Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Lotta Numbers

Today, my car rolled over to 100,000 miles, and it's still in great shape. We gave it a makeover with a steering wheel cover, new rugs, and pretty soon a tuneup.

Today, the money got to where it was supposed to be, and we bought my new camera! It should be in on Monday or Tuesday. And I already have two couples who have booked photography sessions, with one even referring to me as "the photographer" in her e-mail to her family.

Today, I presented an ad budget that was 84% higher than last year, and the president accepted it. He also loved the new web site, which is scheduled to be online Jan '08.

Today has been a great day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My role in the environment

I think I would have been a tree-hugger living in a tree named Luna were I not a Christian. I love nature, and had I not had a larger cause for which to fight, this is the one I would have chosen. Instead, I fight for the Kingdom, and my battles are for the eternity of souls, not just for the limited future of our planet.

As a conservative Christian, I have learned through observation that people who fight for the cause of the rain forest or the spotted barn owl are "crazy liberals." As a reaction, I tend to ignore environmentalism entirely, so as to be considered a good and conforming Christian.

Yet we as Christians have a clear directive to care for the planet God created for us. As ones who know the real origin of the species, and why we're put on this earth, we should be the most qualified to care for it. Unlike non-Christians, we know the value of our planet, and we also know the value of the human souls on the planet. Many environmentalists put the planet before the people. Sacrifice all for the sake of the earth! Instead, we need to put the people before the planet.

I do believe we have an obligation to care for the earth the best that we can. With that in mind, here are things that I already do:
  • Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle.
  • Drive less. My job allows me to do this very well, with a commute only once a week.
  • Recycle basic items: milk jugs and food boxes.
Not much, I know. Here are the things I plan to do.
  • Purchase a 2nd trash can for the kitchen, which will hold glass, metal and cardboard recycling.
  • Dedicate the office trash can to recyclable paper only.
  • Take bags with me to the grocery store to carry my groceries with, so I won't need to use so many plastic bags.
  • Plant a tree in my back yard.
Nothing profound, I know, but something worthwhile.

Here are other bloggers who have posted their thoughts much better than I could (and I'll update if anyone else posts):
Christian Thinker
The Thinking Servant: Part 1, Part 2
Leanna's Little Spot
Margie's Take Two

Monday, October 29, 2007

All dressed up and nowhere to go!

So many good things have happened lately (despite the post below!).

One, Jon's schedule is now officially moved to days! He'll only work nights on Friday evening, but the rest of his schedule has moved to regular 8 to 5 working hours. I'll be so glad to have him home in the evenings!

Second, my new lens is in, and I have all the money I need to buy a camera! I've got my cart all full of what I'm going to buy on Adorama.com, and I'm just waiting for Paypal to clear so I can push the "Checkout" button. I'm really excited about the possibility of doing portraits for people. I think they will make great Christmas gifts, and be inexpensive, too!

Third, did I tell you Jon and I biked 28 miles two Saturdays ago? We did our trip from Weatherford to Mineral Wells. It turns out, 6 miles til Mineral Wells, the trail was closed due to flooding, so we had to turn around. But it was a great time and a beautiful day!

Another beautiful day was this past Saturday, when we spent the day painting and nailing up trim at a Habitat for Humanity project. It was great to meet the new home owner and paint alongside her. And I carried on my dad's legacy of being a great caulker! (If I do say so myself.)

Fall is in full swing, and is as busy as ever. But it's fun, and I'm loving it.

An Emotional Reactor

Hi, my name is Lydia, and I'm an Emotional Reactor.

Last week, I saw an elderly man who had fallen and hit his head on concrete. There was blood everywhere (as there is with head injuries), and it was a tense several minutes waiting for the ambulance. When I came home from that incident, I told Jon how much it had scared me. I prayed for the man and his family, and--not able to do anything else--I moved on. However, later that day, I snapped at Jon and caused a huge blowup over a trivial issue. At the end of that argument, I realized that it wasn't the little thing Jon did that I was upset about; it was the image of the man in a pool of blood that was replaying in my mind. I hadn't realized how much it bothered me.

