P. Sunshine

P. Sunshine
My Flickr Fotos

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Ahh, winter in North Carolina, ya sure can't beat it....only we don't live in North Carolina!? What's up with this unseasonably warm weather? A few weeks ago, Todd and I were hastily stacking bowls and towels to catch leaks from "the heaviest ice damming we've ever had" which caused a steady flow of water into our newly painted kitchen. Now all we have left to show for our snowy winter extravaganza is a couple of holes near the kitchen window, a hanging light fixture and wet, brown grass in the yard.

This soggy winter was to be the year when I could FINALLY get out to teach R. how to ski. Last year I was majorly pregnant, and the year before, he was too young. A friend of mine has a brother who has been named a ski pro. He took his daughter out on the slopes, tucked into his special backback, before his baby was able to walk. Since I am not a pro, I would not, could not attempt such a task. I will stick to waiting until my kids can walk well before including them in my favorite (albeit longlost) sport. for now, I can be found bright and early each morning, swooshing the curtains aside in great anticipation of seeing a sign, any hint at all, of those flaky little things falling from the sky. As soon as I see some you know I'll be jumping in the car with ski gear in tow, heading for the ski hill. Let's just hope that my ol' ski pants still fit!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Friday, December 02, 2005


Originally uploaded by pattisunshine.
I feel like this icicle-just melting, melting, melting. exhaustion.

Monday, November 21, 2005

HOO knew?

Holiday Gifts to Support Cystic Fibrosis and the Ronald McDonald House ATLANTA, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- For 2 weeks, Hooters Girls from Oklahoma, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas will be auctioning off homemade items on eBay to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis and the Ronald McDonald House. EachHooters Girl will add their special touch to their personalized item in aneffort to raise money for these worthwhile causes. The homemade items will beauctioned off on eBay from November 24th through December 5th. "We arealways involved in community service, especially during the holidays, and thispromotion gives the Hooters Girls a sense of personal contribution to theseorganizations," explained Diana Switzer, Outside Sales Manager for Hooters ofAmerica. The items made from the Hooters Girls in the Hooters locations inMissouri and Illinois will raise money for Cystic Fibrosis and the items madefrom in Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas will benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Hooters is very involved with charities andorganizations nationwide through HOO.C.E.F, the Hooters Community EndowmentFund. The fund was started in 1992 and has raised and contributed over 8million dollars to major non- profit organizations like Make-A-Wish Foundation,the V Foundation for Cancer Research, American Diabetes Association, SpecialOlympics, Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. SOURCE Hooters of America, Inc.Web Site: http://www.hooters.com

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tear jerker

While dropping my 4 year old off at preschool today, his teacher called me over to look at a project that the kids had done. She showed me a list on one of those oversized Kindergarten type notepads. It was a list of what the kids were thankful for. The teachers had asked each student for input. At the top of the list was "God then "trees" then mom and dad, toys, etc., and right there in the middle was the phrase to end all phrases. It said "for my brother to not be sick (R.)". Yep, I bawled, right there, in front of 24 pre-schoolers and three teachers.
I bawled all the way to work, and I told my coworkers about it then went to my desk and sobbed. Then I called my husband and told him, and he cried.
Later, I called Grandma, and she broke down.
The preschool teacher summed it up: "even though that boy is a challenge, one thing is for sure, he has a big heart".
That's my boy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Seven

Here's mine:
Seven things I:
Am afraid of: Faces in windows, losing my kids, car accidents, war, terrorists,animals mounted on walls, icy roads

Like most: music, dancing in my living room, driving in the country with Todd, forests, photography, reading, laughing

Random facts about me: I'm adopted, I met my birth mother and sister - actually now, the whole family,I hate driving, I have webbed toes, I won a writing contest in high school for poetry, I sang in a couple operas when I was in junior high. One of which was Carmina Burana, I partied with Timothy Leary in college (he came to the house party where I lived)

Important things in my bedroom:(oookaaayyy) uh... bed, reading lamp, dual alarm clock, baby monitor, baby's nebulizer, clothes, candles

