Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Let's Gobble Up a Cool Treat

Where did the month of May go? I had such good intentions of posting a photo a day for National Photo Month. I had projects to create, plants to plant, furniture to paint.

Here it is the end of the month and I've fulfilled only a few of my plans.

Hubby and I just returned from nearly a week on vacation. While unpacking, I heard the neighborhood's wild turkeys gobbling up a storm. Then, I heard the ice cream truck. When I looked out the window, the truck was stopped in front of our house and the driver was taking pictures of the turkeys.

As the truck slowly pulled up the street, the turkeys began to run after it.

The driver stopped again and they walked right up to the truck.

"One Bomb Pop, please," said the Tom.

The past week, Hubby and I made our first road trip to Dallas since our son moved there nearly a year ago. We had a wonderful time tagging along (and even helping a little, I hope) as he and his sweet fiance took care of some of the details of their wedding planning.

We visited understated but chic Gather, in downtown McKinney, the venue for the ceremony and reception. Most of the decor items in the venue are vintage and are for sale. I left Gather with an incredible industrial piece! I'll share it with you in a future post.

Can't wait to see this charming place all dressed up with the bride and groom's eclectic touches.

You Can Help
Our drive to Dallas took us down I-35 through Moore, Oklahoma. The devastation just on that limited stretch of highway was gut-wrenching.

The few photos I took of the storm damage represent a small portion of the devastation left in the wake of the recent tornado that ripped through Moore. It's clear this community will be recovering for a long time to come.

If you want to help, you can still make a contribution of any size through a number of organizations, including The American Red CrossOK Strong Disaster Relief Fund through the Oklahoma City United Way, The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, among others.

For those of us in the Midwest, tornadoes are a fact of life. Most of us never personally experience the devastation. But, the lives of those who do will never be the same.

Make it a great day!
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Friday, May 17, 2013

Shake a Tail Feather


Even though we live in the middle of a city, our neighborhood is full of wildlife. Our one-acre lot backs onto a steep ravine with a small creek at the bottom.

While the wildlife is interesting, it can also be frustrating. I declare war on the deer every summer when they chew my hostas down to nubs. We curse the raccoons every fall when they tear up the lawn looking for grubs.

We get frustrated with the wild turkeys when they scratch up the mulch and when Barney rolls in their poop. What is so attractive to dogs about that stinky stuff?

Truth is, though, the turkeys are a hoot to watch. Our turkey clan consists of anywhere from five to 23, depending on the day. The mating rituals are fascinating, the hen fights somewhat disturbing and the gang of young jakes amusing.

Don't you just wonder what a conversation between these two young dudes might be?

Make it a great day!
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Newest Hang Up; National Photo Month, Day 16

Recently, my makeshift jewelry hanger collapsed and all my necklaces ended up in a heap on the floor. What a mess!

I laid the mish-mash of chains on the daybed in what we fondly call our "Patriotic Room" and planned to create a new hanger.

At an artisan boutique the following weekend, I came across this eco-friendly hanger made from a birch branch and equipped with rustic nail heads. Perfection!

Now I needed a unique to display the hanger, so I set out to find something at the local craft store. I found a nice burlap square with a black metal hook. Right piece. Wrong finish. Nothing I couldn't fix, though.

I also bought a couple of inexpensive rusty keys that coordinate well with the rusty nail heads on the wood and the wire hanger. And, I decided to use the artwork I recently created for my peat pot project so the hanger would coordinate with the peat pot.

As much as I like the natural look of burlap, I decided to paint it antique white. I like the way it blends with the birch of the jewelry hanger.

The black hook definitely didn't work. I mixed a couple of different brown paints with gel medium and dabbed on a fairly heavy coat. When it dried, it looked pretty close to the rusty, crusty finish on the keys I had purchased.

Finally, using Mod Podge, I added the scrolled crowned bird image I created using three wonderful images from The Graphics Fairy. You can find the individual images I used here, here and here. I printed my creation on medium-weight card stock, tore it into a shape I liked and lightly applied stamping ink to the surface and edges to create an aged look.

The natural jewelry hanger works well with the rustic burlap hook. And, it's great to get my heap of necklaces off the daybed.

Make it a great day!
Linking to:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sunshine Moon


I love my little vintage moon pitcher with his gold features. Especially in the light of the morning sun.

Make it a great day!
Linking to:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kids Love This Wild, Fun, Free Photo App


First, please excuse the quality of these photos. Then, let me explain.

My iPhone 4 takes bad photos. The problem simply couldn't be me, right? Add to the subpar camera on my phone the fact that Barney isn't a cooperative subject and I'm lucky to have gotten this shot. Barney likes to jump right up and run over for a hug when I get down at his level. It's a miracle he was still long enough for this snapshot.

Barney's pal in the foreground was added with  Mutual of Omaha's My Wild Kingdom app. This adventure app can be downloaded free from the app store to any iPhone or iPad. And, it's a hoot to use! You can go on adventures, earn badges and add wild animals to any of your photos with this app.

Make your animals various sizes, change orientation or angle and use filters to create a classic film look. These features all work with your video, too.

I added this penguin and his melting ice in front of the fireplace in the dark hotel lobby on one of our recent weekend trips.

These are my first attempts at using the app and, admittedly, aren't the best representation of what the app has to offer. I haven't had a chance to try some of its other features.

Check out the My Wild Kingdom app if you want something fun to do with your kids this summer. The whole family will have a blast taking quirky photos with this awesome tool.

Make it a great day!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

We Are a Reflection of Our Mothers

Mom and me in 1954. Mom made the dresses we're wearing  in this photo. She was a skilled seamstress.

