Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rocks in the Head

This is Lake McDonald in the western part of Glacier National Park. This is not MY picture. I saw it on the Earth Porn page of Facebook. I recognized it right away because this is basically my hang-out and where I spend a lot of time. It's a pretty picture, but I had to laugh at someone on the comments who was upset that the photograph had been PhotoShopped so much. She even went as far as to repost it on her Facebook page, telling people to stop PhotoShopping something that was naturally beautiful. Well ... I had to check this out for myself. Below is a picture of these same rocks, taken under the water. As you can see, they are quite colorful, although not nearly as bright as the picture above. It was overcast when I took mine.

Here are the same rocks below using a very slight Instagram filter called Mayfair. As you can see, they are a little more colorful. They certainly aren't as colorful as the top picture, but you get the idea. When I take the picture below and add another Mayfair filter to it, they get even brighter. So, it really doesn't take much to make these rocks super vibrant looking. I can do it right on my phone. It really isn't that hard. The rocks are colorful, and what people don't realize is that they are way more colorful in person. 

It just struck me funny that this woman went out of her way to tell people not to edit a photograph that they took themselves, and then to go on her own page and make another point out of it. If she likes the rocks the way they are — and they are very pretty — she should post some of her own pictures rather than criticize someone else's work. Whether people like it or not, photo editing has been around forever and is here to stay. It's a skill in itself.

Some people only seem happy when they're complaining about what other people do. I noted that on Twitter yesterday after reading a bunch of tweets from people who said Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers was a bad lyricist. Really? It cracks me up how people say stuff like that because it makes me wonder what THEY have written or contributed to this world to make it a better place. So, the rocks have a little filter to bring their color out more — so what.

Oh, and for what it's worth ... here is another shot of the same rocks using the contrast filter. As you can see, it doesn't take much. Since posting this, I've seen others post untouched pictures that show the true colors of the rocks. It's just funny how people get upset if it's not what they saw or even what they think they saw.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Day in Glacier ...

The weather turned in our favor yesterday, so Rick and I decided to head up into Glacier National Park for the day. Everything is covered in snow, but that didn't stop us from having a little picnic. We stopped at our favorite table by Lake McDonald, which is pictured below. It was a little snowy, but we got the table cleared off enough to use it. Rick also managed to start a fire on the top of the BBQ grill. I was really surprised it even started, but it worked really good. I took some photographs, most of which have already been posted on IG. 

Lake McDonald is still really frozen. Last weekend people were ice skating on it. I guess it hasn't frozen like that in over a decade, so it was a big deal. Rick walked out on it a bit, but he didn't go too far because the weather hasn't been as cold as it was the week before. I was too chicken, and stayed pretty close to the shoreline, although I'm sure I was over the water a few times.

It was our 26th wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day, but we didn't do too much for that. We went out for a drink and appetizer at a favorite restaurant, and then did some shopping afterwards. Valentine's Day is a fun day to be married on, but most restaurants are insane at night, so we usually skip doing the dinner thing. Going out around lunch was really nice, as was this little trip to the park. Surprisingly, the weather was really nice. It was around 40 degrees, which might sound freezing to some, but I was actually too warm in my coat when we were snow shoeing along the lake. There wasn't any wind either, so that made it nice.

Friday, February 14, 2014

RHCP Valentine!

I hope you had a nice day, whether you celebrate Valentine's Day or not. Some people I know think the day is overrated; many loathe it with a passion. Personally, I like to focus on St. Valentine, rather than all the other stuff that goes with it. I don't care too much about presents, flowers, or going out to dinner, although I do usually get my kids a little something. It is also my wedding anniversary, so that makes the day special regardless.

This year Rick made me a Valentine. Yes ... he MADE one with his own two hands. If you knew Rick, you'd realize that this is a HUGE deal. Rick is not a crafty person. He can take apart a car and get it put back together, but when it comes to things like cutting paper, gluing, and being creative, that is so NOT Rick. He surprised me this year, with some help from his friend Rae at work. If you're reading this blog post, Rae — thank you for helping him with this. I love it!

