coming clean

Secrets only hold power over us as long as we choose to keep them secrets.  There are good secrets, and bad secrets, and we all know the difference.  Either way, secrets affect your energy levels.  A good secret may keep you awake as much as a bad secret, and it takes an incredible amount of mental and emotional energy to keep yourself tongue tied.

I remember waiting to tell my Mom I was pregnant with Wil.  It was a bittersweet secret.  

On one hand, I was very excited and happy.  In all my life, all those years growing up, I changed my mind about all sorts of things - what colour my hair should be, what style of clothes I should wear, what I should do for a living.  The only thing that ever remained 100% the same was that I knew I wanted to be a Mom one day.  Wil was not a planned baby - I don't think anyone was more shocked than I was.  And once the shock wore off and I knew I was going to be "Mom," I was elated. 

On the other hand, I knew I would face my mother's disappointment.  She always figured me for a bad seed and wondered not if, but how and when I would screw up.  This doesn't make her a bad Mom - she just had me pegged for the hard-knock life, and she was right.  I am headstrong and stubborn, traits I can thank her side of the family for, which not only made us a force to be reckoned with, a troop of really strong, independent women, but a really difficult, pigheaded bunch to work with.  It has been both a curse and a blessing for all of us.  So it took me a few weeks to work up to telling her.  I had myself wrung up in knots over telling her.  When I told her, she had her mind made up that I had finally done the big screw up by getting myself knocked up, and we thought we were done for.

~I vaguely remember the chair coming at me.  I remember a lot of tears, and after he yelling and name calling ended, an eery sense of calm and purpose.  I had just told the Orange Fairy I was moving out after coming back from working Spring Break.  She was livid.  I was determined.  I had a job, an apartment, a roomie, and a friend with a truck to help me take my meager belongings with me.  When I returned home on that Friday afternoon, my Mom had packed for me.  Everything I owned was sitting in the middle of the living room ready to go.  In silence we loaded up the truck, and off I went.

I was an honours student.  Unlike my sister, I didn't have to work at it very hard.  I didn't need to study.  I could whip out an essay worth 80% or better in under an hour.  Math was a cakewalk.  Chemistry was like a second language.  Despite a textbook understanding of copulation, I still didn't know the mechanics of sex.  (Honestly, I didn't lol - a little slow on the uptake there...)  I would sooner cut my own limbs off than touch drugs.  I smoked to be social with my friends, and might have a sip or two from someone's cooler, but having an alcoholic father and seeing how ridiculous my sister and her friends looked while they were drunk ruined any pleasure I might have derived from being a typical liquor-dabbling teenager.

My mother knew I was hiding something, though.  She came to all the 'natural' conclusions.  I was cheating in school.  I was doing drugs.  I was drinking.  I was sleeping around.  When she came up empty-handed on all those fronts, she was at a complete loss, and we could just never manage to see eye to eye on anything.  It was like living with the Gestapo.  Her: "Where were you?"  Me: "Bowling."  Her: "Liar!"  

What she didn't know, what my friends didn't know, what NOBODY knew was that by the time I left home I had 2 solid years of experience at hiding my bulimia.  I had it down to an artform.  A science.  It was all-consuming.  I wasn't tired because I was partying or hungover (thought we did do a lot of late-night bowling... lol)  I wasn't sleeping around.  I was too shy to ever tell anyone I had a crush on them.  Not to mention it would be harder to hide the real problem.  Of course I was exhausted.  Of course I acted suspiciously.  I was bulimic.  I spent all my time and money bingeing and purging.  I was malnutritioned, and obsessed.  My entire life revolved around getting money to buy food, scheduling time alone to eat and get rid of the food, and figuring out ways to make excuses for why I was being so weird.  Really, it was a full time job hiding it from everyone. When I finally did get a boyfriend, in retrospect it was easy to see how his misplaced mistrust could have been exacerbated my my secretive and often suspicious behaviour... I was, after all, having an affair with Mr. Christie.  He made good cookies.~

