Saturday, March 31, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
I do....remember black and white television. I remember the first show we watched that had color in it after we got our color tv. Believe it or not it was Wizard of Oz. Do you know, I don't even remember much of watching tv before that and really...I am not that old....to only remember listening to radio. For some reason that one event is my first perception of tv.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
It's true that when you are a wee young thing, the fears are all so minimal. Each day you experience life, each week, month, year...your fears change. They start out by growing in amounts, for whatever reason. When young, a lot of fears are from the unknown or should I say the unfamiliar. Each day you are subjected to that silly little fearful thing, you discover it really isn't going to pounce on you. It doesn't bite. It doesn't hurt..and if it does (those nasty shots) it is for a very short amount of time.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
I was born in California to an air force serviceman and his wife, my mom. I was the oldest daughter, second out of six children, raised on a service man’s paycheck. I was the family babysitter and to this day am still considered to be the ‘responsible’ one of the family, not always something I am fond of for whatever reason.
I have seen many of the states, Okinawa and some of Europe. We moved every two to three years during my youthful years. I grew up without a childhood ‘best friend’. To this day, I love to travel. I don’t have a problem flying but much prefer a road trip if I can find someone to really ‘enjoy’ it with me and not want to rush from one spot to the next. I do long for connections with others that have the same passion as I…so hello best friends. I can’t wait to discover each and every one of you.
Nature and birdwatching have been passions of mine from early on with youthful memories of Lady’s Slippers and Barbie Doll dishes made from acorn caps, colorful piles of fall leaves, pussywillows and milkweed covered with Monarchs, monkeys in Okinawa and the plethora of birds that gathered in my grandpa’s back yard. Green has been my favorite color my entire life because it represents Mother Nature and everything beautiful she provides for us. Daisies and Sunflowers are my favorite flowers and although I love to grow a good antique rose, I much prefer a bouquet of simplicity found in daisies and sunflowers. A couple of my favorite movies – ‘Serendipity’ and Under the Tuscan Sun. Call me a romantic. I love lady bugs, owls and everything simple.
I love to garden, hike, fish and read a good book. I love the sound and smell of fall leaves, the cleanliness of the world after a good rain, the awesomeness of the warm, snow blanket Father Winter provides us with to cover the drabbiness that fall leaves behind. I prefer the rain if I can enjoy it outside under a covered deck or inside watching out a wonderful window watching the world go round. A morning walk on the beach revitalizes my spirits. A drive, just anywhere, with Barbra Streisand's 'Higher Ground' cd playing or a walk through the woods makes all the anger and frustration disappear.I used to dream of being able to fly when I was younger. Not in an airplane but solo…just me…no wings. I stopped having those dreams after the years that I learned how to fly glider planes. I rehabilitated wildlife during four years of ‘staying at home’ while I lived in Texas. I. Collect. Notebooks. Notebooks in which I start to journal and then put it down. I’ll remove pages and start again. I buy notebooks thinking I will start again and ignoring the fact I have an entire bin of notebooks waiting to hear my words hidden in the upstairs closet. Writing is a life long dream of mine. To write a book. To travel. To see, watch, hear, touch, feel, smell, observe, share, inspire. To photograph. A book..of my own filled with words and photos to allow the world to dream upon.
I’ve been married twice and have three awesome children and two gorgeous granddaughters. All my children live in Texas…and so do my exes. (smiling) I relocated to Wisconsin in 2004, for whatever reason and truly enjoy the four seasons but it no where near comes close to the loneliness I feel from being so far away from my children.
I played with photography when my children were growing up. It was a passion that was squashed at the time by time management needed to raise children and work a full time job as well as the cost of film. Photography at that point was just documenting my children’s life in an everyday manner. I bought my first point and shoot ten years ago and shortly after that I purchased a Nikon D40 at the recommendation by my daughter. Since then I have purchased a D90 and D7000 and enjoy both of them tremendously and use them both regularly. I drool over and dream about D700's, SB900, 16mm Fisheye lenses, Nikon 70 - 200mm and discovering Lensebabys. I do have the 50mm prime, 90mm macro, a Tamron 28 - 300 which is the lens that stays on my D90 most of the time, the lens that came with the D90 and D7000, plus a wide angle and a 200 to 500mm that I'm anxious to use more during my travels this year.
My heart is with wildlife and nature, children and teens although the portraits I just kind of play around with basically because my 5 to 5 full time job keeps me from expanding any further. I love the connection I find when viewing blogs, particularly Shutter Sisters and want to participate and connect….again thwarted by the job when after a day at the office, my creativity is slim to none.
My dream job….a writer and photographer for National Geographic. Go figure. Who doesn’t have that dream?!!
My word for 2012 is expand. I have PSE10 and Lightroom 3 and have so much to learn on them. My passion for creativeness feels as if it is behind bars just screaming to get out. I discovered this class just a few days ago and it’s a wonderful thing….the feeling of hope and excitement. Expansion…here I come.
