Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

July 18, 2013

Jumping Back in with Cee!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:44 am
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Cee has returned with more questions about Sharing Your World. Here are my Week 23 answers.

Are you mostly a clean or messy person?
I think I am a messy person who would like to be a clean person. The usual state of this house is clutter! Then I get bursts of energy, wanting things to be clean. But it is a losing battle. The people (and animals!) that I live with, take no time in undoing the cleaning that I have done. Case in point: I spent a good part of my day yesterday on a cleaning binge cleaning things that haven’t been cleaned in a while and un-cluttering a lot of clutter. This is only a small example, but look at how my husband has left this kitchen this morning after making his breakfast – and no, he wasn’t running out the door to work afterward:
messy kitchen
Everything he cut, cooked and ate with are still in place and his shoes are in the middle of the floor. This is a small mess, mind you, but an example of what I fight against.

As a kid was there any kind of candy that you didn’t like to get? How about now?
Yes! ICK!
Icky!
I detest any kind of candy with black licorice. Same goes for coconut too! Been that way as long as I can remember.

Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets?
Heck, I believe there is extraterrestrial life on this planet! 😉
Jose Jalepeno

Have your blogging goals changed?
I don’t know if I ever really had blogging goals. I really started blogging just to have a place to share my photos and tell my stories. I also wanted a place to participate in Scott Thomas’s photo challenges, which I continue to do. His next assignment is due next week – I’m hoping to go out and take some photos for that today. I hope you’ll think about participating in the assignment, and maybe answering some of Cee’s questions too! Tell me your answers in the comments, or write a post of your own!

July 5, 2013

Bubble Wrap

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 9:34 am
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bubbles
Did I make you wonder about this blog post with that title? It is me trying to be cute. I had three brave participants (four if you include me) in the iHeartFaces June Photo Hunt, and I’d like to draw your attention to their posts if you haven’t seen them already.

Mike of Picture Day jumped right in, going so far as to create a category for the hunt on his blog page, but then felt he kind of petered out. I gave him a gentle nudge explaining the easy ways of a photo hunt around here and how I’m pretty much “rules shmules”. He ended up finding a beautiful variety of photos to share from the month of June.

I was looking forward to the gorgeous collages that I was sure that Robin of Breezes at Dawn would create. She not only came through, but managed to showcase something for all 30 words of the hunt! Robin has some really lovely photos and was very creative.

Carol of Wanderings of an Elusive Mind also thought that she would jump all over this photo hunt, but lamented that she got distracted and forgot to take the photos she planned. I’m happy that Carol decided to post the photos that she remembered to take. No worries, Carol, about being “feeble” or anything else! I enjoyed your photos and am glad you made the effort to participate!

(Pssssst…. hey Joanne and Dawn….weren’t you going to show me some photos for this hunt? 😉 )

You can find my photo hunt here. I had fun just taking random photos here and there during the month, trying to keep the list in mind when I had down time. On the day I did the post, I had Sarah come outside and blow bubbles for me. I had forgotten how difficult photographing those could be.
Bubbles(2)

That same day, I started picking raspberries from the patch in my yard. I’ve been enjoying at least this many
berries
each day since. I’ve been thinking about making this pie again soon if it isn’t too late to still find local strawberries.

I’m starting to wonder, my friends, is the hey-day of blogging starting to wane? I know we all have busy lives and other things going on. It seems to me that this WordPress community that I feel lucky to have become a part of 3 years ago, has started to lose interest. I was doing a little housekeeping around the blog the other day (you may have noticed a couple widgets I have removed and a couple I’ve added) and realized I haven’t seen posts from plenty of favorite bloggers in quite a while and folks that used to comment fairly often, rarely do anymore. Do any of you find this to be the case at your blog?

Is there interest in another photo hunt this summer? Let me know what you think about this -and my other questions too – in the comments. Thanks!

June 8, 2013

What I’ve been up to this week…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:54 am
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Both of my lovely young ladies went to our local high school’s senior prom this week. Meghan is a senior, of course, and Sarah went as the date of a senior.

The girls and their dates:

Then yesterday, during monsoon-like weather, was graduation. I don’t have nearly all the pictures I’d like, and many that I do have a very blurry due to the bad lighting and the distance away from the stage I had to sit.

