Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not to be Redundant...

Someone tagged me on Face Book for twenty five random things about me. I am republishing them here for posterity not to be redundant.

  • There are times when I take things too personal which probably explains why I take criticism so poorly and why satisfaction with my own work is rarely achieved. (Just getting the depressing random fact out of the way first)

  • I have had fourteen surgeries which may leave you wondering which actual body parts or organs are left -- at my age only the necessary ones.

  • I would be Gospel Doctrine Teacher for the rest of my life if they’d let me and fully aware that writing it here pretty much guarantees that I’ll never get the calling again.

  • I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue – If you don’t believe me I’ll prove it the next time I eat a banana split in front of you.

  • Speaking of which, I have made myself sick eating too much ice cream on more than one occasion. I worked at Baskin Robbins during high school in the 70’s.

  • I almost cut off my left index finger with the hedge trimmer requiring eight stitches. I lost my toten chip that day.

  • I have a concealed firearms permit for the state of Washington that is tucked in the pocket right next to the Glock 26 pistol I carry in my purse. I just finished the Utah conceal class with my husband last weekend which will allow me to carry concealed in more than thirty states. Let’s go on vacation.

  • Although my children are athletes excelling in their sports of choice I am probably one of the most uncoordinated people you’ll ever meet. I have been known to trip over the curb on a walk.

  • Once at Carmichael Hill I rode on the back of a sled with my eyes closed. (Lest you think me a total idiot, my son was on the front eyes wide open) I finally looked as I was flying through the air -- headed straight for shoulder surgery. Bad lapse of judgment to take that ride. I am banned from any activity that includes skis, sleds, tubes, ice or snow with the exception of shoveling it.

  • I have more than fifteen different sized blank labels in my office all of which I use. I love office supplies.

  • I have owned my own business for almost twelve years working exclusively from home. At one point my gross income was more than my husband’s.

  • I change my mind a lot which I have found can be expensive.

  • I once told my husband, when our children were small, that I would rather be a prostitute than run a daycare. Today I would rather not have the extra money and do neither.

  • I love crusty Italian bread, cold unsalted butter and very slightly sweetened hot chocolate for breakfast. It reminds me of Italy

  • I have the best recipe for REAL Italian spaghetti sauce and it requires wine which I have never considered to be an issue in my cooking until one of my children drank it. Just for the record they didn’t like the taste of it. Now if I want to make the recipe I double it and then throw the extra wine away.

  • I have had one and only one best friend in my life and she remains my best friend to this day. Now don’t worry that I don’t love my husband best – I’m talking about a best girl friend here. She knows who she is.

  • I have a sweet tooth the size of the North American Continent, but I am not a pop drinker except ginger ale which I drink rarely. A six pack of Vernors Ginger Ale will last me six months.

  • The last cavity I had was in high school which is a major miracle considering the punishment my teeth have taken as a result of # 17. I got braces as an adult.

  • I often eat cereal for an evening snack. I never put sugar on my cereal and I always mix more than one kind. Plain Cheerios and Rice Chex are a favorite.

  • The older I get the less I like to cook.

  • There is a surfboard hanging from the ceiling in my bedroom.

  • I have been crocheting for thirty years but was always too embarrassed to admit it until several years ago.

  • I have over twelve thousand digital photos on my computer.

  • If I am told I MUST do something I usually don’t do it. I get that from my mom.

  • I get addicted easily to things that interest me – not drugs silly, stuff like scrapbooking, blogs, crafts, photoshop etc. That’s it, twenty five things, DONE.
  • Dear Mr President...

    Respectfully, I'll keep my money and my gun and my freedom thanks, ... you can keep your change.

    Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    Here's to Regan final season with Hawks BBall...

    Hawks Basketball season started off with a win last Thursday and plan another this week against Walla Walla. Regan and her team members are ready for a great season. GO HAWKS!!

    I'd keep him ten forever, if I didn't have to do the Derby.

    Holding at bay our emotions, we raced our final Pinewood Derby last Thursday evening. Sniffle...Sniffle. I am going to miss those memorable nights.

