::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


Farm life

It's been the busiest summer of my life.  We've been going and going non-stop.  I haven't blogged in months.  I will definitely be playing catch up in months to come... at least I hope I do.

On August 31 2011, we lost Ryan's Dad.  He's had Alzheimer's for about 9 years.  He just turned 66 years young on 8/14.  He was a cowboy.  Born, raised, and lived his entire life in Alpine, Utah.  There's a "P" on the mountain for Pack in Alpine.  He grew up and worked on a fruit farm there.  He had a handle bar mustache.  He sorta always had a growling/grunt in every sentence or word I ever heard him speak.  It was almost like a mumble but not.  I'm certain that nobody else could pull it off they way he could.

His death was unexpected to me, and I think Ryan also.  It's strange because after he died my brother-in law pointed out that he still knew who we all were.  I guess that's why it was unexpected to me.  I thought that although he was so sick, we still had a few more 'rest home' years where we would have to be saddened from that tragedy of him not knowing us anymore.  

He couldn't un-zip a zipper, change the channel, or basically speak at all... but, his face would light up when he saw my kids.  I can genuinely say that I loved that man.  I credit him for what I got [and of course his Mother too].  For such a fine boy he raised.

The funeral service was beautiful.  I loved hearing old tales about the old days.  Dale was an extremely hard worker.  Always worked his full-time job + the fruit farm + hay farms + other odd jobs.  I also learned that he was loud, tough, and cussed a lot [or loudly cussed a lot].  

I can't help but be plagued with the odd fantasy of farm-life.  If you would have asked me 5-25 years ago if I would ever feel drawn to live on a farm I would have given you a big fat hell no!  Over the past [almost] 10 years of marriage Ryan has become increasingly fond of gardening.  He wants to take out more grass to expand our vegetable garden and flower beds, and frequently talks about how he's gonna plant what/where next year.  He cans.  I've canned a little bit, but mostly, basically it's all him.  Every year he perfects his pickled jalepenos recipe.  I frequently find searches for acres for sale in towns I've never heard of left on the computer.  It occurred to me one day.  It's in his blood.  It literally runs through his veins.  he's a farmer. 

It's crazy but I know if he wanted to quit his job and buy some land I'd go in a heartbeat, no questions asked.  The fantasy of non-processed foods that we grew with our own 2 hands and home-made cheese, jams, bread, and butter sounds appetizing.  Seeing what I look like with my natural hair color again [minus the gray].  Teaching my boys what hard work really is....  A world without high fructose corn syrup, Tylenol PM, and caring about carbs is really appealing to me.  Maybe, that could be us perhaps?  Who knows... A farmer's wife perhaps.  It sounds romantic.  i am after all a sheep-herders daughter so it would seem fit that i'd marry a farmer.  we would for sure have to find a way to incorporate A/C though and spiders would be an issue :)

Dale holding baby Finn with Joann [his sweetheart]

Finn watching a cartoon with Grandpa in the 5th wheel in Torrey.

Baby Colum with Grandma and Grandpa.  This pic makes me both happy and sad.  Happy that Grandpa got to meet my baby and sad because you can see his illness in his eyes.  He died much too young.
funny how death always makes you think about life.  funny how all we do is work so we can live our life.  or sometimes it seems we live to work.  maybe we will find our balance. or maybe we will learn to work and live on a farm and be forced to really know what's actually important besides what Us Weekly tells us is.


lights ...the next generation

Pendant lights to be. love. Who doesn't need industrial in their life.
home. shop. bar. or restaurant.  


funny business

i bought a lightning mcqueen suitcase at my friend Jane's yard sale last month and finn spotted it faster than your head could spin.  He was running up and down the driveway saying that he was "getting on an airplane, then push the button, and fly to the moon".

this suitcase definitely went to a good home. 

spending WAY too much time at the big box store that has orange 'car' carts [what's new].  at least the boys are learning their way around and learning about tools from their mom... uhhh, or at least their way around.

a little snippet of our business cards designed by a really famous business card designer.  or maybe not so famous.  not famous at all.  we had a good time at our first market and handed out a lot of these puppies.  


