Extra 6 Lenses Photos

The photos that didn’t make the cut – for one reason or another.  But I like some just as well as the one I chose.  Tell me what you think, and which photo is your favorite.  This week’s theme is horizontal lines.

_MG_7844

(1) This one made it on 6 Lenses

_MG_7848

(2) With my shadow

_MG_7857

(3) I love barbed wire

_MG_7861

This one and the next one don’t really fit the category, but I like them. 🙂

_MG_7862

 

_MG_7867

(4) This one and the next one don’t have the perfect focus, but I like them none the less (wow, what a schooling on what I like!)

_MG_7870

(5)

 

So, which one(s) do you like?

Today–11/26/12

I know that I haven’t posted about Thanksgiving yet, but I’m not going to post about that today.  I may or may not post about that in the future – we’ll just see.  I don’t want to make any promises that I won’t end up keeping.  🙂

Today was just a normal day of school, of life.

I made an imitation Chipotle dinner tonight.  I really wasn’t planning on making the whole thing a Chipotle imitation, but it sort of took on a life of its own, and I ended up making rice, beans, and salsa, in addition to the meat.  It turned out wonderfully (if I do say so myself).  Mom ended up running to the store this evening, so she picked up some Monterey Jack cheese.  They use a blend of Jack and White Cheddar at Chipotle.  I am a HUGE fan of their cheese, just to mention one thing.  I have gotten the same thing every time I have gone to Chipotle – a Steak Burrito Bowl with brown rice (now that they offer that, I used to get white), black beans, mild salsa, and cheese.  LOTS of cheese.  I think one time I had an actual burrito.  But I much prefer the burrito bowl.  Let’s just get it out there now – I LOVE CHIPOTLE!

O.K., now that we have that covered, I can tell you what I made for dinner.  I found this recipe for Carnitas* when I was looking for slow-cooker recipes for this month’s meal plan.  I was really happy with how it turned out.  The only change I made was to use significantly less cinnamon, but I will probably up it a little next time.  Although I have only tasted the Carnita meat when my family members have extra, and I am not completely stuffed (I have never ordered it myself, as I have a thing about Chipotle’s steak), I thought it tasted a lot like Chipotle’s, and the beans and rice did, too.  I just looked online for imitation recipes, and found quite a few.  Everyone enjoyed it.  The cheese was well liked by all (see above).

No pictures.  I ate it too fast, before I remembered that I should snap a photo to share.  🙂

 

I have been reading an herb book lately (not that unusual), and in it the author discussed how great a walk is for you during the middle of the day, to take a break from desk work.  I went for a walk today, and it was lovely.  Today was a bit chilly.  It was also gray, but I rather enjoyed both of these things.  I like the cold, gray days.  They always have a certain quiet beauty about them.  I can’t explain it.  There is just a quiet serenity in the days when they are cold and gray.  They are not so shout-out-loud beautiful as the Spring days, with the colorful flowers popping their heads up everywhere.  They are not so gorgeously beautiful as the Summer days, with the intense greens of the grass and trees, and the blues of the sky.  Nor are they so gloriously beautiful as the Autumn days, with the trees dressed in their best outfits for the last party of the season, as it were.  No, the cold, gray, quiet days of early fall and winter have a majestic, serene, quiet, calming, half-gentle, half-harsh beauty about them.  I love gray days.

So I brought my camera on my walk with me.  As I had my macro lens on the camera, and didn’t really feel like changing it, I thought it would be a good exercise to try to focus on little things, and to see how many textures and small things I could catch on my walk, instead of looking for the big things, the big picture.  I wanted to zoom in, as it were, on the little beauties that were hiding on the path, things that would usually get overlooked.

Here are a few of my shots.

_MG_5750

 

_MG_5774

 

_MG_5779

LOVE the moss

_MG_5780

And the grass

_MG_5783

 

_MG_5784

Old barbed wire is so…country…

_MG_5789

…and just plain wonderful!

