Wednesday, April 28, 2010

pretty pictures of a pretty girl

i've thought recently of discontinuing my photography business. i've had a few discouraging experiences, and a couple months ago decided that i'm just not good at giving people the photos that they want. as i thought and prayed about what to do with my photography, affirmation started pouring in from everywhere! orders and requests came in from sessions over a year ago. a friend who i gave my business card to a year ago called me to let me know she had only just gone to my site and loved my work. i had several positive session experiences. friends to whom i voiced my doubts invariably admonished me not to quit on portrait photography.

it's encouraging to see God's direction given so clearly through others, and i'm approaching my business with a new excitement, affirmation, and confidence. i'm reworking my website and marketing approach, and hope to have a lovely, photography-filled summer!

bekah needed a couple individual senior pictures for her college graduation, so we snagged 15min last week at a pretty park, resplendent with goldenrod.

doesn't she look like a flower fairy? ;)

these pictures were actually really difficult for me. i'm not exactly a photoshop expert, and i had the hardest time achieving a vibrant color balance that didn't turn her skin too pink or her hair green. so i look on these simple, unremarkable (except for the subject) compositions with a disproportionate sense of accomplishment.

in other news, i'm having nightmares about may.
it's starting to look like our move to a new house, installing renters, my year-end piano studio recital, and cyt's seussical (which joel is tech chair for) may coincide in a 2 week amalgam of insanity.
i better start packing.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the little house on cascade court

they accepted our offer! yay!

i fell in love with this little house the first time we looked at it. it was built in 1963, and i don't think a thing has changed since then! wood paneling, old yellow carpet, pink bathroom, even an antique stove!

we had about a week of haggling over the offers. yesterday they declined, only to call back later in the day to reconsider - apparently one of the elderly sisters who grew up in the home liked the idea of piano lessons in their family's home. so i'd like to think my piano teacher status got us accepted. :)

i hadn't allowed myself to go through the photos i took until today. this house has so many cute uniquenesses - here's a few of them.

circle stairway with yellow covered window...
the view from the upstairs living room ...
the downstairs family room - or party room!
tile in the downstairs pink bathroom ...
just a few of the lovely, overgrown, old fashioned trees in the backyard ...
hey, we might be moving! :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

random update blog from a cold, empty office occupied by funnelweb spiders

... a class of spider that includes tegenaria agrestis, also known as the hobo spider. the highly poisonous bite of this spider is usually mistaken for the bite of the brown recluse (which does not live in the pacific nw). not that i'm worried or anything.

anyway, on to the random update.

point one:
joel was accepted into walla walla and linfield schools of nursing, and chose linfield (not least because they offered him a $12,000 scholarship for hosting y chromosomes). the program starts the last week of june, and before then he
needs to be re-certified in cpr, get shot with every vaccine known to humanity, and buy scrubs.

point two:
we are teaching a class through christian youth theater on tuesday evenings. i think this was our way of easing out of music directing without g
iving up cyt altogether. the class is on auditions and callbacks, which gives us a great excuse to talk about life skills like interviewing, professionalism, dealing with disappointment, selflessness ... good stuff.

point three:
i've acquired several new students recently, and lost a co
uple adults to schedule issues. so at this point, i have 7 students of all ages, all girls. there is a lot of pink in my studio. :)

point four:
tomorrow we will make an offer on a house. and no, we have not sold our current house. we do not intend to sell our current house. we've been seriously researching and praying about the possibility of owning several properties and renting out for quite a while, and doors have been flying open as we've started down this road. we both love hospitality and this seemed like a natural way to extend that passion - providing homes for people, developing relationships ... it's all very exciting.

point five:
i am just 2 short inches away from being able to do a perfect split. i am stoked about this.

point six:
after battling semi-functioning used lawnmowers for far too
long, i bought a reel (manual) mower. i love it! it's not quite as precise as a normal lawnmower but i don't care - it's so nice to be out in my yard without the noise and gas fumes. the smell of freshly cut grass, uncorrupted by machine smells, is intoxicating. the only downside is having to actually look at the sad, accusing faces of dandelions as i decapitate them. :'(this, by the way, is a hobo spider. i'm leaving this office now.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

a podcast-influenced flowery investment strategy

a few days ago joel and i were killing a late, post-teaching night away at red robin in gresham. i indulged in the first strawberry lemonade i've had in months ... heaven.

so anyway, we were sitting in our little booth, talking about interesting podcasts we've listened to recently. joel's a podcast king, downing 3 or more per day during his long commute. his favorites tend to differ from mine. he listens to "planet money" on economics; i listen to "rathole radio" indie music picks.

he told me a fairly simple and amusing story about how the federal reserve came to possess a mall in oklahoma through lots of extremely confusing and seemingly pointless processes involving "mortgage backed securities" and "credit default swaps" ... which are very humorous when one starts to learn about them. not being an economics buff myself, i certainly can't explain them, but joel can, and i got the 10 minute definition of each.

somehow, in the course of this conversation, we stumbled upon the subject of economic "bubbles." the housing bubble a few years ago, the dot com bubble of the '90s ... and the tulip bulb bubble of the 17th century.

yes, that is exactly what you think it is. also known as "tulip mania," the tulip bulb bubble happened in holland in the 1600's. it was very similar to the investment bubbles of today - somehow, tulips increased in value to the point that, in 1637, a tulip contract would sell for 10 times the average skilled tradesman's yearly wage. and what's a tulip contract? a tulip contract wasn't even a tulip bulb - it was the right to own a tulip bulb when it became available ... for $300,000.

