Monday, January 31, 2011


Brian received his second "professional" (ie, paid) haircut this weekend.


We have a similar trimmer at home, but the stylists have much better "finishing" tools (to get the sides and back shaved).

The overall experience took 5 minutes, and we liked the results:
Ears Lowered


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friendship and Honors

I love the friendships I've cultivated through this and my photography blog. And when one of those friends honors me with a blog award, I'm even more grateful for relationships and inspiration found through this medium.

I've known Lee for several years now, and we've met in real life (and will get together later this year - so excited about that!). She's awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award. How cool is that! Backtracking through the other award recipients, I've been linked to some great new blogs - another bonus to the award.

For this award, I am to tell 8 things about myself and then pass the award on to 8 more people.

8 more things about me -
  1. I have to sleep with eye shades and ear plugs. And I still wake up when the toilet starts to fill randomly at night.
  2. I sing in the car every day on my way to and from work.
  3. I love to run in cold weather. Today, it was 32degF and I thought it was perfect. Any temperature between 30 and 50 is ideal.
  4. My family calls me the "kitchen nazi" because I am a control freak in the kitchen.
  5. I'm currently learning to use Lightroom to process my pictures. So far, I'm liking the process.
  6. We've lived in our current house for 8+ years - that's the longest time we've stayed in one place. And we don't expect to move for many years.
  7. I don't watch a lot of TV. When I graduated from college and moved into my first apartment, I didn't have a TV for over a year. Now with the internet, I would cancel our satellite TV service (but the other members of the family would certainly balk!).
  8. As much as I don't need TV, I need my internet! I think the longest time I was unplugged was 3 days. Big time withdrawal!

Now, this is the part of these awards that I always find so hard - passing on to 8 more people (like I know that many!).

OK, I'm stopping at 6 blogs..... but they are all great, so check them out!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Teen Age Friends and Trends

I understand that having a teen in the house means a transition in interests. Instead of the constant hum of Disney Channel, we now endure TLC (What Not to Wear, The Cake Boss and Say Yes to the Dress). Nancy Drew mysteries have been replaced by The Clique Series and best sellers like The Lovely Bones.

So imagine my surprise when Erica wanted to buy these:
Kissing Pillow Pets

Zoe The Zebra

Apparently all the rage among teens - the cuddly and soft Pillow Pets. Yes - glorified, over-sized stuffed animals, quite similar to the 100 stuffed animals I sold at last year's garage sale.

"But it's a pillow" Erica tells me. "And they are SO soft".

I acquiesce and let her buy two. She's named the horse "Casey" because he looks like her favorite horse at the Stable. And that's Zoe the Zebra [again, named by Erica]. I'm glad there's still a little bit of "kid" in that teen head.

There's still lots of silliness between teen friends, too:
Slapped Silly

As the two of them get ready to play volleyball in the snow:
Smiling at Jen


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Scenes from the Weekend

Technically, more than the weekend -
Thursday night - a full moon with snow means a cool exposure of the backyard:
Moonlit Pond

Friday - it's retro day at Middle school.
Retro Outfit

Saturday -
It's cold outside and snowy, but I managed a 3 mile run after a Cage Fitness class. Running while the snow is falling is so peaceful.
Jogging Trail

The tulips are starting to fade -
End of the Tulips

I finished up the last of the photos from July's Italy trip. The pictures from Florence (Firenze) may be found here, on Flickr.

Sunday - The cats make a little bit of a fuss while watching the birds outside. They won't go outside, though - it's too cold!
In the Kitchen
Focused on Birds Outside

Erica enjoyed dumplings for lunch (leftovers from last night's takeout)
Dumplings for Lunch

Hope you had a great (and warm) weekend!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 10-19, 2011

It’s already the third week of January, the snow is falling (yet again) and tomorrow the temperatures will drop below zero. Welcome to winter on the prairie. Even the birds have to deal with the snow and ice.

Across the Snow
Taken outside the orthodontist office on Monday, January 10th – Brian had a retainer check up (he needs to wear it more, so we’ll have to monitor that a little more).

Later that evening, Sammy got up high above the refrigerator in the kitchen. He and Hannah were playing a bit of “tag”:
Looking Down

Up High

Fast forward a couple of days, and we’ve got 6” of fresh snow on the ground, and Scott bought these from the store:
It's a Throwback
Just what the kids need – caffeine and real sugar!

That night, I made some crepes for Erica:
Poured Out

On Friday, I hosted book club at the house. What a busy day! So busy that I didn’t take pictures, but my friend, Kellie (who is doing her own Project 365 this year) did:

I made rum cake (of course) and we discussed The Happiness Project (my selection).
Leftover Rum Cake

On Saturday, January 15, I took Erica to the mall – she needed new jeans [the ones she bought in the fall are “too cold” – that’s because they have holes in them – that’s why buying jeans with holes in them is really not the best idea…..].

