Friday, April 29, 2016

Project 366: Week 17

Another Friday, another round of photos taken for ‘Project 366 – 2016’. This week has been very busy and the weekend will be, too. More on that another time. But despite everything, I did manage to put together seven images to share with you today.

This week's photo theme: Garden Awakenings


Friday, April 22, 2016
Daffodils
"One of the first flowers to put on a show in the spring."

Project 366, Day 113: Daffodils


Saturday, April 23, 2016
Dainty
"They may be small but these dainty flowers pack a punch in the garden.”

Project 366, Day 114: Dainty


Sunday, April 24, 2016
Bold and Beautiful
"Red is one of the most eye-catching colours in the garden."

Project 366, Day 115: Bold and Beautiful


Monday, April 25, 2016
Unfurling
"One of the most beautiful sights in the garden is the first signs of a plant making its way into the world after a long winter."

Project 366, Day 116: Unfurling


Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Dandelions
"They may be a nuisance to you on your lawn, but dandelions are beneficial in so many ways.”

Project 366, Day 117: Dandelions


Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Pretty In Purple
“Purple is associated with words like mystery, royalty, prestige, magic and spirituality. In the garden, it's simply beautiful.”

Project 366, Day 118: Pretty In Purple


Thursday, April 28, 2016
A Burst Of Colours
“Why settle on just one colour? This little plant is doing it right!”

Project 366, Day 119: A Burst Of Colours


What I've learned this week:
Take breaks in the garden and let nature soothe you.
Overcast days are fabulous for photographing flowers.
Every single spring I am always in awe of the way the earth awakens.
I am grateful for another week and all the joys it has brought with it.


And that’s it for now. Thanks for visiting, everyone, and have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

So We Finally Settled On A TV Series

As I've stated before, I haven’t watched anything on TV at its scheduled time since my younger daughter was a year old. That was almost 18 years ago. The most amazing man in the world and I typically enjoy movies or binge-watch long running series, many times older ones; the most recent one being the X-Files right after we wrapped up Seinfeld.

But we've been searching for something more recent and exciting and captivating to tune into. And after much consideration, we finally settled on one. I'll let you guess which one (for those who have been following it).

Here's a hint:



Here's another one:



And here's what we established about the character, Joffrey Baratheon, within a couple of episodes:



Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we decided to watch every episode of every season of Game of Thrones until we've caught up to the rest of you who are tuning into this. Only two shows in and we're already hooked. It's not like we (especially me) didn't know about this. My two daughters have read the fantasy novels by American author, George R. R. Martin, that this TV series is based on.

And my older daughter even named her cat that she adopted from the local humane society when she stayed with us for a few months in  2012, Daenerys.

My daughter's cat, Dany (short for Daenerys)

But now we're actually seeing what it's all about. And enjoying it. We are just at the starting line but we'll catch up to the rest of you in no time!

Are you a fan of this TV series?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cell Phones

Up until last February, I had a basic cell phone with limited capabilities. You couldn't even really text with it; that was a struggle. It was so outdated that people were really curious about it; they'd never seen that style before or they hadn't seen it in...like...forever.

Then my daughter upgraded to a new phone and new plan and I offered her some money for her old one. And I became a smartphone owner; part of the modern world, albeit slightly outdated.

Even so, I still barely if ever use this new gadget and only a handful of people have the number, mostly family and a couple of close friends. I don't even have a data plan on it; I pay as I go (only 10.00 a month!) and use free Wi-Fi when I'm outside of the home.

Something to make you smile!

I admit that having this phone is certainly handy for texting my brother and two daughters, especially the one that's away for university, but even that only happens occasionally. I'm determined not to get caught up in this cell phone addiction that seems to be plaguing humanity. There is a beautiful world out there and I don't want to lost sight of it!

What about you? Do you have a cell phone? Do you text a lot? Are you addicted to your phone?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

You Asked, I Answer (Déjà vu, All Time Favourites and Dangerous Things)

Another week, another bunch of answers to questions from this year's 'Ask Me Anything’ post.

And away we go...

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Ron asked:
Do you ever have "deja vu"? with smells/sounds/tastes and if so one that is so prominent that it appears in dreams and every day life!!

