Monday, April 30, 2012

Change - Just a Bit!

I was seriously getting tired of the green blog background but it seemed a nice change when I was anticipating spring. Now that we had such an early spring and then what seemed like summer, I'd had enough. One day I'll change again, just as the weather has.

Out gardening today, it felt as if we were going into fall. brrrr. But I had a few plants to put in,  some weeding to deal with before the rain comes again this week. I am so not into gardening and the prospect of bugs and TICKS this year makes it all the less appealing. But, my job it is.

But back to the blog...the only thing I still have in mind is a new header. I can't believe I totally forgot how to do that but I did so it won't be happening today! Maybe in early May.

Here's a nice photo from early morning in my kitchen. No I don't always burn a candle in the morning but I just felt like it on Sunday. Nice, huh?

btw, after seeing this photo, the candle holder went into the dishwasher! In this case, the photo didn't lie.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Still California

It has been so much fun to see these photos and make pages of them and remember the great time we had. Perfect weather, lots to do and see and as always such good good food in California.

all photos enlarge when clicked upon

Starting my own walk down through Chinatown while he took the bus on to the Ferry Building.

So much to see and investigate, and so hard on the old knees walking down those hills. Walking up hill is more difficult but there isn't that knee jolt. I learned to take the worst of the pounding with my left leg, and give the right knee the easier part of walking.

We met up here at the Ferry Building for lunch and oh was it good. I had great hopes of getting back to Boccalone for airplane food for our return to MD. However, it didn't happen. :-(

Evening had us heading down to Fishermans' Wharfe for a walk, a new fleece vest for him and then the Ferry Building for our actual dinner.

All roads seemed to lead us to the Ferry Bldg area for buses etc, and this Saturday was no exception. After ogling the produce at the Farmers' Market we headed east by BART to Oakland and a visit with our Coast Guard son.

More to come!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Oh California!

We have both come to the conclusion we are seriously urban folk. Yes, country and nature are important but only in small doses. Otherwise I start to get bored...unless I am by myself on a retreat. For travel that I am paying for, give me a big city or even a smaller city with lots to do and see AND eat and a good public transit system.

I love my own hometown, but as any visitor knows you need a car, and you need to keep moving that car because street parking is seriously limited.

But in San Francisco we had it all. Places for both of us to explore and places to investigate on our own. We have also found that having breaks of alone time makes the trip a lot more serene. I like to wander and dart into a shop or alley that catches my interest and he likes a set agenda. So he plans the things we do together which satisfies Mr. Long Range Planner, and when we have time apart, I wander hither and yon. We meet up for lunch or dinner which I usually choose and both of us are happy.

This was not our first time in the city by the bay, either alone or together, but I'm already thinking of when we can do it again. Next time, renting an apartment?

Our first day involved being met by a Jesuit friend who then took us on a tour and lunch in 'his' San Francisco. We stayed just two blocks from Grace Cathedral and started our week with a walk round the labyrinth.  

It didn't take us long to realize that our wonderful location at the TOP of Nob Hill would involve a serious walk back up the hill every time we went down the hill as we did our first night. Going down is not a lot of fun either on an achy knee! But dinner was needed and I'm not usually much for 'just eat in the hotel'.

I decided to use some of these card from Cathy Zielski to add more journaling to some of the actual photos without making them full pages. I think I need to refine the process but it worked for me, and I'll certainly do them when I go hybrid for some days.

So there you have two of our January days in San Francisco. Wasn't the weather gorgeous?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Tutorial: POP Those Photos

There are lots of methods for giving your SOOC, straight out of the camera, shots some pop, some brightening. There are actions you can buy that will do this for you, there are presets you can add to programs like Lightroom, and there are various ways you can take a few steps by yourself to get a bit more oomph in 'good enough' shots.

Krista over at SahlinStudio has shared a very very clear tutorial that works in Photoshop CS and PSE. Isn't that great? Here's an example of what can be done.

You want to try this don't you??? I know I did and like it a lot!

Well here's the link to the full tutorial over at SahlinStudio.  Have fun with it and enjoy the lightened and brightened images you'll get! Thanks Krista!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Serenade: How's Your Sunday?

