Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Flash ~ my reading this month

Blog At Home Mom by Christin Slade
46 pages

Read in one day on Feb 06, 2013

Reviewed on my blog. If you missed that review you can find it HERE.

Sell Your House In A Month! Home Staging On The Cheap by Cassandra Rios, 36 pages; Read in one day on Feb 14, 2013 

I have never sold a home and found this book to be very interesting. The author of the book and her husband have a business staging homes. This makes the information in the book more credible. Simplifying and putting away personal items would be very difficult. We have lived in this house for 15 years and have accumulated many things... especially because of homeschooling.

 Vitamin D Diet: Benefits of Vitamin D for Optimal Health by Peter Kornfeld, 64 pages; Read in one day on Feb 14, 2013 

Interesting reading. I have a Vitamin D deficit and was interested in what I could do as far as my diet goes, to aid in correcting this. There is no identification of the expertise of the author. I have no idea why he wrote this book. He is not labeled as a Dr. and the book gives no author information. But the information seemed correct. I have seen similar information on the Internet and since the book was free on Kindle at the time there was no harm done. I clearly need to spend more time outside and maybe take a vacation in a southern climate or move somewhere where the sun is stronger in the winter because I HATE most of the foods that are full of Vitamin D!!! I guess I will just have to keep taking my vitamin D capsules my Dr. gave me and eating foods with vitamin D added.

Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson, 175 pages; Started on Apr 29, 2012, Finished on Feb 20, 2013 

My only regret on this book is that it took me sooooo long to read it. Here are my status updates from Goodreads

04/30/2012 page 8
10/14/2012 page 33
01/25/2013 page 42
01/26/2013 page 57 
01/27/2013 page 62 
This book was very encouraging and also gave me the 'kick in the rear' that I needed. I have been very neglectful of my home this past year. I have gotten lazy about housekeeping and used the excuse of stress over our unemployment to keep from cleaning when I should. My home was not filthy but neither was I keeping up with things as I should have been.

The book covers all areas of keeping house. Sheltering, Clothes, Food, Cleaning, and our Christian responsibility and basis for even doing the work to keep house. Margaret gives us a biblical reason for why we should keep house and helps mold our attitudes towards chores that seem to never be finished.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book to illustrate my point.
"Housework is work, and as such it has characteristics typical of many other kinds of work, including God's work. ... work is creative,...  ...all of housework is creative, including the so-called janitorial part of it. When God created the heavens and the earth, he started with chaos and ended with a finely differentiated and beautiful universe. Housework is all about bringing order out of chaos." pg 37-38
"Housekeeping can provide a way of remembering, anticipating, and participating in the kind of home-providing work that God does. All the more is this so when our homes are not all we might wish them to be. God's world is not as he wishes it to be either. But God is present and active, even in the midst of continuing imperfection and brokenness." pg 40
"We might wish to have bigger or better-equipped kitchens than in fact we do, but what matters is the faithful production of dinner (and lunch and breakfast) in the kitchens we do have. The best kitchen tools, of course, are the ones that are genuinely suited to the task. These days, the fantasy of cooking is more visibly popular than cooking itself is,..." pg 135
"God has welcomed us into his household, despite - in fact, because of - our weaknesses and needs, and he invites us even in our not-yet-perfected condition to extend that same welcome to others, promising that as we do so, we will welcome God himself." pg 159
"Our aim in keeping house cannot therefore be to do so "perfectly," because that is someone else's job (namely, God's). Our aim is much more modest: to practice "good enough" housekeeping. ...we all need homes in which the housekeeping is good enough, in which basic needs are provided for rather than neglected and in which welcome and care are routinely and cheerfully extended to both members and guests of the household." pg 164
So... We need to create order out of the chaos of our lives and our families lives, do enough to keep house, but not try to be perfect; and remember that we are serving our Lord as we serve our families. For me housekeeping becomes drugery when my attitude about it is out of whack. Thanks to this book my attitude is back on track.
According to Goodreads I am one book behind in my goal of reading 55 books in 2013 since I have read 7 books so far in 2013. I hope to catch up soon. One thing I want and need to do is get off my computer earlier each evening and spend that time reading. That is my best opportunity for reading each day and if I don't do it I will never keep up.

