Thursday, November 29, 2012

Getting in the Holiday Spirit

The last day of's sunny and the temps are rising to 50 degrees today with a warm front heading our way.  Well, so much for snow to get me in that Holiday spirit.  I am seeing snow on Pinterest and blogs and I am having a little snow envy right now.  Last year we only had one really good snow and that is just not enough for this gal to take all those delightful snow pictures that I envision.  So come on snow, I want you, I need you, I love you.  Hmm, did you know that was Elvis Presley's 2nd single #1 hit back in 1956?  Just a little trivia....

Haven't started my holiday decorating yet, but I think today I may begin bringing the bins up from the basement.  I am still deciding on a Christmas tree...I am leaning toward buying a new one, small, lighted and then permanently attaching all the ornaments and at the end of the season, throwing a sheet over it and storing it totally decorated.  Dragging that tree up from the basement, and putting it together and then decorating it is one overwhelming job for me.  When I was younger and had help I decorated 3 trees.  One in the living room, one in the family room, and one in the guest bedroom, again I said, when I was younger.  How about you?  Do you decorate multiple trees or are you struggling like me, with one?

Altho we have no snow and I haven't begun to decorate, I am getting into that Christmas spirit by grabbing a few props and taking a few holiday-like pictures and listening to Christmas music.

A new little ornament....

And last night I enjoyed a beautiful dinner and wonderful Christmas program at a friend's church.  The tables were set beautifully, the dinner was delicious and the program was wonderfully inspiring.

I hope your holidays are bringing you great joy!!

"Let nothing dim the light that shines from within."  ~  Maya Angelou

Until next time.....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thoughts & Textures

Thoughts on a Tuesday...

  • Hmm wonder who will win Dancing With The Stars tonight?  I haven't watched last night's episode due to it being Bunco night and it was way too late to watch when I got home.  Should have, couldn't settle down and sleep.  I have a hard enough time with trying to sleep and with a Bunco stimulation it just enhances the journey of a sleepless night.  Too much food, too much sugar, too much fun to calm this body into sleeping.  Anyway...back to guess is that it will be Melissa and Tony claiming that god-awful trophy tonight.  She is fantastic and Tony is such a nice guy and usually gets voted out early, not because of him, but usually it's his partner.  ie: Kate Gosselin. (YIKES!)   Altho I really like Shawn & Derek...boy can they dance, wears me out just watching them, such energy, but I must remember they are about 100 years younger than I am. 
  • Still eating left-over about you??  This year I decided to fix a turkey breast instead of a full turkey.  Our whole family just likes the white meat so all the dark just goes to waste.  We don't take pictures ala Norman Rockwell style, of the bird at the head of the table in all of it's roasted glory....Sam (son-in-law) always carves it in the kitchen and serves it up on a platter at the table.  I found this recipe from Danelle, many of you probably follow her photography blog, but she also has a food blog entitled "Let"s Dish  I would definitely recommend it...juicy, tender, delicious.. 
  • And once again, I am not going to discuss two more men that rose to glory only to fall flat on their faces by making poor choices....General David Patraeus and Jesse Jackson, Jr. who has resigned from Congress due to poor health, but my guess is because he is being investigated by the FBI while he was in Congress for being in cahoots with our illustrious jailbird ex-govenor Rob Blagojavich in a bribary scheme.  We all agreed last night at Bunco that Congress needs to be fired...period.  
OK, I have gone from DTWS which sometimes shows too much breast, a recipe to fix a turkey breast, and fallen men who probably have fondled too much breast.  Oh where does my mind wander and why??  

OK...something lighter, a couple of images that I am turning into cards for this weekend's Art's always difficult for me to pick out images for printing, but I really like these two.  And since this is the last Texture Tuesday for the year over at Kim Klassen's blog, I wanted to join in.  I used two of Kim's lovely textures.  The first one is her latest...Xanthe scripted, the second one ??  I forgot.  


