Monday, October 13, 2014

Winding Down

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments on my last post!  It makes my heart sing to see so many beautiful comments about our daughter's special day!

We have spent the last week catching up and relaxing.  The new phone I bought is a Galaxy S5, and I am starting to take some pictures with it.  The image above was taken last Monday, as we all were getting back into the swing of things following the festivities.  What better way to unwind than a paddle in the kayaks right?!  Those are my in-laws, chilling out after a hectic few days.

So far I have to say that my new phone does an amazing job of taking photos, and I'm wondering why I waited so long to replace my old one!

Of course I can't ever really imagine relying solely on a cell phone for all of my photography needs, but who knows, it could happen!

The cosmos we planted are putting on a pretty spectacular show now that the weather is cooler.  I took both of the flower images with my regular camera, and then added a texture to each pic.

It's amazing how $20 worth of seed can bring us so much happiness, but it's true that these flowers provide us joy every single time we pull into our driveway or look out the front door.

I know their days are numbered as our nights edge ever closer toward the freezing mark, but for now I will drink in their bright color and devil may care attitude towards the weather.

As I type this, the windows are open and we are enjoying a bit of an Indian summer...oh to be able to bottle up these days and break them out come mid-January or February.  I guess even Mother Nature deserves a little winding down after her hectic spring and summer.

Enjoy your week! xo

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wedded Bliss

So, it is Tuesday and the weekend is behind us, but the memories we made will last a lifetime!

There were paper lanterns...

And AMAZING flowers thanks to my dear friend Doug Vogel...(and his wife Joan and son Brian), who transformed the outdoor venue with his beautiful arrangements!!!

A yummy gluten free spice cake, complete with fondant leaves and two foxes on top, made by a truly talented and very sweet woman named Janice Kuhn!  She even left homemade jam as a gift to US!

The guest book was actually a wall canvas people could sign.  How cool is it that they can now hang this on their wall and enjoy the well wishes compared to the guest book we had at our wedding which hasn't seen the light of day for years!

There were babies...

And something really interesting on the ground. ;-)

And there was family...young love...

And love that has stood the test of time...

There was a beautiful setting at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

And it was proudly shared by many generations.

There was a fiddler.

But what every wedding needs, more than anything, is a happy couple...

One that loves each other unconditionally...

One who can laugh with one another...

One who can comfort one another and wipe away their tears...

One we can ALL celebrate!

It was a perfect day topped off by a perfect sunset.

We wish these two many, many years of love, joy and happiness as they begin their journey.

Wishing you all a wonderful week.  All of our company has left town, and we will now officially be taking a nap! :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Where in the Sam Hill

I decided that I wouldn't let another sunset occur without posting something on this ole' blog of mine which I have left unattended for FAR too long.  The pic above was actually taken with my new cell phone (yay, I finally found one that will let me text from home!), and it was taken by my trusty passenger, ie. Mr. Tide.  No driving and shooting out a window while on a big bridge for me!

I am loving this new phone, even if the learning curve is a little steep since I haven't had a new phone in years!  It takes great pictures, and I'm thinking I might need to set up an instagram account, but we'll see how that goes.

I have an inbox full of unanswered emails, and I just can't seem to get my "you know what" together to get them answered.  I could give you some reasons the fact that our daughter is getting married on Saturday, or that my beautiful niece and Goddaughter is pregnant, that our son just got a job a few weeks ago after graduating in May, or that our AC went out on the 23rd of August and we still don't have it fixed, and have decided to just wait until next spring to get a new system, but the truth is I have just been lackadaisical for months now!

I don't even pick up my camera the way I once did, though I did want to capture these gorgeous monarchs before they headed south this year.

Our wonderful neighbor didn't mow the fields this summer, so they have been ablaze with yellow flowers which the monarchs love...and so do we!

I'm hoping that once we get past the wonderful celebratory event this weekend, which we are so excited about, that Stella will finally get her groove back!  There is a nip in the air at night, and that always makes me antsy to get back into the swing of things after being footloose and fancy free during the summer months!

To those of you who have kindly been checking in...thank you, I am still alive and kicking, just a little crazy and scattered at the moment.

