This is My Life

by Stefani on 4-August-2008

This Is My Life

I came across this photo as I was clearing out some of the recent rejects on the computer.

I didn't take it.

This tells me that someone (and I know exactly who) was sitting at the bar, directly across from the sink, playing with my camera.

I resisted the urge to hunt him down and, well, let's us not talk about what follows the "and", but instead, I took a good long look, and I had to laugh.

For all the trying I do to preserve our days in words and photos, this one little unintended shot says so very much about our life. It is truly a Blue Yonder still life.

Allow me to explain:

1. That would be a matchstick holder, but you can see the lighter sticking out. Pretty much sums us up – old fashioned with a modern twist. At least that's how I try to think of us. (This is where you nod and say, "why yes, dear, that's exactly how I would have described you.")

2. That would be the "natural" mosquito repellant. It stinks like dog. It stinks like a man from Tyre. I don't blame the bugs for running the other way.

3. The minty ant repellant that won our contest. You can see that we've used a LOT of it (the bottle was full). Mostly because my kids think it smells like candy canes, and they like to spray it around the room when I'm not looking. Please note that it repels ants but attracts wee beastie boys.

4. One of my guys brought me some zinnias from Grandmother's garden a while back. I kept them in that vase way longer than I should have, and finally threw them out, just before the photo I guess. I always keep cut flowers too long. Always.

It would appear that I leave the nasty stinking water even longer.

5. The one and ONLY tomato that our plant (planted in March mind you) has produced. A chicken was eyeing it, so I brought it in to finish ripening in the window.

6. Birthday cake candles. It's no one's birthday, but Ryder is learning his letters. We randomly pick one letter a week, and then read related stories and have some go along activities. It was B week a while back, so we had a BBbbirthday cake for his BBbbear. B is for Bear and Birthday and Balloon, Butterfly, Blueberry and Bean.

It's also for booger and butt, he's happy to report.

We had no go along activities or books for those words though, sadly.

7. A peach pit, which is drying at the insistence of a small man who is bound and determined to grow a tree of his own.

8. The mermaid waterglobe that Ryder picked out for me when his Daddy took him to the grocery store in Galveston.

He asks me to get it down now and then, so he can shake it and talk about how wonderful he was to pick out something so lovely for his mama.

11. 8 shells, and a little sand, for the 8 souls that shared an unforgettable vacation with us.

12. Heart-shaped rocks and other treasures bestowed upon me by grubby, sweaty little palms.

13. A vase that is kind of hideous, but to me, altogether lovely because my boy spent his own quarter at my next door neighbor's garage sale for it.

For me.

(for some reason Typepad is cutting this part of the photo off. Unfortunate cropping or blatant censorship? You be the judge)

14. My toothbrush. This must have been one of the many (MANY) times that I stayed up way too late. When I do that, I bring my toothbrush to the kitchen sink rather than brush in the bathroom and risk waking up the sleeping bear my husband. (This one's cut off too… if you simply must know what sort of toothbrush I use though, you can click on the photo and see the full version 🙂

15. A pan that, like the flowers, probably sat there way too long. Do you have stuff like that? Things that have to stew a bit before you can be moved to accomplish them?

16. Um, can you tell how quickly we've gone through this stuff? I promise I'm not bathing in it. Brushing teeth at the kitchen sink, maybe, but not bathing. I swear it.

17. Popsicle molds left in a prominent place, so as to let me know that more are required.

And make it snappy.

So yes, it bothers me that someone had their (likely popsicle smeared, peppermint scented) fingers on my camera. And yes, the clutter and the mess often get to me, but well, this is my life.

And I love it, # 1- 17 and beyond.
Alissa August 4, 2008 at 10:07 pm

This makes me wonder what small area in my home would capture such a description of my life…probably my kitchen counter and sink too, though I wouldn’t want it taken tonight 😉 There are one too many things “stewing” at the moment.

Kristy August 5, 2008 at 1:30 am

Great post.We have a cupboard in the kitchen who’s top gets littered with our life.
I love those unintended shots that my girls take.It lovely to see the things they see as worth photographing.

sarah August 5, 2008 at 1:51 am

That’s a fun post. It’s a lot like the “nightstand” post from way back.

caroline August 5, 2008 at 4:48 am

Oh, that’s awesome! Nothing like looking through the eyes of someone else to see yourself.

If someone took a pic of my counter right now, they’d be shocked and appalled!

erin August 5, 2008 at 5:02 am

pans sit in our sink for a long time too. 🙂

Holly C. August 5, 2008 at 5:04 am

This photo says “home” to me.

Amy August 5, 2008 at 5:04 am

It’s a beautiful and creative peek into your world. Thank you.

The Mommy August 5, 2008 at 5:10 am

Ok, so I would really like to have some books go go along with booger and butt. How about “Everybody Poops”? Your post is just lovely. My two oldest each have their own camera now, so they no longer steal mine (sadly) although my son does sometimes play longingly with our cell phone and take pictures with it. I still wont let him get one, because I don’t see why a 14 year old could possibly need a cell phone. I suppose it’s those vestiges of the 80’s when I was in school and the only people who had pagers were drug dealers!

Diane August 5, 2008 at 5:20 am

It almost makes me want to leave a camera out to see what someone else might capture.


: )

kristen August 5, 2008 at 5:23 am

I love it-mine is even more “filled”. So much to reflect on while washing dishes!!

melissa August 5, 2008 at 5:28 am

Hehe! I find random shots on my camera too. Mr. Almost 5 is learning both to be a photographer and to ask before using Mama’s things. We have that bug spray- it works! And my mom has a huge (6 ft) peach tree that was started from a peach pit 2 years ago!!
Wonderful, fun post, Stefani.

