Tuesday, December 31, 2013

POTD Day 31 Celebrate

I am not a huge New Year's Eve kind of girl...in fact, it has been years since I have stayed up for the ball drop. When we lived in Japan, we had a big function we would go to, but since then, I haven't seen midnight on New Year's Eve.

So my idea of celebrating involves earlier in the day options. My mom and I have been wanting to watch the newest Hobbit movie and we decided to make an afternoon of it. We ran to the theater early to get our tickets (we learned the hard way on the last Hobbit movie), and then headed off to lunch.

We went to a local brewery that is close to our house and had a great hamburger, salad and pint of beer. We played some Bananagrams while we waited for food and then after eating for a bit.

We headed to the movie with perfect timing, and since we were full from lunch, opted for no popcorn. The movie was great. There was a bit of a temperature issue but we both had our coats so we just covered up.

Overall, a great way to celebrate the new year!

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Shutter Sisters For October

Monday, December 30, 2013

POTD Day 30 You

Anyone that knows me face to face or reads my blogs, knows that I am pretty careful about posting pictures of myself online. Even on my tightly locked down FB account mostly has only pictures of me from college or earlier and I tend to untag myself in anything more current than that. So for this image requirement, no one should be surprised that my pic is of my feet (or shadow).

My sister started this trend of taking pics of feet...her feet at different locations. Over the years, we have lived far apart so I started taking pictures of my feet in the different places we would travel to and now it is just habit.

This shot is from this past snow storm. We didn't have any snow left in our yard but I was able to step into some snow in the neighbors yard to get one last pic. I am wearing my Keen Delta cold weather hiking boots. I am in love with these boots. They are super comfortable, and my feet never got cold, and I used them for the entire week that we had snow and ice on the ground.

I took this pic with my Fuji Finepix f50, with no flash. I edited the image in GIMP 2.6 for color, light and added the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Shutter Sisters For January

Sunday, December 29, 2013

POTD 29 Reflect: Best Bit of 2013

This is a pretty hard POTD because there are always about a million "best bits" of the year, but one that sticks out in my memory is my cousin's visit in July. We hadn't seen each other in at least 6 years, and I was thrilled that he was making the rounds through our neck of the woods.

He brought his daughter, who obviously has grown a ton in those 6 years and has turned into an amazing young lady. They stayed at our house during their visit even with the construction mess. We were able to eat at a couple of great places, enjoy some good microbrews, get them tickets for an awesome play (thanks Uncle Laurie), and hang out in "nature" as much as possible. I have a new found adoration for goats thanks to my little cousin's amazement of all things hoofed and cute.

We are both Chicago Bears fans, so we even spent yesterday evening texting back and forth as our Bears were losing a clincher game to the Packers. His family lives in Las Vegas so during any cross country trip we have taken, we have always stopped to see him, but it was nice to get a chance to show them around some place new. I don't think he had been in our area since he was a little kid traveling with my aunt and uncle.

I took the picture with my Fuji Finepix f50, no flash. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 for light, color and adding the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 2 MCP Project 52

Saturday, December 28, 2013

POTD Day 28 Something Awesome

Born in 1921, this is the last of our grandpas. He still plays golf three days a week, and is in the senior league at his golf club in Nebraska. I fly out to see him at least once a year...hopefully finances will allow for more trips in the coming years. I try to spend about 5 days there, and help out in whatever way I can while I am there. He and his girlfriend Joyce live in a cute little house in a small town. We have other family that lives in nearby states so we all get to keep him busy with visits.

When I viist, we play golf together, in fact, he made the clubs I play with. While I was there this year, we played three of the four days I was visiting...the weather was awesome (compared to last year when it was really too cold). We played at his club twice and then eighteen at another course nearby. It was a ton of fun and a great workout for both of us.

He definitely falls into the category of awesome things. He is a great man, and I cherish every minute I get to spend with him. I try to send him and his girlfriend Joyce snail mail at least once a month. He doesn't write much anymore (although they did send a Christmas card), but I enjoy sending them cards and postcards when I can.

I took this picture with my Fuji Finepix f50 without a flash. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 for color, light and then added the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 3 MCP Project 52

Friday, December 27, 2013

POTD Day 27- What You're Doing Now

Traditionally we have always done puzzles during the holidays. They sit on a table off to the side and we work on them diligently or in passing as the holiday passes. It is never the same people working on it at any given time. The last few years, we just didn't have an extra table to do this, but this year we decided we would figure something out. So we got puzzles that were small enough to fit on Gma's coffee table. The first puzzle that we got was a Route 66 puzzle, and we finished it in 2 days, so we picked up a second one the day after Christmas and have been working on it ever since.

This one is twice as many pieces but still small enough for the coffee table. It is a bunch of doors and it has turned out to be a much bigger challenge.

I took this picture with my Fuji Finepix f50 with no flash but with macro turned on. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 for color, light and then added the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 5 MCP Project 52

Thursday, December 26, 2013

POTD Day 26 Where You Slept

So this is a pic of me in one of my favorite sets of pjs. They are ESPN pjs and they are super cozy and I love wearing them in the winter.

I am laying in the bed before getting up and moving in the morning and thought I would snap a shot. I usually take some time when I first wake up to check my phone for the weather and news while my eyes adjust to the light...LOL

I am also wearing these really thick and cushy wool socks, that I love to wear in the winter. Feet stay warm, so warm in fact that sometimes the socks get pulled off in the night.

