Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Morning Coffee

You deserve a break today - so get up and get away.......

Okay, okay - not going there. But I did, as I do every Monday morning.  It's not the greatest breakfast place, but it's quiet & my girls & I meet there every week to start off with some fellowship & prayer time.  We have a little nook in the back that no one else sits at.

So, how are you doing today?   Ready for your Thanksgiving celebrations?  I have not gotten on the bandwagon giving thanks daily - but have so enjoyed reading many of yours on Facebook & Instagram & your blogs.  We are living in a society that is becoming more and more filled with a sense of entitlement and when I see how many of you have taken the time to think of the littlest things in our lives that we take for granted most days and you stop & say thanks = it warms my heart!

I try to live each & every day with a thankful heart - even though I don't show it as much as I should, I try & remember the many blessings I have all year through.

This past Saturday, Dream Boy & I spent the afternoon at church, packing baskets for Thanksgiving dinners and then delivering 5 of the 50 our church put together.  It was, as it is every year, humbling.  To know that I have a warm house - I have food on my table and leftovers in my fridge, I have the ability to go to the grocery store and buy food on a regular basis, I am thankful and forever grateful for the life I have been blessed with.  

For many of us, this is a joyous time of year - a time where we are surrounded by friends and family.  Where we worry about little and celebrate about much. It's also a time of year where we can hurt - we miss someone who's chair is now empty at the Thanksgiving table and their presence is greatly missed at the Christmas celebrations.  

I think of each of you who I have come to call my friends through this little cyber corner of my world.  Many of you I know & love & see on a regular basis.  I will be joining you at our Thanksgiving table this week for a scrumptious dinner.  Others of you I know only through reaching out through the "world wide web" and yet, I consider you part of my life, my circle of friends.  

For all of you who happen upon my blog and have become regular followers - thank you.  I sometimes think I'm writing to no one.  I wonder why I continue to write, but then one of you will message me in some way & say, "hey, I've missed your blogging" and it makes my heart skip a beat & the butterflies flutter in my tummy.  Thank you for your kind words, for sharing with me your thoughts and letting me know you enjoy my ramblings, for becoming friends who help encourage me along my life journey.

I am thankful for each and every one of you - I am thankful to know you in some way - I am thankful for the blessings of you touching my life.

May you all have a wonderful week, filled with love, laughter and the knowledge that we are all blessed in some way, we just need to stop sometimes and really pay attention to what we are surrounded by.

Love you all - Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Creative Corner

I really need to get myself back on track.  I feel so out of sorts - like I'm always lagging behind.  I have been a terrible, terrible blogger as of late because of this.  I have all these grand ideas in my head - but when I think I'll have time to implement them, nope - something else comes along to fill that said time.

So tonite, before I start working through the oodles and oodles of edits I still need to get done, I'm blogging.  Have you missed me?  I've certainly missed you.

I don't even know where to begin, it's been that long.  Sure we have our Monday morning coffee together - but then what?  Where am I at right now.  Well, I'm sitting in my creative corner drawing a total blank on what I should be writing about right now.

I started this little segment called "Creative Corner" and sometimes I feel pressure that I should be creating something real crafty.  But I haven't had time to get my hands dirty in that respect.  Then I start to feel guilty that I'm not being "creative" enough & so I don't post.  But then I realize my photography is where my creativity energy and ideas have been going to lately.

I want SO badly to go out & just shoot and practice and shoot some more.  Sunday night son #1 and I were talking.  I showed him some effects I want to learn and he already has figured it out.  I asked him to teach me.  You know what his answer was?  "Sit in the dark and play with your camera mom".  Ugh ---  NOT what I was looking for.  Show me oh wise son of mine - show me.

But until I get all caught up on my current editing, I've grounded myself from sitting in the dark and playing with my camera.  Because I know myself all too well - I'll want to edit and play with those pictures instead of the one's I should be finishing up.

Okay, okay - I really need to focus now.  That editing list is not getting any smaller with my jumping all around the place on here, is it?  But it feels so good to get it down in writing, to release some of my inner frustration.  So here are a few of what I've been doing over the last week.  It's been a struggle with having to move my iPhoto library to an external hard drive to work on my editing, but that is now complete & I will get to it as soon as I'm done showing you a few shots.

