Sunday, June 2, 2013

My Internal Camera Argument

     We all lead such busy lives that convenience becomes the important element in our day to day choices. I believe most of us fight the urge to simply drive through a fast food place to pick up a quick and easy dinner option....or maybe that's just me. You see the office I work at sits directly behind a McDonald's and on some days when exhaustion has set in it screams"come and get me!"I am proud to say that only one time since January 1st have I fallen prey to those golden arches.

But this issue of convenience has lead me to another struggle and that is my I phone camera vs my Nikon camera. I love my Nikon and I now have two new lenses that allow me to zoom in from a much greater distance and my macro lens which is simply just too much fun. But on nearly every occasion here lately my camera has been safely sitting at home while my phone as my husband says is always glued to my hand. So I have been forced to use it to capture those special moments with a new grand-daughter and at the kids school plays and at many of our family get-together.


My iphone camera is slowly becoming my new best friend! Just recently I added some fun apps to allow me to do so much more with the photos and that has made me as giddy as a school girl.


But what it allows me in convenience it lacks in other options like the zoom and the macro lens. So imagine my surprise when I was recently reading my new Better Homes and Gardens magazine and saw these new extras for phone cameras. Now it's here that I must add that I am by no means a "real" photographer....by no means! But I do love capturing memories with my grand-kids. And when I get it right there's no better high for me!
One time I felt I got it right!!

 So if you're like me and are looking for more ways to use your phone camera I wanted to share a couple of items I am looking at to purchase.

Photojojo has a great website full of fun stuff like these two items I'm showing. Some are relatively inexpensive and some are a bit more costly. But in most areas of our lives we are usually willing to pay a little more for the convenience.

Now this lens is called a fisheye and is $25.00 alone or you can buy 4 lenses, a pro quality Fisheye, Telephoto,Wide Angle and a Macro cell phone lenses for $49.00! WOW! Seriously that would make it so much easier to haul around camera gear. They even make cute little cases to store the lenses in and carry.
http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/cell-phone-lenses/  

This telescopic lens shown below is only 35.00 and though it may not be as strong as my Nikon lens  it's a great feature that would be much easier to carry around with me.





 I will never be totally without my much loved Nikon camera but I sure have to admit that cell phone cameras have come a long way. I envy young parents today. They can capture a moment so easily either by a still photo or a video, then share it with family and friends in an instant! Do they realize how lucky they are? I mean just the mere fact that no one is squinting from the blinding spot light in their faces (those my age will get that comment)is the amazing thing. Well I guess I've talked myself into it.....so off I go to order a new lens. I'll let you know the out come!

  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cabin Season

         Last weekend we opened our much beloved cabin for the summer. We did make a short day trip down a few weeks ago to do some of the dreaded cleaning. Thankfully we had covered all the furniture with plastic when we closed it up for winter. I have to say that saves us a ton of work. The first weekend stay can be a busy and expensive trip. Stocking the refrigerator and pantry. Replacing any worn out sheets, towels and outdoor cushions. Getting the satellite TV turned back on is usually the biggest problem we have EVERY YEAR. I don't know why but it always is! And it's always fun to discover if any little critters have been visiting during the cold winter months. I'm glad to report no damage found and the only critters inside so far were some ladybugs.  And yes the satellite TV is up and working.....we are ready!
While I ramble on here and bore you to death about our weekend I'm going to show you some various photos of our place down near Patoka Lake, and even a few before and after shots too. I hope it isn't too confusing, I know how my thoughts tend to bounce around like I'm livin inside a pin ball machine.

This is many years ago when we were still under construction. Preston loved to help with his own tools.
All of the heavy work is finally done and we had a great weekend even though the weather wasn't the best. Luckily we had a nice Friday night to sit and enjoy a warm campfire with my brother and sister-in-law.

A lot of what we used to build with was odds and ends left over from different construction projects.

We need to repaint the exterior this year. Not sure if we should stay with this moss green or go brighter.

This is what it looked like when we bought it. We put a sign out that said free trailer and someone came and took this lovely 70's RV off our hands!I do wish we had saved the roof that covered the RV but we let them take it too.
 Saturday was a chilly day with moments of aggravating drizzle......I wanted to scream "please just rain already and get it over with"! But we didn't let this dampen our spirits in the least. When a break in the weather came took some time to go mushroom hunting. Sadly we didn't find a darn thing and came home empty handed! It's so hard to find them year after year and those that have found them rarely ever spill their top secret location. A few years ago we were so shocked to discover a boat load on our own property down near the creek. That was a yummy surprise!

We used plastic fencing for headboards in both bedrooms.

Our little kitchen. Much of what we have above the cabinets came from past home show houses we have built and had to decorate.The large bowl was once a dark brown red that I painted turquoise and then scuffed up.

