I’m back…

Interview with a vampire Alba.

Hello Alba, what’s happening in Alba-land?
Hello Alba, oh my! Where do you want me to start?

Well how about where have you been for the past (quickly looks for last blog post) 5 months?
5 months!!! That’s rubbish 😦 I should probably win an award for least productive blogger. If I have any followers left, thanks for sticking around!
So, not to bore y’all, my last 5 months in a condensed version have been – working hard on my new website design business, catching up with family, going on a road trip for a big anniversary (which hopefully I’ll blog about with photographs… if I ever get round to editing them!), and the biggie… husband getting a new job, selling our house in Illinois and moving to Ohio.

Oh wow, how is Ohio then?
Cold! But so far so good. I think I’m going to like it here. Luckily I can work from anywhere so the move isn’t affecting my job. The people seem really friendly, plus I keep getting asked my age when I buy wine. It’s the little things that make you happy. πŸ˜‰ Hmmm, that makes you sound like I’m buying it every day… I’ve bought it twice. πŸ˜€

Do you have a new house then?
Yes, but it’s only a temporary home until we decide whereabouts in Ohio we want to live. It’s a bit of a squeeze though, fitting a 4 bedroomed house into a 2 bedroomed apartment. πŸ˜‰ We’re at the age now where we want to downsize though, so it’s all good.

Can we expect more blogs from you now?
Ermmmm, mumble, mumble… YES, of course! πŸ˜‰

Anyway the important last question. How is Dawg?
Dawg is fine. He misses his huge back garden and chasing squirrels, but he is loving all the extra walks. He was great at travelling and had his first ever overnight stay in a hotel, where he only barked 3 times. Well, who knows what kind of giant squirrels were outside the hotel room door! The only thing Dawg isn’t liking is the fact there’s no carpet in the living room. He thinks he’s allowed to sit on the couch or sleep on the bed now… don’t tell anyone, but when hubby isn’t here, I let him. ❀

50229538_1882361101886461_1405216361839329280_n
Lake Erie
49900356_1882361111886460_2991573128301248512_n
Lake Erie
49348763_1882361158553122_8207321411870523392_n
Lake Erie
Advertisements

Magical sunsets

A favourite sunset quote for me is “It’s almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream”. So true, especially for someone who lives in a dream world half the time.
Last month when I spent some time in Florida with family, my sister and I got to spend an evening at the beach together to watch the sunset, with the added bonus of a dolphin, a manatee and giant stingrays in the water. I don’t have any photos for those sadly as I only had my compact camera with me and amazing as it is, it can’t compete with what our eyes can see.
I was fortunate to be in the right spot at the right time to see a sailing boat go past just as the sun was dipping down under the horizon. All rumours about a wee Scottish wuman pushing fishermen off the side of the pier to get the best position for the shots were strictly imaginary.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Crocodile Dundee…

Or maybe that should be Alligator Alba? Anyways here’s some alligators from my recent adventures in the Florida Swamplands.

*Note no alligators were harmed in the taking of these pictures.

**Also note, no humans were harmed in the taking of these pictures.

Florida68

Just swimming along, minding my own business when I’m disturbed by cameras and people going “ALLIGATOR!” Blooming humans!!

Florida69

Say “Cheese” for the camera.

Florida70

You know what they say – Never trust a smile on a crocodile. But Alligators are OK. Aren’t they? You can trust their smiles?!?

Florida71

So calm, so inviting…. MUST….NOT…PADDLE….

Florida72

That is one trusting (or dumb) bird!

Florida73

He has his beady eye on me…!!!!

Florida74

Florida swamp – Myakka River State Park actually

Florida75

Pretending to be a log…. we can see you!!

Florida77

Not an alligator. Not even when you grow up will you be an alligator. Arry, yer a lizard!

Florida88

Mr. Alba is SO trusting… “Go a little bit nearer dear, it’s for the photograph!”… hehee

Florida102

Lurking

Florida103

Doesn’t it look great? We also canoed up a river with alligators (Wekiwa Cold Springs State Park) but we didn’t see any alligators when we were on the river. Which is a good job as I had my 10 year old nephew in my canoe and I don’t think there is much meat on him. I’d make a much better lunch for an alligator! :-/

Florida105

Swamps can be beautiful too

Florida104

You know, it hadn’t even crossed my mind to molest an alligator….

A blog… I used to have a blog…

Hi Blogging friends,

Life is stressful and hectic and not always fun at the moment, hence my lack of blogging, but I thought you would want to see the latest addition to my (extended) family.

This is Pup. Daughter broke up with her boyfriend and got a puppy. Good call daughter. πŸ™‚

Flynn lowres

Dawg loves him. Dawg loves him maybe a little TOO much. Dawg doesn’t care Pup is also a boy dog. I think it’s time for Dawg to get neutered….

