As I sit here ending my day I look out my window and see the first snow of the year drifting down and realized with a pang, I missed fall this year. It was my intention, the color came late and life spiraled into days and nights of taking care of my dad. I would not have traded the time I have got to spend with him for any picture in the world I might have missed but….. I am not ready for the cold grey days of winter. So before the day ends here is my last Ode to fall a picture I took when the promise of red, orange, and yellow were a few days away. Goodbye fall hello, snow, ice, puddles, snuggles, hot chocolate, Snowmen, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, New Beginning’s and sweet farewells. See it’s not so bad after all.
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” ―Mahatma Gandhi
Remember life is what you make it. It’s a wild crazy ride from mountain tops to valley lows. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. And when you think it can’t get any better, it overwhelms you with happiness. Every day is a beautiful mystery. The secret is, learn to let go of yesterday’s mistakes and enjoy each and every today.
I want focus. Tack sharp photos, and dread the out of focus, blurry, images I often produce. But sometimes it is just this softness which makes a picture. Photography is really nothing more than a story pixeled out for the viewer to interpret. So when we learn how to use focus appropriately and learn how to throw the subject into something which draws the viewer in and encourages them to ask and build their own stories then truly we have achieved a masterpiece.
I chase it…live it…I breathe it…
Hunting for it and then finding it I sometimes forget to breathe. And then the excitement begins and that is usually where I need to pause for a split second and drink it in that gorgeous beautiful light. For every person who stops seeing the world as just a place but a light show you will understand what I am trying to say. I love light….. I chase it……live it……breathe it…..
November is marching on and the days and nights are filled with the chill and the nip in the air. Through it all I have loved watching my tomatoes defy the season. They just keep hanging on by a thread. One of my Gerber Daisies is the same way. This morning covered in frost she proudly held her head high as she greeted the sun. I wish I could always be just like these tomatoes and this Daisy. No matter what my circumstances holding my head high and hanging on and growing even when everything around me has given in to forces against them. Here in my backyard is everything I needed to get a fresh view of myself and my world. Bring on Winter I am ready.
I love this time of year for many reason so today I am going to list 10 things I love about Autumn
1.Chilly mornings snuggled under the covers
4. Hot coffee
5. Afternoon walks with leaves crunching underfoot
7. Long drives in the country or the mountains
8. Apple Pie
9. Red, orange, yellow, brown and green
and last but not least 10. Homemade chili simmering on the stove
So… here it is, the Fall Post of Shame! Yes I am behind, failed, stopped posting when the going got tough, all of the above and a whole trash bag of excuses I could post if I were so inclined. Instead I am just going to brush myself off and start posting again. Not daily but at least weekly. After all taking pictures should never be about just catching something to post it should be about sharing the beauty that is my life.
I love my job, I really do, but with the dog days of summer winding down and the realization that Christmas is only 4 months away. I really want to be on the outside of this building not on the inside. Today is the last day of the year I will get a parking place close to the building; It is the last day of the year I can take a quick walk outside and actually have the sidewalk to myself. Today is the end of the summer for us here at the University I work for. Monday morning freshmen will be wandering the sidewalks desperate to find the building of the class they are late for. The air will be charged and the excitement will penetrate the campus. Today though we all are wishing for just one more lazy day of summer.
Today as Kate and I sat and cuddled enjoying our morning bottle I noticed her studying me so intently, at 4 months she is trying hard to figure out this world. I told her I wish I knew the thoughts she was thinking before she had the words to share but those thoughts are going to have to wait until she is older. When we are babies, our brains are more open to the shaping hand of experience than at any time in our lives. In response to the demands of the world, the baby’s brain sculpts itself. Scientists have begun to understand how that happens, but as Neurologist Carla Shatz says, “There’s a great mystery left. Our memories and our hopes and our aspirations and who we love all of that is in there encoded in the circuits. But we only have the barest beginnings of an understanding about how the brain really works.” Later as I finished up some post processing work I could not help but look into the eyes of this little man….. he is further down the road than Kate in brain development but still his eyes say it all, let me go, let me explore, let me enjoy the treasures of being a child there is important work going on in my head.
