PaperCake
Today is someone’s birthday. Not mine. I never talk about my birthday. But I love to talk about others’ birthdays. And today, Donald Kinney from A Photo A Day (and some other terrific blogs) is 62!
Kitty would make something like this for Don if she could.

Kitty would make something like this for Don if she could.

If you have never been to his place, GO. NOW! He lives near San Francisco and is one of my very favorite photographers. He gets great images from the city, and many more from surrounding areas. My favorites are usually his captures of wildflowers, but he makes art of anything.  Worth the visit. Tell him Happy Birthday, and send him some virtual cookies!

Cookies

For some randomness, I first need to clarify two things from this post. First, Chic is 7. I said she was 8. She will be 8 in a few months. I am not even sure what made me think she was 8 when I was typing, except that all the cousins  “her age” are already 8.

The second thing is that the picture of the bike wreck was a re-enactment without Chicklet in the trailer. I actually had my camera with me when the crash occurred. (I am lucky it did not get banged up.) But when my dramatic, overreacting girl is silent and not moving after a potentially bad accident, a camera is not what I am thinking about. So when I decided to tell the story, I tipped over the trailer after a later bike ride–after Chicklet was out–to get a picture. (She was all too happy to not actually be in it when I did that.)

And thanks for all of your kind wishes. For something so bad, it really was fine.

My last piece of randomness today is about tomatoes. I love home-grown tomatoes, and I grow them every year. My climate is not conducive to this, and the last two years I have not gotten any to speak of until mid-August. This is just wrong, but I continue because I need them, if only for a short while. And by now–only two weeks later, the nights are getting cool enough that they are already slowing production. I barely get enough to use for ourselves, definitely not enough to can, and rarely enough to give away. BUT… I LOVE to give away tomatoes. It makes people happy, and that makes me happy.  So I thought you might like to see this.

TomatoBag

Since I do not have that many to give away, only 4-6 at a time (plus a couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes), I decided to put them in cute bags. I made a bunch of these so when I have tomatoes, they are ready to go. This makes me even happier.

Now about a different me. This was me a while back.

LongHair-March

I have been getting more and more tired of my long hair. I love it when I do something with it, but it takes more and more work to do that. Drying time if I style it is 45 minutes – 1 hour. (If I do not style it? Pretty much all day to dry.)  Needless to say, my schedule does not accommodate this regularly, so usually I just let it go. Some days are better than others, but the low humidity that makes every day a good hair day when I style it makes most days bad hair days when I do not. So for a while I have been thinking about cutting it off. But it was long enough that I wanted to make sure I could donate what was cut, and I was not sure it was QUITE long enough for that, so I was waiting.

But it kept bugging me. I finally decided to do it this fall. I was getting my hair trimmed last week. I would talk to the hair dresser about it and hopefully plan to do the big chop at my next visit.

But I went in for the trim, and my hairdresser, whose hair has been similar to mine since I met her, had CUT HER HAIR! While waiting I squirmed in my chair. I LONGED to have mine cut. But I had made no preparations. It might not be long enough. I did not have ponytail holders. Maybe I should wait and try to do it somewhat publicly to raise awareness and money for the cause?

So I sat in her chair and she said, “The usual trim?” I spilled my story, culminating with HER hair. She said she was SURE mine was long enough to donate. (10 inches for one place, 12 inches for another.) I asked if she had ponytail holders. She’s a hairdresser, of course she did!

So she made two ponytails and braided them. Just to be sure she measured them. TWELVE INCHES! Then she cut them off.

CutHair

This is me now.

ShortHair

I did this 1-1/2 weeks a go. A few people who know me in real life might be surprised to see this. The crazy thing? I hate attention… HATE. IT. I sort of like being noticed, but hate attention. (How whacked is that?) So cutting twelve inches off my hair is a sure way to avoid attention, right? The only thing I really regret is that since this was on a whim, I did not have a chance to take a good picture of my hair from the back. If I started today, it would take about five years to get it back to the length it was. The braids were in the mail to Locks of Love the next morning. It is in my past. I am happy.

