Monday, October 10, 2011

Manic Monday: Pumpkins and other fall fun

So I've been rather scarce around these parts lately. Sorry about that. Typically that means one of two things: Too much work or too much kid-related stuff. In recent days, the two have converged to make life totally crazy.

Between deadlines, soccer practice, soccer games, dance classes, meetings and fund-raisers for our big youth ministry trip to Indiana next month, plus the usual school events, it's been more than hectic. And, truth be told, I've got two big projects in the offing. Shhhh....can't say much about them now. But if both come through, the next year should be the craziest year ever for me in terms of work. I'll keep you posted as that situation develops. Until then, please be patient with me and keep checking back here. I promise to show up as often as I can.

Without further ado, here's this week's Manic Monday...

Soundtrack: It's been quieter than usual around here. The kids haven't been blasting much music this week. I guess because we're just not here enough to be singing and dancing. As for me, I've been keeping Pandora on my work computer tuned to my Gregorian chant channel. I needed music to soothe and inspire while not tempting me to sing along. So a little chant and a lot of incense have kept me in line while I write.

Bookshelf: Believe it or not, I am just finishing up Genesee Diary. I've been reading a little before bed each night. Usually I find some pearl of wisdom to contemplate as I drift off to sleep. I did dip my toes into Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, but I'm not sure I should undertake such a heavy book when I know I'll have so little time for luxury reading in the weeks and months to come.

Viewfinder: Well, first of all, let's talk viewfinder in general. I finally started shooting with my new Nikon 3100 SLR digital camera. Dennis and the kids gave it to me for my birthday last month -- after years of listening to me whine about our point-and-shoot while constantly mentioning how much I wanted this particular camera. Then, once I got it, I said I was going to bring it back. I didn't think I could justify the expense. I didn't think I deserved the extravagance. I let it sit unopened next to the door in our family room for more than a week. Finally, tentatively, I opened the box and peered inside, thinking that maybe, just maybe, I could find a way to keep that camera. And I did.

I took it out this weekend for some pumpkin picking shots and other random outdoor photos. Here are a few photos from the new camera. Still haven't given the zoom lens much of a workout. Maybe you'll see those next week. Click on any photo to see it enlarged.

A bumble bee taken with the macro setting.

Chiara in mid-jump thanks to the sport setting.

Olivia taken with the portrait setting.

Cross in the garden with toad lilies.

Chiara trying to catch a yellow butterfly.

Pumpkins galore, on landscape setting.

The great pumpkin?

Menu: The menu around here as been dullsville. Hence, no Foodie Friday posts lately. I'm joining Dennis for a bout of Weight Watchers. I didn't officially join, but I'm tracking those stupid points and not very happy about it. Lots of fruits and veggies, which now cost no points, but not much else worth mentioning. Oatmeal and brown rice might as well be cheesecake on this new point system, which I hate. If I was going to write about food, I'd tell you about the hot cider donuts we bought at the farm yesterday. The kids said they were the best they've ever tasted. Not surprising since we got them within minutes of them coming out of the farmhouse kitchen. Two weeks in a row we've bought cider donuts and I've yet to have one. So if you're out at a farm in the coming weeks, eat a cider donut for me, please.

Appointment book: Busy week ahead. Again. Faith formation, dance, ice skating, soccer, parent meeting for high school. Oh yeah, and I'm speaking at St. Thomas on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. Stop by if you're in the neighborhood. I'll be discussing spiritual friendship.

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