Monday, September 18, 2017


Nature Photography / A butterfly at Quarry Hill Nature Center.

The daily - a new every day filter- called Athens.

 It is always a joy to visit Spare Parts and Pics to discover where he has focused his trusty camera lens on any particular day or week - his epic desert adventures never disappoint. So, when Mr. Pics alerted his viewers to the Prisma App, I checked it out and downloaded it. I love it! It's like painting without paint. You'll be a finger tip artist in no time. I thought it would be fun to randomly select photos I had on my phone and use a different filter for each one - in different photos categories....

Wildflowers / At Quarry Hill Nature Center.

Filter:  Roy

Skyscape / Sunset at Lover's Key.

Filter:  Surf

Landscape / Lake Pepin sailboats.

Filter:  Carribean

People / Festival queens on parade, lined up in a small town.

Filter:  Dreams

Birds / Baby cardinals in our back yard! 

Filter: Breakfast

Seascape / The Pier in Naples, Florida

Filter:  Candy

Cityscape / Dynamic downtown Panama City.

Filter:  The Scream

Food / Yummy Gracies cupcakes and tarts.

Filter:  Aviator

Still life / The iconic Bird Girl.

Filter:  Servers

Pets / A window cat in Savannah, Georgia.

Filter:  Fireworks

Bugs / Canoeing on the Red Cedar.

Filter:  Dallas

Animals / Our beloved foster child - an abandoned squirrel we cared for until he mysteriously disappeared. I blame crows! 

Filter:  Fireworks (I loved this one so much I had to use it twice!)

Try it. You'll like it. 

The Awesome Links:

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Best of Lover's Key

The good news is that my in-laws survived hurricane Irma! 
They hunkered down in a lower, inside unit of their condo building, just a palm frond past the mandatory evacuation zone on the other side of highway 41 in Naples, Florida. I'm glad the devastation was not nearly as bad as it would have been if Irma hit Naples with all the fury of a class 4. (Irma hit Naples at a level 3 - downgraded from 4) However, since the whole United States has been watching Naples on pins and needles, I'm sure you all know this already! The mayor said the storm surge wasn't nearly as massive as they feared it would be. Still, it's a big fat mess down there.

 I hope that my beloved Lover's Key is still there. 

Behold the sunny delight of Lover's Key during better times...

All of these photos were taken on beautiful Lover's Key just south of Fort Myers Beach, Florida. 

Let the clean up begin... 

Have a meaningful September 11. 

P.S. I'm really excited to share new images from my upcoming children's book: Mrs. Jones' Tea Party  Pop over for a visit!

The Awesome Links:

Monday, September 4, 2017

Savannah, Georgia. Part 1

Our sultry June Savannah stay started here, in our little pink Victorian. We listened to prolific mockingbirds on the balcony and at breakfast, inhaled juicy peach waffles - while resting the plates on our laps. You've seen some of these photos in my sneak peek, but even so, here they are again...

Indoor cats.

Outdoor avian fun at Forsyth Park. 

Packing up for the night...


We enjoyed a stiff Martini while we watched people and parrots. 

The famous Forsyth fountain. 

click to enlarge

The oldest tree in Savannah.

The infamous Mercer House.

 For more on the real life story behind Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, visit my outrageous Two Tears in a Bucket post.

Stairs to the popular waterfront...

Hot gumbo and beignets at Hueys. Yum!

A beautiful square in bloom.

Quintessential Savannah. 

More alley cats. 

And more drinks. Dueling double whiskey and coke zeros from the martini bar, Jen's and Friends - we were besties by the end of the trip! 

It's a Savannah tradition to get a "Go" cup. 

The Awesome Links:

Monday, August 28, 2017

Mombacho Cigars

I can't believe I'm saying this - not being a cigar aficionado - but never-the-less, our tour of Mombacho Cigars was a trip highlight in Nicaragua last January. My husband always picks up a box of cigars for his boss in Central America. In Panama, we were only able to complete our transaction at tiny Don Juan cigars near our remote beach stay in Corona, thanks to some English speaking customers. Luckily, our tour guide at Mombacho cigars in the bustling city of Granada, spoke fluent English. 

First, we sipped some Flor de Cana # 7 and waited in the smokey sweet lounge.

Mombacho Cigars is located in a beautiful city mansion designed by the popular 20th century Italian architect, Mario Favilli. The photos that follow document the whole painstaking process from start to finish. Every cigar is hand rolled and made from tobacco grown in Nicaragua. The tour was fun and informative.

The selection process...

The drying...

Happy guy! In fact, all the employees seemed happy. 

Here I am, rolling a big stogie. I guess the key is to not roll them too tight - just right - using the finest tobacco leaves of course. 

"Hmmm, where do I slice and dice it? Right here perhaps?"

The perfect shape...

The box of loosey-goosey cigars are packed tight with relaxed background supervision. Ha!

The storage room is just the right temp. 

This lady cleans the cigars with vinegar - cleaning up all those dirty hand rolled fingerprints - and adheres a spiffy label.

I was sad that I didn't get to keep the box. (the boss man got it)

But wait...back to the cigars we rolled, they actually have to figure out if the cigar is rolled correctly using air pressure. Geez.

Lastly, the cigar is sealed with a perfect circle cut from a tobacco leaf.

Several floors up, we exited the factory to see the panoramic city views. 

If you look in the distance, in the upper left hand corner, you'll see Volcan Concepcion on the island of Ometepe. 

But more importantly, there's the company namesake front and center, Volcan Mombacho, looming over the city of Granada. 

Mombacho means "mother of our land" in the local indigenous tongue.

P.S. Several months later we smoked my husband's cigar by the campfire. (mine is still in the boss man's humidor) It had a good taste, but definitely one I haven't quite acquired a palette for. Unfortunately, I didn't smoke enough to get any kind of buzz and I didn't appreciate the after taste. Yuck.

The boss, however, said that they were the absolute best!


The Awesome Links: