31st Jan2012

A Secret Kept A Novel by Tatiana de Rosnay {Book Review}

by Daenel

A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay {Book Review}BOOK DESCRIPTION (FROM THE BOOK)

 This stunning new novel from Tatiana de Rosnay, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Sarah’s Key, plumbs the depths of complex family relationships and the power of past secret to change everything in the present.

It all began with a simple seaside vacation, a brother and sister recapturing their childhood. Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island, where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach. It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island ~ over thirty years since their mother died and the family holidays ceased. But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories: it reminds Mélanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last summer. When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.

Recovering from the accident in a nearby hospital, Mélanie tries to recall what caused her to crash. Antoine encounters an unexpected ally: sexy, streetwise Angèle, a mortician who will teach him new meanings for the words life, love and death. Suddenly, however, the past comes swinging back at both siblings, burdened with a dark truth about their mother, Clarisse.

Trapped in the wake of a shocking family secret shrouded by taboo, Antoine must confront his past and also his troubled relationships with own children. How well does he really know his mother, his children, even himself? Suddenly fragile on all fronts as a son, a husband, a brother and a father, Antoine Rey will learn the truth about his family and himself the hard way. By turns thrilling, seductive and destructive, with a lingering effect that is bittersweet and redeeming, A Secret Kept is the story of a modern family, the invisible ties that hold it together, and the impact it has throughout life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tatiana de Rosnay was born in the suburbs of Paris and is of English, French and Russian descent.  She is the author of nine French novels.  She also writes for French ELLE, and is a literary critic for Psychologies magazine.  Tatiana de Rosnay is married and has two children.  Sarah’s Key is her first novel written in her mother tongue, English

You can follow her on Twitter by clicking here or visit her website by clicking here.

MY OPINION

I wanted to like this book, I really did. I think Tatiana de Rosnay is a fabulously talented writer but this book left so much to be desired. First of all, there was the really weird relationship between Antoine and his sister. OK, perhaps there wasn’t a “relationship” per se, but he admired his sister’s body in ways that made me more than just a little bit uncomfortable.

And speaking of Antoine, I thought he was too whiny. About everything. I wanted to grab him by the collar, shake him and tell him to man up!  I know parents feel guilt over divorcing and they have a hard time reprimanding their children, but allowing them to become juvenile delinquents is not the answer.

Also, without giving away the family secret, I think a homicide would have been a far better choice…

The one positive in this story had to be Angèle. She warrants her own story. I like the way she talked about death and how we have to come to grips with the death of loved ones and the fact that we won’t always have answer to the “whys” of life.

FAVORITE SENTENCE(S)

Page 141

For a long time I have felt like an Alcatraz inmate, desperately feeding on the scraps the wind sends my way ~ laughter, singing, and music, the hub~bub of a crowd I can hear but will never see.

LEAST FAVORITE SENTENCE(S)

Page 142

The printer makes a moaning noise like a woman in labor.

RATING
★★

Disclosure: This review refers to the electronic version of this book. I didn’t receive any compensation for this post.

31st Jan2012

Marriage {Bible Reading Plan Day 2}

by Daenel

Marriage {Bible Reading Plan Day 2}SCRIPTURE

Ecclesiastes 9:9 {NIV}

Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun~ all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labour under the sun.

OBSERVATION

There is one key point for me:

  1. “Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love…” ~ a husband is to find peace and contentment with his wife because he loves her and he chose to be with her

APPLICATION

There are so many different diversions out there e.g. video games, movies, etc. that it’s easy to start seeking peace, love and happiness from those things but God commands us to enjoy life with our spouses. He established marriage in the beginning so that man would not be alone {Genesis 2:18~24}, so that he would have a partner to comfort him. Life is hard and can become routine {note the repeated use of the word “meaningless in the scripture} so you have to make sure you choose your partner wisely.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for my husband. Thank you for putting us on the path that we are now on, where we can entertain each other and make each other laugh. Thank you for helping us to find the joy in our marriage. Amen.

