February 26, 2012

You'll Find Me Here ....

I decided to start with a clean slate and so I'm now blogging at Wordpress.  If you happened to stumble across this blog while looking for A Scribbler & A Shutterbug, please click here for my up-to-date blog.

December 03, 2011

Galveston, oh, Galveston!

I've been in the middle of a huge painting project ... it hasn't gone quite as I hoped.  You would have thought a visual person, a person who loves photography, light, and color would have noticed before putting two coats of paint on the baseboards and two double-hung windows in my office that the color did not match the existing color the way it was supposed to.

Grrr...  I wanted "Galaxy Depths" (a fancy name for black), but I got GREY.  Boo.  Hiss.  So I'll be buying some more paint Monday and tackling this painting project when I'd hoped to be finished with it.

In the meantime, we are heading to Galveston in a few hours to take a little time travel trip back to old Victorian England at the Dickens on the Strand festival.  I have three batteries fully charged, along with three memory cards (1 GB, 2 GB, and 2 GB respectively).  I'm thinking I should be able to take LOTS of photos with three batteries and three fairly large memory cards.  Don't you?

I'll be sure to post some of the best here when I get back.  

November 18, 2011

Isn't That Just The Way It Is?

If you look up there just under my blog title, you'll see a little phrase that seems for the most part harmless.  "Choosing to see joy wherever I look..."

It's an honorable goal, one that indicates a heart working on gratitude in all things.  Right?  Have you ever noticed how the moment you determine to implement something in your life - for me, it would be choosing joy in all things - the moment you make this decision, the enemy comes at you from all directions to pull you from your course?

My neighbor called a few days ago to let me know that he noticed my front passenger side tire was flat.  Something that would usually herald the beginning of a not-so-great-day.  Except for the fact that he offered to put my spare on since my husband had already left for work.  So even though I had to take a couple of hours out of my already busy day to get the tire repaired, I found gratitude for an observant neighbor and road hazard coverage that meant my tire repair was free.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been working on a major shutter contract - one that will allow me to pay down some debt I have.  Gratitude, right?  Without doubt, but good heavens, the little glitches and bumpy spots in the fine-tuning of this job have given me more than one baby ulcer.  All that to say, the job is mine and things are progressing along quite nicely now.

Over the last few months, it's become increasingly clear to me that my "little" girl is growing up.  I mean, come on.  I knew it would happen, right?  At some point, interest in dolls, horses, and silly games was bound to shift to... boys.  I just wish I'd been a little more prepared for this stage in life!  The thing is, while we (aka "parents") read all kinds of books and articles and talk to our friends for advice... there just isn't any real preparation for this stage in life.

The experience I had as a teenager was NO experience.  I wasn't allowed to date until I was a senior in high school and prior to that, I couldn't talk on the phone to my friends who were boys unless they called me.  The night before my family moved 2,000 miles across the ocean, I was not allowed to call two of my good friends (who happened to be male) to say goodbye because they were, *gasp*, BOYS.

I didn't want to be such a rigid parent myself when it came time to go through this stage of life with my own daughter.  And so I probably went, erroneously, in the other direction.  Don't get me wrong - this is a G-rated house, so I'm not talking about anything seriously liberal!  But I rearranged schedules and such to make it easier for my girl and her (boy)friend to spend time together in a family setting.  What I didn't expect is that we'd become fond of this friend, too.  Uh oh...

And so when they parted ways a few weeks ago, I was hit with a ridiculously large wave of sadness.  So stupid.  Where's that JOY that I'm supposed to be seeing in all things?  The joy in knowing that my daughter is wise enough to realize she is not ready for a (boy)friend right now and wants to focus on her relationship with God and with her friend friends?  It's as if this little experience is the straw that broke the camel's back and the stress of several things I've been dealing with (family relationships, finances, overloaded schedule) all came tumbling down on me.  And so at random moments, for no real reason, my eyes tear up and I'm overcome by sadness.

I've spent a good bit of time thinking about it and praying about it and I've come to the conclusion that it's a combination of the above-mentioned things, plus a realization that I really wish I could put the proverbial "brick" on my daughter's head and keep her a little girl just a while longer.  She will be 16 in February and it really snuck up on me.  I'm not ready, God!  I think about how fast these almost 16 years have passed, and I realize I am going to blink and she will not live here anymore.

Premature empty nest syndrome, anyone?

But then I realized something very important.  I can blink back my tears and turn this over to God, with a grateful heart.  I can trust Him for her future and find joy in the days that she has left to live here at home with me and her daddy before venturing out into the world on her own.  Or I can wallow in the sadness and miss out on everything.

I think I will choose joy.

Psalm 5:11
But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
   let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
   that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

January 23, 2011

Changes Coming Soon

I've not done a whole lot with the blog, because it hasn't really had a "focus" ... just kind of a rambling "blah, blah, blah" up until this point.  I'm mulling over some changes in my mind right now ... thinking that I'm going to make it a bit more "content" specific.

Planning section tabs specifically geared towards:

Card Making

and possibly how to generate income from one or more of the above.

Just thought you'd like to know.

