Empty Nester – Extraordinaire

creating, living, loving – all in a long black skirt

Archive for the ‘Immediate’ Category

Nice Day for a Picnic


April 2nd, 2010 Posted 12:48 am

Yesterday was a difficult day for the kids.  We had unexpected guests who will likely bring Bats! meow… additional traffic, but brought up some unhappy memories that affected our youngest. Newspaper reporters = good.  Certain topics of convo = bad.  It’s not that they even talked to her, but the experience of them being in the house was too similar.

So, as she sat on my lap last night crying and trying to curl up into as tiny a ball as possible, I asked what would make her happiest.  The kids are on spring break through the weekend, so today could be used to spoil them just a bit.  Her request was simple enough – a picnic at the cemetery and a trip to the park.  Yes, the cemetery.  It’s quiet with big trees for shade and no noise or fear of someones child stepping on your food. Truth be told, mama needed a little pick me up too 🙂

When I got up, I feared I heard rain.  But no, they promised a bright and sunny day – with record-breaking temps.  I’m no big fan of the high temperature, but a promise is a promise.  So, right after breakfast we started packing.  “Peanut butter &” sandwiches: two requests for plain PB, two for PB&J, and one for PB & Miracle Whip.  We packed blankets, “fancy” cups, plates, and then headed to the store for the extras – oatmeal date cookies, strawberries, whipped cream, and a couple kinds of chips – oh! and flowers. Then straight to Maplewood West and our favorite picnic spot under the big tree and a bit away from the headstones.  Of course, we’re still surrounded by them, but we’re not ‘on’ anyone.

Ravynn and Whisper perked right up after we got settled.  It was so good to see Whisper smile 🙂  The fact that she got to pick her own chips and strawberries was a key factor, I’m sure.

The boys had a good time too.  Doritos with Cool Whip [eww!] and good sandwiches kept them happy and in a chatty mood.  It’s nice when the teen-aged sons still like to hang out with the family.

Ravynn and I shared a special moment toasting “weirdos and freaks.”  We caught the first one on camera, but there were many many similar moments – trust me 🙂

We all enjoyed the fresh strawberries, although some of us [ahem… Jordan] made a much bigger mess than the rest.

And the picnic ended with delivering flowers to a very special girl.

After that we ran over to Shadyside Park where I sat and read Practical Magic while the kids played. Together.

It was a lovely day and a nice part of our spring break.

~ sheila


Proud Mama


January 27th, 2010 Posted 6:05 am

I’m so proud of my little Ravynn today.

Last winter, my friend Kim and I started roaming the old cemeteries in the area taking photos to help out with some needed tasks at Find a Grave. As I am an amateur genealogist, it seemed the right and proper thing to do [before I could feel good about posting my own requests].  Taking photos for those requests, while still very important, morphed into taking photos for our own enjoyment.  Truth is these stones won’t be around forever. Even in a few months, we saw serious deterioration in one of our more frequently visited locations. Photography helps preserve them – just a little.  When the kids were released from school from the summer, they started coming with us.  I’d replaced my first digital camera with a newer version, so I’d bring along ‘the old one’ and let the kids take turns snapping pictures.  Because there are four of them, I’d occasionally hand over the newer camera and let them play.  I love digital cameras for the ‘no risk’ aspects!

On a visit to Seigler Cemetery in Frankton, Indiana, Ravynn captured this photo.

Sigler 071

When I started listing some of my own work on our Etsy site, she asked me to list a black-and-white version of her photo.  I was happy to do it – I love this photo!  Several times a day, she’d come to me and ask if any sold yet.  I’d been warning her it could take a couple weeks or a month – even longer – for a sale.  Well, only two days in, when we returned home from dance classes last night, she checked email and found a sale.

Ravynn has sold a photo.  A professional at age 8.

Now, we’re all hoping for a short winter, so we can get back to work without freezing our fingers.