When I met Prince Charming, my hair was about the same length as it was before I cut it. We lived a long way from each other and only saw each other about once a month. After a few months I cut it quite similarly to how it is now and did not tell him. It was a test of sorts–to see if he would flip out because so many shallow men demand “their women” have long hair. He passed the test. In fact, he loved it. I obviously did not tell him it was happening this time, either, since I did not know myself. But he loved it again. He’s a keeper.

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The Good:

Yesterday was crazy, but the craziest part was the part spent in the jury assembly room for a federal district court near downtown Albuquerque.

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My summons came quite some time ago. I begged off for having two children and no daytime childcare. No one cared, but I never got called to appear… until yesterday. I begged again, saying I would have to bring my 5-year-old with me. No one cared.

So yesterday after doing some of my weekly work at my church which I normally do on Wednesday, Chicklet and I went to the jury assembly room. Chicklet had a backpack stocked full of necessary items for surviving an undetermined amount of time quietly. Lots of small toys, coloring books, food and most importantly, her “home blanket.” Chicklet had also been made to understand very clearly about quietness and sitting still and in the courtroom she would have to be dead silent.

After checking in, we happily found a sofa where we spent the next two hours. Probably 45 minutes of that two hours was a very nice, very polite man doing an orientation for us. He was truly a jewel of a man because all but a couple of the questions people asked were the type that had I been in his place, I might have snapped, “Did you not listen to what I have been saying for the last 15 minutes?” or “Did you read ANYTHING we sent to you and gave you today?” I must say this man and his staff were efficient and friendly. (Quite an unusual thing for my part of the country, actually.)

I had a feeling once we got to the court room they would let us leave because there were strict rules prohibiting things that caused distractions–things like gum-chewing. I was thinking Chicklet could be a much bigger distraction than the rudest of gum chewers. But she was being SO good. I knew she could not be that good for a whole trial as she would get too tired to behave properly, but she was so good yesterday, I began to fear they might not send us home.

A lady (friendly and efficient) came in and said they were getting ready to go, but she needed to see two potential jurors first. I was one of them. They dismissed me before the courtroom! We had been there two hours, but got to leave and were home in time to get a quick nap in before going back to school to pick up Chic. When we left Chicklet almost threw a fit was a bit disappointed because I had prepared her for the courtroom and we never got to go, but all in all, this was GOOD!

But it is even better. Usually I am not home on Wednesdays. That meant that this week I would not be home TWO days which totally wreaks havoc on my schedule since I am always busy and working on something. But everything I usually do on Wednesday got moved to Tuesday this week. Usually that would have been an inconvenience, but after being gone all day yesterday, it is so lovely that I am home today! I choose to believe that God was looking out for me. (Yes, I believe in God. If you do not, that is fine. Call it the Universe or something.)

The Bad:

I need to lose weight. OK, a lot of people do. And I am not the poster child for obesity, but I am also not skinny, or thin, or even close these days. In fact, I weigh my all-time high–which I have only weighed once before after some very specific circumstances. The bottom line is that I like to eat and for the past two years, exercise has been sporadic due to bronchitis, ankle injuries, bronchitis, more ankle injuries and more bronchitis. But the past summer has been good. My aerobic activity is exclusively biking now (does not do further damage to my ankles) and I made Chic start biking on her own so I did not have to pull her in the bike trailer. (She more than doubles the weight of just Chicklet.) The goal was to prepare Chic to be able to ride her bike to school while I go along with Chicklet in the trailer.

We have yet to ride to school since school has started, and we only got to do one trial run before it started. This means I am not getting enough exercise. (But I am eating as if I am!)

