Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I don't usually do much photo editting, sometimes just a little cropping. I took this photo of our bonica rose with my camera set to spot metering. While cropping the photo, I decided to play around with the brightness. Below is a copy with Photoshop brightness set to -50,
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
When Dad died four years ago, I inherited 7 moving boxes of slides, albums, framed pictures and negatives. Dad took most of the photos in the boxes, but there are also prints that we kids sent them over the years, and some slides that Dad purchased. Most of the photos are from the 60's to the 90's and are 35mm. Clockwise from the upper left are a photo of Mom and Dad from around the time they married; a box of slides of various events for the 80's to 90's; a few rolls of 35mm negatives; a box of slides of their trip to San Diego in 1970; and the album they made after their 50-th wedding anniversary. A lot of memories and I hope to get a small portion of them digitized to pass on to my kids and nieces and nephews.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Memorial Day has long been a day of remembrance for me. I remember little of our WW II years, but have been aware of the fighting and dying of the wars since then. Vietnam was the war of my generation and though I was never in the service, friends and relatives did serve in Vietnam. Today Marianne and I visited Memorial Park in Frederick. See Marianne's blog for more pictures. The Park honors all those from Frederick who have served in our armed services. While we were at the Vietnam Monument, a Vietnam veteran who was taking down the service flags, told us that the remains of James K Caniford, the only MIA listed on the monument had been identified.
The war for our kids' generation is still going on. On Memorial Day 2004, my eldest daughter was serving in a war zone. She was a surgeon assigned to the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq. She and her colleagues were busy providing care to severely wounded US and coalition service men and women, as well as POWs and Iraqi wounded. Today she is still caring for the wounded at the San Antonio Military Medical Center. On that Memorial day I visited the WW II Memorial and Arlington Cemetery and below is the letter that I then wrote to her.
This Memorial Day has brought memories and awareness of the sacrifices that you and our service men and women have made over the years so that we can live in freedom. I want you to know that I am proud of you and truly grateful for the service you are giving to our country.
Yesterday, I went to the World War II Memorial and to Arlington National Cemetery. The memorial is at the end of the reflecting pool, between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.
I thought about George and Charles, my uncles who served in WW II. Both came home from the war, though George was a 30-year Navy Chief. I thought about those that I knew who did not come home from Vietnam and about my brother, Bill, another retired Navy Chief. I thought about Mike, a friend who came back with hepatitis and died a few years ago. I also thought about those Vietnam veterans that I now work with. I am thankful for what they have done and what they have taught me about life and about war.
There are quotes engraved in stone around the memorial. I am sending you a CD with more pictures from the memorial, but this quote seemed very appropriate.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Back on May 7, the fields behind our house were sprayed with a newer machine than this one. On a drive out the other side of Frederick to buy some flowers at one of our favorite nurseries, I spotted this old implement beside the road. It looks like its spraying days are done, but with farm machinery, who knows, a little rust doesn't usually stop work.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
On a bright, calm day Carroll Creek in Frederick provides some nice reflective vistas. I have posted other photos of htis area (and probably will do more later). See Day 20, Bridges Between and Day 46. Above is the reflected view of the pedestrian suspension bridge and lights along the creek. Below is a reflection of of a small part of the Carroll Creek bridge mural.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Frederick county is big on recycling. In 2006, the county banned yard waste from the landfill and established two recycling locations for us to dump our leaves, brush, grass, etc. Today I added some grass and a couple of dead limbs to the pile. The big machine below is a monster size mulcher that takes the stuff pictured above ...
