Category Archives: blogs

Finale Friday

I’ve been hiding behind a Nikon dSLR for years.

I’ve been hiding behind a Nikon dSLR for years.

Today marks the end of an (admittedly short) era: This is the final post of Random Snippets & Apertures, my fourth child.

After five and a half years, almost 1,400 blog posts (this is number 1,373, to be exact) and one name change (originally I called it “Get ’er Done,” not that I ever did), it’s time to move on to other writing and creative projects. I’ll miss posting in my tiny segment of the blogosphere, but it really is for the best.

Jake in 2009

Jake showed off his beautiful blue eyes in 2009.

I started Random Snippets & Apertures as a way of chronicling my family’s adventures. I wanted it to be a legacy for my sons. My first post was on January 5, 2009. At the beginning, Jake, my older son, turned 17, and was a high school junior.

Jake rocks a giveaway Houston Astros José Altuve jersey last Sunday.

He rocked a giveaway Houston Astros José Altuve jersey last Sunday.

Now he’s graduated from UTSA and is sharing an apartment in Houston with his best friend forever and our “third son,” Chase. He’s gone from student to working man.

C.J. in 2009 unhappy that I’m taking his photo.

C.J. in 2009 was unhappy that I snapped his photo.

Meanwhile, C.J., was a mere 13 and a half and in eighth grade way back when.

C.J. at Jake’s UTSA graduation. Some things never change!

The bearded one was annoyed at Jake’s UTSA graduation. Some things never change!

As I blogged earlier this week, he just celebrated his 19th birthday. He finished up his freshman year at Sam Houston State with all A’s and a B. What a great transition for him!

As you can see, with both boys out of the house for much if not all of the year, my blog’s purpose is over. It’s as much fun to look back as it is to look ahead, especially for this sentimental mom who adores her sons to the moon and back.

So now it’s on to the next chapter . . . whatever that will be. Thanks for coming along for the ride, dear readers! Hope you enjoy your summer!!

P.S. The blog will remain here on WordPress; I just won’t be adding any new content to it (probably!).

Happy Anniversary, WordPress!

Ur welcome!

Ur welcome!

Ten years ago today, Houston native Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little first released WordPress, a free blogging tool. I’m thankful, because WordPress has hosted my blog since its inception in January of 2009. I looked into the other possible blogging sites and decided that WordPress was the easiest to use with the most flexibility.

One neat perk of WordPress is its ability to flag spam comments via Akismet. This plugin has caught 11,619 bogus observations for me so far, and I really appreciate it. But even though I’m a spam hater, sometimes they’re so ridiculous, so robotic, and so off-topic that I just have to laugh . . . and save them.

xxx

Thank you . . . I think.

So in honor of WordPress’ 10th anniversary, here are some of my favorite spam moments (click on the pictures to read them). Sorry, WP, that it’s not the usual diamond jewelry.

xxx

“Girl gaga?” Is that any relation to Lady Gaga?

Appealing to My Ego (Sometimes It Works!)

“Fantastic items from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are simply extremely fantastic. I really like what you’ve bought here, certainly like what you are saying and the best way during which you assert it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to stay it smart. I can not wait to read much more from you. That is really a tremendous website.” 

x

Glad you’re so robust!

“I am really inspired with your writing abilities as neatly as with the format to your weblog. Is that this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way stay up the excellent high quality writing, it’s uncommon to see a great blog like this one nowadays.”

I’m blushing!

xx

No, I don’t e-mail spambots.

“Wonderful items from you, man. I have have in mind your stuff previous to and you’re simply too fantastic. I really like what you have bought right here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which through which you assert it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I cant wait to read much more from you. That is really a tremendous site.”

“You’re so excellent! I don’t reckon Ive read anything like this before. So awesome to find somebody with some original thoughts on this topic. I like reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!”

xxx

“Any other?”

