Saturday, October 31, 2009

306/365 - Halloween Eve

It was cold, but sunny. I finished Brian's mummy costume at 4:30, with 30 minutes to spare. But he wasn't too keen on the head wrapping. Drama ensued. We ended up taping the bottom part of his "mask" to the wrapping on top of his head. You know how long that scotch tape lasts? Not very long. Brian and George went down the street and back before Brian decided he wanted to "change" into another costume - he wanted to put a brown sack on his head! I said no and that was the end of the night.

I managed to capture a couple shots of the boys in their costumes, before the drama started:
Trio of Scary Boys

And the others were having a great time trick or treating:
Trick or Treat

We spent the rest of the night watching Coraline and Transformers.


Friday, October 30, 2009

305/365 - Text Usage

So Erica's phone is now 2 weeks old, and I received the first bill, which outlined her usage the first 4 days she had it. Not one to burn up the phone minutes (9 minutes used), but get a look at her texting activity:

Text Usage

That's right - 1153 texts - in the first 4 days! Oh.... ehm.... geee!

That's why we got the unlimited texting.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

304/365 - Short Lived Blue Skies

I loved the look of the sky and clouds on the way to work. I felt optimistic that the rest of the day would full of sunshine. But the clouds and rains came. Luckily, I have a capture of the morning's sky.

Short Lived Blue Sky Blended

And the picture is a blended composite of two exposures - my first! Read more about how I did it on my Photography Blog.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

303/365 - Essential Cooking Condiments

Another grey, dreary day here, so I thought I would take a picture of my cooking essentials - these are the sauces, oils and spices I use most frequently.

Essential Condiments

I'm actually missing several key items - Rice Vinegars (seasoned and unseasoned), Worcestershire sauce and Fish Sauce - so the bottles are [relatively] spread out.

My collection has changed over the years (Fish sauce and Chipotle Tabasco are new additions), so it will be interesting to see what my cupboard will hold next year. I know my old standbys will still be there - Kikkoman soy sauce, EVOO, Balsamic vinegar, just to name a few.

What does your Condiment /Spice Collection look like (I need another picture to capture the spices!).


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

302/365 - Fallen Leaves

Not too interesting today - just the leaves that have fallen off the tree in front of my violin teacher's house. With the rain and wind, the leaves seem to be past their peak already. Really, too early.


Leaves in the Grass

I really like how the leaves form a perfect circle around its tree trunk. This is especially prominent with younger trees planted by themselves. No picture, just an observation - I bet if you look for them, you'll see the circle of leaves, too.


Monday, October 26, 2009

301/365 - Halloween Fun

The Halloween activities are gearing up - Brian has carved one pumpkin and started on another. Our lit pumpkin has made its way to the foyer, and we enjoyed our first batch of roasted pumpkin seeds tonight. We've been Boo'd twice and Boo'd our friend's house.

Halloween Fun

I think the fun is just beginning!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

300/365 - Mummy Costume Help

Brian wants to be a Mummy this year, and insisted that I "make" him a Mummy costume. Note - I do not like to sew. I think this is a trait passed down from my mother, because she hates sewing, too. I remember growing up and attempting to use the sewing machine - the bobbin thread would break constantly.

I do own a sewing machine. In fact, I wanted one and for my 26th birthday, Scott bought me a very nice Singer machine. I used it several times to make blankets, quilts, pillows, some window treatments (straight stitching, you know). I thought I would grow to like it. But sewing takes time and patience, (I'm short on the patience side), so I now accept that I am just not a seamstress type of person.

OK, back to the Mummy Costume - I bought a white T shirt and an off-white flat sheet. We ripped the flat sheet into strips and I am now wrapping and "stitching" it to the T shirt. I'll do the same with some white pants. Note that I am "stitching" by using this great invention for us non-sewers - Stitch Witch. My friend and talented seamstress, Sara, gave me the Stitch Witch. Isn't she great?

Mummy Costume Help

So far, I am pleased with the results. Of course, I'll have to take a picture of the finished product - I have until Saturday night!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

299/365 - Neighborhood Picnic

Back after a two year hiatus - our subdivision Fall picnic, this year with a DJ, smoked pulled pork, a fire pit and a porta potty! (These details are very important!).

You can't tell from the pictures, but the weather this morning had us wondering if the picnic was going to be canceled - whipping wind, remnant rain drops and COLD. But Lisa, the main organizer, sent out an email, indicating "The Picnic Will Go On" and offering up their garage as a warming shelter.

