Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yom Kippur and Grounding...

"The Lord said to Moses, "The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement.  Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves, and present an offering made to the Lord by fire...this is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live." Leviticus 23:1; 32

Today is Yom Kippur, and I was invited to celebrate the Holy convocation at the Andrew's house.  We had a small group of six.  Mark grilled steaks, Karen made lentils, and baked sweet potatoes, and we had blackberry Kefir ice cream for dessert...all before sundown.  After the meal, Mark read and explained the ceremony.

Yom Kippur (Hebrewיוֹם כִּפּוּר‎‎, IPA: [ˈjom kiˈpuʁ], or יום הכיפורים), also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jewish people traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. Yom Kippur completes the annual period known in Judaism as the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora'im ("Days of Awe"). Typically in the Jewish festivals, prayers are offered three times a day, but on Yom Kippur, they pray five times. 

We ended the evening with the blowing of the Shofar.  It was a very nice celebration, and I guess I will fast and pray tomorrow until sundown.  


On another note:  today our cat, Maggie was grounded from going outside.  Yesterday, she was a very bad, or should I say, a stupid cat.  Warren called her a couple of times to come in last night, but she never came.  I went out to call her, and look for her.  I could hear a faint "meow", but could not figure out where it was coming from.  By this time, it was dark, so I had to get a flashlight to try to find her.  I finally found her way up in the Pecan tree...way, way up.  I beckoned her to come down, and she tried, but it was pretty much straight down, and she slipped a lot, so she went back to her fork of the tree.  I asked Warren to come out to stand under the tree to catch her in case she fell, but she would not attempt to come down anymore.  We got out our tallest ladder, and put it up right by her hoping she would climb down it.  She tried that too, but slipped and went back up the tree again.  So Warren went up to get her ignoring my protests. It was at least 22 feet up.  I was a nervous wreck, the cat was scared to death, and Warren was determined to be the hero...which he was, for Maggie and me.  I told Maggie when we were going to bed that she was grounded from going outside for one day.  This morning it did not seem to bother her much, but this afternoon, she was meowing to go out.  I did not let her go out.  She meowed some more.  I did not let her go out.  Now, I know she probably has no concept as to why she could not go out, but just in case she does, I stuck to my guns.  
She is just trying to look innocent and angelic here.

I think she's dreaming of being outside, and not stuck in a tree.  
Tomorrow is another day.  Her slate will be cleaned...at least for a little while.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Finding the light and other stories...

"If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera." -Lewis Wickes Hine

Warren and I have had a fantastic weekend, and in actually, we did not do much.  There is just something about doing things with the person you love that makes everything so much better.  It is like adding color to something that was black and white.  We did our normal Saturday lunch at Schlotzski's, and then went to see the movie, "Trouble with the curve," starring Clint Eastwood.  It was about a baseball scout that was loosing his vision.  It has baseball, family, and a little romance.  The movie was showing at our new theater in town. (10 screen, with seats that recline, and have plenty of leg room.)  If you buy popcorn and a drink, there are unlimited refills.  After, the movie, we just went for a drive which was very pleasant.

Also, on the list of activities for the weekend was our Quilt Guild's Quilt show at the Civic Center.  I did not have any quilts entered, but I did take my soap to sell.  I sold 33 bars of soap, and came home with only 4.  I was so happy about that!  I am now pumped to make some more soap.

Maggie has been enjoying the cooler days to laze around outside.  One of her favorite places to sit is by the hummingbird feeder.  She is determined to capture one of those critters.  She has almost gotten several...she can jump very high, but so far they have been safe from her clutches and claws.
Waiting and Watching...

She sees the hummingbird...

The bird doesn't seem too concerned...

It just goes about with its eating...

Ahhh!  This is good stuff!  

One of the things I have been trying to capture with my camera is a great sunset.  So far, I have had no luck, but I have gotten some very nice golden moments which I think are wonderful to behold.
This picture was taken at the corner of Country Club and Montana...right by a stop sign.  Look closely to the right to see the metal of the stop sign post.

What a view from my friend's backyard...

Outside the fence of her backyard...

