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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Camera Critters~ Here Kitty Kitty!

Camera Critters

This is not the first time Toby Cat has been featured on Camera Critters.  It is fun to go back and look at the photos I took of him last summer and compare them to the ones featured here.  The colors are amazingly different.  Not only is the time of year reflected in the colors around him, the lighting is entirely different.  The first set being taken on a warm summers evening, and these having been shot on a deary winters day.  I was also experimenting with color popping last summer, and have backed off considerably.  I found that is just isn't my style.


This particular day, I enjoyed trying to capture some of the details that make Toby such a special little friend.  


I love his eyes. There is just an interesting intensity to them. In fact, he looks a bit annoyed in this shot, don't you think?  What cat doesn't look annoyed sometimes?

I am in love with Toby's fuzzy chest and cute little feet. I adore this reminds me of a bunny.


Here's a close up of one of his eyes.  Not only is the eye beautiful, the marking of his fur around them intrigue me.  I love the outlining of his eye.

Then we have the tail. Sigh...I just love to watch a cat's tail moving, slinking, twitching. Toby does this really great slow curling and uncurling of his tail that is so soothing to me.


This shot shows the fabulous shape of the bridge of his nose, and the black dots that mark where his whiskers are attached.  

Lastly, we have another foot shot. I couldn't just choose one, and since I didn't get an ear shot that I liked, you get this bonus shot. I love how you get the sense of his claws clutching the wood.


Toby is an amazing animal. He is a lovely, gentle natured house pet, but he is known to leave all sizes of small vermin on our porch, from mice, to small rabbits. He is a great hunter, and yet a loving part of our family.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Three Corners~ Red

It was my turn again to chose a theme.  After much consideration, I decided we needed an easy month.  Nothing could be easier than a color, right?  So I chose RED! 


I snapped this first one in the first week, then most of the month went by with me forgetting to take pics.  I had to hit it into high gear this week, and search down some RED.

On Thursday, we had a lunch meeting at our boss' house.  While he cooked, and others set up for the meeting, I wandered around his house snapping pics.  My friend said it looked like I was CASING the joint.  tee hee.

I fell in love with this RED wooden bird.  It had really long, thin legs.  I took several snaps of it, but this one showed the color best.


After a delicious lunch of YUMMY soup and homemade bread, I couldn't resist taking a photo of the bright RED bowls we had used.  I love the light streaming in from the kitchen window. 


Please be sure to check out Jeanette and Lindy's blogs this weekend sometime to see their RED photos.  

***If you are a regular reader, and have not seen THIS POST, please check it out and consider posting a comment to help me out.  I think I was TOO mysterious.  Seriously, all you have to do is COMMENT.  There will be nothing more needed from you after that.  Don't be scared.  I just need YOU to be THERE. Thanks!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Photostory Friday~ I'm Sure the Squirrel was Surprised As Well

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

The other day, when picking Sugar Bear up from daycare/preschool, I noticed a pretty interestingly amused look on her provider's face.  Sugar happily skipped up to me holding out her papers she had done that day.  I quickly kneel down to her level.  This is always one of my favorite times of day.  She is always so eager to show me what she has created.  I thoroughly enjoy listening to her describe her work.  Usually, her teacher tends to go about her duties while Sugar and I look over her papers, but this time she was hoovering over us with the strangest look on her face.  Soon enough...I knew why.  The following coloring book page finally made it to the top of the pile.  As I gazed over it, Sugar began to tell me the story of her work.  


In an urgent, intense sort of loud whisper, Sugar Bear said, "Mama, this poor little squirrel was SOOOOOO scared.  All these needles were falling from the sky, and see this hit him in the eye.  See the BLOOD?  And the tears?  He is hurt and crying!"  

Wide eyed I said, "Oh my! THAT does sound scary.  Poor Little Squirrel. Do you think he will be okay?"  and Sugar replied as she laid her hand on my arm, "Oh yes, he ran to safety! Don't worry Mom."  Then she happily skipped away.  

I look up into the eyes of her teacher, as she held back a giggle, and softly whispered, "I have no idea where she got that.  Seriously....she came up with it all by herself."  We shared a little smile, and shrugged our shoulders.  

The next day....she colored a beautiful grey and white bunny with pink ears, and nose.  It was darling, but a lot less entertaining.  Guess which one is hanging on my fridge?

Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Hope You Dance

Back in 2000, when LeeAnn Womack released the song, I hope you dance, I instantly fell in love with it. The lyrics spoke to my soul, while the music melted my heart. I purchased the CD, and played it enough to make any sane person Loony. At the time, I wasn't entirely sure what my strong connection to this song was.

