Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Coloring Page

This one I had fun with. I took a picture of our Christmas tree last night, then made it into a coloring page, then made it Sepia, and finally gave it a spotlight effect.
The photo editing software that came with the camera is very limited, although it has been fun to mess around with it so far.
I have started looking at reviews of photo editing software and so far it sounds like Adobe Photshop Elements is the way to go for the amateur, Adobe Photoshop CS2 for the professionals (VERY BIG price difference between the two.)
I mihght try this one out in the meantime, it's Freeware. It's called Irfanview. And there is another one called GIMP. And then there is Picasa, which I have used before and it doesn't have any more features than the software from Kodak. I think I may try the GIMP, as it seems like the only one that can do other things I can't do already.

Some Other Pictures (playing with my new toy)

Pictures of Isabel
Cropped, B&W, & background shadowing

Background Shadowing & Cartoon Effect

Cropped, background shadowing, portrait coloring

Monday, December 25, 2006

A New Bed for Larry

We got some new towels for Christmas and they were in this box and Larry decided to make it his home for the entire day. I think he went in there are 9am and didn't leave (not that we saw) until 7pm.
Silly cat.

New Stuff in the Area

Monte's Steakhouse is opening in April 2007. This looks like it should be a pretty upscale restaurant, which we are lacking here. They will have valet parking too. It will be nice to have something more upscale in the area and not have to drive to the Cities for that.

Also, Cashwise grocery store now delivers. It costs $7 to deliver to our area. It's not like the grocery delivery service we had in the Cities where we had to have a contract and you ordered delivery on a schedule. For Cashwise you could order groceries once or on a regular basis. Plus, I could place an order tonight and get it tomorrow, or even place it tomorrow and still get it tomorrow if their are slots available.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas at the In-Laws

Well, today was Christmas at my in-laws. I receieved some nice gifts that included a new purse & wallet, a tea box (a wooden box with compartments that you put different tea bags in), a bracelet my MIL made with beads in the colors of all three of our birthstones (mine, Andy's, & Isabel's) - looks pretty, a necklace, some earrings from Spain (you can obviosuly figure out who those are from) and some bath salts.

Plus, we opened out Christmas pajamas (something we started as our own family tradition) and Andy picked out a nice set for me. Funny thing though - the bottoms he picked out for me are men's (which is totally fine) but they are the same bottoms I bought for him. I had opened mine before him and when I saw them I said, "Didn't I buy you those?" thinking I had bought for him previously and he already had them, not that they were sitting there for him to open. Total brain fart moment.

We do appetizers after gift opening with them. There was lots of meats and sweets, not that I'm complaining - I'm just saying.

Tomorrow is Christmas for the three of us and sharing gifts we bought for each other (& the cats & dog, they each get a new toy too!) Then Christmas Day is presents from Santa and he fills each of our stockings and just Isabel gets a big present and we also get a family present from Santa too.

What an Insurance Agent....

Here's the story.....

Last late fall, Andy & I were having dinner at a friends house and for dessert they served this White Chocolate Cheesecake that they bought at a cake auction that was made by our insurance agent. Well, over the last year I meant to call him and ask for the recipe, as it was awesome (he made it!) But I kept forgetting. But finally I had a reason to call - we sold the truck and needed to take insurance off it it. So, I asked him for the recipe and he said he would do one better and make one for me. So, last night he arrived with a huge Christmas tin with this amazing white chocolate cheesecake inside it. I am going to get so fat this week!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mentally Ill Peanuts

Andy says I have ruined A Charlie Brown Christmas for him because as we watched it the other day I was diagnosing all of the characters. I thought he had heard that Chares Schultz had based his characters on the mentally ill and trying to help reduce the stigmatism of mental illness.

This person blogged about it as well.

