Monday, November 30, 2009

336/365 - Ornaments

I got the tripod out this evening and shot a couple ornaments off the tree. Well, they are still on the tree, I took pictures!

We've had Old Saint Nick for years, and I always nestle him far inside the tree since he is quite big. He was a gift from my sister, Michele.
Old Saint Nick

Another gift from our friends and neighbors back in Indiana - Jeff and Janine gave us this ornament when we moved away 7 years ago. We don't see them nearly enough.
S'more Fun
He's really a S'more snowman and really cute.

That's all I could photograph decently. I've determined that Scott needs to put more lights on the tree, because these guys are really hard to photograph with the limited lighting.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

335/365 - Sound of Flowing Water

After two months of dormancy, our water garden's recirculating pump is back in business, flowing water over the waterfall, filling the air with the soothing sound of flowing water.

All it took was two trips to the Home Depot, two trips to Lowe's, one trip to the Do It Best Hardware store, numerous calls to the local water garden contractor, research on the internet, and finally, a call to a pond outfit near Atlanta, who gave me the key information I needed to retrofit our new pump into our existing pond system.

The new pump is slightly taller than the old pump, and the pump outlet is 1.5" instead of 2". I bought several reducers, but the piping always ended up being too tall. I didn't know I was supposed to cut off part of the riser piping! So that was the trick. And the water is flowing once again.

Working Pump

The replacement pump is guaranteed to work for three years. After replacing the other model 3 times in 6 years, I certainly hope so.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

334/365 - Trim The Tree

We waited until today to trim the tree, as Erica had plans Friday afternoon with some friends (she finally saw New Moon, then slept over Jen's house - which means she got no sleep last night).

I only took one picture. Really, this is poorly framed, with lots of noise. I added a texture in an attempt to "cover up" the noise. But here it is:
The Ornaments were Hung On The Tree

Erica put on a couple of ornaments before declaring she was too tired (imagine that!), the boys got 80% of the tree covered and I finished up.


Friday, November 27, 2009

333/365 - Tradition

Tradition dictates that we go out today to get our tree.
Tradition dictates that we buy the tree at the local Prairie Gardens.
Tradition dictates that I take a picture of the Scott and the kids after we choose the tree.
Tree Picking 2009
Tradition dictates that the kids goof off in the store while Scott pays for the tree.
Goofing Off in the Store
Tradition dictates that Scott and I anxiously monitor the tree on the top of the vehicle as we drive home from the store. [That's because back in 2002, the tree started to fall off the truck as we drove home. We stopped twice in an attempt to secure the thing better, but it still almost ended up on the road.]

Don't you love Tradition?


Thursday, November 26, 2009

332/365 - Thanksgiving

Just a smattering of photos from today's Thanksgiving Holiday:

I love the color of cranberries!
Cook Until They Pop

Scott pours the kids "wine", aka sparkling grape juice.
Pour the Wine

Fun family picture:
Click the Remote

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

331/365 - Preparations

Preparations for tomorrow's big day of cooking, eating and most importantly, giving thanks.


Even the dining room table has been cleared (normally it's covered with "stuff").



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

330/365 - Here Comes the Rain Again

After a 4 day respite, the rains are back, with a possibility of snow on turkey day!

Rains Are Back


Monday, November 23, 2009

329/365 - Bubble Arch

I think Brian put too much foaming bubble bath in the foot spa. The bubbles formed a fluffy mound at least 12" high. And these bubbles are robust enough to bridge across Brian's feet!

Bubble Arch


Sunday, November 22, 2009

328/365 - New Moon

Of course, how could we go through this weekend without some mention of the highly anticipated opening of the New Moon movie? Well, here is my [boring] contribution to the countless blogs devoted to all things New Moon and The Twilight Saga.

New Moon Poster
We have this hanging in our kitchen, along with the kids' art work and other random print outs.

I am the first of the family to see the movie. Erica will attend later this week with a group of friends, and Scott will go in a couple of weeks (when it is less crowded - and he might take Brian). The theatre was crowded for a Sunday afternoon matinee, the audience comprised of mainly female, mainly tweens.

In a nutshell, the movie covered all of the main parts of the book, although it moved along at a snail's pace. Our group of 30-40 year old women are in the "Team Jacob" camp (and watching the movie confirmed our choice).

We interrupt this blog post for some commentary by Brian: yo my name is potato joe

Pardon the interruption - I stepped away from the computer momentarily.

So, we all enjoyed the movie. I'm sure those who are big fans of the Twilight Saga will enjoy it as well. I just don't want to see so much of Rob Pattinson in the future. 'Nuf said.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

327/365 - Start of Holiday Goodness

I know it's too early to post about Christmas-y stuff, but so much merchandise has infiltrated the stores and media, it's hard not to be slightly influenced by it!

