January 31

Meet Frank.

Frank is my first photo shoot. I don’t think you can call it a photo shoot if you don’t get paid for it. Actually, it really wasn’t necessarily a ‘photo shoot’ but more of a ‘CanIPleaseTakePicturesOfYourCatSoICanPracticeMyPhotography’ shoot.

Semantics, people, it is all semantics!

Frank was Lindsay’s cat. Lindsay was our pastor’s daughter.

So, Frank is livin’ large these days.

Literally!!!

Out of the last 2 photo’s, which one do you like the best. I like the first one better, but I’d love to hear what you think.

January 30

So, last Saturday found the girl and I wandering around our local antique mall. I love all things antique, and I love going into that store. It warms the cockles of my heart, and lately, my cockles have been in desperate need of warming.

I have the perfect place for this Victorian chair that still has it’s original fabric. My bedroom is sadly lacking a chair like this, and well, I want it.

These dishes don’t match a single thing in my house, and that is a shame because these dishes are really beautiful. Don’t you think I deserve  these beautiful dishes? Can you not see a lovely fruit compote in the small dishes, or some seasoned green beans in the larger one? or even steaming hot, buttery mashed potatoes? or fried chicken? or I’d even be good and put in a salad…maybe…once.

This picture would look fabulous in my house. I am not really into yellow’s but this picture screamed at me ‘take me home’. I had to make it sad and walk away.

I have always wanted an old kitchen cabinet like this one, but not green. I’d love to strip it down to the original wood and just varnish it.

I love this old oak dresser. It is low, and is made for short people. I am a short people, so I really think that this dresser was made specifically for me!

Valentines Day is coming up, which one should I ask for?

January 29

Last Wednesday, I was never more excited, the sun came out for 23 minutes. Not only did the sun come out for 23 minutes, but a friend had given me a bouquet of magenta tulips. Oh, the joy, the pleasure and happiness of not only sunshine, but a color that isn’t gray. I almost danced.

I couldn’t wait to photograph them. I couldn’t wait to see what my wonderful new camera would do with the lovelies.

Doesn’t this just warm your soul?

I couldn’t wait to see how close I could get.

I really wanted to be able to get up close and personal with these tulips.

But alas, I have no macro lens.

So, I will have to photograph their beauty from afar.

Which one is your favorite?

January 28

I was tagged by Tressays for a book meme.

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.

Here is mine.

“Hit the Okay button to apply the crop. You’ll notice that the areas outside the crop are discarded, but also that the shape of the selection- which was trapezoidal- has been corrected to rectangluar. In this way our converging verticals have also become ‘true’.

This was from The Complete Digital Photography Manual by Philip Andrews and Peter Cope. It was either that, or my 1040A tax booklet.

Now, it is your turn.  Do it in the comments. I can’t wait to see what y’all are reading. I sure hope it is more interesting than what I am.

January 27

Pretty bleak, isn’t it?

That is what my view of the outside has been for weeks. Weeks I tell ya, and now, that is kind of what my mood looks like. Dull. Grey. Overcast. Bleh.

I need to do something to raise my spirits. Something besides consuming 43 pounds of cinnamon rolls and chocolate and all other manner of carbohydrates. The cats are sick of being tormented, the chips are sick of looking at each other, and quite frankly they are wearing a bit thin on. my. last. nerve.

Someone, anyone send me some sunshine. I am going nuts here in the north.

January 26

On the way home from church Wednesday evening, we were discussing the new ping-pong table that the youth group has.

Superman ~~ Son, I’d love to play a game with you, but I’d win.

Boy~~No, dad, I’d win.

This went on for about 10 seconds, while I rolled my eyes and tried to drive faster so that I could get away from all that testosterone.

Finally the boy said “do you know why I’d win? Because my reflexes are faster than a mongoose on caffeine.”

Alrighty then!

January 25

Choose a free gift:

  • a daily back massage,
  • dinner at a restaurant twice per week,
  • or a brand new book twice per month.