A boy is 1

it happened.  my baby turned 1.  I hate it.  I love it. 

his birthday landed in the middle of the week and we planned to do a small family party on the Sunday after but forgot we would be outta town.  So no big party.  I'm a horrible mom and ashamed of myself. 

Finn was very excited about the cake and singing Happy Birthday.  He was not so excited that it was Colum's Birthday and not his.  I have a feeling this is going to be a struggle for the next 10 or so years.

He loved his cake.  It's so nice to have a child that isn't a picky eater.  Finn just looked at his cake and screamed.  Colum is savoring ever last bite.

holy moly I love this boy!

Taylar, Finn, Colum, and I went to the Dinosaur museum for his birthday.  So I guess I'm not completely horrible.

Finn managed to open Colum's presents the second I turned my back.  He still likes to say they are his grrrr.

oh what a year can do.


pegboard fixation

The people, they call me crafty.  I get a lot of "you're so crafty".  I don't get it.  I don't scrapbook [I'm a closet scrabbook hater], I don't own craft supplies, and just recently found out what a cricut is.  I appreciate crafty people and the things they do.  But this thing I've got going right now is definitely sorta crafty.  Maybe it's my subconscious trying to fit the crafty bill.

I struggle with frames.  I don't find many I like or that I like enough to warrant a purchase.  Most are too ornate or country for me.  And the whole frame collage thing isn't for me.  I wanted something more industrial/modern to hang our pictures in.  I also, wanted to hang several because I can't pick just one. What would the people say? 

Hanging something on our walls is a HUGE commitment around here.  The Kid HATES putting any kind of holes in our walls.  Sometimes it takes 6-12 months to get him to do it [and the thing that he's supposed to hang just sits there so long I get used to it and forget to nag].  Oh, and he has to find a stud to hang it on... you can't just hang something by hammering in a nail supposedly.  I wonder what Martha Stewart would say?  Maybe, I will ask her cause I'm so crafty, and all us crafters run in a very tight circle.

Well I do love me some plexiglass remember this?  So I set out to make my own frames knowing I wanted to incorporate screws, plexiglass, and something else.  So, I went to Home Depot and walked around until I spotted something that suited my crafty self.  I live at Home Depot by the way.  I got a cousin that works there [who's like in his 50's or 60's and calls me Katie and refers to me as his niece].  I think that Home Depot should have a little apartment for me next to the restrooms because I live there. Or, maybe they could pay me to shop [Nordstrom's did]. And when I go it's usually for 2-10 different projects and I'm pretty sure some of the employees think I'm really dumb/weird [one in particular, I'm gonna have to start barking at him].  

The clouds parted and the angels started singing when I saw the pegboard.  I also bought some sort of wood for the back of our large family portrait. 

first line up the pictures and then mark where you are gonna drill the holes.  [if your not crafty you will learn to glue the pictures pretty fast, 'cause if you don't your kids will have to wear earmuffs so they don't hear all the bad words that make their way outta your mouth] [I'm crafty though so that wasn't a problem... [{chuckle}]

 Now I set out to do this meager project and planned on 1-2 hours.  I spent an ENTIRE day and it's still a work in progress.  The hardest part is drilling holes in the plexiglass [the Kid was at work and says "huh, I wonder why"].  It likes to break and crack while drilling, and let's just say I have a lot of plexiglass all over the house with broken corners.

But, the good news is that I bought all these really old letters for Park Silly and didn't know how the heck I was gonna hang them on something.  I didn't want to drill holes in most of them cause I love them and will probably re-use them in another future crafty project.  Well, you guessed it... pegboard was the answer. And of course I now want pegboard all over my house [but then we'd have to hang it].


Dear Kid

I'm thinkin' this was your first diaper change.

You don't look happy at all ;)  Finally a Daddy.

You are your Father's Son.  3 generations of Pack men.  I remember your Dad's cuts from shaving on this day when I look at this picture and it makes me sad that it's almost been 3 years.