30th Jan2012

Oliver~Leming House {Getting to Know Missouri}

by Daenel

Last Friday while perusing the newspaper, I saw an ad announcing a tour of and lecture about the Oliver~Leming House that was being presented to the Cape County Historical Society. The nerd in me totally geeked out because I love touring historic homes. My dream is to some day own and renovate one. So I called the hubs at work and asked him if he’d like to attend with me. He agreed and we made plans to attend.

We arrived late. The wrong address was listed in the newspaper, so we drove up and down several streets looking for the house until I recognized it from the newspaper. Because it was getting close to the tours to end, I told the hubs to turn the car around but he was persistentI’m happy he’s stubbornThis time.

Front View {Oliver House}

The house tour was well worth the persistence…

Oliver House Family Photographs

Started in 1895, the Oliver~Leming House was built and owned by the Oliver family for 45 years and then owned for another 45 years by the Leming family, both of whom are prominent Cape Girardeau families. The Oliver~Leming House was designed by J.B. Legg, a prominent St. Louis architect who also designed Academic Hall at Southeast Missouri State University (to see a picture, click here).  Currently the residence of Mary Ann and Bert Kellerman, the home is undergoing renovations according to the original specifications and blueprints as designed by J.B. Legg and Senator Oliver.

Oliver House Interior Column and Door KnobsOne of the hallmarks of Legg’s work was his use of a combination of oak and cypress woods. Although the house has undergone many incarnations {including wood paneling over the original plaster walls} over the years, none of the original woodwork has ever been painted or stripped. Therefore, it retains its original finish.

The first floor has pine floors while the second floor is pine. During the 1990s, the upstairs bedrooms were covered with wall~to~wall floral carpeting, which has since been removed. There are working pocket doors throughout the downstairs, as well as  six coal~burning fireplaces. The original door hardware, hinges, transom hardware and interior privacy locks are still in the home. There’s even a lock outside the maid’s quarters so that she could be locked out of the main house when the family desired privacy. How crazy cool is that? And, um, just a little bit scary.

Family Growth Chart {Oliver House}

Much of the family charm still exists in the home, such as a family growth chart that will be preserved with a plexiglass covering.

I hope that we’ll get to see the home once the renovations have been completed. I can see their vision and I know that this is definitely going to be a showplace. If you’d like to see the rest of the pictures from our tour, please go here and check them out.

30th Jan2012

Marriage {Bible Reading Plan Day 1}

by Daenel

Marriage {Bible Reading Plan Day 1}SCRIPTURE

Genesis 2:18 {NIV}

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

OBSERVATION

Two things stick out for me from this scripture:

  1. “…It is not good that the man should be alone;” ~ God knew that man needed someone like himself to talk to and interact with so that he would not be lonely
  2. “I will make him an help meet for him.” ~ woman was made to be man’s partner and helper; her God ordained role was to help her husband by meeting his needs

APPLICATION

My husband always says that his primary duty at work is to make his boss’s job easier. Meaning his responsibility is to take care of the detail work so that his boss can keep an eye on the big picture.  He also says if he isn’t making his boss’s job easier then he should be fired. Crazy sense of responsibility, right? This should also be the primary role of the wife ~ to make her husband’s life easier so he can focus on the big stuff.

I know I’m guilty of adding stress to my husband by bogging him down with the gory details of life. There have been times when I’ve dropped the ball on things that he’s asked me to take care of either because I forgot or because I simply didn’t want to handle it. Not cool. As a “help meet” to my husband, my responsibility is to keep the house running, make sure the kids have everything they need, essentially to make his home life easier so that he can take care of his work life and provide for us.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for recognizing that we’re not meant to be alone. Thank you for placing my husband in my life and for trusting me with my children. Help me to meet all of their needs and to be the wife and mother that you have called me to be. Amen.

28th Jan2012

Random Thoughts

by Daenel

Coffee and Nutmeg

1. The other day I received an email from my daughter’s school telling parents that kids are using nutmeg to get high. Seriously? Who sat down, looked at a container of nutmeg and said “Hmmmm, I wonder if this can get me high?” What is wrong with these kids? Nutmeg belongs in coffee and pie. Not up your nose.

