Thursday, September 30, 2010

Congratulations to the CSN Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to the winner in the CSN Giveaway I hosted here! The integer generator at chose #112, which turned out to be long-time reader and blogger, Ann On and On. She will win a $65 gift card to use towards whatever her heart desires at any of CSN Stores websites.
I thank you all for entering and hope to host another CSN giveaway at some point soon.
I have had to relocate the original giveaway post to a review page I had to create in order to comply with BlogHer’s rules (of which I was in violation). My advertising has been suspended but hopefully I’ll be out of the doghouse soon.

Love ya,


PS ~ For those who want to read something more, I actually posted on my Picture A Day blog, which should be renamed to A Picture Whenever . . .
And thanks so much for the virtual chicken soup that so many of you sent. I think it helped.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry

I’m writing this post tonight from my usual spot on the loveseat and after this, I’m going to bed. I couldn’t wait to get home from work today. I’ve picked up a cold and need to shake it. So I will rest.
But before I do, I’m offering some haphazard thoughts that are swirling around my stuffed-up brain tonight.

1. If any of you live in the NY state area, within an hour or so drive of Hudson Falls, I have a blogging friend who has two kittens who desperately need a home. Their mother is wild but they are trainable. My friend is willing to pay towards spaying/neutering, so that is a plus. Check it out here and please help spread the word, if you would.

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2. We had crazy weather here in Maryland today. A tornado touched down somewhere far south of us and the rain was intense. But by the end of the day, the weather was pleasant, the skies were blue and the birds were singing happy songs.

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3. I love you guys and I don’t tell you nearly enough. I want to respond to each and every one of you, and sometimes I actually do. Sometimes I’m unable to and it’s mainly because of this. Well that and the fact that there aren’t enough hours in the day. But I love ya. And I mean it. I appreciate your visits and your kind words.

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4.  There’s still time to enter the CSN Giveaway! Contest closes Wednesday at 6 PM. Who wouldn’t want to win a $65 gift card?! See the second post under this.

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5. My son is planning on moving out this week. He’s started back to work and things are going a little better. He’s upstairs playing the piano right now and I’m really really going to miss that.
Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

All of the photos in this post were taken this evening during playtime for George, using my Nikon D80 camera and the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D  lens.

Pink Floyd provided the post title.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Everything you need is already inside

Being lazy tonight. I should be ironing but instead I’m being completely unproductive.

At least I’ve got soul.

It’s not too late to enter the giveaway that I’m hosting from CSN Stores. See post below.


Monday, September 27, 2010

It’s Autumn and it’s time for another giveaway

To comply with BlogHer's rules, I've relocated this post to a review page that I created. To read further, please visit Country Girl Review where you can see the original post.
Hopefully, the comments will remain here.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Superman’s daughter makes another YouTube video

It’s been ages since I’ve made a YouTube video and today, I made my fifth. After all my chores were complete, and I was relaxing in front of the computer, I decided to make a video and post it on YouTube, so that you could hear the music to what many of you thought was a poem when I wrote it in the comment section this morning.

The song is I Wish I Was the Moon and it’s by Neko Case.

I hope you like it.

PS ~ The post title was inspired by a comment left by my friend, ELK. My father’s name was Clarke and for a short time when I was a young child, I thought he was Superman. He looked like Superman. And to me, at least, he acted like him.

I wish I was the moon

Saturday mid-day and I’m taking a small cleaning break. I’ve got laundry on the line, the sun is shining, and it’s a fairly warm day here in Maryland. I’m looking forward to sitting under the dogwood tree in the breeze later this afternoon when all my chores are done.

Last night I couldn’t slow down my thoughts. Maybe it was the moon that was keeping me awake. It was such a beautiful moon. Yesterday, it went up to 95 degrees here and the air was thick with humidity. But early in the evening, things began to slowly change. I watched an old movie that had arrived from my friends at Netflix. I hadn’t seen Shirley Valentine in years and it was a pleasant jaunt to the Greek Isles for me.

I drank a beer under the moonlight and watched the soft breezes rustle the leaves in the trees while I imagined what I would do with this place if I had the money to buy it as George brought me sticks to throw so he could fetch them. And then finally, at 2:30 I went up to bed.

DSC_0824 copy 2My husband shot this photo the night before and it’s not bad for having done it without a tripod. I added a layer mask which I got here.

Well, it’s back to work for me. This afternoon, when it’s all done, I’ll go out to my favorite shop and pick up a few things. Tomorrow we’re having company and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen these particular friends.

Oh. I wrote quite a story about my dad and the recorder incident. Reading it back, it sounded way too crazy. So I guess it needs some work.

Hope you’re enjoying your Saturday.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Friday, September 24, 2010

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition


I was angry when I left the house for my walk this afternoon. I’d had an argument with my son who yes, is still staying with us. It’s a long story and one I’ll not go into here. Suffice it to say that he exasperates me. Completely.

