Hello Again



I took this picture last year when I was visiting my sister and brother-in-law in CT and we took a trip to Boston. I dragged them on a photography tour of Beacon Hill – which I LOVED!!!!! Photowalks offers several different tours around Boston for a minimal fee which includes a small (and useful) photography handbook and a wonderful, upbeat guide by the name of Saba. She provides tips on the kind of photographs of your travels that you’ll love showing off! If you’re interested, here’s a link to my photographs taken during the tour – Boston Photowalk.

I’m here in CT now listening to the rain and hoping that it will stop in time for our planned trip into NYC on Saturday!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


I feel like I should say something else about my new R-1, especially since I haven’t posted many new pictures…

I don’t mind reading a user’s manual to learn how to work something, but when it comes to cameras I use the manual as a reference guide, not a learning tool. So, to help me with the R-1, I ordered a training DVD from Elite Video  through eBay (their eBay store)It’s basically a guide to learning the camera and it’s functions. That’s it – nothing fancy or really advanced. It was exactly what I needed!

I sat down to watch it with my camera in my hands and essentially followed along with the instructors. There are a few goofy parts, but nothing that I found too distracting, although I can only imagine that others may. I’m not an advanced photographer, and I learn best by example, so I take advantage of any instruction and accept it for what it is, despite any goofiness!

So far I haven’t bought any books for this camera – mostly, I guess, because I haven’t found any! I’m keeping a lookout for one…

In the meantime, if anyone runs across a nice R-1 site (other than reviews, which I think I’ve read all of!), please send me a link!

I finally finished my resume and got it uploaded it to Monster last week. I also gave copies to my family and friends to pass out when they could. I had a lead with a local engineering company last week, but HR never called me back. I left voicemail messages several times, but I’m sorry, they may want someone who is willing to keep on calling them HUNDREDS of times (maybe a slight exaggeration) until they finally get a person on the line, but I won’t do that. If someone looking for a job doesn’t make the follow-up call, there’s no chance that s/he will get called a second time by the potential-employer! Do I sound cynical? Hope not! But there’s a reason people go around concerned about making a good first impression, and not just in person.

Mrs. Kelly was my first grade teacher at Coffin Elementary School in Maine, and I will never forget the phone etiquette leasons we had. We had plastic toy phones that were kind of shaped like this…

princess phone

I’m not sure how often we had these lessons, but they were often enough to make a lasting impression with me. I still answer the phone politely and take messages nicely… I’m amazed by the number of people who answer the telephone, “Yeah?”. Good grief, just say “Hello”! I know that extra syllable is hell to get off the tongue for some people. And here in the South, natives add multiple syllables to the tiniest word, so it wouldn’t really take any longer to say.

Sidenote: I used to be called Sammy or Samantha by family, friends, teachers… When my family moved to the south, I immediately became Sam. I’m convinced it’s because of the extra syllables added to every word – it just would’ve taken fore-evah! to say my full given name!

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about phones lately. I have a fascination with the different styles and sounds they make. Not the new phones, or even the touch-tone phones. Nope, I’m talking about good ol’ rotary phones! I love the sound they make when dialing, and really, the receiver is so much more comfortable than the portable handsets, too!

A few years ago I saw a phone in a box at a local junk store that I really wanted. I didn’t take that phone home with me, though, as the price was just too much, but I continue to look for one on eBay – some day, my phone will come!

…how's that for some alliteration?

Christmas Cactus

Notice the holes in some of the arms? And the dead, brown edges of others? This is what happened while I wasn't paying attention!

Here's the story –

My mom has had a Christmas Cactus for as long as I can remember (is that their real name?), and it sat on her back porch for years. When I asked her about it once, she said it had been her mother's (my Grammy). After I got over the shock that a houseplant could actually live that long (I'm not known for having a green thumb, unless I paint it myself trying to fool nature), she told me that it blooms when it's supposed to (I guess from December through February?), but it also was blooming when Grammy died in June 1985. About 8 years later, it bloomed when her sister, my Great-Aunt Raisie died in August. Two years ago, their other sister, my Great-Aunt Helen, died and it was blooming. No one in our family finds this odd or even a little morbid – it just is. That plant means so much to my mom and she understood how much the connection to Grammy meant to me so guess what I got for Christmas? A Christmas Cactus! I can't see one of these plants without thinking of my mom and grandmother, so, naturally, I love it!

