December 30, 2011

still searching....

i really wanted this year's word to find me. but so far it hasn't. 
i keep making myself available and whispering "here i am" while flapping my arms like a chicken.
but still nothing
most of you know by now about choosing your word for the new year, instead of making an impossible to keep new year's resolution. right.
if you don't, you might be living in a cave. kidding. not really.
anyhow, i have my list and the narrowed down version of my list, but still, there isn't one word that's jumping off the paper ready to live with me for 2012.
maybe it's my morning breath or something. 
{actually it could be the chicken like flapping arms}
who knows
what i do know though, is that i only have one day left.
{can you feel the excitement and pressure}
the past years my words have been 
{sanskrit meaning one who does or whore depending on where you look it up}
so as 2012 gets ready to drop her bags, kick off her shoes and stay awhile
i'll be busy trying on words
i guess i should be thankful there isn't a "pick your one word for the year" king 
ready to bonk me on the head if it takes me a few extra days to find what i'm searching for, 
but i like to be prompt. really prompt
so sunday, after a wild night of watching the ball drop from the comfort of my own couch,
i'll be back. with a word. for 2012.
control yourself
i know you can hardly wait
last night we watched "the adjustment bureau" which left us both talking afterwards. about life. and our paths.
i like movies like this. have you seen it?

December 26, 2011

impossible to do....

i've decided it's impossible 
to actually share the love and laughter found at my sister's house on christmas day
but hope these photos will always remind us of the fun we had
i don't have photos of the duck hunt 
{and john getting taken out by the so called flying duck}
 or the 12 days of christmas sung using the names of beer
{where bill's "good beer" brought us all to tears...of laughter}
or jim's christmas meat or even a photo of myself
{so i put my sister in twice since people say we look alike}
i do have new memories and new laugh lines that are extremely deep
the day was not long enough 
we had enough food for a few more families
{hello leftovers}
then late last night our packers beat the bears
{talk about icing on the cake to an already perfect day}
i hope your christmas was as beautiful as ours.
in some of the photos you can see how brilliant the sun was the entire day and even hot if you were sitting in it. 
thank you wisconsin. i loved your warm and green christmas this year.

December 24, 2011

twas the night before christmas....

it's the morning before christmas

i just wanted to take this time to let you all know 
how very dear you are to me

your support and love throughout this year
has helped me climb the path that's in front of me 
with you at the top telling me to keep going

your constant words of wisdom 
have acted like bumper pads
as i've bounced around in the ups and downs of life

this little corner of the world
where my words and photos come alive
is so special to me
all of you have been a part of it

when i've been out on a limb
you've been there to catch me 
pray with me or for me
laugh with me when i needed it the most

thank you
all of you
for being you
sharing you with me
while i've shared me with you
may you all be blessed with the merriest and happiest christmas 
surrounded by those you love
those that love you right back

December 23, 2011

sleigh bells version

what. did you say we're going to sing christmas carols

oh please no. not jingle bells again

how about "OH holy night" instead

singing makes me hungry


hey nanny that i adore and your mom STILL taking photos of us
because if she is, i'm kind of done

oh alright. one more. but just of my gorgeous curls. talk to the head

hey photo lady, did you notice my twin sister is pretty much scared of you

she's playing peek-a-boo in hopes that she can't see you

just so you know, this is the closet thing you're going to get as far as a smile from her

don't even ask her to sing. she'll just eat her bagel and ignore you

i think she's thinking that if she has milk on her chin, you'll put that camera down
and eat your own darn bagel

HA...i taught her that. i taught her to turn her head and just show you her curls
i did. i really did. okay maybe i didn't. but it's funny that we both did that.
it's a twin thing

December 22, 2011

i shoveled this morning and didn't even complain....