Hope your mind doesn't wander like mine does...Have a good evening and sleep well. 

"When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another."  ~  Helen Keller

Until next time.....

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Big Pat on the Back

I am giving myself a big pat on my back, stretching, stretching because today I unpacked, set-up and installed a wide-carriage Pro9000 Mark II Canon printer all by myself.  And since there is no one else around to tell...I am blogging about it.  You know when you do something out of the ordinary, and I do mean out of the ordinary, you feel the need to tell...well that is what I am doing...telling.

Now understand, that was NOT in the plans for today, but necessity rose it's ugly head and I just decided to dive in.  Yesterday I printed several of my calendars in preparation for the sale this weekend, before I ran out of ink...darn.  So this morning, out the door pretty early, down to my local Office Depot to stock up on paper & ink with coupons in hand.  (kinda like over the river and thru the woods).  Went to work as soon as I got home by adding new paper to the printer and changing out the empty ink cartridge (mine are individual ones), not all in ones.  I have a PIXMA Canon printer that I have had several years and loved it, always did a great job.  Well, something happened and the dreaded Error Code 5200 appeared on the screen.  After looking thru the manual, yeah it's so old I had a manual, not the on-line manual that you have now, I discovered the Error Code meant printer carriage problems....not good.  Looked on-line and found some remedies, tried them, didn't work.  Oh crap, now what do I do?

Well, I bought myself this brand new Pro9000 Canon printer a while back in anticipation of cleaning out the study and setting it up in there.  Well, needless so say, the study still sits in squalor, so the printer still sat in its box.  But now my trusty old one stopped working and I have these calendar and card pages to print.  Now it's hand wringing time....walked across the street to grab one of the young boys to give me some help carrying this BIG box down the stairs to set up in the kitchen.  The study is not going to magically clean itself up so I am forced to set this baby up in the kitchen while all this printing is taking place, right next to my laptop that has a spot on the kitchen counter as well.  No one at home...drats.  So, I gently, I mean gently dragged the box down the stairs, scooted it along the floor into the kitchen, opened the box on the floor and then hoisted it up onto the kitchen counter.  My sweetie always taught me when lifting something heavy use your legs, not your back and it worked.  Up on the counter.  Now unwrap all the stuff, strip off all the orange tape, gently unwrap the printer carriage, read, read, and read some more...don't want to do anything wrong.  I am dragging this out way too long...jumping to the end, I was successful.  I even managed to take the USB cord off of the old printer and old computer and re-use it on the laptap and the new printer (with no instructions).  That's what I mean ladies and gentlemen, a big pat on the back.

And here are just a few "out-takes" from the photo shoot the other day.  These are my grand-kids and poor Bailey was having a heck of a time...too sunny, too windy, but we did get some good ones for the family shoot.

Back to printing....have a good week!!

"Life is a rollercoaster.  Try to eat a light lunch." ~ David A. Schmaltz

Until next time....

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - The November 25, 2012 Edition

Oh my goodness, Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season is shifting into full gear.  I was not part of the madness of Black Friday...oh no, I am not crazy about crowds so that would have not been fun for me at all.  There is nothing on my shopping list that requires that kind of "madness".  Well, back to more pleasant things...this week's Scavenger Hunt over at Ashley's blog.  Our challenges this week are:
  • Home or Thankful
  • In the kitchen
  • Couple
  • Bubbles
  • Trees
These were the Thankful tags we all wrote on Thanksgiving Day and read them aloud around the table after dinner.

And here was Lisa with her tag...all written.  Much to be thankful for.

In the kitchen preparing pie for Thanksgiving Day...

This lovely couple is my daughter and her husband.....

I didn't need much of an excuse to take a bubble bath for this prompt....

And the gorgeous trees at the foggy Arboretum earlier this week...

So that's it for this week.  Hope all my USA friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a great week ahead.  Come on over to Ashley's blog to see what other's had to post.

