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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Relapse Prevention

Today was a hard grind at work.  I finished up a two day hard turn of painting, caulking holes in ceilings and walls, and a little drywall.   During the day I get time to think, especially if I keep the radio off and just let my mind think.  The idea for the picture for today came to me during this time:

You can probably tell that I love taking a picture of my Bible and my paintbrush.  Both very well worn and used.  But the context for my picture has to do with of all things, relapse prevention.  Even after almost 10 years of sobriety, I still have to work at recovery, though the face of that has changed in time.  However, as far as prevention for temptation, there are some simple and practical steps that I've taken that help.  Much like the Bible and the brush, it is well used. 

It works like such.  Ginger is going on vacation in a couple of weeks.  I'm going to have a week alone for the first time in a very long time.  And sure enough, the thoughts started coming.  It starts like this, you could have a drink then.   It won't hurt.  Such thoughts are pretty easy to dismiss in and of themselves.  Enter phase two of the plan, talk about it.  I did, with Ginger.  Not that things were at a serious point yet, but I didn't want it to get to the serious point and I didn't want it to bounce around in my head.  I've got friends and family I can call, I even have a group to go to should I need it.  As well, thanks to a friend giving me a PS2, and having one of my favorite games of all times to order, I'm looking forward to sitting in front of the TV and playing my game hours on end.  The fact is, instead of planning for a relapse, I'm planning for a recovery.   As far as it not hurting me, it would.  The pain from my addiction, even ten years later is still fresh.  I don't fool myself that after 10 years that I have "got this".  God does, however, and gives me the tools to accomplish this, well, this test that I see coming.  Call it a semester exam.  And instead of blowing off studying, I'm studying and I'm going to be prepared.  I know I don't normally talk about my temptations, but it happens to all who are in recovery, and God can help us, He gives us the tools, we just have to be willing to use them.


Monday, April 23, 2012

A dirty ceiling

 This is a before and after picture of some of the work I did today.  You can see in the first where I started to sweep the ceiling of dust.  I made a decision to go ahead and paint the ceiling and you can see the difference in the next picture.  If you look in the second pic toward the right you can see the different color of the ceiling toward the kitchen.  It is, of course, the same color now!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Week in Review

 So this week has been a rather busy week.  So I decided I'd bundle all the pictures into a week in review blog.  All of them are quite different, and yet they have some type of significance in our everyday life.  The first picture is of our quaint bathroom sink.  It's funny, I love the antique feel of it (of the whole apartment actually).  The picture caught my eye because it was lit by our night light in the bathroom.

The second picture is of a TV I found in an apartment and the PS2 that someone gave me.  As you'll see in the day 4 picture, I'm able to play some of my favorite series of games now, the Final Fantasy series.  This is good when Ginger goes on vacation I can spend some time in the studio playing games and keeping occupied.

Day 3.  This picture was cool to me because of this reason.  This flower is open in the morning in the shade.  When the sun comes out and beams on it the flower closes up.  I'm fascinated by simple things.

Day 4, already explained, except one disk is scratched so I'm trying to fix it.

Day 5, we had storms in the area in Longview.  So I took a shot of the coming storm.  I'm needing more practice in getting the ominous looking clouds to show.

Day 6, Saturday, Ginger's Mom got her some brand new shoes!  Zumba shoes and Walking Shoes.  The Zumba shoes, the blue, are so light weight, just had to take a picture of them.

Day 7, this is just a picture to show that because of how nice it is outside we have the door open to let the cool air in.  Won't be long that the heat of summer will be here so you have to enjoy it while you can.

Aside from photography, Ginger and I are doing very well.  Ginger is enjoying Scrabble with my Dad (she says to bring it, and he does!) on her iphone.   I had fun yesterday clearing brush for a friend of mine, Rogan.  He calls me a human bulldozer.   And Rebecca brought over homeade apple pie for us.  I'm telling you it was wonderful!  Of course today I'm paying for it, I'm very sore, but hey, he got the view down to the lake he wanted!  God is so good to us, I'm amazed everyday at His goodness.  Time for another week a work.  Enjoy the pictures everyone!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

First RAW File in Photography!

