Saturday, February 26, 2011

A LONG Two Weeks

I have not posted any of my 365 pictures for the past two weeks so I figured it was time to catch up. There is a reason for my absence which basically boils down to the fact that I was being slowly poisoned by some medication that was supposed to keep me healthy. Oops! On the bright side we figured it out and I'm headed towards normal (whatever that may be.)

I'm going to TRY to keep my comments brief during this post because otherwise, well, you'll never get to the bottom of my post. That plus, some of the pictures are just so lame that to say more than a sentence would be fruitless.

The first two pictures and the last two pictures are pre and post-illness shots.

February 12 - Baby shower for John's sister's son's wife - Jen. Fun was had by all as we tried to guess what she's going to have. Some said boy, some said girl, thus some of us will be right. For the record, I'm guessing girl, but I'm really clueless.

February 13 - Met with our small group. This sweet girl joined us for dinner before our Truth Project video. She always cracks me up!

February 14 - This bottle of Dr. Pepper (which John left work to buy for me) was pretty much the entirety of the sustenance I took in during the day. My Valentine's gift (other than the Dr. Pepper) was a fun-filled trip to the Emergency Room. That John, he sure knows how to show me a good time.

February 15 - I was well enough on Tuesday to go see my chiropractor. His assistant Shirley agreed, somewhat begrudgingly, to be my picture of the day AND told me, once she saw it, that it "wasn't a bad" picture of her.

February 16 - I reached a new low in my "picture a day" quest when I took a shot of the clean laundry drying on the shower rod.

February 17 - I was still hanging around the house and my big activity for the day was working on a baby blanket for an upcoming shower gift. This one rates right above the laundry but below the sign that you'll see in a couple of minutes.

February 18 - I actually got out of the house on Friday and found my friend, Carla, working at the store. She too, was a bit reluctant to have her picture taken, but I promised her I'd make her look good.

February 19 - I was so happy on Saturday that I felt well enough to go to a baby shower for Renee. She is the daughter of one of my very best girlfriends and I would have been sad if I'd missed it.

February 20 - Sunday was John's (and my mom's) birthday but the blizzard we drove home from church in that day preempted any birthday photos I might have planned. The rules are that there can only be one picture a day and it should be taken on the day you post it on the 365 Project website. Some people cheat but I'm hoping I won't have to (thus the laundry photo.) So, I had to actually post the blizzard on the day it happened and I saved John for the next day.

February 21 - I was back to being quite sick again on Monday but on the bright side, this was the day we determined the root of the problem. Since this was the picture I had planned for John's birthday, I made him don his new camouflage Snuglee for the picture. I bought it as sort of a joke, but I heard talk about him taking it hunting. He keeps me entertained, that's for sure.

February 22 - I half expected to find a friend at the grocery store to use as my subject for Tuesday. It's a small town and generally when you go to the store between 4:00 - 6:00 PM there's a pretty good chance you'll see someone you know. I did see a girl I thought I knew and waved from five aisles away only to find out it wasn't her when I got closer. (Seriously, I was hunting her down to be my photo subject!) But, not to despair; on my way out of the store I found this sign which cracked me up when I really needed to laugh.

February 23 - I was back at the chiropractor's office on Wednesday and since it was my only activity of the day, Dr. Pat McIntee became my "subject."

February 24 - I finally felt almost human again and knowing that I was at least not contagious allowed me to go visit my friend, Betsy, who is "walking towards heaven." It was a tough day and this church along the way stood as a reminder that she is not walking alone, nor am I.

February 25 - Though the baby showers were fun and going to the ER in the midst of the hospital's changeover to electronic records was um, interesting; Friday was my favorite day of this past two weeks. Friday night John and I got to babysit our sweet granddaughter. We had so much fun and it's clear that she already has John wrapped around her little finger.

There you have it. You are now all caught up on my life (or lack thereof) for the past two weeks. If you want to read more about the pictures, or see them each day as they are posted you can visit my little corner of the 365 Project website at

Until next time; make some memories, take some pictures, spend time with the ones you love.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

On the Mend

If you'll recall from my previous 365 project blog, I ended the week fighting a stubborn virus and I'm happy to say that I'm on the mend. Phew! That was a tough one but when I read other friend's status updates on Facebook I come to the realization that I had the "easy" version, if you will. But, on Saturday, February 5, I will still in "will I ever get better" mode. So, I decided to make lemonade out of lemons, as they say.

