Friday, February 27, 2009

More Images....

Took a drive to the lake after work yesterday to play around with my camera...a lot of the lake is still frozen over, but there was a lot to capture.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I am in love

with my new camera.....

I haven't really played with my new camera yet...these are a few shots I snapped in our kitchen in poor light last night to test out the camera's macro function.

White mum lit with flash...amazing definition on the lower petals

White mum again....I love the inner petal detail

Close-up on a lily...

My favorite one yet...amazing detail on a daisy

I can't wait to get out there are really see what I can capture with this little baby!

p.s. Thanks to Jase for the "single awareness day" bouquet is still blooming beautifully!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I still think they are idiots....

Not to seem upset and petty and full of grrrrrrrr, but I really do think my mechanics are idiots.

Case in point: I get a phone call last night as the mechanic is closing up shop to tell me that he took my car for a spin on the highway with the heater off.


He then went on to explain that while he sees what I have been talking about that there is nothing wrong with my car and that the bouncing around of my temperature gauge is completely normal.


I ask him why, up until this point, that my gauge always hovered around the same point on the dial without bouncing back and forth like that.

He sighs (surely not due to "silly female" syndrome again!) and blathers on about how, up until this point, my gauge must have been broken because its working perfectly right now. magically "fixed" itself after a couple of years of being broken. Whatever.

I will be able to pick my car up later today after the oil change, tune-up and emissions testing.

My friend Tom will be back in about 2 weeks from his polar bear studies in Alaska and he'd offered to take a look at the gauge for me. Think I will take him up on it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


My mechanics are idiots.....and I say that with the utmost care and concern.

I dropped my car off this morning because the temperature gauge is ping-ponging back and forth between cold and the halfway point...something that was supposed to have been fixed when I took it in previously.

I left a descriptive note on the work order when I dropped it off stating how if the heater is off it starts fluctuating rapidly between these two points.

I get a phone call about an hour later asking if I was still getting that gas smell in my car and was that why I brought the car in.

I tell the guy no that is not the problem and explain the problem to him. He says "okay" and ends the call.

1:30 p.m. I call to check on the car. Am told that they can't get it to overheat and that its been running for awhile now in the bay.

Explained again that it isn't overheating, but the temperature gauge bounces around when the heater is turned off. I ask if he has the heater on. Pause....."uh, yeah" from the mechanic. He tells me he'll turn off the heater and run it and then call me back.

4 p.m. call again since I haven't heard anything and am told by different mechanic that the temperature gauge is sitting solid as a rock and he (basically) insinuates that we dumb females can't tell the difference between a car that works and one that doesn't (he didn't say it but at this point that's what I got from the tone in his voice). He then asks what I did to make it bounce around.

Calmly I tell him all I did was turn off the heater and that it was doing the "temperature bounce" this morning in the one-mile drive to his garage. I politely ask if they've turned off the heater.

Nope....they hadn't. But he followed it with a "well it doesn't matter anyway 'cause your car ain't overheating".

Ain't overheating ain't the point dude...I want a car that accurately tells me what the temperature is on my car. This way if it starts to overheat for real then I have a little advance warning. I want them to check the dang gauge or electrical issue you think might be causing the problem, let me know how much its going to cost me and then FREAKING FIX I asking too much here?

By this point I am seriously wondering if fumes have permanently damaged every brain cell in that garage but I nicely asked if this means I won't have my car back until tomorrow.

This time I know he was getting frustrated with the silly little female because, really slow, he says "well we ain't done here for the evening. I'll take it for a test drive without the heater and see if we can get it to do what you're saying its doing and then we can see what you want us to do about it." He pauses and then continues (my ears want to say the tone was sarcastic but they were probably biased by this time)"but with everything else you want us to do ma'am with the oil change, tune up and emisions and all there's no way we'll have all of that done for you tonight".


Idiot. Insensitive jerk. How am I supposed to know they had dinked around and not gotten any of those other things done yet?

I need a new mechanic.

What Shawna Needs....

Go to your favorite search engine, type in your first name and the word "needs"...write down 10 of the "statements" that come up.

1. Shawna needs to uncover why Dr Hipster was murdered and, incidently, who Rudy from West Sacramento is. (I must have landed in an Agatha Christie novel)

2. Shawna needs therapy but so far has refused. (I hate it when I do that)

3. Shawna needs an experienced and committed family who can provide a stable, supportive environment. (no amateur families here!)

4. Shawna is inspiring and motivating, serious and constantly striving to find the balance for each client's individual fitness needs. (just not her own!)

