Saturday, June 30, 2012

Linked 52 - Lighting, experimentation Part 2

So, I took my camera and tripod out to the pond last night and tried to get a better shot of the waterfall...
well, seems as though my camera doesn't want to take a picture with the auto focus on, it wants me to use my inferior eyes to try and focus on water and rocks in the dark, not happening.
I have a difficult time focusing during the day, even with changing the power to the viewfinder, so when
all the light is taken away, I'm pretty much just working on blind faith, which wasn't with me last night as you can see by the blurriness.
Anyway, this is what I got and it looks like stabilizing the camera on a rock works just as well as using a tripod, who woulda thought.

( I tried to load these last night only to find that the monitor on my laptop is BLACK. I tried a few things that didn't work and went to bed. This morning, same thing. I Googled My laptop screen is black and tried all the helpful hints, but I think it is DOA. I now have it plugged into my TV, but that's a little hard on my eyes and neck. Not quite sure what I'm going to do yet, I had decided to save up my overtime pay for a new camera, that's the only way I can justify spending a shit load bunch of money on something I just want, but a laptop might need to come first. Dang!)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Linked 52 - Lighting, experimentation...

Lighting, experimentation -

This was a tough one, my camera doesn't do well in low light, and I was wracking my brain trying to think of something good when my husband called me on my cell phone and told me to grab my big girl camera and take a picture of the lights on the waterfall in the pond...(I tell you, he is so irritating sometimes, especially when he's right!)

So, I propped the camera on some rocks and held my breath while it slooowwwwly cliiicccked away.

This is the only one that was pretty much in focus.

Now that I did this one, I'm going back out tonight, with a tripod and the outdoor house lights OFF, and try again.

See the Lighting, experimentation these other lovelies took...


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Alphabet - P

Well, I'm way behind, but Kira is even further behind. I have to admit she did have a good excuse...she worked the nine days preceeding her flight to Minnesota, and once she was here, she was going non stop up until I dropped her off at the airport yesterday afternoon. Once she got back to Arizona, she unpacked, rested and got ready to get up bright and early for work this morning. Yeah, I guess I'll cut her some slack

I took advantage of all the beautiful flowers in the Como Zoo Conservatory when we were there on Sunday and took pictures of all the Pink flowers for my letter P.

This is the kind of job I should have, I'm much better suited to being creative, like with gardening than running tests on blood all day long. Ah well, such is life!

I think this is a "new Gerbera Daisy'. I saw them at the farmer's market a few weeks ago and I don't remember ever seeing two toned before. I think I'll get some next year.

All of these roses



I love lilies, they're such a wonderful garden flower. They're easy to grow, bloom profusely, and last a long time. They also make wonderful cut flowers. Lilies are probably one of my favorite flowers...unfortunately, 
I HATE the smell of them, as they pretty much make me gag.

Again, a lily, water lily this time. Beautiful! Thank goodness they don't smell.

When my darling daughter gets her act together, visit her and see her alphabet.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Linked 52 - Swing

I've had a couple of visitors since last Thursday, so I'm a little late (good excuse, right?)

My husband got tickets to a Saint's game through work for the same weekend that we were watching his 96 yr old mother and having Kira home for a visit. Both of them decided they wanted to go to the game, his mother because she's a good sport and will go almost anywhere and do almost anything, and Kira because she wanted to be with her family.
Fireworks were scheduled to follow the game, but I'm not a sports person  (and neither is Kira) so when I started squirming and wanted to leave, we All ended up leaving. (they could have stayed and had Ethan give them a ride, but NOooo, they had to leave with Kira and I.
I didn't find out until the next day that my mother in law was really bummed leaving early because she was looking forward to the fireworks. Well, as it turns out, she got to see some fabulous fireworks the next night at Earle Brown Days in Brooklyn Center. (they really are the BEST fireworks display around).

Anyway, while at the game, I was able to get some Swing shots...

The hair and beautiful white dresses on these lovely "gals" was swinging as they worked very hard smoothing out the sand.

On Saturday, Kira and I took a drive to Stillwater and wandered around a bit.  She LOVES to knit and is exceptional at it, so whenever we are in Stillwater, she has to stop in Darn Knit to see what's new and pick up some extremely soft yarn. I on the other hand have no interest in knitting, so I sat on the bench outside swinging my foot and watching these pompoms swing in the breeze.

