Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Change, Photo Challenge

Aw, February went by very quickly and our photo challenge has come to an end with today's post.  Thanks to all who came to check it out.  This really was too much fun!

Tonight's challenge was Change.  Change.  I gotta take the easy shot again. 

Now that the obvious shot is out of the way, let's look around to what else I can find that has changed. 

Yesterday, my resurrection lilies started popping their heads up.  Today, they were twice as high as yesterday!  By the time I got the picture today, after all the rain we had, it almost looks like they're in a pool.  No pool, just a lot of water in my yard.

Last is me.  I have changed during this challenge, thanks to my partners in crime, Georgia and Lisa.  Thank you both for playing these reindeer games with me this past month.  Because of the two of you, I have changed.  You both challenge me to be better, you both encourage me to be better and because of the two of you, I hopefully am better.  This is the face of change.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gross, Photo Challenge

This category was just too wide open!  My mind went into a thousand different directions on this one and I had a hard time narrowing it down for the challenge.  So, let's see what made the cut.

First an easy hit.  I was driving to work early in the challenge, and one of their trucks was behind me.  I knew then that this had to be one of my pictures for "gross".

That one was just a play on names.  Now I'm going for some REALLY gross stuff.  Believe it or not, this is the railing on my front porch.  The birds seem to think it's their bathroom.  Eww!  Gross!

Um, if it's on the railing, you know it's on my porch too.  Ok, it could have something to do with the cat food I leave out there for Hemingway and the rest (Mabel, King Arthur, Mama, et al).  The birds have been known to bomb the food bowl and eat all of the food.  Hey, I have bird food in the yard for them. I have left a sign by the cat food explaining to them that this is CAT food and not BIRD food.  I don't think any of the damn birds read English though.  Eww.  Gross.

And I have saved the worst for last.  This was a MONSTER dust bunny that used to live under my bed.  Seriously, EWW.  This is GROSS.

Just so y'all will sleep better tonight, rest assured that this dust bunny has been killed and disposed of.  No more killer dust bunnies under my bed.  By now there is probably a baby one growing but I assure you I won't let them get this big.

Gross.  I found way too many gross things.  And did you notice they're all at MY house?  Eww!  Gross!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

LOUD, Photo Challenge

LOUD.  Well, I hate to admit it but I was LOUD this morning on the way to work.

This moron actually passed me this morning on Elyria Avenue around 32nd Street where it's a 25 mph zone and has a double yellow line.  WTF dude. 

On the good side, this moron felt the need to drive like an idiot only to be stopped by the next light.   I ended up catching up with him at every light between this light at 41st and Elyria Avenue all the way into downtown Elyria.  Moron.

On the bad side, I totally lost my temper at this moron and got very LOUD in my car.  Shame on me.  He has every right to be a moron.  I'm sure he knows he's a moron as does everyone that knows him.  I should never have given him the power to make me so angry this morning over nothing.  Shame on me for giving this moron that much power.  I am taking my power back.  You go ahead and be a moron, I will let you go on your merry way and not be upset about it.

Tonight was my first night at Mutt & Jeff's in about three weeks.  They missed me!  But, tonight I have a bit of a headache so the juke box was loud.

Yeah, you know you're old when the music is too LOUD!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Household, Photo Challenge

Household.  I have been running around the house today trying to figure out what would portray my household.  So, here was my day, a typical Sunday in my household.

First, it's usually laundry day.  My sister does laundry every three or four weeks!  Ok, for real, I only have enough underwear to last me one week.  Yeah, maybe I should go shopping.  But, I digress.  Today had to be laundry day or else tomorrow would be commando day.

Then, there was dishes.  I was a lazy bones last night so this is actually last night's supper dishes and this morning's breakfast dishes.  I really hate a sink full of dirty dishes.  I had TWO sinks full of dirty dishes.

After I did breakfast/supper dishes, it was time to make lunch.  Remember, when Mama is on a diet, everyone is on a diet!  So, turkey and cheese paninis for both of us!  Add some cooked carrots and an apple and it was a good healthy lunch.  By the way, have I mentioned lately how much I love my new George Foreman grill?  They also make great paninis!!

