30 September 2011

Camera Critters

Today I'm combining my camera critters with iphonography.

First, a photo of Alix, our visiting kitty. He was falling asleep on the top of the couch.

I also have one of my cat, Molly. Yes, we do nap a lot, why do you ask?

I also took one using the iPhone app "Embossing".  You can take the photo in different colors and degrees of grain texture. I like how it uses depth to show color differences in the subject.

It is a different look for photos, kind of an art approach. 
Too bad I couldn't use this during my summer art class.



Late in the summer, Laura from Life with Laura passed on this lovely blog award!  Thanks so much!

You should stop by her blog.  She talks about family fun and documents her travels with wonderful photos.  In fact, if you're looking for ideas for a European vacation, go through her daily updates from her summer trip.  Really neat places I had not seen before and some that will definitely be on my future list. 

Now I'm suppose to share some things about myself.  I had planned on sharing a photo project from my summer class, but the end of summer went wonky and I didn't get a chance to shoot the photos I had in my head.  So I'll try to think of a few things anyway.

- At work I have not less than 7 different screens open and running at the same time on my work computer.  Luckily I have a couple really big monitors to keep up with me.  It helps me get things done, because with my short attention span I can float back and forth between items.  Occasionally,  I do forget what I was working on and find in later in the day!

- For a short time I have been babysitting a friend's cat at my house.  My cat is very used to having the house to herself (she let's me stay too) and let me know how she feels about this visitor.  The visitor just wants to play!  So, I've had to rotate their free time roaming the house, kind of like balancing a bad divorce.

- I spent 5 years as a residence hall director at a large Midwestern school.  After that,  I learned enough to work in almost any department at a college or university.  Also, a core group of us have remained friends 15 years later and being spread all over the country.  The stories we could tell would keep you from sending your children away to school. (So we don't, ha!)  But seriously, it was some of the hardest and best work years of my life.

- I believe chocolate and/or shopping can make any day better.

- I am taking a short road trip to my littlest niece's second birthday party; apparently we are going to the gym.  I'll be sure to take photos of the little one's jumping all around.

- I was in band all four years of high school, playing flute in the marching and concert bands.  I competed in solo and groups events.  My instructor hated my "hand position", but it worked, so I never did correct it.

- Last night the "Girl's Night Out" group went to a local favorite German restaurant.  It's been featured on the travel and food channels.  We had jumbo cream puffs!

photo credit: Schmidt's
I hope you have a great weekend - More fun coming when I get back!


27 September 2011

Much too soon

A little over a week ago, my friend N. and I headed to Maryland to visit our sick friend. The plan was to help get the house ready so when she came hone from the hospital she would be comfortable. Unfortunately, by the time we reached Baltimore, she had been admitted to the University of Maryland Medical Center MICU.

We were able to see her and talk to her, but she was sedated to help with the breathing tube. I know she understood we were there, what we were telling her and that everyone loved her very much. She was able to understand and respond to basic commands, so we know she was truly with us in spirit. I was very grateful we had the time to be with her, because the next day she succumb to the complications of her illness.

I spent a lot of that weekend reminding myself there is a plan, there is a reason. I'm still looking for a little light into what that plan might be...
 This weekend many of those who loved her got together to tell stories, share memories, and make new friends. The group is made up of folks from different parts of the country, but the one thing we all had in common was our friend. She would constantly keep each of us updated with the others' lives, even when we didn't really know the other people. It was just important to her that everyone become part of one big unit, and this weekend we did just that.

We went to a local tavern in her hometown and had a toast to her 
as well as a fried bologna sandwich, their signature dish!

And just so we knew she was really with us that day, 
here was the sunset she sent us on the way home Saturday.


23 September 2011



So, I needed to adjust my primary email on this blog and now I have lost "following" on all of your lovely blogs.

Oh no!

I will be looking for everyone to follow again over the weekend, but feel free to leave me your info in a comment so I can get right back on the list.


