Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And the winner is...

First I would like to thank all those who participated in my give away.  I have met some wonderful people in the last few weeks and have seen and felt the support of my longtime Internet friends.  This give away came at both a good time and a bad time.  It was good in that while I was under trying times; I felt the support along the way.  It was bad in that I was not able to comment back or keep track of my friends.  I do want you to know that that the support and new friends are very much appreciated.
The winner turned out to be Lolit.  She was only entered once which just goes to show the luck involved; she is however a long time Internet friend of mine and we communicate over several sites.  Facebook & My Shutter Space
Congratulations Lolit
I'll be contacting you soon

I've also decided to do another give away; there will be details tomorrow

Have a great day!!!


Making the most of mistakes


“I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.”

Today while I was going out the door to take some pictures I accidently took a photo as I was turning to go out.  I didn't realize I had done it until I downloaded my photos of the day.
I liked the movement in the photos so I just played with them.  As you can see my mistakes became artistic renderings.  I was pleased; what do you think? 

PS remember the giveaway mail art will be awarded later this morning

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ding, Dong the glitch is gone...

 the wicked glitch is gone.  I've got my computer back and it is working so much better.  Hooray! for the Geek Squad.  Just in case you don't recognize the parody in the title; your really need to get hold of the Wizard of Oz DVD.  One of the all time greatest classic movies ever.
Anyway my computer's working better.  My new programs are installed and I have two new editing programs to play with.  I'm so excited.
Emily is going great.  The doctor is very pleased with her recovery.  She spent last week learning how to teach freshman English.  She said that instead of sprinkling them with knowledge; they used a fire hose.  This week she starts working on her Masters degree and teaching freshman English class on her own.  Well, sort of on her own; BYU provides plenty of support and their attitude is you are here to get your Master's degree and teaching comes second.  She has also found a study buddy who is doing the same thing and they have agreed to help each other.  Good deal for her.
I have recovered from the stress of the last couple of weeks.  Due to the fact that I have Addison's disease; it takes me a long time to recoup.  Having Addison's means my body does not make the hormones necessary to cope with stress be it good or bad.  It has caused my electrolytes to go kind of haywire, my blood pressure to drop dramatically and just those two things can make anybody so weak that walking more than a few steps makes them feel like they are going to fall on their  face.  There is so much more to what the stress hormones do that sometimes I do get discouraged.  Even with all my varied health problems this is the worst and makes the stress of my other problems so very much more complicated.  This is an orphan disease which means there are not enough people with it to warrant research.  It's the pits.
However I am learning to deal with it better and better.  Not near as many hospital visits as I am learning to deal with it at home and I have a PA who is helping me through the process of learning to deal.  How grateful I am for modern medicine. 
Between Emily and I we have truly learned the miracle of modern medicine and a miracle it has been in our lives lately.  Add to that the prayers and support from those around us and our lives have been so very richly blessed.
We are both alive and able to continue to see the beauty in this world in which we live.

PS remember to come back tomorrow for the drawing of my mail art giveaway- there is still time to enter- see the post Giveaway #1 Mail art

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bright new day

Hoping for a bright new day.  I just got home from taking my computer down to the Geek Squad at Best Buy.  When I got home the first priority was to walk the dog and when I looked up this is the sky I saw.  I love it when the sun shines through the clouds like this,  It always cheers me up.  I always really dislike leaving my computer but it was not allowing me to download my new photo-editing program that I received for my birthday sooo since I have the insurance that covers such things to the Geek Squad I went.  Since my computer was also running slow again they suggested a complete check-up.  My insurance also covers this, love insurance, love the Geek Squad and Best Buy.  Between Emily and I the insurance has more than paid for itself.  I still hate leaving my computer though because all my pictures are on my computer.  However I had not erased my pics from my camera so I still had 475 photos on my card in my camera.  Went to download the program that allows me download my photos only to find that the CD was cracked.  I went to to see if there was anything I could do.  I fully expected to have to leave an E-mail and hope for an E-mail back.  Surprise, surprise they have a toll-free number with real people, really helpful people and the person I talked to patiently walked me through the process of getting my photos downloaded.  I was even more impressed when I found out the are headquartered in Virginia in the path of the hurricane and they were still quick and patient and helpful.  Certainly improved my opinion of Canon.  All in all this is the best experience I've had when my computer has been down and out, so I will still be able to post.  Maybe when my computer comes back it will work better and I will indeed have a bright new day. 