And, here is the best one.  Gratuitous cat story here.

I'm finishing my laundry, pairing socks.  I am short one of my black work socks.  Hmm, where could it be?  Still stuck in the washer?  No.  In the dryer?  No.  Hmm, where could it be?  In Benny's carrier, of course!

Benny has something going on with my work socks.  He will take dirty socks off of the laundry pile, he'll take clean ones out of the laundry basket and he's even been known to jump into the dryer, take out my sock and go off with it.  I love that boy!  One extra sock will be in next week's laundry.

As a side story, Benny likes to lay in his carrier.  As long as I'm not zipping it up to take him to the vet, he loves that carrier.  So I leave it on the basement floor and it's one of his napping places.  This is just the first time I've seen him put my sock in there.

So there is a small look into a day in my household.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Psychedelic, Photo Challenge

Where do you find crazy colors on a day like today?  At Walgreen's of course!  It's hard to believe, but St. Patrick's Day is almost here!

Then I was lucky enough to come across a couple of book covers.  These are definitely some wild colors!

Not bad for the end of February, huh??

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sweet Memories, Photo Challenge

Before we started this challenge I was looking at the list, and this one kinda worried me.  Sweet memories.   This week, it all came together.

I was at the grocery store the other day and I saw something by the bread.  I was just walking by and I swear, I spotted this from the other end of the aisle.  Just looking at it, I said to myself "self, that looks just like paska!  Paska in our home is also known as Easter bread.  Mom would make it I believe on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday).  That's the only time of the year my Mom and/or my Aunts would make this bread and it was wicked good!  You never turned down a piece of paska!  I got closer to the item and LOOK what I saw!

When I turned it around and saw it said PASKA I let out a little yell!!  This sacred bread was not originally sitting on a beer case in the store.  I put it there for the photo.

This little loaf of bread just brought back such good memories of my youth.  I see Mom hurrying around trying to get all of the food ready to put in the basket on Holy Saturday afternoon.  Dad would then take the basket to our Church for the Easter blessing.  You couldn't make it through an Easter without blessed food.  There would even be a salt shaker and a stick of butter in the basket along with the sweet Italian sausage, the Polish sausage, the hard boiled eggs, the cetetz (don't take points away from me for not knowing how to spell in Slovak!) and of course the yummy paska.  This brought back some sweet memories for me.

Then, I was at Kohl's.  I was over looking at purses (I need a new one!) and I walked by the wall of hats.  To most people, this is just a wall of nice Sunday-go-to-meeting hats.  To me, this was an afternoon of fun.

My sister Barb and I used to go "bumming" years ago.  Bumming is just aimlessly going from store to store, not really shopping for anything in particular, pretty much just spending a day together goofing off.  Whenever we were bumming in a store that had hats, Barb and I would stop and try them on!  Ok, now that I think back, I think she made ME try on more hats than HER, but try on hats we did.  The bigger and more outlandish the better.  Feathers were always a winner.  Glitter and sequins?  You betcha!

These hats are pretty tame for Barb's standards, but we would have stood there and tried them all on anyway. 

Barb has been gone for 11 years now but I'm telling you, this wall brought it back like it was yesterday.  I miss you, Barb.

Definitely sweet memories.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Winter, Photo Challenge

This was the only time since grade school that I ever wished for snow.  With a challenge like "winter" for real, this year has been anything but winter like.

My prayers were answered with the teeniest bit of snow this morning.  This is my kind of winter!

First, the roof of my garage.  With a teeny bit of snow on it.

Then, when I got to work, one of the bushes outside of my building had a nice dusting of snow on it.  More in Elyria than we had here in Lorain but that was ok with me.

Just because a winter photo challenge should have a picture that actually looks like winter, I'm going into my archives from 2009.  This is on the other side of my driveway.  Now THIS is winter.

I'm ready for winter to be over for this year, even though it never really came to see us this year!  Winter.  C'mon spring!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stressed/Relaxed, Photo Challenge

Stressed?  You want to see stressed?  You should have seen me driving home tonight.

