Saturday, June 30, 2012

182/366 Reckless Abandon

Just like much of America, I live where the heat is somewhere between OMG! and What the Heck?   With the heat index, it feels like it is 110 degrees (43 degrees Celsius).  So, I decided that today I would learn how to do a jump shot.

Using the timer, I took 16 pictures of jumps.  Getting the picture timed just right was harder than I thought -- and I had quite a few pictures of me landing from the jump.  And then I had to delete the ones where I jumped too high and cut off my own head.  

This was the best of the bunch and not exactly what I had in mind but it will do.  Maybe later, I'll get brave enough to do this in random public places.  And smart enough to do it when it isn't so darn hot.

Friday, June 29, 2012

181/366 "I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it." ~ William Shakespeare

My backyard is my little spot of bliss.  It is by far the best room in the house.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

180/366 "The bluebird carries the sky on his back." ~ Henry David Thoreau

Late last night, I received a text from a friend.  Her daughter had delivered a baby and it was a stillborn.

I cried when I told my running partner about the late night text.  I just can't imagine such loss.

This afternoon I got an email from a teacher that I used to teach with back in the days before I moved into administration.  We were part of a four member team -- and we were close.  When you teach middle schoolers, you need to be close with your team to try and maintain some semblance of sanity.

I found out that one of the teachers (who had moved away years ago) had lost her son in a car accident this past January.

For the second time today, I cried.

The team is all meeting for dinner tonight.  It is the first time we've all gotten together since 2001.  I'm sure there will be tears.  And I'm sure there will be laughter, too.

And I'm sure my boys will soon be tired of me telling them how much I love them.  Today has been more than full of reminders at just how delicate life can be.

As for the bird in the picture, we all got these bluebirds (that was the name of our team) and signed the bottom at the end of 2001 when two of us were leaving the team.  I've always kept this curio to remind me of that happy time in my life.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

179/366 The Cop Out

I was going to try to do something creative... but in the end you get another flower.

Does it count for effort that I got six bites from a horse fly?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

178/366 "Into each life some rain must fall." ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Trying to master the focus on the minuscule with the manual 85mm has been a lesson in patience -- but I feel like I'm making some progress.  This little heart-shaped leaf was lying on the ground when the rain finally stopped late this afternoon.  I practiced focusing for a while before finding the leaf.  It took 3 tries before I got a picture with leaf clarity!

It was a lovely, rainy day today and I spent it lying about with the dog while reading.  I finished 2 books before finally dragging myself up to get dressed and do something productive.

I generally don't sit still very well -- but today was greatly enjoyed!

Monday, June 25, 2012

177/366 Turquoise

Today, my son had outpatient surgery on his foot.  All went well and he is his bed with his foot propped up.  Tomorrow, he'll get to wear this really stylish shoe. :)

I wanted to take a picture of him from the perspective of his foot but he adamantly refused.  What a spoilsport!  I'll blame it on the anesthesia.

Today's Macro Monday theme was turquoise.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

176/366 Rainy days and Sundays

Well, they don't get me down.

This summer, I really wanted to push myself to learn more about photography.  I've gotten so caught up in just being busy that I don't think a whole lot of pushing has been going on. So... I dug out my 85mm lens and I am going to use it all week.  The 85mm and the Lensbaby are the absolute hardest lens I have and I tend to leave them tucked deep in the recesses of my camera bag.  Nothing is automatic and the majority of the pictures just plain suck with those lens.

So, this week is 85mm week.  Guess what next week will be?

Any other suggestions for challenges?  I really want to learn more and get out of my comfort zone.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

175/366 I shall call him Woody

A young woodpecker spent some time on the suet hanging on our metal tree earlier this morning.  His determination in eating the berry mix was fun to watch.  He crawled and flapped all over that thing!

I cooked. All. Day. Long.  We had 10 friends over for dinner and we had a blast visiting with each other.  The food storm I cooked today was as follows:  Red thai curry with kabocha squash, Thai basil eggplant, black rice and mango salad, Asian cabbage salad, brown rice, and peach blueberry crumble.

There are tons of leftovers so feel free to come by and chow down with us on Sunday.  Right now, I'm going to return back to my food coma.

Friday, June 22, 2012

174/366 The witching of the soft blue sky

Another great day!  I lunched with some girlfriends and then I spent time with the man... We walked around a junkyard (love!) and then met some friends for drinks and Indian food.

Seriously, we go to the Indian restaurant so much that they welcome us by name and give us hugs.  It's my favorite place to eat besides home.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

173/366 "If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure." ~ Dan Quayle

We were up early this morning to get the truck loaded with the last of my step-daughter's furniture.  The only problem... she'd forgotten the key (we live 4 hours away).