In addition to this class, I have signed up for a LR3 class with Texas Chics, a ToyCamera class with Susan Tuttle and signed up on the Kelby Training web to check out some of their videos/classes. In addition, my 'act of bravery' this year is involved in somewhat of a self portrait project from an ebook I am reading. Call me crazy…but mostly call me adventurous and excited.
Highlight of this year’s plans – my first trip to Yellowstone National Park.
I am just now joining this group and have 17 lessons to catch up on...okay...now 16. I took lunch today to read through them all to help me plan my plan of action and I must say, more than overwhelmed I am extremely excited about the things I will learn and the people I will connect with!!
…to be continued
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Do you remember when digital photography came alive? It has only been about 10 years. Things have changed so much just as everything else in modern technology has. The new DSLR's provide so much functionality, so many new avenues to take your creativeness along with the ever growing library of software programs that are being developed and changing almost as rapidly or more than the cameras themselves. The world is inundated with photographers of all kinds, all levels providing our eyes with books and books, pages and pages, digital files after digitals files to feast on, to trigger our imagination, our dream world..even our taste buds. We drool...not over the picture perfect apple pie but over the new equipment that is available, the new software, or even better the expression and emotion that we hope some day we can also present in our creative photography attempts.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Frustrated from a fruitless, thankless, job for a company that has poor work ethics, lack of desire for taking care of the hard working associates that work for them. Managed by ‘book smart’ and not reality street smart. Micromanaged to the very last detail of the period at the end of a sentence. Day in and day out.
I was hired by this European owned company almost 8 years ago. Hired as the first US associate to help them get the business office put together and up and running, The only other associate was a ‘said to be’ sales person that used to work for the competition. I wore many hats...basically all hats except sales..yet even part of sales from the inside. I did it all, mingled together….customer service, logistics, purchasing, office manager, accounting, market research…production to include managing contractors when installation was going on. Day in and day out reporting to multi bosses all located abroad, all with their individual priority requests…none grasping the knowledge of all other responsibilities that I also had to take care of. Slowly the business grew and didn’t grow and grew again allowing a very slow addition of a few people to slowly take some hats off my head yet leaving behind the current three very full time positions that I continue to try to Superwoman through on a daily basis.
I lost my dad and my stepdad and my younger sister all within a couple years of each other. My dad passed away at the age of 65 as has all of his brothers from dementia, daddy’s having been a very rare form with no medical relief available, no cure, not much knowledge and no way of testing for it except by brain biopsy after death. I will be, this year, 55. Fifty. Five. This truly has me struggling, scared of death that might come within in ten years with so much undone in my life. Me exhausted. Me lost and transformed into some grumpy, lack of laughter, creativity squashed person because of too many work responsibilities. Too many work hours. Too many days of self esteem squashing by over powering, manipulative managers threatened by a woman’s knowledge.
I long to have my passion and desire back again. I long for days on end of photography and writing. I long for the me that smiles and greets people as if it is the best day of life ever. I long for the me to return who loves to help and assist and puts other people first.
I leave work many days in tears. Too many mornings lately have been started filled with tears just driving in to the office because of the known layers and layers of frustrations that will be confronted within those ever enclosing four walls. I travel back home at the end of ten and twelve hour work days with no energy, no incentive, no sight of light, rest and relaxation.
I t wipes me of all the creativity. It tears away my passion for photography and writing…too exhausted to write something entertaining, something to make you smile. During the winter…this is really tough on me because then I am also couped up inside for too long, too many days in a row, too many darkened rides to work and back. During the summer, after my body has regained a bit of energy and positive thinking during the drive home, I’m able to gather enough energy to walk or run with my Golden Retriever BFF. Although it might take every little bit of energy left to get up the enthusiasm…or not…to go for a walk, to find a close by trail that will bring me joy…my GR gets me out there.
This is what saves me day in and day out. A walk in the woods with my GR. A drive to my most favorite marsh of all within close vicinity of home. Visiting places where I will be greeted by what I am sure was a very close part of me during some previous life time…the out doors, the smells of spring and fall, heat of summer with the sun warm on my cheeks, the beauty of a new blanket of snow on the ground blanketing over the duldrum brown carpet that fall left behind.
This, I believe, is where I find my Support, my life saving grace. This is where I experience the ultimate soul cleansing, brain massaging, thought organizing experience that there could ever be. The sunlight through the trees. The birds surrounding me with their chorus of opera, rock and roll, country western voices and versus. The wind rustling through the trees. The pound pound pound of some headache searching woodpecker. The cautious head lift of grazing deer. The stunts of the diving ducks and marsh living muskrats. The sound of the distant hoot from barred owls. The Robin. The robin that greets spring every year...never fail.
