Tuesday, October 6, 2009

2 Months Ago

Well 2 months ago Monday my mother-in-law passed away.

She was a wonderful lady. Always made me feel a part of the family, not the"daughter-in-law".
A quiet, gentle, smart woman who loved to watch and talk sports. She loved the Oregon State Beavers and Nebraska Corn Huskers. After she retired she would watch lots of ESPN. My son, husband and her could sit for hours talking about all types of sports. Their favorite sports, football and baseball.
A widow for 40 years, she wore her wedding ring until the day she was cremated. Her ring is still with her ashes in the beautiful wind chime urn hanging in her daughters house.

20 days after she died and got back her ashes back, we decided to go to the coast and scatter some of the ashes. It was a nice way to say good-bye and know she would have loved it.

We miss you mom!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Catching Up On My Life

Wow - Has it really been that long since I last logged in?

I guess so. Lots of things have been going on. Some good, some fair and some crummy.


In May at school we learned that several positions in the district would be cut due to the budget shortfall. It would hit each school differently.Staff would be lost at the school I work at.

Laura - our temporary Benchmark teacher would not be returning. What a great young, energetic and motivating teacher. Teaching many reading and math classes, she saw allot of students and helped them feel successful. We shared space on the stage. I hope to see her working soon.

Mandi - a first grade teacher who has a zest for life and the love of all her students. She is cute and the little first grade boys just fell for her. LOL I remember the time Mandi and I met, met. Strangely even though we waved at each other in the halls and said hi; it wasn't until after the first of the year that she started joining the group of us going out. I envy Mandi's youth and enthusiasm. Congrats on the upcoming wedding!!!

Shawna - Love this lady. She did our behavior room. She is great at that. She has a great personality, works hard and brightens our day with her smile. She will get a job soon. I know it. Plus she will be able to do subbing until the jobs happen.

Bobbie - even though she was only part time she was awesome with the kids at recess and her reading groups. I know I will use her and Shawna when I need to be away from school .

Kim - a lady who came in to do a temporary sub position and hung out with the few of us. She has the luckiest betting hubby around. The few times when we went out and he joined us he would win big on the lottery machines. She is a great lady.

There are others that are moving on to other schools but these are the one that I have spent the most time with, gotten close to and share many laughs with. We will stay in touch during this summer and for a long time.


Well - she has finally graduated!!! With a major in Sociology and a minor in Planning, Public Planning & Mgmt. I was great to see her walk with her Sociology peers and then go to the main (optional) ceremony. Her best friend since 1st grade that also graduated with a Journalism major. What a thrill that they have been through so many good times together. I am so proud of my daughter. She has done this on her own! With grants, loans and at times working 2 jobs all while carrying a full load. She started the U of O in January of 2006 after having to retake a math class So - calendar wise she finished college in 3 1/2 years! Way to go!!!

Her plans for the future? Well - she is thinking about moving to Chicago to get away from here and get to know my side of the family. She is hoping to find a job and a place to live. She is planning on staying a year and then making different plan after that. I hope things go well for her. I hope she bonds well with the family. I hope that she finds what she is looking for.
Still taking tons of pictures and loving every minute. I still wish I was better but with practice comes improvement, right? Let's hope that's true.

Friday, April 3, 2009

AVA Photo Contest

The Albany Visitors Assn. just finished judging their annual photo contest. This is the second time I have entered; but this I was thrilled to find out I actually got some ribbons.

I have always loved taking pictures. I love taking all kinds of shots but my favorite has to be family and nature.

Having done the photo contest last year on a whim and new to entering any photos in any kind of contest. I had no clue what to expect.

The contest rules are pretty easy, photos had to have been taken in or around Albany or Linn County within the last 3 years. There are 5 categories; Events, Landscapes, Scenic, Life in Our Community & Open.
I took several photos I liked and got them made into the required 8 X 10. I didn't enter all the photos I had enlarged only because I wasn't sure I liked the way they looked after being enlarged. All said and done I narrowed it down to 25.

I got a chance on Thursday to see all the entries. Some of them were awesome shots. It was great to see how the entries fit the categories. There were some great shots of a local train derailment, a cute little bird, lots of balloon shots, and some of waterfalls.

Now that all the official judging is done the AVA is holding People's Choice nominations.
I have emailed and Facebooked several people asking for them to nominate mine. I hope to win but am not holding my breath. Good Luck to all the entrants.

I have included some of the shots I entered that are my favorites. If you happen to be in Albany please drop by the Two Rivers Market and the Albany Visitors Assn, vote for your favorite for People's Choice.

~~Musical Hands~~

~~Next Stop - Albany~~

~~Aye Matey!~~

~~Mill Reflection~~

~~Summer Sweetness~~

Friday, March 20, 2009

Long Time NO Write

I looked at my blog the other night and realized I hadn't posted in nearly a month. How did that happen? I know I haven't been that busy; have I?

