Category Archives: Five on Friday

Five On Friday: Random Thoughts And Images

It’s been an odd week.  I’ve been having trouble focusing on my blog post writing.

Yesterday presented a terrible case of writer’s block for my tiny tip on a Thursday.  Everything I wrote just stunk. Sometimes, it’s best to just put posts like that aside for a bit.

Today, I pondered whether to even bother with a Five on Friday post.  Still having trouble focusing and not just on blog post writing either.

Seems so many things pull for our attention. Funny how the pull increases in an empty house. I’ve finally conceded to allow myself to be lazy today.  Still wanted to participate in the Five On Friday link up hosted by Tricky over at the F.A.S.T. blog.

Random Thoughts and Images It Will Be:

ONE:  A Botched Breakfast And Two Tiny Tomatoes

My plan was to have a simple scrambled egg for breakfast this morning. A little butter, a little salt, a little garlic?  Wait, who put the garlic where the pepper shaker belongs?  So much for simple.  A little Italian seasoning, a little Parmesan cheese, a couple chopped up tiny tomatoes, a sprinkling of bacon bits, and a bit of shredded cheddar cheese turned the egg into a not too bad omelette.

I found the two tiny tomatoes last night in the mess of tangled weeds we call a garden. We also had a slightly larger one not quite red enough to pick.

Behold the bounty of our garden!

I picked TWO green beans last week.  There are two jalapeno peppers that may be ready.  My husband’s okra has a few small pods growing.  Pretty cucumber flowers but no vegetables, we must have bought 2 different varieties in our plants.

If Armageddon happens (and it scares me how much less of a joke that seems recently), I don’t think our garden will sustain us for very long.  Although….edible weeds (Creeping Charlie) are taking over. Perhaps we’ll be okay after all.

TWO: Summer Seems To Be Fading Into Fall

Seems like I just put out this flag and yet, our weather doesn’t match the sentiments.  It’s been much cooler, the kids have gone back to school (just this week), and the acorns are already raining down on our back deck.  Where did my summer go? I have many friends and a few family members who love the next season but I would like to see a few more swimming pool friendly days. Today is not one of those days. It’s gloomy, overcast, and dark. Appears it might rain any minute.

Hope the high school football game marching band performance still happens and sure hope I don’t have to sit in the rain to watch the band!

THREE: The Coming Eclipse

I was actually both excited and relieved when asked to work the full day on Monday.  Originally, my schedule was only to fill in for a teacher a few hours in the late afternoon and was pondering what I’d do during the event.

Now, I get to be somewhere I love during the event. It should be interesting although all the constant warnings and talk about it have me a bit jittery.

I’ve seen lots of people making jokes about having the song Total Eclipse Of The Heart stuck in their heads.  For me, this Thomas Dolby number keeps popping into my head instead:

Thomas Dolby – She Blinded Me With Science from Mad Hatter on Vimeo.

Got to love the ’80s.  We’ll I may be a bit biased since I belong to that generation. (Does that make me old?)  I just told the kids on Wednesday afternoon, I don’t care what you think about the ’80s, there is no denying we had the best music and made the best movies. No argument from the teenager on that point.

Four: A Forced Park Visit

“I want to practice taking a photo of the sunset from that park over there and you guys need the fresh air.”  “Please don’t make me be the creepy lady with camera and no kids at the park.”

They finally begrudgingly and unhappily agreed to go with me to a local park a bit to the west of our house.  A park not in the best area,  just a good park to be aware of your surroundings.  Turns out not a great park to capture a sunset after all.  The photo I posted on Wednesday was my best one.  The search for a good sunset photo spot continues.

The park did have a lot of pretty elements to photograph although it was quite dirty.  Ugh, throw your trash away people…the walk to the trash bins is not that far from the playground. I cropped a lot of trash out of my photos. 

Five: Conversations With My Boys

So often I see different forms of media stressing the importance of talking to your kids about various issues.  Personally, I think it’s just as important to listen to them and hear their thoughts and opinions. It was probably one of the highlights of my summer when after work on Wednesday afternoon, I just sat and listened to the boys’ thoughts on many different subjects including education, politics, the environment, and procrastination.

While listening I did take the opportunity to remind them of a few things:

  • Critical thinking is important
  • The media is not a huge solitary monster sitting in a corner plotting against everything
  • Their grandfather (my dad) fought in WWII against evils that should never return and side by side with people who weren’t allowed in the same restaurants with him
  • Showing Empathy and Compassion to others does not mean everyone is becoming “too sensitive”


So much for writer’s block on this almost one thousand word rambling and random post.  How has your week gone?





Five On Friday: Waiting

This has been a week of waiting.

I’ve enrolled my 2 boys in 2 schools and waited in numerous lines within the schools to do so.  It’s an annual thing.

We took two additional trips to the high school Wednesday for my teenager to wait on a counselor to see about changing a course.  In between our trips, I waited in a much too long drive-thru line at McDonald’s before losing my patience.  City living benefits, 2 McDonald’s locations within a 5 mile radius.

