Thursday, October 30, 2014

Love Thy Neighbor... and Their Fence

We are taught to love our neighbor, right?

Well, what about thy neighbor's fence?

Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side,
 and other times the leaves are prettier.

I actually really am quite fond of this fence.
I think it makes a lovely dividing line between our properties.
However, for a few weeks now, I have been experiencing leaf envy...
...their leaves were brighter and prettier than those on our side of the fence.

I snapped these today when I was home for lunch and added some effects just for fun.

The color is popping out all over...on both sides of the fence.
No more leaf envy for me :)
Joining the fun over at Good Fences.

Happy Friday, friends!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Just a little inspiration...

Hello friends!
Gee, it's been a week and a half since I have posted anything.
Have you missed me??? (lol)
I guess I have been waiting for the fall colors to inspire me and...well...
...this fall has been a little unusual as far as the fall foliage is concerned.
Here it is, nearly November and we still have many green trees...
...some which still have most of their leaves!

As you can see, we are getting a little color...finally.
So, bright and early Saturday morning I decided to go out and see what I could see.
I drove just a few miles to our local Lake Michael, and was so glad I did...
...because this is what I saw when I arrived.


At first glance, the lake was nearly invisible.
The fog over the lake combined with the glare of the sun nearly blinded me.

Other than the park caretaker, I, along with a lone fisherman were the only ones there.

The air was crisp and cool and it was glorious as I walked, leaves crunching underfoot...

...along the trail that ran parallel to the water's edge.
Beautiful color, at last!
How could I not be inspired by this?

As I strolled along, the fog gradually lifted, revealing crystal clear blue skies
and breathtaking reflections.


I could have stayed all morning but unfortunately, I had somewhere else I had to be...

...cutting my visit to Lake Michael a bit short.

But I found what I was seeking...

...some beautiful fall scenes full of color...

 ...and some inspiration :)
Have a blessed week, friends!

*I am sharing this post on Judith's Mosaic Monday.*
Come on over and see the other beautiful mosaics others are sharing!

*Also sharing with Cindy on Amaze Me Mondays *


Thursday, October 16, 2014

A bridge, a fence and an outhouse

Golly, it seems like forever ago since I posted on Tex's Good Fences linky!
Actually, I have been keeping up with all of your lovely offerings...
...I just haven't had any of my own for a while.
The leaves here haven't turned all that much as you can see,
but since I shot these photos last Friday, more color is popping out this week.
I found a new natural area close to home and hiked it...I don't know how many miles.
It sets on 190 acres and has 5 miles of walkable trails.
If I didn't know better, I'd say I hiked every single acre of it by the way I felt afterwards...
...and believe me, I felt the effects of it for DAYS.
I must be trying to convince myself that I really am still only 40 instead of 60!
This is at the Shallow Ford Natural Area in Elon, NC
and it is a part of the North Carolina Mountains to the Sea Trail.

Yes, I know this is technically a bridge but I think it could qualify as fence...don't you?
Maybe a little??

This structure was recently built to replace the old bridge and I found it quite unique.
Kind of looks like a railroad trestle, doesn't it?

The Basin Creek, which it stretches across, was nearly dried up due to lack of rainfall.

I was in search of the old stone chimney and root cellar leftover from this 1800's homestead.
Below is a not-so-great photo from another site, just to show you what I'm looking for.


Somehow, I missed it but according the map, I should have passed it on this trail.
Oh well, I guess that just gives me more incentive to go back and find it!
I do plan to go back after the leaves have turned and hopefully I can find the old home place.
But here is one thing I was able to find...

...the old outhouse!
This could actually come in quite handy...out there in the woods...if the urge hits you :)
And so, the further I walked, I actually found one...

...a real fence, although rather short... is indeed, a fence!
Happy Friday, everyone!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Letting Go

Letting go.
 I wish it was as easy as just opening up your hand...

...the way it was this week when I let go of my birthday balloons.

Many of you know I just celebrated a milestone birthday about a month ago.
 And I'm okay with all of that.
A few weeks had passed and the balloons that I received
had been floating around in my dining room ever since that day.
To be honest, I was kind of tired of watching them bobbing up and down,
 and nearly getting caught up in the ceiling fan.
Also, sometimes temporarily forgetting they were there,
I would see these figures moving out of the corner of my eye.
When you are home alone, this can be a bit spooky!

 Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed getting them.
But usually they lose their helium and start sinking after a few days.
Not these.

So, hubby Jim came up with the idea to let them I did!
After I released them, I was amazed as I watched them getting smaller and smaller... they glimmered in the sunlight on their journey upward.
I thought to myself, I wish it was that easy to let other things go that I hold onto.
It is so easy to say that I will "let go and let God"... sounds so spiritual, doesn't it?
And sometimes I think I'm successful at doing so.
At least for a while.

Until I find myself taking that burden back...
...or until the next family crisis or other stressful situation occurs.
The longer I stood there and watched them drift farther up into the clouds,
I thought to myself, if only I could relate my burdens to those helium-filled balloons,
I wouldn't be able to take them back if I tried...unless I sprouted wings and took off after them!
(I don't think that will happen any day soon :))
So praise be to God...He is using those balloons to teach me something!

