Friday, April 30, 2010

flower power

Nem disapproves of you.

I'm fairly certain the saying goes, "April showers, May floods," or something similar (as happens where I live), but sometimes, when the sky isn't cloudy, the sun shines just long enough to get a few pictures of the flowers that are growing.

These roses are right off the porch.

Brought inside for beauty's sake...

And remember that I killed my flower, Anika? Well, I had to get another flower, and I don't even remember what kind it is. But it's orange.

Her name is Dawn. Say hi, Dawn!

I made bread.

But forgot to take pictures of it actually baked.

The kids and I went to the park this evening, where I took this:

And since I have nothing else to say (and since I'm busy doing other things),
The End.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

mission accomplished.

Everything went pretty much according to plan. I had a notebook I took around with me and I wrote down what I was doing either as I switched tasks, or whenever I thought about it. Even though I didn't actually get out of bed until 9 (massive headache made me lie in an extra hour or so), the conscious writing down of what I was doing made me more mindful of my actions, and I accomplished pretty much everything I wanted to accomplish.

  • I spent about an hour and a half on laundry today.
  • I only spent - surprisingly - an hour online throughout the day, before 9pm.
  • It took me an entire hour to set up, shoot, reshoot, take down, and edit for my 365. I'm really very proud of today's photo, so I think it was worth it. It's really nice being able to look at my stream and actually like at least everything on the first page.
  • I read for a cumulative 30 minutes today. No wonder it's taking me over a week to finish this book.
Of course, I did other things, but detailing them here would be boring and tedious (and no one really cares, anyway [and if you do - well that's just weird]). Conclusion of the study - logging my activities is completely useful - maybe not for a daily-basis thing, but it seems to be a tool for those times when I'm feeling unproductive. A good reminder for me to be mindful of the present moment, too.

I need to be in bed twenty minutes ago.

More interesting posts to come later this week, I promise.

Monday, April 26, 2010

restrained emo

I've been feeling down again lately - not depressed, but just a general "blah I am doing nothing with my liiiiffeeee" feeling. I feel as if I'm not doing anything productive and nothing is fun anymore.

Thankfully, how I feel isn't what dictates reality - I highly doubt anyone else in this world would be appreciate of that - so I'm taking time now to recount the awesome, productive, and funny things that happened today. I need to get back into the habit of being content.

Woke up at 6:40 (go me!!), did morning stretch/exercise routine, ate breakfast. Went biking. When we got to the main trail, we discovered (joy of joys) there was no wind! Usually our trail has tons of wind and really adds a level of difficulty. So, today, no wind. But then we learned why the wind is good - swarms of gnats were everywhere; it felt like riding through rain. We promptly stopped, turned around, and walked to the beginning, waving our arms as we went. We took the mountain trail instead.

Then I hit a tree. With my face. I have a red mark on my cheekbone that's only just now turning purplish from the impact, and since everyone has asked me this - No, I did not cry, or even almost cry. I don't cry unless I'm emotionally unstable. :D

Sent a CD off to my friend. Administered a history test.


Played piano. Read some of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (nonfiction, for once). Played WordUp! Practiced flailing around sword fighting with my sister.

Didn't have to make dinner. Went to run an errand with my mom. And now I have my night all-to-myself time.

I think I should actually log what I do each hour - at least one day, to get a feel for where I'm spending my time and where I can feel like I'm doing things again.

What have you been up to today that was awesome?
What do you do to get out of slumps?

P.S. The title makes me lol.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

i hate television

Hear that sound? That was the sound of my 200th post whizzing by. I'm fairly certain it was using more than its share of electricity.

I am not a fan of television.
Most people would agree that it's largely a waste of time, and for me, well - it's just not worth it. It's not like there aren't some "cool" or "funny" shows out there (I guess there are? I mean, people do spend a lot of time watching them...). But when it comes down to me sitting and staring at a box that gives me headaches for an hour or two, or doing something else (anything else), I almost always pick the latter option. Yeah, TV gives me headaches. It's a combination of the high frequency noise that I can hear and programs showing five kazillion frames per second.

That said, I wasted two hours sitting on the couch in front of the television today. With my siblings. Now, I've never bought into the whole "Oh, well it's family bonding" thing in regards to TV. Seriously? Having no interaction and sitting passively next to each other is bonding? Dood, when I was a kid, family bonding was wacking each other with sticks or making brownies or something.

