Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Motley Collection

Headstone at Mater Dolorosa, the little cemetery next to Happy Days Conference Center. Wonder if the builders intended that irony.  Read up on memento mori today, brought to mind because of the plant closing. Yep, all flesh is grass, but does thinking about make it any less frightening?
 

Let's think about deer instead. You may have heard that cars make good blinds, animals just ignore you as long as you're in the car. Nope. They scatter the second they see a camera and all you get is a pixelated blur. Next time, you white-tailed devils - next time!


Little park at the end of 306 in Mentor. The lake was still jammed up with ice, but plenty of people stopped to take a look, no doubt hoping for Spring. Picture this with blue skies, dappled shade and picnics.


The herons are pairing up. Apparently, the sticks met mama's standards. Kind of breezy, swirling up their topknots and neck feathers.


Battered. I've lost count of how many times I've made this cake. Lots of apples and cinnamon, perfect for cold weather.

 
A motley collection, mid-way through March.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Home Stuff

Chuck's Big BIG Birthday cake. He's not really older than dirt, although you would know if from the gag gifts his friends gave him. And meat - Mike, Paul and Keith gave him a couple of pounds of bacon, beef sticks, jerky, and a big honkin' steak, mmmm-MMMmm for my honey the carnivore!
 
 
March 16 and the crocuses are peeking out.

 
The Thanksgiving book for my family - I probably should print out the pictures before next Thanksgiving.


I have a bunch of toys horses given to me over the years - this one came from a friend at work.


Cinnamon Crunch bagel from Panera - yummy, but probably not a nutritionally sound dinner.


Middle of March and Mother Nature can't decide whether it's Spring or Winter still.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Good Week

Finally, home for a while. Took a peaceful walk in the neighborhood, just around sunset. The economy must be picking up - there are houses for sale and sold, and new houses being built.
 

Chuck's birthday cake. We went out to dinner and just had a nice evening together.


Summer hat, wishful thinking right now.


This saucy little fellow is a house finch. Mama looks similar, but doesn't have the rosy highlights.


Getting ready for Chuck's Big BIG Birthday Party - twice baked potatoes. I made two sheet cake pans full, and there wasn't a one left. The recipe is really easy, too, and can be made a day ahead.

 
So glad to be home, and to have something to celebrate.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Week Ending in Herons

One day at home in a week of travel. Chuck took me to dinner at a quirky Kent restaurant called Wild Goats. They serve brinner, breakfast for dinner. This is his favorite hot sauce, which he liberally applies to his breakfast burrito.
 

Then off to "sunny" Florida: day one, monsoon; day two, 55 degrees, exactly one degree warmer than home; day three (Saturday), lovely and we headed for the airport at 11 am, of course! The view from my hotel room.


Love this dolphin statue - so exuberant!


Ah, Chipotle. Decent food, no resort prices.


After all the travel craziness, I needed some time outside. So we (me and my 80 - 400 mm lens, roughly the size of a small cow) went to the Bath Road heronry to shoot some herons. Look at this handsome devil - decorating for his lady-love.


And with that, I will say goodnight.

Monday, April 7, 2014

More Changes, Some Good, Some Bad, Some Bittersweet

The last day of February, I said goodbye to my Honda. I tried to get it washed before turning it in, but it was a nice afternoon after weeks of rotten weather and all the car washes had lines a mile long. The Accord was a great car, reliable, safe and solid. It did have one quirk, though. It did not like to plow through snow. It liked to ride up over the snow until the drive wheel was off the ground. Can't tell you how many times that happened. You'd think the driver would have learned.
 
Good car - I'll miss it.

 
And this is my new car. Pearl white, light grey cloth interior, AWD. No more perching. Plenty of room for bags of mulch, suitcases and camera gear. More adventures ahead!
 

Mom's, March 1 - daffodils already popping up. Spring is on its way.


Breakfast with Chuck at Yours Truly.


My room at the Cleveland Renaissance, sales meeting week. Very short meeting, long enough to announce the plant closing, followed by a subdued awards dinner at the Hard Rock in Tower City. Not that you'd got there for the food, but it was so-so at best.
 
 
Had a chance to shoot a little bit of Public Square while waiting for a colleague for the trip home. Same window I looked out a hundred years ago when I was with Avery. The view was pretty much the same, minus a few police cars.
 
 
The sun will come out tomorrow, tomorrow...
 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Is Mom a Martian?

Hmmm, hard to tell. If she is, we must be alien space babies.
 

Cute little waterfall, tucked under Rt. 82 in Brecksville.

 
Apple Blossom, blooming away. My neighbors actually peeked in the basement windows to see what was going on with the plant lights. A tad cheeky, don't you think?


Bellacino's, yum. And there's always enough for tomorrow's lunch.


Mom (or the alien posing as Mom), gave me this mustard pot. It's been in the family for a while. Note the phoenix, apparently rising from the flames of Chinese hot mustard.


That's it for tonight. Almost through February's photos and it's already April.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Flowers and Favorites and iPhone Photos at Night

Flowers from Heinen's - 3 huge bunches for $12! I felt like I hit the motherlode on a particularly gloomy February day. (yes, I am a tad behind in posting...)
 

I hacked the amaryllis down in September, when they came indoors for the winter. In late December, I turned on the plant lights and gave them some Miracle-Gro. The flowers this year have been spectacular. You just have to be confident that not watering from September to late December will produce good results. A peach amaryllis is blooming in the living room today, and another stem of 'Apple Blossom' is just about ready to go.

 
Love.these.boots. As Mother Nature is my witness, there has never been a more comfortable pair of hikers made. Merrill Moab waterproof hikers - got them on sale at Gander Mountain.


iPhones do a lot of things well. They even do a good job on photos in decent light. They do not do a great job at night without a lot of contrast. And grain, holy mackerel! This is the burly Civilian Conservation Corp worker who stands outside the entrance to Happy Days Conference Center in CVNP.

 
I'm not much for rings - they catch on everything, and I'm always sure I'm going to yank out the stone. This one is so pretty, silver swirl and amethyst. Worth the annoyance to wear. Occasionally. This was a 50mm 1.8F. Barely got the stone and clips in focus, the depth of field is so shallow.