In the midst of turmoil just this past week, 
I was reminded that the word of God tells us that we are not to worry.
Worry does nothing but ruin our day, on top of everything else!
This, of course, is easier said than done, but the Lord makes it possible.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~ Philippians 4:6

And here's the best part.
 When we learn to let things go...even really big things,
that very next verse in Philippians starts happening...
...and the peace of God which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:7
I don't understand how those three-week-old balloons could fly so high... high that we could no longer see them.
I also don't understand how God can take away our burdens...just like that.
I'm glad I'm learning that it's not my responsibility to understand...'s my responsibility to keep trusting Him...and to keep letting go.
Have a blessed week, my friends :)

Sharing at:
Spiritual Sundays
Sharing His Beauty

Friday, October 10, 2014

Still Life: An October Photo Challenge

Hello friends, I hope everyone has had a good week!
Linking up to Donna's Personal Photo Challenge is something I really look forward to.
It's interesting and fun to see what others will be sharing on any given month.
This month's challenge is all about still life photography.
I so appreciate all of the great information and links she gives us to prepare for it.
For instance...
...did you know that there is such a thing as a found still life?
I didn't!
This would be a scene that you would just happen on to...
...something that you would find set up, usually in nature, all by itself... the day I came across this leaf in the driveway with these lovely water drops.
I was out walking with my boys (dogs) and just had to hurry and go inside to grab my camera!
It was taken back in late summer, shortly after I upgraded my camera to the DSLR.
I just shot it with normal automatic settings and as you see, it had been raining.
I brightened it up just a smidge in Picasa and Picmonkey.
I couldn't very well do this post without including "The Watch".
This is an example of created still life...where you set up the scene using whatever.
I have taken so many photos of this watch, a family heirloom, set up in many different ways.
It was hard for me to decide which photo of it to use for this challenge.

There were other backgrounds that I preferred but I really liked the shadowing in this one.
This was actually taken last year with my trusty little Sony point & shoot,
on macro setting, edited to black & white, then warming up the temperature using Picasa.
As long as there is life in that little camera, I will keep it handy.
It has a permanent home in my purse :)
Lastly, I sat this scene up last weekend and took MANY shots, re-arranged in different ways.
I love this old enamelware bucket that I had up at the cabin.
But I have a confession to make...
...I only had two apples left and one of them is fake.
You can probably guess which one, now that I've told you.
I do like the contrasting color of the faux Granny Smith though :)

This was taken with my zoom on automatic settings.
I really need to take some time and experiment with the different settings... I actually know what I am doing!
I used the cross process edit and gave it some softness, also in Picasa.
Well, that's it for me, although I was tempted to add a fourth photo.
 But Donna is such a sweetie... and I didn't want to break the rules :)
Thanks again, Donna for hosting this fun challenge!
And have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Rotisserie Chicken-Noodle Soup and a Vintage Slow Cooker

Look...isn't she (I'll assume she's a she) just adorable?
I bought this sweet little thing for a couple of bucks at one of those yard sales... of those one I mentioned in my last post as we were collecting things for the cabin.

That was twelve years ago and I may have used her once or twice when she lived at the cabin.
Oh yes, I have other cookers but I couldn't resist her vintage charm...
...and she is still in such great shape!
Just for fun, I googled vintage crock pots and it took me a while to find one just like her.
Oh my goodness, I found harvest gold, avocado green, burnt orange...
...all kinds of others with different motifs on them but I scrolled and scrolled...
...and finally found the "brick" pattern...must be pretty rare, I thought!
It could have been that I was referring to her as a crock pot...
...she is actually a Crock Watcher, manufactured by Hamilton Beach.
Silly me...Rival makes crock pots!

Anyway, look what else I old newspaper ad.
Check out the dateline on it...also, check out the price!
That was a LOT of money back in 1977!
So, all week long I have been watching the weather report
and was thrilled to find out that we are in for some chilly weather this weekend.
Can I just tell you that it thrills my soul to make soup on the first chilly day of the season?!
After a long, hot summer here in the south, I just want to say a big ..."AHHHH"!

So after purchasing a rotisserie chicken (yum) a couple of days ago,
I decided chicken-noodle soup would be on the menu this weekend...
...cooked in my cute li'l vintage crock pot Crock Watcher :)
Have you ever made rotisserie chicken-noodle soup?
Using that lovely chicken makes such a wonderfully tasty broth.
Here's how I make it:

In a large saucepan, saute a chopped garlic clove, celery, carrots and onion...
...the amount is up to you, in olive oil and a little butter until slightly tender.
When the veggies are done, add a bit of broth to de-glaze the pan so to get all of that good flavor.

I then put what's left of the chicken, including the carcass into the same pan,
 adding just enough water or chicken broth to cover it.
There is so much meat and great flavor in the carcass so just boil the heck out of it...
 ...for maybe 20 minutes or so.
Remove chicken from the pot and cool long enough to be able to handle it.
Pull all the meat off bones...and now you can throw away that ugly carcass!
Transfer it all into the crock and add more broth for the amount of soup you desire.
I include some of the celery leaves as enhances the flavor and they are pretty too.
Add the seasonings you desire...salt, pepper and a little dried parsley is what I use.
When the soup has had plenty of time to cook together (remember the chicken is already cooked),
add whatever noodles you like...however many you's up to you!

It doesn't take the noodles long to cook so I add them about 20 minutes or so before time to eat.
It's best not to over cook them or they will get mushy.

 Before you know it, it's time to eat!
Give me a few crackers or some crusty bread and I'm good to go!
Yep, my little vintage CROCK WATCHER still works great after all these years!

Are you enjoying fall weather in your area this weekend?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...