Thursday, January 31, 2008
One of my favorite bloggers, Ree, shared this easy recipe with her readers recently and I wanted let you know that it was quite popular at our house. In fact, we've had it twice in the last 10 days! So hop on over and see what all of the clamor is about...
Oh, and if you haven't met Ree yet, you're in for a treat!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
If you are learning Photography, you probably have come across this gentleman. If not, I would be honored to introduce you to him! Mr. Kelby has written several books that have been indispensable to me. He manages to take technical information and translate it into a form that I can understand.
I have to admit that the manual that came with my camera has not been very helpful to me - it's like it is in a foreign language (yes, I realize that there is a manual that comes with the camera that actually is written in a foreign language, but I'm talking about the other one - the one written in "English").
Unlike my manual, Scott (you can call him by his first name now, since I've properly introduced you) is not only user-friendly, he's funny too. I highly recommend his book:
and its recently released sequel:
In case you can't read the teeny tiny print above, it says, The Digital Photography Book: The step-by-step secrets for how to make your photos look like the pros'! by Scott Kelby. Volume 2 builds on the first book and contains exactly what I am wanting/needing to learn right now. One of my favorite aspects of these books are the "recipes" in the back. Each page features a gorgeous photo then it is like Scott is standing over your shoulder coaching you: to get this type of shot, set your camera to this, position yourself like this, don't forget about this, etc. Very helpful!
It was very cold last night and a perfect time to build a fire. Master Munchkin and Frodo quickly took the best spots and settled in for a pleasant evening.
This was shot with my 50mm lens without flash and post processed in Lightroom, using a free preset called "Aged Photo".
A talented Flickr friend and college professor asked if I would come in and talk photography with his beginner's class. Although feeling quite flattered, I had to set him straight. I am a beginner myself and (whispers) don't entirely know what I am doing. That, coupled with my limited use of big words, would be, um, bad. I can see it now:
Student: How did you change the exposure on the fly like that?
Me: I turned the little dial.
Student: Which dial?
Me: Oh, you know - the one on top, next to the Thing. Next question!
Student: What is the focal length of a telephoto lens that has been retrofitted with an extension ring?
Me: Thanks, but I already have lunch plans. Next!
Student: Under what circumstance do you preset your white balance to match the frequency of the internal core temperature of the Sun?
Me: (points out window) Is that Kevin Bacon?
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Master Munchkin frequently surprises me with his choice of words. I came into the kitchen recently to find him perched in a squatting position on the counter, trying to duck under the door of the microwave to retrieve a bag of freshly popped corn.
"This is undignified, " he told me.
"Did you just say, 'undignified'?"
"Yeah, you know...awkward and kind of embarrassing?"
He also informed us, during a magic show, that he "forgot one element" of his demonstration. An element? Come on! You are six!
And this morning he told me, "This will amuse you!" and proceeded to do something or other. I don't remember what. I was too amused.
I don't really know where he gets it. *I* certainly don't use big words in everyday speech. In fact, I often use the wrong words. Mr. Meticulous, my husband, is quite gifted in this area though. I often have to stop him in the middle of an argument or discussion and say, "Wait! What does _____ mean?". He smiles at me in kind-of-a-pitying way and defines it for me.
That's one of the reasons I have the "Word of the Day" featured in my sidebar here: I definitely need to learn some new
Monday, January 28, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
I would like to know your favorite quote from author C.S. Lewis. If you can't narrow it down, you can list your favorite book that he wrote.
If you can't think of any off the top of your head, here are some links to nudge you:
CS Lewis quotes
CS Lewis quotes
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I was an only child for all of my childhood. When I was 17, my dear sister, my only sibling, was born. I was old enough to be her mother, actually, and often got a lot of quizzical looks when my mom, sister and I were all together.
