Thursday, April 30, 2009

Project 365: Day 120 -- My Ultimate Addiction

Most people wake up in the morning, and stumble their way to the coffee pot, eyes barely open until they get that hot caffeine jolt. Personally, I have always preferred my caffeine cold and carbonated.

There have been times I have been able to temporarily give up cookies, candy, potato chips...but never have I been able to give up my Cokes for even a day. I have cut back from 7-8 Cokes a day, to 1-2 a day. I have to give up food to keep my Weight Watcher points where they need to be, because I would rather have my Cokes than food. It's my ultimate addiction.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Project 365: Day 119 -- 100 Calories

I can't help it. I have a serious sweet tooth. I love candy. Of course, my waistline doesn't anymore. And let's face it--dieting is hard. Giving up the things you love is really hard. And stopping yourself from eating half a bag of those little snack sized candy bars is really hard, lol. I was happy to see one of my favorite candy bars packaged in "diet size."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Project 365: Day 118 -- A Scrapbook Project

Here's a project I have been working on lately. It's a travel log for my upcoming trip to Ireland. It's small enough to carry in my bag, and I can write in the details of our trip as we have a pint in a pub, or driving through County Clare...and the pages are actually made of envelopes, so I can tuck in things like receipts or ticket stubs from each day's adventures. Later, when I get home and process the 5,000+ images I expect I will take, I can add small photos to the pages.

In case anyone is interested, I used the following supplies:

7Gypsies Medium Envelope Book
K&Co Blue Awning Paper Collection & embellishments
Bazzill cardstock
Photoshop CS3 to design the tempates
Susie's Hand font for the pages
Kate Pertiet Photoshop Brushes

Monday, April 27, 2009

Project 365: Day 117 -- Some things don't fair well in the laundry

Like Listerine Pocket Strips. They get all gooey and melted. At least they stayed fairly contained, and didn't melt all over the clothes.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Project 365: Day 116 -- Lunch

In keeping with my trend towards food posts, here is what Kelly and I had for lunch today. We didn't share--I made him his own sandwich. This one was mine, lol. Black Forest smoked ham (Boar's Head, of course), Black Wax Cheddar, toasted on an Everything Bagel. Yum.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Project 365: Day 115 -- The Quirks Of An Older Home

One of the many quirks of an older home is that it's drafty. There aren't double-paned, energy efficient windows in it. The thermostat is in the hallway, and therefore registers a higher temperature in the winter than the big living room area with three drafty windows (4, if you count the dining room, which is open to the living room.) SO in the winter, we have to supplement the furnace with this monstrosity. I am so glad that spring is here now, and this beast can go back out to the barn!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Project 365: Day 114 -- Facebook Addiction

I resisted for so long. Even after I signed up and declared my password. It was still months before I actually set up my Facebook page. I thought it was silly, and just for teens and 20-somethings. Even now, you won't catch me updating my status every time I go to the bathroom or get a Starbucks--like some people out there. Once, I left my status the same for over a week. I updated it when one of my friends mentioned it. Now, I love Facebook, and how it allows me to keep up with friends both far and near. But I seriously doubt you will ever catch me on Twitter!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Project 365: Day 113--Shoe Shopping

I've been on the search for shoes to wear in Ireland. Something really comfy that can be worn with pants or skirts. Something with good arch support, and that will stay on my feet. Something warm enough if it's cool and damp, but not too hot if we have a nice day.

Now normally, I wear boots all winter, and Rainbow Flip Flops all summer. On a rare occasion, I will wear NewBalance sport shoes. I never go barefoot, even in my own house. We have hardwood floors, and cats, so no matter how often I clean, the floors always feel dusty and a bit gritty to bare feet.

After much research and trying on of shoes. I purchased these Clarks. Got them on sale, too. It was a good day.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Project 365: Day 112 -- Scrapbooking

I spent the day at Donna's house today, and amid all the chatting and reminiscing managed to finish this layout. The photos are only four years old, so it's about time!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Project 365: Day 111--Dinner

This is a pretty typical dinner at our house. Sauteed (with garlic and white wine) chicken strips (that were originally grilled and then flash frozen by Tyson, before being shipped to my local Publix) on the salad of your choice. My choice is Romain lettuce, a few bacon bits, and low-fat, low-cal Ken's Creamy Caesar Dressing. Kelly's choice is Spring Mix, grape tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, red onions, and usually some kind of Asian dressing. I can prepare dinner in less than 20 minutes, and clean up is almost finished before we even eat. And it's healthy and tasty!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Project 365: Day 110 -- A Trip to the Vet

