Last Photo

DaGoddess @ 08:00

The Last Photo

This is the last photo taken with my camera. I tried everything that day to resurrect the camera. I’ve tried everything since. I guess if there was going to be a last photo, it’s fitting that it should be one of my kids.

I’m still not at the acceptance stage in the whole process. Nope, still mad about the whole thing. Getting angrier by the minute, too.

Thank goodness I got this shot before it all went to hell.

Serious Business

DaGoddess @ 07:29

During the I am offering a special set of photographs as digital downloads with a portion of the proceeds going to the Boobie-Thon. Only 10 of each are available, whether singularly or as part of a set. As you know, my Pretty-in-Pinks are for sale. But now! Now there is a gallery of other photos in which people have expressed interest. If a photo you have liked is not in that group and you’d like to purchase it during this period, please leave me a comment and let me know. I will happily add it to the collection.

The deal is: $50 each or any combination of 3 for $125. Limited to 10 purchases for each image. After that, it’s off the market as an 8×10 or 8×12 (your choice) in this exact form. The files are logo-free. You pay me, I send the hi-res files with recommendations of the best places to print, and it’s up to you to decide how many prints you make. I will NEVER make this particular offer again. How’s that? You could, conceivably, knock out your entire Christmas list in one fell swoop this way.

What other photos are available at the moment? Take a look at this special Flickr Gallery. More photos will be added if requested or if I stumble over some personal favorites.

Don’t hesitate, though, because Boobie-Thon only runs for a week and I’m only allowing 10 downloads. Once it’s over, it’s over and the prices change for any photos still available.

A Little Pick-me-up

DaGoddess @ 06:00

Chena Flower

Pioneer Park Purple

Couldn’t It Be Easier?

DaGoddess @ 04:00

You know, when I used MT, there was a little button on the sidebar that allowed me to export all my entries and comments for a quick and dirty backup of the blog. Not so with WP. Why isn’t there?

Now I’m having to look at cpanels and FTP and it makes my head spin.

Don’t mind me. I’m yammering about this because it’s not as important as a few other things, but it’s something I can piss and moan over while the big stuff festers.


Taku Chief

DaGoddess @ 04:00

Taku Chief

Low Bridge

DaGoddess @ 02:18

When I was in elementary school — second or third grade, I think — we spent a significant period of time learning songs about America. We did the customary “God Bless America”, “America, the Beautiful”, and “Yankee Doodle”, but we also learned songs like “Sixteen Tons”, “John Henry”, and “Erie Canal”. I personally loved “Erie Canal” because, for one thing, I was from Ohio and…well, you know.

As dorky as it sounds, I really liked all the singing. Then again, I also liked the square dancing and learning to fox trot. What can I say? I was a weird kid.

Over the years, I’ve forgotten more than I’ve remembered. Yet “Erie Canal” is a song that’s always stayed with me. And every time shit hits the fan, I mentally start singing “…low bridge, everybody down” as if to warn myself of impending danger. Of course, I’m often too dense or too busy to listen to such things. I keep singing though because, hey, maybe I’ll actually listen one of these times, right?

Despite the fact that I’m gradually nearing the last of my P.T. and the last of my appointments with doctors, I can’t seem to wrap my head around the idea that the end of this abject poverty may actually be in sight. Mostly, I think this is due to everything getting worse by degrees every time I turn around. As soon as I get a handle on one thing, something else pops up. Every month it’s the bills that have to be paid even though I don’t have a regular source of income. Every day there’s a child to be fed. The broken crown. The occasional pair of cheap shoes or pants because the last ones wore out. Let’s not even discuss the rate at which kids outgrow their clothes. There should be a way to wrap them in leaves and blankets until they’ve reached puberty. It’s just…it’s… It’s all normal stuff, but it drowns you when you don’t have the resources for some of the basics. Five years of this and it’s making me crazy.

