Thursday, January 28, 2010

sand and surf

Wow! It's been a whole week since I last posted. But, to my defense, I haven't been sitting around a computer much. I've been enjoying a week away from the normal grind, a week spent with Don and visiting with family.

Last Saturday, we started our road trip to California. We traveled through the Rocky Mountains as it snowed, over the high desert of Utah which was blanketed with snow, and on into the bright sunshine of southern California. We listened to an audio book as we drove and the hours flew by. I thoroughly enjoyed the drive.

We've spent some of our time visiting with family, but most of the time has been spent on or near the beach. There is something about the ocean, the waves, the beach that speaks to both Don's and my soul. It's home.

So you can imagine what a treat it was for Don to book us into a hotel right on the sand in a beautiful little beach city for two nights. It was our special way to celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary. It's been so nice, so special. As I sit here typing this post, I can hear the waves crashing on the sand right underneath my balcony. I'm in heaven.

Tomorrow we leave and start our journey home. It's been such a nice week, and next week, when I'm up to my eyeballs in my everyday responsibilities and probably dealing with snow and ice, I'll reflect on the memories of this week and remember the warmth of the sun and the sound of the surf, and try to ignore it as it beckons me to return.

Friday, January 22, 2010

it's friday


I don't know why I'm asking this question, but it just popped into my head and I'm going with it...

If you could take any class right now,
what would it be?

There are several I can think of, but if I can only pick one, it would be a photography class of some kind. Maybe one that teaches me more about how to use my camera, or one that takes me out and helps me become a better photographer of wildlife and nature. I love taking pictures. I look at professional photographer's work and wish I could be that good.

Aloha Friday
is hosted each week by Kailani over at An Island Life.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Nearly ten years ago, I was a camp counselor for a small group of Junior High students from my church. All week long, during the evening session, Compassion International would have a table set up with pictures of children from different impoverished countries. The purpose of C.I. was to entice you to adopt one of the children by sending money on a monthly basis to pay for their education and other necessities.

The last night of camp, the girls in our youth group talked me into adopting one of these children for the youth group. We decided that part of the offerings we collect would go to the monthly fee. A few of us stood at the table, picking up one packet after another, trying to decide which child would be the one for us. After some discussion, we agreed on a little girl from Haiti.

Her name was Mirlandia. I think one of the reasons the girls liked her was because her name was easy to pronounce and remember, compared to some of the other ones. She was 6 years old and had these beautiful, haunting eyes that seemed to stare right into your heart. Her bio gave little information about her except that she liked going to school and help her mom with work around the house.

We would occasionally send Mirlandia notes and artwork from the group and she would in turn send us letters telling us more about herself and always thanking us for our prayers and being a part of her life. I always wondered what it would be like for her to live where she did. I also wondered what it would be like to meet her in person, knowing that really wouldn't ever happen.

I write this today because I can't help but think about Mirlandia and the tragedy that has struck her small island. To be honest, I haven't thought much about this young girl since I quit my job and we left that church, but I'm thinking a lot about her now. She would be nearly 16 years old now. What has the last 5-6 years looked like for her? What does she look like? Where was she when the quake(s) hit? Was she hurt? Is she alive? What does her life look like now?

I will never know the answers to these questions, but as I pray for the people and situation in Haiti, I include a special prayer for Mirlandia and her family. May they feel God's mercy and love during this time. Won't you join me in this prayer.

Monday, January 18, 2010

up close and personal

For Today...

Outside my window... the sun is shining, but it's cold. There is still snow on the ground where the sun doesn't directly hit.

I am thinking... about my doctor's appointment tomorrow. I hate doctor's appointments.

I am thankful for... so much! One would be having both of my children home this last weekend.

I am wearing... jeans and a hoodie.

I am remembering... a little girl in Haiti that I helped sponsor 8 years ago. Where is she right now? Is she safe? Is she alive?

Also, that it is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and remembering and reflecting on him and the messages he left for the people of this country and world.

I am going... to the movies with Danielle today (it's a school holiday). We're going to see The Lovely Bones.

I am currently reading... Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst

I am hoping... for a good report tomorrow from my doctor (on my diabetes).

I am praying... for my good friend's son, who is going through a hard time and is dealing with the consequences of his bad choices. Also, the people of Haiti. We can all be praying for this tragedy.

On my mind... An upcoming trip.

Noticing that... my house is very messy and needs to be picked up. A lot of that will happen when the kids leave today and take their stuff with them.

Pondering these words... "The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life." (Muhammad Ali)

From the kitchen... signs of Danielle's domestic endeavors. Cookies she made last night, and the dishes that didn't make it into the dishwasher.

