Monday, April 29, 2013

119/365 Price

"The Price of Marriage"

We are going to England this summer.  Though we have been married almost three years, I have yet to change my name on my passport.  Now that I need it sooner rather than later, I'm afraid not to pay for the expedited service.  That turned out to be a pricey endeavor.  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

118/365 On the Floor


Today's prompt was intended to help consider shooting from different vantage points.  The prompt, on the floor, meant I was on the floor.  The problem with shooting anything around here that involves the floor is that dog and cat hair will dominate the picture no matter how recently I have swept or vacuumed. 

 I struggled with something interesting for this one.  I finally settled on the pedals on the piano, an often overlooked feature of the piano.

Before I decided on the above image, Weber and Brooke helped with a first attempt - the ever-present Mac power bricks.

There is always at least one on the floor somewhere!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

117/365 Fresh

"Saturday in the Park"

Getting a little fresh air during a family picnic in the park this afternoon.  We also had quite a bit of fresh food.  I have more pictures to post, but I am too tired to do it tonight; hopefully I can get it done tomorrow.  For now, here is one more . . .doesn't everyone go on a picnic so that they can sit in the park and do the NY Times crossword puzzle?

"Picnic Puzzle"

Friday, April 26, 2013

116/365 Fence

"Other Side of the Track"

I like the lines in this photo - the tracks, the stripes on the train and, yes, the fence.  The fact that DART trains are bright yellow makes them nice to photograph, an added bonus.  Though today's prompt was fences, this is not a beautiful or really even an interesting fence,  I did have fun creating lines from various perspectives.

"Middle of the Road"

This is the same fence shown above.  I like the implied symmetry here.  However, the differing views beyond the platforms on each side keep it from being absolutely or perfectly symmetrical.  That is a good thing.  Igor Stravinsky said, "To be perfectly symmetrical is to be perfectly dead."  

I hope that there are no incidents on the Dallas trains anytime soon.  I'm sure that I am on all kinds of surveillance videos as I am photographing the trains.  I'll make sure I hold on to today's email outlining the prompt of the day just in case!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

115/365 Spotlight

"A Lite Conversation"
"So, which came first . . .the chicken or the egg?"

Or, a spotlight on a warped sense of humor.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

114/365 Mobile

"Table Manners"

I don't usually have my camera with me at the dinner table.  I also don't usually look across the table at dinner to see a set of feline ears staring at me from the chair across from me.  I did have my phone in my pocket and was able to snap this picture.  I'm terrible at phone photography and I haven't spent much time playing with all the photography apps that are available.  I already don't have enough time to do all the things that I am supposed to do; delving into that would be another time sucking activity.

Today, "mobile" means taken with my mobile phone.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

113/365 Mail

"Tearing Into Books"

I had a plan for today's picture.  I wanted a picture of the mailman's arm reaching out to open the mailbox. I got home in time to go outside and get my camera settings.  Then I waited patiently.  I saw the mail truck coming up the street so I went outside and assumed my post.  He stopped in front of our box.  No arm. No arm. Still, no arm.  The the entire mailman emerged from the truck.  What?  Wait a minute!  I need my picture!  Plan foiled.

Weber was waiting for some videography books to arrive.  Today was delivery day so the mailman had to get out of the truck because the books would not fit in our box.  He also handed me the regular mail. I smiled and said "thank-you" all the while thinking about the fact that he had just ruined my photo for today.  Not that he did it intentionally or anything.  The poor mailman had no idea what my photo prompt was.

Being back at ground zero with regard to my POTD, the best I could do was Weber tearing into his box of books.  The focus is not particularly sharp and obviously there is motion blur.  I decided that I kind of like it because the blur conveys his excitement at opening the box.  If you disagree, keep your thoughts to yourself:-)  That belief is how I am consoling myself for failing at my original intent.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

111/365 Blooming

"First Fruits"

Erin brought us a strawberry plant.  It is full of berries already!  Though this shot is kind of busy, I like it because it shows the berries at several different stages of development.

I also like these two very different perspectives on strawberries.


"From the Berry Back"

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

109/365 At The Edge

"Edge Of The Water"

We went to the park this evening just to get some fresh air and wind down at the end of another school week.  I love to watch the ducks and the birds and the children playing.  I love the sounds of the park.  Even though there is usually a lot of activity, the park always seems peaceful to me.

On our way, we stopped along the road so that I could take some pictures of a tiny patch of bluebonnets on the edge between someone's yard and the street.  Having fulfilled the day's prompt, I figured I'd just shoot whatever at the park.  No pressure.

