Monday, March 30, 2009

302:365 Reflected

Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: An extra photo to catch up for all those days we've been missing.

At the park today, while sitting and enjoying the sunshine, children were enjoying splashing around it a large puddle in front of us. When the water stilled, the trees were beautifully reflected.

301:365 Flight

Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: My younger daughter and I made it to park day today - the first time in over a month. It was a beautiful 4C, which had a whole group of us sitting outside in the sunshine - me with my crochet, and about 5 others with their knitting. LOL

A few early geese are back. In a short time, we'll have many, many more, pairing off, nesting and laying their eggs.

Once enough of the snow it gone, anyhow.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

300:365 Feet

Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: We haven't been taking a lot of photos lately. Well, I have, but they're for my craft blog and I haven't finished taking them yet.

Today, we all headed out for a walk. At a balmy 3C, Philippe and our elder daughter broke out the sandals. Skirts, she always wears. ;-)

I'm really looking forward to lack of snow. And green. It's an unpleasant time of year to try for outdoor photos. Dirty snow, muck and puddles everywhere, and nothing's turning green yet.


Monday, March 23, 2009

299:365 - Beads

Philippe: I bought two bags of 'accent beads' for a few dollars from a craft store. Fun with a macro lens ensued :D

this was taken at a stupid aperture (f40, I believe) to get everything in focus.

Manual macro focus (that worked :D )

Though you can clearly see the dust on the ball, I figured the actual reflection of the beads in the hematite ball was worth it. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

298:365 Isn't is supposed to be spring?

Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: Well, at least the winter storm warning is no longer in effect.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

297:365 Double Header - Updated

Anna: The whole family headed out for a walk this afternoon, and I got a few decent photos. You can see the rest on my flickr account, as well as the full size of these two.
Philippe: I've added a pair of shots I was slow to process. Anna's been reminding me, usually with foot, that I should post more often. :P

There's a building we pass regularly that is unique in both shape and colour. The windows are reflective pink. I liked how clear the reflections were in this shot.

We've got a winter storm warning happening right now. I'll take spring wherever I can get it! We swung through a downtown theatre that has a greenhouse type lounge area, with waterfalls and benches for people to enjoy. I have no idea what these trees are, but I really like them.

P. This shot is of a building that has a triangle shape; the side we're looking at actually comes to a ten, fifteen-foot width at the corner.

P. This shot was taken with the camera propped on a notepad, since I forgot my tripod :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

295:365 Snake eyes

Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: The girls and I made an unplanned trip to the museum today. My elder daughter was wanting to use her fish-eye film camera that she got with some of her birthday money. While she was finishing off her first role of film, I was busy with the macro lens. 126 photos later, and only a handful turned out. I so wish we were allowed to use tripod or monopod in the museum! No matter how I brace myself, my handshake just kills my shots.

Of the few good ones I got was this, though the white balance was on the wrong setting. One of these days, I hope to catch this bull snake while it's tasting the air. :-)

Monday, March 16, 2009

295:365 Playing with macro

Anna: I finally broke out the camera in earnest today, and gave the macro lens a bit of a work out.

In the past three years in our apartment, we've only got around to getting one plant. I didn't want to get more since I always had moving in mind. The only reason we've got this one is because we started an avocado pit again. I've done it before when we were living in Richmond. It was thriving quite well and had reached about 15 inches when we found ourselves moving back to Manitoba. I didn't think it would survive the trip, so I passed it on to friends.

When we moved just now, I'd only recently transfered the sprouted pit to a pot of dirt. It had only the tiniest buds at the top. It was in the last load out of the apartment, and I had to make a side trip, so it spent some time in the cold car. Not good for a tropical plant. After seeing the blackened leaf buds, I didn't think it would survive.

Yet survive it has, as you can see here. It's now kept in our bedroom, as it's the warmest room in the house and has a bright, south facing window. It's also where we have the humidifier going at night, so it's got a bit of tropical moisture going for it at well.

It seems to like it's new home.

Who knows - maybe some day, we'll have our own avocados. The first time I'd ever seen one, I was as child visiting some friends of my parents in the city. They had a huge avocado bush in their home, which he'd grown from a pit just like we're doing here. It had even fruited. He'd cut one up for us to try but, seeing the bright green flesh, I refused to taste it. Today, I love avocados.

I was setting up to take some different photos, but couldn't resist taking extras of Tiger. The giant heart pillow I got for Philippe for Valentine's Day has become a favourite napping spot for her.

She has such an adorable face.

