Monday, January 31, 2011

Aprons....

Do you wear an apron when you cook or bake?  I've started returning to the old fashioned way.......it sure saves on my clothing!
A friend sent me an email this morning in regards to the history of aprons & the picture above was attached.  I find it very interesting that a size 14-16 was once considered a medium!  I LoVe that - I feel 20 pounds lighter all ready & I didn't even have to exercise.....LOL!
Here's the little story to go along with the pattern above...

  I don't think our kids
know what an apron is.
 The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material.  But along with that, it served as a potholder for  removing
hot pans from the oven.
 
  It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.    
   From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
      When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
And when the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it around her arms.
     
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow,
bent over the hot wood stove.   
 
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
     
 From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. 
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
     
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
  It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.
     
I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron - but love...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's All About You.....



I awoke with a song in my heart & mind this morning....this is it.  I can't shake, nor do I want to.  It's a strong reminder that my life IS all about HIM, not me, not my earthly possessions, not the happiness I feel with material things, but Jesus.
It's all about you Jesus
I'm sorry for the thing I've made it
When it's all about you...
Jesus.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Morning.....

Mmmmmm......Saturday morning's have been so nice around here lately.  Just relaxing and no rushing around.
Get up, grab a cup of coffee and sit down, turn on Food Network for some yummy ideas as we make up the weekly menu and browsing around on the computer.
My newest favorite??  The App store for Mac Books - there are thousands of free downloadable apps and my absolute favorite so far......

You got it!  Kindle for Mac!  How awesome is that?  I thought when I saw it that it would just be an app that gave me little "teaser" pieces of books or smidgens of stuff.......not the real thing.
I was wrong - I can download books just as you would on your Kindle.  I'm going to have to be very careful with this one!
So between my Google Reader and now my Kindle, I may never have to go to the library again!
Happy Saturday everyone ~ what are you doing today?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shadow

Our theme for this week for 52 photos in 52 weeks was the word:
SHADOW

Ouch!  In Michigan this time of year when the sun rarely shines, where do you go to find a shadow?  We've had cloudy, snowy, drizzly days for the last week, with the exception of Sunday.  Sunday was a beautiful, sunny day........but it was frigid cold out!  The temp at 10am was -9 degrees!  It barely warmed up to reach single digits - way too cold to go trecking outside to find "shadows".
I did get this shot of Libbi laying in front of the wood burner with the sun shining into the living room....
You know it has to be cold out when she snuggles up in front of the fire!
As the week has worn on I knew I needed to get a "shadow" shot......so Dream Boy & I pulled out my grandpa's old movie projector & an old movie.  We pulled out one projector, but the bulb was burned out.  I pulled out the large "flood lights", but when he was trying to mount them from the ceiling, they got so hot he burned his hand & dropped the fixture, breaking the bulbs.  :(  He was okay, but the light fixture isn't.
Next we pulled out the slide projector, but couldn't get the "light" I wanted.....so I dug a little deeper and found a 2nd movie projector!  BONUS!  Dream Boy had no idea that I had all this equipment!  After a few more minutes of searching I found an old film reel and we hooked it up.  We started watching this old cartoon and sat down in front of the screen to watch......and this is where my 'shadow' picture comes in....
.....heheheheh....isn't this what you're supposed to do at the movies?

Friday, January 21, 2011

The "Normal" Family

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of photography the "Normal" family, as one of the youngest members stated.
He, in fact, rolled his eyes when his big brother came in from outside and said, "here comes my insane brother!"  When I asked him who he was, he clearly stated, "I'm normal."  Too funny!
Can you tell who is who in this pic??
Then there was the polar opposite with these 2 siblings.....
at least for now.  Give the little guy some time to grow & big sis some time to get used to having to share the attention that once was all hers & see how "normal" they are!
It was a great way to spend my Saturday morning.  The family, all 14 of them, told me later they really enjoyed themselves and that it was actually quite painless.
That's what I like to hear!
Now to buckle down & finish editing their pics.  It'll be a good weekend to stay inside as the temps here are in the single digits and wind chills in the negatives.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Evening - - - - -