I took this picture with my Fuji Finepix f50 with no flash and macro turned on. I autocorrected it in GIMP 2.6 and added a fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 7 MCP Project 52

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

POTD Day 25 Best Bit Of Your Day

This day had a lot of great parts...but one of the best was playing this game with the family after gifts were opened.

I got it for my mother in law because she is a great game person and she always brings awesome games to all our family events. She had never played this one before and we played 5 games in a row.

I am thinking of buying a copy of it for us too because it is so fun and so easy to do.

On other fronts, having breakfast with the family, seeing all the great gifts Grandma got from across the country, and getting a chance to talk to those we couldn't be with, just made the day even better.

I took this picture with my Fuji Finepix f50, no flash, with macro turned on. Autocorrected for light and color in GIMP 2.6 and added the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 8 MCP Project 52

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

POTD Day 24 Wrapped

I didn't have a lot of wrapping to do this year since we didn't do family presents but I did decide to make cookies for some of my family and they really needed to be wrapped.

So I did these cellophane bags over disposable Christmas plates. Added candycanes, tags and a little snowman clip to them and they were ready to go.

I have two boxes that need to be mailed that have some gifts in them so I did end up doing a bit of wrapping but it wasn't under the Christmas crunch pressure.

I took this image with my Fuji Finepix f50 with flash turned on. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 for light and color and added the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 12 MCP Project 52

Monday, December 23, 2013

POTD Day 23 Tradition

I do these every year. The last couple of years I have done them out of printer paper, but in the past, I have done them from colorful origami paper, and wrapping paper, just to mix it up a bit.

I think I do them similarily to those we did in school a million years ago. I do the two triangle fold and then make an ice cream cone out of it. I start cutting at that point.

Origami paper in different colors is a lot of fun and super easy and economical. You can get the packets of paper for 100 yen or dollar store. It is super thin which makes the cutting much easier. And usually on pack has several different color options so you don't have to waste any if you don't want to.

I took this picture with my Fuji Finepix f50 without a flash, near the window in the living room. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 with auto correct for color and light, and then sharpened a bit and added the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 18 MCP Project 52

Sunday, December 22, 2013

POTD Day 22 Sparkle

There were things around the house I could have used for today's word, but since I needed to get a virtual 5K done, I thought I would see if I could find anything outside that fit the bill.

Amazingly, this was one of the first things I saw and I loved how the afternoon sun was glistening off it. We had 8 inches of snow on the 6th and some of it is still on the ground, which is so out of character for this area. I am guessing by tomorrow it will be hard to find any.

We were actually all the way into the 50s today and if we get another day like that tomorrow, it will be gone. The nights are still below freezing but that won't be enough to keep it around.

I took this image with my Fuji Finepix f50 with no flash. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 with auto correct for color and light, then added a lens flare along with the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 19 MCP Project 52

Jingle Bell Hell 2013 Race Recap

Distance: 3.36 Miles or 5.41K
Elevation Change: ~90ft
Weather: 52 degrees, 3 mph winds, sun
Time: 46.3 mins
Laughed: Yes
Hell: Yes!

Okay, so I have known that I was going to do this race for a while. The time frame for this one was Dec 14th-22nd. I had lofty plans to do it the first weekend as training for the IRL 5K I had on the 21st. This did not happen.

On Dec 6th we got 8 inches of snow and then a week of below freezing temps made the roads completely impossible for any kind of athletic running or walking. I did do a lot of tromping around in the snow in my snow boots but none of that counted towards this. So the weekend of the 14th, things were just too icy still and plans throughout the rest of the week to knock it out (and get training for the IRL 5K) just didn't work out. I do not have access to a treadmill so that was never an option for me.

So yesterday, I did the IRL race in the morning with three of my family members. It was the first time I had ran in two months and considering that it was in the 30s and overcast, I think I did okay. I ran a large portion of it and ended up with an average time for me.

This morning I woke with a lot of muscles in my legs and torso letting me know they were unhappy with me for exercising yesterday, but I decided to ignore them. I knew that the exercise today would only be beneficial for the soreness.

So this year, I can't say that the weather or music circumstances were my Hell since both worked out well this year. I did have to choose a less desirable route only because I wanted to be sure I wasn't going to run into any lingering ice. This route doesn't have as much elevation as my normal virtual route does but it has more sun so I knew it would be better for safety reason. My hell for this year was just the fact that I had to do this race the day after completing the IRL race and my body and muscles really didn't want to cooperate and that was a challenge but I powered through and feel lots better for it.

My laughter came because in all the times I have done this route in the past, I rarely ever come across other pedestrians. The area of town I am in doesn't have a lot of pedestrian interest like our quaint downtown area does. Today, not only did I have to leave the sidewalk and run in the bike path a few times to avoid ice, I also had to do it to go around pedestrians. On top of that, I came up behind, not one, but two smokers today (which just sucks the life out of me until I can get by them)...and that is what gave me the final chuckle...not a chuckle of joy, but a chuckle of "just my luck".

I am glad that I was able to complete this virtual race, even with the sore muscles and not running all of it. Anytime I can get exercise knocked out in the great outdoors, I am thankful.

