Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Party Without Edward

It seemed impossible to top Maria's birthday celebration of the evening before, but that doesn't mean we didn't try.

maria blt2
We started the evening with Birthday BLT's.

maria cake
And topped the evening with angel food cake avec fraises, crème à fouetter et bougies de fetes! It was a fun time indeed.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sweet Seventeen

Last night before Edward went back to Calvin, we celebrated Maria's birthday which is actually today! I felt like the most blessed person on earth when I saw these three sitting together.

maria's b-day

We also gave Maria a very special gift - the Canon camera which did belong to me. I recently got a newer model which I am learning to use, and I'm very excited to have her as a shutter companion - I believe she has a very good eye!

maria camera 3 maria camera

Happy Birthday Maria!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Our band did this one in church a couple of weeks ago and it. is. awesome. Yesterday, I got the name of it from Eric, the keyboard player, and I thought I would share it here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Little Moments Amidst the Brown and Gray

leo 046
Leo looks less than thrilled when I grab my camera before letting him in...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Math Action Shots

I was happy when I came home from work to find Edward practicing for a college Math competition which takes place after Spring Break. I even thought it was worthy of a small photo essay.

ed 027

ed 028

ed 029

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

ed 005

Edward has returned home to grace us with his wonderful, witty presence for a week and I just had to take his picture as he sits in his usual spot at the table with his computer. He came home around noon by way of the Irish Jig 5K in East Grand Rapids. (I'm pretty thrilled with these shots, SOOC)

ed 019

ed 013
Can you just hear him? "Maaaahhhmmm..."
I suppose I am a little nuts.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Drinkin' It In

branch 001

May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand. -Irish Blessing

branch 008
I would say this tree and grass need the warmth of the sun upon their face.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

After School Snack

smoothy diptych
Happiness is a big sister who surprises you with a smoothie after a crowded bus ride home...

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Tiny Little Something

maria self portrait
Maria, self-portrait

Last Friday, Maria came home with this large self-portrait done in colored pencil which had been an assignment for art class. I loved it! It truly gets at the essence of "Maria" but she said it didn't really look exactly like the original. It did remind me of the quote by John Singer Sargent who said,"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jewels' Eye View

bird up in a tree 2
Bird shot with cannon in my front yard from under a tree, March 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Flash Back Friday 110

grand canyon
Grand Canyon, 1998 (We finally arrived after 4 days in the van)

This was actually Flashback Friday 20, but I'm posting it again for a friend (Julie) who is soon on her way to the Grand Canyon. Hope you have as much fun as we did!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Taste of Spain

Photo by Maria, 2007

When Maria lived in Spain last year for a month, she told me one of the dishes they ate most frequently was Tortilla De Patatas. Monday afternoon, I thought it was about time we tried it here so she could remember her trip.

tortilla de patatas diptych

These are the ingredients:
6-7 medium potatoes, peeled
1 whole yellow onion
5-6 large eggs
2-3 cups of olive oil for pan frying
Salt to taste

And here is the recipe.

You might notice the whole thing needs to be flipped over. John came home just in time to see Maria and I start our attempt. He quickly took over so it wouldn't turn into too much of a mess. It might not look as good as it could have but oh my, it was very good and Maria got another taste of Spain in her own mom's kitchen. We all loved it.
Note: The next night, I made a half portion which is just right for a side dish and much more manageable :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

He Watches Me

2 bird diptych

The other night when we were at Paul & Deirdre's house, they brought out some old Canon lenses from an old film camera they no longer used since Deirdre shoots with a Nikon now. They told me to take one home (the 100-300 mm telephoto) and check it out while they used the other to finish up a roll of film. (Yes, it was kind of like a Julia Child/Emeril Lagasse/Santa Claus evening!) When I tried it at home yesterday afternoon, I kept getting an "error 99" message. I looked into it and found out it could be a few things which I tried with no success. Finally, I read that someone had gotten an old sigma lens to work on their Canon with the aperature wide open. I tried it and Voila! It worked.

I immediately went out on the deck and shot the above birds with my canon :) I couldn't believe they just sat there while I did. With the aperature wide open though, it was a little overexposed in an artistic sort of way. I realized I had the ISO set at 400, so I adjusted it to 100 and took the photo below after the other bird left.

