Share Your World – 2016 Week 39

Share Your World – 2016 Week 39

  1. A class you wish you would have taken?  Typing – It wasn’t offered in my school.
  2. What’s your favorite comic figure and why?   Peanuts – I thought I was Charlie Brown
  3. Name something you wish you could like.   Cauliflower – I’ve always hated it.
  4. Tell me about your first crush / first date / first kiss. – Didn’t have a crush or kiss.
  5. Who was your best friend when you were 10?  My younger brother.
  6. What sign are you? Do you believe in astrology?   Taurus – I don’t believe in astrology. Christians don’t follow occult practices.

The Pixie Next To Me

Again I’ve been reprocessing some of the photos I took at my sister’s house. The add-on filter software I have here produces much better results, especially those pictures taken in low light situations. I’m able to bring out more detail, lesser noise levels and better vignette results.

The photo below is an example of good processing tools and techniques. Pixie was only about 3 feet from me but there was little ambient light in the room and the blinds were drawn.


The Return Of Autumn

The drive to and from South Carolina last week made it blatantly obvious that Fall is on its way. The interstates were bordered by countrysides changing colors reserved for Autumn. As I neared home in Uxbridge at 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning I had to turn on my car’s heater to warm me up. There was a light misty rain falling as I pulled into my familiar parking spot and quickly grabbed my 3 bags from the back storage area of my SmartCar. I wish we could get more of that rain to fall as our drought may deteriorate the normal vibrant colors famous in this part of of the country. I have to accept that we have no control over the weather. It was a record setting hot & humid Summer with very little rain.

While visiting Hopelands Garden in Aiken, SC my sister and I went for a long with with her dog, Blanka. I took the photo below as she took a quick break on a scenic spot in that park.


Share Your World – 2016 Week 38

Share Your World – 2016 Week 38

Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?

I switched a few decades ago. I’m an avid hugger now. My mother had TB when I was a child so I was raised not to hug or come in physical contact with anyone. That changed with my 2nd wife whose family came from a long line of huggers.

What is your least favorite Candy?

That might have to be Jelly Belly jellybeans. 🙂

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “fun”?

A birthday party.

List of Favorite Smells: What smells do you love? Whether it’s vanilla scented candles or the smell of coffee in the morning or the smell of a fresh spring rain…make a list of all the things you love for a little aromatherapy.

Cinnamon – Thanksgiving Dinner – Pies baking – Hot tapioca pudding

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I’m grateful for being able to visit my sister and old friends in South Carolina last week. I’m looking forward to Autumn in New England.

A Tale Of A One Eyed Puppy

While on vacation last week I had an opportunity to visit my niece, Suzanne, and her family. Suz works in a veterinary clinic because of her love of animals. As a result she has 3 dogs that includes a cute Cocker Spaniel rescued from that clinic. The puppy’s original owners abandoned the dog once they heard it needed surgery to remove an infected eye. Who wants a one eyed puppy anyway? Suz did! The staff at the clinic completed the necessary operation and gave Suz the doggie. That was more than 10 years ago and look how the one eyed puppy turned out. Adorable! This is Milla.



Back Home

Can I get an Alleluia! 1100 miles in one calendar day is a lot of driving. I left my sister’s home at 12:30 a.m. with everything already packed away in my car. I drove straight to our local Waffle House for an incredible ham & cheese omelet and “scattered” hashbrowns. I got a large “to go” coffee after eating my breakfast and hit the road. I arrived back in Uxbridge 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning in a light misting rain. I grabbed all my bags and moved them in my apartment to prevent anything from getting moldy. After a sip of water and a good long pee I went straight to bed, do not pass GO, do not collect $200. I was out before my head hit the pillow.

I awakened 5 hours later at 7:00 a.m. feeling like a zombie. A drive to 3 stores finished off the restocking  of my food supply. Back to the apartment I drove to process the food and supply and start unpacking my bags. It’s all done, including going through the mountain of mail stuffed in my mailbox, mostly junk, of course.

