Friday, July 27, 2012

I won 3rd place!::July 27

Last night I went to my very first photo competition with the Wasatch Camera Club. I entered my "Cows at Sunset" picture and also my "Sunrise on the Pond"

"Cows at Sunset" won 3rd place in the Intermediate/Into the Light projection division. Yay!! :) When they scored it, I think it got 17/27, which seems low, but considering that the highest score I heard was a 25/27 from a master, it doesn't seem too shabby.

I also asked for critiques of my work.

With "Sunrise on the Pond", one of the judges suggested I turn it into a black and white and see what that looks like. They were put off a little bit by the white misty look on the right hand corner, because it looks over exposed. I can see their point; it has bothered me too. Their words were that the composition was good, but that it looked a little washed out. I can see that. I'll try a black and white and see what happens. I still really love the picture though. I used to live in that area growing up. In fact, if you could see through one or two houses and a few trees, you'd see my house. In the early morning light, that is exactly what it looks like.

With the critique for "Cows at Sunset", I really got my ego stroked. The judge said that she really liked it; she liked the soft colors and the back lighting. "I really dug it" were her exact words. :)

It was wonderful to sit and look at all of the beautiful work that everyone turned in. I was especially in awe of the beautiful pictures that the advanced and masters turned in. It was one gorgeous picture after another and was amazing. There were some really great pics turned in by the novices and intermediates too, but the advanced and masters were where it was at!

You can see all of the winning photos here

As I was looking over my New Year's goals, I realized that I could check a few off the list. One thing on the list was to "Become a part of the/a community I'm in, or join a group to give me that sense of belonging." Good for me :) There are a few other things I've done too, which is a good direction to be going in.

In other news... Matt is still at scout camp. Boy I miss that kid! He'll be home on Saturday, and I'm ready for him!

I hope that you have a wonderful day today!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Up the Tree::July 25

This was a tricky shot. I leaned backwards on the tree, resting my head on the trunk for stability, and then looked waaayyyy up high. It's kinda cool to look at things in a different way every once in a while. :)

Make it a good one! :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gun Safety::July 24

Last night for family home evening, we went up the canyon for a nice, quiet, relaxing night. But... I had agreed that bb guns could be brought along, so instead of nice, quiet, relaxing, everyone had a lot of fun shooting at empty root beer cans. :)

There has always been a lot of controversy about gun rights and the dangers that guns present.

I was raised with guns. I remember being a little, tiny girl and my dad warning me that if I ever touched his guns without his knowledge or him helping me, he would spank me. I used to sometimes go into my mom and dad's bedroom and slowly lift up the covers to peek at his guns under the bed. I'd NEVER touch them, because I knew I'd be spanked, and because I knew guns were dangerous. I just wanted to see them; make sure they were still there. Then I'd hurry and let the cover fall down and I'd run away from there! Guns were a little creepy, because I knew the damage that they could do.

When we went shooting, my dad would hold the gun and site it in for me and let me pull the trigger. I learned from a very young age that guns kick and can knock a little girl on her butt, that's why only daddy held the gun.

I was taught to always treat an unloaded gun the same way I would a loaded gun, because you never know if a stray bullet was missed when the gun was emptied.

And, because my dad was a hunter and a great shot, he got a deer, antelope, or elk every year and I got to see what damage bullets can do. Not that it was ever talked about that way, I just realized the cause and effect.

When children are raised around guns, practice shooting with their parents and go hunting with them, gun safety and the damage guns can do is clearly evident. None of my friends that I grew up with ever shot anyone. They were taken out hunting too. Guns weren't a dirty little secret and they were never played with. They were a dangerous tool, like dad's chainsaw, or mom's butcher knife. You don't play with them or you'd get hurt. You can add a "duh" on the end here, because it was a duh. Guns can kill things. We'd seen it.

Steve used to have a picture on his cell phone of all of our older kids standing by our old Geo Metro, each armed with a 22. We've taken all of our kids out shooting. Steve hasn't ever been a hunter (I'm the killer at our house. Which is a sad note, if you remember this post.) They know where the guns are kept. They know that they'll be spanked if they ever touch them w/o Steve or me helping them. They don't play with them. My kids know that guns are a dangerous tool that can tear things apart. They know that their kick can knock them on their butt. They know that they are dangerous tools. They know, because we have taught them. We have taken them shooting. They have seen their effect, not on animals first hand like I did, but on the targets that we practice with.

They know that guns don't kill; people do. They know that when something is dead, it doesn't come back to life. We haven't shielded our children from death. They have seen it around the farm since they were little. They know that new lifes are only on video games, not real life.