It's been almost two decades since I moved out.  I never once looked back - my pride (read: pigheadedness) wouldn't let me.  Those first 5 years we barely spoke.  We've hit some rough spots over the years, but in the last couple of years we've finally gotten to a point where I consider my mom a friend, if not a role model.  (She makes MY brand of stubborn look like child's play lol)  We're learning to trust each other again, and she's just recently come to understand what was actually going on for me during those tumultuous years.  The bullying, the sexual harassment, the bulimia.  I think she finally believes me about the late-night bowling.  

The cycle continued until I found out I was pregnant with Wil.  Yes, an unplanned pregnancy might have destroyed my life.  But instead, it healed us.  All of the sudden there was something bigger and more important than all of us.  After a heated exchange when I made the announcement, my Mom hung up on me. "I have things to do," she said. Fine. Whatever. I figured it'd be weeks if not months before we spoke again, not an uncommon thing for us back then. I imagine she had a good cry. On her way to the drug store. Where she bought Tylenol. And baby socks and a pack of bottles.  As I always say, perspective is everything.

Secrets can destroy your life.  This secret cost me many years of being friends with my mother.  It stopped me from being able to make true friendships.  It barred me from having normal relationships.  I will not let it rule my life again.  So, I came clean.  And it's both terrifying and a relief, especially since I talked to my amazing husband.  (He was clueless, just like all of you were - I'm good lol).  So now the road to recovery lays ahead.  I'm not naive enough to think it's going to be an easy road.  I see lots of forks and some pretty thorny dark passages ahead.  But somewhere, way off in the distance, is sunlight.  One step at a time, I'll get there.  Today I just feel broken.

Got a confession to make?  Go over to the Booth and get it off your chest.  In the meantime, what's the worst secret you hid from your parents when you were a teenager?

disabled comments

You can all stop worrying - I'm not suicidal lol.  I disabled comments on the bulimia posts for a reason.  Quite simply, it's not something open to discussion at this point.  The first step in the healing process is always admitting there is a problem.  I'm about 5 months overdue for getting this out in he open.  No more hiding.  I will post my progress, as I realize there may be others struggling with similar issues who might find the chronicle helpful, but I'm not really in a headspace that allows me to discuss it with people who aren't in my shoes.  I am very defensive about it right now and don't want to say anything hurtful in response to a well-meaning comment.  It's pretty ugly in my head and I respect my friends too much to drag them into my nasty dialogue because right now all of the good intentions you may direct at me sound patronizing and insincere.  Even though I am acutely aware on a conscious level that whatever people may have to say is said with the purest of hearts, I am not able to respond in an appropriate manner.  This is the nature of he disease.  21 years invested in it - just take my word for it.  My rebellious angry politically incorrect self-preserving subconscious kicks in and I can type and hit 'post' pretty fast... lethal combination... so please just let me have this one out on my own for a few weeks.  I promise when I'm ready to discuss it, I will.   If you wish to say something or share something of your own, my email is h dot walls at shaw dot ca.

appointment booked.

FYI, that's all. Hey Kate? NEINER.

hi, my name is Hope...

... and I have an eating disorder.

For 21 years I have struggled with a sorely misunderstood disease called 'bulimia' and in the past few months the demon has reared its ugly head in a big bad ugly way. Eating disorders are like alcoholism in that you are never 'cured' you only ever learn to cope with it, and are apt to fall off the proverbial wagon at any time, at any age. Once the disease takes hold, it is a life long battle.

As I sit here with a stomach full of food, I don't feel gratified or just 'not hungry' - I feel weak and powerless. I am consumed with overwhelming guilt and shame. The downward spiral has been fast this time - the rapid descent into this pit of darkness has taken me by surprise and I'm not quite sure how to get my sh*t together this time, as the pattern is 'off.' Had this happened right after my father's death, had there been some major family fallout, had there been some major upset or stress at work, I might have a clue where and how this began, but I am clueless. For the past 13 years I have successful pinpointing the trigger for the thought pattern and have been able to pull myself out of it. This time, I can't identify the trigger and so I've been in denial about it.

