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Got a new digital camera a few days ago, so I was able to snap some shots from my sketchbook and submit them.

Been working on my blog more than anything lately and I think I finally got it looking the way I want.  Now I'm working on a website.

By the way, I'm starting a music-sharing Google group/mailing list. If you're interested, just email me and put something obvious in the subject line (so I don't delete it).
Wow, it's been over a month since I posted anything in this journal.

I was a lil pissed about my Korn desktop being removed but I do understand the importance of complying with copyright laws. I just didn't realize that every photograph you find randomly on the net is copyrighted. Basically, every graphic is copyrighted. Last night, I went to Korn's forum seeking permission to use the photos or be pointed in the right direction. I'm hoping to hear back soon but not holding my breath. Hmmm, I wonder if there are any stock photos of them or of any other bands or celebrities that I'd like to make desktops of.

I'm off work for awhile. Barbara's in the hospital. She just had knee surgery to replace her knee replacement. She got one seven years ago, but it's been giving her trouble recently. No wonder...the damn thing's made out of concrete and metal. Doesn't it seem logical that the concrete will disintegrate at some point? But the doctor had told her then that it should last the rest of her life. Guess she lived longer than he expected! Bill called me last night and we made arrangements for when he'd pick me up today to go visit her *which it turns out I can't but I'm going tomorrow* and he also told me she's really "loopy" right now. Her surgery was Tuesday, but apparently the morphine they've got her on is interacting with other medication or something cuz she drifts off in mid-sentence and starts talking about something that makes no sense. I called her last night and it was really weird. I asked her how she was feeling and she said, "Yeah, I gotta get up from here and go take a bath." She asked me how I was  doing this morning, but it was actually evening. Then she said, "Maria, you know I love you honey, and always will, but I have to say something to you...I miss seeing your face in Sunday school and if you don't wanna come, I'll understand..." I never went to Sunday school, nor do I even go to church currently, nor have I ever gone to the same church as Bill and Barbara. It's all very strange cuz this is a woman with a very sharp mind and good memory. I'm sure she'll be fine when she gets the morphine out of her system, but Bill's pretty concerned. He says there's even an outside chance she could stay like this. That would be really sad.

Hmm...let's see...what else is new since my last entry? J.T. is working at a Budweiser distribution center now. Sounds like it will be a really good opportunity for him. He's pleased with the money he's making right now and *thank God* will be getting a phone soon. Ashley's enjoying her job at the Dollar General Store but like the rest of the world, she enjoys time off even more. Things are basically the same with Daniel and Steven...going to school, seeing friends/talking to girlfriend, music interests...
I've been really into this online game called Runescape lately. (www.miniclip.com) Daniel's into it now too.

I guess that's really about it :)
Mission Update complete!
I'm kinda pissed right now...just got done redoing my buddy list and my address book after they "mysteriously" got deleted. Not much of a mystery to me really how that might have happened but I won't go into that. Grrr.

Steven's got his guitar! He's had it for almost a week now. He's been downloading some tabs off the internet and can already play the beginnings of a few of his favorite songs::Chop Suey and Aerials by System of a Down...Hells Bells by ACDC...and a few others:: He improves daily...it's really exciting to watch his progression and his enthusiasm. Hell, he's got me thinking about taking it up again myself. When I was a teenager, I took guitar just long enough to learn to play Blowin' in the Wind, lol. Then I got busy partying again and "forgot" about it. He wants to learn some Korn, but figures he won't be able to cuz they use the 7-string I told him I bet most of the tabs are written for 6-string. I guess he'll probably look into it at some point.

Speaking of Korn, Daniel's the real Korn fanatic. He's really impressed with Jonathan Davis, the lead singer. He talks about him often. Nobody can headbang like Jonathan Davis. Jonathan Davis has his eyebrow double-pierced. Jonathan Davis was formerly a coronary assistant. Korn broke ground when everyone started drifting toward rap/hiphop and brought heavy metal back to the forefront. Jonathan Davis is a "cool glass-wearing geek" like me, he says, lol. I'm sure there's a lot I've left out. Daniel has a growing interest in taking up bass guitar. He loves the bass. He really likes to get the car windows rattling, which is okay with me, lol. I'm sure we annoy some people though just like when people play that rap with the heavy heavy bass that makes you feel like you're walking during an earthquake, lol. Anyway, I think it'd be really cool if they both developed their guitar interests and started a band together. Hey boys, can Mom be the manager??? Please!?