Now, on top of everything else, the business my friend has where I was helping out on occasion (and earning a little bit here and there) is going into the “slow season”. No work coming in from that source. My camera died two weekends ago and I’ve spent an insane amount of time researching the problem and possible solutions. I think I’ve exhausted online forums and possibilities. Do I have the money to have it repaired or replaced? No. That means I can’t take on clients — paying clients or my OpLove clients. That’s just insane. So, no money from that source either right now.

Of course, just to make things even more interesting, LD’s birthday is Saturday and Mojo’s is a month after that. Screw the bills and everything else, I think. To not be able to give my kids even a simple gift breaks my heart. They don’t deserve that. Yeah, yeah, they know I love them and “that’s what really matters”, but as a mother, it hurts to think my children don’t even get something as basic as a birthday present. I know, I know, it’s not supposed to matter, but it does. And it pisses me off.

I keep waiting for the day when I can go back to worrying about whether or not I set the alarm clock for the right time so I’m not late for work. I wait for the day when I can actually look at my credit score without requiring heavy sedation first. I long for a time when I can go to sleep knowing that I’ll wake up to electricity, phone, and cold milk, healthy gums and colon, and kids who don’t have to rely on homemade cards and a tiny bag of M&Ms on special occasions. I want to go to bed without Ambien, curl up next to someone special, make love, fall asleep from a day of work done well and the sense of being accepted, loved, and wanted and that I made someone else feel that way, too, the last thing in my heart as my eyes closed. I want to wake up feeling that. All of it. I want to do more than sleepwalk through my days and pull my gray hairs out at night.

I want to find a way through this Autumn and use the time to rebuild my sense of self — self-confidence, self-assuredness, self-worth — and a sense of purpose. You know, maybe cut back (a little) on helping building someone else’s business as I have been and truly focus on building my own (provided I get that camera issue resolved). I want to shake off the dead leaves, buckle down and get into the serious business of strengthening my base so that when I branch out, the branches are strong enough to support all the needs of my family, myself, my friends, my clients, and those who may never even meet me but for whom I choose when I feel a need to pay it forward, as I always do. I want Autumn as the buffer to soften the blow of the even harder work I must do internally during the Winter so that when I emerge from my icy cardboard castle, I emerge pale, draped in even paler pelts of those who ran slower than I; stronger, enured, and ready to battle the tasks that lie ahead, so that in Spring, I can let it all grow. The branches will bud with leaves and blossoms, maybe even berries or nuts for the birds and squirrels and bugs, for the children who want to hang their tire swing from the branches now strong enough to hold them safely, to grow roots even deeper wherever I am and to become a welcome and noticeable part of my surroundings, not just a colorful guest.

I just want some “normal” and I’m running out of ways to envision any of it.

I know you’ve all probably had enough of my whining and I can’t say that I blame you. It seems like it’s been one great big constant bitch session around here for the last almost five years. My head says this is just one more challenge that I’ve been given and I should suck it up, which I mostly have. But the fact is, it is what it is and I’ve had to play by rules I didn’t get to choose. It drives me nuts to not be able to have the control and autonomy to which I’m accustomed.

Through it all, you’ve been great friends. “…And you’ll always know your neighbor, you’ll always know your pal, if ya ever navigated on the Erie Canal…” It’s true, too. I’ve only survived this long because of your love, prayers, patience, and kindness. Dare I ask for a little more love, prayers, patience, and kindness as I navigate these last few months and obstacles? It’s a lot to ask, I know. Bear with me as try to avoid a 24/7 whine fest. Please help me find the grace to make it through.


Remember When #1 – The Uniform

DaGoddess @ 04:42

Today is the day we begin our project. Remember When (technically, Remember Whenning, based on something my mom’s friend used to say…another topic for another day, apparently) came about after reading one post after another on site and realizing that our memories and deep nostalgia can be triggered by a toy or a word or a house… I wanted to share those recollections with more than just another commenter or two here or there. I wanted us to gather together and create something special in that we could find common threads that run through our lives regardless of how different we may be or how different our upbringing may have been. We were all young once and we all have memories or dreams from those days back when.

