Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

March 27, 2011

Infinite Dreams

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 8:27 pm
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The photo assignment this week for Picture Inspiration was “infinity and beyond.”  We were supposed to find a pattern that repeats and use a diagonal line to suggest the pattern repeats infinitely.  For my infinity, I bring you back to the power lines of my walks.  The snow has melted enough to allow the dogs and I to go back into the woods for our excursions, so I snapped these shots today.  The powerlines, which I’ve mentioned before, bring me back to my youth as I marvelled at their huge size and listened to their crackle and hum. 

Youth… a time of dreams. Dreams of the future.  Funny dreams. Scary dreams.  Dreams of monsters that look like powerlines… or is that powerlines that look like monsters?


I commented to my husband today that William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy both recently turned  80 years  old.  “Does that seem possible?” I asked him.  “They made their tv show”…he began.. “In the 60’s,” I finished.  “Yeah, 50 years ago!” he exclaimed.  Oh.. I don’t like saying the 60’s were 50 years ago!  Good thing I was born at the very end of them I mused.

Dreams.  Where do they go when they don’t come true?


Daphne and Teddy don’t worry about these things.  They just say “C’mon, Mom!  Let’s  run happily through this stream crossing our path!”

Where will the path take us?

March 26, 2011

Thinking Spring…Cleaning :-(

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 6:21 pm
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I shouldn’t really have a frowny face in the title of today’s post, but who likes cleaning?  I’ve been looking around my kitchen lately and thinking it is time for some sprucing up.  My kitchen was re-done 16 years ago while I was pregnant for Meghan… what were we thinking?  Anyway, 16 years of parenthood has taken its toll on my kitchen, especially the floor.  We put a white background linoleum down (again what were we thinking?) and its better days are long gone.  What I still love about my kitchen,  however, is the granite.


This granite covers the counters, the center island and our eating “penninsula” as I like to call it.  I didn’t realize back when we chose it, just how much the granite would drive the rest of the decorating colors for the kitchen.  Totally changed the color of the cabinetry I chose – which you can see here is a light color called “pickled.”  The pinkish streaks through the granite also caused me to paint the kitchen the palest of pink.

What I am hoping to accomplish this spring is a deep cleaning of the cabinets (anyone have a good suggestion for cleaning lint/dust/grease accumulations?  Murphy’s oil soap?) and painting the kitchen walls.  I went to Home Depot for paint chips today.  What do you think of these colors?


I’m also hoping to replace my extremely shabby kitchen floor with tiles – just something neutral, probably similar in color to my cabinets.  Add a new curtain rod and drapes for the sliding glass door and things ought to look nicely spruced, don’t you think?  Maybe a couple pics of my kitchen would help?


Hey, do you see those decorative plates hanging on the wall?  This is completely off topic, but while I’m thinking about them, thought I’d show ’em to you.  I think my mother and my sister were really happy when I fell inexplicably in love with these plates in HomeGoods one day.  I’m pretty sure my mother thought I had completely lost the decorating gene since I generally show very little interest in knick-knacky type items, but these I had to have:


The Cat in the Kitchen


Little Cakes


The Lovely Menu

Okay, back to my topic…

 I also need a suggestion for how to clean screens.  The screens in my kitchen, dining room and living room are on the inside of the house because those are all crank-out windows.  Anyone have a good idea for cleaning dust build-up from those?  Maybe I should just take ’em out in the back yard and hose them down?

The girls also want their bedrooms painted… you’ll be able to recognize me this summer as the lady with paint speckled hair!

March 23, 2011

Sometimes a post writes itself

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:43 pm
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Did you know that blog posts sometimes write themselves?  This can happen in more than one way.  My sister once posted a hilarious IM conversation between herself and our friend Renae.  Kathy at LSS has described having blog posts write themselves in her head – I’ve experienced this phenomenon myself.  Many of you also noticed that the WordPress Dashboard was frustratingly down for a few hours yesterday.  When I couldn’t get into mine yesterday, I emailed many of you to ask if you were having the same issue.  What resulted was a fun email conversation.  I don’t know if every person I emailed got CC’d all of the responses or not or even if every one I emailed is a regular reader of each other’s blogs, but the emails that resulted showed how ready we bloggers are to reach out to each other.  The following is my best attempt at a transcript of the funnier emails I received with names humorously changed to protect the innocent or not so innocent. 😉

Karma:  Hello fellow WordPress bloggers!  Just got a quick question to ask.  Is anyone besides me having trouble logging in to your Dashboard today?  Since about 4:50 this afternoon, I can’t get to the dashboard.  I am logged in to WordPress and was able to look at the Dashboard earlier, but now I cannot.  Any thoughts/ideas? Thanks for any help!

