more info on what goes on here in McGilly World

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

AND FINALLY UBBC#31!!!!!!!!!!!!

So this is it... 31 posts in 31 days.... 
urgghhhh i'm exhausted. I thought it would be a pretty easy 
challenge. Alas not. 

I though "I post every day anyway, piece of carrot cake"
obviously, I really don't post every day, every single day.
I take a break when I have nothing... it's not forced.. not squeezed out
just for the sake... Blog for Blogs sake!!!! 

This has been pretty draining to say the least... but after all I did it!!! I
actually completed the challenge... something is finished, done, 
executed to the bitter end. 

Now, can we all get back to normal around here and have some
pure, unadulterated, blogalicious FUN!!!!!
Yipppity Dooo Daahhh.

Three good reasons to recycle.... ubbc#30!!!

It's been a while since I talked about the Green efforts of the McGilli's.
Well that's cos I am more than embarrassed to say that our efforts have been less
than pathetic... a mere whimper in the roar to change the planet. 

The weather has sucked so the air drying of laundry hasn't gone so well but I'm looking 
forward to a usually fairly dry October for plenty of lovely smelling linens etc.
Still lacking the exact right vessel to hoard the plastic and glass before sending
them to be recycled... no I have no idea why i'm just not using a 
couple of cardboard boxes. It's my inner Martha... I think I need something 
cute to fit in with the rest of the kitchen... pathetic!!! 

But peeps...on the upside... I do still get the paper bags from the grocery store
when I forget to take my shoppers.... and here's how we recycled them tonight...

apologies for the quality of the 'snaps'.... i'm hurrying to get my final two
posts in... check back at midnight!!! 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tahoe Revisited.... ubbc#29

One thing I adore about my blog is that in some ways it's like a personal
journal, a look into my life and what I may be feeling or experiencing at any given time.

It's a journey into me.... ohhh how indulgent!!!! 

Now, another thing is that I have made a lot of friends and even met some fellow
bloggers...I was lucky enough to journey from Ga all the way to Nevada 
last Labor Day. 

Here is a little trip back to see what it was all about..... 


Almost there... UBBC # 28

Dang it... don't know if I can really finish this challenge although I am SOOOOO close!!! Today I have two things to share... firstly... it is Mac's fourth birthday... for those of you new here, Mac is my beloved shih tzu.

He was born four years ago today into a loving family in Alabama, the were looking for the right homes for the litter and we were lucky enough to welcome Mac into our family when he was nothing but a fist full of fluff at the tender age of 8 weeks old. Oh how we adored that little man from day one!!!!

The second thing, and probably the most interesting to me is that my youngest child who is now six doesn't remember not having Mac and his younger sister Daisy.  We were so in love with Mac that when his parents produced a second litter six months later we couldn't resist adding Daisy to our clan. So you see, it's all a matter of perspective really... I mean... to me it seems like we've had them no time at all 'cos I'm all old and four years is a drop in my ever expanding ocean.  But, to a little pipsqueak like Ash, it's almost a complete lifetime.

So that's it for this post, expect another real soon, like an hour or so!!!! Just so that I can say I posted 31 posts in August... whether you read them all or not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peace out.
Mr Mac... completely unimpressed with me and my camera!!! 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Have you heard of my little town??? ubbc#27

OK folks, raise your hand if you've ever heard of Thomasville, GA.
You there in the back.... any clue?? maybe driven thru a time or two on your
way to Sunny Florida... or you with the hair on your head... maybe spent an afternoon 
on a plantation here hunting??? possibly visited us at Christmas to enjoy the Victorian festivities?

Well for the unenlightened I thought I'd share a couple of things with you. 

There are a lot of little secrets here in T-ville, we have a lot of big name visitors that 
I will keep under my hat in order to preserve their privacy, wouldn't want those 
pesky paparazzi types disrupting our idyllic peaceful existence. We also have some real 
gems when it comes to entertainment and cuisine... oh yeah... the best shrimp and grits for
miles around can be found right here in South Ga. 
We are also known as the City of Roses and you can find beautiful blooms all over 
town pretty much year round.

There are lots of Bed and Breakfasts, lovely old houses full of character, 
charm and southern hospitality. 

 And don't forger the Big Oak... you can see more on the Big Oak
here... this tree has captured the imagination of my girls for as long as they
can remember... they used to tell me that fairies lived in the Big Oak. 

So peeps... hope to see you here real soon. I'd be happy to show you around.

Ultimate Blog Boost Challenge #26

At the beginning of this month I accepted the Ultimate Blog Challenge which was to post 31 posts in the month of August.... the idea being that you would post one a day.... well I'm a tad bit behind but I'm not about to fail!!!!
No siree... even if it's total crap I'm posting 31 posts in 31 days!!!!

I may well catch up all four that I'm behind today.... don't feel obligated to comment... it's just a Me thing.

This is post #26 and one of the ideas given to me for this post was to blog about something I'm an affiliate for... well I'm not an affiliate for anything really... urrgghhhh.... so I"m just gonna post some pictures that I have taken recently and be done with it.

Hope you like them....

Tune in later folks for another in the series of McGilli scrambling to catch up and 
complete this damn challenge!!!!!!! :) 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Friday Everyone...

I really need to start and join in on some more meme's... I'm quite the slacker these days.
Of course my favorite game is about to start back, Corner View, if Jane gets off her
vacationing, slackery butt and gives us a theme. Look for us on Wednesdays. 
I love you Jane.... besos!! 

