Saturday, October 30, 2010

A pair of threes

As in three orange and three blue pictures for you today. I love all this color.

So there I was, sitting on the front steps having my last cup of coffee and taking pictures of squiggles on pumpkins (yet again) for my files. I’ve already had several of them printed at and had taken them to school to use as office decorations for Halloween. I wanted to replenish my files for next year’s decorations. This year’s photos have been promised to several of my co-workers.

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Anyway, it’s a long explanation and while I was thinking all this, a ladybug came along and began crawling up the pumpkin.


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It was crawling around very quickly, as if it were on a mission. I think its mission was to get to the top of the pumpkin as soon as possible.

I could barely keep up with it using my lens.

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It was so quick that this is the last photo I caught of it before it flew off.

Please try to contain your excitement.

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I’ve been cleaning the entire day and am enjoying a well-deserved glass of ice water in my Tervis tumbler. It keeps the water nice and cold. I’ve been cleaning extra because we’re doing something we rarely do here at the manor house on the hill.

We’re having company.

Now, I love company. I’d have people over all the time just like it was when I was growing up. Our house was one of the most popular on the block. But my husband is pretty much the total opposite. And not surprisingly, his parent’s home is very quiet. In fact, when I began dating him (I was 19), one of the things I loved the most was how quiet and peaceful it was at his house.

He’s looking forward to our company tomorrow, though. They’re friends that we’ve known since we were teenagers and my husband and I went to high school with one of our visitors. It’ll be so good to see them all.

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This next set of three was taken by my husband. He was checking out what’s going on with the morning glories that are covering much of the garden fence.

They were changing colors in the weather.

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I thought they were beautiful enough as they were, so I’m posting them SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera).

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And speaking of cameras, and I know this is wrong of me, but I have been lusting after something a little . . . more. But after I looked at prices of the Nikons I was really interested in, I decided that it’s just going to have to be sort of like an unrequited love. Unless I hit the lottery sometime soon.

Ok. I’ve lollygagged enough for now. I’m off to the licorice store to pick up supplies and to the grocery store for fixin’s for my favorite apple cheese crisp for tomorrow’s dessert.

Happy Halloween, everybody. Thanks for stoppin’ by today.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Today was one of those golden halcyon days, although it didn’t begin that way.  It was dark and raining on the way to school, where little things began to go wrong. By mid-morning however, the sun burst through the clouds that have covered us for the past several days and suddenly everything seemed a little better.

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Today one of the teachers noticed that my right rear tire was almost flat. Between him and the athletic director, I had air in my tire before I left work and I didn’t even have to leave my desk. Or ask for help. It was just given.

I love working where I do.

I drove the Element to the local tire shop, where they fixed a bad valve stem. And in 20 minutes, I was on my way again ~ headed home to take a walk in the late afternoon sun.

Although I’m somewhat ashamed to admit it, I shot the above photo on the auto dial in portrait mode with the ISO set to autol, focusing on the fence closest to me. I’ve been trying to get away from the auto dial but sometimes it’s just so darn easy to use.

I layered it with a Kim Klassen texture called autumnart, then another called earthernware framed . I like the blurry sometimes.

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I know it looks like the house is on a hill here, and it is, but not this pronounced. It looks that way because I was lying on the ground when I took this photo, focusing on the leaves. I layered this one with autumnart.

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I found this picture on the disk the other day and after cropping it, ran Florabella’s gypsy action, finishing it off with another Kim Klassen texture called golden. I love golden and used it on my husband’s shot of the dragonfly below.

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I think this music video is interesting.

The shadow puppet part is my favorite.

Have a beautiful Friday, all. Until tomorrow, then.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bewitching season

I thought this new header would be fun to use over the coming Halloween weekend. It was made for me by a blogging friend who sent it to me a few days ago. I think it’s really cool that she’s got my house in there behind the spooky trees, plus George looks like he’s wigging out over those ghosts in the yard.

I also like that my avatar looks exactly like me.

About 30 years ago. I used to have a pair of skinny jeans just like that, too.

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My husband took this photo of George yesterday, which I found in the camera this evening along with over 200 other images. He took several similar shots but the ones where George was facing the camera were blurry. This is the best of the bunch and I like how the black & white looks against the colorful trees.

When I got home yesterday, I noticed that my husband had decorated the pumpkins from the garden.

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He used my pumpkin carving stencils from Williams Sonoma and copied them onto the pumpkins then colored them with magic marker. I really think they’re cool. The carved one at the top left is interesting with the stick in his cap and is that a real fly? Yes, just to the right of the stick is a big housefly, which adds the perfect touch, I believe.

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He also strung the last of the garden peppers and hung them from the garage doors. We have four long strings and honestly, I think they look pretty festive.