  1. J spent time waiting for the bus on Thursday for 7th grade orientation.  I brought out the camera while I kept a close but not too close eye on the corner.  The bus took awhile. Even our little gray cat grey a bit impatient. waiting waiting


    Where’s the bus?

    The bus did finally arrive.  J’s 3 hour orientation went fine (no doubts about it not doing so) other than him arriving home with news they placed him in the wrong math class. So, now there is more waiting for a returned phone call.

  2.  Interesting story about this shell spider who waited patiently for this meal of flies. This is the second shell spider to grace the area in front of our porch.  I took the first one to work with me and worried when I captured him that he looked a bit well, dead.  Not long after, I found this smaller little shell spider in his or perhaps I should say her  place.  Charlotte’s Web in real life! Except our little spider never wrote any messages to a pig or the cat (as far as I know).

  3. I spent some time wondering if these clouds would bring us yet more rain…                                                                                                                                                        

    They didn’t during the day and early evening hours but the dampness of the front porch this morning makes me think the overnight hours saw a few raindrops.

  4. Waited until National S’mores Day arrived to pull these from the cabinet.  Then, we just had to wait for the fire.  waiting


    This was a fun way to finally get rid of some storm debris

    waiting waiting

  5.  And I waited for the sun to go down as well as a busy bat to fly into view and be still long enough for a photo.  No luck with the sunset or the bat!

    The blurry blob toward the center is my busy bat, hopefully he was busy eating mosquitoes!

    What things have had you waiting this week?  Don’t forget to check out the Five on Friday link up, hosted by the F.A.S.T. blog!




Random Camera Practice

I’m really not sure why I didn’t get a post together yesterday. No good excuse really. For whatever reason, I’ve woke up motivated to work on my blog this rainy day.

Since I purchased a new bridge camera right before our vacation, I have been trying to practice with it during the week.  Still have a long ways to go before I master our new camera.

I’ll be linking this post up to Five on Friday, hosted by the F.A.S.T. blog.  Also, since I have some bird photos, once again, I’ll be linking to I’d Rather B Birdin’ again.

ONE: The Birds

One of the main reasons I purchased this camera was my frustration with the zoom on my old camera.  Now, I can take a bit better photos of those birds I love to watch.

There’s a story behind this photo of a Carolina Wren.  Shouldn’t there be a story behind every photo though?

I was looking out our backdoor and noticed a hummingbird chasing a small group of birds. I grabbed my camera and ran. Too slow.  The show was over by the time I got out there. However, I did hear the wren where he’d taken refuge in the front yard and managed to capture his photo before getting the bird equivalent of the one-fingered salute: Birds can be so uncooperative sometimes!

Even the sparrows are in on the whole “I’m not going to pose for your picture, crazy camera lady!” thing:

TWO: Butterflies and Moths

This little guy was on the side of the garage one day when we arrived home from an outing.

Later to my delight, two Tiger Swallow Tail Butterflies were flitting about right by the front porch when I walked out there to pet our little cat. Beautiful butterflies that fly constantly near the tip tops of our trees.

One landed on one of our Boxwood bushes!  So I hurried inside for the camera… Apparently, there is a conspiracy against the crazy camera lady between the butterfly and birds as he wouldn’t open his beautiful wings until he flitted away much too swiftly and high in the sky for a decent photo.

THREE: Evening Walk

My youngest son and I went for an evening walk around the block and I, of course, brought my camera. 

Four: Sunset Practice

I actually have a sunset photo I took on my phone last Friday night that I prefer to this.  I was lamenting to my husband that the best sunrise/sunset views around here always seem to be from the highway. Not an ideal or safe location for a photo!

This one is from our walk around the block:

Five: My Very First Attempt At A Sun flare!

I honestly didn’t even know this was a thing until a few months ago.  Still need lots of practice with this and quite possibly a camera with capabilities beyond my bridge camera.  ******

Are you a photographer?  Any advice? I’d be especially interested in how to gain the cooperation of the birds and butterflies!

Five On Friday: Zoo Morning!

We visited the Kansas City Zoo on Wednesday morning.  We didn’t make a day of it because of rain and well, the Kansas City Zoo is fairly large with over 1000 animals.

It’s also rather spread out as they try to create natural habitats for as many animals as possible.

We had a free coupon for our zoo morning.  Since we live in a one of the counties that pays a special zoo tax, we get free admission coupons every few months.

Of course, I used the chance to sneak in a little camera practice.

Our Zoo Morning!

ONE: The Trumpeter swan.

zoo morning

We were excited to hear this bird make its lovely call!

At the front entrance in with this beautiful swan are ducks and turtles. next door are the river otters. No photos of them as my husband and son were moving too fast.  The river otters were sound asleep anyway.

TWO: The Relatively New Penguin Plaza

This is one of my favorite new exhibits at our zoo.  zoo morning A few penguins are outside but most live inside the building.

zoo morning

 They were feeding this group of birds. 

