Monday, June 28, 2010

Ferns and Gesnariads!

 Thank you everyone for your lovely well wishes on my birthday, last Thursday. I was, actually, really surprised and overwhelmed. Even still, I'm getting a bit misty eyed just thinking about it. Well, that's the truth! It's amazing how pleasant a kind word and gentle thought can mean to the one who receives it.

Could it be that, in our everyday lives, we take it for granted that the people who are always around us just somehow magically know how much we're glad that they exist and don't, often, give them the gift of really telling them (and, vice versa)?  It's possible that I say more kind things to my friends when they're online (I mean, the opportunity is there).

I know, I know - some of you have mentioned it in your blogs lately. It's just sinking in. I'm having my own [re]epiphany about this matter, now.

Now, I suspect that some of you just think that I am modest when I say that I'm struggling with a situation. Some of you live with me and know all about it. =] Some of you are new friends and are thinking something like, "uh, oh! Troubles......?!?"

Well, for those of you who have been following along quite regularly, you might just maybe recall me mentioning some troubles with my camera.

You know, Monty Python and the "Holy Grail"? (Some of you are shocked, I know, that I would even be interested in seeing such a movie. Let's just simply say that it was a dare.) You know the knight who, even though he's losing life and limb, every moment declares, "I'm not quite dead, yet!" He and my camera must be related.

Have any of you picked up on the fact that, I was complaining vociferously enough about my dear old dratted camera and, then, suddenly, was taking some pretty okay photos? Well, I'm sure you've all guessed where I'm going by now. Indeed, some of you already know because I couldn't help but 'spill the beans' to quite a few of you.

You guessed it.

I got a new camera for my birthday!

Just look at what it can do....

Isn't it lovely???

It's not just a point and shoot, this time! I got a Canon DSLR! a.k.a. a real camera!

I don't know if anyone can really define a 'photographer'. Honestly, the word has so many different connotations, it seems. There's everyone from Ansel Adams to the man who took the lovely photos for our wedding. For me, this camera is an outlet to record and share maybe a little bit of the loveliness that I see around me all of the time. I don't know. I'm not sure. Something seems to have taken a hold of me. Each photograph seems to be an opportunity to have a window into a little world. 

I am smitten!!!


You can, actually, pin point and share the moment that I got the camera. I spent about an hour checking it out and reading a little of the manual and, then, decided that I needed to go out and just figure out where the clicky - take a picture button was. (YES! of course, I'm joking! Well, I mean, I know that it's called a shutter button.) That day, I walked in my heavenly meadow and had the time of my life. The result was the post entitled 'Grass' and I was overwhelmed by your responses to my quiet walk!

All of the photos in the post today were the first time that I've ventured into the creative modes on my camera. I've finally had a chance to play with aperture and shutter speed for myself. All of this on a truly darkly cloudy day!

Then, on my birthday, my sister, Suzy, spent the evening giving me art and composition lessons. We spent several hours going through a beautiful blog of nature photography, 'In a Soft Light'. I got a good lesson in why Mary's photos are not only lovely but emotionally moving. Then, taking what I learned, I put together this mosaic of 'practice' shots. Thanks, again, sis for coaching me through this! My mind and vision feel extremely expanded.

Sooooooooo, of course, I am going to join in Mary's regular get together, 'Mosaic Monday' at the Little Red House!

(Watch out! I've caught a bit of mosaic fever, also!)

Well, what does one do when they want to 'click' away with their new camera? They get their ferns and gesnariads together! A 'gesnariad' is basically a plant that belongs to the 'African Violet' family. They are, actually, a South American herbaceous plant. I love them. I love ferns. You know, I didn't realize how many different kinds of ferns I have, until today. Until I started blogging and putting photos of gesnariads here, in the sunny spot - photos that I can zoom in on - I didn't realize just how beautiful they are. It makes me think of the maxim that my 5th grade art teacher drilled into our heads:

The more you look, the more you see!

