Thursday, July 19, 2007

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I've a lot of news stored up to share with you! Hopefully I can organize myself and not overwhelm everyone. I think I will start at the beginning - isn't that the logical answer?

Firstly, my knee is still not 100 percent healed. This is due to my inability to remain still for any amount of time. I know that I'm supposed to be following the r.i.c.e. rule - rest, ice, compression and elevation... I'm not doing very well on much of any parts. Thank goodness its not anything serious or Miles would have to tie me into the chair (with my leg up, of course!) But now, things have become complicated by a fierce crick in my back. I don't know what caused this either - and I don't know how to fix it. I'm not complaining - rather, it sure makes me appreciate folks who have things like arthritis who have to live with pain and stiffness daily. I've more empathy for them. I accept there's a purpose in my affliction, God has a purpose for me experiencing this.

"The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?"

John 18:11

Now, the next thing I would like to share with you is some great summer reads. I am a book-a-holic, often having something like 40 out from our local library at a time. This includes many back-issues of magazines which I peruse and glean tips for you. I love art books and recipe books and decorating books. I love audio books and videos. I'd be perfectly content to find myself locked in the library over a weekend. I don't read every book I take out, I'm pretty discerning what keeps my eyes 'pure'. Its too lengthly a process to skim every book right at the library, so often if I don't see any questionable content on the first glance through then I take a chance and bring the books home. Later, if I get even a few pages in and there's anything unsavoury then the book simply gets turfed off to the side. And, to be honest, some books wind up as a big stack of doorstop simply because I lack the time to read them. I can still wish, can't I?

Ok, so with reading so much, it takes a pretty great read to keep my attention. I was told by some artist friends, that when someone submits a slide of their painting to be juried (professionally) that the jurors look at the slide for an average of something like 5 seconds each - so your painting better be eye-catching or it won't even make it into the beginning choices. So it is for me and a 'good' read. A good read has to grab me in the first chapter and pull me along with a strong storyline and characters with real character. I have to be able to identify with their lives - so much so that the words disappear and at the end I feel richer for having known them. A good book is never finished for me, it merely makes me thirst for more. Even better when there's a series. Another measure of a good book, would be if I actually recommend one to you!

Dreaming in Black & White

by Laura Jensen Walker

And this is what I'm doing - recommending some books. I have to admit the first thing that attracted me to these books were their covers. Something about the funky, edgy and fun graphics on the cover hinted at some entertainment within. A brief glance over the storyline, and also noticing the publisher was one who publishes Christian books, I popped them in my big yellow recyclable book bag. A few days later, I cracked the first book open - Laura Jensen Walker's Dreaming in Black & White. Well... had I known how good this book was, I would have set an entire day aside to inhale it! Unquestionably a Chick-Read, here's Laura's description:

"Not your typical size two chick-lit heroine, Phoebe Grant aspires to the madcap life of a forties-style career gal-she lives in a cool apartment (even if it does need a little work), works at the city newspaper (ok, she writes obits-but she's sure she'll get her dream job reviewing movies), and has a best girlfriend (that would be Lindsey) to play straight-woman to her life's witty script. In fact, aside from a steady stream of laughably bad blind dates, over-thirty Phoebe has a great life-even if her leading man appears to have missed his cue.

But when she loses her job and her mother breaks both arms, Phoebe finds her carefully constructed screenplay being re-written in ways she hadn't planned. And when Lindsey secretly signs her up for an online personals service, the script suddenly becomes a slapstick."

This book kept me highly entertained, laughing-out-loud so at times Miles would look at me askingly "What, what?"... Laura's writing keeps your fingers turning the pages without you knowing its happening. I was sad to come to the end!

And I did recommend this book to my friend Becky. Becky is someone who can really write. I gaze envyingly at her blog entries and simply admire how she's able to wrap her thoughts into such good journalling. I knew, even from a writing standpoint, she would appreciate this book too. And did she! After passing the book along to her, I received an email the very next day that she had read it in one sitting!!! Hmmm, is her husband thanking me? I'm not sure!