“Simply desire to say your article is as amazing. The clearness on your put up is just excellent and that i could suppose you are knowledgeable on this subject. Well along with your permission allow me to clutch your feed to keep up to date with drawing close post. Thanks one million and please continue the gratifying work.”

If I ever need an ego boost and a chuckle, all I have to do is read the spam!

My Favorite Blog Photos, Part II

July

A waaaay-too-slow shutter speed made for this odd-looking fireworks effect.

A waaaay-too-slow shutter speed made for this odd-looking fireworks effect.

My younger son looks a disc into his hands.

My younger son looks a disc (tossed by his dad) into his hands.

August

There’s a beautiful background for this disc golf basket.

Sunset provides a beautiful background for this disc golf basket.

Green-gold streamers shoot up from behind the Skeeters’ scoreboard

Green-gold streamers shoot up from behind the Sugar Land Skeeters’ scoreboard

September

As manager Gary Gaetti walks out to yank Roger Clemens, father and son hug on the mound.

As Skeeters manager Gary Gaetti walks out to yank Roger Clemens, father and son Koby hug on the mound.

Those swinging brothers!

Those swinging brothers!

October

An amazing pink sunrise as captured by my iPhone 5.

An amazing pink sunrise is captured by my iPhone 5.

Love photos of my sons together!

Love photos of my sons together!

November

A swallowtail butterfly enjoys society garlic.

A swallowtail butterfly enjoys the society garlic.

My handsome guys!

My handsome guys!

December

My older son smiles via Skype as the sixth-night Chanukah candles glow.

My older son smiles via Skype as the sixth-night Chanukah candles glow.

Our iPads make excellent frames.

Our iPads make excellent frames.

Whew! Thanks for taking this nostalgic photo journey with me. Hope 2013 brings me as much—if not more—photo joy.

Sidebar: All photos were snapped with my Nikon D700 unless otherwise noted.

My Favorite Blog Photos, Part I

This double reflection looks like I used a sepia filter (but I didn’t).

This double reflection looks like I used a sepia filter (but I didn’t). (iPhone)

Obviously, I like sharing . . . or is that oversharing . . . photos. Such is the life of a blogger who also is a photographer. I’ve been looking through my 2012 pics the last week or so for a personal planner that I’m making through Blurb.com (hope I actually finish it before January ends!), and I thought I would share some of my favorites. Today’s post features January (which includes the above reflective photo—love those reflections!) through June. Enjoy!

Sidebar: Unless otherwise noted, photos were snapped with my Nikon D700.

January

My sons and Tanner enjoy watching their video.

My sons and Tanner enjoy watching their video.

February

An ibis enjoys the water along the shore. (Nikon S6200)

An ibis walks along the shore. (Nikon S6200)

That’s more like it!

My younger son smiles.

March

Thistle pollen covers the bee.

Thistle pollen covers a bee.

Loads of bluebonnets . . . love ’em!

Loads of bluebonnets . . . love ’em!

April

Purple is a popular color for wildflowers.

Purple is a popular color for wildflowers. Even flies like them.

A monarch looks for the perfect horsemint to land on.

A monarch looks for the perfect horsemint to land on.

May

It’s a bird . . . it’s a plane . . . it’s the super moon!

It’s a bird . . . it’s a plane . . . no, it’s the supermoon! (Nikon D300)

A green dragonfly tries to blend in with his surroundings.

A green dragonfly tries to blend in with his surroundings.

June

Love those thistles.

More bee-thistle action

I shot these strawflowers during my Chicago trip.

I shot these sensational strawflowers during my Chicago visit.

Look for part two Thursday!

The Start of Year No. 5

Already a photographer at age 8

Already a photographer at age 8

Start up the band and break out a parade! I’ve completed my fourth year of blogging (as of January 5). I wrote 241 posts in 2012, which included probably close to 1,000 photos. Guess I just love to overshare (no need to thank me).

