Sunday, November 30, 2008

Photo Assignment: Drive

I do a lot of crazy things - like take pictures while I'm driving. This week on the Digital Photography School website, the assignment is "Drive" - interpret it as how you wish...and all pictures that are entered into this contest need to be taken in a recent timeframe. So yesterday, while I was driving to work in the morning and then to Dylan's hockey game in Pembroke, from Easton, I took this while I was behind the wheel:

I left my house early for work yesterday morning with the intention of checking out Target for potential Christmas gifts - when I got there, I figured out that the store did not open for another 30 minutes (I should have checked online for the hours before I left my house - but that would have made too much sense). These barriers are at the the end of the parking lot.

Right before the barriers is this stop sign....It was a color picture that I converted to black and white and then used an action called "color select" and then I vignetted...I have Photoshop Elements 6.0(Adobe came out with 7.0 this year - I'll pass for a year). You can get both these actions at If you are really into post-shooting editing, I think Photoshop CS4 is the way to go - very expensive if you are just an enthusiast like me (makes a great Christmas gift - hint, hint - just kidding - I don't have time to learn that right now)...PSE7.0 is about $140.00 - and is not too difficult to learn, if you have the time to practice....
This was a back road that I was driving to the hockey game after work.
This is one of the towns I had to pass through to get to the hockey game. Let's see - 21 miles from work - Easton to West Bridgewater to East Bridgewater to Halifax to Pembroke...40 minutes later.
So I'm driving through Halifax on a back road and come up on this sign - you know that I stopped short (don't worry, no one was behind me), made an illegal u-turn and then another, parked on the side of the road and got out to take this photo....why? Because that is my mother's maiden name and my middle name - it's a cultural thing that Filipino do...I won't say all Filipino people do it but it's pretty common for your child to have a first and middle name followed by the mother's maiden name and father's surname (I think the tradition may hail from Spain - where I believe it is still commonly practiced). We can talk about Filipino history some other time....

Today, I have to study for the last test of the semester (I still have a final next week), the girls have skating practice and Dylan is playing in Providence, RI at the Dunkin Donuts Center - Providence Bruins ice - playing Whitman-Hanson today (I know who you're routing for Kimmie!!! Can you believe that we have to travel to all the way to Providence to play Whitman-Hanson? Whitman is the next town over from Brockton.)

Watch out world: Brockton Boxers Mites C's have hit the big of that soon!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bringing you....

Breaking news..... I figured out how to change my header. Those images on my header right now, are Inchies that I created for an Inchie Challenge. Yahoo!!!!

I'm so excited! We now return you to your regularly scheduled program!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm losing my bloggability

I'm sorry that I haven't blogged in a week. Between being at work and school and being sick and hockey games/practices and deadlines and projects and such, I haven't been still long enough to blog. Although today, I'm home from work, still sick from last week. So here I am before the kids come home from school - able to blog.

Let's see, what have I done since I last blogged...I got a 91 on my last biology test. The next one is next week....I can't wait until we are done with this semester: Anatomy & Physiology 1. Much harder than Biological Principles.

I think I'm a full fledged hockey mom - I'm the fundraising coordinator for Brockton Youth Hockey (because I told myself a long time ago that when I had kids, I'd be involved...that was nice - for a minute). This week we had the Yankee Candle pickup - which without Adam, it would have for sure been a nightmare. And thanks to all the team reps who helped with making sure everyone got their stuff. And thanks to Lisa, who received the late orders at her home. And thanks to Mom, who volunteered to receive a bulk of the orders at her office.

Sadly, my inchie is no longer on the front page of Ellen Hutson's blog. But I did get other more exciting news - remember that online photography class I was trying to get into but sadly by minute 2 of registration got locked out of? It's The Photographer's Workshop by Karen Russell. I got lucky enough to get into January's session!!!! I'm beaming and excited and completely nuts over it!!! YAHOO!!!!

