Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

P1090345.JPG Today, I will bid a final goodbye to my Uncle Ed, so I will not be posting a normal Friday’s Fresh Five! Instead, I would like to share a memory of him. Being an engineer, my Uncle Ed was an intelligent and clever man, but it was his big heart and gentle soul that endeared him to so many. In three days, my Uncle Ed would have celebrated his 94th birthday. A remarkable age for a remarkable man. I cherish the fond memories I have of him and of the many childhood days spent visiting with him and his family.

The Dark Room

As a child, the thought of entering a dark and creepy space, filled with unimaginable things, always made my pulse race and my stomach churn. Possessing a wild imagination, unfamiliar dark spaces scared the daylights out of me. Then one day, during one of my summer visits to my Uncle Ed and his family, something happened.

The day was sunny and looking to be a fun one when my cousin Bobbie called out, “Come on! Let’s go down there.” I quickly replied, “No, I don’t want to!” Excitedly, she said, “I want to show you something and it’s down there!” Fearfully, I exclaimed, “I don’t want to see it!” Bobbie persisted and before I knew it, she opened the door and we were leaving the sunny fun day behind.

I followed her down narrow wooden stairs and willed my legs to cooperate, so that I wouldn’t stumble and fall headlong into the dank stale air and the oncoming darkness. My heart beat like a metronome set on high by the time we reached the bottom step. While my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I sensed movement to my right and smelled something very strong and acrid. “What is it Bobbie?” I whispered. “I’ll show you,” she replied calmly. “I’m never going to visit her again!” I thought to myself as she nudged me forward. As she guided me closer to the source of the movement, I noticed an eerie light. What I finally saw not only altered my impression of that particular dark space, but also introduced me to something I would grow to love. Standing yards ahead of me was my Uncle Ed. He was busy moving things from tray to tray. As I stepped closer, he explained to me that he was developing black and white photographs. I stood mesmerized, while watching familiar faces slowly come into being. To a young girl, it looked like magic.

That day was the beginning of my lifelong fascination with photography. And, knowing that Uncle Ed created magic within the confines of that basement, I no longer felt afraid to go down into the “darkroom.” 

Thank you Uncle Ed. I am forever grateful to you for introducing me to the magic of photography and for being in my life. I’ll miss you.




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May 22, 2015 EditionEven though she can’t walk yet, my granddaughter Charlotte loves to play fetch with me. You know the game – baby throws objects from the high chair and you fetch them. After bending over for the umpteenth time, I looked up to see Charlotte grinning at me with a bit of cracker stuck between her eyes. In that moment, as I watched her search her tray for the missing piece of cracker, I realized more than ever that I want to live to be a ripe old age. Then Charlotte and I can share as many silly moments together as possible.

#1 – If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again
Whether you’re raising young children now or have grown-up children, you might relate to the sentiment expressed in this poem by Diana Loomans: "If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again"

#2 – Child’s Play For Adults
33 Ways to Be Childlike Today Why should kids have all the fun? Read 33 Ways to Be Childlike Today and select a few things from the list to do. Reread one of your favorite childhood books, jump rope, be creative, sit cross-legged, or make a spontaneous playdate with friends. Sound like fun?

#3 – New Life For Toys
Upcycling Toys The author of 21 Ideas for Upcycling Kid’s Toys places the blame for massive toy accumulation on grandparents. Hardly a true statement, but toy accumulation can be a problem in many households. The article presents clever ways to transform toys into objects with new uses. If upcycling doesn’t appeal to you, check out Eco-Friendly Disposal of Kids’ Toys and Electronics for helpful suggestions.

#4 – Kids’ Play Around the Globe
30 Amazing Photos of Kids Playing Around the World The magic of child’s play is captured in the collection of 30 Amazing Photos of Kids Playing Around the Globe.

#5 – Connecting the Dots
“Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation.”
Lois Wyse

Now go and spread joy!

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December 5, 2014 Edition While Charlotte sleeps peacefully in my arms, her tiny hand holds onto the drawstring of my sweatshirt. With this sweet little gesture, she might as well be holding onto my heartstrings. Heartstrings connect all of us together. Throughout the year and particularly during this holiday season, reach out to others and those less fortunate. Connecting heartstrings multiplies everyone’s joy.

#1 – Pieces of Wisdom
11 Pieces of Wisdom Certain to touch your heart are these 11 Pieces of Wisdom. With the accompanying back stories, this collection of quotes and sayings shows how people were inspired to alter their paths and change their lives.

