Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thankful Thursday

This will be a little less organized, due to time and energy constraints. Here are just some pictures of goodness from the week.

Bob Ross could totally paint those reflections!

What kind of tree is this? It's adorable.

How delicious does that look? That's because it is! I made chicken in the crock pot and shredded it up for a chicken salad croissant sandwich, because I'd been craving that exact thing for many days.

Dania is awesome! She sent me a fun summer package. She's done this many times before. :) Thank you, Dania!

It also included this awesome solar hummingbird garden stake. LOVE.

It rotates through several colors.

I have a busy weekend ahead, so I'll have to catch up on Project 52 next week. Have a great Independence Day if I don't talk to you before!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A beavery post

Finally I managed to get some closer beaver shots this evening. I saw one swimming by and it was pretty light out, so I headed down to where it was going and he swam around about 20 feet from me. Cute!

Mmm..delicious leaves.

Oh okay, bye.

Sorry, at this angle it's too hard to see the tail, but I've taken plenty of tailish photos from my deck above (see here). One of these days I'll get some of a beaver out on land, but so far I have only taken very distant ones like that once. They just hardly ever get out of the water in a place where people can see them.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


It's hard to focus on a moving target, and my lens doesn't do much to help out, so forgive the lack of crispness. Still, I was fortunate to happen to be standing on my deck with the right lens when this Osprey decided to fly low on my side of the lake. I love getting unexpected wildlife photos!

PS If you enjoy poor-quality photos of Osprey, you may also be interested in this series I took of one eating a fish.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Project 52 (3)

I debated using another food-related photo this week, but I can't bring myself to do it. :) I might post it later with a recipe. This is the building next to my office building. I pass it regularly when running errands at other offices. It has lots of pretty little sections, and I've used it a couple of times for portraits I take at work (like this one). I'd like to use it some more.

By the way, Project 52 is technically supposed to have poetry accompanying each photo, but I opted out of that part. (You can thank me in Target gift cards. You don't want to read my poems!) However, there was a time when I was into poetry and wrote several poems. That poetry-writing Jessica seems like another person to me, though. Those crazy 20s! I really don't have the desire to write poetry anymore, though I wouldn't mind writing song lyrics again. (Are they the same or different? They feel different.) Sometimes I go back and read my old stuff, though, and feel really dorky. It's fun.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday

TGIT! I haven't done one of these in a few weeks, but I hope to get back in the swing of it (as well as Wallpaper Wednesday, but one step at a time). So here are some of the happy things from the week, with some weekly pictures mixed in.

1. For feeling well emotionally, even if not physically. My allergies have reached their peak this week, but I have to admit that I've felt relatively content otherwise (even if I don't always show it).

2. Amazon Marketplace. It's a great place to sell stuff!

3. Laughter. I know a few people with a great sense of humor, and one friend in particular makes me laugh pretty much every day. I love that!

4. Things to look forward to. I'm excited about a free weekend and then Dania's visit and the long holiday weekend! I'm even looking forward to the simple parts of preparing for her visit, like grocery shopping and inflating the air mattress.

5. My mom, whose birthday is tomorrow. Happy birthday, Mom! I love you and think you are the awesomest mom. I don't know how I ended up so fortunate, but I feel a little sorry for people who aren't R, D or me because they don't get to have you as a mother! (That picture is my mom with one of her granddaughters two years ago.)

6. Text messaging. It's a great way to keep in touch. My sister's been texting throughout her road trip and it's nice to know the haps, even if most texts are accompanied by a photo of the road. ;) I also love getting texts from my mom and friends during the day. (PS I just realized I have mentioned text messaging a couple of other times already in these thankful posts. I must really like text messaging!)

7. Summer. Even if the weather isn't being all that summery, the feeling of summer is still very present. Quiet days at work, more motivation and ideas about my future, enough light to see the beavers, lush greenness all over town, and low electricity bills!

8. My church. The first time I visited my church, I decided I'd just keep going there from then on. I had been church hunting for months (I visited at least 12 churches in the area) and something about my current church felt comfortable and suitable. It's not that I was blown away with amazingness, it was just that I saw no reason to go elsewhere. I still don't. It's a good place.

