Tuesday, January 31, 2012

31/366 Nothing special

Just the nightstand beside my bed beckoning me to go lie down.

Left work late and had to rush to my 10 year old cousin's house because of a lizard emergency. The poor lizard died. :(

So, there we stood... my husband, my cousin and a friend of his from the neighborhood. All boys. And me. So, I gracefully took the lid off the cage and gently placed the shriveled up lizard in a bag.

I knew all those years of being a rough and tumble girl would pay off one day.

Monday, January 30, 2012

30/366 Daylight Hours

Perhaps I did a little too much playing and not enough resting this weekend. Monday wore me out -- although I am working to remedy the situation. Pajamas are on and the sun is still shining.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

29/366 "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." ~ Mae West

As part of the Get Pushed Group, I was paired with basselal - a really nice guy with a very interesting photostream! I was really worried that he was going to challenge me to do some type of self-portrait but alas, he pushed me to do something that I've really not had the courage to do before.

Basselal's challenge: "So, my push for you, should you choose to accept it, is to take a street photography shot. I will narrow it down to 1) has to be in a urban environment, 2) has to include people (preferably candid...) and 3) since most street photography is in B&W, I would suggest that but not as a condition."

Pulling out my camera and taking pictures of strangers in an urban setting was actually a little nerve wracking and fun. We decided to grab some friends and head to Tallahassee, Florida so that we might actually be in an urban setting. There weren't a lot of people milling about but I was still able to get several pictures of street scenes.

I like the way the people at this table got lost in conversation. Street photography is something I need to learn more about and it is definitely more challenging than I first imagined. I hope this meets the challenge! I'd like to try this again on a more crowded street or a busier setting.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

28/366 It all began with brunch...

Met some friends and my sister and her husband for brunch this morning. From there the guys went to do macho things like look at guns and walk around hardware stores and the girls went to look for jewelry to match an outfit and buy stuff for supper this evening.

We all met back at my house to sit around in the yard and talk. I love relaxed days with friends!

Friday, January 27, 2012

27/366 Silence

A busy week is complimented by Friday! :) I am looking forward to the weekend.

Hope it is great for everyone!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

26/366 Jump!

We had a cool bicycle show at school today and the kids LOVED it almost as much as the two PE teachers who volunteered for the jumping demonstration.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

25/366 How to lose your frustrations

After a day of trials and tribulations, I need (I mean really NEED) time to move and work out my issues. Since I still can't run, I walked whilst listening to an audiobook being read with a delightful British accent (British accents make a lot of things right in the world).

I used to think being a school administrator meant being the boss - and who wouldn't want to be THE boss?!

The reality is that it is much more like being Stretch Armstrong. You get pulled between the teachers and everyone else until finally the green goo begins to bleed out of your pores. And who listens to a half naked dude with green drops of ick globbing down their midriff?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

24/366 Japanese Salad

Found a recipe that I wanted to try here but there was no picture of the finished product. In an effort to be a good citizen and a friend to those who might lose sleep due to the lack of visual recipe stimulation, I took a picture of the finished product.

Even if you think you don't like tofu, that was some good eating!

Monday, January 23, 2012

23/366 Disco Queen

Not feeling extremely motivated today but I do have some ideas for later with this Disco Queen bag I bought a few weeks ago.

Conversation of the day...

1st grade student: "Want to read what I wrote?"

Me: "Sure."

Me (reading): "When I am 100 years old, I will have gray hair in a bun. I will be fat. There will be always be a Hershey bar in my hand."

1st grade student: "I'm going to give this to my grandma because I want to be like her when I am old."

At least the girl has some goals!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

22/366 Mouser

Meet Sue. She lives with my grandparents and is such a sweet, scrappy pup. We celebrated my grandmother's 88th birthday today. Even Sue got in the giving spirit and left a plump, albeit dead, mouse on the steps.

Don't you dig Sue's mohawk?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

21/366 Reality

The reality of owning a sweet, adorable, loving... but disabled dachshund can be challenging at times. For the past 5 years, we've had to clean up after Mili as she never regained control of the movements of the nether regions after the disc in her spine ruptured and paralyzed her. After surgery, she learned to once again walk and wag her tail. She just never learned to squat again.