#2 – It’s a Wrap
Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas
With 24 Cute And Incredibly Useful Gift Wrap DIYs you’re sure to find an idea that touches your creative side. Ideas range from printing your own fabric to making ribbons out of balloons.

#3 – What If The Lights Went Out?
What If the Lights Went Out? As I drove through the dark streets of my neighborhood after a sudden power failure, I wondered what major cities would look like without lights. Serendipitously, I came across this series of photographs of What Cities Would Look Like If We Turned Off The Lights. French photographer Thierry Cohen attempts to remind people “of the starry universe that surrounds them, even if they can’t always see it.” Referring to a typical city resident, he says, “To show him stars is to help him dream again.”

#4 – Tile Game
Tile Game Sometimes when I have a hard time falling asleep, I play computer games. When my eyes are tired, I become sleepy. Here’s a tile game that I just discovered. The deceptively easy goal is to move letters around in a grid until you get a letter K. Duplicate letters in proximity to each other can be combined to advance you to the next letter, but beware of the grid slowly filling up. Piece of cake? Not so. It takes a fair amount of strategy.

#5 – Give and Receive
“What comes from the heart, touches the heart.”
Don Sibet

Now go and spread joy!

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Dew Drops on Autumn Leaves Scan the sky and search the ground during autumn walks. Birds flying through crisp blue skies make their way south. Golden sunlight filters through trees, highlighting the angles of thinning branches. Falling leaves create gold, orange, and crimson-colored mosaics on streets and gardens. Rain drops cling to well-positioned surfaces and fresh air flows all around. Don’t miss one bit of this season’s show.

#1 – Gathering Words

While combing through a pile of books at a used book store, I came across a copy of Frederick by Leo Lionni. I already own a copy of this book, but because it’s a favorite of mine, I purchased it. My original copy of Frederick sits on a shelf with the books I will read to my grandchildren. The recently-purchased copy sits alongside my Greek worry beads and my “If I Only Had a Brain” music box. These three items form my writer’s block trinity. If you are looking for a gift for a child or any “word-gatherer,” I highly recommend this book.

It’s the story of a little field mouse named Frederick who gathers up supplies for winter in a different manner than the other mice. Rather than physically hauling scraps of food, Frederick gathers and stores words. For when cold winter days come and food runs out, Frederick uses his words to warm the little mice and renew their spirits. Bruno Bettelheim says in a review of this book, “The fable of Frederick, who is the dreamer among the little field mice, suggests the psychological truth that when we are in dire need, it is our dreams of happier times which alone can sustain us . . . A story about the glory of the human spirit.”

#2 – Describing Feelings
When children become frustrated and act out, adults will often say to them, “Use your words.” Whether you are a parent trying to help your child work out their frustrations, a writer describing a character’s emotions, or a person just trying to articulate what he feels, finding the exact words to use can be difficult. Take a look at This Vocabulary Wheel and chart and let them help you better define your feelings.Words to Describe Your FeelingsWords That Describe Emotions

#3 – Three-Ingredient Recipes
33 Three-Ingredient Recipes If making a Creamsicle Cake that requires only three ingredients sounds like a winning recipe to you, you might want to check out the other 3-ingredient recipes from 33 Genius Three Ingredients Recipes That Will Change Your Life.

#4 – Best of October

National Geographic: Best of October Photos

Photograph by Christian Spencer

The National Geographic Photo Contest ended in October. Photographers captured and submitted stunning images from around the world. Feast your eyes on some of the best submissions in Photo of the Day: Best of October.

#5 – Autumn Persuasion
“Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn—that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness—that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.”
Jane Austen, Persuasion

Go now and spread joy!

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Flower with Bee During the time it took my camera lens to focus on a vermilion-colored blossom, a bee landed on it, dove into the center headfirst, and then flew off. Hurriedly, I pressed the shutter button. “Did I get the shot or not,” I wondered. On playback, I was pretty happy about getting a decent photo of the flower, but capturing the image of the bee made me even happier. Happiness comes into our lives in different degrees. Grab and appreciate every bit you can get.

#1 – The Science of Happiness
Called “An Experiment in Gratitude,” this video of a project from SoulPancake depicts the relationship between expressing gratitude and feeling happy.

#2 – Genius Ideas
Genius Decorating Ideas Discovering clever new ideas, especially those that involve upcycling, makes me happy. Check out these “31 Genius Ideas For Reimagining Home Decor.” It may be too late for me to build a Lego wall for my kids, but there’s still time to do so for my grandkids!

