Friday, December 31, 2010

Healing and Hope

I decided to go check out the local thrift stores today. At the third one, I saw two Willow Tree angels. They were priced at $1.99 each. I grabbed both of them and finished looking around. When I went to pay, she only charged me $1.99. I guess they were having a year end clearance sale or something.

 One was the angel of healing.
 The other was the angel of hope.

I'm taking their appearance to me today as a sign of healing and hope for the new year.

Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Twisted Christmas Greeting

I was taking a Leisure Learning class and I could not get own pictures off my jump drive so I had to search google for pictures. The class was focused on doing Christmas cards. This was three different images combined and it makes me smile.

Merry Christmas to all! I am off to my parents' house for fun and festivities! 

Monday, December 20, 2010


I really like the blurred exuberance of the angel in the background of this photo. I got a new lens and was trying it out on my mother's Christmas tree. 

Then I went into Photoshop and tried to add some texture to the photo. I am not entirely sure I like the results. I have not been playing around as much in Photoshop as I'd like to be doing.

I got behind on the December prompts. I haven't decided whether I am going to jump back in where they are or try to go back and catch up on what I have missed. Some of the questions are asking for more than I want to share! But they are really good things to help evaluate the coming year, and to consider for the coming year. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Body Integration

December 12 – Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)
I believe the times I have felt most integrated with my body this year were when I was exercising regularly, eating (mostly) right and engrossed in some sort of creative endeavor. For the last few months, I have not been exercising, have not been eating right and have barely been involved in any kind of creative endeavor. I can tell, my body doesn't like it when I do not treat it properly!

Wow, these prompts certainly are giving me plenty of things to think about for the coming year! 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Things I Don't Need

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)
First of all, let me say that I have given myself permission not to follow these prompts exactly so I only have five things! I am sure there are more but I have not thought of them yet. I will continue to think about this theme of what I don't need in 2011.

I don't need any more:
  1. superfluous calories
  2. grief over things that are past and can't be changed
  3. self-pity
  4. need no more clutter
  5. heartache over son's choices/problems
Elimination process:
  1. pay more attention to what I eat, recommit to my health, and life
  2. stay mindful, remember that "NOW" is all I have and God's mercies are new every morning
  3. focus on what I can be grateful for, help others
  4. take one step at a time, work steady and persistently
  5. see # 2
How will elimination change anything?:
  1. I will feel better, I will literally add years to my life
  2. I will have more peace
  3. I be less "weighed down", self-pity is heavy
  4. My whole family will feel better
  5. See # 2

Friday, December 10, 2010


December 10 – Wisdom
Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?
(Author: Susannah Conway)
All I will say is that I have done a lot of hard growing this past year and I have seen this verse played out in my life several times over:
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief." (Ecclesiastes 1:18)
Sometimes it really is true that ignorance is bliss.

Perhaps the wisest decision I have made this year has been to keep hobbling on toward life and hope and growth in spite of the pain involved.

And that is all I am going to say about that.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Party Time!

Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.
(Author: Shauna Reid)

Ha! Here I have a bit of an ethical dilemma--I'm writing very early on the 12th about an event that happened on December 11th, and I am dating the post for the 9th because that is the date for this prompt.

Social gathering rarely ever knock my socks off. It's not that I am anti-social, it's just that I don't often enjoy social gatherings. But tonight we had our annual church Christmas party and it was full of cheesy good fun: gumbo, cookie contest, talent show, magic man, hayride and bonfire. How much better could than that could it get? The gumbo was excellent, the cookies were delicious. The talent was spotty, the magic man was interesting. The hayride was cold and the bonfire was warm. My oldest daughter came and left at the end of the talent show but before they announced the winners of the cookie contest. She was disappointed because she had missed the hayride earlier. After they announced the cookie contest winners, they announced there would be another hayride. I called my daughter to tell her (she only lives about a mile up the road from the church) and my husband asked about whether she would have time to come back and ride. They said yes and she got there and we took off. When we returned we went and stood by the fire a little while to warm ourselves and then we headed home. I am assuming a fun time was had by all!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Beautifully Different

December 8 – Beautifully Different.
Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.
(Author: Karen Walrond)

I really am a bit eccentric. But then again, aren't we all? My dry sense of humor seems to "light people up."

