Half Way to Spring

 

Snow.

There’s been a lot of it this year. Even the U.S. South which closes schools and roads when there is only an inch or 2 is just recently melting from several inches which totally shut them down (Cough-Wimps-Cough) for darn near a week. Here in Mo, they’re calling for more snow this week.

 Sigh.

 After the snow there is always the soggy, muddy mess that is left behind until the warmer/drier days reappear to dry up the mush. Days are still gray and dull here in mid Missouri and I am looking forward to the signs of life, the sprigs of green to appear on the ground and in the trees, when spring is on our doorsteps.

Here are some pictures I took last spring to remind us all what is just around the calendar corner. Spring waits to greet us in the matter of more than a few weeks.

 Hang in there!

What is Your Perspective?

When it comes to opinions, they’re like um, brains, yep, brains, we all have one. 😉

As different as we all are, so are our perspectives.

I love to have different people look at the same subject, photo (in my case), and give their opinion.

It still never ceases to amaze me how one person can look at a photo and say “Meh, it does nothing for me,” and the next person can come along and that same photo is their favorite. It reminds me how ultimately diverse we all are.

Meet Pricilla, my cousin breeds, raises, trains and sells  horses. I love going there to visit. This is the newest addition. She has an older brother out there somewhere named Elvis.

Which do you prefer? Why?

Now from these, which is your favorite, why?

Notice how color vs. Black and white can completely change the mood of the same photo? I think its because as much as I favor color, it can be distracting to the emotion of a picture. Black and white photos lay bare the soul of the moment. This is especially true in photos of human interaction, but can even be viable in photos of non humans as shown above.

Art, whether a painting, a photograph, a drawing, or even sculpture will only stand out to an audience if it stirs an emotion, a memory, a feeling. That is one reason taste can vary so widely, it varies as do our life experiences and our perspectives.

 Maybe this also helps explain why theres so much chaos during election time. Different life experiences, different perspectives. It would be nice if we could all learn to appreciate each others differences instead of judge each other on them.

Now completely off the subject, I also just want to let my loyal readers know that I’m tired of pizza and take out. I’ll hopefully have some time to cook some things up here soon! I’ve got many recipes to still try and share, stay tuned.

It was a Beautiful, Strange Day

Have you ever had a day where you saw more than one strange thing and just said WTF?

This last Monday was one of those days. It was a gorgeous day, the last day of a busy 4 day weekend for me.

Earlier in the morning, I walked a spectacular golf course with colors abounding.

It was so beautiful it was downright spiritual.

Then I met up with a great friend I’ve known since I was 16, (which was only a few years ago? HA!).

We had breakfast at a small town pub and then decided to explore the countryside.

Along the way I saw a tree with these laying under.

They look like alien brains!

Maybe I’m just too much of a suburbia girl that I’ve never seen this before but it was downright strange.

Anyone know what these are?

 

We were exploring Missouri wine country.

I live very close to Missouri wine country but not close enough!

I don’t say that because I’m a wino, I say that because Missouri wine country is downright beautiful.

Its made up of rolling hills looking over river bottoms, and small towns with quaint stores.

 

This is a winery just down the road from where that friend of mine lives. (It was taken a few days before.)

But on the day that we were exploring the countryside, we saw these and said “What the….?”

These are in someones yard, smack dab in the middle of one of those tiny quaint towns. I’d guess the population to not be more than 100 or so. 

More exploring, down gravel roads (in my formerly clean black car) and more beautiful color.

Again, if you knew how many pictures I took on this day, you’d laugh at me. 

 You’d say, “You’re so Craaaazzy”.

So my friend and I, we head back to the small town pub where we had coffee & breakfast.

Thats also where we had lunch.

There’s no Mc’y anything in this neck of the woods (Thank God).

I then give my dear friend a hug and we promise to get together again soon.

And I head home.

(The following were taken with my cell phone, G2 was put away resting after one heck of a workout, so that is why they is not the best quality.)

