a division of Paper Popsicles; they are just starting out and are having a giveaway to celebrate! If you're not familiar with Paper Popsicles, they are an online store with lots of great scrapbooking downloads, like digital stamps and card templates, and actual products, like alphabet stickers, adhesives, and Shimmerz, which are beautiful iridescent, waterbased, non-toxic paints. I can't wait to buy some!

Anyway, What's the Scoop is their blogaroo and will be featuring swaps, craft ideas, freebies, and a gallery! Obviously they're having giveaways too! And the first one is going on now, but you gotta enter by 4pm CST TODAY! I am sorry I didn't mention it sooner, but I just found out myself!

Just pop on over, to this post to find out how to enter...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lemonade, the Movie

I was lucky enough to already be on the email list and got a sneak peek of the whole film. Yes, in it's entirety. (Oh and I think if you sign up for email updates on, you can still get access, but only for the next 48 hours or so...)

It's only about 36 minutes long, but it was so moving and inspiring... These are the stories of people who were pretty high up their respective corporate ladders, but not so high up they couldn't be knocked down, and they were. They were laid off, and they completely changed their lives around, started their own businesses, became more successful and happy than they ever were before...

One thing that stuck with me the most was a quote from one woman who lost her job and started her own yoga & health business... She said, "You don't have to quit your job to change your life; you can just incorporate more of what you love into your everyday, and it makes the biggest difference in the world."

Yes. That. I am not quitting my job. At this point I still need it. But more of what I love... Less of what I don't...

Saturday, January 09, 2010

FAEteam Exhibition: Through Glittering Trees

My team has a new exhibition now, full of pretty works of handmade art!

Click to see!

Etsy Blogger of the Month: Nico Designs

Say hello to January's Blogger of the Month...

Nico Designs specializes in custom handbags and totes, as well as items for babies and toddlers, and her blog features glimpses of her life and some wonderful DIY tutorials!

Here are some of my favorites from her shop...
Nico Designs

Don't forget to check out her shop and blog, and see what's there that might be calling to you...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Official Weather

If anyone is curious about the snow here...

Fulton is closer to us than Oswego, even though Oswego is our technical address.

And the houses a mile or less in any direction don't even have snow up to their mailboxes. Our mailbox is covered. Antonio had to shovel off the top of the snowbanks by the driveway, so I could not get my front end removed trying to see to leave.

...from January 3rd...
This was not the first day...

Yes, the mailbox is already buried...

Jo & Lia ... play in? shovel? the snow...

...from January 4th...
Mailboxes about a block away...

Foot of our driveway...

Just so you have something for comparison, from December 20th...

Note the mailbox on the right side near the middle...

Jacqueline heads inside...

The bottom step has disappeared into the snow covered ground...

Bunny says, "Please don't make me go out!"

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Cool giveaway!

Lisa Lectura is celebrating her 2nd blogiversary with a chance to win some of her wonderful art! Just click here for the details!

Friday, January 01, 2010

The Best of 2009

The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge

December 29 Laugh. What was your biggest belly laugh of the year?

I don't remember! Usually it's just something silly one of the kids have done or something I have said, but my most recent was just yesterday, when Esme collapse on the floor in a heap because Lia had elbowed her or something. (Our children have a flair for the dramatic.) And I told her I was going to go to Facebook to post how she got her butt kicked by an 11 year old. As with most belly laughs I think you really needed to be there to understand the humor...

December 30 Ad. What advertisement made you think this year?

Oh! I posted about one I had seen where the man made a comment about his weight and his wife replied rather snarkily, and then he insulted her. It just made me feel so icky that we grow up watching these negative little vignettes and it just becomes so *normal*: it's just how things are, what we do... And I wonder if those commercials are just a reflection or part of the problem...

December 31 Resolution you wish you'd stuck with. (You know, there's always next year...)

I never made any! And I probably won't really this year either... So :P*