Now the sunset.  I think if there were clouds it would have been so much nicer...
I tend to look at a lot of photography websites so get ideas, and I like the pictures with the nice golden tones, and the sun flares.  We have a nice patch of Maximillion daisies around the flagpole in our front yard, so I asked Warren if he would be my subject to try to get the flare.  Yes, that is a sun flare, and not Warren's halo.
Oh, my handsome Man!  I was so happy he allowed me to photograph him.  

Then he took my picture...

Now Maggie's turn...
My favorite.  I like the haze, and the sun flare...
The following pictures were taken on the previous weekend, but I never got them posted, so I thought I would add them before they got too old.
Ian...being calm and stately before...

He decided to try his hand at cart-wheeling.  Pretty good for a 40 year old...Olympics here he comes!
I had balloons left over from a photo shoot, and wanted to use them while they still had helium in them.  I had asked Laurie if she would like to do a shoot with her family, but she did not have time.  Instead, Ian brought the kids over and he took this picture of us.  I think he did a wonderful job.  Thank you, Ian.


 On my favorite website: jessicasprague.com, there is a weekly photo challenge. This week the challenge is to make a photo look like a miniature...called "fake miniature."  Hmmm. Cleverly, creative name.  Anyway, I looked up how to do the effect online, then submitted my photo for the challenge: The Box, at NMMI.  It does kind of look like a miniature.  
Mark and Luke spent 4 years of their lives in this place, so this photo has special significance to me.    I like the effect, too!

I decided to try the miniature effect  on this photo of the Navajo refinery in Artesia.  I think the colors and textures are pretty nice.
The Digital Art Journaling challenge at Jessica Sprague's website was to use the word "meaning."  Here is my submission...
Without Christ, life has no meaning...I am so thankful that He called me out of darkness and brought me into his marvelous light.  Be blessed this week! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Maximillion Daisies...

"Yellow, mellow ripened days,
Sheltered in a golden coating...
Sweet and smiling are thy ways,
Beauteous, golden, Autumn Days." 
 -Will Carleton





Beth Moore's "The Great Forsake and Take"...

"But in all these things we overwhelming conquer through Him who loved us."  Romans 8: 37

We are more than conquers.  That is a fact and promise from our Lord, yet there are many times I don't exactly feel like more than a conquerer.  I feel more like the conquered.  This past Saturday, Beth Moore did a simulcast that was aired at our church.  In it, she shared scriptures that will help us "fight the good fight" with a reminder that if we have trusted Jesus as our personal savior, this victory is ours for the seeking because His Spirit dwells in us, empowering us.  Beth says, "You can also know in advance that when you pray to be courageous and filled with faith to the glory of His Name, you are praying the will of God for your life.  She has made her notes and scriptures available for us to download and print, along with instructions about effectively praying them so we can be more than conquerors, on her blog: http://blog.lproof.org (Sept. 15 entry).  It is called "The Great Forsake and Take." It has a cover sheet and will be about 17 pages to print, but oh so worth it. Now go out an conquer!  The victory is yours!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Side by side comparison...Tate and Tom look alike...Tom Norcross

I thought perhaps a side by side photo might help others to see why I think Tate resembles my brother, Tom.  I don't know why I did not do this earlier.  Sigh...



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Old Photos of Tom...Tom Norcross

Photography is a means of recording forever the things one sees for a moment.  -Aaron Sussman

My all time favorite website: http://www.jessicasprague.com/ always has weekly challenges in photography, scrapbooking, and digital art journaling.  This week's challenge is this:

"My challenge for you today is to create a LO (layout) of the first few years of your life, with a view to continuing pages of the rest of your life and hopefully eventually having an heirloom album to pass down through the generations: A virtual journey through LIFE!" 

The challenges always stretch me.  I liked this one because it will be my history.  (When I get it done.) In preparation for my layout, I first had to dig up old pictures, which are in horrible shape, and they took me forever to find.  They have a very nice orange color cast, cracks, and smudges.  I will have a huge job of correcting them so they will be useable.  I will do my beginning layout sometime, but I wanted to put up some pictures of my brother, Tom, because every time I see Tate, I am so reminded of my brother.  More interesting is that Tate's middle name is Thomas...my brother's real name.  Yes, he was named after his grandpa Tom Eubanks, too...kind of like two birds in the hand or some cliche like that.  I like to think Luke and Jordan were divinely inspired.  I had so much fun remembering as I was looking through my old photos.  They will be showing up now and then, but for now, here are the pictures of Tom.  See if they remind you of Tate. 


