Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I hope everyone has a happy, safe Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

video

Monday, December 22, 2008

Over the River and Through the...

There were no woods on my trip to the Panhandle today. There were, lots and lots of highway patrol out. I didn't meet any of them up close and personally on this trip. Thank goodness.

It is very, very cold here. Okay. I realize that "very, very" is relative. It's mid-20s here and the wind is still blowing hard outside. I'm safe and sound inside, though. It was strange driving without the kitties this trip. I've left them home with a pet sitter because my cousin's hubby is really allergic (like the throat swelling, eyes swelling allergic) to them, so I volunteered to leave them home. I was fortunate to find someone I trust to keep them -- and it isn't costing nearly as much as it would have to board them or to hire a professional pet sitter. They'll be fine.

About three-quarters of the way here, I called my Gran and she said that Mom, Sis A, Miss A and Bennin all have a tummy bug. I will see them later in the week. There was no way I was going over there (as I'd planned) today. There is nothing in the world I hate worse than throwing up, so as much as I want to see them all, my desire for self-preservation is stronger than my desire to see them. I'll just have to wave from afar for a day or two.

Nothing much else going on. The Christmas food-fest has begun. I'm going to try to be good, but make no promises... especially Christmas day when I'll have dueling grandmothers making Christmas meals.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weekly Winners December 14 -December 20


The brainchild of Lotus at Sarcastic Mom... Click on the badge for more Weekly Winners.

My Weekly Winners for December 14 - December 20


This week I got to help out at the apartment complex Christmas gathering and take photos of the kiddos in Santa's lap. (Santa was OMG Hot, by the way. I wish I'd gotten his picture after he'd "shaved" off the beard.) Here are a few that I thought were cute.









Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's Christmas Commercial time again!

Every year at Christmas, commercials ramp up and old ones are recycled. And every year, there are always a few memorable ones that come out only at Christmas... anyone remember the Norelco one with Santa riding on the razor head throught the snow?


Or the classic one where Peter surprises everyone at Christmas? (Who doesn't remember this one?)


Or all of the Coca Cola Commercials...


Well, I have a new favorite one. I giggle every time I watch the meltdown of the little one... And dad's response of "we'll fix it."


Ahh.... memories of the Christmas season from a child who grew up on television.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Weekly Winners December 7 - 13


The brainchild of Lotus at Sarcastic Mom... Click on the badge for more Weekly Winners.

My Weekly Winners for December 7 - December 13


I have taken so many pictures this week. Unfortunately, they've all been at the Photo Job and so I can't post them here -- that whole copyright and other people's kids thing... So, you'll have to do with a couple I took of the kitties and my tree.









Friday, December 12, 2008

You know it's time to turn up the heat when...

I am cheap. I don't like to pay the high electric bills that come with the heating bills in the winter. So, last night I was curled up on the couch with my laptop in sweat pants, a t-shirt under a sweatshirt, warm socks and wrapped in a blanket. Buddy was curled next to me. I got up to go to the kitchen to get something warm to drink and this is what I saw...



Poor guy. I checked the thermostat and saw that it was 65 degrees, so I upped the temp a bit.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #24



THIRTEEN OF MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS I HAVE OUT THIS YEAR PICTURES!


In no particular order...

1. My Avon bisque porcelain nativity.

2. My new pre-lit tree.

3. My "Merry Christmas Y'all" snowman.

4. My six foot door hanger that says "Jingle all the way," with a snowman head in a tall hat.

5. My hand painted Mickey Mouse ornament.

6. My "real" icicles for my tree.

7. A little porcelain angel ornament on my tree.

8. A hand-blown glass snowman ornament.

9. A teddy bear santa icicle ornament.

10. My wire star tree topper.

11. This little snowflake tea light candle holder my sister got me last year.

12. My Santa Clause's cookie plate and mug.

13. All the gold and red balls on my tree.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Monday, December 8, 2008

Yes, there will be life after court reportng school

I'm still frustrated with school and the photo job and the photo job manager and life in general, but school goes on. Thank you to those who said a prayer for me. I feel them and hope you continue to keep me on your prayer lists.

It's a struggle, but this is something I want -- I really want. I'm going to start looking into other options about what to do with the career so I can earn money! This not being *really* employed is nerve wracking and adding to my stress instead of taking it away. An unexpected result, for sure!

But, after much soul searching and whining and tears and venting (thank you, Moma) I am much calmer and have rededicated my efforts to completing school.

As normal with things worthwhile, they are never easy. Two steps forward and one step back -- not only is it a great dance, it's true to life.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Is there life after court reporting school?

