Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sending Out a Thank-you

I know someone who it seems, is in the process of dying.  How long will it be?  That's anyone's guess. Everyone seems to have accepted it, and yet, none of us are prepared for the change it will bring to our family.  It is a family that is continuing to get smaller in numbers.  There was a time when it was growing.  Our elderly were healthy and babies were being born.  It was wonderful, and we all felt good about living. Now, there have been no births for 10 years and in that time we have lost several people.

I also know someone who to her core, is a caregiver.  A nurturer through and through and to a fault. Do we let her take it all on herself, this entire process of holding the hand of our loved one as he prepares to leave?  She would let us.  And it would be easy to take advantage of that because we all have busy, middle age lives.  

In a perfect world, she would be spending her late years gradually slowing down and enjoying her time worry free.  Maybe people would even take care of her for a change.  Wouldn't that be something?  Too often, what we deserve and what we actually get are separate things.

There is no way to take over her role in this situation, but we can help ease the burden of it.  As for my small part in this family, I can offer time, and food and acknowledgment. 

I was not thinking about this when I was working on this next image, but it seems to fit the words. Another macro image of the same flower, but a different angle and much closer. I get a sense of motion when I look at this image and also, I find it very calming.

I've shared this with Stephanie's 'Roses of Inspiration'.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Macro Mosaic

Wanting to practice my macro, I snipped a flower from a bouquet my wonderful husband recently delivered to me.  I know, I know, hardly original.  And it isn't, and it was an obvious choice, but it's good practice, and now I have yet another photo suitable for making cards.  
I did process it in 4 different ways.  I can't pick a favourite.  I see the potential in all four shots.  I'm going to try cropping it in less obvious ways, and see if I can't create something a little more unique that way.
What do you think?  Do you have any ideas for some indoor macro shots I could try?

I've shared this post HERE for Mosaic Monday.  There are always plenty of wonderful links to visit and I caught a glimpse of at least 2 beach posts.  I could definitely use a beach sometime soon. Although, the weather here was so mild yesterday, I actually took my hat and mitts off while out for a walk.  It felt so good.  I feel far more connected with nature when I can feel the breeze and hear the birds.  It's supposed to continue throughout the week, so I 'm looking forward to several walks a day. My doggie will be beyond happy!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Top 5 Books of 2015

I had a hard time finding what I wanted to share for Amy's 'Five on Friday' link party today, but I really wanted to take part in a little online activity, as it is nasty outside, so time in the house will be generous.
I was busy entering another book into GoodReads, and was curious to see how many books I added to the read list in 2015.  I wasn't all that impressed, and would like to read more this year, and that is as close as I will come to a resolution.  But, I easily picked out 5 of my favourites and had my topic for today's post.
Starting with number 5:

5). Let The Elephants Run - David Usher  
     A book about understanding the creative process, how and why it works.  I found this book encouraging and it helped me to slow down on looking too far ahead with an idea, and then squashing that idea before it ever had a chance to become reality. It taught me that inspiration can come from anything and if you let it, will run in the most unexpected of directions.  I did some of the exercises, and got a kick out of them.  Overall, it was just a fun book that ended up changing my life in the subtle ways I view myself in relation to the world. So thank-you Mr. Usher!

4). Around The World in Eighty Days - Jules Verne
     A classic, but one I hadn't read, and was glad I took the time to.  It was an easy read, fast paced and quite short.  Maybe I should read more like this to lengthen my list for this year.  Like the main character, Phileas Fogg, does with everyone he meets, this book left an impression on me, and although I haven't, it would be worth looking into the whys of that.  I enjoyed it, would recommend it, and will eventually read it again.  Maybe that is my problem, perhaps I shouldn't reread books, because I don't add them to my list twice.

3). The Stone Diaries - Carol Shields
     A novel that takes you from birth to death of an ordinary woman.  That was all I needed to hear for me to pick this one up.  I related to this book.  The simple observation of one's own life.  I do it all the time, and was eager to read about someone else's experience with it.  The fact that it is fiction is irrelevant.  It is the perception that matters here.

