Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Embrace Hope

This may perhaps be one of my mantras for the new year.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thoughts and a Request

Pictures taken at Sam Houston Jones state park with my new camera. There is still very much a steep learning curve involved in learning to make the camera do what I want it to do. I like much better using it out of doors than I do trying to take indoor candid shots of people. Hopefully I will get better at that with practice. I have been reading the owner's manual and bought a DVD and an extra book on this specific camera. My inner geek is struggling!

I do plan on coming back to my blog and posting on a more regular basis than what I have been doing. I think I am going to at least commit to putting up a new post once a week and see where that leads.

One more thing, if those of you who pray could remember to pray for my son and his aunt, the one he is living with, I would appreciate it. He is at the moment without a job, but has prospects for one after the first of they year. He met a girl earlier who was not the best influence on him and that is about when things started getting rocky again. Anyway, he is at a place of temptation and is a bit stalled at the moment.

We were fairly close to the geese. They are accustomed to people being around so that is why I was able to get such decent shots of them.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

She Lost All Her Recipes


She mentioned that she wanted to make fudge, the kind with the marshmallow creme. I told her my mother makes that fudge all the time for Christmas.

She did not say, and I did not ask, why or how she lost all her recipes. I figure when a woman loses
all her recipes it's due to a traumatic event. Besides, she was the cashier at the drug store, and I was a customer. No time for life stories on the job, especially in retail, at Christmas-time.

I had another store to walk to and when I finished that I came back to my car and called my mother for the recipe. I wrote it down on the back of my receipt and took it inside to her. She was very excited and mentioned again that she had lost all her recipes. And she was going to go home tonight and make the fudge.

Such a little thing. And yet, I think it made her day.


I did not mail Christmas cards this year. I just never got around to it. Here is what I would have mailed. It's been such a rough year for so many, for so many reasons. And yet, still, there is Hope.

Merry Christmas...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm Coming Back! (Hopefully!)

I do want to come back here and start posting again. I am not sure anymore in which direction I will go so please bear with me as I try to regain my footing around here.

I (finally!) got myself a digital SLR camera and I am loving it! It is a bit of a learning curve, getting used to the settings and trying to see what I can do with it, but it has been fun so far. This photo of a cypress tree was taken at our local state park. I love cypress trees. I have more pictures to post later.

My employee of over 16 years (co-owner of the local sporting goods store, yes, I am a sporting goods maven!) died a week ago today. She was a fine Christian woman who influenced my life in many ways. She and her husband both were good influences on a long line of college age employees. Her death was not totally unexpected but it came at such a hard time, right as the holidays are cranking up.

I read somewhere this week that the holidays are often a time when we remember those who will not be with us to celebrate. I know grief makes Christmas hard for many people. And this year has not been an easy one for so many people, for so many reasons. But still, Christmas is a time of hope and light if one has eyes to see.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chaneling Tim

Tomorrow will make 15 years since my brother died. We were visiting my parents the other day and my mom had his boots out. I think she was seeing if my father or my nephew could wear them and use them but they couldn't so I suppose she will put them back wherever they have been all these years. Seeing them made me miss my brother so much and I just had to put the boots on for a little while. Obviously they were entirely too big, but that was not the point.

I've always said about grief that you do not "get over it" so much as you learn to live with it. We have all learned pretty much to live with it but days like tomorrow and his birthday in January still cause us to pause and remember what might have been. He would have been 50 on this coming birthday.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Failure to Notice

I changed the words a bit and I think I like this version better. I'd been thinking about how I wanted to put it, and an idea came to me at bedtime but when I woke up it was gone! This is pretty close to my nighttime version, I think. One of these days, I am going to learn to take notes when my muse speaks! And speaking of muses, I don't think I posted my photo of my muse on the blog. I'll have to do that another time, in another post.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Friday, November 06, 2009

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Okay, it's November, which means it is also National Novel Writing Month, and for those of us who have trouble committing to a project of that size, it is National Blog Posting Month. I am going to try again this year to participate. We shall see how it goes.

Lately, I've been thinking a bit about feeling safe in spite of whatever troubles are swirling around me...

Thursday, October 01, 2009


One of these days, I am going to find my voice again, and actually write something around here!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Shadow

Wishing I could write about what's on my mind. Not much to do but hold on tight and wait, though I am not at all sure what it is I am waiting for...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Holy Moments

Sat by a young artist today in church, who after showing me several dress drawings from her little notebook, proceeded to remove from her purse (with diamonds on it, see the diamonds?) a box of crayons. First she drew a tiny dress and then she drew a picture of a pink castle and gave it to me. We enjoyed a nice little conversation about the merits of trees around castles, and how much grass to draw in the picture while the congregation sang "holy, holy". And so it was...

