Thursday, September 30, 2010

More Pictures!

I learned some Photoshop tips today! Michelle from Meshelle Photography was nice enough to spend a couple hours with me this afternoon showing me how to improve my editing techniques and giving me some tips about how to better use my camera. I decided to play around with some pictures tonight to practice what I learned.

Question: What should I call my photography adventures? I need a name for my "business" that I can stamp on each picture to personalize it when I put it on the internet. Any ideas? Please comment with some ideas. Eventually I want a logo with a butterfly in it somehow, somewhere, if that helps with name ideas. Maybe I should run a contest. :)

Anyway, here's a few pictures. What do you think? As usual, I welcome your comments!

 Photo taken by my friend M.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Something Fun for Your Tuesday. . .

I came across these lists online and thought they were kind of funny (and true in some regards) so I thought I would share them with you.

May I present to you 20 Reasons Why It's Great to Be a Guy and 20 Reasons Why It's Great to Be a Woman. . .followed by some differences between guys and girls. :)

20 Reasons Why It's Great to be a Guy
  1. Phone conversations are over in 60 seconds flat.
  2. Your bathroom lines are 80% shorter.
  3. You can go to the bathroom without a support group.
  4. You needn't pretend you're "freshening up" to go to the bathroom.
  5. You can open all your own jars.
  6. Wedding plans take care of themselves.
  7. Wedding Dress $2000; Tux rental $100.
  8. Your last name stays put.
  9. You can be showered and ready in 10 minutes.
  10. If someone forgets to invite you to something, he or she can still be your friend.
  11. You don't have to shave below your neck.
  12. You can watch a game in silence with your buddy for hours without even thinking "He must be mad at me"
  13. Gray hair and wrinkles add character.
  14. If you retain water, it's in a canteen.
  15. The remote is yours and yours alone.
  16. You can drop by to see a friend without bringing a little gift.
  17. If another guy shows up at the party in the same outfit, you might become lifelong buddies.
  18. Your pals can be trusted never to trap you with: "So... notice anything different?"
  19. You don't have to remember everyone's birthdays and anniversaries.
  20. You think the idea of punting a small dog is funny.

20 Reasons Why It's Great to be a Woman 
  1. You get out of speeding tickets by crying
  2. You can marry rich and then not have to work
  3. Your conversations generally consist of more than just "uh huh, yep, ok, then bye"
  4. You never have to pay when you go out on dates
  5. You pout better (those puppy dog eyes always work!)
  6. You always have food in the fridge
  7. You don't worry about losing your hair
  8. You get candy, flowers and jewelery all the time cuz men mess up so often
  9. The remote control is not an extension of yourself
  10. You are cleaner
  11. You get better tips
  12. You have mastered civilized eating - You don't embarass your friends or make loud bodily noises in public
  13. You don’t have excessive amounts of body hair
  14. You smell better
  15. You are less likely to be a serial killers, thief, or rapists…
  16. …and if you are, you do less time for violent crime
  17. You dont get the humor in the Three Stooges
  18. You have better fashion sense
  19. When women are short, your petite, when men are short… they're just short
  20. An ugly woman can use makeup and get a new hairdo to become presentable - ugly men… are just ugly

Men and Women Compared   
-         Eating Out
When the bill arrives, Mike, Charlie, Bob and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $22.50. None of them will have anything smaller, and none will actually admit they want change back. When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.
-         Money
A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he wants. A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't want.
-         Toiletries
A man has five items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel from the Holiday Inn. The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.
-         Arguments
A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
-         Future
A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
-         Success
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
-         Marriage
A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't. A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change and she does.
-         Dressing
A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, get the mail. A man will dress up for weddings, funerals.
-         Looks
Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed. Women somehow deteriorate during the night.
-         Cats
Women love cats. Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats.

