2009-04-02intissue

Reader, have you ever thought about hanging up the blogging hat and just quitting entirely. I have. In fact, it might cross my mind (in a big or small way) every day. When I started doing this, I said I did not have time for it. I still do not. I have less time than I had for it when I started. Yet I continue. And today makes eleven posts in eleven days.

This warrants a new paragraph. I think once, way back last summer, I might have done six posts in six days. But that was only once. And it was summer. How some of you people post daily (or MORE than daily) is beyond me. I have barely been able to keep up with posting, let alone visiting others (which is much more interesting to me than posting).  My hat goes off to ALL of you who post frequently. (But to those of you who don’t, please don’t start to get a hat off to you! I am thankful some of you post less or I would NEVER catch up!)  I had no intentions of posting eleven days straight, but that whole cruise business happened, and I had the memes, so I just had to do it. And in the midst of it, the reason for today’s post happened, so here I am… again. (But I will not be here tomorrow.)

So anyway, the topic was blogging. One of the reasons I do not quit is because I find it relaxing. My life is stressful and busy. Even though a lot of the time sometimes I should be doing other things besides visiting you and reading comments, I do it because I enjoy it, and it is relaxing. It is one of the calm places in my crazy life.

But the reason I really cannot stop (at least at this point) is because I LOVE the blogging connections.  And this is what I hear from every other blogger I “meet.”  (I have not actually met any in real life yet that I did not know before, but I would really like to.) And one of my more recent connections has been so fun and enriching that I just must share it with you.

When I did this post, I got a comment from Daryl (who I am sure almost all of my readers know) saying that she had never seen a rainbow. Oh MY! Right away I e-mailed her a few of my best rainbow shots and told her if she corresponded by using actual pen and paper that I would be happy to make some cards for her using some of those photos. (We know that usually I use rubber stamps to make cards, but I do make them out of my photos if I really, really like the photos.) I must admit I was a bit hesitant to do this because she lives in New York City. She has so many amazing sites in front on her all the time. Why would she want homemade rainbow cards from a pseudo-photographer? But her response was not only gracious (which I am sure it would have been no matter what), but excited. She wanted to TRADE cards. She would do cityscapes for me, and I would do rainbows for her! Oh, the excitement!

At my first opportunity (several days later), I made the cards for her. I had Prince Charming mail them for me. No sooner had they gotten in the mail when I thought maybe I should have included something BESIDES rainbows. After all, their differences were subtle. She might get bored with all rainbows. But it was done, so what could I do?

The same day I got her package. It came UPS, and I was not expecting anything UPS. The new UPS guy handed it to me. I looked at the address information rather confusedly. When I saw where it came from, I slammed the door and ripped it open. (Very impolite.) I will admit I had to re-wrap it to get the first picture because I was so giddy with excitement.

And did I ever have reason to be excited!!! I got these giant, beautiful scenes on notecards. (On very nice cardstock, I might add. I know a little about cardstock, and this was good.) They are all so DIFFERENT. (Adding to my consternation about the similar rainbows.) They are all so rich in color and city life. I. LOVE. THEM!

2009-04-02cellopkg

I have seen some of these pictures on her blog before.

2009-04-02doorsrain

2009-04-02carouselclocks

The carousel picture above is MUCH better than it shows. It had a bad glare on it when I took the photo. I have decided to give it to Chicklet for her upcoming birthday so I can use it, but it will not actually be removed from the house!

When I opened the package, I was sure I knew my favorite, but in the end, I picked three. I truly love all of them, but there are three that stood out for one reason or another.

2009-04-023favorites

click photo to enlarge

The first is the perspective and the depth-of-field. I love the blurry foreground. The second is just pretty and enchanting. Who would not love this? In the third, look at the sky!

The cards themselves are not the reason why blogging is so enriching. It is the connection with the person who made them. I love this community, and I love getting to know individuals better. So time or no time, I will continue. And I will be a better and richer person for it.

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Note: I think Daryl is going to post her version of this story sometime today. (I am sure in much more efficient form!) She is going to add an interesting twist to it, so if for some crazy reason you do not already visit her regularly, you should pop over and see what she has to say today. (And her “Toonsday” today is hilarious!)

Later note: Daryl’s life is so fun and exciting that something came up today, so she’s going to do her post tomorrow (Wednesday, 8-Apr-2009, around noon EDT.) But you still should check out the “Toonsday” today.

This is the week-long (ish) tale of where I was a year ago today, which was on a Bermuda cruise with Prince Charming.

For Part 1,  go here.

For Part 2, go here.

For Part 3, go here.

For Part 4, go here.

For Part 5, go here.

For Part 6, go here.

We woke up when it was barely dawn I looked out the door to the outside of our cabin, and I could see some of the New York skyline. We were already going very slowy in the river.

2008-04-05darkcity

The first picture is fuzzy because it was too dark (at least for me) to make it any other way.

I went out on the balcony to take the photo and was greeted with an unpleasant odor. I do not know if it was the river or just air that was not fresh and clean. It was not the best welcome back to the mainland, but we were so ready to go home and see our girls.  We were supposed to arrive around noon Albuquerque time.

The next photo is right before we turned the corner to dock.

2008-04-05lightercity

click photo to enlarge (it's lots better, really!)

We decided we ought to shower and get ready at this point, but we were not to disembark until around 9, so we cleared out and went to wait in one of the common areas with my friend.  It had been a lovely time–one of the loveliest of my life. But that was important because the rest of the day turned out to not be so lovely.