I also got a photo of just a few of the hundreds of motorcycles that rode up and down main street.

Swing by and see what these ladies say about swing...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Alphabet O...

O, o, O, O, oooo

Oh, I actually put some thought into what to do for O, until I walked into my dining room and found...

Oliver!!  He Found us a few years ago, hanging around our yard, spending time on our deck, making himself available for some cuddles and our youngest, Ethan, was the perfect candidate to deliver them.
Unknown to me, Ethan started feeding and playing with him and after he was pretty certain he wasn't going anywhere, he told the #1 sucker about him (and that would be moi). Well, I didn't want another cat, seeing as how we already had two of them in the house, so Kira came to the rescue. She had worked at the Humane Society when she was in high school, and she suggested taking him there to get scanned for a possible chip, so if he had one, we could notify the owners. I was by now secretly hoping that he didn't have one. Well...hehadachip...damn. I called the phone number that was on file with the chip, and the previous owners gave me a very sorry excuse for why their cat was in Brooklyn Center MN and they lived in Wisconsin, and they clearly did not want him back. (whew!)
So, we now had another cat (remember, already have two in the house) and thought we should take him to the vet to get checked out, because of the sneeze, runny eye and runny nose, and I really didn't want the other cats to get sick. Well, thousands of dollars later, he still has a sneeze, runny eye and a runny nose. They think that he must have been wandering around for awhile and maybe sniffed at something a little too hard, and that something got stuck up in his sinus and formed a sort of cyst. He's had x-rays, steroids, multiple antibiotics, his sinuses cleaned and he's still the same.

I just have to put up with snot on my walls.
Yes, snot!
There is no short supply of Fun around here!

But, even with all the money we've spent and all the cleaning that I do should do, Oliver is the coolest cat we've ever had, jam packed full of personality and very cuddly. He loves to sit on shoulders and will jump up on them if you are not paying attention to him (except for me, I won't let him jump up on me). When he settles in on my lap chest (or anyone's) he reaches out and puts his paw on my face or he'll hold my face with both of his paws (you know where those paws have been) or if I'm eating chips, he uses his paw like a hand and will pull my chip holding hand (that he so badly wants) toward his mouth.
He is such a lover, he's our Olibutt.

Oh, one more thing, when Kira and I volunteered at the Humane Society, we realized that there was one type of cat that was always sooo nice and sweet and lovable...the male orange tabby.
Oliver just happens to be a male orange tabby...go figure.

See what Kira's O looks like.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Linked 52 - Father

Henry Harry Shocinski
February 13, 1918 - June 19, 1978

I don't remember very much about my father, then again I don't remember much about my mother either, 
and she's still living. 
I have a horrible memory, always have. I can read a book and not be able to really tell you about it. 
I can re-read a book and be surprised. 
My childhood is pretty much a blur, except for those few things that are burned into my memory.

These are some things I do remember about my dad...

he bowled on a league every Wednesday night for as long as I can remember.
he stirred cream and sugar into his coffee for a looonnnggg time
he knew the names of All my stuffed animals 
he had big arm muscles from working at a lumber yard
he used to smoke Camel's and it was long enough ago that children could run down to the store and 
get a pack of cigarettes for their dad
he loved to fish and taught me (the fish knew it was me on the other end of the line and made sure 
to stay away)
he took us to a lake resort every summer and would take us for speed boat rides
he took us water skiing, over and over and over
he taught me to drive and bought me my first car (1966 Buick Special - YUK! It was an old person's car,       but I ended up loving it, because it was all mine)
he took me golfing (even though I was terrible)
he loved to deer hunt and we would tag along and walk the woods with him
he built his own home (actually built it)
he loved woodworking
he made me a hutch
he made me a desk/bookcase and a bookcase
he made me a jewelry box
he used to draw cartoons, very well
he yelled at me when I colored outside of the lines
he did Not like runny scrambled eggs
he loved blood sausage and would cut the frozen links with a meat cleaver when he was drunk
he drank a lot when I was in my teens
he was really mad when I got my ears pierced (at 18 years old)
he denied being an alcoholic because he didn't go to work drunk
he would hide his whiskey
he was drunk every weekend and later on, every evening
he didn't like my boyfriend
he wouldn't allow us to touch
he believed a girl did not need to know how to change a tire because if she got a flat, 
some Man would stop and help her 
he didn't believe a girl needed to have a college education because when she got married, 
her husband would take care of her
when he got sick, his eyes were jaundiced and he had abdominal and back pain
we thought for sure it was cirrhosis of the liver
it was pancreatic cancer...

