Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

January 29, 2012

More Proof!

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 2:31 pm
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I mentioned yesterday that it seemed like I had missed February due to the recent weather.  This morning I gained even more evidence that something seems to be wrong with the calendar.  I saw a freakin’ robin!

I almost used that for my post title today since I was so shocked.  I never see robins here until March.

I apologize for the not-great quality of these.  I had a better picture, I’m sure of it, but I messed up; I blame my pre-coffee morning brain.  Let me back up a little bit.  When I wandered out of bed this morning and opened the door to let the dogs out, I noticed this out on my deck:

It hadn’t snowed during the night, but I thought it might just be an interesting frost pattern.  Hmm, I thought to myself, maybe a chance to get the elusive frost pictures so many of us were missing from last month’s photo hunt and an opportunity to use my really neglected  extension tubes.

Bundled in my bathrobe and slippers, I went outside.  I heard birds chirping that I really thought I wouldn’t normally hear in January.  I had that thought yesterday during my walk too.  I looked around and, lo and behold, if there wasn’t a robin in my  sycamore tree.  I took the extension tubes off and clicked away at the robin.  Put the tubes back on and only then did I notice the display on my camera saying “no card”….grrrrr!  I’d left in the computer again.   Sigh!  What were the chances the robin would still be there by the time I retrieved the card?

Tromp back inside, fetch the card, take tubes off again, robin is still in tree!  Yay!  Not posed as nicely this time around, but I still have proof for my blog readers!  Now what about that frost?  Croutch down low, find focus point and… “change battery pack”  says display this time! Argh!  Couldn’t you have told me that, Andre, when I went inside to fetch the memory card?

Since I was too lazy to try to figure out how to stabilize the camera at that level (I was still pre-coffee at this point), this is the best I was able to get hand-holding with the three tubes attached:

All that before breakfast and coffee!  If that isn’t proof that I love you, dear blog readers, I’m not sure what is!  😉

By the way, this has nothing to do with the calendar being wrong, but Mr. and Mrs. C stopped by again this morning.  I waited patiently for the two of them to be close enough together to have them both in one shot, but it didn’t happen.  I did get a couple pictures that I thought were cute though.  He:

and she:

January 28, 2012

Did I sleep through February?

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 2:45 pm
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It sure felt like I must have today.  As the dogs and I went for our walk today, I’d swear it was late March.  The sun shined in a cloudless sky

that reflected in large puddles

and patches of melting ice

At 45°F in glorious sunshine, I thought I must be taking an early-spring rather than mid-winter walk.  We meandered our favorite path through mud and muck without complaint.

Teddy thought it a fine day for a stroll through the freely flowing stream, while I enjoyed taking this handsome collie profile with sun-sparkly water in the background:

The calendar did indeed say January 28, not March 28 when we arrived home.  If this is Mama Nature’s way of perhaps righting some wrongs of last year, I will take it! Thanks, Mama, for a lovely day!

January 22, 2012

Sunny Sunday Morning

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 2:44 pm
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My snowy Saturday morning has turned into a sunny Sunday morning.  It is still plenty cold outside, but the gray snow clouds have departed, and left us with sparkly snow

and shiny, sunlit branches

This morning was also good for the neighborhood birds; I replaced my broken feeder.  I bought a set of two glass and copper feeders:

I figure I will lose some seed to the squirrels inevitably, but they shouldn’t be able to destroy these.  My favorite winter birds wasted no time in locating this new food supply this morning.  I had a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal and they seemed more than willing to hang around for a few photos this morning (although I still haven’t managed a shot with the two of them together yet):


This is clearest shot of the Mrs. I got today; she seemed rather coy – but I thought this over-the-shoulder look was cute. (Do birds have shoulders???)  Mr. happily posed for a few more:



First day out with the new feeders and I’m lucky enough for pretty cardinal shots! Money well spent, I say! 🙂

January 21, 2012

Thoughts on a Snowy Saturday Morning

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 11:31 am
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It’s snowing today.  It has snowed a bit here and there this month, but the first really significant amount of winter is expected today – 3 to 6 inches – although I realize that amount wouldn’t be considered “significant” by many of you.

My empty shepard’s hook in that picture, as well as Robin and Bob, have been reminding me that I still need to get out and replace my bird feeder.  The squirrels destroyed mine last summer and I never got around to replacing it.

My blog post title reminds me vaguely of a favorite children’s book I used to read with my girls: A Summery Saturday Morning. Quite the opposite today.

My blog post content today gets some inspiration from Kathy:

I was following my usual Saturday morning  routine, drinking coffee and reading blogs.  I knew I wanted to post today, but the thoughts weren’t quite jelling in my head.  Kathy wrote a post about an ordinary day, but made it extraordinary with her writing skills.  I don’t have Kathy’s writing skills, but sometimes I can tell an interesting story.  Hell, maybe this won’t be too interesting, but I think it will satisfy my desire to blog today!

