December 4, 2008

Flameless Advent Wreath

So this is my homemade flameless candle Advent wreath.

I wanted an Advent wreath for my classroom, but I didn't want to use traditional candles, for many reasons. So I searched and searched for larger sized flameless candles and couldn't find any. So, I decided to try the little tea light candles. I got them at Walgreens, of all places. They were 2 for $3, which wasn't horrible.


So then came the problem of how to put them on a wreath. So I went to Hobby Lobby (I love Hobby Lobby...I could live there). The wreath base was only $2. I found the berries in their Christmas section. They had an entire aisle devoted to making your own Christmas wreath. I looked through everything there, and everything they had that was purple or pink was way too sparkly for Advent. Besides, I think that glitter should be used in moderation. I finally decided on some white berries for the wreath.

I lightly sponge painted the berries in the appropriate color. I still wanted some of the white to peek through. I also sponge painted the candles. I wrapped the "flame" up in masking tape so it wouldn't get paint on it. I then put on two coats of the paint so that there could be no way to tell that it had ever been white. The sponge painting gave it interesting texture.

I placed the berries in the wreath, wrapped the purple ribbon around and then added a bow. I put the candles in the center of the berries and I was done! It was a pretty easy project once I knew what I was doing.

Anyways, I just thought that I would share!

December 2, 2008

Because I was bored...

you are lightskyblue
#87CEFA

Your dominant hues are cyan and blue. You like people and enjoy making friends. You're conservative and like to make sure things make sense before you step into them, especially in relationships. You are curious but respected for your opinions by people who you sometimes wouldn't even suspect.

Your saturation level is lower than average - You don't stress out over things and don't understand people who do. Finishing projects may sometimes be a challenge, but you schedule time as you see fit and the important things all happen in the end, even if not everyone sees your grand master plan.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the spacefem.com html color quiz

Awarded!

I received this reward from my Mom at Quite the Normal life. Thanks!

The award says:

This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day.

The rules to follow are :

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to other 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

OK, so I don't read 15 blogs, but, I'll send it on to as many as I can!

So, first, to my sister Melissa at Mixin' With Melli. I'm sure she also got the award, but her blog is new so it can use the "publicity."

Next to Veronica at Herr Family. It's nice to read about her two little ones.

Jen at JRH. I'm glad you're posting again! :)

Heidi at Everyday Adventures. Another friend with children. I'm so jealous! :)

Exspectantes. Your little one is adorable, too!

Honeysuckle Run. Your posts are always interesting, and, again, your kids are so cute!

And Ann at Creative Antics. I love your cards. You are so talented. I wish I knew how to hand stamp! :)

OK, that's all I have!

November 10, 2008

I don't usually do these things, but...




You Are Boggle



You are an incredibly creative and resourceful person.

You're able to dig deep and think outside the box to get things done.

You are a non linear thinker. You don't like following directions

You draw your inspiration from the strangest places sometimes. You're constantly inspired.




I don't think I completely agree with this...I follow directions extremely well, thank you very much. It told me to copy and paste and I did. So there. :P

October 26, 2008

Duncan Manor in the Fall


"Duncan Manor in the Fall"
Not sure why, but I am having issues with Blogger. Every time I post a photo through blogger, the image turns out to be full sized. It's driving me nuts. So, I'm posting today's entry through Flickr.

I went out yesterday and today to take some photos, and have fed my creativity craving. I had wanted some good harvest photos. I got a couple. My best shot is posted above. I have decided that I am going to do seasonal photos of Duncan Manor. So far I have fall and winter. :)

I wish I had more time to go out and shoot some fall pics. I love the way fall looks. It's always so beautiful. Fall, though, is usually stressful and so I never get out.

Anyways, check out my Flickr page for more fall photos! I will post some more tomorrow afternoon!

October 25, 2008

McClean in Autumn

"McLean in Autumn"

So, I've been so busy I haven't had much time to post. I took this photo in September! I edited it a couple of weeks ago and I am just now posting it to Flickr and Blogger.

So, this is just a little corn crib just outside Bloomington on the other side of Towanda-Barnes Road. It was an absolutely gorgeous day when I took this and I wished that I had had more time and gas to explore parts of the countryside I had never been to before.

So, I posted a couple other photos on my Flickr page recently that you should check out! I think I'm going to head out for a short while and try to take some pictures! Enjoy your weekend!

October 1, 2008

Sometimes I Forget...

"St. Mary's"

I recently have had a gentle nudge of a reminder from God about what a wonderful gift my Household sisters are. For those who don't know, I went to the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. At FUS there are organizations called "Households." The official definition from the University is this:

"Households are a Christ-centered group of three or more students of the same gender, who strive for healthy, balanced, interpersonal relationships while supporting and challenging its members to develop spiritually, emotionally, academically, and physically."