Monday, September 27, 2010

You Can Have Me by Sidewalk Prophets

You Can Have Me
by the Sidewalk Prophets

If I saw You on the street
And You said come and follow me
But I had to give up everything
All I once held dear and all of my dreams
Would I love You enough to let go
Or would my love run dry
When You asked for my life ?

When did love become unmoving?
When did love become unconsuming?
Forgetting what the world has told me
Father of love, You can have me
You can have me 

If You’re all You claim to be
Then I’m not losing anything
So I will crawl upon my knees
Just to know the joy of suffering
I will love You enough to let go
Lord, I give you my life
I give you my life 

When did love become unmoving?
When did love become unconsuming?
Forgetting what the world has told me
Father of love, You can have me
You can have me 

I want to be where You are
I’m running into Your arms
And I will never look back
So Jesus, here is my heart 

When did love become unmoving?
When did love become unconsuming?
Forgetting what the world has told me
Father of love, You can have me
You can have me 

When did love become unmoving?
When did love become unconsuming?
Forgetting what the world has told me
Father of love, You can have me
My Father, my love
You can have me

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Photoshoot, Anyone?

Today a couple friends and I headed out for a photoshoot. I am trying to improve my portrait photography.

I will be editing and posting more pictures later, but here is a sneak-peak. The picture of me was taken by my friend Michelle. :)

Yours truly. They told me to picture an Australian cowboy riding over the hill and pretend I was watching for him. 

The lovely Kristy.

The beautiful Michelle.

More to come, later. . .have to edit them first. These were just slightly edited in iPhoto. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

12 in 12 Challenge: Recipe 7 - Pumpkin Spice Muffins

We had some extra pumpkin in the fridge left over from when I made pumpkin bread the other day. I wanted to make something different, something yummy, and something fun. I met all of those criteria with these Pumpkin Spice Muffins.


1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pumpkin spice (I made my own with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg and 1/8 tsp. cloves)
1-1/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Put oven rack in center position and preheat oven to 350-F. Put liners in muffin cups (we were out of muffin liners, so I greased the muffin pan)
2. Whisk together flour and baking powder in a small bowl.
3. Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, 1-1/4 cups sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture just until combined.
4. Stir together cinnamon and remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar in another bowl.
5. Divide batter among muffin cups (each should be 3/4 full) - I used 1/4 cup of batter in each muffin cup
6. Sprinkle tops of muffins with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
7. Bake until puffed and golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean - 25-30 minutes.
8. Cool in pan on a rack for about 5 minutes and then transfer muffins from pan to rack and cool.

My Evaluation:
These are awesome. So yummy, so fall-ish. I would definitely make these again. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bees & Fall Colors

For more on our beehives, read Part 1 and Part 2

Well, we didn't really work with the bees today, but a few people from our church came over to look inside the hive and learn a little bit about how the process works. And, of course, I just had to take some pictures. :)



Of course, I had to get a couple pictures of our Burning Bush which is frantically changing colors in order to keep up with the cooler fall weather (the leaves turn red when fall is on the way). Yes, I edited these pictures. But there really is a huge difference between the colors of the leaves, editing or not. :)

I ♥ Josh Groban. . .

You've probably heard me say it before. . .Josh Groban is one of my favorite singers. I own all of his CDs, listen to him quite a bit, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Imagine my delight when I learned that a) Josh Groban is coming out with a new album in November (it's on my Christmas list, of course!) and b) Josh Groban was giving away a song from his new album. . .for FREE! Of course I signed up for his email list (which was what was required to get the mp3). I have listened to this song over. And over. And over. And I love it. Between this and the new Michael Buble song I downloaded a couple weeks ago, I've been well entertained musically. :)

Anyway, sit back, relax, and enjoy Josh Groban's newest masterpiece, Hidden Away, from his soon-t0-be-released album, Illuminations. :)

*happy sigh*

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gotta Love Purple Dishes!

I am starting a little collection of dishes and kitchen items for whenever I end up in my own place. So far I have a small collection of dishes, and a few smaller items. I am often checking thrift stores and garage sales to see what I can find to add to my small collection.