After noticing the snow and the tight rhododendron leaves this morning, my thoughts turned to the somewhat evil purchase I made:

Have you heard of Paczki (pronounced “poonch-key”) before?  They are crazy, over-stuffed Polish donuts that are only made in the few weeks before Mardi Gras:

Our local supermarket chain, Big Y, makes a big deal about them every year, and every year I get suckered into buying a box.  I regret it after I eat them.  I’ve got that cruise coming up in April – paczki will NOT help me look alright in my bathing suit!  I think I better spend some time doing this today:

Wii players!  Highly recommended for a fun  workout game!  The different songs you can play even give you “sweat levels” so you can gauge how much of an aerobic workout you might get.

A snowy day also brings opportunities for  watching the furry ones enjoy themselves:



Gotta love a doggy snow-beard!

And this picture has absolutely nothing to do with anything I’m writing about today, but I still find it blog-worthy:

(What do you think, Kathy, a step in the right direction? 😉 )

Well that was a thoroughly disjointed and rambling blog post!  Enjoy your Saturday, snowy or otherwise!

January 14, 2012

Three for the Thirds


Winter temperatures have settled in for the weekend.  It is supposed to go down to about 6° F tonight and struggle to get out of the low 20’s tomorrow.  My rhododendron thermometer convinced me that I really didn’t want to venture outside today.  I bet tomorrow it’ll be curled as tight as needles.  I’ll try to remember to take a picture to show you.  The cold made me start dreaming of warmer days … “only” 92 days until our cruise in the spring!

The cold also helped me decide that I would use old photos rather than new for Scott’s current assignment.  I have three different situations for the rule of thirds here and I’d love to hear what everyone thinks.  My first situation is a “before” and “after” where I created a photo that follows the rule by cropping:


In this shot, the ocean/sky line pretty much cuts the photo right in half (its a little crooked, too)


I edited the shot by cropping it to have the water fill two-thirds of the shot, plus have the sailboat at one of the crossings of those imaginary gridlines.  Definite improvement.

Here’s another summer shot that I think follows the rule, SOOC:


I think the rocks/sand/water, tree line and sky divide the photo nicely into thirds, although I don’t think there’s any special emphasis at the intersection points.  Does this one work as a rule of thirds?  Let me know.

In this third situation, I’m wondering if applying the rule of thirds actually takes away from the photo.  Take this photo that I loved so much of my vacation rainbow:

As I looked at it, I wondered if it would be better if my rainbow wasn’t so smack dab in the middle of the shot, so I tried cropping:

I don’t think I like this better.  In the cropping, I lost some of the nice reflection of the rainbow in the splashes of water of the tidal pools and I think the rainbow looks kind of pushed off to the side.  What do you think?

This is my contribution to Scott’s Rule of Thirds assignment.  There is still time to participate if you’d like to – due date is Wednesday, January 18th.

ETA: Several folks mentioned in the comments that they might have edited the sailboat to show more sky rather than water, so I tried it:

It may have a little more of the “feeling” I was thinking of when I shot it.  I don’t know if anyone who orginally made that comment will come back and have a look, but if you do, let me know what you think.

January 12, 2012

A Dusting, a Headache, and some Cookies

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 5:40 pm
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Weird blog post title, huh?  That’s about how my day went today.  I went to bed last night wishing with all of my might for a delay for the start of the school day.  Our area was under a “winter weather advisory” from 1am this morning to 1pm this afternoon, calling for anywhere from a “coating to 2 inches of snow” with possible icing.  Ah!, I thought, perfect conditions for a delay!  Delays are the best!  You can sleep in a little later, maybe have an extra cup of coffee at home, a good fraction of the day is done when you get to work, and it still counts toward the required 180 days of school!  Imagine my disappointment to be awakened by the sound of my alarm clock at its normal time rather than by the Connect-Ed phone call announcing the district’s delayed start of school for the day.  For this was all that was on the ground:

It was wet and slushy, but hardly treacherous.

Mid-morning at work found me with a headache.  Not a debilitating, can’t-do-my-work kind of headache, but one of those annoying, nagging headaches that just makes you constantly aware of its presence – do you know the sort that I mean?  I stumbled through the rest of my day and made it home no worse for wear, but with the nagger still present.

Feel-sorry-for-myself-me wanted to lie down and take a nap with a dog or two and a fluffy blanket.  Get-off-my-sorry-butt me decided no.  We would make cookies instead!  Cookies make everything better, don’t they?

Oatmeal-raisin-chocolate chip cookies, to be exact.

Hmmph, I’ve eaten a couple and the nagger is still there… maybe I need more?  Or something else perhaps?

Anyone remember this post? Yup, they’ve got ’em for Valentine’s Day now too.  I was negligent in not pointing out that Sweetarts Ornaments Gummies were available last month!

