March 31, 2009


Ok, I played and played some more and still haven't produced any textures that I feel are worthy to be shared so I found you a really cool site to get free textures, stock photos, tutorials and lots of goodies to use in your PhotoShop playground!

The site is called stock.xchng.

Here's a link to their textures and a link to their home page is over on the right! Have fun!

My Family CookBook

I mentioned my family cookbook in a few different posts but would like to do an official COOKBOOK post here for anyone looking for info.

This is a cookbook called Fruit of the Spirit: Loveless Family Recipes (Yep, my mom's maiden name is Loveless). It contains approximately 150 pages and over 350 recipes collected from a family of 75 members plus a few. There's always new babies on the way at any given time. There's 3 on the way as we speak (all girls)!

You can purchase my cookbook by following the link on the right. It's $10 for the cookbook plus $3 S&H. I promise you won't be disappointed!

Mamaw's Banana Cake

I'm taking a break from Photoshop to drink a big cup of coffee so I thought I'd post the daily recipe. I've been trying to decide what to post today and have finally decided to post my Grandmother's Banana Cake recipe. Her banana cake has been a favorite in the family for as long as I can remember.

1 box of yellow cake mix
6 to 8 ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. butter

Make cake according to box. Set aside. For icing, mix sugar and milk. Cook in a skillet or sauce pan, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken a little. Remove from heat. Beat until mixture starts to cool. Stir in vanilla and butter. Pour half of icing onto cake. Slice bananas lengthwise into thin slices and layer on top of cake and icing. Pour remaining icing over bananas. For a juicier cake, or if using 2 (9-inch) cake layers, make and add more icing.

The second day after this cake is made the bananas will start to turn brown BUT the cake is even better because it has had time to sit and soak up all that icing!!

Ugly Nellie

Let's see....a critter for today....why don't we go with Nellie, my friend Glendee has forbidden me to call her by her full name, Ugly Nellie, but Nellie is UGLY, so ugly that she's cute and sweet and lovable and scratchable. I'm sure she's standing at the gate looking this way just waiting for me to come and scratch her ears and chin.

There's a heavy rain today and a chance of T-storms. All I have planned is mopping, cleaning, laundry and maybe a little Photoshop time. Not much excitement for today.

We got our fruit trees planted yesterday evening and I got a large planter of elephant ears planted for the back deck. More gardening will have to wait until things dry out a bit.

I think I might try my hand at making some textures in Photoshop today, if I have any luck I might just share them! Check back later for textures (or at least another recipe!)

March 30, 2009

Twenty-one days and...

we should have some new baby chicks! The boys are so excited. I can't sleep for the coyotes howling and the dogs barking tonight which is probably a good thing. I'm adjusting my temp settings in the incubator about every 2 hours to get them just right then we wait while the automatic turner does the rest of the work.


French Toast Casserole

Thanks Aunt Ta' (she's actually my SIL named Tammy but the boys call her Aunt Ta'). We have started celebrating Christmas at my mom and dad's house by having breakfast on Christmas Day. It seems to be the only time of the day that everyone can be in the same place at the same time. I always call and make sure Ta' is bringing this!

1 (16 oz.) loaf cinnamon swirl bread, cut into cubes
6 eggs
3 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
Confectioner's sugar
Pancake syrup

Place bread cubes in greased dish. Mix eggs, milk and vanilla. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Serve with pancake syrup.


Using Textures in PhotoShop

There's a hundred ways to do everything but here's how I do it.

Open the photo you want to work with.

Open your texture.

Ok, here we go. This is easy!

Click on your texture and drag and drop it onto your photo that you want to "texturize" (Is that a word? The texture will show up as a new layer over your photo.

At the top of your layer palette you will see a little drop down box that says Normal. Click this and choose a blending mode. I almost always start with overlay or soft light. Those seem to give me the best results. You can try any of the choices there and find the look you want. I almost always leave the opacity set at 100% but feel free to play around with it and see what you can come up with.