Katy Noelle

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Mammoth Egg

When I told my boys that we had a mammoth egg and that they should come and see it, they were awe struck. "But,..... aren't they....... extinct?!?"

All that needs to be said about this has already been said in one succinctly brilliant post by Sairer at Vintage, Pretty and Shabby in her post entitled,"Massive". She's the one who suggests that the french word for  egg - "oeuf" - is much more descriptive (oooof!) of a hen's efforts with these things. Leave it to the french (I say fondly).......

Well, that's my scandalous post for the day!

Love, Kate

Monday, June 21, 2010

I happen to know Mr. Toad.

You know, the one from "the Wind in the Willows".

      I have to say that he is not conceited at all, even though Kenneth Graham thought that it would be fun to paint him with that beloved black brush. He is confident because he really truly is a genius. Nothing seems to be beyond the scope of his interests or expertise. Whatever he does, he loves and does wholeheartedly. True, when he finds a new passion, he's madly focused ~ intent, even. He thinks about his new venture as an adventure. His enthusiasm is completely contagious. He's actually infected many others with a deep love of these same pursuits ~ influencing and changing their lives. This is because, he is eager to share and an earnest teacher.

Indeed, his home is Toad Hall, by the river. He has never been in a deep dungeon with metal bars and a rusty key for the lock. His purchase of his red motor car was clearly on the up and up. He is, also, dear friends with Badger, mole and the water rat, as I know full well!

It is true, Toady is ardent, ebullient and exuberant!


He is keen, passionate, rhapsodic!

He is zealous and, well, yes ~ a tad obsessed and fanatical!

Don't we all love to live life this wholeheartedly?

To be absorbed, engrossed, passionate, yeah, even preoccupied!

But what is this???


Oh, my! Could it be?

It is LOVE and wonderment!!!

A new mania!!!

.....hmmm, I'd best get rid of these weeds!


Happy Father's Day, Mr. Toad!

Love, Moley and Rat!

*Illustration by Inga Moore

Yes, I know, I know...... I should be the one to talk.......

Friday, June 18, 2010

Serious Procrastination!

Okay! I know what I said about slowing my blogging down, but.......

It is the first day of summer vacation!

Today, we slept in until 10:30.


Then, I made an apple cinnamon coffee cake (from a's supposed to be all about easy, carefree living, right?) and the boys and I had a lovely, leisurely morning.

It wasn't anything spectacularly fancy.

(This is just my everyday tea pot - it's amazing that it's lasted so well for over a decade.)

It was so pleasant and special that we were sitting together for breakfast without any place to rush off to. The boys said everything nice to me that they could think of as a way of thanking me for the treat.

Hmmm, did you know that I am "brilliantly smart"?

That's what the boys said. 

Then, I dropped the bombshell.

(go ahead - click and zoom right in on this puppy!) 

Today, we need to clean up!

The boys were aghast!!!

Clean up on the first day of summer vacation? 

Okay, well maybe not....

They just kept playing. I've been hearing laughter and gentle conspiratorial noises coming from them all day. There's been building and puppies and cheering for marble races...

.... leisurely ~ happy ~ sounds. 

I keep thinking of a quote from Susan Branch's Summer cookbook.

"The easeful days, the dreamless nights;
The homely round of plain delights;
The calm, unambitioned mind,
The simple stuff of summertime."

~After Austin Dobson. 

I am feeling a thrill of joy as I write this post.

It's here! It's finally here!

Happy, happy summertime!

Love, Katy Noelle

This comic is from "Baby Blues".   Tom and I love Baby Blues!

You can follow the link to My Romantic Home for "Show and Tell Friday" if your fancy leads you!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I missed Flag Day!

Photograph on card by Keith Scott Morton for Country Living Magazine

 I missed Flag Day!

Yes, I did!

I do every year!

I promise myself at the beginning of June that, "this year, I will be ready. This year I will get to it right away," but June 14th comes and goes. Sometimes, I don't even realize it until I'm, almost halfway through July. You know how it goes, though, don't you? It's June! weddings and gardens and graduations and Father's Day and church picnics and the end of school and alumni day. Phew! What a month!


