All posts filed under: Tidbits

Yesterday’s News

What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be. —Author Unknown I’ve been thinking a lot. That’s what happens when I have time on my hands (did I just say that in an earlier post?). What I’ve noticed lately is that—in certain areas—I’m a bit of a control freak. Nothing huge, mind you, just little nagging issues that bother me.

Gratitude Hour

Time can be a little deceptive. It’s been two months since the fall semester ended, and—to be honest—it feels like it’s been a year. I’m grateful for the “down time,” don’t get me wrong, but that old familiar feeling… that it’s time to get moving… has taken hold, and Tuesday can’t come soon enough. It’s kind of like long, out of town vacations. They’re awesome! They’re fun, relaxing, and refreshing, but eventually you reach that point where you just want to go home. So… Daily Addiction’s word today is Inspire, and I’ve been thinking about that word quite a bit (burning the midnight oil again). In my pondering, I realized that one of the reasons my life, and this blog, have morphed and grown so much over the past couple of years is because so many of you have inspired me. Undoubtedly, I’ll be online much less once my classes start… so it seems like the perfect time to express my gratitude for that inspiration. To all the photographers out there, thank you for sharing. …

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

Magical Makeovers

—A Page in My Journal My best friend went to cosmetology school when she was eighteen, and I was the brave subject of her very first “perm.” It looked pretty BAD, but eventually my hair grew out. Over the years that followed (or decades I should say), she became the extremely talented hairdresser that she is today. For many of those years, although she did exactly what I had asked her to do, I’d come away from her shop feeling slightly disappointed. Sometimes I wondered if it was just MY hair that never seemed to come out “just like” the pictures that I would bring her. I don’t know why it took her so many years to say it; but finally one day when we were discussing my dissatisfaction, she said that sometimes people come in believing that their new color or cut will make them look just like “the woman” in the photographs that they bring in, but that just isn’t the case. And it certainly isn’t a reality. All I can say is …

Mindful

Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.  Thích Nhất Hạnh After last night’s post, I decided to commit to black and whites for a while. I mentioned that I wasn’t sure why I haven’t done more—since I love them so much—but after working on the image that I’ve featured here, it all came back to me; they aren’t easy to do, and they can be pretty tricky. Actually, I think that’s exactly what was needed right now; something to challenge me a little and push me to learn.

Moonstruck

moon·struck/adjective1. unable to think or act normally, especially because of being in love. Inspired by the Word of the Day Challenge. Every now and then I check out the word of the day challenge, hoping it will inspire me to start writing poetry. As you can see by my recent posts… that hasn’t really worked out for me! Anyway, I was inspired by today’s word: Moonstruck, and now it’s a half hour before midnight and I’m barely getting started! I wanted to do the featured image first—and it took me much longer than I had expected—so it looks like the poetry will have to wait. I think the image captures the “moonstruck” mood though, so it’s all good. Have a beautiful week everyone… Peace and 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 …

Happy Anniversary!

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. Oscar Wilde Would you believe that today marks exactly two years for me here on the blog? Another week and I’ll also reach two years and seven months sober. Praise God for that! Time flies when you’re busy making plans, that’s for sure. Speaking of making plans, I had an epiphany recently. One of the students in my English class mentioned something about changing how society views a certain subject. I can’t remember what it was she was referring to, but that’s not really the point anyway—it’s what happened after. Grinning, our professor reminded the class that they were young, and that they had their whole lives ahead of them to change the world. At first, I felt a little sad. There I sat, surrounded by teens and young adults—the oldest probably 26 years old—and I was… well… somewhere in my fifties. Somehow his words just struck me. It’s not often that I get discouraged, but …

Upside Down

Sometimes you have to let life turn you upside down so you can learn how to live right side up. I’ve been having some weird feelings lately. I think I’d call it “lack of joy,” but at the same time I keep reminding myself to stay grateful. What I’m REALLY grateful for is the fact that I have the wherewithal to remind myself of that! What I’ve been catching myself doing a lot lately is living everywhere but in the present, and I realized today that this is the reason my joy has slipped away. Believe it or not, I still have eleven weeks left in this semester and I’ve spent hours—if not days—trying to plan my schedule for spring. I even met with someone at the university I’ll be transferring to next year so that I could start planning ahead for those classes too! I know it’s smart to have goals and plan ahead, that’s not the issue. For me, the problem occurs when—in making those plans—I lose sight of where I am right …

