Friday, August 30, 2013

Winner announced in secret giveaway

Congratulations to Cindi at Letting the Words Escape. She has won an archival print of one of my hummingbird images for being the 7th commenter in the previous post. My buddies at chose #7 and hers was the comment that matched up.


Thanks to everyone who participated. And thanks especially for your kind words. They truly touched my heart. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend ~

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ps – I really don’t have buddies at It’s just a website that generates numbers. And a whole bunch of other stuff. Ha!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hummingbirds: Color vs. B&W

Some days are better than others here at the Casa de George. Actually, George is thrilled with all the extra people who have been coming and going. We have visitors, the home health aide, the hospice nurses, and yesterday I was treated to music therapy, something offered by our local hospice agency. Music has been proven to relieve pain, both emotional and physical, and although my husband deemed it ‘weird’, he kept coming into the room to listen. It was nice.

I hear from my co-workers every day, although not all of them at one time. ha! I usually hear via a text, or an e-mail, or phone calls, or in my boss’ case, videos of the children saying, “We miss you, Mrs. Young”. These make me laugh and cry at the same time. This is the first time in 15 years that I’m not at the front desk at our school and although I miss it terribly, I also know that I’m where I need to be.

My husband is doing ok. He had four good days in a row, which is pretty extraordinary. And now he’s a little shaky again, and very tired. I spend my days near him, or cleaning something, or planning dinner, or reading, or watching a movie, or organizing some messy spot in the house, or taking photos and editing them. Or freaking out because someone is coming up our driveway at ten o’clock at night with a flashlight. I found out that two of my sisters own guns, and that many of you do as well.

Last night, I spent my time editing photos. I have color and black & white of each. Just because.


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I took this over the weekend and prefer it this way because of the iridescent colors in the body, and the colorful tone and bokeh of the background.


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Better in color, imho.

Sometimes I have to look up abbreviations like that on the abbreviation website for texting. IMHO, for those who aren’t sure, means ‘in my humble opinion’.


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This one isn’t my favorite, and it’s not all that and a bag of chips. But I was bored and wanted to edit something. The composition’s off and I cropped it this way because the second zinnia, the lighter colored one, was completely blown out and horrible.


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But I kind of like it in black & white.


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The color version.



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And the black & white that I like much better.



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I totally dislike the color version of this one.



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But in black & white – I love it and actually have this one and another framed and on the wall of our school office.



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And this is probably my favorite. I love it in both color . . .



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. . . and in black & white.


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And now, because you’ve read this far and you’re still with me listening to all this drivel:


Rules: Choose one print above. There are 10 photos here. The top one is #1 and the bottom is #10. Enter your favorite photo in a comment. I will draw one number using the Random Integer at Random.Org and the corresponding commenter will win the print of their choice in 10x12, 12x12, 12x8 (whichever applies).

Giveaway ends Friday afternoon, August 30, at 3 PM. Winner will be announced that evening. Make sure your e-mail is attached to your comment, please, so that I can get in touch with you. Good luck!

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Calm yourself woman

It’s late at night and I can’t fall to sleep. I went upstairs about two hours ago, after turning off the lights and locking all the doors. I laid down in bed and thought I heard a noise outside, so I got up to look. And what I saw scared me.

I saw what I thought were headlights slowly coming up the driveway, but quickly realized it was only one headlight, and then a second later saw that it was a flashlight. Someone or some people were walking up our driveway, and had just cleared the woods and were coming toward the house using a flashlight to see.

I got scared. I started thinking of the weird things that have been going on lately on the property here . . . our son found some beer bottles underneath one of the big trees in our front yard. And last week we saw that someone had smashed the pile of clay pigeons at the bottom step of our front porch. Weird little things like that . . . and now someone was walking up the driveway with a flashlight right after I had turned off all the lights.

I dressed quickly and ran down the steps for my phone, then back up again so I could track where the intruders were planning on entering our house. Entering our house. OMG – I don’t even have a weapon! I was really working myself up here . . . and my heart was beating a mile a minute. It looked like they were heading toward that tree I mentioned before . . . and then . . .

The car door opened to the car belonging to our son’s friend. It was parked near the big tree. He had asked to leave it here for a couple of days because he and his fiancé are moving to the area tomorrow and they had wanted to only use one car. Oh, good grief. It was our son’s friends. Oh, huge relief but why they were walking up our driveway at ten o’clock at night is beyond me, but here I was all alone, with a sick husband in an old manor house on a hill in the dark . . .

I e-mailed my sisters because I was still shaking. And Char wrote back right away and said


And then we had a laugh about it.


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This is all that should be walking up our driveway in the middle of the night.



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I took these Friday evening. The little fawns were back with their mother, and probably her offspring from last year, two young bucks.

Handsome little critters, aren’t they?



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The fawns saw me with the camera and ran to their mother.



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They leapt through the air with their little tails held high.



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Here’s the whole fam damily. All five of them.



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I really didn’t mean to react the way I did tonight but damn, that scared me seeing that flashlight slowly come out of the woods toward the house. Would you have been scared?

And now, if I could only get to sleep . . .

Hope your week is a good one. Thanks for stopping by here and for your kind sentiments from last week’s post. All is quiet.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Morning has broken

Yesterday, the temperature began to climb and the forecast for the week is more of the same. Last week, it was cool enough to wear a light sweater in the morning and it made me look forward to autumn.

