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Monthly Archives: June 2012

I Am A Political Animal

I have a love/hate relationship with politics, just like I do with bathroom scales.

I came to blogging by way of politics. My very first blog comment was on a political blog site back in 2008 and I ended up having my own “blog” on this well known site (they since have stopped hosting the individual blogs) and later on another, less famous, but equally stimulating site.

I cut my blogging teeth on making a point, then discussing and defending it with and against people with REAL street creds out in the real political world. It was a sometimes contentious, but always interesting pursuit. I surprised myself by being able to keep up with and analyze complex issues, and come up with logical, well-considered ideas, and articulate them. I did it for years, before finally deciding that all the fighting was doing nothing but making me just a tiny bit crazy. I quit blogging quite so often, thinking I just needed a little break, and ended up discovering that I could blog about happy things, and thus “Tattered ‘n Worn” made its debut in August of 2011.

I’ve continued to follow my old blogging buddies from time to time, but from afar. And I’ve continued to follow politics, keeping up on, and analyzing the issues. If I get a suspect e-mail in my inbox, I know how to follow the trail back and figure out if it is the truth or a trumped up story designed to scare people. And sometimes I’ve even found myself missing the intellectual sparring.

Now, with the election rapidly approaching, and subjects I am REALLY interested in coming back front and center, the urge to discuss/argue politics has reared its head, and I’m finding myself getting sucked back in. And it feels good.

I am going to resist the temptation to discuss the specifics of politics in this forum. It seems inappropriate for some reason to introduce the unpleasantness into this happy place.

But, in generalities, I would like to encourage all of you to study the issues and vote from a place of understanding, rather than emotion. One of the most frustrating things I have come across in political discussions is how little many know about what is really happening. The most important issues of our times are being bandied about like a football, but REAL people’s lives hinge on the decisions being made. History is being ignored and/or rewritten.

Try to get your information from more than one source, since most so called “news” these days comes from sources that, in spite of the tag-line, is anything but fair and balanced. The “news” outlets are owned by big corporations with their own agendas, and you really have to study and research to find the truth or at least something approximating it. The reality often lies between the two extremes. Be able to articulate WHY you are voting the way you are voting, and back it ups with FACTS, not innuendo or half truths. The issues we face are far more complex than what will fit on a bumper sticker.

Try to put yourself in the position of voting for a country that works for everyone, not just a few. Put the well-being of the entire country ahead of a single ideology. Put yourself in your neighbor’s shoes. Remember that our forefathers gave us the separation of church and state for a reason. Try to get past all the money being spent and determine for yourself if the ads you see are telling the truth or just a small portion of it. Please don’t let us be saddled with the best government money can buy. And most importantly, think beyond the headlines. This is all a part of being a good citizen. Compromise is not a four letter word. Our very nation is built on it – a polarized nation will not stand for long.

Thanks for letting me get up on my soapbox. I’ll try not to make a habit of it!

Shutterfly

I used to do my photo processing through Kodak’s “Ofoto.”

It was a pretty good outfit. Prices seemed reasonable, and aside from one order where they COMPLETELY got the photos out of order and I had to spend literally days getting them reorganized, they did a good job, and I enjoyed doing business with them.

That is all past tense, of course, because Kodak sold Ofoto to Shutterfly, and the transition is to happen July 2nd. Unless I opt out, all my stored photos will be in the hands of the new company.

I like to think I handle change gracefully, but the truth is, when I’m used to something that I like, I don’t like change. At all.

So with the change that I can’t stop looming over me, I fooled around on the Shutterfly site. Lo and behold, this is going to be a good move for me, and the change is much less threatening.

Right off the bat, I get 2 free 8x10s and 40 free prints for opening an account with them. That’s cool. But what really has me excited is that they have a plug in for iphoto that allows you to bulk load photos easily, rather than the painstaking way it had to be done with Ofoto (not that it was hard for me, my daughter was in charge of that operation!) This is going to be sooooooo much easier, and since I have more time than she does, I’ll be able to take over this chore…I DON’T think she’s going to mind a bit!

I took one more spin through the Ofoto account and realized I hadn’t ordered pictures since April of 2010. I put together an order for everything from May 2010-December 2011. Holy crap. 3006 photos, and that isn’t even counting the “stock” photos I take of my work, and for the blog – just the ones I would scrapbook. I think I’m going to be sick. I don’t think I realized just how far behind on my scrapbooking I really am.

So, plug-in is loaded, and I’m ready to rock and roll! One more thing to add to my growing-by-leaps-and-bounds to do list…Oh my.

Creativity? What Creativity?

Many of you may have noticed that I have not featured anything creative in awhile.

There’s a reason for that.

I have done almost nothing creative in weeks! I’ve skirted around the edges of creativity briefly (did my ATCs for my art group swap – but those were mostly done and all I had to do was finish work) but nothing terribly note worthy at all!

And I’m feeling it mentally. I’m starting to get a little grouchy – and a LOT antsy.

I’m ready to hit the studio. But it’s a mess, and I know if I go in there I’ll just start cleaning.

So, I brought my inspiration decks out to the gathering room to work on them (I have 3 sets of 52 to do for my art group deck swap next month) thinking if I don’t see the mess, I’ll be able to get going, but they’ve been gathering dust.

