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Friday, December 31, 2010

My Year of Discovery

All around blogland, I'm seeing a lot of people
counting down their top projects of the past year,
and to those who have completed
enough projects to warrant a Top Ten list,
I tip my cowboy hat to you.

As for me and my house,
we didn't get a whole heck of a lot done this past year,
certainly not enough to warrant crowing about it at years end.

Yep, this is a year-end review for all the underachievers out peeps!

Had a booth at the local antique mall,
but the busy-ness of my work and all the moving drama
forced me to give it up....for now.

Had a successful Etsy shop too, but once again, my full-time job and
other responsibilities led me to place it in vacation mode indefinitely.
{How do  some of you gals do it all???}

Bought a gorgeous 1910 Victorian farmhouse in September,
still trying to get moved in as of January 1, 2011.

Discovered the wonderful world of DSLR cameras back in May,
took me until about November to get off my butt
and learn enough about the derned thing
to take it off of Auto mode.

 {eyes fitting and ironic, seeing as how lost I was behind the lens!}

Fully intended to get Christmas cards and thank you cards mailed out
to all my wonderful, amazing blog friends...but once again { fifth verse, same as the first },
Little Miss Disorganized dropped the ball.

Yet in spite of all these perceived failures,
somehow, some way,
Romantic Homes
deemed me worthy of a feature this month.
Go figure!

Truth be told, the past year (17 months, actually) has been one of
self-discovery, and you've all been along for the ride.

When I started this blog in August of 2009,
I wasn't quite sure where I fit in,
or what my niche might be.

 {image from my very first post}

I tried a lot of new things, stepped out into deep, unfamiliar waters,
and along the way discovered that trying something new and scary
is only scary for about five minutes.
Then you're fine.

Discovered that I'll likely be a much better photographer than shop owner.

Discovered that try as I may, I simply cannot do it all.

Discovered that the best thing about blogging are the relationships.

Discovered strengths and passions I never dreamed I would call my own...

{one of my first attempts at altered art, Paper Cowgirl June 2010}

Happy New Year, my friends.
You have made the past year one of the best of my life....
this underachiever here.

You've made me smile.
And think.
And grow.
And dream.

And the greatest discovery of all?

That the only thing worse than failing
is never even trying...

Happy 2011.

" one thing every day that scares you...."
Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, December 29, 2010



someone just decides to do something nice for you

to bless you

just because

And while some may choose to think 
it's because the recipient is deserving...

in this case,

it's because the giver is completely




 and amazing!

Thank you
for sending me EIGHT (!) of these fantastic vintage blue ball jars!

I am constantly 
amazed and humbled 
by the generosity of my blog buddies...
sincerely, y'all are some of the best people 
I've ever  had the pleasure of knowing.

Here's hoping your week is a blessed one, too!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Almost Home

Happy Tuesday, I've missed you!
I hope you all had a wonderful, magical, blessed Christmas!

Mine was good, albeit....different.

As some of you may know, my husband spent the past week in Portland, Oregon
with his parents and a handful of his six siblings.

I'm not all about divulging family business here on this blog,
but suffice it to say that his family needed  him there this year....most especially his folks.
His dad has suffered through some major transitions this year, so it was a no-brainer that
he would head on up and honor his parents with his presence. That's why I love him.

I stayed home and worked.
Ridiculous, long, back-breaking hours.
Such is the life of a health care worker at Christmas time.
It's just the nature of the beast, gotta work holidays, as someone has to be there
to tend to the sick and dying.

But lest you think I'm all altruism and selflessness,
I used this past week as
an opportunity to work a little more overtime
to buy myself my own Christmas present...

a new camera lens!!!

"Wait just a sec Anne, didn't you JUST buy yourself a new camera lens???"

 Why, yes I did!

But that was last month.
And thanks for asking.

Say hello to the

In layman's terms, it's a seriously awesome lens, which will serve as my main go-to lens.
Many photogs actually say that it can replace an entire bag of lenses,
although I know myself well enough to know that won't be the case with me.

{soooooo expensive...don't even ask}

Instead of blogging as much these days,
I spend almost all my free time poring over my
many photography books. I am super serious about learning
as much as I can as quick as I can....
I have some HUGE photography opportunities coming up next month,
and I aim to be the best I can be!

So....the "almost home" in the blog title?
It refers to today being the day my husband heads home from the Pacific Northwest!

And no one will be more excited to see him than his fur girl, Winnie.
As seen through my brand new lens...

Always sitting by the door, waiting for "dad" to head up the drive.

And you?
How was your  Christmas?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

An Ineffable Light

{originally posted Christmas 2009}

Nativity at Night
by Geertgen tot Sint Jans, c. 1490

"...the virgin knelt down with great
in an attitude of prayer,
and her back was turned to the manger....

