Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summertime, sigh

I really do love the summertime. It's warm, it's humid, and everyone seems more relaxed in general.

This week I'm a bit sad, because my good friend Lori is leaving for Yellowstone on Friday. After having her live with us for the past 10 months or so, I will miss her presence greatly! But, I'm happy for her. She is moving on, after all, to a job I know she'll excel at and in such a beautiful place! Sigh. I'll just have to visit her!

We've been doing fun things in honor of her last week (if not officially calling those things out as "going away, Lori" things)... like our vegetarian barbecue last weekend with grilled pineapple... and eating by a fire on the patio the other night... more reasons I love summer, if they also mean my friend going away soon... we'll do them in her honor when she's gone, too!

I finally edited the photos I took the other day... socks... it was time consuming! And I've realized how little I actually know about my camera, so I pulled out some good o'l books to help me figure a couple of things out. Hopefully the next shoot will produce improved results. I'm not disappointed with the results from this experience... just recognizing the room for improvement :)

That photo experience also helped me realize I'm not as young as I used to be! My knees and back were SORE from a lot of crouching and rising to get camera and subjects into the optimal position. I'm going to bring a stool with me next time to see if it helps... but I may need to re-imagine this "studio" to make sure I don't creak and groan so much after each session.

Also, I will do more yoga.

I have yet to sit down and work on my writing. I think I've become very good at making up excuses for NOT doing it. How I'm ever going to get around to it, I have no idea. I'm sure I'll think of something. I mean, I have to, right?

I'm using the time "well" though, reading more YA literature... and sketching... stretching the imagination...

and I am getting in my hikes usually... and had a paid photo session... so goals are coming together, if not how I envisioned them quite yet. Where would I be if I was not flexible? And now I'm off to practice more creativity and avoidance :) Here's to summertime!

Friday, June 24, 2011

I met a goal today

Well, half a goal at least... I had a paid photo gig this morning. :) I know a woman who needed some product photoing, so I took my tripod and my camera over to her house and she set up a backdrop and had lighting. That was a stroke of luck... I want/need a backdrop and some lighting and perhaps after a few more sessions I will look into that. She sells boot socks for equestrians... so I put socks on dummy legs and got to work photoing... and I think she was pleased, although all I can see are all the things I still don't know about my camera :)

Anyhow... The photos are unedited as yet, so I am not going to share any here. Maybe later... maybe you will want to buy socks from her after you see my pictures! ;) I have a couple pairs... they are comfy!

Ah, so it's been rainy here the past few days. Tag and I have still managed to get out and hike (except for yesterday when the bottom dropped out). The rain has also brought along a few interesting visitors. Here's one:

And now for a nice relaxing weekend with Noah and the prospect of seeing old friends next week!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Thunderstorms on Wednesday

It's almost 11 in the morning and I'm sitting in the dark... yes, you read that right. It's dark here this morning as thunderstorms grumble across the countryside. Lori, Tag and I only got a little bit wet as we ended our morning hike through Town Forest... the rain made the woods more magical, whispering on the trees. Tag was aquiver with excitement as squirrels and chipmunks darted across the path, seeking shelter from the coming storm. And now at home, with the sound of the rain coming through the open windows, it is so peaceful here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I have a sickness. It's called "procrastination". I spend far too much time putting things off, not enough time actually following up on ideas/projects/creations... It's Thursday and I haven't posted at all this week! I have hiked every day... and read books every day... and knitted a little and cooked some... and here are some photos I took when I was in the city on Saturday, before it started raining.


a butterfly net :)

check out these shoes!!!
I'd tell you I love New York City... and I do, I love the vibrancy, the food, the art beat... but I think my favorite part of the City is Central Park... and so I always feel like I'm cheating a bit... saying I love the City... because the Park is sort of... well a park :) if that makes sense.

I'm hoping that in the next few weeks I'll learn something more about what motivates me so that I can move forward... maybe finish a few things.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Peaceful Morning

Heron fishing
I love the mornings. Of course, that is probably because I don't have to get up and go to work every morning. I might avoid them then, mornings. But on my own schedule (or more truthfully, on the cats' schedule) I so enjoy rising while the sun is and listening to the songs of the birds as they greet the new day.

The water is flat on the pond this morning except for the occasional ripple of a giant carp hunting for bugs or for a mate. The heron in the photo I took today has flown to the other side of the water in protest of my presence. We are intruders, the dog and I. But we sit quietly, take in the morning magic.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Summer "To-Do" List (aka Blogfest 2011!)

I've got my mug of coffee. I've got my mood music (this morning it's Ingrid Michaelson and Marie Digby). The laptop is humming. The cats and dog have had breakfast (so as to keep them out of my hair). My goals are listed in a journal on the counter next to me... and I hesitate...

The idea of Blogfest 2011 (as hosted by one Bess Weatherby via her own blog) is for those of us willing participants to list our summer goals (creative/writing/etc.) on our own blogs and find encouragement through forming our own little cyber community. A super awesome idea. I always work better when I voice my goals, thus making myself accountable to reaching them... If I keep my goals to myself, I have no one to disappoint but myself.

You see my dilemma?

I spent a few minutes the other week and put goals down in a journal with Blogfest in mind. As I look at those goals now, I'm a little frightened by the ambitious nature of some/all of them! Can I accomplish ANY of these goals this summer? Hmmm... are you expecting me to accomplish them? Am I expecting myself to accomplish them? If I just don't tell you about them, then we never have to know! I can come back at the end of the summer and list off anything I did accomplish without the added pressure of measuring up to a list... much more free form... surely accountability is overrated... that list is arbitrary anyhow...

