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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

To Stop or Not To Stop

I went out to run work errands today.. guess who I saw on the entrance ramp of 169?  Yep, Hitchhiker Boy!

Not really a story here other than wanting to share my news of seeing him yet again this summer.  Ironically, I didn't have my Nikon with me, and my point and shoot (which is normally in my purse) is at home charging.

Then... a vendor comes in to the office this afternoon and we somehow end up on the topic of hitchhiker boy, I tell him that I really just want to know his story and suggest he stop on the way out and find out for me.  Well, he called a bit later and said hitchhiker boy made it all the way to Elk River, but he was too scared to stop and talk to him because he had a mean scowl on his face (he always does).
Then about 30 minutes after that, my vendor calls back and says he made it to the other end of Elk River, on Hwy 10.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to see him on my way home today... I wonder how easy it is to take a picture while I drive....

I'll keep ya posted, yo!

It's Good News To Me

I'd imagine those who know me to expect a blog about yesterday's news... (Favre NOT joining the Vikings) - so I don't want to disappoint.
When I first heard the news I had a huge smile on my face.  I was ready, actually I had given in and gone back on my word about not watching a second of Vikings Football if he came here.  I decided, with the help of Bob (my co-worker) that it was okay to watch, because we are Vikings Fans First, Favre haters second.  We could still cheer when the team scored but we could also cheer when Favre got sacked (we all know how often that happens), and most importantly we don't have to like it or like him.  Now I can watch without hate, which will be a nice feeling; going into Vikings season full of hate can make for a long season of football.

So, my day is made, period.
I laugh at the poor saps who already have their Purple #4 Favre jerseys!  I feel even worse for the poor asshole who told me "the only thing you can do better than Favre is take a dick" - No joke, I hope that ass is at home crying right now (I honestly wish a lot worse for him, but I'll leave it at that for blogging purposes)!

Then there are serious follow-up questions like Who do we put at QB then? and Does this bring up the issue of a Vikings move to LA if we can't sell out games? All questions are valid; I don't have the answers, no one does, for sure.

On the QB Topic - TJack's agent says he is "eager to show the Vikings, and their fans, that they had the right man for the job all along." (Star Tribune)  I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, just like I have in the past, until he prove himself unworthy.  The kid has talent, if he can get his mind to work with his body... we may see some promise. This assumes TJack wins the position over Sage Rosenfels (who is no guarantee one way or another either) - Maybe we should pursue Vick?

So you have to figure if we fall short at QB, then the fans (because so many people in this state are fair-weather fans) won't buy tickets - which means we won't sell out games - which means there is more a threat of our team moving out of state.
While I don't personally believe that threat is strong (especially at this moment as the season hasn't even started yet), it is a very real concern for a lot of people.  We are in serious need of a new stadium and no real promise of one being built.... but ample opportunity to have one built for "The Los Angeles Vikings".  It's a scary thought either way... my gut tells me we'll find a way to have something built here.
If you take the Vikings out of Minnesota you take away a football team for many surrounding states (WI, IL, and MI fans will stay loyal to their teams) like the Dakotas and Iowa.  Not that everyone around MN cheers for us, but it certainly takes away the option.
The loudest fans in the NFL can't be left without a team to cheer for... hopefully someone will realize that.

I don't want to believe it all about money, but I'm not stupid - I know we will move if the price is right, for all involved.  Currently the Vikings are trying to sell naming rights to the field, not the stadium as a whole.  I can't imagine this will prove successful if the move is on everyone minds - why would a local company sign up for naming rights if the team is going to be ripped out of the state?  Any company, local or national, may sign up for naming rights, but what happens if we do get a new stadium; there would have to be a lot of bases covered in any sort of a deal.

So here you have it folks, I don't claim to be knowledgeable in the politics of football and new stadiums, or even positions for that matter - what I do claim to be is a Vikings fan, and an optimistic one at that.  Favre is not coming here, to me that is great news.  The stadium thing will work itself out, hopefully for the benefit of Minnesota... but if not, what power do any of us have to change it?

GO VIKINGS - heres to a wonderfully successful 09-10 season!!

Family ritual: Long Good-byes

Plinky Prompt: What are/were your family rituals?

List the strange habits of your people.

Long Good-byes
I'm only going to list one thing, because there is one thing that we constantly talk about... our long good-byes.

My dad's side of the family... we roll at least 26 deep at any given family function; sometimes more, if you throw in any flavors of the week one of my cousins might be trying. The odd thing about our family is the fact that we actually like each other, we look forward to gatherings and we really do get along!

Our days begin with lots of snacks: crackers and cheese balls, cocktail shrimp, really anything munch worthy. Our day moves along with lots of laughing, lots of wine, beer, or cocktail of your choice, and lots of good conversation.

We think of pretty much any excuse to plan a function together - not just your general holidays. On average I would say we start our days 'anytime after 1pm' and most of the time we end up with stragglers up until 7pm or so.... solid amount of time spent with one another!

Seven o'clock comes quick once you figure in arrivals/greetings, time to snack, and time to eat the actual meal we are there for... we have to start saying our goodbyes pretty much right after dinner! If there are 25 other people we have to say goodbye to... my goodness - that can take all night!

We're all talkers, so it's not just a quick hug goodbye... it's a hug, a kiss, a 'it was so good to see you and I love you', amongst many other things. We'll make our way around the room saying goodbye, but end up at the back of the group and find ourselves saying goodbye to some of the same people a few times on the way back out!

We all joke about the '(insert last name here) Goodbye' and how we are so silly because of it.

I love my family to death and our long goodbyes are one of the things I most look forward to each time we are together, not because I want to leave, but because they are so fun!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reason Season Lifetime

I'm not a religious person... not by any stretch of the imagination.  I have beliefs, my own things that I feel are true in life.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.  Wondering if things happen for a reason or if we control our own fate.  Then last week my friend, Lovi, posted this blog talking about the same thing.  Pretty sure that happened for a reason, although it didn't help in my thought process.  I generally like to have control of my life, but I'm fine giving in and saying that things happen for a reason - life can be both, right?  We make decisions and face what comes of them, but we are presented with those decisions by way of fate, right?  In other words, fate gives us options and we control what we do with them.  Granted, somethings are out of our control so we must leave them to fate; but is there a reason those things happen?  Oh boy, now I'm really confusing myself; are you still with me?

There is a email that I've seen many times called Reason Season Lifetime - it's about people coming into your life for a reason, season, or a lifetime.  Here, in case you haven't read it:

People always come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.
When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty,
or to provide you with guidance and support,
to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend to you, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they just walk away.
Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.
When people come into your life for a SEASON,
 it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.
They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.
And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall, 
the season eventually ends.
 LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway);
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
Thank you for being part of my life.

Now - I understand the theory here, I do believe that this is true to an extent.  What I don't get and what frustrates me to no end is how we know what a person is to us - Is this John Doe a reason, season, or a lifetime person to me?  LOL, sounds silly because that's kind of the point right?  You aren't supposed to know at the time, but once you figure it out it will all be clear.

Lets take for example an ex-boyfriend of mine; I know (now) for a fact that he was a 'reason'.  I met him the summer after I graduated, we fell hard for each other fast, and then shortly after we began, my dad left.  Had I not met this guy, I would have been so alone in dealing with that and he provided me a shoulder to cry on and just an overall distraction from 'real life'.  While we still have a friendship to this day, our close relationship ended a short time after.  He was sent to me for a reason, then it was done.  I'm convinced he provided me with something I couldn't have got from someone else; friend nor family member.