It only happens occasionally now but earlier in life, from my childhood up until my late thirties or so, I used to have déjà vu experiences quite often. It was especially prevalent during my teen years, and although certain smells, sounds and tastes would trigger it, it would happen mostly in the outdoors. For example, I’d be walking down a street and WHAM déjà vu. Or I’d be opening a door to enter a building and BAM déjà vu. Sometimes it would happen when I was riding the bus or talking to someone on the sidewalk or hanging out with friends. There were many moments and places and conversations that seemed familiar and repetitive. And sometimes these unusual and peculiar experiences would occur while I was asleep. I’d have dreams that didn’t feel like dreams but rather like memories, and I’d wake up feeling like I’d been at the place I’d dreamt of before. Logically, I knew that I hadn’t been there before, but the place was inexplicably familiar, and the dreams would reoccur and continue, adding to the story. The one thing that does stir something deep inside me is being near the water, especially big bodies of water like the ocean. The sounds, sights and smells of these locations awaken emotions in me that I can’t quite define and try to bring memories to the surface that I can't quite reach. They seem to transport me to another time, another place.


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Bethany asked:
What are your all time favorite tv series, books, and movies?

Since the mid 90s, I’ve rarely if ever watched live TV, so whatever I’ve seen since then has been done by binge-watching series. But there are shows from my youth that stand out. For example, as a child I was head over heels in love with the dog, Lassie; watched every episode, cried a river of tears whenever that beautiful animal was in any kind of danger and would have taken on every chore in the house if only my parents would have allowed me to have a dog like that (it never happened). I was also a huge fan of Sesame Street, The Flintstones, Romper Room, The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Hour, Mr. Dressup (Canadian show), The Pink Panther, Spider-man, Batman and The Friendly Giant (also a Canadian show); just to name a few.

Some comedies that come to mind from my young(er) days include The Munsters, Gilligan's Island, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Carol Burnett Show (LOVED THIS!), The Brady Bunch, Get Smart, Green Acres, Monty Python's Flying Circus, All In The Family, Happy Days, Diff'rent Strokes, The Jeffersons, Sandford and Son, Three's Company, The Facts of Life, One Day at a Time, Taxi, Laverne and Shirley, WKRP in Cincinnati, Chico and the Man, Cheers, The Golden Girls, Family Ties, Who's the Boss?, Mork & Mindy, Soap, Ellen, Night Court, Home Improvement, Seinfeld, Night Court, The Odd Couple and Welcome back, Kotter, etc.

A few other shows in my earlier years include Bonanza, Adam-12, Charlie's Angels, The Waltons, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, The Twilight Zone, Batman, Star Trek, Ironside, Miami Vice, Wonder Woman, MacGyver, The X-Files, Knight Rider, Thirtysomething, Moonlighting, Little House on the Prairie, Starsky And Hutch, Emergency!, The Streets of San Francisco, The Incredible Hulk, Kung Fu, Quincy, M.E., Columbo, Night Gallery, The White Shadow, The Bionic Woman, Kojak, The Littlest Hobo, Hart to Hart, Falcon Crest, Dynasty, Highway to Heaven and so many more.

I can list a whole bunch of others but let’s stop here because this is spinning out of control!

Although I’ve seen many, many movies in my lifetime, I can’t say I have any favourites, although films like The Green Mile, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, To Kill a Mockingbird, Schindler's List, The Godfather, The Shawshank Redemption, The Matrix, Back to the Future, The Silence of the Lambs, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, A Beautiful Mind, The Sixth Sense, 12 Years a Slave, Rocky, The Ten Commandments and The Life of PI are some I’d watch - and have watched - more than once.

As for books, that’s like asking me which is my favourite child. I read books at the rate that I inhale oxygen. Often and out of necessity. I can’t get enough, and although I could probably list some recommendations, it would take several pages. And who has time for that?


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Birdie asked:
What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done.

When I was about 11 years old, a man in his middle years had been following me to and from school one day. And on my way back to class after lunch (we used to go home for lunch), he walked up quickly to me, crowding me, saying things like “Help with the baby” and “We must hurry” and “The baby is sick” and on and on and on. As he spoke rapidly with desperation and nervousness in his voice, he also corralled me in a certain direction, right toward the entrance of a multi-unit building. Next thing I knew, I was walking into this triplex with this man right behind me. The door slammed shut, the world was left behind and the sudden understanding that I was in danger was so blatant, I struggled to breathe. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more terrified in my life.

