Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dramatic skies

As I write this, it’s dreary and raining and quite cold. I actually broke down and turned the heat on just to take the chill off. I also stopped on the way home from work and bought some soup and a small loaf of homemade bread. In January, I gave up eating sugar but am finding it much more difficult to give up bread. Sugar I am living without fine, but bread . . . oh so difficult.

Exactly one week ago today, I walked outside to do something (I don’t remember what) and turned around and ran back inside to get the camera. I grabbed it fast, only having time to make sure the memory card was in it. I had my 50 mm lens and didn’t have time to change it out for anything else. I tried to capture the massive line of dark clouds that was moving in at a fast clip.


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The height of these trees is massive, so that should give you some idea of the size of the cloud front.


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It’s beautiful, really.



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This is the kind of stuff that, had my husband seen this, he would have come running to find me – to show me something we wouldn’t see every day, you know?

Something cool.


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It got darker.



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And then too dark to keep shooting.

I shot all of these with the Nikon 50 mm lens, using Manual mode and forgetting what settings other than having the ISO set anywhere from 1000 to 3200.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

The trees are coming into leaf

I had forgotten I’d taken these images last weekend. I even edited them to get them ready for a post.

The grass is growing greener every day and the buds have burst forth on the the spring blooming trees and shrubs. The leaves on the trees are beginning to get that beautiful pale green color and the air smells fresh and sweet.


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It is Spring at last.



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The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

~ Philip Larkin



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It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain



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The grass is even greener now than when this picture was taken. As I walked by a window early this evening and happened to glance out, the green was just stunning.

After this terribly long winter of brown and white, then more brown, the green is so pleasing to see.


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I love the bokeh I get with this lens.

These were all taken with my 50 mm. I’ve been using it a lot lately.



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A friend and co-worker who is retiring this year and moving away asked if she could give me her Adirondack chairs to remember her by. How wonderful ~

I will miss her a lot. But every time I see these chairs, I’ll be reminded of our friendship.


And with that I’ll say until tomorrow, my friends . . .

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Here’s to Spring

Going back to work yesterday after a long week off was almost an assault to the senses. It’s not that I don’t love the school where I’m employed. It’s just that suddenly I had to think really quickly, juggle way too many tasks at one time, and do it all while trying to remain calm over the fact that my computer wouldn’t boot up. The hard drive had fried, according to our IT people. It wasn’t even spinning, they said. Luckily, I save all my files on the network server and have a backup on hand as well. But all my mail is gone, along with all my contacts.

Let’s not dwell on that though.

It rained this afternoon but by the time I walked through the courtyard on my way to the parking lot, it stopped. So I stopped to take pictures of the lovely tulips against the old cement benches.



The upper school students planted these last year.



The benches came from the old school which was located over in Port Deposit and were donated by the graduating classes. Several of them have the date of the graduating year stamped on them.



This bell also came from the old school.



I took the three photos above with my cell phone.




But this is one from my files ~

I love tulips.


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Found this cool video today and wanted to share with you. Thanks to Di.


Here’s to spring ~

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Friday, April 18, 2014


Today would have been my mother’s 92nd birthday. She passed away in 2006 at the age of 84 and I’ve been thinking of her off and on all week. Back in 2006, when she began to go downhill, I booked a flight to California in order to help my sister, Ginny, who was caring for her. My two other sisters also planned to come so that Ginny would have at least one of us there with her for about a month. I ended up staying an extra week, and there were two days that we all overlapped and so there we were, my aging parents and all four of their girls in my sister’s little house in sunny California. I had helped arrange for Hospice to come in as soon as I got there and our mother continued to decline but she surprised me one day when I asked her what was her favorite time in her life? She had raised seven children, had a wonderful marriage, and through the ups and downs, had experienced much happiness in her years. So when she told me that her favorite time was right now, it baffled all of us. I told her I thought it was the morphine that was talking. (We were giving her a very low dose just to control the pain). No, she said, her favorite time was at this moment now. “All my girls are here with me and they are caring for me and I know that they love me”.

Her death brought all of my sisters closer – and we had been close already. We began group e-mailing each other, mainly with the minutia of our lives but often because we just needed to talk. I would often add pictures at the end of my e-mails and it was this reason that I began to blog. I wanted the pictures and the words to look better than they did on a plain e-mail. The blog was open to my sisters only, and eventually I just went public (although I never say anything too private like I would to them of course).

We still e-mail regularly.


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It’s been freezing cold all week. Sometimes it gets up to about 55 in the afternoons and Tuesday was a total bust with downpours all day long. The buds are finally coming out on the dogwood trees, but only just barely. The azalea bush in the front of the house is still not blooming although it has a profusion of buds ready to burst forth.


