Sunday, February 28, 2010

I’ve walked for miles, my feet are hurtin’

In mid-January, a friend of mine asked if I’d do a favor for her and take some publicity photos for for the local newspaper. No big deal, she said. Someone had won a room make-over contest and my friend, the interior designer, needed a photographer to take some pictures of her and the winner choosing fabric, shopping for a couple of things, etc. Without even thinking of it, I said sure, no problem, but I'm really not a photographer. Then she told me to shut up.

It ended up being a lot more involved than that (of course!) and we went to ten different places to take photos, stopping for lunch and continuing on in the afternoon. Finally, we wound up back at my friend’s office, which is attached to one of the two shops she owns with her sister. They sell jewelry from Brighton, Pandora and Troll among other kinds, and handbags from Brighton and beyond, and lots of beautiful accessories. Her decorating office is in the back of one of the shops.

DSC_0479 copy 2

I snapped these photos at her shop because I like handbags and I thought these new ones from Big Buddha were cool.

My feet were killing me at the time. I had no idea it was to have taken all day, not that I minded but man were my feet hurtin’. All I could think of on the drive home was putting my feet in my softest socks and then slipping them into my sheep slippers . . .

DSC_0476 copy 2

And dreaming about this gorgeous handbag I fell in love with at my friend’s shop. I loved the color. And the fabric is a buttery-soft, suede-like material.

DSC_0473 copy 2

Just some fun eye candy, these little Spartina bags.

DSC_0482 copy 2

I have the one on the left in a different color. It’s a little make-up bag I use when I travel. I’m such a traveler, you know.

DSC_0457 copy 2 DSC_0488 copy 2

This is my friend Kathy, the decorator. Long-time readers may remember her as the birthday girl from this party bus post. We’ve known each other since the day I moved to the area, which was back in December 1996. I remember going to town to get a couple of last-minute Christmas gifts (we moved three days before Christmas) and stumbling upon her little decorating shop.

As it turned out for this photo shoot, I was to take pictures of Ingrid (the winner) visiting all of the advertisers places of business and perusing their wares, meeting the owners, and looking like she was shopping for anything from material from the fabric shop to bead board at the local hardware store. One of the advertisers was WalMart, where she went on a shopping spree for bedding and the finishing touches like lamps and photo frames. I was surprised at all the beautiful things we were able to score there.

But best of all, I got a super slingshot flying chicken for my favorite dog. More on that tomorrow.

I will tell you though, that every time I come home now, he runs to the car, waiting for me to open the passenger side door so he can see if I brought home a treat or toy for him. Man, I love this dog.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fooling around on a snow day

This is a photo I took on February 9th when we had the second of the two huge snow storms that hit our area this month.  My husband was trying to keep ahead of the weather that ended up dumping 18 inches of snow on top of the previous 15 we’d had only days before. Believe it or not, some of this snow was still on the ground this very morning. And now it’s covered with a new layer of several inches, which is what kept me home today.

DSC_0010 copy 4

I found this border {Old Polaroid with Corners}, a free download over at Jerry Jones’ Shadowhouse Creations, one of my favorite sites. In Photoshop, I applied it as a layer over a copy of one of my photos, just like you would use a texture. Then I chose the marquee tool to cut out the hole in the center for the picture to come through.

DSC_0045 copy 2

This is {Tan Storyboard}, another offering from the talented Jerry Jones. I’m never sure I’m doing the right thing when it comes to textures, but I’m not going to dwell on it because whatever I’m doing seems to be working for me. I used this just like I would a texture layer, cutting away the center with my marquee tool. However, I wanted more of George’s face in the photo, so first I added some white space around the original photo by choosing image/canvas size and then adding some white space. Again, I’m not sure if I’m doing it right but it all worked out in the end.

Well, that’s all that’s happening here, folks. And that’s just fine with me.

Two things

Two things happened today that drove home the fact that sometimes I am just a sentimental fool. I make no apologies for having this trait although at times I wish I didn’t get so teary about certain things.

First thing.

We had a pep rally today to kick off the start of the basketball tournament games which began after school. It’s always fun (well, for most, I guess) but this year I didn’t get to see any of it because I got busy in the office. No big deal. Sometimes that happens. But when I left at my regular time, the cheerleaders were warming up in the lobby and I stood and watched them in my coat before I went through the gym doors and eventually out to my car.

Our cheerleaders are amazing and our program has come a long way from where it was twelve years ago when I started at the school. Our coach is one of our parents and was formerly the coach at a nearby university. The group was totally in synch, the music was a blast, and they looked great. I smiled wide as I stood at the door watching them and when the routine was over, the coach turned and noticed me there, then asked me if I’d seen the pep rally today. I told her I hadn’t and why.

