Saturday, November 30, 2013

Photoshop day late

The internet seems to be back to normal and now I can get this posted.

We started with this image of a flower:

Andrea submitted three images this time:

Edna sent this image entitled floral fantasy:

Judi came up with a holiday theme:

And what can I say, I see him everywhere I look:

For next weeks challenge I'm going to go with a word prompt instead of an image to work from and we'll see how that goes.  I think it will give more latitude to our creativity and it will be fun to see what people come up with.

The word is:  STORM

Have fun, I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Long Live the Queen of Lateness

Friday, November 29, 2013

Photoshop Friday Postponed

I'm not sure if it's Black Friday causing the problem or not, but it's as good an excuse as any so I'll go with it. 

The internet connection is horribly slow today and I am having trouble accessing the email to get the images others have sent and I seem to have forgotten all about doing my own as well, so Photoshop Friday is pushed back to tomorrow.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  Our RV Park put out a fabulous spread for $10 and everything tasted better than ever...possibly because I was not in the kitchen helping.

Left Brain and I have so much to be thankful for and we find it sad that the one day a year set aside to show gratitude is hastily shoved between the football games and people rushing through their meal to run out to shop. And then getting up at the crack of dawn to push and shove their way through the crowds for the honor of spending yet more money on more stuff.

Maybe it's being older, maybe it's living this RV lifestyle, but we have everything we need or want so there's no urgency to run out and compete with frenzied shoppers.

We've just been laying low here and I spent my Black Friday by doing laundry, catching up on some cleaning and baking some oatmeal raisin cookies. 

Now I'll get busy on my Photoshop Friday challenge for tomorrow!

Long Live the Queen of Procrastination...or is it just plain memory loss?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What's for Supper Wednesday

We listened to the roar of wind and rumble of thunder as the storm shook our RV to and fro last night.  It was a wonderful sound, being all snug and warm inside.  The cats have grown less afraid of the storms now and don't run to hide so quickly, although George did enjoy snuggling tight to my side under my arm during the worst of it. 

The morning brought clear skies with cold wind, but still those silly cats wanted to go out and play in their tent.  I removed the sodden quilt from the entrance to the tunnel that failed to get brought in and then straightened up one side of the tent that collapsed under the force of wind and rain. The contents of their outdoor abode were mostly dry but the ground was damp and soggy.

George had second thoughts about this adventure within the first five minutes but Gracie just proceeded to zip through the tunnel and dash in and out of the cube while attacking her play ball.  Cold and damp doesn't seem to slow her down at all.  She stayed out long after George returned to the warmth and comfort of the RV.

'The Book Thief' opened today in The Villages, and since it was too nasty to pursue our planned activity of geocaching, we set out for lunch and a movie in our new boycotting of popcorn and soda at the theatres.

After walking around the downtown square we settled on a lovely deli and went in to dine.  Left Brain had beef cabbage soup and a garden salad.  I had a crock of French onion soup and a spinach knish.  It was not hard to bypass the concession stand at the theatre with our bellies nice and full.

The movie was very somber and I recommend taking in some tissues when you go.  It stayed fairly true to the book and they did a nice job of adapting the novel to the big screen.  It was very powerful and after it ended people just sat back letting their emotions wash over them before gathering up their things to leave.

When we returned it was cold enough to warrant turning on the furnace, a first for us in a long time.  Supper was just some tuna salad I'd made up a couple of days earlier and there's nothing special about it to bother with a recipe here. 

But the dessert was great.  I'd found the recipe on Facebook, where I seem to be getting most of my culinary masterpieces lately and it is so simple.

You mix a can of 15 oz can of pumpkin pie filling and a box of spice cake, nothing more.  Then you put them into paper lined muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  They are the tastiest when warm, so I like to zap the leftovers  for a teensy bit just to warm them and then add a dollop of low-fat cool whip.  It is pure comfort food and sure tasted great on this cold winter night.  The Weight Watcher version says to add one cup of water, but I like the thick chewiness of these with just the two ingredients.  Well, three...I chose to add some raisins to them.

Long Live the Queen of Good Eats

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Birthday celebrations

November is a month full of birthdays for our family and friends.  My son and daughter were both born on the 12th, but one year apart.  Left Brain's birthday was the 19th and we have a host of friends who have birthdays during this month.

We were invited to the Doyla's to celebrate Galina's 60th birthday and it was fun to see everyone again.