Something similar happened last night. I had several things occur yesterday that could have upset me, including a forum discussion about Registered Sex Offenders in the church. I didn't know that I was upset, though, until I careened right into a confused argument with Jon. Confused, because Jon had no idea where it was coming from. And I didn't either, really, until I could look at it in retrospect, and understand how much I'd internalized the things I'd heard that evening.

So I've realized I'm an emotional reactor. I take things really hard with no initial warning signs. Then, when it comes out, it's an explosion that no one should be around for! I'm sorry to say that Jon has been around for more than his share!

So, how does one combat a problem like this? We all know that the first step is recognizing I have a problem (hence the first sentence of this post). But what after that? How do I become aware of something that has up til now only revealed itself in retrospect?

Well, to continue with the AA 12-Step-Program, it turns out that the next step is (gasp!) trusting in God to fix the problem. Now I feel like the idiot Christian who should know better. So, you can be sure that I'll be bringing this issue to the One who created me, who must sigh every time I get so blind. And as for you, well, if I get upset with you, have some patience and remember that my idealistic heart can't handle all the evils of this world, and sometimes that reaction comes out when no one expects it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Reminder

Don't forget! If you have thoughts on Environmentalism, please post them on October 30!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Spring Camping Trip 2007

So, last April our class from church went on a camping trip. I never really posted about it because I video taped it all, and that takes longer to put together than a photo slideshow. Well, we've got our next camping trip coming up, so to promote interest, I finally put together the video. I'm using music from MercyMe's new album (see previous post). I actually got this song from FreeCCM.com. It takes an e-mail and password, but otherwise looks like it's a free and legal way to download Christian music. I'll let you know if I get a ton of junk mail from it.

Without much further ado, here's the Camping Trip Video! Oh, and I hope you've got high-speed internet, because it's a big one...and you just need high speed.

video

MercyMe's New Album!

MercyMe is coming out with a new album Nov. 20th! I heard the new single, and it's really amazing. It's called God With Us, and it will be on the new All That Is Within Me album. Click the link and listen to the first song. It just makes you want to put your hands in the air and worship!

The best news is that MercyMe has always had great CD prices, but you can preorder this album for only $11.97, and that includes an autograph from the band, a link to preview music, and the collector's edition cd, which has video, a ringtone, acoustic versions of songs, etc.

Needless to say, I've already told Jon this would be a perfect Christmas gift for me.....and I just talked to him on the phone, and we're going to go ahead and get it! Hooray! Since it's a "limited edition" I convinced him we needed to get it now. He loves MercyMe as much as I do, so it didn't take too much convincing.... :)

Next time you see me driving in the car, I'll be jamming to the new MercyMe!! ...Okay, at least after Nov. 20th.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Group Effort: Environmentalism

I've been more and more aware of environmental activism. Yesterday I stumbled upon a blog whose author's main goal was to eliminate plastic from her home and daily use. Today is something called "Blog Action Day " where bloggers can post about what they'll do to save the environment. Everything has a "green" option. A blog I frequent often has put up several posts on being more environmentally-conscious, and today I started reading a review on Leonardo DiCaprio's "11th Hour" film, which is evidently about "going green." To top it off, Al Gore gets a standing ovation wherever he goes because of his film on global warming.

All of this can rub me the wrong way, but I realize that it is mostly because this is a "liberal's battle." Liberals are at the forefront of every green cause. However, I have a feeling that Christians, as stewards of this earth, should be the biggest proponents of "saving the earth." And I'd like to know what you think about that.

So, here's the idea. Today is Blog Action Day, and I realize we've missed the boat on that one. But let's take one day where we all post about environmental issues. It can be pro-green, anti-green, whatever you believe about our (Christian) role in the environment, and the popularity of going green.

I'm asking because I'd really like to know what other conservatives think on the issue, and I'd like to delve into it myself, and see if I can figure out what I think. I also realize that thinking it through forces me to be active about what I believe. Thus far, I've been a half-hearted recycler, and that's the "greenest" I've gotten. So, when you come to a conclusion, include the action that's required due to that conclusion--and all conclusions will require action.