Then we have family, which in most cases are the 'lifetime' people.  I try (and TRY) to take lessons from those related to me; my mother for example.  I've talked a few times in my blog about how my mother drives me up the wall... it's for little things, although some not so little... but the things I see in her that bother me, I try to apply to my own life.  For example, my mother doesn't pay attention to people when they talk, she'll listen when you begin but then, like a switch, you can actually see her turn off and stop.  At my niece's birthday party my dad was talking to my mom, he stopped short in his tracks, and said "You aren't listening anymore; are you?" He saw it... the thing that I always tell her she does.  Crap... horrible tangent - back on track... the things I see in her, I try to apply to me and try to make myself a better person because of it.  So.. she is a 'lifetime' person and I'm tryin' my damndest to know and apply the lesson(s).

So... back to the how do you know thing.  When someone leaves your life (by way of death, distance, or otherwise), how do you take step back and realize why they were in your life to begin with, let alone why they've left?  Does that make sense?  Ugh, I feel like I'm just repeating the same thing over and over and not making a point here; maybe I'm not trying to make a point but sort out my thoughts.
Silly to think or expect that I should know, because I'm pretty sure that is the mystery here.  I just know that if I had any sort of insight as to why people come and go and why things happen the way they do, my mind would be clearer and my life would be happier.  God, that sounds stupid.  Of course it would, Ang!

I'm just at a loss for how to move on knowing I've made the right decisions in life.  What if I've walked away from a 'lifetime' person because it felt like the 'reason' was met.
This goes way deeper than people though; I'm just scratching the surface here... one of life's great mysteries that you just have to take one day at a time, I guess.

Thanks for reading... I'm sure you'll agree that my thoughts are sometimes a waste of your time.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Cigarette in My Life... or NOT.

I started smoking when I was somewhere around... 7th grade.  Horrible, huh?  My dad started smoking when he was in 3rd grade... who does that?!  I've always considered myself a smoker, even during the times I didn't smoke.  There has never been a time in my life when I've been 'quit' where I didn't smoke once in awhile.  I've been an official non-smoker since November of 2004 - at least by my definition.  By my definition if I don't buy and smoke cigarettes regularly (daily), I'm a non-smoker.  I would have one here and there, mainly when I'd have a beer or two, but I'd never buy them and usually regret it the next morning.  When the smoking ban went into effect, it was great for me... sitting in a bar having a beer without a cloud of smoke over my head was just the thing I needed to not crave a cigarette.  Then summer would come and patios provided the opportunity for me to have the desire again.

It was a never ending battle for me, but nothing I was ever worried about as the most I'd ever have was one or two.  I entered a time in my life of great stress and turned to cigarettes to get me through.  I told absolutely no one, I bought a pack, I smoked them alone.  It dawned on me what I was doing and new I needed to quit ASAP - I tossed out the rest of the pack... all in all it was a horrible decision that lasted just a few days.  We all make mistakes and hopefully we learn from them; I try hard to live my life without regret.

I'm okay with smoking every now and again, if it is in fact just one or two - like I said above, I've always considered myself a smoker... I truly believe it's who I am, even if I'm not buying and smoking daily.

I've had a lot of people asking me lately if I want to smoke... well, maybe not a lot of people, but... well, for example, my weekend up north with my cousins - people all over were smoking and offering them to me as well - I turned my head at them every time; not something I generally do when I'm drinking.  I was so proud of myself when I woke up on Sunday morning and could say that I came out of 2 nights of heavy drinking without touching a cigarette!  Not even a drag.

I've seen a lot of people smoking on TV lately and it's making me think about it a lot more.  I'm not worried about starting again; I only do it when I'm drinking or stressed.  I just know that it's an ongoing battle... one that I have to be strong about and one that I've decided to finally blog about.
I'm extremely proud of myself for making it through the weekend without smoking... matter of fact, I can't remember the last time I did.  That's something worth writing about!!

Hope everyone has/had a great weekend - depending on when you read this ;)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Historic Photos of Minnesota

A One Hundred Ninety Nine page photo book or a One Hundred Ninety Nine page trip through the history of Minnesota?  Historic Photos of Minnesota is both.  With its page dominating photos and quick engaging history facts, it would make a great coffee table book in any home!