And while she was standing thus in prayer,
I saw the child in her womb move
and suddenly in a moment she gave birth to her son,

from whom radiated such an
ineffable light
and splendour, that the sun was not comparable to it,

nor did the candle that St. Joseph had put there,
give any light at all, the divine light totally
annihilating the material light of the candle....

I saw the glorious infant lying on the ground naked and shining.
His body was pure from any kind of soil and impurity.
Then I heard also the singing of the angels,
which was of miraculous sweetness and great beauty..."

 From a vision of
Catholic mystic
Saint Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373),
which served as the inspiration for this painting.

May His ineffable light illuminate your path this Christmas season, and always.

Signing off for a few days, my friends...
With my love and very best wishes for you and yours,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Through the Eyes of Faith

In the course of any given day, 
I pass by this picture in my living room many, many times.

Seeing it, but not really  seeing it.

 Sort of like the Christmas season, in a way.

Seeing the lights
and the tinsel
and the presents
and all the busy-ness...

and forgetting to 
slow down
take time
look closer.

much, much closer.

 to focus...
on what truly matters

on family
and faith

and to meditate

on the beautiful, glorious reason for the season.

Happy Christmas Week!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Beautiful Thing!

It might not be a beautiful sight to anyone but me, 
but the fence is finished!!!

 My husband replaced all the rotted and missing pickets...

 put up fencing where none had existed before...

 My poor, sweet, chippy, peely-paint cottage!
Cannot wait until we start painting sometime next year (paint party at our place!).

And yeah, I also feel a fence painting party coming on, too.
Tom Sawyer, anyone?

The Mister, being a teacher and on Christmas break, 
has spent the better part of the weekend at the new casa
getting one of the barns cleaned out and ready for the two pups.
It's gonna be the Husky Hilton by the time he gets finished!!

Speaking of Christmas break....
Mr. Twig will be headed up to Portland, Oregon early Tuesday morning
and will be spending a week there with his parents and a few of his six siblings.

No, it's not ideal being apart this time of year, but it's really, really important
for him to be there for his folks, this year more than ever.
Some things have happened in recent months, which have made us both
realize just how precious these people we call parents really are in our lives...
we need to treasure them while we are still lucky enough to have them.

And besides, I'll be working lots and lots (and LOTS) at the hospital, so I'll be keeping busy.
My sweet mom will be spending the week with me,
as will my goofball cat, so don't feel too sorry for me!
It's all good.  :-)

Off to fix some dinner now.
I'll be back tomorrow to announce the winner of my giveaway,
have a wonderful evening!

Friday, December 17, 2010

This Weekend

On the agenda for this weekend...

a little shopping

a little dining out

a little reading

a little catching up on correspondence

maybe  a little ice skating!

a little sleeping late

a little playing with the camera

a little chillin'

and a whole lot of celebrating
the real reason for the season!

What are your last-weekend-before-Christmas plans?

Enjoy them, whatever they may be!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Have you ever had something

You've thought and believed that everyone but
YOU understood something, or
"got it" ?

That's how I've felt about 


shutter speed


and a whole host of other Greek terms which taunted me
every single time I turned 
on the camera.

Things like this come easy to some, but not to me.

And so I played it safe.
Oh so safe.

Afraid to take the training wheels off, I kept it turned to

Entirely too busy to either sign up for a course or really delve into my photography books,
I muddled through.

And dumb luck has permitted me to create some decent images,
but the opportunities are increasing....

Really fabulous, OMG type opportunities...

And with new opportunities, come expectations.
Both those I place on myself, and those of the people hiring me out, so to speak. 
Expectations that I (shock!) will actually know what I'm doing, and will be able
to produce professional results.
And if not quite professional, then certainly better than what I'm producing now.

and so...
with bated breath, last night I did something
so fearless, so brave, so completely heroic that
I simply can't contain myself anymore....

I took the training wheels off!!!

Armed with the incredible, every-photographer-must-have book
I experimented and played
and the funniest thing began to happen...

I saw these...

lots and LOTS of these!!!

Call it a eureka or light bulb moment, but I call it

Shooting in manual and aperture priority modes isn't quite as scary
as I anticipated after all!  :-)

And now some thank you's.

To the talented photographer and blogger who way back when 
recommended that I get this book,
I say "thank you".

To the absolute sweetest friend and mentor in the whole wide word,
I say "thank you".

And to each of you, for traveling with me on all my adventures,
I say a hearty "thank you"!

Shifting gears...

There's still time to enter my
Happy New Year Giveaway!

Click HERE to enter!

Happy Wednesday!

I've thanked people in this post
who genuinely and selflessly lent a hand...
never expecting credit or thanks, 
and certainly not the sorts of people
to hold a grudge if thanks were never offered.
I have sadly encountered the latter type of person
in my travels, and I'd like to thank them too....
for helping me to grow a thicker skin,
and to learn who you can and cannot trust.

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