Happiness Is…

Me And My Man
Originally uploaded by Mac Girl

Many, many years ago my mother passed away suddenly over Valentine’s Day weekend. I’ve actively ignored the holiday ever since. Yes, it’s been a long time, but the events of that week still cast a shadow on my life lo these many 17 or so years later. The shadow has faded some, but it’s still very real.

This year The Man and I are struggling with a lot of challenges – most of them byproducts of our combined layoff in October. I did and still do firmly believe that the change was for the better — I’ve never seen him so content with a job as he is with his new one, and I have been given the opportunity to be truly selective in my career choices going forward. I can be PROactive this time, instead of REactive as I was the last time my work situation changed. I can and will make better choices.  But the challenges remain.

Yep, we still have those pesky challenges, and they’re big ones. There’s been a lot of struggle and stress on our marriage over the last few months, and we’ve made it so far, but…

We needed a Valentine’s Day celebration this year.


So I woke him up this morning with a kiss, a box of chocolates, and a card that told him exactly how I feel about him, and tonight he’s taking me for dinner and a movie.

To hell with the bills.

To hell with the terrible question mark hanging over our future.

I’ve got him and he’s got me.

All is right with the world.

PowerBookTrance (365 Day Challenge – Day 7)

Originally uploaded by Mac Girl

So this one time back in the day The Man and I went to a GRAMUG meeting and there was this guy there who was so like, FULL OF ENERGY and he was there to talk about iChat and chatting software and I was like, totally blown away by the stuff he demonstrated with iChat but I totally didn’t get a chance to tell him at the meeting so I like stalked him and chatted him afterward and I was like “WOW, man, you blew me away with your Chat Wisdom!” and he was like “Ooo! A FAN!” and we’ve been good friends ever since.

Observe the awesome photo skilz of PowerBookTrance HERE.

The Man, Exposed

Originally uploaded by Mac Girl.

Photography is a numbers game. No matter what your level of so-called talent, if you take enough photos you will eventually have at least a few that are presentable, if not absolutely wonderful for one reason or another.

The Man has been outfitting his kit all summer and last weekend he got the final piece (for now!) – a Canon Speedlight 430EX. Tonight we sat down in our living room and messed around with camera settings and flash angles until the batteries were almost dead.

I wonder what the neighbors thought….

This is my favorite shot of the day. Our livingroom is darkish and we only had a small table lamp on. At one point I forgot that I’d turned off my flash and I hit the shutter release. Just before the shutter finally closed again he set off his flash purely by chance. The result, a great portrait – one of my favorites already – of my husband.

Some people say that you should leave nothing to chance. I believe that if you live this way you will be successful in many things, but you’ll also miss a lot of happy accidents.

Duelling Photographers

Squint Eastwood

Last night The Duane and I went down to Sweets* for coffee – or in my case hot cocoa – with Jeff, Terry, and Tommy. What FUN! We’ve all been crazy busy this past few months and it was so good to just stop and get together for a while, have a cuppa, and play “duelling photographers” for a while. (I won, by the way. This is my favorite shot from last night. Ha!)

Last weeks vast suckiness gave way to a fairly decent weekend. I got some pictures in Grand Rapids and Rockford on a lazy Sunday morning, shot my “One World, One Time” image for this month, and The Duane and I spent all of Sunday afternoon cleaning out our closets and drawers. The local Goodwill donation spot now has 6 grocery bags of clothing, one trash bag full of linens, two barely used pillows (they were too firm for my wimpy head and I was too lazy to return them), and a box of hangers. Yeah, I feel good that we donated but I feel BETTER about the fact that I can actually see the back of my closet again. As Terry would say – w00t!

This weekend I’m giving The Duane the best gift that a wife can give to her husband… I’m going away with his mom and sisters for the entire weekend of our 16th wedding anniversary. And to think, last year we just went out to dinner. This year we both get a priceless gift! (Just kidding. LOVE you, honey!) Photos up when I return on Sunday.

Stay happy.

* Yeah, I know, I’m supposed to call it The Bitter End now because they got sued. I can’t. I’m sorry. It’s Sweets and it always will be. Just like Grand Rapids Community College (“CC”) will always be known in my house as JC. Deal.

Street Portraits


Tonight the Flickr peeps and I went downtown to Rosa Parks Circle where WLAV was hosting Blues On The Mall. We set up some posterboard on a wall across the street, put out some props and candy, and invited passersby to get their photo taken for free. (Thanks for the idea, Photojojo!)

It went pretty well and we had a lot of fun with the people who agreed to be photographed. There were some slow stretches and I have some ideas for next time that might get us more traffic. Still, like I said we had a GREAT time and I think our impromptu models did too. I saw it in their faces as I processed my set of photos.

Click HERE to see the whole set of photos taken tonight. And hey, the next time you want to get out, have fun, and meet some people, grab some posterboard and candy and head downtown. You might just enjoy yourself.