Together with Turner Publishing Company, Susan Marks has provided a walk through the history of Minnesota spanning from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s.

Born and raised in Minnesota and an aspiring photographer myself, this book hits close to home.  When I was offered the opportunity to look through it I immediately jumped at the chance.  It was so neat to open this book and see a waterfall (Pigeon River Falls) that I just seen on a recent trip this summer, taken 141 years ago!  My favorite bridge in Minneapolis (The Stone Arch Bridge) when it was actually used as a Railroad Bridge.  So many familiar places from so long ago it makes my mind wonder what does that corner look like now? or is that building still there? Its fascinating!  From logjams on the Minnesota River to Native American history, we are thick with culture here.  It actually makes me want to get out and see some more places; it's sometimes tough to take myself past glitz and glamor of the big (Twin) Cities!

A few of my favorites, in no particular order, can be found on:
Page 39 - A Photo of the Pillsbury A flour mill -Minneapolis was a huge milling district back in the day, this building still stands today and the "A" on the front of it is still visible.
Page 57 - The Duluth Aerial Bridge, which is now a lift bridge.  It's amazing to me that it hasn't always been a lift bridge; it used to have a gondola that rode back and forth hauling people and cars!!  It's a fantastic picture and probably one of my favorite history facts in the entire book.
Page 95 - Two Men sitting in a canoe pulling up a trout.  It's a great picture and captures the moment perfectly.  With our over 12,000 lakes it really depicts what Minnesota is all about, even way back then.
Page 113 - A group of kids playing in a checkers tourny at Logan Park.  Logan Park is in the neighborhood I grew up in, so it was really neat to see something that is still around today.
Page 183 - Toboggan Sleds racing down a track in St. Paul - I never knew such a thing happened, and boy, does it ever look fun!

All in all, you're not going to open this book and be overwhelmed by long boring facts but rather you'll see some very neat and interesting images captioned with a short, but descriptive, line or two of text.  Considering the era and the lack of photographic technology, most of the photos in this book are actually quite decent; in the lines of quality and content.  From mother nature delivering a HUGE snow storm to Martin Luther King Jr. making a stop in the great state, this book really documents a great deal about that time period.

There was one thing that caught the eye of a friend and myself as odd - I'm not sure if captions got jumbled or if photos got swapped, but pg. 59 and pg. 73 seems to be off from photo to caption, sort of.  Not a big deal as both are Photos of the St. Paul area, but something worth mentioning anyhow.

If you're looking for something to browse through over your morning coffee while learning a thing or two - this is the book for you.  Even if you don't drink coffee and have no interest in knowledge - I'd still give it a shot... you might be surprised ;)

Kudos to all involved in the making of this bit of history!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Now and Then

I'm so excited I finally have time to sit and write this - with heart and true feeling (not to mention I now have both pictures I need to write it)!  I don't even know where to begin....

Let me take you back 20 years, the year is 1989, I'm 7 years young.  My family gets this great idea to get all the cousins together for a portrait... my family is super neat in that we have 4 'families' - My Gma (dad's mom) had 4 kids; Jackie, Jill, Jayne, and John - each of which were married and had kids, a boy first and a girl second - 8 cousins total.  This was to be a portrait for my gma's birthday.
Here is the final product (after a long time of trying to get a good one):
(Click to Enlarge)

Now follow me back to the year 2009, about 3 months ago.  My cousin Bryan (who is in the blue shirt with black stripes in the above picture) buys a house and has a house warming party.  Me and my 2 girl cousins, Shannon and Michelle (who are the smallest girls in the above picture and also the girls I have pictures ALL OVER Facebook with), decide we need to take a look through Bryan's photo albums.  We find above photo and laugh about how funny we look (like my hair!) and then I look at the date and say Holy Crap, did you realize that was 20 years ago?!  We all stop and look at each other in utter shock.  Then our brains get going thinking things like Gma's Birthday is right around the corner... could we really pull something like this off?!  More importantly, can we pull it off without our parents knowing?!

