Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Swaying In The Wind (213/366)

Just loved the bokeh in this one.  I love this wind chime.  Daniel picked it out when we first started doing the butterfly garden.  He said it "just works Mom" and he was right.  It's not an annoying tone and its just subtle enough that you hear it but it sounds so natural.

On a warm breeze the little bells
Tinklin'  wind chimes
~Brian Wilson

Monday, July 30, 2012

Calm (212/366)

This is where I find my calm these days.  As much as I am not fond of yard work, I love working in the garden and watching our flowers bloom.  Dan was excited tonight to see our black-eyed Susan's really blooming.

I happen to love the cone flowers and yes, Mr. Cardinal, I will capture you with my camera, sooner or later!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Taking The Plunge (211/366)

Today was our first day at the pool since everyone got home.  It was a beautiful day and my back has recouped from last weekend's sunburn that I could stand to be out in it.  The kids had a blast, as usual and this was a great shot of Daniel coming out of the slide.

I so wish I had his energy.

If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in the water.
~Loren Eisley

Saturday, July 28, 2012

iPaid (210/366)

Today was the day.  We got our iPads and I have two extremely happy children.  They were not real happy that I made them go to Mass before we did the purchase but everyone survived...LOL

Now this was a deal that benefited EVERYONE!  I went to our church to purchase gift cards for our local grocery store.  Buying the gift cards from the church gives them a credit and then I split the total between two families I know so they get a discount off their tuition bill.  Then I took said gift cards to the local grocery and bought the same dollar amount in gift cards to Best Buy.  This earned me fuel perks which will equate to a free fill up in my car, about $50 savings.  Then we took the cards to Best Buy and purchased our iPads.

The kids are happy, the church is happy, my friends will be happy when they get their tuition bill when the school year starts and I got a free tank of gas (and an iPad too)....It was a win, win, win, win, win, or something along those lines!

But the real thank you is to my Dad.  We miss and love you and the kids will think of you with every message, photo and game they play.  You are the best!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Rose Is A Rose (209/366)

Some brief time outside after fun stuff opening a new bank account.  I was trying to capture a shot of a pair of cardinal by the bird feeder but despite how quiet I was, the door opening scared them off.

So after being pleased that my black-eyed susan's are in bloom, I chose my rose bush.  I have done nothing to this rose bush since I moved in and this year I took to deadheading it and keeping it trimmed and it's blooming more and more!

I love all the life and color in my garden.....

Thursday, July 26, 2012

SUNflower (208/366)

Due to work and really lousy weather, photo ops were at a premium tonight.  So in between the raindrops after work was done, I stole a few moments taking in the SUNflowers that are across from the office.

Next year, I am planting sunflowers in my yard because I absolutely love them and the bright sunny feeling they bring to your face.

True friends are like bright sunflowers that never fade away, even over distance and time.
~Marie Williams Johnstone

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Heart (207/366)

Today's photo challenge word is HEART.  I was going to try and find something heart shaped in my daily travels but then I thought about my kids.  I have not seen them since July 6th and I was missing them!

So here are the two people that have filled my heart in the last 12 years.

Daniel and Shannon, I love you both with all my heart!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In The Garden (206/366)

So I found my way to work today and managed to make it through but jet lag seems to be finding it's way to my weary self.  I did take a few moments this evening to get outback and inspect my garden.  It seems I have a Blanket Flower and a Bee Balm plant that are looking less than desirable but I am hoping a little help from some Miracle Grow will help bring them back.  The good news is that my Garden Phlox and Black-eyed Susan's have recovered from the deer trauma and are now coming along nicely.  I guess the Liquid Fence is doing it's job!

I did find quite a few of our insect friends enjoying the cone flowers and the black-eyed Susan's and Garden Phlox are coming back nicely after the deer had their way with them.  Overall, I am pleased at my first attempt at serious gardening and am learning from my mistakes to make improvements next year.

Aerodynamically the bumble bee should not be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway.
~Mary Kay Ash

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mirror, Mirror (205/366)

Adjusting back to East Coast time after two weeks on the West Coast is seeming to go better than expected.  However, I fully expect Jet Lag to smack me in the ass in the next day or so!

And since I spent most of my awake time today at my work laptop, there were not a whole lot of photo opportunities going on.  The #photoadayjuly challenge for today was mirror and since I finally decided at 9pm that a shower was in order, which gave me an opportunity to get creative with the mirror and steam.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Only Way To Fly! (204/366)

Well if you are going to get delayed, I highly recommend doing so in Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport.  Every airport needs comfy seats with electric outlets just like this.  Makes being delayed that much more tolerable.

Of course a delay means I won't be home till after 1AM tonight.  I hope to catch some zzzz's on the flight back but I am not holding hope for that.  The only thing I am looking forward to is my bed and my pillows!

Then tomorrow, we have email clean up because the work email is OUT OF CONTROL...LOL

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sailing (203/366)

We spent the morning at the beach.  It's within walking distance and it was just phenomenal.  There were surfers, kids playing and seagulls a plenty!  I think I took almost 250 in the short time we were there.