_MG_5795

 

_MG_5799

 

_MG_5803

 

_MG_5807

 

_MG_5814

Moss on a tree – not sure if I like this shot…

_MG_5822

…or this shot better.  What do you think?  One or two?

_MG_5827

Old rusty farm equipment

_MG_5831

 

_MG_5840

 

_MG_5851

 

_MG_5860

 

 

Thank you for reading today’s ramblings!

Love to you,
Allison

 

*Note:  I have not explored this website, so I do not endorse everything on it.  I just like this recipe.  🙂

Sunset, Blue Sky, Bare Trees, Beautiful

I know that I just posted a few hours ago, but I can’t help it.  I need to post again.

About an hour ago I looked out the window, and noticed that the sky looked lovely – deep blue with the white clouds streaked against it.  So I decided to go sit out on the deck and take a few photos.

I went and sat there and started snapping away.

Then I saw a part of the sky that I really wanted to take a picture of.  But I needed to get up to take it.  Once I was off the deck, I went for a walk.

And I was richly rewarded.

The wind was (and is) quite busy.  It was mostly warm, but suddenly I would feel a bit of cold in it, making me thankful that I had worn a jacket.

And it reminded me that, although it was 80 degrees out today, winter is still coming.  It is not far off.

I watched the sky slowly change from bright to dark, and the clouds drifting across it.

The sunset wasn’t a beautiful, colorful, amazing sunset.  It was just a quiet going-away of the sun.  The sky stayed mostly blue, with some yellows and golds near the sun, and just the faintest tinges of pink here and there.

I decided that I needed to visit one of my favorite places – the clearing (if that’s what you would call it) behind the pond.  It is so open and beautiful.  The thick grass is framed on all sides by the trees.  This time of year you can see through them all the way past the pond to the road, but in the spring and summer it is more difficult.

It feels very secluded back there, even though it isn’t.

I took Meiling and Noah with me to the clearing-behind-the-pond.  Meiling told us a bit of a story on the way.  It went something like this.

“Once there was a man named Mr. Mashmallow.  He liked dogs.  So he bought a dog.  It was a hound dog.”

(I immediately started singing “Hound Dog.” Once I finished, she continued.)

“They also had a green buffalo in their yard.”

“A green buffalo?” I asked, “In their yard?”

“Yes,” she responded.

I think that is far as she got.

On the way back home, while we were passing two conifer trees growing closely together, she said, “I am going to check if there is a bear.”  She used her flashlight to check if there was.

She then calmly informed me, “You have a baboon in your jacket.”

At this time my jacket was tied around my waist.  Not sure exactly what was meant by this.  I don’t think she was referring to me.  No, she doesn’t do that yet.

She then informed me that she was trying to “freak me out.”

She makes me laugh.

And not long after that, we were home.

_MG_5090

On the deck – the sky through the tree

_MG_5093

Relaxin’

_MG_5099

This caption goes for the next few pictures: I LOVE the bare tree limbs against the lovely sky!

_MG_5101

LOVE the clouds

_MG_5102

 

_MG_5103

 

_MG_5106

 

_MG_5108

 

_MG_5111

 

_MG_5112

 

_MG_5114

 

_MG_5118

An airplane flew by 🙂

_MG_5121

I LOVE THE CLOUDS!!!!

_MG_5123

Leaving the deck

_MG_5124

 

_MG_5127

Somebody’s excited about her bone!

_MG_5134

 

_MG_5140

These trees are my favorite.  They look so beautiful all the time – in spring, summer, winter, and fall, in fresh green, bright sun, soft rain, and snow

_MG_5149

The sky in front of our home was particularly striking

_MG_5152

SO beautiful

_MG_5154

So BEAUTIFUL

_MG_5155

 

_MG_5158

Lines

_MG_5161

 

_MG_5162

 

_MG_5167

 

_MG_5171

My feet, or lack thereof

_MG_5174

 

_MG_5180

 

_MG_5182

 

_MG_5185

Were does it lead?

