April 27, 2010

talking about my bloggy crushes

one of my bloggy crushes, susan tuttle, has a new book
if you haven't checked out susan tuttle's digital creations -
you should definitely do that - she is one of my 'must reads'
as she has beautiful insights and beautiful photography.  she
 is a multi-talented artist and...she's having a giveaway of her
new book on her ilka's attic blog.  if you have photoshop
elements and want to expand your horizons, i bet this book will be something you will be all over. 

side note - i edited out three 'definitely's from that paragraph aside
from the one i used....so, that should be an indicator of how much i
love her work.

last night the nephews and my sister were over for our monday dinner nights.  lately i've been crushing on mushrooms browned in butter served with some boneless, skinless grilled chicken thighs over pasta with alfredo sauce.  not that figure friendly, but it just feels like a warm hug.  the boys love it too.  well, except for the mushrooms - they haven't learned yet the heavenly joys of simple mushrooms.  i can't tell you how much it means for them to come into the kitchen and hug me hello.  even now my heart overflows from their hugs.

isn't it funny what little bitty things bring happiness or overtake your heart?  this isn't rocket science or some great discovery.  people have said it for a number of years.  probably since the ancient greeks debating reason back in the days.  if we allow those moments in - drink them like champage and celebrate them - how can our hearts not be filled to the very brink?  i know that is sometimes my problem - that i do not take the time to allow a pure moment to really seattle and land upon my heart.  that i rush or discount it.  *shakes head*  i know that when i'm feeling discontent, it's usually things of my own making.

i was also reading an entry by another bloggy crush this morning - posted by kristen (aka: maine momma) at shutter sisters.  about how thoughts become things and how we manifest our dreams.  one of her dreams was to shoot in raw and become better at lightroom.  and i sat with my jaw open, because i do that.  well, i wouldn't call myself a lightroom expert by any means...but i'm tackling those same issues.  i shoot in raw - i made myself make that adjustment about a year ago.  if you decide to do this, be prepared for the storage issues and buy yourself an external hard drive now.  just an fyi.  you will be amazed at the difference in colors and how much smaller adjustments will make significant changes.  i'm also interested in how many of you shoot automatic. 

three years ago i had no clue what f/stop or depth of field was all about - apeture?  phffft...whatever.  i shot in green mode (automatic).  now i think i'm inching towards the next big leap - the switch to manual.  currently, i shoot in a/v (apeture priority) mode and the camera chooses the shutter speed for me.  i set the white balance and the iso.  iso is another tool that i've been playing around with - making the baby steps of changing it up and down.  so, the manual leap should not be a big deal, right?  *crosses fingers* 

i constantly strive to be a better photographer and there are other areas i could improve - be more consistent in carrying my tripod, get the wired shutter release, practice more, do more model shoots...*sigh*  why am i not independently wealthy?  *laughs* 

what do you want to do better?  what are your little things that fill your heart?  what is on your mind today?  and tell me, did you have a fabulous weekend?  though mine was not fabulous persay, it was pretty wonderful in all of it's small glory.

April 25, 2010

childhood gardens

it's been over 20 years since i visited the jasmine hill.  it's a private place, owned by private family for many years but is now a non-profit organization.  it's only open march through may and then on certain weekends (i never knew when they were and the website is not updated often)  i wanted to make it a point to visit this year before it closed for the summer. 

i missed most of the azaleas and what was left were pretty beat up by the storms yesterday.  but today bloomed bright and beautiful.  almost everyone there were armed with cameras - though it was not a lot of people - so, at certain times, it was like being alone with the gardens. 

i learned this about ancient greece during my visit today:  they didn't wear many clothes, they liked to wrestle with other dudes, that maybe it was quite cold back then as a shrinkage factor seemed to be going on, and they were rather fond of lions. 

i have over 180 shots to go through, these are my favorites so far.

April 23, 2010


hello weekend.  you're teasing me you know - promising me all sunshiny days like today.  bright flowers, warm air, cute boys in worn jeans.  festivals and people smiling happy.  but i checked up on you.  you are pulling the bait and switch on me.  promising the sunshine but i just know you're going to wake me up with rain on a saturday.

that's not very nice you know.  not when it's a long weekend and i spent the last beautiful weekend moping around the house sick.  i cry foul.  *sigh*

but you never really listen to what i want.  you just do what you feel like...you're sort of funny that way.  and yes, even though i know rain is good for the flowers i planted last weekend, i don't want to hear it.  *pout*

what?  you might give me a bit of sunshine on monday.  well...i'm going to hold you to it.  don't be mean now...deal?  *holds out finger for pinky swear*

hope you all have a beautiful weekend - no matter the weather.  xo

April 22, 2010

topsy turvey

my life has been busy lately - my american express opened my eyes to that as i opened it yesterday afternoon.  it reminds me that i need to sit quietly and get it sorted out.  on top of that there was the whole being sick thing (and the lingering, nagging cough) and my sister having car troubles.  thank goodness for the iphone - without it, the 365 would have been shot to hell and back. 

