Greeting from Oregon's Coast

No, this isn't where I am......

Oregon Coast

This postcard comes from Elizabeth @ Retinal Perspectives.
I was delighted to trade postcards with her, especially since Oregon's coast intrigues me.
It reminds me so much of Big Sur, and I hope that I'll go to Oregon's coast one day as well.

The above photo is a sample of what you'll find at Retinal Perspectives.
Elizabeth has a fabulous blog where she shares photos of not only the coast,
but of her adorable weimy appropriately named Atlas.

Stretching 362 miles (583 km) from the city of Astoria to the California border, the Oregon Coast is unique in that the entire coast is public land. Oregon law prohibits private ownership of coastline property.

Another one of my most favorite bloggers happens to reside in Oregon as well.
And since Lydia recently did an in depth post about the coast of Oregon,
and how it came to be preserved, I will point you in her direction to learn more.
*Click on link above to read article*

Interested in seeing more?
  • The Oregon State University website has a section with current and historic photos.
  • Oregon's visitor site was also fun to visit for more information, click here.
  • And let's not forget Elizabeth's Oregon coast category of photos, here.

"I Love Postcards!"

Happy Bird-day to Me!

Me @ Three

Now, seriously, you can't say that I'm not the cutest dang thing you've ever seen.
I mean, it's almost too much for me to look at with my Smurfette cake.
Last night, I looked through old photos, I guess I was feeling nostalgic.
I found this one of me on my 3rd birthday, and couldn't resist posting it.

As promised, here are some of the flowers.


Anyways, today, my birthday.......
was no different from any other day.
Except that, at work I was running a million miles a minute.
Thinking 20 different thoughts simultaneously.....
I did, however, get a ton of stuff done today.
When I came home for lunch, I absentmindedly locked my keys in the house.
A lady from work had to come pick me up to finish the last few hours.
I really needed those last few hours to get everything done, too.
Tomorrow is going to be just as busy,
but that will make the day go by faster.

Birthday Bouquet

I have to tell you, I'm feeling very spoiled right now.
Not only have I gotten 5 bouquets, a box of my favorite chocolates, and a cake,
but this morning when I woke up, I received a present!
It was mostly because I repeated, "Where's my bird-day present!",
while rubbing my hands together in a sinister fashion.

Without hesitation Cody handed me a card.
I was touched from the moment I began to read.
It was by far the sweetest card ever;
I don't think I've ever cried at 7 in the morning.
And if you were wondering, the actual birthday present was cold, hard cash :)


I am slacking off right now,
and should be packing!

Thank you for all of the wonderful Birthday Wishes!

New England Aster

Aster Diptych

We've had a somewhat uneventful weekend.
I suppose that maybe I'm saving it up till Wednesday.
Tomorrow I'll pack so that we can high tail it out of here after work on Tuesday.
Other than that, cleaning the house is always necessary before we leave
to go on a trip,
which is what we spent most of the day doing.
I just like to come home without feeling like I need to do housework.

Aster in the Pasture
Aster in the Pasture TtV

When I came home on Friday,
I was surprised to find 5 different bouquets in the kitchen.
I just got around to arranging them all today, and plan to take some photos tomorrow.
Until then, you can enjoy these dainty, New England Asters I found in the field next door.

Posted for Today Flowers
Interested in learning more about TtV, click here.

Moments : Seasonable

Moments : Seasonable
Haiku Friday & One Single Impression

Golden Mosaics
Express Restoration

Bittersweet Harvest

We learn and grow and are transformed not so much
what we do but why and how we do it.
~Sharon Salzberg~

I was so happy to hear your 'Motivational Moments' commented in the last post,
and even the lack there of offered wonderful insights too.
I might not tell you this enough, but I am so grateful for the
tremendous amount of support you provide.
My life is that much richer as a result.

The weekend weather isn't fairing to well because of an impending storm.
It also happens to be causing panic at the pumps yet again.
I'm wondering if it will have any bearing on the
trip we're planning to take next week for
my birthday?! I sure hope not....
We'll see what happens.

