Friday, December 19, 2008

A Random Act of Kindness

This is the time of year when I have to fix a new time roster book at work for the new fiscal year. I have to use index tabs so the pages do not tear up my hands. Index tabs come in four colors... red, blue, yellow, clear and green, but those are not enough colors for artistic me so I use pastel colored highlighters to add more colors. Mine name of course has to be done in hot pink. I used a memo pad as a blotter for when I am coloring the tabs a different hues and it runs off the tab. Some of the pastels blend to form their own shades on the page. When I was doing this on Wednesday, a Sgt noticed it on my desk and said it was pretty; very artistic. I jokingly said something about it being worth a lot of money one day. That one compliment made my day as well as much needed laughter from friends. So near the end of work day, I added a few swirly red flowers to it, addressed it to the Sgt with the day's date, wrote "Merry Christmas" on the lines for a message and signed it. I placed it in a small greeting card sized envelope, took it back to the Sgt's office and put it in the 1st shift's metal holder for him to find the next day.

When I saw the Sgt again on Thursday, before I could ask him if he found something, he told me thank you for that artwork. Then he said it was the first Christmas card he'd gotten (at work?) which made me feel good. Yet I almost wanted to send him a real Christmas card too. So I did a good deed; a random act of kindess.

I had a photo of it, but my memory card said it was full last night so I started deleting what I could bare to part with and that was one of them. It wasn't my best piece of artwork so it really didn't matter that much to me. It was the thought that counted.

Have you done any Random Acts of Kindness lately?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Views of the Voyles



I have a newer version of Picasa at home which has a collage feature I absolutelylove! I have been a collaging fool! LOL I tried to upload a collage of almost the entire Voyles' clan from pictures taken back during Thanksgiving, but the photo wouldn't upload to my great disappointment. It did email well especially to those who can't always pull up pictures I send. So I decided I would put my best shots forward here... This view of Don and I was taken at the city Christmas party. I did not like the 1st shot my good friend Debra took. I looked slumped, fat, old and like my mother! Then I sat up straight for this one and the difference was like night and day. It is funny to flip back & forth between the two shots. We get such a kick out of it. So let me be an example to you...Lesson learned: ALWAYS sit up straight.

The second photo of Rhett was taken in the hospital waiting room outside my uncle's room a few weekends ago. It was after my cousin Nancy's funeral. I saw him looking out the 6th floor window and knew I had THE perfect shot. He started to move and I told him not to move! This is perhaps my all time favorite photo of him. I am so proud of it and excited about it. These will Christmas gifts from the Voyles to the Voyles, my parents, other family members on my side, and our friends.

So much to do. So little time to do it all in. Haven't had much time for blogging.
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Do You See What I See?


Hi! Sorry I have been away for so long from the blogging world. Rhett & I both either got food poisoning from Jason's Deli or we had the stomach flu so I have been out of commission then busy with two Chrismtas dinners, a Christmas party and a Christmas tea bridal shower. Whew! The tea was a first for me and really a fun thing to do. I will update more later...

This photo was taken at the city Christmas party. The candle was on our table. I guess I was sort of bored so I took a picture of it. Don said he saw a face in the candle whereas I did not see it. He said something about Freddie Kruger and I looked at him like he'd lost his mind. I just couldn't see it. Then I took one of the shiney colored Mardi Gras masks that were lying about on the table, placed it next to the candle then I could see eyes. Can you? Do you see what I see?

Hope you are having fun preparing for Christmas and haven't been under the weather like me. If you would like to participate in Odd Shot Monday, please go to the following....
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Monday, December 8, 2008

Another Monkey in the Mix


Friday night, we had the Artist Guild party to attend and I was to bring a sweet so I made a batch of brownies, adding extra ingredients so they would be big and fluffy not flat as mine usually turn out. I added chopped pecans as well as a pecan half on top. I tested them and they were not done in thirty minutes which left the big hole on the right side. So I cooked them another five minutes. That test left another hole only not as large at the first one. I realized the holes could be eyes so I made the second hole a bit bigger with the toothpick on purpose. I saw another "Monkey in the Mix" again. Sorry it is a bit blurry. How about you? What was your oddity you saw this week? If you would like to participate in Odd Shot Monday, please go to the following....

Today may you have an unexpected surprise...
Like when you open a new pack of labels you planned to make a special Christmas word upon for your Christms cards and you discover you have an extra sheet of clear labels you can use!

Quote of the Day"

Life is a convertible. Live with the top down.
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.-
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

As Dorothy would say, "There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home." It is so very true for me as I discovered this past holiday.

In case you haven't noticed I have been MIA in words, in deeds, in photos and blog. We went with our oldest daughter and her two girls to Indiana to my in-law's for Thanksgiving. We had a great time and ate way too much good food. It was great to see everyone again. I got some once in a lifetime photos I wouldn't trade for all the crab legs in the sea. I even braved Black Friday's crowd to shop so Elisa wouldn't have to go by herself and survived without incident. I got a few things that I'd depleted the shelves of here as well as got a few gifts without spending an arm and a leg. I even got some artwork in as well.

While Rhett was with his best bud and step-nephew Austin, who is only months older than him, I did the journal thing with my granddaughter Tatum. It turned out really well. I think Rhett was a bit jealous though because I have only done this with him. Later I told him Tatum wants him to show her how he does his grafitti which made him feel better. I worked on another "floatsom" piece which is unfinished.

Saturday was the best day of the entire trip to me. We went with our oldest son and his family to a nearby Christmas tree farm to get their tree. Santa just happened to be there along with two of his reindeer. I got pics of all of our grandkids on a sleigh. One of the reindeers still had his fur and he was a bit on the rowdy side. I had trouble taking his photo through a wooden fence. He kept wanting to stick his antlered head through to get food yet he refused the reindeer balls offered him. Still the photo is priceless to me. It is not everyday you get a photo of a real reindeer.

