Monday, February 28, 2011

On Ice

Icicles are not unusual around here this time of year.

What is unusual is seeing them frozen into the window screen. These are partially inside the screen.

Pretty cool. Actually, really, really cool. :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

One More Valentine Post

I met Melissa 15 years ago. She was so different from anyone I had ever known endearing combination of strong, free spirit, sweet and shy. We worked together and hiked together. She had a bird that whistled the theme song to The Addams Family. She was an artist, and she liked my son.

She continues to be all those things....I'm just not around to enjoy them. However, she did send me my favorite Valentine this year.

Thanks, Melissa! I miss you.

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's Baaaaccckkk

Winter, that is.

But it gave me a chance to try a photography tip gleaned from maine momma on the Shutter Sisters blog. I've been trying to capture snowflakes in mid-air all winter, with absolutely no success, so I was excited to see her suggestions for doing just that and have been hoping ever since for at least one more snowfall to try them out.

Here are my results.

Here are her results.

Obviously, I still have a lot to learn. Maybe Punxsutawney Phil was wrong and we'll have a longer winter than he predicted, so I will have more opportunities to practice.
Please, no hate mail :D

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shout-Out to Lin

There are a couple more Valentine stories I want to share with you. The first is how my friend Lin saved the day...

I've been making my own cards for almost 15 years now, so you can imagine my horror when I realized around 4:00pm on Valentine's day that I had somehow overlooked making or buying a card for Jed.

Most kids probably wouldn't care, but because I make cards suited for Jed personally, I was afraid he would notice the oversight. What to do? I had no time to go to the store or make one, and I was frantically going through my desk drawers looking for something, anything that would work.

I nearly squealed with delight when I found this blank card that Lin made and sent me, along with a couple of others, several months ago. What a blessing! It was perfect - and the best part was, Jed loved it.

Thanks, Lin - you're a lifesaver! :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rainbow House

If you've been reading this blog for very long, you might have noticed that my younger son has a penchant for rainbows, especially in his clothing and artwork.

What I didn't realize was how much his love affair with color has rubbed off on me.

If I ever happen to be in London, I would like very much to visit this house.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One Good Turn Deserves Another

More playing around with the camera. I love the different angles good photographers use - but I am learning there's a real knack to that, which apparently evades me. I can't help turning my head just a bit while looking at these pics. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Flowers, Take Three

Chocolate is Tracy's go-to gift for me. I threw a wrench in his Valentine's Day plans by being on a sugar fast this year, so he resorted to Plan B - also a good choice. :)

I've been playing around with lighting a lot lately, and these three pictures are good examples of the huge difference it can make. I would love to know if there is a way to get crisp focus and bold colors in indoor lighting without a flash. Anyone?

I discovered a funny thing this morning when I was transferring the flowers to a different vase (more on that in a moment)...apparently I had only seen the back side of the arrangement last night, and I was delighted to discover pink roses and a bright red {something} this morning.

But the nicest thing about this gift isn't the flowers.

I've done business with our local florist a few times, so when my husband called her to place this order (which might be a first for him!), she knew who he was before he even told her. He was quite taken aback (which might be another first for him!) and asked how she knew, to which she replied, "One, it's your accent; two, I know your wife; and three, it's a small town." :) She told him she knows what I like (bright colors) and he left the choice of flowers to her discretion. I was delighted with the outcome.

However, when Tracy asked me if I liked the vase, I hesitated a moment before saying "yeah" in a rather vague way. Normally he would accept that at face value and move on with his life, but this time he asked again, "Do you really like it, or are you just saying that?" I confessed that I didn't care for it very much.

Much to my amazement, he said he didn't think I would.

Apparently he had mentioned this to the florist when he picked up the arrangement, because he told me she had told him I would.

The gift?

My husband knows me. That might seem like a small thing, but it's not to me. I love it. And that will last way longer than the flowers.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine's First

Our local homeschool group had a Valentine's Day party this afternoon - Jed's very first.

I loved celebrating Valentine's Day with my classmates in school. I loved the mailboxes we made each year, and I loved watching my friends stuff them with handmade Valentines, and, if I was lucky, maybe a sweet or two. And I loved the classroom parties afterwards.

However, I don't remember ever having party treats as beautiful and delectable as these! The moms really went all out to make things nice for the kids.

This was our contribution...not nearly as tantalizing, I'll admit, but considering I'm on Day 25 of a sugar fast, this seemed a sensible alternative. And the stickers are Valentine-y:

I'm Going Bananas For You
You're the Apple of My Eye
You're So Sweet Naturally
Orange You Glad You're My Valentine

It was so fun to see the mailboxes the kids made today, especially the girls' boxes. I love the lace and flowers and sparkly things.

And then there's Jed's. Darth Maul makes for a rather interesting Valentine's mailbox, no? :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Something the World Has Never Seen Before...

...Mrs. Smith ironing. :D

The boys made melted-crayon art today, which turned out pretty cool.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Winter Wonderland

We've had so much snow lately that it hardly phases me anymore.

But this morning, the view from the kitchen window stopped me dead in my tracks.

Apparently it snowed last night but this time was was clinging to the branches and transforming the view into something breathtaking.

Because the window screens are still up, I didn't take a shot from the kitchen window. However, and quite fortuitously, I just shoveled our back deck off yesterday so I could drag the Christmas tree out (yes, I just took down our tree yesterday), so I was able to step outside and get a clear shot of at least a small part of the beauty that is Maine in the winter.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Mud Room as Still Life

A close up of our messy lives these days.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Day 15

I've been sugar-free 15 days now. Today was test number one.

Jed and I went to a reception this afternoon and before I could even think, I had a cup of punch in my hands. I handed that back quickly enough, and moved away from the table.

But later I offered to fix a plate for someone who is a bit incapacitated, and it didn't occur to me, until it was too late, what I had set myself up for.

This gentleman has a hearty appetite, and I managed to squeeze on his plate a sampling of everything from the sweets table, which looked lovely and delectable.

The results were unanimous: I wasn't tempted! I was mildly curious, but I did not feel the least bit deprived from not indulging.

I aced that test! :)

image courtesy of Potatomato

Wednesday, February 02, 2011