Sunday, July 29, 2012

Weekend and Pictures

OK.  I'm going to try and keep this short.  Yeah, I know, every time I say that, I write a novel or three.

Anyhow, we'll start with the weekend.  This has been a very full, but very good weekend.  Saturday was packed!  Saturday started out as a normal Saturday with dropping Gak off at work first thing in the morning and then doing laundry.  I was wearing my 100th Sing-A-Long t-shirt, and shortly after I got the laundry into the washers, another leader came to do her wash.  Within minutes we were talking Scouts and she asked if there was room in my troop for her twin 8th grade daughters.  Of course I said yes!  My little rag-tag troop of girls not taken by anyone else is growing.  It seems like everyone wants into my troop.  I know part of it is because there just aren't that many cadet level troops in our service unit, but I'm pretty sure a big part of it also has to do with Kat's and my philosophy about giving the girls opportunities and giving them the chance to decide what we do and that our role really is as a facilitator more than anything.  We'll stand behind them 100% with just about anything they want to try.  We'll help them on their way and make sure everyone is safe and all that, but where we go is up to them.

Anyhow, after laundry was off to bowling to get tackled by Zoe, Rachel and Billy who Boo and I hadn't seen in about 3 weeks because they'd been up at Pops.  After Bowling Boo and I went with Kat and Zoe over to Springtown Gun Club where the black-powder group were having a competition weekend so Zoe could shoot BB.  We were a bit late because we thought the BB shoot started later than it did.  Zoe did fairly well, but not her personal best.  She had fun though.  After the shoot we went out to lunch and Kat and I got to talk Girl Scouts for a bit as well as plan this upcoming weekend.  Yep, this weekend is going to be fun.  Kat, Steph and I are heading down to Delaware because Bobbi is letting us have the "beach" house for the weekend.  Everyone is looking forward to the trip.

After Gak got off work Boo and I got a bit of a surprise.  We headed up to the Promenade and after Gak got Boo and I a snack, and himself some dinner, we walked over to the movie theater.  He decided to take us to the movies because Boo had been such a trooper and getting up early and getting ready for school and not whining at all about it every day for the past two weeks.  We saw the new Ice Age movie.  Man was it funny.  Take the Odyssey, star some ice-age mammals and throw in a huge dose of humor and one acorn crazy squirrel.  There ya go.  I enjoyed it quite a bit and I think the boys did too.

Today was fun.  Boo and I headed down to Amma and PopPop's.  Boo had to take his new book that he got last night (we went to the bookstore for a bit after the movie) and share it with PopPop.  Amma, Boo and I had an enjoyable lunch at Panera.  I had a coupon for Famous Footwear, which is next to Panera, so I popped in.  I managed to get two new pair of shoes (that I desperately needed) and some socks for less than $60.  We then spent some enjoyable time with PopPop at the house.  While Boo and PopPop read a bit and played a bit and watched a bit of baseball, I helped Mom with some computer questions and I think we've got everything squared away for the moment.  We'll see.  I need to get Mom a better, easier, more intuitive way to get her pictures off her camera and onto the computer.  The Cannon software is icky and weird and not very easy to use.  It's pretty clunky.  But, I think we've got a system worked out, but it's not very easy or intuitive...
But, Dad's doing quite well this week.  He even went into the shop a couple of days!  His pain seems to be at a manageable level, which makes him a much happier person.  Mom hopes to get him into the shop at least one day a week.  We'll see.  I hope he can, even if just to get him out of the house now and again.

I also borrowed Dad's Nikon D80.  It's a beautiful camera, but it is going to take me a good bit to figure out all the options and use even 1/3 of them.  So, maybe next month's photos will be from the D80.  I know I'll be taking it to Delaware next weekend so I can take it for a spin.  I've really been itching for a "real" camera again.  Especially after Thursday.

Anyhow, let me catch everyone up on my Photo a Day July pictures:
Monday the 23rd was "mirror".  This is the driver's side mirror of the Little Red Honda.  I love the multiple levels of reflections.  Oh, that yellow clip is for the door handle when you turn the lights on in the day so you don't forget to turn them off when you stop the car... there's no warning beep.  At least that's what Gram said.

I missed the 24th, which was "stranger" as we didn't make it out anywhere other than work and school.

Tuesday the 25th was "heart".  I showed Boo how to make a heart with his fingers (that took some doing).  He didn't hold it long, but I managed to catch this before he said he was done and wandered off.... We then had a good time playing in the park and made a new friend as well!

Thursday, the 26th was "sunlight".  Unfortunately, it was a mostly cloudy day and it was such a tough week at work, I didn't make it outside during the day.  There was an awesome storm that popped up in the evening.  I took this picture right before picking up Gak from work.  This is when I was wising I had a good camera, or at least somehow rig a polarized filter for my little Cannon... this doesn't do the clouds justice.

Friday the 27th was "on the road".  I'd taken a shot through the windshield on the way home, but it was boring and dumb.  Boo and I were playing cars after work, and I told him to drive his car towards my camera.  I really like this one.

Yesterday was "cup".  I didn't have my camera with me most of the day, so this is Boo eating a peanut butter sandwich before bed last night.  He decided he was hungry when we got home from the movie and wanted a peanut butter sandwich and a cup of milk.  I love his eyes in this picture.

Today was "the last thing you bought".  And well, here's the new memory card I ended up picking up for Dad's D80.  I thought I had a spare floating around, but I didn't.

Well, that wraps up the weekend.  We watched the opening ceremonies (at least most of them) on Friday night for the Olympics.  They were awesome.  I'm half listening to women's gymnastics right now.  I'm going to head off to bed and go thud.  One more day of reporting month and maybe this will be over for a bit.

Peace to all and may you have a great weekend and fun photographs.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Books Lists

I just realized I’ve broken my posting rhythm and I haven’t posted anything since Tuesday.  I can honestly say it’s because July is catching up to me.  I’m feeling worn out, chewed up, spit out and stomped on for good measure.  And 99% of it is work related.  Not in the “I’m getting myself in trouble again” kind of way.  No, there’s been a little of that, but I just haven’t had the time to wander between jobs and get side tracked.  I’ve had to focus so hard and for so long and try to meet some pretty impossible deadlines that I’m just plain worn out.  I am exhausted.

I need a break.  I’ll get one next weekend, but that’s an entire week away at this point and I’ve got way, way, way too much to do before the end of the day Monday.  I can’t even focus on next weekend.  (Or even this weekend really…)

And it’s not just work that is wearing me down.  The weather isn’t helping.  The heat and humidity has kept me off my bike (but when you do ride, remember to always  check the tire pressure before you go… or you’ll be trying to ride a couple of miles with half flat tires…).  And thanks to work I just haven’t had the energy to be able to get up early enough in the morning or the drive really to get any good activity (other than mindless puzzle games or web browsing…) before work.  And I’m paying the price for that combined with stress eating.

