Sibling Photo Assignment 2016.11 The Starkness of the Trees of Autumn #3Siblings

Christy gave us the following sibling photo assignment:

What makes effective black and white photos? Is it the subject, the light, the composition? Take a series of photos in black and white, explaining why they are effective.

Christy has photos of her dogs here, and I will share Bill's photos when he is done here.

As I watched the leaves fall off the trees in and around my home, I thought they would be a good subject for this assignment.

For this series of photos, I think the black and white photos are effective because of the contrast of the dark branches and leaves against the lighter sky.  It also shows a clear definition of the leaves remaining on the branches.

Here are some of the black and white photos I took of  "The Starkness of the Trees of Autumn" around my house today.


Sibling Assignment 2016.6:I Don't Need Applause for my Cooking, but a "Taste's Great" would go a long way!! #3Siblings

Bill gave us this new Sibling Assignment:

Write about what's been occupying your mind in the world of food preparation. Have you been trying anything new and different? Are there recipes or cook books that have excited your imagination? Utensils? Appliances? I think you get the point -- go about this assignment however you'd like -- but write about your life in the kitchen, going back as far as you'd like.
You can see where Bill write about heat  and light here, and Christy writes about Reading the Cookbooks here.

 I have come to realize that I like to cook for other people in order to get positive feedback on what I have prepared.

I LOVE cooking.  But I went through a dry spell not wanting to cook anything.  As I look back, I think it was because I gave up trying to please the picky eaters in the family, and just quit.  I felt defeated, so I quit.  Oh, I would get something out on a plate, but it wasn’t about preparing a meal any more.

This changed when I started fixing meals for my mom in the evening.  I finally had someone who appreciated what I cooked for them.  And it made a difference in the time I took to plan and prepare the meal.

Now it is different with my husband Paul.  He is not picky, and pretty much likes everything I fix.  So maybe because there was not challenge, it was hard to fix something for just the two of us.

So I enjoy trying to find ways to prepare different meats Mom buys.  Tonight I am preparing a pork tenderloin.  We are having a family dinner at our house with Mom, Bill, Christy and Everett.  So what to prepare?   I still have some apples that need to be eaten, so I found a recipe where you roast the pork in sliced up apples and onions with a mustard/apple cider vinegar glaze.  It sound wonderful.  Then I have some vegetables I am going to roast, and fix a salad. 

My favorite meal of the year is Christmas Eve.  We pick a different country, and fix food from that country.  It usually consists of an appetizer, soup, salad, main dish, vegetable and dessert.  I love preparing these large meals with many courses.  I like being stretched to try another country’s cuisine.
My best friend April has moved to Italy.  Before she left, our other best friend Kellee and I prepared for her an Italian dinner using a mostacciolli recipe that I had received from Kellee's mom when I was in junior high.  I loved finding that recipe and preparing it for April, because there was a connection with not only Kellee's mom (who recently passed away), but also a relative of April's who probably shared the recipe with Kellee's mom.  And I loved it when I heard the words "This is delicious".  It warmed my heart.

When I began cooking, I remember Mom giving me free rein in the kitchen.  No hovering.  No asking me questions.  I picked a recipe, and figured it out.  The first cake I made from scratch was a pineapple upside down cake in a skillet.  I remember making Sauerbraten.  And this was I was in grade school and junior high.  I like trying different things.  And my dad, bless his heart, would at least try them. 

Lately I have been getting back into food preservation again.  This year there was a bumper crop of apples, so friends passed on some of their crop to us.  I have canned apple pie filling and made apple butter.  But no crock pot apple butter for me.  I went through the process of cooking down the apples, then putting them through a food mill to get the pulp, then cooking the pulp for about 2 hours or more after mixing it with apple cider vinegar, sugar and cinnamon.  Then processed them in the canner.

I also made some jam.  I still have other fruit in my freezer that I want to make into jam.  I have also been baking pies lately.  I love baking pies.  Pies are my favorite dessert, when they are made right. 

