Hello, goodbye.

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This past Monday one of my co-workers held a dinner at her farm. It was great. She has this incredible stone farm house with exposed beams and a lovely field with two horses, a barn, and a silo with a mulberry tree growing out the top. The dinner came complete with a tour of the chicken coop, the pig’s pen, and feeding Spirit potatoes.  (Spirit’s the horse, although, Gene probably likes potatoes too because he’s from the Ukraine. His joke!) As the sky grew dark we brought our glasses of wine inside and sat down to a large round wooden table filled with delicious food lovingly prepared, the rice presented last in accordance with Persian tradition. Part of the reason for this weeknight meal was to say hello to new co-worker from California and goodbye to one headed to Tennessee. I’m looking forward to getting to know the new girl and I’m really  glad my path crossed with Gene’s, even if it was for a short time. I wish he and his beautiful wife all the luck and happiness this world has to offer and these two humble snapshots.

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family visit

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My parents came to visit us this weekend. It was a relaxing couple of days. They had just come off of a trip around Maryland and were kinda done with vacation mode. We just hung around the house and played around our sleepy town. It was nice! We enjoyed Heidi Swanson’s Baked Oatmeal for breakfast and it was winner. I highly recommend it for the next time you have company.

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Then we went to a local farm that sells its produce directly to the shopper in a cute seasonal store front. They had rows and rows of apples and berries of different varieties. And some beautiful tomatoes that fed us through the week.

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new camera!

The hubs and I are both home cooks. We enjoy experimenting, figuring out what went wrong with the last batch, and improving. Except my cooking is with food and his is with beer.

kevin transfering to carboy


We also both have an affinity for toys for our hobby. I ordered a spiralizer with my birthday present from my grandparents (post to follow!) and Kev went to the hardware store to make a wort chiller.

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Vandalia Gathering

I borrowed my grandmother’s Canon DS6041, aka the 300D, this past weekend to try and get a feel for DSLRs, shooting in manual, and the button set-ups on Canons.  A cool thing was that I got to compare it to my brother-in-law’s newer canon rebel. While I appreciate my grandmother letting me borrow her camera, comparing it to the newer version was night and day. The 300D has 6.3 mega pixels, less than my old iphone, and for some reason, I could not get photos perfectly in focus. The battery lasted for about ten minutes and the memory card held about ten frames when on the large file setting.  My brother-in-law’s camera could hold a ga-gillion, top notch photos and could take about 3 or 4 picture’s a second. The battery lasted multiple days.

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But still, the images are better than my old olympus.  Here are a few from this past weekend’s Vandalia Gathering.

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honeymoon pictures continued

 I realize this has nothing to do with health but humor me…

poisionious caterpillar, Monteverde

Coati or “nose bear,” Monteverde

on suspension bridge over cloud forest, monteverde

cloud forest crab, monteverde

humingbird, monteverde
gecko or salamander on ceiling of resturant in La Fortuna

humingbirds, Monteverde

Falls at La Fortuna

Monkeys near Arenal

more monkeys (can you see them?)

obligatory coconut pictures

beach at Rui



photography query

I had a photo journalism class in college… and a photography project in 4-H that I’m not entirely sure I ever finished. Really, the only things I remember from the later was the “trick photography” section where I learned how to put my friends Jenny and Megan in a jar. (Jar and hand close-up, friend far away in back ground pretending to squirm.) In short, I am no photographer. But I want to take nice pictures of my food for you and I was kind of disappointed with my pictures from Costa Rica. : / Blargh. I probably won’t be buying a camera anytime soon, but I want to start drooling. I want my next camera to last me. I want it to take pictures of fast movin’ kids and still faces in low light. I’d rather delay the satisfaction of a zoom lens so that I can afford more image quality now in a body that I can build on. It doesn’t need to be top of the line, but it needs to produce images that can be cropped and blown-up to an 8×10 for printing. 

Right now, I’m mostly using my iphone. As you can see from my previous post, most of the pictures are kind of blurry. With the phone, I don’t have any control over exposure or focal length. I have a little camera that I took to Costa Rica that has some ability to change f-stops, but not very many. It would undoubtedly do a better job on the food shots, and now that I’m getting settled in, I’ll start using it. But the controls are so little and the screen so tiny that you can’t really gauge the differences between settings until you download the images onto your computer which is no good for vacays.  

My previously mentioned friend Jenny now lives far away and occasionally graces me with b-e-a-utiful pictures of my flower girl and other subjects. (If you’re reading this, Jen, more please!) She has really practiced- you can tell. Her pictures have gone from good to wow over the past couple of years. So I asked her, “what kind of camera do you have?”

She responded, “this one, but I suggest a Canon Rebel with 50mm 1.8 lens, because it’s cheaper and it takes good pictures.” Due to the quick response, I suspect my friend has fielded this question before. It’s no wonder she’s been asked with pictures like hers. 

Does anyone else have any suggestions? If you upgraded to a fancy shmancy camera, do you feel like it was worth it or are you thinking of selling it on craigslist?