Filling the Well

We found ourselves yet again at one of our favorite breakfast haunts, Melanie's.

Soysage Biscuit

Read more about this yummy place in my previous post: HERE

Where to Start?!?!
(left to right: Fruit Cup, Soysage egg & cheese biscuit, & homefries)

The above spread is a pic of my favorite items to order.
When the waitress came to ask us if we were ready to order,
I said, "Only if you have enough ink in your pen!" In retrospect,
it may not have been as funny as I thought, but at the time I chuckled.

I can't tell you how many times I've ordered these same menu items.
Most times when I do digress from the usual, I always wish I had gotten it instead.
The soysage egg and cheddar cheese biscuit is a crumbly albeit yummy mess. You know the
type....once you pick it up, you can't put it down. And not for the reason you would think.
It's really because if you do put it down, the entire thing will fall apart before your very eyes!
Which in my opinion makes it better :)

In the 1st photo, you can see the Stuffed French Toast, which is what Cody always gets.
What can I say, we're creatures of habit....

Breakfast Crossword

Speaking of creatures of habit.....where are we on that crossword?!
Last weekends breakfast we couldn't find a single paper that had one,
the breakfast just wasn't the same....

Breakfast: Conquered

Breakfast: Conquered! Didn't think I could eat all that. Did ya?!
Just giving you a tiny glimpse of how I'm "filling the well" these days.
Sustenance aside, we are preparing the house for some
highly anticipated guests. My best friend and her son
will be spending a few days with us after Christmas.
I can't wait!

p.s. thank you all for the understanding and encouragement.
it means the world to me.


Posted in Wordful Wednesday

Inside myself is a place where I live all alone,
and that's where I renew my springs that never dry up.
~Pearl Buck~

Patience is the key
a virtue unknown to me
I wait for a spark

This photo was taken at Oakland Cemetery back in October.
Click here to experience the S T I L L N E S S.
It will take you to a slideshow.

Mellow Yellow

Yellow Melody

I try to take one day at a time,
but sometimes several days attack me at once.
~Jennifer Yane~

I hope to be back to my regularly scheduled broadcast this week.

Posted in Today's Flowers

Cut out the Crap

Sorry so brash, but I'm in that kind of mood.

It's been a while since I've had any portraits taken of myself.
When you're behind the camera all the time you don't think about getting involved.

Meet WW. Me.

Cody took this photo of me while we were waiting for lunch at a restaurant in St Augustine.
When I first looked at it I didn't like the overall image, but I looked happy.
I wondered what I could do to get rid of the background distractions.
So, I did a little sleuthing and decided to use the Lens Blur Filter.

The tutorial I found was very easy to follow and may be just
what you need to transform any so-so photos you might have.
It gives you a more shallow depth of field which will place
more focus on whatever area you designate.

Cut out the Crap

Above is a comparison of the straight-out-of-camera (SOC) shot and
one with the lens blur filter applied then converted to B&W.
As you can see, it made a huge difference to the entire photo.
I don't love any photos of myself, really, but I do now.

Interested in learning how to apply a Lens Blur Filter in Photoshop?
Len Blur Filter Tutorial

*Also, in the photo at the top of the post, I tightened the crop a little more.
Compare it to the other B&W in the triptych.

  • The weather is super yucky. I feel equally yucky.
  • Tomorrow I am getting a new hair style for FREE!!!
  • I'm thinking about side-bangs?!
  • My bosses gf opened a salon and I do her books - more free haircuts are in my future.
  • This week she's doing free hair styles and is having before and after pics taken by a man who just started working for our company. He has previously been a pro photographer.
  • After my 9am haircut, I get to assist him with taking everyone else's photos.
  • I know nothing about artificial lighting so I'm looking forward to learning something new.
  • Maybe I'll also have some sweet before and after hair pics to share! I'll let you know how it goes!

Feeling Friendly: A Tribute

A bouquet for you...
Feeling Friendly


A friend is someone we turn to
when our spirits need a lift,
A friends is someone we treasure
for our friendship is a gift.
A friend is someone who fills our lives
with beauty, joy, and grace
And makes the whole world we live in
a better and happier place.

by Jean Kyler McManus

From the bottom of my heart,

Posted in Today's Flowers

Big, big NEWS!