Last Year on In My Words...Jingle Bell Hell 2012 Race Recap

Saturday, December 21, 2013

POTD Day 21 On The Door

This is our front door wreath for this year. The bow, bells and hanger are reused each year but I like to do a fresh wreath. This one has done well so far, but that is because it has been super cold here. With the dark grey front door on the sunny side of the house, I was expecting this to dry out really fast but the weather prevailed.

In the second pic, you can see the garland with red balls we have along our front balcony. After New Year's Day, I'll put the red balls away, but leave the garland up through the winter because it looks pretty and smells great. You can see that the lights around the garage door are already on. I turn the lights on in the morning since they are LED lights so not only do they not get hot but they don't use as much energy. I have a timer for the garage door ones so they don't stay on at night, and I don't have to remember to go into the garage to turn them off each night.

I found a cute little metal bell that has a picture of Santa on it while I was at the Grange Co-op the other day and I have it hanging in one of the front windows. While I was there, I also found the new ornament for the year. I buy one for us each year and write the year on it, if it isn't already on it automatically.

I hope to get some snowflakes cut out from white paper later and put on our front windows. I  have loved cutting out snowflakes since I was a kid. You always get something new and unique each time.  I leave these up through the winter too...nice to have some decorations after the holidays.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 20 MCP Project 52

Friday, December 20, 2013

POTD Day 20 I'm Listening To

the cackle of the Duralog in our fireplace...it doesn't produce a lot of heat but the ambiance is awesome! I get two different types, one that burns about 2 1/2 hours and another that burns around 4 hours...and depending on what time I decide to put one on, I pick the particular log. This way, it will be out before bedtime and the fireplace glass can be closed against the cold.

We do the Duralogs (and variations of them) because the fireplace is not really efficient enough to mess with cutting, splitting and burning wood. If it is was a woodstove or even if the fireplace was internal to the house rather than being on an outside wall jutting out of the house, it would be worth all the rest of it.

I took this image with my Fuji Finepix f50 with the flash off but the macro on. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 with auto correct for color and light and then added the border.

 Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 21 MCP Project 52

Thursday, December 19, 2013

POTD Day 19 'Tis The Season To

create...usually I would be busy making cards for the coming year but since most of my card making stuff is not here, I make due with what I do have. This means making cards from my photos and making blankets, scarves and other items from yarn.

Two of my nieces are having babies in the spring, so while I was at Michael's the other day, I stocked up on yarn for both of their baby blankets. What was really cool was that they were having a great sale on my favorite yarn so that took about 1/3 of the price off the purchase.

I took this pic with my Fuji Finepix f50, no flash. I edited in GIMP 2.6 to auto correct for color and light and then added the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 22 MCP Project 52

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

POTD Day 18 Big

I was having a bit of a tough time with this...especially since I was running all day and the POTD was on the back burner.

I recently ran out of the glucosamine I usually take and had to buy new ones...and I thought the calciums were big. Obviously the macro makes the tablet look even bigger than it actually is, but they are larger than the calciums. Lucky for me, swallowing a tablet isn't a very hard thing for me.

I know this looks like a lot of pills but really it isn't. The flintstones are chewable, and the double tablets are just the dosage for the calcium and glucosamine. The bright yellow one is a b-complex...that is it, all the supplements I take on a daily basis. Keeps me heatlhy and fit.

I took this picture with my Fuji Finepix f50, with no flash, and macro turned on. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 to auto correct for color and light and then added the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 23 MCP Project 52

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

POTD Day 17 Tree

We have had some rather normal weather for this area as well as some that is not so normal. We have a lot of clear cold days here during the winter, with clouds usually only proceeding a storm. We can get snow, but usually not a lot and it doesn't stick around for long. We do see days filled with fog at times, and we are not strangers to black ice either.

As you know, we have had a lot of snow in the last week or so, and then it has stuck around because of the cold temps we have had. Now we are experiencing quite a bit of fog, and because of the cold temps, freezing fog (which is a lot of fun).

The other morning, I was on my way to a small job, and while it was sunny at our house, it was very foggy a few miles away. I had to pass a cemetery on the way and I just had to stop and get some shots in this really cool spot. This image is one of them...the trees just looked so cool with the freezing fog on their limbs and the fog in the distance.

I took this with my Fuji Finepix f50 with no flash. I edited it in GIMP 2.6, auto correcting for light and color and then desaturated the image to shades of grey and added the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 25 MCP Project 52

Monday, December 16, 2013

POTD Day 16 Makes You Feel Merry

I enjoy getting cards and letters from friends and family through the holiday season. Usually I hang them along a door frame or on the edge of the tv stand...but this year, I decided to drape some twine above the fireplace to hang at least some of the cards as they came in. I will have to hang either another line of twine or tape some along the tv stand if we get more of them in as the current twine is almost full already.

I have a couple more cards to send out, and then I am done...I managed to get out the long distance ones at the beginning of the month so those few I have left are only local ones.

I brought the live tree in from the garage (where I had it climatizing for a day or so) and decorated it tonight. Now the only thing left is putting the garland on the front balcony rail (but I won't have it for a few more days). It is a bummer that we didn't get the garland when we were supposed to, but the fundraiser that they were purchased from didn't get them on time and then we had the snow storm that hindered everything else. I won't be getting them this way next year, that is for sure.

