Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy when Fighting

My kids love to argue and fight with each other. Especially now, during Christmas break. "Get away from me!", "Stop pushing me!", "MOM!!"

Yesterday morning we let them play some video games. They were playing Super Smash Bros. A cartoon type fighting game. They were playing great together. They were laughing and helping each other. Cari observed, "They only get along when they are fighting."

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Scratch Your Eyes Out!

While driving home from the post office, I noticed a hawk on the light post near the tennis court. I was only a block from home, so I grabbed my camera and headed back to the tennis court. The car door opened slowly as I tried to sneak up on the bird. It didn't work, because as I stepped out, it flew off of its perch.

Lucky for me, the bird landed on a tree not far from where I was parked. I put the zoom lens on my camera and started taking my pictures. I slowly stepped toward the tree. The bird was certainly watching me now. I paced in a semi circle around the tree. With every pass I got a little closer. It seemed to go on for an hour but it had only been about ten minutes. I continued to take pictures as I walked. As I took the camera down from my face, I realized I was now only about ten feet from this magnificent bird. The branch he was sitting on was only about seven feet off the ground. As I made my semicircular passes, he would turn his head to keep an eye on me.

He started to look a little twitchy and I realized I wouldn't be allowed to get much closer. I stood still for a moment, admiring this creature. That moment, I looked at the long, sharp, talons and realized this creature could claw my eyes out at any moment.

Images of me running back to the car screaming with a hawk tangled in my hair rushed through my head. I squinted my eyes thinking my eyelids would protect me in case of attack. I took two more pictures. Then I took a daring step toward the hawk to get even closer. The hawk took off and flew over the lake.

I walked back to the car. Not screaming, and with both my eyes intact.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Puppy Slippers

Here's a very short video Meredith and I made. It is a test of making stop motion video.
We made one that turned out a bit better earlier, but the subject was not very interesting. Maybe in the future I'll try this technique again.
click the photo to get the video

Where's Waldo

Around 8:00am on Christmas morning, roughly an hour after we started unwrapping presents, I got this picture. It's my own little Where's Waldo puzzle.

Where's Meredith?

Monday, December 25, 2006

The answers are. . .

Congradulations to RJ, the only one to guess all the gingerbread houses correctly. Too bad he was disqualified for having two guesses. No winner today. Better luck next time.

The house I created in my imagination quickly became realized. . . as an ugly lump of sweets.
Randy's skyscraper wasn't going to be that tall at first. After he saw my creation, he decided he wanted to build the tallest one. With the added marshmallow tower he was able to claim that title. Meredith is pictured with house version 2. The first one collapsed under the weight of too much candy on the roof. Cari worked quietly amoung the commotion. She didn't snack like the rest of us did either. At the end when she took her powdered sugar as snow, I called her a cheater. I didn't realize the sugar was available as snow. Looking back now, I don't think there was enough snow in that bag to give mine the detail Cari had.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Gingerbread house

We spent some time this morning making gingerbread houses. Here's a picture of each creation. Can you guess who made which one? Cari, Randy, Meredith, and I each made one.
photo above is #1

Photo above is #2

Photo above is #3

Photo above is #4

Wii online!

Written with the Wii.
More tonight.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Do you hear that?

Cari laid in bed, almost asleep. I had been in bed for about five minutes when I heard the noise. Kinda a shredding noise. The dog perked up and was looking out our bedroom door. "Cari, do you hear that?".

She didn't even open her eyes, "yeah. good night."
"What is it?", I asked .
"paper ripping. good night."

Who is ripping paper in the house? The kids have been asleep for hours. I couldn't handle it, I got out of bed and looked down the hall. This is what I saw:
The cat decided she would tear into the bag of DOG food. The dog just watched quietly. Maybe she was hoping the cat would get the bag open. Like a pinata full of dog food. I put the bag in the closet and went back to bed. Cari was now fully asleep. I woke her up a little bit, "Just the cat trying to get the dog food I told her."

Cari let me know she didn't really care, "Go to sleep already"!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

All in a Name

Cari really appreciated all the comments the past few days. She kept bragging to me how many comments she got and how wonderful she is. I really want to thank you all for that. Nothing better than listening to Cari rub it in!

We decided not to save the Wii for Christmas because it isn't a Christmas present. It was just something we wanted to buy.

I was home while Cari wrote that and we discussed her using my name. I thought about it for a few minutes. Then I told her just to do it. It was a rare moment, my name on the blog, so don't expect to see it here again. Not anytime soon anyway.

That's something I think that makes blogs interesting. Especially blogs you have read for a while. You are always looking for clues about that persons life. Things that are between the lines of the writing. It is looking at the backgrounds of photos. (And then comparing couches). It's noticing the details like a name in the writing. It makes videos like I made recently even more interesting.

