Saturday, November 9, 2013
(I haven't baked any, yet, this year. As soon as I do, this post will be updated with photos.)
1 lb candied, mixed fruit. Usually found in the produce section during the holiday season
1 t baking soda dissolved in 1/2 c milk
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 stick butter or margarine
3 c chopped pecans (or more)
1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1 c all purpose flour
2 t cinnamon or spices
1/3 c orange juice
Dredge fruits in 1/2 c flour. Cream butter and add sugar. Mix until fluffy. Add in fruit mixture. Add eggs and mix well. Add remaining flour and spices, soda/milk mixture, and orange juice. Mix well.
Drop by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 min.
Yield: approx. 3 dozen
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
We always ate our vegetable soup with saltine crackers, but when I got married, my husband introduced me to soup with cornbread on the side. His mother gave us her soup recipe and over the years I've tweaked it a bit. In fact, I rarely make it the same way twice. I usually just make it with what I have on hand. I've decided I don't like potatoes in my soup. I'd rather fill up on beef. Big, juicy chunks of beef. And, I always make a huge pot (or two) and freeze it for easy weeknight meals.
We don't add any pasta to our soup. My husband doesn't like it and I don't really care either way. I prefer cabbage in it, but he doesn't really care for cabbage. Sometimes I finely chop the cabbage so that you can't distinguish it from onions and he's none the wiser. My mother used to put brussels sprouts in hers. Uh...no...no brussels sprouts in my soup.
People are always asking us for recipes and some we share...some we don't. I have no problem sharing my homemade soup recipe. There's isn't really anything special about it. And, as I said earlier, I never make it the same way twice. In fact, once I browned a bunch of ground meat and used it in place of chopped beef. Another time, I didn't feel like going to the store so I left the meat out completely for a great vegetable soup. I encourage anyone trying it to put their own spin on it, too.
So, without further ado, here how I made it this time.
Ingredients for 20 quarts of soup
2 - 48 oz containers of Low Sodium Swanson Chicken Broth
1 - 64 oz bottle of Low Sodium V8 Juice
1 - 14.5 oz can Hunt's Diced Fire Roasted tomatoes or any canned tomatoes
2 - 15 oz cans Hunt's Tomato Sauce
2 - 10 oz cans Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
1 - 12 oz can Hunt's Tomato Paste
2 - 16 oz bags frozen Bird's Eye Cut Green Beans or any good, frozen green beans
2 - 16 oz bags frozen Bird's Eye Sweet Kernel Corn or any good, frozen sweet corn
1 - 32 oz bag frozen Veg-All or any good frozen vegetable mix
2 - 15.5 oz cans Goya Black Beans or any other beans that you like or have on hand
3 - large sweet onions, finely chopped
7 lbs boneless chuck roast, cut into small pieces. I bought two 3.5 lb roasts.
All purpose seasoning and kosher salt
Set your burner to medium heat. In a 20 quart pot, combine the chicken broth and V8 juice. Stir in the canned tomatoes then the tomato paste. Stir well and continue stirring so the tomato paste doesn't stick to the bottom. You want to get it incorporated into the liquid. Add the veggies. Keep stirring. Remove the labels from the cans and put the cans in the dishwasher so they'll be nice and clean for a Pinterest upcycling project in your near future...or don't. In either case, take some time to clear the clutter. Now is when I chop up my onions. If I don't feel like doing a fine chop, I sometimes just cut the onions in half and then slice it up finely. We like onions, so we often cook our onions this way. If you have picky eaters, finely chopped onion is easily lost in the soup. Next, with a sharp knife, cut the meat into small, bite size pieces. A sharp knife is the key. It also makes it easy to trim away any fat. As you get a nice little pile of meat, add it to the soup. Stir. Add seasoning and salt by sprinkling generously. Stir.
