Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Sundries ~ Edition 11

"And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.  God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good."
Genesis 1: 24-25 (NIV)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Finds and Randomness

It looks like Peter Cottontail hung around for a while after Easter. I found him sitting in the morning dew, soaking up the sun. He actually let me get pretty close. He just twitched his nose and wiggled his ears a little. I guess he was too comfortable to move!  It doesn't matter that I've seen bunnies many times, I still feel a sense of awe when I spot one. They just kind of melt my heart. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't feel that way when Peter hops into his garden!
Linking with Kim's Friday Finds.
Kim Klassen dot Com
 Now the randomness...
Randomness #1
I recently discovered that there is an Anthropology store near me. It's a unique, interesting, and fun store to roam around in.  But, honestly, I've been more impressed with their decorating. The first time I went they used books to decorate. There was a huge book sculpture hanging from the ceiling and down one wall; fascinated me. I took my sister by the store to show her the books, but they were gone. I was a little disappointed in that!  We happened to get there as they were decorating their front window in honor of the Monarch Butterfly migration.
There was a young man there gluing every single paper butterfly in place. A very tedious task, but oh my, it was beautiful!

Randomness #2
Spring has sprung. The flowers have bloomed. The bugs are back!  Not that I have anything against bugs. I know they have their place in nature, I just wish they'd stay away from me, especially the mosquitoes!  There are two bugs on this flower. The first one is obvious, the second is hanging upside down on the bottom left petal.

Randomness #3
In the back of this store which is a small craft mall there is a little restaurant called "Pay It Forward." It's located in the old downtown section of Clinton, AR.
The menu is written on a chalkboard and there are no prices. You pay what you feel you can. If you can't pay, you eat free. If you can, pay a little extra to cover the meal of someone who is hungry and needs a meal. Oh, it's not simple, mass produced food either. It's a delicious healthy meal! They only serve one choice a day; this day it was a vegetable casserole, bell pepper cornbread, and milky way cake or pear pie. They use home grown local produce and the workers in the restaurant volunteer their time. What a blessing this little place is to this community!
Randomness #4
I love to visit my daughter when her spring flowers are in bloom. I went this week and the dogwoods on her property were gorgeous. Add the Bleeding Heart plant to that and I was knocked breathless.
Bleeding heart plants were introduced into England in the 1840s from Japan by the Scottish botanist and plant hunter Robert Fortune.  Other names for the flower are; Dutchman's Breeches, Lyre Flower, and Lady-in-a-Bath. I've not heard these other names (thank you Wikipedia).
There is also a legend from Japan which tells a story of how the bleeding heart flower came to be. In the story, a young man tried to win the love of a young lady. He did this by giving a pair of rabbits (which are the first two petals of the flower), a pair of slippers (which are the next two petals of the flower), and finally a pair of earrings (which are the last two petals of the flower) to the girl. She continued to reject his affections, and, heart-broken, he pierced his heart with his sword (the middle part of the flower) which caused the bleeding heart. (Wikipedia)

Randomness #5
If all my images seem a little bright this week, well, it's because they are!  It took me a few days to find what was wrong. Every picture was bright and with a slight yellowish cast.I sat down last night and went through every menu, setting, and function and finally found the problem.  Somehow and sometime my fumbling fingers had changed my camera to a vivid creative setting. It was vivid all right...too vivid! I don't have any editing programs, except Picasa, to help tone them down, so I'll just say it was a bright and vivid week!  Note to self:  WATCH WHAT YOU'RE DOING!
Hope you have a bright and happy weekend!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Sundries ~ Edition 10

"...Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified:
He is risen:
He is not here:
behold the place where they laid Him."
Mark 16:6

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Finds & Random 5 Friday

If you've been with me very long, you know how I love nature and you know I love seedpods. This week I found one I have never seen before...the seedpod of the Goldenrain Tree. It reminds me of a Chinese lantern with it's three paper thin sides. These seedpods (according to a little research) start out as green and then ripen from orange to pink in autumn. I understand the Goldenrain tree is most beautiful in the fall when it has large clusters of yellow flowers. I will definitely be going back to check it out this fall.
Just in case you want to know....
The Goldenrain Tree was introduced to the west from China by Jesuit missionary, Pierre d’Incarville in 1747. The tree reached America by 1809 when Thomas Jefferson germinated seeds sent to him by a French friend.
Linking with Kim's Friday Finds.
Kim Klassen dot Com

I'm sad to report that Nancy, at A Rural Journal, who hosted Random 5 Fridays has decided to close her blog. I will miss her and her beautiful captures of rural living. I've decided to continue with five random facts each Friday, because I've enjoyed it so.
This week my sister and I spent a morning at Wildwood, a botanical and preforming arts park. My random facts are all from their lovely gardens.
Fact  #1
Simple, ordinary rocks can be beautiful, even simple slate. It has just recently rained, A LOT, so the dirt and pollen had been washed off the rocks bringing out their beautiful colors.

