29 December 2013


I wish I could have the week between Christmas and New Years off every year, I am so enjoying myself.  It will be a few years before my turn to have it off comes around again (I am completely okay with it, we are a great group of coworkers because of how well we work together). I have been feeling a little guilty about how much staying-up and sleeping-in I'm doing and so I set my alarm to get up around 9 this morning.

And still I did AB.SO.LUTE.LY nothing all day. Unless you count "making" breakfast (reviving leftover sausage gravy, popping a biscuit tube, and making scrambled eggs (that miraculously didn't stick to the pan!!! cue the angel's chorus, I was dreading the egg stick)).  Or maybe you could count the 1-1/2 loads of laundry and the dishes I washed - by hand! Or dinner. Meh, I'm still counting it as a lazy day.

A glorious lazy day.

I watched a punch of TV with Carus, played Diablo II, and then I broke out my stocking gift (hello Vodka), installed Lightroom 5 and Photoshop Elements 12 and pulled up one of the hummingbird photos I've gotten recently.

It's not exactly the shot I was going for (I want the wings to be frozen and they're still a little blurred) but I'm fairly happy with it.  And I have other images to go through yet as those little birds are incredibly fast and it's a bit hard to get the shot composed, metered, focused and shot before they buzz off again.


(A before & after editing comparison is available here.)

27 December 2013

7 days: The Finale

7days, day 7 The Finale

Good bye 7 dayers. Thank you for welcoming me and my family into the group. I will miss you all greatly.

I was viewing my first 7 days photo (here) while Carus and I continue our Harry Potter moviethon.

25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

7 days, day 5

Merry Christmas to all.  We had a lovely day that began with opening gifts and ended with pie.

I hosted this year, and made lasagna with Carus's help (see below).  Carus got some makeup this year and some nice makeup brushes so she did her eye makeup festive green and red.  I think she did a really great job.

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(Ignore the dirty underside of the microwave, I didn't realize it was so gross.)

Carus helping me make lasagna. She can do it all on her own, and usually asks to, but it was a very large lasagna and I wanted to get it done quickly so we worked together.

We had enough for us and in-laws, and we shared some with our frieghbors (friends/neighbors), and put the rest in the fridge for lunch or dinner later this week so I can enjoy my vacation.

Earlier, when I was slicing the apples for apple crisp using my mandolin to save time I sliced my middle finger.  It was the first time I cut myself on it, and hopefully the last.  I've had that mandolin for a year and every time I use it Robert reminds me to be careful lest I cut myself, cause he cut himself easily the first time he used it.  He is not accident-prone; I am.  It wasn't a horrible cut, but the location is right on the tip of my middle finger, which I use for typing.  OUCH!  I'm glad I have the rest of the year off work for one more reason!

Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas Eve

Carus is watching movies next to me while I work. All the Harry Potter movies shall be watched this week I think. I get to see bits and pieces between work and she gets to hang out with me which keeps big brother from complaining she is bugging him.

7 days, day 3

Carus is watching movies next to me while I work. All the Harry Potter movies shall be watched this week, I think. I get to see bits and pieces between work and she gets to hang out with me which keeps big brother from complaining she is bugging him.

Happy Christmas Eve - 7 days, day 4

7 days, day 4

Happy Christmas Eve

We were watching a movie - Santa Clause (with Tim Allen, I love Tim Allen).

Then I ended up staying up until 1 am finishing up the pillow cases I made for Robert, Adam, and Carus.  Robert was trying to get me to hurry up on Carus's (when I was trying to hide I was in the middle of working on his) and come to bed and then he saw his and clued in...too bad it was after his surprise was ruined.  He still liked them.

He and his mom have problems with keeping surprises secret.  They both give out the right amount of clues or sly smiles that clue you in on things; and Robert seems to be extra good at sussing out his surprises - mostly by being in the right place at the wrong time like last night.  He was hovering.  I was trying to convince him I was okay sewing by myself and he should go to bed while trying to hide the pillowcase evidence from him and then he came over to me - the exact opposite of what I wanted him to do - and looked down.  He slyly hid that he figured me out and left the room. (Well, he thought he hid it but when he looked down, looked at me, shut up and then went to bed with his cat like I had been telling him to, I pretty much figured it out. I'm a smart one like that.)