It wasn't until my little Sugar Bear came into my life, that I really, truly, honestly knew exactly what the song meant. Now not a single week goes by that I don't gaze at my little honey, and hear this lyrics playing in my mind. It is almost a fevered plea. Sugar Bear.......

(While holding the control button down, CLICK THE LINK ABOVE TO LISTEN TO THE SONG WHILE VIEWING THIS POST. It will open another browser. Thank you.)

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed


I hope you still feel small
When you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance


And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance


I hope you dance


I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance


Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out


Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance


And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
(Time is a real and constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)
I hope you dance


(Tell me who)
I hope you dance
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
(Where those years have gone)


I hope you still feel small
When you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance


And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance


I hope you dance
(Time is a real and constant motion always)
I hope you dance
(Rolling us along)


I hope you dance
(Tell me who)
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)


I hope you dance
(Where those years have gone)


(Tell me who)
I hope you dance
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder)
(Where those years have gone)

My dearest Sugar Bear.....It is my greatest wish that as you travel on your journey of life, you will choose to DANCE! I'll be the one standing in the wings clapping my heart out. LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!!!


Finding Inspiration

Once again, I have a post over at Blissfully Domestic. It is a simple little article about where I find my inspiration. All fans of photography....or simply fans of Sugar Bear should check it out. I wouldn't steer you would I?


Oh, and if you are a regular reader of Living and Loving Every Minute Of It, and haven't read this post....or more importantly....LEFT A COMMENT, please do so.

Please....pretty please....pretty please with sugar on top! Okay, so not my Sugar....that would be strange....just plain old white sugar. tee hee

Thanks everyone. Have a GREAT day!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I ♥ Faces~ Black and White

While excited to see this week's theme, I had a bit of trouble deciding on some photos. I have struggled along my photography journey with Black and White conversions. I am a bit picky about what makes a black and white photo look good, and have certainly wavered on how to best achieve the results I love. The truth is....everyday, along with some really amazing shots, I see poorly converted Black and Whites, and I study them in an effort to understand what makes a GOOD conversion, and what doesn't. I have yet to figure it completely out, so I am excited to peruse the photos entered this month, as it will give me plenty of images to ponder upon. 

After MUCH deliberation, I have decided to enter the following photo of a sweet little newborn. I have always loved this shot, even though some may not. For ME, it sets forth the image in my mind of a little hungry bird, craning his neck in TRUST that mama (or Daddy) will provide. It warms my heart.


For the first time, since I ♥ Faces has launched, I am also entering a photo in the Adult Category. This photo of my friend's, 18 year old son also speaks to me. It could be the fact that it was a concept I "dreampt up" and it came to light, that draws me to the photos in this set, or just the fact that it seems to capture HIM. Regardless...I love it. 


Do yourself a favor and head on over to I ♥ Faces and check out all the great BLACK AND WHITE photography this week.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Camera Critters~ Just a Dollop of Daisy

Camera Critters

There is a very special girl in our family.  Our almost three year old Black Lab, Daisy, is our sweet little honey pot.  


She is a constant companion of each and every one of us.  She lives and breathes to go places with the Hubby.  Mostly because HIS places are outside and adventuresome.  She loves to go swimming, or hunting, or swimming AND hunting.  She is a go getter, and feels pretty sad when left home when The Hubby's jeep starts up and leaves.

She prefers to lay at MY feet when we are in the house in the evenings.  She loves to rest her head atop my feet or crossed ankles.  I don't mind, as I'm always welcome of added body heat. 


Lastly, she ADORES The Sugar Bear (who doesn't???), and the feeling is mutual.  I took these shots last weekend when Sugar was throwing the ball for Daisy.  Isn't she a cutie?  Her left ear has issues.  She was born that way, but we love her anyhow.  Funky ear and all.  She is the BEST dog.  Well behaved.....potty trained.......loving......and I have only heard her bark ONCE in her life.  

She is a great companion for Sugar Bear. One time, Sugar and her were out playing on our deck, while I was cooking dinner. There was laughing and running involved. Sugar came inside and said, "Mama, we are having so much fun! Daisy and me are playing FREEZE TAG!!!!" tee hee...gosh I love my girls. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Photo Hunters~ Warm

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The theme for the week is WARM. It is such a great theme for this time of year. So many of us are just wishing and hoping for some WARM weather right about now. The winter doldrums are upon us...and we are seeking a way out of the cold deary days.

Several weeks ago, I joined a few friends for lunch. We absolutely do not spend enough time together. The fabulous togetherness WARMS out hearts, and feeds our souls. All too often, we let the monotonous activities of the days sap our strength, and feed into our sense of boredom. With in minutes of being together, we find ourselves laughing, which lifts our spirits.