Laura's books carry a good Christian message, with humour - I love how her character Phoebe keeps counselling herself "Get over myself, already!"

Dreaming in Technicolor

by Laura Jensen Walker

At any rate, I had the next book in the series - Dreaming in Techincolor. Here's a synopsis of this second gem!

"Phoebe's family has money troubles. Her spiritual life is dragging. She really, really misses her long-distance best friend, Lindsey. But all that's bearable because of Alex, the gorgeous man who shares her love of movies and actually likes women with a little meat on their bones. At last-a real boyfriend to kiss on New Year's Eve!

But by New Year's Eve, Alex is in London, called home by a family emergency, newly engaged Lindsey has turned into Bridezilla, and the snooze button still sabotages Phoebe's morning quiet times. She needs a break, which is why she jumps at the cheap off-season fare and flies to England. She's not chasing Alex. Really. She just wants to broaden her horizons.

What awaits Phoebe in the land of Mrs. Miniver and Notting Hill (and beyond) is nothing short of disaster . . . and nothing less than a miracle."

So, my friends, I am encouraging YOU to read these books. And that's not all! I was moved to email Laura to ask her if I might add her website link to my permanent links list. Not only did she reply within a day - giving me her blessing to add her, she also took the time to visit my blog and left me giggling with this comment:

"I took a quick (very quick as I'm on deadline :) look at your blog site--and aren't you the gorgeous thing! I'd kill to have hair like yours, but it's not gonna happen--until I get to heaven."

(Awww - Laura, does this mean I will have to curl my hair every day - as 'course for that one I had curled the dickens out of my mop, before going on a date with the handsomest man on earth - my husband Miles!)

And she added further that she's working on a new book, coming out in 2008, called Daring Chloe. And imagine my delight to find out she's got another book under her belt which I've not read yet called Reconstructing Natalie - which must be a fantastic read as it claimed the honor of being 'Chosen as the Women of Faith Novel of the Year for 2006'

encourage you to visit Laura's website by clicking here. You may also look for her permanent link in the list at the left of my blog! Thanks Laura!

Alright, onto the next bit of news. Miles and I had a lovely unexpected lunch visit with our sister Nina and nephew Zach. The visit was only unexpected on my part - Nina had informed me in an earlier email/chat conversation, but it when whip, in one ear and out the other. I have selective hearing syndrome... and Miles made her promise to confirm directly with him for future dates. Nina did forgive me and we enjoyed a good chat and chomp - catching up. Zach, it was so great to spend some time with you, and we look forward to you coming sometime! And yes, Neens, I DO have your visit dates engraved into my grey matter...

And then, more news. Real news news. I've had photos featured on our local news three times over the past short while. The station always advertises for 'newshawks'... What they are seeking are people who happen to see something newsworthy who can take a few photos or video and submit it to the station. Well, it seems I've been in the right place at the right time, three times in a row! A couple of weeks ago I noticed a fire off in the distance between our town and the neighboring one. I grabbed my camera, snapped a few and emailed them off. They were able to use them for the news segment. Last Sunday, as Miles and I were heading home after lunch, we witnessed a grass fire just out of the town, so we drove up, snapped a few, emailed them off and they were used. And then today, after we left our sister in Keremeos we were stopped by the emergency vehicles (fire etc) heading west - so Miles caved into my desire to follow and see what was up. It was actually a scary looking car accident a few miles away. An s.u.v. type vehicle had left the road, rolled down a steep embankment and ended up in a pond overflow from the Similkameen River. It was a grim scene and we could not possibly imagine how anyone could have survived. I got many pictures and even a short video clip which I sent off right away. We saw the pictures an hour later on the local news. Amazing what today's technology makes us able to do! Thank goodness, according to the news, it was a single person and she was OK.

I'm looking forward to a quieter end to our week. We have some cooler weather, with rain and thunderstorms. I'm sure this is not what you were expecting from 'sunny okanagan weather' Nina!