2). Drowning Ruth - Christina Schwarz
     This book mislead me,   I was confident with where I thought it was going, and then a little blip here and there would have me second guessing my ideas.  I read this book in a short amount of time due to the author's talent with this.  I just needed to know what the heck had actually happened.  I've never read a mystery that intrigued me the way this one did.  I wouldn't even categorize this one as a mystery, although I suppose it  is.  It just doesn't read like you would expect a book of that genre to.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants something out of the ordinary.

1). The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls
     I could go on and on about this book.  This author's memoir has helped me to shift my own perception of what it means to be a family.  As a matter of fact, it is still working it's magic.  Weeks after finishing it, I am still considering it.  How we can be completely connected and at the same time live entirely separate lives from our families, is something I have always struggled to balance.  This memoir has helped me to move forward in my understanding of how to not let the negative overpower my memories and current experiences with my family, but even more than that, to turn what I thought was negative into a deep and powerful understanding.  That's a life-changer. And that is why I read.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My First Macro Shot

We had a beautiful and unusual morning today.  It was cloudy and snowing from the North and clear and sunny to the South.  After taking Bear for a nice long walk, I grabbed my camera and went to sit with him for a while on my garden swing.  I was waiting for a snowflake. This was my first attempt at photographing something so tiny and delicate, and maybe not the best subject for my first try at macro, but I liked the way it turned out and decided to share it. The flakes are standing on the edge of the arm on my swing. What do you think?

A special thank-you to my wonderful Husband for the macro lens!  I think I'm going to have a lot fun with it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Retreating Back to July

I guess January is getting me down.  It has been so unbearably cold, and even though I have been outside everyday with the exception of one this past week, I have not enjoyed my time out there.

I decided I needed to see photos of my gardens and yard.  The severity of the differences between seasons is surreal.  I've lived here all of my life, and still they amaze me.  

Unfortunately, the only season that seems to linger on forever is Winter.  I wasn't ready for it this fall, and I'm already aching for it to end.  I know I'm not alone. 

It sure has improved my mood to see these photos, and remind myself of the impermanence of this cold period.  It will pass, and I will feel lighthearted again.  Sooner than later, I hope.

I am sharing this post HERE for Roses of Inspiration.  Thank-you so much Dear Stephanie for hosting.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Baby Sooty Revisit

A little something adorable for you today.  I love these photos of my wee, black kitten so much, I just had to resurface them and share them Here for Mosaic Monday.

I hope you all had an awesome weekend.  Mine was spent scrap booking and trying to stay warm.  It has been indescribably cold here, but it promises to let up by the middle of the week.

I also finished reading "Drowning Ruth" by Christina Schwarz.  I enjoyed it a lot and would recommend it.  I'm not sure what my next choice of novel will be.  I have so many to chose from that I think maybe I should sort the read from the unread, and then line the unread up alphabetically and just start going down the line.  But then, that would ruin how I decorate with my books and set them together in flattering groups.   Why not?  They're just taking up space, they may as well look good.

I also spent some time planning our family's trip to Nova Scotia in July.  I have been looking forward to visiting Canada's east coast for a very long time. If you have ever been, and have any recommendations, I would love to hear them.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Black and White Mosaic

I've put together a quick mix of black and whites for Mosaic Monday this morning.  I'm fairly certain I haven't previously published any of these images to my blog.  I really like all of them, and even though it may seem as though I favor the feather, it is actually a toss up between the curled up poinsettia leaf and the snow drifts, (which, by the way, are no taller than 2 inches).  Truth is, I love black and white photography.  Long before I ever owned a camera, I was drawn to it.  I love it even more now that I have Lightroom.  I can't tell you how much fun I have been having with that program.  

Thank you again Judith for hosting.  This is one of my favorite link party's to take part in.  

Do you have a favorite image out of these five?