I have loved scrapbooking for years and recently have moved towards doing digital scrapbooks, primarily because it's easier to tote around the materials needed (just one laptop) and they take up significantly less room on the bookshelf. At first, I wasn't a huge fan of doing my books digitally and then having them printed, but just as I grew to love digital cameras, I'm learning to love digital scrapbooking. My illness gave me some time to watch some technique webinars which has increased my enthusiasm immensely. So, my first picture of the week is of my computer, because pretty much all I did was sleep, eat, and watch digital scrapbooking webinars.

On Sunday, I woke up for the first time in four days without a sore throat, which meant I could go to church. Yahoo! It also happened to be our little granddaughter, Amelia's first day at church AND the first time I'd seen her in over a week (which was really more annoying than my virus) so she, along with her parents were Sunday's picture of the day. As you can see, she was very excited to be the "star" of the show.

This next picture may seem a little lame, but still, it represents my day on Monday - the day for my yearly blood tests - cholesterol, chem 8 panel, etc. All the fun stuff they start testing as you get older. The lab was full of interesting things to take pictures of (not the least of which was the wall painted to look like a Caribbean beach complete with a sign that said "Cabo san Labo") but I decided on the vials for the blood. They are so pretty (in an odd kind of way) and organized sitting there waiting to be filled. Fortunately, I only had to fill one. (I actually thought about taking a picture of the needle in my arm but I didn't want to upset the squeamish ones who might be reading this.)

Tuesday I was so excited to get to spend some time with two of my good friends, Leslie and Nancy. Leslie's birthday was in January but Tuesday was the first chance we had to get the three of us together to celebrate. We had a fabulous lunch at the Lake Elmo Inn. If you've never been there - go. You can thank me later. When the three of us get together it's hard to get us to stop talking. Let's just say they were setting up for dinner by the time we left. What great friends!

On Wednesday, I had big plans for a picture and well, it just didn't work out. The temps were in the sub-zeros so once I got back home I didn't especially want to go out "looking for a picture." Once again, I decided to look outside my back windows to see what I could find. The sun shining on these beautiful icicles and even though I had to open the window to get the shot, I did so quickly. I love icicles but you really should read what a fellow "365er" has to say about winter in general and icicles in particular. She presents a pretty convincing case that winter is trying to kill us.

I actually forgot to take my 365 picture on Thursday and was pulling into town at 10:00 PM when I realized my mistake. I took a few other pictures of our downtown area at night but this one of the car thermometer really summed up my day the best. It was just plain cold and I was ready to be done with it. The next day it warmed up to the 30's (a real heat wave.) Actually, in the early hours of Thursday morning my computer said it was -18° so one could make a case that -5° was just the beginning of the heat wave. In the meantime, I'm praying that I don't see this number again for awhile; many, many months . . . or even years.

We ended the week by going to "Marriage Night" at our church, thus it seemed only appropriate that we get a picture of the two of us together. And yes, our church has a fireplace in the lobby, which was handy because even though it had warmed all the way up to 30°F, it was still cold. I have to admit also, that, having been married for 35+ years I wasn't convinced that I'd get much out of "Marriage Night" but I was wrong. Peter Haas from Substance Church gave a great message. Considering the fact that I got married about the same day he was born, I was pretty impressed. Only goes to show two things. 1.) You CAN teach an old dog new tricks, and 2.) It's always a good thing to spend time investing in your marriage.

There you have it; another week of memories. Hope your week is filled with some fabulous memories of your own. Look for them - make them happen.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Define Sweetheart

It’s February – the month of LOVE! The month of hearts and flowers. It would be hard to miss the fact that this is the month that we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Even television networks are eager to promote the romantic holiday. In December, immediately after Christmas had ended, I started seeing little pop-ups on the Hallmark Channel that said “Only 50 days left until Valentine’s Day.” Seriously! We didn’t even have all of our Christmas gifts unwrapped yet!

It came as no surprise, then, when Wheel of Fortune started the month with “Sweethearts Week.” Yes, it’s true, at times we do watch Wheel of Fortune at this house, which is really quite remarkable considering I abhor crossword puzzles and Wheel of Fortune is basically a giant crossword game that comes at you one phrase at a time.