Project 52 - Week 3
"Evening"
It was interesting finding a shot for the "word" of this past week - evening.  Being winter in Michigan, night comes early.  So last Saturday night, Dream Boy & I used a gift certificate we got for Christmas & went out to dinner.
On our way home I asked him to drive through downtown in hopes that the Burdick Street Mall would still have all it's lights on.
We were in luck!
The streets were wet from the snow & the lights reflected well on them.
Dream Boy pulled around the corner & I jumped out while he backed into a side street to wait.
I played with settings taking this angel, then that.  Just as I was ready to head back to the car, the horse & carriage came around the corner.  I was so excited & started snapping away, forgetting that I had my shutter speed very slow.  Needless to say - everyone of them came out in a complete blur.
So I jogged across the street & jumped in the car.  As I shut the door a police officer came up to my window.  I smiled, waved & mouthed, "we're moving".  He smiled back & just stood there.  I smiled, nodded & again said, "we're moving."  Again, he smiled and kept standing there.  I finally rolled my window down & he says, "good evening.  I know this really isn't an important street or used very frequently........" and Dream Boy looked in the rear view mirror to just then realize he was parked the wrong way on a one way street.  "Sorry officer," said Dream Boy.  "I was just waiting for her while she took some pictures."  
The office laughed & said, "no problem, just pointing it out."
Must be he didn't look too closely down the street I had just taken pictures on.....see the SUV on the right side of the road?  It's in a no parking zone.
We pulled out & headed for home.  As we turned down the street to start heading out of town, I pulled out my camera & set it on the dashboard & started snapping shots...........this is what I got..

I love how it blurred everything, you really get the sense of motion from the car going down the road.  But if you look over to the left, you'll see the telephone poles as clear as can be!  Pretty cool, eh?
I get so excited when I can actually get things to work out how I see them in my head and I shoot them all on manual!!  To think, just a year ago, my camera dial never came off auto........

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Thousand Things....

I was blog reading this morning as I don't have school & I'm at home enjoying my quiet morning.  As I came across this blog posting I was drawn to listen to this song by Christa Wells.  It struck me so deep.  In my job I see oodles of kids each day dealing with things kids shouldn't have to deal with.  In the world we live in now, their problems are so much greater than those of the days when I was a teen.  Yes, I know that makes me sound old, and in reality - I AM old to the kids' I work with.  
But back to this song.  One little word, something you say, something you may never know beyond that moment, can have a huge impact on that person.  It amazes me how HUGE God's grace is and how He can work for others through one little thing I say.  
I hope you find this song filled with as much promise as I did, and thanks to Kimba for sharing this video.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thankful

Yesterday was an emotional roller coaster.  At least from 3:30 on.
I am on the negotiating team at school for the paraprofessional's and we have been negotiating our contract for over a year.  It expired last July 1st and so we have been working w/o since then.  It has been a very trying experience for our team, to say the least.  We would go into meetings and come even more exasperated than when we went in.  The 3 of us who make up this team are Christians and through all of this it has brought us closer as we've learned together to put God at the front of these negotiations.
We met yesterday with administration at 3:45pm.  We were standing our ground and not giving up anything as we are the lowest paid support group in our district.  Even the janitors make more starting out than I do after 12 years of service!  We were prepared to do battle yet again and had faithfully prayed for guidance & wisdom before going into our meeting.
After 3 hours we came to what we agreed was a very fair settlement!  Praise God!!  The tension & stress has been relieved for at least one more year!
The 3 of us decided to go out for a celebratory dinner.  When I got to my car I checked for messages as I knew Dream Boy was driving up to Holland to deliver our "grand dragon" back to son #2 & his room mates.
"Dahntey" the water dragon.
I check out my phone & see that Dream Boy had been blowing it up for the last hour.  I quickly dialed into my voice mail to hear him tell me that he had been in an accident on the highway.  He was fine, but not the car so much.
I immediately called him and was so relieved to hear his voice.  Son #1 had gone to pick him up & they were on their way home.  He knew I was in a meeting, but was just hoping that maybe I had kept my phone out or in my pocket.  No - it was on silent in my purse!  Ugh - I beat myself up over that one for a while last night!
After we hung up my thoughts turned to the little dragon riding in the aquarium in the back seat.  Dream Boy said he had slammed into the cable rail pretty hard.  I didn't want to call him back, but it was an endless wait until he got home.  First - I needed to see my Dream Boy & assess for myself that he was indeed okay.  Then I wanted to know what happened to the little dragon.  
When I heard the car in the drive I went out to find Dream Boy carrying in the aquarium under a blanket.  He hadn't checked on him at all, so we didn't know what we would find.  We brought the tank into the house & pulled back the blanket and there was Dahntey looking up at us.  We both breathed a sigh of relief.  We quickly plugged in his heat lamp & he promptly moved under it to warm up.
Dream Boy was driving and it was starting to snow.  Traffic was still moving along fairly well.  He began to merge over to pass a slow moving truck.  Because the snow was wet & heavy it had formed slush in between the lanes.  When his car hit the slush it sucked him in and he was spun into a 360 tailspin.  He was facing oncoming traffic when his car slid into the median.  He was only stopped by the cable rail that was installed just a little over a year ago or he would have ended up in the lanes of the southbound highway traffic.
Let me tell you we are both truly aware of how God sent His angels to protect and carry Dream Boy through what could have ended up in a tragedy for us.
Dream Boy is doing well today, just dealing more with the emotional side of things than any physical issues.
Thank you Lord!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Independence