And *that* is how we teach gun safety.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Garlic Scape Flower::July 23

Yesterday, while everyone except Michael and me were at church because I am still feeling .... well, crappy is the best word for it, I was looking online and thought about garlic scapes again. I've felt a little guilty that because I like how they look and I didn't want to cut them off.... but it isn't really best to let them grow when what I really want is big bulbs. So, I cut them off, but not before I took a picture with my macro lens (or two, or five ;)

It is truly amazing that when you get down on the macro level, everything looks a little alien...especially bugs!

Speaking of bugs, my garden is overrun with grasshoppers this year. I have never killed a grasshopper (at least on purpose) before, but this year, I am delighting in it! When I walk through my garden, I see them all around, especially in my herb garden. Yuck! yUcK! and YUCK! So sick of those hopping little monsters! {sigh} Still, a grasshopper in summer is so much better than... well, *anything* in winter! I'm just sayin'.

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Using Reflectors in Photography Lighting::July 21

I happened upon this article and wanted to share it and also keep it as a resource for myself: When Do I Use the Different Reflector Colors

Also, at another place I looked it, they recommended using some clips (I like the C clamps, I don't remember what they said that they used) to hold the reflector in place if you don't have the stand. Great idea!

And now, I have a great wish list: I love the whole page full of goodies! ;)

Friday, July 20, 2012

This Moment::Matt::Friday, July 20

(Matt helping me get ready for last week's photo shoot. I think he has entered the "boys don't smile in pictures" stage. Thanks for you help Matt; you are awesome!)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

J & K's Anniversary, Michael's Birthday, Remembering my Mom::July 19

I went with Bill to the doctors' offices a couple of days ago.

The surgeon said that since his incision has healed well, and the drain hole has closed up and is healing, Bill is discharged from his care for 2 years. At that time, Bill will be re-evaluated for a liver transplant and will go back on his care again.

The nephrologist (kidney doc), said that Bill's lab numbers were looking a bit better and to continue doing what he's been doing at home. He did say that Bill needs to baby his left arm, not allowing blood pressures and labs to be taken from it. The doc didn't say why, but since this isn't our first go-round with this sort of thing, we know it is because he will need a fistula shunt for dialysis sooner or later. His "damn it" seemed to sum up the feeling to a T.

In other news, Yesterday was Josh and Karen's 3rd Wedding Anniversary, and today is Michael's 11th Birthday. Time flies when you're having fun, eh?

As a matter of trivia: It was at Josh's wedding that Amber and Tino met. In fact, he was the one that walked her down the aisle and into her position as a bride's maid before he walked over to his place as a groomsman. You can see them both in the middle picture: Tino way over to the left and Amber way over to the right.

And a pic of Michael on his 9th & 10th birthdays. Such a cute kid

Also, one year ago today is the day my mom called from the hospital during Michael's birthday party and asked me to come visit her. I told her that I'd be right over after the party. She was asleep when I got there, and she had been feeling so badly, so I let her sleep. It was that day that I took the picture of her looking so old and frail as she slept.

This is the one picture that helped put everything into perspective after she died and I kept questioning "why?". Bless her dear, old soul. I miss her, but I'm so glad that she hasn't had to suffer with her bad health and sore joints and back this year. I'm looking forward to someday sitting down with her again to visit and have another family party with her.

Yesterday, Steve & I took down the rest of the fence that blew down part-way a few years ago. It takes us forever to do a project. Hopefully with the fence down we'll feel the need to hurry up and get another one up. We just need Josh to come and visit at the same time that Steve is here; Josh loves to dig holes, much to my delight, but I want Steve here to do the measuring and planning for the new fence. Painting the outside of the house and refinishing the wood floors are on my list too.

And yet, with all of the work that needs to be done, and a photo competition that I entered, sent in pictures for, and was supposed to attend tonight... I am sick. It feels like an influenza; it hit my asthma hard last night before bed. Today, my lungs feel more clear, but my head is so clogged! How and why am I sick in the middle of July?! It seems ridiculous, but Steve just went through it at the beginning of the month. Bah.

I'm feeling the itch to get my 2013 calender made. I'd love to go away for the weekend and put it together while relaxing in a nice hotel room, but alas, I am a cheapskate and will probably just do it here at home. Again: bah.

A lot of my friends have children getting married soon. I'm so glad it isn't me having to plan a wedding this year!! ;) Good luck to all that do!

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Pics::July 17

Amber, a friend of mine, asked if I could take her daughter's 3 year old pictures. Excitedly, I said yes!

