Category Archives: Photo

Good To Be Back!


Hi everyone!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  It’s not because nothing’s going on – in fact just the opposite.  I got back last night after three weeks away from home.  I have never loved my sofa so much.

On the sewing front I haven’t finished anything but have made muslins for a couple dresses.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any dresses actually completed.  And here I had grand plans to make tons of casual sundresses this summer.  How many did I get done? None! I did learn through the process though. I know I am high waisted but I also learned I’m short between the shoulder and bust point.   Both of the dresses I tried had a mock wrap v-neck.  The only way to make the top fit was to pinch out excess fabric between the shoulder and bust point.  Makes sense – straps are always too long on RTW garments I buy.  The dresses were sleeveless so I was able to ‘scoop out’ the armsyce at the bottom to add back the fullness I removed.  Anyone know how to adjust when there are sleeves? I can’t find anything in any of my fitting books or online.


July is always the start to a busy few months in my job – lots of work and travel.  I had trips for work to Portland, OR and Burlington, VT.  Then my husband and I went on a two week vacation.  Two weeks!  I haven’t taken two weeks off since high school!  It was wonderful.



We went to Captiva Island where I’ve been vacationing for over 30 years and Matt has been coming the last 10 years.  Thankfully, he loves it as much as I do. The empty beaches, refreshing pools and gorgeous wildlife make for a wonderful change of pace. We got to see old friends, visit favorite spots, and eat out every night. The scale will not be my friend; I’m kinda scared to even check.

Sea Turtle nests are scattered along the beach.  They are protected and monitored.turtle patrol

An osprey that hung out in the tree outside the condo. He (She?) chirped all day long.SONY DSC

The view  from the condo screened porch in the sun and the rain.  I could sit out there for hours.SONY DSC


While I didn’t want to leave, I was happy to come home to see Sadie and the cats.  No travel for a couple weeks and I am going to be a complete homebody!



Seek and Find, Bird Edition


Over the past two months I’ve been taking photos as I see more and more birds out our back window.  My husband and I laugh at each other about how excited we get when we spot a new bird. When did we become birders?  It has been interesting to see new types show up as it gets warmer.   Well, theoretically it’s supposed to be warmer but here in Ohio it’s still freezing and we’re even supposed to get 5 more inches of snow tonight!  With the cold weather and the snow, the birds flock to the feeders since they need so much food to stay alive.

I’ll do a future post identifying the various types we’ve seen but I wanted to share some photos from when we get huge gatherings at the feeders. That’s my favorite – when you look out and see 10-15 birds just hangin’ out. All-you-can- eat buffets draw a crowd in the bird world too!

The photos aren’t always the best quality since I’m taking them with a long lens and through my living room window (which only gets washed outside when it rains). Even so, it’s great to have a record of the little visitors.

Let’s see how many birds you can spot….

Answers at the bottom.

We’ll start out easy.IMG_1935_edited-1web

All kinds are welcome here.IMG_1510_edited-1web

A little harder.  Two pairs of cardinals on a double date at the buffet.IMG_2105_edited-1web

So colorful, aren’t they?IMG_1941_edited-1web

The male cardinals are easy.  Look beyond those.IMG_2122_edited-1web

12 and 2 squirrels!!IMG_2115_edited-1web

Can you find 22? The picture doesn’t do it justice – birds were everywhere!IMG_1927_edited-1web

Have a great week, everyone!

Bird counts: 7,8,4,6,6,12(and 2 squirrels),22

It’s a Bird Party in Our Yard!

IMG_1240_edited-1I’ve never really given a thought to birds.  Sure, some are pretty but I thought they were, well, boring.  I assumed that folks that were bird watchers were an odd lot.  Have you seen The Big Year?IMG_1246_edited-1

Then my step-mother asked for a bird feeder for Christmas.  I decided to stop in a store called Wild Birds Unlimited.  I was amazed that a store that dealt with nothing but birds could even stay in business.  How wrong I was!  It was busy the whole time I was there.  I walked out of there not only with a bird feeder gift, I had a feeder, bird book and bag of food for myself! I’ve since gone back to buy a bigger feeder and suet cakes to bring the woodpeckers.IMG_1229_edited-1



Within a couple hours of hanging the feeder, we had birds.  We’ve seen Junkos, Chickadees, Cardinals (lots of those), House Finches, Blue Jays, and more.


What amazes me is just how many birds gather.  There have been times I look out and see at least ten on the trees next to the feeders.IMG_1130_edited-1IMG_1247_edited-1

I’m sure part of the reason the feeders have been so busy is the snow covering.  That snow is what makes it so pretty to look out and see little pops of red where the cardinals are staying close by.IMG_1260_edited-1


I love looking out the back window to see which birds are stopping by each day.


