Mar 31, 2013

Miss EmmaⅡ

Miss E-4481


Miss Emma II is a pretty ‘99 Kenworth that had just come in from California.


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I asked who Miss Emma was named after. Emma grins and said “Me.”



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She told me they’d had a custom sleeper put on. I forget the measurements, but it’s extra long.



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It’s set up like a little camper in there. They’ve got a one burner stove so they don’t have to eat truck stop food all the time, a shower/toilet, mini fridge, and a table that converts into a bed.



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The steering wheel was well worn and then some.

Emma laughed and said her husband had left the bull dog in the truck one time and the dog did what any bull dog left alone with nothing to do might do, he chewed on the wooden steering wheel.

“It gives it character” she said. remembering the bull dog fondly.


Miss E-4482


They won’t be making it home for Easter this year. But they have some family in TN stopping by the truck stop for a quick visit before they have to get back on the road.


Life on the road is a hard way to make a living.


Miss E-4501


Happy resurrection day whether you’re at home, at a truck stop or somewhere in between doing whatever it takes to make ends meet.



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Mar 29, 2013

Editing with Picmonkey. A test



Some of you have been asking me about how I edit my photos and if it could be done with something simple like Picmonkey.

First I want to say having a good photo to edit helps tremendously. Learning how all the settings work on your camera is good too. I’m not telling you to sit down and read the manual or anything.

I just google any questions I have and usually find it covered nicely in a forum, YouTube review, KenRockwell, digital photography school and sometimes right in the camera’s manual of all things! I love the pdf versions it’s not really like reading the manual even though you really are reading the manual.


I can’t stress this one enough and I don’t think I’ve mastered it yet myself, Lighting lighting lighting. Lighting will make or break the photo.


After reading a Miz Booshay  post on thepioneerwoman about setting your picture controls to “Vivid” I decided to try it. I tried it and have left it on Vivid ever since.  When I shoot in raw all of the picture control settings are available in post processing but I’m not going into raw and jpg. right now. Other people could probably explain it better anyway.

So yeah, you might want to experiment with what picture controls you like.


pic monkey 9 6816 edit


I’ll let you guess which of these flower photos was edited in PicMonkey.



picmonkey SOOC



I decided to edit a random photo in picmonkey and here’s how it went.

I uploaded a SOOC .jpg


picmonkey2 Colors edit


I always like to fix my white balance first. I found the temperature slider and put it at –14 to get rid of some of the yellow from the lights in the kitchen. Yes, I broke that lighting rule here but the sun had already gone over the hill by the time we were ready to eat.


picmonkey3 exposure edit


Next I went to exposure and got frustrated with the limited choices. I wanted to have a slider to start in the middle and let me darken or lighten both highlights and shadows. Not here, You can further blow out the highlight on the onions or bring the brightness down on the overall photo. Which is what I opted for. Then I played with the shadows and contrast a little.


picmonkey4 exposure edit


Next I went to sharpen. I put the clarity at +2, if I went much higher it got awful dark.



picmonkey5 resize edit


I always resize for web I don’t see any point in posting photos larger than people are going to view and in remembrance of those days of dial up slow internet I want my post to load sometime this week.

I checked the box to keep the proportions and resized down to 950 pixels.


picmonkey6 done edit


Then I saved it.


sherri poppers-8386 picmonkey edit


I think that was an a pretty bad photo to use as a test. I edited this one in pic monkey too, and it’s not too bad.

This photo was taken out on the porch. Yup, Light!



picmonkey 7 crop



So I think my conclusion is if you have a good photo you can do a fair amount in Picmonkey but it really isn't for rescuing photos you took inside after it got dark and you’d forgotten you’d left your camera set for outside, had cried your eyes out over the onions and had planned to never show anyone that you took such a fuzzy photo.

For a quick minor edit that you can access anywhere because it’s web based PicMonkey is pretty sweet.

I encourage you to take more photos. Good, bad, and all the in between because the more you shoot the more you will learn.

