Posted on December 31, 2017
“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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
Posted on December 30, 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.
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.
Posted on December 29, 2017
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.
Posted on December 28, 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.
Posted on December 28, 2017
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.
Posted on December 26, 2017
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.
Posted on December 18, 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.
Blessed is the season that engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love
~Hamilton Wright Mawbie
Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but also of reflecting
~ Winston Churchill
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.
“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 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.
Posted on December 6, 2017
When I think of the theme Wonderland I think of winter and snow and the gorgeous scenery that you will find in the northern states. Down in Florida, Wonderland takes on a different perspective. This month Kathy of KG Ledbetter Photography chose the theme Wonderland.
I was stumped until I read about a local chocolate shop, Hoffmans Chocolates, that has a light display in the gardens. In fact this year they have even created a mini ice rink. So I asked Richard if we could go up to see the light display. This was hopefully going to work out for the Wonderland theme.
My heart dropped when we got there and I saw just how many cars were there. It did not look like there was much parking at all. Right now I am walking but just barely. Long distances do not work for me. Fortunately I have a temporary disabled permit, and even better the policeman directing traffic spotted it and waved us into a parking close to the event. I could have hugged that policeman on the spot. It was not a big area to walk around but once done I was glad to get out, back home and on ice again.
I took a couple of lens with me but defaulted to my Lensbaby Sweet 35 for all the beautiful bokeh that it creates
As we head into this festive season, I want to wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. If you are traveling, drive safely. If you are staying at home remember not to get caught up in the craziness of the season. Relax, enjoy, embrace the season, know peace, love, joy and laughter.
Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six. This is a circle blog. From the sneak peak images I have seen, you are going to want to follow the circle. Please take time to visit my friend Tori of Roots and Twigs Photography 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 page as well.
Now it is your turn. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook at Share Six and come and share your images on the theme Wonderland throughout the month of December. A new theme will come out on January 6.
Remember you can follow us on Instagram at @sharesix and tag your images #sharesix_wonderland
You can also find the Share Six webpage at http://www.sharesix.wordpress.com
We look forward to seeing your images on the theme Wonderland.
Posted on December 4, 2017
There is nothing worse in my life than waking me up early in the morning. When I say early I man before 8 AM. I am definitely a night owl. Actually I do that most work days so that makes sleeping in even better. However, on occasion I am willing to drag myself out of bed and blindly shower and dress, and pick up my prepacked camera bag and head downstairs. I would love to say I make coffee. I miss coffee, but I am drinking mainly tea. So tea made, I allow myself to be dragged off to the beach with the intention of watching the sunrise. Somewhere along the way I surface to a less surely mood, where conversation begins to be possible. Once we arrive, we sit and drink our tea or coffee and we wait for the sun to begin the new day.
Saturday was one of those days. Richard suggested we go and watch the sunrise. I agreed thinking, oh no I have to wake up early. That said I was ready to get out with my camera again after 3 months of being house bound. We were going to one place and before we were out of the community we changed our direction to head north to Lake Worth. The reason, breakfast at Benny’s on the Beach. The restaurant opens at 7am and that meant we could watch the sunrise and eat straight after.
So here is my start to Saturday morning.
It was not the most spectacular sunrise. The weather was overcast with a thick band of clouds across the horizon. However, it was good to get up and get out after being housebound for three months. Breakfast was good and the company was even better. We definitely should do this more often, says me who likes to sleep in.
“Each new day is a blank page in the diary of your life. The secret of success is in turning that diary into the best story you possibly can.”
~ Douglas Pagels
Thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 Minutes in Life. Please take time to visit my friend and fellow blogger in Germany Sonia of Sonia Epple Fotographie and see what she has for you this month. 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.
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