Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

February 13, 2014

Here we snow again…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:14 am
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Silly dog! Doesn't know when to come in from the snow!

What’s that saying about not being smart enough to come in from a storm? I seriously wonder about Teddy sometimes. This picture is actually from last Wednesday’s snow day, but I am home again today for a snow day. **Sigh** School vacation is next week so today feels like a waste for a day off, but what can we do?

Here’s what I’m going to do. Right now I’m writing a blog post. Want to see my pretty breakfast from this morning?
Pretty breakfast

Remember that I told you recently that I’ve been doing my best to add good protein to my diet? By my calculations that breakfast contains about 25 grams. I recently learned about Ezekial bread as a source of good protein. Have you heard of it? It’s interesting. To me it tastes like whole grain bread but with a denser texture because it is made with sprouted grains rather than flour.

I plan to exercise later this morning too. I’ve got all this time on my hands so I think maybe I will try something new today. Thursday is usually a rest day with the routine I’ve been following, but I think I need to get this body moving. I’m intrigued by Jillian Michael’s newest video “Yoga Inferno” so I may give this a try. Amazon Instant Video is a great tool to have around on a day like today.

I should really refill my new bird feeder too. I don’t think I’ve shown you this one.
New feeder

I have a long history with bird feeders, and trying to find the right one. I’ve had squirrel proof ones that the squirrels have destroyed. I’ve had suet feeders that starlings and grackles do a number on almost immediately. More recently I bought glass tubed ones to prevent critters from wrecking them, but these are bad for the winter I’ve discovered. Any wet weather followed by freezing temperatures causes the seed to be stuck in ice. Now I’ve got this plastic feeder. It has a squirrel baffle on the bottom, and drainage holes too. It is easy to fill by sliding it down the pole you can see underneath.

Mr Cardinal

I think Mr. Cardinal is waiting for a refill! My apologies for the blur on some of these shots. I’ve been playing with my iPhone camera’s zoom. On the small iPhone screen these look fine of course, but blown up for computer size, not so much. I admit I’m drawn to the ease with which I can share these photos as well. I added the Flickr app to my phone and now I can just drop my shots into Flickr in no time.

Are you having a snow day where you are? What are you planning to do today? Working on my photo hunt is something you could try to pass the time!

February 4, 2014

A Blogger Contrived Photo Hunt!

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 4:52 pm
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image
image
image

You know what? You blogger-readers are pretty darn awesome. I mean that.
In my last post, I lamented my lack of inspiration photographically as of late. Helpful people that you are, many of you jumped in with suggestions. Robin and Sybil commented that maybe it was time to do a photo hunt again. Robin’s idea was an “around the house” photo hunt. Sybil’s thought had to do with using the letters of the alphabet. Two interesting suggestions. Here’s what I propose:

Choose a word. Or two. Or three. It really doesn’t matter. It could be your name – real name or nom de blog. It could be a favorite noun, verb, adjective or interjection. Anything is fine. Now go find pictures of stuff around your house, objects not letters, to represent each letter of your chosen word or words! Get it?

For example, if I chose “CAT” as my word, I’d need to shoot 3 photos: one photo of an object that starts with “C” – like a cookie maybe, one photo of an object that starts with “A” and one photo of an object that starts with “T”.

We could even throw a little twist into to this one! Don’t tell us what your word is when you post your photos; let us try to spell out your chosen word in the comments. I will leave this part up to you to decide – if you would rather tell us what your word or words are before presenting your pictures, that’s okay too. But it could be a lot of fun for all of us to go around to each other’s blogs and try to figure out the word puzzles. So what do you say? Does that sound like fun? Maybe a good way for us to break out of these winter doldrums?

It would be great if we could have lots of participation in this photo hunt, so if all you wonderful readers wouldn’t mind sharing this photo hunt with your blog readers, I’d be oh so appreciative! Let’s say this photo hunt is due in three weeks – by Tuesday, February 25th. You remember how this works, right? Leave me a link in the comments of this post when you post your photo hunt. And if you need more time, just let me know. Deadlines are really loosey-goosey around here! Questions or comments? Feel free to leave those too.