The idea was to form groups of students that share the same spirituality, or approach to their spiritual life. The Household I joined is called the "Children of the Lord." Our spirituality is based on 1) a devotion to the Child Jesus and 2) an attempt to approach God with the faith and simplicity of children. Each household has a covenant, and ours reads almost like a prayer:

We, the children of the Lord, in a childlike spirit of simplicity, strive with the utmost joy for a perpetual consciousness of our complete dependence upon God, our Gracious Father, and with a humble hope, we desire nothing more than to be entirely submissive to His will in pure faith and out of pure love. We desire with innocent and generous hearts, to live out our precious gift of life in accord with the Lords' gentle and soothing words, "Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth." (1 John 3:18)

Unfortunately, I don't write my Household sisters often. I have a hard time remembering to email. Besides that, I feel like when I do email them I should give them an update on my life. However, I just have the feeling that my life to the outside observer would seem rather dull and lackluster. Especially the past few years which have been a period of transition in my life.

Today, however, I actually did email my sisters, asking for help, and giving no update. In my class I present the saint of the day. I told my students earlier in the year that in order for a saint to be canonized by the Church they need to have had two miracles attributed to their intercession. So everyday there is at least one student who asks me what the miracles for the saint are. I try my best to find them, but sometimes a saint is so obscure that it's almost impossible to find.

Today was the feast of Therese of the Child Jesus and I figured that since she is such a popular saint that it would be easy to find her miracles. I searched and searched and searched and found nothing. Luckily, I remembered that my household has a special connection to St. Therese since she also had a devotion to the Child Jesus. So I sent a quick email out asking if anyone knew her miracles. By my 2nd hour free period, one of my lovely Household sisters had emailed me back. She had found an article on EWTN on Therese, and not only did she send me the link, but she copied and pasted the paragraph that listed her two miracles!!! Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled!

Anyway, today was a nice reminder to me that my Household sisters are still there for me. I take so much in my life for granted at times, and it's wonderful to have a gentle reminder from God. So, that's my thought for the day!

September 16, 2008

Thanks Mom!


Thanks to my Mom at Quite the Normal Life. She gave me my first blog award! Woohoo! I don't know that I am deserving of this, though. I only have two-four readers...
The rules are:
* Display your award.
* Link back to the person who gave you the award.
* Nominate at least 7 other blogs. (I'm going to have to break this rule, I only read 6 blogs on a regular basis, and my Mom's is one of them and another one is new to me)
* Put links to those blogs on yours.
* Leave a message on the blogs of the people you've nominated.
* Enjoy your award!


I would like to give this award to:
* Jen at JRH. Jen is just such a sweetie and her blog always makes me smile.
* Heidi at Everyday Adventures. I love to read about her experiences with her little ones, especially since I can't wait until I have my own little ones.
* Nicole at Exspectantes Beatam Spes. Nicole is a thoughtful, intelligent woman. I always love to read her posts.

September 13, 2008

This is what you get when you raise cattle next to power lines...

"two headed bovine"

Just a quick hello to the world on the internet. I am feeling a tidbit sick tonight. I woke up with a sore throat, and I am now sneezing. It's probably my own fault. I have a hard time falling asleep at night. I figured out that I may be keeping myself up late accidentally on purpose. I have so little free time right now. The only time I really get to myself is when I go to bed. My mind usually races for a long while and I will decide to get up and read or play with my computer for a while in order to have some me time. It's not on purpose, really, it just sort of happens. Not only that, but I went to part of the home football game this evening. It was drizzling, and I'm sure the damp hasn't helped with the sore throat. Such is life.

So that's all from me. The photo above was taken in the early springtime of this year. I had wanted to edit it earlier, but I had already done two other photos from the same photo trip, and I didn't want to overwhelm my Flickr page with too many similar shots at once. I absolutely love this shot. The power lines and the perfect perspective on the animals makes for a funny shot. I hope you enjoyed this tiny bit of levity! ;)

Oh, by the way, I collect cow stuff oddly enough. It's a weird story, but one for another time, I think. My favorite cow object is a clock my husband (then boyfriend) got for me in Switzerland during our band trip my senior year of high school. It has a swinging udder pendulum, and is the epitome of tacky. I love it. It was hanging in my kitchen in Ann Arbor. :) If you are interested, I have a few cow photos, and you can see them all in this Flickr set: Moo.

September 11, 2008

Recent this and thats...

"Lily Pad"

So, it's been awhile since I last wrote. I've been a bit busy, what with teaching and all. It has definitely been an interesting and exhausting past couple of weeks. I feel like I'm teetering just on the edge of being overwhelmed. I haven't dropped the ball in a huge way....yet. I hope that I never do.

But, enough on that. I sold my first photo recently!! Hurray! It's not the one above, but if you want to see it click here. It's not one of my bests, but it was sold to an advertising company working for Economic Development Council of the Bloomington Normal Area. The image on the left is the poster they developed from my photo. I think it looks nice.