I decided to look back over those many words and pick out two favorite posts from each month. That was so difficult! I love writing, and I enjoy documenting our lives, especially when those posts include my sons, nature, and disc golf. Here are my choices:

January

I was a bundle of nerves as my younger son returned to his public high school after our awful online high school experience. Fortunately, he did fine in finishing up his junior year.

I responded to an innocent question by the kid with a long harangue about the good, old days (including the top photo).

Ah, that sweet smile at 14 months!

Ah, my #1 son’s sweet smile at 14 months!

February

My older son turned 20. Sniff sniff!

Another of my younger son’s innocent questions, this time about the “Star Wars” movies, got me thinking about the future.

Dad and son are glad the fierce cougar is just a statue!

Dad and son are glad the fierce cougar is just a statue!

March

We took our first college visit with the kid to his dad’s alma mater, the University of Houston.

I overshared photos of the wonderful wildflowers in Gonzales.

If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone . . . .

If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone . . . .

April

I broke out plenty of puns, as I cried fowl (see what I mean?) when I was chased by chickens (aka Poultry in Motion . . . somebody stop me!).

The kid discovered that having ancient parents is a perk when it comes to learning U.S. History.

My #1 son enjoys the word play and card play.

My #1 son enjoys the word play and card play.

May

My sons had a blast playing Ultimate Uno with their pals at our house.

Our little town got an independent, minor-league baseball team, the Skeeters! We had fun at our first game.

Yep, he sure did!

Yep, he sure did!

June

An anole scared me and forced me to figure out a way to get him out of my office. I’m still always looking over my shoulder just in case he returns.

My sons and my “third son,” Chase, loved being living totem poles in the pool.

Smiling at a Skeeters’ game!

Smiling at a Skeeters’ game!

July

I shared my iPhone self-portrait failures, as I tried to snap a good pic of my older son and I at a Skeeters’ baseball game.

Did half my posts last year involve nature? Sure seemed like it, even when disc golf was involved.

Sam Houston watches over his campus.

Sam Houston watches over his campus.

August

Once we walked on campus, it was clear that the kid’s first college choice would be Sam Houston State University (which he plans to attend).

All-star pitching great Roger Clemens temporarily came out of retirement to join our Skeeters, setting off a media frenzy.

Father and son chat while walking back to the dugout.

Father and son chat while walking back to the dugout.

September

We watched Roger pitch to his son Koby for the first time in an actual baseball game, helping our Skeeters win.

Reading this post about my younger son’s over-Photoshopped senior pictures always makes me laugh at the memory.

I used this as a cover photo on Facebook.

I used this as a cover photo on Facebook.

October

Gotta love a teenager who fearlessly rocks his inner pink (as in the Pink Power Ranger).

This started the first of several posts in October and December where I educated my readers about the toxic puss moth caterpillars that are using our house as their own, personal Motel 6 (again, no need to thank me; got yer backs!).

My younger son and Chase found out how small the drinking fountains are.

My younger son and Chase found out how small the drinking fountains are.

November

The kid, Chase, and I enjoyed reliving their elementary school days at a reunion.

If butterflies pose for me, then I’m snapping away.

All good things must end.

All good things must end.

December

In documenting Chanukah, I captured a spinning dreidel . . . complete with a poem. Isn’t there a Pulitzer Prize for poetry?

My older son showed his softer side with a handmade gift for his brother.

Whew! I’m ready to continue on with the same Monday through Friday blogging schedule in 2013. I hope you’ll continue to join me!! Remember that comments always are welcome.

Happy 3rd Blogiversary to Me!

The #2 son shoots a free throw during a middle school basketball game. (January 2009)

Today is a monumental day! It’s my great-niece Kate’s first birthday (one of her presents was a new baby sister on December 30!), as well as my third blogiversary. Did you miss the parade that just marched by?

Rare snow falls on my older son in December of 2008. (February 2009)

When I started the blog three years ago, at first I used it to try to get organized. In fact, Random Snippets & Apertures used to be called Get ’Er Done. But it was a lame attempt, which was no surprise given the fact that “Lazy” has seemed to be my middle name the past few years.