We just had a power outage in the middle of this post!
It went out for a short period of time,
but by the time we hunkered down for the night, it came back on.

This morning it's dark, cloudy and rainy.

I'll just try to keep Autumn (which was the haiku prompt) on
my mind,
along with the above photo. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Motivation Is my Middle Name

Window to the Wildflowers

It is a most mortifying reflection for a man to consider what he has done,
compared to what he might have done.
~Samuel Johnson~

I've been having a terrific week!
I can't quite remember the last time I uttered such a statement, but it's true.
What am I doing that is making such a difference, you ask?
Changes.....I'm making some changes.
So far, I'm not having any trouble keeping in line with my vision.

For instance, I've been going for a walk everyday; at least 30 minutes.
I know you get to see a lot of pictures from our hiking excursions,
but in everyday life, I'm not as active.
However, I'm working hard to change that.
We've also resolved to make dinner earlier in the evening, instead of eating at 9.
And having our meals at the beautiful dining room table that Cody made months ago.
So, we've got eating better and exercise........

On Tuesday, we attended volunteer night at Appalachian Voices,
and heard presentations about mountaintop removal*,
and what we could do to get involved.
I am extremely serious about contributing more to this cause,
and will make every effort to 'do my part'.

Portal of Refuge
I remembered that I took this photo, and decided to add it to the post.
It was taken mid-March this year. The first photo was taken more recently.

Other than that, I've been really motivated to get mundane tasks out of the way, too.
Like, renewing my license plate tag.
Getting craft supplies for a new project.
Washing clothes. Actually putting said clothes away!

And more important things like.....
Figuring out where to stay for an upcoming trip for my birthday.
It's on the 29th! Right around the corner.

Even items that have been on my list for some time....
I finally have a custom domain! Got rid of the blogspot.
So now it's just
I've been hanging on to that address for a while,
but before now have been too scared to change it.

It's only Wednesday, and I've gotten so much stuff done!
I'm in another one of those modes.
I'll keep my fingers crossed in hopes it will last until I vacate next Wednesday!

Do you have any "Motivational Moments" to share?

How's your week going so far?

*Read more about mountaintop removal, here.

~Tiny Details~

White Toadstool

One thing I spotted quite frequently along the trail were, mushrooms.
The conditions in the forest were perfect, especially since it had rained recently.
Beforehand, Cody and I decided that since he was hauling all the gear,
he wouldn't wait while I took photos. I stop waaaay too often!

At the beginning of the trail, I withheld from taking photos of the fleshy fungi.

Purple Mushy

By the second day in the woods, I couldn't take it any longer. I had to shoot the mushies.
I kept my eyes on the trail floor, making mental notes of the many mushrooms we passed.
I didn't take photos of every single one, if I did that, I may not have ever caught up with Cody!


However, I still paid close attention to what was sprouting from the earth.
I haven't attempted to identify any of them, so if you know, I encourage you to speak up.

Mossy Mushy

And since we're discussing the details, I'd like to share this very inspiring video.
I've had it on my list for a while now. I'm was just slow to post it.

I was seriously blown away by this guys talent.
He's been around for a while, so it's nothing new, but
it's truly amazing.

So, how are you feeling about the details right now?
Paying close attention?

Hunt Fish Falls

Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
Wilson Creek Area
Lost Cove Trail

Here is a more detailed shot of the waterfall from the overnight hike we did last weekend.
In the other post, I only shared the overview of the swimming hole.

I took this photo around 7:00am on Sunday morning.

Hunt Fish Falls - Upper

I don't usually wake up that early, but in the woods I do.
Sleeping above the rushing falls lulled me to sleep.
Hiking and/or being near water definitely calms me.
Sleeping right next to it serves double duty.

I wouldn't say that I had a wonderful night's sleep.
Because I woke up several times throughout the night.
I was trying to find a more comfortable position.
Even so, I still awakened feeling refreshed.

This photo of the falls was taken in the late afternoon on Saturday.
The lighting was very different from the above shot.
One, early morning, and one, late afternoon.