I took a few pictures of roses, birds and some basic duck pictures.  It wasn't until we were about to leave that the little guy above made his way out of the water right up beside me.  I love his colors, particularly his bright orange feet.  They look exactly like stereotypical duck feet.  I also like the water droplets on his belly and tail feathers.  He replaced the bluebonnets as today's depiction of "on the edge."

One of these birds sat in this spot for the entire hour or so that we were at the park.  The other would come and go.  I'm not sure what they are, but they have an impressive call and an equally impressive wing span.  With those wings, this one looks like it is trying to impersonate Batman.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

108/365 Passed Down

"A Love of Reading"

Pictured here is a first edition of Robin Hood given to Weber's father in 1924.  Weber remembers his dad reading it to him when he was a little boy.  The oil lamp has also been in Weber's family for a long, long time.  He thinks that it once belonged to his great-great, or maybe great-great-great aunt.  Either way, it has been around a good long while.  I love having all these pieces of family history as part of our home.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

107/365 A Sign

"In Big Trouble With the Big Cheese"

Rick Maxwell, aka the "the big cheese," is our division dean and this is a photo of our shared refrigerator in the faculty workroom.  I think someone had the wrong idea about what shared really means!  How could they take the boss's cheese sticks?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

106/365 Pie or Pile

Pie of Berries and Pile of Berries"

At the beginning of each month Katrina Kennedy of Capture Your 365 publishes the list of prompts for each day of the month.  Then, each day she sends an inspirational email with photo tips of tidbits of inspiration.  I had been looking forward to the "pie" prompt all month since we have our family baker at home with us.  When Katrina's email came this morning, she said that she had actually intended for the day's prompt to be pile, not pie.  Pie was actually a typo.  

I had pie on the brain so I decided to go ahead a photograph a pie.  I was afraid that if I told Brooke that the prompt wasn't really "pie" that she would then decide not to make me a pie.  That would be very sad!  When it came time to actually take the photo, I decided to add a pile of blackberries next to the berry pie.  Thus, I ended up with both a pie of berries and a pile of berries.

Later in the day, I decided to attempt the "pile" prompt.  I had fun with these colored hair bands.

"A Pile of Ponytail Bands"

Monday, April 15, 2013

105/365 Sprouts

"Dinner Sprouts"

I wish the sprouts that I had photographed today were sprouting plants in my garden.  Sadly, I have planted nothing.  I was feeling OK about that last week when we had temperatures in the upper 30's.  Today the high temperature was 90.  This is good garden weather.  I guess I will break down and buy some plants rather than starting from seeds.  I'm not sure when that is going to happen.

Since I had no sprouting plants, I had to take a different approach and cheat a little with Brussels sprouts.  Oh well . . .

I also took this photo of my blooming spathiphyllum.  This isn't a sprout but I think it's pretty.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

104/365 Stairs

"Stairway to Heaven"

This is not "my" church; it is Oak Lawn United Methodist Church in Dallas, the church that kindly allows Resounding Harmony to rehearse in their sanctuary.  I like the red steps and the places where the paint and the concrete are worn.  I like the way the steps lead to the doors.  Even the lens flare is starting to grow on me.

This is a beautiful building.  When I saw the the prompt of "stairs" fell on a Sunday, I knew that I would have several possible sets of stairs to shoot at OLMC.  We went early for rehearsal this afternoon to allow time for picture taking.  I am still getting used to my new camera so having extra time was definitely a plus.

Though the above picture is my official POTD, I took several others that I liked.  Today was one of those days where it was hard to decide which photo was "the one."  

Here are the others.  Any thoughts?

I like this one because of all the lines and the somewhat odd symmetry.  But maybe that makes it too busy?? Hmm . . .

I like the fact that this one is at an angle and looks down on this strange little door that actually goes under the main stairway shown above.

I like the way the colors divide this one into horizontal thirds and the rail almost cuts the frame in half.  I wish that I hadn't chopped off the tops of the arches.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

103/365 Feature

"Yes, It's Natural"

It's that time of the month again.  No, no THAT time, although I hate it almost as much.  Today was the day for April's self-portrait.  This month we were supposed to focus on a specific feature of ourselves.  I asked Weber what I should do.  His first suggestion was one for which the photos would have been inappropriate for a public blog.  The alternative was my hair.

When you have hair the color of mine it becomes a feature whether you like it or not.  It took me nearly fifty years to get to the point where I was OK with it.  If for no other reason, I'm pretty sure it gets us undeserved senior discounts at restaurants every now and then.  

Those of you who have known me for awhile know that I have always had short hair.  I have decided to give it a try a little longer.  That is another reason that it was appropriate as a defining feature this month.  To further illustrate that it is getting long, I didn't try to control it as the wind blew it around while trying to take this picture.

