Sunday, July 27, 2014

Still life...back lighting...

"Let your light so shine before men, that they see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." -Matthew 5:16

In one of my online classes, Be Still 52, offered by Kim Klassen, we had a lesson in back lighting.  She suggested we find a subject to photograph with light coming from behind the object or subject.  Sometimes this is difficult to do because the subject will often come out as a silhouette.  We were not supposed to have a silhouette, but a photo that showed detail in a subject.  To  do so requires changing several settings on your camera.  I had a few roses that were sort of on their way other words wilting... that I decided to use as my subject.  I really liked the softness of the photos.
Here are my results.  I like them all.  It was a good exercise.

textures: kk_perfectly pink, soft light 100%, 2 Lil' Owls: brown texture, soft light 100%

light room preset: kk_darkmood

Friday, July 25, 2014

Family...catching up...

"Family is one of nature's masterpieces." -George Santayana

Before I get into the family, I wanted to share my "finds" with you.  First, here is a photo of my first sunflower in my yard.  Although I planted a lot of seeds, only two sunflower plants came up.  I think the birds found the seeds, and had a nice feast.
texture: kk_simple, softlight 100%, portioned masked off.
 My second find is of the doors and windows at NMMI.  I love, love, love the way they used photos on the doors and windows.
I am linking up my finds with Kim Klassen's Friday finds.  Go on over and take a peek at all the finds from other people.  They are pretty awesome.

Kim Klassen dot Com

Now on to the family...
Members of my family have come to visit...I did not get around to posting the pictures.  We have gone to visit family...I did not post many of pictures.  We have done some fun family things her...I did not get pictures posted of them either.  Today is my catching up day.  Lots of family photos today.

Luke came to visit while he was on a business trip here...a long time ago.  I think it was early June. He had the opportunity to go riding on three mornings, bright and early.  He did talk his older brother into joining them on two of the days.  No flats, no wrecks= a good rides.

Dad and Luke
 When Luke left from the visit, he went to Georgia where he participated in his first triathlon with an ocean swim.  He placed first in his division, and I happen to think it was because he got to train with his family.  Family time always makes a better.  I think.
Photo by Jordan, not me even though I have my name on it.  I automatically watermark all my web photos.  This should have Jordan's name on it.
While Luke was here, the family teamed up for some fast and furious games of foosball.  I am not sure who won, or if it even mattered...wait, when it comes to brother vs. brother who wins always matters, right?  Regardless, they all had a great time.

Foosball action.
Next we have photos from Zach's family.  Thank goodness for smartphones...Photos sent by phone alway make me feel like part of the action.  Zach was good to send me some photos of their summer time adventures.
Zach's little one...styling.  Future model?

Ready for swimming.

The family.  Look at the size of the hibiscus flowers behind them.  Gorgeous.

There's nothing better than a father's love.

Okay, I think this pictures looks like she is in a dollhouse...don't you think so too?

More selfies...they are the best.

For the fourth of July, Warren and I traveled to see Mark, and his family.  Mark was the main chef for our meal on the 4th, but Warren managed to get some flipping in too.  They did a great job with the cooking all the food.
Top and bottom right: Warren and Mark flipping and cooking; left lower...our soon to be cooked meal.

upper left: Mark and his dad: upper right: Amber and Oliver, Bottom: Mark

The Main chef

Luke had another triathlon...this one was in his own neck of the woods.  He placed first in his division.  Here he is holding his winnings, and looking a lot thinner.  He and Jordan have cut the carbs like the rest of all the family.  Luke is down 20 pounds, and Jordan, 7.  Yeah family.
The triathlete...Congratulations! (photo by Jordan)

I couldn't have a family posting without photos of the twins, and their mom.  It looks like everyone is having a good time.
Twins, and mom soaking up the summer fun! (Photo by Jordan)

Warren has been watching the Tour de France...every single hour of it, and there is a lot of hours.  He uses some of his time during the lunch hour to watch a few minutes of it.  Today, he was joined in his "lie down" by Maggie.  She had no interest in the Tour though.  She prefers napping.  I interrupted her nap with trying to get photos.

Maggie and Warren

She's trying to ignore me.

That's all Folks

Friday, July 18, 2014

Goodness all many finds...and fat bombs...

"Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try." -unknown

I have a ritual each morning.  It all started when I was trying to figure out how to get into some consistent quiet time.  Something I know I could do the rest of my life rather than tuck it in where ever it fit into my day.  I am not an early riser, so I could not be like Beth Moore who goes daily in the wee hours of the morning to sit on her back porch to spend time with God.  I am one who likes to wake up gradually, and lie in bed awhile before my feet hit the floor.  I decided I would listen to my favorite preacher, Alistair Begg's, daily broadcast, truthforlife, while waking up.  I downloaded his app for my iPad, and that is how I do my quiet time each day.  It is about 20 minutes of the best preaching you will ever hear.  There is also a daily devotion, and Bible reading in the New and Old Testament.  They even have the Bible reading in audio, so you can play it while reading along. This is particularly nice when there are all those unpronounceable names that I usually skip over rather than try to figure them out.   This morning Alistair ended by reading an mini article someone sent to him.  I absolutely loved it...

