Photo Blogging Challenge: Express Yourself!

photo blog challenge

The first month of 2017 is almost on the books, and here we are again with PJ’s monthly photo challenge. This month’s theme is Express Yourself. And, I must say it was more than a head-scratcher for me.

In the end, I opted to combine two of my loves to express a little of who I am and some of the mindsets that have made me who I am today. Those two components are photography and quotations. No extra commentary will probably be necessary for this month’s five. All the photos except the first one are from a trip Entrepreneur and I took earlier this month to Meridia Beach, Florida. The amaryllis was a December gift and was suppose to bloom for Christmas. Obviously, it knew my muse would need it for January!

express-yourself-1-blog

express-yourself-2-blogBTW, that “star” by the crescent moon is Venus.

express-yourself-3-blog

express-yourself-4-blog

express-yourself-5-blog

Be sure to visit PJ’s A ‘lil Hoohaa on January 31st and see what others expressed this month.

 

December Photo Challenge: Tis the Season

photo blog challenge

Imagine my surprise when I realized December was almost over and I hadn’t written one word here since Dec. 7th! And now, it’s time again for PJ’s monthly photo challenge over at a ‘lil hoohaa. This month’s theme is, appropriately, Tis the Season.

Tis the Season for many things around here. Tis the Season for losing my mind with the holidayz…which can put a person in a daze. Tis the Season for birthdays…The Golfer and my Mama. Tis the Season for winter activities…bonfires and snowballs. And, Tis the Season for family.

So, here’s my five:

Tis the Season 1
Tis the Season for Christmas! This was the first year Twix was big enough to be the designated tree topper….much to Peanut’s dismay.
tis-the-season-1

Tis the Season 2
Tis the Season for Ho Ho Ho Hats. Last year, Twix was not very cooperative with the Santa hat….or any hat for that matter. This year, she couldn’t get enough of wearing it. Peanut is an old pro at this so capturing this shot was much easier this year.
tis-the-season-2

Tis the Season 3
Tis the Season to burn the brush pile in the backyard. This annual event usually takes place on the first snow so we don’t set the neighborhood on fire. Coincidentally, this year’s bonfire fell during the time when The Floridian golfer daughter was back in town for the holidays. Neighbors are invited so they don’t freak out when they see the flames. We try to make it a time to gather friends and family for “s’more” food and fun. 🙂
tis-the-season-3

Tis the Season 4
Tis the Season for a birthday for The Golfer from Florida. And since she was home, it was also time to try to capture both daughters and grand girls since they were all in one place.
tis-the-season-4

Tis the Season 5
And, finally, Tis the Season for family. A rare occurrence when we’re all together in one place at the same time.
tis-the-season-5

There’s my five for December. Don’t forget to visit PJ’s place on December 31st to see the other seasonal festivities.

 

October Photo Challenge: Water

photo blog challenge

Here we are again, the end of another month—and ready for PJ’s photo challenge. This month’s prompt was Water. I know everyone is sick of me commenting on how quickly time is passing and how little of said time I seem to have each month. So I’m not going to say any more about that except that I was able to put together five water-based photos to survive another month. 🙂 If this prompt would have come in February, I’d have tons of beachy, vacay photos to share!

Watery #1
water-4-pond
My in-laws live on a farm and run a few head of cattle on their land. This is a shot of Entrepreneur’s brother’s house, taken from his parent’s barn lot. This is a shot of their backyard, and the cows are not allowed in this particular pond. But, now you’re stuck with shots from land-locked Middle Missouri.

Watery #2
water-2-birdbath
It is that time of year—Autumn, but our temps still say summer with the thermometer running about 20 degrees warmer than normal. The leaves are falling like rain from the trees and I did finally take in the hummingbird feeders….much to the yellow jacket bee’s irritation.

Watery #3
water-5-fog
The change in seasons is usually accompanied by temperature inversions. Here we have water suspended in mid-air (aka: fog). If the temps were colder, we would have had frozen fog on the cedar trees….one of my favorite things to capture with a camera.

Watery #4
water-3-car-wash-soap
What to do while sitting in the car and being pulled through an automatic car wash? Take photos, of course. This might make an interesting photo texture…hmmmm…the muse may need to play around with that idea.

