Candid Reflections

February 29, 2008

Step by step…

Filed under: Everything Else — candid reflections @ 8:25 am

Beautiful Morning!

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So…we’ve been trying to indoctrinate the munchkin in the ways of toilet utilization. We tried our best to present the concept in an obvious and orderly fashion. We reasoned with her about the importance of each step…with extra emphasis on the overall practicality of the process. After a couple of mock drills with her, we felt pretty confident that we were soon to reap the first rewards of our earnest efforts. Then, it happened! We were sitting around in the living room yesterday, when she popped up exclaiming, “I pee!” and ran straight to the powder room. We jumped up as well and followed excitedly behind, however, it’s what happened here that made our jaws drop to the ground in bewilderment – we were stupefied. She’d run straight to the toilet paper, tore off a square, dropped it into the bowl, then flushed! After this she yelled, “Yaaaay!” and ran back to resume looking at the book she had left in the living room. Needless to say… I grabbed a fresh diaper, and added ‘diapers’ to the shopping list. Yahhhh…

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February 28, 2008

Where have you been all my life!

Filed under: Amusing Reflections, Photography — candid reflections @ 8:27 am

Not only has Photoshop provided me with ample opportunity to express my zany, quirky side (as seen in yesterday’s post); but it has also assisted me in becoming a much more productive and all around proficient kind of gal. 

Why, just the other day, with the help of photoshop I replaced a window that had been blown out by a passing storm.

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Talk about a real sense of accomplishment!

And when a light-bulb needs replacing – no problem, I’m right on it!

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I can’t even begin to tell you how it has allieviated the agony of laundry for me.  There’s no stain that’s too stubborn for Photoshop!

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And if I never wipe a snotty nose again, that’d be okay – just look how Photoshop and I cleaned the tootsie roll off this scrumptious little mug:

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Photoshop…what did I ever do without you?!!

February 27, 2008

Photoshop – It’s a nifty little tool.

Filed under: Amusing Reflections, Photography — candid reflections @ 9:01 am

Some people like to use Photoshop to help determine what color to paint their house, others to strategically design their landscaping. (These are just a couple of the 854,356,743 things it can do!)

Me, on the other hand, when I load my house into photoshop… I like to give the place a little personality!

We loooove love love to eat foods of the Orient, on this night my fella most likely brought home take-out:

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Then there was that afternoon the Cat in the Hat showed up:

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These are both fun indeed…

but the house I love most is the house that’s bursting with laughter and love!151blog.jpg

February 25, 2008

Note to Self:

Filed under: Homeschool — candid reflections @ 8:28 am

It’s Monday!  Time to put that nose to the grindstone, get back to attempting those routines, and checking things off that never-ending list.  You can do it! (’cause if you don’t, no one else is going to.) 

Just be sure to:

  1. Give thanks to God for this new day – a clean slate on which to create!
  2. Grind plenty of these:

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      3.  Jump up and down, do a cartwheel, and yell, “Yipeee!” because, with the current job arrangement, your clumsy, gawky self is no longer out there tripping up like this, in shoes like these:

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        Hellooo slippers!  I just knew homeschooling would come with it’s perks!  

P.S.  Me and my girls admire all of you ladies out there who can walk around in these and still look like you know what you’re doing.  Is there a class we can sign up for? 

February 23, 2008

Splendid, delightful, glorious morning to you!

Filed under: Everything Else — candid reflections @ 8:23 am

A bit of overkill perhaps?  To be honest, I can’t think of a better way to sum up my frame of mind when I awoke this morning than with these pictures:

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You see, by nature I tend to be a bit of a night owl.  My most productive creating usually happens at night, after the kids have all dozed off to sleep.  When the house gets quiet, my mind wakes up.  My man, on the other hand, is his most inspired in the morning.  Take this morning for example – bright and early, he was up and workin’ out.   When I awoke at 6-ish a.m. to the sound of his rowing in the attic above our room, well let’s just say I shared all sentiment with the little fella in the picture above. 

Normally, I find early-birds inspiring.  My day is so much more productive when I set my clock to my husbands, beside that, I’ve found the calmness and mood of the early morning to be quite stirring to my senses.  But this morning, the only thing that was stirring were my scrambled brains.  For you see, I was up late last night, trying my hand at web design.  A few people have asked me to photograph their weddings. Then someone recommended that I make some business cards.  Someone else said I should put my photography website on the card, but I don’t have a photography website.  Another someone said, “You can do it.”  So I sat down last night and tried it…only to wake this morning and ask myself what in tarnation do I think I’m doing?

Stay tuned to find out if anything good materializes from my tug of war with this world wide web.  I just may find that I should’ve been playing “Red Rover, Red Rover.”

February 22, 2008

Lavish Bokeh & …Chicken Broccoli Casserole

Filed under: In the Kitchen — candid reflections @ 8:53 am

Yah, there’s nothing like a bit of luscious bokeh to bring that dreamy feel to a photograph. 

