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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wild Wednesday



This blogpost has been interrupted by unexpected arrival of baby Jaylee.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ruby Tuesday


The road home to the cottage yesterday

Cottage Life

We sure are enjoying life here in the woods. Yesterday the power was out which made it very frustrating for posting but other than that we were quite comfy. We have skylights that let a lot of light in until the sun goes down. We also have a propane cook top and hot water heater. There was enough water in the tank to flow down to us so there was no real hardship. Hot water, hot food, and down comforter. I can't complain about that.


Before and After

Today's example photo was taken in Astoria. We were actually eating in this great little Bistro right across from where this pilot boat was docked. I like textures. Boats, water, and pilings have that and more.


IMG 1627

One of the first things I needed to do was straighten out my horizon. For some reason a lot of my photos seem to list to the left. Maybe one leg is shorter than the other.... hmmm.



My version is really colorful. The horizon has been righted. The reflections on the water seem to jump out. A little to robust for your taste? Try this one. Horizon straightened, and  with a little boost, and sharpening.


Healthy Choices

This blog thing sure helps keep me on track. Knowing that I have to face chub cam every monday is certainly a prime motivator. I've been having a little difficulty at the gym in the mornings. I have my workout and the weight that I need to dial in for each machine written down on paper. Son Karl helped set me up. I do two sets of 12 reps each. I'm pretty new at it so I'm constantly having to check the card, which I have to place on the floor between exercises.  Not a problem If I didn't have to have my reading glasses to see. I hang my glasses on a chain. Inevitably every time I would bend over to check the card, my glasses would tangle on the chain. The chain would knot up and I would be trying to pull them up to my face still attached. This was drawing way to much attention to the novice that I am. My goal is to get in and get out unnoticed. A side note... I am eligible for a free trainer session. That would be horrifying. I need to be in better shape first. It's kind of like cleaning your house before the maid comes so she doesn't think your a slob. The answer to my dilemma came to me suddenly. I just need to make the writing on the card large enough so that I can see it sans spectacles. I intend to test drive my theory in the morning.

Yesterdays journal...


Hmmm... Pause for Thought

“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
--Christopher Robin to Pooh”
A.A. Milne

Monday, September 26, 2011

Candlelight Monday



Candle light

The Bearded One reading by candlelight while I post tonight

Cottage Life

I am scrambling to get this post out. The Cottage has been without electricity all day. Had I known I was going to come home to no power I would've stopped off at Barnes and Noble and worked from there. My mac has a pretty good battery though , so if I limit my playing with images to a mild roar I might get through... There is the tricky little bit about the internet though. In order to get usable service we have added an antenna with a booster. When the power's out there's no boost. Hopefully it will upload before the mac collapses.

Before and After

This time I was totally going for an artistic look. I used to dabble in watercolors. I love the look of translucent paint over textured paper. This is my granddaughter Allison.



I like this photo. I can zip it up a little...


Subtle... but a little snappier.


The gator

I wanted to capture the essence of Allison's personality. I think people portraits make great watercolors.  When viewed at 100% you can see the detail of the paper. The image below is at about 50%


A closer view

Healthy Choices


Butter meter 26

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I decided to keep track of my progress using something that I could relate to. Since Butter is essentially fat ;-) and it came in quarter pound increments, I chose it to be my vehicle of measurement. Everyone can relate to a cube of butter. It's also a relative unit. If you are dainty and small and slap a cube of butter to your butt it will be very noticeable. On the other hand if you are of the larger "Sturdy" type it might take a few more cubes for anyone to notice. This starts the second week of my grand experiment and this mornings hop on the digital scale show six pounds gone. Still gluten free,  keeping the carbs down, and showing up at the gym three days a week.

So here's yesterday's report.


Hmmm... Pause for Thought

I will have to leave off with out a proper thought. I will have to jump in the jeep, race to the top of the hill and hope I can connect before I die.....

I will end this post with Ferol's Rooster, which is kind of odd because everybody knows a rooster really starts the day...


