Horsing Around

I’m taking a much needed break from my studies this evening. Just horsing around I guess! There are 6 more weeks in the semester, and I’m SO looking forward to some rest and relaxation.

The photography class I’m taking right now does NOT permit the use of any image altering software, so this Photoshop fiend is going bonkers. I figured, at the very least, I’d do a black and white this evening to let off some steam.

During an attempt to do some street photography, I stumbled on this horse. I thought it was an interesting subject, and he was not what I had expected to find out there on the streets. I did an unusual camera angle for the sake of class experimentation (yes, I did that on purpose). This course is forcing me out of my comfort zone… and it’s scary out here! 🙂

Anyway, I wanted to check in, say hello, and send some love. I miss everyone, and I’ll be checking up on you shortly.

Peace & Love!
—Janet

Dreams in the Mist

I don’t know if anyone else ever falls into this trap, but I constantly find myself trying to turn my dreams—or the things I love—into some kind of product, as if they’re things I need to own. It’s like the person who loves to swim, who’ll never be satisfied until their backyard has a pool… or the occasional fisherman who believes he’ll find ultimate happiness ONLY after he buys a boat.

And you know what they say: “The happiest days of a boat owner’s life are the day they buy a boat—and the day they sell the boat.”

Well, all of my hemming and hawing over my college major came to a wonderful close recently when I considered these analogies. I realized that I’ve been too fixated on the road… or the tangible outcomes (degrees)… and somewhere in the interim I lost sight of my dreams; the things I actually LOVE to do—just for the sake of doing them.

I made a decision to venture off the pathway this spring; I’ve enrolled in Creative Writing and Photography. I’m not changing my major—or adding a second major—and I really have no destination in sight.

For now I’m just going to listen to my heart, do what I love… and enjoy my dreams in the mist.

—Janet

Nova’s Daily Random Word #39: Dream

Wings to Fly

I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings.

Gustave Flaubert

I’m back from my mini vacation… and I feel like I’m ready to fly!

I’ve got a ton of catching up to do, and a plethora of images to sort through… but I wanted to share one of my favorite photographs thus far. I shot this the first day of my trip, at a park near the beach.

I love capturing birds on the move (as many of you already know), so I was thrilled when this duck struck a pose and I was able to catch it. I just love it when that happens!

Until later…
Peace & Love Everyone!
—Janet

The Makeover

You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site. Frank Lloyd Wright

So true. It pays to fix your errors as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are also times when you can tweak or modify. That’s what I’m STILL doing here. It’s been quite a chore, but it’s also been enlightening. Reviewing some of my past writing has reminded me of things I’d virtually forgotten.

On the one hand, I’m a little tired and stressed out after reading posts that I wrote over a year ago. On the other hand, it’s been a real gratitude exercise! For anyone who is blogging their way through recovery, all I can say is don’t give up! It’s so great to have something to look back at—something to remind you of where you were then vs. where you are now. Plus it keeps you busy!

I also had some serious laughs last night when I came across posts where I was chasing birds, or chasing the wind—and my old Discovering Joy series—how fun that was! I hope to do something like that again, maybe during winter break. I miss some of those crazy times, and I especially miss an old blogger buddy who doesn’t seem to be visible anymore (she knows who she is).

Anyway, the point I was getting at is that I did a little makeover tonight. I realized how much I miss transforming the old into the new—so I pulled an image from one of my rather old posts (Queen of Hearts) and gave it a fresh look.

Five more days and it’s back to the books!

Neighbors Part Two

It might be overkill, but I have been using the parrot shots to get in practice with more paint effects. I found some cool online tutorials, but they have no talking… just music. It’s fun to watch them but it can be hard to follow along and actually learn!

Anyway, I zoom in on some of the interesting pointers, and little odds and ends here and there… so I wanted to try one more version of the noisy neighbors.

Plus I liked “the parrot eating a walnut” shot. I think it came out pretty cool. Kind of like a watercolor, and I added lots of blur and smudge to it.

That’s all for now…

Noisy Neighbors

Well, I am killing two birds with one stone today…

no pun intended! 😉

This colorful creature has woken me up at the crack of dawn two days in a row now.