She turned to the girls and asked if they’d like to do Amanda’s routine for me and they all agreed. They were going to do a routine just for me because I hadn’t been able to attend the pep rally and I had no idea that one of our seniors had choreographed an entire dance routine. As the music began and the group started their precise moves, I was amazed that one of our girls did this. It looked so professional. And at the end, aerials and a lift and standing at the top of it all, a 7th grader who, as a young child, I consoled one day and who has always remembered my kindness. She always goes out of her way to say hello to me in the hallways. And at that moment, my heart just swelled.

And silly me, my eyes filled up with tears. I told them it was beautiful as I clapped after the ending. Amanda came and gave me a hug when she noticed I really was crying . . . and I left that building thinking what a sap I was. Can’t even watch a cheerleading routine without breaking down. Good grief.

DSC_0640 copy 2

Second thing.

I come home to my husband and my favorite pup. And later on as I’m going through photos, I find a series of bird shots that my husband has taken. They’re nothing special, and I’m thinking the whole time that I’ve really got to get him a better lens than this Quantaray. And as I’m going through them I realize suddenly how lucky I am that they are here on this disk in the first place. Because it means he’s still alive.

DSC_0641 copy 2

And I suddenly find that tears are falling down my face. Sometimes I really am just a total sap.

~ ~ ~ ~ @ ~ ~ ~ ~ @ ~ ~ ~ ~ @ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And now, let’s get serious because inquiring minds would like to know . . .

1. How and when did you learn to type?

2. What is your key ring like?

3. What was the last thing you took a photo of?

4. Of the people in your life, who is the Geekiest?

5. When was the last time you had to shout in order to be heard?

See you in the comments, my friends . . .

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Brew me a cup for a winter’s night

DSC_0443 copy 2

Brew me a cup for a winter's night. For the wind howls loud and the furies fight; Spice it with love and stir it with care, And I'll toast our bright eyes, my sweetheart fair. ~Minna Thomas Antrim

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours."

~Robert Byrne

The forecast calls for snow tonight and all day tomorrow, coupled with high winds. Our neighbors to the north are in for more of it than we are. And I think many people are feeling the same way as Mr. Byrne does!

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Photo by my husband, taken with a Nikon D80 and a Quantaray 70-300mm lens.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ten new discoveries

While visiting a blogging friend (hi, Caroline) today, I decided to join in on a meme in which she’d been tagged. Caroline changed it up a bit though by her decision to share ten new discoveries rather than just ten things she loves.

When you really think of it, it’s rather difficult to come up with ten new discoveries, but I put on my thinking cap and got to work. So for what it’s worth, these are ten new discoveries that I (mostly) haven’t shared before.

1. Dundee ginger preserves. I bought this jar for my husband at Zabar’s in NYC recently. We’ve always loved marmalade and although I also bought a jar of that as well, I thought this would be something he might also like. I’m the one who fell in love with it, though.

DSC_0004 copy 2

2. Nars blush in orgasm. I bought this blush despite the name (although I think the name is sort of fun). It’s the color that I’m in love with, baybee. It’s not the color in the blush in the photo but this is the only photo I could find. I think it’s the most natural looking color of blush I’ve ever used for my skintone.


3. These free textures from les brumes on Flickr that I discovered two weeks ago. Here’s a sampling of them:

texture 111

texture 163texture 160

4. This blog which I just discovered today. Actually, she discovered me first and when I went to visit her I ended up smitten with Bella Della Farm. I’m not so quick to add new blogs to my blogroll because I hardly have time to visit everyone as it is. But I couldn’t resist.

5. Another photo assignment at Pioneer Woman. And this time it’s on dogs. You should see the entries. I had a moment of self-doubt which lapsed into ever so much more than a moment because some of the photos are just so good. But I went for it anyway and entered this. I like the green in it and was hoping it would catch her eye.

He lives for frisbees

glee106. Glee is returning in April with new shows.

I love Glee.

It makes me smile.

7. These camera straps from Boneca Linda, who wrote me today and thanked me for posting about them here.

DSC_0095 copy 2DSC_0091 copy 2

8. These photos I found in my old camera bag. I had completely forgotten about them. They were taken by me and are of my son and one of his best friends, Alexis, before their senior prom in May 2003. They had promised each other that they would be each other’s dates if neither of them was seeing anyone at the time of the prom. We did a mini-photo shoot at a garden belonging to one of Alexis’ relatives.

DSC_0018 copy 2

9. These earrings which I had also forgotten about for over ten years, maybe more. I found them in a little jewelry box and recently began wearing them again. I think they’re fun.

DSC_0015 copy 2

10. This Nike TV commercial, entitled ‘The Human Chain’ that began airing today in our area. It’s excellent.

If you’d like to play along with this meme, please do so. Let me know when and if you do so I can come and see your new discoveries! Gotta go. LOST just began!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What’s black and white and red all over?

George’s favorite toy in the world, the Red Frisbee, went missing before the two big snowfalls we had early this month. We had sort of forgotten about the frisbee but today my husband found it while he was cross country skiing in the yard.