View all my reviews

I will be linking up with Chantel 
@ life, laughter and little things

click the button for more information

March of 
Books 2013 at Kindred Grace
I will be joining up with the March of Books. I hope this will enspire me to read more in March. There will be talk about books and giveaways and information about authors. It sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks Chantel for introducing me to this. I am excited.


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Think Back Thursday ~ Picasa Week 4

The purpose of Think Back Thursday is to link up a photo post about something from the past. You can reach back all the way to your childhood and bravely post pictures of you in your wild clothes and hair styles or post something from last year and tell us about it. I'm not picky. Hey, even yesterday was the past... LOL I hope you will join us.

Original Photo

 You don't need much boost for flowers so red and colorful already. I used a little more than I normally would so you could see the differences.

 No explanation needed... it just softens the photo.

 Love this feature.
You get to choose the color of the Vignette, the size of the area that gets tinted, the strength of the tinting, and fade takes it from full vignette back to the original.

 Makes your picture look like it is made up of little pixels.
You see that you get to pick the size of the pixels. Blend Mode doesn't work well, at least for me. It sometimes makes the picture go black. I didn't touch the Blend. Fade makes the pixels less noticeable and since I wanted you to notice the feature I didn't use the Fade button either.

Focal Zoom
Focus on the center and blurry as you go out.
Zoominess is... um... zoominess. 

Focal size is the size of the circle in the center that is in focus. See screenshot below. When sliding the Focal Size the circle grows or shrinks and so does the area of focus in the picture.

Edge hardness
 If you slide the edge hardness to the right you eventually get this effect...
Do you see the edge of the zoomy circle???
Not really a good look but I did it to demonstrate what the edge hardness does. When it is all the way to the left there is a smooth blend from the zoom part to the part in focus in the center.

Here is the final zoom with it all blended smoothly.

Pencil Sketch
  This one is sooo cool

This setting goes with the first Pencil Sketch sample
Completely black, white and gray.

 In this one I moved the radius, strength and fade so you have some color.
Also a cool effect.

 This is self explanatory.
 You get to choose the color of the neon, and you have a fade button as you see.

 This one I used the fade a little to show some of the original color of the photo.

 This one I used no fade and reddish orange color

 This one also used no fade and dark blue. Really, really COOL.

Comic Book
 Strange and I have no idea why you would want to show the dots like you get in a magazine or newspaper... It is just weird. Nevertheless, there it is. I exaggerated the features so that you can really see the dots.

 I love this one.
Change colors, thickness; and corner radius. Corner radius can change a square photo to a circle, a rectangle photo becomes an oval.

If you like the affect of the square or rectangle background with the photo as a circle/oval you can leave it like I did below. If you want only your circle/oval photo to show up with a boarder and not the second square/rectangle behind it, you have to set the outer color to match the background of your blog; or wherever you are putting your photo.

I did not know that the corner radius changed it from square corners to rounded or completely round until I did this tutorial. So even I learned something.

I did not use Caption Height but if you use it you can leave a space at the bottom where you can write something about the picture using the text from tab 1.

Here is just the corner of the photo with less corner radius used. Makes it look like a rounded corner like I do when I crop photos for my scrapbooking.

Drop Shadow
 Choose color. Angle changes where the shadow goes. Size is thickness of the shadow. Fade, of course, fades the feature out. Looks kinda cool with a purple shadow.

Museum Matte 
 I use this one ALL.the.time.
 Again choose colors, complementary or contrasting to your photo. You have the complete color pallet to work with. And choose the thickness of each part of the matte.

 Self explanatory. Makes your photo look like the old Polaroids.
Kinda Cool.