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Bokeh is the term photographers use to refer to the out-of-focus area of a photograph that is created by one sweet lens.  It’s a great technique in creating that peaceful, serene feel within a photograph.  I’m always looking for opportunity to utilize this technique.  So, to each of you ladies who responded on Thursday to my post in favor of the #2 photo:  because you share an admiration of that dreamy look, and since I’m always looking for the opportunity to build my portfolio, I would be delighted to take some shots of you and your man, compliments of my adventuresome little heart.   Just email me to set it up!  Ü  

To the rest of you I offer this simple, yet tasty dish.  It’s a casserole so it’d be perfect to throw in the oven this weekend, in between doing all the things you want to cram into two short days!

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Chicken Broccoli Casserole

4 large chicken bre*sts

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon curry powder

2 – 3 cups lightly steamed broccoli

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds

Place chicken in a pot, fill with water to about an inch above chicken.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.  Simmer until done.  Cool chicken, bone, and cut into large chuncks.  Steam the broccoli for only half of the time you normally would, then cool.  Place the chicken in the bottom of a 9×13 dish; place broccoli on top.  Combine all other ingredients, except almonds, and pour on top.   Bake at 350º for approximately one hour.  Sprinkle almonds on top.  Spread over rice, or just serve it up all on it’s own.

 

February 21, 2008

I’ve got a spicy little matter that requires your perspective.

Filed under: Photography — candid reflections @ 9:22 am

I’d love to hear your opinion.

You see, last night in my photography class, I discovered that a certain style of perspective which pleases my eye and rouses my emotion doesn’t always seem to have the same dramatic effect on my instructor.  The primary difference of each perspective has to do with the f/stop adjustment on the camera.  Opening the lens up wider can really change the feel of a picture.  I snapped a couple of shots this morning to demonstrate for you.  While there is definitely a time and place for each technique….I was just wondering if you might have a favorite?

#1  In this shot the f/stop was set to f14:       

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#2  And in this shot I opened up the lens to f2:21361.jpg

It’s fun to experiment with a wide variety of settings when shooting pictures, and I’m really curious to find out which one you prefer.  If the spices aren’t doing much for you, try to imagine them as faces.  Do you prefer a sea of focused faces that you can gaze upon, your eye drifting across one comely complexion to the next?  Or do things like different sized noses, chins, and parsley stuck between teeth distract and unsettle you?  Then perhaps you prefer the second picture?  Here, Marjoram doesn’t stand a chance of stealing the show, even if she wanted to.

I would be delighted to hear what you think.  Also, be sure to check in tomorrow – there’s a reason that curry got the spotlight in today’s exhibit.

P.S.  Be sure to leave a comment…I think curry may be a bit bashful, and some supportive feedback might be just what she needs to get back in that spotlight again tomorrow.    😉

February 20, 2008

Smile

Filed under: Everything Else — candid reflections @ 7:30 am

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“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been”   ~Mark Twain

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February 19, 2008

Fleeting Bliss

Filed under: Photography — candid reflections @ 4:41 am

Every now and then, opportunity presents itself and you luck out with a picture that tells a story.

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Pictures that tell stories evoke more than a momentary glance; they invite the viewer to pause a moment, look deeper, and investigate.  Looking at this picture for example:

Upon first glance, you notice we have an unhappy little girl… something’s just not right in her world.  You see the furrowed brow and, upon closer examination, the tear that has traveled down her cheek and parked itself at the edge of her pitiful little face.  You may begin to feel a bit of compassion, and you wonder what the dilemma could be.  Then your eye travels down to the edge of her wet pant leg and dripping shoes.  Ahhh, you conclude, she’s anguished because she forgot about the warning her daddy gave her when he put her on the swing.  Even though she had been swinging gleefully for several minutes, when the camera came along – she became distracted and abandoned all caution.  She “let her hair down” you could say, and her feet went with it!

Okay…your thoughts may not have unfolded exactly in that fashion, but I bet they were close?

           

February 18, 2008

Happy President’s Day

Filed under: Homeschool — candid reflections @ 9:13 am

When we’ve studied early American history here at home, we’ve glanced a time or two through this nifty little book entitled Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior by George Washington.  It’s fun to study our civilization and consider the behavior of man through time… our progression (and sometimes regression) is quite fascinating.  Let’s just take a look at our public manners, for example.  

In this little book, President Washington felt an obligation toward the general public of over two hundred years ago to compose rules such as these:

#13:  “Kill no vermin as fleas, lice, or ticks in the sight of others; if you see any filth or thick spittle, put your foot dexterously upon it; if it be upon the clothes of your companions, put it off privately; and if it be upon your own clothes, return thanks to him who puts it off.”   Insect repellant, hasn’t it done wonders for our social graces?

I didn’t know #30: “In walking, the highest place in most countries seems to be on the right hand, therefore, place yourself on the left of him whom you desire to honour; but if three walk together, the mid place is the most honourable; the wall is usually given to the most worthy if two walk together.”       

Then there’s rule #100:  “Cleanse not your teeth with the table cloth, napkin, fork, or knife; but if others do it, let it be done with a pick tooth.”

I can’t imagine where our country would be today without the valiant service and tremendous influence of this wise man.   That being said, “I can not tell a lie,” I must admit that I’ve picked my teeth at the table, but it was with my finger… does that count against me? 

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