On my way home I see this:

 And you’re saying, “So?”

(Don’t you just love how I read your minds?)

I pass this road fairly often.

So imagine my surprise when I saw a tree taller than all in the land, towering over everything else.

Originally, I thought I was really losing it. That someone as visual as myself has missed this towering tree after all of these years.

Then logic set in and I realized I would have never have missed this tree….So….wtf?

Then I got closer.

(For the record, I was sitting at a stop light when taking this picture.)

So….its a pole, not a tree at all,

Nothing connected to it.

Except for what I can only assume are fake branches.

and I said…..

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm……

Today, it’s all about You!

 

Hello! Today I’d like to try something different.

I would love to hear about YOU! Yes, you!

One of the things that attract us to artwork, whether it be photography or something different, is the emotion or memory it stirs.

Sure, sometimes its about aesthetics but most of the time it’s not.

So this is where you come in.

See this picture below?

Does it stir a memory or memories for you?

If so, what are they?

Does it stir a feeling or an emotion? If so, tell us about it.

Maybe, just maybe, you don’t like to go outside and you’re a complete homebody or city person and this just doesn’t stir up any emotion or feeling at all,

thats o.k. too.

We all have different experiences & perspectives in this tapestry of life.

Rules, there are no rules. Just tell us all about your memory short & sweet, OR,

if this has inspired a longer tale, you can link the story about your tale in the comment section below.

For now, I will save the memories that this picture reminds me of for later.

Today I want to hear from you.

Distracted by a Dandelion

Saturday morning I woke up and decided to go see what autumn colors I could find. I had things to do later that day so I wanted to stay close to home. I grabbed G2 (my camera) and went to a local park. The crisp cool air and golden sunlight of early morning greeted me. Yes, some trees were turning but we’re not quite at ‘peak’ color yet. I walked through the grass, wet with dew, up to the lake to find the colors of autumn reflecting in the clear calm lake I took a few shots .

As I was walking around the lake to get a better perspective, I was pulled in another direction. Across a small stretch of grassy ground, up on a slight hill I saw a dandelion caught in a beam of morning sunlight. I ask you, who, but me, could be distracted by a frigging dandelion? Well, if you’ve read this you’ll remember that occasionally I can be easily distracted. Or this you also know I’m easily entertained. But then again, this was Saturday, I wasn’t working so I have every right to let anything I want distract me and trust me, I often do.

So I walked over for a closer look.

 

And then I sat, on the dewy ground, not caring that my pants were going to get soaked, and I took an even closer look.

Then why not lay down in the wet grass & go in even closer?

There is beauty all around us. Sometimes it’s so small and intricate we pass it by. Sometimes its good for the soul to stop, get a little dirty, and take a close look.

After I looked ever so close, I sat up and looked around. Imagine sitting in the middle of a park on the wet grass, in the morning sun, just soaking it all in. Breathing. Seeing. Feeling… thanking. I really didn’t care too much what passer by’s thought. At that moment I was just living, fully aware of the beauty around.

 Oh and about those autumn colors, I’ll give you some peeks soon.

Just a Big Drip…

This is starting my busiest time of the year. And so far my schedule is chock full of stuff to do! Between birthday’s of little ones, one of my BFF’s moving back ‘to the area’ from too far away, taking photos of the gorgeous autumn colors, taking people photos, art & craft shows, oh and that thing called my 40 + hour a week job, things are crazy busy…and I love it.

BUT did that stop me from goofing off about a two weeks ago? No! It’s hard to believe I know, ME goofing off, the embodiment of all things serious. BAWAHAHAHAHa…

Ok, enough of that.

I had been mentioning during my White Chicken Chili recipe how I don’t like to use flash as it can cause shadows, and just isn’t as natural looking as (duh) nautural light, yadda yadda yadda. THEN while making my Grape Salad recipe I announced that in having to use my flash in my kitchen due to the lack of natural light, I found that flash could be fun!?

 Ok, stay with me here folks, I have a point coming soon.

