End of the Rainbow

Something wonderful happens when it rains here! I saw this ‘end of the rainbow’ a few weeks ago and thought it was a great image for this evening. I logged on a while ago and saw that I have 25 minutes to go until my sober anniversary. Woo!

School is keeping me SUPER busy, and I rarely come up for air… but I’ve been thinking about everyone!

Anyway, I added a lot of drama to this photo, just because. It was quite a dramatic feeling to walk out and see it in person. I never really knew if you could see the end of a rainbow until I actually saw it.

And now I’ve hit my 3 year sobriety mark and life is fabulous.

What’s funny is that I shared it on Facebook the day that I shot the image, and someone seemed adamant that it wasn’t real. I guess my Photoshop adventures have placed my photo shares in the “this image could be fake” category. BUT… it is real.

That’s about all for now. Miss you all and hope to have more time soon… “Spring Break” is just a couple weeks away. 🙂

Peace & Love Everyone!!

Raw Beauty

I had a revelation the other day, when I was pondering what breathtaking means to me. I realized that my relationship with photo programs began when I was shooting nature in Colorado. There’s just something that you feel—when you see nature with your own eyes—that can’t be reproduced when you look at a photograph. At least that’s how I see it.

Post-processing started as my way of trying to recapture that feeling somehow. Of course, now my images often morph into wild or wacky art—and end up looking quite different in the end. The first photo above literally became last night’s Circle of Life. Feeling playful and rebellious, I shaped it into something abstract.

Anyway, all of these images were taken from our apartment, when we lived in Colorado, and I’ve done as little as possible to them. We had the best view in the complex, and Mother Nature… with all of her raw beauty… never failed to put on an amazing show.

The Monsoon

—Photo Memories

This photograph was taken when I lived in a mobile home for a few short months, in a town called Catalina… in Arizona. It’s about 20 miles or so from Tucson, and those are the Santa Catalina Mountains in the distance.

My best guess is that I took it a little over ten years ago, and probably with a cellphone. There were actually a handful of old images that I found, that would probably qualify for the Word of the Day Challenge—breathtaking, but I wanted to use this one because of what breathtaking means to me.

One of the things I remember the most about Catalina is being outside in the middle of a sunny afternoon, blue skies above, and hearing the thunder start to build in the distance. It was faint at first, and if you followed its echo you could see the dark and ominous cloud billowing in the distance.

The sky would begin to darken, ever so slightly, and gusts of wind would send whirls of dust through the air. Lightning would crackle through the clouds, as if trying to escape the gloom, and the thunder would become louder with each bolt.

I loved to sit on the patio and watch as the monsoon cut the landscape into two, right in front of me, and then suddenly it would be on me, and it would pour. The sound of the rain, pounding down on the metal roof, was like a melody to me—it was hypnotic—and I was never without a smile when the storm hit.

Then as quickly as it came, the monsoon would move on, ready to entertain the next eager spectator. The sun would come out from its hiding place… and the sky would be bluer than blue.

That is what breathtaking means to me.

—Janet

Peace & Love!

Gazing Upward

I saw this sunset a week ago, just before my Thursday evening class started. It was beautiful just the way it was, but I wanted to do something with it. I feel like I need a ‘creative reprieve’ more and more these days. Not that anything is going bad, or I am stressed out or anything; I just think that sitting down to get creative helps put a halt to my overthinking. It’s like wordless prayer. It forces me to be still.

So… I hit another ‘month’ anniversary; 2 years and 8 months sober as of yesterday. It’s not like I count the days or anything, but when I see the calendar hit the 7th each month I make a mental note—thinking about where I was then compared to where I am now. What a difference 977 days make!

Anyway, that’s about all for now. Have a beautiful day everyone! Remember to stop and smell the roses… enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend… or gaze up at a beautiful sunset.

Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing. Dr. Seuss

Life is good and God is great!!