If you want to be involved, let's post our Thoughts on Environmentalism in two weeks, October 30th. And remember, comments on today's post shouldn't include environmental thoughts--save those for the 30th!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blessings

On Saturday, we came home from the Fair (more on that later) to find our A/C had frozen up. There's a leak in the something-or-other that needs to be fixed or replaced, but our landlord hasn't wanted to do that, yet (both options are expensive, and this came up very soon after the flood). So, we can only assume the leak has gotten worse, which caused the A/C to not cool the house like it should, which caused the air to keep running, which caused the unit to freeze up.

So, the A/C guy is supposed to come out today, but that meant two nights of no cool air. Thankfully, it's been wonderfully cool outdoors. Most of our window screens aren't sturdy enough to open the windows; basically they're pieces of screen screwed in at various areas, but the corners flap open and Friday could get out easily. But, the screens in our bedroom windows are actual screens--granted, they're still screwed in place, but at least they don't let Friday out.

So, we opened the windows, added another fan to our room, and enjoyed the cool. Then, (the best part) it rained last night. And it's still raining this morning! How wonderful to wake up to thunder rolling and the rain pitter pattering on the grass.

There couldn't have been a better time for the air to go out.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Doodle of the Day


The point is the fish. Disregard the fluff behind the fish. :)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Signing Off for a Few Days

I'll be in the office for a Marketing Meeting the next few days. Activities include a habachi grill, a "team building exercise" requiring jeans and flat shoes, a presentation of the web site (my part), and endless meetings. The perks include paid meals and staying with John and Karen!

I'll be back at the end of the week, and I don't expect to have much blogging time until then. So, see ya on the weekend!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Man O' Mine

1. Who is your man? Jon
2. How long have you been together? 6 years
3. How long did you date? 6 mos before engagement, then 10 more months before wedding
4. How old is your man? 27
5. Who eats more? Jon, but I can hold my own!
6. Who said "I love you" first? Jon did, sort of under his breath, like he was practicing to say it to me for real later. I don't think he knew I heard. :)
7. Who is taller? Jon, by 10 inches. That's why we have a kissing stool. :)
8. Who sings better? We sing best when we sing together! (Awww....)
9. Who is smarter? Jon is definitely smarter; I'm more curious, but don't retain as much information
10. Whose temper is worse? Hm...we both have a pretty quick temper
11. Who does the laundry? Jon is the laundry guru in our house!
12. Who takes out the garbage? I gather it around the house and leave it on the doorstep, and he puts it in the big trash can and rolls it to the street when he gets home from work. It's a group effort....
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I have always slept on the right side.
14. Who pays the bills? Jon pays all the bills
15. Who is better with the computer? Definitely Jon.
16. Who mows the lawn? Jon, AND he weed eats. It's amazing what a difference weed eating makes.
17. Who cooks dinner? Both of us cook. Jon used to do it most evenings, but we're probably pretty even now.
18. Who drives when you are together? Definitely Jon. I hate driving and pass the keys whenever I can!
19. Who pays when you go out? Jon. It's all from the same pot, but he doesn't like it when I pay.
20. Who is most stubborn? We both are!
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Jon is. I'm never wrong. *wink!*
22. Whose parents do you see the most? Mine, but we stay with his longer when we do see them.
23. Who kissed who first? Jon kissed me, another thing done as if he were practicing for later--on my head as he left my apartment. I had never experienced weak knees until then! My first kiss!
24. Who asked who out? If you count all the times I made up stuff to do where I needed transportation, I asked him out first. But for our official first date, he asked me.
25. Who proposed? Jon, of course! And it was perfect.
26. Who is more sensitive? Probably me, but he was the one who taught me how to cry.
27. Who has more friends? Our friends come in couples, so we're kind of even.
28. Who has more siblings? We both have one brother: mine's older, his is younger.
29. Who wears the pants in the family? Jon, though if it were up to him, it would be shorts. And flip flops and a t-shirt. Perfect all-weather apparel.