Ok… Ok… this wasn’t supposed to be a whiny cranky rant where all my readers (all 7 of you) want to tell me to shut up and go away after the first few sentences.
Oh, one last thing before I get into the meat of what I have to say today… I’ll have to catch the blog up on the Photo A Day July pictures tonight or tomorrow, I’m typing this at work and my pictures are on the home hard drive and I’m not going to email this to myself so I can post later.

Anyhow, I thought I’d finally explore the idea that’s been bumping around in my head off and on for the last week.  Ever since I got last Friday’s NYT Books update.  On a whim I actually looked at the NYT Best Seller list.

I was struck by something odd; most of the books on the fiction list seemed to be “women’s” books for lack of a better term.  Yeah, I hate gender stereotyping, but in this case it seems to fit.  So many of the books on the list just don’t seem like books that the men I know (or myself really since I’m not much of a “chick flick” / romantic comedy/fantasy kind of gal…) would be at all interested in.  It all seems so…. fluffy?... brainless? … just so targeted towards women who want to escape their every day lives and live that of something more exciting and exotic.  I mean, the top 5 books on the Fiction print and e-book list are the three “Fifty Shades” books, Shadow of Night (which I actually do want to read, since I loved the first and while it’s got a romantic side, it’s more than that…) and Gone Girl.  If that doesn’t just scream “chick flicks”, I don’t know what does.

Of course, seeing this makes me wonder why is this the case?  Is this just a summertime phenomenon?  Do women just read more current fiction than men?  Do women read more fiction in general than men?  Are women in general more likely to buy books, or be “readers”?  Is this all a marketing ploy by the big publishers figuring they’ll get the biggest bang for their buck with formulaic, chick-flicky books?  (Yes, I just made that word up… I don’t care.)  Or do men just read such a diversity of fiction that their favorites won’t show up on the top 10?  Are women authors becoming more powerful than men?  Is it more acceptable, socially, to write “for” women now than it used to be?

I don’t have the answers.  I don’t even pretend to know.  In my own limited experience, all of my friends are readers, both men and women.  Growing up, my dad was the reader, mom wasn’t so much.  Most people I know aren’t overly interested in what’s in the top 10 fiction books, other than a few in passing.  I know that many people I know read a wide variety of books and most aren’t anywhere near a best seller list.  Some of us are fiction hounds, others non-fiction of one strip or another or there are those of us who’ll read just about anything you put into our hands.

I do know that what we as a society read as fiction says something about our society and outlook in general.  Of course, this boils down to an argument I had with a high school English teacher who said that “all literature has a social commentary and tries to express an ideal or point out flaws in society”, but then went on to say that science fiction wasn’t literature.  Excuse me?  No social commentary?  Uhm, 1984 is considered science fiction by many and that’s got huge social commentary.  What about Star Trek?  One can argue that, especially in some of the movies, they were dealing with the Cold War.  I’ve always believed that by removing the situation to somewhere completely foreign and out of this world, it makes it easier to look at hard truths and look at ourselves, because we’re not so close.

But, I digress, at least a little bit.  I’m not saying that everything on the top 10 best seller list should be considered “literature”.  I see a lot of it as brain candy.  But, the fact that these books are being published and are popular enough in sales to make the list, does say something about our society.  Or at least marketing…. which really is how companies influence society.

Yeah, I’ve totally gotten off track.  Or maybe not.  Anyhow, I just thought it was interesting.  I don’t really have too many more thoughts.  Other than I think there are a lot of great books out there that don’t make it onto the list, and that one shouldn’t base their entire reading life off of some market result document.  Sometimes the best reads are found by wandering through the library or bookstore, or bouncing through the blogosphere and are stumbled upon.  I have fond memories of many books found that way, by randomly picking up a book because the title sounded interesting.  Or it was shelved next to a book or series I enjoyed.  Or I grabbed the wrong one by accident.  Of course, I’ve found many spectacular flops that way too, but to each their own.

I’m going to stop rambling now and get back to work and try and meet my impossible deadline.

Peace to all and may you find something good to curl up with and read.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Why the Hate?

Today’s post is not going to be about my Photo a Day July pictures.  I’ll still post them, but they’re not the focus today.

There are two things bouncing around in my head trying to sort themselves out.

Actually, one is just sitting quietly in the corner reflecting.    That’s the fact that yesterday Sally Ride lost her battle with cancer and passed away.  I’m saddened by the loss of such an amazing woman.  Look at everything she’s done.  She flew on the Shuttle.  She wrote kids science books.  She was an advocate for science programs, worked on promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) excitement for kids.  And I got to actually hear her give a lecture at West Chester University when I was in high school.  I don’t remember everything she talked about, but I remember the confidence she had.  I remember her conviction and enthusiasm.  I wanted to be just like her.
So, yes, right now a small part of me is reflecting on the loss of such an amazing woman.

But, another part of me is trying to come to grips with, or at least figure out how to deal with all this rampant homosexuality bashing and homophobia that’s rearing its ugly head right now.

First, a week or so ago the Boy Scouts reaffirmed its ban on gay members and gay or lesbian leaders.  And it saddens me.  It saddens me because I know how wonderful a thing Girl Scouts has been in my life.  How much I learned, grew and experienced.  How much confidence and all those other intangible things we want our kids to have I gained from my time with Girl Scouts.  And then I think about all the wonderful women I’ve known through scouts who are lesbian or even transgender.  I think back to my two summers working at resident camp, living, eating and working with these amazing women.  I learned something from everyone I worked with those summers.  Sometimes it was just something as simple as a new song.  Sometimes it was something bigger and more profound and deeper.  Sometimes by knowing these women, I learned something about myself.  About how to love, how to cherish the individual, to see beyond language or culture barriers and that yes, we’re all people no matter how big or how small.  And that’s the important part.

And I can’t help but think how damaging it is to a young kid, who’s struggling with who they are and why they feel the way they do and what this thing called life really is and what’s expected of them and how they’re supposed to live life and be a good person to be excluded for something they didn’t choose.  And speaking from experience, it’s all young people who go through this.  We all question who we are and how we’re supposed to live and what it means to be a good person and how we fit into the community at large.  Some of us have easier answers than others. 
The lucky ones have family, friends, teachers and groups of peers and adults that help us on our way.  The unlucky ones get told they’re horrible just for living and breathing and that everything they believe is wrong and that they, on a human level are wrong.
How anyone can do that to another human is beyond me.  And how they can do it to a young, scared, confused kid who’s just trying to figure out which way is up (the opposite of down for those who are wondering…) sickens me.
I’d like to think that’s the way the majority of the people in the world feel just as sick at that thought.  Maybe it’s me being a “tree-hugging hippy” as I’ve been known to call myself, but maybe not.  I know, I know, there I go being an optimist again.  Sorry, it’s in my nature.

I will continue to believe that on an individual level that the majority of Boy Scouts and Boy Scout leaders are decent human beings who can see beyond the labels and honestly care and care for the boys they work with.  I will continue to believe that on an individual troop level, most will let any boy in and help them find their way in the world.  But, I cannot reconcile this with the national level policy.  If Boo asks to join the Boy Scouts later in life, I will have to think long and hard on this one.  I want him to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence that the program can help him find, but I don’t want him to think that excluding anyone just because of their sexual orientation is acceptable.  I know, and am related to, too many wonderful people who don’t fit the “traditional” heterosexual mold.  I wouldn’t want to exclude a single one of them from my life. 

