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Friday, December 30, 2011

Acapulco Bluff Scene

     This morning I received a phone call from my youngest grandchild, Miss Milena, age 7. She asks me, "Grandma, where did you swim with the dolphins?" Well, I knew that Zihuantanejo was going to be too much for her (lol - I had to look up the spelling); so, I said, "Ixtapa" which is where we ported and drove to Zihuantanejo. She asked how to spell it and then said, "I am going to ask Mom to let me swim with the dolphins for my birthday." [So sweet.] I told her that there were other places in the U.S. she could swim with the dolphins to look at the map for Florida and California. 
     The conversation had me reviewing some of the photos from my first and only cruise, a nine-day trip through the Mexican Riviera. What a wonderful memory with great friends. And, the photo today was taken in Acapulco from the balcony where we ate. I must be dreaming of warm weather. Enjoy.

Acapulco, Mexico
Bluff Scene
[Click on photo for more detail; it is really lovely.]

[Please click above to link to the challenge.]

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

     In my "EMail" today is one of the most beautiful nativity scenes that I have seen. I wish to share it with you and the adapted prayer "The Magnificat" sent for the gifts that we are blessed to receive during the celebration of the birth of Christ. Perhaps you will consider its use. 

May God Bless You with His Choicest Blessings. Karen

Christmas Thanks

Loving Father,
 all of these Christmas gifts
 symbolize how much you love us
with the supreme Gift of your Son, Jesus Christ,
born for us this Christmas day.
 We give these gifts to one another to express
 how grateful we are for your unfathomable generosity
 and to show how eager we are to share that goodness with one another.
Bless these tokens of love and caring.
Never let us get attached to material things,
but rather let the joy flowing from these presents
 strengthen our bonds of love, deepen our relationships,
and move us to be more thankful, selfless, and giving all the days of our life.
Thank you for the birth of Jesus, Our Savior
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, 
and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, 
is now and will be forever.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Alicia and Devin

     Alicia and Devin at the Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport... Devin gets a little holiday from the ice and snow - but, we will miss you for Christmas - hope to celebrate, Devin, on New Years Day - Love you bunches. Grandma Karen

Photos are from one of their iPhones...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Road Conditions

     For those of you who didn't see Facebook, these were the road conditions on the return trip from Anchorage to Soldotna on Sunday, December 18th.  First one (with partial view of the windshield wiper) was taken around Turnagain Arm just before reaching Girdwood (where we had intentions of stopping for pizza but the power was out). The second one was taken pulling out of Sunrise (where we enjoyed a bit of buffalo chili) in Cooper Landing by the Quartz Creek turnoff just before Kenai Lake. Yes, the weather improved in visibility; however, "white knuckle" Patti would agree that the patchy ice under the rain and snow (i.e., slush) necessitated caution, slower speed, and two hands on the wheel. LOL. We went slower than some for sure as drivers of a few bigger rigs seemed to think 65 was the speed limit no matter what the conditions. I would rather go 40mph at times than risk mine or others' lives; and, end up at the same stop light in town with them!

Taken with iPhone4 (while moving, of course)... 12.18.2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

"Happy Feet" Polar Plunge

     A few composite photos of the Special Olympics Polar Plunge that my daughter Alicia participated in with co-workers, the "Happy Feet." Met CJ and Alicia in the UAA parking lot for the bus ride a short distance to Goose Lake for all the festivities and jump at 1pm Saturday. We left Soldotna at 830am; Patti drove (with her Ford Escape 4x4 - I'm suitably impressed because of poor driving conditions on the return trip) and we had a great time, staying overnight with Jason and Lynette for a holiday visit. Missed grandson, Devin, for a hug because he was working.

     Back to the EVENT - Alicia was surprised a little by the cold - said freezing is an "understatement." So shocked her system that for a few seconds almost couldn't move her legs or breath! I can't imagine!

     For information of the event, you can follow the link here: Special Olympics Polar Plunge. Congratulations, Alicia, and others for meeting goals and truly for being brave enough to handle the elements. [Thank you, Ryan and Patti, for adding to the photo collection.] 

[Remember to click on the photo for more detail. Thanks.]

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

KMS Band Concert

     Sunday 3pm found me heading to Kenai Central High School in blizzard conditions (this one actually concerned me a bit - rain and snow, totally on top of rain and snow - the kind that remains on the sides of the front window) with sirens blaring somewhere. 

     My 6th grade oldest granddaughter Dareena plays first trumpet in the beginners band and also plays in the advanced band. The combined concert with the high school was beautiful... well organized, great musicians, and carried on during the last 10 minute power outage. What a hoot and tribute to follow through to the end! 

     We were able to visit with Chris, Hugh, and Chris' granddaughter Jathia (whom the girls met for the first time) - thank you guys for making a special trip for part of the concert for the girls to get to know each other a bit. Glad your trip to Anchorage was safe. 

     Snow and rain had stopped falling when I left the school, but of course the road conditions remained tricky and the sirens were still blaring.

Dareena, First Trumpet (Beg)
Beginner/Advanced Kenai Middle School Bands
[iPhone4 image]

Sunday, December 11, 2011

WOW - ME - A Winner!

     OMGosh, truly, "over the top" excited. I am the winner of "Suzy Qu's" giveaway... There is a link below to go to her blog and check out the luscious wall hanging that I will receive; and, see some of her other items - another unexpected "drawing" she chose to do for Christmas and just so many links to follow. Have fun perusing her site. [Woah, so excited that I forget there is also a link under my "Blog List" for Suzy.] What a wonderful holiday gift! I am so very blessed and filled with gratitude. Thank you, Suzy.

