Sunday, August 31, 2014

243/365-2 Negative Space

"Got Milk"

Weber's dad worked for the Missouri-Pacific Railroad.  We still have quite a bit of railroad paraphernalia around the house.  For some reason, one of my favorite things is this small glass milk bottle.  It is what milk was served in on the trains.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

242/365-2 A Different Perspective

"Flower Mandala"

For over six years I have used the practice of drawing mandalas as a form of meditation.  This discipline helped me to keep my head and my heart in the right place during what was a pretty rough period in my life.  When I look back at my drawings from those years, I am transported right back to the time and place in which they were drawn.  When I began drawing mandalas I had no idea that doing so could be or would become such a powerful tool for me.

I still draw mandalas every now and then, but not nearly as regularly as I once did.  Photography has taken their place as my creative discipline.  In the past few weeks, however, I have discovered that there is a way for me to meld photography and mandalas.  The above image is a mandala made from a photo that I took of some flowers on our patio.  I love the image itself, but even more so, I love that it becomes a jumping off point for meditation.  What is this image saying to me?  How is the Creator speaking through it to me?  I am looking forward to continuing my experimentation with turning my photographs into mandalas.

While playing tonight, or is that praying?  Whatever I was doing, I also created this image.  To me it looks like an illuminated "E" and makes me think of my baby, E3 :-)

241/365-2 Distinctive

"Behind the Scenes"

These tiny flowers have remained bright and cheerful though the hot summer and a bit of neglect.  I'm not sure what they are, but I have grown quite fond of them this summer.  For this image, I decided to take a look at the stems rather than the blooms.  The "furry" green stems are really quite beautiful especially with the late evening sun illuminating them.

Friday, August 29, 2014

240/365-2 A Backpack

'A Cooler Backpack"

I should learn to read ahead.  Since I used a photo of my own backpack earlier in the week for another prompt, I was stuck today when the prompt actually was "a backpack."  Throughout my day at school, I snapped several photos around campus with my phone, most of the people I did not know so I was a little leery of posting those photos.  As it turns out, that didn't matter; my favorite photo of the day was of someone I know and love so I was able to ask permission.  And, she has the "coolest" backpack of any that I saw on campus.

Here is Sara again.  She has been the star of my blog this week.  Sara has solved the problem of when you put everything you need in a backpack it becomes too heavy to carry.  She uses a rolling cooler for her school stuff.  It works perfectly!  The cooler holds more than any backpack and it rolls right along behind saving her back and shoulders.  (Can you tell that this is the voice of someone who carries way too much in her backpack?)

Sara is my last student of the week.  Too bad that cooler doesn't have some end of the week "refreshment" in it.  Just kidding, Sara!  Well, actually it does.  Yesterday it had delicious chocolate that she brought for me.

I am blessed to be surrounded by all kinds of caring, creative, and just plain awesome people!

239/365-2 2 Of A Kind

"Hermits Unite!"

The "Hermits Unite!" motto has been ours since we got married.  Though we laugh at it now, it represents some difficult choices that we made five years ago.  I am happy to say that I have never doubted those choices.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

238/365-2 Making Plans

"Planning for Class"

I have completed my first week of the semester - one down, fifteen to go.  I shouldn't say it like that because it makes it sound like I only looking to the end and that is not the case at all.  I have great students.  Everyone seems so excited to be in class, looking forward to what the semester has to offer, and what they will accomplish.  Even my 7:30 am class has been full of energy.

My course load is quite heavy, seven different classes and six private composition students.  Because many of my classes are small, I don't have a lot of students, but a class prep is a class prep.  It doesn't matter whether you are teaching five students or five hundred; you still have to prepare for the class.  I am teaching one class that I haven't taught in a long time and it was added to my load late in the game, so I am still in the planning stages with it.  Feeling that I am only one class period ahead of students is not a comfortable place for me  Much of the upcoming three-day weekend  will be spent trying to get my semester outline for this course done.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

237/365-2 First Day Tradition

'Back to School"

I can honestly say that I am glad to be back at school.  Things have been busy, crazy, chaotic, but all in a good way.  I do much better with all aspects of my life when my days are more structured.  