That title oughta get some attention.  No, this isn't a reality TV spinoff, wild photos of police chases and such.  RAW is actually a file format that DSLR camera's use.  It is used to get the most detail out of your photograph, you need special software, and you can literally customize just about anything.  It doesn't take the place of good composition, but it can make colors stand out more and you can fix exposure, etc.  So this is my first RAW photo and using Photoshop Elements 10, I was able to open it and make some adjustments.  I just kept staring at the screen and going Cooooool.  This particular shot is taken from my balcony to my neighbor's herb garden.  I was out on the balcony looking for a shot (I had aspirations of taking severe weather shots today but thankfully for DeeDee who hates thunder, it did not materialize) looked down and went, yep, that's it.  Just happens that way sometimes.  By the way, I'm thankful the bad weather didn't hit, it was nasty further north in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa, so pray for those affected.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Erasers and such

Well, I have 4 days of pictures to share with ya'll today.  I'll post them then give you explanations at the bottom:

The first two pictures were taken in our studio.  I have a blue light that permeates the room at night with a beautiful, almost black light type feel.  It makes bright colors and whites glow.  I have a strange fascination with colorful erasers of late, all found in various apartments I work in.  So it gave me a wonderful photo opportunity to line them up like soldiers.  The second pictures, taken in the same room, are of different shapes I use for drawing purposes.  But the way they glowed, well, it just screamed to me to take a picture of them.  With both pictures, taken on different days, I wanted to see how well my camera handled the blue light of the room.  Think it did it quite well.

The third picture, taken yesterday, was of a parakeet that our maintenance lead saw outside while I was on lunch (he has since made sure to be out of my pictures, lest I blog them....heehee).  Blue and white, we were quite amazed.  Taken with one of my kit lenses, I didn't have my powerful zoom lenses with me, it still captured this little bird out of it's usual element.

Today's picture is of my reading material of late.  Ginger is amazed that I can take a manual, the Windows 7 book, and read it, and actually enjoy it.  Actually, the photography book is a type of manual to, and yes I love to read them.  She asks jokingly if I remember what I read, to which I certainly do, but I also take notes.  The drawing magazine and photography magazine, well, a little light reading to relax!  As far as Windows 7, since I skipped Windows Vista entirely, I figured I'd get up to speed this way.  I've learned some pretty nifty tricks, but because of my computer background I've been able to get up to speed really quick.

Tonight is date night, YEAHHHH!!!!!!  Just my and my beautiful wife, some good mexican food and a good movie or documentary.  Simple, well maybe, but it's the simple things that are the most enjoyable.  Stop and smell the roses sometimes because in this fast paced world where everyone wants everything faster and right now, sometimes it's better to just sit back and enjoy life a little bit.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

After pictures of work and a moon shot

So last night I woke up at 4 am and looked out the windows and saw the moon.  With the clouds and the trees, it made for this picture:

And yesterday I put some before pics of some work I was doing.  Here is the after pics:

I'm pretty happy with the final results, God has really worked through me and put some good people in my path to help me to continue to get better.  Thanks to God for helping me with these projects.  It took me two days to paint this particular apartment and do the drywall that needed to be done.  That's ceilings, walls, baseboards, doors, and cabinets as well.  About 7 gallons of paint later.....

God is good!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Before pictures of some of the work I do....

So sometimes Ginger texts me during the day and asks, how's it going baby?  And I'll reply, in the apartment from hades.  So thought I'd give some before pictures (tomorrow or the next day will be after pictures) of said, apartment from hades!  If you zoom in you'll see how dirty the window sill is.  If you zoom in on the bottom pick you can see all the marks on the wall.  Oh, don't worry, as of this afternoon the drywall patch is in drying, and the window sill looks like new.  Yep, it may be the apartment from hades, but I have some divine help....


Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is Risen!

