March 31, 2010

peas on earth

i will be away from my blog and computer for several days while i visit my grandmother.  i hope you all have a beautiful and blessed easter holiday.
  thank you for the many wishes and prayers this week.  they mean so very much to me.

March 29, 2010

full of stars

the day started out cloudy and threatened rain and that was really okay because the day before was beautiful.  i figured rain always makes a great catch-up day around the house.  (not that i did much catching up) then the clouds parted and the sun beckoned me.  i used the rationalization that i didn't have my 365 shot.  plus - i was tired of processing the 300 shots i took at the gardens.  i've really got to quit taking 50 pictures of the same thing over and over.  i drove out highway 80 and somehow it connected back to the interstate.  so...i came back to montgomery.  then i ended up at the shakespeare festival and i sighed.  what's new here?  nothing i pouted.  but i walked down to the 'secret garden' anyway.  as i approached, the sweetest scent overwhelmed me and it was this...jasmine?  clementis?  vine?  beautiful cascading white stars, perfumed and gorgeous.  they didn't have to be painted ladies - they quietly waited for me to come to them.  and i sat awhile and enjoyed the view.

March 26, 2010

and boots with da fur

apparently the thunderbirds are in town today.  and no, not the fun and uber retro thunderbird puppets that would be all hip and cool-like, but the really loud, fast-flyin', supersonic air acrobatics team...

which could be very cool and uber fun (why do i keep using uber - is it that 60's retro vibe i'm getting from that shot?)...*ahem* sorry - it would be fun to see them perform except i'm at work and am supposed to be doing official, serious things like writing memos and planning agendas.

but instead i've googled retro shots of puppets.  bad me.  bad bad me. bad bad bad.  and yeah, i'm shaking my fist at loud planes constantly flying back and forth over head.

now for the joan jett interlude "i hate myself for lovin' you" (because she's all relevant now with the new movie) and thoughts of the weekend are dancing in my head.  ow! ow! ow!  *chair dancing intermission*  the beauty of the ipod has that flow right into flo-rida. 

happy friday all - i'm going to go back to official memo writing now.

March 25, 2010


my mom always said "if wishes were horses beggars" would ride.  well, she also said something a lot more colorful and crude when i would really whine, but basically her outlook on life was wishing a day away would never solve anything.  and to have anything in life, you had to pull your boots on and get out in the muck to make it happen.

as i was talking to one uncle today, he was relaying a story of how independently we (my brothers, sister and i) were raised.  that we've been a cohesive family unit without much call for others for so long that we don't often think of calling on other people.  i've said that often but it was odd hearing it from someone else.

he also told me that he told the uncle that if i (or any of us) call, then the call should be taken seriously - because we don't call unless we need help.  i think my heart swelled with a kind of pride in some ways.  but, at the same time....should i have been worried?

the main issue is that life just goes by so fast and by the time i think to's been weeks...and then months...and then, i get embarrassed.  i do say, "i'm going to try and be better about...." and then suddenly it's two months later.  i need to just remember to pick up the phone and not put it off. 

so i did...and they were not at home.  *laughs*  but there is always that next time.

March 24, 2010

in a muddle

hey...what's up.  it's been  a long time though it's only been days.  my days have been as topsy turvy as the weather and i find myself discombobulated and unfettered. 

sunday was good - i did a lot of things quietly and somewhat efficiently.  part of the day was getting a new bed.  and though it made me feel better in many ways, i've yet to really find the groove of sleeping in it.  isn't that weird?  it feels... good but i don't sleep well in it yet.  i guess it's much like life really - the bed - we adjust to bad things in our lives so much that we never comfortably adjust to when life is good, even and moving along at a smooth pace.  are we such drama junkies that it's boring...or too staid?  i never thought i was that way.  or maybe it's just different. 

monday was a holdover gray, cold day but the sun parted the sky in the afternoon and spring kicked winter bullies to the ground.  the trees have begun to bloom in earnest.  around here shorts and flipflops have broken out and getting off at 5:00 is a bit happier with the sun still shining outside. 

tuesday is typically hell day at the office - and it held it's promise, but with the treat of having dinner with the nephews life was good.  i got bad news about my grandmother last night - she's 97 and it doesn't look good.  she is at peace with that - it's those of us to be left behind that are not.  i am checking flights to see if i can arrange a trip to cape may to see her.  hopefully it will work out ... before ... before.  please send prayers and thoughts of peace and comfort to her and my uncles and my family. 