So the photo above is one of my newer creations. I took the photo at Epcot early this past summer. I finally got around to editing it. I needed some creative me time, so I went through my old photos to see if I had missed any nice photos. I came across this one and wondered why I hadn't edited it before.


For this edit, I changed the color saturation. I made the pinks more vibrant and I desaturated the other colors. Then I started playing with textures. That's really my favorite technique to use in photo editing anymore. I love the way textured photos look. They are just a bit more poignant. However, it's always hard to find the right balance between texture and photo detail. I never want to wash out too many details, but I want the texture to be visible. It can sometimes be a tough call.

I used several different texture layers in this photo. Mostly I used scanned scrapbooking paper textures. They really work great for textured photos. I also used a couple paint textures I created. I wanted some brush stroke textures, and decided to make my own since I couldn't find too many just lying around. The textures are totally utilitarian, though, and are definitely not art in any way, shape or form. :)

I finally added some shading to the corners, to make it look a little more faded out. I just used the paint brush tool on Corel and played with the layer settings until it looked the way I wanted. That's all there was to it.

OK, so I bored you with my photo editing techniques. Sorry for that. I have been having trouble falling asleep at a decent hour, and I find typing can sometimes make me sleepy. (It was a horrible thing when I was trying to write papers at the last minute in college...) Besides, it had been a while since I had posted anything.

On a side note, I changed my banner, just for fun. I love my old "Lonely, in Yellow" photo, but I felt it was time for a change.

I hope my 2-4 readers are doing well! :) God bless! Until the next time I need to make myself sleepy!

August 22, 2008

3 down, 177 to go...

"Charles Bridge"

So, I have officially finished with the first "week" of school. There was actually only three days of classes, but the previous two days were filled with teacher meetings and such. I am absolutely exhausted. I have never worked so hard in my life. I have really been feeling the responsibility I have. It's been scary to me the amount of power one has when you hold sway over 117 souls. As a a teacher at a Catholic school, and a theology teacher, it really is important for me to keep in mind that I am not merely presenting material, but I am also seeking to provide an atmosphere that is conducive to conversion of heart. It's stressful, but it has already been rewarding.

My mind is fried, but I feel that I need to get down the thoughts that the past few days have brought up. Hopefully these aren't too scatterbrained, but please bear with me.

First off, it has been a weird transition from student to teacher, more so because I am now a colleague of my former teachers. As their student, it was easy to keep them easily categorized as teachers solely, and I forgot that they were people beyond their job. This first week, I have seen people that I have known for years as my teachers in a new, and highly illuminating, light. They are fun people. There is a rivalry in the school between Cubs fans and Cardinals fans (that's life in central Illinois for you). I almost feel like I have to pick a side, or at least make my side known. :) (I have always been a Cubs fan...it is truly the superior choice.)

Going back to my first point, that of my old teachers, and now colleagues, being actual people. . . after school today I went out with a few of them, and it was amusing to note that they count down school days as much as the students do. They can't wait until the school year is over, either. It is definitely a new perspective. :)

I sometimes wonder what my old teachers are thinking about having a former student as a co-worker. And I am not just any former student. My Dad has been teaching at this school for 25 years now, and I have grown up with this community of teachers. They have seen me since I was a little kid wanting to be a jedi. I'm sure that seeing me back as a teacher has to be a weird experience for them. On the one hand, they are probably thrilled that their teaching paid off. On the other hand, I'm old enough to be one of them now, and that has to be a slightly odd experience for them. When I get more comfortable with them, I'll have to ask.

It's also been interesting seeing things from the other side of the classroom. The jokes and the disruptive activities that I laughed at as a student (it seemed so amusing then) seem far less funny facing the back of the room. Besides that, the student doesn't really notice all the hard work that goes into teaching. I certainly had no idea, even though I saw my Dad slaving away each and every day. I mean, I would have conceeded the point, in fact I definitely would have said that teachers work hard, but it was only a thought that floated around on the surface. It never really sunk in. I feel like going and giving all my former teachers a big hug of appreciation. Teaching is definitely a draining profession...both mentally and physically.

My brain is totally fried, as I said before. I have had a hard time keeping a coherent thought this evening. And my body is so incredibly sore. I have had a raw throat from talking so much and so loud. I'm a naturally quiet person; I don't know that I've talked this much in a day ever before. My feet are absolutely killing me. I have sores from walking in dress shoes all day. I made the mistake the first day of wearing high heels. I thought my feet were permanently stuck in an arched position. I haven't walked so much since I detassled; my calves have nice knots. The first day I stapled 125 handouts and for my effort I received a huge knot in my shoulder. (I figured out last night how to use the collating and stapling features on the copy machine! God bless whomever came up with that!) I have lost 15 pounds or so this past week. (My stomach has been tied up in knots, so I haven't been eating as much, and I have been burning tons of calories) I have been staying up really late doing work each night, and I have been waking up really early.