I finished my winter/Christmas inchies for a swap that I'm involved in (this one was pretty much a given because it is at my favorite scrapbook store in the world - Scrapbook Cupboard.)
I'd post the pictures here but I will have to wait until I swap out...

Pictures I've taken:

This is my 1 1/2 year old niece, EvaMarie - digging for magic nose goblins.
This is Dylan and Angel cropped out of a photo with all 11 of my in-laws' grandkids...yes - that dimple on Angel's face is real - we're not sure where she got that from - neither Adam nor I have dimples and supposedly, it's a dominant gene that codes for that trait...I love that dimple!

In last couple of weeks at learn to skate, Melody has graduated the crates...she'll get will take much longer than the other two kids, but that's ok....
The above text depicts how Melody has been handling learn to skate.
Not only am I a hockey mom, I'm also a hockey auntie...this is my nephew, Andrew playing for the Boston College Jr. Eagles....he's a Squirt (1 level above Dylan's Mites)...but these kids were incredible....
Dylan - at the ready...

I'll pretty much do anything to get a shot - this is behind the goalie net while Dylan was goalie-ing for the learn to skate kids who are just about there learning to push the puck...yes I was on my ice skates, and yes, I went down on one knee and yes, I couldn't really get up.

Dylan at work....yes, I'm still on the ice with him...

While I was sick today, Adam made cookies and Melody snuck into the dough when he wasn't looking. Good job, Melody! She'll love this picture when she gets older.

I'm going back to bed - this head cold really has me in a vice...there are moments in the day when I feel better...dr. said take some decongestant, lots of fluids and rest...if only I knew how to rest...really no options...if I want to be better by Thanksgiving, I'm out for the count...will be able to blog a bit more this school, Thanksgiving at home, no extra hockey practice. Finally, a breather...if only I wasn't so stuffy...or runny...cough cough...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


My snarky friend Susan (who is no longer snarky, thank goodness) got me into making Inchies... scrapping at a whole new miniature level. All inchies are traditionally 1x1 inch squares.... anyway, long story short, Susan encouraged me to post to an online I did - it was the "rustic" inchie challenge on Inchie INKlings. Much to my surprise, when I went to check if they posted my inchies up, I found my inchie on the front page of this website under INKling challenges!!! That's pretty cool!

Ellen Hutson is an awesome artist - I'm not sure if she is the pioneer of the inchie craze but she sure influenced Susan to become an Inchie addict. She then sucked me in....I'm very good at getting sucked in...I have a smaller collection of inchies than Susan does - I have about 90 or so - we joined a few swaps (one online, which I may not do again because I think I like knowing my swappers better than swapping with strangers). We're in another one at the beginning of December. I'll post photos of my inchies another time.

My friend, Booger keeps asking me how do I do it? How do I fit it all in? I'm not sure...I think I force things to fit how do I juggle work and kids and home and school and Hockey board and scrapping and hanging out...Again, I'm not sure - I think all these things are important enough for me to make time. I don't go to movies, I don't roam the mall, I don't sit at bars, I am just always doing something. I DVR everything so that I don't miss anything on tv. I make lists and cross things off. I try to focus on one thing at a time so that I don't muck anything up too much. I also let things go - like having perfectly shiny kitchen floors or completely manicured grass or blogging everyday. I accept quite a few things that may not be ok with waking up early everyday - even on my days off to do things like go to hockey games, or scrap with my friends.

I don't know - maybe I just covet a 30 hour day and pretend like I do and go about it that way.

Spending time with the fam doesn't mean a whole day...what counts is how you spend the time you have - took this picture of my 2 nieces and a nephew while walking from my car to mom's house:
I am the master of doing more than one thing at the same time. This is how I spend my energy. I'm not sure I know how to do it any other way.

I do have quite a bit to do off I go - more pictures next time....

Monday, November 10, 2008

A few days off

I had a few days off this weekend - WooHoo!!!!! So what did I do?

