February 26, 2010

sweet senior

Oh. My. Goodness.

I have just had the biggest all out brawl with my laptop. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I lost. It was ugly, but finally, at ten p.m. I am able to start my Photo Friday post.

Non-cooperative computer? Filled up with photo's hard drive? How do I despise thee? Let me count the ways.

Or not.

Last weekend, I got a call from a from a friend, asking if I would be willing to take her daughter's senior pictures.

Why, yes I would, thank you very much.

While I had never met my subject to be, she is the auntie to this little boy, so we at least knew a little bit about each other.

She was so much fun to work with, and I was very impressed with her fence climbing, brook crossing, and wet ground sitting skills. Montana girls...there's nothing like them.

Pretty darn cute if you ask me.

This was fun. I'm getting a tiny bit more comfortable working with new friends, and I'm ending up with fewer botched shots each time, so I'm encouraged to keep plugging along. Now, as long as I can make peace with my laptop, I'm on my way.

February 22, 2010

pre-spring fever

This is the time of year that, as winter drags on, I get a bit desperate for spring. It's that same "gotta have it now" feeling you get before your first cup of coffee in the morning.

Can you relate? I have a feeling I'm in good company.

There are a few little mind games I play to get me through these last few months before spring arrives. All these photo's were taken on May 11th, so you can see that spring is quite a latecomer here.

This is the time of year that I start looking at Florida and Arizona real estate online. And the Meadowbrook Farmer always, every single year says, "you find the place and we'll check it out". That's when I realize that I am all talk. Actually, I already know I'm all talk, and so does he. I don't really want to move. I know that if I can just make it through the next few months, I'm home free.

This is the time of year that....I kid you not....I check the expiration date when I buy bacon. I don't check the date any other time of year. I check the date, smile, and as in last week's bacon buying excursion, I think to myself...."when this bacon expires, it will be May 12th." For some extremely bizarre reason, it makes me happy to know that when my bacon expires, spring will be here. It somehow makes it seem less distant. Seeing that date printed on the package lets me know that warm weather and flowers will be here in less time than it takes my pork products to go bad. Of course the bacon will be long gone. No bacon makes it to it's date around here. It's just the idea that makes me happy.


Why yes, I believe it is.

There are a few signs, here and there, that winter won't last forever.
The skunks are making their presence known.
Cute little birds are showing up.
My neighbor has new calves almost every day. I actually watched one arrive just last week. Kind of cool, and kind of gross. Let's just say I'm glad my babies didn't have hooves.

This is the view from my front porch. This photo was taken on June 5th. This is what my front garden will look like less than a month after my bacon expires.

These photo's were processed with the Florabella actions and textures. I'd changed them out for the original versions because I'm really not very comfortable with my texture abilities, but then changed them back because I'm fickle. I'm still kind of having a love/like/not sure relationship with textures. I absolutely love them when done by others, but I think I spend so much time analyzing my own, I don't have a clue what to think after a while. Now I'm tempted to post both versions and let you pick, but I will refrain since Photoshop and my computer are having a hate/hate relationship these days, and I don't feel like getting in the middle of a techno spat right now.

So, do you have any spring fever coping tricks to share? Are there signs of spring at your house? Did I make you want to go buy bacon?

Do tell.

February 19, 2010

this boy

This one's my youngest.

My baby.

Much to my dismay, he's growing up too fast.


The other day I noticed I was looking up a bit more when talking to him. So, we got out the tape measure. Six foot two and three quarters. Actually, it was more like nine tenths, but I wasn't ready to admit that. That was a couple days ago, so I'm sure he's reached six three by now. Ridiculous.

Fifteen years old.

He's got a job at the local pizza place, and loves it.

It's tough being a teenager these days. Really tough. But he's doing a great job at being a good kid.

He's decided, once again, to hunker down at school. That's a good thing. Every single conference for the last five years has gone exactly the same way. "Mrs. Meadowbrook....your son is a pleasure to have in class. He makes me laugh. I enjoy having him as one of my students. He's a good kid. I just think there's a chance he's not living up to his full potential."

