Momma, let me in!
I am so excited right now. I finally went out and bought my first DLSR. I have wanted to buy a DSLR for many years, but when my beloved DSC H1 finally took a dive several years ago, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on a decent DSLR. So, I settled for the new version of my old favorite…the DSC Hx1. Now, I loved that camera for the last 2 years, but I always wanted an SLR. Even though I could use full manual mode on my old camera, I craved the versatility of changing lenses, filters and being able to do more with my camera.
Dave decided to buy an SLR over Christmas last year and settled on the Canon T3i. I have been eyeing that camera ever since. Then, in an interesting twist, I realized that my neighbor Sara has a Canon T3i. I played with that camera for a couple of days, and then decided to at least look at the available SLR’s on the market.
My choices were….
the Nikon 3200
the Nikon 5200
I finally decided on the Canon T3i. I really had my eye on the Canon T4i, but just could not spend the money. I know, I am cheap! I found the Canon T3i for $549 at Meijer and then opened up a Meijer credit card and got an extra 15% off. So I feel like I got a deal. It came with a 15-55mm lens which I love. I have been fiddling with the manual modes all day. I pretty much focused on how to work the full manual mode and the aperture to get the best pictures. here is a little taste of what we did today.
Harley has decided he is the hansomest boy in the whole world! Now I just have to work on lighting and I will be all set It’s a work in progress….
Have a great week.
Posted in Harley, Summer Fun | Tagged camera, Canon T3i, Harley, outdoors, photography, strawberries, summer | Leave a Comment »
I am agonizing over the decision to buy a new camera. Right now I have a Sony DSC-Hx1. It takes really good pictures, and I can use full manual mode but it is a little bit of a pain. Also, I cannot get any new lenses. I usually just use the automatic mode just because it is easier, although I have played quite a bit using the full manual mode. Harley has gotten a little conditioned to the sound of my camera. When I turn the camera on, it chimes, and Harley instantly picks his head up and starts looking around. That sort of ruins the moment when he is being cute and I want to just capture a “natural” look
I have been wanting a SLR camera for ages and have never taken the plunge. Nathan has always said that I should totally get a SLR, but that I need to sell my current camera. He thinks that once I get a SLR, then won’t use my camera and it will must sit….He is probably right.
I also have a little point and shoot camera which I love. So, a girl doesn’t need that many cameras. My birthday is coming up and I have decided to see if I can get some help buying a entry level SLR. The problem is I just don’t know which one to get. Until then, I am going to use the full manual mode on my current camera just to brush up on all the concepts.
I am narrowing the decision down to a Canon T3i or a Nikkon D5100. My neighbor Sarah has a T3i and let me borrow it for the night. I love it, but still am a little nervous to finally settle on it. I know. I am weird. It is really hard to settle on one brand, as once I start buying lenses for it, I will want to stick with the same brand if and when I want to upgrade to a better SLR.
Anyone out there have any helpful hints on how to choose between the many different SLR’s that are out there? That would be greatly appreciated!
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
While I was busy doing the basement and the garden, Nathan was busy cleaning the garage and getting the Camaro cleaned up. It’s amazing how much work the new car was taking. I always thought a new car was already done, but Nathan has been busy cleaning, waxing, changing emblems and what-not.
We finally decided to take the car out and take some pictures. It’s kind of a family tradition that every time we get a new to us car, we take it out and get pictures. Today was the day. It was a beautiful day for pictures. Our neighbors may think we are insane though. We spent about 45 minutes taking pictures of the car at all angles. Here are a few of the results. I hope you all have a great week.
Posted in Harley | Tagged summer, cars, transportation, Camaro, new car, family tradition, beautiful day | Leave a Comment »
The entire month of May (and a little of June) has just flown by. Sorry for the absence. Every weekend this month I have been thinking of things to blog about and that I should really sit down at the computer and write it all out. Then, life happens apparently and I am off on some adventure. I will try to catch up
It has finally gotten warm here. It has been a really weird spring. We have had so much rain. The Grand River flooded in Grand Rapids and all the businesses were underwater. The people who lived on the lakefront were all under water as well. It was so bad. I had hoped to take pictures but could not get close to the water as all the barricades were up. That finally has resolved. I am hoping that all the people are getting their homes back in order.
On a positive note, with all the rain it was a nice time to look at houses. We totally knew if any homes we were interested in had leaky basements.
