Category: Daily Life


One Photo Each Month – 2012


I may have failed miserably in taking one photo a day, but I do at least have one for each month. This really does capsulize my year…:

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1. January: A pretty little downy woodpecker in the Whooping Crane Pond Conservancy on Hilton Head Island
2. February: A great blue heron up in the tree in our back yard in Hilton Head – calling to his mate. He built a nest there, and I got to watch it throughout the spring
3. March: Before the bluebirds found the bluebird box, the nuthatches were checking it out…!

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1. April: The bluebirds ultimately tried to raise their babies in the bluebird box. Unfortunately they did not make it…
2. May: The HMS Bounty — at the Tall Ships Celebration in Savannah, GA. The Bounty ultimately sunk in Hurricane Sandy off of North Carolina
3. June: A cardinal at a tree near our feeders – on Long Island

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1. July: Kezar Lake — view from the dock out to the islands
2. August: An amazing sunset and crescent moon off Wickapogue Road
3. September: At Operation Migration Crane Fest. The whooping crane chicklets after training behind an ultralight aircraft – taken from the blind in White River Marsh Wildlife Refuge in Berlin Wisconsin, where the birds had their training this summer. They are being fed grapes by their handlers. they have since migrated behind the ultralights and are now at St. Marks Wildlife Refuge in Florida.

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1. October: Storm Sandy wreaks havoc in our back yard. Our cedar tree is gone
2. November: a short hike to Valley Green over Thanksgiving week – this is the covered bridge
3. December: Christmas in Hilton Head – with Misty kitty looking on.

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Once home from Maine we’ve had an extended period with no travel and more mundane life. It was a relief to enjoy the comfort of our home, do a few projects, and have the suitcases in storage for a bit! However, before I get to that, let me show a few photos from our ferry ride home from Maine on the New London to Orient Point ferry. It was pouring rain for the entire ride – not conducive to much photography. But, sometimes the fog and gray conditions create their own beauty:

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1. Another ferry in the distance
2. Orient Point Lighthouse

So – this entry will be devoted to a few photos from our daily life here over the last month or so. I’ve given up on the 365 project, so the photos haven’t been taken daily, but it is a snapshot of August and September…

Thistle is a weed. It’s invasive, grows very quickly, and has the potential to choke other plants which are growing around it. Prior to our trip to Maine, I noticed some thistle growing right in the middle of our front yard hedge. The flowers had not yet bloomed, so I asked Ray to allow it to stay there – just until the flowers bloomed so I could get photos. Days after we returned from Maine – the pink flowers appeared…. It’s such and interesting plant in that the leaves are so full of prickers and sharp as a tack, as you can see in the second photo below! But – the softness of the pink bloom is like a kitten’s fur! What a dichotomy! It is a wonderful place for bees, butterflies, and the goldfinch!

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Only hours after these were taken, Ray chopped down the thistle. It was kind of weird looking growing high above the hedge! It was sad to see it go, knowing that wildlife thrives on it.

The next grouping of photos is from an unusually stunning sunset. Ray and I were on our way home from having dinner out, and the entire earth was engulfed in these pink and orange tones. I didn’t have my camera with me – so I begged Ray to “drive fast” to get me home so I could grab my camera – hopefully in time. These kinds of sunsets don’t usually last all that long. He did – and I ran back to a place up the street where the vision is the best for viewing the sunset. I made it in time, and got the tail end of it:

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In photo #2, you can see the small crescent moon off to the left side…

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The sunset light reflects on my car

Ray and I took a ride in his ’57 t-bird on Dune Road, which is a road that abuts the ocean. There are lots of summer “cottages” (uh – more like mansions!) along the way. Normally I don’t bother with my camera, as Ray is never able to stop for me to get a photo or two. But – this time I did, and took a few from the car as we were riding. Often these don’t turn out very well due to blur, but here are a few from that ride:

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1. The Dunes Church. This building was painted this year, and it’s so bright. At first I didn’t like it, but each time I pass by, the color is growing on me
2. One of those “summer cottages” ~

We’re renovating our computer room in our house — removing the 35 year old lime green shag rug, and replacing computer furniture, removing an old single bed, and replacing that with a futon, and we will be redoing the hardwood floor and repainting this winter (when we’re gone). It will be so good to get rid of that terribly bright yellow paint….! Here’s the room in the midst of the chaos of the task!