March 20, 2010

today was a gift

  actually the past two days were a gift.  i hope yours were too. 
  i couldn't have made a better first day of spring if i had the power.  now i'm basking in the glow and with the need to remind myself of this tomorrow when it rains.

March 18, 2010

happy spring

it's one of those days were the sun has come out and everything feels a bit better in the world.

it's one of those days that silly things can make me laugh and i feel slightly giddy at the thought of a three day weekend.

did you know that this is the first spring weekend of the year?  does that make you happy?  it makes me happy...but did you also know easter is next weekend?  eek!  where is the time going? 

on the clothesline are shots from my sweet little fuji instax - i think i need to go buy a flatbed scanner this weekend - isn't it funny how things come full circle.  two years ago i donated a flat bed scanner that i never used i want one back.  three years ago i bought a digital camera because i didn't want the expense of film. and now here i go using film again and need a flatbed so i can share the shots.  *shakes head*  everything old is new again...or some such proverb.  just keep me from wearing patchwork suede stacked shoes, mustard yellow hippo printed pants (i begged for that outfit) or a lavender crepe pirate sleeved blouse.  other fashion faux pas include hip-hugger pants that laced in the front and back, a really unfortunate perm that resulted in straight bangs and frizzy hair, and ice blue toe polish.

March 17, 2010

hit me with your best shot

hmmm, should have thought my picture post better today as the occasion really calls for green.  but all around is gray because of the overcast skies.  so, for those that celebrate it, happy st. patty's day.  and may all of the irish blessings be yours.

as always, the time change has thrown me for a loop - i'm waking up at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. so by 9:00 p.m. i'm exhausted.  of course that could be the running that i'm doing from meeting to meeting.  but the rest of the week should be on a downhill groove after this morning's final teleconference.  everyone seems eager to have the workweek over as most of the kids are out of school.  i know one thing - it makes my job easier as i don't have to run to all of the meetings.  yesterday, i forgot to go home on time because the sun was still out.  (i had wondered why it had gotten so quiet outside my door)

question:  i need a kick start to creativity - what is your best recommended method?  i've tried all my usual and they seem to work for a short time but i get so buried at work that nothing seems to last really.  i know spring is coming and i've been out to experience the new life budding know.  i'm looking for the new and quirky.  give me your best thoughts.

can't wait to hear what you think.

March 14, 2010

spring has sprung...well, sorta

driving home friday i spotted bradford pears that have just exploded full and beautifully white.  one day the landscape was brown and gray and then suddenly, *bam* the world is more beautiful with white fluff everywhere.  

the sky was full of fluffy white clouds and the blue was crisp and holding on to the cold winds of winter.  and as i drove around, there were still people in sweaters, but i noticed more and more have crept outside to see the sudden burst of colors and the green grasses peaking out. 

then i met my sister and a friend for alice and dinner.  dinner was delish and fun, even though screaming babies and cigarette smoke tended to make some of the time challenging.  but it was a good evening. 

 sunday broke as we sprang forward....the skies were overcast but with the promise of spring here, i decided to drive to birmingham to see if the beautiful cherries were blooming.  alas, they were not.  it seems that birmingham is a bit behind montgomery (amazing what an average) five degree temperature difference can make.  but it does.  cherries will bloom in approximately two weeks (if temperatures stay consistent right now.)  good thing i carried the macro lens....even if i did all hand held.  here are some more of my favorites from the weekend.


March 11, 2010

i wanted an amazing title but my mind went blank

it's been a long week - has it been that way for you?  and tomorrow will be a long day. 

i sit at a proverbial road - that one with a fork (no spoon, no knife) in it.  and though i feel a tug one way, responsibility has been drilled in my head . . . a lot to ponder over the weekend.

i got the book "the happiness project" and have read the reviews.  though the reviews are mixed, i wanted to give it a try because the author took a year long approach to it. i like that - that true changes happen over time, not just in an instant.  or, for me anyway.  it's like my 365 - though i'm in the third month of it, i don't feel like it's a 'habit' yet.  i still struggle with making time for it. 

my week has been killer - running from meeting to meeting to meeting.  but tomorrow night is bluegrass and burgers at my friend, angela's restaurant.  i love hanging out there - it's like we're part of the family.  after that i suspect i will be cleaning a bit, changing out my bed and hopefully seeing alice (finally). 

