Thursday, April 28, 2011

Project 2011 - Week 17

Thanks again to Cate (my New Zealand bloggy friend) at Moments of Whimsey, our Project 2011 sponsor. Head on over to her blog and check out what's happening with goals around the world.

Princess had a week off from riding, but is anxious to get back to it this weekend. LK continues to collect parts (it's a slow process) to build the Harley.

As for me, let's take a look at my goals.

Goal 1: Learn how to use my camera.

Well, after last week's photography class, I did a lot of soul searching and class analyzing. I decided to drop the class, as it just isn't working for me. He taught us a bit about ISO, shutter speed, aperture and white balance and said the best way to learn is to play with it. Next we're heading into composition. Well, I think my composition is already pretty darn good (if I do say so myself). One very important thing I did learn from the class was this. Photography, my photography, is all about me. I have to like it. If others do, great! If not, oh well!

Still, I know I'm not done learning and I want to understand ISO, shutter speed, aperture and white balance better. Thanks to Cate, I found a helpful blog, Life With My 3 Boybarians who is a photographer and has an awesome series -- 31 Days to a Better Photograph.

I will still go out one night a week and work on my photography. This past week I spent a few hours in our local library's quiet lounge room. There was a crackling fire in the fireplace and cozy chairs. I read through 4 or 5 days of posts, underlined, took notes, and played a little with my camera. And it was awesome! I feel like I learned a lot, too!

I'm also beginning to understand editing a little more. Here is one photo edited different ways. The photo was taken in MANUAL mode. My new favorite mode. Who knew?! Manual mode used to scare the crap out of me.

Which one do you like best?

Goal 2: Learn to sew. 
I've gotten some books from the library and plan to start making gift bags soon. I'm really excited about that!

Goal 3: Do the Slow Burn/Slow Lift (or whatever you want to call it) workout. 
Yes folks, I got back to the gym this week. I was limited to an upper body workout, but I did quite the workout and was rather sore for a few days. 

I hope you all are accomplishing some goals, too!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wardrobe Wednesday - Haircut!

The Royal Dog was way overdue for a haircut. She's got that cottony soft type of hair/fur that mats easily. And yes, I should brush her everyday but . . . well, that didn't happen.

I was waiting for the temperatures to warm up a bit before going to this style, but I got a little impatient. So . . . I'm knitting her a sweater to help keep her warm. When I told Freckles, she laughed at me. Pthththth . . .

Check out the Billy Idol lip she's got going on.

I love her tail! So fancy. :-)

Now head on over to our Wardrobe Wednesday sponsor, Aliceson at Feet Off the Table, and see what all the cool kids are wearing.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Passover Celebration

What a lovely Passover celebration we had! It was rather non-traditional, but then, we aren't exactly traditional Jews, being atheist and all.

On Friday we had Freckles, with her two kids, and HerbiFaerie, with her two kids, over to share a special celebration. Celebrating and sharing our holidays with friends is a new tradition. I want to celebrate more of our holidays and it's just so much fun to share it with our closest friends.

Princess' Passover toys
I read the story of Passover while the kids colored . . .

. . . and then the kids made seder plates of their own. Unfortunately, I totally forgot to take any photos of the crafting extravaganza. 

On Saturday evening, my sister came over for our Passover dinner. It was not much of a seder (I hope to do that next year) but we did have some non-traditional, traditional foods.  We had grain-free gefilte fish with horseradish, charoset, celery dipped in salt water -- all symbolic foods. We couldn't eat matzah because it has gluten, but dinner was delicious and we talked about the meaning of the foods. 

The Four Questions
Our Seder Plate
I made chicken soup with natzah balls. (What else would you call not matzah?) I was surprised at how delicious they came out.
Chicken Soup with Natzah balls
I hope everyone had a beautiful Passover and Easter!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Garden Club

We are really getting into the gardening swing here in the royal garden. Saturday was an amazingly beautiful day. It was sunny and warm, something we haven't seen/felt in a long time. 

We spent the afternoon outside, moving dirt . . .

to create some more small beds . . .

and where there is dirt, there must be play. What better place than an empty garden bed!

The next day, the weather changed from a beautiful, sunny and 72ยบ  Saturday, to a chilly and rainy and less beautiful Sunday. Still we found some beauty at our local organic garden supply center. The coolest part is that this is located just down the street from us now!

We bought seeds, which Princess planted . . .

and starts.

For Princess' flower garden, she chose Fairy Meadow seeds, guaranteed to attract fairies!!!

