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Making Time
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Friday, September 23, 2016

The Magic of the Autumn Equinox

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Yesterday was the autumn equinox when daytime and nighttime are just about equal in length.  I like when things are balanced.  I also like it when things are changed up a bit.  The changing of seasons really excites me. The changing of the seasons are one thing that I’m always ready for.  Yesterday morning at 10:20 EDT it was summer. Then at 10:21 EDT it became autumn. BOOM!!! One minute it’s summer – the next minute it’s autumn.

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I’ve been ready for fall to arrive for several weeks. The thing is this – where I live summer will hang around for many more weeks. The only noticeable difference is that the days are shorter and the sky is bluer. Although our daytime temps are a little cooler, it is still in the 90’s. To me, that’s still summer. Yet, I’m so ready to experience fall weather that I can hardly stand the wait.

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At some point between the next two weekends, the house will be transformed from light and airy colors, to darker and moodier colors. Cool pastel tones will be replaced with warm earthier tones and lacey table coverings will make way for burlap and other more tactile toppers.

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It’s that time of year when fruits and vegetables will be served less in cool, crisp salads and grilled entrees. There will be more soups, casseroles, and (of course) desserts.

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Even though it will still feel like summer, I can enjoy the look of autumn. Sort of like having an Indian summer without the hard frost prior. I may still be wearing shorts, sandals and tee shirts, but I’ll be washing the sweaters, sweatshirts and dusting off my tennies and boots.  When it really starts feeling like fall in my area, I’ll be ready.  So very ready!

HAPPY FALL

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

NFL – They Saved the Best for Last

I’m a longtime fan of the NFL, so I was looking forward to the season getting started. It’s been quite a controversial pre-season. One does not need to follow the sport to know that – it’s been in the news and debated in social media everywhere.

Last night concluded the opening weekend of the 2016 NFL season. From Thursday night through Monday night, I watched all 7 of the games that were televised in my area. As much as I love watching the teams compete, there are some aspects of gridline battles that I really don’t like: intentionally trying to harm an opponent (that goes way beyond unsportsmanlike behavior); breaking the rules to gain advantage (then throwing a tantrum when flagged for the action); and showboating after a play (hey guys, make the play you’re paid big bucks to make and move on to the next). With this kind of behavior on the field (on their jobs), it’s not surprising to see some professional players in trouble off the field.

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The opening week of the new NFL season concluded with the San Francisco 49ers and the LA Rams taking the field. It was really refreshing to watch a team play the best they could without intentionally breaking the rules, attempting to harm an opponent and showboating antics after a play. At the end of the third quarter, the 49ers had drawn no flags. By the end of the game they had only 2 flags thrown against them – both for timing issues. For the San Francisco 49ers, men showed up to play…Professional men. Sports Pros that are the kind of role models I want to see a lot more of.

Imagine if this continued the entire season. Imagine if this spilled over to entire National Football League. Imagine if this became the norm for all professional sports. We just might see role models that make a positive change, not only for kids and also for adults. Changing how one person treats another, whereby so many people might benefit. Talk about addressing issues. Not just one issue, but just about all of them. Yes, just imagine…

Maybe change can start on the football field.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

When Your Heart’s Just Not In It

Photographically speaking, that is. The camera is in hand. The setting is beautiful. But for one reason or another, your heart just isn’t in it.

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edited with Topaz Lab’s Impression2

Last weekend, Hubby and I were in Chico, CA with our camping club. We had a few places we wanted to see while in the area – more places than the club’s agenda would allow. But that’s a good thing, as these are fun people and fun times. The only down side of the weekend was the weather. It was HOT – 105! It was humid – 50%! It felt more like a Michigan summer day than a California summer day. Not a problem for my Michigander hubby. It was a BIG problem for this California girl who can’t take even 105 degrees of dry heat.

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edited with Topaz Lab’s Impression2

We’re at the Honey Run Covered Bridge and we’re taking pictures. I’m feeling miserable because of the heat and humidity – so my heart is not in it. Hubby is unfazed by the weather and his heart is in it.

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edited with Topaz Lab’s Texture Effects (otherwise you’d need sunglasses to view this image)

When we get back to the RV and look at our images on the laptop you tell immediately that one of us got some great shots and one of us didn’t…not even one good shot in the lot.

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edited with Topaz Lab’s Impression2 and Glow

The other day when I was selecting pictures for our traveling blog, they were all from Hubby’s file. I don’t do any editing on his pictures except for taking them into Picasa and clicking the I’m Feeling Lucky button. It just takes the RAW image up a notch, so it’s not so flat looking. If you want to see his images, they are on TowingFlo.com.

