Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Week So Far

I'm going to tell on myself this morning.  Oh, it's not earthshaking news because I lead a fairly simple life.  And that suits me just fine because....I love the sweet, simple things in life.

What I did was almost ruin our dinner last night because I was busy hanging out the window gawking at the birds and trying to get a decent shot with the rain coming down.  Has that ever happened to you?

Do you ever get so engrossed in birdwatching or whateverwatching and forget everything else?  What is that Goldfinch looking at anyway?  I managed to save dinner from getting too burned, but it was close!

While I was at the window, I saw Bambi prancing across the field toward the pond for a drink.  Sorry my shots aren't very clear.  Part of the problem is that it was raining and the light was poor.  And zooming this far doesn't help under those conditions, either.

Even Mr. Bluebird looks all wet and ruffled up.

I took this photo the other day at the lookout over the Missouri River.  As you can see, it was raining that day, too.  The river is looking low compared to the last time I was at the lookout.  This shot and the zinnia was taken with the new camera I bought.  The others are with my other camera.  The weather hasn't been the best for testing the new camera, but I won't complain.  We need the rain.

Several of you have asked me what my new camera was.  Here she is....the lady in red!  I won't go into the details of the camera, I'll let you google that information if you're interested.  I will tell you that I love the size.  I can easily put it into a pocket.  And, I love the color!

What I don't particularly like is that you have to charge the battery while it is in the camera.  And, the battery is only good for about 200 photos.  Also, while charging, you have to take out the memory card which you need to buy separately as the internal memory only holds about 5 shots.

I have several days in which to decide if it's a keeper.  There is a lot I haven't done with it yet.  The weather has been a factor because most of my shooting with it will be outside.  So far, from the photos I've taken, I've liked some and didn't like others.  I realize that I can't expect to get high end photos from such a small camera, but it has taken some nice photos from the shots I've seen online.  It has gotten some really good reviews, which is what lead me to buy it in the first place.   I have to make a decision soon!

Until next time...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Barn Charm - Amish Community

We're in the Amish community again this week for Barn Charm.  I have a lot of barns from that visit, so I hope you don't tire of seeing them!

Horses are also plentiful in that community.  Aren't they beautiful?

I think they were posing just for me!  

I spotted what I think are pigeons as they landed on the roof of this barn and thought it was worthy of a quick point, zoom and shoot.  

There are more scenes from the Amish community to come in the next couple of weeks.  If you ever get a chance to visit, don't forget to stop at an Amish bakery.  Their fried pies are out of this world!  

Linking to Tricia's Barn Charm

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Something New

Good Monday morning to you!  The weather has been much cooler and it's been wonderful!!  It's been a great time to be outside snapping photos.

I've always loved to snap photos since I ordered my first camera so many years ago when I was a youngster.  It was a Brownie camera that I ordered from the back of a cereal box for the sum of 5 dollars plus the cereal box top.

You would think that I would be pretty good at snapping pictures since I have done it for so long.  But, the truth is that I was always in a hurry and didn't really take time to set up my shots.  Just pointed and snapped.  

I still have a problem with doing that and have to remind myself to slow down, making sure the background looks good, the lighting is right, etc.  I guess you might call me the impatient photographer....just clicking merrily away and then when viewing the shots, wondering why they aren't as good as I'd like.  There is a lot to improve upon and a lot to learn.  Viewing the many beautiful photos in blogland helps me to want to do that.

I knew a long time ago that I didn't want to lug around a lot of heavy gear, so I bought a new camera a couple or so years ago.  It is a pretty good camera that has a terrific zoom, but it is still heavy and I decided recently that I wanted a little camera that I could slip into my pocket or purse.  It was hard to know what to get, but I found one last week that, so far, I like really well.  I can try it out for 15 days and take it back if I'm not satisfied with the photos.  So, guess who I'm asking to critique my photos that I've taken with my new camera?  