I took this image with my Fuji Finepix f50 with no flash and macro turned on. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 using auto correct for color and light and then added the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 26 MCP Project 52

Sunday, December 15, 2013

POTD Day 15 Lights

Decorating for Christmas this year has been a gradual process. I still don't have the garland for the front railing because of the crazy weather we have had the last week so that item is still left to be done. I also don't have the tree decorated yet, but that is because it is a live tree and it was on the front porch when we got the snow and ice and I didn't want to bring it in and have it go into shock and die on me. So I waited until the snow melted off and I put it in the garage for two days so it could climatize a bit before it comes into the house. So I will be decorating it in the next day or so.

I have put up our wreath on the front door, and I had lights in the two livingroom windows done, but I hadn't done the lights around the garage (because it was just so cold outside), and I hadn't done the ones in the office window because it required a bit more time than the other windows had needed. I put up the gel decorations on the sliding glass door in the livingroom the same day that I did the livingroom windows.

Well today, after tackling some yard work, I decided it was time to get the garage lights done. They really didn't take that long to do and I have them on a timer so I don't have to remember to go down and turn them off at night. Once I got back in, I decided to tackle the office lights too and now they are done as well. For the office lights, I had to remove a hanging plant and the blinds to put the lights in and then put the blinds and the plant back...I had really  just stalled on it because it was more time consuming but it really didn't require that much more effort.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 27 MCP Project 52

Saturday, December 14, 2013

POTD Day 14 Drink

These two items are things I drink every single morning...I try to have at least two glasses of lemon water to start my day off and of course my one cup of coffee w/1 tsp of raw sugar and almond milk in it. I try to be diligent about getting enough water in the day so the two glasses right off help but I don't always succeed in drinking enough at the end of the day.

I need to be better about bringing my water bottle in the car on errands so I get in enough. I did a diet a few years ago that required a lot of water drinking, and I found that my skin and overall body felt so much better when I was drinking enough, so there really is no excuse...it is the easiest "good" thing I can do for myself.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 29 MCP Project 52

Friday, December 13, 2013

POTD Day 13 Composition

So this is the first pic that is actually about photography itself. I tend to take a lot of pictures using the macro setting because I love seeing the details of things that we see everyday but rarely seem to notice. This shot is not one of them, but I loved the old stone staircase and leaves and snow and the fog swallowing up the top.

I read both the Fat Mum Slim post on Composition and this other one I found by Googling. Photography in general has a ton of different rules, techniques and recommendations that help to make those of us that aren't pros into decent photographers. I probably could read more about it than I do and I am sure that my photography would improve if I did.

Anyhow, this pic was taken in the afternoon of the first day of snow...we were up in an old cemetery on a hill and that explains the low clouds/fog. I like the most of the color was sucked out of this image.

I took this with my Fuji Finepix f50, no flash. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 using auto correct for color and light and then added the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 39 MCP Project 52

Thursday, December 12, 2013

POTD Day 12 Joy

This little guy just turned 2 (as evidence from the chocolate cupcake on his face), and the smile and chocolate are both JOYful to me. He is my cousin's youngest son, and a ton of fun. He is at the age now where he is starting to turn into his own person and is learning at lightening speed.

He is starting to talk up a storm (which also means we have to be careful what we say around him), and knows more way than we give him credit for. He knows how the whole birthday thing works and actually kept blowing out the candles before we could get the song finished...LOL. He seemed to really like opening presents and seemed to really appreciate the gifts (more than just the paper)...LOL.

Potty training is on the agenda these days, thankfully as his Auntie-Cousin, I am not reponsible for that...LOL.

I took this image with my Fuji Finepix f50 with the flash on. Edited it in GIMP 2.6, using auto correct for color and light and then added some magenta back in, and added a white fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 42 MCP Project 52

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

POTD Day 11 Green

Green is one of absolute favorite colors...I love to wear it the most...in fact my sorority in college had green, white and purple as its colors. How is that for destiny? I tend to buy things in green as well...not necessarily household decor, but items like Kleenex boxes, storage totes, pottery, china, and of course plants! As you can see, I managed to find these weights in green too...that was purely by accident though...green was the only color the 5lb weights came in.

I have these sitting on the floor near the TV stand in our livingroom because I use them all the time, and if I were to put them in the weightroom with all the other fitness equipment, they would never get used or I would spend a lot of time bring them up and down the stairs. I love that they are covered in a rubber-like substance because they don't rust, and they aren't loud when clanked together. I sometimes take them on my walks so I can do bicep, tricep and shoulder exercises while walking...they are very versatile.

I took this picture with my Fuji Finepix f50, with no flash, and macro turned on. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 using auto correct for color and light and then I used the blurring tool to blur around the edges a bit...

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Week 44 MCP Project 52

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

POTD Day 10 R Is For

I love to READ...anyone that knows me IRL or is friends with me on Goodreads, knows this...but there are times when I get behind, or get myself spread too thin and then reading almost becomes an item that needs to be added to the To Do list. This is not a good thing...because I love reading and I don't want it to ever be a chore (unless I am doing it for school and then that is completely acceptable...LOL).