I hope your Sunday morning didn't have to start with a beer but even if it did, listening to Johnny Cash can sure lift a body up. Maybe just knowing you aren't the only one feeling alone. I don't feel alone this morning but it's chilly and rainy and still kind of has that general mood about it.

On this version, Johnny has a great partner, Kris Kristofferson. Have a listen and then go get yourself a mess of fried chicken! Happy Sunday!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Flashback Friday: Bathing Suit Season's Coming

These two women certainly are ready for bathing suit season! Betty and Aunt Ruby are in California and I'll guess this is the late 40s to the 50s.  Thanks again to Sassyarts from the Flickr group Collage Images for this great shot of family members.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Scrapping a Blog Post

This is something I've been meaning to do for quite some time. I blogged before I ever scrapped and even before I had an idea of what scrapping might be. As I've said to others, the paper scrapbooks I saw back in the day being about 4 or 5 years ago!...were too cute and too much small child centered for me to have any interest. My children were adults and my focus was on trips that we were taking.

After blogging a short while, I saw more digital sites, especially Ali Edwards who was doing things with photographs that I thought I could do. The rest is history, well my history, and trust me, I'm no Ali Edwards!

Recently,  I was trying to find a recipe for someone and I thought I had blogged about it. Then I ran across this old blog post. I had just the digital paper for it and the journaling was all done. I actually used a text path template that I had purchased back in..August 2009. It takes me time to figure some things out...LOL

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday Tutorial: Adding a Flickr Photo to Blogger

This is the basic way of adding a photo from Flickr. Kim Klassen, in addition to her wonderful texture classes, has a lot of videos with loads of tips for photographers, scrappers, bloggers etc. I also like that she has a calm voice and you don't feel frenetic when you listen and try to duplicate what she's doing.

You do have to go into the HTML tab, but even if you haven't tried using that one, it's just a copy and paste. Then you can go back to the non-HTML Compose tab. Easy-peasy. But as Kim says, you do have to re-center, or at least on my Mac you do also. Not sure why this glitch is still around in Blogger or if it is a glitch or if it is a Mac thingy. Sometimes things aren't worth worrying about especially if the fix is as simple as it is. Of course if you want your photo on the left, you don't need to do anything. 

iStudio - adding flickr image to blogger post from Kim Klassen on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Serenade: Long Distance Call

This song and video is for my #2 son who just moved to Phoenix and used to live in Paris. It all seemed to fit.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Flashback Friday: Close to Home

Senate Office Bldg. (LOC) 

THE Senate Office Building in Washington DC circa 1910-1915. In the far left background is  Union Station. This photo would have been taken from the steps of the Capitol to have that perspective.

Both buildings are still in current use though the original Senate Office Building is now known as the Russell Senate Office Building and has been joined by two more buildings, the Dirksen Senate Office Building and the Hart Senate Office Building.  The shortened abbreviation of S.O. B. is not frequently used. I'm sure English speakers can imagine why!

When I was a child and streetcars still ran, though not on streets so deserted as these, my mother worked at the Library of Congress just a few blocks away. I walked these streets many a summer when I went into town with her and whiled away my days til it was time for me to meet her when she got off work. Those were good days and I think my love of urban areas goes directly back to those times.

Here's how the area looks today.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter 2012

We often have Easter dinner at my son's house in VA.  Our grandchildren are really past the easter egg hunting but sometimes there are other families invited who have smaller children. The eggs are not hard boiled eggs but instead the neon bright plastic eggs. There is also one silver egg for each child and the rule is you cannot have more than one silver egg. Silver eggs have money in them from $1, $5 to the one that has a $10 bill in it!

The oldest grandchildren hide the eggs, and this year the grass was lush and thick so hiding didn't have to be in obscure places. Watching the youngest one run from here to there was so much fun! At 5 or 6 he still had that exuberance for the chase. When he found a silver egg, everyone encouraged him to open it!! Jack was the recipient of the $10 bill but at his age, the money was not as special as the fun of looking for more eggs.