The only thing that I don't like about being back at work is having to be "dressed" every day.  I am already missing the flip-flops and T-shirts.  The first thing to go at the end of the day is the "real" shoes.  My feet are feeling a bit confined.  They'll adjust.  Or, I'll give up and wear tennis shoes to school.  I'm pretty sure that I'll garner due respect from my students if I wear my red Converse to class one of these days.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

236/365-2 August Where I Stand

"Watermelon World"

To me, watermelon is the epitome of perfection.  It is what makes me look forward to the scorching hot Texas summers.  I fear that this may be one of the last good ones for this season.  The good news in that is that fall is just around the corner.  With that in mind, I plan to savor every chunk of this, possibly the last melon of the summer of 2014.

Today's photo of "Where I Stand" specifically asked us to pay attention to the fruits and veggies in our world.

235/365-2 August Portrait

"Double Header"

For the first time since 1992, no one our house needs back to school clothes.  (Weber and I consider it back to work clothes.)  And now, both of the girls are working.  That didn't keep us from shopping, though.  The girls and I had a nice afternoon at the mall.  We managed to find some pretty good deals!  They honored me with a very quick photo shoot when we got back to the house.

"Erin in August"

"Brooke in August"

Can you tell which one was the more willing participant.

I also had the opportunity to take some photos of one of my favorite people, a student who has also become a very good friend.    

"Sara and Max"

Max, a sheltie rescue, has just joined their family.

Friday, August 22, 2014

234/365-2 Green

"Dad's Cactus"

My pictures and prompts for the last few days are all jumbled up.  I love the cactus picture that I took yesterday so I am using it here for my response to today's "green" prompt, despite the fact that it has a n abundance of blue.  I probably should have swapped yesterday's and today's images, but I don't look ahead at the prompts so I didn't realize the proximity of these two.

I did, however, take a "green" photo.  It does absolutely nothing for me.

And because it does so little for me, I decided to play with it as well.

This is even less appealing!.

It looks like the result of a Monster energy drink having had an extremely unfortunate encounter with  cheap liquor.

But it is green.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

233/365-2 Serene

"Life and Beyond"

My head has been in a hundred different places today and none of them was serene.   I spent the morning reconstructing the document that I lost yesterday because of a hard drive issue and I had a series of phone calls to make and take that consumed this afternoon.  Honestly, I was not the least bit inspired, but after my disappointment with yesterday's photo, I managed a slight attitude adjustment and began looking for serenity in the midst of what feels like chaos,  not only in a feeling, but in an image.

What caught my attention was a cactus.  It's the "baby" of one of my dad's cacti.  I brought home with me when we visited in June.  I'm sure TSA had a good laugh at the cactus in the pocket of my backpack.  It certainly did not contain more than three ounces of liquid.  It joined a couple other small cacti, ones that we already had, in a planter whose sand is accented with blue glass beads.  At the time I was taking the photos, I did not even pay attention to the stones.  It was view of the top of the cactus with what looks like spokes radiating out from its center.  

And, it too, is producing quite a number of offspring.

I think that the cactus is absolutely beautiful; however, its beauty does not elicit a feeling of serenity.  Still, I knew it had to be today's picture.  How do you look at all of the prickly needles on this and find any sense of peace or calm?

Earlier in the weak, a couple of friends posted instructions for creating an orb in Photoshop.  Just for fun, I decided to try it with my cactus picture.  Before creating the orb, I did crop the above picture square.  The results with the manipulations were quite fascinating, but still in no way seemed to me to satisfy the daily prompt.

Deep down, I had this nagging feeling that I had been led to this image.  It was not a desperate attempt to just get it done.  I was supposed to take this shot.  I stared at it for several minutes trying to make sense of it.  Is it the color?  No.  Green is associated with life and health.  Blue is the color most often related to peace and calm.  That is why I am so drawn to the color blue.  And then it hit me...

All of the green does indeed represent life with all of its prickly, painful places.  At the top, in what looks like a vortex pulling to the inside, is the small patch of blue, the peace and calm that come after we have endured all the difficulties of this life.  It represents the most serene of all places.

And then there is the circle...