Somehow it still doesn’t seem real! High school is over for my older daughter. Wow!
ETA: I forgot to add this shot when I published this post yesterday. Another exciting event this week was the visit of my brother-in-law and his wife (is my husband’s brother’s wife my sister-in-law? I never know how far the “in-law” thing extends, lol!) They live in Alaska, so visits are few and far between unfortunately. Alaska is definitely on my bucket-list of places to visit. We need to plan a trip before they retire and move away!

I have been taking some pictures here and there for the iHeartFaces photo challenge/hunt I suggested to you last week. I’m trying to find an easy way to create photo collages without too much issue or having to download more software if I can avoid it. If you have a suggestion for me, please feel free to leave it in the comments for me! Picasa has been suggested by the lovely Robin. I have an issue with it however: when I open Picasa, it seems to attempt to upload all the thousands of photos I have saved on this computer. I really don’t want it to do that – is there a way to stop that process? I’d love to hear from anyone with thoughts about these issues. Thank you!

May 25, 2013

Stream-of-Consciousness-Blogging…

It is raining here today…cold for May 25th…”the rain, rain, rain, came down, down, down, in rushing rising rivlets, til the water crept out of its bed and crept right into Piglet’s!”…I should write a blog post to pass the time on this rainy day…really wish I was outside planting the veggie garden…what could I write a blog post about?

Mmmmm, chocolate…that chocolate fountain I borrowed for Meghan’s graduation party looks very interesting…
chocolate fountain

maybe I should experiment with it before Meghan’s party!

Blog, blog, blog…I need some inspiration…stuff I want to talk about but I can’t go outside and take pictures…hey the rhododendron is blooming and I can see that through my dining room windows…
rhododendron

I can see the perennial bed too…
perrenial bed

Not a great picture, but more complete looking than the last one I posted…I wonder why Flickr changed their layout…have to learn how to navigate it all over again while I post photos to this blog post…finally found the link to the archives that I complained to Kate about in my comment to this lovely post of hers…I wonder if blogspot users get notifications from wordpress users…Boy I really wish I could have been outside planting today…I hope my poor little plants aren’t getting drowned with all this rain…
waiting to be planted

At least I got the whiskey barrel planter done earlier this week, but still so much more to do…so much to do coming up soon…prom, graduation, recital, graduation party…at least I got the party invitations sent out…Inkgarden.com did such a nice job…

Ooh, hey, the bearded irises are budding…not as many buds out there as I’d like to see, darn it…
irises soon!

Wait a second, I thought I bought a pink foxglove for the perennial bed…that looks white…hmmm….
foxglove

Not going to get any new pictures of the baby robins in all this rain…oh but hey! I do have a lovely picture of my baby girl to share this week…she’d probably hate it if she knew I just referred to her as “baby” girl…”Moooommmmmmm I am going to be 16 in 2 months”…oh don’t remind me…another with a driver’s license soon…so proud of her for receiving that computer award!…sophomore with highest grade point average in computer class…wahoo!…

sarahaward

Blogging, blogging, blogging…where will I find some inspiration? 😉

May 19, 2013

Nest Watch, week 2

Filed under: For the Birds — Karma @ 5:42 pm
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Things are getting busy these days! Meghan’s final days of high school are sliding by in a hurry, the paperwork for college is rolling in, preparations for recital and graduation are busily moving along. I feel like I’ve been on a rollercoaster ride for the last couple of weeks, and I don’t think the ride will be coming to an end any time soon. In the meantime however, I have been keeping an eye on those robins’ nests I told you about in this post.

The first nest has babies in it. I poked my head outside one day to see 3 hungry open beaks swaying in the nest.
first baby robin sighting
It’s difficult to see all three in this photo, but I think they are all there. One particularly hungry little one made an extra effort to get some attention.
hungry baby

I moved around to the other side of the nest and was able to get this little charmer:
baby robin gets some sun
I love the tuft of down and the satisfied look!

feed me!
Feed me!

I think the second nest is maybe a week or so behind the first one, but I have seen mama robin sitting on it fairly consistently over the last week, so I’m thinking another set of babies isn’t too far away.
mama robin

My perennial bed is looking fresh and healthy with its new coating of mulch, but I’ve neglected to take its picture. I’ll remember one of these days.