Here's a quick example.


and this is the same pic using Aged Wood texture from Skeletal Mess with Blend Mode set to Darken.


I gotta go get my boys in the tub, my moms waiting, and I haven't even gotten dressed yet. Ooops, we might be a little late!

Have fun playing!!!

Cock-A-Doodle Doo!

I am pleased to introduce you to...
Sampson, our big red baby of a rooster and one of his women. Thank goodness he's a gentle giant around the kids. These guys have big spurs and know how to use them but so far Sampson has been a very nice guy!

I forgot to shut the chicken door last night and woke up to this guy crowing his head off on the front porch at sun up.


Me and my boys plan to spend the morning outside working in the yard and then we're going shopping with my mom. She has the week off so we'll have lots of "Mammie" time.

Check back later today for a recipe and a Photoshop textures tutorial!

March 29, 2009

Skeletal Mess Textures

I have recently seen some amazing photography using Ghostbones Textures. I frantically started searching for these awesome little "helpers" to be used in Photoshop only to find that Ghostbones was no longer on Flickr! I did a little more digging and I found them! Woowhooo!

Ghostbones is now known as Skeletal Mess....makes sense right?? LOL!

Anyway here's a link to the awesome textures.

Skeletal Mess Free Texture Set (there's also a link over on the side bar in case you can't find this later).

Please tell me you know how to use textures...well just in case, I'll post a tutorial for using textures tomorrow and I'll find a couple of photos to play with while I'm at it.

Want To Meet Our Critters?

I'll start with Sam! Sam is a fat Beagle that is supposed to belong to my oldest son but he belongs to everybody. Sam was given to us by an older couple that we have known for years. The wife of this couple was just recently in an accident and passed away. That makes Sam even more special to us.

So here he Sam.

Hmmm, wonder who you'll get to meet tomorrow??

Pineapple/Green Pepper Cheese Ball

This is an awesome cheese ball recipe that I got from a friend of mine while in nursing school several years ago. I have made it numerous times and always get asked for the recipe.


1 can crushed pineapple
2 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese
1 T. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1 tsp. salt
Chopped pecans

Using a paper towel, squeeze all liquid from pineapple. Mix pineapple, cream cheese, onion, green pepper and salt. Can add some of the pecans to it. Shape into a ball. Place remaining pecans on outside of ball and serve with Ritz crackers.


Good Morning!


Thought that might wake you up!

Well it's supposed to snow! It's 38 degrees this morning. What happened to the warmth? I'm working on my first cup of coffee of the day and I need to get the boys ready for church so we'll only be 10 minutes late instead of 30!

I'll be back this afternoon with a recipe and I might even share some of farm animals with you. I took some pics yesterday!

March 28, 2009

Mud Monkeys!

Like "a moth to a flame", "alcoholics to the bottle", "hormonal women to chocolate", and all those other idioms and sayings that mean "can't stay away from it" I give you...

"My boys to mud!"

I could beg, plead, yell, bribe and beat (not that they get beaten often) and they would still not be able to stay out of it. I always say, "Didn't I tell you two NOT to get in the mud?" and they both look at me with those big innocent eyes and say "We're sorry Momma!" like they had no choice whatsoever, but I guess when it comes to little boys and mud, both are just too irresistible.



Rainy Day Macaroni Salad

This recipe is DELICIOUS! I always sneak as much as I can home from the family dinners (thanks Aunt Loetta!) so I can go to the refrigerator multiple times and sneak big bites out of the container I have stashed in the back corner. You know a recipe is good when you use the word sneak twice while talking about it!

1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 lg. green pepper, chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
2 carrots, shredded
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1/2 c. vinegar
1 c. sugar
2 c. Miracle Whip salad dressing
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook macaroni, drain and cool. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Add macaroni, stirring well to coat macaroni. Store overnight in a large airtight container. Stir before serving.

Yum! yum! yum!