Final Photo - cropped and using Vignette and Museum Matte
I can't remember if I used anything else... and I didn't write down what I used.
Oh, well!
It looks pretty..!!!
We are done the tabs now. Next week we will cover some of the other features. I have some work to do this week on it too, because I don't have the pictures ready yet... and then it takes time to write the post.

In February
(and first week of March)
2/7, 2/14, 2/21, 2/28, 3/7 a series on Playing with Photos

What program do you use to fiddle with your photos?
Let us know and show some of the things the program does.

If you don't want to join in on this one... mine will be a series for all of February...
you can choose your own topics and post what you would like.

I have been wanting to do this on my blog and decided to do it for Think Back Thursday since I use a lot of photos for this meme. It will take some planning ahead to get this one ready so I am giving you all of Jan to work on it. 

I have been working on this and it is going to be GOOD! I can't wait to share with you.

I look forward to seeing what you show us... whether you do Playing with Photos or your own thing.

Gotta figure out what is NEXT for March???
Suggestion??? Leave me a comment.

Here are the Rules for participating:
  • It can be about you, about your kids, about your parents, whomever. You can include video, I will not exclude video alone posts, but I prefer them along with photos, as this is a photo meme. I am doing a weekly theme now. That should help narrow it down from the myriad of photos we all have. For ideas check out the other posts in my label Think Back Thursday. 
  • Link up below. Please use a permalink that sends readers directly to the correct post. If you are not sure what that is click the word permalink for an explanation. 
  • Mention my blog and offer a link back. This is a requirement to take part and a kind gesture to me your hostess as well as your readers--they will know where to join in the fun, too. You can put the Think Back Thursday button on your site and in your post. You will find it on my right sidebar. Please use it to link to my site, to spread the word about my meme. Using the button will help others know how to find me and how to join. Tell others to click on the button in your post to find us here.
  • Leave me a comment. First so that you can let me know what you think of my pictures and secondly so that I will know a new post has been linked up and I can come visit your blog and comment on your photos. 
Join me! 

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's been a long time since I did Wednesday Hodgepodge... I'm back to doing some of my favorite meme's and this is one I have wanted to do for a few weeks... I finally got around to participating.

1.  When were you last facing an ocean? Using just ONE word, describe how you felt as you faced that ocean. October 2010 on a trip to Salisbury, MD where my hubby was born and we met, we visited Ocean City MD. My one word - Nostalgic.

2. What are three sounds you hate to hear? Arguing in my house, arguing/fighting on the street outside (happens often), gun shots (also frequent but not as often as the fighting/arguing)

3. This question comes to you courtesy of some real life friends. Hi real life friends! When you shop for yourself, do you try everything on in the store before buying or do you buy, try on at home, and then return what you don't like or what doesn't fit? Try on in the store... always. I shop so seldom for clothes, I always try on and if it doesn't fit or doesn't look good on me I don't buy it. Also, our car runs so badly that hubby drives me everywhere... he would never stand for running back to a store to take stuff back.

4. February 26th is National Pistachio Day...are you a fan of the little green nut? Do you use them in cooking and baking or prefer to eat them right out of the shell? Not a fan of the little green nut at all... I do like other nuts though.

5. When did you last have to compromise with someone?  Were you happy to reach the compromise or slightly irritated it was necessary? Daily, in a family of 6 living in this home, where 5 of us are now adults, DAILY!! Sometimes I am happy to compromise, sometimes irritated. Last time I had to compromise I was irritated. I HATE arguing... see #2... and so I often give in without there even needing to be compromise... just to keep peace!

6.  Have you ever written a letter to an elected official? Did you get a response? No, and since I never have written to one...I never got a response.

7. We 'March' into a new month at the end of this week...what's something on your March calendar guaranteed to make you smile? Celebrating my two daughters' birthdays.

8.  Insert your own random thought here. I can't wait for warm enough weather to open the windows... sooooo looking forward to Spring.

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