Thomas Allen
  
Tom is in our old sandbox. It was one of our favorite places to play.  It was located close to a our neighbor's fence.  Sadly, the sandbox was torn down when my step-mom made our neighbors move their fence because was only on our property by three inches.  (I found this out years later from the neighbor).  I was told that they tried to buy the property, so they would not have to tear down, and rebuild the fence, buy my step-mom said no.  My neighbor said they moved shortly after that.  
I remember playing in this car like it was yesterday.  In fact, all the neighborhood kids  loved this car.  When we got too big to put our feet in, we placed them on the outside of the car on the hood, and someone pushed the driver.  So much fun was had in this car.  I wish we had kept the old car.  Warren and I have seen several of these old cars on the TV shows about Pawnshops and Pickers.  I kept telling him that Tom and I had an old car like was shown on the shows.  When I showed him this picture, He said it was an old Oldsmobile and was impressed that it had whitewall tires. 
Tom and I...we were best buddies.  This was our old swing set.  
That is my trip down memory lane for now.  I hope perhaps some can see why I think Tate looks like Tom.  

Friday, September 7, 2012

Experimental effect...

Tonight while I was waiting for Warren to get an upgrade on our DVD player so we could watch a movie, I surfed the web looking for some different ways to process photos.  I combined two of them and this is my result.
Before
After
First I cropped and sharpened, then I added three different textures.  I used my lasso tool to outline the subjects, added a blur filter--average-- to take the texture off the people, but leave it on the background.  I changed the blending mode to linear burn on one texture, and soft light on the other two.   Dropped my opacity to 24%.  Then I used a dot brush in the upper left hand corner, then a brush with handwriting for the left side, and a little bit at the top right.  I used a light vignette, and a grunge frame to set every thing off.  I think it makes a drab ordinary picture into something interesting and fun.

More photos...

"Look and think before opening the shutter.  The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera." -Yousuf Karsh

I so enjoyed our "official" photo shoot with Luke's family.  Every one (and by everyone, I mean the adults.  The children are never cooperative) was pretty happy to go out to do photos...even Luke, in the beginning at least.  Jordan and I had scouted out places a couple of days before, and she picked clothing that was a nice contrast to the background.  Warren was happy to go along to hold the reflector for me, and the boys had a nice nap, so they could be in the best of moods.  Everything was going pretty well until Tate started to spit-up his last meal. Over and over again.  It was not a one time thing.   Poor Luke was the one holding Tate in all of his spitting up episodes.  By the end of the shoot, Tate and Luke were soaked.
Tate spitting--Sawyer smiling...
This picture, where I caught the spit up, was the last straw.  Luke was done.  Thank goodness it was at the end of our shoot.  I think we got some great pictures and in spite of all the mishaps with Tate, all in all, everyone was pretty pleased and happy with our outing.
Oh, you boys are so loved...

Sawyer and Dad...two handsome men...

Tate's not too sure he likes this.  Throwing him up in the air  might have been what started the whole incident of the spitting up.

Sawyer liked going high!  

So beautiful!

Now this is what I call fun, Dad!  More handsomeness!

Now Sawyer is not too sure.

Fun now!



I'm tired, Mom.  Can we go home?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Maggie's dreaded visit...

Today Maggie had to go to the vet to get neutered...
We do not want any little Maggie's running around...
Nor do we want any male stray cats coming around either...
It was the dreaded day for any cat.  She did not get to eat after 8:00 last night, and no water after after midnight.  She was not happy about that and kept close to Warren's heels meowing, and meowing in hopes of persuading him show her some sympathy.

Unsuspecting Maggie...
MAGGIE...where are you?  Come on Maggs...
What?  Are you calling me?

I have to go where?  And what are they going to do?  Whack out my gonads? 

No, no... please don't take me to the vet....
Warren told her all morning she was going to have her "Nad's" whacked out.   Doesn't he sound sympathetic?  It must have been "the day" for such a procedure.  When we got to the Vet's, two different ladies had cages with kittens in them.  Ferrell cats that they wanted neutered.  I learned they notch the cat's ear so they can tell they have been spayed.  At least on the Ferrell cats.  Maggie's ears will be left alone, but her pride and stomach will be wounded I am sure. I pick her up tomorrow. Wonder if she will be mad at me.
 
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