so, we decided on a new investment strategy. it involves digging up my planters, building a time machine, making a killing off the 17th century dutch, a brief pit stop in the early 20th century to take advantage off the minor hyacinth bubble during that time period, and voila!in other podcast-informed news, i have an update on this post on the aclu vs. myriad genetics lawsuit. the aclu has won the case, which means that (as of now) they no longer hold the patent on the BRAC gene. this information has huge implications for testing and research and is a great step forward in the pursuit to understand and deal with the effects of the BRAC gene, which is, obviously, something i have a vested interest in.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

lotr party #1: fellowship of the ring

some have been asking, wide-eyed, how we managed to cram 21 people into our living room to watch the fellowship of the ring on saturday.
this pic doesn't show everybody, but does give some idea of the setup. (please pardon the icky-nastiness iso 1600 in these pics.)
(there are 4 boys behind josh on that couch.)

of course, it helped that during breaks we would overflow into the kitchen and make yummy things like homemade hot chocolate and brownies...
i'm pretty sure that the subjects of this photo are most of the reason that joel had to make an emergency pop run halfway through.
we'd like to think of the party as an educational event - lindsey whipped cream for the first time. :)

i love having a house full of people. i love the energy and warmth it instills in our little home; i love how a little creative hospitality can blossom into happy memories, peace, and communicate love. a friend recently gave me one of the most wonderful compliments i've ever received - she said, "it feels safe here." what higher aspiration can a home (or homemaker) have?

we're having two more lotr parties for cyt-ers (gotta finish the series) and i can't wait!

Monday, April 5, 2010

our weekend: the math geek version

12 liters of pop
430 square inches of brownie
6 bags of chips
5 bags of popcorn
15 cups of hot chocolate
16 thirteen-eighteen year olds
1 ten year old
4 adults
1 lotr fellowship of the ring extended edition
5 boys crammed onto the couch
10 seconds that the movie ended after the projected finish time of 5:30
2 very tired hosts
1 worship powerpoint to create
12:30 am before it was completed

5 am alarm
1 forgotten ham, remembered and chopped by joel at the last minute
6:30 am arrival time at shepherd's door shelter
108 chicken eggs
50 jello eggs
1 batch of pancakes cooked without oil on the griddle
5,000,000 pieces of fruit chopped by the author of this blog
20 women (approx.)
20 volunteers (approx.)
60 minutes of worship team practice
15 minutes of prayer time
1 will ferrell video clip
15 verses compiled for a worship verse reading
7 great worship songs
4 fortunes read at chang's by chip, bekah, lani, and joel
1 wrong turn
11 people at the farquhar's for dinner
50 percent of julie and julia watched before
2 tired people fell into bed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

i can take a lot of picture in 24 hours.

cannon beach, oregon. 2010 spring break trip. :)

as usual, we were at the beach for about 24 hours, taking advantage of free lodging in the cottage that my parents use when my dad teaches at ecola bible school.

we expected it to rain the whole day; instead, we enjoyed beautiful sunshine and mild temperatures!
joel has been bugging me to try geocaching with him for a while, so on friday we found a local geocache and set out on a nerdy adventure!
WARNING: i am posting photo documentation of this adventure, so if you ever plan to do the geocache at ecola state park, stop reading.

it took a while for joel to get the program working on his phone, but eventually we set out ...
first stop ... it took us a while to realize that we had to solve a code to get our next set of coordinates from this sign. i took many pictures of the sign, and i'm not really sure why.
back in the car, coordinates inputted. we almost drove out of the park before realizing that our destination was a 50 yard walk from the animal sign.
second stop ...
we were delayed in accessing the information on this plaque by a lingering pair of ladies who seemed to have nothing better to do than look at this view.
we dodged the whale watchers and patiently drank in the beauty for a couple minutes before my impatience took over and i edged in to collect the second set of coordinates.

this is where things broke down a bit. we hiked into the ecola state park forest for our final destination, but hit a snag: a creek with little cliffs on either side.
backtracking, we resumed our hunt. as the meters ticked down on joel's phone, we encountered a herd of elk in our way. and elk droppings.
our dilemma: they stood directly between us and our goal.

we tried to circle the elk, making lots of noise. they didn't want to move much, but obligingly backed a little way into the forest.

we pressed on, repeating the clue for our destination - simon&garfunkel's "bridge over troubled water". joel spotted a small log crossing a boggy creek, and trotted over to it, singing. he stepped confidently on the small bridge, which promptly broke and deposited him in 4 inches of muck. clue fail.
we crossed the boggy creek without further incident, and, having driven the elk herd away, were within 25 meters of our goal. excited to reach our first geocache, we bounded over the last hill and were treated to this view ...
our geocache, guarded by no less than 6 huge, wary elk (probably irritated from being driven so far already).

i suppose technically our first attempt was a failure, if you call the thrill of observing a herd of wild elk from less than fifty feet a failure. we will definitely be geocaching more, but next time maybe we'll bring weapons.

the rest of the day was slightly less eventful. we had lunch at a cute new cafe in cannon beach with mom, who had had a very painful abscessed tooth and would not appreciate me posting pictures.
a yarn shop in cannon beach ...
a fun bead shop that made me want to take up beading ...
and a visit to hug point, where mom took these pictures of us.

we hardly ever have pictures of both of us, so it's super fun to get some nice ones!

the sun was warm, the breeze soft, and the tide low. we made our way up the beach toward the old highway, me with my camera, mom frolicking in the waves, and joel and pop calculating how to navigate the points without getting their shoes wet.
i spent some quality time with my beloved seagulls. :)

coming back from the highway, i was wet to my waist, mom past her knees, joel to his ankles, and pop not at all. at least, not until his miscalculation stranded him on a rock with one foot in the ocean. heh heh.
beach trip success.