Friday, October 8, 2010

Experimenting with the Camera

Thanks to 31 Days of Autumn Bliss (see sidebar button) and Life With My 3 Boybarians, I now have an entire folder labeled "Experiment" where each picture is labeled with information to include aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc. I've learned a few things; whether the photography improves remains to be seen.

If you've ever wondered about such things, visit Darcy and see what a good teacher she is! Although she puts the instruction booklet to shame, she does want you to read your instruction booklet. She's doing a daily post on photography for the month of October so check it out. *Here's* where she began.

Here are a few of my experiments... (I'm not going to bore you with the strange names.)

But I will tell you what I did with this shot — it's on an aperture of F8, which makes the front cactus leaves out of focus while making the picture of the little house in focus. I'll leave it to Darcy to tell you why with her excellent Depth of Field lesson.

This photo was taken on an F 2.7 setting. (One thing I quickly learned was that I have a middle of the road camera. Not the best and not the worst. It doesn't have all the settings that Darcy's does. Noooo, I am not one bit jealous. Noooo, not at all. :D ) And, while I didn't get that bokeh effect, I do like the way the nearer objects are in focus and the forest (seen through the deck spindles) is somewhat out of focus. Bokeh is a delightful thing and I want to achieve it more often. I find it entirely magical.

Still working on bokeh with this shot of the fuschias and getting a bit...I love that one drop of water on the bud and the little sparkle of green in the out-of-focus left bottom corner. So, if this shows the nearer objects in focus, I was using F2.7. And if I crop this, I can use it for a header next summer!

Here's another taken from my chair and out the window (and screen) taken at the opposite end of aperture — F8. This is where the nearer objects are out of focus and the farther away ones are in focus. In this case, kinda. (John tells me that the barn to the right and above the fence is about 650 feet away. The fence is about 22 feet away.)
One more because it is so autumnal with its coppers... This is also on an F2.7 for a close-up shot. I almost feel as if I could read that newspaper scrap.

Thank you for visiting today. I want to wish all my Canadian readers a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends!

(I'm really away today, but more about that later.)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Pie

The apple pie looked good enough, except for the fact that I carved a cherry on top instead of an apple, but that's nothing, right? However, when John cut into it, there was nothing but air. Something went awry — perhaps my apple choice. I usually use Cortlands for apple pie and this time I thought I could get away with Macs. Oh well. Next year! (Hope that John doesn't read this or he may keel over.) Yeah, well, that's how much I love making apple pies.

This all reminds me of last week when I made my famous chicken casserole. It took several bites before I realized what was wrong. It was my famous chicken casserole minus the chicken! How does one forget the chicken? Guess that I've been a bit preoccupied.

If you'd like either recipe (as if you would after all this), you can find them in my sidebar somewhere. It'll be a bit like playing leapfrog, but that's a fun game, eh?

This post makes me feel like composing an Irish blessing...

May your pie be filled with apples
May your casserole be filled with chicken
And when it comes to fightin' the devil
May you not take a lickin'

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Piano Topper, etc.

Well now, you are so sweet to say such nice things about the hair. My mother was away yesterday so she saw it for the first time this morning. She said that it looked too messy for her tastes (yes, I had combed and coiffed) and something about how cute my niece's haircut is. Perhaps there's something in the water here that is making us testy.

It's a rainy, chilly day. I'm planning to bake later this afternoon. John's been promised an apple pie for weeks. But first, my mother and I have one of those assessment meetings about Nan. I am praying that something will be resolved once and for all. Monday, my mother and I found a home that would be okay even though it is over thirty miles up the road. We'll just have to wait and see. This waiting is so difficult; being in limbo is so difficult; always wondering is difficult. Have you been wondering about anything lately?

Obviously, I've been hanging out at *Aunt Amelia's* a lot because when my daughter gave me this mantel topper that I promptly slapped on the piano, I felt right at home with it.

My daughter is so funny sometimes. She arrived on Sunday with a bag of things given to her through the years by various members of the family saying, "This is so you and so not me." Needless to say, I loved it!

Just popping in one of our favorite piano players around here. He's been staying with me one morning a week while his big brother plays soccer. It is too challenging for him to sit on the sidelines and watch so he darts out onto the field to play, too. His parents were getting quite exasperated as were the coaches.

Now he stays home with me playing the piano and talking on the phone. He always answers this way, "Hello, Yes, I understand, Goodbye."