One of the questions posed in this assignment was, “Are there recipes or cook books that have excited your imagination?”  I feel like I have been going back to basics with some of my cooking.  My red Betty Crocker cookbook gets pulled out the most.  I loved it when my daughter Zoe wanted to make Macaroni and Cheese for a work potluck, and wanted my recipe, because she likes it the best.  All I had to do was snap a photo of the recipe in the Betty Crocker cookbook and send it her way.  My pie crust comes from that cookbook.  I also have some recipe collection cookbooks I received as wedding gifts that have some of my favorite recipes.

Pinterest has become a fun way to find recipes, too.  That is where I found the recipe for preparing tonight’s pork loin.  And Friday night, Mom wanted potato soup, but a very plain potato soup.  Pinterest came to the rescue.  I modified it a bit, but it worked!!

So I move onward in my meal preparations, and wait in anticipation for the sounds of "Mmm mmm good"!!


Sibling Photo Assignment 2016.10: Road Trip to Gonzaga University #3Siblings

Christy assigned us to get in the car and take pictures wherever the road takes us and to write about why we went where we did.

I didn't get in a car, but a school bus.  And the road took me to Spokane, Washington with a group of 27 Kellogg High School juniors who wanted to visit the Gonzaga University campus.

Planning a college visit the first part of November can be risky, because of the weather.  It could be pouring down rain, it could be windy, it could be snowing.

But we experienced none of that on this trip.  After one of the wettest October's on record, November has proven to be a bit more sunny.  And the GU campus was beautiful.  Below are some of the photos of the campus I took on this day filled with blue sky, sunshine and God's magnificent display of fall colors.

Before you check out my photos, here are links to Bill's photos of New York City, and Christy's photos of Priest Lake.

We left Kellogg High School around 8 a.m. that morning, and arrived on the GU campus between 9:30 a.m. and 10.  Here are some of the views that I got to experience that day on campus.


Sibling Photo Assignment 2016.9: Things That Bring Me Comfort #3Siblings

"Create a series of pictures that depict a sense of comfort."

This is this week's photo sibling assignment Christy assigned to us.

Brother Bill's photos are here, and Christy's photos are here.

Today was a good day to take these photos, because today wasn't a good day.

I needed comfort. 

After a breakdown this afternoon that involved the shedding of many tears, I took advantage of the many comforts around my home.
Hugs from Paul always bring me comfort.

Spending time in the kitchen also brings me comfort.  Today I canned apple pie filling, and the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg brought me much comfort.
Pie is my favorite dessert.  Today I made an apple pie, and it brought comfort, especially when I got to eat it!!

 I love this blue quilt.  It is the blanket in our closet that brings me the most comfort.

A crackling fire always brings me comfort.  I love having a fireplace in our home (actually two fireplaces), and the warmth from the fire brings much comfort, especially on a cold evening.



Sibling Photo Assignment 2016.8 I See Rain #3Siblings

Last week Christy assigned us an Art Where We Walk assignment to look down. on the ground and take photos.

This week, our "Art Where We Walk" assignment part 2 from Christy is as follows:

This week we will be looking up. Create a series of photos by finding art while looking up.

This morning Kellogg was visited by a short lived rainfall, and I grabbed the camera to take some photos of the rain.

Here is how the rainfall was captured around my house in the backyard.  If you scroll from one photo to the next, it looks as if the rain falls from one photo to the next.


Sibling Photo Assignment 2016.7 The World at Brick Level #3Siblings

Christy gave us another Sibling Photo Assignment this week.  This is our assignment:

"Art Where We Walk".   This week we will be looking down. Create a series of photos by finding art on the sidewalk, a road, or trail.
I looked down on the brick patio in our backyard, and didn't just look down, but got down on the ground to get a unique perspective of the area around our patio.
Cat paw and seed pod on bricks

Cat paws on bricks

Dog paws on bricks

Sand between bricks

Secret message in bricks

Front of cat on bricks

Middle of cat on bricks

End of cat on bricks

Under the table on bricks

Under the chairs on bricks

The view of the tree and flying bird through the chair on the bricks

The geranium through the red chair on the bricks


Sibling Photo Assignment 2016.4 In My Little Town...Friendships Remain #3Siblings

A few months ago, Christy gave us this sibling photo assignment:

" Using the theme My Hometown share a set of photos of places that have been around since you were a child. "

Christy shares her photos here, and Bill will do this assignment the next time he is in Kellogg.

