Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Mexico English

Barry and Chris had a meeting in Albequrque, NM and they brought Robin and I along. While they were in an all day meeting, Robin and I went to the St James Tea Room. This is a secret oasis in this desert. ( It's really not a secret, but it is certainly a different place for this city.) Robin and I enjoyed a two hour English tea, where we were able to relax and take our time with our food in a quiet
, cozy atmosphere. This month's theme was Victory Garden.

These were the rabbits in the garden.

The orchid was edible.

Then we ventured back to the New Mexico desert.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Shining Stars

Although this week has been horrific with so many tragic deaths, Tuesday evening provided a needed respite from the grim news.

Ben's class had their school play, and it just happened to be about George M. Cohen. So the evening was full of second grade children singing patriotic songs. Although I know all the parents and grandparents would have loved the play no matter what songs they were singing, the timing could not have been better since it was the day after the bombing at the Boston Marathon.

May these Shining Stars grow up to respect each other and their country, and always appreciate what others have sacrificed to enable them to live in the United States of America.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tech Tuesday-Photo Stream Albums

Last week we edited our photographs on our iPhone and IPad. This week we are going to learn to share a photo stream web album. 

We will use the in-built Photo Stream album for ease. Some of the buttons are in different places on the iPhone and iPad. But, you can do this on both. You will most likely need to be running at least iOS 6 on your devices. 

Make sure your Photo Stream is turned on in your settings. Go to Settings>Photo & Camera.
Open photos. 

The photo stream button is at the bottom of the screen on your iPhone and top of the screen on your iPad. (You will find little differences like this between the two, so just look for the buttons)  Tap the photo stream button to get to the photo stream If you are using your ipad. 

Open up your new album which is empty. Tap the add photo button at the top. Tap the + button to add an album to your Photo Stream and name it.  Type the iCloud address of the person whom you wish send the album. 

If you wish to make your album visible to friends and family that do not have an iCloud or me address, make sure public website is on. 
Open up your new album which is empty. Tap the add photos button. 
Tap the photos you wish to add and tap done. 

Select the album to share
Type in email addresses.
Tap share.
Choose how you want to share the album website, email, message, facebook, etc. Put in the information and send.

This is really handy if you want someone to be able see a lot of photos quickly. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Prayers in the Wind

Back in February I had a birthday. I mentioned that I received a very special gift from this little one.

Scarlett takes art lessons, and she had been telling her mom that she was making me something in art class. They worked on it several weeks. Shannon and I waited anxiously to see what it was. Then on my birthday I received this:

A hand sewn Prayer Flag. I love it. I have had a hard time writing about it because I know her mom wanted it. Also, I am sure her other grandmother, or great-grandmother, or various aunts, or various great-aunts would have loved to have received it. Yet, she gave it to me. I cannot tell you how much I treasure it. It might seem strange I haven't posted it before now, because very personal things are hard to share. But, I do want Scarlett and Shannon to know how much I love it.

My quandary is where to hang it. It is supposed to hang in the breeze and send your prayers into the wind. But I cannot put it outside. I am keeping it safe, because one day, I will give it back to Shannon.
Shhh, don't tell Scarlett. She might not understand right now about those special things that her mom may want to save and give to her later with a memory.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tech Tuesday-Edit Your Photos

It has been recommended that I rename Tech Tuesday to Old Fart Tech Tuesday. But, I refuse, you whippersnappers!

Since we love taking and sending photographs with our iPhones, today we will focus on editing those
photographs. There are many apps out there that are fun and make our photographs possibly more interesting, but you don't need them for general editing. Plus, don't let editing erase the story you have captured.

That being said, at the end of this post, I will share one of my favorite apps right now.

First of all, here are the important parts of your iPhones photo application.
This photo was taken directly from the user manual on the phone itself. (just to remind you of all the good information there) Also, these techniques work on you iPad also.

When you tap edit in the right hand corner you will see this interface at the bottom of your screen.

1. Rotate- If your photograph is in the wrong orientation, fix it by tapping the edit button. 

photo by avalu

Use the arrow to turn your photo the correct direction.

3. Use the wand (auto enhance button) to enhance your photograph. This photograph didn't need much enhancement, but you might be able to see it lightened it slightly.

3. Red-eye-No red-eye in this photo, but if your subject has red-eye (which usually you can keep from happening by turning the flash off), tap the red icon at the bottom and then tap each eye that needs fixing.  If the result is poor, tap the same place again.

4. Crop- To crop a photo tap the crop tool. Grid lines that you can move with your fingers will appear. Use them to place the most interesting part of a shot in the intersection of the lines for a stronger composition.

 If you want to crop your shot to a standard print size, choose the constrain option. A pop-up box will
appear. Choose the size you desire.

When cropping people, there are guidelines. The green lines show good crop lines, while the red show crop lines that might make the photograph look akward.
Cropping may not be the best option. For instance, I wouldn't crop this photograph because there is a lot of "story" in it for me. The Easter baskets would be lost, and the fact that this was Lucy's first Easter at really hunting eggs would be lost. Also, because I know that Ava gets dressed the moment she pops out of bed early every morning, makes me smile that she is already dressed in this photograph. How long before her mother is dragging her out of bed to get dressed every day and this stage will just be a memory? 

During your edits, if you don't like what you just did, shake your phone and the photograph will reset. How cool is that? But, if you love what you have done-press the SAVE BUTTON or all will be lost.

Now for my new favorite app-

This is the app that I used on Brett's video of Scarlett pulling her tooth. It takes your videos and makes them into little movies with songs and effects that you can share. It does cost extra if you want to save the movie to your camera roll or use your own music, but I just load them to youtube. Plus, I am sure I will tire of it soon, so I don't want to invest too much in it. 

Here's one of Cora- 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Wiggle Tails and Total Domination-No Fooling!

Where does the time go? I have no joke nor an answer. However, I am thinking that if I took the time to read some of my past blogs, a flourish of family activities usually is what makes the time fly.

We went to Houston to attend a funeral. Barry's Aunt Libby passed away. I think I totally depressed Barry and his brothers when I pointed out to them that they were now the elders of the family.

I am totally depressed that I did not take one picture of Barry and his brothers (the now Elders) or the cousins together. I have no excuse for not getting the Brier boys together, but it is almost impossible to chase down Ben, Scarlett, Ava, and Lucy when they are together. Joanie captured a cute one though.

When we got back, we attended one of Ben's baseball games. He hit a homer for me.

 He also caught a fly ball which is quite a feat at this level it seems. So much so, his mother had promised him a monetary reward for doing it. I hear she is trying to negotiate the amount promised to him. Ben may be in the market for an agent soon. Uncle Miles is trying to teach him about interest on payments due. There is so much more to baseball than meets the eye.

Easter Sunday, those family members in town met up at Miles and Michelle's house. There was an egg hunt for Ben and Scarlett

Scarlett honed her tree climbing skills.

Poppy monopolized Cora.

There was a Washer Game and Cora was mesmerized by my skills. I dominated. But, to be perfectly honest, none of us were good. Maybe Cora was just appalled.

We forced these three to be still a millisecond. 

Joanie and Jacob (in Houston) strapped Ava and Lucy into car seats to snap a photo and text it to us, and the Easter photos were complete.

Or, so we thought until we received this video from Brett.