Sunday, June 23, 2013

A moon and a cleaning tip!


So last night my husband had a dinner to attend with his coworkers and some of his bosses, they wanted to hang out with him a little, chat, buy him some grub and present him with a Plaque from his years at this squadron.

The kiddos and I didn't go, we had the option to and though at first I said yes, I then decided that it would be better for us to stay behind and to let him go and have one last night with his crew, talk airplanes and military things and just enjoy himself.


I'll have to get a better picture once we hang it up, the sword is HUGE, and yes it's a real sword :)

We stayed home and soon after hubby arrived he remarked that the moon was huge and it was gorgeous, which of course prompted me off the couch and outside with tripod and camera in hand.

I've always loved astrophotography, and I've dabbled in it quite a bit while we were still in Idaho, then after moving here it became quickly apparent that being in Phoenix, in the middle of all these city lights, it just would not be possible to see anything.  I'll be lucky to see a few stars in the sky on a clear night.

Another reason I'm super excited to get back home and to get to our country home, knowing that there will be no lights in sight and the sky will be there for the taking....picture taking I mean, and telescope viewing.

Anyway, all this just to say that I never pass up an opportunity to snap a picture of the night sky.  The moon can be quite tricky to photograph but if you are comfortable with your camera and know what you're doing, it's actually super simple.

Here are a few tips for you, I use a Canon Rebel T2i and my Zoom lens, the 75-300 mm.  I would love to get a greater zoom lens but honestly, I'm not one to spend hundreds of dollars on camera lenses if what I have does the job.

So I switch to Manual mode which is how I always shoot, I don't do auto and I detest flash on a camera, you have to really know what you're doing when using flash and since I'm no professional photographer, I steer clear and let the experts do it.

The settings I use for moon pictures is ISO 100, and I wish I could go lower because it still gives me a bit too much light, but it does a good job nonetheless.  My shutter speed is always 1/125, you need a pretty fast shutter speed because the moon is not standing still, it's moving across the sky even if it doesn't seem like it and any shutter speed slower than that can cause blurriness.

Lastly, I use an aperture of either f/9, f/10 or f/11.  I've tried other settings but these seem to work best for me.

Mount the camera on the tripod and I use my remote switch to avoid any shaking by touching the camera.

That's it!

Now let me show you the pictures I got last night.  The first one I zoomed in as much as I could......

Super Moon 06/22/2013

I just love the moon :)

The second one, I took another picture of the moon but not as zoomed in as the previous one, and then I took a picture of a sunset I shot the other day and I merged the 2 in Photoshop, just for fun.

Super Moon 06/22/2013

I love how it turned out. I see a lot of super moon photos where the photographer has super imposed the moon on another picture just to make it more dramatic. Isn't it gorgeous??

Now that we have the moon out of the way......oh I'm sure I'll try to get another photo of tonight's moon too and if it's any good I'll share it too ;)

But as I was saying, moon out of the way, I'm moving on to a cleaning tip.

As you know I've been cleaning the house for inspection, and since I'm doing that I'm kind of spring cleaning my furniture and curtains and couches etc as I go.   Might as well move to a new house with squeaky clean furniture, right?

So remember the new couches we got last year, the reclining micro suede comfy couches?

I love those things, you sit down, prop your feet up and within 5 minutes you're in la la land.  Or maybe it's just me, I don't know lol

The thing with these couches being such a light color, is that through normal wear and tear, and 2 kids and 2 dogs that love lounging on these, the arms of the couches and the feet area start looking nasty.

I'm a clean person, I'm always cleaning but even I was starting to get grossed out by these things.  Usually I just take a sponge to them because I was always so scared of using water for fear that it would stain.

So I started searching around and came across a website that suggested using rubbing alcohol and a sponge.  I was SO scared to give it a try, so I searched and searched more and read reviews and finally took the plunge this afternoon.

I tried it on a hidden area first just to make sure I wasn't going to stain my couches or ruin them and when I realize it was fine, I went to town.


You basically saturate the area that needs cleaning, grab a scrub brush and go to town.  I actually grabbed a white cleaning towel just to show you how nasty these couches were and how much dirt it pulled up.  I should be totally ashamed but it's not like I never clean them I just had NO idea the underlying dirt that was ingrained into the fibers.  GROSS!


Here it is still drying.  It's looking SO good already, hubby even said they look like new couches.

I'll take a picture tomorrow when it's completely dry and show you.

Now please, remember, if you're going to give this a try, you MUST use a white or same color brush or sponge as your couch so you don't transfer color to it, so no blues or red sponges or brushes etc.  And also don't forget to try a small area first.

I noticed some of the areas on mine weren't really getting clean and I think what was happening is that the alcohol was lifting up stains deep in the couch, so I just pulled the fabric up and away from the padding and scrubbed it, and it cleaned it all nicely :)

Alrighty, now I have to get back to packing.

I'll still be here tomorrow morning for Happy Homemaker Monday.  It's going to be a crazy week but next week this time, we will already be in Idaho.  Can't wait.

Have yourselves a wonderful rest of Sunday and God Bless,


  1. wow what a beautiful pic of the moon..i didnt get to see it last night...
    great tip, Sandra..

  2. That is a great tip. I try and write housekeeping suggestions written down in a small notebook, so I have them handy. One of my favorite tips has been coca cola, to descale my electric kettle. I used to use vinegar, but this new electric kettle, despite it's supposed to be stainless steel, the manual says no vinegar. Cola's also great for removing rust.

    Your moon photos are gorgeous, Sandra, the one that shows the palm trees, and the beautiful night sky colors is my favorite, great job!

  3. Your moon photos are fabulous!!!

    Great tip about using alcohol.

    Wow, next week this time you'll be in Idaho. That's hard to believe.

    Congrats again to your husband.

    Enjoy this last week there.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  4. Oh Sandra, what beautiful moon pictures you took...amazing....Love a full moon, Happy Summer, Francine.

  5. Those pictures are sooo amazing. I LOVE them. Absolutely gorgeous.

    My Wholesome Home


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