Now that all of your ingredients are in the pot, add enough water to bring the level to within an inch of the rim of the pot. Turn the heat up to medium high. Stir. You want to bring it to a slow rolling boil. I usually keep it at a gentle boil for at least two hours, stirring every so often, then turn the heat down a bit and cook another hour or so. This ensures that the meat is tender and the flavors are well combined. The liquid will reduce to about three inches below the rim, concentrating the flavors even more.
For cornbread, we prefer the Jiffy Corn Muffin mix. It's a sweeter cornbread that complements the savory soup. I mix two boxes and bake in an oblong dish. When it's done, I remove it from the oven and cut it immediately then cover it with butter or margarine so that it drips into the crevices.
I usually start my soup early on a Saturday or Sunday morning so that it can cook while I'm working around the house. By late afternoon the house smells wonderful. We enjoy an early meal, then I ration it out into Glad Freezerware 8 cup containers. By bedtime, they have cooled enough to put them into the freezer. DO NOT put hot soup in your refrigerator or freezer. You run the risk of it spoiling as well as heating up the environment and spoiling everything around it.
And that's it. Easy peasy. Delicious and nutritious.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
This morning I woke up knowing that I needed to tackle the master bathroom - not a fun task so it's not cleaned as often as it should. We have a huge jetted tub and tower surround constructed from that poured, man-made marble stuff. Our shower head is in the tub surround, which means water sprayed at the walls rolls down onto the deck and right onto the floor. To solve for this we have a huge set of custom, glass, sliding doors to contain the watery mess. Add very hard water to the mix and you get a really scummy, scaly, icky situation. I know it sounds disgusting, but it is what it is.
I have tried so many products to cut through the build up, with no success. Part of the problem is that to really get the shower/tub area clean I have to get into the tub. I end up getting cleaning chemicals all over me and give up before the job is done.
That is, until today!
Today's Encore stars are Dawn Dishwashing Liquid and White Vinegar appearing together in their own Encore as Bathroom Cleaner. I started off by heating 12 oz of white vinegar in the microwave for three minutes. I poured it into a spray bottle using a funnel. Then I added 12 oz of Dawn Original Dishwashing Liquid and shook gently. I sprayed down the walls, tub, doors - every surface I could reach in the shower/tub enclosure. It works on chrome, too, so all the fixtures got a heavy dose. The Dawn helped it to cling to the walls.
After about 30 minutes I took a kitchen scrubber sponge and gently scrubbed and swirled the mixture. The vinegar fumes were a little strong, but I knew they weren't harmful. I didn't get the headache or nausea that I usually experience with the store brands. As I scrubbed with one hand, I ran the other hand along the surface to check for any remaining scum. You know it's clean when it's smooth as glass. Once I had scrubbed everything down, I used a plastic cup to rinse everything down. Yes, I got wet during this process, but it was just water, soap, and vinegar so it didn't burn my skin or bleach my clothes. And it was worth it.
I couldn't believe how well this worked. I may never buy bathroom cleaner again!
Saturday, February 18, 2012
"It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling."
"Please Do Not Remove Label Under Penalty of Law"
When I read these warnings I get the urge to defy them. I want to mix chemicals just to see if they'll create poisonous gases or cause an explosion. I want to wander the aisles of a home textiles store and rip the tag off of every pillow. I've always been up for a challenge. I love defying the odds. I've never really set out to break the law, but I do think creatively. I visit a flea market, garage sale, or Goodwill store and my wheels spin into overdrive with the possibilities.