Always been jealous of your uncanny ability to just fall asleep.  Whenever.  Wherever.   [and OMG look at Finn's hair]

Colum was probably asleep sitting up.  And look how yittle.
You can sorta tell in this pic that he already has your head ;)

What tha blonde hair?!? haha

Remember how I could hear Finn as soon as he got off the elevator in the hospital yelling "Hi" to every single person he could see?  I love this picture!  Just boys... all [stinky] boys, even boy dogs.

Happy Father's Day.  So glad your mine/ours.  We've had ups and downs but mostly smooth sailing.  You have an incredible work ethic and we appreciate all you do.  I'm positive I couldn't stand being married to any one else.... I really believe you were made just for me.  The boys adore you.  You are a big kid.  You are the best Father in the whole world and it shows.  We love you.  We wouldn't be us without you.


Yuba Lake

Let's pretend I posted this 3 weeks ago... 'nuff said.  We went to Yuba Lake over Memorial Day weekend.  It was a first for all of us.  There were a lot of firsts over the holiday weekend.

 Colum's first [and only] time in a big boy car seat so far [a month early and it's still in the truck by the way].  They totally fell asleep.

 Colum, please don't stop sleeping with your butt in the air until 2030.  Totally noticing that this and other things will stop soon and it doesn't come back.  He's almost 1 and I'm feelin'/hating it.  I'm actually hating him getting bigger [minus the teething].

 Finn and I's first time hangin' out by Yuba Lake [lookin' for sharks].

 Baby Cameron's first Birthday!

Cam's 1st Birthday was a huge hit.  Our friends Jane and Brian went all out, for their first and only child's first Birthday party! 

 Colum's first time around a camp fire.  Oh, I sorta love him and his squinty eyes when he smiles!  And, he's cuddly too.

 And Finn's eyes kill me.  Dark, thick lashes and all.

 Tubbin' it up in the trailer after a long time playin' in the dirt.  This was their first time together in the trailer and Colum's first.

 My first time being sunburned in 3 years [it was bad]!  It was beautiful the first day we were there.  [You will never see me with a sunburned face no sir, I won't take out the garbage without spf on... OCD kinda sorta]

 Daddy's first time tryin' out the table turned bed in the trailer 'cause Finn and I were snugglin' in the big [not so big] bed.

Our first time camping with 2 kids, and my first time thinking that I may need a bigger trailer.  A little too messy [I'm kinda working on cleaning less and enjoying life more] and a little too crowded [we bought this trailer before I miraculously got pregnant with Colum].  But, still it's better than a tent.


Caged pendant lights

Last but definitely not least are some shots of our caged lights.  These are shown pendant style (hard wired) but will also be available via plug-in style.  The one shown is a depression style socket and vinyl black cord (love love love).  These look pretty cool by themselves the cages are optional/removable in an antiqued/patina'd brass.  Why not use these cage lights to shed some light on that early morning cup of coffee. These lights can hang anywhere and give real vintage industrial style to your space.  I have had one (one of my first lighting creations), hanging over a modular shelf in my basement for awhile now (damn I need to take a pic), and love it!  Especially, when you have an Edison light bulb!  If you haven't seen these yet, you are missing out.  They are definitely very pricey for a light bulb but, very well worth it!  Totally extremely-old-fashion-meets-modern-cool, I'm obsessed.  

The cages open and close to your liking.

This is the best example I could capture of the bitchin' Edison light bulb

This is a different style of Edison light bulb.  Kind of longer and the wires inside are different to,  I can't pick a favorite.

Please excuse the photos by the way.  I strive to be a better photographer with a better camera but for now, it's better to pay your bills than have a camera you really can't afford right?  I average about 5 min per day ripping up credit card applications (I'm sure I'm not alone) that could be put to use doing sit-ups and learning French.   Don't they know by now that I'm not gonna open one of their credit cards?!?  What a waste of paper, I'll call you if I'm  ever desperate or crazy enough to open one.  And thanks for increasing my risk for identity theft and credit fraud.... No thanks.