Archive for April, 2013

More camera practice

Last night I went to an obedience class with my daughter. LOL, as I typed this I realize it sounds a little different than it was. It was actually a training class for dogs held at Pet Smart. I thought it would be fun to take pictures.

This beauty was not in class (but he should be). He is a grey Great Dane.Three months old and 50 pounds! Oddly, I swear I know this woman from somewhere. I just couldn’t place her.

This is my daughters Barsky. He is the smartest dog I’ve ever seen. That’s Snickers in the background. Barsky is not wearing a muzzle. He is wearing a collar that goes behind his ears and over his muzzle. It is not tight and not meant as a punishment. The behind the ears portion his pressure points. It was amazing how much he calmed down as soon as she slipped it on.

So alert! He was by far the best trained dog in class, and in the whole store!

This is a random picture of my NetBook. 🙂 It’s a good little computer. Very small and perfect for traveling. In the last three months I’ve basically stopped using my desktop and only use my netbook & tablet.




I love this picture. So focused even with all the toys all around! 

Saturday Playing with the camera

My little camera has a gazillion settings to get used to. 😦


I tried to take a ton of pictures on Saturday so I could get used to grabbing it and snapping pics or changing the settings and taking pictures. I really didn’t do very well. We were actually out and about all day (Went to a very nice local artist show) and I took almost no pictures. So these are the ones I took in the morning.

Some people might look at this and say, awwww. how sweet.  It’s not. This is Jesse the beagle sleeping on the bed that Mili wants. So Mili is laying on one corner of it to claim ownership.

My camera has an actual food setting and I wondered if it would automatically switch to it. It didn’t. Not even a good clear picture. I’ll try to do better today.

I took a gazillion pictures of the table playing with the different focus settings

yay! My Goodie box arrived.

Yellow bird has a bloody eye. I got yellow bird because he had a giant cyst around his eye that the vet treated but then the Pet Smart couldn’t sell him. Apparently it’s bothering him again and yesterday I caught him rubbing it on his rough perch. It looks terrible and bloody after he does that. Both birds are frantically nesting today. It’s very cute.

With his blood hidden.




The reason I like taking pictures that are really big is because when you see something in the picture like people standing in front of your house, you can click a few times and see why.

Sweet little puppy has a cart!

I had a sub yoga teacher on Saturday Morning. I am sore! 


Last Hurrah

I ordered a new camera for our next vacation. I have a decent little camera except that the port for the USB cable has never worked well and now it’s almost impossible to doc it. Very frustrating when trying to get the pictures. My new camera should be here tomorrow so I will have plenty of time to play with and get used to how it works. it’s got a touchscreen so that will be nice. Unfortunately for you this means many many giant pictures while I play. At least you won’t be stuck with my cell phone pictures for all of the vacation. The one I ordered is just a nice little Nikon. It’s RED! 🙂


We are planning to go to the Winchester Mansion in San Jose.

there aren’t many pictures online so I’m guessing they’re pretty restrictive.

I have a mourning dove that nested in a hanging planter on my porch and now she has little babies in there. I would like to get pictures of that.

I had my first physical therapy appointment on Wednesday for my foot. Mostly they just poked and prodded and pushed and pulled and bent and straightened and measured. They were very nice and very funny. My next one is Friday. I know this sounds weird, but I’m having trouble fitting all of my doctors appointments into my schedule! I need to quit my job just so I can keep up with them. Today I finally called and scheduled my ENT appointment to follow up on my hearing loss, A YEAR LATE! Geesh. I didn’t let them schedule me in May. I just can’t even think about adding anything else to May. So, June. While I was typing this my dentist office called to remind me that I hadn’t rescheduled my cleaning that I had to cancel a couple of weeks ago.

I really need to find a dress to wear to my daughters wedding too! Oh, I have a doctors appointment the day before that. We bought my husband a suit last week and I picked out a tie for him. 


My daughter has explained to me that her “color” will be peridot green. Though, I don’t know what that means now since I know one dress will be navy blue.

