Weekly Winners (Aug. 26 – Sept. 2)

Started by the lovely Lotus, Weekly Winners is a fun little thing bloggers do to showcase some of their favorite photos from the previous week.

Visit Lotus’ site and check out her various entries, and find other participants. See some amazing photos brought to you by bloggers around the world. Leave a little love when you do — its like food for the soul!


Photos taken using my Droid Razr, Nikon Coolpix L20 or Sony DSLR A230.
View all of my photos on my Flickr stream.


It came to my attention that Google Chrome users have been blocked from viewing my blog due to malware warnings being thrown from my other domain name that I use to host some of the images in my design. Upon deeper inspection (and a day-long lesson in site hacking) I discovered the index page of that domain name had indeed been infected with a Trojan. The virus has been removed due to my having a back-up of that site to upload and overwrite the bad files. However, work is still being done to investigate where it came from in the first place — so it can be avoided happening again (or getting worse!). In the mean time, Firefox and Explorer users should be fine to view this blog, but Chrome is still getting blocked. Once I know any backdoors are buttoned up, I’ll go through the process of un-blocking my site on the Google network.

In the mean time, some of my favorite photos from the last week:

I’ve discovered I have about ten photos of Bailey to every one of Smokey. But he’s so photogenic and patient with me. My sweet, sweet Bailey.

291: New earrings
My husband occasionally surprises me with gifts from the road. Last weekend, he surprised me with earrings from Montana. Love, love, love them!

296: Blue moon
The blue moon was so bright!! I unfortunately just haven’t been able to invest in the right type of lens for good moon shots, but I love the ring that formed around the moon due to the clouds.

298: Wet web
Wet web. I hate spiders, but I know the good these guys are, so I don’t mess with them. Besides, it offered me a great photo opportunity!

Red bead
Red beads in my tree! I’m not sure what kind of tree it is, but I like it!

After the rain
Rain drops made the yard seem to sparkle in the sunlight after rain from what is left of Hurricane Isaac came through.

After the rain
I’m thankful for the rain, and the clean, clear beauty it leaves behind.


Labor Day means MDA to me

Tomorrow is a big day.

Tomorrow is the MDA Telethon.

Well, okay, so technically this year they aren’t calling it a telethon, but its still MDA’s biggest fundraiser of the entire year.

WHY is the telethon so important? Let me show you a picture my brother sent me last night.

That arrow is pointing at my nephew. On field for his first football game of his Freshman year of high school. ON FIELD. In his motorized wheelchair. He doesn’t let anything stop him from doing what he dreams of doing.

And a big part of what helps him keep on dreaming and succeeding is all the research and support provided by MDA. See, he has Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. Duchenne muscular dystrophy occurs in about 1 out of every 3,600 male infants. It’s not contagious; its an inherited disorder caused by a defective gene for dystrophin, a protein in the muscles. For more information specifically on DMD, visit this page on genome.gov — its one of the most comprehensive explanations I’ve ever read myself.

Duchenne’s is just one of many muscular disorders covered and researched by MDA. The money raised through the year — especially the amount typically raised in the Labor Day push — can literally be the difference between life and death for thousands fighting a fight many of us couldn’t fathom having to fight.

From the “Where your money goes” page on MDA.org:

* 77 percent of every dollar MDA spends goes directly to research, services and education, and the rest to fundraising and administration.

* MDA spends $70 a minute in its worldwide research program, supporting some 300 projects worldwide.

$70 covers one minute of MDA-supported research; $150 is one physical, occupational, respiratory or speech therapy consultation; and $500 assists one person for one year with repairs to durable medical equipment

Tomorrow is a big day, and I encourage everyone to give at least a little bit. I know there are many, many, many good causes to support, and there’s only so much money to go around. At least tune in tomorrow evening and learn a little more about muscular dystrophy and all the good MDA does for individuals and families fighting this fight. I myself can vouch for the truth in their stories and claims… and maybe it’ll move you to give a little. Even just $5 makes a difference.

MDA SHOW of STRENGTH continues MDA’s Labor Day weekend tradition in a three-hour prime-time broadcast special airing on Sunday, Sept. 2, 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT. [...] Among the celebrities and entertainers scheduled to appear are: Carrie Underwood, Pitbull, will.i.am featuring Eva Simons, Carole King, Paula Abdul, All-American Rejects, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, B.o.B, Brandy, Luke Bryan, Gavin DeGraw, Hot Chelle Rae, Karmin, Tim McGraw, Alanis Morissette, Khloé Kardashian Odom, OneRepublic and more. In addition to being broadcast on 150 “Love Network” stations across the country, the show will be streamed on mda.org. [source]

Related posts:

* What do you know about Muscular Dystrophy?

* When to give. Why to give.

* Weekly Winners (Jan. 24 – 30) — From 2010′s Stride & Ride

* Labor Day Weekend = MDA Telethon

* Coming up: MDA Muscle Walk

* 2012 Waco MDA Muscle Walk

Stages of life

Yesterday was the first day of school for most schools in Texas. (School started here in Tennessee a couple weeks ago.) Being from Texas, over half of my friends on Facebook are old friends and classmates there. Its the thing I love about Facebook: keeping up with old friends.

I was amazed how many of my classmates from high school had kids starting Kindergarten! Post after post after post of “first day of school” photos on my wall. I loved it, but it also made me sit back and really ponder stages of life.

Just last night, we had friends over for dinner and visiting. I had one of those moments that made me take stock of life. Sometimes, I wonder what its going to be like to “grow up.”

Despite being married over five years. Despite having a home of my own, paying my bills, going to work, etc. I still feel young! I AM young! I’m an adult making adult decisions, but I still feel young. But last night, hosting friends, I had a moment of, “This is my house. This is my life. I am an adult. Wow.”

Then I sat down at my laptop and saw so many classmates sending their kids off to school. And once again, I had to look at life. We’re the same age, but we are definitely at different stages of life. It doesn’t make them “older” or “more mature” than I am. They’re just on a different path, and I am SO happy for them.

The grass is not greener on their side. It’s not greener on my side. It’s all about living our own lives our own ways: and that right there is what make us all adults. To me, we are all still so young, but we are also all grown up taking each stage of life at our own paces.

The wife of a touring musician tells it like she sees it…