I drag myself out there because I have been exhausted by frustration and then I have to drag myself back because I am awed by my every sense gathering up the awesomeness that Mother nature has provided for me. And normally…I leave the woods and the marsh…kicking and screaming and smiling and breathing…easily and wonderfully. It is at this time that I tell myself that although I might have only ten years to get through my ever growing bucket list, I’ve had 55 to enjoy every drop of beauty that I have experienced on every bumpy road that life has presented me with.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
I have a lot of struggles going on right now.
My job…well…it kind of sucks. Sorry. I have been doing multiple full time jobs for this company for 7 plus years now and it really has, really is tearing me apart. I blew apart a couple weeks ago when again I was stressed because I needed to be out of the office for medical reasons and thus had to scramble and work all kinds of over time just in order to leave and know that everything would fall apart while I was gone and I would be back to working overtime when I return. This is the same thing that happens when I want even just a couple days off …which makes vacation days really sucky too because they are just spent trying to recollect myself. So this time when I returned, I was also told…30 minutes after returning…that the customer service associate was leaving the company…that day…no notice…nothing…nada….zip…zilch…..ZAPPO!!! And guess who is the only other person in the company that knows how to do that job?
My house is up for sale…so I can quit my job. The house that I totally renovated four years ago. The house that I still have a home improvement loan on that I am trying to pay off…over and above the monthly payment. The house in which I have, myself, grown in….my character….my inner self. I have awesome neighbors that have helped me through so many things the past five years. My dog….Lexi…has grown up here. I have the Milwaukee River at my back door. I can walk out my back yard and be in a park, on a trail on which I have walked thousands of miles and photographed many sites over the past five years. Unfortunately I bought at a time when I was receiving the ‘first’ empty promises of relief and financial growth within the company…and have not had a raise since then….five years. Unfortunately, I bought when the housing market was awesome and now…I pray everyday I’ll atleast break even…but not gaining back what I put into it.
I feel I have been alienated by my little sister for some off the wall, totally outrageous and ridiculous reason which has just reconfirmed another one of those moral things I’ve had that I should have known better than going against and that is…do not do business with family members. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that twice in the past year. I lost my other sister nine years ago. I long for her to be here so much because I could talk to her. She…understood.
I’m getting ready to turn 55….a year that scares me because of family health history of …passing away at 65.
I love Wisconsin. I love the fall. I love the snow…for a while. I love the average summers. I love the people I have met here. The passions I have discovered here. It’s awesome to be able to walk to m mom’s….not so awesome that I don’t feel I have the energy to do as much as I should…as much as I used to do it. I love being close to my little brother but hate the distance this closeness has presented us with for…again…crazy reasons.
My children are in Texas. My grandchildren are in Texas. I miss being closer to them and I long to get there….closer and so Missouri is on my mind. I would be half way closer to them and only half way away from here. A days ride. A long weekend workable visit. It’s cheaper to live there. It’s…more laid back and although that is all scary…wondering if I will find a job that will pay enough to survive on…I’m burned out. I don’t want another high responsibility job. I want to be able to grow my passion of photography and writing. I want to leave something behind when I…’go’. I have so many thngs I want to see before then. What if….what if…I only have ten years or less to do that?
I love the man I have a ‘relationship’ with but I struggle to understand exactly what that relationship is. I’m not sure …well I’m not sure what I’m not sure of. I guess I just wonder if we are too different. I wonder if he can ever cut the umbilical chord between himself and his kids…who are grown and should be self sufficient. Days…I feel like I am competing with them. Days…I feel like I don’t belong. How…could I ever ask him to move with me? I’ve been wanting to have this talk for months now.
I’m terrible at the ‘talking face to face thing’. I’ve thought about writing it up but I know it needs to be face to face so I can really see what he is thinking, how he feels. Instead I keep it inside. This is what I do. It festers. It builds. It growls and grumbles until a volcano has grown with a tornado inside of it. Instead of talking, I suffer and when he leaves my side, when he goes off on his way to elsewhere after having spent the time that is supposed to be ours talking with them…bringing out that absolutely awful green monster (totally embarrassed to admit it), I break down. I cry. I hate myself. I hate who I have become. I hate being weak. I. Just. Break. Down.
In the end I know that I can’t ‘give up me’ for one more relationship. Maybe…I am meant to be on my own. I know that I need to be okay with that. I know and yet I hope that is not the way it will be.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Expansion. It just came to me...what my 'word for 2012' should be. Expansion. Expansion of my knowledge of the wonderful sites the US has to offer (Yellowstone here I come). Expansion of my photography skills in general. Expansion of my client base. Expansion of my 'books read pile' vs expansion of those to be read. Expansion of my knowledge for my photography software. I've said it before and I'll say it again...I'm not real big on sitting in front of the computer doing a bunch of needless editing to photos that I try so hard to get right 'through my lens' but...realistically I know that I need to keep up with the competition if I insist on expanding my portrait photography base and so...expansion it is....