Fortunately, the skies cleared, the winds subsided and we were blessed with a gorgeous fall afternoon. Perfect for football, croquet and smores:
Pick up Football

Wicket and Ball

Smor's Time

Thank you, Lisa for planning such a great event!


Friday, October 23, 2009

298/365 - Ghost Train 2009

Our annual ride on the Ghost Train. Another cold, almost raining night, with lots of wind. We brought friends Mel, Kathleen and George with us.

We waited inside the snack tent before boarding the train:
Waiting for the Ghost Train

After the train ride, we walked through the Haunted Box Car.

Enter the Haunted Box Car

And I learned one of the limits of photography without using a flash. Even at ISO 3200, a picture taken basically in the dark is going to look like a grainy mess. But for tonight's activities, the grain and off-color works.


Seesh - Mole/Mol Day

My husband forwarded an email from another co-worker, stating that today is Mole/Mol day, with the following information from The National Mole Day Foundation

Celebrated annually on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., Mole Day commemorates Avogadro's Number (6.02 x 10^23), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry. Mole Day was created as a way to foster interest in chemistry. Schools throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Mole Day with various activities related to chemistry and/or moles.
For a given molecule, one mole is a mass (in grams) whose number is equal to the atomic mass of the molecule. For example, the water molecule has an atomic mass of 18, therefore one mole of water weighs 18 grams. An atom of neon has an atomic mass of 20, therefore one mole of neon weighs 20 grams. In general, one mole of any substance contains Avogadro's Number of molecules or atoms of that substance. This relationship was first discovered by Amadeo Avogadro (1776-1858) and he received credit for this after his death.

So, based on my geeky Chemistry background, I replied back to my dear hubby:

Mol day should really be held on June 2, and observed at 10:23 instead.

But I know that most schools are already out on June 2, so this is their way of making it relavent.
And in Europe, they probably think it should be held on the 6th of February.
And it should be Mol day, not Mole day. I think of the rodents when I see the word Mole.

I believe I have spent way too much time on this topic.....


Thursday, October 22, 2009

297/65 - A New Favorite

Toaster Strudel - that's the family's new favorite breakfast item, thanks to the sale at the grocery store last week.

Toaster Strudel Favorite

I bought a single package, which was scarfed up by Tuesday morning (because Toaster Strudel is not limited to breakfast - it serves as a tasty desert after dinner). And since Brian was home Tuesday due to an illness, I had to go out and buy two more packages (at the normal price, I might add).

The kids and Scott are addicted. I need to find them in bulk!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

296/365 - Tae Kwon Do Testing

It's been several months since Brian has participated in Tae Kwon Do testing. He continues to attend classes twice a week, but due to vacation and other activities, hasn't met the requirements to test towards his next Black Belt ranking.

He should have tested yesterday with his class, but since he was sick, he tested with the advanced color belt class tonight. Here he is, the only red helmeted kid in a sea of black:
Lined Up for Testing in Color

Brian performed two Black Belt forms in front of the entire class and audience, solo:
Double Knife Hand Low

He makes me so proud!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

295/365 - Little Buggers

I am sure everyone in Central Illinois will appreciate my post about the swarms of Asian beetles that have emerged as a result of the warm weather. They are crawling everywhere!
My friend (and back door neighbor), Kellie, started renovations on their house today. I thought - great - they get to work in nice weather. But when the workers removed their sliding glass door, Kellie informed me that all those bugs migrated inside. She ended up Dust-Busting them up. (yuck)

So, here is my artsy rendering of one of the guys crawling up the window screen. Yes, it looks like a lady bug. But it is not.
Little Buggers

In un-related events, Brian stayed home from school today due to a slight fever, sore throat and headache. I think he's fine now.


Monday, October 19, 2009

294/365 - Indian Summer

What a contrast from last week - clear skies, bright sun and warm breezes. Indian Summer has arrived, and the kids took advantage of the nice weather to hang outside.

Erica caught some rays while reading:
Sun Bathing

The boys ran amok, catching bugs - they caught a "Huge Assassin Bug". I took their word for it.

Hannah chased after the buzzing lady bugs.

The kids opened up the windows, even though it was only 68degF outside. It felt so much warmer.
Open Windows

The great thing? This is just the start of several Indian Summer days. We are going to enjoy every bit of it!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

293/365 - Fall Glory

I went back to the soccer fields this afternoon, this time armed with my big camera. Today's ample sun and cloudless skies rendered today a quintessential Fall day.

