Monday, January 31, 2011


Last week, the school where I work was closed for three days due to the weather, and by Saturday I think I began to get just a little stir crazy.

I did get a lot done, as well as spend good quality time in my pajamas. But by Saturday, it was really getting old.

So I decided to take a couple of pictures inside my house using my 60mm macro lens.

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The chest of drawers in the dining room. You can see the mantle in the background. This used to be the fireplace in the original part of the house (c. 1769) but was closed off some time in the 1900’s.

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The door leading from the kitchen into the dining room. The white cabinets are what we use as our pantry.

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The wide version.

The dining room gets the most wonderful light in the afternoon and someone had given me a container set of 3 paperwhite bulbs which you can see in the window on the right.

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They were just beginning to bloom, which is the reason I’d put the macro lens on in the first place.

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And I’m working on another watermark because I am not content with the one I had.

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I was thinking of entering these over at PW’s site, but it was too late for the assignment.
After that, I went a little crazy, I think. I was looking for amusement, so I did this. Hold onto your hats, because this is wild.

This is the part where I say “Not really”. And where I really mean it.

George falls asleep watching the football game.

And because I didn’t want Miss Blackie to be left out, I did this.

She wants in. She wants out. She wants in . . .

Thrilling, wasn’t it?

Orange you glad you stopped by?

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Stay safe, my friends – if you’re in the path of the massive winter storm that’s heading your way.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

And now, zee winners of zee giveaway

Congratulations to the following three winners of my new line of Greeting Cards.

#67 – Carrie

#10 – HOA Mgr Lady

#50 – Patty

Carrie will be receiving a set of 4 assorted bird cards and the other two winners will each receive the random assortment of 4 cards.


Please pretend that the second number generated is a 10. Because that’s what it was when I copied the screen. And I cannot believe I messed this up yet again. But I promise, it was the number 10.

Thanks to everyone who entered. I do have a few sets of cards up on my etsy site, if you’re interested and I’m also selling them in Havre de Grace, Maryland at Art Union.


My Etsy Site

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

The little scamp

I took these photos a couple of days ago - on the morning that we awoke to a foot of snow. In the winter, I like to leave the camera with the long lens by one of the windows. You never know what you’ll see.

And it keeps the boredom at bay.

That’s when I caught this little fella.

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I had just sat down to watch the birds in the bushes when I looked up and saw this tiny face among the branches of the dogwood tree. I know it’s pretty blurry, but that sucker moved so quickly, I hardly had time to grab the camera let alone check the settings.

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The bold brazen article slinks along the branch, knocking down the freshly fallen snow as he travels.

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And then he zooms down the pole ~

My husband used a thin metal hook to hang this particular feeder because it’s slippery. The little bugger slid down it so fast, I nearly didn’t capture him!

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Poof! He was quick. I held the shutter down and this is all I got.

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He checks to make sure that the evil dog is not on duty.

I’m sure the squirrels think that our dear, sweet George is evil.

And when it comes to squirrels, believe me – George is serious about his job.

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One can never be sure if it’s safe to eat.

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But this morning, the coast looks clear.

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And a nice relaxing stretch while he leisurely eats his breakfast of oiled sunflower seeds.

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Where are you when we need you, George?

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The texture I used for the last photo was a free one from Kim Klassen that I received via e-mail yesterday. If you join her e-mail list, she’ll send you a free weekly texture. And I’m still fooling around with a watermark for my logo. I never can make up my mind.

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Have you entered my Greeting Card Giveaway yet? It’s not too late and will continue through Sunday, Jan. 30 at 6 PM est.

Enter here.

Have a great day, all.

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The photos used for this post were taken with a Nikon D80 and a Nikon 70-300mm lens.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Giveaway because I love ya

Ever since I first began blogging in late 2007, I am still pleasantly surprised at the kindness and support from the people who come here to visit. All that I wanted was to have a site where it was calm and quiet - but not too calm and quiet – if you know what I mean.

And so, because I think you’re wonderful – and to thank you for coming by today - I’m holding another Giveaway. Because it’s the only thing I can think of to show my thanks.

This time I’m offering a set of my new photo greeting cards to three different winners. I hope to have them up on my etsy site later this weekend.

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I love the tradition of sending cards.

A handmade card lets your recipient know that you were thinking of them today and that they are worthy of a little beauty.

Even if they don’t think they are.

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Sometimes they just need to be reminded that you care.

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More fun than receiving an e-mail, these cards are so easy to use. All you need is your recipient’s address and a 44 cent stamp. And then you just pop it in the mail.