Have you tried Mini Pops? It’s not popcorn, it’s sorghum that has been popped. It’s the funniest looking thing because it looks like popcorn except it’s about 1/5 the size! So far it seems to be something I can eat. Yay! I needed to find some snack food. Mostly I’ve been using it in place of crackers in soup.

Look what we got int he mail. 🙂 Vacation after this vacation. More like a long weekend really. I have to stop saying vacation when it’s really only adding on a day to a weekend. People think I take six or seven weeks off a year!

I bet this would have been pretty with my new camera instead of my cell phone. The sun was hitting the dew like a hundred prisms. It was really beautiful.


Wait..I’m going to add that picture again but really big! Maybe we’ll be able to see the colors.











Erin opens the lid

Curious if this will embed correctly! If it does then what you are seeing is my sister opening a little gift I got her.


YouTube instead

A month in review

Today is the last day of my own personal fitness challenge. The challenge was just to get 10,000 steps a day from Saturday March 23, 2013 through today. The timing was actually a combination of someone else’s challenge start date and the day my husband comes home from China, which is tonight. Whenever my husband goes away for an extended amount of time I try to change up something in my day to day patterns, in a good way. To try and break or start a new habit.

I own a FitBit One which is a fancied up pedometer and it keeps track of my steps for me. I also sync my FitBit One data with my account on MyFitnessPal (TracyLMurray000) where I enter manually any exercising and food. I don’t always enter all of my food. The food counting for me is more about checking to make sure I’m not creating any unintentional bad patterns and to make sure I’m getting enough protein. However, if you are entering your food you can’t help but notice those days when you, say, eat three times the normal calories for an active 21 year old professional football player. Oh, and there were a couple of days when I forgot my FitBit or left it strapped to my tank top instead of my bottom half and so it didn’t count steps.

So here’s the data as of today. I figure not too much will change before tonight at Midnight. 


 This is what my FitBit Shows me:


A total number of 269,461 steps in the last four weeks. Let’s just assume I’ll have 10,000 today so 279,461. Divided by 28 days means I am at 9981 average steps per day. I am okay with this because of the days that forgot my FitBit. I would guess that’s at least an additional 15,000 steps onto the total.

The rather unexpected results are that after 19 months being stuck at the exact same weight I have lost 7 pounds in four weeks.  Seven pounds may not seem like much, unless your a smaller person and have been stuck at the same weight for freaking ever! This means I need to keep this up for a little while longer. 

I feel fantastic.  I do not currently own any clothing that is too small for me. At least, not that I ‘ve tried on. I feel fit, and I feel accomplished. 








In case you didn’t know, today is wednesday.

Last night I had a dream about a little girl with dark hair. Maybe four years old. I don’t recognize her. She lived with her grandparents whom she called gammy & grandpa. I don’t know them. There was a problem with an evil spirit/ghost in the house.

WTF? Where does stuff like that come from? I wasn’t watching or reading anything scary in the last few days.


The brain is bizarre.

a small life lesson

Woke up 30 minutes late and the day has just gotten more laughable since then.

You know when the instructions say steep for four minutes and then take out the teabag? You really should do that. Not for taste, but for safety.

I’m sitting in a conference with my entire office plus one more and as I took a drink of tea my teabag unstuck from the inside wall of the cup and a wave of warm tea hit me in the face and down my shirt.


Mili says no bueno.



Just thinking out loud..

It’s so odd how subjects come up over and over again. Last week for the first time I heard about something called Leaky Bowel (there’s a picture in your head for the day) and then over a couple of days I heard about it two more times.

Just like that, the subject of being happy for someone else has come up three or four times in the last few days. A few days ago I was talking to a co-worker in another state and he asked me if I ever got jealous about all of the places my husband traveled for work.

I explained to him that no, I actually was very happy for him. I truly can live vicariously through other people. I love to hear about peoples fantastic luck, or astounding successes. I am genuinely interested and I swear I almost feel as glad for them as I would if it was me. I think I have an overdose of empathy in my personality so it’s like a drug to me when I get to hear about other peoples grand lives. I can totally picture it and I enjoy it.