I just have to share this video clip with you, which I found on the net. I've become fascinated with birds since moving out of town. We have so many interesting bird sounds assailing our ears and I'm slowly learning to identify them. We have a Catbird which sounds like the pitiful mew of a kitten. We have Phoebes, Robins, Loons, Ravens, Osprey, Wrens, Swallows, Bluebirds, Quail, Gulls, Homing Pigeons and even Bats. There's a whole mess of birds I'm not even aware of yet. Anyways, enjoy this amazing bird's calls - just click here to view.

Today in History:

1939 - The first surgeon to use fiberglass sutures was Dr. Roy P. Scholz of St. Louis, Missouri.

1942 - Shastakovich's "The Seventh Symphony" was first performed in the United States by Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra.

1946 - Marilyn Monroe did her first screen test. She passed and was signed to her first contract with Twentieth Century-Fox Studios. Of her 29 films, the first was "Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay!"

1949 - Singer Harry Belafonte began his recording career with Capitol Records. The first recorded sessions included: "They Didn’t Believe Me" and "Close Your Eyes." Shortly there after, Capitol said Belafonte wasn’t "commercial enough," and left him go. He went on to sign with RCA Victor for what would be a productive and very commercial career.

1950 - Walt Disney released the film, Treasure Island, to theaters. The film, filmed on location in England, starred child-actor Bobby Driscoll as Jim Hawkins and Robert Newton as Long John Silver.

1985 - Durhame, North Carolina native George Bell of Durham, claimed the title "Big Foot" with his size 28-1/2 shoe. George was the first place winner in a biggest feet contest, when at the age of 26, he stood 7 feet 10 inches tall.

1985 - In the first 3 days of its re-release, two years after its initial release, "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" grossed an additional $8.8 million. That weekend, the film would place second behind another Steven Spielberg film, "Back to the Future."


Where Digital Photography/Tech is headed

You won't want to be trying this on your computer if you have a slow or outdated system, but if you are able you should really check this out. Read the requirements before installing!

The Photosynth Technology Preview is a taste of the newest - and, we hope, most exciting - way to view photos on a computer. Our software takes a large collection of photos of a place or an object, analyzes them for similarities, and then displays the photos in a reconstructed three-dimensional space, showing you how each one relates to the next. In our collections, you can access gigabytes of photos in seconds, view a scene from nearly any angle, find similar photos with a single click, and zoom in to make the smallest detail as big as your monitor.

Photosynth is an amazing new technology from Microsoft Live Labs that will change forever the way you think about digital photos.

Our software takes a large collection of photos of a place or an object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed three-dimensional space.
With Photosynth you can:

  • Walk or fly through a scene to see photos from any angle.

  • Seamlessly zoom in or out of a photo whether it's megapixels or gigapixels in size.

  • See where pictures were taken in relation to one another.

  • Find similar photos to the one you're currently viewing.

  • Send a collection - or a particular view of one - to a friend.



  1. Thank you for the lovely sunflowers.

  2. Good Afternoon Barb:)
    Soo nice of you to come by and see me:) Thank you for the wonderful comment.:)
    I am soo sorry your knee is giving you a fit...and now your back.I know how that is.Because I back goes out.Mostly my hips.My tailbone gets twisted.So that could be the reason for your kink in your back..or you may have done something to it in the fall.:( Just take it easy..if that is possible and give them a chance to heal.:) Mom is sending me pics on Yahoo messenger and I need to go..I am gonna tell my DD about your book recommendations..she loves to read books from Christian authors.:)
    I will try to come back and comment some more..when I get some feeling back into my legs..LOL Been sitting here too long.:)


  3. well glad to hear you are still having fun ..with crick and knee hurts....missing you lots ...nice to hear you had a ggod visit with your sis ..and Zach

  4. So sorry to hear about your back now too!! i pray for your speedy recovery!!
    Thank you for the mini kit! AWESOME sunflower!!
    Always such a pleasure to read your entries!! i absolutely LOVE the bird video!! AMAZING!! Did you see the screaming frog ( saw it in the titles on the left of bird video page) BIZAREE!! lol
    LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog and thanks for AlLLLLLLL you do!! Have a BEAUTIFUL day! :D

  5. Hiya Back!

    This cool weather is wonderful. I'm not one for too much heat. We've had little thunder storms around but not rip roaring ones. I good storm is wonderful to watch. BUT, they can bring hail with them. Last year a rip snorter went through (when we weren't home) and stripped all my plants! So sad. The folk here said they had never seen such a storm.