Empty Promises

I’ve been thinking (for a while now) about doing recovery images; pictures that portray the feelings of freedom and joy that come with getting—and living—sober. I think my mind was in too many different places, or I didn’t plan it out well, because this one could actually go either way. Is she trying to climb into the bottle, or is she climbing out? Is she about to jump off—into the beauty of freedom and life; or is she holding on—longing to stay close to the forbidden fruit that leads her only to death? Maybe it’s supposed to be thought provoking and open to personal interpretation… I don’t know. Regardless, I’m happy with it. I’m hoping that it’s the first in a new “Recovery Series,” but don’t quote me on that just yet. I’ve also been thinking about dabbling in poetry again. My English class this semester is really stirring up some creative thoughts! That’s about all for now. Life is good, God is great, and it’s a beautiful day to be alive! Courage is the power …

Dream Chasers

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Colin Powell In visiting some images from my past, I stumbled on this photograph I took of some of my friends taking surf lessons. I thought it was a good representation of my thoughts lately; about hard work and determination. One of our math assignments last week was to read an article by Carol S. Dweck—the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University—about fixed mindsets vs. growth mindsets. What’s interesting is that in doing so, I learned a little something about myself. A person with a fixed mindset believes that intelligence levels, talents, and abilities are fixed, that we inherently have what we have (basically what we are fortunate enough to be born with), and that’s it. A person with a growth mindset, on the other hand, believes that intelligence levels, talents, and abilities can be cultivated through effort and education; they are potentials that can be realized through learning and practice. I’ve always had a tendency to …

Let’s Dance!

Today is my first day off and I’m still trying to get into the groove of the changes. All of my classes over the summer were online, so my face-to-face socializing was minimal. Now I’m surrounded by young people in their late teens and early 20’s, and every class has group activities. Talk about culture shock! I wasn’t sure if I would get on the blog much during fall semester, but I just finished purchasing all of my textbooks and I’m not in the mood for homework yet. Ha! Tomorrow. Anyway, I was trying out a new paint program today and this image seemed perfect for my state of mind. It looks to me like there’s a man with a rather large nose, sunglasses, and some facial hair, peeking through—right around the center of the image. I thought it was amusing; it reminded me of how it feels to try something new. Sometimes you peek inside first, but you take a little step—and you feel the the newness of the experience—then before you know it, …

Bringing Out the Bold

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves. Carl Jung It’s been a battle between intellect & creativity for me this week. Right brain vs. left. I needed to do something playful because I wasn’t having much fun with what I’ve been doing—still tweaking the blog. O.C.D. much?!? I know they don’t get seen much, but my intellect’s been telling me to delete the posts that are too irrelevant, remove old images that seem weird or boring, fix those accidental double line spaces, and edit some things I said in the past that now sound silly (Hey, this isn’t twitter! I can do a re-do, right?!) So, speaking of silly; I mentioned that looking back on my story was a great gratitude exercise for me, but there’s something else that I noticed that’s been really eye opening for me. In every other post—be it a story or an image—I was constantly explaining myself and …

The Next Chapter

Just hours after I said that I don’t have much to share these days, all kinds of thoughts started churning around. I haven’t even slept well the past two nights because my mind’s been racing! It reminded me of all the times I proclaimed that I was going to do a new image series, and then the whole idea would just fizzle out. I can never seem to stick with a plan! This time it worked for my benefit though… sort of reverse psychology, I guess. I was going through my files yesterday, doing a little housecleaning, and I came across one of my old posts; back when I first started the blog. It was such a great reminder to me, and the timing was perfect! When my friend Gil first encouraged me to write, and to share my story with others, it was the first time in SO long that I felt my life had purpose. I not only had my sobriety, I had this HOPE that I could share with others. I think …

A Handful of Dew

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop were not there, I think the ocean would be less by that missing drop. Mother Teresa Greetings Everyone! It’s been a couple of months since I opened up any of my Adobe programs, so I thought I would give it a shot today and see if the right side of my brain still works. I took this photo of an orange and dew drop when I was in my photography class, so today I added the hand and used scale and some paint effects to make it look larger than life. I thought it was fun. My second year of school starts in two weeks, and once that’s finished I’ll be just one class shy of earning my Associates Degree in Psychology, so this time next year I should be finishing up and planning for my graduation and University transfer. I’ve been contemplating what I want to do with my blog these days. I seem to …