Except that... I made that list. I wrote down those goals weeks ago. And if I'm honest I probably already scaled down my expectations before I put those goals on paper... so what would be the point of obliterating my expectations altogether except to give me no reason to fail...

Right on cue, the morning soundtrack offers up my summer anthem :) "Unfold" by Marie Digby. (video and lyrics at the end of this post)... And I find the strength to put those goals out there for you all to see. Here's hoping I accomplish something this summer!

Goals for my summer: Blogfest 2011

  1. More blog posts! Right now I'm at about a post a week and it's mostly autobiographical (i.e. what I did this week). I'd like to up that to at least 2 posts a week. Likely I'll still wax autobiographical, but I would like to spend some time postulating on theories/ideas/current events in at least one of those posts. I'd also like to include at least one new photo for each post (whether or not it is relevant to the post :)).
  2. Finish the first draft of novel #1 and begin re-write... because it will have to be rewritten. I have stalled and I really really really want to get this project off my plate (i.e. in editable form) so that I can just MOVE ON!!!
  3. Outline novel #2 so that it does not become the directionless black hole that its predecessor has become. It's really a good idea. It just needs to be mapped out so that I can take it there.
  4. Submit all or part of novel #2 for a writing workshop to get fine tuning/advice. (this goal may not be accomplished this summer specifically, because the deadlines for workshops are not known...)
  5. Photo at least 2 clients (and by clients I mean people who are not just friends whom I take candid shots of while hanging out) for a portfolio.
  6. Target a photo contest to enter... just for the fun of it.
  7. Hike every day (even as I write this, I know it is overly ambitious, and that some days I will not feel like hiking... and that's ok... but I need to get outside to have a clear head.... so my goal in saying "Hike every day" is to get me to get outside!!! with the dog... and my camera).
  8. Make a new friend. (I moved a year ago and I still don't know anyone in our new hometown. Partly I've become a hermit and needed the time for self-reflection... but... I need to branch out a little, I recognize :).

Now to go about accomplishing these goals. Here's hoping you'll come back and remind me to keep chipping away. Encouragement is underrated!

Going for a hike now :)

What I can remember
Is a lot like water
Trickling down a page
Of the most beautiful colors
I can't quite put my finger
Down on the moment
That I became like this...

You see I am the bravest girl
You will ever come to meet
Yet I shrink down to nothing
At the thought of someone
Really seeing me
I think my heart is wrapped around
And tangled up in winding weeds

But I don't wanna go on living
Being so afraid of showing
Someone else my imperfections
And even though my feet
Are trembling
And every word I say I'm stumbling
I will bare it all, watch me unfold
Unfold, unfold

These hands that I hold
Behind my back are
Bound and broken
By my own doing
And I can't feel
Anything anymore
I need a touch to remind me
I'm still real
Oh no...

I don't wanna go on living
Being so afraid of showing
Someone else my imperfections
And even though my feet
Are trembling
And every word I say I'm stumbling
I will bare it all, watch me unfold
Unfold, unfold, unfold...

Unfold, unfold...

My soul
It's dying to be freed
You see.. I can't live the rest of my life
So guarded
It's dying to be freed
It's up to me to choose
What kind of life I'd lead

'Cause I don't wanna go on living
Being so afraid of showing
Someone else my imperfections
And even though my feet
Are trembling
And every word I say I'm stumbling
I will bare it all... watch me unfold
Unfold, unfold, unfold, unfold...

Unfold, unfold...

I will allow someone to love me...
I will allow someone to love me...
Love me, love me...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blogfest cometh...

It's nearly here! Blogfest 2011!

Are YOU ready? If you're interested, you can find more information here.

In other news, I have been both productive and not productive these past days. Lots of baking in the kitchen (quinoa and lentils... a new favorite dish), reading (I am blasting through Harry Potter again... I know I know, but the LAST movie is coming out soon and, as I have stated earlier, I am a re-reader. I can't help it.), knitting (I finished the sweater and have been practicing cable knitting with a scarf. It's pretty and I like it :))... but little writing, painting, drawing, or photography.
The sweater!
I did manage to pull the camera out this past weekend. Noah and I took a long weekend away in the Catskills for Memorial Day. It was our anniversary trip, a little late since I left for the British Isles the day after our anniversary last month. It was a lovely weekend away, no internet, no cell phones... just quiet... well... it would have been quiet if there hadn't been so many FROGS! It was great listening to them sing all night and all day. I didn't mind.

The cabin we stayed at had ponds and a stream, and lots of grassy areas for Tag to chase his frisbee (and his Noah). Noah read and played his banjo. I took long naps. We were all so relaxed and rested that we didn't want to leave when the time came.
The cabin

the dock


Herding that pesky Noah back home

Banjo time!

Back on the home front, I've got a few things growing :) Here are some pictures of the back yard this season... cucumbers and tomatoes, wildflowers sprouting under the bird feeder, and a dragonfly. It's shaping up to be a lovely summer.

Cucumbers sprouting!

Tomatoes flowering!

Those are wildflowers under the bird feeder, not weeds!

I'm almost through building this hutch to go over my tomato plants and protect them from the pesky squirrels.