Anyhoodles... this morning I decided that seeing as this is the last of my play stay at home Mom
days I would make it Creative Friday and do some of the stuff I have been meaning to 
do. I wanted so much out of this break but things like kids, school and dentists seemed to
keep getting in the damn way!! 
Um... hello... who died and put me in charge of this domestic stuff??? I never asked
to be elected Mayor and General Flunky of McGilliville.

So, this morning I noticed some mushrooms in the yard and being me I immediately 
thought... grab the camera before they run away... oh they don't run away... but they do 
disappear faster than green grass through a goose.

So I crawled out on all fours and got this little beauty... quite nice dontchya think?

and I took just a few more for good measure.... 
You can see them if you take a wee detour over to my flickr page.. 

Since then it has persisted to dump down rain on McGilliville and there is no more 
outside activity going on. I know you're all thinking well heck girl, you don't have to be
outside to get creative... I know that but I just wanted to be outside today!!!! 
I wanted to boost my portfolio, to increase my pictures of this darling town and to 
breath the fine outdoors air. I hate it when you're dead set on doing something and then
rain stops play. It's like having the champagne and strawbs but no Wimbledon!!! actually
that wouldn't be so bad either as long as it was a good vintage.

So here I sit, with a shih tzu on my lap (she's afraid of storms!!) wondering what 
to do. I think I'll try some new approaches to editing some old stuff and check 
back witchya later. 
How's your Friday turning out?????

Thursday, August 26, 2010

444th post... a bit like 666 but less.

Morning peeps.. this is a completely unprepared, off the cuff kinda post so I'll preface
with an apology if I'm all over the shop today. 

Passive Aggressiveness, wrote a post about, like to read it... here goes...

Recently I had the opportunity to research the meaning of the term and what is widely 
accepted as being passive aggressive behavior versus the clinical definition of the condition. 
And guess what I found... I think i'm a freakin' passive aggressive kind of person!!!! 
I am sure this doesn't come as a shock to some of you, after all it's the sting 
in my dry sense of humor that makes a lot of my regular readers wince (and like it).

Here are a couple of examples... the passive aggressive character will be chronically late 
and forget things... hmmm check. 
for time sake lets now call it the PA... will also show symptoms like Procrastination; check
Sulking; check  Obstructionism; check
and the piece de resistance is this one.... making chaotic situations!!!!! CHECK CHECK CHECK

 So there you have it ladies and gents.... i am now a self diagnosed PA and will seek 
treatment immediately. This does beg one question though.. aren't most Bloggers 
also PA's??? I see it all over the blogosphere plain as day. 
This one and that commenting on the procrastination of their day, the funny snarkyness
which is classic PA behavior..ambiguity or speaking cryptically; every day stuff for 
the bloggers, right? 

 After all, as Dr. Scott Wetzler, a clinical psychologist and author of Living with the Passive-Aggressive man, observed: “A joke can be the most skillful passive-aggressive act there is.”
this has been lifted from a new site I found whilst investigating my new 'trait'.

Go on, give it a look see, I think you'll love it !!!!!

and finally.... when you're not being all PA... just take time to stop and smell 
the gardenias... that'll put your smart ass self into perspective!!!! 
I took some pics this week and posted them on my flickr page and this has gotten the 
most views of any picture I have ever had, what conclusion can I draw from this?
it is no matter what I think is clever and makes a good picture, if the subject is as beautiful
as a gardenia, people will always want to stop and take a look. 
oooo errr i'm getting all profound. 
Have a lovely day y'all, come back and see me y'hear!!! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Colors.... nice bright colors....

I'm feeling kinda colorful.... and wanted to see what I can do capturing
some of the lovely bright things around me.

 I love the red and yellows in this nectarine.... so natural.

 Teeny tiny bottles of food coloring.... lovely.

and of course the obligatory marker picture........

What's been brightening your day????

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In bloom again....

So... we have some gardenia's out back, and they usually only bloom once a year in the spring... however this year we've been treated to a second crop of this gorgeous, fragrant flower. I don't know why and I'm not about to send them back.... .how could you not love them?

I strutted out there with the zoomy and got me some very nice macros... so happy with the result and not an enhancement in sight.

Yesterday was a tremendously busy day, and although I did manage to get everything on the to do list done, I feel drained beyond believe today!!!! There has been a lot of emotional turmoil going on and a lot of motherly worry about Ash and her vomiting but it looks like we've finally got some answers and she's gonna be just fine as long as we remember her pill every day. I wonder how long that goes on for? Do kids grow out of reflux? Hmmm should have asked the Doc. I think that as I get older and have to tackle such issues as the health of the kids, the health of the marriage, the maintenance of the household and vehicles etc etc.... I'm just getting more and more exhausted!!!! I need a spa. Someone send me to a spa right now......

Was it always like this? I mean when you're young and all you want to do is grow up and be an adult you have absolutely no comprehension of the stress an adult will endure. I want to go back, I want to be carefree and young again., someone let me off the "old" bus!!!! I'm seriously thinking about some kind of plastic surgery too.... there are way too many physical family traits that I want to be rid of. If you know of any blogs doing a giveaway on a face lift wouldya please direct me to the site.

K... have rambled enough for one day... just one more thing... while I'm writing little Ash is playing the nothing wholesome like tennis or bowling... I look up and apparently she's racking up the highest scores on Fart Wars!!!!!!!!! How do we have a game called Fart Wars???? I certainly didn't buy that one.
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Rambling of an Artsy Fartsy Mama....

I am sitting here absolutely laughing my mid life butt off.... 

