Monday, August 31, 2015

Percy No!



Does this cat look remorseful to you? Well, he better be remorseful. He's on the timeout bench for the second time in a week. Yes, Mr. Percy has been very naughty. He is like a bull in a china shop, full speed ahead all the time and wrecking anything in his path.

Yesterday he knocked a table and the cable box on it to the floor. Crash, bang. Luckily he was ok but the cable box not so much.

The cable is out now. I chatted with Verizon twice and I spent a long time trying to figure out the problem. The first time it took the guy 20 minutes to look up my account. He had my name, address, phone number and back up number and still could not find my account. Eventually the online chat timed out and I got disconnected.

The second time the guy was competent. He found my account right away and we ran a series of tests on the system. Still no signal. I am going to have find my original remote for my TV. I only use the Verizon one so I am sure it is going to take me a while to find the original one from 2008. Yikes!



And here he is giving me that I am the boss here and you better get used to it look. He's on the timeout bench here because he ate some of my food.

So here's the story.  I was eating some very delicious ravioli for dinner. Spinach and scallion that I bought at the Farmer's Market. I was thinking I should give myself another helping so I put two more in my bowl.  I was watching TV and about to eat the two I had left when I heard a loud crash in the kitchen.



Percy was sleeping like this on the cable box in the living room.  I ran into the kitchen and the trash had fallen over. Either I overloaded it or another kitty was trying to find something good. I was there for only a second. When I came back, I saw Percy sitting in the hallway licking his chops.

Oh no! I went back to the ravioli bowl and the two raviolis were intact. I wanted to eat them but I figured Percy had licked them so I threw them out. Actually if he had eaten the scallions he probably would have been sick. Cats can't have onions. Their systems can't break down an onion.

 
Anyway, he is just fine. He's used up two of his nine lives in a week.
 
Right now, he is sleeping on my feet and lightly snoring. How do I know he is snoring? Because the house is so quiet you can hear a pin drop! There is no TV, so no noise.
 
He better help me find my old remote.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Amazing ACRO-CATS

 
 
 
 
When my friends said they were going to an Acro-Cats show and they asked me to join them I was not sure about it.  I don't even go to the circus. I don't like to see animals perform but I know my friends are such animal lovers that chances are they checked it out and it would be fine.
 
I knew we were in for a fun night when I saw the Acro-Cat mobile. I had my friends pose with the vehicle.  We were pumped to see the cats.
 
  
 
Well the cats did not disappoint. The white kitty, Tuna, was the star of the show and he had quite the catitude. He was multi talented and he loved to hear his name shouted out from the audience. We were encouraged to yell Tuna, Tuna throughout the show.
 

The trainer, Samantha, was amazing. She even trained a groundhog to play a gong.


Samantha was quite a star herself. She has trained many animals and she also said she has found homes for 162 cats. All the cats in the show live with her and she explained that is why she is still single. I can relate!

 

As I said, Tuna was very talented. He played drums, rang a bell, pushed the switch for the applause sign and had many more talents.


This kitty was very sweet and she played the piano. I could not believe how focused she was.


Here's an action shot of Tuna playing the drums. Actually he looks like he is rowing.


If I had to pick a favorite it would have to be Jax.  I think he looks like a combination of Oscar and Percy.


Just look at that face. He is too adorable!

After the show we were allowed up on stage to meet the kitties. Some of them were very friendly, some were posers, others we were told to keep our distance from.
 
 
I think I have a few recruits for the acrocats.  Maybe Percy. I think he can channel his energy more constructively.


Yes, all my kitties definitely have acrocat potential. But can they be trained?



Send me an application. I have 3 new recruits with resumes and photos all ready.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Photography for the Foodie- A South End workshop


Back in June, I took a food photography workshop in Boston's South End. The training was given by the same women that did the edible flower workshop I attended. Betty and Meg are fantastic teachers and just fun people to be around.

I took this photo at the end of the class. We had breakfast and some instruction then a trip to SOWA, a vintage market in Boston, lunch with ingredients purchased from the farmer's market at SOWA and more instruction.


Look at this adorable place setting. It was quite the swag bag. Very impressive!


Meg spoke about props in food photography. She usually uses white plates rather than patterned ones so the plate will not draw attention from the food. Flatware and cutlery are a different story. Sometimes they can add to the interest in a photo.


Our class was held at Farm and Fable in Boston. Such a cute shop and we received a discount if we shopped the day of the workshop.

These are some of the props we would use in our photo shoots.


Betty set the stage for our photo shoot.  We had nice light streaming in from the shop windows. Betty likes to use a step stool for a nice overview of the food palette. 



