Thursday, May 5, 2011

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Top 10 Christmas Movies

I love Christmas movies.  I make a point every year to watch all the Christmas movies that are my favorites.

White Christmas, Elf, Holiday Inn, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, the list goes on.  And don't get me started on the TV movies!  Oh my goodness.  25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family, Lifetime movies, Hallmark movies - they warm my heart and make me happy.

Ok, so I'm going to list my top 10 favorite Christmas classics.

10.  Home Alone - "I'm gonna give you to the count of ten..."

9.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas - new or old, doesn't matter

8. Polar Express

7.  The Christmas Story - "Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra"

6.  Elf

5.  The Santa Clause

4.  Miracle on 34th Street

3.  Holiday Inn

2.  Christmas in Connecticut - Hunky Dunky

...and....drum roll please...ok, so you probably don't care that much, but its my all-time favorite Christmas movie in the world.  To the point that I could watch it over and over again and never get tired of it.
1.  White Christmas


So there it is - my top 10 favorite Christmas movies.  Maybe you should watch one or two of them.  They are the best ever.  :-)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Black Friday Craziness!








Now that the weekend has ended and  I have somewhat recovered from my foray into the world of Black Friday shopping, I can tell y’all the stories.
My friend Sara is incredibly devoted to this day of shopping – though, truth be told, it was more a night of shopping.  I went with her this year, instead of going it alone and I don’t’ regret one minute of lost sleep.  Not because I got such fantabulous deals, which were great and many, but because of the fun that was had.  Oh my holy cow!  People are freaking insane on Black Friday!
I studied the ads, Sara studied the ads.  She was more prepared than I.  She even had a whole list of stores and the items that she wanted to purchase at each store.  I was more of a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of shopper this year.  Usually, especially on a regular  day I like lists too.
So, we started out at about 9:30 on Thanksgiving night.  We drove out to Toys R Us and stood in line for two hours.  We got into Toys R Us at about midnight.  It didn’t take Sara long to find the things she wanted and we were in line before too long.  They had us winding through a few of the sections and we spent the time in line looking and joking about the things that we were seeing.  Once we got to the actual line, the one that you really want to be in, the one you pay at, we had to wait while the girl in front of us argued about the prices of the things that she had picked up.  It was like she had gone shopping without really looking at the ad and didn’t know what the actual prices were.  Then, just to get her out of our way, Sara gave her the $0.51 she was short. 
After Toys R Us, we were hungry and thirsty and cold.  Still – it was only supposed to be a high of 18 degrees that night.  So we started looking for a place to get something to eat.
Turns out that even ‘Round the Clock closes for an important holiday and doesn’t open until later the following day.  We ended up at Steak ‘n Shake.  Nothing quite like yummy, greasy food at 1:30 in the morning.  Sara even contemplated a milkshake – then I reminded her that we would be standing in the freezing cold again.  She switched to a diet Coke.  I think it was a wise choice, don’t you?
After Steak ‘n Shake we headed to Target.  This was where I wanted to get the majority of the things that I had on my mental list.  We got there at about 2:30 and we decided to sit in the car for a little bit – the line wasn’t too long yet and it was COLD.  Sara has a really nice car, it even has seat warmers and my butt was nice and toasty.  We sat there, trying not to fall asleep for about half an hour and then cried as we left the warmth of those wonderful seat warmers, and made our way to the line.
This is where it finally started getting really interesting.  We were in line with some interesting characters.  As we had driven up, I didn’t really look too closely at the people in line (I was reveling in my warm butt!) and as we walked up, I couldn’t get over the strangeness I was seeing.
Yikes Stripes!  There were people out there with tents and sleeping bags.  There were people in bag chairs – one even had to be six feet tall – the chair, not the person in it…well, he probably was too, but his chair was as tall as he was.  We were extremely jealous of the men in their Carhart coveralls.  They looked rather comfortable; they were probably used to the cold, or at least more prepared. 
Anyway, as we joined the line a guy came up to the line, behind us, talking on his phone in rapid fire Spanish.  The guy, whose name we later learned was Angel, was only wearing an athletic jacket, not a winter coat and he spent the entire hour we were in line together, complaining about the cold, talking on the phone in Spanish or trying to schmooze his way up the line.  He was there to get a tv and apparently, there were other members of his family at other stores around the area trying to get tv’s too.  As the hour passed, more of his friends and family showed up to get in line with him.  They just kept on coming!  By the end, I’m not exactly sure how many people were in line with him.
Besides Angel, a young couple got in line behind us too.  They weren’t too far behind the Angel guy.  The girl was sort of smart, she at least had a winter coat on.  The guy, not so much.  He had flip flops on!  On Black Friday, in 20 degree weather!!!  What a nut job.  He was standing there shivering.  His girlfriend eventually went back to her car and came back with an assortment of items.  Turned out it was a hoodie and hat for her and a pair of socks and a pair of pink fuzzy slippers for him.  That’s right, pink, fuzzy slippers.  And he put them on too.  By this time we were laughing and joking with them and Angel, so we were obvi0usly making fun of him for wearing the slippers.  We should have been making fun of him for wearing flip flops in the first place.  Dumb.
Finally, after we had been standing there for an hour, they opened the doors.  Most of the people in line were there for the tvs.  Not us.  I needed a Christmas tree for work, a couple sets of sheets and a few other odds and ends that were on sale for a  really great price.  I headed for the Christmas trees right away.  They were selling a 6ft Colorado pine, pre-lit tree for $30.00.  When I got back to the corner of the store were the trees were, I couldn’t find the tree I was looking for, but there wasn’t really anybody back there, so I figured it couldn’t be gone already.  I’d only been in the store 3 minutes, max. 
As I was walking around the Christmas trees, looking for mine.  I spied a store worker heading my way.  As I was walking up to him to politely ask him where the tree I was looking for was, a rather large woman came barreling up. 
Now, I am not a small person, not by any stretch of the imagination, and I am not a delicate person either.  But I do try to at least be kind and gentle (unless you’re stupid and then it’s a whole other ballgame!) and not intimidate people. 
Not this woman.  Oh no.  When I say she barreled, I mean it.  She was at least my size and then another half of me, and she had her cart in front of her, with her arms like wings out to the side of her.  She was determined – VERY determined.  As she approached, she saw the store worker and began walking faster towards us.  By this time the worker was very close to me and when I turned to look at his face, I saw the horror and fear etched across his face.  I do believe he feared for his life.  He was a rather scrawny thing.
Anyway, as I was saying, once she saw the worker, she began yelling at him from a couple of aisle away.  The area of the store that we were in was not very busy at all, so there really wasn’t a need to yell, however, I do believe this may have been this woman’s normal volume.  She began yelling at him, “Where are those Christmas tress?!?”  After he showed us where the trees were, which the worker very courageously did, she grabbed a tree and put it in her cart and then proceeded to exclaim, “I’m getting two!” 
Ok ma’am, you do that.  I will bet getting out of your way now.  Yep, that’s right, I’m on my way now.  I did not want to stay in her presence any longer.  I was to the point of fearing for my life too.  I thought she might want to take my tree from me, even though there were still  several other trees left.
After getting the tree, I gathered the remainder of the items I was looking for and made my way to the line to check out.  Once I made it to the counter to check out, the man that was in front of me, almost finished checking out began having difficulties paying.  He was buying a tv and was having a problem with his bank card.  He kept assuring the checkout girl that he had the money, but his bank apparently had a limit to how much a charge could be without their approval, etc.  His poor face was so red.  I felt terrible for him.  He kept apologizing to me and the checkout girl.  I told him that I wasn’t in any hurry, I didn’t have anywhere else to be and that he could take his time.  Finally, they managed to get his order paid for and he was on his way.  I paid for my things and off I went.
After Target, Sara dropped me back at my car and we went our separate ways.  She had a couple of stores she wanted to visit and I didn’t need to go to them.  I went to the last couple of stores I wanted to go to and managed to hit them all in an hour, including driving time. 
By the time I got home it was 6:00 in the morning and I was exhausted.  I told my mom of the the adventures of the night and then fell asleep for an hour.  I woke up, ate breakfast and managed to stay awake for a couple more hours and then I just had to go lay down.  My sleeping wasn’t right until Saturday afternoon, but that’s ok.  I had so much fun, and hopefully next year will be even better.  Sara and I have already discussed it and we are wearing several pairs of pants, Carhart coveralls, PURPLE fuzzy slippers, bringing a tent, a bag chair that’s six feet tall, a sleeping bag and a space heater with an extension cord to run it from Sara’s car.  Now, if only we could bring her heated seats instead of the bag chairs.  Hmm, we may have to try to figure that one out. 
Well, I must work in the morning.  Good night!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I forgetting...