Well, yes, yes it's hard to live up to your academic potential when you're busy living up to your "life is good, let's have some fun" potential.

Baby of the family, anyone?

Here's his "I am a straight "A" student" look. Let's visualize.

He's a clown.

He's full of it.

He's funny.

He's a schmoozer.

He tells me he loves me in front of his friends.

He's a good kid.

Yes, I said it. You're a good kid, junior. Dad and I are proud of you.

Now go do your homework.

February 16, 2010

cool things I didn't buy

As part of my "Clean your Closet for a Cause" quest, I have had to make several visits to a local antique store that is consigning some of my things. It's been kind of like an alcoholic visiting the liquor store, just to look at all the pretty bottles. Not a particularly smart idea.

However, my resistance has held.

So far.

In my current frame of mind, I believe the next best thing to buying vintage goodies, is photographing vintage goodies. Actually, it's not the next best thing, it's the better thing. It's better to take pictures than to buy. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I have a birdcage collection. I love my birdcage collection. My collection does not include a black birdcage.

Nor does it include a cute little bird.

In keeping with the bird theme, how about this little cutie?

Back in the day, I wouldn't have thought twice about picking this up. Four dollars. Adorable. However, it would have ended up in a drawer, and that's precisely what I'm trying to avoid.

But it's so cute.

And four dollars.

The road to good intentions apparently shouldn't go past the antique store.

I drool over this little thing every time I stop in. I'm not even sure what it is. I'm thinking cookie jar. It's not really my style, but for some reason I just love it.

And hats. I have a hat collection, and I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it in the purge. This one is kind of funky, but the flowers on it are beautiful.

And a child's hat. Too cute.

The icing on my little window shopping trip was this beauty.

All these things were tempting, some more than others. But it actually feels good to have a little self control. This way, when something really special comes along, it will be just that. Special.

Hopefully, sometime in the next week or two, I will have the purge pretty much wrapped up. I can't wait to share how it's gone. It's fun to collect things. Really fun. But it's been pretty fun getting rid of my stuff too.

So, how about you? What calls your name when you're out and about? Name your kryptonite...vintage or otherwise.

February 12, 2010

the horse whisperess

Otherwise known as the photo shoot that pretty much wasn't.

Last weekend, I called my favorite photo sidekick to see if she was up for a few pictures. She was game, as always, so armed with my camera and a very particular idea of what I wanted to accomplish, we set out for my in-laws place.

My father-in-law was just getting ready to load up the feed truck when we arrived, so we set off into the pasture ahead of him.

I started booking down the field, carrying an armload of stuff, when I realized Montana's Next Top Model wasn't coming with me. I turned around and saw this.

It turns out hungry horses are friendly horses.

We'd go a little further, they'd come along, and by the time I got my camera turned on, she was surrounded again.

They were especially fond of nibbling on her ponytail....no surprise there...and the fringe of her scarf.

Note to self. Check equine feeding schedule before planning next photo excursion.

This time, we really thought we had ditched them. I took a shot to test my exposure...

and voila...

just like magic, here they come.

I asked very politely if they would leave us alone for just a few minutes, and this was the response I got.


With my brilliant plan thwarted, and a much colder day than we were expecting, we went to a very quick plan B at the barn.

Dear Horse Whisperess,
Oh my goodness, are you a good sport! I can't imagine any other teenage girl that could possibly be more fun to have as my photo buddy than you. Please keep taking my phone calls....I promise next time it will be warmer, and I'll make sure we don't have any extra friends following us around. By the time you're a senior, we should have this picture taking thing figured out.
Thanks for being my go-to photo girl.
You're the best!

February 10, 2010

inside color and outerwear

Since the Junk House made it's debut here several months ago, I have had quite a few paint color requests. I am more than happy to share, but there's a small problem...I almost always mix my own. Oh sure, I start out with a bucket of what I think is the perfect color, but we all know that paint never, ever looks the way we think it will once it's on the wall. A 2x3 paint chip just doesn't do the job, so I usually end up getting out my kitchen whisk and playing artiste with all the other close but not quite right cans I have in the closet.