After getting settled I grabbed my camera bag to fetch the 8 gig memory card with 330 RAW files from the first couple of days. I carry plenty of spares so I just started with this full card. The photo below was the first picture I processed. I processed basically the same shot and posted it on this blog last week but My sister doesn’t have the plug-in filter I do so I was anxious to see what I could do with my full arsenal and my great iMax maxed out with memory and a huge 21.5″ monitor that has been calibrated for accuracy. What I see on that screen matches what I see in the printed image. My sister’s computer, a laptop, is under-powered and has a tiny screen in comparison. I was glad to return to my beloved iMax. I love the finished image of Blanka seen below. I uploaded it to my National Geographic gallery to see how it is received. Time will tell. I hope you enjoy the shot I processed. Now just 500 more to go. LOL




Learning To Speak Southern

When I first moved to the South I couldn’t understand a lot of what was being said in any conversation. Southern folks, I discovered, have a language all their own. As I talked about my difficulty a close friend handed me a paperback book titled, “How To Speak Southern”. It was a type of dictionary that translated what I was hearing into English I could understand. A “drill motor” translated an electric drill, a “hose pipe” became a garden hose” and a “pulley bone” turned out to be the wishbone in a chicken or turkey. It took a good six months to pick up the local jargon. I had help in the form of my best friend, Marion Malcom.

Marion is 100% Southern, a good old boy who doesn’t know how to speak any other language. I spent Wednesday with Marion doing his favorite thing, eating. He picked me up for lunch at The Red Shed in Graniteville, SC, a town I know well as I worked there for 13 years. I also lived in Graniteville less than a quarter of a mile from The Red Shed. We met up with his newlywed wife, Mae, who had arrived earlier and gotten us a table. I had a second surprise when a short little lady who turned out to be Vicky, my waitress at the now defunct Hard Hat Cafe, my hangout for years. “Two eggs over easy, bacon with toast uncut”. Vicky heard that at least 6 days a week for years as I don’t change my favorite food often. Vicky and I posed for a picture that can be seen below.

I ordered a BLT with chips and an unsweetened ice tea. You must specify unsweetened because in the South “Sweet Tea” is the default drink of choice. Notice the Styrofoam cup of tea below. It’s marked unsweetened in Southern vernacular. LOL I finished off my lunch with a special dessert, buttermilk pie. I had never eaten this local delicacy before yesterday. It was incredible.

After lunch I was given the grand tour of the long closed textile mills where I used to work. Marion and I roamed the abandoned halls of the maintenance building that used to be my base of operations in the Instrument Shop. It was creepy stumbling around the gutted building, with just a flashlight for light. Textiles in the South is dead, just as the New England textile industry died before the South took over 100 years or more ago.

Later that evening Marion picked me up a second time to go to his church where a dinner and bible study were being held. I’d been to this church once before many years ago. It is huge compared to most in the area. I enjoyed the conversations as Marion introduced me as “The Yankee from Boston”. That started some interesting conversations.

So here are a few of the pictures I took during a wonderful day with my good friend, Marion.

“Ain’t” translated to Ain’t got no sugar”! LOL


Vicky & Bob – Vicky was our waitress and an old friend.


Marion chatting with and old friend.


Marion, Mae & Bob


A Southern Cottage 🙂


Hopelands Gardens

One of the landmark scenic stops in Aiken, SC is Hopelands Gardens.

I lived in Aiken for 13 years before moving for work to Portland, OR 11 years ago.I used to visit Hopelands Gardens with my camera often. You could spend days there and never capture even a portion of its beauty. My sister and I visited this landmark Tuesday while I’m on vacation here. The area has grown and changed with the times but Hopelands Gardens remains the same as always.

This was the perfect place to take pictures of my sister and her dog, Blanka. Blanka really was well behaved during our long walk and seemed to really enjoy the gardens. I’ll bet my sister will be returning with her on future walks.







Lopez & Blanka

It was runaround day yesterday at my sister’s house. We took off early in the morning on chores such as grocery shopping, gasoline fill-ups for both cars, Keen sandal shopping and finally, lunch.

The sandal shopping was a bust because locally the shoe dealers who carry the Keen brand are seasonally sensitive to shoes versus boots. I usually buy all my stuff online which is not seasonally sensitive. After stopping at 3-4 local stores we gave up as the same scenario played itself out. I decided to order the sandals online at when I returned home. If you’ve ever worn Keep sandals you know how comfortable they are. I wear them year round with the exception of Winter’s snow. 🙂

So to end our shopping spree we went to lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant Eastern Buffet. I used to love to go there 11 years ago and they haven’t changed. We are both diabetics so our plates were loaded primarily with protein items. Boy was that good. Even though we were careful on our choices we both required naps when we got home. LOL

It seems all the animals in the house decided to nap the same time we did. I captured the photo of Blanka below as she lay on the couch across from me. The second photo is of little Lopez, my niece’s doggie.