2. I did a big ol’ photo dump on Monday. Do you ever do that? It’s like I had a million pictures saved that needed to be edited. Where did they all come from? I don’t even remember taking half of them. That means they’re sitting on my camera too long. Must do better.

3. My favorite Bible is app right now is Glo Bible. I absolutely love it! It’s interactive and it’s free. It has videos, maps, virtual tours, etc. Very cool. The only thing about using an app is that it makes it hard to find the chapters and verses in a “real” Bible. Duuuude, scriptures don’t just pop up in books.

Port Cape Girardeau By Night

4. Speaking of photography, I entered four of my photographs in a local photography contest called “Capture the Community”. The contest is sponsored by Southeast Missourian, the photograph with the highest number of votes wins a $75 gift card. If you’d like to check out my pictures, go here. I’d also be your very best friend if you went here and voted for me.

So how’s your Saturday going?

27th Jan2012

Tools of the Trade {Shoot. Edit. Submit.}

by Daenel

Tools of the Trade

I was never much of a pink lipstick girl. I prefer browns and berries but lately, I’ve been playing around with brighter/softer colors. I’m still not completely sold but I’m trying…

Do you change up your lipstick colors or do you stick with the tried and true?

I’m linking up with Misty and Kim for Shoot. Edit. Submit. If you’d like to join in, the “rules” are simple:

  1. The photo must be taken this week {Saturday~Friday}Shoot. Edit. Submit.
  2. Only one entry per person
  3. Must have the “Shoot. Edit. Submit.” button or text link to back to this week’s post to qualify
  4. Link only to the blog post and not your main blog URL

And make sure you visit some of the other participants and leave some comment love.

27th Jan2012

Why Does God Love Me? {Bible Reading Plan Day 5)

by Daenel

Tree TrunkSCRIPTURE

Titus 3:5 {NIV}

he saved us, not because of  righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

OBSERVATION

Two key points for me are:

  1. “he saved us not because of the righteous things we had done, but because f his mercy”:  Romans 3:23 {NIV} says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” so it wasn’t our works or the goodness in our hearts that caused God to save us, it was His mercy. Mercy can be defined as compassion that’s shown towards an offender {sinner} or the offering of divine favor, so God has shown divine favor on us sinners and given us the opportunity to be renewed
  2. “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit”: “rebirth” and “renewal” implies that we are new again and it is through the cleansing of the Holy Spirit that we are made so

APPLICATION

One of my biggest faults is my temper. I have to constantly remind myself to “be angry and sin not” {Ephesians 4:26}. I’ve gotten better about not letting the sun go down on my anger but, let me tell ya, there are times when it’s truly a struggle. That’s when I have to think back over my life and all of the mean and nasty things that I’ve done and/or said to people and remember that God looked at all that, read the thoughts passing through my head, saw the darkness in my heart and said “I love Daenel. I’m going to have to do something to help her out. Jesus, I need you to go down there, make some friends, preach for a little while and then die. But it won’t be a quick and easy death. See, I’m gonna need you to get betrayed by one of your friends, lied on, beat up and spit on. Wait, there’s more. You’re gonna have to get nailed to a cross, pierced in the side with a sword and then die a slow and agonizingly painful death… But, and this is the important part, I’m going to need you rise up in 3 days!”

PRAYER

Dear Father, thank you for the gifts of your love and mercy that were shown to me even before I came to be. Thank you for sending your son as the ultimate sacrifice for my sins. Please help me to show the same grace, mercy, love and kindness to those who are with me. Help me to forgive even when it hurts. Amen.

26th Jan2012

Pears {This or That Thursday}

by Daenel

I spent a little bit of time playing with some fruit that I had laying around the house. Truth be told, I should be eating it instead of photographing it because it’s like thisclose to going bad, but I couldn’t resist the pretty colors. Did I tell you that I get distracted by shiny? Well, apparently I get distracted by pretty colored food too.