Hunt Fish Falls

I felt uneasy stumbling around the slick rock with my camera and tripod.
I took my time though and made certain that I had sure footing before taking a step.
The last thing I would want to do was take a tumble!

This was the small waterfall off to the side of Hunt Fish Falls.

Hunt Fish Fall - Side waterfall

It seems as though it is normally overlooked
compared to the main attraction,
but I thought it was lovely.
I think the recent rain had something to do with it.

I had to pull off some fancy maneuvers to get these photos.
I found myself laying on my stomach, sprawled out across the rock.
Thankfully, no one but Cody was around to see this!

Hunt Fish Falls - Side waterfall closeup

I can't wait to see more waterfalls this autumn season.
We'll definitely be out and about as much as possible.
This weekend, we didn't do anything exciting, just watched a ton of movies.
So until we have some new and interesting stuff to show you, I hope you enjoyed
a close up of Hunt Fish Falls.

  • To read a little more about the backpacking trip, click here.
  • To see an overview of Hunt Fish Falls, click here.


Haiku Friday

Your thoughts are like seeds
be mindful of what you plant
who knows what will sprout

Initially, this photo was dressed up with text like most of the other haiku's.
I decided against using it because I just like the original image.
It's so simple on its own, and I didn't want to complicate it by adding 'stuff'.
I followed the prompt from One Single Impression.....Seeds.
I know I went the literal route, but it is what it is.

Thank you all so very much for the kind comments on my last post.
I was surprised to find that so many others could relate, although I knew I wasn't alone.

I'm so grateful that tomorrow is Friday.
And I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. goes both ways

Love, it goes both ways

When I took this photo on our backpacking trip this past weekend,
I didn't realize that its message would pack such a punch.
I'm taking it from all sides today, figuratively getting hit with a left and a right.
Secretly, I have been reminding myself of this thought in an effort to subdue others.

There's one sad truth in life I've found
While journeying east and west -
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox~

Tonight, I need to get some much needed rest......

Interested in learning:
How to put text on a path
(like in the above photo)

No More Straight Lines!

{Let's Learn Photoshop Together}

I was curious to find out how to get text to run along a designated path.
Thinking that, at some point, I would find it useful.
It was quite painless to learn, and at the same time got me interested in the pen tool.

Here are my first attempts at applying my handy new skill.
I wanted to demonstrate how it could be used,
and thought that variations would help.

Text on a Path

Here is a video on how to put text on a path.
(You may also learn a few other tips as well-I did.)

I liked the first video since it showed you how to create a path using the pen tool.
But just in case, here is another one to show you a different way of doing it.

I hope that you may find this helpful,
if so, please let me know so I continue to share more.

{Let's Learn Photoshop Together}

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

Backpacking in Lost Cove

Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
Wilson Creek Area
Lost Cove Trail
7.5 Miles

Lost Cove Trail Map
Click to Enlarge Map

Instead of a weekend camping trip, we opted to go on an overnight hike.
Normally, 7.5 miles is something that can easily be done in one day,
however, we decided to stretch it out a little further so we could take our time.

The entire outing was planned by Cody--he did an awesome job!
On top of that, he carried our gear, and navigated our way through most of the hike.
Some portions of the trail weren't marked very well and required some orienteering skills.

and the GPS helped too....

Big & Small
Thanks for being the mule, Cody :)

Lost Cove Creek

The major challenge we had to overcome during this hike were the creek crossing dotting the trail.
Our second day of hiking there came a point when we
stopped worrying about taking our shoes off and hiked with water logged feet!

Rivers Edge

I called this an overnight hike because we camped in the middle of our trek.
Leaving Boone midmorning, we drove out to Lost Cove--45 minutes from town.
Upon reaching the trail head, I was a little surprised to see a caravan of vehicles.
I soon realized that this particular trail was very popular due to the watering holes.
We passed the first waterfall entirely since it was way overcrowded.
Continuing on, we reached a second waterfall, which was equally popular.
Although, this one was a lot more picturesque.

