KC and I had to get out of the house today. We hit the greenway again and passed this guy in someone's back yard. I love this guy's eyes.
Initially, I took this pic as we walked out. I had to shoot blind: hold my camera over my head and take a few shots hoping to get him in the center of the picture. I got most of it in the picture but I really didn't love it so on my way back past, I got a little closer and shot the part of him that really made me smile: his eyes. Hence the picture above.
I played a little in post to boost the clarity and the color of the berries.
After 2 days stuck in the house, I desperately needed to get out of the house. I grabbed my camera and Floyd and braved the greenway. Oddly enough, the photographic opportunities were pretty limited and the shots I took were mediocre at best. This however, caught my eye. Why was this bicycle abandoned here? There was no one around. I walked a mile out and back and didn't see another soul. I took a few different shots from different angles and this one was the best of the bunch.
Winter will not leave but our daffodils refuse to be deterred. These sprouted a few days ago and I was worried about them but as it turns out, they are pretty hearty. I boosted the vibrance and luminance/saturation for green, cropped out some junk at the top of the pic and bumped the exposure.
As predicted, we got a few inches of snain. It was wet and sloppy but easily cleared from the roads. I was able to get to work no problem although when I showed up to my 9:30 patient's house, the mom exclaimed, "Are you crazy!" Really, even by that point, the main roads were completely clear. The worst thing I ran into were some trees that had fallen over and were slightly into the right hand lane but the traffic was so light, changing lanes to avoid a collision wasn't an issue.
The girls were very excited when they got up this morning because they thought a deer had walked through the snow in our front yard. I don't think this was a deer. A raccoon perhaps? Anyone have any better guesses?
The winter will not release it's grip on us. We got another storm today: a wintery mix. By the time we went to bed it had already accumulated about an inch, schools were closed AGAIN and the temperature was dropping. I've never been so eager for spring in all my life. The make up days for missing this much school are going to be harsh.
I wanted to catch some of the precipitation in motion with this one so I slowed the shutter speed down to 1/15, hence the motion blur on Delaney but I did also get some nice movement in the snain (That's snow-rain for those of you who aren't familiar with my terminology.)
Last night Wake County called school off for today early enough in the evening that we were able to host Anastasia for the night last night. They got up this morning and made biscuits from scratch. OK so it was Bisquick but for 6th graders, I'm willing to give it to them. Honestly, they looked like hockey pucks and based on the last time I had Bisquick biscuits, they probably tasted about as good. They ate the entire thing though and I didn't have to make them nor did I have to clean up the kitchen so everyone was happy.
My celebration was short lived. I was awoken at 6:23 this morning with a phone call. My phone was on vibrate but it was enough to wake me up but not for me to fully comprehend what was going on. I didn't realize it was the phone until after it stopped ringing. It was a robocall from WCPSS. A 2 hour delay. UGH! KC has a customer in town today and I have patients at 9:30 and 11. A 2 hour delay means either Macy need to be at her bus stop (Since she's in a magnet school they have "Express busing" which is a route that only has about 4-5 stops but covers a larger area so parents have to get their kids to a central location which happens to be about a mile and a half from our house: too far away for her to walk.) at 10 or at school by 11:05. Both my patients are in Morrisville, in the opposite direction from her school. I was going to move my 9:30 to 9 then run home, bring Macy to school and hopefully get to my 11:00 patient (who is all of 3 miles from my 9:30 patient) only a few minutes late. It would require a lot of driving back and forth but there was nothing to be done about it.
I laid back down to try to get some more sleep only to be woken up a few minutes later with an announcement from Delaney saying school has been cancelled. I checked the WCPSS website and sure enough, no school..... again. In a way, it actually made my day easier since I didn't have to run back and forth but it also means another day with a house full of children. I saw my patients and came home. I had left the girls with a rather lengthy list of chores and much to my surprise, they had gotten right to it and had them all done! Yay!!!!!
After writing my notes, it was still snowing so I went out to see if I could capture that. As it turns out, I really needed a neutral density filter to be able to slow down the shutter enough to get the snow flakes. Bummer. But I did get this kind of interesting picture. I killed the saturation quite a bit and brought the exposure down 1.5, played with the contrast, clarity and curve. Now I'm trying to stay busy for the rest of the day so I don't notice the noise of 4 girls who desperately need to go back to school. The worst part of this is that as of right now, 2pm, it is still snowing and we are supposed to get another storm tomorrow night. They are never going back to school.
