Outside My Window ~ June 26, 2016

outside my window summer 2016

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW…is a relatively warm day.  Current temperature is 76° with 55% humidity. It is a bit muggy outside which is why I am inside.  It would probably be a good beach day though.  I haven’t been to the beach in a while though….I can’t tolerate the heat and humidity like I once could….or maybe I don’t want to tolerate the heat and humidity any more.  It sure does wear me down a lot faster since I have gotten older.  Along with the heat we have blue skies, sunshine and some puffy clouds here and there.  I don’t believe there is a chance for rain today – or tomorrow for that matter.

I am thinking…it has been a very long time since I have created one of these ~ I’m a bit rusty at all this. 🙂  Some friends and family have said they missed this weekly update because unfortunately I don’t correspond like I did once upon a time ago.  Our society has moved from hand writing letters to writing emails to social media.  Not everyone I know participates in the various forms of social media available so I’m pondering a jump start for this old blog.  I’m not promising a post a day like I did one year long ago, but the plan is to visit this place more often than I have been with updates and photographs. I’m also going to take up the calendar creations once again.  I had stopped creating them last year when my time management seemed to become non-existent. Time management is something I have struggled with my entire life. Add to that I tend to take on too many projects at once and overwhelm myself until I don’t want to deal with anything.   As I have gotten older it has gotten more and more tedious and complicated.  I have begun to organize the projects based on importance.  Hopefully I can work through them this way without getting overwhelmed which results in my throwing up my hands and putting it off for another day.  Part of that organization is I allow myself time to do something I enjoy – and this is one of those things.  It can’t always be work, work, work. That’s the plan anyway….now let’s see if I can follow through.  🙂

I am glad… that I finally got my work area exactly like I wanted it.  This has been one of those projects that has been in the works for quite some time.  I have tried several different arrangements, different pieces of furniture here and there and while it was always functional, it was never really what I had envisioned.  I can’t tell you how excited I am that it is so close to being complete.  I need to do a few finishing touches here and there then I will share with photos.  It all started to really come together when I ran across this IKEA hack while browsing online about a year ago.  I realized this would work perfectly for my space and it is what I had envisioned for some time.  The next step was to purchase the items I needed and then bring it all together.  The purchases included the cabinets, shelving for counter top and a new desk to replace the collapsible table I had been using.  The end result fits perfectly in my work space with far more storage and work area than I previously had.  The beauty of this hack was I could modify it to fit my needs. Instead of a dog bed in the middle of the cabinets, I have free standing wire shelving I had on hand.  It is perfect for storing my photographs/negatives as well as a few other items like my laptop case and paper cutter.  I covered that area with a small white canvas curtain hung on a suspension rod between the cabinets.   I will post the photographs of the end result very soon.  🙂

From my kitchen…has been a whole lot of not much.  If anyone could care less about cooking more than I have lately, I would be surprised.  I have tried a few new recipes but to be honest, I have to sometimes force myself to make the simplest of meals lately.  I have a lot of ambition to do more but by the time I get home from work, I’m exhausted and I don’t have the energy to take on the task.  We aren’t starving….I’m just not that into doing any more than necessary lately.  😐  I did try a new recipe for mac and cheese not too long ago.  I found it, of all places, on a can of evaporated milk.  It sounded interesting so thought I would give it a try.  It wasn’t too bad either.  I don’t have it set up to share just yet, but I will add that to my things to do and hopefully post it next week.  🙂

Plans for the week include…a visit with an old friend tomorrow evening….working from home on Tuesday and hopefully completing the manual update I have been editing.  I did quite a bit on it last Tuesday but lost it all when the computer decided it would be a good time to shut down and install an update.  Of course I had not saved what I had done – who knew after I booted up that morning and it ran and update that almost two hours later it would need to install yet another one.  Speaking of which – typing that sentence reminded me I had not saved this draft…..I just did.  🙂  I know some will say I should take it off auto updates – and I went that path with my old laptop until I checked for updates and it had been so long since I checked it took several hours to complete.  One thing I have definitely noticed about growing older – you think not so much time has passed between one point in time and another but in reality it has.  What seems like a couple of weeks is actually a couple of months….or longer.  It is surreal sometimes when the realization hits you. 😯  The balance of the week is uneventful at the moment.