And voila – in the time that it would take you to send 475,356,980,543 e-mails, the card will arrive at your recipient’s door.

And they will smile.

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There are three sets from which to choose for this Giveaway.

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Random Assortment

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Havre de Grace

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Sets include 4 assorted cards and matching envelopes, and ship with protective mylar sleeve in sturdy packaging. Photographs are printed on Kodak Endura archival paper and affixed to Strathmore acid free card stock with embossed edges.Cards measure 5" x 6.875" and the matching envelopes are 5.25" x 7.25".


Leave one comment, telling me which set you’d like to win as well as a way of getting in touch with you to let you know when you’ve won.

Anyone may enter.

Giveaway will continue through Sunday, January 30 at 6 PM. Three winners will be chosen using the integer generator at Winners will be announced Sunday night between 6-7 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Good luck!

Country Girl

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I love

That you make me coffee every single day.

How much you enjoy the outdoors.

And how fit you seem to stay.

I love . . .
. . . that you will never see this on my blog. Because you never, ever, EVER read my blog.

Which is probably good, because you would freak out,
(because other people read it).

* gasp *

And they see your photo.
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And they know that you like to listen to poetry and beautiful stories during dinner.

By candlelight.

And that after dinner, you do the dishes.

I love . . .

That you will never see this post.

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But your father will.

And he will show your mother. And together, I think they will know how I feel.

Because I love their son.

And their son is doing fine right now.

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Love you, Godfrey and Anna.

I hope I haven’t said too much.

A world transformed

I’ve been working on this project all morning and I tell you, I am mentally beat and I think I need a nap. Ha!

Last night, rather than listening to poetry or a book on, we listened to the sleet as it hit the windows of the breakfast nook. Earlier, we’d heard thunder. Snow with thunder doesn’t happen that often, at least not around here.

And this morning, my husband and I awoke to a world of white with a foot or more of snow on the ground. We spent a couple of hours very early outside, my husband shoveling before I even got up, and then we walked around the perimeter of the property to make a path.  I took photos while I was walking, and then came in and chose about 20 of them to use for a video for you this morning.

Unfortunately, something is completely whacked with Windows Live Movie Maker today. So after googling questions on how to resolve it, I decided to try to upload the movie directly through YouTube, hoping that there wasn’t a corrupt file somewhere.

If it sounds like I know what I’m talking about, I can assure you that I do not. I would love to be as tech savvy as many of you are.

Photos taken on a snowy morning in January, accompanied to music by Mara Carlyle.

But, by jove . . . I think I’ve got it. To watch it larger, click on the YouTube icon at the bottom right corner where you can watch on YouTube.

Have a beautiful day, all.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow day, unexpected

I thought it wasn’t coming until much later this afternoon, but I awoke very early this morning to an odd light, the kind of early morning light that only snow can bring. All morning long, big fat flakes fell at a rapid rate and then would slowly change to a fine mist, only to begin the cycle again a short while later.

Really quite beautiful.

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I shot the photo above through the windows of the breakfast nook. Our driveway runs down that fence line that you can see in the background.

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I opened one of the windows in the living room and shot this one. If you look really closely, you can see George in the very center of this photo. But don’t strain yourself. I can hardly see him there, myself. Click photo to embiggen slightly.

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Out the front door, looking to the east here.

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And straight ahead, catching the huge holly tree in the yard.

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Shot out the kitchen window. And now to find something else to do.

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Watercolor day

It’s nice to be quiet sometimes, and today I was actually feeling a little blue. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that every now and then.

But only every now and then.

Yesterday, I noticed that Pioneer Woman is hosting another photography assignment. This time, the subject is Flowers. I saw that two groups are already up and they are flat out fantastic. In fact, after looking at them, I wondered why I was even bothering to enter. And then I told myself to stop it.

You can only enter one photo each day. And I have hundreds upon hundreds of flower photos . . . no, wait . . . thousands upon thousands of flower photos in my files. Honestly, the thought of going through all of them and finding what I thought was my best work was rather daunting.  After I’d spent what I thought was enough time searching, I chose this one because I’ve always liked it.

And frankly, I was getting tired of looking.

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I took this a couple of years ago in the early spring. It’s a tiny little blue vase full of grape hyacinths. The vase itself is only about 4-inches high and I like that the texture I added made the vase almost look like a watercolor.

I wish I could remember what I used.

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Here’s the original, in case you’re interested.

