Monday, January 31, 2011
If the local meteorologists are to be believed, most of the midwest is about to get hammered with ice followed by snow followed by wind and extreme cold - oh happy day! I captured this shot on the window pane in my bedroom just as the very first bits began to hit the glass.
My plan for tonight is the same plan I have every Monday night. Post grades from my class, do any leftover laundry, and just relax with a good night of television (I do so love Hawaii Five-O and Castle).I'm very much hoping the power remains on (that's probably my biggest hope - it's going to get chilly in here if it doesn't) and that we don't go to work tomorrow. A snow day sounds very, very nice.
Wherever you are tonight - stay safe!
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Lindsay and I were just hanging out tonight at home after our long weekend away. We played with the kitties, did a little laundry, ate dinner, and just relaxed. She obviously reconnected with her toys (she can't take "soft" toys with her to Grandma and Grandpa's house because their dog Samson will eat them). It's good to be back home - although it was really good to see Mom and Dad before their trip.
I was taking photos while talking to my friend Gayle on the phone - suddenly we're possibly heading to Florida in June. Will be a fun trip if it all works out. When I stop to think about the technology involved in some of the planning we all do nowadays it's kind of insane. I was on speaker phone to her via my cell phone while I was online looking at my calendar at the computer - she's on Facebook chat with her friend getting details on possible accommodations ...and in the grand scheme of things we've gotten much more techy then that when trying to work out logistics for something.)
I posted the rest of the photos from mine and Diana's Saturday shoot on Flickr - you can see those here - the titles are off on them as I forgot to change the shoot name in Light Room before I imported them. I'll try to get that fixed here shortly. I took a couple of other shots while I was at mom and dad's that were pretty good. This one was of the icicle hanging off their back window awning in the kitchen.
And...some photos capture a memory - even if the photo doesn't say much to anyone else looking at it. That's kind of how I think of this one. Sammy is only allowed in the kitchen because he still chews on everything. You'll notice the gate isn't designed for security - he really does mind well in terms of staying where he should. His favorite game when I'm there (because he knows I'll play with him) is to drop the ball over the gate so I can toss it back to him. He makes the funniest noises to get my attention if I don't throw it back fast enough.
Finally, mom (and I) made the best simple salad on Friday night. It was just shredded carrot (they were like tiny sticks - still crispy and crunchy), chopped celery, shrimp, a little ranch salad dressing, and salt and pepper. It was so simple but so yummy. Loved that there was no lettuce in it.
You know when you're headed into a week that every work week has five days - but do they ever feel like they might be longer than that as you look out at them. I think this one might be a long five days. Hopefully it won't be bad though. Have a great Monday.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
My friend Diana and I spent several hours today taking photos of all sorts of things - from a Farmer's Market to studio time in Jim Hair's studio (the shot above is of Diana while we were in Jim's studio) to some deer who were posing for us by the side of the road to shooting all sorts of things inside of Joe's Pizza where we grabbed lunch. We had a great time together as we always do - taking photos of anything, anyone, and everything. I have many, many more shots I'll post once I'm back home on a little better connection. What a great day!
Friday, January 28, 2011
My timing is a little off today. I love these little mugs that sit along the window sill in my mom's kitchen. When I got back to their place from the office tonight the sunlight filtering in those west facing windows was reflecting off of those beautifully. My timing was a little off though because by the time I grabbed the camera the light had already changed so they weren't lit quite as well for the photo.
I am looking forward tomorrow as I'm going on a photo shoot with my friend Diana - hope to get some fun pictures and learn as well!
Have a great weekend.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Will have a longer post on Sunday most likely. Mom and Dad's Internet connection leaves much to be desired so will keep this short to hope that it will actually upload.
I don't know about all of you, but I'm sure glad tomorrow is Friday.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I took a photo of the cats playing together today - I think they are enjoying the dog being gone - but decided I wanted to post a summary of my trip to DC tonight (the photo of the kitties wasn't that great - but it was so much fun hearing them "talk" to each other).
I flew into DC on Monday morning, arriving around 8:30 a.m. I proceeded to the lovely Hotel Monaco which is located directly across from the National Portrait Gallery. If you even have only 30 minutes to spend in this museum - spend the time. It's an incredible museum with nearly any and every portrait you've ever seen in a textbook or other book on display. Very, very cool.
As soon as I dropped my bags at the hotel I headed down to the National Mall.
I took a few photos from the Mall area. Then it was off to the Capitol. I've never visited the Capitol before in all my visits to DC. I had reserved a ticket for a tour, but was hoping to walk in and get a tour. I walked around the Mall side of the Capitol and grabbed the pictures. While there was definitely a police/security presence all around the Mall and the Capitol (extremely friendly police I must say) I was surprised to still be able to walk right up to the edge of the building on the National Mall side to snap some fun pictures.
I walked around to the other side to head into the Visitor's Center and line up for my tour. The Capitol Tour beings with a brief film followed by lining up with a guide who narrates the thirty minute tour. The walking tour visits the Crypt, the Rotunda, as well as the old Senate and House chambers. I was amazed at how "small" the Rotunda seemed. I loved standing in the old House chambers and realizing I was standing in the place where they have brunch after the inauguration. That was one of those moments when I was just taken aback with how amazing our form of government is.