Many email and lots of research later... we  have a date set, everyone can make it (which is asking a ton, if you know my family), this is for Gma... this is going to be good!
Shannon and myself are pretty much running the show, talking to people, telling people what to wear, etc.  About a week before our portrait date Shannon and I start freaking out...  what if someone doesn't show up?  What is a dark color really?  Is Bright Orange dark, cause I really wanna wear this shirt?  All the things two twenty somethings think about when planning such a huge thing!

Now walk with me to the day... it's a Monday, I work my shift, a complete wreck most of the day thinking about who I think will and won't show up (either cause they forgot or because 'something came up').... I go home, change and grab a spare shirt in case I don't match the rest of the bunch, Shannon picks me up (then insists we make a stop at a way overpriced Lemonade Stand on the way), we make our way to Target.  I'm in the bright Orange shirt after telling everyone to wear a dark color (what can I say, I look good in Orange). A few people are there... so far so good... a few more people show up... the last person to show is the person we were all most worried about... finally... HE SHOWS!!!  All 8 of us!?!?  Seriously, can this be real?!?!  Hurry Quick, before someone runs away!

Now follow me to about two weeks after the portrait when I go to Target and pick it up.  My jaw drops because this thing is so beautiful... and we all took the time to make it happen - Grandma is going to LOVE this!  I'm blown away, I can't wait to buy a frame and present this to gma on her birthday (which happens to be the 4th of July and a major family gathering [although this year it wasn't a full crowd]).

July 4th (actually July 3rd, but it was a July 4th celebration)- The day to give the gift.  Shannon, Michelle and I are all giddy with excitement... we can't wait BUT we have to wait for everyone to be there before we can let her open it... ugh.. Bryan is taking FOREVER to get there!  What feels like 7 hours later, he finally arrives... we beg our aunts (who have been in the dark technically, but have pretty well figured it out at this point) can we let her open it now... is it time for presents now?!  PLEASE?!!!!!?  They finally let us... Gma sees it and knows instantly what it is (come on, a huge picture frame wrapped isn't exactly hard to guess).  She doesn't know what it looks like though.  There were tears shed before she opened it!
Here is a shot of her opening it and seeing it for the first time:

Now, would you like to see it too?  I'll bet you would... 20 years have passed since we had our first portrait taken, we are older and (some of us) wiser; enjoy!

(Click to Enlarge)
Back Row: Jason, Jeff, Paul, Bryan
Front Row: Angela (me), Michelle, Kelly, Shannon
(each set of siblings are paired up)

I love my family.  We made Grandma's 85th Birthday a very special one for her... and it was worth every ounce of effort we put into it; I'd do it a million times over again to see the look on that lady's face!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

July 16th and only a handful of posts?!

So July is obviously a busy month for me... it's the 16th and this will only be my 6th post for the month.  lamed.

Let's quickly recap what I've been doing so far this July -
If you've been following my 365 Days of Hope (either on Facebook, as it's imported, or by direct link) you'll know that my weekends have been pretty jam packed with excitement!

The first weekend (July 3-5) was a long weekend for most - for me it was just like every other weekend in terms of days off.  I decided to work a full week (which for me is M-Th).  Friday was my grandma's Birthday celebration up at Mille Lacs - my gma was born on the 4th of July, but we decided to have the party on Friday so people could still do something with their weekend.  My friends and I had camping plans that weekend up near Lutsen - so Steve and I went to my gma's birthday on Friday for a couple hours and then made the drive up to camping.  While camping we hit up several state parks, did lots of hiking, and had an overall grand ole time!  At Lutsen Mountains, we stopped at rode the Alpine Slides (total blast!), rode a gondola over to Moose Mountain and hiked around through the woods.
We seen lots of neat waterfalls and climbed LOTS of stairs in the process - Devil's Kettle, which is a super awesome waterfall - one side of it falls into the river and the other side of it falls into a huge pothole and is unknown where it ends up!  It's a neat little thing...
We also kicked around in Grand Marais for a good part of the evening and killed some time while waiting for Fireworks to start.
Sunday we made a stop at Tettegouche State Park and hiked to the Upper Falls there - again, lots of stairs, lots of hiking.. and a suspension bridge :(  I'm not good with heights, so all of these state parks are really testing my nerves.
On the way home, Steve and I decided to kick around in Duluth for a bit, grab some lunch and a malt.  We went to the 'beach' (in quotes because Lake Superior at average is 40°F) - the beach is all rocks.. but I wanted to take some pictures of Steve skipping rocks... we ended up meeting a little girl named Jaden (who's mother was down the beach on the phone, not being a very good mother... I had to stop the poor little thing from picking up a dead bird sitting on the beach!)
Jaden wanted to throw rocks with Steve (look at that distance!):

