Tell Me A Story: September 2020

Can it be that September is almost over. 3 Months and it will be Christmas again. I feel like I just had Christmas the other day. I have officially been working from home for 6 months now. There are days when I live in 4 walls. The cats were keen to get outside and so I picked up my macro and went out into the garden.

While watching the cats, I walked around and took some flowers, weeds and got down into the long grass knowing that later that day the grass was going to be cut.

Simba 2020
Moonshine 2020

Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives. This is a quiet month for blogs however, this is a circle blog.  Take some time to view what the other artist has for you this month. My friend LUPJI Photography is up next and I can’t wait to read what he has to share.

Share Six: June 2020: Ordinary to extraordinary

Where are we this month. I have been working from home in my upstairs office since March 16. Those first 4 weeks were crazy for me changing staff from live to virtual appointments. I had 4 weeks of things slowing down a bit. Along with work, I spent my time in the evenings studying the to stats. Watching what was happening in the world, in the state, and in the county with this virus. I was doing this daily. Downstairs Richard worked in his office. He started to go back to work 2 weeks ago. I have shifted to the permanent option of working from home. I have to be honest, I am happy that I will not be driving 2 hours a day. My office looks like the monitor room of NASA . There is a lot of monitors on my desk. And yes, I did stop and watch the SpaceEx shuttle head to out of space I have to be honest. What an amazing achievement for science.

Unemployment is high, the markets have dropped, people are wondering how they are going to feed their families, pay their rents. Food Shelters have lines heading out for miles and this is day after day. I am grateful that our company has managed to keep going and keep all staff employed.

This past 12 days has been hard. Having grown up in South Africa and lived through the Apartheid era, I know how much I hate racism. Watching what happened to George Floyd this week breaks my heart. My heart goes out to his family. I cannot imagine the hurt his mother must be feeling, hearing her son cry out for her. To hear him say “I cannot breathe”. My heart breaks for his children, who will never see their father again. My heart breaks for his family.

We have watched peaceful protests and we have watched we have watched protests that have got violent and angry with lots of looting and damaging and stealing the property of shop owners. I don’t agree with the violence, but I understand the underlying anger that comes with these actions. The killing of George Floyd has become a catalyst for change. There are so many areas that need to change. I am aware that I know only what I have read in books and seen in movies on the history of people of color in the USA. I know that I want to stop and educate myself better. I can do better.

The theme for Share Six this month is {Ordinary to Extraordinary} and it was chosen by Michele Tremblay Photo. The general idea is to take something that is simply ordinary and change it to something that could be viewed as extraordinary. I think we can apply that to our lives now in these difficult times.

This month was a challenging theme. Above are some of my ordinary images. Below is what I have done to try and make them into something a little more extraordinary.

Some years ago when I was in Seattle a friend gave my a hanging glass decoration which I have hang on my bedroom curtain rail. At certain times of the day when the light shines one it you will see these rainbow patterns.

The same curtains have a layer of beaded drapes. I fell in love with them when I was first decorating my room. The ribbon ends have taken some wear and tear from the cats and threads have pulled and they tend to knot up, but I still love the look of the beaded drapes hanging over my curtains.

I happened to pick up a feather walking out of the grocery store one day. Using a mirror I created this reflection that often reminds that this looks like it is lying reflected on the beach. This turned out to be one of my favorite experiments.

Nature is the simple pleasures in life I can find in my garden. These fat Lizards hang out sunning themselves on the rocks. I love the bokeh that this lens has created in the background that just gives this little guy a bit more oomph.

Feathers, I do love feathers. For the longest time we had little brown ducks coming up to feed at the edge of the canal. I have since been banned from feeding them because apparently they cause weeds in the grass. Of course, they drop their feathers everywhere, and this particular day I collect a few and again experimented with a mirror and then some black and white textures.

A simple chess set, lots of angles and some great window light and a bit of editing left me feeling happy with the final result I got from this image. My topic at the time was glass and it was fund to experiment with this photo.

Arum Lily are one of my favorite plants, and I love the color version but I wanted something with a stronger edge to it and so I decided to go black and white, with a little bit of texture.

This was definitely a fun experiment and I loved the abstract look of it. What is it? It’s a dragonfly 🙂 I came across a article about making abstract out of your images and decided to play.

Feathers, and this was definitely another favorite of mine. A feather from a Mallard Duck that hangs out in my back garden – placed on a mirror in front of a window with the light shining onto it caused the image to look sepia.

Another fun abstract image. Believe it or not the original image was wedding flowers. My son was getting married and I was asked to do the wedding flowers for the reception, bathrooms, and isles. This was the isle image that I had hung on my naked lady to see what it would look like. Playing with the same steps as the dragonfly, I was able to capture this creative abstract image.

My last image is back to the Arum Lily. This was taken in front of a window with the natural light shining in on it and then converted to black and white with textures.

Life right now is very ordinary, and yet not ordinary. Right now days seem the same, and yet we are watching all the protesting in the city. While the world is opening up slowly, I am still working from home, and I have to be honest, I am not rushing out. I am happy to take each day step by step, to watch the numbers and wait and see what tomorrow brings. I am not going to skip out on life, but I am going to make sure I know what life looks like before I head out. So ordinary is what each day is looking like, but in so many ways we can make it extraordinary. We can be kind, we can love on our families, snuggle with our pets, we can reach out to friends, by phone or by social media or write an email. We can enjoy the moments that this world has given us, the sound of rain, the beautiful sunset, the birds, our critters and we can appreciate the beauty in the simple things. I hope that you can make your ordinary day extraordinary as well.

