Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Mint" to be loved.

Holidays are full of things that you love. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, (maybe one more LOVE) all things mint. I bathe in it. Wash my hair in it. Scent my sheets with it. And above all else love to eat it.  I'm a bit of a mint snob, spearmint will not do. I LOVE the bad boy peppermint. At our house we make "Idle Isle" chocolates. For the lay public these are maple flavored centers dipped in chocolote (preferable dark, I'm a snob there as well) and rolled in chopped toasted almonds. Not so at my house, we flavor the centers.... you guessed it! With mint and then we dip in chocolate but we roll it in crushed up candy canes. Yes, I admit it's an addiction.

There are many things to wait for at Christmas time but I wait for the stocking of the shelves at my local grocery store. I used to hover to grab the first box of cherry chocolates. I only allowed myself one and I had to make it last the whole season. (The box, not the individual chocolates) But then my taste buds matured and they started marketing chocolate covered blueberries. Really? So I gave up the whole fruit centered thing and just searched out mint, and more mint. Again, I try to limit myself to one box or bag of something each year. What do you wait for every year? How many do you limit yourself too?

My all time favorite is Hershey's mint truffle kisses. They come in the dark green bag and they are stinking hard to find. Supposedly, my husband has hid one here at my home but I'm starting to think he just wants a thorough housecleaning because once I find a dustbunny I have to adopt it out of my house with the vacuum.
My son-in-law, Chad introduced me to these bad boys this year.
They are a very good second. So grab yourself a bag of mint M&M's and compare them to Hershey's mint truffle kisses and let me know what you think. This is not a paid advertisment of any kind but if either Hershey's or if the MARS distribution company would like to send me a case of either, that would be fine!!!
And if I can get them for free I may have more than one bag this season. Anyone know a good gym?

Saturday, December 3, 2011


This time of year my family tries to create certain experiances that we have had in the past. I don't think anyone ever really determined that they were our family traditions, more like our family expectations. Over the Thanksgiving holidays we had our children from Alaska with us, but the children in Missouri couldn't make it. So in honoring our Alaska visitee's we had Chocolate Pecan Pie. This is family favorite that my daugher Kat always makes, she was here, we had her pie. Amber, who was absent, is perfecting a cranberry jello salad. We couldn't serve it this year because she was missing. Instead we served "cranberry chutney". It's very simple but I will warn you, it makes alot. Chop 1 bag cranberries, 3 apples (peeled and cored), 3 oranges (peeled and separated). Stir together. Add 1 large can of crushed pineapple (drained). Stir. Stir in 2 and 1/2 Cups of sugar. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator. Serve with hot turkey as a relish. Yum, very tasty.

So at our home on thanksgiving day we have a "tradition" that formed without anyone knowing it was a tradition. After the meal was done and the dishes were cleaned up the family adjourned to the family room where I was asked, "Where is the thanksgiving DVD?" "What DVD?" Evidently in years past I have purchased a current DVD and made it available for viewing after dinner. This is so my entire family can succumb to the post-turkey tryptophan induced coma that they consider the best nap of the year. So does it really matter what DVD I put in? I didn't get the memo and I didn't meet the expectation of my children, there is always next year. Instead we tried to view an old VHS (yes, I still have some) on a newer HD model television, in case you haven't experianced this's blurry.

One tradition I did follow through on though, is without fail every year for as long as I can remember. I forget to wrap some gift and get it under the tree. Christmas morning I am always doing inventory in my head when I realize someone is missing something and have to make a mad dash into the nether regions of my walk-in closet. Since my children from Alaska will not be back for Christmas, we had Christmas 2 days after Thanksgiving and I forgot the chocolate oranges. My bad. This way they got to select which kinds they wanted.

I also can't think of "traditions" without thinking of "The fiddler on the roof". In the little town of Anatevka traditions determine how you sleep, how you eat, how you work and how you wear your clothes. Tevye is asked about the fiddlers on the roof. "And how do we keep our balance?" "That I can tell you in one word... Tradition." So that's the best reason of all to have traditions. To keep your balance. How do you keep your balance during the holiday season?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Phone