On Saturday am, I took a card making blitz class at Absolutely Everything in Topsfield, MA.
10 cards in 3 hours (no glittering - but I need to put some on to some cards)...then we went to the Burlington Mall to have lunch at Chick-Fil-A...where my snarky (my new favorite word) friend Susan nearly took my head off because it was at the mall and she hates the mall....thanks for going Su, I love Chick-Fil-A, but now not nearly as much as I did before the mall with you. =)
We then headed over to Ink About It in Westford, MA...when my snarky friend Kristin had had enough of driving. (I drove her SUV home) Thanks for driving - next time I drive...unless of course, Snark-a-riffic Susan has anything else to say about my driving...whatever Susan...

Dylan had a hockey game at 7am on Sunday morning: they won - 5-1. He played left wing (which is what he plays when he isn't the goalie....he scored a goal. I don't have a photo of that because I was too busy cheering at the glass!!! But I did get these:

I think I love the 7am game - playing with the early morning light coming through the windows. This game was against Westwood 1 - we hadn't faced them this season yet - we were on home ice at Brockton High School. Dylan is #2 (lots of butt shots in ice hockey).

Took a shot of the score board - in case we don't have a good a game as this one was anytime soon.

Sunday night, I made it to the Scrapbook Cupboard - my friend Kimmie organized a short crop to make cards for our friend, Dana, whose husband has been going through major health issues. We're praying for you both, Dana - keep strong and take it one day at a time.

Today, I called up Snarky Susan (who wasn't snarky anymore) to find out if she wanted to hang out on our day off. I still had kids to pick up from school and grocery shopping to be done but she still decided to hang (yippy!) After we picked up Melody, we decided to take a trip out to Foxboro and visit Patriot Place (next to Gillette Stadium, where the NE Patriots play).
Susan treated us to lunch at Red Robin (highly recommend their burgers) and then to dessert at the Baskin Robbins Cafe. (THANKS SUSAN!!!!) I think it had something to do with the fact that Melody found the penguin cup that Susan lent to me one day (we both think Melody conspired with CocoaPuff - our fuzzy cat with seasonal allergies). Apparently, it was her favorite portable hot cocoa cup....from Starbucks Coffee.

Now, I grew up on Baskin Robbins but it was nothing like this place - there were crazy desserts. We were the only one in the place and Melody loved the moving projection of the BR logo...funny. Susan ordered us the ice cream fondue - which came with brownies, angel food cake, strawberries, bananas, and little tiny scoops of ice cream to be dipped in the cup of their hot fudge. We had fondue forks which Melody was intrigued with because they were long and only had 2 prongs. I didn't bring my camera but thankfully, Susan had her camera phone and took then sent these to me:

In the second photo, you can see my hand holding the fondue fork to save Melody's eye from impalement and my hand from two prong holes. I think Melody likes Susan better than me - she looked at her and smiled nicely....not like she did for me this afternoon:
Nice gums Melody - brush your teeth better baby!

The highlights are natural - I wish I had those.

This was Melody's supermodel pucker - you're too cute, Mel!

And then Angel took my camera and shot this photo of me...
Ok, no more camera for you Angel - that shadow of my face is not a reflection but rather that she moved because we didn't put the flash on and it was too dark for a short shutter speed....I'm a little scary looking there. All that being said, she followed the rule of thirds, got the ctchlight in my eyes from the reflection of light from a window in front of me, got a decent exposure in a low light situation and didn't worry about cutting off the top of my head or the bottom of my face - nice photo baby!!!!

Tomorrow is Veterans' Day - thank you to all the men and women out there tonight who fight for my freedom everyday and to those who have done it in the past - while it is usually a holiday at work (I get all the government ones because of the banking industry), we are testing new stuff at work - so I am going in for a few hours. Hopefully, not too long so that I can come home and study for a test on Wednesday - School is almost over - less than one month to go....then we get 4 weeks off until next semester begins....I have so much to do before that - better get crackin'....

