Friday, December 31, 2010

FMTSO: Beginnings

A new year, a new you, new beginnings, new town. What is new, changing, evolving. New in your town or new with you if you care to share.  This is the theme for this week's Friday My Town Shoot Out.

Since I don't have any babies or grandbabies, I can't post new beginnings in that sense, but I can start over in my marriage by being more present instead of drifting off into lala land and dreaming dreams that are impossible to fulfill.  It's time to plant my feet firmly on the ground instead of floating along with the clouds. This week I was floating high and yesterday I fell off that cloud as I have many times before, but this time I think I finally learned my lesson.  It's personal. It's heartfelt.  It's time I grew up.

The new year brings new goals and new dreams.  In order to obtain those goals I need to plan and save for certain things.  That's why I will have a new budget.  We live on a budget every month and we pretty much get anything we want.  We know where our money goes and we can have fun and save for our future at the same time.  It's awesome being completely debt free.

I haven't completed my budget yet but this is the online form that I use.
You can find it at

Out with the old...........

In with the new

We haven't put the hardwood floor in yet, but this is the color we got.

I'm very excited to get a mini overhaul in my home.

I like my personality but sometimes I find myself wishing I could overhaul myself to please others.
Certain others not strangers.
Maybe I mean certain OTHER.

Oh well.  I am letting it go and I am going to have the best year ever.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What a year, and photo gallery.

Wow!  This year really whizzed by.  It's hard to believe that Christmas is upon us already.  During the year, I pushed myself to be more adventurous and outgoing.  Because I am quiet and reserved in certain social situations I think oftentimes people perceive me differently than how I really am.  Sometimes it takes me awhile to open up and be myself and because of that I think people might percieve me as a snob or a bore.  I need to be around people who are extremely extroverted to bring that out in me.  When I'm comfortable with someone they will see the crazy side of me and the funny sarcasm that usually sits just below the surface.  My real friends know me and I am so excited to be able to hook up with them during this holiday season.

The Nevada Camera Club has really helped me to grow personally and it has opened so many doors to new friendships and adventure and opportunities that I never in a million years thought I would be taking part in.  You all must be tired of hearing me talk about the camera club so often, but I really am passionate about it.  It's helped me to move forward in so many ways during a time when I really needed a detour from my own thoughts.

Our annual print competition is a Big Deal.  There are no divisions of class.  No beginners, no intermediate, no advanced, no master class.  All entries are grouped together and then judged by outside judges who are not members of the club. I think we had two college professors and a business owner as the judges.  I didn't win a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place ribbon, however I did win a yellow ribbon on one of my photos as an honorable mention.  I think there were approximately 247 photos entered and they are now proudly displayed at the Federal Courthouse until January 26, 2011.  Gayla and I went earlier this week and viewed all the entries and I took photos of the gallery for your viewing pleasure.  This gives you an idea of how amazing these photographers are and why I am always so critical of my own entries. 


Justin entered two photos as well and he's not in the club.
That's his photo on the bottom right.

The one photo I'm slightly embarrassed that I entered is hanging on this rack.
It's the crystal ball with the blue backgound. 
You can click the image to enlarge it if you want to get a better look.

I have two photos hanging on this rack.
The box office photo is one of my personal favorites.

We were allowed to enter eight photos.

Gayla has two pictures on this rack.
Can you guess which ones are hers?

Gayal has one photo hanging on this display.

Both Gayla and I have a photo on this rack.

Gayla entered five photos and I entered eight.

The photo on the top left with the yellow ribbons is mine.

The bottom right photo is Justin's.

I have one photo hanging here.

It looks really bland compared to the other photos.

Gayla and I have one photo each on this rack.

The blue ribbon winners and best of show.

More winners.

I love that portrait of the old man.

I hope you have enjoyed the photo gallery.

Friday, December 17, 2010

FMTSO: The Color Red

Did you know that RED is a power color?

It's also representative of Christmas.

