Good Ol’ Days

family portrait

Since I’m still excited about personalized portraits (and waiting for my next victim) I thought I’d play around with a new style this weekend. This one’s an old family photograph that’s been circulating in my “circle.”

The original was scanned, and pretty small, so the task was to figure out how to keep it from getting stretched and pixelated. I decided to do it in black and white, turn it into an old Polaroid, and then add a background to frame it. If you haven’t guessed already (and why would you), I’m the little blonde in shorts sitting up front—on my Aunt’s lap. The tall, dark, and handsome man straight behind me in the very back is my dad (who is sadly, no longer with us), and next to him (on his left) is my mom.

I’m going to take a guess and say that this photo was taken in the late 60’s. Yikes. The good ol’ days indeed.

Good Ol’ Days

A phrase used by old people. When these words are used in combination it is a signal to young people to get the hell out. “Ahh yes the Good Ol’ Days. Did I ever tell you about the time we rode the train from St. Louis to San Diego?” (this is where you leave)

Definition courtesy of Urban Dictionary.

Black and White Portrait

Out(side) of Time

This morning I read a ‘daily email’ on the subject of Eternity. One of the definitions is: A state of existence outside of time, and this particular meaning reminded me of something that happened years back—something that’s perfect for today’s Daily Gratitude.

When I was going in and out of sobriety—and making a mess of what little life I had left—one of the things that I had to do was move in with my mother. Things were tough for MANY months. Even though I was staying sober, there was a LOT of friction between the two of us.

I babysat my grandsons for some of those months, and I would often walk the youngest in a stroller while his brother was at school. I remember praying a lot… asking God to remove the character defects that stood in the way of me “being a better daughter;” the selfishness that caused me to act out, the self-pity that made react like a child (because I felt like one for being there) and the bitterness that I felt inside.

On this particular day, I remember feeling frustrated. I pushed the stroller across the bridge (pictured in The Hot Seat) and listened to music as I prayed about it. Stopping on the other side of the bridge, I turned back and looked at the house. I had never really seen our house from that perspective. I’m sure I may have decades ago—when I was a child—but none that I remember.

Anyway, that moment felt like eternity to me; as if I had escaped time. The house looked sad and empty. I knew my mother was inside, but from where I was standing the life—her loving spirit that filled it and made it a home—was missing. It seemed as though I was not seeing, but feeling the future… with my mother gone. All that stood before me was a sad old house.

I had no question it was a sign. A glimpse into what my future could be like if my perspective didn’t change… a life filled with remorse and regret… full of if onlys and what ifs. I’ll never forget that day, and I’m forever grateful for it.

It’s as if… just for a moment… God allowed me to step outside of time.

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed today’s Daily Gratitude!

A word about the image here.

This is kind of random, but it’s actually another one of my personalized portraits. The gentleman is a dear friend of mine, and I took the photograph when we were at the beach sometime back. I’ve been wanting to use it and could never quite figure out how. I thought it was perfect for a state of existence outside of time since he seems to be peering in at us—through the glass of a fast moving vehicle.

People on the Beach

Nurtured by Nature

I have to be honest here. This Alphabet Game has had me stumped for days. Every time I sat down to address the letter “N” I’d get frustrated. All of the words I came across were so… wellNot Nice.

Narrow-minded Nagging with Neglect up the wazoo,
Naysayers Nitpicking and Nasty Name-calling too.

It’s so weird that “N” has so many Negative connotations! No, No, No… that is NOT good.

I starting rummaging through my summer photographs. Seeing people having fun at the beach made me think. There is mysterious magic in Nature. The ocean, the lake, the mountains… all of these places have something in common. They soothe us.

Nature makes us forget all of our troubles, even if only for an hour… and brings us back to life—Nature resuscitates us. We look up at the stars and realize that our problems, which seem gigantic, are pretty insignificant compared to this beautiful infinite universe.

So… in tackling the “N” word, I’ve come to realize how much I love Nature, and the way it Nurtures my soul.

-Janet

Peace & Love!

Eucalyptus & Friends

I’m continuing with the Alphabet Game, and things are speeding up. I knew I’d start to question the whole idea, but I didn’t think it would happen this fast! I’m not ready to jump ship yet, so I’m combining some of the letters instead.


“E” was a tough one, but then I suddenly remembered how much I love the scent of Eucalyptus oil. For one thing, I’ve come to associate the smell with a relaxing spa day (which is rare but has happened in the past).

I think it’s more than that though. It just smells so fresh and clean. I’ve also just learned that the monarch butterflies roost in Eucalyptus trees, and the Butterfly Preserve that I’ll visit in December is filled with them.


“F” was easy. Family and Friends. No elaborating here because it’s pretty self-explanatory: I love them all dearly!


So… I thought I’d try another portrait for this one. My very dear friend is featured here, hiding in the shadows near the Eucalyptus sprigs. I LOVE the idea, but I’m not real happy with the outcome.

What I want to do in these portraits is hide areas of the face, so that the subjects identity is somewhat mysterious. I think I’ve done that pretty well here… almost too well. If I didn’t tell you she was there, you might not even see her! I don’t know, I’ll keep experimenting. At least I tried. ūüôā

Have a beautiful weekend! I’ll see you all soon for the letter “G!”

Make a Wish

Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to do that perfectly. St. Frances de Sales

This just happened today while we were walking to the park (my five year old grandson). He’s funny.¬†After looking, he had a funny look on his face, and¬†wanted to know why it was so dark.

I DO have a tendency to¬†darken photos a lot.¬†I love deep contrasts, shadows, and vignettes.¬†After I captured him in this photo-making¬†a wish- he politely suggested that I¬†“keep it light.” Anyway, I thought it was funny that a five year old paid attention to things like that.

Something I’ll have to work on this year I guess. Keeping it light. ūüôā

Back at the Ranch

I took this photograph on the way¬†to Tennessee; at Cadillac Ranch. I found the place on google when I was searching for things to do on the long ride across the country. It’s worth seeing—if you happen to be passing through Texas and haven’t been there before.

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What’s funny is that I really wanted to do a travel blog when we took that trip, but I never did it. I didn’t feel like spending¬†time on the computer after doing all of the driving and having so little time to visit the sights.

Anyway, I had some fun with this one in both color and black and white.