Sep 29, 2011

Lookin' for Papa Smurf

All mushrooms are edible - once

Smurfs are little blue people that live in magic mushrooms,
think about it...

Sep 27, 2011

Mia Ballerina

Dancing is like dreaming with your feet!

Sep 22, 2011

Atlanta vaca

We stayed downtown at the Comfort Suites, beautifully renovated. I always love staying in older hotels (daytime and night shots)

views from our window

coffee break @ Waffle House

lunch time, world famous hotdogs at The Varsity

our second time to enjoy Wicked, would go again

Sep 16, 2011

Visalia Times Delta

"Above" is a photograph by Stefan John Barycki
"Above" is a photograph by Stefan John Barycki / Submitted

Looking to hear some live music this upcoming week? Here are some options, including an interesting hybrid of music and art:

Art and music

Here's a unique show: On Monday at The Cellar Door, Visalia-based photographer Stefan John Barycki has organized a show featuring a combination of art and music.

Choices caught up with Barycki to ask him some questions about the show:

Question: How did this night of art and music come together? What motivated you to do this?

Answer: It was motivated by, as always, my family and friends. But most of all it was from my last show I did at Bravo Farms in Tulare last May. That's what really pushed to do another show. It really made me want to do something big this time. So I did the whole Sound N Vision combo.

Question: Talk about your photographs. The images are described as 40 feet by 60 feet. What inspired you to make such large prints?

Answer: The reason why I did the huge 40x60 is easy. I like things big. Go big or go home. When you see these prints in person, you will feel like you're in the photo. You will feel like you stood right next to me when I took the photo.

Question: You traveled throughout California and the Southwest taking these photos. Any surprises on the road? Did you have a favorite place you visited?

Answer: When traveling around California and the Southwest you will always run into surprises, and one of those surprises is weather. You gotta be up-to-date. Not just for the driving conditions but for getting that perfect exposure you've been waiting for the whole road trip. Plus, it's not fun driving in a high desert snow blizzard or northern California coast fog. The only way to see the road is to look at the GPS. If I would have to pick a favorite place it would have been the White House Ruins in Canyon De Chelly National Monument. It's so ancient, [it] feels like you're walking back in time.

Question: Can you give us a rundown on the three other artists whose work will be shown?

Answer: The other artists we got are:

ª Jacob Connelly from Visalia. He will be showing landscape photos as well as his street art, all on canvas.

ª Mike Stivers is a well-rounded artist from Tulare covering fine art to street art; he has been doing most of the art for and at Bravo Farms in Tulare. He will also be doing a live painting during the show

ª And from Lemoore we have Amy Poole, who will be showing her stencil work from classic horror movies to classic rock stars.

Question: How about the bands performing? What can you tell us about The Littlest Viking and Smokestack Lightning?

Answer: The Littlest Viking: Hard to say what kinda music they are, but this is what they have to say: "I don't know if that's technically a genre but if it is, we might be boldly categorized as such. Tambourines, outrageous drum fills, wicked tapping, hoarse shouting, noise freakouts, salsa beats and the occasional MJ sample are a staple of any TLV live show."

Smokestack Lightning from Visalia is a hard-hitting classic rock band with a sound right out of the 1970s. This will be their first time playing The Cellar Door.


Found this sign on Pinterest and pinned it to my board.
Finally I have a place to reference all the little life quotes I love using in my blog.

Not sure who's words of wisdom this quote belongs to but I am sure many a new Mother has received advice from her Mother or Mother-in-law and has shrugged it off to older generation meddling. But sometimes maybe we know what we're talking about and you might give us a little credit.
Thanks Jaime!!

Sep 14, 2011

"Way Back When"sday

"My life is every moment of my life. It is not a culmination of the past."
~Hugh Leonard~

Me, my Mom and Dad, and my little brother
in our living room on Springfield Rd

Sep 11, 2011

Grandparents Day

Today Mia and Aiden called to wish us a Happy Grandparents Day. And this got me to thinking how times have changed so much for the role as Grandparents.

