Thursday, June 30, 2011

P::52 Body

Our prompt for this past week for our 52 photos was:  body.
Many things ran through my mind, but I settled on this...
I was very hesitant about a shot with my "body" in it.  There's a lot of body......LOL!
But as the word settled with me this idea came to mind. 
Two and a half years ago I had the left side of my thyroid removed due to a large cyst engulfing it.  A week later at my post-op check up I was told I had cancer, there was tumor in the cyst.  A week later I was back in surgery to have the rest of my thyroid removed.  Four months later I had radiation treatment and then a body scan.
Fast forward 2 years from that.  I have a new doctor who said i should have had a body scan a year after the 1st one to assure that there is no more thyroid tissue in me.  So last week I underwent a week long process of treatment prior to the body scan on Friday.
My radiology tech was so cool.  When I arrived on Friday I told him I had an odd request.  He asked what it was & I told him that I wanted him to take some shots of me IN the body scan machine.  He couldn't wait to see what kind of camera I had because he is also into photography.  He went on to tell me that he had a Nikon D50, but just recently invested in a D7000.  Can you say I'm just a little j.e.a.l.o.u.s.?  
He had me get situated on the scanner and then he started taking shots.  It wasn't long before other techs started popping in to find out what he was doing. Each time he had to reassure him that it was MY camera and MY request.  Everyone laughed.
I am happy to report that my results have come back from my blood work and body scan and that I am cancer free.
Love that feeling!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Lovin.....Had Me A Blast....

Earlier this spring I received a special little surprise in the mail.  It was a mini "smash book".  I haven't taken pics of it yet, but I filled it with memories from this year's senior trip.
The actual "Smash Books" weren't out on shelves yet - production issues.  But I follow their blog and anxiously awaited their arrival in stores.  Alas, the day finally came, but I'm not able to find a store local enough to me to just pop in and buy one.  But the idea was stuck in my head - smashing your memories in pages.  It's another form of scrapbooking, I know, but it's MY form.  Grungy, eclectic, haphazard, FUN! 
Now I know I could order one, or 2 or 3 online, but by the time I pay shipping, and then the wait of it arriving in the mail was just not setting with me.  I wanted to start it NOW - I wanted a fun way to capture my summer on pages.
With my boys' grown & gone and yes, son #2 still plays college soccer, and yes, I do scrapbook those pages, but page after page after page of soccer kind of cramps the old creative flow, know what I mean?
So I decided to make my own "Smash Book" - I mean after all, if you watch their video, they were done in different formats way before the Smash Book was introduced.  I chose to stick to good old fashioned smashing.....
Here's my cover.  I keep adding to it.  Every time I look at it I think it needs more.  It's a work in progress......
This is one of my favorite pages.......but I closed the book before the ink was completely dry and the pics kind of stuck together, but they still work okay.
I'm trying to do a posting for every day, although some are more exciting than others.  But I'm trying to include even the mundane, routine part of my summer.
Well - off to summer school.
Toodles!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning everyone.  How are you today?
It's the start of a new week which can be a good thing, right?
If we were sitting across from the table right now sharing our coffee in person I would tell you:
1.  It's a beautiful sunny morning with a slight breeze coming through my windows.
2.  My aunt & uncle from Arizona are staying with us until next week Thursday.
3.  The slight breeze that feels so refreshing to me this morning is making my aunt & uncle cold.  LOL!
4.  I have 2 sons that I love with all my heart.
5.  My heart is still aching for the loss of a good, kind hearted young man.
6.  My Dream Boy is the light of my life.
7.  One week of summer school down - 7 to go.
8.  I can hardly believe that it will be the 1st of July this Friday!  WOW!
9.  I go to the radiation oncologist this afternoon to get the results of my testing from last week.  I am praying that the cancer is still just a bad dream!
10.  I spent the weekend with my big sister selling her stuff!  They are downsizing tremendously and had a lot of stuff to sell.  Dream Boy thinks I brought it all home with me.  I think our little sister did more damage.
I hope you all have a blessed week.  Hug and love the one's in your life and keep them close to your heart.  Never let a moment go by that they don't know you love them.
In the word's of son #2 -----
Peace!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gone To Soon

