NO SPRING CHICKEN

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The leafless winter Plumeria

As I sent Nico off to school with a friend this morning I dragged myself into the house. I kept hearing my son say,”You’ve got to rest mom. Stop trying to do everything. Your almost 70 and I don’t want you getting pneumonia.”

Winter seems to be upon me in more ways than one.

¬†It was just last month when my daughter and grandson went off to Disneyland for a vacation with siblings and her dad. With my son-in-law constantly at work it was like I had the whole house to myself, well with the exception of four dogs who “dogged”me, for 10 days.

Not having to get up at 5:30 AM to take Nico to school or worry about getting his breakfast ready in time to get him out the door by 7:30 was a vacation enough for me. Who needs Disneyland? I had plans. Ideas to put into action, and best of all time on my hands.

I tore the front yard apart, dragged all of the potted plants to the back, rearranged the back and re-potted plants until I couldn’t stand up anymore. Everyday I worked on a long neglected project that I could not do before because of having to stop and help with Nico. I’m one of those who won’t do anything if I can’t devote the whole day to it.

So everyday I worked until I dropped. Then I started in on my sewing. Projects in the drawer that needed to be finished to take to the hospital for the children were completed and lots of bunnies sewn. I was feeling so invigorated. I thought if I can keep this up then I can start back to wandering around the island to take photos and add to my blog.

But all good things must come to an end. My family came home and my vacation was over. In to the house came my grandson hacking and limp. He was sick! My daughter was sick! Everyone came home sick!!!

I did what I could for my little guy as he stayed home on the couch taking tons of medicine and watching cartoons. My sewing came to a full stop. The yard thankfully was in order but watering slowed down and I just knitted.

Now I am not even knitting. I’m dragging myself from room to room sounding like a cacophony of seals. And so as I sat this morning in my chair looking out the window wishing I could do something I see a bird puffing himself up in the strangest way in a tree. Dizzily I get up and head for my camera. I’ll be darned, I think, if I can’t at least take a photo from home. By the time I get back to the window he is gone.

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My inspiration

This sucks! It’s going on 8 days now and I’m tired of dragging around. I was always the one that was over the worst of anything within two days. I’m still dragging but I remember. Though winter has come and it has stripped my plumeria tree of all its leaves there is still one small hopeful bouquet trying to bloom on it. It gives me hope. Yes I might be heading into my winter years but I’m still trying to bloom. Like my plumeria I will sprout leaves again. And when I do I will work hard to keep healthy as now I realize I’m no spring chicken anymore.

Just a thought. Rick Braveheart Do you think I could have picked up what you had while reading your blog ūüôā

 

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Shooting with a Canon

I’ve not taken my point and shoot out of my purse since I got my new Canon. But I’ve not really gone anywhere to use it either. With my youngest grandson though I don’t need to.

After picking him up from school yesterday he was up in his room being very quiet. (evading his homework) I pulled things out of his bag looking for his work that he needed to be doing. I pulled out his recorder, one of those flute like plastic jobs that they give kids in school for music.

Just then he came down the stairs looking like a wild cockatoo.¬† I couldn’t help myself. This is what came to mind.

“To rid your town of this verminous pox, my fee is fifty thousand guilders.”
The pied Piper of Hamelin

GET THE PICTURE? OR HOW MY NIKON MORPHED INTO A CANON 60D

My old Nikon DSLR died. Not that it mattered. I was so frustrated trying to figure it out that I used¬† my Nikon Coolpix in its place for the last couple of years. But it was at the hula competition (Oh, I’ve forgotten to blog that!) that I once again tried to use the old Nikon.

After a flurry of under exposed, blurry and heartbreaking shots the camera gave up the ghost and sent me a message from beyond. Error!!! That meant I had to take it to the camera shop where I was told it would cost more to fix it then it would to buy a new camera.

After crying the blues and expressing how frustrated I was with the old Nikon anyway I thought I would just stick with the Coolpix.  But a part of me was weeping inside just knowing that no longer would I have that DSL sitting in my closet waiting. After all I thought there might be a time when I would end up in the hospital with a broken leg hoisted high and me with nothing to do but study that damned camera and finely get the hang of it.

After going on and on about the complexities of a DSLR as opposed to an SLR to the salesman he pointed out this Canon 60D. When he said it came with the 18 to 200 lens, he had my undivided attention. Then he said that this Canon Camera was much easier to use and that I would not have to worry about all the bells and whistles that made the Nikon so hard to use. Now he had me thinking, do I have my charge card with me?

