too much fun with the camera at whole foods

dragon fruit from guatemalaWe have two Whole Foods stores in Orlando that I know of. One is near International Drive on Sand Lake right near I-4 (near where I live), while the other is up somewhere in Winter Park. It’s been a good while since I shopped at the store on Sand Lake.

This weekend, while running errands with my wife, we stopped by the store to pick up popping corn and quinoa. I cook quinoa in our rice cooker, setting it as if it were white rice. Basically I wash it, then put it in the pot with liquid, add some vegetables (like carrots, onions, and bell peppers) in the upper basket to steam, set it, and in 45 minutes the quinoa is cooked and the vegetables or nicely steamed. It makes for a center part of great meal.

The liquid in the pot can be water, but lately I’ve been using half water, half cheap wine (Publix has been having buy-one-get-one-free specials on cheap wines), and sprinkling roast ground garlic on top of the liquid as well to give it a bit more flavor.

Anyway, while there I came across these dragon fruit from Guatemala. I have no idea how they taste, let alone how to prepare them, but there sure were interesting to photograph. Once again I used my brand new Olympus E-M10 and the not-quite-so-new 1.8/17mm. A little post processing in Lightroom and Nik Software’s Analog Efex Pro 2 and here we are. A bit saturated (well a lot actually) and mere fruit becomes a work of art. Well, that’s what I think anyway… I’m having way too much fun with the E-M10 and the 17mm.

cleaning out, letting go

old chair, old memoriesMy wife and I have been cleaning out the house now at a rather rapid clip. We reached a point, after literally years and years of looking at an overcrowded house, to start cleaning everything out. This was last weekend’s efforts.

That stuffed chair was something we’d had for over 20 years, a piece from her mother (long since passed away) that had been re-covered more than once. It wound up sitting back in the rear room of our house. I have no idea what happened to the seat cushion, but the chair gradually filled full of stuff, some of it in the trash bags sitting next to the chair. Before we got cat trees the cats had turned the top into their personal scratching area. The rest of those bags are full of things that were so old we couldn’t use them and couldn’t give them away in good conscious.

What’s not in this photo are the five very large bags of clothing that went to the Salvation Army facility on West Colonial.

What’s also not shown are the cardboard boxes holding books that the girls read as middle schoolers. Those filled the back of my wife’s black Prius and were driven up today to my oldest daughter for her to disburse to the Friends of the Library up in Gainesville.

I wanted this photo to act as a point in time, and to act as a personal motivation to get the rest of the house cleaned up. Next year marks the 30th year we’ve been living in that house, and I want 2015 to be the Year of the Great House Renewal. We’re not hoarders, but we’ve got stuff that spans the full 30 years (and even earlier when we were dating, and then before that when we were just regular singles). And it’s time to let it all go. We need to fix the place up, either to retire to, or else to sell it and find another place to retire to. Whichever way it turns we need to get the place fixed up.

And, of course, the cats were effected by all the cleaning and moving of stuff around. The labs were all cool, but the cats were very curious and liked having new pathways open up in the back room. Ellipse (below) wanted to observe in a convenient hidden spot. Lulu didn’t care. She was in her fish sitting in the other stuffed chair (which we’ll keep for a while longer) as things were moved out of the house.


curiosityWe’re on a solid roll now. We’ve broken through the barrier that’s basically kept everything in the house because the question was always coming up “what if the girls want this stuff?” We’re now aggressively asking the girls about all of this, and handling it accordingly. A lot of it needs to go to, either out as trash or out to folks who can use this stuff.

It feels good. The house is opening up, and so are we.