Engagement session - Zak & Erica

Senior Session - Jennah

Senior Session - Dani

Engagement Session - Sarah & Nick

...and a little added bonus at the end of a shoot last weekend.  I was in my car putting away my gear when out of the woods wandered a doe, then her baby, then another doe & her baby.  I quietly opened my car door & was able to stand outside and grab this shot of one of the mama's & her baby  Yes, that little shadow along the bottom edge of the pic - is the trunk of my car.
So - now off to editing land.  Thank you for hanging in there with me.  I hope to get back into a much better and more regular blogging routine soon.  I have some ideas whirling around in my brain for the new year === stay tuned!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning everyone.  I'm a little late posting today as I had to maneuver through a dark house by candlelight and lantern.

We had horrible storms come through our area twice yesterday and the 2nd one packed a huge punch that knocked out our power.........and a lot of other's too.

This morning I checked the online status of when our power might be restored.  It said we have been restored ------  The light switch isn't working properly AND the street light outside my bedroom is definitely not glaring through my bedroom window.  So guess again Consumer's Energy.

Thankfully we don't live in the boonies and we still have running water so I can shower.  Then Dream Boy hooked up the generator so I could run my blow dryer for.ev.ah to dry what little bit of hair I have.  It was so slllloooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww, but it was dry & I didn't have to drag my styling schtuff to school to finish the job.  It's not a pretty sight in the morning when I 1st look in the mirror before a shower.

Then I had to buy my coffee at the corner store in a styrofoam cup!  Styro-foam.........ugh.  It didn't touch these lips, but waited til I got to school & could put it in a proper coffee mug!  I usually bring a thermos full with me, but not today - so I've asked the secretary to be sure to brew a few extra cups....

What was really weird is that our half of the village did not have power, but the other (south) half did.  Our neighbor across the street had power, but we didn't.  The grid around here is so wonky.

I had a 4 day weekend as we didn't have school last Thursday & Friday, so I had great plans to get all finished with my editing.   My computer had other plans.  I spent all of Friday - literally - off & on the phone with Apple support troubleshooting my issues.  We finally got it resolved as best we could by 10pm Friday night.  The senior adviser suggested one more step which was to buy a portable external hard drive for my iPhoto library to store all my pics.  She was going to help me on Sunday night transfer it all & get it set up.  But we lost power.  When she called, she said "no biggie".  Call me when you get your power back & we'll get this taken care of!  

Now - I'm sure you're wondering how much all of this troubleshooting & time has cost me?  Well, let me tell you - this episode has convinced me even more that Apple is well worth the money spent.  I paid a ONE time fee on Friday morning and have excellent service all along.  When they say they will call back - they do!  They follow through from the prior call and get you rolling right along.  I finally ended up with a senior adviser who is now working directly with me to get through the rest of the issue until is is resolved.  Because all of this is filed under the same case number - no matter how long it takes to resolve it - I'm only being charged the one time fee of, are you sitting down?..........$19.00.   Yes - only $19 for all the help I have received over the last 3 days.  Ah-MA-zing!

So - now I must get to work at school and see how many little urchens didn't make it in because of no power.

Have a wonderful day everyone - thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Songography :: What A Wonderful World Edition

This truly is a beautiful world.  

Despite all the bad the media's spits out every day, there is still plenty of good all around us.

I believe it's all in your own perspective and choices you make every day as to what kind of world you surround yourself with.  Yes, there are those who can't seem to catch a break no matter how hard they try, but a lot of them keep trying.

I am fortunate to live in an amazing state that experiences the 4 seasons every year.  I love each and every one of them for their own reasons.  Right now as we transition into the winter season, I reflect on the beauty that only the paintbrush of God can create.....fall.

"Swan Lake"

These trees are no longer green and the red roses have bloomed their last bloom, but this magnificent view reminds me every single year of ----

what a wonderful world I live in.

Linking up with Kathy at You'll Shoot Your Eye Out.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning everyone.

How are you today?  It's Monday, right?  Go ahead, get another cup of coffee --  I'll wait.  Oh, grab some of that fresh apple crisp I made yesterday too - I'll share.

I had a wonderful 3 day weekend.  Didn't get near done what I had hoped, but I enjoyed my time off none the less.  I finished up 3 of my photo sessions, only few more to go & I'll be caught up!   But I keep booking more - so I don't know if that's just a pipe dream?  But this girl is not complaining, not complaining at all.

