A journal of sorts.

I am an avid photographer with a love for digital processing. The Bearded One and I have become "Townies" once again and are in the process of transforming our suburban nest into a peaceful refuge.
This blog is where I like to stash things. An assortment of random thoughts, a recipe or two, a few of my favorite photos, and the processing thereof.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Blue Bottles and Ladybugs


Bottles sky

Bottles in the window

Summer weather has arrived. We at last had a marvelous fourth with just right temperatures. The kids came over and Miss Madee brought a little friend with her...



We had a fine picnic of hotdogs, potato salad, baked beans doctored up with dijon mustard, and a fruity yogurt salad. 

The juncos have finally left their geranium nest so I now have my bistro table back. Here is one of the little guys just before vacating. Doesn't even resemble a junco yet.

Baby junco

Baby Junco

Tomorrow is Friday and that's a good thing. It was nice having the fourth off but it threw me off a bit today with my "inner calendar. It felt like it should've been Sunday. I am certainly glad that my working hours are fairly early so that I get off before it really gets warm although tomorrow might  test that theory. 

I have several sweet pea blossoms so far and am looking forward to having their sweet scent waft through the dining room window and maybe even reach the upstairs bedroom. So far growing them in a large pot with a tomato cage seems to be a success.

Lena came by the other day bringing gifts and treasures and among them was this little "English Toby"jug.

Toby Jugs have been around since the early 18th century.
They were brought back by Doulton in the 19th century, who developed the idea into a range of character jugs.
Today, their popularity shows no signs of declining and they have held their value at auction sales.
Their appeal is wide reaching because Doulton jugs are quite different both in their craftsmanship and their subject matter.

He's a little bit like an english gnome and I am planning to feature him from time to time in a shot or two. Thanks Lena!

The toby amongst the geraniums

This post has been a little disjointed but it is a post none the less… :-)

An update on our wolberts lawn

The "Bearded One" sprinkling the lawn.

What a difference  having our company treating our yard has made! Thanks boss.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer is here… sort of


The "Bearded One" Smelling the Sweet Peas

The Life of a "Townie"

It's been a long time since I've posted and Jerri has been wanting an update. Life has been going well albeit a little busy. Living in town has a lot more to offer as far as distractions go, the main one being an unlimited fast internet connection which means that I am now watching every available photoshop tutorial that I can find. Work has been keeping me busy and the grandkids are growing up way too fast. We have two weddings coming up in July and August. Congrats to my oldest grandson Tucker and his fiancĂ©  Nicole, and to my nephew Jon and his "wife to be", Danielle. 

Notice that I'm using a more casual font in this post. I'm not taking myself too seriously at this stage of the game so I thought that it might be an appropriate means of conveying the notion, and besides I like to change things up a bit.

We went to the zoo the other night with the kids. The weather was perfect for me. A little drizzly with a nice little breeze. I hadn't been to the zoo since I'd gone to see the christmas lights a few years back. I had my camera with me of course and had decided to use my 100mm 2.8 lens which is a great sharp lens but there is no zooming with it. My feet are my zoom so my shots were a little limited in the very crowded "members only" night. I was able to get a few shots though, including this elephant. I, of course am playing with some new software so I will give you two versions. the first a regular take the second done with an application called perfect photo.

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This is the original with some very large cables removed (thank you photo shop!)


using perfect photo for a quick frame and saturation adjustment 



Still playing...

Junco textured

The mother of the babies now living in my ivy geranium

I am patiently waiting for the junco family to vacate my geranium pot which is sitting on top of our bistro table. they have chosen well. The umbrella keeps most of the weather out of their nest and their nest keeps me from using the table. It is right off the back porch so we do get to enjoy the whole process up close, still I am longing to sit at the table with my lemonade and enjoy the shade.

Here is an update photo of our backyard. the grass is filling in nicely and the strawberries along the fence are beginning to ripen. We are continuing to battle the weeds in the lawn. They die off when we treat them but are then replaced by "new ones"….

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Hmmm… I wonder why

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Of course it could be the yard next door providing us with an endless supply of seeds. :-)

Well The "bearded one" has toddled off to bed and I'm fix-in' to follow shortly.

Until next time...


Take time to stop and smell the flowers.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bread man walking

The Begonia Basket on the Gate

I have the day off today so I decided I would start the morning out making a nice hot fresh loaf of whole wheat bread in my bread machine. Everything was going fine until my bread machine decided to wobble itself off the counter onto the floor. Subsequently there was a loud clang my dough went flying and the Breadman lid detached itself. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (my own) the "bearded one" came down and helped me assess the damage. We gathered up the runaway dough ball, plopped it back into the kneading chamber, and hammered the lid back on top of the machine. We are left with a small dent in the floor, and a slightly disheveled machine, but it seems to be working fine since I can smell fresh bread baking as I dictate this post.