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Satisfied Sunday

Cottage Life

Today was a lovely guilt free day. I accomplished very little but did so with great gusto. The rain came in the middle of the night and washed a lot of the gravel dust of the ferns and berries along our long driveway. It felt good to be "clean". The Bearded One and I are getting geared up for another great week of re-inventing ourselves (that's what we do... no TV and all) we spend our time developing our new and improved selves, including planning our menus ahead a little. Usually we are on two different schedules as far as grazing goes. The Bearded One forgets to eat, and I forget not to. We however, fully embrace the new day theory. Tomorrow is one you know... A new day that is. Now go and make the best of it!

Before and After

A couple more Norwegian boat pictures. Sam is the one who restored it, Melody is our Landlord. The sun was going down when they decided to check out it's sea-worthiness. Shooting with the gear I have in low light, left me with "noisy" images. Sometimes when that happens it helps to process them a little more.

I like to tell stories with my photos and I think they are more animated with a little boost. Much the same way that Norman Rockwell paintings give that little extra "life". It might be over the top for some, but It I find that it brings a smile to my face and captures the essence of the moment.


Sam and melody before

Having fun with regular "snap shots"...


Sam melody boat two


Sam and Melody boat

The setting sun really played on the water and the beach, giving everything a nice warm glow.

Healthy Choices

Tomorrow is "Chub Cam" and I've decided that I will keep track of my progress using the "Stick O' Butter" meter. That means that every 1/4 lb is one cube or stick. Get it? So for every pound gone it's four sticks. Cheesy isn't it? And just to be clear, I love butter and still eat it... often.

Okay, Yesterdays accounting... complete with a little food porn.




Hmmm... Pause for Thought

A happy life is just a string of happy moments. But most people don't allow the happy moment, because they're so busy trying to get a happy life.

--- Abraham



Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday and I'm "Shoulding" all over myself


IMG 3932

Our cottage looking up from the patio

Cottage Life

I really thought I was going to accomplish a lot today. I was wrong. It was a lovely day really. The weather rather balmy and all. I should've gone out side and enjoyed it. Instead I hovered over the mac, photoshopping like a woman possessed, which is what I love to do. The problem was the guilt, though self inflicted, that hung over me like a thick blanket. I just had this feeling that there was something that I should've been doing, some task waiting to be completed. Something.... Anything. Guilt.... On closer examination though, my life at this point in time is pretty non-demanding aside from my weekday job, which I do enjoy. And it is just the Bearded One and me here in this tiny little house. We are pretty neat and tidy except for my socks which usually end up under chairs, so there's really not a whole lot left undone... Still I couldn't quite enjoy the day with any great abandon. Tomorrow is Sunday. I will have another go at it. Guilt free pleasure. That is if there is such a thing.

Before and After

This time I'm starting with a ho hum snapshot of a picture that I took to illustrate what just a smidgen of post processing can do.



IMG 3890 2


IMG 3890

Just adds a little "Pop" don't you think? Even without any fancy borders and such.


Healthy Choices

I definitely need to put a little more thought and planning into my meals. Right now though I'm just trying to avoid the flour and stay fairly low carb. Here's yesterday's list.


I intended to eat a large portion of steamed broccoli but was totally consumed by my computer projects. "Chub Cam" is on Monday. A great, although somewhat humiliating, motivator.

Hmmm... Pause for thought

Not a thought really... I just like this band...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Carrots, Parsnips, and Friday's Finally Here

Nothing says fall like colorful baskets of produce at a roadside stand. I happened by this one as they were setting up next to the Rich Rd. Post Office. I stopped and picked up some very reasonably priced pears, nectarines, and a couple of lemon cucumbers, and then asked If I could take a few pictures. The sky was hazy which made for great color.

Carrots sm




Parsnips sm




Fresh picked Dahlias in jars

Before and After

Another one from Ferol. A great little picture. I wanted to do a simpler non-fussy treatment for this one. Again, thanks for letting me have a go at these images.









I cropped it a bit to put the focus on the bloom and then desaturated everything but the Flower. I wanted to give the feeling of a bloom on a dismal day and I also wanted to make the dandelion fade from view. (I eradicate weeds for a living. I can't help myself.) It's actually a pretty subtle difference...