There is an obvious downside here - what to do if I run out, or need to touch up, etc. So far, it hasn't been a problem, but I'm sure that day will come.

Yesterday, I finally made it to Lowe's to pick up some chips that will get you close.

Here's what I came up with.

The dining room.

I found this color in the "Lowe's Creative Ideas For Color" display.
Tranquility CI 183
It also says "Valspar Signature Colors" on the back.

I picked up this chip on a whim....I really thought my color was much darker, but I think my white woodwork really sets it off and makes it appear much more colorful.

The kitchen.

This is an "American Tradition" color.
Parisian Mist 7005-6.

I'm liking these names....can you even imagine the job of making up paint color names?

Now, it is kind of a dreary day, so I couldn't really get a good photo of it compared to my actual kitchen color. I would say my green is maybe just a half shade brighter. Not much though. This is pretty close. And once again, this is much lighter than I would have thought.

Keep in mind, my house is very light and bright, so light colors have a pretty big impact. Every color is different in every lighting situation.

Dining room china cabinet.

This one's pretty close, but more on the yellow side than mine.
Once again, "Creative Idea's for Color", Valspar.
Katydid CI 240

I totally missed the boat on my blue dining room buffet. I realized my blue has quite a blackish tone to it, so next time I'm at Lowe's, I will try again.

I hope this at least gives you a starting point, and don't be afraid to be your own color mixologist!

In other going to the city news, for years and years I have been looking for a nice spring weight jacket. These cuties are the first thing I saw yesterday when I walked into Eddie Bauer, and while a trench isn't quite my style, they were pretty tempting.

But then...then I spied the perfect jacket. I love navy, and I love nautical. And I love this jacket.

It was worth the wait to find something so very me, and as there are very few spring like days here in Montana anyway, (we usually go straight from winter to summer), it hasn't been too desperate of a situation anyway. But when that sixty degree day hits, I'm ready.

February 5, 2010

i like....

Primroses in winter, because they give the promise of Spring....

Cruddy clay pots, waiting to be filled....

Plants that, in spite of neglect, still manage to live...

Old garden tools, especially awesome blue ones....

And dirt.

You know you're a gardener if a picture of dirt makes your heart pitter patter.

Dear Spring,
Please, please be on time this year. I will be eternally grateful.
Meadowbrook Gardener

February 3, 2010

the meadowbrook farmer

I have been blogging for four months now. In that time, you have learned a little bit about me, you have met my boys, and you have seen my pond approximately four hundred and eighty six times. But so far, someone has been missing from the picture.

That needs to change.

Meet the Meadowbrook Farmer.

He pretty much makes everything you see on this blog possible.

He is the original reason we moved to the country. He wanted out of the rat race and he wanted a change. He's smart that way, even if it took me a while to catch on.

He is the farmer in every sense of the word. He takes care of the cows no matter how cold it is. He moves the irrigation pipes in the summer, even if he gets home after dark. He is the dictionary definition of "making hay while the sun shines". He fixes fences, catches skunks, empties mouse traps and does pretty much every other job no one else wants to do.

He laughs extremely loud and often. His laugh makes me laugh...most of the time.

He rolls up the hose for me after we water the greenhouse. It's the little things, you know.

It goes without saying that he loves his family.

Side note...this is the one and only time we have ever had family pictures taken. Ever. It's criminal.

He listens to all my ideas, and balances me out (or tries) when they are a bit too crazy.

Hiking is his current favorite pastime. He goes for days, just him and his faithful dog, Ellie, and hangs out with wolves, moose (mooses/moosen?) and bears. I don't pretend to understand the allure, but he loves it.

Just this very week, he received the hardback special edition Cabela's catalog in the mail. That right there speaks volumes about the man.

His life's passion is to do what God wants him to do with his life.

We've been married twenty five years, and I wouldn't trade him for anything.

He's a keeper.

I love you, Meadowbrook Farmer!