PhotoHunt 112: Self

Bedroom blogging in purple slippers.


Easy 6

My friend Dawn tagged me for the 6 Quirky Things meme. Here are the rules:

* Link to the person who tagged you.
* Mention the rules in your blog.
* Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours.
* Tag a new set of six following bloggers by linking to them.

In no particular order, here they are:

1. I have the exact same breakfast every single day - vanilla chai and a brown sugar, cinnamon mini-bagel with whipped butter.

2. When two light switches operate the same light, I have specific preferences as to which should be up and which should be down when the light's on or off. Even if I have to walk to the other end of the hall or across the family room to change them, I'll do it.

3. I can't stand to have water sitting in dirty dishes in the sink. They must be rinsed and the water poured out.

4. At one time, I couldn't imagine leaving my house without my cell phone. Now the phone takes a back seat to the camera. I would turn around and go back home to get my camera if I'd forgotten it (if I wasn't TOO far away and had time). That doesn't often happen, because it lives in my purse.

5. Whenever hubby, the boys, or I leave one another (at home, on the phone, or anywhere else), I always say "I love you." Same with going to sleep.

6. I take some weird odd pictures. Case in point:

Sometimes there's a story, other times - not so much. And yet others, I forget why I took it in the first place.

And I choose Carrie, Bev, Hallie, Michele, Robert, and Gina.


Dads Want Equal Billing

I'm sure that many of you, if not all of you, have seen Anita Renfroe's Momsense song. It's been all over the place this past year and is absolutely hysterical.

Well, apparently, the guys are feeling a bit left out, so here's Dadsense on YouTube. Check it out.

ps - I think Anita said we were BFFs. Either that or Best Wednesday Weather. Nah, that couldn't be - it was a Thursday. Must've been the BFF thing.

Wordless Wednesday - Yellow Hat

See more WW here, here, and here.


Homeschool Conference

For all you homeschoolers or anyone thinking about homeschooling, conventions and conferences are a wonderful place to get information, buy curriculum, hear encouraging speakers, and generally get a motivation boost. However, you often have to travel to another city, pay for hotel and food, pay a sometimes high admission price, and spend hours walking around trying to get to every booth and session on your list.

How about a conference where you can show up in your pajamas, bring your own coffee, and relax in the comfort of your favorite chair? Heart of the Matter is offering exactly that - its first annual Virtual Homeschool Conference from July 31st to August 3rd.

There will be motivational speakers, video tutorials, free products, question and answer sessions, and a vendor hall - all ONLINE! You don't have to dress up, get a sitter, or pay for a hotel room. Just log in and either listen live during the scheduled time or later at your own convenience to the recorded session(s).

Speakers will talk for approximately 30-40 minutes on their scheduled topic, then hold a Q&A session with those listening live (20-30 minutes). Attendees will also be able to chat amongst themselves in true Instant Message format.

Click on the image above for further information, including a list of speakers and vendors, and to register. If you sign up now, you get early bird pricing as well. If you get there via my blog, please put my name in the special instructions section so I receive credit.

Hope to "see" you there!


PSA - Postage Increase

Apparently, I've been living under a rock. I think that sometime back I heard that postage rates would increase this spring, but figured I'd hear more about it later. I was just over at the US Postal Service site and discovered that first class postage on a 1-ounce or lighter envelope went up to 42 cents.

On May 12th.

A full THIRTEEN days ago.

Where was I?!?

While not a lot, I have mailed some things in that time. Will they be delivered? Will I get them back weeks later for lack of postage? Will our landlords think we're shirking our rent payment duties? Good grief.

Maybe the one other person on the planet who was unaware of this will read my blog and feel better informed. Maybe that person won't make the mistake of sending mail with the insufficient postage (hope they don't start charging NSF fees for postage blunders). If not, the rest of you can just chuckle as you witness yet another episode in the Dork Jeans series. Ha! Ha!


Help, My Eye's Twitching!

I've noticed over the past few days that my eye is twitching. And it's getting to be more consistent. Not just a little twitch here or there. In fact, as I sit here, cleaning out my overflowing inbox, I realized that it has twitched almost non-stop for the past few hours. A quick web search provided me with the following information:

Why Does My Eye Twitch?
Eye twitches can be triggered by a variety of different factors. Some of the conditions that cause eye twitches are environmental, some are physiological, and some are psychological in nature. Below is a list of some of the more common causes of eye twitch:

  • Fatigue or lack of sleep - Me? Short of sleep? Ha! Ha! Ha! Perish the thought. Or fall asleep during the thought.