We've still got more seeds/starts to buy and we're hoping for another beautiful gardening weekend in a few days. Now head on over to Aliceson's place at Feet Off the Table to see what's happening in gardens everywhere!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Project 2011 - Week 16

It's Thursday again! That means that it's time for a Project 2011 update. Thanks to our sponsor, Cate at Moments of Whimsey.

I haven't talked about my goals for a couple of weeks. Here they are in a nutshell.

  1. Learn to sew
  2. Learn to use my camera
  3. Do the Slow Burn workout weekly.
I finished Princess' nightgown, and I did learn a bit. I know that I have a lot more to learn and I'm working on it. I really need to get some fabric (and some time), because I have lots of ideas.

I started my photography class last Wednesday. I learned a lot about ISO, aperture, shutter speed and white balance. I also learned that my camera is an "advanced point and shoot" which limits the things I can do. I don't like that.

Last night was my second class. And I left feeling stupid. As the instructor stood in front of the class explaining something, I had a glazed look on my face. He was talking about forcing the camera "higher than +2" and "lower than -2" by holding the photo taking button (does that have a name?) down half way and adjusting the setting. I tried. I saw no change. 

I also felt rather lame with my homework assignment. We were supposed to choose a subject and take a photo of the same subject, using the different white balance settings. I went into the yard and took photos of random things - a weed, river rock, a broom. I wasn't even thinking of finding something "pretty" or artistic to photograph. I was just looking for the change in white balance. Guess what?! Everyone else had these beautiful photos and I've got the broom and the weed and the rocks.

As for working out, I injured my knee last Thursday, so no workout last week. I can walk now, so I'll go to the gym this weekend but I can't do any leg work. 

I'm in a pretty crappy place right now. And I don't like it. I need an attitude adjustment - stat.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wardrobe Wednesday - Nighty Night

I wasn't sure whether to make this a Wardrobe Wednesday or a Project 2011 post. Since my original WW plan didn't work out, and I've got other ideas for Project 2011, WW wins!

You all may remember that I am learning to sew this year. I think I may have started on a little more challenging of a project than I intended. Thanks to RasJane, who came over and walked me through the sewing steps, I was able to finish Princess' nightgown a couple of weeks ago. RasJane has been sewing since she was a child and really knows what she's doing. 

I believe my next projects will be much simpler . . . things like gift bags, aprons and pillows. Then maybe I'll move up to something just a little bit more challenging. I may also steer clear of the cheap patterns. It seems the more expensive ones are easier to follow. 

Still, all in all, I am very pleased with the nightgown results.

And Princess was more than happy to show off her modeling moves.

The bottom line . . . Princess loves her new nightgown and I made it long enough and big enough that it will fit her for at least a couple of years. 

Now head on over to our Wardrobe Wednesday sponsor, Aliceson, at Feet Off the Table to see what all the cool kids are wearing. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Guiding Indy

Princess had her second riding lesson on Saturday.

This week Princess took Indy's reins and began learning to guide (I call it steering, but that can't be right.) him in the direction she wanted to go. With plenty of battery life, I got it on video.

I think Princess is even more in love with Indy than before. She did not want the lesson to end . . . and sadly, the next lesson is two weeks away. I'm certain we'll be counting the days, hours and minutes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Garden Club

This weekend, the Lizard King attached the fencing around the garden beds.

And added a gate so that the humans can get in, but the dogs will stay out.

Head on over to our Garden Monday Club sponsor, Aliceson at Feet Off the Table.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Looking for a good book to read? I've got a great one! It's available in paperback and on the Kindle.
I laughed. I cried. I loved it!

This is the story of a strong, independent woman who thinks she's got it all figured out. And she does . . . until she meets the man who melts her heart. This is not what she had planned. And when she finds out that she's pregnant, her whole world falls apart.

Give it a read. You'll like it, too.

Oh . . . and it was written by my best friend. =)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Project 2011 - Week 15

Last Friday, Princess and I headed back out to Dream Acres . . . to make Princess' dream come true. (Corny, I know. I just couldn't resist.)

And Princess got to ride a horse for the first time. I think the hardest part was getting on the horse! Technically it's a pony. I got to learn what a pony is. It is a full grown horse that is less than 14 hands high. I really had no idea!

She started with being led, but toward the end of the lesson she was riding on her own. Of course, the batteries in my camera died and the backup batteries were dead, too! Grrr . . . Her instructor is so kind and patient. She is just perfect for Princess. I can't wait to see what happens at the next lesson! (And the batteries are all recharged.)

As for me, I'll save my update for next week.

Would you like to join in on Project 2011? Click the button on the left for details! Now head on over to Cate's, Moments of Whimsey, to see how everyone else is doing with their goals.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I have a love/hate relationship . . .

with boots.