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Photo #2 is the new computer nook set up…

Blue Moon – August 31, 2012!

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…with a little help from photoshop…! 🙂

And, last but not least, I never tire of taking photos of the kitties! 🙂

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Misty

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Felix – silly kitty loves to lie on his back!

Mundane life is about to end, however. In 2 days I’ll be headed to Claire’s – and then she, her husband and I will be driving to “Crane Fest” in Wisconsin. This is Operation Migration’s annual gathering where events are scheduled like a dinner, wildlife refuge tour, auction, and annual meeting for Operation Migration, and I don’t know what all else.  I’ve never been before, so I’ll find out!  I have decided to go – but didn’t want to go alone, so am tagging along with my good friend Claire, and her husband. I have spoken about this organization here in previous entries (here and here) during their crisis with the FAA and flying the ultralights.

So – – stay tuned for an entirely different set of photos from my next adventure. If I can post while gone, I will, but otherwise, I’ll be back in early October to update!

‘Round home


After returning to Long Island from Hilton Head, we had less than a week before heading to Maine for our annual vacation there. It was hot – and most of my photos were taken inside. With all the travel, bird seed had run out of our feeders, and I decided not to refill until we returned from Maine. I think it was during this time when I found myself beginning to go into a funk, and my 365 photo project began to unravel. I was both looking forward to our trip to Maine, yet dreading the process of getting there — the packing, the meal planning, settling in in camp, etc.

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1. On the day we arrived home from Hilton Head, I noticed there had been quite a bit of growth from INSIDE the front yard hedge – – some thistle weed. This photo was taken prior to the flower’s bloom, but I’ll have photos of that later. Thistle is not something you want to nurture, as it can choke other plants. Yet, I find it so pretty. The entire plant is full of thorns, but the flower, itself is soft – and perfect for bees, butterflies and even goldfinches to eat from it. I asked Ray to leave it there – at least until the flower bloomed so I could get a photo of that before it was cut out.
2. This is a night light lamp which was given to me as a gift by my parents when I was a teenager. Earlier, I had fallen in love with a very heavy lead crystal night light which was my mom’s that had once belonged to her mom (my grandmother). She knew I loved it, so this was what she gave me – knowing I’d like the soft light that would come from the body of the porcelain Siamese Cat!

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1. More photos of Misty and Felix
2. Photos of Shadow (above) and Phantom (below) who were our litter mate duo prior to Misty and Felix, hung in the front entryway. Phantom died November 29, 2006 from an inner ear tumor, and Shadow died on December 1, 2010 from kidney failure. I still miss them a lot… They were such good kitties. You can see another photo of them together on the right column of this blog.

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1. Interesting pillow purchased from Coldwater Creek
2. This is a Moravian Star, which was given to me on my 50th birthday from Ray and my mom. It is very special, and there is a light bulb inside, so when lit, it has a stained glass affect. When I took this photo, the light was not lit, but the daylight from the window where it is hanging was shining through it. I learned to love Moravian stars because our son went to Moravian College, located in Bethlehem, PA. These special Stars are commonly hung in Moravian homes at Christmas time.

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It was the day before we left for Maine, and Ray was packing his suitcase while I was out doing errands. Little Misty – seeing the suitcase on the bed – wiggled into an outside pocket of the suitcase and posed for a picture which Ray took with my camera. It’s as if she is saying … “Don’t go! Don’t leave me! Take me with you!”. Made me sad, as it’s always hard to leave my kitties when we go away, even though I know they are well cared for by our pet sitter.

Next post(s): Kezar Lake Maine!


It’s been so long, I don’t even know where to begin, or whether I should just pack in this blog, and give up.