Flying Solo

It’s been tough for me to post lately. Considering the old saying “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” I’ve come to a new and quite similar saying of my own – about myself and my writing – and I’m trying to live by it now. “If you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything at all.” Actually, I thought about this while taking an English class over winter. Writing essays about emerging technologies and bullying on the internet, I found myself really questioning why it is I’m interested in writing, and why I found it so hard (or perhaps tedious is a better word) to write those essays. To make matters more confusing, I had also been pondering why graphic design was becoming less appealing to me after some of the projects I did for class. It was the answer that came to me that I actually got excited about… in order for these things to work, they have to come from my heart. That being said, …

Perfectly Imperfect

Even imperfection itself may have its ideal or perfect state. Thomas de Quincey It’s the first day of “spring break” here in California, and I wanted to share a photograph I took last year, just before fall. I shot this while I was working on a project for my photography class, but I ended up changing my subject to water and I never turned this one in. The tree may look familiar to some of you; it’s the Ginkgo that sits in the backyard.  I wanted to do something in black and white today, and I’m crazy about all of the organic lines. Everything is going really well these days! I celebrated 2 years sober on March 7th – and a full load of classes this semester is keeping me busy (and out of trouble). I’ve been exploring different majors, and have been told that this is actually par for the course; most students change their majors up to 4 times before they finally find what fits. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter! I’ve …

Come Together

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. —Henry Ford This is a bit of a mishmosh of thoughts, but it all ties together. First of all the image is just something I was toying around with. I combined three different photos I took of kids playing at the beach. Then I did some tinkering in Photoshop and Illustrator to create the look of a drawing. I added outlines to give it a poster kind of look and to (hopefully) tie in with the “come together” theme. I had my first writing class last night and I have to say that it already has me thinking about how writing may (or may not) fit into my future. I’ll repeat what I shared in the class, as we each had to talk briefly about why we took the class. Since starting this blog, a recurring thought I’ve had is “Can I really WRITE? OR do I just know how to write about myself?” I WILL say that the reason I started …

Backstage Pass

Everybody’s a dreamer and everybody’s a star, And everybody’s in movies, it doesn’t matter who you are. The Kinks, Celluloid Heroes I’m sharing the end of yesterday’s day trip first, since it’s something I’m pretty darn proud of. I actually made it to the TOP of the mountain, so not only did I view the Hollywood sign (in person) for the very first time, but I hiked up to see if from the backside. This is quite an accomplishment for me because… well… I am NOT a hiker! Ha! And I was the very last one in the group to make it up, but I kept going even though my legs kept saying “NO!” Today I am definitely feeling the pain, but it was well worth it. My dear friend who lives near Portland is responsible for getting me off of my duff, and out into the places where those “fit people” go. And it was exhilarating! I do believe I will be doing more things like this. I’ve been a bit of a hermit since I broke both of …

Strut Your Stuff

I want to live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.  I failed to mention that while I was busy babysitting the pugs, I also had to keep an eye on three chickens. It appears that I live in a world of threes! Anyway, I just wanted to share this one. I have more images- probably even better ones, but I really liked the fact that you can see her strutting. And she is beautiful! Peace and Love….   ACTION: Any Change Toward Improving Ones Nature.

Love & Acceptance

Most people need love and acceptance a lot more than they need advice. Bob Goff I forgot to include something in my previous post. I was trying to watch my word count, and I left out an important part of the story; which was the reason that I chose to do the visualization of my inner critic in the first place! My friend that asked me to share Saturday night spoke after me, and something he said really stuck with me. About love and acceptance. There’s something that I’ve felt I lacked… you know… that something that was holding me back from being more of service before. I thought perhaps it was the thought that I didn’t know enough, or maybe I didn’t have enough sobriety time, or…. ?? The point is that I’ve never been able to pinpoint what it was that was holding me back. There are two sayings in the program that baffled me, because they are almost conflicting. One is you can’t transmit something you haven’t got… and the second is that you have to give it away to …

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. …

Another Life Boat

Fish Out of Water! That heading is from a book that I’m reading and I just HAVE to share about it. Yesterday was a really tough day. I met with my sponsor and we talked about my re-entry into the business world. At some point in the conversation I felt overwhelmed and started to cry. Every time I talk (or think) about this upcoming job search, this crazy fear comes out in me. Fear of mental exhaustion is what I’ve been calling it. I haven’t felt ready to go back to ANYTHING full-time, at ALL. Not right now anyway. After our meeting I felt a bit beaten, sad… and VERY tired. I felt myself sinking into a depression, BUT… I held on and did what she had suggested. I reviewed my resentments (which happen to pertain to some old business relationships), and my character defects… and read some of the A.A. prayers. One of those prayers is asking God to remove the defects that are standing in the way of my usefulness.  One thing that’s been bothering me …