Later after most of us were sitting round the table talking and lingering over dessert, the children were in the next room with a dance video on. Young Jack went to town watching and pretty much making his own moves to the music. Mary, however, watched and watched, really concentrating on what one was supposed to do. She was certainly 'processing' rather than just jumping in. When I saw the photo of this, I decided she really wasn't planning on dancing, she was planning on flying! Thus the seed of thought for this page was planted.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday Tutorial: Warming Up

Ok, this one is so worth the wait. Dina Wakley is such a great inspiration teacher. Warming UP. Getting those creative muscles ready for the real game and having fun at the same time. NO thinking. Just play and play and then...I agree with her. You are bound to be ready to hit your own medium, ready to jump in and create. Have fun! and thanks so so much Dina for making this embed-able. Many hugs.

If you have a chance, DO take any of Dina's classes. You really won't regret it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday Serenade - Lots of Grilling Leads To...

Last night I grilled about 6lb of asparagus. The scent of smoke still lingers in the house this morning. Yes, I had the exhaust on but I think it's time to light a candle and banish the final bits of smokey odor. Brian Ferry at least makes it sound romantic. A nice cover on the more well-known Platters version. Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Oh The Fun...

There they are, all over the floor. No the Easter Bunny didn't come early and have a fit with the jelly beans. Oh no, that might...MIGHT...have been fun. No this is not candy of any form.

Thursday, some woman made herself a healthy dinner of bean soup from a nice "Bob's Red Mill" mix of goodies. As the day went by, I kept thinking "I should pour those beans into a jar..." Yes, I thought about it. Several times. But no, I didn't do it, and of course at one point after dinner, I bumped the bag. About a cup of lentil sized little beans and vegetable bits flew! Then when I went to vacuum them up a lot of them shattered. About half went from lentil sized to chipped lentil sized. More vacuuming and then finally a lot of time with a broom and finally a dust pan and brush.  I still am finding little bits here and there and there and there. 1 cup managed to travel into about a 20 ft radius. I do hope they had fun cause I sure didn't.

The soup WAS good by the way. I may even have more today. But the beans? They''re locked up in a jar. Finally. I hope I've learned this lesson.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Flashback Friday: Not This Year

Not this year. This was a brunch from 2006. I wish we had been able to do it this year but I just didn't have the energy for it.

It was near Easter so you see the old Easter trio of candles. I have to say ...the food was darn good, but I'm now wondering what kind of little muffins/cakes I made? Back in my younger days, when we did a lot of entertaining in the life I led then, I kept a journal of the menu for each event. I should go back to that because here six years later, I can look at the photos and still wonder ...what the heck were those? Ah...age.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

No Tuesday Tutorial :-( No Not This Week

What can I say?

I just couldn't find one that was easily added. But I'll try, I'll try and maybe there will be one next week on how to do Facebook timelines? In any case, I'll show you my new timeline. Lucky you! LOL

Facebook will automatically add your own profile picture to the bottom left. There's no getting around that part. This one was done with a layered template in PSE 10, but hopefully I can find something simpler for those of you who don't work with CS or PSE.

Next week. Crossing my fingers and toes.

Monday, April 2, 2012

AAM: Before But No After Yet

Ok, so what you see on the left came from the once crammed drawer on the right. Now I got as far as getting the dividers in, three baskets in that second row, and then it all stopped. I needed time. I thought I would have two days home alone to spread that basket full of great kitchen items all over the large island. I could take my time, study what I wanted, then go back and reevaluate all those decisions after a good night sleep.

Nope. Didn't happen. He decided not to go on the overnight biking trip because it got too cold. Understandable, but now I don't know when I'll have the free time again. I need time and space. These decisions do not come easily to me. I have sorely regretted decisions based on that old standard 'if you haven't used it in x amount of time. Sometimes I  haven't used it just because I couldn't see it or I didn't have the skills yet. Mild gnashing of teeth occurred. I don't want to repeat that. I like to cook. I like my tools. I want them all!!

But enough. The laundry basket stays. It survived one company evening already. I can live with a few more if need be. Upscale problems as always.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Serenade - Is This What's To Come?

Considering that we have already had our spring here in Maryland,  those flowers have almost come and gone. But rain? no we haven't had a lot of it. Maybe April will be our wet month. So taking you back a long time to my own weather prediction...

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