Photo a Week: Stacked

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: Stacked

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) OF THINGS THAT ARE STACKED.

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This past June I enjoyed a visit to a farmers’ market in Washington DC.

Fresh vegetables stacked on tables…under tent after tent.

Local produce at its best.

Including carrots…as fresh as you could find anywhere…

carrots

 

Let’s compare to carrots from a plastic bag…in the produce section…at my local grocery store.

Stackable…

but just not the same…

baby carrots

 

Agreed?

 

Photo a Week: Something New

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: Something New

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) OF SOMETHING NEW.

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When a kid gets a new bike…if that kid is fortunate enough to get one…it is an exciting day. Exciting enough to document with a photo.

At least it was at our house.

When my daughter was five, she was so done with her Strawberry Shortcake tricycle. She was usually “done with” things like that far sooner than we thought she would be. In her mind, she was always ready for the next thing.

She helped pick out her new purple bike, complete with a bell similar to one I had when I was little.  We insisted on a helmet, which she was too young to protest. This was 1987 and children did not commonly wear bicycle helmets yet. She was the first one on the block to be seen with one.

The neighbors commented that we were overprotective. I did not care what the neighbors thought. Protecting her head when she (inevitably) fell off was uppermost in my mind.

It wouldn’t be the first – or last – time she heard me say I don’t care what the other mothers do/say/think.

Regardless, she was one mighty proud five year old with her new “big girl bike.” Training wheels and all.

new bike K

 

Her younger brother, on the other hand, graduated from a tricycle to his sister’s hand-me-down purple bike with training wheels. A bit banged up by then – 6 years later – but it still transported him around the driveway. Carefully up and down the street. And he didn’t seem to mind riding it. When you are not the first born, you often don’t get “something new” right away. If at all.

However, when my son outgrew his big sister’s bike, it was time for a new one of his own. Which he helped choose at the same local bicycle shop where we had gotten his sister’s bike before he was born.  By then a helmet was standard and seen on the heads of most of the neighborhood children. Thank goodness.

A mighty proud almost seven year old, he did not need those training wheels…

new bike T

…and off he went.

Photo a Week: Traditions

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: Traditions

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE ONE OR TWO OR MORE PHOTOS SHOWING A TRADITION YOU HAVE.

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Did you check the bathtub?
Look in the closet!
Behind the couch!
Under the table!

When my two children were growing up (and even when they were grown up and home for a visit), Easter morning meant hunting for Easter baskets.

During the Easter Bunny era, it involved more and more intricate hiding places as they got older. The thrill of the hunt was paramount.

The E.B. had to get extra creative (hence the bathtub)…or else the search was over in ten seconds.

After all, the E.B. filled four baskets with carefully selected jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, candy eggs and small stuffed bunnies. As the years went by…basketball cards, little books, stickers, trinkets & puzzles were added…

…so let’s make it a challenge! (thought the E.B.)

The E.B. was usually successful…and a sweet family tradition was born.

 

easter baskets1989
1989

 

easter baskets1993
1993

The sister and brother team eventually figured out where to look…every time.

Photo a Week: Texture

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: Texture

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE ONE OR TWO OR MORE PHOTOS WITH NATIVE OR ADDED TEXTURE.

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Friends of ours live in a home with a wood burning fireplace. Not a wood stove, but the old fashioned version where you build a roaring fire on a snowy winter day. Where flaming sparks crackle and fly when you toss more wood in to keep it going. The type of fireplace with the chimney for Santa. A real life yule log.

It’s for keeping extra warm while enjoying a book from the local library in the comfy chair nearby. Or while watching a Patriots game on television.

During one hot summer day, I noticed their growing collection of wood logs…freshly cut by our friend himself. Stacked very carefully in the backyard as they age and dry out. Waiting for the cold.

Textures ranging from smooth to bumpy to rough.

wood pile

Photo a Week: What’s for Dinner

Inspired by Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge: What’s for Dinner

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO OF A FAVORITE MEAL.

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In my family, there has never been such a thing as too much cheese. If a recipe called for 1 Cup, it would be a…very…heaping cup. Or let’s just sprinkle on some extra. Or use up the rest of the hunk.

My baked macaroni and cheese recipe – revised over the years – was a family favorite. My daughter has since tweaked it and made it her own; offering it to college friends and now her own family. Probably with even more cheese.

I had to change it up when I was diagnosed with celiac disease 10 years ago. Not because of the cheese (phew!), but the pasta. That was a challenge, as anyone who has cooked with gluten free pasta knows. I experimented with a few different pastas and cooking times until the recipe worked…complete with the bread crumb topping that – of course – is as important as the rest.

A recent dinner:
Gluten free macaroni and cheese
Green beans and a side of leftover chicken.
Tossed salad –  including home grown tomatoes from a friend’s garden.

plate

salad

 

Macaroni & Cheese Final Prep
Step 1: Sprinkle liberally with extra cheese
Step 2: Cover with buttered GF bread crumbs and crushed potato chips. Bake.
Step 3: Remove from oven

 

Dinner Time!

Yellow

Inspired by Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week: Yellow

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO FEATURING YELLOW.

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Yellow brightens my day.

Forsythia bushes are my favorite yellow. We had two at our former home…one in each corner of the front yard next to the street. Mother’s Day gifts from my husband and kids. The spot for photos during the few weeks each Spring when they were in full bloom.

I often remember the forsythia from my childhood. It had also marked one corner of the front yard at the house I lived in until I was eleven. I think it actually belonged to the neighbor next door, but its massive branches stretched in all directions…providing the perfect backdrop for family photos of squirmy kids in their Easter finery.

This past Spring my husband and I planted a small forsythia on the edge of the condo property. Within sight of our living room windows. 

forsythia

 

We also planted a few daffodil bulbs last Fall. What a delight to see flashes of yellow once again…

daffodils

…still brightening my days.

Photo a Week: Still Life

Nancy Merrill’s Photo Challenge this week: Still Life

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO OF STILL LIFE PHOTOGRAPHY.

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Wedgwood pottery/china caught my eye during my one and only trip to London in 1975. I was there with a group of college students for a 3-week winter semester break, ostensibly to study Art. Which we did.

We also did a bit of shopping.

I bought the ash tray while I was there. The other pieces in my collection were gifts or purchased when I got home.

I don’t think I ever ended up using the ash tray…why dirty something so beautiful?

wedgwood still life