After a quick lunch in the Capitol, I walked through the lovely tunnel between the Capitol and the Library of Congress to explore the Bibles, the Jefferson's Library exhibit and several other very nice exhibits. The Gutenberg Bible has color in it - I wouldn't have guessed that. You can't take pictures inside of the exhibits.
After visiting the Library of Congress, I stopped in the National Conservatory. I wish I had more time as I would have spent hours in here. After the Conservatory I had to head back to get to the first activities for my conference but I must say it was a wonderful visit - even if it was quick.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I have been lucky enough to visit our Nation's Capitol four or five times in the last couple of years. Since I am there visiting a vendor and working on projects with them I stay in the same neighborhood every time and it has a great location just a few blocks from the Mall. I was truly surprised on this visit to realize how comfortable I have become here. I never looked at a map once - I can't say that in Indy most days as I am very directionally challenged. Today's photo is from my DC neighborhood which is just a few blocks from Chinatown.
Looking forward to being back home in a couple of hours. Air travel is frustrating sometimes but DC to Indy in one hour sure beats driving which takes better part of a day.
Monday, January 24, 2011
I love DC. I don't get to visit all that often but did today. I am working tonight via a rather slow connection so will save the stories and additional photos for tomorrow but I had to post at least one shot today. Back home to Indiana tomorrow.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Today was "Daddy-Do List" day. This is my dad - Frank. (He's modeling his safety glasses!) We got all the projects done today that were on the list and he gave me good advice on a couple of others - one of which got done after he and mom left and the other got a good start but requires some new hardware that I'll have to get at Lowes soon.
A recap of our projects...
I needed some help moving the media cabinet so I could get an extension cord into the electrical outlet smack in the middle of the wall behind it. That allowed a switching of the lamps so the tripod lamp wasn't falling over on the too small table at the other end of the couch and it let me move the photo frame from the kitchen to the living room so I could enjoy it whenever I'm hanging out in that room. Even though I cook a lot I do hang out a lot more in my living room than in my kitchen.
The "surprise" of the day came while we were working in the garage. I had a moldy spot on the ceiling of my garage that I wanted dad to take a look at. After investigation we think it's nothing but I'm going to pick up some Kilz the next time I'm at Lowes and paint it to make sure it doesn't spread in the future. While trying to figure out the scope of the problem, Dad hopped up into my attic and unearthed several things including this train set left by the previous owner. I had never even popped my head up there so had no idea all that stuff was up there.
In addition to the train set there really were ghosts and goblins in my house - the plastic, light-up kind. Those will most likely go to the Goodwill Store but I think the train will stay.
While we were in the garage I got a quick tutorial on rewiring a lamp. A project I completed after mom and dad headed back home - turning my previous floor lamp which starred as a Pixar Lamp knockoff in a photo a couple of weeks ago into a nice desk lamp that I'm enjoying thoroughly at the moment.
We also replaced the bulb in my microwave. Ordinarily I could do this one all by myself. However, the metal part of the bulb had welded itself into the socket so it involved unscrewing the entire bottom off the microwave, removing the socket, getting the metal part out with some pliers and finally we could put the whole thing back together again. I wonder how long until the fact that the lights are "uneven" will bug me enough to just change the one on the left.
Finally, we headed upstairs to tighten screws on the knobs of the jewelry drawer of my lingerie cabinet - again normally a project easily doable on my own. However, the drawer doesn't come out and the liner required quite a bit of brute strength with me holding the cabinet so it didn't fall over while Dad yanked out the liner. Then accessing and tightening the screws on the knobs was easy.
Finally, dad brought over his Forstner bit so we could drill some holes in the back of my desk. I wish the people who design desks and only put holes in the tops of them actually knew something about running wires and that putting an extra hole in the back would also be a good idea. We did make a cloverleaf shape as the bit was small for my overall needs. I'll smooth the edges with the rotary tool later in the week. Using that bit was a LOT of fun - I wonder what else I could think of to put a hole in.
While they were here Dad also advised me on the sewing table that's in my "studio". I don't use the sewing machine all that much but I love this table. It has a fold-down leaf so it doesn't take up much space but if I do want to open it up and work on a big project it's super easy to open up. Part of the leaf had come un-glued and was falling off and it required some strength and two people to get all the parts off before I could glue the planks back together again. They are currently curing with the Gorilla Glue and I'll drill some new screw holes to finish the tightening next week after I've grabbed slightly larger screws from Lowes.
Mom and Dad took the pooch home with them since I travel a bit this week. I miss her already, but she'll have fun playing with her "cousin" Sammy (Mom and Dad's golden retriever). Sorry this post wasn't all that exciting, but I really did want to catalog all the stuff we got done today. It was a fun day working with my dad and just getting a bunch of stuff knocked through really fast felt great. I hope everyone has a great week.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
I've taken a few sketching and drawing classes. I don't feel like I have much talent in this area, but I enjoy the act of drawing, painting, sketching, cutting, gluing, etc. It's those things that initially drew me to scrapbooking which also took me to photography.