    Thanks for the book recommends. I love a good book and these look like fun. As we were going to the library anyway, I checked for them there. No luck. I had a feeling they wouldn't have them. Sigh. Next trip to Abbotsford though, I'll check the House of James. They should have them for sure. The In-Laws all like books too so they would get passed around. Don't forget to try Jan Karon's "At Home in Mitford" and subsequent books. Half way through the first one and you'll be hooked. The public libraries do have these ... even in big print.

    Sorry about your knee AND back. Bummer. Not the time of year to be sitting around either!!!!

    Is that Nina in the truck? Beautiful. Love the hat.

    Congrats on getting your pictures in the news. How fun! I was thrilled to get a few of my pics on E-Flora! ... and who all will really look at those?! See if you can find me in the mix of photographers! Ha.

    That mimicing bird was amazing! And such a show of feathers too.

    That digital software sounded very interesting in deed. I'll have to get D into a new lap top so we can try it out. He needs a PC for his work ... my Mac just won't do ... besides, mine isn't portable.

    Ta, ta then, from your Cis in the Cariboo.

    P.S. Cissy is singing out there as I sign off!

  6. P.S. You probably have already read these but just in case you haven't ...

    "Hinds Feet on High Places" ... by Hannah Hurnard?
    Followed by "Mountain of Spices"?


  7. AnonymousJuly 19, 2007

    Hope you feel better soon, went to the photosynth site............ all I can say is WOW :) xxxx mo

  8. Me again:)
    I made it back finally.:)
    Thank you so much for the wonderful sunflower kit.:)
    I came by so it is 11:05 P.M and I am in a hurry cause we(my Dh and I)just decided we are gonna go see his folks in Fla.It is an eight hour we will stop over night.I tell about it on my blog.:)
    I put up a QP..I think maybe I shouldn't try so hard.LOL It's different.:)But that is all you get til I come back.LOL
    Take care of that knee and back.Now is a really good time to put your foot up and rest your back and read some of those fourty books you have from the library.:)But..don't get a headache.LOL

    See ya when I get back!

  9. AnonymousJuly 19, 2007

    Thanks so much for the sunflowers!

  10. Thank you so much for the gorgeous freebie! This blog post has been added to the freebies list at

  11. Hi Sweetie... I am sorry and praying for you.. I know it is not fun when you are hurting. Maybe it is too much of that lake swimming *grin* I so much love to come and read your blog... I just have not been able to regularly .. I enjoyed it so much tonight. Hugs... Joy

  12. AnonymousJuly 20, 2007

    Wow beautiful flowers! Thank you for this very nice gift!

  13. It doesn't sound like your being very lucky recently. First the knee and later the back, :( For what I have read in your blog I know you are a very active person and surely will be doing lots of things around, but I guess your body is asking for some time to repair. Just take some time and get some rest. Reading a bit will give the body that chance.The back and knee will feel better after it. :)

    I suggest the reading as activity right now because you enjoy it quite a lot and it definitely not any of those trips that you do. I'm young and I will surely have problems keeping up with you in them. LOL

    The books you are recommending look like fun reading, I read occasionally that kind of books, it's always worth to read all kind of subjects, you always get something from them. I will take a look to the website also. :)I'm right now reading some books about patterns and more less the kind of art that might give you some scrapbooking inspiration. It's the scrapbooking that takes hold of me LOL Not that I'm going to design anything but I like to know how it could be done. I like to learn new things always.