So last Friday, we were set to bike to school. First, Chic’s bike had a flat tire. (We Prince Charming had not changed her tubes to the self-sealing kind which are necessary for this trip.) So I decided to do it anyway with Chic in the bike trailer–it’s only half the 11 miles since I drop her off. We were headed out early, and Chic started talking politics. (She’s 8.) I got so engrossed in this conversation (trying to explain things without clouding her opinions with my own) that I missed the turn to where we park to start biking. I did not realize this until about a mile later. It was too late to go all the way back, or we would be late to school, so I thought of a place we could park closer. When I turned, Chic realized she did not have her backpack. I had no choice but to go home. THAT was a disaster. The school traffic near our home is horrendous. (The last two mornings it has taken me 13 minutes to go half-a-mile. I live about 8 miles from Chic’s school, and the drive is 40 minutes.) I knew we would be late if we came back that way, so I went another way–hoping to save time so I could just go back home and bike with Chicklet. Traffic the other way was horrible, too. I nearly witnessed 4 separate accidents. (People here are not known for polite driving.) There was unexpected construction, and it was just a mess. I was wondering if God was trying to tell me not to bike that day. (I decided, possibly stubbornly, that it was something more evil that did not want me to exercise.)

Late to school. Late home, but I decided to bike anyway–even though Fridays are extremely busy days, and that one was worse because we were having guests for dinner the next day. We got loaded up and headed out. I was a big ball of stress, and when I was rounding a corner early in the ride, I almost wrecked. I did not know what was wrong, but my bike was sliding. I got off, and saw this:

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The trailer had caught the edge of a curb and flipped over, and I dragged it through the rocks. Chicklet was not moving or making a sound. I could see rocks inside the trailer by her head which had to hit the ground. This was a BAD accident. Someone who had seen it driving by stopped to help. But all was well. No major damage. Not a scratch on Chicklet who is the type to screech at the top of her lungs for the slightest thing. So the bad turned out good.

The Beautiful:

Recently I got gifts from two separate blog friends.

First is from Leia of We Love Luna and Bonjour Luxumbourg. I love ALL this stuff. I love that it is cute and is in French. There is even a little book in French to read to my girls.  Can I read French? No, but I’ll learn enough to read that book about that cat. Go visit her. Luna is a gorgeous cat, and Leia is all kindness.

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Also, Fishing Guy sent me this beautiful example of his photography, in the nice frame. He even printed something else in case I wanted to change it. (Why would I, but how nice is that?) Go visit him, too. His blog has always got something different on it.

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And the rest of you just make me happy with your nice comments and generous visits. You are all beautiful.

Two days ago it was my “Blogiversary.” There was another post scheduled for that day, and I do not get terribly wrapped up in these things, so I did not say anything. But I want to say something now because I will do a giveaway, and I LOVE to do giveaways!

But first, you must endure some of my chatter mostly about our trip. It will be a hodgepodge as this blog has seemed to be over the past year. (Or you can skip to the giveaway stuff at the end!)

Chic~Turtle

Chic found a turtle just as we were headed to church. Since turtles are not common in our world, I HAD to let her play with it a few minutes. (We were late to church.)

We were almost 2 weeks in Missouri. (It WAS two weeks if we count the travel days.) When I make these trips, the purpose for them is for my business, but that only takes a day. The rest of the time I visit family and friends, shop (I hate shopping and rarely do it here, but there are necessities so I do it in Missouri where I have more time, and the stores I like are closer) and maybe spend a day or two in Branson. (My dad loves to take us to Branson.) But this trip was a little different.

Remember Grandma D and on her birthday she was in the hospital after a botched surgery? Well, that has not gone well. She almost died three separate times since that surgery. (Needless to say, they are not paying any of the medical bills.) I realized right away that it was going to be a burden for us to be there so long, so I decided to do the cooking and some cleaning. Prince Charming scanned some of my recipes, e-mailed them to me and that’s what I did most of the time. I did not cook EVERY day, but quite a bit, and made enough that they should have had plenty for at least a week after we left. We did not go shopping the entire time. That was fine, but there were a few things I needed.