Recently, I decided that I wanted to plant a succulent dish garden. I've always appreciated the variety of textures and colors of these hardy, water-retaining plants that are cousins to cacti. Hmmm...water retaining...maybe I feel a kinship...Anyway, I decided to pick up a few little succulent gems at Home Depot. They had a modest selection and each plant cost a little under $4. But when it came to choosing a dish, I wasn't so lucky. I wasn't sure where my little garden would be placed so I wanted a neutral container...but I didn't want terra cotta. The other containers were too deep and they were plastic. Ewwww!!! I picked up a small bag of potting soil while I was there, which completed my purchases. Yes, I know, spending less than $50 at Home Depot sounds crazy, but I did it!My plant selection
I then headed next door to Walmart for a few groceries and decided to peruse the aisles for just the right dish. And lo and behold, I found it in the aisle with the party platters and serving trays. Anchor Hocking makes a 13", shallow glass dish, which they call a serving tray. It was just the right size. I know Anchor Hocking did not manufacture this dish with the intention of it being used as a table top garden. But I didn't see any warning labels on it telling me not to, so I went for it! I already had bags of aquarium gravel at home, so I made my way to the checkout lanes.
I often do things a little backwards, and this was no exception. After purchasing my plants, I did some Googling on how to plant them properly. I learned that I should have bought cactus mix potting soil or some pumice to add to my soil. Succulents don't like wet feet, so you need to draw moisture away from them rather than hold it close. Good drainage is key.
Sooo...Here's what I did. First I decided on how I wanted to arrange them in the dish. Then I poured a nice layer of gravel in my dish. Next, I poured a layer of potting soil. I removed each plant from its pot and positioned it in the soil. I sketched the arrangement on paper, numbered each plant, and noted the name by each. There's was no way I would remember what each one was. I wiggled each planting so that the roots were kind of in the gravel. I anchored the plants in place with more potting soil, then topped it with gravel to hide the soil. During the planting process, soil and gravel spilled into the leaves of the plants so I used an old paint brush to clean them off. I removed gravel from deep in the leaves using tweezers. I watered slightly and I was done.
Succulents only need to be watered about once a week, and sparingly at that. Watering in the morning is best. They like morning light, so I placed my dish in the window of my bedroom. My original intention was to bring the dish garden to work, but from everything I read I don't think they would thrive.
Here's my finished, succulent dish garden. I'm very happy with it.
Here's an overhead shot and plant identification. Some have very cute names.
1. Climbing Aloe - aloe ciliaris
2. Graptoveria 'Debbie'
3. 'Alpenglow' 'Vera Higgins' - Graptosedum
4. Aloe Pinto
5. Rainbow Bush or Elephant Bush - Portulacaria afra 'Variegata'
6. Golden Sedum - Sedum adolphii
7. String of Buttons - Crassula perforata
8. Peperomia - Peperomia ferreyrae
Succulents will grow in just about any kind of container, as long as they have good drainage. Here are some more clever ideas for growing your own.
A living succulent wreath for year-round color by Julie Martens. Project instructions from Better Homes & Gardens.
Barbara Jordan Dettweiler works succulents into her interior design in clever ways, like these vintage silver champagne glasses. You can read about it on her blog, Haus Design.
Succulent turtle topiary available from Simply Succulents
Do you prefer glowing rather than growing? Here are some beautiful succulent candles from Tavalu.com.
How about sewing instead of growing? This cushion's design was inspired by the Euchavaria succulent. It's by Ronel Jordaan and can be found on amagugu.com.
The simple elegance of succulents can be adapted to any decorating style and their drought tolerance means you don't have a green thumb to grow them. I'm sure you'll see them in future posts as I find new ways to work them into my own home.
Want to see more great projects that you can do yourself? Join me at the Addicted 2 Decorating Link Party every Friday afternoon!
Thursday, February 16, 2012
I have a thing for bright colors in the coral family - brilliant coral reds, fiery coral oranges, and vibrant coral pinks. My wardrobe has reflected this through the years. And when it comes to flowers, especially roses, make them a bright shade of coral. I was so excited when Pantone announced their 2012 Color of the Year: Pantone 17-1463 Tangerine Tango. It's a bright, reddish orange that reminds me of a highly polished coral cabochon gem. We will not dwell on the fact that it is also reminiscent of the burnt orange color so popular in 1970's interior design. I mean, what child of the 70's doesn't remember the Brady Bunch kitchen?