We've spotted so many deer along the parkway, but this was nothing like the other sightings. For this was more than just a mere glimpse. We stopped at an overlook loop off the parkway that we had hiked through the night before. As we pulled into the parking area Cody spotted a fawn, I hung out of the window trying to get a shot, but we realized that we had to get closer. I got out of the vehicle and slowly crept up to the edge of the field. At first he ran off, and as I walked closer, he darted out from behind a bush less than 7 feet away from me. Taking refuge yet again behind the brush we could only see its tail pointing straight up in the air; it could still sense our presence. Cody was flanking the left, and I patiently waited for him to coax the deer out of the wooded area. Once it was confirmed that I was ready Cody made a rustling sound behind the little guy and he ended up in the clearing which was exactly where I was hoping he would go. It was truly exciting & I don't think I'll ever forget how cute that fawn was. It was definitely the highlight of my weekend!

Blue Ridge Bambi
This photo was taken July 1st 2007.

I've got some news to share with you.
The only reason I haven't shared before now is because I am terribly superstitious and I didn't want to jinx it. Here's the story: Some time back in September I entered a handful of photos in the NC Wildlife Magazine's Photography Contest. After I entered them, I put the competition out of mind. Then in October they contacted me.

Unlike the 860 submissions received in the Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition that I was a part of, this contest received a whooping 6,400 entries! I am deeply honored to have had one if my photos selected. Speaking of selections, where did the bambi photo place?! Well, that's something I just found out recently....have a look.
All winning photographs will be published in the NC Wildlife Magazine (which will be a first for me) and exhibited at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. Also, second place winners will receive a cash prize of $75. However, I'm more excited about the prospect of one of my photos being published in the magazine. Although, seeing one of your captures hanging in a gallery is just as rewarding. Even if it's a pain in the rear to get them there, however, with this competition I won't have to worry about the framing part. What a relief!?

Ten Down.......

{366} Photographic Journal
Monthly Wrap Up : October

I am FAR behind, I know, but oh well!!
There was a point in the month that I said, "I just can't do both!".
I didn't want to break my neck to keep up, it would have stressed me out too much.
That's the last thing I needed. As long as I continued with the challenge, I was okay.
When I updated wasn't as important. I actually like that I am so far behind.
It gave me a chance to go back through all the neat things we did in October!

Here are some highlights:

Remember my trip to Atlanta?
In particular, the Botanical Gardens?

Keep on the Sunnyside
Atlanta Botanical Gardens

What about Oktoberfest in Helen, Ga.
where we boogied down with the chicken dance?

The Heidelberg
Oktoberfest in Helen, GA

Or the historic Linn Cove Viaduct, remember that?
Linn Cove Viaduct
History of Linn Cove Viaduct

What about the night I braved the elements to Shoot the Moon?!
Awaiting the Moon
Moments : Shooting the Moon

I remember when we were all knee deep in fall.....
it wasn't that long ago!

I Heart Fall
Wayfaring Wanderer: I Heart Fall

And the BalloonFest, I'll never forget that day!
Up, up, and away
35th Annual BalloonFest : Statesville, NC

Clicking on the links below the photos will take you to the original post here
on Wayfaring Wanderer where you can see other photos and get more info.
Again, this is the long overdue monthly wrap-up for October.
I am nearing the end of my photo-a-day challenge,
but I still need to upload all of November!

And for giggles, here is Mischievous Moser, one of my boys.
Mischievous Moser

From the beginning:
{366} Photographic Journal
Posted in Photostory Friday

We've got WORMS!

Have you thought of composting at home, but didn't know where to start?
Well, here's an easy in-home composting solution that may be what you're looking for.

The following is a guest post written by my other half, Cody, who has
done all the research and came up with a method that works for us.

He is the handiest man I know and can build just about anything,
although this can also work for the handyman challenged, too.

Pet Worm

For a while Jessica and I have expressed an interest in composting but have not actually got around to starting one. After looking through several different designs and actually considering a big forced-air, self-stirring composting beast, I came across this awesome and easy vermicomposter.

