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Archive for the ‘St. John’ Category

rock and rule.jpgWe interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to talk about you. That’s right – you. As I’m beginning to discover, it’s not always about me. (I know, that’s wrong, but true.)

So, dear readers, tell me, what’s going on in your world? What little tidbits of completely useless information should I know about you?

(more…)

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I’ve been playing around with some of the features on my laptop in an attempt to learn how to do more cool things. I know I can record videos from my laptop, but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet. Late last year I learned about the “paint” feature on my computer and how I can alter photos. I’m still not very good at it, but I’m learning.

This is NOT me, but I'm sure I had the same expression on my face. Photo courtesy Google Images.

This is NOT me, but I’m sure I had the same expression on my face. Photo courtesy Google Images.

A couple of weeks ago I started playing around with my Power Point program and created my very first slide show. It’s very amateurish and kind of boring, but I enjoyed learning how all of the cool features work with this program. My experiment is uploaded below. Just click on the link and wait a few seconds for it to up load on your computer, then enjoy. I’m hoping to post more of these things in future and hopefully they’ll be a little more interesting. I may even figure out how to add mucic and stuff. For right now, this is my accomplishment. (Please note that the following download may not be compatible with all operating systems. Sorry.)

springtime-slide-show

Enjoy! And as always, thanks for your support.

P.S. I’m not sure what the cinnamon roll has to do with spring, but there you go.

What’s the last new thing you attempted to learn? Are you a computer geek, who loves this kind of technology?

Word of the Day:  Enceinte

Fun fact about me: My driver’s license photo is almost 12 years old. They just keep sending me new ones.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, March 2014. Original slide show produced and photographed by Patricia Rickrode.

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It’s time to blog again and I’ve got to say, I’m a little uninspired. It’s not that I’m in a slump or anything, because my creative juicies have been overflowing. Unfortunately, not with blog ideas.

How we balanced our budget. Makes perfect sense. Photo courtesy Google Images

How we balanced our budget. Makes perfect sense.
Photo courtesy Google Images

I have a good excuse. Really, I do. I’ve spent countless hours this weekend reading and revising my recently completed fourth manuscript. I’ve been to my monthly writer’s group meeting and conducted a very productive board meeting where we discussed next year’s writing programs, our annual Christmas party and our 3-day writing retreat in 2015. Oh sure, that budget part was a little yucky, but it comes with the territory.

As far as blogging, I got nothing. I think it’s time for a vacation. I know, I know, I just got back from a vacation only a few short weeks ago, but I think people should get vacations every other month. Don’t you?

I found this article, while I was busy doing nothing on the internet. And by nothing I mean something creative like looking at You Tube videos about making homemade Christmas decorations and scanning through hundreds of Pinterest photos for inspiration. That’s something. Right?

Anyway, that article, here’s the link: (Link was removed 11/4/13 by author)

Let me know if you’d rather be in any of these places right now instead of wherever you’re at. I know which one I’d pick.

What do you do when you lose your inspiration?

Word of the Day:

Fun fact about me: I can sing about 50 commercial jingles from the 80’s and 90’s. Something else cluttering up my brain.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, October 2013. Photo courtesy Google Images.

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It’s May first and spring is in full bloom in my neck of the woods! There was much complaining from the natives about all of the rain in March and April. But, let me say, there are no complaints now! May is shaping up to be one of the most beautiful months ever. So, in honor of Earth Day, I’m blogging this month about all of the beautiful things surrounding us in nature. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a look around you. You might be surprised.

Everywhere I’ve gone these past couple of weeks there are wild flowers and luscious green grass and shiny new leaves on the trees. I notice these gifts. I notice because – like sparkly things – I love flowers. I love to look at them, smell them, touch them and . . .  apparently, from pursuing my travel photos for last month’s blog, photographing them. Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve taken pictures of flowers.

I didn’t really notice that I do this until last month when I was drafting my April blog. But it makes sense because I am always drawn to a vibrant display of color. And a perfect bud or bloom has on occasion actually taken my breath away.

Susie Lindau (http://susielindau.com/2012/04/25/a-heatwave-cometh-early-a-photo-essay/) and Serena Dracis (http://serenadracis.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/welcome-to-wild-wednesday/) both recently posted pictures on their blogs of their back yards and gardening attempts, among other things. Karen McFarland has also posted awesome flower pictures on her blog recently. (http://www.karenmcfarland.com/perform-in-a-springtime-melody) All three of these blogs have amped up my spring fever. If you want some instant spring time, I highly recommend checking out these fabulous blogs.

