Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Remembering Wendy

(scanned photo taken about 10 years ago)

Today is a very sad day for me.

On the first day of March (March 1st) Wendy and I were born, fifteen minutes apart.

On the last day of March (March 31st), 2 years ago, we said good-bye. Last year when I posted about her here, I remember thinking that with time the pain of losing my twin sister to cancer would ease. I really hasn't.

I know I have a lot of work to do. Grieving work. There are days I forget she is not here and reach for the phone. The shock that I can't talk to her almost bring me to my knees. A dear friend of hers called on our birthday this year and after saying hello she told me she just wanted to hear Wendy's voice. We had the same voice - we could often fool people.

Our journey together was often a rocky one but through it all we shared so much.

For the first fifteen years of our lives, we were inseparable. I actually never thought of myself as one. I was always a part of a duo. We did everything together. Sang our first song (a duet of course) on stage at the age of three, began piano at five, violin at ten and all and sundry other activities....but always together. We could play "make believe" forever and never needed anyone else, props or toys. We had each other. That was enough.

We could finish each other's sentences and sometimes...often....didn't really even need words. No one laughed harder at my jokes or antics than Wendy. We found delight in everything and only we "got it". Sometimes we were referred to as the giggle sisters.

But most of the time we were just called "twin".

When I am very sad, I have to stop myself and remember that most people don't have the gift of a twin sister. And I'm forever grateful that we had her last two months to enjoy each other, reminisce and heal. I was able to accompany her to travel to her daughter (my beloved neice - Natasha) to say good-bye and to see her just days old first grandchild (sweet baby Michael).

That helps.

But I will always miss her.

My Wendy.

I scanned the above picture from a family portrait we had taken about 10 years ago. We don't really have too many recent pictures together and I realize that I have to frame this one.

(I have a hard time seeing daily reminders of loved ones who are gone but I know I have to in order to heal.)

So, I thought I would convert it for Black and White Wednesday and perhaps frame them both.

the long road


I think I like it better in color for one reason. Wendy was all about color. Her favorite colors were turquoise (and all the various shades and hues therein) and lavender. She called it orchid., of course.

We were one!

We had many differences too. Like I could paint a picture with paint and canvas, Wendy could paint her visions with words. She was amazing. Her letters, notes, poems, prose and even the beginnings of a novel wove images that could catch the imagination and make you soar. I have a box of many of her notes through the years that are my most treasured of her. She was more introverted, I'm an extrovert, she could agonize over the details, I'm more a
"be bright, be brief, be gone" kind of person.

I guess she was the yin to my yang....or the yang to my yin.

Yes, maybe both!

Here's to my Wendy!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I can smell the barn!

This is a farming expression. Meaning when the cows and horses we're herded toward the barn, as they approached, their speed would pick up and they would rush into the barn. Probably thought they were going to eat or get warm.

A little like we feel.

So, here's a update on our latest folly - Renovation 2010.

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So, this was the kitchen ceiling after it was removed and all the wiring and plumbing re-routed.
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View from the library.

(Sounds so pretentious, I know. It was a little room attached onto the back of the livingroom with French door access - as a reading room. But we will need to rename it the family room. It's just hard to break an old habit.)
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So, all the carpets were taken up and tiles removed so the new tile could be laid. And we decided to go with heated tiles. (Yeah!) So, while the cement was drying with the heating elements inside, we were told to not enter the house for about 4 hours. Danny was out on appointments so I took the kids out for dinner right after picking Dahlia up from school and dilly-dallied coming home. Zizi (the cat) had been shut-up in our bedroom for weeks and we were warned to not let her out during the cement drying time as she might get glued into the cement. I wasn't worried, she hadn't gotten out for....weeks, like I said.

So, after waiting the alotted time, I gingerly opened the front door and had been told to stick my finger in the cement to test if it was dry. wasn't. They must have finished later than they had hoped. My finger went right into it (and it was 7:30 PM at that point and we hadn't done Dahlia's homework yet.)

Then my eyes lifted - and there



feet in the cement.

She had gotten out (the only time since we started this.) I freaked a little, which didn't help because then she wouldn't come to me. She just stood there - and I didn't know if she was glued into the cement or not. I closed the door - to hide the freaked-out reaction and to think. A minute later I opened the door and coaxed her toward me. She was able to walk and when she got close enough I grabbed her head and yanked her out the door.

