Sharing the beauty of the world through photography and writings.
"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. " .... Ansel Adams
Welcome to my blog for photographers and nature lover's around the world. I hope you enjoy my chitter chatter about life, nature, gardening...and a little bit of kitchen.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Another Adventure

I am taking a writing course in order to attempt to enjoy and share another of my passions…writing.  The course is Tribewriters by Jeff Goins.  I hope to publish something someday.  So here it goes for today’s assignment which is about finding our voice.

Three adjectives that would best describe me is nature-loving, simplistic and active in many ways.  I do my best to stay in shape and I love to go places, travel…see new the awesomeness of the world that the Dear Lord provides for us. I don’t do well in winter here when I can’t get out and do things without being cold but I love the four seasons…if only the winters were shorter and the summers longer.  I’m still trying to figure out exactly where this global warming thing is because it sure wasn’t in my neighborhood this winter.  Actually, I think all the effort to fix the global warming took it a bit too far and now we have global freezing.  Maybe I need to start using aerosol hairspray again.

My ideal readers…my tribe that would follow my writings and words would be ones that have the same passion for nature, for the beauty of the world in any season.  They will gain and feel my passion for the outdoors as simple or as complicated as it can be.  They will ask me questions that will make me research and find the answers to them so I can share and educate them with while I also will be learning.  My tribe will also teach me in return new things, new places, new fun or gory facts about whatever.  My tribe will follow me ..well…through the woods and over the hills to grandma’s house and back on every possible route we can find to take.

On the way we will discover new ways or just share ways to stay healthy, activities and recipes and maybe even some natural remedies that work as individuals or as a tribe.  They will also laugh at my simple little ‘funnies’  quirky as they may be and they will share laughing moments with me.

My favorite authors, well…from a fictional perspective Janet Evanovich in her number series because it has such a mix of adventure, love and hilariousness all mixed together and is such a feel good read. JK Knowlings of course  because I love the mystical world of magicians and gnomes.
Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Ralph Waldo Emerson all inspire me from a nature writing perspective.  An author of sorts that many may not know from a photography venue is Scott kelby. He provides wonderful facts related to my other passion in a easy to read technical manner that is also actually funny in his own way…making it relaxing  and fun to learn.

My cultural influences I am not sure of really. Heinz 57 maybe..a mish mash of Polish, German and stubborn Dutchman as my Grandpa used to call my Grandma who was really French.  My creative influences and the one that influenced who I am more than anything was my Grandpa who loved the birds and photography and the out doors.  Oh how I miss him and can’t wait until the day we can pick wild mushrooms and asparagus on the side of heavens roads together again some day.

So..this  was pretty much free written without thinking much about it while also answerwing some of te questions on our assignment. 

As rough as it may be..I would love some input.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Five Favorites Friday - In The Movies

I am so behind on watching movies. For several life reasons.  There are so many that have aired over the past five years or so that I wish I had seen but so many other things have kept me occupied.  I keep telling myself...I'll catch up on a rainy day. doesn't rain very often here in the cold midwest.

Duh...but it is winter and as plans changed for this winter also.  Right now if you try to discuss with me about movies and what was my favorite that has aired lately...I wouldn't have much of an answer...or at least I would have to really think and the five I come up with would probably be the only five I've seen.

Instead...I'll start with the actors and actresses that I really enjoy watching as they tell those stories of Hollywood.

I have my favorite actresses that I always try to catch the movies that they are in.  My top favorites that come to my mind right off..and not necessarily in this order are:

1. Julia Roberts....I fell in love with her at Pretty Woman. and again in Erin Brokovich and Mona Lisa Smile.  Her movies inspire me and always seem to have a deep moral story to them. She seems to represent this strong woman that I so often wish I could be.

2. Meryl Streep...also.  She seems to really dig in to the true life of the characters that she plays and she plays them so deeply.

Bridges over Madison County is where I first fell in love with her...or maybe that was Clint Eastwood...sigh....or maybe it was that movie that inspired me even more with my photography.

Julie and Julia....besides I totally see my daughter being Julie in that movie.  She is constantly in the kitchen baking from scratch trying to keep everything pure and healthy for my granddaughters.

'Out of Africa' is an old time favorite of mine that I must watch again sometime soon.

I haven't seen her most recent August's Osage County...definitely a must see in the next couple of weeks.