And I’m sorta feeling like scrapbooking again. The pictures from Yellowstone are awesome. I got them printed, but they are sitting there staring at me as well. I have paper I want to use, lots of pictures, fun embellishments…

I just can’t seem to get motivated to produce. Anything.

Even though I’ve given myself permission to work on anything I want, I just can’t seem to take the first step. There’s no excuse for this. I have the stuff. I have the time. I have the desire. But it just. Isn’t. Happening.

I only have Hannah for a few hours tomorrow and she’s working on an inspiration deck of her own. Maybe seeing her working will get me motivated. I sure hope so. Time’s a wastin’! Then I have nearly 4 days with nothing planned. Maybe if I make a bunch of lists of things I WANT to do, and dedicate the days to having lots of fun, I’ll shake this malaise. Cuz after that it’s nose to the grindstone to get the work for my internship done!

Wish me luck! And any advice for getting a fire lit under my booty will be appreciated! Heeheehee!

Ya Learn Something New Every Day

…or I could sub-title it “Yet another reason why I need to learn Photoshop.”

I ran into a little predicament on my blog. With free WordPress comes 3G of photo storage, a fair amount, I’m told. Well, I post nearly every day and am fairly liberal with my photos, so I wasn’t terribly concerned when I got notification that I had hit my limit and would need to buy additional space in my gallery if I wanted to post more pictures.

Then it occurred to me I might be posting high resolution pictures instead of lower resolution web-friendly pictures. When I put a photo into photoshop to check the resolution, I was shocked to see that it was 72 resolution…just the right resolution for the web, but not what I should have been shooting pictures at. So I went to my camera to see how I got it set so wrong.

Turns out, 72 resolution means little without knowing the picture size and file size. Yeah, I was shooting at 72 resolution, but that is at a photo size of 16×20. If you shrink the photo down to 2×3 or 4×6, normal sizes for my blog, it’s more like a 600 resolution! The file sizes were GINORMOUS!

So, I don’t need more storage space, I just need to go back and resize all my photos! OMG! I don’t know which is worse!

My friend Amy walked me through resizing on photoshop by phone, and I’m good to go. I figure if I resize a few every day, I’ll be able to keep blogging away, photos and all for quite awhile without driving myself too insane!

Ya learn something new every day. I guess that’s a good thing.

Friendships Can Be Complicated

Do you have one of those friendships that is so complicated you kinda wonder why you don’t just cut the person lose?

I do.

We were very close. At one time we spent hours a night chatting over the internet. But, we’ve had a falling out. The reasons don’t really matter. To me they seem so trivial in the grand scheme of things. But not to her. I love my friend, and I would do nearly anything for her. Right now, that means leaving her alone. And as much as it hurts me, I’m giving her what she wants. I have no choice. You can’t make someone care about you the way you care about them.

But it’s just painful. I get to stand by and watch as she lives her life without me. Granted, I’m living mine without her as well, but it wasn’t my choice.

I wonder every day if she thinks about me. If she sees what I’m doing and is happy for me, or has just blocked me so she doesn’t have to watch. I think sometimes about blocking her, so I don’t have to have a visible reminder of the things I can’t share with her. But I don’t. I read everything she writes. I silently celebrate her victories, and wish I could comfort her when she’s sad.

I don’t know why she hasn’t unfriended me. I guess knowing that she hasn’t gives me hope that someday she’ll decide she wants to be a part of my life again.

“Never give up on someone you can’t go a day without thinking about.” I don’t know who said it, or if it is good advice or not, but I can’t go a day without thinking of her, so I can’t give up on her. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Have you encountered a situation like this? How did you handle it?

How Do You Take Care of Yourself?

My friend Renee has begun a series on her blog about self-care. She has asked me to participate, but I’ve been having a hard time figuring out what I can add to the discussion.

Self-care is NOT one of my strong points.

Intellectually, I know how important it is. The airlines tell us to put our own oxygen mask first, then help others, and I know it is hard to quench anyone’s thirst from an empty well. But for some reason, I have always found it difficult to put myself first.

It has always been my MO to make sure everyone else has what they need, then make do for myself on whatever is left over. To do anything less has always felt selfish to me, and I despise the idea of being selfish.

But I’m coming to realize that it isn’t selfish at all. That in order to take care of others, you need to take care of yourself first. That doesn’t mean that you put all your WANTS ahead of filling others needs, but just that you take care of what you NEED…exercise, sleep, healthy food, quiet time, and a little time to pursue your passion.

I haven’t put together a plan yet on how I’m going to accomplish that, but I know I need to start. Life is short, and if I want to last as long as possible, I really do need to take care of myself.

So, how do you take care of yourself?

A Tattered View of Yellowstone

Everyone has seen all the normal Yellowstone icons…Artist’s Point, Tower Falls, Mammoth Hot springs.

And I took plenty of pictures of all of those things.

But I found myself obsessing on the oddest things, and decided that’s the way I see things…through a tattered lens. I’m playing with some ideas for a series called “Life Through a Tattered Lens” that would be sets of photos that represent my little oddities.

Here are a few from this trip…

The Grand Tetons from the inside of the Jackson Ranch Lodge

Buffalo poop – the girls wanted to bring it home!

A metal grate in the parking lot eaten away by the acidic fumes from the fumaroles

The bark of a pine tree

A walkway on the North Rim Trail

One of MANY odd rock formations

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