I could make a bullet list of ways I am different, but I'm not really that different when you get right down to it. Then again, maybe I am!

Here are a few photos from a cemetery I visited this weekend. I think maybe my skewed perspective is one of the things that often makes me different. . .

I love the texture on this post topper.
 There was a fence around the small grave and this was on the gate. There are many beautifully different things to see in cemeteries.
These apples were on the grave of a young child. I wonder who left the apples there, and why.  This cemetery is in a rural area, near a Baptist church. There were many graves that had things left on them, little figurines and mementos for the dead. I  wonder if they put new apples every once in a while. The two on top seem to have no damage at all while the ones on the bottom have lost their lustre. I can identify with them!
This headstone has a pretty little picture at the top with the words joy and love inscribed. I try to see joy and love and I try to spread it too.
I also try to find the bright spot in gray areas. And I try to be the bright spot for other people. We never know what burdens other people are carrying.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
(Author: Cali Harris)
 Another difficult (for me) prompt! I have discovered a sense of community at my church and, in some ways, at work. I also feel a sense on community with some of my blogging buddies.

I wish I could find community around here in the form of some sort of art or photography or writing group. That has proven to be a hard task.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Making Things

December 6 – Make.
What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?
(Author: Gretchen Rubin)
I have not made anything in quite sometime.  There are some things I want to make, and yes, I need to clear some time for it. I'm quite annoyed at myself for not doing so.

On second thought, I've been making pictures. I just have not been doing much with them.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Letting Go

December 5 – Let Go.
What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
(Author: Alice Bradley)
Dang, people. This one could be a little on the personal side! There is a dream that I have fairly well let go of. I don't want to talk about that one. There is the ongoing struggle of letting go of my adult son while still loving him in spite of his problems. Don't want to air that one out here either.

I've reluctantly let go of my middle school youth group leader just a month or so ago. We connected back up on Facebook after many years of not being in touch. We chatted one night for a little while and he had somewhere he had to be so he asked for me to send him my phone number so he could call. I sent it to him and we exchanged a couple of short emails. One evening I got a call from a number I did not recognize and I thought it might be him. But I was nervous about talking to him again after so many years and it was not exactly a good time for me to talk. I let it go over to voicemail thinking he would leave a message and I would call him back after I'd heard his voice again and had gotten my courage up. He didn't leave a message.

A few days after that his grown daughter posted a note on Facebook that he had had a massive heart attack and was in the hospital. He stayed in a coma for several days and finally died. He was only 62 years old.

And now I can't call him back. And how I wished I'd just answered the damned phone.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


December 4 – Wonder.
How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?
(Author: Jeffrey Davis)
This past year I mostly cultivated a sense of wonder by getting outside with the camera. On this particular Spring day I was in a place I consider least likely to inspire a sense of wonder - my backyard. On this day, bare branches and flowering weeds were enough to cultivate a sense of wonder for me. 

These are some of the things that I saw:

Friday, December 03, 2010

Most Alive

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)
I searched my journal of the past year for evidence of a moment when I felt most alive. Mostly what I found were moments of heartache and pain (note to self: take time to write about the "good" things too).
I found this place by accident as I was driving around looking for a place to take pictures. It is in a secluded area and is a peaceful place to sit and reflect. Emotionally, I was in a rough spot and needed a bit of time to myself. I've been meaning to go back and sit quietly with my journal but I just have not made the time to go again. The following comments are notes written in my journal on a cold day last February and I really did feel most alive.

I am sitting in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Big Lake, or Grand Lake. I get them mixed up. I've been taking pictures and my fingers are frozen. Someone called and I missed it. I am distracted by that, hoping she did not expect something from me that I do not have in me to give. And I'm worrying about what might be wrong.

I was going to sit here and pray and listen but now I am worried again and can't hear anything in me but my own voice and maybe the voice of the person who called earlier.