I have a very heavy heart today.  Last night we received a call in regards to a young man whom both of our son's played soccer with.  He was killed in a senseless accident about 4pm yesterday afternoon.
Justin was working, doing life.  A driver who is believed to have been intoxicated or more came up from behind him at a high rate of speed and rear ended Justin's car.  Justin and his passenger were forced off the road where they hit a ditch which sent them airborne 15 feet into a tree.  Justin was killed and his passenger/co-worker is in the hospital in very critical condition.
The driver fled the scene, but was apprehended a little while later in a side drive of his parents' home.
How do you make sense of this tragedy?  How do you cope with the loss of a life so young?  How do you reach out to a family who's hearts are breaking?
I can't answer that in any other way than to know that God is holding the hands of the Hope College Soccer Family as we walk through this and reach out to Justin's parents and brother.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

P::52 Tradition

Tradition - Tradition!  Okay the sounds of Fiddler on the Roof are filling my head.  Must.stop.now.  
This past week's prompt was "tradition".  Every summer for several years now my nieces and I have the tradition of going to the beach on our first Friday off after school gets out for the summer.
Usually my sisters join us and we make it a girls day, but they were both unavailable this year for this particular trip.  BUT we will have one yet this summer, I'm sure of it!
It turned out to be a gloriously sunny, blue sky kind of day.  We came home sun kissed and sand logged.
I am so happy that my nieces still love to go with me to the beach every year.  I hope this tradition never dies.....
Next week's prompt:  "body"  ---  ugh, not sure about this one....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Reminder

This week I have been going through "treatments" for my thyroid cancer.  I am having another body scan tomorrow to be assured that the cancer is definitely gone.  Routine process.
On Monday & Tuesday I went to the Cancer Care Center for my shots. 
These shots are $1,000 each.  Crazy, I know.  Thankful for insurance.
I have never forgotten that I'm a cancer survivor and I have never forgotten how thankful I am that I have not had to endure the treatments that so many others have had to go through.
No chemo - no losing my hair completely - no nausea - no major symptoms compared to others.
I am thankful.
This morning on my way to school I stopped for gas.  While waiting for my tank to fill up a van pulls in behind me.  The woman who got out was obviously going through a great battle with cancer.  Her skin color & the fuzzy hair just growing back after rounds of chemo were very evident signs of the battle she's been fighting.
In my quiet moment I silently prayed thanking God for the health I have, for the reminder that my battle has been much easier than others.  That I am healthy, happy and very aware that this has all come from my loving God & Savior.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning everyone!  I hope you all had a splendid weekend?  We did!
If you follow my blog, you know that I started my weekend on the beach last Friday.  Friday's are the weekend too me, especially in the summer.
Well, if we were sitting here in my kitchen together this morning I would tell you...
1.  Summer School starts today.
2.  I get my Thyrogen shots today & tomorrow.
3.  I get my iodine on Wednesday.
4.  I get my body scan done to make SURE I am cancer free!!!!!
5. Yesterday was Father's Day & it was splendid.  The boys' came home for dinner and I took this...
6. My mother & father-in-law came for dinner and we had these.



7.  It was a beautiful summer day and Libbi got to play in her pool.
8.  It's supposed to be a stormy week here in Michigan....yippee! (not)
9.  My aunt & uncle from Arizona are coming this Friday to spend 2 weeks with us before they head home.
10.  I hope you have a wonderful day and a blessed week.
So, what's new with you?  What would you share with me during our Monday morning coffee?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Yearly Beach Day

Every year for at least 5 now, my nieces & I go to the beach on the 1st Friday we don't have school.  Usually my sisters join us, but one had to work & the other is preparing to move soon.
So, it was just me & the nieces.  We had a splendid day!  As we were driving to South Haven we were listening to a station out of Grand Rapids & they were getting rain.  We were seeing NOTHING but blue skies & lots of sunshine.  It was the perfect day!
We got there around 10:30 when the beach is still being raked and the seagulls are loving the open beach.
 What a lovely day to just kick back with your feet in the sand and relax, relax, relax.
I look forward to this day every summer and I'm so happy my nieces still like to go to the beach with me.  We'll get their mama and my other sister out some other day this summer.
When I got home there was a package in the mail.  I recently won a drawing in the P52 Photo group I'm apart of.  I had my choice of 2 prizes and this is the one I selected:
Monika Wright of I Love It All custom made this form me in the colors & words that I chose.  I painted an old faded black matting I had & framed it to hang in our "family room".  It looks great on the wall in there!!
Thanks again Monika!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