5. Shawna needs a bandanna for the dress rehearsal of a play. (I must be in the stage show of Oklahoma!)

6. Shawna needs to start taking vitamins. (no arguements there)

7. Shawna needs to go back to Madagascar because everyone hates her. (ouch!)

8. Shawna needs to work on her next solo project. (hmmmmmmm)

9. Shawna needs to admit she has had a rough year hooking up and breaking up with ___ _______. (I had no idea we'd gotten together in the first place)

10. Shawna needs to tell more people how cool this game is. (seriously, it said that!)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pay It Forward

Okay, This is in response to Jalee's posting.

Here's the deal. The first three people to post a comment get a prize, from me, to be sent without warning anytime between now and the end of the year...and it could be absolutely anything (hence the fun!). The catch is this: first you have to post the same "deal" on your blog and THEN you get to leave a comment telling me you're in.

Sounds like fun to me, but is anyone else interested in keeping this going? Guess I'll see, won't I?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Following inspiration...

Last night I was glad class ended a little early. Just after 9 pm I was walking out the door, hunched over to the side thanks to my lovely spine, and looking forward to going home. I climb in, start my car and pull out of the parking lot, debating with myself if I have the energy to want to go into Wal-Mart and get some shredded cheese for the cats on my way home. I had just decided that there was probably enough cheese left for that night (they get a little in their dish most nights when I come home from class) and that I would just go home when this prompting hit me.

Drive to the temple, it said.

"Its after 9 at night", I thought. "I hurt and I am tired...why should I drive all the way out to the temple?" I kept the car heading for home.

Drive to the temple.

I got up to 4th North and was about to pull onto 8th West (and home) when it came again.

Drive to the temple....and surprisingly, I didn't make that turn, but continued on to State Street before turning north...towards the temple.

I had never driven there at night, let alone taken whatever road it was I ended up hitting. All I know is I made the turn where I thought I was supposed to and ended up on a road that hugged the mountain...and went right on past my destination.

No problem. I turned into a neighborhood and drove up and down winding streets....the brilliantly lit Timpanogos Temple a beacon to guide me.

Pulling into the parking lot I was very much aware of my denim jeans and t-shirt attire. Pulling on my zip-up hoodie I grabbed my camera and walked onto temple grounds.

No concourses of angels singing choirs....the heavens did not open up and reveal my one true love to me....but I was given something.


Tension I wasn't even aware that had built up in me melted away as I wandered around the temple grounds, breathing the cold, clear air and marvelling at the beauty of the temple against a brilliant backdrop of stars.

I laughed softly in wonder as I gazed up at Moroni and noticed how from one particular spot on the grounds his horn reflected a beam of light up to the heavens...something you would not notice unless you happened to look straight up at that one point of sidewalk.

I poured out my heart to the Lord, prayers of thanks and hope and all of the things I can never really bring myself to say in my own humble prayers at my bedside...things I never thought of troubling Him with before, but felt good to finally vocalize.

I noticed the backlit trees had buds formed, ready for opening and found cheer that spring really was on its way.

All of these things and more in the half-hour or so that I walked the grounds.

It was with reluctance that I made for the warm shelter of my car and, as I drove home I found I was so happy that I had made the choice to follow the still, small voice that knew so much better than I did, what I really needed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

June 2, 2009

sigh....I hate waiting.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Extra Coverage

Turns out buying a little "extra protection" can be a good thing. Case in point: my tires.

I purchased a set of winter tires a little over a year ago...and of course left them on my car all year long. I wanted all-season (which they didn't have in stock in my size) and I didn't think too much of it. Besides, having them on the car only in the winter means they'd last for years, I'd have to store them 9 months out of the year and my car is older...who knows how many years it has left anyway?

But I digress....

I typically do not spring for the "extra options" package whenever it is offered, no matter what the item is as it is usually not worth it to me. For some reason, however, the tire protection plan was offered and I accepted. Hmmmm....probably because the tires cost less than I had budgeted for in the first place.

A year and a few months go by without incident...until yesterday.

Sunday afternoon I hop in my car and pull out of the driveway to drive to my brother's house (I was scheduled to make fajitas for our weekly dinner/get-together). As I pulled onto my street the car felt funny and I could hear this strange sound. The guy behind me started honking and flashing his felt like I had a flat tire and this guy confirmed it. I pulled over, got out and looked. Sure enough, my back driver's side tire was flat as a pancake. I must have picked something up on Friday because I didn't drive my car Saturday (maybe there is something to this "Friday the 13th" thing after all?)