  • Over consumption of caffeine - There's no caffeine in a case of Dr Pepper, is there?

  • Physical or emotional stress - Nothing here, nope, not a contract on a house or anything. Still house hunting. Four plus months and three offers later. That's not so stressful, now is it?

  • Anxiety or phobias - Does fear of cleaning toilets count? Maybe a slight side of arachnophobia? What about drop-down attic stair quirks?

  • Brain damage or other neurological disorders - Let's just say it's a good thing someone else isn't answering this twitchy quiz for me!

  • Associated with temper tantrums (especially in children) - Glad they clarified that it's in children!

  • Eye stress associated with extended viewing of the computer screen - You can blog without the computer screen, right?

  • Epilepsy - None of that here.

(Disclaimer: The comments here are purely in jest, other than my twitchy eye. Eye would NEVER make fun of nor mock anyone who has serious issues such as brain damage, neurological disorders, epilepsy, etc.)

Maybe EYE could make a guest appearance on Lost. What do you think?

What does it say about me that EYE keep taking pix of my EYE?

Does that creep you out? EYE mean not that EYE took the photos, but that EYE posted them. Reminds me of awhile back when Carmi had an EYE-related post that was, well, . . . slightly surprising. You can go see for yourself. But don't say EYE didn't warn you.


I'll Take Potpourri for Thursday, Alex

I seem to have become a Wednesday & Saturday photoblogger. So I decided it's time to do a data download from my haphazard brain.

House Hunt
We have again found a house that we would like to buy. Our realtor presented our offer this afternoon and we should have some sort of response by noon tomorrow. As ever, if this is God's will for us, He'll put it together. If not, we don't want to be there anyway.

Clutter, Packing, and Stuff in General
Even though we don't know when or where at this point, we do plan to move, so I've begun the process of sorting, purging, and packing our belongings. We have WAY too many, by the way. Two and a half years ago, we moved into a house twice the size of our previous home. It was nice and spacious. But I hear that nature abhors a vacuum and apparently that very phenomenon was at work in our home. Courtesy of all the extra space, it was very easy to say, "Sure, we'll take that __________," (fill in the blank - probably with furniture). Not that we don't appreciate all the great things we've received, but I think we were full awhile ago.

I really do not want to move more than necessary, so I'm doing my best to pare down. I have been a packrat for many years. Often it's just a "I could really use this sometime" mentality that causes me to keep more stuff than I need/want. The problem there? I never could find the thing I wanted when I wanted or needed it. So I still had to go buy another one, as well as store the one I couldn't find!

It took a lot of years for me to start letting go of things. In fact, it was during the course of eleven and a half years in a too-small house that God started to change my heart about stuff. While stuff still sticks to me like velcro at times, it matters much less to me than it used to. I'm SO ready to have much less.

Along those lines, I just finished sorting out pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, crayons, etc. to share with some of my homeschool blog mom friends. I have enough writing instruments in my possession to stock a small store. I doubt it's been mentioned before, but I am a HUGE office supply junkie! Anything related to paper and ink causes my heart rate to pick up and my checkbook to fly open. Post-its, binders, tape flags, binder clips, whatever. It's an illness, really. It's no wonder that I took to rubber stamping and scrapbooking! The main supplies? Paper and ink! Woo hoo!

However, with my new, simplify my life, space, and stuff mentality, I am working towards keeping only what will truly be used in our household. Anything beyond that is hoarding, wasteful, and clutter. I'd rather share the wealth with others who could actually use these products.

To any of you who will be on the receiving end of the aforementioned items, I probably won't get them in the mail until next week. But I hope you will be pleasantly surprised and blessed. I think I loaded you up pretty well!

A good friend of mine recently purchased a D-SLR camera. A Canon Rebel XT, to be exact. Initially I was enormously jealous, because I have wanted one (as much as she did) for a long time now. I was also enormously happy for her, but still a bit jealous. We've both had Canon Rebel SLRs for a number of years, so we've been on the same track. We've been having a lot of great conversations and IMs about cameras, settings, photos, lighting, and white balance, and I've come to realize that my Sony CyberShot DSC-N2 is a pretty amazing camera, especially for a little point-and-shoot job.

When she first got her camera, we were discussing various features and I kept telling her how mine would have this feature and that feature, which were comparable to hers. After a time, she asked me, "Now tell me again, WHY do you want a digital SLR?" It took me back for a moment. I suddently discovered that my Sony had more abilities than I thought. Of course, my Sony cost nearly as much as her Rebel, but that's another story.