THe prompt this week from is to write about your love for an inatimate object. I was resistant to admit my love for my phone. Well, it's really more of a love-hate relationship. I love that I can call anyone I choose whenever I want. I hate that anyone can call me. My children are forever telling me to answer my phone, to which I reply, "I only answer it when I want to." I love that I can silence the ring. I hate that the vibration mode always spooks me just a little bit when it goes off in my pocket. My phone has met with a tragic demise. There were warning signs for months that my phone was unhappy. I took my phone on my adventure at sea in April. It lounged around in my locker for 27 days. It's battery never recharged, it became listless and difficult to manage. I charged on my very last day in Peru and cheerfully lavished attention on it in the L.A. airport to alert all my family and friends that I was coming home. It responded by refusing to hold a very long battery charge. I would go from 3 bars of power to one then off and silent in less than 12 hours. I tried recharging it frequently, maybe this was the wrong thing. I caved into its demands, I bought a car charger.
Finally after one too many power outages I gave into my phone's teenage angst and I purchased another battery. A fresh source of power so we could start over and be friends again. Let all the past bygones be bygones. I had hope for a smooth future relationship where I could continue to love and hate my phone. But, by then the damage was done. It may have been depression. It may have been anxiety. It may have been performance pressure. I'm not a doctor, I can't diagnose. But now, my beautiful phone with the new power source became lethargic and distant. It would just turn off. No warning, no demands. It took a careful series of events to turn it back on. The case would have to come off. Then a warm breath would have to be blown across the battery and the sim card would have to be stroked firmly into place. Then the cover would be replaced and usually the phone could be coaxed into returning to responsiveness.
THen tragically last night, it all ended.
My phone in a fit of angst and tantrum vibrated from my kitchen counter to the hardwood floor below. I heard a sound that resembled "a clatter" and when I got there to see what was "the matter" I found my phone powerless and cover missing on the floor. AFter carefully, outlining the scene with a chalk outline, I picked up the phone and returned the cover. My phone has previously made this dive a time or two and been awakened after a brief resuscitive period. But, a las this is the result of last nights tumble.
So to whomever called last night giving my phone the vibration to leap from the counter, I'm sorry I have not responded back and BLESS you for finally putting my phone out of it's misery. It is in a better place right now. And never fear that my addiction with having a phone to call with should cause me to tremor with anxiety at the loss of my phone. I returned my sim card to my previous phone. It's okay, as long as you don't look at the duct tape that is holding it together. I will miss my pretty pink phone but mostly I'm sad because it is not time for me to upgrade so I have to pay for a new phone without any discounts.  Sad face.

All tips on the proper care and feeding of a cell phone should be donated to the comments section. I obviously need a refresher on how to have a better relationship with an inatimate object.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My other language

So in filling out forms for volunteer opportunities I'm often requested to list all languages that I am fluent in. I retained a fair amount of my high school spanish but would never claim to be fluent. Part of the problem is the 3 years I spent living in Germany where I used the language on the German economy whenever I was off the Army base where I lived. So I commonly hear the spanish but my response is usually in german. Few native spanish speakers know german. Thus a miscommunication often ensues. But I do know another language. It's medical. I sprinkle all my communications with things like ABG, CXR and CBC. No translation necessary. As many of my readers may not be so proficient in medical-ese, let me introduce you. Your surgeon will request you have an "I & D". Sounds innocent enough, but really... he's going to enlarge whatever wound you already have with some sharp instrument while you are peacefully sleeping. Then he will blast it with a copious amount of normal saline and let all the icky parts drain out. Not so innocent now, huh? What about an "ORIF". Again, peacefully you are asleep. Your surgeon will enlarge the wound making it "open". Then he will "reduce" it. While it is open, he's going to dig around inside, thus the "internal". Next, comes "fixation" which means he will use a variety of screws, nails, staples and whatever other office supplies are necessary to make your broken bones fit back together again. ORIF sounded a whole lot more pleasant didn't it? Thus, I may know another language but it's not really functional in polite society. So, do you have some medical initials that you want me to interpret? Nah, I didn't think so and I don't blame you. Innocence is always bliss.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Full disclosure...

