Friday, September 30, 2005

MY LATEST PAINTING

SCANNING, SCANNING 601, 602, 603...

I've scanned over 600 photographs in the past 2 days. Now before you might think this is a valiant effort I am making to preserve our huge picture collection, think again! I am actually doing this for a friend! I've convinced her to take her scads and scads and scads of pictures and have me scan them and upload them into a nifty little machine that I pointed her towards. Its called a Personal Media Center, and its put out by Creative. Go have a peek if you wish. Just hop over to www.cnet.com and type in Creative Zen and look around. You will see it there, and if you click on it you can actually have a person show it to you in a video review. How cool is that?

I'm expecting the PMC to arrive this week, can't wait to play with it, even if its not my own. My friend will be taking it with her on her extended vacation to Hawaii (while we all freeze in our socks!) and then Italy, her homeland. How it makes my heart smile to know that because of my efforts she will be able to share her life's photos with her Italian relatives on her new little toy.

Sigh!Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 26, 2005

WORKING OUT ..... OF HOME ..... WORKING OUT?

I've started going to the gym with my husband. I'm eating my words of earlier on in my blog, that I avoided the gym. First off, I broke the handle on the eliptical trainer, then, I sheared off an entire spike that was an essential part of the mechanism....and with a great clang I found myself stalled. So I gave in and went to the gym. And I actually enjoyed it. Could be the nice little mp3 player Miles bought me for my birthday... Anyways, I have been really into sit-ups lately. I built up over a few weeks before Miles got to do some with me. He was blown away, I could do 120! But I have to share this, when he does his, he tucks his feet underneath the loveseat at home, and I sit on it so it does not move. Now as soon as he gets going, I burst into laughter. I don't know why, and I seem unable to control it. And the harder I try to control it the harder it is. Of course it makes him laugh and well, have you ever attempted a sit up while laughing? Since then, we've had to do our sit ups at the gym. Must be the atmosphere there..we get right serious. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

BIRTHDAY BLAB

Another birthday.

Most people I know groan when they talk about getting on in age. There seems to be this negative aura about it all. Oh, I know, its not good that our bodies and minds are slowly wasting, that we are not physically able as we once were, but there is something good about ageing. Like fruit, I believe that we develop some unique qualities. Some of these qualities are wisdom, hindsight, patience and confidence. It could be compared to having breakfast or supper. At breakfast it matters how it goes - its the start of your day...what happens then can affect your entire day. At supper, you've had your day - good or bad, now you can relax, learn from what happened.

Miles spoiled me rotten. Ice Cream Cake and de-alcoholized champagne for breakfast, and on over the entire weekend. Dinners - dinners out at our (was...) chinese restaurant. (it somehow has now developed a definate 'feedlot' atmosphere, and dinners in (steak, prawns, chocolate mousse cake - no expense spared). The dinners in lovingly prepared at his own hands while not allowing me to rise from my princess seat.

Gifts. Dear me, there were the gifts. A snappy little MP3 player, headphones and two CD's I had been drooling over. I made short work of the headphones by snipping through the cord in two places while trying to un-encase them from the plastic tomb they come packaged in. Why do they put industrial strength plastic on them? Godzilla could not crush them.

And if this were not enough to recieve, there was the two nights at a cozy cabin, 'away from it all' Just me, my stunningly handsome and talented husband, a fireplace. But I've already said too much....

I can't wait to see what birthday # 48 will bring.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

CRITICISM/CRITIQUE

The sermon at our church this morning was called "The Test" and its essense was knowing if you know if you would pass a test that would convict you to be a Christian. What it all boiled down to is that if you are Christian it would be very visible in the way that you "love your brother". Not like, LOVE. Lets just say at this time we can all use some polishing...

While I listened the words 'critique' and 'criticism' began to work in my thoughts. I made a list of my own thoughts on the two words and here is what I came up with:

CRITIQUE:
is asked for
is our honest opinion
suggests
is given to help someone
is two sided (you consider the other persons feelings)
causes us to examine ourselves in evaluation
is given in love

CRITICISM
is given without being asked for
is our personal opinion
is not backed up with evidence
is one-sided
nit picks
is given without love

Websters dictionary claims the words have about the same meaning, though it too says that criticism is the act of critique USUALLY UNFAFORABLY.

Use the power of your toungue and the (asked for) blessing of your opinion to honestly help, not hinder your brother or sister.

Amen Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 10, 2005

SHUTTING KATRINA OFF

I can "shut Katrina off"

It has been almost two weeks since this catastrophe overwhelmed New Orleans. With avid fascination we watched as the storm was predicted and we, along with the rest of the world, tracked its progress toward the Florida Coast. As we don't have extreme weather where we live, we are fascinated by this phenonmenon.

Even after the storm hit, and passed, in that first day after, I don't believe anyone really had a clear picture of what damage Katrina would ultimately leave in her wake. Like a poorly filmed disaster movie, Katrina fulfilled tragic scenarios on fronts that even talented authors could not come up with. Besides all of the physical destruction, the human element was what really set this incident apart. We've become so sheltered in our affluent society that when people began to crack under the emotional stress created in the wake of this disaster, we had to all face the 'what if' question for ourselves. I don't think anyone would have believed the way people took advantage of this crisis to justify bad behaviour. But desperation does weird things to normal people.

Equally disheartening is the blaming and finger pointing. Yes, there should have been better preperations provided for these people, but I cannot believe that ANYONE knowingly ignored the
seriousness of what could happen...but does anyone ever look at one of those sensational movies and think "what if that happened to us?" Because thats what Katrina played out like in the end. If you saw that in a movie, you would think that "thats just a movie, can't happen in real life!" And besides, thats the past now, its time we all moved on to what to do so that this does not happen again in the future.

