Saturday, January 31, 2009

"99% Weed Free"



If you are a Texan, or in the general area, you are very familiar with our grass. It starts turning a sickly shade of brown right around November, and slowly returns to it's natural green sometime around...well honestly I don't know when it goes back to green. Not only does it turn colors, but it takes on a cactus like texture and crunch. Totally not inviting for the barefoot fan such as myself. So, in an attempt to perk up our lawn, we laid a bunch of grass seed down. It's important I mention that the bag proudly proclaimed it was "99% Weed Free".



One bag contains roughly 10,000 seeds. So, you do some math and find out that this amounts to about 100 weeds. I don't know about you, but 100 weeds is exactly 100 more than I would like to own.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

4/52 "Water"

Initially I had an idea for the water theme for week 3 of the 52 project, one that involved a big gorgeous lake nearby and a sunrise...BUT the weather has not been cooperating, and I do not own a winter coat. So. Here is it's replacement.



In case you are having trouble deciphering, this is the passenger side door of my truck this morning around 7:30. In fact, my entire vehicle was an icicle which made for creative entry. I grew up in the Midwest, and at one time was very familiar and educated on said events. However, I have been acclimatized and sadly, I lost all my winter survival skills. It's a good thing we don't have a long enough extension cord or I just may have dragged out my hair dryer.



I knew it wouldn't be long before it was completely melted, so I took advantage of the miniature skating rink I had in my front drive. Can you see the ice? Nearly busted my butt taking the trash out. Now it's nearing 50 and sunny. This weather is ridiculous.


*Yes, I know this is weak sauce compared to what some of you have been going through. Between Cheryl, Doreen and Dalia I think there has been like 178 1/4" of snow. Let me get my cold weather gripe in :) *

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Photoshoot!

I had such a blast today photographing my niece for her belated b'day. She is freakin' insanely gorgeous, enough to make you want to lock yourself in a closet insanely gorgeous. Her BFF came along and she just adds insult to injury. They are just beautiful. I'm still working on them, but have a few up on my photography blog. www.tyoungphotography.blogspot.com



P.S. CS3 and I are once again bonded and I am so in love with my 24-70mm I'm going to take it out to dinner tomorrow.

DUH

I just had a minor breakthrough with this migraine inducing program (CS3). As much as I'd like to curse the program and throw wet noodles at my monitor in anger, turns out it was just user error.

See the difference?






So what was I doing wrong you ask? Well, I was running the actions on a resized for web picture. Made for a hideous edit.

I have a photoshoot this afternoon with my gorgeous niece, can't wait!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Still Here



Just a quick shout out. I'm in the middle of devising a brilliant and genius plan that will allow me to both study my brains out and regain some resemblance of normalcy. Still working out the bugs.

Hope everyone has a fantastical weekend!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday Grumbles

A few of you asked if I was back in school, and the answer is "Ugh. Yes."

It saddens me that I have to tune out fun and useless information in an attempt to retain less exciting useful information. It was good to see my fellow school peeps today, and at one point there was a slight glimmer of interest for this semester...somewhere between the first break and lunch at Joe's Mexican Cafe. If there is one good thing I can take from the day it is the fact I will be observing an open heart surgery this semester and possibly other procedures. How cool is that?! It's been over 4 years since I've scrubbed in to an O.R. and I am STOKED.

I've come up with a new name for Punky Butt.





"The Faceless Wonder"

It seems to fit the bill lately.

*Sidenote* Are these too sharp on your monitor? I made the switch to CS3 and him and I are not getting along.



-My computer decided today it no longer wanted to read my flash card. It then went on to refuse that entire panel of hard drives. I'm shopping for flash card readers as we speak. How annoying is that?! I took some really fun pictures today too. Bummer.


-I'm realizing now that I was a wee bit over zealous while making my list for 2009. I've learned a few things the last couple of weeks:

~Homeless people make me fear for my health and well-being, and I have no desire to conversate with them. I know it's horrible, but it's just how I feel.

~With my schedule there is no way I can even muster up 2 hours of volunteer time a month. I will, however use my summer vacation to make up for it.

~"Salsa Cardio Mix" does not constitute for Salsa dancing.





I want to apologize in advance for being a mediocre blog friend the next 16 weeks. My schedule is going to be slightly chaotic. Bare with me :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

3/52 "Show us Your Town"

I realize my last post was a bit lengthy and I lost a few of you somewhere in the first paragraph. Those who stuck it out are now enjoying last nights winning lottery numbers.

Kidding.


I decided to get a jump start on this weeks 52 Theme, "Show us your town". Just some shots around the Capitol area.







I have roughly 8 million more downtown shots, but not quite that many minutes to work on them. These were at the very end of the series rendering them first up for editing. The others I'm sure will catch dust before I see them again.

