Friday, July 18, 2014

Goodness all around...my 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 times...it 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 dust...no 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 ketodietapp.com.  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

Henry

Elliott
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.
                       -unknown

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 bars...no 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!

Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4th...

"Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." -Benjamin Franklin

Happy Birthday America!  July 4, 1776 our nation was born.  It is my favorite holiday.  We are breaking tradition of our backyard BBQ with friends and family, and spending it with my son, Mark, and his wife, Amber...and our grand dog, Oliver.  Last night we went to a Rockies game at Coors Field.  There is nothing I'd rather do than watch a baseball game...baseball, or softball: it is in my blood.
Coors field
The Rockies were playing the Dodgers...we were for the Dodges as were most of the fans that were seated around us.  It was a close, fantastic game with the Dodgers pulling it out in the top of the 9th...winning 3-2.


Mark and Amber
Me and my man...heart throb for sure...

The gang...intently watching
After the game, there was a fireworks show.  I have to say, I have never experienced such an amazing display.  It was spectacular to see, pounding to hear, and you felt it in your chest...absolutely astounding.

video
I love the lyrics from "America the Beautiful."
"America, America
God shed His grace on thee
and crown thy good
with brotherhood
from see to shining sea."

Painted flag wooden palette in the front of our house

May our flag forever wave...
May we never take for granted all that was given, and the cost of our freedom.  Happy July 4th.  Be Blessed, and God Bless America...my home sweet home.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Little foxes...and lost things...

"Do you know that nothing in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God, and loving the people He has made." -Francis Chan

I live in town.  On a fairly busy street.  So it is amazing the amount of wildlife I have on my property, or near it.  We have, or should I say had raccoons...that were having a wonderful time making a mess on our back porch.  I trapped about 7 of them.  Game and Fish came, and removed them.  We have skunks...bad news for sure, and stinky.  I have lost count of how many skunk I have trapped.  Animal control comes to get the skunks. Only they shoot them before they remove them, and our yard stinks pretty bad.  We had gophers...we got rid of those ourselves.  We have lots of squirrels that are destroying our trees.  I am still trying to get rid of them.  We have turtles, butterflies, and several varieties of birds...including hawks, and buzzards.  I do not want the last two kinds of birds.  I am having a hard time getting rid of them, too.  Down a couple of houses, there was a rattlesnake.  Just down the block, there is a den of foxes.  They are out in an empty field with a church, and houses nearby.  There is a construction site across the street.  I do not know why these foxes like it there, but they do.  Right in town with all kinds of activity nearby.   This morning I got up early enough to get some photos of the foxes activities.

See the house in the background...these foxes are in my neighborhood.

And there is a lot of traffic...

Here they all are.  Only one seems concerned I am there.



He does not seem to worry too much about me being there if he can sleep.

Look at the little fox's hind leg...you can see the leg bone in the light of the sun.  Such a lovely tail.

Remember I told you I lost my notebook with all my quotes in it?  This morning when we were on our way out the door, I could not find the notebook I take to church.  Warren told me I should make a list of all the things I have lost, then we should make more of an effort to find them.  Let's see...two notebooks, a check, SD card, my glasses...and that is this week.  I need to figure out how to stop losing things.  Be blessed.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Milky Way and Stars...

"The heavens declare the Glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork." -Psalms 19:1

Last night was a new moon, which means the moon is totally black, which means it is very dark outside.  This is a perfect time to take photos of the night sky.  Since night sky photography needs total darkness, it is better to be in the country...away from the city lights.   Our photography club decided to take advantage of the blackness to photograph the sky, and do a little bit of light painting.  To do light painting, there has to be some object to light paint.  One of our members suggested using the oil jack pumps east of town as our subject.  It was a fantastic suggestion.  Several had scouted the area before the night.  We were warned that a couple of snakes had been spotted, including a rattlesnake.  Thankfully, we did not see any snakes, but we encountered  tons of bugs.  Very annoying.  Especially when they go down the front of your blouse.  Bugs aside, I think it was well worth all the effort.

Getting set up...photo by Stephanie DeFranco

This photo was taken right after sunset.  I think it is amazing how much light the camera picks up.

The stars are starting to come out.

I have no idea what the line is above the pump jack.  It might be a meteor, an airplane, or bug.

Here the Milky Way is just starting to rise.  It is the white cloud like formation about half way up the horizon.  Many of our participants had not seen the Milky Way, nor did they know that it rises, and sets like the sun and moon.

A better view of the Milky Way.  To light paint, cameras are set at a high shutter speed (25-30 seconds).  During this time someone takes a flashlight, and paints light on the subject for about 1-5 seconds.  The subject is lit quite nicely...if it was not painted, it would be black.  Our painter, Gennean, was an excellent painter.  She should hire herself out for this.

This photo was painted a little longer.


The Milky Way really shows up in this photo...along with all our cars. (to the right of the jack pump)

My last photo of the night...
I was so glad there was a group of us that went out...otherwise, it would have been a little scary.
Be blessed.
 
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