Orange and Pears
I’m also experimenting with Photoshop in preparation for next month’s One in Thirty Photography Challenge, you can read about it here. I didn’t realize how much fun it could be. I mean, I’ve tweaked stuff using Photoshop but learning to manipulate stuff is both fun and intimidating.

Pear

I’ve been watching a lot of tutorials and reading over some of my favorite photography blogs, so that’s helping a lot. And today I found out that my son will be taking Photoshop at school, so I think the fact that I’m teaching him how to drive is payment enough for him to teach me a few things. And, you know, there’s that whole I gave him life thing…

Pear and Newspaper

I haven’t really started playing with textures and actions yet but I think that’s next on my list of things to do. Do you have any recommendations for free actions? If so, leave them in the comments section below.

Red Pear
I’m also thinking that these pears would make some tasty pear tarts. Oooh, or how about dipping them in caramel and rolling them in crushed walnuts? Insert tummy grumble Ummmm, yeah, I think I’m done here…

This or That ThursdayI’m linking up with Deb from Deb Duty Photography for This or That Thursday. If you’d like to link up, here are the “rules”:

  • Submit the URL of your blog post, not your homepage
  • Link up to a photo that was taken by you
  • Include a link back to Deb’s blog (you can use a link or the button)
  • Visit a few other blogs and leave some comment love

Do you have any suggestions for what to do with my pears?

26th Jan2012

Why Does God Love Me? {Bible Reading Plan Day 4}

by Daenel
Bollinger Mill Historic Site

To see more pictures from our adventure, click here

SCRIPTURE

Jeremiah 29:11 {NIV}

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

OBSERVATION

From the beginning, God has had plans for us. He created us, therefore He knows our strengths and our weaknesses, He knows what we can and cannot do. And with this knowledge, His plan for us is that we use our talents to be happy, healthy and prosperous in Him.

APPLICATION

I have often said that I have the navigational skills of a monkey in a hurricane. Case in point, a few weeks back, my daughter and I were driving home from running so errands and, on a whim, we decided to check out the Bollinger Mill Historic Site (the sign said it was about 13 miles up the road). We had no idea what the Bollinger Mill Historic Site was but neither of us was really ready to go home so

Midway through the drive, I started to panic because it was at that point that we realized we have driven more than 13 miles and that we were in the middle of nowhere. Cows and farmland as far as the eye could see. I kid you not, it was about 45 minutes and twenty~something miles later that we arrived at our destination.

I hid my panic from my daughter as we talked and laughed and took pictures along the way. We sung songs, teased each other and had a wonderful afternoon. In my getting lost, God was able to allow me to bond with my daughter. You see, not all the time is “prosperity” about wealth, sometimes it’s about creating memories, spending time with loved ones and just laughing.

I needed that moment with my daughter. I had been feeling a little bit lost and out of sorts. Friendless. And God knew that I needed someone to perk me up. He took what could have been an anxiety provoking moment for me and turned it into something beautiful.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank You for the plans that You have for my life. Thank You for using my weaknesses to show Your strength. Thank you for knowing what I need, when I need it. Amen.

25th Jan2012

My Cup Overflows {Word Filled Wednesday}

by Daenel

My Cup Overflows

I’m linking up with:

Word Filled Wednesday

Woven by Words

 

 

 

 

 

Scripture & a Snapshot

Wordless Wordful Wednesday

25th Jan2012

Why Does God Love Me? {Bible Reading Plan Day 3}

by Daenel

Tree BranchSCRIPTURE

Psalm 136:1 {NIV}

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.

OBSERVATION

We are to give thanks to the Lord for all of His blessings and for His never ending love.

APPLICATION

The other day as I was leaving the post office, I saw a woman trying to balance a giant box and open the door at the same time so I quickly moved to the side, opened the door and held it for her and she brushed past me without so much as a nod. I stood there a minute, door still wide open… Seriously, she couldn’t say “thank you”? What has happened to common courtesy?

As I read today’s verse, I wondered how many times I’ve left God just standing there with the door open? How many times have I failed to acknowledge the many gifts He has given to me?

