The Table is Turned . . .

 

 

I did not shoot this photo, nor am I responsible for photoshopping. I found this on a friend’s facebook page and couldn’t resist passing it on to you. Try as I might, I could not find the creator of this image. If anyone knows, please inform me so that I can give credit where credit is due. But seeing as how I love to photograph squirrels, it seems this image depicts what it might look like if the table were turned! 😉

 

The Latest Challenge!

Last week Len at The Daily Dose Photo Blog issued a challenge! This week I took him up on this challenge!

Go to an unfamiliar location, then have your companion blindfold you. Now take your pictures. Your friend should now move you around, so that you don’t know where you are and make sure you don’t hurt yourself.
It might be wise to use the automatic setting on your camera.

Well, no one was with me, but when I was out one day taking photos, I came to an open field and thought I would try Len’s suggestion. So I closed my eyes and turned around, then reversed my turning around until I had no idea which direction I was pointed in. I started shooting photographs, eyes still closed. I raised my camera over my head to shoot, and bent down low to do the same. I kept my eyes closed throughout the process.

Wow! Below are two of my photographs from that day, each with a before and after shot:

Before
After

The next photograph was taken with my camera pointed more downward:

Before
After

Each photo was easily tossable, good for the trash can. But with a little creative editing, I was able to get some interesting photos. Wow! What a concept. What did I learn from this challenge? That there is beauty in everything we see. We may have to tweek the view here and there, but beauty is everywhere we look.

Sort of like life, isn’t it. If we look only skin deep, we may fail to see the beauty of a person or an object or a scene. Dig a little deeper, and a beautiful work of art is revealed. This was a fun exercise in stepping out of my comfort zone, and the results are remarkable. As with every challenge thus far, this one is a paradigm for life.

I’m glad you stopped by. I am interested in what you think about this so please feel free to leave a comment. Have a great week and come back next Monday to see what NoCZ-2012 continues to teach me.

Our Glorious Vacation: Day 3

It was wonderful to wake up at Mom and Dad‘s home today.  Even though it has been years since we’ve been “home,” old, familiar feelings flooded my entire being.  As is customary, I was up before dawn but by the time I walked into the family room, Dad was already sitting there with a cup of freshly brewed coffee.  Mom joined us shortly thereafter and with cups of coffee in our hands, we moved to the back porch, my favorite “room” in the house.  Due to the fact that the porch is screened, we can enjoy the natural setting without worrying about nuisance bugs.  As we sat in the cool morning air, the sun peeked over the horizon and through the tree branches illuminating a lively, beautiful yard.  Birds were flying hither and thither, fighting for their turn at the feeders, and chirping loudly letting their presence be known.  I looked through the screen down at the coi pond and watched the fish darting to and fro.  Soon bees buzzed with activity as they began their task of gathering pollen from the multitude of flowers and plants.  Although the yard appears to be a quiet haven of peace and calm, soothing body and soul, in actuality it is a busy, bustling, noisy place.  And it is wonderful!

There are far too many photos to add to this post, but this gives you an idea.  Later in the day different family members joined us to chat and catch up on the news.  We lazed a lot, enjoyed our time, napped and relished the day.  As if this wasn’t enough, Mom and Dad took Richard and me to see Kentucky Shakespeare in Central Park that evening. I remember that as a child the family would pile into the station wagon and head into Louisville to watch Shakespeare in the Park.  Each summer there were three or four productions and we would catch them all.  Last evening as we arrived, and started walking across the park toward the amphitheater I was flooded with wonderful memories. This is where I fell in love with Shakespeare.  I couldn’t understand half of what was said, but by the end of the play I knew what the play was about.  Same thing happened last night!  To add to the drama, as we left home the clouds opened up and a downpour caused some worry.  We got through that however, and by the time we arrived at the park the rain had passed.  We had cushions to sit on so the wet benches didn’t bother us.  But the rain made one last ditch effort to dampen our spirits.  We laughed, reminisced, and eventually the rain cleared and we watched Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.”  Kentucky Shakespeare is the oldest outdoor Shakespeare festival in the country, and our family started attending the plays just a few years after the summer productions were begun.  Needless to say, the four of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Day three of our vacation was a very good day.

The following photos were taken prior to the production.  We were warned of dire consequences if we shot photos during the play, so I tucked my camera away and simply enjoyed Shakespeare in the Park.

Mom and Dad. Mom was the only one who thought to bring an umbrella!

Enjoy!

100th Blog Post! WooooHooooo!!!!

