Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July 29

Our new carpet came today!! I am so excited - it looks so nice! We finally replaced the "builder's grade" carpet that was installed in our house when they built it. After eight years, three kids, and two dogs, it was positively disgusting. About two weeks ago we decided it was time to make our dining room back into a dining room (it had been a playroom until now). We got all the toys out of there, painted the walls, and when we were done, the carpet was just too nasty to keep. So, out with the old and in with the new. I think it looks great.

On a completely different note, Alex had his first, full contact football practice tonight. Here he is all suited up and ready to go.

July 28

Well, I already explained my travel drama in my last entry. I saw this hanging on my house when I got home, though. Caty had made it for me. I thought it was so sweet.

July 26 and July 27

I didn't take any pictures on these two days. On Saturday we took Allison's girls with us while we went to some flea market/antique stores. We also hit "The World's Largest General Store" - a favorite place of mine to go to when I am out there. Unfortunately, that store burned to the ground a year or two ago. They had some of it set up in tents but, sadly, it wasn't anything like what it had been.

Saturday night, Allison's mom watched her girls and we all hit a local bar that Allison and Steve like to hang out at. We had a great time - stayed out way too late and laughed our heads off.

On Sunday, Emily and I had to leave to go back home. It ended up being a complete nightmare. Emily's flight got delayed, causing her to miss her connection in Atlanta. She BEGGED them in Philadelphia to put her on a flight the next morning so that wouldn't happen, but they refused. She ended up having to sleep at the Atlanta airport before flying out the next morning. The assholes lost her luggage, too.

My flight was cancelled altogether because of a mechanical problem on the plane. I was one of the lucky ones. There were several flights cancelled because a big storm blew threw Philadelphia while we were driving to the airport. I say I was lucky because I got a comp'd hotel room and meal because the flight was cancelled for mechanical reasons. I guess if your flight is cancelled for weather related reasons you're on your own as far as where to sleep and eat that night.

Anyway, they booked me on a flight for the next morning. My first flight was to DALLAS - because, you know, you should always fly farther away from home than you already are - and then my connection through there brought me home. My connection flight was delayed. I didn't think I would ever get home. I left Philadelphia at around 9:00 in the morning and didn't get home until 5:30 pm. It was brutal. OH!! And on my flight home, they assigned me a middle seat. As if that weren't bad enough, person to my right had no business buying a single seat. They had the armrest up because they couldn't fit in their own seat (and thus spooged over onto mine) and a seatbelt extender. I had to sit ass to ass with this person the entire way home - two hours!!

July 25

Allison, Emily, Allison's friend Rachelle, and I all went to a small town near Allison's house today to do some shopping. The town is really cute and quaint and the shops were awesome. Lots of antique stores and vintage stuff. We had a great time! I bought a really nice pair of earrings. We stopped at a little pizza place for lunch where I tried (and loved) my very first "white pizza". YUM! Allison got her navel pierced, too. I took a bunch of pictures of that, but I couldn't use the flash while the guy was doing it so they are dark. As I bumped the ISO up to make up for the dark lighting, they are grainy when I lighten them up. I've got to work them in Photoshop a little more. Allison put some on her blog, though, if you want to see them.

I took this picture of this little church because I liked how it looked against the background. I thought the sign on this shop was priceless, too. LOL!

July 24

I left for a weekend in PA today!! I'm meeting my friend, Emily, at the airport in Philadelphia and then we are driving to spend the weekend with Allison and her family. This picture, obviously, is my view from the plane. I believe I was still over Indiana when I took this. (click on the picture - you can really see a lot of detail on the ground).

July 23

I don't even remember what she was mad about, but MAN! Look at that face! LOL! She's going to bring some man to his knees one day....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

July 22

Okay, technically, I took this picture on Monday night, but I just got around to editing it today and wanted to post it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July 21

Now I know how people get sucked into their computers all day. I can sit and edit photos for hours - it's a lot of fun.

Last night I wanted to practice taking portrait pictures. Billy was my subject. He's not an easy subject as he doesn't look at the camera long enough to really focus on his eyes. He tries, though. This was my favorite one. Silly boy!

