P. Sunshine

P. Sunshine
My Flickr Fotos

Monday, November 29, 2004

We made a snowperson!! (now totally melted, nothing but celery and coal) Posted by Hello

I tried out the zoomlens for this - oops!!! I can see in the neighbor's house (teehee) Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

fun action shot Posted by Hello
Ahh, the Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching, and with it, the usual anxieties of squeezing in a last minute jaunt to the grocery store for missing ingredients, praying that the weather man is wrong in reporting 3-6 inches of snow, and my biggest fear, the after-Thanksgiving sales!!!!

I am so relieved that someone out there had the intelligence to think of Buy Nothing Day, so I now have an excuse when people ask me why, oh why, am I not going out and taking advantage of the oh-so faaaaabulous sales? I simply look at them blankly and say "It's Buy Nothing Day, so I will Buy nothing." As my mom pointed out last night while we were shopping for her birthday gift, the stores jack up the prices and then hold a 1/2 off sale, to trick the consumer into thinking they scored a deal, and then the consumer will think they are saving so much money, that - hey! they can buy MORE then they set out to. Then when they get to the cash register, and see the enormous bill they have accumulated, and the line is so freaking long, and people are impatient, and babies are crying,and mothers are yelling, the consumer gets sucked into actually paying for all the merchandise rather than holding up the line and therefore causing great distress within the store. I've seen it happen, I used to participate.

The problem with Buy Nothing Day is that every dang year SOMETHING happens so that I am forced to go out into the craziness. Either someone gets sick and needs some medicine, or we run out of milk, diapers, toilet paper, or what have you, and I end up caving, and of course, once I get to the store that has said necessary item, I get trapped into the claws of the evil advertisements and end up buying some really cute or seemingly marked-down gotta-have-it Christmas gift. It never fails.

This year, I will do a meditation to protect myself against the treacherous "Day After Thanksgiving Sales". I will repeat the mantra 'You will remain strong, you have willpower, you will stay inside, you have plenty of time to shop for gifts, not today, not today". I will repeat this over and over, and if lovely husband tries to interfere, I will only repeat it louder and with more vigor. I will play the System of a Down song all day, the one that goes:"Therapy, Therapy, advertising causes me therapy" I will stay away from all windows and doors, and not look at what large, beautiful packages the neighbors are carting into their homes. I will take a stand, and I will prevail!

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The day after I took this shot, there was a huge storm that killed these guys off Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Talkin' Tofurkey

I'm going to take a moment to express my love for my son's preschool. Yesterday, my son made a cut out of a turkey that was glued in the center of some Thanksgiving songs. I'm happy to proclaim that these songs are quite liberal in nature and support both vegetarian and meat-eating Thanksgiving goers alike. Following is a sample:

"MR. TURKEY, BETTER WATCH OUT" (Sung to Yankee Doodle)
Mr. Turkey, better watch out, Thanksgiving Day is coming. If you're not careful, you'll end up in someone's hungry tummy! Mr. Turkey Run, run, run, Please run away and hii-ide. Mr Turkey, run, run, run, Don't wait around outside!

And here's one that "goes both ways":

"Tom, Tom Turkey" (sung to Frere Jacques)
Tom Tom Turkey, Tom Tom Turkey,
Run away, Run away.
Thanksgiving Day is coming, Thanksgiving Day is coming.
Yum Yum Yum, Run, run, run!!!

I'm no preacher, but...
I think it is so wonderful of that school to instill an open mind in our kids at such a young age, to weigh all the options before forming an opinion. It's a value that finally seems to be picking up momentum with young parents in our country. We all need to do what we can to speed it up and spread it around.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


I'll try to make this as coherent as possible, considering the computer screen is wavering in front of my face right now. I'm so stuffed up that it feels like I'm in an underground tube, but a clear one, since I can see everything going on, I'm just slightly detached from the world and my body.

On Saturday, I drove with my mom to Ann Arbor to see my cousin sing in the UofM Glee Club's 145th Anniversary Concert. It's a 2 1/2 hour drive from Grand Rapids, and of course, feeling the beginnings of this horrific cold, I was late meeting my mom which started a huge dominoe effect on the whole evening, as it turns out.

On the way, I learned that we were to pick up my niece Avery, since she decided to join us at the last minute. When we arrived at the meeting point to pick her up, her sister decided that she wanted to go also. My mom had planned on parking the car in Ann Arbor, then walking to a nice fancy restaurant for dinner before the show, but due to my lateness and the addition of 2 under-10-year-olds, that plan was nixed and we hightailed it to the nearest Big Boy for a quickie meal.

