Thursday, October 31, 2013

Goodbye October

October is harvest season in the vineyards.   The vines are left in rows of beautiful Autumn colors for a short time, and then they rest.   Tomorrow, November comes.   October is gone too soon.   

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Anyone For a Barn?

I rarely find barns around here that are relatively accessible for photos.   This one had a fence in front and "No Trespassing" signs posted.   So I was only able to stand alongside the road to take a few photos.   My Internet connection is wonky this morning so I hope I'm at least able to post a couple photos before I'm kicked off again.   Gotta love living "in the country" which is only 5 minutes outside of town.   And we're completely fogged in.   And my horse has bad hives.   Ah well, other than that everything's good.

I hope your day goes well.   Wish me luck with mine.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tuesday Muse

We have a third hummingbird.   He showed up today and is engaging in a turf war with the other male.   I was outside this evening to take photos of what I hoped was going to be a gorgeous sunset after our rain today.   I was outside the door when these two little dudes started a chase scene that often passed by about a foot away from my head.   It's a good thing I wear glasses because they could've poked me in the eye.   Seriously, it could happen.   They seemed completely unaware of me and my camera.   Of course I couldn't get them in their Dirty Harry chase scene, but after a short while I saw what might be my chance.   They landed in the pine tree for a quick breather.   And this is what I captured, shown after a bit of Lightroom editing.   I just thought it was pretty cool.   These hummers are quite the entertainment when little else is going on....which is most of the time.

Sharing with Nancy

Saturday, October 26, 2013

This Old Tree

I can't possibly count the number of photos I have taken of this tree.   It's right there, at the back of the neighbor's property, right in front of the sunset.   It's not easy to stay away from the fence, the power poles and lines, so I can't get many variations on the view.   But I can add some drama for a little October entertainment on this quiet Saturday evening.

October, please stay a while.   I'm not finished with you yet.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Random 5 Friday

1.   The sparrows are eating me out of house and home.   And now the scrub jays are here.   I'm not sure I want to afford all the bird seed so I may have to let them continue to eat the chicken feed.   Of course that's also expensive if you're feeding hundreds of sparrows.   Flying mice, I tell ya.

2.    I rarely eat popcorn anymore.   Yesterday I had a hankerin' for Kettle Corn when I was at Trader Joe's.   I bought a bag and had some for a snack last night while watching TV.   It was good.   Now I think I'm satisfied for a while.

3.    I've been meaning to show you my new glasses after mentioning a few weeks ago that I was getting some.   I took some photos with PhotoBooth on my Mac.   Fail.   What is it with the monster flash they throw up in your face?   I'll try again.

4.    This is my new favorite photo of our Zoey.   She is so pretty and it's often difficult to capture her standing still.   Absolutely still.   Herding breeds are always looking for their next task.   Busy busy.

5.    I'm still spending time on, although I'm definitely pacing myself.   I'm pretty sure I will get bored with it because I have no idea what to do with the information other than say, interesting.    I've found that they have no information about my grandfather's family in Germany.   I have no idea why.   Birth, marriage and baptism records generally come from the churches, and I know the church where his parents were married and buried is still standing.   Curious.

Speaking of trees...  I am having fun with this photo.

Sharing with Nancy

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Vikings....For Real

Yesterday I read Connie's post at Hartwood Roses and it struck a chord with me.   She was discussing genealogy and a site called, which is free, and is run by the LDS Church.   I have long been aware that they have kept genealogy records at their facilities in Salt Lake City, but I didn't know they had developed an online storage of the information.   And so I logged on....and started searching.    

My grandma on my mom's side did a lot of work on building our family tree.   I also knew that there was work done on my mom's father's side and much of it was organized for family members to purchase.   My grandma was the keeper of all family history and family treasures.   Sadly, her home was taken away in a tornado and all the treasures lost.   I suppose any genealogy records she had organized were also gone.   Hours and hours of her time and effort to track the family history were just gone.   I can remember being on vacation with her and watching her go through cemeteries in her dress, sensible shoes, and headscarf.   She would have a pen and paper with her, and her trusty Brownie camera, and document a family headstone with the names and dates.   