21 September 2011

Watery Wednesday

A little late today, but beautiful anyway...

This is a river that runs near the Blarney Castle in Ireland.  
I tell ya, it is so beautiful in that country, the photos all but take themselves. 
Maybe we'll get back there next year.

It's been raining on and off here, and cloudy so no pretty pictures.  
Hoping for some inspiration this weekend.


15 September 2011

Quiet on the Riverfront

A little foggy this week in the mornings.  
No rowers or fishermen on the river this day.  
Just a quiet reflection of the still green trees on the calm surface. 

I'm a sucker for these mornings, I live to capture a few good shots to start the day off right.

I hope you have a good weekend. 

Heading with others to help my friend this weekend.  Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers for her and the family.  I will be sure to share them from all over the world.  She will truly appreciate them!


13 September 2011

Of course it was pink

One of my nieces had a birthday party at the local roller rink. Do you remember those days?  They had pizza and pink lemonade along with the cake my Sister-in-law ordered.  Of course it had pink frosting too.

The party go-ers all seemed to have a great time and loved the cake.
Here's my question, how on earth do you get THAT bright a color in frosting?!
I'm pretty sure it was even brighter in person. 

So there's your fun and happy color for the day!


12 September 2011

Matthew 11:28

Matthew 11:28

This is all I could think of today.

A friend of mine has be diagnosed with a terrible disease
she has young children and a wonderful husband
she's one of the hardest working people I know
and not just at work, but in church and community
she's the girl scout cookie Mom
and the donuts and coffee after church lady

I want the doctors to be wrong, some how
to say there's a quick fix or a better outcome
It shouldn't be about how I feel about it
but today it is, a little

Mostly, I want to support her and the family
so they can rest and reflect
so the days today are better each day
while we can do as much as we can
and pray for a miracle through the doctors' hands

Well, I'm open to pretty much any kind that comes her way!



Mello Yellow and Macro

I thought I could use a little pop of color to start the week.  What's not to love about yellow and roses?  I took the two photos on different days, but both were lovely and sunny, which brightened up the roses even more.


For more Monday fun, click on the boxes below:

09 September 2011

Where were you when the world stop turning?

I thought I was ready for this 10th anniversary, turns out I was wrong.

Ten years ago I was a police officer working nightwatch.  I had come home, exhausted as usual, scanned the early morning headlines and went to bed.  I slept amazingly well, something that wouldn't happen again for quite some time.  I woke up and saw the light on my answering machine blinking furiously.  The phone only rang in the kitchen of my house, so I could sleep during the days.  I never heard the series of calls all day long.  After the third message, I turned on my telephone and saw just how much the world had changed...

The skies were clear for several days and nights after that day. No planes allowed.  It was a shocking silence that is difficult to put into words.  There was no traffic pattern to rely on, no lights in a dark sky, no way to tell time by in the increase or decrease in plane traffic.  It is something you don't even realize is important, until it is gone.  Maybe that was a lesson all by itself.

Until that day I lived in a world where I believed the best of society.  It's not that we haven't had tragedy in the US, in fact the previous few terrorist events had been domestic - Oklahoma City, Waco, and Columbine.  I think maybe that's worse, but really how can you measure loss?  We lost our collective innocence that day, along with the people in the planes, the Towers, the Pentagon, and the field.

We lost mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, parents, grandparents, children, aunts and uncles, and best friends.  We lost first responders who went to work that day, like every other day, knowing they might not come home.  Their families supported their choice to be the ones running into the chaos, fire, and danger when everyone else was running away.  They supported them because they loved them and they knew it was a calling.  And that day, they were called to serve a greater purpose.

What we found that day were heroes.  Not just the finest and the bravest, but the strongest and the terrified ones that held open doors for their co-workers, carried friends down the stairs, made last minute phone calls for help from a plane, dragged strangers out of the rubble, and comforted each other in a mind-bending situation.  Heroes that never signed up for that role, but lived up to nonetheless.