Until next time....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

I just read Nancy's post at a (A Rural Journal) and she found during her sleepless night a blog that is entitled The Simple Woman's Daybook which gives simple prompts to encourage us to stop and realize the small blessings in our lives.  I thought I would join in with the prompts.

For Today:

Outside my window - this morning I saw a bright red Cardinal in the front yard.  I must get that bird seed out and hang the feeder!!

I am thinking...of all the things that have to be done in the next few weeks in preparation for Christmas and when am I going to have time to do all that I want to do because as you will read, I do waste a lot of time.

I am thankful...for Thanksgiving because it always brings my family together for one whole day.

In the kitchen....Leftover cranberry/apple pie that is calling to me

I am wearing....brown cords & a long-sleeved knit shirt and comfy shoes

I am creating.....the calendars from my photos to sell next weekend at an Art Sale

I am going....nowhere today

I am wondering....why I waste so much time??

I am reading....Maine - a story of women and their relationships, recommended by a "reader" friend of mine.

I am hoping....that I will sell some of the calendars

I am looking forward to....going away to a rented house north of here with the whole family for Christmas and also hoping we will have snow for Christmas...perfect!!!

Around the house....need to get all the Fall Decor put away and the Christmas stuff out and begin the decorating.

I am pondering.....why I waste so much time??

A favorite quote for today....

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have
into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos
to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a
feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and
creates a vision for tomorrow."

-- Melody Beattie 

One of my favorite things....listening to Christmas music, I just turned them on today for the first time this season.

A few plans for the rest of the week....finish the calendars, visit my sweetie, enjoy Bunco, Bible Study & Christmas Dinner with friends.

A peek into my day....oh it is pretty boring, always starts with coffee and newspaper then the day unfolds to whatever.

A couple of more pics from my foggy morning trip to the Arboretum earlier this week....

Hope you had a good day....

Until next time....

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's Over

It's over....the Thanksgiving turkey, the pumpkin pies, the cranberry sauce are all just memories,  or if you are lucky, there might be a few leftovers waiting for a re-visit.  There are still a few dishes to be put away, not to be seen until next year, and if I am lucky to remember where I put them, and the Fall decorations to be stored in their plastic storage tubs, only to be replaced by the many more that are filled with Christmas Decorations.   I planted pansies on the front porch this year instead of mums in hopes that they would last longer, and they did.  Still blooming, even after several nights of frost but now evergreens & red berries & lights will grace the front porch for the holidays instead of the orange pansies.

This year a couple of new traditions were added to the holiday....Mac, my daughter & son-in-law's Siberian Huskie, and Charlie, my grandson & granddaughter-in-law's Jack Russell Terrier.  Hmm, I am thinking a new great grandchild would be a better option, since there were a few too many scuffles that needed human intervention.

By the end of the day, Charlie & Mac got into one too many scuffles and Charlie ended up with a Huskie nip on the ear with blood.  In fact, I think Mac had his whole mouth around Charlie's neck because there was a scratch (with blood) on his neck as well.  We think there may have been a misunderstanding about food.

But before all of this happened we all piled in the car and drove to Danada Farm, a horse farm just a couple of miles from the house for some outdoor family shots.

Brie, Hilary, Brandon & Bailey

Lisa & Sam

And back at the house....


The day was filled with food, drink (both kinds) and laughter. 

I am so thankful for this family of daughter & son both grew into fine adults and all my grandchildren are doing well and are growing into fine young adults.  Brandon has already established his career as a graphic designer, Bailey is graduating from college in May, and Brie is a sophomore in college.  I have many things to be grateful for, but family is at the top.  

I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with many blessings!!  

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have
into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos
to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a
feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and
creates a vision for tomorrow."

