Thursday, February 26, 2009

Winners Announced in Giveaway

Because there were so many entries in my Giveaway contest, I decided to choose two winners rather than one. And they are:


#85 - Monica Merced Rich

#43 - Kacey

Please contact me at to claim your prize.

Thanks so much to everyone who participated. I'm so glad you stopped by. Thanks also for the kind comments that so many of you left and hello to all the new faces. I usually have a giveaway every month or so, so stay tuned.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Photo Giveaway Contest ends tomorrow

This post is for Rich, my co-worker and friend who has been reading this blog from the beginning and who insists that I do a post every day. For my fans, you know. Right.

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My name is George. Throw me a stick. Please?


Anyway, I swore to him before I left work today that I was NOT posting anything for tomorrow, as I was planning on just leaving the contest up until 6 PM and then announcing the winner. But he assured me that I would not be able to do this. He told me that I'd want to write something. Anything. "Write about this", he tells me, holding up a pair of queen sized control-top pantyhose that someone has donated as a prize for our Family Bingo Night this weekend. I swear, in the box of prize donations, there really is a pair of pantyhose. I pity the poor child who fills his card and calls out "Bingo", only to win this little number.

That would never happen. But it is funny to imagine. And I am easily amused.

Speaking of which, my husband took this photo today. And George does NOT look amused.

REMEMBER: Giveaway contest (below) ends tonight (that's Thursday, Feb. 26) at 6 PM Eastern Standard Time. Winner will be announced by 7 PM. And with the number of entries, I may have to choose more than one winner . . .

'Til then, my friends . . .

Oh, and this is a PS ~ To those who have e-mailed or have left inquiries on the comment form, the answer is yes, my prints are for sale. I just thought everyone knew that. My etsy site is on the right sidebar, if you are so inclined as to come visit. But that is NOT why I am having this contest. I just like giving stuff away every now and then. I did add a few items to the site today, per customer requests.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another Giveaway. Because I like them.


Yep, folks. I'm hosting another Giveaway because I feel like it. And whatever I feel like doing, I just do. (My husband tells me this all the time).

So today I feel like giving something away.

What I'm offering is a print of one of the following photographs. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me which one is your favorite. They're all from my texture folder because well, I'm just into the texture thing lately. And since I do whatever the hell I feel like doing (he says this also) well, that's what I'm a-doin' today.

So, leave a comment and let me know which you prefer. Pimp this Giveaway on your own blog and get an extra vote. Leave me a link to your post so I don't have to go searching for it, k? Contest begins 6 PM Tues., Feb. 24 and ends at 6 PM Thurs., Feb. 26. I'll use the Random Integer device to decide the winner.

Here are the contestants:

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Crabapple Bloom

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Turkey Point Light 1

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Frozen Dogwood Bud

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Daisy in Texture

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Turkey Point Light 2

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Vestry Windows

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Queen Anne's Lace

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Valentine's Day

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Turkey Point Light 3

I like the lighthouse ones, that's why I have three of them. And I do what I want.

Have fun, my friends . . .

Here they are in mini-version, so you don't have to stress your scroll finger.

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I love a good movie

Visiting a fellow blogger today, I was vividly reminded how much I enjoy the movie, Amelie. It's a French film (2001) directed by Jeanne-Pierre Jeunet and stars Audrey Tautou as Amelie Poulain. Basically, it is a human comedy about love.


Amelie grew up lonely and isolated from other children. Her distant and taciturn father, an ex-army physician, mistakenly believed her to have a serious heart problem. Her mother died in a freak accident, which caused her father to withdraw even further into himself. Amelie is left to amuse herself and consequently develops a vivid imagination.

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As a young woman, she happily lives alone and is employed as a waitress at a small cafe in Paris that seems to be a magnet for misfits and is owned by a former circus performer. Amelie spends her free time enjoying such simple pleasures as sticking her hands in sacks full of grain, cracking creme brulee with a teaspoon, skipping stones, and trying to guess how many couples in Paris are having an orgasm at the same time ("Fifteen", she announces).

But things get really interesting when she discovers a broken tile in her apartment wall. Behind the tiles, she finds a very old tin box full of treasures left by a little boy. She decides to try to find the person whose treasure this was, and return to him his prized possession, telling herself that if it makes him happy, she will devote her life to bringing happiness to others.

There are many wonderful characters in this film, which weaves a tale of a sweetly poignant, intricately detailed and beautifully filmed motion picture. It was nominated for five Academy Awards in 2001, won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival  and was selected by the New York Times as one of " The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made".