I was so excited that I had probably shot something like a white-throated brown-haired grey-chested kingfisher until John came home and told me it was a sparrow and burst my bubble.

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Our 5-Star Saturday Evening

Saturday evening, John & I were invited to the home of our friends Paul & Deirdre in East Grand Rapids for dinner. Wow, I cannot say enough good things about the amazing supper and what very, very gracious hosts they were! Paul, one of the chemist-turned-chef's that I have come to know and love, made Dierdre's favorite, Tenderloin Deluxe, along with green salad with homemade honey/dijon mustard/olive oil dressing, long-grain wild rice and asparagus. I won't soon forget the way the beef tenderloin melted in my mouth or the way the rice, asparagus and salad all complimented one another. The Cabernet which John had been advised to get at Russo's (knock on 3, move back 2, just kidding) was perfect with the meal.

paul deirdre triptych

paul square
Paul waits for the meat to reach optimum temperature.

The Handsome One

And of course this post would not be complete without a photo of their very handsome German Shepherd, Samson. I noticed there were so many pictures of him on Deirdre's blog and Facebook, and now I know why. He is just so handsome!!! And he has the most soulful eyes I have seen on a dog. I would take his picture all the time too, and I am so glad to know another person so nuts about photography.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

21st Century Cwoffee Twolk

During yesterday's rainy, drizzly Saturday morning, I headed downtown to meet some friends for coffee at the Urban Mill. I noticed right away how our little Volvo station wagon felt right at home.

coffee 003bw

I wish I had taken more pictures, but for some reason, I was feeling a bit camera-gun shy. Something about putting a camera in between the faces of people talking perhaps? Anyway, we had a good, good time and 2-1/2 hours FLEW by... What made this coffee time into a 21st century event was the social networking via laptop going on concurrently with the cwoffee twolk thus enabling us to have a few virtual sips with people who couldn't make it. Fun times.

cwofee twok

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Much Ado About Hair

me 032
Ok, maybe not 10 years

Shari has cut my hair basically the same for almost 10 years I would say. I was looking at a photo of myself from 4 years ago and noticed my hair was quite a bit different AND I looked younger. Maybe that's because it was 4 years ago, I know. So I sent the pic to Shari and told her I wanted it cut like the girl on the far left. She thought I said far right so she said we would have to thin it out quite a bit and grow out the bangs (lol, Paula). I think it still has to come out of haircut shock.

dec06 013
The sisters: Julia, Marianna, Andrea, Paula, 2005

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


branch diptych

We learned in church this past Sunday that Lent comes from the same root as the word lengthen and that by Easter, our days will have 1 hour and 59 minutes more sunlight. When I was talking to my friend (and hair stylist) Shari the other day about this idea for a post, she told me I should post these same branches on Easter. I took these photos, but look how the sun and blue sky make them beautiful.

branch 005

By the way, Shari took about 10 years off of me by cutting off (de-lengthening) several inches of old droopy hair :).

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

happy birthday cathy!

cathy & the crow
Cathy & the Birthday Crow, Part 2

For the wildly popular Cathy & the Crow, Part 1, click here.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Edward and the Chocolate Milk

ed choco tryp
Edward trying to smile naturally

This past weekend, I realized that some of the shiny, happy people in my life have gone missing and it made me sad. Without realizing it, they made life go so much smoother or at least more fun. Then Edward came home for lunch after church and drank chocolate milk just like old times and we had fun.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

God Winked at Us

moon saturn diptych
The Moon and Venus, Feb. 27, 2009

Friday night, John & I were riding home from somewhere and we saw the crescent moon right next to the planet Venus. It was quite amazing! I wanted to take a photo of it and promptly forgot until I checked my e-mail. A friend asked me if I had gotten a shot of it... John was ready for a little nap, so he did not mind me going off to be weird for a second. Sadly, an important piece of my tripod is missing, so I'm in tripod never-never land (this means that you do not have one to use and you are not ready to go buy a new one); anyway, I took my monopod, hopped in the van, and went out looking for a field to shoot the moon.