"If a Christian would take the form of a flower, what would it be?  Some would say a rose, a tulip, and yet others would say a daffodil.  I, on the other hand, say a Christian is called to be a dandelion because a dandelion has all the attributes of a Christian witness.

  • A dandelion is the first hope in the spring...
  • A dandelion is the first expression of love, for it the first "flower" usually given to a mother by a small child...
  • A dandelion makes itself known in the neighborhood quickly...
  • A dandelion is not conscious of class, and equally casts itself on the rich and poor...
  • A dandelion provides beauty, and color where nothing else will grow...
  • A dandelion can be cut, trampled, dug up, or pulled up, and still bounces back with its witness as though nothing happened...
  • A dandelion is a victim of slander, for some people call it a weed, but it pushes on undaunted to conqueror the world...
  • A dandelion is very neighborly.

Wouldn't it be great if we would all act and witness like dandelions."

I just feel like God has been so good to me with all the beauty He has let me see in the things around me.  Here are a few examples of His blessings.

I went with my fellow photographers to try to get some wonderful shots of the "Supermoon" that happened on July 11th.  I have seen these amazing photos with trees, animals, homes, bridges, and cities silhouetted against the moon.   I wanted to get one.  This is what the moon is supposed to look like.  This is not my photo!  I wish it was though.

Our photos of the moon did not turn out like this.  My moon looked like this...and this is enlarged many, many, many, many sort of looked like a dot in the original photo.
My moon looked so lonely, I added stars and a quote.

We were outside of town with all the jack pumps again.  Our intent was to photograph the moon beside the pump...the moon was supposed to be really big.  In this picture,  see that glow to the upper right of the pump? That is the moon...rather tiny.  Definitely not the super moon we were hoping to photograph.   If I zoomed in on the moon, then the only part of the pump I could get in the picture was maybe a screw.

If my pump jack was in focus,  then the moon was out of focus, and vice versa.  A still pump jack.

Then all of a sudden the still pump,  started pumping.  It about scared us to death.  Three ladies out in the middle of nowhere, and we are pretty much cowards.
The pumping pump jack.  I thought this was pretty cool.

The next pictures were taken on our (Warren and I went to see Mark and his wife) return trip from Denver.  Warren was so good to stop along the way when I spotted something I thought would make a good picture.  He even turned around, and did not complain about it.  I cannot spot these great photo opportunities in advance.  I see them as we are speeding by.  A figure of speech.  Warren and I do not speed.  We do not want tickets.  If my boys are reading this, pay attention to the last part, and do not speed.  Your father and I are good examples for you.
I thought these horses were lovely.  They thought I had something to feed them.  

These horses were expecting an apple, or two.  When I did not produce any thing good to eat, they turned their backs on me and ran off.  Hmmm.
Leaving me in the food, so photos.

If you look closely at this picture of barbed wire...which I saw a picture of just barbed wire one time in a museum piece with a price tag of $1500.  If anyone wants to buy this picture, I will sell it to you for $25.  It is a good investment...I am sure the price will only go up...Okay, back to my original thought...If you look closely at this picture, you can see the horses faintly in the background behind the barbed wire.  See now, I know you will want to buy this picture.  It is of barbed wire, and horses. Sure to become a collector's item.
See the horses?

Those of us who make the trip to Albuquerque from Roswell have seen this abandoned house on the left side of the road right before Vaughn.  I love this house...I finally got a picture of it.
Abandoned house
Since our moon pictures were such a bust, my friend and I decided to scout out a place to try another technique for photographing the moon.  Again...out in the middle of nowhere.  These cows were very curious about us.  Aren't this cute?   We had a storm that night.  We never got to go out.  The next super moon is August 10th.  Maybe I will get a better moon shot then.
Who are you, and what are you doing in my pasture?

lovely cow

We have tons of squirrels in our backyard.  This is not in our backyard.  I chase away the squirrels in our backyard, because they are destroying our trees.  This was at  friend's in Ruidoso who feeds them.  I think they are cute when they are somewhere other than in my yard.  When they are in my yard, I think of them as rodents.  I definitely do not feed them.
Squirrel or rodent?  Which do you have?

This sunflower was on the side of the road.  Yes, I made Warren stop, so I could get a picture.  I would like to have these in my backyard instead of squirrels.

