31 May 2011

lush

jack-in-the-pulpit
jack-in-the-pulpit 

trillium
trillium

A couple more shade-lovers making an appearance in the yard. I planted trillium two years ago, so this is the first year they're flowering. I don't remember planting a purple one. Which comes as no surprise to me, 'cuz I'll walk from the living room to the kitchen and forget what I was going in there for. "Oh right, I'm hungry."

Anyhoo, everything that should be in the ground now, is. The garden, the potted veggies on the patio, my herb garden, the annual flowers... this, granted I can manage to drive by any more greenhouses without going in. So, no. I'm probably not finished. My front yard is actually pretty bare. It's considerably smaller then the back and has four humongous trees on it. Which is great considering the house faces south, and is 100% shade, so we hardly ever use the a/c. It was 90º here yesterday but we didn't know until we stepped out. On the downside, the lawn on that side is 50% moss and pine needles. Our magnolia tree and one lovely cluster of wild geraniums have all this responsible on their little shoulders to do it some justice. I seriously wish Yard Crashers or Curb Appeal would show up and de-crapify things.

Until they do get here though,  I'll be out back in more attractive surroundings.

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BTW! For those of you who commented on the Mystery Swap post, the blogger and her location has been revealed! And here's a direct link to her blog if you care to read more about her! Thanks again for playing along, everybody!

30 May 2011

have a coke and a knife

have a coke and a knife

Thought I'd drag out another shot of Grampa in uniform to commemorate Memorial Day. There are quite a few men in my family who have served, but many shots of Grampa (in every situation) because he was, simply put, a ham. He's actually downplaying things in this photo. That's him, far right. It's not like him at all to be the straight man.

Must've drank his Coke too fast.

29 May 2011

forget me not

forget me not

I've never planted forget-me-nots, so how this little cluster ended up next to some hostas, I don't know. A bird could've dropped a seed there, I suppose. But I like to think someone who's now gone wanted to let me know they are still with me.

And no, buddy, I could never forget you...

Hope all of you are having a memorable Memorial weekend. <3

27 May 2011

belle white

belle white

My husband's Grandma, Adele, passed away a few months before we got married. She was an absolutely delightful woman who would've turned 100 this April. I'm glad I got to know her if only for a few short years.

When we were at the cemetery, some relative pointed out Adele's Mother's grave. Her name was Belle White. A fairy princess's name if I ever heard one.

I've researched my own genealogy, but never made it over to my husband's side since my own had me going off on so my branches, I started to get a bit lost. Couldn't see the family through the trees, so to speak. I was fortunate to grow up with two of my great-grandma's living long enough to know my own two boys. My husband (and I know many people) weren't as lucky in this regard. So, he never knew Belle White.

But honestly, how could she not have been beautiful...

Understandably, I think of this woman I never knew and yet played a part in my life, when my lily-of-the-valleys are blooming.

26 May 2011

some pug love

lomo effect

kensi

dappled sunlight

dappled play

Starting to get more shots of these two together. Max is coming around to the fact that he's stuck with us.

The first photo was lacking in any sunlight or drama, so I added a lomo effect in potato-chop. (Clicking the photo will take you to the tut.)

Last two shots were with the lensbaby again. Getting an action in focus with a lensbaby requires luck and planning. It's best to just call them arty for the sake of sanity.

These shots also capture our yard's signature feature of not-having-enough-sunlight-to-grow-a-successful-garden. The moss is happy though.

25 May 2011

eat up/chow down

This week I made two of the easiest recipes known to (wo)mankind, so I thought I'd share!

grilled corn 

First up? Grilled corn! This stuff came from Florida and we were happily surprised how delicious it was.
  1. Yank the silk off the top, or chop off the very top giving it a butch-style hair cut. Remove any loose husks.
  2. Soak them in cold water with a little sugar and lemon juice, for about 20 minutes (as long as it takes you to get the grill going).
  3. Grill 20-30 minutes, giving each a quarter turn every five minutes or so. When it smells like corn, it's done. I use a charcoal grill. Gas might cook quicker.
  4. Peel back, butter, salt, eat. Vary it up by making it Mexican!

ice cream + flour = bread!