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Soul survivor

I read many wonderful blogs and have moved my list to the bottom of my blog to give more room and info on the blogs that I follow.
I just read a post that touched my soul deeply
Read it but keep the kleenex nearby.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rose garden

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Dale Carnegie quotes (American lecturer, author, 1888-1955)

Serendipity at work on this photo.
When I saw my roses with the dew still on them and the sun shining down on them; i just had to go out to photograph them. When I go out to take photos I almost always try different angles to get different compositions in hopes of a WOW shot.  The first picture I took was alright but then I noticed the window in the background so I moved around a little bit so the roses framed the window. When I saw the photo on downloading; I knew I had a photo worth posting.  I then went on a search for a quote to go with it.  I used  and simply typed in the word roses and just a couple of quotes down was the quote I used above.  Perfect for my photo!  I am so glad that I listened to that small voice of intuition and followed it.  When I listen and follow my intuition my day always goes better, more joyously as serendipity takes over.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Morning Glories

Thomas Fuller quotes (British Clergyman and Writer, one of the most prolific authors of the 17th century. 1608-1661)

Sometimes there is a fine line between flowers and weeds and sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.  Some of my herb plants look like weeds but they are wonderful smelling and tasting and add so much pleasure to the other senses.  Some weeds are beautiful and add vibrance to the landscape, but choke out the useful plants.
Even though these Morning Glories are really pretty flowers they are none the less a weed here in Georgia.  They are so invasive that they will choke out all other plants, useful or not.
As you can see from this photo of my veggie garden the Morning Glories have indeed taken over.  This picture is simply the same picture as the one at the beginning of this post just taken from a different angle where the weediest shows.
I was just going to post the top photo with a short quote on flowers and weeds, but in seeing these two pictures and remembering why I started this blog in the first place I expanded this post to use my photos as a way to show about my survival of all the things that I have been through, both the abuse of my younger years and the struggles with health problems of my more recent years.  As a way of expressing what it means to me, what I've learned and how I've learned to see the beauty in spite of the struggles.
Growing up in my household meant living with the unwritten rule of 'Make it look good to the world'.  Much like the  top photo only the good was to be seen.  It was incredibly hard work and those who knew me as a child never knew of the abuse that went on behind closed doors and most still don't know unless they read this post of course.
Then there is the second picture that was just taken from a different angle that shows how this beautiful covering is in reality strangling and taking over the garden.  That beautiful covering that masked the problems and kept me from growing, being productive and getting the sunshine, the help, I so desperately needed.
In spite of the struggles I have learned to see the beauty of the things that I learned, the strength that I have gained and the gratitude for being alive.
Since I got a late start on my garden; I have planted some Morning Glories on purpose in my front garden because they are pretty and fast growing and will cover my trellis quickly.  I was cautious when I planted them, planting them in a pot and setting it on plastic.  I have indeed conquered the weed; tamed it using what I have learned and am enjoying the beauty that it can provide.
PS please remember the giveaway and check it out and enter.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Old man winter

Looks like ol' man winter is on his way
Middle of August- in Georgia and Tom pointed this tree out to me this morning
in autumn yellows and oranges.  On the way to church I noticed that it wasn't just one tree in my backyard; there are trees all over town that are already turning colors.  Usually I am able to show off my spring photos earlier than most and am usually late with posting fall photos because of living in the south.  I certainly hope this is not a portent of an early winter.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Giveaway#1- Mail art

This birthday has been full of ups and downs, but mostly good and we are still celebrating, still getting presents and the grandkids wanted to to celebrate Grammies birthday too.  So tonight we had pizza (more about that later) and a birthday cake that Hayden helped me pick out.  We went to Wal-Mart and I showed Hayden all kinds of flavors of cake and he kept saying 'no, birthday cake' until we got to the funfetti cake mix and he got all excited ' birthday cake, birthday cake' so we had funfetti cake  tonight.
With all that I have recieved, Emily's recovery (still in progress), lots of birthday wishes (never had so many), grandchildren here; I decicded to give something back.