Before dinner tonight, we go searching out the St. Vincente Lighthouse to see if we can get close enough to take a few photos.

It's my last night and we plan on making the most of it!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Iconic (202/366)

Today was another touristy event after we slept in.  My body is not used to watching 3 movies, back to back to back, in a theater no less.  Not to mention up until almost 4 AM.  So we slept till almost 11AM and after breakfast and quick trip to the UPS Store, came back for a much needed nap.

By 5PM we were headed up PCH to the Pier at Santa Monica.  The spot where Route 66 officially ends.  I think that needs to be a trip one time.

One cannot go to the Santa Monica pier without taking the shot of the ferris wheel.  We ever rode it and damn, when you are at the top, waiting for the lower cars to empty and fill, brrrrrrrr.  I just keep thinking, it's July, where is the heat and humidity?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Peace And Tranquility (201/366)

It was a lovely day again in Long Beach and I took some time to visit the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at California State University-Long Beach.  It was a freebie and well worth the scrounge into my purse for enough change to park.

This lovely little gem is definitely worth taking the time to see and kids will love being able to feed the carp, which are a plenty in the pond.  I found it a wonderful spot to just relax and take pictures.  Also, tonight is Batman Trilogy night so I won't be around till the wee hours of the morning and probably not in the mood to post then...LOL

This is one of my favorite shots of the gardens today.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Deep In Thought (200/366)

Walking along the Redondo Beach Pier after dinner awarded us some beautiful sights.  There were some raindrops but not enough to run  us off the pier.

This Pelican offered a pose and I had to take the shot.  His eye were watching our every move as he waited for one of the fishermen to toss something onto the deck of the pier.

Hard to believe we are already 200 days into the year and vacation is quietly making it's way to the end, just 3 1/2 days to go.  Time to make every moment worthwhile....

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Addiction (199/366)

My two favorite things to do. I love me some baseball and the camera is never far from my hands. EVER!!

I take pictures of everything and everyone!

Tonight I was hoping to record a Phillies win and I did!  Way to go boys!  Four in a row, I think we can call it a winning streak!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sunset Beach (198/366)

On our walk to get sushi, we decided a trip to watch the sun set at the beach was in order.  I have only been to the beach on the left coast a few times but I have not yet been disappointed.

Life guard shack, sand, seagulls and the setting sun made for a perfect setting.  Mother Nature at her finest.

California sunset
Going down in the west
All the colors in the sky
Kiss another day goodbye
~Neil Young

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Relax! Don't Do It (197/366)

And that's just what I did today. A whole lot of nothing. Watched Captain Jack Sparrow in his search for the Black Pearl and thoroughly enjoyed a Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza.

And I didn't do the work I should have. But this is vacation.

Lazy days ate the best!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hollywood (196/366)

Today we ventured into Hollywood to attend a movie at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. What a crazy place Hollywood Blvd. is during the day. I could not imagine it at night!

We saw the new Avengers movie and it was a fantastic action flick! Tony Stark had all the great lines and while I never saw Thor, that man could do whatever he wanted with that hammer. Good Norse God he was HOT!!

This will be my one and only "touristy" thing while in SoCal but well worth it!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Screaming Red Zombie (195/366)

Dinner at Red Robin. Time to relax and enjoy dinner with two wonderful people and a drink.

I would do a Zombie again. YUM!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

We're not in Kansas anymore! (194/366)

Well the first have of the flight from SLC to Vegas was horrid. I don't fly well anyway but turbulence sucks!

Now my flight to Burbank is circling due to weather. I see sun so I hope that's a good sign.

Should I try my luck at the slots??

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Great Salt Lake (193/366)

I knew I when I came to Salt Lake City I could not leave without seeing the Great Salt Lake.  However, I was warned that it smelled and it was very buggy and they weren't lying, but it did lend itself to a beautiful sunset.

I took my co-worker Sandi, who was in town for a conference with me and we walked the half mile from the road and actually touched the water and shot about 50 photos.

I wish we had been about 20 mins earlier because the sunset was beyond spectacular.  I can now tick something else off my bucket list!

Great Salt Lake is an ironical joke of nature-water that is itself more desert than a desert.
~Wade Morgan

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mine, Mine, Mine (192/366)

I hear the word MINE and all I can think of is seagulls in Finding Nemo.  However, today it was all about copper mining at the Kennecott Utah Copper's Bingham Canyon Mine.  I am pretty sure I did not take a photo today the conveyed how big this mine truly is.  It's one of the only man-made structures you can see from space.

The mining pit is 2 3/4 miles across and almost 3/4 of a mile deep.  It was totally fascinating to see and some of the shots I took, one could swear you were photographing Tonka trucks, not real ones.

A worthwhile trip if you are ever in the Salt Lake City area!

Monday, July 9, 2012

BIG! (191/366)

The #photoadayjuly challenge for today is BIG.  Being in Salt Lake City for the first time, I couldn't help but want a shot of the mountains all around me.  These are much more than the "hills" we have in Pittsburgh.