But I digress.

Two hours. Me. Watching TV.
Watching a random show that, did I actually want to waste two hours, wouldn't have been my first choice. Or my second or third, either. That earned me a nice headache, a general feeling of lethargy, and nothing done.
Thankfully, I have two amazing siblings who helped peel apples and load the dishwasher with me, and directly beneath me is a clean kitchen and a deconstructed apple pie just waiting for tomorrow.

Yesterday I took the kids to the park with three boxes of pizza. We caught the golden hour and I managed to get some really pretty shots of the kids flying the kite against the sunset. Image dump below.

I'm getting back into the swing of photography, and it makes me feel happy.
On a related note, I found this graph about a photographer's life, and it made me laugh at how accurate it is. :D

Until next time, Sharpies.

Friday, April 23, 2010

in honor of the recently departed Earth Day

Earth Day was yesterday. I'm all for recycling and being good stewards of the earth and everything, but sometimes, the Green movement and all the irony therein really cracks me up.

Let's take this:

Earth Hour, the global effort to reduce climate change by using less electricity;

... and this:

The new Chevy Volt sedan that runs on electricity to do what? Reduce climate change.

Everyone stop. Take a breath.

Hey, Greens? Can we be a little more consistent here?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

truth, fiction, and photography

I was riding my bike today, and the tagline for my blog just stepped in front of my tire, grabbed the handlebars and stole my bike. When I finally caught up to it (it was lounging in a field), it said,
"Hey. Make another masthead already."
So I did.

If you're reading this on a reader, click here so you can see the lovely new banner of mine.

Lately there has been a very sharp drop in photography by yours truly. Thinking back on the time when it started (or, I guess, stopped), I'm realizing that this was self-induced. Because
1) I wanted to stop taking so many photos because it would be expensive to print them, and
2) I stopped taking my camera everywhere.

Guess what this means? Should be easy to start again. Maybe. We'll see.

Tonight I plan to "be creative," because it feels like I've not been doing much of that lately. Earlier this week I was given some encouragement in regards to my writing (which has been almost nonexistent lately, with the exception of the poems or short prose in my Flickr descriptions). Maybe I can crank something out. Or finish up some old stories that are either solely in my head, or partially written.

It's already Wednesday - I've got my work cut out for me.
(That cues the end of the post. Just in case you were wondering.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I'm much too tired for a proper blog post, but I couldn't help but post these two photos from today.

I took the kids to a local Soda Fountain and they got shakes, ice cream, and lime sherbet (that's what Josiah is scooping into his mouth).

My siblings are adorable.

Tonight: 1) clean my room; 2) sleep.

Friday, April 16, 2010

a title, etc.

Good evening Bloggies, and welcome to tonight's edition of Tiph Actually Remembered to Take Pictures Today.

Caleb helped too.

Okay, I'll be honest. I have trouble waking up in the morning. I'm notorious for "waking up" and then promptly falling immediately back to sleep, where I'll stay indefinitely. Well, no more. Thanks to my Android and its awesomeness, no more! I downloaded the Math Alarm and now I have to solve problems like this in order to even turn the stupid thing off:

What's the answer?
No, seriously, what's the answer, I can't get my alarm to shut up.

Also, my mom (who also got an HTC Android) and I have been absolutely addicted to this game app called Word Up!, which is pretty much exactly like Boggle.

Oh, Word Up, bane of my productivity.

I think I killed Anika the flower.

She was a healthy, beautiful orange poppy who stopped flowering when it got reaallly really cold a few months ago, and I managed to revive her and she managed two more flowers before turning into the sorry mess above. I have no earthly idea why she died. I plan to make her live again.

In February I started an Imposter Heart embroidery, and then forgot about it.

So yeah, I'm starting it again. I figure that if I want to finish a quilt this year (and I think I want it to have embroidered squares), I should hurry up and do it.

Now that it's getting warmer, all the bugs and night things are coming out at night to bother me and my night owl-ness. Sometimes it sounds like a flying cat is banging against the window, or something just as big and obnoxious. Do not like.

Also, I fell today while biking. It was muddy on the trail and I went down a hill and around a turn waayyy too fast and wiped out. Just a few scrapes and bumps, but nothing awesome enough to brag about (which means I can be laughed at, sad face). We'll try again Monday, when hopefully it will have dried out.