Here’s how Wheel of Fortune’s “Sweetheart Week” works. Instead of having just one player at each position they have a man and wife working together as a team. So, the other night John and I are watching the show and he has apparently missed the fact that it is “Sweetheart Week” because suddenly he says to me “Why are there two people answering the questions? Are they married?” “Because it’s “Sweetheart’s Week,” John. Haven’t you been paying attention?” I replied. I kid you not when I tell you his response, “Oh, so they’re not married.” It wasn’t a question.

I’ve got three days until Valentine’s Day. I’m thinking I’ll go out and buy heart shaped post-it notes and start sticking them around the house as a reminder. Maybe I’ll even stick one on myself that says “Your Sweetheart.”

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Beauty in Every Day

Well, this week is almost done and I've not yet posted pictures from last week. Somehow, I thought these pictures would be my "easy" post of the week, not my only post. Well, bear with me. There have been some extenuating circumstances this past week. At least that's the excuse I'm using for now.

So, a million years ago, on January 29, I threw a bridal shower for my friend, Nancy Nylin's future daughter-in-law, Jessica. I have to say, Jessica exudes excitement as she opens gifts. She was so fun to watch. It didn't matter what the gift was, she loved it. I do think however, her favorite might just be the Espresso Machine that she talked about wanting even before she started opening gifts.

Sunday was a tough day because I had to say good-bye to two couples. First off, it was the last day that our Creative Arts Pastor, Jeff Kerr, would be leading worship at our church. I tell Jeff that he has ruined me for worship with other people; he's just that good. And, his wife Kristie, has been such a great friend to me. Now, the good news is that they aren't really leaving the area so I'll still see them, which allowed me to get through the service without dissolving into a weeping, hysterical mess. Kristie and Jeff are starting two new ministries and I've linked their names to those so check it out. They are amazing people.

By the way, the other couple I said good-bye to was Krista and Steph Prince who are heading to Swaziland, Africa tomorrow. They too, are amazing people and the only reason they weren't the picture of the day on Sunday is because I have to pick just one and Krista was my picture of the day a couple of weeks ago. Read all about their journey on their blog. It'll encourage you in yours.

It had been a busy week and Monday it was time to get back to the old grindstone and workout. I've been going to a Women's Workout Center here in Cannon Falls since 2006. Seriously, you'd think I'd be skinnier by now, but let's just leave that issue alone today. Lora owns Fit of Fourth (which coincidentally is located on 4th Street) and was busy on Monday sprucing it up for Valentine's day.

Tuesday dawned as a gloomy, gray day. Winter, it seemed, was bound and determined to stick around for a bit. I was short on energy and long on boredom so finally, in an effort to find some beauty in the dreary day, I went for a little drive out in the "country" as I like to call it. The "country" is the area that surrounds Cannon Falls and is filled with wide open fields, horses, barns, cows, and the like. There are lots of beautiful things that could be photographed but I chose this close up of an evergreen bough; mainly because I could take it from the car with my telephoto lens. To be honest, I did get out of the car a couple of times to take pictures, but they weren't as good. It's hard to get a good "nature" picture on a gloomy day.

Wednesday I was planning to bring dinner to some friends from our church. Their little guy is three weeks old (well, four by now) so he got to be the star that day. I titled this picture "Packer's Fan" because he really won't have much of a choice. His dad is a HUGE fan and could be quite obnoxious now that they've won the Super Bowl.

And then there was Thursday, the day I realized that that slightly annoying scratchy throat was here for the duration. I went nowhere and basically did nothing; thus I had to get a little more creative with my pictures. So, despite the bitter cold, I opened my bedroom window and captured the view. The best part of this view was the sun. You can't really see it, but you can tell it was shining. Somehow, it made being sick a little bit easier.

I was still sick on Friday and though I did get out for a haircut (because I'd have to actually be dying to skip that) I didn't get any pictures. So, I walked around the house with my camera to see what I could find. There were some flowers on my table (that were already a week old) and I took a few pictures. Daisies are always cheerful and believe me, I needed some cheer. But, the pictures I got just weren't all that exciting so I decided to play around with my photo-editing program a bit and this is what I came up with.

I think the lesson, if you will, from the photos this week is this: find the beauty in every day. Even in the challenges, there is beauty to be found - in nature and in the lives of others. Watch for it and be amazed.