We made our bedroom lamps from left over wooden columns from a construction job.

I love our little table and chairs we were able to salvage from a fire job we had. The customer didn't want it and it works perfectly with our space.

We decided to use bright colors in the full bathroom. Our towels are every color in the rainbow!
I have some ideas for a new wreath for the front door and some outdoor funky decor but all in all we have the place finished. Last year we did have to have the interior repainted and installed some badly needed new carpet. That was an easy fix since we have a construction company and a flooring store!This year we will need to repaint the exterior and can't decide if we should stick with the moss green or try a brighter color. What do you think?
This is a portion of our small patio. I love having my morning coffee out here and watching the birds and chipmunks. We also have had a real problem with skunks but that's another story!
Now my brother and his wife have bought a place and have decided to park their RV here permanently.

 After our on again off again winter season it's so nice to know that spring is here and summer is just around the corner!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hello Again!

I hope you all haven't totally given up on me! It has now been 9 weeks and I can say that I am starting to be able do so many things that I haven't been able to do in years. One of which is cleaning you know the deep kind of cleaning like closets and such!!! OH JOY!! But it has to be done it's been quite a few springs I must admit. We are also preparing for our annual family Easter get together with our confetti eggs.
Some felt Easter eggs I've been working on. They are sewn over paper mache eggs

We have many family members who have lived away for several years but are now back and will be coming. So it's going to be a full house and even more fun! I say this but I am a little worried about the goofy weather we are having this year. Today will be a cloudy 50 degrees but tomorrow it will be cold and snowing. Similar to last weekend which was 71 on Saturday followed by frigid and snowy on Sunday. That groundhog was way off track this year!!
This was Saturday
This was Sunday
 I haven't written any posts because my days seemed boring and totally uneventful. Therapy,work,taxes,house work,meals....repeat. But it was wonderful how each week I would begin to feel a little bit better and a creative idea would emerge. I think it's simply due to recovering from the actual surgery, your body has been through a trauma so it takes time.

The grand-children have been the best medicine too I must add, and our adorable new grand-daughter. They make everything feel better in life!
Toilet paper roll bunnies to hold candy treats for the kiddos

Easter has helped get the creative side of me back up and running. I wasn't able to pull together the Downton Abbey tea party so I am including a touch of it at my Easter party. Most all of the family will be here and it's about all we've talked about for months. I really do hope to have an actual tea party at some point. Perhaps when the 4th season returns in January 2014. I will be having my other knee replaced in November but I think by January I will be able to hobble around and host it.
Our sweet grand-kids!
We have a busy day ahead of us so I must hurry off and get something accomplished. We have a birthday party for our now 7yr old grandson and I have a couple of surprises for him I need to finish. We recently saw the new Oz movie and at the end he looked at me and said "Nanaw I know what toys you should make for me" He then later called me with several ideas all of which were incredible! He has a great imagination and we make a great team. I hate to see him grow up I will forever miss this time with him.
So I am off to wrap gifts and sew a couple of items. Here is one item completed for him. It was an idea that came from the wicked witch when she throws green lightning from her hands.

He always seems to like the bad guys in most all movies because they always have the best gadgets!But he loves the heroes too because thankfully they win!
This one he can throw as a lightning bolt like the wicked witch
This one wraps around his hand and stays in his palm

Have a happy weekend and thank you all for sticking by me!! I promise to return in a few days!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Feeling Better and Making Plans

         Hello friends!! I'm back,well almost. At least I think I see a light at the end of this tunnel. It's only been 16 days, and for that length of time they tell me I'm doing very well. I am still using the walker but I'm not gripping it or leaning on it like I was, and thank goodness because my hands and shoulders were starting to ache. I'm not going to say that this is an easy process but when you think about what was done to my knee, you have to admit we live at a great time of medical science.
This was the day after surgery and boy was I swollen

I really had planned to share the good bad and the ugly with you all, but I decided against it. Mainly because I would never want to put someone off from doing this. I know it took me over 5 years to get my nerve up, and I would never want to cause someone to change their mind. I still have very mild pain and have to admit that the therapy is NO fun, but what it will give me back is so worth it!
My sweet husband cleaning the house and even the blinds while I'm laid up. Maybe that's why I loved Downton Abbey so much, I had so many wonderful servants these past two weeks.
The kiddos came over to see me soon after I arrived home.
I love this grainy photo of Preston doing some home work while his mom gets me settled in my chair.

The best part of being laid up I must admit has been having my daughter-in-law Amy here to help me and to drag me kicking and screaming off to PT each day. I used this time to hopefully get her interested in the wonderful British series Downton Abbey.

