Thursday, February 28, 2008

Friday Feast #181 (not to be confused with #189)

*** quick edit here to tell on myself. Right after I posted this feast, I visited a couple of other sites and noticed that they were serving Feast #181. Since I had just posted my Feast #189, I thought what's the matter with these people, can't they keep their numbers straight? Well, the joke is on me because after sleeping on it and coming back this morning, I realized that my last feast was #180. So I'm the one who can't keep numbers straight. I've edited my title to keep it straight but all the comments came to me as Feast #189. lol

Appetizer --Who was the last person you hugged?

My friend Doris at church.

Soup --Share a beauty or grooming trick or tip with us.

Make sure you're born into a family with really great genes for healthy skin and good looks!

Salad --What does the color yellow make you think of?

Egg yolks

Main Course --If you were to make your living as a photographer, what subject would your pictures revolve around?

I love really great nature pictures but also love good portrait photography and then again, the animals are so much fun to capture... and action photos... sigh... I just wish I were a decent everyday photographer.

Dessert --What was the longest book you ever read?

The bible... and I'm still reading it.


posted by Marsha at 16 Comments

15 Words or Less - Winter Sky

Each week, Laura issues a challenge in the form of a photo of an ordinary or not so ordinary item that participants are to write a poem about using 15 words or less. This week the photo is of bare tree limbs against a winter sky. I have a couple of entries this week. They are quite similar but have a somewhat different tone. The first one is stark and bleak. The second one is less harsh. If I get the time and the mood hits me, I may attempt a few more.

My first effort:
sky gray blue.
limbs bare.
nature sleeping.

Second attempt:
Emerging from the listless sky
The barren tree slumbers through the winter.


posted by Marsha at 1 Comments

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

"The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time
is now."
Chinese Proverb


posted by Marsha at 1 Comments

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Yep, it's one of my guilty pleasures in life and I'm so sorry that y'all have to feel the brunt of it! When I play around in Paint Shop Pro I want to show off what I've done regardless of whether it is worthy of showing off or not. Mostly because of the effort I went to in order to get a specific result.

Anyway, here's a couple more projects I've worked on recently. The first one I just finished using a photo of Sarah from a few months ago. This was another Photoshop tutorial I transformed to work in PSP. Come to think of it, so is the other one of Erin and her friends. This picture was taken the same time Sarah's was, the night of Erin's homecoming dance. The effect is supposed to be a retro comic book strip look. I'm not sure the photo was well suited for the effect but again, I had fun, which is what counts the most in my opinion.

If you wonder why I use so many Photoshop tutorials, the reason is that there are so many more tutorials written for Photoshop because of the sheer number of users. I'm not sure why as PSP has almost the same capability, albeit sometimes more difficult because the development has not kept up since Corel took over the product. What is an easy function in Photoshop often must be manually duplicated in PSP. The commands are not the same although the effect is... it's just a matter of learning the program well enough to know what gives a specific effect no matter what you call it. I like the extra challenge but sometimes wish Corel would add some of the newer functionality directly into the program.

Anyway, bear with me while I go through another PSP phase. I'm sure I'll get over it fairly soon as I need to clear out the laundry and dishes I've let pile up while I've been playing. Ginger's pretty upset with me too... she wants to take a few more walks than the oh, say NONE that we've taken the past few days! As usual, Woody K. doesn't care!



Thanks for looking!


posted by Marsha at 4 Comments

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Brother's House

My brother and his wife live in a really nice older farmhouse that they bought some years ago and have remodeled over the years. I took several photos of the house on one of my visits home because I promised my sister-in-law that I would paint a picture of the house. I haven't done that yet but yesterday I did play with a small version of one of the photos I took in Paint Shop Pro.

The first photo is as it came straight out of the camera. The second one is an edited version where I lowered the color value through a desaturation process then used blend modes and sharpening to get the effect that I wanted. The third version is the result of a Photoshop tutorial I found on the web and converted it for use in Paint Shop. The process digitally duplicates an effect from a cheap Russian camera called Lomo photography. Rather than try to explain the effect here, you can read about it at the site where the tutorial is found. I'm not sure how effective I was at producing a true Lomo photography effect but I enjoyed trying.




I like each of these versions of the photo for different reasons but mostly because I got to spend time playing in PSP.


posted by Marsha at 2 Comments

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Feast #180

Appetizer -Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone? If so, what did you do and who was your victim?

Yes, my friend Margaret and I copied pictures of a person that a co-worker of ours detested and put them all over his office. For weeks, every time he opened a drawer or a book, he would come across one of those pictures. We even taped one over the face / head of the man's wife in a family photo on his desk. It was a riot!

Soup -What do your salt and pepper shakers look like?

The set I keep handy for quick use is made of glass with handles and look like small mason jars. When cooking, I have grinders / mills or use from the storage container the salt or pepper came in.

Salad -Where is the next place you plan to visit (on vacation or business)?

I hope to go on a trip to London, Paris and Amsterdam with a group from my church later this year but I'm sure I will be headed to Indiana / Tennessee in May with mom as usual.

Main Course -What kind of lotion or cream do you use to keep your hands from getting too dry?

The only lotion I use is Cetaphil.

Dessert -Make up a dessert, tell us its ingredients, and give it a name.