March 9, 2010

inspirations (blog it forward)

if you all have met the lovely victoria over at sfgirlbybay, then you had a window into beautiful inspiring photography from a wide group of talented people, including victoria.  a month or so ago, she came up with an idea to 'blog it forward' where groups of  bloggers told what inspires them and let them by turn introduce their readers to at least two other bloggers, the one before and after them in the 'chain'.  what a fun idea! inspirations:

dreamy photography ... i could be cliche and list the historical greats: lange, arbus, adams, and so on but i wanted to make this about people living the dream right now.  these three ladies inspire me in ways that i still yearn about.  all have different and unique styles that pull me in.  they use different cameras, different techniques, and have different philosophies but the unifying factor is that they are women who live their art.  if you don't know them.  check them out.

Michelle Black
Nichole Van
Susannah Conway

other inspirations....the shell pink morning - just before the sun comes up over the horizon.  the scent of a child's head when they come to snuggle just under your chin.  the delicate green of a fern frond just as it's about to unfurl.  the blue of a bluebird feather.  lacy bare branches against a cobalt blue, cloudless sky.  the dove gray clouds of a misty morning.  the brilliant, bold and tropical colors of an evening sky and the purple just after the sun sinks below the horizon.  a shooting star.  a dandelion before the wish.  hunting for four-leaf clovers in a verdant field that is cool beneath my barefeet.  the hum of bumblebees drifting lazily from honeysuckle flower to honeysuckle flower.  a child's laughter and a mother's hug.  the dappling light as it drifts through a shady tree.

colors - light - feelings.  i want to splash them across the canvas as i run, skip and languish in the paint - soaking deep into the pores of my skin.  people that live the dream and dreamers that still yearn.  keep on inspiring me and thank you.

people that surround me on the blog it forward list.  new friends like rose at r's adventure and friends i've had for a while like erin at reading my tea leaves.

there is a world of inspirations out there - i can't wait to see more.

March 7, 2010

mundane is beautiful too

the pugs are snoring, not softly as would be poetic and beautiful, but loud, wet snores as pugs are wont to do with their tiny turned up noses.  the oscars are on, low so not to keep my brother awake.  he had an exciting weekend and he got a new harley and went on his first ride today. 

i didn't get my new bed and comforter set up today, but that is okay.  there are other days.  today i focused on my thoughts and puttering around the house.  grocery shopping and cooking seem to be sunday activities these days.  today was a pot roast.  i did it a new way (to me) with searing the veg and meat before putting them in the slow cooker.  such a simple thing but my oh my did it turn out delish.  even me, the anti-onion girl loved the sweet onions that were fried in the olive oil and added in as a rich, deep base to the mix.  it was a take-off on the pioneer woman's pot roast and tweaked to suit me.  onion quartered, seared and softened.  remove and add carrots - oh my how the browned carrots tasted so so so good.  the the roast, generously salted and peppered and browned in a very hot skillet.  tipped together in the crock (next time i will hold back the carrots a bit before adding as they got a bit mushy).  add in a can of beef consume and a can of cream of mushroom.  in the mean time, i cooked the mushrooms and added too.  after a bit, i added in quartered baby yukon gold potatoes. 

i played with flowers, washed clothes and watched some movies.  17 again was a good surprise - better than i expected.  i feel almost dirty thinking how beautiful zack efron is.  but man, he is a gorgeous boy. 

it was a beautiful weekend.  i noticed yesterday so many buds and sprouts on the trees.  maybe we will be rewarded after this hard winter with a full and glorious spring.  last year, the blooms were fully out on this day.  (yes, i looked back to see) but of course it also snowed on march 1st in 2009.  so....maybe that means nothing, right?

hope you had the most beautiful weekend.  while my wasn't the most exciting (in fact it was pretty mundane) was still just perfect.  just perfect because i realize how very blessed that i am.  and that is the most comforting thing ever. 

now, i'm closing for real i've run on longer than i like.  please tell me what you've discovered this weekend.