this made me want to run out into the street and throw my hat in the air
after that feeling went away 
i decided i would love to be the shop owner who has this in her window
{oh and i found it here}
this is just funny 
{i found it on pinterest. oops, didn't grab the link}

if you're one of the names above
{or even if you don't see yourself}
my apologies for being a crappy email returner and/or blog comment responder
what. returner is a word?
this time of year, my computer and i are busy, but just not doing the usual things.
instead we're making ourselves comfortable at places like amazon and
so when the new year falls into my lap in january
i promise to get my butt back in gear and stay on top of my inbox
thank you all for your comments regarding migraines, our beautiful daughter and reassuring me that i'm not crazy and that you'd really come to the bonfire on the beach for a cleansing. believe me, when i teach my first photography workshop, this will be part of it.
we got an inch of snow late last night and the hubby had an early meeting, so the shovel and i became reacquainted this morning and i actually had fun. it's not cold here. only 30 or so and the wind wasn't blowing. i love my snow pants and of course since it's wisconsin, the rest of my "gear" is perfect, too. no matter what though, my finger tips still get cold the quickest. the rest of the week, dry and in the 40's by monday. WHAT. this can't be wisconsin, can it ?

December 21, 2011

there were days i just wanted to throw my head away and find a new one...

i said last week that i'd talk about migraines this week, so here we go
{probably if you've never had a migraine, this will bore you to death}
i started getting migraines back when i was a teenager, although i think then, we just thought they were really bad headaches, even though my dad was a migraine sufferer.

into my twenties they kept coming and by my thirties i knew that my hormones played a huge part of how i was feeling. right before and right after my monthly period, WHAM. they would hit with such force that often i was incapacitated.

by forty, i was really keeping track of what was causing the god awful pain and realized there were multiple triggers. 
chocolate, the smell of cologne/perfume, nitrates and hormones {still} 
many other things i had to go back and think about
 as i laid in a fetal position, moaning.
"maybe it was the aged cheese" "maybe it was eating too late" "maybe it was just stress"
"maybe it was the bright sun" "maybe it was the change in weather"

i tried many prescription migraine pain relievers and eventually built up a tolerance to the one i lived with the most, midrin. after a few months of acupuncture, the migraines were still there, but my medication in decreased doses, was working again.

then they started again. stronger and more frequently.
i had turned 46 and read that my hormones being all over the place due to peri menopause, was without question, the number one cause of my now, twice a week, migraines.

i was desperate. 
fortunately for me the day i went to see my doctor, she was out, but her nurse practitioner saw me and realized how desperate i truly was. this is not to say that my doctor wouldn't of also seen my desperation, but sometimes i think things happen for a reason.

she said that she truly believed i needed to be put on a preventative and how they can be a tricky thing to prescribe and not everything works for everyone, but that she was going to do her best.

to the rescue.
a drug by the name of amitriptyline. typically used for depression she told me, but in low doses was found to prevent migraines. i said GIVE IT TO ME. she warned me it might not work and that the playing game would begin to find something else that would, but that we'd cross our fingers that this would be my miracle.

and it was.
for five months now, i've been taking 25mg of amitriptyline right before bed every night and have had four migraines during that time, that were bad, but i had the strength to deal with them.

one of the side effects of this medication is that it can make you sleepy. 
to me that's not a side effect, that's a win win situation.
it also causes dry mouth, which i have really noticed. but when you're a migraine sufferer, a side effect like dry mouth, is easy to live with.

to this day, i still have triggers though and perfumes and anything with a florally scent are the number one things that about kill me. 
i have to use unscented laundry detergent. i can't wear perfume unless it's a natural oil based one from aveda and even then i rarely do. my hubby can't wear cologne. 
well he could, but i'd never get close to him and that would suck.

i can't sit near someone who has perfume or cologne on in a plane, or a movie theater or in my car. 
some hand soaps are too strong for me. air fresheners, forget about it.

so for any of you who suffer from migraines, i know your pain. 
and for those of you living with someone who is a migraine sufferer, their pain is real.
don't ever doubt how miserable they feel at any given time.

now with my story out there, i pray that if you are a sufferer and still looking for a cure,
that you can at least try "my drug" and see what happens.