    I'm going to miss waking up in a cold sweat two and a half days before race day when I realize the official Boy Scouts of America Pinewood Car remains unshaped, unpainted, disassembled, and unweighted to the precise micro ounce in it's original box unopened.

    The den leader gave it to us six weeks ago and we did nothing!

    Last year, after the race, we committed to building the ultimate coasting machine -- without cheating -- using only the stock nail axles and rims. We promised to get started right away, building, testing and modifying the design -- to sloped ramp perfection -- overcoming the obstacles of motion, gravity and air drag caused every year by lane number three. Oh yes! ... this year was supposed to be different! But last years promise was just like the year before that ... and the year before that. Two days before the race, the Pinewood Derby becomes a family emergency.

    I am going to miss the revelation on race day that someone else had a better designed more aerodynamically stealth vehicle than we did -- every single year.

    I'll miss the look of pity on the faces of the other parents when our car fails to make it to the finish line or loses a wheel at take off.

    Certainly, without a doubt, I will long, years from now, to remember the faces of the boys who self constructed their wooden block, when the obviously daddy made or hired a professional to make it car is placed on the starting line.

    Is there another household use for graphite? -- because I don't think I can part with it just yet.

    I'm pretty sure if we started today, we'd own next years race -- only I doubt anyone here wants to find out.

    Right up the middle...

    Jensen started Basketball this year for the first time and had his first game last weekend. It is so fun to watch kids that age play. He has been practicing outside in the frigid cold or on occasion at the church with Tim.

    Many of the boys dribble around the outside looking for a good pass which sometimes ends up in an out and out ball steal. Jensen got the ball taken mid dribble once. The rest of the time it was straight up the middle. Gotta love that kid.

    Monday, January 26, 2009

    The Lights Work...

    At last ... "my version" of the SpiderLite (a much less expensive version I might add) is finished. Actually there are two and they both work. The picture above shows all the parts purchased at my local hardware store (minus my tools) for just a little over $60.00 each (which is a savings of over $300.00 EACH)

    I got the idea from a tutorial online making a few adjustments so that they could handle the actual Westcott TD5 bulb set up. I watched an entire episode of Monk and Psych while building these and wiring them up, so I'm guessing maybe two hours in all.

    Here's what it looks like mounted on a stand with umbrella. The sand bag weights at the bottom of the stand were an easy sew and I filled them with wheat instead of sand.

    WHY... you ask, did I make these???

    Well... because I wanted to be able to take pictures of my kids and I'm intrigued with the idea of a "studio" lighting situations and how light can be played around with.

    For my birthday Tim made me a backdrop. I originally looked at another constant lighting set (incandescent lights that were 500 watt each) but they were WAY TOO HOT and not enough actual light. Fortunately the store let me try them out to see if I'd like them ... and it turns out I didn't.

    Then I found out about the SpiderLites which are flourescent lights and far cooler. Anyway, that's how it went and I borrowed some practicees this weekend and took some shots with my new lights. The girls were great sports and put up with my rookieness.

    Here are a couple shots from the first session with homemade lights. What do you suggest I do with all the money I saved?

    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    You probably won't recognize him...

    The losing fan wishes to remain unnamed and prefers to wipe his tears under cover of anonymity. It's too late on the East Coast else he would be crying to his mama. His support of the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game has yielded a big whopping nothing.

    The winning fan is still singing the "ha ha ha ha" song and waving the spirit sign. He has until bedtime tonight to rub it in.

    Riesco parlare italiano...

    Oh my gosh what a blast I had tonight when my ex-italian mission companion instant messaged me on Face Book from Milan. What time is it there I asked? Two fifteen in the morning was the reply. I don't remember her ever being such a night owl. Alas, she was working at the hospital and had tucked the patients in for the night.

    Her English was always near perfect although tonight she admitted it was a bit rusty. She inquired about my Italian. Not bad -- let's give it a try. We spent the next forty five minutes or so catching up on each others lives. I was amazed how much I understood and was able to answer back.