A Peaceful Place

We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts. A.W. Tozer I thought I’d do one image before I head off to bed. I took a very, VERY long nap earlier this evening and I really do hope I am able to sleep tonight! I wanted something to do to keep my mind quiet. Tomorrow afternoon I’m leading an A.A. meeting, down the street from my house. This means about ten to fifteen minutes of telling my story, or at least share about what’s helped me stay sober. I’ve been mindful not to worry about it… mainly made some bullet points… and I’m staying in the zone of not overthinking it. Anyway, the image is from south Texas and I thought it looked like somewhere I’d like to be sitting right now, to be quiet and still.  The water looks a bit like mud, but I wanted to keep the colors soft and neutral… so it’s still pretty close to how …

Finding Rest

I found the words this morning! So, I am going to go with it, with very little editing… so I hope this all makes sense. I guess the coolest thing I’ve found about studying the word trust is that it keeps leading me to new words. This morning the word was REST. First of all… here is what I’ve learned about what it means to trust God… He is a place of refuge, and (in) Him we are surrounded by His protection and embraced by His compassion. Trusting Him means: to lean on Him, to rely on Him, to hold onto Him, to flee to Him for protection, to stay, to hope, to expect, to be patient, and to linger in expectation… and wait. It also has a lot to do with being on the inside. Examples are: to be firm (in), to confide (in), to have confidence (in), to be secure (in), to seek refuge (in), to feel safe (in), to have assurance (in), to abide (in) and to find rest (in). This morning finding rest in …

Feeling Funky

I wanted to do something colorful tonight, so here you have it! Writer’s block has been preventing me from writing much of anything about my study of the word TRUST. Every single time I’ve tried! So weird! Anyway… I’m surrendering on the production of that post. At least until the words come streaming in. And I trust that they will. In time. I WILL share something beautiful that I found though! What I’ve been searching around for are the various meanings of the Hebrew and Greek words that are translated to the English word trust in the Bible- and I took this from one of my many finds. Trust has to do with being surrounded and protected in His mercy. Trust is to distinguish that He is good, and to be wrapped and swaddled in the goodness of His everlasting arms.  You can’t beat that. Who doesn’t love to be wrapped and swaddled in God’s everlasting arms?!? Anyway, things are going great! I’ve been going to more meetings, reading a lot, and really feeling at peace. I’ve got a couple of people keeping their eyes …

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 …

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! …

Scrolling Up

I’ve had an unusually hard time finding interesting things to photograph, so I’m sticking with my plan to try new and different ways to edit and display them. In case it’s not clear, this is a tree framed on a scroll.  (it’s hard to know how it’ll look on various devices!) I’m also going to spend more time on ONE image.  I’m always pointing out what I could have done differently… so from now on I’m doing things slower, and hope to make those changes first– then post. I’m aiming for improvement now, rather than speed. (which is a real feat for this speed demon!) In other news… and speaking of being slow… I’ve been in no rush to update my other blog because I’m really thinking things through. Being young in both recovery and my walk with God, I’m finding more and more that I still have ample work to do. Nourishing my soul and allowing my roots to grow deeper, for starters. My relationship with God MUST come first, before anything. So I’m spending more time with …

Positive Vibes

It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy! I think I’ve finally hit the last of the archived images I had saved. I’m sure glad I’m leaving tomorrow! Perfect timing. I may drive my sister crazy with the camera, but lucky for me she’s a very patient soul. Anyway, I just want to send out a whisper of gratitude. I hit 300 followers and to me that’s a huge milestone. More than I ever expected! I’m saying my thanks to you quietly here… because I don’t want to jinx it. I appreciate all of you out there, whether you are one of the three hundred or not. I learn a little something from you guys each and everyday. Thank you so much!! Here’s to all of you! 