Anyhow, Sunday was a great day... we slowly made our way home (late) and called it a weekend!

This past weekend (July 10-11, which ended up being July 10-14) was a lot of fun as well... busy, but fun.
Saturday, we all had plans to go to the St. Paul Saints game - we all met up early to tailgate and BBQ - the game was fun... I had never been to a Saints game before, it's a lot different than Twins games, thats for sure! We called it a night as early as possible as we had plans to get up early Sunday and make the drive to Grand Marais.
On the drive up we make a stop at Palisade Head, which is a huge rock formation on the lake:

We continued on, right past Grand Marais and drive to Grand Portage, which is the northern most point in Minnesota along the North shore.  Anything beyond that and you're in Canada, eh.  The Pigeon River is up there and home to the tallest waterfall in MN (120ft.) - of course I wanted to see it.
The intent was to stay one night - Steve's parents have a cabin for the week, so we stayed with them.  Well, come Sunday night we decided it would be in our best interest to take another day off work, if possible, and stay another night.  Both bosses approved the time off, so we stayed :)
Since we had all day Monday now to do whatever, we took our time getting up and making our way out - and around 2 o'clock we decided we are going to hike up to the highest point in Minnesota (Eagle Mountain, elv. 2301 ft.) - it's a 7 mile round trip hike (we thought it was somewhere around 5 miles RT).  It was a very interesting hike... extremely rough terrain; lots of big rocks, tree roots...and mosquitoes!  Then at the end of the hike in, you climb about 600ft in the last mile.  Pretty different from any of the hiking I had done up to that point.  So you get to the top and have a pretty sweet view out, you find a 'marker' that denotes the highest elevation in the state, take a picture and hike back down and out.  Our total time, round trip: 3 hours, almost to the minute - not bad for 7 miles of rough terrain hiking!
Looking out from the top and at the Marker:

We make the long drive home on Tuesday, stopping at The Cascade River and walking around for ~30-40 minutes... and also stop at Betty's Pies in Two Harbors for lunch and pie :)  yum.

This coming weekend is jam packed with drunkenness.. I'm going up to my aunts cabin on Mille Lacs with my outcast cousins - we are probably going to be bombed the whole time and sing lots of karaoke.  This is our Second Annual weekend up North.  I'm hoping to get some photos edited during the non-drinking hours so that I can come home and post them on my shutterfly.
On Sunday I have to be home at a decent hour because my little niecey-poo is celebrating her 2nd birthday!  Can you believe it?  I'm so excited, for the whole weekend!

The week days are generally spent running around doing whatever random thing I find to do- sometimes that means hitting up B-dubs for wings (which I don't think I've done in July at all!!) - Big Brother started on the 9th, so I'm trying to watch that AND watch the feeds and chat (which has not been going well as I've been gone a lot) - work is super busy so I don't have a lot of time to write (which I shouldn't be doing anyhow, but I generally know what I'm going to write so it only take me 10 or so minutes to blog, with a good mix of work in between) - I'm still lacking motivation to take pictures, I think that has a great deal to do with having my camera with me for these exciting weekends, nothing 'at home' is worthy of being photographed!  Other than that... I don't know what I've been doing!

