Camera diagnosis – my camera is kaput…but there’s a new one in my future!

It’s one of those events that has given me some insight at how integral my camera is to my life. In October I reported on this blog that my camera was sent in for a cleaning. I took advice about where to send it, from a local reliable camera store. Okay. Elaborate prep packaging and paper work done; then sent it off for a cleaning. Oh no. Get it back and it’s broken. I mean, really broken. Darn it. I remain calm. It’s only a camera. (As my former boss would say to me, “Nobody died, Catherine.” Words to live by, if you think about them. Gives me a good perspective on the the-order-of-importance of hierarchy.)

One week goes by and I am feeling bereft, disoriented and slightly bewildered. No camera. I use my phone for photos, which proves to have limitations, no Zoom lens for one, and disturbing artifacts that activate like ‘live’ photos- a Very ghost in the machine effect.

Images shot with my smart phone – I did not see the refections when I was shooting the pics of the Wests at the zoo. This is one happy accident of art, of the reflections in a window, while viewing the Gorilla.

Sooo, what to do. What to do? I sent the sad camera to Chicago and the bad news was that the entire zoom lens and motor had to be replaced. Oh yes. The cost was more than the camera was worth. Ugh. Asked for advice (what do I know?) from a dear friend who knows about the dollars worth and the world. The verdict: purchase a new camera.

Cameras are a market where technology rules. I’m a painter and photography is my hobby. I took classes in it at the university. I do not need a mega professional camera for what I do. However I would like one with some wizardry built in.

Nowadays cameras are like small robots that make pictures for the user. I researched the internet about models that interested me. Very slowly I began to grasp the newest stuff out there. It’s daunting to read endless reviews and jargon and look up what the jargon means. Hey! Do I want to make videos or selfies or have a touch screen? Nah. I want a better zoom than I had, yeah… and so forth. Me – a very grateful user of all the geek sites that review cameras. I just typed in what type of camera I was looking for “Camera X reviews” and I had hours of fun reading.

Santa Claus is bringing me a new camera. I picked it out. Whew, that was work and I fretted until that was over. Relief has come over me.

In the meantime, I have started to rebuild my art website. I have begun to add art work – portraits and some stories behind the work. There is still work to be done on the site, including a contact form.

Shot with a smart phone – Greetings of the Season to you!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen. I am grateful for all the people who stop by my kitchen with their kind words, great art, recipes and thoughtful comments.


I want to say hello to all my friends at Fiesta Friday #202!   There are cookies in my week to bake! Cohosts this week are Judi @ and Laurena @ Life Diet Health

Posted in Art and Architecture, Slow food and art in the kitchen | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments

Food Allergies On The Rise – It’s not just me folks. There’s an app for allergies.

Food allergies are a subject that I avoid along with foods that cause me allergic reactions.  People have shown angry responses to my dilemma. Others are understanding. (Thank you!)

Well, make sense doesn’t it? I have reactions like hives to crab; symptoms of itching to a closing throat, when I encounter grape seeds and calamari; choking (hard to breathe) to pine nuts – need my inhaler for that reaction. And once there was an unpleasant side effect, when I ate a chestnut puree crepe, for the first and last time, in Paris. Maple syrup has crept into lots of recipes to replace other sweeteners, alas. My body reacts to that as well.

And then there are the people, who have no clue and don’t understand about what it’s like to eat foods that produce an allergic response. It’s not that I don’t like these foods, it’s my body reacting…in somewhat dramatic ways.

I have met very few people with food allergies. Recently I talked to someone who has some food allergies. That was a relief of sorts.

“Food Allergy Prevalence Is Rising

According to the CDC, there was an 18 percent increase in the incidence of food allergy among children under 18 between 1997 and 2007 in the United States. Though NIAID researchers have identified several risk factors for developing food allergy, scientists have not found a cause for this rise in food allergy prevalence.” ~ NIH: National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease ~

As many as 15 million people have food allergies – an estimated 9 million or 4% of adults and almost 6 million or 8% of children have food allergies. ~


Alicia the cooking and cake making goddess is allergic to sesame oil, which is used in cooking Asian foods. When dining out with her family, Alicia is careful to ask if the dish has sesame oil. That’s caution, not being picky.

