Saturday, August 28, 2010

I've decided.

I've decided to combine my two blogs into one. 

Since I started blogging, I've had two separate sites... one for my writings on random stuff and one for my 12-of-12 Photo Project (this one).  I'm not exactly sure why I set it up that way, but I did. 

Recently, I've been wondering why I did it and deliberating as to whether or not I wanted to move to just one site.  Today the decision finally came down and I've merged my blogs into a single site.

From now on, my 12-of-12 can be found here:

Please come visit, see my photos and read my ramblings.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August 2010

I wasn't sure what kind of shots I'd get today...
... it started out a little rainy, then got sunny.
... it's a work day.
... I didn't have anywhere particularly "fun" to go.

But, it's the 12th, so I needed to gather 12 photos for the 12-of-12.  For more info, visit Chad Darnell's page... he's the guy who started this all & who posts the links to other 12-of-12ers.

Time to sweat with Debbie Siebers.
Since I'm in the basement (with the camera), I stop at the "Wall" and snap a shot of all the yummy goodness that I've been making since June.  What's your favorite jam?  Apricot, Cherry, Cherry-Almond, Nectarine, Blueberry, Blueberry-Nectarine, or Strawberry?
Walking out the front door, camera in hand, and who is visiting my Rose of Sharon?  The hummingbird!  (see her just to the right of the highest flower?)
UGH!  I hate road work.  It happens ALL SUMMER LONG in Buffalo, NY.  Maybe it's because we have 8-months of winter!??!
I couldn't help but think of Frankenstein when I saw this cement "face".  The rain even gave if the look of hair.

(nothing to see here)

Home again & I have a couple new flowers in bloom this month.

Got a little "artsy" with this shot.  My dad made me this bird house years ago... but it was never occupied.  Now it sits just outside my front door.

It was a warm & humid day today.   What better way to cool down that with some "light" reading.  I'm almost done with David Copperfield by Charles Dickens; page 814.
From where I'm sitting... the world looks like this... ahhhhhhh.
Then, I moved to another chair, to see things from another angle...
 (this squirrel had to be almost 100-feet off the ground!)

View from the porch:
The Trumpet Vine has flowered (making my front yard Hummingbird Heaven) and the new grass is growing.  It wasn't a spectacular year for my flowering plants... but with all the shade we get, I shouldn't be surprised.  Maybe next year, I'll add more hostas to the gardens; they love shade.

Hope you're having a wonderful August.   See you next month!

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 2010

It's Monday... BLAHhhhhh!
So, does that mean boring workday photos?

I planned my day so that I'd be around Niagara Falls - The Falls - at lunch time, so you are in for a visual treat today!  That, AND, I have a new 18-200 lens for the camera (since I broke the original 18-55 last week; dropped it on the stone driveway.  Oops).  So I was excited to try it out... and what better place than Niagara Falls?

But first, the important stuff.  Many thanks to Chad Darnell for starting the 12-of-12 Project!  If you want more information or want to participate, visit his website then get out your camera!

Sooooooo... do you wanna see my pix?!?!
Do ya? Do ya? Do ya?
Of COURSE you do!

6:30AM @ Home:
Okay, so I have one boring Monday picture.  My first-thing-Monday-morning ritual is my weekly weigh-in.  Now, I'm not all hung-up on my weight, but I do use it as a barometer.  Over the years I've determined "my range" - if I get beyond that range, I need to kick the workouts up a notch.
This photo also follows one of Chad's original 12-of-12 rules... the 12-of-12er must be in at least one shot each month (can be just an arm/leg/face/etc).
Like my pretty pedicure?!

Now for the really good stuff...
12:00-1:00PM:  Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls, NY

As always, if you'd like to see larger versions of the photos posted here, click on them to enlarge them.  Also, if you're interested in an aerial "map" of the park, with points-of-interest labeled, visit for this amazing shot.  (Thanks, Exploring Monkey!)

It was a slightly overcast day, with a chance of rain, so the colors aren't as brilliant as they might have been had it been sunny. 

I started at the eastern Pedestrian Bridge and crossed over the American Rapids to Goat Island.  The Niagara River breaks into two branches that form the three waterfalls.
Then  I followed the foot path to Terrapin Point & the Canadian Falls (also known as "Horseshoe Falls" because of it's shape).
It's amazing how close you can get to the water.  Just past the guardrail is the fast-moving Niagara River.