In the beginning she just didn't think it was something she would enjoy. It didn't take long before she was hooked!! I know that once I am better and back to work full time I will forever miss the time we shared together during these weeks.  She and I have shared some great moments laughing at the outrageously wonderful lines of the Dowager Countess and crying our eyes out at the heart wrenching moments!

If you haven't watched it I encourage you to. For me I love the fact that there is no vulgarity, no violence, and that's rare in today's TV shows and movies. Just a beautiful castle full of great manners, respect, and a style and culture that are gone now forever. Well I should also tell you that there are a couple of stinkers in the castle causing trouble and you do love to hate them.


Last weekend I had a lot of family come down to visit me and we also had a grandson who was turning 10. Since there wasn't much I could really do just one week after surgery I suggested before we went to his birthday party that they give Downton Abbey a try. Most of my family fell in love with it and some even made stops on the way home to get the second and third seasons. We have had so much fun texting back and forth about various scenes. My husband,brother,cousins husband,son and even my son's best friend are all into this show too by the way,this is not just a women's show.

Some of us are down to the very last episode of the third season and have decided to hold off until the rest catch up, and because some family members are just getting started. Once we are all at the last one and I am able to get around better I am hosting a Downton Abbey Viewing Party. I just feel strongly that we need a ceremony of some sort to end this fabulous third season that has made my painful time off so much more enjoyable.

I plan to use much of the silver and crystal I inherited and a few of my great grandmother's brooches and lace gloves. I have several hand embroidered doilies and napkins and when would you ever find a better reason to bring them out to enjoy than at a tea party!
As we talked about the plans and dates someone mentioned we should come in costume. Well why not I said wouldn't that be a blast! We haven't set a date yet but I hope to very soon. Amy is looking on line for a hat and we are going to stop by our favorite antique store because we pretty much know what's there and we have a couple of items in mind we simply must pick up.
I teased Amy and asked her if she would mind wearing this while she's taking care of me.

I think I'm coming as Mrs. Patmore. I adore this women who can cook up a meal for a dozen people without any real modern conveniences. In other words without a microwave. For goodness sake,now that is my hero. So the search is on for my outfit and all of the goodies to throw this charming event.
Nothing can get me feeling better than an event I'm about to host......so come on knee we have lots to do!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Number One On My List For 2013

         So another year is done and we are off and running in another year full of hopes and possibilities. I don't know about you all but I have never been a person who makes resolutions.....I know how I am and I would only let myself down.

What I like to do is make lists. I'm a crazy list person. I love the feeling of checking something off,the satisfaction that a chore or an obligation is now complete.
This year is certainly no different. I made my list for 2013 last fall and number one is getting the most dreaded chore I've had facing me checked off the list! I'm getting my left knee replaced. First let me say I truly hate that saying. While it is called that, it's really getting the cartilage replaced,and that's all the details I need to know. However you describe it or whatever name you give it it's something I've put off for nearly 6 years and now it must be done.

I have lived in pain for quite a while....not totally mind you it's only when I walk or stand for any length of time. I have missed out on so much because of these ugly, swollen, knobby things called knees. So it's time to get it fixed and get on with living a good life. I know it won't always be a pleasant process but with the help of my family, friends and some nice strong pain killers I will be back better and healthier in no time.
Jason has been a fitness fan for a very long time.I wish I could say he takes after me.
My crazy sons in my office one day trying to teach this old dog a new trick. I enjoyed a tootsie pop instead!

My youngest son has told me that as soon as I get the okay from my surgeon he will whip into shape! Jason works with us and he is also in the military as well as a avid fitness person. I admire his dedication.Sadly he did not get this trait from me. He works out everyday no matter the day for 2 hours and has done this for more than 10 years. He has been on me to get this fixed and get to the gym for a long time. Whenever he sees me in pain or struggling he will make me get on the floor and stretch....it always helps. I've learned through him that if we don't do anything else in our day as far as exercising goes we must always at least do stretches. He believes it's the secret to aging well and staying well.

I told the kids that the first thing I'm going to do when I learn to walk better this year is buy a pair of these shoes!

I'm just kidding of course but to not have to wear the most boring flat cushy shoes would be a real treat, so who knows I just may buy me a pair of glitzy heels! I do have to tell you I have spent a million dollars looking for the magic cushy shoes that would make walking feel normal.....trust me there are NO shoes out there that can fix this. I've even bought some that said they have a spring in the heal to take arthritic pain away....they don't, take the pain away that is. Soon my oldest son will be given the honor of cutting the heal open to discover if they really do have a spring inside. When I first spent over a hundred dollars on these beauties he asked that when I no longer needed them could he cut them open and check for an actual spring.
I hope to share this path with you all....the good the bad and the ugly. Well maybe not the ugly so much I still have some pride =)
I will be around to check in and who knows I might even be able to write posts more often since I will be off work for a while......and that my friends is number two on my list!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ghosts From Christmas Past

