This Was A Long Week

But in the good kind of long. I kept thinking I was a day ahead of myself all week, and when I realized what day it actually was, I breathed a sigh of relief because summer ends this coming Monday when school starts back up and I lose my boy to the morning rush of getting out the door and to homework and to early bed times (well, for David and me anyway) and everything else that makes up a school year.

I think we had a pretty good summer. We had a wonderful, relaxing vacation to Wisconsin and Minnesota, a lot of mountain biking, a lot of laughs, a lot of quiet times, a lot of driving practice, a lot of family time. As much as I dislike the ending of summer break, I also like the beginning of the school year. For me, that's the Real New Year, a time to begin new projects, work on things around the house and a time for hiking and exploring. I learned this summer that breaking from routine and going with the moment is really liberating and I hope to keep that up for the upcoming year. Life is too short to stick to a rigid routine. You just gotta go with the flow.

On to the week that I thought was slipping by far too fast.

I visited the botanical gardens here in town and took far too many photos of butterflies and flowers.

I finished this book on my iPad and dove into this book that I borrowed from my parents before they give it to my brother for a present. You know, just to make sure he likes it and all.

I read this article this morning and felt like it really tied into one of my projects I have planned for myself this fall. We all could learn to become our own best friend.

Langley and I have walked and walked, one day walking seven miles because I was deep in thought about why the color was off in my main camera and what I could do to fix it. Langley kept looking up at me, begging me to stop or to at least slow down a little. She slept all afternoon when we got home. And that's the other good thing about walking instead of running: we have one very chilled out black lab now who does nothing but sleep all day. 

That's a good thing, a very good thing. Trust me.

It's supposed to be a rainy weekend, not what we wanted for the last weekend of summer. David and Joe were hoping for two days of mountain biking, and I wanted to tag along to take pictures. But it will be cozy and we will be together and we will make the most of these last few days of summer.

Now, how many more days till Thanksgiving Break?

Currently

Currently . . . 

It's as hot as blue blazes out there. I've been leaving for my morning runs as near to 7 a.m. as I can every day, hoping to escape some of the heat, but to no avail. I come home dripping and drenched with sweat, my shoes squishing. I think we all got spoiled by our cool, rainy June last month and now Ms. Summer is taking her revenge upon us. But, we're heading to Hot Springs this weekend and I plan on doing nothing but play in the lake, play in the pool, play in the lake some more, kayak on the lake, practice my underwater photography in the pool, do cannonballs off my FIL's boat . . . just stay wet all weekend. It's been far too long since we've been to the lake!

Currently . . . 

I'm reading the following books:

The Art of the Photograph by Art Wolfe

The Art of Photography by Bruce Barnbaum

My Sweet Kitchen by Linda Lomelino

Food Photography by Corinna Gissmann

Mrs. Lincoln by Catherine Clinton

and I'm expecting this book to arrive on Friday: Feast For the Eyes by Susan Bright.

I think I should be fixed up for books until Christmas!

Currently . . . 

I went shopping the other day and scored some cute little pails and a candle holder that is holding the lime in the photo above this one. I also bought some candy molds and made home made sugar cubes. After scouring the local grocery stores for ready made cubes, I turned to Mr. Google (because he really does know everything) and asked him to find a DIY sugar cube recipe and sure enough, he delivered. It's as simple as can be, too:  1/4 cup sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon water. Stir together until crumbly (you may need to tinker around with the water to sugar ratio. I did, but then I was making 24 sugar cubes) and press a heaping teaspoon of the mixture into a candy mold, pressing down firmly. Let the cubes harden overnight and then store them in an airtight container for up to 2 years. (Here's the link to the full recipe: DIY Sugar Cubes).

Two year old sugar cubes . . . not sure if I really want to use two year old sugar cubes, but it's good to know that we can have sweets on hand in case of a zombie apocalypse! 

Currently . . . 

Last Thursday, I met up with Meghan after she got off work and the two of us first did a little shopping before heading out to dinner and then First Thursday. First Thursday is an arts festival held every first Thursday of the month on the Fayetteville Square. Last year it seemed that whenever it rained, it always rained on Thursdays, so I didn't go much last year. This year looks to be a bit more promising, so I plan on continuing visiting the festival. It's a great place to people watch, which is one of my favorite things to do. 