This is my newly decorated three foot tree.  As you can see there is lots of red this year.
I thought it would be kind of cool to hang my photography ribbons as part of the decorations.

I was attempting to take Christmas portraits earlier today but Sasha wouldn't sit still
and I kept getting out of the frame.
Poor Sasha, it looks like I'm choking her.
See my santa hat?

There are Santas everywhere.
This is in front of a house that's in my neighborhood.

I did lots of driving around today trying to capture some red Christmas Spirit.

I like Santas.

In every shape and size

I love that so many houses put up Christmas decorations.

This was in the parking lot of Kohl's.
The businesses were a little scarece on holiday decorations this year.

Big Brother

That's it for my red this week.

CLICK HERE to see more red blogs.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Billy Idol - Catch My Fall (Original Demo)

This version makes me all tingly inside. 

Or maybe I'm just happy today.

I like the feeling in my soul.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Behind the Scenes at Toys for Tots

I really wish I had a picture to go along with this post, but unfortunately, I don't.

The other day I volunteered at the Toys for Tots warehouse.

I helped sort the toys into age groups so that the marines could fill the orders as they came in.

There were lots and lots of toys for the younger kids,
but hardly any toys or gifts for the older teenagers.

Gayla, myself and another friend thoroughly enjoyed giving our time for a couple of hours.

It felt really good to be helping out.

I talked my husband into going with me a second time.
When I went back tonight to help out again,
several marines were standing out in front of the building explaining that they didn't need help
because they had run out of toys.

It's very sad because they have already given out 450,000 toys and still have about 30 organizations to give toys to.  They said there are still 20,000 kids who need toys for Christmas.

The YMCA was very upset at the marines because they didn't deliver enough toys to fill their order.  The marines spent $25,000.00 this past week to buy more toys because the donations just weren't coming in as much as they did last year.
Don't get me wrong, people are generously giving. 
I saw the toys myself.
But there are more families who are in need this year.

I applaud these marines and their efforts to help the kids of families less fortunate.

Here's a story one marine told us that happened to him and another marined just today.

Two women got really upset because the toys ran out.  One of the women called the WHITE marine the devil and threw holy water on him and then preceded to rant and rave that the reason they weren't getting the toys is because they are black.  The funny thing is the second marine who is BLACK was standing right next to the other marine the whole time.

I think it's really sad and horrible that these women have developed a "gimme" attitude.
In my opinion they are the type of people who expect government hand-outs instead of getting off their butts and trying to make their lives better.  

It makes me really mad that some people are still so ungrateful even when people are giving of their time, their money, their hearts to make someone else's life a little better.

These men, these wonderful young men have been working their butts off with hardly any volunteers to help and this is how they get treated?

Shame on those who EXPECT a handout
and BLESS those who have a LEGITIMATE need.

I know the difference.  I hope you all do too.

God bless America and all of the men and women who SERVE our country.

Monday, December 13, 2010

FMTSO: 10 Minutes from home (better late than never)

Ah, it's been a busy two months for me so I haven't had much time for blogging, which I miss greatly.
I debated whether or not to post the Friday Town Shoot Out because I'm so late but after thinking about it for awhile, I decided to go ahead and post something just so I can participate in this theme. 
I took several pictures going in several different directions but I decided to only post one location.  There are two post offices near my home.  One is only about five minutes away and the other one is exactly ten minutes. (I timed my driving)  It's not a grand building or anything so I took a photo of the drive up mailboxes.  It was a very sunny day and I had sunbursts throughout my entire picture so I posterized it to minimize the bad photo.

While I was at the post office, the perfect photo op presented itself to me.

This is what I captured from the parking lot of the post office.

The balloon was really far away.
I had my 300 mm lens zoomed in all the way and then I still had to crop the photo to bring the balloon in closer.

