Thankful Thursday

This will be a little less organized, due to time and energy constraints. Here are just some pictures of goodness from the week.

Bob Ross could totally paint those reflections!

What kind of tree is this? It’s adorable.

How delicious does that look? That’s because it is! I made chicken in the crock pot and shredded it up for a chicken salad croissant sandwich, because I’d been craving that exact thing for many days.

Dania is awesome! She sent me a fun summer package. She’s done this many times before. 🙂 Thank you, Dania!

It also included this awesome solar hummingbird garden stake. LOVE.

It rotates through several colors.

I have a busy weekend ahead, so I’ll have to catch up on Project 52 next week. Have a great Independence Day if I don’t talk to you before!

A beavery post

Finally I managed to get some closer beaver shots this evening. I saw one swimming by and it was pretty light out, so I headed down to where it was going and he swam around about 20 feet from me. Cute!

Mmm..delicious leaves.

Oh okay, bye.

Sorry, at this angle it’s too hard to see the tail, but I’ve taken plenty of tailish photos from my deck above (see here). One of these days I’ll get some of a beaver out on land, but so far I have only taken very distant ones like that once. They just hardly ever get out of the water in a place where people can see them.


It’s hard to focus on a moving target, and my lens doesn’t do much to help out, so forgive the lack of crispness. Still, I was fortunate to happen to be standing on my deck with the right lens when this Osprey decided to fly low on my side of the lake. I love getting unexpected wildlife photos!

PS If you enjoy poor-quality photos of Osprey, you may also be interested in this series I took of one eating a fish.

Project 52 (3)

I debated using another food-related photo this week, but I can’t bring myself to do it. 🙂 I might post it later with a recipe. This is the building next to my office building. I pass it regularly when running errands at other offices. It has lots of pretty little sections, and I’ve used it a couple of times for portraits I take at work (like this one). I’d like to use it some more.

By the way, Project 52 is technically supposed to have poetry accompanying each photo, but I opted out of that part. (You can thank me in Target gift cards. You don’t want to read my poems!) However, there was a time when I was into poetry and wrote several poems. That poetry-writing Jessica seems like another person to me, though. Those crazy 20s! I really don’t have the desire to write poetry anymore, though I wouldn’t mind writing song lyrics again. (Are they the same or different? They feel different.) Sometimes I go back and read my old stuff, though, and feel really dorky. It’s fun.

Thankful Thursday

TGIT! I haven’t done one of these in a few weeks, but I hope to get back in the swing of it (as well as Wallpaper Wednesday, but one step at a time). So here are some of the happy things from the week, with some weekly pictures mixed in.

1. For feeling well emotionally, even if not physically. My allergies have reached their peak this week, but I have to admit that I’ve felt relatively content otherwise (even if I don’t always show it).

2. Amazon Marketplace. It’s a great place to sell stuff!

3. Laughter. I know a few people with a great sense of humor, and one friend in particular makes me laugh pretty much every day. I love that!

4. Things to look forward to. I’m excited about a free weekend and then Dania’s visit and the long holiday weekend! I’m even looking forward to the simple parts of preparing for her visit, like grocery shopping and inflating the air mattress.

5. My mom, whose birthday is tomorrow. Happy birthday, Mom! I love you and think you are the awesomest mom. I don’t know how I ended up so fortunate, but I feel a little sorry for people who aren’t R, D or me because they don’t get to have you as a mother! (That picture is my mom with one of her granddaughters two years ago.)

6. Text messaging. It’s a great way to keep in touch. My sister’s been texting throughout her road trip and it’s nice to know the haps, even if most texts are accompanied by a photo of the road. 😉 I also love getting texts from my mom and friends during the day. (PS I just realized I have mentioned text messaging a couple of other times already in these thankful posts. I must really like text messaging!)

7. Summer. Even if the weather isn’t being all that summery, the feeling of summer is still very present. Quiet days at work, more motivation and ideas about my future, enough light to see the beavers, lush greenness all over town, and low electricity bills!