Now we can open a website with our awesome computers and find much of that information in databases.   Maybe not the same experience as that of my grandma, but much less time consuming.

What did I find?   On the one hand, I found someone as far back as 1545 who was born in Holland.   On the other hand, I found a relative from the 1600's in Denmark.   

I always knew our ancestors had lived in Switzerland and France, but I didn't know about Denmark or anyone from Holland.   Erik has always known he is a descendant of those infamous Vikings.   He is without question a big tall Danish kinda guy.   But now I get to say that I also descended from those Vikings.   I always just thought of myself as being German with a somewhat mixed bag on my mom's side.   But there's Hans, Mads, Bodii and Oluf.   If I wanted to go back any farther, I'd probably have to get a pen and pencil, sensible shoes and a warm hat, and my own version of a Brownie camera.   And I'd have to travel to Denmark to go tromping through cemetaries and churches to document everything the old fashioned way.   Grandma would be right there with me if she could.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

While Stuck at Home

I could wash windows while I'm at home waiting for the farrier.

I could clean the bathroom(s).

Or I could take one photo and see what I can create.

I choose photo editing.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sweet Visitors

We used to have families of quail that would pass through the front of our property.   I haven't seen any in about two years, or maybe longer.   I see them around the area and have wished they would come back to see me.   Yesterday morning there were about a dozen out front and I was delighted.   They all flew up into our pine tree, hung out for a short while, then flew off.   Not only have I never seen them fly up into the trees, but I didn't realize their markings are similar to a pine cone resting between the branches.   I had to sneak out the door and quietly walk around to take a few photos.   Not much luck, but you can see how cute they are with their little hats and pretty markings.   I hope they come back again and stay a little longer.   Their sounds are sweet and I would love to have them around every single day.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Passport to Nowhere

I had a passport for several years and used it for several trips.   Yes, I used to travel for business a lot and had many frequent flyer miles to enjoy vacations too.   Then I stopped traveling and let my passport expire.   

I have no idea why, but I have a recurring dream that I find myself either at the airport ready to depart, or already in another country, and I don't have my passport.   It's a dream that's filled with anxiety over finding the passport.   I either have to return home to get it, thereby missing my flight, or I have to somehow deal with the authorities in a foreign country over my missing passport.   Either way, it's stressful and causes fitful sleep.   I hope renewing my passport will take this dream out of my mind.

After the dreaded passport dream,  I woke up too early yesterday, about 4:45, and didn't feel well rested at all.   We went to Cambria and took a rather short stroll.   It was still foggy, it was chilly, and there was a breeze.   I enjoyed walking there, as I always do, but I was just plain tired.   I came home and crawled back into bed for a much needed rest.   

I will comb the beach another day in search of more pretty pebbles.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Coast Walk

We're heading to Cambria for a nice morning walk.   And some photos....but that goes without saying.

Have nice Sunday.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Random 5 Friday

1.    I went to Target yesterday.   I have been buying Merona bootcut jeans for the past few years.   They no longer have them in the store.   What they have instead is a new brand made by Levi's.   As is often the case with Levi's, they don't come in Long.   I need Long.   I have a very long inseam.   And I need stretchy.   Tight skinny jeans don't work for me.  Now what?   Guess I'll check online.

2.    One of our neighbors stopped by a few days ago.   There is finally discussion about how to get our road work planned.   Turns out, the newest neighbor at the end of the road has the equipment and sometimes has access to overages at road jobs.   None of us wants to spend thousands and thousands of dollars, so this would be great if it can be accomplished.

3.    It's been nice having a bird feeder hanging in the tree for the first time.   I was hoping to attract finches with the Niger seed.   But here's what I see most of the time.   The sparrows sit on the feeder, spill seeds on the ground, the chickens wait below and eat the falling seeds.   Turns out, even though the chickens could give a rat's a$$ about sharing their chicken feed, they aren't too keen on sharing the wild bird seed.

