Thursday, July 19, 2018

Throw Back Thursday - Baby Howard

Howard is probably our most photogenic cat, and definitely has the best poses.  My phone is filled with pictures of Howard, and most people who visit our house end up taking a few pictures of Howard while they’re here. 

I’ve realized that I very often include a picture of Howard when I don’t have another picture to go with the post.  He’s adorable, and there’s no shortage of good Howard pictures, but I’ve never shared any of his kitten pictures.  Howard is eleven, and I’ve been blogging for six years, so he was all grown up before I started sharing pictures of him here. 
So, for Throw Back Thursday, I give you Howard’s kitten pictures, while I take a little stroll down Memory Lane.

Howard definitely fit a lot more places when I first brought him home from the shelter:

He didn't mind the incredibly small TV in my teeny, tiny studio apartment:

And lastly, one of the very few pictures of Howard being still when he was a kitten.

Have a great Thursday!  The weekend is almost here!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Music Monday: Beach Boys - God Only Knows

We watched Love Actually over the weekend.  For about the millionth time.  I love that movie!  If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it

The opening scene is one of my favorite scenes ever, and I can’t watch it without getting a little teary eyed.  It’s a good cry, though.  The video is short, only a minute and 17 seconds, so I’d encourage you to watch it.

The last scene plays one of my favorite songs, Beach Boys God Only Knows.  I just love this song!

So what about you?  Have you seen Love Actually?  Did you like it?  Are you a Beach Boys fan?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

How Is June Almost Over?

I didn’t mean to go nearly a month without writing a blog post, but that’s just how it goes sometimes. 

The rain finally stopped.  We’re still having thunderstorms a few afternoons a week, but nothing like what we had going on for the last half of May.  The flooding and landslides in the surrounding counties seem to have stopped, which is a relief for everyone.

Our garden is doing alright.  Because of the rain, we weren’t able to plant everything that we had planned on, and Duke dug up and trampled a few things.  But the tomatoes seem to be doing well.  They’re still small and green, but I think there are some fried green tomatoes in our future. 

We planted a blackberry bush against the fence last year.  We had the idea that having more bushes in front of the fence might make it harder for Duke to escape, and we both love blackberries, so a blackberry bush seemed ideal.  It didn’t really do anything last year.  In fact, we were pretty sure that it hadn’t made it.  Our leading theory was that Duke had trampled it to death.  Are you seeing a theme here?  Anyway, it started coming back this spring, and now has lots of green berries on it.  I’m not sure if they’re just dormant the first year, or what happened, really, but I’m very excited that we’ll have our own blackberries soon.

Caroline is officially a year old now.  Time flies, doesn’t it?  Per our vet’s instructions, we’re in the process of switching her from kitten food to cat food.  Caroline doesn’t seem to mind the change in food, and definitely hasn’t slowed down any.  She still acts like a kitten.  The big cats are still convinced that Caroline’s food is special, so still eat it at every opportunity, even though more and more of it is exactly the same food they’re eating.  There’s no convincing them of that, though.   They know it’s special. 

I think that’s about it for us.  So how has June been for you? 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

So. Much. Rain.

It has been raining almost non-stop here in western North Carolina for two weeks now.  Last night on our local news they said we have received the equivalent of six months worth of rain (based on yearly averages) since this started. 

We’re under numerous flood advisories and warnings, some of which are extended through Saturday morning.  Surrounding counties have been hit worse than we have so far, especially with landslides.  Several roads are closed.  More rain is expected tonight, tomorrow, and Friday.

Our house and neighborhood are fine so far.  The yard is soggy, and the sump pump has been working non-stop, but that’s it.  It does seem likely that we’ll have to take the slightly longer way to work tomorrow, though.

I took this picture yesterday morning on the way to work while I was stopped at a red light.

I took this picture this morning on the way to work while I was stopped at a red light. 

As you can see, the water is much higher in the second picture, just 24 hours later.  I wasn’t able to get pictures, but it was higher when I came home for lunch, and even higher when I came home for the day.  Based on the amount of rain we’ve had this evening, I highly doubt that section of road will be open tomorrow morning.

Our chances for rain start to go down significantly on Saturday, and there are even a few sunny days in our forecast for next week.  I am definitely ready for some sunshine!

How’s your weather?  Are you getting desperate for some sunshine?

Monday, May 28, 2018

Fun With Photo Editing

I freely admit to being one of the least technologically savvy people on the planet.  It’s also no secret that things sometimes go pretty wrong for me with my phone.  So it really shouldn’t surprise me that I just discovered a feature on the phone, three years after I got it.

Better late than never, right?

My big, happy discovery over the long weekend has been that I can edit pictures on my phone.  It’s actually pretty simple to do, and once the changes are made, it saves the edited photos in a separate album.

It has rained incessantly for the vast majority of the weekend.  There are lots of flood advisories, and a neighboring county even had a voluntary evacuation in some areas.  So I’ve spent most of my time inside over the weekend.  That gave me lots of time to play with some of the editing features on the phone.  I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve had fun trying different things on different pictures.

I love how much you can change a picture just by adjusting the lighting or color.

Here’s the original picture I took of a tree in a park about two months ago:

This is the tree in documentary style:

To begin with, I thought documentary style was just another name for black and white, but it does actually look a little different when you choose the black and white option.  Here it is in black and white:

Next  I played around with the saturation.  This is the tree with the saturation maxed out.  I like how bright and vivid it makes the colors.  I think the grass is absolutely gorgeous in this version of the picture.

While I was experimenting with maxing things out, I decided to play around with the warmth.  I think it makes the picture look like it was possibly taken during the fall rather than the spring.  It just has a very autumn look to me.

Next I played around with the fill light.  I adjusted the light to make it light and bright.  I think this version of the picture definitely looks like it was taken during the spring.   I think it makes it look like it was taken earlier in the day, and on a brighter day.

I tried the option to have the picture as a negative too.  It's usually not one of my favorite options, but it's nice to know I can do it if I want to.

Last of all, I decided to try the picture out in sepia.  I usually really like the sepia finish.  I like how it makes pictures look old.  I liked it for the tree, but it wasn't one of my favorites.  I think this particular picture just loses something when it's not in color.

I think my favorite version of this picture is the one with the saturation maxed out.  I like the vivid colors, and I think for this particular picture it really adds something.  The version with the fill light adjusted is a close second.  Again, I think that has a fair amount to do with this actual picture.  It makes the tree look bright and airy; very springy.

Even though I don't think they were the best versions for this particular picture, I love having the sepia, documentary, and black and white options.  I want to do some experimenting with some of my pictures from Charleston, SC in those finishes.

The negative and the one with the warmth maxed out were my least favorite versions of this picture.  The negative finish isn't usually one of my favorites, so that wasn't a surprise.  I did think I would like the warmer version better than I do though.  I think my biggest issue is that it took a spring picture and made it look like a fall picture.  I prefer spring to fall, so it makes sense that I wouldn't like the fall version as much.

Do you have a favorite version of the picture?  What about a least favorite?