Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Self Portrait Challenge::Week5::Skill



a skill that I love working on. There is so much to learn....so much to practice.....so much to shoot. I'm always on the lookout for a great photo and I find myself looking at my everyday life the same way I look through my lens. By practicing this skill, I search for the details first in everything. I find that the details are where the heart of everything is kept, the little intricate parts of people and places and things is what makes them so very special. I find that everything is so much more beautiful, so much more intriguing, and so very captivating. It really is all in the details....

Happy Shooting!

you can find more of my photos here.....

see more self portraits at self portrait challenge

Saturday, July 26, 2008

looking to the future......


When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us. ~Alexander Graham Bell

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

SPC: Skill: Week 4


My skill for this week is homeschooling.....or preparing for our upcoming school year. Lots to plan out, read, think about, research. The new school year is always exciting as I think about all the things the kids will be learning about and all the activities I'd like them to join in and the crafts waiting to be made. And, there is nothing quite like fresh boxes of Crayola crayons and markers, new notebooks, pens, and pencils.....we've already stocked up and are ready to go.....now we just need the lesson plans. I guess that means it's time to use my skill... ;)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Right Now...

Things have been busy ....

  • I've taken a bit of a blogging break without realizing it!
  • Time flies when you're having fun ;)
  • We spent a wonderful week involved in Vacation Bible School.
  • My kids are still singing the catchy songs we learned....and wondering why VBS only lasts one week :)
  • But, now my house needs to be cleaned.
  • My car needs to be washed.
  • I need groceries....and I really don't like going to the grocery store or all of the extra work that comes with it like refrigerator cleaning and pantry cleaning....
  • I need to return some things to the library.
  • I need to seriously start getting some things in order for the coming school year....lots of curriculum review and lesson planning needs to begin very soon.
  • I need to force myself to start a good exercise program to help encourage my weight loss. I've lost 40 pounds so far, but have hit a little plateau over the past few weeks....so, exercise and more water it is!
  • Why is drinking water so hard? Don't get me wrong, I love water and it is the only thing I've had to drink for nearly 5 months (except my coffee), but drinking a gallon a day is one difficult task!
  • And, exercise....it feels great when you get in the swing of it, but getting started is ridiculously hard!
  • I'm in the mood for a vacation...a local beach condo sounds great to me (after public school starts again, of course ;)
  • My hubby was thinking theme park....I like it too, but I don't like the admission prices, gas prices, nor the fact that we'd need to drive my 10 year old vehicle on the 9 hour trip. Has anyone seen the prices for a minivan rental?! I checked on it and it was astonishing! I can't believe people pay those prices to rent a car for a few days! Unbelievable!
  • I need to finish an outfit I started for my girls a few weeks ago....it's funny how you can get seriously sidetracked sometimes!
  • I need to finish those outfits I started because I have some baby things I want to make for an upcoming baby shower :)
  • Looks like this will be a week for sewing!
  • I need to prepare for my boys' birthday this week....a huge milestone, for me at least, they are turning 10 years old...and I can hardly believe it!
  • I also need to focus on my anniversary...my husband and I have been married 13 years! My boys were born on our 3rd anniversary....so typically, the anniversary always takes a back seat :)
  • It's not a problem, we just remember how blessed we are to have them, and celebrate our anniversary a few weeks later when things have settled ;)
So, there you have it, a random list of thoughts, things I need to do, things I need to think about and prepare for. I've also missed my usual blogging routine and checking in on my blogging friends! I hope to join in tomorrow on the self portrait challenge again...after I determine what "skill" I'll include this week :) Now, I'm off for one more cup of coffee, compose my grocery list, and off I go to get the week started!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Self Portrait Challenge: SKILL: Week 2

Emptying My Coffee Pot....

emptying my coffee pot

There isn't anything I like more than a great cup of coffee....my own coffee. Strong and flavorful.....I like coffee in my coffee, lol! You can ask anyone who is awakened by a cup! Starbuck's is nice, but they have nothing that I like better than my own coffee. It is pure comfort for me and the one thing that I look forward to every morning and every afternoon.

"Way too much coffee. But if it weren't for the coffee, I'd have no identifiable personality whatsoever." ~David Letterman

"I don't have a problem with caffeine. I have a problem without caffeine!" ~Author Unknown

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Happy July 4th!