4.    I am still riding Beau about 5 times a week.   And I am making progress.   With this gorgeous Fall weather, it makes for wonderful mornings.   And tighter muscles.

5.    I recently got one of Kelly Moore's photography handbags.   My sister helped me with the purchase as a birthday gift to me.   Thanks again, Sis!   I have the Two Sues in Indigo.   It's a very pretty color and I can fit my Nikon D7000 inside with the 28-300mm lens.   Pretty cool.   I've looked at these bags for a long time and never wanted to spend the money.   Now I have one and I'm happy about that.

Sharing with Nancy

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Typical Evening With the Dogs

It starts like this...

But that's too boring.

A quick stop to dig a hole???

The End.

Monday, October 14, 2013

These Days

These October days are just too perfect to waste.   We wait all Summer for days like these to arrive, and here they are.   So you may notice I am not blogging every day.   October is awesome.   

I've been trying to capture better photos of our two little hummers that spend their days zooming around our house.   We have a kitchen window that stays open on nice days.   With the feeder right outside that window, I can hear the little buzzing/humming sound from the kitchen.   It's delightful.   Saturday morning I was walking around outside with my camera, very casually looking to see what captured my eye.   One of the hummers settled in the lilac bush and allowed me to get some photos of her.   I would take a few, then slowly walk a few steps forward.   I had my 28-300mm lens on and actually got the lens within a few feet of her.   I was amazed.

A few photos of the little beauty...

I hope your October days are delightful.   

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Heavy Drizzle

Does heavy drizzle count as rain?   I don't know, but the air and dirt smelled so good yesterday, our first day of weather.   Of course it didn't last, but I was able to wear extra warm clothes and put a warmer blanket over me at bedtime.   The dogs were enjoying the cool air and played extra hard.   The donkeys don't like rain.   Period.   They liked the cooler weather in the afternoon and had their playtime too, in addition to nice rolls in the loose dirt.   The chickens spent a lot of post-drizzle time in the dirt too.   

I stayed home all day except for one quick trip in to town for an errand.   Since I rode my horse so many times the past 2 weeks,  I didn't feel one bit guilty about sitting on my backside most of the day.   I did some laundry and edited a lot of photos.   I ate some Trader Joe's grilled asparagus (YUM!), some Trader Joe's minestrone (YUM!), and a few other things I won't mention because they aren't the healthiest.   

So here's a question for you amateur photographer friends of mine.   What the heck does one do when they approach 20,000 photos?   I go back through them, delete some that I will never edit, delete several that are multiple iterations of the same thing, then I go out and take a few hundred more and get close to 20,000 again.   I don't know why that "magical" number sticks in my head.   It just seems like one helluvalotta photos.    

Then I find one that I wasn't thrilled with, applied the new Lightroom presets, and it's all new to me again.   You CAN make a silk purse out of a sow's ear....or something like that.

Have a really nice Thursday in your part of the world....or Friday, or whatever day it is where you live.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"Almost" Wordless Wednesday

I purchased a set of Lightroom presets from Trey Ratcliff's website.   A whole new group of "toys" to play with on this drizzly and cold day.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday Muse

The oaks and the pines, and their brethren of the wood, have seen so many suns rise and set, so many seasons come and go, and so many generations pass into silence, that we may well wonder what "the story of the trees" would be to us if they had tongues to tell it, or we ears fine enough to understand.  ~Author Unknown, quoted in Quotations for Special Occasions by Maud van Buren, 1938

Sharing with Nancy

We Have Just a Little

Fall foliage, that is.   We have some, just not as much as other parts of the country.   Ours is showing up early because of the drought and I captured a few photos while driving on Hwy. 46 toward the coast.   It's pretty and we'll take what we can get.   When our first rain/wind storm arrives....and it WILL arrive....the leaves will likely be gone.   Gather ye rose buds or fall foliage photos while ye may.   A little bit of rain is in the forecast for tomorrow, my friends.   Please, Mother Nature, don't disappoint us.   

What Have They Done?

Blogger made some changes this week.   I didn't dig in enough to understand them because most, I'm sure, don't apply to my needs...