September 20, 2010

"Leaving Freeport"

Leaving Freeport

Last week, I was sitting at the stop sign waiting for an opportunity to turn onto the highway heading toward Lake Jackson and I saw this cloud.  I don't know why it intrigued me so, but for some reason it made me think of one of those heavy, ominous clouds that show up in the science fiction movies right before some little green man says, "Take me to your leader..." (or something like that).  There's a lot of construction along this stretch of highway right now, and in addition to liking the looks of the cloud, I also liked the contrast of the blue sky, the less-than-perfect grass growing along the pavement, and the sandy scars left behind by the road crew equipment.

Taken with my Canon G10.  Shutter speed 1/1000, Aperture f/4.0, Focal length 6.1mm, ISO 80.

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

September 18, 2010

The Random Life of ME: The Four Brothers

The Random Life of ME: The Four Brothers: "Imagine This... Four men sitting around a fire. Think Father Christmas from Narnia. Old Norse warriors. Battle scarred and weary. Firelig..."

A beautiful little story written by my daughter! Enjoy!

September 10, 2010

A Golden Opportunity

Let me just say that an opportunity has presented itself that may allow me to share my love of photography with others, while increasing my own knowledge in this area.  Nothing is definite yet, but very exciting possibilities loom on the horizon. 

A New Addition to the Family

It's a bit late in the evening, but I had to hop on for a second to say that we found a vehicle to replace my old truck (which was recently totaled in a wreck ... thankfully the truck was the ONLY casualty ... all people walked away unharmed)!  I scoped out the Consumer Reports commentaries online until my eyes felt as though they'd fall out of my head.  For some reason, I kept being drawn to the Kia Sportage, specifically anything made in 2006 or later.  Prior to that year, CR gave the Sportage really lousy marks, but in 2006 they got their act together and built a really good vehicle.

I located one not terribly far from where we live (maybe 50 miles?) ... a 2007 Kia Sportage, 63K miles ... a pretty green with a a black interior.  Selling price $10,999.  Which is right in line with what CR says this vehicle should sell for.  We drove it and were sold.  It drives well, the interior is in GREAT condition, lots of cargo space, and the Carfax report shows that the previous (and only) owner had the car serviced regularly at the dealership where it was purchased ... the only sticky wicket is that the previous owner was a smoker.  Archer Kia in Houston promises me that they have a detailing technique that will get the smell out of the vehicle.  So tomorrow around 1:00 p.m., I should be able to pick up my "new" vehicle and it should be smoke-free. 

I will be sure to take some photos and post them for you.  I'll be needing to think of a name for my new ride, too, so if you have any suggestions upon seeing her/him/it ... I'm listening. 

September 08, 2010

Did Our Doctors REALLY Graduate from Med School?

I'm looking for ways to make some "extra" money to pay off some debt and I noticed an article in Woman's Day Magazine about Twelve Ways to Make Money from Home. There are actually some really good tips in the article, and I'm investigating each one. One of the websites recommended is called "Fiverr". The premise is to take whatever talent you have and sell it for $5. There are people who will proofread papers for $5, send your child a letter from Santa Claus for $5, write your name in the sand, photograph and email it to you for $5 ... you get the idea. In fact, there is a woman in the northeast who will write whatever message you want in the sand, photograph it, and email you the picture for $5. She makes about $300 a month doing this and can do between 10 to 15 messages in an hour. So six hours' work = $300. Not bad! For the most part, the listings are above-board and don't seem to be unethical. And then I saw this listing:

I will research and write your college or high school paper for $5.

As I scanned the "testimonials" of how great his work is, I saw these two:

Aside from the cheating aspect of the "service" being offered, does it disturb anyone else that "aliceyu" thinks she's gotten awesome grades from someone else's work or that "esterhauzy" got an "A" on ALL her MEDICAL SCHOOL work?

With the combination of Obamacare and medical school grads buying papers online, I'm going to be taking extra better care of myself in the days to come. Sheesh!

August 12, 2010

My "New" Scrapbooking/Craft Cabinet

I am so proud of this cabinet ... it is over 100 years old, having been originally part of one of the shops on the Strand in Galveston, Texas. At some point in its travels, it ended up in my mother-in-law's friend's barn and sat for about twenty years. When they sold their property, they had to get rid of everything they weren't keeping before the new owners moved in. So they asked if anyone wanted this cabinet ... for FREE. We jumped on it!

My husband managed to haul it home strapped to the tonneau cover of my pickup ... it was too wide to fit in the bed and too tall to safely move upright over 40 miles. It sat in our carport for two years because other things got in the way of our refinishing it. A few weeks ago, AJ finally was able to finish sanding it. A neighbor helped move it into the house (it is 72 inches wide and 84 inches tall ... it is BIG). And I began painting it. I don't really care for painting, but when the results are like this, I can suck it up and do what needs to be done!

Now I'll be able to consolidate all of my scrapbooking and craft supplies in one location, rather than having to hunt them down from the various cabinets and cubbies they are residing in at this time. Maybe I'll actually get more scrapbooking done, too. :)

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