Then my daughter-in-law's family was coming to her house for Thanksgiving dinner. I cut things out of the local paper before they arrived. The food was oh so good and I ate way too much to the point of almost being miserable. I really enjoyed spending time with Kristina's family and laughing. I think I had more fun than Don. As we were leaving, Kristina's mom hugged me which really made me feel good.

Going with our daughter, we left early without going to church. In a Kentucky rest stop, I picked up every pamplet they had on Abe Lincoln for Rhett's poster. We got home early especially for us. It felt so good to walk into the silence of our house. It was good to be home; to sleep in our own bed. There is no place like home.

On my drive to work on Monday morning, I noticed the trees are still colorful here compared to Indiana and I was thankful for the colors. Thankful we live here. Thankful to be back home again. There's no place like home.

Things are pretty much back to normal - whatever normal means. Double Christmas parties on the same nights to attend starting this weekend. Social butterflies that we are.

I really had trouble doing this post. Lost my internet connection. Uploaded then lost what I'd typed. Yeah, normal stuff. Still there is no place like home.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

An Odd View


The weekend of Nov. 8th, we had a slight fender bender on the way to Wesley Rose's 4th birthday. My right front blinker was knocked off, but that light still works. Just not the major white light. Last week I had to drive the monster truck for the 1st part of the week while the engine was being re-checked. This was my view from the driver's seat... Those are Don's sunglasses hanging down askew on the visor. As I was sitting at this light (where I took the fog pictures I used in a Sky Watch a few weeks ago), I noticed the red traffic light through his lense. I thought it was neat because it was different which I like and it is ODD. Does that mean I saw things through Don's eyes? LOL I knew this would be my Odd Shot for today.

I had another great photo-filled weekend with lots of neat shots, some more odd shots and some cool shots as well. Hope you had as great a weekend as I did and it was just as picture-packed.

If you would like to participate in Odd Shot Monday, please go to the following....
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Friday, November 21, 2008

What a Difference a Week Makes


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Well, thankfully I am in a much better mood and frame of mind than I was about this time last week. Due to non-immediate family problems I had no control over or could do anything about except pray, I let these problems get to me BIG time, bringing me down. Last week I did not feel like posting for Thankful Thursday due to my depression. It just didn't feel like the right thing to do. I tried to post for Sky Watch Friday , but my photos wouldn't upload correctly. I was able to reload them, but received few comments except for my faithful followers for which I am thankful.

As I previously posted, I did some more mother/son art on Saturday which proved to be my saving grace and got me out the doldrums. It is kind of weirdly odd that art could do that for me. That one piece of art could change my frame of mind THAT much. I am always saying, "It's the little things that mean the most to me." They really do.

This whole week had a lot of good food for which I was thankful. Chinese food on Tuesday night so I didn't have to cook which is always a good thing. On Wednesday, I got early Thanksgiving dinners from a school. There was more than enough for the three of us, more than twice over. I took a photo of my food tray which I was going to use as my Thankful Thursday post and entitle it "Food For Thought", but I had not uploaded the picture yet. I did today and put it in a soft focus. I may use it on Thanksgiving day or that weekend.

On Thursday, Don and I went to Rhett's school for Thanksgiving lunch with him. This was a first that we both were able to attend at the same time which was a blessing unto itself. That lunch was far cheaper than we could have bought it anywhere, including the Krystal! LOL I was given back too much change, but I did the honest thing and gave it back to them. My golden good deed for the day. So this week I was thankful for all the food we ate.

Rhett's teacher let him come home early after the lunch. Don wanted to go hunting and my mom wasn't home because she is still running herself ragged between her sister, my Aunt Pearl and her brother, my Uncle Frank who remains in the hospital. So I brought Rhett to work with me. I let him play on the computer while I did other work. Luckily we got off work a little early and I was thankful for that small blessismall ng after all the running around I did ealier.

After work, we hit Walmart hard. I had been having withdrawls. Literally I'd found very inexpensive Christmas gifts for everyone and their brother there the day before yesterday. So we went to two more Walmarts where I bought out what they had in stock. I got matching gift sacks too. I have such a neat idea in mind which is the words to go on the gift card to compliment the gift itself, but I can't let the idea of the bag so to speak and spoil the surprise. Let's just say I am very elated about all of this just falling into place. I love it when that happens. So I am very thankful for my many Christmas finds which have put me in the Christmas spirit.

I have most of Rhett's Christmas shopping done. Since Don is drawing unemployment, we decided not to give each other gifts this year. I agreed, but I am afraid I cheated a bit. I have a few things for him. I just wanted to make certain our son has one of THE best Christmases and I know he will. I will be THE coolest mom.

Last night Rhett sat on my lap as if I were actually Santa Claus. I told him I was not Santa. So then he called me "Mrs. Claus". I said, "I don't have white hair." Both of my men just looked at me like I had lost my mind. Rhett pulled on my bangs as if to ask, "What is this called?" "Okay so I don't have totally white hair then!" I clarified.

Now to FINALLY get to my Sky Watch photos... I took some night shots of golden leaves at a traffic light on my way home last Friday night. I even drove by a second time to ensure I had a third better shot of it. Earlier in the week, I took this first daytime shot of the same tree after the winds came last Saturday and blew most of the leaves off the tree. Those night shots were uploaded on the home computer and I did not have time to load them at work. This morning I took another picture of the same tree, but a different angle a whole week later. It is nearly bare now or almost bare naked (Bear Naked, LOL) This just goes to show you what a difference a week makes. So take i from me... take those shots while you can. The leaves won't always be the same color or still be hanging on the trees.

I had a DUH moment this week, I realized why my photos of fall folliage looked different in my camera's view that what I actuall saw... I had my sunglasses on when I took them. Sunglasses make an excellent filter which is a trick I learned from Carver. Thanks again of that tip, Carver.