thanks for the ideas on the scanner.  i have found one that gets great reviews on line so i need to invest in one soon.  i also need a new telephoto lens to replace the one i trashed back in the winter.  i don't use it often, but when i want one - i really want it.  know what i mean?  even though 80% of the time, my 50mm stays stuck to the camera. 

i've sworn off women's beauty magazines.  i'm proud to say that i haven't purchased or read comospolitan in over two years.  that includes the january issue that has the cute little book to predict your love life for the year.  no glamour (i do miss that one), marie claire, elle, allure....nope.  you know why?  because i think the world has gone insane with the amount of time we spend on looking good, being younger and all the money that is being spent on this.  i had to put a stop to it.  at least for my sanity.  now that is not to say that i don't enjoy looking nice.  i like to keep myself, cute, tidy, neat - i spend money on hair and clothes.  but it is not how i rule my life.  and what really drove the point home for me....i was outside yesterday, taking in the sun when a young woman, yes she was heavier (a size 16 to 18) walked by a group of young men.  one of the men, "moo'ed" - yes, you read that right "moo'ed" at her.  you know, that's a damn shame that his momma didn't raise him better than that.  and yes, i said something and yes, he flipped me off.  *shakes head*  it makes me worry for this world.

*steps off soapbox*

*ahem*  sorry about that - just thinking about it made me mad all over again.  i will never get being cruel.  just like i will never get mean, intolerance, evil, and other horrible acts that people do.  and, i know it makes you all mad too.  i know.  yes, i know.

let's talk about good things instead.  like the three hersey kisses i have lined up on my desk to savor as i go about my afternoon.  and fountain soda over crushed ice.  nina simone, otis redding, patty griffin and johnny lang.  flip flop weather, painted toenails and cold watermelon on a hot day.  a juicy peach.  the sound of the spine opening on a brand new book.  the scent of something cinnamon baking in the oven.  the sunshine on a freshly cleaned window.  the sound of a loved ones' voice on the telephone.  the laugh of a child.

April 21, 2010

help please

i know that some of my friends use film and flatbed scanners....right?  care to make any recommendations on which one to buy?  i run windows vistas on my laptop, so it had to be compatible with that...beyond that, i'm stumped.

April 20, 2010

around me

there are insistent noises throughout the day, the whoosing of the air ocndition, the traffic four stories below me, doors opening and closing down the hall, the muffled laughs of people talking in the hall.  all a calaphony of my life.  but, here in my room i am the lone flute, flying high, high, high above it all.  and in my world, van morrison sings quietly of tupelo honey. 

outside my window the building continues to grow upward and the walls are being completed.  colors of taupe, gray and beige - like so much government issue.  workers buzz around like angry, persistent, orange bees with hard heads and nimble feet.  landing here and there while attached to ladders and ropes to replace non-existant wings.  i can see them below me and sometimes beside me, taking my view away.

turning back, i sip my grape koolaid and smile at how silly many people think i may be...drinking a kid's drink.  maybe tomorrow i should bring pb&j.

April 18, 2010

it's a dude's world

i felt like cooking and experimenting.  so, i perused some magazines and some websites looking for a bit of inspiration.  well, with a name like "dude's pasta" you know that i had to try it...right?  wouldn't you?

here's my insight.  it was good - just not my favorite dish.  however, if you love the taste of fennel or sweet italian sausage - it's wonderful.  i think the full pint of heavy cream is a bit much - if i make it again, i would cut that in half.  it also needed a bit more garlic to me so i would up the volume on the garlic.

i'm not sure where the name for the dish was derived from....it didn't seem particularly manly to me...or something the 'dude' would make. i don't even feel the urge to go bowling now. 

otherwise..it's been a quiet weekend.  i planted flowers, i read, i coughed, i cooked, i washed...i coughed some more.  i think i will go read some more.

April 16, 2010

dahlias, zinnias and feeling better

i think my body said....no more, thank you so very much.  after two weekends of being on the go, sitting next to a fellow with a cold on the plane coming home, was the end of me.  tuesday i had the itchy, dry eyes and sore-ish throat, wednesday it was a full blown cold, complete with using a whole box of tissues in one day.  finally today, i'm seeing my way out of the woods. 

to feel better, i stopped by the farmer's market for dahlias and zinnias.  they look happy by the front door.  it is very true that flowers make the world a better place.  or at least it feels that way today. hope it does to you too.  other things that make me happy are:  glee, the warm sunshine on the trees, hot showers, fluffy clouds, an ice cold dr. pepper and a weekend at home. 

the meds make my head fuzzy....sorta like this dahlia.  i hope you have a wonderful weekend.

April 15, 2010


ick...head cold.  hope you're having a good day.  i'll be around soon.

April 13, 2010

do you walk funny?