I am saddened by the busy schedules families keep these days, the dependency on technology in our homes to babysit, and the lack of outdoor play areas young children have daily access too. Children are missing the joy and satisfaction of childhood. In many places it is not safe to allow children to play outdoors. When I was a little girl, I climbed trees, ice skated on homemade rinks, played outside with my friends from sun up to sun down, and made the yummiest mud pies just ask my brother. As an Early Childhood Specialist, I want all children to have the kinds of experiences I had as a child. It is critical we find ways to establish outdoor play spaces and provide all children with positive experiences in nature.
It has been an unusually hot and dry summer. It is sad seeing the crops and the vegetation burnt and brown. This past weekend we had a break and it was wonderful, with the break in the heat and the rain we had last week and yesterday hope springs eternal as seen in this shot made on the go proving with a little hope all things can bloom.
I hate cancer, I hate how unfair and cruel it is. I hate how it not only leaves physical scars but also how it leaves emotional and mental scars. I hate how wears down the survivors and their family. I hate watching someone I love suffer and battle every day. This being said I am in awe of those who do battle this killer. For years I have watched my mom fight and she continues to do so every day. I know how much she has wanted to give up and how close she has come to doing so but still she fights. I have also watched my dad stand by her and give her unconditional love. I know how hard it has been. I see them at their best and yes at their worst. I am so blessed to have been able to walk this journey with them and see how for better and for worse looks. It is beautiful even in the face of cancer. So to my mom I love you and will fight with you every single day we hold the enemy at bay. You are the portrait of a fighter, a winner, a survivor.
As soon as his first baby comes into the world, a dad’s life is forever changed. A real man steps in and immediately finds ways to not only support the mother of this gift but to bond with their offspring. Here is my take on 10 things that make a real man.
Real men have spit- up stains on their suit and tie and jeans and shorts and t-shirts and…….
Real men know all the words to “The Wheels on the Bus”
Real men wear pink and baby blue receiving blankets with pride
Real men share all child-rearing responsibilities
Real men know what Johnson Baby Soap smells like
Real men have a bro bag packed with all essential diaper changing needs
Real men rock and cuddle.
Real men know how to swaddle
Real men have more baby pictures than hot babe pictures on their phone
Real men honor the mother of their children
I am so lucky to know several new, up and coming REAL MEN as they embrace fatherhood.
I am still moving a little slow, sleeping a lot and generally just not feeling as spunky as I think I should be by now. With this in mind I have been feeling sorry for myself and my lack of energy and ability to get out and shoot as much as I want to. Today I grabbed my camera on the way to work and realized I had some pictures. I snapped last week of Surprise Lilies that bloomed at my mom’s last week. I eagerly opened them today and was feeling so disappointed. They were horrible; I had been on pain meds and definitely can see my head was not into the task. Then out of nowhere came this shot. It is not a perfect shot and in many ways it is a very bad one but it spoke to me and reminded me of the importance of perusing what makes you happy in good times and in bad. Sometimes it is not the technically perfect picture which speaks to us but the surprise and joy we feel in taking a image and finding its best potential no matter the circumstance.
They are never ashamed of us, they never stab us in the back, and they are there for us in the biggest time of need. Just take one glance into the eyes of a dog who knows and loves you and you will forever understand the love and joy a pet can bring. Eye they are the mirror to ones heart and although Annie does not live with me I never doubt for a minute she loves me.
Just when I thought my vacation was over I ended up with a little detour. So after a short break of bed rest and healing I am back to slowly getting out and shooting for diversion. Who am I kidding sometimes the only thing we can do to feel better is create images to make others happy and to give ourselves satisfaction. So yesterday I played with my favorite little girl and came up with this picture. She makes me smile every time I get my hands on her! I must say after a morning with her I almost forgot how horrible I had been feeling, that is until she went home and I had to make the trek to check in with my doctor……oh well at least I had pictures of the most perfect baby in the world to come home to edit.
I took a vacation this summer. A slow down, stop running, enjoy my life vacation. I definitely had some wonderful experiences. My first race was a blast. I spent a whole day laying in a tube floating down a river camera safely tucked away in the car. I wandered around downtown Knoxville one evening just taking in the atmosphere and enjoying the company I was with. A vacation, a real chuck the timetable lay on a sofa and de-stress week. Why don’t we do this more often? It is sad we work till we are burned out, exhausted, numb and at the end of our ropes and then we plan a week off filled to the brim. Never again, I liked this slower pace experience and as I reenter the rat race today I am already reflecting on a slower and gentler end of summer. Lying on a tube all day just might be the best of all worlds.