Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 28, Low Angle

The previous photo challenge was a high angle, this photo is a low angle, and is where the photographer shoots a subject from down low.  This poses a challenge when trying to photograph dogs.  They want to come snuggle and play when you are down on the floor...I definitely need to do more training so they learn to stay when I am taking pictures of them. At least that is what I would like to do.  I did manage to get a few pictures using the stairwell in my house to get the angle I needed, but none of the turned out like I wanted...the next step was to take the boys outside and see if I could get some shots there.  And I did get several with Fergus when he was barking at his ball.  Of those photos this one is my favorite shot!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 27, High Angle

Most photographs are taken from eye level.  A high angle shot is where the photographer gets up high and takes a shot of a subject from above.  You can get some very interesting scenes using this technique.  My favorite shot from today using this technique is of my Beagle snuggled up on my blankets.

Cleaning with Dawn Dish Soap!

In the recent years there has been a swing towards natural cleaning agents.  Bleach is a thing of the past, or it should be, I really dislike the smell of bleach, and the side effects of using it while cleaning.  You know the ones, bleach spots on your clothes, having to wear gloves (or should wear) to use it, and it's not exactly kid friendly.  You can find a ton of cleaning alternatives on Pinterest, and all over the internet.  I have been using Dawn dish soap for years as a dog shampoo.  There are lists of other things you can do with it, from weed control, to people shampoo, to bathroom cleaner, even window cleaner.  I hate wearing gloves when I'm cleaning so I decided to try the tub and shower cleaner found on One Good Thing by Jillee

It was worth a shot so I gathered what I needed..

Wow was that super stinky!  Burned my throat breathing in the vinegar stench....at least it's not toxic right?!?  Next time I will turn the fan on for sure...but I got it all sprayed in the shower, and the toilets just to see, and walked away to continue dancing my way through cleaning the bedroom...I came back a few minutes later (like the how-to said) and started spraying it off the shower walls....I don't know what kind of "gunk, slime, sludge and other stuff" the blog gal has in her shower, but mine wasn't budging....time to break out the Mr Clean Magic Eraser and get to scrubbing....and grumbling.  I will say it came off easier than normal with the Eraser after soaking with vinegar and dawn.  And it even took the hard water stains on the shower doors, with a bit of elbow grease...The blog gal must not have a mechanic in her house...cause that grease gets everywhere and is a pain to get off.   But my shower is sparkly now!

My toilets are clean too, but again, I had to scrub with the toilet brush, and had to break out the gloves...I will use it again, but I know it's not a magic cleaner, nothing out there is...but it works better, with scrubbing, than other cleaners I have found, and I would rather use Dawn and Vinegar than commercial cleaners!

Happy Monday, and Happy Cleaning!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 26, Dirt

Who doesn't love playing in the dirt?  I know I do!  For today's challenge photo I am using a picture of my garden!  My strawberry garden to be exact.  I am growing a plant on my deck in a large pot.  Today when I went to check on it because we have been gone a few days I found ripe strawberries!!!!  I thought the birds would have gotten to them before I did!  This photo shows what a bit of dirt can do for you!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 25, ball

When I think ball, I automatically think about my dogs.  Fergus LOVES playing with a ball.  Smaller ones inside the house, and his big black ball out in the backyard.  The picture I captured of him playing with his tennis ball shows his playful side perfectly!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 24, Vintage

I have said many times in my blogs, I love old stuff!  The history, the construction, you can't go wrong with vintage!  My challenge photo is of an awesome old phone, they sure don't make them like this anymore!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 23, Books

I love books!  New books, old books, borrowed books...today's challenge photo is of some old vintage books I came across in an antique store!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 22, art

Being an artist I am surrounded by art, stuff I have made myself, and things others have made.  Today I chose one of my favorite art pieces to feature in my photo challenge!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 21, sound

One of my favorite sounds is rain, I sleep soundly when there is rain and thunder.  Fergus on the other hand does not like thunder, or gunshot, or firecrackers...oh well...today we went fishing.  I did catch two, they were tiny...and then the rain came....perfect for my post today!