Well, that's it for my Friday shoot out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A couple of goof balls

It's very rare that my husband and I are in a photo together.
Usually, I take photos of him when we travel.
I have to urge him to take my picture as proof that I was actually on vacation with him.
I'm not very photogenic but occasionally I'll see myself and think, " it's not too bad"

This past weekend, the day after Thanksgiving,
we traveled to Carlsbad, California near San Diego to visit my sister.
Sunday, just before leaving to come home I took out the tri-pod and made my husband pose with me.
I am surprised that I look so happy.
I am extremely critical of my looks and I find and pick at my flaws constantly.
Evn though this captures the essence of me, I cringe when I see my that my stomach isn't flat
and that my hands look much older than they should.
My smile is crooked, my teeth aren't straight, my smile lines are too deep, I have more than one chin and no neck or should I say lots of fat under that chin. 
My profile is scary.  I'm not perfect and I'm not beautiful.
But all in all
after all the critiquing I've done
I am satisfied that I took a decent picture.

I'm pretty confident in myself,
but when I get behind the camera I'm not natural at all.
Sometimes though, I am surprised that I look like how I feel.
In these photos I am much more natural than if I was posing for someone else.

My sister on the other hand, is very natural behind the camera.
She is beautiful and photogenic.

It's hard to believe that we come from the same family.
We don't look alike at all.

Friday, November 19, 2010

FMTSO: Temptations and Guilty Pleasures

This week's theme is very fitting considering I live in the city of sin.
There are temptations all around the streets of Las Vegas.
There are strip clubs, all nude bars, gambling, alchohol, sex, drugs, prostitution.
Okay, I'm sure these temptations are everywhere, however,
they are probably a bit more prevalent on the streets of Las Vegas.

But don't worry, I'm not going to show you any of that stuff. 
What tempts me is pure indulgence in food, in objects, in activities.

Every time I drive by the Psychic Eye Book Shop
I am tempted to get one of these.....

I love to get readings. 
It's definitely one of my guilty pleasures.
I'm still looking for a really good psychic though.
I've only come across two so far that I would put in the really good category.
Maybe one of my readers can hook me up with a good psychic or medium.

I don't feel guilty reading books, but going to the book store is a guilty pleasure because I have no self control.  I can't even leave the store without spending anywhere from $100.00 to $200.00 on books.
My last trip to the bookstore netted me these four photography books.
When I had my business, I was much worse than I am now because I could right it off as educational materials. 
 I would spend hundreds of dollars about once a week on personal development and leadership books,
not to mention books on the paranormal, astrology and sex.
Needless to say I don't make many trips to the bookstore anymore.
Now, I have to restrain myself every time I go to Costco.
I just bought two books from Costco yesterday.

Magazines tempt my wallet every time I go to the grocery store.
I have gotten much better about buying on impulse but I still love to bring home a good quick read.

Surfing the internet is a guilty pleasure when I spend too much time on the computer.
It's so tempting to keep hopping from one web site to another.

And then there's this awful addiction I have when I get on the computer....

Yep, before I do anything else I must harvest my farm in Farmville.
This is a picture of my farm.  I am now at level 74.
I have no idea how I got so hooked on this game but It helps me be creative.

Has anyone ever tried Raising Cane's?  I absolutely love their dipping sauce and I feel so guilty every time I eat it because I know that it is packed with calories and fat but sometimes I must indulge.

Let's open the bag and see what I got this morning just so I could take a photo for this shoot out.

Mmm.  A maple bar.  Even though it was meant to be a prop for this shoot,
I just couldn't resist the temptation to eat it.  The things we do for photography.

One of my favorite fast food restaurants is Wienerschnitzel.

They have the best chili cheese dog.

Messy, but well worth the guilt. 
Yummy.  Now you all know what I had for lunch today.

I like having a glass of wine every now and then too.
I don't feel guilty about that though. 
It's pleasure without guilt.

Ah, so many temptations, especially in the realm of food.

My biggest temptation is to keep on driving even though I don't have anywhere to go.
I love being in the car and I love travelling.
I should feel guilty about all the gas I waste but I don't.

Well those are the photos I took today.
I didn't want to go into archives so this is a fresh perspective at least in this moment.


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