On the way to Rhett's school, I parked for just a moment to take some shots of yellow leaves through my sunglasses. I uploaded those and got one really,really good one, but alas there was not sky in it so that is saved for another day.

This weekend I am looking forward to beginning my Christms wrapping of all these gifts I bought, taking photos, etc. What are you looking forward to doing this weekend? If you would like to participate in either Thankful Thursay perhaps next week, please go to the following...

If you would like to participate in Sky Watch Friday, please go to....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"The Ravings of theRAV" (updated)



Today turned out to be a terrific Tuesday for me and I am thankful. It's about time! I finished up something Rhett & I began on Saturday. We did more mother/son art using the journal my best friend Genie gave me for my birthday last year. We did the trick I learned from Leah at Create Everyday
where you close you eyes and just draw. We cheat because we stop to see what we've drawn the repeat. I started off with a swirly that turned into a flower and it just went from there...

At first neither looked like much more than what a five year old could scibble. Rhett's didn't turn out too well. He decided to do more graffiti so I tore out a page from the journal only to tear out two to my horror! Luckily it didn't hurt the book - thank goodness! I began to see flowers and stems so I added leaves. There is a silver pair of sunglasses, etc. along with some odd things that don't really fit in although I tried to tie everything together. I do not normally use silver or shiney stuff because it reflects and my art professors told me not to use silvers, golds and glitters. Rhett's attention waned yet mine did not as I mentioned in my previous posting.

I worked on it more each night. I did the bottom part lst night which is the ocean and my marker worked it's magic doing some awesome things to make the waves look pretty realistic in my book LITERALLY! LOL Today I added words to it. I finished it up today during my lunch. I have two or three other golden touches I want to add to it tonight when I get home and it will be complete. I am not sure what it is supposed to mean - if anything. Does art have to mean something?

Saturday I picked up a pink piece of paper that had a coin award on it and a list of books that won the award. I knew I wanted to use the coin for something, but it was sort of large to use in the journal as it takes up a good bit of space. I will still use it in the journal or elsewhere. One book title was Flotsam. I thought I knew what that was, but was not certain so I looked it up on the internet and the dictionary just to be sure. That gave me another idea... to do something artistic with flotsam. Not the kind you find in the water because that might be too messy or icky. Unless you found something really unique, but not gross. I have found neat stuff at the beach before. Since I am not near a beach, that idea will have to wait. Today I began collecting a few things for the flotsam project. Sort of like a scavengar hunt. It should be interesting to see what I collect in a day; days; a week.

The word "flostam" kept sticking in my mind and would not go away like a pesky misquito. That was one of the words I cut out to put on it. The other was "raving" which I just happened to spy this morning on a card in the mail for something to search for on the net. Naturally I liked the word because it had "rav" in it. At first, I thought I would entitle this "Flotsam", but then I began leaning more towards "The Ravings of theRAV" since it appears to have come from the mind a raving lunatic! LOL But I love it! It really made me feel good to be creating something artsy again. So I just wanted to thank Genie for the journal. She and the journal not only helped inspire a new piece of art, but a new future piece as well. So thank, Genie.

Another friend gave me great feed back as to what she saw in this. She saw a mermaid whereas I saw a woman on the front or is it mast of the boat, floating up in the water but mermaid is probably better. Where she saw a crow, I saw a raven for obvious reasons. In the left hand side, she saw a dove with a halow whereas I saw a ghost. While she saw dangerous falling icicles, I saw lightning bolts. The weightless woman she saw as carefree. I like to think that woman is me! She saw Mardi Gras face masks whereas I saw simply silver sunglasses. But best of all she saw "magical beanstalk flowers." So cool. Thanks, Annica.

It doesn't bother me in the least that you might really think I a raving lunatic just because I created this piece of artwork. A year or so ago, it might have. I guess that shows the confidence I have in my art now.
~copyright theRAV~

Duh! When I posted this yesterday, I wasn't even thinking that this could be my R post for R is for... ABC Wednesday. Thanks Dragonstar for bringing it to my attention. Now I don't have to come up with an R post. LOL The R words I was going to use today were a refound ring my husband found, a refreshing shower, rememberance of an old flame's birthday, rountines, reading, and railroad crossings.

You are The Empress
Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.
The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents, beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.
The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

What is This Odd Shot?


I bet you will never guess what this Odd Shot is...? Rhett and I were in the dollar store on Saturday where they have put out all their holiday stuff including plastic bowls and serving dishes with cut designs in the bottoms of them. So I picked one up and looked through it. It reminded me of a kalediscope. Naturally I reached for my handy camera in my purse and took several shots knowing it would make a great Odd Shot. I liked this one best out of all of them. Those are mult-colored bows in the background.

I also used up another memory card. 705 on this one, but I will be removing two of them. That is 703 pictures since the Labor Day weekend. How many photos have you taken lately? How many are in your camera right now?

I also purchased a red plastic bowl thinking I could use it as a filter for taking photos to give them a nice rosey tint. I haven't tried it yet and if it doesn't work, I figure I have a holiday bowl for chips or whatever so I didn't really waste my money. Justifying here. Or I could give it my mom. Or as a gift to someone else. Maybe add some fruit to go inside it. I love the dollar store. Who knew it would inspire me so much and give me an Odd Shot?

If you would like to participate in Odd Shot Monday, please go to the following...
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes

Sorry I have been away from my blog. I feel bad about it, but I just didn't feel like blogging. Oh, I had plenty of new pictures to post yet I just wasn't in the mood. I guess I got a bit depressed on Tuesday, Veteran's Day due to family dramas, but I won't air dirty laundry here. It is not my immediate family. Just more another crazy cousin. My mom is being run ragged. She is helping her sister who lost her husband back in April then going to the hospital to see her brother, my Uncle Frank who has brain cancer. If she doesn't go to see him, he will call her to ask if she is coming or why she hasn't come to see him. He pulled the drain tube that was draining the fluid build-up from his brain, but the doctors said they couldn't put it back in. Sort of like Humpty Dumpty they couldn't put him back together again. He is out of ICU and in a room now where he will remain for about six weeks. He has a sitter with him during his stay but not all the time.