BTW, I have lots of aunts as well as a mom and grandmother and several cousins who are all awesome cooks. If anyone decides they want one of our family cookbooks, just email me. It has over 350 recipes in it and it's only $10 (plus $3 S&H!)

Rainy Saturday

Woke up this morning ready to go plant my new trees. I walked into the kitchen, poured my coffee (have I mentioned that I love coffee? I get it from my Papaw - he drank coffee 24 hours a day!) Anyway....walked into the den, looked out the French doors and the sky opened up. It's cold and breezy and rainy, yuck! What happened to my sunshine and 74 degrees. My mom called and said that someone (there's always a someone or a they, and in someone said, or they say...) it was going to sleet and snow some today. Noooooooooo! It is Spring! I refuse to share my Spring with sleet and snow. Check the recent post about the ice storm, I think I've been through enough!

I have seed packets and rose bushes and things to plant! Guess I'll be doing laundry instead.

Hmmm, need to go find a rainy day recipe to post and make my children come in from the front porch where they have escaped to and are running through water puddles in their underwear in 50 degree back soon...

March 27, 2009

White Balance

I mentioned white balance in my last post. Well, I have a horrible time getting my white balance set right on my camera. Even when I set it for whatever conditions I'm shooting in, it's still just not quite right. I have found a trick that Oh so love!!!

I am sure that most of you who use PhotoShop already know this but I'm sharing just in case you don't.

While you have your pic open in PS, click Ctrl +L (or Image/Adjustments/Levels). You will see 3 little eyedroppers over on the right of the pop up. Choose the 3rd one, this is for white. Find something in your original pic that you know should be solid white. Click on it and watch the magic happen! It adjusts your photo for proper white balance. There is also a gray dropper and a black that you can use too. I only used the white dropper on the snow in this pics and look at the difference it made.


Try it and see what it can do for some of your pics!

Ice Storm 09

I mentioned the ice storm in one of the other blog entries but didn't go into detail. We had an ice storm that hit in late January that put down almost 3 inches of ice and then snow on top. It cause horrible destruction to the trees in the area. I spent the first night of the storm listening to thousands of trees breaking all night long. We woke up to find destruction that looked like a nuclear bomb had hit. It is late March and clean up is still in full force for miles around us. We were without power for 16 days. I have uploaded several of the pics that I took into this album if you care to take a look. I desperately need to run a white balance filter on all of these pics but this at least gives you an idea of what the poor trees went through.

The local newspaper is having a photo contest called Ice Storm 09. I didn't know this at the time or I might have taken some better shots. I think I will enter this one into the contest.


Aunt Carolyn's Chili

Another recipe from another aunt (Thanks Carolyn!)

2 lb. ground beef
1 lg. onion, chopped
2 (15.5 oz) cans hot chili beans
1 1/2 qt. jar tomatoes
1 (1 oz.) pkt. chili seasoning
Add a little chili powder

In skillet, cook ground beef and onion until browned. Drain off excess fat. In a large pan or Crock Pot put chili beans, tomatoes, chili seasoning and a little chili powder then add ground beef with onions. Let simmer on low until thoroughly heated.

My Little Orchard

Or at least that's what I hope to eventually have when I get all my trees planted! We went by the Amish Nursery today. They have such healthy plants and at great prices compared to the nurseries in the larger towns.

Since I'm just starting to plant and make flower beds at this house, I'd like to use this blog to keep a list of all the plants I put in. I spent 9 years at our other house getting flowers beds, fish pond and plants just the way I wanted them and then we moved. It's like having a blank slate to start on.

Last year I planted:
Asiatic lilies
Tiger Lilies
Stella D'Ore lilies
Elephant Ears
Bleeding heart
Day lilies
Blackberry bushes

This property had 2 cherry trees and an apple that were all loaded in fruit last year. One of the cherry trees split in the recent ice storm and I'm not sure if it will make it. Today I bought:

1 Bartlett Pear Tree (dwarf variety)
1 Haven Peach Tree
1 Martin Peach Tree
1 Plum Tree

I also bought:
2 climbing Blaze rose bushes
3 planters of hens and chicks
2 (4 pack) cabbage

All that for $96.00.

