Monday, August 23, 2010

Picture 201 - lightroom

One of the things I really need to make sure I can do well is editing my photos once they are taken. I can crop and change to black and white with the best of them, but I've never really worked with software that was easy to use. I spent about 3 hours Sunday afternoon choosing my top favorite 25 pictures (we each only get to post 25) from Charleston and then went to town editing. I liked the picture before, I loved it after I got done editing it.

Picture 200 - Charleston, Charleson, made in Carolina

My friend Julie sent a video on facebook of this song celebrating my first trip to Charleston, SC. Living in NC, I really haven't seen much of the south. I've puttered around a bit near where I live, but I've never really gone further than Myrtle Beach. So when Jenni suggested we resume our attempt at taking photo trip once a month and that we begin in Charleston, I said "YAY!" What an amazing, fun-filled day. Charleston is very rich in history dating back to the revolutionary war. The architecture was an amazing contrast to the often cookie cutter look of many other cities. That and the people were so friendly. We stopped in a little cafe for lunch and struck up a conversation with our waitress. As we were headed out the door, she told us to each take a bottle of water with us to make sure we stayed hydrated. As we were singing along with the radio at the top of our lungs on our way home, I couldn't help thinking how exciting this adventure is going to be.

Picture 199 - In my "swagger" wagon

Finding out on Friday that my car wouldn't be complete until Monday was quite upsetting. My chaueffer was heading to the beach, so that would leave me carless. At least that's the way it looked until I heard the mechanic say "You can use the loaner for the weekend". With a sigh of relief, I prepared to enjoy the weekend. I was in for quite a surprise when I showed up and the loaner was a van. I have always said that I would never drive a van. SUV, sure, station wagon, in desperation, it might work. But surely not a van. But when you're faced with begging rides from friends, a van can look pretty appealing. I'm very thankful to LeAnn for the use of the vehicle, and it served its purpose well. Best of all, the AC worked wonderfully!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Picture 198 - Almost there

As it is a Wednesday, I fully planned on going to 20/30 tonight. That is, until my car died, again. Thankfully, my friend I carpool with had driven herself and so she gave me a ride home and will pick me up in the morning. So, being stuck in the house left me with some time on my hands. Continuing the pursuit of finishing in a timely manner, I began the final touches on the bottom of the blanket. Now for the letters and everything is done!

Picture 197 - All day

When I got home from the beach, it hit me how quickly school was approaching, but also how soon my niece will be born. In an attempt to finish a present on time (and set some kind of record for me) I sat down, determined to have her baby blanket completed in time. I got a book on cd from the library, found a comfy chair and got busy. By the end of the book, Pooh Bear was complete. The end is in sight!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Picture 196 - Home again

Whenever I leave to travel anywhere for more than a weekend, I am a fiend about cleaning everything. I'll dust, move furniture, and wash out the fridge in an attempt to make everything nice and neat. One of my friends suggested that I did this because I wanted to make sure that if, for any reason I didn't make it home, my apartment would look nice for who ever had to go through it. My response was "nope, it's because I make such a mess when I get home". I hate the thought of having to clean up not only traveling things but general pick up as well. My apartment never looks so clean as when I'm leaving for vacation (at least until my parents come to visit).

Picture 195 - Field Trip

As beach week drew to a close, Friday was fore casted to be rainy and dreary. What better day to head to the aquarium? We packed all six of us into the SUV, got on the ferry and headed out. It was really cool to be there again and see some of their new exhibits. This turtle caught my eye on our way out. He seemed fully intent on getting as much of himself in the sun as possible.

Picture 194 - Wildlife adventures

Thursday morning of beach week I decided to get up and see the sunrise. So, at 5:30, the alarm went off and by 5:43 I had gotten out of bed and headed out. As it sometimes happens, the sunrise was not overly spectacular, but I did get to see something new and exciting. Growing up in Michigan, about the only exotic wildlife I got to see were deer and turkeys along with the random large snapping turtle. The thought of seeing a dolphin, jelly fish or sea turtle in their natural habitat were about as foreign to me as sweet tea. As I was walking along the shore line I came across this creature. In my ignorance, I assumed it was a weird kind of jelly fish, took some pictures, and went on my way. A friend of mine was kind enough to point out that, in fact, this is a Portuguese Man-o-war. Good thing I have a nice zoom on my camera and stayed far away.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Picture 193 - The Cotton Exchange

In Wilmington there is a place called the Cotton Exchange which has been renovated into several small stores that support local business. It used to be a factory until there was a large fire. Instead of rebuilding, it was used for something new. One of the things I like about it is the charm of some of the original workings. Much of the brick work is the same which stands in complete opposite to the softness coming from the chandelier lights.