I also wanted to practice taking super close ups (macros). I was thrilled to find out my camera has an f29 - perfect for taking close up shots. I found out, though, that you really need a tripod when doing this (after the first three shots were totally blurry). Luckily, Billy (the tripod mount thief) knew exactly where the missing mount for my tripod was and I was able to play for a bit. Check out this wicked cool picture of a daisy in the flowerbed in front of my house. I love this picture!

Monday, July 21, 2008

July 20

We went swimming at my mom's today. My brother and step-sister were both there with their kids, too. I took a bunch of pictures of my niece and nephews - couldn't choose just one for today so here are a few.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

July 19

Monkey hunting. I was on the phone when I heard Billy go outside. A few minutes later, he came bursting through the door, soaking wet and splattered with mud.

Me: Billy, what happened to you??

Billy: I was just searching for a monkey.

Me: What?

Billy: I WAS JUST SEARCHING FOR A MONKEY! (apparently he thinks I couldn't hear him the first time)

Me: Where?

Billy: Right there (pointing) across the street.

Me: In the cornfield?

Billy: Yes. I was just searching for a monkey.

Me: (trying not to laugh) Did you find one?

Billy: No.

Me: Do monkeys live in cornfields?

Billy: No, they live in the jungle.

So, apparently the cornfields across the street look like a jungle, teaming with monkeys just waiting for Billy to find one and bring home for a pet. And, apparently, searching for monkeys is very, very dirty work. Maybe we should call Mike Rowe....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

July 18

Today I was playing with some of the cool, auto features on my camera - namely the sports/action setting. Check out Alex doing stunts on the waterslide! (these are only a few of the frames. I took at least 10 pictures of this one stunt.)

July 17

Here's one of Alex, slightly out of focus, but nice nonetheless. I've just been playing with the camera, working on getting the right things in focus (you'd think it would be easy).

July 16

So much fun!! I've been playing around with the pictures I took with my new camera in Photoshop. I can't decide which one I like better - what do you think?

Friday, July 18, 2008

July 15

I have no pictures from today. I had a meeting for work and was gone all afternoon.

July 14

A really bad picture of a daylily in my front yard. I had a ton of work to do today for school and didn't get outside with my camera while the kids were playing. The darn picture isn't even in focus - egads!!

In other news, my camera and lens are supposed to arrive on Wednesday!! Unfortunately, the memory card won't be here until Thursday. Darnit!!!

July 13

Well, we're home again and all I have is a sunset picture to show it. Even *I'm* sick of these, already, but it's all I have to show for today. Sorry

I've ordered a rockin' new camera - a Canon Rebel XSi. I can't WAIT until it gets here (by Thursday). It's a digital SLR - I'm so excited to start playing!

July 12

FINALLY the warm weather arrived - woo hoo!!!! Of course, it had to be a beach/boat day. By now, by brother in law and his family had been there for 2 days, too, and we were all itching to get in some quality time on the lake. The lake where we have the boat is really nice. It's an all sand bottom, which is why the water looks brown (the water is surprisingly clear). The lake is really shallow for a long way out, which the kids like as they can go far from shore and only be in water up to their hips. I loved these two pictures of Caty and Billy.

Later in the day, Caty had the minnow net and was fishing off the dock. I LOVED all the sparkles on the water and the way she was silhouetted against the background.

July 11

Well, today was SUPPOSED to be nice. I'd made plans earlier in the week to meet my friend, Christy, and her kids at the beach today. Unfortunately, it was more of the same - cloudy and cool. The sun would peek out every now and then, but it was pretty chilly (it ended up warming up around 3:00 in the afternoon - about 30 minutes after we'd decided to call it a day).

Here is a picture of Billy playing with the sand. Bill and all the kids (Christy had three of her kids with her) were off climbing the dunes behind us so it was just Christy, Billy, and me.

I was trying to get a picture of Christy - who is as much a camera phobe as I am - and this was the best I got. Too bad her eyes were shut or it would have been a nicer shot. Oh well. She's going to kill me if she ever finds this blog - shhhhh!