We made it to the general area where the concert was to take place with 15 minutes to spare before show time. These 15 minutes, however, came and went as we sat in the line for the parking garage. Beginning to panic, my mom had me take the two girls to the auditorium while she continued in the parking queue. She handed me $50.00 and told me that I needed to pick up the tickets she ordered as well as buy 2 more. After a freezing jaunt to the auditorium, the girls and I discovered that the line for the Will Call tickets was wrapped around the building. We had no idea where my mom wanted us to meet her, we just knew that it was about 8:10 at this point, but at least the concert was being delayed. We finally made it to the box office, only to find that the cost of the 4 tickets would be $56.00. (remember, my mom handed me $50.00) I did not have any cash on me as usual, and the girls didn't either. I really do have to commend myself for keeping control of my mouth at that point and managing to swear in German rather than English so the girls wouldn't know that I said a naughty word. After a few minutes of me huffing and looking around and cursing in German, the box office girl decided that she felt sorry for us, and let us go anyway (yea! gotta love those rebellious college students).

We went around to the front of the auditorium, thinking my mom would be there waiting for us, but no mom...anywhere...we were the only people in the lobby at that point, and the ushers were getting impatient with us since we were pacing in and out of the front doors. After 10 minutes that seemed more like half an hour, my mom poked her head out...from the SEATING AREA!!!! SHE HAD BEEN IN THERE THE WHOLE TIME!!!! Turns out the ushers felt sorry for her and gave her a fake ticket.

We ran down the aisle to our seats, and just as my bum hit the cushion, the concert began. I looked and looked and looked for my cousin, but could not find him. My uncle, who was seated next to me, could not find him. No one could find my cousin. That's because my cousin was not there - he was home, sick with the flu.

It was a beautiful concert, though. The men's voices filled the theatre with heavenly chords that mezmerized the deathly silent audience. During the second half of the concert, a smaller group called the Friars came out, and performed some fun songs. I guess they were sort of the comic relief of the show, and my 9-year old niece was happy for this factor until they polluted her ears with renditions of the U of M fight songs (she claims she is a State fan all the way and that she would have to go home and wash the UofM germs from her body-ah, what a fun age!). My uncle and I thoroughly enjoyed the jazz portion of the show, as we had both been in a Jazz band at one point in our lives, and were familiar with the tunes. The repertoir included Holy Alleluias, African rhythms, jazzy bits and ended with some fraternal alma mater-type songs. I remembered a time when I used to sing with the St. Cecelia choirs in Grand Rapids, and felt a bit of nostalgia creeping up on me. Man, do I miss making music with people!

Whenever my mother and I go out of town, we seem to end up in some sort of adventure. This weekend was no different, and because my nieces were along, I felt as if we had passed the torch on to the new generation. Actually, I can't wait for the next one. We all need a little "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" once in a while.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Holy #^&@@ It's Christmas?!

Patti Sunshine has given up on Fortune's Rocks and is now reading Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin

Is my Calendar off? Did I fall asleep for 7 weeks and wake up at the tail end of December? If so, this sure is nice warm weather for Christmas time!

The reason for my confusion is that Todd and I went shopping last night to buy a toy for a little boy who was hurt in an accident. On our way to the (yikes) mall, we noticed that the houses were decorated with santas, reindeer and snowmen. While in the mall, we saw displays exhibiting similar themes and piping over the sound system was CHRISTMAS MUSIC! On November 11?!?! (Shouldn't they have been playing Veteran's Day music?)

The other day, I was trying to explain to my son that Thanksgiving was coming up, and it would be our next big holiday, but he argued that it was still Halloween. I can't blame him for that sentiment, seeing as his costume is still sitting in our living room and I haven't removed the broom-riding witch drawing from our front window. So in a sense, he is right, It is not Thanksgiving until Halloween has officially run its course. We still have a salad bowl full of candy, after all.

Why is it that people want Christmas to last longer than all the other holidays? The stores have just removed all of their Halloween decor and have totally skipped the Thanksgiving theme in favor of Christmas. I remember driving by people's houses last year in February, and seeing Christmas trees in the front windows. When we were kids, we wished for every day to be Christmas, but that was out of greed, wasn't it? We really were just in it for the toys. What makes adults cling to Christmas. Is it the religious factor? The colors? The commercialism?

In our lovely city we already have 2 radio stations that have started to play Christmas music, non-stop, 24 hours a day. When the time is right I will tune in, but for now I will plan for one of my favorite holidays, the holiday of food, family and fun, the 4th of July of Fall, the neglected little sister to Christmas, THANKSGIVING. Let us give thanks, and not forget what Thanksgiving can do for us.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Bedtime Conversation

Son:"Mama, where did your belly button go?"
Me: "IT stretches out as the baby gets bigger"
Son: " No, I think the doctor took it off. You need to get a new one......you can't have mine!"

