2011.12.26 A morning of quotes and inspiration

True happiness is not attained through self-gratification,
but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
~ Helen Keller

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us or we find it not.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-discipline is self-caring.
~ M. Scott Peck


2011.12.23 What are your simple joys in life?

So . . . Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry asked,
"What are your simple joys in life?"

My answer (written in less than 5 minutes) . . .
Daughter at home during school break.
My family.
Dry roads.
Good friends.
Paid bills.
Empty tables ready for crafts.
Brownies (is this the same as chocolate? Nah.)
My Bible Study friends.
Colored pencils, paper, ink, paint, ideas.
Smiley faces.
A great book group.
Hot tea.
Blog comments.
Healthful food in the frig.
Books, books, books.
Red boots.
Nail polish.

Not in any order . . . just as they popped in my head.

Not all of these are simple, but they are all things I'm grateful for.
Every day.


2011.12.22 How do I know Christmas is coming? Part 5

Christmas cards were mailed last Friday
and all should have been delivered by now . . .

Merry Christmas everyone!

5"x7" postcards were again printed by Vista Print
and the quality was excellent.

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2012.12.21 Finding joy in . . .

Christmas shopping and Starbucks with Anne . . .

On the window:
"Let's remember why we go together so well."

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2011.12.21 How do I know Christmas is coming? Part 4

Because when you look at the snow globes,
it just takes a small change in focus to see the reflections
on the wall behind the shelf . . .



2011.12.18 How do I know Christmas is coming? Part 2

Because I'm shooting Santa Clauses . . .

In December 2009, I gave away most of my Santa collection.
All the Santas I have left from my collection fit on the mantle.
Crowded . . . but they fit.


2011.12.14 Tatting demonstration . . .

at Victorian Christmas . . .
I was enraptured by the bobbins or spools, from Russia, I think . . .


2011.12.10 A gingerbread house

. . . decorated by two 4-year-olds and a 1-year-old . . .

And some more photos of Theresa, Ian, and Anya
photographing together . . .


2011.12.09 Ready for Christmas cards

. . . both coming and going . . .
Pixlr-o-matic Hagrid / Pixlr-o-matic Shine / Pixlr-o-matic Dirt

Can't figure out what this is?
I'm looking down on my mailbox,
a hard frost during the night.
The morning sun broke through the clouds
as I was putting the outgoing mail in the box.
My camera is always with me on my morning walk to the mailbox.
Enhanced with Pixlr-o-matic.

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2011.12.05 Christmas tree, step one

Theresa and I started decorating the Christmas tree on Saturday
with help from John, Ian, and Anya.
The tree will only have lights and garland until next weekend.
Anya is being acclimated.
After it was up, Theresa and I were taking photos.
Ian and Anya joined us in admiring the tree
and then they each got their cameras.
(Ian has my point-and-shoot that I retired last July,
Anya has my camera previous to that one
which I retired in 2008.)

The results . . .


2011.12.04 Thanksgiving, the people pictures

~ At Jeanne and Barry's ~

Jennifer . . .

Ronan, Jennifer and Matt's little one,
who closed his mouth everytime the orange pre-flash light came on.
This happened 9 times . . .

And then, I turned off the flash (duh!). . .

Vince . . .

A large group hovering near the kitchen,
Anne, Billie, Annette, Barry, Bobbie, Diane . . .

~ At Pam and Sandy's ~

John, Anne, Lee . . .

jan (gotcha!) . . .

Theresa, playing with her (early) Christmas camera . . .


2011.12.01 Using Pixlr-o-matic

Bonnie's challenge this week at Pixel Dust Photo Art
is to use a new tool or technique, something we have been wanting to try.

I have been playing with Pixlr-o-matic.
This website adds textures and effects.
It can also be downloaded to your computer.

This is my initial photo, frosty ivy snapped on my morning walk to the mailbox . . .

This includes Pixlr-o-matic's "Anne" texture, a subtle enhancement . . .

This one retains "Anne" and adds "Morning" . . .

Pixlr-o-matic is fun, fun, fun and easy to use.
And it's free.
Give it a try!

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2011.12.01 At Jeanne and Barry's

 (Kim Klassen ShadesOfNovember vividlight100)

(Kim Klassen Poetic colorburn100 / Kim Klassen Poetic difference100)

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2011.12.01 Finding joy in giving . . .

Christmastime is a time of giving.

Here are some gift ideas which, while gifts, are not "stuff" . . .
give a membership to any type of  museum, theater, zoo, botanical gardens . . .
tickets to a movie theater, restaurant, circus, concert, theme park . . .
an overnight stay at a bed and breakfast, state or national park inn, downtown hotel . . .
a class to learn a new skill such as sewing, welding, yoga, pottery . . .

You can donate to a charity with a dedication to your gift recipent . . .
If you or the gift recipient doesn't have a favorite charity, go to Just Give
     where you can locate local charities, specific charities,
     as well as Charity Collections such as Animals, Military, and the Environment.
Need help picking a responsible charitable organization?
     Go to Charity Navigator which rates and reviews charities.

Have more time than money?  Volunteer and dedicate your time to your gift recipent . . .
Help at a local food pantry, mission, or food bank.
Ring a bell for The Salvation Army.

There is always the gift of your time to your gift recipent
so they can relax while you clean, cook, babysit, or take care of other chores for them.

Happy giving!

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Share the Joy at Meri's Musings