Photography – When it is SPOT ON!

A shout out to Hannes van Eeden at Wandering Ambivert out of Cape Town, South Africa. He’s an AMAZING photographer. He shares tips / tricks to make “us” better photographers.

I’m hoping this is up to his standards. I’m sure he would have tweaking advice. I did take zillions of photos to capture this one. The birds were on to me – NOT sure what I was up to, so I had to be FAST.

I smiled when I saw a field of dandelions! Did you know that the yellow flower is the dandelion. I always thought the white puff ball was the dandelion. Well, in theory it is, because it is the seeds from the yellow flower.

I did not know that!! What a revelation. It’s hard for me to imagine the yellow flower turning into a fuzz ball. I need to scout out a transformation video on that.

It must happen in the dark of night, right!?

I haven’t seen a bunch of them together in a long time. I was tempted to blow this puff ball out, but if you don’t blow every single one you are doomed in the love department. There is a better myth that you can blow on the seeds and make a wish. I like that one!

NOW, you know why there is a field of dandelions. All those seeds we blow on land somewhere to create more blooms for the next year.

Finally, it is LILAC season. My goodness, they are blooming everywhere, white and lilac colors and they smell heavenly. I do mean heavenly. I admit I prefer the lilac colored ones.

That about sums up my photography for the day. I was on a roll, it was fun!

Our weather is so strange. We’ve got Fall for three days, Spring the next and then Summer. We’ve just got to roll with it. Personally, I prefer Fall / Spring weather, I hope it stays cooler.

Have a nice day!

Library… Ah, the hardcover book.

I haven’t been to the Library in a long time. Before COVID to be exact. It’s so easy now to get books online, that going to the library isn’t necessary. Yet, there’s something about a nice hardcover book in my hands that makes reading that much more enjoyable. Sit by the window, no straining with the eyes.

The other day I walked passed a library. I decided to go in. I forgot how nice it is to look at the section for NEW books that “just arrived.” I was so happy! All sorts of unknown book titles. Before I knew it, I had been in the library almost 2 hours. Amazing, I was a little kid, opening one book after another.

It’s also interesting to see what books people return. Look at this, I found a Jeffrey Archer book. I used to read him all the time. Then moved on, but I really enjoy his writing style.

I can’t give a review of the book yet. I’ll admit that the story line does not seem NEW so far. Seems like a plot that’s been out there already. I’m hoping for some MAJOR twists and turns, so I am not left yawning and skimming versus reading to get to the end.

PLEASE, Mr. Archer, SURPRISE ME!

Off to make a pot of tea!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hats off to the wonderful neighbors who have planted tulips for us to enjoy. They are amazing. A shame they only bloom for 1-2 weeks, such a colorful and delicate flower.

I was lucky to get this photo while the sun was shining. We’ve had rain for a few days now.

Let’s do something special… (flowers for ourselves, a pedicure, almond croissant forget the calories, Prosecco with breakfast, a favorite chocolate, take out the tea set – SO MANY possibilities!)

I’ve started you out with some FLOWERS!

ENJOY your Sunday!

A hole in my sock…

We all know that feeling. We’re rushing to get dressed, pull out a pair of socks, start to put them on and one of our toes pokes out of a hole. It’s SO IRRITATING! At that moment, I’m sure you’d agree, we assess the situation. CAN WE GET BY with wearing the sock that day?

We have to determine… 1) How big is the hole and 2) How uncomfortable our toe is going to feel all day.

Ah, my first thought was to THROW the socks out! THEN I heard my Italian mother in my mind saying to me when I was a child, “We don’t throw socks out, are you CRAZY, we sew the hole up.”

YES, parents do get irritated with kids when they want to throw everything old away and buy it new. Back in the day, as they would say, you “fix” everything. Old is better than new. I heard that a lot as a kid.

So… WHAT did I do after I heard the VOICE? I searched for my sewing kit. I admit, it’s gotten a little dusty, I haven’t used it in ages. I pulled it off the back of the shelf. I opened it and then THOUGHT about the situation. Was I really in the mood to sew the hole? No, I was not, but at least, I had the sewing kit opened, so I was one step closer to sewing the hole, right.

Ah… it’s like ironing our clothes, we have to be in the mood to do it.

I bet you were hoping to see the LAST photo of the darned sock. NOPE, not today.

However, I feel happy knowing that I will SAVE my sock from the dumpster! I really do like these socks!

The Peabody Memphis – Hotel

I was recently in Memphis for a wedding and we stopped off at The Peabody Memphis hotel to see the DUCK MARCH. I found this YouTube video, so you can see what it looks like. The ducks have a special home on the rooftop / penthouse. They come down the center elevator and march down the red carpet to the lobby fountain every day at 11:00 AM. People come from all over the world to see the ducks. THEN at 5:00 pm, the Duckmaster escorts the ducks back to their rooftop penthouse for the evening.

In 1940, Mr Pembroke became the first Duckmaster and taught the ducks the famous Duck March. He served in this position for 50 years. He was a former circus animal trainer. I loved this photo of him.

Of course, while we waited, we had to have the signature Peabody Duck Drink, little floating duck on top.

It’s amazing that something so simple as marching ducks to a hotel fountain can be so entertaining. We enjoyed seeing them. The weekend was especially busy with families coming to watch with their children.

It’s a beautiful historic hotel. I tried to visit St Jude Hospital to see the Danny Thomas Memorial Garden, but the hospital was closed to visitors. Music on Beale street was fun!

Glad we had a wedding to go to in Memphis, fun visiting.

Who likes Jigsaw Puzzles?

