Wednesday, April 29, 2009

View

This is a view of the pine trees that have pine beetles. I need to get a second opinion because it might be the black pine beetle, and if that's so the tree might be able to survive. I'm adjusting to the thought of a little more light in the backyard, so removal won't be so traumatic. Except for my pocket book.

Everything is on hold for the rest of the week though because it's quarter end and all my big deadlines are coming due.

Meet you at the weekend. Whoever gets there first, wins!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Everyone's A Critic

The result of 3 1/2 cans of Krylon spraypaint in Tomato.

Tomato, tomahto - it's coral. Coral is in this season. I love it.





Apparently, the birds not so much.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday

Some of the best of my Saturday:

Gus, napping before lunch



The view from the sofa late Saturday afternoon - I love the color of the porch ceiling. They say that wasps won't build a nest on a ceiling that color because they think it is the sky.

The enemy have regrouped for another battle. Their numbers are dwindling, however.



The bench my brother and sister in law gave me one year. I went in search of turquoise color paint, and fell in love with the Tomato color. This is two cans worth, but I think it'll take two more.



My mother gave me this cute guy at Easter. I listened to him all day.





The herbs, pepper plants and geraniums that need to be planted tomorrow...




along with these tomatoes.


It was a good day.




Enjoy the Possibilities



As I was enjoying my coffee and quiche this morning, I thought of all the possibilities for today. Then I got a little tense thinking of how to get it all done.

And I backed up and started over. Today I hope to go to the nursery and buy herbs and potting soil. This weekend I hope to get all my plants in pots or in the ground.

Today I hope to get to Home Depot and get the jade spray paint that I saw on a blog that is really turquoise and would be the perfect color for my bench which is primed and waiting in the basement. This weekend I hope to spray paint the bench "jade"/turquoise.

I hope to stop by the farmer's market. The only must is to go pick up my lamp from the lamp repair store.

I hope to drop by Target for yard sale supplies and begin pulling together the yard sale items. This one really excites me because yard sale = emptying house of stuff. I hope to be ruthless in my culling!

I hope to enjoy a couple of long walks with my pooches. We'll play it by ear for Gus' sake. He's still sore.

I hope to buy some Meyer lemons, which I've seen in the store, and make preserved lemons for this dish.

I hope to start my embroidery this evening, although if I accomplish half the above list today it's okay if I'm too tired.

For some reason, when I turn these things into what I hope to accomplish, instead of what I have to accomplish, it's less alarming.

I'll let you know how it goes. And, visit her. She has a request.

Enjoy the possibilities!

Friday, April 24, 2009

On the way home

I haven't had much time with my camera lately, so I was trolling the old shots I took. This one is a cherry tree in a church cemetery on Piedmont Road. It was so beautiful in the late afternoon light that I wanted to try to capture it- of course I was limited as to angle, time, composition, etc. since I took this from my car.

For two weeks I got to enjoy this tree on the ride to and from work.

Do you see anything beautiful on your ride home?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fighting Back

If you have one of these with 7 holes on top and at least as many on the sides and bottom and no telling how many more in the rest of the deck...




Then you are plenty pleased when you find 21 of these are overcome by the exterminator.






Leaving you with sunlight on azaleas so you don't dwell on the carnage above.

P.S. Gus has asked me to thank you for your well wishes--he especially likes it when folks send him kisses. And he sends Audrey a big slurp and he loves you too!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bed Time

Gus hurt his back yesterday at the doggie daycare. He was in pain last night; I know because he cried.


This is Gus just after we got in from the vet today. Gus went straight to a bed. I like the light glowing on him from the window - I like to think it's heaven sent.

About his back: It's the same as if you or I suddenly moved the wrong way and as a result we suddenly had severe pain and muscle inflammation (since I did this last year during a session with my trainer, I am sympathetic). Gus came home with serious drugs - 3 different ones: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, narcotics and muscle relaxers. He will have to be quiet for a week.

Right.