It’s come up again a few times since then in different context.  I have in the past felt a little twinge of envy when my life was very hard and someone else seemed to have it much easier. As all lasting things are, most of the good things in my life I’ve worked for. That’s just the way it is, and I’m probably the better for it. In case you aren’t the same way keep in mind that there is enough good stuff to go around. Just because someone else has something doesn’t mean you can’t work for it, and get it too.

So, just in case you also want to live a little vicariously, here are some pictures from my husband. After all the trips to Chinas, he was finally able to see the Great Wall.



If you were going to be envious, if I were you I would be envious of me right now because I have soup in the crockpot and if it’s even half as tasty as it smells I’m in good shape for the week!

Oh, and maybe of my China souvenirs that will be enroute to me shortly so I can remember my vicarious trip to the wall.

If you are on my blog list

I was thinking about people that are on my Xanga list. Okay, really I’m stalling before changing clothes and getting on the treadmill. So anywho, you..person who’s on my list:

I adore you.

I think you write fantastically.

I think your life is just enough different from mine that I am very interested in hearing about it.

I am living vicariously through your youth!

I think you take the most wonderful pictures that always make me smile.

I think you have a unique perspective on life and it always expands my mind a little read what you say

I think you’re a little crazy and I can’t wait to hear about the next adventure you have!

I think you and I are very similar and I understand you.

People that you won’t find on my list, at least, not for long, are people who spread hate. We don’t like hate here. We embrace the joy of life as much as we possibly can in this part of town.

Just asking..

When I was hiring an engineer that spoke Spanish during the interviews I would call one of our Spanish speaking employees and they would conduct a five minute mini-interview just to verify their fluency. Turn-about is fair play and this week I was asked to interview a couple of potential new Swedish receptionists to find out their fluency. Since I didn’t need to interview them about job skills I went looking online for conversation starting questions. Something to get them talking.

I ran into this blog:

I thought it was very interesting. Questions to ask people around you to get a better, deeper connection with them.  It’s also just an interesting site. I’m not a big fan of posting questions just so you can talk about yourself. I’m just not that interesting. But I thought it might make a nice conversation starter for people in my life. 

I am going to pick two to answer. Maybe you could do the same? (maybe not). I am going to email Mr. Murray and ask him to answer two of them.

Ready to connect? Here we go:

 1. What is your dream job?

2. What fulfills you?

 3. What’s your greatest fear?

 4. What do you want more of in life?

 5. What is your greatest accomplishment?

 6. What are you ashamed of?

7. What makes you sad?

8. What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced?

9. What’s great about you?

10.Who are you?

11.What inspires you?


8. What’s the hardest thing you’ve experienced?

There are things in my life that are long term hard, that stay with you for decades, but I don’t really want to talk about those. So instead I’ll give you a different kind of hard thing.

It was the pinched nerves in my neck and shoulder. I had just completely unrelenting mind boggling toe curling brain bubbling pain for so long without abatement with no idea when it would stop that I really was worried for myself. It’s a good thing that I didn’t have heavy narcotics in the house that week because I would have taken so many that I would have died, and when it was at it’s worse it would have seemed like a perfectly acceptable solution. Other pain I’ve had may have been as bad but I always knew why I was in pain and that it would end. It was like having the worst tooth abscess ever (I’ve had a few) and having the pain cover your entire neck & head and never ever stop. No sleep, no food, no sitting, no laying down. Every physical pain now is measured by that, and it’s the reason that internally I flip people off when they say an almost snide comment about getting a massage (which I’m doing tonight). Massages for me are not a feel good relaxing moment. It’s painful and preventative, but oh the wonderful benefits.

 4. What do you want more of in life?

This is easy. TIME. I want to always be here and always be able to read all of the books I want, watch all of the television I want, cook all the food I want, giggle all I want, sleep all I want, exercise all I want, play with the dogs all I want, talk to my family all I want. I want the days to be 48 hours long and me to be wide awake for 40 of them so I can get everything done!


Oh, I didn’t ask the receptionist interviewee’s and of these questions!

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