Saturday, September 05, 2009

For All Those Who Think Too Much

Special thanks to Hope for putting the saying on my radar.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

My LIfe in Bullet Points?

I miss coming here to write. And yet I don't feel like I have much of anything to say when I check in here. Doesn't seem like I have any great insights that are begging to be shared, no interesting stories to pass on and no photography to share.

Here are a few things that have been going on:

  • I have been taking an online photography class which has been informative and fun.

  • I bought a laptop to replace my old desktop and I really do like it.

  • I've lost 7 more pounds in the month since I last officially weighed.

  • My youngest child turned 18 last Sunday.

  • My son had his three year anniversary of being clean and sober a couple of weeks ago.

  • My eldest child is back in school pursuing a teaching certification after graduating a few semesters back with a degree in Criminal Justice.

  • I'm still liking my job in the Psyc Dept of the local university, in spite of the mounds of paperwork involved.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Meaningful Work

Somewhere along the way, I kind of lost track of my meaningful work. I'm trying, now, to get back on track.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Cutting Scars

Those are rust marks that I thought looked like musical notes. It occurred to me that many of us regularly and destructively cut ourselves to pieces without ever having a knife in our hands. That is wrong and we shouldn't do it.

Friday, August 07, 2009

He has roused himself...

I spotted this verse when the preacher was talking about something else from Zechariah and I liked it, so here it is...

I think I have a couple of other new ones to post too. I will get around to it sometime soon.

I got a new laptop and I am loving it! My old computer had gotten very tired and worn out. It was past time for a replacement.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rough Sunday

We had a man fall out in church at the beginning of the service this morning, not three feet from where we sit. People did CPR and prayed and when the ambulance people arrived, they gave him oxygen. I think he was already gone when they loaded him on the stretcher to take him to the hospital. It was an unsettling event. The man was alone, his wife was recently committed to a mental hospital. He had been under a great deal of strain recently. I don't know if they had any children or not.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another Experiment

I really loved the way this one turned out. It was a pleasant surprise.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Something Different

I read about a new technique in Photoshop and decided to try it. I likes it!

Thanks for your comments on the statue in the mausoleum. My favorite is the one where he is centered. In centering him, I blocked a big glass window at the back of the hall and a skylight above his head. I was there, looking at the statue and it was hard to know what was going on! It looks like someone is kneeling and holding onto him, but the bodies at the bottom part of the statue kind of merge together so it's hard to tell. I do think there is a lot of symbolism in the piece. I might have to go back for another look. This time around, I was working with trying to get the photo shot with all those windows around.

Friday, July 03, 2009


I am both fascinated and appalled by this statue. The hands on his back are what get to me. Yet I love both photographs. The teacher in the online class I am taking says the background is too distracting and it takes away from the focal point.

Technically that may be true. But metaphorically, isn't this how it sometimes is in life itself? Too many background details pulling us in too many directions? And how often are those distractions things that are dead, things that we should release, so that we can move forward?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fragile Vessels

(click on image to make it bigger)

I've just been thinking how amazing it is that God chooses to work in and through us (often weak and flaky!) human beings. And I struggle so much with my imperfections.

I've also missed writing on this blog. And I don't know what I am going to do about that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stony Ground

These flowers are growing up through a crack in my parents' driveway. I am posting some of these on FB too, so I apologize to those of you who might see it twice...

If you click on the image, it will make it bigger so the words are easier to read.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Field Trip!!

We went to take pictures of a wooden bridge that the state is supposed to be replacing sometime this year. We saw all sorts of interesting things.

You have to wonder about things when you strike out in search of photo opps and the first thing you see is a baby deer standing by the highway. We did not see hide nor hair of him on the way back so I assume he eventually found his way back to mama.

Don't ask how many miles down the road the bridge is out. In Louisiana, it is enough to say the bridge is out. It doesn't much matter anyway. There is a pile of dirt at the beginning of the bridge but the locals all drive right over the bridge anyway.

I was walking a little behind my nephew on the bridge, lollygagging along, and I noticed him kicking at something in the dirt. I wonder what the story is on this. They did not look like my size so I left them there.

Here is one side of the bridge that is being replaced.

And here is the other side.

We swung by my grandparents' abandoned house because I wanted to get this photograph. It may be hard to tell from this photo but the tree has grown up through the porch floor and through the swing!

The berries were lagniappe, discovered as we walked through the woods to get to my great grandparents house. I am a berry picking fool! All we had to put them in was a dollar store sack and I ended up getting the sack hung up in briers which tore a hole in it.

