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Weekly Photo Challenge: FRESH!


“Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love.” Sitting Bull

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRESH!

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRESH! – Food, Flowers, Fruits, Fun!

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRESH!

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRESH! Flowers from my garden and other  locales

What does fresh look like to you? For me, it looks like spring and all the wonderful things associated with that new season. Today is the first day of spring and with it comes all the wondrous things we love about it; soon the buds will show their heads, the sun will greet us in the morn, and flowers will bloom in many colors.  In the first shot above, I created a collage of foods, flowers, fruits and more from different markets and places. The cheese rounds are from a market in France. The flowers are from my garden and the basket of fruit is from my kitchen. The veggies came from a local market (tomatoes), an upstate market (rows of veggies) and the colorful Adirondack chairs from a furniture store in the Rhinebeck region.

In case you were wondering why I included Macarons, read on. The Macarons are from Ladurée in Manhattan and they are one of my favorites places to visit for this delectable treat. I also love Macarons from Macaron Parlour, Pierre Herme, FP and a host of other bakeries that feed my taste for Macarons. We love spring in NY and to celebrate it, today is also Macaron Day in NYC. It is brought to you by Francois Payard to coincide with jour du macaron in Paris. If you live near enough to venture into the city, they are giving out free Macarons at a number of locations. Bon Appétit!


“The garden of love is green without limit and yields many fruits other than sorrow or joy. Love is beyond either condition: without spring, without autumn, it is always fresh.” Rumi


Weekly Photo Challenge: FRESH!

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRESH! Fruits and Veggies on display at  Whole Foods

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRESH!

Weekly Photo Challenge: FRESH! Baskets of fruit in my kitchen. Veggies displayed at two markets.

Google Doodle’s First Day of Spring GIF

What does FRESH mean to you? For me, Fresh means the taste of fresh fruits, the sound of cool spring water, and the presence of early blooms. I look forward to savoring the clean air and birthing some new ideas. I’m glad that the joy of spring is here even though, outside my window, it is SNOWING! We’ve had a brutal winter on the East Coast and when day light savings time kicked in, I rejoiced. Why? Because people won’t be getting home in the dark at 5-6pm, and there is a spring like quality in the air…. For this photo challenge, I was tempted to add a shot of all the snow falling outside but, frankly, I’m over it. Spring time and flowers, fruits, veggies and fresh air outings are beckoning. I’m going to focus my mind on that.

I must confess that one great thing about this winter has been the presence of all the colorful birds that came to eat out of our bird feeder. The birds were great company and I expect to see more of them this spring and summer.  Would you love birds to hang out in your yard and sing songs to you in the morning? Put up a few feeders and fill it up regularly. Happy Fresh First Spring Day to all!

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Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 – Take Ten!


“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” Maya Angelou

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 - Take Ten! - Mongoose Home

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 – Take Ten! – Mongoose Home

Day One: Home and Getting Oriented: Home is elusive. When we think about this word, we might picture different physical locations. And while home is often found on a map, it can also be less tangible: a loved one, a state of mind. For more: Before we offer shooting tips, let’s make sure you’re comfortable with your camera

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 - Take Ten! Street

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 – Take Ten! Street

Day Two: Street &a Establishing Shots: Today, let’s focus on a street. It can be a quiet road blanketed in snow, an alley near your apartment covered with murals, or a busy street where pedestrians weave between cars and motorbikes.Today’s Tip: While you’re free to take a picture from any angle, try to capture an establishing shot: a wide-angle photo that sets up a scene

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 - Take Ten!  - Water

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 – Take Ten! – Water

Day Three: Water & Orientation: We have different relationships to and stories about water: how it has saved or defeated us. How it reminds us of family vacations, outdoor adventures, or the hot summers of our childhood. How it might symbolize a place we’ve left behind, or a location we dream to go.Today’s Tip: Ever wonder whether a photograph will work better horizontally or vertically?

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 - Take Ten!  - Bliss

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 – Take Ten! – Bliss

Day Four: Bliss &; Captions: What is your idea of bliss? Is it an image of your family, laughing at the dinner table? A state of total relaxation, while lying on the beach? Your latest painting, drying on the canvas? Today’s Tip: Do you see the short description underneath the photo? That’s called a caption. Add a caption to your image of bliss

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 - Take Ten!