_MG_5186

A lovely wooded walk (I went this way, in case you were wondering)

_MG_5187

 

_MG_5193

Walkin’

_MG_5194

This make me smile

_MG_5198

On the way to the clearing-behind-the-pond with Meiling and Noah

_MG_5199

 

_MG_5201

 

_MG_5203

 

_MG_5210

Following the path

_MG_5214

 

_MG_5220

Meiling thought she saw a bunny, so she went to look

_MG_5221

It turned out to be only waving grass

_MG_5222

 

_MG_5230

 

_MG_5232

 

_MG_5238

Heading back home

_MG_5240

 

_MG_5244

The warm home-light beckons

_MG_5251

Autumn Self-Portraits

Thursday was a beautiful day – in the morning the sun was out, but in the afternoon the clouds rolled in.  There was a brisk breeze and it was just a bit nippy.  The weather plainly said “Autumn.”

It was the perfect day for some self-portraits.  I headed out with my camera and got a few shots.  I only spent about 45 minutes out there, which, although it sounds like a lot, isn’t that long.  My first self-portrait shoot took about, oh, an hour, maybe a bit less.  My second self-portrait shoot took probably 2+ hours.  Which was very, very fun.

Anyways, there are not all that many different shots, so this post won’t be too terribly long (although I don’t need to tell you that, since you will find that out in a few seconds).

So, without further ado, here they are.

(Breaking news alert:  I just went and selected all my photos, and there will be more than I originally thought.  Many more.  Just thought you would like a heads up.)

 

_MG_4362

This spot is right in the front yard, and I could see it from the window.  It called my name all day, “Come.  You need to take some self-portraits right here.”  So I listened.

_MG_4367

Throwing leaves.  Yay!

_MG_4376

 

_MG_4381

 

_MG_4393

 

_MG_4397

1…2…3…

_MG_4403

…Throw!

_MG_4424

 

_MG_4432

I love this fence!  You may remember it from this picture.  This lovely tree has a few branches that bend over the fence.  This was another spot that was calling my name.

_MG_4443

 

_MG_4450

 

_MG_4451

Bare feet!

_MG_4472

At the edge of our property, standing on the road, looking up – the lovely orange and red of the maple and oak trees, respectively.

_MG_4474

See the leaves flying?  The wind was blowing quite briskly.

_MG_4478

I really like how these turned out.  I underexposed them some by accident, but I am quite happy with the resulting effect.

_MG_4484

 

_MG_4491

 

_MG_4502

I found this tree out in the woods behind our property.  Just a perfect place!

_MG_4513

 

_MG_4516

 

_MG_4523

I thought that it would be fun to jump.  I ended up only proving to myself that I can’t jump gracefully.  This is the only one that turned out.  All the others look extremely ridiculous.

_MG_4526

Just to prove the last point, here is an example of how the rest of my jumping shots turned out.  *Sigh*  Rather pathetic, and ridiculous.  But they made me giggle.  🙂

Today – 10/1/12

Happy October, everyone!

I told that to my sister this morning, and she promptly asked me what October was.  🙂

*Urgent News*  This is going to be a ramble-y post.  So it is a little disjointed.  Some of it will make more sense when you see the pictures.  I’m not sure about the rest of it.  😛  If you would rather, just scroll down to the pictures. 🙂  (I am in a bit of a smiley face mood today.  You’ll se what I mean in a minute.)

Today has been a quiet day.  I spent it giving my room a good cleaning since we have a good family friend coming to visit us tomorrow, and she will be staying in my room.  She will be here for ten days.