Picture 192 - Psuedo Photo shoot

One evening I decided to go out and take some sunset pictures and A decided to come along. As we were walking down the beach, she said to take some pictures and I figured I take some time to practice. At the end she suggested the "blue steel" look. If nothing else, we had a lot of fun.

Picture 191 - A taste of Hawaii

Each night of beach week one of us was given the responsibility of making dinner. For E's night, she did a Hawaiian themed meal. As I came out of hiding (I had spent about 3 hours up in my room reading) I came down to discover lei's on each chair and a wonderful feast laid on the table.

Picture 190 - magnifying glass anyone?

A magnifying glass might have made this particular puzzle a little easier. As a rule, I'm not a big puzzle person. If it's there, and if I have nothing else to do, I might give it a try. In reality this picture was taken on Sunday, but I didn't begin to work on it till Thursday night. The only reason I started to work on it was because I had heard someone say that it was just too hard of a puzzle for them to do. So of course, I instantly feel the need to step in and conquer what someone else considers too hard. By the time we left Saturday morning, I had managed to finish about a 1/4 of the puzzle. It's currently being stored at S's house. I plan on making myself a nuisance there until it is finished.

Picture 189 - beach week entertainment

The prospect of sitting on the beach for a whole week is a wonderful idea in theory. But when you get right down to it, a whole week of nothing but chasing waves in a beach chair could be incredibly boring. To fight the urge to leave the beach after 10 minutes, a mini-library was brought along. Of course, it was all fluff books, nothing requiring too much thinking, but perfect for a relaxing day. I'm so glad I have friends that are uber prepared. Thanks to Erin for our big entertainment box.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Picture 188 - Round 2

On my return from Michigan I began to feel a "yucky" and crummy. I attributed it to mostly homesickness and the blues, but turns out I had managed to get an ear and sinus infection. I was able to get in to the doctor Thursday afternoon and she gave me some antibiotics because, let's face it, who wants to "tough it out" and let the sickness run its course when you're staying at the beach. I can't remember the last time I had to be on antibiotics, let alone two times in a month, but I'm so glad these medicines are available. Hopefully by tonight I'll be feeling more like myself and be able to walk in a straight line again.

Picture 187 - A promise for the future

I have some very creative family, but when it comes to making things out of posters, no one can top my brother in law. For my birthday, I was given this really cool looking camera. It looks like a camera I would want when I upgrade. I have decided that I will wait till I have earned enough from taking pictures to justify buying such a nice camera. Not only is this a very cool looking camera, it also doubles as a bank. So, now whenever I get paid for pictures, I can just put it in my camera bank for future use. I'm so thankful for family that supports and encourages my hobbies.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Picture 186 - reality check

Well, while I took a ton of pictures while I was home, I did not keep up on posting, so I'm just going to skip ahead to today and keep going from there.

Yesterday evening I got "home" around 9 from Michigan. It was really hard to leave, so today has been a little bit of a roller coaster. I was really tired, I have a feeling I'm getting sick, and I miss being 30 minutes from my family. I know this is where God has me for now, and I am fully aware that in a few days when I see all my friends again, when life settles back into its routine, I will be so glad to be back. But I always know the first days back will be sad.
So, where do the walmart shopping bags come in? After being gone for 5 weeks, I only had a few condiments, yogurt and water in the fridge along with some VERY spoiled milk. I went in to work today, so was not really interested in dealing with the grocery store, but the lack of food and my growling tummy made me go. I happened to be on facebook and was about to update my status to "ugh, grocery shopping, why can't I come home to a pre-stocked fridge?" Just as I was about to hit enter, I realized how whiny and spoiled that sounded. I am so incredibly grateful for the finances to go shopping for food, for stores that carry more than 1 or 2 options, and for a vehicle that will take me to three different stores looking for yellow squash. I need to remember all that God has done for me and choose gratitude instead of complaining.