The first clip is the movie trailer. I added the second clip because I just liked it.


I hope you do, too.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Monday, February 23, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook: Monday, February 23

For Today
Outside my window it is night.
I am thinking about my youngest son and worrying some. I'll get over it.simple-woman-daybook-small
I am thankful for a warm house to live in.
From the kitchen is the sound of silence.
I am wearing gray polartech pants, white sweater, stiletto pumps. I thought it was a nice look, but I was so very wrong.
I am creating more fabrications as I sit here and daydream. Because I would never ever wear stiletto pumps.
I am going to go get an orange. And peel it. And eat it.
I am reading secrets on
I am hoping that my son is attending classes at school.
I am hearing Barbara Walters on 60 Minutes tonight.
Around the house, George sleeps at my feet.
One of my favorite things is laughing with my sons.
A few plans for the rest of the week are going to York, PA on Friday evening to see my niece in a play. She's a senior in high school. I'll stay at my sister's house and it will be fun.
Here is picture thought I am sharing. I took it last May at a school baseball game. These are my friends, Tracey on the left and KathyJules on the right. They make me laugh. And I miss them.

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You are invited to participate in The Simple Woman's Daybook where you will get to meet many others doing just as you are, sharing little aspects of their day.

Have a wonderful day. See you tomorrow, my friends . . .

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Is anyone else feeling this way too?

I laughed out loud when I read this post, and realized it's exactly how I am feeling right now. It's cold and grey and a bit windy here in Maryland. We've had snow showers on and off and was feeling really down today. My husband just poured me a cup of tea and I sat down to catch up on some blogs. Visiting one of my favorites, Erin at Woman in a Window, led me to this blog. And I'm all about the sharin'.


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PS ~ This is our driveway directly across from the house and is NOT the mailbox I use. I wish it was . . .

The postman cometh. For George.

I have this strange aversion to the act of picking up mail. Oh, I always pick it up eventually, but I tend to let it pile up for as much as a week couple days before I break down and collect it. I do have several sound reasons for my mail-phobia, one of which is that I just don't want to see all the bills that the postman brings.

And another other reason is that it's just downright dangerous going to my mailbox! It's way out on the main road and directly across from a much-used intersection. If a car is turning left from the main road into the road opposite my driveway, other cars will travel around it, passing on the right and this is exactly where our mailbox sits. It's been hit once, too, since we moved here last October. Smashed to the ground back in November. So I'm really careful about picking up the mail and keeping my eyes on the traffic.

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Today was one such day that I did my duty by collecting the mail. Traffic was light and the road looked good. And wow! The mailbox was jam packed.

There was something I had ordered from Le Jarden girl, who was having a buy one print, get one free sale on her blog. There was that apron I ordered for myself (I'm not sure if I like it yet), and there was a package addressed to George Young.

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In the package it was a pair of soft frisbees and a note from Dixie and her owner, Chere. Dixie's knees are poor and she can't run and fetch frisbees like she used to, so she gallantly gave up her favorite toy to a friend in need.

I must have been making a fuss over the new toys because George jumped up to have a look-see.

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When he saw what it was, he wanted it right away. So we headed outside to try one of them out. And these frisbees are great! They are so much softer on his mouth. And they fly really well.

It's now his new favorite toy. In fact, I saw him sleeping with it later on. So, thank you Dixie! And thank you, Chere. You've made my dog very very happy.

Have a great day, all. Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The wonderful world of color

I'm looking forward to my husband having a garden this year.  Last year, I planted marigolds all around the front of our little patch of earth, on either side of the arch he'd made years before. And this year, I'm looking forward to getting out there with him again, and just being near him when he works in the soil.

You see, he's all about the vegetables. And although I love them (don't even get me started about rutabagas), I'm more into the flowers. Besides, flowers make excellent subjects for my macro lens.

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This is a photo I took in the garden last year. I added a texture to it and I'm sort of liking how it turned out. Here's the original photo below as well as the texture I used. I downloaded it from Deviant Art.

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I use Photoshop. I'm not terribly skilled, but I am learning my way around. For those who have this program and would like to fool around using textures, there's a tutorial here. But please remember, if you use it, to experiment with all the blend modes in your layers palette. The tutorial doesn't tell you this. And I'm sorry, but I don't know if this works with Elements.

I've also had many questions from readers as to how I get my photos to appear this large on my blog. I've tried to answer some of you but don't have e-mails for all. I use Windows Live Writer  (sorry Mac users) and got the instructions here. Basically, you have to choose the right blog template first, then go into your html code and change the sizes of some of your wrappers. It is not terribly difficult! If I can do it, you can. Just make sure to be careful. Then I downloaded Live Writer. When I'm working on a post, I can choose any size photo I want just by clicking on it and dragging the corner until it's the desired size. Love it.