Can you hear the rain beating on the top of the dock?  The sound was deafening!  I loved every minute of it.  It was so calming listening to the rain coming down, watching it splash and bubble into the lake.  Not that we need any more rain...

Monday, June 22, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 20, food

This one is an easy one for me!  I am a foodie, and I love cooking!!!  Today is the day I was making dinner for my Dad for Father's Day!!!  So here is the dinner I made!!!

I did a delicious pulled pork, a home made slaw, and oven fries!  This was after a whole day of canning 20 pounds of peaches...but that is a post for another day!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 19, home

"Home is where your history begins. 
Home is where they catch you when you fall."

Home is also where your heart is.  My heart is always with my husband.  Several years ago we had talked about moving, some place more out in the open, fewer neighbors so they don't feel like they are right on top of you.  Acreage was ideal.  We found one house we loved, but the price wasn't right, they wanted a lot more than it was worth.  So it must not have been meant to be.  The second house we put a bid on fell through because again, they wanted too much, and there was a lot of stuff we would have to fix because they were DIY'ers that didn't know how to DIY...The third house was not a charm...cause we lost the bid to someone else...but the fourth house...it was just right!  Looking back I think we ended up exactly where we are supposed to be!  The couple that got that third house have become awesome friends, and there are other couples in the neighborhood that we hang out with, a LOT!  We are truly blessed to live where we do.  My picture is of a drawing that my parents had done for us.  If you want one of your own, and you know you do!  Just click on over to Jamie Noel and see the rest of her awesomeness!

Drawing by Jamie Noel, get yours here

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 18, Sleep

For this photo I knew I was going to use a picture of one of the dogs, cause they are just so stinking cute when they are sleeping....it was just a question of which dog...

And the winner is?  All of them!!!!

Although, Tara was so cute sleeping on the back of the sofa, and giving me stink eye for taking her picture!!!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 17, music

Music has been a part of my life since I was still in my mama's belly.  Her mom sang, my dad's parents both were very musically talented.  I started piano lessons at a young age, and sang in choir, and in school musicals, plus I was in concert band, jazz band, and I was in the color guard for marching band.  Not to mention I jam out to the radio every chance I get!  So, how do you photograph music?  I chose to photograph my piano.  I don't play it as much as I should, but, it is always there when I want to tickle the ivory!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 16, words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  I promise I won't write a thousand words about my picture.  My mother does the same thing every morning, she gets up and she reads her bible with her morning cup of tea, she has a list of names she keeps as a bookmark so she doesn't miss praying for anyone.  When I knew I would need a picture of words I knew I wanted a picture of a verse from my Mother's Bible.  It is well worn, and it's older than I am. 1976 I think is the year she got it.  

The verse I chose to photograph is Jeremiah 29:11, a verse that a lot of my infertility friends know well.

Infertility is a horrible medical condition.  If you have primary infertility, you haven't had a child yet, if you have secondary infertility you have had a child, and then can't have any more.  One of the most hurtful part of infertility are the words others use.

"Just relax"                                                             "When it's meant to happen. it will"
            "Why don't you just adopt"

 "You want mine?  Then you'll change your mind"
                                                                                          "Just stop trying"

Words can be hurtful, so the best advice on what to say to someone who is suffering:

"I'm praying for you"                                                                                                 "You have been strong for so long"

                "It is okay to be sad"
                                     "I am here for you"

I never thought I would be in this position, trying to teach others about Infertility.  I am 1 in 8.  Odds are I'm not the only one you know that is suffering, many choose to stay private about this delicate issue.  If someone opens up to you about their situation I hope this gives you a bit of insight on what is the best thing to say.

"Be Careful with your words, 

once they are said, 

they can only be forgiven, 

not forgotten" 

~ Author Unknown

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What to do with Blueberries

We picked Blueberries today, as something fun to do, and to fulfill our photo challenge for today "fresh fruit." We ended up with almost 4 pounds of blueberries, and after giving some to the neighbors, and my mother I had plenty to try a recipe I saw for Blueberry-Balsamic Barbecue Sauce. I have a love of Balsamic vinegar so this seemed right up my alley.  Mot to mention I'm gonna make a pork loin for dinner tonight that I can use this on!!!  But you gotta start somewhere so we are starting today with the barbecue sauce.