9. Ad blockers that work. I use Ghostery and Adblock, but I'm sure there are several good ones.

10. Music. I don't really talk about it much these days, and I don't even listen to it as much as I used to, but I love it and kind of miss being more into it. I've had some thoughts that I might share sometime. I'll end this post with one of my very favorite classical pieces: Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27 (Larghetto). Give it a bit to get going.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Who doesn't like nutria?

Huge rats with orange teeth...what's not to love? This baby (he looks adult in these photos, but isn't) was swimming around just about ten feet from me last night.

"Oh hello leaf. I would like to eat you now."

I was actually hoping to get closeup pictures of beavers, but of course I didn't see any when I went out for that specific reason.

Swim swim swim

Contemplative nutria. Being a large rat is so intense.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My dad

[That's me and my dad. Don't look at my undies!]

There's a lot I could say about my dad! He has many interests and talents, and he's taught me so much. He's given me opportunities that have helped me discover my preferences and made me a more well-rounded person.

[L: Mom and Dad on Mexican cruise. R: Dad and grandson, Z, in Tahoe.]

For instance, my dad really loves to travel (I think he got this from his dad) and so he has always been very supportive of me traveling. He has taken our family many places and never discouraged me from going places on my own.

He's also into photography and used to do it professionally. He once taught me how to make a pin hole camera and we set up a darkroom and everything.

My dad loves cooking and I've learned several tips from him (and my mom!) over the years, like how to make rice pilaf and cut/pit an avocado.

He also loves to entertain, and I know I've picked up some of his hosting techniques. Often I think about how I do certain things because that's always what my dad does when he has company.

My dad really is a jack of all trades. In addition to the other things I mentioned, he can do carpentry, interior decorate, garden, play guitar, ride motorcycles, fish, groom dogs and even sew! (He sewed me a jack-o-lantern costume when I was 6, and I won a prize for it--a yellow, plastic boot cup. Remember that, Dad and Mom?) He knows about food, wine, travel, sports, appliances (he sells them for a living, and he's very good at it), electronics and politics. He's patriotic and a natural leader. He works hard and is very generous.

[L: Mom and Dad at Multnomah Falls. R: Dad and granddaughter K on the scooter he bought my mom one Christmas. This post isn't about K, but she's melting me with her adorableness in this photo!]

Dad, I know you're camping as I post this, so I hope you're having a great time. I'll talk to you when you get back! Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Project 52 (2)

I read something about how good lemons are for you, and it inspired me to make some lemonade. I still don't really have a handle on making good homemade lemonade, but maybe someday. Oh and the irony of using this photo, after quitting my food photography project, is not lost on me.

Two of my friends are also doing Project 52. Go check out their first posts if you're curious:


Sunday, June 12, 2011

The beach

I went to the coast yesterday. It was good! Why don't I go more often?

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Project 52 (1)

Well, since I only just decided I was going to do this, I'm struggling with second-guessing myself and feeling all self-conscious. Hey, I'm just warming up. So my theme is Everyday Life, and what I mean is just that I want to photograph some of the simpler things that happen that I might normally overlook as photo opportunities. But it can also be simple pleasures or scenes that have a story or whatever. Basically, it's whatever I want. :P I don't want to be too strict or I'll never keep up.

Just please bear with me as I feel this out and probably post some lame photos. It's just an exercise in creativity, observation and photography.

Maybe I should post some of the other attempts that weren't chosen for whatever reason. We'll see!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Catching up

[That's a big leaf!]

I haven't blogged in over a week and I miss it! Hopefully soon I'll get back into the swing of things. For now, here are some updates and pictures.