On a sour note, we are still looking for a house to buy. I am really shocked that we cannot find anything. I remember telling our realtor that we were ok with not moving right away because we wanted to find the right house. I didn’t mean that we wanted to wait a year or anything! The housing market here is just ridiculous. There was a whole month that we went without any new houses coming on to the market. We have looked at 6 houses so far, and all of them are just not what we want. Our most important things are large lot (1-2 acres), large garage or space to build a large garage (3-4 car) and ranch style. That should not be too difficult, but it is proving impossible. We are so happy that we did not put our house on the market yet.
Just sittin on my perch, minding my own business!
Harley is excited too. He loves to sit on the edge of our deck and look out over the yard. He especially loves it outside when it is bedtime and he is supposed to be going potty. How can you blame him?
We saw one house that we loved but it was just too far away from work. Right now I spend about 45 minutes in good weather driving to work. We wanted to cut that down to about 20 minutes. Apparently everyone else is thinking that as well, because houses that do come on to the market sell within a week or two. I am sure something will come up. If not, at least we are building a bigger down-payment
Harley and I have been working out in the garden non-stop these last few weeks. Harley LOVES the garden. Everyday I come home from work and we go out to the garden to till up the garden, plant and water. Harley follows along patiently behind the tiller. Now all the plants are in. This year I planted 15 tomato plants, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, squash, and eggplant. I did not do any corn or onions this year. I am waiting for the fall to plant potatoes so we will see how that goes. I still am planning on getting in some spinach but I just have to figure out if I want to plant it in a container on the side of the garden or find a place somewhere inside the garden. Choices…choices!
I planted some tomatoes right near the edge of the garden so Harley can eat them. He is eager for these to grow
Otherwise, we have been going to the park and swimming in the lake. The water is high so Harley can wade in and he loves it. Sadly, our dog park does not have a lake front, so Harley has to stay on leash at the lake. He is not happy, but he is adjusting.
I hope everyone is having a great week. I am sure June will have wonderful things in store.
Oh, by the way, my neighbor Sarah and I have restarted boot camp a couple of times a week and that is motivating me to work out like a crazy woman. This week here are the numbers from last week:
Sun- 2 mi run
Mon- Abs boot camp on my own (Sarah had the stomach flu, poor girl)
30 sec bicycle crunches
30 sec vertical leg crunches
60 sec plank
30 rep reverse crunches
60 sec flutter kicks
30 reps lying leg lifts
60 sec Russian twists
60 sec oblique v-ups
60 sec side plank
60 sec burpees
60 sec mountain climbers
It all took about 20 minutes and my abs were just slightly sore the next day.
Weds- Walk 2 mile
Fri- walk 2 mile
Sat-boot camp with Sarah
1 minute each with 20 sec rest
pushups, tricep dips, v-dips
repeat x 3
crunches, bicycles, plank, flutter kicks
repeat x 3
side plank left, side plank right, burpees, crunches
repeat x 3
runHave a great week!
Posted in Garden, Harley, Summer Fun, workout | Tagged activity, exercise, fun, garden, gardening, Harley, healthy-living, nature, outdoors, park, summer, tomatoes, workout | Leave a Comment »
Harley and I have been doing a little bit of self-evaluation. Here is what I knew about myself:
-I am a list maker.
-I am a procrastinator but try not to be.
-I like things tidy.
-My motto is “if you don’t use something within a year, donate it to the local shelter”.
Here is what I am finding out about myself.
-I often make lists that are way to long to ever get done in the selected timeframe.
-I bite off more than I can chew….often…like every time.
-I have lots of unfinished projects.
-Apparently my motto does not count once stuff gets to the basement.
Nathan and I have been working like crazy people trying to get the house and garage all cleaned up and organized. We have been purging our stuff like crazy. It’s amazing how much stuff 2 people accumulate. I apparently am a saver. In my basement I found that I have been saving my old prom dresses from high school (which definitely don’t fit, FYI), a large stuffed animal that I made in middle school home ec, and many stuffed animals that I had as a kid. Not to mention an old table that I love but that needs to be refurbished, an old desk of Nathan’s moms that we have never used, and Christmas decorations that I never knew I had. Now, I had totally forgotten that I was keeping all this stuff. They were all packed away in boxes that I haven’t touched in years. So, I spend the day purging. I took so much stuff to the local shelter. It is such a liberating experience getting rid of old stuff. Who knew?!
I have been in the basement painting, sanding, organizing and cleaning. I am almost done and ready to show pictures. I will keep you posted.
Harley was getting a little bored though, and wanted to do something fun.