I'm so totally frustrated with school right now. I'm to a point where I don't even want to practice because I don't see progress. I thought I'd be finished with school or at least qualified for the state exam by now. Yet I'm still struggling to pass the qualifying tests. I don't feel like I'm progressing and I don't know what to do *to* progress. I'm floundering.

I sit and watch the news and the economy is in the tank. So, if I don't get out of school by at the very latest the end of next quarter in March, I'm going to have to get a job again. But, what then? Is there a point where I just say to heck with it and do something else? But what would I do?

This is so not the life I wanted. I wanted to be married and have kids and the minivan. Okay, maybe not the minivan, but the rest I wanted. Not even past tense. Those are things I want still.

I guess I'm just at a crossroads. I can choose one fork and can continue to work toward the court reporting thing. But the other fork is to quit school and figure something else out. Ugh. Honestly, the thought of quitting makes me more nervous than I was going to Austin to take the written part. (That is VERY nervous, by the way.) I have no idea what I would do if I quit. I've been working toward this for so long because I do love it. I do want it. The question is, is it within my grasp. I mean, really within my grasp. Is this something that I can really do?

I hope so.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #23



THIRTEEN OF MY FAVORITE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS I HAVE OUT THIS YEAR


In no particular order...

1. My Avon bisque porcelain nativity. It is just like the one my mom has. I couldn't find one I liked better, so I have purchased this one piece by piece from eBay over the past few years.

2. My new pre-lit tree. Even though one section blinks, it is still a cool tree and just the tree I wanted.

3. My "Merry Christmas Y'all" snowman. It was given to me by an ex-boyfriend's mother for Christmas (while we were still dating). It is a handmade snowman with a straw hat, red bandanna and a string of christmas lights (on his hat) holding a sign that says "Merry Christmas, Y'all"

4. My six foot door hanger that says "Jingle all the way," with a snowman head in a tall hat. My sister-in-law gave it to me several years ago as a gift.

5. My hand painted Mickey Mouse ornament. It is cool because it is a clear glass ball that was painted on the inside. I got it as a gift but I don't remember who gave it to me.

6. My "real" icicles for my tree. I bought them last year at the end of the season. They relly do kind of look like real icicles hanging around the tree.

7. A little porcelain angel ornament on my tree. It is a little bit of nothing ornament, but was the first ornament I bought myself when I got my own first tree. It always gets a special place near the top of the tree.

8. A hand-blown glass snowman ornament. Again, it was a gift, but I don't remember who gave it to me.

9. A teddy bear santa icicle ornament. I know it sounds strange, but you'll just have to trust me, it's cool looking. It was a gift from an ex- who was a real jerk, but did things sometimes that were so sweet -- like come home from a trip with friends with this silly ornament he got just because he thought I'd like it.

10. My wire star tree topper. I hunted and hunted until I found a topper I liked.

11. This little snowflake tea light candle holder my sister got me last year. The heat of the candle burning makes the fan thing spin and the hanging snowflakes cast really cool sparlkes on the wall and around the room. I think she got it as a stockig stuffer/afterthought, but I think it's really cute.

12. My Santa Clause's cookie plate and mug. Since I'm not generally at my own house for Santa's visit, I have it sitting on my mantle.

13. All the gold and red balls on my tree. They sparkle just right.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I was tagged for a meme

My Aunt tagged me for a meme.

Here goes...

This is what I'm supposed to do:

1.Grab the book closest to you
2.Turn to page 56
3.Go to the fifth line
4.Type it and the following couple of lines

Since I'm sitting in my office, the book closest too me is the Franklin Covey Style Guide for Business and Technical Communication. (Hey, it was this or the phone book...)

Page 56, line 5 says: "In other contexts -- for instance, a presentation using overhead transparencies -- complementary colors are often too bright, maybe even annoying. Split -complementary colors are two colors positioned adjacent to a single color on the wheel."

Now I'm supposed to tag five people. I don't know who to tag, but I guess if you want to do this, go for it!! Just link back to me and let me know you did it.

Have a great day!

Monday, December 1, 2008

After NaBloPoMo...

Well, another year, another month of blogging down. I did it again this year. Strangely, this year was harder than last year. But, I did it. I even did it without even having to time any of them back.

But beyond NaBloPoMo, life continues. Yesterday, the photo job was *not* fun. There were some really nice customers and one that made me want to rip the weave (a bad one at that) of her head and smack her with it. NOTHING was good enough. Normally I can just vent a bit and go on. That didn't seem to cut it today. THEN, I came home and cried at about every third sappy commercial.