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And speaking of textures ~

For those of you who have been thinking about getting into the world of textures, Kim Klassen has a new e-course out and and it’s a FREE one. All you need to start is Photoshop CS or Photoshop Elements, a high speed internet connection, and the ability to unzip files. Visit the link below for more info.

Kim Klassen’s Learn Textures in Ten – A FREE e-course

I wish I had this when I was starting out. Check out her regular blog at the Café, where you can join up for her weekly e-mail newsletter and her freebies and special deals. I’ve acquired so many beautiful textures from her. And the ones she has for sale are reasonably priced.

Kim Klassen Café

Have a beautiful day, all.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Sometimes I have nothing to say. Tonight is one of those times, so I’ll leave you with a photo I took in nearby Havre de Grace a couple of weekends ago.

It was bitter cold. And my fingers were freezing when I had them out to take shots of the gulls.

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A true friend never gets in your way
unless you happen to be going down.
~Arnold Glasow

I’m working on some notecards that I’m thinking of selling on my etsy site. But before I do, I think I’ll give some of them away, so stay tuned.

Have a beautiful day, all. I loved reading all the answers to your questions the other day. Thanks for stopping by.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Two movies I watched over the weekend

This weekend, I watched two wonderful movies on Netflix that I’d like to share with you. I streamed them both right onto my laptop and watched them on my big screen. Both are French with subtitles and star Audrey Tautou, an actress with the kind of expressive beauty that transcends language.

The first is Amelie, about a girl who lives alone and works in a café. One day, she stumbles upon a child’s hidden treasure and decides to find the person to whom it belongs and return it. If this makes the person happy, she would continue to do good deeds for others. I did a short review about it a couple of years ago, if you care to read.

Amelie review and trailer

I wanted to see something similar today but there really isn’t anything quite like Amelie. However in my wanderings, I did come across a film that I thought looked interesting. A Very Long Engagement  is directed by Jeanne-Pierre Jeunet and is a wartime romance.


Tautou plays Mathilde, a young woman who is searching for her finance, a WWI soldier who disappeared from the battlefield after a court martial. Her investigation launches several other miniature stories that shift back and forth in time. Beautifully filmed along the French coast, the movie is a visual feast. But I will warn you that the battlefield is equally as effective at drawing emotion. The very beginning scenes are probably the worst though, and I’m so glad I continued to watch.


This movie is going to stay with me for awhile.  I really didn’t want it to end. If you watch, you may be surprised to find Jodie Foster in a small role, speaking impeccable French.

Watch the Trailer – A Very Long Engagement

I tried to embed the trailer into my post but for some reason, Windows Live Writer is being persnickety about it tonight.

Hope you like.

Until tomorrow, then . . .
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cycle of life

So, there I was sitting in the living room, minding my own business and working on photos I’d taken earlier in the day of a juncoe on the red pole out the back window, when my husband comes running in the room . . .

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He told me that he’d just seen a sharp shinned hawk swoop right down from the sky and take one of the birds that was waiting its turn at the feeder. “It’s still on the tree,” he told me, “and he’s eating the bird.”

So I stopped to get the long lens, the Nikon 70-300mm which is the longest we have, and followed my husband’s pointing finger to the tree where the hawk was perched.

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These photos aren’t that good because I was taking them at an angle through glass. But stay with me, ok?

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For those of you who are squeamish, I apologize. But this is how things are (and I promise to never post anything gross here).

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We watch as the hawk eats his prey, feathers floating in the air. My husband says that he can’t believe we’re witness to this.

We watch the feathers as they float gently down, landing on the snow.

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And then I’ve had enough and go back to the living room where I plan on forgetting what I had just seen.

About 20 minutes go by and my husband walks into the room and announces that the hawk is still there. “It’s like he’s eyeing up his next meal,” he tells me.

Well, I have had enough of this. So I get on my boots and my warm coat, and don my hat and my gloves and despite my husband telling me that the bird will fly, I told him that I wanted it to fly.  I want it to fly far away from our birds here today because I think that he’s had enough.

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And I walked right under where he was perched, trying to scare me with his evil red eye.

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And I captured this shot of him, looking rather put out because I was standing right under him. But he also looked like he was getting ready to take off.

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Which he did.

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And everything I took was blurry.

But he landed close by and I continued to follow him, standing under each tree, until he took off completely.

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And I waited . . .

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. . . until he was far far away.

And then the birds returned to the feeders. Like they were waiting for me to save them.

And then I was the hero of this story.

The end.
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