This is Cotton just after we got in. She was bouncy at first, took a sniff of Gus and knew. He got to see The Perfect Vet, and she didn't. She went straight to bed.


With everyone taken to their beds, I had a minute with the camera.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Buddy

Gus, March 2009

Bait and Switch

I took this picture this weekend, thinking I would show my starting point.

But this morning I am distracted by the termite situation. A termite specialist has examined the basement and there are termites, the foul fiends. So now I know more than I ever wanted to know about termites, except exactly how far does the damage go, how do you figure that out and are repairs really needed? Oh, and there are some sort of boring beetles. Boring as in drilling, not dull. But that's an infestation for a different day.

If anyone's counting, we're up to 4: pine beetles, carpenter bees, termites and borer beetles (whatever the real name is).

On the other hand, I am reassured that the floor will not fall out from under my bed when I go to sleep tonight. Which occurred to me in the wee hours when all noises are exaggerated and no far-fetched fear is too far-fetched.

So, the termite situation is not as pervasive as I feared.

On to the next pestilence. I feel like Don Quixote - except my dream is a little less noble and a lot more vengeful.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sombreuil

I grew up with a flower bed full of roses. Mr. Lincoln, Peace, Tropicana...my grandmother raised beautiful roses. And they are a lot of work - did you know? Early morning spraying for all manner of molds, bugs, spots because if you did it too late in the evening you could create issues...and when you cut a rose you did it just above the first set of 5 leaves. Every fall the canes were cut back severely, the beds amended with cow manure hauled in from the generous cows where we had a fishing cabin, and either in the Fall or Spring, or possibly both, a new bed of pine straw mulch. And that's what I remember, which means there was more to it than that. And, roses require 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. If you want blossoms.


Meet Mlle de Sombreuil, an antique climbing tea rose. I knew I didn't have the time to devote to the care and feeding of roses and this chick is "a healthy but thorny climber and is the hardiest and most vigorous of the white Teas." And really, I don't think I have the sun. But finally, this 3rd year of it's occupancy in my front yard, it's over the top of the trellis, and has a mass of buds on it.



This is the first one open. And you can see buds on either side of it. But already, something is eating holes in the leaves. Something stirs way back in my memory, and I think it may be thrips. I sprayed yesterday with Neem oil because even if I have made the right guess on which pest it may be, I have no idea what spray to use. Don't suggest going to the nursery which is less than a mile away. Too practical. Must stubbornly try to fix it myself.


The rose is named for a heroine of the French revolution, who is reputed to have drunk the blood of an aristocrat to prove her father's non-aristocrat status. She didn't want him to lose his head, don't you know. I've always thought the French revolution a bit scary--all those hysterical mobs. On the other hand, in our revolution, there was tar and feathering. Seems a lot more brutal back then, doesn't it?


Anyway, back to my rose: It has a wonderful fragrance, and if I haven't lost the battle to pests, the blossoms seem to glow at night if there's the slightest moonlight.


Look at this stem of buds. Interestingly, the first and last of the 4 are on the same plane, and therefore in focus. And you can see the holes in the leaves.
Maybe I will go to the nursery today.




Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wish List

I have a wish list. Okay, more than one, but this is today's wish list. And it's a wish list because I am paralyzed with indecision plus a big yellow dog is sitting on my foot and breathing in my face.



Above is the Canon 17-40mm super wide f/4 L lens. Note that it is not just wide, it's super wide. I've done some research on the internets where research = google "best lens for a canon, canon dslr or canon d40" and this one turned up and wasn't astronomically expensive. And it's Canon's L line of lenses. L is the top quality line. I know this because I am a semi- quasi- somewhat enthusiastic hobby like photographer. It is now out of stock at B&H. People recommend this as a great all around lens, and one lady says this is what she takes to Europe. Who are these people who frequently go to Europe? I've been once and have been scheming about how to go back since I got home?


This lens, at least it's size (is that how you describe this) is on PW's list that she blogged about on Scott Kelby's blog. Of course, hers is a Nikkor for her Nikon camera, but I, being of superior photographic knowledge, made the translation to Canon. Impressed? Yes, me too.