He let me "surprise" him, and I let him believe that he let me surprise him.  And for that, I love him.

22 December 2013

Santa dogs

The result of my crocheting project - a Santa hat for Leia.
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My 7 days photo - putting it on Leia.

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The alternate - I think Robert was taking pictures at this point though instead of me using the remote.

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I'm not happy with the lighting.  Meh. Maybe I'll try again...maybe I won't.

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Of course we had to get Timmy in some pictures.

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Good dogs and kitty. (The other cats were not interested. At all.)

21 December 2013

Final 7 days

7 days, day 1 The final run of 7 days has begun.

I'm going to miss the group of 7 dayers, but thankfully we can still keep in touch - yay for internet!

I was working on a crotchet project while watching TV. It's for a surprise project that you will see tomorrow, if it works out as well as I think it working out.

The rest of my 7 days posts are here.

18 December 2013

Adam and the band

Last week Adam told us he had a band concert coming up.  He didn't remember what day or time though.  We reminded him for 2 days that he needed to find out but before he could remember to do that his teacher sent us the below link.

Apparently the newspaper did a little piece on the band and their upcoming concert.

And Adam makes an appearance in the video. Twice.

Check it out:

(Adam is the second tromboner seen at about 0:44 and again at 2:13.)

PS: The day we got the email, he came home still unable to tell us when the concert was. Silly kid.

02 December 2013

New Laptop!

Hello from New Laptop.

New Laptop is nice and shiny and pretty.  Sometimes the keys stick though - which may be because it's new so I'm not going to be mad at New Laptop yet.


New Laptop came pre-loaded with Windows 8. Robert HATES Windows 8.  When I'm playing on New Laptop and Robert notices, he starts mumbling about Windows 8 and how horrible it is.  It's a little amusing.  He is very insistent that he can replace it with Windows 7 in no time, but I'm being stubborn in insisting trying out Windows 8 first.  I'm trying out/hanging onto Windows 8 because I really didn't think I would mind it (and so far I don't really mind it) and partly because I didn't want to wait for sweet beautiful full internet usage again.

And now mostly I'm hanging onto it (because I don't care either way) because it annoys him and guarantees he doesn't try to take my shiny New Laptop.  Not that he really would as he loves His Computer, but I'm feeling possessive of New Laptop.

But enough with amusing myself.  Well, at the end of this week.  I don't NEED Windows 8, and a few software programs I have might not be compatible with it anyways (haven't checked yet) and I'll let Robert switch it this weekend.

Maybe ;)

30 November 2013


My laptop died about 2ish weeks ago. I'm very sad about it. If you follow me on Facebook you will see my hilarious posts lamenting its demise. Well, they're hilarious to me.

I'm doing this update from my phone and am finding it rather annoying (autocorrect doesnt think I mean what I think I mean) so I probably won't be doing it again soon.

I asked the kids to clean their bathroom today to make it presentable to the guests we will be having this evening (cooking a turkey dinner cause we like leftovers)(our neighbor/friends are coming cause they like turkey dinners) and it reminded me of a couple weeks ago when I asked them to clean it last time for company.  After making my request, Carus asked me who was coming over.  "Gramma and Grandpa are for Daddy's birthday."

"Oh, well then we're okay. We don't have to clean it. They don't mind."

Gotta love her reasoning. Ha!

07 November 2013

Calling it

I'm calling it.

I'm officially quitting the 365 this year.  It's been more stressful than inspiring for awhile now.  I've often found myself in the evenings grabbing the camera or my phone and glancing around looking for something to inspire me to take a photo of. Or, I would magically claim one of the photos I took with my cell phone that day was the 365.

Not to mention the guilt and anxiety I've been feeling about not getting the photos caught up with labeling, uploaded, and shared.  I have some that I want to share, but not all of them, and I don't have to share them all the time.  I don't need to be making myself feel like a failure or a loser, that's not inspiring - and it leads to further procrastinating and guilt and feelings of failure. (A guilt spiral. <---you click="" link="" on="" should="" that="">

The point of the 365 project was to help me learn my camera better and inspire me to take photos. It's not doing that.