I've been focusing a little bit on my "about me" page that continues to be blank. Trying to come up with just the right information that won't lead to much more embarrassment for my children then they already feel. People are multi-faceted so I'm considering which of my "warts" are note worthy. Let's first tackle the vices, well at least one of them anyhow. I have an addiction. I like to drink pepsi, from the fountain, the can, the bottle, pretty much in all forms. I have a friend who prefers Dr. Pepper and she even heats it in a pan and drinks it like hot chocolate in the winter. I am not that far gone but I hang with people that are. I'm pretty self-righteous about my addiction. I have other friends that drink diet varieties and I get on my soap box because at least I'm getting sugar from mine. I mean if you are going to drink brown water, you should reap some benefit right? I've read all the literature about how bad it is for my liver, how it contributes to belly fat. I even envision little skull and cross bones when I drink it. Making it a close cousin to poison. Doesn't change a thing. I just chuckle and figure I must be invincible to poison, must be a super-power. (see the next post) It's not that I'm without will-power, I just don't choose to use it. Maybe if it smelled bad? Maybe if it was less socially acceptable and not so ever present in our lives. Imagine having to roll a straw up in your shirt sleeve and take extended breaks out in the parking lot to enjoy your vice. Hunching your shoulders against the elements and the fear of being seen sucking back on 32 ounces. What if leaving your desk to take a bathroom break (the result of 32 ounces) required carrying a small key attached to a large wooden sign that said "soda drinker beware". So now it's up to you. What consequence can you think up to scare me from soda? This is a big challenge. I'm a mother and a nurse, I don't scare easy.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Yikes!! You mean I'm not really a super-hero.

Oh, how quickly have I lost my habit of writing every day or even every week. I was recently asked what "super-hero" I would be. It caused me to pause. I'd like some of those really clever tools, like an invisible plane and a lariat of truth and wonder woman of course was blinged out with those bracelets that could stop bullets. The whole climb buildings and flinging webs really works for spider man and of course bat man has that really tricked out automobile and an assistant named Robin. I think the first thing on my super power list would be language. While serving in Peru this last spring I came to several truths...1) the spanish I learned in high school while studying the male wild life in the class is not the same spanish spoken in Peru or any other spanish speaking area for that matter. 2) No matter how loud and slow you repeat the same phrase in spanish, if I don't know the words, I still won't be able to translate them. 3) I wasted alot of time learning things that have not served me well, like the lyrics to many songs popular in the 70's and 80's. 4) Fashion is relative. Somewhere I am a smokin' fashionista. It may be a once a year 80's party but I can truly work that look.
So back to my super-hero powers, how about to look better than I already imagine I do? It's always shocking to see pictures of myself, because I do a pretty good self-talk. So in the interest of not hurting my own feelings, I'm thinking I should ban all personal pictures. So if you take a picture of me, I would like my super power to step in and make me younger, thinner, and whatever adjective works that day. If I can't have that power, maybe, I should just step on your camera? What super power do you want?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Procrastinating is stressful.

So I was reviewing the text of Dr. Seuss' "Oh, the places you'll go" today. Somewhere near the middle it talks about all the waiting a person will do. I had a moment where I realized that this is the demon in me. I have learned from past experiance that just getting to work, gets the work done. If I try to list it, prioritize it, schedule it, plan for it. I'm doing many things, but none of them gets the work done. Oh, how quickly today becomes the future and my tasks remain unfinished because I made a list instead. I'm remembering too all the things I continue to put off until... until I lose weight, until I start a new job, until the first snow fall, until it is spring again. Yes, I'm guilty I "wait" more than I act. So today, I forgo lists and plans and I live outloud. I color outside the box and I spill milk with abandon. Join me in doing, instead of waiting.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Multi-tasking isn't for sissies

So I missed another day of blogging and after positive responses from my followers and other unmentioned friends. I got over it. Part of my problem is the overabundance of things going on in my life. Today, I was  multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is not for everyone, mostly probably not me. I just don't really have the capacity to focus on more than one thing at a time. So I spent the morning editing bridals for beautiful Savannah.
We let Luke come too. All would have been fine had I surrendered all of my attention to the task I was doing. However, I decided to throw in some laundry, half-listen to a day-time talk show, text several people on my cell phone and plan activities for the next 2 days since I'm off work.

Somehow I managed all of that. But I will admit I was not doing all of the tasks very well.

So before I deliver the punch line. Let me list for you some things that should never be done at the same time.
Even the best multi-tasker would be undone. Don't text and drive, enough said. It's just like driving drunk. gasp! Don't answer questions about your medical health while having your hair dyed. Giving the wrong "yes" could earn you a new-color due. Magenta is not a color for fall. Don't microwave while talking on the phone, it's easy to keep hitting reheat until you need a fire extinguisher. And the one that nearly ruined the new tile in my bathroom today?

