Blogtember: Something Old

Today is a solemn day for me and much of my family.  Five years ago, my beloved grandmother lost her [third] battle with cancer.

And I was there.

And it was heart-wrenching.

I think the worst part was watching my mother lose her mother.  She literally choked back vomit.

Even though I had lost two great-grandparents, one other grandma, a cousin, and a few school mates, this moment was the most profound moment of my life.  To this day, I can remember everything.  It was about 2:15 am and we had all had an opportunity to say our goodbyes, even though we were still praying for a miracle.

To say the least, it is very profound that today’s Blogtember prompt is “something old.”

After my aunts and uncles settled my grandma’s estate, my mom gifted to me my grandma’s old camera.

Fitting, eh?

It’s an old Hachi KX-66 with a hotshoe flash.

They’re going for about $20 on and some weirdos on eBay are trying to squeeze $100 out of it.  You couldn’t get me to sell this for all the money in the world.

I wouldn’t say that Grandma and I ever even discussed a passion for photography.  She did love putting pictures on her walls, but I don’t know how hard she worked to be sure pictures were taken at family events or church outings.

All I know is she had this beauty.

And, just for fun, that flash goes with me to all my shoots.  I don’t even put batteries in it, but it works.  Even with my fancy schmancy DSLR.

That quilt the camera and flash are on? Made by my great-grandmother: her mother-in-law. Also old: made for me when I was a kid.

It’s like I get to carry her around with me.

And she gets to hang out with my husband at our house, even though they never met.

And one day, when I have my own photography office, this vintage camera will be central in decorating.

And I’ll wink at Grandma, who is no doubt cheering me on every step of the way.

With tears of fondness and mourning,


Blogtember: An Open Letter to Facebook Friends

Dear Facebook Friends,

Some of you won’t read this because you have hidden me from your newsfeed, so you won’t even know I wrote this.

That’s fine.

I’ve probably hidden you, too.

Listen, here’s how I roll.  I post some political things, but I’m not a political nutjob on the Book of Face.  I like pictures, but I try to vary up my picture-posting so as not to blow your feed up with pictures of the same dang thing every dang day.  I still use “is” when starting my status update because I’m a purist.

A few things for you to keep in mind as you continue to be my friend on Facebook:

  • I’m a lover–not a fighter.  If I have a problem with something you post on Facebook, I’ll either keep it to myself or I’ll Private Message you.  None of this disagreement needs to be public.  That being said, if you become argumentative, I’ll likely delete your posts and, after a while, I may even block you.
  • I’m not a democrat.  I won’t argue on your wall about your political doo-dads, even if you post something that I find ridiculous.   See above.
  • I don’t play Facebook games.  None of this “repost if you love Jesus” or “Accept my invite to play Candy Crush!” stuff.  Not my style.
  • I will take you off my newsfeed if I find that I am regularly repulsed by things you write/post.  I give this some time, but when hot topics come up and cover my news feed and I hate the topic, that’s when a lot of newsfeed statuses are removed.  This doesn’t mean that I dislike you; it simply means that I don’t want to see whatever-that-junk-is regularly.
  • I have unfriended people; I do this when I realize a person just isn’t a friend at all (maybe I thought they would be when I ‘friended’ them) or if the vulgarity of their Facebook makes me want to vomit.
  • I haven’t blocked many people: An old love interest, some people at Seth’s suggestion, and, like, a few people who I just didn’t trust anymore.
  • When I complain, it’s usually in jest.  Like, for instance, when I’m not having a great day: I realize the day will eventually end and almost nothing can compare to that horrendously awful day last November.  I usually say something like, “I’m not a fan of…”  This just means that I was a little not happy about something.  No worries.  No need to remind me to be content in every season.  Just smile at me or throw up a “you can do this!” comment.  That is all.  I will always survive.  Unless I don’t.

So, there you have it.  I love you.

Socially speaking,

Blogtember: A Mistake

There was this one time when I made a mistake.

Yup. Just once.


I’m going with it.

Once, I made a mistake and it was awful.

THe end.

Review: Beth Fleshman

Without her permission, I have decided to write a review on my hair stylist.

Seriously.  She has no clue.

In short, I love her.  I have no negative things to say about her, so I’ll get right down to business: convincing you to hire her to style your hair.

She’s Cute: We all know how important it is to have a cute hair stylist.  I have to be clear: I’ve never seen a cute girl rock dreadlocks the way this chick did last year and into this year.  She owned those dreadlocks. I’m partial to gingers, being that my cute sister is a ginger.  Beth is a ginger, which is the basis of her cuteness.  She has a tasteful nose ring and some piercings in her cute ears.  Seriously: She’s cute.