I didn't spend a whole lot of time trying to take photos of the falls because
there were too many people running, splashing, and jumping around.
Instead, I took a nap in the tent which was right above the falls.
Later, after everyone was gone, I made my way over to take a few photos.

Hunt Fish Falls

In the evening we cooked some soup on the camp stove, and passed out early.
We chose not to bring any games since this wasn't car camping and weight mattered.
Early to bed meant that we were early to rise, albeit only early enough to catch a mere
glimpse of the blazing orange sunrise; I couldn't get moving fast enough!

I have some more photos to share, so be sure to check back in :o)

I'm wondering, when is the last time any of you have been on a camping/backpacking trip?!

We Heart Mountains!

I Heart Mountains

I let this go a little longer than I initially intended when I started the campaign.
What can I say, life gets in the way and other things take precedence.
My goal was to raise awareness about mountaintop removal,
and with the participants listed below I think it's safe to
say that my mission was accomplished.

The sign up widget I had on my side bar was acting wacky,
so I gathered the list of cohorts from the I Love Mountains! comments in various posts.
If you are sure that you pledged, but your name and link are not listed below,
please let me know so that I can make the proper adjustments.

My Promise:

For every person who took the pledge to end mountaintop removal,
I would donate $one dollar$ on their behalf to Appalachian Voices' cause.
On top of the one dollar pledge, my plan was to match the pledges & donate one lump sum.
After a super special offering from Liss (thru paypal), the pot rose to $45.93!
Thank you again for your generosity.

And a big thank you to all others who were inspired to take action.

You will find some great blogs in this list below - discover someone new today :o)

Liss @ A Memory Forever
Lydia @ Writerquake
Elizabeth @ Retinal Perspectives
Cathy @ The Clothesline
Kate @ Art Vein Vessel
1218 @ A Girl Interrupted
Dave of KY
Greg @ Greg's General Store
Prin @ Living Life to the Furrest
Meredith @ We Run Like a River
Gillian @ Indigo Blue
Graham @ One Man's Travels
Jacky @ Art4Moi
Robin bird @ Bird Tweets
MaryAnn @ MaryAnn Ashley Bever Photography
Storyteller @ Sacred Ruminations
Lilacspecs @ Lilac Colored Glasses

+ If you missed the post about mountaintop removal,
but would like to know more, click here.

+ To find out more about Appalachian Voices' mission,
visit their website, here. (*the cause I am donating to)

+ Still interested in signing up? Click the logo below to go to website.

~Weekend Reflection~

Weekend Reflection

A night in the woods
my outlook has been renewed
just what I needed

We did an overnight hike this past weekend.
Luckily, our adventure was dressed with gorgeous weather;
much different from what we were experiencing last week.

I plan to tell you and show you most of what we experienced along the way.......
So stay tuned!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Free Desktop Background

You can thank Technodoll for this.
I revamped a photo of the evening coast to make it look like a painting.
Before, the image was pixelated due the fact that the light was nearly nonexistent.
My camera doesn't have an ISO of 6400 to combat such situations.

While on the way back to our campsite one evening,
we stopped to capture an image of the coast since it was 'painted' in pastels.
On the right you can see an outline of the Big Sur bridge.

Anyhow, if you are interested in snagging this photo
to use as your background image, be my guest.
Simply click on the photograph and once it takes you to the new window,
right click and select 'save as desktop background'.

Let me know what you think!
Have a great weekend.

Moments : Reminiscent

Moments : Reminiscent
haiku friday

Ineffable joy
remaining clear in my mind
treasured memories

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love,
the things you are, the things
you never want to lose.
~The Wonder Years~

I have done my best to turn around my mood since last week.
Right now, I'm itching to get out and about this weekend;
it can't come quick enough.

Despite the unfavorable weather we continue to have,
I have been a bit more motivated, which is baffling.
But I won't question it.....

In the keep on keepin' on post,
I talked about how Big Sur has been on my mind.
Along with photos of cliff-lined coasts, nothing can conjure
nostalgia of our trip quicker than an orange poppy.
They were a familiar sight along the lovely coast.
Surprisingly, I didn't get any photos of them while we were there.