And then, if that wasn’t enough for me to gnash my teeth over and try and come to terms with, then the shit hits the fan with Chick-fil-a.  And yes, this is tied directly to my thoughts about the Boy Scouts.

You see, apparently Chick-fil-a at the corporate level has very strong anti-gay ties and policies.  And recently they’ve apparently been putting up billboards promoting their stance.

I will not deny that I love their food.  I mean, they’re the one place that I can actually get grilled chicken nuggets.  How awesome is that?  And Boo can get applesauce, fruit cup or French fries for no extra charge with his meal.  And they’re good, quality ingredients.  And they taste awesome.

I will also say that I know the owners of our local Chick-fil-a personally and they’re wonderful, nice people who care about their family and their community.  No, I’ve never asked their stance on homosexuality, it’s not something that I really care about as long as they’re not trying to shove a view down my throat.  But Pat and Stew are two wonderful people who are always asking about Boo and take a moment to say hi whenever we would go, or when they would go to the UPS store to pick up their mail.

I know that they do a lot in support of the community.  Almost every week it seems that some school group (public and private) or church group or community group is having a “community night” fundraiser.  Yeah, it’s good for the store, but it’s even better for the groups.  They also do other things around town and show up at various local events.

The hatred that Chick-fil-a has been spewing has prompted the Muppets to withdraw any and all support from the company.  Think about that for a second, the Muppets pulled their support from a large company.  The Muppets will play with anyone.  They’re the most inclusive (and fun) group on the block.  I mean, look at Sesame Street, Jim Henson’s crowning achievement in my eyes.  There are so many different, differently abled and unique characters on that block that it’s amazing.  And no one cares that their best friend is a monster or a 7’ tall yellow bird, or black, Hispanic, or deaf.  They all live, work and play together and that’s the important part of life.  That’s what I want my son to learn.  It’s not what’s on the outside that matters; it’s who they are as a person that matters.

But, again, I want to believe that the bigotry and hatred that’s being spewed all over is either a few misguided individual owners or some big corporate mistake and that, like with the Boy Scouts, the majority are good, decent human beings.

And trust me, the question of if I will eat at Chick-fil-a ever again is a much more pressing question than if I will let Boo join the Boy Scouts.  I’ve got at least another 2-3 years for the Boy Scout question.  Tomorrow night is “pay-day Wednesday” and we often go “visit the cows” for dinner after Gak deposits his check.  And Pat came by the UPS store a few weeks back saying she hasn’t seen Boo in ages (she hasn’t… it’s been a while since we’ve gone and the last time she wasn’t there…).  So, it’s a knife in my heart of what to do.  Support a local business owner and family I know and indirectly support policies and vitriol that I despise or go somewhere else and possibly support some other corporation that I don’t know where they stand on some bigger issue?  All I want is some dinner, hold the guilt!

I was wondering out loud about the sudden rise in anti-gay garbage being spewed this morning.  I was wondering why now?  It seems kinda sudden to have such a dramatic increase in hatred.  And then Gak gently reminded me that it’s an election year, 99% of this is politics.  And that just makes me even more ticked off about the whole thing.  We’re talking about people.  We’re talking about friends and neighbors and fellow citizens who are being bullied and beaten (verbally, physically and emotionally).  Just about everyone I know wouldn’t stand for this for any other sub-group.  Why is it OK to hate gays when it’s not OK to hate Blacks or Asians or people with blue eyes?  Why are we allowed to, even encouraged to, hate one group of people?  What can they possibly “take away” from “us”, the “normal”, “decent” people?  What do they represent that sends fear into the heart of so many small minded people?

Am I saying everyone should live their life that way?  No.  But I am saying that people have the right to choose who they love and how.  I’m also saying that my way may not be the right way for everyone.  I’m thinking a little tolerance and understanding would go a long way in fixing the bigger problems that we’re facing in this country.  What about education?  What about infrastructure?  What about the bank/lending fiasco?  What about the fact that so many people are out of work?  What about the fact that people like me, who make more than the average salary for the area still feel like we’re being pinched between a rock and a hard place?  I don’t make much more than “average” for the area, but I make enough that I should be comfortable.  What about the fact that the marriage status of celebrity X, Y or Z is more newsworthy and important than the fact that the funding to the local fire station is being cut?  Or that Jane Doe did something terrifically awesome for her neighbors with no gain for herself?  Why has politics degenerated to spewing hatred, name calling and party segregation instead of cooperation?  What ever happened to what we all learned in Kindergarten; that sometimes you have to compromise in order to have something that works well for everyone? 
We as a country are fixating on the wrong things and it frustrates, angers and saddens me.  I can’t fix it.  I can’t even pretend to fix it, but I can make my own little corner of the universe a little bit better, a little bit more tolerant, and a little friendlier.

Ok.  I’ve ranted long enough; I’ll get off my soapbox now.  You’ll have to wait until tomorrow for pictures.  Yesterday’s (mirror) is still on my camera and I haven’t taken today’s (stranger) yet.  And no, this isn’t the thought that was bumping around in my head on Friday and wouldn’t settle down.  That one is much tamer and is quietly waiting its turn.

Peace to all and may you listen to your heart and not the hatred.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Upside Down?

Today was a fun day.  Boo and I drove out to York for the Piglet's 9th birthday party.  She's the daughter of my awesome and wonderful friend Lissa from college.  I miss Lissa so very much.  It stinks living almost 100 miles apart.  But, at least we've found each other again (thanks Facebook!) and can actually get together in person now and again.

Anyhow, we had a great little gathering of a few friends and their kids at a very beautiful state park.  The York library has this awesome summer program with the local parks where you have to follow directions and find a rubbing.  Anyhow, the Piglet and one of the other girls there are doing this project.  It was a great little adventure.  We then wrapped up the party with some cupcakes and some good playground time.  I'm pretty sure everyone had a great time.

I know Gak enjoyed his down day.  Since he was working open to close last week and will be again this week, he needed it.

Anyhow, today's prompt was "upside down" and this is as close as I got today.  After the official party, Boo and I went over to Lissa's to hang out and play for a while.  The Piglet really wanted us to stay over, but unfortunately, with a two hour drive that just wasn't going to happen.  We'll hopefully be able to have a sleepover weekend either here or there soon.

Yesterday's prompt was 9:00.  Well, like most Saturdays, Boo and I were doing laundry at 9:00 in the morning.  I'm pretty happy with this shot.

When I went to get change from the change machine, this is how I found the lids available for holding quarters.  I didn't have to move them at all.  I couldn't resist taking this picture.  It was a tossup between this one and the action shot above for my photo of the day.