She called her landlord, explained the situation and he agreed to come unlock the house for her.  At first we settled in to wait.  The heat and humidity encouraged us to walk around the house in hopes that a window was left unlocked.

As luck would have it, one of the front bedroom windows WAS unlocked.  My husband carefully pulled the screen away and sent his daughter in to open the door.  That same luck decided to have a little fun with us and no key was found to unlock the deadbolts.

Once again, we were settling in to wait for the house to be unlocked when my husband decided he'd climb through the window and get everything out of the bedroom and ready to be quickly loaded on the truck.

We watched through the window as my husband carefully moved all the remaining furniture into the area by the backdoor.  He waved and seemed to be enjoying the air conditioning just a little too much when I decided to annoy him by rattling the doorknob.

The door opened.

We all just stared in disbelief before busting out into a big laugh.

The truck was almost completely loaded by the time the landlord arrived.

172/366 Curiosity isn't just for cats

Wednesday was a whirlwind trip to Athens, Georgia -- to move the last of my oldest step-daughter's stuff out of her apartment.  We spent the day with both girls just walking around downtown Athens.

In this quaint shop, we met the sweetest dog (named Sydney) who was rather curious about my camera.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

171/366 Good news will be brought to you by mail

The other day, I got this fortune in my cookie.  So far, I've only received bills and sale circulars.

It can't hurt to be thankful to the mailman just in case he is holding something out on me.

Bonus!  I learned how to fold an envelope with a square piece of paper.

And another bonus!  The old lady across the street thinks I'm crazy.  She was watching me and shaking her head.  We'll see who is crazy when I get some good news.  :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

170/366 Stepping in gum

Actually, the first idea I had was to pretend to be stepping in dog poop.  We have plenty of it (Miss Poopy didn't earn that name for nothing).  But who wants to look at a picture of a turd?

So, then I decided I'd pretend to step on some chewing gum.

It took 23 snaps and 3 pieces of gum (thanks to above mentioned dog) to get this picture.  Plus my white jeans now have some grass stains.

The things we'll do for a picture.

Macro Monday theme - Camouflage.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

169/366 Just Peachy

Whoops!  Another food shot.  I'm just not sure where the day went.  We went to dinner at my grandparents... we ran errands... we cooked... we just ran out of day.

These peaches have since been committed to a dessert -- but I liked the pile they made on the counter.  Oh, and those peppers in the background... well, they are currently cut up and drying in the dehydrator.  Perhaps tomorrow it will be funny about how much mine and my husband's hands hurt from the caspian powers of the peppers.

My eyes may never be the same. I'm a little concerned about taking my contacts out in a few minutes.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

168/366 Farmer's Market Day

Oh, Farmer's Market... how I love thee!  Fresh fruits and vegetables grown locally and then sold for cheap!

I wish I could find the woman who sold us the giant pattypan squash (which I didn't even know existed until last month) so that I could give her a kiss.  Her comment about stuffed pattypans sent my gears right in motion.

Fresh vegetables sauteed with garlic and herbs and then baked inside the pattypan -- I think I'm in vegetable heaven!

That was the best $2 we spent all day.

Friday, June 15, 2012

167/366 The Diner

My husband and I took a day trip to close out his mother's safety deposit box.  We both have fond memories of her wearing some of the jewelry contained in the box -- but there were several pieces that raised more questions than answers.

All in all, it was a nice day with my husband.  We ate at a funky little diner and we shopped a little.

I wish we could have had one more day with his mother.  I would have loved to hear the story behind each item she had saved in her box.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

166/366 Guardian of the yard

Mili and I are working on ridding the world of weeds.

Well... I'm working on the weeds.  She is working on barking at the birds.

I swear those birds are just taunting her.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

165/366 What a difference a day makes

Yesterday's mushrooms were cute and bunched up together like siblings on Christmas morning.  Today, those same mushrooms were giant, showy bullies who had pushed and shoved their way to adulthood.  One fungi had a broken stem and he appeared almost ready to curl into a fetal position.

Perhaps I personify inanimate objects too much.  It's a habit I never outgrew from childhood.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

164/366 Together

Today, my husband and I have been married for 8 years.

I love many things about him but one of the things that I love best is how he says, "Hey, Beth!  I think I just found your picture of the day."

And indeed, he did.

Happy Anniversary to my sweet husband!  I hope we have many more happy years together.