Poor Woofey. He had to go to the vet today. Last night, he suddenly had a huge abscess on the side of his neck. A couple of hours later, it ruptured on it's own--and we won't go into just how gross that was. But because this has happened before, we knew that he still needed to be on antibiotics for a while. Dr. Lewis had to shave all the fur off the area and make sure it didn't still need to be drained. He looks so pitiful now! But he was a good boy, and Dr. Lewis loves him. Got all his shots updated, too while we were there. Hopefully, the bald patch will grow back fast!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

P365-Day 109: What to do during a power outage?

It's Sunday. Kelly and I both have tons of work we need to do on the computers--he needs to finish a project plan and Visio diagram for a major project at work, and I have client images to process. We took Saturday off to decompress (OK, Kelly needed to decompress from a difficult week; I just decided to play instead of work on Saturday) and planned to do all our work on Sunday. Just as we are getting settled, me in my office with my trusty Mac Pro, and him in the dining room with his Dell Laptop, ready to focus and be productive...ZAP. Power goes out. No storm, just some gentle rain. Ok, so we're thinking, 20-30 minutes maybe. Almost 2 hours. Then it came back on for a mere 13 minutes before going out again for another 40 minutes.

Now, during this time, it's pretty dark in our house. Too dark to read a book unless you sat right next to the window and tilted the pages toward the dreary light. So I decided to straighten up the closet. Which eventually led to removing all my clothes, organizing them, pulling out the winter stuff, getting summer stuff from storage, and reorganizing my sweater drawers to remove what will be donated this year.

By the time the power came back on, I was no longer in the mood to focus and be productive with client images! Kelly did, however, make good progress on his project plan.

Oh, and yes, my closet really is that small...

P365-Day 108: Pizza?

Yeah, so what my diet didn't need. But Kelly was craving pizza, which is really strange, because he doesn't really like pizza. And after several months with no pizza delivery available in our town, a new place opened this week. So we ordered pizza. It was really good! Had the leftovers today for lunch. Not as good as Mellow Mushroom pizza, but definitely doable in Kingston Springs.

While we ate pizza, we watched The Departed. Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin...really and all-star cast. Good movie, if you can get past the proliferation of the f-word and the c-word. Never heard them so many times in 2.5 hours before! Graphic violence, though, so don't watch if you can't handle that sort of thing. Anyway, it was much better than the Johnny Depp movie we tried to watch the night before--From Hell, which was about the Jack the Ripper murders. Never finished it, it was so boring and so gruesome. Now I am waiting from an old Sean Penn flick to arrive from Netflix--At Close Range. It was filmed at my high school the year after I left. Might have to order pizza again when it arrives!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Little Of This, A Little Of That...

OK, I am trying to eat healthier, and it's a constant process. So here is what I ate for breakfast--but only about 1/3 of what you see here. And it wasn't very good cantaloupe. Rather dry and tasteless. Why is it so hard to get good fruit?

Then I had to do some cleaning today--especially after Woofey rolled in the dirt outside, then came in and climbed on my desk!

Of course, later this evening, he was just too darn cute to stay mad at!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mack & Kate's and a Naughty Cat

Kelly called just before leaving the office for the day, and announced he had a craving for steak. Now, we don't eat a lot of red meat anymore. We might have it once or twice a month, usually in the form of tacos at home, or in a burger from J. Alexander's. But last night, he really wanted a steak, so we went to Mack & Kate's for dinner. This is a very nice up-scale restaurant in Kingston Springs. I know--that doesn't make much sense, does it? But anyway, we went, we enjoyed a nice meal of salads, steaks, some wine, and Kelly had Lemon Drop martinis. When we got home a couple of hours later, we started getting ready for bed. I turned down the bed, then went out to the kitchen for some water. I came back to find that Woofey had not only come into the bedroom, but gotten INTO the bed! What a little stinker! Doesn't he look annoyed that I am documenting his misbehavior? Gotta love him...