I've been doing lots of mail art lately.  Instead of doing my my artwork in a sketchbook, I do it on envelopes.  That way it can be enjoyed by many more people and not just stuck in a book to hardly be looked at.  The postal workers love to see me, they  just love the brightly colored envelopes.  So to spread this idea around I am giving away a cd with the jpeg images of these 5 envelopes for someone to win and use.  They are designed for 6x9 envelopes.

This is going to be a random drawing.
If you win you may use the cd to print out your own envelopes as long as you leave my blog address and copyrights on the image.
These are  my designs so you may use the cd for personal use only, no commercial use allowed.  The contest runs from now till Aug 30.
 How to enter:
There are three ways to enter
1.Sign up to Follow my blog- those who already follow my blog are automatically entered.
2.  Leave a comment- not just please enter me in your contest-  I want to know what you like or dislike about my blog or how it could be improved.  Leave as comment or e-mail me.  Each comment is one entry.
3. If you have a blog  with a blog list that you follow and you like my blog, please add me to your list then leave a comment or e-mail me to let me know.
Have fun and thanks for making my birthday so wonderful!!!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Washington's Waterloo

You might be wondering why my post titled Washington's Waterloo starts out with a photo of my daughter Emily.  Well, Washington's last battle that he lost was a throat infection from which he died.  Well Emily has the same kind of infection  that he did.  She has been in and out of the hospital since last Thurs.  The doctor told her that if it wasn't for modern antibiotics she probably would have died.  Personally I think prayers and the well wishes of her friends and mine and a priesthood blessing had much to do with her getting better.

  She was extra ordinarily sick and it came on strong and hard and fast.  What started out as a sore throat at the beginning of the week and turned into a life-threatening infection by Thurs.  She went to urgent care who sent her to the ER.  They admitted her put her on antibiotics, steroids, and morphine and put her in isolation and the waiting game began.  Where they going to do dangerous and possibly life changing surgery, see if just the antibiotics worked or something in between?  She did improve on the antibiotics and they sent here home Sunday morning only for her to deteriorate and end up back in the ER that night.  Different hospital- different doctor who lanced the abscess and drained it.  Emily said it was really gross all that pus being pulled out of the abscess in her throat, but she is now on the mend and home again.  Her cousin John turned into an angel as far as she is concerned for his concern and help even though he had many kids at his house including a six week old baby.  She has had many people help her and pray for her including people she did not even know.

  As her Mom and  being a continent away (she lives and goes to school in Utah and we live in Georgia) I can't think of words of thanks for her recovery and those who helped make it happen.  She is still going to need help for awhile and I would again ask for prayers on her behalf, prayers of thanks and prayers for those who are helping her so they will not get sick and they will know the spirit of joy in her service.
As her mother I have once again learned that you can't ever take for granted the ones you love.
Lolit posted this on her facebook wall and how true it is:

'There are 5 things in life you cannot recover:
A stone... after it's thrown. A word... after it is said.
An occasion... after it's missed.
...The time... after it's gone. A person... after they die.
Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made you smile.
Enjoy Life!!!!'