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Our year-old HDTV recently developed a black line down the right side of the screen. I checked the warranty and lo and behold, Costco adds 2 years to the manufacturers warranty. So I called them last week and they referred me to their nearest service rep in Leesburg, VA a mere 25 miles away. A few more phone calls and I had an appointment to meet with said rep this morning. I was told that their place was on the lower level of the "Barrister Building". Sounds like a strange place for a TV repair place (unless they need a lot of legal help). When I got there and didn't find their name on the list of tenants, I started asking questions. Several people never heard of them, but in one office, I was told "Oh yea, we handle drop-offs for them. Have a seat." Turns out, the TV repair place was 2 buildings down the street, but the landlord raised the rent too much and they work out of a garage somewhere else. They do house calls, as most of their work is for very large screen TVs. Per Costco, ours is not "that large". In any case, the sun was shining, so I took a photo of the building reflected in my car window. We should hear the fate of our TV tomorrow.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
In our foyer we have a mirror that is made of 9 narrow pieces of glass. Standing near the top of the stairs, I get the reflection of living room and dining room, with secondary reflections from a picture and the glass front of the china cabinet. For some outside photos, see my other blog.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Marianne always says that my time management needs work, however, the master scheduler of flowers doesn't work for me, so I'm late on switching to this week's theme. All last week (theme: purple) I checked daily for this iris to bloom. This morning it started to open and this afternoon I got the next two shots. This is my favorite of the iris that Mom gave us.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Here's a close-up of that green field seen from our back yard. The grain has formed on the tall green stalks and this field will probably be harvested soon as fodder for livestock. A fact that surprised me: wheat is the second most grown grain, after maize. Rice is in third place.
Friday, May 16, 2008
I seem to be in a water and flowers frame of mind this week. Maybe tomorrow, I will get out and find a totally diffferent topic. For today though, I couldn't resist another visit to the iris. The purple ones are starting to show their colors. And the rain drops on the peach bloom make for a nice effect on a cloudy afternoon. For those who can't wait, I have posted a couple of photos from last May on my other blog.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
A bright sun greeted us this morning and I took my camera as I went out to get the paper. The flooding creek was back to normal, however, I observed this unusual sight. The water-logged fence was giving off a vapor, looking like it was smoldering. The neighbor's taller, solid fence was also showing even more vapor. This afternoon, I went to check the iris for more blooms (only one blue on has opened) and spotted a bumblebee gathering nectar from the purple salvia.
Monday, May 12, 2008
It rained steadily yesterday afternoon and last night and when I checked our gauge this morning, this is what I found:
and this is what I saw across the fields behind our house. Compare this view to my post of April 21.
This afternoon I went out for a look-see at the flooding. Here is the view looking back toward our house from the other side of the fields. Notice the geese in the lower left enjoying a swim.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Mom loved flowers. I remember tulips from when I was about 3. At the home Mom and Dad lived out the last 30-some years of their lives there, they had room for lots of flowers: azaleas, pansies, roses, iris and many others. Mom gave Marianne and I iris and monkey grass some years ago. The monkey grass borders the flowerbed around our mail box and the iris mark the line between front and back yards. There is a mixture of colors in the bed, but only the peach has bloomed. Yellow, blue and purple will open soon. Thanks Mom, for the living memories of you.
The Christmas before she died, we gave Mom flowers for Christmas. Alzheimer's had taken its toll on her cognitive memory, but when Dad pointed them out to her, she stopped to smell the roses. This was the last photo I took of Mom. She got steadily weaker after that Christmas and died in April.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
A lot of us did puzzles with our Mom's when we were kids, but how many have Moms that are the subject of a puzzle? This happened to Mom when she was about 70. The ladies at the church were planning a Christmas program and wanted someone to play the part of a Christmas tree to go along with the song "O Christmas Tree". The ladies asked Mom and persuaded her to do the part. The idea was for her to wear a green, full-body leotard. She would be decorated with garland and battery powered, twinkling lights. As Mom told the story, she had never in her life worn a leotard, not even as a little girl (they were not so popular back in the twenties). So, she went shopping - no green leotards to be had in the whole town. So she ended up buying red. The night of the program, the lights were turned off; the choir began singing; and Mom, in her bright red leotard and twinkling lights, pirouetted across the stage. Dad, naturally, took a picture of Mom in costume when they were back home. He had prints made and sent them as Christmas cards to family and friends.
So, you ask - what about the puzzle?
And here is the Christmas card from that year (photo c1986 by Dad).
Mom's older brother was somewhat of a prankster. He sent his card off to a company that made personalized puzzles and sent the puzzle to Mom as a present the following Christmas. Here's the finished puzzle, reassembled today.