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If you’re like me and looking for a movie to watch around Halloween, here’s a list of suggestions from yesterday’s comment section. I put the scarier ones at the bottom. I haven’t seen several of them, so thanks to all for sharing your favorites.

    • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
    • Casper
    • ET
    • Hocus Pocus
    • The Ghost and Mr. Chicken
    • The Adams Family
    • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
    • Nightmare Before Christmas
    • Monster House
    • The Rocky Horror Picture  Show
    • Dracula (Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder and Anthony Hopkins)
    • Dracula (Louis Jourdan as the Count - a BBC production from the seventies)
    • Interview With the Vampire
    • Shutter Island
    • Rosemary’s Baby
    • Halloween (the original with Jamie Lee Curtis)
    • Silence of the Lambs
    • The Hitcher

I leave you with a scene from a great family Halloween movie. It’s Hocus Pocus (1993) starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy and a very young Thora Birch. I used to have a friend whose name was Thora.

Have a great Thursday, all. Thanks for stopping by.

Header designed by Di at The Blue Ridge Gal. Thanks, Di!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


My eyes are still a bit dilated from the visit to the optometrist late this afternoon, but it’s not the reason for these filmy, gauzy photos.

The visit was just a check up. The pictures are how I’m feeling, I guess.

The past few days have been absolute bliss, (weather wise) and if it were always this comfortable, life would be me living in Happy Town. In a sort of gauzy, sweet, wonderful feeling, October has been a blessing.

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The morning glory blooms are half the size they were last month.

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The photo above is layered with a texture from Kim Klassen called Grumge with Text. I first heard of her at Pioneer Woman’s site after reading one of the submissions for an ‘Edit This’ assignment.

Who is this Kim Klassen, Ii thought? Her textures are lovely.

I will say that my heart still belongs to Jerry. (No offense to Kim).

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There’s a nest of these bees in the ground by the old dead tree in our backyard. Well, what’s left of the old dead tree. It’s kind of freaky knowing the bees are all in that hole in the ground, but we stay away from it. George has sniffed it and they don’t bother him or Miss Blackie but I don’t trust those bees after what I saw them to do Macaulay Culkin in My Girl.

I came home today to decorated pumpkins in the parking area by the garage. I couldn’t take a photo because my eyes were in no shape to be outdoors, so I’ll have to share tomorrow. I also have a fun header to share that was sent by a blogging buddy, just in time for Halloween.

Do you have a favorite Halloween movie? I think I’ll share mine in the comments.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Something good in every day

Today was one of those days. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I wasn’t psychologically ready for Monday to begin. I had a hard time getting up, mostly due to how wonderful the new flannel sheets felt.

I finally found a pair of sheets that my husband and I can both agree upon. And now that it’s chilly, I much prefer the flannel. I bought them here. And I used my coupon.

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 Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. 

~Elizabeth Lawrence

I’m watching In Treatment with Gabriel Byrne, a show I haven’t watched for over a year ~ but it’s good. Very very interesting.

DSC_0969 copy 2Every day may not be good,

but there's something good in every day.

~Author Unknown

Today wasn’t great. But there was good in it. As I write this, George is at my feet and Miss Blackie is curled up on the opposite couch. I can hear crickets through the half open window in the living room and the distant sound of the train.

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Thanks for coming by. Have a beautiful day, all.

Until tomorrow . . .

Monday, October 25, 2010

It’s hip to be square

Some of you may remember the classic potholder loom you had when you were a kid. I had one and for a long time, it was my favorite thing to play with. I loved making potholders and when I had several done, I went door-to-door in my neighborhood selling them and taking orders for others. So much more fun than selling girl scout cookies ~ I had created these designs on my own and every door I knocked on was a sale.

So when a blogging pal came up with the idea of making her own little looms, I was first in line to put my order in.

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Unfortunately, when it came I was swamped with much to do and my little loom sat quietly waiting for the day I would open it up and be transported back to my childhood. Last weekend, I did just that and followed the instructions, putting the bottom row on the loom and then starting at the center with my weaving.

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It wasn’t until this weekend that I had some time to finish it, though. I recommend good lighting, starting at the center and keeping your rows tight. The instructions are perfect and there are a couple of color combination samples.

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The Hip to Be Square Loom comes with a beautifully made 9” balsam wood frame and enough looper strands to make 8 potholders. There’s also a metal hook as well as a crochet hook included.

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I think this will be a great gift for the creative child in your life ~ whether they are six or sixty.

I’m feeling very retro right now, playing with mine. So watch out world!

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The completed potholder is much larger (and thicker) than the ones I remember from my childhood. Mine hangs proudly in my kitchen, ready for my husband to use the next time he makes me dinner. Ha!

I may even make more and donate them to the Secret Santa Shop at school next month. I love the colors.

