Sharing the beauty of the world through photography and writings.
"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. " .... Ansel Adams
Welcome to my blog for photographers and nature lover's around the world. I hope you enjoy my chitter chatter about life, nature, gardening...and a little bit of kitchen.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Another Adventure


I am taking a writing course in order to attempt to enjoy and share another of my passions…writing.  The course is Tribewriters by Jeff Goins.  I hope to publish something someday.  So here it goes for today’s assignment which is about finding our voice.

Three adjectives that would best describe me is nature-loving, simplistic and active in many ways.  I do my best to stay in shape and I love to go places, travel…see new things..discover the awesomeness of the world that the Dear Lord provides for us. I don’t do well in winter here when I can’t get out and do things without being cold but I love the four seasons…if only the winters were shorter and the summers longer.  I’m still trying to figure out exactly where this global warming thing is because it sure wasn’t in my neighborhood this winter.  Actually, I think all the effort to fix the global warming took it a bit too far and now we have global freezing.  Maybe I need to start using aerosol hairspray again.

My ideal readers…my tribe that would follow my writings and words would be ones that have the same passion for nature, for the beauty of the world in any season.  They will gain and feel my passion for the outdoors as simple or as complicated as it can be.  They will ask me questions that will make me research and find the answers to them so I can share and educate them with while I also will be learning.  My tribe will also teach me in return new things, new places, new fun or gory facts about whatever.  My tribe will follow me ..well…through the woods and over the hills to grandma’s house and back on every possible route we can find to take.

On the way we will discover new ways or just share ways to stay healthy, activities and recipes and maybe even some natural remedies that work as individuals or as a tribe.  They will also laugh at my simple little ‘funnies’  quirky as they may be and they will share laughing moments with me.

My favorite authors, well…from a fictional perspective Janet Evanovich in her number series because it has such a mix of adventure, love and hilariousness all mixed together and is such a feel good read. JK Knowlings of course  because I love the mystical world of magicians and gnomes.
Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Ralph Waldo Emerson all inspire me from a nature writing perspective.  An author of sorts that many may not know from a photography venue is Scott kelby. He provides wonderful facts related to my other passion in a easy to read technical manner that is also actually funny in his own way…making it relaxing  and fun to learn.

My cultural influences I am not sure of really. Heinz 57 maybe..a mish mash of Polish, German and stubborn Dutchman as my Grandpa used to call my Grandma who was really French.  My creative influences and the one that influenced who I am more than anything was my Grandpa who loved the birds and photography and the out doors.  Oh how I miss him and can’t wait until the day we can pick wild mushrooms and asparagus on the side of heavens roads together again some day.


So..this  was pretty much free written without thinking much about it while also answerwing some of te questions on our assignment. 

As rough as it may be..I would love some input.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Five Favorites Friday - In The Movies

I am so behind on watching movies. For several life reasons.  There are so many that have aired over the past five years or so that I wish I had seen but so many other things have kept me occupied.  I keep telling myself...I'll catch up on a rainy day.  Hey...it doesn't rain very often here in the cold midwest.

Duh...but it is winter and as usual...my plans changed for this winter also.  Right now if you try to discuss with me about movies and what was my favorite that has aired lately...I wouldn't have much of an answer...or at least I would have to really think and the five I come up with would probably be the only five I've seen.

Instead...I'll start with the actors and actresses that I really enjoy watching as they tell those stories of Hollywood.

I have my favorite actresses that I always try to catch the movies that they are in.  My top favorites that come to my mind right off..and not necessarily in this order are:

1. Julia Roberts....I fell in love with her at Pretty Woman. and again in Erin Brokovich and Mona Lisa Smile.  Her movies inspire me and always seem to have a deep moral story to them. She seems to represent this strong woman that I so often wish I could be.

2. Meryl Streep...also.  She seems to really dig in to the true life of the characters that she plays and she plays them so deeply.

Bridges over Madison County is where I first fell in love with her...or maybe that was Clint Eastwood...sigh....or maybe it was that movie that inspired me even more with my photography.

Julie and Julia....besides I totally see my daughter being Julie in that movie.  She is constantly in the kitchen baking from scratch trying to keep everything pure and healthy for my granddaughters.

'Out of Africa' is an old time favorite of mine that I must watch again sometime soon.

I haven't seen her most recent August's Osage County...definitely a must see in the next couple of weeks.

3. Meg Ryan...because she is fun and makes me laugh ...my favorite being 'You've Got Mail'
I did see her in a more serious movie once which I wish I could remember the name of about here husband being abducted in some foreign country by militia men. Google is awesome...I believe it was 'Proof of Life.  Of course who couldn't love City of Angels.

4. Sandra Bullock - again another actress that is just awesome in some very inspirational and true life story movies.  The Blind Side is probably my most favorite of hers.  I haven't seen Gravity..Another that I should check out.  I just haven't had all that much interest in it for some reason so I will probably wait until I can see it on the little screen at home versus at the movie theatre...but maybe the special effects will be better on a big screen.

5. Jennifer Anniston....just because She's Jennifer Anniston.  She made her fame as Rachael in Friends and I'm not sure she has done much better than that but...well...She's Jennifer Anniston.  I did truly enjoy the more thriller of a movie she made  "Derailed'.  I realize there are a lot I haven't seen though.

So Many...not seen.

Who are your favorite must see actresses and how do they inspire you?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Miscellaneous Monday - on Tuesday


I have totally lost track of days for some reason lately.  I thought it was only Monday.  Good thing is...it's actually Tuesday and it is over so...on to Wednesday....woo hoo!

We have true signs of spring this week.  It was in the 50s yesterday.  I went out to the park at lunch and although I had only tennis shoes to put on...I walked the snow laden trail for a good 45 minutes with no jacket on enjoying the spring antics of the birds, enjoying their happy songs and the blue blue sky with light whispy clouds.  Refreshed..if even for a day.  It was still 44 when I woke this morning and was supposed to rain and snow and get cold but...It has only rained some and no signs of that snow yet.  Hopefully it isn't waiting until the morning commute but it wouldn't surprise me.

The snow is almost gone on my driveway.  Hopefully another week.
The only thing about the snow melting is that it is brown and boring of sorts underneath.  I am bound and determined to find something happy and gorgeous from it though this coming weekend.
Daylight savings and now it is light til atleast 7.  The sunset was cool on my drive home from the gym last night and yet I couldn't find  place to pull over to get the picture I wanted.  I'll save the opportunity for this weekend.

On my travels home today I noticed that everything on the east side of the highway still had quite a bit of snow yet the west side was mostly all brown and wet fields.  Interestingly cool.

