Monday, January 8, 2007

Top Of The Monday Morn'in To Ya

Well, happy new week everyone!! Another week-end has flown away (sigh!!)! It is back to the ol' ratrace once again. In all actuality, I am grateful for the job that I have. I have waited most of my sometime's long, years to find a job where I am appreciated and valued by not only my fellow workers but also my supervisors. Alot of that has to do with sharing the same values. It is hard to find a group of peers, now-a-days, that share the same values and are working towards the same goals. When you do find it, hang on to it with the tightest of grip, and do not let it out of your sight or your life. Do what you have to do to preserve it. I have come to realize over the years that one of the keys to having wonderful blessings enter into your life and keeping them around is to constantly express "gratitude" to the "provider" of those blessings. If you don't, you stand in danger of losing that blessing. Take the time today to tell your provider of your blessing(s) how greatful you are for what you have been given or are allowed to share in. Don't forget to take time today to hug your wife or husband and tell them that you appreciate them, what they do and that you love them. If you have children, take them into the moment and hug them if they are in your presence or if they are a distance away, send them an e-mail, write them a note or letter or give a phone call and tell them. Give your pets a hug and tell them you love them, too. Talk to your plants, trees etc. Let them know that you appreciate their involvement in your life and howmuch you value them making your life a little brighter. If you get a chance let your friends know how much you appreciate their friendship. In the words of songwriter/singer Mac Davis:

You got to stop and smell the roses
You got to stop and count your blessing's everyday
You're gonna find the road to Heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don't stop and smell the roses along the way!!!

With lots of love for all and gratitude for being a part of our lives!!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Answer to 'May I?'

The Chronicles is for boring - or not so boring - news. We can do another blog if everyone wants to join into FRIENDLY controversy. My main goal with this blog was give everybody the opportunity to keep everyone else posted on personal and family news. I hear a lot of "How come you never told me about that?!" With eight of you kids out there - plus teenaged grandkids -I can't keep track of who I've told what. Some of you have voiced the same problem - some of you haven't even tried to keep others up to speed with what you're doing or what's important to you. It's difficult. Hence this blog.

I want this to be positive, warm and friendly. That's why I'm saying 'no' to controversial subjects. I think most everyone is willing to cheer Katie on in her swimming or Spence in his photography. I'd love to have Jenn tell the rest of you about Geoffrey in WalMart when they were shoe shopping. It's a hoot. Maybe Sue can post some of Brandon's math or artwork - or tell you how he caught his dad on what to say about girls. You'll roll over that one! We'd like to see a photo of Chris' and Mike's houses, respectively. . . if you have the equipment to post photos. And I'm sure Kee and Keri have news to share - so should Rich and Lori (If nothing else, Rich can tell us his views of his current job)- and if Chris or Pam can get this website to Kenny and Jess, they're more than welcome to join in, too. Ken will probably have plenty to share about his new job and Jess has the little one to tell us about.

If y'all want me to do a blog for controversy let me know and I'll set one up. I only ask that you don't get into anything that's hurtful to someone else. Our family is very divergent in its beliefs and views. I will expect everyone to use the Golden Rule at all times. Since we each hold our own personal beliefs and views sacrosanct, we need to always give everyone else the same respect. I have absolutely no problem with saying, "This is what I believe or what I think." I have a HUGE problem with someone saying, "Well, you're wrong!" when someone else is expressing his/her beliefs or values. Religion and politics can be a real hotbed of emotion. If we, as a family, can keep in mind that we each have the God-given right to think as we choose and if we're all willing to respect each other's views regardless of whether or not we agree with them, then let's go for it.

I love you all - especially Any Mouses (or muses or mooses or whatever you want to call yourselves) :) ,

British Columbia Painting Pictures

Ok - so as promised here are some some photos I took of British Columbia that I have touched up and painted. I really think some of them are pretty good and I am considering having prints made of them, because I think people will pay good money on Ebay for some fancy, but inexpensive home deorations. I just need to come up with the money to have one printed off to see how it looks real big! I can say that they look great when Iprinted them out and stuck them on the fridge in 8x11.5. Amanda was blown away! (or maybe she is being nice) Regardless I love it! I encourage everyone who reads this to send me pictures to mess aroud with as I am having a ball and I am excited to share some of the fun and funny things I can do with them - especially phot touch ups on old time photos. I even got rid of Amanda and her sisters freckles from an old photo! It's a blast.

