Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

July 31, 2014

Gone Tomatoes

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 7:39 pm
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For yesterday and today, days 41 and 42 of summer, I present you with tomatoes!
A vegetable garden can change a bit when you are gone for a couple days. As I perused my cucumber and zucchini plants to see if anything needed picking, I noticed a bit of red out of the corner of my eye.

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The first of my early girl tomatoes were beginning to ripen.
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That one in the upper left of that photo, looked like it would be ready to eat very soon. And today it was!
First of the season

I sliced it up and ate it with my dinner. Nothing quite like the first garden fresh tomato of the summer.
Dinner tonight

July 30, 2014

Cape Cod Days

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 10:13 am
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For days 38, 39, and 40 of summer, my girls and I visited my mom on Cape Cod. We were hoping the weather forecast would improve, but it remained overcast with occasional showers until the day we needed to come home. But we made our own fun.

We started on Sunday with a lunch that definitely doesn’t fit into my fitness plans, lol:
Dog House lunch
That’s a split dog with bacon and cheese from the The Dog House in Dennisport.

I spotted some beautiful lilies across the street while we ate our lunch.
lilies 2

lilies 1

Visits to the Christmas Tree Shops are always a part of our trips to the Cape. Sarah has a tradition of finding the silliest hats she can while we are there and trying them on.
Christmas Tree shops hat

Another hat

Of course we never miss a visit to the candy store either!
Candy sand sculpture

The Yarmouth Sand Sculptures were back again this year, although they did not seem as expansive as I’ve seen in the past.
sand sculpture 2

sand sculpture 1

We found a unique window box at the Hot Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans, where we stopped for afternoon treats.
Funky window box

An afternoon walk along a small boardwalk at Grey’s Beach in Yarmouth turned up a personalized board that I had to take a photo of –
boardwalk boardWe
I hope Daphne does not take offense!

A little visitor stopped by at my mother’s house when we had returned from our day’s adventures.
bunny face

bunny & hydrangea

In an attempt to enjoy a little warm, sunny beach time before we had to head home, we enjoyed a treat from Dunkin Donuts Tuesday morning.
Dunkin at the beach

I’m very appreciative of this time I got to spend with my family. Excellent treats, excellent times!

July 26, 2014

Icon and Cape Cod

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 1:38 pm
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Friday, day 36 of summer, was a quiet day. A few errands, a bit of housework. While visiting with Renae on Wednesday, we were talking about a place that is pretty much a Hampden/Wilbraham icon (Hampden is the town next door that our school system is regionalized with). So after dinner last night, Sarah and I headed over to Mountain View Restaurant in Hampden.
image

This place has been around as long as I can remember and little has changed except the name; it was known as Sullivan’s when I was kid. The draw here for my family has always been the soft serve ice cream. In addition to the basic vanilla, chocolate or twist, they have always offered less traditional flavors for soft serve ice cream. Last night’s offerings included pistachio and black raspberry, and yogurt flavors of red velvet and triple chocolate!

Sarah went for black raspberry.
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I had a twist of the red velvet and triple chocolate:
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I would swear they made a mistake and said this was yogurt when it was really ice cream. It was so smooth and creamy, I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between ice cream and yogurt here.

Today is Saturday, day 37 of summer. Tomorrow the girls and I are headed down the Cape for a few days to visit my mom. I will likely be away from the blogosphere most of that time. The forecast is iffy for the time we will be there – temperatures in the mid 70’s and 50% chance of showers or thunderstorms. I will keep my fingers crossed that the 50% will work in the other direction and we will be able to enjoy the outside. I’ve got my bag packed and ready to go!
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See you soon!

July 25, 2014

Beautiful Evening

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 9:04 am
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Thursday was day 35 of summer. It started out as a routine, ho-hum kind of day. I exercised, mowed the lawn, did some reading. Meghan went to work and I wasn’t expecting her home for dinner. Work ended earlier than she expected and she was home in the late afternoon. Around 6pm, I stepped inside from being out reading, starting to think about preparing dinner. I flipped through the mail on the counter, including the copy of the free local paper, the Wilbraham Times. As I flipped, I remembered it was Thursday night. On Thursday nights in the summer, there is a free series of concerts in Fountain Park. I quickly looked up who was playing on the internet, and it turned out to be a band called the Tom Ingram Band which covers all kinds of rock music from the ’60’s forward. The concerts start at 6:30 and it was now 6:15, but I asked the girls if they wanted to go and they said sure!