One of life’s little pleasures…spending time with your furry friends.  Turbo brings me so much peace and happiness…even when he is doing what he shouldn’t be doing.  😀

From my camera…is a few shots I took on my cellphone while on vacation this year.  My parents moved from just south of Charlotte to Asheville, North Carolina the first of this year.  I understood their reasoning, but I was sad….they were leaving the beautiful “relax” home, I would no longer be in close proximity to IKEA and I would miss the easy pace of a trip I had made numerous times.  But after my recent visit to their new place in May I discovered there was beautiful scenery during a fairly easy albeit a little bit longer trip, a new beautiful place to stay surrounded by beautiful mountains and THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY!  It has been a few years since I was on the parkway and I soon discovered how much I have missed it.  The peace you feel when you are in the forests and the mountains….the breathtaking views!  I did a little hiking while there – just enough to realize I need to be in better shape!  😀  And I took photographs….a whole lot of photographs.  Some of you have previously seen these on social media but others have not.  I will share my photographs from my larger camera in the next few posts.  The two selfies were taken after a couple of short hikes – and yes, I’m looking a bit rough, I’m hot and relatively winded in the higher than I’m used to altitude, but I’m feeling so very happy!!!  And that is what it is all about folks…. 😀

iphoneography negative 1 june 26 2016 iphoneography negative june 26 2016

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Outside My Window ~ 3.08.2015

outside my window winter 2015

Credits for the Outside My Window composite can be found here.

Outside my window…is an amazing day!  It is a far cry from last Sunday when it was cold, wet and still far too much snow was on the ground.  At 1:00 we are sitting at 64° with sunshine and blue skies.  Fabulous!  There is snow here and there ~ mostly piles of snow that hasn’t melted ~ and I was a little surprised to see there are still some patches of ice in shady areas, although I bet they are gone now.  Sunshine and warmer weather, oh how I have missed you.  I’m definitely looking forward to spring.

I’m thinking…I need to get my plans organized for my spring chores…unfortunately there is quite a bit to do around the house this year.  The biggest chore will be painting the wood trim….so not looking forward to that.

I’m glad…I have had the opportunity to work at home most of the time during our recent snow storms and the subsequent ice that follows.  But as much as I dislike getting up early and going to work each day, I have discovered I am a creature of habits and schedules.  Everything is off kilter and it upsets the balance or my internal feng shui – everything feels off.  I hate to say it but it will be nice when things are not so up in the air because of the weather….I like balance and if I have to become a creature of habit to achieve it, so be it.

I’m hoping…these ridiculous sinus headaches I have been dealing with are history very soon.  With each new storm front came a new headache. This year has been one of the worst I have had in a very long time.  I’m quite over them.

From my kitchen…not too much of anything new recently.  I did try a couple of new recipes recently but was not impressed enough to deem them worthy of a share.  There are a few more I would like to try so we will see how they come out….would like to find something really tasty to add to my regular meals.

I am hearing…the ticking of my many clocks….my wind chimes softly singing to me….birds singing….an otherwise quiet house.

A recap since my last visit…include the new free desktop calendars for March and a new composite I created during one of my snow days….Survivor.


Credits for the Survivor composite can be found here.

From my camera…are a few shots from the snow days. Last Sunday I had Outside My Window all ready to post….except when I read it over I realized I was over the snow, the cold and the ice all I did through out was complain about it, so I scrapped it.  Today it is warm, there is sunshine and I’m feeling in a much better mood so I thought I would share the photographs I had planned to post last week.

22615 snow 1 22615 snow 2 22615 snow 3 22615 snow 4 22615 snow 5 22615 snow 6 22615 snow 7

22715 snow 1 22715 snow 2 22715 snow 3

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Outside My Window ~ 01.18.2015

outside my window winter 2015

Credits for the Outside My Window composite can be found here.


Outside my window…is heavy rain and moderate temperatures.  I woke up to 57° and cloudy skies at around 7:30 this morning.  It may have dropped a degree to two since then but still not too cold. I have taken a lot of my plants outside to enjoy the rain this morning…they do so much better with rain water than tap water.  I still have my rain barrels (I did end up going back and getting a second barrel a year later) that I use throughout the year for watering but taking them outside for their drink saves me time. This past Wednesday we woke up to everything encased in ice ~ streets and sidewalks were clear but fences and trees, not so much.  Most of the ice had melted by late afternoon around my house.  On Thursday I woke up to snow ~ it was only a light dusting, but still snow.  As you got further inland towards Williamsburg on Thursday there was no snow but there was still ice coating the trees in that area.  The sun was out and it was quite beautiful, I wish I could have gotten some photographs but was on my way to work and did not have enough time to stop.  I went out later that morning to help my Director with an errand in the Colonial area and it was raining ice on us as it melted. Some of the chunks falling from the trees were quite large but fortunately I only got hit with a few small ones…..kind of like running from hail.  🙂

I am thinking…it is time for this cough to be gone….three weeks is long enough!  It has gotten much, much better as time has gone by….but I’m over it completely now.  Be gone cough…be gone.

