Saturday, February 23, 2008

Communtiy Photo Challenge Extra - Creative Collage


This challenge will most likely go down in history as my biggest one yet!  I have been struggling for hours, trying to put together something simple.... 

As if...

The only way I've managed to create something that will copy into my journal is through Smilebox.  Which is fine, but much more involved and interactive than I would have liked it to be.  I hope you enjoy them.

These photographs were taken at the Quechee Balloon Festival in Quechee, Vermont back in 2006.  My camera was still pretty new to me at that point.  I actually did some work on them tonight in my pitiful editing program that came with my old printer that I don't even use anymore.


Click to play Balloon Fest 2006
Create your own postcard - Powered by Smilebox
Make a postcard - it's easy!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lunar Reflections

(First attempt.... without the tripod!)


I'm not even sure I had ever seen a lunar eclipse before last night.  Sad, but true...  I certainly had never tried to photograph one before!  They are quite a vision to behold, aren't they?  Thank you Nancy, for letting me know at the precise moment that it was even happening!  I honestly had no idea.  My mind has been a bit preoccupied lately.  I think a raging storm could blow through here and I'd barely notice.

I wasn't even planning on trying to take any pics, but once my daughters and I flew out the door and saw the moon's brilliant amber glow, I knew I had to attempt it somehow.

I ran back into the house and grabbed my camera, zoomed back out without a logical thought in my brain and tried a couple shots in auto focus.  THAT obviously wasn't going to work.  Plus, trying to hold my camera still enough to keep the moon in view was pointless.  I ran back into the house yet again and all but stumbled down the stairs to my laundry room where I store my tripod.  By now my kids were already bored and back in front of the T.V.  ::eye roll::, but not me!  I grabbed my tripod and ran back outside into the freezing cold.

So, I think I've used my camera in manual focus twice in my life.  I have NO IDEA what I am doing in there...  I flubbed around with the numbers, overlooking the ISO settings altogether ::ducking to avoid Greg's swat:: and tried to twist my camera onto my tripod so fast that I got the strap all wrapped up in it and that of course made it even more wobbly...  But TIME WAS RUNNING OUT!!  ;o)

::sigh::  What's done is done.  I have really enjoyed seeing the eclipse through the eyes of so many here.  I wasn't happy at all with my photos (see above to know why), but I think if I posted them small enough, the flaws were not quite so obvious in my previous entry HERE!  I'm glad I at least made an attempt at it, which surprised me.

Winter Break is almost over.  I'm not ready to go back to reality.  I'd think I'd rather be on the moon.




Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Lunar Eclipse 02/20/08

Just a reminder, that some things experienced here on earth are in fact, eternal.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Community Photo Challenge - Winter Blues


This week's challenge is WINTER BLUES.....Could be a winter scene, something that shows YOUR WINTER in YOUR TOWN.....or something blue for those who do not really have a winter.  Use your imagination for this week's challenge if you don't have any snow.



Photo taken:  February 16, 2008

Location:  Methodist Hill Road   Lebanon, NH


I've been "feeling the love" so to speak, in the last few days.  Guess ole' cupid didn't completely forget about me.... 

My dear friend Indigo has been chosen as this week's Guest Editor, and with this honor comes the privilege of highlighting a handful of journals.  She not only highlighted my humble abode here on the net, but as always, warmed my heart with her words and with her thoughtfulness.

Thank you, sweet friend.  You inspire me in so many ways, and I can't begin to thank my lucky stars for the gift of your friendship. 


Thank you to all who commented so kindly in my previous entry for the Self Portrait Photo Challenge.  I'm still laughing at Greg's comment and Nancy's second, regarding my photo.  "Sup, DUDE!"  Thanks for the smiles, guys! 

Have a great weekend!

(get well soon ~ Lisa Jo and Jackie... xoxo)



Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Extra CHALLENGE-Self Portrait


Extra CHALLENGE-Self Portrait

Extra CHALLENGE in addition to Friday's challenge

(click banner for link)

This challenge starts today & can be posted all this week thru the weekend.  No rules, anything goes.  Must  be a self portrait : a portrait of oneself done by oneself
You can use Photoshop or any editing program, be creative....
Have fun & show your true self...Ü
Leave only a link to your entry here in the comment area.