For the record, I would not be considered 'active' as the pattern of physical behaviours has yet to follow the mental roller coaster, but it isn't far off, and I'm not sure I'm able to control it on my own and move past it this time. It becomes completely compulsive. It's been 13 years since I was last considered 'active.' Where I am right now, it takes every ounce of willpower in my body to not hit the toilet. I feel weak and stupid and embarrassed. I feel like a monster. I feel like a bad parent, wife, daughter, and friend. I feel like a fraud.

Yup, some of you are grossed out now. Some of you are wondering what kind of head case I am. Some of you probably think this is juvenile. Some of you might think I am toxic to be around. Some of you may have just lost respect for me (it happens - we're treated like pariahs all the time, which is of course what makes it so tough to come out about it.) There is all kinds of stigma attached to having an eating disorder, stigma usually attached to people you'd expect it from - gawky teenage girls, famous people trying to be skinny, etc. Not happily married people with great careers and lots of friends.

News Flash: Eating disorders aren't only for kids and models, folks - there are thousands of us, every day, of all ages and sizes, walking amoungst you, who battle with the inner-speak only familiar to those of us who have walked this road before. We hide in shame. We are the walking invisible. We go through intense bouts of self-loathing. We carry a huge burden with us, and will go to great lengths to hide it from everyone.

This is what I hear in my head:

"Hunger feels good."
"Eating shows weakness."
"I am a gross pig."
"I am unworthy."
"I am unlovable."
"I am lazy."
"I am out of control."

Eating disorders are not about feeling fat. They are about feeling powerless. They are about control. One of the only things I find gratifying is working as a photographer - it is about the only time I feel confident in myself and my abilities, which is why it's so addictive for me. It keeps my busy, it keeps me from being inactie and feeling like I am being lazy, and it gives me a shot of endorphines without hitting the fridge. On the flip side, I use my camera as a physical shield in my personal life, especially in social situations; it is a barrier that keeps me one step away from everyone and everything. It allows me to physically and emotionally stay slightly detached, hidden in full view on the periphery. I take pictures of my family gatherings instead of participate in my own life.

I do not socialize anymore because I am afraid of having to eat in social situations. I prefer gatherings where there is no threat of food, or where it is acceptable to decline food. I do not like going grocery shopping and eating meal with my own family is torture. The more I try to hide it and cope with it alone, the more I am withdrawing. I don't even like my own children and husband to touch me anymore. I see friends who have lost weight. I see people who have had babies who are back to their pre-pregnancy weight. I envy them all, and feel more and more ashamed. And so the downward spiral continues.

I am not seeking sympathy. I am not looking for words of pity or encouragement. I am outing myself as part of the process of 'getting over myself' (thanks K) and will seek the help I need. The stupid part in all this is that I am AWARE. Keenly. I'm not stupid, and I've been here before, which is why it's so hard to accept it and deal with it. Add to the above list, "I am too old and too smart for his sh*t." I go between laughing at myself and hating myself. Because I AM too old and too smart for this sh*t. Reading this, you may well be wondering, "Why am I back here again?" Same question I have been asking myself for he last 5 months. I am ready for the cycle to end.

My Dr. asked me to get my blood tested for thyroid issues because of a rather lengthy list of symptoms I described to her last fall. My initial response was, as usual, there is nothing wrong with me, and I don't want medical intervention. However, the other day I looked up the symptoms again and it's a pretty accurate rap sheet. I wonder how much an inactive or 'lazy' thyroid could exacerbate an eating disorder, especially one that boasts symptoms like unexplained weight gain or inability to lose weight, and perpetual exhaustion. (Not many people who know me would use the word 'lazy' to describe me and yet I am constantly ready for a nap - VERY unlike me...)