I will not bore you with the details because everyone has airline horror stories. I will just say that we had a canceled flight and were met with incompetence at every turn. The only intelligent people we dealt with the rest of the day (which lasted until 1 a.m. the next morning for us, and we were still not home) were the flight crew of the plane on which we finally flew out of New York–around 8 p.m.–after standing in the galley for two hours because we did not actually HAVE seats on that plane. It was really amazing. And don’t even THINK our luggage arrived with us! We got home around noon the next day–10 days after we left our daughters. They had been troopers, but they were finished, too! We were  lucky and grateful for some wonderful friends that took care of them while we were away.

So I will end with the rest of the towel animals since several of you asked about them!  The last two were my favorites.

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2008-03-31towel1

towelcollage2

2008-03-29ship

A year ago today (by the calendar), Prince Charming and I were boarding a cruise ship for Bermuda. Not long after I started blogging (approximately 9 months ago), I thought I would blog about this trip when a year  had passed since taking it. Then My World came up, and I thought I would just do a couple of posts for that meme about our Bermuda trip. I might still do that, but last week I started a series about a local place we go hiking, so I decided to not break into that. I wondered if I  should wait to blog about this, but I have a few OCD areas of my personality, and it was a year ago, so I want to talk about it NOW!

This cruise was something I earned through my stamping business. I am almost ashamed to admit that I have been  a St*mpin’ Up! Demonstrator just shy of 13 years, and this was only the second incentive trip I ever earned.  The first one I earned (ironically, a cruise to Bermuda–they have  only had two in my  history, and I earned both of them) was when Chic was 5 months old. It was also less than a week after Prince Charming’s mother passed away, so we had to skip it. When Bermuda came up again, I was elated because I had had a fascination with it since childhood, and not going the first time was quite a blow. So I worked extra hard that year, and things fell in place over which I have little control, and I got it.

This was doubly good because Prince Charming and I had been married almost 10 years but had never had a honeymoon. (We  met online. He lived in North Dakota; I lived in Missouri. We  married in Canada, and moving him from North Dakota to Missouri was our “honeymoon.” I often say he’s lucky he did not get divorce papers after that!) We traveled quite a bit, but always to North Dakota, so those trips did not really count as vacations. Then Chic came along, then Chicklet. By the time we took the cruise to Bermuda, nearly 10 years after our marriage, our trips alone to not visit family amounted to a house-hunting trip to Albuquerque (which I believe we both cherish as a psuedo-honeymoon) and a 3-day trip to Las Vegas (which also holds a special place in our hearts).  But this was a week, no NINE days, on a relatively exotic trip with no. children. Although both of us LOVE to travel, if we never get to travel again, this trip will be a highlight for us forever. (I personally think a honeymoon after nearly ten years might be better than one right after being married.)

So what I have decided to do is post my favorite (or favorite few) photos from each day of our trip for now. I might do one or more My World posts about Bermuda later, but since time is important to me, I thought I would just do this now.

We actually flew out the morning before the cruise or we would not have been able to get there in time. We “sailed” from New York, so we spent the night there. This was a double-edged sword for me because I. LOVE. NEW YORK.  My first visit was at Thanksgiving my junior year in college, and I have been 3 or 4 times since.  There is just no place in the world like New York. (Not that I have been to the whole world, but you know what I mean.) So I was excited about being there (and especially getting a hot dog from a street vendor–I wonder if native New Yorkers think I am insane for that), but we were not going to be there long enough to stray far from our hotel  near Times Square, AND Prince Charming had never been to the state of New York, so this gave him a new state which made him tied with me for states to which we have been. (It is a silly competition, but most of our married life I have been at least one state ahead of him. I will go to great lengths to visit a state I have not visited in order to keep my lead. But now we are tied–at 44 states each–and it looks as if it will remain that way for quite some time–unless I can find a way to visit my friend in Tennessee and take a road trip to South Carolina.)

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

The picture of above is of Times Square. (I think. This is not as bright as I remember it, and there were so many more lights and electronic billboards than the last time that I had been there that it seemed like I was in a science fiction movie.) Prince Charming took it with his camera. I decided to leave my camera at the hotel because on my first visit to the Big Apple, my dad bought a camera from someone on the street, and we realized after developing the film that it had probably been stolen about 3 minutes before he bought it. I would have rather gone somewhere else our only night there, but since Prince Charming had never been there, it was important to see the place.  He has traveled more of the world than me and has been to places like London and Rome, but I think he was somewhat awed by New York. We did walk away from the crowds to a little pub to have dinner. It would be crazy to be in New York and not get one meal in a restaurant somewhat away from where all the tourists are.

The  next morning my friend (from Tennessee–I was so elated she was on the trip with us) and I got pedicures. She actually got a manicure, pedicure, facial and massage (for an incredible price), but I am not much into all of that. (Too ticklish. I only get a pedicure once a year to fix all the winter neglect, then I do my own the rest of the year.)  Then we met with Prince Charming for brunch–street hot dogs–at  my insistence. I should have taken a picture of that, but maybe my camera was still packed and hidden. (And I was not blogging then, so I was not yet taking pictures of every. single. thing. that crossed my path in a day.)

We boarded the ship, found a  nice gift from St*mpin’ Up! (we got a gift in our room every day of the cruise–the first day was a soft blanket which was good because it was COLD) and left port. I did not go to the Bon Voyage party because a) I was cold and b) I was on a ship without children with my husband!  From our balcony, we watched the Statue of Liberty go by and headed out to open sea.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

We had an amazing sunset. The sky was most brilliant when there was not much sun left and after it had set completely, so I am not including the photo that everyone wants of the big orb just getting to the ocean.

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

The next day was a sea day. I only took four pictures that day, so my selection is slim. We spent some time looking at art and attending an art auction.  (Almost everyone I have talked to since who has cruised has done the same thing on at least one sea day.)

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

Since I am doing My World tomorrow, I covered three days today. I will make a concerted effort to get a picture or two up on Tuesday about my cruise. That will be the first day in Bermuda.

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