I want to focus on photography projects.  I have an idea in mind for a Little Red Riding Hood shoot with Carus that I'd like to focus on and the beginnings of a Robin Hood or something shoot with Adam. (He's been wearing his cloak almost daily - around the house, to school, to a football game - everywhere and how it moves and swirls is idea forming.)  I also have a few projects in discussion with a friend that I need to be more excited about to be able to focus on - she's been patient with me and I'd like to come through and get this thing done.

I'm not done taking photos, nor sharing them, so don't worry.  I'm just taking some pressure off me.

31 October 2013

Happy Halloween

I made the costumes this year.

Well, I made Carus's costume and Adam's cloak.  I'm not sure you can count his as a costume - we are though.

I finished it this morning just in time for him to wear it to school, which he did.  And apparently he received tons of compliments and many people asked where they could get one like it.  I'm very happy with the fabric.  I'd like to go get some more while it's on sale for 50% off ($6.49 versus normal $12.99/yard).  It's a black velour and it's soft and heavy and I bet it will keep him warm.  He and Robert have plans to coat it with some waterproofing spray because he wants to wear it all the time.  

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Carus is a dead bride.  She told me how she wanted her skirt and shirt and I made it.  I used the pattern from her princess costume a couple years ago cutting it shirt length and then adjusting it to be more form fitting to her.  Then, instead of putting a zipper in like the pattern instructed, I put in buttons and loops.  The buttons are fabric covered buttons Carus and I made ourselves.
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Adam and Robert stayed home to play video games and hand out candy to the few trick-or-treaters we get (less than 10) and Carus and I went out.  The weather was great for Halloween.  Cool, but not very cold, and dry.

As for my 365s, I have the photos and I will update them soon...hopefully. 

15 October 2013

Little hummingbirds

It was gorgeous again yesterday with blue skies and a bright sun.  And I was stuck inside working.  It's days like this that make me wish my work computer was portable enough to pull outside on the porch and work in the sunshine.  Robert says he can make this happen for me; we'll see though.

After work I went outside to soak up any remaining sun as it quickly set behind the not too distant hills, and took pictures of how the backyard is adjusting to fall.

Of the freshly fallen leaves and Leia playing.

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Of the brightly colored leaves still on the tree.

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Of the one of the final sunflowers in my garden.

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Of the last rays of sun.

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And then I paused and tossed the ball for Leia once or twice, when I heard them.  The hummingbirds in the tree in the neighbors yard directly behind ours.

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They were buzzing around, speeding from tree to tree and chirping to each other.  I think there are only two but there could be more.  I believe they've been around all year too.

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They are shy little guys that always run from the hummingbird feeder the moment they see me (and my camera).  I do love my zoom lens; I stood close to the back fence hoping they would continue to frequent that branch.

Hummingbirds always make me smile. They make me think of my Granny and watching the visitors to her feeders, and that makes me smile too.

14 October 2013

I need more weekend in my weekends

It was absolutely gorgeous this weekend.  High 60s, bright and sunny.  Just a gorgeous fall day where there is a little nip in the air, but the sun is still bright and warm.

Saturday I took a nap because my throat was feeling scratchy (again) and I had a headache, and then I spent the evening sewing a tulle skirt for Carus - most likely for Halloween.  I don't think we're aiming for something in particular, just a pretty foofy dress for dressing up because if it's for Halloween then you don't have to be all self conscious about dressing up.

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Sunday I was feeling better, and it was still gorgeous outside so we did yard work.  We trimmed one of the three rose of Sharon bushes and that filled stuffed the yard debris bin so we have to wait to trim the other two.  Then, we cleaned up the garden a bit more, dug up the last of the potatoes (only found 5, what the hell?) and planted some garlic.  I planted 4 rows of garlic in a 3 foot by 6 foot (not 100% on how long so don't quote me there) section and I still had cloves to plant. Maybe I'll get a bit more soil and finish off the last 3 foot (ish) square section at the end of the row with garlic.  I need more soil - with compaction and erosion, the soil we have is no longer enough. It will allow us to introduce more fertilizer too.  We had hoped to wait until spring but had to use up the last bit of soil in the shed from this year for the garlic bed.

I had planned on snapping a quick photo of the garlic bed shortly after planting, but got distracted with other stuff and didn't remember until sunset.  Specifically, the end of sunset and now we have a rather dark photo... Meh, you get the gist.

