Saturday, June 30, 2007


Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
I stumbled upon several tutorials on on using Photoshop Elements. The first tutorial showed you how to make your digital photos look like polaroids.

Smart guy Mensa Boy asked if they show you how to make the photos look lumpy and bumpy from the layers of paper not sticking well together.

It is kind of funny that you would want to take a new technology and make it look like something produced with old, but it was fun learning how to work with layers.

This was taken some time ago. Mensa Boy and mini-mensa boy were playing with scissors and paper.

Photo Scavenger Hunt

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Not a good photo, but it came to mind this morning as I was surfing through the Digitial Photography School forums. There is a thread that is a scavenger hunt. It's been going on for several months now. You post a photo and then tell what kind of photo you'd like to see next. A guy posted a "romantic" photo of a red rose and asked for an ornate mailbox. This isn't exactly ornate, but it's what I had. I asked for a photo that makes me think "heat."

It's been hot here. And somewhat stormy. Today it's only supposed to get to 85, but it's 72 already at 7:34 a.m. So I doubt it will considered a pleasant day. I haven't been outside yet.

Friday, June 29, 2007

To Answer the Question...

If I'm not a Nerd? What am I?

52% nerdiness, 30% geekosity, 34% dork points - Pure Nerd

According to this test:
OkCupid! The Nerd? Geek? or Dork?

(For Kristen)

Scoring Nerds

I am nerdier than 27% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gone But Not Forgotten

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Today I will be writing a story for the paper about a new Presbyterian church that is starting here in Indian Land. The new church is fortunate because it will be on some prime land right on the major highway that cuts through our community. The property belonged to the Presbyterian church already. There is an old church and cemetery on the site now. The old building and cemetery will retain the name Six Mile, but the new church will be called Faith Presbyterian.
This marker says "Gone but not forgotten." I think that pretty much sums up the old Six Mile church.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another Farm Dinner

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Last week our meal was inspired by The first fennel of summer in our farm box. Tonight's meal was inspired by the golden beets and green & yellow squash.

And "Fine Cooking" magazine.

Before I left for the farm, I decided to see what Fine Cooking might have about some of the produce I expected to get in my box. Sure enough, this recipe for "Rigatoni with Summer Squash, Spicy Sausage & Goat Cheese" was on page 44 of the July issue.

In my family, any pasta and any sausage goes over big. They are all guys, after all!

The beets were roasted in an open casserole lined with foil. I cut off the tops and bottoms, cleaned off any hanging debris, and placed them in the casserole dish, drizzling them with olive oil. I baked them at 400 for around an hour, took them out, and let them cool.

Right before serving I pulled the skins off the beets, sliced them, and tossed them in a warm skillet with butter.

The pasta dish was simple too. I squeezed hot italian sausage out of its links and browned it in a skillet. Removed that to a plate, and then sauteed shallots and a little more than 2 1/2 cups of diced squash until the squash was just starting to turn translucent. I then tossed everything into a pot of hot, cooked penne pasta (I didn't have rigatoni). Oh, that was a one-pound box of pasta.

After heating it all up again, I removed the pot from the stove and tossed in 4 oz of feta cheese.

We garnished with parmesan at the table and I tossed ribbons of basil from my herb pots on top. (The recipe called for flat-leaf parsley, but I didn' t have that.)

A very satisfying meal. Check out this month's "Fine Cooking." There are other nice pasta recipes in there, all very quick, it appears.

They Did This

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
As I pulled into the driveway this afternoon I was met by these two.

Later I heard one say to the other, "I'm going to keep my helmet, but there's nothing I can do with my body."

Don't we all feel that way sometimes?

When You are Cut Off from All Your Toys

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
As I mentioned earlier, we had no telephone, no television and no internet access yesterday for a while.

And so some of us went outside. The guys to play, me to reflect and read and whatever.

You notice stuff when you are cut off from computers and phones. We had a cool sky last night.

But then, I also noticed stuff INSIDE the house: SOMEONE had dialed the thermostat down to 76. Goosebumps on my arms were my first warning sign.

Essential Elements

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
I've always loved my charcoal chimney starter, but never more than in the past few weeks.

Many essential elements that make our home happy and healthy have been breaking down recently.

Our oven. Yep. The same oven I've complained about off and on for the last 5 years. That's about's off and on. It just decides not to ignite.

Our refrigerator. Not a breakdown, per se, but a loud noise we are are hounded about periodically...about once a year...where it sounds like an airplane taking off (and believe me, my career as an Air Force kid and as an urban housewife living under a major metropolitan airport gives me plenty of qualifications to tell you what sounds like an airplane taking off).

My cell phone. Just didn't come on one day last week. That ended up costing me another 2-year agreement with the service provider I love to hate. And a new phone.

My computer. With it's fragmented registry.

And our wireless network, to which I tweaked the security and subsequently brought down our entire internet connection for half a day.

And finally, a breakdown that had nothing to do with our own equipment, but a breakdown nonetheless...some construction people chopped through the communications line to our part of our community and knocked out phones, internet and cable TV for about 12 hours yesterday.

So this charcoal chimney starter? It's been a lifeline for us. It never fails. Sometimes the charcoal itself is a problem, but the starter always performs as expected.

My older son and I are creatures of habit. We like things to stay the same. We don't roll with the punches very well. The other two find each glitch to be another fascinating pothole in the road of life that needs to be poked and prodded and explored. Nate and I like our essential elements to continue as they should.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Patterns and Shadows

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Good morning!

For some weeks now I've been lurking in a photography group on Flickr called "D40/x Challenge." The group is exclusively Nikon D40 and now D40x users who like to play and work with their cameras. Each week a challenge is offered and the last couple of weeks I've submitted entries. Actually, I should clarify...there are challenges and then there are opportunities to just show your favorite (whatever the theme is). Last week we submitted photos of just our favorite photo of the week. Sometimes they are favorite summer photos...whatever strikes the group's fancy.

Last week the challenge was "Patterns." So I submitted this one. It was by no means even close to being one of the better entries, but I enjoyed walking around with my camera looking for patterns to shoot. This is of the end-of-day sun shining through my kitchen window onto my island cupboards. So of course it was rather low in the sky...the sun, that is... I have curtains on that window, after a fashion. They are kitchen hand towels with pictures of vegetables on them. There are 4 of them and I have them just thrown over the rod and tied with a ribbon in the middle.

So now I've spent way more time on that subject than I meant.

This weekend I saw three movies. All good, two excellent.

The first was "The Final Cut." Now, this was an excellent movie! Starring Robin Williams, the story takes place in the future, when many people (but not all), have microchips implanted in their brains that record every single moment of their life. Williams' character, Andy Hakman, is a "cutter." When a person dies, the microchip is removed from their body and Hakman uploads everything to a computer and goes through it all to make a video of their life for the family. The video is viewed during a "rememory" event.

Of course, he sees all the good and all the bad of each person's life and has to figure out what to keep and what to delete.

But Hakman has a part of his own past that he is tormented by, (a shadow, if you will indulge my attempt to tie today's entry to today's photo) and during one assignment, he sees a clue about it in the other person's life.

This was a fantastic movie! But very creepy. And an unexpected ending.

I'll have to tell about the other movies later. I've already spent half and hour on this post and there are things to DO!!!

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Story Wrinkle

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Amazing what a little wrinkle can do to a headline.