I jokingly call her my "favorite" sister but, truly, she is delightful. She and I skipped all of the sibling rivalry. She is a very cool aunt to the Munchkins - she and Miss Munchkin are only 7 years apart.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Check out this recent Men's Health article, Drink this, not that! They've "identified the most bloating beverages in America and replaced them with sensible and satisfying stand-ins". For example:Coffee
Double Espresso Macchiato
0 fat Apparently, "in the hierarchy of espresso drinks, lattes sit squarely at the bottom. That's because they're more milk than java, and are susceptible to huge pumps of sugary syrup from eager-to-please baristas. A Macchiato gives the same caffeine kick for a tiny fraction of the caloric cost by swapping out the excess steamed milk for a thick crown of frothed milk. It's a simple but meaningful switch for caffeine junkies looking for a healthier fix."
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Have you discovered Google Reader? It's a very cool application that makes it extremely easy to "subscribe" to someone's blog or rss feed and it organizes all of your feeds into neat, tidy folders. I love it because instead of checking my bookmarked pages several times a day to see if my favorite friend has posted or if the local weather blog has changed, I keep Google Reader open and it tells me when something new has appeared. How convenient!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Ever wonder what Mozart read? Or Leonardo da Vinci? How many books do you own that were in Benjamin Franklin's personal library? Now you can find out! Library Thing is reconstructing famous reader's personal libraries online. They recently completed Thomas Jefferson's library (all 4,889 titles!). It's interesting to see what helped shape some of our history's most brilliant minds.
I See Dead People's Books
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I am feeling healthy!
This is something that I do not take for granted. Not anymore. Since being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 16 years ago, I have learned that health is a Gift, not a Given. I bounce back and forth between doing well and feeling really sick. At my worst, I am left with no energy, unable to eat, and in a lot of pain.
After my last major flare-up, my doctor decided it was time to start a new medication. I was reluctant because of some scary side effects, but it has been working wonderfully! My straight hair has grown in with a slight wave (oooo, bouncy) and, more importantly, the disease is now under control. I have gone from taking 20-30 pills a day to 5. For the first time in years, I have ENERGY. I am able to do things with my children, I can eat anything, I am not in pain.
I am definitely taking advantage of this time because I do not know how long it will last. As of this date, there is no cure for Crohn's; it will come back. But for now, I will enjoy this Gift.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I came across a blog recently that is worth your time reading. The author is a self defense instructor and former bodyguard and he discusses practical safety issues that you should know, for example:
The Five Second Rule (no, it doesn't involve food on the floor!)
I would recommend spending some time in his archives, where you'll learn why you should back into parking spaces and why you should use inexpensive luggage when traveling, but if you don't have time now, at least read the two links above. They could save your life.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
I'm telling you, it's downright distracting when God keeps doing this out my window. It really makes it hard for me to get my family out the door in the morning.
"Where's my shoe? Hey, where's Mom?"
"Oh, she's outside.
In her pajamas.
Monday, January 07, 2008
You can read more about Krav Maga here, but basically it is a self-defense method that was developed in Israel. Miss Munchkin and I started taking classes to help us keep fit, to have some fun mom/daughter time, and to learn how to defend ourselves.
I like it because the skills and techniques that are taught are very practical and useful from day one. We don't spend months learning forms or katas that are at the heart of many traditional martial arts.
You can find a class near you at www.pmaschools.com or www.kravmaga.com.
Parents of daughters take note.
"Try to kiss me, will you? Take that!"
Kinda makes a Mama proud. :)
Friday, January 04, 2008
As usual, we were running late to piano lessons. I was driving briskly down 15th street when a truck passed me. "Are they speeding?", Master Munchkin wanted to know.
"Yes." I replied smugly.
I glanced down at my speedometer. "Not much."
"Mom, it says 40 on the sign and you're going 45".
Half-seriously, I shoot back, "Yeah, well, if a policeman comes along, he'll get that truck, because he's going faster. And he's in front of me." So there.
My 6 year old piped up once more. "But if that truck drove off a cliff, would you drive too?"