Next recipe...Ice Cream Bread!
  1. Mix 2 cups (1 pint) of any flavor ice cream with 1 to 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour, just until moist. (I used Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia)
  2. Throw that in a buttered loaf pan.
  3. Throw that in a pre-heated 350º oven for 40-45 minutes.
  4. Eat (entire loaf, because it's so delicious you will not be able to stop.)
Aaaaaaand, there you have it! Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy!

Next time? Lemon Squeezy.

24 May 2011

pop! pop! poppies!

early riser

pollen

a fancy hat

dewed!

now open

rubbing shoulders

pop! pop! pop!

Eeeeeee! My poppies are blooming!!

Can you tell?

FYI: These were all shot with a Lensbaby lens, which I cannot recommend enough! If you've been dropping by here for a while, you're probably saying "well duh" about now. I have an older, beveled version with the additional macro kit. I think I paid $200 for both. Just wanted to clarify to anyone who thinks I'm doing some crazy processing here. Nope! I may have played with curves a little and burned some edges, but I do that a lot with my regular lenses too.

So, there's my buying tip for the day

22 May 2011

???

Yay! It's time for the Mystery Blog Swap! I apologize for the delay, but my computer (or server or something) was having trouble recognizing her email, so I went into the shop on Friday and wrote her from there. Then she ended up responding to that eddress. Which my husband checks. So, I ended up making this a little more complicated then necessary...yeesh.


Anyway, all has been cleared up, so without further ado, I give you...???

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Guess Who?

I'm not a photography blogger, but I'm guesting on a photography blog. I've been through my pictures with a fine tooth comb and none come remotely close the beautiful pictures usually seen on this blog. But, I thought I'd at least stick to the main concepts - so I did find a photo rich in colour (no filters used here, this really is the colo(u)r it was. And slap bang in the middle of the picture is me. So you might recognise me. But as I don't post pictures of myself on my blog, you might not. Have a guess and see.
(extra points for guessing the country the photo was taken in. As an aside, we were actually on a walk with some of our best friends, a couple from Wisconsin. Small world huh!)

21 May 2011

our work here on earth marches forward

marching forward

I have a bit of a dilemma.

I'm taking part in a Mystery Blog Swap this weekend over at The Sardine Tin, but I haven't heard back yet from my swap partner. They wrote me saying they received my post (and it's up on their blog, though I can't share where just yet), but they have yet to send theirs.

My best guess is the Apocalypse has already reached their area, and s/he is a bit preoccupied being reintroduced to his/her long dead Grandmother.

Plus, I seriously doubt Heaven has any internet connection. With God being omnipotent and all, there's no need for Him to check our facebook walls to see what we're up to. Plus, you know, there's better things to do. "Hey, if you're gonna sit at My right hand, put down the crackberry, for My sake."

I may have gotten too much sun today.

Anyway, hopefully you'll see something from this person tomorrow, and you'll get a small break from my Earth-bound drivel. But unless you were one of the lucky few now experiencing Eternal Life, consider yourself damned to see me again in a couple of days.

20 May 2011

floral arranger

floral arranger

There were still a few plants in this box when Isaac claimed it as his own. I had to move them to make room for his ample derrière. I've been asked if he's pregnant (before they know he's a he, of course). I wish. We could put in a side show and he could earn his keep around here.

19 May 2011

crabapple at night

overcast

pink and blue

night blooms

Thought I'd do a little night shooting during the full moon the other night. I had been taking plenty of shots of our crabapple tree during the day, but you know, how many springs now have I taken the same shots? So, just to be different, I wanted to try some light-painting with it. Would've liked to see more stars, but it seems our overcast night are no different then our overcast days.

This last shot was still a bit dark so I decided to play it up in potato-chop. If you care to see a step-by-step tut, click the image (as always) and it'll take you to flickr.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to a highly creative friend of mine, who for the third year in a row now, has taken art and crabapples trees to the extreme! Read the description of her beautiful Wishing Tree here.