#3 – Just Peachy
Crab Salad With Peaches and AvocadosMaking homemade peach ice cream is a fun summertime tradition for my family. But after drooling over 62 Fresh Summer Peach Recipes, I’m going to make my family even happier. I’m shaking up my peach recipe repertoire. How does a Crab Salad with Peaches and Avocados sound to you?

#4 – Quiet, Please!
10 Most Beautiful Places to Read Books If you love to find quiet places to read, you’ll appreciate the Top 10 Most Beautiful Places to Read Books. They include both quaint and impressive libraries from around the world.

#5 – Your Choice
“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Go now and spread joy!

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Acorn Woodpecker “Splish, splash, I was takin’ a bath . . .” sings an Acorn Woodpecker as he splashes around in the top tier of my backyard fountain. Goldfinches stop short of landing on the rim once they eye the big fellow dominating the cool water. Oblivious to other approaching birds, the woodpecker takes a leisurely bath, shaking and lifting his wings periodically. During the drought, my little fountain has become a center of much activity. Small and large birds, butterflies and other insects all make use of the fountain. For their sake, I continue to run it during these times of water conservation. Little water is wasted, as it uses a recirculating pump and is set on a timer. More importantly, my husband adds only bird-safe algaecide to the water. I am ever cognizant that the plants in my garden are not the only living things struggling to survive during the drought.

#1 – Through His Eyes
Photos by Trey Ratcliff Whether it’s your people-watching fix, your travel-itch, your appreciation of nature, or your love of photography, you’re bound to find a photograph in this portfolio that mesmerizes you. Take your time as you scroll through the textural and color-rich photographs taken from around the world by photographer, artist, writer and adventurer Trey Ratcliff.

#2 – Unflabby People
The 10 Habits of Highly Unflabby People GQ Magazine’s article on The 10 Habits of Highly Unflabby People is a good reminder about how the “little things” add up. If you follow the author’s tips, you could potentially save 10,142 calories a week!

#3 – Nailed It!
Baking Projects From Pinterest That Went Hilariously Wrong We all do it. We all see something on the Internet or in a magazine and say, “That doesn’t look too hard to make.” I’m not going to lie, looking through the photos of Baking Projects From Pinterest That Went Hilariously Wrong made me chuckle. As a tester of recipes for this blog, I’ve had my fair share of creative disasters.

#4 – Tips, Tricks, and Hacks
Life Hacks Imagine 466 pages of life hacks for you to investigate. Some of them are very intriguing as well as clever. LifeTricks is an online community that allows people to post “tricks, tips and life hacks for absolutely everything!”

#5 – Do More
“Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.”
― William Arthur Ward

Go now and spread joy!

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Pipevine Swallowtail Pupae Living to evolve and evolving to live, a butterfly’s short life is one of purposeful change. From egg to caterpillar to pupa to adult, the butterfly develops through a process of metamorphosis. The Greek word metamorphosis means to transform or to change shape. How is your metamorphosis going? Are you a butterfly, yet?

#1 – Who’s Got the Button?
Augusto Esquivel's Button Art Augusto Esquivel clearly has a button and, in fact, he has millions of them. Using sewing buttons and monofilament, this Miami-based artist transforms the function and appearance of buttons into three-dimensional sculptures and portraits. In his own words, I realize how insignificant and small a simple sewing button can be as it lays in my grandmother’s sewing box, but at the same time how unique and precious it can become as part of a work of art. Like an atom in a molecule, each button serves and shapes the whole. Click here to go to his website and then click on a year to see button pieces completed that year.

#2  – Work It Out
Hit the Gym Motivations Need a little motivation to exercise and change your body? Here’s All the Motivation You Need to Hit the Gym from the Daily Zen List. If you don’t belong to a gym, don’t let that stop you from exercising. Open your front door and just start walking!

#3 – Food With A View
22 Incredible Restaurants with Insane Views Transform your dining experience with a visit to one of the restaurants listed in 22 Incredible Restaurants With Insane Views. If you could travel to any one of these restaurants in the world tomorrow, which one would you choose?

#4 – Make It a Beautiful Day in Your Neighborhood
If anyone tried to change the world for the better, Fred Rogers, host of the children’s television program Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, did. Themes of self-acceptance, acceptance of differences, grace, and kindness resonated with both children and adults. Watch this old, but inspiring 5-minute video as Mr. Rogers accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award.

#5 – Change
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Wayne Dyer

Now go and spread joy!

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