Things I want to do before I die: Take my kids to Europe, live outside of Michigan, publish a children's book, send my biological father a letter about me, reconnect with old friends, see Hawaii, be a grandmama

Things I can do: edit people's writings, paint, ski, multitask, hairwraps, cook quesadillas,a backbend

Things I can't do: Drive a stickshift well, type without peeking at the keyboard, kiss my elbow, wear foundation, stop kissing my kids, not laugh at least once a day

Things I say the most: beyatch, hee hee, er sumthing, you __ nazi (paper nazi, coffee nazi, fill in the blanks), what doing?, yeehaw, that's right

celeb crushes: Steve Buschemi (sp?), Paul Newman, Jude Law, Madonna (don't look at me like that), The host of "the Secret Life Of"...on food Network, Mr. Rogers, Jack Black

Favorite things about my partner: His two-toned eyecolor, thick dark hair, dark eyebrows, his embarassed smile, his collarbone, the fact that he is not afraid to cry, his ability to surprise me

People I want to see take this quiz:Lori, Cari, anyone who reads this and has a blog

imprisoned flower

halloween 028
Originally uploaded by pattisunshine.
At Frederik Meijer Gardens - Children's Garden

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

fed up

Frustration has its way of changing us. Lately, I have found myself morphing into that person whom I never wanted to become. My voice, thick with anger and stress has lowered about an octave, become raspy with the echoes of nightly strain. Lines on my face are appearing more rapidly, my face, once tattooed with a smile, has a permanent frown. I used to turn away when I saw women looking like this in public, thinking to myself..."sheesh, what can be so hard about life that they can look like THAT?" And now I know, and now I am that woman.
My four year-old, such a handsome, clever, creative young boy, has caused me to reach this point. He has somehow managed to do invoke the soul of a rebellious teen into his skinny little boy body. He is defiant, angry, controlling, and thinks the world revolves around him.
"What that boy needs is discipline" they say. Yes, I have been disciplining him from sunrise to sunset, and it is not doing good, solely managing to wear me down. "get him checked for ADD" they say. Yeah, I've seen kids on Ritalin, they look like the life has been sucked out of them. I don't want my son to disappear, I just want some calm once in a while. I looked up herbal remedies for ADD online, and it only led me to websites featuring links to BUY this fabulous product or BUY that wonderful book. No one seems to have any real advice anymore, it's all about the money making. "Time outs" don't work, he knows there is nothing to keep him sitting in the chair. We send him to his room and what does he do? Colors with crayon on the new carpet! Great tactic, I tell ya!

Perhaps his behavior is a trait of a creative-minded person. Maybe my little hellian is merely exhibiting an early form of the "tortured-artist" syndrome. Possibly, he has so many ideas and inventions rolling around in his head and he isn't mature enough to know how to express himself. I wish I could help him. I remember feeling this way many times when I was little. I still feel that way today, only now that I have the maturity, I am unable to create due to lack of time (and energy!).
Maybe this is just a phase, maybe he has ADD and maybe he is just an extremely stubborn kid. I still love him no matter what. I'm hoping that I can keep my sanity long enough to see him through this ruckus. It would be pretty tough to give him a tough love hug with my arms strapped in a straight-jacket.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Some of youse have been bugging me to get writing again. I'm sorry, I've just been so terribly busy (but I love it) with all of the mishmash that is going on in my life right now.
I have been writing some things on paper late at night and in the car as they come up, but haven't had time to organize or solidify the thoughts what with trying to get the house clean and organized, watching the kids while Todd works nights, working days, etc. etc. So I apologize and I promise promise, promise that I will TRY (ha ha) to get at least one piece up a month.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Foo Fighters!

We also will be seeing this guy tonight. Melissa said he was sweaty. Ewwww.