17 May 2011

turn, turn, turn...

turn

turn

turn

view from bed

Our red bud tree speaks for itself right now.

The last photo is my view from bed. Not that I leave the shades open when I'm lying there. Or sleep with my camera.

Just saying.

16 May 2011

history is a set of lies agreed upon

history is a set of lies agreed upon

In April, I posted this shot of a slowly deteriorating building that we had been driving past for many years. Last week, when we were back in that area, it was gone. Just a fresh patch of soil. We just pointed with our jaws in our laps. It seriously looked like it could've fallen over at any moment for the last twenty years, but we never drove the extra five miles to photograph it until last month. What are the odds?

I'm thinking now we should've put some money on a horse in the Derby.

This building is more local. Only about five miles from our house. Right on the edge of a busy highway, so the surroundings aren't terribly photogenic. I took it before we saw the other structure had been leveled, which compels me to post it now. This is actually a composition of two photos. The sky being too bright to capture any detail on the building, and the building being too dark to capture the sky. Clicking on the image will take you to flickr where you can see the untouched originals.

If you're in to that sort of thing.

Linking to Nancy's group:

Go check out other folk's weekly faves!

14 May 2011

they're multiplying

they're multiplying

Other than losing a handful of comments, it appears we've all come through The Great Blogger Debacle of 2011 unscathed. I also had some fused labels in my last few posts. Correcting them caused the post dates to update to, um, their time of correction, so it looks like I did nothing for days, then BAM, three posts in a row! No big deal.

Blogger is obviously sensitive to weather conditions dropping from 90º to 50º.

The photo is one of those weird chance things that I just liked. I turned on the auto focus on my camera, but left all other settings to manual, then held it out over my poppies. It turned out too dark, but that gave it this microscopic feel. I turned it b&w in post.

I love poppies! They're so alien looking. They grow right along the east side of the house under a window. I do, however, keep that window shut at night when they're growing 'cuz none of us want our brains sucked out while we're asleep.

mystery to me...

night

day

This large fragrant bush sits right at the corner of our house. Bees love it! I prefer it at night when we turn the yard light on and it becomes backlit. Plus the bees are sleeping.

I posted these in the flickr group called What plant is this? so hopefully someone will have an educated guess by the end of the day.

Unfortunately, last night's rain took most of the blossoms off. Boy, you really gotta keep on your toes around here if you want to capture something at it's peak! The rain however, helped put a few of our flowering trees "on deck". Plus, temperatures are back down. It's only suppose to hit the low 80ºs today. Woohoo! Better get back out there 'cuz more rain is on the way.

Enjoy what you've got, when you've got it, folks!

macro buds

lilac

lungwort

dwarf almond

lily of the valley

We've had two scorching days since I took these shots so there's been a few changes. For one, my tulips, which weren't fully opened yet, pretty much exploded and deteriorated in one afternoon. Also, my pear tree is chuck full of blossoms that weren't there Monday! Currently, storms are rolling in, and to quote Snoop Dog, the magnolia blossoms are dropping like they're hot.

Seriously spring? Two weeks? You can be such a fickle tease sometimes.

10 May 2011

magnolia

from the front porch

towards the front porch

into the sun

Every year I go a little nuts with magnolia photos. How can I help it? By next week all these petals will hit the ground with a resounding thud. If we get a good wind, they could be gone in two days! *sigh*

Everything else is blooming so fast and furious now, I can't keep up. I tell myself to post those shots next January when we're up to our arm pits in snow, but by then I've burned them to disk and am too consumed with self-pity to open the storage cabinet where I keep my back up files. Basically, it's now or never, baby! Live fast and leave a good looking corpse.

Follow the example of the magnolia...

09 May 2011

p.m./a.m.

Taken the night before a rain storm. Peeking through the crab apple tree...
p.m.

 The morning after. Cruising along the road, shooting through the car window...
a.m.

Added note: Thanks to PortalWisconsin(dot)org for featuring the top photo on their website today! Get there quick though, 'cuz tomorrow they'll pick another! Post your own Wisconsin photo at their flickr group, and you may get picked too!