Weird post to go with a weird title, wasn’t it?  Thanks for reading the ramblings of a mad woman.  I think I need some more cookies…

January 8, 2012

Beauties and the Beast

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 4:37 pm
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According to the Online Slang Dictionary, the definition of beast is : “very good, excellent, cool, awesome.”  You can probably guess who my beauties are:

The annual semi-formal dance was last night at the high school.  The girls had a great time at the dance and I didn’t have to go pick them up! Definite benefit of having a licensed-to-drive daughter!

So what was the beast?

The food of Pig Out! (read here for the uniniated)  As usual, we had an unbelievable spread for an afternoon of eating and laughing.


Included here: “cheesy poufs” – a recipe created a few years ago of shredded cheese and mayo (I think?) baked on slices of French bread, apricot salsa-cream cheese spread with pretzel crackers, crescent roll pinwheels with cream cheese and bacon, fresh veggie tray with ranch dip, fondue (my own thrown together creation made with cheddar, brie and gouda) with breadsticks, chips and dip and our perennial favorite:

chocolate-dipped strawberries!  Mom added dried apricots to the mix this year.  And this wasn’t everything!  There were also bites of puff pastry and filo-dough creations and dough-wrapped cocktail weenies.  I forgot to get a picture of the three kinds of homemade cookies we had.  It was quite the afternoon of indulgence.

Recipe for creating your own “pig out”:

Combine people who have known and loved each other for over 30 years.

Add in pot luck style food of both savory and sweet.

Mix in laughter, tears, stories and hugs.

Stir well and enjoy!

January 7, 2012

Hey There!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:25 am
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Hi everyone!  I’ve missed you this week!  The blogosphere has gotten away from me as I headed back to work this past week after our nice holiday break.  I’ve done some reading and commenting here and there, but it has been nearly a week since I posted.  I don’t have much in the way of new pictures to share (just this one above of Cedric not letting the Christmas village get in the way of his enjoyment of viewing the outside world) but I did want to say hello and share some tidbits.

The Christmas village has been packed away for the year, but before I took it down, I tried making a couple of little video tours of my little town with my iPod.  I was considering posting them here, but I haven’t uploaded them anywhere yet, and now that it is January 7th, it feels a bit after-the-fact, ya know?  The tree has also been taken down and dragged to the small thicket of trees at the back of my property.  The outdoor Christmas lights and the glowing snowman are all that remain of the decorations.  I figure the snowman can hang out for a while; he’s more of a winter fellow than just a Christmas sort.

In addition to Christmas clean-up, I’ve been doing a little housekeeping here on the blog.  I changed my archives to a drop-down menu because the months have been piling up over there.  I’ve also added a new drop down menu for categories and a new category to my blog posts called “Walking the Dogs” – so many of my posts and pictures come from my walks with the furry children, I thought they deserved a category.  I’ve gone through a lot of my older posts and categorized them this way, so if  you are interested in that, have a look.  I’m thinking about doing a “For the Birds” category next.

If you haven’t been over to see Scott’s latest assignment yet, you really should! It concerns that photography stand-by, the rule of thirds.  He wants us to find a shot that makes great use of this rule.  If you are a photo-newbie who isn’t sure what that means, Scott has some great links to help you out.  For those of you who aren’t feeling the photo-mojo this time of year, Scott is allowing the use of an older photo that you crop into a rule-of-thirds example, and would like to see the “before” and “after” if you choose this route.  As an added bonus to participating, Scott is offering a chance at a spot in a really cool photography e-course!  He will randomly choose a winner from all who participate!  Deadline is January 18th so that the lucky winner can be part of the class beginning on January 20th.

I’ve got one more “Christmas” get-together today – the famous “pig out” – and it is at my house this year, so I’d better get moving along.  I hope to catch up with everyone later tonight or tomorrow.  I hope your 2012 is off to a great start!

January 1, 2012

This is January 1st?

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 4:04 pm
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Not that I am complaining, mind you, but I do wonder what the heck is going on around here.  Check out the temperature here today:

Nearly 50° F in Massachusetts on January 1st!  And the sun was shining too!  Thanks very much for the Happy New Year, Mama Nature… you aren’t just trying to soften me up for what you really have in store for me later, are you?  No, no, I shall not look a gifthorse in the mouth; instead, I shall take the poochachos for a walk.  Want to come along?


Blue skies and puffy clouds along the powerlines today


Sunshiney ice crunching and melting under the dogs’ steps

Puffy weed (is that her majesty Queen Anne?  I’m afraid I don’t recognize HRH in wintertime) in the shadow of a happy dog’s open mouth

My days of no school, no schedule leisure are quickly coming to an end.  I was so happy for this warm little walk for the dogs and me.  Our last day off is tomorrow, and my Christmas tree and village are still standing.  Waiting to see if the spirit moves me to take them down or let them be for a little bit longer.  How did you spend your New Year’s Day?