 52 photos in 52 weeks.  This week's challenge is the word - - - 
INDEPENDENCE
How will everyone, there are 73 in this group, define this word?  How will you interpret it?  
For me, there was no other answer than this - - - 
 I live less than a mile from a National Cemetery. 
Where those who have served are laid to rest.  
Where those who have served are given full honors upon their final burial.  Where my friend's son, Dirk, has been laid to rest.
There is a reverence when you walk among these grave sites.  There is a sense of pride that rises up in me when I see all of those who were so willing to defend the freedom of our country.
There is a feeling of deep gratitude that wells up from deep within that says, "thank you."  
Thank you too each man & woman buried here who has fought the battles to give me my "Independence".
I love to drive through here from time to time and in the summer you will find me riding my bike through here quite often.  The main road as you enter these hallowed grounds is lined with flags flying high & proud.  They are flags from our  fallen that families have donated to be flown in their loved one's honor.  These are the flags that have draped the coffins of America's heroes.
There are different sections for each war.  This section is for soldiers who served in World War II.
I found it only fitting to edit this picture to bring it more of a historical, aged feeling and also a reverence.
My interpretation of Independence.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Happy Accident

Yesterday was a cold, but beautiful sunny day here in Michigan. As you know, I have taken on the challenge of taking a photo once a week according to the "word" assigned to us every week.  You can still join in, just click on the button over to the right.
Anywho.......this weeks word is "Independence".  I had an idea swirling in my mind to capture the meaning of this word to me, you'll have to wait until Thursday to see the actual picture & how I interpreted this word.
But I can share this picture with you.  As Dream Boy & I were driving to my destination we came around a curve in the drive & there stood 2 deer in the middle of the road.  As I quickly pulled out my camera & set it up, I rolled down my window to snap a few shots.  DB hadn't quite come to a stop as I started snapping, but the deer were "frozen" as it were in the snowy, wooded lot next to the road.  
When I got home I later uploaded my pictures to see my results - DB was interested in the deer pictures.  This is the 1st one that was loaded.......
....kind of a "happy accident".  While not intending to get a shot like this, wanting to actually focus on the deer, I ended up getting a real focused shot on the weed shoot in the front.  This is exciting to me as I try to work on my camera skills more & more and this shows "depth of field" in all it's glory, imho!  
Once DB came to a complete stop, I was able to get this shot of the 2 deer...
..by now they had moved a little deeper into the thicket, but were very curious about me and didn't go running off deep into the woods.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My "Tattoo"

Everyone has an opinion on tattoos, right?  Either you like them or you don't or you don't care.  My opinion is that I don't like them ~ I don't understand the need to permanently place ink into my body.
Just before Christmas during one of my classes my students started talking about tattoos.  One of the young men was turning 18 over the break & so during the last 2 minutes of class he was perusing "tats" on the internet.  Oooooo - so many choices, which one did he want to emblazen across his chest forever & ever?
So the question came up, "Mrs. G, do you have any tattoos?"
"No", said Mrs. G.
"Why not?"
I replied, "I don't understand the need to permanently defile my body with ink."
Now you have to understand that I can't even stand when someone uses an ink pen to write a note in the palm of their hand or on the back of it because they don't have anything else to write on.  It's one of my peeves - it's dirty to me.  But you also have to understand, these are my opinions and they are just that ~ mine.
"Well Mrs. G, you wouldn't even get a tattoo to remember or memorialize someone you know?"
"I don't need to put a tattoo on my body to remember someone or something.  I have other ways of remembering those I love.  I keep them alive in my heart & mind through thoughts, songs, moments, memories."
"Well, what if you had breast cancer or something?  Wouldn't you get one of those pink ribbons tattooed on you to remember that you were a survivor?"  one young lady asked.
To which I pulled down the collar of the shirt I was wearing & showed them this....
"As a matter of fact," I said, "I AM a cancer survivor and THIS is my tattoo.  This scar from 2 surgeries to remove my cancer filled thyroid is all the tattoo I need to remind myself every day that I am a survivor."
They all became very quiet.....and then one student said, "I didn't know you had cancer?  That's a pretty cool tattoo Mrs. G."
And that, my friends, ended that conversation and the reason why Mrs. G doesn't need an ink tattoo on her body!