We lost a bigger handful than this through the hole in the sack but we still ended up getting enough berries for a cobbler. We probably would have gotten more if we'd had something better to put them in. There are plenty of red ones left so there will be another crop sometime next week.

This guy is guarding the watermelon patch. They had several of them out in this field. It was funny to see them all.

The watermelon stem is up at the top of this melon. That is some kind of black plastic behind the melon. When I saw it, I was sure it had grown this way. Now I am not so sure. The rusty looking thing at the bottom of the photo is barbed wire, which I very nearly fell into while trying to get this picture.

Sunday, June 07, 2009


It was an interesting Sunday at church. I played with this photo yesterday and could not think of what I wanted it to say. This is what came to me after the service today.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Words to Remember

A quote from a book I read recently (A Friendship Like No Other) and a photo from a friend that I altered considerably in Photoshop. (Friend, do you recognize your banana blossom and how are you Photoshop studies coming along? Umm, and may I use your photo as a background for my "thang" here?)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sometimes I Play With My Food

(and my camera phone). This was not entirely my creation. I only cut up the pineapple ring. Someone else reversed the pieces to make the sunburst and add the peanuts and salt and pepper.

On a more serious note, my dad had something happen to the one good eye he has. I think it is called a colloital detachment. At this moment he can't see out it so he is effectively blind. He is taking steroids and using steroids drops which are supposed to make it better. If that does not work they will have to do surgery and it is a complicated surgery to do. Please pray that the medicine will make things better, that he will have his sight restored to him. He was doing so well after his cornea transplant two years ago. He was able to see well enough to be confident to drive again and that was a blessing to him. He goes back to two different doctors this coming week. For now, all he can do is sit and wait. He seems to be in good spirits but I can't imagine how hard it is to sit around for so long not being able to see, hoping and praying things will get better.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Doodling Around in my Journal

I'm still hoping my muse will one day show back up. In the meantime, I bought some little tiny watercolor sets that were marked way down in the campus bookstore. I was trying to experiment with them, but I have come to realize that using watercolors is tricky (are tricky??). I changed the colors on this one in Photoshop.

I have also been playing around with colored pencils in my journal. It's not exactly the kind of stuff worth showing off, but it is relaxing to do, and if I keep doodling, maybe my muse will think I don't care if he ever shows back up, and will join me!

It's corny, but true, one must never lose hope.

I added a black background to this one where my white page was in my journal. Since before the first of the year, we have been attending a different church. Here, they tend to jump around a lot, leaving you with lots of stuff to think about. I don't mind that so much, but I had grown accustomed to standard "three point outline" sermons at my old church so it's taken a bit of adjusting on my part.

It seems that in addition to the physical stuff I've been dealing with due to the diabetes, I am also doing a bit of spiritual work too. Not so much yet that I want to write about, but it's where my mind has been lately.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Is Anybody Still Out There??

It's been a while, I know. It's just that I don't feel like I have much worth writing about. And I have been looking at some of your blogs and know I have missed so much. It's hard to think about trying to catch up. I probably won't catch up, to tell you the truth.

My father had a mild heart attack on April 1st. There was little to no damage to his heart. We are very grateful for that. He did have to have three stints put in and is now doing very well.

I've lost a total of 18 pounds and dropped a size or two since I've started having to watch what I eat. I did blood work last week and those numbers were good too. The diabetes is now in what is considered the "well-managed" category. With a little more effort and attention, I can possibly get my numbers down to where it is considered in remission. I have not yet started an exercise program. That would probably jump start things a little more. I do walk nearly every day across campus to get the mail and run other errands, so I am not sitting all day long! I need to get out and buy myself some new pants at least. Mine are starting to get pretty droopy!

There are some serious budget cuts coming at work but I think my job is still fairly safe. Our department is lucky in that we have grant money that can't be cut.

I have not done any photography lately, or worked on any of my artsy-fartsy things. I don't know what's up with that.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Recent Reading

"Terrible defects"? Or "doorways through which the power of grace can enter our lives"?

"First, although God calls us all toward more perfect life, we cannot personally achieve the state of perfection. We can and should do our very best to move in that direction, struggling with every resource we have, but we must also accept the reality of our incompleteness. Second, we need to recognize that the incompleteness within us, our personal insufficiency, does not make us unacceptable in God's eyes. Far from it; our incompleteness is the empty side of our longing for God and for love. It is what draws us toward God and one another. If we do not fill our minds with guilt and self-recriminations, we will recognize our incompleteness as a kind of spaciousness into which we can welcome the flow of grace. We can think of our inadequacies as terrible defects, if we want, and hate ourselves. But we can also think of them affirmatively, as doorways through which the power of grace can enter our lives. Then we may begin to appreciate our inherent, God-given lovableness."
Gerald May--Addiction and Grace

More to come...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Three Things

Facebook is okay, but I still like blogging better, when I have something to write about.