I haven't been this tired in forever. I got home this evening with plans to relax, maybe get caught up with emails, my Flickr, etc.; maybe veg out in front of a TV for a short while...yeah, that didn't happen. I laid down and fell asleep instantaneously. My husband called me about 9:30, and I woke up confused. I thought it was 9:30 am (there are no windows in our bedroom...I hate it...I need sunlight) and that I had slept through school...I had a mini panic attack. I guess I forgot it was the weekend, or maybe I'm still used to jobs where you can be called in to cover for someone (I'm so glad that I'm not doing minimum wage anymore...I feel like a real person!). Then I opened up the door, realized that it was dark out, and that I had only been asleep 2 hours. I felt really foolish.

One of the things I have found nice about teaching, is that I have really begun to understand myself better. I found out that I have abilities that I didn't realize were even possible for me. I'm working harder than I thought that I could or would. I am actually able to talk in front of a room of people without my voice quavering. I can talk in front of people! Who'd have thought? :) More importantly, I have found that my faith has grown exponentially since beginning this job. Part of the reason for that is that in the course of writing lesson plans and such, that I have become much more familiar with the material. Teaching is really the best way to learn a subject. You not only have to do the research, but then you repeat it several times aloud over the course of the day. I think that this coupled with prayer will really help me increase my faith.

One of the odd things about this whole experience so far, has been how well I have adapted (for me, at least). I was weirdly calm going into the first day. I had expected to be panicked. I was nervous in my first hour, had the whole voice quaver and such. I think that going into the first day, the fact that I was in fact teaching had yet to fully sink in. I was prepared, but it just seemed so unreal. It still does. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop or something. I feel kind of separated from reality right now. I think this is probably a good thing, really. If I was too much in my mind, I think I'd be worse off. It must be a adaption technique, this odd, almost zen-like, separation from self. I keep thinking that I should be scared to death, and a part of me is screaming in terror. But it is off on its own, compartmentalized and somehow under control, and not through any conscious act of my own. It just sort of happened.

Not only that, but I have actually been smiling and feeling happy at the end of the day, which has been a nice surprise. The first day, at lunch, I went to my Dad's room and started to break down a bit. The first couple classes were rough. The students were talkative from it being the first day of school. They had not seen each other in a while, and I guess they were trying to catch up. They also picked up on my nervousness. Sigh. (It's alright, I scared them into silence the next day, and while I know it won't last, I still felt a certain satisfaction from the looks on their faces). But by the end of the first day, I was fine. My last two classes were well-behaved (mostly) and actually paid attention. And I had gotten less nervous. I had had a stern talk with myself; I had to be reminded that I am in charge, and while I still feel young, to my students I probably look older than I am. I was much more confident by the last class, and I think that was reflected in the behavior of my students. It does help that my last class is smaller in size. A packed classroom can be rather chaotic.

OK, so, I know that there are more thoughts floating around in my head, but I have already written a really long entry. Thanks for sticking with me through this. If you would keep me in your prayers as I go through this year. I hope that I will be able to be flexible in whatever is thrown at me (like helping with Homecoming). God bless!!!

August 16, 2008

Last hurrah...

"Sign of Fidelity"

So, the past several days have been intense. The first day of school is Wednesday. So, naturally, I am filled with tons of anxiety. This has caused many a night of minimal sleep, between not being able to fall asleep and having to wake up at a decent hour to do more work. So, I decided to take a short break in order to recharge the batteries. Of course, this cut into my sleep time, but I would have probably had trouble sleeping anyways. So, I decided to do some more artistic edits of photos I took at my brother's wedding. My last hurrah, so speak, before I have no free time ever.

This photo was a complete accident. There was a lag in the shutter. For some reason my shutter won't close sometimes when the flash is on. It's really frustrating. So I had moved the camera down as the shutter closed and it came up with this. I actually loved it. It seems artistic. Actually, if I hadn't written that above, I could say that it was in fact an artistic choice. Alas, I am too honest. :) I just added some texture and then some text from the wedding liturgy. The ring is in perfect focus and seems to be what the eye is drawn to. I thought that the text, through the slanting and the topic, would increase the chance that your eye would find the ring.

The text reads: "Take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

So, now it's off to sleep, and then another day of preparation for the both dreaded and anticipated day. Keep me in your prayers as I begin teaching for the first time ever. I'm going to need all the help I can get!


August 10, 2008

Wedding!

"Charles and Kim"

So, my brother was married, I guess a little over a week ago. It took me this long to get all my photos edited. I didn't do anything fancy, just edited out red eye and messed with brightness and contrast. When I have more free time, I'm going to actually go through all of my shots and give some of them proper edits.

The wedding was beautiful! My brother and my new sister-in-law are so incredibly cute together. I really lucked out and got a wonderful new sister out of the whole thing. :)

So, there are more pictures, but they are on my facebook page for now.

