Friday, September 30, 2011

Photography Friday....The LilyPad Park

San Angelo is in West Texas. 
Not much water to be had...anywhere out here.
BUT, San Angelo has a park that is full of hundreds of different Lily Pads.
It's gorgeous. 
The whole park is and we spend lots of time there.

This week, I headed out there with my camera. The camera still had the football zoom lens (70-300mm zoom lens) on it and I decided to see what I could do with it. Why haven't I been using this lens all along? OMG, most of these photos were taken from at least 15-20 feet away. They have not been altered AT ALL...not even cropped. These photos are DIRECTLY out of the camera. 

Click on the photos to get the full effect...

And if you are a fan of photography, come over and follow the Autumn Challenge blog. My entire family plays along and it all begins tomorrow!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hip Hop with the Holidays!!!

Morning Unity Stamp Co. Peeps!!!
Did you see that Unity is having a pre-holiday sale???
This is the time to start planning all those holiday projects!
Less than 3 months to go and if you get started now, 
you could just sit back and enjoy the holidays when they actually get here.

For today's project, I used one of Unity's NEW holiday kits, Welcome Winter.


We are also almost to the end of September. 
I know! How did that happen?!?
So I thought that I would create a clean & simple card using the Sept. KOM, All Seasons.

Now you need to hop on over to Jimmi's gorgeous blog...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Writing on Wednesday... A fish out of water

I LOVE writing the start of a story. Before the last month, I have never sat down and worked at writing an actual book, but I have written DOZENS of beginnings of books. In fact, if you pick up a random notebook on one of my bookshelves, the odds are pretty good there is a couple of handwritten pages of the beginning of a story. I have done that for years.

The following excerpt is one of those beginnings. I just worked with it a bit this week, to clean it up and expand it. Any of you that know me, should be able to recognize the inspiration from where this story line came from....and yes, the Major will be Katya's love interest in the book (if I ever write anything else on it.)

Katya peered up at the huge security gate as they approached the Ft. Bragg checkpoint. 

Overwhelming…the gate appeared at the edge of this massive army base like a Jersey tollgate, but instead of grumpy tollbooth guards, each station was manned by a very young soldier holding a very large gun.

Katya looked at her escort, Capt. Neil Pierce and whispered, “Do they actually know how to use those?” gesturing at the very big black guns being held by, what appeared to be, baby-faced 12 year olds.

Capt. Pierce chuckled, “Ma’am, not only do they know how to use them, they won’t think twice about shooting someone who tries to run through this gate without stopping.”

A shudder wracked Katya’s body as she thought about what that meant. “Let’s just wait for our turn nice and easy, right Captain?”

“No problem, ma’am. I’ll take care of you. Believe me; it’s very rare for us to have problems at these security gates. Almost everyone in these lines of cars does this every day. We are all very familiar with the procedure and how to approach the gates.”

Katya tried to joke about her nervousness, “I’m sorry. This is all so foreign to me. It’s hard to believe that I was actually born here.”

“You were born in Fayetteville, ma’am?” the Captain looked at her questioningly. There was no mistaking that she had a Texas drawl.

“No, I was actually born on Ft. Bragg, at the hospital here. But my Dad retired about a year later and moved us to West Texas to work in the oilfields. My two older brothers, who are a lot older than me, grew up surrounded by all of this.” She said, waving her hand towards the massive gate. “They grew up with the nomadic life of exotic destinations like the Azores and Germany. Me, I just knew Texas, until I started working as a professional photographer a few years ago. I have been all over since then, but this is nothing like anything that I have ever seen before.”

Captain Pierce looked at her speculatively. He was simply her escort onto the base, but this was something usually done by an Airmen, not a Captain. She may not have any ties to the military any longer, but he would bet that her father, whoever he was, still had some significant pull or else she wouldn’t have had a Captain serving as her escort. It also helped that she was working on General Compton’s pet project to rejuvenate the 82nd’s battered image, after the PR mess they had suffered a few months ago.

 Not that escorting this beauty was any hardship. She could have easily been a model herself. She was tall, about 5’10” with long, thick auburn hair that was pulled back into a ponytail. She had high cheekbones, riveting green eyes that took in everything, and legs that went on forever in her nicely fitting jeans. She was also really nice. He had enjoyed chatting with her on their way out to the base.

He just hated that he was going to have to turn her over to Major Cole Davidson. Cole had issues. He had good reasons for those issues, but there wasn’t anyone who was saved from his wrath when he got into a mood and lately, he had been in that mood pretty much 24/7. He just hoped that Cole didn’t chase Katya off before Neil had a chance to get to know her better.

These are my words so you are not allowed to copy, alter, or re-print them anywhere else without my permission. ;o)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday *er, Tuesday* Meanderings- Fall is HERE!

Good Monday Tuesday Morning to you all!
Sorry, I played too long with my mom yesterday and never got my Monday post done. 
Ooops! Sorry!

I do have a few things to talk to you about this week though...

Mom & Scrabble...
Mom is in San Angelo for a few days this week. Have I mentioned we play Scrabble. A lot! We LOVE Scrabble. Unfortunately, we have ruined our ability to play scrabble with anyone besides each other. We CHEAT...a lot. We rely on the Scrabble dictionary. We play each other's tiles. We NEVER stick to a time limit. Thank goodness we can play with each other though. So we have to take advantage whenever we are together.

Autumn Challenge

October 1st is coming and with it comes the Second Annual Autumn Challenge. Have I mentioned lately how talented my entire family is?? OMG, this is a photography challenge that 10 of us (ALL the siblings, my parents, and the 2 teens) participate in to take pictures of Autumn. We have a blog. Go check out last year's photos and be prepared because there is some gorgeous photography on there!!!

