Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

January 21, 2013

What does winter mean to me? (and a little mystery too!)

Filed under: For the Birds,Photo assignments — Karma @ 10:14 am
Tags: , , , ,


If you ask me how I feel about winter in general, “Grumpy Cat” does a good job of expressing my feelings! (You’ve all seen Grumpy Cat around the internetz by now, right?)

I generally don’t like being cold, dealing with poor driving conditions, having the wind whip across my face or feeling like my nose has frozen shut when I step outside. I am a summer girl at heart, as I have expressed many times here on the blog. So when Scott proposed this month’s assignment on winter, I felt a bit like Grumpy Cat up there.

However, having lived in Massachusetts my entire life, even I can appreciate some of the simple beauties and offerings of wintertime.

My backyard does have a tendency to look a bit like a Currier and Ives painting after a fresh snow fall:
snowy backyard

Although I’ve pictured them many times here on the blog, a blog about winter has to include my two goofball dogs loving the snow:
golden retriever loves snow!

collie face full of snow

Winter time sometimes also means an afternoon hot coffee break. Curling up on a cold afternoon with a cup fresh from the Keurig and a biscotti for dipping can be a nice way to warm up:
coffee break
(like my cute teacher-cat mug?)

I enjoy bird watching all year round, but I have a tendency to fill the feeders and watch and enjoy the birds more in the winter (especially since there are no flowers to take pictures of!):
chickadee at birdfeeder

Birdwatching on this particular day brought me the answer to a mystery I’ve been trying to solve for years now. I took this picture of this adorable little brown bird sitting in the rhododendron right outside my window:
carolina wren
and set out to identify it afterwards. It was about the size of a sparrow but didn’t look exactly like most of the sparrows around here. I went to my go-to birding site, Cornell’s All About Birds and started searching. I found what I believe to be a match, a Carolina Wren. Now here’s the mystery part. For years, my husband and I have been joking about a bird call. One day he said to me, “I wish that bird’s girlfriend would answer him! Can you hear him calling ‘JudyJudyJudy’?” Then the call seemed to change slightly and I said, “Hey, I think she’s finally answering – it sounds like she’s saying ‘JimmyJimmyJimmy’!” And hence began the saga of Jimmy and Judy. One of us would often say “I think Jimmy and Judy are having a fight!” or “I wonder where Jimmy and Judy are today?”

Throughout all this bird-calling, I was never able to identify Jimmy or Judy. I’d see a little flit of a brown bird pass through the yard, but could never quite make out exactly what the bird looked like. Now the Cornell website includes typical bird calls for help in bird identification. While identifying the Carolina Wren the other day, I clicked on the bird call and guess what? “JudyJudyJudy,JimmyJimmyJimmy” played out from my computer speakers! Mystery solved!

Thanks again for the photo assignment Scott!

January 19, 2013

A New Toy

Thanks to a couple of B&H Photo gift certificates I’d received as Christmas gifts, I recently purchased a new lens for my Rebel. It is a Sigma 70-300mm zoom with a macro switch. It is heavier than I am used to using – my longest lens up til now was my 55-250mm – and there is no image stabilization, so it will take a little getting used to, but so far I’m pleased.

I stood in the sunshine coming through the sliding glass door to my deck this afternoon and waited in the warmth for birds attracted to the suet cake I hung on one of my planter hooks for the winter. These shots were taken from about 15 feet away with my new lens (SOOC, no cropping or editing):
chickadee and cardinal

male cardinal

approach to suet
I was quite surprised to find this shot of the little downy woodpecker approaching the suet feeder; I hadn’t realized I was shooting at that time.

downy woodpecker 1

downy woodpecker 2

I’ll be looking forward to spending some more time getting to know my new lens!

January 16, 2013

It’s a Snow Day!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:37 am
Tags: , , , , ,

A snow day – otherwise you normally wouldn’t be hearing from me in the middle of a Wednesday morning.

I’m kind of surprised we have the day off today. It is only a few inches of snow, but then, the forecast is saying a “wintery mix” that could cause icy conditions later in the day. Either way, I am home for the day. Maybe a good day for taking pictures for Scott’s challenge!
I have some ideas for a picture or two I’d like to get so we’ll see.

In case you didn’t already see them, a few folks did decide to try the dinner photography blog along. A common theme for all of us was forgetting to take pictures before we sat down to eat!
If you aren’t super hungry at the moment, have a look at these posts by Deb, Robin, Dawn and Michaela. My post was the one I put up this past weekend, which I think most of you already saw.
Makes you wonder, how do those food bloggers do it? I guess it is just what you do if you food blog. My sister was quite the food blogger for a while there, but she seems uninspired lately.

Speaking of food, Meghan is currently making a mess and smoking up my kitchen with a late snow-day breakfast of bacon and French toast!

 

Hubby is out doing what you gotta do on a snow day:

(nice pop of police orange in the middle of all that white, huh? 😉 )
And I am sitting here at the computer, writing a post and peeking in on all of you, wearing my sweats and slippers! Doesn’t that sound like the right thing to do for a snow day?