What I have noticed in the past two weeks is what a difference a day can make. When I went to Kohl's to pay my bill and noticed orange trees against their building. I took a picture of it that day. Then I went back to Kohl's again the next day to finish some shopping. When I was leaving, it was later in the evening so the lights were on underneath the same orange tree so I took another shot, giving it a different perspective. I had planned on posting those, but will do it as a part II to this post a bit later.

Last night on the way home, I noticed a golden leafed tree with a street light shining in it's leaves. I took a shot. Got one, missed the second as the stop light turned green and there was a car behind me. So I turned around to go back to get another one. I love that I can do this. I got three neat shots, but I have not uploaded them yet. Maybe tomorrow...

I guess I felt guilty because on Veteran's Day when we were all off, we didn't really do anything to blog about, Rhett was bored and disappointed we were so boring. I did make a really good Hamburger Helper chili mac. We ate almost all of it.

I went to a stamping class on Thursday. My friend Claudia had one I could afford for $5. I really enjoyed it yet felt inadequate. I had not done one of these classes in awhile. Claudia is so adept at this. She does everything by measures. I am so used to just doing things on my own letting them turn out as come what may, hoping for the best. I made two things for the scrapbook for Christmas. I'd bought a ribbon at Big Lots so I had a similiar idea for our Christmas cards this year. I showed my ribbon to the ladies at the stamping class and they all loved it thinking how many cards I could make with it. Hope they don't go buy up all the rest of the rolls. LOL I even have my words in mind so I am way ahead of the game. I also showed them all the cards I'd made since last May.

I want to be more artistic. I have so many ideas. Too many. I just don't always have the time. Then if I made something instead of doing something like cleaning, I'd feel guilty.

Don worked at the church this morning. We slept late after I had weird dreams I can't really recall now. Just another long hallway again. A feeling that I was at rich people's houses but can't remember who.

Don went hunting. Rhett wanted to do something so we where headed to his favorite place to eat now, the Speakeasy. As we were pulling out of the driveway, I noticed the yellow leaves on the scupernog vines were missing. Those yellow leaves I noticed on the trees on Veteran's Day that were behind the house when Don was on the roof sweeping off the leaves, were no longer there. We passed by the golden tree from last night's photo shoot. The November winds came and blew a lot of the leaves away so it was a good thing I got the photo when I did. If you don't take the shot you miss it. That is why it is so important to make the most of each moment while you have it.

Rhett and I shared another mother/son moment today. I took along the journal Genie gave me for my birthday last year. I pulled out my many colored pens, markers and some of his crayons from some varying eateries. I opened the journal. I had the left side, he had the right. We closed our eyes and began to doodle. At first it didn't look like much more than something a two year old would scribble, but we kept trying, stopping, adding a few things then repeating. I started to see repeating patterns in mine and pointed them out to him telling him it was a good thing to repeat patterns in artwork. Then he decided he wanted to draw more of his graffitti so I tore out page from the journal which actually pulled out two to my disappointment but luckily did not harm the journal. I soon became lost in my designs and probably could have remained there til the joint closed for the night, but his attention span waned. I will probably work on mine more tonight while watching tv. Yes, I can do two things at once - thank goodness.

Since I didn't feel like being thankful on Thursday before I went to the stamping class, I guess I am making up for that now. I have seen on others blogs that they post at least one thing they are thankful for and I probably need to start doing that too.

I had a couple of problems this week. I was thinking my new hormone medications were too strong for me. I'd discovered and eaten a new fave sandwich - the philly cheese steak at Subway. I've had it twice now. I got it toasted which I normally do not do. Either the meds or the sandwich tore up the side of my tongue. Thursday night after the stamp class, my tongue was killing me and I had not talked THAT much. LOL Finally I looked at it in the mirror and saw an infected spot. Of course Don didn't see anything but he didn't have his glasses on either. I took benedryl before bed and it felt much better in the morning for which was grateful. I spoke with the nurse at work about it the next day. He'd been struck by a deer in his car the day before and was lucky to be there! Because I was taking horse size pills, he gave me some of the ones I take only a smaller dosage and size so I got them for free! I can still get more each month which will save me money which always a good thing. So by Friday I was feeling much better about my life in general. The nurse also gave me a free bottle of Mylanta to wash my mouth out with so I learned something new. It felt better after the first usage.

We had an officer to committ suicide this week. Illy looked very depressed the day after we were informed of his death. I guess because it surely had to bring back the memory of her recent threat of suicide. On Friday, one ranking officer even said it is always the ones that never talk about it that do it like this man. He also said, "Usually the ones that talk about it never see it through..." right in front of her.

Then we have another lady who I have refered to as "The Preacher Lady" who is supposed to be a reverend who is almost as bad as Illy, but not quite in the verbal abuse sense. They even call them sisters. On pay day Fridays she always abuses extra time which doesn't count against her time. It has gotten to be a joke around the entire camp. She claimed her son had a dr's appointment. She did not come in until after 11 almost 11:30 becaise that is when I went to lunch to buy soft food. I brought mine back, ate it, threw it away and noticed she did not get through eating til long after I did. At a quarter til 4, I am not sure if I knew she was cutting her computer off until the guy from IT brought it to our attention she'd cut it off, but I could tell she was clearing off her desk as if preparing to leave. No one had told us we could leave early. Myself and the other lady were dilligently working. I was shocked and mad that she simply walked out at 4 pm. Now because of her actions, we may not get off early any more. There is always one who spoils everything. If that had been me, they would have gotten me for job abandonment. When I told Don about this over dinner, he told me I am the time keeper so take time away from her.