Galina is from Russia, so the food was a feast of Russian delicacies.   As you can see it was as much a feast for the eyes as for the palate.

Nick and Christy have a beautiful home and we were set up on the lanai next to the pool for our birthday bash.

So, of course, many took advantage of the pool for a little swimming...even the Barbie dolls.

Another of the guests was Willie, David's friend from London, who flew in to golf with David.  Hopefully the airport will locate and deliver them to the house soon.

David with his birthday hat
Willie and Left Brain chatting away

Even though this was for Galina's birthday, she turned the tables and showered Left Brain with gifts as well.

Long Live the Queen of Celebrations

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mandarin Orange Monday

I find myself watching for all things orange these days, although I know I could just alter something to make it orange.

We noticed this orange thunderbird convertible pass us by while out the other day.

It was nice, but could be even a little more orange...and it needed to show the speed it is capable of, so I added a motion blur.

Then I tweaked it with a radial blur.

And, of course, I posterized it...because I just can't stop myself from doing this. 

Perhaps there is a twelve step program for Posterizers Anonymous?

Long Live the Queen of Zoom Zoom

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Tunnel of Love

I spent part of the morning moving furniture around to make room for the new tunnel addition to George and Gracie's tent.

The new layout is very appealing and gives us more space inside and I took advantage of that to set up the sewing machine and did some quilting outside where it's cooler.

note the pieced sunscreens we were using - these will be replaced soon

Then I realized that the table could fit over the tunnel, creating a bit of shade and maximizing the space in our new outdoor living room.

We've come to realize that it's worth the effort to stake down the awning and put up the screens to block some of the sun.  It provides a bit of privacy and I now I find that I spend most of the day out there working on one thing or another.

In the past we've attempted screen rooms and the like and it's more of a hassle to store them and put them up.  Sorry kids, the big blue thing will be coming you way this summer.
We even added the little cube she loves to play in out in the tent

Since this will be our new routine for any stays lasting a week or more we will be looking into getting a nicer screen for the awning.  We met a guy at the Webster Flea Market that does this and will place an order soon.

Long Live the Queen of the Love Tunnel

Friday, November 22, 2013

Photoshop Friday - The Crane

The Sand hill cranes in our current home of Blueberry Hill RV Resort in Bushnell Florida are so tame it is easy to walk up very close to get photos.

Therefore, I was able to snap this one to use for our Photoshop Friday challenge.  I was pleased that some of the participants commented it was too pretty to mess around with, but that didn't stop them!

the original photo

I did my usual schtick of applying a bunch of filters, although I am trying out some different filters for a change.

texturizer brick

stylized wind

plastic wrap

offset, repeat pixels and flipped the image

glowing edges

cutout filter

Judi sent this one that topped in with 59 layers: 

Andrea came up with three versions of it:

Miss Edna created this image:

Long Live the Queen of The Cranes

Next Friday's subject:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Operation Migration

We love watching the sand hill cranes here in the park.  When we told our daughter about how they were used in Operation Migration she was fascinated and thought it would be a good blog post to share the story with others.

Due to the dwindling populations of the Whooping Cranes, a migration experiment took place in the fall of 2000.  Since the Sandhill crane population was in abundance, a select group of eggs were selected to be raised and taught to migrate with the hopes they would then lead the Whooping cranes south in the future.  This was the beginning of Operational Migration.

This group of Sandhill Cranes were trained to follow their "parent crane" on a migration from the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin to Florida.  This trip took 40 days with average flights of 30 mph....following an ultralight aircraft.

The pilots and handlers always wore costumes when working with the cranes.  The costume was designed to mask the human form.  This consisted of baggy gray fabric that extended below the knees to make sure the "legs" could not be distinguished.  Can you imagine wearing this during the hot humid summers in Wisconsin, much less flying an ultralight dressed like this?

The experiment was a huge success when the cranes not only followed the aircraft all the way to Florida but returned on their own to Wisconsin the following year.  Yup...just more Wisconsin snowbirds..

The trainers also had to be careful not to talk, sneeze or cough or anything that would be considered "human".  The only voices these cranes have ever heard are those of other Sandhill cranes via a hand-held CD player or loudspeakers mounted on the ultralights.

For the best experience, watch one of the many videos on You Tube showing this project.  I've attached one for you here.

Long Live the Queen of the Cranes