 Okay the picture for yesterday.  Not exactly a prize winning shot, but not looking for that really, this is real life.  And this is our computer work station.  Those who know us will see a new addition there....
 Now for today, Easter, well it was a good day.  Church service was absolutely fantastic, about the resurrection.  It was good to reflect on what Jesus did on the cross for us and how He defeated the grave. 

We spent a wonderful afternoon at Ginger's parent's house.  The picture above is the homeade banana pudding that Ginger's Mom made, yum!  It was an afternoon filled with laughter.

And then tonight I was able to have a wonderful conversation with my parents.  More laughter!  Had to put a picture of the house my Dad made up again.  Look at how absolutely perfect it fits. Not only depth wise, but height wise as well.  And now it has it's perfect place on our mantel.  As well, Ginger is now playing Scrabble with my Mom!!!!  This is soooo cool.....


Friday, April 6, 2012

Storms, mushrooms, and open windows

Who knew that this pic would be of things to come Tuesday!  Yes, it's been a couple of days since I've blogged but I've been taking my pictures faithfully!  This pic was taken Tuesday morning.  We had storms coming.  During the day I heard about the Dallas tornadoes and we knew that the system was heading our way.  Even my Mom was texting me asking if I was okay.  I was more worried about my brother in Keller.  Well, on my way home storms were firing off all around me.  But not a drop of rain or lightning anywhere near my path on the way home.  I was listening to my weather band and heard of the storm approaching Tyler.  I had 30 minutes till it hit.  No lie, I got home, got my gear in, and as I was walking up the steps the bottom dropped out.  For the next 5 hours we were barraged with heavy rain, wind, a little hail, lots of thunder and lightning, but in the end, we were unscathed.  When the hail hit, Ginger was working out, and they got no hail, so her car was safe.  Mine, well, it's a work car, wasn't as worried about that, but no damage.

This pic, the next day, is of a limb on a car where I work.  It is, as far as I could tell, the only tree limb that came down.  Longview was hit pretty hard too.

The next day, yesterday, was sunny and beautiful.  We have some mushrooms growing where I work and I really liked this shot.  My boss was wondering was I was squatting in the shade by the dumpsters...I had to come clean....

And for today, an open window.  It is beautiful and cool outside.  I hear the neighbor's kids outside, and it is just a pleasant day, especially since I got the day off!  It's been nice to just, well, not do much of anything.  I'll do my chores tomorrow.  For today, it was just a time to relax and enjoy the weather.

God is good....


Monday, April 2, 2012

Storms Cometh

A couple of pictures of the storm that blew through east texas today.  I like the top pic because you can see the splatter of rain as you close in on the pic.  The middle pic is of the coming storm and the bottom pic shows the wind, the tree to the right is blowing like mad in real life.  All in all at work we came out pretty easy but parts of Tyler got hammered, with trees down in several places.  Supposedly more coming tomorrow, so I'll have my camera ready.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Colorful shoes, people, and a work of art

Though I didn't blog yesterday I have the pictures from yesterday and today here.  For yesterday I took my camera to work for our Spring Fling Outreach at the apartment I work at.  Here you go:

This is our lead maintenance and the Converse shoes he was sporting.  Yeah, your seeing that right, two different color of shoes!

And here I am with the "easter bunny" and "uncle sam".  Yes, I decided to come colorful too! 

It was a wonderful time at work, being able to serve the residents, and have some fun with Ginger, who finally got to meet everyone I work with, and be able to take some pictures.

Now, for the pictures for today....

This is the house that my Dad built for me.  A joint effort, the only part I played was the idea.  From there my Dad went into a creative zone that culminated into this house.  And I just discovered today I can open up the back of it where the light is at!  And it fits perfectly, and I mean perfectly on our mantle!  It is an amazing piece of work that the pictures don't do just!  It is a work of art, and it is and will be a one of a kind!

It has been a busy weekend, with work, and spending time with Ginger.  Ginger worked today for a little bit so I got to do a little house cleaning.  It's about teamwork.  We are a team and help each other, even with cleaning! 

I love my wife, I love my family, and I love my God!  It is amazing this blessed life I am a part of ....