Don't edit photos while drawing a bath. Really, do we saying drawing a bath anymore? So the hot water is flowing and my mind is disconnected at the computer while I send pictures to be printed. I have admitted to many things, one of them is that I am not now, nor have I ever been considered a runner. I prefer to only run if I am being chased by someone that I don't want to catch me. This scenerio doesn't happen often. As I have told more than one friend, it is not because I "can't" run, it's because I "don't" run. Well, guess what? I can sprint pretty good. I got to the whirlpool tube just before the water lapped over the edges. No tile suffered any undo drowning.

My advice, keep your eye on one topic and focus, focus, focus.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Yikes I missed a day!

On day 23 I failed to blog. There goes the month. I don't think I will take up this challenge again until maybe February and only then if I have pre-planned some blogs. I did go to a writing workshop on Saturday and I was milling over everthing that I learned.We focused some of the workshop on learning about the arch-types. The four pairs of characters that show up in every literary work. And how depending on your view point, the labels may shift. Consider the story of the wicked witch of the west in "The Wizard of Oz" compared to the wicked witch as portrayed in "Wicked". It's also interesting to note that each and everyone of us perform the same roles in our lives everyday. So missing yesterday was really the result of my "villian" getting the upper hand over my "hero". Truth be told the "villian" spends alot more time in control. So what about you? Who has the upper hand? The "villian" or the "hero"?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A quote and a picture....

I took a couple photos yesterday to share. This is fall in Utah up close and personal.
On a recent wander up "Old Snow Basin" road with the sunsetting we found this little seedling ready to take flight. Does it remind you of anything from "Avatar"?

And now for the quote..."Everything you achieve in life is the result of a good habit." So what will you achieve? And who do you have to thank for creating the habit in you? None of us achieve on our own, it is a combined effort.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I admit to whining...

Those keeping up with all my current sagas may remember that I recently made a job change. It was a good thing other than it was a change. I've not been my useful cheerful self, instead, I have viewed my glass mostly empty and what was left over was the residual stuff that is commonly referred to as "pond scum". Yes, I know most people don't whine about better hours, more weekends and holidays off, but it's just so different.
I felt very much like this....lady bug.
So small and with so far to go. And I don't have the added advantage of taking flight. But good news, after working today I still had time to go outside and experiance the cool crisp air and enjoy the changing colors of fall. If nature can manage to change then I will have to suck it up and change as well. So for now, I will try to whine and lament less about my extremely good fortune. It's just really tough to get used to only working during the day.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 20 Good News!

So the good news is.... I put on last years jeans for the first time today and they fit. Or is that the bad news? I mean really, I'm not the poster child for pilates but I do work out 4 or more times a week on a reformer bed. Maybe it's because I use a form of exercise with bed in the title? In any case, let's all walk down memory lane, remember 20 pounds ago when you though you were FAT? Okay, everyone raise their hand if they would love to be that FAT again? No kidding, huh?
I will not abandon my workouts but I may be starting to accept the fact that holding steady is really the best I can expect. Age has a way of molding your body into a shape you've never considered normal before. So if I can forgo osteoporosis and hold my shoulders back and my head high? Yes, then that is good news. Not every body type should fit into skinny jeans, I'm just saying. And you know who you are. So good news to you too!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No regrets

As part of the writing prompts at I'm going to post things I've never done.
1) I've never regretted getting an education; It's not about being smart, it's about being open to new and diverse ways of looking at the world.
2) I've never flown in a hot air balloon. Even though I do have teensy little bit of fear of heights I have managed to fly to Alaska multiple times, zip line in Mexico and fly in a helicopter in Peru.
3) I've never had to hide from the law. Seriously, as a teenager I was a little bit of a delinquent. Nothing by today's standards. And as far as I know there are no outstanding warrants for my arrest.
4) I've never asked one of my children to be like any other one of my children. I celebrated their individualism and supported their desires to be different.
5) I've never called my youngest son, born 9 years after his closest sibling, who is closer in age to his nephew (5 year spread) that he was an "oops-baby". He has always been my BONUS baby.
6) I don't always embrace change but I do hang on with both hands until I get to the other side of the ride.
7) I've never sailed in a yacht.
8) There are many countries I've never visited like Egypt, Israel, Belize, Honduras. BUt I have been fortunate to travel to Europe, Mexico, Jamaica, Peru, and Guatemala.
9) I've never burned a flag. I honor the country of my birth and show love and respect for it's freedoms.
10) I've never eaten a grasshopper.
11) I've never regretted taking one more day off from work to be with a friend. There is always more work, friends are far more precious.
12) I've never gone truly hungry. I am so grateful for my blessings.
So that's my dozen, what about you? What have you never done?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 18

So blogging everyday is hard. Harder than you can imagine while you are holding down a full-time job and managing a family and...and...and. My work life does not contribute very blog worthy topics. I deal with things like hypertension, anastamosis, lactated ringers, telemetry and other words I don't want to try to spell. So enjoy some recent pictures.