On a much happier note than self portraits, I got a new macro lens today.   I had fun shooting flowers this morning.  Little tiny colorful flowers that are actually weeds looked beautiful.  When I came in and looked at the photos on the computer, I noticed a weird line through about half of the photos.  I have had this problem a few times before but only when I was pointing the camera up at an angle. Fortunately,  I knew the issue wasn't with the new lens.  I think it may be the sensor. 

I have chosen the last two new lenses that I have gotten with the thought that some day I might get a new camera.  These lenses work on the camera that I have as well as the one to which I would likely upgrade.

With today's camera weirdness, I started thinking about what I would do if something like this happened while we were traveling this summer.  What if I couldn't take any photos while we were gone?  This was terrifying to think about!  Actually, just thinking about taking my camera and leaving it to be cleaned and have its sensor checked kind of freaked me out.  I couldn't be without my camera!  What would become of my picture of the day?

As often is the case, Weber had a simple solution: get the new camera now.  But, but, but, I just got a new lens, a lens that was not cheap.  And the new camera, if I upgrade, definitely won't be cheap.  Again he said, "Just get the new camera."  We stopped in the camera shop to ask about the problem that I am having with my camera and to ask how much it will cost to have it cleaned.  We told the guy we'd bring it in sometime this week.  And, I got a new camera.

I had to charge its battery so I haven't done much with it yet, But I did use it for today's picture.  I also took this picture of Erin.  I was not really trying to take a good picture of her; I just wanted to get the settings for my self portrait.  She is just so darn photogenic that she takes beautiful photos even when we're not trying for that.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

102/365 A Touch of Yellow


I think today's prompt was intended to be a nod to spring with a touch of yellow coming from spring flowers.  None of our outdoor flowers are yellow and I used my indoor cut flowers for yesterday's prompt so I was kind of stuck today.  So here are some fresh herbs waiting to be minced and placed in the prep bowls.

Bonus Yellow Picture!

"A Pucker and a Smile"

Knowing that today's prompt was a touch of yellow, Weber brought these Lemonheads home for me.  I decided to have a little fun with them.

101/365 Overgrown

Sorry I forgot to post this yesterday!

"Flower Power"

Weber and Brooke went to Sam's Wednesday night while I was at choir.  They had what I thought was a short list, but Brooke seemed to add to the list on each aisle so they came home with quite a few items that they had not originally intended.  One of those items was a bouquet of flowers for me.  I love fresh flowers on the dining room table.  They don't have to be anything fancy, just colorful.  The bouquet was so big that all of the flowers did not fit into the vase we usually use for this purpose.  The auxiliary vase had to be called into service.

This was the only thing around here today that even comes close to being overgrown - unless you count the dog who is on a diet.  The dog's diet is one thing that necessitated the trip to Sam's.  He gets a can of green beans with his dinner every night.  Sam's sells them by the case.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

100/365 One Hundred

"One Hundred Cents"

I remember when the girls were little and they celebrated the 100th day of school by taking one hundred items to school to share with their classmates.  One hundred pennies, paperclips, M&Ms, stickers, erasers, and so on.  When it came time for me to come up 100 somethings for my own project, I had to think hard.  

Today became a music theorist's idea for 100.

Yes, I know that the piano has 88 keys, not 100.  In equal temperament (modern tuning) the distance between two tones on the piano is measured in cents.  The octave consists of 1200 cents.  Each half step is 100 cents.  So here you have a half step on the piano keyboard.

It is hard to believe that I have taken and posted a photo every day for the first one hundred days of 2013. 100 photos in 100 days seemed like such a daunting task when I set out last summer to take one photo a day for one hundred days.  To my surprise, I did manage to accomplish that.  When I completed My Visual Cents  I did feel as sense of accomplishment.  I also felt a void in my daily routine when I no longer was committed to such an undertaking.

I discovered the Capture Your 365  website right before I had taken my last pictures over the summer.  During the fall I thought hard about whether or not I could really sustain such a commitment for an entire year.  Come January 1, 2013, I decided that I could do it.  For the past 100 days I have taken a picture based on the given prompt.  Hopefully I can keep it up for another 265!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

99/365 Ears

"Ears Looking At You, Kid?