Apple Girl: Haven’t checked in to WP since this morning…but you know, curious cat that I am, I have to run right over there now and try even though I know it’s pointless. 😉 XO
Sent from my iPad

Duo Plus: I love how we all go check thinking that an exception will be made . People can still read and leave comments.  If it lasts more than an hour I vote we all go leave comments on each other’s blogs.  Odd comments.  Nice odd, not, you know, icky odd.

Apple Girl: Um, yeah…it’s out. (As if you didn’t already know that.). 🙂
Sent from my iPad

Duo Plus: You just wanted to remind all of us that you have an iPad. Evil.

Apple Girl: Well…it IS on my list for  “Favorite Things Giveaway.”  Just have to work on the rich and famous portion of the plan, then you’ll all be getting one. Aren’t I The Best? ;P XO
Sent from my iPad

Brit Boy: I vote we all go have a play with Apple Girl’s iPad…. It’s only fair…. 🙂

Apple Girl: I was going to say, “You can touch my iPad anytime!” but somehow that sounds very naughty. LOLThat’s what I get for being a good sharer. 🙂
Sent from my iPad

Too Hot Here: Yea well, a dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste 😉

Hockey Fan: Leave work, eat dinner and come back to my email to all this.  LOL  Good thing I have all my WP work done for the week and I can enjoy my hockey game while waiting for WordPress to figure out the snafu. 
Besides, I have my wife’s iPad to play with (let yourselves go on that one).

Duo Plus:  That noise you hear is the Cowboy sending you a razzberry.  I think it was a razzberry.

Foodie: I was all geared up to write about cheesecake tonight.  Cheesecake, people. WordPress needs to get this sorted out.  🙂

Lady of the Lake: I’m sure we would all like a piece of cheesecake, please.  🙂

Hockey Fan: Would that be razzberry cheesecake?

Thanks, everyone, for the fun conversation while the Dashboards were down!



Teddy would like some cheesecake too!

March 20, 2011

Close-Ups for Scott’s Assignment

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 3:42 pm
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I don’t need a photo assignment to want to take close-up or macro shots, but when Scott’s assignment came along this month, you knew I’d want to be a part of it!  One of the first things I did last summer when I took my brand new Rebel out of the box was try to figure out how to get close, as this is a totally different way of thinking from using a point-and-shoot on macro mode.  I keep trying to get closer and more interesting shots all the time.  Prepare for a pretty photo-heavy post today!

Last weekend at the Spring Bulb Show, subjects for close-ups were many!  But so were the number of people visiting the greenhouse.  Before I visited, I asked advice from Tracy, Michaela and Danielle about the possibility of using extension tubes without tripod.  I knew there would be no room available for a tripod but I wanted to get as close to flowers as I could.  Their general consensus was that I might be able to get some focused shots with plenty of light and maybe 1 tube in place.

I started out just taking some zoomed shots with my 55-250mm:





After Jennifer and I toured the whole greenhouse, I went back in with the 31mm tube attached and hoped for the best.  Here are a few of the shots I took with the tube:





This is originally where this post was going to end, but then St. Patrick’s Day turned out to be such a lovely day around here, I was drawn outside with my camera to see if I could ferret out any other interesting close-up subjects.  I brought the tripod, extension tubes and the Raynox macro converter outside and tried different combinations.  One of the more interesting subjects I found was a watering globe for a potted plant my sister had given me a couple years ago.  Here it is with only the zoom lens:


The globe here is about the size of my fist, to give you some idea of scale.  This is about how closely I could focus on it with just the zoom.  Next I tried with all three tubes attached:


Ooh, look at that nice dirt I didn’t think to brush away!  Then I left the tubes in place and snapped the Raynox on the front of my lens:


You can see the scratches and imperfections in the glass at this level.  Imagine how personal I could have gotten with a flower if I’d been able to do this at the Spring Bulb Show!  Watch out flowers-to-be in my yard – you will have no privacy this spring!