Can you believe it?  This is my 100th blog!  When I created this blog, I had no idea where it would take me.  Suffering through a long bout of unemployment was taking a toll.  All my education and past experience seemed not to matter in the job search, whereas youth and vigor appeared to be winning on all counts. Yikes, that left me out! Every position I sought required writing samples, and I had some good ones . . . but they were all dated; I had nothing current.  In desperation it occurred to me that if I wrote a blog, I could kill two birds with one stone: hone my rusty writing skills, and build a portfolio of recent writing samples. Voila! Problem solved.  Then I thought of another benefit of writing a blog, and that was creating a memoir for my children, something they had asked for but for one reason or another I never got around to doing.  WordPress.com came to the rescue and I started a blog.  As to its title, for lack of anything better I just used my name.  If I was going to use this medium to display writing skills for future employers, my name needed to be visible.  In hindsight however, if I had known then the direction I would take with this blog, I think that I would have put a little more creative energy into a cuter, snazzier, catchier, whatever-ier title.  Oh well . . . I’ve tried to change it but haven’t figured out how.  Any advice from my WordPress buddies is most welcome!

It didn’t take long for me to become hooked on the writing.  I did not write on a regular basis, but when I did, it was fulfilling, meaningful, and fun.  In time I learned to upload photos and insert them in my postings.  Not only was I writing again, I also picked up the camera and another laid-aside interest that I loved was rekindled.  I was writing about daily events, memories from days gone by, family history, and sharing photos.  To be honest, the job hunt took a back burner to this venture.  The creative juices were flowing again, and I looked forward to each new post, photographing everything in sight, and thinking about how to make money doing these things that I loved.  I was still sending out resumes, but the blog was my lifeline to sanity.

But I still had to do something about a job.  One day the thought came to me, why keep looking for a job?  Why not take matters into my own hands and create my parnassah (livelihood) as befits us?  I’m too old to keep going through rejection from people whose jobs I could do blindfolded!  That is when I developed “The Plan”: Return to school to get my masters in mental health counseling, then I can contract my work as suits me while doing something I like and have proven myself to be good at; develop notecards using my photographs and inspirational verses of Psalms that I can market; continue blogging; create a web site where I can market my skills (writing, photography, notecards, counseling).  (see June 29, 2010, http://wp.me/pIeHU-7f for The Plan)

Today I am in my fourth quarter of graduate school as I work toward that degree and license as a professional counselor.  I have created several sets of notecards to start marketing.  At this point I have not created a web page other than this blog, but I think I’m about ready for that.  My hope is that I will begin to bring in some money with the web page, too.  I am making this dream happen, one day at a time, one step at a time.  I am working the plan!

And to think that this dream crystallized all because I started a blog in hopes of impressing a potential employer with my writing skills!  Go figure!  Little did I know how I would enjoy blogging, reading other bloggers’ posts, sharing photographs, giving and receiving encouragement to people all around the world.  This is not a big, well advertised, widely read blog, but maybe someday.  It is enough, however.  I’m finding that “enough” makes me a rich woman.  I have enough food to need to watch my weight, enough shelter to think of going smaller, enough health to keep me in good spirits, enough creativity to live vibrantly, enough love to share it freely, enough family and friends to add joyfulness to every aspect of life.  I have enough.

Following are some facts about this blog:

First blog posted: November 17, 2009

100th blog posted: May, 9, 2011

Number of hits in 2009: 406 (6 weeks only)

Number of hits in 2010: 1292

Number of hits thus far in 2011: 1736

Biggest number of hits in a month to date: April, 2011 with 490 (This month, May, I already have 277 hits so I expect it will surpass April’s record before the month is out.)

Do any of these numbers matter: Not really.  It is just nice to see how the blog has grown.

Before another 100 blogs, I hope to have an official web site.  Whether I reach that goal by then, or not, I will reach that goal and I will have fun doing it.  Thanks to every one of you who has taken time to read a blog or two, or to leave a comment when so moved.  I now have friends that circle the globe.  Thanks also to WordPress for making this medium of communication so accessible to those of us who haven’t an ounce of  “IT geekiness” in our bodies!  I look forward to writing many more blogs, shooting massive amounts of photos, sharing the journey with anyone who will read this, meeting many more bloggers and developing more friendships.

Richard, my dear, special thanks to you for tolerating the intensity with which I write, the quirky ideas I always share with you even when you have better things to do, and for coming along as my “protector” and equipment carrier when I want to go to odd places at odd hours to see what wonderful things I can photograph. You truly are my sunshine!  (Please don’t be embarrassed that I added this paragraph.  You are a special man and I want the world to know!)

And forgive me for getting all gushy and mushy with the thanks.  I know it sounds like an award show, but . . . oh well.  This is my 100th blog post!