2017 Reflections

Week 27 - Summer

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” 

― Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay


As I take time out to reflect on 2017, I cannot help but think that the last 3 years have been challenging for me.  Spending 3 months of each year post surgery on the bed healing and learning to walk again has been tough.  This year was no different, except maybe a little bit more challenging initially.  I had surgery on both feet which made it difficult to move about, difficult to find balance and difficult in the sense that I felt extremely frustrated.

Once again Richard stepped up and did what he needed to do to assist me.  He was there to make meals, take me to the doctor, check in and see if I needed any help.  Sims was also my constant companion.  What I did find was the time was lonely and I was grateful for the few friends that stopped by and for my Facebook friends who kept me upbeat when I was feeling down.  The upside of this surgery is that the healing seems to have got better quicker.

Week 31 - Unwrapped

My view for 3 months

This year settled into a simple pattern of trying to heal in time for the next surgery.  Walking was a challenging and I was pretty excited when I was able to walk a mile after 8 months of limping around everywhere. It was good to get out in nature again.

We did very little traveling since I was keeping my vacation for surgery.  I did a road trip with the office to Columbus Georgia for a conference.  It is a beautiful city and the time with my colleagues is always special.

Columbus Georgia Conference Trip: March 2-6, 2017: 8940

Pedestrian viewing bridge over the Chattanooga River in Columbus Georgia.

Of course the year was not an easy one for Richard with me flooding the house.  I still gasp when I think of the moment when I realized water was going over the stairs like a waterfall.  When I went downstairs my heart sank as I saw water pouring through the ceiling.  Yikes, what a mess.  How did I tell Richard what had happened?  What was I going to say?  I sent him a Skype message telling him to come home.  And I waited.  He was so good.  I think I would have exploded but he was so calm.  He called the insurance and then we started cleaning up the mess.  We lived with fans in the house for 5 days.  It was like a furnace.  Then once the fans were out the renovations started and what a mess.  The floors had already been lifted, but the popcorn on the ceiling had to come down.  We had agreed on a tile and the old tiles had to come up.  Between those two events I don’t ever think I will get rid of the dust.  New tiles went down, changes were made and the upside of all of Richards hard is that I love the new look.



Sadly we had to say goodbye to Moonshine this year.


Richard and I also did a short overnight trip to Key West a couple of weeks prior to surgery.  We stayed in the beautiful Simonton Court Hotel and took in a sunset cruise.  Obviously walking was not easy but we did manage to get some in.  I always love the Keys and especially the sunset cruises.

Key West:  August 11, 2017 6371

Key West

Key West:  August 11, 2017 6306

Key West

Of course during my recovery period we had the Hurricane go through.  For a while we thought we were in the cone and then it slowly shifted west.  We still got some pretty bad winds and the palm tree ended up smashing a few roof tiles.  The islands still suffer today with the damage that this crazy weather caused and we will soon see how the Keys fairs when we travel down next week.

I was out of the office from August until the beginning of November and so there was a lot of catch up to do and start finding my feet again.  2018 will bring some additional changes to the office.

December brought the end of 27 months of Peace Corp for Amy and she had to say goodbye to all the new friends she had made and make her way back home.  Coming home with her was Daniel.  We have enjoyed getting to meet him and show him a bit of South Florida.  Sadly he is halfway through his time here and will be heading back home on the 15th.

Wakodahatchee Wetlands: December 24, 2017:

Cameron and Kathryn are well and preparing to move to a bigger apartment.  It will be all hands on deck the first weekend of the year.  They sadly lost Buster this year, but have a new addition to their family in the way of a Golden Doodle called Cody.


Through all that I managed to stay active in 4 blog groups for most of the year, as well as complete 3 P52’s and a P12.  I also did 3 photo shoots in the month of December which kept me busy editing.  I have really enjoyed the photography year and am looking forward to 2018.

For 2018 we are starting off the year with a trip down to Key West and a sunset cruise so that Daniel can see Key West and we are also planning a trip to Orlando to the theme parks.  Time is short for his stay but hopefully he will have enjoyed it.

I have already planned that I will be doing 4 blog groups and committing to the  3 P52’s and a color chase challenge as well.  Beyond that who knows what 2018 will bring.

As I think of you, I wish you everything of the best for 2018.  May your year be filled with love and laughter, good health, prosperity with humility, the opportunities to reach out and touch someone else’s life. strong family ties, good friendships, communities that make you laugh, and encourage you to be more than you think you can be.

Remember that time waits for now one, so make the most of the time you have now…..

From our Family to yours, Happy New Year!!




Tell me a Story: December 2017

It is hard to believe that we are closing out 2017.  I am not sure where the year went.  I know that I spent 3 months on the bed recovering from surgery.  Prior to that I was still recovering from the previous years surgery which took a long time to heal and a long time before I was able to get out and about.  I am excited that I was able to walk my first mile on the 24th almost 3 months earlier than last year.

This time of the year is a time of celebration and reflection, family, friends, goodwill to others.  For us, it has been a special time of the year.  Amy came home after 27 months of living in Macedonia working for the Peace Corp.  Coming home with Amy, was her boyfriend Daniel.  So from mid December, we have gone from 2 adults and a cat to 4 adults and a cat.  Things got a little busier.

It was good for us to be together as a family.  With adult children it is harder and harder to do that but every so often I crave it.  Christmas is always that time for me.  I love to decorate and this year I asked Amy what kind of theme she would like.  Her answer was “ocean”, and so that is where I went this year.  I have done this theme before but used sea sand and shells.  This year I pulled out some dollar store pebbles, sea shells from my bathroom, tiny vases which I filled with sea sand and placed an aqua candle inside.  I created a Christmas tree on an island for each place setting, and put little starfish tags on each wineglass.  I finished that off with an ocean napkin in a silver napkin ring.   It was quick and easy to create.  Ironically I took photo’s of the table but none of the people gathered around the table.  But it was good to have Amy home with Daniel, Cameron and his wife Kathryn and Richard and I gathered around the table.