Boo and I also went to Hen and Hog for lunch, since it was their first birthday.  They were having a bit of a party.  I ate way too much.  Boo loved his cornbread as always.  I was nice and picked up a to go order for Gak.  After Gak came home from work and ate his treat, we went for a walk as a family.  We ended up walking to the ice cream stand and then to a tattoo place a block or so further.  Then we went to the park for a bit and walked home.  I think we walked about 2 miles in total in about an hour.  It was a nice way to spend the afternoon.

So, that just about sums up our weekend.  Hopefully the week will go smoothly.  I've got a killer project that's got to be done this week, but I'm just not sure I'll make it.  I mean, this is one of those projects that never seems to end.  As soon as I think I've got everything set up right, someone will find something that's not right, or should be different or something they didn't tell me about.  It's so frustrating and annoying.  It doesn't help that we're dealing with a consultant instead of just the end customer, and it sometimes seems like the consultant gets paid by the word.  Ugh.  Oh well.  I'll give it my best and hopefully that'll be enough.

Peace to all and may your weekends be fun and your weeks not look too horrible.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Today was all about eyes.
Which reminds me, I really need to make an eye doctor's appointment, it's been over two years now... oh, and I really need to call about scheduling my "annual appointment".

Ok, sorry about that side trip.  I'm kinda tired.  It's been a long week.

Anyhow, I got a couple of different pictures today at work while I was waiting for things to happen.  (I spent a lot of time working at sites via modem access... so not fun.)

They were kinda fun to do.  But, they just weren't the photo of the day.  This one, however, is it.  My boy-o being super silly, goofy boy while getting ready for bed.  I love his eyes.  They're so changeable.  They often look like his Daddy's or one of his grandfathers'.  Most of the time they look like the reverse of mine.  As in where his are dark on the outside and paler closer to the pupil, mine do the opposite.

I don't really have a lot to say.
Well, I take it back.  I had something start knocking around in my head this afternoon while I was at work, but it's not quite ready (or I'm not quite awake enough) to settle down and let me type it out in any way that makes sense to anyone other than me.  So, I'll sit on it for a day or two.

Here are the other two photos I got today that I liked for eyes.

Peace to all and may you keep an eye on what's important.  (Yeah, I went there...)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Angels and Animals

Today's prompt was "animal/insect/pet"  Well, we don't have any pets.  And, no, Boo doesn't count.
I didn't get out for a walk or anything to try and find anything "wild" and interesting.
There were no insects in the office, which is usually considered a good thing.
After work, I took the truck back to the garage so they could finally do the official emissions testing (passed with flying colors).  There were a few people walking their dogs, but nothing exciting or picture-worthy or inspiring.  I did snap a pick of a little dog on the roof of the garage.  No, this isn't as strange as it sounds.  There's an apartment up there on the one side and the windows open out to the roof.  The little dog looked like it knew exactly where it was and what it was doing.  It didn't turn out very well.  Again, I wasn't very inspired and I really wasn't wanting yet another "snapshot".

So, by the time we got home, I realized I really didn't have anything (although I did get a few neat pictures while I was waiting for the truck... I'll post them at the end...).  I really didn't have time to go track something down.  The bunnies we've been seeing frequently around the front of the building weren't to be seen.

So, I decided I didn't need "real", "living" animals.  I got a pretty good shot of Trey, just hanging out on the tricycle:

But, As you can see from the top, I decided that wasn't "the one" for today.  So, while Boo was taking his bath, I had a little fun with Angel.  She's the bear that came to live with us the day Gram passed.  She's such a sweetie.  It's been a while since I've done any photo shoots with any of the bears.  I miss it.  They're fun to pose and shoot.  Before I had Boo, I used to do it all the time.  I love the one of AT I took while we were having lunch in Detroit on our first layover on our way to China.  I've got some great ones of Scout at the playground, and a few cute ones of Sally too.  There are some nice ones of Sam at the beach, beach-bum that he is.  The best part about photo shoots with the bears, they don't talk back and listen very well.  (Listening has been a hard thing for Boo the last few days...)

Anyhow, that's Angel, curled up with my Nook and an abandoned sock I was working on.  The lighting isn't great, but it'll do.  I think I'm going to use this as my profile picture for a while.  I have one from another layover in Detroit of her with my phone and a chai tea that I used for a while.  That was taken on my last flight before Boo was born.  Actually, the last flight I've been on in the last 4.5 years.  (I didn't realize it would be so long before I'd fly anywhere again... I thought for sure we'd have managed to make it to Oklahoma by now!)  Angle really is a sweetheart and I love my bears.

Anyhow, here are the two good pictures I took when I was waiting for the emissions testing on the truck:

A garage at the neighboring property.  I love their yard.  Very "old English cottage".

A baby pine cone I couldn't resist shooting.  I love the macro on my little Cannon.

Peace to all and may you have "animals" in your life that make you happy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Today's prompt was plate.  We had spaghetti for dinner, so this gives me the perfect opportunity to talk about Boo's eating, or lack there of.  At least at home.

I know I've posted before about how frustrating trying to feed this boy has become.  A lot of the frustration has been self imposed by Gak and I.  And yes, I still struggle with if what we're doing is the right approach.  I think there's enough stubborn in this family that all it's going to do is make everyone unhappy.
Part of me still wonders if we should give up on making him try a bite, but just put the food on the table, he can eat what he wants, but if he doesn't eat any of the protein/main dish, no dessert.  Not that I want him to think that he should have dessert every night, but a small treat at the end of the day isn't a bad thing.  Maybe, just maybe, if I make it seem like I really don't care what he eats, maybe, just maybe, he'll eventually get up enough courage on his own to try things.  I'm not going back to making two meals for dinner.  Nope, I'll make sure there's something I know he eats on the table, but it'll totally be his call on what and how much he eats.  I mean, that's part of the problem I know I have... the whole eating until I'm stuffed vs. eating until I've had enough to fill me up without being over full.  *shrug* Like I said, it's something that's bouncing around in my head.

Anyhow, today's photo of the day is a photo of Boo's dinner.  Like I said, we had spaghetti tonight, which is something Boo loves.  So long as any sauce doesn't come within three feet of it.  I can usually manage to get one bite off my plate of a noodle or two with some sauce on it.  Tonight went amazingly well considering the fights we've had the rest of the week.  Oh, but that better be Kraft parm, not the good stuff.  Again, sigh.

Other things Boo will eat: grilled cheeses.  Like his Momma, he'll turn into a grilled cheese if given the chance.  I could probably get him to eat either a grilled cheese, or an un-grilled cheese sandwich twice a day every day.  But, as I found out in college, one can't live off of grilled cheese and french fries alone.

Boo will sometimes eat chicken nuggets.  But, not home made ones.  Some days he won't touch ones from restaurants or store bought ones.

He now likes tortillas, with either peanut butter or shredded cheddar cheese, so long as it's not melted.  Again, cheese.

So, other than cheese (either "white square" or shredded cheddar) and peanut butter and milk, there really isn't any protein sources he'll eat, animal or vegetable.

Yeah, yeah, I know... I was the same way.  I eventually grew out of it and so will he.  But, I'd like to see him grow out of it a little fast than I did.  At least I would eat pizza, and home made macaroni and cheese and lunch meat and the like... but, no.  Not Boo.