And, on that note, yes, I understand, goodbye...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Apple Orchard Day

Saturday was such a beautiful day. Sunny and with just enough chill in the air to let us know that it was October and not August. Nearly perfection. That's why John's grinning. Trust me, I'm wearing a grin, too. It's only that I haven't got the whole "he's a lot taller than I am" thing worked out for photo taking. It's okay. My hair was a fright.

John and I were picking apples in the orchard where I began my career as an apple picker. "Apple picker" is much too lofty a job description for I was a drop picker at first. After a while, I learned all about placing ladders, climbing them, picking the apples, which is more like rolling them, and then climbing down without bruising the apples in the heavy canvas bag at my middle with the straps worn over my shoulders. The bag had a folded-up bottom that allowed me to loosen two straps and gently release the apples into the bushel box. On a good day, a very good day, I could pick 20 bushels. My mother could pick 100 bushels plus on a very good day, forty bushels on an average day. John and I picked four apples. The rest we found on the ground. Tip: the best and ripest apples are on the ground just be careful they are not bruised.

I want the final bit, but the middle of the story is told in pictures.

It was so sunny and bright that I didn't always get the best pictures, but I still liked this one of John striding down the apple row.

Not the best picture, but it was a great apple!

Wonder if I always look this smug when I'm about to be kissed in an apple orchard...
True confessions: Though we were pretty sun-kissed already, this has been put through the diffuser about three times. Hahahaha, sometimes I crack myself up.

Have a great Tuesday!

P.S. As a result of seeing these photos, I have an appointment this afternoon for a much-needed haircut. Perhaps I'll tuck in a photo later or perhaps one shouldn't count on it for I am vain...very.

Edited to Add: I'm so proud of myself for keeping a half-hearted promise to you. Here's the haircut and the face sans makeup or even any lip gloss. Has a squirrel been chewing on my eyebrows again?! I can't blame squirrels for the bangs as I, in a fit of exasperation, started whacking on them last week. John is not a fan of short hair so I warned him before I left. When I arrived home he said that he'd forego judgment until I had washed and styled my hair. What?! What in the world did he think that I'd been having done for an hour? Men!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Your Wish is My Command

A few asked for more mums photos and since I already had this mosaic done I can oblige with no difficulty whatsoever. Please enjoy. I do confess that those jewel colors make me smile. Oh did any guess that this mosaic was this Mosaic Monday's reject? Perhaps I should have had it the other way around.

1. Birdhouse Condominium
2. Looking through the greenhouse to my valley below...yup, Haven is down there somewhere
3. Bundles of Bittersweet
4. Closer look at those gorgeous mums
5. Furniture, baskets, mums, beams, etc.
6. Does the turban gourd look like a mushroom house to you?
7. That salmon-colored mum strikes my fancy
8. Loved the striations on this turban gourd

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Land of Misfit Lawn Ornaments~Mosaic Monday

In the neverending quest to find an original, never-before done or even dreamed topic for Mosaic Monday, I have sunk to a new low—my town dump euphemistically named "The Transfer Station." I have a new name for it: The Land of Misfit Lawn Ornaments. (You may recognize this as a direct rip-off of "The Land of Misfit Toys" from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.)

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See what I mean? Perhaps we could also name it "The Misfit Kitchen" or something. Actually, if you have time, I'd like to point out a few of the clever things that have been done here. (The Transfer Station is run by women who, I think, are doing a fun thing.)

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1. A row of chipped plates and something extra! (A commode top)
2. A broken angel playing a harp and a broken pitcher
3. Shattered glass inside a bottle border
4. Hmmm...what is it?
5. A little girl and a broken eagle
6. A donkey with a broken leg
7. Another commode top and an Italian chef
8. Mug border and look at those tomatoes!

In reality, the idea for this post came from my sister and mother who were looking at my plate border around my front flower bed. My mother said, "Oh look! It's just like the town dump!" Then she proceeded to accuse me of using my best china. What she didn't know was that I had *picked a pile of broken Friendly Village plates from the town dump* long before the ladies there had the idea. Those gals probably read blogs.

But I cannot leave you with such homely's a better offering from the Farmer's Market. What's not to love about pumpkins and mums?

Please join *Mary at Little Red Housefor some truly spectacular mosaics...


Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor. ~The Message

A peaceable Sunday to you!