Nov 292015
 

Progression of a picture

My father took this picture of a field of sunflowers near my parents farm. I always loved this picture, but the sky was very boring and the colors were muted, so I decided to try to fix it.

Sunflower Field Original

I added a blue sky from another picture. I would have posted that picture as well, but I can’t remember which one I used. I also intensified the color of the sunflowers some, but not so much that it took on a fake look.

Sunflower Field Color & Sky Edit

Snowbell is a very energetic kitty and taking pictures of her was actually more difficult than editing the pictures themselves. I chased her all over the house with the camera. When she wasn’t running away from me or turning away from the camera, she was trying to get me to pay attention to her by rubbing up against the camera almost knocking it out of my hands. While she was in front of the window, she finally stood still for me long enough to take a couple of pictures.

Needless to say, I have a lot of pictures of a cat tail in case I ever need them for something. Not sure why I kept them.

Snowbell Original Photo

This is the finished product. I removed the screen from behind Snowbell to replace it with the sunflowers. I also made Snowbell a little brighter. She is a very white cat, which I didn’t think came across in the original picture. I thought about adding the screen back in, but I couldn’t get it to look right.  The perspective is off and it’s not wonderful, but I learned a lot about the process. I’m hoping to get better with time and practice.

Snowbell Sunflowers

The finished product appeared in a calendar all about Snowbell for the month of August.

Reposted for the Weekly Photo Challenge – Transition

Nov 032015
 

For some reason, my challenge post didn’t pingback to The Daily Post, so I decided to try again. My original post was the treat I made myself for doing well on the first day of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), Pumpkin Egg Nog Mug Cake.

This time, I’ll post a few of my favorite treats. It’s hard to choose just a few, but the first one was easy.

Baby Blues Getting to see my grandson

Mini Chocolate Chip CheesecakesMini Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes – Yummy!

ReadingA good book

Banana BreadWarm Banana Bread

Tea and Tea Cookies

Fall FoliageThe fall color change

Pumpkin Egg Nog Mug CakeMy I did good on the first day of NaNoWriMo treat to myself

Weekly Photo Challenge – Treat

Nov 022015
 

I did pretty well on the first day of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), so I decided to treat myself today. I’d seen a recipe for Snickerdoodle Mug Cake and decided to modify it. I had some Pumpkin Egg Nog in the fridge that’s due to go out soon, so I thought, “Why not make Pumpkin Egg Nog Mug Cake as my I did good treat!”

As fate would have it the photo challenge for this week is Treat, so I decided now was a good time to share my modified recipe and complete the challenge.

Pumpkin Egg Nog Mug Cake
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Cook Time
1 min
Cook Time
1 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  5. 1/4 cup pumpkin egg nog
  6. 2 tablespoons butter
  7. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  8. For layering/topping:
  9. 1 tablespoon sugar
  10. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice until completely mixed.
  2. Melt butter in the microwave and add pumpkin egg nog. The warm butter heats up the pumpkin egg nog so it's a little thinner and easier to mix.
  3. Blend in butter, pumpkin egg nog and vanilla until batter is smooth.
  4. Scoop about a third of the batter into a large coffee cup. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon sugar mix. Keep layering, alternating layers, until all the batter is used. Top with sugar mixture.
  5. Microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until cake is done. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving. In my 1250W microwave, 1 minute was enough.
Adapted from Snickerdoodle Mug Cake
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/

pumpkineggnogmugcake

Weekly Photo Challenge – Treat

Nov 242014
 

nola-windows

Windows in the French Quarter at night.

stlouiscem1-02

Different angular tombs in St. Louis Cemetery #1.

stlouiscem1-pyramid

Pyramid tomb in St. Louis Cemetery #1.

stlouiscem1-03

Tomb roofs in St. Louis Cemetery #1.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Angular

Nov 192014
 

Be forewarned, this story is on the risque side.

About 15 years ago or so, I was wandering around a major department store looking for some last minute Christmas presents for my daughter when I heard two people speaking very loudly from a few isles over.

“Where’s the KY?” a female voice asked.

“What’s KY?” a male voice almost shouted.

“It’s that jelly stuff. You know what it is.”

“What do you need that for?”

I couldn’t hear the response and I was in a hurry, so I went about my business. A few minutes later, I heard the voices again a few isles away.

“Well, our sex life would be better if you were more kinky.” The female sounded annoyed.

“I’m not wearing those leather pants! They chafe!”

Their conversation kept getting louder and more direct. I heard complaints about size, sagging and the last time they tried some toys I won’t mention. I saw people heading in their direction and people with kids moving quickly away from them. Laughter erupted from nearby, but the sex talkers didn’t seem to notice. I couldn’t take it anymore and I had to see these people shouting about their sex life in the middle of a store.

When I found the isle all the commotion was coming from, there were people standing on both sides of the isle. Some were pretending to look at items on the shelf and others were whispering to each other and giggling or outright laughing. In the middle of it all was an elderly couple, completely oblivious to the scene they were causing.

The man was using a walker to get around. The woman looked like the sweet old grandma that everyone loves to visit and always has cookies. Her silver hair was piled in a large bun atop her head and her dress looked freshly pressed. Not at all the image I expected to see when I rounded the corner.

My first thought was, “Go Grandma and Grandpa!”

Someone approached them and spoke to them. I assumed that she explained how loud they were being because their loud conversation stopped after that. I saw the man fiddle with his ear. I have a feeling he turned his hearing aid up. You’d think they would be rattled and possibly even leave the store, but they seemed unphased and went back to their shopping albeit more quietly.

I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day.

Now, whenever the holiday crowds get me down, I remember these two and smile. They made Christmas shopping every year a little more enjoyable.

Weekly Writing Challenge – Overheard

I tried to find the original story I posted years ago about this incident, but it has apparently been lost to the internet ether. I’ve forgotten most of what they said, but that’s just as well. The details were never important.

Nov 112014
 
Image from PhotoXpress

Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without my mother’s pumpkin pie. Pie is not usually my first choice in a dessert. It’s not the pie itself, but I’m very picky about the crust. My mother’s crust is perfect. It’s flaky with actual flavor that seems lacking in so many pie crusts. When the pie crust tastes the same as crust of a pot pie, I have a hard time enjoying it no matter what the filling.

Then, there’s the pumpkin. The spices are perfectly balanced; not too much, not too little. When the pumpkin pie has too little spice, I feel cheated and pout like a child who was promised heavy cream ice cream and got skim milk ice milk instead. I like ice milk, but it’s just not the same.

Now my mother says that she just follows the recipe, but there’s some kind of magic going on there that I just can’t duplicate. There’s something about walking into my parents house over the holidays and seeing that perfect pumpkin pie just waiting to be cut up and devoured that makes my mouth water with anticipation. I think all the yummy smells of the holiday meal cooking have something to do with that, but the pumpkin pie whispers my name, I swear it!

Here’s my pumpkin pie recipe: Traditional Pumpkin Pie but my mom’s is better!

Weekly Writing Challenge – Pie

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