I still haven't printed out all the pictures from Halloween which is not like me at all. I did try, but I liked the way I cropped them better in Picasa. I think I tried to upload them to Walmart unsucessfully, but will try again. Keep on trying. Never stop. Remember the good things that happen in your week. Try not to let the bad get you down as I did. Make the most of each moment.

What differences have you noticed?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Q is for... Quakes


My first thought for Q is for... was my banner for my blog Quoth the Rav, but that was a bit obvious.

Last week I had a craving for a Krystal chili pup with cheese and onions so I stopped to get one before heading to grocery store as not to buy out the entire Piggly Wiggly! When I parked, I noticed this sign for milk quakes and knew I had my shot. Simple and easy. Love it when that happens.

Quote of the Day:

No sense in being pessimistic. It wouldn't work anyway.
t-shirt saying

If you would like to participate in Q is for... ABC Wednesday, please go to the following...

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Monkey in the Mix


We had dinner at our church on Sunday as we do once a month. That morning I was mixing my usual desert I take... Jello No Bake Oreo (Cookies-n-cream). As I took the mixing tongs out of my mixing bowl, I saw this little money in the mix. I called Rhett into the kitchen to come have a look. He began making money sounds so I told him to go get dressed. Of course I had to take a picture of it so it could be my Odd Shot for Monday. Love it when this happens.

I also had an odd auditory experience on the way to work.... my fave local radio station began playing Christmas music this morning! At 1st I could not take it. It is way too early. Then they played one of my all time faves "Merry Christmas, Darling" by the Carpenters followe by a Barry Manilow. I was fine with those two.

If you would like to participate in Odd Shot Monday, please go to the following...
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Burning Bushes Photos




Sorry the blogger wouldn't up reload my "Burning Bushes" correctly until my third try, but here they are now... and to think last week I was worried I wouldn't have any fall folliage pictures. Yesterday was our youngest granddaughter's 4th birthday so I was not into blogging. Today I was forwarding the birthday photos to family. Back on my photographic roll again... thank goodness!
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Friday, November 7, 2008

Burning Bushes Against the Sky




I think photographers are part psychic magicians. We see certain scenes before us and we know we need to take the shot at just that right moment or else the lighting will change the whole effect. We take the shot or miss our chance. We work our magic on film. I had been attempting fall folliage all week without much success until the later part of this week. So my mojo wasn't working properly. I wasn't holding my tongue right. I realized once I stopped the car, I got better photos such as these. LOL I loved the orange against the azure blue sky and hope you do too

If you would like to participate in Sky Watch Friday, please go to the following...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thankful Thursday 11/6/08

Sorry I was not able to post my thankfulness last Thursday due to Don's colonoscopy. He got a good report and we were thankful.

This morning on my way to work I was blessed by the sight of "burning bushes" (LOL) and I was thankful for having the sight to behold their beauty. Today I just enjoyed all the beautiful fall folliage and colors without the self pressure of photographing them while driving and being disappointed yet again when they did not turn out to meet my high expectations. I have learned that if I stop, I can take better pictures. I did stop at lunch today and got some note-worthy shots which made me feel better about my photographic skills.

I am thankful for another fun Halloween weekend we had. I am not sure who had more fun - Rhett or me. I am thankful for ALL the pictures I took. This holiday was almost like Christmas for me making it perhaps my favorite. Each photo was a gift to me. A moment in time captured on my camera. I am thankful for the American Legion we belong to for hosting their annual Halloween party we attend every year faithfully. I am thankful we ALL won the costume party. I am sure that must be a first for an entire family to win. I am thankful we do this as a family every year and it is a family oriented enviroment. I had previously posted about this so please go back and read about if you have not already. It is always nice to win extra unexpected money. Just hope an unexpected bill doesn't follow it.

I am thankful for my best friend Genie who is so understanding of my feelings and always knows exactly what to say to me to help me feel better. Thanks Genie.

I am thankful for my high school friend Darryl who made my day yesterday and got me out of my funk. Please see the previous post to read what he said that made me feel good... I am thankful I could inspire him.

My Uncle Frank was back in ICU on Tuesday. They had to remove fluid from his brain. I am thankful for email because I sent out a prayer request on his behalf immediately after my mom called me about Uncle Frank. I have wonderful friends who respond instantly to let me know that they are saying their prayers. I am so thankful for my friend Cheryl who has "been there done that." Her husband had brain cancer also, but you couldn't tell it by looking or talking to him. Cheryl reassured me by saying once they drain the fluid, he should start improving. What a relief it was to read and "hear" those words! I called my mom back to reassure her. When I picked up Rhett on Tuesday evening, Uncle Frank was just coming out of surgery. Mom went to see him after we went home. She went back to see him again before picking up Rhett up from drama class the next day. She said he was much better and knew everyone. It wasn't until last night that she admitted to me she didn't think he was going to make it Tuesday. So I am extremely thankful Uncle Frank is better. Please keep him in your prayers for continued recovery. Thank you.

I have another prayer request... My good friend Jimmy's baby brother Jay has lymphoma. It has spread to his bones and spine. He has tolerated one round of chemo well. His kidneys are not functioning so he is now on dialysis. They hope to give him therapy so he can walk again and be able to go home. Jay is probably in his late 30's or early 40's.

I have been taking my blood pressure daily. A blood pressure monitor was installed at work so I don't have to keep bothering the nurses now. Yesterday it was the lowest it has been since beginning my new generic blood pressure medication. I was excited about this as well as thankful. It is sort of a neat accomplishment when you can take your own blood pressure or at least it is to me. More of the little things that mean the most to me.