Blueberries, and Balsamic Vinegar

Sugar, Salt, and minced garlic instead of powdered garlic like the recipe calls for...I never follow a recipe exactly.

and Ketchup, which I hope to be able to make myself in the future.

I also added Molasses, butter, and chili powder.  I was working so fast I didn't get a shot of blending the sauce in the blender after cooking it for 15 minutes.  Nor did I get a shot of putting it into a canning jar...oh well...on to making the pork lion!!!!

This recipe is for cooking a pork loin on a BBQ grill. You get the grill nice and hot and get some good color on the outside...

Then turn the grill down and cook it for an hour using indirect heat.  Internal temperature should reach 160 to make it safe to eat.

Once it almost reaches temperature brush the outside with the Blueberry BBQ sauce and let it continue to cook and caramelize.  The loin needs to rest 15 minutes before slicing it so the juices don't run out.  Serve with potatoes and veggies and enjoy!

Honestly I will make the pork loin again and again, watching it better next time...however, I'm not 100% sold on the blueberry BBQ sauce...not that it was bad, just not what I am used to.

Photo Challenge - Photo 15, fresh fruit

I don't grow much fruit, what I do grow is no where near ripe, or even a photograph stage.  So I actually found a place in Smithville that we can go berry picking!  Can't get much fresher than that!

We went to Duncan's Berry Farm, in Smithville, Mo.  Man I love this town, there is a bit of everything here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 14, weather

I have been lucky enough to catch several awesome storms on my camera. Lightening, thunderheads, that eerie color the sky gets before and after a storm....I also love seeing the "Fingers of God" coming down through the clouds.  It never fails to put a smile on my face.

Photo Challenge - Photo 13, Favorite Place

Everyone that knows me knows that my favorite place to be is at the lake!  And I actually got to go to the lake today!!!  It was a beautiful 75 and cloudy!!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 12, Light

The definition of Light; the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.  It rained like crazy today, one minute it was hot and humid, the next it starts pouring!  We were outside hanging with some of our neighbors and just moved into the garage to continue talking.  When the sun came out it was still sprinkling and I went running for my camera hoping for a rainbow.  No rainbow, but I caught a beautiful picture of our flag with the sun shining through it.  Makes for a perfect picture for light!

Photo Challenge - Photo 11, close up

This setting on my Canon has been hard for me to figure out.  I'm not much for reading the directions, I just like to start pointing and shooting.  Unfortunately this is one I have to read up on because it would never snap the picture when I wanted it to.  I realize also that this post is VERY late in posting.  Life happens, so I took a few days off blogging and shooting to get some other stuff done.  But here is my close up photo!

Addicted to Lanterns, my 200th Post!

I can't believe I have already reached my 200th post!  So here it is!!!

I have a small collection of mostly vintage lanterns. Most I have just placed right into my decor, some need a bit of TLC before they make it all the way into my home.  Such is the way with old stuff...I had just reset my internet, for the 3rd time, when a picture of two very old kerosene lanterns popped up in my Facebook news feed.  I love swaps!  I was finally the first in line and so of COURSE I jumped all over it!  We met that day and I was the new owner of two wasp nest filled lanterns.  Not kidding about the wasp nest part either.
Can you see the yuck inside the globes?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Photo Challenge - Picture 10, something blue

At Easter time this year I heard a sermon about the color blue.  The pastors reference for this interesting sermon which did tie into "that dress" yeah you know the one...he read an article on Business Insider by Kevin Loria titled "No one could see the color blue until modern times" It is an interesting article that everyone should read.  In the article the author references Homer (not the Simpsons) and how he referred to the ocean, "wine-dark sea." Makes you stop and wonder how differently we would look at the world if we weren't given names for the things we see.  That being said, my photo today is...The Royals wreath I created for my neighbor's birthday

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Photo Challenge - Picture 9, Laugh

This was definitely a tough picture to capture!  How do you get someone to laugh with total abandon and capture it on film?  My picture was almost handed to me when my favorite pixie child came to visit today!  We were sitting outside drawing on the driveway with chalk and she started giggling and I started snapping pictures.  I do love my neighbors!!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Photo Challenge - Photo 8, something new

My something new is a new plaque I purchased for my front door.  I love having wreaths out for the different holidays, and for the 4th of July I found a cute star welcome hanging that is my new summer "wreath."

