Mrs. Bayle

It was a small apartment building. 3 floors, 2 apartments on each.

Mrs. Bayle has been there since forever, the oldest tenant in the building.

She was the one who kept the flowers hanging at the porch. The building was not a masterpiece of architecture, all white, old, non-attractive. She kept the flowers to beautify it a bit. Also so that the lion by the door would feel more at home, with some nature around it.

Most of the other tenants liked it and appreciated Mrs. Bayle for that. Mr. Moody didn’t, claiming it took too much space from the entrance. But she never failed to keep the flowers no matter what he would say.

Mrs. Bayle was old and her body started to fail her. One morning, she didn’t wake up, and left our world to beautify her afterlife.

Without her, the flowers slowly wilted and died. Mr. Moody made sure to get rid of it as soon as he noticed they were dead.

It was a sunny day and some people say it was bird droppings, or water that was sprinkled by a passing car cleaning the windshield. But it was actually tears in the lions face. He was the one who missed Mrs. Bayle the most.

Lion


This post was written in response to the Sunday Photo Fiction of this week, and contains 207 words.

To see other stories inspired by the same prompt, click the blue frog below.

One-Four Challenge: September Week 4

This is the last week for the September One-four challenge.

The images I’ll be using this month were actually created back in July, when I learned about the challenge and went crazy about creating 2 sets of images, the one I used then, and the one I’ll be using this month.

Having been so long since the editing of the pictures, I need also admit I don’t remember how exactly I edited them, except of course by the obvious. I’ll try to remember at least those obvious. All edits were made on my Android phone, using the Photo Editor app.

So here’s this week’s version:

rosesedited4

In this one I decided to use the weird effects of the app. So I use a invert color to get my magenta roses to become blue, and also a mirroring (both vertical and horizontal) effect for the caleidoscope look and feel.

So bellow you’ll fint a compilation of all 4 versions as well as the original, and a poll. Please vote on your favorite one.

One-Four Challenge: September Week 3

This is the third week for the September One-four challenge.

The images I’ll be using this month were actually created back in July, when I learned about the challenge and went crazy about creating 2 sets of images, the one I used then, and the one I’ll be using this month.

Having been so long since the editing of the pictures, I need also admit I don’t remember how exactly I edited them, except of course by the obvious. I’ll try to remember at least those obvious. All edits were made on my Android phone, using the Photo Editor app.

So here’s this week’s version:

rosesedited3

 

This is the closest to the original picture. On this one, if I remember well, I increased saturation, added some little blur and changed the perspective, so the fence that seemed to be leaning a tiny bit to the right, changes to lean a bit to the left.

Hope you’ll like it.

One-Four Challenge: September Week 2

This is the second week for the September One-four challenge.

As I mentioned last week, the images I’ll be using this month were actually created back in July, when I learned about the challenge and went crazy about creating 2 sets of images, the one I used then, and the one I’ll be using this month.

Having been so long since the editing of the pictures, I need also admit I don’t remember how exactly I edited them, except of course by the obvious. I’ll try to remember at least those obvious. All edits were made on my Android phone, using the Photo Editor app.

So here’s this week’s version:

rosesedited2

In picture was build on top of the previous one, keeping the vignette, which i learned some people do not like much. ;o). In this one, it doesn’t make the picture too dark, but on the other hand we can clearly see the curve, which I guess make it a little forced.
For the colors, in this one I made it monochrome, then changed the hue to a red-ish sepia-like effect.

Hope you’ll like it.

3-in-one: Take these flowers away. And the balloon, too!

This week, I’m busy planning a RV trip, so I’m trying to combine 3 challenges in only one story.

The biggest challenge to make all 3 of them work together, is that each one has a different size constraint.

So, I wrote it in a way, that I split the story in 3, using dashes and stars to mark each part.
If you’re willing to read only the 100-175 words for the FFfAW, you can stop at the first mark and be good.

If you want the 400 words of the literary lion, you can go on until the second mark.

And if you are ok in reading a 1000 word story, you read until the end.

But in each mark, the story would sort of end in a way that made sense. So you won’t feel the story is incomplete if you don’t go on reading.

Here it goes then…

Ouch, I feel so sore today. Can’t remember why. Last thing I remember I was driving last night. Hey why didn’t my eye open? Hello? No sound? Why can’t I say anything?

“Good morning, Mr. Baller. Hope you’re well today. Look of what arrived to you this morning. A balloon and some flowers. I’ll leave them by your bed here. Now let’s check your vitals.”