Scissortail Flycatcher on wire--click photo to enlarge

Scissortail Flycatcher on wire--click photo to enlarge

The girls and I drove to Missouri not long after school was out, then Prince Charming flew in after two weeks. He was there one full day, but we had lunch with a former professor of his that day and planted two letterboxes. One is in honor of the Scissortail Flycatcher that we always used to see on a road on which we lived. I took my bike on this trip in hopes for some exercise (moderately successful) and found the bird in two other areas I had never seen before. My camera lens is not made to get good bird shots, but these are not bad. I like the still one, and the other one is a bit blurry, but you can at least see the tail action. It is so interesting to watch them fly.

Scissortail Flycatcher in flight -- click photo to enlarge.

Scissortail Flycatcher in flight -- click photo to enlarge.

It also must be noted that I have wonderful friends in Missouri. During the two weeks I was there, my children were whisked away from me four times (in addition to the two times I needed babysitting), and three of those times included overnight stays. (It gives a parent pause to think about the advantages of moving back to the land of heat and humidity–and no job for my husband!)

My brother and his wife also live there. His wife is who went to Silver Dollar City with us. We could not have survived the day without her! But since my girls are never in Missouri on their birthdays, they decided to have a birthday party for them. The girls were so excited, and it turned out to be a surprise for yours truly as well, since MY birthday is never when we visit! Wasn’t that thoughtful?

BirthdayCake~Candles

During all the cooking I sliced my finger with a very. sharp. vegetable peeler. I am no wimp, but this was a bad cut. WARNING! GORY PHOTO AHEAD. I’LL LEAVE SOME SPACE SO YOU CAN SKIP IT IF YOU WANT. It was about 3/4″ long, 3/16″ wide and 1/8″ deep. It bled like crazy. I finally managed a bandage and antibiotic cream, and the picture is of it after two days of this. There was barely any healing at this point.

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The reason I am even telling you this is because Grandma D had a liquid bandage which I put applied on the 3rd day. I did not take pictures of the healing progression (I really am not a very good blogger, but I will say that I have other things going on all of the time), but in ONE day the cut had reduced in size by more than half. Three days later, it was all but healed. Now I can just barely see where it was, and I do not even think it is going to leave an ugly scar. (Bump. I really don’t care about scars, but I have a bump on a finger from a childhood cut.) This blog is NOT about product endorsements, but if you have never tried this stuff, it is SO worth it! I made Prince Charming buy some. I think it will also be great in our dry, dry winters when our fingers have big, ugly cracks in them. Oh, it hurts like the dickens to put it on if the wound is as bad as mine was, but if you do a little Lamaze breathing, you can survive, and it will be well in no time. (I know this is not a new item, and I had heard of it but never tried it because I had no idea how well it worked.)

LiquidBandage

Time for the giveaway information!

First, I do not like to do this to get more traffic or comments, so you are required to E-MAIL ME if you want to be entered! Just e-mail louisestamps at aol dot com and let me know you want to enter. (Please put “giveaway” in the subject line.)  There will be two winners. Prince Charming will draw names, and the first one has first choice of what s/he wants.  The other person will get what is left. (But I do not make slouchy things, so I think that is OK, and it is free, OK?)

Here is an idea of the prizes:

1) Handmade cards. There will be these four, but I will probably throw in a couple of others for which I did not immediately have samples.

4Cards

2) A Banner. But not this one or one even like it, but you get the idea. I have not made it yet, and I decided to wait because the winner can pick the colors (within reason). It will be a “SUMMER” banner (NOT “MERRY”). It is a home decor item–large enough to fit over a double window or in a hallway. Each pennant is about 6″ wide and 9″ long. (I did not measure, but am doing this from a memory. I am too lazy at the moment to get out something to measure.)

MerryBanner

You have a week, through Wednesday, July 1, to e-mail me. If these things do not interest you, but you think they might interest someone you know, consider entering to give as a gift.

I am also thinking of adding a third prize, but you can tell me if you would be interested. I am not a great photographer. I take some very good pictures, but I do not edit them (other than occasional cropping when I am not too lazy) and I have still not figured out all the manual settings on my camera. I hesitate to do this one because I am so small in a big photography world. But I know a few have really liked some of my pictures. So I could also make a set of cards from my pictures. If you want to enter and that interests you, let me know. It could be a “Louise’s choice” thing, or the winner could choose from pictures I have posted.