In our world, poop happens. Every day. It just falls out of her.

Before you think my husband and I as martyrs, I have to confess that there have been conversations about putting her down. It is not easy to have to clean up so much after a mere 8 pound dog.

The day her burden becomes heavier than the joy we get from her is a day I dread. Until then, we are very happy to live in a home with no carpet and a very active steam cleaner.

Friday, January 20, 2012

20/366 Incognito

Today was the first Friday the back packs went home to deserving students - so that they have food for the weekends. Each pack has enough food for 6 meals and 4 snacks.

Seeing the look of excitement on each child's face... well, that was better than Christmas!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

19/366 On the way back to normal

Went back to work today and it was a great day (minus that moment when an upset mom called me a b-tch). Even went for a walk with a friend after work.

I am so happy about feeling like things are getting back to normal.

The tea olive in the picture is one of my favorite plants. It has tiny flowers with the most awesome scent when in bloom. When I first started dating my husband, he recognized the plant in a pot on my front porch. A guy who is familiar with tea olives is a keeper in my book.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

18/366 Gray days and skylights

Even on gray days, the sky light brings in some natural lighting.

Just trying out some ideas I've read about in some photo books about windows...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

17/366 Travel Plans

A girl just shouldn't be allowed to watch the Travel Channel all day...

I'm ready to make some plans to see the world!

Monday, January 16, 2012

16/366 Like the stars in the sky

The Japanese Magnolia is full of blooms and unbelievably pretty on this gorgeous winter day. There are so many blooms, they remind me of stars in a sky.

My grandparents called me this morning to sing to me. LOVE! My grandmother makes up songs and my grandfather grunts along -- and then she fusses at him for forgetting the words. It is priceless!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

15/366 Friends are a spot of sunshine for the soul

Spent the day watching football and visiting with friends. I found out I was able to pick up the dog once again. And I got dressed -- with shoes and all.

Today was a good day.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

14/366 Ever feel like someone is watching you?

Another day of feeling better and better.

Friday, January 13, 2012

13/366 Sunshine just heals the soul

Not to dwell on the whole "I had to have an unplanned gallbladder surgery"... but today was rather emotional for me. When I was in so much pain, I couldn't even begin to process the whole event. Now that it is over, I feel calmer and more appreciative of the little things.

It really does boil down to the little things.

Little things like just being able to lie down. Being able to take a deep breath (but don't ask me about coughing or sneezing yet).

My mother "babysat" for me today while my husband worked and we really talked. She wanted to see the four wounds on my abdomen. When I raised my shirt, she put her hands to her mouth with surprise. The swelling is better. The bruising isn't so nice.

But I know they will heal.

As we talked, I became overcome with emotion. There were several times that I was in so much pain that I truly thought it would be easier to just die (that does not mean that I wanted to die). I'm not a wimp with pain and not being able to get a grip on it scared me.

But that part of me is healing, too.

This afternoon, I walked around in the yard with the camera while Mili ran around yapping. The sun was shining. The cool wind was blowing.

While I am not well enough to crawl around on the ground with my camera yet, I am not frustrated. In time, that will heal, too.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

12/366 Home, sweet, home

After running a battery of tests and another sleepless night in severe pain (even the Morphine pump wasn't touching this), the doctor finally decided to pull the drainage tube out to see if that would give me some relief.

Holy silver bullets! They pulled that $@#& tube out with no anesthesia. I probably grew hair on my chest! After I could catch my breath, the pain was beginning to subside. So, it was that silly tube all along. I had a sneaky suspicion!

I'm still in some pain -- but it is the bearable-I-think-I'm-going-to-live-kind-of-pain. I'm not allowed back to work until the surgeon clears me and my next appointment with him is on Wednesday.

This means the dog and I will have time to bond and hang out together.

Picture of some of the beautiful plants I received while racking up an ungodly hospital bill. SOOC - and not because I think it is amazing but I've been through some trauma and you'll just have to appreciate it as it is.