Finally, I am on day 12 of my ketogenic diet.  It has been  hard getting in all the required fat.  I have had a visit to my cardiologist, and I just want to say those old diets of low fat, and more carbs, can kill you.  New studies have shown that a diet high in the good fats, moderate protein, and low carb are healthy, and better for you.  I have to stay on a ketogenic diet.  I have some health issues...maybe.  I have several tests in the next few weeks to determine exactly what is happening inside of my body.  I have found two amazing websites full of great information.  One my niece told me about...her twins are on a ketogenic diet.  It is the Charlie foundation.  It has all kinds of information, recipes, and videos.  The second one is the  It has some equally great information.  Be sure to visit both of these websites.  Since I have trouble getting in all my fats, I started making  "fat bombs."    I found these on the keto diet blog.  I made the "leto coconut fat bombs."  Absolutely delicious.

I have the recipe with all the proportions and ingredients after all my pictures.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spread unsweetened flaked coconut on a baking sheet, and brown.  It takes about 5-8 minutes.

Transfer the toasted coconut into a blender, and pulse until smooth.  Depending on the oil content of your coconut, you will get a fine powder, or a runny consistency.  Runny is better, but mine did not turn out that way.  I used it anyway...there are better pictures on the website.

Add softened butter, and coconut oil. Add cinnamon or vanilla, stevia, and salt.  Mix well.  Pour into mini muffin forms or an ice tray.  I used the mini cupcake papers, and this recipe filled 12.  Place in the refrigerator.
 When firm, this is what they look like.  Try to resist eating them all.  They are so good.  Eat and enjoy.
These are so, so good
Here's the recipe:
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp. cinnamon or extract from 1 vanilla bean.  I did not have a vanilla bean so I used the cinnamon
1 or 2 packages of stevia...sweeten to your taste...if using stevia drops-20-25
pinch of salt.

I am linking up to Kim Klassen's Friday finds.  Pop on over and see what others have found.  I have found some wonderful blogs by doing this.
Kim Klassen dot Com

Be blessed. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

A baby photo shoot...and Friday finds

"A new baby is like the beginning of all things...wonder, hope, and a dream of possibilities." -Eda J. LeShan

Look what I found...a baby.  Don't worry it's not mine.  A long time friend, and neighbor's daughter had a baby.  What a photo opportunity!  There is nothing like a baby...truly a gift from God.  Welcome to Bennett Rose...her brothers think she's pretty awesome, too.

Bennet Rose

Bennett and her two brothers


Kim Klassen dot Com

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Oliver, and Mark...

He is your friend,
your partner, your defender,
Your Dog.
You are his life, his love, his leader.
He will be yours...faithful, and true
to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him 
to be worthy of such devotion.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mark inspired homemade protein bars...and texture Tuesdays...

"Life is like photography.  You use the negatives to develop."-unknown

For the 4th of July, Warren and I spent it with our son, Mark, and his family. Mark has been a proponent of a Ketogenic diet for quite sometime now, and others of us are gradually warming up to this way of thinking.  In particular, me.  I have always had trouble with my Cholesterol being high, and when I was on medication for it, my joints ached so badly that I stopped taking it.  Hence, I have tried to manage it by diet.  Recently, a local clinic offered a "super test" which included a lipid profile that tested for more than your standard lipid profile.  I found out I have two of my lipoproteins that put me at risk for stroke, or heart disease.   When I went in to discuss my results with my doctor, I was told to cut my carbs even more than what I do now. (85-100 carbs/day).  So now, I am on a strict ketogenic diet following the guidelines from a website by Dr. Peter Attia called the eating academy.  I will have results of this diet later when I go for another blood test, so stay tuned for updates.  Mark makes his own protein bars, since those found on the market are so high in sugars, and carbs.  Inspired by his idea, I made my own version of protein bars.

I call these Coconut Cashew Protein Bars.  I was careful to measure all the ingredients, so I could determine the nutritional information.  This recipe makes 4 bars.

2 TBS. almond butter
1 TB. of coconut oil
1 scoop of protein powder.  I use the Nectar brand, flavor vanilla bean.  It has zero carbs.
1 TB. unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped
9 cashews
1 TB. cream

Mix, shape into long narrow rectangle, cut into 4 bars.  Wrap in wax paper, and refrigerate.  These are so good.  The nutritional breakdown: Calories: 127.5; fat: 12.6 gms; Protein: 8.1 gms; Carbs: 4.0

The carbs come from the Almond Butter, and cashews.  Nuts not only have fat, but carbs as well.

Today, I made chocolate protein cashews, add 1 TB. of hershey's cocoa.  Equally good.  The cost is so cheap compared to the ones on the market.  They taste better, too.

So thank you, Mark.  And since it is texture Tuesday on Kim Klassen's blog, I texturized a photo of my son, Mark, since he inspired me.  He dreams of marketing his Protein bars one day.  Be mindful that I grunged him up quite a lot, and added an urban feel.  I added Kim Klassen's texture called kk_moremagic with all the wonderful type written words.  I felt this texture was appropriate since he has inspired me to create a healthy lifestyle for myself.

Be blessed today everyone!
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