I drove a few blocks to a gas station, filled up the tire, and got a hold of the tire center where my warranty was(thankfully they were open on Sundays!) Going slow I drove across town and pulled up at my local Sam's Club. There were a few customers ahead of me but within 40 minutes I was driving away with a repaired tire at no cost to me. The culprit? A shiny silver roofing nail and I have no idea where I picked it up.

Hmmmm.....I still don't see myself buying additional protection on everything, but I guess, in some situations, coverage can be a good thing.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Man enters home to spray insulation....insulation to make the girl's home warm.

The man uses a large hose that blocks the door open for nearly an hour DURING THE WINTER...girl freezes long before she can benefit from insulating warmth.

Its funny how something intended to help can hurt you.....I really don't want to see the roomie's utility bill next month!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I collect rocks.

Yeah, you read right...I said rocks. Not extravagantly rare ones, in fact most of them are just your everyday garden variety picked up from the side of the road.

"Why?" you ask. Hmmm...I am not exactly sure, but my mom and I had a conversation about this a few years ago. She talked about being drawn to rocks that resonate on the same frequency that she does. She may have something there. For me though I think its really that I love the history that lives in rocks.

A rock can have history?


Think of how long it took that chip of quartz or chunk of basalt to work its way to the surface from deep within the earth. Think of the hundreds of thousands of years it has been travelling around the world. Its not such a far-fetched idea, scientists recently discovered that the rock bed of Loch Ness is from the same rock formation that created the Catskill Mountains on our eastern coast (plate techtonics....what an amazing thing, but don't get me started on THAT subject!) Rocks from the time of Christ are still lying around....some rocks even have dinosaur fossils embedded in them!

Which brings me to my collection. A lot of my rocks (as I mentioned before) have no real special "wow factor"....I have a few fossil pieces and some petrified wood, but most of it is fairly run-of-the-mill. I even brought a small box of rocks with me from Washington (as a small aside: Jason, I didn't lie when you helped me move down here...that wasn't a box of rocks you were carrying...the "rock box" was actually in my hands when you asked that question).

I have rocks on my desk and file cabinet at work; on the dashboard, floor and in the trunk of my car; there's a few tumbling around in the bottom of my purse, and I have a small "rock garden" in the base of my computer monitor at work (which has a handy half-circle opening at its base)...not to mention the rocks I have around my bedroom at home, and still more in a box that I haven't unpacked from my last move.

I have rocks that have special meaning to from the graves of beloved pets, rocks from the cemetary where my grandparents and baby brother are buried, rocks from trips (and side trips!) along with a few rocks from my visit to the temple last November. I went nuts at a cousin's wedding where she decorated with stones on the tables and was thrilled when I was allowed to take a small handful away with me afterwards (yes I am talking about you Dani!)

Over the years I have received pretty much the same response from people just discovering my hobby. Its pretty much a pause in the conversation, accompanied by a funny look and then I am asked why I would find that interesting. Once I explain about the whys and the wherefores (always adding that it is a hobby that hurts no one and costs nothing!)something amazing happens. Conversations eventually end (as they always do) and we will go onto whatever we have next on our agenda...but I often find the next time I see that person that they will have a rock for me.

I now have rocks from a bosses' vacation to Jerusalem and Bethlehem; rocks from a friend's favorite bay in Alaska; rocks from the bottom of mines, sea beds and craters. Rocks from both the Pacific and Atlantic shores, as well as a funky green-streaked chunk of mica that my boss spotted piled next to a busy road in Mexico (he says he pretty much screeched to a stop in his rental truck, jumped out to grab me a piece and then hopped back in the rig). I have been told stories of concern that luggage was going to weigh too much and of rocks being carried in carry-on bags.

I have also learned just how much people care about me. Time and again I have been told how this person specifically hunted around to find me "just the right stone".

I have had friends voice concerns over being able to get me a present for holidays or birthdays and reassured them that all they need to do is find me a rock. Yup, the same strange looks are given, but I have often found that the rock they found for me was more apreciated than a lot of the other purchased prezzies I was given (no offense to anyone who has given me purchased stuff!) The best part is that they are usually accompanied by a confession that, once the person got into the spirit of the thing, that they actually had fun on their rock hunt. People spotting me picking up rocks will often ask curiously what I was picking up and often go away with a smile when they hear my silly little story.

Its not all sunshine and roses; I have had a few bad reactions to my collection. People have been condescending and said mean jokes about it (people I am no longer friends with, but that is for a whole other reason), and I have had people show exasperation when I pause in public to snatch up a pebble (apparently its embarrasing to some people to be seen doing something not considered "normal"). I have had people rearrange stones on my desk, or even take a few thinking I would never notice (I always do). I think the best example of this would be a gal who was accompanying me to Vegas for a trade boss was driving us down to help set up and then he was going to fly home, leaving us the truck to drive back in after we finished the show.