OK, I think that’s it for today. But I forgot to tell you THANK YOU for hanging with me for a year. I went back and read a few of my first posts, and many of my readers are the same. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that you come and read the drivel things I write and look at my photos. If it were not for you, I know I would have quit blogging entirely the couple of times I have had to take extended breaks due to my crazy schedule. YOU keep me coming back! Thank you.

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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!

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

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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.

There has been a bit of a hankering in me to write something. This has NOTHING to do with NaNoWriMo or whatever it is called. I have never had a desire to write a novel. (Though will admit to some works of non-fiction rolling around in my head.) No, it just has to do with the fact that I have been too busy to do a post with real writing in it. Since I have started blogging, I have actually done a little writing, which I probably had not done (other than in e-mails) since college. It has been a while, so I sort of wanted to do that.

But I still do not have time.  Sunday is a heavy “work” day for me. It is  catch-up for all of the work I cannot accomplish during the week which usually involves financial things (personal, business and church) and cleaning up the piles that have amassed themselves all over my house during the week. Everyone pitches in to clean during the week, but no one cleans like “Mommy.”

And last night Prince Charming and I decided to go for a walk by the river this morning for some photo opportunities. The trees are incredible down there, and the lighting they provide fantastic. I do not ever remember seeing trees this spectacular since we moved here. (But must point out that I am away during the peak of fall color about half of the time.) So that has cut into my workday, which means there is no way I can write something substantial for this post. But I want to post anyway. So I thought and decided to just throw up a couple of pictures from our walk today, and a couple of random ones taken last week.

The first is Prince Charming and the Girls and Klondike (our very wonderful mutt who is 12-1/2 but acts about 4 or 5) walking through the trees. I love the light and how the humans/canine in the picture let the size of the trees show. (All of these pictures are taken with my only lens right now, the 55-200 mm.  After my last post, I am much closer to a decision about what to get to replace my broken 18-55 mm lens.)

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The next picture was just a pretty one I got on the walk. I loved the branches hanging down.

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The mushroom is so surprising here because it had a companion, and both were large (this one was about 5 inches tall). It was in the river valley, but not anywhere near the river. I really have no idea how it got enough water to grow. We have not had significant rain in about a month, I think.

The last one is a picture of my Google Reader screen yesterday. It was the 4th time in 3 weeks it was over 1000. (This time it was only 1034. Now it is in the low 800’s. I HOPE to get it below 700 before I go to bed tonight, but so far I have gotten no real work accomplished today, so work will have to come first. I just thought I would show you this because some of you were surprised that it did this.

Maybe next weekend I will write something. Until then, come back on Monday for My World and Thursday for Sky Watch!

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This is a meme for which Craver Vii tagged me.  He said I did not have to do it, but I decided I would. Some people think I am not the type to like memes (because I think a lot of people do not like them), but I like some of them.  Probably because it is just a chance to ramble about myself, but there were a couple of things I have wanted to talk about anyway in this meme. 

Craver Vii’s post on this is here.  (Go check it out and tell him Congratulations.  When linking I just noticed that he’s going to be a Grandpa!)  And he got the meme from here

These are the meme rules:

  1. Write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected you, either positively or negatively.
  2. Link back to the person who tagged you.
  3. Link back to the parent post, so she can track the meme.
  4. Tag a few friends or five, or none at all.
  5. Post these rules– or just have fun breaking them.

I like those rules because like with awards (I will get to the ones that I have not acknowledged yet early next week, I promise!), I will make up my own rules and you may do the same if you decide to participate.    I am actually going to follow all these rules since they are so lax!  As for tagging, I am tagging anyone who wants to do this.  If you think this would make a good post for you, please do it! 

