Christmas Flashback

Christmas Flashback

HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


Let's hope the holiday season doesn't leave you kicking & screaming :)

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.

~Dryspell~

Posted in Wordful Wednesday

S T I L L N E S S
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.
-WW

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.
{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.



Random:
  • 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

Friends

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,
THANK YOU!


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!
SERENITY NOW!! haha

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.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Worm_bin_bag_for_indoor_vermicomposting_and_easy_s/

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 triplegwormfarm.com. 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

P1360383

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.

P1360399

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