And I can't forget--Happy birthday to my dear friend, Donna!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day

Tax Day. April 15th. A day dreaded by gainfully employed Americans. By midnight tonight, we must all have our 2008 tax returns postmarked and in the mail to the KGB--I mean IRS. The more money we earn, the more the government takes. And then they waste it. They waste it on pork projects, welfare for people who are able-bodied and should be working, bridges that go no where, HOV lanes that no one uses, bizarre research studies that mean nothing to no one, junkets for legislators and their buddies to the Caribbean, and $500 hammers that I can buy at Sears for $20. The government has stopped listening to the people who hired them. This Republic is supposed to be a government for the people, of the people, and by the people. Now it's a profit center for socialism. Only, there's no profit. Our government is spending us into oblivion. Our great-grandchildren will still be paying the debt our government is creating now.

So on this Tax Day, April 15th, 2009, symbolic Tea Party Protests were held all over our nation. These images are from Legislative Plaza in Nashville. (If you want to see more of the 203 images posted, you can go to the client tab on my website and use the password teaparty or find me on Facebook)

Now, since I can't forget the best Tax Day I ever had, I take you back to April 15, 1988...when my beautiful daughter was born--21 years ago! I can' tbelieve I am mom to a kid who is old enough to legally drink in any state or country. Happy birthday, sweetheart!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dogwood Winter

Folklore of the eastern United States tells gardeners not to plant until after the dogwood trees have bloomed. The reason: Dogwood Winter, known regionally as Blackberry Winter. It's spring, then suddenly winter returns.

Dogwood Winter generally occurs after several weeks of warm spring-like weather, and brings several days of cold, cloudy weather, sometimes with frost and perhaps a flurry of snow. It usually occurs during April and coincides with the blooming of dogwood trees and blackberry bushes, from where it get's its popular names.

The Nashville area is currently experiencing our Dogwood Winter. The Dogwood trees (the official state tree, by the way) bloomed in the past few days. We had been experiencing temperatures in the 70's. The storms and a cold front came through yesterday, and now it's in the 50's, damp, and dreary. By Friday, it will be in the 70's again.

Here is the beautiful dogwood tree in my side yard.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Grocery Store

Back when I first got married, and had a baby, I did the grocery shopping once a week. We lived in the city, so it was convenient. I had a budget of $100 per week, and I rarely spent all of it, even buying diapers, baby formula and baby food, and groceries for two adults. I usually had $20-$30 left over each week!

Twenty-one years later, I am buying for two adults and 3 cats. And I only shop every two weeks, since we now live out in the sticks and the grocery store is 30 minutes away. I am no longer buying expensive items like diapers and formula, but the cost of everything has gone up so much! Now, I spend an average of $160 a week for two adults. And it's always a bone of contention between me (the person who does the menu planning and the shopping) and the spousal unit (who never sets foot in a grocery store, but makes all the money I spend there.) Of course, this is also the guy that forgets to eat half the time, so food is way low on his priority list. He eats because he needs nutrition. If coffee could give him all the nutrition necessary for good health, then he probably wouldn't eat at all. I, on the other hand, enjoy food. Too much. I figure if I am going to spend the time shopping, cooking, and eating, then it better be tasty, right? But when I look at those receipts, (or the scale for that matter) I can't help but wiih I was forgetting to eat all the time, too!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Just a little spring color for the day!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tennessee Scenery

I grabbed this image on my way home from a session. It so typifies the Tennessee countryside. This property is about 10 miles from my home.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Storms

Not much of a photo from a technical or artistic stand, but certainly indicative of springtime in the mid-south. The entire Nashville viewing area has been under thunderstorm and tornado warnings all day, and will continue to be for a while longer. Our local weather teams have televised coverage for hours on end, tracking storms and issuing warnings. As of this moment, there have been numerous tornadoes spotted in the greater Nashville area. Fortunately, all the severe weather went around Kingston Springs, but people in other areas and counties have not been so fortunate. There have already been reports of numerous homes destroyed today. I really hate tornado least with hurricanes you have some warning to get out of danger. With tornadoes, you have little or no warning.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spoiled Little Man

Well, I guess little man didn't want me to use the computer or scrapbook...he stole my chair as soon as I got out of it to answer the phone. What a little stinker he is! Of course, I left him there until he decided to get up about 20 minutes later. I just stood at my computer. No, he's not the least bit spoiled.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

An Afternoon at the Coffee House

Are you one of those people who buys a bookshelf that needs assembly, and throws away the directions, thinking you can figure it out yourself? Same thing with the owner's manual for that new DVR or camcorder? I hate reading--or trying to read--owner's manuals for electronics. When I bought my new Nikon D700 last fall, I read the first 5 pages of the 444 page manual. Then gave up. A good friend and colleague of mine didn't fare much better when she bought the same camera a few weeks ago.