P::52 BLUE

This week's prompt was almost too easy.  I LOVE the color blue, but deciding what to take a picture of, was a bit difficult.
If you look around my house, my yard, my closet, you will find inevitably, a lot of blue.
My first shot was of my gazing ball in our backyard flower bed.  When my dad died 3 years ago, some friends' gave me a gift certificate to a local greenhouse/store.  I had two years earlier purchased a beautiful blue bird bath from there in memory of my mom.  I needed to find the right item to remember my dad.  Dream Boy came across it first.  My dad always had gazing balls in his yard - he got it from his dad, but this one was special.  It had a bit of green in it, which was one of my dad's favorite colors and it was surrounded by blue...my favorite color.
Then as I was sitting on the patio I leaned back in my chair and looked up....and saw this....
Who doesn't love a blue sky on a summer day laced with a few clouds?
But it wasn't until Monday that the perfect shot with "blue" came into view in my camera lens.
Miss Libbi and I were swimming off our friends' dock, our favorite thing to do on a hot summer afternoon.  As I reached for her Pooch Tube, this is the image I caught....
Now THAT is priceless, don't ya think?  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Daisies For My Friend

Yesterday while walking the aisles of the flea market with my dear friend, she was looking for some prints for her newly remodeled bathroom.  She wanted daisies.  We found tulips, geraniums and many other flowers, but no daisies.
So today I went for a little jaunt in the red Vdub.  I've noticed the wild daisies along the road, so I went in search, camera in hand.
I didn't have to go far when I came across this little patch....
So I started snapping away, in manual - RAW mode, might I add.  This makes me happy.
Then I took a few shots of single flowers...
 From this shot I played around with editing tools and this is what I came up with....
which my friend loves because it has the colors in it that are in her bathroom.
I also took this shot --
..and then transformed it to this..
Can I say that these made her very happy?  And that makes me very happy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What I Did Today....

Today on my summer vacation I woke up......to an alarm that is.  I generally don't do alarms on summer vacation, it's against my religion natural instinct.
The 1st thing I did was wish happy birthday to my favorite girl in the whole world.
It's Miss Liberty Bell's 5th birthday today.
She jumped up on the bed an snuggled up close and let me give her a big belly rub, I even found her tickle spot!
Then she was done and back down on the floor.
Next I jumped in the shower and after getting dressed and ready to go, I jumped in the little red V-dub and headed off to meet up with a friend for the day.
We headed off to Shipshewana in Indiana.  The heart of Amish Country.  They have a giant flea market there every Tuesday & Wednesday in the summer.
I didn't find much, but I did buy a cute little summer dress.  Well, it's not so little as I'm not so little, but it's cute none the less.  We wandered up and down the aisles until we realized we were talking more than we were looking.  So we decided it was time for lunch and headed to the car.
As my friend was driving I was taking pictures...go figure.
This one I like because it shows that as surrounded by the advances of this world, the Amish continue to live a simple life.  See the buggies, the girl on the bike and then the big light post right behind it all?
 If it's not horse & buggy that they use for transportation, it's their bicycles..
 Maybe if I did more of this, I could actually call that cute dress I bought today "little" and really mean it!
But then again......

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Morning Coffee

Today I'm imagining our coffee being shared on the beach in Maine overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
The surf is rolling in, we've searched for shells already and now we're sitting side by side enjoying the smell of the salty air, the sound of the gentle breeze through the tall sea grass behind us and the joy of the sunshine on our faces.
We would talk about:
  
1.  That little boy in front of us plotting his strategy to dig to China today.
2.  The lobster rolls we're going to have for lunch from the little deli just up the street.
3.  The whoopie pie that will follow for our dessert and how we're going to make those when we get home?  Can we EVER find a recipe to duplicate the "brownie type" cake on this whoopie pie?
4.  The long, lazy days of summer still to come.
5.  How many trips to the beach will we take this summer?  Plenty I hope.
6.  What our kids' are currently up to.  Son #1 is working every day & loves the summer way better than the winter.  Son #2 is working in Ohio this week still, but will be returning Thursday.
7.  What's for dinner tonite?  I love summer meals so much.  They are cooked on the grill for the most part, fresh veggies usually accompany every meal.  
8.  The technique and recipe I just found for roasting almost any kind of vegetable you can imagine, on the grill.
9.  That my aunt & uncle will be coming to stay with us soon for a couple of weeks before returning to Arizona.
10.  That summer school starts next Monday, but I don't really count that as working.  It's a very laid back summer school.
11.  That I hope they schedule my "treatment" soon so I can move on and KNOW without a doubt that I AM cancer free.
12.  That's it's a beautiful sunny summer morning here, even though it is only 61 degrees at 9:30am.  NOT complaining.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