The Breadman just a little worse for wear..

The resulting loaf of wholewheat bread

This post is an experiment because I'm using my iPhone and just talking instead of typing. It sounds kind of of lazy I know, but isn't technology marvelous?

A young bird on my "wolberts" lawn.

The Grass is really looking better. If you remember we started out with mostly weeds. I love walking around with my bare feet being tickled by the healthy green blades. We had our first radish today it was wonderful. I had it with breakfast which is a little odd but I couldn't help myself, I was giddy with anticipation to our garden bounty.

We have a pair of juncos who have decided to raise their little family in my ivy geranium planter. I will be glad when they're done so I can take care of again because it's looking a little neglected. Isn't spring wonderful?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Townie Report


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The Boss's Apple blossoms in the rain

A lot of catching up to do... first we'll start with the garden bits. The bearded one's square foot garden. The Romaine lettuce is looking mighty tasty!

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Romaine and red leaf lettuce

Look! we have little broccoli florets beginning to form...

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A view from the back of the yard...



The weeds are  beginning to die in the lawn so we will need to throw some grass seed down to cover the exposed dirt. I spent the afternoon digging out quack grass. Ay yi yi. The trouble with working around lovely "Wolbert's treated lawns" all week is that a plain ol' weedy dandelion strewn clover lawn just ain't good enough any more. Im' actually enjoying the transformation from neglected to perfected... well a close facsimile anyway :-)

The Art Walk was last weekend. The kids dropped by and Sister Sandy came to town so we got to hang out a bit.

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A little magic at Olympia Supply (my art sponsors)

Karl's new "monkey feet" in trendy blue...

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Fine music...

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Fancy Automobiles...

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And City chickens...

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Here's to better weather this week, and as always...wishing you well



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Knock knock... anybody there?

Ivy geranium

Hooray the season of floral abundance begins!

Where have I been? I have no idea. Life has been pretty good  as far as lives go. I think I just needed a little time to catch up with myself.  We are settling comfortably into the new digs, the "Bearded One" is working his magic around the yard, the farm paper project is finally done,  next week's art walk is quickly approaching and i think I've figured out what pieces "de art" to feature. The plan thus far, is to have five matted pieces in the window display area and  a framed piece featured on an easel inside the store. Olympia Supply (a hardware store) is sponsoring me which is great because I'm always taking photos of " bits and pieces". 

We went to home depot yesterday and I found myself overwhelmed in the midst of all the annuals and perennials. It's the middle of April and yet here were all the summer pot stuffers out in full force making me feel like I was behind in the planting process. Is it me or do they just keep getting earlier and earlier? The trouble with full summer pots at this time of the season is that they will peter out before summer is in full swing. I will have to pace myself and not be afraid that there won't be any available plants later on in the season. Of course there won't be any but that's beside the point... right? Arghhhhh. I need a greenhouse so I can be my own supplier. We picked up a few cool season veggie starts for the square foot garden which always feels like cheating... back to needing a greenhouse (sigh) and a lovely red geranium for me to gaze at through the sliding glass door.



The Bearded One planting our "Square foot" crops while working on his spring tan

The neighbor's are ahead of the game and already have their porch pots hanging. 


Neighbor's porch with hanging baskets

I love my front porch and am looking forward to sitting on it in the evening as the summer progresses. It gets the morning sun until about noon and then is in shade whereas the neighbor's is the opposite. Their porch gets morning shade and then late afternoon sun. I had envisioned red geranium baskets with bacopa and lobelia but I'm not sure if early sun is enough.

Well I'm going to get out and enjoy this lovely spring day and maybe work on my "farmer tan".


The following are examples of a few currently well known farmer tans…

Cyclist farmer’s tan – a nice, scintillating tan covering the arms and legs where a jersey top and bottom serve as the defining pattern line. All cyclists and triathletes should strive for this standard. The darker the tan lines on your leg the more seasoned rider you are.

Sock farmer’s tan – a bitchen tan line created by socks that go above the ankles. This tan line is shown only when you don’t wear socks, but it still looks like you’re wearing socks because of the tan line. A classic!

Raccoon eyes (also a member of the farmer’s tan family) – a cool tan line that develops when the sun is reflected off of the snow while you’re wearing goggles or sunglasses. Note: special preventative actions need to be taken if you called in sick to work and are returning the next day.

Hat farmer’s tan – a great tan line that occurs when you wear your hat and the sun tans everything except for the top portion of your forehead. A good example: Tiger Woods.

HR monitor strap farmer’s tan – another awesome tan line meticulously sculpted by your heart rate monitor chest strap and developed outside without your shirt on. Note: this tan line takes some time to build up so be patient, but once you achieve it, it will serve you for a long time.