In This Moment (Trust)

Separating topics is not easy. Not on the blog, anyway. I did some tinkering and there is no logical way to do it. I think that going to regular A.A. meetings (and looking to be of service) was the real STEP that I needed to take, and I’m doing that. At least I’m gaining clarity! Anyway, it’s been four whole days since I started studying the word TRUST, and I want to share my first day. I chose Psalm 40, verse 4. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! What REALLY struck (and amazed) me were verses 1-3. I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put …

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 …

The Light Ahead

Being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you. Eckhart Tolle Warning: Reconstruction Ahead Sometimes I wonder if [some of] my posts need a warning label or disclaimer, just to alleviate my own anxieties. Sharing pieces of my journey, while I am in the midst of the journey, sometimes leaves me feeling vulnerable and uneasy- because I know from experience that it’s a work in progress (and subject to change). The word Journey suggests travel or passage from one place to another. With that in mind, the truest and most accurate disclaimer I could ever add would be… I have NOT reached my destination. But I think everyone already knows that. None of us has. Anyway… I really liked the quote I found because I need to hold tight, and be at ease with the fact that sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong, and sometimes… I just don’t know. It’s ALL just a part of the journey. Write or Wrong. Blessings, peace and love!!! *The image is from Phoenix. It’s an ominous …

Walking My Walk

So… I guess this would be the portion of my blog where I share about my walk, and where I’m at; the My Journey section. Maybe I over-complicated the whole thing by trying to explain it. I do that sometimes. In time it will all make sense. The main thing I want to do is properly categorize. I hope to organize this “hodgepodge of a blog” and it ain’t easy. Eventually I will nail it. I emailed my sponsor about my decision to dive back into A.A. and to start making myself more available to be of service (which I guess you could call re-committing). I just love her! Her reply was right on point… “We can preach a better sermon with our lives than our mouths.” One thing I failed to mention in my last post is that ALL of the meetings I’ve been attending these past six months are not your typical A.A. meetings. That information probably helps to make sense of my thoughts. Monday night recovery is actually a class at my church, and it’s taught by our …

A Bit of Humility?

Awhile back I received a private message from someone about my blog. In the message, they mentioned something about my attachment to religion. Believe it or not, the very first thought I had was: “RELIGION!?! I’m not attached to religion! I have a relationship with God!” I didn’t reply to the message with that thought, but it’s exactly what came to mind. Where on earth does my blog say that I am attached to religion? If you were to review my posts all the way back to day one, I would bet a dollar that you would rarely- if ever– find the word religion. Not that I intentionally omit it, mind you, it’s just a word that I don’t use very often. Or even think of really. So… today is actually the perfect day for this post. It is the seven month anniversary of my baptism. Alright, so maybe THAT sounds religious. Anyway, my point is that today is a good day to share what I’ve been learning this past week- which will also explain more …

Stand Tall

Say it as it is. No need to hide the truth, to deny the painful journey made nor to dwell in the experience. But move on in you life. Share with others. Being open is the only way, honesty being the best policy. Be frank. Be sincere to yourself. Use your hardship to navigate others through theirs. Grow strong from vulnerability. Stand tall and feel proud. —Author unknown I had a great little walk today and was able to take quite a few interesting photos. I’ll be back later to share more. As a side note… I thought of many fellow bloggers when I found the above quote about honesty. Share your story and your ups & downs. Be honest, be brave… … and STAND TALL.

Glass Half Full

Yes, my glass is always half full (non-alcoholic beverages, of course). And, as my sponsor says… it is also refillable. 🙂 I’m experimenting with glass over images and this is my first test run. The trees were shot at the old zoo today, and in reading a tutorial last night I was led to Image*After, which is where I found the glass.

What I Imagine

IF YOU LOSE YOURSELF in your work, you find who you are. If you express the best you have in you in your work, it is more than just the best you have in you that you are expressing. Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark I thought it was rather coincidental (not) that my quote of the day email from Mr. Buechner was titled Work. I couldn’t wait to read it. His are usually a little longer, but this one was perfect for what’s been on my mind these days. Every day I imagine more and more images that I want to create, and I’m finding that if I just keep doing that, I lose old worries as I grasp new techniques. It’s a win-win. Anyway, the featured image is actually a combination of three images, four if you count the hand. The bird shots are from last week, at the L.A. River- so the water has been re-colored, to say the least. The hand was just my way of saying- No, this is not what was …