February 1, 2014

Musings on a New Month

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 6:12 pm
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February 1st. I think many of us are quite happy January is over. Unless you are a reader from more tropical zones or the southern hemisphere (Hi Joanne!) I’d say the words that best sum up January are “freakin’ brrrrrrr!”

As a friend so eloquently posted on my Facebook timeline:
bcb00e24c29e44aaaaa881b6211dfc3b

We were treated temperatures above 40 degrees F today, so that was a nice change. Rumors are we could see 50 tomorrow! Woo-to-the-hoo!

Oh, I finished the taxes and the FAFSA today. Accomplishment!!
Tax time

February. What else. Meghan’s 19th birthday will be arriving at the end of this month. How very strange it will be not to have her home on this day.

After a conversation with friends at a little get together last weekend, I’ve been experimenting with smoothies. Remember when I told you I’m trying to get close to 100 grams of protein daily? I’ve started adding vanilla-flavored whey protein to a couple things. I’m putting it in oatmeal for breakfast (quite yummy actually) and a scoop goes into the smoothie along with yogurt, ice, milk, and whatever fruit I have handy. Last night I snuck a few leaves of spinach into it and offered to share with Sarah. She never even suspected the spinach was in there.
Smoothie glass
Would have been prettier if I’d thought to take the picture before I drank the smoothie…

Speaking of Sarah, here’s a funny snippet of conversation we had this week:
Sarah: Mom, when is the Super Bowl?
Me: This Sunday, why? (Sarah is NOT a football fan)
Sarah: Oh does that mean junk food????

Last year, all 4 of us were home for Super Bowl Sunday. Hubby had the day off from work and Meghan didn’t have plans to be out with the boyfriend. This year it will just be Sarah and me. We are not big football people, and could care less about the two teams playing this year (my apologies if any Seattle fans are reading. No apologies for Denver fans, however, because if you are from New England it is pretty much required that you not like Peyton Manning.) but Super Bowl seems like a good excuse to eat in the living room, have nachos and chicken fingers (buffalo flavored for me!), and watch some funny commercials.

IMG_2407
Good football watching!

I’m still hoping to get re-inspired for photography again soon. I’m seeing some good ideas around the blogosphere and I thank those blogging friends for the thoughts. Mike of Picture Day shared his list of photo projects recently. And Amy of PlainMama referenced an interesting sounding photo group on Flickr: The Hours.
If anyone else has some good ideas for getting out of a photo slump, I’d love to hear about them.

January 21, 2014

Some Answers for Cee

Filed under: Joy — Karma @ 7:00 am
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I had a look at Cee’s Share Your World questions for this week and when I saw the first question, I just knew I had to participate! Feels a bit like, oh I don’t know, Karma maybe? ;-)

In what do you find the simplest of joys?
Great question Cee – and what I am striving to find as often as possible. I shared a couple simple joys in this post. Here are a few more:

tiger swallowtail
Butterflies on my butterfly bush in the summer

toes in the sand
My toes in the sand, any season of the year but winter

Supersteak 2-pounder
A tomato grown in my garden

collie face full of snow
Snow on a funny collie face

Jello or Pudding? And what is your favorite flavor?
I’d have to go with pudding, and the darkest chocolate flavor.

Is there a language you would like to learn?
I’ve had a long-standing love affair with the French language, as I chronicled once in this blog post. I took it all through school and for a year in college. I can still read some of it, but my skills are definitely slipping. I’d love to be able to understand it as I once did.

Do you prefer juice or fruit?
Fruit for sure and just about any kind! This is a difficult time of the year for finding decent fruit here in New England. A couple weeks ago I got some strawberries from Florida that were pretty good and that was a little thrill!
Persephone's fruit

IMG_5120

IMG_1478

berries

While searching for fruit photos to add to this post, I realized I’ve done a lot of posts about fruit. Add that to my simple joys, Cee, and thanks again for the questions!

January 20, 2014

Day 60

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 4:53 pm
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Today is Day 60 since I decided on a new fitness commitment for myself. My blogging assistant and I have crunched a few numbers to share.

