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  • A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.
  • Sn…oh no. I’m not ready.


    first snow november 7 2008 quad cities il

    Do you see what I see? Snow. It’s been snowing today. I know, I know. It’s snowed up north, it’s snowed down south. It’s even snowed out east already. For us here in the Quad Cities, this is our first snow of the season. I think this officially marks the beginning of the winter season across the country.

    Snow, people.

    My schedule for the Christmas season is filling up rapidly, and I’ve spent the last few days working a bit on a photographer site design as well as moving my own site to another server (again).

    When I launched my site restructure recently, I did it on an entirely different server with a new host. Well, it didn’t take more than 3 weeks to find out that host did NOT provide the service that I’ve come to expect from Blogs About, and I found myself missing them and appreciating them more than ever. It’s amazing, as a site and web-based business owner, how your hosting provider becomes such an integral part of your every day life. If the service is poor, it effects everything you do. If you have a lopsided hosting package, you quickly find out how limited you are and how backhanded hosting companies can be in an effort to squeeze those extra dollars from their clients. I’m so glad to be back with BA and relieved to know that my business won’t be disrupted by a simple influx of traffic.

    Enough with the geek speak (but if you want to know more, just ask)!

    I pulled my back out last Sunday morning, so I decided that while I was in pain and couldn’t twist at the waist or breathe deeply, that it was a perfect day for rearranging my bedroom! I hung some room darkening window treatments and Catybug helped me rotate the bed onto another wall. Later in the evening, I took some Aleve and she gave me a nice massage, and my pain subsided by Monday evening.

    (You see how my week started.)

    Then, the election. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

    Leanne WildermuthSo, the last couple of days I’ve been restless and having nightmares. I’ve been trying (really hard!!!) to get my site moved over all while yawning and trying to keep my forehead off my desk.

    I decided yesterday that I needed a pick-me-up, so I went and got my hair cut at the Boulder Hair Salon. I spoiled myself a little bit with a color, too. Then I came home, dressed up my eyes a little bit and had Chickeymonkey snap a few pics of my new do.

    I’m finally happy with it – no more Princess Leah earmuff hair bob thing! It falls so nicely and the thickness that made me crazy has been greatly reduced.

    It’s the little things, isn’t it?

    This morning I felt like I had to pick my outfit based on my haircut. After talking with my BFF Paige (I love saying that) she said the same thing happened to her, so now I might need to go clothes shopping again. I couldn’t find a THING to wear that matched my hip new hairstyle! Of course I lie. I still have the sweater she bought me from Casual Corner back in 1986/87 when we bought matchy stuff in different colors to wear to school. And yes, I still wear it, too. (Paige, that’s where we got ’em. Casual Corner!!!) Like I need new clothes.


    Yes, well, give me a day or two to get all this crazy girl stuff out of my head and maybe, perhaps, you’ll have me back in the blogosphere, friends. I’ve missed you. I really have. I owe several of you links and awards, I have not forgotten.

    I also need to update my blogroll, which is seriously outdated. Please let me know if you’re on it and if the link is good and/or if you’re not on it so I can get you on there.

    Me, I’m going to go throw a sweater on, turn up the furnace a couple of degrees, and get back to work!

    Army Graduation Photos


    ft leonard wood leonardwood army base entrance sign photo Leanne Wildermuth
    The drive was not as long as I thought it would be, about 6 hours from my house to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The scenery? UN-believable. What a beautiful time of year for that road trip! Illinois was boring until we got to Peoria, then boring again until we hit the St. Louis area. Thankfully, I had my mom in the car with me so I had plenty of entertainment! ha!!

    We arrived Wednesday, late afternoon, and checked in to our hotels. I had chosen a dive, based on a completely misrepresented photo online – so reservationist beware. It cost me some bucks to cancel, and I did some begging for a room at a nicer place. I even got the military discount, without having my ID card. Whew! Thank God for small favors!