Balloon? Flowers? Vitals? Am I in a hospital?

Why are people sending me balloons or flowers? I’m not a newborn baby for balloons, wonder if it says “It’s a boy!”. And boy, those flowers do smell like death. Hey, miss, do you mind taking them away?

“Very well. Your vitals are as good as can be considering the circumstances. You’re just not ready to wake up, huh? That’s ok, take your time. You’re not our only comatose patient. We’ll take good care of you. And get well soon, just like your balloon says. I’ll be back in a couple hours. See you later.”

——–***——–

Comatose? But I AM awake. And I don’t like the smell of the flowers. Oh my gosh! Why can’t I communicate with the nice lady. Is she a nurse? Yeah…probably.

Ok, so try to remember Peter. What happened last night? We were in a party, then we got into the car, it was me, Stacy and Sophie. Then…. Oh no! Car accident? What happened to Stacy and Sophie? Oh God! Please make them be alive and well! Please, please, please.

Oh man. I do indeed hate those flowers. Why do people send flowers to comatose folks? To make it faster for them to die with the funeral smell? To save money and buy flowers only once? Arghhh. The smell…..

“Hey Mr. Baller, that’s me again, your nurse Lilly. Anything new? Hum… guess not. Well, just checking on you. Bye-bye”

Lily? Hey Lilly? Please don’t go yet! Not before taking those flowers….. awn… she’s gone.

She thinks I’m asleep. Well, guess that’s probably the best thing to do. I’ll take a nap.

Yawnnn… awake again. And the flowers are still here, based on the smell. Note to self: do not ever send flowers to people in hospitals. Especially if they can’t ask the Lilly nurse to take them away!

I hate flowers!

——–***——–

“Hello again, Mr. Baller. By the way, can I call you Peter? Well, this is my last visit on this shift, so I brought you Chad, who will be the one taking care of you for the next day, ok? But I’ll be back on my next shift. Unless of course you wake up and leave before it happens. That’d be great, huh?”

“Hey man. What’s up, bro? Oh boy, you’re a bruised person alright. But I’ll tend to your bruises, ok? And will make them go away in no time. Just stay strong and sleep tight. Well, I don’t think I have to ask you to sleep right? haha. Nevermind my nonsense.”

Chad? Well, he sounds more like a basketball player than like a nurse. Bye-bye, Lilly. I’ll make sure to come and visit you if I wake up before your next shift. But hey, why don’t you or your friend Chad take those fl…

“Look at that, man! You got flowers and a balloon. ‘Get well soon.’ That’s what the balloon says. Yeah, I hope you will. I really do, man. Don’t like seeing people like that. But those flowers… Ew! Smell like a cemetery, man. Do they want to bury you already? You want me to take it away?”

Yes, please, please, please!!!

“I don’t know, man. Say the person who sent will come visit you. I’ll leave them for now. Until they’re wilted at least.”

“Talking about visits, I’ll bring you a surprise very soon. Yeah! Guess you’ll like it! See you in a bit, man!”

Surprise? What could that be? Maybe an air freshener to get rid of that smell? Guess I like this Chad too. 

“Hello, hello! I told you I’d bring a surprise…”

“Dad? Oh my gosh, dad! Please, dad, don’t go. You’ll wake up, right? You sure will? Dad? Pleeeaseeee. But hey, you know what? Mom is fine. Yeah, she had to have a surgery, but she’s doing well. And she is AWAKE! So please, wake up too…. please…. for me, for her…?”

Oh sweetie, my cute sweetie pie. So glad you and your mom are ok. What surgery did she had to do? Is she really fine? And I AM awake, it’s just those eyes of mine that won’t open. And that mouth that won’t speak. And my muscles won’t move? Oh boy, I’m in trouble. I really am. 

But I do want to wake up. For them!

“Well, well. Guess time’s up for you, little missy. You get to go back to your own bed, ok? Some recovery to do there as well. Hey man, I’ll see that Mrs. Baller come see you too when she’s awake, ok? Wow, girl, you have lazy sleepy parents, don’t you? haha. Sorry. Nevermind my nonsense…”

“Hello Mr. Baller, Lilly again. Did Chad take good care of you? I hope he did. He’s a nice person. I heard he brought you your daughter for a visit? Well… I guess I’ll be able to do the same. I’ll go check and will be back in a minute”

Lilly is back. I like it. And I’d love to see Sophie again. And Stacy. I’d give anything to see Stacy again, hear her voice…

“Knock knock! Mr. Baller, we have some visitors…”

“Dad!”

“Peter?”