We ended up taking the day off from cleaning yesterday and going to the in-laws for Nathan’s dads birthday. Harley had lots of fun playing with his sister. We had a great day. Nathan’s parents are doing lots of home improvements. They were recently given a “free” hot tub. It is turning out to definitely not be free because there is a TON of work they are doing with all the cleaning, making a platform for it, taking out trees so that the tub can have a place to go. She is also re-staining the deck. The house looks so different. It was a little overwhelming! But, Nathan’s mom showed me something very cute…
She found a little rabbit nest under one the plants in her garden. There are 5 little bunnies piled in this little nest. She is trying her best to keep the dogs away from it until they get old enough to move to a better spot. Apparently one dog already was caught carrying around one of the bunnies around the yard until Nathan’s mom put a stop to it. Luckily, no little bunny casualties as of yet.
She says she would never do such a thing…she is a very sweet girl.
Posted in Harley, Spring, Weekly Roundup | Tagged basement, bunnies, bunny nest, Harley, home improvement, hot tubs, introspection, weekend | Leave a Comment »
It has been such a weird spring so far here in Michigan! Normally the month of April is full of melting snow, blooming gardens, blossoming trees and warmer weather. This April has been rain. Nothing but rain! The rivers and lakes have been overflowing over the flood zone. The city of Grand Rapids is under water. Countless basements are wet. And still it rains. It is made worse by the fact that it has been 40 degrees. It even snowed overnight a couple of times. Weird!
Fortunately, yesterday the sun poked out and all of a sudden it was 65 degrees. That apparently was the cue for Nathan and I to get work done. Lots of work. I started by cleaning out all the drawers in the bathroom, purging all unneeded medication and toiletries, and re-organizing the hall linen closet. Harley helped by sniffing everything that came out of the drawers…you know…just to make sure it was safe. It was a tiring job.
I then finished all the sanding in the basement. My mom and Dave came down a couple of weeks ago and helped me put the first coat of paint on the doors and back bedroom and hallway in the basement. I then noticed that there was a little more sanding to do than I had realized. So, I decided to re-sand the corners of the molding before I put the second coat on. It’s been a lot of work, but I think it will look a lot better in the end.
After that, Harley was more than ready to go outside in the beautiful weather. We ended up almost finishing the front flowerbed. It’s still too early to plant flowers but I redid all the stone border, got the rest of the grass out of the flowerbed, and took out the stone campfire ring in the backyard. Well, almost all of it. I fizzled at the end and left the rocks in the front and back yard. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I ended the day by ordering a pizza. It was nice.
Harley helped the entire time. The neighbors came over to see us and Harley was very excited. He likes visitors. He also likes to help weed the flowerbed. He only does it if I tell him it’s ok. He is such a good boy!
Today we were supposed to go to the in-laws house to go to the dog park, but both Nathan and I woke up and could hardly move. We barely made it back from the store before crashing in the chair for the rest of the day. So, we took a rain check. Instead, I am surfing Pinterest looking for ideas for DIY projects. Here are the things that I am intrigued with:
-the penny floor. How cool would this be to have this done in a kitchen or laundry room?
-the tree canvas. I could also do this with pictures.
-concrete tabletops- this may be out of my league!
-make your own poofs
I totally need to find a new house! I have the do it yourself itch. Have a great week.
Posted in DIY, Garden, Harley, Spring | Tagged DIY, flowerbed, gardening, Home, linen closet, nature, outdoors, plants, rainy season, spring, spring cleaning, weekend | Leave a Comment »
Hi all. I, like most everyone else in America, have been glued to the TV watching and waiting for the other shoe to drop after the horrible events in Boston. I usually try to stay away from such things in this blog, because honestly, it is just too much to deal with on a forum like this. But, as I listen to the witnesses and victims recall what happened, how they felt, what they did, and how everyone pulled together, it really makes me understand the power of human kindness. I have been really impressed with the people of Boston,the law inforcement, and everyone that did their jobs to bring back order to the city of Boston. When something horrible happens, especially in the States, it really makes me realize that this little bubble I live in can be rocked so easily. But, when you see everyone come together to help each other, to run into the face of danger to make sure other people get the help they need, that is a great sight. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims and survivors. I hope everyone hugs their loved ones a little tighter and never take each other for granted.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
Well, I am finishing up my week of vacation. I decided to take the week after Spring break off from work. Now, I should preface this with the fact that I usually do not take vacations. The last vacation from work was in September, and we just hung around the house and got housework and yard work done. Nathan and I are homebodies. We find that it is really relaxing to just hang out together and spend some time with the boy.