Okay, that's all.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

bears eat pigs (and other things)

So, let's begin.

Caleb turned 1 on April 5th, and we had a party for him today with a few baby friends.

He had cake:

And tried to blow out his birthday candle:

(sorry for the fuzziness; I had turned my camera onto manual focus by accident.)

Nom nom nom.

He got a farmyard set for his birthday, with a little cow and sheep and pig. Pair that with a plastic bear we already had and a growling Caleb, and you get this:

A bear eating a pig. Granted, I did show him how to do this first.

This next shot took probably ten minutes to get, because every time I managed to balance the Lego man on the bear's back, Caleb would grab him.

I just looked at my notes for blogging and realized that I need photos for most of these. I don't have said photos, so, that post has been postponed. Haha. Postponed. :D

In other news, the Congress plans to put all Tweets in existence into a Library of Congress archive. In the article, we read things about how it's for "history" and anthropology. That's all fine and good - I mean, 500 years from now someone's going to be laughing at your hideous lack of grammar and spelling while researching the sociology of the online world. But, uh, archiving tweets? Why? I fully admit to being rather distrusting of something like this. I don't tweet or use Twitter, but tons of people do. People post their locations and what they're doing and their thoughts and their frustrations (all conveniently time-stamped), and isn't that kind of a bad thing to have collected like that? Twitter search brings you tweets sorted by most recent - and that's hardly ever more than an hour or two. Last I checked, they had gotten rid of the "next page" thing and just had "older posts" buttons - not really archival.
Maybe I'm being paranoid. I'm not boycotting Twitter (it'd be fun, if I had a use for it), but I just don't like that.

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

all text. this is a disgrace.

The past few days, I've just been really "out of it." Out of my routines, my usual doings and goings-on, and especially out of creativity. Or, at least, it comes and goes in spurts. About an hour ago, I had a blog post all planned out and ready to go in my head. Now? Now I can't remember most of what I was going to say.
Which is probably just as well, really (because sometimes I talk just a bit too much :D).

I've been biking. Three days last week, three days so far this week (I plan to go Friday as well). This morning I woke up at 6:45 to eat breakfast and do an early-morning ride, but that turned into just a morning ride that ended with me arriving back home at 9am. I was really having trouble 1) finding any food to eat, because at 7am my body is not even wanting to think about food, and 2) not being fully awake. I suppose that when I get used to it, it'll be easier.

It's nearing midnight and I'm ready to shut the computer down and get in bed (not sleep, mind you; I have a book to read!), so I'm going to take some notes on what I was going to say and leave you with a few things I've been thinking about lately.

I find that if I don't have a list of things I want to do, I'll do almost nothing. There will be times that I'll realize that I'm not doing very much and then do the first thing that comes to my head (laundry. mopping. making bread.), but at the end of the day, I can see that I was so much less productive. It's not even about prioritizing, it's just about doing. Does this ever happen to you?

Do you find it necessary to use lists in order to keep track of your day? If not, what other methods do you use to aid productivity?

I'm fully aware that some people have magic fairy dust and just throw that in the air to get the stuff they need done, but since I haven't seen Peter Pan in at least 3 years (I've been a grown-up for a long time, sad face), I'm going to have to say the chances of that are nil.

Lastly, and again I'm using you for creative idea harvesting, throw some ideas for a photography series at me. Think: the alphabet in a month type stuff.

Oh, and yeah. The banner. I know.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

a beach day, a photo day

Beach day = photo-and-caption day.
I've been doing fewer word-posts and more photo posts lately, I think.

On our way! The kids in the back being total goofballs.

Look at those two boys!! Lol! At the seawall. It was a bit too cold to swim, but that didn't deter most of the kids from donning bathing suits and asking every five seconds if they could swim or not.

Caleb looking all cool.

Random shot. :D On a side note, I got those shoes today, and the skirt two weeks ago at a thrift shop for $2. :D

Mama cuddling Caleb in the sling.

So, Jeremiah runs to where Beth and I are standing on the wall (me with a telephoto-lensed camera), and this tiny dog starts chasing him all excited and happy. Jeremiah doesn't even notice until we yell at him, and he turns to look at the dog and it gets all happy and kinda hops a bit. Jeremiah promptly ignored it (I guess he prefers 'manly dogs' :P) and kept on.

And then the dog just stood there, as if to say, "You... you mean you don't... like me??"
It was quite a touching scene. Then its owner picked it up and carried it off.

