Monday, April 27, 2009

Painted Tulip

This is the ONLY way I will be able to paint anything! Still making my slow way through tutorials on and this is my tinkering with effects. Rain is forecasted for the weekend, so I'm looking forward to more learning and playing. I've taken some vacation time this upcoming week, much needed time. A very dear friend will be visiting for a few days and we have plans to walk and talk and take pictures and drink coffee and eat great food . . . bliss! 


Pale little dandelion, in her white shroud,
Heareth the angel-breeze call from the cloud.
Tiny plumes fluttering, make no delay,
Little winged dandelion, soareth away.
by Helen Barron Bostwick
I'm aware of how frequently Sis is featured in my photos of late . . . she has the questionable fortune of being home with me when I'm not working and Big D is at school. Today's adventure was at Forest Park and we found a lovely cluster of dandelions begging to wished upon. 
She tried admirably to get the job done and I have literally dozens of photos documenting her attempts. It was stubborn dandelion fuzz, clinging quite tenaciously to its stem. Finally mama added her considerable hot air to the effort and we had lift off!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tulips -- before and after

I'm still figuring out how to use Photoshop Elments with the help of I'm often not quite sure if I go too far in my adjustments. In this photo, I cropped, adjusted for levels and then worked with just the tulip. What do you think?

Mommy Love

Today's challenge from the ShutterSisters is to share what we love about being a mommy . . .
1. The reckless abandon of my children's laughter. The dizzy twirling, spinning and generally frenetic energy! (though sometimes I do wish they'd be still and quiet!)
2. The adoration they have for each other. I very regularly hear from them both how much they love the other . . . I should record these proclamations as evidence in future disputes!
3. Their innocence and their sponge-like ability to sop up all manner of information. The other day I was painting my toenails, apparently for the first time they could remember (says a little something about the state of my feet . . . blush), and the next thing I knew, they were both attempting to color their own toenails with crayons! Very sweet.
4. Cuddles and loves. Need I say more?
5. The knowledge that there are these two precious beings that I would do anything for -- the wonder of looking into their beautiful eyes and knowing that they are my own sweet babies. The pleasure of watching them grow, the anticipation of a future filled with adventure and happiness. They make this whole growing older thing ok -- if I can watch them experience life in all its fullness. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I just don't know

Apparently, my camera is not broken. That's a good thing but I'm feeling a little sheepish. A trip to the camera store, a temporarily baffled tech and a few minutes later, I learn that somehow it had gotten set to overexpose by 5 stops. Huh? How? Must have been operator error . . . again the sheepish feeling.

Today's blog is a little of this and that. A little glad about the camera and a little growing anxiety about the swine flu. How freaked out should we be? I've already got contingency plans for the contingency plans worked out in my head. I may be just a "little" prone to worst-case scenarios. My husband's attitude is "what will be will be" -- find and dandy, honey, until some nasty pig-incubated thing knocks on our front door. Then what? 

On unrelated note, fabulous trip to the tulip festival today. Pics to come. Things continue to grow and bloom (and spread a delicate layer of yellow pollen on everything). Hence, the itching and hiving and sneezing. Good times:) 

A more upbeat, calm and generally pleasant post to follow.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

So sad

It's broke. Suddenly, unable to get correct exposure in manual modes . . . completely baffling to the lovely tech people at Nikon's help line. I'm so bummed I can't type in complete sentences. Well, except that one. So tomorrow, after a walk in the sun with a dear friend, little Sis and I are taking my beloved camera in to the shop. I wonder how long it'll take . . . .

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I've been reflecting on the questions that Tracy posed over at ShutterSisters which in my mind I've summed up as: What inspires you? Why do you take the pictures that you do? Right now, what inspires me is the notion that here is a subject I can take a half-decent picture of! I feel a bit like a kid at an Easter Egg hunt, carrying my camera hopefully, looking for bright colored eggs hidden in the ho-hum every day. I still feel a little sheepish when I get all excited, stepping off the path and kneeling in the dirt to capture some new-born flower. Not too long ago, on the same family walk that the above pic was found, I could be seen stretched out on the path taking pictures of a newt with my children on their hands on knees looking on in wonder in the background. Perhaps the theme that my photos contain for me is wonder -- at the beauty of my children and the natural world. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