March 6, 2010

ay, ay, ay, it's a beautiful day

i couldn't resist the daffodils i found yesterday, even though this guy turned it's back on me.  there is something just so very cheerful about them.  the yellow harbingers of spring.

i was honored enough to interviewed by laura over at try handmade, if you want to hop over there to read.  it's a great blog to find the wares of several artists and i've enjoyed browsing through the blog to find several new items for my wishlist.

speaking of wishlist, have you seen the dwell studio?  i've been craving this beautiful duvet for a while but couldn't bring myself to spend the money.  well, little did i know (until yesterday) dwell studio also makes a line for target.  eep!  i've been shopping high and low for a new comforter for over a year (since i moved to montgomery.)  yesterday i found this and decided on the foliage comforter set.  the spring green just called my name.  i know, totally different, right? 

today is beautiful day - let me get moving on the chores so i can get out and about in this beautiful weather.  i think today will be the day that buds will begin opening in earnest and i don't want to miss thing.  hope you get out and about too.


March 3, 2010

where i've been

it's been a tough week so far.  exhausting and frustrating.  because i've worked here before people forget it's been quite a number of years.  they presume that i know a lot of routines that i'm not familiar with - part of it's my fault, i need to ask more questions but i a so tired of appearing like a dumbass that i don't.  then i have the supervisor that is almost never in the office....wah, wah, wah right?  sorry.  

but, hopefully the rest of the week will be better.  we got a ginormous mailout (2,500+) out and the daily meetings have settled down into a groove where they are running smoothly.  hopefully tomorrow i can actually do some reading that i've had to put off for a while.

cute story - sunday night we were visiting with my brother, sister in law and two nieces.  my nieces are crazy for littlest pet shop animals and the two year old almost always has one in her little hand.  she brought one over to me and said, 'quiral (squirrel in kid talk)' and i looked - it was a cat.  so i said, kitty kat and made the appropriate 'meow, meow'.  *mulish look* 'quiral!  no, kitty kat.  this went on for a minute and finally, she reached her patience's end.  'quiral, quiral, quiral!!!'  so she took it over to my sister.  'quiral.  my sister said, 'quiral?  (looking at me while i mouthed 'squirrel')  my niece took that as an affirmation and looked at me triumphantly, 'tell lanie' (my family calls me lanie).  we clutched our sides laughing.  it is always amazing how much personality they have so very young.  their own sense of style, their likes and dislikes - everything.  

for those that asked about the fuji instax.  the first two rolls were a real learning experience - where to put my finger so it's not in the shot, adjusting for the light, how to frame.  but i think i really like it.  i better because i just ordered 10 packs of film for it.  i'm going to scan what i think are my four best shots.  i just have to get to a scanner.  this is what i learned so far:

1.  think wide angle when you frame your shot.  if you are used to a digital cropping factor, it will pretty much go out the window.
2.  there is no autofocus - what you see is pretty much what you get - there is no aperture adjustment - it's one aperture and that's it.  
3.  it's very sensitive to light adjustments.  it has four modes:  sunny, partially sunny, cloudy and night.  from what i can tell the flash is always on - the mode you pick will make a big impact on the shot and it defaults to night.  i blew four shots before i realized that because with the cooler weather it took a while for them to come up - overexposed looks almost the same as still developing.
4.  the shots are really tiny - like credit card size.  they feel like polaroids for barbies at times. 
5.  the camera is pretty cheap - i found mine on amazon for around $80.  the film is not that cheap - it's around $1 a shot (if you buy in bulk it lowers the cost).  so, it slows you down and makes you think about the shot more.  

all that being said - i love polaroids and i've never been able to put my hands on a good one or get film for them.  there are some shots that i just cradle in my hands lovingly gaze into that special dreamy world that instafilm has.  i hope i can share them soon.

March 1, 2010

overnight everything is awakening

suddenly, everything is budding, awakening....opening, beguiling, color is coming back into the world.

the spring lion is trying to roar here with threatened snow (pishhhh, not going to happen)...but i know that our spring is right around the corner.

it's early but these japanese magnolias are making me happy today - even through the cloudy weather.