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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Through the eye of the camera

As you can tell by my postings I’ve taken a great interest in photography. Several of the blogs I read are about taking good pictures and I strive to learn how good photographers can capture just the right image like the one above.
Sure, this is a castle in Scotland but you don’t have to go to far away lands to get a good picture (but it helps).
image It’s also knowing how to use your camera’s settings and the lighting present to make a great composition.

image It’s also being able to look at things from a different and unusual perspective.

And being there at just the right moment.

These images are from the blog Words, words, words by Barbara.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Some Sunday quotes

image image image image image

More questions

Rhoda of Southern Lady had these questions on her blog this morning. How would you answer them?

1. Favorite Cocktail: No alcohol, I’m afraid, I’m allergic. But a non alcoholic Frozen STrawberry daquiri would be nice.
2. Favorite Getaway: Provence
3. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be? I’d like to go shopping with Rhoda
4. Daydream of the moment:? Traveling the backroads of France stopping at every brocante (flea market)
5. Your personality in one word? creative
6. Are you more garden or gun?  garden.
7. If you were road-tripping, what's the one album you'd take with you? The Dixie Power Trio and their jumping music
8. What are you reading? The Sixth Man by David Baldacci
9. What do you want to do when you grow up? an artist
10. What is your greatest extravagance?  traveling  Guilty Pleasure? eating ice cream
11. Favorite Southern Food? Chicken Pot Pie with biscuits on top
12. Most treasured possession? my father’s memoirs
13. Favorite Southern name? dahlin’
14. What talent would you most like to have? play the guitar
15. What's your current state of mind? peaceful


Saturday, February 25, 2012


It was three years ago that I had the idea that we needed another dog. We had to put down our beloved Athena six years before and missed having a dog around. Don had his mind set on a Jack Russell Terrier. He was facing some serious surgery and I thought a puppy would be a distraction. So home from the Erie pet store we came with a little darling sleepy puppy on my lap. sadie 018

sadie 010 We fell in love with her right from the start. We didn’t know a thing about the Jack Russell breed but were soon to find out. sadie at the fountian 022
Jack Russells are intelligent, curious, playful, and active. She didn’t let anything scare her or stop her. sadie at the fountian 016
We soon found that we needed to get a crate for her since she could quickly get herself in trouble.
sadie in crate 001 She became a fashionista on her daily walks. sadie in winter 010
And even though she was extremely jealous of the kitty they became fast friends. dog and cat
Even though there were times you were angry at her antics you couldn’t help but be won over by her constant devotion. bad sadie 003
When I am at the computer and Sadie is laying at my feet I know how blessed I have been to have her in my life. dog love you

she is your friend


My post today is piggybacking from another blog that I read faithfully..Becky Ryan’s. She asked the question “when and where did you learn to drive”.
   It wasn’t as a 16 year old being taught by my father (although that did come later). It happened one summer when I was visiting my southern relatives. Every year during the first two weeks of July my father took my mother back to Georgia to visit all her family. As I grew up these trips became somewhat boring..visiting all the relatives, playing in the red sand around the farmhouse, catching fireflies. But one summer my cousin Norma taught me to drive. I don’t remember if my parents even knew what we were doing. There was an old private red dirt road which bordered the farm property and Norma and I would ride up and down this short stretch of road for something to do. One day she asked if I wanted to drive. Can you imagine? I must have only been thirteen or so. And the old truck was as standard. But somehow I managed and we had the best time traveling up and down that narrow road like we were traveling transcontinental.


    Then I never drove again until the year I had a boyfriend with a car. (It wasn’t Don). He took me way up on a less traveled road near my hometown and asked me if I wanted to drive. Of course, I bravely said yes. I got in and began traveling down that straight stretch. But I didn’t know that there was a 90 degree turn at the end. If you went straight you hit dirt road and a pretty steep incline. And that’s just what I did. You should have heard my boyfriend holler when he realized that I wasn’t going to make the turn. Needless to say he never let me behind the wheel again..LOL. peg as teenager 023 I looked for a picture of me as a teenager and found this one of Don and I in the boat at Chautauqua Lake.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Little Game

This little game is going around the web. 

1. What is your day job? 
Even though I’ve been retired from teaching elementary school for more than ten years now I still find that I keep busy although I wouldn’t exactly call it having a job. My job is to join my friends for coffee each morning, get a little exercise once or twice a week, keep my house clean and looking lovely, learn something new (I’m taking a computer creativity  class right now), take some amazing pictures, blog, walk my dog, and get in some reading and tv time.