Once I was finished with my room, I spread out the cookbooks that are in my room, and continued with the menu planning.  I currently have 30 recipes/meals picked out for October.  I still need to pick out the recipes for the nights when Noah, Meiling, and I will be cooking ethnic foods.  And I need to chat with Mom about what we are going to bring to church on the meal Sundays.  I just realized that 30 recipes is enough.  I kept thinking that I would need one more, not remembering that we already had tonight planned.  Well, it only took me till now to figure that out.

We have lots of cats right now.  Most of them are technically kittens, as they were born this Spring and Summer.  They are feeling the slight chill in the air, and have been cuddling in a large pile on the deck.  Very cute!

I have had a cold over the weekend, a most miserable cold that hasn’t wanted to go away.  I have been taking the home remedies that I usually take, but I didn’t start them until I had already had the cold for a day.  I thought that the cold was allergies at first.  But I figured out that it was a cold on Friday morning.  Now I have been taking Master Tonic and Elderberry Syrup hourly (except at nights and while at Church).  I took a break for a few hours today since I was getting a bit tired of the Master Tonic.

On Friday, while I was sick in bed, I finished “Health for Godly Generations” and started “How to be Your own ‘Doctor.’”  It was quite fun reading that while I was sick.  I read about a few things that I could use while I was sick.  I have been drinking peppermint/parsley tea to help with congestion.  I’m not sure if it is helping, or if I am just getting better, but I am definitely less congested than I was yesterday!

Another remedy that I read about (and tried!) said to take an onion, chop it up, put it in a bowl, and sleep with it as close to your pillow as you could.  I tried it, and it kept my nose so clear!  But I had this feeling that I was going to knock it off the bed during the night.  Well, on Saturday night I didn’t knock it off. But last night was a different story.

I woke up to a clang just before 4 this morning.  Sure enough, I had hit the bowl with my arm and sent onions flying across the floor.  Not only were there onions, but onion juice, too.  I just grabbed the onions, tossed them in my trash can, wiped up the juice, and used the Swiffer to mop up the area quickly.  I decided that I would just leave the Swiffer and put it back in the morning.  (Trust me, there is a point to me telling, and you reading, this!)

At 5:30 our outside dog, Shadow, started barking at something.  My window was open, and the sound came through quite clearly.  Lucy, my little dog who was sleeping right next to me, immediately sat up, put her paws on me,  and started barking.  I shushed her in a few seconds, but she kept staring at something across the room.  It was the Swiffer.  She did not like the Swiffer.  I finally got her to calm down, but the next few times Shadow barked, she would lift her head to watch the Swiffer.  I don’t think that she quite trusted it.  🙂

Oh, I am SO excited.  We are going to get some more herbs.  Actually, quite a few.  I can’t wait.  I am going to make all kinds of things with them.  Can’t wait!

Here are a few pictures I took today.  None of them are particularly good.  But they are Today.  🙂

_MG_3880

Kitty pile – the one looking right at us is Toby.  We don’t know if it is a boy or a girl, but it has one orange toe.  Hence the name:  Toby.

_MG_3889

Meiling swinging

_MG_3891

 

_MG_3894

Upis down!  (means upside down – some little one in our family said that, not sure who)

_MG_3898

Ooooooh, I love this.  Like LOVE love this.  The last roses of summer (actually, there are probably more that a dozen on our knockout rose bushes)

_MG_3902

Kitty

_MG_3911

Asparagus for dinner – we were going to grill it, but the grill is out of gas.  So I pan fried them, with the leftover marinade from the zucchini (see below).  They were very good.  Quite different than what we are used to, but in a good way.

And it is not going to fall off the plate.  I just felt like tipping the camera that far.  So I did.  😛

_MG_3913

The zucchini.  Again, we were going to grill these, but [see above].  I marinated these for a half hour in an Italian dressing I made.  Next time I will marinate them longer.  But they were pretty good.  Again, very different than what I am used to.

_MG_3919

Another kitty pile

_MG_3927

The view from our driveway

_MG_3953

The trees on the other side of the pasture that lies across the road

_MG_3957

I LOVE this fence.  It’s just so…country…semi-rustic…fence-like.  Like you couldn’t tell that last thing.