8. My church. The first time I visited my church, I decided I’d just keep going there from then on. I had been church hunting for months (I visited at least 12 churches in the area) and something about my current church felt comfortable and suitable. It’s not that I was blown away with amazingness, it was just that I saw no reason to go elsewhere. I still don’t. It’s a good place.

9. Ad blockers that work. I use Ghostery and Adblock, but I’m sure there are several good ones.

10. Music. I don’t really talk about it much these days, and I don’t even listen to it as much as I used to, but I love it and kind of miss being more into it. I’ve had some thoughts that I might share sometime. I’ll end this post with one of my very favorite classical pieces: Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 (Larghetto). Give it a bit to get going.

Who doesn’t like nutria?

Huge rats with orange teeth…what’s not to love? This baby (he looks adult in these photos, but isn’t) was swimming around just about ten feet from me last night.

“Oh hello leaf. I would like to eat you now.”

I was actually hoping to get closeup pictures of beavers, but of course I didn’t see any when I went out for that specific reason.

Swim swim swim

Contemplative nutria. Being a large rat is so intense.

My dad

[That’s me and my dad. Don’t look at my undies!]

There’s a lot I could say about my dad! He has many interests and talents, and he’s taught me so much. He’s given me opportunities that have helped me discover my preferences and made me a more well-rounded person.

[L: Mom and Dad on Mexican cruise. R: Dad and grandson, Z, in Tahoe.]

For instance, my dad really loves to travel (I think he got this from his dad) and so he has always been very supportive of me traveling. He has taken our family many places and never discouraged me from going places on my own.

He’s also into photography and used to do it professionally. He once taught me how to make a pin hole camera and we set up a darkroom and everything.

My dad loves cooking and I’ve learned several tips from him (and my mom!) over the years, like how to make rice pilaf and cut/pit an avocado.

He also loves to entertain, and I know I’ve picked up some of his hosting techniques. Often I think about how I do certain things because that’s always what my dad does when he has company.

My dad really is a jack of all trades. In addition to the other things I mentioned, he can do carpentry, interior decorate, garden, play guitar, ride motorcycles, fish, groom dogs and even sew! (He sewed me a jack-o-lantern costume when I was 6, and I won a prize for it–a yellow, plastic boot cup. Remember that, Dad and Mom?) He knows about food, wine, travel, sports, appliances (he sells them for a living, and he’s very good at it), electronics and politics. He’s patriotic and a natural leader. He works hard and is very generous.

[L: Mom and Dad at Multnomah Falls. R: Dad and granddaughter K on the scooter he bought my mom one Christmas. This post isn’t about K, but she’s melting me with her adorableness in this photo!]

Dad, I know you’re camping as I post this, so I hope you’re having a great time. I’ll talk to you when you get back! Happy Father’s Day.

Project 52 (2)

I read something about how good lemons are for you, and it inspired me to make some lemonade. I still don’t really have a handle on making good homemade lemonade, but maybe someday. Oh and the irony of using this photo, after quitting my food photography project, is not lost on me.

Two of my friends are also doing Project 52. Go check out their first posts if you’re curious:


The beach

I went to the coast yesterday. It was good! Why don’t I go more often?

Have a great week!

Project 52 (1)

Well, since I only just decided I was going to do this, I’m struggling with second-guessing myself and feeling all self-conscious. Hey, I’m just warming up. So my theme is Everyday Life, and what I mean is just that I want to photograph some of the simpler things that happen that I might normally overlook as photo opportunities. But it can also be simple pleasures or scenes that have a story or whatever. Basically, it’s whatever I want. 😛 I don’t want to be too strict or I’ll never keep up.

Just please bear with me as I feel this out and probably post some lame photos. It’s just an exercise in creativity, observation and photography.

Maybe I should post some of the other attempts that weren’t chosen for whatever reason. We’ll see!