2.Why did you start blogging?
In 2006 I was just learning how the computer could improve your life and saw a blog called Southern Hospitality. Rhoda wrote daily and talked about interior design and I fell in love with visiting blogs. It was a way of seeing the homes and ideas of others and I was hooked. Soon I wanted to do it myself so I taught myself how to make a blog. Ever since then I have been going strong. It’s my way of journaling with pictures and words. It’s a record of my daily life.

3. What is the best thing that has come from blogging?
   I’ve found that it is a way to let others know about me. And the comments that I get are good for my soul. And it is a record that I can look back at much like going through a photo album. It’s a little difficult putting yourself out there for everyone to see your thoughts and ideas.

4. How and where do you find inspiration?
All over the place I find good ideas and loveliness. Besides reading other’s blogs I devour decorating and self help books, love to see art, love browsing book stores, and get lost in small gift stores. I love seeing pretty thingsimage . I love to travel and find inspiration there. And I love seeing tablsescapes and setting my table.

5. If you could live anywhere else where would it be?
I love my valley surrounded by the arms of green woods, but I wouldn’t mind the eternal sunshine of California.

6. Who is your favorite artist?
When I first discovered Monet his impressionistic works were the most beautiful play of light and color that I had ever seen. I had a chance to visit his famous flower gardens in Giverney and also the museum in Paris which housed his famous water lilies. image

7. What’s playing on your Ipod?
I have such eclectic musical tastes. I have Enya, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Sugarland, Celtic Thunder, Glee, Eagles, and Broadway. as well as zydeco. I am greatly lacking in modern music.
8. How do you spend your day off?
Everyday is a day off for me, but I consider the weekend my days off. I don’t rush to get dressed and stay in my pj’s for awhile. I grab my latest book and cuddle on the couch reading for a few hours. I try not to do any housework on the weekends at all.

9. Who would you most like to meet?
I think Alexandra Stoddard. I first started reading her books a long time ago. She and I share a mutual philosophy of enjoying every moment and making your house your sanctuary. She radiates calm and I would like to emulate her. image

10. What is your best childhood memory?
It is of my neighborhood growing up. There were lots of kids around and we all played together outside every day with no fighting. We loved being outdoors and only came in for meals. We felt at home in every house and were close to all the families in the neighborhood. It was really a Sally, Dick, and Jane idealistic upbringing. image

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Eternal on the Water

Have you ever read a book and as you were reading the scenes unfolded like a movie in your head? That is the way Eternal on the Water affected me. This book was recommended to me and wasn’t one that I would have picked up if I saw it on the shelf. It seemed to sad. This review is from Amazon.

Cobb, a devoted teacher and nature-lover, takes a sabbatical from his New England boys prep school seeking to experience what Henry David Thoreau and the transcendentalists did in the early nineteenth century. Kayaking to the last known spot where the American writer and philosopher camped four years before he died, he encounters the beautiful free-spirited Mary. Also a teacher, avid bird-watcher, and deft adventurist, Mary is flirtatious and beguiling, and the two soon become inseparable. Mary is like no one Cobb has ever met before, but he gets the feeling that she is harboring a secret. Eventually she shares her fears with Cobb—that she may be carrying the gene for a devastating, incurable illness that runs in her family. Finding strength in their commitment to one another, the two embark on a journey that is filled with joy, anguish, hope, and most importantly, unending love.

Set against the sweeping natural backdrops of Maine’s rugged backcountry, the exotic islands of Indonesia, scenic Yellowstone National Park, and rural New England, Eternal on the Water is a timeless and poignant love story that will captivate readers everywhere.

I began reading and was immediately surprised that the ending was at the beginning of the book. Of course, I had to read it then to see why. There was one event in the book that literally took my breath away. Mary, an expert in crows, was telling a crow legend to a group of camp girls about a crow who stole a diamond earring. After the story she surprised that girls by passing out diamond earrings (really chandelier crystals) and had them hang the crystals all over a tree with ribbons. I can’t wait for this scene in the movie!
The book gets better and better as you read it and the ending was tearful, but amazing. If you want to read a great story pick up Eternal on the Water.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Through a Photographer’s Eye

french table 2.12 025

I’m getting a little braver. I’m posting pictures of myself on the blog.
french table 2.12 034
I am becoming more familiar with my camera now and am trying out manual settings. I still have so much to learn about photography and can’t wait till the weather breaks and I can go outdoors to take new pictures. (Even I am tired of seeing the same shots..LOL) french table 2.12 027

Winter 2012

ryan sean snow

I like to name my winters. Last year was “THe Winter of the Ice”. It earned it’s name by the large icicles that formed from the eaves and dragged on the ground. Ice backed up over the gutters and glistened around each house’s roof.