On the right side of this next shot, you can see the Maid of the Mist - a boat that takes you to the base of the Falls.
On the north side of Goat Island, are the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.  Below is the American Falls.
Looking down to the base of the falls.  On the left side are the people visiting the Cave of the Winds, where you can go "behind" the Falls (and get a spiffy yellow poncho, to keep!).
The beautiful Bridal Veil Falls...

But wait...
There's someone out on in the water...
Hey Lady!
NO... don't do it!!  
You have SO much to live for!!

Tee hee... it's just a duck.  
"Living on the edge"

5:30PM @ Home:
I was hoping to have a beautiful lush garden to share with you today, but the dry weather hasn't been kind to my plants.  We've had plenty of sun and warmth, but I haven't watered, so the garden is a little sparse.  Here are a couple shots from around the yard.
Lovely Day Lilies

My 1st Hollyhock! (almost)

 Black-eyed Susan (and friend)

Not sure I'll get to this tonight (posting 12-of-12 photos is taking some time...), but I am working on a new knitting project.  It's going to be a baby blanket for an expectant friend.  Her shower is next month, so I better get a move-on.
The more important item of note is the bag... my wonderful & talented niece, Emma, drew/colored/painted the picture, then her school had the artwork printed on stuff.  Now I have a perfect tote for the yarn, needles, etc.  LOVE IT!

And finally -
The View from the Porch
As I mentioned earlier, the heat has really dried everything out.  If it rains tonight or tomorrow, like the weather people predict, I'm sure the flowers will really pop!  But for now, my lawn is dry and my gardens meager.  OH, but there is one change you might notice.  Yesterday the hubby and I removed all the old, rotten railroad ties that bordered the walkways and replaced them with large stones.  I'm so happy with the way it turned out.  Now if the grass would fill in, it would be perfect!

If you're keeping track, yes, there are 13 pictures this month.  I couldn't help it.  It couldn't decide on which one to bump out, so I left them all in.  I actually took 84 pictures today, but some of them didn't turn out or were dups or weren't worthy of posting here with this month's "full" set.

Thanks for visiting!  See ya next month!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 2010

What an amazing, incredible, exciting day!  
A perfect day for the 12-of-12.

Thanks to Chad Darnell for starting this project - 12 photos, on the 12th day, of each of the 12 months.  Check on his and the other 12ers' photos at his website, then join in next month!

8am:  Off to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Buffalo, NY.  
This year is the 10th anniversary of the 5K run/fun walk.  As I left my driveway I was hoping and hoping and hoping for no rain.  The weather folks said 50% chance starting late morning, 80% chance starting around 1pm.  YIKES!
Lots of PINK!

9am:  Arrival at Delaware Park, Buffalo, NY
Here I am with my teammates - we are Althea's Army! (that's me on the far left)

My first timing chip (the circular thing on my shoe)! I'm officially official.   Yes, my shoes are pink - they are also officially official - Susan G. Komen New Balance Shoes!

At this point, I turned all my stuff over to my friend and first "guest photographer" for the 12-of-12, Phyllis.  She offered to snap a bunch of shots along the race route since she was walking and I was running.   
Thanks a million, Phyllis!  You took some great shots, really capturing the events of the day!

10am:  The Race begins!
I'm off and running... hoping to set a personal best (it's gotta be, since it's my first race.  Right?)  During training, my best 5K was 37 minutes.
Cheerleaders at every mile...

... and almost 8,000 runners, walkers, strollers, dogs, and wheelchairs.

11am:  Relaxing and listening to the awards ceremony.
What a gorgeous place to celebrate... the Delaware Park Rose Garden.
My time?  36:10 minutes.  I did it, bested my 5K personal record.  It was a tough run - hot, humid - but it was a great challenge.  I have to thank my friend Melissa's boyfriend, Dave, for the coaching/motivation/jokes along the way.  I would have succumbed to walking around the 2.5 mile mark if it wasn't for him.

Noon:  Spit for the Cure
Yep, you're reading correctly.
I shared some of my DNA with Roswell Park Cancer Institute before I left today's event.  RPCI's research group is collecting samples to investigate the differences between cancer patients, cancer survivors, and non-cancer patients - to see if there's a genetic link to the disease.  I have no idea what will happen with my "donation", but at least I know I'm helping with science!