Daniel pierced his eyebrow the other night but I convinced him to take it out and wait till I can afford to take him to have it done right up at Graphic Flesh. He sterilized the needle and everything but the hoop he was putting in there was not hypoallergenic and it seems to run in our family that we need that cuz each of us who've had piercings have had problems with infection for awhile soon after getting them. It kinda freaks me out that he can do that, though. Two other times, he's come out of the bathroom with something pierced, lol. Once, he did his ear, and the last time he did his lip. Hey, I don't mind getting pierced, but shoot it through quick with that gun...don't just "work it through"...that's like torture, lol.

Well, we haven't seen Hatcher for about two days now. I know he didn't run off. He loved it here and was really bonding with Daniel. He was always happy to see us when we came outside or got back home from somewhere. I hollered for him earlier today and it sounded like him that barked back at me and again about a half hour later. But if it was him, he must've been tied up cuz I could tell it was coming from the same place, no closer and no farther. Where the bark was coming from was at our neighbors who live through the woods up on the hill. We really don't know them, but Steven and I went up there today to see about it. There was no one home and no dog around. Guess I'll have to check back tomorrow.

I've been working on some Windows Movie Maker movies for some family members...I think they're gonna be really cute.

Will get something posted here again soon...probably right after Christmas. Hope everyone has a spectacular holiday season!
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
>   HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
>   IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF
>   PLASTER AND STONE.
>
>   I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
>   WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
>   AND TO SEE JUST WHO
>   IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.
>
>   I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
>   A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
>   NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
>   NOT EVEN A TREE.
>
>   NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
>   JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
>   ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
>   OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.
>
>   WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
>   AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
>   A SOBER THOUGHT
>   CAME THROUGH MY MIND.
>
>   FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
>   IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
>   I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
>   ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.
>
>   THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
>   SILENT, ALONE,
>   CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
>   IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.
>
>   THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
>   THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
>   NOT HOW I PICTURED
>   A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.
>
>   WAS THIS THE HERO
>   OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?
>   CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
>   THE FLOOR FOR A BED?
>
>   I REALIZED THE FAMILIES
>   THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
>   OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
>   WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.
>
>   SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
>   THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
>   AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
>   A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.
>
>   THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
>   EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
>   BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
>   LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.
>
>   I COULDN'T HELP WONDER
>   HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
>   ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
>   IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.
>
>   THE VERY THOUGHT
>   BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
>   I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
>   AND STARTED TO CRY.
>
>   THE SOLDIER AWAKENED
>   AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
>   "SANTA DON'T CRY,
>   THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;
>
>   I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
>   I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,
>   MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
>   MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS."
>
>   THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER
>   AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
>   I COULDN'T CONTROL IT,
>   I CONTINUED TO WEEP.
>
>   I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
>   SO SILENT AND STILL
>   AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
>   FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.
>
>   I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE
>   ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
>   THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR
>   SO WILLING TO FIGHT.
>
>   THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
>   WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
>   WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA,
>   IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE."
>
>   ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
>   AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
>   "MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
>   AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT."
>
>   This poem was written by a Marine. The
>   following is his request. I think it is reasonable.....
>
>   PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending
>   this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon
>   and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our
>   being able  to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way
>   to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our
>heroes,
>   living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small
>part
>   to plant this small seed.
Just a quick entry tonight...wanna play a game before I go to bed.

Didn't wake up till 3:00 this afternoon! Ugh, I hate when I do that.

Daniel went to the Christmas Dance at school tonight with his girlfriend Kelly. After I dropped him off, Steven and Ashley and me piddled around town till it was time for Steven to go to his friend's house to spend the night. Then JT needed me to take him to pick up the girl that him and Melissa babysit for and take her and her baby home. By that time, it was after 10, so Ashley and I hung out for a bit at Melissa's house, then went to Wal-Mart till it was time to pick Daniel up from the dance. Didn't get back home till like 12:40. Oh well. Daniel said he had a great time and hated for it to end. I'm glad. :)
We finally got DSL internet service this past Wednesday! *I'm always behind in the technology race.* Wow! What have I been missing? Things that used to take like 15 minutes to download now take like 1 1/2 or 2 minutes, tops. What can I say? I'm impressed. And that's DSL Lite.

Been tryin' to work on another design-type desktop, but nothin's lookin good to me. I think I'll just work on some photo-type desktops or some other stuff.

Got PSP9 last night. Most of the differences between 8 and 9 are a matter of convenience, but there are some new tools, too. For example, besides the raster and vector layers, there is now an "art media" layer. It is supposed to more closely resemble the look and feel of handdrawn or painted images. I haven't tried those out yet. I really wish I had a scanner cuz I can draw with pencils and paper but I have no way to share that stuff. Not sure I'd be able to get the hang of "drawing" on a computer.

I've got some photo manipulations I did with some family photos that I'm thinking about uploading...maybe after my download manager gets done.