I'll let you guys know when my shutterfly is updated and I'll try and blog a bit more often, maybe about Big Brother! :)

Word Bitches!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Voting is going on...

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that Kristi is working her tail off to post the categories for voting.  She isn't finished yet, and I will certainly let you know when she is, but if you'd like to take a look and do some voting in the mean time... follow this link.
So far she's gotten through about 11 categories.... out of 25 - so there are many more to come!

Also, if you missed my final post with all my photos - follow this link to view it.

If you're new to following my Photo Scavenger Hunts, here are links to all that I've done:
My 4th Photo Scavenger Hunt
Photo Scavenger Hunt 3
An Admirer's Photo Challenge
Photo Scavenger Hunt - Take 2
Photo Scavenger Hunt

Also, there is one for July, but I'm not entering, if you'd like to, here is the link:
Phun with Photography

A Great Recipe

Another little thing to lift your spirits.... some repeats from the last, but they must be important to make on 2 lists :)  Enjoy.


1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day.  And while you walk, smile.  It is the ultimate antidepressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.  Talk to God about what is going on in your life.  Buy a lock if you have to.

3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to__________ today.  I am thankful for______________'

4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water.  Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli , almonds & walnuts.

6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control.  Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

9. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

11. Don't take yourself so seriously.  No one else does.

12.  You are not so important that you have to win every argument.  Agree to disagree.

13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

14. Don't compare your life to others.  You have no idea what theirjourney is all about.

15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words:  'In five years, will this matter?'

17. Forgive everyone for everything.

18. What other people think of you is none of your business.

19. GOD heals everything  - but you have to ask Him.

20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick.  Your friends will. Stay in touch!!!

22. Envy is a waste of time.  You already have all you need.

23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for__________. Today I accomplished_________.

24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

25. When you are feeling down, start listing your many blessings. You'll be smiling before you know it. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I can't be fake

One thing I've never learned in life is how to act like I like someone that I don't.  Follow?

There is this bitch at work that annoys me to no end.  She is close to the definition of White Trash and she thinks she is a god around this place because she knows how to glue shit.
Recently I was assigned to a new project, this project includes taking pictures of damaged parts if we are unable to repair them.  Unfortunitely for me, this chick is the one working the closest with this project - so I'm stuck working with her a bit too. :(

The process is simple, imo, and I have worked it so that I deal with her as little as possible.  God forbid anything be her fault when I have a question on something.

Right off the bat I didn't like this bitch, she worked her last fall when we were in the middle of this same huge project.  She doesn't listen to authority, she explains problems to the wrong people (in detail) even after being told it's not that persons area, she refuses to accept responsibility for things that are in fact her fault.  She has an obnoxious crush on a guy that works here, even though she is 'engaged' - and slacks at work because she is chasing him around the shop.  No one sees this though, no one of authority anyhow.

My point here is not to bitch about her, although I could go on for days...

My point is that I can't be fake nice to her.  I don't like her, period.  I can't just blow her off because I have to work with her.  I want to just open up a can of whoop ass on her - lol... not really, but when she insists on doing stupid shit, I am forced to bite my tongue.  I know I talk to her in a certain tone, I know my office co-workers notice this, I know I do it.

I don't know how to be civil to someone I don't like.  When does that lesson come in life?

ugh... end of rant.  I needed to vent.  I don't feel better.
It's a good thing I don't surround myself with people I don't like!

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 4th - Sneak Peak

I have a job so I can't spend much time with this, but here is a sneak peak of some of the shots I got this weekend, camping near the Lutsen Mountains along the North Shore:

More to come...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

PSH 4 - Check!

So I finished, as some of you already know.  Those who don't, check it out here.  Leave a comment, because I'm a comment whore when it comes to these things, they make me feel so good - not to mention give me motivation to keep going!