-- Melody Beattie 

Until next time.....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Fog Made Me Do It

OK, what's a girl with  many, many things to do today in preparation for Thanksgiving tomorrow, but wakes up to a really foggy morning with a brand new lens on her camera do??....go to the Arboretum ofcourse.  Heck, the chores will get done in due time, but foggy mornings come along so rarely that I just couldn't resist.     You only go around once in this life, so I firmly believe in taking these opportunities when they come your way.

My new 24-70mm F2.8 lens was due to be delivered yesterday and indeed it was sitting on the front porch when I returned home from grocery shopping.  I picked a good time to go, 2:00 PM in the afternoon seemed to be the perfect time.  Very few people there and the lines were short.  Only had to stop at one other store to pick up everyone's favorite, corn bread stuffing...must be a favorite of alot of Thanksgiving cooks because the 2nd store only had about 5 bags left.  Anyway, the lens was on the doorstep waiting, and it took everything in my power to carry the groceries in from the car and put away the refrigerated stuff before opening the box and sliding it on to the camera and start snapping away at anything and everything.  What I immediately liked about it was it's ability to take a good, clear picture under poor lighting conditions.

So when I woke this morning and the fog was heavy, I drank my coffee, got dressed (no make-up or much combing of hair), and headed to the Arboretum to see how this new baby was going to perform.  I LOVE it.  Here are just a few pics from this morning....

Sharing with Trish's Watery Wednesdays...

Oh, I definitely love this lens.  And btw these are all hand-held...I rarely use a tripod, so the Image Stabilization really helps.  Now, I definitely must get back to the Thanksgiving preparations.  Hope all my USA friends along with their friends and families have a thankful & blessed Thanksgiving Day.  Peace to All throughout the world. granddaughter just arrived to spend the night, the one that had whooping cough...she is all better now and I wanted to test my new lens out on portraits inside after dark. how sweet it is.

"Nothing purchased can come close to the renewed sense of gratitude for having family and friends."  ~  Unknown

Until next time....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Next Love Affair??

I love my 105mm 2.8 Nikkor Macro Lens.  I know you are not supposed to "love" inanimate objects, but it's hard for me not to love this lens.  I use it for obviously taking Macro shots, but I also like it to take portraits.  But, this week, after holding out and holding out and coming close several times, but not, I finally did it.  I ordered the new Tamron 24-70 lens, and now waiting patiently for the UPS truck to pull up and walk it to the front door.  This may be my next love affair.  I'll keep you posted.  What about you, do you have a favorite lens.

Linking with Kim Klassen today and using her lovely texture "Kristin".

And this one using two of Kim's new textures....Kristin & Leslie.  It's hard to believe the Quince bush has already put out the buds that will sit and wait for spring before bursting into bloom.

No texture, just Fall loveliness with my Macro....

And a portrait with the Mother & Daughter at the Advent Tea!!

A great lens...!!!

Until next time.....

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hanging On

I am trying to hang on to Fall and it's colors one last week before all thoughts will turn to Christmas.  On Friday, pumpkins will disappear to be replaced by lighted trees and Thanksgiving figures will be packed away with Santas and Snowmen appearing from boxes that have been stored in basements and attics.  Stockings will be hung in anticipation of Christmas Eve, lights are strung to make the shortened days appear brighter.  Poinsettias will take center stage while the Mums in all their glorious Fall colors have faded and are thrown into the compost piles.  We turn the page of the calendar to a new Season.

But wait, before all that happens I am still enjoying those last bits of Fall.....

I thought these leaves were such a beautiful color I snipped a few to place in a vase, but the leaves began to fall off the branches almost as soon as I cut them.

And I am re-posting this lovely field and barn from last week's trip to the country for Trish's Barn Charm.  

And this barn, with it's really high window, it's pretty low window, and it's really low window.

Off to the grocery store to buy sweet potatoes, & cornbread for stuffing, and cranberries to make that all important Thanksgiving meal.  Hope your week is as fulfilling as our tummies will be on Thursday.  Happy Thanksgiving!!

Until next time.....