Weekly Winners (June 20 – 26)

No big write up this week. No theme. Just photos taken through the week! For more weekly winners participants, head over to our hostess Lotus! (Uhm, after you are done here, kay? hehe)

UV Blue Vodka
Hubby brought this bottle of Raspberry Vodka home off the road... SO YUMMY! The alcohol level was lower than some vodkas, but the taste was fantastic. This mixed with a little Sprite? Fabulous summer drink. *

Thoughts at the lake
I love black and white photography, but I so rarely dabble in it. So one afternoon when we took a picnic to the lake, I took the chance to take a couple shots. I got this one of my husband looking out over the lake... seemingly deep in thought.

Splashes! I dangled my feet in the lake... it was the temperature of bath water.

Geese... they wouldn't let me get close, darn it. (Picked up by Nashvillest this last week!)

Limb lost
Did somebody lose a limb?

Pine Cone
When I see pine cones, I think Fall, not Summer. But this one recreation area by the lake was covered with pine cones! (That red spot at the top of the photo is my husband ahead of me... he was wearing red shorts, and didn't know I'd stopped to take a picture. That or he knew I'd be along eventually. LOL!)

Drive-in theatre
Stardust Drive-in Theatre in Watertown, TN *

Drive-in theatre
Popcorn always makes a movie better! The drive-in always does a double feature... we saw "Toy Story 3" and "Prince of Persia." Such a gorgeous night! Fireflies and shooting stars. Clear skies. Upper 70s. Hubby. Popcorn. Movie. YAY!

Keeping watch
What do you see?? Hubby and Bailey looking out the window. *

♥ ♥ ♥

Most photos taken using a Nikon Coolpix L20.
Photos marked with an asterisk (*) taken with my cell phone, HTC Droid Incredible.

All of my photos available on my Flickr stream.

Desktop revelations

This afternoon, I sat in a chair across my office from my desk, and I caught myself staring at all the random items on my desk. I was immediately struck by how much my desk screamed about me. (And similarly, in hindsight, what my husband’s desk says about him. But that’s neither here nor there for this entry.) So much stuff haphazardly strewn here and there, all laid in one big, detailed description of ME.

My desk: a mirror of me.

As I skimmed over my desk, I saw a stack of books for Adobe Illustrator: my constant attempt to improve my skills.  My iPod charging on my laptop showing music love. Desktop screen showing a photo of Nashville — my city. Howdy sign, Aggie desktop calendar, Aggie birdhouse, Reveille stuffed doll, and other random Aggie items across the desk show my love of my school. (Across the room my diploma is displayed, too.) Family photos. Friend photos. These are all people who are important to me and rooting me on…

A Diet Dr. Pepper. Shot glass collection. UIL medals and an award for column writing. A glitter lava lamp, and a lamp that was my grandpa’s. A black and white photo of Printers Alley. Heck, even the lint roller to get cat hair off my shirt! These are all inherently me.

I’ve read many blog posts around the Internet about what your desk and workspace can convey to your boss and co-workers. Working from home, you wouldn’t think that would matter so much. But for me, it still does, because my working environment can directly impact my work.

059: Hard at workMy husband has picked at me a little about how cluttered my desk tends to get. I have ALWAYS been someone who can find things in a clutter much faster than when its all neat and filed away. This is not an excuse. This is simply fact. But I am trying to curb that a bit.

I think back to when I had a job at a newspaper. I was always careful to end every single day by clearing off my desk. I’d put everything in its place, so I could come back with a clean slate the next day. Some days I’d walk in the office and find my boss had left something for me to handle that day, and what was nice was that it I (nor she!) never had to worry about an assignment getting lost on my desk that way.

Of course some days I wished I could accidentally lose an assignment. (hehehe!) But I think everyone feels that way at some point at work. Heck, some days I wish NOW that I could accidentally lose an email, but I can’t. I didn’t lose assignments then. I won’t lose emails now. (Uhm, short of hotmail eating it, of course. Technology DOES have its bugs sometimes, which we’ve all unfortunately fallen victim of at some point.)

I’ve created an Inbox for daily mail, etc. I’m slowly trying to shred old documents and work towards a filing system. I have to admit, having a clear work space makes it much easier to take notes when on the phone or when I just need to “think out loud.”  I re-write my to do list every couple of days and keep it in front of me. Oftentimes it doesn’t change any, but it helps me go back over it thoroughly.

I’m proud of my workspace! Its functional, but its also so ME. These days, I spend a vast majority of my days in my office at my desk. I’m glad to say I legitimately ENJOY being in there! (My desk chair stinks, but a pillow seems to help with that a bit. Some day I’ll get a new one.) My husband teases me on occasion that I will spend 12 – 18 hours in the office without realizing it. Its simply because I enjoy it. I love what I am doing. I have my goals and dreams right in front of me. And I have a space in which to do it all that I like.

Gotta love it.

(Amusingly… I wrote this blog on my laptop curled up on my couch. HA!)

I’ve got my hash tags

Hash tags — Short messages on services such as Twitter may be tagged by including one or more hash tags: words or phrases prefixed with a hash symbol (#)… such as #beer… Then, a person can search for the term #beer and this tagged word will appear in the search engine results. (From Wikipedia)

That’s a pretty lame definition, but it works. The most general point of hash tags is still lost on me, considering that you can search for anything with or without the pound sign hash symbol.

Granted, if you get a little more technical and picky, they have their purpose. For example, in cases such as a TV show or a sporting event, the hash tag is indeed useful to group posts into one big discussion.

The first time I used a hash tag was to dish about the CMA Awards. It opened up my posts to other viewers, and in no time my following/follower count tripled with like-minded people. I had to admit, the hash tags rocked in that case. I’ve used it seriously in cases such as discussing things relating to Texas A&M (#tamu or #gigem) and then of course the Nashville flood last month. So, haven’t I seen the point behind the hash tag? Yes. Is it handy in some cases? Yes.

In general twittering, though, if I use a hash tag, its for my own amusement. Hence why I say, the general point of a hash tag is lost on me, and I tend to poke more fun at it than use it properly. For example, #imjustsayin or #ihavenopoint or #stoplookingatmelikethat. I have plenty of people on Twitter who treat hash tags the same.

One of my favorite ones to use is #marriedbutnotdead if I’m going to make a comment about some guy other than my husband looking good.  I’ve also recently started using #musicianswidow when I post something relating to life married to a music man. So,  again, I suppose even in my good fun, I have found a use for them.

I’ve created one that I wish I could get more people to use: #creativeexercise — when you do something more physical than normal, everyday life, but its not what a trainer would necessarily call “exercise”. I’ve used it when I went out to help mow the grass, or last week when I hand washed our truck. Both things out of the ordinary for me, and also things that are more physically challenging than sitting in front of the computer typing!

So here’s my question… does anyone else have their own favorite hash tag? How important and useful are they to you?