I checked the stats tab today and found the searches at the bottom, apparently someone
found me by searching rambling of an artsy fartsy mama... how hilarious is that!! 
I don't know why that's made me laugh so much but it has.
Was it you, mother in law?????

Anydoodle.... what I wanted to blog about today is this? Should your marriage have
an annual review?? I mean, it is like running a partnership or business so shouldn't we
have checks and balances regularly to keep us on the right track and on the same page?
Make sure our goals are still the same and that we haven't deviated from the original plan? 
I mean, if you settle into a routine and stick with it for years and years doesn't there
come a point where you become ineffective??

The rating could be the usual... O for outstanding.. E for exceeds expectations..M for 
meets expectations and N for needs improvement and finally S for suck it. 

Each category of your overall performance should be addressed .... 

Quality of work, quantity of work, individual effectiveness, communication, judgement and
decision making, team building, initiative, ongoing skills improvement and dependability.

Of course the measurability of these categories in a marriage is completely left up to 
the discretion of the management and will depend greatly upon the deliverance of 
such things as flowers, candy and "other goodies" in the weeks prior to the review.
The outcome of this revolutionary new approach to a lifetime of harmonious cohabitation
is also dependent on some relevant outside factors.......
Acceptance of In Laws and friends... Annoying behavior in social settings.... 
or the refusal to even enter the social arena!!! 

So ladies (and gents) lets do this, lets take the reigns, lets evaluate the performance of the 
spouse, be honest, be ruthless and if it all ends in tears... don't blame me, y'all probably weren't
right for each other anyway just sayin'!!!! 
I believe I will be first to take the plunge and present his gorgeousness with his 
annual appraisal this weekend. I'll let you know how it all goes and whether I can 
still be referred to as Mrs. following this summit meeting. 

Now.... get out there and lets do it!!!! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Seven weeks of Summer...

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.......

I have had one helluva roller-coaster ride in the past seven weeks, unexpected, surreal and bizarre things have happened to me all at once. Things that rarely happen to normal peeps, things you'd only want to happen to you every seven years... not all together in the span of seven weeks. See, there's this thing about me, there's an aura I give off attracting situations ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous... in fact that phrase "the sublime to the ridiculous" was coined when I was born.  The sublime/ridiculous Gods celebrated the day I bounced onto this planet and vowed to protect me until the day I die. It was some kind of bet, a wager, a private joke amongst the Gods of all things freakish, they would toy with me and place me in every kind of mind boggling, situational irony they could dream up whilst lounging on their clouds watching over the world.

OK,without further ado, I'll share some of the trickery has been played on me by those watching over me, the Gods who maketh all things bizarre.  Well, I'm starting my seven week time line at the day in which I backed out of my driveway and right into a neighbors car, that morning hadn't gone very well at all.  I was taking the dogs to be groomed and all of a sudden my reverse sensors went crazy... I looked into my rear view mirror and couldn't figure out the problem... then I checked my drivers side mirror and there it was.. a mini van embedded in the rear corner of my Jeep. WTF was that doing there?
Not a great deal of damage to the van.... yet considerable amount of shitola glaring at my from the corner of my not so long ago purchased Jeep. URGGHH.

Moving on, as if having a fender bender on the way to work wasn't enough, I was not in the building but ten minutes when I was advised of my "surplus to requirements" status. Double URGGHHHH. The details of this Double URGGGHHH really should remain privvy to only those involved... suffice to say it was up there with some of the worst days of my life, on so many levels.

So there I was driving around in a beat up Jeep and having no job, a particularly harrowing time to say the least, but I soon settled into it. After letting the baby sitter go, I assumed the position of hmfic.... yep, I was large and in charge, taking good care of my kids while I was seeking employment and nursing some emotional wounds.  An interesting period of my life which I'm sure I won't easily forget.

The seeking employment part was fine until I had an interview from hell... very, very, strange!! That's all I can say about it, other than I have no idea what my favorite color has to do with my ability to perform well at that particular job. It was not a design job, nor one where my favorite color would come into play as far as I could see, so I considered it for a nanosecond and decided it was not the one for me.

Then to add to the kerfuffle of getting the kids back to school and job hunting... I was also undergoing the rigorous process of becoming an American Citizen. The idea behind becoming a citizen was that all of my immediate family are US citizens and I'm never gonna go back to the UK so why not join them. It makes things a lot easier in the long run for us as a family. I have lived her for almost thirteen years (oh so that explains my luck lately!!) and I speak with a weird Southern drawly type English accent so what the hey.. I may as well get a blue passport right?

So, back to my daily bucket o' crap, after four days of school, my youngest decides to come down with an unexplained bout of vomiting... lovely... and so I'm entrenched in Lysol and laundry it's not even remotely funny.  Add to this an appointment with the Immigration office to be tested on my command of the (American) English language and the result is a severely stressed Mid Life Mama. But I strolled though it with the finesse of a graduate of the finest Swiss finishing school... not really... but that's what I'm telling myself. The fact that I was interviewed by a Vietnamese gentleman who could hardly speak the language himself was what finally sparked my realization that the bizarro Gods really have it in for me.... but they weren't even close to being finished with me.

On Tuesday of this week, I'm happily picking up the kids and indulging in some "me think" time when bam... someone rear ends me.... at rear end junction.... I have lived in fear of this junction for some years now and finally just when I'm enjoying the worst seven weeks of my life... it happens to me!!! I didn't even care!!! I'm so used to the shit hitting the fan by now, I was perfectly charming to the perp and continued on with my day.