Oh well.  I'm just kinda rambling right now.

I'm going to sign off and head to bed.

Peace to all and may you eat what you like, like what you eat and have at least a little variety in your meals.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Signs and Addictions

Yesterday, I would have posted, but the battery in my mouse died, I was tired and I just didn't feel like finding a new battery.

Anyhow, yesterday's prompt was "sign".  Since I was at work all day and it was too hot to go out for a walk when we got home, this sign will do.  It's actually one that I have chuckled about since we moved into this building.  Yes,  I find it a bit ironic (?) that the "No Smoking" sign hangs right above the fire extinguisher.  There's actually two on each floor.
Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that this is technically a smoke free building.  Although, there are two people who still do smoke in their apartments, but I'm guessing they've been living here (at least, I'm pretty sure the one has!) longer than the ban has been in place.  I just find it kinda funny where the sign is posted in relation to the fire extinguisher.
This really isn't a very good photo, but we were on our way to pick up Gak from work and Boo wasn't being very patient.

Yesterday was a tough day for everyone.  For me, it was just more reporting month madness combined with a Monday lack of focus.  Boo had it easy.  He wasn't happy that he wasn't getting any Amma time because he had to go school the whole day because Daddy was working all day.  Gak had the worst day of us all.  It was a very disaster filled day, and ended up a bit grumpy.  We all have those and we survived this one as we usually we do.

Anyhow, today's prompt was "my addiction".  I went for the obvious shot.  Here's my basket that sits right beside my rocking chair in the living room.  It's got a started project, a bunch of waiting yarn and several completed projects in the front.  Actually, those projects can probably represent another addiction I've been going through.  I have been hooked on fashion scarves (as opposed those purely for warmth) and shrugs/small shawls.  They really do expand my wardrobe quite a bit and are quick and easy projects.  Oh, and that orange bit, that's Trey's scarf I made him last winter.  He didn't really get to wear it much because it wasn't that cold.

But, my other current addiction has been tea.  I just got an order from Adagio, I think I ordered about 6 different teas.  I seemed to run out of everything all at once.  That could have made an interesting picture, but probably not, because none of them are open.

Anyhow, I'm going to wrap it up here.  Tomorrow's prompt is "plate".  Maybe my lunch will be interesting.  Actually, thinking about "plate" I'm not sure what we're doing for dinner tomorrow... hmmm... guess I'd better figure that out before I go to bed.
Oh, and speaking of bed, I finished The Goddess Lounge last night.  It was awesome.  Quite funny.  It had a great page-turning pace.  And, yeah, I needed to hear the lesson Penne was hit upside the head with.  Thanks Margaret!  I can't wait to read what else your amazing brain comes up with.  You really do make me laugh.

Ok, now I'm going to wrap it up.

Peace to all and may you have an addiction that makes you happy and find humor in the signs around us.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Today's prompt was "finger".  I bet you can guess what my first thought was.  It wasn't very appropriate... And, while I may feel like saying that to the world in general some days, and work lots of days... it wasn't appropriate today.

However, there is a finger that's appropriate.  The ring finger on my left hand.  I'm not sure I can tell you exactly how much I love that band on my finger.  I love the pattern and the size and the weight.  But most of all, I love what it represents.  I love that it shows the world that my heart belongs to one person.  And that person happens to be a very wonderful man.  I'm proud to say that I love my Gak.  I love him with all my heart.
We may have our ups and downs and ins and outs.  We may totally frustrate the hell out of each other and drive each other to distraction and beyond, but in the end, it's worth it.  I have someone who even through the bad and the ugly loves me and sees through to the real me, the me I often try and hide from the world.  And, he loves me for it.  Or maybe because of it.  I'm not sure.  It doesn't really matter.  What matters is that I truly love my Bear.  I know I don't say it or show it often enough.  I know I take him for granted.  But I also know that I really don't want to think about what my life would be like without him.  It would be a lot grayer and a lot less fun.  We may not always go off on grand adventures, but even our small adventures often have us laughing.  Maybe days or weeks after the fact when we can get over the drama that has been caused, but we can almost always laugh about it.

I've noticed over the years that the weight of my wedding band never seems to be the same.  Some days, I barely even notice I'm wearing it.  It's just there.  Other days, it seems to weigh 10 tons and it is all I can think about.  I find myself playing with it absently at times, usually when I'm either in deep concentration or when I'm stressed out.  It grounds me and reminds me of what's really important.  And it reminds me that I have someone who I love totally and who loves me with all his heart.

I really wish everyone could find that.  I remember describing the first time I saw Gak after about 5 years of being apart.  I remember saying it was like finding that old, worn-out, long forgotten but favorite coat in the back of the closet.  It may be a bit ragged and beat up and faded around the edges, and maybe a seam needs a little help and there's a button missing, but when you put it on and it just wraps you up in that warmth, it's perfect no matter what it looks like.  That's what it was like the weekend he came up to visit me.  And some days that feeling is a little harder to find, but it's always there.  I always find it by the time I'm curled up in bed, drifting off knowing that someone loves me.

So, after a lazy Sunday with a few errand running adventures (that got new shoes for me and a boy, a White Dwarf for my Bear and groceries for the week...) and wrapping it up with watching Ice Age 2 and a "facetime" call from Nana, I will say goodnight.  The next two weeks will be long as Gak has to work open to close.  It won't be fun by the end of the second week, but we'll get through it, we always do.

Peace to all and may you find someone to share your heart with.

P.S. Yes, that is my RoadID I'm wearing as well.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Yesterday's photo a day prompt was "open".  I've seen several great shots.  I had some interesting ideas, but none of them really happened.  Of course, I get to work (at 6am) and realize that I'd left my camera at home.  So, I wasn't going to be taking any "good" photos at work.  I look down at my open desk drawer and decide it looks kinda cool.  So, I snapped this one with my phone.  Not a bad shot.  I might have done it a little differently with my camera, but I'm not sure.  Yes, there's my hook case, a half completed project and a ball of yarn in there.  Yes, I've gotten in trouble for it before, but these days I only take in projects during reporting month.  Why do I take in projects in the busiest months we have?  Quite simply, to keep me from bouncing off the walls.  Things get really, really hectic.  I've got a mountain of work I have to get done.  That's the good thing, it keeps me busy.  The bad thing, it all takes lots and lots of computer churning time.  I have to run evaluations on reports and move (relatively) large files around and wait for reports to run... all things that tie up my computer and keep me from doing two things at once and they tend to take up a good bit of time.
So, instead of bouncing off the walls from having to sit still, or getting up and wandering off only to return 10 or 15 minutes after everything is finished, I take in a project to keep my fingers busy.  It's the same reason why I used to make so many baby blankets when I was traveling all the time for work.  I can't sit still... and you have to sit still on airplanes.  There's not much room and you're supposed to stay in your seat anyhow.  So, crochet keeps me from going totally insane.  And I can put it down at the end of any stitch, unlike a book which usually draws me in and is worse than going off to talk to a friend for a few minutes.