[This post first ran on Mother's Day, May 13, 2012]

When I became pregnant with my daughter--my first--I was 29. I had a career. I had hobbies and interests--I was occupied with hiking, biking, fishing, gardening, photography, sewing, crafting and frequenting auctions, estate sales and garage sales. 

I recall telling my mom that I hoped things wouldn't change too much after children. To this day, I remember her words:  "Once a mother, always a mother. You can never go back." 

So true. Our three children are grown--scattered around the country. They're all doing their own thing, as I did at their age. None is married. All are in relationships.

I love my children. I'm proud of them. I will stand by them always. Mom was right. No matter that they're adults now. I can never go back. I will always be their mother.

I lost my mom in 2006. Sometime after I started blogging, I began to connect the dots. It became clear to me that who I am at my core and who I have developed into was no accident. Sure, the genetics could be considered a happy accident. But the nurture part was BIG.

On this Mother's Day, I am sharing something I wrote about my mother after she passed on. If you follow my blog, you, too, might recognize some of her influences on me.

Our Mom

She was an only child, a farmer’s daughter
She was born in Minden, Neb., home of Harold Warp’s Pioneer Village
On the farm, she milked cows, dressed chickens and slopped hogs
And, she churned butter, baked bread and washed laundry by hand
When we were girls, Mom was our Girl Scout and 4-H leader
She always loved nature, respected the environment and taught us to do the same
She liked to tent camp when we were kids
She loved the mountains of Colorado, but was afraid of heights
By choice, she became a working mom long before it was fashionable
Still, she made time to sew stunning Barbie clothes and prom dresses (and many other great things)
She taught us to cook and bake (that didn't stick for me)
She always enjoyed traveling, especially with her children and grandchildren
As an empty nester, she took up tole painting and became quite an artist
She lost her dad early in her adulthood and took loving care of her mom
 until her mom died
She let her creativity shine through in her daily life
She passionately watched birds and had a special fondness for cardinals and hummingbirds
She didn’t like snakes!
She taught us to believe in ourselves and to make our own decisions
She tackled every challenge head on
Throughout her life, she remained a voice of reason
For as long as she could, she gave back to the community as a volunteer
She deeply loved our dad, her two girls, our husbands and all of her grandchildren
But, she never meddled in our lives
She was unique and special and she was ours

Footnote:  My one sibling, my dear sister, is as much a reflection of our mother as I am. We are a couple of lucky women, indeed, to have such a wonderful role model and mother.

Make it a great Mother's Day!
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Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to a Garage Sale . . . National Photo Month, Day 11

This morning, I was following the signs to a garage sale when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement. I thought it might be a loose dog or a prowling cat.

Was I ever surprised to see this sweet family out for a serious stroll down the sidewalk! They moved with such precision and purpose.

No time to talk politics.

I hope they changed their path before they got to the crazy, busy intersection a couple of blocks away.

Make it a great day!
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Up on the Rooftop--Green, Green, Green


The rooftop of one of the out-buildings at Vinland Valley Nursery, south of Lawrence, Kansas, always dons an array of plants.

My daughter, who lives in Lawrence, introduced me to this charming and delightful organic nursery. For the past few years, I have driven down to Vinland to buy my vegetable and herb plants. I found the best tomatoes ever there:  Alaskan Fancy. But, I digress . . .

Other photos in my National Photo Month collection that were taken at Vinland Valley Nursery are the quaint shed with its picnic table and the rusty but stalwart silo. This rooftop photo is appropriately textured with an overlay called "Organic" from Kim Klassen.

Each year, I stop to admire and snap a photo or two of the rooftop garden. Are all those little plants deliberate or volunteer? I've always wondered.

Make it a great day!
Linking to:
It's Bloomin' Tuesday
Simple and Sweet Fridays

Thursday, May 9, 2013

What the Elk?


On our long weekend trip to the Rockies, we came across a small herd of mangy-looking elk in a pasture west of Evergreen, Colorado.

I grunged up the photos in the spirit of their molting coats.

Are they coming or going?

Mooning, maybe?

Make it a great day!
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Purple Mountain Majesty


Hubby and I just returned from a relaxing mini-vacation to the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies.

In Colorado, as has been the case out here on the Plains, spring has been slow to show its face. The trees had even fewer buds than ours at home. We haven't seen this much snow on Pike's Peak in May for several years. 

Here's a tidbit about Pike's Peak you may not remember from your school days: Katherine Lee Bates wrote "America the Beautiful" in 1893 after experiencing the breathtaking views from the summit of Pike's Peak. 

 At 14,115 feet, Pike's Peak is among Colorado's 54 "14ers"--mountains over 14,000 feet high. We've driven to the summit in summer and taken the cog railway to the top in the fall. Even in summer, visitors generally need a jacket to keep the chill off. On our October ascent, we left behind beautiful, fall-jacket weather and were greeted at the top by minus 40-degree F wind chills and icicles hanging from every structure, including the telescopic viewers. It was too cold to take photos that day.

This past Sunday, the day was cloudy and dreary, so my photos are subpar. Each is taken from a different vantage point and at a different time of day. 

The first shot is taken from the top of a rock formation in Garden of the Gods. The second is taken from the northern approach to Colorado Springs on I-25. The last photo is taken from Woodland Park, up Ute Pass from Colorado Springs.

No matter how often we visit this area, I never tire of its beauty.

Make it a great day!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Silo Mentality


Do you have a silo mentality? Break out!

Make it a great day!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Colorful Past


Is this what is meant by "colorful past"?

Make it a great day!