I don't think she was too happy with me taking her picture, though. *L*

Sunday, March 15, 2009

294:365 Sixteen Candles

Sixteen Candles
Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: Today, our elder daughter turned 16. This is the cake she chose for this year.

I thought the blow torch BBQ lighter was a nice touch.

293:365 Can we haz out?

Can we haz out?
Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: The cats are always *very * interested when we go onto the balcony. Tiger was an outdoor cat when we lived in Manitoba, but she seems mostly content to stay indoors. The Harley Bug, on the other hand, usually needs to be hung on to in case she makes a run for the door.

292:365 Let it snow

Let it snow
Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: Yesterday, we had temperatures well above 0C, and things were melting all over.

This morning, we woke to more snow.

Spring will come.


291:365 Watching TV

Watching TV
Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: Making up for lost time with a bunch of photos...

I didn't catch the shots I wanted - the cat trying to catch things on the screen - but I thought this one was cute.

Then she started hunting the Xbox cables hanging down in front. *L*

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

290:365 Rising - Updated

Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: The girls and I are having our first bread baking day in the new place. So much counter space! It's wonderful!

I've got a Kitchen Aide mixer with dough hook, but it only fits a 2 loaf recipe, so we did three batches. That works out rather well, since we can do each batch differently.

In this photo is the third batch, just set aside for rising. We made it using olive oil, saffron (you can see a couple of threads in the dough), some milk and a couple of eggs. Oh, and we finished off the last of our dark honey with a comb in the jar for the sweetener. I did end up picking out little bits of wax while doing the final kneading. ;-) It was so lovely to knead - smooth and satiny. Much more pleasant to handle than the one with softened oatmeal in it.

If this one works out well, it'll be the bread for our Easter basket.

update: For some reason, blogger isn't letting me reply in my own comments area, so this is in response to Ash's comment.

They turned out lovely! A nice, chewy texture and golden colour. We couldn't taste the saffron a lot, but we didn't use a huge amount, either. It was definitely a hit.

I'd made half the dough into a braid, then formed it into a wreath. I made 4 "snails" out of the other half; one for each of us. It was wonderful, still hot from the oven and covered with melted butter. Yum!

As for the recipe, we use the same basic recipe for almost all our breads. These are the quantities for a 2 loaf batch.

1-2 Tbsp yeast
1-4 Tbsp sweetener
1/4 cup butter or oil (optional)
2 1/2 - 2 3/4 cups warm liquid
2 tsp salt
6-8 cups flour

To make the saffron bread, we soaked a few threads in about a tablespoon of boiled water first. For the liquid, we used 1 cup milk, then topped it off with the boiled water to make 2 1/4 cups. The saffron threads and their water was added to that. For the sweetener, we used an Italian brand of honey called "Clic - honey with honey comb," but any honey works well. The fat was Extra Virgin Olive oil, and the flour was plain old All Purpose, since that's all I've got at the moment. We also added 2 eggs, plus used an egg wash for baking.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

289:365 Harley Bug

Originally uploaded by amkb

It's been a week, and I still haven't taken my D70 out of it's bag since before the move. :-P

My elder daughter and I were sitting down to a cup of tea after unpacking a few items. One of them was a large finished puzzle belonging to my younger daughter. Whenever she finishes a puzzle, she covers it with Modge Podge for keeping. I'd leaned it against the stairs for whoever went up next to grab. That's when the little Harley Bug discovered it. After knocking it down to the floor, she started hunting it, diving onto it, nibbling on the edges, and even picking it up in her teeth and dragging it around.

I grabbed the S3 to try and take some video (we don't have a movie camera), but of course, she never did the cute stuff while I was recording. I did manage to get this still shot of her, with that intense, hunter's gaze.

She's such a silly cat!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

288:365 - Nightview

Philippe: This shot was on Aperture priority, so it selected it's own shutter speed (near 30 seconds at F11). while I don't like the look of it (it simply doesn't look like a night shot should, to me) it was a fun shot to take and it's neat to see how the camera interprets the necessary light requirements.

Monday, March 2, 2009

286:365 Before and After

Anna: Well, we're moved in, but far from settled, yet. There's still lots to unpack - once we've figured out where things will go. Some things won't be unpacked at all until we get shelving, so it's going to be slow going for the next while.

We're quite happy with the new place, and amazed by the transformation.

This is what the kitchen/dining area looked like the first time we saw it.

And this is what it looked like during the move-in inspection.

It's like night and day!

It might still be a while before we start posting photos regularly again. Taking pictures just isn't a priority right now. LOL