So that's where in the Sam Hill I've been, how about y'all?  Any exciting news, what did I miss?  And for those who may wonder where that phrase comes from, I looked it up...and I love this particular attribution.

Sam Hill was a mercantile store owner who offered a vast and diverse inventory of goods. People began using the term "what in the Sam Hill is that?" to describe something they found odd or unusual, just like the inventory found in Sam Hill's store. The original Sam Hill Mercantile building still stands on Montezuma Street in Prescott, Arizona, and is listed on the register of Historic Places.

Monday, August 25, 2014

This, That, and the Other

After a long hiatus from my blog I am finally back to share a few photos of what I've been up to.  Hold onto your hats my friends because it's been non stop excitement around here...*rolls eyes*!!!

Actually, the truth is that I have spent most of this summer pulling back instead of pushing and running myself ragged like I sometimes do.  Instead, I have been relaxing, staying unplugged and really trying to soak in all that this summer has offered us, most especially the glorious weather we've been having.  Even as I am typing this on August 25th, historically a blazing hot time of year here, we have our house wide open and a cool breeze almost becomes chilly as the sun goes is pure bliss in my book!

The photos in this post are a random hodge podge of things we saw on a recent kayak outing.  Nothing to write home about, and some of them are quite grainy, but I like them non the less.  The photo above shows the hate/hate relationship between the eagles and osprey each summer.  The osprey's talons say "I mean business," as the eagle swoops below the osprey as it wings its way past the osprey's nest.   The eagles seem rather unaffected by the constant warning cries of the osprey, and although I wasn't able to capture it, the eagle above did roll over and show his or her own talons as if to wanna piece of me...I didn't think so!

The marsh mallows were closed for the night, sure to open in the early morning light of a new day.

There is something mesmerizing about marsh grasses to me....

It's as if they sing me the song of my people in hushed relaxing!

The muskrats get so close sometimes as we kayak that I worry they might try and climb in the kayak, but they always manage to dip below the surface and go about their merry way just before I am forced to figure out how I would fend one off should it become too curious about the crazy lady with the camera!

This was a sight we hadn't seen before...a Green Heron.  I had never heard of these before, but apparently they are quite common in our area, but also quite elusive, which likely explains why we have never seen one until this summer.  I would have missed him altogether if Mr. Tide hadn't noticed him far away on the edge of the creek up ahead of us.

By the time we made our way out to open water, the sun was setting; it was quite late

Twilight is a magical time on the water, everything is more intense and somehow a little eerie.   I can remember heading back in off of the water as a child and always hoping we would reach the dock before complete darkness fell on the water.  I'm pretty sure that means I'm not from good seafaring stock, as I prefer to be out on the water during the day, though I do love to sleep on a boat and feel the rocking's a complicated emotion I suppose! ;)

The beach is always quiet at sundown, another reason I like twilight on the water.

As we reached our pier that evening, the sun's rays were dancing on the water and it looked like liquid pretty!

As fall is quickly approaching, I feel even more compelled to spend time outdoors and soak up the rapidly diminishing daylight.  Unplugging has been such a wonderful and freeing thing for me, and I can't really think of any downsides except for being a little more out of pocket with those blogs I so enjoy reading.  I still take a peek, but for now, I will allow mother nature to hold my undivided attention.  Cold weather will be here soon enough, the computer will once again fill those long dark evenings, but for the moment, I will breath in the brackish air and dance under the moonlight!

Wishing you all a lovely end to August!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Place to Sit a Spell

Not much new here.  As a matter of fact, I am typing this post with my left arm propped up on a towel on the arm of my desk chair.  It helps provide some cushion, and it, along with all of the acupuncture and doctor visits, is helping to resolve this pinched nerve.  Which is good, because patience is NOT my strong suit!

I have never been one to do things part way, which is how I got the pinched nerve to begin with.  I have been planking as part of my new exercise routine and apparently you aren't supposed to do it for as long or as intensely as I thought was appropriate, nor should you do it on a floor that isn't properly padded!

The one benefit of being pig headed is that sometimes our bodies force us to stop and slow down a bit when our minds would otherwise prevent such reprieves.

