Holy cow! It's almost July! This year is flying by!

So, our hostas are about the ONLY thing thriving in our garden right now. This one is my favorite. It's called "guacamole." The color is really fun, and the leaves are nice and big. It had rained a bit before I took this picture. You can see some of it still on the leaves. I love the way the hosta's new leaves unfurl from the middle. It just doesn't seem like I can kill a hosta. Maybe that's why I like it so much!



This picture is so ironic to me! These grasses are planted en-mass in a teensy little garden outside our apartment. The ironic part is that the people who live above us throw all their nasty cigarette butts into this poor little garden, and have let their dogs . . . well, you know . . . in this garden and NOT picked it up. So sad! All that said, these hearty grasses are really pretty, so I thought I would help them look glorious through photography. I just got close up, and snapped the shot. So, if you see our neighbors, tell them to clean up their act! :o)


Purple Hydrangea

We have not had any luck with our garden this year. I just don't have a green thumb! All our petunias were eaten by chipmunks or rabbits, and our marigolds were probably eaten by the chipmunks. Those little stinkers!! Our hostas look great, and the begonias have been left alone. But, there's this huge gap between the begonias and hostas. Ugh!

But, our neighbor's garden looks gorgeous! I'm so jealous. She and her husband live across the courtyard from us, and have this beautifully lush garden. So, I had to just wander over there the other day and ask if I could snap some photos. She was so nice to let me! The photo above is a close-up of one of her beautiful purple hydrangeas. Gorgeous! I took this in the early evening, so the lighting was nice and soft.

Where has time gone?

I'm just now realizing that I haven't posted pics in a few days! Where has the time gone? We're in the midst of dealing with house shopping, so things have been a bit crazy. I'll be posting some more stuff very, very soon . . . possibly even today! Stay tuned.


What once was . . .

I'm sick this morning! Sick over what's happening in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico! No, I'm not going all political on you—I'm just sad. It's one of my favorite places on earth (not that I've explored much of the Earth), and now it's being destroyed. I almost can't watch the footage on TV. I get emotional. My heart breaks to see such beauty taken over by such ugliness. My heart breaks when I hear about all the wildlife that is trying to escape, that can't. My heart breaks when I watch MY beaches defaced. The Florabama coastline is my "other home." My heart is breaking this morning!

I pray and hope that one day, it will all be fresh again—untainted by this man-made disaster. Maybe I have lofty hopes, but I can't help but pray that I'll be able to look at it again one day, and see the landscape that I love . . .


Under the Umbrella

Nibblin' on sponge cake
Watchin' the sun bake
All of those tourists covered with oil
Strummin' my six-string
On my front porch swing
Smell those shrimp they're beginnin' to boil . . .

—from "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett


I Heart Faces Photo Challenge, Week 24: "All About Babies"

I love babies! Who doesn't? Well, I know those kinds of people are out there, but I think there's something wrong with them.

I took this picture of my dd when we were on vacation to the Gulf of Mexico (pre-oil spill). She was 9-months-old at the time, as was so dang cute! She was just beginning to crawl. I sat her on this cushy chair in our condo, and she just started making the cutest little faces, so I snapped away!


Camera Bag Review

A few weeks ago, CSN Stores offered me the opportunity to review one of their camera bags from Luggage.com. I was so excited, because I haven't had a "proper"  bag for my new Nikon D90 and lenses. I desperately needed something adequate for travel—not necessarily for daily use. But, we've been on the road a number of times in the next few months, and I haven't had a good bag that would protect my camera well.

I chose to review the Naneu Correspondent Series C-700 Small Shoulder Bag in Black:

This is definitely a hefty bag! I really do like it! It's perfect for travel, and for times when I just want that extra protection for "my baby." :o) And, while the description says that it's a "small" shoulder bag, I would say that it's fairly large—not huge, just big. The dimensions are 10" H x 13.25" W x 8.5" D. It would be a really nice bag for a portrait photographer who wants to keep all their gear in the same bag, but needs something portable for photo shoots. Since I am more of a nature photographer who wants her camera at the ready, I probably would not use this bag for hiking out in the woods. I think it's a bit bulky for that.

However, the bag's construction is durable and offers great protection for your camera! I have no problem tossing this bag in the car for a long road trip, and have every confidence that my camera will be protected and safe. It's a really nice bag!

One of the neat-o features it offers is the ability to change the interior divider configuration. I like this! I was able to make the interior fit my needs. While it has ample room for up to four lenses (or three lenses and a flash, as seen in the picture), I have a ways to go before I fill it up. I only have two lenses, and no external flash, yet. But, I appreciate that fact that I can definitely grow into this bag.

Another simple, but nice feature of this bag is the quick-release buckle that connects with an elastic band in the handle to hold the top open. So handy! And while it is somewhat hefty, the bag weighs less than two pounds, so it doesn't had a ton of extra weight to what you're carrying. There are also a lot of great little storage options, so that you can store your memory cards, extra cables, remotes, etc.

While I haven't put this bag through its paces, yet, I look forward to it. I have no doubt it will stand up to the challenge. I have full confidence that it will be protecting my camera and gear for many, many years. For under $80, the Naneu Correspondent Series C-700 Small Shoulder Bag is a great value for the price! Plus, Luggage.com offers fast, FREE shipping.


So thoughtful!

For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on.

For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.

Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!

And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life's span?

If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!

And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.

For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things.

But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.

Luke 12:22–32 (NASB)


I Heart Faces Photo Challenge, Week 23: "Play"

This is one of my favorite pictures from when my daughter was younger. She and her daddy were playing their hearts out, and she just laid there beside him at one point, touching his face and playing with his nose. It just makes me smile every time I look at it!


Ornamental Dogwood

This beautiful ornamental dogwood stands in my in-laws' backyard in Michigan. We were visiting over Memorial Day weekend, and it was gorgeous weather the whole time! The weather for Memorial Day in Michigan is a guess—you never know if it's going to be cold, rainy, perfect, hot, etc. This year, it was nice and hot, and sunny. This ornamental dogwood has the most perfect leaves and blooms! It's like someone carved and hand-painted them. It was bright and sunny this particular day, but these beautiful blooms were shaded by other branches and leaves.


Fresh & Beautiful

Who doesn't love getting flowers? Not me! My wonderful husband got these gorgeous hydrangeas for me this past Mother's Day. I think hydrangeas are so pretty! They represent all that's fresh and Springy.

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