Monday, August 27, 2012

I'm gonna make this place your home





I was listening to the song, Home, on the car radio today. I was driving home from meeting some borrowers who wanted to be preapproved for a mortgage. The situation is complicated.  I had met them once before and now at the second meeting I uncovered more pieces to the puzzle.

They might have to lower their expectations on the home they can afford and make a few other sacrifices but I will make it work and they will be approved for a loan and they will buy a home.  At the first meeting they were nervous but even though I had to give them some cold, hard facts today, they were calm. They were willing to make changes so they would get approved.

Sometimes it's just about finding the right pieces to the puzzle and gathering all the info and facts to make it work. And having borrowers who listen and learn is a bonus!

The song lyrics seemed apropos after my meeting today. "Settle down it'll all be clear, don't pay no mind to the demons they fill you with fear, the trouble it might get you down, if you get lost you can always be found, just know you're not alone, cuz I'm gonna make this place your home".

Friday, August 24, 2012

An Impromptu Photo Shoot


I am always looking to hone my photography skills. So when I came home from work yesterday and saw my neighbor Emily sitting on the back steps with her adorable baby girl, Natalie, I just had to spring into action.

Emily was a willing model and assistant as she engaged Natalie so we could get some cute expressions from her.  She is such a happy baby and she put up with me snapping away in her face. It was obviously not her first photo shoot... nor her last!




Don't you just want to squeeze her? Emily was lamenting that Natalie is growing so fast and she is. It's good to capture these little moments when you can.



Look at all that hair, so curly and wild.  It stands up like a mohawk and is so soft and fun to play with.



And if that isn't a cherubic face I don't know what is. Her gaze is intent.  I wonder what she's thinking? Probably crazy lady behind the camera!


What is more endearing than a baby's smile? Wish I knew what she found so amusing.


Oh I see, Mommy's hand is the source of contentment. Mother/daughter shots are the best aren't they?


Standing isn't her forte yet, she needs a little help. But she's working on it.


She does however, have the happy dance down pat. Future ballerina, perhaps?



We were joined by another family member.  Meet Murphy, the family dog.


Murphy is quite the handsome guy. I love his name because I had a dog named Murphy when I was young too.  Murphy is a sweetie.



Murphy gives Natalie a little nuzzle. She doesn't mnd at all.


And then Natalie reciprocates with a hug and a kiss. Murphy is content just to sit and protect his family. He is the man of the house when Dad is at work.



Natalie is getting shy and/or tired. I can tell the photo shoot is coming to an end.



Just one last parting shot and a smile from Mom and daughter. An obvious bond between the two.


Goodbye sweet girl, don't grow up too fast. I want another photo shoot! I am definitely going to need another Natalie fix.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Peaceful Waters



I suspected there was going to be a gorgeous sunset yesterday and I wanted to capture it. I stopped by Starbucks for a cappuccino and headed over to Horn Pond in Woburn.  It was the golden hour or the hour before sunset. The light was perfect and it illuminated the houses bordering the pond. Everything had a golden glow.



The pond was peaceful with more ducks and geese than people visiting.  I love to watch the colors of the pond change from blues to pinks and purples. Such pretty pastels.



The greenery was so wild and rainforestesque. I couldn't name a single plant but it was all beautiful.



It was almost getting too dark to take photos especially for a girl who still doesn't understand all her camera's settings or its capabilities.



A tripod would have been nice but I did not bring mine with me. So I changed a few settings and I was able to take a few more shots. I guess you could call it a shot in the dark!




These purple flowers caught my eye. Again, I don't know what they were but they were beautiful.


I love to look at the ripples in the water. Up close each ripple is clearly defined.


The ducks came out under cover of darkness..  They looked like mini speedboats leaving a wake of water behind them.


Ok it was getting really dark at this point.  Time for that last cliche sunset over the pond shot.  Horn Pond has a tranquil beauty.  If you get a chance, stop by around sunset some evening and you just might see me there.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Romantic Prairie style


I was having a few friends over to celebrate my sister's birthday on Saturday night. Nothing fancy just cake and presents. For special occasions, I usually use one of my lighted table runners but I thought it would be nice to do something more casual and less elegant.



Recently at a flea market, I bought this table runner made from a grain sack. The ends of it have just a hint of lace. This was the start of the tablescape.


I added my most neutral dishes, linen napkins, and a few votives.


I brought my turquoise colored Ball jar to Pondview Florist and asked them to fill it with a wildflower bouquet. I wanted to continue with a rustic theme. Nothing fussy or too bright. They did a great job as always.



When it came time for the cake, I brought out my antique scale to use as a cake stand. And the cake was absolutely delicious. It was a yellow layer cake with lemon marscapone cheese frosting between the layers and on the top.


The cake came pre-sliced and if I took the little sheets out to take a photo it would have collapsed. So the tacky sheets are in the photo.  Oh yeah, the cake was garnished with white chocolate shavings. Delish! It was well worth using my Weight Watchers cheat points to have a slice. By the way, I'm down 8.8 pounds so far.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A model cat


When I said model cat did you think I meant well behaved? Nooo, not this little guy. He's always up for some mischief and mayhem. I meant he likes to have his picture taken. I truly think he wants to be a model. He's the only one of my cats who actually likes to pose for photos.


The piece of furniture je is sitting on is a recent purchase from an estate sale in Reading . I had to wait abour two weeks until I could secure a mover so I just received it.


At the estate sale, I was told it was from the 1920's, but, the antiques guy who moved it for me estimated it is from 1840. The drawers need to be put back in it after I give it a good cleaning. Then
it will be moved to the bedroom.

Anyway, Mr Percy has decided this is his new perch. He likes to sit all regal on the top of it and he likes to hide under it too. I hope he is going to leave it alone once it's in the bedroom.



Vivienne, my dress form, looking dapper in her 1930;s bathrobe, just had to move into the shot.
She is an aspiring model as well.  Percy gives his best snobby model look.


Here he shows his best profile shot.  He is such a poser and quite impressed with himself. No self esteem issues with him!


He is giving me his crouching tiger pose. Doesn't he have a fabulous chiseled face?


He must think this is his best side.  I think he could be right. He does look supermodel handsome.



He does know how to hold a pose and he knows how to work his angles. I think he has been secretly taping America's Next Top Model and then watching them when I am not home.


He's already been on TV and now he is looking for print work and runway shows.  Since I am his agent and stage mom, you can contact me for auditions and appearance requests.

Monday, August 6, 2012

My BFF



My 2004 Toyota Highlander hit 100,000 miles about a month ago. I thought it would be cool to get a photo at 99,999 miles. That's a lot of nines!



Then 100,000 came next. A milestone in the life of my car who I affectionately call Fiona Rose. She's almost 8 years old now. As far as Toyota's go, she is probably at mid life. Maybe ready for AARP but definitely not ready for retirement. At least I hope not.

She's taken me so many places, like Rockport for afternoon tea by the ocean or a nice dinner followed by a sunset photo shoot. We've gone to Cape Cod for daytrips and she's even ridden the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. I think she likes boat rides.

She often goes to Maine and New Hampshire and she's been to Rhode Island several times. She definitely loves to sit by the ocean.

She holds my coffee for me on a daily basis and sometimes the aroma of take out food sticks with her longer than it should.

Sometimes she is vocal but most of her ailments have been minor except for the accident in 2009. She had to be "hospitalized" for three weeks and despite her many recycled body parts she was as good as new when she returned to me. She is a trooper.

So as we hit the 100,00 mile mark I hope we can have many more adventures and  good experiences before we eventually part ways.

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