30 Day Facial Challenge

Today’s 30 Day Facial Challenge is Day 8-

RAWR FACE

RAWR FACE

BUT Paula Deen’s sister came by and challenged me…here is her face

I still think I’m scarier. LOL.

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30 Days of Creativity~Day 24

That’s right, I still haven’t finished the 30 Days of Creativity and it’s been more like 90 Days of Creativity. Anyway, here’s day 24.

Today’s creation involves cooking. I had lots of organically grown tomatoes. These were not just regular tomatoes but good old-fashioned, heirloom tomatoes. I chose heirlooms because compared to the store-bought conventional ones these are just meatier and better tasting. One was a huge Brandywine, as big as my two palms held side by side. When I make a sauce or gravy as some call it I add sweet pepper, onions, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, a small amount of chopped carrot to offset the acidity of the tomatoes, and tons of chopped tomatoes. I let it cook for three hours until it boiled down into a very delicious sauce. I cannot eat vegetables because of what the fiber does to my IBS but I had to try some and of course I had some more, so hopefully I will not pay for this tomorrow.

DELIZIOSO!

fresh basil is wilted in the pan with the garlic

chopped sweet peppers

fresh Roma tomatoes

assorted cherry tomatoes

the sauce as its cooking

the cook being crazy

MANGIA

30 Days of Creativity~Day 24

Today was another Sunday spent taking some photos around my garden. The weather is pretty hot today but I don’t find the humidity unbearable. I cut the grass yesterday so I didn’t have to worry about much of anything and that’s the way I like my Sundays. I like to take it easy on one day just like when I was growing up. Sundays were reserved as a day of rest and you were not supposed to make lots of noise. So, it’s a lazy day for me and my creativity is flowers and my backyard but with a twist. My camera has a feature that will convert the photo into a sketch and this is what it looks like.

stained glass zinnia

view of my back patio

I’d never used this feature before but it gives the photo an interesting effect. Reminds me of when I was a kid and I loved to color in coloring books. I can also just make an outline image too so if I ever feel like doing just that with my own photos, I can make a coloring book and break out the crayons on some rainy day and color to my heart’s content. I’ll have to remember that if I ever get bored.

I hope you’re all having a good day today.

30 Days of Thanks~Day 7

Today I wanted to write how thankful I am to be an immigrant. Then I started thinking aren’t we really all immigrants. I’m thinking back to the days when the world was one big ice ball, the days of Pangaea and after. I used to love that part of history or as it was conveniently called Ancient History when I went to school. I’m not going to look up all the paleolithic names because I haven’t got the brain matter left to do those things since starting these pills but I’ll just say……..”When I was a kid…wait a minute, I’m not THAT old….how about when my father was a boy? (there, that’s better) the earth was still forming its continents and the plates were moving about and man eventually began moving about too. So aren’t we all just immigrants somehow, someway?

Okay Dot, you’re off your rocker.

I’m thankful for being the daughter of a LEGAL IMMIGRANT. There, that’s what I’ve been trying to say all along. My father immigrated here from Norway in 1926 and came through Ellis Island. I’m especially grateful his father settled in Boston and decided not to go out into the Midwest along with many of the other Scandinavians. I love living in Boston even though there are very few Norwegians here. I was raised to be an American and we only spoke English. I wanted to learn Norwegian but that was forbidden as we lived in America. As an adult I understand but it would have been cool to know another language. So, I’m lucky and thankful, I don’t have to go through the misery that people have to go through today that try to get into my country and even with the problems here I don’t see droves of people packing up to leave either. Thank you to my grandfather and to my Dad. Or maybe I should say MANGE TAKK!

 

my grandfather, father, and aunts

 

30 Days of Creativity~Day 23

It was a beautiful Sunday here, blue skies and sunny and the temps have dropped to 70 degrees. The type of day that one could fall asleep in a hammock if so inclined. But I feel that’s wasteful, even though I didn’t sleep much last night because I’ve been suffering from insomnia. I have to stay around my house though because of my Dad so I took some photos of my garden and the buggies. That’s what you get for today’s creativity…..my laziness, bugs, and stuff like that.

Dragonflies are my favorite. There will always be one that is captivated by the camera. It will stay still as if it wants its photo taken no matter how close I get to it.

