Sunday, July 31, 2011

212/365 - Future Garden Spot

This is the area that the Landlord said we can use to build our garden for next year. We need to do some serious weeding and then build up some edges or a box to contain the garden so that when the rains come it wont wash out our nice fresh top soil.

It is going to take us all year to get the weeds and the roots out of the area and maybe to evict the bunny that lives there but I think it will turn out to be a good area for tomatoes and some other veggies that I would love to grow.


Photo taken in our backyard Bow, WA.

212/365 - Backyard Gardens

These are the barrels that we placed in the backyard to plant our Jasmine and Honeysuckle plants in. The Honeysuckle is in bloom a second time and the Jasmine is waiting for cooler weather to blossom once more. In the fall the Jasmine will do some serious growing and flowering before it gets too cold.


Photo taken in my backyard Bow, WA.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

210/365 Reading List

Here is my current reading list. I started The Dawn Stag, but on a later trip to the library, got the latest Patricia Briggs, River Marked which is only 14 days, so I'll be reading it first, then finishing DS. After that, I intend to move on to Graceling, then The Shakespeare graphic novels, Miss Julia, and last but not least, the last one, that I've forgotten the title of, can't make out in the pic, and am too lazy to go see what it it. :-p

211/365 - Field of daisies

I'm working tonight and my camera's batteries are charging, so I don't have a current photo. However, I do have a large crop of photos from my trip up to Scotland. Here's a photo of my parents' garden - or field, as I like to call it. In the background, you can see my dad mowing the lawn on his red tractor-mower.

Friday, July 29, 2011

210/365 Hand Forged

Yesterday I posted a photo of the view looking through a window in the old barn next door.

This photo is of the same barn. It's the door & latch to the old horse stantion that we use for storage.

The barn & latch are at least 100 years old. The iron pieces were forged by hand by a blacksmith. Many of the nails in the barn were also made by hand.

I think it's pretty cool.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

209/365 Market Day

Thursday is Market Day in my town/suburb. I like to stroll over the market and usually end up buying something I hadn't planned to get/don't need.

These days, there are a lot of cheap clothes and accessories dealers - I don't mind a few, some of them have nice stuff, but it looks like they are slowly driving out the small, interesting food stalls. (This is not only their doing, of course - there's a board that decides who gets to rent the spaces and they tend to be more interested in the big, sprawling clothes least that's what a guy with a one-sq-metre honey-products stall told me once.)
In the photo, there's one of the big veggie stalls, and the only crafts stall (selling yarns and hand-made clothes) in the background.)

Anyway, I went there today and took a few photos. Nothing came out really great, I'm afraid (mostly because I'm too shy to take the time to think about the photo as I fear people won't like it if they notice there's a camera pointed at them), but I thought the accidental composition of this one had some interest. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

209/365 Window to My World

Our neighbors have a very old barn.
They allow us to use one of the old horse stantions for storing lawn tools & wood. 
When I was out in the barn the other day I thought the view from this old window into our yard would make for an interesting photograph.  I cannot actually see this view as I had to raise the camera 
above my head to take the photo.
I have no idea how many years the glass has been broken, but the neighbor has left the glass out so that the swallows can come in & build nests in the barn. 
You can see one piece of wooden window pane hanging down.

208/365: Prezzie for me

Didn't plan on it, but....

Where I work we sometimes do "trade" accounts for new system sales.  One of those accounts is like an upscale pawn shop called "All that Glitters".  They have electronics, jewelry and other stuff.  For years my brother has been asking me to get something from there and I never have until now.  

When the tech was out last week, he called and said they had just taken in a new Nook (it is an e-book reader for those who don't know, similar to Kindle) and would I want it and so I did.  I found out that it does much more than just downloads books.  I can watch movies, videos, listen to music, surf the web, check my email, play games and of course read books.
Because it is Wi-Fi, I can do this from the couch.  I didn't even know that I had Wi-Fi at my apartment, but I do and I also learned that my laptop is Wi-Fi capable, so now I can use that from any where in the apartment.