snow is melting 3.11 435
maxine one

The year before that was the “Winter of the Perpetual Snow”. It snowed all winter without a let up. But this winter has now earned the name “Winter that couldn’t make up it’s Mind”.

february 2.12 winter 021 This was how it looked yesterday after the quick snowfall. Today it is mostly melted away except for the shady spots. I’m not complaining about this snowless winter. It has been cold with lots of days in the thirties and twenties, but the roads have been clear. Spring is already arriving in many blogger’s backyards but we have quite a ways to go before we get really nice weather. But each day that passes without a blizzard is one day closer to Spring. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I need to see Pretty Things

Today I found these words on Melissa’s blog: The inspired room and they said exactly how I feel sometimes.

Some days I just need to take a break from the routine and go out in search of beautiful things.

I don’t need to buy what I see. I can just look. {OK, well sometimes I need to buy.} I like to touch things, pick them up, smell them.

I just need to linger for awhile.

It is a ritual that somehow recharges me. It refuels my creativity and my energy.

People wonder why I like to shop. It isn’t that I always like to buy, I just like to look at beautiful things. After a visit with my sisters when we spend a good part of the afternoon going from gift shop to stores my senses are restored by seeing the gorgeous objects that are out there in the world. Where I live the only shopping we have is either country style stores or Walmart. So when I can go to a lovely little gift shop with wares from all over the country my heart sings. There are so many pretty things out there that I couldn’t even imagine. Each season holds new delights. It is always a treat when one of those things finds its way home to adorn my table or shelf. Most of the items in my home have come from areas outside of Bradford. I am always so happy when I get a chance to leave town and shop! This wire bird cage was a “must have”.
fburg house tour 12.11 070

Random Act of Kindness

Have you ever been the recipient of a Random Act of Kindness? It seems in our busy and sometimes selfish society that kindness is rarely seen. When it appears it is almost shocking now to those not used to such generosity of spirit. My generation remembers when kindness and respect were traits that were observed on a daily basis. Sales people bent over backwards to be cheery and helpful. People helped each other even if they didn’t know each other. Please and thank you were said frequently and manners were taught to young children and were expected in all.

Random acts of kindness are a means by which we make a deliberate attempt to brighten another person's day by doing something thoughtful, nice, and caring for them. Kindness is a way of showing others that they count and that even in the face of hostility and selfishness, you're making a stand for kindness.

Originally associated with Anne Herbert, who is said to have once written "Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty" on a placemat in a restaurant, this concept has become an organized celebration through various events around the world, as well as referring to a general call to action in the name of kindness. And you don't need to wait for someone else to instigate a day or week of celebrations to practice random acts of kindness; you can put them into play any time you like!

By doing kind acts for others, you're helping to create kindness-aware communities that value generosity of spirit and action and kindness toward others as essential parts of a healthy community. Here are some suggestions for encouraging others with your random acts of kindness.
  Be kind, be thoughtful, use your manners as a form of kindness, give out compliments generously, think about people in your community who have made a difference and thank them, cheer up the lonely.

When something kind happens to you it almost comes as a shock. It puts a smile on your face and you remember it all day and may even remark to others that you had been the recipient of a kindness. And the thing is that it doesn’t take a lot of effort to be kind. Sometimes someone just telling you that you look nice is enough. Or someone opening a door for you. Or getting an unexpected gift.
  If you get a chance, why don’t you practice a random act of kindness this week. Here are some suggestions from the Random Act of Kindness Foundation. Treat someone to fresh fruit or a muffin. Help someone to get groceries. Wash the car of a friend. Be kind to someone you dislike. Take a meal to someone. Give out free popscicles. Say something nice to someone. Bake someone a cake. Make someone laugh. Write a thank you note. Be spontaneous. Forgive someone. You will feel better and so will they.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Mouse Roll over

I finally figured out how to do a mouse rollover. Roll your mouse over the picture and you will see the before image. Take your mouse away and you will see the after. Try it. The only trouble now is that you can only see just this one post. If you want to see the previous posts click on February on the right side.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Just things I liked from Pinterest




a mini taco maker from an upside down muffin pan and a magazine holder that hold your blowdryer. image image

Snow, winter as usual


I didn’t take this picture but I love it. It just conveys the sense of snow that we get here in western Pennsylvania. Even though we complain we must admit that it is unbelievably beautiful. It is so clean and invigorating. Here are some of my old snow pictures. snow october 002
snowstorm 2.11 01712.03.07 001diffused glow house 008