29 December 2008

I Forgot To Mention ...

My wonderful husband bought me an 8G iPod Touch to celebrate his first paycheck from his new job! Between that and my new digital camera, I'm in technology heaven!

It's Here!

My new digital camera is here! It arrived at about 11:30 AM. I had to charge the battery for about an hour and a half, and then I started taking pictures. The first picture I took was of Nana and Frankie -- Nana is the one looking at me with the wide green eyes. She was scared of the flash and ran off as soon as I snapped the picture! Frankie is doing what he does best and most often -- sleeping. Later on in the evening, I took a picture of B'Orange lying on my scanner. He'd been up on the monitor and gotten toasty warm, and then climbed down to finish his nap on my desk.

26 December 2008

I Did It!

I ordered my digi-cam today! Thanks so much to everyone who had input and suggestions. I decided to go with the Canon Powershot SD1100 IS from Amazon. I had a hard time deciding what color to order ... Pink is one of my favorite colors, but I'm not a "cutesy girly" type, and I'm bored with the whole breast cancer product placement thing. My mother-in-law is a two-time survivor, so I should be more sympathetic, but . . . For just $10 more the pink one comes with a printer, so I went with it. Actually, I went with the "Frequently Bought Together" package and got the carrying case and the battery, too, all for less than $200. Since I intend on carrying the camera in my purse, I thought the carrying case was a good idea. I also spent $3.99 for one-day shipping, so the camera should be here by Monday (UPS doesn't work on the week-ends). I'm so excited!

My goal is to take at least a picture a day in 2009, to chronicle my life, and to get better at photography. If it ends up that I really do use my camera, I'll look for a better one at the end of the year.

18 December 2008

Life Styles ...

Wednesday, author Patti Digh tweets, "In life, we are either circumstance-driven or values-driven. Which are you?" This little question has been nagging me since I ran across it. Which style of life do I live? Since I spent much of Wednesday afternoon and evening waiting for UPS not to come -- and getting highly frustrated at the same time -- I'd have to honestly answer that currently, as least, my life is circumstance-driven. But is that what I really want for my life?

Tammy and I talked about this a bit this evening. Living a circumstance-driven life would tend to make you feel less in control of your own life; you'd be too busy being a reactionary to take 100% responsibility for your actions and responses (which leads me to wonder about my frustrations at the UPS man, but that's another blog post). You'd probably have more than your share of drama in your life, as much of your energy would be spent putting out the fires that are inherent in merely reacting to the world around you.

There's no doubt to me that a value-driven life would be much calmer and much more my own. None of that "waking up at the end of my life to find I lived someone else's idea of what life should be" angst. Decision-making would be easier, when you come from a value-driven place. Carrying out the decision, actually acting on it, may not be any easier, but making the decision itself should be. Being value-driven means that you always have a compass, a center, to compare the path ahead of you to; it's easier to know when you're on track that way if you have a map.

But how often do I actually live in a value-driven place? Not, I'm sad to say, as often as I'd like to. More often than I care to admit (even to myself), I react rather than respond. I get caught up in the flow of schedules and to-do lists, and become a slave to daily circumstances. I long to have a life that exemplifies my personal values.

Of course, someone could make the argument that life always reflects our values -- our truest values rather than our professed values. We give time and credence to those things in our life that represent what is truly important to us. If I say I don't have time to list my gratitudes each night, what I'm really saying is that I'm not taking the time to do it; I'm not making it a priority. Instead, my husband/family/art/cats/naptime book/unwinding time/etc is more important to me than taking 30 seconds to nourish my connection to Source Energy. Ouch.

The little decisions that I make on a daily basis -- from the phone calls I chose to return to whether I eat right and get enough exercise -- are my life, and in this sense, an unwitting reflection of my values. It's this seemingly mundane collection of daily activities that really flesh out the framework built by memorable moments -- life is not made up of just the highs and lows, but rather, of all the time inbetween them. So, it's not just how well I held up through the crisis of my father's transition that is me living a value-driven life, it's how I respond to life in the moments when no one (maybe not even myself) is watching ...

I know that I have mixed my verb tenses and gotten sloppy about point-of-view, but I'm thinking off the top of my head. I'm having an idea that I can't quite verbalize because it's late and I'm tired. That, and the fact that I just don't think as well as I used to; I'm just not as smart as I used to be, it seems. It feels like I'm dancing all around my point, but I can't quite see it. Maybe things will be clearer by the light of day.

16 December 2008


"After the holidays" will be here before I know it, so I've started looking at digi-cams again. Right now, I'm leaning toward the Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS or the A650 IS. I'm really looking for a sub-compact, so I'll probably get the SD1100, but the A650 doesn't look too big! 

If you have any experience with either of these cameras, please, let me know what you think about it! Thanks!

14 December 2008

A Book Giveaway!

Susan Tuttle's new book, Exhibition 36: Mixed-Media Demonatrations + Explorations has just been released. To celebrate, Susan is giving away a copy to some lucky winner! Stop by her blog to check out the contest. Check out her blog while you're there -- there's some beautiful art on it.

13 December 2008

I'm Not Much Of A Scrapbooker ...