I do hope you’ll play along. I can’t wait to read your stories and to learn more about you.

Thanks to Mannequin for the lovely uniform photo (which I’ve doctored a bit for my own purposes) and for taking lead this week. Now, on to the races!

Don’t forget to trackback to our posts
and hit up Mr. Linky!

The Uniform

Freshman year. Red velvet vests with gold trim. White wool skirts that barely made it past mid-thigh. Little white dance panties to ensure our delicate bits were properly covered. White-ish blouses with frilly jabots that would have made Shirley Partridge beam with pride. White go-go boots. Red hats reminiscent of some very bad 1970s fast food/disco/stewardess fug. Hose to mimic the very cliché Southern California tan. Even on the girls with darker complexions.

And then there were the flags. The flags themselves weren’t bad, but the covers were yellow (Sundevil Gold, to be exact) and with all the red and white were were wearing, it made us look like we were carrying giant french fries. Oh, the horror!

Everyone wore the same color eyeshadow and lipstick. Black/gray/silver/white for the eyes. Tacky red for the lips.

Hair: up in a bun or tucked up neatly somehow.

Being that we were all in this together, you’d have thought “flag team” would have somehow made us an actual team. But we weren’t. Mostly because of one girl. Kim. She wanted to be queen bee and wasn’t, which pissed her off mightily. So she did what any bitter high school bitch would do: she took out her frustrations on everyone around her. At one point, our captain almost kicked her off the team, but that never quite happened. Suffice it to say, our long rides to and from games, field competitions, and parades were torture if we happened to be her bus. There was always wrangling going on behind the scenes to be assigned a different bus. ANY bus. Even if that meant we had to ride with the boosters (which meant that anyone who had a boyfriend or girlfriend would be under constand scrutiny and the under-blanket-handjobs simply wouldn’t happen until after the grown ups fell asleep).

Ah yes, you knew I’d get there eventually, didn’t you? Band geeks and sex. Regardless of the fact that EVERY bus had adult supervision, there was stuff happening all over the place. Roaming hands going more places than any gnome could dare to dream. Mouths finding things to keep them busy. There was even full on sex going on from time to time. Off the bus? Even worse. If we had to stay overnight for tournaments, that meant hotel rooms. At one point, we’d been put up at a rather large tower-type hotel. Boys and girls NOT on the same floor. Chaperones posted at elevators and stairwells. So what did the boys do? Scaled down the building from balcony to balcony. All for some booty hi-jinx.

If anyone lost their virginity on a trip, it was instantly known. The boys were bragging. The girls desperate to find out what it was like. And there’d always be a way that Kim would work her way into the middle of the conversation (or at least eavesdrop enough to get details) and then she’s make sure the chaperones knew, made sure EVERYONE knew. So much for a personal rite of passage.

There were also plenty of tears shed while wearing very uncomfortable and mostly unattractive clothing. Tears were shed for breakups. Tears were shed when we’d lose a competition (which didn’t happen often, thankfully). And tears for the wins. We had a good run that year and we took more wins than anyone thought we would. There were tears shed as we pulled away from the school for a trip. Tears as we said goodbye to host families and new friends. Tears upon our return. And sadly, there were tears shed because some people were just plain old mean.

Still, when I think back about my time on the flag team, I think of my friend Joy. My dear, darling friend who spoke Valley as proficiently as I did, who irritated Kim as much as I did, who was the only other freshman, and who also didn’t have the stereotypical anorexic body like most other girls did in high school. We were kindred spirits. She taught me to love the Boston Red Sox and how to triple a dose of Midol while also avoiding embarrassing leaks during our periods (remember, we were in short white skirts). I remember, too, the Saturdays spent driving around, picking up newspapers for recycling. Mostly it was me and my dad. Sometimes it was me and my mom. Occasionally, it was my friend Monty and I. No matter who was with me, it was a challenge to get those papers loaded and then drive them up to Sony where the big trucks were and where we unloaded. There was a method to the madness and it took a whole Saturday to do it. We’d be worn out and yet, sometimes we’d still have to head back down to the school and put on a show.