I am glad…I posted my ice covered branch photograph on Twitter and Instagram this past Wednesday.  Not too long after posting the image I was contacted by The Weather Channel, WeatherNation and ABC News asking permission to use the image with credit given. I agreed and allowed them to re-post as they needed.  The overwhelming response from their followers was quite flattering.  I was surprised because I didn’t think the photograph would garner that kind of attention.  I had taken it with my iPhone 4 which if you know anything about iPhone, you know the camera on the 4 is not a very good one.  It was quite exciting to see the attention it got…without even trying!  🙂  You want to see it….

ice branch

I am hearing…the rain drops hitting my front porch awning….the ticking of my many clocks….an otherwise quiet house.

Plans for the week…a day off from work tomorrow….working from home on Tuesday….trying to get back in the groove of things with my websites….continue work on a new composite I’m creating.  I actually have quite a few in the early stages ~ determining the layouts and gathering the photographs that I will need.  I also have some new tutorials I want to work with as well.  I could easily spend lots of time doing this.  🙂

One of life’s little pleasures…a nice cup of coffee on a rainy day.

From my camera…a few images from the icy day…notice on this first one there is a perfect ice leaf coming off the original leaf ~ veins and all….

berries and ice leaf

This next one is the full tree that the above instagram branch photo came from….

tree ice

Behind my house….

frosty morn

Frozen bird feeder….

birdfeeder ice

And finally….looking up at the dogwood branches….

tree ice 2

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Outside My Window ~ 01.04.2015

outside my window winter 2015

Outside My Window…is a unbelievably warm day and not at all like the photograph I choose as the background outside my window above.  We currently have mostly cloudy skies and a temperature of 71ºF….yes, you read that right.  A high of 76ºF has been forecast for today.  Hardly what I would expect for January 4th.  But don’t get too excited folks because we are going to drop about 30º for tomorrows high of only 46ºF and really get a jolt on Thursday when our high is only forecast for 28ºF.  Crazy ass weather.  We have been snow free thus far this winter and thunderstorms are in our forecast for today. I had read that we may not have much in the way of wintry precipitation this year.  I don’t mind the snow so much as I do the inevitable ice that always accompanies it.

I am thinking…that many of you are probably surprised to see this today.  I haven’t published one since April 6th of last year.  I was surprised myself when I saw how long it had been…didn’t realize so much time had passed.  You would probably be surprised at how long it has been since I have done a great many things I use to do actually. There are some milestones in life that don’t have any impact on you at all….and then there are some that have a profound impact.  All I can say is facing the reality of turning 60 this past year had a greater impact on my life than I thought it would.  We won’t even talk about the facing my mortality thoughts that ran through my mind, but the entire year was like a this is your life montage playing like some epic film.  I was thinking about things and people I haven’t thought of in years and years….from my early childhood up to this point in my life. I didn’t give it much thought in the early part of the year but as it played on I noticed it had an effect on me that I wasn’t prepared for. I couldn’t grasp the reality that this life as I know it is winding down slowly but surely and I didn’t have all those years in front of me like I once did. There were lots of what if’s and whys.  Christmas day was the big day and when I woke up that morning, it was done.  I was officially 60 years old and there was not a damn thing I could do about it now. But there was something I could do….I told myself to deal with it and let it go….so I did.  I stopped focusing on the number and decided I needed to live in the now and while it is nice to remember what has been, you can’t go back…it doesn’t work that way.  So I started making some plans again, working toward a dream ~ and then I got sick.  🙂  Not so bad, just enough to make me slightly miserable for the past week.