[As a side note, every time I hear a Christmas song on the radio, I change the channel or switch to my iPod. And I was down to a two day supply of coffee]

My favorite coffee of the season:
First Taste of Christmas

A traditional holiday snack:
Homemade Tradition

I've purchased all the goodies for our upcoming Thanksgiving feast, so these really start our Holiday Eating Season!

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving / Christmas treats?


Friday, November 20, 2009

326/365 - Glitter and Gloves

Tonight I went to the Festival of Trees with my friend, Jill. The major fundraiser of the local Junior League, the Festival raises funds for community. We enjoyed music from the Edison Jazz Band and viewed the holiday themed trees, kick starting the holiday season.

I loved the details on this wreath:
Greenery and Glitter

We found a unique clothing manufacturer who creates gloves, mittens, scarves, hats and vests by felting recycled sweaters and other knitted materials. Aren't these fingerless gloves adorable? (Modeled by Jill, whose hands are much nicer than mine!):
Recycled Gloves

Here's the company who creates these cool items:
Custom Glove Maker

So I bought the pink and grey pair - they will be perfect with my iPhone and camera use during the winter months.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

325/365 - Expensive Mesh

I've wanted to replace these grease spatter screens for over a year now. They are installed on the microwave / vent hood that sit above the stove, and since I do my share of pan frying, wok-ing (is that a word?) and egg/bacon frying, well, they are quite plugged with oil.

Scott searched at the Home Depot (no dice) and finally found them on the internet a couple nights ago. $45 bucks for two flimsy mesh screens!!! Oh well, we'll suck it up, and maybe one day, I'll have a Viking stove with a heavy duty vent (no mamby-pamby microwave vent thingy).

Expensive Mesh

Bonus shot - I finally saw blue sky this afternoon as the clouds started to clear away.
Clearing Skies
I posted a monotone version on my other blog.

Have a great Thursday night!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

324/365 - Fully Protected

Brian in his new TaeKwonDo Sparring gear - he outgrew his original (red) headgear and chest protector. All Black now, baby!

Suited Up


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

323/365 - In Its Natural Habitat

Back in the beginning of January, seven days into my Project 365 collection of photos, I posted about "Something Just Not Right". [I started Project 365 on my Behind the Lens Blog, so the link will take you there].

I followed up in February with "A New Stool In Town".

Now, the final picture in this "Trilogy" of blog posts featuring the ever popular John Deere Stool - in its natural habitat, otherwise known as the garage:

Natural Habitat
And next to the workbench.

Doesn't it look perfectly at home there? So much better than in the kitchen!


Monday, November 16, 2009

322/365 - Mango Obsession

What to do on a dreary, cold, windy, rainy November day?

Mourn the Patriot's loss to the Colts in last nights "Battle of 1812"? I guess since Scott is a rabid Colt's fan, I really can't do anything but accept defeat....

But I digress, because today's pictures feature Mango. Luscious Mango. Summery Mango. But since we don't have real Mango, we have to settle for Mango flavor. In the little shape of a stick of gum:

Yummy Mango Gum

The back story - Erica had an orthodontist appointment this afternoon, and somehow we've "added on" to these appointments by going to the Walgreens afterward to buy gum. [Kind of like going out for ice cream after a music concert or big game, but in a distorted, kind of way]
I'm always wary of buying fruity-minty gum, but Erica picked out the Mango Surf gum. When we got home, she declared it tasted like our favorite Mango Italian Ice:
More Yummy Mango
[Note that the Mango Italian Ice is sold with Pina Colada Italian Ice. Guess what's in the box? Yup, several servings of Pina Colada Ice. I'm not buying another box until all of the Pina Colada Ice is GONE!]

We drove back to the store after dinner so that I could have my own box of Mango Surf gum. Like a small explosion of summer on my tongue! Couldn't ask for anything better this cold Fall day (after the Patriots lost a game they should have won!).

Aren't you glad you read this post?


Sunday, November 15, 2009

321/365 - Scott's Workbench

After depositing Erica at her Sunday job at the horse stables, I was out trying to find something to take a picture of - some big crows were circling the cul-de-sac, but they flew away. I walked into the garage and was struck by Scott's orderly workbench area.

By the Work Bench


Saturday, November 14, 2009

320/365 - Hunter Hannah?

A beautiful Saturday morning and afternoon, until 3pm when the clouds rolled in. Something prompted Hannah to venture outside. She chased after some leaves and ate some grass. She and Rascal played "keep away from each other because we hate each other".

Hunter Hannah?