I love the way they look and the style, but I haven't got skinny legs. And I've never, even at my adult thinnest size 6, been able to wear them. I hate that.

I walked into Famous Footwear last September and I don't know what made me try, but I did. I slipped them on, tucked in my jeans and went for the zipper. I pulled slowly, hopefully and it happened. The zipper went up! All the way up! Finally, someone designed a boot for me!

I was so ecstatic, I bought another pair in brown.

I hope these boots last forever, because I don't know that this will ever happen again!

Now head on over to our Wardrobe Wednesday sponsor, Aliceson at Feet Off the Table to see what all the cool kids are wearing.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Third time's a charm?

In the last 2 months, I have been honored with three blogger awards. While I am very grateful for these awards, I didn't post or pass them. I guess after three, maybe I should just suck it up. So, here I am, accepting three awards at once.

Back in February, I was given the Stylish Blogger Award from Phyllis at All Things Beautiful blog. Thank you, Phyllis!

In March, Sheri over at What's On the Menu, passed on the Incredibly Sweet Blog Award. Thank you my dear friend!

And today, Bernie at One Mixed Bag, passed along the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you, Bernie!

I really love that people like my blog. I know that I can be rather "alternative". It's good to know that even a freaky, radical-unschooling,  Jewish-atheist, Paleo eating woman can be accepted in the bloggy world. Who knew?!

Now let's see if I can follow the rules. Being a radical unschooler, I wouldn't count on it. ;-P

I'm supposed to share 7 random facts, 5 random facts and 7 random facts. That's a lot. Let's see how many I can come up with. I also think that 19 facts might be a bit much for you all to read. We'll see . . . you can always stop reading if you get bored.

  1. I am 46 years old and I have been married almost 9 years. It is my only marriage. It just took me a long time to find my soulmate. Of course, I'm number 3 for the Lizard King. See?! The third time is a charm!
  2. I was born in Philadelphia and lived in that area until I was 30. Then I moved to Oregon after falling in love with Portland on a weekend work visit. I met LK here in Portland at work. 
  3. We were married in Delray Beach, Florida. 
  4. Not long after we were married, the company we worked for was taken over in a hostile takeover. We both lost our jobs. We then decided to move to Georgia, just outside Atlanta, (long story) where we had Princess. We lived there for 2 years, but it wasn't for us and we missed Portland. We moved back here when Princess was 1.
  5. I had my nose done when I was 15.
  6. I don't miss anything about the Philadelphia area. It may sound strange, but breaking away from my life there was the best thing I've ever done. I was stuck. I'm no longer stuck. 
  7. When I met LK I told him that I didn't cook (after he saw my empty fridge). He took that to mean that I didn't know how. He was stunned when I started cooking after we moved to Georgia. I never said I couldn't cook!
  8. I'm 5' 3". 160 cm or 1.6 meters for you folks outside the U.S.
  9. Before meeting LK, I was in the process of donor insemination. I was determined to have a child. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I had a lot of infertility issues. 
  10. After LK and I had been trying for a while, the specialists told us my chances of getting pregnant were about 3% . . . 1% chance of the pregnancy being viable. 
  11. I've pretty much lost my Philly accent. 
  12. I have 2 sisters, 1 stepsister and a stepbrother.
  13. I have a stepson, daughter-in-law and granddaughter.
  14. My first car was an electric blue Sebring Satellite Plus. I loved that car.
  15. Being a mom to Princess is the best job in the world!
  16. I am head over heels in love with my husband.
  17. I believe in the Law of Attraction
  18. I want to bring more Jewish celebrations into our life . . . in a humanist/secular way. I'll try to post about them as we celebrate.
  19. I wish I was as organized as I used to be. I was awesome. Now, not so much. 
Hah! I did it! Now to pass on the awards. 

I think I'll choose my top three favorite blogs who have not received any of these awards. So, Phyllis, Sheri and Bernie are out of it. There are so many blogs that I love. Oh, and please choose which award you'd like. (See, I just can't follow the rules.) Here goes!

Denise at Mom in Madison

You ladies all rock!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Garden Club

There isn't much happening in our garden at the moment. More dirt has been moved and we've made a list of what we're going to grow. Planting will happen in about two weeks.

Yesterday, Princess wanted to do a craft. I suggested garden markers. We got started . . .

and decided that red cabbage really isn't red. We've got lots more to make, then we will laminate and attach them to craft sticks. I think these are about the coolest garden markers ever!

Now head on over to our Monday Garden Club sponsor, Aliceson at Feet Off the Table.