Four Things about NJHeart2Heart 02 May 2008

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:

1. Dog training Instructor
2. Assistant at local 4-H office (ask me what 4-H is!)
3. Executive Assistant
4. Soundboard operator / worship singer (you didn’t say it had to be a paying job!- these are two ways I minister through my local church ūüôā¬† )

B) Four movies I would watch over and over.

1. Sound of Music
2. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
3. Lion, Witch and Wardrobe

C) Four places I have lived

1. Mine Hill, NJ
2. Houghton, NY (college)
3. Lake Hiawatha, NJ
4. Dover, NJ

D) Four TV shows I love to watch:

1.  House M.D.
2.  Man vs. Wild w/ Bear Grylls
3.  Little People, Big World

E) Four places I have been on vacation:

1. Lubec, Maine
2. Harper’s Farry, WV
3. Corpus Christi, TX
4. Chincoteague Island, VA

F) Websites visited daily:

1.  Yahoo Group- Preserving our Heritage
2.  My customized Yahoo page
3. Stories to Memoirs
4. (not EVERY day, but often)

G) Four of my favorite foods:

1. Annie’s brand Mac and Cheese
2. dry cereal
3. ice cream (Turkey Hill limited edition “southern lemon pie”)
4. french fries

H) Four places I would rather be right now:

1. in bed under my fuzzy blanket, reading a book
2. doing a light hike with my digital SLR
3. at a writer’s workshop
4. anywhere other than NJ!

I) Four people I would like to meet:

1. My dad’s father (died when my dad was young)
2. C.S. Lewis (dead)
3. Jesus (I’d like to sit and have a chat with him!)
4. any of my yet unknown relatives in Ireland or Austria (I also dabble in genealogy)

K) Four things you want us to know about your family, yourself or your life!

1. I’m happily married since 2003
2. we own a lovely kitty named Shena
3. I enjoy scrapbooking
4. I have my own mission statement, goals and governing values that I review each year.

Nothing to say – or just busily distracted?

So, here I am again.¬† I’ve been neglecting this¬†site¬†ever since leaving for vacation.¬† My primary¬†justification¬†was the need to concentrate on saving, backing up and working with the “gazillions” of¬†digital photos I took on my awesome vacation¬†to Maine, Sept. 1-9.¬† ¬†I have sooo much to say, so besides the photo workflow being ridiculous, I’ve also been attempting to journal what I experienced during my trip.¬† I’ll start posting¬†a bit at a time¬†shortly.

I wrote an interesting response to a fellow Flickr member.¬† I had commented on some of his photos, which were the first set of photos that looked comparable to mine in quality/interest.¬† He was responding to my comment about a particular photo, saying¬†that he knew it would look a lot better with some creative editing in a photo program, but said that he “still” felt it was like “cheating”.¬†¬†Here is my response, which I thought was interesting since I hadn’t really thought about it much previously:

“I’m with you on feeling like you’re cheating with Photoshop, but kudos that you even HAVE a photo editor and know how to use it- something I do not yet have!!¬† That’s the one serious drawback of digital photography- it’s no longer about just working to get the best photos at the moment… now you have all this other stuff going on as well.¬† How can someone who has equal photography skills be competetive with their work with someone who also has the computer tools and skills that can turn even a great “normal” photo into any piece of art she/he cares to?

Funny, I never expressed that before, but it definitely rings true as I write it.¬† Not that it’s
not wonderful to have the tools, but it’s a different skill set, so when it comes to comparing, we digital photographers have to be sure we are comparing apples to apples, not apples to pomegranates :)”

So that is my life and thoughts for the moment.¬† I’ll post some Maine photos over from Flickr to follow.¬† Please feel free to take a look at the rest of my pics!¬†

Scrapping Rocks!