And so I headed out to clear my head, hoping to expel some of the frustration. I took the hiking poles and headed on the down trail, the one by the barn that heads down the side of the hill. I’d gone only about 50 yards when I came upon a beautiful turtle right in the center of the trail. He had a rust-orange colored head and red-rimmed eyes. I stood there, pondering whether or not I should go back up for the camera, then finally decided not to.

I knew it would piss me off even more if I came back with the camera and that turtle was gone.

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So I kept going. And the walking began to help. Especially when I saw the view above.

I changed my mind about the camera when I saw the way that the sun was hitting the trees and I ended up going back to the house to get it.

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When I got to the spot where the turtle had been, the only thing left was his trail, which I tracked to the edge of the woods and deep brush. Oh, well.

I brought the macro lens just in case.

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I love fuzzy caterpillars.

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Here’s what it looked like today as I stood at the lower edge of the down trail.

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I started calming down and was glad I’d gone back for the camera and the extra lens. I used the macro to get the shots above and below (as well as the caterpillar).

All is well now. I mean, my son is still the same but I’ve just changed how I’ve decided to feel about it.  You can’t change things that are beyond your control.

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And I’m proud to say that I did this without the aid of wine. It’s only Thursday for cripes sake.

My mother used to say that all the time. “For cripes sake, Clarke, would you stop recording everything I say?!”

My father’s name was Clarke. I used to think he was Superman. When we were young, he told us adventure stories all the time – stories in which he was the hero.  They were wonderful and until I was in about 2nd grade, I really believed that my mother had been captured by an Indian tribe and rescued by a family friend – my father. He’d always been in love with her, he told us, and after he rescued her, they got married.

More on that later. And about the tape recording.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blue and pink

It’s late as I write this. I had an appointment at the end of the day and didn’t get home until much later than normal and now we’re in the midst of a thunderstorm and George is trying to climb on my lap.

I can type now because he’s gone over to my husband’s lap. Mine is infinitely better, though. It’s so much softer.

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This is the blue.

I’m trying to catch the morning glories in all their phases from the time they wake up until the time they go to sleep. And then I’m going to put them all into a photo book.

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And this is the pink.

A reader sent me an e-mail asking what type of white yarn I was using for my newest knitting project. I’ve had the yarn for several years and threw away the wrapper long ago. I responded to her question, trying to explain the yarn, but ended up saying that I’d just take a photo of it so that she could see a strand. So here you go, Gayle from San Diego!

Hope you like pink countertops because that’s what’s in the background.

And here comes George back on my lap. (The thunderstorm has gained in intensity).

~::~ ~::~ ~::~ ~::~ ~::~

Anyone watch Survivor tonight? I love watching this show with my husband. Holly went a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs on this episode but maybe it was just the game getting to her. After a pep talk from Jimmy Johnson, she decided to give it another go rather than quit. This was after she admitted, in front of the whole tribe, that she filled NYC Dan’s $1600 pair of shoes with sand and dumped them in the water. I think she felt good immediately after ruining the shoes, but then the guilt got to her.

Why someone would bring a pair of shoes worth that much money to play Survivor is beyond me. Let me rephrase that. Why someone would OWN a pair of shoes worth that much money is beyond me. And why someone would steal them, fill them with sand . . . nuts.

My favorite line tonight, the one that made us both laugh out loud:

“Holly, she keeps gettin’ crazier and crazier. So you know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna keep one eye on her and the other eye on m’shoes.” ~ Tyrone Davis

Thanks for stopping by. Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

PS ~ Dawn needs help with naming a photo. Actually, it’s her daughter who needs the help. She wants to enter it in a contest and it needs a name. Anyone care to lend her a hand? I’m sure she’d appreciate it. [Here’s the link].

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

World Peace Day

Today at school, we participated in World Peace Day by participating in Pinwheels for Peace, which was celebrated around the world. Nearly all of our students in grades K-12 made pinwheels for peace as a visual public statement about peace and we had a small ceremony this morning in front of the school.

I was the official/unofficial photographer and uploaded a set of photos to the website. The younger children seemed excited to have their pinwheel added to the front garden at school. 

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As I went around looking at all the beautiful designs, I realized again how glad I am to have this job. I realize this all the time, almost every day.

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Some of these are really quite beautiful.

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Our two art teachers, one of whom is my friend Margie (she’s the one who lent me Eat, Love, Pray), organized the creation of the pinwheels and the event itself.

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Groovy, man.

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I got so excited, I made another mosaic. I’m going to have it printed and hang it up in the school office.

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I looked up at one point and saw these four little birds along the weathervane at the top of the cupola.

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This is my friend, Margie. She’s really all that and a bag of chips.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This and that

I was surprised at a comment I received last week and it was from one of my regular visitors, someone I’d met In Real Life. She said to me, “I didn’t know you had another blog.”

