Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The View From Here: Thick Morning Fog

Last week I was greeted with a variety of early morning conditions on my commute. One morning the fog was deep and murky, so thick you could barely see through it enough to drive, even though the sun was already up. I didn't blur these pictures; that's how it looked:

The next day it was bright and sunny, with beautiful colors in the clouds as the sun rose. The sun is that tiny red dot near the horizon, believe it or not:

Then over the beautiful, sunny, warm weekend I had a chance to take some pictures outside of a dogwood tree. The first picture I'm not that crazy about, but I included it so you could see how the whole tree looked, loaded with blooms:

Up close and personal:

Even more personal still:

I couldn't resist!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The View From Here: Clouds & Matzo Balls

Today I am exhausted. I had planned on going outside to do a little yardwork (emphasis on the word LITTLE), since we have been getting so much rain and everything is turning into a jungle. Today is the first day in a week that it hasn't rained at all, though it has been overcast all day, and cool. Ideal for doing work outside. So outside I went, after generously slathering myself with bug repellent cream. I was going to mow the lawn but then I thought, hey, I'll trim the hedges too, it won't take too long. Next thing you know I was cutting tree branches and pulling weeds, and it was after 6pm when I came back inside. Work always turns into more work, it seems. But the job is done and it looks nice. And I had a chance to think as I worked, which is always nice too. Naturally, as I look out the window while I type this, it is getting darker and darker, so we probably will get some rain after all. Glad I got it done in time.

Here are a few photos I took of the clouds around here. They are all taken on different days, and all taken with a cell phone camera. I like the way I was able to frame the shots and how interesting the clouds looked:

No, I wasn't driving when I took this picture.

This one looks like a painting to me:

I like how the trees are framing the clouds in this shot:

I almost forgot to mention: at Easter-time this year, I decided to make matzo ball soup for the first time. I looked online for a simple recipe and went to the store to purchase the supplies. But alas, when I went to purchase the ingredients individually, I was not happy with the price. So I decided to make a prepared mix. Streit's matzo ball soup was on sale, so I bought that one. My daughter enjoys matzo ball soup as much as I do, so she was interested to see how I made it. I followed the directions, shaping the matzo into small, meatball-sized balls. I thought they were going to stay that size, but they expanded nearly 3 times as much once the soup was done. It was very good, but it didn't taste like the kind that we usually get from the diner. Next time I will splurge and make it from scratch to see what it tastes like that way; I like the experience of making food from scratch, even if it takes longer. I sprinkled a little italian seasoning on top before I ate it:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hot Melted Butter...

I was making chicken tikka masala for dinner the other night. I poured olive oil into a skillet, and then put several pats of butter in. As the skillet became hot, the butter started melting in a very interesting pattern:

almost fern-like, or like an undersea coral. I don't recall having seen it melt like that before, or maybe I just didn't take the time to notice such things, have you?

One more picture of some beautiful blooming rhododendrons:

Almost to the end of my series of blooming flowers. Next up will be dogwood and peonies, once they bloom.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The View From Here: Sunrise

Now that the sun is rising earlier and earlier each day, I can take a few shots of it at varying stages. Here are a few pictures I took today:

Watching the sun rise is one of the best parts about getting up early. Don't you think so?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Read about loom knitting phenom Isela Phelps, Sherri's Hat Shop, and Brain Food

For all the Moms out there, I thought it would be nice to interview a couple of enterprising Moms, in celebration of Mother’s Day. Click http://www.creativehelps.com/interviews_3.htm#ANOTHER_COLORFUL_LIFE_~_ISELA_PHELPS to read my interview with loom knitting phenomenon, Isela Phelps.

Known and admired by many for her insightful loom knitting tips and creative designs, Isela chats with me about creating patterns and what inspires her.

Also, you will be inspired by my interview with Carol Bruner and the story of Sherri’s Hat Shop.

Sherri’s Hat Shop provides free custom hats to children and teens with hair loss from cancer and alopecia. Click http://www.creativehelps.com/interviews_3.htm#ANOTHER_COLORFUL_LIFE_~_CAROL_BRUNER to read all about how Carol got started, and how you can create a hat!

Finally, I posted a new review of Brain Food, a product offered by Fat Brain Toys, at my CreativeHelps.com Creative Product Review blog.

Take a look and see why I recommend Brain Food!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The View From Here: Round Valley Afternoon

The warm breezes of Springtime, the sweet aroma of blossoms, the company of family on a stroll through Round Valley Park in NJ... what could be better?