Watery #5
water-1-droplet
My favorite of this grouping; front porch mums after a watery shower.

For more wet photos, pop over to PJ’s and see what others shared for October.

September Photo Challenge: My Town

photo blog challenge

Here we are again with PJ’s photo blogging challenge. This month’s theme is My Town. There are many aspects to life in my town, but most of these photos will be primarily in and around the University of Missouri’s flagship campus, located in my little town.

My Town #1
mmorial-union
The University of Missouri-Columbia (or Mizzou as it’s nicknamed) began in 1939 with an investment from 900 citizens of Boone County. The library was created in 1841 and the first graduation occurred in 1843. In 1862, the university closed from spring to fall because federal troops engaged in the Civil War were quartered in one of the buildings. This is a shot of Memorial Union, a massive, gothic-inspired building that was built as a memorial to the university’s alumni that died in WWI. Pledges from students and faculty totaled $238,000 and construction began. You can read more about the history of Mizzou HERE.

My town #2
jesse-hall
Jesse Hall serves as an admin building and houses the University Concert Series in an ornate theatre located inside the building. The original Academic Hall on campus burned in 1892, leaving the six columns you see in the photo. Jesse Hall was built in 1895 as the new “Academic Hall,” and renamed in 1922 after retiring university president, Richard Jesse.

My Town #3
mu-tiger-stripe-game
The university’s mascot is a tiger. The name was selected in 1890 shortly after the football team was formed. The name, Tigers, didn’t originate because of a love of the animal….it came from a band of armed guards called the Fighting Tigers of Columbia who, in 1864, protected the town during the Civil War. This photo was taken at the recent Tiger Stripe football game where each section of the stadium was supposed to wear either black or gold.

My Town #4
heidelberg-front
The Heidelberg restaurant and bar celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013.  A group of investors initially purchased former Ever Eat Café and renamed it The Old Heidelberg after one of the world’s oldest universities in Germany. It’s a beloved dining tradition among alums located across the street from the journalism school. The original restaurant burned in 2003 but was rebuilt because it holds many nostalgic memories among students and alums alike.

My Town #5
missouri-theatre
Just off campus is the Missouri Theatre. It’s a concert and theatrical production venue built in 1928, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s also the town’s only surviving pre-Depression building that housed a movie theatre and vaudeville stage. The theatre was designed after the Paris Opera House and the interior is done in the ornate baroque style of the Louis XIV and XV periods. In addition to offering theatrical productions, it is home to the area’s only professional orchestra, the Missouri Symphony Orchestra.

There’s my five for September. Please make a point to visit PJ’s place and enjoy touring other towns.

 

August Photo Challenge: Black and White

photo blog challenge

Another month has flown by and here it is, time again for PJ’s photo challenge. This month’s prompt was Black and White. I love black and white photography and the depth of the tonality that can be seen in the absence of color. And while it was tempting to just take photos and turn them into black and white ones, I tried to mix those with some that were really black and white.

Black and White #1
Children and flowers. They go together perfectly when you have a camera in hand….provided you can successfully capture them just at the right moment.
Twix BW

Black and White #2
Ditto #1
Peanut BW

Black and White #3
The Recruiter has a Black and White kitty named Darby. And, yes, this shot captures her personality perfectly.
Darby

Black and White #4
This beauty was seen at an area butterfly palace. I rarely see true black and white butterflies.
BW Butterfly

Black and White #5
As I was considering my fifth photo, it suddenly dawned on me that the solution was right in front of my eyes….every. single. day. My kitchen countertop is quartz and definitely has black and white swirls.
Quartz counter 72
The muse said you can do better, so I pulled it into Photoshop and tried to make it look more like a texture.
Quartz counter lite 72
Then, the muse prompted me to find a photo and try it out. So I pulled one from our recent trip to Florida. This is the above texture used with a soft light filter.
Intracoastal wine72
I like the idea, but the texture is not exactly where I want it so I’ll keep tweaking it….in my spare time. Yeah, right. I really just said that to keep the muse happy.

Black and White Bonus
This black and white kitty is no longer with us. Midget passed to the Rainbow Bridge late last year. She was Darby’s sister, but not a twin. But I always thought she was a very pretty black and white cat….but if you rubbed her fur the opposite direction, she had calico coloring.
Midget

There’s my Black and White five for the month. Please take time to visit PJ’s place and see what inspired the others this month.

