INTRODUCING ……

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Mr. and Mrs. Ward

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Kevin and Lizzie Ward

June 20, 2020

Springtime, from my lens to yours …

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Other than the colors of Spring being spectacular I have never been a fan. Why you ask?

 Well, I like to say that Spring is our coldest season … and it is.  In the Winter time one dresses for the weather, but in the Spring season the temperatures can range from hot to down right cold  … and my coats are no where to be found.

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But this year is different. This year I have enjoyed every day, rain or shine, snow or sleet. I have become one with nature, another silver lining in this bizarre and peculiar time.

  With this virus controlled economy, and the state of being, I have had more time on my hands than necessary.

The upside? I have been out and about.  Fortunately, I live in a small community that has allowed its citizens to enjoy Gods ‘green’ earth.

Spring is the season of new beginnings, the buds are in bloom, critters are out and about, and the earth seems to rejoice once again.  However, if you blink you will miss it.

This is where I come in …

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How fortunate am I to have enjoyed, and loving, every minute I can of this cold, yet exquisite time of year.

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I am optimistic about life today.

This beauty, this metaphor,

 cannot be overshadowed, beaten down, or destroyed by a few more than necessary naysayers.

Good will prevail!

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The definition of Optimism:

* a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.

* the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.

* the belief that goodness pervades reality.

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Let’s enjoy this very awkward time that will never, God willing, happen again.  Count your blessings, enjoy your family and friends, take walks with the appropriate distance, wear a mask if required, or stay 6 feet away. Most importantly, don’t succumb to fear.

If you do, you lose.

Keep your head together, be your own best advocate, educate yourself, read both sides of the coin, check the facts, be safe and keep positive.  It’s a slippery slope when one gives up.  We must keep our wits about us, we must not stop living 

God Bless !

 

 

The Quaren-tini-tail

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    I hope you are well, safe, and staying positive. This pandemic has tossed us around, shook us up, and is now pouring us out …. out of our comfort zone.

Conversations have come to a crawl …  there is nothing to write home about.  But that doesn’t mean we need to stop living.  As dire as your mood may be, the silver linings are abundant … you just have to look.

My days include long walks, inhaling the colors, the sounds, and the new growth that is rich. Sharing a meal with my boys is not a thing of the past, and one on one with a friend is priceless.

Our list of projects have been started, but more importantly finished.  I have been enjoying my kitchen and cooking once again, sharing my soups and passing out biscuits. Giving back has been the most rewarding …

  Those are just a few of my blessings, there are plenty more …

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Now that I have had my say, let’s get to the bottom of this   …   or is it bottoms up ??   

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The Cherry Quaren-tini

  • ounces vodka
  • ounce kirsch
  • ounce cherry brandy
  • 1 ounce cherry juice … and a few Maraschino Cherries 

 

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The Limoncello Quaren-cocktail

  •  1 shot of Limoncello
  •  2 shots of Sanpellegrino
  •  3 shots of Prosecco
  •  lemon for garnish
  • sprig of mint for garnish that I forgot

 

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The Jalapeno Vodka Quaren-cocktail

  •  Jalapeno vodka
  •  Jalapeno for garnish
  •  hold the vermouth!

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….  and my favorite Quaren-cocktail of choice

The Dirty Gin Quaren-tini-tail

  •  Bombay Sapphire Gin
  •  Garlic stuffed large Olives
  •  some juice from the Olives

 

This post kept me busy. My sister planted the seed, and I watered it. Another lining rimmed with silver keeping my skills honed, my imagination vivid, and my whistle wet.

There needs to be an ‘Un-Quaren-tini-tail’  Party … keep me in the loop, I want to join in the celebration.   Hoping soon to see the smiles and hearing the laughter of friends and family from not so long ago …

Stay safe and enjoy life !

CIN CIN   or cheers!

 

 

 

And lastly, The Camels

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The Dromedary Camel is an ‘Old World Camel’.

It is estimated that the dromedary camel has been domesticated for perhaps 6000 years and has shaped the civilization of the entire world.

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Camels are very specialized animals. Their famous humps are stores not of water, but of fat, and can sustain them without water for as long as a month in the harshest desert conditions. They stand over 5 ft at the top of the head and weigh nearly 800 pounds.

They maintain themselves in conditions that would kill nearly any other creature, with specialized expanding feet and lips that can chew thorns and even specially shaped blood cells.

 They have a third, clear eyelid that protects their eyes from blowing sand. Two rows of long lashes also protect their eyes. Sand up the nose can be a problem, but not for camels, they can shut their nostrils during sand storms.

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The red blood cells of camels are not circular but oval shaped – unlike any other mammal on earth. The theory is that the oval shape allows blood to continue to circulate even if it is thickened from lack of hydration.

When resources are scarce and a camel is living off the fat of its hump, the hump slowly deflates, and may even flop over as the contents are depleted. And when a thirsty camel finally arrives at a water source it can easily drink up to 40 gallons in a matter of minutes.

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Camels like to stay together in groups called herds. The herds are led by a dominant male, while many of the other males form their own herd called a bachelor herd. Camels are very social and like to greet each other by blowing in each other’s faces.

Humans have used camels as a means of transport for thousands of years. They can carry about 375 to 600 lbs. on their backs. This earned these beasts of burden a nickname, “ships of the desert.” Domestic camels are often the main source of meat, milk and even leather or wool products.

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After a gestation of 12 to 14 months, a mother camel will find a private spot to have her young. Female camels usually only have one baby, but sometimes camels have twins.

Baby camels are called calves. The newborn calf is able to walk within 30 minutes, though the two won’t rejoin the herd until around two weeks later. Camels become fully mature when they are 7 years old and live to be about 17 years old.

