Just the other day, I went to take pictures of baby Malachi and I was having a dickens of a time getting him to hold still long enough to get a picture that was not an action shot and then getting him to look at me, then getting him to remotely resemble a pose! That was up until... I used my new incredibly awesome prop... an Off Spring Prop! It is so cool! I can't believe I have gone all this time without ever using one, but I'm telling you, No More!! I am bringing this thing with me to every photo shoot from now on!
Seriously! If you are having a hard time getting young children, toddlers and/or babies to settle in for the shoot, I'm advising you have to get one! It is well worth the investment of time, effort and money as in the long run you will be guaranteed fabulous results just like the sweet photo of Malachi above! You wouldn't believe the difference it made! And if you are hard pressed to get a hold of one locally you can rent one, heck, I'll even rent you mine providing I don't need it for the day... and at a reasonable price too! And I must add, one of the most amazing features of this prop is it's portability. No lugging around heavy chairs or bulky bean bag seats! This thing is amazing in it's maneuverability too! It bends and folds to fit almost any seating situation you may find yourself needing! So have I utterly convinced to put this at the top of your photography must-have's list?
Are you drooling with anticipation of using one? Are you curious as to how it works and what it looks like? READ ON! You may be one of the lucky ones...
who will be using one soon!!!
Introducing to you ...
The Most Awesomely Spectacular...
OFF SPRING PROP!
Get it? Webster is my 'offspring'... and is being used as a prop and that makes him an Off Spring Prop?
And that means that if you have offspring you can have one too just like mine!
Okay, maybe not just like mine... they do come in different shapes and sizes.
And I know, I know... this is a stretch of the imagination but I thought the picture was so funny when I saw it... but somehow the funny loses it's funnieness when you have to explain it?
We had originally planned on going to a homeschool outing but we were held up at our own home by unforseen circunstances, so instead we decided to just go to a playground near our house and eat our lunches, where there just happens to be a small pond also.
So what is it with boys anyway?
It's not enough to stand back and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.
They gotta dive in and experience things up close and personal...
and find things!
Like tiny fresh water clams?
So after we ate our lunches we went to a local farm not too far away from our house, where I picked up a dozen ears of corn, a cantalope, 3 green peppers, a bag of cucumbers and two big bags of ripe tomatoes.
The reason I bought the tomatoes isn't because I don't have any but because my own Big Beautiful tomatoes are systematically being taken out one by one before they're even ripe by (said sneeringly) Rrra-a-a-a-ats!!
And it's not like they even eat them, they just chew holes in them and go on to the next one! Grrrrrrr!
Oh the indignation, exasperation and outrage!
I finally had had enough so I went out and picked all the tomatoes that were on the lower branches as it seems that is the ones that were being targeted.
I am hoping that rats don't like to climb and eat at the same time... I'm sure I'll soon find out though.
I also set out a couple of rat traps and baited them with peanut butter but for some reason I don't think peanut butter is going to appeal to a rat that has green tomato taste buds?
Ahhhhh... I guess I'll be finding that out too!
So, the plan is to can green tomato relish with mine that I picked and make salsa with the ones I bought.
Anyway, on the way home from the farm Webster wanted to drive by the old swimming hole... you know just to check it out.
I couldn't refuse his pleadings... so I let him go for a swim even if he wasn't wearing his swim shorts and had no towel.
Okay... we had an incident yesterday in the wee hours of the morning, it seemed 3 of my dogs decided to make their acquaintance with a skunk on our property which unfortunately was the demise of the skunk and the stink of my dogs!
So when it happened (there was no mistaking, I knew!), I went out with flashlight, gloves and several, plus more, plastic grocery bags and bagged the demised and threw it into our trash can and shut the lid tightly so there would be no more playing with Pepe' for the night.
The next morning, being yesterday, I called Kathrine, our vet, as I know that skunks are known vectors for rabies, just to make sure everything was cool with my dogs and all.
So I told Kathrine what happened and almost immediately began regretting the phone call as I was being told I needed to call the Dept of Health and inform them of the incident. Ahhh... darn! Couldn't I have just heard... 'you're rabies are all up to date and you're good to go!' ~ 'Thanks' I would say and go on my merry way! But Nope!
So I made the call. I left a message with the DOH and Jessica was kind enough to call me back. She informed me that my dogs would need to be revaccinated, they were to be put in quarantine for 45 days and the skunk needed to be tested for rabies and I would have to call the Department of Environmental Management to pick Pepe' up as they were the ones that dealt with wild animals. Yay!
So I called the DEM who said no tests would be preformed but that a DEM officer would be out to dispose of Pepe'... okay I said but the DOH said that he did need to be tested? She assured me that he did not!
So I called Jessica back, she said she was going to talk to DEM herself.
In the meantime I get a call from the town Animal Control Officer who needs to come see my rabies certs form all my dogs and that the dogs need to be quarantined for 45 days and they would all need to be revaccinated... yes, yes, so I've been told.
So Michael, a huge hunky Environmental Policeman shows up wanting to see my rabies records for the dogs of which I was only able to find 2 at the time, Clifford's and Ace's was MIA! So he calls my vet and leaves a message asking her for that information and then leaves without Pepe' he said he wasn't going to take him.
As he is walking out the door Terry from Animal Control comes in. I love Terry she is awesome, we've known her since moving here and we adopted our cat, Cuckoo from the shelter for Webster's birthday. Well Terry had no idea why Mr. Hunky had to come as she was the one that had to check the certs and issue the quarantine... we both just shrugged and set to signing papers... these ones to be exact...
