Sunday, April 10, 2016

10 on 10 :: April

"Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems."  

-  Rainer Maria Rilke

In late December of last year I chose the word "today" as my word of intention for 2016.  My thoughts behind choosing this word were that I wanted to focus on the here and now; to stop beating myself up over yesterday and stop wringing my hands over tomorrow.  I know I am not alone in these thoughts or the self defeating practice of worry. I think it is fairly universal human response but it seems that women especially have trouble setting these thoughts/practices free. Now please understand this is certainly not my area of expertise, just conclusions I've come to after many years of observation, conversation, and personal experience with women of all ages. We worry. I worry. Far. Too. Much. It's not healthy. It's not productive. It IS destructive. So, in light of that I've tried to make a conscious effort to focus on the present as much as possible since January in order to break the anxiety-attack-producing, worrying-about-everything cycle in which I find myself.  And, as silly as it may seem part of that conscious effort has been to intentionally photograph the color pink.

Anyone who truly knows me, knows that pink is my favorite color. But not just any pink. A certain raspberry, light and airy, cheery pink.  I don't come across it often but when I do I try to make a point of photographing it. However, as I rarely find that perfect pink, I find that any rosy hue will do for my "make today ridiculously amazing" project. This month I'm sharing some of my favorites from the past month. I hope these make you as happy as they make me!

This is from my archives but just looking at my now 12 year old's 8 year old feet in her cute sparkly shoes makes me happy! 

I know I don't have 10 images this month but I hope the 9 I have include will bring a smile to your face! Please continue on and visit Krisitna's beautiful blog. You won't be disappointed. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

One Image Wednesday

~Omar Khayyam

One single image. A moment to ponder; a brief moment to celebrate TODAY. 

10 on 10 :: February

"The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within." 

-  William C. Bryant

I don't know about you, but I'm finding it hard to believe that it's already February. The 8 weeks from Christmas to the end of this month are a whirlwind of birthdays and holidays for our family: four of our children celebrate another trip around the sun as does my father in law. Then add in Christmas, New Year's, Twelfth Night, and Valentine's Day and it becomes a gift-giving, celebratory-food eating, waist-enlarging two month span of time. And you know what?  I wouldn't trade it at all. It's part of what makes our family experience uniquely ours! 

For this month's edition of the 10 on 10 blog loop (from which I've been woefully absent for much of this past sincerest apologies...I put aside my on-line time for real-time with my family...I'm sure you understand) I invite you to our early Valentine's Day teatime. Please pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup, imagine the strains of Mozart and Vivaldi in the background, and settle in for a little respite from your day. 

My sweet neighbor gave my girls these frosted brownies (Little Debbie brand). She had no idea how perfect they were!
The teapot was a gift from my mother in law. She has quite the funny story about how she acquired it involving a church silent auction, her pastor's wife and person determined to out bid her!  
Vintage Valentine's and sweet sentiments.

My favorite teacup, my grandmother's pink depression glass plates and cups, pink lemonade and raspberry tea...a perfect pink combination!

Gus just couldn't help himself! He really does think he's a person.

Be Mine?
I really do love Valentine's Day...perhaps it's because of all the pink! This is just little corner of our Valentine's Day Message Center. 
This is from my photo archives, but the message is timeless.

Who does't love ranunculus, especially in these colors? (another from my photo library)

And my wish for you all: that you enjoy a little love in your life!

I hope you've enjoyed this little glimpse into our Valentine's themed teatime. Please continue on to Trine's beautiful blog and enjoy February's edition of the 10 on 10 blog hop!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Still life with a story

beautiful breadboards by We Are Caribou

My husband and I have been a on a 2+ year journey to weed-out, pare-down, dispose-of a good deal of our belongings. The idea that less is more truly resonates with both us. It's not easy, especially after 23 years of marriage and 5 kids. We have a lot of stuff. But, this paring down  sometimes seems at odds with my love of still life photography. One NEEDS stuff to use as props in order to create those beautiful images. So, I made up my mind that any prop I acquired HAD to be functional as well as photographic. However, this is not always the easiest thing to accomplish. Many times I've fallen in love with an item (or rediscovered an item I already possessed) that doesn't really have a function other than to look pretty on a shelf. 