Right now, I have listed that I am reading 5 books on Goodreads even though I have actually only started on three of them, and I have one magazine subscription...however, I get magazines from other places (friends, family, etc) and I am way behind on the magazine reading.

This can be easily explained...I read before bed on my Nook primarily. I do this because I don't have to have any other light with the Nook so it is super easy and convenient. When I take soaks in the bath, I usually tackle magazines, and I sometimes put a magazine in my messenger bag if I know I will be waiting somewhere and don't want to carry my Nook with me. Thing is, that lately, I have been reading a few books in hardback and so the magazines have been bumped from the tub soaks. Today I picked up a book I have had reserved at the library for a while...and because it is rented, I have to bump it to the top of the list.

These magazines have been sitting on our livingroom floor since last week because I was determined to make one day a "magazine catch up day"...and that has just not happened. I will get to them, and it will be soon...because I really don't want reading to become a chore and having these sitting here are making me feel like I am not tackling things on the To Do list.

I took this image with my Fuju Finepix f50 with no flash and macro turned on. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 to auto correct for color and light and then added the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...January MCP Project 12

Monday, December 09, 2013

POTD Day 9 This Is The Weather Today

Our weather has been basically the same since Friday night when we got about 8 inches of snow on the ground. We have not gotten above freezing since then so the snow has hung around but the areas that were plowed or shoveled are now sheets of ice. The last two nights have been record lows for the area for the last 25 years.

I went up to the pool this morning to check it out (and to turn the light in the pump house to 24 hours) and found that the majority of the pool is frozen over. This is not a bad thing...as long as the water below the ice is still circulating, it will be fine and the corner where the water comes into the pool isn't frozen because of the movement there.

I even bent down and knocked on the ice and it is pretty solid...so this picture is of one of the ice crystals sitting on the surface. It was too cool looking to ignore. We should be getting above freezing tomorrow during the day so I am sure we will start to see some melt by then.

I have been limited in movement to those places near by that I can get to on foot...I have no desire to get our truck wrecked by someone that is driving recklessly. Many drivers seem to think that because the sun is out and the snow has stopped, that it is safe to drive however you want...and that is not the case. We get black ice really bad here and right now there is a ton of it. It is almost impossible to see (especially at night). I haven't had anywhere that I needed to go that wasn't in walking distance so it hasn't been a big deal for me. We have restaurants and stores all within walking distance.

I took this picture with my Fuji Finepix f50, no flash, and with macro turned on. I then edited it in GIMP 2.6 by cropping it to just the crystal, auto correcting for light and color and then added the fuzzy border.

Last Year on In My Words...MCP Project March

Sunday, December 08, 2013

POTD Day 8 Where I Shop

I took a pic while I was out running errands in the snow, of a snow covered tree, and a store I shopped at was in the background but reality is, this pic is more accurate of my shopping habits...LOL.

Today while out trekking in the snow, I saw a jack-knifed semi truck on the freeway. Must have been super scary for the driver. Fortunately he didn't roll over or anything. People seemed to forget that even though the sun is shining and the snow has stopped, the temp is still below freezing and that means ice!!!

On my way back, one of our neighbors called and borrowed the snow shovel. While we were chatting a Red-breasted Sapsucker flew up the spruce and flittered around the trunk. I had to look it up in the book since I had never seen one before and now I can add it to the bird list for this house. Unfortunately, I didn't get a pic of it in time...hopefully it will come by again and I can get a shop for my house blog.

Last Year on In My Words...MCP Project March II

Saturday, December 07, 2013

POTD Day 7 Six O'Clock

This is what I was doing at 6 o'clock. Eating kwiteow that I made yesterday. I learned to make it from both a Thai friend and a Vietnamese friend (it is called pho in Vietnamese). When we lived in Japan, I would have soup days at our house. I would make a big batch of soup and then invite friends to come over for lunch or dinner (or both) for two or more days.

The broth is the part that takes the longest but after that, it is just a matter of fresh veggies, rehydrated rice stick, and thin sliced meat. Everything but the broth is cooked right at the moment a bowl of soup is being made, which makes it taste so good and fresh.

Yesterday, with the snow falling, I had the hankering for it and I knew I had most of the ingredients already. I used beef short ribs and spices to create the beef stock, and started them boiling after lunch. Then when I walked to the store in the snow, I got the fresh ingredients I was missing. I ended up eating two small bowls for dinner.

Then today after my hike in the snow, I got the pot back out of the fridge and back on the stove so I could eat it for lunch and dinner. Lunch was a little bit late since I got home from the hike around 1pm but then I  had a second bowl at 6pm for dinner.

I don't feel a bit of guilt eating this awesome dish. Only thing that would have made it better would have been if I had thought to make some Thai tea to go along with it...but with the cold weather, I don't usually think of iced tea.

I took this picture with my Fuji Finepix F50 without a flash, and macro turned on. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 with auto correct for color and light and then added a fuzzy border.

Last Year on In My Words...MCP Project April

Friday, December 06, 2013

POTD Day 6 Shadow

We have been scheduled for a storm since last week...and today was the day, although the time continued to change. Around 2:30pm it started to snow a bit and it picked up from there...by 6pm we had 5-6 inches of snow on the ground.

I had started making one of my favorite Thai/Vietnamese soup earlier in the day, and I needed a couple of fresh ingredients, so I decided to bundle up in all my snow gear and walk to the grocery store (about a mile away).