And it made one border collie very very happy.

DSC_0956 copy 2

He wants you to throw the frisbee to him. Throw it far.

DSC_0027 copy 2

He will catch it.

DSC_0046 copy 2

He will leap in the air for the prize that is the Red Frisbee.

DSC_0985 copy 2DSC_0990 copy 2

And if it goes too short, he will stop on a dime and circle around to get it.

DSC_0995 copy 2

He will bring it back to you to throw again.

DSC_0997 copy 2

And again . . . until he is very tired.

DSC_0031 copy 2

And then he will rest. And you can tell he’s had enough.

This has been a public service announcement brought to you by Dogs Who Love Red Frisbees. Thank you for your support.

Respectfully submitted,

All photos taken by my husband using a Nikon D80 camera.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The theme for today is red and white

It was a beautiful Sunday here in Maryland. The sun shone down on the land and it was warm enough to sit on the porch without a coat and read for awhile. When I came inside, I made some more salsa for the week and then whipped up some cheese and crackers for a late lunch.

DSC_0840 copy 2

This is my current favorite way to serve cheese and crackers. I have fallen in love with roasted raspberry chipotle and I don’t care who knows it.

I first had this heavenly sauce in CT while visiting friends last weekend, so on a trip to Stew Leonard’s (the most interesting food shopping experience ever) I bought a bottle after Annie pointed it out to me.

DSC_0838 copy 2

I used Carr’s crackers, Philadelphia cream cheese and Fischer & Wieser’s sauce.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ @ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

While working on photos for this post, I noticed a red and white theme emerging, so I decided to only post photos that have red and white in them. I get weird like that sometimes.

DSC_0826 copy 2

I went to WalMart today to get potting soil, seed starter and some seeds and picked up this fish toy for the black and white. It was a steal at a dollar. We played fetch outside in the snow until he got tired.

DSC_0813 copy 2

More red and white here in these wonderful mittens I received from El and Seamus, relatives who live in Canada. El told me that these mittens were all the rage in Vancouver right now. And they are so warm with their felt lining. They also sent me a thank you card for helping them out with their blog.

Their blog began as a way to chronicle their trip to Morocco over the holidays. Before they left, they had asked me a few simple questions which I happily answered. Then while they were away, I enjoyed seeing the photos and reading about their trip while they were in the midst of it.

DSC_0815 copy 2 DSC_0816 copy 2

More red and white. I’m still sticking with the theme here.

DSC_0859 copy 2

No, wait. Now how did this get in here?

I will tell you what this is if you promise not to freak out, ok?

Longtime readers will know that my husband enjoys bringing things home that he finds on his walks. You can go ahead and click on that link. It’s from two years ago and is all of about two short paragraphs long.

The photo above, if you haven’t already figured it out, is the tail of a rabbit. I want to think that the little bunny lost its tail from getting it stuck on something and is still out there running around somewhere with just this tiny piece of its tail missing. Sort of in a Squirrel Nutkin-way. But it’s more probable that either an owl or a fox got the rabbit and this is all that remains.

Of course, my husband had to bring it home to show me. And it is interesting, and very soft.

This is life in the country. And sometimes I just can’t handle the excitement of it all.

Hope you have a good day, all. Thanks for stopping by . . .

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It’s such a perfect day

Well, not really. But it’s nice to pretend once in a while, isn’t it?

Today we ditched the plans on stocking up in Amish country so I spent the day cleaning. I did the entire kitchen & breakfast nook floor, washing it thoroughly and then waxing it. I love a clean floor and my universe is almost aligned now. I also cleaned the kitchen.

DSC_0787 copy 2

Then this afternoon I took out my macro lens and just walked around the house taking a few pictures of things that caught my eye. I like the colors. Above is a zippered bag that I received as a gift from a friend. I have it filled with tea bags.

DSC_0799 copy 2

This is a beautiful dish that was also given to me. It’s a new acquisition and today I’m using it to serve crackers and cheese with a Malbec from California.

DSC_0790 copy 2

This is my favorite tea light ever. I bought this years ago in one of the only decorator shops on Ocracoke Island. It caught my eye as soon as I walked in. Around it I have my red glass berries circa 2000 from Pottery Barn.

DSC_0804 copy 2

An old pillow from Ethan Allen that serves as an accent on George’s couch. How I ever came to have a couch that’s primary resident was a dog is beyond me.

Have you seen this commercial that has been airing during the Olympics? It features 2006 silver medalist Gretchen Bleiler who's just advanced to the snowboarding finals at this year's Games. I am totally enthralled with this ad and every time it comes on, I stop what I’m doing and watch. I just found it today on YouTube after looking for it a couple of times during the past week. And I just realized that I truly do use the word ‘just’ way too much. See [yesterday’s wordle post] for explanation.

Hope your day is a good one, my friends. Thanks for stopping by and visiting with me.