I started working in Photoshop on an old photo my sister gave me and I don't quite know yet what I am going to do with it. But I had a chance to look through the
Somerset Apprentice magazine today and work and I am somewhat inspired so I imagine something will come of my efforts.

One of our students will not be returning to school after the Mardi Gras holiday. She died as a result of an accident on the parade route in one of the smaller towns around here. Such a tragic accident.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I Had an Excellent Title for this Post

But I forgot it!

I am feeling much better. I still have a bit of a dry cough and a squeak to my voice, but I imagine I will live!

I joined Facebook, and have been playing around over there the last couple of days. Some of you know that already, but if you don't know it, and are on Facebook yourself and want to be my friend, let me know, and we'll become friends! I joined under my real name so you might need to contact me for that information. I debated whether to do it that way, because I am mixing some of my real life people with some of my cyber-peeps and sometimes that can be a bit scary. For now, I am keeping my blog away from Facebook, for several reasons. I'm not quite ready to come out of the blogging closet! Just today, one of the professors said said something about something on her Facebook page, and told me "We need to get you on here, it would be fun." I don't know yet about my fellow employees seeing my Facebook page (and I am sure I don't want them seeing my blog). But I imagine it will happen before too long (seeing me on Facebook). And I will deal with it then. I'm just funny about stuff, pretty much a private person. And I have thought about what a paradox it is to call myself a private person when I have been writing this blog all these years. I'm not sure what that says about me. I'll have to think about that.

Now I need to get caught up with my blogging. I know some of you have written a ton of stuff that I have missed!

I'll be around...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Feeling Blah

First of all, thanks for all your encouraging comments on my last post. I am doing better with the eating, not so much with the walking. But hopefully, I will soon start that too. I have been sick for a little over a week with some kind of hacking crud. I worked all week, but that is about all I did. I am feeling somewhat better now, but still sound like a squeaky-voiced something-or-other when I talk!

I keep thinking of things I want to write about and then not writing anything. I don't know what is up with me. Anyway, at the very least, I am still alive and hope to get caught up on my blog reading and commenting soon (again!).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gratitude. And Resistance.

I've been wrestling with some things. One of those things has been this diagnosis of diabetes. I have not yet decided whether I want to say that "I am a diabetic" or "I have diabetes." It seems silly, but there is a difference in my mind. I am overweight, and there is a bit of shame in admitting diabetes, no matter how I express it, as though I might have brought this on myself, but I do know skinny people with the disease. The other thing is, when the news is fairly public, people have all kinds of ideas about what you should and should not be doing and sometimes those ideas are not exactly accurate. But, at any rate, the only true shame would come in me receiving this diagnosis and not doing anything to help myself.

The (still weird) doctor has increased my medication. I have been to one part of the education presentation. I am trying to be mindful of what I eat. I have not yet taken a walk or done any sort of real exercise. I have been irritated at having to check my blood sugar every morning (oh I know, that is indeed whiny, things could be so much worse) and I have been irritated to find my numbers are still a little too high, in spite of my (sometimes) sacrificial eating habits and regularly taking my medicine. That almost makes me want to go out and eat one of those tubs of ready-made sour cream chocolate cake frosting, just for spite (hey, I never claimed to be perfect!). But I know that would be counter-productive. So far, I have resisted the temptation. Exercise is what is needed. Exercise is what I have been resisting.

You might be wondering what brought this little tirade on. It is that I am slowly gaining a new perspective and appreciation for this diagnosis. I often see things in a skewed sort of way, and I am beginning to see diabetes as a bit of a gift to me. I seem to need boundaries (we all need boundaries) and having to eat mindfully and in a disciplined manner (about the same amount of carbs each day, about the same time each day) is slowly starting to shape me into a healthier lifestyle. I need to be reigned in. Otherwise, I would continue to eat whatever I want, and however much I want, and Lord knows it would all have caught up with me eventually, so at least I am getting an early start before too much damage is done. For that, I am grateful. It does not mean I am happy about the limits. I am not. But I am grateful for the opportunity the limits present.

And I really need to adjust my attitude and get up off my duff and at least take a little thirty minute walk every day. The funny thing is, I see the habit of walking as a time for prayer, for meditation, as an all-around calming and positive habit. The benefits would far outweigh the “pain” and inconvenience of the effort it would take to walk. Sheesh. I know I need to do it. And one day soon, I will.

There are other things on my mind as well. Who knows, this place might become a confessional of sorts for a short time. We shall see.