I question their choice to include the word "tangerine" in the name. I mean, I like tangerines and "tangerine tango" is a really cool name, but I've never seen a tangerine this color. If they would have asked me what I thought the name should be, I would have named it something like "Coral Captivation". But they didn't ask me and now they've made the big announcement, so there's no turning back at this point.
I was so inspired by this bold and energetic color that I decided to feature it in the color palette for this blog. The blog had originally been created to showcase my photography, so I kept it dark, avoiding color so as not to detract from the photos. But now that I've switched directions, I decided it needed a fresh new look with cheerful and vibrant colors. I combined the vibrant orange with a pale blue since, in this case, opposites really do attract! Now I just need to decide whether to keep the dark gray body color, or change it to something lighter and brighter. What do you think?
This fiery orange-red color also reminds me of some of the most beautiful sunsets that I have been lucky enough to photograph at Lake Martin-Cypress Island Preserve in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, just a few minutes from my home. This is one of my favorites. If you like sunsets, or just nature photography in general, I have an entire Lake Martin, Cypress Island Preserve set on Flickr."Glow" by kim dever thibodeaux
Check out Out of Curiosity::Is Orange for You? a post by Kristi Linauer on her blog, Addicted 2 Decorating. She's just a state over in Waco, Texas. Her blog inspired me to revive this blog. Her talent and bravado have resulted in some amazing makeovers. She has the job I dream of!
Here are some inspirational photos of designs that feature colors similar to Tangerine Tango and, in some cases, have been paired with blues similar to my selection.
This next one really evokes the feeling I'm striving for in my Master Bedroom Makeover.Morgan Harrison Home featured on DecorPad.com.
So tell me now...Do you Tangerine Tango?
Sunday, February 12, 2012
"The best laid schemes of mice and men, often go awry." - John Steinbeck
It was Kasey's birthday Saturday, so I didn't get started until late Saturday afternoon. Done properly, prepping walls takes longer than actually painting them, so I had a lot of work to do. Then, when I thought I was ready to begin painting the trim, I discovered I had bought oil-based paint. Sooo...I switched gears and began painting walls instead. The light coming into the room was very bright and it didn't take long to realize that the Barely Jade color we had chosen was hardly jade, it looked powder blue...Sean's least favorite color in the whole wide world. (Click here to see the before photos.)
Sunday morning, I drove to Home Depot and exchanged the oil paint for BEHR Premium Plus Ultra Pure White High-Gloss Enamel, an acrylic enamel. If you've never used an acrylic enamel, it takes a bit of getting used to. It has a thick consistency. You have to put it on kind of thick, but not so thick as to run. And once you get it on the woodwork, leave it alone. Don't try to re-brush it because it sets quickly and you'll make a mess. If you leave it alone, it will blend back into itself leaving a smooth finish.
Once I got the trim painted, I re-painted the wall next to the trim to create a nice, clean edge, then I applied a second coat of paint to the walls. I still have a few spots to touch up, but I'm pleased with the outcome. Sean and I both struggled with the fact that our room was a pale blue color, but as the sun went down and the incandescent lights were turned on, it was the pale greenish color we expected. I think once we install white crown molding and get the dark brown floors in and bring some more accents into the room, the wall color will take on a supporting role instead of playing the lead.
Now I'm exploring options for all the finishing touches in the room, starting with new lamps. Since I plan on going white with the bed linens, I think bringing in lamps with bold, graphic design could be interesting. This Lights Up! Kimono Shade from Lamps Plus is bold in its simplicity.
There are some great fabrics on the market, so maybe I'll create my own custom drum shades to top the bright red, glass lamps we already own. I'm in LOVE with this print I found on Fabric.com It's called Wrenly Wren Gypsy White by Valori Wells. I not only love all the colors and the retro feel of the design, but it features the cutest little birds. And best of all, Sean likes it! I like Michael Miller's Mini Mikes Slender Stripe Retro as a coordinating design. I've attempted to show them to scale. I could use them to create the cushion and accent pillows for the window seat we're going to build.