Ok, so it’s a strange phrase to most people, unless you are “one of us”. I attended a “Stampin’ Up” scrapbook weekend retreat with my friends Leah and Michelle. I had a productive weekend, getting 24 pages completed and finishing my “Vacation 2006” scrapbook, although I slacked off in the “journaling department” something which I am known to be pretty good at and very active about encouraging others to do. In fact, as I spoke with one of the event participants, I was quick to admit that although I love the creative outlet of designing and building lovely pages with beauty, flow and color, I’d rather have the stories then the pictures. As is typical in these conversations, the lady I was speakng with gave a quizzical look and then nodded her head thoughtfully, as she realized the truth of my comment;¬†without the stories, the most beautiful photos and most stunning layouts will mean little to future generations.

My other accomplishments for the weekend were that I managed to stay productive up until 2am on both Saturday and Sunday mornings, and probably ate enough snack foods to last the next month in calories (not an accomplishment that my body is particularly happy with!).

I was exhausted at work today, but fortunately was also “cursed” with a problem which took some energy to work through, and it was a blessing in disguise, forcing me to stay alert as I concentrated on the issue at hand. My kind husband emailed me to ask how I was doing late in the morning and I replied that it was a chaotic day, but not the worst day. I said that there were two kinds of chaotic and/or bad days to have in my book- the kind that had little to do with mistakes on my part, and the kind where everything that goes wrong seems to be my fault. Today was the former, so although I was tired and aggravated for part of the day, and glad to get home, I was satisfied that at least I was not, for the most part, the perpetuater of the mistakes I was trying to straighten out.

I am looking forward to our vacation coming up in a couple weeks. We will be driving up to the extreme northeast of Maine for a week at a rental house on a cliff overlooking Fundy Bay. It will be a very different sort of vacation from what we are used to, and I look forward to traveling in a new state, and to exploring the “wilds” of that corner of the country.

Current affairs

Here is a quick “what am I up to this week” entry.
I am enjoying publishing to my very first weblog, aka “BLOG”. I’ve posted a few posts in there already, topics including “a little about me”, a review of my current book reading project (called Spirit of Discipline by Richard Foster), and a couple entries based on a journaling prompt site.

Tonight I’ll stop by my local meetup group to trade elements for a “Page Swap” I signed up for. For those who are scrappers, or those interested in scrapbooking, this particular swap has an interesting twist. There are 12 participants (actually it’s open to 12, and there are 11 signed up), and the coordinator has listed 12 different element that make up a page layout (a page layout is two pages facing each other and visually related to one another so you look at both pages as one piece). Elements include solid cardstock, vellum, a title, fiber, round eyelets, shaped eyelets, and a decorated photo mat, amongst others. Our theme for tonight’s swap is “BEACH”, and I am supplying 10 round eyelets per participant that are related to the topic (meaning beachy colors). It’s a great idea and I look forward to driving home with a complete layout kit where all I have to do is supply the photos and glue it all together!

As for heritage projects- I’m going to my parents house in PA this weekend. Grandma is at my parents house during the summer months, and I should ask her some heritage questions!

I am going to be working feverishly to put together some page kits and type up the accompanying journaling for my project to be completed at a scrapbook weekend next weekend (17-19th). During the “Stampin Up” weekend with Jen Peel, I’ll be concentrating on finishing our (my hubby and I) 2006 vacation (Boston and Vermont), album and also would like to complete an album on our mini-vacation to Harpers Ferry WVA Memorial Day weekend of this year (that was a FUN trip!) so that preparation will keep me busy over the next several days.

Other news: I am greatly enjoying my wonderful (and expensive!) new digital SLR camera (Nikon D80), which has greatly boosted my photography capabilities, and will be purchasing a long telephoto zoom lens to go with it before we go on vacation in Sept. (to Maine- looking forward to that trip!). I’m crossing my fingers hoping to photograph one or more moose!

My current goal

I am getting sooo excited!
I have been saving my “personal cash” in my account for almost a month now, and my next paycheck will bring in enough money for me to purchase my current goal:

During my vacation in Maine, from September 1-8, 2007
I am enthusiastically practicing my growing camera skills with my brand new

NIKON AF-s VR 70-300 f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED telephoto zoom lens
attached to my D80 digital camera.

I am catching wonderful shots of birds, small mammals and even moose while hiking in the nearby parks and preserves with my husband!