The rest of the story is for another time but needless to say that since I’m in the here and now, things turned out well for me. Following that man into that building instead of running away screaming and calling for help is the most dangerous thing I’ve ever done. It is also the darkest and most haunting moment of my childhood. And something I kept secret until I was much older, mostly because I was afraid I'd get blamed (kids think it's always their fault) and also because I suppressed the memory because it was so traumatizing.

Every day since that day is a gift. Because I might not have been here.



And that wraps up another week of questions answered...save for one. Because I always save the most thought-provoking one for last. Check back next week for that. And if you haven't seen your question addressed, it may be because you haven't visited when the post for it was uploaded (shame on you! haha). Check the original post for a link to it.

Thank you to everyone for stopping by. Have a great day!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday, everyone. Here we are again. Can you believe it's another new week? What have you all been up to? I spent a good chunk of time packing up the remainder of my daughter's stuff this weekend. She's moving into her new apartment this coming Sunday, which is exciting for her and bittersweet for me! The most amazing man in the world and I are truly empty nesters now. We joke that perhaps we should start looking into getting into one of those adult lifestyle communities. But then again...maybe we should wait a few years because sometimes the fledglings return home.

Now, how about some funny stuff? Here we go...






If you've been following the news, this will make sense!

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Project 366: Week 16

So here we are for another round of photos taken for my ‘Project 366 – 2016’; one photo per day, every day, for the entire year. I was quite busy this week and it zipped right by. But I did manage to squeeze in some early morning walks to exercise the body, relax the mind and get some fresh air while enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of spring. I carry a small point and shoot camera with me at all times and notice everything as I walk along. That’s what happens when you shut down computers and cell phones and every other distraction and completely immerse yourself in your surroundings. There’s a big, beautiful world out there waiting to be discovered. All you need to do is pay attention.

This week's photo theme: I Spy


Friday, April 15, 2016
A Very Pregnant Robin
"Looks like Mrs. Robin is with egg. Or rather, with a few eggs."

Project 366, Day 106: A Very Pregnant Robin


Saturday, April 16, 2016
A Discarded Feather
"Blending so perfectly with its surroundings.”

Project 366, Day 107: A Discarded Feather


Sunday, April 17, 2016
Enjoying A Swim
"The water is great. Come on in!"

Project 366, Day 108: Enjoying A Swim


Monday, April 18, 2016
Discarded
"An old and rusty bicycle discovered along the way."

Project 366, Day 109: Discarded


Tuesday, April 19, 2016
The Fence
"A pop of colour makes an otherwise dull fence eye-catching.”

Project 366, Day 110: Colourful and Vibrant


Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Furry Friend
“Got peanuts?”

Project 366, Day 111: Furry Friend


Thursday, April 21, 2016
Words of Wisdom
“Every day should feel like spring.”

Project 366, Day 112: Words of Wisdom


What I've learned this week:
There is a wonderful flurry of activity in the early morning.
Stepping away from all the distractions is good for the soul.
Look up, look down, look around...there are so many interesting sights waiting to be discovered.
This project is going to be the most challenging but also most rewarding thing I do this year!


That’s a wrap for week sixteen. Thank you for stopping by. Have a beautiful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

You Had One Job

(Image found somewhere on the internet through a google search)

Oh, the irony...

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Question Of The Day


I love homemade food (there's nothing quite like it), so I don't mind putting in the effort to be able to enjoy that. In addition, I like finding new and interesting recipes, and then going out to shop for the ingredients.

Speaking of which, here is the most awesome lentil soup recipe in the history of awesome lentil soup recipes. Very easy to prepare and extremely delicious. Lentils are something I wouldn't touch as a kid but have grown to really enjoy as an adult. Maybe because I found recipes that work for me.

FAST AND FILLING RED LENTIL SOUP

Ingredients:
4 cups water or vegetable broth
1 (796ml 28oz) can whole or chopped tomatoes
2 potatoes cubed
3 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
Pepper to taste
Handful of fresh cilantro, minced

Directions:
Add all ingredients to a large pot, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add minced cilantro and serve.