All the while I'm waiting for my silver lining to be crocheted or at least in some way fashioned by my good friend Spud, clinging to the notion that these weeks of the crappest luck in history are about to end... and indeed they are. My immigration stuff is done, I was sworn in today at the Immigration office and received my certificate proving that I'm a naturalized citizen of the United States. I have had the insurance adjuster visit me in regard to fixing my beat up Jeep and I will be starting a new job at the end of the month.

So, my dear sweet readers, this is the new beginning I've been searching for. With the fender benders, job loss, immigration and sick kids all behind me...I plan on focusing on the future, learning from the past and living for the moment. I'm stronger than I ever knew and happier than I ever thought possible. Of course I can't take all the credit, I do have a very handsome right hand man who has been my absolute rock in all of this. Don't tell him I said so!!!!!! oh what the hell, lets throw him a party.. he deserves it!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

See this.... ubbc#19

87/365 purple, originally uploaded by McGillicutty1.
This beautiful plant... how gorgeous and bright are the colors on the flowers, just sitting there like a jewel on the patio, waiting to be adored by all.

It lasted all of three freakin' weeks!!!! No matter what I did to this think it was just not happy, not happy at all. I'm not mad because I did get some really satisfying pictures of it... i use one as my banner.... see?

But, honestly, how is that some plants (mainly the ugly ones) can prosper and grow where e'er they are and others (mainly the gorgeous ones) will wilt in a skinny minute!!!!!!!!

I don't get it... I haven't done too well with my plants this summer so I'm off to empty the pots and replace them with ferns. Can't go wrong with a few ferns really can you?

So, who out there has green fingers (or a green thumb as the American's say) (which I will be tomorrow, so I"ll be saying it then).

More long awaited Randomonium!!!! ubbc#18

Like it???... my goofy assistants love to get in on the act but for some reason
the video is playing faster than the sound when I insert the clip!!! That makes it 
all the more hilarious... will try and iron out that glitch before my next randomonium post! 

So my loverly bloggers... time to get silly and share some of the random stuff
going on here in South GA. It's still hot and humid although the temp lately seems 
to have dropped to a bearable 95 degrees... not too shabby. There has to be something
out there blooming tho' cos I had to take a couple of sniffs of the old nasal spray today.

Ash had her semi-annual cleaning this morning and no cavities to report. She does 
have a six year molar peeking in at the back which we need to ensure is brushed
properly and the x-rays look good. Braces in her future.. of course... there 
was no way on God's earth we would escape expensive dental work now would we????

Please take a look to your right... I have a FB page.. plenty  more random crap 
going on over there... "like" it... pretty please.... merci. 

So we're into the third week of school and the novelty has worn off. Yes siree 
no more picture perfect mornings and the homework is like birthing watermelons.
How many more weeks 'til fall break??? 
Syd has had to redo an assignment a couple of times already. When did 
4th grade turn into junior year of college??? I have been very encouraging
and tried to say all the right things but give me a break already!! 
I am trying to remain calm and adopt a positive attitude, after all if you instill 
attention to detail and following directions at this early age we should have 
complete smooth sailing through the rest of her academic career right????
Please tell me that this is doing her some good!!!!!!!

I have turned over a new leaf in my approach to photography... yes... yes I have.
I have studied some photo's of people that I admire, really studied them and 
found I have been doing it all wrong. I need to actually be a little more 
purposeful in my actions and the results will speak for themselves. I'm all point 
and shoot but with a fancy camera... so yesterday I actually set up some still life arrangements.
I thought about and used my f stop, my aperture and my ISO. 
I looked at the lighting and altered it here and there, and most of all I used that 
dusty freakin' tri-pod... hope you like what I came up with... hee heeeee.

first is our family portrait in mugs... everyone has their fav mug right... 

 Can you tell who's is who's... of course you can!!! 

Then there's Grandpa's biplane... I used the black and white version in yesterday's post.
It's actually red, and quite lovely. 

I took a few more but for now that's all I'll bore you with. Today I will be 
venturing outside and instead of grabbing a shot here and there I'm gonna think and 
plan and execute the plan and then do it all over again!! Oh it's so much fun to 
have all this creativity buzzing around again!! I'm a nerd i know!!!! 

Well that wraps up this weeks randomonium, if I knew how to do the linky thing 
I'd let y'all link up and do your own randomonium posts..... feel free to do it and just let 
me know in the comments so i can visit...toodlepip!!!! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Images... ubbc#17

This was the last gift we ever bought for my step-dad before he passed away.

Today isn't any more significant than any other in terms of his memory, other
than the fact that I took this picture of his plane. 
I love the picture. I love the plane. I miss the man.

Take a look over your shoulder... ubbc#16

This is where I wax lyrical about the past and all the wonderful memories
one should treasure and revere. 

Not really... it's me we're talking about, not a lot of fancy prose goes on 
here at the home of Inner Rambling. 

What I have been thinking lately, is that, there is so much importance in reflection, I 
first dragged the concept into the forefront of my mind when I read the book 
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson PhD. I say I read it, well I didn't so 
much sit down and read it as refer to it, often, that's what makes this book so awesome.
Another one I like is Don't Worry, Make Money.... however, there's a lot of advice in there
that I haven't fully utilized otherwise I would have made tons of moolar by now. 

So, is reflection a habit that you've picked up? and if so when exactly do you practice this 
quietening of the mind and delving into your deeper intelligence?  I tend to do it
 whenever there's a quiet moment without interruption, when I'm driving or if I get some
quiet time outside in the evening without the distraction of TV or kids. 
I find it helps with stress levels, I take myself out of a particular situation and ponder
the impact my involvement is having, are my actions truly as I see them? Am I 
really, in the grand scheme of things, going to be affected long term by any particular
course of action. It's truly a wonderful feeling when you can suddenly be at 
peace with something or someone following a period of reflection. 
Remove outside influences and did deep into yourself for answers, it's the only 
way to be true to yourself and fair to those around you. 