What happens next?
When Nicole hosts the Photo Scavenger Hunts, you vote for an overall favorite.
When Kristi hosts, she takes all the entries and goes through them herself, picks a top group of favorite photos for each category, and posts individual blogs with voting per category.  At the end of all those postings, she posts one big blog linking to all the separate categories with her favorites, so you have one central place to go and you can vote from there.  At least that's how it worked last time... I assume the same or similar for this time.
Keep an eye out for that, I will be linking to it from my blog.

I would like to encourage you to look through a few of the entires in full, because some are so neat!  You can find the list of participants here.

Also, when it comes time to vote... don't vote for me because you know me, vote for your favorite in each category.. (which will probably be mine anyhow, jk [kinda]).

I enjoyed this one... it was definitely a challenge!  Not sure if I'm going to search out a July Hunt or not... stay tuned, I'll let you know if I find one and enter it.

Something I haven't done before with my PSH's is talk about them afterwards -
Some of my favorite shots of my own:

#2 Macro Shot - I absolutely love this photo.  I received flowers in the month of June and this flower was in the beginning stages of opening... I hadn't played with macro before but loved the look of the flower.  I played and came up with that shot.  I think it's just beautiful, very proud of that one!

#6 Sunset - I hit up several sunsets to try and get a shot that struck me... some were good, some bad, sometimes the clouds didn't cooperate, amongst many other variables.  I was down at Porky's one night during a huge car show in the cities, and was waiting for the sun to go down... all of the sudden - bright orange sun with a kid standing in my way, I kind of wanted to kick him out of my view, until I realized that he may add something very special to it.  I got low, and snapped away... it didn't look the greatest on the camera (I wasn't prepared to lay on the ground to get the shot), but kept it anyways.  On screen it caught me... turned out to be a great photo.

#10 A Garden - I love those flowers in my yard.  This was one of the last shots I posted, my yard is full of gardens, so I had several I was sitting on waiting to make a decision - I took this one just days before the end of the month.  I love the DOF (depth of field) on it - it just makes me smile.

#11 A Park - I went to a huge park made of wood, hoping for either "A Park" or "Something made of Wood" shots... I ended up climbing all over the park taking pictures of park related things.  The monkey bars seemed so obvious to me as a photograph... I played with focus quite a bit looking for the perfect focal length.  I like how this turned out, rather than a picture of a whole park!

#12 Street Scene - night shots are my favorite, I love lights and color, both things make great photography subjects.  Generally a tripod is a must, which I hate using.  I wanted to toy with the manual features of my camera, so I thought Porky's during th car show would be busy, colorful, lit up, and a great 'street scene'... You have no idea how many pictures I took; adjusting shutter speeds, angles, etc.  I'm really please with the way this one turned out.

#16 Earth- Simple Photoshop filter, applied twice.  I thought taking a landscape type photo with sky, land,  and water would make a great 'Earth' with the filter applied.  I went through all my Gooseberry Falls photos and found this one and knew I had a great shot to work with.  I applied the filter and voila - you have Earth.  I don't  post process my images much.. so this was a treat for me.

#18 Fire - camping in the beginning of the month lead to MANY fire shots... this one was taken at the PERFECT time as my buddy Jeff was dropping a log into the fire.  Money!

#19 Water - I'm obsessed with getting a perfect shot of flowing water, night time allows for  the best time because you can leave your shutter open for longer, without absorbing all the sunlight.  I was lucky to find back lighting on this dam to assist in showing the water flow.  I just love it.

#24 Railroad Related - I like this shot because it really shows the end of the track... kind of a neat perspective, imo.

#25 Something Round - I think I'd be disowned if I didn't at least mention this shot ;)  I really like the DOF on this one too... I did some post processing on this one, and for someone who doesn't know much about Photoshop, I think it turned out pretty well.  To the naked unprofessional eye, you can't tell what's done.  Plus, I went above and beyond and found FOUR round things :)  Check out a few more photos of the car... I really dig the middle photo.

Thats about it people.  Hope you have enjoyed my photos :)


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