Monarch Butterflies
The monarch's are showing back up in West Texas. Monarch's migrate to Mexico every year and they come through here on their way. We are seeing signs that they are here and I will probably be posting photos soon (after they are here en masse.) This photo was one of the MANY that I took from last year's migration....

The boy caught TWO amazing passes last week against Midland High for two first downs. This was his second catch when it took FIVE players to finally pull him down. LOVE that!  And yes, they won this game, although San Angelo lost the two other games that they played against Midland High with the other two football teams.

That's what's happening in my world this week. Anything happening in yours???

Friday, September 23, 2011

Photography Friday....Sage

We have a couple of sage bushes in our backyard. Whenever we get any rain (it doesn't happen very often,) they start blooming purple all over. We had one of those rare days this week and so Kat & I went out to photograph one evening this week. These are the best from the foray...

(Be sure to click on the photos to see them the way they are meant to be seen.)

BTW, when we went out to do this, Kat had just woken up from an impromptu (and sweaty) nap on the couch. She doesn't normally look quite so much like an orphan child.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's a Holiday Sale!!!

It's Thursday, which means that half the Unity DT is hip-hopping. 
I am not in the half playing this week, but I wanted to share about 
Unity Stamp Co's Pre-Holiday Sale this week!! 
Are you making your Christmas cards and projects this year??? 
Well, this is the time to stock up because a TON of the Holiday stamps are on sale this week!!! 
As well as some gorgeous NEW RELEASES!!!

These are some little Christmas tags that I made with a fabulous Cosmo Cricket kit called, Tiny Tags Vintage Christmas.
Supplies list:

*Unity Stamp Co. Tiny Tags Vintage Christmas
*Paper- K&Company Peppermint Twist stack
*Misc. Martha Stewart border punches
*EK Success scallop circle punch
*red fine glitter 
*corner rounder
*misc. buttons
*Stampin Up punch (on Best Wishes, snowman, and Jack-in-the box tags)
*oval scallop punch (deer tag)

Keep watching the Unity Stamp Co blog and Angela will let you know when these sale prices are all up! 
I just love Christmas!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Writing on Wednesday...Confessions of a Book Blogger

Good Wednesday morning!
The story that I have been working almost exclusively on this week is Confessions of a Book Blogger. In last week's Wednesday post, I posted the opening scene between David & Lexi and thought you may want to see who they are:



This week, I am posting another scene between the two of them. They are going to have a wild ride before they find their HEA, because David has some secrets that are going to throw their relationship for a huge loop...and then that secret becomes part of the fun!

Here is a teeny tiny excerpt for today's writing share:

“Aw, David, I am so sorry.” Lexi gave him a hug. David pressed his body into hers, enjoying the feel of simply receiving some physical comfort. Then thoughts of the scenes he had been writing flashed through his mind, along with the press of her lush breasts up against his chest, and the whiff of almonds coming from her hair, and all thoughts besides ones about her body, fled his head. He reached down to cup her ass  and pressed his erection into her.
She laughed and shoved at him, “You are seriously not using my sympathy hug to cop a feel are you?”
He looked at her through half-shuttered eyes, “I should say no, right?” and gave her an impish grin.
She laughed again and shook her head at him. “Listen do you have any plans for today?”
“I was planning to work on my wood flooring upstairs in the bedrooms, but if you were offering I could think of much more fun things to do up there.” He waggled his eyebrows at her.
She smirked, “Well, I am not offering, but what I am offering is to be your tour guide to re-introduce you to the wonderful sights and sounds that make up the Fontana Fall Festival.  That is, if you would be interested in going with me. And then maybe afterwards, I could help you for a bit with your flooring.” 
He gave her a genuine grin this time, and said, “I would love that. Do you mind if I just hop in the shower real quick and get cleaned up? I could even offer to let you scrub my back if you would like.”
Lexi smirked, “Be careful there or I may just withdraw my offer. Go get ready, and I will wait here for you.” She shoved him up the stairs.

These are my words so you are not allowed to copy, alter, or re-print them anywhere else without my permission. ;o)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Meanderings- Let's Talk about Princesses

When you have a life that entails living with a 4 yo little girl 24/7, you get LOTS of time to focus on princesses and everything that being a princess entails. We have a book called The Princess Handbook: A Glittering Guide to Discovering Your Inner Princess, and I thought that it would be fun to share some of the pearls of wisdom that it contains.

*Resist Ridicule: Remember, a prince can be an awkward, clumsy creature. Don't humiliate him if he is brave enough to approach you. Treat him with kindness and understanding, and even if the young man is a prize frog, he will remember you with gratitude.

*One Important Tip: don't judge him immediately on looks alone. A Prince Charming's charms are not always obvious, and you should be nice to all sorts of unlikely characters- you never know who might turn out to be your Prince!

*Undergarments: You need to feel like a princess from the inside out. You must know that what is underneath your gown is just as special as the rest of your outfit. Think pink, think frilly, and, of course, think clean.

*How to Enter a Room: As you enter the room, everyone will bow or curtsy deeply to you. There may be an audible gasp. Try not to seem too conscious of this- vanity is truly unbecoming.

*Sometimes there really is nothing to be done but to say a naughty word. Here are some royal curses that are considered just about acceptable for princesses:

*Gaze: Look people in the eye when you speak to them. This makes you look confident, even if you don't feel like it.
*Generally avoid ankle straps- these almost always make your legs look shorter.

Good advice for all of us, don't you think? Hehe....
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