Why did I get caught up in this. I saw this thing on the web that was a promotional video for this guy who does this for a living. I was amazed with the results he could get, so I set around to see if I could do it myself. Well I am not as good as he is, but I am getting there.

P.S. For those who were wondering, all of the above photos are mine (I took them) The mountains with the sunset above them are from some late night ice-fishing on jackson lake. I was freezing my butt off, but I saw some spectacular sites. The fishing didn't pan out, but I have never seen anything like the clouds that night.
The night scene is of the fabulous new Trail, BC bridge in downtown Trail. When I say new, I mean newer than the old one that i believe is close to 100 years old if not older - but still open. It can be scary sometimes to cross it because it still has a wood bottom (newly remodeled in the 60s or something like that). ITs of course not as scary as the "one way car - other side is railroad track" wooden bridge you have to cross to get to the boundary/waneta border crossing when you want to get cheap gas in the states. You drive across this bridge which crosses the blasting outlet of the "7-mile" pend'o'reille river dam. Of course it's right where the Pend'O'Reille and the columbia rivers meet - so it's no lauging matter in size. You cross across this creaking hulk and you look out the window to see this magnificent splash of spray and a cataclysm of water poundin against a large cliff face. One can say you feel like you are seeing your doom when you cross this beauty - needless to say it's always green in that area with all the moisture!
The fish ladder picture is in Kokanee Creek provincial park between Salmo and Nelson British Columbia. Every year the river used to run red with Salmon - now it's dwindled down to a scant few thousand - but none the less the area is spectacular. When I took this picture three years ago I had just barely caught the park after the run had stopped and fall was setting in. The colors were spectacular!
The picture of the mountain with the fall colors is from the top of Mt. Revelstoke in the Purcell Mountain range 5-6 hours north of the border. This area is home to the farthest in land temperate rain forest in the world. What causes this? Well the mountains you see here don't look very big because I am standing on the top of a fire lookout tower on the top of a big mountain! The landscape goes from a valley at the most 600 feet above sea level (conincidentally it is warm and rains all year and they grow marvelous apples here) to mountains above the 12,000 foot range in the course of 30 miles! It is awesome! Up there they have year round glaciers and on average accumulate rouhly 75 feet of snow a year (This is another National park called Glacier National park - but not related or evenclose to our Glacier National park - which does extend into Canada, but is called Waterton (due to all the glacial carved lakes) National park up there). Mt. Revelstoke national park covers some pretty incredible territory - which brings me to my last picture of this group.
This one is from the giant cedars walkway in that rain forest I told you about. Here the trees are enormous and so are the ferns. You are a full nine hours away from the coast - at least, and only 15 to twenty hours by car to the arctic circle! Yet this place is over run with plant life and trees so large it would take dozens of us to encircle some of them. Who knew there were sleeping giants this far north! Anyway - I hope you enjoy the pictures. Feel free to print them off if you like family.
For those of you outside of family this pictures are copyrighted and any reuse or republishing of them in part or in whole can and will be punished to the utmost extent by law, and blah blah blah. j/k! Have fun people....
Spence and Amanda

A cold wintery back yard!

So this is a picture over looking the llama farm in my backyard. Behind it you can see the hills and over those you will find two different lakes. I took this picture with my cell phone because who knows where my camera is. I still haven't gotten everything unpacked. It's a cool wintery day here in eastern washington. We got socked with a good storm friday night, but by the time saturday rolled around it warmed up and sent the snow accumalation packing. Boy it's great!

The second picture you will notice is a little more vibrant - I went into Adobe Photoshop and took an alienskin filter that gave it a film quality. I went for a Velvia 100 film look. You'll notic it kind of over-saturates the colors and makes it a little bit warmer.

The third picture - on the other hand - I have gone through and painted it digitally in a oil paint using snap-art. This filters are pretty incredible. I can do things in a variety of styles and make some pretty startling pictures. This painting doesn't look as good as some of my others because the quality of the original wasn't there to begin with (due to the fact the camera is a call phone!) and it's hard to cut down on the detail on the fence to make it look less phot-like without messing up the other details I want to keep. It's almost as time consuming as actually painting these scenes can be! (Ok not really, but when i really work on something it can take quite a while.) I love Adobe and I love it's capabilities.

I am going to post another couple of pictures after this to show you lovely British Columbia. I think you will like it!


-Spence and Amanda

May I?

Am I allowed to use this to vent views - whatever they may be? Can we get some differing opinions on political, economic, family, personal, religious, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseum? Or should I simply limit myself to the little boring news if and when it may happen? Someone wanna let me know what's up here?

Any Nomus