Those were memorable blogs for me because I’m a flower-holic. I love them, plain and simple. I can’t resist snapping a photo every time I am awestruck by a beautiful bloom.

You’ll have to bear with me again this month as we take a little walk down memory lane and enjoy some of my flower-taking exerpiences.

Rain forest - Hilo, Hawaii

And it’s not just flowers that call me like a siren from the sea. Oh no, it’s unique plants and trees as well. A serene meadow or fern-blanketed forest have also been worthy of my photo snapping skills. I especially like finding a growing green plant in an most unexpected place.

Like this hearty little plant pushing up through a bed of hardened lava.

Lava beds - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Or these interesting specimens.

Annaberg Sugar Mill - Virgin Islands National Park - St. John, US Virgin Islands

Interesting beauty in the desert - Cabo San Lucas

Or this Banyan Tree. If you don’t know about Banyan Trees, I suggest you do some research, they’re fascinating things. They remind of of things you’d read about in Gene Lempp’s blogs. (www.genelempp.wordpress.com)

Banyon Tree - Oahu Hawaii

And here’s a very unique and beautiful tree.

Paradise Point - St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

But mostly, it’s the flowers that captivate me. Here are some of my flower photos with a brief description of where I took them. Enjoy!

The Big Island of Hawaii

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Cinnamon Bay - St. John, US Virgin Islands

Annaberg Sugar Mill - St. John, US Virgin Islands

Playa Mazatlan - Mazatlan, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

St. Thomas - US Virgin Islands

Lahaina, Maui

Maui, Hawaii

Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii

Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii

And what blog post about my travels would be complete without some photos of my favorite places – Disneyland and Disney World!

Epcot - Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom - Walt Disney World

I don’t have to be stationary to photograph these colorful living organisms either. Nope, I can shoot right through the glass window of my transport vehicle. Like these three I couldn’t resist while on my bus ride through Honolulu.

The hillsides along the freeways were bursting with color. I know now what Rachel Funk Heller experiences every day where she lives in paradise! You’re a lucky girl, Rachel! I hope you appreciate this living landscape beauty.

Here’s one I took from a moving boat.

St. John - US Virgin Islands

I captured some shoreline treasures . . .

Asilomar - Pacific Grove, California

And these mountain beauties.

Yosemite - May 2011

And as much as I love finding the natural beauty in plants and flowers, don’t even get me started on the the man-made topiaries. I can photograph these things all day. And apparently I have, judging by my vacation albums. Who came up this this idea anyway? It’s genius!

Sorcerer Mickey - Back Stage Tour - Walt Disney World 2009

It's A Small World - Disneyland

It's A Small World - Disneyland

 And I don’t just capture these amazing gems during the day time. No sirree, I photograph at night too.

It's A Small World - Disneyland - Christmas 2010

 Here’s a unique palm tree that captured my attention in Honolulu, whist on my ghost hunting expedition one night last year. That’s right, I went in search of ghosts.

Date palms - Honolulu, Hawaii

I not only shoot day or night, I shoot outside or in. Makes no difference to me and my snap happy finger.

St. Andrew's Cathedral

And a little rain won’t impede my desire to capture that perfect work of beauty.

My affinity for photographing flowers evidently also extends beyond the realm of the living. Here are some floral arrangements that, while natural, would not appear in this form in the wild.

Grand food creations buffet - Carnival Victory - 2006

Grand food creations buffet - Carnival Victory - 2006

Not only are flowers lovely to look at and delightful to smell, flowers can be functional as well. For instance did you know that rose bushes are often planted on the perimeters of vineyards?

They not only attract bees and other pollinators, but they help predict sudden changes in the weather. Roses are very susceptible to mold and are hyper-sensitive to temperature changes. Vintners can watch their roses to know whether or not they need to take action to protect their grape crop. You see, it’s an educational blog too.

So there you have it. My crazy flower obsession.

What’s your passion, or perhaps what thing do you find yourself photographing over and over again, besides your kids and pets?

Word of the day: Fuliginous

Fun fact about me: I once used cocoa powder as stage make-up.