Read his post – it’s very interesting. But I think I have some other comments to add……

Snoopy who thinks he’s a WWII Fighter Pilot – if that isn’t delusional…..
Charlie Brown, who continually plays the victim
The Red-haired girl, ok, you might think she seems normal, but she’s the one hiding her issues, she the perfect one that Charlie wants to date, but I suspect she could be suffering silently from an eating disorder
Then there is Linus who is obviously stuck in the oral stage….
And Peppermint Patty is definitely going to struggle as she comes to term with her homosexuality that she has been covering up with her obsession with Charlie Brown
And then there is poor Marcy who lusts after Peppermint Patty and follows after her like a little puppy dog, she has to struggle with feelings of rejection or her own hiding of her sexuality. Now, I have to say that I am not referring to homosexuality as a mental illness, but I am talking about the depression and anxiety that may go along with hiding their sexuality or coming out to others.
Lucy – now, there is a controlling loud girl. I fear as an adult she could be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. If Lucy doesn’t get the attention she wants she gets very upset and appears to feel abandoned by others.
Let’s see….who else?
Sherman – the musician – I fear his lack of social skills are going to increase his anxities and he may distance himself further from his peers and soon become afraid to go out in public and just stay in play his piano.
Pig-Pen – just his name alone is probably going to cause some self-esteem issues, as well as feeling bad about never being able to get himself clean. I wonder if there are some neglect issues in the home, which will later catch up with him.

Here’s a whole list of the Peanuts Characters and their debuts.

Lorenzo's Oil

So, I watched this movie for the first time in college, and then I showed clips of it when I taught a course in Developmental Psychology at the local community college. Now, this time I just used it as Cinematherapy for my kids at work. I was wondering what happened to Lorenzo and could not find anything in the last 2 ½ years, which leads me to believe that he is still living and is still in the same condition. Because if he died, it would probably make the news and be on the internet and if he made any additional progress we would have heard about that as well. It’s a heart wrenching movie. I guess dad is still researching for a cure, but mom passed away quite a while ago from lung cancer.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Saturday, December 09, 2006

My New Baby

Ok - I have to ask -- was my house ever REALLY clean before this fabulous, fabulous vacuum cleaner. It is a Dyson DC07 Animal. It is meant for households with animals because getting up animal hair can be very hard. And this thing is amazing, although it should be for the price of it. I just love it. It is scary how much dirt & hair it has picked up -- scary we've been living with it thinking our house was kinda clean. But those "other" vacuums never really got into the carpet and sucked everything up. It works great everywhere. And the hose is long enough that you can go all the way up our staurs with it and not have to carry the machine with you. Truly amazing.

As for that shower cleaner I bought, it does a good job with water spots, but not such a good job with soap scum & mildew. I am glad I didn't spend a lot of money on it since I had a coupon & got a Target giftcard for purchasing it. I will still use it because it is getting rid of the waterspots on my clear shower curtain. It does get all around the shower and covers nicely anything level with or below the machine.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Tree is Up!

Woohoo! We got the tree up. We can't wait to show Isabel. She is going to love the lights and the sparkle.

We did it differently this years than most.

This year we put up gold beads rather than garland. And instead of all my homemade & glass ornaments we put up non-breakable ornaments in clear, white, & gold.

When I make my new ornament for this year I will use the same colors.

The lights consist of 3 strands: 1 gold, 1 red, 1 multi-color.

The angel & tree skirt are the same I always use.

Got a lot of present wrapped already. I have a few more to wrap and Andy has his to wrap as well.

And the Stocking Were Hung by the Chimney With Care

This is all 5 stocking. The far one on the L is on a snowman holder and it the dog's. The 3 in the middle are on the letters for JOY and are (from LtoR) mine, Andy's (go figure!), and Isabel. The 2 on the far R are for the cats.

Close up of our handmade stockings. They don't match and that's ok. Things don't have to all match. I have the biggest one!

This is Isabels' stocking. I made it. Had to refresh my sewing skills and make it whenever I had time. I had to go back & forth between machine stitching and hand stitching depending upon the steps. I just finished it today.I am pretty happy I go it done and proud of myself. I think it's a good looking stocking. It certainly would have been easier to purchase one, but then it would not have been as special.

Now I just need to make a new ornament this year. I like to make an ornament easch year for the tree and this year I will make one for Isabel.