I recently found out my Mom was diagnosed as borderline and it's considered a genetic thing, so maybe my Dr was onto something. Stupid Drs. Why do they have to be so Dr-ish. So Step 1 is making an appointment to a) get my bloodwork done, and b) to get a referral to a counsellor in the ED clinic. If there's anyone else who reads this who is suffering the same feelings, get your butt to the Dr., too.

in a bottle

I've often thought of things I'd love to be able to bottle and sell to people. My top five:

1.) Serendipity
2.) The way my husband's armpits smell
3.) Common sense
4.) Newborn baby scent
5.) Forgiveness

What would YOU bottle?

some girls have all the luck

Lucky Laura got to be an auntie AND take fresh new hours-old pinky baby pictures.

We hate her. Go check this out. (You will cry, and if your ovaries ache for more babies, grab some Midol, too.)

in the pink!

I'd like everyone who wore PINK today in support of bringing awareness to bullying problems to please post a link or email me a quick photo (doesn't even need to be good lol) of themselves or their children wearing PINK so I can post it here!!! h dot walls at shaw dot ca

book #2

*Just in case* we had a shortage of babies for our book session, I invited Tammy and her two lovely daughters to join us for our book shoot.  Luckily, the Spruce Grove Mamapalooza all came through, so we made sure we got pictures enough to make books for each of Tammy's girls.  Here's Jolie's...   Watch for Kayley's in FRENCH!!!

Princess M

From her perfect little smile and her lovely little strawberry birthmark, from her beautiful nursery to the way her parents lavish her with attention, there is no doubt in my mind we have a princess in the making. Be fairly warned, Mum and Dad - the photographer may have to teach her it's OK for princesses to eat dirt and have pet spiders, too... ~snicker snicker~

DLS Muttart Field Trip

My pictures of the field trip!

DLS Field Trip

My lovely daughter Serejane (with the 'sere' part pronounced with two short 'e' sounds like in 'serenade'):

Salami Fighting Association

...and you thought the unicorns were weird. This was what my husband had to share with me yesterday. I swear I'm surrounded by loonies.

Charlie : Candy Mountain

My 13 year old shared this with me. I can't understand where he got his sense of humour from.

think pink on February 27th

As a parent of 4 children who couldn't be more diverse in terms of personality, one outgoing and gregarious, one quiet and reserved, one uber-girly and label-obsessed, one a complete tomboy in spite of her penchant for wearing dresses, bullying can happen to anyone - boys, girls, of any age, race, size or sexual orientation.  Kids bully for anything and everything, from what you wear or brought for lunch to what colour your hair is or isn't.  And it isn't just physical abuse - little girls on playgrounds can be overheard torturing the fat girl, junior high boys often band together like a pack of dogs and play dodgeball with a violent edge against the boy who hasn't hit his teen growth spurt, nasty notes and threatening letters are slipped into high school lockers - it comes in all forms.  Any parent who has experienced their child coming home with unexplained scuffs or faking illness so they don't have to go to school knows how big a problem unaddressed bullying is. 

In my experience, there seems to be more concern about school protocol and policy, and protecting the identity of the parents and perpetrators, than it is to actually deal with the situation.  Back in the good old days, Billy hit Bobby or Suzie teased Sally, and up the road you'd go to talk to the other parents, and it'd be settled - consequences were swift and realistic.  Nowadays, the only way you can get access to the parents (who are more often than not unaware their child is bullying someone) is to press charges.  Some schools have it in their policy to call the cops, but even then the parents aren't always told their son or daughter has been visited by the fuzz.