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Oops. I did It Again

I was halfway to work this morning when I suddenly realized with a heart-stopping wrench of terror, that I had (gasp!!!!) forgotten to put on make-up!!!!

I am not, in any way shape or form, a girly-girl or a "make-up face". I usually go with just a light coat of mascara, eyeliner and blush, and, if feeling pasty, I'll draw on some lips too. But I never ever, never, leave the house without SOMETHING there.

There is a reason for this...it's what I call "the jinx". Every single time I have left the house without doing the face or hair or bathing ritual, or decided to just throw on whatever clothes happened to be crumpled in a pile on the floor (because after all, I was only going to "run" to the coffee shop or the theatre or the art library, and of course, why would anyone be at any of THOSE places with a CAMERA?!), I have ended up either in the newspaper, on TV or in someone's movie. With my lack of hygenic attention on display for the whole world, or at least whomever happened to be paying attention that day.

So here I am, at work, with no make-up on my face, wondering when it will hit, cowering at my desk like a cow when it senses a tornado, just waiting for someone to suddenly decide to do a documentary on battery watering systems, needing my naked-face input, of course. To add to the paranoia, I will be leaving the building in 5 minutes to go to a dentist appointment, raising the bar on my chances of running into a camera-wielding interviewer. My car also happens to be out of gas, and I am just willing to bet that today will be the day that the news does a story on the ever-fluctuating price of fuel. Perhaps one of you will see my in all my pale-face glory tonight on Fox. I'll be sure to wave.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


patti sunshine is currently reading Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve

It's November! This means 3 more months to go before the arrival of boy #2. The other night I had horrible cramping for about an hour, so I thought for sure that I was going into labor, but then after a huge glass of water, the pain went away (phew!). I went to the Dr. yesterday and she said it would be best if the baby waited until AFTER Thanksgiving to appear. I wouldn't mind if he arrived right after, since I am looking like a black & tan cow. (For some reason the maternity stores only seem to have black or tan clothes for the winter season!!!!)

Lately, I've been staying awake at night trying to plan the arrangement of furniture in the baby's room, struggling to come up with a name, stressing over the daycare situation, and then in the morning, I am dead tired, cranky and just plain sad.

I think I am in mourning because a new baby will mean a further loss of my personal freedom, loss of sleep, loss of flexibility in my schedule, loss of money in my pocket (har har). I know that babies are a blessing and there are a LOT of people in the world who really want a baby and can't produce one, but I can't avoid this feeling that I have, it's so different than when I was pregnant with my first child. Instead of feeling elation, excitement and anticipation,I am terrified!

Maybe my lack of excitement is due to the fact that I know the OTHER side of having a baby. On one hand there is the cuteness, cuddling and soft gurgly noises that make us want to have a baby, and then there is the reality - screaming, stinky diapers, lack of sleep. My first baby was colicky, so I heard a LOT of screaming...all night...he would scream until I got to the point where I would have to scream, and only then would he stop, and my wall of tears would burst open. Whenever someone came to visit, he would greet the guest with the widest, happiest smile you ever did see. His daycare lady proclaimed that she had never seen such a smiley baby in her 13 years of childcare providing - then I would get the boy home and the screaming would commence! He screamed when he was hungry, when it was bathtime, when it was bedtime, when he had to be in the carseat.....I had read and heard that a mother can tell what her baby's cries mean. HUH?!?! All I heard was screaming, I had no clue what his screams meant, to me they were just plain screeching screams!

Now that my son is older, he is fun! I enjoy every moment that we have together, even if he is cranky. I don't know if he's broken me in or if he's just gotten "better", but the starting over is why I am afraid of the upcoming baby. Hopefully the first 2 years will fly by and we can get to that happy 3 year-old point in a flash, or even better, maybe this one won't be a screamer (har har). Then again, if the years do fly by, I'll find that I have too quickly arrived at the (gasp) teen years! OH NO! THE HORROR! I guess I should just relax and let each day come as it may. Someday, the boys will be away at college (I hope) and I'm sure I will yearn to hear those charming baby screams.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

dang it!!!!

WHy why WHY do all of my pictures look fuzzy when they are transferred to the dang website? These pictures are all crystal clear on my computer, as they should be, since they were taken with a brand new non-cheapo camera!!!!!!!!!!!! Argh! IF only I had an extra $40.00 a month so I could have my own website. (SNORT!!)