Steven works with JT tomorrow, powerwashing. He wants to get World of Warcraft. The only drawback is that you have to buy a subscription to play online. I wonder if he's looked into the cost of it yet. He also really wants an electric guitar for Christmas. I'm gonna check out ebay and see what I can find. He has a friend that's gonna teach him to play. I told him if he has a genuine and lasting interest in it, I will do everything I can to support and encourage that, whatever the cost. I refuse to let being poor keep my kids from pursuing their dreams and discovering their talents!
I read this in the comments section of another deviant's page, following a pro-life poem:
Hmm. Coat-hangers are wrong . A child growing up in a shitty-ass environment, growing up to be a little killer is wrong. It's not a baby, it's not a human being, it's a little cluster of cells. You've peeled more dead skin off this week than what's taken out in an Abortion...

I felt compelled to make this response:
First off, why would someone condone scissors being jammed into the base of a baby's skull as it's being born (partial-birth abortion) and say that any other method is wrong? All methods are wrong! Secondly, no one's future can ever be known. We have no more right to suppose that a baby will grow up to be a murderer (such as an abortion doctor) or rapist than we do to suppose that they will be our nation's greatest president or greatest scientist or athlete, etc. And last but not least, that "cluster of cells" has a heartbeat, a brain, a spinal cord, and nerve endings before you ever even know you're pregnant. I wish people would stop buying into the propaganda. Sorry folks, I'll get off my soapbox now, but the words in the last comment were screaming for a little enlightenment.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I wanted to say more, but I just didn't feel right about turning someone else's page into a debate forum.  I'm one of the most easy-going people you could ever meet...generally very accepting of other's beliefs and such and generally a cheerful person. But I do have "hot buttons" and abortion is one of them. Life is so precious and so beautiful. A fresh new innocent soul is a gift to the world. Think about how a baby just draws you into their sweet little heart...how the blunt and unexpected honesty of a young child, no matter what they say, never seems to offend...how those pure little souls seem to know how to make you feel what they feel...they are completely untainted by the world...they are the most true to themselves of all of us. Be a protector and a shield, not the knife!
A German Shepherd seems to have adopted us! He's an absolutely beautiful purebred young male. He just showed up here one day. At first I tried to run him off figuring he'd go back home, wherever that was. *I'd never seen him around here before.* But he wouldn't go. So I ran an ad in our local paper and only one old man called who was desperately seeking his missing dog, but our visitor was not his dog. I've had no other response from the ad nor does anyone nearby know anything about him. German Shepherds are one of my favorite dog breeds and although I'm kinda reluctant to take on another mouth to feed, I'm also really in favor of keeping him if no one claims him. He's really well-mannered, playful and friendly. The only negative thing I can say about him is that he was being a bit of a nuisance getting into the garbage cans and strewing garbage across the yard. I'm wondering if that's why he got dumped, which by all appearances is what happened. But I think I've solved that problem hopefully. I bought some bunji cords and two bottles of hot sauce, LOL. I hooked the cord ends to the can handles to secure the lids and then sprinkled hot sauce all over them.  If that doesn't do the trick, I'm not sure what I'll try next, but I WILL teach that dog a new trick! Daniel, more than Steven or Ashley, has really bonded with him and enjoys playing fetch with him. *I think the dog's winning, LOL* He's been calling him Hatcher for awhile which the dog seems to respond to so I guess that will be his name. *I taught my kids long ago that if you pay attention to the dog and give his name some thought, the dog will let you know what he likes. Of course there's no scientific evidence for such belief, LOL, but nevertheless, it's just one of those little unexplainable things I believe. It kinda stems from some Native beliefs, but anyway...* So, clink your doggy bowls to Hatcher, newest addition to my family.  :)
Watched a made-for-TV movie tonight with Jon Voight. It was called "The Five People You Meet in Heaven." When I was seeing the previews, I wasn't really that interested but it was a good movie. Touching. Jon Voight's character felt like he hadn't done anything with his life, like I often feel and I know many people do. But in the end, he discovered that he was doing what he was "supposed to." It isn't about "being somebody", some big success...it's about the way our life affects others. Pretty deep for real.

Well, I'm off to work on a new wallpaper...I'm thinking celebrity...movie? music? an actor or actress? Hmmm....
Tune in tomorrow...
Same Cat time, same Cat channel...
Saw Spiderman2 tonight. It was pretty good. I liked it better than the first one, but neither will make it onto my Faves list. Doc Ock was pretty cool.

Added a few more of my wallpapers and a sigtag for my deviantID.
Okay, just checkin' out the journal feature here...
Can you use HTML or is it just a very simple journal? Shall have to stroll over to the FAQ.
Guess I better submit my first deviation now, huh? Later....