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. .

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


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...


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


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.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day 15: According to my sister, I'm normal

Thursday evening I kinda felt bummed, then yesterday I was totally blue and weepy and just wanted to cover my head up and disappear for the day. Today, I'm all better. C says that that is normal.

As someone who has depression, I never know if what I'm feeling is a "normal" reaction or if a "just a blue day" is just a blue day. I'm glad to know that I'm normal at least in yesterday's emotions.

And now a Cheezburger, just because I'm a geek and this one made me laugh and now I have the "Time Warp" stuck in my head...
funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Friday, November 14, 2008

Day 14: Not much to say today

It's been one of "those" days. Lots going on, but nothing much to report, I guess one could say. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel like writing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 13: Thursday Thirteen #20


Since today is the 13th day of November, I'm going to do a history lesson of historical events that happened on each day of the month.

1. November 1, 1966 - NFL awards New Orleans its 16th franchise (All Saints Day)

2. November 2, 1993 - Dow Jones hits record 3697.64.

3. November 3, 1948 - Chicago Tribune reports: "Dewey beats Truman"

4. November 4, 1994 - San Francisco: First conference that focusses exclusively on the subject of the commercial potential of the World Wide Web.

5. November 5, 1872 - Susan B Anthony fined $100 for trying to vote for Ulysses S Grant

6. November 6, 1975 - 1st appearance of Sex Pistols

7. November 7, 1492 - The Ensisheim Meteorite, the oldest meteorite with a known date of impact, strikes the earth around noon in a wheat field outside the village of Ensisheim, Alsace, France.

8. November 8, 1965 - "Days of Our Lives" premieres on TV

9. November 9, 1888 - Jack Ripper's 5th & last known victim, Mary Jane Kelly, found

10. November 10, 1775 - Congress forms US Marine Corps

11. November 11, 1918 - Armistice Day-WW I ends (at 11 AM on Western Front)

12. November 12, 1946 - A branch of the Exchange National Bank in Chicago, Illinois opens the first ten drive-up teller windows.

13. November 13, 1990 - The World Wide Web first began.

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!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 11: Veterans Day 2008 -- A Pittance of Time

Today is Veterans day. The holiday honoring all U.S military veterans. It is known and observed in other parts of the world as Armistice Day (the symbolic end of World War I) or Remembrance Day (the day to commemorate the sacrifices of members of the armed forces specifically since WWI.)

Why November 11? November 11 is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)

This day, in my humble opion, should be a solemn day for remembering and thanking and honoring the men and women who fought and died or those who fought and came home forever changed by what they've seen. It irritates me that here in the U.S. Veterans Day has become little more than another day for stores to have big sales. It saddens me that an estimated 1/4 of the homeless in America are vets who haven't received the help they've needed when they come home. To me it is wrong that the flag-draped coffins of American Soldiers who died fighting for freedom can't be shown on TV because it is too "political" and divisive.

One of my most enduring memories of my childhood is walking into Arlington National Cemetary during a trip to Washington, D.C. and seeing all those white headstones perfectly lined up. There was row after row on a green field. As a young teenager, I was profoundly moved and awed to realize that each and every one of those headstones was someone who had served in this nation's military. It was a very visual lesson on just how many men and women it took/takes for me to live free.

So, please take the time to watch the video and offer a prayer of thanks for those who defend our freedoms. This is by a Canadian songwriter named Terry Kelly and called a Pittance of Time.

I am overwhelingly appreciative for the fact that someone fought for my freedom... and humbled by the fact that so many died for it. I am grateful for my grandfathers, all three of them, who served in WWII -- two in the Navy and one in the Army Air Corps. I am indebted all those who fought in WWII -- the War to End All Wars -- and for those who have fought in all the wars before and after. I am deeply grateful for those who are this country's newest veterans. I do believe they are making me safer through their service.

I want to say thank you. Thank you for your service and your scrifices. I know the sacrifices are many and yet, you chose/choose to make them. Thank you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Day 9: Weekly Winners November 2 - November 8

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

My Weekly Winners for November 1 - November 8

I didn't take many pictures this week, so I'm going to share some of my favorites from previous weeks. I hope life gets to a point soon where I have (1) time to go take pictures of fun things or (2) a life where I have fun stuff to take pictures of. I guess they're really one in the same. Anyway, enjoy...

My Buddy...

My Maxie...


Mr. B gives me flowers...

Miss A relaxing after a mani/pedi...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Day 8: Hmm... another day, another something

I got cut from the Photo Job for today. I don't know yet if I work tomorrow. I really hope I don't because I really want to spend more time on my steno machine. But, going and playing with other people's babies also has its appeal.