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Someone woke me up really early this morning.


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I tried to fall back to sleep after letting him out but it was not happening. So I came downstairs and we played fetch until he tired out.

It’s gray and cold this morning.


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And I think somebody needs a walk soon.

And someone else needs more coffee ~

Hope your weekend is peaceful. Thanks so much for coming by.

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Break

Hello, my friends. I’m not going to apologize for being such a sporadic blogger, ok? It is what it is and I kind of like things this way for now. In the past, blogging had been such a blessing because it was a distraction for me with everything that was going on in my life.

The winter is finally over here in Maryland and the grass is slowly turning green, buds are coming out on the trees, the birds are singing in happiness, but I swear – this is the first year that I’ve been in this old house on the hill that the dogwoods have bloomed so late. They’re only just budding at this point. And the ancient azalea bush at the front of the house which is usually in full bloom about now is only just beginning to bud. What a crazy, long winter. It was truly the winter of my discontent but I’m going to put it behind me . . .


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We are now officially on Spring Break from school. With all the snow days we had accumulated, we had to add an entire week to the calendar at the end of the year but we managed, through forgiveness from the state, to add a couple of days back to the calendar and we added them to our much-shortened Spring Break enabling us to have the entire week off. This is something that all of us look forward to, believe me. School will end on June 6 rather than May 30 this year.

I have no big plans for the week other than getting some much-needed work done around here. The yard is a mess and I sure am missing having my husband being around. He took care of so much here. He really enjoyed keeping this place neat and tidy in the first years we lived here.

I have a couple of fun things planned for the week, as well. And George will be super glad that I’m able to be here with him.


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The images in this post were taken indoors in natural light using my Nikon D7000 with my 60 mm macro lens and the little flash bounce from photojojo. The spring flowers are compliments of one of our parents who brought planters to everyone in the school office before Break. How nice! And they smell really wonderful, too ~


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Ok, here’s something really freaky. I had a scare last night. I was lying on the sofa in my living room, reading a book. My cell phone rang and it was my boss/friend/neighbor, Christine. She told me, in a voice that was a little shaky, that she didn’t mean to scare me, but I was to hang up the phone and lock all of my doors immediately and then call her back. She briefly explained that there had been an accident at the bottom of our driveway, and one of the people involved had fled the scene and was reported to be coming up the driveway on foot. She said the police were there and they were bringing in dogs.

I can’t remember moving so quickly. I had all the doors locked and was at my bedroom window looking down the driveway within 30 seconds. I could see nothing – no lights, no shapes – it was kind of scary. There are so many places to hide up here and it freaked me out just a little bit. I called her and she said that her husband had been driving by right as it happened and had called her to alert me to lock the doors (he didn’t have my number). She drove down to check it out and the police told her to move on. She said there were six cars at the end of the drive but she would let me know when it was clear (which it was within a half hour). Quite the scare last night!

Well, I’d better get to work. I have a number of things to accomplish this morning and I woke early to get them done. The weekend is supposed to be beautiful and I want to enjoy every moment (as soon as I get my darn chores done)!


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Thanks for stopping by, my friends. I’ll try to post more in my free time this week ~

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

The blushing, girlish world unfolds

That’s a line from a poem by John Updike entitled ‘April’ that I found in a children’s book. I think it goes well with the tulip images I have for you today.

I took these on Sunday after buying them the day before at the local florist. They were having a two for one sale and I sent the other bouquet to my son’s girl.

All of the photos here are SOOC (straight out of camera).


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I shot them indoors, using my little Pop-up Flash Bounce from Photojojo. That link will take you to their new and improved model.


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The font I used for my signature is called Plaster of Paris, a free download from dafont.com.



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It's Spring! Farewell
To chills and colds!
The blushing, girlish
World unfolds

Each flower, leaf,
And blade of turf--
Small love-notes sent
From air to earth.

The sky's a hear
Of prancing sheep,
The birds and fields
Abandon sleep,

And jonquils, tulips,
Bloom bright upon
The wide-eyed hills.

All things renew.
All things begin.
At church, they bring
The lilies in.

~John Updike, April

From ‘A Child’s Calendar’


Hope all is well in your world ~

Thanks for coming by today.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I do not understand how people can post something every single day. I used to do it and I still don’t know how I was ever able to come up with something on an almost daily basis.

I have nothing to say. And I am tired tonight.

Here are some photos I took earlier this week when the rain and gloom was driving me crazy but the bright green of the fungi on the trees made me smile.


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The trees are beginning to bud.



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Finally the sun came out.


And now it’s raining again.

Hey ~ at least it isn’t snow.

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That’s all I got.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

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