      Since I opened my Etsy shop I have become an avid internet shopper. It's that little shop that has made time my arch enemy.Shopping the internet saves me oodles and oodles of time. But before the internet I was a huge catalog shopper. Do any of you remember back in those days before computers and Amazon when deliveries from most catalogs could take up to 6-8 weeks? Oh yes the good old days.
 This year unexpectedly I received a catalog that sent me back a bit emotionally. I haven't ordered from this particular catalog for a while so seeing it really surprised me. It's called Bits and Pieces and it has some wonderful items but I shopped it mostly for the jigsaw puzzles. My dad was a big fan of puzzles and always had one on the dining room table in progress. So seeing this catalog this year after his death was very hard for me and took me back to a spooky moment we shared with him many years ago.
Not a great photo but back in the corner behind her was the old wagon with Amish dolls.

My dad was a very quiet, patient man who followed in his father's foot steps by going into banking. He served in the USAF as a radio interceptor during the Korean war. He was very neat and tidy and extremely organized! He lived his life by rules and laws, very conservative in his beliefs. Honor and loyalty was everything to him. Right was right and wrong was wrong and there were NO gray areas to him ever! My brothers and I wish we had inherited some of his neat and tidy traits, but sadly we did not. He had several strong passions....golf, scouting, and more golf! But there was one other passion and that was jigsaw puzzles. So when he had time and wasn't playing golf he could sit for hours and work a puzzle. My mom wasn't interested in his puzzles at all they just weren't her thing.

They did however have a very sweet tradition with dad's puzzles. Whenever he finished one he would come and get her and she would then put in the last piece and they'd share a laugh and say they did the puzzle together! This was something that had gone on as long as I can remember.
Dad,me,Brent,and Barry the first Christmas after mom died having Sunday brunch at the country club.

After Mom became sick with lung cancer he didn't do any more puzzles. I guess taking care of her became a full time job. After she died we encouraged him to find his passions again and we all bombarded him with new puzzles.

A few weeks later when we were talking he asked me if any of us had touched his puzzle he was working on. NO I said absolutely not, none of us would ever go near it. We had been raised to never touch his things.....being a neat freak he would know immediately and throttle us. As a foot note I must also admit that we never walked into their bedroom either... that was just not done in our family. He went on to tell me that the last piece of this new puzzle was missing! He had started working a puzzle my brother Barry had given him. I thought to myself what are the chances that Barry would buy a puzzle with one missing piece, for heavens sake. Now in all the years, and I mean years that my dad had worked puzzles he had NEVER had a puzzle with any missing pieces!
I knew in my heart that no one had touched it but I called my brothers anyway and asked them. Both of them were like me totally puzzled about this (sorry I just had to say it).
I always looked for snowy winter scenes for him to take to Florida.
 So later on he framed the puzzle because he thought it was so strange that a piece was missing....he said "I guess your Mom took it since she couldn't be here to put it in with me". We all agreed but still it just seemed crazy. That started another tradition for our family. Dad occasionally would work a puzzle, glue it down and frame it for one of us.....always with the final piece missing. He never put the last piece in any puzzle after she died.....none of us ever do now, it's just our way of remembering her.

Many years later dad decided to move into a condo and my brother Brent bought the family home. One weekend we drove up there to help him go through things and pack up. My son Will and daughter in law Amy decided to join us to help box up and move some items.

As we were looking around tying to decide what would make the move and what would not we heard Amy shout "oh my gosh you better come in here". She was standing in the dining room with a strange look on her face holding one of mom's beloved Amish dolls. She said look what just fell out of the dolls apron!! We all just stood there staring down at a green puzzle piece, none of us moving to pick it up. We had nearly forgotten all about the missing piece, until then. Finally my Dad walked over picked it up and then proceeded to a spare room closet with the piece in hand. Sure enough it was the missing piece!!
Similar to her Amish dolls

We all laughed and tried to make sense of this discovery. Dad was not someone who tossed things about his house willy-nilly. Shoot he would get crazy if we kids sprinkled salt on the table or our dinner place mat was not straight while eating. There were no logical answers to this except one......did mom return and hide the piece? I don't believe that but we all laughed and said " Well she must have looked down and said if she couldn't put the piece in then NO ONE could".
I guess we'll never know for sure how the puzzle piece came to be inside of the dolls apron. We do know that dad being dad had cleaned around those dolls for years and years and it hadn't shown itself until that day.
I still carry it in my wallet. The green is nearly gone but the meaning still remains.
 I still carry this poor ole puzzle piece around with me and have thought that someday I should get charms made in this shape for each of us. To us it represents my parents and the sweet game they played together all of their married life.