I would also like to get some grapevines this year.

As for the vegetable garden, I have planted:

and will plant the rest as the weather gets a little warmer.

My mom has requested chili and homemade pimento cheese sandwiches for supper. She had a great report from a stress echo she had done this morning so she wants to eat! I'll post the chili recipe as my recipe for the day in another post!

Oh and after waiting for the fish truck for an hour the guy at the store came out and told everyone that they were a no show but to call a phone number that he gave us and we would get a discount on our fish next time he decided to show up! I really wanted to get my catfish today!


Usually this is what I call my Freebie Friday because I am without children and free to do whatever I choose BUT today I have company. Jake is staying home from Preschool because he hurt his big toe! I figured it was a good enough reason to keep him home and spend the day with him because I really missed him yesterday and we don't get to do a whole lot of things together (just the 2 of us). I'm starting to panic a bit over the fact that he will be in Kindergarten 5 days a week come August! I'm going to miss him so much!

So today we are going to get mulch for the flower beds if it doesn't rain. We have to pick up some catfish for our pond. The otters ate all our big catfish so we are getting 100 small catfish to restock. I need to get dog food and chicken feed from the Amish feed store and then call and schedule Jake's Kindergarten prescreening on wither April 16 or 17th.

That's our plans for today. I'm sure I'll be back with a recipe and a recap of what we get done!

March 26, 2009

Yes Another One!

I am so excited about this "everything" blog that I'm adding yet another entry today. I think I've blogged in this one more already than the other several combined. Oh yeah, there was a weight loss one in there somewhere too that I forgot to mention before.

A little more about us...

We live on 20 acres in a log home way out in KY. We have chickens, guineas, 2 goats, 2 dogs, and a cat. We had rabbits but they multiplied and multiplied and yes multiplied until I finally decided they were more trouble than they were fun so I gave them all away to new homes where I knew they would be taken care of and then breathed a sigh of relief to be out of the rabbit business. We had ducks but after losing several to coyotes we decided not to do the duck thing anymore. When the kids are older, we plan to get horses. I loved riding growing up and miss it. I hope it's something my kids will enjoy as much as I do when they get older.

I have 36 hen eggs ready to put in the incubator and I am looking for someone who has white guinea eggs because I would love to raise some white ones to go with my Pearl Grays.

Meet Gertie, one of our Mrs. Guineas...

Poppy Seed Chicken

I published a family cookbook back in October of 2008 and I love to cook. I'm always looking for new recipes so I thought I'd share with you all. I'll post a recipe from my cookbook each day, or at least on the days that I make it in here to post one!

Today I think I will post a delicious chicken dish of my Aunt Deanna's.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 stick margarine
2 c. crushed Ritz crackers
2 tsp. poppy seeds
1 (8 oz.) ctn. sour cream

Boil chicken until tender and allow to cool. Butter bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Mix soups with sour cream. Place chicken in dish and cover with soup mixture. Spread with Ritz crackers and poppy seeds over soup. Melt margarine and pour over crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

A Bit More About Me

Let's see, I was born in KY and after a few different houses and moving around, I have ended up living within a mile of the home that spent the first 19 years of my life in. I grew up with 2 brothers and a sister. I'm the oldest, then a brother, then my youngest brother and sister (8 years younger than me) are twins. I went to college, dropped out, moved around a bit, worked a few different jobs, dated a few different guys, then I went to work at a nursing home as a nurse aide out of pure desperation for money. That's where I met the love of my life. People always look at me funny when I say I met my husband in a nursing home but I DID! He's not a dirty old man or a rich old geiser, he's a Nurse Practitioner and he just happened to be sent to the same nursing home I was working out to make rounds on his patients when he first started work in KY. He is originally from Florida, then Tennessee, then he moved here to meet me!