Friday, January 7, 2011

20:11

Perhaps you've noticed the little block on the right side of my blog?  The one that has a big 52 in the middle of it?  It's called "Project 52" - where you take one photo a week for the year.  I've attempted the 365 project but always seem to fizzle out on it by February-ish.  So this year I decided the Project 52 would be more attainable for me.
We are to take a shot according to our assignment & then post it on Thursday's.  Well, I'm a day late, but yesterday I really felt compelled to write the posting that I did.  Thank you Lisa for your kind words, it warmed my heart!
This past week's assignment, the 1st one of the year, was to take a shot on 1-1-11 at precisely 20:11, or 8:11pm.  Just a little pressure to make sure the shot was done at that moment.  I thought & thought about it, wanting to make it unique.  You could shoot anything you wanted, it just had to be taken at 20:11. 
20:11
Dream Boy found it quite humorous to stand inside the toasty warm house as I played around with the lighting & settings for this shot.  It's 20ish degrees outside, the patio is stone cold & it started snowing.  I'm laying flat out on my belly to get my camera set at the right angle so that I get the right angle at the right moment.
This week's assignment will be easier in the sense that I have a week to take it.  Our shot must be reflecting "Independence".  I already have a thought or two in mind, now to just get moving on it!! 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thoughts -----

If you know me at all, you know I like to journal.  I think that's why I like to blog.  I have so many words in my head that I need to get them out somewhere.  I have always kept some sort of journal, but as I've gotten older, I tend to be more regular at it.  So today, I'm going to share with you my journal entry from this morning.  I don't do this too often, if ever, as in my journaling I am more open, raw if you will, but I don't expect anyone to read it.  At least not until they find them tucked in a box somewhere after I'm gone.  My journal's are my way of "talking to myself" and "talking to God."

"Thursday - January 6, 2011
One little word - for the last few years I have chosen a "word" for the year.  Sometimes it sticks with me all year long & beyond, like:
                                                                    Believe
                                                                    Hope
                                                                    Life
Last year's word was simplify.  I didn't think a lot about it as the year went on, but as I look back on last year, I do see where it did "stick".
We revamped our finances & learned to live better within our means.  I think that's an ongoing life lesson -- a continual lesson.
I learned to just be -- to enjoy the little things.  While we didn't take a vacation, I made the most of my summer.  Swimming off the dock 2-3 days every week with Libbi, kayaking at 7am most mornings, experimenting more with my photography.  Not buying so many books, but utilizing my local library.  Taking more day trip to the beach.  Simple things.
Through these things I have found a sense of gratitude.  I have sensed God's grace in my life even more.
I have come to realize more clearly that HIS grace is sufficient for me.  It's a simple thing really.  I, being human, just tend to make it more complicated.
So for 2011, my little word, which has BIG promises, is GRACE.  
2 Corinthians 12:9 -  "But He said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
......."my grace is enough; it's all you need."  as stated in The Message."
                                            

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's Real......My Website!!

When I bought my new MacBook one of the things that excited me the most was the ability to construct a website.
After several weeks of playing around, and still lots more to learn, I have gone public!!!
I would love for you to check it out.  I even learned, thanks to the help of a good friend, how to link this blog into it so I didn't have to create a whole new blog!

Just click on the link above and take a minute or two to browse through.
Leave me a comment on my blog & let me know what you think!!!

Can you say "Happy"?????

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Hoogie Family

I had the honor of taking the family portrait(s) last week of the "Hoogie" family.
Baby "J" was only a week old & as you can see he has plenty of big brothers to watch over him & teach him lots of big brother things!
A four generation picture.
 Mama and her baby "J" - I came across this effect by accident......but I really love the way it turned out.
Enjoy Hoogie family - it was an honor & pure joy for me to capture this moment in time in your family's history.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Getting the New Year off to a new start....

Here's just a little of what I've been doing so far.......this year.  :)  Sorry, can't always help myself - I just HAD to say it!!




Yesterday Dream Boy & I spent the day together - ALL DAY!  We headed over to Detroit in the morning to some of my, and now his, favorite shopping spots.
We started at Trader Joe's where Dream Boy promptly loaded up on a case of "2 Buck Chuck" - it has a different name now, but the wine is actually only $2.99 per bottle.
Then we headed to IKEA!!!!!  Dream Boy has never been and is now ready to go back------as we speak!  He had so much fun in there, he was a little over stimulated at 1st, but the more time we spent, the more fun he had.  I'll go back anytime!
After IKEA we stopped briefly at a Home Goods store - I bought a beautiful little green cracked glass jar to put in my bathroom.
Then we started to head back toward home, but not until after a stop at Whole Foods in Ann Arbor.  LoVe that store!!  I filled up my container at the olive bar, yes, I'm an oliveholic.  Mm-mm-mm-mm-YUM!  
We bought an oversize turkey & brie sandwich to share on the way home - our fancy New Year's Eve dinner.  It was delish.
What a wonderful way to bring in the New Year!  
I'm working on some new challenges I've set myself up on for 2011 - let's see if I can last the whole year this year!

Happy New Year!!!!

From us to you....
 .....may 2011 be a very HAPPY New Year.
Filled with new beginnings, new findings, new laughter, new love, new life, new dreams.
Happy New Year dear friends - wherever you may be!