Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December Monthly Scavenger Hunt - Completed!

In addition to the "All New Scavenger Hunt" I participate in, this month I also joined the "Monthly Scavenger Hunt" group on Flickr as well.  It's a bit different as it is 20 items every month, no challenges, you can use photos from your archives and the hunt items are vague.  This allows  more creativity to go into each hunt item.  For example, the photo of Blue with the Santa hat on was for the hunt item "Grinch, Humbug or Scrooge".  Plus with my time constraints it's more feasible for me to complete (though I do still participate in the ANSH as well).  You can see the full size photos here.

Yay me!  Friday starts Project 365 - wish me luck, I'll need it!

December Monthly Scavenger Hunt Collage

Sunday, December 27, 2009

And It's Over...

Almost as quickly as it starts, Christmas is over and done with.  It was a great holiday spent with family and friends.  We had four family gatherings over the last week and several impromptu friend gatherings.  And to top it off, I'm on vacation until January 4th!  New Year's is next on the agenda, which means it's time to start cleaning my house so it's in decent shape for New Year's Eve.  We're having a few friends out and New Year's always ends up being a fantastic time!  This year Jason is making his yummilicious Guinness chili to add to the festivities.  I'm sure lots of photos will come of that night!  But for now, here are some family photos from some of our various gatherings  (sadly there were a few where I took my camera but failed to take any photos).

Buddy's first Christmas present

Lois Lane with her new stuffy (which already has missing appendages)

My niece Taylor all snuggled up


Jeremy & Amanda (my brother and sis-in-law)

Mama Rosie & Melvin

Cousin Adam, Aunt Cindy & Melvin


Dad & Mom

Cousin Matt & Abby

Grandma Parson

Abby kicking of the annual Dirty Santa game

Dad & Taylor

Jason & Taylor "wrastling"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Two Down, Two to Go

Two Christmas gatherings down, two to go.  One more on Christmas Eve at my mom's for the "big family" party and then we head to Jason's mom's on Christmas morning.  Then on Saturday we move the rest of Portia's items for her room and the evil rabbit to her mom's house and then sweet relaxation until New Year's Eve!  After tomorrow I'm off work until January 4th and I really look forward to the time off. We don't have much of anything planned between the 26th and 31st and I like it that way.

Hardy has a birthday coming up on the 25th as well!  Old fart will be 16 years old (our closest guess).  He doesn't do so well in the cold weather these days so I broke down and bought him a couple of sweaters to wear outside.  He likes them so much I'm just leaving one on him all the time.  He's such an old man - full of wire hair and warts.  I'll try to get a photo of him in his new digs.

Until then, Merry Christmas!

Self Reflection

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Project 365 in 2010

Today I was thinking about what some of my goals will be for 2010.  There are the usual financials, work improvements, healthier lifestyle type deals, and believe me, there are plenty of those goals...but I also want to make a fun goal in something that I enjoy. In 2008 I completed Project 52 - a photo project that requires the participant to take (at least) one photo a week for one year and post it to some sort of group, in my case Flickr.  I successfully completed this project and you can see my Project 52 results here.

In 2009 I dabbled around with some photography scavenger hunts and have had a really good time with them.  However, with a new year brings a new project.  Project 365.  Project 365 is similar to Project 52 however, you guessed it, it's a photo a DAY for one year.  I wanted to do this in 2009, but work schedules and time restraints told me it wasn't feasible.  That may still be true now, but I think I've become more comfortable with my photography and my photography style that it will be more likely to happen now. Plus I have a drive to learn more about it and what better way than to force myself to take a photo a day and try to make it at least a decent subject matter?  On top of that, I plan to post each daily photo to this blog (among my usual ramblings).  I don't know how far I'll get with it, but I think it's worth a shot!  And I'll continue to keep up my scavenger hunts as well - they are great fun!

So in the new year, prepare to see more posts, more photos and with any luck at all I'll meet my Project 365 goal, even if you do see a lot of future photos of my dogs.  :P

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas and Buddy Updates, Among Other Things

The Christmas season is upon us.  My tree is up, but there is only one gift under it. Buddy, apparently, likes to play with wrapped gifts, scoot them around the living room and chew on the paper, thus my little 2 foot tree will be nekkid of gifts this year. Shopping is close to being done, just a few more items left.  It's busy season for sure and our weekends are totally booked through New Year's.