The chimes were silent for a moment and I heard a bird. Now both the chimes and the bird are going. The wind blows the corner of this page. A car goes by, gears shifting as he picks up speed. There is water here too. The wind ripples across the surface and the sun sparkles, points of light on the dark water. I think I heard a frog croaking just now.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

One or Two Shortcomings

December 2 - Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)
This one is a no-brainer. I complain that I have no time and yet I waste time on the internet. I get sucked into Facebook, checking email, and general unfocused web wanderings. I can't (or won't) totally eliminate internet time but I can limit and structure my time better. Will I? I don't rightly know. I'd like to. Alas, I also suffer from a severe lack of discipline.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Encapsulating 2010, Naming 2011

You know, there are all kinds of things out there to help people post regularly on their blogs, projects to do and prompts to inspire. Reverb 10 is one of those things. It happens all during the month of December. Every day there is a different prompt to write about that helps you review 2010 and look forward to 2011. I think this might be just the thing for me. I'm going to TRY to participate on a regular basis.

This is the very first prompt:
December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)
I think I have to say that my one word to encapsulate 2010 would be reversal. My son had a reversal and was going downhill at the beginning of this year. He has now experienced another reversal and seems to be getting himself back on track.

I had a reversal in dealing with the stress of his fall, and have now experience another reversal where I have had a good talk with myself about separating me from my son. It's not always an easy thing for me to do.

My oldest daughter had a reversal and went back to school for a teaching certificate so she could possibly find a real job after being in school for so long. Don't know yet how that is going to work out. The economy of course had its own reversal and as everybody knows, that has affected the job market for this latest crop of graduates.

Last year at this time, I was managing my eating habits very well and losing weight. I have since had a reversal and have gained several pounds and am not doing well at all at managing my eating habits. I'm not exercising like I should be either. I hope to reverse that trend and get back on track, but this is a horrible time of year to have to do that!

A year from now, I'd like to be able to encapsulate 2011 with the word lagniappe. It's a Cajun French word that means "a little something extra". I often feel on the edge of the pit in so many ways and sometimes I feel like there is just not "enough" for me. I'm not greedy. I don't want a lot, just a little extra space between me and the edge of the pit.

The thought occurs to me that if I will stretch myself and give a little extra effort, a little extra attention, just a little extra discipline to the problem areas of my life (and to the undeveloped areas), I will have lagniappe in my life.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 30!

Well, I ended up missing two days (or not fixing two days!) in my posting. Perfection is way over-rated! I can't believe tomorrow is already December 1st. This year has flown by.

Today was the last day of registration until right before the semester starts in January. We had a few uptight students who had not seen their advisers and were trying to get in to see them. They have to get a PIN to register, it is our way of making sure they see their advisers each semester. We will have a more desperate crowd in January when late registration opens back up. Everything usually always works out though.

Except I sometimes end up looking about as wary as this cat when a students come through the door wanting to know if they can get a seat permit into a class that is already wall-to-wall students. What I particularly don't like is when they start giving me reasons why I should permit them into the class. It doesn't matter how good their reason is, if there is no room for them, there is no room. And if there IS room, I will give them a seat permit with or without a good reason!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 28!

I am glad to know I still have people stopping by! Of course, now that puts the pressure on me to try and make it worth your while to stop by! But I don't have anything much to say tonight. I kind of wish I had a few more days off to hang around the house and maybe get some things done. Christmas holidays will be here before I know it and then I will have an abundance of time at home!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I was goofing off this afternoon, reading old posts and realized that six years ago today, on this very day, I posted my first post on this blog! Hard to believe it has been that long ago. Happy Blogaversary to me!

I really was poking around trying to figure out what it was that I used to write about and trying to figure out how to get back into the habit of blogging regularly. I have been doing the NaBloPoMo (every day except Thanksgiving) but those posts have been more posts for quantity rather than quality.

I took a Leisure Learning class a couple of weeks ago that was supposed to be about how to create greeting cards in Photoshop. I really did not learn anything new and the class was a bit disappointing. My jump drive that had my photos on it did not open on the computer I was using so I was forced to find a couple of gorgeous images to combine and this was the result of my being bored in class. Since I observed this is my sixth blogaversary, I thought it an appropriate image to include.