July Photo Challenge: Photographer’s Choice

photo blog challenge

July’s prompt was our choice over at PJ’s A ‘lil HooHaa, and I chose Changes for the month’s theme. It seems our family has been in a state of flux for as long as I can remember. So, it seems fitting to have this month’s photo collection reflect the results of the past few years.

Changes #1
Our oldest daughter and family moved back into our house three years ago when her then-husband was discharged from the military and was going to college. If that wasn’t flux enough, she found herself as a single mom soon after Twix was born. Divorce and long-distance visitation schedules added to an already tenuous situation. A change in job opportunities has put her in a better financial position, and she recently bought a house for her and the grandbabykins. With the house came weeks of demo and reno, and she is hoping to move in to “her” place by the middle of August. We are excited for her, but I’m sure the change in our home dynamic will be met with mixed emotions.
new homeowner

Changes #2
What a difference a year makes. Last year, Twix was cautiously optimistic about the pool and everything that goes with it. This year, she is going underwater on her own and splashing Papa every chance she gets. Pool and Popsicle are synonymous words this summer. She has changed into quite the captivating two year old!
twix pool 2016

Changes #3
Peanut has been gone all summer to her father’s house for visitation. Changes…on steroids. Twix went for a couple of weeks and will build up to all summer in the next couple of years. That in itself is change enough, but having no Peanut around is a huge change for us. Peanut’s little corner of our home office sits empty…except when Twix is pilfering through its contents while she’s away. Add to all these changes that she will begin 2nd grade with a new house, new school and new friendship opportunities.
empty desk

Change #4
Our trip to Florida resulted in a change in the landscape around The Golfers’ home. Over the two weeks we were there, we transformed the front and back yards into something more in-keeping with their Florida, beach-y lifestyle.
yard crashsers

Changes #5
Yes, changes are coming to our home. For the past few years, we’ve grown very accustom to having the grandbabykins under our roof. It’s provided us a rare opportunity to create a special relationship with them. I know Peanut will remember the time she spent with us. We’ll continue to provide child-care for Twix during the work week until she goes to preschool, so there will still be time for her to form lasting memories. Even so, the changes that are coming will be bittersweet. But like the caterpillar that leaves its comfort zone to becomes something better, I’m sure these changes are for the best. Although life as we’ve known it the past few years will change….it will be an exciting, new time for everyone.
butterfly

Be sure to stop over at PJ’s tomorrow, July 30th, to see what others chose for their July theme.

June Photo Challenge: Baseball

photo blog challenge

Here we are again with PJ’s photo blogging challenge. June’s prompt was baseball….since PJ is a huge baseball fan! Unfortunately, I’m not a huge baseball fan, so this was a bit of a head-scratching exercise for me. On a side note, I like movies about baseball….Bull Duram, The Natural, A League of Their Own, Major League 1, Field of Dreams, Angels in the Outfield etc. ….but to sit at a baseball game is not my idea of a great time.

The caveat to the above statement is when one of our hometown teams is in the World Series playoffs or final games; then, I’m all in.

Since this prompt was difficult for me, and the month (like the last two) got away from me, I only got four shots. My apologies, but it’s the best I could do.

Baseball #1
This shot is an unconventional take on the game; an improvised game with a pool noodle and beach ball.pool baseball

Baseball #2
The Dollar Store is a plethora of items and a couple of them proved helpful for this month’s challenge. Probably not the highest quality balls or bases, but then what do you expect for $1?
dollar store

Baseball #3
A couple years ago, we bought The Recruiter a new purse. Her requested pattern. Her sister, The Golfer, has a matching one in a Cardinals motif.
royals purse

Baseball #4 and  possibly #5
While I don’t religiously follow our state’s baseball teams, I do get updates on my phone on their games. Since I live smack in the middle of the state of Missouri, I can claim both the Royals and the Cardinals as my team. Since these were two screen shots, I’m counting them as two entries….oh yes, I can. 🙂
team updates

And that’s the end of the inning. Swing on over to PJ’s for more June baseball-related photos.