Before taking off for the grocery store, I had been listening to a live stream of our state police, local police, and department of transportation feeds. The roads were a complete mess which is why I knew I was going to be walking. I can drive in the snow, but absolutely didn't want to take any chances that someone else would slide into our truck. I felt bad for some of the drivers out there because the department of transportation made the pass "chains required" so there were lots of people stopping in town to get chains for their cars. I walked by three different people trying to install chains on their cars in the parking lot of a local DIY store.

While out, I thought I could take some pics in the snow, which I did. We have a street light right next to our house and this picture is from next to that before I started the hike to the store. The walk ended up being a fantastic workout and I was actually perfectly warm the entire time.

I took this picture with my Fuji Finepix F50, no flash under snowy skies with only the street light for illumination. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 with an auto correct for color and light and then added the fuzzy border.

Last Year on In My Words...MCP Project For August

Thursday, December 05, 2013

POTD Day 5 In The Cupboard

We have one full double cabinet that contains ingredients for the various Asian food I like to cook (mostly Thai and Japanese). There are two really good Asians markets about 4 hours from here so I tend to stock up when I need to.

We have a case and a half of Chaokok coconut milk and a 25 lb of Thai Jasmine rice, along with sticky rice, sushi rice, rice stick, soba and somen noodles, spices packets, roasted rice mix, and frozen lemongrass, peppers, and lime leaves. There are tubs full of curry, and jars full of soup base and chili paste. I like knowing that cabinet is full.

I love having the opportunity to make some of my favorite food whenever I want to. There are a few things that I would love to eat that I don't have ingredients for, like Soki Soba but I do have plans to try my best to make it someday.

We have a couple of good sushi places in the area that also make a fair amount of other popular Japanese and Korean food, however authentic Thai food is harder to find. We do have a good Vietnamese pho and banh mi restaurant which definitely makes life better...it would be cool to nail down a few other favorites, that is for sure.

Took this with my Fuji Finepix F50, no flash with macro enabled. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 using auto correct for color and light and then added the fuzzy border.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Shutter Sisters For June

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

POTD Day 4 Tiny

The idea behind the picture for today was pretty easy at first thought, but I did keep my eye open the entire day just in case something else would just grab me. I had a tiny bit of running around to do. One of the items was to check our mail box which contained a couple of nice surprises: the Christmas stamps I ordered so I can mail cards, and then a perfectly wrapped gift from one of my dear friends. Both things made me smile.

Next stop was the local hardware store to get something for the sidewalks in case we get a lot of snow or ice in the next few days. Then a quick coffee and a stop at the bagel shop to get a lox sandwich for lunch...yum, yum!

These ornaments in the pic are all very tiny...the balls are smaller than a dime and the penquins and girls are less than inch in height. These tiny ornaments adore the small live Christmas tree that I will decorate next week (I don't bring it in too early, because I want it to stay alive).

I took this pic with my Fuji Finepiix F50, no flash, macro used. I autocorrected it for color and light and then added a fuzzy border in GIMP 2.6.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Shutter Sisters For July

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

POTD Day 3 Silver

Today was an on the road errand day, and I actuallly contemplated for a moment just taking a picture of Jack the Colorado since it is painted Silver Birch, and I was spending my day in it...:)

Instead I found these cute silver bells in a DIY while I was looking for a real wreath for the front door. This was part of a door hanger set however since I already have bells on my bow for the wreath, I opted to not purchase it. It stilll didn't keep me from taking a shot.

While I was there, I also got a couple of 60 lbs bags of sand for the back of Jack to keep it weighted down a bit since we are hitting the teens over the next few nights and that means black ice in this region...not fun.

At the beginning of the day, I tried to get my tires rotated at the place I bought our tires at, but they were pretty busy with people putting snow tires on or purchasing chains for the pass, so I figured it would be a better use of my time to wait for another day.

The DIY was my second stop after picking up 24 skeins of yarn for baby blankets I need to make for two of my neices that are expecting. After the DIY, I hit three more stores and a sushi restaurant before hitting home. None of this was for Xmas shopping...just everyday errands.

This shot was taken with my Fuji Finepix F50, no flash, macro turned on. I edited it in GIMP 2.6 for light, color and added a fuzzy border.

Eighteen Months Ago on In My Words...Shutter Sisters For March

Monday, December 02, 2013

POTD Day 2 Where I Stood

I was thinking about doing a scenic pic for this image requirement. But the weather today was rainy and kind of closed in, so I thought I would do something a bit more literal.

My yardwork for the last six weeks has mostly been about leaves. We have two oak trees that drop in our yard (one on our property and from the neighbors), and this year in particular has been a very heavy acorn and leaf year. On top of that we have three fruit trees that drop leaves too. Good thing raking is good exercise!

So for this pic, I thought I would take a pic of my feet standing in the midst of a pile of leaves I still need to rake. If you have seen any of my other pics, I take a lot of pics of my feet, in different situations. My sister started the trend and I started taking pics of my feet on our travels for her, and now I just take pics of my feet for me. So here are my feet in my mary jane toyah Keens with my Smartwool stripey socks surrounded by oak leaves.

I took this pic under cloudy/rainy skies, with my Finepix F50, no flash, and used GIMP 2.6 to auto correct color and light, and added a fuzzy border.