We have a new baby bunny (I’m sure there is more than one) but this one has seems to be the same one and he keeps coming back every day. I was surprised to see him acclimatized already, as I approached the bench he didn’t even move. Later he grew tired of watching me and went into the next yard.

The new baby bunny surveys the seating arrangements.

Do you think I look good from my left side?

My yellow ‘Black-Eyed Susan Vine, one of my favorite and easy to grow vines.

Waiting for these to ripen.

I planted these ‘Zagreb’ coreopsis for my mother almost 20 years ago and they are still performing strongly.

One of my eggplants are flowering.

The sweet green peppers are finally budding after we got some hot days this past week.

These are just some of the photos I took but I won’t bore you to death with more of them. It was just nice to have an enjoyable day and not feel depressed like I have been lately. Hope you all had a good day too.

30 Days of Thanks~Day 6

Today I am thankful for the honeybees, bumblebees, butterflies and moths, some beetles and wasps, bats, birds, and hummingbirds. These are especially important because they are pollinators. And this week is National Pollinator Week. Did you know that bees carry an electrostatic charge which helps the grains of pollen stick to their body? Some bees have a structure called the corbicula which is similar to a basket to carry the pollen.

bumblebee pollinator

Honey bees are by far the most important commercial pollinating agents. Honey bees travel from flower to flower, collectingnectar (later converted tohoney), and pollen grains. The bee collects the pollen by rubbing against the anthers. The pollen collects on the hind legs, in a structure referred to as a “pollen basket”. As the bee flies from flower to flower, some of the pollen grains are transferred onto the stigma of other flowers.

Nectar provides the energy for bee nutrition; pollen provides the protein. When bees are rearing large quantities of offspring  (beekeepers say hives are “building”), bees deliberately gather pollen to meet the nutritional needs of the brood. A honey bee that is deliberately gathering pollen is up to ten times more efficient as a pollinator than one that is primarily gathering nectar and only unintentionally transferring pollen.

Some of the plants and trees that bees pollinate are: strawberry, sunflowers, apples, vanilla, tomatoes, grape, beans, coffee, and cocoa (chocolate!!!). Who wants to give up these items??

Unfortunately you may certainly have to pay a higher price for all the items that are pollinated by pollinators because of what is known as “bee die-off”. An insecticide called neonicotinoids which is sprayed on the fields causes the bees to suffer a breakdown of their navigational abilities leading to paralysis and death. Eventually the bees contaminate the entire hive. You can read more abut this issue here: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2012/04/06/common-pesticide-implicated-bee-colony-collapse-disorder/

and here: http://greenanswers.com/news/281465/bayer-making-bees-go-extinct          At the previous website you can sign a petition against the pesticides use.

dead bees in front of hive

I am an avid environmentalist and organic gardener and this issue is near and dear to my heart. Therefore I am VERY VERY thankful for the insect and other pollinators that create our food chain and I am looking forward to the day when usage of this poison is stopped.

30 Days of Thanks-Day 2

Being a photographer one thing I am very thankful for is my eyesight. Each day when I am greeted by a new day whether it is a sunny one or a rainy one, whether I am happy or depressed I can surely say I am forever thankful to SEE it.

I’ve had a close call with my eyesight too. Back in 1987 I was filling my lawn mower with gasoline when the fill spout flipped out of the mower and splashed the gasoline into my face and into my eyes. At the time I wore contact lenses instead of glasses. I can assure you nothing feels quite like gasoline in the eyes, except maybe giving birth without any pain killers. My eyes were on fire! The first instinct was to shut them but I needed to get inside the house to a sink to rinse the gasoline out! So I did my best to keep them open and made my way inside to the kitchen. Then I had to remove my contact lenses and hold my eyes open under the running water. Honestly I don’t know how I managed to do this except for the fact that I knew that I had to. My sister was visiting at the time with my nephews who were only very small at the time and I told one of them to run up stairs to get her. She was terrified that I was blinded and like a good sister was no help what so ever. She did manage to drive me to the local emergency room for continued treatment though. Luckily the water had rinsed away most of the gasoline and since I had acted so quickly there was no residual damage.

Ever since then I have never worn contact lenses again though because I realize that glasses do protect the eyes more than contacts. I’ll never forget the pain I felt nor how lucky I was. The day could have ended very differently. Every time I see something now it’s a gift. Maybe that’s why I have over 11,000 photos on Flickr…lol.