** I listened to two audiobooks in May, bringing my 2011 reading total to 13. (Compared to some of my friends, that's pathetic!) Apparently I have given up on reading actual printed books. I do like reading, but I tend to choose other activities to fill my time. But audiobooks are so handy and they make my drives to work and around town soooooo much better. I love that they have become so much more popular. In May I listened to two Grisham books:

The Broker (10 disks?)
This is about a criminal who is pardoned and transferred to Italy by the US government. There he is taught the language and culture so he can fit in and begin his new life. Parts of it were interesting, but I found it a little slow and uneventful. Also, I am kind of dumb and didn't understand some of the background.

The Last Juror (10 disks)
A young writer moves to northern Mississippi and takes over the local paper of a small town in the 70s. He covers a murder trial and also befriends a black woman and her family. There's a lot more to this book, but I don't want to give it away. I thought it was good--interesting and nice--although some parts had me wondering where it was going. Grisham sometimes dwells on things I wouldn't expect, but maybe that's a good thing.

** Last weekend was my church choir (and orchestra) concert. Every year we finish the season by re-presenting some of the favorite songs. I think everything went pretty smoothly and it's always a nice way to wrap up the season. Last year I was unable to participate in the concert because I pinched a nerve in my neck and could barely move. I'm so grateful to have a healthy neck right now!

[From a Seattle visit a couple of years ago.]

** My friend Dania is coming to visit! Did I tell you this already? And for part of her visit, we'll go up to Seattle where my friend Dan can drive us around. I'm not crazy about driving in big cities, and since he's from there, he knows his way around. Dania's never been, so it'll be extra fun to see the sights.

** Tomorrow I'm headed to the coast with some friends. It's supposed to be nice, although the weather isn't exactly matching up with the forecast yet (how surprising). I'm sure it'll be fun, though. I'll hopefully get a photo or two.

** Next weekend I'm making dinner for friends and taking some family portraits. I'm trying to think of what would be convenient and delicious to make and bring over. So far we have decided that Italian is probably a good food category.

So that's how June is shaping up. I love summer and wish it were longer than three months (well, more like three days in the PNW). I can't believe the year is almost half over! It can't possibly be only four months until I'm yet another year older. :/ But I don't have to think about that now. Have a magical weekend! Here are some photos from the past week.

It's so green lately - I love it!

** PS I'm doing yet another photo project (since apparently I have ditched my Food 365 project) with a couple of friends. It's a Project 52 and my theme is Everyday Life. I hope to post each week with my chosen photo of some normal part of life that may or may not have an artistic quality about it. Stay tuned and wish me luck.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thankful Thursday

It's pouring out, so my walk with a friend has been cancelled for the second time this week. In good news, this gives me an opportunity to post here.

I've been trying to re-prioritize some areas of my life, and while I find a balance, some things are getting neglected (like this blog). I kept planning to post with many amazing (ha ha) iris garden photos, but I didn't end up taking any. I would explain that, but it would bore both you and me.

Thanks to those of you who have responded to my blog via email. I haven't replied to those yet, but I do appreciate it so much. :)

Now I kind of wish I could ramble on for awhile, but I'll just move on to the nice things of the past week. I wrote some of these down days ago, so I don't remember exactly what I was feeling at the time.

1. Cool-looking skies. Was I talking about the dark gray sky or the soft orangey one? I guess we'll never know for sure, but there are a lot of cool skies here.

2. Having friends who live close by.

3. My crock pot.

4. Photography. I love having a hobby that turns my mood around and gives me new challenges and goals.

5. Free games. There are so many great games online that are completely free to play. With my blocker, I don't even have to deal with the ads. I love free entertainment.

6. New shoes!

7. Cedar waxwings. They're cute.

8. God's mercy. Thankfully, I don't suffer some of the consequences I deserve.

9. All the green in Oregon. The rain gets to me, but it's so lush here compared to where I grew up.

10. Inspiration. You never know when it will hit--sometimes I'll be looking for design inspiration, for instance, and never find it. Other times I'll suddenly feel the urge to tackle a problem or creative project after seeing something I wasn't looking for. I love that.

Bonus pictures: My lily plant and another cool sky.

Have a great weekend if I don't talk to you tomorrow. We're supposed to have nice weather and it's my choir's annual end-of-the-season concert, so it should be a good couple of days.


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