We fed the ducks, blew bubbles & caught them, played "peek a boo" by the tree - peeking out at mommy, and did the regular "sit right here and say cheese" pics. "J" stayed cheerful and cooperative throughout the whole photoshoot; what a gem she is!

Take a look at how adorable she is:

Thanks so much for letting me be a part of her 3 year old celebrations, Amber!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

pics of the evening::July 11

Last night, after all of us getting home from our respective daily "stuff", we sat down and watched tv together. Mostly it was Steve and me, and from time to time Michael, Matt &/or Bill would pop in.

It is a different life from when we banned tv years ago when all of our children were little, but it is good in a different way. Sometimes it is nice just to sit and share entertainment; to laugh and see your loved one laughing too. It is nice to go through life together and share the little moments.

I haven't been taking pictures as much as I have in the past. I need to be. It is just difficult sometimes, when you don't want to go anywhere, and you have already photographed everything that you can think of photographing in the house and taking another pic would just be redundant.... but it is exactly what I did last night.

A pic of Steve. Of Michael. (with popcorn of course! :) and an updated pic of the porcelain dolls from my mom - I put Amber's up with Emily and mine. I need to get them all in the curio cabinet to keep them from getting too dusty. but I'll save that for another day. (why yes, I am a procrastinator, why do you ask? ;)

Yesterday it was the neurologist for Michael. Today it is a follow up with the liver/kidney transplant surgeon for Bill - I'm not sure who the doc de jour will be, but they will be looking at Bill's labs to see how his liver and kidney are hanging in there, and they will need to take a look at his drain tube. Oh how I hate drain tubes! Constant clotting. Bah humbug!!

I hope that you enjoy your day and live it to the fullest! (even if part of it is just watching tv & enjoying it immensely! :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Our Independence Day::July 5

Since Steve took Emily and Matt to Martin's Cove for the 4th of July, Jared, Michael and I were on our own to have some Independence Day fun.

So we drove to the city, 'cause their ain't nothin' happenin' in our little town. We went and looked in all of the tents at the Freedom Festival, then we went on over to the carnival. It seems that the only ride that was Michael's size and speed was the merry go round.... so we rode that...twice. :) Jared rode a couple of rides too; I can't remember the name of the one, but he rode the ferris wheel once.

Afterward, Michael still really wanted to go swimming, just like he had all day, so we drove up to our favorite pool, but they were closed. :( I promised we'd go back soon.

After buying some treats at the store, we headed down to get our spot to watch fireworks. Steve hates going to the fireworks, so I thought I'd do what he hated, since I never get to go when he is around.

We got to the park about 9:00, laid out our blanket, and sat down with our snacks to wait. And wait. And wait. I was hoping that the fireworks would start at 9:30, but nope. We could see smaller fireworks going off in every direction that we looked. Jared and I watched those... Michael really liked watching the street lights go on. What a funny kid! Fireworks popping all around us, and he watches the street lights. Someday I hope to understand how his mind works!

So we sat there and ate a few chips, a banana or two, Jared bought a bag of cherries a guy was selling, so he ate those. And we waited some more.

Then a toddler that belonged to the family on the blanket in front of us had a melt down. She'd gain control of herself just in time to lose it again. Over, and over, and over. And her parents were just as annoying as she was. (Who shoots snapshots at fireworks?? The flash on that sucker was SO bright! But they got some cute family photos in the middle of the night, I suppose. grrrr.)

Meanwhile, the people behind us were talking in their absolute loudest voice to communicate with the person just next to them... to be honest, I didn't mind that his wife and the other women left to go to the bathroom at Shaun's and might not make it back in time for fireworks.... but he seemed bugged.

And then, the grand finale! A car horn, a safety feature to protect from car theft, went off..... and fifteen minutes later, I realized I was done. The "real" fireworks hadn't even started....but I'd had it. I looked at my cell phone: 10:00 p.m. and I realized that no matter where I am and no matter what I'm doing, 10:00 is my limit. I can't even stand my own flesh and blood after 10... what made me think that I could stand obnoxious people?? So we left, came home, and went right to bed. I'm feeling like myself again; my claws are retracted and my snarl has become a smile again.

Today, I was supposed to take Tilly the cat to get his claws removed.... but I backed out. I need to rethink it.

I might be getting together with my great friend from Minnesota today, we'll just have to see what her schedule is like.

Other than that, I have plans to sit and watched hours of "The Big Bang Theory". It is terrible with crude humor. But it is hilarious. So, hilarious wins. ;)

Have a terrific day!