Well this is the result of my fun. Yes I’m entertained VERY easily. This is a good quality though I assure you.

It ends up when using the flash to take pictures of water it freezes that nano second in time and you see what is really coming out of your faucet.

Elegant simplicity….

Sparkling jewels…. 

 And on this one, after a little photo processing magic with the colors, something interesting…

And Bubbles, you can see the air bubbles in the water. Is it just me, or is this actually pretty?

With this post I hope to make a point, besides the fact that I can be entertained by dripping water. 

First, that beauty can be found in the most ordinary things. Things that we never even really see in our everyday lives. Partly because its so mundane, so, well, ordinary that we don’t really ‘see’ it. Its there, to wash our dishes, to wash our hands, to fill that glass of water & quench our thirst, or in my case, to wash the grapes that I later ate to nourish myself (and immerse myself in yummyness)!

Also to remind those of us with running water that in some parts of this gorgeous world we live in, running water is a luxury. I don’t think it was until the disaster in Haiti that I ever even thought of that. We get so busy with our computers, our kids, our jobs, the TV, the Iphones, Blackberries and our everyday busy-ness, we forget how lucky we are and how beautiful IT really is.

Today, take a moment to appreciate the ordinary things in your life.

Short & Sweet

Good morning, Happy Monday.

Yes, most of us would probably rather have it be Friday again but it’s not so that is why I wish you a Happy Monday.

It is what it is.

Today is going to be short and sweet here on my blog, I just thought I’d show you a few of the ‘captures’ from this last week. I have so many more than this, if you really knew, you’d laugh at me.

I’m so thankul for the digital age, otherwise I’d be in the poor house this time of year buying film.

This is just a field right? Growing Milo? I think its milo anyway. The colors & the textures grabbed my attention & sucked me in.

Ahhh and this one. Another caught at the wildlife preserve before my day at work began.

It was so awesome to wrap myself not only in the beauty but in the peace of that morning.

My senses were rejoicing. My eyes taking in the beauty, my nose smelling the freshness of the day and my ears listening to the quiet with the occassional cry from a crow or a hawk.

I could have stayed there all day and soaked it all in.

I always give thanks to the one who gave us this beautiful world.

Wildlife in the Morning

Sometimes I read about places people have been, or even where they live and I see pictures of these places and ‘wanderlust’ strikes hard.

 I want to see things, go places, enjoy this world of ours in all its beauty.

And then a morning like the other morning comes about and again, I remember to be thankful for the area I live in.

I wake up earlier than normal for work, grab G2 (my camera, yes thats its name, hubby is G1) and I head out.

I am fortunate to work close to a wildlife preserve, Busch’s Wildlife.

Its an area of many lakes and walking trails. The scenery is beautiful nature.

 It isn’t anything spectacular, there are no mountains, no canyons, no oceans, no craggy rock formations. Just the outdoor basics.

Its a place of peace, to be quiet with nature.

Wait, did I say it isn’t anything spectacular?

Well, maybe I was wrong….

I am wrong once a year.

Ok, maybe more than that…<cough> slightly more.

As I walked from the lake, back to my car, the crisp morning air wrapped around me and made me feel alive,

 and thankful.

This earth is our gift and we should appreciate all of its wonders.

The utter quiet of the morning was shattered by their calls, it was a stark reminder that autumn approaches.

I am fortunate to live in a place of seasons.

(Remind me of that in February ok?)

 I drove the gravel roads, from one lake to another, admiring the different ways the beauty glowed in the early morning light.

 

Then the clouds moved in, and covered the sun.

Did you know the best time to photograph outside is on an overcast day?

Unless of course you are photographing the sun.

Then maybe not so much.

I digress. 

I broke out my Macro lens, just a few more shots,

 its getting to be that time,

time to go to work.

I doubt there are many better ways to start one’s day.

 

 

 

Earlier, when I said ‘nothing spectacular’,

 well

I guess that depends on when

 and where

 and how you see it.