July 25, 2008

Mosaic Fun

"Mosaic"

I saw this on one of my friends blogs, and I had to try it myself.

Directions:
1. Type your answer to each of the questions above into Flickr Search. 2. Using only the first page, pick an image. 3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker. 4. Save image to hard drive and post to blogger. 5. Copy HTML code for flickr photo credits and paste into blogger at the bottom of the post.

Questions and Answers:
1. What is your first name? Kathy 2. What is your favorite food? Corned beef 3. What high school did you go to? Central Catholic High School 4. What is your favorite color? Green 5. Who is your celebrity crush? A much, much younger Harrison Ford...he's too old now :) 6. Favorite drink? Iced Chai Latte 7. Dream vacation? Japan 8. Favorite dessert? Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream 9. What you want to be when you grow up? A Mom 10. What do you love most in life? My family 11. One Word to describe you? Shy 12. One hobby of yours? Photography

Photo Credits:
1. Remembering Friends, for Kathy, 2. sign_corned_beef, 3. Bloomington Central Catholic, 4. Go Green!!!, 5. George Lucas and Harrison Ford on the set of "Raiders", 6. Morning Glow, 7. Mount Fuji, Japan, 8. Mint Chocolate Ice Cream, 9. mom n baby, 10. My family, 11. just shy, 12. I have an eye for photography

July 7, 2008

Fireworks!!!

"July 4, 2008"

So here's one of my pictures from this year's fireworks display at Lake Bloomington. It was a bit more difficult to take photos this year. Last year I had a camera with a fireworks setting. This year I had to figure out my own settings, but I think I found the right ones. Anyways there are more shots on my Flickr page and there are more on my hard drive to go through. Enjoy!

July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!!!

"Independence Day"

Happy 4th!!! Sorry that I haven't posted much. I've been rather busy. I have been helping my family clean out my grandparents' old house. There is a ton of junk in there. My grandparents were pack rats. They kept everything and were frugal almost to a fault. Still, we have found some cool stuff in there, like old letters, photos, and what excited me the most, was my Baba's Paska recipe. (Paska is Ukrainian Easter bread...I had had a copy once apon a time...actually I have had several copies, but they all disappeared.)

So anyways, I'll probably be doing more of the same tomorrow and then will go to Lake Bloomington for fireworks. The picture above I took at last year's display at the lake. If you want to see the others they are here: July 2007 set. Enjoy your Fourth!!!

June 22, 2008

Update

"Kiddie Wheel"

So, since my last post I have had my interview. It went better than I had thought and I will be teaching Sacraments and Morality at Central Catholic High School. It's going to be interesting working with my Dad and my Mother-in-law and all my old teachers.

Today I'm going to my future sister-in-law's wedding shower. I have to admit that my brother has impeccable taste...she is so incredibly sweet. They are really cute together.

Anyways, that was just a quick update. I'll try to say something with more substance later. Oh, and the picture above was taken at the Epiphany Carnival a week back or so. This is definitely in my top 10 favorite photos (of mine).

June 10, 2008

I'm Still Here

"We went to Coruscant!"

So, I am still here. It has been a busy several of weeks for me. I packed, drove from Ann Arbor to Normal with all of my worldly possessions in tow, and loaded all my stuff into a storage unit (I miss my stuff...OK, maybe I just miss having my own space, such is). Almost immediately afterwards I went to Disney world with my husband and in-laws. It was both fun and extremely stressful. We were only there for a couple days, so we tried to fit everything in. I do not recommend this. There were definitely quite a few frayed nerves. Yeesh.

"All My Worldly Possessions"

So now I am in Normal to stay and all I have to worry about is finding an apartment, finding the money to pay for the apartment, getting new contacts and/or glasses (I am on my last pair of contacts and my glasses are about 7-8 years old), interview for a job, help my husband study for the bar exam and then find a job, get the squeak my car makes fixed and to not go absolutely crazy.

So yea, that's my summer in a nutshell. I will wait to worry about it until after the 11th, because it's my 3-year anniversary. Anyways, I have some photos from my trip, and I will be posting them soon.

May 19, 2008

Perspective

"Perspective"

So, I am still packing. I've gotten quite a bit done, though. I'm finding that the hardest thing to pack up is my kitchen. We have so many silly little appliances. We have a bread machine, a waffle maker, a crock pot, a Kitchen Aid mixer, a toaster oven, a microwave, a blender, a Pizzaz, a rice cooker, a George Foreman, a coffee/espresso maker, a coffee grinder, a can opener and a hand mixer. Yeesh. And there is all the tupperware and bowls and so on....it takes up so much space! (It's a wonder all that junk fits in my tiny little kitchen---well, to be fair, it doesn't. The microwave and toaster are in the dining room.) And there is so much cleaning to do. But, I've made a huge dent. I've taken all the stuff off the walls, and for me that equals the point of no return. :)

The picture above I edited in order to take a break. So, enjoy!! :)

May 14, 2008

In the Rain, revisited

"In the Rain, revisited"

Just thought that while I was here, and actually posting, that I would quickly put up my newest photo. This is one of my favorite shots that I have taken, and I had wanted to go back and revisit it now that I have learned how to do texturing a bit better. You can see the original edit here. Enjoy!

