Sunday, March 29, 2009

Little Family

This is my first foray into "Fancy Collages" at Just shows how much a rank amateur can do.

You cannot see me, but I was in the picture on the right, somewhere below Pluto Boy's shoulder. He is more that a foot taller than I am, so I am still below his shoulder even in heels. I was squinty-eyed in my glasses, and forgot I had a BANDAID on my face. Cut me right outa there! I love cropping. Isn't it a great pic of Pluto Boy and his little Earthgirl? I am amazed to be blessed with such a delightful little family.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Daily Bible in Chronological Order

Around 1990, our Pastor encouraged our whole church (in the Atlanta area) to read through the Bible in a year, using the Daily Bible in Chronological Order. We ordered boxes of pink paperback Bibles, and at least a hundred of us embarked on the journey. More recent printings are no longer covered in pink (why'd they ever choose pink?).

This version of the Bible divides the scriptures into 365 daily readings in chronological order. So the Psalms originally penned by King David are interspersed throughout I and II Samuel. The prophetical books are mixed into the historical books so the prophesies are read in the context of when they were first given. The epistles, or letters, are inserted into Acts.

Reading the Bible in this manner continues to give me fresh perspectives on scripture. I often use this Bible for devotional reading, usually reading whatever is the segment for this date. This year, Earthgirl and I have been using this Bible for our Homeschool Bible-reading time. I recommend having a chronological version of the scriptures on your personal bookshelf. I am so thankful for that challenge two decades ago.

On a practical note, it is not a great idea to tote this version to church to use during services. Finding anything after about February 13, when Numbers and Deuteronomy start mixing it up, requires a time-consuming trip to the index.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Road to the Final Four

Pluto Boy and Earthgirl are following the NCAA basketball tournament. Each year since she was a first-grader, they have gotten copies of the brackets and filled out the winners. Just think how much more fun this would be if our Georgia Bulldogs were still in the running.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Update: More on Photography

"Photography" may be too fancy of a word for my efforts. What I do is picture-taking.

Heidi over at Mt. Hope Chronicles posted about photography today. She uses as well as other photo-editing programs. She calls herself an amateur, but what she does looks pro to me. Go over and pick up a few hints. As for me, I plan to stand on a chair and take pictures of a few children today.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

There She Goes!

One of the bonuses of living in central Florida is our proximity to Kennedy Space Center, and the ability to watch the Space Shuttles launch from our front yard. We usually watch the countdown and launch on TV, and then about 20 seconds after launch, run out and look east to see the glow come up into our view on the horizon. When we lived in the Orlando area, we could hear the rumble on a humid day if the wind was right. The rumble reached us well after the shuttle was out of sight (speed of sound vs. speed of light).

Today's Discovery launch was a late afternoon twilight launch; one of the prettiest I have seen in my 18 (!) years as a Central Floridian. From here I could clearly see the stages dropping off and continuing to glow, and could see the shuttle's taillight glowing, a pinprick in the eastern sky, 9 minutes after launch.

I did not take my camera, but wanted to include a bit of shuttle experience. These pics are from a fish camp on the Intercoastal waterway, north of the Space Center. This was April 2001, Earthgirl's first shuttle launch.

See the little shot of light straight over us?

And here is baby Earthgirl.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Going on a Picnik - a

In recent months I have been using to improve and sometimes play with my pictures. I have a little point-and-click camera that meets our needs for cost, size, and convenience, but I like to try to dress up the photos a little. There is a for-sale version of Picnik with extra features, but right now I enjoy using the free version.

Here are a couple of "before" pictures of a beautiful teen friend. (I share these with permission, but have hidden the faces of the other girls whose parents I did not contact). I zoomed in on her while taking a group picture of last Fall's American Girl Club. These pictures are some of the very first I ever touched with

I thought she looked so pretty and dreamy in these pictures. Then I uploaded them to and started playing with various effects, including Black & White, Vignettte, Orton-ish, Focal Zoom, Focal B&W, and probably a few I've forgotten. Here are the results:

I like the way Focal Zoom picks her out of the crowd.

This is my favorite.

Here is a picture of Earthgirl and Granddaddy with one of his antique tractors. As you can see, it's a little blurry, and other vehicles show in the background. But I loved this picture!

And here is the "after" version in 1960's. This effect does not work well for obviously modern pics, but here, the tractor, the denim, the styles all were there in the 1960's, so the effect works. (my opinion, but then I am not an artist...)

And this is my favorite "after." The vignette border minimizes the other vehicles, and the B&W with a little color added in gives a vintage look I just loved.

I want to use the effect called Pencil Sketch, but so far the have not had the right picture. Mon Cheri has a wonderful set of pictures, including my fave, the RAIN picture, that uses Pencil Sketch beautifully. Maybe I need to go to France to get the right picture.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

...But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him. Luke 15: 20b

Prairie Chick has a wonderful post today. Thanks to her, today I will be meditating on Jesus' story of the prodigal son, his father, and his brother.

In a more mundane consideration, Maytag has a recall on certain refrigerators. According to the list in this article, mine may be one of them. Thought I'd give my friends a chance to make sure they are not also affected.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Science Geeks, Jr.

Earthgirl and I were honored to be included in Science Geeks, Jr. What a great time we had, and Earthgirl learned so much about cells. Thanks, Science Geek!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

National Grammar Day

I just learned that today, March 4, is National Grammar Day.

I overuse commas, ellipses, and dashes. These errors I know about (along with prepositional sins), but wonder what else I miss that just makes my friends cringe. I don't quite wonder enough to ask. I cringe at the misuse of apostrophes, or as they are often misused, apostrophe's. What grammar errors bug you most? If it is one of mine, I'll try to watch it.

Jasper Fforde has written a series of alternate-history novels that feature time travel, literary allusions and illusions, grammasites, mispeling vyruses, and many other entertaining beasties. The books are so much fun that I lost a lot of sleep over them. I would have enjoyed them even more if I had a better knowledge of English literature. I have read all the Thursday Next series, but have not yet started the Nursery Crimes series. I laughed often while reading these, but wonder how much just - whoosh! - went over my head. (There: I just got credit for misuse of dash AND overuse of exclaimation point.)

Monday, March 2, 2009

I Wonder...

Why do I only get in the mood to spraypaint when it is below 50 degrees or raining?
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