One of those fields had a lot of green grass in it.  It is totally amazing that it can still be green under there after such a brutal couple of months with below freezing...below zero temperatures.

I heard a disturbing news story today...

Some guy had a deer run out in front of him and he hit it.  He pulled over and got out of his car to pull the deer off of the highway and he himself also go hit.  Both died.  Both. Died.  uugghhh!!

Another big news story this week is about the mom that was a nurse that murdered her 14 month old and then attempted suicide...which failed...and now...well sadly suicide might have been the better option.

I got home today to find....the Shorewest For Sale sign up in my front yard.

I'd like to ask for help..prayer help from all with requests that my home sell in the next month or so...before gardening time preferably...so that I can move on to the next chapter...Please.

 The Power of Prayer.            

Saturday, March 8, 2014

THE LENTEN SEASON

Yes, it is the Lenten Season...something I have not been very 'religious' about partaking in for the past several years.  For whatever reason.  I was..sort of raised Catholic.  My parents were not real strict Catholics but whenever I visited my Grandparents for the summer, I always went with Grandpa.  Very fond memories.

I do believe in God.  I do.  I pray to him quite often..and get mad at Him too.  I am only human.  I sin.  Yes...sure I do from time to time...only venial sins...so I think.  I mean...I haven't killed anyone.  That should provide me some kind of points shouldn't it?

Anyhow...I've had my ups and downs with the Catholic Church I guess.  I have attended  a Lutheran church a couple times with a guy I dated for a while. I think my most pleasant accepting experience with attending church is when I went to a non denominational Bible Church.  I really got a whole lot out of that experience. During my last marriage, I was married to a guy that was raised strictly Catholic and as hard as I tried when I had children, it was like pulling teeth to get him to go and therefore, the boys didn't feel it wasn't important since their dad was so negative to it.

When I moved up here...well...I haven't gotten back in to it except my own little at home prayings and beliefs and constant discussions that I have with Him...God...as well as St Joseph and St Anthony.  I know they hear me for the most part.

So...I think what has kept me away from the Catholic Church is the entire idea of confession and I think now not only do you confess to a priest but I believe it is actually face to face now. I just can't grasp the concept.  Oh, I've been to confession several times throughout my life for venial things and I always feel good when I am done.  It is like a weight has been lifted but face to face?  Really.

My entire pushing back refusal on the confession thing is...well..I pray to God and ask Him for forgiveness every time I feel I have done something wrong.  I believe He hears me and I believe I am forgiven and I don't believe I have to go through a third party to pray to Him or to ask for His forgiveness.   Right or wrong, that is what I believe.

I mean Lutherans don't go to confession and I don't believe many of the other religions do either.  Again.  I pray.  I ask for forgiveness...when I feel I have done something that needs to be forgiven and sometimes even when I am not sure.

So...I've started actually watching some of the Sunday morning shows that are on and there are a couple good educational ones that I feel I get a lot out of.  They lift my spirits and give me something to think about.  I do think that maybe I will find a non denominational one again that I might enjoy going to.

Meanwhile, I do feel I get some spiritual feelings of goodness if I try to follow the Lenten Season and have actually signed myself for giving up things over the next six weeks.  Nothing major because I think I really am a pretty good Christian and although I don't go into a church...again...I believe I am always in His church of the world around me.

So ...for this Lenten season, I am giving up two of my comfort food/drink addictions....

Don't laugh...but it is simply

Coffee and creamer and triskets and cheese.  Yes...that simple. Plus I am doing all I can to keep the tv off most of the time in order to get myself back up to speed with my photography passion and get some much needed reading and projects completed.  So I tape the shows I really like to watch so I can just sit and watch on a weekend and fast forward through everything and thus have dedicate all the rest of my time to things not in front of the tv.

I'm going okay with out the coffee and creamer considering on weekends I can go through a pot of coffee...an entire twelve cups worth all by myself. I'm drinking hot green tea instead.  So far I am okay also with giving up my meal of triskets and cheese.  Oh I eat a little bit of cheese on a salad or something but what I was giving up is the nights I can sit on the couch in front of the tv and literally eat sliced swiss cheese on triskets until half the box is gone...or more.  I'm guessing...I might drop a couple pounds.

Wish i could say I'll be cured of both habits when this is over..but I honestly don't know that I will.  We will see just how strong I am.

And with those words, I wish you the very best in your Lenten abstinences.

I'll see you at the other end.

I'd love for you to share the traditions of your Easter season.

Friday, March 7, 2014

MARCH


I completely forgot to post my March Calendar.

One of my favorite months because it brings the return of the 'Robin'

Red Robin, Red Robin.

It brings melting snow and bird bathes filled with bathers again.
Miniature hyacinths and tulips and daffodils.
I can already smell the lilac blossoms and there aren't even any buds yet.
Amazingly as the snow melts there still exists some green to the blades of grass.
Amazing.
The cardinals sing, the gold finches gather, the little red squirrels prepare for the spring of motherhood.
Hopes of hearing the King fishers rattling by as they dive for what fish they can find in unfrozen river waters.

40 degree temperatures and walks in the woods with my pup.

March. Wonderful amazing newness of March.

Five Friday Favorites - Comfort Foods

Ahhh...comfort foods.

...foods that may be consumed to positively pique emotions or, to relieve negative psychological effects or to increase positive feelings...sometimes initiating feelings of nostalgia.

I believe that for the most part, my comfort foods are just that...foods that provide me positive feelings or those foods that I eat because I just don't want to think about anything too complicated on those exhaustion days or down days when I just want to sit and relax.

1. My number one most favorite go to food for comfort is just a simple large cup or bowl of hot applesauce with cinnamon and a side order of swiss cheese and triskets....sometimes this involves an entire half a box of triskets. yes...it is true.

2.  During the summer...a salad.  you have to know my salads to understand this.  I normally make a salad and have to transfer it to a larger bowl because of what I have put in it. Red leaf lettuce mixed with spinach and if I'm lucky and able to find it...arugula. Home grown tomatoes and peppers...hot peppers, avocado, fresh sliced mushrooms, shredded cheese, croutons with a dressing of either rasberry vinaigrette, but more recently slightly covered with rice vinegar.

3. Pizza...yes  Who doesn't consider pizza as a comfort food.  Mine has everything on it well except anchovies.  Even a good ham and pineapple pizza is great on a hot summer evening. A bit o nostalgia to this one. I believe this was one of my dad's favorite meals. I would make him the boxed Chef Boy R dee pizzas and he had to have it hot...covered with cayenne pepper.  Probably why I love hot things to this day.