(Click above to link to Suzy's site.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Preparations

     May your Season be special with God's choicest blessings. Love from Alaska.

     Bonnie at PDPA (Pixel Dust) asked us to take a "snap" of holiday preparations. The original photo was taken of my computer monitor with my iPhone4; no way to capture the image. The snowflake is part of the Jacquie Lawson London Advent Calendar activities, Day 7, when we were able to build several snowflakes. This is me "playing!" Guess I had to revert for a while... albeit, a bit crude. 

     Final outcome of the snowflake and layer capture.

(Click above to link to the challenge.)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Amaryllis Duos

     I continue to play; this beautiful amaryllis is just too lovely to stop. These are SOOC. The "texture fun" for Texture Tuesdays follows this post if you aren't coming in from the direct link. Thank you. 

[Click on the images for a more detailed view.]

Celebrate eDition

     It is always a celebration when I receive flowers - a rare occasion and cause for a wonderful photo opportunity, besides. I am sure, my dear friend Edna, you couldn't have known that I would spend several hours with this amaryllis and probably close to sixty images later come up with just a few good ones. This larger image was taken with my iPhone4. The "Thank You" with my Panasonic, leica fixed lens at macro setting without the hood. Now, since there are still a couple more blossoms - I am sure I will spend several more hours with this lovely flower. Celebrate when you can!

My Amaryllis
(iPhone4 image, 12.04.2011)

Layers for my "texture" lovin' friends...

[thank you texture is Bonnie's pdpa Christmas Music; click for a detailed view]

By the way, I couldn't stop, and posted three more SOOC.
You are welcome to click here to see them.

(Click above to link to the challenge.)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lefse Breakfast

     Received a couple small packages of lefse from my dear Aunt Lorraine in Viroqua, Wisconsin. Had to place another order because there isn't enough for family. "Go figure." LOL.  Anyway, since I have my iPhone4 with me all the time, this was taken using it. It takes great shots - wait until I can upgrade to the 4S; oh, my!  Regardless, these lefse "mashed potato/milk thin fried soft tortilla-type bread" are rolled with leftover Thanksgiving ham, potatoes and egg inside; and, cranberries to garnish with each bite. Not bad!

Lefse Breakfast
(Norwegian Holiday Treat, iPhone4 image)

(Click above to link to the challenge.)

First Reconciliation

     Daedra, Dareena and Milena just stopped by and got a "to go" chai latte with frothed milk (for Dae, of course). LOL; they have lots more to accomplish today.
     Miss Milena is anxious to see her pics on my Blog site... smiles. There was a miscommunication and I didn't know that family could have attended the gathering this morning (across the street, no less) for the momentous occasion. But, alas, it is past. These were taken by Dae with her phone using a FxCam application. Ruthann made the beautiful keepsake shawl.

"Mad Men" Martini Party

     Heidi Hinz gave a fabulous "Mad Men" Martini Party last night; her home is filled with amazing vintage finds. The few images here are just a small-teenie-tiny bit of eye candy her family home provides. Over thirty people gathered to open the season of love and well wishes, decking 50-60s hairdos and wearables. Am sure there may be photos on her website. 

Thank you, Chris Nees, for taking the pic of me and Jaci...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mornings with Mary

     Found this site recently through the "Magical Mystical Teacher" who has marvelous photography and haiku; she/he is participating in the "A Virgin a Day - Mornings with Mary" 12-days of December. You can check out the beautiful images by following the link provided here with the icon. I am anxious to peruse the website, also. Enjoy!

B/W and Ringo

     This week I am not posting for "Weekend in Black and White" - there are just too many priorities "pulling on my leg" or "tapping me on my shoulder." You are welcome to visit the site by clicking on the icon in the side bar. Excellent photography.
     Instead, I am posting a portrait taken of me with my mother (original in b/w, circa no doubt 1948 since I was born August 1947) and a current iPhone4 pic of Ringo, my youngest daughter's family dog who is more than likely fighting a terminal growth. Ringo sits on their front porch guarding their home with his paws crossed. A beautiful pet she has grown with for over ten years.

(November, 2011, w/iPhone4)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Beading and Bookarts

     Beading and Bookarts have long been my medium passions, beginning in earnest approximately 1995 and 1998 respectively. Fortunately I can use learned skills with other textiles and/or surface design. Photography interests began long before that when I worked for 30 years in higher education and had benefits of attending classes. Today I came across this photo of three lovely little beaded baskets, 1.5" in diameter, and some of my hand sewn books in the background. It is rather nice with a wonderful border provided by Bonnie at PDPA. Thanks, Bonnie, always for your lovely texture gifts.


(Click above to link to the challenge. Thank you.)


     In conjunction with a "Remembrance Service" tonight I recall how mother loved the holiday season; she enjoyed decorating, baking cookies and candies to give away, gathering with family and friends but especially she loved children and animals. Mom made the best bows ever. We miss her and all others who left before her.

Donna Demchenko 
(05.17.1928 - 02.18.2011)
[SOOC, 12.31.2010]

The Best Bow Ever
[Mom made this last Christmas for the Nursing Home, SOOC]

Remembrance Candles (iPhone4 image)
[Miss Milena, age 7, lit and put Jeremy's candle in one of the buckets.]
Click on the photo if you wish; I put mother's name on her candle; Jeremy on his.

     This is not my selection for PAF which will be posted later; however, I am including the layers for the above image because a couple followers are interested in texture processing. Thank you for your patience and consideration.