Photos! The View from the Passenger Window is SIX!

Happy September! I have a gift for you!  My website, A View From the Passenger Window,

is SIX years old this month!

“Now We Are Six”

When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.
When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six
now and forever.

AA Milne

I have put together a gallery of my 

MOST POPULAR PHOTOS

Please, take a few moments to send this to friends and family—share the love!10615598_771858719524087_4404006739806595054_n

I thank you for being a part of my photographic journey. I am enveloped in love when I receive comments about my art, and how it touches you, and am filled with joy to know that my world brightens your heart and your walls!

For the month of September, everything in this gallery will be 20% off! The code is NowWeAreSIX  (all one word, and limited to images from this gallery)

Just enter it at checkout and your photos will wing their way to your doorstep in days!

 

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And now, for something completely different…. Surprised smile  I hesitate to point out here and now, that CHRISTMAS is only  114 days away.  (No, you may NOT deny this fact. If I have to go along with this reality, so do you. Sorry!)

and that means two things:

  • ONE, start your gift shopping NOW, here! Remember, the sale will last throughout the month of September; there is art for everyone!
  • TWO, my Christmas Photo a Day will be BACK on December 1st. A new holiday themed photograph every day in December, since 2008!

20131209-IMG_5884Many of these images are available  to customize as Christmas Cards!

Thanks for joining in weekly for my Photo a Day Journey, published right here each Sunday. (This is CY365!)  At the holidays, I shake things up a bit and post a new blog each and every day. Sign up today to receive your Christmas photo each morning in your inbox!

Or, follow me on Facebook; I will post the photos each day there! (If I can make it to 1000 likes before Christmas, there may be a free print in someone’s future. Just sayin’.)

On Twitter, I am @rteest42.

As always, I love to hear from people….thank you so much for joining in the festivities of the day!

Earthquakes and Lightning (and Carrot Cake)

So, how about that earthquake? 5.9, and last night another aftershock, 4.5. I know, you California people, it’s just ‘rocking the baby.’ But we are not prepared, emotionally or structurally, for an earthquake that large, and ours have a different feeling, spreading wider distances because of geology. So. There.

A bit of music for earthquakes…

Apparently there is no ‘umbrella’ theory about preventing them, in the same way I pretend there is a way to ward off the rain when necessary. “Walk softly and carry a big umbrella” is my motto for cloudy skies.  Of course, I lose a lot of umbrellas that way, because unnecessary, dry umbrellas get set down and forgotten. But I like to think of it as spreading a bit of insurance for the unsuspecting.

IMG_9838

Since I can’t do much about the earthquakes, except walk around the house standing objects back up and straightening frames on the wall, I guess I better get moving on dealing with Irene.

The last big hurricane we had here began with an “I” you know. So, I have two days off to gas up the cars, get cash (in small bills),  fill up the propane tank on the grill, buy cat food, move all the lawn furniture and such into our fancy new shed, charge all the electronics, find the candles, buy cat litter, freeze lots of ice cubes and bottles with water, (hmm, remove screens from windows? Have to check on that…) If I prepare properly and carefully enough, my ‘umbrella’  should be able to cause the storm to blow out to sea. If not,  I have enough books in my To-Be-Read pile that even after the nook runs out of juice, I will not run out of entertainment.

A song to move her along….

In other news.

I’ve been working on this carrot cake for years now. I started with a recipe that bears so little resemblance to what I bake that I thought it might be time to re-write it! Any occasion that I should be bringing food, Timmy suggests carrot cake.  (Of course, he would suggest it simply because it is Tuesday, I do believe)

I’ve baked it and tortured people with a 9 hour drive with a warm cake smelling up the back seat of a car, and we once had our hostess make an executive decision Easter morning and declare it breakfast. Pity the poor souls who came to dinner to find the desserts decimated.

House Specialty Carrot Cake (cupcakes)2011Aug18-92

  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • About 1 lb. carrots,  grated.
  • 1  16 oz can crushed pineapple, lightly drained (open the can, set it into the strainer upside down till you need it. Whatever juice is still in the pineapple goes into the cake, I don’t press it out)2011Aug18-962011Aug18-100

In large mixing bowl combine and stir all dry ingredients to blend. Add all remaining ingredients and beat well until blended. Pour into a greased and floured 13×9 inch pan and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  ( I have a lovely double-walled aluminum pan that I swear by)

Optionally, line or grease 30 cupcake tins and fill 2/3 of the way to the top and bake for 25 minutes (15-18 minutes for mini-sized cupcake/muffins).  Frost cooled cake with cream cheese frosting or  eat as is! (No frosting makes it a healthy muffin!!)