4. Shrimp...boiled shrimp by the bucket full.  This one is more of a nostalgia thing for me...well other than the fact that a good gulf shrimp is absolutely to die for. Boiled in the shell, cooled, peel and dipped in cocktail sauce.  I had boyfriend once (yes I did) that would cook a large pot of shrimp for me with a side order of Uncle Ben' rice Pilaf with added pilaf.  It was delish.... devine and romantic in its own way. It also reminds me of my sister who also loved shrimp as much as I do.

5. Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese.   Really...need I say more.

Bonus...a bowl of oatmeal mixed with raisins or applesauce...good for breakfast, lunch or dinner..good for your heart too.  Try it also with the dried cranberries.

What food is your go to food when you are feeling down?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

JOURNAL PROMPT #3 - HINDSIGHT

Our journal prompt for this week has to do about looking back on the past 12 months.

I made some positive steps forward in the past year...some that took a long time for me to do. They say that sometimes the negative in your life that you keep avoiding might actually create  more negativity and keep you from moving forward.  Why is it that we know that and yet still ignore it...procrastinate...be fearful about making the change not knowing what is on the other side of that door.
My first big move forward step of the past year was finally getting out of a very stressful, self esteem buster of a job that required sixty and seventy hour work weeks, cancelled vacations and no appreciation for what I did...other than piling more stuff on. Lack of acknowledgment, low levels of trust, being treated almost as a child in a position that had the responsibilities of many hats.

I stressed and communicated at just the right time to just the right person and just like that...I had a new job that pays me almost as much as what I made previously working for an entire workforce of so much nicer people.  I lost two weeks of vacation that I am having to learn to deal with but it is well worth it...for now.  Oh, it is still stressful but I'm guessing it is that way everywhere as corporations continue to try to fun a profitable business with skeleton crews.  The work is constant, non stop but I actually have an opportunity to talk to others and not just talk into a computer monitor.  The days go by fast.  Sometimes too fast.

I ended a five year long relationship with someone that couldn't seem to break his umbilical connection with his thirty some year old kids enough to make a full commitment with me.  I didn't necessarily want marriage and a ring...well a ring would have been nice just to show some commitment....I just wanted to get down to one house so we could really enjoy our time together which was limited to weekends due to the two different work schedules...So...I asked him to move back to his place and maybe we should just 'date'.  He moved out, said he loved me and I was the sexiest thing he'd ever dated..and never even fought to keep me.  PS...men..some of us don't think the words, you're the sexiest thing I've ever dated means that you love us. I stressed over whether I made the right decision.  Today...mom said she could tell I was much happier.

Now I have all this time for myself and I haven't really taken advantage of it.  It's only been a couple weeks though.  And winter to boot...Things will be more productive soon.

I was able to afford to buy myself a nice full frame camera and shortly afterwards, my external drive crapped out on me...but now I'll have fun starting all over again.  Luckily most was backed up already.

I attended a couple craft fairs to sell some of my photo art.  Didn't profit much but at least broke even and learned a lot. Mostly that I need some other venue than a craft fair...so carry on to 2014 summer and find some 'art fairs' to show my work instead.

I entered a photographic contest and got some honorable mentions and a second place....woo hoo.

I spent a bit of time struggling with what to do about selling my house..took it off the market for the winter and have again listed it.  Hoping for all my readers to pray deeply and positively for a quick and speedy sale this year so I can start the next chapter of my life.

I can't say it was an extremely exciting year or extremely productive outside of my gardening and canning extremes. Fortunately I can't say it was the worst year ever either.

My portrait photography grew a bit and I actually have a couple weddings planned this year.  They are probably going to be the last weddings I do unless I have a good feeling for them when it is all said and done.  I much prefer the one on one stuff and my nature photography.

I've started a more regular schedule of activity and working out and even am trying to get back into reading again which I have missed so much over the past five years.

I've also started blogging and writing more which I truly love and hope to do so much more with.

I think if I have one regret (per se) it's that I took a job here and didn't bite the bullet and find one down closer to my children and grandchildren so I could see them more often. Now...I will probably wait out the few years I have until I can possibly retire and get closer to them then in hopes that I will still have years to enjoy them.

So...may the doors I closed this year...open up some new and exciting ones that bring me closer yet to my dreams.


Friday, February 28, 2014

Five Favorites Friday - Sitcom City

I don't watch a lot of tv because I would much rather be writing or photographing  or enjoying the wonderful world of the outdoors from hiking to gardening to bird watching. I do find though that during winters, especially when they are as brutal as this one has been...I have shows that I live for during the week night evenings.  Shows that for the most part bring light to a dull and dreary winter, after a long work day.

1. Big Bang Theory is one of the shows that I search for especially when there is nothing else to watch or do.  It makes me laugh.  Another grounding effect for me I guess you could say.  It just downright makes me laugh.  After all what better medicine is there.  Even when I watch the reruns that I have seen many times...I always seem to find something else in that same show to laugh about.  Maybe my mood is just different when I watch it again.

2. Friends - This is one of my all time favorites for many many years.  It comes on at 10 pm here and I still periodically  will watch it when I climb into bed at night and will fall asleep to it..and wake up to it if I don't put the tv in sleep mode. It ranks up there with Big Bang Theory or maybe I should say Big Bang Theory ranks up there with it. It's the feel goodness about the 'friends' and loving each other for each others idiosyncrasies. Living life together through every event and still remaining friends.

3. Grey's Anatomy - Friends...in a medical environment?  But with more drama of course.  A soap opera of the evening, per se. I wonder...would I watch it if it didn't have Patrick Dempsey? (smiling)

4. American Idol - when it is in season - I didn't used to watch the initial audition portion of the shows with all the goofiness but this season I did watch it a bit more.  I still prefer to watch it from the first hollywood week portion through to the end.  It is one that I will record and watch where I can fast forward through the insane amount of commercials that air throughout it.  I just love the concept of someone being brave enough to go for their dreams surrounded but so many people with the same passion.  Can you imagine a show like this of professional photographer wanna bes?   Photographic competitions with judges to give you some real critique.

5. Wheel of Fortune - Because I need something to challenge my intelligence? And I keep hoping my wheel number might come up on the screen to win 5K? Except many times I forget to watch for it. (silently laughing to myself)

I record the season new shows for Big Bang Theory and Grey's Anatomy and American Idol.

(Monday nights are kind of the nights that I call my wind down on Monday nights after that first day back at work after a busy weekend so I will also watch Two Broke Girls and Mike and Molly...again...for the laughter release effect.