We're also looking at options for the built in bookshelves. Sean can build them, but if we can buy some at an affordable price, that would be ideal.
The Victorian ceiling fan needs to be replaced with something more sleek like this contemporary Hunter 52 in. from Home Depot. I know interior design experts poo-poo ceiling fans, but we live in South Louisiana and I'm almost 45 years old. I need a ceiling fan. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Case closed.
Add our new bed and an area rug and it will be a wonderful place to retire to after a long day at work. If I only had a magic wand...but I don't. So we'll just continue doing a little at a time and I'll post our progress here.
Have a great week!
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Since Winter has abandoned South Louisiana, we started spring-cleaning early. Not your average, run-of-the-mill cleaning. Oh no. We're talking major . Like carpeting. Yep, ripping it out. Our home was built circa 1997, but we bought it in 2005. And it's time to make it "ours". So, if we're ripping out the carpeting, what better time to paint, right? And what about that archway between the living room and the dining area? Let's get rid of that, too! Oh,and the big plate glass mirrors in the bathrooms. Let's frame them. And what about...You can see what kind of year this is going to be.
I've decided to chronicle our adventures as Weekend Warriors so that maybe I can inspire others to do the same. After all, it's other people's blogs (and years of HGTV) that have given me the confidence that we can do it ourselves.
Our to-do list is long, so we have come up with a strategy. We've never installed wood floors, so we're going to start in our bedroom, then work our way out to the living room and then into the dining area. The plan is to know what we're doing by the time we're finished with the bedroom. Pretty smart, huh?
So here's our room, ready for the carpet-ectomy.
...and here it is with a section of carpet gone.
...and finally, bare concrete.
There's so much to do in this room. I can't wait!
First, the walls are going from the mustard gold color to a calming, watery blueish-green. It's going to look so nice with glossy white trim (yep, it's getting repainted, too). We agreed on Glidden's Duo Paint & Primer Barely Jade in a flat finish, which we picked up from Home Depot. It won't be long before we're on a first name basis with their employees. We go to the Broussard location and have had great customer service.
Our furniture has a dark coffee finish that is just going to pop against the color. I think the watery color on the walls combined with the dark woods gives it a spa-like feeling.
I painted a small portion of the wall and staged a nightstand in front of it for effect. I should note that the paint went on nicely and I got one-coat coverage, which I hadn't expected given how dark the wall color is.
For the floors, we selected Virginia Mill Works Engineered Handscraped 1/2" x 5" Potomac Plank. The hand-scraping gives it a wavy, worn surface and the satin finish will stand up to the dogs. We purchased the flooring from Lumber Liquidators in Broussard, Louisiana. They are open late until 7:00 p.m. on Thursdays and the staff is very friendly and helpful. We thought we would have to settle for laminate flooring but learned that we could actually afford real wood plank flooring. Best of all, we got 18 months interest-free financing!
I staged a nightstand with a few planks to get an idea of what it will look like. The color is a bit off in this photo since I shot it with my phone. The LED flash is cool so the nightstand looks purple. I just don't feel like color correcting it. Don't judge.
Once we get the walls painted and the flooring installed, Sean is going to construct built-in bookcases with cabinets at the bottom and a window seat along the front wall. We'll give it a nice coat of white paint so that it becomes an architectural detail in the room. Then we'll finish off the room with white crown molding - a detail that is missing throughout our entire home.
I'm going to re-frame the girls' portraits and my wedding portrait in sleek wood frames and relocate them. Over the bed, I'm going to hang three individual matted, framed prints created from this one photo. I'm sure that project will warrant its own blog entry.