There I was, driving west on Russia Road doing 50 mph.  Oberlin Avenue runs north and south across Russia Road and Oberlin Avenue has a stop sign.  North bound is an SUV, who stopped at the stop sign waiting for me to pass.  A semi truck is south bound.  I see him stop and as I am coming up on him, he starts to cross into the intersection to continue to go south on Oberlin Avenue.  Are you F-ING SERIOUS?

At 50 mph I am on you in a heart beat and he is barely moving as he must have had a full load.  I have nowhere to go.  I am literally standing on my brakes and all I see is his trailer getting bigger and bigger and closer and closer.  Asshole was on his cell phone and never even looked my way.

I don't have a picture of that as my camera and my purse went flying off of the passenger's seat.  Besides, the only thing picture worthy there of stressed would have been the stain in my underwear.  I had to pull over to pull my heart out of my throat and shove it back down into my chest.  I HATE being out there.  I HATE being in my car and I HATE being on the road.  Yeah, I'm not over it yet.  I hate people.

Believe it or not, I stopped at Giant Eagle on my way home after this incident and another idiot almost T-boned me in the parking lot.  Silly me was actually driving IN the lane towards the road and this asshole was cutting through the parking lot and must not have seen me driving where I was supposed to be driving.  Silly me.  He locked up his brakes and didn't miss me by much.  My reward for driving where I'm supposed to?  He flipped ME the bird.  Yeah, I hate people.

Let's move on to relaxed.  Trust me, that was a hard act to follow for Ron.

He had heard that the space station was going to be in view from Lorain at 6:42:45 for three minutes until 6:45:45.  There was a website he went to that would tell you where to look in the sky in the city you were to find the space station.  I know it's very cloudy and even raining tonight but we thought he'd head down to Hot Waters and look to the north to see if we could see the Space Station.  Plus, I've been trying to read up on taking pictures at night so this was a win/win opportunity for me. 

I made a little mark on the left in the approximate area that we WOULD have seen the Space Station if we weren't under such cloud cover.  The lights on the right are the light house and the other light that flanks the entry to the channel.

So, on the relaxing side, I got to practice a few night shots with my camera.  And, Ron and I got to watch the submarine races there.  It's been a LONG time since I've done that!

I still hate people.  And for now I'm going to go to bed and pull the covers up over my head and remind myself why I have to leave the house tomorrow to go to work.

Stressed/Relaxed.  Yeah, I'm glad this one is over.  I hate people.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

If Things Could Talk, Photo Challenge

I'm not the thinking out of the box girl like my cohorts in crime are.  I took this challenge literally.  I chose things that don't talk and tried to imagine just what they might be thinking or saying.

"Hey, Mr. Snow Plow Driver, back up!  Not so CLOSE!"

So much for that brand new curb on 30th Street.  Took out the re bar and everything.  Oh well.

The next one is a no brainer.  "PLEASE dust me"!

Never enough hours in a day to get it all done.

No photo challenge would be complete without pictures of the cats!  Sorry, I can't help myself.

Penelope:  "Hey back off!  This is MY lap!"

And then my Benny:  "I love when she gets down on the floor to play with me!"

If things could talk.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Quiet, Photo Challenge

Quiet.  Some days I would kill for it!  Ok, maybe not kill.  Probably maim though.  Yeah, I'd maim for it!

First, one of my new favorite places to take pictures, Elmwood Cemetery.  It was definitely quiet there.  I want to live next door to a cemetery.  I don't think you can ask for better neighbors.

The only other quiet place I found was of all places, behind Walmart.  Who knew there was water back there?  These geese found a nice quiet place to just be geese. 

What can I say?  Quiet places are few and far between.  If you can find one, cherish it.  Even if you have to share it with some geese.

Public Service Announcement - Learn to Drive

This is not the way I was taught.