Just another Saturday here among the cornfields.


Friday, November 13, 2009

319/365 - Dress Rehearsal

Courtesy of my violin teacher, I was given access to UI's Chamber Orchestra dress rehearsal this afternoon. Tonight the orchestra performs "La Tombeau de Couperin" by Ravel; "Serenade for Strings" by Suk; and the "Concerto for Violin" by Brahms.

A couple pictures to share:
Audience Seating

Cello Section
I wanted to take more pictures, but knowing how loud my shutter release is, knew that it was not appropriate. The acoustics in Foellinger Great Hall are great, which means every little sound may be heard clearly.

I enjoyed watching and listening to the musicians and missed my days playing in such a group.


Friday Fill-Ins - November Edition

1. The last band I saw live was Sara Bareilles – it was a fabulous show, read about it here.
2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is all that food!
3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is going to be light this year because we’ll be traveling.
4. Thoughts of tasks I need to accomplish fill my head – isn’t that sad?
5. I wish I could wear those really high stiletto heels (since I’m only 5’3”). But 2” is about my limit. Plus I can’t balance on those tiny heels.
6. Bagpipes are loud! We know because we had the privilege to watch the opening of the Highland Games in Oban, Scotland back in 2007:

Highland Games Parade

Have a great Friday!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

12 on November 12 - Ordinary Day

Just like the song goes, today was an ordinary day:

Just a Day,
Just an Ordinary Day,
Just Trying to get by

Ordinary Day by Vanessa Carlton

From the Morning:
Morning Dining Room View
Dining Room Morning View

iPhone Apps
Gotta Check My iPhone - my Most Used Apps

Hannah is Hungry
Hannah Eats Her Breakfast

Morning Line Up
Kids Dropped Off

To My Lunch Time walk around the workplace:
Rushes at the Fire Pond
Rushes at the Fire Pond

Graffiti Art at Work
Artists Hard at Work

To Late Afternoon at Home:
Miniature Empire State
Brian's Latest Lego Creation

Latest Indulgence
Erica's Latest Indulgence - The Foot Spa

Franck Violin Sonata, Movement IV
Time Spent Practicing

To Dinner Time and Beyond:
Red Pepper Chop

Double Single Sticks

Yummy Mozart Kugels
Favorite Indulgence Confection - Mozart Kugels

And even though it was ordinary, I cherish it just as much.
Hope yours was an Ordinary day.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

317/365 - Pick Up Football

Another gorgeous day and another session of pick up football in our neighbor's backyard. I envisioned some pictures in my head from their previous games and finally got my camera out.

Ten Hut

Running with the Ball


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

316/365 - Hannah on My Shoulder

makes me happy.

And makes Erica happy, too. Erica needs someone to watch while she plays Farmville.
Hannah On My Shoulder


Monday, November 09, 2009

315/365 - Cafe World

Erica has been sucked into the games on Facebook. Farmville, CafeWorld, Happy Aquarium and who knows what else. Sheesh. At least the Farmville song is pleasant enough, and the Happy Aquarium music will put you to sleep. Better than listening to Boom, Boom, Pow.

Cafe World


Sunday, November 08, 2009

314/365 - Another Beautiful Day

As far as this Fall has been cold and rainy, we have been pretty lucky on the weekends - we enjoyed another beautiful Indian Summer day, topping out in the mid-70s. Brian played football with George, Will and Henry. No pictures of the boys - they were a little camera sky today. But I did capture some great shots of some ornamental grasses in the their backyard.

Spiky Fronds

By now, Jill is accustomed to seeing me taking pictures of the boys, but probably not of her landscaping!

Grass Spikes


Saturday, November 07, 2009

313/365 - Ugg Knock Offs

Having a 12 year old middle school daughter, I am subjected to the current fashion trends and fads. Last month - Aeropostale and Abercrombie and Fitch. This month - skinny jeans, Converse sneakers and Ugg boots.

Fortunately, Erica possesses some "common sense frugality" when it comes to expensive name brand items. I think that stems from my insistence that she pony up the funds to buy some of these "must have" items. So, when she realized Uggs cost upwards of $120-$200, she was OK with buying a copy cat version for half price.

The Shoe Carnival boasts a nice selection of identically styled boots, and with Buy one, get one 1/2 price, I got myself a pair (because I'm all about trying to stay trendy - well, not really, but they are very warm and comfy!)

Erica's pair (the traditional light brown color):
Erica's Ugg Knock Offs

I opted for the darker brown boots - really fits "me" better than the light brown ones:
Dark Brown Ugg Knock Offs

And we bought them on the warmest day of the Fall season - 70 degF out there today! But it never hurts to plan ahead.


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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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