It uses worms to digest food scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags, and shredded paper into nutrient and microbial rich dirt. You’d think that something like this would smell, but this doesn’t seem to be a problem unless it gets unbalanced. The simple antidote is more shredded paper. Towards the end of this Instructable, others have posted pictures of their own variations. Check out the one built into the pantry that is regularly tended by the four-year-old. That’s my favorite.

I built the frame for our vermicomposter out of poplar. These were some leftover pickets from a previous job. I like to hold on to things for later, when I figure out what to do with them. The fabric I used is the same as instructed (Ecospun felt, made from recycled bottles.) I found it at wally world for just under 4 bucks. Be sure to check the widths of the felt. I assumed it would be 72 inches wide and it turned out to be 58 inches. I had to go back to get a little more. I picked up some bola style cinches and already had some parachute cord on hand for the drawstrings. I recommend using a sewing machine unless you’re just really fast at sewing. It took me all day.

I started out thinking that I’d just dig up the worms. I went out in the backyard with a trowel and found some soft areas. Nothing. I thought, Oh, it’s just cold, let me dig a little deeper. Not a single worm. I looked online again and realized I needed to walk over to the barn and check the stalls for manure. I don’t know when animals last used that barn, but I know they left their mark. However, the next day it snowed, and about the same time I realized that I was going to need about 1000 worms. I figured I’d be pretty lucky to come up with even a hundred worms on a nice day much less a thousand in the freezing cold. So I ordered worms. I searched and compared different worm growers and went with They sell a pound of worms for $22.50 with free shipping and are only a state away from us, which helps lower the real costs of shipping. I liked that they kept in touch with me by e-mail until my order had shipped.

The worms came packaged with bedding enclosed in cheesecloth and insulated with shredded newspaper. I first put a handful of shredded newspaper in the composter. Then I dumped in the worms with their bedding. I cut up an old apple and squash, putting the pieces on top along with some coffee grounds and a teabag. I covered everything with more shredded newspaper and sprayed with water.

Here is a slideshow, click on the photo itself to go to the next one.
Wanna go back? Clicking on the thumbnails will take you there.

A big thank you to Cody for taking the time to share your experience with everyone.
Who knows, maybe he'll be back sometime to do another guest post!?!?

If you remember, it was only a few weeks ago that composting was on our
"5 things we could do to be more green" list, and now it has been put in place!
Now, we will reduce the amount of food waste that goes to the landfill where it turns
into methane, a greenhouse gas that is harmful to the environment. According to others
who use this form of in-home composting, worm composting does not create a stench.......
I suppose we'll soon find out for ourselves!

If you have any questions for Cody,
you can leave them in the comment section or

send me an email, and I will forward it to him.

Saint Augustine Lighthouse

The lighthouse, built in 1874, is Saint Augustine's oldest surviving brick structure.

Ruby Red Lighthouse

This beacon of light serves as more than just a navigational aid,
it also illuminates an ancient cities maritime past.

Saint Augustine Lighthouse

Rising 165ft above sea level, you must climb 219 steps to reach the top.

One step at a time

Once you have conquered the climb, you are handsomely rewarded with breathtaking


panoramic views of the surrounding city and its beaches.

View from the top

The tower was automated sometime in 1955 so there are no more
'real' light keepers' on the grounds.


However, the light keepers' house has been restored and is now home to a museum
with WWII memorabilia and various other artifacts found from shipwreck ruins.

The Keepers' Home & Museum

We spent a couple hours walking around the grounds,
they had some trails but they didn't really lead anywhere.
The ocean across the street was a short walk so we hopped over there.
I ended up talking photography with an older gentleman who has been shooting the
lighthouse for many years. He jokingly said that he's gotten almost every angle possible.
I wonder if he found the secret spot where I discovered the red hibiscus?!?!

Only because I myself stumbled upon the scene by accident.
It was after Cody and I had left, we drove down the
main road and on our way back past the lighthouse, I thought,
"I should stop real quick and try to get another shot of the top portion".