Monday, April 8, 2013

98/365 Pastel

"Los Pasteles"

Accomplishing today's prompt was a family affair.  I was whining about not having anything pastel to photograph.  I am definitely a bright colors kind of girl.  Weber, the sometimes Spanish teacher said, "Pastel means cake in Spanish."  Brooke, the pastry chef said, "I can make cake."  Me, the photographer said, "I can take pictures of cake."  So here you have it - los pasteles with pastel strawberry, blueberry and matcha icing.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

97/365 April Showers

"Rainy Day Parade"

"And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down.  Without the rain, there would be no rainbow."  - G. K. Chesterton

Saturday, April 6, 2013

96/365 Morning Light

"Morning Light"

Today was a great day, but very busy so there wasn't much time to give to a picture of morning light this morning.  This weather was beautiful though and I did drink a little coffee on the back patio.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

94/365 Brand New

"Kimchi After Class"

I had a brand new culinary experience this evening, Korean food.  Several of my students, Weber, Brooke and I enjoyed an amazing dinner tonight thanks to one of my students whose family owns a local Korean restaurant.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

93/365 Where I Stand

"Present Standing"

I stand firmly grounded in the present, allowing the past to become history and the future to remain a mystery.  I have learned how important it is to fully embrace the beauty and power of now, of today,  and to not worry about what was or what may be.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Personalized Pot Pies

For some reason, this week has turned out to be the week from hell.  There just doesn't seem to be enough time or energy to get everything done that needs to be done.  It is REALLY nice to have Brooke here to cook for us.  If she had not been here today I suspect that dinner would have consisted of leftover Easter candy.  But, since she was here, we had a very good dinner.

Brooke decided that she was going to use up all of the miscellaneous veggies in the fridge by making pot pies.  The problem is that part of what was left was mushrooms; I despise mushrooms and did not want them in my pie.  Brooke is a vegetarian.  Weber wanted chicken in his.  I would rather chicken than mushrooms.  So the final order was

     Brooke - Veggies with mushrooms
     Weber - Veggies with mushrooms and chicken
     Me - Veggies, no mushrooms, and chicken

To keep it all straight, Brooke put our initials in the crust of our personal pies.

These were really good!! With turnips and parsnips and leeks and carrots and broccoli and onions and celery and potatoes and chicken, who needs mushrooms???

92/365 Strut

"Iris, Struttin' Her Stuff"

Most of the iris in the yard are either purple or white.  (See previous post.)  We noticed this one this afternoon amidst a few of the white ones.  I think the colors are magnificent and pretty unique.

Here is a close-up of the colors.

So far this is the only one we have with these colors.

Easter 2013

Easter is an exhausting time for church musicians!  Last week, I sang for seven services and we had an evening of rehearsal,  Come Sunday afternoon, I was super tired.  We did have a fun but fairly low-key Easter celebration.  Fortunately, I was not responsible for much of the cooking.

Brooke flew home last week to surprise Erin.  Erin went to church with us at noon on Friday and then we went to lunch.  This is when we surprised her, though she says that we betrayed her.  Somewhat, maybe.  But in a good way.  This meant that  I had to reconsider some plans that we had made before we decided that Brooke would come home, but it all worked out!  It was nice to have all the girls together.

This also meant that there was one more person to cook on Easter Sunday.  Brooke made a veggie frittata, potatoes and biscuits.  Erin made fruit salad.  And, I made Scotch eggs.  As is usually the case at our family gatherings, there was no shortage of food.

After lunch we played our home grown "egg game."  It involves cards that have you do things such as take an egg, return an egg, swap an egg with another player, or give an egg to another player.  It is fun and kept us all entertained for quite a while.  Each egg has a prize of some kind.  Once the game is over, the prizes are distributed to their rightful owners and then the bargaining begins.  Plants were traded for lottery tickets.  Pencils were traded for puzzles.  Brooke traded something of hers to get me Cozy Monster, an orange Ugly Doll.  This is what Cozy Monster is all about:

"Why does everybody think it's OK to bother poor old Cozy Monster with their troubles and crazy questions about the meaning of life? That's what Cozy Monster would like to know. Is there an "œI was born to answer all your questions" sign on his forehead? Does he even have a forehead? Cozy Monster would love to have some answers himself! Who invented quizzes?! Who came up with taxes?! Why is it that the better the taste, the worse for you it is?! And vice versa. Perhaps you have the answer? If not, you and Cozy will get along just fine."

He and I have a great deal in common!

Several of the prizes in the eggs were bubbles.  All of the kids had the best time playing with the bubbles.  Brooke specifically wanted the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bubbles.

She took her bubble blowing very seriously!

Erin had a few moments of seriousness as well.

Edgar wasn't going to be left out.

Harley had fun chases the bubbles though there were so many she wasn't sure which way to go.

A few more random shots.

It was fun to see them all playing now as adults and remember them as little girls.

When all was said and done, I turned my camera to the iris in the front yard.

This is one of the last blooming purple ones.

The white ones started blooming a little later and we still have many of them.  I thought that this one was particularly pretty.

And, a fitting final picture of Easter 2013.