Smells like Fall

The 20 minutes I spent among the trees did wonders for my mood and made me happy the rest of the day - there must be endorphins in those leaves!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

292/365 - Soccer and Fall Morning

No pictures of the soccer game today. I didn't bring my "real" camera because at 8:00, the day was shaping up as a repeat of the past 4 days - cloudy, cold and dreary. The sun came out around 8:45, giving us a little respite from the cold. Barely.

At the half, Erica's team was down, 1-2. I decided to take a brisk walk around the fields to get warm and wished that I had my other camera. I took this picture of the just turning trees. Although it is blurry, I kind of like it because it looks old (like a blurry picture from the 80s).
Fall morning

Erica's team came back from their deficit to win the game 4-2! The girls were all muddy and wet, but happy they had won.


Friday, October 16, 2009

291/365 - Ushering in a New Era

Of endless phone calls and numerous text messages.

Erica got her first cell phone today, after months and months of pleading. I was prepared to sign her up back in July, but we had an agreement that she reneged on, and the agreement stated that she would have to wait until the end of the first school semester, which ended today.

Erica knew the exact phone she wanted, so we visited the Verizon store and within 20 minutes, she was off, adding her friends to the contacts list. Once she initially texted her friends, the phone continued to buzz and beep as they all started texting her back. Goodness!

So here she is, "the last person in her class to get a cell phone", now a fully functional seventh grader.
Getting Aquainted


Friday Fill-Ins for This Gloomy Friday

I don't think we've seen the sun since Monday. You'll notice that theme throughout today's Friday Fill-Ins.....

1. So are we going to get some sun soon? The clouds and rain are starting to take their toll!

2. The unknown is what's up ahead. Just be ready for the ride!

3. I love to sing and create beautiful music.

4. The gloomy weather has put me in mood of some sorts. I think I need to employ some retail therapy to perk me up.

5. I walk a fine line between organization and utter chaos. Yesterday’s Baby Blues comic strip illustrates our morning routine perfectly.
Typical Morning here, too

6. Being happy with what you have is the true elixir of life!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to our book club’s lively discussions, tomorrow my plans include soccer game watching and Sunday, I want to enjoy the day!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

290/365 - Fall Meds

It never fails - as soon as the weather turns cooler, my allergies and asthma kick up. During the summer months, the asthma is under control enough where I don't need take any prescription medication, but I had to call in my refill today.

Fall = Asthma Time

Another annual event - the migration of Rascal the cat from her chair to the top of the bed at night - she starts sleeping in the crook of my arm. I know that can't be good for my asthma, but I can't deny my fluffy cat.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

289/365 - Harvest

Another gloomy day here in the fields of beans and corn. I took this picture near the horse barn, along the rows of harvested corn. The light rain and mist created a foggy landscape.


Tonight's plans - some warm soup, hot grilled sandwiches and GLEE!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

288/365 - Milestone

Scott and I have been anticipating this milestone - 100,000 miles on the Corolla, aka "Cory". The odometer rolled over to the 100K mark as I was driving to violin lessons. I pulled off the road, into someone's driveway to take the picture.

100 Grand Milestone

Processed with two separate textures, using the "Hard Mix" blending mode in PSE.

Even at 100,000 miles, Cory still provides a reliable ride. I hope it makes it to 200,000 miles.


Monday, October 12, 2009

12 on October 12

Welcome to today's collection of random pictures from my day.

This morning, we are heating up the oven for something sweet:
Time to Make the Cinnamon Buns

The Cinnamon buns:

We needed the buns to warm us up from the cool, damp outdoors.
View from the Living Room

It's quite dark at 6:45 in the morning:
Cloudy Morning

I dropped Erica off at school, right by the park with the beautiful trees:
The Road to School

After dropping off Brian, I hit the highway.

And watched the sun start to peak through the clouds.
Sunrise on the Prairie

After work, Brian enjoyed some hot chocolate in his new Illini mug (he bought it at Saturday's game).
Yummy Hot Chocolate

Hannah watched the birds outside:

After dinner, Erica played with Hannah:
Ready to Pounce
Playing with the Cat

We're all hanging out in the Family room now - Erica is searching for cell phones and Scott is watching Monday Night Football. A nice end to a fall day.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

286/365 - 5K Firsts

A couple of "firsts" today:

Erica's First 5K road race.
My First 5K road race in over 13 years.
Our First 5K road race together.

And Erica didn't complain about the cold (although she wanted me to stop hopping around before the race when I was trying to stay warm). She didn't resist the picture taking.