My #2 son warms up for the 4 x 400-meter relay by getting some air. (March 2010)

Before long I changed my blog’s name and focus. I finally started showcasing my photos and geared Random Snippets more towards my family. It definitely was a better fit.

My #1 son and his beautiful blue eyes! (August 2010)

Why do I blog five days a week? First, I’m a writer, and I love exercising my skills, always with an eye towards improving.

My younger son flies a putt towards the basket. (April 2010)

Second, I’m a photographer, and it’s nice having an outlet for my work.

I pose with my sons this past Christmas Day. (photo by the Mister)

Most of all, I see this blog as my legacy to my two precious sons. I plan to make each year into a book, so they can remember what it was like when they were growing up, and so they can read what I was thinking and what I believed in.

I snapped this pic of a pennant dragonfly on a windy morning. (June 2011)

Let’s just hope they don’t conclude one thing:

Bees are also bluebonnet fans! (April 2010)

That their mom loved snapping pix of flowers and insects as much as she did of them!

Thanks for joining me on Random Snippets & Apertures! Here’s to another year of fun and photos.

Looking Back at 2009, Part II

Snack time! (July 14th blog post from Seattle)

Happy one-year blogiversary! It’s hard to type while there are streamers and confetti flying all over my home office, but I’ll try my best!

Today I’m continuing to look back at my 2009 blog entries. Yesterday’s post took care of the first six months. Now let’s check out some of my favorite posts and pix from July through December.

July:

"Palm trees" swaying in the air

I had fun taking photos on the fourth of July in our community: Fabulous Photo Fourth!

Purple hydrangeas on Bainbridge Island

Flower power was in full bloom while we vacationed in Seattle: Flower Fix.

August:

The happy #2 son during a good round.

My #2 son competed in the disc golf world championships in Kansas City: Lessons Learned at the Disc Golf World Championships.

The #2 son and his good friend Marcus talk.

The Mister and I actually managed to embarrass our 14-year-old #2 son: Partying With the Dinosaurs—A Night at the Museum.

September:

"You looking at me?"

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed shooting with my beloved Nikon 70-200mm lens until I used it at a disc golf tournament: Visiting With an Old Friend.

Who can resist #1’s baby blues?

A somewhat-heavy envelope addressed to my #1 son left me feeling suddenly blindsided and teary-eyed: A Large Envelope Makes Me Sad.

Our team celebrates a good block.

I shot a lot of high school sports photography this month, from cross-country (documenting my #2 son) to volleyball to football. The toughest to shoot? Volleyball! Photo Friday: Meeting the High ISO Challenge.

October:

Christin, Cameron, and Grace take their bows at the end of the play.

Readers’ eyes probably were rolling, as I discussed using exposure compensation when shooting a high school play: The Non-Delightful Light Battle; Warning: Eyes May Glaze Over (what a long title!).

The #2 son shows off his team and seventh-place medals.

The #2 son’s high school cross-country team won its first freshman title: We Are the Champions, My Friend!

November:

Victor tries to outjump the defender for a potential winning touchdown pass.

My sons’ high school football team almost won its first game amid the distractions of Homecoming: The Many Facets of a High School Homecoming Football Game (yet another long title!).

There's my boy!

This was the first of a three-day series about giving thanks. Here I was very thankful that my #1 son has a part-time job at the public library: Giving Thanks, Part 1.

December:

Snow in my backyard.

Holy cow! It snowed here in the Houston area; that’s a rare occurrence (it was only the third time my sons had seen the white stuff): Let It Snow . . . For Real!

Both sons smile at the halfway point of Chanukah.

Chanukah lasts eight nights, and I was able to squeeze five blog posts out of the holiday! This one was the second of those five: At the Halfway Mark.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this sentimental journey as much as I have. I really had fun blogging in 2009, and I’m looking forward to even more random snippets and apertures in 2010!