I haven't downloaded any books yet.  There are thousands of free books and I have an account at Barnes and Noble to get any title that I want, but I still love my actual hard copy books.  I think this will come in handy on trips and such.  Anyway wanted to share it with you folks.

208/365...What a difference a day makes...

So, Sunday the 24th of July dawned in glorious sunshine. I took this picture of my neighbor's tree. I like looking at it against the blue sky. Later that day we all headed out to our friend's home for my oldest son's birthday party. It was a very fun time and the day was comfortably warm.

And then....

Monday came....

Thunder crashed...
Lightning flashed...
The rains came...
And I kept looking for Noah.

Location...Calma's street in Port Orchard WA.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

207/365 Cornfield??

There is a running joke at my place of employment that they built a Medical School and hospital out in the middle of a cornfield.

It is absolutely true.....this year, at least.  Last year it was soybeans.

The land surrounding the place is still owned by the Hershey trust.  It used to be dairy farms, now it is corn/soybean fields.  Back in the day, Milton Hershey wanted cheap milk close by, so he had thousands of acres of dairy farms in the surrounding counties. Some of those old farms are still around. You can tell by the wooden signs hanging by the road, identifying the farm by the number it was given.  For example: Farm 41. 

Nowadays Hershey chocolate isn't as good and some of it is made elsewhere, but it's nice to get a glimpse of the 'old days'.

And in case you are wondering.... the Hershey Trust donated the land for the Medical School and hospital, which is why it's in the middle of a cornfield!

~Tooks in PA

Monday, July 25, 2011

206/365: Law school

I took this out of a window in one of the law school buildings; you can't see if because of the angle, but there's a little courtyard down below filled with nice plants and a few places to sit--not actually sure how you get there, though! Our law school has the most beautiful (read: old and ivy-covered, yay!) architecture on campus, and they're actually constructing a new building right now in the style of all the older ones so that it'll match, which I think is awesome. I like to come here just to admire the buildings, but it's also a great place for photoshoots (which I've also done).

Ann Arbor, MI


Sunday, July 24, 2011

205/365 - Wow! My very own sushi bar!

This is one of the last photos I took of SiSi while she lived with us. She really loved the fish and would do what she could to get as close as possible. I caught her sitting on the back of my computer chair just staring at the poor fish.. I think she thought we had set this out for her own personal sushi bar.

"Now which one do I want today? The dark fish or the light fish? Decisions, decisions!"

Photo taken in Bow, WA.


205/365 - I give you the Moon and the Stars

I really did not get much of a chance to go take photos this week but I did take these of a couple of new wall hangings I bought for the house.

I give you the Star that is solid on most sides and then open scroll work on the area of the bottom right.

Then I give you the Moon and Stars that I fell in love with. I was going to put these on the house but decided to hang them above the couch instead!

These photos were taken in my front room in Bow, WA.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

204/365: Toys and games!


This week I was in Southern Poland, in the Świętokrzyskie voivodship which just happens to be best known for its history of toy production!

I spent the better part of the week at the Toy Museum in Kielce, teaching young kids how to animate. This is a picture of the room we worked in, and some of the puppets they made for the film we shot together.

In the foreground, you can see one British officer (with his faithful green plasticine hound) and one French soldier of the Napoleonic era (this is according to the ten year-olds who made them).

It was a glorious, crazy mess. I think the biggest success was when one particularly rowdy and annoying crisp-chewer magically turned into the most disciplined animator in history. I was having trouble explaining to him that his space agent puppet couldn't 'kill everyone else with his laser shotguns and then fly away', unless the others agreed to have their puppets die. They didn't. Yet he kept trying to get his way...

I managed to convince one boy with a pirate puppet to fight the space agent, with a plasticine goral and his wooly dog as the appalled witnesses. Still, my troublemaker wanted to kill everyone dead. Oh, and his bat monster had to appear in the film at all costs.