Why does it matter that I miss Flag Day? I mean, we always have a flag hanging, anyway.

June 14th is one of my best friend's, Freya's, birthday. It is quickly followed by one of my other best friend's, Charley's, birthday, on the 18th. Then, it's mine on the 24th and my other two best friend's birthdays are in July. I always miss all of them! (Note: I didn't say forget! I remember that they're there. I just miss them. i.e. bad aim!) Now, you know my sad and shameful truth. To lessen my guilt just a tiny bit, they are all my very best, forever, dearest, been through thick and thin friends from California. California is a long ways away.

Maybe, I should establish a "best friend's day"! You know, like "Mother's Day" or "Father's Day". Then, I could put it in the middle of a month that needs a little action and cheeriness - like March!

Well, Sweet Friends, the wishes will be belated but the love will be just as strong!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well, this brings up a point that I need to discuss with you all. It's getting a bit frazzled around here. Alina, asked me how I was doing everything - you know, puppies, 3 little boys, house and home and garden (still nonexistent) and church, etc. (BTW, our "worship/music team" from my church will be leading the music at a big retreat this Saturday.) Oh, and blogging, too.

This question really made me laugh. Did I give the impression that I was doing it all???


I am sorry to say that my house is a bit of a catastrophe. I've been loving (and chasing and feeding and cleaning up after) those puppies and letting other things go. Also, the puppies have caused me to be a bit sleep deprived - very sleep deprived. Until, about, yesterday, I've been a walking zombie.

All of this to say that, my blogging may be a little bit sparse through the next few weeks. I don't know quite how it will work out. Sometimes I may have more time than others. If I am exhausted, then, blogging is a pleasant way to occupy my time while I rest. I just want you to know what is happening with me since, up until now, I've been blogging up a storm.

Er, speaking of graduations.

 That's my oldest boy, Lliam. He graduated from elementary school, last night. Next fall, he will start up at the big school. (For those of you across the Atlantic, we have Kindergarten and 1st - 6th grade for elementary school. 7th and 8th grade for middle school and 9th - 12th grade is the high school. Graduating from the sixth grade means that he is perched on the cusp of all that comes with transforming into an adult.)

I, somehow, just can't believe it.

Well, first, we have carefree summertime!


Katy Noelle.

You know, it's not too late to send an overnight card to Charley....

Maybe, I could send Freya her card for next year, now!

Hmmm, maybe, I'll just call them in the meantime....

I am so glad that my friends know all about me and still love me - no matter what! 

 Photograph on card by Keith Scott Morton for Country Living Magazine

You know, you really should click twice on the moon and really zoom in. I cannot believe I got this photograph. (Although, I know it won't be winning any contests.=])

It was a perfectly shiny ending to a stellar evening.

oh, haha! I have to tell you what my son just said. I said, "okay, boys! What I want for my birthday is a clean house." Toby said, "don't worry, mom, we'll find one."

Sunday, June 13, 2010



Wyatt (and our vet, Brandi)

Pink Toe (our name), going to comfort the little boy who had picked her out but was home with a broken leg.

Lucy and her new Mommy

Lucy and her boy!

Our vet matched Shirley and Ginger up! She is going to be the healthiest, well taken care of little sweet puppy in the world!

This sweetheart was picked up by Tom's Mom (my mom-in-law) to go to Aunt Mertie who has had all of her pup's chew toys and pillows and blankets, etc. waiting for 5 weeks, now.

Two princesses!!!

The small furry one has a new name - 'Alison' (as in 'Alice-in' Wonderland)

And, we kept big Chubbs!

er,........ big Chubbs.....

Big Chubbs......

If you want to see big Chubbs, you'll have to go to this post, Chubb Jr.


we, also, kept Una!

She was the first born and I will never forget how full of awe we were to hear her first cry.

Although, we're still trying to think of official names.......



I am brokenhearted to see the clan scattered 


I am filled with joy!