Setting sun

(191:  The sun is setting on NaBloPoMo 2009.)

Last day of NaBloPoMo!  Yay!  I wish I had had more time to explore through the randomizer and meet more bloggers, but at least I met a few and here are two I’ve been enjoying and plan to keep visiting:

  • Kala at A matter of how you see it displays her beautiful photography.  She is currently doing a series of photos that look like paintings.  Gorgeous stuff!
  • I also met Kristin at The Goat.  She posts a little bit of everything including a POTD (Picture of The Day).

The plan was to take a break for a few days but now that I’m here, at the end, I don’t know.  Maybe I’ll keep going for a while, at least with the 365 photo challenge.

In other news…

I am usually a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas.  There are a number of reasons for that which I won’t get into as I decided to try to keep the blog politics- and religion-free.  All politics and religion aside, I have never been the kind of woman who gets all excited about holiday decorations.  I do enjoy design and regular old, everyday, decorating, but putting the Santa suit on the cement goose was never my thing.  Do you remember those geese?  Maybe it was a West Virginia – Southern Ohio phenomenon. It seemed like most houses had a fake goose on the porch or somewhere out front for all to see, and someone was making a few bucks selling clothing for the fake geese, usually holiday stuff but one house I used to pass on my daily walk had everyday clothing and hats for their goose (a bright yellow raincoat and rain hat for rainy days, a bathing suit for summer days, etc.).

(NO, I do not have a cement goose.  Or a Santa suit.)

This year I’ve decided to try something different and embrace the holidaze.  Towards that end, I will be cleaning and organizing the house this week so I’ll be ready to put up decorations next week after the insulation guys finish adding insulation to the attic so we can be warmer and more energy efficient.  That will happen on the 9th.  I’ll be free and clear after that to decorate to my heart’s delight.


Towards that end, I may pull out a few of the old snow shots and decorate the blog while I’m at it.  I promise not to overdo it.  But if WordPress brings back the snow, I will let it snow in here.

(This morning’s view of the pond.)


(190:  Cruising in the convertible.)

As you might have been able to tell from yesterday’s post, I’m bored.  Or burnt out.  Either way, I need to shake things up a little so I went searching for prompts to inspire me.  This photo is based on the prompt “speed” and I don’t remember where I found the prompt as I tried several different things before settling on this one.

This photo was taken during our sabbatical adventures in 2007 while cruising around in the convertible with the top down on some back roads in Pennsylvania.  It reminds me of warm summer days, earthy smells, and the feel of the wind on my face and in my hair.

I played around with the photo in Photoshop, ultimately “posterizing” it.  I did several other things but I Photoshop the way I cook:  without a recipe.  I realize that’s a bad idea to most people as it means I can’t duplicate it.  That’s the beauty of it to me — the uniqueness.

I risked my camera more than a few times when we had the convertible.  At some point whenever the top was down (and I wasn’t driving), I’d hold the camera up in the air, above windshield level, and just snap away to see what I’d come up with.  Most of the time I’d capture the hood of the car, but occasionally I managed to point it straight out and capture some of the sensation of speed (as much as you can in the stillness of a photo).

Back in September we decided that our time with the convertible was over.  We traded it in on a new-to-us used car that is more suitable for grandparents and long drives.  The convertible was fun, but it had also acquired quite a bit of mileage and some rust from living in an area prone to snow and ice and salted roads.  It was time to trade it in while we could still get a decent return on it.

Every now and then, when the weather is nice, I miss the convertible.  But I do kind of like the comfort and quietness of our new car when it comes to long car trips.  I hope that doesn’t mean I’m getting old…


(189:  Appetizers.)

I’ll be glad when NaBloPoMo is over.  I need a break from posting so I can spend a little time visiting and commenting on other blogs.  And then I think I’ll need a break from blogging altogether.  Just a few days will do.  It’s starting to feel more like work than fun and that, my friends, is not good.

The sky is clear and the sun is shining here in the Bogs today.  It’s a good day for hanging laundry, going outside to chop or haul wood, and walking or hiking.  I may do all of the above, depending on how ambitious I feel.

Today’s photo is brought to you by last Sunday’s party.  Just a few of the appetizers showing off.  Hopefully I’ll get a few new photos today when I’m out and about chopping, hauling, or hiking.

Black Friday Snow

(This morning’s snow.)

We woke up to snow this morning.  It was very pretty, very cold, and short-lived.  It didn’t even bother to stick around on the ground for long.

An hour or so later a rather large flock of birds came swooping up over the woods at the back of the pond and poured across the sky, almost thicker than the snowflakes that were flying earlier.

(188:  A storm of blackbirds.)

By the time I grabbed my camera, powered it up, and rushed outside, most of the birds had moved on to wherever they were going.  I’m glad I got to see it, but wish I’d thought to switch to video as the movement is what really made the show.  Swoops and swirls done in unison.  Amazing.

Happy Turkey Day!

(187:  Not so happy for the Turkey Day.)

I’ve been working hard trying to keep things on the positive side today by being grateful for the many gifts and blessings in my life.  Sometimes it works.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  I got the crying out of the way (heh) this morning while stuffing the turkey.  I probably should have prepared something fancy-dancy from the Food Network rather than the traditional turkey and stuffing.  I didn’t think of it until I was pulling the bread apart and making the stuffing, that it would remind me of Mom because it’s Mom’s recipe.

It’s been quiet here except for the phone calls from our sons and the banging of M’s hammer up in the attic where he’s working on his latest project (getting the attic floor lifted to accommodate new insulation).  The day started cloudy and gloomy but then the sun came out and brightened things up for a while.  It was nice.  And another thing to be grateful for.

(Today’s view of the pond.)

The clouds are moving back in as the temperature has been dropping.  There is snow in the forecast for tonight.  I don’t think it will be the sticking around kind of snow.  The ground is still warm and at some point it’s supposed to change over to rain.  I’d rather have the snow.

Since this is a day for thanks, thank you to Cousin Debbie for your note and for visiting Mom.  Thank you to my sons for calling.  Thank you to the Exquisite Emma for cheering me up just with the sound of her voice.  Thank you to friends and blogmates for stopping by the blog or emailing.  And thank you to M, the person I most want to be with on the holidays and every day (even if he is a noisy bloke!).


(186:  Penne with broccoli rabe and black olives.)


(185:  Breadsticks and sunlight in sepia.)

The house is quiet except for the squeaking of Izzy’s meow.  She must be looking for her sister, Bella.  Whenever they get separated in the house, one or the other will walk around meowing until they’re reunited.  You’d think they hadn’t seen each other in ages even though it was probably no more than a few minutes.  They rub noses, sniff each other, purr a little, hang out together for a while until one wanders off and the process is repeated sometime later.

Silly kitties.

We had a lovely visit with friends who have been staying with us since Sunday.  Last night we went to Akron for a visit to 69 Taps and then dinner at Bricco.  It was fun.  Good food, good service,  and excellent company.  B & S left just a little while ago to make their way south to visit with some of their family for Thanksgiving.

M & I are planning a quiet Thanksgiving, just the two of us, the cats, and a turkey that’s much too big for the two of us but the smallest I could find when I went shopping last week.  It’s close to 12 lbs.  I’m used to cooking something bigger because I’m used to having family or friends here for Thanksgiving dinner.  What we don’t eat will freeze well so I’m not worried about leftovers.

The pond looks purple today.  We seem to have settled into the lake-effect gloominess (cloudiness) that is typical of this time of year.  Hopefully we’ll see the sun again sometime before March.  In the meantime, I almost wish it would snow as I find snow much more fun than this dreary, misty, rainy weather.