Respectfully submitted,

Saturday, October 23, 2010

No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace . . .

. . . as I have seen in one autumnal face.     ~ John Donne

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Lately I’ve been thinking that I really don’t have much to say. I’m sure most of you have long since realized this fact (ha!) but I have been blogging for almost three years now and I’m beginning to sound like a broken record to myself. I’m always walking around my yard taking pictures or taking portraits of a photogenic border collie who happens to live with us.

Well, the broken record is going to continue, because today I bring you more photos of walking around my yard. I did include a black cat and some birds this time, to change things up a bit.

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Bittersweet October.  The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter. 

~Carol Bishop Hipps

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I love October. It just feels so good. And the color is beginning to get marvelous around here. To the reader who commented yesterday that seeing my photos of her beloved Maryland is making her cry, I’m sorry.

I didn’t mean to make you cry.

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My husband hung a bird feeder out the window at the breakfast nook. It’s up quite high and we get to see the birds close up now, every time we sit at the table.

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A little Miss Blackie on a chilly fall day.

I took all of the photos in today’s post using my Nikon D80 and a Nikon 105mm macro lens that I borrowed from a co-worker for the weekend.

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Last night my husband and I stood right where I stood to take the photo above and we moved our shadows up and down, stretching them out and elongating them again.

It was his idea. I’d been hiking by on the trail that runs behind the trees there and he called me over to show me the long length of his shadow. I wished I’d had the camera but knew that the light would be gone by the time I returned. So I promised myself to remember it because it was one of those completely sweet and touching moments that doesn’t just come along every day.

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The sun was slowly setting and the bokeh was glowing.

bokeh (pronounced /boʊ'kɛ/) is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image, or "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light."                                                ~ Wikipedia

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I hope you all enjoy your weekends, whatever is that you do. The world is your oyster. And thanks, as ever, for your visits here.

Until next time . . .

Friday, October 22, 2010

My crown is called content

I loved reading what all of you are doing for the weekend from the question I posed in yesterday’s post. And thanks to Tiggeriffic for helping me identify the Harris’ sparrow. I have to look in one of the bird books, and even then I’m not completely sure sometimes.

I found another group of photographs in the camera disk today. My husband took all of them and then I worked on a few of them in Photoshop.

Before Photoshop, I read more books. So tonight after I finish this post, I’m going to continue to read the book I started last night. It’s a Sue Grafton and I’ve been reading her Kinsey Milhone series for over 20 years, the first one being ‘G is for Gumshoe’ and then working my way back and then forward.

But back to the camera dish. Here’s what I found tonight.

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He must have been lying on the ground for this one of George. I love it. I used a Michelle Black sepia action on it and then a texture from Shadowhouse Creations called 5AT5.

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You can see several bridges from the top of the hill. This was taken in the field in front of the property, through the woods. I used Florabella’s Little Blue Book texture in warm.

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I know they’re dead sunflowers, but I just loved this picture above, with the morning glories growing up the stalks and the blue of the sky. I used Pioneer Woman’s Seventies action on this as well as Florabella’s Summer Wine, both with the opacities lowered considerably.

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My crown is in my heart, not on my head; 
Not deck’d with diamonds and Indian stones, 
Nor to be seen: my crown is call’d content.

Shakespeare - King Henry VI, Part III, Act III

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I really liked this one too. The lone morning glory ~

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And now, if you care to partake, I have some questions that need an answer.

1. Do you lie about your age?

2. What is the last nice thing that someone did for you?

3. Do you like to cook? What is your best dish?

4. What’s the best thing about where you reside?

5. What is the first movie you remember seeing?

See you in the comments, my friends . . .

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bottoms up

It’s Wednesday night as I write this and I’m in my usual Wednesday position, which is on the loveseat in the living room, watching Survivor. If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know it’s one of our favorite shows.

When I say our, I mean my husband and I.

George likes Jerseylicious, a nasty little habit he picked up from one of the dogs in the nearby development. I hear him down here with the TV on after we go up to bed.

Today, I found these in the camera disk.

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These were all taken today by my husband. This little sparrow has one of the red berries from the dogwood tree in his beak.

I think this is a Harris’ sparrow.

Annie? Kerri? Any other birders out there?

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Bottoms up!

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You can tell we live on a hill in this photograph.  That’s the garden you see in the foreground, covered with morning glories around the fence line on either side.

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The trees are really beginning to show their color.

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A bucolic view from the hill, just through the trees from the property.

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Tilt the camera just a bit lower, and the real view comes into play.

I love finding surprises on the camera disk and seeing the view through my husband’s eyes.
And I love that you visit. Thanks for coming by today.

Any weekend plans that you’d like to share? I’m cleaning and doing some more windows. Maybe picking up some pumpkins to carve.