_MG_3959

Love that sky!

_MG_3978

Up the road

_MG_3984

The mums have bloomed

_MG_3991

I LOVE these leaves.  They are in my favorite part of the yard.  The trees are so close together that the leaves practically block out the sun.  It is absolutely beautiful.

Missouri State Convention

Today my dad and I went down to Springfield, Mo, to attend the Missouri Republican State Convention.  Since we had to be there at a certain time for Dad to get his credentials (he was an alternate delegate), we had to leave here at 4:30 a.m.  Now for those of you who know me, I am not an early morning person, but I still was up in time to go.

We arrived in Springfield at about 8:30, which was in time to get Daddy registered.  We didn’t know that I had to register as a guest, and when I went over to register, it turned out that more people had showed up than was planned, and we weren’t sure that I would be able to get in as a guest.  While I was waiting to find out, I was able to meet some sweet people, which was great.  After they got all the delegates seated, there was enough room for me to go in.  It was very interesting to watch all the proceedings.  At one point in the meeting, they were waiting for the Nominating Committee to get the proposed slates ready, and since it was taking longer than planned, the Chairman proposed that they skip ahead in the agenda and come back to this issue later.  Well, that didn’t pass, and then somebody put up a motion to adjourn for lunch (the meeting had been delayed in starting, and they hadn’t started until 12:00, when they were supposed to convene at 10:00, and have lunch at 12:00).  There was a half hour spent in discussing the proposed motion for adjourning for lunch, a vote on the motion to amend the motion (dealing with how long the break should be), and then when the final vote was taken, it was decided not to adjourn for lunch.  All these proceedings took a half hour.  Very interesting to watch.  By that time, the Nominating Committee had the slates in order, so the meeting then continued as originally planned. 🙂

After they voted on the slates (the Show Me Unity slate won, which had the delegates going to Romney and Santorum), Dad and I headed home, since we still had a bit of a drive.

Once we crossed the Missouri River, Dad pulled over to look at an alternate route.  While he was investigating said route, I jumped out of the car to take some photos.  After we got going again, I continued shooting photos out of the window.  There is a large group of photos at the end of this post (the majority of the photos) that are somewhat blurry.  They are the ones I shot out of the window flying down the highway.  They are not particularly good, but they were fun to take. 🙂

It was a full day, but very fun.  Here is a link to a report on the Convention.  Thank you so much for taking me with you, Dad!  I am so glad I got to go!

_MG_0470

Walking to the building where the Convention was held – see that interesting building in the top left hand corner?

_MG_0477

Probably my favorite shot from the convention

_MG_0486

I can’t remember who this man is 😦

_MG_0489

This is the Chairman

_MG_0500

On the way home – while Dad was looking at the other way home

_MG_0504

The farm field

_MG_0509

 

_MG_0513

A different view of the farm field – I didn’t notice that I was so tipped while taking these two photos.  Which one do you like better – one…

_MG_0521

…or two?  They are very similar, but there is a bit of difference in the focusing

_MG_0530

Driving

_MG_0534

A hay bale – I love those things

_MG_0552

 

_MG_0557

 

_MG_0581

 

_MG_0602

A field not too far from home

Spring, Books, Scarf

It was a beautiful day yesterday.  The sun was shining, the sky was very blue, and everything was so very green.  What a perfect day for pictures!  I finally did my ironing the other day, so I had one of my favorite shirts that was all ready to wear.  Something about it and the faded denim skirt I chose made me want to take pictures.  So I headed out and had a blast.  Just to warn you, this will probably be a long post with lots of pictures.

I took my scarf with me as well as a few old books.  If you are curious, the books in the photos are “The Five Little Peppers Grown Up” and “Pilgrim and Pluck: Dogs of the Mayflower.”  They are both very good.

Don’t say you weren’t warned!