So now my dogs are officially grounded for 45 days, not that they go anywhere anyway, they have a 2 acre backyard to run and play in.
Then Terry bid me adieu and that left one more thing to do... the revaccinations.
So my vet called and said she was in the area in the afternoon and could stop by to which I said, come on over we'll be waiting for ya! And so she did!
She gave all four of my dogs revaccination shots and charged me $10 for each dog and didn't charge me for the house call! I Love my vet! Terry is the one that introduced me to Kathrine... and I love Terry and Kathrine, two very awesome people for sure!
And so the dust settles...
Wait a minute? What the heck? I don't get it? My dogs were up to date on their vaccines... so why were they required to be revaccinated? And why are they required to quarantined after being vaccinated a second time?
Isn't the reason they are vaccinated specifically for incidences like this? Doesn't the vaccine work in the first place? Do vaccinated dogs get rabies? And if it doesn't work what good is it going to do to vaccinate them again?? Seriously... this just doesn't make sense?
When you're out in your garden picking nasty hornworm caterpillers off of your tomato plants and you happen to find a different caterpiller and your 10 year old son says he is going to run into the house and bring back the 'bug' book to find out what it is... don't believe him because he won't come back... and while you're waiting for the son that never returns... NEVER under any circumstances should you put said caterpiller inside your shoe for safe keeping... especially if you are barefoot... nope, nope, just don't do it... you'll be scarred for life!
I'm sure the neighbors are used to me by now... I hope?
(I would put my usual smiley face here but I can't, I'm just too grossed out... Bleah!)
Okay, I put together this slideshow of the all the different flowers growing in my garden in the past month. I really don't have much of a gardening 'style' per se although a friend told me it was called cottage gardening... I've always just referred to it as organized anarchy! hehehehe Ü I hope you all enjoy viewing the pictures... even though it's not quite the same as being here in person!
I got the recipe for the above *stud* muffins featured in my slideshow from allrecipes.com but they're not called stud muffins in their recipe... I wonder why? *shrugs* Oh well... I've only made one adjustment to the ingredients and that was adding the oatmeal to the topping. Oh wait, I did use 1/4 cup Demerara Cane Sugar in the topping, you know, the chunky kind so the topping would be exta sugar crunchy... Yum! Oh okay... one more bit of advice! It says to fill the muffin cups right up to the top but I have found that it is better to leave room at the top and fill it up with topping that way it holds it in place and you can fit more as we all know that the topping is the best part!
Ingredients (muffins) 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup white sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 egg 1/3 cup milk 1 cup fresh blueberries (topping) 1/2 cup white sugar (1/4 white sugar and 1/4 demerara sugar) 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup butter, cubed 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I add 1/4 or so of oatmeal because, you know, it's healthy! heh heh heh)
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
2.Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
3.To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork (I used my pastry cutter as it was easier on my hand than using the fork), and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
4.Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.
Music created by Jason Shaw. “Jason Shaw @ audionautix.com”
I was going to post up a picture that I had taken recently but thought that in the process I would also show you how awesome and fun photo editing is!
I find it so exciting to take a good picture and then transform it into a great one... So here goes!
I will start by showing you the original (straight out of the camera) and then my final result after.
I took this picture this past Sunday of a grandfather and his grandaughter at Huck Finn day.
Such a sweet pic eh? Ü
But I am freakish with two things when it comes my pictures and one of them is spots and the other is backgounds. I am rather obsessive when it comes to anything that distracts the eye when veiwing my photos.
I slapped my forehead when I saw this as I realized that I neglected to change the aperature (from the f/9 I had it at) to a lower f-stop which would have made the subject more the focal point and the background more blurry (blurrier?).
The other thing that stuck in my craw was something I really had no control over and that was the obnoxious red stroller behind the table.
But alas... all was not lost!
I imported the picture into photoshop CS5 and cropped it in close to an 8x10 and got to work on that background!
First, I rubberstamped the offensive stroller out of the picture... (Whew, I'm feeling better already!)
Then I selected the part of the picture I wanted blurry using the Lasso Tool and then used the Lens Blur tool under the Filters tab and... Viola' instant blurry background!
Of course then I cleaned up the spots, like the food on the girls face and the pencil stuck behind granpa's ear (what was up with that?)
Also I took the buttons off his shirt... why? because they bugged me, and I could, so I did! hehehehe
There is this quaint little shop down the street and around the corner from where we live that many, many moons ago used to be a General Store, but just recently has been transformed into the sweetest little ice cream shop!
And on the sign above the door it says it is 'a heavenly experience' and I believe it has to be true because aren't these chairs just devine?
I wanted to sit in one of them but I wasn't feeling celestial enough... sweaty actually as I had been working outside all day which made coming here all that much more blessed. Nothing like a cold ice cream after a hard days work! Yes Siree! I was ready for it.
This is only a partial list of the scrumptiousness that awaited me inside...
There were several sizes and varieties of deliecious cones to choose from.
I opted for the maple walnut in a waffle cone and I highly recommend it too, it was yummy!
The Farmer of the DELL's ordered this tantalizing brownie sundae.
And Webster had vanilla with M&M's
He said he really liked it!
Oh Holy Cow... hallowed be your ice cream! And bless all those little angels who partake of it!
So, hurry on over and have some for yourself... really, you need to because I don't want to be the only one imbibing in these devinely raptuous delectable deserts!
C'mon, Look! They are waiting to take your order right now!
I told them to be expecting you. And if you tell them that Bountiful Blessings Farm sent you... you might just get an extra cherry on top... or something... but then again... maybe not!