Of the dishes I have, there is a common trend - they all are purple blue-that-looks-kinda-purple.

The first dishes I got (a set of four bowls and four mugs) is Pfaltzgraff. I think, from doing a search on Google, that they are the Rio pattern, and they look something like this:

The dishes I got the other day (a set of two plates and two bowls) are also purple. I don't have them with me right now so can't look to see what brand they are. But they look like this:

Aren't they pretty? Like I said, there are only two plates and two bowls, but still nice and I could not pass them up. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?

(just a disclaimer. . .this was not intended to turn into a full-blown, almost-1000-word essay. I just sort of started writing and it took a path of its own. It's long. It probably seems like I'm rambling or changing paths abruptly. I don't blame you if you don't want to read it. But I think you should. ☺)

For my grandparents generation, it was the attack on Pearl Harbor.

For my parents generation, it was the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

For my generation, it was the attack on our country on September 11, 2001.

Each of these events altered the course of history in a big way. Each time the world changed and we could never go back to how things were. Each time our country united together. Each time we emerged stronger.

Today is September 11, 2010. It has been 9 years since the attacks that so brutally affected our great nation.  September 11, 2001 was the day I realized that the world was not as perfect as my innocent mind wanted to believe it was. I remember exactly where I was that morning...

I woke up, perhaps a little later than normal. That part I do not remember. What I do remember is hearing lots of talking coming from down the hall, and not being conscious enough to understand much of it. But eventually I woke up enough and got up and padded down the hall to figure out what was going on. Turned out that the World Trade Center had been attacked.

At the ripe old age of 14, I don't honestly know if I had ever even heard of the World Trade Center before. But I sure had by the end of that day. All I knew that that point in time, however, was that one of the skyscrapers in New York City had been hit by airplane full of people, and not long after, the second tower was hit as well, right in front of our eyes as we watched on television. I remember being scared.

We lived in Southern California, not far at all from Los Angeles. I wondered if L.A. would become a target on the west coast. What about all the other big cities? Why just New York City? And then the plane struck the Pentagon. And I knew that this was truly an attack on our country, not just on the people of New York, and there was no telling what would happen next.

I worried more, and kept on praying. Everyone was glued to their television sets. Nobody wanted to move. All the news showed was more and more coverage of the attacks. People were jumping out of burning buildings in an attempt to somehow survive. More people were walking out coughing and choking, and New York looked like it would never recover from the smoke and ash. And then the plane crashed in that Pennsylvania field. And the entire nation uneasily waited to hear if there was to be still more devastation. Thankfully, only four planes went down that day. There could’ve been more.

Planes all over the country were grounded.

Millions of people were stranded in airports.

Millions of people did not know if their loved ones were alive.

Millions of people lost those near and dear to their hearts.

And the nation cried.

In the days that followed, our country became the most patriotic I can ever remember it being. Suddenly there were American flags everywhere. Almost every house was flying a flag. People were wearing red, white and blue. Those little car-window flags showed up for sale nearly everywhere you looked. People stuck one, two, maybe even four of those little flags on their car windows, just to show patriotism.

Millions upon millions of people were praying for our country. Patriotic songs on the radio became the norm. I remember one of the radio stations in town played the Ray Charles version of America the Beautiful, which was meshed with part of President Bush's speech to the nation, over and over again. Millions upon millions were suddenly more proud of this country than ever before.

And now I can't help but wonder why it took (takes?) a national tragedy to cause our country to cause the people of this country to become cause us to be aware of our freedoms. Why is prayer seen as a bad thing…until our home is under attack…until it is, apparently, the last resort. Why does our freedom have to be threatened in a huge way before we realize that we probably shouldn’t take it for granted?

Nine years have passed since that fateful day. In nine years our country has changed, grown, and changed some more. The patriotism that people exhibited nine years ago just doesn’t seem as apparent in many people anymore. Our freedoms are challenged every day.