Cryptic Clouds

This world is but a canvas to our imagination. Henry David Thoreau

I’m hoping to write something exciting here on the blog soon. I’ve been doing a lot in my English class, and I’ve gotten so many new ideas, but lately I feel fortunate just to have enough ‘leisure time’ to work on a creative image at night. Eventually I’ll get there!

I have several cloud photographs that I took about a year ago—and I’ve never known exactly what to do with them—so I decided to add a little interest to this one. I can’t be sure, but I’m thinking I might just do a little “cryptic cloud series.”

Have a beautiful weekend everyone … Peace and Love!!

Just Breathe

The poetry of earth is never dead. -John Keats

I needed to take a time out tonight and do something simple and relaxing. Believe it or not, I’m still archiving old images online and I found one that I love but haven’t worked on (or posted) yet.

This is Turquoise Lake, in Colorado. The clouds were awesome, so that’s actually what I was aiming to capture that day. It seems there’s a couple trees obstructing the view, but I like that you get the feel of what else was around me… a beautiful lake, blue sky, cool clouds, and lots and lots of TREES. That’s Colorado for you!

Anyway, I thought this photograph was perfect for my thoughts tonight.

About surrender.

A couple of weeks ago, someone shared their simple morning prayer. A surrender prayer. It’s actually a very popular one, but for some reason… on that particular day, it REALLY stuck with me.

“Thy will be done, not mine.”

I’ve prayed the same phrase MANY times before, but suddenly it feels a bit different. Each time that I say it I feel a pressure release- like meditating. It’s such a great reminder that I’m not the one at the controls, and all I really need to do is keep putting my best foot forward. And thank God for my salvation, sanity and sobriety, of course. 🙂

That’s about all for now. I hope that everyone has a beautiful, blessed week!

Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best.

Painting the Sky

The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper shades of night. Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

I’ve been dog sitting since Friday and hope to share some interesting images later in the week. I brought my camera… but forgot the USB cable! That’s OK. It forced me to stay off of the computer all weekend, and I needed that. And I had a relaxing movie marathon!

And I sit here still… surrounded by three adorable, snoring pugs.

I decided to work on one image this evening and I found another archive taken from from a moving car. After some coloring and some obvious artwork… there you have it.

A Painted Sky. 

My interview Thursday went well and it’s possible they’ve matched me to a part time position that sounds perfect for me. I’ll know more this week. And I’m enrolling in a Writer’s Workshop that starts in June! I’m SUPER excited!

Peace & Love!

Painted Sunset

I mentioned before that I felt I was entering a new season, and… well… I believe that it’s here! This seems to be a season of learning for me. That being said, you’ll probably hear from me a little less often, simply because it means talking (or writing) less and listening (or reading) more.

Funny thing about saying I’ll be writing less. I actually plan to write MORE, but less on the blog and more in my private journal and some short story projects. As interesting things come up, I will definitely share… but I want to focus on completing projects before I write about them. I seem to be one of those people that halts action once I share the steps I plan to take. It’s like I jinx myself! As a precautionary measure, I’m keeping things to myself until I actually finish the tasks I want to complete.

I’ve learned some fascinating things about Introverts. I picked up another book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. And about 6 other library books about behavior and character.

Did you know that around 1920, America began the shift from a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality. Americans were being captivated by people who were bold and entertaining- while being shy (or introverted) was becoming the uncool thing. That’s when people started becoming performers to impress others, or just to fit in.

And what followed next?

Understandably…. the popularity of “anti-anxiety” drugs!!

In the 1960’s an ad campaign for a tranquilizer read “FOR THE ANXIETY THAT COMES FROM NOT FITTING IN.”

Wow! I never saw that ad (that I can recall), but I discovered that alcohol was a great tranquilizer, none the less. And it certainly did the trick, and helped me perform. That’s just crazy!!

I’ve reached a new level of understanding (and appreciation) of the Scripture “Do not conform to the pattern of this world…

Anyway, I just thought I would share that. I’m not sure where God is leading me with all of this, but I can tell you that these books have given me something. As the author of Quiet stated- she hoped that readers, at the very least– would take away a sense of “entitlement” to be themselves. I get it!

