Monday, January 31, 2011

kendal and holly smackaroo

i just love this picture.  this double is the same picture but the top one is zoomed in on the smackers.  the top one is my entry.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

kendal's dream

this morning, kendal woke up at 6:36.  his pants were wet where he had leaked out of his night diaper.  i changed his diaper and then he picked out a new pair of pjs (he won't wear mismatched pjs, he has to get a whole new set. he also won't let me pick them out).  next we woke up daddy, who was left the bed about 2am because i was still up clicking away on pictures. 

while we were sitting there waking up daddy, kendal starting talking.  he talked for nearly 30 minutes straight.  he told us a dream he had.  at first, in only got "fire truck, ambulance, and milk"  but by getting him to break it down, i think i got the story of his dream. 

this is the first dream he's ever told us about.  i know he's dreamed before, but this is the first one of which we've gotten the whole story.

[and for background, last night we ran out of milk. aparently, it made a huge impression on him!]

story goes that the fire truck, the ambulance, and the police car brought us milk.  [kendal, how many milks did they bring us? three.]  and then we went to the market [the market being where the cows go to buy a fat pig, home again home again jiggety jig.] and we [we being mommy, holly, and kendal] opened the gate and called the cow but she wouldn't come.  [kendal, what did the cow look like?  the cow was black and white.] so we went to the cow to get her milk.  [kendal, how do we get her milk? he made some sort of hand arm movement over his shoulder.  he clearly does not know how to get milk from a cow. when i asked him this again, he changed the subject by saying the cow was white and then he hugged me.]

yes it took him 30 minutes to tell us that!  he repeated it a lot.  and, i repeated it back to make sure i was understanding what he said.  there were just a few things that weren't clear but i do think that was the main part of the dream. it was cute and he was excited about telling it.

further clarification on the market:  the farm we pass daily on the way to raleigh used to have a bunch of cows.  when the cows "went away", we told them they went to the market.  which is true.  but then they wanted to go to the market to see them.  so, we just started responding by saying they went to the market to buy a fat pig, home again home again jiggety jig.  and, that was enough.  they still ask when the cows are coming home.  that farm purchased two cows and two sheep but didn't put them on the big fields.  i really miss seeing those cows.  it was my favorite part of the drive to raleigh or to mom and dad's house.

life according to email

i got this in an email and thought it was too funny not to share.  since i'm not big into forwarding emails, this is a good place to share it.

As we finish up the year 2010, I want to thank all of you for your educational e-mails over the past year. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery!

I no longer open a bathroom door without using a paper towel, or have the waitress put lemon slices in my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.

I can't use the remote in a hotel room because I don't know what the last person was doing while flipping through the adult movie channels.

I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking one's nose.

Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.

I can't touch any woman's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public restroom.

I MUST SEND MY SPECIAL THANKS to whoever sent me the one about rat poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

ALSO, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's Novena has granted my every wish.

I can't have a drink in a bar because I'll wake up in a bathtub full of ice with my kidneys gone.

I can't eat at KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes, feet or feathers.

I can't use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

THANKS TO YOU I have learned that my prayers only get answered if forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

BECAUSE OF YOUR CONCERN, I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer buy gas without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer doesn't crawl in my back seat when I'm filling up.

I no longer use Cling Wrap in the microwave because it causes seven different types of cancer.

AND THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face, disfiguring me for life.

I no longer go to the movies because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS when I sit down.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

And I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda, Singapore , and Uzbekistan ..

I no longer buy cookies from Girl Scouts since I now have their recipe.

THANKS TO YOU I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big black snake could be lurking under the seat and cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

AND THANKS TO YOUR GREAT ADVICE I can't ever pick up a coin dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting to grab me as I bend over.

I can't do any gardening because I'm afraid I'll get bitten by the Violin Spider and my hand will fall off.

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, and the fleas from 120 camels will infest your back,
causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's best friend's beautician .
. . Oh, by the way.....

A German scientist from Argentina , after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read my blog with their hand on the mouse.

Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late.