There may be another photographer in the family. zoo morning

THREE: Flamingos, Pelicans, And Elephants! Oh My!

Just for clarification based on my Wizard of Oz reference up there, The Kansas City zoo is actually in Kansas City, Missouri.  Local friends will understand my need to make that point.  zoo morning We have an aunt who loves flamingos so we always think of her when we see them. A pelican also hangs out in their exhibit. zoo morning zoo morning One of the preschool students loves elephants and so I also always think of him now when I see elephants.  I was surprised how close they were to the walking path on this visit. It was fun to see this elephant chomping on some greenery. zoo morning

Four:  Just Keep Walking Or Riding

My advice is to definitely leave the flip-flops at home and wear your good walking shoes should you visit our zoo.  This bridge over railroad tracks and the Blue River is a good place to watch for “real” wildlife if your party isn’t in a huge hurry.

It’s not really a luxury to be had when visiting places with my husband and J! If you do get tired of walking at the zoo, you can ride a train (not on the tracks pictured above), a boat, a sky lift, or a tram.  zoo morning J and my husband rode the sky lift above while I stayed back and played with the camera. I mostly hung out in the area above waiting for my guys to return on the sky ride and snapping pictures of this African Crested Crane.

African Crested Crane

I tried to contain my amusement at a little girl’s excitement at the plain Canadian Snow Geese. You can see them pretty much anywhere there’s a water source in our city. Of course, we were the tourists enamored with a small lizard running around a zoo in New Mexico.

I noticed these Canadian Snow Geese didn’t get too close to the African Crested Crane!

FIVE: Pretty Flowers At The Zoo

While not a botanical gardens, the flowers at the zoo are very pretty and well-maintained. zoo morning

I would guess we didn’t even see half the animals on our zoo morning.  We still enjoyed our little in town adventure and will probably be back sometime in the fall.  Maybe I’ll leave the in a hurry family at home and come alone with my only my camera next time.

Do you have a zoo in your town? What’s it like?

Linking my post to Five on Friday, hosted by the F.A.S.T. blog, be sure to check it out! Also, going to link this one up with The Bird D’Pot, hosted by I’d Rather B Birdin’.  If you love bird-watching as much as I do, go check out Anni’s amazing posts as well as the links. You won’t be disappointed!

Five On Friday: My Summer Solace

Just a quick post today as I have to work at noon on this super hot summer day.  When I titled my Happy Homemaker Monday post “right back to busy,” I hoped to ease back into things.

Not so much.  Work called on Wednesday, again yesterday to add  to my hours, and today  I’ll work my planned schedule.  I’m still working on that plan for saving my summer but while it stalls in progress, I have re-discovered my summer solace.

No, it’s not my work although it actually helps.  Never underestimate the power of 3-5 year old children to help you feel better about anything and everything.  My summer solace is simply being outside and taking in my front of the house flower garden.  I just started working on it this year.

I’ve started referring to my front yard garden space as my “shabby chic” garden as weeding is not my thing so I don’t bother.  My flowers are all running together but they still make me happy and soothe me.  For my Five On Friday (don’t forget to check out the link up hosted by the F.A.S.T. blog!), I thought I’d share some images from my messy little garden area.

My Summer Solace Found Outside In The Garden

  1. Surprises From The Moment I Step Out The Front Door

    This walking stick right on the (very dirty) front door startled me this morning. 

    Not only did the above walking stick startle me this morning so did the bloom on the rose-bush.  I think I may have to name our rosebush Lazarus! Every time I think it’s gone, it comes back.

    I was happy to see this rose bloom this morning, it will fade away by the afternoon.

    2. My flower areas do not look like much from afar…

    My “shabby chic” mess

    J took this photo!

    The area right in front of the front porch

    3. However, a closer look reveals wonderful flowers in bloom

    photo credit again goes to J

    The blazing star getting ready to bloom

    And blooming

    4. Looking even closer, I find smaller blooms and a few creatures

    The milkweed finally bloomed with tiny orange flowers.

    Not sure about these bugs, I’m really hoping the Japanese beetles have finally flown away!

    And one last close-up photo of my favorite garden creature….I am determined to get a better photo at some point.  Our little gray cat, for whatever reason, just loves to bump me when I’m trying to photograph this little guy!

    I wish this little spiny spider would be more willing to pose for me

     5. Random Notes

    My husband mentioned earlier in the week he saw a hummingbird in my garden.  He said it didn’t stick around though.  Then, on Wednesday, he surprised me by bringing home a hummingbird feeder!

    My husband surprised me with a hummingbird feeder on Wednesday!

    I was lucky enough to briefly see a hummingbird myself this morning.  We were both startled by each other though so no photo this time.  I’ll finish this post with one of my favorite flowers instead… Hope you’ve enjoyed a brief look at my area of summer solace as much as I enjoyed sharing it.  Do you have an area that brings you peace and enjoyment?

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