Anyway, here's Canon's description: A highly practical medium telephoto lens with superb delineation and portability. Images are sharp and clear at all apertures. Through computer simulations, the lens has been designed to give beautiful background blur. Since the front lens group does not rotate during focusing, special filter effects are not affected. Does that help you? Me, either.


The peeps say this is a great portraiture lens and also so sharp it's great for weddings and low light situations. And one lady used it for basketball and volleyball. And last but not least: it's not the great 85mm 1.2, but for the price... Aah, that's a bit easier to digest.


Ultra-wide-angle lens for serious applications. Easy to hold and carry at 0.89 lb. Floating rear focusing system gives sharp images at all subject distances. The reviews rate this 5 stars with comments like good for groups, good for environmental portraits and event photography, and perhaps most helpful: reminds me of my Distagon on the Blad.


Right.


This lens was also on PW's list, coincidentally.



So, I'm still paralyzed, although the big yellow dog removed in a huff because my foot would not get out of the way of his nap.


The price range is $700 for the L series lens and $455 for the 20mm and $345 for the 85mm.


I hate deciding.







Thursday, April 16, 2009

Polarity

This is the view from my office on Tax Day, April 15th. I look out on the Georgia State Capital, which is covered in gold leaf from Dahlonega, Ga. I can also see Turner Field, home of the Braves and behind that would be the airport if I had framed the photo differently.

What's the point? The point is that if you look in front of the white building, you see lots of people.

Those people gathered for a Tea Party. Taxed Enough Already.

And the reaction to these parties has been interesting to me, and started me thinking. I wonder how the neighbors felt when all that tea was dumped in Boston Harbor. I'm sure then, as now, not everyone agreed. Were they as polarized as it seems the United States has become? After all, they were not that long departed from England.

As I looked at the capital, and the people gathering, I thought about something I heard a comedian say: "the extremes at either end will always protest. it's the people in the middle who don't protest. what are they going to do? show up in DC and chant "be reasonable"?".

Indeed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Time has Come


The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

To the commenters: Marlene, SSG, Merry ME, Fred, Traci, Sorrow, Suz B, Candi, Gretchen and Carrie. I love finding comments when I get a minute at work and I check my email and see there's been a comment. It's such a lift. And my mother makes an appearance now and again. Go Mom (she wrestles with technology on occasion)!


To the lurkers: you know who you are. Lurkers are fine by me. Lurk on. But feel free to decloak any time.


I really never thought when I started this that I would enjoy having a way to share my photography, or a soapbox, or a place to just be or a way to make friends.

And it's nice to hear from people, or visit their blogs and enjoy their creativity.

I realized I'd been doing this a year - as of March 8. Time flies when you're having fun. [I haven't decided if there should be a commemorative give away. Mostly because I can't finish anything. Never say never, though.]

Thanks for making this fun!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

When Good Trees Go Bad

All over Atlanta, scenes like these repeat themselves. About 1/2 mile from my house, which is on the street in the first picture, a tree fell on a car, killing the driver.


Atlanta's trees, weakened by a multi-year drought (which I firmly believe was triggered by having my basement made waterproof), standing in saturated soil from April showers, couldn't stand up to the wind storm that came through yesterday morning. Above, two houses narrowly escaped damage when this healthy oak came crashing down. The tree trunk is split from the force of the landing. It stripped limbs off 3 surrounding trees and took down the power pole.


You can see the sky above...


because the limb was lying on the ground below.
Where was I during this tree rave? I was in my house hearing limbs rain down from every direction. I had planned to stay home and loaded up on allergy medicine. When this started, I decided work was safer and loaded up the dogs to go to go to the kennel.


I feel quite blessed not to have a new pine wall treatment though the center of my house. I didn't have cable or internet yesterday following the storm but it was back on by early this morning.


You can bet I'm offering a prayer of thanks for my safety after seeing all this!


Take care.




