Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rainy Day Wisteria

SOOC except for levels adjustment

It has been overcast, cold and sometimes rainy this week in Georgia, but I couldn't help myself; I had to get out and shoot some pictures. So between errands, I stopped here and there to get some shots of the spring foliage. I was especially struck by the beautiful wisteria that blooms in a close by area on my way to downtown Kennesaw. I parked my car, put on the caution lights and grabbed my camera. The blooms were covering the trees all over for about an acre. I was stunned, however, by the trash that was caught in the underbrush: bottles, paper and plastic wrappers, old tires and assorted junk. What are people thinking when they toss out their garbage along the roadsides?

Wisteria, Flora Bella Style

Wisteria, Charlotte's Style, yeah baby!

In the quiet of this afternoon, there has been little to distract me from my editing....well, except for Elmo at my feet complaining that he is bored and wants me to come back to the living room and read while he sits in my lap. I can't believe that it is already 4:30! Almost time for a gin and tonic!

Blessings to you all on this rainy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Channeling Flora Bella

Shana Rae of Flora Bella has been one of my most inspiring mentors. Her style is fresh, soft, dreamy, ethereal. She has created beautiful textures and actions that can be purchased on her website:

In fact, I have purchased not one set, but two, of her textures sets offered. And a good friend of mine, bought me her Luxe II action package. I love them all. But, alas, getting the same results has proven to be elusive to me, anyway. But I am not one to give up easily. So I continue to study the photographs of those I admire and try, try, try to get something that I like.

Editing photos is a very relaxing time for me usually. Here is what I worked on yesterday:

And this:

And finally, this:

I know I have a long way to go, but the journey is fun. Thanks for looking!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Focus 52 entry for March 27

  I didn't get far from home this week except to shop for the party necessities.
So here is my entry from my backyard studio.
I have to admit, this was a busy week for me, probably a cake walk for y'all. I don't handle stress very well. My next door neighbor's only girl child, young woman actually, is having her baby girl in the next month, so we gave her a shower. Jim, my sweet hubby, cleaned all week. Where does one get that ability, maybe it is in the genes.

Karen and her husband, Ron are glowing with anticipation and it was a joy to behold. Only half of the invited were able to attend; apparently this was a very busy weekend for all. It turned out very well. A friend of mine, who loves baking cakes and decorating them, made a beautiful carrot cake and came to set up the scene for a "tea party for the new baby". It was sweet and unexpected. We had all kinds of drink and food. Chicken salad sandwiches, romaine, strawberry, mandarin orange and walnut salad with balsamic vinaigrette, mini crab cakes, mini quiches and chicken taquitos were in abundance, so much so, that we had ample leftovers for today. We are so blessed in this country, aren't we!

Mother to be
Here is the luscious carrot cake made by my friend, Paula:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Focus 52 for March 19

This is the only green I was wearing at Paddy's Irish Pub
 Since the challenge of Focus 52 this week is "green", I thought immediately of St. Patrick's Day, as I would guess a lot of people would. I am lame when it comes to doing an assignment, jan. LOL But I tried.

The other "green" photo that i am submitting is the idea of being more frugal and drying my rugs on my fence, saving electricity. Here it is:

Of course, after they are pretty dry, I fluff them in the dryer.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A new perspective

Paddy's on St. Patrick's Day, 2011
A few nights ago, I woke up in a panic at 2 am. And no matter what, I couldn't get back to sleep. The reason? We have a rental house that is empty and we have to keep paying the mortgage on it since we are not receiving rent. The family couldn't pay the rent so they moved out. Sure we could keep the deposit but the house was left a wreck by these tenants. My husband and I (mostly my husband) have been working on it, cleaning and painting so that it would be presentable. Just a lot of hassles.

So i just got up and went to my computer hoping that i would be able to sleep soon after.
Well, shame on me! The computer screen was lit up with so many devastating situations in Japan and I was complaining about my insignificant worries. People are homeless, cold, tired, hungry and in danger of radiation poisoning and here I am in a safe shelter, warm, comfy bed, belly full, glass of clean, cold water by my side.

I am no better than the Israelites who complained for 40 years in the desert. How short sighted we are or I am. Instead of thanking my dear Father in heaven for all that I have, I am complaining bitterly. Please forgive me. Reminding myself how blessed I am, I was able to go back to sleep feeling no anxiety.

"Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. "

"For He will conceal me there when troubles come; He will hide me in his sanctuary, He will place me out of reach on a high rock. " Ps. 27:5

Why is my memory so short?
Tomorrow I am going to tell you about our experience at Paddy's Irish Pub and Eatery.

Have a blessed day, Y'all!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Big Gala on Saturday Night

Most of you who know me, realize that dressing up for me is putting on my newest pair of jeans and a nice top. So when Jim and I were invited to a fund raising gala for St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School, I got a little anxious about the dress code. Since it was for a good cause, I couldn't refuse to go. So I went through my closet and found my dress:

The Dress
Now this dress is from the 80's but some things just never go out of style. I have lost my confidence when it comes to fashion; i just wear what I like, hats and all. But I was delighted and surprised at getting so many compliments.