I am glad…that I got a flu shot this year only to hear the fabulous news that they probably weren’t going to work with what was out there.  I think I have been trying to catch it but have enough vaccine in me to hold it off to just slightly miserable.  I couldn’t help but wonder if I got the actual flu if it would be said and done with by now instead of this annoying hack/cough hanging on.  You know, kind of like let it blow up then run its course instead of fighting it off with maybe vaccines.  🙂  I kid…I don’t think I would have enjoyed the second half of my winter break fighting the flu.  I’m not so glad I have to go back to work again on Monday after two weeks off.  Sigh.

From my kitchen…has been not much and mostly leftovers because see above.  Appetite has not been strong this past week.  I do have some new recipes that I would like to try soon and if they turn out tasty, I will share them with you.

I am hearing…the ticking of my many clocks….a floor fan cooling the house off….an otherwise quiet house.

From my camera…a few photos from the past year.  They may be repeats to some, but not to others….

My morning glories this year (affectionately known as The Beast) about the time they started to bloom.  I do have some photos of it in full bloom but can’t locate them on the hard drive right now….will share another day.

the beast

Marley and Piper taking my neighbor Steve for a walk this past spring….


My niece and her newborn daughter this past November….

mom and babe

Credits for the Outside My Window composite can be found here.

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Outside My Window ~ 4.06.2014

outside my window spring 2014 for web

Outside my window…is a cool late afternoon in southeast Virginia.  Plenty of sunshine, blue skies but not quite as warm as it was for the past couple of days.  We have been see-sawing this spring….it rains or snows one day and then it warms up only to cool down to an unseasonable cool temperature.  The cycle has been running that course for several weeks now.  I think it is safe to say we have experienced our last frost, but I’m still not putting the plants out nor planting any seedlings yet.  It was 45°F when I woke up this morning and I don’t believe it has broken the low 50’s all day.  Tomorrow mid 60’s and rain…chance of rain for both Tuesday and Wednesday as well.  I don’t mind the rain so much now….it is a good thing to have with everything blooming.  It helps keep the pollen down to a breathable level. I noticed today that a lot of the trees are bursting forth…the flowering trees have already bloomed and will soon be turning over to green leaves. I always enjoy seeing spring come to this area, it really does come alive.

I am thinking…I may be a bit addicted to photography composites lately.  You may have noticed the new photo at the top of the post.  I actually just started out to change the window from a winter to spring scene and it morphed into what you see now.  I have been wanting to add curtains to my otherwise dull window and then I thought I would put in on a wall, and have floors and add stuff…..and well, there you have it.  Credits for the stock used in this image can be found here.  My plan is to change the image outside my window (which will always be my images) and the interior at different times of the year.  This is just the base if you will….I may even actually get myself in the photograph at some point.  🙂  I love the photo I used for outside my window today.  These are azalea bushes in my mother’s backyard, underneath the walnut trees lining a gravel road.  They are huge, with huge, vibrant flowers that almost form a wall.  The suitcase is out because during the spring and summer is when I typically take a trip to see my parents in South Carolina.

I am glad…I got the blog set up on the photography web site.  You can find the link for the free desktop calendars here this month and moving forward.  My goal is to keep this more friends and family, everything separate.  I am sad The Walking Dead is over until October of this year.  But oh what a year they gave us for Season 4!!  It did not disappoint me at all.  I know some have complained that the story line was too slow…my read is that these people tune in for the action and zombie hunts, they aren’t so much into the story or haven’t seen it from the beginning.  Then there are those of us who have been dying for some back story on these people we have been struggling along with, and this season we got it. The last part of the season was mind-blowing.  My head was exploding every Sunday night!  🙂   Can’t wait to see what they do in October when Season 5 begins.

From my kitchen…has been not much.  I have evolved on wrap preparations, and I may share that one day.  Ha!  I know you are all holding your breath for that one right?  🙂   Otherwise it has been a fairly quiet kitchen of late.  I have been cooking but nothing I haven’t shared on here before.  I think I may owe you a few…another time though.