As a parent, it's not only my right, but my INTEREST, to know what is going on.  I want to be in contact with the parents, I wan the parents to be in contact with me, and screw the FOIP garbage.  Perhaps the most asinine thing I've heard from one of the assistant principals I have deal with in the past few months was something to the effect of, "Well, we want these kids to start learning how to deal with things themselves and try not to interfere."  WTF?  At the age of 12 or 13, if you're shitting your pants to go to class under threat of further torture (I'm going to come to your house and slit your sister's throat) for leaking names, the kids who are targets (usually the gentle passive ones who would sooner cut their own fingers off than watch a kitten being tortured) aren't going to be running home and spilling the beans, are they?

I, for one, don't want to be protected from what's going on in school in a day and age where desensitized kids raised on a steady diet of media violence are packing knives by 12 and pieces by 15 with no real concept of the fact that in real life there is no 'reset game' button.  If my child is being picked on, they are well within their rights to be terrified of retribution if they tattle or rat out their peers; if my child is the bully, they should be afraid of the kids who have been picked on for so long one day they just snap and go into a classroom pickin' their aggressors (and innocent bystanders) off a la Columbine.  Bullying is nothing new, but it sure has taken on a whole new face, and damn ugly one at that.

On February 27th, I encourage you all to wear pink.  Dress your kids in pink, wear pink to work, and take a stand.

Here's news coverage of the origins of the anti-bullying pink shirt movement:

more Mariah...

The rest of the divine Miss M's pictures are done. Happy now, Psychotic Faerie?

Miss T-babes!

Possibly one of the slickest sessions I've ever done, Miss T was on a roll. Mum and Dad keep telling me thank you for the beautiful pictures but really I was just witness to a beautiful little person doing beautiful little things. Thanks again for the amazing session, guys - definitely in the book of favourites!

only a parent

Miss tanyapoop directed me to a website specializing in cartooning of kids and the weird things only a parent would say ( They accept submissions from the general population, so when I was on the phone with my sister the other day and got the kids some grapes for a bedtime snack, Serejane proceeded to fill all the button holes in the couch (see tufted couch in background of above picture) with her grapes. I reprimanded her with the following string of words: "Grapes do not go in the upholstery!" Et voila:

slacking off: a story with recipes and pictures by Hope

Friday: cleaned house, washed dishes, and played Scrabble online while the kids played out in the yard then watched movies.

Brownie Sundaes a la Walls

Preheat oven to 350F. Mixing well after each adddition, stir together in a bowl:

1 cup white sugar
6 heaping tsp cocoa
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour

n.b. this recipe doesn't require baking soda. That's why it's not listed in the ingredients. I didn't forget. Just trust me.

Spread batter into greased or non-stick 9" square pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until edges are crispy-crunchy and a fork comes out clean from the centre. While it's still piping hot, put a brownie into the bottom of a bowl and cover with a scoop of vanilla ice cream the drizzle the whole sh'bang with chocolate syrup or fudge sauce. You can add other crap to make your sundaes more decorative (like nuts or whipping cream or sprinkles) but really, THESE brownies with ice cream and chocolate sauce are all you need. P. S. If eaten on a long weekend, these brownies have no calories*. P.S.S. You can make and cool these brownies for eating anytime - even without the ice cream and sauce they are to die for. If packed in your childrens' lunches, they will get better grades** and love you more***.

*not based on a scientific understanding of calories
**if you use extortion: "You better study or no brownies in your lunch tomorrow!"
***based on personal expereince, thre are increased hugs, compliments, and PDAs

Saturday: took the kids to Salto and unleashed them on the gymnastics equipment. Three of four were quite content to flip around on the trampolines and tumbling floor, but Wil somehow managed to put himself in a position where he was fending off throngs of little kids who wouldn't leave him alone for all the tea in China... later we had some of the hubby's friends and their kids and new girlfriends and such over for Cuban chicken, warm brownie sundaes (recipe above), and Pear Ciders.

Sunday: slept in very late, watched some movies, did some housework, had Mom over for a photography lesson, played real Scrabble over coCOnut chicken curry with my Mom and my cousin Debra, then stayed up late surfing youtube and liveleak for interesting vids with the boys.