What shows do you look forward to week after week and why?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Process

My boy toy moved out a little over a week ago.  It was time...as we felt ourselves growing apart.We weren't married but at one point in time there was talk about living the rest of our lives together.  Things kept that final 'connection' that we needed from happening.  We were both set in our ways.  Another relationship where I felt I was being controlled.  I felt I had lost myself again as I tried to focus on being what he wanted me to be...supporting him in the things he loved to do for the most part.  Giving up on things I wanted to do in order to be around him on the weekends which was about the only time we saw each other with the different work shifts.  Slowly...we drifted.  Not doing much together.  Not sitting next to each other.  Sunday drives that we loved being non existent.  Walks in the woods only happening if it were to the woods where he hunted to check on deer tracks.

We drifted. I dreamed of something more and despite the talks...nothing came of them.  Things stayed status quo.  Although it was my final decision that it was time to move on...there was no argument...no romantic fighting for me.  No second thought about it all.  I came home from work and he was gone.

I'm okay with it.  It was time to move on.

  I think my pup misses him more than I.   That night after he left I went to the gym...on a thursday as I always do.  For the past week and a half I haven't gone..finding every excuse or reason why I shouldn't.  Worried about my pup now being home all day by herself.  Feeling like I needed to reorganize closets and all...which still hasn't been done. Staying up till all hours to work on photography that I always felt guilty doing when he was around...which really hasn't had much done since the day of departure.  Finding reasons not to go on excursions with my photo friends.  Clothes still in the basket that were washed a week ago.

The week nights aren't really any different as he wasn't here any ways since he worked third shift..except he slept in the same bed.  Now I have the king bed all to myself...and my pup when she decides to climb up in it with me.

I'm okay with it.  It was time to move on.

I have my weekends now to not feel guilty about doing things I wanted to do and he didn't.  I have more 'me time' now to work on my writing and editing.

I'm okay with it. It was time.

I can cook what I want now expanding my meals outside of meat and potatoes again for something different and learning to cook new recipes again.  I'll miss the venison...but I'm okay with it.  I look forward to trying some of my cooking light recipes and eating a bit healthier.  Even after five years he still didn't get that I wasn't big on fried foods and didn't eat much red meat and liked more vegetables and fruit and didn't like the fake bottled cheese and wasn't a big fan of bacon and preferred brown rice and multigrain bread over white.

So you see...I'm okay with it.

So why has the past week and a half been very unproductive with very little editing and a whole lot of napping on the couch...not wanting to go to bed at night.  Closets not reorganized.  Cooking lights magazines not opened.  Gym not attended and no home workouts.

......................................

I woke refreshed this morning at 6:30 and climbed out of bed with the urging of my pup waiting for breakfast and....

Told myself...No More Self Pity.  I'm better than this.  I do not need a man to define who I am.

I ate a muffin, drank coffee,  sat for a bit to digest and watch some of the religious inspiration shows I've been watching and then....went to the gym.  Didn't do both routines that i normally do but it was a start.

I came home, showered and headed out to Best Buy to spend money on back up drives for my photography and a new garmin.  I made it to the grocery store for food and cleaned out my entire refrigerator of stuff that he left behind that I never use.

I vacuumed and swept....and then...

my pup talked me into laying on the floor and rubbing her belly for a while and....

I cried.

Yes...I feel empty.  I feel ashamed of having failed again.  I'm embarrassed and totally afraid to say anything to my children because I think they will once again wonder about my ability to have a relationship....because yes...he was a nice guy.



It really is just the process isn't it?  No matter how strong we want to be...there is still that process that has to happen.

Regardless of ....how Okay we say might be.


Friday, February 21, 2014

FIVE FAVORITES FRIDAY - Being Grounded


I grew up moving every couple of years with my dad's occupation with the Air Force.  Until I was in the later part of high school, I really didn't know what it was to have a best friend.  My roots never got secured anywhere and maybe this had something to do with the fact that for many years when people asked me what my favorite something or another was...I didn't know how to answer it. I don't remember ever having a favorite toy or blanket or pillow.

Fortunately as I have grown up and had my feet a little more secure in some manner or another, I've grown internally, spiritually despite the fact that my ex used to always tell me I needed to grow up (that coming from someone that had to check the doors five times before we went somewhere to be sure they were locked.

So..as I have grown and matured..there are things that are my favorites.  I'd like to share some of those with you in hopes that you in turn will share yours.  Thus begins my series of Five  FavoritesFridays.

My first set will be from a prompt from a fellow blogger about things that keep one grounded.  Every day things that I need in my life to keep me sane...per se.

1. My mother.  She's kind of quiet.  Not real outspoken.  I always have to know when not to call her if I really want a conversation because I have to work it around her television shows. Although she isn't real outspoken, she does seem to know what to say when it is needed. But the thing that is most important is that she has endured a lot through her years of raising six of us and regardless of what we have put her through..she loves us..No. Matter. What. So I guess it is my visits with her.

2. My walks out in nature.  These are my life savers'.  They make all the regrets, all the should have could have why didn't I's go away while opening my heart, mind and soul to the awesomeness of the world we live in.

3. My photography  whether it is all day excursions with friends or hours sitting and editing and creating with my photos.

4. Early morning hour sessions sitting on the back porch listening to the awakening of the world while writing.

5. Gardening..which is lacking tremendously while I reside in the midwest..although my houseplants and new love for orchids gives me a bit to survive the winters.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

CROSSROADS - Part One

My life of crossroads.  I wonder..is there a magical number of crossroads that we are required to go through in life?  Maybe seven?  And will that seventh one be the 'saving grace'.  The dream come true.

At the age of 17 during a rougher than should have been teenage stage of being sexually abused, an airforce brat moving every couple of years...I was careless and thought I was in love and became pregnant with my now totally awesome daughter.  It was a crossroad.  It was scary but I was tough so I thought.  But I didn't listen to one of my 'I will never' statements  believing  that i would not marry a guy that I got pregnant by before we were married.  But...I did think it was a forever love...of course.  I was young and naive.  Seven years later after physical and more sexual abuse and seeing the toll it took on my daughter...I bravely, with the encouragement of a mentor at work...moved on.

My life then became my work and raising my daughter and flying glider planes for a social life and learning how to country and western dance.  Do you know...wow...I think those next three years....that new crossroad time for me...was probably some of the happiest years of my life when everything seemed to be .....good.

Then...I felt I needed a dad for my daughter...and yes a companion but more so a dad for my daughter and someone that would help realize one of her wants at that time which was to have a sister.  I don't know how many times she asked me for one of those...and unfortunately to this day...I have not given her a sister....but she did get two brothers.  (sorry sweetie)

So I met a guy who came highly recommended by co workers and he seemed to have his head on straight.  After 8 months of dating, we got engaged and not long after that we got married and had two sons.  Yet, I should have seen the signs...I should have listened to the signs...I should have seen that I wasn't that 'perfect person' that he was looking for.  Because you had to be flawless to be good enough to be trusted by him.