At the beginning of the class, when the instructor discovered the computer would not let her have the images off HER jump drive, she had us pull Christmas images from Google to use. Nary a word was said about copyright issues. I did not approve of that sin of omission. I was a bit wary of posting these images but I think I have distorted them enough that they are not easily recognizable (and I am not even sure about the ethics of saying it is okay if you distort the images beyond recognition). Anyway, she had us get a Christmas hat, a Christmas baby or animal picture, and a Christmas stocking. Well, when I got bored and realized I was not going to learn much more than I already had, and I'd finished playing with the traditional Christmas card motifs, I decided to do something a little bit different. Actually, I did not decide that, it just happened.

Here is the result:

I really love the pig with the Christmas hat! Sorry both images are so small. I am not sure what I did to them. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Coffee Time

My favorite home coffee mug. I'm not sure how well the color will show up- it's a lovely cobalt blue. Makes me think of the old Milk of Magnesia bottles.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


It was forty-five minutes until time to go this afternoon, the last day of work till Monday after Thanksgiving. One of the professors pulled out her bottle of bubbles and I tried to get pictures. It is harder than it looks! But totally fun!

Yes, the picture that is dated Monday, November 22 was actually taken this afternoon. "Oh the web we weave when at first we choose to deceive"--oh the web we weave when we try to commit to posting every single day in November, and the goal becomes more important than being honest! Nah, I am being totally upfront about my backdating one or two (well, okay, I think three) posts so that it would look like I have faithfully posted every single day.

I'll be back tomorrow. For reals.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Just finished a long hour trying to figure out why I could not get connected to the internet (when the problem first presented itself, I took a nap to see if it the problem would fix itself). I restarted and ran a virus scan, then tried to connect to the network and discovered I had inadvertently hit the button that turns off the wireless capabilities of the laptop. Sigh.

"All these tools of tech waste our time if we're not careful." Bill Gates

 (Misspelling of think is intentional, in case you were wondering!)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Grandfather

My grandfather and his faithful dog Trip. He was born April 1, 1901 and died in December of 1984.  He was a trip, quite the character who never met a stranger.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I've Been Thinking

(and it doesn't hurt!)

I'm thinking about some kind of artsy-fartsy project thing I could do for next year. Something where I did something once a week, not high quality, but just do something. I can't quite decide on a theme.

I've also been thinking about setting up a couple of theme days for the blog as a way of helping myself to post more regularly.

We shall see. . .

Thursday, November 18, 2010


They've been working for months on the sidewalks around the quad area outside our building. Last Friday was the official opening. Now they have closed off the other door we've been using to enter our building while the sidewalk construction was going on. I am confused! But my paths are lovely...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Trying Something

I missed Wednesday. I'm going to see if I can back date the post from my phone. No, I can't back date from my phone! Had to come to my laptop and do it. It is sort of cheating, I know, but I'm doing it anyway. If I don't I might just give up and not finish out the month.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fall Color

I believe this leaf is from a Bradford Pear tree. It makes beautiful flowers in Spring and gorgeous color leaves in the fall but alas, makes no pears at all!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 15, 2010

One of These Days

One of these days, I am going to get my groove back...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday in Five Five Word Sentences

Did not feel well today.

Did not get out much.

Didn't even go to church.

Hope to feel better tomorrow.

Not too sure I will.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Posting Dribble Daily :)

I am keeping up with my quantity but I am not doing that well with quality!

Today I attended a Leisure Learning class on making greeting cards in Photoshop. I suspect I knew as much as the instructor knew about PS, though we might have known different things! I did learn, or I got reminded, of a few new things. I am not at all sure I got my money's worth.

This afternoon, I became aware that I was not feeling too well. I took Tylenol and Mucinex and slept most of the evening. I think I am ready to go back to bed now.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm Real, Lady

When I took pictures this past weekend, I saw this gator down below the boardwalk. A man had told me where to look for him, otherwise I would have missed seeing him. But in looking at him, he was so still and his mouth looked so plasticy pink I thought he was fake. And his mouth was open the whole time. I walked all the way to the other end of the boardwalk laughing about the guy who got fooled by the fake gator.