Tonight we will be seeing this guy in concert!!! My assistant met them while bowling last night.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Originally uploaded by pattisunshine.
what Todd has been up to. Click on the photo to see the "befores"

Friday, September 30, 2005

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Early in the morning, a few weeks ago, as I was rushing around the house practicing the AM routine, I glanced out the window into the backyard and saw a softball sitting in the woodchips by our fence. Not having my glasses on, I thought nothing more of it other than "hmm, the neighbors must have hit their ball into our yard". A few days later, I glanced out the window again at the same spot, and thought, "hmm, that's not a softball, it looks more like a big plastic bag. Wonder how that got there. Must've looked like a softball since I didn't have my glasses on". I told the 4 year old to go over and pick up the bag and throw it away. He bent down to touch it and immediately retracted his hand, and with a horrified expression, proclaimed "the white stuff came off on my hand!".
Growling and muttering about how I have to do everything around this house, I went down to pick the bag up myself. Only it wasn't a bag, it was an alien creature egg...or so I thought, until I poked it with a stick and realized it was a nuclear-grown, world-record sized mushroom. I immediately speared it on the stick and tossed it into the refuse bin. That is, after I stopped to take some pictures.
Today, I glanced out the window and saw that the giant overgrown mothermushroom has now spawned two offspring in its place!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

interesting article

As I find informative articles about CF that you all might enjy, I will post them here.
Following is an uplifting article about CF and the fact that people with it are suddenly living longer.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Originally uploaded by pattisunshine.
Weeping willow...this looks best viewed large!


Originally uploaded by pattisunshine.
We visited the Celtic Festival in Rockford. Todd said I wanted to go just so I could see men in skirts....and I did!


Originally uploaded by pattisunshine.
this thing was bigger than my fist, well just as big...and it kept darting around our heads and landing on these flowers, showing off for us.

Uploaded by pattisunshine

A Day on Earth, work 10

A Day on Earth, work 10
Originally uploaded by michelbenard.
neat idea! DO IT!

Monday, August 29, 2005

reality bites

I just finished reading the book "Alex: Life of a Child" by Frank DeFord. It's a work of non-fiction by an author whose daughter passed away at age 8, from CF.
Although the book thoroughly depressed me- Todd tried to read it, he reached about page 2 and gave up, he was to sad to go on - it also was a huge slap of reality for me. I guess, because Hayden "looks" so healthy right now, I had forgotten about the seriousness of his illness. The book reminded me that CF is a progressive disease, that Hayden will never get any better, he can only get worse. I'm so terrified for my little boy. Right now, his whole life depends on the treatments that Todd and I give him. His LIFE, and the length of it, is totally in our hands. It may happen that he will live to be 50-something, but there is also a chance that his health could suddenly take a turn early on in life.
Every parent has the fear that they will outlive their child, the fear of losing them to a car accident or some other freak incident. The hardest part is not knowing whether or not it will happen. When Hayden was diagnosed, I felt that he was given a sort of death sentence. I know he will not live to be an old man (unless they find a cure or a miracle drug!), I know that he may have to endure a lung transplant at some point in his life, I know that he may not be able to have kids, and I know that he is going to suffer from a lot of pain in his life, and as a parent, it kills me inside.
My biggest wish for him, besides a cure, is that I could take the pain away, just rip the CF right out of his body, throw it in the incinerator...gone for good. I know that, in reality, this can't happen- so for now, I will pray - something that is awkward for me, but hey, I'm willing to overcome that for the sake of my baby. I will pray for a cure to come soon. I will pray for him to outlive me, for our family to be a whole, loving unit. I will pray that he can beat the odds and this nasty disease that he harbors. And last but not least, I will pray that he knows and understands how much his family loves him, that we never wished this horrible thing upon him, and that maybe, possibly, through his illness, he can teach the world, or even just a few people, the value of life and love for one another ....the REAL important things about living.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

and another thing...

I can't believe I left out the part about baby H. saying "mama"! He said it the other day when we were in the car. I was floored, and so was the 4 year-old. Now baby H. says mama mama mama all the time. I'm so proud (even if he is just making noise indiscriminately)!!!