Katrina has given me the gift to treasure each moment more closely. None of us can know what could befall us tomorrow.

For all the awfulness that Katrina imposed in our lives, she also left a gift. Watching people from all over the world pour out their generosity to the victims has touched me so deeply. Individuals from small children selling lemonade, to entire countries (some even enemies of the US) giving of themselves. How can that not move one's heart? I think we all have to acknowledge that no one is an island, and if something were to befall us that our global community is there to support us.

Another uplifting thought is seeing some of the poor, because there were a lot of people who lived below the poverty line in the affected area, now have a chance at a better life, through relocation.

Now, just under two weeks after Katrina, I can 'turn her off'. I've steeled myself to follow all of the news and interviews and radio shows for the past few weeks. I am emotionally broken to the vicitims. And while I don't want to 'turn Katrina off' I know at this point I need to, to digest and process it all and pray. And while I can do this, many cannot, because their lives are touched directly by Katrina, their lives have been altered and reshaped by her. I pray for you all, that you might rise from this event and become renewed. None of us will ever forget. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

IF THIS IS A BLESSING, WHY AM I BITING MY NAILS?

My Sister got married this summer.

Unfortunately Miles and I could not be there to celebrate with her, but I truly feel like I have the next best thing. She has granted me the blessing of putting a wedding album together. In case you didn't read in my profile, I live to scrap these days. No, I don't mean that Miles and I fight all the time, what I mean is that I 'do' scrapbooking, digital scrapbooking.

I have to admit I'm very nervous about making her wedding album, its so personal! I'm scared it won't be good enough! But on the other hand, I am so honoured. Lucky for me, she is very photogenic and took some great pics to start with.

Look for more in the future!

Posted by Picasa

OUR SISTER'S WEDDING


My Sister's Wedding Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The 'Left Wing' elipitcal machine

I broke my eliptical excersize machine yesterday. Never mind that I did'nt relish getting on the thing in the first place. I procrastinated all day, and only by dangling a virtual carrot in my mind that I would watch Oprah, did I talk myself into a commitment. Of course Oprah was a repeat. Of course it was one of those shallow ones where she entertains famous people.... I really prefer her shows that have some meat to them...the ones where she gives people stuff or actually talks about stuff that we can identify with. When she wants to she can really pull together a show that captivates and informs. I suppose she has to hob-nob a bit tho....

So back to the point of my story...I'm watching Oprah, doing my gerbil-like gyrations on the machine, when the right side handle of the machine begins to bend. When it should return to an upright position, it simply stays in my hand. What a neat little trick for Satan to pull on me! For two cents I would have given up right then and there except I've promised my dearest husband I will try for a 'washboard' tummy for him. To top it off, when he walks in the door, from the gym where he does is own personal torture, he encourages me to quit if I feel so led and he will take me for a walk later. Talk about temptation. But, remember, Oprah is featuring those stick-figure stars....and it actually serves to make me more determined than ever to reach my goal.

Oprah, those last 25 sit-ups were both to spite you and to prepare me in case I get famous and come on your show with Miles...and by the way, don't bother to ask me unless Miles comes too, we are a set!

I MISS MY HUNNY! (ahem, I mean Mr. Derksen)

Today is my first day without Miles. Its his first official day of school. Even though I new this day was arriving, I knew all along that part of my mind was just ignoring that little fact as a protection for my heart. I know this sounds corny to some but he truly is part of me. I find myself turning to talk to him or reaching for the phone, only to come to the painful realization that its not possible in the coming months. Being on my own makes me realize how much I take for granted that we enjoy the luxury of being together so much of the time. I also realize that any experiences treasured, are so because of sharing them with my mate and best friend. After two months of vacation from work, I'm now having to restructure my days so that I will make the most of the scraps of time we will have together. I'm truly lost at this moment...and so I'm making appointments with friends to fill the time up. I'm not ashamed to admit, but I'm like a little kid waiting for Christmas, this waiting for my dearest. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Teaching Experience

I taught my first watercolor workshop recently. I was so nervous for the entire week before. Its a wonder Miles didn't check into a hotel for the duration. lol. I eventually came up with a painting for my 'students' which would demonstrate various techniques, gathered all the supplies and of course Miles created my handouts. I needn't have worried, the workshop went off without a hitch. Both ladies made wonderful paintings, in their own distinct style. Anybody else for a workshop??
? Posted by Picasa

i THINK my student looks interested.....


Teaching my first watercolour workshop Posted by Picasa

Slippering Around at Steamboat Rock


So, this is me at Steamboat Rock a few falls ago. Miles took this picture as I was headed to the washroom, in my bunny slippers.
Those poor bunnies...I wore them right out eventually, blasted the bottoms. Once we were camping at another place and there was a gopher there who kept popping is sweet little head up to check us out. I took one of my bunny slippers and placed it by his hole and it kept little gopher busy for hours getting irate at the slipper. lol

Day One of My Blog!

Since this is the very first time I've blogged....I'm not sure exactly what to share. Actually, as we speak, my dear husband is frantically starting his blog, right beside me. Yes, its kind of a race. I've thought about blogging for a while now, but nothing has given me that final nudge. See, my sweet husband is light years ahead of me in all realms of computer 'stuff', but I'm up to the challenge. I'm sure the concept of this blog will flesh out to be what useful tool it is capable to be by the time that I really get the drift of how this all works. In the meantime, do bear with me while i post pics and words that really may not have too much to do with each other.

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