Barns and Clouds

Well, its just one of those days where I’m just too busy to know what to say.

Although I wouldn’t exactly call myself at a loss for words, even if I’m talking to myself I usually have SOMETHING to say.

Never mind that….

A recent storm front to move in. I love watching the clouds churn and creep in.

Believe it or not, this is right smack dab in the middle of the town I live in. Across the street is a major strip mall, and it is surrounded on all sides by commercial or residential. I’ve asked a few people around here if they know “that old barn” and they have no idea its even there. I think we just get in that mode of go-go-go, we forget to stop & look sometimes.

Have a great day and remember to slow down and look for the beauty in our world.

That Old Diner Took Me Back in Time

 On our way home from the farmers market, my husband suggested we stop at this small diner-type restaurant for breakfast. I had been curious about it for a long time so thought it was a great idea. Just from the outside I got the feeling of nostalgia, it was a small town diner from yester-year.

You see, the town I live in is the town I grew up in. I’m nearing the big 4-0 but when I was a child, this town was “out in the stix”. It was country. I lived in one of the ‘new subdivisions’ that started popping up here in the mid 70’s. Our main highway was a winding 2 lane country road. We had to drive ‘into town’ a whole 5 to 8 miles to get to the store, unless the “Hucks” gas station just down the road had what we needed.

 Yes, a subdivision surrounded by corn fields & country roads is pretty much where I grew up.

Only, as I was growing up, so was the area around me.

One by one the corn fields became subdivisions. The fields for grazing cattle became bigger highways or shopping malls or strip malls. More land was dozed to create schools to handle all of the people moving to the burbs. I guess since it happens so slowly, yet in retrospect, so quickly, you dont notice as much the little things that you miss about ‘small town’.

The abscence of traffic.

The abscense of stop lights & stop signs at every intersection.

The hustle & bustle replaces the slow & steady.

 Rooftops now fill my views where once you felt like you had elbow room.

Gone are the lines made by the rows of corn that now seem almost theraputic to the eyes.

Maybe its just the simplicity of it all that I miss so much. Maybe its the quiet.

 

This is what going into that diner this weekend reminded me of. It was so ‘retro’ in that small town, country way. License plates, old & new hung on the walls along with signs from the old diner days. The seats were the old formica type of booths, room for 4. It amazed me that places like this still existed in the middle of a thriving, overpopulated suburbia. The waitresses called people by their names and as some of the customers left, they said “Bye, see you next Saturday!” Yep. it was a cozy, familiar, time warp that made me long again for the country way of life.

 I’m a country girl at heart, surrounded by a suburbia that came in and took over like a rash. Oh there are positive sides, like the fact that before the economic downturn, more jobs were created closer to home. It used to be you’d have to drive into the city of St. Louis (about 30 miles) to get a decent job. Now there are more out here, in fact , I work only 8 miles & 21 stop lights away from home. (I’m not kidding about the stop lights, I’ve counted). 

The people here, even though there are literally tens of thousands more than when I was young, they are mostly good. Its still a freindly, clean, safe place to live.

There are still places within driving distance that have not been taken over by suburbia, but now, since acrage is more scarce its also much more expensive. Usually the only homes built with any acrage now are beyond my price range by far.

Even my old High School is no longer recognizable. It used to sit on an old army base. Where the old army barracks used to house the offices for the school, now have long been torn down and a huge new state of the art gymnasium now stands. The school used to be an interesting mix of farm kids and the first suburbia subdivision kids (like me) to inhabit the area. Now the kids are all suburbia kids with possibly a few farm kids but I doubt there are more than a handful of those.

A big new super highway is under construction that replaces the four lane highway that replaced the 2 lane highway. I shake my head everytime I pass the construction because it is most definately a monumental task. Earth movers, pavers, buildings being moved, the landscape has definately changed, its almost unrecognizable.

 Life is change, I get that. I accept that even.

I love my town, in fact, I’ve never lived anywhere else.

Sometimes though I can’t help but miss the way it used to be.