Monday, April 25, 2011


This is Ursula. Her mother came into our family as a stray two years ago. Ursula was the first-born of four kittens and one of three that we kept. (The fourth went to my step daughter.)  Ursula is small and she has no tail, but she has a big personality and beautiful golden eyes, which she usually closes whenever I try to take her picture. On Saturday, I was lucky to catch her napping in the sunbeam. A rare quiet moment. 

I am submitting this photo to the iheartfaces photo challenge. I'm hoping that they will love it as much as I do.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Four years ago, my son and I planted a hosta in our flower garden. Every winter, the hosta turns brown and dies, and every spring, it comes back as lush and green as ever. I was in the yard on Sunday afternoon, looking for a good place to hang a hummingbird feeder, and I stopped to admire the hosta. Then I noticed that there was a cute little green tree frog sitting on one of the leaves. So I did what any aspiring photographer would do - I grabbed my camera and took the little guy's picture. I had to share it with you, of course. Isn't he cute?  Too bad I don't have a current photo challenge with a green theme. This would be perfect. :)

I have finally reached the end of my 52 Organizing Missions.

#48 Organize Your Kids & Their Bedrooms - I have a 17 year old son. Getting him to organize anything is a losing battle. I have offered to do it for him, but he has declined, knowing that many of his possessions would simply disappear. He leaves for college in the Fall. Before then, his room will be cleaned and organized. Or else. ;)

#49 Find Your Business or Career Passion - I am 47 years old and still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I may never know. But I have learned that I still enjoy photography and am working to develop my skills. Maybe one day I might even earn some money from it. A girl can dream! In the meantime, I will do what I do very well - system administration - and branch out where I can.

#50 Create a Debt Repayment Plan - I did this a long time ago. The only debt we currently have is our mortgage and a short term note for the truck I bought last month.

#51 Create a Weekly Schedule Template - I've been using a weekly planner since I attended Seven Habits for Highly Effective People 17 years ago. It has been a lifesaver for me and I would be lost without it. It is my master calendar - recording everything from birthdays and anniversaries to reminders to change the A/C filter. Effective? Very!

#52 Simplify Your Life - My new mantra. I will continue to declutter my home and keep new clutter from building up by following the one in one out policy. I will carefully consider each new request for my time before saying yes. I will slow down and enjoy life rather than blindly racing through it at warp speed.

Through this challenge, I have learned that I wasn't as disorganized as I originally thought, but I still have areas that could use improvement... and I will continue to work on those.

I've installed a new comments application on my blog, and I'm curious to see how it works. I'm hoping that some of my regular readers will leave me a quick hello to help me out.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Furry Friends

It's Tuesday, and I have already submitted my entry for the weekly MCP Project 52 photography challenge! Did hell freeze over? With 90 degree temps outside, I think not.

Actually, this week's topic was an easy one for me: Furry Friends. We happen to have a lot of those running around our house. Sometimes they even allow themselves to be snuggled, and I took advantage of one of those special moments to capture my shot.

This is my son, James, and his cat, Stormie, taking a catnap together. They are the best of friends, and both of them tend to be a little furry. (Sorry, James, but you must admit that the sideburns do give you a furry look.)

For my fellow cat lovers... a few more of our friends  (Ursula, Shadow, and Puck in the background).  We have eight cats in all. 

Just call me the crazy cat lady...

The crazy cat lady who submitted her photo early this week.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Wind in Her Hair

Some of our friends brought their daughter by for a visit during a recent Scouting event. At first, she was shy around me and my camera, but it didn't take long for her to warm up and start posing. Isn't she adorable?

Time for Hummingbirds

Yesterday, a hummingbird hovered outside my patio door for a moment. I stopped what I was doing to watch him, wishing that I had put up the feeder so he would stay long enough for me to take pictures, and then he was gone. It made me think about all the opportunities that we miss because we are too busy doing other things.

I've been struggling with my schedule lately. Flitting here and there like the hummingbird - trying to keep up with work, home, school and Scouting commitments, and still find time for me. Of course, the “me” time is what tends to slide. I really enjoy the weekly MCP Project 52 photography challenge, but the last few weeks were hard. I didn't have any really good ideas for the theme, so I waited until the last minute to take pictures... never a good idea.

Week 14's theme was Fusion. I wasn’t sure where to go with this, but a creative co-worker gave me an idea. An active imagination led Bo to attach a Chevrolet grill to the front of his desk – in a way, combining work and play. Is this fusion? Absolutely! And it was a lot better than my alternative picture of bugs on the front of a car. I was happy with the final result, but I wish I hadn’t waited until the end of the week.

The theme for week 15 was What People Think About You. Rather than showcasing one of my activities, I decided to put myself in front of the camera for a change. First, I had to learn how to use the self timer because I have not yet bought a remote. Then I had to pick a location. I tried a few pictures at work, but I wasn’t able to get a good angle without my tripod. I tried again at home, with the tripod this time. Better, but evidently I still have a lot to learn about using my camera, because I wasn’t able to get a clear shot. Every single one was blurry. Since I was running out of time I picked the least blurry shot to submit. My husband claims that I am constantly on the move, so maybe this could be his representation of me. I’m not happy with this picture. If I had started sooner I think I could have done a much better job.

I think it’s time to evaluate the activities that take most of my time. Aside from work, which is a necessity, which activities could I eliminate? Am I doing these things because I enjoy them or because I feel obligated? What would happen if I stopped? What else could I do with my free time?

It’s a lot to think about. And I will while I watch my newly hung hummingbird feeder for visitors… with my camera at the ready.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Crazy-Busy Life

I should have realized that I was tempting fate when I wrote about making weekly posts on my blog. That was on March 21 - more than 2 weeks ago. Now I feel bad for letting my readers down - all two of you - when you've been so good about checking in with me. I will do my best to catch you up on my crazy-busy life.

My participation in the MCP Project 52 has been affected by my schedule. I submitted pictures for the last two weeks and they were on the suggested theme, but I think you'll agree that they are not my best efforts.

Week 12's From the Jewelry Box had me digging out my collection of 80's twisty beads for a colorful, but messy shot, and Week 13's Just for Fun, an example of our Spring Fellowship craziness, was a late submission that missed the deadline for the group - probably just as well.

The best part of the last two weeks was spending time with my family. First, there was the Woodlands and Wildlife Expo two weekends ago where my son, James, and I took a couple of wildlife photography seminars; played with working dogs, a wolf hybrid, snakes, and a petting zoo full of cute critters; ate food prepared by the local dutch oven society; and picked up some trees to plant in our yard.

That was followed by all of us heading into Tomball for the German Heritage Festival.  Polka music, German beer,  brats and sauerkraut! What more could you ask for?  All in all, it was a wonderful (busy) day.

With the deadline for finishing our pow-wow outfits fast approaching, all of my spare time last week was dedicated to bead work and sewing. I am happy to report that the projects were finished in time. Well, mostly finished. I still plan to do some ribbon work to decorate James' leggings and aprons, but they were at least wearable. 

Here we are in our dance regalia.

James entered the dance competition and took first place in Senior Straight Dance.  He received a certificate and a belt buckle, along with quite a few nice compliments about his new outfit. There was no competition for ladies, but I enjoyed my evening of dancing and watching the boys compete.

Now that the big weekend is over, I'm trying to get back on my regular schedule. (My blog wasn't the only thing I neglected last week.)  Oh, and I'm looking for ideas for this week's photo challenge - Fusion.  If you have any suggestions, please send them my way!