Of the show, I remember with amazing clarity the big sweeps of the flags during Dvořák’s New World Symphony (our opening number). I can still recall the snaps and twirls, the sweeps, and then…the big flag toss that we never thought we’d perfect, but did! I remember the pride in a show well done. Hitting our marks. Staying in step and in time. Those were the moments we were a team. It didn’t take long for it to fall apart after with Kim’s mouth going, but during the show…we were a team and it felt damn good. We were a force with which to be reckoned. We were good.

Still and all, at the end of the semester, I knew I wouldn’t be back for another year. Kim would be gone, but I knew there’d be someone else to take her place. Sadly, my decision not to return meant I missed out on new uniforms (with longer skirts, capes, and awesome hats!) and an extended flag season (two semesters of flag “P.E.” instead of one…and damn that stupid freshman P.E….tumbling? Does it sound like I was into gymnastics? No! I had breasts and hips and would have gone to class with a foaming mouth just to bite the coach on the leg to prove I was rabid and therefore NOT to be trifled with nor to be forced into gymnastics — to no avail).

Of all the various parts to our uniforms, I never brought one home. The boosters had them cleaned after every weekend. The only thing I got to keep were the boots, and those lasted a few years longer as Halloween gear.

Memories though…I have those. More than I can share here. So many more than I can share here.

And there it is, my entry into this week’s inaugural Remember When.

Thank you, Mannequin, for hosting this week. Now I have to start thinking about next. Yikes!

Remember Whenning - a special type of nostalgia

See That?

DaGoddess @ 04:00

Over on the sidebar. At the top.

The is back! Once again, I’m very proud to be a volunteer for this amazing fundraiser. We are the original “we share because we care” bloggers and it’s a pretty big deal that we’ve been doing this since 2002 without fail.

From October 1 through October 7, we’ll be sharing photos from all sorts of contributors. As we’ve done in previous years, donations over $50 will get you a password to the “special” entries.

Submit your photos, donate money, blog it, tell your friends and family, and don’t forget: breast self-exams are an important first step in the detection of breast cancer. If you don’t know how to do this, the American Cancer Society has great instructions and HealthiNation has video instruction available.

Lend a hand and support breasts of all shapes, sizes, colors, and genders. It’s the friendly thing to do.


Remember When

DaGoddess @ 11:55

Our new special project begins tomorrow! Mannequin and I are very excited about this and hope you’ll feel the same.

A few of you have already received an email about what we’re doing so that we could drum up early support.

I wrote a bit about it in my the Woods post and now, here are more details for those interested in participating (from the email):

You know, sometimes I read some of your posts and realize how much we have in common via our memories of childhood. We didn’t grow up necessarily at the same time, nor in the same part of the country, or have the same sort of parents, yet there’s a thread of similarity and familiarity in your writing of your memories that makes me feel as though I were there with you.

Because of that, I’m hoping you’ll jump in and give a new meme a whirl with me. It’s called Remember When: Skipping Down Memory Lane. Each Monday or so, a photo will be posted on dagoddess.com or fracturedtoy.blogspot.com and if it brings some memory to the fore, well, please write about it and enter your link on our Mr. Linky. We really want to encourage people to tap into the past and share stories of growing up. You’re welcome to borrow our photo (just give us credit, please) or supply your own. The story needn’t be long. It needn’t even necessarily be in story form. Maybe it’s a poem or a collage or a flash of words strung together loosely. We just want to hear from you.

If you know other bloggers who might like to do this, please pass along this email and send them our way. If nothing else, we’ll be creating a wonderful new community and sharing precious memories. Plus, I don’t know about you, but whenever I write something like this, I save a copy on the hard drive because I fully intend to present a copy of these stories to my family someday.