In short – my 365 project has – basically – gone down the tubes. I took all kinds of photos each day when Maine on vacation, but have gone into a funk once I arrived home. Not sure of the reason for this, but lack of interest, motivation, and drive plagues me. In short – days are going by and I’m allowing that to happen without any input from me to shape those days. In truth, this often happens during the summer, as I don’t much like the heat and humidity of the season. I hide inside away from it. However, it’s also likely a mini depression — maybe like a reverse “SAD” — that seems to hit me this time of year. I know I’ll find my way out. I always do, but I need to do it soon! Invigorating this blog may be one way… The advent of fall, cooler weather, and the gorgeous, colorful foliage on trees will be the most helpful way!

Prior to this abrupt end to daily picture taking, I’d force myself to find … *something* … to photograph each day, but the desire to do that disappeared. Besides that, I haven’t posted any photos since July 3. It’s over a month since then. I have photos from our town’s 4th of July parade, from our quick trip to Hilton Head, our trip to Maine, and a few taken in between these events.

I’m not sure where to take this blog now, but, as I type these words, I *am* committed for it to go somewhere.

Maybe it’s best not to bother to number the photos and give up the strict adherence to the project. Maybe the best solution is to simply share photos when I take them, and use them as a springboard for sharing my thoughts and the events of my life. I would like to commit again in another year to the 365 project – but I am under no illusions that it’s easy for me to get bogged down with it.

I think that’s it! Sometimes writing my way to a solution really works for me!

And – with that I’ll work towards an entry or two (or more!) — coming up soon.

365 Epic Fail


I guess the best thing for me to do is to admit defeat. In my opinion I have now missed taking photos on so many days this year, that I now do not feel this 365 project is representing what I wanted it to be. I’ll keep up with it, as I can, because I like to share the photos I take on any given day, but I feel that the chronicling of my days is not complete, as it would be if I took a photo that represented each day of my life. Life seems to get in the way, and I get distracted. Or – my camera is not with me. Or – I can’t imagine that the picture I’d take would be anything worth seeing. I think I might be trying to be too “special”, when, in fact, it’s the mundane and “daily” I’m after – and learning how to photograph that in a special way. I also do not multi task well, and when immersed in other activities or necessary life tasks, other activities – like photography – deemed of lesser importance on those days – slip my mind more easily. In 2009 I also tried to do this project and by September, I’d given up.

I will continue to number the photos, and note the days I miss, as I want this to be a record of sorts. I still like the idea of taking one photo a day, but think I need to evaluate how to best make that work in a way it hasn’t before. There are no failures – only lessons…

With that in mind, let me share the photos I’ve taken up to this point:

The following photo is of a pen I purchased at a craft fair. The outer shell of the pen is made out of computer “innards”. Despite the fact that I love writing (and typing) on a computer, I have always had a love affair with “pens”. I love how they feel, how they write, how they “hold”. I’m partial to Cross refills, with my second choice being Parker, which is what this pen is. I like a smooth write, and a fatter body to the pen, although I’m finding that this pen might be a little *too* fat! I collect pens now, mostly unique things I find at craft fairs. When I was a child I had what I now see to be an un-natural attachment to my pen. I would really become distraught if one got lost. Still do – to some extent.

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365 photo (June 28) #180

The photo from the following day is of a painting which our son did either in 1995 or ’96. as an assignment for his art class in high school. It was required that he use no paint brush for this acrylic painting, and instead used what I describe as a putty knife! (I know nothing about painting, so please indulge my ignorance!) He blended the paint with this tool rather than a brush, which gives it the “choppy” feel to it. Our son was inspired to do this painting from the wild fires which we had on Long Island during the very dry summer of 1995. The fire was started by a neglected campfire (I believe) – then spread throughout the pine barrens, burning a large portion of them. Several main roads were blocked off, making it more difficult to get on and off Long Island. On the day that the fires began, our son was returning home from a junior golf tournament with several other boys, and they were detoured from the road they wanted to travel. They got rather close to the fires, and the “red sky” and thick smoke inspired our son to do this painting when asked to do this assignment. We framed the painting and it now hangs over our fireplace…