4pm:  Home, a berry nice thing!
Strawberries are fresh - just picked today - so it's jam-making time!
First batch is done, I can't wait to have toast tomorrow morning.  (Hmmm, do I really need to wait till morning?)

A View from the Porch:
The gardens and the lawn have grown and grown.  The leaves have really filled in, too.  Check out the Trumpet Vine on the tree, it's gone crazy!!  No flowers yet, but soon.  In the meantime, I should probably mow the lawn, it needs it.

Happy June!  Enjoy the summer!  

Oh, if you're interested in the rest of the set that didn't make the "officially official" June 12-of-12, click here.

P.S.  Next time I post here, I hope to be able to call myself a TRIATHLETE!  
(July 3rd, here I come!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 2010

Well this is just great...
it's a work day and it's raining (again!).
Will I ever get a really nice day for my 12-of-12 this year?!?
You wouldn't think so.
Next month the 12th falls on a Saturday and I'm running in my first 5K - the Susan G. Komen Race for  Cure - so it's gotta be a good day.  Right???

Either way, thanks as always, to Chad Darnell - creator of the 12-of-12 - who had the brilliant idea to have folks from around the world post 12 shots of their day on the 12th day of each of the 12 months.  Visit his site to see more 12-of-12ers... and post your own!

And on with the show...

The kids had the chance to do exactly what I wanted to do... they stayed in bed and slept late.  Notice there is no longer any space on the bed for humans and all the pillows are occupied.

On my way into work, I stopped at the bike shop to check on the status of my bike.  It's getting a tune up in preparation for the triathlon... a little less than 8 weeks to go.
As I was walking back to my car, I heard a what sounded like a ton of rushing water behind the shop.  I was right.  The rain really got the creek riled up.

Need gas (not bad at $3.07/gallon).  No, the sexy little Camero is not mine... but it was nice to include in my shot.  (I tried to be inconspicuous... taking the picture out my back window.)

3:00PM (approximately)
The rest of the morning and into the early afternoon there was nothing interesting to photograph.

Then I passed by "The M.U.L.E" - those of you who played video games in the 80's might recognize this guy.  The "8-pixel" Mule you would use when you went to 'hunt the wumpus'.

It's actually part of the Niagara Power & Pump Plant in Lewiston, NY.  Not sure of the exact purpose this giant metal box serves, but it's always there... the hubby and I are pretty sure it's a crane of some sort.

Spring in Buffalo has arrived... the ice is gone from the river and the boats are returning to their slips.

Almost home... I couldn't resist stopping by another waterfall.  This is an updated shot of the same location photographed in March.  Again, no more ice and lots of water flowing thanks to two days of rain.

When I get home, it's time to let the kids out and take a peek at the gardens.  Any flowers yet?
Not many... except my Purple Myrtle.
The corner garden is doing well.  No blooms yet & it needs mulch, too.  I'll try to get to that this month.

Time to swim!  I don't usually swim on Wednesdays, but I found out on Monday that the pool is closing for construction on Friday (they're ripping up the old tiles and putting in new ones, so we'll have a nice new pool this fall).  So I got one last workout in before I need to find a new place to swim.  UGH!

I know, who gets excited about shampoo???  I don't usually, but when the hubby and I were on our "honeymoon" last week, the lodge we were staying at had this amazing smelling shampoo for the guests.  We had to see if it was available here... and, well, it was!  HOORAY!

(NOTE:  If you want to see some really nice photos - loads better than today's 12 - click on the 'honeymoon' link above.  Good stuff).

After the swim workout, it's time to relax with a book.  This is what I'm reading now...
The Elegance of the Hedgehog, the May selection for my Book Club.  Not sure about this one... kind of a downer thus far.  Maybe it will pick up once I get past the first few chapters (I'm on Chapter 3 now).  Anyone want to comment???  Love to hear your thoughts.

A View from the Porch
My final shot for May is my monthly view from the front porch.  The lawn got its first mowing of the year on Monday and has been soaking up rain showers since then, so it's looking lush and green.

That's it for another rainy month around Buffalo.  Around here, it's 'May showers bring June flowers' - so next month you should see LOTS of color.  I know you'll see lots of Pink since the Komen Run is all about the Pink Ribbons.

See you then!