    Kids laugh at my Italian hymnal in church. I don't sing well or loud but I do sing the language of love every chance I get. Looks like it paid off. Besides who wants to forget the mission language anyway??

    I went right out to the shed and dug out my most favorite mission picture of us together at the Rome Train Station the day we got transferred away from each other. I remember the sad parting. More than that I remember the memorable time we spent laughing about our differences, making cheese sandwiches with the iron (her invention) and my decision to grow out my arm pit hair wanting to be just like her. When in as the Romans do right?

    We also did a lot of hard work together knocking on over eight hundred doors in the month of August 1984 (I know it because we kept tract) She was kind and funny and firm in her testimony. We felt the spirit without effort and taught the gospel with ease. I love her dearly and thank her for her service and companionship.

    Her name is Enrica Melandri -- I just called her My Laundry -- a name which has stuck to this day. Ciao Bella!!

    Opposition in the family...

    Two members of the Greenstreet Family watch football, yell, groan and cheer as the team of their choice either performs well or gets clobbered on the field. "They can't hear you dad." is oft remarked when an umpire makes a bad call and the Greenstreet fans get mouthy.

    Choosing the team to root may involve the study of player history, coaching style, complicated bracketed team statistics or sometimes just settling on the underdog. Occasionally the picking of favorites pits one family member against another where opinions differ and competition insues.

    The season we find ourselves a divided family with dad on the side of the Ravens and Jensen hoping the Steelers send the metal right through the guts of the opposition. All's fair in Love and War -- and this is War.

    Earlier this week dad left me a note to not forget to buy tissue for Jensen since he'd need it after Sunday's game and later Jensen enlisted my help in making spirit signs with the logos of both Ravens and Steelers. He had me make one for dad as well.

    We got Chicos Salsa Fresca and Chips -- essential football fare and we got familial rivelry. Both parties promised not to fight during or after the game -- trash talking okay.

    The tissue will be available for either spectator.

    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    My pathetic little secret...

    Admittedly I am stubborn and proud never wanting to ask for help and pretty much just as willing not to take it...except I am starting to freak out here because the truth will be noticeable soon.

    The first day of Spring 2009 is March 20th. That is like a little over two months from now people!! Things are supposed to be waiting right about now under the ground to begin to sprout up multicolored beautiful blossoms on or about the first day of Spring and I got only the leftover bulbs that the people who owned the house before us planted. Otherwise it's a barren wasteland.

    Winter time I'm calm -- no ones yard is expected to look good. Buried under two feet of snow everyone's yard looks the same. When the first warm temperatures of Spring arrive then the pressure happens. It's very obvious who planned ahead and who didn't .

    After I darned near cut off my right index finger with the hedge trimmer, I pulled out the nasty spider web infested evergreens and planned to replace them with something more updated and less dangerous to maintain. That was 1997. I actually did put some other foliage in their place but planted them too close together for their size and had to remove them as well.

    So that's the secret -- I stink at gardening and my yard looks pathetic as a result. Here's the deal -- I am posting the embarrassing photos of what I'm talking about and hoping for some help.

    What I want is EASY and SIMPLE maintainence. I already tried planting sixty dozen ninety eight cent packs of annuals which cover the ground nicely but didn't live very long. I'm thinking some kind of hedge in the back to cover up the all essential cable tv wiring some idiot ran along the outside of the front of the house and maybe some color in the front.

    I have no idea what would look good and not eventually grow 20 feet tall necessitating another removal. I don't mind doing some sweat labor to get it all in -- but I don't want to have to deal with it every day. Rocks and more rocks seemed like a good idea until I was reminded how much heat they aim back at the house. CAN YOU SEE MY PLIGHT???

    I will take any and all suggestions and if I use your fabulous idea I will hug you at least twice and take you out to lunch to the venue of your choice -- or if you live out of town I will send you a gift card to your favorite restaurant and you can take yourself out to lunch.

    I AM DEAD SERIOUS HERE -- I want a decent looking front yard this year. I am tired of the "looks like their planning to do something in that spot" look. I know some of you who read my blog are good at this stuff so please share some of your talent with me!