July 10

Another chilly day in the neighborhood - HMPF! We couldn't catch a break this trip. Of course it is never too cold for ice cream. My father in law treated us all to Dairy Queen after dinner. It's one of the old ones, where you order outside and the only people inside are the people that work there (there is no indoor seating). You can't see her, but Caty is in front of Alex and they are both watching the girls inside make our treats. I thought it was cute how they were looking through the window.

July 9

Okay - thanks to my friend, Alien, I've been able to play around with some actions in photoshop and work on processing the rest of my vacation pictures.

Today was another cold day. We ran into Marquette to pick up a new memory card for my camera, grab some lunch, and get some groceries for dinner. After dinner, we went to Munising for a free folk concert in the park that my mother in law had told us about. It wasn't too bad! I had a great time people watching. This man and dog were sitting to my right. Cracked me up when he covered his pooch with the blanket.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

July 8

Okay, I think I've figured out some basic things in Photoshop so here are my first attempts at editing raw images with this software. I probably have the most pictures from our trip from this day. It was a beautiful, sunny day. The temperature was cool - only 67 degrees - but we went to the beach anyway. We had a BLAST that day. There was nothing but sunshine in the sky and it warmed the sun and the shallow water of the river just right. We were swimming where the AuTrain River feeds into Lake Superior. It was a perfect day.

When I took this one, the colors were amazing. I later realized, later, that it was because I had my sunglasses on. Where the water is different depths in the lake, the colors would range from aqua blue to dark blue.

This one, above, is way more washed out than it looked in the editor. Hmmmmmm

Bill and Alex made some kickass sandcastles.

The dog had a great time swimming and playing frisbee.

One of the funniest things that day - Bill would bury Samson's frisbee and then laugh as the dog sniffed around and dug it up.

One of the few pictures I got of Alex alone. He had been rolling in the sand, as you can see.

Another one of Caty, laying in the sand.

July 7

Well, as nice as Sunday was, Monday was just okay. The weather was cold - only 59 degrees despite the sunshine. There was a wind out of the North which kept the temperatures down as he only thing "north" is Lake Superior - the coldest lake in North America (which happened a lot while we were there).

Today we watched fog roll in over the lake. There is actually a huge island (Grand Island) that you can normally see from the shore. In these pictures, I was trying to capture the fog rolling over the shore. In this one, the "blurry" spot in the grass (near the trees - it looks like sand, sort of) is actually fog.
In this picture, it is the blurry spot on the trees, near the skyline. Trust me, it was way cool in person.

July 6

We hit the beach today after lunchtime. It was a nice, warm, sunny day, but it was windy, as you can see by the waves. We had a fun time, despite not really being able to hear much over the noise of the wind and surf. Bill ended up having to pull the boat out of the lake and drain it because it was taking on too much water. It was a good BEACH day, not a good BOAT day.

NOTE: You are going to see a lot of pictures of Caty and Billy and not as many of Alex from our trip. Alex spent ALL of his time with Bill, who spent a lot of beach time out on the lake in the boat while I was on shore with the other two. Just felt the need to explain.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Vacation pictures

The rest of my pictures are going to have to wait a bit longer. I shot them in a different format and have to use Photoshop to edit them. I have NO idea how to use photoshop, yet, so as I learn I will get pictures up. Sorry!

July 5

Today we drove to Michigan for our vacation. We spent a week in the UP. Here are pictures from the drive.

July 4

I SO wanted to take fireworks pictures today, but it was not meant to be. As we were heading to the park to watch the display, I noticed that the mount for my tripod was missing - I had no way to attach my camera to the tripod. Unfortunately, I barely took any pictures during the party - this was all I got. Above it a picture of Billy eating crackers and trying to smile at the same time. He doesn't do well at big parties and gets irritated pretty easily. Below is a picture of my brother-in-law splitting a log in the middle of his driveway to use as firewood later that evening. I thought it was funny that all the guys took turns trying to split the log. Men...