I would definately choose restaurant twice per week. Then I would make Superman choose the daily back massage, and we could switch once in awhile.

January 24

I know that y’all have been waiting with baited breath for us to conduct the cinnamon roll experiment, and it has happened. We all now weigh 7.2 pounds heavier, but OH  internets, it was worth it.

The results are in, they have been tabulated, counted, recounted, hanging chads and all. The consensus is…

They looked great, smelled great, and tasted like Bisquick cinnamon rolls, with super duper icing.

No one here was impressed with this recipe.

I am sad. Everything that I have tried of Ree’s has been good till now. I was hoping for some curl-your-toes cinnamon rolls, but these weren’t it. I think we will stick with the Williams-Sonoma recipe, and use Ree’s icing.

So, I challenge you to do your own experiment. Let me know which ones you like better.

Cinnamon Rolls from William-Sonoma

  • 2 pkg. (5 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1 c. milk, heated to 105-115º
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 5½ c. flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground mace
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • ½ cup butter at room temperature

Filling

  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ c. butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten~~for egg glaze

In the bowl of your mixer, dissolve yeast in warm milk, and let stand till foamy, about 5 minutes or so. Add sugar, eggs, flour, salt, mace,~~since we aren’t to fancy schmancy here, and since mace is the outer covering to the nutmeg, we use freshly grated nutmeg~~ orange zest and butter. Attach your dough hook, and knead on low speed. Add more flour, if needed, for the dough to come away from the sides of the bowl. Knead about 5-7 minutes till dough is smooth and elastic.

Form the dough into a ball and put into a slightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise till doubled, about 1½-2 hours.

In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.

Punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut it in half. Roll out half the dough into a rectangle. Brush the surface with ½ the melted butter and sprinkle with ½ the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Roll up. Cut the log into 8, 2″ slices. Place them cut side up, barely touching on a jelly roll pan lined with parchment.

Repeat this with other half. Cover and let rise till doubled. About 40 minutes or so. Brush with beaten egg.

Place in a 400º oven for 20-25 minutes.

Let rolls cool slightly~~unless you are us, and eat them immediately~~and ice with whatever icing you prefer. The boy likes to put some orange zest in the icing. We also really liked Ree’s idea of the coffee in the vanilla glaze. YUM!

Don’t forget to let me know which ones you like best. It truly doesn’t matter, what matters is that you get to eat cinnamon rolls, and gain 7.2 pounds like the rest of us.

Amen!

January 23

It is 10º outside, and has been for days. You have no clue what fresh air smells like anymore, and your bored out of your skull…what do you do?

Why, you torment your cats of course!

Sugar is my ornery cat. She is also a pig, so when I feed Grace ~~the fluffy one~~ I have to keep her out of the room, or she would snarf all of hers as fast as she could, shove Grace out of the way and eat the rest of Grace’s food, and Grace being the dumb one, the Paris Hilton of cats, would let her.

She was getting a bit wild, wailing at me because she wasn’t eating and Grace was, so I confined her.

She wasn’t very happy with that, so I thought that I would appease her with some treats.

oooOOOOoooooo treats!

So close.

but no cigar!  Pure entertainment!

I make my cats work for their treats, and the love me for it.

To show her appreciation for all the kind attention she received, she re-gifted it right there on the carpet. Next time, she gets fed first.

January 22

As much as I protest, oppose and expostulate about decorations for Christmas being put out in September, Valentines on the shelves before we even tear into our Christmas gifts, and Halloween decorations out in June,

this, for some strange reason, does not bother me in the least.

I wonder why that is???

January 20

This came through my email. I don’t, as a general rule, post this kind of stuff. However, I really feel this way, so…

President Bush did make a bad mistake in the war on terrorism.

But the mistake was not his decision to go to war in Iraq, but perhaps, Bush’s mistake came in his belief that this country is the same one his father fought for in WWII.

It is not.

Back then, we had just come out of a vicious depression. The country was steeled by the hardship of that depression, but they still believed fervently in this country. They knew that the people had elected their leaders, so it was the people’s duty to back those leaders.

