Jan 30, 2012

Don’t fall


Youth hockey players of the night.  



He stands at the doorway thinking about the warnings his brother and friends have given him. Don’t fall, it’s gonna be dark when you skate out there, everyone will be watching.

He waits for Mr. Announcer man to announce the youth hockey players of the game.

He hears his name and skates out onto the ice with the spotlight on him and everyone watching.



He goes to the spot he was told to.



Maybe next time I’ll “shoot the duck” when I come out here, yeah. What ever “shooting the duck” is. I’ll ask my brother sometime but not now.



He stands there for the national anthem thinking about how far it is to the other end. Some guy, a big tall one says something to him. His mom will ask him later but he wont remember by then, he has important things to worry about right now.  When they turn on the lights do I go around those legs or through them? And are we getting popcorn?  



The lights come on and he skates for the door.



he comes slow and under control to the door.

It’s been a good night  I didn’t fall.



  Didn’t fall out on the ice!



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Jan 28, 2012

Signs of Spring


f/5        1/125 sec.       ISO-200      50mm

The end of one thing is the beginning of another.



f/5   1/125 sec. ISO-200      50mm

And The crocuses are here to tell of the good news that Spring is on it’s way! Well three are, the rest are just 1/2” green shoots sticking out of the ground.


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Jan 27, 2012

Three is a crowd


Yesterday I met Cotton and some of her siblings. (She’s the white one on the right).



Her brother and sister enjoy breath smelling contests.



I think Rocko lost and had to take a lap around the area.



Cotton didn’t want him to feel singled out so she ran it with him.



Then he had a secret to tell the brown one –I can’t remember her name! – Apparently the best way to assure listening is to grab ahold of the ear. Don’t moms do stuff like that?



Cotton wasted no time making sure she didn’t miss anything.






Rocko insists She’s MY sister, I can do it.



They are happy that they left the city and really don’t miss it.



Though they’re still die hard Blackhawks fans.




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Jan 23, 2012

Carrot Orange Barley smoothie


I don’t usually get barley cravings or can think of anything that’s best when made with barley.  I don’t have any opinions for or against barley. When I was looking for some grain or seed to add to this smoothie barley drew the lucky number. I did not choose barley because it has fiber, both soluble and insoluble fiber. Nor did I choose it for containing niacin (Vitamin B3), thiamine ( Vitamin B1), selenium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and copper. Nah, I just thought it might be good, and why not?



So after all that thinking, I did some fridge rummaging and came out with carrots, an orange, a little bit of squash, half a thing, yeah thing is an acceptable word to use  here right? of orange juice concentrate and the barley. Actually the thinking and the fridge rummaging  happened all at once. I imagine I’m a great multitasker during those moments when I’m rummaging in the fridge.



I like to chop the carrots into smallish pieces so that they get blended all the way and not have any rogue floating chunks.



Into the blender I tossed carrots, orange pieces, cooked barley, orange juice concentrate, honey, and about a cup of water and blended until smooth. Stopped to taste. It was very strong and concentrated.  Plus there was this powerful vegetable flavor, I think it was the squash. So I gave it a splash of vanilla, a cup or so of water and about three fistfuls of ice cubes.

Vanilla did the trick. It tasted great.

I think I’ll make it again.


orange barley smoothie-27



Carrot Orange Barley smoothie


  • 3 large carrots cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup cooked barley
  • 1/4 cup cooked squash
  • 1 orange pealed and separated into a few pieces
  • 6 oz orange juice concentrate
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 cups ice cubes

Place chopped carrots, orange pieces, barley, squash, orange juice concentrate, honey and some of the water in blender and blend until everything is chopped up. then add the rest of the water, vanilla and ice cubes.

Makes 2-4 servings depending on serving size.


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Jan 20, 2012

Chocolate-Nut Torte With berry Glaze


Chocolate adds delicious depths to deserts. And that’s a fact. I rest my case. I will now show you how I built my case.



All you need is a few good eggs.



In a bowl sift together, or just toss in flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and chopped almonds.



in another bowl beat eggs and egg yolks. Then beat in sugar. I actually cut the sugar back by almost half. You may not want to do that.



Then add the oil. I put it in a measuring cup first so I’d know when I’d gotten it all in.



beat it ‘til it’s nicely combined.



pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix.



Pour into greased and forgot to be floured pan and bake at 350 for about half an hour.

Warm up some jam or fruit spread and spread over cake before serving.