I was taught by my Dad, up on Footmill Road in Erie.  A road in the country with no traffic, long and straight so you'd get the hang of it.  I feel I am a good driver,  even though I was taught by family and not by a "school".   My driving record speaks for itself.  Three accidents, all of them deemed by police to NOT be my fault.  I was hit by an idiot driver in each instance.  Speeding tickets = 1 and that was 12 years ago, and no other moving violations.  That's a pretty good record for 33 years of driving.

I am not mentioning the name of the school on this car because I don't believe this guy was qualified to teach anyone to drive so I will not give him any free advertising.

Here are my helpful hints to this poor young girl trying to learn since her instructor missed giving her the BASICS.

The speed limit on Broadway is 25 mph.  You were doing at least 35 from this light down to West Erie Avenue.  All those little signs with the 25 mph on them actually mean something.  I know very few drivers pay attention to them, but that is the speed limit.

When you are coming to a light, there is a big thick white line painted on the road in your lane.  This is called a STOP BAR.  This bar tells you where to stop if the light is red.   This is a safety measure that you obviously weren't taught.  When you stop more than 10 feet in FRONT of the stop bar, you are in an unsafe area.  The cars that are on East Erie Avenue and turning south onto Broadway need that space to make the turn.  When you pull up too far, that narrows the lane for the traffic to turn.  You need to stay behind that bar!  Also, if there is a cross walk at that intersection, the stop bar will keep the cross walk open for pedestrians.  

An example of this stop bar is up in the picture.  The SUV in the left lane has their front tires beyond the stop bar but at least they seem to have stopped before the cross walk.

Then again, this is Lorain Ohio.  I've seen numerous cars that pay no attention to speed limits.  Most of the people here I'm sure have never heard of a stop bar even though they see them dozens of times a day.  Hell, it seems like they've never heard of a stop SIGN so why should they know about a stop BAR?!!

Maybe it's an Ohio thing and that's how they teach you here.  This place does seem to have more than its fair share of bad drivers. 

I'm off of my soap box now.  Go back to whatever you were doing!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Yellow, Photo Challenge

Yellow!  Not the best color to try to capture in February in northern Ohio!  But, I was on a mission today and I did find a few things.

My favorite flower, the gerber daisy!  I don't care what color it is, it's gorgeous.  I was lucky enough to find a yellow one!

The yellow brick road, Lorain style.  I haven't been on the new walkway down by Jackalope's since it was put in.  Today was the day I planned on walking up and down the pier taking pictures.  Yeah, too dang cold!   I got a couple of quick shots and back in the car!  At least the shots were yellow!

And the blasted construction site right behind this.  Gotta love a John Deere.

And the road to nowhere.  Actually, I am standing right in front of my house.

Yellow in February, not easy.  From our list for February, we have the challenge of "winter" on the 23rd.   The only time I've ever hoped for snow for a photo op!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Beauty, Photo Challenge

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.  One challenge, two different interpretations.  Please take a look at Georgia and Lisa to see their unique views of beauty.  Now throw me into the mix and get a third opinion!

In my opinion, many different kinds of things are beautiful.  Children playing, music, the sunshine, Lake Erie, people, things, works of art, the list is endless.  I had a ton of pictures and just couldn't decide what to go with.  I've pared it down and here is what I see as beautiful.

Mother Nature is beautiful.   Look what she did to Phil's windshield the other morning.

Speaking of Mother Nature, this was next to the walking trail over at Mercy Hospital this morning.  Very peaceful, very beautiful scenery.

I love art.  While I can't explain it or probably even understand most of it, I know what I like.  I absolutely loved the statues in the front of St. Mary's Church on West 8th Street.  The statue of St. Joseph and Jesus was all in white,  but the fact that the flowers in Jesus' had were in color just blew me away.  This is absolutely beautiful in my eyes.

Trying to eat healthier, it's a beautiful thing to be able to cook the same food but in a healthier way.  We love pork chops, probably because I fry them in Crisco (lard)!   These pork chops were fried on my new family size George Foreman grill.  If this isn't beautiful, I don't know what is!  And, as a bonus, no breading and NO oil!  They were awesome!