Also, if you have a photo of an item from your childhood, or something that reminds you of your childhood that you’d like us to use in the future, please let us know! Maybe you’ve found the old Fisher Price Little People Schoolhouse or the Fisher Price bike with a yellow seat and brown spots (was that supposed to be a banana or a giraffe?). Maybe you had a Crissy doll, you know, the one whose hair you could make grow by pushing her belly button. Or maybe there’s a photo of a car, a pond, a beach, a coffee or tea cup, an old milk bottle, or something that evokes some precious bit of your youth. We want to know!

So, beginning tomorrow morning, we’ll post our image and have Mr. Linky all set up on Mannequin’s site ( www.fracturedtoy.blogspot.com ) and we’ll be off on our first adventure. We hope you’ll join us. Personally, I can’t wait to read about your life and your adventures.

So, keep an eye open and join in the fun. Feel free to download the button for use on your site!

Remember When

Inner Angst

DaGoddess @ 08:00

For what it’s worth, one of my photos is currently gracing the inside page of a new CD booklet. Unfortunately, the artists credited the wrong photographer. Since I know them pretty well, I emailed them and they’ve promised to correct it with the next pressing. I wasn’t too upset. Just want to make sure my name is out there so the next person who wants photos comes to me after seeing that one, you know? Yeah, you know.

It’s a start.

And you better believe the moment I get the corrected copy, I’m adding it to my list!

St. Mark’s

DaGoddess @ 04:00

St Mark's Episcopal Church


Pretty in Pink — Alaska Style

DaGoddess @ 04:00

Beautiful Pink

Looking Up

Pink Beauty

Any tip over $50 gets you one of these babies (your choice) as an 8×10 digital file (or 8×12 if you want to maintain the proportions shown), logo-free. For $125, you get all three. There are only 10 9 sets available, hence the slightly higher price. Subject line/note should read “Pretty in Pink”. 10% of each purchase will be donated to the Boobie-Thon this year. The rest is moving my pink bottom into a better position.


Good Girls

DaGoddess @ 06:18

Good girls backup all their data in a logical manner. I thought I had.

Turned out there were essential files I thought I’d transfered to the external HD only to discover it wasn’t there. I know it’s on the other hard drive, but I want everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, on the newer one so that I stay truly backed up.

In my fevered state, I vegged out while watching data transfer. I took great delight in watching the little papers fly out of one fold into another, as if that’s what was really going on. If it were, it would have stopped forty-seven times because of papercuts and at least one virtual finger would have been sliced open on a rogue staple. But, no bloody stumps or curse words…just that crazy flying paper graphic to lull me into a “coma”*. “Coma’s” good when you don’t feel like limping along ineffectually.

Time to pray the throat, fever, congestion, and tummy clear in the next couple days. It’s already been three and I’m getting grumpy. Plus, if I’m sick, I can’t go work at my friend’s house and my bills won’t get paid. I’m working hard to zero them all out post haste. (Help if you can, please; if not, that’s okay, too. I’m grateful for your friendship.)

By the way, have you ever noticed you can kind of predict what turn your “ick” is going to take when everything you do suddenly tastes like mucous or vomit? I can.

Chloraseptic and Vicodin, here I come!

*Real comas aren’t good as Mad Mikey would attest, so we go semi-catatonic instead.

Into the Woods

DaGoddess @ 04:00

A playful edit and I suddenly got lost in the woods — where the wild things are.

It was a lovely stand of trees, but all I could think to do while I was there was to rush into the trees and lose myself in nature. When I was little, that’s what I would do. We had the woods behind the house, with a creek, and a bridge. I spent hours daydreaming about what might be hidden amongst the trees. While there are parts of my early life that are clear, when it comes to the woods behind the house, much of it becomes of blur, a victim of tunnel vision, I suppose. Or maybe victim of quick, tiny feet. I wish I could, as well, share the smell of the woods of my youth with you. Deeply green, a little musty, somewhat mossy, occasionally smoky as the leaves of autumn crunched into a fine dust beneath our feet while other leaves in the yard burned. Death to the family playing out everywhere, it seemed. I was a morbid cuss, wasn’t I?