I wasn't really happy with the other ones I had taken across the street.
I really didn't want to stop again, although I did anyway - very glad I did.
And after I had taken a few photos, I went back to the car where Cody was waiting,
but then I quickly turned back around once I noticed a bush with red flowers.
I ran back over. I was so giddy, it was as if I hit the jackpot or something!
I almost missed out on it twice....if that doesn't tell you to
GO WITH YOUR GUT.....I don't know what does.

I always try to keep in mind that I won't get a redo
and this instance was a very good exercise for remembering that!

I hope you enjoyed the tour of Saint Augustine's Lighthouse.
If you are interested in reading a bit more,
here is their website.

Posted in Wordful Wednesday

just for giggles
Cody's Spitball
Cody heard the guy tell these boys they could spit from over on that side.
Naturally, he had to try it for himself :)

Vacation Contrast : Florida vs. North Carolina

From this......
St. Augustine Oceanview

to this......
Snowy Return

Excuse me while I get back into the swing of things!
I'm happy to report that we both went to the doctor late this afternoon.
We are now armed with meds and ready to nip this crud in the bud - bye, bye dry cough!
I also did a little more unpacking and account balancing, I know, I'm having too much fun eh?!
Enough of the boring everyday life stuff......on to the good stuff!!
Here's a summary of what I hope to share with you this week.
  • Our trip to Saint Augustine's historic Lighthouse
  • Guest post from Cody about our new vermicomposter
  • A tour of the Victorian House B&B in St. Augustine

A New Day

Borrowed Time

Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can't buy more hours. Scientists can't invent new minutes. And you can't save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you've wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.
~Denis Waitely~

We both ended up getting sick, boo :(
As a result, we cut the trip short by one day.
We craved the comforts of home that the Hostel in the Forest couldn't provide.
Laying around while whinning and watching movies was better than a day of driving, too.
The weather has been dark, damp, and dreary today.
There's one thing I miss about Florida already!
Photos coming soon....

Santa Maria Sunset

Santa Maria Sunset

After a few more stops this afternoon, we will be heading back to Jacksonville.
Our time in Saint Augustine has been magnificent. We really lucked out with the weather.
Although, the day we got here I began to feel a tickle or scratchiness in my throat, we
immediately went to Walgreens for a remedy - I didn't want a repeat of Big Sur.
I hate that I am prone to getting sick while on vacation! Thankfully, it didn't get too bad.
The coughing did keep me up some last night, but for the most part, I feel okay.

I have done my best not adhere to a specific itinerary while here is Saint Augustine,
instead, I just let the day proceed where it may. I've been to St. Augustine many times, but
I haven't seen it in the way I have this time around. The camera always sharpens my senses
when I am in a "new" place. It's not new, but it's new - know what I mean!?!?

Anyhow, we have a big day ahead of us......
I better get downstairs to the breakfast part of the Bed and Breakfast!!

  • Today is the last day to enter the giveaway for the magazine subscription to Popular Photography (10 people have entered so far).
  • Click here for details. PROJECT INSPIRATION
  • The photo is of a restaurant near our B&B, we were warned that the food wasn't very good, but it was pretty :o)
  • Posted in Wordful Wednesday

Vision of Home

Vision of Home

The trip back home has been going very well.
So far, its been a wonderful mix of relaxing with my family and meeting up with friends that I haven't seen in a while. It hasn't been rushed and crazy like trips back home usually are so I'm staying sane. Cody and I are in the process of packing up and will be making our way to stay in Saint Augustine at a B&B for a couple of days. I'm really looking forward to taking some photos and walking around the historic town. Saint Augustine is an amazing place.

My Mom has dial-up so internet time has been limited.
It took nearly 45 minutes to upload this photo I took yesterday!?!?