I suspect that this image still has more to say to me.

232/365-2 The Number 5

"One Short"

Yesterday was not a good day.  The hard drive on my computer decided that it was more work for it.  Unfortunately for me, this happened in the midst of saving a huge document that I was working on for school.  On the positive side, Weber was able to retrieve most of the document and the rest I was able to reconstruct fairly easily today.

I also had another course added to my load.  I am denying that for the time being...maybe until Saturday.

I ended up with five instead of six of Weber's socks when I folded laundry.

Thank goodness days are only twenty four hours.  This one went on about twenty three hours too long.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

231/365-2 Unnecessary

"No Grazing"

Now that I have grazed myself through summer, it is time to get rid of the unnecessary and unwanted pounds that I acquired during the past few months.  It is always easier for me to lose weight during the school year because my days are much more structured.  We'll see if I can reach my fall semester goal...just in time for Christmas cookies!  


This Picasso quote was the first thing that came to mind when I read today's prompt.  I had no vision of what to photograph, but I was inspired by these words.  I decided that I "needed" to take the other photo as evidence of my commitment to lose some weight.  After doing that, however, the quote was still swimming around in my head.  I had to do something with it.  Thus was born the above photo.

Monday, August 18, 2014

230/365-2 Begins With "C"

'C is for Cuddle"

A nice way to end the first day back to school...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

229/365-2 Eye Level

"Think Big!

Your perception is your reality so think big!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

228/365-2 Looking From the Outside

"Dog Envy"

Frankie is an indoor cat.  The only time she goes outside is when she is invited to sit on one of our laps out on the back patio.  Most of the time she is perfectly content being an inside cat.  She has her own comfy chair and the food and water are plentiful.  Every now and then, particularly when the dogs are outside, she looks a little unhappy about not being outdoors with them.  Today was was perched in the ding room window watching the lizards play on the front porch.  This is the look that she gave me when I went outside to take her photo - and unintentionally scared away her entertainment. 

I'm a bit surprised by how orange she looks here.  It seems that she continues to get darker and darker.

Friday, August 15, 2014

227/365-2 On the Phone

"Phone Photography"

Recently I have probably spent more time taking and editing photos with my phone than I have talking or even texting.  Today was a good day to document my new love affair with my phone's camera thanks to The Phone Photography Project that I have been involved with over the last month.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

226/365-2 Favorite Food

"Be Fruitful"

My problem is that food in general is a favorite!  As long as there are no mushrooms, olives, or shellfish I will eat it.  Coming up with a "favorite" food, therefore, was difficult for me.  After some serious thought, I finally came to the conclusion that if I had a list of favorite foods, fruit would be at the top.  Really...fruit...not chocolate.  If I look at the possibilities reasonably, i realize that fruit serves many purposes; it quenches my thirst, fills me up when I'm hungry, and, if I think about it before chocolate, it has the ability to satisfy my wicked sweet tooth.  Right now, the choices in tasty fruits are nearly unlimited.  I will miss all the choices come winter. Thankfully, the choices in tasty chocolate are also unlimited!

225/365-2 Homegrown


First of all, I am not doing well with daily posts here.  I think that I have too many irons in the fire right at the moment... and school hasn't even started yet.   I am still taking my daly photos as well as  finishing up the phone photography class (where I am also two days behind) and I have just started another online photography class.  In addition, regular choir rehearsals started last evening.  

Weber goes back to school on Monday.  We have been finishing up some summertime  "have to's", like eye doctor appointments and so on.Despite having things that could have and probably should have been done, we decided to have a "date day" in downtown Dallas yesterday.  We often go downtown to the arts district for specific performances, but we have not gone just to explore intentionally our city. 

I have been to the Sixth Floor Museum, but I had never seen the JFK memorial.  I also had no idea that there are so many eateries open during the week.  The one specific thing that we wanted to do was visit the chapel at Thanksgiving Square.  As luck would have it, the chapel was closed for maintenance yesterday.  It would have been nice if that had been posted on their website, which I did check before we left.  Though I was disappointed with this closing, we still had a delightful day and have already decided that we will try to visit again on some Saturday later in the fall.