Friday, January 8, 2016


As long as I can remember, I've had dreams of there being a lake in my front yard. I'm not talking about daydreams, but actual, 'I have fallen asleep and am now wondering around semi-familiar places' dreams. I treasure these dreams and they have followed me through my life and everywhere I've lived.  I recently was inspired to recreate my dream in photoshop.  So I took a few pictures, played around for quite awhile, and came up with some art that pleased me.

I shared this post HERE at Weekend Reflections.  

For the first one, I aimed for a realistic outcome.  I like it, but it doesn't recreate the feeling I had
in my dream.

This is the second one I created, and it truly does take me back to my dreamworld.  It is my favorite.
It has that soft, foggy, surreal feel to it, like if you walked here, you wouldn't be able to feel your feet on the ground.
And now, when I walk in this part of my yard, I can clearly envision the scene from my dream,
because I have somewhat brought it into my reality.

This is me getting carried away.  This scene is not even from my yard, but
from one of close farmyards.  I just love the building and wanted to see
how it would look.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Frank's Escape

The Christmas clean up didn't go as smoothly as it does every other year.  Frank put up a fight.  The look on his face when I said it was time to get packed up until next year, was one of pure confusion. I explained to him how seasonal decorations worked and he went on and on about how I could be so insensitive and prejudice over a bit of attire.

"If I hadn't been wearing a red and white striped toque with a sweet, little, matching bow tie, I'll bet you would easily consider keeping me out year round.   You are far too hung up on the color thing. Look around, your home could use a little pop of color; all beiges, browns and grays.  Someone might think you're depressed. I know I'll be depressed if you shove me in box for the nicest part of the year.  If I agree to stay in here, I'll never get to see the leaves, the green grass, feel the warmth from the sun. But go ahead, I'm obviously powerless to stop you.  If you're comfortable being a bully, then just go ahead and close that lid before I can climb out."

I asked him why he didn't feel the need to keep all the other Christmas decor company, and his reply was blunt.  "They just don't have it, do they?  Not one bit of gumption.  I have no idea what you did to them, but I'm going to do my best to not be your next victim!"

I assured him that I've always treated all of my decor with nothing but respect and always took good care of everyone.  "Frank, you are the first one who has not been able to accept who and what you are, and I have no idea where you get off talking to me like that!"

He wasn't listening.  He was busy working his way out of the Rubbermaid container and finding his way back to what he now thinks is very own perch.  I was going to tell him that I had other plans for that space now and in the future months, but he looked so happy and proud to be back there, I let it go.  I must be out of my mind.

I've shared this post over at Mosaic Monday.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy Belated New Year

I am beginning the new year with a flu.  A common, I'm weak, I don't feel like moving, I should just go back to bed, flu. Blech.

It wouldn't be all that big a deal really, but I am going to miss a very special celebration of our Dear Uncle Mike turning 100 years old.  I am relying on my husband to take lots of photos and I may even ask my daughter to take her video camera.  I could go on and on about Uncle, but he would hate that. Suffice to say, he still lives on his own, cooks, and plants a garden.  He's always up for a chat, no matter what the subject.  He's downright friendly, and who doesn't like that?

I wrote that first paragraph on New Year's Day, but I didn't have the energy to finish it.  I ended up in bed most of that day.  On the second, I started to feel quite a bit better and today I am almost completely back to normal.  

I do regret missing Uncle's party, but the husband and daughter pulled through and captured the memories for me, and we will all enjoy them for years to come.  

I do hope everyone else had a better start to 2016 than I did.  By the look of the blog posts I've read in the past couple of days, everyone had a great time.

Now that I am better and the parties are wrapped up, I can start enjoying my wonderful gifts.  My husband adopted a camera theme this year, and I now have all sorts of gear to experiment with, and even some new software to play around with.  I foresee many a Youtube tutorial in my near future to put adobe photoshop elements 14 and premiere elements 14 to good use.  

With that, I am leaving you with a dreamy photo I captured before Christmas when the frost was so heavy, it was threatening to break branches.  But the scenery took your breath away.