I am hearing…the ticking of my many clocks….the dog snoring on the couch….an otherwise quiet house.  I may catch up on watching episodes of Grimm on demand when I finish this.  Most of the time I don’t make it on the nights they originally broadcast.  The only show I ever watch the night of original broadcast is The Walking Dead.  Once upon a time that show was Sex and The City….I was always ready when it came on HBO on Sunday nights.  Those are probably the only two shows that I have ever watched religiously.  I did get interested in Helix on the Syfy channel when it premiered.  Of course I had to catch up with it on demand, but it was a pretty good show.  Will be interesting to see where it goes in season 2, but that isn’t until 2015 sometime.  I hope they have a marathon before it begins so I can refresh my memory on what happened.  🙂

From my camera…is not all from my camera, but the couple is ~ and I put it all together.  Those of you that are friends with me on Facebook have probably seen these, but I’m posting for those of you that are not.  These are a couple of the composites I have worked on for them….the first one I created because he is in the Navy, second one is because they are huge Dallas Cowboy fans.  Like I said, a bit of an addiction I believe.  🙂

boat composite


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New For Outside My Window

outside my window spring 2014 for web

A new composite photo I created for Outside My Window series….I believe I’m a bit addicted to composites.  Wonder if there is a support group?  🙂

Credits for stock used








And my own resources.

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Free March 2014 Desktop Calendars

Yes, it can be done ~ calendars on the first of the month!  🙂

march spring flowers blog

To download a zip file of this calendar, click here.  There are six high-resolution images available so you can select the one that best fits your screen.

march sunset calendar blog

To download a zip file of this calendar, click here.  There are six high-resolution images available so you can select the one that best fits your screen.

Click the link and “save as” your file.  Make sure you take note where the file is saved.  After the download is complete, go to your saved zip file, extract the files by right clicking the downloaded file and selecting “extract all”….choose a location or accept the location the computer suggests {make sure you take note where the file was extracted}.  Now you are ready to get your calendar….find the extracted file, open and select the size that will best suit your monitor….right click on image and select “set as desktop background”.

These are free for personal use…and as always, if you have any problems ~ please let me know.

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….and another one….

I saw a video on this composite and decided to give it a go today….

Kissing couple






Wall Ivy


Column Ivy

Column Flowers

Sun Gradient




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In the spirit of the day….

the stone heart


Heart Balloons


Chimney/Window Bars


Pine Trees




Light Beams

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Outside My Window ~ 2.02.14

outside my window winter 2014

Outside my window…is blue skies and sunshine as well as moderate temperatures.  We are currently sitting at 55°F with an expected high of 60°F today.  Loving it! In the span of a week we had two snow storms with a total accumulation of approximately 9 inches.  The first snow came the evening of January 21st with a total accumulation of around 3 1/2 inches.  The temperature stayed cold enough for that snow to hang around until last Monday until we finally warmed up enough for all the snow to melt.  Last Tuesday another front and coastal storm moved in and this time we received a total accumulation of 5 1/2 inches.  There is still quite a bit of snow laying about even though we were 50 degrees or better yesterday and had quite a rain storm last night.  I think today and the 60°F will probably finish off much of what is left however it has nowhere to go.  The ground is heavily saturated.  I haven’t uttered these words out loud yet but it is official, I’m growing weary of winter.  We have had more than I would like to have 12°F but feels like 4°F mornings.   I won’t go as far as to say I want summer back because I’m not ready for the heat and humidity yet, but I wouldn’t mind it a bit warmer for a while.

I am thinking…I am going to have the change the theme I’m using for my photography web site before I can get the sell feature to work.  I’m not real happy about it and definitely not looking forward to the task.  That in itself could be the reason I’m putting it off.  Sigh.

I am glad…that it is only one more week ~ one more ~ before The Walking Dead is back!!     I’m not a fan of long mid-season breaks or even the short ones.  I must have missed the memo but I don’t understand the logic behind it unless it is to drive the viewers nuts with anticipation.  I did enjoy the season for AHS Coven.  I watched the finale this past Wednesday ~ I still feel bad for Misty Day.  I’m sad to see that one go but definitely interested in what is to come for season 4.

From my kitchen…a fairly tasty recipe I came across not too long ago ~ Rice Broccoli Chicken Cheese.  When you add the rice, adjust the amount to suit your preference.  Some people may like a lot, some not so much, you decide.  🙂


I am hearing…the ticking of my many clocks ~ the Zombie Bowl on television otherwise known as the early episodes of The Walking Dead ~ the dog letting a squirrel know he is not welcome in our backyard.

A recap of last week…well, not so much last week.  Recent posts included a winter composite and the free February desktop calendar.

Plans for the week include…working from home on Tuesday ~ hanging the new living room curtains ~ working on a Valentine’s Day composite.

One of life’s little pleasures…taking time for yourself once in a while.

From my camera…snow photos I thought you might like….

snow day 1


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