Eighteen Months Ago on In My Words...Shutter Sisters For August

Sunday, December 01, 2013

POTD Day 1 Red

Some friends of mine have been doing a Photo Of The Day project for the month of November and a new one started today for December and I decided I would play along.

We are going off the list from Fat Mum Slim's blog post, at least until we reach the 12 days of Christmas where it might change to something else for those 12 days.

I really thought I was going to get some holiday decorating knocked out today, so I thought that getting a pic for Red was going to be a piece of cake. While I did get the decorations out and organized, the actual decorating didn't start today because there were a few other things on the list with higher priorities.

Then as I was looking across the room, thinking about my To Do list in general, I spotted my wristgators that my sister got me a few years ago that I wear whenever my hands feel a bit chilly. I realized that they actually would make a great Red pic and the story behind them would be even better for me than a pic of Christmas decor would be.

So here is my pic for Red, taken with macro turned on, with my Fuji Finepix F50, no flash. I edited in GIMP 2.6 for auto color and light adjust along with a fuzzy border add. It just worked out that I was enjoying a fire tonight too.

Two Years Ago on In My Words...Shutter Sisters For December (another photo project I have done)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Maru Has A Friend

Looks like Maru has a new housemate named Hana...she is a cutie and full of spunk! Seems Maru is not completely sure what to do about her...LOL.

I haven't seen the full story (if there is one) on how Hannah came to be part of the family, but I sure it will come out eventually.

I am happy for Maru to have a playmate!

Last Year on In My Words...Newish Maru

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Netflix Requirements

I have decided that in order to get our money's worth out of having both the DVD and Streaming versions of Netflix, I need to be watching at least 4 of the DVDs a month. I have been bad lately about watching movies, either on DVD or streaming because I tend to run the TV in the background of doing other things. This means not watching something new (because I can't multitask through something new), especially if it means being in a different room from the TV.

Last weekend, I watched two DVDs that I had from Netflix back to back, put them in the mail and got two new ones today. I figure if I just knock them out like that...either on a lazy morning or in the evening when I have settled in for the night, I will be good to go. I also watched two newish movies on HBO this week, that I was then able to remove from my DVD queue on Netflix.

I tend to use my DVD queue as a way to remind myself of movies that I have just seen previews for. I don't get to see them necessarily when I want to but the list helps me keep track of flicks that look interesting.

It is weird to feel like I have to put movie watching on the To Do list...but along with writing regularly on my blogs, it seems I need to allocate time for this as well.

Seven Years Ago on In My Words...Irked

Monday, November 25, 2013

Jingle Bell Hell 2013

I just signed up to do this one for this year. If you remember from my recap last year, my ipod was dead as I headed out the door (and I really don't run without music), and it was also freezing cold, windy and hailing. Lots of fun.

This time it runs from December 14-22nd. I have another IRL 5K that I am signed up for on the 21st so I will probably tackle this one the weekend before. Thankfully it is a virtual so I can fit it in where I can and hopefully this year I will be smart and actually get it done during a nice weather weekend.

Today, I got out and walked the same route that I do for these virtual 5Ks (which is actually 3.34 miles) in 50 mins...and that was with no running...so if I run the downhills, on the next couple of training runs, I am sure I will do decently on this run and on the next one the 21st.

One Year Ago on In My Words...Jingle Bell Hell 2012

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Birthday Madness

Own personal Google Doodle on your bday!!
Birthdays are a tricky situation. While I like having people remember my birthday, I don't want to get older...LOL. This year, I got a call from my aunt about two weeks out, asking me to save the date, that she and my grandmother and mother wanted to take me to a local Mexican place for dinner. That sounded cool to me, and I put it on my calendar.

The day arrives, and I get the posts on Facebook for my birthday, which is great, and some texts and cards in the mail. I work on some stuff around the house and head over to my grandmother's a little early so I can tackle a couple loads of laundry before we go out. When I get there, Grandma lets me know that she won't be able to make it since she has a bit of a cold coming on and doesn't want to be sick for Tday. I totally understand and tell her that we'll make sure there are leftovers brought home so she can have some good food too!

Cute pumpkin stand (made for bigger pumpkin)

I have texted my cousin and one of my local sister in laws to see if they want to come with us since it is going to be a small scale dinner celebration. I don't hear back from either of them. The week before, at bunco, I overhear my other local sister in law and my mother in law both talk about obligations they have that same day, so I don't ask them to try to come.

Ducks PJs were put on first night!

My mom's birthday was earlier in the week so we planned to have a couple of things for her too, and she didn't know we were going to do it, so I was excited for her surprise.

Cards from mail and party!

We leave for the restaurant and sit down at a table, start looking at a menu and wonder why they haven't given us any chips and salsa like normal. After a bit, my mother in law and father in law walk in...LOL. That is when I start to realize that not everyone has been forthcoming with me over the last two weeks.

Mylar balloon still flying in the livingroom!

Over the next ten minutes pretty much all of my local family shows up at the restaurant for a big birthday surprise. We take up most of the bar area. We have our own cake, and the restaurant (where we do a lot of birthday celebrations) is super helpful like they always are. They come out with two sombreros and they sing for me and my mom. We both open presents and over all it is a fantastic time and definitely felt the love!