Dan couldn't wait for me to see the canyon south of St George and kept talking about it miles before we were even there. We hit the canyon and my jaw dropped....for those who have not seen this marvel, it is sheer rock faced cliffs and gullies and absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous. My friend said something catty to Dan about watching out because I will be asking him to stop any second now so I can collect a rock and how he'd better not do it. Bless his heart but he immediately pulled over, hopped out of the truck, and started up the slope next to the road because (as he put it) he was sure he'd just spotted the perfect rock for me. This gal sat in disbelief as Dan encouraged me to hop out, take my time and be sure to find the rock that I really wanted.

Of course it has also taken a life of its own....Dan and Bill (respectively my bosses) now grab me rocks from all of their trips. Dan had to top himself by grabbing a box while he was in Orlando and dumped in sand, shells and rocks from a beach near his hotel, even wading out into the surf to collect a floating coconut! He then shipped everything to me UPS overnight rather than try to carry it all home (or try to explain to airline security why he just had to bring home his homemade "beach-in-a-box).

I have decorated with rocks for so long now that I can't see myself in a home without a few rocks strewn around. I stumbled across a picture last year of a gal who had an interesting collection of smooth river rocks across her mantlepiece...looking like modern sculpture. I tore the picture out of that magazine, drooling with envy over how amazing it looked and promising myself that someday I too would have such a mantlepiece arrangement.

Funny hobby? Maybe...but as I said before its a cheap hobby, infinately satisfying and, for the most part, pretty darn unique.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Just for laughs


I am getting excited for the return of spring. We've had hints of it...heck the other day the temperature was in the upper 40's, snow was melting rapidly and birds are singing in the trees again. Of course I wake up this morning to snow dumping down on the city streets....but spring is still on its way.

My camera and I will be ready....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I started a class in Flash last night. Sadly, I am computer illiterate. Well, I thought so anyway.

I was surprised to realize that Flash is, essentially, stop-motion animation, and something in my head just clicked. Frames per second made sense....I understood the difference between frame-by-frame animation and using tweens. I ended up creating a working Flash my first night of class. Its 3 simple balls bouncing around the screen, but I made it...and it doesn't look half bad, all things considered.

My assignment this week is to create a stick figure running in space for 12 frames and then next week we'll make him run across a backdrop.

Stand back Tim Burton...there's a new girl in town....


"We have the technology....we can rebuild him"

Okay, so Bing isn't a 6 million dollar man (if he was I certainly couldn't afford to keep him around) but his recent "transplant" was certainly a success.

I picked my car up from the mechanic yesterday and, on the short drive back to the office, I noticed that something felt....different.

I was excited to test my theory, but had to get back to work. The test would just have to wait.

I drove to class, avoiding the traffic jam on the freeway by taking a side road....still looking forward to the experiment. After class I made a beeline for my baby and together we hit the open road.

Oh the acceleration. The total ZOOM of my baby now that he has his new fuel injector. The cars on the freeway weren't about to catch up with us now....I had called a mechanic before about how my baby's "get-up-and-go-just-got-up-and-went" and he said that it was probably just due to the age of my car. Bing has been sluggish for months now...I actually got used to having a car without guts. Turns out I was wrong, my baby has plenty of zip left in him!

Sadly my exit came all too quickly....but I AM driving to Springville tonight to help Cynthia's daughter with a photography assignment.

I can take to the freeway.

Zoom! Zoom!

Monday, February 2, 2009

35 Things


1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Your significant other? unknown
3. Your hair? short
4. Your mother? concerned
5. Your father? work
6. Your favorite thing? cat(s)
7. Your dream last night? vivid
8. Your favorite drink? soda
9. Your dream/goal? crafts
10. The room you're in? office
11. Your fear? stuck
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy
13. Where were you last night? Jason's
14. What you're not? sick
15. Muffins? no
16. One of your wish list items? degree
17. Where you grew up? Washington
18. The last thing you did? type
19. What are you wearing? jeans
20. Your TV? color
21. Your pet? sleeping
22. Your computer? sick
23. Your life? unorganized
24. Your mood? content
25. Missing someone? yes
27. Something you're not wearing? jewelry
28. Favorite Store? Antique
29. Your summer? melting
30. Your favorite color? many
31. When is the last time you laughed? yesterday
32. Last time you cried? january
33. Four places I go over and over? work, school, home, Jason's
34. Four of my favorite foods? strawberries, stroganoff, ribs, rice
35. Four places I would rather be right now? home, Washington, redwoods, lake