Thursday, September 24, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins #143

I forgot I had followed Friday Fill-Ins, and to be honest I don't remember when.  It might have been before I went to Australia or while I was there.  At any rate, you can find the blog here.  My answers are below:

1. One week ago I was working on editing some photos with my new Photoshop Elements program.

2. I used to eat cheese when I was young.

3. Mama told me when my dad was diagnosed as terminal (esophogeal cancer).

4. Jesus died for you and me.

5. Take your time and leave a comment for me :o).

6. This too will pass!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing and maybe baking some chocolate chip cookies, tomorrow my plans include hopefully meeting up with someone special and Sunday, I want to go to church and then go on a photoshoot!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just Another Day

Not a lot has been happening lately.  This past week my mom's sister-in-law (who was married to mom's second oldest brother) came to visit on Monday.  She stayed until Wednesday when her brother and his wife came to pick her up and take her to their place.  She's staying with them and will come back here sometime on Saturday.  She flies out next Monday morning.

On Sunday after church, I had a problem starting the car - it wouldn't start!  It was fine when I started it on the way to church, so I don't know why it wouldn't on the way back.  I went back in the church and got a couple of the men to come out and take a look at it (thinking maybe I needed a boost or something like that).  They checked and it wasn't the battery or the engine.  While one guy was starting it, the other jiggled one of the wires and it started up.  So, they seemed to think it was either the spark plug or the wire(s).

Yesterday we took the car in to the garage we always go to (it's owned by my mom's cousin), and they checked it over and said it's not the spark plug(s) or the wire(s) but it might be the starter starting to go.  They said it's difficult to know at this point and the car may be fine for a few weeks and then one day it won't start again.  So, from my understanding, it's just something we have to wait and see about.  While we had the car in, we got a service and got them to change the muffler because that was going.

Today I went to the school district and submitted my paper work for the upcoming supply teaching info session.  I won't fine out for close to a couple weeks if I'm accepted or not because they have to wait until the police check comes in (it should take 7-10 days for them to get), plus they need references, and while I have them written down on the application and on my resume, I still need a couple of them to fill out the form the district provides.  I'm waiting for one of the teachers I worked with for my internship to reply to my email so I can go get her reference letter (she said back in June she'd write one up for me in the fall) and get her to fill out the form and fax in to the district.  I also have to take my internship journal and updated portfolio in to my prof and I'm going to get him to fill out the other reference form and send in.  Other than that, I've done my part so all I can do is sit back and wait for a call or email saying whether or not I've been accepted to go to the info session.  I don't see any problem as to why I wouldn't get accepted; the only thing being that the session filled up before the district gets all my info.  If that's the case I'd have to wait until November or December - depending on when the next session is. 

I am really hoping that I get into this session no problem and that I get my name on the supply teaching list.  I need to start working and getting the money coming in again.  I'm enjoying my time "off", but I've got some bills I'll need to start paying and for that I need money.

I had to go and get myself a cell phone (ok, maybe I didn't have to get it) because I don't want to be tied down to the house phone waiting for calls.  The calls come from the States from a company the district hired to do the calls (not sure if real people call or an automated system), and we have not typically been answering the phone lately because of the telemarketers.  We have caller display and screen the calls and if a long distance number comes up that we don't know, we don't answer.  I'd be afraid that that would happen when I'd get a call for work and end up missing out.  Also, I wouldn't want Mom to answer the phone and it be them calling me for a job and I'm not here (they don't call back if you aren't around or if you don't answer the call...they move on to the next person on the l ist), or if she would accept a job for me thinking I needed it but I already had one.  So, I decided the best thing would be to get a cell phone and use that number; that way I'd have the phone with me and I could leave the house and not miss job opportunities.

This past Sunday was the first week for Sunday school starting up again.  We had five kids in the class, and one was absent.  My friend Angela and I teach the class together.  She did last week's lesson on 1 Samuel 1, and I do  next week's lesson on 1 Samuel 2...or part of it at any rate.  We'll be rotating the lessons and she'll do one week and I do the other.  The kids are good, and I know the parents of three of them.  The others I've seen around church, but I don't know them.  I'm looking forward to teaching Sunday school again.  I haven't done this since before I went to Korea.  Last year I took the year off from being involved in any teaching (including the mid week program) because I felt I needed to get regrounded.  I could still use that regrounding (going to have to see about getting involved in a small group Bible study), but I thought I'd give the teaching a go again.