I have a previous photo that I love even more for "open", but since I'm trying to take all new shots, I didn't use it.  I'll post it at the end.

Today's prompt was "building".  I think I lamented earlier about not having big buildings around.  Of course, I've seen several little buildings that are really neat and have such character.  There are even a few here in town, but I knew I wasn't going to get there today.  Instead, this is how Boo and I spent a good chunk of the morning and some of the afternoon as well.  We were building with Legos.  Yes, there are a lot there.  I found a whole stash of my old Legos and gave them to Boo today to add to his pile.  To say he was thrilled was an understatement.  Anyhow, over all we had a great day.  We're still battling with eating and other control issues, but he's four.  And stubborn runs strong in the family.  He did take a nice long nap for me which meant I got to read a lot of "The Goddess Lounge" this afternoon.  I'm enjoying it and it's quite a quick and fun read.  Some moments I just want to smack Penne upside the head, but most of the time it's Georgie that needs a swift kick.  Anyhow, it's almost 9:00.  I think I'm going to wrap it up here and try and figure out what's going on the rest of the weekend...

Peace to all and may you have a fun weekend and not let work crush you too badly.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Letters and Texture

Yesterday's prompt was "letter".  I had no luck all day at work with coming up with anything.  Of course, since I barely had time to get up from my desk to get my lunch out of the fridge, I'm not surprised.  Anyhow, I got home and figured I'd take a picture of our empty mailbox.  We hardly ever get mail.  Much to my surprise, we actually had mail.  Advertising admittedly, but mail none the less.

Actually, I was happy to see the JoAnn's flyer.  Not that I'm planning on buying anything, but I like getting the coupons anyhow, on the off chance that I'll both be inspired as well as have a few extra bucks in my pocket.  I may have a few extra bucks this weekend, but I've already decided that there are two books that I need to pick up.  One is Margaret Finnegan's  (yes, that Margaret who has made a few comments on this blog...) new novel, The Goddess Lounge.  The other is the new Deborah Harkness novel Shadow of Night.  Yeah, I see a theme.  *shrug* I just finished Tricked by Kevin Hearne.  Not exactly breaking from the pattern.  Although, I could stand to read some cyber-punk or similar sci-fi again soon.
Ok, now that I've totally gotten off topic.
Wait, I have a topic?
Hmm.... anyhow, back to what I was wanting to say.

I actually had two more photos yesterday that I really liked as well.  There was this one, of all the magnet letters that Boo has tossed into his drawer in the kitchen.  (I'm still not sure why he won't put them back on the fridge or dishwasher...)

I'll save the third one from yesterday until last...

Anyhow, today's prompt was texture.  I'm not really going to go into detail.  But, yeah, slamming my head against a brick wall is how I felt all day.  Work is being a bear.  Trying to get Boo to try anything new is even worse.  Getting the boy to let me brush his teeth... let's not go there. 

All I know, is that with Boo it's a combination of things.  Part of it is the actual fear of trying new things.  That, I get.  But, what really is beginning to wear on me is the fact that a large part of the problem is that a lot of why Boo doesn't want to try things, or let me brush his teeth, or help me put together the Legos by finding the right pieces or participate in soccer is because someone is asking or making him do something.  I know this is a big part of being four years old.  I know he's just trying to establish his place in the world and the hierarchy of the family and at school.  But... I just can't help but wonder if this stubborn streak a mile wide that is increasingly being accompanied by crying and tantrums of sorts is a preview of the struggles to come when he gets to school.  I'm very thankful that he's got another year yet before Kindergarten.  In a way this makes me glad that he'll most likely be going to public school and our district only does half day Kindergarten.  Yes, he's used to being away from home all day, but actually having to have a structured day all day is going to be tough on him.  But, on the other hand, he just might do better with the more individualized attention that he could get from smaller private school classes and structure.

Anyhow, those are musings for another day.  It's after 9:00 already and I really should head into work as early as I can since I was less than able to get anything done this evening at home like I'd hoped.

Peace to all and may you not be slamming your head into brick walls....

Oh, here's the last picture from yesterday.  Like I said, the theme was "letter".  All I could really keep thinking about was "P".  I wasn't going to take this picture, but it kept poking at me all day.  So I gave in.  No, it's not actually pee.  It's just a few drops of yellow food coloring in the bowl.  Yeah, I know.... bad pun... not even a very good photo.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Favorite Color

I'm not really feeling it today.  So, you're mostly just going to get a picture.  I spend most of the day with a headache and so busy at work that I just couldn't see straight or break away from my desk for more than a few minutes at a time.  I'm seriously falling behind through no fault of my own.  Or at least I feel like I'm falling behind.  I'm not sure.

Anyhow, today's prompt was my favorite color.  I love lots of colors, it just depends on my mood.  But, more often than not, blues and greens are among my favorites.  There was that period when I was about 5 to 7 years old or so that I was in love with pink, so much that my neighbor used to call me Pinky.  And in 4th and 5th grade I had a big thing for purple....

In the summer though, it's sky blue.  Mostly the deep, clear blue of a summer sky with only a few puffy clouds in it.  Today was a bit more cloudy and the sky wasn't quite as blue... but it'll do.  I shot this out the side door of my building.  I'd much rather have been out in the heat than cool and comfortable in the office today.

So, I'm heading to bed and hope that tomorrow will be a happier day.

Peace to all and may you get time to spend in the beautiful blue skies.

Monday, July 09, 2012


Today's challenge was "big".  I spent all day at work busier than busy.  In the back of my head "big" kept knocking about.  I really couldn't think of anything big or impressive that was nearby and available for me to take pictures of.  I would have loved to go take pictures at the Nature Center of the big white oak at the corner of the property.  I wish I was in Colorado Springs at Garden of the Gods park and get some pictures of the big rock formations.  I don't live in a city so getting some pictures of some neat big buildings and architecture.

So, when I got home I asked Boo what was big that we could take pictures of.  We eventually came up with Lee, the huge puppy dog that Aunt Abi sent him for Christmas a few years ago now.  So, we had a bit of fun.  I like having fun with my boy-o.  (I couldn't decide which one I liked better, so you get two pictures tonight...)

But, dinner is no longer fun.  Teeth brushing before bed is no longer fun.  Both have become torture for everyone involved I think.  I keep telling myself that trying to get Boo to actually eat one, itty-bitty, teeny-tiny, mouse bite of whatever protein Gak and I are eating that evening.  He won't expand his diet if he won't try things.  But, if he doesn't want to try something, he's not going to like it.  That's the royal catch-22, now isn't it.  I hate the crying and the fussing and the sending the boy-o to bed without dinner.  I always make sure to have at least one thing for dinner that I know he actually likes and wants.  I make it clear that he can have as much of that as he wants, after he eats one bite of the "new" food.  And it's not like I'm making him eat an entire steak or something, about 1/4 of a taste.  Not even enough to really count as a bite.  Oh well.  We'll keep on this tack for a while longer and see if it deteriorates into total hell for everyone involved or if it becomes bearable.
I'm not holding my breath that he's suddenly going to start eating anything and everything, as I don't eat half as "correctly" as I should... I've posted before about how veggies and I usually just glare at each other from across the room.  I understand about icky textures and things tasting like dirt and the downright terror of trying something new.  I fought that hard every day until I was about 20.  I still have to push myself hard to get out of my comfort zone and get out of my food ruts and try new things and expand the boundaries of what I eat.  But, I can still feel that gut-wrenching fear of trying something.  Therefore, I don't really like forcing Boo down that path, but you do eventually have to face it.  And I was hoping it would be easier on everyone to start now, as opposed to later... What gets me is the fact that he used to eat just about anything I could get in his mouth until he was about 15 months old.