3. Meg Ryan...because she is fun and makes me laugh favorite being 'You've Got Mail'
I did see her in a more serious movie once which I wish I could remember the name of about here husband being abducted in some foreign country by militia men. Google is awesome...I believe it was 'Proof of Life.  Of course who couldn't love City of Angels.

4. Sandra Bullock - again another actress that is just awesome in some very inspirational and true life story movies.  The Blind Side is probably my most favorite of hers.  I haven't seen Gravity..Another that I should check out.  I just haven't had all that much interest in it for some reason so I will probably wait until I can see it on the little screen at home versus at the movie theatre...but maybe the special effects will be better on a big screen.

5. Jennifer Anniston....just because She's Jennifer Anniston.  She made her fame as Rachael in Friends and I'm not sure she has done much better than that but...well...She's Jennifer Anniston.  I did truly enjoy the more thriller of a movie she made  "Derailed'.  I realize there are a lot I haven't seen though.

So Many...not seen.

Who are your favorite must see actresses and how do they inspire you?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Miscellaneous Monday - on Tuesday

I have totally lost track of days for some reason lately.  I thought it was only Monday.  Good thing's actually Tuesday and it is over so...on to Wednesday....woo hoo!

We have true signs of spring this week.  It was in the 50s yesterday.  I went out to the park at lunch and although I had only tennis shoes to put on...I walked the snow laden trail for a good 45 minutes with no jacket on enjoying the spring antics of the birds, enjoying their happy songs and the blue blue sky with light whispy clouds.  Refreshed..if even for a day.  It was still 44 when I woke this morning and was supposed to rain and snow and get cold but...It has only rained some and no signs of that snow yet.  Hopefully it isn't waiting until the morning commute but it wouldn't surprise me.

The snow is almost gone on my driveway.  Hopefully another week.
The only thing about the snow melting is that it is brown and boring of sorts underneath.  I am bound and determined to find something happy and gorgeous from it though this coming weekend.
Daylight savings and now it is light til atleast 7.  The sunset was cool on my drive home from the gym last night and yet I couldn't find  place to pull over to get the picture I wanted.  I'll save the opportunity for this weekend.

On my travels home today I noticed that everything on the east side of the highway still had quite a bit of snow yet the west side was mostly all brown and wet fields.  Interestingly cool.

One of those fields had a lot of green grass in it.  It is totally amazing that it can still be green under there after such a brutal couple of months with below freezing...below zero temperatures.

I heard a disturbing news story today...

Some guy had a deer run out in front of him and he hit it.  He pulled over and got out of his car to pull the deer off of the highway and he himself also go hit.  Both died.  Both. Died.  uugghhh!!

Another big news story this week is about the mom that was a nurse that murdered her 14 month old and then attempted suicide...which failed...and now...well sadly suicide might have been the better option.

I got home today to find....the Shorewest For Sale sign up in my front yard.

I'd like to ask for help..prayer help from all with requests that my home sell in the next month or so...before gardening time that I can move on to the next chapter...Please.

 The Power of Prayer.            

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Yes, it is the Lenten Season...something I have not been very 'religious' about partaking in for the past several years.  For whatever reason.  I was..sort of raised Catholic.  My parents were not real strict Catholics but whenever I visited my Grandparents for the summer, I always went with Grandpa.  Very fond memories.

I do believe in God.  I do.  I pray to him quite often..and get mad at Him too.  I am only human.  I sin.  Yes...sure I do from time to time...only venial I think.  I mean...I haven't killed anyone.  That should provide me some kind of points shouldn't it?

Anyhow...I've had my ups and downs with the Catholic Church I guess.  I have attended  a Lutheran church a couple times with a guy I dated for a while. I think my most pleasant accepting experience with attending church is when I went to a non denominational Bible Church.  I really got a whole lot out of that experience. During my last marriage, I was married to a guy that was raised strictly Catholic and as hard as I tried when I had children, it was like pulling teeth to get him to go and therefore, the boys didn't feel it wasn't important since their dad was so negative to it.

When I moved up here...well...I haven't gotten back in to it except my own little at home prayings and beliefs and constant discussions that I have with well as St Joseph and St Anthony.  I know they hear me for the most part.