PRAYER

Father, I just want to thank you for all that you’ve done for me. I want to thank you for my life, my health and my strength. I want to thank you for the family and friends that you’ve given to me. I want to thank you for the daily reminders of your enduring love.  Amen.

24th Jan2012

Round 8 {Library Day in the Life Project}

by Daenel

Library Day in the LifeOnce again, my friend Bobbi at Librarian by Day is coordinating the Library Day in the Life Project. The Library Day in the Life Project is a semi~annual librarian and library worker share fest. In other words, librarians and library workers from all over the world (and I do mean all over the world) share a day or a week in their lives with each other. It’s a chance to exchange ideas, share projects and talk about the different jobs within libraries.

I’ve participated in the Library Day in the Life Project whenever I’ve had the opportunity because I believe deeply that libraries provide vital services for the communities they serve. Even when I’m not working at a library, I support the mission of libraries by encouraging people to develop a love of life long learning. If you’ve ever wondered what librarians do or asked the question, “You go to college for this?”, you definitely need to check out the Library Day in the Life Project.

For my blogging friends, please take the time to read the blogs, like the Facebook page or view the flickr stream of the librarians who are participating in Library Day in the Life. You can also follow the conversations on Twitter using the hashtag #libday8. This is your chance to get a “behind the scenes” look at what it takes to make your library run. You’ll learn that being a librarian is more than checking out books. Librarians are on the cutting edge of technology, they’re innovators who work hard to make sure that you have access to information in its various forms.

For my library friends, this is an opportunity for you to escape the echo chamber and reach a new audience. Many parenting/book bloggers are passionate users of library services (just check out this post at Houseful of Nicholes) and they understand that their voices carry weight. Talk to them, explain to them the services that your libraries provide and how those services will be impacted by budget cuts. Don’t stress how your library does more with less, stress how your library will do less with less.

Library Day in the Life Project will run from 30 January to 5 February.

24th Jan2012

Why Does God Love Me? {Bible Reading Plan Day 2}

by Daenel

ShoesSCRIPTURE

Deuteronomy 7:6 {ESV}

“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the people who are on the face of the earth.”

OBSERVATION

Three things stood out for me in this verse:

  1. “…you are a people holy to the LORD…”: “holy” means to be set apart for a religious purpose and as such, they are to be living according to a strict or highly moral religious or spiritual system
  2. “…God has chosen you…”: they were specifically chosen because they were wanted, not because there weren’t any other available options or they were the last group of people left
  3. “…for his treasured possession…”: as a treasured possession, they have value (both sentimental and monetary ~ Jesus was the ransom that was paid, John 3:16) and will be cared for

APPLICATION

When I was in school, the one game I truly hated playing was Dodgeball. I was always the last person selected. I was the slowest runner. The least coordinated. The easiest target. Even the window licker and the nose picker were selected before me. And I was always the first one to get slammed in the back by that hard red ball. I’d sit there on the bleachers, tears stinging my eyes, just wishing for once that I could be first.

In 1 John 4:19, we are told that God loved us first, which means that He chose us before we chose Him. Do you remember how the kids who were picked first on a team would puff up their chests and fist bump each other because they knew they were big stuff? Well, that’s how we need to be as children of God. We need to puff up our chests and let everyone know that we are on the winning team.

PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for choosing me to be on your team. I want to thank you for seeing the value in me, even when I didn’t see it in myself. I know there have been times when I haven’t lived according to your word, when I haven’t upheld your spiritual and moral code, but I’m asking that you forgive me and guide my footsteps so that I can be an example to others. Amen.

23rd Jan2012

Why Does God Love Me? {Bible Reading Plan Day 1}

by Daenel

Dani ReflectionSCRIPTURE

Genesis 1:26 {ESV}

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on earth.”

