Carnation In Black & White

Well, we have a nice new working shutoff for our waterline and no filter.

The no filter bothers me as I haven’t used water without a filter (a really heavy duty one no less) for over 22 years when I got a notice from the town I lived in that we had extremely high levels of a pesticide in our water and that we’d had those high levels for over a year. That was when I learned that there are ranges of what is acceptable in your water and times when they have to notify you when those levels are too high and that those points aren’t always soon enough for you to do something about it. Those regulations don’t always make since. I found out about those levels when OC was still a baby and realized I’d been drinking that water while I’d been pregnant and mixing their formula with that water for over a year.

So a filter is a absolute must in my house as I just don’t trust what comes in through my pipes.

The problem is that when we got our whole house filter, they pulled all the things from the water that I was looking for, specifically things like the pesticides. Now, almost all of those don’t work the same anymore. The only ones that really do are the under sink kinds, though I have no idea why there is such a difference. Considering the cost differences between the two, you’d think the whole house filters would do the better job, but that isn’t the case.

I had to do some research on what to get as a replacement as almost all of the under sink filters require their on faucet and my counter in the kitchen can’t handle another faucet. I did finally find one that just connects into the waterlines and goes directly to your existing faucet, but I had to get one for both the hot and the cold.

While those are going to do the job, I’m going to really miss not having to think about where I get the water in the house to drink. Cooking is kind of obvious as I would only ever use the kitchen faucet, but we have a waterline in the fridge too that isn’t being filtered. Our fridge has the filter option, but we don’t have a filter for it as it wasn’t needed. The filters for those aren’t as good as what I’d like, so I haven’t decided what I’m going to do about that one. As of right now, I’ve irritated the hell out of Hubby as I’ve locked out the water option forcing him to use the filter pitcher I got for MC to take to the dorm with him, but have temporarily stolen back.

My new filters won’t be here for another day or two and it is so weird having to stop and think about what I’m doing every time I go to use the water. I’m going to really miss the whole house filter, but it will also be nice to not have to worry about a repeat with another unit in the basement.

Mum Petals In Black & White

It is on the colder, drearier side today as we are well on our way to seeing the end of the nice weather. We do still have a day or to this week that might allow me to open my windows again, but those will most likely be the last.

It will be a good time to be in the garage starting to play. I have some practicing to do, playing with all my new tools so by the time I actually start working on building cabinets, I actually know what the hell I’m doing.

I’m still on the fence about buying a table saw as it is really expensive and I think I can get away with a circular saw that is much less expensive and will most likely be used more after this project is done than a table saw would. There are certain things I need to be able to do that a table saw is apparently the best tool for the job. It can be done using a router (which I have), but it is supposedly a little harder.

I have ordered the router bit I need (could not find it locally) and it should be here today. My goal is to play around with it using some of the wood scraps I have from previous projects to see exactly how difficult that may be to work with to get the desired result.

It’s exciting because it feels like I’m moving forward and making progress even if what I’m doing is just messing around.

Now, if I could just get the bid back from the last guy, I’d actually know what was going to happen and when, or (and I REALLY don’t want to go this route) I start looking into electricians and figuring out how the hell I’m going to frame this damn thing myself.

Black & White Glow

This rose is surprisingly hard to photograph because it so rarely ever comes out looking like it does in real life. Part of this is because of the lighter, near white core and the deep, dark, vivid pinkish red outer petals. The stark contrast between the two often blows out the white and makes the pink do weird things in photograph form.

It does make for some amazing transitions to black and white because of that natural high contrast. I don’t have to work too hard to push it to emphasize that contrast, especially when the flowers start to get speckled like they tend to do.

This one is still pretty solid in color (no speckles), but as soon as I turned it to black and white, it looked like it was glowing from within, giving it almost a photo negative kind of quality.

For a tiny, miniature rose, this one packs a wallop of personality.