“Stacy? Is that Stacy’s voice? Are both of my girls here? I gotta wake up! I just GOT to!”

“Oh Peter. How are you my love? Still sleeping? Eyes closed? Oh sweetheart, I’d give my world to see your pretty blue eyes open and well again. Please?…”

At that moment, a tear came out of the corner of his eyes and they opened for the first time in a full week!

3in1

Tulips!

It’s that time of the year again, when we wait for a sunny day, get into the car and drive all the way to Mount Vernon, WA, to see the tulip fields in all their prettiness.

I took a lot of pictures and it was actually hard to choose one to post here.

But I finally did!

And the winner was…

Tulips at the Tulip Festival at Mount Vernon

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Walk 100 Steps or less and take new photos

I’ve been trying to take this picture for this challenge for a couple of days now, but I always had only my phone, which is not good at all for macro pictures.

Then today, in spite of the not-so-great weather, I took my Canon and went for the tiny walk that leads me to those flowers.

But it was windy…. And a macro picture of a moving object with no flash is not something possible, so I had to resort to using flash.

I like the picture, but I guess I’d have liked more if I could have avoided the flash, since I don’t typically like the way the flash changes some of the colors of the object.

Still a nice picture, though.

100steps

 

And not, it’s not the exact same plant as the one here. Maybe same species, but different locations… ;o)

 

written in response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge:  Walk 100 Steps or less and take new photos

Mt. Rainier Wildflowers

A couple of weeks ago, my cousin came to visit us and we took the Sunday to take him to Mt. Rainier National Park.
The weather was not completely clean, as there were a few clouds, but it was still pretty sunny and beautiful.

The park is beautiful year-round, so I can’t even say it was especially beautiful on that day.
Each season for a different reason. And on that day, the biggest attraction were the wildflowers.

For the kids, the lots of walking on a national park with no playground available was a bit boring, so at some point I was trying to distract them by reading the tags they had with the flowers names.
The funniest name for them was Fan-Leaf Cinquefoil. They thought cinquefoils was a funny sounding word and I explained the meaning of it.

I also explained the meaning of Avalanche AvalancheLily_thumb when we saw the Avalanche Lily, and of Magenta MagentaPaitbrush_thumb (for them it would be dark pink ;o) when we saw the Magenta Paintbrush. That one they also thought it was funny since it was a flower and not a real paintbrush.
So now for the big pictures.

Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – Spring

I’m participating in the online adventure travel and photography magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggers. This week’s Challenge is: Spring!

Spring is coming and flowers are starting to bloom.

Yesterday I wrote a post about my lunchtime walk in which I took a few pictures of the little signs of Spring.

Today I’m participating of this challenge with a couple more of the pictures I took yesterday.

All pictures were taken with my Canon PowerShot SX 110 IS.

I hope you like it.

IMG_5324 IMG_5353

Spring is in the air

Last week I avoided going for walks, in order to take time to recover from my little dare-to-jog-on-a-half-marathon injuries.

Friday I was feeling good though, so I risked walking with a friend to a cafe about 1 mile away from our offices for some lunch.

The way there passes through a trail around a wetland and, as we walked, I noticed the blooming flowers and buds and bright green baby leaves. I could not believe I didn’t have my camera with me! Well… I did have my phone, but my phone does not work very well when trying to take macro pictures, so for that occasion I really wanted my Canon camera.

Then came today!

In the morning we had lots of rain. So much that I did not have too many hopes for a walk. I missed my workout and that made me pretty grumpy, with ideas of going to the gym at the end of the day, even though I know deep inside that the likelihood that that would happen was very dim. And that ‘deep knowledge’ was not really helping me in raising my spirits.

When lunch time came I decided to check out the weather outside (no windows in my office… :() and to my surprise the sun was shining! The sky still had lots of clouds, but there was also big patches of blue sky and we were getting the sunshine.

I didn’t think twice, grabbed my camera and off I went to that same trail to take a few shots of the blooming flowers and chirping birds.

The walk was in 2 parts, since I ended up having lunch on the same cafe was Friday again. And it was also very slow, because I was looking around and stopping all the time for pictures.
(this week I can even use the excuse that my feet cannot be forced much to justify a slow walk. And if the walk is slow anyways, why not take pictures, right?)

😉

The total distance walked was of 2.18 miles (1.03 + 1.15), walked in about 1h05m (31:57 + 32:50) and with an average pace of about 30:00 (31:06 on first leg; 28:33 on second). Veeeery sloooowww.

WalkOf20130318