Healthy Choices

It's the end of day five. Knowing that "Chub Cam" is coming up again on monday is helping to keep me from jumping into a vat of something delicious. So here's yesterday's account.

22 menu

Speaking of Healthy choices... I could really go for some chocolate about now.



Hmmm... Pause for thought

All my life I've wanted to be someone; I guess I should have been more specific.

Jane Wagner/Lily Tomlin (1939- )



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our Anniversary and "Fine Dining"

Cottage Life

It was our anniversary today. Three years. We know this because grandson max will be three this year. That's the only reason we know. It's like a bookmark for us. We've been friends for so many years and hanging around together for so long that the tying the knot part gets a little convoluted. We wanted to do something special for dinner so we dined at the local Top Food grocery store. They added a nice sit down eating area with a gas fireplace and giant fake trees in pots. It would have been difficult for me to stay on track eating wise if we had gone to a real restaurant, having to work my way around french fries if we ate cheap, or Baked Potatoes if we went upscale. This worked out really well actually. We went to the seafood counter and got a pound of cooked prawns, grabbed a bottle of cocktail sauce, and headed for the salad bar. Next stop was the bakery where the "Bearded One" was able to pick up a single serving of pumpkin pie. A steaming hot cup of coffee for me an a complimentary ice water and we were set. We pretty much had the "dining room" to ourselves and perched next to the fire which was cozy in spite of the muggy weather outside...  Fine dining... and no tipping. We will probably do it again. Hmm... we could make ourselves at home and invite our friends.

Love you Babe...


Before and After

This one is courtesy of Ferol. A great shot of our shared granddaughter Madelynn. I love the photo. She managed to capture her in mid jump. And the reflection, amazing!

Puddles before



It reminded me of a children's illustration...


So I added a little poem. What a hoot. Thanks for letting me play, Ferol. Keep those photos coming!


Picture of the Day

I was shooting daliahs. Didn't realize this guy was there.


IMG 4042


Healthy Choices

Yesterday's report card. My attitude today is much better than it was on day three. Had "paleo" pancakes for dinner.

2 eggs, almond flour, a little coarse unsweetened coconut, 1/2 scoop low carb vanilla whey protein powder, pinch of baking soda a little cream. Ta Dah!!!  Pretty good with peanut butter!




Hmmm... pause for thought

Fat Moms

Photo of Roseanne BarrSo I'm fat, I thought I'd point that out. Have you ever noticed that fat people don't think like skinny people... We have our own way of thinking. And have you ever asked a fat person for directions? Cause that is when the difference in thinking really shows y'know. Cause you got up to them on the street and ask them where something is and they tell you this "Well... go down here to Arby's... And go right past Wendy's, Mcdonalds, Burger King and it's that chocolate brown building down there. But it's good that I'm fat, cause I'm a mom and fat mom's are better than skinny moms. Cause what do you want when you're depressed? Some skinny mom "Well why don't you joke around a while and that'll release adrenaline in your blood and you'll better cope with stress". Or some fat mom "Well lets have pudding, Oreos and marshmallows. When you wake up from that sugar coma, It'll be a brand new week."

Roseanne Barr, 1985

End okay

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday and Shades of Blue

I love old Bottles. Especially the blue ones.


Continuing with the blue theme...

Hydrangeas. I love them this time of year.



IMG 4080 2

Before and After


Moms Bouquet

IMG 3030 4

Mom's garden bouquet

And After...


IMG 3030 3

There's more of the picture but wanted to highlight the detail

Keep sending your photos...

As large a file as you can. Do you have a photo of yourself that you think is okay but could maybe use a little tweak? Maybe one that would look really good in B&W or sepia.