Six Years Ago on In My Words...White Towels

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It Is Gonna Get Cold

Brrrrr...cold nights for most of this week. I went up to the pool and made sure that I had the lightbulb on the timer light set to run in the pumphouse and that the pump was set to run during the coldest part of the night. I was thrilled to see that there weren't nearly as many leaves on the leaf net as I was expecting after not seeing the pool for the last week.

I didn't sleep for crap last night because I had a mocha very close to bedtime, and ended up reading until after 1 in the morning. While turning over in my sleep, I kept waking up because my left arm was hurting and it wasn't until 6 or so in morning that I remembered the tetanus shot I had in my left arm yesterday afternoon...duh! No wonder it was tender.

Managed to get my driver's license renewed yesterday too, since it expires this week on my birthday. It was surprisingly easier than I was expecting and that was a nice surprise! So I currently have a paper temporary one until the real deal comes in the mail. This one will be good for 8 years...woohee!

Gotta go for now, hope to be writing more frequently but really have to get to bed early tonight so I can get back on a decent schedule. Goodnight world.

Seven Years Ago on In My Words...It's Cold Out There (boy do I miss this fur ball)

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Sushi Options

We don't have a lot of options for Asian food here.

At times I have to put in orders to my sister who lives near a couple of really good stores so I can get ingredients for some of my Thai and Vietnamese recipes. We do have a really small Japanese and Korean market that I can use and it is attached to a little Japanese/Korean restaurant. This establishment is in the same parking lot with my main grocery store so I treat myself to sushi there sometimes.

Between this place and another place near my house, I have found pretty decent sushi (nothing will ever be like eating it in Japan), but the one near our house is a lot more expensive.

I don't get to use my minimal language skills much because most of the people that work in both establishments are not native speakers and I don't want to put them on the spot, but I do thrown in a few konichiwas and arigatos when I get a chance.

So anyhow, on this day, I was enjoying a roll (which I usually refrain from), some ocha, and some edamame. It was a nice little snack before tackling the grocery shopping.

Six Years Ago on In My Words...Anyone Want A Drink?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mister Scary

Only carved one pumpkin for Halloween this year. Went out to the pumpkin patch with my cousins to pick it out with two more, but saved the two others I had to carve for "fall". This one was the biggest one so I knew it was going to be Mister Scary even before I had picked a design.

I went through the book I had of designs, but none of them really grabbed me so I went online and did a search and found one I liked and printed it.

Love to carve pumpkins in the living room while watching something seasonally appropriate. During this one, I was watching an episode of Walking Dead on On Demand, trying to catch up on the season. I washed the outside of the pumpkin and dried it off and then got to cutting out the top, so I could get the insides cleaned out. I am kind of texture sensitive on my hands so I decided to wear gloves during the cleaning portion.

I have done a lot of pumpkins with this kit now, and am pretty quick once I get the guy cleaned out, but I have also started to resort to less fancy designs due to time constraints and the fact that the more intricate it is, the faster it seems to rot and lose its shape. We had
had a particularly warm October and I wanted to make sure to have an intact pumpkin through the holiday at least.

Once the inside was cleaned out, I could get started with the design taped to the pumpkin and the little hole punch action. Then I removed the design and started sawing out the design.

Once he was all cut out and ready to go, I put him on the front porch and lit a tea light. I ended up getting some battery powered tealights from the dollar store for later but for the first night, it was the "real deal".


Five Years Ago on In My Words...Halloween Decor

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Monster Dash

Signed up to do this 5K to see if I could get motivated. The course wasn't my favorite because the entire first half was uphill and if you have read my blog before, you know I don't like to run up hill. On top of that, I am so completely out of shape it is not even funny.

On the otherhand, it was for a good cause, my cousin was running it too, and we got to dress up in costumes. So this meant, finding a costume that would be easy to run in. I had some errands to do, and managed to swing by a store that had a simple lady bug costume that I could wear running shorts under and I was set. I did end up wearing a long sleeve running shirt under the costume and I am glad I did because even though the sun was shining, it was a bit chilly in the shade.

The turn out was great. Took lots of pics of all the other creative costumes out there. Didn't run as  much of it as I would have liked and really saw how fat I have gotten when I saw some of the pics the pro photographer took but it was still great exercise, and my time was somewhere in my median area.

I am signed up for a Ugly Sweater run in December and might even do a Turkey Trot 2 miler on Thanksgiving....we'll see.


Two Years Ago on In My Words...Racing Again

Monday, October 21, 2013

SmartWool Socks Acquired

There are two more pairs that didn't make the pic
Cooler weather always makes me rethink my sock situation. I am a bit of a sock hoarder, I admit, but I pretty much think you can't have too many socks.

So I went onto my favorite website for obtaining inexpensive SmartWool socks, because while I love the feel and the patterns, I really can't pay full price for them. On this site, I can find them for about 60% off and that is the way to go!

Once these awesome ones came in the mail, I went through my sock drawer and dx'd any that were worn out, or just weren't getting worn.

Out of these ones, there were two pair (same sock, different patterns) that I ended up not being able to wear because even though they were advertised as being "over the calf" there was no way in hell I could pull them up over my soccer calves. I gave them both to my cousin and she loves them!!

Earlier This Year on In My Words...SmartWools Socks