I can't believe this is happening to me, I knew it would, it's inevitable, I just assumed it would be later in life, but here it is, happening now. At 6 1/2 months, baby H., the one that I thought would be BEHIND in the game, is CRAWLING!!!!!!!!!
I forgot how quick those little rugrats can get once they start to be mobile. Todd and I had gotten lazy, and have neglected to utilize our shelf-space. How quickly we are learning to put the phone books, computer wires and various broken- objects- in- the -midst- of- repair up up and away from baby H.'s reach.
The vacuum cleaner is also constantly in use. I once placed H. on the floor in the dining room and during the millisecond that I turned around, he had managed to find the one tiny piece of pretzel that had fallen on the floor (leftover from Todd's poker party no doubt) and had it dangling just outside his gaping mouth. Supermama's bionic arm quickly snatched that from his grasp. I can't complain, though, I'm getting exercize!
In other news, Todd and I have decided to put our house up for sale. We're searching for houses in the Eastown or Mulick Park area or somewhere else if it's cool and close to neat things. ...and safe, of course.
With our current life's schedule, we have discovered that we need a smaller house, smaller yard, smaller heating bills and a smaller mortgage! So here we go again, on the oh, so enlightening journey that is the buying and selling of houses. Wish us luck, we'll need it!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I'm cured!

There's nothing like laughter to kick a streak of the blues. My coworker Melissa and I found ourselves on a big fat laugh track this morning, and couldn't (or wouldn't?) get off. I don't even know what sparked the craziness, but we both fell into the giggle trap simultaneously. Man, was that fun (and NEEDED!) I feel better now.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

4 year-old's self-portrait

4 year-old's self-portrait
Originally uploaded by pattisunshine.
He is a true artistic genius ( in his mama's eyes)He even added the stripes in the shirt. Someday he'll buy me a pool.

Friday, August 12, 2005

drowning in tears

I'm having a hard time keeping it together today. Every little thing is setting me off. I really hope it's PMS because that will pass. I'd hate to have to start therapy again - no time or cashflow for that. It's so embarassing when the tears start a-flowing at work, I have to pretend that I have allergies because the minute someone asks me what's wrong, and acknowledges the fact that i can't contain my emotions, the dam in my head releases and out comes the waterfall .

It's very difficult being a woman who works with a bunch of men, they don't understand the female mood pendulum - at home, it's the same, I'm surrounded by maleness. Luckily, I live with men that are less afraid to show their feelings than the stereotypical male - my older son is very receptive to human emotions. He's the first one to come running with a hug or a pat on the back when we are hurt or sad. My husband is not afraid to cry, either, and with those deep, blue (& one green) ocean-like eyes, you can't help but get drawn in and want to swim in and out of his sadness.

Sometimes I like to take long drives with the music blaring, to sort of "purge" the tears out. Perhaps I will do that today. Coldplay is always a helper on that front. I'm also getting my hair cut today for the first time in quite a while. The last time I sat in the chair was 2 days before Hayden went into the hospital. Here's hoping I don't lose it in the salon when the hair stylist asks me how he's doing. She has no idea what sort of can she'll be opening with that one!

Ahhhh, writing all this down has made me feel better. Thanks!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

THe nose knows

Currently reading: Drop City

Of all the things to be depressed about, this seems very trite - I wanted to update my picture for my blogs, so I took about 50 pictures of myself last night and not one was good. Not because they weren't clear or had a good composition, but because of my huge obnoxious nose that does not fit on my face. All I could see in the pictures was nose, nose and more nose. So that's it! I am getting it fixed.
Right now we are in a financial pinch, but I am determined to find a way to raise funds for this cause. I've wantred a different nose since I was about seven, and as you know, that particular feature, like our ears, only gets bigger as we age. I can't afford it, but it's got to be done.
There have been studies and field tests done on the way that attractive people get treated as apposed to the unattractive. It was found that people who have a nice face get farther in their careers, get more offers, and are generally treated better than those with not-so-pretty looks. I have a bit of social anxiety, and most of it is due to the fact that I am constantly afraid of what people are thinking of me and my uneven facial features. I ruin family and friend's pictures with my mug. One of my high school friends was mad because I made a "devil face" in her prom pictures - but i wasn't making a face, that is just the way I am! When someone has a camera, I duck and run for cover. I wouldn't want to break it.
My husband says that if we had the money for surgery, it should go to him since he has a body part that he doesn't like. He doesn't understand that the face cannot be covered by clothing, the face is the first thing people see when they meet you, the first thing on which judgement is passed. HE doesn't understand, because he has perfect facial features!! I want a new nose so that I can feel comfortable around people, and to feel less judged. Either that or we can move to a country where big noses are a sign of prestige, yeah, that'd do it!
Maybe I'm just having a PMS ramble - we'll see in a couple days. For now, if you see a tall white chick walking around town with a scarf over her face, don't be afraid- it's me!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Ship flags