Cottage Life

The cottage we live in is very small. It was originally intended to be used as a writer's studio. It's been modified with the addition of a bed nook, and a bathroom and laundry area downstairs. It comes with casement windows and a lot of reclaimed stained glass. The architect added bookcases floor to ceiling along the stairwell. Lot's of little windows and skylights make living in the forest actually pretty bright. The upstairs is aprox. 400 square feet, and the down stairs adds another 200. The original upstairs closets have been turned into a galley kitchen. We have a great gas cook top originally made for a yacht it has 3 small burners, and is amazingly wonderful to cook with. We also have a small convection toaster oven, microwave, and an espresso machine. There is  small "dorm" fridge upstairs and the landlady has put in a second fridge downstairs. She even had the carpenter build it in for us. It has a nice freezer compartment which is what we were lacking. Last summer we invested in a great infra red Gas Grill which allows to bake bread and pizza. (not that I'm eating bread and pizza anymore) I never dreamed that living in such a tiny abode would be so easy. We do have a storage unit in town... that is mainly for the "Bearded" One's motorcycle. It also allows me to store totes of seasonal stuff like the tote full of fall goodness that needs to be put out. Life is pretty good out here on the bay...


Healthy choices

I've been sticking with gluten free low carb. I always feel better when I walk this path but the first week is usually a battle. Day three has been a drain, but onto day four.

This blog is helping by keeping me busy. It's my therapy.


Yesterday's food journal

Full disclosure... I had cream cheese with those Pork Rinds. ;-)

Hmmm... Pause for thought

-George Carlin

  • What does it mean to pre-board? Do you get on before you get on?

  • What was the best thing before sliced bread?

  • Whose cruel idea was it for the word "Lisp" to have an "S" in it?

  • Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

  • When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?

  • Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all?"

  • Why are hemorrhoids called "hemorrhoids" instead of "assteroids"?

  • What if there were no hypothetical questions?

  • Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines?

  • Would a fly without wings be called a walk?


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Temperate Tuesday

Before and After
Before and after lyric
This photo was taken a couple of years ago and shows my niece lyric playing with one of the young turkeys.
I've used a different treatment on this one. I was going for a more vintage, nostalgic look. I wanted to make it a picture that you could enjoy no matter how much time has gone by.
Heads up. I seem to be in a paper texture mood this evening, I seem to be putting it everywhere.

Cottage Life
The Landlady has an amazing garden. It's huge. There is only one of her. She plants enough to feed the neighborhood. She does all the work from starting the seeds in the greenhouse, to adding the compost to her french style mounded beds, waiting for the right moment to set out the plants and then she runs her drip irrigation system throughout. We her humble tenants get to partake of the bounty. One of her favorites is kale. In fact she always plants several varieties. We've come to embrace it saute'd in butter with bacon, garlic and onion. Oh and a few pine nuts sprinkled in.

The "Bearded One" gathering some fresh veggies.

And now for a little "Food Porn"
Food porn
Tonight's Dinner

Speaking of Food...

Healthy Choices
As promised yesterday's food and gym journal. Please feel free to skip this part. I won't notice.

Hmmm... Pause for thought
It is a well-documented fact that guys will not ask for directions. This is a biological thing. This is why it takes several million sperm cells... to locate a female egg, despite the fact that the egg is, relative to them, the size of Wisconsin.
Dave Barry

Monday, September 19, 2011

Manic Monday


Cottage Life

I work outside. All year. Sometimes that can be good, sometimes not so good. Today was spectacular. The weekend's rain had washed and renewed the landscapes I visited and at one in particular it gave me glistening diamonds.


It was absolutely amazing.

Everywhere I turned there were sparkling droplets.


This Alberta Spruce in spite of  having some obvious health issues, was decorated from top to bottom.

Before and After

Boots before after

Healthy Choices

Introducing... Chub Cam


I will be posting a snapshot of my pudgy face every week along with my food and gym journal. The plan is to be able to see some progress as time goes by. It is supposed to be an incentive for me to pay attention and "stick to the plan" It seems the older I get the less committed I am. Anyway There should be over time a visible difference. If not I will resort to photoshop... ;-) I will be posting today's journal tomorrow... Just in case I get a hankering for something to nibble this evening. (just kidding, I'll be good.)


Hmmm... Pause for thought.

A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice.
Bill Cosby