More Garden Beauty

 Each day something new blossoms in our backyard.
I don't know the proper name for these...my sister does.
I call them buttercups.....Dream Boy calls them buttercups.
They are pretty ---- but they take over if you don't thin them out from time to time.  
In the middle of these lush green leaves is a dragonfly.
I don't know the proper name...Dream Boy does.
It's a black dragonfly.  See it?
I
It's summer park concert time.
It was chilly tonite, not even 70 degrees out.
So we picked up coffee and put some special creamer in it to stay warm.
(Wink-Wink)
Here is the 33rd Street Band.
They love to play Chicago, Stevie Wonder, AWB, Blood-Sweat & Tears and a little Ray Charles.
I really like this band. 
My toes are tapping and I'm singing along.
I'm playing with my camera.
I'm shooting in RAW mode.
I'm continuing to learn new things every day.
I amaze myself.
LOL!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summertime In The City

It has been a long time favorite thing of ours to do, especially when we lived less than a block away back when we were first married and starting our little family.
The Farmer's Market.
Farmer's from surrounding areas come down the the Bank Street Market with their produce, fresh eggs, chickens, breads & baked goods for the day.  We don't get there as often, but we made it today.
Asparagus is in season and so are strawberries and rhubarb.  I got 2 of the 3, since strawberries are cheaper in the grocery store right now.  I know, I know, I should support my local farmers, but the price difference is substantial enough to buy them at the grocery store.

 This is one of the things I love most about summer - the fresh fruits & vegetables that are available.  

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Let The Summer Begin

Today was my 1st day of summer vacation.  I start back on June 20th with summer school, but that's only 4 mornings a week, so it doesn't count.  I'm still on summer break!
I had a busy day, it wasn't initially planned that way, but it ended up that way.
Libbi had her yearly appointment with Dr. DeLong - our vet.  He lOvEs Libbi.  He winds her up every time I take her in, not that it takes much.  She had a bad ear infection due to swimming last week, so he cleaned her ear out and gave her some ointment to use daily until it clears up.  Nothing serious - quite common for labs who love the water.  She had to have her distemper and rabies shots.  She did really well. 
On our way home we stopped back in at school because I received a call just before we left home that the central office needed some reports that they don't usually ask for until the fall.  So I stopped in, Libbi in tow.  My principal was working and spent some time playing with her, then the special ed director got in on the action.  Libbi loves to play.  She has a hard time settling down once she gets started, so I pull out my cell phone to pretend I'm going to take her picture.  She sits down (hates the camera phone).  Everyone in the office is amazed that I have her trained "to pose for the picture".  I just laugh & explain it's not training, she hates that particular camera.  So my boss starts winding her up again & then pulls out his phone.  She immediately sits down.  He does it again & again.  I then tell him that at the vet in order to calm her down, I video taped her with my phone.  She laid on the floor until we were called back to the examining room.
After we left school we came home and had lunch.  Today was an overcast day threatening to rain until about 3:00 when the sun came out.  So I headed outside to mow.  Libbi stays on the porch while I'm doing that.  When I finished up I turned the sprinkler on in the back yard to water the lawn & flower beds.  Libbi LoVeS the sprinkler.  Here's proof...
 I love the lazy days of summer and time to play with my pup.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Polaroid......