It's quiet here tonight as I write this. George is playing with a new toy that came in the mail today. I'll tell you about later. He's even took a nap with it!

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Friday, February 20, 2009

My kingdom for a horse

Sometimes when I open my mail and read comments on posts I've done, it just flat out makes me grin and chuckle. But today, when I came home from work and read my mail, I was actually blown away by your outpouring of support and mutual love of an animal that I just happen to miss. I wrote yesterday that I miss horses. And reading your comments brought tears to my eyes.

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Last night, when I sat down to write the next day's post, I realized that I had absolutely nothing. I had nothing to say, I had no pictures I felt inclined to be sharing, and I was wondering again why I do this every day. I really don't wonder that very often, but I must admit that I was doing it last night.

Well, I then began looking through my photo files and came across the pictures of the horses I posted yesterday. On a lark, I opened several up in Photoshop and began to play with them, and before I knew it I was putting my feelings down in a post and it was writing itself.

Reading your comments today stressed upon me one of the biggest things I have learned since beginning this little blog in December 2007. And that is That I Am Not Alone. I'm not alone because you are here. And I'd like to thank you for that.

I'd also like to thank those of you who have written me privately with your stories of living with cancer, and specifically those who are or were in the past caring for a spouse who either has cancer or some other form of disease. We are not alone.

I also received a comment today from someone congratulating me on being one of David McMahon's "Post of the Day" contenders for my Hike to the Light post on my photoblog. Well, thank you very much, David. David's Authorblog is not to be missed. He lives in Australia and has led an interesting and adventurous life. He's also committed to encouraging others. Check it out.

Oh, and apparently I'm now famous. (not really). I've been interviewed and you can read it here. Have a great day, all.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I miss horses

I am not going to dwell on the fact that this will be the first spring in practically my entire adult life that I will not awaken to the sights and sounds of horses. I am also not going to let myself walk down the path of regret, because life is what it is.

Life is Subject to Change.

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I loved it when the sweet spring breezes blew through the open windows and the soft neighing of horses was the first thing I heard in the morning.

And if I'm feeling a profound yearning for these animals, then I can't imagine what my husband is going through. It's a subject we really don't discuss, but I think I know how he feels in his heart.

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How could you not miss having these little ones around you all the time?

This was my backyard last year. And in those woods were trails that enabled one to walk for miles.

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I am not sad. I am just saying that I miss this.

Foals are so very soft when they're little. I miss the smell of horses, I miss the sounds, I miss the babies playing. But most of all, I miss my husband the way he used to be. Supremely confident and at ease among this herd. And some day, some way, I am going to try to get him back into that world.

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Thanks for stopping by.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The lighthouse at the Head of the Bay

My husband and I took a trip to Turkey Point Light this past weekend to get some shots of the picturesque little lighthouse that's situated there. All week long, I'd been meaning to go after work thinking that maybe I could get a shot at sunset, but something always came up, whether it was weather or time constrictions. And finally, on Sunday, I got to go with my husband and George.

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This is Turkey Point Light and it sits atop a 100-foot cliff at the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay where the Elk and the North East Rivers converge. It also has the distinction of being the home of the last female lighthouse keeper in the country. Fannie Mae Salter served from the year 1925 when she took over the duties upon the death of her husband and continued until her retirement in 1947. Today the light is maintained by Turkey Point Lightstation, Inc. who have plans to reconstruct the keeper's quarters, turning the ground floor into a museum.

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I took a lot of shots this weekend. The sky was a deep blue and the lighthouse was bright white in the sun, but as I went through the photographs of everything I'd shot, I just couldn't help but feel bored. Blah blah blah. Same old lighthouse photos, nothing spectacular, and as my husband would say, "it's just another day".

But then I started using some actions on them and some texture overlays and suddenly, I was liking what I was seeing. Maybe you don't, but really I do.

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For these shots, I used Pioneer Woman's Seventies action, which I've been into lately for some reason, so please bear with me in yet another stage of my life. I also applied a single different texture to each photo, using two in the last photo.

And then I played with George who is now in his customary position on the floor at my feet. And it is good.

This just in: Pay It Forward contest going on now over at Mindwhispering's Photography. She's giving away a set of her beautiful notecards. You've got to be willing to pay it forward if you win. Contest on until Feb. 25. Stop by and tell her I said hi.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .