Friday, April 21, 2017

It's Been Awhile....

Who is spreading that rumor that I have deserted my blog? I wouldn't call it deserting as much as taking extra long breaks. Yeah, that's it, long breaks.

I must admit that I didn't pick up my camera much during the months of January, February and into March because it was a totally boring winter. No beautiful snowfalls, no frozen icicles, no snowmen. Just brown, trashy road slop and bare limbs. Altho I did get some pretty good bird shots with the bare trees.

Well, now that's it's spring again in my part of the world, the camera has now returned strapped around my shoulder and ready to face the world.  I actually planned on a drive to the arboretum today because I know the magnolias have almost dropped all their pretty petals and the bluebells should be in full force, but the wind is also in full force which makes capturing those sweet spring flowers a little daunting.

My last three months haven't been a total camera loss.  I did go to Arizona in March and spent 10 lovely days in the sun and warmth visiting with my FOL buddy, Terri. We managed to get to the Desert Botanical Garden twice, the Butterfly Wonderland, and a nice lunch and walk in a local park. Always fun to get-away when you have had just a little too much winter.

After my return from the fun and sun, The Chicago Botanic Garden was having a huge display of orchids. Ofcourse this was a must-do for me and my camera. I did not realize there were so many types of orchids, both in size and color. Stunning doesn't even come close to describing the beauty.

OK, it's now taken me 3 days to write this one post. And you wonder why I don't post daily.  The wind seems to have calmed somewhat so I am going to try the Arboretum again today. I have over the past 12 months or so really lost my vim and vigor and have become extremely lazy. Thus probably the reason I haven't kept up with this blog. I don't know if it's age (you know I just had another birthday, 74 argh that sounds so old) and I still love to travel, take photos, be with friends, but sometimes naps in the afternoon become a priority. Hopefully with the new season upon us I will shed this feeling of laziness and get back on track with life. Have a good week, and hopefully see you again soon.

Until next time.....

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Do the Things I Love to Do....

Well it's been over 2 months since I have posted. No excuses, probably not much to report, but in the last month I have had some very sad news that has put me in a melancholy mood. And again realizing that life is short and each day should have some beauty, a little joy, and a lot of gratitude. So many that I love have lost their beloved pet, their mother, their father, their husband, a friend gone way too soon. So much sadness that I just wanted to crawl into a ball and bury my head in my pillow. And again realizing that there is a way to relieve this sadness, to do the things I love to do.

This blog was my "get out of jail" card when my life was surrounded by my husband's illness, my mother's needs, and the daily gradations as both were failing in front of my eyes. In the evening, after settling my sweetie into bed, I would grab my laptop and write a blog post. I began this journey in May of 2011 and have written 960 posts since that time. Writing a post was part of my daily routine, what the heck happened that I got so far off of that path?? I still have a passion for photography, altho I must admit in the winter that passion goes pretty barren much like the landscape. This winter in particular with no snow and mild temps has produced nothing desirable to photograph. You can only photograph bare branches so many times.

Just as Spring was making it's first appearance with warm temps, blue skies, and sunshine and a chance to get out and photograph the emerging of early flowers, the temps plummeted and we are back to "same ol, same ol".  It sure was enjoyable while it lasted. This time last week I was at a photo conference, listening to speakers and having fun photographing indoors and relishing in the sunshine as we ate lunch outdoors, without coats.

I played around with the Lensbaby Velvet 56 during the conference and did get some fairly decent images, but I had just purchased the new Tamron 90mm 2.8 Macro lens and felt that I could probably duplicate the same look with the 90mm and not spend any more money on another lens.

The 2 wood-pecker images above were taken right from my front window with a 150-600mm lens. I finally filled the bird feeder after being empty for almost a week, and purchased a Wild Berry Suet square and the woodpeckers LOVE it.  It's like candy to a kid. Today alone, I saw juncos, cardinals, downy woodpeckers, red-bellied woodpeckers, chickadees, white breasted nut hatch, and ofcourse, sparrows, all right in my front yard. Now that brings me a lotta joy.

Tomorrow night the Oscars will light up TV's all over the world as we wait and watch to see who the big winners are this year. I have seen many of the movies that are nominated this year and I have my favorites. We'll see who walks away with that golden statue this year, but honestly come this time next year I probably won't remember who won what. But it's still a tradition in my house to watch, wait and cheer the winners. (and also see what the stars are wearing on the red carpet)

Take care, have a good week and spread a little joy.

Until next time....

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What It's All About

Tuesday I went to a luncheon at Betty's home with other women of our church.  Betty had 3 tables set beautifully with lovely china and sweet flower bouquets at every table. The dining room was set with rose patterned china and the florist was able to harmonize the live roses with the lovelies on the china. A hand-picked florist for a hand-picked bouquet.

Which brings me to my bouquets. Needless to say my florist are the bins at Trader Joe's or an occasional trip to the grocery store. Nothing fancy but I appreciate the convenience and the price. And this time of year I don't even have to look for a vase or arrange any flowers since poinsettias are my go to flower for Christmas.

The house is decorated at last, took me forever this year. The boxes were stacked in the entry way for days. The kids would find little pathways thru to get to and from the front door, finally they gave up on the paths and just began jumping over the mess. Now I wonder just how long it will be before it all comes back down. My Mom believed that if you didn't take the decorations down before January 1st we would have bad luck the whole year. I really think that was a ploy to get us to move a little quicker in helping pack the Christmas decor away for another year. In days gone past my sweetie would do all the packing away.

The kitchen has some festive touches, a little tea set that I bought from a store no longer in business many years ago. That was in the era that nothing was on "sale" until after Christmas. I can't even remember when the business of sales before Christmas began, probably the same year that stores began decorating for the holidays before Halloween.  We seem to be in a constant state of change.

The Christmas cards appear in the mailbox each day which always brings me joy. (guess who the ham is in the middle??) I love seeing families grow and change and since most of my family live so far away sometimes the only way to see them is thru the greetings that come once a year. Thank goodness for facebook.

And speaking of are my two. Getting them to sit in a chair and look at me both at the same time is in itself a small miracle.

I have posted on Focusing On Life today with "my best of" list. Love to have you stop by. Happy first day of winter, happy?? we have been in a deep freeze for days. It's just now beginning to thaw. And Christmas day is predicted to be 50 degrees. Like I said, changes are constant. Breathe deeply and think calm thoughts as we approach the last days before Christmas, let's all remember what it's really about.

"As long as you live, keep learning how to live." ~ Seneca

Until next time.....