Off to submerge myself in exciting nursing text.

Friday, January 16, 2009

2/52 "What Defines Me"

Well, I know I wasn't the only one struggling with this weeks photography theme. I'm not sure anyone can be defined in the contents of just one photograph. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's impossible.

I imagined if I were to die tomorrow, what would they say?

There would probably be mention of my passion with art. How I could spend hours with a paintbrush and that the smell of a fresh blank canvas was enough to make me numb with bliss.

That I had the ability to hear a song, and if given a few minutes in front of the piano could reproduce the very same melody...give or take a few notes. Or how I would play the guitar for hours on end until I was just sure my fingertips would spontaneously bleed or out-right fall off.

They would surely mention my new found obsession with photography, and how I no longer viewed the world through my own eyes but that of a viewfinder.

More then a few from the audience would recall how I loved to experiment with desserts and that I could whip up something tasty with shoe polish and pickles, if they were my only options.

Then the speaker would shift to things of greater importance. They would try, but surely come up short to find the words to describe the love I possessed for my daughter, only to do the same when it came to my husband. But as passionately as I loved, I was equally as stubborn. It would take an armada of persuasion to convince me to believe otherwise. And even then, your chances were slim.


I'm not anticipating an untimely death, nor am I anxiously awaiting a eulogy. Quite possibly you are wondering where on Earth I'm going with this. My point is, I can't narrow down what defines me into one photograph. So I decided to go a different direction with this theme. I focused more on a defining moment. A time in my life when everything just kinda came together. When it all started to make sense.



I joined the Army when I was 17. More specifically, 4 days after my 17th birthday. I wanted a challenge, and a challenge I got. I was stripped of my identity, then built back up. I was pushed harder than I had ever been pushed before. I learned to look defeat in the eye and not falter, but dig a little bit deeper and endure.

And that was just during my 3 months in Boot Camp.


I loved the challenge so much I went on Active duty from 2002-2005. My job title was 91W, a Combat Medic. Most of my time was spent in the Emergency Department. In total, I dedicated 6 years of my life to the military. And in that time I learned many, MANY things.

1) We are NOT invincible. No matter how much we would like to think we are.

2) Life can not be gauged by fairness. No matter how unfair it is, all the CPR and defibrillators in the world can't bring back the life of a 3 month old who was left to drowned in a bathtub, or a 5 year old girl whose parents tried to fake her death by hanging her with the cord from a window blind.

3) You don't have to back-stab and step on people to get to where you want to be, despite the growing trend. Sometimes a little good ole fashion determination does the trick.

4) Age is just a number. Don't EVER feel restricted by it.

5) If you don't ask, the answer is always no. And sometimes you need to ask more than a few times.

6) Don't EVER let somebody tell you that you have limits.

"The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough."
- Randy Pausch


7) Sometimes people are put in our lives for a reason. Whether you believe it by chance or by fate, accept that this is so. Learn from them. Grow from them. Appreciate them.


I could go on and on about my times in the Army and what I took from it, but I won't. In fact, if you've made it this far I'm impressed. I'm not a fan of lengthy writing, even I get bored.

If anything, I'm doing this for myself. I think we all lose sight of who we are from time to time. Nothing wrong with a little reflection.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And a Bonus

I have been tagged in another blog, and am now obligated to fill out this survey or angry men on pogo sticks will come and kidnap me in my sleep.



1. What is your favorite thing to do on a snow day? HA Snow? I've heard of it.
2. What color are your socks right now? No socks, wearing my sock monkey slippers
3. What are you listening to right now? The Killers "When you were young"
4. What was the last thing that you ate? A handful of teddy grahams
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes, but don't make me stop on a hill
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My Momma
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Is she watching? LOL kidding. Yes, she's sweet :)
9. How old are you today? Half-way to 50
10. Favorite drink? Currently Diet Coke Plus
11. What is your favorite sport? To watch? FOOTBALL all the way
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? Practically every month
13. Pets? 2 Wieners


14. Favorite food? Hmmmmm tough. Something cheesy
15. Last movie you watched? Dark Knight
16. Favorite day of the year? Any day I have the chance to see family
17. What do you do to vent your anger? Work out...or eat.
18. What was your favorite toy as a child? Probably Legos
19. What is your favorite, summer, fall, winter or spring? Fall, definately fall

20. In what outfit do you feel the most like yourself? long john shirt with a random t-shirt over it, my fav jeans and my grubby bus boy cap

21. Cherry or Blueberry? No thanks. I'll take a strawberry though
22. Kittens or Puppies? Puppies
23. Choir, Band, or other? Band
24. Facebook or Myspace? I'm starting to lean more towards facebook
25. Sleeping arrangements? Somewhere sandwhiched between hubby and my two dogs
26. Where you'd most like to visit? Somewhere exotic and warm
28. Favorite Youtube video? Hmmmm, been watching Sideways by Citizen Cope a lot lately
29. Favorite smell? LEMON WET NAPS
30. Least favorite sound? Styrofoam EWWWWWWWW
31. What inspires you? My daughter

