Friday, November 13, 2015

The Mini Vacation Continued

It was raining, lightly, and windy the day we drove back from Hannibal, MO. towards Champaign, IL. Pat had never seen the Allerton estate that is now part of the University of Illinois campus. Most of Champaign and Urbana are part of U of I. Joke. Due to the weather, we didn't get to walk around like we would have wanted, but did spend about 45 minutes getting wet and taking a few shots. Some of the trees were spectacular.

I have no idea what those berries are, I just thought they looked neat. The inner berry was brilliant red, while the outside shell was a dusky gold. These were taken with my phone.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Rest area I-74

Rest area I-74

Bridge over the Mississippi River, at Quincy, IL.
The above are throwback pics because I keep forgetting to post them. These are from the 5 day vacation I took with my friend, Pat, the last week of October. Some of the best color I saw on this trip was at the first place I stopped - the rest area just west of Danville, IL. on I-74.

Quincy, IL. was an interesting town. Loaded with maintained mansions, it is a mix of old meets no new industry, the working poor neighborhoods. More to come on this.

It was a good trip, short, weather cooperated, and we had fun. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 9, 2015

alisaburke: 3 ways to use a coloring page in a tablescape

alisaburke: 3 ways to use a coloring page in a tablescape: I love putting a creative twist on my holiday tablescapes and while I enjoy traditional decor, I am a sucker for anything creative and a ...

LOVE this idea. Coloring is not just for kids. Every adult that I know that is now coloring pages states that it is relaxing, almost meditative in nature. Wonderful stress relief. Wouldn't this be a great after-the-big-meal activity, along with a short walk?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Fall Color

Mums a neighbor gave me.

Soft Maple at the dog park

Fire or Burning bush alongside the garage

Getting ready for work. I cracked up the life guards. They love me.
My favorite time of the year. I love this short period when there are warm days that cool, some days with a nip in the air. The dogs want to be outside more, are running more at the dog park.

The color in and around Avon is spectacular this year. I have never been able to figure out, or remember, what conditions result in good tree/bush color. We have been dry in the last 6 to 8 weeks, but had a lot of rain in the spring and early summer. Who knows? I am enjoying it.

I plan on wearing the hat for Halloween to hand out candy. If I can find them, I also have rubber monster feet. Here's hoping I don't trip over a dog and kill myself.


Thursday, October 22, 2015


Our wedding. February 28, 1980. I was 33, David, my youngest stepson, was 17, and Ken was 41.

It has been a hell of a week. And my thoughts have returned to "what if?" What if I had not met this man, fallen in love, and become a step mother? My life would have been radically different, driven by a career. Very possibly I would have moved with Time Life Books to Virginia. And I would not have become a grandmother.

We all make choices in life, and our roads veer one way or another due to those choices. Do I regret them? No, not really. You can't know the joys unless you've had some sorrow, the highs are not as high if there are no lows. Cliches, yes, but they happen to be true.

But damn, the road is getting rough in my declining years. I am stronger now, more resilient for sure, but that doesn't mean my heart doesn't ache. I thought losing my husband to cancer would be the hardest thing I ever faced. I was wrong. Watching a life being thrown away by a grandchild is worse. And I find myself asking over and over, what would Ken have done? Am I doing what WE would have done together as a couple? The answer is yes.

For those suffering from depression, there is always help. For those with addictions, help is a phone call away. But when the hands from people who love you are batted away with scorn, it becomes time for tough love.

Tough love it is.

Monday, October 19, 2015

alisaburke: landscape photography- a few tips

alisaburke: landscape photography- a few tips: Today my latest online class Lovely Landscapes goes live and while I can't give share the entire class, I thought it would be fun...

This is a wonderful post about photography. I would quickly like to add a few more tips:

If traveling by car (we go out on a lot of one day or weekend type get-aways), throw in a large beach towel or blanket. You really can get some amazing shots by lowering your perspective, but often the ground is wet and/or cold.

Look for colors that attract your eye, or combinations of color. Sometimes they don't always transfer well to the digital world, but often they do. The beauty of digital is you can see it immediately. I LOVE that.

I need a new camera. My Canon D40 has died a good death. Had it for 8 years, and it was used, used, used. I miss the creative aspects that equipment encouraged and allowed. So a future blog post will be about what I decide to purchase.

Thanks for stopping by.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Needy pups. So needy!

I worked last night. It is mandatory for me to head for a shower as soon as I get home, to remove the pool chemicals from my skin. I am old. That is the entire explanation. So the dogs know that when I come out of the bathroom, I will settle on the bed to watch television.

Gracie goes to my right, normally, but last night Jake grabbed that spot. He never misses an opportunity to harass his sister. Never. Gracie was wanting some attention, so an ear massage was in order. Put her right to sleep. Jake just wants mom. Doesn't really matter if I pet him, but I always do, he wants his body close or touching mine. He was against my right leg. And this is how it stays until they either hear a real or imaginary sound outside, or I (heaven forbid!) get up to go to the bathroom.

I love my babies.