However, when I came back by the gator, he had changed position! I STILL thought he was fake! I thought he was a fake animated gator. Look at that cheesy grin. Would you think that gator was real? I stood there for quite a while looking at him. A few times he would slowly open and close his mouth (as if the movement were timed). Finally he lifted his back leg and started scratching at his belly. That's when I decided he was indeed real. Moments later he moved up into the bushes a little more and stared at me with his beady eyes as if to say, "There, are you convinced now that I am real?"

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


I'm just a little late with Tuesday's post, ahem. I thought of it last night when I went to bed. It was nearly eleven so I could have hopped up and posted something really quick but I didn't. And today I don't have much to say. I'll post a couple of "fall color" pictures taken at the Texas Welcome Center.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Where Are You Headed?

I'm not real sure at the moment exactly where I am headed. What I know is that it is important to note what I see and to keep on moving.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Louisiana Welcome Center

Hubby and I motored over to Beaumont, TX yesterday to wander around Barnes and Noble. On the way over and back, we stopped at the Texas and Louisiana Welcome Centers for me to take pictures. It was a great day to be outside in the fresh air.

It was a bit difficult for me to concentrate on taking photos with this warning in my head! I was a bit disappointed because the boardwalk that goes into the swamp was still closed from Hurricane Ike that came through back in September of 2008 (according to Wikipedia, 112 people were killed in that storm). I was able to walk alongside the water to get a few pictures.

I love seeing the reflections of the trees in the water. There were several fish jumping in the water. Believe it or not, I did get two pictures of that but one was too far away to be a good photo. The second one was closer but the fish was right at the edge of the photo. I eventually gave up and entertained myself by taking pictures of the water circles that were left after the fish jumped!

Such a tranquil scene, if one can forget the warning about snakes. 

This rock shape reminded me a dog's head coming out of the water. It also has the look of an alligator, but the "ears" on the back ruin that illusion for me. I am fairly certain this was just a chunk of concrete that was coincidentally formed this way and not an artist's deliberate work. 

There was something about the juxtaposition of the rocks and the water and the flowers that pleased me about this sight.

This is probably my favorite image of the day (from the Louisiana side). It is a cypress "knee", a part of the root of a cypress tree. When I was a child, I had an aunt and uncle who had in their house a couple of cypress knees that were polished and varnished. I was always enamored of those things, loved the gnarly beauty of them.

There is so much beauty all around us if we would only stop and notice.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Your Story

I bought a Wacom tablet a while back and I have been trying to get better at using it to write on my photos. It is a bit  of a challenge. I want to use the tablet in Photoshop with my brushes and selection tools. I've had trouble with the pen part of the tablet not working but that problem seems to be ironed out now (knock on wood!).

Friday, November 05, 2010

Persimmon in Niche

A man nearly 'bout mowed me over coming out a door that opened into the hallway. I quickly jumped out of the way (an impressive feat--me, being quick). I was not in the least offended, but the man apologized and offered me a persimmon and I didn't know what else to do so I took it. Plus, i pictured a pomegranate when he said persimmon and that would have been very tasty. 

We had quite a conversation about persimmons as we walked down the hall. This one is not yet ready to eat, according to the man in the hall.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Corn Maze!

I wore rubber boots and while I was taking photos of the birds in a pen, chickens were pecking at my boots!

This is one of the birds I was trying to photograph when the chickens attacked my boots.

This guy looks to be the guardian of the corn maze. He looked a little grumpy to me. That is the corn maze in the background. I had read about corn mazes on the internet and thought they sounded like fun. This one was a bit anticlimactic, maybe because we only went on one small corner of the maze (I had come with my boss and her son on a first grade field trip) and I could see over the top of the corn in places. Maybe I will go back on a weekend when I could walk the complete maze.

All in all, I had a pretty good time. It was a beautiful day to be outside in the fresh air. I needed a day like that to get out and just have a bit of fun.