So after we had just shot a few frames, I showed him on the screen how his puppets were 'moving by themselves'.  He was stunned. From then on, he was absolutely perfect, and when we finished, he roared, spitting crumbs everywhere: "THESE WERE THE BEST WORKSHOPS EVER!" He didn't even mind that the fight between the spaceman and the pirate ended in a tie.

Then he pulled out his cell phone (eight years old, seriously!) and called his father to say: "Dad, I can't go home yet, I'm busy working on a film set."

Kids. I love them, under the condition that someone takes them home at the end of the day.


204/365 - Another sunset!

So, I'd forgotten to post today and was on my way to work with the intention of posting tomorrow and back-dating it. However, my car is a little sick (what's new there?!) so I'm back at home and can post my photo. :)

This is the sunset from work yesterday evening.

Friday, July 22, 2011

203/365: Art Fair!

This week is the annual Ann Arbor art fair; actually, it's made up of 4 different art fairs in different parts of the town, all running at the same time. They have all sorts of art in different media, as well as food and music. Awesome for art enthusiasts, not so much for traffic, as whole portions of the town are blocked off. As luck would have it, this year's fair is taking place during the hottest week of the summer--I went yesterday armed with sunscreen and water bottles, took periodic AC breaks, and tried to go in as many shady tents as possible, and I still melted!

Ann Arbor, MI


203/365 Picture Picture

Since I completely forgot about pics this week, I'm posting an old doodle of mine that I've used to enter a dress design contest through a company called Holy Clothing, that I found through Facebook.
I'll try to do better next week. Sorry, Folks!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

202/365 Harvest

Berry harvest in the trunk of our car. There's two kilos of redcurrants and about ten kilos of cherry plums (or, well, some other variety of small plum - we found the tree in the garden and haven't been able to identify the fruit beyond doubt :D ), and a few leftover gooseberries.

It was high time I got round to get into our veggie garden again. We'd taken most of the gooseberries last time, but the red-currants and cherry plums were only just coming - I'd been hoping they'd not ripen too quickly and wait till I'd get round to visit again, and I guess I've partly got the chilly weather to thank for them taking another three weeks and being fully ripe right now. In fact, a large part of the cherry plums had already fallen from the tree and had to be thrown away, but there were still lots on the tree. I took about ten kilos - and that's only the ones I could easily reach - the upper end of the tree is still full, and no chance of getting there. Ah well, I'm sure this is all the amount I can use anyway. I might have tried making wine from them, but on reading up on the how-to, I learned that all fruits from the plum-family are not very suitable for making wine - apparently, too little acidity. Don't know about that, really - the jam I've made from them so far is quite sour (but in a pleasant way). Ah well. They are also my favourite fruit to make liqueur from, so I started a few litres of that. ;) :D

202/365 With My Head in the Clouds

Calma retired this week and she mentioned we are short a photo of the Olympic mountain range. 
We were in Washington state last year and we drove to the top of the Olympics.. 
well, as far as one can drive.. 

So, in honor of Calma.. I give you:
The Olympic Mountains

Happy Retirement Calma!!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

201/365....I'm not so sure.....

I don't know about this....
Yesterday there were five squirrels in my backyard.
Four of them were all over the peanuts I tossed to them.
This little girl wasn't too sure about this big thing with no tail flipping food at her.
She wanted that peanut, she really did, but there was that tail-less creature standing there.
Meanwhile the other four were busy eating and burying their goodies....

She finally decided it was ok to spring out, grab the peanut, and zzzoooommmmm back up the tree.

Squirrels are k-ray-zee people.

Location: Calma's backyard.
Port Orchard, WA.

201/365: Schmozie Prezzie!!

For my birthday:

Rose painted this lovely blue wren  (wrennie = Rwhen + blue my favorite color) for me for my birthday this year.  I think it is lovely and it is shown here on top of my kitchen rack, but it lives in my bathroom full time.

Thank you Rose, I love this so much!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

200/365 - Dragons!

