Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Oak Leaves And Acorns

I know I had said I would be posting less photography, but I spent the last two days in a classroom learning how to use Illustrator and it left me feeling as though my head might explode. (but in a good way. . .)

 As a result, Jada and I spent a couple of hours walking and taking pictures this morning to help me clear my mind. ( Of course I am the only one who took pictures. . . Jada's just never seemed all that interested. . .)

So today's post is all about the oak tree. . . (click on the pictures so you can see them full sized, they look much better that way.)

Which picture is your favorite?

I know what mine is. . .

Monday, August 13, 2012

Romantic Getaways. . .

Henry and I went on a spontaneous romantic getaway this past week end.

Looks like we weren't the only ones. . .

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Great Pickle Debacle Of 2012

I have always wanted to try pickling. We go through a fair number of pickles in the year and I thought it would be fun to give it a try.

When mom and I preserved things together we were great. (Well, she was great and I helped.)
She's been working a lot these last few years and preserving has kind of fallen by the wayside.
I am not working anymore so I wasn't entirely sure why that was but. . .  my pantry is nearly empty.

So I was quite excited last Saturday when Joyce and I spotted the 10 pound bags of pickling cucumbers.
I was pretty sure pickles were fairly basic and felt confident that I could handle it on my own.
Henry was out of town fishing for the weekend and that left me without transportation so the pickling would have to wait until Tuesday.

No problem.

It's been hot here though.  I couldn't put the cucumbers in the fridge because it was beyond full  (please tell me you know what I mean. . . every time you open the fridge door something falls out. Beyond full. That happens to you too. . . right???) so I put them in a big bowl in the basement and surrounded them with ice-packs.

No problem.

Everyday I discovered more moldy cukes but I figured I had started out with 20 pounds so there would easily be enough for a few batches of pickles.

No problem.

Tuesday came and I ran out early to pick up ice for the cooler. I thought it would keep the cucumbers cool while I processed them.
I started picking through the bowl.

Big problem. . .

The poor little cukes were either wrinkling or sprouting mold.
By the time I got to the middle of the bowl they were way past sprouting and into full blown sheets of mold.

My asthma is triggered by mold.

My compost pile has a bit more to digest today. . .

In chatting with Ev I expressed surprise at how quickly they spoiled. She chuckled, shook her head knowingly and said "I'm not surprised. . . all fresh produce has to be processed as quick as possible, there's no time to waste!"

That's when it hit me.

The reason I'm such a terrible preserver on my own is because I always think I have time to do something else first. Something more important. Baking a cake, working in the garden, a quick trip to Fort Edmonton, a little work on the computer. . . You know. . . urgent things.

So. . .

What have I learned from the Great Pickle Debacle of 2012?

I'm not 100% sure.

Of course I learned that there's no waiting until tomorrow in preserving but truthfully I already knew that, I just seem to have great difficulty believing it.

Perhaps what I've really learned is that just because I think something is awesome and important it doesn't necessarily mean that I'll automatically be good at it. Or even that I'll ever be particularly  good at it.

And that's okay. . . because no one is good at everything.

Sigh. . .

But wouldn't it be amazing if we could be?

Monday, August 6, 2012

One Track Mind. . . .

I was going through my pictures looking for something I hadn't had a chance to blog about yet.

You would not believe how many flower pictures I have!!

Nor could you even begin to imagine how many more photography class pictures I have. (Well, maybe Chandra could. . .)

It seems I have had a one track mind lately. . .

My class was finished a couple weeks ago but I wanted to keep practicing and learning, so I took a few books out of the library and settled on working through Digital Photography Essentials by Tom Ang.

Assignment one was to get a family member to say the first thing that came to mind, make a set of pictures based around the subject and then apply the approach that comes most naturally.

Jesse was appealed to and the first thing that came to his mind was birds.

Now before I show you what I did, I'd like you to think about what you would do. . .

What did you think about when you read that the assignment was to 'shoot' birds?

Probably not what I thought of. . . .




And because my mind tends to go off on a tangent. . .

Not to worry though, my next post will not be about photography. . .

I have twenty pounds of pickling cucumbers that my friend Joyce and I picked up at the St Albert farmer's market on Saturday.

Considering the rate at which they have begun to mold in the heat despite my best efforts to cool them off, (they won't fit in the fridge) I'm pretty sure it's tomorrow or never.

I've never done pickles before.

Wish me luck! (and if any of you have any good advice on the subject. . .)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Taking An Hour To Relax. . .Visiting Fort Edmonton

I got up at 4:30 this morning, not so much because I had planned on it, but because I have been waking up around five every morning and I was fed up with lying around in bed for two hours trying to get back to sleep.
I thought I had broken free from bus driving hours but. . . no such luck.
I had a very early breakfast and took Jada out for a walk at 6:30.

It was beautiful. With all the hot, humid weather we've been having, it was a refreshing change to have to put on socks and a sweater.

I spent the next several hours on the computer working in Illustrator and then switching out to Word to make some kind of poster for {growing} wisdom's Big August Consultation Sale.

Can I tell you???

I hate not being able to do things well.

I love learning new things but I have high expectations as to how long it should take me to learn them. (No time at all. . .)

Mind you, I am mighty stubborn as well, so while I might rage at the impossiblity of working with programs like Illustrator, I will not give up until I get it right. . .

Thus the Illustrator classes I will be taking in a few weeks.

I do have a little sense however and know when to take a break. (Although my kids may disagree. . .)

By lunch time today I knew there was absolutely no way I would have my sale poster done and since today is August first and the first day of my sale, I gave it up and went with a blog post instead.

It was time to take a break.

I had gone to Fort Edmonton with Holly and Jesse last week and bought myself an annual pass, so I grabbed my camera and headed over there for a little R and R and a little practice time.

Best idea today. . .

This is what I came home with. (After a bit of editing in Picassa.  Learning Photoshop is next on the list. But not any time soon. . .)

View out of the window

Not the best picture but they were so stinking ugly I couldn't resist.  Really. . . they stank. Phew!

© A Life of Whimsey