My New Professional Camera -- Courtesy of My Lovely Husband!!

Wow, I am still so blown away by the camera my husband got for me! He knew that I've been wanting a more professional DSLR camera for some time now, and I could not believe that he researched and researched and researched and then got me a Nikon D60 18-55 VR Kit (10 MP). This camera is even better than the camera I was eventually planning to get myself!!! He also got me an additional lens, a 55-200mm for close-ups, which he also knows I really get into. I am sooooooo excited, and I have so much to learn about my new camera and what it's capable of. The above pic of my NEW camera was taken with my old Fujifilm Finepix 3800 (3.2 MP). This is the last time I will use my Finepix .... here is a pic of the old camera....

Last but not least, here are a few pics taken with my new Nikon the last day or so.... I haven't gotten real deep into all its settings yet, so these are just taken with the most basic of settings. I'm loving it so far!!

Trixie snoozing on our bed.

Breakfast time!

December sunrise in Kansas ... I'm usually not up so early!

Sunrise over our icy pond.

My First Kansas Snow

Same scene as one at top of my blog.... big difference from summer to winter!

Paint horse and Murphy -- the cold doesn't seem to bother them much -- really they're fine, I know Murph looks sad but he's just really good at the sad look. :-)

Looking down our road toward "main" road, which you can't even see.

And you thought only Ohio could have 4 seasons in the space of a few days!!! No, I think Kansas does it even better.

We hit 68 degrees yesterday, just one degree shy of the record 69 in 1918. Today is 26 degrees with blowing snow, 2 to 4 inches forecast, and a wind chill of 10 degrees. And I've got the frozen photographer's fingers to prove it right now! It's a challenge just to type this.

By this weekend, we will be back up in the 60s. The snow will be gone by tomorrow, no matter how much accumulates today. I guess this is what I will learn to love about Kansas, and not miss about Ohio!

December Sunset

Tonight's entertainment.... a beautiful sunset! Trust me, these pictures do not even BEGIN to convey how breathtaking this sunset is tonight!!!

One more thing....

I updated my playlist (below right), so there's more music to listen to! :) If you happen to notice that any of the songs don't play all the way through, please let me know so I can fix it. Thanks!

Update on My Life....

Ok, so I've been most terribly remiss in keeping everyone up-to-date on my blog. Let's see, who or what shall I blame? The beautiful Kansas weather this time of year (up to 60 degrees today Dec. 2), the family that was here off and on throughout last week, the job at South Central Kansas Regional Medical Center that lasted just shy of 3 weeks, or the Mobsters game on Myspace???? Hmmmm, take your pick!

I will say that Mobsters can be quite addictive -- I play it for the strategy angle (should I buy more income-producing territory or more equipment for attacking other mobsters?) rather than joining some of the clique mobs that populate the game. And trust me, some of these mobs can become quite antagonistic at times! No, I prefer to play on my own, attacking those who do not belong to big mobs and making $$ off them so I can advance to my next level. I guess that mirrors my place in life -- I always prefer to take the lonesome road, or at least the road less traveled, as I excel by myself!

The job at SCKRMC was not for me. I was getting all the different medical insurance plans down pat, even though it can be extremely difficult and confusing. What finally pushed me over the edge and made me decide this job wasn't for me -- being alone on the 3-11 shift in ER, not only responsible for registration of all ER walk-ins and emergencies alike, but also responsible for answering the switchboard, calling code blues or reds and gathering appropriate staff as needed for these code calls, handling the fire alarm if it went off and following all protocols and processes involved thereto, etc., etc. The hospital's business is increasing rapidly, plus they just received approval to build a new hospital on the edge of town, which will cause their business to increase even more. I had a discussion with the Business Office Manager upon my departure, and she agreed with me on many counts that there should be 2 people staffing the ER registration desk, not just one. Just think how these patients must feel as the registrar stops to answer the switchboard multiple times as she is trying to get the patient registered!!

WalMart called and I just couldn't go through with that one!! They wanted to hire me as a cashier for the holiday season -- sure, it would have been some income, and perhaps I would have been retained after the holidays and even managed to move up in the ranks due to my most excellent abilities and experience (LOL), but I decided I just could NOT deal with the holiday mobs. Nope, not for me. I served my time in the retail world in my 20s!!!

And so I search for the next job. I just applied for an Accts Payable clerk with Sumner County. This job pays relatively well, and obviously would have great benefits as it is a gov't job. I decided a few years ago I really like working with numbers, so I think I might like this job. The only drawback -- full time 8-5, so I wouldn't see Tom much during the week, just on weekends. I just can't worry about that right now, maybe I could transfer into another position within the county later down the line. I'll cross my fingers and hope I hear from them.

We are less one horse as of yesterday. No, we haven't put paint horse down (yet). Tom's daughter Missy took Mike (Tom's former roping horse) back to Wyoming with them. Mike's roping days are over due to his age, so he will be pampered and get tons of attention from Missy and Jason and the kids.

The vet came by on Saturday to look at paint horse. He's been limping much worse the last 3 to 4 weeks. The vet thinks that he may actually have some hoof trying to grow under the old hoof growth. So Tom trimmed his front hooves and he seems to be walking a bit better, altho still limping. He lays down out in the pasture more during the day. I'm still going to try to get him into that sanctuary in eastern Kansas. He may still have the potential to be used as a training horse for kids; time will tell.

Tom was in WA state at the Boeing plant for the two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. There were some defective nut plates that had to be replaced; seems they didn't get anti-corrosive material applied to them before installation. So Tom got to work 12 hr shifts while he was in WA, and bulked up his paycheck for 2 weeks, for which he was very thankful. He was off all last week, and just returned to work at Spirit today, but he is still on the 3-day work weeks due to the recent Boeing strike. I hope he finds out some good news today when he returns to work -- such as they are going back to regular work shifts, or they may even want him to go to WA state again. I guess there are still some Spirit guys up there this week.

I think that's about all since October. I must say I love living out here and have never felt isolated or lonesome. It is so rugged and beautiful, and quiet. I do miss everyone back home in Ohio and I'm hoping I can drive home for a visit very soon. I'm trying to work something out, so we'll see.... I know it would be easier for me to do before I get a job!

Oh, re: pics........ I'm crossing my fingers that I can get a new camera real soon. My old camera just doesn't have the focus that I want or need. So IF I get that new camera, I promise there will be new pics coming. I didn't even get any pics with Tom's family here last week. :-(