Pictures Of This n' That

I enjoy taking pictures of all different sorts of subjects whether it be my family, my animal children, family life and events, food, flowers, birds, or nature. Photography is just a hobby I really like! So, on that note, here's a few pictures for a view into my world.....

My hydrangeas were beautiful this year. I planted this bush a couple of years ago, but it's only begun to look really good this blooming season.

Becca, my daughter, seems to be obsessed with fish! This Betta is her newest addition. He's a dark blue, and is very pretty when his fins flow as he swims.

Um, Checkers, animal can Mommy I help you?

Ziva, you precious little scaredy cat! She is a perfect example of how that saying came into being!

One of the many splendid clouds in the sky on a day not too long ago.

These flowers were given to me by a friend who told me to let them dry, remove the leaves, then use the flowers in arrangements around the house.

As much as she is a scaredy cat, Ziva's also a very curious cat! She always knows when something new is in the house.

My morning glories growing up the front porch post. I just LOVE to see them bloom and fill in so beautifully as they are now!

How beautiful is that?! This color is both mine and Becca's favorite. I started planting morning glories when my father told me the story of how popular they were when he was a boy.

One day I spotted this dragon fly resting on my dusty miller. I was so thrilled that I ran to get my camera, and he stayed posed perfectly for me!

Much to my surprise, the dragon fly was back again the very next day. Just look at those intricately made wings!

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time:
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Shortbread Cookies - Melt In Your Mouth Delicious

If you're looking for a quick and easy, but something different type of cookie recipe, here's one you really should try. I've never made a batch of these that didn't disappear like magic!

Shortbread Cookies

1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 or 3  Hershey's chocolate bars


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Whip butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in the confectioners' sugar, cornstarch and flour. Beat on low for 1 minute, then on high for 3-4 minutes. Drop cookies onto a lightly greased cookie sheet using a small spoon. Place cookies in oven for approximately 5 minutes. Remove tray and gently press 1 chocolate bar square into the top of each cookie. Return to oven and bake for approximately another 5 minutes. Watch that the edges don't brown too much. Cool slightly, then remove cookies to a wire rack.

I have used 1/2 c. butter and 1/2 c. shortening in place of the full butter amount. When I use this substitution, I also add 1 t. of butter flavoring to the mix to give the cookie that rich buttery taste that using the whole amount of butter would give it. Either way you choose to go, the cookies will taste wonderful!

A Dog's Life

My neighbor has the sweetest dog ever. And the quietest. I don't think I've ever heard him bark. (And if he has, I haven't heard it!) So when she needs someone to walk him, I gladly oblige. His name is Jack - plain, simple and downright agreeable. And that's just how Jack is. Would that I could say the same for my Romeo! 

Here we go, starting off on our walk.

And the sniffing ritual begins....

Jack loves to turn his face into the wind and sniff the air.

He has a certain confidence that is expressed in his bouncy trot and his flag-like tail. What a pleasure it is to walk a dog with this type of attitude. It makes for such a lovely stroll!

Nearing the end of our walk, Jack makes some final assessments of what's going on in the neighborhood. Then he calmly turns his head, and begins his happy trot, pointing his nose in the direction toward home. What a great day it was to take a walk with Jack!

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When It Rains..... pours! And it's been doing that a lot lately.

This picture of Romeo says it all.....He's a sad boy when it rains because there's no one outside and nothing going on, so what is there to bark at?? I, personally, love rainy days for this very reason!

When you can actually SEE the rain in pictures, you know it's coming down in buckets!

The concrete patio was literally a stage for thousands of dancing raindrops.

The only good thing about lots of rain is that it does the watering for me, and my gardens grow bushy and beautiful!

The bird feeder, which is normally overflowing with Sparrows, is left abandoned in spite of its roof for shelter.

Without any birds, Melissa just stares out the window. Notice the slight droop in her ears....Lol. No birds =  no exciting cat T.V. for this let down girl!

No need for bathing today, for which the Petunia's seem to be sadly agreeing.

Not even the determined, predictable Hummingbirds showed up!

Just the determined, pelting rain coming from the northwest, sounding like BB's hitting the window!

And who seems to be nonplussed by all these goings on?

Why Mr. Checkers, of course! I have no idea what he was thinking here, except that he may have been rubbing his paws together in anticipation of lunch. Food is about the only thing that motivates this old boy! Ha ha ha!

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Farming & Country Life From the Eyes of a Boy

My son is crazy about farming, animals and living life in the country. He has been since he was a little boy. He's now 14. I guess some things you just know will be a part of your child's life when they develop a particular interest at a very young age.....

This is a picture of him at about that young age when he started showing an interest in all things "farm and country"! Isn't he just so darn cute? Those cheeks and lips of his were just so irresistible, thus his cheeks were squeezed and his lips were lavished with mommy kisses on a regular basis! ;)
He took this picture (with the tractor stopped) while the hay was being raked into windrows

Here is his picture of the finished windrows. This is beautiful to him.....

He took this picture of one of his chickens on a very cold day and labeled it, "That moment when your chicken wants in!" Apparently, it was so puffed up to stay warm. I have to admit, I've never seen a chicken do this. But then again, I haven't been around too many chickens in my life! Lol.

Here are his most recent animal additions....the "Chops". He labeled this picture, "Two very happy pigs". However, one of them will not be very happy come butchering time. The pink one he will keep so she can have piglets, which he'll sell to make some money to put in his "piggy bank". No pun intended! ☺

Here's my picture I took of the cute. But already their pen is swarming with flies!

I remember the days when we had fake pigs, cows, horses, chickens, barns, fences, tractors, balers, combines and a myriad of other farm toys spread all over the kitchen table. I love those days! He'd sit there and play for hours every week, making noises of machinery moving and animals calling, and he'd color big sheets of white paper the color of hay so that he could run his tractors up and down the "hay fields". You may have heard of that old expression, "You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy!" Yepper. That is certainly true of my boy....

A Recent Outing

On the trail at a beautiful, local park

A sweet smelling, inviting meadow alongside our trail

This hallowed out tree is amazingly still standing!

Makes you wonder how long it took to get like this

Berries for the birds

A bench along the trail for resting, and perhaps, quiet reflection....

Dean checking out all that was around us

This picture is totally natural - no enhancements whatsoever! This was just the bright, gorgeous sun shining through the leaves above and it was spectacular!

A second hallowed out tree

Another trail walker taking a moment to sit and enjoy the beauty of nature

Deer right along the road, unafraid of humans, just eating apples that fell from the tree!

A painted turtle that was trying to cross the road. My stepdaughter put it back into the safety of the woods.

This fawn was about 150 yards away with its mother along our trail. My stepdaughter took this picture with her amazing camera!

We had a great family excursion on this day that we headed out together. What peace and enjoyment I get out of being with my family, drinking in the beauty of nature all around us, hearing the cicadas high in the trees and listening to the chirping of birds here, there and everywhere!