Lovin’ the New Camera

Peony Closeup
Originally uploaded by crafty dad

Here’s a shot I took early yesterday evening. I love the detail of the paper-thin petals of this peony. I am really happy with the camera. I still need to learn how to take better indoor/flash shots, but in general, this is a fantastic camera for the money.

My wife took several inside shots of the park model yesterday. I’ll post those tomorrow so you can see just what our version of ‘camping’ is. Here’s a hint: it’s NOT the pitch-a-tent-and-rough-it version. :-)

Leaving on a jet plane …

… no, actually we’re driving. To the lake for a three day weekend. And with the mad rush of end-of-school-year activities, my wife and I need some ‘down time’. I mean it’s all been good: the boys got awards at school and that’s ALWAYS a good thing. Then there was the band concert (Son No. 1 plays a mean alto sax.) And the field trips. Our oldest was just in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry. (See photo above.) And, just today, my wife accompanied our first-grader to the Ft. Wayne Zoo. So..it’s been a busy, busy time.

My oldest ‘graduated’ from elementary school this year. It’s off to the big middle-school next fall. Yikes! That’s a transition for all of us. (Perhaps more for my wife and I than him….we’ll see about that.) He was honored last night with a President’s Circle Award for academics. The boy is bright, I’m telling you. (He takes after his mother, you know.) Books? Oh, heck — he devours them. And that’s a very good thing. (On that subject he takes after his dad.).

So…it’s off to the lake for some good ol‘ R & R. Here’s hoping the sun shines for at least most of the weekend.

Have a very good weekend, peeps! See you next week.

P.S. I don’t want to forget our ‘little guy’. Our six year old is a smart little cookie too. He has been recognized a few times this year as well. And that boy….oh, he’s a charmer…so watch out girls.

Backyard Beauty

After I cut the grass last night, I was playing around with the new camera and came up with these.

[Our Patio]

[The most beautiful geraniums I've EVER seen.]

[Closer view of the geraniums.]

[Close-up shot of geranium. Click the photo for a better shot.]

Oh I love summer, the patio and our new camera. :-)

The Ghost of Vacations Past

So…I’m going through some old photos on the computer and I found a ton of Walt Disney World vacation photos. The boys are so small. So young. Oh my gosh. I got choked up looking at them. So to avoid that teary-eyed look, I moved along. And I found this one:

[Sea gulls on the umbrella fountain - Cedar Point.]

Since it’s 76 degrees outside, I thought this photo was fitting. The sun was shining bright that day and the sun is shining beautifully today, too. Cedar Point has been a favorite vacation and/or long-weekend destination for our family for several years now. This is the “umbrella fountain” in the pool area of the Hotel Breakers. The hotel has some great history. Click here to learn more.

Okay….now back to reality.

P.S. I hope the sun is shining on you today too!

Fantastic Fabric Find

You just never know what you’re going to find at the thrift store. I really lucked out a couple weeks ago and found a TON of great stuff. I made three or four trips to St. Vinnie’s and I found new stuff each time. The fabric gods were certainly shining on me that week.

This is just a sample of the yardage I bagged. There’s lots of cotton, heavy-duty cotton, some oil cloth, and more. I brought my new stash into the house and walked it right back out to the patio so I could take advantage of some late afternoon sunlight. I found that the hot tub makes for a nice backdrop.

[View No. 1]

[View No. 2]

And yes, my wife asked me what the heck I was going to do with all of it. Hmmm, that’s a very good question. I see lots of opportunity here. Lots.

UPDATE: Here’s the thrift shop that I frequently frequent. (That’s not a typo.) Frequently as in multilple times a week. I’m hooked. I’m a thrift shop addict. I can’t stop. I can’t help myself. There should certainly be a support group for me. (I’ll look in the yellow pages when I get home tonight.) For now, I will practice the following line: “Hi. My name is Mike and I’m a thrift-shop-aholic.”

[My favorite lunch-hour destination.]

Another Member of our Family

Let me introduce you to Hershey. She’s one of the four-legged members of our family. Umm, yeah, we also have two rabbits. She’s a super-sweet (no pun intended) Chocolate Lab . We love her dearly and she loves us back — big time.

Here’s a picture of her on the deck at the camper. She looks tuckered out, don’t you think? Must be all that fresh air My six-year-old shutterbug took this one. Good job dude!

[Hershey at the Lake - Mother's Day Weekend, 2007]

She loves to go camping with us. She nervously paces the floor as we pack the van for the trek to the lake. She is so afraid she’ll get left behind. When we reach for her leash, that tail wags so hard you better watch out! She knows exactly what’s next: the door opens, she prances out to the back of the van and ‘ummmph’, she jumps in and sits right down. Let the road trip begin!

What’s for Breakfast?

Breakfast – 5/18/07
Originally uploaded by crafty dad.

What better way to start you day than with breakfast? The expiration date on the egg carton was telling me to “use these today”, so I did. I boiled a dozen eggs and ate three of them for breakfast. Along with a piece of raisin toast and two cups of strong coffee (with creamer, thank you very much.). It was a wonderful way to start a Happy Friday.

This was my ‘test egg’. It’s a bit softer than a hard-boiled egg, yet not quite a soft-boiled egg. So..whatever you call it, it was de-licious.

What did you have for breakfast?

A Stroll through the Greenhouse and Garden Center

Ahhh, the sights and smells of springtime.

Last Saturday, my wife and I left the boys at home and snuck off for a few minutes to our favorite greenhouse and garden center. The guy that owns it was a classmate of our’s. He started out mowing lawns and doing some basic landscape design. Now, Mark owns one of the biggest and best places in town. And..although he’s our neighbor (lives right across the street from us), we don’t get any favors. Nope. No discounts. No free lawn service (and I could use some of that about now!). Umm, Mark if you’re reading this, I hope you didn’t mind that I took these photos, and please don’t take offense to my comments.

Anyhow, enjoy the sights:

[Inside one of the greenhouses.]

[A beautiful hanging pot. ]

[Pansies. An oldie but goodie.]

[Rhododendrons. Almost pretty enough to eat.]

Real Simple

More pictures from Mother’s Day (using the new camera).

Here’s a shot of the deck in front of the park model at the campground/lake. The hostas are really doing well. I love to see their perfectly-shaped, variegated leaves (before the bugs start gnawing on them). The boys have outgrown the little picnic table, but my wife and I can’t part with it. We’ve been hauling it out each spring for many years and summer just wouldn’t be summer without it.

With all of the colors in the kitchen sink, I had to take a quick shot. I love the new camera!

Here’s another. The sectional plates were a find at WalMart. At 98 cents each, they were a no brainer. And since we couldn’t decide on blue, green, yellow or coral…we bought one of each.

[Click on the image above to see the droplets of water. I really, really like the new camera!]

A close-up shot of the hosta.

And, one more!

Yep, sometimes it’s the simple things.


[Flower pot of marigolds at the lake.]
[Picture taken with new camera!!!]

Just one of our Mother’s Day activity. There were many more. Stay tuned for details and pictures. I sincerely hope all the moms out there had a wonderful day. My wife had a great day with the boys.

My wife and I spent time thinking of our moms today. Both have passed away: mine almost 12 years ago, my wife’s almost two years ago. We both have wonderful memories to cherish!

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