Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Mystery Solved & Happy Halloween

A few weekends back we camped in East Texas (in the Piney Woods & near the Big Thicket), and  early Saturday morning I ran across this sign posted on the campground dumpster.  I thought it might an early Halloween prank or even crazed raccoons - but definitely knew I wouldn't be visiting the dumpster at night.  I posted the image on Instagram and unfortunately no one could identify it either.  However, Texas Parks & Wildlife did ask to post the image on their facebook page and wow did it get the responses - last time I checked over 100.  The best thing about the posting - mystery solved.  It is part of a creepy/scary computer game called Slender (you can visit wikipedia to read about it - I know that website is not reliable for many things - but I think it is safe enough for this subject).  I'm sort of glad I didn't know what it meant at the time; I might have been truly creeped out (historically weird things have happened and continue to happen in E Texas).  It was interesting to read the comments - someone posted that they thought the poster made it up & posted it themselves - uh - no I didn't. 

Halloween will be interesting this year - kids no longer dressing up, we almost forgot to buy our pumpkins (too hot to carve, then our schedule got in the way), horse riding lessons on the same day, etc., just won't seem the same this year. 

For the East coast affected by Sandy - hang in there - things will return to normal at some point - living along the Texas gulf coast - I certainly have been in your shoes.  In fact you can still spot a few houses that haven't been totally repaired from hurricane Ike 4 years ago. 

Everyone have a safe and fun Halloween & remember - Slender man is watching... ha ha ha ha ha.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Give someone a hug today!!

Linking up with Wordless Wednesdsay, click here to see other wordless images.

Monday, October 22, 2012

This Path

This path is literally my path - my path towards better fitness, peace of mind and hopefully will get me back on track for some other things I want to do in my life.  I've been reading A Field Guide to Now by Christina Rosalie and her chapter "Moving to be Still:  Habit" really hit home with me at this point in my life.  When the kids started back to school this year I forced myself to start walking, 5 days week whether I wanted to or not - even if it was just 1 mile.  (My other motivations were that suprising 10+ weight gain from middle age that just "appeared" in my mid-section, and a lack of energy/aspiration to do anything but sit.)  I had always been active (sports & walking in the past), but everyone's schedules put my personal wish list on the bottom and even though they were at school - they're presence/stuff remained - clothes not in the hamper (but near it), just stuff, schedules, papers to read, sign - stuff.  Getting started is always tough (as Christina talks about in her book/chapter), but soon I realized how much I missed my walking time, time for silence, no demands, no noise in my head.  Time to listen to my music playlist and let my mind just wander - no creating task/to-do lists in my head as I walked - just breathing, listening, moving.  Although recently I've not been able to hit the track every day, you better believe I am out there - continuing my new habit and hoping this will lead to another new habit. 

After that less than 1 mile beginning - I'm up to a 3.5 mile endurance walk once a week - an accomplishment in itself and one I'm proud of.  As for weight loss - still that last, toughest 5 lbs to go, but my body is redistributing the weight, my clothes fit and I have energy - that's enough for me (for now).

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Focus 52 (2012) week 42 Up Close

Since we enjoyed a campfire this weekend, I thought a macro shot (105mm lens) of the red hot coals would be something different.  Watching fire can be so engrossing - it truly does breathe.  This fire served many purposes on Saturday evening - kept us warm (temps dipped down a bit at night), cooked our potatoes for supper (fire roasted - yum), chased the mosquitos away (who knew we'd still be battling mosquitos in October), provided an image for this prompt (I also shared on instagram), cleaned up from supper (burned our paper plates), and of course s'mores for later. 

Took a few other shots of native plants and a few landscape/scenic shots as well - may share them on the blog later if they turned out decent.  My personal souvenir from the weekend - chiggers -- again - who would have thought those suckers would still be active in October.  Made it a camping trip to remember!!

Linking up with Two Scoopz Focus 52 weekly prompt (first time in several weeks).  Visit Jan's website to see more macro/up close images.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

About the only thing resembling autumn around here - pumpkins in a pumpkin patch.  Participating in Wordless Wednesday; click here to see other wordless images.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Book Review - Temptation by RL Stine

Since it is October I was in the mood for something a little creepy, scary and Halloween-y to read, so I picked up this novel by RL Stine out of the YA section.  I loved the Goosebumps books (and the TV series) - watching/reading with my kids when they were younger, so I had really high hopes for this book.  I finished the book over a couple of days - reading in 1 to 2 hour blocks - so a quick read, but I just can't express how disappointed I was with the story.  This book almost seemed like a draft that just needed to be rewritten again before it went to print.  The very basic story line was a good idea, and I feel he could have explored that idea so much better  Below are a few things that stood out (without being total spoilers).

-depended upon too many traditional vampire legends/folklore stories, something new or even a twist on the traditional would have been better

- I stumbled on some of the sentences and had to go back and reread them to make sure I read them correctly; some sentences/paragraphs did not flow well

-a lot of unaswered questions - small things that just made the reader say "what?  how did they (the character) know that? or how could they (character and/or character's family) not realize what was happening?" 

-the setting is a beach town - a lot of summer vacation homes/visitors - and according to the story the only entertainment was:  the beach, the video arcade, carnival (when open), pizza place - even for the summer, it would seem that kids (and families) would venture outside of this small town with its limited entertainment (at least in real life) - these were obviously wealthy families who could afford summer homes and other entertainment

-the book is separated into 3 sections and only after the reader really gets into each section do you realize time has passed or you are dealing with a different group of characters in the same location

-there were a few classic RL Stine twists within the sections, but it seemed like he needed a lot of pages to set them up & the twist took 2 sentences to reveal and it wasn't as big of a change as I had expected

"The Vampire Club" short story at the end of the book was more of what I would consider classic RL Stine horror and I liked it better than the previous 300+ pages.  I submitted a book review to B&N for the first time ever - just because I was so disappointed with this YA novel.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (on Thursday)

Yes, I missed the Wordless Wednesday prompt, but that seems to be the story of my life lately.  I've taken an unexpected, unplanned vacation from blogging (which I'm trying to get back to on a regular basis - a big thank you to everyone who has stuck with me during the past couple of weeks/months when my posts were scarce), haven't taken many pictures, and haven't done much of what I like to do as far as being creative.  What have I done?  The school year started and my house has an 8th grader (yikes - teenage girl!!) and a 5th grader who have taken over my calendar, my energy, my attention, etc... I love it all - but the school schedules always take us a while to get back into the groove.  We are summer people - a few activites, but not really tied to the clock or a lot of commitments. 

This image was taken recently - I stopped on the side of a country highway and watched the tractors do their work - I think this is the second hay cut of the summer (it still feels like summer around here - 89 is our high today).  The image also reminds me to just take a few minutes and watch what is going on around us.  I was trying to do a bit of quick processing to the image for an intended effect - not sure I'm there yet, but wanted to post anyway.  I know of some who are adamantly opposed to any HDR effects, but I still say that done tastefully it can help bring out some details. 

So, take a minute (or 5) today, stop, look around and just watch something (like tractors) or someone (here's your excuse to people watch) and discover what it going on in the world around your own life.  What did you see?