Grandpa, tell me 'bout the good old days
Sometimes it feels like
This world's gone crazy
Grandpa, take me back to yesterday
When the line between right and wrong
Didn't seem so hazy

Did lovers really fall in love to stay
And stand beside each other come what may?
Was a promise really something people kept
Not just something they would say?
Did families really bow their heads to pray?
Did daddies really never go away?
Oh, Grandpa, tell me 'bout the good old days

Grandpa, everything is changing fast
We call it progress
But I just don't know
And Grandpa, let's wander back into the past
And paint me the picture
Of long ago

Oh, Grandpa, tell me 'bout the good old days

I always thought Grandparents Day was something Hallmark invented. But after a little research, I found out that in 1978 President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. A day set a side to honor our Grandparents.

When I was a child, we always observed our Grandparents on Mothers Day and Fathers Day along with our parents. But then our Grandparents were right there with us, helping our parents raise us, in most respects as an other set of older, wiser, parents. (with more hugs and extra spoilin' on the side)

Then when we started to raise a family of our own, our children and their Grandparents had a long distance relationship. But somehow, with annual cross country visits and very large phone bills (no cell phones and texting, back in the day), our children grew up having a very close relationship with them. But still it was very different from how we grew up. And their Grandparents were there to teach them lessons of life with large doses of love.

Now things are so very different for us as Grandparents. And so is Grandparenting. When I asked my Mother-in-law for advise, she said "you have to love them all the same". I could never understand that. How can you love everyone the same when everyone is different and has different needs. But then a lot of advice I have received from our parents didn't make sense til I got older.

In our blended family, we have 10 Grandchildren, 1 Great Grandchild and 1 more on the way. All are different and all are loved.

Jaime's family is a blended assortment, Jacque, Jake and Skyler are from Anthony's first marriage and have been part of our family for 11 years. They have an over abundance of family and Grandparents from his and their Mom's family, but we still love our family time with them and sharing in their growing up. Jacque is married and has her little boy, Drew, and a baby girl on the way. Jake is a college guy and Sky is busy with High School and sports. The younger trio (turning 4) are ours to "spoil". (We also have Grandmom Lynn and Grandmom Sally helping out). Mia is our tiny dancer, always looking and observing. If you watch her eyes, you might know what her next move will be. Aiden is bubbling over with knowledge and ideas about everything on wheels and delights in sharing all that is "Thomas". Seth is our little man of few words but makes up with it in smiles and kisses. One look from him and your heart is melted. He has his challenges daily with Autism and is learning more every day

Just down the road a few miles we have Emil and Radojka's kiddles. The twins, now 3, are a double dose of energy. Isa loves her dollies and cuddling, she would be the softer side of this duo if Max would let her, but he has other ideas and is always keeping everyone on their toes. When you catch a half smile and a twinkle in his one eye, watch out, you never know what's next with him. Then there is my buddy Nathan, a very wise and knowing 11 year old. We have grown very close over the years and really enjoy our times together, whether it's exploring across country in a train, fishing or just sitting and talking, we have shared and tried to come up with solutions for many of the world's problems together.

And we have one more Grandchild (1 year old), Vicki, living across the state, that we have yet to meet. After Emil and Rado's divorce, Emil had another little girl that is living with her Mother. There are a lot of mixed feelings and we hope some day we will be able to get to know her and watch her grow with her brothers and sister.

So as they say, "these times they are a changin", and Grandparenting isn't always the same for everyone. But I know how much we love each and everyone of these guys and hope for a wonderful and happy childhood with lots of great memories of their Grandmom and Grandpop, just like we had.

And I'll always remember to love them all, just the same.

"Grandparents are "the fourth leg" of the family table - we're there to stop it from wobbling."
~Penelope Leach~
The fourth leg is not allowed to wander away from the table – because if it did, what would there be to prevent it all from crashing down?

Sep 7, 2011

Kiddle Update

Isa and Max turn 3

Aiden (left) and Mia (right) walk to their first day of school with their neighbor Andrew

Sep 1, 2011

My Kids

"They know me in a way no one ever has.

 They open me to things I never knew existed.
They drive me to insanity and push me to my depths.
They are the beat of my heart, the pulse of my veins,

and the energy in my soul."

They are my kids...
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