My dessert would be a no fat, no calories Chocolate Cream Pie. Start with a rich butter crust, filling made of the richest chocolate, eggs, butter, heavy cream, vanilla, sugar, salt; topped with meringue piled a mile high. Did I mention no fat, no calories? Hey, it's my dessert, I made it up so I'm saying it's no fat, no calories!


posted by Marsha at 12 Comments

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I'm participating in 15 Words or Less this week for the first time. Each week, Laura issues a challenge in the form of a photo of an ordinary or not so ordinary item that participants are to write a poem about using 15 words or less. This week the item is a traffic signal. My first thought is my impatience while waiting at traffic lights. I also thought of my dad who used to 'tell' lights when to change in his later years.

Go! It's green!
Why hesitate?
Move along quickly
I'm running late!


posted by Marsha at 0 Comments

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - whatisit

My undying gratitude to anyone who can tell me what the contraption is that my brother is holding.

Play Wordless Wednesday


posted by Marsha at 4 Comments

Friday, February 15, 2008


While I was at my daughter's home in Florida, I had to contend with Helen. Helen is Kayla's kitten. She was a present, either for Christmas or her birthday, I'm not sure which. Regardless, Helen makes life interesting (as if Kayla is not capable enough of that on her own).

Helen is feral energetic to say the least. She runs like a maniac spirited kitten, all over the house, pouncing, leaping and jumping at the most inopportune times. She generally hides and attacks her prey from under the bed or from behind a chair and managed to bloody my toes on a couple of occasions with her razor sharp claws. Still, she is a member of the family now and so I must display her picture as I do all of the critters in our family.

This is Helen in one of her calmer moments.

Welcome to the family Helen! phhhhtttt!


posted by Marsha at 7 Comments

Friday Feast #179

If you want to participate in Friday's Feast click here.

Appetizer -Name one thing that is unique about you.

My voice. I had tumors on my larnyx when I was a child and due to surgical trauma my voice has always been hoarse.

Soup -Fill in the blank: My favorite _________ is __________ but I like _________ too.

My favorite color is blue but I like red too.

Salad -What type of wood do you have for your home’s furnishings?

I have several including cherry, oak, walnut and pine.

Main Course -Who do you talk to most often on the phone?

My children.

Dessert -What level of responsibility do you have in your job?

Before I retired, I managed as many as twelve people in an engineering group and had engineering responsibilities when I chose to leave my management position a few years before retirement. I like to think I am the boss at home but Ginger and Mr. Nibs seem to run things despite all my best efforts.


posted by Marsha at 2 Comments

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I feel useless. I don't know if everyone feels that way from time to time but I do. Right now I am feeling useless because of a family situation that I can't do anything about. In part, it's because I'm a fixer and I can't fix the problem. The frustration often overwhelms me. I feel bad because I realize that I am not as good a listener as I wish I were. Too often, I try to take on people's problems as my own instead of just allowing them an opportunity to vent their feelings about their situations. Sometimes all people need, even those you love the most, maybe especially those you love the most, is your ear, not your action or reaction to what they are discussing with you. They just need to know that you love them and support them.

God please help me to be a more sensitive listener and help me to stand back and let situations iron themselves out through powers greater than my own.

I am going to receive ashes later today and feel grateful for the opportunity to repent and to ask God's help with the sorrows in my life and in the lives of so many others.

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posted by Marsha at 6 Comments

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Madelyn Beamon

And another child is lost to the monster known as cancer. Madelyn Beamon passed away early this morning at home with her parents at her side. I will never understand as long as I live why little children in particular have to suffer this disease and then be ripped from the loving arms that cared for them throughout their illness. I'm not involved and yet it drains me completely when one of these children die.

Please visit Maddie's site and let her parents know you care.


posted by Marsha at 0 Comments

Friday, February 01, 2008

Quickly Catching Up

Our dinner ended up doing pretty good last Sunday. From the reports I got by email, we must have sold well at the door as we cleared a fair amount of money from our enchilada dinner at the church for our Mission Team activities. This is our one and only fund raiser so we needed it to be a success. God seems to work things out as I left for my daughter's home in Florida last Sunday morning quite uncertain as to whether or not we would do much more than break even.

I keep praying for His intervention in a couple of personal situations in our family and sometimes it seems as though my prayers are not heard. Like most people, I have to work through the trust issues and have faith that all is as it should be and that things will work out in time... just maybe not according to the time frame I want.

It's been busy here. I'm enjoying my granddaughters, Anna and Kayla immensely. Daughter Jamie got off on a well deserved weekend break due to the generosity of her employers. They took their entire office staff on a four day cruise as their Christmas / Year End Bonus. I worry a little about Anna's care, as she has extensive needs, but thankfully they approved 24 hour nursing coverage for her while I am here so I shouldn't have to do anything out of the norm. Anna has great nursing care and boy does that help a grandmother worry less than she might otherwise do. Kayla is always feisty and sassy and enjoying her life as a kindergartner. She is a fantastic reader and loves school. I had the unfortunate responsibility of taking her to a well visit at her doctor's office where she got two vaccinations and was sent for blood work which we did this morning before dropping her off at her day care where she catches the bus for school. I was surprised to know that they do routine blood tests on healthy children now as a diagnostic tool. It was not fun but she did as well as any 6 year old could do.

I'm missing Ginger and Mr. Nibs but I know they are being well cared for by my son but I should be heading home a week from tomorrow unless circumstances here change. I'm looking forward (okay, maybe with just a bit of apprehension) to riding with Erin now that she has her learner's permit. My laptop finally crashed on me (I knew the hard drive had some problems) and I am limited to what's available on Jamie's computer and miss all my links and contact lists and software that travels with me. I am a creature of habit and dislike having to make do but not ready to go out and pop for something new just yet.

Maybe I didn't do this catching up so quickly after all!

WOW! It's February already!

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posted by Marsha at 1 Comments