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edited with Topaz Lab’s Impression2

Figuring I’d just wait till our next trip to the Chico area and photograph the bridge then. I was ready to send my photos to the recycle bin when I thought about working them with some of Topaz Lab’s programs. I was able to take some of these images from fartsy to artsy.

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edited with Topaz Lab’s Impression2

I had some fun and I like the results too. Or maybe it was simply that my heart was finally in it.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Mystery Bloomers

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I have clay pots on my patio – my little container garden. In the spring of 2014, I replaced the plants in two of the pots with Dahlias. Last spring I was looking forward to their return, when I noticed something else was growing in those two pots. I knew it wasn’t the Dahlias (which never did return), but had no clue what it might be. I felt fairly certain it wasn’t weeds, because I rarely get weeds in my containers. So I left them alone and just watched them grow. Before long I had these mystery bloomers displaying their beauty. They began blooming in early June and lasted through August. And I enjoyed every day of their season.

This year, they returned again. And there are twice as many as last year. I’m already looking forward to next year.

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Here is a recent photo of the bloom above. You can notice that when one group of florets dies out, another group opens and covers up the spent blossoms. So it looks like the flower head appears to be lasting about three months.

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Here’s a photo of the entire plant.

If you know what this mystery bloom is, I hope you leave a reply and clue me in. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

If You Can’t Stand the Heat…

…stay inside and do Still Life photos. We are in the midst of another heat wave, the second one of this year. Today we are due to reach 109. The extended forecast shows triple digit temps for each and every day.

Here’s how I’ve been amusing myself –

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Early morning is our only cool part of the day. I took advantage of this for the hydrangea shots.

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Then it was back indoors for another Still Life.

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I fairly certain there will be many more Still Life sessions over the next week or so…

Stay cool!!!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Getting Back to Normal

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In the beginning of April I posted about this blog (and my other blog too) being a little under the weather. You can read about here. Conversations with Google Blogger went on for a number of weeks. Finally it became evident that this was a problem that could not be corrected on their end. I surprised myself about just how much patience I really had. Thankfully my other blog was not impacted to the degree this one was. I had it back to its old self in short order. This one was an entirely different story.

Images were missing on just about every post from the last 4 ½ years. While Google was trying to figure out what went wrong and what to do to assure it doesn’t happen again, I had a lot of time to think about how I might fix it from my end. The good news is that I knew what pictures went with each post and I still have them. It was going to be a big job to get things corrected. I knew I wasn’t up to all that. I decided that I would concentrate on posts I had a current interest in. That meant I could just delete the posts that related to prior classes I’ve taken and blog link ups that I’ve participated in. I am so happy to say I’ve got it all done.

The upside is that while I gave thought to how to fix mine, I also started thinking about taking my blog in a new direction. Many thoughts are still rolling around in my head and although I’m not sure where that new direction might lead, I can say that I am quite excited about it.  And looking forward.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Guy Stuff

When it’s too rainy to get outside to do some photography, I look for interesting things around my home. I found these items that hubby brought home from his last trip to visit his dad.

My Father-in-Law spent his working years designing machines for specific manufacturing applications. When he started in this field, he had pocket tools that he would take along with him. Here are a few of the pocket tools he carried.

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The wooden ruler has brass has hinges that allows it to be folded from 12 inches long to 3 inches. The box is for protecting the thickness micrometer. I’m not too sure about this device, except that it says on the gage that it’s good for 1/1000 of an inch. My favorite of the three items is the “Useful Information for Business Men Mechanics and Engineers” – note that it does not say Businessmen. That makes me think it’s not really sexist. After all, we women deal with business, men, mechanics and engineers…We just don’t need a book to do so. Women have a much more practical idea of what a pocketbook should be. But I digress…This little book measures 3 inches by 2 inches and is 1 inch thick. It has over 940 pages…gold edged pages. When not in use, it has a protective slide-on cover.

I images these items got a lot of use about the 1940’s through the 1970’s. Next time I see my Father-in-Law I will have to ask him to tell me more about these treasures.

When the rains let up for a few minutes, I look for something to photograph outside. Sometimes, there just isn’t anything new and exciting to shoot. When that happens I like to take a picture of something that’s really not that interesting and see what I can do using some photo editing tools. This is the result of playing with Topaz Impression.

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Soon things will be blooming all over my back yard, then there will be some home-grown photo-ops to come. I can thank the rains for that…