    The link to the birds and the Microsoft website look extremely good, I will surely take a look at them with plenty of time. So many thanks for sharing them with us. :)

    And congratulations in your journalistic career, it seems like you are very good at it, three times is very good, and the photos must have been very good for them to be published. :)

    Many thanks for all the links and information and for the flowers they are lovely. :)

    Take care of yourself and best wishes. :O)

  14. Friend - glad you promo'd the books. They were so excellent, thanks for being my book critic. Every book you've recommended to me I have loved!

    Have you seen a Dr about your back yet? I'm thinking it probably cricked the same time as your knee but the knee was just the first thing that hurted.

    Saw an amazing bird book in Costco, much like your website. It listed about 200 birds and along the side, sort of like a children's book, you could press the button & hear their calls. I was this close to buying it cuz it was so neat, not a tinny electronic sound either. It was very nicely done! I'll check out the birdy links here too. I love hearing them & then knowing which one is twittering (or squawking)

    Way to go you little Newshawk. Did you get another 'cheque and a shirt' for them? So awesome!

    Have a great weekend!

  15. TY so very much for the wonderful mini!!!!
    Hope your knee gets better soon!!

  16. LOVE the sunflowers! TY!

  17. AnonymousJuly 20, 2007

    Hi Barb!
    Just popping in to say hello :)
    How is your knee? Hope it's better.
    I also love reading, and you are right; it's not easy to find the time to read all books that I want. Now I borrowed two books of Milan Kundera which I have wanted to read for a long time. Hope I get the chance ;)


  18. AnonymousJuly 20, 2007

    Hi Barb,
    I so enjoy reading your blog! It's intelligent, witty, entertaining, and often educational too. Oh, I forgot uplifting.
    On bad days - days when my pain level is high or my spirits low - I often come visit. As a matter of fact, over the last few weeks, I've ready my way back through to the beginning of your blog! Thank you so much! For sharing your beautiful graphics and photography. For the delicious sounding recipes I've collected here. Haven't tried any yet but have them on my to-do list. For the books you recommend. For the bits of spirture that seem to be in the right place at the right time. For sharing your life and observations. You are a jewel.

    Having admired your photography for some time now, I am happy to learn your local newspaper is picking up on it. Congratulations.

    Sorry to hear about your knee. Will keep you in my prayers. Yes, I agree that sometimes there's a lesson tobe learned that goes beyond the need to be careful of what we do and what our body is trying to tell us. On that note, let me say that although I know heart problems in women manifest differently than in men and often elude the usual tests, reading about your experience really opened my eyes.
    Take care & God bless you,

  19. AnonymousJuly 21, 2007

    The two books I talked about is " Immortality" and " The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera. But I haven't finished "The Hermit Crabs" by Anne B. Ragde (a Norwegian autor). So I have lots of reading to do...
    Have a nice Saturday :)

  20. AnonymousJuly 22, 2007

    Good Afternoon,
    I'm sorry I haven't been able to visit much lately. Been been with several things, life and of course the ADSR! I just wanted to come by and say hi and see what was new with you. I love the Sassy Sunflower!! Very unique and yet birght and sunny, like you! :)
    Take care and Thanks for sharing the Sassy Sunflower mini!

  21. Hi Barb!

    I am new to your blog, and wanted to says thanks for the beautiful flowers! All your stuff looks wonderful.

    I have to tell you, that your book recommendation is awesome! Laura is one of the few people that can actually make me laugh out loud! I started reading her books when my mother in law showed them to just so happens that Laura is her niece, lol. So I read everyone she had out at that time. She started with humorous books, and my all time favorite is MentalPause. While I am not going through that yet, I was cracking up through out the whole thing. She is an awesome writer, and I was so happy to see someone recommending her.

    Two years ago I had the pleasure of meeting her and her husband, and she is just as funny, nice, and all around awesome in real life! And you reminded me that I really should put her link up on my new blog too, lol.

    I hope you are doing better now.


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