_MG_7447

I love how these pictures with the scarf turned out with the scarf “frozen.”

_MG_7448

_MG_7460

This is my favorite with the scarf

_MG_7492

I don’t know why I like this one so much, but I do

_MG_7587

Walking and reading

_MG_7609

This rock is great for pictures

_MG_7781

The grass is so green

_MG_7800

_MG_7829

Still walking and reading

_MG_7921

RUN!!

_MG_7973

This part of an old fence looks so…country 🙂
Right after I took that picture, I found a bunch of moss.  It was so soft and springy that I was walking all over it with my bare feet and jumping on it.  While I was jumping on it, I said rather loudly “It’s so soft and springy-y-y!” I noticed not too much later that our neighbor was out not too far from where I was (within hearing distance).  Oops.

_MG_8006

Reading

_MG_8013

Love this one too 🙂

Today’s Adventures–3/24/2012

Mom woke me up slightly earlier than usual this morning.  We were going to a friends’ home to drop off some of our chickens, as our flock was getting too big.  Some of our chickens (who are currently free ranging) were scratching/dust bathing in our neighbor’s flower garden and garden.  Not good.  The decision we made was that we needed to pen up our flock. With the size of fencing that we have, though, we couldn’t pen up our 29 chickens.  It was decided that we needed to get rid of some, and since our friends have been buying eggs from us, and wanting some chickens for awhile, they agreed to take some of our excess.

Since we were already going to be up that direction, Mom decided that we were going to go pick up our chicken feed at a farm store and pick up some honey at an Amish store.

First things first – we had penned up the chickens that we were moving last night, so they just had to be put in the van this morning.  Well, when you put 10 chickens in a cage in the back of your van, and then proceed to take a 25 minute drive, things get interesting.  Let’s just be honest.  Chickens stink.  Especially when they are in confined spaces.  Mom and I ended up driving all of that time with the windows open (it was 55 degrees out).  I only brought with my jean jacket, so I was chilly.

After we dropped off the odorous passengers at our friends’ home, it was off to get honey.  It took about 25 minutes in a much warmer, quieter, and less smelly car to get to the Amish store.  Once we got out on the country road and around the Amish homes,  it was absolutely beautiful.  The morning sun was touching everything, bathing it all in a golden light.  The fields were green, except for some, which were purple with some little flowers that are blooming right now.  I hadn’t brought my camera, which I was rather unhappy about at the moment, but was probably a good thing, because if I had had it, I probably would have wanted to jump out of the car every 2 minutes to take a picture of something.  Yes, it really was that beautiful.

We saw a few horses and buggies, which was quite fun.  It also provided a new learning experience for me, since I was driving.  When we were leaving, there were three young men riding horses down the gravel road.  It made me wonder – why did we ever give up horses for cars?  Sure, cars are faster, but horses are so much more beautiful and, I don’t know quite how to articulate it, personal.  They have a personality.  They’re alive.

After that it was back to the town to pick up our chicken feed and a few bales of hay for our friends.  We then got back on the highway (after a quick stop at a grocery store and a chocolate shop :)) to head back to our friends’ home to drop off the hay and some feed.  The back of our car now held hay, five 50 lb. bags of chicken feed, and a large rock with which we had wedged the chicken’s cage.  Quite and interesting assortment, eh?

On our way home, we stopped at a meat processor’s to pick up some pork lard.  Yay!  Now I can make  apple pies again.

That was the extent of our morning travels.  We are going to a Republican Party dinner in our area this evening.  It should be very interesting.

Oh, and as a side note, a friend (the same one who took our chickens) loaned me The Pioneer Woman Cooks yesterday.  I have been enjoying it quite a bit.  Between reading that book and driving by those Amish homes in the lovely country, it is making me want to live somewhere REALLY country.  I love the country.  The Pioneer Woman also has a website, which you can visit here.  As with all things, please use discretion.  I have only been on her site once, and that rather briefly.