Sunday, April 12, 2009

doo-doo-doo lookin' out my front door


Right side


Left side




Left-er side (see the quasi-alien ferns unfolding?)

I'm cheering myself up with colorful pictures of the flowers that are still in place from last year (hooray, no new plants to buy!). I'm cheering myself up with color because rain is forecast for Monday. Who likes gray on Monday?


And the best part is that I took these from a prone position, across the front doorstep.


The neighbors loved that.

Note: plants include chocolate chip ajuga (intense periwinkle color), 3 varieties of heuchera, monkey grass in the background and cinnamon fern.
I think.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Only Yesterday

When my mother made us Easter baskets, a few, about 10 years ago, seems like only yesterday, I remember a small blue and white basket that had, among other things, a ceramic chick in it. Like the one below. Of course, it must have gotten broken, or given away at some point because I don't have it.

In a spasm of nostalgia, I consulted the Oracle, Ebay, and found a replacement. Plus more that I didn't know were made.

We had a photo shoot yesterday before the big storms started. I gave them names to help you keep them straight.


Chicky-Boom

Bunny Love


Crackers



Rabbit Stew


The Tenebrae service I went to last night was very powerful. About the time it was getting totally dark, the thunder and lightning started. Great timing.

Anyway, the gang above will be the table decorations for supper tonight.

Meanwhile, the sun is out, the skies are blue and it's raining cherry petals every time the wind blows.

Happy Saturday.


Friday, April 10, 2009

My Office on Good Friday


In the Dark

These are the azaleas from my backyard. The almost all white azaleas. That someone stuck a bunch of pink azaleas in.

What is special about these azaleas? That I took their picture at 10pm in the evening. Without a flash. Pretty neat huh? I wasn't prepared to go the effort of hauling out my tripod. Still, you can tell the sky is blue and the white flowers look like flowers.




This is a camellia in the dark although you'd never know it.


I had been feeling really disgruntled this week. Which is a bit difficult since I'm not sure what gruntled means. Anyway, I realized that with all the work this week, I hadn't taken a photo in 5 days ( I have been working from the slew I took through the weekend). So I promptly grabbed a camera and scurried off to the dark back yard.

I think I feel better now.

Thank you.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Chocolate Chip Ajuga, or Last Friday

Last Friday was glorious - blue skies forever. And the chocolate chip ajuga was blooming. The next day, rain and cold blew back in, but Friday was wonderful.




I left work early to meet the service tech for my heating/cooling system because it was time to service the unit for warm weather (did I mention lows were in the 30s shortly after this?).

After the tech left, it was time to pick up my dogs. This house is on my left as I go to pick up the dogs from doggie daycare. I've been watching it because I love the stone on the front. And when the dogwood burst into bloom, it looked lovely.




Only one more day 'til the weekend.

C ya.









Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Freeze-n-Sneeze

Yesterday, for the second day, the wind blew, the temperatures hovered in the 40s and pine pollen swirled around Atlanta. Oh-and at one point as I twittered, snow was blowing around my 36th floor office window.

I came up with the Chamber of Commerce's new slogan for Atlanta in April: Freeze and Sneeze. I expect to make some big money on it.

__________________________________

In other news, Cotton is under the weather. That's why she won't play with Gus. Girlfriend has a bit of a sensitive stomach. Nothing Serious, but it is Chronic. We visited The Dog Whisperer Vet (my dogs melt when he shows up, and they will drag you along the concrete to get in the door of his office) and got stocked up on two stomach medicines and told to buy the pepcid or prilosec acid reducers.

Well. If things continue their stressful path at work, I can use Cotton's medicine. Human medicine prescribed for dogs is less expensive, did you know?


Have a good day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

One

They're inseparable. Usually.


Can you imagine if Tom ditched Jerry?

Tonto ignored The Lone Ranger?

Lucy wouldn't take Ethel's calls?

Marcie didn't worship Peppermint Patty?

Cotton won't play with Gus?

Here it is:

One
is the loneliest number...(quick, name that song!)

One
is the onliest number...

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