Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A bad day????....

"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you."  -Brian Tracy

Laundry.  It is always there waiting to be done, dried, or put away.  In seventh grade math, I learned the term, infinity.  Laundry abides by math's infinity.  It is infinitely there.  I was doing my last load of laundry feeling rather good since I would have it all done, temporarily.  Remember it has that infinity quality to it.  I had a red scarf that needed to be washed, but I did not want to throw it in with my load since I did not want to end up with a pink load of clothes.  I chose to wash it by hand. I put it in the laundry sink, added soap, and turned on the water.  A little soak would not hurt it while I went to check on Jane, my 96 year old neighbor that I help take of.  She converses non-stop lately.  After about an hour, I excused myself to come home to fix lunch.  When I came in the door, I heard something running.  "Oh, no, surely I couldn't have been so dumb," I thought as I ran toward the laundry room.  I was that dumb.  The faucet was pouring out water which in turn, was pouring over the sink onto the floor, flooding my laundry room, half of a bathroom, the hall, and the entry of a bedroom.  I grabbed a broom and began sweeping the water out the door.  I got the water mopped up from the tile and vinyl floors.  I would fix lunch, then tackle vacuuming up the water from the carpets in the bathroom, and bedroom with the shop vac after lunch.  This was not exactly what I had planned for the day, but I got it all cleaned up, and fans blowing on the  carpet to dry it out.  That done, I went to clean up my kitchen from lunch.  I decided to roast some pumpkin seeds while I was cleaning.  I turned on the oven to preheat it.  After a few minutes, smoke came billowing out my oven engulfing me in smoke.  I had forgotten that I had sprayed oven cleaner in the oven earlier.  Let me tell you that burning oven cleaner does not smell very good.  When this disaster was pretty much cleaned up,  my phone rang.  It was Jane's caregiver.  She had fallen.  I thought, "Can anything else go wrong today?" She was lying on the floor, her nose bleeding, and cut, and her forehead scraped up quite nicely.  The facility where she lives, always panics.  They had called 911, which I would not have done.  Long story, short, she was okay, but bore raspberries from carpet burns.  No bruises, no broken bones.  No ER.

Jane before the fall.  Doesn't she look pretty good for 96?

Jane one day after the fall.  Not looking too chipper.  

Jane 2 days after the fall.  Back to her old self...well sort of.  
The positive results of my very bad day.
1.  I have the cleanest laundry room floor ever.
2.  The carpets in the bathroom, and bedroom are very clean as well.
3.  I will be sure to never leave the water on with the sink stopper in again.
4.  My scarf is very clean.
5.  My oven is very clean.
6.  Jane has decided she cannot get up on her own. (we have been trying to drill that into her head for a long time.
7.  Jane and I got to talk about while the fall seemed rather scary at the time, it was the grace and mercy of God that protected her from real harm.  Since she bears no bruises, it was as if the Lord placed his hands under her, and protected her from a hard fall.  To me, it is miraculous that she was not hurt.
8.  It has made Jane's care givers more alert.

Hopefully, it will be a long time before I have another day like this one.

Monday, October 28, 2013


In my photo artistry class, the challenge this week was to submit three landscape pictures, boxed, with a texture added,  and use high pass or color dodge.  Here is my submission:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall is here...

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."  LM Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables.

I have the coolest wagon ever!  I got it on my visit to Corona.  It was in the yard of the place we were staying.  The owner of the ranch house where we stayed gave it to me after getting permission from her husband.  I was thrilled, and even more thrilled that we managed to get it into the back of the car to bring it home.  The trunk was already filled with Stephanie's and my camera equipment,  overnight bags for 5 people, and coolers filled with food.  There was not much room, but Neil, Stephanie's dad, managed to find space somehow.  I love this wagon.  It is a treasure to me.    
 I love all the different colors on the wagon.  It has a lot of rust...which is cool in itself, but add the splotches of turquoise, and red, and it is marvelous.  I placed it in my front yard where there were some mums already growing, then added the pumpkins around it.  I found the words, "Give Thanks" in the same rust material.  I love my yard art.

I am not going to leave the wagon outside.  I plan to bring it in the house to use to hold my indoor plants.  I just wanted it outside for this photo shoot.  After taking a ton of pictures of the wagon, I decided to walk through my yard taking more fall pictures.

Orange seems to be the color of fall around our house.  "Autumn...the year's last smile." -William Cullen Bryant

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Love, Faith, Hope...

"Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love."  1 Corinthians 13: 13 (NLT)

I am taking another class...of which I am so very far behind.  Thank goodness it is available forever.  It is called Photoshop grunge.  Each week there is a challenge for using some of the new techniques.  This week our challenge was in honor of a lady named Kim Klassen,, who has contributed some fantastic textures to the class.  Right now her husband is in the hospital with cancer.  Our assignment was to create something to encourage her as she goes through this time with her husband.  Kim does a lot of techniques using flowers, books, and glasses, so that is what I chose to do for my main subject.  This is my way of trying to offer a bit of encouragement to Kim and her husband.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Happy birthday Warren...