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Moonlight tonight

These pictures were taken tonght because the moon was so beautiful shining through the trees and I wanted you to see them so I only did a quick edit.  I cropped and signed them.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Having fun with Photoscape

See yesterdays blog to view the originals
These were done on Photoscape which I downloaded from


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beautiful Morning- Lights and Shadows

Beautiful morning
sun shining
through the
still darkened woods,
peaceful noise
birds singing,
owls hooting,
frogs croaking,
crickets chirping,
not yet hot
brilliant green
dark green
many patterns
On my walk this morning
thinking about the people
who have come into my life
and changed my life
I spyed the beautiful patterns
on the leaves
each with it's own
individual beauty
that shines through-
the shadows of those around
changing and making
more and more
enhancing beauty-
How much we are
like these leaves
each with our own
patterns and scars and shapes
with our beauty enhanced
by those around us.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

New Dazzler Blanketflower

I planted seeds for the blanketflowers from a package that was labeled as having assorted colors, but I never expected to get such a pretty pale yellow from it.
What a delightful surprise- I guess I'll just have to plant all the seeds to see what colors come up.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I saw this Quote in a doctor's exam room.  He has a different inspirational Quote framed in each of his exam rooms.  This little touch to the exam rooms makes for a more relaxed atmoshere.  I like it, great idea.   I put this quote with a bouquet of flowers because the beauty of the bouquet is in it's diversity

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Serendipity sunrise

I was reading one of my favorite blogs last night and Max
had posted some gorgeous red sunsets like they sometimes get in the mountains and it reminded me of the sunsets I used to see while I was at BYU.  Sometimes especially in the winter the whole world turns pink from the reflection of the sky off the mountains and the snow.  It made me very homesick for those mountains.
This morning I got up early and lo and behold the sun was rising and the whole world was pink.  So wonderful and it did my heart good to see it.  My camera didn't quite capture the true beauty of seeing the world through rose colored glasses, but it still took a pretty sunrise photo.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Play to learn~Insight #2

This post in in response to the comment made by Janet on my last post.  She said that she wasn't very good at photoshop; well I didn't start out doing very well with photo-editing.  I still don't own photoshop most of my photo-editing is done with free software and then I just played with the programs to see what each would do.  I had lots of fun learning because I was just playing and on the computer if I didn't like what the program just did I was able to hit Undo and it went back to what I had before.  Some programs will Undo for quite a few steps till you get back to your original photo.  No money spent just play time and everyone needs to spend some playtime sometimes.This is the original photo and while I liked the flower I did not like the background so I cropped it in a square to hide as much as possible.
So far I have tried many different programs but my favorites are Picasa which is a good basic editor,  but it is just a basic editor, just google it to get the download.  Go to
 the second picture was done on picasa.
 Next in line is picnik at for download.  you can get there from Picasa but I find it is more convenient to go through picnik after saving in picasa if you used it.  Picnik is a really fun program that does not take up computer memory as it stays on the Internet and the free version shows all the steps you took on the last 5 edits you do.   They also have a pay for service which adds to the basic program including keeping track of all your editing steps for all the photos that you edit. These next pictures were done in picnik.
Layered with star background
Hypnotic effect
Next is Photoscape which can easily be downloaded from  I usually go through them as they check for virus, etc. and the download is easy.  This program has a little more finesse to it, especially when it comes to tweaking your colors and they do it on two different levels of skill.  Plus cnet has lots of other programs to try free, free to try, and purchase. This next picture was done in photoscape.
Color adjusted, selected Region out of focus- pixelated

Region out of focus- zoom
The last program to get is gimp which I also downloaded from This is the only website I would recommend downloading gimp from there are many listings for downloaded gimp and I tried a couple and had some really horrid experiences until I found it on cnet.  Then I had no problem.  This is the closest free program I have found to photoshop.  There are also plug-ins like photoshop available for it.  It is however the hardest of the different programs that I have recommended and I am still learning about it.  There are you-tube instructions available and also books. see amazon though my website for gimp books.  Search for gimp books.  I use it for all kinds of more complicated operations like removing power lines.  I did not edit with gimp this time due to time constraints.  Between these programs I find that I can do pretty much all the editing that I want to do.
I hope you will try some of these programs you have nothing to lose and a lot of fun and learning to gain