Libbi the Wonder Dog had a wonderful day yesterday, spending the whole afternoon outside with Dream Boy blowing leaves!   She's pooped - has slept pretty much straight through since she came in late yesterday afternoon.  

Poor baby though, after our walk around the lake last week and finding a tick fastened to me Monday morning in the shower, I found one on her neck Tuesday night and FOUR more on Friday night!!  She won't lay still and let you cuddle with her too much, so it took a while to be able to check her over thoroughly.  Ooooooo --- talk about having the heebie jeebies for a few days!

We celebrated one of my niece's birthday's this weekend.  Having raised 2 boys, I love shopping for girl's once in a while - so fun.  You know though, I didn't come home without a few something something's for me.   But, I justified it by cleaning out my closet and filled 2 large bags to bring to the Goodwill.

I have a 3 day week of school this week - no school Thursday or Friday.  Conference week.  Even though I have a classroom of my own, because I am not a certified teacher and am a paraprofessional, I get the time off.  While I don't get paid, I get time off, and I love it!  I have a brother/sister photo shoot scheduled for Friday afternoon and a senior session for later in the weekend.

Yesterday would have been my mom's 78th birthday.  She's been gone 7 1/2 years already, but I miss her as if it were just yesterday.  She has been a big part of memories over the last few week's and I love being able to remember her in such fun ways has been a blessing for me.  She could drive me crazy at times, but hey, I did my share of contributing to her gray hair.  One of the memories that was brought back was in talking Saturday night at my niece's birthday party.  We started reminiscing about Saturday night bath's and getting curlers put in our hair for the night.  We had those bristly one's with the pink pic stick and they hurt like heck having to sleep on them.  Then there was mom brushing your hair out in the morning and brushing & brushing & brushing.  I remember how my older sister Pam and I would fight over who got to wear the sponge rollers when mom bought a set of those.  I seem to remember Pam getting to wear them more than I did.  

Memories - they're a beautiful thing.  Even though my mom is gone, she lives on in my heart and my thoughts and my memories.  Even Dream Boy remembers, he came home from the store yesterday with a jar of bread & butter pickles in her memory.  She used to can them and she loved them too.

Well, it's time to head off to school for my 3 day week.  I hope you have a great week!  I'll be talking to you soon!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Songography::All Kinds of Kinds

"Now some point the finger, let ignorance linger,
If they'd look in the mirror they'd find
That ever since the beginning to keep the world spinning
It takes all kinds of kinds."

Even though there are several pelicans on this pier - they are different, even though they are the same.

They are mixed in with some other water fowl and yet, they all tolerate one another.

When listening to this song & reading the lyrics, especially the last verse - I started thinking.  Looking at this picture they all co-habitate, yet they also let each other know their boundaries.

It takes all kinds of kinds - the part in this song about ignorance struck a chord with me.  A loud, obnoxious chord - kind of off key.  You see, this past week a graduate from last year's senior class posted a very negative status on Facebook.  I know freedom of speech and all that, but he slammed a lot of people.  Moi', for one.  I was very upset because he personally attacked me & my job, even though he never step foot in my classroom as a student.  He also slammed former classmates, his girlfriend, the football team, the town these kid's have all grown up in,  and the intelligence of all those that live within the city limits.  

Dream Boy told me to let it roll, which I tried until I went to school the next day & my current student's came to me asking if (1) had I read the post? (2) they were so sorry he attacked me and (3) how ignorant he must be since he had been in someway involved in everything he slammed, at some point, during his high school career.

So the lyrics - some point the finger, let ignorance linger…………wow.

It takes all kinds of kinds to make this world go round.  The good, the bad, the ugly and yes - the ignorant.  But I choose to be the good, trying to help the bad & ignoring the ignorance of others.

Because as Miranda says - it takes all kinds of kinds.

Linking up with Kathy at You'll Shoot Your Eye Out.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Creative Corner

I'm a little behind posting my Creative Corner this week.  I have been so busy editing and editing and more editing.

While it isn't my favorite part of my photography business, it needs to be done. And when I'm editing and feeling like I can edit one more shot, I come across a gem.  A gem in my mind at least.  

You know when you're shooting and you look at the back of your camera and think it looks pretty good, it looks cute, but then you pull it up in your editing program and start playing around and get goosebumps.  And you think, did I really take that?  But I love seeing them come to life - seeing the vision that was in my mind when I took the shot, actually came through the lens!