Oh well. I've only got a few more weeks at the Photo Job. I'm counting down to my last day already. That isn't good. I totally don't want to do it anymore. It has gotten un-fun. But, I need to do it because I need the money. *sigh* I love photography. I love portrait photography. I love taking portraits of kiddos. I just need to remind myself of that more, I guess.

Sill, what is wrong with me? Must be PMS. Yeah, that is it. I'm blaming my moodiness on PMS.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Day 30: Weekly Winners November 23-29


The brainchild of Lotus at Sarcastic Mom... Click on the badge for more Weekly Winners.

My Weekly Winners for November 23 - November 29


Memories of Thanksgiving 2008 -- Sorry there are so many, but I couldn't narrow it down any further. I hope you like them. The first are from the Turkey Trot and the rest are from the day.



















Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 29: I love my tree

It's a tree I got last year at the end of the season. It was a great deal on a 7.5 foot pre-lit tree. It as some lights that randomly twinkle. It's really a pretty tree. .
video

There is that bit in the middle of the tree, though. It blinks. I don't like blinking trees. Random sparkling is fine, but the whole section? I must find that bulb. It's going to drive me batty (-er) if I don't find it

Friday, November 28, 2008

Day 28: Black Friday

Well, I was determined NOT to go shopping today. I don't like shopping and I hate crowds, so Black Friday is not a good day for me to be out and about. Unfortunately, through poor planning on my part, I had to go to, of all places, Target to go to the pharmacy because I didn't have enough to last the weekend. I went around noon and that was the best time to go. Must have been between waves of shoppers because I got an up front parking place and there were others available. I wandered a bit because he script wasn't ready. Not overly crowded inside, either. Got my prescription, grabbed lunch, considered going to a couple of stores and thought better of it.

Tomorrow the fun really starts at the photo job. Oh joy.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Day 27: Thursday Thirteen #22 -- Thanksgiving Edition



THIRTEEN THINGS I'M THANKFUL FOR


In no particular order...

1. My family and friends who support me.

2. A young girl who made an impossible decision to give her baby up for adoption to my friends PJ&M

3. The fact that I live in this country where I can speak without fear and worship without fear

4. My contnued good health.

5. Having the ability go back to school full-time

6. I passed both of my written exams on the first try

7. School is going well

8. My cats are healthy

9. I was able to contine working at my job on a part-time basis so I am not totally without income.

10. This blog where I can vent and whine to my heart's content

11. Those who read this and comment (or not)

12. Comfy clothes (because I didn't mean to, but I over ate today... and it was soooooo yummy.)

13. Good weather today for the Turky Trot

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day 25: Canned Cranberry Sauce or Fresh Cranberry Relish?

A message board I participate in had a discussion today about cranberry sauces. Personally, I prefer a fresh cranberry relish.

My Granny B made one that I adored. I looked forward to it every year. Granny was not known for her cooking, but that cranberry relish was a favorite of mine. I asked for her recipe on year and she gave it to me in a Christmas card. I meant to keep that card and I think I did for a couple of years, but at some point I lost it. I could kick myself for losing it. I have been on a quest for "her" recipe for a couple of years now.

I've found one that is really close... close enough, really. Here it is...

Ingredients:

1/2 cup walnut halves
1/2 cup sugar
5 strips orange zest
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (donot thaw if using frozen berries)
1/2 large navel orange, peeled, cut into quarters

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350° F. Place walnuts in a baking pan and toast until golden brown and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly.

Insert metal blade in food processor. Process sugar and zest until finely chopped, about 45 seconds. Add cranberries, orange and reserved nuts; pulse until coarsely chopped, about 10 to 12 times. Pulse several more times if a finer consistency is desired.

Or, if you prefer...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 24: Ideas for Christmas gifts?

While hunting around on the internet for a couple of Christmas gifts I need to get I stumbled on this and it made me giggle. The top-ten Bacon Flavored Gifts... I kid you not.

Now, I like bacon as much as the next person, better than some, I'm sure. But I draw the line at these, I'm afraid.

1) Bacon Flavored Coffee
2) Bacon scented candles
3) Bacon Flavored Ice Cream (this place also has one called "Viagra")
4) Bacon Salt The website describes it as: "a zero-calorie vegetarian, kosher certified seasoning salt that makes everything taste like real bacon."
5) Bacon-flavored Mints
6) Bacon Flavored Chocolate
7) Bacon Scented Bubbles (if the dogs react to this like the cats did to the catnip bubbles, don't waste your money.)
8) Bacon-flavored Beer
9) Bacon-flavored Water
10) Bacon Flavored Toothpicks

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day 23: Yep, it's Christmas

**Weekly Winners will be posted at some point. A day late and a dollar short. Yep, that's my life.

Every year that I take pictures during the Christmas season, I am amazed at the things parents say to their children (and the photographers) during sittings. So, as you, dear readers, head out to your local portrait studio, I would like to give you some advice. My top three tips for today...