My dear Sweet Girl -- 

I think it's pretty special that your 3rd birthday fell on Easter this year! The anticipation and joy of Spring seem delightfully packaged in colorful eggs and the sheer abandon of joyful children. 
You are a little sprite -- full of energy, spunk and, at the moment, a tremendous amount of independence . . . your daddy and I talk about the grown up girl you're becoming and the strong woman you'll one day be. You make us both so proud. 
You're just about the only little girl I know that loves dinosaurs, trucks and bugs. I think Big D may have something to do with that:) But at this stage in your development, you're a "girlie girl," too . . . you were just as excited with the new clothes and barrettes as you were the toys. Mama is still hoping we can skip the "princess" stage. Pretty please?
We had a near disaster when your monstrous piece of cake hit the floor! Never fear, a replacement was found post haste. 
If the first three years are any indicator, well before I'm ready, you'll be all grown up. One day you'll be a mommy and you'll know this bittersweet feeling . . . the pride and joy and sadness all in one. My baby has left her babyhood behind. Sweet girl, I love you!

Friday, April 10, 2009


She turns three this weekend. It has gone by so lickety-split -- hard to believe that this fast-talking, faster-moving beautiful being is the same wailing red babe that entered the world three years ago. I'm speechless. And grateful.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Gratitude #2

Watch out, it's a streak! 

1. Chocolate ice cream with chunks. Yum.
2. Childish voices on the phone saying, "I love you, mommy."
3. A husband that agonizes with me over the just right birthday gift for our little girl about to turn 3 years
4. Big D earned an Eagle Feather at school for doing a mile in 14.55 :) 
5.  Cozy pajamas and a warm bed

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I've decided it's time to revive an old practice of mine of keeping a daily list of "gratitudes." I want to invest more of my time and energy reflecting on what is beautiful and true in my life. What fills with me joy, causes me to reflect on the bounty of my blessings. I'll begin today's list with this photo taken while waiting for shy hummingbirds to come out and play so I could take their picture. My hubby had told me that he had "heard" the revved up birds buzzing in the tree with these gorgeous bundles of blossoms. So Big D and I took a little stroll hand in hand to see what we could find -- what we found were bees:) Not quite what I had hoped for but found the blossoms were plenty photo worthy!
This second shot is of the willow in our back yard. When I began the photography class in January, I took some pics of raindrops balancing on the delicate red branches. I've since added a pic of new buds and tiny leaves . . . and this. I'm grateful for the newness of life that is everywhere. I want to inhale it and savor it!

Other gratitudes:
1. The silliness of my children. When asked what mama fills the car with at the gas station, Sis answered in all seriousness, "Money." Priceless. 
2. Quiet -- the children are asleep, hubby is getting supper and I am alone at the kitchen table. Bliss.
3. Sunshine and warm breezes over the weekend. 
4. We are well and healthy. 
5. Celebrating Sis' birthday and anticipating the delight of small children hunting for Easter goodies.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Picture taking in the reflection of a photo of hubby and I.  There were lots of other "creative" ideas for self-portraits that either I was too timid to try or flopped. But the exercise inspired me to do my own little "flooding" experiment -- what happens when a body-shy person is forced to take pics of herself and, gasp, post them? Maybe a little desensitization. Hmm. Could be a case study? Or a research project! :) 

Speaking of which -- been doing some thinking about where I'm headed career-wise. I had the pleasure of meeting with a former colleague this past Friday who left the agency to begin her own practice. In fact, when she left, I filled her shoes as an intensive outpatient therapist. I love this job though I have to admit there are a lot of demands and stress. Clients and families are really struggling -- perhaps indicative of the financial and political turmoil of recent months. While in conversation with this colleague, we discussed "burn out" and the pros/cons of private practice. I've also been thinking about Ph.D programs . . . In a nut shell, our chat opened windows and doors on possibilities I had not considered in some time. That alone has given me energy and enthusiasm that has sometimes recently lagged. 

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Elusive Rainbows

Can you see it? Can ya, can ya? It's there, I swear. Last weekend we chased rainbows or tried to. We found exactly two that made a shy appearance in the stormy skies. I've fiddled a bit in Elements to see if I could highlight the sweet band of color but alas, I need to spend more time with Tips from any of you more experienced photographers?
Later that same day, as the sun was nearing the horizon, I snatched some pics of the dancing heads of daffodils. They simply are my favorite sign of spring time! Today the skies are bright and blue and the plan is to wander with the family and camera. Still stalking the hummingbirds that buzz our backyard with lightening speed. Also, swallowing down anxious thoughts, I am going to complete today's Shuttersisters challenge of a self-portrait. Eeks.