"Your birthday is a special time to celebrate the gift of 'you' to the world." -unknown

Sixty-seven years ago Warren made his appearance on this Earth, and I am so glad he did.  He has made my little corner of the world better, brighter, and beautiful.   Even though today is his actual birthday, we celebrated yesterday.  Fun times were had by all.  I asked Warren what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday.  He said, "Chocolate Lasagna Cake."   Hmmm.  I like whimsical.  How could I make his choice whimsical?   I did some research, and came up with how: a topsy, turvy cake, and the bonus was I could make his second favorite cake, too.  Lemon.  YouTube had some great tutorials on how to do it.  Further consultation on the fondant was from Jordan herself...cake decorating expert that she is.  I learned a lot while making this cake.  While it is not perfect, it sure was delicious, and fun.

Under all that fondant is the scrumptious frosting.  The bottom three layers are the chocolate lasagna portion, and the top tier is lemon.  Oh this cake was so divine.  It took me two days to make it.  
 Warren likes bikes.  I found this old style bike at Hobby Lobby.  I thought a relic for an old relic.  I decorated it like it was going to be in a parade.  I was so glad when Warren noticed and thought it was so cool.
The bike is about 12 inches long and 8 inches high.  He loved it.

Front view of the bike.  The front basket contains a sack of candy bars with the numbers '6' '7'.  The back baskets are full of little tiny gifts.

The middle of the table

Full table.

The birthday man, and my man, and love of my life.  

So handsome.

One candle lit...more to go...

All lit now...

Making a wish...

Blowing out the candles...

opening gifts...
 Here are the guests...
watching Pawpaw open presents...

more guests...

and the last one...

This is the card that Reid made...see he counted all the years, and circled them for easy reading...

This has got to be the best gift of all.  

I am trying to westernize Warren's wardrobe...for future photo shoots...

Yes, it is the right size...

Good cake, but it looks a little sad here...

My man...

And his cat...

Happy birthday to you.  
Have a great, and blessed year!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Whew! Am I behind...

Behind the wheel that is.

I was invited to go with Stephanie
and her family to their family's ranch near Corona this past weekend.  Her uncle has property filled with wonderful old trucks, cars, and windmills.  Truly, a photographer's delight.  Here are a couple of photos Stephanie and I took of each other.  
(Photos by Stephanie DeFranco)
Stephanie (isn't she gorgeous?)


Friday, October 11, 2013

Eastward Cape Cod...

"The wheels on the bus go round and round all through the town...  -children's song based on the British song, "Here we go round the Mulberry bush."

Hubcap wheel of the bus.

On Sept. 26, a group of 42 people from the Senior Circle boarded a bus bound for Cape Cod.  We were told the bus would have 50 seats, so there would be plenty of room for all of us.  We boarded in order of when we signed up:  the first person to sign up, boarded first.  Even though I did not sign up last, I was the last to board.  Imagine my surprise when there seemed to be no more seats left on the bus.  A lot of people took up the whole seat in a two seater spot.  The trip coordinator had to make people double up.  Pauline, who was my roommate, and I were so happy when we got to sit together.  We were hoping to sit by Diane and Stephanie, but that was not to be.  Turns out the bus was a smaller bus, and it had a license plate from Mexico, and came with two drivers who were from El Paso. They spoke very little English.  Hmmm.  Remember the Bob Newhart show with Daryl and his other brother Daryl?  Our two drivers were not named Daryl, but Juan and the other Juan.  Hmmm again.
Loading up...Diane and Stephanie

Diane and Rob
We look pretty fresh in the pictures don't we?  We will see how we look at the end of our trip.  It took us four days to get to the Cape, but I worked on my 2013 family album, took pictures out the window,  watched movies, read a book, and talked a lot with Pauline.
Pauline, my chair and roommate...and me on the day of departure.  
We went through a lot of states: Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. (States not listed in any particular order).

We stopped for gas and a bathroom break, and a family was pulling this jeep piled with stuff.  Look at the driver side window.

Then sitting in between their SUV and the jeep they were towing, they had this chair with a very nice skeleton soaking up some rays.  I thought these people must have a sense of creativity.

At most of our stops, Pauline and I bought a bottle of diet A&W root beer, which only made us need more stops.  She had a terrible time keeping track of her drink.  It seemed to take on a mind of its own. It rolled up and down under the seats at will.  Forward, back, and sideways.  People would wonder where this bottle of root beer came from, and holler out..."did someone lose a root beer?" It was always Pauline's.  It happened so frequently, soon there was no need to ask.  We just heard, "Pauline, your root beer is visiting me again."

I was not too sure in the beginning about Juan and Juan, but they way they navigated the streets in the large towns we had to go through made my opinion of them go up 100 fold, especially when we got to New York where there was bumper to bumper traffic for hours.

Here are some highlights of photos taken on my iPhone along the way.

Coming into Pittsburgh

A building in Indianapolis

We ate a quick meal at McDonald's in the Bronx.  Actually, we got our meals and ate on the bus.  When I was in there, I was trying to find out where a plug might be to recharge my computer.  I was conversing with one of the workers, but he did not understand me and I did not understand him.  The sad thing was that we were both speaking English.  Let me just say that was an interesting stop.
The Bronx
One of my favorite stops was at a huge truck stop in who knows where.  It had every truck part know to man, plus 18 wheelers to boot, and a nice gift shop.

Me taking a picture of myself in a rearview mirror.

St. Lois painted on the side of a truck.
 Just random shots:
House beside McDonald's
Along the way we stopped at the Will Roger's Museum in Oklahoma City, the Museum of Art in Indianapolis, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.  I will have more adventures to share in the coming days.  It has been a real adventure.
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