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.

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 - 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 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 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 Okay we say might be.

Friday, February 21, 2014


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. 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


My life of crossroads.  I 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 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 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 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 a doughnut...360 and I put Texas in my rearview mirror and headed to the midwest to be with my mom.

From 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 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, 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 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 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. 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 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 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


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 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. 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. 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 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 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. move on....

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