With our good friends:
Erica and Her Adopted Family

Erica finished just under 36:00, a pretty decent time, considering she didn't really train for the event. I finished at 27:30, not a PR by any means, but I'm just not as young as I used to be!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

285/365 - First Frost

I could feel the chill in the air when I woke up this morning. I knew the overnight temperatures would skirt the freezing mark, but didn't believe it until I looked outside and saw the rooftops sparkling in the sun, the first frost of the season.

I slipped and nearly fell on these icy blades of grass in the backyard.
First Frost

After marveling at the pretty icy formations, I went inside and turned on the furnace.


Friday, October 09, 2009

284/365 - Afternoon Practice

Another cloudy, rainy day.

I took Rascal and Hannah to the vet these past two days for their separate yearly check ups. Each received a clean bill of health, along with several shots. Erica is working at the Stables tonight, as she is filling in for the worker who covered her usual Sunday shift last weekend. Scott picked up goodies from the apple orchard - apple pie, apple cider, honeycrisp apples, apple cider donuts and pumpkin pie. Plenty of sweet stuff for the next week.

Today's picture - I'm working on the 3rd Movement of Franck's Violin Sonata.
Third Movement Practice
Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Blog Award

My friend, Jayne, honored me with this great Blog Award last week (eek! I'm so late in accepting - please pardon my tardiness!)

The Fun Part - a one word answer questionnaire!

1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Your hair? straight
3. Your mother? Florida
4. Your father? Massachusetts
5. Your favorite food? All
6. Your dream last night? Weird
7. Your favorite drink? Water
8. Your dream/goal? positive
9. What room are you in? Office
10. Your hobby? photography
11. Your fear? heights
12. Favorite place to eat? Unique
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren’t? Conniving
15. Muffins? Blueberry
16. Wish list item? Lasix
17. Where did you grow up? Massachusetts
18. Last thing you did? Blogged
19. What are you wearing? jeans
20. Your TV? Off
21. Your pets? Cats
22. Friends? wonderful
23. Your life? blessed
24. Your mood? grateful
25. Missing someone? friends
26. Vehicle? Corolla
27. Something you’re not wearing? Earrings
28. Your favorite store? Amazon
29. Your favorite color? Green
30. When was the last time you laughed? Morning
31. Last time you cried? recently
32. Your best friend? Scott
33. One place that I go to over and over? Outlet
34. One person who emails me regularly? Spammers, LOL

Thanks for the award, Jayne!


283/365 - Pleasant Surprise

I was talking to a co-worker yesterday, sitting at her "guest chair" in her office, when I glanced over and was surprised to see Hello Kitty smiling at me. Immediately, I had to smile back.

I have fond memories of Hello Kitty from my childhood, years before she became popular in the US. I remember buying some Hello Kitty puffy stickers during our trip to Taiwan when I was in 3rd grade. I treasured those stickers for years because they were so different (and Hello Kitty is just SO cute).

Hello Kitty still makes me smile (Erica thinks I have a weird obsession with her). I hope she brings a smile to you today.

Hello Kitty Surprise

[And Hello Kitty isn't simply imprinted on the eraser - she is formed through the entire eraser - how cool is that!]


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

282/365 - Rows of Soybean

Another one of my "drive by" photo surprises. Yesterday's gray skies brought sunny ones this morning, but I know that the rain will be back tomorrow. So I purposely brought the camera out for my morning commute.

Rows of Soybeans

As the plants grow, it gets harder to distinguish the individual rows. So I was pleased to see the actual rows of ready to harvest soybeans in the capture.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

281/365 - Sponge Bob Legos

One of the numerous Lego themed gifts from Brian's birthday. Cory has given Brian Sponge Bob Legos in previous years, and I thought they were fun.

Sponge Bob Legos

Bob and Eugene are in front of the Krusty Krab. [Note - I had to ask Scott and Brian for the name of the crab character - I'm not a big Sponge Bob fan]


Monday, October 05, 2009

280/365 - Trying New Things

A couple of "new things" Brian tried out today:

1. "Marshmallow Launcher Bow and Arrow Toy / Weapon":
Marshmallow Launcher
Just the other day, Scott noticed this contraption in the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog. We both had a good laugh, noting that Brian would "have fun" with such a toy.

Funny that our neighbor's boy would have one! Brian took right to it, getting the marshmallows to shoot out.

2. The neighbor's new play structure - tree house fort:
Up in the Treehouse
Notice that he still has that shortbow with him.

Lots of fun this beautiful fall afternoon with friends!


Copyright Notice

All images on this blog (unless stated) are the intellectual property and copyright of SLPhotography and shirley319 (© 2009, 2010). Do not steal, borrow or pirate the images here.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code. and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) prohibits the use of digital property to be used without the consent of its owner.

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