I abandoned cooking dinner and we ran to Subway and grabbed sandwiches to eat in the park.
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I have no idea what Sarah is doing in this shot; it is rare that she ever lets me get a simple little candid!

It was a gorgeous night. Not buggy or humid, perfectly comfortable temperature. And the music was good!
Free concert

I ran into a good friend enjoying the show with her parents, so we moved our seat and sat with them for the night. The local photographer came by and took our picture. I hope I’ll get to see that shot either online or in a future edition of the Wilbraham Times.

So nice when a spontaneous idea works out so well!
Here’s a little sample of the music, cover of “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder:

July 24, 2014

Sweet Friendship

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 8:27 am
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Yesterday, day 34 of summer, I spent with my dear friend Renae. The girls and I drove out to visit. Renae’s children adore playing with Sarah. I should have taken a picture of my almost-17-year-old goofing around Renae’s nearly-10-year-old daughter and nearly-8-year-old son (all 3 of them have August birthdays). I think they wore her out pretty well by the end of the day. It used to be the other way around when they were younger!

While the three of them enjoyed play time, Meghan, Renae, Renae’s mom and I went out to lunch. Not to Pickity Place this time, just a spot local to Renae.
When we walked in, I thought this display of after dinner mints was pretty:
Mint display

We enjoyed our lunch, and at the end, the waitress brought over the tempting dessert tray for us to peruse. Had I been there without Meghan, I would have easily refused the tasty-looking treats; it isn’t my habit to order dessert. But when one’s 19-year-old daughter, who one knows will be disappearing back into her own special world at college in just a few weeks, leans over and looks up at you with her pretty aqua-colored eyes and says, “We could split something…” one has a tendency to cave in! We ordered this:
Super rich dessert

That was a super-rich, incredibly dense piece of chocolate. The waitress called it cake, but it was really more like fudge. Even the two of us sharing could not finish it all.

I’m very happy for the time we spent together yesterday. Renae’s husband took a picture of all of us together – I hope to share it here later if Renae agrees and sends it to me.

July 22, 2014

Detour

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 8:19 pm
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Today is day 33 of summer – halfway through already! Boy this season flies by for me. I know there is more summer once I go back to school, but it will feel differently, that’s for certain. I’m calling this post “Detour” for two reasons: a literal one and a figurative one.

First the literal one. Sarah had a driving lesson today and after I picked her up from it, I decided to drive a different way in to my favorite local farm store (Randall’s for anyone local who may read this) because of the direction I was coming from picking Sarah up. We approached the intersection where I needed to turn to get to my destination and there were cruisers with flashing lights and police officers with waving arms. Turning the direction I needed to turn wasn’t going to happen. So I went straight and figured I could find a different way around. I really wanted some local fruits and veggies!

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We drove by some pretty, open farmland with cows (squee!) during this detour; I found myself wishing I had my camera with me. I did eventually find my way around, only to come to the reason why the original turn was blocked. Electric wires down in the road, crews working, and my destination of choice? Closed for business due to the power outage! *sigh*

Managed some local corn at the grocery store but not the other things I was hoping for.
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My other detour I’ve been working on for a while now, but I read a quote from Mark Twain this evening that seemed to express the way I have been feeling:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Nicely said, Mr. Twain.

Delight

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 10:04 am
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I titled this post “Delight” because that is what I immediately felt yesterday (day 32 of summer) when I saw this butterfly on my zinnias.
pipevine swallowtail 4

I haven’t seen as many butterflies as I normally would have by this time in the summer, I think because my butterfly bushes suffered terribly this past winter. One of them is completely dead (sadness!!) and the other is alive, but not yet blooming. So when I saw this butterfly enjoying the zinnias, I snapped away.
pipevine swallowtail 2

I think this photo is the first shot I’ve ever gotten with both of a butterfly’s eyeballs visible at the same time:
pipevine swallowtail face

I played again with Lightroom on these shots, although they really didn’t need too much work with the bright sunshine I was shooting in.
pipevine swallowtail 1

Want to see something kind of neat? Go see what Robin was taking pictures of yesterday too! How cool is that!