Book five of A Song of Ice and Fire finally came out last week, so yay! I started re-reading the series a few months ago to prepare, but so far am only at the beginning of the fourth book, so it'll be a few more weeks before I can get started on the new one. :(

Shadow, however, seems to be engrossed.  She likes the parts with the direwolves, not sure why. ;)


200/365 Wildlife!

I have two photos today for my wildlife theme…
The first was taking during an early morning run.  As I trotted along I heard some robins chirping and squawking up a storm, and it usually means there’s a predator nearby.  That’s when I spotted this fellow (erm…okay maybe it’s a female…no way of telling) up on the power lines.  I stood right underneath him but he seemed unperturbed.  Using my handy-dandy x10 optical zoom, I got a decent picture even in the bad light.  Most likely it is a red-tailed hawk, since they are pretty numerous around here.  You can’t see the red-tailness easily unless they are in flight.

The second photo was taken a few days later during the high heat and humidity of the late afternoon.  I have been diligently watering my potted plants, and I guess this fellow (ok… maybe it’s female again!!) found the dampness to its liking.  As I stepped on the front porch I was surprised to spot a toad resting in one of the pots!  I misted him/her down with the hose a bit.  Later, after it was dark, he/she had disappeared off into the shrubbery.  I plan on making a toad abode out of one of my old clay pots so he/she has a nice place to rest during these hot months.

~Tooks in steamy Florida...I mean PA!

Monday, July 18, 2011

199/365: More vacation!

Another shot from my family's vacation to Boyne City -- this time with water toys!! Hey, we can't lie around in the hammock all week, right?

The blue and yellow tube near the top of the picture is something we found on the cottage's porch, left behind by another group because it had a hole. However, it wasn't enough hole to prevent my cousins and brother from blowing it up and spending the afternoon floating on it--they attached it to another floating island and an inflatable kayak and christened the entire thing the "Beer Island Nation". I think the name speaks for itself... :D

Boyne City, MI


Sunday, July 17, 2011

198/365 - The Olympics at Sunset

This is a dreamy vision on the horizon of The Olympic Mountains for Calma.

I will get there some morning for a good view where you can see the snow covered peaks and the pollution is down so you can actually see them clearer.

I love this picture cause it is like seeing a vision of a dream floating on the horizon of a place that we would wish to escape to. It is a wonderful place to visit. My sisters cabin is on this side in the southern end of the woods.

So this is for Calma!!


Photo taken at Little Mountain lookout in Mt. Vernon, WA.

198/365 - Waters Running Sweet

These are the waterfalls of Waterfall Park in Bellingham WA. Ryan and I took a walk there a few years ago and really enjoyed it. The peace and serenity there.

This is the largest falls there and they are almost at the beginning of the walk. The paths run for miles along this river both up and down river.

Back in 2000 a pipeline pipe sprang a slow leak of the oil or gas it was carrying and polluted the river but no one seemed to smell or see it. Two young boys found a lighter and were playing with it along the rivers edge in the shade just south of the main falls. Needless to say there was a huge explosion and fire ball ran down the river destroying everything. The fire raged down the river almost a mile before it stopped. The two boys both 11 and one young man of 19 perished in the sudden blaze. Even in the tragedy they were able to find that the boys saved a lot of people in the act of causing the explosion. If the leak had gone on much longer the leak would have effected the river right into town and on into the Puget sound. It was very sad and just before school got out for the summer.

Now the area has rebounded and grown back beautifully. There are several falls along this trail as well as a pond that fish enjoy. There are even places along the river that are so deep that kids do cliff diving off of. Personally I could never do that but it is fun to watch them jump from the heights and hit the water.

It is a great place to cool off on a hot summer day or take a nice quiet walk to enjoy nature.

We went again with Ryan's mom to show her the area and took a long walk just last week.

There is also a fish hatchery for trout attached to the park as well as a nice picnic area and playground.


Photos taken at Waterfall Park, Bellingham, WA.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

197/365: I miss the sea

I didn't post last week because I forgot. I was too busy getting drunk with some sailors.