In order to try to improve my skills in drawing and sketching, I'm taking Alisa Burke's online sketching class which begins in February. I have a sketchbook already - that doesn't see nearly enough use. I decided it needed a new cover so decoupaged on one of my photos. That curled the cover a bit so I made some flowers and did a bit more stamping and painting to put together a little inside cover. A relaxing activity for a Saturday.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Observation skills are an interesting thing. They can lie dormant until they are used every day (seeking out a suitable subject for the photo of the day) at which time they click into overdrive. I guess seeing a cardinal sitting amongst the branches isn't a huge power of observation, but slowing down enough to snap the photo before a car came up behind me added some skill to it, so I'm going to revel in what was a fun moment.
Speaking of photographing while driving...
I love the architecture of this church. It is Second Presbyterean church here in Indianapolis. I don't travel by it all that often, but today I had to wander up that section of road and after seeing the sunlight hit the church, I had to turn around and go back. With a little help from Lightroom, three pictures I'm very happy with.
And finally, since nearly every post this week has featured some yummy dish I couldn't leave you without one to wrap up the week. Mom and my sister, Susie, were supposed to come over tonight and we were going out for dinner. Susie had a meeting scheduled here in town tomorrow and then Mom was going to spend the weekend with me until Dad came over on Sunday to complete the very long "Daddy-Do" list I have been saving up for him (he says he likes to have stuff to do when he visits so I'm happy to oblige). Susie's meeting got canceled so now Mom isn't coming until Sunday. Facing another meal at home I had to get creative but I whipped up a pretty decent chicken carbonara, loosely based on Rachel Ray's recipe in her Comfort Foods cookbook. Carbonara is one of her main recipes though so I'm guessing you could google it. I added mushrooms, chicken, and shallot and used some leftover chicken stock in addition to the white wine it called for - and added some basil which is always delicious. Another yummy meal - and now Mom and Dad can enjoy it on Sunday.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Isn't it funny where inspiration comes from and how ideas come together. I was supposed to have dinner with my friend Diana tonight as she was coming to town for an Indy Photo Coach class. However, today's yucky weather prevented her from making the trek here. Glad we've already set a date for our next photo outing together.
I'm also not disappointed because when I was looking for the place to have dinner with Diana (Sahm's Tavern downtown - yum!!) I also stumbled on an ad for Wine and Canvas - already making plans to do this soon - anyone want to go?
So, with dinner plans thwarted and my legs needing to thaw out from hand shoveling the drive and sidewalks (my guy hasn't been very reliable lately) I needed to get my creative spirit in gear with some kitchen creativity tonight. Meet...Roasted Indian Shrimp...and since I'm apparently no more organized in today's post than I was in Tuesday's here is where the inspiration part comes in...
My office mates and I had a conversation about curry at lunch today. I love curry - the spice - but I've never tried to make a true "curry" that is Indian style. I had some lovely shrimp in the fridge that were begging to be used so I googled Shrimp Curry but didn't find anything less than 20 minutes in length and...I'd just shoveled the walk - I was hungry now! So, I remembered a recipe from Ina Garten (a.k.a the Barefoot Contessa) for roasted shrimp. I figured I could curry that up a bit and I was right - it was yummy!! So, in the spirit of Alisa Burke's beautiful posts (today's was Quinoa Salad which I'm going to have to try soon) here is my super simple recipe for Roasted Indian Shrimp.
Roasted Indian Shrimp
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
You'll need about a pound of shrimp - peeled and deveined (the very sweet gentleman in the Kroger seafood area took care of all that hard work for me so I only had to peel the little lovelies - love that!)
You'll also want olive oil, kosher salt, garam masala, cumin - and then I always keep a jar of Emeril Lagasse's "Bam"
and of course, the star of the show, curry powder
Mound the shrimp in the middle of your baking sheet
Add 1 Tbsp olive oil
Add 1/2 tsp each kosher salt and garam masala. The shrimp already have a salty taste so if you're not a huge fan of salt or need to watch your salt you could easily half this. Garam Masala is one of my new favorite spices (thank you Aarti Sequiera). If you've never tried it I think it's a FABULOUS substitute for pepper. It's got much more than just pepper in it and once I use up this first jar I bought to give it a try I'm going to mix my own probably - but LOVE this stuff
Add just a tiny pinch of cumin and Bam (you could skip these two if you don't want them)
Sprinkle liberally with curry powder. I probably used 1/2 to 3/4 tsp but I didn't measure that.
Mix well. I used my hands (olive oil and spices feel wonderful on your hands - especially in winter) but you could use a spoon if you're less mess tolerant than I.
Bake for five to six minutes and...
It was a perfect dish for a cold day and the left over fried rice I made this weekend wasn't bad with it.
I don't know about all of you, but I'm extremely glad tomorrow is Friday. Looking forward to the weekend as my mom will be here to hang out with me all weekend!