When the room is complete, we're going to reward ourselves by finally purchasing the bed that matches our dresser and nightstands. I don't particularly care for matched furniture, but my husband is a stickler about matching furniture and symmetry and that's OK, too. If there's a secret to being married for 22 years as we have, it's learning how to compromise. Here's what the bed looks like. It's part of Crate and Barrel's Brighton Collection.
To keep that spa-like feeling, I think I'll top it off with crisp, classic white linens like these from Sferra, but mine will probably come from Ross. You can't beat their prices. I mean, you could pay more, but why? I love how fresh white bedding looks and with our dogs we need something that can be laundered often and still look great. If they're good enough for the finest hotels, they're good enough for our new master retreat!
So there you have it, our initiation into the Weekend Warrior Club. This is going to be so much fun! Are you feeling it?
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
If you aren't familiar with what a QR code is, here is a snippet of what Wikipedia has to say:
"A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data...Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR Codes are now used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile phone users (known as mobile tagging). QR Codes can be used to display text to the user, to add a vCard contact to the user's device, to open a URI or to compose a text message or email. Users can also generate and print their own QR Code for others to scan and use by visiting one of several free QR Code generating sites.
QR Codes storing addresses and URLs may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards, or on just about any object about which users might need information. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader application can scan the image of the QR Code to display text, contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web page in the phone's browser. This act of linking from physical world objects is known as a hardlink or physical world hyperlinks."
Scan the code below with your camera phone app and you'll be brought directly to my Flickr Photostream.
Pretty cool, huh?
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Sunday, December 13, 2009
The stillness of the air was broken only by the flapping of birds' wings and splashing of fish and fowl. I always enjoy witnessing daybreak at the lake. I left the launch area and headed down the road toward the boardwalk. I stopped across the street from the farmhouse with the cows and wandered over to the water's edge. A great egret was stalking its breakfast and had no problem with me being there. In fact he moved a bit closer during his pursuit.
I keep my camera in my car with my "everyday lens", which would work for landscapes. I didn't take my 500mm lens with me because it was with the rest of my equipment in my bedroom and I had wanted to sneak out without waking my husband. So of course, I had plenty of photo ops with a mere 28-135 lens! Not only could I have gotten some great closeups of this egret, but while I was standing there a beautiful red-bellied woodpecker decided to play around in the tree above me. I still don't get why it's called a red-bellied woodpecker when the head is red, not the belly! Then I saw a little bluish-gray, finch-like bird land in the duck potato plants growing in the water directly in front of me. He flitted around for quite some time, obviously aware that he was taunting me. Tonight I saw that a fellow photographer took some shots of the same kind of bird and identified it as a blue-gray gnat-catcher. I'll have to go back and get some shots of my own.
I hated to leave, but I knew that I had to. I could have spent all day there. It was in direct contrast to the craziness I had experienced Saturday at the mall when I attempted to do some Christmas shopping. I'll take the lake over the mall anytime!
What a wonderful way to start my day!
If you like these photos, you can click here to see more photos taken at Lake Martin, part of the Cypress Island Preserve in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
This is not good.
Once an alligator loses its fear of humans, it is a danger to humans. When this happens to gators at Lake Martin they must be removed and relocated or, even worse, put to death.
Ironically the alligators that are being fed hang out within INCHES of a sign telling people not to feed them. The people who choose to ignore this warning are going to be the first to try to file a lawsuit when they are injured by an alligator.
This is a slideshow I made from still shots I took of a one of the larger gators at the lake. It was just hanging out by the roadside (probably waiting for someone to throw it a marshmallow). I was taking pictures of it when it started to move toward the bank. (Yes, I was in my vehicle). Then it came out of the water and picked up a plastic shopping bag in its mouth then retreated back to the water and spit the bag out. Then it came up again. And THAT'S when I discovered that it was coming back for marshmallows that someone had left there!
At first I was really upset that people had been feeding it. Then I was amazed that it came up out of the water to retrieve a marshmallow - something so small and sweet! Gators are carnivores known for eating rotting carcasses. Not marshmallows!