I just knew you would volunteer for the job!  Thank you!  And, please, be very honest here.  You won't hurt my feelings.  I do know it's as much the photographer, the lighting, etc., as it is the camera.  Now, all that said, what do you think so far?  There will be more photos in the next few days to come.  Not tomorrow, the photos for Barn Charm have already been taken with my other camera. 

I haven't taken any landscape photos yet.  That's next on my photo testing adventure with the new camera. 

We had a busy weekend, so there wasn't as much time for playing with my new camera as I'd hoped.  You can be sure that I'll make time this week!  I do hope you'll let me know if you think this camera is a keeper or if I should try out another.  And, if you have a good recommendation, I'd love to hear it!  Thank you and have a wonderful week!

Until next time...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Days Of Our Little Lives

Let's look in on today's episode of Days of Our Little Lives starring the Goldfinches, shall we? 

She said:  "Are you finished eating yet?"

He said:  "Would it matter if I wasn't?"

She said:  "Now, don't get snippy.  I want you to meet me
at the clothesline.  I have something very important to tell you."

She said:  "Let's make sure no one else is around to hear".

He said:  "Okay, what's this all about?"
She said:  "Look in the other direction!  I'm looking this way!"  Men.

He said:  "Okay, okay.  Now are you going to tell me?"

She said:  "I just wanted to say I love you!"

He said:  "Okay."

He said:  "What did I do wrong?  Was she expecting a marriage
proposal or something?"

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Stay tuned for more from Days of Our Little Lives.
I don't know what will happen next, but I do know the
clothesline has been replaced with a new one!

Until next time...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Am I Crazy, Or What?

First up is a weather report.  We're still waiting on a nice rain.  We had just a sprinkle yesterday.  The next few days are supposed to be quite a bit cooler and that is good news!

Now, before I get into my Am I Crazy, Or What? spiel, I'm going to borrow a word from Susan Branch (who loves cats, too) and give you some musica to listen to.   I've always loved this song, but the only thing it has in common with this post is the title! 

Hubby told me the other day that he must be getting soft in his old age, because he was going to let me keep 2 of the 5 kittens.  He had been telling me that we didn't need anymore.  He is right, of course.  But, he also has become very attached to them, too.

The two pictured above, Callie and Patches, will be staying and we'll be taking the other 3 to a home in the country.  Something has to be done soon because the little explorers are getting closer and closer to the busy highway.  I'm not quite sure I'm up to the challenge of having these 2 in the house along with Stormy, Peanut and Sissy.  But we can't take the chance of them ending up like our sweet Truman, who decided to dash across the highway and got run over.  Am I crazy or what?  Probably.  

I'm also looking out for my feathered friends by moving the kittens inside.  They have been tree climbing and have been giving this robin fits.  I do believe they were trying to reach the bird's nest.  

I do have mixed feelings about our expanding fur family.  I hope they all can get along and I always wonder if my furniture and curtains will survive.  Or, if I will.  It is a lot of work keeping them all fed, watered, and keeping the litter boxes cleaned and the cat hair vacuumed up.  Am I crazy, or what?

I was wanting to keep Callie all along, but hubby has always favored Patches, he even chose her name, so that he why he is wanting to keep them both.  He is an old softie, because I see him grinning at the kittens antics and I know he loves them, too.  Yep, just call us crazy and a couple of big ole softies!!

Note:  There is a HUGE possibility that I might change my mind about all this!  

Until next time... 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Barn Charm - From The Amish Community

I'm sharing photos from my visit to the Amish community.   The sun was brightly shining that day, so it was hard to get a real clear shot with my camera.   Most of their barns are red and very tidy looking.  Do you see the buggy? 