That bread was as delicious as it looked and it was straight from the farmer's market.


Here's a closer look at some of the items we photographed.
 

Betty said it is sometimes nice to have someone hold the food item so she asked for a volunteer.


I had a great vantage point.


 Then I took my shot of the breakfast leftovers.
 

The Farmer's Market at SOWA was so colorful.

 
Fruits, vegetables, flowers, baked goods. A culinary wonderland.


The displays were top notch too. After we visited the vintage and farmer's markets we walked back to the shop and ate lunch.



The artistry on this chalkboard menu was amazing!
 
 
The strawberry gazpacho was fantastic as was the quiche, and the salad and the desserts. You certainly would not have been hungry after this luncheon.
 
We did some more shooting and styled our own photos in groups of two. I totally enjoyed myself at this event. I hope to attend more of Betty and Meg's workshops in the future.
 
 
 

Monday, August 17, 2015

An illuminating night- Rockport Illumination and Fireworks




If you are a follower of my blog you know I am infatuated with illumination nights. I have been to several. My favorite is the Grand Illumination Night on Martha's Vineyard. It is spectacular and not to be missed. The Ocean Park Illumination Night in Maine is quite nice too. That one spills over onto the beach.


This Summer, my illumination night was in Rockport. We started the night with dinner at Brackett's Oceanview. Someone had lobster. Not me, I went for the clams.


I don't eat lobster this way. I much prefer a lobster roll.


The weather was perfect. It was not too hot and there was a nice breeze. Many people dined outside.


We sat on the deck of Helmut's Strudel Shop as the sun set. My sister asked me to take a photo of this scene as it would make a lovely painting reference. I could have stared at it all night while I ate my strudel.


We walked to the end of Bearskin Neck. This scene at the restaurant My Place By The Sea made me think of a painting. Now that would have been the place to watch fireworks while dining. Maybe next year.


Another shot of My Place By The Sea. Some lanterns in the garden and natural illumination in the sky.

Illumination Night was in full swing downtown. There were musicians and cobblestones and lanterns. So very cool. Everyone was having a great time.


Another view of the downtown. This gives a glimpse of the architecture in the area.


And then the fireworks were launched off the pier. We lucked out and found a perfect parking space.  We stood by the car and watched the show. It was fantastic. Someone was launching sky lanterns before the fireworks so it was a double illumination.  This was my best shot. I did not bring a tripod so all my photos are slightly blurry.
 

I still think the photos capture the essence of the evening's illumination.
  

We were discussing our favorite kind of fireworks. I like the fizzly ones.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Shipping out of Boston- a quick weekend visit from L'Hermione


This post is a little late as are most of my posts lately. Still, I wanted to share some of my favorite Summer memories with you.

In July, my sister and I went to Boston to see the Hermione, the exact replica of the frigate that brought the Marquis de Lafayette to America in 1780. This fantastic ship took 28 million dollars and 17 years to build.


Not only was the ship impressive but the crew and officers were looking mighty fine in their period attire.


I wished we had arrived a bit earlier for the event to see the ship under sail. The Mayor of Boston officially greeted our guests to our city and the bells were pealing at the Old North Church .


I felt sorry for everyone who wore wool on a hot Summer day. I was glad we did not stand in line for 4 hours to tour the ship. We did not need to get that up close and personal. Besides, I have a trusty zoom lens.



I enjoyed looking at all the period clothing. I love military jackets even in modern day dress.


The ship was spectacular and to think it took over 17 years for the French to build it. We actually met a man from the area of France where the ship was built. He saw the progress over the years.


I wish I had done more adjustments for the bright exposure of the afternoon sun. My photos are washed out. This ship was colorful.


My sister took the opportunity to put on her artist's hat and sketch the beauty before her.


Unfortunately, the ship was only in port for a short time.


I asked my sister to pose for a photo with her sketch.


My sister had some friends who were part of the Boston ceremonies and their son Adam is portraying Marquis de Lafayette. You can see him in the background.
 

This is Adam Hodges Leclaire. Adam learned how to sew his own period attire and climb masts as part of his preparation for the role. What an opportunity to sale from France to the Eastern Seaboard on this fantastic ship! You can read more about Adam here.


Personally, I think his attire was the most spectacular.
 

And here is the Marquis de Lafayette with George Washington? Possibly.

 
Standing outside the Rowe's Wharf Hotel, we admired the beauty of the L'Hermione. I am so glad we were available to visit Boston that weekend. It is a wonderful memory of Summer 2015.
 

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