Mostly I like to eat more whole foods. As my diet is cleaned up, I feel better. Over the years I notice eating processed foods can make me feel unwell. A person could be sensitive to any of the many additives in processed and packaged foods. I read labels before I buy food.

My brother once said to me, if it comes in a can or a package, don’t eat it. That’s a hard line dictum. Yet when I hear that in my head, I stop to think about the food I consume. Taking time to make a simple meal from fresh ingredients is pleasurable. The ubiquitous nature of convenience foods in the supermarkets normalizes packaged foods. There seems to be less and less fresh foodstuff in stores.

Where is this going? Our environmental health and source of our foods is more in question than ever. That’s a good thing. More people are buying fresh foods hopefully. More awareness around food allergies is being generated. For someone like me, who has food allergies, tolerance is appreciated.

I found this great app for WedMD on allergies.  It’s a clever and extensive resource on allergies and asthma. The articles are very helpful. (Yes, I have seasonal allergies.)


WebMD Allergy App

“Based on the allergies you have, the free WebMD Allergy app for iPhone or Google play will help you prepare for each day with a personalized allergy and weather forecast along with doctor-approved tips that can be customized to you and your family’s specific allergies.

The WebMD Allergy app helps you to control your allergy symptoms by showing you the allergy levels in your area before you start your day. Whenever. Wherever.” – WebMD Allergy App

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen.

Have a good day where ever you may be.




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Transformation – The Abandoned Garden

abandoned sailboat 12-8-17

Sailboat in an Abandoned Garden

At first look the objects seemed forlorn

abandoned as they were

along a lazy river

each presented a phase of a life

now past

walked away from?

A death in the family

of ordered living.

 Nature moved.

All the slow transformation

happens in decay –

memories of better days.

A strange beauty arises

 and floats in the grasses

 of an abandoned garden.

Venus in abandoned garden

A Venus in an Abandoned Garden


Thanks for stopping by my kitchen.

Keep kindness in your heart and a smile on your lips.

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A trip to Troutdale Oregon – The General Store and Rip Caswell’s Sculptures

Troutdale Oregon is a really small town, a village, but the first thing that you notice are the marvelous life size sculptures of wildlife. The sculptor is Rip Caswell. He has a gallery and store at the end of the village. These magnificent bronze pieces are placed along the walkway in front of the shops. This was my second visit to Troutdale and I went with two things in mind, to take some photos of the sculptures and visit the Troutdale General Store.

The General Store has a holiday and general gift theme and very good home made ice cream. It’s loads of fun and has many locally made crafts and gifts.  Themes abound, from holidays to woodland scenes and animals and boats and boating. Venturing into the basement filled with decorated Christmas trees and holiday themed shelves put me in a happy holiday mood.

I found gifts and toys for friends. Some items I have never seen anywhere where I live. The cuteness factor got me!  Next feeling a bit hungry, I stopped in at Color Me Home to a place to grab a bite to eat and check out an elegant furniture store where I had a piece of quiche, which was very good and an decaf expresso. (They make a good cup of expresso in Oregon.)

I went to Oregon over Thanksgiving where I shared dinner with new people and enjoyed a wonderful meal and good company.  My friend, Alan made a salad of Romaine lettuce and braised carrots. A big success.  Here are the pictures of pies made by a 14 year old young person, who has been watching the cooking channel since she was very young. Her mother explained that she didn’t understand her daughters cooking channel obsession at first. Then at nine years old she began to bake. The proud mom showed me pictures of past cakes! They are extremely professional looking. This is a real passion. There are little roses on the apple pie, which tasted delicious and had an excellent crust. Her attention to detail is a wonder. An inspired artist.

Peace to you all.

I hope this season brings health and happiness to everyone.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen.

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Serene: Weekly Photo Challenge – Cedar Lake Minneapolis Minnesota



Katt Early Morning Sunlight Cedar Lake jpg.jpg

Serene – Cedar Lake – Minneapolis Minnesota © CKatt 2017 

water birds leave trails

floating on summer water

paddling the way


Thanks for stopping by my kitchen.

Have a serene moment.




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