...that I have this blog thingy and not posting anything.  I'm going to try to post something every day from now on, even if its not a whole post and just a random thought or quotation. 

So, today is just going to be a random thought or quotation...I haven't figured it out yet, but I will shortly...

...and since Thanksgiving is coming up, I'm going to be using Thanksgiving-y thoughts, etc.



Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.  ~Robert Caspar Lintner
I think this is so true, and so easily forgotten.  Its hard to remember to be thankful in the day to day.  I try, but don't always succeed.  And that makes me sad.

 I should be thankful everyday that I have a roof over my head - for free, no less.  However, I find myself feeling irritation that I be asked to do something to help out around the house because it interferes with what it is that I want to be doing.  I need to work on this, not only on being thankful, but also not to find it irritating that my parents expect certain things from me in exchange for the luxury of having a free home.  Starting today, I'm going to be thankful that I have a home to live in, rent free and that I have parents who don't expect that much in return.  Maybe next time I'm asked/told to do something, I won't complain about it and try to do it with a smile.  No promises on the smiling part...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Photoshop actions.

I have discovered something and I am in love with it.

When I bought my new computer this summer I had the option of having more memory or getting Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 on the computer.  Since I am slightly obsessed with pictures, etc., I went for the Photoshop.  I've slowly been figuring out how to use and its taken some time.  So far I've only been able to figure out how to use the features that do the work for me, plus a few adjustments of color, saturation, so on and so forth.