Please, if you have already read his book and would like a refresher on reflection
go here... and if you haven't read it, I strongly suggest you do. It's life altering. 

I have experienced a huge amount of change in the past couple of months, all 
aspects of my life have been in some way affected in one way or another. I have
had to pull strength from places I never thought existed and I realized today 
that a lot of that inner strength is coming from the power of 
reflection. My heart is healing, I have a lot of good things to look forward to 
but the only way to ensure they stay good is to look back, and learn, resolve to 
see the bigger picture with an open and fair mind.  Remind myself every day 
that I can do better and deserve to be better; there are a lot of opportunities every 
day to impact the lives of those around you. Does one just get up and go 
through the motions without thought for the consequences or should we indeed look 
at ourselves in the mirror each morning and know that today could be the
day that we impact the life of another human being in a way that they will 
never forget, and it has to be in a positive way. 

So, if you're going to be successful, and success is measured in so many different 
ways, then now is the time to practice some reflection, use your quiet wisdom, 
and then shout about the results. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Banana Spiders..... ubbc#15

Phew... almost half way complete on the Ultimate Blog Challenge... 

See this little baby... yes... he's a baby... and building his nest on the wasteland
that is my front porch. Interesting.
At least he is to me, a Brit in South GA who is somehow still unaccustomed to all 
the critters around here, I'm sure there are no spiders this size in rural 
Wiltshire.... you know....near Stonehenge.

I was brave enough (or stupid enough) to get these pictures and then 
destroy his web with a broom and sweep him off the front porch.
Why? you ask....Why deprive him of his lovely home?

Because soon he'll look like this.....
I know... scary freakin' monster spider!!!!!!! 

Apparently they are harmless, I took this picture today at a lake where we 
went fishing, we counted about nineteen of them!!! 
No one was harmed, they didn't chase us or try and trap us in their
queen sized webs, they were just very interesting to look at. 

We all squealed a little when there was one dangling overhead and we had 
no choice to but run under him... eeewwwww... other than that 
it was an opportunity to take a great picture!!!! They are actually almost the size
of my six year olds hand.... for real!!!! 

I'm becoming quite the critter clicker, who'da thunk it!!! 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hooray Hooray... I learned something new today!!! ubbc#14

So... whatchya think???

I have been messing with a lot of free software and trying to teach myself some
editing and enhancing, trying to make those beautiful pieces of art that 
a lot of my bloggy heroines are making... Char and Beth are two of the very best.
Now..I am nowhere near their level of brilliance but I'm so proud that I at
least managed to create just a little something. 
The sky is the limit... I can't wait to dabble some more and learn more about
filters and layers and all that good stuff. 
I love my straight out of camera stuff, but sometimes I just want my work to be 
a little more artsy fartsy and a little more of my personality in there. 

The software I am grappling with right now is Gimp 2.6, you can download 
it directly to your computer and there's a great deal of online help and 
tutorials out there. I'll be staying up late and getting up early until I have 
done one of two things, either absolutely mastered it... or give up and dissolve
into a pile of snot and tears. That's my personality I'm afraid.... I get so 
frustrated but won't quit til I'm excelling !!!! 

So, if you're using Gimp and have something to share ... please do!!! I'm busting at
the seems to get more knowledge on Gimp... don't let me down peeps!!!! 

Friday the 13th... Pffff.... ubbc#13

What in the heck is all the fuss about??? Who cares that the 13th of the month
falls on a Friday...friggatriskaidekaphobia.....

people who suffer from that, that's who!!! 

I like that this word is completely unpronounceable and secondly that it starts with 
frigg.... what word wouldn't you like that starts with frigg!!!! 

Personally, I had a fantastic Friday the 13th... what a wonderful, wonderful can tell it was wonderful because I used the word twice 
therefore accentuating the fact. 

I can't divulge the source of most parts of my wonderful day at this time, 
so stay tuned, all will be revealed in the fullness of time.
I can, however, let you know that it culminated in a lovely evening 
spent by the pool with one of my good friends and bottle of red. 
 I have some of the bestest friends imaginable... and you know why? 'cos I'm very
lucky that's why!!! 

OK this post is going nowhere fast, just wanted to get it out there that I'm 
feeling really good, really happy and thoroughly excited about future 
possibilities... can't think of a single snark today... I must be happy!!!  

Now... take my happiness and SPREAD IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

How to confuse a cardinal... and other Friday Fun... ubbc#12

Regular readers of Inner Rambling will already know that I have taken up 
bird tormenting watching this summer. No I don't sit out there in a field somewhere 
with binoclears and a ham sandwich.... but I have taken an interest in the
birds that seem to dominate our little corner of the world. 

It started with the Cardinals.... absolutely gorgeous birds... I hung a feeder out
and waited for them to realize it was there.... after what seemed like a really
long time... ta da... I captured one on film memory stick. 
(capturing something on film seems so much more romantic, doesn't it?)

Anyway... once I was over the whole cardinal thing, I moved on to 
hummingbirds... and hung a hummingbird feeder out. 
Ooohhh pretty... 
although i do like this pic of the feeder i'd like to capture a 
hummingbird actually feeding from it!!! and by capture, I mean on film 
not actually capture it and ask it silly questions!!! 

