Friday, August 30, 2013

Random 5 Friday

 1.  Stormy is my buddy.  Wherever I go in the house, she goes, too.  If I go downstairs, she's right behind me and when I come back up, she does, too.  If I'm on the computer, she's usually right there as close to me as she can get.  I love my girl!  

2.  I'll be sorry to see summer end, much as I love fall and dislike this awful heat right now.  I'll miss watching the zinnias (and my other flowers) bloom and seeing all the different colors and I'll especially miss taking photos of them.

3.  My hubby's birthday is on Labor Day this year.  Happy Birthday!  He is also on-call this weekend, so we won't be going anywhere.  Bummer! 

4.  I need to get some new photos taken of the 2 remaining kittens.  It's only been a few days, but I'm still finding myself looking outside to see what the Fearless Five are were up to. 

5.  Have you noticed that some folks just don't seem to have a sense of humor anymore?  I don't know if it is the problems going on in the world today, or what.  I know that many have real worries or sorrow in their lives and that's certainly no laughing matter.  But, I believe that having a sense of humor is a great asset and I know it has helped me out countless times to be able to laugh.

I'm joining (late, I know) Random 5 Friday  at Nancy's A Rural Journey for the first time.   Hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Detour

As is often the case, my plans to tackle various projects has taken a detour.  One of those plans included catching up on some reading.  I am proud to say that I did finish one book!  I only have 3 left to finish and a new book still yet to be read.  I'm still taking a few photos now and then, especially of my sunflowers and zinnias.

The once tall and proud sunflowers are now bowing their heads as they become heavy with seeds.   The vegetable garden, except for the tomatoes, is ready to be tilled up and put to rest until next year.   We have had some wonderful weather for August until now.  It has gotten very hot and humid and we are in need of rain.

When it is this hot in August, my thoughts turn to fall.  My favorite season.  I had to do some grocery shopping yesterday and stopped at a little shop where I found this nifty item on a table.  It just hopped off that table into my little hands and found it's way to the checkout counter.  It's pretty indestructible (I think) so I'm hoping the kitties will leave it alone.  Okay, maybe I'm rushing things, but fall is just around the corner!

Thank you to all who prayed for my aunt.  She is doing better now.  She had to be in the hospital a few days.  I took the photos above and below as I was walking across the street to the hospital to visit her.  Aren't the flowers gorgeous?  They have the petunias on the poles all up and down the street.  

The doctors determined that my aunt's calcium levels were much too high and that was taken care of.  Next, she was to go to a nursing home for therapy.  I helped her move there, but she hated it and said it was much too cold so she left the next day and went home.  The day after she went home, she called me feeling poorly again.  I spent most of the day with her in ER awaiting tests results.  There was a mix-up on some meds that she was to take after the hospital stay.  Yes, scary, isn't it!  Anyway, that was the cause of her confusion and swelling in her legs and feet.  They determined that she was good enough to go home, so I took her back home.  That was last Friday.  Hopefully, she will be feeling better again soon.  Again, thank you for your prayers on her behalf!

In other news, 3 kittens have moved to new homes.  Sniff, sniff.  One other kitten and the mama kitty will go to their new home soon.  We're keeping Cali.  I don't think I've mentioned it before, but Peanut or Sissy may have to find a new home.  They just don't get along and I'm tired of the fussing and fighting.   

Our son was here again for most of the weekend.  He did go to the Cardinal game in St Louis Saturday night and they won!  It's always more fun when your team wins, isn't it?  :)  Anyway, he and the diva kitty, Stormy, are getting along much better now.  She wouldn't have much to do with him for the longest time and would hiss and bare her teeth and claws when he came home for a visit.  I just hope she doesn't give Cali much grief when we move her inside.  

Have you ever looked closely at the center of a zinnia?  I don't think I've paid much attention until I started practicing my close-up shots.  It's amazing the little details and design of the flower I used to think was fairly common.  Look at the feathery little petals  and the larger petals look like they are pinned on, don't they?  I think the zinnia, even though it doesn't have much of a scent, is now one of my favorite flowers!  LOL!  I say that about all the flowers!!

Well, those projects are still waiting for me to tackle them.   So, I'm going to try to get a few things done before the weekend begins.  I hope to be back here before then, but if not, just picture me knee deep in my closet cleaning or scrubbing the walls or cleaning the carpet or any one of a hundred things I should do.  In the meantime, eat some ice cream and enjoy the remaining days of August!  >>> Pistachio Almond, 290 calories a scoop!!  Yikes!!!

Until next time...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy Monday

"Just living is not must have sunshine, freedom,
 and a little flower."   ~ Hans Christian Andersen

Happy Monday to you!  I wish I could tell you that I took lots of photos with my new camera over the weekend.  Photos of everything from A to Z-innia.  But the truth is that I didn't get very far from my house and really didn't take many photos at all.  My flower mosaic is from my shooting marathon the other day.