A Thankful Heart

When you feel the impulse to be judgmental, let that be a cue for you to first be thankful. When you discover that you're focusing on what's wrong, use that as a reminder of all the many things that are right.

Immediately upon waking each morning, think of ten things you are grateful for at the moment. As you fall asleep at the end of the day, fill your thoughts with thankfulness for the good and valuable blessings in your life.

Give the power of your thoughts to the positive influences in your world, and they will become more influential. Remind yourself often of what works well, and you'll naturally find ways to make many other things work well.

The way to enjoy success is not to study failure. The way to experience success is to extend and expand the success you already know.

Gratitude is so powerful because it makes you so powerful. Gratitude puts you in a positive frame of reference within which many more positive things can happen.
Begin each day, end each day, and live each day with a sincerely thankful heart. And as each day passes, you'll have more and more for which to be thankful.
-- Ralph Marston

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

P is for Pumpkins



Piggy Pumpkin

My first thought for a P word for ABC Wednesday was my best friend Penny , but I used her most recent photo on my F is for... Friend post. P wasn't really hard for me this go round because I knew I had plenty of p shots & pumpkin photos to post. A plethora of them in fact. I almost started to re-post my favorite of last year's pumpkins I used in my 2nd postcard swap, but I don't know how to blacken the background to get the effect I desired. It was far easier making it into a postcard because I could crop out the background with scissors. So I picked my second favorite pumpkin picture I took this fall at Publix. Also I couldn't resist this cute painted Piggy Pumpkin.

This post and these pictures helped perk up my mood as I hope they will your's. Since the light of season has altered, it seems to have effected my mood. I'd attempted to take photos of the pretty changing leaves without success. The colors are not the same in my digitial camera's view. I missed so many shots because of this fact.

This morning I received an email from a high school friend who was our class' photographer. Darryl told me my photos inspired him to go out and take some pictures of his own. So he went to a park in Stone Mountain, Ga and snapped pics of the changing leaves along a lake. They were absolutely beautiful and I was a bit envious as well as frustrated as mine have not turned out as pretty. His photo was neat because if you rotated it, it looked like a pointed Christmas tree with one side all in fall colors! To think I inspired someone... Still I am thankful that I could do this. That will probably be repeated in my Thankful Thursday post tomorrow but it bears repeating. Darryl also said it takes a special eye to capture things that others don't see or pass by. He found himself looking down at leaves on the ground because of my photos. Thanks for making my day, Darryl.

On my drive to pick up lunch from Publix, I attempted more photo-taking without success so I gave up and decided to just enjoy the ride.

Quote I needed today:
Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long.
-Leonard Bernstein, conductor

Quotes of the Day:
Imagination is the only key to the future. Without it none exists - with it all things are possible.
~Ida Tarbell, crusading journalist

The Golden moments in the stream of life rush past us,
and we see nothing but sand:
the angels come to visit us,
and we only know them when they are gone.
-George Eliot
(Thanks, Patti for this last one!)
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Monday, November 3, 2008

A Cool Ghoul


In keeping with my Halloween theme here, I picked this one for my odd shot today. After all it is not everyday you capture a cool ghoul such as this one, is it? He was quite co-operative while taking his picture in the subdivision where we took the kids trick or treating Halloween night. I had to take several shots. The flash of the camera was too bright and I could not get this effect which is what I wanted more than be able to see his mask. I hit the wrong button and set the timer which took forever. This shot looks like a movie poster to me. I loved the way it turned out with the dry ice in the background giving it that creepy effect which was only befitting on that night. I looked at it once I posted it here and saw it looks rather grainy, but still gives it a hauntingly neat effect. I love Halloween! I have more Halloween shots to share... later..., but if you would like to participate in Odd Shot Monday, please go to the following....
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy


Clark Kent/aka Superman aka Rhett
(in the nerdy glasses, he reminds me of Ralphie in "The Christms Story")

Sorry I have not been on here to post lately. I did not do my Thankful Thursday post because Don had a colonoscopy that day. Thankfully he is fine and nothing is wrong. Of course he wanted to go hunting afterwards, but I told him NO! Then made the nurse tell him also. Of course he had not tried to stand at that point and fell back on the bed. He got sick on the way home and tossed his crackers in the yard.

Halloween is always a busy, busy, busy time for us with a ten year old and a mom who lives for and loves, loves, loves this season. Rhett's class made tie-dyed t-shirts to wear on Halloween for a 70's day on Halloween. His turned out really well in fall colors of yellow and orange. After work, it was costume time for him. We'd found this Clark Kent outfit at Bargain Town for $5! I made him try it on before I bought it to make sure it fit. I had to buy him a matching t-shirt to go underneath it since a white one would show. With the nerdy classes, he sort of reminded me of Ralphie in the movie "The Christmas Story" without blonde hair. Then we picked up his Harry Potter candy bucket, his Daddy and headed to his older sister's house were we tradionally take photos with our granddaughters. Tatum and Wesley Rose were princesses.

This year we did everything different..., we went to a nearby subdivision to let them trick or treat first. It was still daylight outside. I got lots of really neat photos of yard decorations and one wicked cool ghoul. The girls soon got tired of walking in their heels. I told them it was tough being princesses. We went back to their house so they could change into comfortable clothing and shoes then to the Waffle House to eat. Usually we have hot dogs or pizza but not this year. Rhett told me he felt so grown up sitting at the bar at the Waffle house, ordering his own chili and hot chocolate. He said it was the best Halloween ever because of this one small thing.