Michele August 5, 2008 at 5:55 am

As a scrapbooker, photographer mom, I love this unintended photo. We need to have more of these to show real life. So many times we scrapbook the polish and fun and not the real. Very fun and thanks for sharing!

Shawn August 5, 2008 at 6:48 am

I clicked on the photo, not to see your toothbrush, but only to view the lovely, “hideous” vase. 🙂 Our cookie sheets usually get a “rest period”, too.

Sarah August 5, 2008 at 6:58 am

I love this little look into your kitchen…thanks for sharing!

Tiffany August 5, 2008 at 7:04 am

Stewing is my middle name. The creative juices flow much more fluidly when you let things stew awhile. (Or at least that’s what I tell myself) Thank you for sharing a “not so pretty” snapshot of your life. It is liberating to see others accepting the “mess” that is life and fully embracing it. GO Mamas!

nicole August 5, 2008 at 7:50 am

wonderful post! it’s great to “know a little more about you” :0)

Lisa Kirker August 5, 2008 at 8:29 am

It’s perfect! You are not the only one who has a window sill as a catch-all. Mine has big sister’s hair clips that I don’t want the baby to pick up and eat, as well as about 6 wine corks that I keep collecting thinking they’ll come in handy for some art project someday. Oh…and a match stick holder in the same place – minus the lighter! (It came with the house and I thought it was cute.) Have a great day!

elissa August 5, 2008 at 8:33 am

i love this! i always have a million bits and bobbles decorating around my kitchen sink and window too… it just sort of happens. and, yes, a lot of things need to stew until i am motivated to take care of them. we have a lot of stewed laundry around here. stewed toilets. stewed beds. gosh. never knew i was such a stew sort of girl! 😉

Katie August 5, 2008 at 8:33 am

Far too many things rest in my kitchen. And I have 4 sets of grubby fingers toting the camera from time to time. I found an interesting shot of me, pulling a sweater over my head…wow. It was weird and horrid.

I loved peeking into your kitchen! I gave everyone a peek at mine a few months ago…I tell ya, it took guts.

betsy August 5, 2008 at 10:14 am

You certainly have a way with photograph analysis. The last time I came through your were touting the benefits of resisting the urge to photoshop the life and truth out of your pictures. And today….. perfect. I have that same pan in my sink. It’s been there for two days.

Teresa August 5, 2008 at 10:53 am

That is a great picture…true reality!

I also love to know that I am not the only one to brush my teeth at the kitchen sink. Sometimes, while my kids are eating breakfast, the kitchen is the only place where I can brush without interuption!

Kristi August 5, 2008 at 12:10 pm

one of my favorite posts to date! There is an entry for you on my blog when you get a chance.

hanna August 5, 2008 at 12:56 pm

he he, who would have thought someone’s window sil would be so interesting.
The thing that sits around too long on my bench is the compost bin, it starts piling up so I can’t close the lid and then scraps get put into a bowl. It’s cold outside so I never want to venture out and empty it – I must do it today!
Thanks for the neat post :o)

Sandy August 5, 2008 at 1:06 pm

What a fun post! I think everyone should do this – post a pix of their kitchen sink! Fun!

Julie @ Letter9 August 5, 2008 at 5:33 pm

That’s great. Just great. I can’t wait until I’m feeling better and can delight in my own life like this again. I know it’s there inside me somewhere.

Thanks for the post.

Eren August 5, 2008 at 5:35 pm

He, he…you’re funny, friend. Your transparency is why I love you so much. And for the record, no, I do not ever, ever have pans in my sink that resemble the one in yours (xx xx fingers crossed).

molly August 5, 2008 at 5:58 pm

this is great. i love it.

….and i’d hate to confess how many times I wake up to pans in the sink….

Relyn August 5, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Only you could turn such a simple, casually captured picture into such a perfect post. We love your life, too.

Ansley August 5, 2008 at 8:16 pm

I love this photo. It reminds me of my kitchen window, with all my found treasures shining at me when cooking or doing dishes!

jessica August 6, 2008 at 4:50 am

My kitchen sink looks just like that!

kristin at praire daze August 6, 2008 at 6:58 pm

oh, girl, i love this.

i love it.

and i bet we could come up with some extra activities for #6.

hee hee hee

heather jane August 6, 2008 at 7:51 pm

The thing I love about this post is the reminder that stuff in my window sill isn’t really a bad thing. I like a previous commenter’s idea that we should all post what’s in our window sill. Or counter top. This window sill of yours looks a lot like my bar top in my kitchen. Brimming. Always. Bugging me. Always. But not that bad when I really think about it.

Once again…thanks for the perspective check.

MJ August 7, 2008 at 9:01 am

I love to take pictures of otherwise mundane every-day things like the kitchen sink (thought not MY kitchen sink!). It makes my family shake their heads in wonder and confusion, but I love it!

Rick August 8, 2008 at 4:05 pm

How did you put those nice numbers on your picture?

Nicki August 9, 2008 at 3:45 am

I love this, you summed it all up perfectly in the last paragraph.
It will remind me not to get so hung up about the mess (which i am prone to doing) because what a boring existence we’d lead if it wasn’t there.

Corynne Escalante August 11, 2008 at 9:44 pm

not sure if it works in texas, but my husband went to mississippi for hurricane katrina relief and he swears by using vanilla body spray to ward off the bugs. apparently they use it over in iraq along with avon skin so soft…

Molly August 12, 2008 at 7:11 am

excellent anthropological peek into your daily life. love #10 in particular, but it’s all so good.

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