Anyhoodles... the feeder rapidly emptied... very rapidly emptied... as in I'm 
sure my adorable spouse who's a little less inclined to study wildlife than I, may
have rapidly emptied it... for reasons unknown...even to himself. 
He does crap like that all the time, he'll even pull up plants and shrubs from the
ground just cos he thinks 'they look like crap'!!! No, no, no, nothing out there
in nature looks like crap, unless it's the dogs do do,  then of course that IS crap.
i digress... of course i digress... these are ramblings.

So, bird feeder now being empty and we're out of bird food, and I still need to 
capture a humming bird, I get the idea to fill the humming bird feeder and hang it where the 
cardinal feeder used to be. My reasoning being that it's a little more out of the 
way and I could probably sit unnoticed (yeah right!!) on the patio and snag me
that coveted picture. 

Great idea right, only thing is, apparently Cardinals are now used to getting their 
chow on in that particular spot and are not happy to get there to find a 
freakin' humming bird feeder. I'm getting hate mail from the cardinals....really!!! bad!!! 

Maybe I should just find me a field and take along a fishing stool and a ham 
sandwich and leave the poor birds in my yard alone. Don't worry though, should I 
ever get that coveted shot of a humming bird you'll be first to see it... I promise. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Guard Dog... ubbc#11

Just to clarify (cos I have new readers) (and I'm a clarifying kinda gal)... 
I love my shih tzu's. 
Sometimes when feeling blue they come to me like they know I'm in need
of some "shittie" love... they nestle and cuddle and they heal my inner hurts.
I like to tell loved ones that they are below the shitties in the pecking order of 
what's important in my life (just kiddin', but it's a useful reality check for certain
family members). If there was a fire... I'd grab my Nikon and my shitties.
Although if there was a fire, the dogs would alert me immediately, grab the fire
extinguishers and usher the kids out, dial 911 and give them the address.
Then and only then they'd stop, drop and roll... for a treat.

So while I haven't had a whole lot of inspiration lately for my pictures I have
been snapping away at my furry friends!!! 
I captured this today, Mr. Mac sitting with his chin on the window sill 
looking for big bad burglars to chew on. Don't even think about it you
horrible, no good, bad guy. He will eat you alive before he lets you 
bring harm to the family he protects so fiercely.  
People ask me if they are good with kids... oh yeah... they can 
probably eat a whole one over several sittings!!! 
Never underestimate the power of the Shih Tzu!!! 

p.s. we do keep them cropped short.. we live in the South people.. it's damn hot!!! 
and, ahem, I'm crap at brushing them!! 

Dear God... it's me... McGilli... ubbc#10

Tonight was another night of the yukkies for Ash, she's the sweetest little thing I have ever seen... of course! She is still feeling bad and wanted me to comfort her after her bath, seems this 'thing' she has comes and goes. She lay there telling me how her tummy hurt and asking for me to fetch her 'sick bowl'.  Then she put her hands together and said a little prayer, asking God to help her get better.  I said one too.

Monday, August 9, 2010

One more step and I'm done.... ubbc#9

Today was a very long, very exhausting and very emotional day. It began with a cacophony of bullshit, which is totally behind me now so I'm not going to blog about it; complete and utter bygones.

Ash was sick again so I had to make the fifteen gazillion mile round trip to Atlanta Sans Loving husband, he stayed home to take care of her. I have never been to the immigration people without him there to support me and I totally missed him... like I was walking in there naked or something!! At times like this, it really hits home why it is you are married to the one you're married to.  He is truly my rock!!!!

Anyhoodles, out popped my Superpowers again and I got myself up there without a hitch, got myself to the right office and got through the interview.... only hitch there was that the interviewer disliked the fact I was chewing gum and asked me to spit it out in his trash can, third grader style. I guess he wanted to wiff my nervous breath instead!!! believe me the Winterfresh is far less offensive. I sailed through the interview and the crazy thing was.... the answer to "have you been arrested?" never changed, all five hundred freakin' times he asked me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell I'm a little tired?

Made it back safely and was surprised by the goofy neighbors in the yard waving their American Flags... I love our next door family!!!! Thanks guys!!!!! Then was surprised some more by his gorgeousness who had bought me my fav bottle of Red... I love you Gorgeous man... now... please, please come with me next week to be sworn in... I know I can't do that without you!!!!!

Night kids.....tomorrow is another day!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ultimate Blog Boost Challenge #8

playing catch up so this is my second post for the day... i know you're tired of me by now!!!

Just wanted to let those new followers and UBBC participants know a little something about me. I hate moths, and it seems butterflies, and all things flappy and winged that may end up entangled in your eyelashes or such.
This is not a new affliction, it has been with me for a very, very long time. I recall standing on a chair in the kitchen one summer, probably early teens, and I was flapping a dish towel around my head trying to deter a poor moth from landing anywhere near me. This also involved a lot of screaming and hulabaloo!!!

So this weekend when we visited a particularly beautiful spot in South GA I was torn... torn right down the middle.... there were beautiful butterflies alighting gently on the lovely flowers... oooh great pic... but oooh they are butterflies!!!! That means a little flapping... and a little freakin' out by me.

but thankfully my super power kicked in and I could grab a couple of pretty shots, I love pictures of butterflies... just not being so close to the darn things themselves.......
and then there it is..... a Luna Moth.... oh yeah... in all it's gorgeous glory....and Syd had just given me a lesson on these the other day. She was beside herself to actually witness one, resting in the shade. Although the hairs on my neck were standing up to attention, I set the zoomy lens and grabbed a couple of shots... and very proud of them I am too. So, not only do I have a couple of gorgeous shots, the type I like best, I have managed to pull out my superpower again... the one where I stare adversity in the eye... and adversity blinks.