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 – Take Ten! – Badge

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 - Take Ten!  - Solitude/Rule of Thirds

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 – Take Ten! – Solitude/Rule of Thirds

Day Five: Solitude & the “Rule of Thirds”: We’re excited about today’s theme, solitude. In addition to thinking about what it means to you, also consider the placement of the subject in your shot. How can you interpret the state of being alone, or a lonely and uninhabited place? Today’s Tip: As you frame your shot, consider the “Rule of Thirds,” which is a great introductory lesson in composition.

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 - Take Ten!  - Connect

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 – Take Ten! – Connect

Day Six: Connect & Tags: In this age of social media, we hear the word connect often, don’t we? … There are many ways to interpret this theme: from a gadget to a handshake, from a bridge to a gathering among friends. What’s yours? Today’s Tip: Don’t forget to tag your post! Tags group your related posts together, help to organize your site content, and tell readers what a post is about. Photography, photo101, (Between five to fifteen tags per post (or a combination of tags and categories) is good practice.

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 - Take Ten!  - Big

Photo 101 Revisited: Week 1 & 2 – Take Ten! – Big

Day Seven: Big & Point of View: Today, let’s go big. Whether inside or outside, photograph something of massive size. Feel free to interpret big in your own way, and get creative with your shot. Capture all or just part of the subject. Place it in the foreground so it takes up the entire frame. Today’s Tip: Once you’ve chosen your subject, move around to experiment with your POV, or point of view.

Do come back for the rest ! Read more…

St Patrick’s Day: Top 20 Things You Should Know


“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” Reba McEntire

St  Patrick's Day: 20 Things You Should Know

St Patrick’s Day: 20 Things You Should Know

Happy St Patrick’s Day!  We know that, over the years, much has been said and written about this American born tradition. Yeah, you got it right. Only a spanner will believe all the malarkey around this day.  So sit tight as I run you through 20 things about this day that many of us believe to be true (but are false), things we don’t know, and those only a Gom should believe as they buy that green beer and imbibe it.  Do you have a sense of humor? If not, read Reba’s quote above, chill out and know that the point of this post is to separate fact from fiction while enjoying the festivities. Moving along…  :mrgreen:  Did you know?

1. St. Patrick wasn’t Irish
2. He was born in Great Britain and his real name was Maewyn Succat NOT Patrick
3. St. Patrick’s color is blue, and that green hat on your head and on other body parts are our own green-eyed monster inventions; they were probably created after a few too many beers.
4. “St. Patty’s Day” NOT! Please call him St. Patrick or St. Paddy… after all, the last time we checked, Patty was/is/always will be female.
5. St. Patrick’s Day as we know it was invented in the United States of America. Yep, you got it right. Now put down the lager.
6. St. Patrick’s Day parade was actually first held in New York in 1762, and the Irish in Ireland joined in many years later.
7. March 17th is the day St. Patrick died. So why all the hoopla? Are you happy the bloke died!?


“Every St. Patrick’s Day every Irishman goes out to find another Irishman to make a speech to.” Shane Leslie

St Patrick's Day: Top 20 Things You Should Know - Green water in fountain

St Patrick’s Day: Top 20 Things You Should Know – Green water in fountain

While you are trying to convince the little ones about those fairies and leprechauns, hold off on the green food color and scary stories. Much of it is an invention. So what are you thinking right now? Did you know that:

8. St. Patrick didn’t drive all the snakes from Ireland; they are alive and well there and everywhere else… the slimy bast….ds!
9. The  harp is the symbol of Ireland not the green shamrock.  Yeah, you knew that one…
10. The idea that shamrocks and clover were his symbols? Malarkey! It’s a great storyline though. By the way, did you know the four leaf clover stands for something? The first leaf is hope, the second is faith, the third is love and the fourth is luck.
11. St. Patrick’s Day used to be a teetotaller aka alcohol dry holiday in Ireland because the Catholic Church wanted it to be so. Yep, Go ask the Pope why it all changed. I’d like us to set aside all that excessive boozing on March 17, frankly.
12. Corned beef and cabbage isn’t a traditional Irish dish. So, you dont have to eat it today, tomorrow, or ever. Well, what the heck?

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