Celebration of Discipline Part II

So, I got through my sense of decrepitness (hmm.. wonder if that needs a spell/grammar check?) by avoiding it with lots of busy fun this weekend.. which comes to my next reading; Meditation, part I:
Foster starts this chapter with a pointed remark; “In contemporary society our Adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry and crowds. If he can keep us engaged in “muchness” and “manyness”, he will rest satisfied”.
Wow. How many of us are guilty of these behaviors? And thus is his point, that we are sadly lacking in the consistent discipline of “listening and obeying”. Foster goes through several paragraphs of examples of characters throughout the Bible who “listened to God’s word”, reflected on God’s works, rehearsed God’s deeds, and ruminated on God’s laws, among others. He points out, through Psalm 119, that a believer’s focus on obedience and faithfulness to God that sets Christian meditation apart from other types. Foster also reinforces, as he stated in the introduction, that the people of the Biblical era knew the ways of meditation and scripture (unlike our modern generations). He also pointed to our ultimate example, Jesus during his own ministry, citing many verses that communicated his tendency to withdraw on his own in order to seek, listen to and commune with God the father.
Foster then goes on to define meditation as, simply stated, the ability to hear God’s voice and obey his word. He pointed out through more biblical examples how throughout the continual wavering of man’s history, God still calls to us and still longs to respond to even our feeblest attempts to relate to Him. Together, these paragraphs form the biblical foundation for meditation.

Get to Know you

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? No. Mom liked another name (forget which one), but there were two babies around friends/family with the name, so she named me for something that a person would smile when they think of it.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Angela knows when I cried last! (think singing!)
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Not much, though I prefer printing to cursive. I definitely LOVE computer fonts though ūüôā
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Does peanut butter count? no? well then Oscar Mayer bologna.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes. I hope that I would want to be friends with me, because I can talk about deep things with my friends and try to be trustworthy.
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Not much. Although I  know it can be used in fun,  sarcasm can used as a cowardly way of critizing others without doing it directly.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I’ll opt for the hot air balloon myself!
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?Lucky Charms/Honey Nut Cheerios mix and generic frosted mini wheats (in my opinion cereal should be considered a lunch meat too! ūüėÄ )
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I’m a wimp. Not much muscle at all!
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Easy answer- Cake Batter / Better Batter!
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Physically- their eyes, otherwise, their ability to ask good questions.
15. RED OR PINK? hmm.. red.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My lack of self discipline / “long haul” consistency.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My paternal grandma. I really wish I could have gotten to know her better before she died. (as well as my other 2 deceased grandparents)
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? I won’t forward it to many, but definitely would like to hear back from those I send it to.
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? brown pants, black shoes.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? a sugar cookie. YUM!
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The hum of the building air system and the whisper of my boss talking on the phone in his office.
22. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? I like teal and cranberry, or maybe a teal/cran twist?
23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Vanilla is my all time favorite. Next would be oranges, roses, and fresh green woodland trails!
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Funny, that would be- Robynlyn!
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes! wish we had money to do the air balloon trip together!
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? dog agility and horse shows.
27. HAIR COLOR? brown
28. EYE COLOR? blue
30. FAVORITE FOOD? REAL Kettle corn is great (had some at the fair this weekend), but I don’t have any strong favorites.
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Oh definitely happy endings.
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Simpsons with my husband (HIS CHOICE – I watched it with him for his sake!)
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? tannish golf shirt
34. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer!!!
35. HUGS OR KISSES? I like kisses, but hugs are great all around!
36. FAVORITE DESSERT? I’d have to go with ice cream too!
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? not sure who I’ll send it to!
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Malchus- Christian novel and Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster.
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? don’t got none!
41. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV. LAST NIGHT? No time for TV, too busy suffering through the Simpsons!
42. FAVORITE SOUND? a gurgling brook.
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I’m an organizing fanatic! I also write “heart2heart”.
47. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? I’m just glad I got through them myself ! LOL (I actually really like these and keep copies in my journal!)

Computer programs working together

Yay! I’m soo excited!¬† I’m a fanatic about “integrated products”, and I’m now set up so that my offline journal (The Journal) , online photo host (flickr) and this weblog now all work with each other!¬† This is the first step to my enthusiastic writing habit!