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See her drag marks - before I actually got her airbourne. (I took this pic the next morning.)

So we all sat in the car, did Dahlia's homework, tried to amuse Milana and calm Zizi (and Mommy) and waited. By 9:00 PM - I tested the cement again and it was dry enough to get in.
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Tiles installed but still dirty.
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Kitchen cabinets arrived and are being installed now. I can still hear them sawing and banging down there.
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We're getting there. I may have a working sink by Monday.

Oh....I can hardly wait.

I'm going downstairs right now to take another peak and ooh and ahh over the nearing a few more weeks yet......

....but I definately can smell that barn now!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Black and White Wednesday

The other day I happened upon twenty eight month old Milana
writing me a little note.

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Well......doesn't it look like that's what she's doing?
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Oh yes, you are witnessing the beginnings of
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Or maybe not. "Is that call for me? I'll take it."
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It's Lisa's
challenge again to have some fun with black and white conversions. I edited these in Lightroom but after last week's on line Photoshop CS3 class with Lisa - next week I'll be using my PS to edit. It's a challenge for sure - but I know I love it!!
the long road
And here are the many faces of my Dahlia.
What is it about this face that I can't get enough of?
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Had to throw in one color. Belle face!

I found a few more China pictures. I think this one is interesting because it shows the two sides of China. The house boat with the ancient roof line and the sprawling modern building in the background.
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and a few more from the Great Wall in Beijing.
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China (and home) Aug 09 125
Happy Wednesday
Happy Spring!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I ♥ Faces - Angles

Til March 20 123 This week-end was full of birthday parties. Is it just me or does half the world have a birthday in March? Ok, I'm just sayin'.

So, before we left for one of the parties on Saturday - I snapped a few pix of Dahia where the light was decent (in our bedroom). After a dozen of so where I could tell she was in less than a posing mood and said "flip over baby", I caught this one at an unusual angle.

Perfect for the theme for this week's Iheartfaces!


(We're still in the middle of renovation he** and I'll try and post some pix of this soon. For those who are wondering.....we are surviving.....barely.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Black and White Wednesday

the long road

It's Wednesday again and time to play around with some black and white conversions.

But honor of March 17th and good ol St Paddy, I had to post a little green. These are some massive lotus leaves in Hangzhou, China from our trip last August.

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Can't you imagine a little green leprechaun, popping his little capped head over the side of this leaf?!

This week my muse was at it again. Sometimes I wonder what she is thinking about when she stares at me like this. I'm crazy about the contours of her face as well as the quirky cuteness of her personality.
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Threw in a color - just for comparison.
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And here are some more pics of China.

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This was our official adoption day photo for Milana. (Did I already post this?)August 10, 2009
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My two sweet girlies!
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Happy Wednesday and a Happy St. P to all the Irish.

We all have a bit of Irish in us, don't we!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

....the light was right...

..... coming down just so through the skylight... I says to Dahlia
"stay put, don't move....there'll be some chocolate coming...

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Ni Hao Y'all

(click on this button for more Ni Hao Y'all fun)

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" yeah....ok.....did we say something about chocolate?"

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Oh yes we did, sweet baby cheeks.

(And for those who haven't actually seen it, up front and close.....may I present the half toothless laugh. It's a once-in-a-lifetime happening!)

But the mere mention of chocolate finally undid the mood and I got the foot in the lens.
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Thank you very much!

Here's a Dahlia quote of the week.

Yesterday, while Dahlia and Milana were playing after school, I said to Dahlia

Me - "I think I smell poop"

Dahlia - "huh?....not me....I'm used to poop!"

And now for all you gluttons for punishment - here's a little shot of our kitchen floor this morning. Pretty, isn't it? When we added the loft 5 years a whole slew of rocks and crap debris were left between the two levels so when all the spot lights were being installed, the electricien had to take down the whole ceiling and this is just a bit of what came down.

Ahh....more joy!
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Anybody want to trade places with me?


(Time-line update for all inquiring minds - on Monday our floors are coming in, next Friday the kitchen cabinets to be installed, the following Friday the library built-in cabinets to be installed. In between all that - a whole lot of painting, pulling joints, sanding, fixing and then

c. l. e. a. n. i. n. g!!!