Friday, January 31, 2014

31/365-2 A Horse

"Gracie and Larry"

Obviously neither of them is a horse :-)  There were no horses in my world today but I was lucky to spend some time with Larry and Gracie.  Though Larry is pretty good at sitting still, Gracie is a fun loving fast lying ball of fur.  I had a hard time getting a good photo of her.  But, I do really like this one of the two of them.

And then there is Gracie...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

30/365-2 Focused


This kid began reading at age 3 and hasn't stopped since.  I'm not sure how Borders Books went out of business.  I think we spent enough money there to have kept them in business by ourselves.  By the time that Brooke was six, she was reading so much that I no longer could read everything that she was reading first to make sure that it was appropriate.  If I had, I would have had no time to read for myself.  The first instance of this causing an issue was when, at age 8, she was reading Allison Weir's The Wives of Henry VIII.  One night at bedtime she strolled into my room with the book in her hand and asked, "So Mama, what is adultery?"  

While I have been attempting to keep my photo a day discipline for another year, Brooke has embarked on her own Project 365 - 365 books; yes, a book a day for a year.  As we come to the end of January, she has been successful, with the shortest book of the month being 190 pages.  Look at what you can accomplish when you don't have to work all day!  I tried to convince her that she needed to blog about the experience.  That suggestion was met with, "That would cut into my reading time."  So much for a mother's advice.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

29/365-2 Lively


I don't know if the pinwheel itself is lively, but it was given to me today as a gift by a very lively person.  It's bright and cheerful colors and the sunflowers made me smile.  I'll take happy over lively!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

27/365-2 Secure

"Frankie and Snoopy"

There is not much creative about this photo; today's creativity came in the form of relating this photo to the prompt "secure."  Here goes:
  • Frankie is secure in her belief that this is her bed and not ours.
  • She is certain in her belief that she could have been "the cat next door" in the Peanuts strips.
  • I am secure enough in who I am to admit to you all that we have Peanuts flannel sheets on our bed.
  • And, if all else fails, there is Linus with his security blanket.  It doesn't get much more secure than that.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

26/365-2 Vivid

'Eternal Light"

I am pretty much a purist when it comes to photography.  I do very little editing of my photos - cropping, black and white conversion and sometimes a little boost of contrast and saturation.  Somehow doing too much feels like cheating.  I'm not sure how I developed this attitude; it is probably one that I need to overcome, but I'm not there yet.   That being said, this photo is obviously heavily edited.

Today's prompt not only asked for a vivid photo, but also that it be taken and processed using a phone camera.  I tend not to use my phone as often as I should for photos and I never edit with phone apps.  This was a fun challenge.  Though I don't want to create images like this all the time, I kind of like this for a change.

For those of you in Dallas, this is a photo of the Preston Hollow UMC steeple.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

25/365-2 Caring

"Slaving Over A Hot Fire"

Though there were many things that we should have done today, we shirked all of our adult responsibilities and spent the day celebrating a friend's birthday by sitting outside talking, laughing, enjoying the perfect weather and roasting hot dogs over the fire pit.  It was a glorious day.  And what better way to show your wife that you care about her than by slaving over a hot fire roasting her a hot dog.

Seriously, what does caring look like?  We all know what it looks like in the intense moments of life - when we need an ear to listen or a shoulder on which to cry a hand to hold or an arm to pick us up, a whisper in our ear or a stern word spoken directly at us.  In the every day,  however, it looks like a freshly made cup of coffee as we stagger out of bed, or the towel warmer being turned back on when we sleep beyond it programmed shut-off time, or our lunch having been packed on school mornings, or pain relieving gel rubbed on your back, and yes,  hot dogs being roasted over an open fire.  I feel blessed to know what caring looks like every day.

24/365-2 Fresh Air

"Friday Afternoon"

By the end of the day Friday, I was exhausted, too exhausted to concentrate on a photo so I recycled this one that I had taken earlier in the week.  It represents quite well the way I felt Friday afternoon.  As a further testament to how out of it I was, not only did I not take a new photo, I forget to post yesterday the one that I recycled.  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

23-365-2 Umbrella

"Behind the Umbrella"

What happens behind the umbrella stays behind the umbrella.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

22/365-2 Eight

'Size 8"

I am short on time and inspiration today.  Since we seem to have no resident octopus, the best I could do in only few minutes this afternoon at photographing the number eight was a picture of the size 8 knitting needle I'm using in one of my current projects.  Lame, I know, but at least I took a photo.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

21/365-2 In A Bowl

"Chow Hound"

This is Adidas and his bowl.  I'd like to say that in his mind this is the most important bowl in the house.  But, the truth of the matter is that any bowl that has food in it at the time, his or someone else's, is the most important bowl to him.  Harley's bowl, the cat's bowl, a human's bowl - they are all fair game according to this boy.