Cold, Rainy, And Dreary

I could really do without this nasty cold snap. Pretty sure this entire week is breaking records on the low temps. Mother Nature really doesn’t need to take those records as challenges to break them. She definitely doesn’t need to work so hard to break so many at once. It really isn’t helping me stay out of cranky pants mode.

Between the cold, the rain and the general time of year, I’m struggling to find good photo subjects or the motivation to go find them.

Black & White Daylily Stamen

Yesterday was probably the most bizarre first day of school I’ve ever seen. It was weird enough having BG at home, but the weather felt like a cold Halloween night, making everything feel completely out of sync.

We shattered previous records by something like 10 degrees. No, 56 isn’t exactly cold, but for a high temp during the first part of September and the day after hitting near 90, it felt frigid. I threatened to turn the heat on last night (didn’t, but came damn close.) I don’t know that I’ve ever turned the heat on this close to the beginning of September. The very end of the month, maybe, but not anywhere near the beginning.

Today isn’t going to be any warmer and it is rainy and dreary on top of it. That isn’t very conducive to motivating me to do anything other than snuggle down with a book and a pot of coffee.

Peony’s End Series #8

This is probably going to be the last of this series and also just so happens to be one of my favorites.

One of the things I love about this one is that there are three separate flowers, all in very different stages of life. It just almost has that maiden/mother/crone kind of thing going on, but narrowly misses that symbology.

When I first pulled this one up on my computer, it gave me the feeling of the kind of image you’d see in the background of a rustic wedding theme. Like something you’d see on a wedding web page or even in the background of an invitation, especially if it were to be softened and faded out a bit. Of course, that made me want to play a bit.

Peony Cluster In Various Stages - Soft Version
Peony Cluster In Various Stages – Soft Version

Some photos just really work with that softer focus kind of look. I really like both versions and couldn’t decide which I’d rather post, so I’m doing both since this is the end of the series.

And just because… I have the soft one in a pretty black and white as well.

Peony Cluster In Various Stages - Soft Black And White Version
Peony Cluster In Various Stages – Soft Black And White Version

Black and White Drops and Ruffles

I had such a hard time deciding if I wanted to post this version or the color version because they are both amazing. So…

Peach Iris Coated In Rain
Peach Iris Coated In Rain

Yesterday went well for BG. She feels so much better about everything now that she knows how the new normal looks and runs at dance.

The masks were an absolute hit and cracked me up to no end. BG hadn’t been in the studio with them for 5 minutes when I see the owner walk out with one on. Less than a minute later the teacher for that class also walks out with hers on (all the students were greeted with hand sanitizer outside the doors of the studio before they were allowed in). It was funny and sweet and I’m over the moon thrilled that they are enjoying them.

Another upside was that all the kids going into the studio had their masks. The parents standing around socializing outside weren’t as good about keeping theirs on or keeping their distance, but it could have been so much worse.

The sad thing, and we don’t know yet what it means going forward, was that probably half or less of the class showed up. It is going to be interesting to see how the rest of the week pans out as this was the very first of all the classes back. I’m especially concerned about how many older girls will show and how that will impact routines and recital.

BG was absolutely stunned to find out that her assistant friends from last night had either not practiced AT ALL or only a tiny bit. My girl has been dancing nearly every single day. As soon as a video for one of her routines was posted, she added it to her schedule and started working on it.

It is going to make an already chaotic and different recital even more so.

In some non-dance news, I’m working on making some changes for me. I’m sure it has already been noticed that the book reviews have dwindled down to almost nothing. There are lots of parts to this and I may still work up a post about that, but for now, I’m stepping back from most of that, including writing them for Envie!

This blog has been and always will be a space for me to share the things that bring me joy with the occasional rant or emotional outpouring thrown in. When things start to feel like that isn’t the focus anymore, I’m going to make changes. It seems like now is one of those times. I’m still not 100% sure what all will be changing or how much. It may not even be all that noticeable because the photos will absolutely still be coming.

Life is so full of stress and frustration and uncertainty right now, the last thing I need is for my blog to add to that so I’m going to make sure it isn’t.