Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

January 3, 2014

New Snow, New Things

Filed under: Joy — Karma @ 9:23 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It is snow day number two of the 2013-14 school year. We were supposed to head back to school from the holiday break yesterday, January 2nd, but the timing of slow-paced winter storm Hercules conspired to extend our break by two days. Normally I prefer to go to school and get out earlier in June, but for these couple days I like staying home. It just feels like an uninterrupted vacation. Since the hubbub of Christmas has passed, I’m enjoying the lazy morning routine of breakfast and coffee at the computer. I’m exercising without worrying about what time I have to get a meal on the table. When she’s actually home, I’m enjoying Meghan’s company (her break from school lasts another week). For day 3 of the new year, that’s a good amount of enjoying so far.

The winter storm that caused these extra days off really has not been that bad. I’m guessing there is somewhere in the ball park of 6 inches out there.
backyard view

It is frigidly cold so the snow is very light and fluffy.

The leaves of the rhododendron-azalea have been curled tight.
cold rhododendron

As much as Teddy would love for me to come outside and play, it is a bit too cold for me to want to venture out.
collie profile with snow

I’ve been puttering inside, with some new things to puzzle out.

As some of you know, we purchased a new lap top to replace our slowly dying 5-year-old one a few days ago. I love the quick responsiveness of this new machine, but I’m also having to learn the ways of Windows 8. It hasn’t been too bad so far, but some things have surprised me. Some things are not as intuitive or automatic as I would have expected them to be. After owning a Kindle Fire for the last year and as a new iPhone 5 user, I feel like everything should be so easy to navigate!
New things

Another new thing in that photo is Adobe Lightroom 5 – new photo editing software I was given for Christmas. I know absolutely nothing about Lightroom. If anyone knows some good resources you would like to point me in the direction of, please do so. I’m thinking I may purchase Scott Kelby’s book about it – he has been an excellent resource in the past.

I’m still trying to decide about a new theme for this blog as well. Would you share your opinions with me about how it looks to you? I’m not as crazy about this theme on my new 17″ screen, and I’ve had it for a while now anyway. Maybe it is time for another change! If you are so inclined, tell me in the comments what size computer screen or mobile device you usually do your blog reading on, and whether there is a lot of visible empty space on this blog.

Changes and joy – they continue!


  1. Morning Karma!

    Congrats on the new PC. I agree, Windows 8 does take a little getting use to. As far as Lightroom is concerned I have been using it for a few years now. Here is a link to an ebook at Craft&Vision for Lightroom 5 (http://craftandvision.com/collections/piet-van-den-eynde/products/lightroom-5-unmasked). I have this book for version 4 and really like it. Another good resource is Matt Kloskowski’s Lightroom Killer Tips website (http://lightroomkillertips.com/). Once you learn your way around the software I think you will really like it. I’m no expert but if you have any questions I can always make up an answer… πŸ˜‰

    Comment by Mike — January 3, 2014 @ 9:32 am | Reply

    • Thanks so much for the links, Mike. I haven’t even attempted to edit anything just yet. I’ve used PSE Elements for the last few years so this is all new to me. Is Lightroom your only photo editing software, or do you feel you still need something like Photoshop in addition?

      Comment by Karma — January 4, 2014 @ 8:11 am | Reply

      • I also use Photoshop Elements when I need a little more processing and I also have Topaz Labs plugins for Lightroom (something I won online a few years ago).

        Comment by Mike — January 4, 2014 @ 8:57 am

  2. Our schools gave the full two weeks off for break, so my kids aren’t due back until Monday. πŸ™‚ It has been so luxurious having this entire second week off after the hustle and bustle of the holiday week. They are talking another snowstorm Sunday into Monday here, so my kids are already hoping for an extra day. πŸ™‚ I haven’t been out yet, but it looks like we got another six inches overnight on top of the five or so we got yesterday. It is bitterly cold here too. Minus 6 with a wind chill of minus 20. They are calling for temps of minus 25 tonight and wind chill of minus 40. Yuck!!

    I have been working on a new touchscreen laptop with with Windows 8 since the summer, and I agree, it is a challenge. Not nearly as intuitive as it should be. Honestly, I stay on the desktop most of the time and don’t even bother with the new platform. I almost regret not spending the extra money to buy a Macbook, but I am getting used to it.

    Your blog looks good on my 17 inch screen. There is some white space wherever there’s a photo, but it doesn’t hinder the look in my opinion. I also wanted to start fresh with a new look. The jury is still out on whether I like my new theme or not.

    Enjoy your day off!! πŸ™‚

    Comment by kanniduba — January 3, 2014 @ 9:43 am | Reply

    • Thanks for the input Danielle. The cold snap is supposed to break on Sunday around here with temps in the upper 30’s – rain is forecast for us. But then I think it gets cold again.

      Comment by Karma — January 4, 2014 @ 8:13 am | Reply

  3. Happy New Year Karma!

    Lightroom can be a bit overwhelming, but there are lots of resources available to help you learn the ins and outs. Scott Kelby’s book is a great start. We have to agree with Mike. Matt Kloskowski is another great Lightroom resource. Hope you find the links below helpful πŸ™‚

    Lightroom Killer Tips: http://kelbytv.com/lightroomkillertips/
    Online Training Courses: http://kelbytraining.com/?s=lightroom&section=course
    Lightroom Seminars: http://kelbytraining.com/live/tours/the-adobe-photoshop-lightroom-live-seminar-tour/
    Kelby Media Group YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/kelbymediagroup/search?query=lightroom

    Comment by KelbyTraining.com (@KelbyTraining) — January 3, 2014 @ 10:28 am | Reply

    • Thank you so much for leaving me these links, I appreciate it.

      Comment by Karma — January 4, 2014 @ 8:14 am | Reply

  4. I was going to suggest the Scott Kelby book, as well as the links that Mike mentioned, but he beat me to it. I love LR5, it’s so, so easy to edit with. I will tell you this: the importing and set up of your catalogs is a bit daunting, but so far that’s the hardest bit. I think you’ll really like Lightroom. As far as Windows, I am a Mac gal through and through—just the idea of learning a whole new operating system makes me faint. Enjoy the snow, and stay warm!

    Comment by Kate — January 3, 2014 @ 11:09 am | Reply

    • I feel the same way about Mac’s – I’ve just always had PC’s and the thought of learning the Mac systems would be daunting to me. Is Lightroom your main editing program Kate, or do you use Photoshop in addition? Lightroom is the only editing software I currently have on this computer.

      Comment by Karma — January 4, 2014 @ 8:15 am | Reply

  5. Our snow is pretty much melted away, although the forecast is showing the possibility of more next week. I’ll be content to wait and see. As to Windows 8 – I bought a laptop with Windows 8 last May. This month, my daughter took that laptop to Korea with her and I bought an iMac, which I find has a learning curve but is much more intuitive for me. I have a trial version of Lightroom 5, but am so in tune with Elements, I don’t know if I’ll make the switch – maybe use it as an extra tool. Time will tell. Your blog looks fine to me – I read it on my iPad and find the white space perfect. But if you feel like playing, I say go for it!

    Comment by Carol — January 3, 2014 @ 11:32 am | Reply

    • Carol I can tell you I’ve been using Elements for the last few years so Lightroom looks a bit challenging to me! I received Lightroom as a gift, so that is the main reason I am making the switch.

      Comment by Karma — January 4, 2014 @ 8:17 am | Reply

  6. Happy Snow Day, Karma! We got some of the white stuff here, too. It was a surprise since it seemed like it was going to be all rain. I’ve never used Lightroom, and often wondered how and if it’s different from Photoshop. Good luck with your blog theme hunt. πŸ™‚

    Comment by Robin — January 3, 2014 @ 1:42 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Robin. I spent a lot of time looking through themes the other morning. I found a lot of interesting looking ones but I still haven’t clicked that “activate” button! I’m not willing to pay for a theme, and many of the ones I thought looked nice were pay-for-it-themes. I blog for fun, so I am sure as heck not going to pay for a theme! I’ll keep looking through the free ones and see what happens. πŸ™‚

      Comment by Karma — January 4, 2014 @ 8:20 am | Reply

  7. Not too much empty space on my laptop screen.

    This cold weather is getting very tedious and now one of my pipes has burst ! Sigh …

    Comment by sybil — January 3, 2014 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

    • Oh dear, that’s terrible Sybil! Hope things are better for you this morning.

      Comment by Karma — January 4, 2014 @ 8:21 am | Reply

  8. Congrats on all the new gadgets! I still have my iPhone 4s and I’m stuck with it until the end of March, and I’m dying to upgrade to the 5s!! Just need to work on the husband some more, cos he’s not exactly happy about it πŸ˜›
    Your blog looks fine on my screen and the only new-theme-input I have to offer is to go with a dark theme if you want to showcase your photos more. I’ve always felt that they “pop” more on a dark background. I’ve looked for a new theme for my blog as well, but couldn’t find one that I like.
    Loving your snow pics (of course!) and wish we’d get some of it, too, especially since our low on Monday is supposed to be 16 F and the high only 30 F (last time I checked) but of course there’s no snow in sight anywhere..

    Comment by TheDailyClick — January 4, 2014 @ 7:33 am | Reply

    • Thanks Michaela. I have the 5c, not the 5s. I wasn’t willing to pay that much extra when the main difference was the thumbprint ID feature. Although I’ve had an iPod for many years, this is my first iPhone. I’m very happy with it. Looking forward to making more use of the camera after I’ve seen all the cool stuff you do with it!

      Comment by Karma — January 4, 2014 @ 8:24 am | Reply

      • LOL my problem with the 5c are the colors…. I don’t like ANY of them.

        Comment by TheDailyClick — January 4, 2014 @ 10:59 am

      • I got the white one – I thought that wasn’t an offensive color, lol. And you can always put whatever color case you’d like on the outside. You could even have a case with one of your own photos made! πŸ™‚

        Comment by Karma — January 5, 2014 @ 8:21 am

      • Yeah, the white one is the nicest out of the bunch. I actually have a case with my own photos πŸ™‚ I don’t use it often though, because when I just have to run out to cart the kids around, I like my “wallet case” where I can add my driver’s license, etc I’m already looking for one like that for the 5s LOL

        Comment by TheDailyClick — January 5, 2014 @ 4:34 pm

  9. I like the white space of your blog, the only thing I’d change is to center your images. Your typing goes all the way to the right but your images are all on the left. I have a thing about balance. πŸ™‚ Looks like you’ve got a lot of learning to do! I have Lightroom but haven’t used it much. My workflow is Aperture and Photoshop. I hope you’ve enjoyed your extra days off. I disappointed that we are going to get rain! 😦

    Comment by Becky Sue — January 5, 2014 @ 10:02 am | Reply

    • I would like my images centered too, but I store my images on Flickr and embed from there – I don’t see to have a choice about where they appear using this method – I’m sure I could be quite wrong about that. Do you know how to do it by any chance?

      Comment by Karma — January 8, 2014 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

  10. Soft and fluffy snow! oh! I am not so lucky to have snow all around but I truly wish you a wonderful & dreamy time..I like the picture on your coffee mug. Well, new PC and iPhone 5 does make one want easy navigation and quick response.
    I am back to my work after a long (almost three weeks) of break. Life seems new & different too..

    Comment by sonali — January 6, 2014 @ 10:24 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Sonali. The soft and fluffy snow has disappeared again after a day of hard rain and higher temperatures. The weather has been a rollercoaster around here lately.

      Comment by Karma — January 8, 2014 @ 4:02 pm | Reply

  11. The snow looks so pretty, how can it possibly be so cold and cause so much havoc to peoples lives? I simply can’t image….

    You asked about your blog theme, I have a widescreen on my desktop computer, the one I use the most, and the sentences go all the way across the screen, only finishing 3″ from the right hand side of the screen. That’s the appearance that you must be noticing on your new computer. I think my theme right now is 2012 (or 2013….) and I have used 2010 previously. I find these are fairly basic themes and you can decorate as much or as little as you like. And the sentences run down the centre of the page, with just a narrow column on the right hand side. You should play around with different themes, you can see how they would look without changing too, until you are happy with what you see. Good luck with the theme and a very happy new year! πŸ™‚

    Comment by Joanne — January 8, 2014 @ 12:26 am | Reply

    • The snow is pretty for just a short time, then I’m tired of it! We have been experiencing an arctic chill over the past few days – I had to scrape frost from the INSIDE of my car when I left work yesterday afternoon it was so cold!
      I have been looking at different themes for the blog but so far I have been unable to make a decision about what I’d like to change to.

      Comment by Karma — January 8, 2014 @ 4:06 pm | Reply

  12. Happy New Year Karma! Enjoy the new computer and the new photo editing software. Will be interested how you like it once you figure it out. I think you would enjoy a theme that lets you showcase your photography.

    Comment by Dawn — January 11, 2014 @ 7:11 am | Reply

    • Thank you Dawn. I think my learning curve on this software is going to be a long, wide one! I’m really stumbling with it. Still been unable to make a choice about a new theme.

      Comment by Karma — January 12, 2014 @ 4:53 pm | Reply

  13. Hi, Karma! Gosh, I’m so far behind in reading blogs lately. By now you’re back to school and probably an expert on the photo editing software and Windows 8. πŸ™‚ Are you having warm weather this weekend in your neck of the woods? It’s about 36 here right now and feels like a heat wave! Bet you’re missing your daughter… Hope this upcoming week is a good one for you.

    Comment by Kathy — January 12, 2014 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

    • Hi Kathy! Windows 8 isn’t too bad so far for what I usually do at the computer but Lightroom is a big puzzle! I’ve played around with a few things, but it is very different from what I am used to. I will have to do some reading about it soon. Just took Meghan back to school today, actually, and yes, I’m missing her already.

      Comment by Karma — January 12, 2014 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

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