Sometimes I purposely keep the clues out. Most times I try to secretly weave them in. That was why I told Cari to go ahead and use my name. I thought you needed another clue.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

For Sale?

Over the summer we were in a shop and saw a box of photographs for sale. These were pictures of local waterfalls and things like that. The pictures were not framed, they were matted and wrapped in plastic. Printed roughly 11x14. The quality of the images didn't seem to be any better than mine. The difference was these prints were thirty dollars.

If I could have my dream job, it would be selling photography. I would go out a few days a week taking pictures. Come back, have them printed and sell them.

Sometimes I take my photos to work and show them to a few people that have shown interest. One woman told me a while back that she would like to print them and hang some in her house. WOW! One of my pictures? At her request I filled a CD full of waterfall pictures and gave it to her. She printed some and even brought in some of the 8x10 to show me. I don't know if she hung them up or not, I didn't ask her.

Last week, I was showing her some photos from my most recent trip. She told me how much she loved the pictures. She asked for an updated CD. I jokingly said she should pay me for them. Then I told her I wouldn't give her another CD.

She isn't going to anything wrong with the pictures. I just didn't feel good about handing over my work. I did it once. I changed the conversation and went about my day. A few days ago she asked me again about the pictures. She offered to pay for them. This caught me off guard and I told her I would talk to her later about it. That conversation hasn't happened yet.

I've been thinking about this. I would really like to SELL some photos, but this is a friend at work. I don't feel comfortable asking her for an amount of money that I think the pictures should get. It's strange because I don't want to give her the pictures and I also don't want to sell her the pictures.

So far, I have decided that I would take one of the prints that is her favorite and give it to her for Christmas in a frame. Not the file on a CD, just an 8x10 print.

If I could just get everyone willing to pay for my photos, I would have my dream job. For now, I'll just keep giving it away.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Cari's Fun Friday

I have never actually written an entry on Duck's Blog. Occasionally, I will write a short comment, especially if Ed's story isn't favorable to me. But, here I am.

Let me start by saying I am a fantastic wife. Ask anyone. There are many examples of my greatness, but none so noteworthy than how I spent Friday morning.

This all started a few weeks ago, with the release of the Nintendo Wii. I had originally said we weren't spending that much money, and we certainly weren't getting one the week before Christmas. Until... it became hard to get one. Most people know that I (and Ed) can't pass up a challenge. Getting the Wii became more than getting a gaming system, although I adore Zelda. Getting the Wii became our new passion, the reason to leave the house, the reason to pick up the phone (to call all the gaming stores with 100 miles.) I HAD to have one. Hopefully before anyone I knew got one.

We had heard that Walmart would have them on Wednesday of last week. Ed worked early, so he could not go wait in line. I had to take the kids to school, so I couldn't go wait in line either. Our Walmart is in the middle of nowhere, so we were a bit hopeful that I could get there early enough, and maybe get one. I got to Walmart a few minutes after 8 am and saw several Wii boxes being carried around the store. One lady told me that she had gotten there at midnight. I quickly went to electronics to find out that they only had 12, and that they were all gone. I WAS offered a Wii for double the price in the parking lot... That was not part of the game... Sort of like cheating. I WOULD get a Wii and for the retail price!!!

Thursday night we started talking about me standing in line at EB Games the next morning. I was not really fond of the idea. It was COLD. About 20. I don't like to be cold. Suddenly the game seemed to get out of hand.

But, did I back out? Did I disappoint my wonderful husband? NO, I did not. I took the kids to school and headed into town. I expected to see a long line (if the wackos got in line at midnight out of town, certainly by 8:15 the line in town would be long.) Boy, was I wrong. I was FIRST. First to get a Wii.... (Picture me dancing) Wait a minute... First?? Me??? Maybe they weren't getting them in today and I was the only one not to know. Maybe I had finally snapped and sitting outside when it was SO COLD, was crazy. Should I leave??

NO!!! I was going to find out if they were getting one. I only had to wait 2 more hours before they opened. At nine, the line for the Dollar Tree next door was getting long. Still no one at the game store. Where was everyone? At 9:45, I got out of the car and waited next to the building for them to open. A car pulled up, FINALLY someone else almost as crazy as me. At ten they let us in and told us they might, MIGHT?, get a Wii shipment. I told them I was staying, that the guy the day before told me they were coming. The older lady from the car was staying too. Suddenly we were bonded. Best friends. Within about 5 minutes the store was busy with everyone wanting a Wii. I made sure that EVERYONE knew I was first. Old lady and I talked about kicking anyone that tried to get in front of us. At about 10:15, the worker decided we were hovering around the desk too much and passed out cards...