Friday, October 05, 2007

My first camera purchase


It's mine! All mine!

That was me winning victoriously, as ebay tells me I should.

I made my first camera purchase today. I've been on the lookout for the camera and one particular lens, the 50mm f/1.8. I used it at Mawmaw's wedding, have read dozens of reviews about it, and it's a really great product for the price. It's one of the (if not THE) least expensive lenses Canon offers, and it sounds like most photographers have it (or the more expensive brother, the f/1.4). Because it's f/1.8, it's really good in low/natural light, which is the way I take most of my photos. Anyway, they run about $80 new, and even on ebay, they're usually still $80. So when I saw one near the end of bidding for $50, I put my bid in, and won it for $57! Hooray!

So, it sets my camera fund back a little bit, but not really, since I would want to use this lens with the camera first thing out of the box. It also means I can look for a camera body only (no included lens), which will save some money. I've debated back and forth on that one, because it's well-known that the included lens is not a very good lens, so most people replace it very quickly. On the other hand, it's a different type of lens than the 50mm--a zoom lens as opposed to a "prime" lens--and to buy an "acceptable" zoom lens costs a lot more than the extra cost of buying the camera with the included lens (most lenses are in the hundreds of dollars range). So, it might be a "bird in the hand" kind of situation. If I bought the camera with the included lens, it's better than no zoom lens at all.

Still, I think I would take most portraits primarily with the 50mm anyway, and then, if I make some money doing that, I could save up for a nice zoom. The zoom would be more for nature photography, which I know I will also do lots of.

Well, I'll still have to think about what I want to do. One cool thing is that once I do have the camera body, I can try out lenses by renting them for the weekend pretty cheaply. Then I would be very informed about my choice, like I am with the 50mm.

So, if anybody wants portraits done (couple, family, baby belly...) be ready for the day when I get the whole camera!

"For you, very good price...."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The MOM song

For all you soon-to-be and been-there-done-that moms out there....

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Garage Sale Report

Last Friday and Saturday were a ton of fun! Waking up before the sun was up, making coffee, setting up, and meeting all kinds of people throughout the day.

The best part was confirming that people are good. We took lots of precautions to make sure that we and our possessions were safe, but we were very suspicious of people taking our garage sale stuff. Sure, it was all going to Goodwill after the sale anyway, but it was the principal of the matter! Four times over the two days, we though that someone had taken something. But, each time we found the item in question, or it turned out they had paid someone else for it. No one stole anything. So that was good.

I got a nice sunburn from the experience. Friends of ours stopped by, which was fun. Margie even stayed and helped pack up on Friday afternoon!

At the end of Saturday, all I had left on my tables was stuff I didn't think would sell anyway. I earned about $100, which is going toward my camera. I only had one person who knew what an enlarger was, and looked around at the photo easels I had. I got really excited, and brought out my price list, ready to deal. It turned out he had three enlargers at home, and couldn't even give them away, which he'd tried. He encouraged me to sell my paper on ebay, but that the rest he didn't have much hope for selling. Dang.

Funny things that happened at the sale:
An old man buys only one thing: a bra.
A man looks at a credit card holder, "Is this wallet just for the ladies?"
Language barrier: a lady says, "I betta move ma coe." Turns out it was her car she was referring to.
Man buys a whole bunch of baskets. As he's paying, I ask him what he plans to do with all those baskets. His answer, "I don't know if you believe in fairies or not, but with all the construction and taking away woodlands, the fairies don't have a place to live any more. So they come into our houses. You know when your toaster doesn't work or your CD is busted? That's because of the fairies! So, my wife uses baskets to make fairy gardens. She puts live dried plants [yes, they're alive and dried at the same time...] in these baskets, puts the first fairy in, and then sells them for people to put in their homes."

Straight, deadpan, serious. This man believes in fairies.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Lydia Speak

Your Linguistic Profile:

65% General American English

25% Dixie

5% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

0% Yankee