The card has a Red Hot Chili Peppers theme to it. The "I'm With You" saying on the front is from their newest album. Then he carefully searched for a song lyric that he felt would be appropriate. That's kind of funny because if you know any of RHCP's songs, some of them are pretty crazy. He picked a really sweet lyric. Then he went online to do a search for "Red Hot Chili Peppers Plaid" to see if he could find a picture to put inside his card. Look at what showed up — ME! Hahaha! So, he went with it and printed that picture of me and stuck it in a window.

I think it turned out great. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Class of '83

I was digging around in my jewelry box today, and yes, I was looking for something for one of my IG photo challenges. You know me well. I saw my old class ring from high school in there. I decided to pull it out and try to clean it up. It was completely tarnished, as you can see from the blurry photo below. We had some Tarn-X, which did a pretty good job.

I never wore my ring much. Judging by the picture, that's no a surprise. I always regretted getting the larger band instead of the skinnier one that was more petite. At the time, I had to have one, so I begged my mom to buy it. I can't remember how much it cost, but class rings are expensive. Even the ones Walmart offers range from $100-$1000. Seriously ... $1000? I know mine wasn't that much. My mom never would have gotten it. As homeschoolers, we can get class rings also, but the girls never did. I'll keep it in mind when it's time for the boys.

It's hard to believe that was 31 years ago. Did you have a class ring?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Any Fitbit users?

Rick gave me a Fitbit for my birthday. I haven't gotten it set up yet, but hope to do that tomorrow. To be honest, I really don't have a clue what it does, even though I just watched a little video clip. I suppose I will be figuring it out soon enough. Does anyone else have one? If so, I'd love to hear what you have to say about them.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Oh look ... it's Dilly!

I was absolutely thrilled to see this picture of Dilly that Ginger made for my birthday yesterday. Seeing it really made my day. It's one thing to see your story turn into a published book. It's another thing to see your characters show up in places other than that book. So, when Dilly popped up on my Facebook wall, it totally made me smile. He even has his little ball cap on!

I am overwhelmed by the birthday wishes on Facebook. There are hundreds of them. I am in the process of reading them all. They kind of go into a little file of their own, so I have to scroll through to see them all. Neil and I were sick on our birthdays last year, so I didn't get to reply to all of the messages. I'm trying to this year, but it might take me awhile. 

My birthday is on the 8th and Neil's is on the 10th. I've always wanted to combine them and celebrate on the 9th, so that's what we're doing this year. Up until now, Neil never wanted to do that, but he agreed this time. I think he realized he could get his presents a day early. Ha! I like the fact that we can get one cake, rather than the two we usually have. When I was pregnant with him, I had really hoped he would be born on my birthday. It was close by two days.

Tonight we're having pizza, cake, and presents. That will be fun. We don't do big parties anymore, so it will just be something small at home. I know Neil is excited. He's turning twelve. It's not quite as exciting for me, but there's not much I can do about getting older. Rick brought me a lovely breakfast in bed yesterday, and he also gave me a dozen red roses. Of course, he still had to grumble that I wasn't 50 yet like he is. Haha!

Friday, February 7, 2014

If You Give Rena A Cookie ...

Oh, wow ... I forgot I had this. No, no, no ... not the RHCP album. I play that all the time. I'm talking about the little, round blue thing. Do you know what that is, or even have one? It's a CD opener. You slide it along the side of a CD and it cuts open the cellophane wrapping. It works really good. I haven't bought many hard copy CDs lately, since most of the new ones I've bought were digital. I think I got this at a Barnes & Noble store many years ago.

I totally forgot I even had it. The boys and I tend to get on some pretty wild discussions during school, and today one of our conversations led to box cutters. I went to look for an X-Acto knife or box cutter in the desk. We usually have those pushed way in the back. That's when I found the CD opener, which of course, started a whole NEW discussion.