    Much of my family made the trip, as well. Mark’s leave was canceled so he wasn’t able to come, but my Dad and his wife, my Mom, my sister and her family — and my brother all drove down to Missouri to see Brandi graduate from basic training. We met at a diner for dinner and yacked it up for a bit before heading back to get some sleep. We were up at Zero-Dark-Thirty (6AM, military style) to get together and yack more over coffee before heading to the base to wander around before the Graduation Ceremony.

    Keep reading »

    I Want To Blog, But…


    If you combine this with this (and some days, this), you know what you get? Nope, the answer is not “a baby” or “a hilarious post that will surely make me send the link to all my friends so they can subscribe, too”. No. Of course not.

    Granted, for many people this week is the PERFECT week for this look. For me? Notsomuch.

    The feeling of sadness that the day has started before the dawn, and ended well after the sun has gone down is really difficult to explain. The frustration of getting last years jeans out of the closet? Oh jeez. Grab a bag of Oreo’s and a tub of ice cream and let’s cry into our napkins for a few hours. The leaves? Gorgeous. From the inside. The smell of stale furnace air? Has my sinuses in a tizzy. The lack of beautiful flowers to look at, vegetables to pick from my garden and birds outside the window?

    Let’s just say I’m one of those that’s going to need to start saving early for winters in Florida.

    Now, I can appreciate those who love the fall, and even those who love the winter. I’m not one for either. I moved here for my husband, I stay here for the kids. If I had my way, we’d be in sunny San Diego, still. I’d be barefoot right now – and the heaviest jacket in my closet would be a windbreaker. Yes, that’s the life for me. Ocean waves crashing up onto the shoreline. The sound of seagulls cawing at the crack of dawn.

    If someone could just put together that “sunrise simulator” including these elements, that would be GREAT! Until then, I’ll just (try to) keep my mouth shut, lest I put my foot in it.

    Do any of you suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)? What do you do? Bake a batch of cookies? Oh, wait. That’s a symptom, not a cure. (And I’ve already tried it.)

    My Own Little Web


    tiny spider in center web net leanne wildermuth

    This spider was sitting in the center of its web, at the intersection of the badminton netting in the backyard. He was not even as big as the tip of my pinky – Catybug noticed him and pointed him out to me.

    He had woven this cute miniature web to catch cute miniature bugs, and live a teeny tiny life in this teeny tiny space he called his own. In a world full of bigger bugs, he seemed just fine with his size and location. Funny, how that works, how his place is just as valid as everyone else’s.

    I have been busily preparing my own new little web. It is coming along quite nicely and I hope to have it ready by next week. It involves a total overhaul of my site, reorganization of categories, templates and my shop.

    Among many of the other things I have been busy with, one thing that has changed quite drastically is that I’ve resigned my position as a freelance (blog/site) designer for EWebscapes. I am still tossing around the level at which I will make myself available for blog design – I will still offer it on my own, but I will not be taking on such a broad range of clientele. My goal, ultimately, is to retain creative license in the things that I do.

    To those of you who have so patiently waited beside me through this time, thank you. I am really grateful and glad to have the opportunity to work on paintings in my studio full time again! Particularly during today’s stresses and worries, because there is such a sense of calm, peace and beauty that comes from nature.

    So, though things may be quiet on my blog for a few more days while I get things set up, know that I’m busy behind the scenes weaving my cute little web in the center of my net. I can’t wait to share it with you!

    Upon relaunch, I will be working on a custom cat portrait and a few other beautiful paintings. I’m very excited about that!

    Making a Spectacle of Myself


    As promised, here’s me in my new specs! They’re going to take some getting used to, of course. When I walked out of the clinic they immediately transitioned to the sunglasses which was SUPER cool – but they’re slow to transition back so there’s a bit of a tint left over. Still, overall, I like ’em. What do you think?

    old glasses leanne wildermuth new glasses leanne wildermuth

    “Spec”tacular Coincidence!


    On September 3rd, I had my annual eye exam. It was a normal exam, nothing unusual about it other than they dilated my eyes and I had green eye gunk (and post nasal drip) for the rest of the day. I know, too much information. You’ll have to deal with it, my blog, my story.