For some crazy reason that I can no longer recall, I thought it would be fun to start another blog. As if I even have time enough for this one. So in July 2008, I began A Picture A Day. It features one photo per day, but lately I’ve been lucky if I have the time to post one photo per week let alone per day. But that’s the place where I usually feature my mosaics.

Mosaic: Autumn hues

I love making mosaics and feature them on the other blog because I feel that the page width suits them so much better. For the one above, I used the Mosaic Maker at Big Huge Labs. I’ve found that, for me anyway, it’s more user friendly if you already have your photos uploaded into Flickr.

Autumn 2010

The one above was made using an action in Photoshop. I downloaded a free template from MCP Actions called Magic Blog-It Board. The action allows you to place your photos in pre-determined sizes.

I share my mosaics every now and then at Little Red House where my friend Mary hosts a weekly meme called Mosaic Monday. It’s open to anyone who has a blog.

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Oh, hello there, little bug. ~ :: ~ :: ~ :: ~ :: ~ :: ~

And now I’ll leave you with something that made me chuckle. Maybe you’ve seen these before, but regardless:

These are classified ads, which were actually placed in a U.K. newspaper:

8 years old.
Hateful little bastard.

1/2 Cocker Spaniel, 1/2 sneaky neighbour's dog.

Mother, a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd.
Father, Super Dog... able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

Also 1 gay bull for sale.

Must sell washer and dryer £100.

Worn once by mistake.
Call Stephanie.

*** And the WINNER is... ***

Complete set of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 45 volumes.
Excellent condition.....£200 or best offer.
No longer needed; got married last month.
Wife knows f#%#%#g everything

Until tomorrow, my friends . . . thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It’s just a perfect day

The day started innocently enough.

Actually, it ended the same way. I just wanted to start the story with that line. I was looking forward to this weekend with its promise of beautiful weather and sunny skies and I woke early on Saturday morning, just as the sun was coming into my bedroom window.

I poured a cup of coffee and took my chair out to the place in the yard where the morning sun hits first and I sat and read my book while sipping my cup of deliciousness.

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I went back for the camera later. I think my husband is going to pick the lone watermelon today and I wanted to get a photo of it. For some strange reason, none of the others survived.

And it wasn’t because I stepped on any of them.

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As I was sitting and reading, a moth that looked just like this landed on my shirt. It stayed for a moment, and then it flew away, probably off to share a stack of pancakes with the butterflies who host parties in the morning glory patch.

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I started this book which I won in a contest last week. Thanks Mental P Mama!

I’m still reading Eat, Pray, Love and am nearly finished. It got a little bogged down while we were in India at the Ashram. Not that it wasn’t interesting, especially after Richard came on the scene. I had the book with me last week when we went to see my husband’s oncologist at Johns Hopkins. We were met by a beautiful medical student who promised me that Bali would be the best part of the book and that I ‘needed to keep reading because you will love it’. And she turned out to be very correct.

Because I do love the Bali part.

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And then I made pancakes.

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And watched my husband fill the bird feeders.

I have always loved his arms.

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After some chores, we set our chairs under the dogwood tree and watched the birds as they came to the feeders.

And then I made lunch because we were expecting company.

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It was delicious. You can find the recipe here on my other blog.

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We sat outside talking for the afternoon. Our friend brought his dog who got along very well with George. And after a while, he said to us, “God, it’s so beautiful here.”

It was so relaxing sitting under the tree and watching the dogs cavort and the birds flittering about. And my husband was happy to have someone to talk about sports with.

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I’m not a real sports fan. But my sister is. She’s a Phillies fan in a big way and my husband loves having her here. I used to think it was because she reminded him so much of me (* snort *) but it’s the Phillies thing, man. Plus she’s funny and cool and is a super good cook.

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I brought my newest knitting project outside. I’m making a white scarf for someone. Casting on came back to me and I realized I much prefer doing it with one needle than two.

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We watched the morning glories begin to fade for the day, and then it was time for our friend to leave.

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But he didn’t want to go yet. We could tell.

So my husband and he took a walk around the property, with the dogs following them most of he way, as I took photos of the morning glories folding up.

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And I decided that I would make a photo book of these beautiful flowers and give it to someone for Christmas.

It was just such a perfect day. And I’m glad I spent it with you.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Here’s looking at you, kid.

Congratulations to Corny, whose caption won in the Name That Photo contest! Please e-mail me at with your address and your choice of photo from my etsy shop for your Standout print.

DSC_0478 copy 2I had fun with this contest but I want you to know that #5 (Be vewwy quiet . . . I’m looking for a little grey squirrel.) actually had a few more votes. Unfortunately, five of them appeared to be from the same person which was disheartening.

Thanks to everyone who participated! I hope to hold more of these in the future.