So, when the war broke out, the people came together, rallied behind, and stuck with their leaders, whether they had voted for them or not, or whether the war was going badly or not.

And war was just as distasteful and the anguish just as great then as it is today. Often there were more casualties in one day in WWII than we have had in the entire Iraq war. But that did not matter. The people stuck with the President because it was their patriotic duty. Americans put aside their differences in WWII and worked together to win that war.

Everyone from every strata of society, from young to old, pitched in. Small children pulled little wagons around to gather scrap metal for the war effort. Grade school students saved their pennies to buy stamps for war bonds to help the effort.

Men who were too old or medically 4F lied about their age or condition trying their best to join the military. Women doubled their work to keep things going at home. Harsh rationing of everything from gasoline to soap, to butter was imposed, yet there was very little complaining.

You never heard prominent people on the radio belittling the President. Interestingly enough, in those days there were no fat cat actors and entertainers who ran off to visit and fawn over dictators of hostile countries and complain to them about our President. Instead, they made upbeat films and entertained our troops to help the troops’ morale. And a bunch even enlisted.

Back then, no newspaper would have dared point out certain weak spots in our cities where bombs could be set off to cause the maximum damage. No newspaper would have dared complain about what we were doing to catch spies.

A newspaper would have been laughed out of existence if it had complained that German or Japanese soldiers were being ‘tortured’ by being forced to wear women’s underwear, or subjected to interrogation by a woman, or being scared by a dog or did not have air conditioning.

There were a lot of other things different back then. We were not subjected to a constant bombardment of pornography, perversion and promiscuity in movies or on radio. We did not have legions of crack heads, dope pushers and armed gangs roaming our streets.

No, President Bush did not make a mistake in his handling of terrorism. He made the mistake of believing that we still had the courage and fortitude of our fathers. He believed that this was still the country that our fathers fought so dearly to preserve.

Unfortunately, it is not the same country. We did unite for a short while after 9/11, but our attitude changed when we found out that defending our country would require some sacrifices.

We are in great danger.

The terrorists are fanatic Muslims. They believe that it is okay, even their duty, to kill anyone who will not convert to Islam.

It has been estimated that about one third or over three hundred million Muslims (The other two thirds are good people) are sympathetic to the terrorists cause…Hitler and Tojo combined did not have nearly that many potential recruits.

So, we either win it….or lose it.

America is not at war.

The military is at war.

America is at the mall.


January 18

My dad.

I will never forget him taking me out in his 1977 Chrysler New Yorker. It was a behemoth of a car. Black with black leather seats. When you turned a corner, 10 seconds later, the back end would swing around.  I called it the Mafia car.

That is what I learned to drive in.

Dad told me that if I could drive that, I could drive anything.

Just imagine that in black. It was a force to be reckoned with.   It had a 440, 4 barrel motor that would fly.  I’d love to have that now.

He would take me to an empty school parking lot, and make me park the car…over and over again. Pulling in and out of parking spaces, and letting me know that I had just bashed in the imaginary car beside me.

I was so nervous that I would giggle…uncontrolably.

So, who taught you how to drive?

January 17

The other day I decided that enough was enough. I had taken all I could take.

5 years was just way to long. I couldn’t take one more minute. No more torture, no more putting up with it, no more muttering under my breath about how frustrated I was. I was finished. Done.

I took matters into my own hands, and into the hands of my son.

I made him remove the door, and

I cleaned up my linen closet.

You too can clean out, straighten up, and be rid of your frustrations in mere minutes. Just go out to your local Stuffmart and purchase canvas thingies. They are on sale at my local Stuffmart. You just throw in as much as will fit, and no one will be the wiser.

I need more canvas thingies.   I have more closets!

January 15

Now that I have this wonderful camera, I need to figure out how to use it. To do that, I need something/someone to photograph. The girl is a very willing subject, so I have been photographing her.

I like the lighting on this one, but I didn’t get it focused very well. Focusing seems to be an ongoing problem I have…and not just with photography.