Take a class, Join a photography group, read, don’t be afraid to ask other photographers you admire, know, see out in public, where ever. Most are very friendly and are more than happy to give you pointers and answer your questions.


Happy Shooting


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Mar 22, 2013

Pixie Dust: A Favorite lightroom preset



One of my new favorite Lightroom preset  has been Pixie dust from Siem Effects. There are six presets in the color fantasies 1.7 sampler but the Pixie dust is by far my favorite.

Here’s a few before and after images edited with Pixie Dust.


pixie_dust lightroom preset by Siem Effects


Siem Effects facebook page has the free download for the Lightroom 4 color fantasies sampler presets. Plus there are Lightroom 1-3 compatible presets in there too because Gavin’s cool like that.


Thanks Gavin for giving away a sampler of the presets you make!


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Mar 19, 2013

Raw Nori wraps

Raw veg nori seaweed wraps


Thanks to Pinterest, I found a beautiful photo of raw nori rolls and had to make some. They not only looked good, they are very good for you.


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Slice up some carrots, red bell pepper,


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green bell pepper, avocado, parsley and lettuce.


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Take a sheet of nori


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spread hummus on it leaving a little room at the edge.


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In the center place carrots, avocado,


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parsley and lettuce. 


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Carefully roll up tightly.


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Slice into 1-2” thick slices.

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That’s all.


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They are so pretty you might want to take a photo first before you eat them, I know I did.


Vegan Nori Rolls

Inspired by Rawalicious and

 Rebecca’s Remedy



nori sheets
thinly slice the following vegetables:
sweet red pepper
green bell pepper
lettuce leaves
1 avocado



Spread hummus on nori sheets, pile the vegetables on, roll up tightly and slice into 1-2” slices.

That’s all. Super easy

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Mar 17, 2013

A horse guest



I don’t have a horse but there was definitely a horse at the edge of the yard.

If it wasn’t for this horse stopping by randomly I would’ve missed the beautiful golden light just before the sun went down.




She was kind of shy




and hid behind a tree so I wouldn’t notice her.




I hid behind a tree also and peeked the camera out just enough




To get another photo.




Then her owners came and took her home.

The end.


Happy Sunday night,


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Mar 13, 2013

3 B Smoothie

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This Blueberry Broccoli and Bean smoothie was inspired by Hannah’s 4 B smoothie.  I didn’t have any bananas so this is just a 3 B smoothie.



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Here’s what I started with plus the things I forgot to remember to get together for the group photo. But this is most of it.


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I only put 3 pieces of broccoli in, I was scared.


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Next I tossed in a few frozen green beans,


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and Some honey.


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I used maybe a third of a piece of tofu


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A spoon of orange juice concentrate,


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some flaxmeal but not too much ‘cause that stuff isn’t real tasty in large quantities.


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Half a container of blueberries and blended until it was pretty smooth. Then stopped to taste test added ice and blended again until no broccoli chunks remained. 



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Serve immediately.


3B Smoothie


  • 3 or 4 broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup frozen green beans
  • about a 1/2 cup tofu
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate
  • big spoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon flaxmeal
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1-2 cups ice cubes

Place all ingredients in blender reserving most of the ice cubes and blend. Once relatively smooth add more ice and blend until you like it.

Serve immediately. Or make ahead and ignore the discoloration of the broccoli

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Mar 11, 2013

Guacamole Grilled Cheese

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This simple Guacamole grilled cheese sandwich is every bit as good as it looks!
One warning though, it is one messy thing to eat. You either need a fork or to be eating it around people you’re comfortable licking your fingers in front of.
Now that you are informed about the dangers, here’s how it was made:

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Butter one side of each piece of bread.

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place some cheddar on each side

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Place fresh Guacamole one one side.
Grill each piece of bread butter side down until cheese is melty. Then place the just cheese piece of bread on to the cheese and guacamole bread. Over low or no heat let warm until cheese is dripping out.

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Eat warm.

Guacamole Grilled Cheese

Adapted from Closet cooking

  • sour dough bread or any bread really
  • fresh guacamole
  • cheddar cheese but I prefer Cabot cheddar
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