Camels can run at 25 mph for long periods. If their owner is in a hurry, they can kick their speed up to 40 mph.

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Camels are known for spitting on people. In fact, the animals are throwing up the contents of their stomach along with their spit. This is a defense tactic when the animals feel threatened.

The large beasts make a variety of moans, groans and deep, throaty bellows. One of the camel’s noises was even used to voice the character Chewbacca in the Star Wars movies.

all the above from google

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The above photo was another group that joined us at camp that night.  This group knew how to have fun! At night, around the camp fire, they were a hootin’ and a hollerin’.  Next thing I knew I was right in the middle of it all, dancing under the stars in the Sahara Desert with a group of Arabs!  My pal Cathy also joined in,  the two from Chicago …

And let me remind you …. it is against the Muslim religion to drink.  Yep, they were having a grand ole’ time stone sober. 

Hmmm, no alcohol???  two weeks ?? Well, we did manage to hit a couple stores that sold beer and wine.  We purchased our wine and drank it with our meals.  However, to imbibe we had to hide our bottle under the table and refill our glasses down there too.  One time we used coffee cups as our vessel …  This only added to fun.

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I loved this country and it’s people, Morocco was unlike anywhere I have ever been, truly an eye opener.   Thank you Digital Photo Mentor and Danny for a great time! And to Ali our incredible guide …. !    www.digitalphotomentor.com

It’s Cocktail Hour …. care to join me?

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A friend of mine in Galena is an incredible mixologist.  She has the touch ..  It has been several years since I have photographed food or beverages, but I thought I’d give it a go …  Meghan was up for the task, sent me a grocery list, and showed up ready, willing, and able.

Without much thought put into this shoot, other than the ingredients, I set up shop on a black table top at BIG BILL’S SANDWICH SHOP in Galena Illinios.
I had ambient light to the left and right of the cocktails, a wall behind the spirits, and I stood to block the light coming from the front.  I must have remembered some things from my past.  Why you ask?  because I like the images and the angles came easily to me.
But on the other hand, shooting too close can be a problem and shooting too wide (short depth of field) can also hinder the image, and not to mention my old foe light some of you remember. However, this is the way I like to shoot … but I get it!

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The Whiskey Sour

“The year: 1792. You: a sailor crossing the Atlantic for North America. Food is dried. Water is no good. And scurvy is a constant worry.

Enter, the Whiskey Sour!  Although the recipe wasn’t written down until 1862 by Jerry Thomas in The Bartender’s Guide, “sours” were a basic recipe for centuries.

According to Brian Petro of The Alcohol Professor Vice Admiral Edward Vernon of England began mixing a few ingredients together to serve to his crew, to help combat sea-sickness, malnutrition, and scurvy.

But because they didn’t want an entire ship of intoxicated sailors, they began to water it down with lemon or lime juice. While the British used Gin and Brandy, Americans favored Whiskey, and thus the Whiskey Sour was born.”  google.

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The Whiskey Sour:
1.5 ounces of Blaum Brothers Bourbon
0.75 ounces of lemon juice
0.75 ounces of simple syrup
0.25 ounces of egg whites
garnish with a lemon peel and a cherry
Pour the ingredients into a shaker over ice. Shake well, then pour into a coupe glass. If you are using the egg white you can use as much or as little in the cocktail as you want. Dry shake (no ice) vigorously to get the white foamy element before adding other ingredients.

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The Old-Fashioned

“The first documented definition of the word “cocktail” was in response to a reader’s letter asking to define the word in the May 6, 1806, issue of The Balance and Columbian Repository in Hudson, NY.

In the May 13, 1806 issue, the paper’s editor wrote that it was a potent concoction of spirits, bitters, water, and sugar.

By the 1860s, it was common for other liqueurs to be added to the cocktail. The original concoction, in different proportions, came back into vogue, and was referred to as “old-fashioned”.

The most popular of the in-vogue “old-fashioned” cocktails were made with whiskey, according to a Chicago barman, quoted in the Chicago Tribune in 1882.”  google

Old-Fashioned is also the name of the glass that it is served in … but the drink came first.
The Mad Men Era is what catches my eye.  From architecture to furniture, hairstyles to dress, and  music to drink ware … I love it all.
Well, the Old-Fashioned glass that I wanted to use had a gold design on it, typical of the era. This particular design was of the world map. I really wanted to photograph using that glass …  but you couldn’t see the cocktail, it just didn’t work.
Therefore I used a showier glass that would compliment the toddy.

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The Old-Fashioned
2 ounces of Blaum Brothers Bourbon
0.5 ounces of simple syrup
2 dashes of bitters
Garnish with an orange peel, a lemon peel, and a cherry
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There Will Be Blood Orange

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According to my mixologist, this cocktail was created by The Blaum brothers.

The brothers own BLAUM BROS DISTILLING in Galena, Illinois, and it happens to be Galena’s number one tourist attraction.

All the spirits used today are from Blaum Bros.

They named this toddy after the movie,

There will Be Blood.

And what a glass!  This is your typical Collins Glass from the era of my choice. I found this nifty classic at EZ SELL, also in Galena, Illinois.

 

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There Will Be Blood
1.5 ounces of Blaum Brothers Hellfyre Vodka
1 ounce of lime juice
0.5 ounces of Agave
0.5 ounces of pineapple juice
top with Blood Orange San Pellegrino.
Use a lime to garnish

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I hope you enjoyed Happy Hour with me. I am also hoping that you feel pretty good after imbibing with your eyes … taking it all in one blink after another. Leaving you feeling all mellow and calm ….

The images are colorful, they have some texture, and they include a bit of detail ….

Sounds like they were made just for me! 

Thank you Meghan!