Another one that felt overly possessive of me...not even wanting to be part of 'my family'.  not wanting to share me with them.  Only his.  I don't know what I do to make them feel that way...that they have to own me.  I cried when I walked down the aisle. I remember that so clearly and I remember his best friend asking me if I was sure ...and that I smiled and said of course..and yet walking down the aisle I heard the question in my mind but these people had come so far...how could I not.

And so I moved forward and dealt with not seeing my family for years until I finally just started taking the kids with me by myself to travel to see my side of the family....until I felt I just could  not do it anymore.  I just couldn't go on living a life as someone that someone else wanted me to be...where it was always some type of negotiation to have support in some matter or another with little to no social life outside of activities with his family.

Slowly, the road started swerving again. It would straighten for a while and then a sharp curve would throw everything off kilter again.  Until I couldn't find balance any longer.I couldn't handle the hills and valleys.  I couldn't handle the dark times and the sunny times got to be fewer and fewer.   After five years I thought about leaving but just couldn't do it to my kids.  This time it wasn't physical or sexual abuse...it was mental abuse.  It was lack of trust.  It was downright smothering  but I marched on for seven more...until I ran into a road block.  I just couldn't go through that next curve.

 the road goes left again. And it was a bumpy road of fighting to see my children.  Trying to make them understand that where I was living was not a bad place and it was just his way of brainwashing them to not come see me.  (well...I didn't verbalize that to them because I did everything I could to hold my tongue and not make their dad seem like a bad person.  He wasn't bad.  It just wasn't working.

The visits came less and less and I wandered down that road so alone and again lost myself in work.

Talk about a crossroad.  Talk about a crossroad.

Then...I lost my dad to dementia.  Six months later I lost my stepdad in a car accident.
Barely two years later...I lost my one of my sisters to suicide.

Brakes on...do a doughnut...360 and I put Texas in my rearview mirror and headed to the midwest to be with my mom.

From Texas...to the midwest. thousands of miles away from my children.  Little to no communication. As much as I tried to get my ex to keep me up to date on the kids and communicate with me. It hurt...more and more and more.

My daughter and I slowly grew to be friends again.  She is married now and has given me two beautiful granddaughters.

For seven years I had no relationship to speak of.  Those roads all had caution signs on them. Then I met a guy through a friend that showed me fun and social life filled with friends and life on a lake in the woods and Harley rides and campfires and boat rides and festivals and.....his eyes that always wandered off to the 'younger things'....and bump....off track again.

Heartbroken again my most current beau of almost six years came in to my life.  I lived in my house.  He kept his house but would sleep here regularly while his children of 30 years old and more lived in his house rent free...buying cars, tractors, 4 wheelers, snowmobiles...boats...with cash or paying them off within a year.  Barely...hardly ever did he help to pay my bills.  we talked about living our lives together some day.  we talked about getting into one house.  I suggested renting his house to his kids.  We talked about moving to Missouri for retirement.  we talked several times about it.  He make comments of being tired of carrying a little bag with him to come over with change of clothes even though he had many here already....
We talked.  Six years almost.  i hung on hoping the umbilical chord would be cut at some time and the talk would become reality.

He is a wonderful handy man. Romance was not always one of his better features.  He was always taking care of handyman things for me...and his 30 year old children and his parents and my mom...and his 30 year old children...and....his 30 year old children....living in his house rent free.

So when statements like...'I can't give you a ring because I'm afraid you are going to move south and take half of everything I have....or 'It's okay if you move back to Texas to be closer to your children were indicated one too many times...I felt...I've wasted another six years.

Slam...right into a brick wall at the end of that road.  The caution signs were there.  I ignored them.  He is a nice guy but....he didn't like to travel and was not honest about it when we met as he stated it was his ex that didn't like to travel and do things.  He is a nice guy but it was always about the hunt and killing things.

He was a nice guy and even put up with my family but...he worked third shift and I first.  we only saw each other two days a week and slowly those dwindled away or consisted of him on one couch and I on the other....never going out, only socializing with his family during holidays and birthdays.

He is a nice guy.

I wonder...am I selfish.

Am I at a selfish crossroad in my life?  Is there not a crossroad with companionship waiting for me somewhere.

The road goes left then right.then stops..caution signs.  Road blocks.  pot holes. Red.  Yellow.  Green. Red. Red. Yellow.   Right.  Left.

Currently and maybe forever now....I'm stuck in the middle of the intersection totally lost and not quite understanding which way the arm is pointing..dodging apples....Hoping the oil can might some day....

Grease the heart and mend it back.

So...is seven the magic number?

Or maybe....I'll stay right here in the middle of the crossroad and build that wall back that protected me for many years...way back when...I crossed one of the first intersections.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Miscellaneous MONDAY

Mondays are tough enough just having to rise and shine and head off into the confines of four walls in order to do a job of making sure every one else's needs are met so to be able to find some creativity in your form of art whether it be cooking, writing, photographing, entertaining the family, art of any kind can sometimes be very difficult...especially if you live in some of the more colder regions of the world which can keep you even more confined during the 'your time' of the days and nights.  Finding the energy just to come up with what you want to create can almost be an endless attempt.

It was snowing beautifully today...the biggest snow levels we have had yet this winter.  Still kind of light - not a good snowman snow and not quite the kind that just sticks to everything but it came down so heavy that it just sprinkled the world with magic.  I so wanted to come home and grab my camera and go for a walk and capture something magical but instead I arrived with six inches of snow that I  needed to shovel in order to insure I would be able to get out to go to work in the morning. An hour and half later...I was exhausted and hungry and brain drained and wet and cold with yet a pup that needed a bit more attention....and the sun was setting...clothes waited to be folded with another load that needed to be washed and hung.

Needless to say...the world apparently had other plans for me today.  So instead, I decided that Mondays will need to be miscellaneous days when I just dig through my archives as I go back through my backups...starting all over again in cleaning things out and creating multiple backups...and share a photo that I captured on another day or time.

Although it has been a tough, long, cold winter...with not many photo outings...I find that sometimes all you have to do is look within your neighborhood to find something that touches your senses and makes you smile and be happy that you are where you are...or glad that you have neighbors yards that can greet you during any season with awesomeness.

And again...my neighbors back porch makes me envious and longing for a home with a porch that I can decorate in fun ways for every season and holiday...a true number one requirement for the new home I now shop for.