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365 photo (June 29) #181

the photo for June 30 was taken when Ray and I were out in his ’57 t-bird. We mostly travel on Dune Road, which abuts the ocean and is where many wealthy Southampton summer residents live. This photo is of the “Dune Church”, which is only open for services during the summer months. I believe it’s considered to be Episcopal, but has no residing pastor. Instead, each week they have guest ministers — usually from wealthy New York City churches of different denominations. However, they do ask one “token” local pastor each summer to preach. It’s also a coveted spot for a summer wedding – – and I can’t imagine how much in advance one has to reserve the church for one! I also wonder when this church might wash out to sea in a rogue hurricane….!

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365 photo (June 30) #182. I am not enamored with the lighting in this photo. It was “back lit” too much, muting the interesting exterior color of the church.

365 photo (July 1) #183 – – EPIC FAIL!

This photo is the cats “toy box”. We purchased this “cat shack”, which is an ottoman style cat house, and we keep all their toys inside of it. The cats actually go inside to get a toy, and sometimes just sit in there with them! When when we see a toy lying around around the house (and no cat around to throw it for!) – we put it back.

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365 photo #184 (July 2) – Cat Shack toy box

The next photo is of a circular throw rug I purchased online from Orvis. They have sold several kitty rug patterns over the years, and this is just one of the few I’ve purchased. Because I nearly forgot to take a photo on July 3, this photo was taken actually taken after midnight so it’s technically taken on July 4th. In the spirit of what I’d intended, I’ll classify it as my July 3rd photo:

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365 photo #185 (July 3) – Orvis kitty throw rug

I’ll end this entry for now, as I have many photos to post for the 4th of July, and I’ll leave that to be it’s own entry.


This is our last day in Hilton Head for the season. Tomorrow we head north to eastern Long Island for the summer (and part of the fall), and I am having withdrawal pains — missing the “wildlife in my backyard” already. The way I get photos will be very different up there, in that there’s not as much nature close by to me, and – frankly – it will take more work and “hunting” for the nature I so crave now. I suspect there will be more days when my daily photos will be more mundane. But – I will work to find places to go to show you some of the beauties of Long Island. We live less than a mile from the ocean beach. But – it’s different – and crammed with sun bathing tourists in the summer. Wildlife – understandably “scatters” while humans take over the sandy beaches.

I am so behind in posting here – – but I have not forgotten to take my daily photos. Admittedly some have been “rushed” – as I have been busy packing and doing the necessary chores one has to do before leaving one home and going to another. But — I will take the time to post once I’m safely settled up north. It will be nice to reminisce about my time here as I go through my photos to post them.

Sadly I must add one last thing. I am now almost positive that my backyard bluebird nest met with a bad ending. Mom and pop bluebird do not come anymore – and I see even more unidentifiable “dead looking things” on the ground surrounding the bird box. They do look like the tiniest birds… 😦 So sad, and I really don’t know what happened. Predator? Disease?

I probably should clean out the bird box before leaving, but I probably won’t. I admit – I’m a little scared to look inside. But – in the fall, when no one is nesting, I will clean it out and rehang it — this time NOT on a tree, but on a pole. Predators can too easily invade the nest from a tree where it’s much more difficult using a pole that has a predator guard.

See you soon — from eastern Long Island!


Well — that’s not totally true! I’ve just chosen not to make them one of the daily photos. That’s not to say that I didn’t take a few bird photos, but they are all “more of the same”: great blue herons and bluebirds, and I’m into “variety”! I also a shot of a ground feeding sparrow, but he, as well as the great blue heron will be bonus photos.

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365 photo #95. An iris of some kind. My inlaws used to own this house before we did, and they were the ones to plant most of our landscaping, so it has been fun, over the years, to see what we have here. I was not familiar with this flower, but did some research and it’s an iris. Interesting color! The blooms do not last long, and after barely a day, they are drooping. I photographed this bloom (and a few others) at it’s prime.