The next day which was Saturday was Christmas in the South, an annual arts and craft show we always attend unless we are sick, bedridden, etc. We got a late start. Surprisingly, there were lots of new things this time. I got some lamb pins. An artist named Janice Lippcott had some beautiful artwork, mainly landscapes. She had several pieces I liked, but could not afford. The cheapest thing she had was bookmarks for $1 and several for $7 or $8. Rhett found one for me with part of a house with a tree. I can't find a ruler to give the exact measurements of it, but I measured it later and it was 2"x6". Rhett picked out another scene and was going to pay for it with his own money, but the husband and wife were kind enough to give it to him for free if he would read it. She puts her small poems, thoughts and her sayings on the back of her bookmarks. They also gave me mine free! The only thing we have ever gotten free there was a cinammon almond sample! I asked her how she did these bookmarks. She had her artwork made into color copies and some were made as greeting card stock. She just cut off parts of the greeting cards and was selling them as bookmarks. She also has two websites I have not had time to check out yet...

Then we discoverd a sheep artist with a sick sense of humor like mine. A bit pricey on the framed ones. I could have bought a matted print for $20.00 It is called "Sheep incognito" by Conni Togel. She has a website which I have not had time to go to yet either. I probably would have bought the one entitled "Sheep Soup".
We got 3 free small cards that had some of her art on it. Rhett got the one he really liked so he was quite happy.

I did really good this time. I did not spend a lot of money. Maybe $20. Rhett picked out an ornament for the tree this year. He is becoming like me, saying we could make these. He bought his Daddy a Christmas present dirt cheap. I was so proud of him.

We had to rush home to get ready for another annual party. The American Legion Don is a memember of was having their Halloween party. I wore the $3 raven shirt I bought at Walmart with a long black jacket. I did my vampire make up again as usual only this year I bought red lip gloss to form the dripping blood in the corners of my mouth. It worked perfectly. So much better than that sticky blood you buy that will peel off after a few hours or eating. Don borrowed Rhett's sheriff's badge from New Mexico. Rhett helped him put his bullets in his holster and he wore Rhett's toy gun. He looked handsome, sexy. I took a self portrait of myself in the truck on the way.

As we were walking in, a group of smokers outside kept telling us the other one did it. It took me a minute to realize what they meant since I was walking in with the Sheriff. We arrived there later than normal for us because Don didn't want to be the first to arrive so we didn't get as good a table. Rhett bobbed for apples, got three. The third one was due to boredom later. He won armloads of toys. We had good hot dogs. Then it was time for the costume contest. First, we all paraded past the judges. I heard them say "Clark Kent" as we passed by the first go round. Then Rhett went with his age group. There was a prize for the ladies and the men as well. Rhett won second place in his age division and received $10. I won first place for the ladies which I couldn't believe. I was looking behind me to see if there was someone else back there. Don won first prize for the men's. We both received $20. We are so lucky. We kept it all in the family.

Afterwards we needed tp so we went to the store across the stree from the Legion. Rhett refused to go inside in his costume since it was the day after Halloween. Me, I don't have a problem with drawing attention to myself at all. Looking like a vamp feels quite normal for me. As I entered, I saw my friend Patti about to check out. She was making her transaction, but was so intent she did not look at me. When she did, I almost gave her a heart attack!

We came home. I washed the make up off for another year. I uploaded the photos and sent them to everyone. I had so many. I think I took about 70! I'll upload more here soon....

Hope you had as great a Halloween weekend as we did. Or as I did.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

O is for... Pumpkin orange


Oh, I love this time of year. The cooler tempertures instead of the intense summer heat of Georgia and Alabama. Oh, and the fall colors. Oh, the changing leaves on the trees as well as the ones I found on the ground. Especially those leaves with faces or shapes. Oh, I like wearing fall colors too and try to wear them as much as I have on hand in my closet; as much as possible during this short season. Oh, yes, I have really been enjoying this time of year trying to capture it in my photography. So I thought it was only befitting that I picked as my O is for... post to be O is for... pumpkin orange which is my favorite orange color.

Oh, now I was going to use a painted pumpkin face I snapped at Publix last week because it was orange, but it was not the right shade of pumpkin for pickie me. I could have used last year's pumpkins which I used in my second postcard swap. That one is one of my alltime favorite photos. Or I could have used a new grouping of pumpkins I shot recently that is very photoworthy. One I can see matted and framed....

When I got inside work, I saw one of my resin pumpkins sitting on my desk. Whenever I see them, I am reminded that when it is not the Halloween season, someone would turn them backwards. The culprit told on himself one day because he told me I was supposed to turn them around after Halloween. Never heard of such rubbish. I am not superstitious about pumpkins. Of course I posed this one to take this shot and was well pleased with my choice as well as the results. Hope you are as pleased as I am.

I had to cancel Rhett's orthodontist appointment today so it wouldn't interfere with his drama class we pay for him to attend.

On my ride home last night, I thought of when we celebrate Thanksgiving at our oldest daughter's house, how we all form a circle before we eat and pray to say one thing that we are thankful for that year. I thought of what I want to say this year. I want to tell them all that I am thankful they are my family. Just the thought of it brought tears to my eyes then and even now.

Orange you glad yo read this now? If you would like to participate in your own O is for... ABC Wednesday, please go to the following....
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Terrific Tuesday


A sunflower bench for just for Paulie

Today has turned out to be a Terrific Tuesday for me. The first really good one in awhile. There were clear blue skies this morning. Not a cloud in the sky. My day almost got off on the wrong note though. I'd left an empty Pepsi can on my desk. Ants were discovered on the can by a big loud-mouthed man who let the entire office know as he showed me ant filled can. It temporarily put me in a bad mood because I feared I'd be told I could no longer collect my empty cans I rinse out; that I couldn't do my part for the enviroment. But soon after things improved as did my mood and attitude. I got good emails as I do every day and I am thankful for all of them and the friends that sent them. I also got an invitation.