So..remember sometimes all you have to do is meander a short distance to find some inspiration.

Do you have a neighbor or local spot that inspires you?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Garden Memoirs

It snowed today...about an inch in about an hour.  It must have flown in quickly from the southwest as only one side of my runner was covered.  The temperatures were actually above zero.  Thermometer on the way home read 30 degrees.  Woo Hoo.  Do you smell it?  Spring.  You know Mr. Groundhog did.  Even the deer that were tucked far back into the wooded side lines decided to come and see what all the fuss was about.

Although the sun didn't shine, it did peep out with a nicely colored horizon from my little kitchen window this morning. It always greets me as I watch the world of silence through my kitchen sink window, overlooking the park and not so distant boundary of the golf course in the morning while eating a yogurt or peanut butter covered English muffin. As I pace the floor a bit and move to another window, not six feet away, the dawn colored sky disappears until my trail meets back up with the view from that small window overlooking the kitchen sink.

The morning light projects shadows of the park trees across the blanket of white that yet has had no footprints stamped in it as it seems the neighborhood children only visit on the weekends. In the distant though, the  gray squirrels are treasure hunting for black walnuts and acorns that were buried away when the grass still had a hint of existence to it. The red squirrels pop out from their home of abandonment next door to romp up and down the trees, in and out of the pile of useless tires enjoying the warmer air and fragrance of melting snow and grasses that look taller what with the slow melt of the thinner layers of snowy blankets.

I shovel the small layer of snow from the drive and doorway, stopping periodically to entertain my golden with a few bouts of chasing the kong.  The  Autumn Joy sedum has spent flower pods freshly dusted with white.  My wrought iron snow man up to it's waist in snow seems to be happily enjoying the snow and warmer temperature. The remains of morning glory and Clematis vines still hang on the trellises also in anticipation of putting on their spring attire of green and purple.

I'm anxious for spring and yet anxiety grows with the anticipation and concern of trying to sell my home.  I need to dig my hands in dirt this year.  I need to create more flower power garden areas.That desire in turn brings more confusion on selling my current home where a nice plot awaits for fresh home grown tomatoes and peppers, knowing that I will need to recreate at a new location and  that excites me...to know I will have an opportunity of trying something new and different.

Winter seclusion offers up way too much pondering time that should usefully be turned in to planning time. The frozen tundra is truly doing me in this year.  As a bundle of Autumn Joy and coneflowers and yellow daisies   buried under the warm blanket of winter, I patiently wait while impatiently anticipating the upcoming warmer temperatures which if even for a short while is just a few days away.

Hang in there little bundle of 'Joy'.  Hang in there.  Your time to shine will be here soon. For now...enjoy the down time as you shine in the moonlit night lights.



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday's Word

Hope


New Beginnings

It seems I have had a post called that before.  I guess throughout life there are a lot of new beginnings.  New jobs, relationships, homes.  Each new day is a new beginning.  Each turn of the hour. Each turn of the calendar page.

Here I am at another cross road.  Another new beginning.  As you may know a few weeks ago my external hard drive crashed with over 20000 photos on it.  The drive was only six months old.  Yes. It just crapped out on me. Talk about falling to the bottom of all self esteem, hopelessness, lifeless and total frustrations and disappointment in myself.  Yet, I knew I had another back up of most everything and although I thought I had all except maybe a couple winter months of pictures backed up I was most disappointed in having lost the two weekends of winter shoots that I had just done.   I was able to capture some of them from cards that had not been erased yet and some from cards that had been reformatted.  Unfortunately those from my D600 for some reason couldn't be recovered.

I did a trip to the UP in October with a friend and unfortunately I had not backed those up, fortunately I had a couple cards from that that were not erased yet so I got some of the trip back but are missing some of the more 'fascinating' captures that I wanted.

As they say..'C'est la vie'.

Friends..photographers, writers...all of you creative people...BACK UP YOUR WORK NOW!!  It was a hard lesson learned and hopefully one I will never forget.  I am slowly trying to get my backed up files back in some organized manner and again have to go through them all and delete so many that I had just cleaned out when I moved them to that external drive that crashed on me. This has kept me from writing because I am anal about having a picture to post with it..although sometimes I know they don't seem maybe, to fit, but it is just me wanting to share both my stories and my photography in hopes that some day someone will say...  She inspires me!  But more so because it is what I enjoy doing.

Its' giving me a reason to rethink every thing...including what I keep and don't keep.  Like many things...I am a pack rat. A photographic hoarder of sorts. And I always have a difficult time trying to figure out what is the best way to stay organized.  I rethink things and redo them and in the end sometimes I think they are in even worst organized manner than when I started.  I can almost bet...I'll do the same thing again...and again.

In my attempt to be selfish...I always break down and give in to what everyone else wants.  It puts me behind in this creative world that I want so much to participate in. Unfortunately as much as I fight it..I believe it will always be hard for me to say no to some people..to many.  I will say yes.  I will give in.  I will put my needs aside to take care of theirs...and I will walk away cussing at myself while feeling good inside also...or walk away feeling good and cussing at myself at the same time.

That's me.

And I'll procrastinate because...I'm just not in the mood. Or...it can be done tomorrow.  Or I feel guilty for whatever reason.  I can guarantee now though that I will have a back up to my back up plan and probably even one to that one.

My awesome photographer friend who always lifts me up with her words of wisdom merely said to me in my state of disaster of not knowing what pictures I had and had not lost...'Just think, now you can go out and have fun reshooting it all over again.'  Yes...I smile.  Yes....the cup is half full.  And maybe...just maybe...they will be even better.

Now...it is time to move on and forget my losses only enough to allow me to move on but not too much to forget and do it all over again...not backup and lose.

As they say...suck it up and move it on.

Bury the past...and create the future.

There are forecasts of 30's for temps this weekend.  I guarantee I will be out having fun recapturing more of life to share with those that might be interested.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Life's Adjustments

It is minus too much here this morning but the sun shines creating a warm spot on the rug where if I were a cat I would truly be curled up at with a good book or drive full of pics to edit. My pups lays curled on a blanketed leather couch with her nose tucked under her tail covered paws twitching every once in a while more than likely chasing bunnies or kongs in her dreamland. She too is tired of her favorite season although only because it has had too many days when the frigid ness has kept mom from romping with her outdoors.

One adjusts to it over time.. Sort of.. The cold temperatures. The body then fools you and let's you feel it is spring when the temps are in the teens. It teases you with visions of tulips and possible signs of buds on the lilac bushes which are really just swollen nodes covered with winter weather.