I took DD with me to the Styx concert at Spirit Mountain Casino. What a fun night, we had hubby join us for dinner at the buffet and then DD and I went to the concert. WOW - it was great we had wonderful seats 11 rows from stage and in the center. The only thing bad- there was this tall guy 2 rows in front of me and he stood the WHOLE time. OK - not only was he tall he was wide. Hard to see around him. I was lucky to get some good shots Yeah!!! One of the best is the picture one of the people around us took of DD & I just before the concert started. Styx had a great stage backdrop and wonderful lighting. The guys sang their best and of course danced all over the stage. I know we both had a great time.

The next day I took a photography class with Chris Becerra. He is a wedding photographer in Corvallis. He (and his crew) took the wedding photos for DD's good friend Lauren. The photos he took are stunning. He shared some great information, took us outside and let us take some shots, we then looked at what we shot and learned how to make the shots better. These are the 3 I like the best.

On the 11th and 12th of March I too DD and her good friend RL to Florence to hang out with the SON and their friends. It was dunes time!! I had a good time, both girls got a ride on a four wheeler and DS even took me on a ride.
But Sunday wasn't as fun as I hoped. I turned my back to the ocean and got tumbled by a sneaker wave. Yes - I do know you don't turn your back on the ocean, I made a stupid mistake. Thankfully I wasn't injured. I rolled a couple of times before the wave receded. A bit scary but I didn't panic.
Here are a few pics I got during the weekend.
The last thing to share for now is a bald eagle shot I got the other week. I have enjoyed looking for bald eagles in the Tangent area. I have wished for a more powerful zoom lens so I can get those wonderful shots. But it is cool to even be as close to an eagle as I have managed to get.
Thanks again for stopping by. Don't forget to leave a comment.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Family Photos

A bit ago I got a wonderful, wonderful gift from my little brother Chris. I learned that the phrase "the best things come in small packages" is so true. I wasn't sure at what the small brown box contained but I was excited that it came from Chris and his lovely wife.

Imagine my surprise when I saw there were DVDs in the box! 12 of them - all titled "Family Photos". I ran into the office and stuck the first DVD into the DVD player and waited for the show...

and waited..... and waited..... Dang - an error message. "Disk is corrupt and unreadable"

So I tried another disk, same message. That happened 12 times. I was soooo sad.

Eventually - I tried Nicole's old laptop, it worked, thankfully.

I have looked at them and laughed, smiled hard and with awe. The wonderful assortment of shots. Pictures of my mom when she was little, the 3 of us kids from many stages of growing up. I can't wait to share them with T & N!!

Thank you Chris - It is truly a wonderful gift!!!

Mom - as a young, beautiful bride - 1956

Paul - age 3 or 4?

Chris - age 7 months

Me! age 3


Mom & Dad - in 1973 & 2006

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What Do you Do When.......

The other day I came home from work and wanted to look at a few pictures on my external drive. When I went to open the drive I saw that it wasn't listed. Where was it? It was there that morning. So I restarted my computer, no luck. I unplugged the power and the USB cord, waited a couple of minutes and plugged them back in. Dang - no luck.

I decided to try it in DD's old laptop: no luck.

So did a brief search on the Internet, lots of possible possibilities as to what the problem could be. None sounding to promising. So the next day after work I stopped at Staples, asked them what may be the problem. They suggested a new USB cord as the original could have died. So I bought a new cord, plugged it in. Still no luck!!

To say that I was getting frustrated and a bit panicked was an understatement! I knew what I had on that drive. Things so important to me that the drive felt like a piece of the family. Especially since my son got it for me about 1.5 to 2 years ago.

I had over 40,000 of my photos, over 1,000 photos from the kids cameras, 4,000+ fonts and lots of older documents I have worked on in the past several years. Fear was setting in as I couldn't figure a way to save these files.

I decided last Friday to called Geek Squad in Eugene and get their opinion. They said they could try and see what the problem was and if they could save my files. I decided hat since I was going down to Eugene to celebrate DD's b-day I would leave early and stop by Geek Squad. I had to purchase a new external in case they could retrieve my info, plus the cost of their work - cost $299. Yikes!!!! I left with fingers crossed that things would work out and not cost me any more.

As I was working on Monday I knew I missed a called and had a voice mail, so during lunch I listen to the voice mail and was thrilled to hear that Geek Squad WAS able to save all my data. The former drive was saved in a case, but the outside casing was not usable. They returned it all back to me. Can you see the hard drive in the plastic static free bag (bottom left)? I am saving that for a semi back up. LOL

So after work I headed back down to Eugene. Picked up the pieces of the old drive and the shiny new smaller sized 500GB drive. I was still nervous about how much of the past drive they did actually save. I wouldn't know for sure until I plugged the new drive in. So - right after getting home I plugged the drive in, opened it up and .....YIPPEE!! it was all there!
Photos so precious to us - there!
Fonts I have collected - there!
The kids photos - there!!
Old documents - there!!!
I am whole again.
Thank Goodness!!!