2011Aug 18-126

My husband has been battling the yellow jacket infestation in our yard. The moles and voles have been very generous, sharing their old living quarters with the flying attack squadrons. Husband has been flouting his greater size, larger brain and opposable thumbs in attempting to win the war. Which I appreciate, because those things HURT when they sting!

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My “YEAR ON THE APPOMATTOX has been kind of put on the back burner this month, because of the unrelenting heat and humidity which make it unpleasant to walk through the area, and the absolute GREEN-ness of the area, which has offered little to see visually.

However, I went back last week, found this fellow 2011AUG16-38

and noted that the shades of green are starting to separate because each plant welcomes autumn in a different fashion. I think it will be a lovely view starting in the next few weeks, and I look forward to getting back down there weekly.

Friday afternoon, my dear mother-in-law, Evelyn is going in for a second back surgery. Suffice it to say it’s a nasty, painful procedure and all we can ask for are good, healing thoughts…

Five months in…

…or, how I have been spending my artistic time. As you may recall, on January 1 of this year, I started a series of photographs. My plan is to spend the entire year going back to this one small area of the Appomattox River and recording the changes.I had never been to this park area before. I went that day looking for a specific shot, and got the idea.

It is not a ‘nice’ park. It isn’t groomed, it’s gone wild. It’s not in the best of neighborhoods, (but it is right there at the edge of Old Towne in Petersburg, my favorite shooting location) it’s right down the street from a college campus, it doesn’t have a ball field or swing sets, but does have lots of young adults who use the trail as a shortcut, use the rocks as their party central on the weekends and as a swimming hole/fishing area the rest of the time. As well as lots of neighborly types who walk their dogs, and older men who while the day away fishing.  I go to the Patton Park side on my own, but the Trail side I only go to with my husband as is it desolate. (It turns out I got to this just in time. The Patton side was formally dedicated as a park just a few weeks back. Until that time, you can see how it went from VERY wild to much more groomed…I am glad I happened upon it in it’s more ‘natural’ state)

I decided to split the location, a walk of no more than 10 minutes in either direction from the parking lot. Currently the galleries are strictly chronological, but I do intend to go in there at some point and move like photos together, to really see the changes.

Each of these links have LOTS of photos. Like, HUNDREDS. Smile Just click on either link, below.

The photos start in Patton Park, on January 1, and go thru this week.

I started going over to the Trail side a few weeks later.

I am very excited to see the amazing changes, and can not wait to see the blazing autumn here! And maybe even snow, as all the snow we had this winter was before January 1.

If you enjoy, I would love to hear from you—leave a comment under the photos that you especially enjoy. Give a few photos a Thumbs up! and / or LIKE some of the images. If you want to follow, subscribe to my blog, or  LIKE my Facebook page.

I hope at the beginning of next year, to be able to whittle these photos down to a representative collection and have a photo show….
Thanks for looking!

Five months in…

…or, how I have been spending my artistic time. As you may recall, on January 1 of this year, I started a series of photographs. My plan is to spend the entire year going back to this one small area of the Appomattox River and recording the changes.I had never been to this park area before. I went that day looking for a specific shot, and got the idea.

It is not a ‘nice’ park. It isn’t groomed, it’s gone wild. It’s not in the best of neighborhoods, (but it is right there at the edge of Old Towne in Petersburg, my favorite shooting location) it’s right down the street from a college campus, it doesn’t have a ball field or swing sets, but does have lots of young adults who use the trail as a shortcut, use the rocks as their party central on the weekends and as a swimming hole/fishing area the rest of the time. As well as lots of neighborly types who walk their dogs, and older men who while the day away fishing.  I go to the Patton Park side on my own, but the Trail side I only go to with my husband as is it desolate. (It turns out I got to this just in time. The Patton side was formally dedicated as a park just a few weeks back. Until that time, you can see how it went from VERY wild to much more groomed…I am glad I happened upon it in it’s more ‘natural’ state)

I decided to split the location, a walk of no more than 10 minutes in either direction from the parking lot. Currently the galleries are strictly chronological, but I do intend to go in there at some point and move like photos together, to really see the changes.

Each of these links have LOTS of photos. Like, HUNDREDS. Smile Just click on either link, below.

The photos start in Patton Park, on January 1, and go thru this week.

I started going over to the Trail side a few weeks later.

I am very excited to see the amazing changes, and can not wait to see the blazing autumn here! And maybe even snow, as all the snow we had this winter was before January 1.

