Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Picture 185 - Blueberries

One of the best things about living in Michigan is the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. For the person who has the motivation, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, and apples are all available for picking when they come in season. Today I spent the afternoon at Gold Barn picking. Turns out the only way to tell the difference between types of berries is to taste them. Not a problem for me. Three for the bucket, one for me to taste. Repeat till bucket is full.

Picture 184 - so close

One of the things I love about coming home is swimming in the pool on a daily basis. Last summer the temperature got above 80 only once while I was home. This summer it hasn't really dipped below 80. I'm loving the weather, but I'm missing the pool. When it was opened, it was discovered that the old liner had ripped and it needed to be replaced. Yesterday the pool repair guys came, put the new liner in and began the process of filling the pool. Only a few more days now until I can kick back, relax, and chill poolside.

Picture 183 - The Mighty Hunter

Lucy decided that she wanted to sit on the rocking horse, the plant in the background made for just the right setting.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Picture 182 - Photo Fun

A friend's little girl turns 1 this summer so I asked if I could come and take her pictures to get some practice. Here she looks just like her momma.

Picture 181 - Beauty

To me, one of the most beautiful things are sunsets and sunrises. Living in NC doesn't allow for me to see many between the hours that I'm working and the constant hills and valleys. Coming home to MI allows me to get my fix. Now just to get out to the lake and see a few more.

Picture 180 - all better

For about a year my check engine light was on.

It was because of an Oxygen Sensor issue, but as it really never had any impact on my car's performance, I never got around to taking it in. Finally, Thursday, I managed to get it into the shop and get it fixed. It's nice to turn my car on and not see the little orange light that I've become so accustomed to.

Picture 179 - oops, out of order

It seems I am beginning to forget what I did each day. The goal of the day was to take a picture of the new dish I made at my sister's house. But seeing as it smelled delicious and we were super hungry, I forgot to take the picture until after the meal was finished. We then slipped into a food coma and settled in to watch an episode of Wild China. All that to say, I knew what I wanted to take a picture of, I just forgot to do it. Ah well, better late than never.

Picture 178 - Work Day

One of the things that I was working on this summer was getting the deck washed, stained and sealed. After several days of getting too much sun, I learned my lesson and stuck to the shade. It's amazing what a power washer and some patience can do to improve the look of wood.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Picture 177 - Projects

Last summer one of the things I accomplished was getting the bushes trimmed. Seems I did such a good job that the task was saved for me this year. I love being able to help around the house and it's even better when I get to hang out outside too. The sun was shining with a light breeze blowing. It was a great day and it's always nice to see a finished product that looks much improved.

Picture 176 - 4 years in the making

Fireworks have always been my nemesis when it comes to taking pictures. No matter how many settings I played with or how I adjusted the exposure, it never seemed to come out right. But finally, Sunday night, I managed to catch some good shots. I love the tradition of going to Grand Rapids and seeing all different sorts of people there. Hopefully, July 4th will always find me on the Pearl Street Bridge, hanging with the fam.

Picture 175 - yummy-ness

Every time my extended family gets together, my mom makes Texas Sheet Cake. This time I got to be home to help her make it. The best part about helping in the kitchen is still getting to clean the whisk after the frosting has been finished.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Picture 174 - Stripping and painting

My dear friend Elaine and her husband have recently purchased a house in need of a makeover. To that end, we spent today stripping the old varnish off, sanding everything down, and painting them white. I love home improvement projects and I enjoy being able to help people. Put the two together and I'm loving life this summer.

Picture 173 - Beach Day!

It's the Beach (Lake Michigan style)!! 'Nuff said.

Picture 172 - Sisters

I am fully aware that outside of myself, my family and a few others are the only people that read this journal. That's okay with me because I didn't start this to have followers, I started it to keep a record of my life for a year. With the knowledge that my sisters will read this, I am hesitant to get overly sentimental and mushy. But, suffice it to say, I am so very happy to be able to be in their company and honestly don't think that anybody out there has any better sisters than I do. I love you guys and am so proud to be your sister.

Picture 171 - Tennis Tuesday

In an attempt to not lose any skill I might have gained in the last few months of practice, Elaine and I have decided that 9 am on Tuesdays will be a perfect time to play tennis. Of course, more catching up happens than points scored, but it's an enjoyable time none the less.

Picture 170 - Goals

I hate running. No, no, make that I abhor running, or at least what running represents to me. All through elementary school I dreaded that time every spring when we all had to go out and run a mile. I was not an athletic child by any stretch and I remember wondering what I could do to get out of the run. But, no matter what I thought of, nothing was plausible and I would be forced to run, always being the last to finish while all my classmates sat and waited for me. As I have grown out of my childhood insecurities, I've found that I do enjoy sports and physical activity.... except running. I will do aerobics for two hours gladly before I would run a mile. But now that I'm home and my parents have a treadmill, I am going to attempt to conquer the stigma that running has for me.
It's kinda like some of my students that come to me and believe that they are bad readers. In fact, I had a student say to me, "I suck at reading". Because he believed this of himself, he then didn't put in effort to improve because he felt he couldn't. Drawing the obvious parallel to running, I have long believed myself to "suck at running" and so have never really pushed myself to try. This summer I am setting the goal that I would attempt to run 5 out of 7 days. I am home for 5 weeks, so that should be a total of 65 miles by the end of the month. I may never be someone who loves to run, but there's no reason why I should fear it.

Picture 169 - Fraidy Cat

At my apartment Linus is the alpha cat. He really does have the run of the place. Now that I'm home and Tree is around, he just doesn't know quite what to do. He spends most of his time hiding on my shoulder or up on chairs (he tried getting up on the table, but after a few days of getting squirted with a water bottle, he got the idea).

Picture 168 - Home, Sweet, Home

The goal was to be on the road (as in driving, not packing, not still getting organized, not just getting out of bed, but driving) by 4 am Sat. morning. Turns out I didn't quite make it, but by 4:03 I had pulled out of the driveway with two cats and a month's worth of luggage. By 5:45 I was looking at a gorgeous sky above my hometown. The drive was smooth and the car had no troubles. Now for five weeks of relaxation.