July 21, 2014

Little Adventures

Yesterday, day 31 of summer, was one of those days weather-wise that you wish could go on forever. The sun shined, the temperature was a moderate 80°, a gentle breeze on the air.  A great day, I said to myself, to take the dogs for a walk.  I hadn’t done so in quite a while and figured the dogs would be more than happy to get out to our old path.

Out our driveway and up the street…

off we go

…around the corner and past the house with the goat…

past the goat

…plowing through the tall grass at the edge of the parking lot for the soccer fields…

plowing through

… and entering the preserved farm lands of (really and for true!) Old MacDonald.

Alton's way

We followed the path as though it hadn’t been months since we’d last been there…

the path

…and arrived at Daphne’s favorite stopping spot, the little brook…

Daphne's favorite spot

…that runs from a quiet swamp.

peek into swamp

Perhaps not too quiet: red-winged blackbirds and cicadas regularly call out from this place.

Black-eyed susans were in bloom every where I looked. The dogs must have been thinking, doesn’t she have enough pictures of those things? But they patiently waited for the sound of the shutter before moving along again.
black eyed susans

Although by the 4th or 5th time I stopped near bunches of them, Teddy was starting to push his nose into stems, sure that there must be something far more interesting that was getting all this attention.

Upon my return, my girls had an idea for another little adventure: frozen yogurt at one of the seemingly many new places that have popped up around here. Who was I to say no to a fabulous idea like this?
Fro-yo

Drear and Cheer

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer,What's Blooming — Karma @ 9:33 am
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Blog posts are starting to stack up on me here! I have photos to share for both days of the weekend but I think putting them all in one post might be a little much. Here’s my post for Saturday, day 30 of summer. I’ll write another for Sunday.

The day was overcast and a bit dreary. Motivation was low. Late in the afternoon I decided to take my unmotivated self for a walk around the yard, and I’m glad I did. Things had changed since the last time I really took a look. Different flowers and such were in bloom.
delphinium
These are what originally drew my attention outside. I saw a blur of purple that I hadn’t seen yet this year so I went to investigate. If I remember correctly, these are delphinium, part of my perennial garden in the front yard.

From that little garden, I walked along the side of my house to where my neighbor has an interesting variety of plantings. These lilies face my side of our properties.
neighbor lily
I’m not sure what kind these are but I found their color to be warm and inviting.

As you continue along the side of my yard and through the gate into the backyard, you’ll find my crazy concord grape vines. They’ve spread, with the help of birds I’m sure, from a little trellis they started on, up my house into the rain gutters and across into a bordering pine tree. At this point in the year, it is looking like it will be a plentiful grape season come September, if the birds don’t get them all first.
backyard grapes

Another flash of color caught my eye as I continued into the backyard. Do you remember when I planted bee balm for the hummingbirds a couple years ago? I was starting to wonder if that plant was yet another victim of this past harsh winter, but a few small blooms have survived.
bee balm

It is the time of the year for day lilies too. The bright orange of these flowers can be cheerful on the dreariest of days.
daylily

Well, I’ve finished my morning coffee, visited new blog posts from many of you, and enjoyed editing these flower photos in my Lightroom program. They seemed like the perfect shots for playing around with editing. I’ve got more to post about with Sunday’s little adventures – I’ll return later today with that post.

July 18, 2014

It’s Really Happening

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 7:27 pm
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My baby is NOT going to be a senior in high school. NO, NO, NO, NO! This is simply unacceptable. She is NOT turning 17 in two weeks and she did NOT have her senior portraits taken today! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Yeah, she did have her senior portraits taken today (day 29 of summer), and she looked lovely. My Sarah is not a “girly-girl”: she eschews make-up, hair-do’s, dresses and high heels. She concedes to make-up when required: dance recital, prom, and at my begging, some natural looking, not-heavy-handed make-up to make her lovely features “pop” in her portrait session. This is a shot I took with my iPhone before we left for her sitting:
Portrait time

I just love the arched eyebrow she is giving me in this photo.

The photographer gave me a little preview of the photos on the LCD of the camera when we finished today. I’m very pleased already at the RAW view and can’t wait to see the proofs in a week or so.

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