We did visit St. Jude Chapel, a small but beautiful urban place of worship nestled between the office buildings of downtown Dallas.  It is a calm and quiet repute from the business of the downtown area. Mass is said over the noontime lunch hour and then the sanctuary is open for personal prayer.  The sanctuary is surrounded by stained glass windows of the Stations of the Cross.   This is definitely a downtown Dallas treasure.

None of this, including the photo above, has much of anything to do with "homegrown", the prompt of the day.  We have no garden this year because we knew that we were going to be traveling most of the summer and a garden would not have been properly tended; so, nothing homegrown to photograph.  I did like the way these dainty flowers looked against the mirrored downtown office building in the background.

I will try to to better with daily posts.  Thanks for your understanding and continued support.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

224/365-2 Resilient

"Lone Survivor"

Because of all the traveling that we knew we would be doing this summer, we did not plant anything this year.  Back in the spring, however, we did buy a basket of color for the patio.  It was full of pretty yellow, blue and red blooms.  I'm sad to say that all that is left id this lone survivor.

Monday, August 11, 2014

223/365-2 Trails

"Open Heart"

Today was a day of not much artistry but a great deal of learning.  The trails referred to in today's prompt are light trails.  We have all seen such images, the ones where the cars and trucks on the highway are reduced to streaks of red and white lights.  I have never photographed light trails before, I just wasn't sure where to go to try.  Most of the ideas that I had turned out to be poor choices of location.  I can say that I was successful with the technical aspects of photographing light trails.  From am artistic perspective, the location I chose was boring and there was not a lot of traffic so the photo was rather blah.

I then attempted something else new, light painting.  This was done with a flashlight and a long exposure.  Again,  I was success flu the technical elements of the process.  The photo itself is kind of "meh" as my girls would say.  It was made a little more interesting by adding a background texture and the text.

I am looking forward to trying both of these techniques again.  I may be willing to go stand on an overpass of a busy highway to capture the light trails now that I know how to do it.

222/365-2 On the Brink

"Teetering Troll"
August 10, 2014

It has been a long time since these trolls have been out in public.  Over the weekend we cleaned out the garage, etc. at the house in Denton.  I brought home with me all of the girls' toys that I saved.  I am not one of those mothers that saved every single thing, only those that have weathered the test of time.  When I got these out for the day's photograph Brooke remembered playing with them and we had a little stroll together down memory lane.

I will admit that I had fun playing with this guys as I tried to figure out how best to capture the idea of "on the brink."  It is hard to beat the entertainment created by balancing tessellating trolls atop one another!  

Perhaps I need a real life!

I also photographed the super moon Sunday night.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

221/365-2 Like A Painting


Today's prompt had more to do with processing of a photo than anything else.  The goal was to take a photo and process it in such a way that it looked like a painting rather than a photograph.  Just what I needed...another step to consume yet more time!  Oh my, the time that can be spent exploring the possibilities with this type of conversion!

This is a photo that I took on the last evening that we were in Delaware.  (I had other plans for today's photo, but time got away from me.  That's another story.)  The original photo of the dock at the Lewes-Cape May ferry terminal was taken with my phone and was then converted to this watercolor image using a phone app.  I love the layers and the lines in this image.  Obviously they were there in the original photo, but something about the added texture of the watercolor effect amplifies them.

I have been using my phone for my daily photos over the last month while my DSLR has been away for repairs.  I intentionally signed up for an iPhonography class during this time to help ease the pain of not having my big camera.  I've enjoyed the class much more than I thought I would.  I have learned some tips for using the iPhone's resident camera more successfully as well as having been been introduced to several new and entertaining iPhone apps.  It is amazing how much money you can spend 99 cents at a time...and I haven't even purchased all that have been suggested.

Below is the photo for yesterday's phone iPhonography course.  The goal here was geared toward fill the frame.  My trusty red Converse came to my rescue once again!  Every bit of this photo was done with my phone - the photo, the processing, the frame, and the text.

Lots of fun!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

219/365-2 Summertime Beverage

"Every Little Drop"

Today was one of those days where, in my head, I could see clearly the shot that I wanted.  This isn't it.  Unfortunately the means to getting that shot was not nearly as clear to me.  So this is what there is.  