Ship flags, originally uploaded by pattisunshine.

Ship flags at the Grand Haven Coastguard festival

up North7-05 190

up North7-05 190, originally uploaded by pattisunshine.

Bacchus frescoe at Gill's Pier

up North7-05 113

up North7-05 113, originally uploaded by pattisunshine.

Cousin Susan and her Fiancee at their new property

up North7-05 206

up North7-05 206, originally uploaded by pattisunshine.

Uncle Mark relaxing, reminiscing in the sunlight

Monday, August 01, 2005

That zombie almost asleep look
My superior salad
The downpour and the birdhouse
Papa Bill's visit
The ol' A&W in Frankfurt

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Mini Vacay

just finished reading: Running With Scissors Currently enjoying: Coldplay & Daisy Mae

Northern Michigan, in the summertime, can be one of the most strikingly beautiful places on earth. I feel so lucky to have this hidden treasure nearly in my backyard (if my backyard took 3 hours to travel- then add in the stops to see relatives in Manistee and to take pictures of Todd's old houses - total trip=8 hrs.) . I feel extra lucky, and grateful, that my aunt happens to own a condo at the Homestead so that we can stay there for FREE!
We spent our mini vacay- Saturday evening, Sunday, and Monday morning, at Aunt Merry-Go-Round's condo enjoying the peaceful sound of Lake Michigan washing up on the course sandy beach. Although the water was not quite bathtub temperature, Todd and R. decided to go swimming anyway and had quite a fun time. I was content to sit and stare at the water as it folded itself onto the pebbly shoreline, appearing like clear green glass melting onto the land.
On the last evening, I finally succumbed to the muggy, sticky heat, as well as the taunts from Todd and Uncle Mark, and dove into the frigid blueness myself. It actually was quite refreshing, and the water felt as smooth as it looked. Baby H. had a good time watching us from the shore, and I kept thinking how nice it will be when the whole family can cavort together in the water like a pack of polar bears.
Speaking of bears, when our stomachs started a-growlin', we headed on over to the Good Harbor Grill , where we enjoyed a fabulous meal worthy of a visit by Rachel Ray; although it was a bit pricey (really good, unique food always is!!) for such a fun, casual setting. I had the Curry dish and my mom enjoyed the grilled scallops. Todd feasted on the black bean soup, which he said stayed hot for the duration of the meal due to the earthenware pot it was served in. Baby H. took a snooze while R. enjoyed the watching the baby at the next table drop spoons, dressing pitchers and plates onto the floor. Afterwards, we attempted to take a detour on the wooded scenic roads in hopes of getting the young ones to fall asleep. No such luck! The excitement of seeing deer in the plains and on the road coupled with baby H's sudden hunger caused us to make a mad dash back to the condo.
Sunday morning, after the storms cleared, and the island was misted over with the after-rain haze, my mom planned to take R. and I for a ride around the Homestead grounds. She suddenly remembered that a friend of my brother's owned a vineyard not too far away, so we ended up going and going and GOING there instead (she thought it was a 10-minute drive, but it turned out ot be about an hour!!) While R. napped in the backseat, I went in to the Gill's Pier Winery and enjoyed my first wine-tasting experience at a real vineyard. Visions of Sideways danced through my head as I sampled the local brews(?) and chatted with the owner. I did buy a nice white wine, abnormal for me, I usually stick with red, but I was in the mood for a sweeter flavor that day. I got to keep the glass, which we can use for a tasting any time we return.
Over our short little weekend vacation, we managed to fit in sight-seeing, relative-visiting, watersports, nature walks and good food eating. It was a great diversion from the daily stresses and a funand relaxing way to wrap up the month of July.