I took these photos early this morning as I sat outside enjoying a cup of coffee on the patio out back.


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Slow buds the pink dawn like a rose
From out night's gray and cloudy sheath;
Softly and still it grows and grows,
Petal by petal, leaf by leaf.
~Author Unknown



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The hummingbirds were scarce this morning but I managed to capture a few shots before the sun became too strong.



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The feeder I purchased just last month is not working now, so yesterday I put up an old gnarly plastic one we use as a spare. Don’t judge me on the red dye. I’m trying to use up a jug that I was given.



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I'll tell you how the sun rose a ribbon at a time.

~Emily Dickinson



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A white-breasted nuthatch jumps along the roof line of the breakfast nook. I could hear him before I saw him. And I say him because I believe this is a male.

Listen to white-breasted nuthatch (scroll down to ‘identification’/click play)




This is where I was sitting on the back patio when I took the photos in this post. You can see George in the background at the top left, sitting in his spot under the dogwood tree. To the left of the chair, you can also see my husband’s contraption made of tree limbs screwed into tree stumps. It serves two purposes: it holds up the center wire for the bird feeder, and it provides lots of perches for the birds.

Lastly, if you’re wondering why I’m home it’s because I’ve taken a leave of absence from work to care for my husband. He’s holding his own and I’m leaving it at that for now.

Here comes the sun ~

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Weekly Pinterest finds

Pinterest can be a beautiful thing, providing you don't spend huge chunks of time on it. And I don't. I use it mainly for the recipes, truth be told. But while I'm busy perusing them, there are always interesting, lovely, and often surprising things that catch my eye. I then pin my favorite finds to one of my many boards.

Here are a few from recent visits. I chose one image each from several different boards to share with you.

Fabulous capture here of one of my favorite subjects.

The blue, the white, the dark wood, the rugs . . . swoon.

This is just plain cool. Alphabet stones.

I can't help it with the cats. And the quote is funny.

"The thing with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face
whether they see a moth or an axe murderer." 
~Paula Poundstone

I am making this soon and will let you know how it turns out.

Planters Peanuts and Coca Cola in one vintage image. My father was a Coca Cola man. As a child, I actually thought Pepsi was a dirty word. We weren't permitted to say it in our house.

I dated the Planters Peanut Man in 1972 while working as a waitress on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. His name was Billy.

NYC 1936

Secret crush.

Just plain cool.

Love how soft and pretty this is.

:   :   :

Hope your weekend was swell. Mine had its ups and downs.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

The children of the doe

I happened to glance out the window yesterday afternoon and noticed a something moving in the middle of the yard.

It’s always a treat to see a fawn.


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And as I came around the corner of the house with the camera, I saw that there was not only one.


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Where’s your mother?

I looked but could see no mother hovering nearby. I knew she had to be around, though. Well, I hoped she was, anyway.


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Early this morning I saw them again, the children of the doe. Only this time she was there with them. They must feel safe up here on the hill.



I love the way the doe knows how to go
through the tall brambles: She ambles
her hips first to one side,
then another; tosses her nose high
to sniff the trails of air; and
proffers only a passing glance to
the chickadee on his slanted
branch. She knows the way;
she knows the turn of a hoof print
here, to the right of the wild rose brier;
there, past the tip of the raspberry twig;
she knows the sun even before
his fine arced dome appears
on the eastern horizon, and
she goes that way,
into the still of the dew
into the hills of the morning
in through that path between the thorns
that is so hard for us to see.

~Pat Campbell Carlson


Hope your weekend is a pleasant one.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Hummingbird delight

One of my sisters wrote me today to ask if everything was ok because I hadn’t posted in over a week. I checked and darn if she wasn’t right. Sorry about that ~

I’ve been busy. I’ve been lazy. I’ve been a mess. I’ve been organizing all of my closets and cupboards in the manor house. One of the above statements is false and the rest are true. Just let me say that I loathe going through closets and cupboards . . .

One thing that floats my boat is taking photos on the weekends. And when the hummingbirds are in town like they are right now, it’s splendid.



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I like this one and had a little help with the bokeh here. You will find a link at the end of this post as to what was used. Oh, the bokeh was there to begin with, believe me. But I added just a little extra help.



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Resting in the pussy willow bush.

I made this bush myself by inadvertently rooting a handful of pussy willow branches and then, after seeing all the roots, planting them in one of the big planters outside. It wintered over on the patio and it gives the lighter birds an extra perching area.


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More help from that bokeh here only I turned it around 180 degrees.


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The weekend was quiet. My husband is still winding down. I do my chores and try to keep things neat around here. Our son has been walking the dog (sometimes). And I find moments in every day to play with the dog, as well.


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A chickadee is eying up that hummingbird swing, my husband’s lobster buoy collection in the background.


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And although this isn’t a good photo, it was all I could capture on Sunday morning of a ruby-throated hummingbird who visited the feeder. Cool!



Here’s the texture I used to give a little extra something something to the two photos in this post. I used Bokeh-3 from Shadowhouse Creations October 2012 Bokeh Set.

Hope your week is off to a good start. Thanks for reminding me, Judy, that I forgot to post!

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