If you enjoy, I would love to hear from you—leave a comment under the photos that you especially enjoy. Give a few photos a Thumbs up! and / or LIKE some of the images. If you want to follow, subscribe to my blog, or  LIKE my Facebook page.

I hope at the beginning of next year, to be able to whittle these photos down to a representative collection and have a photo show….
Thanks for looking!

Week TWO, February….

I missed Sunday’s blog. I admit it, I’m slacking. But, I did say you needed a shredder for this fling, and mine had died.

It took me till Saturday to get to Staples to buy one. (Yes, I work next door. I know.) But I was gearing up for the task, gathering my thoughts, and purchasing my new file system.

I also got mildly distracted by my photography, which doesn’t usually happen in the middle of the winter. But between our two weekend snow storms–(The first a home run, 8-9 inches, pretty; and the second that really was a non-issue after all)–HERE. I know that DC and northern Virginia and other places are digging out from 26-38 inches. Mine mostly melted yesterday. You can see the muddy, bare ground in the front yard again. Yay.

In any event, one of the photo places I hang out at virtually was running a challenge on ‘Doors and Windows.’ How could I NOT participate? Wednesday before work, I drove to Petersburg, and avoided the snowy ground and got some wonderful photos. I am so excited and energized by them; they make me happy.

2010-FEB Ptrbrg-3416x16 copyright

“ONCE WHEN I WAS YOUNG….” The rest of the shoot is posted for viewing (and purchase) at my Smugmug site.

But on Sunday, before the game, I plugged in the shredder and got to work.

shred

files 

Two 13-gallon trash bags later, I had a new and organized file system!! (Please note, this does not include half of the paper in the house. Timmy has not yet begun participation, so all the house files and such—his purview—have yet to be touched.) All the utilities I pay, all my personal stuff –up to and including my college transcripts and tax life pre-marriage were gathering dust here.

No longer.

The newest Fling is rather broadly scattered through the house. You may run into pockets of un-flung other stuff while there. FLING it. It will be ok.

This week is “Knick knacks/Home decor.”

This may end up being the hardest to do, simply because this is where emotion and history and memory and sentimental gentle winds blow through and force you to save, save, save.

The sad fact is, we can’t save everything. I watched one of the HGTV shows the other night. It was the Messiest House in America Contest. (Why would you ENTER that contest? Especially when they were SO resistant. And seriously? MESSY. Filthy, gross messy.) But I digress. Watching those shows isn’t a healthy thing to do, I think. It makes you not see your own issues because theirs are so overwhelming. But the lesson that is learned (sometimes) is that everything can’t be saved.

I am not of the opinion that you don’t need touchstones from your life. I don’t think a photo of your lovely china collection is the same as Christmas dinner eaten off the china; I don’t think taking a photo of a cherished teddy bear is the same as being able to let your grandchild hold him some day.

Your grandchildren won’t want your entire moth-eaten menagerie.  This is where saving versus hoarding versus collecting balances on a very fine pinpoint.

Think on it. Don’t fling with wild abandon here. Gift these things now, with lovely notes explaining their provenance. If you believe Sally will appreciated something someday, but her parents might look at it as trash, package it carefully, write Sally a note, and leave it for…later.

I am ending this now. More on these thoughts soon. Just don’t make rash decisions with this fling. (Mostly burned out candles? Easy fling. The candleholder? Maybe not.)

Now I’ve Gone and Done it… =)

What follows below is a huge, self-serving commercial announcement:

——————————————-For all of you who have, for all these years, told me I should be selling my photography:

LOOK  at what you’ve gone and made me do!!!

Officially going ‘live’ today is my photo website, The View From the Passenger Window.This website is my virtual gallery, for your viewing (and shopping) enjoyment!

The photographs in most of the galleries are available for purchase. (Christmas is coming–hint, hint…the perfect gift for that someone who has everything!)

Please take a few moments and enjoy a walk through my world. There is a very convenient shopping cart available to you, to make shopping a cinch. Your art will wing its way to you printed on KODAK professional papers.

I am asking you (begging? pleading? cajoling? –you choose the descriptor that best suits!) to send a link to this blog to anyone who you think may enjoy it!  Or even better, simply send them a link to the site!

(You’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends….

…)

I would love to receive comments on my art; there is a comments field in each gallery…comments are like virtual hugs…and you can never overdo hugs!!!

And, THANK YOU for your purchase!

—————————————–END of commercial announcement.

(*Were there enough subliminal messages there? Do you have a sudden urge to hang a few new photos over your couch? Did you take the hint?? Or are you just repeating that silly commercial, above? LOL)

Oh,  and by the way…..THANK YOU!!! For your friendship and for your encouragement!