That is about my day. I've played on Facebook. I've practiced (not nearly enough). I've fed the cats (because they can get very insistant when they feel they should be fed *NOW*). That's about it for my day.

Sorry it's not more exciting.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Day 7: One of those days

Have you ever had one of those days where you should be doing something but you do everything *except* what you need to do? Yeah, it's been one of those days.

So, now I have to go do what I put off all day instead of relaxing this evening. Procrastination stinks... except when you're doing it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Day 6: Thursday Thirteen #19


Okay, I know it has been a while since I last posted one of these, but October was crazy busy. I know, it is no excuse to shun blogging, but, well, it was on my to-do list, if that counts for anything! So, without further ado (and in no particular chronological order)...

1. I voted

2. I took the national written exam (and passed)

3. I took the national machine exam (and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be)

4. I passed the state exam. Yeah, you remember the one I whined heartily about... the trip to Austin... That one. Well, 43 people took the exam and 12 passed. See, I still stand by my opinion that it was a bad test. But, I passed it. Yippy!!!!

5. I have been to Houston.

6. My sister came to town

7. I've gotten over a nasty cold/allergies

8. I have scooped the litter box 1,340,234 times (it seems)

9. I have gone back to work at the Photo Job so I get to play with babies of complete strangers and coo at them and talk to them and all without mothers yanking the baby away from me and walking quickly in the other direction from the crazy redheaded woman.

10. I have planted flowers (mums) in my planters for fall

11. Most of those flowers have now died because we had a 14 hour cold snap and it got below freezing and the planters are up in the air unprotected and I didn't think to bring them to a warmer spot.

12. I have agreed to walk a 5K on Thanksgiving day in Ft. Worth (The Turkey Trot)

13. Did I mention that I passed my state exam?

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 5, 2008

Day 5: Addendum I feel I need to post

I feel like I need to say something about the election.

Those who know me, know my Christian beliefs. Those who don't, well, I hope they know I'm a Christian by my words and actions. I try not to get "preachy" in my blog. I don't feel, in general, that it is the place to be preachy.

Still I feel like I need to say something.

Over the past few days I've gotten several e-mails concerning the elections and the fact that we need to pray that God will turn the election around and that the "right" guy would win -- if we prayed. One last night especially disturbed me because it was specifically asking for a miracle in the election and that the election would turn in the "right" way.

I did pray. I prayed that God's will would be done. I still pray that God's will be done.

I am so worried that there are now those who will feel that God got it wrong. That God has somehow foresaken our prayers. That is not true at all.

I so want people to step back and realize, now espcially, that God is in control. God will use this for his glory. Nothing has happened that isn't God's will.

As Christians and Americans we need to continue to pray for our country. We need to continue to pray for the political leaders here in the U.S. and around the world. We need to remember that everything is God's. He has a plan and even if we may not understand it, we need to remember that it is there.

Edited to add: Not only do we need to pray, we need to take action. Write letters to your Congress. Speak out against what you don't agree with. Prayer is great. Prayer is powerful. But I also believe that prayer without action on Christian's parts is not as great and powerful as it could be.

This is Stephen Curtis Chapman's song Yours. Listen to the chorus.

I walk the streets of London
And notice in the faces passing by
Somthing that makes me stop and listen
My heart grows heavy with the cry

Where is the hope for London?
You whisper and my heart begins to soar
As I'm reminded
That every street in London in Yours
Oh, yes it is

I walk the dirt roads of Uganda
I see the scars that war has left behind
Hope like the sun is fading
They're waiting for a cure no one can find

And I hear children's voices singing
Of a God who heals and rescues and restores
And I'm reminded
That every child in Africa is Yours

And its all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky
To the depths of the ocean floor
And its all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
You're the Maker and Keeper, Father and Ruler of everything
It's all Yours

And I walk the sidewalks of Nashville
Like Singapore, Manila and Shanghai
I rush by the beggar's hand and the wealthy man
And everywhere I look I realize

That just like the streets of London
For every man and woman, boy and girl
All of creation
This is our Father's world

And its all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky
To the depths of the ocean floor
And its all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
You're the Maker and Keeper, Father and Ruler of everything

Here is the new verse Steven wrote following the death of his daughter, Maria
I've walked the valley of death's shadow
So deep and dark that I could barely breathe
I've had to let go of more than I could bear
And I've questioned everything that I believe
But still even here
in this great darkness
A comfort and hope come breaking through
As I can say in life or death
God we belong to you.