I'm supposed to head out with M ichelle tomorrow to go on a photo shoot.  We had to cancel it twice this past weekend (one due to weather, the other due to my car problems) and have rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon.  Hopefully I'll get some great shots.  I'll be sure to post them to my photography blog, Shutterbug.  Why not head over there and check out the photos I have up so far.  Feel free to comment too!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Back To Normal - Whatever That Is

Finally I think I've gotten back on track with my sleeping - the jet lag seems to have passed!  I have always been a night owl, though, so I still can go to bed somewhat late.  But, currently, I'm not up until the sun is about to rise, or sleeping only a couple of hours and being wide awake when I should be sleeping.

My back also seems better.  It still gets quite stiff when I've been sitting or laying down for awhile.  The pain isn't so much now, but sometimes it's sore with the stiffness.  I haven't been taking any Robaxacet for several days (though I did take one the other day), and I've run out of the pills the doctor in Australia prescribed me.  I knew it would just be a matter of time for the healing to take place, simply because this has happened to me before.  My plan now (and I pray I'll stick with it), is to strengthen my core muscles as the doctor said this should help prevent future problems like I just had with my back.  I think, by the weekend, I will pull out my yoga DVDs and do some of that to start with.  The doctor had suggested this and said it would help.

Sunday school starts this coming Sunday, and I'm back co-teaching the grade 1 & 2 class.  The other teacher, my friend Angela, and I will be taking turns each week.  She is taking the lesson this week as she's had a longer time with the book and will be more familiar with it.  Since I just got the book this past Sunday (she had gotten it over the summer while I was in Australia), she wanted to give me some time to get familiar with it and go over the lessons.  We only have a small class so far - about 5 kids I think, but that could change.  I'm looking forward to getting back into teaching Sunday school, and hopefully I can transfer some of what I learning in school this past year into this class - things like classroom managment, etc.

I haven't been doing much this past week, mostly trying to readjust from the jet lag and help my back get better.  I've gone to request a transcript for my marks as well as a letter stating that even though I haven't graduated (that's in November), I have completed my course.  I'll have to send those off to apply for my teaching license, and I will be applying for the October 26 info session for supply teachers.  I also need the copy of my marks for that and need to fill out some forms and get them sent in so I can reserve a spot.  You have to be invited to the info session, you can't just show up.  By sending the paper work in, they'll know I'm interested and can invite me, providing everything is satisfactory on my application.

I've also recently started a photography blog.  I'm just really learning digital photography as well as editing the photos (I got Photoshop Elements 7 last week).  The blog is a place to show some of my photos and the editing I've done.  The pics aren't necessarily the best, nor is the editing, but remember, I'm still learning and that's a process.  I'm enjoying both though.  My friend Michelle and I are going on a photo shoot on Saturday and we're either going to do some macro shots of butterflies or moving water.  We haven't quite decided yet.  If you are interested in viewing my photography blog, it's called Shutterbug and it's located here.

Going to end here for now.  I think I've rambled on more than I had planned.  Have a blessed and Christ-filled day!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Another Early Start

I've been awake again since about 4:00AM, and really hoping the jet lag wears off soon!  I am now having my first cup of coffee (possibly my only cup of coffee, but a second one may be on the horizon), the sun has risen and the day is promising.

It's the first day of school for the kids in this area...for those going to university too.  I'm torn on this...part of me misses not having to go to class today, but there is a bigger part that is excited.  I guess with some of the high school kids, they only start tomorrow; those in grade nine (the first year of high school here) start today, to make things easier on them, and grades ten to twelve will go tomorrow.  Other provinces have already started school last week.  My nephew is in Nova Scotia, and he started last week.