March 19, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:52 pm
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The full moon tonight is a so-called “supermoon” – meaning the moon is at its closest point in its revolution around Earth while being full at the same time.  It is about 17,000 miles closer tonight than it is at its average distance from Earth, so I thought maybe tonight would be the night I could finally get some decent pictures with the Rebel.  My little Olympus Ultra-zoom camera used to do a decent job with the moon.  I featured this shot in my Project 365, but I hadn’t been able to figure out quite how to get a nice picture with Andre.  Brian recently shared his settings for a wonderful moon shot, so I decided to give them a try.  I got my best results so far!

The so-called "supermoon"

I took the above shot on manual focus because autofocus was arguing with me again, but despite being on a tripod and using the self-timer, it wasn’t as sharp as I’d like it to be.  I decided to go back and give autofocus another try.  I got a little better:

Tonight's "supermoon"

Still not as tack sharp as I would have liked ( I did have to crop in a bit ), but better than I’ve been able to do thus far.  I’m going to keep my eyes open this year for more full moon opportunities and try to catch it lower on the horizon so I won’t have to crop as much.  My landscape here at the house doesn’t lend to great low-in-the-sky shots, so I guess I’ll have to plan some moon field trips!

March 18, 2011

A Couple Spring Like Days

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans, right? Yesterday and today in these parts, we were treated to above normal temperatures that definitely boded of spring.  Most of the snow in my yard is even melted!  I made plans to make the most of it.  My plans for after work today: 1)walk the dogs – check! 2) come up with a dinner plan involving the grill – check!  3)enjoy grilled dinner – check! 3) briefly refresh my memory for a presentation I have to make for my class tomorrow – check…. uh, no. Disaster!  Program I needed?  Completely eaten by my computer.  Which then completely unravelled my other plans for the evening: write a blog post, catch up with other folks’ blog posts, watch Tuesday night’s Glee on DVR with my daughters.  Spent all that time finding other programs for my presentation.  GRRRRRR!

I wanted to tell you about the lovely afternoon I spent yesterday drinking my first iced coffee of the year and experimenting with different close-up shots for Scott’s assignment this month.  I wanted to tell you about the adventurous walk Meghan, Daphne, Teddy and I took in the melting woods this afternoon.  I wanted to share some more pictures from the gorgeous spring bulb show I attended last weekend.  After scrabbling to get presentation material together for tomorrow, I felt the need to de-stress a little and smash some balls on Zuma Blitz on Facebook. 

Since I’ve calmed myself enough to write this blog post, I guess I could just show you some pictures now, couldn’t I?


Energetic Teddy in virtually snow-free yard


Remains of the snow penguins


Meghan with Teddy and Daphne… yes, she was wearing shorts and a t-shirt today!

And now for some more pretty, flowery-type objects:





I’ve got some other shots I’m holding back for Scott’s assignment.  I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone tomorrow…. after I make my *&#$ presentation!

E.T.A. (Saturday afternoon): I got my presentation done.  It didn’t go off without a hitch, but I ended up facilitating a lively discussion!  All’s well that ends well.

March 12, 2011

Where did Karma go?

So, where did I go today?

Was it the jungle?



How about the desert?


Or perhaps the tropics?



I didn’t actually go to any of those places of course, but I did go to a place that can make you feel as though you’ve travelled to these diverse locations.  My sister and I went to Northampton, MA, home to Smith College and their amazing annual Spring Bulb Show.  In addition to strolling through two packed-solid greenhouse rooms of forced-bulb flowers, other rooms of the Lyman Conservatory are also available for viewing, representing many different climates and their flora.

I hope you’ll enjoy my slideshow of one of my favorite signs of spring in this area:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I took 124 photos today, so expect a few more flower posts in the next few days!

March 11, 2011

Close-Up Photography Time!

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 5:46 pm
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Macro mosaic

It is photo assignment time at Scott’s place once again!  The subject this time is Close-up Photography!  Yahoo!  One of my favorites.  Deadline for your post this month is March 23.  Need some tips?  Today’s post at Scott’s place is chock full of them.  There’s even some pictures from lil ol’ me!  I was quite honored that Scott asked me for some shots to show what I’ve been doing with my extension tubes.  My mosaic up there is made up of shots taken with my Raynox macro-adapter and some are with the tubes.  Both fun toys! Have fun with this assignment!