A Gentle Glow

Today was a really good day. Although I don’t like to write posts that aren’t uplifting, or bursting with joy, I have to say that yesterday it proved to be helpful. For me anyway. Something in a comment got me thinking about my reluctance to make decisions. He mentioned that some people actually preferred having someone else make the choice… then if (or when) things turn out badly, there is someone else to blame (Thanks Great to Good). When I read that, I knew instantly that it applied to me- in a certain area. WORK. Of all things. No wonder I’ve been struggling with taking the next step. In all the years that I worked for the broker, I was the right hand man. I’ve always thought of it as being the one that got stuck doing everything. You know… being overworked and underpaid, and always feeling slighted- that someone else is getting the credit for all of your efforts. But the reality of it is that I hid behind him. I had the choice to go out and do it on my own, but I …

Having Enough

Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir Sometimes I think or say something, and later I realize that it wasn’t 100% correct. I try to look at it like there’s a lesson that I need to learn, or a new discovery that I can take away from it. I’ve mentioned before that it’s important for me to learn how to live sober, and that DOES (and probably always will) hold true—however—there are other things that I need to DO, and I always seem to put them at the bottom of my list! Giving. Being of service. Carrying the message. Thinking more of others. It’s not that I don’t have a huge desire to be selfless… I really DO! It’s that my mind keeps returning to my old thought pattern—which goes something like: What do you have to offer? You’re not ready. You’re not well enough. You don’t know enough yet.  I can go on and on, but you get my drift. IF I allow myself to listen to and believe those thoughts… I’ll NEVER be …

A Tale of Redemption

A few things happened today that really moved me, but I’m only going to talk about one for now. Tonight was the meeting that I co-secretary for, and it turned out to be a pretty emotional meeting. There’s something that I’ve been wanting to talk about, but I was never sure if the time was right, or if bringing it up was even the right thing to do. Tonight I got the answer (and permission). I’ve mentioned before that I have three grandsons. A photo of my oldest grandson (who is eight) is here in the blog, buried back in an old post. I have far fewer photos of him than I do of the other two, because I don’t see him that often. He lives with his mother and grandparents, and his father (my son) is now married and has the two younger boys. His mother is a recovering heroin/meth addict. I was in my four years sober without a program phase when I met her over eight years ago, and she had just gotten clean at the time. I …

Signs of Change

Now that I’m back in the realm of randomness, I’m messing with alterations. This is a street sign by my old High School. Actually, it’s the street that I used to hang out on when I would cut classes, and do other experimental things. I’ve always said that I hated school. I really DID back then—but I thought of something today. When I was hanging out there recently and taking pictures, I watched the kids for awhile. Some were practicing their sports, joking and laughing, and others were talking and hanging out while waiting for their parents to pick them up. They all looked so happy. For a moment, I was a bit sad (or disappointed) that I hadn’t experienced that kind of enthusiasm in my school days. It appeared to be a fun place now! Looking around, I thought why did I hate it here so much?!? Today I knew the answer to that while I was modifying this sign. There was only one reason why I was miserable back then, and it had nothing to do with the school- or the people that I went …

A Note on Gratitude

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy I should make it a habit to write in the morning. My outlook is so good when I first wake up. At night my thoughts get lost in a fog of the day’s events, and I’m not always thinking clearly. First of all I’m going to change my image challenge. The things I’m grateful for isn’t working for me at all! I’m finding it hard to use my imagination when it comes to choosing and/or creating photographs that coincide with the many things I’m grateful for, and the frustration in that process is trying to steal my joy! Go figure. 😉 Anyway, I really can’t narrow down my gratitude like that either. When it comes down to it… I’m grateful to God, and I’m grateful for life. My sober life. My new freedom in Christ. Everything beyond that is an added bonus. But seek first the kingdom of God and …

Feeling Unruffled

Be kind to yourself while blooming. I know sometimes it feels like your soul doesn’t always fit. It’s all a part of the process. Emery Allen What I found odd yesterday is that when I was doing the mood images, I was unstoppable. There are so many different moods that one can experience—I could have gone on forever! Now that I’ve moved on to things that I’m grateful for, it’s been slow moving. There are a zillion things for me to be grateful for, don’t get me wrong, but there are two challenges I’ve faced. One is finding images to match, which is no big deal… but the other thing–that is VERY important—is that I FORGET to be grateful. In my Thursday meeting, I shared about my fears, as well as some thoughts I’ve been having about whether or not I’m doing the right things. You know, like wondering if my actions and motives lately are too self-seeking, and on and on… Two gentlemen (my brothers, I should say) said a few things that really helped me change …

What If?