Our son came in for the weekend and we had a nice, relaxing time visiting.  We listened to music while talking and got into a discussion about country music.  Son and I both said we don't particularly like the new country music.  Seems to me they sound more pop or rock than country these days.  What say you?  Do you like country music?  I like music of all kinds, except rap and hard rock.  The oldies are actually what I most enjoy.  

I may be blogging less in the coming days or weeks.  There are a lot of things I've neglected this summer that needs my attention.  One thing I've neglected, besides my house, is reading.  As in books.  I have about 4 books started but not finished.  Also, I was thrilled to be sent a book to review!!  This author saw my blog posts on the Laura Ingalls Wilder homes and thought I'd like to read her new book.  I'll tell you all about the author and book when I've had a chance to read it!  So stay tuned....

Before I close, I'd like to ask for prayers and good thoughts for my dear aunt.  She is 87 years young, but she has been living with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) for a few years now.  She is in the hospital undergoing tests as she has been feeling poorly and her calcium levels were extremely high.  She is my only close living relative, outside my hubby and children, and I think the world of her.  I pray that nothing too serious will be found and that she can still have many good years.  She has been quite active for her 87 years, even though she has had a lot of health problems.  

Until next time...

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Camera

As most of you know, I've been looking for a camera that I
can slip into my pocket or purse.  I have a good Canon that I
really like, but it's heavy and often times I just don't want to
carry it around everywhere. 

I tried out a Nikon Coolpix and I did like it, but there were
a few things I didn't like and so, in the end, the cons outweighed the
pros.  The closeups weren't quite to my liking and I didn't like
the fact that the battery had to be left in the camera to charge.
I ended up taking it back and got my refund.

 A couple of days ago, and after some more research which was
mainly reading reviews, I decided to try a Canon ELPH 330 HS.

 Being somewhat familiar already with a Canon camera, this camera
was easy to learn to use.  So far, so good.  First of all, I have to
say that this camera is a lot faster than the Coolpix.  I'm even
thinking it's faster than my other, bigger Canon.  All the photos
you see on this post are with this new camera.  As you can see,
I'm loving photographing my sunflowers! 

 There is an online manual that I need to read to learn more.  All
of these shots are SOOC and only cropped a bit, in some cases.

 If only I had a steadier hand, my shots would undoubtedly be
much better.  I have a tripod and need to use it more.

It has a pretty good little zoom, don't you think?  This sunflower
must be 10 ft tall at least!

The moss rose and bee were willing subjects for my first
day of shooting.  Of course, you probably noticed in the first photo
that Stormy was the first subject, but not so willing!

 I never tire of photographing zinnias.  I just love the colors
and all those little petals!

 I've taken enough shots of flowers to last the rest of the year.
Did I hear a groan?  Ha!

 Moving inside, the lighting in my house is terrible.  I should
have taken these shots earlier in the morning when it's
much brighter at the table.

 I propped a poster board on the table to brighten things
up a bit.  I didn't want to turn on the overhead light or use the flash. 

 This one is okay, I need to practice more.  Remember that
this is just my first day with this camera!

I wanted to show you my little shooting project.  Stormy was 
wanting to help out with chewing on the flowers!  Can someone
tell me why the vase/bottle appears to be leaning?  I noticed that
in several other photos some of the background appeared to lean.

The end.
Well, not quite the end, I'll be back with more flower shots and I'll try to get that manual read, too, before next week.  I'm thinking this camera is a keeper, but I've lots more shooting to do before I know for sure.
Feel free to critique these photos, please.  And thank you!
Enjoy your weekend!

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Strolling Through The Gardens

School has begun for many this week.  I will never forget my first day of school in the little one-room country school that looked much like the one above.  If you are interested in my memories of a one-room country school, you can read about it in a post I did about 3 years ago here.

All of the photos today are from my walk a couple of weeks ago in the Shelter Insurance Garden in Columbia, MO, aka COMO. 

There are so many beautiful flowers, trees and shrubs to see.  A nice little waterfall and reflecting pool, a rose garden and the replica of a one-room school in the photo above are among the many delights to see in this 5 acre garden.

The garden is free and open to the public and it is just a great place to stop for photos and to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet after a few hours of shopping and the location is good, too. 

Concerts are often held in the park during the summer season.  Weddings are also held there.  Clubs have meetings, mothers bring their children for a stroll around the grounds, workers from the nearby insurance company can often be seen taking walks on their lunch break.  And, occasionally, you might have the whole place to yourself!

There are many other parks in this city, of course, but this is the one that is close to where I do my shopping and is most convenient for me to stop by.

I hope you enjoyed this little stroll through the gardens.  I'm off now to COMO to see if I can find a certain camera I have in mind to try.  Hope your day is a good one! 

Edited to add:  The shot of the schoolhouse is with the other camera I tried out.  You can see that it's not quite as sharp as it should be.  I didn't have the zoom extended all that much.  Just an FYI in case anyone else was thinking to buy it.