Dancing Shoes
Ha! I call them dancing shoes, but I haven't been dancing in quite a while. It is difficult for me to wear heels, although I love them. But these were comfortable for walking around the ballroom looking at items for the silent auction, while sipping my martini. :o)

Baby Photo Dress
This is one of the items that we bid on and we got it! I was excited because a lot of photographers use them on babies for a cute look. Flora Bella has a few.

The night was wonderful, great fun, food, drink and fellowship. All for a good cause. And I made it through the night. LOL

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Focus 52 entry for March 12 theme "variety"

Here is my entry for Focus 52, March 12th,theme: Variety.
Your comments are appreciated. Blessings!

Friday, March 11, 2011


I really admire people who can hunt for treasures in a thrift store. After having a nice lunch with my friend, Barbara, at Frankie's Italian, I decided to stop by America's Thrift Store. A friend of mine on Flickr , Betty, also known as "Hootnonny"has inspired me to shoot photos of flowers so I was looking for some unusual containers. I gave up after about 5 minutes. I wish I had more patience.

Anyway, I have so much "stuff" here that I just need to look for something. And I found it: a footed bowl that a friend gave me years ago. I think it is very interesting looking and worked for displaying these camellias that I "stole" from my next door neighbor. Ha! Not really...she has given me permission. You really have to pay attention in the springtime. If you don't, you will miss the show!

Check out Betty's blog to see how she creates her photographs:

Blessings to you all!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Reward at the end of the day

Today was filled with lots of pleasurable times and so not so pleasurable. Since it is Ash Wednesday, I was happy to go to get ashes on my forehead as a reminder that in addition to be the first day of Lent, that we are born of ashes and to ashes we will return. It was a beautiful time and I was so encouraged that so many people showed up at 12 noon, the lunch hour, to get their ashes in the sign of the cross.

Coming back home, I had to do research on property taxes of the rental properties that we have...not a fun prospect for me...too complicated. After two hours + I finally got what I think I needed and took a break to go have some fun. I set up an outdoor studio for the first time and tried to follow Shauna's instruction. Here is her site:

Hootnonny has also been my inspiration for my flower photography. Check her out at:

My main love is to photograph portraits but I am learning to love flowers and nature as well.

Blessings to you all! Comments are appreciated always!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Focus 52 entry for March 6, 2011 - Theme: aged

This vase is very old, given to me by my father's aunt, Marya, who was about 90 years old when she died. She was very eccentric and claimed that she traced our ancestors back to William the Conqueror. About a year before she died, she had to have her leg amputated because of an infected toe. Remember, medicine was not what it is today.

Well, this just freaked me out. I was about 4 years old and very impressionable. Aunt Marya was very kind and always made sure that there was ginger ale in her house when we came to visit. But I wouldn't touch it because....well, just because I somehow thought that everything was contaminated in her house.

I have only recently become more comfortable with seeing amputated limbs. Who knows why we have these phobias?

Anyway, this vase is probably about 100 years old, hand painted in Japan.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tornado Warning!

It is hard to believe for me, but my daughter is now 24. Actually, her birthday was last week, but she had to work all that day. So we rescheduled our birthday lunch and shopping spree to yesterday. It was her request that we eat at one of her favorites: Sweet Tomatoes. Jim never turns down a chance to eat lunch out, so he accompanied us. It was delightful but not the kind of relaxing "take your time" kind of meal. We had to take turns going to the soup, bread, potato, dessert, salad bars. I don't know if all three of us were ever seated together to actually have a conversation, before one of us would excuse ourselves to go back to the trough. Ha!

As jim returned back to his office, Katie and I headed to Town Center Mall to do some serious shopping. We were in Belk for all of 5 minutes in the shoe salon and K had picked and tried out two  adorable pairs of flats that were on sale. And they actually fit. She has a tiny foot and usually has a hard time getting what she wants.

Next on to Express, then to H & M, where she found some cute tops and skirts. Some of the stores I can't recall the names of, but we visited quite a few places. Then, dodging the people selling weird stuff in kiosks, we wound up back at Express. Couldn't decide on anything so we decided to head back to Belk. As k was going to try on a dress, a loud speaker was announcing some warning. I remembered that my friend Barbara had said that we were getting some bad weather in the afternoon.

We were not allowed to leave the store but were herded into the shoe storeroom to wait out the tornado. Someone who was with us said that she had been on 75; it had been closed down because a tornado had touched down somewhere there. She sought shelter at the mall. There were quite a few of us back there for about 45 minutes. In that time, I called my husband, Jim, my friends Betty and Paula for prayer.

But I really was strangely calm. I wasn't afraid of being crushed next to boxes of Clark's shoes and sandals. Maybe it was the knowledge of so many happenings in the world that point to the end times. So many countries are in conflict, so many uprisings just like Egypt, so many earthquakes and pestilence, and new epidemics. I was reminded of this scripture:
"You will hear of wars and reports of wars; see that you are not alarmed, for these things must happen, but it will not yet be the end. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be famines and earthquakes from place to place. All these are the beginning of the labor pains."           Matthew 24: 5-8

No, I am not afraid anymore. God is in control and I trust in His power.

The good news is that we got out safely and ran in pouring down rain to the car. We were never so happy to get so wet! LOL
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