"don't get your knickers in a knot, it never solves anything and you just walk funny."  -- kathryn carpenter

i'm not sure who kathryn is...but i like her attitude.  and that is basically my my outlook on life.  no use in getting all up in arms because most of the time, it doesn't amount to a hill of beans..of course there are exceptions to every rule - of course.

sometimes we have to flex to keep from being walked over...but, all in all - she has it straight.  on my bad days, i just close the e-mail and come back to it the next day when i won't be tempted to reply with something tart, like...oh...maybe....'stuff yourself'  *ahem*  did i say that?

yes, i did.  *sigh*  yeah...i don't really mean it.  not usually anyway.  maybe i need to go unknot my knickers.  is it time to go home yet?

now...let us go enjoy some spring time.

April 9, 2010

in an instant

whenever i bitch and whine i find that something reminds me of all that i'm grateful for - whenever i really feel sorry for myself, i a reminded that tragedies surround us and that i should treasure and savor each moment i am granted with my friends and loved ones.

yesterday was one of those normal days - all day meeting, i was whining about being tired and brain numb when the doorbell rang.  my wonderful neighbor had been killed during my 'bad day'.  he was on the job when a co-worker was robbed at gunpoint.  beau struggled to stop the robber and was shot in the process.

one of the nicest people i've met since moving home - gone in an instant - gone while trying to do the right thing. 

it puts things in perspective...doesn't it?

April 7, 2010

can't buy me love...everybody tells me so

thank you all (again)...and so i don't sound like sally fields - oops, i just told how old i am, right?  anyway - i'll stop with that. 

i had one question in all of that - one about my love life and ken asked if that was taboo.  heck no, the only things i never really talk about are religion and politics .... mostly because too many people get pretty upset on those issues and rather than insult anyone, i just steer clear.  as i've said before - i try to treat people according to the golden rule - do unto others as i would have them do unto me. 

so...my love life.  or lack thereof.  yeah.  that's the main reason i don't write about it.  first of all, face it - in these days and times, women in their 40's have a tough time meeting guys...much less guys that have an appreciation for say...women in their 40's.  *laugh*  i kid you not - the few times i ventured (lately) into a typical venue to meet guys - guys my age are dating women in their 20's.  my brother for example.  *drum rimshot*  not that he chose her - it was a fix up.  *sigh, then laugh*

here are the basics about my love life:  married young - married for a good number of years - divorced when i found out (by his own admission) that he was cheating on me.  dated - fell in love once or twice - fell out of love - dated some more - played the cougar once which lasted until i figured out his mom was only three years older than me - did the e-harmony thing - got engaged - found out e-harmony does not screen out the trait of ... what's the male version of gold digger - broke up and have become a cynic about love. 

that's the quick view.  i can be glib as i've processed all of this....as my old myspace friends can testify - boy have i processed this and written about it.  *laugh*  i guess that is why i don't talk about it. 

  this is my version of love:  if you have it, hold on and cherish it all that you can.  long lasting love is a rare, delicate flower that must be constantly fed and nourished.  sometimes we starve it or forget to water it and, in the rare cases - it can make a comeback....but it's been my experience it either dies or gets killed.  i'm in constant awe of people ... like beth, who seem more in love with their partners than even the day they met. 

so, i would classify myself as a hopeless romantic.  no....no....no, that that kind of romantic - hopeless - without hope.  i'm hopeless when it comes to romance.  if it jumps up and slaps me in the face, maybe i will believe again...as for now...well, there is always photography.

April 5, 2010

here's the thing

i've had a lot of time to think over the past few days - driving and flying alone with do that to a person.  my rather full heart tells me that i need to thank each of you for hanging in there with me over the past two years.  so...thank you.  thank you for laughing with me, crying with me, shaking your fist at the insanity of it all.  as writers yourself, i'm sure you know where i'm coming from when i say that there are a lot of days where you keep me grounded.  and by 'you' i mean the collective you of my friends in blogland.

it makes me want to buy a beverage of your choice at a local joint. 

it also reminds me that i want to write better.  i've let my writing slack lately as i've let myself be consumed with the job and other stressors.  i'm sorry for that - just goes to show you how good a friend you are because you still read...*laughs*  i know you guys know that everyone has ebb and flow to their writing mojos.  i've lost some of mine - writing is one of those weird things that is the more you write, the better you are at it...however, it also seems that the more you write crap - the crappier your writing becomes.  so, that's on my list...practice writing again.  it's sort of a thing i've become aware of to the tune of 'physician heal thyself'.  i'm sure you can draw from that sentence whatever conclusions you want.  *smile*

somehow that is related to 'whatever you resist, persists.' 

i hope you're having a beautiful beginning to april.  i've been surrounded with the glory that is april over the past week with the glorious sunshine and flowers of the spring.  my sinuses are going insane but i wouldn't trade the beauty for the world. 

April 3, 2010

home again

i'm totally unprepared for easter this year...but i'm home safe and sound. 

  my visit with family was good and long overdue.  and i must say that cape may is just beautiful.  the adventures getting there are a tale to be told (oversleeping, not having the right flight time, and forgetting camera but remembering film) 
it was wonderful seeing my grandmother and looking into my uncle's eyes...i had forgotten how much he and my mom looked alike. 
  i hope you all have the best easter ever.  i'm going to hug all of my family very tight.