All was going well until I saw a beautiful breadboard featured in one of Kim Klaassen's photos on Instagram. Oh my!  I had been wanting a breadboard with a bit of character for a long time but never found least not in my price range. So, I followed the link Kim posted to the Instagram page of Lois Jantz, proprietor of We Are Caribou breadboards. I loved her breadboards and ordered one a larger one for use as a prop and a small one to use as a prop and for use with food. 

While looking at her beautiful IG feed I noticed that there were a fair number of images of beautiful, nearly-white labrador retriever pups and each of the images was hash tagged with #whitevelvetlabs. Intrigued, I did what any modern woman does: I Googled the name! And wouldn't you know it...Lois also breeds English Labrador dogs AND she had puppies available.

My husband has wanted an English Lab puppy for himself for quite some time. He enjoys the quieter pursuits of life (think sketching, photography and fly fishing) and wanted a companion dog he could bring along on his adventures. Gus the wonder pup, being a gregarious, rather loud beagle is not quite the quiet companion dog my husband was looking for.  I showed the puppy pictures to my husband but he didn't seem terribly interested. At least that's what I thought. I realized he was interested after he started coming up with puppy names! I contacted Lois through her website a few days later and she called me back...from Manitoba, Canada! We spoke for nearly 45v minutes talking about all kinds of things, and sometimes even puppies. By the end of that call I knew I was getting one of her pups for my husband. 

"Finn" arrived exactly one week after that phone call!  What started out as my purchasing a breadboard (or two) ended with me getting the breadboards AND a puppy! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Something to say

(gratuitous pretty picture...just because)

I started blogging back in 2003. Yes, 12 years ago. Back then I was much more consistent and I actually felt I had something to say. But about 3 years into my blogging life I hit a snag. A blogging stalker type snag. It really freaked me out to put it mildly. Apparently a woman whose young daughter had gone missing over 35 years ago was searching everywhere and anywhere for any lead to her daughter's whereabouts. Somehow she stumbled across my blog that was hosted on a semi-private homeschooling blog site and felt that I might be her daughter. It absolutely broke my heart to learn of her story but it was THE WAY in which I learned of her story that left an indelible mark on my online presence. Long story short, members of an online "sleuth" forum started to "investigate" me as possibly being the missing girl. They found my address and my phone number (public records are great for that even though I never used my name or any personal details) and intended to contact me directly. Instead, after I posted a letter to the mom expressing sympathy for her loss and indicating I was not her daughter things turned very nasty. Threats were made against me on the forum and I was the focus of their not-so-kind conversation for many, many days. Finally, after many weeks of being a hot topic of conversation on the "sleuth" forum things died down. I was never contacted and interest in me faded away.  However, the damage was done; I was terribly afraid to post anything online. Since then my presence on my various blogs (I've had several since) has been very inconsistent and at times nearly nonexistent.

Here, in this space, I try to stay away from the touchy-feely, vulnerable type posts. I've made "Sweet-Life" a place for me to post my photography and show little glimpses of my life. I keep it as reasonably anonymous as I can. I don't post my children's names and I try to keep images of my family to a minimum.  I am vague about where I live and I never geo-tag my images. I play it safe. I rarely show up.

But I've been feeling a tug at my heart to change that a bit.

I'm beginning to think that I need connect more with friends and family in an avenue other than Instagram. The majority of my "online" life is spent on IG. I love IG! I've made connections with other photographers and creatives there that I NEVER would have made had I stuck with just blogging. I can't tell you how much I am encouraged by the supportive community. Some of my IG friends are friends in real life and some are online friends and some are both but that doesn't matter. I am inspired and blessed by them all.  But it is hard to get to know your friends when it's just posting a picture and a caption. It's hard to build relationships via IG comments, and depending on how many folks one follows, it can be nearly impossible. Comments get missed. Replies aren't made. Feelings might get hurt. Fortunately, the IG community is such a forgiving bunch that I've never seen or heard of anyone suffering backlash for not replying to a comment.

I am hoping you'll join me here. I can't promise to write a certain number of posts each week or even each month.  I still won't use my children's names and I still won't post many pictures of them (they do deserve their own privacy after all.)  But I can promise that when I post I will show up. I will be the real me. Because I believe I still have something to say.