Anyhow, enough of my ranting.  I've got a boy-o in bed (maybe falling asleep, but I doubt it)... and an early day tomorrow.

Peace to all and may your fun outweigh the angst.

Sunday, July 08, 2012


Today's prompt was lunch.  And, again, it was quite appropriate.  Gak's phone started giving him grief about a week ago.  It seemed that some times when he wasn't even quite touching it all kinds of "buttons" were pressing.  So, since it was less than 30 days old, we went to AT&T.  Since it's an iPhone, we had to go to Apple.  We made an appointment at the Apple store down near my mom and made plans to meet up for lunch.

This morning was pretty low key.  The boy-o decided he wanted strawberries and whipped cream and milk for breakfast.  He didn't want a waffle or french toast sticks or cereal with it, just berries and milk.  Ok.  Find by me.  I made some french toast for Gak and I.  I covered mine with two small peaches cut up.  I think I had more peaches than toast.  I love peaches and the ones I've picked up at the store this past week have been awesome.  As in, they taste like pure summer.  (They're a little more expensive than the loose "Eastern peaches" that are smelling like nothing and are rock hard, but the ones in the bag have been perfectly ripe and so full of flavor you can taste them from halfway across the room... worth the extra $1 or so.)

After cleaning up and getting ourselves cleaned up and dressed we headed on down to the mall.  Let me tell you, I know why they have you make appointments at the Apple store for tech service.  It was bus-y.  After taking one look at the crowd, I look at Gak and say that Boo and I were going to go wander.  There's a Lego store in this mall.  And my boy-o loves Legos.  As we were about halfway to the Lego store, my phone rings and it's Amma!  She decided to run some errands and was at L.L. Bean.  I tell her where Boo and I are headed and she joins us there when she was done with her shopping.  Boo and I had a great time looking at the various builds that were on display, both the Lego kits and the ones just made up.  Boo was in awe when he saw the wall of open Lego bins that he could choose what he wanted.  He decided that he wanted to spend the last bit of his birthday money on a small container of "choose your own" bricks.  You'd have thought he was in heaven!

Anyhow, by the time Amma, Boo and I wander back to the Apple store, Gak was ready to go.  We head over to Michael's Deli for lunch.  Let me tell you, I don't get corned beef very often, but I truly love it when I do.  I even remembered to take my camera out before lunch was brought out.  Unfortunately, I didn't remember it until after I'd already eaten half my sandwich and was just waiting to get a box for the second half when I suddenly remembered why I had my camera out.  So, you get a shot of half a yummy corned beef sandwich and half of Boo's grilled cheese.

That was about all the excitement of the weekend.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Peace to all and may you be able to treat yourself to something yummy (or something fun) now and again.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Chairs and Gardens

I was too tired and distracted yesterday to post.  So, here's yesterday's "chair" photo.  It was interesting and challenging to try and shoot my work chair.  (And yes, there are some days I want to really shoot it... but it's actually pretty comfortable most days... it should be, I'm usually stuck in it for most of the 8 hours I'm at work.)  The biggest problem was lighting.  If I'd had better, stronger light, I wouldn't have had to use the flash.  Then some of my pictures would have turned out more like I wanted them too.  As is, the flash bounced off the mesh of the seat and back and made it appear much more solid than it is.  Oh well. I've got to work with the tools I have available at the time.

Work has been going fairly well.  Yesterday was as dead as can be in the office.  Between the normal Friday event of having about half the office out on any given week, many people also decided to make a 5-day weekend out of the holiday.  I don't blame them.  I would have loved too, but Gak had to work all day yesterday and Thursday and since it's reporting month... and Bill's out... I don't have that luxury.  We'll see what next year brings.

Today's assignment was garden.  I'm going to go ahead and call this one done, even though there's a good bit of day left that I could get some other pictures.  My little balcony garden is thriving, despite the horrible heat and my sometimes lax watering practices.  There's even one tomato (and several flowers just waiting to turn into tomatoes) ripening on the vine.  I did get a neat picture of the baby tomato (see below), but I like the feel of the one shot down the length of the balcony.  The only thing missing from this shot is the strawberry plants behind me and the sunflowers that are going to seed beside me.  I'm just thrilled that 3 of the four sunflower seeds I planted sprouted, grew and bloomed!  (I'm also thrilled they weren't 6' tall monsters...)

It is way too hot again today.  Thankfully, the heat should begin to break tomorrow and be in the low 80s the rest of the week.  I like that thought.  I love summer weather, but you can take the high humidity with the 100+ temps and shove it.  There's multiple reasons we don't live in the mid-west or south... summer being one of them.  (We both enjoy summer, but neither Gak, nor I enjoy the humidity that can come with it...)

Not sure what's really on the plate for the rest of the weekend.  Tomorrow Gak has an appointment at the Apple store to get his iPhone looked at because its doing weird touch screen things with "pressing" multiple "buttons" at random whenever your finger gets close to it....annoying, frustrating and we've had it less than 30 days so.... we get it looked at now as opposed to later.

I'm going to go curl up for a bit while the boy-o is sleeping.  I'm exhausted again for some reason.  And yes, I've been taking my vitamins.  I've just been wiped out this week.  I think it has to do with the heat, even when I hide in the AC all day.  That, and it's July so work is a high-stress situation right now.

Oh, and before I forget, I want to say congratulations to my friend Bill and Sandy for tying the knot today.  It may be almost 20 years latter than originally planned and with many, many, many bumps in the road, but they're back together and forever now.  I wish them many, many, many years of happiness and love.

Peace to all and may your photos be fun, your seats comfortable, your garden thrive and your friends be happy.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

On The Floor

On the floor and other stuff.  Today's photo challenge was "on the floor".
"Great!" I thought, "my son's always got something interesting on the floor...."  Well, I just wasn't finding inspiration in the mess that is Boo's room and he wasn't in the mood to break out the trains or the cars and actually pose for me.  So, while he watched "Blue's Clues" I plopped down on the floor and took a few pictures of my hand weights.  Yes, I keep them under the front edge of the TV table.  I do that on purpose.  I figure if I see them every single morning, I may just actually remember to find one of the workout videos I kinda like and use them.  Maybe.  Some days.  I seem to do better with that over the winter, but I guess that's because it's too cold to actually go outside as much and I get antsy or something.  Working out in general (swimming or otherwise) just hasn't been happening as regularly as it has been in the past...)