Cody brought this one home for me the other day,
perfect timing - as usual.

Want to see a beautiful place?
Big Sur Posts with Photos:

Blackberry Roasted Chicken

Blackberry Chicken
With words Wordless Wednesday


2 cups blackberries, washes & drained
2 chicken breast
1 lemon, sliced
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
garlic salt


Preheat oven to 350. Rinse and dry chicken. (I buy skinless chicken breast, so instead of putting the ingredients under the skin like the recipe called for, I just cut a canal down the center.) Place 2 rosemary sprigs, 1/4 blackberries, and 1/4 of lemon slices in center (I didn't really measure). Sprinkle with garlic salt.

Roast at 350 for about 45 minutes, until golden brown.

After a post I did requesting ideas on what to do with the blackberries from our yard, I found this recipe. I was very interested in trying it since it wasn't what you would normally suggest - usually a dessert related item comes to mind. I highly recommend trying this out if you still have access to blackberries this late in the season. It was quick, easy, and delicious!

Keep on keepin' on.......

I'm still in an odd mood.
Technodoll really hit the nail on the head with her humorous assessment
sparked by my most recent haiku post, discussing my 'feelings'.
I already knew what my deal was by that point,
but saying it myself or printing it rather,
makes it too real...

The rain came back today,
which is a shame, especially since it's forecast to be here all-week-long!
What makes it worse is the fact that we didn't do anything exciting this past weekend
when we had the chance. We got too comfortable with sitting around.
I did , however, take Sian's advice, and embarked upon a pursuit to tickle my funny bone.
We went to see Tropic Thunder.
It wasn't laugh until I cry funny, but it was comical.

I can tell when I'm in a mood because my google reader starts to overflow.
Don't get me wrong, I love my up-to-the-minute details on new posts,
but when I'm in a "mood" it becomes overwhelming to see that many unread posts!
I'm almost ashamed to say how many blogs I follow........
I wonder how much you can tell about a person by looking at their feed reader?!

I really am all over the place right now, can you tell?!
Today, I have been reminiscent of our time spent along Big Sur's beautiful coast.
Lydia just recently returned from a wonderful little getaway that reminded me of my adventure.
I suppose that I will always think of Big Sur anytime I see an image with mountainous
cliffs and rolling waves.

Evening Coast

Camping just a stone's throw from the ocean
with the smell of the Pacific coast's salty sea air following me around.....ahhh.

What I would give to be there right now......

Eight Down........

"{366} Photographic Journal"

For the most part, I am happy with what I posted in August.
Although closer to the end of the month I began to get a little lazy.
Truth be told, I am still feeling that way,
which hasn't started September off very well.
But I'll get it updated soon enough.

I think that by the time I get the hang of two blogs, the project will be over!
It's not easy keeping up with both of them, but I know this was self imposed.
With that being said, I have learned so much since I first began the challenge;
it really has made all the difference in my photography.

{366} August

1. Tall Grass, 2. My Boys, 3. Skipping Stones, 4. Yogi Wisdom, 5. Handmade Book, 6. Tranquilize, 7. Countryside Sounds, 8. Path Before Me, 9. I Forgot #4, 10. Softness, 11. The Color Purple, 12. Wish you didn't feel this way bouquet......., 13. Barbed Blackberry, 14. Blueberries & Bokeh, 15. Before Sundown, 16. Yoga.Pink, 17. I Love Gifts in the Mail : Liss, 18. S H I M M E R Y, 19. No Pose, 20. I Love Gifts in the Mail : Beth, 21. Bokeh Aura, 22. Curly Q, 23. In the Shadows, 24. 237. Women & Money, 25. Clearing Creepy Crawlies, 26. Rainy Days, 27. Bubble Bauble, 28. Pattern, 29. Rough Ridge Hike, 30. Jewelweed in the Morning, 31. Tight Squeeze
*Clicking on the above links will take you to larger photo in Flickr*

~My Favorites from August~

214. Tall Grass
Tall Grass

225. Wish you didn't feel this way bouquet.....
Wish you didn't feel this way bouquet.......

231. S H I M M E R Y

234. Bokeh Aura
Bokeh Aura

236. In the Shadows
In the Shadows

239. Rainy Days
Rainy Days

and for sheer cuteness.....