 

 

Just checking in…

As Ronan Keating once said “Life is a rollercoaster”, but as I can’t even remember the tune to the song, never mind the rest of the words, it somehow becomes jumbled into 10cc’s song ‘Life is a Minestrone’ and MY words end up being “Life is a rollercoaster, mixed up with parmesan cheese. Life is a bowl of pasta, suspended in deep freeze”. Feel free to sing along with me. Correct lyrics are optional.

I think that just about sums life up for me at the moment.Β  A rollercoaster is right. My body is falling to bits; I’ve had bronchitis, then influenza and now I’ve twisted my knee and am finding it hard to walk. The other dips in the rollercoaster ride called life are that I’m selling my house and IT’S EXTREMELY STRESSFUL! Come buy my house people!!!! Don’t get me wrong, I have loads of plus points in my life too, actually too many to mention, but sometimes I wish the rollercoaster would just trundle along at 15mph on a straight bit for a wee while.

I read something today that feels right to share with all you lovely bloggers – “Take 30 seconds to think of three things you’re grateful for at this moment in time”.Β  Well I thought about it and I have plenty of things to be grateful for, but at this precise moment in time these are the three things I’m grateful for :-

  1. The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day
  2. My puppy
  3. This is my birthday week

Tell me three things you’re grateful for in the comments if you want. I’d love to read them.

Owl
Barred Owl

An owl. Nothing to do with the post at all, apart from the fact it was so cool to see him in the trees. Actually he was sitting on the grass till my dog decided he was trespassing and chased him off. This is a huge crop with my 300mm zoom at it’s longest length so not the best photo, but still very exciting to see it in real life.

Happy May Day Bloggers.

 

Greetings Bloggers

Life. Not so long ago I had all the time in the world, to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I was sometimes even *whisper* bored. What a young fool I was….

Only kidding. I love being busy. Life is good my blogging buddies. I have more work than I can do. My kids are both happy, settled and living life to the max – daughter just road-tripped during spring break to Texas and now wants to move to Austin – son is busy learning to blow up the world studying nuclear, atomic and plasma physics (well, he might not be blowing up the world, but I have no idea what he actually does at university). Husband got head-hunted and just started a new job and we’re about to sell our house and move to the next State over (Help!!) Oh and I’ve been ill and it dragged on for a whole 3 weeks. I don’t have TIME to be ill! All of which leaves me very little time for photography or blogging. But as a friend said to me, surely I can spare a few minutes (42 to be exact) to talk about life, the universe and everything.

So a couple of weekends ago, after 8 years of vague “oh yeah, we’ll come visit you soon!” we actually did go visit some friends in Cincinnati. A 3.5 hour drive from where we currently live was just far enough to be enjoyable but not too far to be “are we there yet?” I loved Cinci and enjoyed being touristy, but 2 of the highlights of the quick trip were Jungle Jims International food store and Nicholson’s Scottish Pub. Jungle Jim’s has a whole aisle of British food so $210 later we were sorted for crisps (potato chips), chocolate, biscuits, more chocolates, Magners Pear Cider, a tin of Quality Street (chocolates) and a tin of haggis. You can take the lassie out of Scotland… etc. etc.

Photography wise I was snapping away with my Fuji compact camera as I didn’t want to lug my DSLR all over the city. It does a fabulous job and it’s so easy to stick it in auto for night shots or when you don’t have time to mess about with the manual settings. Another thing on my ‘to-do’ list when I get some free time (hah!) is to look into Topaz Editing Software. I downloaded a free trial but haven’t had time to play about with it very much but for the five minutes I have used it for it was SO much fun! These pics were all edited with Topaz and I can see me having endless hours of fun with it.

Anyway just saying hi “Hi!” and letting you know life is good from where I’m sitting. Hope it’s good for all of you too.

Alba.

Cinci topaz 2
Cincinnati buildings
Cinci topaz 1
Cincinnati bridge
Cinci topaz 3
Cincinnati Ball Park

 

Burns Night (25th January)

In honour of my Scottish roots I thought about making a Burns Supper tonight for dinner (haggis, neeps and tatties) but due to the lack of haggises in Illinois (there are no mountains for them to run around), and my unwillingness to pay $10 plus delivery for a tin of haggis from Amazon, we’re having lasagna instead.

True fact: Haggis only run round the mountainside in an anti-clockwise direction, therefore they have 2 legs on one side shorter than the other two. That’s how you catch them. Chase them clockwise round the mountain and they fall off. It’s a well known fact in Scotland. Ask The Google. Ignore the Wiki answer though and read the others. YW.

So the traditional Rabbie Burns poem that we read tonight is called ‘To a Haggis‘ but I’ve made my own version called ‘To a Lasagna‘….

Fair fa’ yer honest sonsie face,Β 
Great Chieftain o’ the pasta race.’

That’s as far as I got. It’s a work in progress.

tomatoes

Tomatoes. Absolutely nothing to do with Burns Night, haggis or even lasagna (except it’s an ingredient) but I didn’t have a photograph to match the blog post.

Anyway enjoy some traditional Scottish music brought into the 21st Century by Paolo Nutini.

SlΓ inte!