You'll see a lot of horses in this community.  I was happy to spot this draft horse, or some call them work horses.  When I was a youngster growing up on the farm, we had a lot of horses.  We had a pair of work horses that my dad bought for some reason.  He didn't use them for working that I recall.  I do remember how gentle they were.  Their names were Pet and Pat.  They were so tall that I had to climb up a gate in order to get on their back.  I didn't ride them, I just liked sitting on them.  They were so big, I could even lay down on their backs.  We didn't have them very many years.  I don't have any photos of them because that was before I got my little brownie camera!

An Amish school house.  I thought the name was interesting.  There are several schools in the area.  And below is one of the outhouses that go along with these schools!  See the red handle by the school?  That is where they draw water.  The school looks very similar to my old country school that I attended the first 6 years of my life.  So does the outhouse and water pump.  It sounds primitive doesn't it, but I'm glad I got to experience going to a little country school.  I have fond memories of that time.  We didn't have plumbing, but we did have electricity!

Isn't the filly a pretty thing?  I didn't aim to shoot the mare's backside...I was focusing on the filly!  When we were living at our country home, we had a couple of horses.  One of them wasn't broke to ride, so we took her to the Amish community where they kept the horse and tried to break him.  He wasn't quite gentle enough to suit me, so he wasn't ridden very much.  When we moved to our present home, the horses were sold.  I do have photos of them and I'll show them one day soon. 

There is still more to come from the Amish community.  So stay tuned!  I'll share more next week.  Oh, I think I mentioned the baked goods for sale in this area?  Last week I mentioned the yummy pecan pie I bought.  They did have some fried pies that day and I bought several of them, too.  Oh. My. Word.  They were so delicious!!  Here's a FYI.   If you want them, I'm told they only sell them on Fridays and Saturdays.  It's probably a good thing I don't go there very often!!

If you like barns, be sure to visit Tricia's Barn Charm.

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time... 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Going, going...gone

We are so lucky to have a few beautiful lakes nearby.  This lake is one I love to visit and it's very close to our house.  In fact, I could see part of it from my house if I were to climb the tree in the front yard.   Like that's gonna happen!  I never climbed trees even when I was young because I've always been afraid of heights.  However,  I have always, always loved watching the changing skies as the sun sets.

        "Never waste any amount of time doing anything important when
              there is a sunset outside that you should be sitting under!"
                                                ~ C. JoyBell C.

"When the sun has set, no candle can replace it."
~ George R.R. Martin

Until next time...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday At Home

Nearly every day when I browse in blogland, I see such beautiful homes and gardens.  Everything nearly always looks like it came straight out of a magazine.  Perfectly staged homes and beautifully manicured lawns and patios.  As I took my camera out with me early this morning, I looked around and sighed.  No perfection to be found anywhere and the yard needs mowing badly.  Here are my random shots in no particular order.  I probably should have called this post "Keeping It Real".  My home and gardens aren't, and will never be, magazine worthy, but it is comfortable and it is real.  It is home. 

 My first zinnia shot this year.  We had so much rain earlier this spring that my first planting of flowers and most vegetables had to be replanted.  So these guys are a little late in blooming and are not very big.  It has been so hot lately and we now need some of that rain we had so much of earlier in the season.

I watered all my potted flowers this morning, but so far we haven't started watering the veggie garden.  I usually water flowers in the evenings, but I missed yesterday.   Those are sunflowers you see in the front and in the back is my pitiful looking corn crop.  Squash and cucumbers are just this side of the corn.  I picked a few zucchinis and cukes that were ready.

Veggies have been gathered and the sun is already getting hot, so I head back to the remaining shade on the patio.  It won't be long and this shade will be gone, too, until evening.   I have nearly 50 pots of flowers scattered all around this large patio and on the front porch.  I've only had to replace just a few flowers, in spite of the heat and the kittens.  This is the wall of the walkout basement.  It drives me nuts trying to decide how to make it look better.  Painting might help, but we have red brick above, so what color would I choose?   Any ideas?  I try to pretty it up with all the flowers, but it needs more help!