OK. What a simpleton I was. He showed me how easy it was to use and that I only need put it on manual and all of the aperture, ISO, and speed settings would come back to me in no time. Hmm I’ve not found my memory getting better as my hair grows grayer but then he really was convincing as he pushed a button here and spun a dial there.

I Un-holsterd my charge card as quick as I could.He rang me up as quick as he could (hands rubbing together) I Skipped down the stairs from the store, (Actually walked carefully holding on to the railing but as quick as I could) hopped into my car and took a spin to my son’s house to show this wonderful, simple to use, can’t wait to take photos,Canon camera to him (he’s the only one that would be just as excited as me.)

As soon as I got there I realized this was the first time I had held the camera! I didn’t even know how to turn it on let alone use the monitor.¬† I started to hyperventilate as I saw myself stuffing it into the closet .My son calmed me down. He said “this is a toy mom. Take it one step at a time. Play with it until you have mastered that step and then move to the next.”

So today I took the first step. I watched the DVD that came with it. And after watching and re-winding  the first part of the DVD for two hours this is all I could figure out.

Looking out the living room window or where did the living room go?

Trying to experiment with Manual mode the only thing I could manage to figure out was the speed. How in the Sam hill was I supposed to do the aperture and ISO I still have not a clue. So I clicked on the DVD again and went on to the next lesson.

Aperture-Priority and depth of field. The tutorial said click on the AV setting and practice with subject up close.

So here are those results.

This is a photo of my poor garlic Chives. It is amazing that it even bloomed as Cadie, my boxer has made meals out of the whole hedge of them.

Looking up at my plumerias

Looking down at my plumerias

I could not get a very good close up before the whole thing started to blur. Do I need a micro lens? Nope not going to go there. But I did not feel that the background was blurred at all. Back to the old drawing board.

This hibiscus refused to co-operate to the point that it even turned its face from me as I tried to focus.

I got bored as I knew that I needed to test it where I would really need to blot out the background. But by the time I unlock the lens, setting, and camera I am sure I will have missed the shot. But don’t count me out. I’ve mastered my Facebook, Tumblr, twitter and my Mac (well not mastered but at least I can set them up now. )

Though it’s taken me two hours to get through the first 15 minutes of the DVD I shall return. I’m determined to get those shots of the hula as they were meant to be seen. Meanwhile my old faithful model sat and looked up at me smiling as only a boxer could.

Cadie

Under exposed, over exposed she doesn’t mind. She is always there to make me feel better. She knows I’m the little train that could. I think I can, I think I can……

Not So Exotic Hawaii or weeds can be pretty too.

What is the first flower you think of when you think of Hawaii? I bet many will say “orchids!” But as you drive throughout the island you will be hard fixed trying to find one. It’s not to say they don’t grow here I’ve seen them wild in the mountains but they are very, very small orchids.

As I drove Nico to school today, and I must say, it is always when we are running late, I came upon this site. Weeds!

I pass this patch every morning but this morning I was bound and determined not to pass it by without taking a photo.

It is the winter sunrise that hits this patch every year and turns these weeds into a beautiful orange that makes me think. You can find beauty no mater where you live and it does not have to be an exotic orchid to capture your attention.

So I pulled to the side of the road, checked my watch and praying time would stand still I whipped out my trusty camera and took the photo. Normally an eyesore growing in front of someone’s house, the winter sun breaths life into that patch and cheers me every morning as I rush to get Nico to class. And you know what? Time did stand still. I got him to school with minutes to spare.

Then as I headed North to pick up pills for the newest addition to my pack, our boxer, Caddie, I passed a wall of flowers that I have passed for many years.¬† Every time I passed it I would say, I’ll come back and photograph it. But then we moved and I had not seen the wall in years. But as I zoomed towards Mililani and the vet the wall called out to me.

OMG the wall is in bloom! But I could not stop as I had just minutes (as usual ) to get to the vets. The sun was hitting it perfect, the oranges were popping and it was right at its peak, covered with blooms. Don’t ask me what kind of flowers, that I’ve never known. But they are not exotic, there just common flowers I’m sure.

After leaving the vets I came upon it again. I stopped at the bus stop and while keeping an eye out for the bus I hopped out of the car and this time I would not pass up the opportunity to get the photo. And here it is close up.

And this is the wall at its full length.

So no matter where you live I am sure you have a little bit of Hawaii out there in a weed patch or wall that when the season and sun or just right they take your breath away. In fact if you have a photo of it send it in or to my email and I will share it with the rest of my readers. Just remember to stop and smell, no photograph the flowers, Hawaii can be anywhere.