Planting will be continuing as well. I’ve been back to the garden center for annuals and vegetables:
garden center purchases
There are tomatoes, hot peppers, cucumbers, geraniums, dahlias, zinnias and much more all awaiting their summer homes. Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend, my traditional planting weekend, so they won’t have to wait too long.

Whether you are enjoying your own gardens, visiting vistas around your home state, unpacking and getting used to a new home or just trying to fly a kite, I hope you have a lovely week!

May 12, 2013

Cee’s Share Your World

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 12:21 pm
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For quite a while now I’ve been reading Carol’s answers to Cee’s Share Your World questions. I believe Week 19 is coming to an end, but if its okay with you all, I thought I’d share my answers this week, as I found the questions quite interesting.

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you would stay? Question came from Wanderings of an Elusive Mind
I’d like to say that a big, comfy bed would be a requirement, but in reality I often find myself putting up with less-than-perfect sleeping conditions in order to enjoy the place that I am. My case in point:
IMG_1154
Tiny bedroom of the cottage we rent in Maine, with tiny bed
IMG_7576
Tiny cabin on the cruise last year, with tiny bed
IMG_5399
The annual camping trip, sleeping in a tent, on, you guessed it, a tiny (air) bed.
So, my real requirements of a place that I stay for a vacation? A wonderful place to visit and wonderful people to be with.

If you were or are a writer do you prefer writing short stories, poems or novels?
I’ve never really considered myself to be a writer, although when I was in high school and college, I could write a pretty damn good paper! I attribute this ability to my favorite teacher, my high school social studies teacher Ms. Brewer, who was the toughest but best teacher I ever had. She was my inspiration for wanting to be a teacher myself. I guess that blogging is sort of like writing short stories, isn’t it? They don’t have a plot or a conflict usually, but I do enjoy presenting my little stories to you.

What’s your favorite song of the moment?
I told you in my post about color that I really enjoy Pink as an artist. Her duet with Nate Ruess “Just Give me a Reason” is a current favorite.

If you were to buy a new house/apartment what is the top items on your wish list?
Cee says that we can dream and let loose on our answers to this one. If I could have anything that I wanted in a new house? Beachfront property would be my number one wish. It wouldn’t need to be huge and expansive; just large enough to be comfortable with a sandy beach that I could step out my back door on to. If I really kicked up the dream, it would have a master bedroom with an ocean view and a hot tub on the balcony!
What would your answers to Cee’s questions be? Tell me in the comments or make a post of your own!

May 4, 2013

Wrapping Up Color

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 8:35 pm
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IMG_9657
It has taken me a week to do it, but I am back with a little wrap of the Color Photo Hunt! I’d say I was slacking, but I really haven’t been. I’ve been taking pictures and working outside and reveling in the fact that spring has really, truly arrived. My usual Saturday morning ritual of catching up with all of you over a cup of coffee was even put on hold for a visit to the garden center. Another blog post relating to that is still to come, but let me get on with the wrap-up!

Robin jumped in right away with a post about the color purple. She found a stunning variety of shots to showcase in purple. I don’t think she had to hunt too hard for her beautiful collection!

Joanne, my inspiration for this photo hunt, also brought us a lovely variety of photos of purple. Her purple Australian sunset is amazing! Joanne also includes the psychology of purple. Joanne has been delving into the psychology of colors, so I am happy to add a link to another post she did about blue. I just love the shot of the misty morning in this one.

Kathy found it pretty much impossible to choose one color to which she is drawn, so she chose them all! ROYGBIV is her favorite. I still remember learning that mnemonic device for the order of the colors of the rainbow when I was a child. Click here to have some fun checking out Kathy’s post!

Stacy did a color that many of us probably would not have considered when thinking about the colors that we are drawn to – she chose brown. For anyone who loves nature, this is really a perfect choice when you think about it!

Isa hadn’t even realized I had posted a photo hunt, but she happened to pop over and see my post and kindly asked if she could include a link to a recent post of hers about the color green. I said, “Mais bien sûr!” (French for “but of course!”) Well, I didn’t actually say that but I wish I had been witty like that at the time! Isa has a pretty collection of shots to remind us in those days without much color, that spring will someday arrive.

It wasn’t too hard to figure out what color Sybil would choose when it came to this challenge, even though she did try to trick us! If there is one blogger that I read that is a more hard-core gardening lover than me, it has to be Sybil, so her color naturally had to be green! I still remember Sybil’s response to Scott’s “Winter” photo challenge because it made me laugh and I totally agree.