Bonus photos:

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1. a branch of a sego palm in our front yard with leaves which have dropped on it.
2. great blue heron still is on the nest in the tree in our yard.

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365 photo #96 As I was along the shore of the lagoon looking to take more photos of our great blue heron nest, I shot this view of a neighboring house and lush vegetation and the reflection of them in the lagoon. Sometimes it takes a photo like this to help me see how much greener the grass and trees are as spring truly arrives on the lagoon.

Bonus photos:

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1. ground feeding sparrow on our patio – eating the dropped seeds from our feeders above. Interesting how he is camoflaged with the patio stones and you can hardly see him!
2. red tip hedges in our front yard

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365 photo #97 It was a raw, cold, gray day for most of yesterday so I chose to take the photo inside. It didn’t get much above 55 degrees, which is very unseasonably cold for Hilton Head Island! I went out to scout out photos, but was uninspired. So — this photo is some of the red earrings on my earring holder. As you can see, I hang them in “color coded” fashion! I purchased this two sided earring holder (which holds 80 earrings on one side) recently from a vendor at “Springtime Made in the South” craft fair in Savannah. I also have another single sided earring holder which is partially full (and another empty one so I have “room for expansion”! Do the math! Yes – I own a lot of earrings – which I’ve collected since college when I first got my ears pierced. Just as an aside — this is not the extent of my red earrings. More red earrings are located on the other side, too!

Unlike yesterday, the weather is clear and crisp today — perfect for our planned trip to Savannah today — so expect a photo from there for today’s photo!


I have returned from Pennsylvania and now have a little more time to post. It took some time to go through all my photos, edit them and get them uploaded, but that job is done now.

This was a bittersweet time. My mom is very ill – so critically ill that we all felt it necessary to go see her. She was in Abington Hospital in suburban Philadelphia for almost three weeks. Despite having been discharged to a skilled nursing care facility, she still remains ill, though stabilized. Over the course of her hospitalization, our family surrounded her, including grandchildren and one great grandchild. Despite the worry, stress and exhaustion we were feeling, it was also a time of family bonding. I took a photo each day and they are a visual way of documenting my time in PA with Mom. To conserve space because I have so many photos, they are all shown in a smaller size. However, you can click on any photo to see it larger in my Flickr account.

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1. 365 photo #76 — A photo of the lagoon only a few minutes before we left Hilton Head on the day we were informed how sick mom was – and that we needed to come see her. A storm was brewing, and as we left town the most ferocious thunderstorm hit as we drove off of Hilton Head Island. It wasn’t lost on me that storms were brewing in my life, too….
2. 365 photo #77 — We stopped at a Hampton Inn in Fayetteville, NC that night – and the next morning I took a photo of the sunrise as we were leaving to go the rest of the way to Pennsylvania.

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1. 365 photo #78 — In Mom’s hospital room there were some lovely flowers…. 🙂
2. 365 photo #79 — For the first 3 days in Pennsylvania, we stayed in the Garden Hilton Inn, and I took a photo of the room that night. It gave us our own space for a few days. However we moved over to my sister’s house and that was good, too – to be closer to family. I nearly forgot to take a photo that day, and this one was taken at nearly midnight!

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1. 365 photo #80 — This is the view from Mom’s room, showing the York Road garage. It’s an “average” hospital room view, and at least she had a window. Some rooms do not, as they look out into the lobby
2. 365 photo #81 — More flowers in Mom’s room — an amyrillis which my brother brought with him shown against the window shade.

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1. 365 photo #82 — A white board in mom’s hospital room. It gives staff information, like the name of the nurse and student nurse on duty, and the date. But – we wrote all over the board, too 🙂
2. 365 photo #83 — The tower on Abington Hospital — and it’s the hospital’s logo. This was taken after sunset as we were leaving the hospital.

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1. 365 photo #84 — Since we were all in town, my siblings and I celebrated my sister’s 60th birthday — a few days early. We had dinner out together, then went back to my other sister’s house to have this delicious cake.
2. 365 photo #85 — An interesting stoplight – with trees in the background – on Susquehanna Road on our way home from the hospital. It was around sunset time when we took this photo.