Currently . . . 

I've been playing around with a new toy I ordered last month and have been having lots of fun creating my dark and moody pictures that I like to make and that David gives me grief about.

So I made a bright and cheery one just for him!

Currently . . . 

I'm out of news. 

Over and out. 

 

I'm Back!

I've been on vacation and have lots of stories to share and lots of pictures, but boy, is it hard to get back to Real Life again. I've been playing catch up to my catch up and I'm think I'm finally all caught up now. It was great to get away and see places we've never seen before, but it's always nice to come back home again, especially when you have a black lab who missed you terribly while you were gone.

It's only right that I took her out on a play date as soon as I could. 

And now that I've caught my breath and have re-entered Real Life again, I'll be writing and sharing here more often.

Till next time, enjoy the pictures of Langley the Lab playing with her favorite duck (and making some pretty funny faces)!

What's New

Hey there!

We've had close to a feet of rain last weekend and can you believe that it's raining again? I think we had just a mere 1 1/2 inches of rain here in Fayetteville today, but last Saturday was insane. The photo above is part of my running route and where I like to take Langley the Lab for her walks and play time in the creek that runs along the pavement. This particular spot is near the trail head and the trail is roughly a half mile or so long. The water was up to my knees here and I bet that the further along I went on the trail, the deeper and stronger it would've been. 

But I didn't go any further because it was also at this spot that I remembered that snakes live along the creek bank and like to come out to play on days like this. I turned tail and ran for the car.

Below is the flooded Clear Creek where David, Joe and I like to kayak. Normally, it's a peaceful little creek, pretty dry during the summer months and we have to drag our boats for most of the way, but as you can see, Clear Creek was a raging river Saturday. David and I ventured down around 11:00 in the morning to check it out and came back later in the day, around 4:00, to look at it again and were amazed at how much higher the levels had gotten and how far it had spread into the neighboring pastures. We had so much rain that the Weather Channel even came down to check out Clear Creek!

And naturally we had to follow the van back to town so I could nab a pic. ; )

I really have never seen so much rain in my life. It was relentless.

In other news . . .

I have joined the Twitterverse.

I have really no idea how Twitter works, but I'm willing to give it a go. In fact, I posted a picture this morning of our new motorcycle (I'm coming to that in a minute) to Twitter, "@-ed" BMW Motorrad . . . and lo and behold, they replied back to to my tweet, saying what a beautiful picture it was and that they hoped we enjoy plenty of rides on the new bike! 

I may've screamed a little before taking a screen shot of the tweet and texting it to David with the text, "They tweeted me back!!!" and then, "What do I do??" He told me to tweet back saying, "thanks", so that's what I did. 

Maybe I'll get Twitter figured out after all. Oh, I'm @KateAustinPhoto, just in case you were wondering.

I also deleted my old Instagram account. Wiped it out completely.  A day later I created a new one, but using my business name (but I'm not really in business . . .) with the handle, @kateaustinphotography, if you're curious. I don't have much up yet, but plan on posting more behind-the-scenes stuff, fun photos as well as more "work" photos. So far I have a whopping five followers! Go me! ; )

And finally, our new motorcycle, the BMW RNineT Scrambler.

This baby is, well, I'm kinda at a loss for words, but I'll see what I can come up with:

Cool, retro, sweet, pretty, cool, nostalgic, old fashioned, 1940's, and did I say cool? Joey is learning how to ride it and last night the three of us took it over to his old middle school so he could have a big empty parking lot to practice in, David riding the bike over and Joey driving me in my car. We stayed for a good hour and Joey did fantastic, even learning to shift into second gear, wearing a big grin on his face when he pulled up in front of where Dave and I were standing. Once he gets good and comfortable in driving the bike, it'll be his to use to get back and forth on to school and anywhere else he may want to go, but that won't be for months. 

He's a very cautious and careful driver. 

But for right now, whenever there's a break in Monsoon Season, you'll be able to find him in a nearby parking lot with David, practicing away. Who knows? Maybe he'll be shifting into third gear by the end of the month.

Maybe.

Well, that 's all the news that's fit to print. Hopefully, the rains will let up and Spring will finally take center stage and we can start having sunny days once again. I do miss the sun so . . .