I’m really looking forward to seeing where all of this is going. I feel more comfortable lately, and am much more accepting of myself. I am more calm and relaxed, and the idea of speaking in front of groups isn’t bothering me much anymore, either. Probably because I’m spending less time beating myself up for not being different than I am.

Maybe now that I’ve UNLEARNED so much of my bad thinking and behavior… God is helping me learn about how He created me to be?! Who knows?! This journey is getting exciting, and I TRUST that He’s taking me to new and wonderful places. 🙂

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!! He Is Risen and He LIVES!

Love you all and hope that you have a blessed weekend. 

The image is the sky in Leadville, Colorado—taken from my living room window. 

Reckless Abandon

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Love with reckless abandon is a term that Gil uses often, and I think most of you know by now that he was NOT referring to it in the romantic sense. Not for now, anyway. At church this morning, while attempting to sing No Longer Slaves, the emotions I’ve been feeling these past few days welled up inside… and the waterworks began.

I knew it was going to happen the second that the music started. It was definitely a confirmation that today’s mood is LOVE. Just as it should be.

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
and I will stand and sing…

I am a child of God

God is great, and He is LOVE! ♥♥♥

Expectations (A Poem)

Oh endless anticipation
I dream of what’s to come
I miss entire symphonies
while beating my own drum

The road beyond entices me
I’m focused miles ahead
Forever running to get there
trampling flowers under tread

I dreamed the world was perfect
Expectations never cease
The thing that I am lacking is
a sense of inner peace.

I miss my grandson calling me
neglect to see his tears
Selfish thoughts consume me as
I ponder my own fears

It’s tragic to be in my head
that keeps me locked away
Worrying of tomorrow
or what happened yesterday

I’d change the way I see things
If only I knew how
to conquer the big secret
…of living in the now.

I wrote this poem in 2015 when I was struggling with relapses and trying to overcome my stinking thinking—as they say in the program.It feels really good to read this and know that I think nothing like I used to. I no longer anticipate too much, expect too much, or stay trapped in my head too much.

I have peace.

Praise God for that!

Through a Window

I mentioned to a fellow blogger that many of my photos from Colorado—of the sky, clouds and sunsets—were taken from our living room window which was on the third floor, facing the mountains.

This is one of those photos! I guess the main thing I had to remember in those days was to keep my windows clean! Sometimes I wonder why I was in such a hurry to leave there…

But then I remember all that snow…

Reflections

It was about 3 am the other night when I shut down my computer. I could have stayed up later if my tired, crazy bloodshot eyes hadn’t caused my blurred vision. That evening, I had spent the hours tinkering with photos, browsing blogs, and perusing some tips and tricks offered by talented photographers out there.

I had an epiphany.

I started thinking about this hobby of mine. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, and while taking photographs is one of my passions, I have to say that I point and click pretty randomly most of the time.

For ME, the project actually starts when I open up the pictures on my laptop and begin to dissect them. Some are fine just as they are, but what pleases me most is finding ways to turn drab or boring digital snapshots into something eye-catching. For the past few days I’ve been kind of contemplating…

What IS this hobby of mine really about?

This morning I put that question to rest, and started thinking about my blog. The whole reason behind I started it was to share my story- my journey in sobriety, my walk with God, and the transformation of my life. My thoughts drifted (as they often do!) back to a thought I’ve had for years about starting a second hand store; selling items that have been recycled, restored or re-purposed. That’s when it hit me.

Transformation!

THAT’s what it’s all about. I love to work with things that don’t appear to be much on the surface, and watch them transform into something new. Something different. Something beautiful!

My hobby is transforming things.

So it turns out that my hobbies actually reflect my own life, in an odd sort of way. God is chiseling away at my facade, sifting through the pieces, discarding the rubble and debris, and slowly transforming me.

A hidden treasure awaits!