** Here are some things I change/add: **
- Instead of three carrots, I often use 1 carrot (chopped) and 1 sweet potato (cubed). Yummy!
- I use fresh tomatoes (chopped) instead of canned (a noticeable difference in flavour!).
- I add additional broth to make the soup more watery (1/2 or 1 cup at a time until it's exactly how I like it).
- I usually skip the rosemary or just add a pinch (that's a bold flavour that not everyone likes).
- I also just add a pinch of thyme instead of a whole teaspoon or skip it altogether.
- I have never added cilantro to the soup.

Enjoy!

So, do you like to cook?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

You Asked, I Answer (Favourite Photographs)

I am really pressed for time this week, so today I'm going to answer a single question from this year's 'Ask Me Anything’ post.

Here we go...

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Kay asked:
I wanted to ask you Martha, you are a FANTASTIC photographer. What is your very FAVORITE photograph, or maybe the top 5 that is on your blog? I LOVE LOVE LOVE your photos!

First, thank you, Kay! That is really kind. But that's the way you roll.

Second, I have taken thousands of images over the years and there are so many that I love for one reason or another that it's next to impossible to choose the top five. So instead of narrowing it down to that small a number, which will take me forever, I'm going to share twelve photographs that rise to the top. I hope you like them!

Autumn Scene

The Duck

In The Country

In The Garden

"Ribbit...Ribbit"

Across The Water

Autumn

Abandoned

Reflections

Under The Bridge

Project 366, Day 43: The Clock Keeps Ticking

At The End Of The Tunnel

I could easily have added another dozen but I think this is more than enough for one post. Over the years I imagine there'll be a lot more photographs to share.

And that's it for today. Short and sweet. Thanks to Kay for her lovely comment and interesting question, and thanks to all of you for stopping by. More answers next week!

Have a great day, everyone.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Chuckles and Chortles

Happy Monday! How are you all doing? Good, I hope. And I hope your weather has been good, too. Ours has been ab-so-lute-ly beautiful and I couldn't be happier. I squeeze in as many walks in the morning as I possibly can and then I get to do it all over again in the evenings with the most amazing man in the world. Good stuff. And when we finally get our bikes out, it'll be even better. Do any of you enjoy walking or cycling?

While you think about that, I'll load up some funny stuff for you.







Have a good one!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Project 366: Week 15

It’s Friday once again and that means another round of photos to share as I continue to focus on my commitment to ‘Project 366 – 2016’; one photo per day, every day, for the entire year. This week was much easier. I’ve started going for early morning walks as often as possible with camera in hand. If something captures my eye...SNAP goes the camera. This morning activity is not only a healthy activity for the body but also for the mind; it’s very refreshing and even meditative.

Below are the photos that were taken on these strolls.

This week's photo theme: Morning Sightings


Friday, April 08, 2016
April Snow
"The day began with flurries but it did get better."

Project 366, Day 99: April Snow


Saturday, April 09, 2016
Out For A Stroll
"The greenspace behind my home.”

Project 366, Day 100: Out For A Stroll


Sunday, April 10, 2016
A Planted Cup
"What will grow from this?"

Project 366, Day 101: A Planted Cup


Monday, April 11, 2016
Perched Up High
"A feathered friend enjoying a sunny morning."

Project 366, Day 102: Perched Up High


Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Industrial Areas
"Not the prettiest areas, but certainly areas where photographic opportunities arise.”

Project 366, Day 103: Industrial Areas


Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Weathered Wood
“One of my favourite things to photograph.”

Project 366, Day 104: Weathered Wood


Thursday, April 14, 2016
At The Park
“No walk is complete without a stop at the playground.”

Project 366, Day 105: At The Park


What I've learned this week:
Motivation fluctuates from day to day; just ride out the low periods.
The animals are wide awake and full of energy in the early morning.
Put on layers of clothing and adjust/remove as the temperature/environment changes.
There is nothing quite like being outdoors!


And that's it for week fifteen; a much more enjoyable one. Wishing all my blogging friends a beautiful weekend!