"When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect." ~Adlai Stevenson

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Recipe Box Swap

Well, it's time again to swap some recipes! This month's theme is, of course, BBQ! As we join Randi at I Have To Say, you'll find lots of recipes for main dishes and side dishes for the upcoming 4th of July Barbecues. I was thinking that a little dessert may be just what we need to cool off after all that BBQ :)

Homemade Peach Ice Cream

Here's a quick and easy recipe for Homemade Peach Ice Cream. Here's what you'll need:

  • 2 - 13 oz cans evaporated milk
  • 1 - 12 oz can apricot nectar ( I couldn't find this, so I substituted Peach Mango Juice...it worked perfectly)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6-8 medium size peaches, peeled and pureed

Mix all these ingredients in a large bowl. Add to your ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions. After about 30 minutes, you'll have a super delicious ice cream to enjoy after your barbecue.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Playing Chicken!

Rhode Island Red Rooster

This guy is one of our nearly two dozen chickens :) He's a Rhode Island Red rooster and although his spurs look a bit scary, he's really one of the easiest-going roosters we've had. He's enclosed with about 8 hens and another rooster. I do believe that keeps a much more even temperament between the roosters because when just a single rooster is enclosed alone with hens, he is very temperamental (or cocky, lol!) and you have to be ever cautious about those spurs and in which direction he's aiming them!

Red Rooster :)

This black and white girl is really pretty...her colors are so striking. I can't remember if she's a Brahma or Barred Rock...? Anyway, it doesn't matter, my kids love her no matter what breed she is.

Black & White Beauty

We've also got Rhode Island Whites....they are perfectly white all the time. It's amazing how those feathers repel any stains or dirt.

Hello, world!

The contrast of the red and white makes for a really beautiful chicken....or handsome rooster, that is :)

Rhode Island White Rooster

One of the biggest benefits of having chickens is that we have fresh eggs every day. They lay especially well in early spring....for Easter we usually dye about 80 eggs. The kids love it! We also eat a lot of eggs. We make omelets or have them scrambled (with diced onions, my fave) for breakfast, we use them to make a great quiche for dinner, deviled eggs, and for our general cooking. It is just great to walk outside and gather a few eggs each time you need to use them.

fresh eggs....everyday

However, other uninvited guests like to hang out in the chicken pens during this time of year. You have to be careful of where you're walking or you may have a face full of these:


At least they keep many of the mosquitoes and other flying insects away from our chickens!

Here are a few links to browse through in case you're interested in getting a few chickens of your own:

Check out this dreamy chicken coop...my chickens would be so jealous! Think you may like your own chickens? Check out Backyard Chickens: Raising Chickens 101. And, if you're ever in need of quirky chicken sayings...look here, there's no telling what you may find ;)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Self Portrait Challenge : Skill

Well, I finally decided to just do it....the Self Portrait Challenge, that is! I've been browsing all the amazing entries for nearly a year now, always thinking I'd join in with the next month's theme, and of course, I never would.

For so long now....well, forever, I have always really disliked to see myself in photos...always a really weird feeling about seeing myself. Then, after realizing that there are really very, very few pictures of me in existence....I thought about how sad that is. How will my kids remember me one day? In way too many of the photos I've turned my face away, hidden behind my hands, hardly ever smile, and I have very few photos with my kids. Why?, you ask.... Well, I'm sure the answer could be very complex if I dug far enough....things like feeling miserably self-conscious, perhaps feeling not good enough....uggh...depressing thoughts like that, but we won't go any further into those!

The main point is that I want to change all that about myself...hopefully make myself see ME the way the world sees me, try to see with my own eyes the way I may be portraying myself to the world, and realizing that there really is nothing to be afraid of or to hide from.

So, here is my first endeavor into the world of self-portraits......

July's theme is Skill....here is the definition:

- abilities acquired through education, training, and experience
- a recognizable area of competence
- the physical capacity for effective performance

spc:  Skill:  Sewing

A few closing thoughts on fear:

"Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself." ~Samuel Butler

"He who fears something gives it power over him." ~Moorish Proverb

"The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid." ~Lady Bird Johnson

So, do you want to join in? See more at selfportraitchallenge :)