OBSERVATION

There are three things that stood out for me in this verse:

  1. “…let us make man…”: indication of the trinity of God; God uses the plural to indicate that He is more than one
  2. “…in our image, after our likeness…”: we are the physical and spiritual image of God, with the ability to think and reason; we were created morally sound and sinless (it wasn’t until Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit that God cursed man by saying that he was born into sin – Genesis 3:16~19)
  3. “…let them have dominion over the fish of the sea…”: As God’s ultimate creation, man was given the authority to rule over God’s other creations and act as a caretaker of all that God had created

APPLICATION

The other day, I wrote about how I was putting together my resume and I was so impressed by the woman that I was reading about on paper that it almost felt like I was reading about someone else.  I was having a hard time reconciling the image of who I used to be with the person that I’ve become. I was having a big pity party.  I’ve been out of work for 6 months and I’m watching my friends move forward in their careers and I’m just here. Floundering, it feels like.

This verse reminds me that I’m more than my career (or lack thereof). I am made in the image of God and I need to stop with the self doubt and the negativity. When I put myself down, I’m putting down the One who made me, the One in who’s image I was created.

PRAYER

I want to thank You, Lord, for creating me in Your image, for giving me reason, power and authority. I want to thank You for showing me in Your word that I have value. And I ask that You help me to be the woman that You created me to be so that I will always reflect the Christ who is living in me. Amen.

23rd Jan2012

Why Does God Love Me? {Bible Reading Plan}

by Daenel

My sisters and I used to joke that our first stop on the way home from the hospital was church. And from that moment on, we spent every waking moment in church…

Why Does God Love Me? {Bible Reading Plan}

For most of my life, I’ve always felt God’s presence around me. Even when I was running ahead of Him, I knew He was there, ready to pick me up when I stumbled. So why am I sitting here at 1 something in the morning trying to figure out where it’s all gone? I know I haven’t lost my faith, but I’ve lost something and I need to find it.

I want that happiness and joy that I see bubbling up in others. I want that peace that comes from knowing Him as my comforter and friend. I want to know what made Him look at me and think She’s worth dying for

To answer that question and the many others that have been floating around in my head, I’ll be reading “Why Does God Love Me?“, a five day Bible plan offered by YouVersion. I’ll be using the SOAP method of discovery that I learned from Amy at Mom’s Toolbox to share what I’ve learned with you.

I invite you to join me in this plan and share your insights in the comments section.

22nd Jan2012

Photography Challenge {One in Thirty}

by Daenel

I promise this is not becoming a photography blog. I promise I will start writing again. I promise to dig deeper. But sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes it really is just a little bit more fun…

And speaking of fun, I’m going to be participating in another photography challenge! It’s called “One in Thirty” and it’s being hosted by Shaunna at Mist and Lilies. If you haven’t seen her photography, you should definitely check it out ~ stunning! Anyway, the challenge is to pick a prop and photograph it in different settings (more detailed rules are posted below) for thirty days while using Photoshop to manipulate the prop’s expressions to fit the setting. Squee!

My Prop and Me {One in Thirty}

The reason I chose the doll for my prop is because I thought I’d have more fun manipulating her expressions than I would with, say, a stuffed animal. My first choice would have been a monkey by the way

I’m so excited about this challenge because it presents me with an opportunity to become more adept at using Photoshop. Have you tried using Photoshop? It’s not as intuitive as I had hoped so this is really gonna be a challenge. I’m hoping to learn some new tips and tricks from this challenge all while flexing my photographic muscles.

I’m not sure what I’m going to have my prop, her name is Jasmin by the way, doing or where I’ll be taking her pictures but if you have any suggestions PLEASE feel free to share them in the comments section below.

One in ThirtyHere are the rest of the rules:

  • Try to get a different setting for each shot, for each day.
  • Try to use Photoshop to warp the expressions on your prop (Shaunna posts examples here and tutorials here).
  • Submit your shots on Sunday in February only.
  • Add the button to your post.
  • Feel free to incorporate your prop shops if you participate in Ashley Sisk’s Scavenger Hunt Sundays.
  • Visit other challenge participants and leave them some comment love.

The challenge starts 1 February!

Are you going to participate? Have you ever attempted a challenge using a prop?

21st Jan2012

Random Saturday

by Daenel

Fungus

1. I spent some time at my “fortress of solitude” aka the Cape Girardeau Conservation Center. I love it there. It’s so quiet. I just grab my camera and walk. Sometimes I’ll come across other people and we’ll chat for a bit, other times, it’s as if I have the whole wooded area to myself.