Then there were the photos - every where - of missing loved ones.  Posted on fences, telephone poles, walls, street signs, and shown continuously by the media.  I think those walls of photos are ingrained in my mind as much as the dusty aftermath of the towers falling and the hole in the side of one of the largest federal buildings in the world.  Those pictures and what they represented were far more important to me than any building structures or what they represented.  Those scenes have become part of American history.

I have traveled to parts of the world, landing there while they too found themselves under attack.  I have a job now, that was developed partially as a result of blatant ongoing terrorism in the world.  I live through and with these events a little each day, so I thought surely re-living the paradigm shift of 2001 wouldn't be so emotional.  And yet I remember all of the moments immediately following that day.  I remember the flags flying high as a symbol in defiance of defeat.  I remember the blood drives and the red cross support and impromptu meetings to send help to the places in turmoil.  I remember the people thousands of miles away trying to find a way to connect and hold on and send prayers to families and communities they had never met.  I choose to see that new America as the result of that terrible day.

I choose to believe again in the power of good winning over bad. 

Source unknown

"And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve...
But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Joshua 24:15

(Items in the photos from the moving 9-11 memorial, if it comes to your town - go see it!)


On Sunday visit :

08 September 2011

Early morning skywatch

I'll never be a morning person, but starting the day like this certainly lifts my spirits. 

Happy Friday!

(Taken on my iPhone, edited with the Camera+ app).


06 September 2011

Horsing around

Yes, I know I promised these photos days ago.  My real life schedule has been hijacked and I'm pretty sure I'm not getting it back for a couple months!  I'll still try to post often, but understand if there is a pause or two along the way.  Thanks!

While in NY, a couple of the cousins hopped right up on one of the horses.  Both horses are extremely well trained, but one is older and a little bit better for the smaller kids.  I included a few pictures of the other horse, because she really wanted to play with us too.

This is Sierra, she was watching the other horse get saddled, wondering when it would be her turn.  I thought it was hilarious to see her hanging out there.  I could almost hear her thinking.

M has had lessons and loves riding.  She is still new at it, but here she is trotting toward me.  I have never taking a photo with a large animal coming right at me!  I was not too concerned because 1) the horse is really good and 2) the barn was right behind me and I figured she'd at least stop for that!

The younger one, holding on for dear life the first trip around the yard.  She couldn't reach the stirrups on this saddle, but by the second time she was really loving it anyway.  If we were going to have her ride a lot, we would have put on a smaller saddle.

Now, here was something I learned that day.  Although I took most of the photos outside and in a similar place in the yard, I had to continuously make adjustments for exposure.  First of all, it was early afternoon with really high sun and a terrible time for photos.  However, you take the shots when the opportunity presents itself!  Second, the horses are different colors, varying enough in shade that when I went back and forth between them I had to adjust the exposure.  Otherwise, this one (above) would turn out completely blown out or the other would be too dark to see the facial features.  Just a fun fact for you to consider.

A couple more portrait type shots for the family living room. :)  Actually, I used some of these photos as part of my final photography class project.  I had planned on completing something else, but life interrupted that week too, so I switched ideas.  Also, it was great practice for me to work with children and animals.  It made me start looking at prime lenses for future portraits.  I'm not sure it's going to become a main focus, but I would like to take more of friends and family.

One more of Sierra running down the fence line.  Kate (the darker horse) was just outside the fence and they were playing together, sort of.

Before you think I'm brave (or stupid) for standing in the sight line of a running horse, I was actually on the other side of the fence.  Only the Nikon was brave as I stuck it over the fence :)


01 September 2011

Weekend reflection

The week flew by, I'm not even sure how I've made it to this point the way my head is spinning!

I liked how still this little pond was in the front yard of a home.  The reflection of the trees and even the clouds in the water was such a nice find.

Fun horse photos for weekend critters...if I can get back to my laptop Fri/Saturday!