215. My Boys
My Boys

From the beginning:
{366} Photographic Journal

Moments : Melodrama

Moments : Melodrama
haiku friday

I go up and down
Emotions running wild
I can't stop crying

To give vent now and then to his feelings, whether of pleasure or discontent,
is a great ease to a man's heart.
~Francesco Guicciardini~

I hesitated in posting this week's haiku because of it's woeful words.
Yesterday, when I made it, that's how I felt.

I don't always get into a discussion about how I feel here on WW.
Not because I'm afraid, but because this is my happy place.
This is where I post about fun stuff and good times,
albeit, talking about mountain top removal isn't
necessarily a 'happy' subject, but it makes
me happy to know that I
can raise awareness.

This week has
been a struggle for me and has
had me battling some unsavory emotions,
which doesn't help my everyday levels of pain.
To sum it up, I have simply felt encumbered.
I don't know how else to explain it, that's the best I can come up with.
Anything and everything has gotten on my nerves this week.
My hair, my clothes, my messy house....
It's quite clear what the culprit is,
if you catch my drift. Usually
it's not this bad.

Cody and I can do something
this weekend to refresh my weary spirit.
Something outdoors perhaps.....

What do you do to console your soul during a crisis such as this?

Compare : Contrast

{Let's Learn Photoshop Together}

It's been quite a while since I have touched base on photoshop.
What I want to share today is a tool I frequently find myself using.
The Curves tool is an extremely useful element that can be highly underutilized.
Maybe you've opened it before and played around only to quickly x-out.......
It's a lot easier to control once you understand the basics of how it works.

Whether you like to make drastic changes or minor adjustments, curves is a great starting point.
This video below is a basic guide for the beginning Curves user.

Quick Start Tutorial

Below is a very subtle but effective example of how using Curves can enhance your photos.
Adding contrast can emphasize texture or intensify
subject-background separation, like in the 'with curves' photo below.
Darkening the shadowy background even further makes the yellow flower pop.
It's not a huge change, but I think it makes a difference.

Curves Adjustment Layer

The key concept with curves is that you can never add contrast in one
tonal region without also decreasing it in another.
In other words, the curves tool only redistributes contrast.

If you had some trouble following in the first video,
here is another one that may help clarify.
Curves : Basics

{Let's Learn Photoshop Together}

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

Greeting From Freiburg

Greetings From: Freiburg

I received this some time last week.
Before this postcard, I had never heard of Freiburg before.
Have you?

On the edge of the beautiful Black Forest, Freiburg is close to both France and Switzerland.
Because of its scenic beauty, relatively warm and sunny climate and easy
access to the Black Forest, Freiburg is a hub for regional tourism.

What I found to be most interesting is that,
has acquired recognition for being one of the 'greenest cities' in the world.
With their strong standard for building eco-friendly housing and maintaining
car-free streets in many areas, they have set an example of sustainability.
The citizens of Freiburg are known in Germany for their love of cycling and recycling!

Freiburg stamp

I didn't find any photos that allowed sharing without permission,
so I will share this link to a beautiful portfolio of images I found.
Take a look at Freiburg.
The architecture is magnificent,
I was really blown away by how lovely that little city is.

Interested in reading more about Freiburg Germany?

"I Love Postcards!"

Nurture Nature

Nurture Nature
wordless wednesday

Nurture nature, and it will nurture you.

If you want to nurture nature, please take part in helping to preserve
our land's natural history by taking a pledge.
Taking a pledge doesn't require much from you.
The widget on the right is where you can join me in the fight to end mountain top removal.

  • I am willing to donate one dollar on your behalf to the cause mentioned in the "I Heart Mountains" post once you have pledged.
  • At the end of this week, I plan to match the pledges.
  • And so I know who joined in, please leave a comment stating, I LOVE MOUNTAINS!