Monday, November 3, 2008


Class got cancelled tonight- I got all the way to school to check out the note on the door that said that class was cancelled - hope my teacher's ok - I even brought candy from the kids' stash to share tonight...I wonder if this means that there is no exam on Wednesday - I'm hoping we don't have to reschedule this class...

Anyway, this gives me 4 hours to do stuff...I need to DL a video to my computer as it needs to be edited. I can do laundry (NAH!!!). I can jump in the hot tub and make myself something good to drink (maybe!!!) I can clean my scrap room (Hmmm....)...I love it - I'm hoping not to waste it so I can't stay on here too long and blog...ok - going now to accomplish something...

c-ya soon!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Last night....

Last night, I went over to my friend Kim's house for a Tastefully Simple party (one of us is always having a party of some kind - anything to get together with the girls...) - funny stuff always happens at these things:

For example, Kim will now be known as Kimmie - thanks to Auntie Janie who revealed that tidbit of information.
Dana, my inchie-fied friend was a TS virgin until last night - it's just too good to keep it sacred, D.

Josh held up the chocolate pound cake - I won't pick on him, too much, he's a good sport to be coming to one of these things with his family, but when the chocolate pound cake was getting passed around, he was holding on to it...not to worry, he got the last crumb too.

Barbara, who is also my Tastefully Simple rep will also become your rep if you call her "root beer" - ask her about it when you book a party (and don't tell her I told you).

Bev, owner of my favorite LSS - Scrapbook Cupboard - bought more stuff to add to her pantry full of TS stuff and would be happy to have you make some of it for her (hehehehe)

After the demo, Susan and I hit the kitchen to check out the leftovers and nearly completely 86'ed the beer bread - DEEP SIGH - so good to eat, so bad for your carb count...oh well - my philosophy in life is "eat and be happy then die" rather than "starve and be miserable then die".
Thus the necessity of the "skinny button" on any camera pointed in my direction.

Halloween pictures:
This is my 1 1/2 year old niece, EvaMarie - who was madly in love with this costume - we got back from trick-or-treating and she never took it off - this was taken before we went out - she was so good; we went out for 1 1/2 hours and she didn't cry or complain or want to be carried even once - she just kept telling my sister-in-law, Laura "more candy" when we walked up to a house. My nephew Andrew was a rapper - nice goatee, Andrew...

Dylan was Indiana Jones. Yes, it was just a onepiece top and a hat and no, he did not have a whip - that would have been just one more thing for mom and dad to carry 1 1/2 blocks after starting to TOT...yeah, no thanks.
Angelica was a friendly witch - she did pretty good too - she had had it after 90 minutes of TOT. I had a lighting nightmare at my sister-in-law, Kristin's house and this was the best I could do with Angel - she looks a tinge orange in it - but sometimes, a bad picture is better than no picture. Sorry, baby.

Melody was a bunch of grapes - that costume cost me about $8.00 to make - we got a white hat and painted it brown for the stem, bought 2 dozen 5" purple balloons and some safety pins - pinned the blown up balloons all over her. She got the most comments - even from bigger kids: we ran into some junior highschoolers (both boys) and one of them said, "wow, what is she supposed to be?" And the other one said, " A bunch of grapes, stupid." Again - the picture above was a lighting nightmare - the latex on the balloons was bouncing light everywhere - that was my flash - I had to force myself to use it because my available light was just not available enough. But I love this picture of Melody because she is actually looking at me with a smile - as opposed to the usual grimace with her eyes pointing somewhere else.

Very busy week ahead - school on Monday and Wednesday nights with a test on Wednesday night. Dylan has hockey practice 3 times this week and team pictures on Wednesday night. Can't wait 'til next weekend - going out with Susan and Kristin to take a Christmas card class - yes, I make my own because I love to have no time for anything else and it just makes the holiday season all the more pressing...good times!