Last night we went to our annual Christmas party hosted by our good friends Charlie & Christina.  It's always a good time and last night was no exception!  Yummy lasagna and breadsticks for dinner, lots of good snacks and the traditional White Elephant gift exchange was a hoot, as always.  I ended up with 2 dvds, a jar of homemade canned peppers (which Jason is thoroughly enjoying), a gourd, a plastic reindeer and a pocket knife that looks like a key - ha!  Jason got a good one and snagged a 4-piece set of wine glasses.  Unfortunately as I was putting one in the dishwasher this morning it became a 3-piece set. (Exactly why we don't buy expensive wine glasses.)

Portia has decided to move in with her (biological) mom and will be officially moving next weekend.  So we've been busy getting her packed up, filling out school transfer forms and tying up other loose ends.  I hope the move is a good choice for her - it sure won't be the same without her home, but I hope to get to spend some quality weekends with her in the upcoming months.

The dogs are all doing well.  Buddy has reached the 80 pound mark.  He could still use 10 or so pounds, but at this point he's healthy and happy and very smitten to be indoors and laying on our couch rather than being pinned up outside as he has been in the past.  He's over his food aggression and him and Blue are quickly becoming good buddies, which I never thought I'd hear myself say. Blue never plays with other dogs, but him and Buddy are like two peas in a pod!  This is a picture I got of Buddy one day when he was just standing by the chair and decided his big ol' head needed a rest.  Hehe!


That's about all I really have as an update.  Hopefully I'll be getting some exciting photos to share with all the festivities going on in the next several weeks.  I wish everyone happy holidays!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Photo Flashback: December 2008

Almost Christmas again already - it's amazing how time flies the older I get.  For lack of anything interesting to blog about, I bring you yet another photo flashback from this time last year.  Unless you prefer to hear about my dog's recent bout with diarrhea that seems to be contagious and hitting them one at a time....yeah, didn't think so.

My sis-in-law Amanda, my brother Jeremy and my niece Taylor.  My brother has issues keeping his eyes open and smiling at the same time. ;)
Amanda, Taylor & Jeremy

And you may remember Pip Squeak!  Pip was the baby mouse we found in our basement all alone last December.  We kept her with two domesticated female mice, Moo and Hazel, until it got warm enough to let her go outside.  We let her out in our shed in the backyard and have spotted her there in the nest she built when we go into the shed.  :)

Pip Squeak

And Miss Moo - Moo and Hazel have been adopted by my good friend Jenn's daughter, Lexi.  She loves them and I think they love her too!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Photo Flashback This Time Last Year

This time last year I was dabbling a little for the first time with portraits...and of course always photos of some of the pups!

Portia & Brittany:
Portia & Brittany

Terah's Senior Portrait


Blue getting pummeled by Lois Lane:

Attack of Lois

Friday, November 20, 2009

Son of Buddy

As mentioned before, when we first took in Buddy, our Great Pyrenees/Golden Retriever, from the horrid conditions he was in, there was also a female Pyr with a litter of puppies...Buddy's puppies.  At the time they were just tiny (well as tiny as a Pyr can be) little nursing furballs, maybe a month old at the time.  This puts them at almost 5 months old now.  I've been able to keep up with some of the puppies since this site URL is sometimes given to the new owners so they can see what "dad" looks like.

The other day I had a nice comment from Lesley on The Critters page saying she had adopted one of Buddy's sons.  His name is Henry and he is just the cutest, fuzzy headed little thing!  He looks a lot like Buddy and he's a very lucky boy!  He gets to go to work with Lesley every day and everyone around town knows who Henry is.  At almost 5 months old he already weighs over 40 pounds, barely under what full grown Buddy was when he first came to us.  (Now Buddy is around the 85 pound range - I need to go get him weighed again).

Lesley was kind enough to send me photos of Henry and says she'll continue to send them so we can watch him grow up - how cool is that!

Here is sweet Henry - check out that fuzzy head!

And Henry in his Halloween getup. Look how happy he is - ha!

And as reference, a photo of Buddy, the proud Papa!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Art of Photo Scavenger Hunting

So as you may know, I am involved in a monthly photo scavenger hunt group.  It really is great fun and keeps me shooting, even in the busiest of times.  I'm trying really hard to keep my scavenger hunt photos interesting and not just a blah photo of some inanimate object, but sometimes it's difficult!  So for this round and any upcoming I've decided that if I can't get a good, artistic, pleasing photo, I will just bypass that photo opportunity, even if it means not getting my hunt item.  For some items this is very difficult to do, but I'm trying my best.  For example, three things today that I got were 1) Colored erasers; 2) A patch or badge; 3) Something depicting a hobby.  So I searched about the house (since I'm still mostly home-bound) and came up with the following:

Got Erasers?

