Monday, May 26, 2008

Burnett Garden

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Yes, we're still alive. Nate will graduate on Friday, if I let him live that long. Mensa Boy seems to have JUST ABOUT conquered influenza. Taylor and I are just coasting along...he's primarily on poop patrol, I'm shopping and planning for the open house on Sunday.

But today I got to go to June Burnett's house and take photos of her garden for the newspaper. She and her garden will be in Southern Living magazine in July and our papers want to write a story about the story. Delightful lady, beautiful home. Mom and I went and spent 90 minutes with her walking around and talking plants and trees and shrubs and cats.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Yellow Roses

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
I planted this rose bush last year and I'm proud to say it survived the nightmare that was my flowerbed then, a rest in the woods for a week, and then a transplant to the newly-conditioned bed. My first bloom of the summer. Walmart: $5. I shot this 3 or 4 days ago and have had several other blooms from this plant since then.

Yesterday I was buddy Tambri's "glitter girl." We put together the signs and art for the backdrop for the recital, which is next Saturday. It will be a long, grueling day as we set up, have dress rehearsals, then the show, then clean up. I plan to extract my pound of flesh from her two weeks after that when we do Nate's open house.

And speaking of open house, I think now I'm going to change the time. Yesterday I went to a local church's BBQ fundraiser and it was pretty warm. I started really thinking about our back yard and realizing that we ought to move the open house to 4 or 5 o'clock, when the sun gets over the trees. Otherwise it will be too hard on everyone to be out there. Then they will all pile in here, which I definitely don't want!

And I've really been thinking about Nate's cake. I wanted to do something different, but I couldn't figure out what. Finally it occurred to me that I should have his Erskine acceptance letter scanned on top of it. I'll order a sheet or half sheet and then we'll make cupcakes and frost them in Erskine colors. I'm pretty excited about that. But I pulled the letter out and it's kind of bad looking. It was obviously folded up before the ink had already dried, so we've got quite a bit of smearing. Tambri suggested copying it on a color copier first to see if that would clear it up, but I think I'm going to call Erskine tomorrow, tell them what I'm up to, and see if they'd mind doing me a new one on plain, untextured paper. I'm willing to be they would.

Today the cleaning lady comes at 4 to walk the house and give me an estimate. I will be so glad to have a "big clean" done.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there. It will be a quiet, standard Sunday here, I'm sure. Mensa Boy is not around and I think Nate is working all day. I'm reasonably certain the guys have not thought about getting cards or anything. That's alright.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Testing Vortex

Testing Vortex
Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
I shot this at the end of a long morning of Advanced Placement testing yesterday.

I recently set my camera's "optimize image" setting to "more vivid." It makes my shots a little darker, but I like the way it makes the colors pop a little more. I cropped this to 5x5 and then applied a vortex blur, which I then erased from the student.

I have not done much shooting since I started the job, mainly because I haven't done any newspaper work since then either. I'm hoping to start doing more shooting for fun now that I don't feel compelled to work at home anymore. Today I am going to a church BBQ fundraiser to get some shots for the paper, though. I'm looking forward to that.

The patio project is nearing completion. Steve is coming today to do the mortar. I need to get out and take some shots of that, too.

Last night Taylor and I ate an odd supper and watched "Die Hard." He'd never seen it before. I asked him what he wanted for supper and he said wings. I knew I had a few. But wings take 90 minutes to bake so that they are crunchy. So I picked up sushi too. So we started grazing with sushi, then went to french fries, and then wings, topping it all off with movie candy. It was a fun night.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Tenth Avenue North - Love Is Here

My new favorite group. Their debut album is due for release in about 10 days.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
I planted one clematis last fall next to the copper obelisk that Taylor and I made in cub scouts a few years ago. But really I knew it would want least two more. So this spring I bought two nice, big plants from Lowe's Home Improvement for about $8 each. This is the first bloom from the's one of the spring plants. I'm starting to see nearly daily changes in my garden now. It's pretty exciting!

Things are hopping around here as I ramp up prep for Nate's Open House June 1. Friend Steve is putting in the flagstones now that will extend our existing patio out slightly beyond the pergola. It looks much more finished back there now. I guess I'll need to shop for some furniture next.

I've also secured someone to do a deep cleaning of the entire house before the open house, and she'll come every week or every other week after to help out. That will help a lot. I can manage the cleaning, but it's a stress I really don't need, and if I'm doing it when Mensa Boy is here, he feels obligated to help.

So. that's all I know for now.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
This is from yesterday as well. The best, probably, of all 250 shots. I did pull a major novice boner. When I uploaded all the pix I noticed that I'd shot them all with the ISO set at 1600. That made them all much noisier. However, the colors are good and the lighting seems to be working well. It was about 6 or 7 o'clock last night when we did this.

My idea was to do this task this weekend while Mensa Boy is home is because I knew Nate would have a really bad attitude about it. My theory was that Dad would be able to make it a little more fun and try to josh him into enjoying himself.

That totally backfired. MB is so inside-out getting ready for his trip to China that his head wasn't really in the game either. I could have actually killed them both!

But we did get a few and I hope to have another run at this today. If I can't make it work out then I'll ask a friend from school, who was Nate's Biology teacher, to get together with us and help.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Shooting Him

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
A semi-miserable photo shoot with Nate ended with about a half dozen shots where he actually looked like he might be enjoying himself.
We'll have another go tomorrow without the cap and gown. If I can't get something I really want, I have a friend at school that will shoot him. We are hoping to use these for the invitations to his open house June 1.