After thinking about my life this morning, I had a random, but important thought. About fear. You know—I realized that when I procrastinate about moving towards my dreams, I don’t ever really ask myself the question: What if I fail? Pondering Well, maybe—when I have to take a test or something—but I mean when it comes to taking chances and just going for a goal, or a dream. If I want something bad enough I’m never afraid of failure. When I started my business, I was renting a room in Arizona for $300 a month, sleeping on a blow-up bed, and had no car—so failure was the farthest thing from my mind! Maybe that’s the beauty of “nothing left to lose“. The point here is that I wasn’t afraid of failing—and I gave it my all; without hesitation. What occurred to me today is that, when hesitating about moving forward, my biggest fear is actually… What if I succeed??? Coming from someone who spent a good part of her life self-sabotaging, I think this makes total sense and I’m …

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you so much to Rev. B. Keith Haney https://revheadpin.org for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award! And for your lovely blog that continually lifts my spirit. The Light Breaks Through is right! I have never been nominated for an award before- so as I said– I am both humbled and excited, to say the least! Coming up with seven things to say about myself is a challenge. Since my blog contains the story of my life, it’s very hard to think of something that hasn’t been said already! I will certainly do my best. The Rules Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog Post about the award Share 7 facts about yourself Nominate at most 15 people Tell your nominees the good news! 7 Facts About Me: I was the pitcher for a girls fast pitch softball team for about seven years, and was voted All-Star player for five years in row- pitching several no-hitter games. I’m a bit of a tomboy (do they still use that word?). The “jeans only, no …

Dark Places

Last night I had an amazing God shot and this image works perfect for the story. Anyone following my story knows that I’ve been my own worst enemy for the better part of my life. I overthink, doubt myself, and self-criticize. Just before bed I was pondering my previous stories about my angst, my fears, and the imaginary THEY’s that I’d been conforming to please (although I did come up with some REAL). Who’s Out There? I was thinking back to my talk about the enemy’s whispers in parts two and seven- when I brought up the question: Who told me those things? That’s when it happened. Genesis 3:11 WHO TOLD YOU THAT YOU WERE NAKED? I’ll tell you right now that this must have come from God because I can’t even remember how or why it burst into my head! And never have I pondered the question that God asked Adam and Eve, or imagined that it meant something more than how it appears on the surface. But last night, I knew that it was important. Who DID tell them?? I discovered that there are …

Confinement

So, don’t freak out… but tonight my mood is confined. I guess that’s a mood, no? Today was absolutely weird. This evening I felt kind of burned out on the photography. Second, I haven’t felt like writing because there is either too MUCH on my mind, or nothing at all! I did say I was going to relax, but my mind was like mush! And then tonight I got a call from a man friend. One that I wrote about in my first story… a man that I pursued. He was a part of the whole big mix of my loneliness- unhealthy relationships- drinking pattern. I felt trapped. Maybe I’m just afraid of what might happen when I step out of this safety net of singleness and get back out there. It’s funny because I was just thinking earlier that since the photography and writing are good replacements for my old BAD habits… if I lost the passion for those things then what would I do next? And then he called. A little bad timing I guess. So now that I’ve …

What IS the Hurry?

Hurry always empties a soul. Ann Voskamp Today my mood was: HURRIED. What’s funny about the word hurry is that it could lead you to believe that I was hurrying around—doing lots of activities. The truth of the matter is that I hardly moved, and I accomplished very little! All of the rushing around was in my head. I’ve got too many thoughts—on too many subjects—and I can’t seem to nail a single one down and address it. An interesting phrase I heard in my recovery meeting tonight is that we THINK about our thoughts. It’s true!

Art: A Great Read

I’m sharing someone else’s words today. “An old silent pond. Into the pond a frog jumps. Splash! Silence again.” It is perhaps the best known of all Japanese haiku. No subject could be more humdrum. No language could be more pedestrian. Basho, the poet, makes no comment on what he is describing. He implies no meaning, message, or metaphor. He simply invites our attention to no more and no less than just this: the old pond in its watery stillness, the kerplunk of the frog, the gradual return of the stillness. In effect he is putting a frame around the moment, and what the frame does is enable us to see not just something about the moment, but the moment itself in all its ineffable ordinariness and particularity. The chances are that if we had been passing by when the frog jumped, we wouldn’t have noticed a thing or, noticing it, wouldn’t have given it a second thought. But the frame sets it off from everything else that distracts us. That is the nature and …