Civics and all that good stuff.... ubbc#7

Tomorrow is a big day for me, I'm headed to the Homeland Security office in Atlanta to be interviewed and tested as part of my application to become a naturalized citizen of this great nation.
Woaaahhh... I know!
It's all very official and I'm a little nervous to say the least. I have to answer six questions correctly out of ten and they give you 100 questions to study. I hate tests. Everyone I know who has already been down this path assures me I'll be OK and pass with flying colors. Thing is, I get so nervous I can hardly hear the question... like he (or she) may say..."what did you have for breakfast this morning?" and I'll be all like "Georgia, Maryland and Virginia"... whaaattt???????????? or they could say "come in Mrs. M and have a seat" and I'll be spouting the constitution like I wrote the damn thing!!!! How can I control the madness???? They will probably just say, this woman is a freakin' fruit loop, let's send her back on the Mayflower from whence she came!!!! Or they may detain me for further examination thinking I'm some kind of alien... space alien.... Americans love space aliens.... not illegal aliens, they don't like illegal aliens.
I wonder if they have some kind of FBI spy reading this blog? I hope so, then maybe they could come to my defense, like break into the interview and assure the Immigration peep... hey it's OK, I read her blog, she's a good guy and just gets a little nervous when faced with authority and all things official!!!!
Hmmm wonder if it will feel different when I'm an American Citizen??? or will I still be silly old me???

p.s. I'm on FB now... so look to your right... yep over there... now click it and "like" me!!! told you I was gonna learn some new stuff and i did.. yay me.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Prilosec anyone?????? (ubbc#5)

OK, I'm the mother of two kids, not babies.... kids.
So why am I still being disturbed in the middle of the night? Acid Refux.... 
that's why?? Anyone else have a kid with this affliction???

What the hell do I do??? 

For a while now I've been thinking that Ash has been host to every virus
around and couldn't think why she never runs a fever or why these 4am 
bouts of vomiting don't last...and then while talking with one of the wisest
Mama's I know she mentioned acid reflux could be the cause. Thanks L, 
I think you hit the nail on the head. Now what do I do???

I have to do something 'cos I'm an exhausted wreck and poor little
Ash is having the hardest time with it. I figured we'll go see the Doc next week
and until then I'll go see the pharmacist (I love pharmacists) and deal
with it the best I can. 
Not a thrilling post this morning, sorry, mainly cos I'm drained and 
I have a lot to do to get ready for a fleeting visit from the In Laws.

Anyone have any suggestions or tips on dealing with this??

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Study in Shih Tzu (UBBC#5)

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yesterday i was walking thru the living room and happened to notice how totally relaxed Mr Mac was..... look at him... almost comatose!!! i lifted a paw, let it fall, i gently touched his nose, i ruffled the hair on his head... this dog was in a state of relaxation i don't think any human could even imagine achieving.

lucky dog!!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A List... of things.... (UBBC #4)

Trying to organize my thoughts here today so bare with me...K? Thanks. 

I have been feverishly (yes feverishly) trying to learn all about the inner aspects and 
working of websites, blogs, twitter and all those technical things I have, until now, just 
dabbled in.!!!! Holy Moly!!!!! 
The first question I need answering is this; can you make a website on Wordpress and
not have the word "wordpress" in the URL? if so, how? Must I have my own domain?

OK, moving on. There are a couple, two or three possibilities of real employment on 
the horizon... hopefully... the agony of the "waiting" is killing me. I'm being patient
hence all the knowledge gathering to keep me busy. 

I have been dabbling in the stats thingy on this site and have learned some REALLY 
interesting things... like totally nerdy, interesting things. My #1 referral site is none other than
Chez Spud... and this makes me totally happy 'cos she's my BFF from across the pond in the
mother land. Thanks Spud.. a little something as a token of my appreciation will soon be winging
it's way to you my little bloggy mentor.
Another interesting Stat is one I can't mention on this blog but I can assure you
it has me nodding my head and saying... hmmm yup, yup, hmmmm.

Being a stay at home Mom has been a lot more fun this week now that the girls are
back in school. Sorry  kids, luv ya-n'all (that's true South GA speak) but it's been nice
to have the place to myself for a few hours a day. It's also very nice to be getting up early
with a purpose, and to be able to take them and pick them up in the afternoons. Routines
are my friend... I feel at home with a routine; structure and boundaries people!!!
I have even been happy to cook the evening meal at a decent hour and to be
finally up to date with the laundry... happy, happy, happy!!

Well, I could ramble on for hours about all this, however, have to get some more learning
done while my brain is alert and capable of taking it all in. I hope to share some of  the
masteries I'm attaining in a post coming to a blog near you soon!!!!
Much love my faithful followers... and don't forget to check out the other peeps in the
Ultimate Blog Boost Challenge, you won't be disappointed.

random pic... my happy feet at Lake Tahoe!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Getting back to the business of school.... ubbc#3

This is my third post in the Blog Boosting Challenge of 31 posts in 31 days... and I wanted to throw out a few ideas on the subject of the kids returning to school after the summer break, I checked back to see what I wrote this time last year and found the post hilarious! So my friends, I'm gonna repost and let the people who missed it the first time round enjoy it again! That would be most of the free world because I only had 20 followers back then, which leads me to thank all those who are following now and everyone who has been hanging in for the duration!!!! THANKS A MILLION!!!!!