Monday, June 11, 2012

163/366 "Don't minimize the importance of luck in determining life's course." ~ Alex Trebeck

In most Jewish households, a mezuzah is hung on the door posts of the home.  We have one on every entrance door to our home and on the bedroom doors.

You can read more about mezuzahs here.

The Macro Monday theme for today was Good Luck Charms.  Since I didn't have one, I decided the protective symbolism of the mezuzah would fit the bill.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

161/366 Lazy Saturday

The almost constant drizzly rain made today somewhat of a sleeper.  We did go to a Blackberry Festival in Jasper, Florida but there were no blackberries and the festival had mostly been rained out.  All that was left was food vendors selling meat on a stick or funnel cakes.

We drove around for a while taking in the small town atmosphere and listening to some awesome soul music.  As we passed people, they usually waved.  I love small towns with friendly people!

They sound so honest. The trucks are ok... not fabulous but ok. 

Nature is busy reclaiming this old barn. I want to go back to this place (if we can ever find it again) when I have a wider angle and some sunlight.

Friday, June 8, 2012

160/366 Living out of a suitcase

Mr. Peabody is staying with us for the weekend and this makes Mili extremely jealous.  When he gets in one of our laps, she barks.  When we give him treats, she barks.  When he gets out of his bed in the morning, she barks.

But let me the get the camera out and she lets me have him all to myself.

Mr. Peabody happily hopped into the suitcase and posed like a model for me to take several pictures.  AND he did all this without the expectation of treats.  It was so easy.

I need to train Mili to be a little more agreeable.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

159/366 Irrelevant rosemary

It becomes much more relevant when we use it to cook.

It has been a long week and I'm all out of ideas BUT my summer vacation starts now!  First on my list, sleep without setting an alarm.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

158/366 "I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm." ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

At the track this evening, a young mockingbird was sitting in a crepe myrtle.  The mother was fussing at us and was highly upset that we were anywhere near her baby.  Even with her beak full of worm, she was squawking up a storm!

While I don't want to try it, that baby really seemed to enjoy having that worm shoved down his throat.

Nature is so cool!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

157/366 "Whatever your 100% looks like, give it." ~ Lance Armstrong

And I gave 100% today and got all my boxes unpacked, the furniture arranged and the my office organized.  These 10+ hour work days are about to be over.

At least until school starts back again.

My last day at school is Thursday now due to some work exchange days.  I'm ready for my 5 weeks off!  This will be the longest summer I've had in 7 years.

Monday, June 4, 2012

156/366 Yesterday

All my troubles seemed so far away...

Actually, I had a great day today!  Furniture got moved into my new office today,  Tomorrow, I get to unpack the boxes and get officially moved in.


I'm a day behind in uploading.  So, there.  I'm caught up now.  For the moment.

I can't even think of a title.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

154/366 Bedtime rituals

Many of you already know about my sweet dog, Mili, and her back issues.  For over 5 years, we've been dealing with the aftermath of her recovery from the surgery to repair her back so that she could walk again.  Even with the surgery, she was only given a 50% chance of ever walking again.  One of the first things we had to do when we brought her home from the surgeon was crate train her.

I know, I know... she probably should have been crate trained from the beginning.  But we just aren't those kind of people.  In fact, before the surgery, Mili had special stairs by the bed to help her get in bed with us.

I miss the days when she burrowed in our bed.

Since we didn't have a crate, some sweet friends of ours let us use a travel crib as their son had already outgrown it.  Five and half years later, I'm fairly certain they won't want it back.

Each night, when we head to the bedroom, Mili scampers in running up to the crib to be picked up and placed inside with her clean towel and blanket.  If the bedding has just come out of the dryer (and we often do that just for her), she gets so excited and runs in circles, slipping and sliding around on the wood floor.

The sound of her little paws on the floors always makes me smile.  It is the sound of hope.

~The picture is of Mili through the netting of the crib.  She was worried that we were kidding about going to bed. ~

Friday, June 1, 2012

153/366 Travel woes

What a zoo today has been!

First there was court about a child's custody placement.  What an emotional mess!  There is a lot I could say here -- but my lawyer would advice me to keep my mouth shut.

After I finally got out of court, my son and I hit the road to get him to the airport to go back to college.  We haven't really hit too many snags with all the flights we've had to book over the past two years, but today... the flight gods must have been having a rough time because they are just being ugly.

At this point, it looks like the boy might be sleeping in an airport somewhere for the night because his shuttle ride will be gone.  That doesn't make me happy.

Sorry for the crap picture.  I've been obsessively glued to my phone and checking his flight status.