Fact  #2
Dogwood trees can grow very high. We decided to follow the Ruth Allen Dogwood Nature Trail. It was the perfect time to see the hundreds of Dogwood trees in full bloom. I was a little disappointed though because these trees were tall, the tallest Dogwoods I've ever seen. The only way to get a picture of the blossoms was to point the camera up. When I did shoot up I could only see the underneath of the blossoms, the sun was too bright, and the scene was a little too busy for me. I didn't give up though. I was sure there had to be some short trees somewhere on this trail

Fact #3
If you had old knees, it's easier to go up steps than down! You see those steps? That means hills and hills meant that we were able to get  on a higher level and we could see the trees much better. We were both getting cricks in our necks looking up at the Dogwoods.
Fact #4
The Rhododendron bushes are beginning to bloom and this hillside is full of them. I can't wait to go back and see them in full bloom!

Fact #5
Yellow and red are beautiful together. In one section there are several tulip beds; beds full of gorgeous red tulips.  What was so fun, and it really made me smile, was that in each bed was a single yellow tulip. Every single yellow tulip stood much taller than the red ones.  They seemed to shout...I may be the only one, but I'm bigger than you are!

We finally found some Dogwood trees that were smaller and we were able to take close-up pictures of the blossoms. If you'll come back Sunday for my Sunday Sundries post I'll show you some of them.
I hope you're enjoying your Good Friday and have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Liberate Your Art ~ 2014

I'm not a fan of going to the mailbox and retrieving the daily mail. Mr. H does that for us. He brings it home, puts it on the counter, and it may stay there a few days before I look at it. There's not much that arrives in the mailbox that interests me. The only time I grab the mail from his hands as he enters the door is a few days each year. Which days? The days Kat at Kat Eye Studio hosts her annual Liberate Your Art Postcard swap.
We each sent five postcards of our art to Kat. My card was a photograph of a tiny basket that is woven of pine needles. It's only about 1/2" tall. Since it's so tiny the only thing I could find to fill it with was hedge berries. When Kat received all our postcards, she swapped them, and sent them through the mail.
 The final numbers for the swap are:
1254 pieces of art liberated
209 participating artists
10 countries represented
 I can't imagine how much work this must be,
but I can imagine her joy at seeing all this beautiful art.

The first postcard to arrive in my mailbox was from Martha This beautiful scene is of a park in Shoreline, Washington. It's looks like a quiet place to sit and enjoy the beauty of the shoreline.

Marsha from Winnipeg, Canada photographed a section of a gorgeous machine and hand-embroidered quilt she made. I love the fabric she choose and her choice of threads for the stitching. You can see more of Marsha's work

Suzanne sent this postcard of beautiful Capitola, CA. I love the variety of colors in this row of houses along the coastline and the their reflection.

Cindy who is from Vermont sent this gorgeous postcard which is a photograph of her painting "The Waterfront." If you hop over to her blog you can see more of her artwork and also the beautiful felt creatures that she creates.

Beth from Grandview Hts, Ohio, painted this beautiful prayer wheel. The intricate design reminds me of stained glass. She included a prayer meditation on the back.
Lastly, we all received a postcard from Kat, who is a very talented photographer from Oregon. You really need to stop by her blog and see her beautiful images. Kat has influenced my photography since the very first class I took of hers.

This is the third year I've participated in Liberate You Art and I'm still amazed at the many talented artists that share their work. If you click on the button below, you can visit other blogs and see the beautiful art they received.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I'm Back!!

Sometimes we can be given a delightful gift in very unexpected places!
For instance, the shopping cart at the grocery store!
No kidding!
I decided to go in the garden center of Walmart and not knowing if there would be any carts by that door, I headed for the nearest outside cart corral. (I couldn't think of anything else to call those places were you leave your cart outside.)  I grabbed the handle of the cart, pulled it out and stopped in my tracks. There on the seat was this pretty flower. SMILE!!  Oh yes, a big smile with a little laugh out loud.  It wasn't perfect, it  was bruised and broken, but to me it was delightful!  In all my years of grocery shopping and there have been many, I've never found a flower in the cart and I've probably never gone in the front door with that big of a smile!
I'm finally back after ten long days of very limited Internet time. I wish I could say I used all that time away from the computer wisely, but I didn't! I did manage to get a little extra cleaning done, stayed outside more, and spent several days with my family. It was party time; our youngest grandson turned one!