08 May 2011

in disguise...CHOMP!

in disguise...CHOMP!

When I held up this little mustache, Kensi had that demonic look in her eyes that told me she couldn't be trusted to just pose calmly behind it. Stinker.

Hope each of you had a wonderful weekend/Mother's Day! My trip home was wonderful. Grandma herself was not one for creating memorable personal moments, but she is to thank for the many crazy characters I got stunk with as relatives. They certainly know how to put the fun in funeral...

Mother's Day was equally nice. My son and daughter-in-law had us over to their apartment for Belgium waffles with all the fixin's. They poured me one too many Bellinis (peach purée and Champagne) though 'cuz I was ready for a nap in the afternoon. But that wasn't gonna get my asparagus plants in the ground. It's suppose to rain now for a good part of the week, so I'm sure I can sneak that nap in at some point.

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I'm including this shot in Nancy's Sunday Best series. Hope she doesn't mind that it's really two photos. :o)

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Ok, I'm also adding this to Tara's weekly Gallery (which I don't do very often because I'm not a frequent twitterer) but when I saw the prompt was mustaches, I had to throw this post into the mix. See many more mustache links here:

06 May 2011

to infinity and beyond!

to infinity and beyond!

A similar shot from a few years back. This time I had on the Lensbaby lens and a 4+ micro filter. Sometimes the most creative shots are taken without looking through the viewfinder. :o)

Today was an absolutely perfect day. Big fluffy clouds but plenty of sun. Hope the weather continues for Granny's memorial service tomorrow. Long drive there and back the same day, since there's "no room at the inn" with the whole family in town. May see some relatives I'd forgotten I had.

05 May 2011

bummer, dude.

 bummer, dude.

It's becoming more apparent that Max is deaf. We've always talked quite a bit to our dogs, and after a week and a half now, you'd think we would have come across one word he recognizes. They said he lived in a garage, so at first I thought, maybe no one talked to him. They also mentioned he knew his name, but I'm not seeing it. It crossed my mind that he may have come from a Spanish speaking home, but even so, he'd know his name, right? He's looks you square in the face when you're talking, so he had us fooled there.

The first few days, we took him out on a lease, trying to give him a general idea of the property line as there is no border between us and neighbors on either side. Since then, he's been free-ranging. He would start to room into the next yard, and I'd yell, "Max!...MAX!" Nothing. Pugs are a stubborn breed, so that was no proof of deafness. I'd run over and turn him around, and he'd be so sweet and accommodating. When he saw me, he'd get it and follow me back. He can hear a loud pitched whistle (if the wind is right), so I've used that a few times. He turns and looks back. I clap and open my arms and he trucks back. Trouble starts when Kensington leads the pack to someone walking down the sidewalk. Then all hell breaks loose.

Point being, dogs with perfect hearing are no better at listening to commands.

Kensi rules the roost inside as well. They both run to the window or door when someone comes by, but it took closer observation to realize he's working off visually clues. The other day, she was having a fit over the mailman and he never even woke up. I'm not sure how his foster mom had him nearly three weeks and didn't catch on to this. But I think they had more dogs too. And grandchildren...

Max is very bright so it'll be fun to see if the old dog can learn some new tricks. Like sign language.

04 May 2011

breakfast is served

breakfast is served

Playing with my food again. And, yes, I did eat the butter covered m&m's before moving them all to the candy dish.

Husband and I are just coming out of a week-long, snot-filled funk. It's the only cold either of us have had this season, so I can't complain too much. Though I am. I'm blaming our new comer, Max and his insistence to lick our faces. Plus, our stupidity for allowing it.

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My photo
fly over country, United States
this blog is my "live" photo album of sorts. occasionally, i'll throw in some art i've done or some work of my husband's as he's an artist as well. we have a nice yard in a quiet neighborhood with two pugs and a cat, all black. which most of my photos will attest too. ;) i'd love to hear from you, but happy for you to just browse. hope you find something to make you smile. b.