Our first date....sled riding....and we were inseparable from that night on. We will celebrate out 10th wedding anniversary in August and I would do it all over again in a heart beat. I have turned my city boy into a country man over the years and my Nashville night life kinda guy now drives a tractor and uses a chainsaw to the pure shock of his mother who still lives in Nashville. She is a wonderful mother-in-law and she loves her grand kids to death and spoils them rotten but I seriously think she would develop a rash if she had to stay in the country for more than 4 hours on the visits they make to see the boys....Oh yes...the boys! Mine and DH's greatest creation ever...Our boys! My oldest (I'll just call him J) is 5 going on 20 and is a ray of sunshine and a huge burst of energy at any hour of the day. My youngest (whom I will call L) will be 3 next month and he is the snuggling, loving, can he be any cuter kinda little guy and they are our whole world.

During these past 10 years I have gone to nursing school, graduated with a 3.9, worked for 3 weeks, quit and went on a road trip with DH for his job, came back planning on going back to work but we decided we wanted kids and that I would stay at home with them. After J, my oldest was born, I spent the next 9 months doing an online medical transcription course so I could work and stay at home. I did that for about a year and it took too much time away from my kiddos so I became a full time SAHM!

J will be starting kindergarten (which I can't believe!) in August and L will be going to preschool 2 to 3 days a week so I am reentering the work world! I had an interview yesterday with the MT office at the local hospital and I think it went really well. I'll hear something from them around the first of the upcoming week.

That brings us up to today and L is wanting to go ride the 4-wheeler and I have a flowerbed calling my name, and I hear my rooster crowing and the hens clucking and there's so much to do out in the beautiful world....but first, I need to pour myself another cup of coffee! I love coffee!

A Bit About Me

I have started several blogs and always titled them according to whichever whimsy I was off on at the time. I finally decided to just make a plain old country blog of this and that so I can blog about whatever tickles my fancy on whatever given day I decide to sit down and write about it.

Last week I was in love with my camera and decided to play a bit with it and Photoshop. That lead to a blog called DD's photos that contained all of these 2 posts.

Both on March 21...

#1 called Getting Started
I have always loved taking pictures and have decided to advance in the photography world an itty bitty step at a time. I own a Canon PowerShot S5 IS and will be upgrading in June for my birthday. Just not sure which DSLR I want. I am also a Photoshop CS2 addict and have recently purchased a few new actions and plugins for improving my photography.

I have purchased the Portraiture plugin from Imagenomic, the Itty Bitty 52 Action Set from Itty Bitty Actions, and I also downloaded Pioneer Woman's free Action Sets 1 and 2 (I am totally addicted to her site btw!)

Here's one of my favorite pics of my boys.

I had this printed at Clark Color Labs as an 8 x 10 and it turned out GREAT!! I love the colors in it.


#2 called Spring is in the Air
Took this photo a few days ago. I was using my super macro amongst a million buzzing honey bees on a tree outside the house and snapped this little beauty. I used the boost and quick edge burn action from Pioneer Woman's Action Sets. You can find a link to her site over on the right!

That was it, all my creative juices for photography took off to somewhere else and I decided that this week would be about my flower gardens....I also had a gardening blog but hadn't posted to it since I started it last year...I know, I'm bad! Then I had a farm blog which I also started last year and only posted a few posts to and then moved on.

Ummm, lets see, there was also a cooking blog and a Photoshop blog along the way, each died a quick death. I have spent the day looking at them and deleting them and calling this my Blog Home! All things here!

So now whatever I decide to write about will all be in one place so I might at least get a good 10 posts in this one. So if you've read this far then you might be interested in know something about me....Check the next post!


For those of you who are new followers/readers, don't forget to check out the forum and join in on our discussions there.

My Country Blog of This and That Forum

I love each and every comment my blogging friends leave for me!

All images and graphics on this page were made by me with the exception of that little rooster! He came from Beth Logan's Checkered Chickens at Photos were taken by me and graphics were created using Photoshop CS2.
If you see something you like please ask for permission before using it!
Thank you!