32. What are your irrational fears? Planes falling out of the sky
33. Regular hamburger, cheese or spicy hamburger? Cheese Please
34. Favorite class ever? Hands down Microbiology
35. Number of keys on your key ring? 3
36. Favorite type of shoe? flops
37. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
38. What do you hate? Hates a pretty strong word
39. Do you like your handwriting? NO
40. What is your favorite lunch meat? Fried turkey
41. Do you have kids? Yeppers
42 If you were another person would you be friends with you? We would probably butt heads a lot
43. Do you use sarcasm a lot? oh yeah
44. Do you still have your tonsils? Had them suckers taken out a long time ago
45. Would you bungee jump? definately
46. What is your favorite cereal? Lucky Charms
47. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? nope
48. Do you think you are strong? Heck ya, look out!
49. What is your favorite ice cream? Oatmeal Cookie by B&J

50. What is the first thing you notice about people? Eyes
51. Red or pink? Red52. What is your least favorite thing about you? Sure wish my heart would behave more
53. What color pants and shoes are you wearing? Sock monkeys and grey sweats
55. Do you exercise? yes

57. Eye color? Honey
56. Do you wear contacts? nope
59. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy Endings
60. Favorite interjection? oh my?
61. Favorite dessert? Frosting. From a tub. On a spoon.

62. What book are you reading now? Soon it will be something nursing related
63. What is on your mouse pad? I hate mouse pads they are restrictive
64. What did you watch on TV last night? Can't say I watched any tv yesterday
65. Why did you complete this survey? oh what the heck

Once Upon a Time...

There lived a 2 year old girl who loved and adored getting her picture taken. Everytime a camera came out, she would do her best to strike a pose and be center stage. Ahhhhh the pictures her Mom would take with such cooperation.


NOT.


None of that is goin' on in this here household. I bought girly a Valentine's outfit in hopes of getting a few shots. I haven't even attempted to take a picture of her for almost 3 weeks, thinking this would give her a cooling off period. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Thanks to Daddy, who kept her somewhat entertained for all of 2 minutes and 13 seconds. These were purely for memories, just thought I would share.

I realize now this was her telling me I had one shot to get a decent shot in before the shenanigans began:









For anyone who is curious...these were taken with my speedlite at like...1/4 of a second SS. There was no ambient light and as a result horrible motion blur.

I haven't tried out my new lens yet. I am hoping to do a photoshoot with my niece this weekend and get acquainted with it.

And to Becky...No I haven't tried out CS3 yet. Thanks to you I have nightmares of CS3 armies taunting me with pitchforks and hockey sticks. 14 days until my trial PSP2 program expires...I think that sounds like a good day to learn.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Say Hello to my Little Friend




More like, my Hefty Awkward Monster! Geez, this thing is going to help me tone up my arms that's for sure. I feel like I'm insulting her when I attach it to my crusty Rebel. Poor thing needs some TLC from the nice folks at Canon. Something about sea spray and grubby munchkin hands on the sensor. It looks like somebody sneezed in there.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A New Pastime

As if I needed another one right now. I start school in 6 days and I'm totally in crunch time to prepare...and I find something totally non-nursing related to become obsessed with.


This is my first attempt with photomanipulation:



I never even knew something like this was possible. I just happened to stumble upon a website, which lead to another, which lead to a blog, which lead to a tutorial...and on and on and on. I'm not even sure where I ended up, I just know this whole concept really fascinates me.




Somebody PLEASE stop me before I self-destruct.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Payback



And by payback, I mean what's going to be inflicted upon me after my husband realizes I posted this. That dashing young man in the white suit is my Prince Charming on his prom night.


Let us pause in appreciation of the advances in both fashion and hairstyle.
.
.
.
Wow




Linda & Larry, (hubbies parents) I'm sure you are looking at this in fond admiration of your sweet boy and his lovely locks. I posted this for you. I know you are proud beyond words for all 4 of the boys you raised, but I'd like to extend my thanks to you for one in particular.







I couldn't be happier that he chose me to share his life with, and as a bonus receive a wonderful second family. A Mother in law who can keep up with my relentless gabbing on the phone and a Father in law who harrasses me to no end. (Yes, I'm taking my medicine thank you.) :)



I am truly blessed.

Friday, January 9, 2009

82

Degrees that is. It was a gorgeous day.