    So. My prescription changed just slightly, and new specs were on my horizon. Oh, how I love the opportunity to change my appearances with a pair of frames! I opted to come back later that day, after my vision returned to normal and my pupils didn’t make me look like some alien being, taking up my whole eyeball and all.

    After I picked up the girls from school, we returned to the clinic. The girls loved having so much say-so over my new look, and made me try on at least 50 different frames. I had collected my faves along the way – and it wasn’t until we reached the very last section of girly frames that my heart went pitter-patter. I had never heard of this brand before, all I knew is these frames were cool. And I mean, I loved every pair of them. My kids did, too. I picked my favorites and I kinda knew – I mean, I had a sit down in front of a mirror and ran through all my choices again but I just knew the last pair, this new brand, they’d be the ones.

    And they were.

    I ordered them, lenses with all the fixin’s (or so I thought) and got a little excited about their arrival. They came, I saw, there was glare, they went. I’m waiting for them, again. They’ll be here later today or tomorrow, probably, as I forgot to get the anti-reflective coating on the lenses. My bad. And glare? Sucks.

    So here I am telling my husband about them this weekend, because he hadn’t seen them on me. He got the impression that they were those new “hip” retro frames that would make me look all crazy 60’s kinda, so I did a quick google to see if I could find them, and sure enough, I did.

    And when I did, I gasped. Could it be? These frames were meant for me. I’m serious. Let me show you:

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  • A Waste of Perfectly Good Tears.


    I cried yesterday more and harder than I’ve cried in quite a while. When the sobs subsided, all I had to show for it were a headache, puffy eyes, and a stuffy nose.

    When’s the last time you cried, and why do we do this to ourselves?

    P.S. I love you. Thank you for your concern, I’m okay now. :)



    Though I very rarely, write about politics on my blog – I woke up to two unsubscription notifications in my mailbox, and a drop in feed subscribers. I find that incredibly sad, particularly since I make it a point to accept everyone’s differing opinions, and I could never see myself ditching someone purely based on their political views. As an artist, I am pretty liberal. I’m not just an artist, though, I am a Christian, a Mother, a business owner, and the wife of a Staff Sergeant in the Illinois Army National Guard. I have the luxury of being able to see things from various perspectives, and the disadvantage of being lumped into a category of stupid people that don’t get it.

    Over the course of 4 years I’ve only talked politics on one or two other occasions when it didn’t relate to my husband’s service in Iraq. If your choice to part ways with me is a political one, I am very sorry that you feel that it’s a topic divisive enough not to disregard as a differing view.

    < -- end politics -->

    Things I Haven’t Said


    monarch butterfly bush photo leanne wildermuth
    Why hello there, Mr. Monarch. I’ve been waiting for you.
    This summer has not been what I expected. Not that I’m disappointed, but I thought if a person should grow over the course of a year, it wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) happen over the course of just a couple of months. As much as I’ve become more settled, I’ve become less settled. I’ve become more confident about some things, and less sure about others. I’ve realized where I’m most grounded, with the help and insight from my family. I’ve made new goals, and changes to old goals.

    I’ve pulled back, as I’ve been going through this transition, because honestly when this much stuff is swirling around in my head and important decisions are being made, It’s overwhelming. Writing seemed an impossible task, and you’ve heard less from me than you’ve seen lately.

    It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write, I just haven’t been able to write. I’m relating more to the things I see when I’m alone with my camera, and the things I feel when I paint. I’ve been needing more of that time, craving more of that time, and in a few weeks, I’ll have more of that time. With that will come peace, ingenuity, creativity.

    Also, I’ll be able to pay more attention to you. My friends, my “fans”, you who appreciate nature, who love a daily dose of creativity topped with a spark of enthusiasm. You’re a big part of the reason I’m still here, and an even bigger part of why I’m so ready and willing to make changes. As I grow, you grow with me, and I love the bond that creates.

    I’m a little nervous, but excited. I’m also a little ambiguous, but you love that about me, don’t you?

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