I'm often asked about "what to wear" for family photos. I think this family struck the perfect balance between casual and uniform. They all "fit" together and look put together but they also are individuals. And love the back drop that only nature that has experianced a really wet season can do.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The rest of the story...

SO for all you DIY people out there, be prepared to burn the tips of your fingers. You may burn them with hot glue or actual fire, but it will happen. THis is not a craft for perfectionist because there is nothing perfect about it. Start by cutting circles from flammable polyester fabric. "Circle" doesn't neccessarily mean round, more like roundish.

Using a common tea light, hold your "circle" above the flame, not too close because it will ignite. THe raw edges will seal and the fabric will pull and pinch and buckle from the heat, taking on the appearance of petals.
Then layer the petals together and embellish with all kinds of odds and ends. Choose from pearls, buttons, rhinestones, feathers and other random findings.

I found the clips at my local beauty store. You glue them to the back of your creation, support it with a little bit of color matched felt so that the clip doesn't damage your hair or clothing and wa-laa you are done. Combine 1 or 2 or 3 different creations until you have a blend of colors and fabrics that works for you.

The more unique the more "pop" you get for your wardrobe. These are some of my creations in progress, how about yours?

So, ready, set... go accessorize.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Between buying and creating...

So we have already established that I am a collector of things. I collect job titles; ie registered nurse, registered respiratory therapist, photographer, blogger. I collect family and friends regardless of shared DNA, for me family is a collection of people that want to be together. I collect semi-preciouse stone bracelets, shoes (that goes without saying, it's part of my gender), earrings etc. My latest collection has been accessory pins.
So I thought I would make a few myself. And in so doing I thought I would show you how to create them as well. This will be my first DIY segment. Here are samples of the finished products, you can clip them to your strap or neckchain or add them to your hair. THey can pull an outfit together or add that touch of color that makes your outfit "pop" and stand-out.
It just takes some highly flammable polyester, a small flame (emphasis on small) and some random odds and ends found at either your local craft or fabric store. Or if you are like me, found in the bottom of the junk drawer from the last project you got interested in.

This last one, I wore today. That little splash of purple jem created a great contrast for my pumpkin colored top. So join me tomorrow when I include more instructions.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


So here is another non-picture post. I'm nearly half way to my goal of blogging everyday for the month of Ocotober. Had a fun and frightening experiance today. We did "vintage 80's" at pilates today. It's frightening what used to be called fashion. For the record, neon doesn't go with anyone's skin tone.  Rhinestones are not jewelry and if you have to style your hair with hair spray and a blow dryer at the same time it is not going to look natural. The reason you can no longer find "banana clips" is because they are dumb and your hair should not look like a dry waterfall. And bright blue eye shadow is not a "look", it's a mistake. Happy blogging.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Between fantasy and reality....

So my thoughts today are on the difference BETWEEN what we think, imagine, hope our lives will be and what they really are. Reality in many ways is way better than you could ever imagine. But fantasy has it's place as well. I'm currently reading some YA books that my son enjoys. You just gotta love a book that starts..."The end of world started when a black pegasus landed on the hood of my car."  I'm not really a huge fan of fantasy literature, but I have been drawn into the "Percy Jacson and the Olympians" series.  So go find yourself BETWEEN the pages of a book, it will enlarge your life.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

10 things...