Those of you who just battled an ice storm, my apologies. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

International Dish #1

Taste of the Carribean



I give this one a 2.5 out of 5. The sweetness of the pineapple went really nice with the spice of the pepper, but I wish there was more bulk to the relish. Maybe a glaze of some sorts? Still, it was a nice light zingy dish. We got to use the bottle of Rum that we purchased in Jamaica, so that made for a nice flashback.

Speaking of flashback...Lets dig up some 6 month prego Jamaica vacation pics...





Sunscreen anyone?

Okay, flashback over. Back to the recipe.

Pork Loin Chops with Pineapple and Serrano Pepper Relish

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh serrano chile, including seeds
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 (1-inch-thick) boneless pork loin chops
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dark rum

Preparation:
Toss together pineapple, onion, chile, thyme, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Grind coriander seeds in an electric coffee/spice grinder (or crush with flat side of a knife). Pat pork dry; sprinkle all over with coriander, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté pork, turning once, until well browned and just cooked through but still juicy, 6 to 10 minutes.

Transfer pork to plates. Add pineapple mixture and rum to skillet and sauté, scraping up brown bits, 1 minute. Serve pork with relish.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Congrats to...



Kristie! You are the winner!



Out of 23 entrants, #4 was chosen by the random number generator. I sooooo wish I had the means to send goodies out to all my blog friends, thank you to those who participated. I'll be in touch with you Kristie :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Leslie, the Infamous Austin Cross-Dresser

If you are from around here, you know what I'm talking about. For those of you who don't, there's even a Wikipedia page for you to get your edu-ma-cation on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Cochran

I ventured downtown today in hopes of getting some decent city shots. Not only did I get some shots, I had the opportunity to meet Leslie and exchange some fashion tips.



It's may have been too cold for a leopard thong and heels, but he still made it a point to show off his best asset.



If anyone is interested in seeing some of my shots from a local Cigar shop, follow this link:

http://piecesofaustin.blogspot.com/

In other news...lurkers still lurking, this is your last opportunity to enter the give-away! Winner will be announced tomorrow!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Terri Meets Texture

I've been totally texture happy the last couple of days. It started with a nagging boredom of paintshop which rapidly progressed to being able to process a pic without putting forth any effort or thought. So I decided to mix it up a bit.

Yesterday I set out on a little adventure to a historical area in town. My goal was to find different objects around town and capture them in different ways. I played with aperature. I worked different angles. I laid in and played in puddles. I had a fantastical time.

Here are just a couple of the images. The rest will be posted on my photography blog.



Friday, January 2, 2009

1/52 Off the Beaten Path



Thanks to an awesome chick who goes by the name of Ashley, I've been invited to take part in a 52 week photography project. Along with several other partners in crime whom I've grown to know and love over the past 3 years, I will be refering to a list of 52 themes for my inspiration. If anyone wants to join in on the journey, you can find the list of themes in my blog role entitled "Chat This Picture of the Week."

This weeks theme was "Free For All"

I was driving home today and saw what I thought was a fire hydrant in the middle of an enormous field. I figured I was seeing things and kept driving. I made it about a block or two before my curiousity demanded that I turn around.

It was a nice little hike and I thought at least a dozen times I was going to encounter some sort of critter who would eagerly gnaw off my flip-flopped feet.

Sure enough, in the middle of this field there was a fire hydrant. Not sure what it's there for and I really don't care, it was placed in an imperfectly perfect spot.
It looks waaaaaaaaay cooler over on my photography blog, seen in it's entirety if ya wanna take a gander:

www.tyoungphotography.blogspot.com

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My List For 2009



*disclaimer* not my image :)

So I've never been one to make resolutions. Directly translated, resolution is to make a firm determination. I am not one to be firmly determined about anything, therefore I set goals. I've done this for a few years now, in an attempt to become a more well-rounded versatile human being. It took me a while to compile this years list. I had to be careful. Factoring in school and my job as Mommy and Wife, I'm stretched pretty darn thin as it is. That being said I still wanted to challenge myself, be realistic and above all have fun!


I present to you, my list.


1) Learn how to tie 20 different knots, and know what situations call for which knots

2) Learn how to shoot a bow and arrow

3) Volunteer 2 hours of my time every month to a different organization

4) Learn how to dance the salsa

5) Take a course in American Sign Language

6) Learn the story of 5 homeless people in an attempt to not be so disgusted everytime I encounter one

7) Read a different magazine every month, front to back...one that I would typically never think to pick up

8) Attend a photography course

9) Learn a new word every day, and how to properly use it in a sentence. (Made easy thanks to dictionary.com)

wanderlust \WON-der-luhst\, noun:
a strong desire to wander or travel


10) Learn to juggle 3 balls

11) Learn how to make 10 International food dishes

12) Learn 10 things involving vehicle or home repair

And a bonus for the hubby...take some golf lessons and buy a set of clubs :)