Monday: went to Crankpots to paint pottery, had an afternoon nap with a book, had Tammy and her girls over for Cajun-style shrimp and fruit punch with red dye that made poor Kayley's head spin, and took pictures of a garlic clove on my table, then played Scrabble online and apologized to the Psychotic Faerie for slacking off on her baby pictures before kicking my husband's butt at Backgammon and going to bed (relatively) early... so really, the only thing on my list of things to do while slacking off that didn't get accomplished were the taxes and the marshmallow roast. Woot woot! (Payback for slacking off all weekend is I have to hit 3 clients tonight PLUS finish an album before I go to bed... Yikes!) It was totally worth it though. Totally.

playing hooky

So I have two client albums to upload tonight, and then I'm TOTALLY playing hooky for the weekend - no pictures, no processing, no clients, no nothing. Nobody will see anything new now until AFTER the Family Day weekend. I'm going to try and not even turn my computer on lest I be sucked in by the lure of Scrabble turns not taken... ~gasp!~

Tonight we're hanging out at home and doing some much-needed catching up on housework. Since the workshops started in January, I have been kind of sloppy about putting *my* toys away and we're currently tripping over props, backdrops, and equipment in pretty much every room in the house. Not to mention the ever-present mountain of laundry that has somehow tripled in height since Christmas, and the as-yet indecisive set-up of the new desks in the office area that currently see them sitting quite literally in the middle of the floor, surrounded by all the familiar trappings of an office space like: staplers, paper, printers, and a mean-looking rat's nest of cables and cords. Generally speaking, we're in dire need of a night of, quite simply, "putting away stuff" and so we will embark upon that task tonight.

Saturday during the day we're heading out to do something that requires a) leavcing the house and b) employing large motor skills. At this point, it might be indoor, outdoor, close by, nearby, we don't actually give a hoot, as long as it doesn't involve being stuck in the house for yet another weekend. The crappy weather has given us all a bit of cabin fever, so some toboganning, running, snow-tanning, snowman and snowangel making, rolling, writhing, jumping, and butt-skidding seems in perfect order.

Saturday night (while we run all the wet filthy dirty snow clothes through the washer and dryer) we're having company over for dinner - my husband's best friend, and some friends of his from work. They've even volunteered to bring the food AND the drinks. Woot woot! The couple have a daughter who is the same age as Serejane as well as a wee bebe, who is just mobile enough that we may have to figure out a clever way of blocking him into the living room... this may involve some creative furniture rearranging. If all goes well, we may even pull out the fire pit for a bit of a toastmallow partee!

Sunday we will recuperate, and maybe I'll have an opportunity to file our taxes. From 2006. ~sigh~

Monday we're heading over to the pottery studio for a bit, and then likely off to do some more large motor skill outdoor activity before all keeling over and dying just in time for work and school on Tuesday morning. Somewhere in all this, I'd like to figure out a way to do some reading. You know - curled up on the couch with a binky and a mug of cocoa, half awake, half alseep, while the kids frolic outside or watch movies, and you end up having to read the same passage like 18 times before you actually get it...

Honestly, don't expect much out of me this weekend. I am unapologetically taking it off to be with my family. Pbbt!~ What all have YOU got going on?

das book - a work in progress

I have the luxury of having been passed around a wonderful group of parents in the Spruce Grove and Stony Plain area, whose children I have watched grow over the past couple of years.  This past year has seen most of them earn a younger sibling, which is very exciting.  In that same token, growing older means growing into new and wonderful things, like counting and naming colours.  

One of the projects I am working to get off the ground is a special series of learning books aimed at 2 - 5 year olds that clients can have their children star in.  The idea is to have the children participate in designing the book by including special personal objects, which through the magic of photography will later become part of a hardcover, softcover, or mini book that parents can first read to their child, and that the child will eventually be able to read themselves.  Themes like colours, numbers, the alphabet, and French action words, along with a selection of nursery rhymes and fairy tales, are just the tip of the iceburg of what I am now able to offer.