Dawn was totally right when she said that I posted a photo hunt about color at a time when a lot of color was not easy to come by for those of us in the northern climes. But a color hunt would have been too easy in the middle of summer, wouldn’t it, Dawn? Dawn wracked her brain and came up with some beauties to feature about the color red and the joy that often goes with it.

Carol is another who had trouble choosing just one color to present in her photo hunt. She talked about neutrals, and burgundy and green, and gave us a nice peek into her life. I love blog posts that give us those little peeks, don’t you?

Indecisive bloggers turned out to be quite common in this photo hunt! But you know I’ve never been a stickler for the so-called “rules”. Sonali’s lovely post starts with a beautiful burst of yellow, which I thought was going to be her color choice, but she went on to present a pretty variety of colors.

Apparently I made Tamara worry that she wouldn’t get her post in on time! (Tamara – see that part in the last paragraph about me not being a stickler for rules, LOL!) Tamara is another lover of purple and has a sweet post presenting her favorites.

If you happened to miss my post (but probably not since I haven’t post anything else in a week, I’m guessing!) it was completely in the pink!
IMG_9651

I’m glad so many of you jumped in and enjoyed this photo hunt. I thank Joanne one more time for the inspiration. I can’t promise it with any regularity, but I will try to come up with a few more photo hunts in the future, oh, I don’t know, maybe when I feel like it? 😉

April 7, 2013

Looking Forward and Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 1:46 pm
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When I logged in to WordPress this morning, I noticed a little symbol in the upper right corner of the screen that I’d never seen before. For those of you who blog at WordPress, you know that little speech bubble icon that turns orange when you have a new comment or someone responds to a comment you made? Well this morning there was a little orange trophy-shaped icon in that spot. I clicked on it and this is what I saw:
blogo

It is probably hard to read, but it was a “Happy Anniversary” message from WordPress.  I started this blog 3 years ago yesterday.  My first blog post was pretty simple.  You can click right here if you are interested in reading it.  It was just a little introduction to my reasons for starting a blog.  Three years later, I’ve written 430 posts (this one is number 431), had 40,472 views and my busiest blog day ever was February 28, 2012 with 201 views.  I posted a photo-hunt wrap up that day, but those posts never garner that much attention, so I don’t what it was about that one.  Weirder still, rarely does a day go by that someone doesn’t view this post. It was from the week that I shared 7 different things about me.  It has the Big Bang Theory in it and a periodic  table of the elements.  “Periodic Table” is a search term that regularly brings views here, which also doesn’t make sense to me when there are so many science web sites out there.

Looking forward to what is to come in this blog, you can be sure I’ll be gearing up with more photography once things get  green again.
IMG_4417

This spring will be a busy one in this family. Both the girls are going to the prom. Graduation and preparations for going off to college for Meghan. Recital time too.
clocks1

I’ve got home improvement projects on my mind too. I’m working on trying to get the hubby to put down a new kitchen floor. I’ve shown you my kitchen a few times, here’s a picture from the midst of holiday baking that gives you a good look at the floor:
Disaster Area
This one is a few years old, and it is difficult to tell in this shot, but that white floor has gotten really dingy over the years.

Even more so than the floor, however, my dreams so often have been turning to one of these:
0de81409-54b3-4d05-acde-f052dd112369_300
I want a hot tub/spa in the worst way. I’ve tried selling hubby on the health benefits for us both, but I’ve yet to move him in a way that could make this happen. It is my belief that my stresses for any particular moment would just melt away if I had one of these in my backyard!

What did you think about my little peek at where I’ve been and where I’m going? Say hello in the comments and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear about any favorite posts you may have had, stuff you might like to see more of or hear more about (or even the stuff you think there should be less of!). I will likely always write about what moves me on a particular day, but if there’s a style of post or a subject you like, I might try to work more of those into my blogs. For me, the fun of blogging is the interacting, so tell me what makes you want to comment on a post.