Grandpa McEldowney

"Everything I Know About the Four Most Important Topics That Arise"

Sorry that I haven't posted in a while. I've been slightly busy and just a bit lazy. :) My husband and I will be moving back to Illinois for good in a short period of time, so we've been packing a bit and he's been studying for his finals.

The picture above is one of a series of photos that I have done for Jon's family. I took photos of the flowers in the arrangements at Jon's grandfather's funeral and then used my editing techniques on them. The text on the photo above was actually written by my husband's grandfather:

Everything I Know About the Four Most Important Topics That Arise

That one day I was born.
That some day I will die.
That I thank God for both of these.

That freedom can't be given.
That love can not be taken.
That nothing else I've known is worth the having.

-David McEldowney, 1977
(1928-2008)

You can see the rest of the series here.
So it may be a while before I post again, due to the whole moving thing. Until next time! :)

April 21, 2008

His


His
Originally uploaded by K2D2vaca

This is my newest photo. It's one of my husband's eyes. Being brown-eyed myself, I've always had a thing for blue eyes. :)

I just figured out how to post photos through Flickr, so the format of my posts will change a bit.


Ok, so I am still working on the whole posting through Flickr thing. You'll have to bear with me. :)

April 17, 2008

Evergreen

"Evergreen"

So. I'm going to be gone for a couple of days. The funeral for my husband's Grandpa is tomorrow evening. So, in the meantime, enjoy my newest pic. Hopefully I'll be able to get a few spring photos in soon.

April 15, 2008

Joined

"Joined"

My newest photo. Enjoy!!! :)

April 14, 2008

Red Bubble

Buy art
Buy my art

I recently came across Red Bubble while surfing through my Flickr contacts' profile pages. It seems like a pretty interesting site. They like to promote the idea that everyone is creative in some way, which I think I like. Anyways, I have put some of my best work on there, and with Red Bubble each image is for sale in some way, so if you are interested in getting prints or posters, you should check it out. You should check it out even if you aren't, because not all of my photos will be posted on this blog. :)


It's Not Easy Being Green...

"It's not easy being green..."

This barn is just outside of Normal, Illinois, and it really truly is green. My Dad and I were on a photo trip and we were just about to call it quits for the day when we caught a glimpse of this barn. We of course had to stop and take some shots. :)

So, the funeral for my husband's grandfather is on Friday. We're back in Michigan, but we're going to make another trip to Illinois on Thursday night. My poor husband has what is essentially his final for his Trial Advocacy class on Thursday night. He has a mock trial and he's being graded for his performance. It seems like bad timing, but I guess that is how it goes, though.

April 12, 2008

Grandpa Mac

"Corn Flower"

My husband's grandfather passed away this morning. We made it home yesterday and Jon was able to say goodbye. The weekend has been incredibly emotionally challenging. The funeral will be on Friday. Unfortunately Jon has his final for Trial Advocacy on Thursday, so we have to make another trip to Ann Arbor and back. Luckily I have been able to find people to cover my shifts this weekend. So, prayers are definitely welcome.

April 9, 2008

"What am I doing right?"

"What am I doing right?"

This photo was taken hand held. When I took the picture my hand dropped and made the image blurred. When I was reviewing the photo, I decided that it actually looked pretty cool, but it wasn't good enough by itself. This was my second attempt at editing it, and I'm happy with the results. The quotes are all chosen by me. I've been collecting quotes for the past couple of years, and these were the ones that I felt went best with the photo.

Here are the quotes in order:

"Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired."
- Robert Frost

"This world is a comedy for those who think and a tragedy for those who feel."
- Horace Walpole

"We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action."
- Frank Tibolt

"Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves."
- Rudyard Kipling

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
- Philip K. Dick

"My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?"
- Charles M. Schulz

"If the human mind was simple enough to understand, we'd be too simple to understand it."
- Emerson Pugh

"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."
- Albert Einstein

"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left."
- Oscar Levant

Late tomorrow night my husband and I will be driving to central Illinois so that he can visit his Grandpa. It's going to be a really short trip; a little over 24 hours. He has class until 9pm on Thursday and I work at 6am on Saturday. Fun! To top it off, they are calling for large thunderstorms tomorrow night all along our route. It should be a treat.

April 8, 2008

Toll

"Time has taken its toll..."

Just my latest photo. Enjoy!

There's no new news on my Grandfather-in-law, but as soon as I hear anything, I'll post something.

April 6, 2008

No Trespassing

"No Trespassing"

This photo was processed using a variety of techniques that were then layered on top of each other to give the photo this look. Anyways, this old grain elevator is just outside Normal, Illinois.