Hobby Gathering Dust

My favorite of this set is the erasers - the colors pop and turned out quite nicely.  Not sure about the other two, but I'm working towards a goal here and that takes time!  Stay tuned for more scavenger hunt goodness...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Buggy Monday

Since the cold weather is quickly approaching, the opportunities for bug and insect photos is rapidly dwindling away.  Here are a few macro shots I got over the weekend.  Happy Monday!

Please let the weather stay warm a bit longer...


Racing Stripes

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Clairvoyant Findings

Last night I attended a "psychic party".  Now, I'm not saying that I believe in all this, but there is
always that little thing in the back of the mind saying "What if...".  So I went, and it was fun sitting around and talking about what the readings of each participant revealed.

It wasn't like in the movies where you go in a dark room, only lit by candles with a gypsy looking lady sitting behind a cloth and candle covered table.  It was simply a spare room in the house away from the other noise, lights on, with an ordinary looking middle aged woman sitting at a card table with her bottle of water wearing silver bangles, jeans and knit shirt, and flip-flops.

The clairvoyant used tarot cards for her readings and she had obviously been doing this for a while based on the wear and tear of the cards.  I first walked in the room, shook her hand, exchanged normal pleasantries when meeting someone new "Hello, how are you...good", then I sat down, she asked my first name, and we were off!  Below are some of the things that she "saw" during my reading.  There is more, but I will not share all to protect the innocent.  ;)

  • The first thing she asked me was "could you be pregnant?"  I about laughed out loud and snorted through my nose at that one, seeing as I just had a hysterectomy three weeks ago. When I said no all she said was "I see something in the belly area" and left it at that.

  • Next she saw "romance change or a redefinition of love".  And she explained that this doesn't necessarily mean my spouse, but could be any close loved one.  I know where that could possibly stem from...and won't discuss it here.

  • She saw me as growing to be an old woman in good health. She sees me as a healer.

  • She doesn't see me physically moving anytime real soon, but possibly around 5 years from now there will be a move. Hopefully this will be our 50 acre farm purchase.  She mentioned something about Yellow Wood Forrest, which is in Brown County, Indiana.

  • She saw a lot of stacks of books around me, which indicates that I read a lot, research a lot, or attend a lot of conferences.  All of the above are true.

  • She asked out of the blue if I sleep poorly.  You can see my Sleep Writing post for the answer to that one!  She said I'm a "dimension jumper" when I sleep and suggested I video tape myself sleeping (which I have considered doing) when I answered yes to her question of "When you wake do you often find things misplaced or moved".  Heh, yeah...I do that.

  • I asked about mine and Jason's relationship, of course.  She sees us together until death do us part.  Awwww.

  • She sees me at a rustic cabin in the near future.  We have a January trip planned to Lake Cumberland in January with friends to stay in a cabin on the lake.

  • And the final kicker...she sees a dog with a red ribbon coming into my life.  Most likely a stray and one we will most likely keep.  
So, that was the bulk of it.  The only thing that really got me was the last one since I never mentioned anything about my dogs or love for animals at all.  And the cabin one got me as well since we just put down the deposit for the cabin a few weeks ago.

Again, this was all done in fun.  But it will be interesting to revisit this post and see what happens!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Autumn Has Arrived in Kentucky

Ahhh!  The colors, the crispness in the air!  I'm sorta homebound right now, but wanted to get at least one fall shot this year before all the leaves blow away.  So I stepped out on my front porch and snagged a shot of our little Maple that lives in the front yard.  Hoping to get a shot or two with some blue skies, but this may have to do!

Fall is Here

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Art of Racing in the Rain

I don't often write of book reviews, but this one truly captured my heart!  "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein is utterly amazing!  Particularly if you are a dog lover, as I am.  It's a story from a very intelligent dog's point of view who's goal is to be reincarnated as a human.  It deals with love and loss, family trials and tribulations, and most and acceptance.  It makes you think twice about your life, about what you have and what could be, as well as the faithfulness of our wonderful canine companions.  I urge you to read this book!  And if you have or if you do, please comment and share your theories.  I don't want to say much more for fear of ruining the book....but I highly, highly recommend it!  This one will definitely be on my re-read list.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Life on the Couch...and Another Photo Flashback

It's been 3 days since my surgery and 2 days since I've gotten home from the hospital.  All went well and I'm happy to say they found the problem during the surgery, which verified that the procedure was necessary to fix the issues I was having.  So now I'm off work for six weeks to fully recover and get my energy back.  Today is the first day I've really been awake all day (apart from one small nap).  I stopped the percocet pills this morning and moved to ibuprofen and it seems to be doing ok.  Percocets will be saved for night time for the next few nights and will then wean off of those.