P. S.: I now keep my toothbrush in the living room, because I was told
by e-mail that water splashes over 6 ft. out of the toilet.

in-house studio

an in-house studio is something i don't have.  i wanted to take some pictures of kendal and holly so i could make their valentines for their friends at school.  i really don't have any new pictures of them that would work.  outside pictures are too busy because of the background.  so i decided to tape a sheet to the fireplace and see what they'd do for me.  unfortunately, the only plain sheet i have is blue (light blue) so you can guess how that looked.  i wish i had dressed them better but this was really for trial only.  i now know that i need to buy a neutral color sheet and buy kendal a solid color shirt.  and put holly in one that isn't so tight on her belly button.  that poor girl just can't wear jeans.

anyway, the first one here is the old one i altered to be cutesy - but i didn't like it because of the striped shirt.  which is why all this started that i needed to reshoot them.  i used the free doodles from MCP.

and now, here are our results.  it looks like they were singing in the first one but i'm pretty sure they were just yelling.

this one is absolutely precious.  what a sweet kiss!  you know it took several of tries before i could catch one, which they didn't mind repeating it over and over - by the end they were sloppy about it!  and by sloppy, i mean sloppy WET kisses that even their own mama wouldn't even want to participate in!

and after they got tired of ME shooting them, they decided they wanted to take pictures of each other and us.  kendal and holly are remarkably good at using my camera (supervised, of coarse).  they love doing it - mashing the silver button - and seeing what they get (on the screen on the back).  i'm always amazed at how interesting their shots turn out.  so these are those.  not bad for a 2 and 3 year old!  (and realize that i hate to put MY picture on here, but it isn't a bad shot even though my hair is wet.  i just love kendal's expression.  that's why i'm posting it.)

 i thought this one was funny because of the two totally different looks he had on his face.  they were taken seconds apart from trigger-happy holly.

he kept wanting us to take his picture lying down.

and after a while he ended up UNDER the sheet!  

(go ahead and say it.  theirs turned out better than mine!  more interesting, that's for sure.)
here is holly telling me to put the camera back on the tripod.  i had it lowered all the way so it was their height.  i wish i had a second camera to take a picture of them taking a picture.  it was adorable!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


no, not goodbye to you. goodbye to sam (his mama was taking him away!)
this is my round robin challenge entry.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

rat bait

when i was growing up, i remember a sign way up high on a post beside my granddaddy's store that said something like black cat rat bait.  i always liked it because it had a cat on it. at that time in my life, i didn't really understand what rat bait was.  of coarse, i do now.

on a totally different note, today i did a file review of the "70's" records for a county in the state.  i have a site in which we suspect a landfill on a property and we have been denied access.  to be thorough, i wanted to make sure we weren't missing any of the old records (like a map) or something that would indicate where this old landfill may have been located.  i did not find anything helpful regarding that landfill.  i did, however, have a good account of when the epa was established and when the people realized that these dumps needed to be regulated, and when counties started to keep records of their dump sites - and to get to my point, there was a bill for one of the dump sites in which the county had ordered and paid for some mass quantity of warfarin rat bait for vector control.

when i saw that, i thought to myself "hey, that sounds like what dad takes."  dad had a blood clot in his kidney a few years ago and he's been taking a blood thinner ever since.  so, at dinner tonight, i asked him what he took.  sure enough, he takes warfarin.  my father in law probably also takes it too.

i did a quick search online and this stuff was developed back in the early 1900s from a moldy sweet clover [plant] to kill rats.  it works by causing them to bleed to death (internal bleeding); basically their capillaries explode, and it takes days for them to die so they never put two and two together (that the "bait" is causing the "sick" - who ever said rats were smart anyway?).  around 1950, a sailor tried to overdose from it but it didn't work.  (why would someone intentionally consume rat poison???)  anyway, there seems to be plenty of accidental (and intentional) deaths from people consuming medicines tainted with it. 

who volunteered to take rat poison to treat things like strokes or atrial fibrillation or blood clots?  i know that i hate having migraines but if someone told me that taking arsenic-lead supplement would help, well, i'm not so sure i'd volunteer for that trial.  it just amazes me how "they" come up with drugs. 

warfarin is rat bait.  and my dad(s) takes it every day.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011


whenever we have a couple-hours to kill, i go to the alex giant busy box for a craft project for the kids. they LOVE it when i get the box down. they always try to look in and pick out the next project - but i do try to pick out something that they can both do (similar project) that won't involve any fighting over pieces nor that will make a mess and that we can do in the time frame that in know is available.