This week's prompt for my P52 challenge was "polaroid".  Now I remember those lovely photos, still have some buried in my memory boxes.  They were fun.  I remember the first polaroid camera my dad owned, much like the one in my pic from a few weeks ago of the one my grandpa owned.
You loaded the film in the back of the camera.  After taking the shot, you pulled out the picture from the tab attached to the picture in the camera.  You took a deep whiff of the developing chemical and then you waited....and you waited....and you waited.....for like 2 minutes.  Slowly, ever so slowly, you would see your image develop before your eyes!
I have shots from years back, they are yellowed with age, but the image is still legible.  
I don't own a working polaroid camera anymore, but soon hope to save up enough money to snag an Instax .  Yeah.I.want.one.  Someday.....
So with graduation season upon us and I just so happened to be at our school's graduation this past Sunday, I took pictures of each graduate just before they headed up on stage to receive their diploma.
This is one of my favorites......and he's also the youngest son of our very good friends......and he was also the class salutatorian.....and he's also going to be playing soccer against my youngest son in college this fall.  
Meet Max.
This polaroid effect was done at Picnik.com.  
There's another sight that's kind of fun too.....Poladroid.net.  You download a polaroid camera to your computer, drag your photo to it, it makes the sound of the old polaroid cameras as it shoots it out.  Then you wait and before your eyes you will see you image develop.  Here's a shot I did from that website....this is Libbi....
This one has a more realistic polaroid effect to it.  
I've printed "polaroids" from my Picnik account and they print them on a 4x6 and they are crooked, and corners get cut off from the pictures done on that sight.  I'm going to try & print this shot that I did on Poladroid and see how that comes out.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Our Garden

Years ago we started a transformation in our backyard.  I used to love gardening, I still love the vibrant colors that start to pop, Dream Boy likes to garden now.  I help him pick things out, he plants and tends to them all summer long.
When I look at our flower beds, this song always comes to mind....The beginning of the song starts out, "I come to the garden alone, where the dew is still on the roses..."
"and He walks with me,
and He talks with me,
and He tells me I am His own.
Oh the joy we share, 
when we tarry there,
none other 
has ever
known."


My sister's are both singing along with this right now......can you hear mom singing?
Have a blessed Sunday everyone.

Friday, June 3, 2011

P52::Square

I'm a day late with this posting, but I must admit --- this week's prompt had me really stumped.  I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with something original, but no such thing came to mind.
So I reverted to the "mosaic" form of putting together my "square".  This past Monday, Memorial Day, we spent the afternoon on the lake with our friends.  Now I know the tube is round, but in the "square" box are the sequence of shots I took from the boat of my son's 2nd wipe out from the tube.

I was so excited to catch this just right, that I just had to put it in this format so you could experience the main steps of this wipe out!
Not sure what next week's prompt is, it has yet to be posted.
Today was my last full day of school.  I have 1/2 days on Mon-Tues-Wed for exams and then I'm out until summer school starts up on the 20th.  But that is only 4 mornings a week for 8 weeks, and then I'll have another 3 weeks off before school starts.
Sunday is graduation so I'll be busy snapping pictures.  It will be a bittersweet day as the reality will set in of my principal leaving for his new job.  I've done really well in controlling my emotions, but now that the time is so near and the reality is in my face, it's been tough.  I've worked with him for 10 years --- we've been through good and bad and good again, I'll miss him greatly.
Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Coffee Time......

It's Wednesday.
It's 2pm - I'm in need of a nap, but since I have a room full of students, I'll settle for a cup of instant energy......a cup of coffee with you.
Yes, I know, it's Wednesday, but with the holiday on Monday I haven't had a chance to visit with you and have our weekly coffee...
So, if we were sitting down together to have coffee right now I'd tell you this..
1.  Only 2 more full days of school, then 3 half days and I'm on summer vacation.
2.  Only 1 more day and I pick up my Aunt & Uncle at the airport for their yearly visit back to Michigan.
3.  My big sister has a lot of work ahead of her.....she knows what I'm talking about.
4.  I'm happy that today is sunshiny and very comfortable temps.  NO humidity, now that makes me very happy.
5.  Dinner is cooking away in the crockpot.  Chicken tacos tonite!
6.  I'm going to a "baby shower" after school for one of my former students, now that makes me feel old-ish.
7.  I haven't taken my picture for the weekly prompt yet for 52 photos.  I'm wracking my brain on this one.....
8.  I can't wait for a day at the beach, I finally feel like summer is here to stay.
9.  I have over 25 kids signed up for next year's senior trip already.
10.  I start meeting with a lovely young woman next Monday to help mentor her through a huge life changing event.  I can hardly wait, but I feel like she's a mentor to me with her deep seeded faith.
Well, that perked me up!  Thank you for spending a little time with me in the middle of your afternoon in the middle of the week.
Until next time........toodles!