2. Have you ever walked past a mirror caught a glimpse of yourself and thought Who is that? That’s what happened to me the other day. I was putting my resume together and as I read it, I saw this person who is so very different from who I’ve become that it shocked me. The person on that paper was confident and accomplished.  Automated Services Coordinator for 10 main libraries and 5 branches History Instructor for both traditional and nontraditional studentsReference Librarian with Online Course Certification… That woman was strong. Impressive.

What has happened to her?

3. I saw Red Tails last night with the ladies from Sister Sister. I thought it was a good movie. Loved the cinematography, it had sort of an old newsreel vibe to it. The editing was a little bit choppy but it was still watchable. I do wish the characters had been a tad bit more developed though. And by “more developed” I mean that I’d like to have known the back story ~ how’d each man become a member of the Tuskegee Airmen? I want to know the story.

4. Are you following the political debates? For once, I’m not. This is so unlike me. I’m such a political junkie but this year, I’m totally not feeling any of it. I must do better.

Coffee

5. Last week’s Project 52 2012 Edition theme was liquid. For the life of me, I couldn’t come up with one good shot. Really, you’d think with  all the coffee that passes across my lips that I’d have been able to get one really good shot. I didn’t.

How’s your Saturday going?

20th Jan2012

Buh~Bye Picnik. I’ll Miss You.

by Daenel

Picnik ClosingI’ve been a big fan of Picnik forever. I’ve used it for the past couple of years to edit and store photos but now I’ve received word that Picnik is leaving. I cannot express how sad I am to see Picnik go. I’ve had fun playing with the various editing tools…

For those of us who’ve paid for premium membership, Picnik is offering a full refund!  Woo hoo! What a way to say “good bye”. For the rest of you, you can take advantage of all the premium tools until Picnik officially closes down on 19 April. Seriously, if you’ve never used their editing tools, give it a try and see how much fun you can have.

If you’ve been storing your photos on Picnik, you can “liberate” them by using Picnik Takeout, which will download your photos to your desktop in zip files. You can also transfer your photos to Google +. Might I add this is also a good reason to store your photos on a hard drive (I learned this the hard way a loooong time ago).

Have you ever used Picnik? What photo editing tools will you use now?

To see the pictures I’ve edited using Picnik, please check out my flickr photostream by clicking here.

20th Jan2012

Blue Bike {Shoot. Edit. Submit.}

by Daenel

Bike {Shoot. Edit. Submit.}

I’ve been playing around with Photoshop. So. Addicting. Seriously, I can’t stop. So I guess it’s good that I’m linking up with Misty and Kim for Shoot. Edit. Submit. this week.

What editing tools do you use on your photographs?

19th Jan2012

Squeekerz {This or That Thursday}

by Daenel

Squeekerz

This week I’ve been working on shooting in Manual. I’m not sure if these pictures are technically “all that” but I do like them because, well, they’re fun. Our dog, Squeekerz, spent many years in the Witness Protection Program and never allowed me to take his picture, now he’s all stopping and posing for me. Translation: the dog used to be afraid of the shutter sound and now that he’s used to it, he gets the canine equivalent of giddy whenever he sees the camera. Trust me, that’s his happy face.

Squeekerz

We also suspect that Squeekerz spent some time in the military because he does a lot of low crawling. Seriously, you should see that dog move across a room. If the Seals ever need backup, he’s the one. He has incredible stamina and freakishly strong toes.

This or That ThursdayI’m not sure what my settings were when I took the pictures but I know there was a ton of sunlight streaming through the living room window and I had my camera set at the widest opening. Ummmm, guess I should take the time to learn the proper terminology and start writing down the settings or something, huh? What I’d really like to learn how to do is take those really bright pictures that look like they’re about to pop off the page. Do you know what I’m talking about? Sorta like the ones taken by Bella Pop. Love Love Love!

I’m linking up with Deb from Deb Duty Photography for This or That Thursday.

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