I celebrated the girls' return to school by doing NOTHING today. It was so nice to have a quiet house, I took the day to just enjoy the peace. I did eventually dig into my recipes to find something interesting for dinner. After doing nothing all day I was motivated to actually cook this evening. I found a recipe for pork chops in apple cider sauce in my recipe app that looked good. I have no idea from where it came. Possibly WW when I was doing that several years ago but why I hadn't tried it yet is a head scratcher. It used dill which can be overpowering but I was feeling adventurous so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I still needed a veggie so I hit Food.com and came across a tasty sounding recipe for nutty green beans. I squeezed in a trip to the Publix and got the required items.
I was not at the top of my game when it came to reading the directions but I made up for it with my ability to wing it. It really is a testament to how much I've grown as a cook in the past few years that I completely left the 1 1/4 cup of chicken broth out of the sauce and noticed that something was wrong so I added more cider to make it less pasty and more saucey. It wasn't until I was cleaning up after dinner and noticed the chicken broth in the refrigerator that it struck me. I remembered reading about broth but not adding it which would have explained the gluey texture of the sauce. In hindsight, I ended up adding about a cup and a quarter more apple cider. I must say, I'm rather impressed with myself!
I made one significant change to the bean recipe too. I could not find pecans at the store so I went with cashews. Everything was still very yummy and the whole thing made for a very colorful meal. The best part is the girls liked it too. Maybe next time I'll use chicken broth! If you want the recipe for the pork chops message me and I'll send it to you.
It's been a long week. Our back deck is still under a pile of snow (see below) despite rain and temperatures above freezing for the past 2 days. We, including the girls, are all eager for the girls to go back to school so we can reclaim a normal life. I collapsed into bed tonight and was about to go to sleep when I remembered that I hadn't taken a picture yet. I got my flash on and went out to document the remaining snow on the deck. The results were lackluster esp since after just one picture, my batteries went kaput and only 1/2 the picture was lit. I had noticed the shovel perched here for the past few days and it struck me that it was more representative of what we've been dealing with for the past few days than the actual snow anyway. I turned on the lights on our porch and if you've ever seen them, you know it's like day out there when they are all on full blast. It was enough light to allow me to use my on camera flash for this shot. I put it in LR5 and darkened the shadows through the screens and actually increased the saturation while decreasing the vibrance a little, bumped the clarity and contrast a little and decreased the exposure by .5. It's not a masterpiece but not too bad for 11:30 pm in the cold.
I stripped the girls' beds today. In Macy's room that entails moving dozens of stuffed animals, blankets and pillows. Each has it's own very particular place on her bed. I do not know, nor do I care to remember all that information so I just pile it all back up on the bed and let her reconfigure it. Honestly, I don't know how she fits into her bed with all of this stuff.
Every year, the TAG compulsory teams perform a dance exhibition at an NC State Women's Gymnastics meet at Reynolds Coliseum. This year, the performance was the best I've seen from them. It's a huge team but it's 4 levels so that explains it. Macy has been practicing outside of practice. It's been fun for her; a little change of pace.
This will be her last dance since Reynolds is being renovated next year and they won't have any home meets. After next year, Macy will be optional and they compete in the winter so do not participate in the dance. Unless we go to UNC or something, this is it for her.
We filmed it but YouTube is muting it citing copyright issues. I've had to resort to uploading it to DropBox for you to view it with sound. Sorry. Macy is in the front row 5th from the right. She's also the first one to do the tumbling pass when they start doing it one at a time. Then she is in the far left corner for the final song.
On a completely different note, I mentioned that school was closed today. It was a gorgeous day but still not above freezing. While the roads in Cary, Apex and Morrisville have, for the most part, been cleared, I know there are roads out in the county that were never plowed and don't get much sun. This is what the greenway looked like in the places where it was mostly shade.
KC had to travel to DC for work today. The girls were out of school again and they have already cancelled it for tomorrow as well so we had a girls' night. We binge watched Modern Family and had pizza for dinner. The girls got a little silly and brought back a favorite past time from years ago. It was good to see them having fun together. Sometimes the on camera flash is sufficient for moments like this.
I'm a mother of 2 girls living in NC. I've dabbled in photography on and off but really this is just for fun