I love this one. I love the lighting, I love the look on her face and well…..she’s cute!

I can focus on lavender. Maybe it is the lens I am using. Maybe I should just photograph landscapes and not people.

I have not really been a fan of black and white photos. I love color. However, some of the photography blogs I read have lots of B&W pictures. This one I thought might look good in B&W, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I am thinking I am beginning to like B&W now.

Again, I can not focus, but this one really shows off her personality.

We were pretending that I was a real photographer, and she was a model. I said all those weird things that photographer’s say to their models “Ohhhh the camera loves you. A little more to the right…toss your head…talk to me…show me whatcha’ got..show me your sexy look.”   This is all she had.

A real photographer would have focused better, but I love it when she laughs. This is my favorite one.

Which is your favorite?

January 14

The other evening, Superman took me to Dairy Queen to split a Blizzard~~’cause that is just the kind of date he is!

So we are sitting there chatting and I am about half way through my half of a cookie dough made with chocolate ice cream, when my phone rings.

Me~~Hello

Girl~~Hi mom! How are you?

M~~I’m fine sweetie, what do you want?

G~~When are you coming home? You have been gone for quite some time.

M~~pulling the phone away from my ear to check the time…Honey, we haven’t even been gone an hour, we will be home in a little bit.

G~~Ok. I love you.

M~~Love you too, now go get your shower!

Superman and I had a lovely chuckle over her, and the conversation. We stayed away for an extra hour, just ’cause we could!

In a couple of years, the girl is going to leave the house with a nice young man. I will hand her my phone, kiss her good bye and go set my timer for 47½ minutes. Then we will have another conversation!

Amen!

January 13

The other day a friend shared with me a sermon illustration that their children’s pastor gave last Sunday. I just haven’t been able to get it out of my head, so I thought that I’d share it with you.

He was talking about running the race of life, and where Paul is encouraging us to run our race to win.

He called a brother and sister up to the front. The brother was about 7 and the sister about 5. He explained that they were going to race around the church. Off they went, and of course the brother skunked the sister. It was a given.

Then the pastor gave the boy a 20 pound dumbbell, and had them run the race again. The boy was still doing his best, still running to win, but he was loaded down with that dumbbell, and wasn’t doing so well that time around.

When she told me this, my breath caught. I am running the race, but how in the world can I run it to win, when I am carrying around dumbbells? Frustration with the husband~~5 pounds, concern for loved ones~~another 5 pounds. Are the kiddos getting a good enough education?~~10 pounds. Bills?~~just load on another 10 pounds. Health problems~~don’t wanna go there.

Now I know that we all just can’t walk around in lala land. Just isn’t smart, but Christ tells us to take his yoke, and he will carry our load. Thank goodness. I was getting exhausted.

Are you running to win? or are you running with dumbbells?

January 12

Superman was out of town this past week. Twice a year he goes to Columbus for his job.

Don’t let this picture fool you. See that grin? He is happy to be leaving.

He enjoys getting away, don’t let him tell you any different. He just wants you to think that. He gets to sleep in a bed all by himself, watch whatever TV he wants, and eat whatever he wants. Not the baked chicken, broccoli, 12 grain bread, or rice cakes that I he says I torture him with, in an effort to help him live longer. If he had his way, he’d be eating Doritos, Oreos and Fried Chicken with a side of cholesterol for every meal.

I enjoy him getting away because twice a year, I have 75% less laundry to do, and his side of the room is actually not strewn with 47 different piles of stuff, and junk, and needless clutter.

The girl enjoys him being away because she gets to sleep in my bed when he is gone. You’d think that she sleeps on the floor with burlap for sheets and no pillow. She thinks she is getting a special treat, when I am only allowing her to do it so I am not in a huge bed all by myself for nights on end. I am being selfish, and I am very comfortable using her as space filler. That is just the kind of mom I am.
He is home now, the laundry has mushroomed to critical mass, and my bedroom is no longer neat and tidy, but my bed is much warmer, and our family is complete once again.