Only one category on this challenge.
There will be no judging.

So get your tripods out & use your timer.....& say CHEEEEEEEEEEESE!
(or just stick your arm out, aim it your way & snap...Ü)

                         "Partially hidden"

Original photo (which i don't particularly like, and did not use flash):

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kindness Matters, Too

I've been somewhat out of the loop here lately, and have had to delete many alerts and miss out on some wonderful journal entries.  Once you reach the 100 mark, it's harder to get caught up and easier to just let them go and try again later, as much as you'd like to enjoy each and every one to it's fullest capacity.  

So how surprised and humbled I was, to check in on my very first alert of the day, to find that my dear friend Jimmy had not only received the Everyday Kindness award, but had passed it along to me as well!


Thank you, Jimmy...  For all the kindnesses you have shown me and so many others ~ especially those closest and dearest to you. 

And I do suppose at this point,  that I should not take the easy (but honest) way out and give this away to all of my readers/friends rather than choosing just four.  I might get in trouble for doing that two times in a row....  So I hereby grant the Everyday Kindness award to the follow:

Nancy What can I possibly say about you, my dear friend...  Your kindness reaches far beyond the boundaries of this screen.  You never fail to make a grey day brighter ~ and in countless ways.  Thank you, for all the ways you reach out to me.  Skype will never be the same!

Indigo has lifted my spirits with her kindness.  She puts such thought and wisdom and heart into her comments and there has never been a time when I was not deeply touched by her generous and loving nature.

LisaJo  No matter what this lady is facing in her life, she never, EVER hesitates to reach out to others who are in need of anything ~ whether it be a smile, a hug, a warm thought or a friend to turn to.  She is loyal to those who stand by her, even as she struggles to overcome jland trolls who seem to invade her personal space on a regular basis. 

RebeccaAnne  Perhaps the oldest (now, don't take that the wrong way, silly) of all my jland friends and readers, and her journal is still one of my top five favorite reads.  She's not a "look at me, dammit"  type of person at ALL, and I only hope she will view this award as a quiet showing of my appreciationfor not only her kindness towards myself and others, but for her heart, her wisdom and her friendship as well. 

Whew!  That was hard to do.  Almost as hard as judging the Beginner's photo challenge entries (I said ALMOST... ;o) )!  I still wish I could name you all....

I must say, in the time that I have spent here in Jland, I have yet to meet someone who ISN'T kind.  We all have our less than flattering moments, right?  It's nice to know you have someone who cares about you in spite of them. 

Enjoy your Sunday!



Thank you Donna, for the beautiful tag (will it EVER stop snowing??).

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

ADVANCED- AOL Community Photo Challenge-LOVE

AOL Community Challenge-LOVE

With Valentine's day upon us this month, our next challenge was suggested by Betty.
Of course, this can be of anything that represents love.  There are many forms of love, so this should be an easy challenge. 
Love is all around find it, capture it, or just use a photo from the past, that says it!


Best Friends


This photograph was taken last summer, of my daughter and her best friend, Elana.  They are as close as sisters (without all the squabbling, of course) and are as attached as they seem to be here!  It is a rare weekend indeed, that these two do not hook up somehow.  They spend hours on the phone, giggling and singing and sharing their secrets.  I LOVE how close they are, and they LOVE one another like only the best of friends can.  I'm hoping for a lifetime.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bell's Revisited

If you are new to my journal, you may or may not know that I had a major bout with Bell's Palsy over the summer.  I'm not going to drudge up the past ~ I haven't written about it in a while because I had reached the 90% mark in my recovery, and what was once a frightening and embarrassing disorder became more of an annoyance in my day to day than anything else. 

But in the past several weeks, I've felt things worsening.  For instance, when I forced the affected eye to blink (it doesn't do it on it's own), my mouth would tighten slightly on the same side. 

I've felt it more in the last couple days than I have in months.  When I make any sort of distinct movement with my mouth:  smiling (which is a blessing to even be able to do again), eating, puckering (at least my youngest still enjoys my kisses), applying lip gloss (cuz you never know when someone else might... ;o) ), etc., my eye closes almost completely.  It feels heavy all the time and my cheekbone feels numb.  It's making me tired.  It's making me mad.