  • There is a giveaway going on right now until Wednesday.
  • If you would like to enter, see the rules: HERE (Only 3 people have entered so far)
  • Posted in Today's Flowers

Share the Love : Project Inspiration

With the shorter days and frigid nights upon us, I have been feeling a bit uninspired as of late. I recognize what's happening but have done little to remedy the issue at hand. It seems like its been too long since my soul has been stirred by an image I have come in direct contact with - I miss being up close. I seek comfort in images that others capture with hopes that it will stir an inspirational response with me. Perhaps it would snap me out of this funk? Maybe you all know what I'm talking about? Yeah, you do. Now, you don't have to be in a funk like me to appreciate and/or be inspired by someone else's work. I see proclamations of such in comments around the blogosphere almost daily. We inspire one another, from getting organized to being a little more green, it happens. I really think that you guys keep me afloat sometimes. For that, I thank you.

For the sake of inspiration, I would like to announce the next "Share the Love Giveaway".

TWO READERS have the chance to win a one year subscription to Popular Photography magazine. Popular Photography is also a wonderful source of inspiration with beautiful images and great tips. I can already hear it: So, what crazy things do you want us to do now, WW?!?! Well, I'm not going to ask much.....just a few simple rules.


  1. Create a blog post featuring a photographer that inspires you.
  2. The photographer can be a fellow blogger or a famous decide.
  3. In the post, offer a brief explanation as to why you chose that particular photographer.
  4. Once you have created the post, if it is a fellow blogger, let them know via email or comment.
  5. Also, don't forget to add your blog posts permalink to the Mr. Linky widget below.
  6. You will receive one entry for doing so, as will the photographer you showcase (if they have a blog).
  7. The giveaway will close Wednesday, November 26th @ Midnight.
  8. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

Okay, I'm supposed to be packing! I better get on that pronto!!
I will be heading to Jacksonville - my hometown - tomorrow after work.

One by One

We can make a difference.

I am eternally grateful and touched by your willingness to participate in the "Green" Giveaway challenge. There weren't as many to participate as I would have liked, but it's about quality, not quantity. Speaking of quality, you guys offered up some wonderful suggestions that I am sure sparked a few light bulbs in the minds of others. I know that this challenge has sparked a few light bulbs in my mind, too. I have even found that I am scrutinizing my greenness with a fine tooth comb as a result. I feel that I need to be as mindful as humanly possible, and incorporate those additional changes that fit with my personal lifestyle.

Living Green

One thing that seemed to be unanimous amongst the bloggers who participated were things like recycling, using reusable shopping bags, and switching out our light bulbs with CFL's, while these are all great strides to take in the direction of being more 'green', we can make a continued commitment to mix other sustainable projects and ideas in with what we currently do. Being green isn't always about what you can afford. Some advantageous additions will even SAVE you money if you can believe that! So, don't be hesitant when it comes to cultivating a greener way of life because you think it requires money, in most cases, that is just not true. Being greener may simply mean cutting back on items that produce less or no plastic waste (individual snacks are the worst!),or not buying that shiny new item to replace something that is still in good condition. I have learned to look at it by not thinking in terms of a sacrifice, but as benefit to my wallet and the environment. It also helps that I am passionate about putting money into my savings account, I know, I'm a dork.

Do you enjoy seeing the natural wonder of the world around you? I know I do!!
My deep and most primal instinct is to do as much as I can to protect its awe-inspiring beauty. It pains me to think of the many people who give little to no consideration for what is taking place in and around our homes. I am aware, and I hope that being so will influence others to take part in doing what they can to support and guide those who have yet to see the light. I truly hope that I don't come off to you as preachy, but I just want to offer encouragement to those who are wondering what they can do or for those thinking about how to do more. Whether you believe so or not, every little bit helps.

With all that being said, here are the winners.
Thank you again to those who participated!

"Green" Giveaway Winners
Elk @ Red or Gray
Kristina @ Meadowlark Days
J.H. @ A Gift from Heaven

Miscellaneous Links
  1. Article : Where does all the stuff go?
  2. The sleekest hydration vessel you can buy, & it's eco-friendly! KOR
  3. Here is a reusable bottle that is not as slick but less expensive. Aladdin BPA Free bottle
  4. The Alternative Consumer - for your eco news and product reviews. I love this blog!
  5. I seriously want this pair of Ninja Boots by TOMS - so not snow friendly :(
  6. Posted in Wordful Wednesday

Chimney Rock State Park

Posted in: MyWorld Tuesday
Chimney Rock State Park

North Carolina

A couple of weekends ago,
Cody and I embarked upon a pursuit to find fall.
It was that whim which led us to Chimney Rock State Park in Chimney Rock, NC.