This photo for me...not only is a reminder of my friend's WARM tea, but it represents the feeling of WARMTH that surrounds me when we are together.

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Photostory Friday~ What do YOU Think?

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Recently, I wrote an article for Blissfully Domestic that illustrated exactly how I feel about what Photography has given me

The other day, while Sugar Bear and I wandered around our little neighborhood, I spotted a great little puddle. Sugar tossed a rock into it, and delighted in the splash. WE are ALL.ABOUT.THE.SPLASH! Suddenly, I felt the urge to have a little chat about SINKING and FLOATING. I asked the Sugar to find a rock. As she held it in her hand, we talked about whether it would sink or float once she put it in the puddle. From extensive rock/puddle tossing experience she was well aware that it would sink....and it did. I then asked her if she could find something that would float. Quickly she surveyed her surroundings, and picked up a pine cone. She tossed it in...and it SUNK! We were both a little surprised, but talked about how wet and full of rain water the pine cone had been. We surmised that a dry pine cone really might float, but one wasn't to be found. 

Next she spied a leaf. She tossed it in the direction of the puddle. It briefly hoovered on the top of the water, and slowly started to sink. Sigh....Sugar was NOT impressed. Again we discussed that the leaf she has chosen was soaking wet, and that might have made it heavier than we thought. The hunt was on to find a dry leaf. Soon Sugar's little hand held up her find and she gently laid it atop the water.  We held our breaths......and floated.  A Sugar did a little happy dance, I marveled at the beauty I saw.  I knelt down marveling at the sight.  I quickly snapped the shutter before it had a chance to change.  

I'm dying to know.  Do YOU find beauty in this photo?

I have NOT edited this photo past a basic sharpening, and contrast adjustment.   I shoot my photos in RAW format, so I have to make those decisions in post processing because the camera doesn't do it for me, like it does in Jpeg.

I am in love with this shot.  I adore the milky brown water, the reflection of the sun, and how soft everything appears EXCEPT the leaf.  The tiny bubbles caused by the other objects that sunk.  Amazing.  I just LOVE.IT.SO MUCH!  Am I the only one?  Be honest.  Photography is an art, and we all like different things.  I appreciate that.  I embrace our differences.  Tell me what you think of this simple shot.  

Have a GREAT Friday!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

One Version of a Perfect Day

Rest assured, my dear friends, I have NOT forgotten about the QUESTIONS you all asked in my 500th post.  I simply seem to be treating it exactly like many things in my life........I'm procrastinating.  You see, there are some really GREAT questions that were asked that really deserve GOOD answers.  Good answers take time, and often TIME is not something I have.  So those questions are just sitting there....hoping to be given some of Corey's attention.

Tonight, I decided I had a bit of time to tackle one of the questions Kim, of Beanish and Other Languages I'm Learning, asked. 

 What's my version of a perfect day? 

I tend to be a pretty darn simple person, but funny enough, I find that I have several versions of a perfect day.  Tonight, I'll share a day that was quite near perfect in everyway.

Back in late November (YES, I said November.  I am ALWAYS hopelessly behind in editing and sharing photos.), the family set out for a day together.  This particular day, we had a mission that we all could get behind.  We went hunting for a Christmas tree.   Having a common interest is something that makes a day perfect for me.  Often the three of us have entire different ideas in mind for our day, which makes it difficult.  It is when we all WANT to do the same thing that it feels so right.

We loaded up in our truck and headed off up a narrowly winding road, deep into the forest.  On a whim, The Hubby brought a fishing pole.  As per usual, I packed my camera.  Not too far into our adventure we reached a little lake that The Hubby likes to "check out".  We were ALL more than happy to have a rest stop.  


Soon, we were all doing out THANG!  

The Hubby was testing the waters. 


While Sugar observed.




Daisy excitedly bounded to and fro.


Sugar Bear busied herself with exploring.



I eagerly aimed my camera at everything, but the kitchen sink.  (Let's not kid ourselves....if there had been a kitchen sink....I would have shot that as well!)



After awhile, Sugar Bear convinced me to play a rousing game of, Hide and Seek.  We both love this game.  She is an absolutly wonderful counter...


and a joyous finder.....


and well.....hider she is still working on.


It just couldn't have been better. The Hubby was happy. The Dog was delighted. Sugar Bear was entertained, and I...well.....I was pretty darn satisfied to get a shot like this:

Gosh I love reflections! certainly was a perfect day.  After we left, we continued on our way to find a Tree, and happily traveled home to our nice warm house, for a cozy evening at home.  


P.S.  If you are a regular reader and haven't commented HERE, please take the time to do that.  I NEED YOU!

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