Weekly Gratitude - Fragrant Flowers

Grateful for Frangrant Lilacs


Pink Explosion

Soft Blooms of Pink

It's a sort of pink day - windy here along the prairie.


119/365 - The Morning Sun

Streams into the kitchen and on the table. You can tell it's going to be a beautiful day!

10.04.30 The Morning Sun in the Kitchen

Granted, today was the second day with 40 mph winds, which caused our neighbor's tree to crack. But that is what we have along the flat prairie.


118/365 - First Goal! And 4th Grade Concert

Erica made her first goal during tonight's soccer game, during the second half. Her team went on to handily win the game, 4-0.


The bad thing, we weren't there to see it - Scott and I were at Brian's school attending Family Arts Night and the 4th grade concert.

Recorder Players


Team Up Thursday - Outdoor Sports

The warmer weather brings everyone outside and we can't be outside just lazing around, right? Lee chose this week's very appropriate theme of Outdoor Sports, just in time for all the practices and games our two families participate in.

Lee's picture is on the top - her boy is the epitome of the word "athlete", playing sports all year around. On the bottom picture, my son tends to like the less "contact" sports - baseball, for example!

Team Up Thursday - Outdoor Sports

On Thursdays, I team up with my friend, Lee for Team-Up Thursdays, a creative venture started by Melody and Megan. Each week, one of us picks a theme, we each take a picture and combine the two into a diptych.

You can view the other great diptychs at the Team Up Thursday Flickr group. And if you want to join in, contact Melody or Megan if you need a partner.

Happy Thursday!


117/365 - Early Morning Departure

It's not quite 7am and I'm at school dropping off Erica - her class is taking a day trip to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The last time we went, she was in 5th grade and I served as a chaperone. Well, not today.

10.04.28 - Early Morning Departure

And how lucky they are to ride in style. When I was growing up, we used the standard Yellow school buses for transport to the Boston Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium. [OK - it was only a 60 minute ride - but don't tell the kids that!]


116/365 - Must See TV

10.04.27 - Must See TV

We are so happy that GLEE is back, airing new episodes, and bringing more music, laughter and tears to our Tuesday evenings.

While I thought tonight's episode was more "serious", I loved message about feeling beautiful in your own skin. Something most of us have dealt with at one point or another in our lives.

Last week's Power of Madonna episode (although a little racy in parts) was brilliant, and even I succumbed to purchasing the Borderline / Open Your Heart song on iTunes.

So this is where you will find me, every Tuesday evening, on the couch, bopping to the songs of the New Directions Glee club.


Feeder Action

Lots of action at the bird feeder these days. It helps when there is seed in it.

Action At the Bird Feeder


Project 365 - Week 16 Summary

We've made it into triple digits with year two of Project 365. I say "we" because I wouldn't be able to do it without the cooperation of my family and the encouragement of the folks who read here. So thank you!

In week 16, we had lots of music and more sports. And Earth day sprinkled in there, too.
P365 2010 Week 16 Summary

Hope you had a great week, too!

Every Tuesday, Jessica Turner hosts Project Life Tuesday, where you can share your Project 365 photos. Go and check them out!


115/365 - Make Up Your Mind

On cooler days like today, Hannah can't seem to decide if she should go outside or stay inside.

10.04.26 - Inside or Outside?

So she hangs out at the open screen door, trying to decide.
Still Deciding

Eventually, she was drawn outside by the various birds flitting about outside. But after 5 minutes, she headed back inside. Such is the life of our cat.


114/365 - Doting Mother

Last year, we found a nest of eggs in our front door's flower arrangement, seen here. Unfortunately, things didn't end with little baby birds, as the nest was abandoned.

This year, we have another nest:
Another Year, Another Nest

And the mom is a mourning dove who is quite fearless, as she won't fly away unless the front door is fully opened.
Sitting On the Nest
I took the picture with the door opened about 4", while standing inside the house on a step stool. She looks like she is part of the door arrangement!

Hopefully, the eggs will hatch and she'll be able to take care of the little birds. We are avoiding use of the front door as much as possible.


Mosaic Monday - Earth Day Activities

Our Earth Day activities included a site clean up at work, discovery of a new nest at home and new seedlings.

Scenes from Earth Day 2010

Mary at Little Red House hosts Mosaic Monday. Her mosaic this week features horses, a favorite animal around our house.