After a stunned moment, I told her that it's because of the flexibility of changing lenses. That really is the primary reason. I cannot get a 300mm zoom on my Sony. Nor can I use a fish eye lens. But that's okay. I've been very happy with this camera for over a year and a half. As we've spent all this time talking cameras, I've also learned a couple of new things about my camera. For one, I found out that I was not using the macro function properly. It was very frustrating to have issues with focus. But a remarkable thing happened - I actually read the instructions and learned how to use it properly. That's how I was able to get the lovely Mother's Day flower shots. BTW - there's no photoshopping of those pix, no tripod, nothing extra. Just me and my sweet Sony.

(I know you've seen the last photo before, but I don't usually get pix of my camera. So it'll have to do.)

Sad News
A sweet friend and her family are traveling across the country and had their van broken into. They lost their digital camera, laptop, and a folder with banking information and SSNs. If you think of the Anderson family, please say a prayer for them.

As I'm sure many have already heard, Steven Curtis & Mary Beth Chapman's youngest daughter, five year old Maria, was run over by her older brother in a very tragic accident in a driveway. My heart just goes out to them. I can't even fathom what they're going through right now. The only thing I know is that God is still sovereign, He loves them, and will be there for them. I pray that they press in closer to Him. You can read more about this tragedy and see a clip of little Maria with Steven here.

God's Provision
Hubby has been itching to get the jeep out, remove the top, and enjoy the warm weather we've been having. When he tried to start it the other day, he discovered that the starter was dead. After a few phone calls to local auto parts stores, he decided that it must've come from a friend. Sadly, that meant no warranty. He did get it into the garage, but that was the end of it.

A couple days later, on a whim, he made a call to one other store where he used to do more business. Lo and behold, he had purchased it there and it had a lifetime warranty! Not only that, but they had a replacement in stock. So the jeep's on the road, the top's in the back yard, and my husband is a happy camper!

There may be more, but I really should head to bed. I've fallen into my stupid of habit of staying up just a little too late. Night after night after night. I'm starting to pay for it, too. Time for some sleep catch up.

Good night!


Wordless Wednesday - Mother's Day Bouquet

Go here and here for more WW photos.


Meeting Sallie

After over a year and a half of blogging, I finally got to meet a blog friend IN REAL LIFE!! Sweet!

Really - she is very sweet. I met Sallie from Everyday Me, Seaside Tales at Starbucks this morning. The hour and a half of visiting went WAY too fast. I think we could've spent the rest of the day there, and not realized that time had flown right by us. We mostly chatted about homeschooling, which comes as no surprise. I'm sure we'd have hit other topics, but her husband was calling, cause it was time to go pick up Grandma for lunch. And as much as I'd love to have held her captive at Starbucks, it's really not polite to keep Grandma waiting. So I had to let her leave. Besides, if word got out about me detaining blog friends at Starbucks, I might not get to meet anyone else IRL.

I must apologize for yet another BLUE photo! Sometimes I just forget to return all my settings back to normal (normal for ME anyway). You'd think after my last foray into blue photos, I'd have remembered. Guess I was too delirious from lemon bonk cake and my very own, personalized Starbucks card! LOL!!

Sallie's phone blogging while they move across the country to their new home in North Carolina, so you may see a similar shot at her place. But hers probably won't be blue. It will, however, be equally windy! I thought it was pretty awesome that Starbucks just happens to be about five minutes from each of us - right in between our place and her in-laws. I'm thinking God set it up that way, on purpose. Very nice. :D


A Bonk Cake and a Camera Bag

For those of you who've seen My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding, you'll totally get the story behind this photo:

That was my birthday cake - a lemon bonk cake. It was yummmmmo! We had a delicious Itlaian dinner at Zio's, and then came home for cake and presents. I was blessed with some pretty awesome birthday loot! Here are a few highlights:

Look closely - it's a personalized Starbucks card. That's me, complete with curly hair, sunglasses, camera in one hand, and a seven-pump, light-ice chai in the other! Does my sister know me, or what?

And then there's the killer camera bag from my parents. LOVE it!!

Dark chocolate - nothing more needs to be said.

Not a present, but definitely good for a laugh. It's one of those silly inside jokes, that will likely live on for quite some time. It was written on the table at Zio's.

All in all, it was a great evening.


Wordless Wednesday - Bird Banding

American Kestrel


Western Tanager (thank you, Pi Guy!)

Virginia's Warbler

Wilson's Warbler

No worries - this bird is being released, it's not dead.

Now, when the bird banding guy gets excited, you know it must be a big deal. He said he only sees the Blackpoll Warbler about once every ten years. And he's been doing this for a very long time.

You can see more WW photos here, here, and here.

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