Week in Review: Fab Lab visit, Kickball game, and an Amazing Omelet!

This past week was a unique one in ways which were fun.  On Palm Sunday I visited the C-U Community Fab Lab, which may perhaps fly under the radar as an innovative place to visit and merge technology and your creative side.  It’s a free community place where you can utilize a laser and an open source computer program to create your own key chain, make a magnet, or do more intensive things such as 3D printing and creation of your own designs.  It appeals to various ages, and while the young boy next to me seemed to do slightly better with his project than I did, with the help of three awesome volunteers I was able to solve some issues I was having and emerged victorious with a pretty blue heart key chain with my initial inside that I created.  I even got a pretty purple key ring to go with it!  See my photo below and the website links (including Flickr group for project ideas) if you are interested in learning more about the Fab Lab +/or visiting.

http://cucfablab.org/book/about-us

https://www.flickr.com/groups/1847246@N22/pool

Heart Keychain that I made at the Fab Lab!  (Photo and design by Julie A. Smith)

Heart Key chain that I made at the Fab Lab! (Photo and design by Julie A. Smith)

Next was an amazing omelet that I made heavy on the cheese which turned out good.  I’m not Betty Crocker or Rachel Ray, but that’s ok.  I get excited when I cook something and it turns out well, because my forte is in areas other than cooking.  So I was definitely proud of my omelet!  Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo to illustrate, because I ate the omelet exceedingly fast and was not thinking of photo-journaling.

Finally was the fun kickball game that was competitive and took me back to childhood.  It was between my small group and another small group from my church (note: our huge small group had actually split several months ago into 2 groups due to our size, but we still regularly get together for social outings).  Honestly, I don’t think I have played kickball since grade school, and I found my self asking questions as the game went on, such as “do you have to wait till the ball is kicked before you run from your base?”  However, unfortunately, I got out immediately three times when I kicked.  My balls always seemed to fly high, and the other team were stars at catching them.  My team was great at that, too, but we were vastly outnumbered, and I think that made a difference in our loss.  But fun was had by all it seemed, and I was happy that ONE TIME I ACTUALLY GOT ON BASE!  I DIDN”T EVEN GET OUT UNTIL RUNNING TO THIRD BASE!  I have always appreciated the saying, “it is not whether you win or lose, it is how you play the game.”  It was a ton of fun.  See photos below to illustrate.

Small group Kickball! (My team)

Small group Kickball! Fun times! (My team)

 

Kate and me (Small group Kickball)!

Kate and me (Small group Kickball)!

 

Our tough picture! (Small group Kickball! My team)

Our tough picture! (Small group Kickball! My team)

Finally, while there were some not fun issues to the week (re: multiple doctor’s visits & health issues, etcetera),  but the week was good overall.  Now I’m looking forward to Easter Sunday and my Dad visiting.  We’ll get to attend church together and have quality father-daughter time.  Sweet!

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Purple Toes and Black Hair (a Poetic Ode to being Bold)

She decided she wanted to write

a poem about purple toes and black hair.

She is not usually silly

or prone to fluffy things,

but light-hearted poetry

seemed a distraction to her

from discouragement

and the problems in her life.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

She got a pedicure recently.

It was by a sweet Asian young woman

who did not speak much English,

but did a good job with painting

her toes a bright, pretty purple.

She picked it out to be

different and a bit funky.

She has a slight alternative side

that sometimes she hides well,

because some don’t see it as professional

and there are lots of different styles

that she enjoys.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

She once dyed her hair purple

and helped her friend dye her hair

green and then blue

when her friend hated the green.

They were going to the Tooth and Nail tour

to see two bands that they liked who were uber-cool.

The purple dye was only for one day and temporary,

but sometimes she wouldn’t mind

making it more permanent

if only she was younger,

or if she didn’t care what people thought.

That thought makes her sigh,

because people like to judge based on appearance,

and society’s fashion rules for women

can sometimes be quite oppressive,

confining, limiting, and immodest.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

She really wanted to be bold

so with her birthday she decided to dye her hair black.

She had never done that before.

It was a light, pretty black that she was drawn to.