Can't do it!

I attempted to mess around with the template here so that you can see my links up at the top of the page, but it didn't work.....if you scroll to the bottom of the blog, you will see my profile with my blogroll (links to other blogs that I read) on there. Sorry fot he inconvenience, but I TRIED!!!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Trike on 3 colors

Trike on 3 colors, originally uploaded by pattisunshine.

click on the photo to see more flickr

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Am I psycho?

This morning I drew stunned open-mouth gapes and quizzical snickers from my coworkers as I rummaged through the trashcan, which happened to be full of toner and coffee grounds, trying to find my bag of turkey slices that I thought someone threw out. I was planning on using the slices for my lunch . I had brought the bread and the cheese slices for the very purpose of layering them with the turkey. I was a woman obsessed and posessed by the need to find my turkey! Was it me turning psychotic or just PMS?
As I was starting to ponder over whether or not I should be admitted to Pine Rest Mental Health Facility, I remembered that last night, I happened to watch the TV show "30 Days" and the challenge last night was for a wasteful couple to survive 30 days living in an experimental eco-friendly community. I must have had some subconscious guilt from watching the show and I had ultimately carried it over. Yeah, that's it.....I'm not flipping my lid......

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Plucking A

I was just about to sit down and write about the whole amazing process which is the cycle of life, after observing the behaviors of my Grandmother compared to that of my 5 month old, when I stopped for a bathroom break. When I looked into the mirror, of course checking my hair situation as we all do, there it was staring back at me...flashing, glowing, like the most annoying of neon lights over Broadway.....my first GREY HAIR!!!!!!!!!
I was feeling all sorts of youthful today in my new summery outfit with my flouncy skirt and my rose-colored shirt (which my mom bought for me to help boost my current sagging confidence) and that darned thing had to come out and make its debut. I immediately plucked the sucker out, wondering if I should save it in my jewelry box, like my mom did with my baby teeth. I caressed it between my thumb and forefinger, pondering my life and the new bracket of aging that this tiny thing signifies. I decided to toss it, thinking maybe it was a fluke, it will be the only one. If I dump it, they won't come, right?
How silly of me to think that. Of course, by yanking the little guy out, I am most likely encouraging others to take its place. I imagine that within months, my whole head will be littered with the alien creatures. Maybe my eyebrows will even turn white (that might look cool). Will I be one of those ladies who will fight the signs of time and color it, or will I let nature take its course and let it all grow out? To be continued............


Here's an interesting morsel of info that someone forwarded me today regarding the history of Cystic Fibrosis:

Scientists have recently made the hypothesis that cystic fibrosis dates back to a genetic mutation 52,000 years ago, well before any formation of civilization. After this, they questioned why it has been able to survive being eliminated by evolution. They found an answer in the fact that people with one gene for cystic fibrosis are more apt to survive cholera. The people with that trait have half the number of channels as usual and can produce enough water to flush out the toxins made by the cholera bacteria without causing the dehydration and salt loss that is the usual cause of death. Cystic fibrosis also seems to be more common in cooler areas, because people in hot climates would tend to sweat more and lose more salt (needed in the body) in their sweat. (taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cystic_fibrosis )

Thursday, June 30, 2005

I think this is the backyard view? Not sure, but it's pretty nonetheless. Posted by Picasa

Reception at the home of the Father-of-the -Bride. (Not too shabby) Posted by Picasa

Due to having a baby, etc. I had to miss the lovely wedding in Puerto Rico, so I sent my tiny digicam with my mama. Here she is, all fancied up and sporting the CFF.org wristband. That's hard core! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 18, 2005