When I think of buildings that were around when I was younger, and those places that were important to me, the buildings that came to mind were the homes of my friends, and my elementary school.

This is the building that I spent grades one through sixth grade.  I learned from Mrs. Kirkpatrick, Mrs. Cooke, Mrs. Clary, Mrs. Daiker, Mrs. Joy and Mrs. Tregoning.  I had music classes from Mrs. Williams.  I took P.E. from Mr. Curry.  I had speech therapy from Mrs. Maddox.  This is no longer an elementary school.  It is part of a car dealership.  But to me, it will always be my grade school, and the place I built lasting bonds with people who are my lifelong friends.

The other buildings that are around that come to mind when I think of buildings from my childhood are homes of my friends.  This is my friend Kellee's childhood home.  Her father still lives there.  Our backyards were kitty-corner to one another.  We lived in the same neighborhood, played at the park down the street, played hide and seek with the kids in the neighborhood, played Barbies in our backyards, and talked on the phone to one another while waving through our kitchen windows.  And Kellee remains one of my truest and best friends.

This is the house my friend Tina lived in when her mom babysat me when we were in kindergarten.  We spend a lot of time playing Barbies, practicing dance moves while in Betty Damiano's dance class, and fighting.  But our friendship has stood the test of time, and Tina is one of my dearest friends.

This is the house my friend April grew up in, and her father still lives there.  So many memories of times spent at April's house, from playing with Barbies, playing school or office in her attic, doing a magician show in her backyard, playing in her playhouse, hiking on the hill behind her house, visiting the reservoir, and almost falling in once, and watching April use the fence as a balance beam as she longed to be an Olympic gymnast.  Again, April remains one of my dearest and closest friends.  And her soon to be departure to Italy to live in Villa Magnolia will not lessen our friendship one bit.

This is the house my friend Marian grew up in, and her parents still own it to this day.  Marian's mother was our Campfire Girl leader, and we spent many times going through this gate, and going to the basement of this home to have Campfire meetings.  Many memories were made in this house while participating in Campfire Girls over the years.  And Marian is still a close and dear friend to this day.

So when I look at buildings around our hometown, the ones that evoke special memories are the ones where I spent time with my friends, either at school, or in their homes.  And each and every one of these friends are still near and dear to my heart.


Sibling Photo Assignment 2016.5 Goodbye Summer....Hello Autumn #3Siblings

Christy gave our fifth Sibling Photo Assignment, asking us to take a series of photos indicating that summer is coming to an end.

Officially, summer has ended, and autumn has arrived, but this change is reflected in the photos below as I toured my backyard this morning, which definitely indicated a change in the seasons.

You can find Christy's photos here, and Bill's photos here.

So take a morning tour with me around my backyard as I share with you photos of saying goodbye to summer.....and saying hello to autumn.

My tomatoes are still ripening on the vine.

The burning bush shows a beautiful display of fiery red.

The maple tree in the front yard is slowly beginning to turn yellow.

The Oregon Grape leaves turn from green to red.

The Mountain Ash tree is full of berries, and has been for quite a while.  There is an old adage that says "If there are lots of mountain ash berries, then it will be a cold, hard winter".  We'll see soon if this is true.

I forget how beautiful the peonies become as their leaves turn.

The Coneaster bush has lovely red berries.

Some late ripening raspberries.

A casualty of  colder temperatures...a leaf from one of the zucchini plants.

Green leaf lettuce still ready to pick.

But, alas, the Ruby Red  has bolted into a tiny lettuce forest.

The Tri-Color Beech tree is showing off the early autumn colors.

One Moonbeam Coreopsis plant still has some blooms.

And my pink geranium basket is still creating new blooms.