I need to fill out a few forms and take my grad fee to the university today.  I have to do it soon (as in within the next couple of weeks) because I will graduate in November and they are going to begin getting things ready for that soon.  I also have to request a list of my courses and marks so they can be sent to the teacher's association (the registrar will also be sending a letter explaining that graduation is only in November, but I have finished my courses and internship now), so that I can get my teaching license.  I don't know how long that takes, but I hope it is quick.  I still have to wait until October or November before the district has their next supply teaching info session.  I need to take that before I can do any supply teaching.

My brother has been mentioning to his teacher friends that they should call me to fill in for them when they are out (his wife may have done this too), or at least that's what he's told my mom.  That's really nice of him.  Also, yesterday, one of the teachers who goes to my church asked me about supplying.  I told him about needing to wait for that info session, and he said as soon as I take it and get on the supply list to let him know.  He said the schools have a list of preferred supply teachers they call first, and then if they can't get anyone from the list, they go to others.  He said that when I'm on the supply list he'd add me to his (or his school's) preferred list.  I thought that was really nice of him! 

Another teacher friend from church asked my best friend (when I was in Australia) to pass on some advice from her - that if I have to hand out any work that needs to be corrected, to do it and not leave it for the teacher.  They really appreciate that.  Also, she said that I should do any photocopying, etc. that the teacher may need to do (probably would need to check in with the office to see about that, but I'm not totally sure), and ask the office if there is anything I can do to help another teacher (photocopying, correcting, etc.).  She said that really puts you in a good light and the teachers appreciate it, and you would be more apt to get hired on by the school if you show a willingness to work or help out. 

My back is still sore and stiff.  I've been taking Robaxacet because the pills I got in Australia have run out (I have one more left of the anti-inflamatory one).  They've been helping, but when I sit or lay down for a while (such as over night), then my back becomes quite stiff and sore.  Yesterday I went out for awhile and took some pictures.  I had taken some Robaxacet a little while before that and it really helped me to be able to move around and get in and out of the car without any real difficulty.

Speaking of photography, I had mentioned in my preivous post about doing some sort of project to help better my skills and become more creative with the pictures I take.  Well, I haven't particularly started any project, per se, but I did create a photography blog.  It's called Shutterbug, and can be found HERE.  I've put a few of the pictures I've taken from Australia on there so far (I have 3 posts, 2 of which has a few pictures).  I guess the theme seems to be birds and animals, so maybe I'll focus on that a bit.  I was thinking if I do a 52 week or 365 day or even a 30 day project, it might be good to start at the beginning of a month.  However, that's not totally necessary.  I can start it at any time.  I've also joined a couple of photography forums, so hopefully I can pick up some pointers there as well.

  Well, going to head off and finish my coffee (hazelnut, yum!) and read the paper.  Hope you have a blessed and Christ-filled day!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

I Saw The Sunrise - Again

I had hoped that maybe, just maybe, I was beginning to get over the jet lag. The night before last was great - I slept right through (though I did wake up a couple of times, but went right back to sleep) until around 7:00 AM. Last night, I went to bed a little later than the previous night, hoping that might help me sleep a little later in the morning. Sadly, I woke up before 5:00 AM and haven't been able to get back to sleep again.

Part of me wonders if, in fact, my problem stems from a combination of jet lag and the meds I've been taking for my back pain. I wonder if I am waking up after the drowsy effects of the meds have passed and I have no more of the drug in my system. I do know that jet lag plays a big role in my situation, though. I also know that it will take a little while for that to wear off...

In other news, since I've been back I've had a lot of time on my hands - something I'm not too used to. I've been so busy with school work, but now that I'm finished with my B.Ed. (I need to do up necessary paper work and get my internship journal and an updated portfolio into my teacher by the end of this month though), and will graduate in November, I'm not sure what to do with all this time. I've been itching to do some more photography, maybe because I did a lot while I was in Australia. I want to improve, and the only way to do that is to keep practicing.

I was looking through some photography websites the other night, and one had an article suggesting doing things like a 365 day self-portrait project, or focus on shooting only pictures of certain colours (like one day take pictures of things that are only red, or only blue, etc.), a photography scavenger hunt, or an alphabet project (shooting items that begin with a certain letter, beginning with 'A' and go all the way through the alphabet), etc. Those sound interesting, and I'd like to do something like that, but I'm afraid I'd get so far into the project and then lose interest or not have the time to take the shots.

