May 20, 2018:

Hola!

Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...

Jan

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How Do I Get A Clear Photo of the Outside of the House at Night?

Hola darlings!

Tonight my friend, Ann, and I, stopped for a few drinks at a local institution -- Kegel's Bar and Restaurant on the old south side of Milwaukee.  It is still family-owned and has been in continuous business for three generations now -- survived the Great Depression.  Ann and I have a number of Christmas customs we share this time of year, among which is stopping at Kegel's for a few drinks and then heading to Candy Cane Lane to enjoy the neighborhood all lit up and decorated for the holidays. 

The idea started years ago and has since blossomed into a great fundraiser yearly for the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer), which raises money for childhood cancer research.  Candy Cane Lane has been raising money since 1984.  The MAAC Fund was established in 1976. 

The most wonderful thing about Candy Cane Lane is that it is an actual residential area, not a park, not a vacant city lot.  It is people helping other people.  Each year, thousands of cars pour into the neighborhood of Candy Cane Lane to enjoy the free show.  Can you imagine such an invasion in your on neighborhood?  Donations are encouraged but of course the neighborhood is not barricaded!  One does not pay to enter or exit and if you don't feel like making a contribution, you can be a Scrooge and avoid 95th and Manitoba where Santa Claus and his helpers are stationed with their buckets to take contributions and the Elves hand out Christmas candy to those who drive by. 

I didn't take any photographs -- didn't even have my camera with me.  I am pretty sure if you want to check it out further if you do a Google search for Candy Cane Lane Milwaukee and then click on Images, you will find lots of great photographs.

Heck, I can't even get a decent photograph of Maison Newton at night and I'm standing still, not in a moving vehicle!  I tried on December 16th and again tonight, and every single photo came out blurry and disappointing.  Maybe it's because my hands are shaking, or maybe it's because of the camera settings.  I don't know.  I'm no photographer, that's for sure.  I just think Maison Newton is so pretty with its Christmas finery peeking through the windows, even though I do not decorate the outside of my house.  The wreath on the front door is lit up, the porch light is on; the Christmas tree is centered in the large round-top window with three candles resting on the cross-bar of the window above the tree; and I have had up for years (never take them down, they are up there 365 days a year, 24/7 and I occasionally light them up on gloomy days no matter what the season) a long string of white lights that outline the round top window, mostly on the inside.  This year I made an effort to twist some of the lights around toward the windows and taped them so they stay (well, at least for now they are staying).

Here are three of my pitiful efforts:




The photo above as taken on December 16th when it was snowing outside.  Thus the white specs all over the picture, LOL!  This is about the clearest shot I've been able to manage!  I deleted all the rest, they were much more blurred!

The photos below were taken tonight, and I'm not happy with them, but they are the best of multiple photos I took until the winds, which were starting to whip up about 7:30 p.m., finally drove me inside:






It was much clearer out tonight than on the 16th when it was snowing; so I thought I might be able to get a clearer shot of Maison Newton.  Makes sense, right?  Well, I actually like the snow-blotched photo of Maison Newton taken on 12/16 better than either of the two efforts tonight that I put up here.  Sigh.  Oh well.  I'll keep trying.  Maybe just after sundown, while there is some light left in the sky? 

As you can see, we are definitely going to enjoy a White Christmas :)

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