Facing Away

Facing Away

Favorite spring flower, from all sides

Center Burst


113/365 - Saturday Afternoon Practice

I confess, I routinely don't practice on the weekends.

But since our schedules have been crazy and the kids' homework has required my help, I haven't been able to get my normal practicing in during the weekdays. So a little Saturday afternoon music was added to our agenda today.

10.04.24 - Saturday Afternoon Practice

I'm going to perform the first movement from Barber's Violin Concerto in 4 weeks, so I need all the practice time I can get. I imagine I'll play tomorrow afternoon, too.


SOOC Saturday - Another Year, Another Nest

I don't know what it is, but something draws the birds to our front door's basket arrangement. Each year, we open the door to the sound of fluttering wings and look inside the arrangement to find a bird's nest. I blogged about the mysterious eggs last year (two different eggs in one nest). This year, a mourning dove has nested in the arrangement and laid one creamy white egg.

Another Year, Another Nest

We've been avoiding the front door now. Last year, the birds eventually abandoned the nest and eggs, so maybe we can prevent that from happening this year.


Wall of Cans

For next week's Arts Night at school, my friend Jill is putting together several displays outlining the use of graphic design and art in marketing materials. One example - designs on a soda can.

The Wall of Cans

Which designs stand out the most? For me, the Classic one - The bright red Coke can.


112/365 - Seedlings

The basil seeds I got from Jill have started to sprout.

10.04.23 - Seedlings

I can't wait for these little seedlings to grow. Just because I love pesto!


111/365 - Soccer Action

The girls' second match of the season. Erica played defense, wing and forward.

10.04.22 - Waiting for the Ball

They dominated and won the game, 4-0.


Team Up Thursday - Mornings

I admit it - I have a "thing" for mornings. Maybe because I am a morning person - I enjoy the early morning quiet, watching the light make its way through the darkness. So I chose this week's theme of "Around the House in the Morning".

Team Up Thursday - One Morning

Lee's photo is on the left, mine is on the right. I think both capture the "quiet" of the mornings. I can tell Caden is really enjoying whatever is in that bowl, and I am getting ready for a hot cup of coffee.

On Thursdays, I team up with my friend, Lee for Team-Up Thursdays, a creative venture started by Melody and Megan. Each week, one of us picks a theme, we each take a picture and combine the two into a diptych.

You can view the other great diptychs at the Team Up Thursday Flickr group. And if you want to join in, contact Melody or Megan if you need a partner.

Happy Thursday!


110/365 - On Third Base

10.04.21 - On Third Base

Tonight - our first official game of the season. A perfect spring evening.

Brian scored two runs today. And the team won the game. And it only took a little over 2 hours.


Right out of the Tree Trunk

Growing Out of the Trunk

The huge branches of the old red bud tree brought my eyes upwards as I walked towards the veterinary office, but once inside the court yard, its thick trunk, with little branches peppered with flowers made me stop and draw out my camera.

I purchased a simple purse / handbag to house my camera to facilitate toting it around town. I've padded the bottom of the purse and made a padded "coozie" to wrap my camera and keep it protected. So when I come upon something unusual, I can take a picture of it.


109/365 - Not Quite a Field of Dreams

At least this scene is NOT from my backyard.

Field of Dreams?
But aren't the dandelions pretty?

I took the picture after an afternoon of running around from activity to activity. Lessons, practice, dinner, more practice. Oh, I still hadn't taken today's picture, then I saw the this scene driving home.

After a hectic day, I lay down on the grass and shot the sun setting with the dandelions. A tiny respite from the treadmill we sometimes get on.


Out for an Evening Stroll

I don't like dandelions, but love those globes of white. As long as they stay far away from my yard....

Out for an Evening Stroll


Project 365 - Week 15 Summary

Last week was the start of our really busy sports season, with soccer and baseball in full swing.

P365 2010 Week 15 Summary

Links to each day's blog entry:

4/11 - Convertible Weather
4/12 - Bike Riding in the Neighborhood
4/13 - My Photo Featured on The Pioneer Woman's Photo Challenge
4/14 - Chess Club Boys Take a Ride
4/15 - Clean Dishes in the Morning
4/16 - I Hosted Book Club
4/17 - Opening Day - Baseball Jamboree

Every Tuesday, Jessica Turner hosts Project Life Tuesday, where you can share your Project 365 photos. Go and check them out!