I'm following writing prompt and posting fall pictures. So here goes.
On my list of 10 things to never ask your husband....Number ONE has to be, "Do these pants make me look FAT?" Seriously, he's not a bathroom scale. And any husband with any experiance knows there is no way to fight himself out of the corner you just put him in. There is no way to answer that question and come out on top and be your hero, and that is what every man in your life wants to be. So ladies, if you put on a pair of pants and notice one more bulge than was there before and there is so much tension on the button it is about to become an UFO, the pants are too tight and they make you look fat. Enough said.
....Number TWO, "Should I have a breast reduction?" If you just like to have conversation with your spouse, this is a great starter. But I can bet you alot of money that even if you wheel the "girls" around in a wheel barrel, it's still okay with him. The breasts are yours, do what you want with them.
....Number THREE, "Did you notice my haircut?" Again, you have forced the hero into an impossible corner from which he can not return. Truthfully, he's still checking out the wheelbarrel and has no idea whether you have hair or not. Seriously, ask your spouse this question once a week, it will really mess with his head. You don't even have to cut your hair. Just start any sentence with "Well, are you going to notice?" and he will start listing every noun that he associates with shoes? new dress? new haircut? dinner?

...Number FOUR, "What color should we paint the (insert noun here)?" He doesn't care now, he won't care then, he only moans because he knows he will be the one wielding the paint brush. In my husbands defense, I do consider interior house paint a form of insulation. (the more coats the better) I'm also easily bored and have changed up the walls in each room of our home multiple times.
....Number FIVE, "Is there enough money to (insert brilliant vacation, purchasing idea here)?" It is usually difficult to part a man from his money. Especially if he's never dreamed of Paris or China or actually leaving the state. I often tease my husband that he could be content in front of a football game on television. He wouldn't even notice the house burning down around him as long as it didn't interrupt the signal to the television.
.....Number SIX, "What do you think I want to do?" I play this one whenever I'm feeling snarky. It's also a no-win situation and highly unfair. But it can be fun. So that's it. You add the next FOUR in the comments. And remember he wasn't a lemon when you picked him from the show room floor. You picked him for a reason, remember that reason and have a nice cold glass of lemonade.

And don't forget to visit for more lists.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Between fair and equal...

I wonder if it's human nature to want what you can not have. We all know people that only desire what someone else has. They are never content with the abundance that they have in their very own lives. It's tragic really. Today, a few co-workers and I were discussing the difference between "fair" and "equal". Equal is measureable. I get one, you get one. We split it 50-50. We both share the load. We both get the same. However, what if our genders are different. Do we both really want floral perfume? What if we have different tastes? Maybe, you really don't want half of my steak because you are a vegetarian.
So if you like s'mores and all their gooey chocolatey wonder, then enjoy them. But if you (shudder) don't like chocolate then in order to be equal, too bad, have it anyway. Equal assumes that we all have the very same preferences for the type of things we like to eat, the activities we enjoy, the people we want to associate with. If spending time with your family is similar to a dental visit or removing your toenails one at a time and you do really enjoy lunch with friends then what is a fair way to spend your time? Splitting your time equally between things you like and things you don't would be equal, but not necessarily fair.

Fair is about having most of your needs met most of the time. Fair is recognizing when you have things pretty good. It's a really good place to be. It's the place where you should shout "stop" and be happy. Someone else may have more than you but if you have everything that you need to be content and happy, then quit looking around. What someone else has is really none of your business if what you have works for you. Eat your s'more any ol' way you want. Maybe, you should peel back the cracker and eat the marshmallow first. So if you don't like raisins in your snack mix, don't just take 4 because everyone else did. Leave the raisins for those that love them and have peanuts instead.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No pictures for a reason...

Today I was thinking about some things that I have been BETWEEN. Like my best weight and my walking around weight. Thus no pictures, I'd rather not have visual evidence. My husband often books portrait sessions for me amongst his co-workers. The funniest time ever was when he whispered, "they are not very thin." Mind you he was whispering in our home without the said subjects having audio of our conversation. Here's the absolute truth as I see it. If you weigh more than you should my bet is like myself you already know that. It's testimony to the abundance in our lives. We have really been blessed with too much. So if it's really bugging something about it. Otherwise, embrace who you are and know that most people can have their picture taken without needing a "wide" lens. I'll bet you are one of them, and in the right lighting you can even lose a few pounds. Or you can access photo-shop, right? ;D

Monday, October 10, 2011

BETWEEN the seasons....

So we are trapped BETWEEN seasons. At lower elevations if you are lucky enough you can see the brilliant colors that only mother nature can display. And if you look at higher elevations you can see the first dustings of snow that herald in winter and a season of rest. Well rest as long as you don't have to shovel the sidewalks. My post for today is a quote I found by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I think I will embrace it as my new mantra. "Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day."
  I've just changed jobs. I know a think or two about blunders, thank heavens that each new day is a blank page and we get to start anew. If you aren't making mistakes then you are just not trying to improve hard enough or fast enough.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

BETWEEN now and the end of the month...