1) It's the Christmas season, folks. Everyone had the exact same idea that you did. Yes, photos make great gifts. No, I can't fit you in right this second.

2) Remember that I am a photographer, not a miracle worker. I cannot make you miraculously lose 40 pounds. I cannot make the gray hair go away. Yes, the magazines have that capability and I am sure that you have Photoshop on your computer, but you aren't at *that* kind of studio.

3) If your child is not a "smiley" child at home, I am likely not going to be able to get "smiley" pictures. Along the same line, sometimes a portrait of a non-smiling child (even a normally smiley one) can and does make a very striking portrait.

Please keep these things in mind.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day 22: Oh, yeah. I'm supposed to blog every day

I was all ready for bed. PJs on, medicine taken, alarm set for tomorrow morning. I was laying there thinking about my day and going over all of the things I did and didn't get done today. Thinking of my sittings and the things I could do differently to make them go smoother. I realized that the one thing I hadn't done was blog today. Oops.

So, talk about dedication. I got up and I'm blogging now about the fact that I almost forgot to blog today. Now, isn't that exciting and aren't you glad you stopped by to read this? :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Day 21: Long Day at Work

Generally now I only work on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Hot Dog Place. There was a presentation that needed to be finished and since it is a "short" week next week, it needed to be done by today. So, extra hours, here I come!

But, boy was I tired at the end of the work day.

It did serve to take my mind off of the fact that Maxie was having a dental done. (The reason for the thorough exam on Monday.) For a cat, dentals include being put under -- a scary prospect for any senior cat, even a relatively healthy one.

There were no complications. He now has shiny white teeth. No extractions. That is good. I did end up with one ANGRY kitty, though. The vet techs and vet all refused to get him out of his kennel because any time anyone walked by his kennel, he hunched up, hissed and yowled like a rabid cat. The vet was amazed that I would stick my hand into the kennel with all that ruckus. I couldn't seem to convince any of them to try, though. I assured them he was all talk.

He told me how awful I am for doing that to him all the way home and for about 30 minutes after we got home. Since then, though, he's been curled up asleep.

It's funny how routine life has become and how comfortable that is. I like it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day 20: Thursday Thirteen #21



THIRTEEN TV SHOWS I LIKE ON TV NOW


In no particular order...

1. Dirty Jobs

2. House

3. The Starter Wife (when I remember to watch it)

4. CSI:Pick any of the three (Las Vegas, New York, Miami)

5. Dr. Who (The new series on BBCAmerica)

6. How Clean is Your House (BBCAmerica)

7. Ghost Whisperer

8. Good Eats

9. Late Late Show (At least Craig Ferguson's opening monologue)

10. Sanctuary

11. Ghost Hunters

12. NCIS

13. Valentine

hmmm... seems I watch a lot of CBS

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 19: Just another day

Nothing terribly exciting to report on today. It was just another day in the life of me.

Maxie is still in his collar. Buddy is tormenting him about it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 18: Poor lampshade kitty



Got the bloodwork results today and my diabetic kitty is healthy with the exception of the licked spot. So, for a few days, he gets to wear the cone. Poor guy.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 17: So we went to the vet today

Maxie has been a bit clingy and sleepier than normal lately, so I decided it was time for a check-up. Because of the diabetes, he *should* see the vet every six months, but I'm a bad kitty's person and he only gets in about once a year or when something seems "off."

So... At the lovely hour of 7:30 a.m., I loaded a very unhappy cat into my car and off we went. I was serenaded the entire 30 minute drive. Then he sang to the receptionist and charmed everyone with his leash skills. He is a healthy 18.8 lbs. and was happy and purry until it was time for a blood draw. It took two techs to hold him down and the vet to draw the blood. The poor vet tech then had to clean herself and Maxie up because Maxie literally had the sh*t scared out of him.

He's got a spot on his tummy that he's licked raw, so I'm going to have to get him an e-collar tomorrow so that he doesn't lick it anymore and it can heal. I will get pictures of that as soon as I get them... teehee.

I'll know the results of all the tests tomorrow. In the mean time, I thought I'd share Maxie's pain and humiliation of the vet with you. Poor kitty...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day 16: Weekly Winners November 9 - 16


The brainchild of Lotus at Sarcastic Mom... Click on the badge for more Weekly Winners.

My Weekly Winners for November 9 - November 16


A few shots I took at the Veterans Memorial in Keller on Veterans Day.