Here's a collage of just a few from my recent editing sessions:

I'm off to do some more editing and hopefully get closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.  I don't have school tomorrow, can you guess what I'll be doing??

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning everyone!  maMA is off to her Monday morning meet up for prayer & fellowship before starting her school week.  So I told her it's been an awfully long time since I hosted her Monday Morning Coffee, it's my turn again.

So here I am!  maMA (again - remember that's with an Italian accent because that's how I roll) and I had a wonderful weekend.  The weather has not been the greatest lately - lots of rain.  Getting out and about has not been much of an option.

Plus maMA has been so very busy with editing all of her recent photo sessions that she just hasn't had time!  But this weekend, she made the time.  She decided it was time to enjoy the great outdoors and life around her in our wonderful town.

Friday night her & paPA and good friends went out for pizza and to a local college (Go Broncos - WMU) hockey game.  She told me it was an exciting game, it even went into over time.  Western won!  She said they went out for a beer and some appetizers after the game and really enjoyed their night out!

Me - I stayed home and guarded the palace and spread out as much as I could on the king & queen's bed.  I love it ------ sssshhhhhhh, don't tell my maMA.

Saturday morning paPA hung around because it was a little rainy & wet out.  This was unusual as he's usually out riding with his buddy & mine, Mark.  They always ride on Saturday mornings and go out for coffee and breakfast.  But this week it was maMA's turn to meet up with her lifelong friend's and have breakfast out.

maMA was SO excited when she came home.  One of her friend's took her to a consignment store.  maMA was just browsing through the racks when she spotted this pair of uGg boots.  She said they kind of looked like her size, but when she saw they were a size smaller than she usually wears she almost put them back.  But when she saw the price on them she thought, what the heck?  She felt like Cinderella trying on the glass slipper.  It was like the boots were made for her!  They are like brand new and they were in their original box with the original price of $180.  She got them for only $60!!  My maMA can be such a smart shopper!  They are like brand new - I can't wait for our winter walks in the woods with maMA's new boots.  No excuses now that her boots are falling apart and no longer keep her feet dry.

Sunday - ah……Sunday.  My favorite day of this whole weekend!  maMA and paPA went to church and out for their weekly breakfast.  Then they came home.  paPA jumped on the bike because it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Then I saw maMA digging through her closet for her hiking shoes.  Oh boy, oh boy, OH BOY!  I knew this meant I wasn't going to have a lazy Sunday afternoon.  But maMA was very stern about my NOT going into the water.  I pretended to listen.

So we headed over to the state park and she took along Lucy as well.  I met these giant dogs that had people sitting on their backs, but then maMA told me they were horses.  They were SO big!  There were a few other pups out with their owners on walks as well, but for the most part, it was just maMA & me on the trail - so she took me off the leash and let me run.  I did my best scouting out the trail & making sure the path was clear & free of anything that might scare my maMA.  We walked and walked and walked………..all the way around the lake!  When we got to the trail that cut between the 2 lakes, maMA stopped with Lucy to take some shots of the swan swimming.  I moved to the edge of the water for a drink - I was SO thirsty.  Somehow I lost my balance and ended up IN the lake.  Imagine my shock when I ended up getting wet!!  maMA just shook her head and called me back up to the trail and off we went on our merry way.

Oh it was use the best weekend ever!  But now I must recover from such a long walk and get back into my guard dog mode.  

I hope you have a great week, as does maMA.  Come back soon, k?  Hopefully I won't have to wait so long before she let's me post on her blog again…….

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Songography - "My Life Would Suck Without You" Edition

This truly was a no brainer, truly.

I have the most amazing family and my life would definitely be affected if any one of them were not in it any more.

I've lost both my parents - it sucks.

I am not ready to lose any one else who surrounds me in my little world any time soon.

While I can't take credit for these photos - I can take credit for each and everyone of them being a part of my life and I can take credit for being in each shot…on the other side of the lens for a change!
My boys and girls and my Dream Boy.
 My sisters and brothers and nieces and nephews.
My family.
My familia.
My life.
My world.

We are family - we are a wild and crazy bunch - we love - we laugh - we cry - we eat - we just are.

I can without any doubt say, my life would definitely suck without any of the above.