I'm trying not to let it get to me.  If I do, I imagine it will only get worse.  If I end up like I was before...  Well, I am not even going to go there.  Perhaps it explains why I have been so flutter-brained lately and unable to think all that clearly. 

I guess more than anything, I am writing to document this little setback for my own records.  I have photos for all the phases BP has brought me through.  Hopefully, I won't have to take anymore for a while.

I am so very thankful for the many blessings in my life.  I am otherwise healthy and pain free.  I do not feel sorry for myself in the least, and I am confident that this will all go away in time.  I am GRATEFUL, for how far I have come ~ in so many ways.  

But boy, do I still have a long way to go.  Bell's or no Bell's.

Peace ~

Thank you Dianna, for the lovely tag!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Paying It Forward

So, how does one choose just four well deserving "nice" people to recognize especially, when their life is so full and rich with niceness?  I can't do it.  Like my dear friend, Nancy, who had the "Big Heart" award bestowed upon her by another dear friend, Jimmy, I am finding such a responsibility to be overwhelming and all but impossible to take!  I've been racking my brain all day (in the midst of Super Bowl festivities, of course....) to pick my four award recipients, and again, I say, I CAN'T DO IT!!  ::grin::

So, I hope you don't mind if I snag your idea, Nance.....  Yeah, I know... How original.  But that's just me lately...

To all my dear and NICE friends, readers and fellow journalists, who - out of the kindness of their hearts - always find something nice, uplifting and encouraging to say, THIS ONE'S FOR YOU!!  Passed along with thanks and appreciation for all you do and for all you mean to me.

Please feel free to snag one of the following to add to your sidebar:


"Nice" MATTERS!!


Sometimes people just surprise you with something sweet and out of the ordinary, ya know?  Of course, I'm not surprised at all, that something so sweet and out of the ordinary would come from my friend Greg, who has seen me go through some serious ups and downs in the last couple years and has always been there with a kind word and an open ear, encouraging me and helping me see that I am worth much more than I ever give myself credit for.

I think the word "nice" is underrated...  In our third grade classroom, we encourage the students not to use it in their writing.  Now, don't get me wrong ~ I'm all about "juicy" words, as I like to refer to them as...  But really, what's wrong with something ~ or someONE ~ being "just" NICE?

Nothing at all.  I like being nice, really...  And it warms my heart when someone is NICE to ME! 

So THANK YOU, my friend Greg, for being so nice yourself, and for honoring me with an award that truly means something important.

Now, I will be passing this along to four others who I feel are deserving of such an award.... Hard decision, because I am blessed to know so many nice people!!  Stay tuned!


Friday, February 1, 2008

Sometimes I feel I've lost the ability to compose a single sentence.  Do you ever feel that way? As if you've got so much inside you, swirling around like the painted lines of a funhouse tunnel, longing for escape with no end in sight?

I have been feeling this way for days.  Weeks, really...  But I've been making an attempt at least.  I have all but given up on even trying to comment in the journals that I have read and commented in religiously for years, because I just sit there...  Blank stare.  Drift away....  Continued stare.  Then frustration:  What is wrong with me?

Well, nothing really.  At least nothing that I care to write about  here, because I probably couldn't come up with the words if I tried! 

Someone said something really nice to me the other day, with regards to my journal.  They called me a name, actually.  One that I had never been called before (and I've been called many things, believe me) and most likely never will again.  It was an honorable name that I feel unworthy of accepting, however thankful I was (and am) for the compliment.  I was told that I am a 'Kalligeneia', meaning 'bearer of a fair offspring or of beauteous things.'  Is that not the most beautiful word?  Just saying it, feeling it roll off my tongue, is an enjoyable experience in itself!  I will admit, my daughters are quite beautiful in every way, but like I said, this person was speaking in terms of my journal.  I was touched, really, that someone would think so highly of me.  For a moment, I was inspired and full of creative thoughts and energy.... 

And that lasted about as long as this entry will.

I promise I'll be around...  That is, in case you're wondering.  I'm looking forward to judging the next Beginners Photo Challenge  and I'm hoping to go on a shoot next Sunday in Rockport, MA. to photograph ocean landscape.  Long, cold, but hopefully worth the trip, and hopefully to return home feeling refreshed and renewed and ready to come callin'.

Have a safe (did I mention the blizzard we're having??) and relaxing weekend!