... But I couldn't help but sign up for Kollete Hall's A Life Well Crafted: January over at Big Picture Scrapbooking. I have tons of photos and am getting a new digi-cam (I know, you're saying "Finally!") after Christmas so there will be even more pics to do something with. Right now, they are all just stacked in a box, with no rhyme or reason. I thought it time that I learned some of the basics of modern scrapbooking, and I liked Kollette's approach to this class. Actually, I don't think there will be a lot of "traditional scrapbooking" to it. It looks as though there will be lots of journaling -- which I do already in my Morning Pages -- and a bit of introspection. I can handle that.

Today I downloaded the supply lists; I have almost nothing on there. Sunday afternoon, I head out to Collective Journey to see what I can buy locally before I order a bunch of stuff. As much fun as internet shopping is (I joined Amazon Prime today!), I really love picking things like this out the old fashioned way. And any excuse to go to Collective Journey is a good excuse!

What Fun!

Someone from my past found me on Facebook. While I haven't heard from him beyond the initial friend request, he did inspire me to look for someone else from my past. I found an old friend (an ex boy-friend, really) and contacted him. We are having a delightful time, getting to know each other again. At least I am -- I can't really speak for him.  Our four-day-old exchange has none of the awkwardness I was concerned about. We're just chatting away. My husband knows, and fully supports this reconnection. 

Life is good!

Edited to add: The first old friend and I have started exchanging email. He's as charming as I remember him being. Note to self -- Taking risks is good!

12 December 2008

Something New!

Last night at the Redlands Art Association, I bought myself something new. It's a notetaker by local fabric artist Candy Glendening. It holds a standard 8" x 10" notepad (included), with slots for pens, business cards and pens. It's just gorgeous and it's so soft. She also sells scarves, pillows and wall hangings. The top picture is the front; the bottom picture is the back. 

10 December 2008

Big News!

It's several days -- even a couple of weeks -- old, but I've been keeping it to myself for some reason. Now, I think I can safely share it with everyone. Husband-John got a great new job! He'll be working at Fort Irwin as a Data Analyst. Fort Irwin is about 119 miles northeast of Redlands (about 45 miles northeast of Barstow), so we'll have to move. It's definitely too far for John to drive everyday. Until we get ready to move, he'll probably stay up there during the week and come home on week-ends. 

John went on the payroll December first. Right now, he is at Fort Gordon (Augusta, Georgia) for training. He says the class is interesting and the people he's meeting are pretty nice. I miss him, but I'm happy for his adventure, too. 

I have really mixed feelings about moving. On the one hand, we've lived in Redlands for almost 10 years and that's the (way) longest I've lived anywhere as an adult. I am becoming restless. Our apartment is getting too small for us, so the opportunity to live some place bigger (maybe even with a creative area for me!) is exciting. On the other hand, we have a life here, with friends and family. The clerks at Von's know us by name and we feel comfortable and welcome in the shops and restaurants that we frequent. John's parents are here, and it will be difficult to leave them. I genuinely like and admire his parents and enjoy their company. I'm the treasurer at the Redlands Art Association and I enjoy that work very much. It's very challenging for me, but ultimately, it's a good activity for me. Like I said, mixed feelings ...

If you know anything about the Silver Lakes/Barstow/Fort Irwin area, please either leave me a comment or drop me a note and share what you know! Especially if you know anything about the state of the art community in the area -- I'd really like to know about that. 

04 December 2008

Christmas Cards?

At Collective Journey a few days ago, I bought new stuff! I bought some new rubber stamps and some Christmas scrapbook papers. My intention was to make a few cards for the holiday, but I've been busy, tired, and unmotivated since my purchases. I really want the Stampers Anonymous Christmas stamps that Tim Holtz is featuring in his 2008 12 Days of Christmas! As short as the Christmas season is this year, I think I'll skip the cardmaking and head for Hallmark; maybe I'll feel like making cards after the first of the year for next year!

Thursday Plans ...

Husband-John and I are off to spend the day at Victoria Gardens. We are going to see a live radio performance of the Michael Medved Show, then we are off to explore a bit. The show is being held at the Cultural Center. I've never been there before, so I have no idea where it is. Well, I googled the directions, so I know how to get to it, but other than that, I have no idea where it is! I'm sure we'll have a nice day. 

I've Been Tagged!

A few weeks ago I was tagged by Jill over at Altered Bits from Elinor's Closet. I haven't been blogging much because my life has been incredibly busy. In fact, I'm typing this at 4:53 AM. Not that I'm up that early -- I haven't been to bed yet! For some reason, I'm just not sleeping well these past few nights and I thought I'd get a little blogging in. 

The rules are pretty straightforward, so there's no real reason I haven't responded to my tag before now:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules.
3. Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself.
4. Tag two of your other online art friends ... Do I still have two friends? LOL!

So here are my SIX things ...

1. My husband and I can't have children, so we have cats -- three delightful cats: Frankie, B'Orange, and Nana.
2. When I got married, I legally changed my name so that my middle name is now my maiden name. My full name, legally, is Cindy Jones Lantier.
3.  I've been to a Presidential Inauguarual Ball ... And it wasn't as much fun as you might think.
4.  I have well over 150 (probably over 200, if I stopped to count) college credits/hours/units, and yet I only have an Associate's Degree. 
5. On January 16, I will have been married for 10 years. 
6. I met my beloved husband in an internet chat room about 14 years ago.

I tag Kristy and Pallas!