OK. I'll stop now, because if I don't I'm going to get on the subject of all the LITTER from people throwing stuff at the gators!
Click on the picture below for a larger view.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
View Large On Black
It's February 24, 2009, Mardi Gras. No work. No school. I awaken early, dress in the dark, grab my gear and dash out of the house headed for the lake - careful not to wake my sleeping husband and children. I thrilled to learn that it's 37° outside. If I'm right, the water in Lake Martin is warmer than the air and a nice steamy mist will be rising from the surface.
As I drive away, the sun is just appearing over the horizon. It's burning bright on the winter morning. I've never driven to the lake in the early morning, so I am excited at the prospect of what I will find.
I arrive at the lake and out of my side window I immediately notice a blue heron standing still as a statue in the water, waiting for breakfast to swim into view. Then, I notice the mist. Just has I suspected, its dreamy tendrils are rising from the lake. I am giddy with anticipation. Within minutes, the golden sun breaks through the trees and beams of light streak across the lake, illuminating the mist.
From where I am standing, a tree-lined peninsula separates the lake so that the water on the other side of it glows like an ethereal cauldron. I carefully compose my photos and fire away, knowing that something wonderful awaits on my memory card.
The air is soon filled with the noises of lake activities. The cries of birds beginning their day. The rumbling of boat engines starting up and racing off to find that perfect fishing spot. I continue to shoot on foot, then I return to my car and tour the lake road, enjoying the morning as it unfolds.
I have witnessed the birth of another beautiful day in South Louisiana.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
After picking up my daughter at a friend's house, we made a quick trip to the lake since we both had our cameras with us. No clouds to be seen, but we could still get some sunset pics. When we arrived at the lake, I was excited to see a few clouds just above the horizon, reflecting the golden glow of the setting sun.
But, before I was out of the car - surprise! John sees me through the window and recognizes me! Beth wasn't far behind. Then I find out D and C are there, too! It turned out to be a surprise Lake Martin Flickr Group meet and greet. A quite chilly one, I might add.
After setting up my tripod and mounting my camera, I turned it on only to discover I had left my CF card in my computer at home. Luckily, I had some smaller cards on me for backup. While my daughter ran back to the car for the backups, I used her point and shoot to get in some shots.
It didn't take long for me to figure out what a fun group of friends I have made. In fact, after a couple of minutes it was like we had known each other forever. We've corresponded through Flickr, but I had never met them in person. We had fun taking pics of the sunset and a few birds and enjoying a few good laughs. It was nice to know that I'm not the only one trying to figure out which settings to use for what. Since Tuesday is Mardi Gras and most of us will have the day off, we talked about meeting up on Tuesday.
On the way home my daughter asked if I was going to the lake Tuesday and if she could come with me. It looks like photography is becoming more than just a creative outlet for me. It's helping me to make some wonderful new friends and creating some great memories for me and my girls.
I wasn't very focused (pardon the pun) on what I was doing, so my shots were pretty unremarkable. In honor of Mardi Gras, I took some liberties with this photograph and gave it a purple cast to complement the gold.
Photo taken at Lake Martin, Cypress Island Preserve, Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
Korey turned 10 on February 17th. She wanted her party decorations to be pink and brown. For her cake, she wanted chocolate with pink polka dots and a "K" in the middle, just like the one I put on Kasey's cake.
I baked three 8" layers of Devil's Food pound cake and used Bavarian cream filling between the layers. I frosted the cake with homemade chocolate frosting then decorated it with bright pink fondant polka dots. I finished it off with light pink pearls and a circular plaque with a large, bright pink "K" in the center.
Just as for Kasey's party, I displayed the cake on a glass cake pedestal rimmed in silver. It's the same one that was used for our cakes when we were kids, so it holds a special meaning to me.
She loved her cake and her friends were amazed. Now they all want me to make their next birthday cake.