11/366 Back to the drawing board

After a very painful night home, I ended up back at the surgeon's office with a leaky drain valve. (Yes, they sent me home with a tube in my side draining out "stuff"... I can't even begin to tell you how gross that was.) As they were looking at the four wounds in my abdomen, they were pressing around and it made me cry from the pain (and it takes a lot to make me cry from pain). At that point, I couldn't even just lie down without excruciating pain.

The doctor readmitted me to the hospital and ordered a whole slew of tests.

This is the front lobby from my hunched over in a wheel-chair perspective. I hope I never have to see it from that perspective again.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

10/366 Best gruel ever

This morning, I finally got solid food. I hadn't had anything solid since Friday night. The nurse brought this bowl to me and I could eat almost half of it.

Give me a day or two and I will get back to more normal pictures. I am just truly hurting more than I imagined I would hurt.

9/366 Colorful Hedgehog

My little buddy, Ray, sent his colorful hedgehog to spend the night with me in the hospital. Isn't he sweet?

I survived the surgery! The doctors said that my gallbladder was very, very infected. And I'm far more sore than I thought I'd be. :( And the drainage tube is really a pain (figuratively and literally).

I just don't do sick very well.

8/366 Hospital Days

Waiting to have surgery in the hospital for two days on antibiotics was hard! At least the morphine helped.

I've only been in the hospital for having children. This visit was the longest time I've ever been in - and my first go at a surgery. Every single nurse and doctor was so nice -- and I'm really thankful for that.

7/366 Leaving on a jet plane

This picture of my youngest son was taken Saturday morning just before his dad came to get him to take him to the airport.

And it was a good thing his dad was taking him as my husband was taking me to the doctor because of a pain in my side that wouldn't go away -- and was getting worse. I ended up in the hospital for three nights. Two days to pump me full of antibiotics and one day for the surgery to take out my very infected gallbladder.

I'm finally home!

Friday, January 6, 2012

6/366 Berries and bokeh

Even the holly tree outside my office window was happy about today being Friday.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

5/366 Making a Difference

One of the best things about my job is that I get to work with children. They say the funniest things and I just really like the way they think. One of the hardest things about my job is when children aren't taken care of. Recently, we became aware of some children who were stealing food for other people in their family. They were hungry.

Nothing breaks my heart more than hearing about hungry children. (Actually, abused children break my heart a little more....)

Today, we had a meeting about setting up and organizing a program that will send food home to specific students and their family each weekend. I had sent out an email to the faculty asking for volunteers - but didn't know what to expect as it seems that so many of my teachers are just downright overwhelmed. I was truly blown away today when we had standing room only. The majority of the faculty voluntarily came to see what they could do to help the children!

I'm so excited about getting this program up and running. It feels so good to be a part of a group of people who are passionate about making a difference for children!

Mili gets to be the picture of the day. There have been many days when I've said that my dog has had a better life than some children I know.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

4/366 "Winter reminds us of the human condition..."~ Mignon McLaughlin

I'm getting used to carrying (lugging) the camera around with me everywhere I go. And it paid off this evening when I stopped between laps at the track to snap this bird with the moon in the background.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

3/366 A Starry Night

It was a back-work-after-the-holiday kind of day. And that wasn't so bad.

I'm ready for the kids to be back tomorrow. I love to hear them talk!

In the picture, I was just playing around with a homemade filter and the aperture. We have some lights on some plants to try to save them from the hard freeze. Might as well make hay while the sun shines, eh?

Monday, January 2, 2012

2/366 I promise....

I promise that all 366 pictures taken for the year won't be flowers. THIS flower called my name from across the yard to remind me that she doesn't usually bloom in the winter.

With the freezing temperatures rolling in, I fear that she will dwindle during the night. The winter in south Georgia has been delightfully mild and tonight will mark the first night of below freezing temperatures.

I will not complain. I will not complain. I will not complain.

1/366 Overrated or Not

I've been guilty of calling New Years an overrated holiday -- but overrated or not, I am always compelled to set some goals for myself.

This years goals:
*I will take on another 365 (which is really a 366 because of Leap Year) and push myself to learn some new things related to photography.
*I want to run 1,000 miles again.
*I want to read 50 books.
*I want to wear more orange.

Hope everyone has a fantastic 2012!