Outdoor Plants and Flowers

Took the Olympus to the front yard. The setting was on Shutter Priority Mode. Minor editing were done in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Columbine.

Pine cone from the giant pine tree in the yard. The tree is starting to brown at the top. I hope it’s not a sign that it’s dying.

This is a ground covering flower called a Vinca. They grow so fast and wildly. I want to get rid of them completely but husband wants to keep them.

Aspen.

The peony is stuck inside the branches of a huge bush. When we first landscaped the yard, the bush was tiny so I thought I could fit a peony plant there. Ten years later and there’s no room for it to grow. I’m planning to take it out and plant it in an open area. It used to bloom so beautifully.

Maple.

The giant bush. Its leaves are tiny now but come summer and fall and this thing becomes a beast. I happen to really like this bush. Just wish the peony wasn’t stuck inside it.

I believe these are morning glories. Not sure what the little periwinkle colored flowers are called but they are so pretty.

And last, a lavender my sister gave me for Mother’s Day. It’s inside the house now but I might transfer it outside. Can you see the spider web between the two flowers? We just had a spider egg sac open in the backyard and watched the babies fly off (like in Charlotte’s Web). Some sneaked inside the house and made the plants their home. I think they’re safe so I’m not worried. You’d think I’d be more scared of spiders since I was bitten pretty badly by a Brown Recluse years ago. There are other bugs I’m more scared off, but we won’t go there.

Orchids Taken with Olympus PEN E-PL8

These photos were taken in RAW and converted to JPEG. Nothing else was done to them. I should also mention that the setting was on auto.

Olympus PEN E-PL8 Mirrorless Camera

I purchased this camera on Amazon for $280. The original price was $600. The sale is still going on so if you have extra cash hanging around and want a small camera that can do big things, grab it before it’s gone.

I’m not being paid for talking about this camera. I’m just excited. It’s small and stylish. It’s an older camera but it’s still works wonderfully. The newest one is a PL10 and closer to $700.

I’ve been eying mirrorless cameras for some time now but never really needed another camera. I did some heavy research on other mirrorless and because of the price, I went with the Olympus.

Pros: It’s lightweight and takes pretty decent pictures. It’s not meant for pro photography but more so for stuff like blogging and YouTube vlogs. It’s also a good camera to take on trips because it’s light and small so it’s easy to carry around.

Cons: Not a big fan of the WiFi. It doesn’t work properly so I’m finding myself having to use the USB cord to upload to my computer. One reason why I went with this camera was because I wanted the WiFi but I guess I’ll have to try another camera with better connection. I searched everywhere for answers to the issue but there doesn’t seem to be any.

I’ll be sharing photos from this camera soon.

Book Review: Robinson’s Dream

Robinson’s Dream is about a couple who thought they did everything right raising their teenage son only to find out that their efforts really didn’t pay off as expected. Their son found himself in a mess and they weren’t sure how to approach the situation. The husband (Robinson) and wife decide to sleep on it, and while doing so, Robinson falls into a dream and dreams within dreams of strange events having to do with his fears, anxieties, his son, family members, friends, and a kaleidoscope of other things.

Like Lages’s other book, King Clown, this book has a similar style, however, the pacing was much better in this one. From start to finish, I was immersed. There’s really not a huge plot or rising actions. It is a story of situations that take place without an obvious climax but still gets the message across. The humor is excellent. A lot of it is dark but well done. I laughed my heart out. The story itself is not very serious but the messages are. It’s just a wonderful read and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to laugh and cry and think deep about life.

Book Review: The Whispers of War

The Whispers of War by Julia Kelley is a historical fiction about three friends during WWII in London. It is a story of unrelenting friendship during one of the hardest times in history.

Hazel, Nora, and Marie were roommates in school as young girls and continued their friendship into adulthood. Due to the war, Marie learns that she could be deported, or even worse, be removed to a camp for Germans who were a threat. The friends stick together and help Marie through this scary time.

I found the story a little too slow and not strong enough. The women didn’t have a lot of depth to them. The only one I felt had a strong story was Hazel. Her relationship with her husband was unstable and it was due to her trusting her friends more and spending a lot more time with them then him. I felt his frustration and felt bad for him. He tried to make it work and nothing he did could fix their marriage because she was already set on leaving him. I found it odd how easily he let her go though and how she did’t feel anything for him.

The writing was beautiful as always. The world building wasn’t bad. Loved the way the characters spoke and dressed. However, the characters really just weren’t created strong enough and that was unfortunate. There was a lot of back and forth and little things happening here and there without much movement forward dragging the story on. It felt like it was done purposely to fill the pages. I think the story could have been tightened up a little bit.

Book Review: The Last Man

The Last Man by Mary Shelley is about a plague that killed everyone in the world but one man. The story is through the eyes of a man named, Lionel. It is uniquely done with just mostly telling, but it’s done quite well. Shelley is a beautiful writer.

When I first started the story, I thought the MC was female. When I learned she was a he, I had to go back and read a few things I thought didn’t make a lot of sense (which then made sense afterwards). I found the technology lacking. It was the year 2098. They were still using horse and buggy, carriages, and horses to go places. And, lamps were used often. No electricity. This was all before the plague hit. Shelley hinted at technology but then said that horse and buggy was faster transportation. That kind of fooled with me since I tend to see cars and flying things (including flying cars and hover bikes, etc.) in 2098. Aside from these two things, I actually enjoyed it.

Happy Mail Sent

Earlier this month, I made some happy mail envelopes with stickers and washi tapes and sent them to my sisters, sisters-in-law, and friend. It was a lot of fun to make and assemble.

The washi sample was made using a Project Life divider tab. The stickers were cut with the Silhouette Portrait. The mini envelopes (below) for the washi tapes were made following a Youtube tutorial by 49dragonflies.

These vellum envelopes were purchased from Michael’s about three years ago. Never really used them so was happy to finally put them to use.

Made these larger mailing envelopes using 12×12 Prima Marketing papers.

Sticker credits: Flamazing digital scrapbooking kit by Blagovesta Gosheva, Good Vibes by Webster’s Pages, Roots by Illustrated Faith, and Happy Place by Illustrated Faith.