Plagued with Red-Eye

Our family is plagued with the red-eye syndrome!  Here is the Adobe Photoshop tutorial that I use to remove it from our pictures.  Basically, it has you creating a new layer for the fix.  On that layer, you select an “eye color” (sampled if possible) and paint over the red portion.  Select Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur with about 1px, then set the blending mode of the layer to either Saturation or Hue.

Building Fast — Some Textures Added

Well, it is starting to take shape now with some textures being added.  It is fun to watch the building process.

Exploria looking at the waves

Can you hear the waves?

What a peaceful scene, especially at dawn (when I do most of my work)!

Old Podium

Ready for class?  Here is Exploria at the podium.

A look from outside

Here is a look from the distance.  Windows are being added.

It would be nice if RL building were so quick and fun!


I am a fan of mindmapping.  While I prefer drawing my mindmaps by hand, sometimes I need to make them more professionally presentable!  I use Mind Manager Software for this purpose.  I also use it for making to do lists and grocery lists — things that I need to update frequently to keep current and legible!

I haven’t checked it out yet, but a friend referred me to an Freemind an Open Source solution.  I’ll post my comments once I have had time to check this out.

Check here first before creating those lesson plans!

Why reinvent the wheel?

Why not add some multimedia to your lessons?

In the programming area, I have found the Microsoft Academic Resourse Center to be a great tool.

Have to create a PowerPoint?  Check out SlideShare to see if someone has already done it better.  Many slides from conference presentations are hosted here.

Check out YouTube — you could be pleasantly surprised.

How about a podcast already available on your topic?  Download iTunes and use it to search podcasts or visit the iTunes U area to find courses similar to yours.

A look inside

This is the main entry inside of our building.
Here is the board room, complete with viewing screen.
All seated and ready to go!
A look at the Student Area.

Up until this point, I have just been showing the terrain and the main building outside.  They have now started working on the interior a bit.  Although the textures are not yet applied, it is starting to see some furnishings.

Oh, no! Not another Diet!

First it was Weight Watchers — lost 36 pounds and became a lifetime member. Few years later (and pounds later, too) it was the latest fad diet. From Atkins to the Zone…it seems like I have tried them all!

Then came two children, and the 63 extra pounds I put on with the first child. Not exactly taking all of those off before the 53 pounds put on with the second. Did I mention that I had my first baby at age 40 and the second at 43? I needed to do something sensible so I started to do some research. What do you need to do to arrive at and maintain an ideal, healthy weight? I am not talking about being “model skinny.” I am talking about a realistic weight for your body frame, age, and gender. The facts remain the same no matter what research you study.To achieve your weight goals, you must:

1. Eat less

2. Exercise more.

To maintain your weight goal, you must balance exercise with calories consumed.

Simple, right?

Then why is America, in particlar, overweight?

Today’s Wall Street Journal Personal Journal Section (April 20, 2005) unveiled the new Personalized Food Pyramid (reference to This new rainbow pyramid shows a vertical approach to dividing food category consumption rather than the previous horizontal approach. It also, finally, takes into account age, gender, and activity level. Wow!

The site states, “One size doesn’t fit all.” Check it out to get your own customized plan.

As for exercise, I have made my own exercise videos for personal training use.  Here is what I did.  I used I chose some exercises that I wanted to do, chose some music, put them together with Camtasia and burned them to DVD.  Now I have my own personalized exercise DVDs with the music and exercises I like and want — and I don’t have to listed to or watch some strangers exercising!

Find something that will keep you motivated, and Just Do IT!

Get More Active by Taking Small Steps

Get moving! Burn more calories! Increase your metabolism! Exercise! The US Department of Health and Human Services is getting into the act with their website ( and their Small Steps ad campaign.

How can you build a lasting habit of exercise? Well, with “small steps, of course!”

Let’s start by looking at something that appears in quite a few of the “small steps.”  That is, WALK!

One way to put more steps into your day is to walk more.  How can you accomplish this?  You have read the list; now, come up with some of your own ways.

Here is my favorite.  I find that I can get more steps into my day as I do my laundry!  How do I do this, you ask?  Well, instead of folding all the clothes and putting them in piles on the bed, and then putting the piles away; I put one thing away at a time.  Think that is silly?  Well, also consider the fact that I have two children — the youngest just turned one-year-old.  I can make it a game with them.  We pick an item out of the laundry basket, fold it, and then put it away.  When we make it a game, it’s fun, we laugh, we guess at funny places where the items should go — and we get exercise!

So the next time you are doing laundry, why not give it a try.  It really is amazing how much more interesting laundry can be.  Don’t get sidetracked, though, as you are into different areas putting your items away!

Clutter Bug Got Ya?

Clutter, clutter everywhere — not an end in sight! Clutter is not only unattractive, but it also drains us psychologically!

I decided to write this article when I found three books waiting at my doorstep (ordered from by my husband). These books were:

  • Conquering Chronic Disorganization by Judith Kolberg
  • Making Peace With the Things in Your Life: Why Your Papers, Books, Clothes, and Other Possessions Keep Overwhelming You and What to Do About It by Cindy Glovinsky
  • Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding: Why You Save & How You Can Stop by Fugen, Ph.D. Neziroglu, Jerome, Ph.D. Bubrick, Jose A., M.D. Yaryura-Tobias
  • What can we do about clutter? The answer is more difficult than you think. You really must first learn how to let go of things. This can be hard to do!I used to fill my shelves with books on how to be more organized and how to get more things done. These books all helped me, but they helped me do MORE things (and, unfortunately, accumulate more things)! One day, I was reading through a book that said, “Being organized and being neat are two different things!” I would like to be able to quote the source of that profound thought, but am unable to do so at this time. What an eye-opener — and what a relief! I was organized; I just wasn’t very neat! Now came the question — how do I become neat?

    The “How do I become neat?” question was a bit harder to find answers for. In looking at my baby book that my mother so lovingly kept for me — From Heaven to Seven, there was an entry that asked for the milestone when I picked up and put away my toys. She had written, “Still doesn’t do this at 7 yrs old!” So, I guess my problem isn’t new!

    Mother always said, “There is a place for everything and put everything in its place.” While I still don’t think this is entirely true, I do think that it has some merit. Take a look at your things. Why are they out? Are you afraid if you put them away that you will forget about them or never be able to find them again? I am!!!

    So what are we to do about this? Start small. Start letting go. An email message came to me with one of those quotes attached to it. It said, “Have nothing in your house, which you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”  William Morris.  Think about how that might be incorporated into your world? Start with one area in your life that is the worst. How did it get that way? When did it get that way? What can I visualize that it will look like when it is the way I want it? What can I do to get it to look the way I want it to look by just working at it 5-10-or 20 minutes a day?

    Check out the Fly Lady for loads of helpful tips!