Mine said #1!!!!! He only gave out 6!!!! A few other people waited too, just in case the delivery information was wrong, and more then 6 were coming. One guy tried to get someone to give up the ticket. He had no job, and 5 kids... Too bad, I thought. If he had no job, how was buying the Wii going to help?? Also, if he had no job, he could have been in line much earlier. The 5 other chosen ones and I had a nice morning. It was warm in the store and the employees were fun. About 40 people came in asking for the Wii. Some begged, some cried, but they were sent away. We started pointing out all the UPS trucks that went by. When our truck came into the parking lot we all cheered, and rushed the desk. 20 minutes later I was holding my (I mean our) Wii. It was beautiful. How wonderful was I??

I got a Wii for Ed!!!

I WIN!! I WIN!! (Picture me singing!!)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

We have the Wii!

We got the Wii! The Wii is awesome! Holding the box last night, I wondered if we should sell it for twice the value on ebay. That thought ended and I carefully opened the box. Cari was out and the kids were in bed. It was nice and quiet in the house as I unpacked the Wii. When Cari got home we tried some bowling and some tennis and it was very cool. Then I tried some Zelda before going to bed. Yep, it was good too.

This morning we let the kids try some bowling and the four of us had a lot of fun with it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


We still don't have a Wii.

Walmart put some on sale this morning. People started lining up last night at midnight. Cari was there around 8:30am this morning and one lady that had one was still in the store. She told Cari she would sell it to her for only double the price. How thoughtful. Jerk.

The search continues on Friday.

One Link Wednesday

I don't have much to say tonight. Here's a link for you. They are taking votes for the 7 wonders of the world.

Go HERE to place your vote. Just be sure you vote for the best ones!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Brasstown Falls

Here's what Cari was looking at just beside us.

It's a scratching post. For a BEAR. We didn't see a bear, just the evidence that one was here.
You may have to click and see the larger picture, but these are definatly claw and teeth marks. Do a google search on brown bears and you'll find images just like this. The scratch marks didn't seem fresh, and we weren't really afraid of the tree itself.
So, we continued our hike to view this three tiered waterfall.

The trail to view Brasstown falls follows along the side of the creek. It's really a neat trail because you can hear the falls along the whole trail and you can also get great views from several angles.

Here's a few pictures of the falls.
Although a bit slippery, we made it out of safely. No bears found us. No freaky murderer found us. In fact when we left, the truck was still there. Cari pointed out that the truck may have been sitting there for a month. If that's the case, we didn't see any bodies out there either. Just another beautiful waterfall to add to our list.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


It's been a few weeks since Cari and I went hiking. The best time to go is while the kids are in school. Lately, there have been extra days off from school and my days off were falling on the weekend. Last week I had a day off during the week AND the kids were in school.

I woke up the morning of the hike to hear rain hitting the window. I closed my eyes and went back to sleep for a while. When I got out of bed around 9am, the rain had stopped. Cari said another band of rain was on the way. We were desperate to get some hiking in. Cari checked the radar, and noticed that the area we wanted to go didn't have any more rain coming. By ten we were in the car.

After driving for an hour into the middle of nowhere, we arrived. In the parking area we saw a beat up truck. The truck was off the ground on large tires. The windows were tinted dark. We had driven two miles down a dirt road, cell phones are useless at places like this. Cari and I looked at each other. Without saying anything, we both knew the other was a bit nervous. Was there some murdering freak out here? There was a minute of discussion. We talked about not taking the hike. "Would you feel any better if it was a Cadillac?", I asked.

I popped open the trunk, we grabbed our hiking sticks, and hit the trail.

The trail was covered in wet leaves. Under the wet leaves was smooth, wet rocks. The trail required a bit of climbing down, and in these conditions, that meant I was holding onto a lot of tree trunks and roots on the way down. A few times, I just sat down and slid on my butt to the next tier. Just another obstacle in our desperate attempt to complete a hike.

I set up the tripod at one point so we could take some pictures.One more element to get our hearts pumping was right next to us.
Next I'll show you some pictures from Brasstown falls and what it was that had Cari's attention in this picture.
I hope you can BEAR the wait to read about it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Christmas Letters

Do you know about the Christmas family letters? It's the letter you write to tell everyone about how perfect your life has been this year. Little Johnny is the smartest and most loved kid in his class. Remember?

The owners of the company you work for treat you like family and you love your job! Just like your last three employers. You aren't upset about anything. You husband quit his job and found some downgrade of a job, but, "he gets more done around the house now". Little Sally played the lead roll in the first grade play. She was the greatest and we were such proud parents.

Sometimes these letters come from people that I haven't seen in several years. They could write anything they want. In fact, they do. One particular letter makes me laugh every year. I get the letter, then call a mutual friend that I still have contact with. He tells me the truth behind the words in the letter. Everything is so exaggerated. Sometimes I laugh so hard, tears roll down my face.

If you are one of the people that writes the family letter, don't be offended. I think it is a great thing. Just don't lie and exaggerate everything. If you do, send me a copy, I could use a good laugh.