I'd brought a turkey sandwich but needed some provalone cheese and chips. Yes, I am pickie. I had no change. Once outside again, there were clouds in the sky which amazed me there are none one moment then a sky full the next. On the way to Publix, I took a picture of a cloud. Once taken, in the camera's view, it looked more like a strapless bra which will be my Sky Watch shot this Friday. Inside Publix, I took pictures of winter flowers. I am taking photos for a fall folliage contest with a local tv station. Then I spied a pretty sunflower bench for my blogger friend Paulie or Perbs for her benches blog.
I couldn't wait to share it with her. For my next excitment of the day, I found the book I'd been wanting to read entitled Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. It was cheaper that what I saw at Walmart yesterday. It will soon be released at the movies. Yes, it is about vampires!

I did a few RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) which made me feel good.

I realize I am a bit "touchy" because the copier ran out of toner and won't work. It has never done this before. Today I have had everybody and their brother telling me what I already know. I have ordered more toner which is something I have done for years now. Then I am questioned by someone as if I don't order enough or I should order more when I can only order two at a time. I probably sounded snippy about it, but I don't care and I am not letting it or them get me down.

Speaking of down, my blood pressure was thankfully down compared to yesterday. I called my new hormone doctor who's her nurse told me to increase my dosage to twice a day. I don't seem to tolerate generic high blood pressure pills well. I prefer my old pills that worked. It wasn't broke so why fix it? They worked well. With Prinivil, my b. p. was low like when I was small. Now I am regretting they were changed. It is good to save money, but not at a cost to my body.

I have to pay a bill and will probably do a bit of shopping after work. Hope you have as a terrific Tuesday as I have had. I hope I make Paulie's day with the bench.
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Monday Morning Thoughts


Monday Morning thoughts posted on a Tuesday
If you see a sunrise, but can't take a picture of it,
does it still count?
Of course! You were blessed just by seeing a sunrise.
An accumulation of cloud coverings found
You take an inspirational one instead
with puffy coulds in the background
and overhead.
Then an odd shot with yourself in the frame
on purpose
Not so odd perhaps.
How many pictures a day can you shoot?
Car and bumper stickers sought on the morning commute
My all time fave is still "Wick-ed".
Then that long walk into work with dread
But the BTW called in sick instead
Its a good quiet Monday
So good so far
A big burst of laughter first thing lifted my spirits,
set my mood
but didn't bring my blood pressure down.
Then clear azure blue skies above
A caring email from true blue friends whom I love
reminding me that she and God love me
Thankful to the good Lord above.
Craving to be creative
A million six ideas churning in my mind
So many ideas so little time
So many words yet to be written;
yet to be rhymed.
Pictures to draw and take before I die.
I found good, but inexpensive Christmas presents at Walmart
2 down, more to go...
Love it when that happens.
~copyright by theRAV~
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Brick Face


For lack of a better Odd Shot, I picked this photo I took months ago back during the summer. This brick was among some of the ones Don had been using on the addition to our house. I spied it, posed it, thinking it looked like some of my abstract artworks I have done in the past, particularly my first abstract I did for my first postcard swap. Back then, I did not feel so confident about my abstracts as I do now. I was afraid to send my abstract out into the world for fear of people thinking me weird. Now I don't really care if people think I am weird. I am not weird - just a bit eccentric. Because of Odd Shot Monday, I now know Odd is a great thing. I like being an odd ball.

If you would like to participate in Odd Shot Monday, please go to the following....
and become odd fellows like us.
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Full Circle


I guess because I am an artist now, I notice patterns A LOT. In my life time, my history has often repeated itself over and over again and again. Although it doesn't feel as if I am constantly having a "Ground Hog Day" - yet. Last year, I participated in my very first postcard swap with woman from around the world. One of them was Toni in Tasmania, Australia. Toni was on the list again for this year's second go-round. On Saturday, I received her lovely and inspiring handmade postcard from down under about dreams which was the theme.

Today I had to go through some of my old papers I collected in a year's time looking for something for my hubby while watching weird movies such as "Vendetta" and "Hell Boy". 'Tis the season... I rediscovered I had written about receiving my first postcard from Toni and it has been almost year exactly since then. I found it weird in a coincidental way. It just reminded me of the repeating patterns in my life and made me feel as if I have came a full circle once again. Thanks Toni for the postcard, for helping repeat my history because this allowed me to re-read old words I had written.

I couldn't find the photo I really wanted to use here, but knew I wanted circles so this one will have to do.

Do you ever notice repeating patterns in your life? Do you feel like you are going in circles? Have you met yourself yet? The next time you see a car exactly like your's, be sure to have a look inside to see if you are there. Have you come full circle? I think blogging makes it easier to go back and see these repeating patterns we keep making or the patterns that form our lives like a gigantic patchwork tapestry. Our friends and family are a pieces of the puzzle that make us up into who we really are. They make it all fit together. They complete us. Thanks for being apart of mine.
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Friday, October 24, 2008

The Fog




Living in Georgia, fog is indeed a rarity around here, but it did occur this earlier week. So this could have been an Odd Shot , but I decided to use it as my Sky Watch instead. As I was nearing one of the older bridges crossing the Chattahoochee River, the fog was so dense I could barely see in front of me. I felt like I was in England. I, of course grabbed my faithful camera I now keep beside me in the car on my commute to work. I quickly snapped these these ole foggies. In the second shot is an old, old building older than me that now sticks out like an eye sore in comparison to the newer structure behind it. It has been many things in it's life time and mine. In one of it's many reincarations, it was a bank, pet store and a game room. It once had beautiful architecture, but some of that has fallen away. Yet it stands like a empty vessel or sentinal and may remain so beyond my lifetime at this rate. I have heard the stubborn owner refuses to sell it which is his right. I liked the goldenness of the fog in the last photo.

Hope you have a great Sky Watch weekend. It poured here last night and this morning so it is still gloomy outside unlike me on the inside. If you would like to participate in Sky Watch, please go to the following...
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