The kittens are growing by leaps and bounds.  They were snoozing as I sat in my chair after all the watering and veggie gathering.  I'm surprised that I have any flowers left at all on the patio.  They've sure had fun playing in some of the pots.  We're having a hard time finding a home for them.  One person backed out in taking them.  And, no, much as I love these sweet furbabies, we can't keep all of them.  I'm afraid they'll eventually get run over.

The birds have been singing their little hearts out this morning.  I recognized the wren and a cardinal.  This pretty boy landed in the new peach tree we planted last year.  I think it is a Phoebe.  The birds aren't coming around quite so close with all the kittens we have.  Who can blame them?  We have rabbits and squirrels in the back yard and I just want to tell them to Run!  The kittens and their mama will be catching them if they get a chance.  Mama Kitty was chasing a frog on the patio earlier.  She caught a lizard for the young ones the other day.


Back in the house, I walked down the hall and looked into a spare bedroom and saw something was a bit different.  I had just made up the bed with a quilt I had dried on the clothesline.   It doesn't take long for anything to dry in this heat.  Anyway, see that lump under the quilt?  That's my kitty, Stormy.  She loves clean bedding or a pile of clean, folded clothes and just crawls right in and goes to sleep!  See, I told you that this is a Keeping It Real post! 

I'm not sure what I'll get into the rest of the day.  I'm thinking I'll vacuum and scrub floors and dust.  Those are never ending jobs, particularly when you have furbabies in the house.  I also need to do something with all that squash.  I usually peel and dice up any extra zucchinis and put in freezer bags.  They make a great addition to a pot of vegetable soup. 

So there you have it.  Just a normal day at my little cottage.  Hope your day is a good one.  For those of you who are getting too much rain, send some our way.  And, while I'm asking, I'll take some cooler temps, too, please!

Until next time... 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July Note Card Party

It's time again for Vee's Note Card Party!
This month I'm choosing some of my furbabies as my theme, 
starring Stormy and Peanut.  So without further ado.....

Be sure to visit  A Haven for Vee  to see many lovely
note cards.  

Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time...

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Barn From The Amish Community And A First

Isn't he a beauty?  He looked very friendly, too, as he just started
coming towards me as I got out of my car to snap a pic of the
barn.  That hazy look you see is dust.  We were on a gravel road
  and were they ever dusty!

Here's the barn that I was wanting to snap, but Black Beauty kept 
catching my eye.  This is another barn I'm sharing from our day
trip to the Amish community near Clark, MO over a week ago.  

You can tell in this shot that Black Beauty was moving 
a little bit closer all the time.  I used my zoom in that first shot.  I 
really wished that day that the grass and weeds weren't so tall and I wasn't in my flipflops, or I would have walked over to the fence.  Do you see
the purple martin house just past the horse?  Most Amish homes have them, I noticed.

This is another barn almost identical to the one above.  I wish my shot was a bit clearer.  It must have been the sun.  :)  Anyway, see the sign in the front?  The Amish homes that have goods for sale will have a sign near their driveway stating what they have for sale that day.  This one had produce.  I bought cucumbers for 25 cents at one home. 

My daughter went with me on this trip.  She had never been to the Amish
community and found it very interesting.  There is another thing she 
encountered and actually used that day that was a first for her.

Yes, it is what you think it is!  An old-fashioned outhouse.  
There were actually signs to lead the way to it.  Now some
of us are, ahem, old enough to remember or have even used these in 
the past.  Raising my hand and waving here.  This one was a two-seater.  But, nary a place to wash your hands in sight that we could see.  Thank goodness for hand sanitizers that we carry in the car!  :) 

We had stopped at this house because it said Bakery on their sign and
the Amish women have such yummy baked goods.  We bought a loaf of bread and a pecan pie at this house.  Oh my, I wish I had the recipe for the pecan pie.  It was the best I'd ever eaten! 

There will be a few more barns and other scenes from this very
interesting community to come.   Thanks for stopping by!
Linking to Tricia's Barn Charm 
Until next time...