We met for lunch today at Red Tree Coffee House, and brought our cameras and manuals. After a very yummy lunch (I had Black Forest Ham and Cheddar, melted on an Everything Bagel) and some of Amy's delicious homemade Ginger Snaps, we played with our cameras. We tried out new settings and setting combinations to see what we got--and found some definite improvements! These cameras are such an incredible upgrade from the Fuji S2's and S3's we were both shooting before--but there's a huge learning curve with them, too.

Here are some of our "test shots" from this afternoon. Isn't this pottery beautiful? A local artisan makes it and displays it here. He's also a fantastic chef, and does a special private party Italian dinner at the coffee house every month. We went last time, and it was delicious!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Project 365: Day 97 -- CSI

I think I am married to the only man on earth who defies his gender and doesn't like television. Therefore, we don't have fancy electronics--plasma TVs, Tivo, 247 channels...

But I love TV. What I don't like is when two shows I enjoy are on at the same time (which is where Tivo would come in handy, honey...) Since he doesn't like watching TV, and really doesn't like some of the shows I like, I find myself watching them on-line while I have lunch some days. I almost always watch the CSI franchise on-line. And I couldn't help but notice the fantastic lighting and camera angles on this screen shot from CSI!

Monday, April 6, 2009

No Job Too Stinky for Stinky Pinky!

Not much of a photo, I know. But we had puddles of water under our house and had to call a plumber. This is what they showed up in! Their company tag line is "No job's too stinky for Stinky Pinky!" Yeah...

They checked everything, and never could find the source.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Signs of Spring

Well, it's springtime here in Tennessee, which means the daytime high temps can vary as much as 40 degrees from one day to the next. Today, it's in the mid-70's. Tomorrow--40 and dropping with snow flurries overnight. Yeah, add some rain more days than not, and you have springtime in Tennessee. Every year, the pretty flowers start popping up, only to bite the dust when they get covered in sleet or snow. So just to prove they were here, I had to photograph them, because they will be gone within 36 hours!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday with Amy & Kelly

The internet is a wonderful thing, I tell you. I have been a member of the message boards at for gosh, almost 5 years now. I started out hanging in the scrapbooking and general forums, then found the photography forum. The peas in the photo forum are wonderful! Amy's been there for over 4 years, and she was in Nashville visiting a friend this weekend--and I got to meet her! I had the pleasure of doing a photo session for her and her friend, Kelly. They were tons of fun, and we had a great time. Have a safe trip home, Amy!

Friday, April 3, 2009

FaceBook--Bringing People Together

FaceBook is the coolest thing! Since I signed up a few months ago, I have been in touch with a number of people I haven't talked to since high school--26 years ago! One of these people is Serenity. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and two children now, but she was passing through Nashville on her way to visit relatives. She was able to stop and have a brief lunch, and I got to meet her two kids. Her poor kids were bored out of their minds, listening to us reminise and play "who have you talked to" for an hour, lol. But before they had to be on their way, her daughter Katie took this photo of us--thanks Katie!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Interview At Starbuck's

I received a phone call earlier this week from the daughter of a great friend and client, asking if she could interview me for a school project. Of course, I said I would be glad to help her out, so we arranged to meet after school yesterday at Starbuck's. I got there a little early, so I had a peppermint hot chocolate and updated Facebook from my iphone while watching the rain come down in torrents and the wind pick up. Not a bad way to kill 15 minutes, true?

When Eliza and her mom and brother and sister arrived, we got down to business, with me answering questions about my work and what's it like to be a photographer. What is something people might not know about it? What kind of education do you need? Do I have to travel? The whole thing only took about 15 minutes, lol. She has to do this with 8 different people in different careers, and write a report with the data. I think that's a great assignment for 7th graders!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Project 365: Day 91 -- More Books

As you know from previous posts, I have a love of books. Contrary to what my husband seems to think, this love isn't limited to fiction, romance novels, or vampire lore. Photography books are also something I seem to "collect." One of my favorite authors for photography books is Jeff Smith. Easy to read and understand, with great photos of the process, as well as the finished product.