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Barn Charm

This barn photo is a SOOC shot taken last month.  I see a corn crop in the background, but otherwise, the place looked abandoned.
I'm linking to Barn Charm 
Until next time...

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday's Musings

Happy Monday!   I have sunflowers now blooming in my garden.  In just a few days, maybe 10, since I first saw the beginnings of a bloom, a couple of sunflowers have opened up.  This is a tall boy, I really had to stretch to get this shot! 

This is what they looked like just a few days ago.  I have more that will bloom before long.  Don't you think, like I do, that sunflowers are just the happiest looking flower?   

Does anyone know what this little yellow flower is?  It comes up every year and it is one we brought from my inlaw's yard several years ago.  This is the first year it has bloomed since it was planted.  We had to cut some trees that died during last year's drought and I think they needed the sunlight which they now get.  I had this flower in my yard when we lived in the country.  I think my MIL got a start of this flower from us.  She called it "bread and butter".   

We still have the kittens.  This little one above hurt his leg over a week ago and we couldn't put him through the trauma of moving to a strange home with a bum leg.  So when he's healed up, we will then take them to their new home.  Here he is getting some TLC from his mom.


I took my Nikon Coolpix back to the store last week.  I took lots of pics with it, but I didn't get the closeups I was looking for.  I rarely ever return anything, but they had said I could try it out and return it if it didn't work out.  I like Canon, that is what my larger camera is, so I'm going in that direction next.  I found one that has a lot of good reviews and it is pocket-sized, which is what I want.  Hopefully, I'll find one without having to order it.  

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post.  It was so interesting to find out if you were an extrovert or introvert.  Or, as Patti said, a mixtravert!  :)  I do think there is a bit of both in most of us.  I am an introvert, but I can socialize and talk to almost anyone when I need/want to.  I just don't feel the need to be around people all that often.  I do like my alone time and there is so much I'm interested in, so much to do, that I never get bored.  That said, I will say I do love spending time with my hubby and my 2 children.  But, even then, I need my quiet, alone time just as they need theirs.  I just had a you think bloggers are mostly introverts?  You know, we can interact with others but don't have to leave our homes to do so!     

Until next time...  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Happy Friday!

I'm an introvert... I love being by myself, love being outdoors,
 love taking a long walk with my dogs
 and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky.

~Audrey Hepburn  
I really didn't have a specific post in mind, but I ran across this quote and it seemed to fit me very well.   I chose the photos to fit the quote, too.
Yes, I am an introvert.  Always have been and always will be.  I do love to be by myself, not all of the time, but most of the time.  

He's no longer with us, but I used to take walks with our sweet, faithful and smart German Shepherd, Baron.   We got him when our daughter was very young and he grew up with both our children and watched over them when they were outside.  When they were old enough to go to school, very often as soon as the school bus pulled away, Baron and I would take a nice long walk.  He was such a good dog and he'll always have a place in my heart.

The tree above is one I photographed in a park.  I thought the bark was so unusual.  Do you know what kind of tree it is?

The flower is another of my zinnias.  I love the colors of this one from light to darker pink.  I will definitely be planting this variety again and hope to save some seeds this year.  

I do love to look at the sky and see fluffy clouds and I love to watch the colors change in the evening as the sun goes down.

There is so much to enjoy outdoors.  One thing I would add to Audrey's quote is birdwatching.  Most of you already know I love to watch my feathered friends outdoors or through my kitchen window! 

Do you love being by yourself or would you rather be around people all the time?  Do you love the outdoors, too?  

Enjoy your Friday and your weekend whether you're going to be indoors or outdoors!

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

~playing with the camera, light is too bright...oh, well~

Until next time...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Barn Charm - Amish

This barn was one of my favorites from the Amish community we visited last month.  There was a house to the left of where I stood to get this shot and to the right another little building which is where their bakery was.  It was quite warm inside with the stove going.  The aroma of fresh baked bread and pies was heavenly.   The yard was neat and tidy with pretty beds of flowers.  Those are rocks painted white you will see in the photo above.  When we left, we drove through the gate and made a circle in the barn lot.  There were other cars leaving when we arrived.  The bakery seemed to be a popular place.  

I'm guessing these are straw stacks.  It looks too brown to be hay.    I love to see how the Amish farm without all the modern equipment used today.

The dairy cow in front of the line needs milking!  Maybe she was heading to the barn to get that done.

This farm had several dairy cattle.   I wonder how the Amish, who don't use electricity, keep their dairy products such as milk and butter cool? 

I've always heard their wash day was Monday, but we saw a lot of clotheslines full of laundry that Friday.

This was an interesting sight and we didn't know quite what to make of it.  This guy was tied to fence on the outside of the barn lot next to the road!  I said maybe he was in "time out".  There were other goats in a pasture not far from him. 

I have several more photos of our visit to this community, but I'll save those for another time.   I hope you've enjoyed seeing a little bit of the Amish country as much as I enjoyed visiting there!

Linking to Tricia's'  Barn Charm

Until next time...