It's a no brainer that I think my cats are beautiful.  I bought the cats a new toy today.  It's like another cat tree and it hangs from a door.  Penelope was so jiggy with the bottom hole of the tree.  She is peaceful, and definitely beautiful, chillin' in there.

Lastly, the beauty of a love between mama and kitty.  Benny loves me and that is beautiful.

How is that for an eclectic mix of pictures!    Beauty.  It comes in all shapes and sizes.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Trees/Plants, Photo Challenge

So many ideas I had for this one.  Unfortunately, in  February, nothing that I saw in my mind's eye is photo worthy right now.  I may have to resurrect this one on my own in the summer!

But, here is what I did find.  First, it was amazing to see how this tree/bush grew around/through/over/under/into this fence.  I am surprised that the fence is still standing and I'm surprised the tree/bush seems to be thriving!

This is in my friend's back yard.  To me, this looks like a sad, lonely tree!

Now let's look back to work. I have been having a run on plants this year!  First, my niece JoBeth took some clippings off of her plants at home, put them together and gave me a little love for my desk at work!  Is she the BEST or what?!!  One of the little strings of ivy on the left may not make it through the weekend, but the rest of it is thriving and growing.  I bet this little guy has doubled in size since I got him!

I think I killed this one!  I got this one from my sister Cathie for my birthday.  Um, it WAS looking good but, um, well, er . . . I think it's a goner for sure.

Well, it USED to be a plant.  It fit today's theme.  Sort of.

And here is another goner.  I have some plum trees in the yard.  It has some kind of plum tree ick.  I've had a landscaper in here a couple of years ago looking at them.  I wanted to try to save the trees and the landscaper did his best.  He thought he had cut away all of the bad and took the trees down to good healthy limbs.  These trees REALLY got a hair cut that year.  He thought we had a 50/50 chance of saving the trees.  Well, a few months later, the ick was back and as you can see, the ick is growing strong.  Just another thing on the list of  things to do as a homeowner.  My icky plum trees.

Trees and plants in the winter time in Lorain Ohio.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Unusual Views, Photo Challenge

I love this challenge!  I try to look at things with a new view.  I don't hold a candle to Georgia when it comes to thinking outside of the box on challenges.  She does set the bar high!  Let's see what I saw today:

I was filling up the water jug from work.  I like how this came out! 

From water I have a look up one of the high tension wire towers on Tower Boulevard.  That was an unusual view!

Note to self:   Always make sure you shut the pantry door when you're done in there.  Otherwise, Benny likes to crawl in there and hide!  There is a little space on the far side that is for brooms.  That's where Benny likes to hide.   I opened the door and this is what I saw:

An unusual view, seeing a little black paw coming at you!  Gotta love that boy.

Unusual views! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Scary, Photo Challenge

You know, I'm afraid of my own shadow for crying out loud.  The list of what DOESN'T scare me would be a lot shorter than what does scare me.  But, I had to narrow it down for the blog, so I picked a couple of the biggies.  Maybe not the top three, but definitely in the top 10.

First, work is scary.  This is my desk.  Why is work scary?  I work for my brother.  That could be a good thing and most days it is.  However, I am always thinking I need to make sure he never regrets hiring me.  He went out on a limb to hire me, I don't want to chop it off behind him.  I stay scared to make sure I always do a good job so he doesn't regret hiring me.  I would hate for him to have to fire me for not doing well.

This is my house.  This scares the crap out of me.  It is ME that is responsible for the maintenance, the cleaning, the upkeep, the mortgage, the insurance, the taxes.  I bit off more than I could chew and then the bottom fell out of the housing market.  Yes, my house scares the hell out of me.

Lastly what scares me, most other women and anyone who is watching their weight.  That scary apparatus that is hiding in the bathroom behind the broom and the poop scooper.  The bathroom scale!  EWWWW!

Before anyone wonders if I am so f-ed up that I can't always hit the toilet, the broom and the poop scooper is there because there is also a litter box in this bathroom!  You're lucky I didn't take pictures of what is IN that litter box.  People, THAT is scary!