Around the house... see above =)

One of my favorite things... taking pictures. My 365 Project can be found here.

From my picture journal...

I took this picture at the Stock Show parade last week. Since I wanted to get some good pictures, I was standing more in the street than maybe I should have been and this feisty longhorn felt like he didn't need to stay in line with his fellow bovines. From my camera lens, he slowly made his way straight towards me. All photos after this one came out blurry because as he was making his way toward me, I was moving backwards - toward safety. At what seemed like the last moment, a cowboy walking along sid,e herded him back to where he belonged. Let me just say... close up, those horns are long and scary.

The original Simple Woman's Daybook can be found here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

send in the cows

Tuesday, I made my way to downtown Denver to watch the annual National Western Stock Show parade. The stock show comes to town every January and we usually find a way to attend the rodeo and walk around to view the exhibits. We've done this for the last 20 years that we've lived here. But the one thing we have never done is to attend the parade that kicks off the yearly event.

So it was a real treat for me to be able to enjoy a mild weather day watching cowboys and livestock walk the streets that are normally inhabited with cars and buses. The smiles and waves from children lining the streets warmed my heart even more than the 60+ degree reading on the thermometer.

Here's just a few pictures I took while enjoying the parade.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Why do I feel like I have to challenge myself in such ways?

I've started many projects - blogging and otherwise - and failed at completing a few a lot of them. I've participated in NaBloPoMo two years now and was successful at posting every day for the month of November, but it was hard to write and post every single day.

Maybe it will be easier to take a picture every single day... for a year! Maybe not. I will soon find out, for I have challenged myself to do just that. I have joined the 365Project, which is a site that promotes and challenges you to take a picture every day for 365 days (that's a year!). I actually started this same challenge a year or so ago and didn't make it more than a couple of weeks.

But this time it's going to be different. Yes, I'm going to keep telling myself this as a self-motivator. All kidding aside, I am motivated. I love to take pictures. I like the fact that I'm posting my pictures on my own profile on a site where hundreds (probably thousands - I don't really know) of other people are posting their pictures. I enjoy browsing through some amazing photos and knowing that my photos might be viewed by others. I'm hoping this not only records my year in pictures, but improves my photography skills. It's a win-win.

The site is easy to use. You can follow other people and keep track of your favorite photos. You don't have to actually post every day if you want to or need to skip a day or so. The challenge is to take a picture every day - not post every day.

If you think this would be a fun challenge for you, check it out. My profile can be found here and I'll soon have some kind of graphic on my side bar that link to my profile. I'd love to have you stop by.

Friday, January 8, 2010

pass the tissues


I saw the movie Precious this last week. Not a movie I would recommend to everyone due to the nature of the content, but I found it to be very powerful and moving. I'm sure there will be a couple of academy awards given out for this one.

I found myself tearing up a lot throughout the movie and cried at the very end. My heart breaks when I see or hear about a young person being abused in some way. It breaks to the point where I cannot stop the tears. That was the case while watching this movie.

Another situation where I can't control the tears is at the end of Extreme Makeover (Home Edition). It's when they all yell, "move that bus!" and the music swells, and the recipients of the new home are overcome with joy, that gets me every time.

So, my Aloha Friday question this week is...

What makes you cry every time?

Maybe it's a particular movie (for me, it's The Notebook) or show, or maybe a certain situation or experience. Share your crying moments.

Friday, January 1, 2010

top 10

Well, happy new year! 2010 has arrived and as I sit here, I'm not only thinking about a new year, a new decade, and new beginnings, but reflecting on the last year and the last decade. I guess this is pretty normal for new year's day. That, and lounging around in my jammies, watching parades (okay, one parade) and football games, and playing around on Facebook.

I'll most likely be writing about my thoughts and reflections in the next couple of days. Some things are worth writing about and some things are worth keeping to myself. We'll see what ends up in a post.

One of the tasks I give myself at the end of each year is to comprise a list of my top 10 movies from the year. As I look back at my list (always kept on my sidebar), I realize once again what I kept thinking throughout the year... there weren't as many good movies this year as in previous years. Never the less, I was able to come up with 10. Actually, it was easy coming up with 10 because there weren't many good ones to choose from.

I saw a total of 47 movies this year (51 last year). A few of these movies were from 2008, but since I saw them in 2009, they're included here.

10. earth
9. The Soloist
8. The Reader
7. Up
6. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
5. Gran Torino
4. Precious
3. Blindside
2. Slum Dog Millionaire
1. Avatar

Here's to hoping we have some better movies in 2010.