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So my goal was to post a new blog on the first of every month. I missed the April deadline. I’m blaming it on April Fools, but the only fool is me. Where did March go? Just yesterday it was my birthday and now it’s April 2nd. What happened to those 7 days in between?

Of course it would help if Mother Nature cooperated, but she is a fickle female if ever there was on. Yesterday, April 1, it snowed. With all the rain and snow so late in the season, it’s hard to wrap my brain around the fact that’s it’s spring. But – now that I’ve come to terms with the reality of the season, I really want it to be spring-like outside. Now that I’m fully aware that it’s April, I’ve suddenly developed cabin fever and I want out of here! I need to ditch these winter duldrums and welcome warmer weather with open arms.

So, in my mind I’ve officially accepted spring. It’s time to work on the tan, dig out the tank tops and shorts, dust off the flip flops and whip up an icy margarita! In fact, I’ve gone from cabin fever to spring fever in a mere 24 hours. I need to get out of here, see the world, soak up some sun!

But, I can’t go AWOL just yet. Vacation’s not for another couple of months. Dang it!

In the meantime I’m vacationing in my mind. Today I took a little cyber stroll down memory lane and compiled a photo album of fun vacation’s past to share with you. I hope you’ll enjoy the next couple of minutes mentally vacationing with me. I will be your narrator and tour guide as we go along.

Enjoy!

This was an awesome find on my trip to Walt Disney World in 2009!

The Writer's Stop at Disney's Hollywood Studios!

This little hidey hole was a great find because later that same day we rode out a thunder storm in this shop while sipping hot chocolate and thumbing through a wide variety of books!

Here is my hubby having a little pre-show fun with his 3-D glasses at Mickey’s Philharmonic in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World.

Here I am developing my musical talent at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at the Wilderness Lodge campgrounds at Walt Disney Word. My skills improved considerably as I consumed more wine.

And no trip to Disney World would be complete without some pictures of Cinderella’s beautiful color-changing castle and fireworks!

In 2010 my husband and I took a mini vacation to Disneyland (we’re Disney geeks in case you didn’t notice by now) where we saw the most recent entertainment addition to Disney’s California Adventure Park, The World of Color light, laser and water extravaganza! I got this awesome photo just as the show was ending.

And who can resist a spin in a pink teacup?

In 2011 my husband and dad and I took a day trip to Yosemite and got some beautiful shots of the valley floor, Half Dome and numerous water falls.

Here are some pictures of sunny places from our Caribbean cruise starting with an awesome shot of Miami Beach, followed by three shots of St. John and then sunset over the bay at St. Thomas.

This is me wondering why in the heck I didn’t wear my bathing suit! Most likely it was my husband’s fault. Yeah, that’s it.

And a fun get-away to Mexico in December of 2008 with my husband and our nieces and nephew.  The first photo is a nice lunch buffet on the beach in Matazlan. I’m the one with the cool shades. Next to me is my niece Jennifer. Across from Jennifer is her twin Zach and behind Zach is their big sister, Stephanie. Good times! Good food! Pay no attention to the date in these photos. I forgot to remove the date stamper thingey mabob from the camera settings. (I’m a dork that way.)

Next stop is Cabo San Lucas for a little lunch, tequila tasting and bug munching for dessert. That’s right, I said bugs. I ate a bug. On purpose. Again with my really cool shades, I explain the correct way to enjoy tequila – shake, shoot, squeeze, repeat. My nephew is just under the legal drinking age in Mexico, but he played it cool and sat at the big kids’ table with me and his older sister. It’s obvious from the looks on their faces that they do not play drinking games on a regular basis. (That’s a good thing!) Me on the other hand . . . .

After sampling the different tequilas, we are ready for our dessert. I had an unusual reaction after crunching up my locust (or maybe it was a cricket). It wasn’t bad.  Zach seemed to enjoy his; Stephanie, not so much. A little tequila and insects never hurt anyone.

Lesson to nieces and nephew – what happens in Mexico does not necessarily stay in Mexico. (First I corrupt them, then I exploit them. What are aunts for?)

So now, does seeing this make you want to go on vacation as much as I do? Where’s your favorite vacation spot? I’d love to hear about a fun trip you took.

Word of the day: Evaginate

Fun fact about me: I love to color in coloring books!

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