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12 October 2013

A week in Instagram

279/365 - Yoda curled up next to Adam
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280/365 Feeling cute - work bathroom selfie.
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281/365 A favorite evening - watching shows with Robert and editing pics.
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282/365 View while grilling dinner. The door was open for the dogs playing revolving door.

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283/365 Becca does a sleep study:  My room for the night.  I did it because Robert thinks I snore and that I have sleep apnea.

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The sleep study went well, I guess.  I slept. I didn't sleep better than usual; possibly a bit worse since I kept getting tangled up in the wires. I do not like having wires and breathing monitors on my face.  It was also very weird to think that I was being taped while I slept.  My legs, for some odd reason, feel like I walked a few miles which is weird and I have no idea what to make of it.  Also, I might be getting sick and I'm feeling grumpy and bitchy and the whining may or may not be related to that or the sleep study.  Basically, I was taken out of my comfort zone with the study and I'm not too happy about it.  Moving on...

284/365 Are you comfy, Yoda?
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I'll try to pull my actual camera out next week - and I'll probably be finishing the year in weekly posts or not at all - I don't know.  Whatever I end up doing.  I have the desire to be more to find the inspiration...

11 October 2013

Hello October, hello fall

274/365 - Timmy curled up on the dog cat bed.

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275/365 - Rain and clouds on one side (left) and sunny clear skies on the other (right).

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276/365 - Hydrangea in it's fall colors.
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277/365 - Fall wreath is up. Makes me smile.
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278/365 - Final green bean harvest, blanched and ready for the freezer.  I went out to harvest them since there was a warning of possible frost and ended up clearing out the garden.  I'll get my garlic planted soon and then plan for the spring.
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07 October 2013

The last of September

Pouring (really really pouring) rain on the car window. I was sitting in the parking lot waiting for Robert to just run in and grab something - 2 minutes  (translation 20 minutes).
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Canning spaghetti sauce.  I made a double batch of sauce which gave me enough jars that it took three rounds to can them all.  This was two rounds down, third one in the canner, all the dishes that I had washed (for the fifth time that day) and my celebratory glass of wine.

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Yoda and Wilbur cuddling.

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06 October 2013

The Almost Final 7 Days

7 days had their fall run, and their second to last run, in September.  It started 7 years ago, and has been fun so it's being ended on a high note. I wish I had found it sooner.  It is a fun group of people participating all over the world.  Hopefully I can stay in touch with them through Facebook and Twitter and such.

All my other 7 Days posts are here.

Carus and I participated in the Chalk Art Festival even though it was supposed to rain all day that day.  It stayed dry until late afternoon with a few sprinkles around noon, which happened to be when we finished our big pink bunny.
Carus and my chalk art festival 2013 contribution

After the festival we chalked her hair.  It looked great, but the chalk dusted off EVERY where... it didn't really stain anything but it wasn't practical not letting her sit on furniture and all so we went and got some colored hairspray which works better (though doesn't last that long).  We don't want to use chemical hair dye on her hair yet...

264_365 First day of the last #7days run. I chalked colored Carus's hair after a morning at The Chalk Art Festival. #7days1

Everyone was feeling crummy so I made homemade chicken noodle soup.  It was good, though we did continue to fight the crummies for the rest of the week.

265_365 Making chicken noodle soup cause I have a house full of sickies (me too) #7days #7days2
I finally finished the wedding photos and uploaded them to PASS.   Check out my Facebook business page for a few of those pictures, and the PASS link while it's still up.
266_365 Just uploaded the images from the wedding I photographed earlier this month. #7days #7days3

Robert was playing a game with my brother Bud online and Bud got ice cream - so Robert went and got us ice cream.  It also helped the feeling crummy.

267_365 Ice cream time #7days #7days4
Trying a new recipe for Gyros. (To copy a local restaurants gyros.)  The chicken marinade was missing something, but I did get the tzatziki sauce so YAY.

268_365 Trying a new recipe, making gyros. #7days #7days5 #whatsfordinner

Sunflower in my garden.
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Adam was playing in the band at the football game so Carus and I went to watch the game.  I watched the game and she hung out with her friends.
270_365 Carus and I at the local high school football game. Adam is playing in the band tonight. #7days #7days7

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