Yesterday my husband found out that his Grandfather is in the hospital. He's evidently not doing so well. It sounds like he may have lung cancer and it may have metastasized to his liver. We're waiting to hear more. Prayers are definitely needed.

April 4, 2008

A better day

"untitled"

So, today has been infinitely better than the past several. I found someone to cover my shift, so I was able to sleep in today...I really needed that. I feel so much better. I'm still a bit congested, but the fever is gone, I can breath and I have energy again.

I was contacted a couple of months ago about using my photos for a calendar. It's for an agricultural company that test for toxins. I hadn't heard from contact in awhile, so I emailed him and he got back to me today. I probably won't know until the fall if they are going to use my photos. However, he did offer me another calendar too. This one is for a company that works with seniors called Summit Elder Care. I created a set for him with photos that fit the description he gave me, but I definitely need to take some more photos for this one. It sounds great, and I think I've made a permanent contact. At least he said that we "need to work together."

I also found out today that Schmap used my Roman Forum photo for their Italy guide.

Anyways, the photo above is my newest creation. Enjoy!

April 3, 2008

I'm Sick...

"desolation"

Winter has passed by and I got through the whole thing without really getting sick. Until Tuesday. It started as a sore throat, but since I had slept with a Breath Right strip on, I thought nothing of it. By the time I went to bed though, I was miserable. I barely slept.

Luckily, Wednesday was my day off, so I got to sleep the whole day. Well, that would have been nice. Unfortunately, they were replacing the carpeting in the halls of our apartment building, so there was a lot of hammering and various other loud noises. Eventually I discovered that I had Coricidin and I started to feel a bit better. My temperature dropped and I could eventually breath through my nose again, which made me happy. On top of that, Jon made me chicken noodle soup and got me popscicles.

Today, I tried to call in sick. I still had a temperature and was horribly congested. Also, it took 3 Tylenol PMs to finally knock me out last night, and they really hadn't stopped working. Unfortunately, no one could cover my shift, so I had to go in anyways. I got off early, and I found someone to cover my shift tomorrow, but still.... ugh.

So I'm really hoping that this is the tail end of this thing. Anyways, enjoy the picture above. Just a shot that seems to match my mood right now.

March 30, 2008

Railroad

"Railroad"

This was taken near the Yuton Grain Elevator outside Normal, Illinois. Enjoy! :)

March 27, 2008

Music game!

"birdies"


OK, since my Mom decided to do this again, I had to too. Here are the first lines of 25 songs from my music player, try to guess the song and the artist (without using Google or a lesser search engine).

1. Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waiting for a train
2. Tin soldiers and Nixon's comin'
3. I see the bad moon arising.
4. When the truth is found to be lies
5. Oh, to be Prince Caspian afloat upon the waves
6. 'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
7. I was cutting the rug down at a place called the jug
8. I'll be the grapes fermented
9. There's something happening here
10. It's close to midnight and something evils lurking in the dark
11. Step out the front door like a ghost into the fog
12. Pushing thru the market square, so many mothers sighing
13.
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
14.
I'm not afraid of anything in this world
15. Once I had a love and it was a gas
16. I thought I was smart - I thought I was right
17. Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone
18. Some people say a man is made out of mud
19.
When I look into your eyes I can see a love restrained
20.
I can't stop this feeling, deep inside of me.
21. No one knows what it's like to be the bad man
22. Now here you go again you say you want your freedom
23. You get a shiver in the dark
24. You thought the leaden winter would bring you down forever
25. I jumped in the river and what did I see?

Ok, so guess away and have fun! (I tried to get a sprinkling of newer songs in there, so my music tastes would seem to reflect my age more...)

bull plop

"bull plop"

So this is just a humorous pic. I just so happened to "capture the moment." It was completely accidental, I really didn't notice, though to look at it, I don't know how. :) But it happens. When I was reviewing my photos, I knew immediately what to title this one.
I think my favorite part is the bull lounging around by the corner, totally unconcerned about what is happening but inches from his head.
So anyways, after much deliberation and by others' suggestion, I decided to publish it. I'll post a more serious photo soon. :)

On another note, we're supposed to get 4-6 inches of snow tonight in Ann Arbor. It rained all day and now this. My photo, I think, will be my answer to the icky weather we have been having. :)

March 26, 2008

A blue door

"a blue door"

This is my newest image. I don't like the title too much, so if you can think of a better one, that'd be nice. :) This was taken just outside Normal, Illinois.

ArtBistro Art Gallery March

"Duncan Manor"

My husband wanted to watch something yesterday and we often use my computer as a TV or something. The video was lagging and so he closed down a lot of the windows that were open on my computer. Luckily, Blogger saves drafts, or my last post would never have been posted. :) So, pretend that it was posted yesterday.