Watch farmer’s tan (or GPS farmer’s tan) – also a classic, occurs by being outside and always wearing your wrist watch/GPS. A fun joke is to take off your watch and ask someone what time it is while looking at your watch tan! It is usually more funny to you than anyone else!

Race day farmer’s tan – a relatively new tan to the family but this one usually goes away after a few weeks because of its nature. It occurs during half and full Ironman events because of the time required out in the sun the day of your race. Whatever shape jersey you are wearing that day will be the outline of this pattern. Sunscreen protection is difficult on race days because of how many elements breakdown its protection, so be prepared because this one comes whether you like it or not.

Sandal farmer’s tan – another bitchen shape that follows the direction your sandals take to connect to your toes. A good Sandal tan takes longer to achieve because of the tender nature of the skin covering the top of your feet. However, when this tan is achieved and has a rugged, dark base its glory shines through for all to see!

If you have had any of the farmer tan styles above, you’ve experienced the personal satisfaction gained from your tanning achievements. Words cannot express nor describe the feeling of a solid farmer’s tan.

The next time you accidentally expose a portion of your arm or leg that has never seen the light of day, proudly look beyond that stunning brightness and find that crisp, defining line where the darkness begins. This is where two worlds collide, good vs evil. This is your farmer’s tan. Fertilize, grow, and culture this tan line, then proudly harvest it for everyone to see.

Written by Dave Platfoot




Sunday, April 1, 2012

April fool's day and another weekend come and gone...

Maple leaves rain

The little maple's new leaves in the rain

I can't believe how fast the weekend has gone by. I am nervously waiting to hear that the map is being printed, no more edits. We've met the deadline and they will do a test run tomorrow and give it a final look see. What a project. Next up on my agenda is to get my "studio" organized so that I can work a little more efficiently. The extra bedrooms are very small. I had envisioned a grand space with plenty of room for craft projects and photo equipment living in harmony side by side. They are at this moment on top of each other. I did get a small fold up table to use for a desk I just need to organize the bits and pieces.

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These are shadows. They were caused by a large orb called the sun peeking out between the clouds this morning. It was glorious.

Today we saw our first humming bird visit the feeder in the back yard. You'll have to take my word for it though since it's visit wasn't actually recorded in the following picture.


Sister Sandy is transporting a fine set of chairs that she has donated to our cause one by one in her Honda. She was afraid that I'd think that they were terribly ugly ( I was accepting them sight unseen) so I didn't know quite what to expect and was overjoyed when I saw them. The bearded one will be in charge of making sure they are tight and sturdy and then we will reupholster their wonderfully wide seat bottoms. There are 6 altogether 2 of them captain's chairs with arms. It will be perfect. I can't wait to show them to you.

I went shopping for groceries today. Not my usual one or two bags from Trader Joe's, but an actual cart full with enough eats to last us for a couple of weeks. We've been living with small fridges for quite a while and now that we have the room we decided to do it up right. I think it also works a little better "budget wise" to load up rather then stopping at the store every day or two.  Now that we are ready for the new week I'm going to head up stairs and take a long hot soak, just because I can...

Until next time...









Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday, A touch of spring and good to be home...

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Well the farm map has been turned over to the proof readers where it will be looked at very closely to weed out misplaced commas, faulty grammar and misspelled words. The map part itself will be scrutinized to see that each representative dot is in it's proper place. After this phase is done it will be handed back to me with errors circled and comments made at which point I will fix them  one by one, hoping that I don't miss any. It then goes to the chronicle presses and they pop out a "proof". If that goes well then it's off to the races and thousands of copies on newsprint will make their way to the farmers market where they will be grabbed up by those looking for fresh and local produce, meats, and directions to the family farms. It's been quite the experience.

Now I can get on to other things like preparing for the upcoming "Art Walk".

Spring has definitely been in the air these last few days. Saturday I was able to go down to the waterfront with the kids and take some photos. Later I was blessed with a visit from friends Lena and Danika who brought "care" bags full of amazing and generous house gifts. Let me switch gears here for a moment... The Girl's got me hooked on this amazingly fun video series. Fun, Food, and history. Try it I think you will enjoy it.

The girls had no way of knowing what was on our "must get" list but low and behold they pretty much brought it all. Living in a fully furnished cottage for two years meant that we had gotten rid of most of our stuff including kitchen stuff. It felt like a party. Thanks you two for your amazing generous hearts. They also were the means to get a tall bookcase home. (we are down to just the wrangler now) not only that but we were able to get it for half price ($20). I was feeling really good about that and then today I was able to get a wonderful dining table that will seat 8 when center leaf is added. I got that for 30% off the $14.95 asking price. Did I mention that it's solid wood and very sturdy? I feel like I walk around in a constant bubble of blessing.

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Our new dining table



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Our new $20 bookcase as seen through our "goodwill" mirror

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A little tray found along the way for a buck

I'm off to watch another episode. I leave you with the "bearded One" doing what he loves...

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