I haven’t done a jigsaw puzzle in a while. I hadn’t even thought of doing one, just busy with “other things.” So, I smiled when I saw this puzzle on the Clearance rack.

My first thought, the children’s book, “The Princess and the Pea.” What a cute idea to have a cat on top of a bunch of beautiful pillows. I love bright colors, so was attracted to this immediately. Another attraction was the size being rectangular versus square. I found that to be a challenge.

One thing though, the measurements. At 39 inches long, it takes up quite a bit of space on a dining table in an awkward way. A little bit shorter would have been better, but I don’t think puzzle makers take that into consideration. They are creators, right. They do what is visually appealing, leave technical issues to the puzzle maker purchaser. Fall in love with a puzzle and we can make it work!

Size aside, I’m looking forward to doing this puzzle. I smile every time I look at it. It’s just so colorful!

So, the BIG QUESTION — Do I start in the middle, do the border or the CAT FIRST??

Ah… the puzzle maker’s challenge!

Decorating with life size SHEEP…

If you love sheep like I do, you’ll think this is a BEAUTY! I found this by accident. I was at the store browsing their Easter decorations. Wondering if there was anything new and interesting, gnomes are the “in thing.” But then suddenly, I saw this life size sheep. Beautiful! What craftsmanship. This was a high end sheep with plush wool, a child could sit on it. I immediately looked at the tag, no price, but it did have the manufacturer’s information.

Of course, made in Germany by Meier.Germany! It’s a family owned business, third generation now. The business was started in 1948 by Hermann Meier (father). His focus was on rocking horses, and he did very well. Then Horst Meier (son) entered the business. He expanded the rocking horse line to include life size sheep and other animals. These are expensive toys / decorating sheep starting at $250 and up.

I came across deSaive deSign / Interior Design & Accessory company. They have a wonderful design website, go check it out, with a section specific to the Meier.Germany products.

I enjoyed seeing this photo. We can decorate our living room with a sheep on the side. LOVE THAT! I wonder what would happen if someone had a cat. Yikes, their $1,000 sheep would become a scratch toy, ouch! The family comes back from vacation to discover their beautiful sheep exists no longer – all the wool pulled out.

Just thinking… There must be a Canadian company that makes sheep toys. I’ll have to investigate.

Happy Decorating!

Beautiful photography… Signs of Spring!

For me, I love Spring. Sure, we are still having rain showers, but look at the beautiful flowers that are starting to bloom. I saw these on my walk. Lake Michigan was looking spectacular and peaceful too.

Photography – our phones have made it so quick to snap a photo. Remember the old days? Take a photo, bring film to be developed and *hope* you took a great picture. We’ve come a long way!

Happy Spring – EVERYONE!

I didn’t think I needed a Tea Kettle… UNTIL I saw this!

Recently, I was out shopping. Imagine my amazement at seeing so many tea kettles in one place. I haven’t had a tea kettle in years. I was brought down memory lane. I remembered having a blue Chantal tea kettle in my 20s. It had a loud whistle when water boiled.

What happened to that tea kettle? When did I give it away? I was thinking it must have been around the time that Nespresso coffee machines were “the craze.” I remember walking into Sur La Table in California. They had so many Nespresso machines to choose from.

Specifically, they had the Pixie in beautiful bright colors. I was drawn to the Lime green one. They gave a demo, I was sold on the ease of use and bought one. NO MORE TEA. So, that must have been how my Chantal tea kettle was given away.

Lately, I’ve been drinking a lot of tea. When I boil water, I use a pot. I admit, easy to use, but feels like I am camping. When my daughter went to College in Ireland she learned quickly that EVERY house has a tea kettle. Drinking tea is part of their life. It would be like the Italians. Every Italian house has an espresso machine of some sort.

As I looked at the tea kettle display I thought. Should I buy one? Is it necessary? They do whistle, my pot does not. Looking at the choices, I was drawn to the kettle with cherries on it. Made me think of a farm house.

While I didn’t buy a tea kettle that day. The display still has me thinking. Isn’t that the point of a retail display – THINK, then BUY. BRAVO!

Do you see what I see? YES, a cherry tea kettle on my stove!

FANCY–> Non-alcoholic drinks… FINALLY!

I just read an article in the February issue of Travel-Leisure, “No Hangovers Here.” Music to my ears! It talks about how more and more people want alcohol free drinks on the menu. I’m one of those people. I don’t drink on a regular basis. Why? I’ve never had a taste for it.

Wine, beer, a cocktail — nothing excites me. As we get older, who wants the dreaded hangover. Well, I do like a slushy margarita. I admit if a friend brought that to the table, I’d gladly accept.

Apparently, Hyatt Hotels Corp launched the Zero Proof, Zero Judgement Initiative in August 2021. They noticed a market for this as more consumers are focusing on health and wellness. So, Hyatt had their restaurant and bar teams come up with creative non-alcoholic drinks they have added to the menu. Great idea!

Around the world, alcohol free drinks are being offered. The Ritz Paris says one in five guests orders non-alcoholic. In Ireland, The Merrion Hotel is distilling its own nonalcoholic gin. Cruise ships have added alcohol free drinks to their menus too.

So, YES, when I say, “FANCY drinks, FINALLY!” I mean its great to see a drink I can order off the menu that’s alcohol free versus whispering to the waiter to bring a club soda with a lime on the side.

Health and wellness are a priority these days. I’m curious to give these NEW drinks a try. I hope there is a big plant close by in case I have to spit it out. Not sure how it will taste!

Here’s to ZERO PROOF, ZERO JUDGEMENT — I look forward to that toast!

Hopefully, as a joke, my friends don’t seat me at the grandkids table! THAT would be FUNNY!