Blogging assistant
Blogging assistant

I’ve logged 2,410 minutes of exercise since I started paying attention to what I’m doing.

That comes out to just over 40 hours of moving this body beyond its normal daily routine.

Newly added goal of drinking about 80oz. of water daily – been meeting that for about a week now.

Grams of protein suggested for woman of my size for maintaining muscle: 100. Not easy to do! However I’ve been really bumping up my breakfast protein content lately. Here’s today’s:
Breakfast today

That’s turkey bacon on my plate, by the way. Not bad tasting but a little dry in my opinion. It looks really weird before you cook it:
Turkey bacon

Pounds lost: maybe 5? Hard to say with all the normal fluctuations in body weight, day to day. Not really a goal of mine anyway, but it has been interesting to watch the numbers on the scale.

So far, I still feel motivated. I exercise 5 days a week and rest 2, generally following an exercise 3 days, rest 1, exercise 2, rest 1 routine. My energy has been good for the most part and my attitude has been better. I’m enjoying seeing the small changes: looser clothes, stronger feeling muscles. I have no idea what me and my 44-year-old body are capable of accomplishing, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

January 12, 2014

Missing Her Already

Filed under: Joy — Karma @ 4:50 pm
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IMG_0669

Meghan went back to college today. It was great having her home for Christmas break. The three and a half weeks she was here flew by. Much of the time she was home was spent out and about with the boyfriend and such, but I was happy for the time she was here and our home felt complete again.

A la Robin of Breezes at Dawn and my New Year’s post, I may share some of the joys I find in the every day from time to time. Here are two from my visit to the grocery store today.

At the entrance to the store:
A breath of spring

I was tempted to take one home, but I didn’t want to push the little water-filled glass all over the store with me, then I forgot about them when it was time to pay and leave.

In the parking lot:
Parking lot dog

Usually I feel a little sad when I see a dog in a car, but today the temperatures were mild and this fuzzy guy just looked so cuddly. He or she wasn’t barking at the passers-by, just taking in the scenery while waiting for its owner to finish shopping. I know better than to do so to a strange dog but it was difficult to resist giving this big teddy bear a hug.

January 3, 2014

New Snow, New Things

Filed under: Joy — Karma @ 9:23 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It is snow day number two of the 2013-14 school year. We were supposed to head back to school from the holiday break yesterday, January 2nd, but the timing of slow-paced winter storm Hercules conspired to extend our break by two days. Normally I prefer to go to school and get out earlier in June, but for these couple days I like staying home. It just feels like an uninterrupted vacation. Since the hubbub of Christmas has passed, I’m enjoying the lazy morning routine of breakfast and coffee at the computer. I’m exercising without worrying about what time I have to get a meal on the table. When she’s actually home, I’m enjoying Meghan’s company (her break from school lasts another week). For day 3 of the new year, that’s a good amount of enjoying so far.

The winter storm that caused these extra days off really has not been that bad. I’m guessing there is somewhere in the ball park of 6 inches out there.
backyard view

It is frigidly cold so the snow is very light and fluffy.
brrrrr

The leaves of the rhododendron-azalea have been curled tight.
cold rhododendron

As much as Teddy would love for me to come outside and play, it is a bit too cold for me to want to venture out.
collie profile with snow

I’ve been puttering inside, with some new things to puzzle out.

As some of you know, we purchased a new lap top to replace our slowly dying 5-year-old one a few days ago. I love the quick responsiveness of this new machine, but I’m also having to learn the ways of Windows 8. It hasn’t been too bad so far, but some things have surprised me. Some things are not as intuitive or automatic as I would have expected them to be. After owning a Kindle Fire for the last year and as a new iPhone 5 user, I feel like everything should be so easy to navigate!
New things

Another new thing in that photo is Adobe Lightroom 5 – new photo editing software I was given for Christmas. I know absolutely nothing about Lightroom. If anyone knows some good resources you would like to point me in the direction of, please do so. I’m thinking I may purchase Scott Kelby’s book about it – he has been an excellent resource in the past.