See that little hole in the vines draped from every branch of the huge poplar tree?  It is one of the favorite parts of my yard, I feel like it is my own little looking glass onto the creek.  Now that I have lots of computer free time, I often go out into the back yard as the light is waning and just stare through it as though it is a magical camera lens!

I haven't been using my camera much lately but last night I decided to take it along on my evening outing.

I always have company when I'm outside, and last night Misty Belle decided that a ball would help her entertain us while we sat.  She was correct as she acts like a complete loony toon when she has her favorite ball outside with her.  She doesn't expect us to throw it, in fact she prefers we not touch it at all, but she thoroughly enjoys playing with it, and in the process brings great joy to us, the onlookers.

The view if you look sideways from our chairs is out towards the field and the setting is always lovely this time of day.

We also have a hammock in this area, but last night I chose to sit in the chairs...having options is a wonderful thing don't you think?! ;)

Our Cosmos are just beginning to bloom and they look beautiful!  The foliage of Cosmos is almost as lovely as the blossoms themselves in my humble opinion.  It is a delicate, almost fluffy plant, topped off by flowers in shades that range from deep lavender to bright white in the mix that we purchased.  The petals spread wide to the heavens as though they are cupping every last drop of sunlight, while the foliage seems to hug the spindly blossoms and give them a cloud like base from which to grow.

After my jaunt around the yard, it was time to head back inside as the sun was setting.  Back inside I was greeted with the fact that we no longer have a proper place to sit in our living room.  We gave our son our old sectional couch for his new apartment.  I was thrilled at the possibility of replacing it, even though it was still in amazing shape, and I decided it would be fun to go out shopping for a new sofa after all of these years.

It turns out that as I get older, shopping really isn't my thing anymore.  I think it may be because I know exactly what I want, and I either can't afford it or I simply can't find it?!  I was tempted to rush into something that was "good enough," but instead I think I will take my time and wait until I find just what I want.  That of course means that I need to decide between color or neutral, skirted or not skirted, slipcovered or not, three cushion or two...the list goes on and one...hence the wait.

For now, I will simply enjoy the sad wing chairs we dragged together in one part of the room and my lovely coffee table which I hope will fit the new vision for the room.  I would LOVE to hear your opinions, experiences, etc. on different brands of sofas as I begin this quest to find a place to sit a spell.  Right now I'm leaning toward Lee Industries and maybe Hickory Chair...thoughts?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Finches and Pinches

Not much to report of late, as a matter of fact I've been a bit out of pocket recently.  At first it was because of the 4th of July holiday, then we had company in from out of town, then I was having computer issues, and within the last couple of weeks I have had a pinched nerve in my arm...which makes being on the computer difficult.

I have had it checked out and it turns out I have "golfer's elbow," which is kind of ironic since I don't golf!  And in all the years that I played competitive tennis, I never once developed tennis elbow, yet somehow I now have golfer's elbow...go figure!  Maybe I should take up the game and see if it makes my elbow/shoulder/upper arm better?!

With my arm out of commission I haven't been taking pictures, holding the camera is one of those things that seems to irritate it, but I did make an exception when a female Goldfinch decided it had to have an afternoon snack and landed on the Anise Hyssop plant on our patio.

A male often joins her on the plant, and they happily pluck the lavender flowers, which apparently are quite yummy.  If you look closely at the image above you will see that she has a blossom in her beak, and you can also see that many of the small lavender blooms that fill each stalk are missing.

The male is much brighter yellow, and a striking fellow I must say, but the plant is located not too far from our sliding door, so whenever I try and open it to take a shot they both hurry away as though they'e been caught red, or in this case purple, handed!

This is the first year I have tried to grow Hyssop, but it won't be the last.  I originally wanted the pink/coral variety, but the anise was all I could find in my area.  There seems to be some debate as to whether the variety I have is the same as the traditional European hyssop herb which is prized for its healing powers.  You can read more about anise hyssop HERE

Whatever healing powers it may or may not have doesn't seem to prevent the birds and bees from loving it.  The stalks are full to the brim all day long with bees, which seem a bit addicted to its flavor, or perhaps the magic it possesses.  And for now, the goldfinches seem quite content as well.

I will be away a bit longer as I try to let this arm of mine heal.  Wishing you all a very happy week ahead!