218/365-2 Just Enough

"On the Way Home"

I am behind here.  This is the photo for Wednesday, August 6th.  We had an adventure traveling home from Delaware to Dallas yesterday.  It was all good, but we got home very late.  Blueper B had quite a day.  He wrote about our travels on his blog yesterday.  I guess I spent too much time helping him and not enough time on my own writing.

This is an image of Weber and Blueper as we were leaving Salisbury.  I like the fact that I can see just enough of Weber's hat and computer bag strap to know that it is him.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

217/365-2 Concentration

"Bird on the Bay"

I'm sure this guy/gal is concentrating on something.

Sometimes you just have to go with what you've got.

Monday, August 4, 2014

216/365-2 Flora Macro

"Just A Flower"

After a busy weekend of picture taking I took it easy today.  Weber and I went for an evening walk and I just snapped flower photos.  I wish I could say that I shot with intent, but I really didn't.  If the colors caught my eye, I took a photo.

I love the colors and lines in these.

This guy was an added bonus.

A sweet little flower...

That's all.

215/365-2 Hang Ups

There are lots of interpretations of "hang ups."  The first thought that crosses my mind when I see these words is all the weird little idiosyncrasies that I have - the bedspread being perfectly straight, nothing on the kitchen counters, needing to be extremely early for airline flights, having meals that consist of more than one thing... Yeah, I am a little weird, but I am perfectly willing to embrace the quirky person that is me.  All that said, personal hang-ups was not the direction for today's prompt, thank goodness.  The sub-prompts were on a line, clothes, laundry.

I bet you are still wondering what the above photo has to do with any of these things.  Well, it is what I saw today.  The ship contains lots of things on a line and equally as many things hanging.  Another one of my quirky attributes is that I can find/make relationships in places where most people probably think that none exist.  That may be the music theorist in me.  Anything is possible in theory!

This ship is the Kalmar Nykel  ( , a replica of a colonial sailing ship.  Right now it is docked in Lewes, where it will be until early September.  Starting August 5th, it will be taking visitors sailing out in the Delaware Bay.  I am hoping that before we head home, I will have an opportunity to photograph it with all of its sails unfurled.

More appropriate to the intentions of this prompt are the photos below, taken at Fort Delaware on Friday.  I did not use them as my "official" POTD because I am trying to remain faithful to taking the day's photo actually on the designated day.

I had no idea what today's prompt was when I took these photos.  I just remember being struck by the image of this feminine purple dress hanging in this cold harsh environment.  I first noticed it as we were on a guided tour through part of the fort.  The image was so striking to me that I made my way back to it in the pouring rain so that I could take the picture.  The good thing about spending the day with fellow photographers is that they were right there with me, despite the thunder, lightening and rain.

The Kalmar Nykel was that last stop that Weber and I made on an afternoon outing to Cape Henlopen State Park.  We went to the park because I was determined to get as close as I could to the Delaware Breakwater Lighthouse to take some photos.  We managed get just about as close as you can get without being on the water.

We also visited one of the old guard towers that is part of Fort Miles, which is  located in the park.

We wound our way up the multiple levels of spiral stairs to the top of this tower.  I'm sure the view was quite beautiful; I barely looked.  Open heights are not my thing, even when I am surrounded by seven foot chain link fence.  I stood at the top of the stairs (translation I did not get all the way out to the open deck on top) took a few quick, and not so good, pictures, and then headed back down.  I was much more intrigued by the stairs on the inside than by the view on the outside.  Did I mention  that we were way high up?

The stairs are metal grate and spiral all the way to the top.  The geometry of their construction is so beautiful!

My eye is drawn to all the permutations of the golden ratio that is present in these images.

It was on the way home from the park that we stopped by the ferry terminal to see the Kalmar Nykel.  I must say that it was somewhat disconcerting to see the old sailing vessel at the end of this new pier.

To read more about our adventures at Cape Henlopen State Park, visit the blog of our furry traveling companion Blueper B, our blue and orange furry monster.  I suspect that he will offer you a whole different perspective on the day!