But she got sick right before her birthday,

and thus her friend could not dye her hair.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Time went by,

and she had second thoughts,

but it bothered her that

she didn’t take that bold step.

She almost took the hair dye back

but, even if she hated it,

even when someone told her she may look like Elvira,

she just knew she needed to try it.

She needed to not live her life in a box

or worried about what other people thought.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

She liked it, once it was done.

Black and bold

in her estimation.

But for some reason it quickly faded

and came to look more like a dark brown.

Still pretty, but not bold.  Not black.

Not the pretty black she had hoped for.

Funny, though, she observed that

many people did not even notice,

and she had thought it was so obvious

and so BOLD.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

She is quite glad that she tried purple toes

and black hair.

She keeps telling herself

that change can be good

when she feels stuck in a rut

and like she can’t feel her dreams anymore.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

*Poet’s note: Most of my poetry is personal, however sometimes I like to tell a creative story.  In the case of this poem, it is a true story, and I am the girl with purple toes and black hair.

Before hair dye picture of me (Rosemary Case, photographer)

Before hair dye picture of me (Rosemary Case, photographer)

Before black hair dye picture (Rosemary Case, photographer)

Before black hair dye picture (Rosemary Case, photographer)

Mid black hair dye (Rosemary Case, photographer credit and my Mom)

Mid black hair dye (Rosemary Case, photographer credit and Mom)

Instagram photo of me and my brother, Kevin (two days after black hair dye; Lyle Smith, photographer)

Instagram photo of me and my brother, Kevin (two days after black hair dye; Lyle Smith, photographer)

Toes are not the cutest subject, but I want to show off my purple toes and pedicure (Julie A. Smith, photographer)

Toes are not the cutest subject, but I want to show off my purple toes and pedicure (Julie A. Smith, photographer)

Original Sunset Photography by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #1 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #2 by Julie A. Smith
Original Sunset Photography #3 by Julie A. Smith
Original Sunset Photography #4 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #5 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #6 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #7 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #8 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #9 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #10 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #11 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #12 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #13 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #14 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #15 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #16 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #17 by Julie A. Smith

Original Sunset Photography #18 by Julie A. Smith

A Pictorial Snapshot from my iPhone

Life, thoughts, and journeys are expressed well in pictorial snapshots.  An eclectic mix of random moments full of mundane things, fun adventures, emotions, and the fascinating color of life all combine to create the kaleidoscope of our lives. Since I seldom use actual photographs that I have taken in my blog, I decided to make a short pictorial snapshot of photographs that I have taken in the last few months from my amazing iPhone camera.

This is the view of the Mississippi River taken out the window of the Figge Art Museum (formerly Davenport Museum of Art).  I saw the only known self-portrait by Grant Wood (artist of American Gothic fame), plus other art from the museum’s permanent collection when I visited this museum with my Dad recently.  I especially liked an Andy Warhol painting of the American moon landing that was part of a travelling exhibition.

This photo was taken when I was looking for the fitness aisle at Wal-Mart, but I was drawn to the toy aisle first.  I am a kid at heart, truth be told.  As I perused the toy aisle, I couldn’t help but ponder why there were no cool Lego’s like this for girls when I was a kid.  I appreciate how today there are many girl-oriented Lego’s with fun colors and scenes showcasing various career options.  Definitely awesome and progressive.

 Beautiful sky at my favorite park.

Pretty flowers.

Chicago Bears Training Camp that I went to with my family on my vacation.  I like Illinois and Chicago sports teams, but I am not a die-hard fan by any means.  This was a fun family time, which is what I was most excited about.

Majestic fountain that fondly reminded me of Scotland, a country that I would love to visit again.

This is pretty decor at my church.  One of my Pastor’s has a good eye for decoration.

This picture is of pretty furnishings at my church after our recent remodel.  A fire damaged the building we were renting last November 2011, and we were displaced to a hotel for 4 months.  However, a beautiful blessing is that this past Spring we were able to buy our own building.  We did a remodel of the building since it used to be a publishing house and a Moose lodge.

Here is a link to the recent story about my church’s restoration after the fire:

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/religion/2012-08-26/less-year-after-fire-church-its-new-home.html