My Giant Busy Box by ALEX Little Hands 

a couple of weeks ago, we got out a pile of tissue paper and made lots of balls. then we stuck those balls onto a ready-sticky piece of paper shaped like a parrot. no mess at all and the kids loved it.

today, they stuck stickers to paper bags while i made dinner and then i glued on the eyes and arms while they ate their dinner. kendal made a frog and holly made an elephant. they LOVED their puppets. i'm actually surprised they didn't ask to sleep with them tonight! :)

here they are showing off their new project. this was taken with my cellphone which is why it is such a crappy picture...

paper mama challenge: friends

well, i told myself i was gonna stop using old pictures and start taking new ones (hence the point of a "challenge") but when i saw the topic of "friends" at papermama, i knew this one was perfect to submit. heck, i look at this picture all the time as it is printed and hangs right over our mantle!

this isn't the best picture in the world and it sure won't win any awards, but i love the way they look in it.  kendal and holly act like this all the time, smooching and hugging all over each other... ever since she was born, he's loved her more than anything in this world.

so, anyway, to me this was the best picture for the topic of "friends" because my children are best friends.  i hope they are best friends - forever.  (a mom can dream, right?)

The Paper Mama

black and white

i suppose this blog title could mean hundreds of things but what i'm talking about is one thing in in photography, rather processing, i feel i need the most work.

today, i was making valentines for kendal and holly (for their classes, for the family, etc.) and i realized that i have yet to print grammy christmas pictures as she requested almost a month ago.  so, in efforts to "de-holiday" them, i decided to make them black and white.

problem.  i hit a road block, big time.  i love our christmas pictures, one of the things i love most about them is all the color and the way they were processed - IN color.  i did not process them with the intent on converting them to B&W - and i did not save the raw files.  so, i am left with the color images to desaturate somehow.  i know that sounds simple, but it is not.

i have several "action" sets that do it in several different ways, plus photoshop has about 7 options for converting to black and white - and all of them are different.

so let me give you an example here of one i'm sorta stuck on.  i think the rest turned out OK but the ones that were the hardest were the ones of just holly.  and, that would be because she had on a "loud" dress.  it isn't loud until you desaturate.  i realize these differences are subtle, but they are huge to me.

[oh, and to give credit where it is due, i didn't take this picture.  Rebecca Gilliam did during our "christmas trade portrait session" (where i took her family and she took mine).  we did our own processing.]
here is the color version:

the first one here is my attempt - from scratch - to convert it.  it is my least favorite of the four.

on this one, i used one of kelsey anderson's actions.  it is a wonderful action but it did not do well on this picture.

this one is the pioneer women's black and white action converter.  this one is usually my "fail safe" black and white converter.. but, in this case, holly's face appears overexposed still.

this one ends up being my favorite, if i can have one (the color version is still my favorite).  i think her face doesn't appear to bright, and her dress is ok too.  this is one of MCP's actions.

which one do you like the most?

Fix it Friday - I heart faces

i'm a day late, but i'm still gonna do the i heart faces fix it friday.


here is how i "fixed" it (using PE9)
first, i used florabella sharpen defog, then i flattened.
next i cropped trying to get him in the "third".
then, i applied florabella sapphire action, but turned off the sapphire gradient and vignette layers because they gave a grey color to the edges.  and, flattened again.
the sapphire action made his shoes really pop, so i saturated to 18 trying to really get his shoes to pop out a little more.
next, i used MCP's texture applicator to add kelsey anderson's texture # 37 on "multiply".  and, well, that's it.  nothing hard or complicated.  the texture #38 also looked good but the 37 made the sky blue, which i liked.

what do you think?

Friday, January 21, 2011

the mess

my kids can make a mess.  most people aren't "privileged" enough to see my house like this (mainly because it isn't like this long) but saturday night when i was sick, nathaniel kept the kids quiet by letting them play play play.  playing, in this case, meant tearing down everything (clearly). 

often, we get them to help us clean up.  i think on saturday, he did all the cleaning up (after they went to bed).  either way, check out the kind of mess two kids can make in about an hour or two! 

and, as he reminded me "i took these pictures!"  so, photos courtesy of nathaniel, though i did process them (since he doesn't officially know how yet - not that it is THAT complicated.)

  **notice how most of the lower level bookshelves are bare - that is where these toys usually live!**

**guess i should have gotten rid of those toys at the kids exchange!  i can see exactly which toys they don't play with anymore!**

 **even toys under the couch!**

Doctors Thornburg and Thornburg

Dr. Kendal looks quite stunning in the surgeon's outfit, don't you think? And don't be fooled by Holly's chef outfit (Dr. Chef Holly).  Both kids know how to play doctor! (I really was sick that day - with a migraine!)


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