LITTLE MISS FUNNY FANNY (the American meaning)

Fanny is a funny word it's has very different meanings on each side of the Atlantic... this time I'm using it in the American way, only cause I like the sound of Miss Funny Fanny and it fits the story! glad we got that outta the way and I have probably ruined the whole story with that preface!!!!!

Ashley the cute five year old is now officially Miss Funny Fanny..... she's been coming out with some really doozies over the past couple of days. She was planning her ensemble for the first day of school, she wanted the pink shorts outfit that has a little short sleeved jacket with a zipper in the front. She announced very loudly she was going to wear the "noodle" shirt under the jacket.... pause.... the noodle shirt??? she meant the sleeveless shirt, she's heard the term spaghetti straps banded about lately and it became the noodle shirt... and that's how it will stay!!!
I went to wake them up this morning and there she was already dressed, she had gotten up in the middle of the night and changed in order to save time in the morning! Daddy thanked her for laying on the wrinkle bomb and saving the rest of the family!!!!
And the piece de resistance has to be following her bath tonight, she told me how sometimes she gets afraid in bed, she was naked and hopped up to stand on the bed, she turned around and clenched her buttocks and told me that's what she does when she's scared of vampires and stuff at nighttime!!! Hilarious... I could not stop laughing at her... which makes her mad by the way!!!

I'm thinking of renting her out to the seriously depressed, she can bring a smile to the biggest misery boots and will always leave you thinking what the heck was that?????????????

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

This, my friend, is a House Wren. (UBBC #2)

Look at this fine little fella, only about 11-13 cm long and weighing 12 grams.

This is the story of Mr. & Mrs. House Wren and the meddling giant (that's me).

We have a little front porch on our house that is rarely used, for a number of reasons really, 
first we're kitchen door kinda peeps, second the front porch is a haven for the UPS guy 
to drop off all kind a crap that stays there for weeks (ahem)... nothing interesting so don't
even think about pinching it; and finally the damn front door handle broke and there's 
no damn door bell. I'm painting a picture of middle class lovelyness aren't I?

So, this summer the front porch has become home to several interesting creatures making 
it an exciting base for science class. There was the banana spider, a whole 'nother post, 
several beetles, and a little nest built by a loving couple of House Wrens.
I first heard the racket these tiny birds were making several weeks ago, early in the morning
tweet tweet tweet... "wtf is that" I bellowed as my mind raced with visions of birds 
flying around INSIDE the house... these things are tiny but my God they can tweet.
Then after a little investigation we found the nest and everyone was warned to stay 
away because we don't want to disturb the little fellas (even though they were disturbing me!).

 So.. moving on... there are eggs in the nest... and on...there are tiny baby birds in the 
nest... and moving on... Mama can't stand it anymore, she just HAS to get the Nikon
out and take a peak!!!! 
So balancing on the top of a five gallon paint bucket (yes the picture of my porch is getting more 
fabulous by the second) I carefully poke the leaves away from the top of the nest to take
a look... all the while the parents are screaming at me from the bushes just beyond the porch.
Yes... when you mess with their babies these little creatures get feisty and will 
scream at you!!!! Literally!!!! quite fascinating!!!! 

Anyhoo.. as i was trying to click away and get a picture, unsuccessfully I might add, 
one of the little fledglings (can you tell I've researched these birds) decided to fall
out of the freakin' nest, right there in front of me!!! 
I was mortified, I stood frozen staring at it and wondered what the hell I was gonna do to 
save it's life, and mine for that matter, because by now the parents were really pissed!!!! 
And quite rightly so.. who was this giant messing with their kids, and why doesn't she
take her damn Nikon and get lost???
So I went inside and peaked thro the glass in the door while they desperately tried to show little 
fledge how to get back up using the kids bikes as stepping stones, he had no clue 
bless him... and he only had a little, tiny hop... see...

I know... now y'all hate me dontchya? 

I was feeling hideously guilty for poking my nose in their family beeswax and so I stepped
out onto the porch again, to more screaming, and I put the hanging plant pot (fake ivy!!) on the ground so 
that he wouldn't have far to hop back into it. Then I left them alone... but not for long! 
I sneaked out the kitchen door this time and walked around the house to check on them, 
the nest was empty and there were a bunch o' screaming birds all trying to herd the
little ones to a safer place, on the side of the house,  away from nosey giant lady. 
That's when I took this pic, and his gorgeousness pulled up in the driveway! 
"wtf are you doing?" he politely asks, "killing baby birds" i reply.
Then i felt really bad because I had been caught in the act of my stupidity and because
I know I had a look of anguish about me. He immediately made me feel better by
consoling me with the news that they'd be snake food anyway!!!! 

OK... well that's that then, lets have lunch shall we. 

Later in the afternoon I picked the girls up from their first day of school and when we arrived
back at the house I broke the news of the bird disaster.... Syd AKA David Attenborough..
was amazingly calm about it. I felt for sure she'd be on the phone to Ornithologists Against
Nosey Paparazzi or some such terrorist organization, however, she was very cool and 
told me it's OK, there are plenty more Mama. Whaaaattt??? this didn't sit well with me 
at all... "there are plenty other kids at your school so should I just abandon you?"
was my reply. Calmly she told me "no, that's just silly". 

As I write this recollection of yesterday's bird disaster (as I will call it from now on) I can 
hear some little tweets from outside the window. So they haven't totally abandoned me!!!
I will, however, from now on keep my nose and my Nikon to myself and only capture 
what the little fellas allow me to.


Previous Ramblings....