The last couple of days the couch and I have become best buds and the dogs have argued over who gets to lay next to me.  It's a tie between Lois Lane & Blue currently.  I've watched "Sweet Home Alabama", "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" and "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants".  I've been online here and there, though not too clear headed to stay on for long until today. I have attempted to read, but still not clear headed enough to keep up yet.  (If this post rambles, you know why).

Family  & friends have been wonderful and I must send thanks out to all of them for the online well wishes, phone calls and visits.  Mom was at the hospital with Jason during the procedure and provided me with a cute nightgown and fuzzy socks, along with a ride home so I didn't have to climb up in the big truck.  She is bringing dinner one night this week - presumably homemade pot pie - yummy!  Grandma Parson came to visit me at the hospital also and brought me another cutie nightgown.  My dear mother-in-law, Emily, brought over some yummy food (check out her Marvelous Recipes) and some beautiful flowers and her and Ralph sat to visit for a while yesterday.  And today my  good friends Christina & Charlie brought me a goodie basket full of stuff, including a crossword puzzle book, which took up an hour or so of my time today.  And of course Jason has been awesome.  He dotes on me hand and foot, bought me a Snuggie blanket, has made several trips to the store for me and is just downright awesome.  I do have the best husband in the world, don't even try to argue that!  ;)

And since I have no interesting photos for the week, I'll provide another Photo Flashback from this time last year, when we were camping (as we usually are in October).

A snake we came across when hiking:
The gravel road leading to the campsite:
Zeller in Autumn
A horse at a Halloween bonfire we attended for Jason's previous employer:
Horsing Around

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sleep Writing

I admit it, I'm a sleep walker (and talker for that matter).  I'd like to say I don't do it very often, but I really don't know.  Sometimes I wake up and sometimes Jason puts me back to bed and tells me about it the next morning, but there have been times when I would have never known I was up and about if it wasn't for the evidence I find the next morning.  For example, I once took an oil lamp from the dresser, set it on the floor and disassembled the entire thing and left it in 5 pieces for myself to find the next morning.  I have no recollection of being up, of having any dreams involving dismembering anything and Jason slept through that one.

Then there are times when I do something that causes me to wake up, like when I opened the back door and the cold, January wind woke me.  (I was dreaming I left my camera out in the backyard and had to get it before it rained).  When that happens I just simply sigh and take myself back to bed.  Except for the time that I dreamed someone was chasing me and that I was climbing a fence to get away from them...that one was a doozy.  Instead of climbing the imaginary fence, I was actually climbing the bookshelf that is in my bedroom.  I wasn't woken up until the entire shelf, along with about 130 books, toppled on top of me, waking me up.  That one freaked me out!

So my sleepwalking has been fairly calm over the last couple of months, or so I thought.  This morning I woke up, no recollection of dreams, waking up in the night or anything.  Yet printed on my left hand in blue ink in my writing was 5 numbers.  It looks like the number 51303 (apparently I don't write very neatly when I sleep).  I've been wracking my brain all morning trying to think of what these numbers might luck yet.  I never thought to blog before about my sleeping adventures - I'll have to start keeping track.  Maybe I'll find a pattern!

The evidence:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Camping Recap

Ahhh what a wonderful time we had last weekend!  It's been a busy week, so I'm just now getting around to updating.  We ended up having a group of 6 - Me & Jason, Charlie & Christina, Eric & Teena and of course little Bailey.  The weather was just about perfect!  Cool enough for a fire all day, but still comfortable.  All the wood was quite damp so the fire wasn't as good as it should have been, but we made due.  Lots of beverages were consumed, yummy food was grilled and lots of corn hole and ladder ball games were going throughout the day - so much that several of us had some sore muscles the next day.

A perfect ending to another camping season (even if it is only the second time we got to go this year).  Some photos:

Jason, Christina & Charlie

Çharlie, Eric & Teena


Bailey Boy


Friday, October 2, 2009

Photo Flashback to October 2008

This time last year we were camping in Dog Woods.  This weekend, we'll be camping in Dog Woods!  Yay!

And a non-camping photo, but another from that same week when we were having a Mojo Red party at Kimmy's house. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Camping We Will Go!

Whooo!  Back to Dog Woods at last!  Check out this camping weather - sunny and lower 60's both Saturday and Sunday!

Sweetness!  We were actually supposed to go last weekend for Jason's birthday, but the weather didn't cooperate.   We haven't been to Dog Woods since Memorial Day back in May, which is just rediculous, but it's been a very hectic summer.  Sadly it will likely be our last camping trip of the season as well due to me having a (routine) surgery that will put me down for about six weeks.  But I'm so looking forward to this weekend!  We have two other couples going with us for sure and potentially two more - and with this crew there is never a dull moment! See our past Dog Woods camping extravaganzas here.