I am pleased to share with you a preview of these amazing little munchkins in their learning book debut, on the theme of colours.  Again, to the Moms and Dads who braved the weather and re-organized their schedules to accommodate my experiment, my sincerest thank yous.  Without further ado...


I've not been slacking off - I've just been tremendously busy with ~other~ projects and commitments. Please come back later this evening (Monday) for some catching up posts!

if SHE can, so can I...

OK, so the pics from the first official session on the aforementioned swanky sofa were intended to be TOP SECRET until we were ready to unveil the collection to her husband on their anniversary. Miss Missy went ahead and got so excited she posted one of the pictures on her Facebook profile. So if SHE's gone public with that one, I will too...

My bad for being tardy! This week since it's a little warmer out, especially today and tomorrow, I'd like to get everyone outside for a little bit. I would like you to look for and create the following 3 images.

Task #1) Silhouette. Find anything backlit, and photograph it so that the subject is pitch black. Fence, people, buildings - whatever floats your boat. (Hint: anything shot against the snow during daylight will give you a GREAT silhouette - set your camera on Tv mode and increase or decrease the shutter speed until you get the right effect!)

Task #2) Architecture. Pretend you are selling some building or other and photograph it in the most flattering way you can. Your building could be your house, the mall, something downtown, or even your kids' play houses... Pay attention to lines and cropping, and try to include some interesting foreground!

Task #4 if it's warm enough outside) Shoot a landscape near your home. You could shoot the city's skyline, the local park, the mall parking lot - whatever floats your boat!

Task #3 if it's cold outside) Miniature Landscape. Set up a 'landscape' on floor or table. It can be urban-looking with tall buildings made from cracker boxes and wine glasses, or you could try for a snowy scene using a white shirt and twist-tie people. Make contrcution paper cut outs or big up the kids' train-set. Have fun! Just remember to get level with your landscape so you can shoot with the horizon.

an amazing gift

In an off-handed way, when I was doing portraits at a client's place about a year and a half ago, I was admiring her chaise longue and said, "Wow! I've always wanted one of these - it'd be a great piece for taking pictures on!" She laughed and said, "Oh, well - it was left here when we bought the place - when we move you can have it." I laughed, and thought nothing more of it. A sweet gesture, but one I never imagined would come to fruition - who honestly gives furniture like that away?
Last week I got a message: "Do you still want these couches? We got our move-in date and I need the space for packing." I thought: No way, is she serious? Apparently, she was. Look at what I have to play with!!! EEK!!! Thank you SO much, Mrs. O. You'll never know how much I truly appreciate it. And the session I happened to have this weekend? The poor woman squealed with delight when she saw it. Thank you, thank you, thank you... your next session is TOTALLY on me! (Didn't I say I shoot the best people?)

being a dumbass is genetic

My Daddy, having been born with a hole in his heart, having had open heart surgery, and having had a couple of heart-attacks, wrote off the warning signs of the heart attack that would ultimately take his life in August of 2006 as feeling tired and 'needing a nap.'

Despite knowing damn well it's something to do with my gall bladder, I undergo 6 months of tests, pain, black-outs, etc. and wait until I am throwing up blood and unable to stay conscious before I go to emergency and get the damned thing yanked.

Serejane has inherited this trait.  When my sons had ear infections, both of them, at very young ages (6 or 7 months) they tugged at their ears the second they felt slight irritation or sensitivity, whereas Serejane's first ear infection wasn't discovered until she was oozing blood and thick green ~I swear it was iridescent~ pus from her ear canal.  (We won't discuss my recent sinus-turned-ear-and-throat-dumbass-infection.)

She's had a bit of a cough and intermittent fever all week, so tonight, when Serejane was unable to sleep and said, "My ear hurts," we knew right away it was serious.  

Why, oh WHY, are we like this?