I suppose I could pick a topic or something, do several shots and have them onhand to post at a later date. For example, if I do a 365 day or 52 week colour project, I could pick the colours I want to shoot and then take several pictures for each colour. Then, I'd have pictures for these to post on the days I can't get out (for whatever reason) to take pictures. I don't know if that defeat the purpose of these projects or not.

The idea behind these projects is to help become better at photography, as well as explore your creative side and find new/creative ways to take photos of even every day subjects. I'm not the best at photography, but I enjoy it and I want to become better and more creative with my photos - that's why I have been thinking of taking on something like this. I just don't know which type of project to try. I would also probably have to set up another blog (unless I just incorporate it in with this one or even my knitting/craft/hobby blog) or maybe start a "group" on Facebook or something where I can post my work. I also have to learn how to add watermarks to my shots so people can't steal my pictures and claim them as their own. I guess you can't be too careful in this day and age!

Well, it's nearly 7:00 AM and the sun is up. Maybe I should go see if I can get some early morning pictures of some flowers in the garden, or a spider on its web that I saw on the side of the house yesterday. Have to start practicing some time, and now is just as good a time as any!

Have a blessed and Christ-filled day!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Back Home

I've been back home in Canada since Monday morning. The trip was pretty uneventful, though there was some turbulence, especially for awhile at the beginning of the Sydney to Los Angeles leg of the trip. My back held up fine, and I took the meds the doctor had given me prior to leaving the Gold Coast. I only took one of the Valium, and I felt sleepy. As soon as I felt like I wanted to sleep, we were given our supper. It was actually pretty good for airline food, but unfortunately, I no longer felt tired. After trying for awhile to get to sleep I took a Gravol and that knocked me out pretty good. I slept a good portion of that flight.

The longest we had to wait was in Toronto. We arrived around 11:00 PM and our flight left at 6:30 the next morning. Sarah and I were the only ones to wait at the airport; the others went to a hotel for a few hours to shower and try to get a bit of sleep. From what they said, they didn't get much sleep. They had to wait for the shuttle to take them to their hotel, and by the time they got there and everyone got showered, there wasn't much time to sleep. Sarah and I only slept a bit at the airport and spent the rest of the time watching a couple of movies on her laptop.

It's nice to be home (but I do miss Australia and the wonderful people I met there). Unfortunately, jet lag has set in. I don't have that dizzy sort of feeling, but my sleep pattern is way off - probably still on Australian time! I slept fine the first night, but since then I've been getting up quite early (as early at 5:00 AM), sometimes sleeping in the afternoon, and going to bed late. Last night (Wednesday) was the worst so far. Tuesday I had taken some of my pain pills for my back and they made me sleepy; I laid down around 8:30 in the morning and woke up around 3:30 in the afternoon (I slept pretty good the night before but was up at 6:30). I went to bed around 1:30 or so and dozed for about an hour, maybe a little more than that. I was wide awake between 2:30 and 3:00 and tried to go back to sleep around 5:00. Sadly, I couldn't sleep and I've been awake since.

I'm supposed to help my brother at his bike shop this afternoon, doing a little computer work for him, but I don't know if I'll be able to. I might end up sleeping then instead. I might check with him to see if it would be OK if I come in next Monday instead, and hopefully my sleeping pattern will return more to normal by then.

I haven't done much since I've been home. I've gone with my mom on a few errands she had to run, and I've spent the past two evenings with a male friend, but other than that I've been sleeping and trying to rest my back (which seems to slowly be getting better, though at times it's still sore and stiff).

I need to finish off my journal for my teaching internship, update my portfolio and contact the registrar's department of the university to see what all I need to do (as in paperwork, etc.) to graduate. There are about four or five of us who are finished now and can graduate in November. I talked to my prof about it and he is the one who told me to check with the registrar, and if they don't get things done soon, maybe all four or five of us would have to get together and go to the school to try and get things taken care of all at once.

Well, not much to say right now. I just wanted to update the blog to say that I arrived home safe and sound from Australia.