I found myself missing my lap top. I'm a little addicted to it, so I learned to play Hearts on the computer. It is next to impossible to win a game of Hearts against three computer PEOPLE!!  I did win once, but only once! 
I also missed each of you!  I wondered what you were doing...did you get any more snow...did your favorite team win...has spring sprung in your area? I'm looking forward to doing a little catch-up this week. I wish I could read all of your past posts, but I'd be out of gigabytes again!
So glad to be back!
So glad to hear from you!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Trying To Stay Calm

My internet service and I aren't doing so well right now!!  I could write an essay on the woes of broadband and limited gigabytes!  So, for a while, my appearance at your blogs and on flickr will be sporadic at best!  Flickr seems to use the most bytes, so I'll definitely be scarce there.

I'm frustrated!  I so enjoy visiting you. Hopefully, later in the month things will be back to normal.
In the meantime, hope you're enjoying your spring.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sunday Sundries ~ Edition 9

It's spring fever.
That is what the name of it is.
And when you've got it,
you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want,
but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
~Mark Twain


Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Finds and Random 5 Friday

What did I discover for this week's Friday's Find?
Something pretty and yummy!
M&M's are one of my favorite candies. While looking for Easter pastel colored M&M's at the grocery store, I found these. You'll never guess that flavor they are, that is unless you've already found and tried them. I'm sure these make the Easter Bunny very happy since they're CARROT CAKE!  I don't like a lot of flavors that have been introduced in M&M's, but I do like this one!  I'll add it to my favorites list; right up there with regular, peanut, almond, and raspberry.

Nancy who hosts Random 5 Friday has taken a break this week, but I decided to keep up the practice and post my five  random facts.
Fact  #1
The wind never seems to quit blowing. I don't remember it ever being this windy all the time. It's been next to impossible to photography anything  in nature unless it's a rock or a mushroom!

Fact  #2
Speaking of mushrooms, which I love to photograph, I spotted the first ones of the season yesterday; down in the pasture where it's been quite damp from all the rain. I think they have the most fascinating textures.

Fact  #3
I finally discovered the name of these ornamental cast iron shutter holders...shutter dogs.  Hmmm...wonder where that name came from. They're also called a shutter catch which makes more sense, but I like the name shutter dog. I've seen some really unique ones on historical homes.

Fact  #4
Seventy years ago, April 3, 1944,  the USS Razorback was commissioned into the U.S. Fleet.  Razorback would go on to complete five war patrols in the western Pacific and earn five Battle Stars for her service. Her sail (yes, submarines have a sail, but it's metal, not cloth) will be painted yellow this month as a promotion for the upcoming Beatles photography exhibition entitled The British Invasion Fifty Years Later.
Fact  #5
This British-styled telephone booth stocked with over 100 books is on the courthouse square in El Dorado, Arkansas.  It's open 24 hours a day and you don't even have to wait for the librarian to check out your books. The only requirement is if  you take a book you must leave a book.
Hope you're enjoying your first week of April!

Linking with Kim for Friday Finds and Nancy for Random 5 Friday.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Does It Have To Be Perfect?

  • having no mistakes or flaws
  • completely correct or accurate


Here's the conversation with myself that took place when I looked at the photo above.
Side #1 - I like this!
Side #2 - The bird feeder is too dark and slightly crooked. Once again, you'll have to crop it to make sure it's composed better!  Can you not remember the Rule of Thirds before  you click the shutter button?
Side #1 - I love the fluttering wings
Side #2 - Well, it looks like everything is fluttering! Do you see that it's not perfectly focused. A faster shutter speed would have worked better.
Side #1 - I'm so glad I caught the finches at my new feeder
Sides #2 - You may be glad, BUT you know you've seen much better photos of birds; so crisp and clear that you can see each little feather!
Side #1 - I think this will be my photo of the day, the one I'll post on my 365 groups.

So many times I follow the critical part of me; the one that expects perfection. So many times I do not post a picture because it's something less than perfect.

This time I didn't let that critical part of me win. I posted it in flickr and here I am posting it on my blog. I expect perfection in most things I do, and seriously that's just not possible. I need to worry less about the skills of other photographers and concentrate on improving my own skills. I read recently that "success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only."

This is true not only in photography, but my life. I can't continue to expect myself to be the perfect wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, or sister. I am who I am and that's it. Oh, there's room for improvement; yes there is, but I'm tired of beating myself up because of the "should haves."  I have to embrace the fact that I am less than perfect. Live each day the best I can, leave yesterday behind me, and look to be better tomorrow.

Click on the above button and join us in this month's
Photo-Heart Connection
hosted by Kat at Kat Eye Studio
or simply stop by her site and read
how others have connected with their photography.