And we are Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky
To the depths of the ocean floor
And its all Yours, God, Yours, God
Everything is Yours
All the greatness and power, the glory and splendor and majesty
Everything is Yours
Yeah, it's all Yours
We are Yours
The glory and honor is Yours, everything is Yours

Day 5: Today is the first day of...

Well, it's going to be an interesting few years.

I can hope that his socialist bent can and will be tempered by conservative values.

I can hope that he is what the country truly needs.

I have to trust that God is in control and remind myself of that often.

I will pray for him, just as I have prayed for Bush and for Clinton and for each President before them.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Day 4: Election Day

Make your voice heard. Vote.

Vote your conscience. Vote your ideals. Vote your morals.

Your vote can and will make a difference.

(Besides, if you don't vote, you don't get to complain when you don't like the outcome.)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Day 3: Public Service Announcement: How to Vote

Tomorrow is election day. If you want the right to complain about the government if "your" candidate isn't elected (or even if he is), you have to vote. If you do't vote, you don't get so-called "bitchin' rights."

No, I'm not going to tell you *who* to vote for. I'm not even going to tell you who I voted for, although those who know me know who I likely voted for. (I early voted last Wednesday to avoid the lines on election day.) This post is a guide to how to decide who to vote for.

You see, I have noticed an alarming trend in recent years, and in this upcoming Presidential election especially. That trend is a movement toward moving away from voting actual issues and instead voting on pure emotion. In other words, people are voting for charisma or gender or simply against someone they don't like. Personally, I think this is a lot of what's wrong with politics today.

Anyway, this is simply my take on how voting should be done.

First, don't look at the candidate as a person. What!? you ask. No, seriously. If you look at the person, emotion gets involved. You might vote because he's "old and wise" or "young and charismatic."

Second, write out a list of your "hot button" issues. Yes, with a pen and paper (or a computer and keyboard if you're more inclined) sit down and think about what is important to you. Are you pro-choice, pro-family, want lower taxes, think strong borders are important? Well, write those down, then rank them in order of importance. I recommend at least 10 "hot button" issues, but you can have more.

Third, with list in hand research where the candidates stand on these issues. Don't just rely on sound-bytes from network media. Don't rely on what you hear on the news. Go to unbiased websites (or even somewhat biased ones) that have answers to questions from the candidates that are on you "hot button" list. Read what the candidates acually believe on certain issues, look at their voting records in the Senate, think about what they really stand for and not just what the media makes them out to be.

Finally, go to the polls tomorrow and cast your ballot based on your own study and opinions and thoughts. Don't rely on friends, family or (*shudder*) the main stream media for your information. Read and think for yourself. Please?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Day 2: Weekly Winners October 26 - November 1

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

My Weekly Winners for October 25 - November 1

In honor of Halloween, this week is photos of my black cat, Buddy -- or as he's known on his birthday, October 31, Count Bud-ula. (insert evil laugh here) I can't believe my furry little guy is 12!

I wanted to get a portrait of him for his 12th birthday with the pumpkins I had on my porch. Here is the series I got.

Hey, what are these things?

Oh, too slow...

Way too slow...

I'll lay here, but I won't be happy about it.

Please, please, just let me go back in...

If I sit pretty can I go in?

This one will have to do.

Cropped and edited a bit it isn't so bad, I guess.

Day 1: November is here again...

Well, it seems that it's NaBloPoMo again.

So, I'm catching up with blogging. Let's see, since my last post, I took the RPR written exam. I passed it. It wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. I think the bad state exam had me scared that the RPR exam was going to be just as bad.

I've been to Houston. The Women of Faith conference was amazing. As always, it was good to see Moma and Daddy. But, at the conference I got to see Sandi Patty. I love listening to her sing. Daddy took care of the cats... and he didn't even turn them lose.

This morning I took the machine portion of the RPR exam. I kind of just looked at it as the "dress rehearsal" for the machine part of the state exam in January. The lit and jury charge parts were good. The Q&A portion blew me away, but that was honestly expected. I typed up the tests and felt really good about the lit, okay about the jury charge, and not hopeful about the Q&A. So, if the theatre addage of a bad dress rehearsal leading to a great performance, I'm set.

I think tomorrow I go back to work at the photo place for the Christmas season. I think that will be fun again. I've had a break and I miss it. I'll be done with it by the time the end of December, though. I have to qualify for the state machine exam by November 26. Oh, yikes, that is two weeks earlier than I thought. Okay. I guess I have to buckle down even harder.

Busy, busy life I have!