Random shadow pose. I like shadows.
(Jeremiah, me, and Beth)

Joshua being "mighty" as they call it.

Have you seen a cooler dude?? No one compares to this little man!

Beth and I in a little mirror in the Chocolate Factory (we got caramel apples [i don't like chocolate]).

Goodnight, moon.
Goodnight, beach.
Goodnight, Sharpie Chronicles.

friday slump?

Ever had one of those "Blah" days?
I'm having one. I think I've been getting allergy-related headaches as well, which really just makes me want to lay on my bed all day. Very few photos have been taken lately.

What does that mean? That I sort through San Antonio photos, of course. Four from the market.

Tomorrow we're going to the beach, and while I don't feel a single bit of excitement over it right now, I know that once I get there, it will be an entirely different story. :)

What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

a culture of real women

A quick post for two things:

1. After researching the ad issue (and getting feedback from people like James in the comments of the previous post), I don't think ads would be either feasible or profitable. So, no ads!

2. I came across this article about feminism and being a "housewife" called "Today's Homemaker - Not What You Expected?" It's an amazing, empowering, and beautiful illustration of womanhood. Some things she says:

"We are a culture of real women, with real families and problems, but also a real understanding of the importance of our work in and among our homes and communities. We see a desperate need to return to a more simplistic way of living–for the health and good of all.

We are sharp; we are thinking women; we read; we have voracious appetites for learning and for teaching our children those things.

We understand the very real fact that humans need serenity, and we make it one of our jobs to create that for as many as we can around us.

We try to look around us and see if we can meet the practical needs of others."

Interestingly enough, many of the qualities listed don't even necessarily pertain exclusively to married women with children, but things that are just good to do. Helping others? Striving for serenity and peace? Returning to a more simplistic, less-materialistic way of living? Aren't these things any girl or woman would be admired for doing?

I greatly encourage you (even if you're a guy! Good to know what chicks are up to these days) to read this article. Thoughts*, disagreements, or additions are welcomed in the comments.

*I don't moderate, so be nice. Off-topic comments are now re-welcomed because Leah says so. :D

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

why did the salamander cross the road?

I think I probably mentioned somewhere, sometime, that I'd be posting a lot of photos from San Antonio. Hmm. That didn't happen. BUT IT WILL.
Maybe. Eventually.

This is a photo that I took today while setting up for today's 365. He happened to be a few feet away on the AC thing, and I happened to have my telephoto lens on and functional. Lizards are so cool.

Which reminds me - this morning, Jeremiah and I went on the bike trail earlier in the morning (Beth and I usually go late afternoon). There were tons of little rolly-pollies (aka pill bugs, doodlebugs) on the ground in some places, and at one point, a salamander crossed the road in front of us (safely). It's a pretty neat trail. Except for the ever-encroaching poison ivy. I hope that gets trimmed fairly soon or I'll have to forgo the mountain trailing til it does. I'm hopelessly allergic to that stuff, and I really don't want to have to take steroids to make it go away (like has happened the past two years). :/

What does Tiph do when not blogging or taking pictures or chasing siblings or drinking tea?

Well, a whole lot of things, but last night I went down for peaches 'n cream ice cream and drew for a while. Yay. :)

A question for you guys:
What do you think about me putting ads on the site? I'd try to keep obnoxious ads off (like those huge flash ones - definitely a no), but maybe inline ads, or text ads... Would it be bothersome to most of you or do you really just not care?

Monday, April 5, 2010

balancing act

I have fallen for it.
I have fallen for every breeze, bump, bend in the trail.
I don't think I can walk anymore;
I think my legs are only suited for
two pedals, one metal frame.
I am in love with the crunching of gravel, or the jostling of packed earth -
the eight feet of space or the two-feet-wide pass (it gives me a thrill each time).
Falling's not the goal, but I've fallen (yes, once physically too)
for the trail, for the speed, for the rush.

This is a photo from two weeks ago, right when I first started riding a bike.
I can't remember if I've blogged about biking. Let's just say I haven't.
A story:

When I was a kid, I tried to ride a bike. I fell. All the time. I was freaking eight years old and I could barely ride a bike (no lie). Around nine, I decided that bikes were total losers and realized that walking was good, or even better, sitting at home reading a dictionary was even better! Or random, totally irrelevant and boring books about the lives of British royalty (I still have two of those books, actually). I think the last time I rode a bike I was 12, and then I called it quits.
For eight years.