Monday, January 20, 2014

20/365-2 Upset

"Empty Chairs"

There is nothing really to be upset about in my world today, but I am a little sad to be going back to work full force tomorrow.  I love teaching, but I have really enjoyed my time off over this break.  I have had so much freedom to do the things I want to do with no deadlines hanging over my head.   I have read, taken pictures, napped and just had time to be.  "Be time" is so important to me...and actually to those who live with me because it puts me in a much better mood.

I feel guilty complaining about going back to work when there are so many people without jobs that need and want to be working.  I know I'll feel better about it once I get to school and things get rolling because I really do like my job.  Right now though, the thought of actually being totally dressed like an adult with lunches and backpacks ready to go in time to leave the house by 7:15 doesn't sound appealing.  

On another note...I spent my last afternoon of freedom taking a couple more funky photos.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

19/365-2 Abandoned

"Abandoned Abstract"

I actually took this photo yesterday.  Apparently what I abandoned today was any hope of getting a daily photo that I liked.  For whatever odd reason, this image speaks to me.  I think that it is its totally abstract nature and the possibility of seeing so much or so little in it.

This shot was intended to be a simple shot of a leaf or two floating in a fountain, an exercise to practice with manual focus.  Because of the way the light fell, the reflection of the sky and the way the Lensbaby works, this is what I got, so much more than a floating leaf.

I did take a few shots today.  They were all dismal.  My mind kept coming back to this image.  Then I remembered the Mahler quote.  Then it all came together.  My mind is like this image until I center my thoughts and focus.  This is the one idea that remained after the other nineteen were abandoned.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

18/365-2 Posed


I am terrible with posing people for shots.  I do OK with the stuff behind the camera but I am not comfortable posing people.  That is why I always have to rely on Erin when I need a people shot.  She is a natural in front of the camera.  Having said that, I have to confess that tonight I photographed Erin and Edgar together and didn't do such a great job.  The light was weird and created some harsh shadows.  So, I ended up with a shot of only Erin.  I'll do better with Edgar next time, I promise!  I waited way to late in the day for this.

Weber and I did go out to a park this afternoon and I finally had a chance to experiment with my Lensbaby out in the real world.  Up until today, I had only played around with it at home.  Here are a few of my favorite shots.

I am thankful for a fun day with my family!

Friday, January 17, 2014

17/365-2 Knobby


You have heard of the princess and the the vaquero and the aquacate.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

16/365-2 Reserved

"Reserved for Family"

Some day's photos are marked by creativity and some by pure reality.  Today's is the latter.  This afternoon we celebrated the life of my dear friend who passed away suddenly on Sunday.  Though there was sadness and sorrow amidst us, there was also an abounding sense of love and joy because we had all been blessed by knowing this person.

Today really brought home how significant the daily photo prompts can be.  Of all the beautiful moments shared today, why a photo of empty pews?  The obvious answer is because the prompt was "reserved."  That may have been the impetus, but that is not the real meaning to me in this photo.  I don't need the faces of those people in the pews to know what they looked like or how they felt.  The emptiness  shown here is something that every single person in the church today felt in some way or another.  And though these markers indicate the place for "family," we are all a family, a family that misses its sister.  Had I not read the prompt this morning, I probably would have overlooked this detail of the day.

This was literally a "one shot deal" taken with my phone.  Another lesson learned is that I need to use my phone more often.  I can always delete the images if I decide that I don't want them, but I can't recreate them if I realize that I do..

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

15/365-2 In the Air

"Blowing In The Wind"

The recorder is a little more portable and much more forgiving when played outside than is the clarinet.   

The creative juices were not flowing today.  I went with outside in the air and in playing the sound is all "in the air."  A desperate attempt, but there you have it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

14/365-2 Yummy

"An Apple A Day"

So the old adage says, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."  Nowhere does it say in what form the apple should be consumed.  I'm sure there is at least one apple in a slice of apple pie!

*Props, also known as tonight's dessert, courtesy of our resident baker.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

12/365-2 Footprints

"My Heart Is The Moon"

There is no wind strong enough to blow away your footprints from my heart.

May you rest in peace and rise in glory, my dear friend.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

11/365-2 In Good Hands

"Book In Hands"

Today was a beautiful day, nearly 70 degrees.  It would have been a great day to go somewhere and enjoy being outside.  Unfortunately, our daily agenda didn't include any outdoor plans.  My morning began at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned.  Weber and I went out for breakfast afterwards and then I got my hair cut.  Even at that, the chores weren't done.  I had to come home and finish making baptismal stoles for church tomorrow.  Then there was the Christmas tree....

Christmas came and went and I barely noticed it.  Though I remember Christmas day, the Christmas season didn't really exist for me this year.  I need to do some serious soul searching and figure out why that was.  Because of these feelings,  I looked at the Christmas tree with deep esentment today as we pulled the ornaments off and packed everything away for another year.  I kept thinking that I didn't even enjoy the decorations.  And here I am having to pack all of this stuff neatly away.  It was not a happy feeling!

About the time that my pity party had hit a low, my baby showed up somewhat unexpectedly.  What a nice surprise!  She didn't stay too long, but was willing to allow me a few shots while she read her book.  My goal this year is to get at least one shot of each of the girls each month as a POTD.  I am half way there for January!