So...I think what has kept me away from the Catholic Church is the entire idea of confession and I think now not only do you confess to a priest but I believe it is actually face to face now. I just can't grasp the concept.  Oh, I've been to confession several times throughout my life for venial things and I always feel good when I am done.  It is like a weight has been lifted but face to face?  Really.

My entire pushing back refusal on the confession thing is...well..I pray to God and ask Him for forgiveness every time I feel I have done something wrong.  I believe He hears me and I believe I am forgiven and I don't believe I have to go through a third party to pray to Him or to ask for His forgiveness.   Right or wrong, that is what I believe.

I mean Lutherans don't go to confession and I don't believe many of the other religions do either.  Again.  I pray.  I ask for forgiveness...when I feel I have done something that needs to be forgiven and sometimes even when I am not sure.

So...I've started actually watching some of the Sunday morning shows that are on and there are a couple good educational ones that I feel I get a lot out of.  They lift my spirits and give me something to think about.  I do think that maybe I will find a non denominational one again that I might enjoy going to.

Meanwhile, I do feel I get some spiritual feelings of goodness if I try to follow the Lenten Season and have actually signed myself for giving up things over the next six weeks.  Nothing major because I think I really am a pretty good Christian and although I don't go into a church...again...I believe I am always in His church of the world around me.

So ...for this Lenten season, I am giving up two of my comfort food/drink addictions....

Don't laugh...but it is simply

Coffee and creamer and triskets and cheese.  Yes...that simple. Plus I am doing all I can to keep the tv off most of the time in order to get myself back up to speed with my photography passion and get some much needed reading and projects completed.  So I tape the shows I really like to watch so I can just sit and watch on a weekend and fast forward through everything and thus have dedicate all the rest of my time to things not in front of the tv.

I'm going okay with out the coffee and creamer considering on weekends I can go through a pot of entire twelve cups worth all by myself. I'm drinking hot green tea instead.  So far I am okay also with giving up my meal of triskets and cheese.  Oh I eat a little bit of cheese on a salad or something but what I was giving up is the nights I can sit on the couch in front of the tv and literally eat sliced swiss cheese on triskets until half the box is gone...or more.  I'm guessing...I might drop a couple pounds.

Wish i could say I'll be cured of both habits when this is over..but I honestly don't know that I will.  We will see just how strong I am.

And with those words, I wish you the very best in your Lenten abstinences.

I'll see you at the other end.

I'd love for you to share the traditions of your Easter season.

Friday, March 7, 2014


I completely forgot to post my March Calendar.

One of my favorite months because it brings the return of the 'Robin'

Red Robin, Red Robin.

It brings melting snow and bird bathes filled with bathers again.
Miniature hyacinths and tulips and daffodils.
I can already smell the lilac blossoms and there aren't even any buds yet.
Amazingly as the snow melts there still exists some green to the blades of grass.
The cardinals sing, the gold finches gather, the little red squirrels prepare for the spring of motherhood.
Hopes of hearing the King fishers rattling by as they dive for what fish they can find in unfrozen river waters.

40 degree temperatures and walks in the woods with my pup.

March. Wonderful amazing newness of March.

Five Friday Favorites - Comfort Foods

Ahhh...comfort foods.

...foods that may be consumed to positively pique emotions or, to relieve negative psychological effects or to increase positive feelings...sometimes initiating feelings of nostalgia.

I believe that for the most part, my comfort foods are just that...foods that provide me positive feelings or those foods that I eat because I just don't want to think about anything too complicated on those exhaustion days or down days when I just want to sit and relax.

1. My number one most favorite go to food for comfort is just a simple large cup or bowl of hot applesauce with cinnamon and a side order of swiss cheese and triskets....sometimes this involves an entire half a box of triskets. is true.

2.  During the summer...a salad.  you have to know my salads to understand this.  I normally make a salad and have to transfer it to a larger bowl because of what I have put in it. Red leaf lettuce mixed with spinach and if I'm lucky and able to find it...arugula. Home grown tomatoes and peppers, avocado, fresh sliced mushrooms, shredded cheese, croutons with a dressing of either rasberry vinaigrette, but more recently slightly covered with rice vinegar.

3. Pizza...yes  Who doesn't consider pizza as a comfort food.  Mine has everything on it well except anchovies.  Even a good ham and pineapple pizza is great on a hot summer evening. A bit o nostalgia to this one. I believe this was one of my dad's favorite meals. I would make him the boxed Chef Boy R dee pizzas and he had to have it hot...covered with cayenne pepper.  Probably why I love hot things to this day.