As we pause on this, September 11, 2010, one year away from the ten year anniversary of this great tragedy, let us remember to say “I am proud to be an American.” Let’s not wait for days of tragedy to show our patriotic side. Let’s not wait for days of disaster to come to our country before we fall to our knees to pray.

It seems that each generation has its moment that shakes America. World War II. The assassination of our country’s leaders. A direct attack on our country and our freedoms. Each time the wounds begin to heal and the country puts itself back together. It frightens me to think what sort of shaking moment the next generation will experience. May we, at that point, once again be able to put ourselves back together and go stronger into the future.

And may God Bless America!

- September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Late Night Adventures With Photoshop

I am slowly-but-surely teaching myself how to use Photoshop. I have been pointed to some great tutorials on YouTube, and I also have found some other great information on Google. I am learning that with Photoshop, the possibilities for photo editing are endless. I figure if I want to become a better photographer, I should probably learn at least some basic editing skills so I can make good pictures look even better!

Lately I keep finding my inspiration to edit photos late at night. Then, I end up on a roll and don't want to stop. Tonight I edited three pictures and I thought I would share them with you. All of these pictures were taken last weekend at my friend's formal birthday party.

Black & White, but leaving the mask in color.

Rounded corners.

Just for fun. :)

What do you think? I would love your comments/thoughts/opinions on what I could do to make the photos and the editing look better. I know you're out there. . .please share!

Now this photographer/photo editor is off to bed!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

You Can Have Me

"When did love become unmoving?
When did love become unconsuming?
Forgetting what the world has told me
Father of Love, You can have me."
- Chorus of "You Can Have Me" by The Sidewalk Prophets

I wish I could find a copy of this song on YouTube so I could share it with you. I'm loving it. :) If I ever find the song on YouTube as a non-live version, I will certainly share it with you.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mouse Trap!

I saw this on Facebook and had to share it. Make sure you watch it all the way to the end. :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

10,000 Words

Meet Me At The Fair!

It's rodeo time!

I love the fair. But I also love the rodeo. Normally when I go to the rodeo, it is so crowded that we watch a little bit from the sidelines, but can't see much, so don't stay long. This year some friends and I got to sit in box seats in the grandstands. And we had a fabulous view.

The flag-bearing cowgirls road in for the opening ceremony. I thought it was particularly awesome that they began the rodeo with prayer, asking God to bless the rodeo and asking that He would be glorified through it. That almost made me cry.

The flag bearers entered, next, with their gigantic American flag. The Doo Wah Riders sang the National Anthem. Again, very awesome. We also listened as the Canadian National Anthem was sung, in honor of our neighbors to the not-so-distant north.

And then the rodeo began. Bucking broncos, barrel racing, calf wrangling. . .it was all there. And it was awesome.

Of course, the rodeo would not be complete without the Rodeo Clown and his trusty steed. This horse was talented! It knew its age, and could dance. It was very fun to watch him perform!

This is the guy whose voice we heard a lot of during the rodeo. :)

Our friendly rodeo clown kept us all entertained throughout the rodeo. He really was a character. And he could clog, too, even with a cup of water on his head - that did not spill!

Calf roping seemed to be one of the events that gave the cowboys the most trouble. Only a couple actually passed that "test." The cows had to stay still for 6 seconds after being tied up. Most of them did not stay still that long.

There were lots and lots and lots of cowboys in attendance at the rodeo....most of them were from Montana or Wyoming, but a few were from Arizona, California, Idaho and Washington...and one was even from Hawaii!

They rode horses....and a multitude of other rodeo "sports."

They also took quiet moments to pause and think.

I did not know that only females compete in barrel racing. There were some amazing cowgirls out there!

After the rodeo, we made our way around the rest of the fair, and stopped to check out the sheep. This ram seemed to smile at me when I took his picture.

And this cow seemed like such a sweet animal....

All in all, the fair and rodeo were very fun events and I am already looking forward to next year!