    I've got two spots that need attention -- the front area and a smaller area on the side of the house. You can see what I mean in the photos which by the way are not photoshopped in any way -- what you see is the ugly naked truth.

    Anita is back

    Saw this on a friends blog and had to share it.

    If you haven't seen the first one -- here's the link:

    Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    A Cool Action...

    I am always looking for cool things to do with pictures and there are no shortage of websites dedicated to doing just that. CS3 all by itself is a dream piece of software -- add a plug-in or two and really... the skies the limit to what you can do creatively. I haven't even begun to scratch the surface.

    Without giving you all the boring details, there's a thing called an ACTION and basically what it does is combine a list of commands or tweaks to a photo into an easy to use one step process which makes editing multiple photos much quicker and simpler.

    Take the example of the photo above taken by a friend the day of the Christmas Tree Hunt. The picture looks pretty good notwithstanding the dismal rainy day. I did nothing else but add an ACTION called "Color Pop" and voila... look at the difference.

    Here's another example: Original taken the same day by the same friend.

    and then here's the cropped and color popped version. The coolest thing is that you can adjust the opacity of any of the individual layers so that the effect is as subtle or as bold as you like. I opted for bold here.

    WARNING: with CS3... things may appear now differently than you actually remember them.

    Say it louder! FIFTEEN.

    Regan got her team bag filled with gear a couple days ago. One black practice shirt, one black long sleeved warm up shirt, one green game jersey, one white under armour shirt, sweat shirt and sweat pants both black and of course... the essential spankies. Put it together with her new Nike volleyball shoes and she is a force to be reckoned with.

    Stay tuned for shots of Regan in action courtesy of the mommy cam. The back of one of her shirts says, "It's amazing what a team can do when no one cares who gets the credit."

    Monday, January 12, 2009

    There's a scary man in the attic...

    Last Tuesday we had a very windy night here. Gusts up to 50 miles per hour felt like they might implode our double pane low E argon windows. After gathering up the snow shovels and securing the "college dairy" box that sits on our porch I curled up under my crocheted afghan and plugged my ears.

    The kids all followed Tim outside to check out the wind power and pretend getting sucked up by a tornado. The door blew open after one of them failed to latch it completely.

    Seemingly unrelated, an hour later a freaked out McKay appeared in the doorway of our bedroom announcing something was going on in the attic. The opening was ajar and she was fully convinced somebody was moving around up there.

    Off went daddy to the rescue puzzling slightly at the mystery while kids huddled in bed with me.

    There indeed was an intruder in the attic...the wind. It was the wind rushing through the house at the opened door that moved aside the attic cover and it was the wind whistling out the vents that kept the action going.

    Hoping to restore tranquility to the house and take back our bed, Tim positioned the kids down the hall in eyesight of hole in the ceiling now covered. Opening and then closing quickly the front door sent just enough pressure up the stairs and down the hall to move the attic cover. Kids were amazed at the sight and less freaked out than before. Mystery solved.

    How to dress for church without waking...

    Our church this year starts at nine o clock in the morning - a far earlier hour than last year's eleven. I personally enjoy looking forward to a mid afternoon nap after a morning worship.

    Jensen prepared on Saturday by laying his clothes out and showering before bed. All but his shoes were donned when I came upstairs Sunday morning. While ready for church his semi conscious state made me think he may need a few more weeks to acclimate.

    I LOVE Flowers!!!

    There is a vase full of flowers that look just like this picture on my dining room table -- a very thoughtful surprise gift from a friend. Flowers are just one of those things that makes me happy happy happy.

    Saturday, January 3, 2009

    January Blog Background Ingredients...

    Here what I used to create my January 2009 Blog Background and Title:

    "Let it Snow" kit from Wingefluester Designs for personal use

    "Baby it's Cold" papers and embellishments for commercial use from Cindy Ritter

    Font - "Peas Times New Camileon" from Fonts for Peas

    Raw Materials Papers by Amanda Sok for Personal Use

    and of course Adobe Photo Shop CS3

    Thursday, January 1, 2009