He (or she) sits up in the next door neighbors walnut tree and yells out what I can only imagine is some sort of song of joy. Perhaps trying to notify his friends about the delicious tasting treats he has found.

Anyway, he was also out there last night- before the sun went down- which is when I managed to get a few shots of him. He’s farther than my zoom really allows, so I jazzed him up with a painterly look, plus got in some more practice on Photoshop, and tutorials.

This is my last week before I start school full time, so I am taking advantage of every second. Come next Monday I will be spending most of my days commuting and sitting in classrooms… and I have to say that I am SO looking forward to it!! Not to mention the fact that I’ll be soaking in the cool air from the A/C there, since we have none at the house!

That’s about all for now. Have a beautiful blessed week!! Peace and Love everyone!!

A Lavender Glow

We are one leaf on the great human tree. Pablo Neruda

I’ve given a fresh look to an old image, just for the fun of it. I love the dreamy glow in the leaves.

I really don’t have much to share today. Everything is wonderful and there are lots of things in the works… but I am learning to wait until it’s time before I talk about things.

There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. Vincent van Gogh

Saturday a dear friend who lives out of state is flying in, and she and I will be hitting the beach, and doing some hiking (I can already feel my calves getting sore!). So… if all goes as planned I will have some exciting new photographs to share.

That’s about all for now.

Life is good and God is great!!

A Supernatural Glow

This is a bizarre piece. Doo do do do… (the theme from Twilight Zone- slightly off key)

Another shot of the neighborhood squirrel hanging out in the loquat tree. I layered it with a piece of metal and got attached to the bluish glow he is now nestled in.

I guess I’m going for the alien looking animal images this week!

Anyway… I didn’t get the job today. Long story, but I opened up too much about myself (and my personal life). I guess I’m too used to telling it like it is these days!! 😉 Like I told Gil, I think I lack a filter sometimes. That’s alright. It wasn’t the perfect job for me after all. I’m grateful that I was able to go through that interview process… because I can use the practice (obviously!).

And as long as I am putting forth my best effort I don’t have a cloud of guilt hanging over my head reminding me that I’m not even trying. Because I am. So… we will see what the next interview brings.

In the meantime, I’ll get back into the swing of doing my images (yay!!). And I am still looking forward to the writing class next month!! To be honest… that is so exciting that nothing can really bring me down, anyway!

Peace and Love xoxo

Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life. John Wooden

Shades of Spring

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Francis of Assisi

I’m not a huge fan of pastels, but I thought this was a good fit for the season. And I’m pretty sure that this is a dove. Pigeons and doves confuse me sometimes.

I don’t know if I shared that quote before, but it’s been my mantra for the past week and will continue to be for awhile. I realized recently that I was getting WAY ahead of myself for a little while. Or way ahead of God I should say. Sometimes I get some grandiose ideas and then I realize that there are still very small things that I’ve yet to tackle!

That’s a bit humbling. And alcoholic thinking.

Anyway, I guess a good thing to remember when walking with God is to walk WITH Him, not a mile or so ahead! What’s funny is I’ve been thinking about that a lot and wanted to do a post called No Shortcuts! Then today, I’m reading In the Grip of Grace, by Max Lucado and I came across this:

“What we consider shortcuts God sees as disasters.”

Amen to that. I’ve taken shortcuts for so many years that it’s still a struggle to pause and be still sometimes, but I am definitely making progress! And I’m going to be working on the little things that need to be done. For now. 🙂

I may still write that post. Later. For now it’s time for lights out.

Have a beautiful day!

Queen of Hearts

I shot this image earlier and was prepared to post a blue leaf version, but I did another overlay and really liked the natural and subtle tones in this one. Maybe because I am very tired today.

My experience on the panel last night went well. BUT… somehow I ended up going last and had about 7 minutes to tell my tale. Needless to say, I had to skip through half the story and get to the good stuff fast! Maybe that’s a good thing!

Anyway, we went out afterwards and I didn’t get home until midnight, after a couple cups of coffee. So… my sleep was a bit disturbed.

I’ll tell you one thing. I found out that getting in that rut where I forget to be grateful is easily remedied by doing things like the panels. Seeing the tired and sad faces in the crowd made me both grateful for where I am today and eager to share my HOPE with them. I hit a new level of gratitude, for sure.

That’s about all for now. Love you guys!