Friday, January 10, 2014

10/365-2 A Doorway

"Knock, Knock...Who's There?"

Lucky for this one whose favorite thing to do these days is to run in and out and in and out and.... checking on the squirrels in the backyard, there is someone here to answer her when she knocks.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

9/365-2 Where I Stand

"Looking Outward"

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

8/365 Blue

 "Blue - Only On the Outside"

Today should have been an easy day as far as the daily prompt goes.  Blue.  Blue is my favorite color.  I love blue. Blue anything.  I have lots and lots of blue things.  That is where the difficulties started.  What direction to go?  What to choose?  Rather than make a real choice,  I finally decided that I would do a self portrait because I like blue so much.  That was kind of all encompassing.  So there you have it.  A self portrait in blue.  As an aside, after moaning and groaning about the monthly selfies all of last year, this is my third in eight days.  Just goes to show that people do change!

Before I got around to actually taking the above photo, I still had all of the blue possibilities on my mind.  Everywhere I turned, there was more blue.  This wasn't really a surprise, but I became fascinated with all of the things around me.  Then I had a brilliant idea.  Well, maybe it wasn't so brilliant; maybe it was just an idea.  I decided that I would photograph blue all day long, every time I noticed it I'd snap a photo.

This evolved into I would take fifty photos throughout the day and call the series "Fifty Shades of Blue."  Before you worry about having to look at fifty photos, I will tell you right now that I only got to twenty. The project has thusly been renamed "Twenty Shades of Blue." :-)  I never claimed to be clever or original.  Just because I was in a strange mood about this whole idea, I also decided that I would try to use select color on the blue in each of the photos.  The reasons for this were two-fold.  First, using selective color would emphasize the blue and secondly, leaving the other portions of the photo black and white was an off-handed nod to the source of my unoriginal shady title.

Like I said, I only made it to twenty photos.  I could have taken fifty pictures easily, but culling and editing, even minor edits like cropping and resizing would be way too time consuming for a day's work, especially a day's work beyond my normal daily responsibilities.  You would think I would have realized this at the outset.  I think I did, but I wanted to try.

So here it is, blue through my day:

Twenty Shades of Blue

Good Morning

Blue at Breakfast

Morning Ritual - Morning Pages

The View from the Table - A Favorite Print

Time toTake the Dog Out - Faithful Crocs

Shower Time - Robed in Blue

The Last Of Christmas

Time for A Break...

* You will notice that in a couple of these photos I have left some orange with the blue.  Orange is my second favorite color; I had to leave it in as well.  These are the cups that Weber and I have left from our wedding reception.  Almost four years later, they still get used everyday around here.

...Which Necessitates Another Break

Leftovers for Lunch

What's In the Fridge?

My Jacket

Time for a Little Afternoon Reading


None of this would have been possible without this...

... and this.

I hope that all of the blue in your world is on the outside!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

7/365-2 A Natural Treasure

"Good Morning Sunshine"

I mentioned yesterday, Macro Monday, that I really thought the acorns on the tree out from would be a beautiful macro shot and that although I thought that, I couldn't think it into being.  Yesterday's acorn photos were not good.  When I saw today's prompt - natural treasure, loved, not artificial, outside - I felt that I was being given a second chance to do justice to the acorns.  I looked at yesterday's rejected photos and decided that perhaps the problem was that I had shot with my aperture too wide open.  So armed with my camera set way stopped down (f22), I tried again.

I will admit that I am a little happier with today's attempt.

I do love that the inside of the acorn looks like a sun.  They really are quite cheerful and beautiful.

From what I could see outside on my camera display, which is not always the best way to make a decision, I figured that I had something that would work for today.  As I started into the house, I noticed the sun gleaming through some fallen leaves that the wind was tossing around.  The sun almost looked like it was dancing on water.  That image looked like a perfect place to play with my Lensbaby.  I am still trying to get comfortable with it and its manual focus.

I'm sure I looked like an idiot to any of the neighbors who might have been watching.  There I was, laying on the ground in the freezing temperatures taking pictures of dead leaves.  Yesterday is was dead flowers; today dead leaves.  I think I need a therapist.  Oblivious to whatever else was going on in the neighborhood, I enjoyed the sights and sounds of the leaves and just playing with the possibilities of the new lens.

When I looked at the morning's images on the computer, the acorn photos were better than yesterday. That was good.  But, the leaf photos just made me laugh.  They kind of look like you are tripping on something but in a pretty cool way.  So again, the acorns are usurped as the daily photo by a dead piece of nature.

I love the colors in the picture of the day above.  Here are a few of the other "trippy" photos.

I posted this one on Facebook this morning with the comment, "This is what happens when you mix morning sunshine, dead leaves, a Lensbaby and two cups of coffee."

"It's All About Me!"

I have read online about the Lensbaby flare and what a cool effect it can be.  It is cool; but honestly, I have no idea how I created it in this photo and not the others.  Beginner's luck?  Idiot's Luck?  Having really no idea what you are doing?  Whatever the case, there you go.