Anyhow, in other news... the Durango passed inspection.  The only thing that really needed to be done was to fix the evap line and replace a few bulbs.  So, yeah.  I just bought myself another year to figure out what we're going to do about a vehicle.  We'll see.  We probably should look into replacing her, but next September everything changes.  Hopefully we'll be able to avoid any unpleasant surprises in the meantime.

That's all I really have to say today.

Peace to all and may you actually get down on the floor and play with the kids and may you be pleasantly surprised now and again.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Fun Fourth

The photo prompts for the last two days were "the best bit of my day" and "fun".  I would say that this has been a fun 24 hours or so.

After some confusion between Gak and I, figured out that we were, indeed, going to camp overnight Tuesday night at Knoebel's.  So, after work, I pick up Boo, we run home and throw stuff together for overnight.  We didn't have to worry about our tent because it was already up there.  In just under an hour we got everything thrown together, including sleeping bags, washing out the cooler, picked up milk, tea and ice and Gak and dinner from Sonic.  We got up to the site right about 9:00.  Just about everyone was still down in the park so, we head down and catch up with them.  I rode the Ferris wheel with Ed, Buffie, Billy and Nik.  I got a great picture from the top.
I was hard pressed to decide which picture I took yesterday represented my "best bit" of the day.  The pictures of the campfire after we got back to the site didn't turn out too well.  The picture from the top of the Ferris wheel, while cool, isn't exactly my favorite part of the day, so I settled with the picture I took of Boo before leaving to get the food and Gak.  On almost any given Tuesday, the best bit of my day is usually the moment Boo realizes I've come to pick me up and he comes running over.  Although, some times the moment I tuck him into bed is my favorite.  Or, sometimes Gak and I actually get to steal a few moments together ant that really makes my day.

Anyhow, today's prompt was fun.  I didn't really get much of a choice.  I have to go with the picture of Boo, Nik and Billy playing with cars in the dirt this morning.  You see, my camera started acting up right after I took this shot.  It's working again now, so I should be able to finish the rest of the month.

We had a good day at Knoebel's.  After a fairly lazy morning, Gak and I took Boo, Nik, Katie and Katie down to the park.  We got the boys on a handful of rides and the girls and I rode a few things as well.  After we headed back to the campsite to finish packing everything up and having a bit of lunch.  Ed, Buffie and the kids headed home at that point, the rest of us (including Kat, Zoe, Andy, Steph and Rachel at this point) head down into the park.  Those of us that wanted to got on the Twister (I think I like the Phoenix better... it's scarier and has bigger drops, but Twister rattles and spins you more...)  After that we hit the gift shop and some of the kiddos wanted to go on the Antique cars.  Gak and I stole a few minutes and walked to the other side of the park to pick up frozen iced teas and lemonade for Boo.  After that, we all decided we were hot, tired and wanted to make it home for fireworks.

Actually, Boo is in bed now, the truck has been dropped off at the local garage for a second opinion tomorrow and I'm probably going to call it a night soon.  I don't really want to go to work tomorrow, but I've got a mountain of work waiting for me.

Peace to all and may you have fun and good "weekends" even if they're in the middle of the week.

Monday, July 02, 2012


Anyone who knows me in real life, or has read this blog for more than a few months realize that the first month of every quarter is all about busy at work. Busy doesn't begin to cover it some months.  This month is probably going to feel like one of those.  My good friend Bill is getting married Saturday down in Key West and will be out from Wednesday morning until the 16th.  Oh, did I mention he's the main regulatory guy in the service group?  I mean, I know a boat load about all this reporting stuff and have been here only 6 months less than Bill, but Bill knows way more than I do some days.  So... yeah, it's going to be busy.  July is often rough because of the 4th interrupting things, but this year will be even more fun.  Oh well, so be it.

So, being the first work day of reporting month, it's quite appropriate that today's photo prompt was "busy". This is a (slightly staged, but only to cover up customer information) shot of my desk right before I was leaving today.  Those printouts tell me what's wrong with the reports the customers are trying to submit.  Those are only the first of many, many trees I could end up killing.
...You know... for being a company that deals with power plant emissions and is supposedly a "green" company, we sure do burn through a lot of paper.  Sure, I use two monitors all the time these days, but there are some times I just need a hard copy to scribble on or to easily take with me to talk to someone else.

Anyhow, I just thought I'd share today's "busy" shot.  I would much rather have had a shot of my busy, busy boy being a four-year-old boy and not stop moving.  He almost vibrates some days he's so busy.

Peace to all and may you not be any busier than you need to be.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Self Portrait

Well, I'm crazy enough to seriously consider doing the Photo a Day July list.  I had lots of fun playing with the June list.  Maybe this month not only will I get the photos taken, but posted on the same day.  Yeah, well, I can try.

Anyhow, today's prompt was self portrait.  I hate trying to take pictures of myself.  All I end up doing is scowling no matter what I end up doing.  So, I figure the picture at the top that I set up is about as good as I'm going to get today.  It more or less covers the most important things.  I mean, I could have logged in and taken a screen shot of my avatar in EQII, but I haven't been playing much at all lately and I'm kinda cheezed with Sony at the moment, but that's a different story.

So, here's a pile of stuff that represents "me".  There's my crocheting basket full of half finished projects and a couple extra balls of yarn.  There's my rusty, trusty hiking boots and my small backpack.  I'm not a purse gal, I'm a backpack kind of a kid.  Anyhow, nestled in the middle there is my N70.  That's my AF Nikon.  I really enjoy using it, but I love my FG more.  (I couldn't find my FG, I'm hoping it's still at Mom and Dad's...)  And I totally blew Boo's mind by showing him that there's no screen on the back and telling him that it uses film and you don't get to see the results right away.  The batteries were dead, or I'd have actually snapped something just to hear the shutter sound.  So, as you can see, I am pretty much a mix of a lot of very different things.  Like I've said before, I do a little of this, a little of that... I'm a Jill-of-all-trades and not really a master of any.  There are some who might argue that point, but while I may produce a few gems in my various crafts from time to time, I'm not a consistent master in any of my crafts.  And I'm OK with that.  I like to dabble and play and these are the things that keep me sane and relaxed.

Boo has been playing with his camera a lot too recently.  He keeps messing with the date setting though, so everything is all kinds of wacky on his card, but that's OK.  I actually downloaded everything off the card (but I haven't erased the card...) today.  Here is one that Boo took of me this afternoon while I was playing with my N70 AF. (Yes, I need a hairbrush, my formerly ironing board straight hair is now wavy since Boo was born and I started swimming a lot and the humidity doesn't help... or driving around with the windows of the red car down...)

I hope you enjoyed these two pictures.  I enjoyed taking the one.  Tomorrow is "busy" and I really will be.  Today started reporting month and we added a ton of reports we have to have done by the 16th this quarter.  Oh, and Bill, our main support regulatory guy... is taking most of the next two weeks off... to get married of all things! *laugh* Seriously, it's about time.  He deserves this, but the selfish part of me wishes they were going to wait until August... but that's a different story.

Peace to all and may you actually enjoy self reflection from time to time.