We can come alongside our friends of color. Let them know we are there, and that we hear them. We can take time to educate ourselves. Read some books on what it is like for a person of color day to day. To pray for friends (and their families) who worry about their teenage sons going running, or driving out, or who are protesting. Be a catalyst for change, however small. Make a difference. Love your neighbor.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six blog post.  This is a circle blog.  I love sneak peaks – they are always amazing.  This is an incredibly talented group of ladies.  Please take time to visit my friend and very talented artist Lynne of Lynne Grant Photography  and see what she has for you this month. To check out her Facebook page click here and her Instagram page here.

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.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_ordinarytoextraordinary

You can also find me on

30 Minutes in the Life: March 2018

March 24th, and this is a culmination of 5 weeks of pain, 5 weeks of anger, 5 weeks of tireless planning, 5 weeks of being strong in the face of such devastating sorrow and heartbreak.  March 24th is the day that we marched for our Lives #Marchforourlives.

I will confess upfront that my blog images are taken over more than 30 minutes but I wanted to get all of the images in.  Please forgive me!

I have been pretty vocal on my feelings about yet another gun horror, yet another senseless shooting and yet another person dying at the hands of a shooter.  Parkland’s is just 20 minutes from my home.  Yesterday Amy and I made the decision to walk.  We chose to walk at the site of the mass shooting, to represent and give our support to this hurting community.

The event was well organized.  We drove to Florida Atlantic University to park our car and take a shuttle through to the park where the event would host speeches and the start of the walk.  It was a first time for me riding on a school bus.  We were dropped off as close to the park as the buses were allowed and we walked with the masses though the police entry point and onto the field.

Voter registration was in place, along with bottles of water and snack bars being handed out.  Sunscreen was a necessity, and yours truly did not use it, and I now look like a raccoon.

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Speeches were made and at times I cheered, and at times I cried.  Students voiced their fears, frustrations, sorrow and anger.  Parents shared their losses. One young girl who had been shot in the knee stood up to talk.  My heart went out to her.  Safety is needed for these children.  Safety from guns.  Safety when they are in the classrooms.  It saddens me that children have to ask for bullet proof windows and doors.  How did it get to this?  How is it that our schools have effectively become their prisons?

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In closing 17 students stood up and represented each person who had been murdered on that fateful February 14th Valentines Day shooting.  Each one said “I walk for…..”.  My heart breaks again as they say this.

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And then the walk began.  We were to walk 2 miles to the school.  As I looked around, I was overwhelmed at the number of people who had attended the Parkland’s function, knowing full well that many had traveled to DC to march in Washington.  People respectfully exited the field and waited until the 17 representatives lead the way ahead of the crowd.

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The walk was well done.  There were no difficult situations.  There was chanting of slogans, there was #enoughisenough.  There was a purpose to the march that joined us all together.  I was proud to walk alongside Amy for this cause.

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And suddenly there was quiet.  There was respect.  Each person walked passed the memorial silently honoring those who had died.  For me, I had been there the previous week.  I, in a previous blog, compared visiting the memorial site to a visit I made to Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany.  The moment overwhelmed me and it was hard to comprehend what had happened here.  For Amy, this was a new moment which she said she felt haunted by.  She had friends that had attended Margory Stoneman Douglas High School.  It was hard for her to take all the emotions in.

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And then we walked the 2 miles back to our original start, back to our bus, so that we could take the shuttle back to the car.  I will confess, for someone who had foot surgery just 6 months ago, the 2 hours of standing through speeches, and the 5 miles of walking did takes it’s toll.  My feet hurt and my body aches and my legs have started to seize up, but I would do it all again.

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I, once again, commend these children for their courage, for their amazing words, for the willingness to take the lead on this issue.  As I listened to Emma Gonzalez give her speech, I commend her for her courage.  6 minutes and 20 seconds of silence.  6 minutes and 20 seconds that it took for the murderer to kill 17 people and injure another 15.  One of them is still in hospital.  In her words “Fight for your life before it is someone else’s job”.  These children, should not have to do this, but I am so proud of them for taking a stand against the senseless slaughter of civilians in this country.

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The USA that I came to love is more than this.  It is more than the stockpiling of weapons.  It is more than the NRA paying for the election of an official.  It is more…..lets stand up and make it more.  My prayers is that these children “Do not go gentle into that good night” (Dylan Thomas).  My prayer is that they continue to fight.  In November many of these students will be able to vote.  They are registering to vote.  I see change on the horizon, and the politicians really should be watching closely.  The children have spoken in a way that no one expected.  Now is the time for the politicians to be talking about gun control and putting parameters in place that require all purchase of guns to be subject to a 3 day waiting period, a background check that includes mental stability, a database that tracks the movement of guns, and the stockpiling of guns and ammunition by individuals.  The March did not just happen in Parkland’s or Boca, or Delray or even DC, it is happening country wide.  It is time to wake up.

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I will leave you with the words that the children see each day as they leave school in the afternoon

Be the change

You wish to see in the world

 

Thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 Minutes in Life.  These are my personal views and not that of the blog group. For the rest of the blog group, please take time to visit my friend and fellow blogger  Liz Godfrey Photography 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.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramViewbug and Google+

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