I look forward to seeing what birds we get this spring.IMG_1237_edited-1

My Latest Toy and a Great Customer Service Experience


I just had to tell you how excited I am about this.  For the past year I’ve been frustrated by the quality of my photos taken indoors.  The house we moved to last year is very dark (which is weird because there are so many windows).  Any food or animal picture I take is super dark.  I have to take the photos with wacky settings to eliminate blur which screws up the color and adds a ton of noise.  When I try to fix them in photoshop, it sometimes makes it worse.

So I headed down to Midwest Photo Exchange, and went in thinking I needed one of Canon’s entry level flashes.  I told them I knew nothing about using an external flash but needed something to help me and I didn’t want to spend a lot.  Turns out, I was right on the model but he suggested a used flash since for what I needed I didn’t need the options of the newer model.  He explained the differences to me and I know I’ve read about it but in truth I had no idea what he was talking about.  He saved me 40%!  yay!  I’ve gone to these guys for lenses multiple times and they are fantastic.  Always giving the straight scoop on quality and matching prices, if appropriate.  A few years ago, I wanted a lens to take on vacation. They only had the floor model (or a used one, I forget) in stock.  They let me buy my lens but take their model so I wasn’t without one.  When I got back, I just swapped it out for the one I technically bought.  AWESOME!  I have no connection with these guys, I just haven’t been in for a couple years and a positive shopping experience is so rare these days.

My husband was a little irritated I bought it before Christmas but I’m hoping to learn how to use it before then.  I tried it out this morning and I love it – what a difference!  Now I wish I could re-take a bunch of my food pictures.  Oh well.

Sadie Saturday–Wake Up!

IMG_8350_edited-2(click on image to see animation)

I don’t understand it – Mom invites me to sit on the sofa (I don’t get up on the furniture unless I’m asked) and then when she gets up for a drink, she comes back with that darn camera.  Will she ever stop?  And now she learned how to make my pictures move?  *sigh*

(note – Followers – I’m sorry if you’ve gotten multiple emails.  I don’t know why the picture above isn’t animated when viewed online so I have re-posted twice.  It’s working behind the scenes and if you click on the image.  Hopefully I’ll figure it out soon…)


Sadie Saturday–Beauty Shop


Yesterday I went to my doggie day care.  Dad tried to tell me I was going to the salon but we ended up at the same old place.  It was ok though – I didn’t have to hang out with the other dogs yesterday! I am really shy and don’t play with the other dogs when at day care.  We get along fine but I just don’t join in their games.  It makes my mom and dad sad to drop me off because of that (what’s a wallflower?) but I’m ok with it. 


Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.


Sally, the nice lady that gives me my haircut, said I was so sweet and had a nice round head.  What?  That was a weird thing to say.  Doesn’t she realize my eyes are my best feature?  Or maybe my feathers.  Or maybe my fluffy tail.


Even though they are very nice there, I make sure to bark all day to tell them I don’t like being put in a “suite” (as they call it) with a fan to dry.  Mom says we need to work on our barking but I do it just fine.  I’ll keep practicing!

At least they gave me a cute Spring bandana this time instead of silly little bows they tried to give me one time.  That was embarrassing. I couldn’t even look at the camera.


Even though I got lots of attention, I was excited to get in the car and go home!

photo (6)_edited-1

Foggy and Spooky

A couple years ago I decided to learn more about photography.  I wasn’t happy with a handful of so-so pictures from holidays or vacations every year.  That didn’t represent my life.  I also wanted to take the time to look at what is beautiful and good in my life.  I’m really fortunate to have a great life surrounded by special people.  I wanted to have a conscious way to pay attention and appreciate that. Photography could be a way to do that.

So, I learned all about the settings on the camera, lenses, etc…  I took an online class which was incredibly helpful.  While technically I could have learned all the information through books or online, the class forced me to do the weekly ‘homework’. The assignments (aperture, shutter speed, etc..) directed how I looked at the world around me so I could find the right things to photograph.  I loved it.  I did a photo of the week project and I found I would look for things to shoot, which was the whole point.

Last year, with a new job and a new house, I got away from taking pictures.  I struggled with balancing being the annoying person with a lens in front of peoples faces and doing something I enjoyed (and was glad I did after the fact).  I hardly took any photos and realized I missed it. 

One of my goals with this blog is to get back into taking pictures regularly.  I’m definitely a little rusty.  I would love to do a Project 365 but with my work and travel schedule, it would feel like a burden.  And, frankly, without kids, what would I take pictures of?  You can only have so many cat or dog pictures (and my husband is not a willing participant in such things). 

Are you still reading? All that long-windedness (is that a word?) as an introduction to some photos today and to explain why there will be random photos pop up from time to time.  It was super spooky but kinda pretty out this evening.  Behind our house are trees and a large field.  You could barely see the field except bits and pieces through the mist.  I went out on the back patio and got a couple shots before I saw a blur of white run by me. Somehow Ollie escaped and ran under the porch.  I chased after him in the rain, grabbed him, tried (unsuccessfully) to avoid his claws and brought him back inside.  By then, the light was gone. Oh well.  I’ll keep at it.