This is a shot from the Capitol Hill area of Salt Lake and these are the Wasatch Mountain range.  I love how the valley just stops and boom, you are in the mountains.  No gradual ascent, they are just right there in your face surrounding the city of Salt Lake like giant stone necklace.

I am truly not in Pittsburgh anymore and a special shout out to my co-worker, Rob Crow, for being my tour guide tonight, I got some great shots and really appreciated his time!

It is wise for us to forget our troubles, there are always new ones to replace them.
~Brigham Young

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Leaving On A Jet Plane (190/366)

It's time. I thought it would never get here. 4 days of business in SLC and Thursday night off to beautiful, sunny, mid 70's and no humidity Redondo Beach, CA!!

Leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again....leaving on a jet plane....hmmmm. C'mon, you know the words!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Toes (189/366)

It was an early start to my day because I wanted to get down to my old neighborhood to visit with my friend Nicole.  Just over two months ago Nicole and her husband Mark started their family with addition of a son named Spencer.  Because I was in the "area" I wanted to make sure I got to visit with them and snap some shots of the handsome lil man.

He was awake when I arrived and I got to get in a little baby fix (very lil because those days are done for me) but it was fun to have to a chance to travel back in time.  Both mine are way out of diapers and bottles and have moved on to sports and attitudes...LOL

So I had a grand time with Nicole and Spencer before I had to head back to Pittsburgh.  I was stuck on which shot I like that best that I decided to make this a two'fer again.  He is just too cute that I had to share more than his tiny little feet!

Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, THAT'S what little boys are made of.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Chair (188/366)

I decided to incorporate the July photo challenge into my blog periodically. Today was "chair" and I knew just the chair.

Since I was back in my hometown again and spending the night at my niece's home, it had to be this chair.

It was from my Dad's house and he lived it and both my kids often fought over it to sleep in when we visited.

Just brought back some great memories and with Dad's birthday so close, it just seemed right. The best part? No kids to fight with so I can sleep in it tonight!!

Thanks Daddy!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

We Are Family! (187/366)

The only thing better than a game with the kids is a game with the family.

Today we are spending the Mets/Phillies game with their Aunt Christine, Uncle Jimmy and cousins Jessica, Kelsey, Emily and Jamie!!

Let's Go Phillies!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ava (186/366)

What a great day we had in NJ with my niece, Kristin and her family.  The kids played, swam, ate and then swam some more and had all the fun we used to have as kids at a typical 4th of July picnic.  It was also nice for me to break up the drive from DC to NY.

When I first got there, I asked Ava (my great niece) if I could take her picture and she told me NO, but as you can see, she has no shortages of smiles when my camera was up.  So much so that I loved these two shots so much that I could not make up my mind.....so it's a Two'fer for the 4th!

The camera loves you Ava, keep smiling!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Remembering (185/366)

The kids and I starting our busy July which usually means a lot of driving and traveling to new places.  I can't call this vacation (yet) because I am still on the go.  Today brought us to our Nation's capitol.  We got to DC about 12:30, got to our hotel, parked and headed over to Union Station to do the Trolley Tour.  Since this was a quick visit, this was our way of getting a taste for it all.  I really need to bring the kids back here for a long weekend so we can do it properly and I can get up close and personal with all the city has to offer.

This is the Lincoln Memorial and was the one that I got the closest too while the Trolley took us all around.
With our Nation's birthday less than a few hours away, I felt this was the best part of my day.

I am proud to be an American.  Now if we could just get our government to feel the same way and stop screwing things up!  I think they are taking lesson from some of the KO school board members, but that is a story for another day.

Happy Birthday America!

Monday, July 2, 2012

First Sighting! (184/366)

Just yesterday my neighbors asked if I had seen any hummingbirds in our new feeder yet.  Nope not yet, but it was up only a week.  So this morning, knowing it was going to be an ugly day I took a few minutes outside watching the birds in the bird feeder and just before I leave to go get ready for work, I am blessed with this little beauty!

Looking forward to when my neighbors flowers start to burst as she said they are definite hummingbird magnets.  That and my new camera and lens so I can get a closer view of these lovely little flying friends!

Like the hummingbird sipping nectar from every flower, I fly joyfully through my days, seeing beauty in everything.
~Amethyst Wyldfyre

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Halfway! (183/366)

That's right friends and fellow readers, it's the official midway point of 2012.  Six months in the books and what have I gotten accomplished?

1.  6 months of my 365 project done.
2.  Trained 2 employees at the office to take on the duties I was filling in on when someone left.
3.  Both kids completed the school year with successful grades and honors!
4.  Cleaned out and planted my butterfly garden.
5.  Took on a Monthly Photo Challenge.

I am sure there are more things I could add to the list, but its been a day.  I started off with the nastiest smelling stuff on the earth to help protect my flowers from the ever hungry deer in our area.  Liquid Fence.  For as bad as it smells it better work!

Here is one of my other cone flowers and apparently they are a bit rough for the deer pallet because they have left them alone so far.

So what have you accomplished in the first half of 2012 and what's in store for the second half?