Chocolate-Nut Torte With berry Glaze

Adapted from Prevention


  • 1 C almonds chopped
  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 lg eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 lg egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C light olive oil
  • 3/4 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 C any kind red berry fruit spread, jam or jelly


    Preheat oven to 350°F. grease a 10" pan.
        In a bowl, beat eggs, egg whites, and vanilla extract until foamy. beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture is thick and pale in color,or you get sick of beating it. add oil in slow, steady stream.
    In large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Fold in almonds. Gradually fold in egg mixture. Pour into pan.
    Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from pan sides and center is firm to the touch. Cool in pan on rack.
    In small pan over low heat, melt fruit spread until smooth. Spread over cake and let stand 30 minutes or until spread is set. Remove from pan before serving.



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Jan 18, 2012

Blacked out


Many websites are blacked out today to protest proposed U.S. legislation that threatens internet freedom: the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). From personal blogs to Wikipedia, sites all over the web — including this one — are asking you to help stop this dangerous legislation from being passed. Please watch the video below to learn how this legislation will affect internet freedom


PROTECT IP / SOPA   Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Tell Congress: Don’t censor the Web

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Jan 17, 2012

Odd little pizzas Snacks


In my house the kitchen was not designed for perfect natural lighting. In the winter most evenings I just keep the camera put away but these were so funny looking I had to share.



I forgot to take any pictures until this point. I was too busy laughing about Tea pots, Apples and gingerbread men shaped pizzas.   



I assure you, this is not something we do every night. We do not eat pizzas shaped like tea pots, and apples or gingerbread men.  There, now that I’ve got that cleared up I feel much better.



Even though the lighting was more than uncooperative  I believe more cheese will make it all OK.





Odd little pizzas Snacks


  • pizza dough rolled out and cut into shapes with large cookie cutters
  • tomato sauce, Pesto, Philadelphia fiesta cooking cream
  • cooked chicken, beef, pork, leftover scrambled egg whatever you have
  • chopped green bell peppers, leftover brussel sprouts, whatever vegetables you have
  • Cheese mozzarella, cheddar, feta.


Bake at 400 until dough is lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Let cool and Serve.


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Jan 16, 2012

A shot in the dark


f/2.8   1 sec   ISO-200  18mm

Just last year. Taken Just propping the camera on the railing and holding my breath and hoping that I wasn’t wiggling. After looking at the picture I see I do quite a bit of wiggling in one second.



f/5.6     30.00 sec    ISO-200    50mm  

This year the Henley Street bridge under repair.

First use of the tripod. Yes, I haven’t been using a tripod before this. Um, well, I’d just set the camera on something and set the remote timer –after I found the timer that is. Reading the manual is just over rated. People don’t really do that do they?



f/5.6      30.00 sec    ISO-200     50mm      3 shots stitched


I really didn’t know what I should set anything to so as usual I just tried something. Once again I didn’t do any preparing in advance, like reading about how to take good night pictures on cloudy nights.

  In my mind this photo was going to have this whole bridge reflecting in the water just like Frank Kehren did in one of his inspiring photos.

Come to think of it I might’ve had a better angle from the other side.

Come to think of it getting to the other side would have to be accomplished by crossing some other bridge right now.

My fingers were cold. So I went home.

The end.



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Jan 13, 2012

The Palm Trees


F/5.6      1/1000 sec.    ISO 200       50mm       with polarizing filter.

You’d think I’d never seen a palm tree before the way I stopped to take pictures of each one I saw on this trip. I took pictures of them at the toll booth.



F/4 1/500 sec. ISO 200 50mm with polarizing filter

I was even thrilled they were in front of the hotel.



F/4.5     1/800 sec.    ISO 200      50mm        with polarizing filter ~ thanks Paul for insisting I use it.



F/4       1/640 sec.     ISO 200     50mm

That evening I could tell it was going to be the perfect sunset.



F/4       1/200 sec.      ISO 200      50mm

Behind the rink there it was.



F/4      1/200 sec.       ISO 200        50mm

A little farther up the street it was even better.



F/4       1/125 sec.     ISO 200     50mm

At the edge of the parking lot behind the camper  with the clothesline tied to a tree and the people enjoying a few beverages was the reflection looking just like I’d imagined,



F/4      1/125 sec.     ISO 200      50mm

only better.



Here’s a good list of Free Lightroom Presets. I tend to start with a preset and then modify it to my liking from there.


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