I've never had the best balance (hence the falling off bikes... and other things...), so it makes sense that I could hardly keep a bike upright. My balance is marginally better now. Marginally.

Two weeks ago, I rode my sister's bike. I didn't even fall off.
I don't have a bike of my own (duh), but I instantly fell in love with biking in general. So now I use hers and she uses my brother's and she and I go riding whenever we can at the park. I still freak out about turning. And stopping. And going in a straight line. And fitting between "small spaces."

Today, I faced my fears.
My sister and I accidentally found a mountain-bike trail, and I only realized it was a mountain-bike trail and not a normal, "I'm really not a biker so let's stay on straight-and-no-turn-y" trail when I was too far into it to turn around and go back. Especially since it's one way. You'd think it's pretty easy to realize the difference between a normal trail and a mountain-bike trail. Leave it to me.

So anyway, we spent the next ten minutes going around a mile and a half or so worth of mountain trail, complete with incredibly sharp turns, steep hills, and really really tiny paths with trees sooo close to each other. And I only fell once! And it was so much fun that we did it again! Exclamations all around!! I yelled and screamed quite a bit, too (hills are scary.), but it was so. so. so much fun.

I will be going back.
I am so sore.


So, I used my Android (which doesn't have a name, gasp!) to track my distance and speed. I went 4.05 miles in 30 minutes, with an average of 8.something mph. That sounds horrible for biking! But the first mile I rode was on the normal trail and against the wind. This park has no trees or buildings nearby and therefore nothing to break the wind.
The next three miles were the mountain-bike trail, and yes, I went much slower than necessary because I was scared and it was hard and I very much didn't want to crash.
Still, a very cool app that used GPS to track my distance and speed.


Today was Caleb's 1st birthday. :)


Good night!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

goofballs, check

I took no less than 465 photos on our four-day trip. Ridiculous, no?
What is ridiculous is me trying to pick a few of those to upload here, now... Well, I narrowed it down to ten, but you will be seeing quite a bit more here and on tumblr.
The place in question? San Antonio.
Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
Tons of Mexican restaurants.
El Mercado: the marketplace.
The Riverwalk.
The Space Needle/Tower of the Americas.
Did I mention tons of Mexican restaurants? Oh, and Chick-fil-A.
So, this was our Spring Break.

Windows. Obviously. One of the few shops inside an actual building at the market in La Villita.

We went to this awesome historic steakhouse that overlooked the River for dinner one night. Caleb didn't want the steak, just the lemon.

After the restaurant, we headed to The Chocolate Factory. Here, Josiah is eating a M&M covered caramel apple. Thumbs up!

The Riverwalk.

Jeremiah wore his hair in a fauxhawk all four days.

Mama and baby Caleb. :D

Okay, so my dad just bought me a tripod (for a late Christmas present - long story), and I brought it on the trip, but did I have it when we wanted to take a family picture? Of course not! Don't be silly! Why would I ever have what I need when I need it?

I did, however, have my telephoto lens and a ledge a few yards away, so it worked just fine. (The quality is better on the actual photo - I crank down the resolution so it doesn't steal all my limited bandwidth. Just fyi.)

Goofballs with blue Icees, check.

Then we visited the studio where they made Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.
Not. This shot is from several hundred (I don't know how many) feet above the ground, with a telephoto lens on and tilt-shift editing after the fact.

Look at the tiny people!

Tomorrow restarts our usual schedules of school and stuff, and I need to sort through March's photos so I can see which ones I want printed. There's only 1,126.
Tiph, you need to step away from the camera.
Also, quit speaking in third person.

who i am!

Tiph used to be this weird hippie chick who sewed things and drank tea and rode bikes and wrote silly things. Then, college came along, and now she's this weird hippie chick with math in her brain and notebooks full of indefinite integrals. And hardly any time to write. This is her space. Thankfully, space is a vacuum and any complaints you may have cannot be heard.


Woo! You reached the End of the Page! You rock. Bored yet? If not, click the handy-dandy next button up there (it's there, right?), but otherwise, visit my Flickr page or my Etsy shop. Also, don't forget to subscribe to the blog before you go!

About a third of the credit for this template goes to The rest of that fraction goes to Tiph's incessant tinkering and exploding the CSS 'til it worked.

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