January 12, 2013

A Week of Dinner?

Filed under: Recipes — Karma @ 11:53 am
Tags: , , ,

It was my idea and I really had trouble making it work! About two weeks ago, I suggested that a bunch of us take pictures of our dinner and post them to give us all some new ideas for dinner. We all get into those ruts, don’t we? Well, turns out, it is really hard to remember to take pictures of dinner! I think most of us can relate to just wanting to sit down and eat when we are finished cooking – remembering to grab the camera isn’t easy! Deb over at My Life in CNY laments that she had the same problem.

Regardless of my mostly failed efforts to photograph my dinner, I’m going to share with you what I did manage to photograph in order to (1) maybe give you a few ideas and (2) hope that you’ll decide to post some dinner pictures, even if you don’t have a full week either!

The first shot I remembered to take was this one:
biscuit topping on chicken stew
I found a recipe for this chicken stew with a biscuit topping all in one pot. Those biscuits were supposed to spend a little time under a broiler, but I don’t currently have one of those ( a story for another blog post perhaps).
chicken stew
The concept was good, but the result was a bit dry. Probably because I left it in the oven a little longer than was called for trying to brown those biscuits. Sarah said there was too much parsley in the biscuits!

Next remembered dinner was this:
roast beef in the crock pot
Roast beef in the crock pot. Have I mentioned before how much I love crock pot dinners? Especially on busy school nights? I’ve done this one a few times now and it always comes out delicious and tender.
slow cooker roast beef
I even have a link to this recipe if you are interested: Melt-in-your-mouth Slow Cooker Beef

The last shot I remembered was this one:
BBQ Chicken pizza w/jalepenos
Homemade BBQ chicken pizza with jalepenos. This was easy. Store bought bag of dough, George Foreman grill-cooked chicken with some BBQ spice, bacon, BBQ sauce, cheese, jalepeno slices, VOILA!

I do have some links to recipes I’ve used in the last two weeks for dinner. There are pictures on the sites as well! If you are curious, here you go:
Some nearly homemade tomato soup – I served grilled cheese sandwiches with this of course!

This one was just “aw-ight”. I was looking for something different, quick and easy. The girls were not crazy about it: Asian Noodle Bowls with beef.

This was tasty, but in my opinion, required far too many pots and pans: Creamy chicken pasta

Last night, it was just Meghan and me for dinner on a Friday night after a long week, so we split a foot-long sub from Subway.

subway_sandwich_2

(Borrowed this shot from a Subway website)

So there’s an almost week of dinner for you! I’d love it if you’d still like to share some dinner ideas with me. Doesn’t matter how many pictures you have – just post them and leave me a link.

In the meantime, Scott has a new photo assigment for us to work on. It is due on January 23rd, so pop over there and have a look! Maybe I can actually remember to take some photos for this one!

January 6, 2013

New Year’s Walk

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 5:55 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Hi there everyone! We are nearly a week into the new year and this is my first blog post of 2013!  2013 – a year I’ve looked to since my first baby was born as so very far away and now it is here.  The year my first child graduates from high school.  I’m excited and nervous and happy and sad all at once.  But we’ve got months to go until that happens so I’ll contain myself for now.  You’ll be sure to hear more from me about that as June rolls closer with all the events that go along with it arrive.

My first photos of 2013 were of a snow-covered walk in the woods, and I’d like to share them with you.  I’ve published pictures from this walk that the dogs and I take many times, but I’m pretty sure these are the first completely covered by snow.  It was a heart-pumping, feel-good-about-myself kind of walk.

The meadow that I walk into in the summer time that is usually filled with helicopter-like dragonflies, was shiny and sparkly in the snow.
Winter meadow

The brook where hot-and-tired Daphne likes to rest in the summer was partially frozen over.
Winter creek

Our “tunnel” path had a different look with a snowy bottom.
Snow covered path

There were no bluebirds to be found in this section of the walk this time around.
snow covered path 2

The new year began with a beautiful blue sky. If there were leaves on the trees, you could almost look into it and believe summer wasn’t too far away.
Blue winter sky

Near the end of our walk, nearly back to the house, I noticed these peeling birch trees. Funny, I’m 43 years old and I’ve lived in suburbia with birch trees my entire life, but I don’t remember ever seeing them peel like this.
peeling birch trees

Near the end of New Year’s Day, I took a picture of my dinner for that dinner blog-along I suggested in this post, and guess what? That’s the last time I remembered to take a dinner picture! The rest of the week was back to school and back to the routine and taking pictures of dinner disappeared from my mind! I’m going to try to make myself remember this week so that I’ll have at least 7 dinner pictures to share with you.

I hope 2013 is treating you well so far. I have a couple ideas for photo projects that I may or may not get to this year, but will definitely share with you if I do. Looking forward to another year of sharing photos and adventures with you.