Ok, so I read Pioneer Woman's blog, pretty much everyday.  I read it for the stories and the recipes, but I also read it for the photography tips.  Every so often she'll even have contests - well, she calls them assignments, but you can win a prize, so I call them contests.  :-)  I've entered them a few times and while my pics haven't been chosen, I keep on trying.  I figure one day it will happen. 

So the latest assignment on her site is to edit a SOOC picture that she took and then she'll pick the ones she likes the best.  Last night, I downloaded the photo and then I started playing with it.  However, since I got the computer with the fabulous Photoshop installed, I haven't really been able to do anything about getting these mysterious actions that I have heard and seen so many people using and talking about.  Part of this was due to not having the wifi set up in our house, however, its all set up now and we're in business.  Since I decided to try this assignment and I didn't want to use my usual go-to, Picnik.com, I figured I'd better try to get going with this action thing.  I googled adding and creating actions in Photoshop 8 and found the path I needed and through trial and error I managed to get the actions I had downloaded into my Photoshop.  Yahoo!  Now we're truckin' along!

Ok, so now I've got actions, actions, and more actions and there are all sorts of websites out there that you can download actions for free.  Yes, they do the work for you, but you can adjust them to your taste, and you layer one action on top of another.  Totally cool. 

Here is what I did....


Original - PW's photo


And now - my edit



These are copies of copies - so they're a little blurry - but yeah, you get the idea.  It was fun and I think I'll be using lots of actions again and again. 

Later!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A vacation, Ren Faire, a concert, an historic field trip, and camping.

Oh my goodness, its been a long time since I last posted.  I've been very busy and haven't had too much to say.  So now I'll catch up in one post. 

My summer wasn't really much of anything except a few weeks leading up to my vacation that went really slowly and then my vacation came and I took lots of pictures, and then it was over and then the rest of the summer seemed to speed on, getting faster and faster as the days passed.  Part of me wishes it was still summer and then I remember how hot this summer was and that its finally getting cool and I'm glad its over.

Anyway, I'll show a few pics from my summer vacation.

There was fun pics at the fireworks over 4th of July...








Then there was visiting church when Kayla & Uncle Tom were in their Family Extravaganza




Then we went camping and hid in the camper because it was hot and the flies were biting


I took my dog, Mater, on vacation with me - he wasn't such a spaz when he didn't have our other dogs to compete with. 


It was really too hot the entire time we were camping to enjoy the fire - but it was a good one!



After I got home from vacation, I didn't really do too much until the middle of August when Amy and Kayla brought Grannie up to our house to stay and we went to Ren Faire and to a concert.  Next you'll see all the fun we had while doing that. 
















We saw the guys from Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail!


Proof my brother is psycho!




The concert we went to that night was the Chris Young, Kellie Pickler and Rascal Flatts concert.  This tour is Rascal Flatts' 10th Anniversary tour and they were awesome!







Two weeks after this - when it was time to take Grannie home - I decided spur of the moment, on Monday of that week, that when I drove Grannie home that weekend, I wanted to drive on to Springfield and visit the historic Lincoln sites.  I ended up taking Aunt Gena, Amy and Kayla with me.  We couldn't take pictures at the Lincoln Presidential Museum & Library, but we were able to take pictures at the Lincoln Historic Home Site.  Here are some of those:





This is Lincoln's top hat, really!  And the railing on the edge of the pic is original to the house - Lincoln held on to it when climbing the stairs - and we got to hold on to it too!


Linconl's bed


Mary Todd Lincoln's bed - with her dress across it.


I edited this pic to look like a painting.









Finally, it was time for the Annual Girls' Camping Trip.  This year we camped at Lincoln Trail Campgrounds in Marshall, Illinois.  This is where my mom and my aunt grew up.  Those camping this year were, Mom, Aunt Gena, Amy, Kayla, Amy and Kayla's friend Heather, and myself.  We also had Heather's dog, Sadie Mae and my mom's dog, Linus with us.



Linus sitting on Aunt Gena - not sure why, but he wouldn't move.




Breakfast!


Heather braided Amy, Kayla, and Aunt Gena's hair.


Heather entertained herself by making funny faces...


Then Kayla and I danced to Elivs


Heather made Kayla make some more funny faces...she just had to have everyone involved.  :-)




She took a break to play with Sadie Mae


Then it was back to the silly faces.


Even I joined in...


Quick - stop the funny pics for a nice one.


What a quick pause


Dinner time!


The girls took their hair out of the braids






Breakfast!


Yummy Biscuits and Gravy - see how we all stuff our faces...well, there's no pic of me, but thats because I was taking the pictures and you see in the pic above that I couldn't wait to take a bite before I took a pictures.











Ok, that's it.  That's how my summer and early fall has been.  It was lots of fun and now I need a break.  But not for too long.  I'm going to the Covered Bridge Festival this weekend and I might have some more pictures from that.  Later y'all!