I swear, our school days look like they fell from the pages of If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. This whole thing started off with a letter opener I was photographing. It was a pewter one my sister-in-law gave me while she was living in Norway. The boys were talking about how sharp it was, which lead to the topic of box cutters, which sent me looking for an X-Acto knife, which I then found the long-lost CD opener. Then of course, that led to me taking a picture of it, which then led to me blogging about it ... well, you get the idea, right?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cheese Bites

I apologize for another food post. I know I just posted one yesterday, but wanted to put this one up, mostly for my own reference. The other day I saw this on Facebook, but I don't recall who posted it. I only took a photo of the actual recipe, so to whoever put it up — thank you. I decided to give these a try today because they sounded so easy.

All you do is cut up some cheese sticks into bite-size pieces. Then dip them in milk and roll in bread crumbs. I used Italian bread crumbs. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 425 degrees. I only baked these for 8 minutes because I wasn't sure if they'd turn out. I think next time I'll try 10 minutes to see if they brown more. I tried one bite and gave the rest to Nathan. They seemed to be a hit. Super easy to make, which is always a plus in my book.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Got Snow?

I'm sorry both pictures are on the blurry side. I took them on my phone, and probably without my glasses, so I never know what I'll end up with. I don't know why I've never made Snow Cream before. It's not like I'd never heard about it — nor do we ever lack snow in our Montana winters. Anyway, I made it in chocolate and vanilla recently. I used heavy whipping cream, but you can find all sorts of recipes using whole milk, half & half, and such.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

RHCP, Bruno & the Super Bowl

I'm kind of hit & miss when it comes to watching the Super Bowl. I don't watch football regularly, nor do I have a favorite team or anything. Every now and then though, I will watch. It's a big deal to Rick. He'd already bought chicken wings, chip, dip — even these little hot dog things that he said Al Bundy calls "Weenie Tots". So, for Rick, it might as well be a national holiday. Once I found out Bruno Mars had asked the Red Hot Chili Peppers to guest star with him for the Half Time show, I knew I'd be watching this game.

Like I said, I don't really have a favorite team. Rick likes both the Seahawks and the Broncos, so he was good with either one winning. He said he was hoping for the Hawks more because they'd never won before. He also joked and said he's been to Seattle more times than he has Denver. Works for me, just as long as I catch the RHCP at half time.

I thought the Red Hots did a great job. I knew ahead of time they'd only be on stage for a few minutes. Chad, the drummer, did an interview the other day and mentioned that. Even so, people were still disappointed that the RHCP weren't on longer. I don't know what they expected. The Half Time show isn't very long to begin with. And besides that, RHCP were special guests of Bruno Mars. You'd think by how some of them were posting that it was going to be a 2-hour Peppers concert. Nope. It was just the one song — Give It Away, which I figured would be the one they picked. It's always part of their encore and it just fit the occasion perfectly.

As for Bruno, I wasn't a fan of his before, and I doubt I'll go seeking any of his music now that I've seen him. Having said that, I thought his performance was great. He seems very talented. I thought the combination of him and RHCP worked well. Others didn't think so. I did because they are two completely opposite types of entertainers. It worked. And best yet, it worked well enough that you didn't feel weird about having your kids watch with you. RHCP are known for their antics and language, so I was a little worried. They came out with such tremendous energy and truly appeared to be having the time of their lives. I loved that. My favorite part was when they jumped up and down. Flea and Anthony Kiedis do that at every show, so it was fun to see them get Bruno and his band involved. For a couple of men in their 50s, they seem to be in the best shape they've ever been in. I'm a huge fan, so I'm biased anyway.

I received so many tweets, texts, and tags via social media during their performance. It was cracking me up. Even people I don't know very well were asking if I was watching. I loved that. It's nice to be thought of when something big is happening. Many people are saying it was one of the best Half Time shows they've seen in a long time. I have to say, I think so too.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Almost time ...

Big Super Bowl game tomorrow. We went up to town today and you'd think people were getting ready for Christmas. The stores were packed. I've never seen so many baskets filled with chips, dip, and chicken wings in my life. Rick likes both the Seahawks and the Broncos, so he's not really cheering for any team in particular just yet. Maybe he will change his mind as the game gets going. As for me, I'm only in it for the Half Time Show. Surprise, surprise, huh?