Apparently, Aeropostale has been surpassed by the America Eagle store:
Scenes from the Mall

And later, Sammy decided to snuggle on her lap.

There’s no shortage of cat games tonight:
Took the Bait

On Sunday, I decided to take my own advice concerning finding photographic inspiration during the winter months and bought a bouquet of tulips to photograph.
Bouquet 2

And instead of wasting time playing Angry Birds (seriously, I need a 12 step addiction program), I wasted time photographing stemware:

I promised Erica I would hang her new window blinds today. Out come the power tools – the Makita drill set I bought Scott for Christmas in 2009.
Messing with the Power Tools

It’s a great drill (not too big) so I quickly completed this project.

Monday morning, Martin Luther King Jr. day, and the kids have the day off. I guess I have the “morning off” too, as I don’t have to drag the kids out of bed and drive them to school. Instead, I leisurely prepared for the day and played around with my iPhone camera and the Hipstamatic app:

Tuesday – kids are back to school. I have violin lessons in the afternoon – starting the 2nd movement of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto – very pretty. Later that night, Brian and I sweat things out at Cage Fitness Class.

Wednesday morning and I’m still taking photos of the tulips.
Open Blooms

The kids persuaded me to get them sandwiches from Panera on Wednesday night. Wow, the Christmas lights are still up in the Olde Farm Shops.
Christmas Lights in January

But I have to admit, they are kind of festive….


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I just had to post this picture I took of Rascal last Sunday, basking in the sun.


She's looking good for a 17 year old kitty, and I always approach each year like it could be her last (although Scott says she's going to outlive us all, just to spite the new cats we keep adding to our family).


Saturday, January 08, 2011

The First Week of January

We've been blessed with abundant sunshine, making it "seem" warmer. But the temperatures have been right on par with previous years, which means it is COLD out there!

So, what's been going on?

We went out and purchased a treadmill:
Making Strides
...which was used heavily by the kids for about two days. Erica was the requester, but Scott and I have used it more than she has. I figure now I don't have any excuse not to run (even though I'll be hitting the pavement unless there is serious ice and / or single digits outside).

It's been sunny outside:
Lines Across the Table

Scott and Brian set up the big tent in the basement last night (Friday). They camped out there with Sammy.
Come into the Tent

A small amount of snow (about 1") fell last night and provided Brian with some afternoon entertainment today.
Apres Snow Time

We are watching football now, and I am learning to use Lightroom 3 to organize and process my pictures. I have been using the 50mm lens since mid-December, forcing myself to work within the constrains of the fixed focal length.

The kids are back to school again, complaining a bit about the homework, and having to get up early. They don't know how easy they have it!


Monday, January 03, 2011

The 2011 Calendar

I think I am ahead of schedule, having created the 8x10 layouts for our yearly wall calendar. Like last year, I'll create the calendar on Shutterfly.

I thought I was all done, but I didn't realize that I can add little pictures to specific dates on the calendar grid - you know, like a picture of Rascal on her birthday, or a picture of Scott and I on our anniversary. So, it's back to the photo archives to search for more pictures to upload to Shutterfly. It will only delay things by one day (those who receive these calendars every year can rest assured they will receive one by the middle of January).


Saturday, January 01, 2011

364 and 365/365 - Happy New Year!

Brian and I stayed up to welcome in the New Year. He was very excited (an understatement, really) and set up at least two count down clocks until he realized the TV show all displayed them.

Once the clock counted down, he jumped all over the place and danced on the floor.
11.01.01 - Happy New Year!

At 1am, I drove out to church to pick up Erica from her New Year's Eve celebration. I was really tired, but she was completely awake. I suspect we will experience some groggy mornings as the kids adjust their body clocks back to "school schedule".


Later on, during the "normal waking hours of the day" - we took down the Christmas Tree and decorations. I finally "wiped" our old PC - we've been using the new PC for over a month now and no longer need the other computer.

11.01.01 - The Ultimate Clean Up

I also cleaned out the unused toys in the basement - toys that haven't been played with in years. A bit of a trip down memory lane, remembering when the kids wanted to play with their toy dinosaurs and horses. But it was good to get the broken toys out and the other toys organized to sell at a garage sale. Cleaning and purging - all appropriate in the new year.


And so I've finished up another year of taking daily pictures.

In 2011, I plan to change things a little. I probably won't take a picture every day and post every day - after two years of posting to two blogs, I feel I need a little break. I might just post weekly instead, at least for the month of January.

For those just starting a Project 365, good for you! I found the project to be very rewarding.


Copyright Notice

All images on this blog (unless stated) are the intellectual property and copyright of SLPhotography and shirley319 (© 2009, 2010). Do not steal, borrow or pirate the images here.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code. and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) prohibits the use of digital property to be used without the consent of its owner.

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