What must I have been thinking to choose to take on a blog-a-day challenge in the month that has 31 days. Couldn't I have waited until February? I seem to nearly almost always take on more than I can chew, but I'm still moving forward. Today is a confession for me. Some might consider me a hoarder, but really I'm just a highly evolved collector. I collect all kinds of things. Family members that don't share any part of my family tree, and truthfully I sometimes like them better. I had a fetish with semi-precious stone bracelets for a while, I've since learned to share that particular collection. So I am healing from my collecting. Currently, I like blingy fashion accessories, so I'm not completely well either. I also collect hobbies and interests. I'm easily distracted by new and shiny things, opportunities, jobs, stuff. I find I'm not entirely attached to the stuff, I just enjoy the hunting and gathering phase. So as part of my current therapy I'm going to start whittling down the piles of stuff that are crowding the joy out of my life. Next stop? My email account. I seriously have saved a guacamole recipe since 2005. Never made it. But I've saved it. It may seem minor to some but I'm even going to remove myself from some of my mailing list. What are you going to do today to lighten your load?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

BETWEEN the constant rain fall...

Most people hope and pray for a sunny day when they plan their pictures. I do not share that prayer. I hope and pray for clouds, lots of clouds that filter the light and soften it. With clouds their is no fear of squinting or positionings challenges related to the space in the sky that the full sun occupies. You don't have to plan morning shots for the west side of building and wait for afternoon to access the east. But with clouds their is the inevitable threat of moisture. We accepted that challenge and succeeded in getting Savannah's bridals done today. Here are a couple of samples.
The landscaping looked hand picked for her with the purple matching her shoes and bouquet.

Savannah will be a december bride but due to school we needed to take her bridals now. This is a picture that I will eventually edit and color and play with, but Savannah will also get a copy just like this. THis full side shot includes her wedding ring in the details.

We even included Luke now and then. I learn alot from my brides. I once had another December bride and it was bitter cold while we shot her pictures. Her nose turned red and started to drip and then her ears turned pink and I was sure she would get frostbite. I tried to keep her spirits up and keep her focused on the photo shoot and tried to discount her obvious misery. I kept telling her it was normal, that a December bride was a cold bride. She taught me a valuable lesson when she told me "a December bride is a happy bride." So BETWEEN now and then I know Savannah will be a happy bride too.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The weather BETWEEN...

So, were having a bit of a cold snap. Not cold enough to set the sugar in my grapes and get them ready for juicing but nearly. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I live in the desert state, because it is wet around here, very, very wet. So here is the challenge, look at the only the first picture and consider what you may be looking at...kind of like "where is Waldo?" except all you can see is Waldo.
So dust off your imagination and let's see what you can see. It may be the scales of a dragon's back that shimmers at dawn. Maybe, it's a micro village, check out the road way leading to the north. It's more than likely not a furry creature and after studying it a minute or two I'm considering that I've left you with too much information and to many details and you will discover it's true identity right away. It's all about perspective. If you only focus on the micro details than small things become BIG. Sometimes too big to handle. So here is the big reveal...wait for it... wait for it...

This is the evidence that we are stuck BETWEEN seasons. It's so wet you can imagine it's spring. But a maple leaf changing colors is a sure sign of fall. Hopefully, that doesn't make us anywhere near close to winter. I don't really mind winter, it's just that it's so, well you know cold. And I have to wear so many layers BETWEEN. What about you? What are you stuck BETWEEN?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Some pictures...BETWEEN

I recently had the opportunity to take portraits for the Sean and Kalee. It was a riot. The ceremony was touched ever so lightly by falling rain drops, the bride and groom were sheltered under the canopy. It was very romantic for them and very refreshing for me. Photography equipment by and large is not water friendly, but with some careful dodging, no camera was lost to the effort that day.
The groom and the father of the bride, with the bride "between". The groom convinced the bride to hold still and not pull back. Darn! That would have been a picture that needed no caption.

I begged the father and the mother to tap their "bumps" together. He had no sense of humor. So instead, the toddler is "between".

The groom "between" the best men. A childhood trio that grew up together. Oh, the tales I'm sure they could tell. Most that their respective mothers know nothing about.

A brother "between" sisters. That can be a really rough place to be.