Some of this may be why I don't remember a lot about my childhood, and am having a really hard time finding something positive to write...and I can't believe I am actually going to press Publish, but I am. 

I drink very infrequently, don't like when others have more than a couple of drinks, can't tolerate when they lose control, and am scared to death one of my children will follow in my father's footsteps 
and be an alcoholic. 

I pray that someday when we meet again, this will no longer be an issue. 
I do pray that he is at peace.

Check out what these ladies have to say about Father...(I certainly hope I have everyone, please let me know if I don't)


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Alphabet N...

N is nice,
N is new,

N is for my Not so New candles.

I used to throw out the small bit of candle that was left in the bottom of the jar after the wick was used up, but my hubby started to collect those bits and use them for firestarters by melting them and adding sawdust.
We save cardboard egg cartons and he uses the egg form to for his firestarters. I have to admit, that was pretty good thinking on his part.

So, I started to think...if He can do it, geez I sure should be able to do it, and now I have two new old candles in scents that I Love.

I used a waxed whipping cream container for the square one and if I were real picky, I would smooth the seams (guess I'm not that picky).
The glass jar had a different candle in it at one time that I didn't like the smell of, so that one got used right away for a firestarter. But, I just happened to find the jar on the porch and remembered I had two almost used up candles of the same scent, that I love and were really expensive (why are candle so expensive anyway??)
I put both almost used up glass jars in a pot with a little water and heated it up. When it was all melted, I removed the old wicks and slowly poured the hot wax into the new jar, (this time with a wooden wick).
I let it cool for a few hours until it was firm and now I have a new old candle.

The wooden wick works pretty well, I'd never used one before, but it seems to burn very nicely.

Check out Kira's N

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Alphabet M...

Here we are already at the letter M, mmmmm.

I chose the Mighty Mississippi for my letter M.

There is a great walking path a couple blocks from me, right by the river and we walk there very often. I love to watch all the changes that take place during the different seasons.

We have two eagles that hang out around here (I wish I knew where their nest was) and one of them likes to hang out in the tree in the first picture. It seems like I Never have my big girl camera with me, but I always have my phone (thank you O children of mine) so at least I've been able to get proof that we do indeed have eagles. Now if I could get a better picture I would be very happy! It's so easy to see him/her when there are no leaves on the trees, but once they sprout, I'm not sure if the eagle even roosts there. I have seen one cruising down the river at about 6:30 p.m. for a few days in a row, and just when I think I have them all figured out, they go and change their schedule, so now I rarely see them down there. Once in a while they are waaaay up in the sky soaring on thermal currents. It looks so peaceful.

A lot of changes take place during one single season also. This past couple of weeks, because of the high waters, we've seen whole trees floating downstream, Fast.  During winter, the water will be wide open, then in a couple of days it will freeze over. Toward spring, huge chunks of ice will be floating downstream.
I see that I don't have a picture of the river frozen over in winter, or of ice chunks. I remember seeing ice chunks only one day this past winter, which is quite strange, but this last winter was so warm, that the river never did fully freeze over where I live. Hopefully this winter things will be back to normal and I can get some pictures of the Mississippi looking like it should.

The picture of the dock with my hubby standing on it, taken a couple of weeks ago, is almost always totally submerged under water each spring. I've seen the water up past the parking area. It's sort of amazing how quickly the river can rise. When you think of how big the Mississippi is, and with us being in Minnesota, we're closest to the beginning of it and when it floods here, what does it do farther south?
This was the first spring I remember that it hasn't flooded. Of course we ended up having a few really good storms quite close together, and that was enough to make it rise significantly.

Take a look at some of the changes the Mississippi goes through.

Once again, these were all taken with my phone and it looks like they can only be enlarged so much before they look a little off. 

Check out Kira's M, she has something interesting for you to read.