But they don't need to be watered too often, so I found myself only really paying it attention when I dusted my furniture (oh, the shame of dusty end tables!). One night, I was watching a movie and noticed my furry feline climbing up on the stand this plant sat on. When I got up to shoo her away, I found teeth marks and eaten stems! I know cats like green stuff, but why my beloved cactus?! Could you pass me the cheese to go with the wine?

The picture above was taken with the new Sony camera a couple days ago. The plant is actually healing very nicely and is sprouting new growth (notice the pink tips). If the scars never completely heal, maybe I can just consider them part of our family legacy and Christmas Cactus story!

I hope I haven't bored you too much (if you've even gotten this far!)…. so just for kicks, here's a picture of a beautiful sunset colored rose from the Rose Festival…

Sunset Rose

Sony DSC-R1
Sorry it's been so long since I've written – work has been crazy and I've been working even crazier hours! We had a major layoff a couple of weeks ago, I found out the company I work for owes back taxes (hence the layoff), so I updated my resume and now I'm trying to find a new job. Wish me luck with the job search!!

My real reason for writing is to tell everyone about my new camera! I got my Sony DSC-R1 on Friday and I love it! I've only ever owned Sony digital cameras (this is my third) and each one has been wonderful and has served me well. I did have serious buyer's remorse cramps over the weekend, but I've made a resolution to take pictures everyday and to actually take the time to learn and practice the intricacies of photography. No money wasted that way! I'll be sure to post some of my first pics as soon as I can!

Cold Moon
I also finished Jeffrey Deaver's The Cold Moon. I do this every time he comes out with a new Lincoln Rhyme novel – I tell myself that I'll wait for the paperback. I wait a few days after the hardback's been released and then just give in and buy it! Ticks me off that I can't control myself that way. What can I say, they're my drug of choice!

And let me just tell you, Jeffrey Deaver's mind is a mystery! I've enjoyed every one of his books that I've read and I stay tense throughout all of them because I know – I just KNOW – that there's going to be a surprise waiting for me and I won't have seen it coming. I'm also thankful that a loose end has been tied up in this novel – I've been waiting! If you haven't read any books in the Lincoln Rhyme series, start with The Bone Collector and work your way through the books. You'll be as drawn into their world as I am.

X-Men 3

I also saw X-Men 3 yesterday. I talked to a friend Friday night who asked if I wanted to see it with her and her husband – they'd gone the weekend it opened, but heard later that they'd needed to stay until the credits were done rolling at the end. So, of course, they had to go see it again, just for those 3 seconds (but stay if you see the movie – it's worth the time)!

I've been waiting for this movie and, even though Bryan Singer didn't direct it, I had high hopes – as well as high expectations. I can't say I didn't like the movie – the story line is driven by the comic book stories, and is actually very compelling. X3 is more of a typical action movie than the other two were. Sure, they've all had exciting action and drama, but action movies (think Die Hard, even Collateral) have some cheesy moments, right? In my humble opinion, X3 has more Camambert than the first two combined! It's obvious that Singer didn't have anything to do with the writing of X3. There was less character development, which, some could argue, wasn't needed because this is the third movie, but if you paid attention at all, even the smallest traits of the characters were overdone in the typical Hollywood-cheese style. All in all, though, an enjoyable time spent at the movies – and worth the price of my matinee ticket!

   One way to help fight breast cancer is to visit The Breast Cancer Site everyday and click on their banner. Each click funds mammograms for disadvantaged women – and it’s free for you! In May (that’s now!!) each click is worth double, so visit every day!

Thanks to The Beauty Addict for the link!

If you don't already browse the web with Firefox, may I suggest you take a look and try it? I love it! My favorite thing about Firefox is the option of installing extensions. Some are really useful, and some are just plain cool and help make time on the internet a little more interesting.

Right now I'm trying a new extension I just installed this afternoon called Deepest Sender, a blogging tool. We'll soon see how it works – and so far, so good!

Here's a picture from the rose festival last weekend – just for kicks!

NOTE: Well, the posting worked great, but my photo showed up as a broken link… I'll have to spend a little more time later trying to figure out what I did wrong. Otherwise, I think I love this new extension!