108/365 - Enjoying the Brian Show

Erica used Windows Movie Maker and put together a compilation of various video footage she had of Brian. Coupled with some still photos set to music, she named her creation "The Brian Show".

A lot of silliness wrapped up into one package!

They decided to watch it tonight. They really wanted to upload the video to youtube so they could stream it to the big TV, but I said "No". Then I took a picture of Brian watching his silly antics on the computer.

10.04.19 - Enjoying the Brian Show


Best Shot Monday - Longer Days

I haven't posted a Best Shot Monday in a long time, and I really liked this picture I took last week when the weather shot up to summer temperatures. A reminder why we like this time of year.

Enjoying the Sunset

Hope you are enjoying the longer days, too.


107/365 - Daughtry Concert

When was the last Rock concert I attended? Well, I won't count the Sara Bareilles concert I attended last year, since she definitely does not qualify as "Rock".

Really, I don't quite recall. Does Jimmy Buffet count? Umm, that was in 1993. Bruce Hornsby in 1991, Billy Joel was in 1990. The Cure in 1989. Lots of concerts during the college years.

Gosh, I'm pathetic!

And I wouldn't have gone to see Daughtry, if not for Jill's persistence. And it was a good show. But not enough people up and dancing in our section [I enjoy standing and moving to music].

Opening Number

Other things that have changed over the years of attending concerts - no smoking, no lighters, no drinking. The flickering glow of lighters of the past have been replaced by glow sticks and the FlicMyBic iPhone App (which I downloaded just for this occasion, because I'm a geek). But it just didn't seem the same as the real thing. PS - I don't advocate smoking or playing with lighters.


Let's Make Some Lemonade

I made lemonade on Friday for my Book Club group, and much to the kids' dismay, the Book Club ladies drank it all.

So I had to buy more lemons and make some more.

Let's Make Lemonade

Basic recipe -
Heat up 1 C Water and 1 C Sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.

Combine the simple syrup (that's the official term for that water and sugar you just heated up) with 1 C lemon juice and 6 C cold water in a 2Q pitcher. Mix and serve with ice. Add more water / sugar to taste. Enjoy!


106/365 - Baseball In Swing

The 2010 Little League Baseball season officially kicked off today with several games and Team pictures. Brian is on the Cubs team (yeah, with green t-shirts - go figure).

Each team plays 2 3-inning games. It's a chance for the teams to experience playing against one another in a "less competitive" environment (the games don't "count" towards regular season record - not that I keep track at all).

10.04.18 - In the Dugout
Of course, baseball requires lots of standing around. But when you're with your friends, that's OK.

Bonus - Brian batted in the winning run in each of our games - with 2 outs, and a full count. Apparently, that doesn't phase him.

Up To Bat for the Winning Run

So far, the team is a lot of fun, the coaches are full of excitement and positive energy. That's always a positive start.


SOOC Saturday - Lilac Blooms

I spent over four hours at the baseball field this afternoon, but there was a fragrant lilac tree to enjoy.


SOOC, except for the crop.


105/365 - Hosting Book Club

During my first experience hosting Book Club, I prepared Rum Cake [do a search of Rum Cake, and you'll get a bunch of Rum Cake related posts]. Now when I host, I get the inquiry - "You're making Rum Cake, right?".

Just as Heather always serves strawberries and angel food cake, Jill makes Bacon-Bacon dip, I will always make Rum Cake.

10.04.16 - Cutting into the Rum Cake
And Heather makes the initial cut into it while Kellie watches.

We discussed The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Well, Heather, Jill and Shelley gave us the overall outline of the book while Kellie and I gave our opinions [neither of us read the book and after the discussion, I'm not sure I want to - very depressing book].


Busy at Work

Hope you don't mind the spider picture. It was too cool for me to pass up.

Busy at Work


Weekly Gratitude - Longer Days

I think everyone appreciates the longer days Spring brings. The kids, dogs, families all migrate outside and the neighborhood is filled with sounds of fun.

Weekly Gratitude - Longer Days [spring]


104/365 - The Clean Dishes

I wash the dishes at night and leave them to dry overnight.
I really should put them away immediately at night, but then I wouldn't have something to do first thing in the morning.

10.04.15 - Dishes


Team Up Thursday - Favourite Chore

Lee chose this week's theme and when she emailed me with "Favourite Chore", I thought she was getting back at me for last week's "Pastel" theme (only kidding). It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to take a picture of! I even looked up the definition of "chore", because it has such a negative connotation, that I thought "Favourite Chore - that seems like an oxymoron!". But "daily task" is the main definition.