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1. 365 photo #86 — Again I nearly forgot to take a daily photo, and realized this as we were getting ready for bed. In the room where we stayed, my sister had this cute little tiger – and he made a nice photo!
2. 365 photo #87 — Mom’s room was in the Widener Building at Abington Hospital, and this is the lobby, as taken from the 2nd floor, where Mom was located. They have a great coffee shop there were I stopped daily to get a cup of flavored coffee to take up to the room with me.

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1. 365 photo #88 — This was the day Mom was discharged by ambulance to the nursing facility. Our car was parked in the York Road Parking garage on the top level – and we could see the skyline of Philadelphia from that vantage point. As we were leaving to meet Mom at the nursing facility, I took this photo.
2. 365 photo #89 — On this day we left Philadelphia to return home to Hilton Head. We did the entire trip in one day, and when we arrived my first photo of the day was of my sweet Felix. I missed my kitties SO MUCH while we were gone… But – they were well taken care of by a good pet sitter.

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365 photo #90 — This was our first full day at home – and I discovered that during our trip I had managed to break the glass of the filter over top of my 100-400 mm lens. I couldn’t unscrew it, and there was concern that I’d bent the filter, or – at worst, the lens itself. At the suggestion of the Best Buy Geek Squad, I got one of those rubberized “jar openers” and that did the trick – and the lens itself was not bent. Thankfully the broken glass of the filter did NOT scratch the lens and all is well. This photo — the first I took with that lens after realizing it probably was ok — is of some fungus growing around a stump of a downed tree.

I’m not caught up with my photos yet, but think that this is enough for one entry! More to come later…!

Life


This blog is still up and running, despite the fact that I haven’t posted in quite a few days. Right now I’m in Pennsylvania with my 90 year old mom who is hospitalized and very ill. It was quite dire when we arrived, but things are better now. No – things will never be as they were, but what a difference a week makes. We will remain here for a few more days, unless something changes to require us to stay longer. And, at my mom’s age, and with her medical condition, that potential is there.

I continue to take photos each and every day, and, in a sense, they are documenting these days of my life. However, for the moment – while we are here — it is too time consuming to go through and edit, then upload the photos for sharing here. I’ll be back, though. For now, however, I need to focus on what is before me. This is an interesting time of life – – a transitional time within one’s family, and a very special family bonding time.

Life moves in many different ways, as life circumstances happen. Sometimes you live life. Sometimes you write about life. Sometimes those two can co-exist together. For right now I need to live fully – and allow writing to take a back seat.

In time I will be posting the photos I’m taking during these days, and will be back to writing. So … stay tuned!


The last two days have not been photo days, and I have resorted to photographing interesting things (to me) inside the house.

The first is a painting which I purchased in Canada when I was there in either 1999 or 2000 on a “girlfriend” trip with my good friend, Claire. It was purchased from a street vendor, and I was taken with how the geese in this picture were made. I don’t know the procedure, but it’s like the geese were “cut out” giving it a 3 dimensional feeling. It sits in our hallway … and the geese seem to be directing us to the kitchen as we leave the study. Or I think of that every time I face it as I turn into the hallway.

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365 photo #57

This next wall hanging, also located in the same hallway, is an image of Kokopelli, the Native American flute player. It’s made of metal, which is painted in turquoise and terracotta colors. It sits out of the wall a little, giving it some depth. I purchased this in a rather touristy gift shop along the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it caught my eye and I knew I had a spot for it. I play the flute, and have always loved the image of Kokopelli.

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365 photo #58

For the next few days I will be visiting Claire to help her do some painting in her new house. I will not be the only helper, as there will be a small group of friends helping in this endeavor: “craniacs” — i.e. — those we have met through Operation Migration and Facebook, who care deeply about the endangered whooping crane. It will be an exciting and fun time, and there’s a good chance I won’t be able to post too much while there. There’s a time to live life and a time to write about life, and next week I’ll be doing more of the “living” part! But — the daily photos will be taken – to be posted when I get the time.

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