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Photo Challenge - Picture 7, something old

I have said it before, and I'll post it again, I LOVE old things!  Today my picture is of a lamp that is in the process of being re-finished.

I will turn it into an electric lamp eventually, I just need the time! I would leave the lamp intact but it was already rusted out.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Photo Challenge - Picture 6, nature

Last night the sky was amazing.  I had to take a lot of pictures of it.  So I'm going to share one of those just because.  My challenge picture comes from today when Mr. Fish and I went fishing today.  Nothing was biting tho. I did take a lot of pictures today, nature is everywhere!  I just had my cell phone with me but, it didn't stop me from taking an awesome picture!

I was looking for the bird that was making a lot of noise and this just looked like a cool picture with the sun shining through it.

And here is the picture of the sky from last night.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Photo Challenge - Picture 5, soda

My favorite soda is Dr. Pepper.  Trying to figure out how to photograph a soda was the tricky part.  I had done several photos last summer, one that was my absolute favorite.  But I thought it was "cheating" if I used an old photo.  So this year's Dr. Pepper photo...

And just because I want to share this is last year's Dr. Pepper photo...

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Photo Challenge - Picture 4, What you are wearing

This was a fun challenge day!  There are so many ways to photograph this, do you do a full length selfie? Lay your clothes for the day and snap a pic?  I chose to focus on one thing I am wearing today.  I LOVE my tennis shoes!!!  They are comfortable, and colorful!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Photo Challenge - Picture 3, color

Today's photo challenge is tricky because color is all around us.  My photo from today that best represents color is...

I took this picture because as I was stirring up my latest batch of salsa.  I was struck at the vibrant orange, red and green with the stark white of the onions.  Hungry now aren't you?

I'm bored!

The dreaded words of summer...I'm bored...they have been counting the days till freedom and now they don't know what to do with all of this "free time."  I had been giving them window cleaner and paper towels and letting them clean my windows when they utter those words.  But there has to be something better than constant chores, and stuff that doesn't cost money!!!

This morning we packed up and went on a nature hike.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Photo Challenge - Picture 2, a flower

It is so hard to select just one flower to feature for the photo challenge.  I took a lot of photos, and I settled on the picture I took of the Bahama Bay Silverberry Hibiscus.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Melted Bead Suncatchers

It's still raining, and looks like it's going to rain all day long, what to do with two kids?  Especially when one HATES staying inside?  Pinterest has tons of ideas, and one that I have been dying to try is melted bead sun-catchers!  I found a great informative blog post about it on The Artful Parent.

Luckily I have a large plastic bead collection...

Summer photo challenge - Photo 1, a selfie

Our first photo challenge is a selfie.  I am no stranger to selfies, I try to take at least one every day.

Here I am! 

It will be interesting to see how much I change over the summer.  Will I have different hair color?  Lose weight?  Gain weight?  Will I stay the same?  That is part of what this photo challenge is about.  We will be documenting summer, how we feel every day and how our mood effects the pictures we take.
Our challenge list

Today is raining, a lot, more like a thunderstorm.  Which I love, but Fergus hates, Hammond is indifferent.

The kiddos on the other hand...one doesn't care and is happy just watching movies, the other asks every few minutes to play in the rain, or go home, or go to the neighbor's house to play, anything except sit and "do nothing."  Time to go to Pinterest and find something fun to do today that won't drive me nuts, that will keep them entertained!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The official start of summer

One of the things I want to do with my summer kiddos is a photography challenge.  There are several to choose from (on Pinterest) I have pinned several to my Summer Board. Along with a lot of other ideas for fun stuff to do this summer!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Weekend away

It's been a while since I have been able to crochet all day.  Honestly it was the day after I learned to crochet.  I had asked my neighbor to teach me because we were driving to Tennessee to visit family and I wanted to do something on the drive.  Well this weekend we were doing another long drive.  We were headed to Dallas, Texas for my cousin's wedding!