I’m still trying to decide about a new theme for this blog as well. Would you share your opinions with me about how it looks to you? I’m not as crazy about this theme on my new 17″ screen, and I’ve had it for a while now anyway. Maybe it is time for another change! If you are so inclined, tell me in the comments what size computer screen or mobile device you usually do your blog reading on, and whether there is a lot of visible empty space on this blog.

Changes and joy – they continue!

December 31, 2013

What a year it has been!

Filed under: Joy — Karma @ 8:51 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Here it is, New Year’s Eve. Only a few hours of 2013 remain. I’ve been thinking about and wanting to write an end of the year blog post. In the past I’ve shared my favorite photos of the year, but this year feels different to me. It was one of changes, big and small. I’m not sure why I’m having such a very hard time getting this post started. Maybe I can start with this:
image

This is a book my father gave me for Christmas. He said he bought it because it was a photography book and because of the subject matter, and I truly appreciated the thought behind it. The photos in this book are beautiful and amazing. But the message behind it turned out to be a lot more. Do you see the subtitle of the book? “A Celebration of Joy in the Everyday”. At the beginning of each chapter the photographer/author tells a personal story that relates to the theme of the chapter. The first chapter is called “Dreaming”; a few lines that struck notes with me:
If you dream about something long enough, the universe just might conspire to give it to you.”
“Seeing his remarkable photographs sparked an even deeper passion, this time for photography”
“And so I learned another lesson: It’s never too late to dream.”

What if I could be present enough to find the joy in the every day? Celebrate the changes rather than worry about them. Wouldn’t that be the best change of all?
I think it is a lofty goal, and maybe not completely obtainable in a particular time period, but I can certainly try to work toward that goal.

Here are some changes, big and small, that I was able to celebrate in 2013.

carolina wren
The solving of a mystery: Jimmy and Judy’s true identities were revealed

IMG_9489
My older daughter became an adult

magnolia 4
On my birthday, I celebrated pink flowers and a blue sky and a change to beautiful spring weather

baby robin gets some sun
The change from a pile of sticks to a nest to eggs to baby birds and new life

sarahaward
The pride in my younger daughter’s award

a kiss for the grad
Graduation

"tropical" Maine
The peace, the perspective, my place of zen: the change I feel in my soul when my body finds this place

Meghan's dorm
Difficult to accept, but the true happiness Meghan has found in her new life at school

Dream come true!
Ahhhhhh……no explanation needed

dining room - after 1
A shiny new floor

in the Ames Room 1
A weekend of appreciation of family

new exercise togs
Starting to feel fit and continuing the commitment

a perfect pose
My daughter maturing and changing, and maybe, just maybe, starting to understand where mom is coming from

2013 Champs ornaments
A victory for my favorite team

Ted and Sarah
That feeling that all is right, if only for a little while.

2013 in review

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 7:53 am

Hi everyone! I am planning to write a blog of my own later today, but I found this in my email this morning and thought I would share. I don’t know how WordPress chooses the blogs they make a year end report for; this is my 4th year blogging with WordPress, but I think the second time I’ve received one of these reports. Did you receive one too? I hope you’ll publish it, I’d love to read yours too!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,700 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

December 23, 2013

What has become a Christmas Tradition…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 2:22 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

poinsettia

Twas two days before Christmas
And my house is a mess.
How will it ever be ready
for dinner and guests?

Christmas cheer

I’ve not begun baking
nor cleaning just yet
but soon as I’m done blogging,
to the kitchen I’ll get.

Cedric checks the presents

The gifts have been wrapped
on that step I’m ahead
but there’s still plenty to do
before this body hits bed.

wrapping nearly done

But poor Michaela had asked,
“What about snow?
Surely you can show me
some pictures ‘fore you go!”

Teddy enjoys the snow

Especially for you,
I tromped out into the white!
A true New Englander,
It gives me no fright!

IMG_0641

little tree in the snow

I wish you no worries
from this silly blog of mine.
I wish you Merry Christmas
and a peaceful holiday time!

Little tree at night

ETA: I may have unintentionally given the impression, I’ve realized after reading some comments, that it is still snowy here. This past weekend brought temperatures near 60 degrees F – all snow is completely gone! It is green and muddy and mushy here now.

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