March 9, 2013

Peeling Away the Layers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 3:44 pm
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>peeling layers
Hi there! I took a little blogging break without even really meaning to. Did you miss me? I did my best to still pop in on all of you.
The blogging muse in my mind has been quiet for a while. She has a tendency to do that when it is gray outside. That’s how it has been around here for a couple weeks. Gray, snowy, rainy, drizzly, wintery-mixy. Until today. The sun came out and it is 50° outside.
Snow is melting.
drip, drip, drip
Water is flowing.
the brook is back
Sap is running.
the sap is running
And I feel like peeling away the layers. The layers of warm winter clothing. The layers of dry winter skin. The layers of the few extra pounds that I probably put on this winter. The layers of cabin-fever cobwebs building up in my mind. A sunny 50° day in March can do that.
As a life-long New Englander, I’m not naive enough to believe that Old Man Winter is done with us BUT I’m finally starting to feel that spring is around the corner. A colleague and I were discussing how the birdsong has changed recently, as though the birds know that spring’s arrival is imminent.
While the dogs and I were walking today, I was stopped in our path by the sounds of many red-winged blackbirds cavorting in the trees above the stream. I was unable to get any pictures of them, but I did find this video on YouTube providing the sound that I heard:

Surely that’s a sign of spring.
Cedric enjoyed the sunshine today as well.
sunbeam Cedric
Several blogger friends have me contemplating for days ahead of us.
Scott has announced his photo assignment for the month of March: Black and White Photography. I told Scott he’d chosen my personal bugaboo when it comes to photography. I don’t have confidence in my choices for black and white photos, and often, I don’t react well to black and white photography. It is a challenge for sure.
Kate has me aching to find a wildlife sanctuary within day-trip driving distance of my home with her adorable photos of otters and ducks and other wonderful creatures.
Kathy has me thinking about thinking. She asks a wonderful question: What am I alive to discover? I’ve been asking myself similar questions recently, but Kathy asks it most poignantly. I’m definitely going to need to peel away some layers in my mind and soul to search for the answer(s) to that one.

February 20, 2013

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

I had big photography and blogging plans for this week, my winter break from school.  Here it is Wednesday, mid-week already, and do you think I’ve followed through?  You can probably guess the answer from the title of this blog post!

I fully intended to participate in the Great Backyard Count like I did last year, and I even had a list of the birds that I saw this past Saturday afternoon. I looked for it Sunday morning and >>POOF<< it was gone! Don’t you hate it when that happens? With the loss of the list, I decided not to participate, but I did still take a few bird pictures.
downy woodpecker and carolina wren

downy woodpecker and carolina wren (2)

The little downy woodpecker (the bird on the left) has been a very regular visit to the suet cake. Now that I’ve identified the carolina wren, I seem to notice them all the time. Does that ever happen to you? You identify something new that you are interested in and then you see it all the time? Best example I can think of for this phenomenon is when you are thinking about buying a new car. You start researching the possibilities that are in your price range and decide what you think you are going to buy, then all of a sudden you see that type of car everywhere. Or is that just me?

One of my other so-called excuses for not getting out there to take pictures is getting ready for my daughter’s 18th birthday party this coming Saturday. I’m finding it difficult to believe that I will be the parent of a legal adult! Did I ever show you any of her senior portraits?

Image (2)

We are also awaiting workmen in the house this week. I have a double gas wall oven that I have loved for a long time.
Goodbye old oven!
We actually re-did the kitchen when I was pregnant for Meghan so many appliances in the kitchen are also 18 years old. You probably remember my dishwasher woes from Christmastime, right? Well, the top oven stopped working last summer. To make a very long story short, it made horrible high pitched beeping noises and the control panel has been melted in our efforts to muddle through. We’ve been using the bottom oven only for months now. Replacing this oven has been quite the ordeal because apparently double gas wall ovens are now a rarity. To find one comparable in size to the one we have would cost somewhere in the ballpark of $6000! No, that’s not a typo on the number of zeroes there. So, we’ve had to purchase an electric double wall oven instead.

Of course you can’t just shove an electric oven in where a gas one used to be. We’ve been jumping through hoops to find an electrician who would run the line for us at a reasonable price and finding installers who would cap the gas line and coordinate with the electrician for a time to pull the old oven out. We had an appointment at 8:30 this morning for workmen to arrive. It is 10:00 while I’m typing this post – we’re still waiting.

The sun is out today and I’m hoping perhaps the wind will be less brutal than it has been over the last few days. I’m still hoping to get out photo-hunting. If I do, I’ll be back with another post before I head back to school on Monday.

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