About 6 weeks ago, I decided that I needed some time off. I realized that I did not have a trip planned, or anything really to do, but I figured that I get 4 weeks off from work per year and usually only take 2, so the time was right! Also, I was getting really jaded with work, and I thought that this week would be a prime time to get some painting done in the basement, go see some houses for sale, you know, cause we are moving *hurray*, and maybe work on getting the flowerbeds cleaned out.
Well, boy was I mistaken!! It is Saturday morning, and it has poured down rain for the last 7 days. I mean, torrential downpour rain. This means, no cleaning out the gardens, no walks with Harley, nothing. I did manage to put one coat of paint on the basement walls and doors (with the plan to finish it up today so it will be done). Before and after pictures will be coming soon. Also, a tutorial on painting doors. I have perfected the method
Otherwise, we pretty much sat around the house and looked at the rain. Honestly, this is the only picture that I managed to snap the entire week (and it is really not great) and look at his face. He has had it with this week as well! I didn’t even bake bread or anything due to the damp weather.
Today, I woke up and it snowed overnight! I am not liking this Michigan weather. I tell ya!
I am so ready for summer to be here. I am so ready to find a new house. I really want to sell this house. I am reminiscing for that first real garden tomato of the summer….MMMMMMM. Ok, now I am depressed!
Posted in Harley, Spring | Tagged basement, bored, damp weather, Harley, michigan weather, nature, outdoors, rain, spring, vacation, weather | Leave a Comment »
Last week, this is what Harley and I were doing…
Look, momma, there is something right HERE
This week, totally different. Spring has sprung, thank the good lord! Work was a huge “suck the life out me” week. I am so ready for a vacation! I am not sure what it was, but everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. So, for anyone that works with me, sorry for the attitude It will be better next week. Today I decided that Harley and I needed to get out of the house. It was 51 degrees outside and sunny which might not sound like much but it is the warmest day of the year so far. So, Nathan and I took Harley outside and we all had an outside day. Harley helped me garden. We ended up clearing out all the old debris out of the front flowerbed from last year so it will be nice and clean for when the new flowers go in. It is still pretty early for planting new flowers, but at least half of it is done. We still have so much left to do though. I am planning on re-mulching the entire thing after I get all the flowers in and reorganizing the rock border. After that, the entire front of the house will get a bath and good scrub so it will be ready to show when we sell. I totally just didn’t think about getting a before picture. I wish I had though, because it was SOOO bad! I had intended to pick up doggy poops in the backyard, but could not wrap my head around that job, so I did this instead…
On the house searching front, we have not found anything we remotely like. There was one house that had promise but when we saw it, it just wasn’t for us. Other than that, we have not even seen anything that we even want to see. My realtor just called me today to wish me a happy Easter and to let me know he has not forgotten about me I haven’t heard from him in a week! Hopefully people will put their houses up for sale in April so there is more to choose from.
Harley is still wondering what is going on around here. He is convinced that company is coming over because he stares out the window watching whenever I start packing or cleaning.
Sorry sweet boy. Nobody fun is coming over today. Apparently this means I need to clean more often?
I hope you all have a great Easter. We are going to the in-laws house for Easter dinner so that should be fun. Harley will be able to play with his sister Annie and Bear so that should tire him out. Good times!!
Posted in Garden, Harley | Tagged activity, e, Easter, flowerbed, fun, gardening, Harley, house for sale, nature, outdoors, plants, spring | Leave a Comment »
Harley and I have a secret….You cannot tell anyone Deal? OK. Come close.
We are moving!!
I have not told my neighbors yet and for some reason I feel like we are forsaking them We really like our neighbors. We play with their kids, exchange recipes, work out together in the summer, and compare garden notes. It will be sad to move away from them.
Not too sad though. We are totally doing it!!
It all started a couple of weeks ago when I thought we were going to refinance our house. The mortgage rates are really good right now and we thought it would be nice to lower our interest payments. So, we started poking around and realized that we could totally just sell this house and buy a new house. So, we have met with a realtor and we are looking. So, if anyone has a house for sale, happy hopes that we will find it
I am also frantically painting and packing.
Our plan is to find a house to move into, and then put our house on the market. Hopefully we will sell it the first day….I know…I know… But a girl can dream.
Harley is just wondering what in the world is going on around here.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend.
Posted in Winter | Tagged Harley, mortgage, moving, packing, painting, real-estate, winter | Leave a Comment »