December 19, 2011

wait...they've got props...

when my daughter and her boyfriend volunteered at help-portrait with me
we had time to sneak into an empty bay after lunch

this is close to the same photo above. i just couldn't decide which one i liked best

as i was almost finished shooting
she says, "wait, they've got props"

it's sure a good thing she's a got a guy with a sense of humor like ours

the icing on the cake
this is their take on how NOT to pose for a photo
{unless of course you're a dork}
adult "kids" are really actually pretty darn cool to hang out with
these were all taken using only the overhead lights in the food pantry 
 ISO 1600 50mm 2.8

December 18, 2011

call me crazy...

i would love to do this
would you come
if i built a beautiful bonfire
on the beach
would you be part of my circle
would you feel better
if you could watch many of the things weighing you down
go up in smoke

December 16, 2011

no whiners here today....

i hope all of you have an amazing "last weekend before christmas" weekend. 
by now, i bet most of you have all your shopping done and that your studio looks like a bomb went off in it and spewed scraps of wrapping paper, tape, ribbon, scissors and gift tags everywhere.
no? okay, maybe that's just me.
usually by now, i'm in a very whiney mood, complaining about how much snow we have and how winter and i don't get along. but not this year. 
it was 50 degrees here the other night. 50 degrees. and remember i'm in wisconsin.
the weatherman keeps shaking his head, while we keep celebrating.
next week i'll be talking about migraines and i'll show you some of the photos that go with those little legs up there. oh, and i still have to share the goofy photos of my daughter and her boyfriend. 
while i'm thinking of it, are any of you wearing "ugly christmas" sweaters to your christmas festivities this year?
ps....i would love to answer any camera and or shooting questions you have. i receive many personal emails asking me about this and that, aperture and editing, which i love. so throw some at me here and then we can all share.

December 15, 2011

finding your place in this world....

a year ago at this time, he had dropped out of school. 
a career in criminal justice just wasn't going to happen. 

working full time in construction didn't keep his attention either. 
although what he learned in regards to tiling, drywalling, roofing, closet systems, wood working and electrical will make him a wonderful husband someday.

then he got accepted into the music and recording technology program, moved back home
and his life has been changed. our lives have been changed.

to see our child loving what he's doing. wanting to learn. not skipping school. working long hours into the night. well, this is what we prayed for. 
to watch him do what he does, knowing that what we see at home is just a tiny part compared to what he's doing at school, is a blessing.
only parents of other "where do i go, what do i do now" kids will understand
how proud we are. how happy we are.
finding your place in this world...even a tiny parcel of an amazing thing. 
a gift actually

thankfully i have a new camera, that can basically shoot in the dark. with an ISO of 1600, there really isn't any noise and with my 50mm 1.4 lens, taking these photos at 11pm was a breeze. the last one was taken with a bleach bypass filter that i don't really like, but made an" in the dark photo" kind of cool. the rest were shot in monochrome mode so that i wouldn't have to do any editing. so yes, these are all sooc. a pentax friend recently played around with my new pentax camera and even shooting at ISO 12800 produced amazing photos.

December 14, 2011

the disappointing fish....

the above photos are children belonging to one of our volunteers at HP
aren't they adorable

this photo cracks me up
the ballon man at HP made a "fish" for this little boy and as he turned and looked at us when it was finished, we could tell he wasn't quite sure what to make of it. 
quickly, i said, "that's not a fish if he can't see where he's going" and the volunteer sitting next to me at the registration desk picked up his marker and drew a face on the so called "fish."
the little boy looked at his "fish" again and this time was only slightly more impressed.
i think he was really wishing he had asked for a sword instead
if you're looking for some great artistic wallpaper backgrounds for your phone,
here they are and they're free and fun. i'm using the one from kelli murray.
remember when i mentioned these t-shirts as my favorite....well just an FYI....the white t-shirts tend to run one whole size smaller then the rest of them. bummer.  return. reorder.
plain and simple, i love this mom
{if you don't know her, start with her tab labeled "start here if you're new}
the photos here made me ache a bit. i need a flea market fix more then i realized.
last but not least
for little hands or moms like me who love their glue gun
ps...finally we have a few birds at our feeder. 
the little rascals have been elsewhere.
 i guess when you don't have any snow and temps in the 40's in december, in wisconsin, that's what happens.