Tall ships



197/365 - Bottle bib

A few days ago at work, I asked my colleague to fill up my bottle of water from the cooler. It came back looking like this:

He'd put a little napkin bib on it so that my hands wouldn't get cold (it was a roasting day, so it was a strange thought! But sweet!). :D

Friday, July 15, 2011

196/365 Sugar Shack!

I rode my bike to work on Wednesday, and on the way home went by the Sugar Shack in Hummelstown.  I had the idea to stock up on some Mallo Cups, but figured they'd just be a gooey mess by time I got home.  Saved by the summer heat!!!

~Tooks in Southcentral PA

196/365 Life With Kittehs

My roommate's kitten, Smokey loves being cuddled. Even when it's hot and you don't wanna cuddle.

Moria's response to me cuddling the kitten? Sulking behind the easy chair and hissing at the kitten if they get within a couple feet of each other. Silly Kitty!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

195/365 Dorset Coast

A view from our walk along a particularly beautiful part of the coast in the south of England, deservedly on the UNESCO world heritage list.

We did a lovely round walk, starting at Lulworth Cove, going up the cliffs and then inland, across fields and meadows, to come back out in the valley in front of the highest of the cliffs you see in the middle background (so, we didn't walk that really steep cliff ;) ), then up again and back on top of the cliffs to the village of Lulworth (with a descent to beach level at a stunning rock formation called Durdle Door, which is right behind the bay in the photo). So, this is at after about 3/4 of our walk, which wasn't more than 5 or 6 miles, but had some steep climbs. And views that were overwhelming. Very tired and very happy at the end of this. :D

195/365 Hobbit is as hobbit does.

More & More FLOWERS~!

My daughter is in
Japan at the moment
but she had given me 
an African violet for 
Mother's Day & it's 
blooming now. 
I love the iridescent
quality of the petals.
(click to enlarge.. although
I see I should have cleared
a bit of dirt off before
taking the photo!)

This is another one of my flower beds.
As you can see, I need to get a few annuals in
the ground next to the Shasta daisy's.
The day lilies & mums to the right are not
blooming quite yet.

This is a close-up of Kennilworth ivy.. 
it's growing in the crevices of the rocks,
but you can't see it in the larger photo. 
In fact, this ivy pops up all over my yard.
I really like this little ground cover,
it looks like tiny little orchids and
it seems very 'Shire-like' to me.

Gone Gardening

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

194/365: Julia's TORC Clock

I think the header says it all.  The apron I got with a membership to a cooking club and the clock I got as a gift.

My apartment in Vancouver, WA.


194/365.....Local eating place....

New place in town.
 It's only been about two months since this place opened up, but its reputation is growing. It has great food and good service. The prices are right for the food you get, too. We've gone twice and have yet to be disappointed. Just remember to bring a big appetite, because you will get a lot of food.  

Calma's Buddy Car can be seen in the reflection, btw.  :D

Location:  Port Orchard, WA.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

193/365 - Rock

So every year around these parts there's this big music festival called Summerfest.  Basically a couple weeks of a wide variety of artists every day, you pay once for entrance to the festival grounds and can see however many bands you can get to on that day.  They don't always feature bands that I listen to, but the past couple years I've been going at least once.  This year I saw Sevendust, a hard rock band, (not my favorite but I hadn't seen them live before, so I figured why not?) and the two rock bands that played that stage before them: a local indy band and a lesser known signed band, neither of which I had heard of before.  Sad to say I found the main show disappointing due to poor sound mixing and being only an hour long (seriously, one of the openers played longer than they did!).  But hey, at least I discovered two good bands, so I got my money's worth for the night.

The picture above comes from the Sevendust show, and was hard to get due to their flashy light-show.  Most of the pictures I took wound up more like this one:


193/365 A quiet place...

On Saturday during my weekend bike ride I ended up near the little town of Highspire.  I stopped to investigate Reservoir Park.  The reservoir resembled a bog more than a lake…the wet and hot weather made the shoreline too overgrown to explore, but I did get a photo of this nice willow tree.

~Tooks in PA!!