Christmas Table: December 25, 2017:  8345

Christmas Table: December 25, 2017: 8348

Christmas Table: December 25, 2017: 8349

Christmas Table: December 25, 2017: 8353

Christmas Table: December 25, 2017: 8354

Christmas Table: December 25, 2017: 8356

Christmas Table: December 25, 2017: 8357

Christmas Table: December 25, 2017: 8359

Christmas Table: December 25, 2017: 8361

Christmas Table: December 25, 2017: 8364

Christmas Table: December 25, 2017: 8367

Christmas Table: December 25, 2017: 8370

As we close out this years celebrations today, I would like to take the opportunity to wish you a very Happy New Year.  My prayer is that 2018 will be good to all of us.  May we all be surrounded by family, love, joy, peace, and good health.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Tell me a Story.    This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my fellow blogger  Kim Sidwell and see what she has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

Love:  October 18, 2015 2172

2017: Capturing the Year P52: Themed Images

Capturing the year is a group that I first met up with on a Flickr P52.  When that group stopped this group started up and I transitioned over to the new group.  This is the second year I have done a P52 with them.  This particular group works on themes, and so you have to give thought to what images you are going to use.

I have enjoyed this project and look forward to 2018.. Already the first week is up.

To view the images in a larger format please click on the images below.


By Heart P52 – 2017

By Heart has been one of my favorite groups to be a part of and over the year I have been featured a number of time.  I am always grateful for all the work the Admins have put in and all the encouragement I have received from an amazing group of photographers.  I do hope that they do this again this coming year.

Below are the images from my By Heart P52 for the year 2017.  To see them in a larger format click on each image.

2017: Be Inspired, Be Soul Focus Inspired

I did another project in 2017 called Be Inspired, Be Soul Focus Inspired.  Here we were provided with a quote, or a poem, or the lyrics from a song, and we had to come up with an image once a month.  So it was a P12 photography Project

This project challenged me to think outside of my comfort zone.  I had to ponder on the text and really think hard before pulling together the image that I wanted.

I have enjoyed completing this project.

January 2017

1-12 _poem

Anastasia State Park, St Augustine, September12, 2014 8770

February 2017

2-12 Quote

A.R.M Loxahatchee National Park: February 239, 2017: 8348

March 2017

3-12 quote

Amy: June 3, 2017 4050

April 2017

4-12 Quote

ARM Loxahatchee National Park:  April 20, 2017: 2361

May 2017

5-12 quote


June 2017

6-12 quote

Butterfly World: June 16, 2017: 4638

July 2017

7-12 quote

Curry Hammock State Park: December 20-22, 2016: 5178

August 2017

8-12 quote

Long Key State Park: Marathon: May 20-23, 2016 0306

September 2017

9-12 quote

Wakodahatchee Wetlands: August 16, 2017: 6564

October 2017

10-12 quote

Gamble Rogers State Park, Flagler, Florida, September 8, 2014 7697

November 2017

11-12 quote

Long Key State Park: Marathon: May 20-23, 2016: 0290

December 2017

12-12 fleetwood mac song

Sunrise at Deerfield Beach: December 25, 2017:  8275

2017: Inspire yourself P52: Black and White

This year I joined a group of artist to do a P52.  That means one photo a week.  We had to choose a theme for the year and I opted to go with Black and White.  There were no strict rules, just a whole lot of encouragement to pick up my camera and shoot images.  Below are all the images I took through the 2017 year.

To view the images in full size click on the images below


I thoroughly enjoyed doing this project and I am definitely going to do it again in 2018.  I am grateful for those who stuck it out with me and encouraged me to complete this journey – Chantal of Fotografaie Chantal van den Dool and Janet of @wiredtothemoon  It has been a pleasure to complete this project with them.

30 Minutes in the Life: December 2017

For the month of December 30 Minutes in the Life acknowledges that times get busy and so for this month we choose to do a Festive 5. Most of my 30 minutes come from one event but I did want to share two others as well.  In the last week in November I asked Richard to take me to the Hoffman Chocolate Shop.  They had a display of lights in their garden.  I took along my Lensbaby Sweet 35 with the idea of capturing the lights and the beautiful bokeh that this lens creates.  Beyond that I have been to a series of Christmas lunches.  The middle 3 image are from one of those events.  Lastly, my Christmas tree bokeh.

Winter Wonderland November 21, 2017: 7278

Blessed is the season that engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love

~Hamilton Wright Mawbie

Festive Five:  December 18, 2017: 7755

Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but also of reflecting

~ Winston Churchill

Festive Five:  December 18, 2017: 7793

Christmas is a great time for extra hugs and cuddles.  Love is the magic of Christmas.  If you are blessed with children, share with them that special magic and it will spread to others as well.  

Festive Five:  December 18, 2017: 7736

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”

Christmas: December18, 2016 4981

Christmas for me is about acknowledging and celebrating the birth of Christ.  It is also a time for family, and I am grateful to have all my family with us as well as an additional guest that Amy brought home with her.

I wish you a blessed Christmas with your family and friends.  May you know love, peace and joy as you celebrate together.  If you are traveling, travel safely.

Peace on Earth will come to stay

When we live Christmas every day.

~Helen Steiner Rice

Thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 Minutes in Life.  Please take time to visit my friend and fellow blogger  Stacey Markel Photography to see what she has for you this month with her Festive 5.  Keep following the circle of photographers to see what the other photographers, from the US and around the world,  have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramViewbug and Google+