She’s Multi-Talented: Beth has two hair-styling jobs.  She styles at Studio H in Grandview Heights, Ohio, and at a nursing home near her home. Clearly, she loves her job and is good at creating more modern looks while still loving on those precious old folks who still like to look pretty.

She’s skilled: As with almost anyone in the hair business, Beth plays with colors, cuts, and styles on her own noggin.  Since I’ve been going to her in 2010, I’ve never seen a color, cut, or style that was not becoming of her.  She knows how to match cuts with face shapes, colors with completions, and styles with personalities.

Beth, don’t hate me.

I love you.

Your conservative style-haver,

Blogtember: Life Lately

It seems we always want to call our lives crazy.  Well, I do, anyway.  My life isn’t that crazy.

However, it has been busy and seems to always change.

I’ll take this opportunity to reflect on my 30 by 30 goals:

Health/Fitness [0/3]
1. [EDIT:] Take an exercise class like Zumba or something.
2. Take a swing dancing class
3. Find and master 3 tasty low-fat recipes
Arts/Crafts/Hobby [1/3]
4. Complete 3 home-improvement/DIY decor crafts [1: Desk in closet]
5. Organize a scrapbooking/DIY craft system
6. Complete a second photography project [Done: May 2013
Food/Kitchen [3/6]
7. Try 5 new foods [1: Sushi, 2: Udon 3. Scallops…]
8. Make home-made pasta
9. Make a Quiche [Done: August 2013]
10. Learn 2 new foodie terms [Done: 1. Blanch 2. Meringue
11. [EDIT:] Harvest veggies from own garden [Done: September 2013]
12. Make homemade fries [Done, twice. In April 2012.]
Travel and Events [4/4]
13. Visit at least 3 new countries [1: Japan, June 2012; 2: United Kingdom, July 2013; 3: Ireland, July 2013]
14. Attend a murder mystery dinner [Done! March 23, 2011]
15. Visit Niagara Falls (not during winter—or fall) [Done! June 2012]
16. See the Pacific Ocean [Done! June 2012–Japan shores]
Family [1/2]
17. Watch my husband graduate [Done: June 2013]
18. Sell my condo [never going to happen… but a refinance is in the works.]
Finances [2/4]
19. Pay off our remaining credit card debt [Done! April 2012]
20. Pay off my student loans [May roll over to a 30 during 30… hopefully]
21. Save to pay cash for UK trip [Pretty much done: July 2013]
22. Roll over KY retirement to 403(b) and set up current automatic deposits
Educational/Professional [3/5]
23. Finish my educational technology endorsement [Done! Winter/Spring 2013]
24. Earn money for taking pictures (at least three sessions) [Done! 1: Jess and Jon’s wedding June 2012; 2: Rachel and Justin, August 2012; 3: Haleigh and Andrew: September 2012 and more!]
25. Take a professional photography class/workshop [slated October 2013]
26. Land that ideal teaching/educational job [Done: May 2013]
27. Publish the 400th post to
Christ-Seeking [1/3]
28. Read five Seth-approved theological books [1: Solid, 2: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, 3:Leading on Empty 4: Leaders Who Last, … more in the works]
29. Mentor 4 different college girls [Done! Spring 2013. 1: Kyle, 2: Rebecca, 3. Sarah, 4. Caitlin]
30. Lead someone to Christ

Since the last update, I have harvested from our garden (#11).  In this edition of the 30 by 30 list, I have changed #1.  Since I loved doing the Cotton-Eyed Joe at a wedding so much, I decided that dancing must be the only cardio I could love.  We’ll see.

I did talk to a professional about retirement roll-over (#22) when I started my new job.

Other than my goals, things are busy in the area of career.  Starting a new job, even when you’re a veteran teacher, is tiresome.  All schools are so different that it takes a lot to get used to the students, the atmosphere, the expectations, and the way colleagues work.  It’s tough, but I know I’ll manage.

I just can’t wait to feel like I’ve got it together again.

But, on the bright side, I’ve had a few really fun weekends, lately.  I do love a good weekend, even if it does mean I’m exhausted upon returning to work.

For the last weekend of summer, I went to a friend’s wedding in Pennsylvania.  That wedding was a blast! Then, as I’ve mentioned on this site, I reunited with a few friends this past weekend.  It was marvelous.

Also, I’m starting to get some fall photography gigs.  I can’t wait to get at it!

Thanks for staying with me.

Forever love,