Anyways, I found out today that the picture above was featured in Art Bistro's March Art Gallery! I guess they take the highest ranked or most popular images posted in a given month, or maybe the "curator" chooses them. I have no idea really. I only joined Art Bistro about a month ago at the request of one of my household sisters. I didn't think that I was going to actually like the site, since I already have Flickr. I guess I was wrong.

So. I've made a little over a week now with this blog! Be prepared for fizzling soon! :)

March 25, 2008

bull

"bull"

So I got back from my trip home last nigh--no, wait, this morning, just 2 and a half hours before I needed to be at work. I haven't slept yet, for reasons that are eluding me. I just keep on keeping myself awake...maybe not lucid, though. I'm sure that will become more and more evident as I type up this entry.

So the trip home yesterday was a trial. We left later than we had wanted to, mainly due to the fact that someone...probably my darling husband...left a light on in the car that drained the battery. We were at his grandparents at the time and they had us use something called a trickle charger. Well, the name is pretty accurate. It only put out 50 amps and that really wasn't cutting it.

Well, we next tried to use his Grandmother's car to jump start ours. This proved problematic, though, since she had a newer vehicle and for some reason the battery wasn't really accessible. There was a positive node to hook the cable to, but the negative was nowhere to be seen. So, we had to bring another car down to jump start our car.

Well, this one worked, but it was suggested that we turn the engine off and then turn it back on to see if it worked. I don't know how any of us thought that this was a good idea, because it's pretty much common knowledge that you should leave the engine running for a while after a jump to charge up the battery. Well....we did it anyways...twice, in fact. The car started up the first time. The second time I turned the engine off so we could put the battery cover back on. When I tried to start the engine again, it was dead. Sometimes I can be such the idiot.

So we jumped started the car again, and this time we let it run for about ten minutes before doing anything else. Somehow, though, the anti-lock brakes got temporarily messed up, so that anytime the car got below 10 mph they kicked on. It was supremely annoying. We drove home anyways and the problem seemed to correct itself, since it seems to be working fine now.

All of this would have been far less frustrating, though, if earlier I hadn't agreed to switch shifts at work. I was now opening the store, which meant that I had to be at work at 5:00 am.

Most of the actual trip back home was uneventful. There was an unusally large number of unmarked white vans pulled over by cops along the way, which I found a bit interesting. We also passed by a semi that had hit a deer and then fell into a ditch. It was lying on its side, and it wasn't until I ran over the recently dead deer that I realized what had happened.

So, anyways, the picture above is my most recent creation. I took it while I was home on a photography trip with my Dad. This bull was lazing around in a pasture with a bunch of other bulls just outside Bloomington.

So that's enough of that. :)

March 19, 2008

Stray Dog

"red barn"

So last night I finally got watch a movie I had been wanting to see for about 3 years now. It's called Stray Dog and is directed by Akira Kurosawa. First off, I love his films, they are amazing, and secondly, it starred Toshiro Mifune, (it was the youngest that I had ever seen him in a film), and he was an amazing actor. I love everything that I have seen him in.

So the movie takes place shortly after World War 2 (there are still ration cards) and is about a rookie cop (Mifune) who had his gun stolen from him on a bus. An old timer cop takes him under his wing and together they solve the crimes being committed with his gun. The filmography is phenomenal. There were some shots that took my breath away.

Anyways, the photo above was taken the first day of March, on another photo trip with my Dad. It's located somewhere between Bloomington and Funk's Grove. I love the shape of the barn...the way the roof slants. If you want to, please view this on Flickr.

Tomorrow I am heading back to Normal for Easter and will be back in Ann Arbor by Monday. Since I won't have a computer on me, I will wish you all a Blessed Triduum and Easter now!

March 18, 2008

New photo

"McLean County winter"

Hello again. This is my newest photo. It was taken during the same trip as my last photo, "All Alone." If you are interested in seeing a larger version, try these links:
Flickr
View on Black

March 17, 2008

Schmap

"Roman Forum"

I was contacted through my Flickr account by a representative of Schmap saying that this photo was on the "short list" for their map of Italy. I had never heard of Schmap before, but it seems to be a set of interactive maps and tour guides, which is pretty cool. I'll let you know if my photo makes it! :)

Hello!

"All Alone..."

So, this is my first attempt at a blog and we shall see how it goes. I really just wanted to have another forum in which to display my photos, and maybe, now and then, give some insight into my life and thoughts. At the very least, I hope to gain some mild form of entertainment from this exercise, and I hope that you do too.

The photo above was posted yesterday to Flickr and was taken at the end of February. It was the day after a rather disappointingly mild snow storm. :) It was bitterly cold out and pretty windy, too. My Dad and I were out together (most of my photos are taken when he and I go out together) and we took our shots from the car. It was too cold to get out. Just a little back story.

So this a preview of what is to come. I'll post more images as the days go by. Happy Saint Patrick's Day and God bless!