The middle sister "between" her siblings. Again, the tales that could be told.

Somewhere "between" the time that girls are fun to when they are icky. It's a precious time, cherished by all that witness it. So what "between" do you remember from your wedding day?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

BETWEEN now and then...

It's a sobering thought when you realize that you are old enough that some of your prior belongings are considered "vintage". I have survived tie-dye and bell bottoms, muscle cars and big hair and bangs. It's amazing to me that like the energizer bunny I keep going and going and going. Today, I had the serendipitous event to be called off. So although I was planning to work for 12 hours, I was home. And in those 12 hours I cleared all of the "to-do" things off my plate. So thank heavens for slow surgery days that allow me to stay home and get things done. So as you can surmise there is a BIG gap between what I think I can get done and what actually happens. If you are waiting on wedding pictures (Kalee and Sean) or back to school pictures (you will have to just know who you are) you will be receiving your prints very very soon. I'm down to creating C.D.'s and stuffing envelopes. I'll post some pics later this week. Sometime BETWEEN now and then.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

BETWEEN girlhood and whatever comes next....

I've been meaning for a very long time to include my daughter's adventures teaching english in China. She and I were both off the North American continent at the very same time.  She experianced many different foods, sleeping arrangements, transportation and toileting. We take a serious lot for granted here in the U.S.of A. Teenagers in general take a lot for granted as well. I remember her excitement when she was preparing to leave home and live on her own while attending University. Her eyes just glowed with the sparkle of ultimate freedom. She had become a "pseudo-adult". She knew we still had her back and would not allow her to go hungry, naked or without shelter and she had no curfew, no rules, and all the other "no's" she had so desperately anticipated. THen she met roommates and started to pay bills.
And just like the genie in the Disney movie "Aladdin" she had ultimate power but a teeny, tiny living space. The trappings of maturing come at a price. The price of groceries, laundry detergent, fuel, tuition etc. I do applaud her resourcefulness. She never leaves a restaurant without a "doggie bag" and she attends all university activiites that involve food. She has come to learn and respect that no curfew, no rules is just an interpretation. When your parents no longer monitor you, others step in to perform that function. People like employers, teachers, roommates etc. It's better being back in the U.S. of A. though. Here at home her blonde hair and blue eyes are not seen as such an oddity. But while away, it was like dealing with the paparrazi.

No way you can get away with anything, when you are the center of attention.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Stretching to meet a challenge...

IN recent months my life has taken many turns, twists, dives, dips and climbs. I've found in my history that I like to be held accountable by my peers. So I'm announcing that I will attempt...(Yoda would say there is no try there is only do.) to blog each and every day during the month of October. This is in addition to all my other varied responsibilities. I'm not sure I have that much to say to sustain a month's worth of blogs. This is where you, my peers, come in.
The theme from is "between".  When I'm completely dry with ideas of my own I can lean on this theme. So help me out. Between what? Between who? How many ways can you suggest topics that rely on "between". Check back each day and see how well I'm doing and as always I look forward, no I crave your personal responses and comments. Only 28 days to go.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

It's all about the details...

I love to take pictures. I love to frame people. I believe in the serendipity of the universe that aligns the planets and makes things just so. That's just code-speak for I make the most of whatever nature presents me with, clouds, bright sunshine, falling snow or the light drizzle of the beginning of a downpour. They each provide their own challenges and benefits when taking pictures.

I love adjusting the saturation and creating a picture that displays the feeling. I always encourage brides to have their own picture shoot. It's the perfect opportunity to make sure the hair works, to work out the details of how much time it takes to create the "look" and to prepare for any potential wardrobe malfunctions. I also encourage the use of flowers, shoes and a veil to provide interest and even prop the picture.

While this is a lovely picture of a beautiful bride, the positioning gives me pause. Mostly, because with very little imagination it's easy to give this picture less than a PG rating. Enter the props.

Still lovely portraiture but with less of the "bedroom" feel. It increases the interest of the picture visually and adds to the story of the picture.

Backlighting outlines the veil and provides a special glow that highlights the bride.

Add the mist of rainbirds and you take advantage of what is available. The nursery zinnias add a touch of color to draw the bouquet into the composition.

And my goal is always to portray a beautiful bride. No cheesy smiles for Kalee, just a soft "mona lisa" hint. Her dimples and the soft "grin" around her eyes is all she needs to telegraph her happiness.