4. Shrimp...boiled shrimp by the bucket full.  This one is more of a nostalgia thing for me...well other than the fact that a good gulf shrimp is absolutely to die for. Boiled in the shell, cooled, peel and dipped in cocktail sauce.  I had boyfriend once (yes I did) that would cook a large pot of shrimp for me with a side order of Uncle Ben' rice Pilaf with added pilaf.  It was delish.... devine and romantic in its own way. It also reminds me of my sister who also loved shrimp as much as I do.

5. Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese.   Really...need I say more.

Bonus...a bowl of oatmeal mixed with raisins or applesauce...good for breakfast, lunch or dinner..good for your heart too.  Try it also with the dried cranberries.

What food is your go to food when you are feeling down?

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Our journal prompt for this week has to do about looking back on the past 12 months.

I made some positive steps forward in the past year...some that took a long time for me to do. They say that sometimes the negative in your life that you keep avoiding might actually create  more negativity and keep you from moving forward.  Why is it that we know that and yet still ignore fearful about making the change not knowing what is on the other side of that door.
My first big move forward step of the past year was finally getting out of a very stressful, self esteem buster of a job that required sixty and seventy hour work weeks, cancelled vacations and no appreciation for what I did...other than piling more stuff on. Lack of acknowledgment, low levels of trust, being treated almost as a child in a position that had the responsibilities of many hats.

I stressed and communicated at just the right time to just the right person and just like that...I had a new job that pays me almost as much as what I made previously working for an entire workforce of so much nicer people.  I lost two weeks of vacation that I am having to learn to deal with but it is well worth it...for now.  Oh, it is still stressful but I'm guessing it is that way everywhere as corporations continue to try to fun a profitable business with skeleton crews.  The work is constant, non stop but I actually have an opportunity to talk to others and not just talk into a computer monitor.  The days go by fast.  Sometimes too fast.

I ended a five year long relationship with someone that couldn't seem to break his umbilical connection with his thirty some year old kids enough to make a full commitment with me.  I didn't necessarily want marriage and a ring...well a ring would have been nice just to show some commitment....I just wanted to get down to one house so we could really enjoy our time together which was limited to weekends due to the two different work schedules...So...I asked him to move back to his place and maybe we should just 'date'.  He moved out, said he loved me and I was the sexiest thing he'd ever dated..and never even fought to keep me. of us don't think the words, you're the sexiest thing I've ever dated means that you love us. I stressed over whether I made the right decision. said she could tell I was much happier.

Now I have all this time for myself and I haven't really taken advantage of it.  It's only been a couple weeks though.  And winter to boot...Things will be more productive soon.

I was able to afford to buy myself a nice full frame camera and shortly afterwards, my external drive crapped out on me...but now I'll have fun starting all over again.  Luckily most was backed up already.

I attended a couple craft fairs to sell some of my photo art.  Didn't profit much but at least broke even and learned a lot. Mostly that I need some other venue than a craft carry on to 2014 summer and find some 'art fairs' to show my work instead.

I entered a photographic contest and got some honorable mentions and a second place....woo hoo.

I spent a bit of time struggling with what to do about selling my house..took it off the market for the winter and have again listed it.  Hoping for all my readers to pray deeply and positively for a quick and speedy sale this year so I can start the next chapter of my life.

I can't say it was an extremely exciting year or extremely productive outside of my gardening and canning extremes. Fortunately I can't say it was the worst year ever either.

My portrait photography grew a bit and I actually have a couple weddings planned this year.  They are probably going to be the last weddings I do unless I have a good feeling for them when it is all said and done.  I much prefer the one on one stuff and my nature photography.

I've started a more regular schedule of activity and working out and even am trying to get back into reading again which I have missed so much over the past five years.

I've also started blogging and writing more which I truly love and hope to do so much more with.

I think if I have one regret (per se) it's that I took a job here and didn't bite the bullet and find one down closer to my children and grandchildren so I could see them more often. Now...I will probably wait out the few years I have until I can possibly retire and get closer to them then in hopes that I will still have years to enjoy them.

So...may the doors I closed this up some new and exciting ones that bring me closer yet to my dreams.