Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Photo Blogging Challenge (August 2016) - Black & White

This month's theme, Black & White, intrigued me.  I initially thought about taking pictures of black and white items only, but that was easier said than done.  There was still too much color in the photos.  So, with Himself to the rescue, I used photos we took and then made b&w. 

I only did a couple of the photos below and found the process more complicated than I thought it would be.  Not that the acutal physical process was difficult, but deciding contrast and gradients, and shadows and highlights were far from black and white decisions!

I took this picture on our second trip in which we played tourist in our own hometown.  At first the original looked almost b&w, that is until you compare it to one that has been converted.  The gull posed for me for quite a while and was probably sorely disappointed when I didn't reward it with a treat.

It seems one of our all time favoriate places to photograph is the local county park.  It was once owned by a farmer who still owns the barn in the background.  The county harvests the grass for feed of animals at its other parks.  Himself took this on a beautiful, sunny day.  Changing this photo to b&w certainly changes its mood.  
One of my favorite places when I travel to the west coast for work is Portland's International Test Rose Gardens.  Oh the colors and the scents!  
Lunchtime?  Dinnertime?  He doesn't seem to care.  We seem to share that bench with a lot of critters.
Multanomah Falls, about a thirty minute drive east of Portland, is absolutely stunning.  In b&w this photo seems timeless to me.
To see more, visit A 'lil Hoohaa

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Material Girl

At the beginning of the month, I was in the Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington area for work.  Since I was traveling by myself, my evenings were my own.  Yeah!  It's not that I don't like my coworkers, but going out to eat and sitting in a bar every night is just not my cup of tea.
I had received the monthly newsletter from my local quilt shop.  They are participating in the Row by Row Experience.  Quilt shops in the US, Canada, and Europe create patterns for a quilt rows and make them available for free in their shops.  The idea is that when you travel you should find the local shops and stop in for their patterns.  Once you've collected a few, you stitch them and put together in a quilt reminding you of your travels.
I had time to kill my last night before I hopped on the red-eye home, so I checked out one of the local stores.
Oh my!  I was in heaven! 
Fiddlesticks in Vancouver, Washington is my idea of the perfect quilt shop.  The owner, Cheran Bee, made an old workout facility into a cozy, artistic, delightful place for me to spends wads and wads of money.  She uses old, antique furniture to display both bolts of fabric for sale and quilts, showcasing what can be done with it all.
That wall of fabrics in the first photo below is all batiks, my favorite, and that wasn't all of it.  Did I mention I was in heaven?  'Cause I was. 
If you saw my basement, you know I don't need fabric.  But really, I just had to have those three purple and teal batiks.  Besides,  that's all the I could fit in my suitcase.  I'll save the rest for another trip!
'Cause we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl

Sunday, August 14, 2016

TToT(17): Quick Takes Version

I know it is often said, but where is this month going?  We're almost halfway through it.  Considering I have spent two thirds of the month away from home, I guess I understand why it seems to be flying by.
one:  I'm home.  We attended the Chesterton Conference, spent a night at Sis's house and then I flew out to the west coast for work for the better part of a week.  It's good to be here.

two:  Thank you to all who kept our friend, K, in prayer.  The surgery went well and K is recovering.  God is good. 

three:  Sis and her family watched the Hairy Beast while we were at the conference.  It was good to know he was being well taken care of.

four:  The conference was awesome!  More about that in another post. 

five:  The conference was close, only a two hour drive.  After the drive two years ago, it was a welcome ride.
six:  My work trip went well.  All flights were on time, and even a bit early.  Other than the dweeb that made me toss out my face soap because it was more than three ounces, getting through security was a breeze.
seven:  A couple of weeks before all of this traveling, I found out that I won a local garden center's photo contest.  I now have a $40 gift card to spend on whatever I want at their place.  Decisions, decisions! 
eight:  Speaking of gardens (we were, weren't we?), the vegetable garden isn't doing well this year.  It's mostly due to a lack of attention, which is due to a lack of time, energy and interest.  Although that sounds bad, it means I won't be canning and freezing this year.  And that's good.
nine:  We're doing some re-landscaping in front of the house.  There were two Yews that had to be removed.  We dug out the first stump together.  One night I was bored, so I worked on the second one.  Two hours later, I had it out myself.  There was something oddly satisfying about that chore.
ten:  I either inherited or was given a lot of fabric.  I've been able to make use of some of it lately by sewing quilts.  I'm on my fourth one for the year.  Fun!


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Can you spare a prayer?

This morning we received an email from a good friend of ours.

Prayers please...
 ...for K. He is having urgent lumbar surgery at P**** Hospital sometime today, as he lost his ability to walk yesterday.

We just had dinner with K & S on Saturday.  While K was hurting a lot with severe back pain, we had no idea it was this bad.  We had terrific conversations, as always, and left with the promise of seeing them again soon.

I know they would both appreciate your prayers.

St. Gemma Galgani, pray for K!


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Photo Blogging Challenge (July 2016) - Photographer’s Choice

AKA "Still Standing After All Those Fears"

Cleveland recently hosted the RNC.   For months we have been hearing how the event would be tumultuous, at best, and dangerous and destructive at worst.   It was none of that.   Although there was protesting, everything went well.

So well, that we thought about going down on the last afternoon.   Unfortunately, a few crises at work put an end to that.  Instead we went down the Saturday afterwards and played tourist.
I used to know the area well, but it has been quite a while since I visited.  It was ninety-five degrees the day we visited.  We wandered slowly, checking out the remnants of the convention.  Other than the banners and signs, not much was left.  The recent renovation to Public Square, new buildings scattered throughout, and sprucing up of old landmarks has the city looking great!
We enjoyed our time down there so much that a few days later I took a day off from work.  We repeated the trip, exploring areas we missed on that first day.  Those are pictures for another post. 
The "Q"
Terminal Tower
Soldiers and Sailors Monument
County Courthouse
Playhouse Square
Old Stone Church
Key Plaza and Cleveland Public Library
To see more, visit A 'lil Hoohaa

Monday, August 1, 2016

First Photo: August 2016

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”  
 - Orthodoxy  GKC

I look at the cacophony of colors in the garden and say to God "Again!  Again!"  and am ever grateful that He does.  How could I ever possibly tire of such beauty?