Run run run into the woods!

The thing about the woods is that it served many purposes. It was a boundary between homes. It was a home in and of itself. It was a wonderland, where fairies and sprites and other magical creatures lived. On days when I was quiet, which didn’t happen often, I could track said inhabitants, only to have my hunt ruined by a deer or rabbit. Or sometimes it was the neighbor who looked like Dr. Bombay. (My dad has repeatedly told me this man’s name and I, for the life of me, cannot remember it.) He and my dad maintained the bridge over the creek between our homes. The bridge…it led to the woods. It led to adventure! It even led to thorns in my buttocks and thighs on one unfortunate occasion. But it also led to home and hearth…more than one home and more than one hearth. My friend Donna lived back there. Her house was a second home for our family. Our older sisters played together. Where card games were played while alcohol was sipped by our parents. Where we listened in on conversations through the floor vent in the one bathroom. It’s where I fell down and broke my arm at age two (fighting over Ring around the Rosie or Hide-n-Seek, I suppose). To get to that other home, I had to traipse through the enchanted copse and whisper my hellos to the napping owls, the suspicious crows, the leery deer, and the bashful bunnies. Before I left the woods, I’d have to carefully remove the fairies I just knew had hitchhiked a ride on my clothes, tenderly grasping at what I hoped were their wings and setting them down on springy boughs, alongside the ladybugs who’d also joined us. Fireflies never did. At least not for long. It was a class issue, if I remember correctly.

I remember these things. These parts of my early life because of the woods. The trees and the dark mysteries within them draw me back time and time again for little glimpses into my past. The bridge. Dr. Bombay. Turtle. Turtle soup. Crying over turtle soup. Hoping I’d discover proof of fairies and sprites and friendly beasts like Max had found where the wild things were. Where my dreams were, and apparently still are.

So back I go, into the woods. If I hold out a hand, will you take it and join me?

It wasn’t just the photo that brought these memories to the fore. About a week ago, I read a over on Mannequin’s site that triggered something within me. More often than not, she gets me to thinking because she’s posted a photo of a vintage item. This time, it was a single word…woods. This got me thinking even more and before you know it, she and I came up with the idea of a special meme, which will basically be writing/art prompts based on memories. We’ll have more info available on Monday.


Dem Bones, Dem Bones

DaGoddess @ 12:00

Various bones found in Alaska. (Yes, I know, the trip was months ago…)





The first three shots were taken by a river in/near Chatanika. The last photo was taken in Pioneer Park.

Some might say it’s a morbid set of images, but I don’t think so. I’m fascinated. What’s the difference between bones found in the wild, left there after a natural bit of picnicking, and those bone replicas you see in museums? There was no flesh left on these. Even if there had been, I’d not have flinched. I might have worried that the eater of the game was still nearby, but I wouldn’t have been grossed out by it. Animals eat other animals. That’s how nature works. Despite all PETA’s efforts to convince us we should do otherwise, it’s the law of nature: omnivores and carnivores eat meat. It’s not always neat and pretty. But that’s how it is.

Bones themselves are like bits of a puzzle. Everything connects to something else. Except the hyoid bone. It articulates with no other bone in the body. Thyroid ligaments keep it in place, but that’s it.

Anyhow, finding bones doesn’t freak me out. Finding recent HUMAN bones would, but that’s entirely different.

The point is, I got excited when I found the first couple at the edge of the river. It mean something had made a good kill and ate well. And I took photos. Nothing new there. At least I didn’t pick them up and carry them around with me as I did with a desiccated lizard I found under my sofa years ago. I laid his brittle little corpse in an old jewelry box with a bit of cloth between his tiny toes and nails and the cotton bed. He made it through several moves. I liked him.

So, um…how about dem bones?