I realized this past week how much I miss rain and thunderstorms. I guess that could be considered a season in Texas where it is summer and the next season is merely just not summer for seasonal changes. Seasonal color consists of the blooms of crepe myrtles in summer and bright red leaves of the invasive chinaberry trees with doorsteps of pumpkins and fall gourds in the so called 'not summer' season.

Here in the Midwest we stay inside in the mornings and late evenings to stay warm waiting to exit only in mid day when the sun may bring that little bit of warmth that our body has craved while in the south we are out in wee hours of the morning in shorts and tank tops pulling weeds, harvesting crops throughout the year while swatting our biting skeeter buds and stopping every so often to wipe off the sweat or sprinkler water while also covering with sunscreen to avoid skin cancer or sunburn.

I guess this is why the 'snow bunnies' have a place on the beach and another in the mountains or Midwest. Some of us just have to learn to adjust and we do. The sunshiny days coax us out if only for a friendly drive with friends to chat and visit and happen upon sights as such that provide sweet memories of warmer days accompanied by anxiety in waiting.



Six more weeks of winter Mr. Groundhog says.

Today  I have thoughts of creating a sign that says,

"Remember the icy vortex of winter 2013/2014" which I will flash any time I hear someone complain of the heat..and I promise you that person will exist.

I do not believe, though that we will hear many complaints about the heat this summer... If it ever arrives.



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A New Chapter

It is February...and there is light somewhere around the corner...warmth awaits us weeks away. They say that because of the arctic vortexes that we've had this year, our spring and summer will be cooler. The extreme coldness of the lakes means it will take longer for them to warm up and thus the air around us will stay cooler....longer. Six more weeks of winter says Mr. Groundhog.

Six more weeks of....down time.  Six more weeks to get my schedule back in line with my fifty some goals for the year.  Six weeks to try to figure out how many of my lost photos are actually backed up on my back up drive (still hoping computer guru can get them back for me.  It's been twenty four hours and no word.  I know...they said two to three working days.

Some days, I wonder where my patience has gone.  Lost in the days gone by.

So many writing ideas.  So many photography project ideas..lingering...laying await in my brain, screaming to get out.  I've let my work out schedule tire me out and now I need to do some better planning and recreate my schedule so I can get my artists date back, so I can catch up with my inspirational Kim...so I can give her some type of hopeful words to help her through the challenges she so strongly is handling right now.

Time to quit being pissed off at the world over lost photos. Time to recharge the batteries and capture even more inspirational shots, moments, views to share with the world of followers, regardless of how few.  I so want to follow more bloggers like I and comment and visit with them but constantly struggle with the time management in order to do so.

February...the month of hearts....love...couples...partners and for some....loneliness.

February the month to capture the love of the world around us.


Time to appreciate what you have and quit stressing over what you don't have.

Time....to move on....

Hug the ones you love...Love the ones you hug!!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Procrastination

Well...as I was finishing up my post from Sunday, my external hard drive decided it was time to stop working.  Crashed.  It isn't even a year old.   If I remember correctly...it has about 10000 pictures on it.  No...they weren't all backed up because..

Well, I could blame it on the depression of winter.  The laziness that sets in.  The lack of initiative. My insistence of working out after work and the exhaustion as a result that keeps me out of focus. I could blame it on the relationship issues I am having right now that has me completely off balance.

But...

No...it is my own fault. I've been pretty good up until the past few months to keep things backed up.  I just didn't expect that such a new drive was going to create an issue.  I just started working with it in the middle of 2013 in order to move files off of my lap top to free up space and have a more portable way of taking my photos with me if I wanted to.

Winter set in and my photo taking slowed down and so I thought all would be okay.  Again...I just purchased the drive probably less than six months ago.

So...so...bummed.

I've taken it to a photographer friend that has special equipment and...it puzzled him.  I have the drive open now and will need to take it back to him to see if he can get it to read long enough to back the files back up on another external.  If not...it might take a bit more money to get it done.  Not a happy camper at this point.

I am just hoping and praying the next step will be successful..without a large expense.  I think for the most part things are backed up on another drive except some of the latest portrait shoots I did which are already published on my website.

My heartbreak will be the loss of the past two weekends where I did photo shoot field trips with some lady friends to Door County and Lake Michigan.  Of course, I could go out and try to reshoot but...the weather would have to be just right to capture the moods I did those days.  For once, I was impressed with the mood I captured.  I am always my worst critic...and now...I guess I can really be on my case about....

Procrastinating!!

It doesn't totally put a damper on my project of 'Finding Your eye'....just a damper on my ego, per se.

And just two days before this happened, I had deleted the pictures off of two of the cards that contained some of the photos.  Some are still on one of the cards.

My gratefulness from all of this is that it did happen now...in winter when I didn't have even a larger volume of photos that aren't backed up. Now is the time I have to rethink everything.  Reposition my workflow and get set up to have continuos back up and multiple copies.  It's just another expense.  An expense now that hopefully will save an expensive cost later if I really have to spend a lot of money to capture photos that I truly don't want to lose.

My dilemma now is...are my photos worth paying  a few hundred dollars to a technician to try to get them back?  The guy on my left shoulder says...absolutely not.  The one on my right shoulder says, absolutely...but see what is on the other back up first to see what truly is missing.  If I could pay for only the ones I really want to get back, I'm pretty sure the only ones not backed up that I would want are the ones that I took the last couple of weeks.

What would you do?  Pay several hundred dollars to get back photos that in the long run might only be for your enjoyment?

Wish me luck.  Friday is still two days away..so far away.

I am thankful it wasn't major portrait shoots.  So very grateful.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

INSPIRATION Journal - 1

My Finding My Eye project talks about finding and identifying what inpires me with my photography passion.  I've gone through a lot of my 2012 photos, cleaning them out, selecting the ones that really 'touch' my emotion and have decided that it would be easier to note what doesn't inspire me.

The big picture...nature inspires me so much. What started my passion for photography?  Probably that which gets most mothers started...our children.  When my children were younger, we camped and hiked a lot.  I loved to take pictures of my children when they were 'discovering' the world.  That in addition to the memories I have of discovering the world at that age when I lived in the Northeast and roamed the forests of New Hampshire always kept nature close to my heart.

When I got more serious about photography and wanted to capture photos other than that of my children, I was and still am a big bird watcher so naturally my camera, in a way, became my binoculars..or replaced them to a certain extent.  Now when I hike, I have binoculars as well as one or two cameras with me.  Nature's attempt at keeping me in shape, I guess.