OK, without further preliminary rambling:

.5 Ways Blogging Has Affected My Life

  1. Country Music.  I was raised on Country Music.  I never heard anything other than Country and Country Gospel until I was probably in 7th grade at school.  Wait, that is not true.  I heard other types of music in earlier years when I was in the carpool on the way to and from school, but I never liked the drivers and therefore never bothered to care about what was on their radios.  I mostly remember the talk radio which bored me to tears as an elementry school student.  But my parents listened to Country Music.  I liked it because I knew nothing else, but I never loved it.  When I was introduced to other music (Rock, then Classical, then Celtic and others), I put Country Music behind me forever, at least I thought.  I did not save one single 45, cassette or anything else.  I threw it all in the trash and moved on.  I came to loathe Country Music.  I liked almost anything except for Country Music. (OK, I never really cared for rap or super heavy metal, but most anything else I could tolerate.)  I liked Mountain Music and Bluegrass, but not Country.  Enter blogging.  Obviously lots of blogs have music on them.  And a lot of times I do not really like it because to me it detracts from the photography or writing.  Not always (definitely not always–sometimes it adds), but often.  But there are two blogs I frequent with Country Music on them.  One is Fishing Guy and the other is At Home With the Farmer’s  Wife.  I have decided that not only can I tolerate the Country Music on their blogs, but I kind of like it.  I am not really sure why.  I think it probably has to do with the other content on their blogs.  They depict things that I long for–usually country scenes or country life.  I would have never believed that blogging for three months would make me like Country Music.  No evils smirks from Thursday Drive and ReluctantFarmChick, please!  (I am not rushing to iTunes to download any, but my taste for music is being altered.) (And I hope Prince Charming wants to stay married after he reads this.)
  2. My love for photography has increased since blogging.  I have loved photography for a long time, but not like I do now.  Now I remember to take my camera with me almost all of the time.  Now I take way more pictures than I ever have because I “just might” be able to use them in a post someday!  The critics may disagree, but I think I am already taking better pictures.  Or many more OF the pictures are good (better percentage).  Or maybe I am just taking so many pictures that I have to have more good ones.  Then there is the whole “lens envy” thing.  I am not a covetous person, but when I see wildlife shots and bird shots like are found at A “Focus” In the Wild  (whose music I love, by the way) and Virtua Gallery and bug shots like at Nature in the Ozarks and Lisa’s Chaos, I want more and bigger and different lenses.  It is going to be an ongoing problem, I can tell.
  3. The community of the blogosphere is amazing to me.  I would have never guessed that in such a short time there would be people in so many places I would be happy to meet.  I love traveling, and though finances do not allow me to travel as much as I would like, both Prince Charming and I do not hesistate to travel when possible.  There are people in so many places of the world that I would not hesistate to look up if we were traveling near them.  I would love to name everyone here that is intriguing to me and I would like to someday meet, but I would be here linking for a week.  I will just name three that are in very different places:  Maria in Greece, Chrome 3D in Finland and Fish Whisperer in Fiji.  I love the connections I have made with all of you who read this.
  4. My girls, ages 4 and 6, know quite a bit about blogging and have taken even more notice than before of the beauty around them because I am taking more pictures.  One day Chic saw her picture on the computer screen and asked, “Did you blog about me?”  I loved that.  One week in church on the screen with texts on it there was a pretty picture of the sky and Chic said, “That would make a great SkyWatch photo!”  Both Chicklet and Chic are continually pointing out the beauty around me.  This morning Chicklet noticed the pale moon setting over the volcanoes, and just five minutes ago Chic bounded out of her bedroom to tell us, “The moon is beautiful.”  It was.  It is coming up as a yellow giant orb over the mountains.
  5. The last way I will mention that blogging has affected me is that I am more sleep-deprived than I have ever been.  I need a lot of sleep.  I never get enough sleep. But it is worse now.  There is always “just one more” blog to read in my Google reader or “just ten more” SkyWatch’s at which to look.   Or “just three more” comments needing response.  I cannot believe how late I stay up to do this sometimes.  (Neither can Prince Charming.) 

There you have it.  How has blogging affected your life?  Good or bad?  Let me know in the comments, or do your own post!