March 9, 2011

In Search of the Rhythm of Spring

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 4:49 pm
Tags: , , ,

When this week’s assignment for Picture Inspiration arrived in my inbox, I craved a taste of spring.  I’ve bemoaned our mountains of snow in this area this winter more than once here on the blog, and I couldn’t face any more scenes of white for the current assignment.  The assignment is titled “Finding a Little Rhythm” (by the way, does anyone else have trouble spelling that word?  I always want to put another y in there between the second h and the m.)  The instructor gave us this definition of rhythm: “a harmonious sequence or pattern of masses alternating with voids, of light alternating with shade, of alternating colors, etc.” and suggested that we focus on a part of that definition as we decided on our pictures.  My local garden center came to mind to fit the bill for both the definition and my taste of springtime.

I actually found my first pattern when I pulled up in the parking lot:

Stacks of planters, with a touch of snow in the foreground, give me hope for spring; in about a month and a half, many of those planters will be filled with gorgeous arrangements of flowers for sale.

Inside the shop, another pattern with hints of spring’s arrival appeared:

Watering cans and other watering implements – aren’t those piggy cans adorable?

Next I strolled into the greenhouse to see what might be for sale at this dismal time of year.  I found:





…and orchids.  All very harmonious sequences, but the photo I decided to submit to the Picture Inspiration gallery  was this one:


I was charmed by this colorful display and thought the gazing balls fit the “pattern of  masses of alternating colors” very nicely.  Speaking of being charmed, I was also strangely charmed by this fellow:


He’d make a lovely accent piece on a deck or patio, but I wasn’t quite charmed enough with his $50 price tag!

Ahhh.. the breath of spring was lovely.  It is gray and 38° this afternoon, and we have a possibility of snow tomorrow  as I am writing this post, but this weekend has something in store that will surely fill my lungs, eyes and soul with all that spring has to offer!  You’ll have to wait until Saturday night or Sunday to find out what it is!

March 6, 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt Wrap-Up

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 5:15 pm
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Scavenger hunt mosaic

Today is the day I am wrapping up the February Scavenger Hunt. Six photographers were able to complete the hunt as I am writing this post.  If anyone else manages to finish and post sometime tonight, I will happily add a link to this post.

The first submission in was Brian a.k.a. Funky Slug.  Brian’s collection of shots was done with his usual amazing eye and wonderful sense of humor.  His take on “eyes” and “big round clockface” are especially creative.  The “postbox” and “something red” are especially beautiful.

Gerry was my next participant who made it in on time despite having problems with her little camera going into a coma! All of her shots were taken during February, but none were actually taken for the hunt.  Gerry shows us her wiley creativity with getting the hunt finished through cropping and some plays on words.  I love “Lily the Cute” giving us that doggy question face and the “inchie”.

Scott Thomas, our faithful photo assignment provider, came up with the idea to take all of his shots with his iPhone.  What a great way to be sure to always have a camera available in case the perfect shot pops up?  Scott shows us that the best camera really is the one you have with you.  My favorites from Scott’s collection are “park bench” because I just love the gorgeous color and detail he was able to get with the iPhone and “heartshaped” – such a perfect sentiment for this scavenger hunt.

Nye Noona was the next participant.  She found out about my hunt via Scott’s place on March 4, and still managed to get her post in for today’s deadline! Impressive Nye!  Nye’s adorable niece shows us her playful, beautiful eyes.  Nye managed to find the most unique park bench I’ve seen. 

Tracy over at Milkay Photography turned in a stunning collection of photos, as I was sure she would when she said she wanted to participate.  Her macro take on “eyes” is truly unique and her “newspaper headline” is powerful.

Sliding in at the last second (literally – I found her link while I was writing this post), with her hair on fire and her sharp wit on display, is my sister Jennifer over at Bread and Putter.  Make sure to check out her game show style approach to this scavenger hunt. Her plays on words and snarky commentary will give you a giggle.

Oh, and my shots are here, in case you missed them!

Interest in participating in this scavenger hunt seemed to build as word spread around from blog to blog.  I didn’t get this idea posted until mid month last month, so the time seemed to run out quickly.  I thank Postcards from the PP for originally posting the idea.  I think I’d like to try to post a scavenger hunt every other month, for the months that Scott doesn’t have a photo assignment.  Maybe I’ll even try to be creative and come up with my own list and post it at the beginning of the month so that everyone who would like to participate will have plenty of time.

Thanks again to all the participants!  Be sure to have a look at everyone’s shots and leave them some love in their comments.  I’d love to hear about some of your favorite shots from your fellow blogger-scavenger-hunters here in my comment section.  And please let me know if you like the idea of the bi-monthly scavenger hunt.

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