I captured birds and wildlife so much that there has been a point when I got 'bored' with it I guess.  That may have been due to a lack of scenery though.  Not getting out to new places to capture new birds and critters. They do still inspire me but I've had to add to my palette of subjects per se.  As one of my other large passions is gardening, of course, flowers became a familiar subject to me also.  Flowers in their natural surroundings.  Flowers in my gardens which consist primarily of coneflowers and sunflowers and daisy-like subjects.

My hunt for new subjects or just different locations to captures my feathered friends and floral buds took me to the woods discovering the trails close to my midwest home....and trails themselves trigger some mystical emotion in me that I'm not too sure how to describe.  Maybe it is the unknown that might be at the end or the surprise of beauty I find as I trek down the beaten path which leads to me further breathlessness of nature.

I can be inspired by color and textures and leading lines.  Maybe that is why trails fascinate me..because of the leading lines.  Fences. Railroad tracks..but not so much architecture itself unless it in itself is full of color and patterns.

In my quest to expand my horizon and perfect my landscape photos, I have fallen in love with the rustic buildings of old farms and historic or abandoned places, wondering what the story is behind it all. Focus on church steeples and windows and doors monopolize some of my photo shoot sessions.  The windows and doors fascinate me with emotion much in the same way that trails and roadways do.

Of course, there is my portrait passion for children and the elderly generation mostly because their expression and free nature make me laugh and smile as well as envy their 'free spirit'.

I don't know..what inspires me....or rather what doesn't. I have an overall inspiration and fascination to what the world has to offer in beauty and subject matter and it is through my lense that I am most observant of it all and most passionate about discovering the world.

I guess from here it is just a matter of defining my so called 'style'.

So take a seat and research, think, ponder and discover with me.

I would love to hear your comments on what you think my style is...what you like and don't like.  I will help me expand and grow and hopefully you in return will gain from it.


Because...

I'm stuck. I'm frozen. I feel so caged up.  My daily plans got 'replanned' by other people again.  I don't know why I can't learn how to say no...I have other plans already.  Because I don't want to be selfish?  Because I question whether it is the best use of my time?  Because ...she's my mom?  because...because...because..The. Worst. Word. in. the dictionary!

I woke up with so many good intentions.  I did get the wash started.  My 'roomate' left later than expected this morning which put me off track. Yes, my own fault. I shouldn't have let that delay me.  It's the cold.  It's the winter.  It's this being cooped up inside.  It has been an extremely brutal winter.  Very few days in the mid to high 20's to allow me to get outside...other than going to work and back or the store.  Even my poor Lexi is feeling the depression.   We wrestled on the floor for about an hour hoping that would exert enough energy to feel like we had accomplished something.

Mom came to visit and brought a dvd of Route 66 and another of a historic road in Detroit.  Fun to watch but just increased this cooped up longing of wanting to get out and do something.

I have photography projects I need to deal with.  I need to work out. The house needs to be cleaned although that will be done tomorrow when I am avoiding sitting on the couch staring at someone that creates no passion for conversation or activity...together..exciting...creative.

I've found another realtor to assist in selling my current place and to find a place a bit more suitable for 'just me'...at the same time still struggling with the decision...because I don't want to move?  Because I don't know where I am going when I do sell.  Because the winter has me thinking of moving south yet I've just started a new job and don't want to change again...besides they love me and depend on me and I don't want to let yet another person down.

Here..somewhere between my stomach and my heart...something stirs. A tornado of sorts. No...a hurricane of dangerous extremes.  Waiting to explode.  To stir things ups.  A cooped up lion waiting to pounce on creativity.  A beautiful sunrise waiting to wake up the monster inside.

The sun shines brightly through the windows.  The sky is gorgeously blue.  The white carpet is refreshing.  I open the door to let Lex out and the wind just blows me away and makes me want to sit on the ground and just cry. Curl up in the fetal position.  I think of taking a ride to only be disappointed when mom calls to say my brother just got back from taking a ride to town and there were so many cars in the ditches with the blowing snow and below zero temperatures.

I only have three and a half hours before my 'roommate' returns.  Three and a half hours to do something constructive without having someone else here that makes me feel guilty about not being fully attentive to them.

Okay....sigh.  Deep breathe.  DEEP DEEP SIGH AND BREATHE.

I mentioned kong and she's up off the couch..wagging her tail.  It's time for me to bundle up and suck it up...and wag my tail too.  Hello frigging freezin temps.....HERE WE COME.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Gratitude - 01/23/2014

I've fallen off the wagon with my gratitude notes as I've been attempting to 'rediscover' passions and make it through this frigid winter here in the midwest.  I know there are so many things that I am grateful for...so many things I don't give credit to that I should.

Today I am most grateful for my Son Sam Comardo who makes me very proud of all he has accomplished despite the bumpy road that life has presented him with.

I am so very very grateful for my best friends here in the Midwest - Holly and Jaime.  I don't know where I would be without them.

I'm not a real big fan of facebook just in the sense that some people think you are weird if you don't have a facebook page and I hate to find out important things in life through facebook instead of a direct person to person verbal communication but I am grateful for the wonderful little jokes and pictures that are posted that make me smile and feel good about the world we live in.

I am very grateful for the awesome employer that I now have...a complete turnaround from the last nine years at the previous place.  A. Complete. Turnaround.

I am grateful for all of my wonderful children that the Dear Lord has blessed me with!  They all make me very proud day in and day out!

Thank you Dear Lord, for everything and everyone you bless me with.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Finding My Eye

So often when reading photography blogs, taking on line courses, trying to find inspiration and creativity with this creative passion of photographing, people want to know 'What is your style'.  It is a question I ask myself quite often.  Trying to pinpoint one thing...or multiple  is not easily answered. I am now off on a project to 'Find My Eye'.  What inspires me.  Finding a 'theme, a rhyme or reason behind what I photograph...how I create.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, it isn't just one thing that inspires me...unless I can gather it all up and categorize it all as...nature.  Even when 'the hand of man' enters the scene..it really is the simplicity of the natural surroundings that blow me away...tugging at my heart and soul.  I just want to jump up and down and scream at the top of my lungs to get every one's attention  and shout...'Stop!'  Look at the simple beauty that surrounds you...each and every day...in the simplest manner possible.

I wish this bench were in my yard, surrounded by what really is surrounding it (okay, maybe with a bit more warmth included) because it beckons me...to sit...and enjoy...the peaceful solitude of it all.  Taking away with the sound of the waves, all the stress and commotion that life throws at me.

I just want to sit and take a deep breathe in, let it out slowly....and smile!

This is the original picture of the bench overlooking the cold tundra of Lake Michigan in upper Wisconsin.  If it were warmer...it would have taken Superman to remove me from that spot!!