Chimney Rock has been on my local(ish) list of places to go for quite some time now.
Two years to be exact. Last year during Christmas we were supposed
to go with my Mom and her boyfriend, but things didn't go
according to plan on account of the torrential down pour.
Thankfully, we waited for the perfect time to finally
make the trip back for our day at the rock.

Hickory Nut Gorge

There are a few trails that take you through the forest,
but we decided to save those for the way down!
We took the shuttle bus to the top instead.

Chimney Rock was fairly busy, although I still think
we picked a day that was far less crowded than most.

Stair to Overlook

Along with the spectacular views of the Hickory Nut Gorge,

Stairs A Plenty

you will find a plethora of steps that lead you to the various alcoves

The Grotto

and overlooks.

Devil's Head

Those require a little more work to get to,
but it's well worth the extra effort to get that unique perspective.

Opera Box
(Opera Box - look closely)

The highlight, of course,
was the giant granite monolith that towered above the gorge.

Chimney Rock

An interesting tidbit:
A couple scenes from the movie The Last of the Mohicans was filmed in this state park.
One was the fighting sequence that took place at the top of Hickory Nut Falls.

Hickory Nut Falls

I would have loved to catch this waterfall after a rain,
as you can see in this photo the watershed was pretty sparse.
I had a tough time photographing it.

After visiting the Chimney, and hiking to the waterfall
we decided to make our descent to the parking lot via the Four Seasons Trail.
It was down hill most of the way, tough on the knees, but not too bad.
I enjoyed being away from the crowds, plus I was able to soak up a little more fall.

Chimney Rock Silhouette

It was a terrific way to spend the day.
So happy that we FINALLY had the chance to go.

I found some sunshine...

I found some sunshine...

The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness.
You have to catch it yourself.
~Benjamin Franklin~

After a lazy day on Saturday, Cody and I redeemed our weekend
by going to a Renaissance Festival today, we had soooo much fun!
I hope to have some photos from todays excursion by the end of this week.
I also have a field trip to Chimney Rock in the works - that was last weekends outing.
Between getting all these photos together, I have other preparations that need to be made
for a trip back to my hometown for Thanksgiving. I am really looking forward to seeing my
family and friends......its been a year since I've been back home!!!
It's going to be a busy week!

In other news:
The giveaway will be closed as of midnight tonight.
I will most likely announce the winners on Tuesday.

Also, take the Ecological Footprint Quiz.
I did - click to see my results!

Article: 7 Misconceptions about plastic & plastic recycling.

Interested in learning about various green alternatives available to you?
Here is a list of projects that offer recommendations based
on a particular area of your home or simply explore.
Low Impact Living : Green Projects

I hope you all found your own bit of sunshine this weekend,
I know I did :o)

Where do you stack up?

Based on a suggestion from Liss, I decided to visit to check the impact my choices have on the environment.
Throughout the quiz I noticed many areas in which we could improve,
although some of which are beyond our control at this point in time.

The house we live in is old and as a result poorly insulated.
Being a renter, I am not inclined to put money into someone else's house,
but I can look into insulated blinds or window quilts to help with the drafty windows.

If you click the graph you will see how I stack up against the national average.
It shows that if everyone on the planet lived the same lifestyle as us,
we would need 3.15 earths!?!? Take a look.

My food and housing footprints are by far the worst.

Lowering my food footprint may be as easy as:
  • going meatless 2x's a week instead of just one.
  • We could plant a garden next season with the new soil produced by the composter Cody constructed.
  • I also need to make a commitment to purchase in-season produce and veggies.
  • And think about the local options we have here in town, maybe even join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
I could go on and on about the things that I need to do, but I'll spare you.
There will be more opportunity to share down the road.

I am excited that seven more people signed
up to participate in the "Green" Giveaway.
You can still enter, details can be found by clicking the above link.

Below is a picture of the prizes you could win.
Green Giveaway Items

Don't forget to take your Ecological Footprint Quiz!
Feel free to share your results.