So here we go - Our Favourite Chores -
Team Up Thursday - Favourite Chores

Lee's is on the left, mine is on the right. Obviously, Lee likes laundry and I like cooking (at least most days).

On Thursdays, I team up with my friend, Lee for Team-Up Thursdays, a creative venture started by Melody and Megan. Each week, one of us picks a theme, we each take a picture and combine the two into a diptych.

You can view the other great diptychs at the Team Up Thursday Flickr group. And if you want to join in, contact Melody or Megan if you need a partner.

Happy Thursday!


103/365 - Chess Club Buddies

I was instructed to pick up the boys in the convertible so everyone could enjoy the ride home, al-fresco.

Chess Club Buddies

Their payment for my services - allowing me to take their picture, of course!


A Nice Tall Cool One

With some fizz.

Nice Tall Cool One, With Fizz

Because we've gone from Winter directly to Summer. The temperatures have topped over 85degF these last three days. Thank goodness the stores haven't started selling those Intex pools, because the kids would be lobbying for one.


102/365 - Featured on The Pioneer Woman!

I opened up my email this morning to the most exciting news - my friend, Lee, congratulated me for being featured on The Pioneer Woman's Photography website! She is running a Macro Challenge and picked one of my photos:


I am totally blown away by this honor, especially looking at the other incredible entries. Go check them out!


P365 2010 - Week 14 Summary

We just about hit Day 100 this week - Saturday marked Day 99. My experience with Project 365 is that once you hit triple digits, it gets easier. Probably because after 100 days, that picture a day thing becomes routine in your life.

P365 2010 Week 14 Summary

Every Tuesday, Jessica Turner hosts Project Life Tuesday. Check out the other P365 Participants linked there.


OMG - Featured on PW!

One of my photos has been featured on Pioneer Woman.


I'm still pinching myself.


101/365 - Along the Bike Path

A beautiful day overall - started early with a 3 mile run - warm enough for shorts and a short sleeved T-shirt. My first 3 miler in the morning since December and it felt great.

Then a beautiful day, even though I spent most of it inside.

Finally, a beautiful evening, topped off with a walk with Scott and Brian. Brian and I took various pictures of birds, bugs, the cornfield and other interesting subjects. I love that he likes taking pictures with me.

OK, Brian really rode his bike, but he would wait for Scott and me to catch up with him.

10.04.12 - Along the Bike Path


Black Crow Resting

This one brought the lyrics to Diana Krall's Black Crow to my mind.

Black Crow

Artist - Diana Krall
Album - The Girl In the Other Room, 2004

There's a crow flying
Black & ragged
Tree to tree
He's black as the highway that's leading me
Now he's diving down
To pick up on something shiny
I feel like that black crow
In a blue sky

I took the ferry to the highway
Then I drove to a pontoon plane
I took a plane to a taxi
And a taxi to a train
I've been traveling so long
How'm I ever gonna know my home
When I see it again
I'm like a black crow flying
In a blue blue sky

In search of love & music
My whole life has been
And diving diving diving diving
Diving down to pick up on every shiny thing
Just like that black crow flying
In a blue sky

I looked at the morning
After being up all night
I looked at my haggard face in the bathroom light
I looked out the window
And I I saw that ragged soul take flight
I saw a back crow flying
In a blue sky

Oh I'm like a black crow flying
In a blue sky

One interesting tidbit about this album - I bought it along with my D70, back in April, 2004. Little did I know then how much I would come to love photography over the next six years.


Rows of Herbs

My annual trip to the garden center to buy herbs.

Rows of Herbs

I purchased Rosemary, Italian Parsley, Greek Oregano and Sweet Basil. All except the basil has been planted outside. Basil prefers warm night temperatures (above 50degF), so it will wait inside.

Do you grow herbs? If so, which are your favorites?


Weekly Gratitude - Spring Has Sprung

A beautiful time of rebirth and renewal. I think the long cold winter has resulted in the most spectacular blooms this spring.

Weekly Gratitude - Spring


100/365 - Top Down!

Perfect spring weather today. Perfect enough to take the top down on the convertible for a trip to Wal-Mart.

Scott has taken the top down already this year, but for me and Brian, it was our first "air" in 2010. We enjoyed every minute of it!

10.04.11 - Top Down



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