♥♥♥ Blessings, peace and love ♥♥♥

A Healthy Brunch

I’m really liking the action around here today! This is the squirrel that chased the parrots away; munching on a loquat.

I guess nature is dictating what I’ll be taking photographs of this season! I’ve added some fun color and the squirrel is a bit hidden (like his henchman) behind a leaf, so I did a zoom in below, for clarity. I was able to capture him “mid-bite”, which was pretty exciting.

I guess I’ll be spending more time in the backyard today, so who knows what (or Who) else will show up. I did see a lizard earlier! And I sure wish I liked the taste of those loquats but I have to say that I don’t find them tasty, at ALL.

Tonight I’ll be on that panel, at a recovery center nearby, so I’m trying to keep my day stress free. I want to be calm and at peace when I show up… so that my sharing comes with ease. I have a tendency to ramble! May God give me the words that are needed!

On another note, I’m learning a lot in my study of the word trust. It is really branching out! If I could give you a visual, I’d say that this word study is like looking at a tree, and TRUST is the trunk. Following it up the tree, it’s veered off into branches about LOVE, SURRENDER and GRACE… all of which have so MUCH to do with turning everything over to God.

I look forward to sharing more once I’m able to put it into words for a post. 🙂

Until later… Enjoy your day!! ♥♥♥

The Watchdog

Parrot
“Hurry! She’s Watching Us”

I watched another squirrel (or the same one!) run across the cable this morning and do a little dive into the loquat tree. Looking for breakfast I assume. A few minutes later one of my feathered friends jumped OUT of the tree. I’m guessing that they don’t share the space too well!

I got a few good shots, from pretty far away. I guess he/she got spooked as I tried to get a little closer… so two MORE of my parrot friends (that were still hiding in the tree) were quietly summoned, and they all flew away… 😦

Parrot-2
“Psst!! Let’s go!!”

What an exciting morning… there is so much color and movement outside!

That’s about all for now. Have a beautiful day everyone!!

Living Large

DOES THIS BRANCH MAKE ME LOOK BIG???

So far this is the biggest to come around. It really IS a leafless, leaning and tired looking tree, so it was amusing to see this big bird hanging out near the top of it.

According to google this is a band tailed pigeon. It’s much prettier than the pigeon’s I’ve seen in the freeway underpass. 🙂

Anyway, all is well! We have business to take care of today, but tomorrow we’re hoping to visit a botanical garden nearby. Super excited about that!!

That’s about all for now.

Happy Monday!! ♥♥♥

Knock On Wood

What a beautiful day it’s been! This (dead looking) tree is directly in front of my sister’s balcony and seems to attract all kinds of birds. I photographed about seven or eight different types as they came by to visit. Just thought I would start with this one.

What a great feeling to spend time somewhere new. I’m already feeling refreshed. Love it! I’m sure tomorrow will be just as good…but to be safe… I’ll KNOCK ON WOOD!

(CORNY I know, but I had to say it anyway)

Spreading Wings

This morning I heard rustling and chirping in the garden and saw a little white bird hopping from flower to flower. I must have a thing for wings because as soon I saw the wing on this shot I knew that I had to make it work.  The bird was very tiny and I was too far away, so it took quite a bit of tinkering, but at least the wind stands out. 

Are You in There?

Sometimes I look in the mirror and say… “where did my personality go?!?” 

Well… maybe I don’t look in the mirror and say it, but I DO wonder what’s up with me lately. And I don’t mean it in a horrible, sad, woe is me way either. It’s just that I get to the point (now and then) when I realize it’s been WAY too long since I’ve had a good laugh. I still chuckle, but I don’t LOL like I used to.

I had a dream last night that I was drinking. How bizarre is that?!?! It was weird!

I don’t even think about drinking, at ALL, so I have NO idea where it came from. I hope it’s not because I’m back in the A.A. circuit and listening to all that talk about alcohol… absorbing some kind of subliminal messages or something?

The meetings really ARE going well though.

Also, I’m emailing my sponsor my resume and we’re going to work on finding me a part time job. Finally. I haven’t given up on the photography and writing- but for now I’m cool with just having them as fun-time hobbies. I haven’t even been out much with the camera lately- which is why I am pulling out archives these days.

Life is good and God is great!!