Midnight Mayhem


I’m stirring up mayhem tonight, and I’ll probably kick myself for it later. My garden photographs are waiting to be sorted, and my short story still needs an ending, but I REALLY wanted to work on this portrait—so here I am—finishing up in the wee hours of the night.

Actually, the “mayhem” I’ve added is supposed to push the portrait toward the humorous side, sort of like a comic book, but I think it ended up looking more serious than fun. Anyway, there’s a story in here somewhere. I had to send a photo to the college for our virtual graduation, so I ended up with a self-portrait to play with. I don’t know… I thought it was about time I sucked it up and did a portrait of my own—for me.

Life is simply a mix of mayhem and magnolias, so embrace this gentle riot and gather flowers along the way.

kat savage

Red Solo Cup


Country songs, red solo cup—

Metaphors for simpler things.

Faded Glory, holding tight—

To the memories that they bring.


I wanted to try something creative tonight. I’ve had a couple of long days and it’s nice to take a pause, and stop (over) thinking. I took this photograph at a country music festival some time ago, using a cheap point and click, and I really like the frame. I’m always drawn to my poor quality images—it’s so fun to transform them!

I didn’t notice the red solo cup up there on the stage until I started playing around with the black and white effects, and I thought it was kind of cool; my funny little muse.

Anyway, that’s about all for now. I hope you’re all safe, healthy, and doing well…
Peace & Love!

Bare feet, Salty Hair

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

Kahlil gibran

No rhyme or reason for this one here. I was looking into my archives, thinking about more feather close-ups, and I just fell in love with these feet.

My new classes started this morning and I was able to get in and view (with eyes wide and mouth agape) what the next 8 weeks will look like. Let’s just say that I’ll have a little less time for blogging! I’m psyching myself up to wind down, and nothing says “I MAY be on hiatus” better than toes in the sand.

Anyway, the next 8 weeks—just like my little friend here—are going to fly…

That’s about all for now. Hope everyone is staying safe and keeping healthy!!
—Janet

Yes, Yes, Yes!


Yes to the rhythm,

Yes to the beat,

If you can’t stand the fire,

Then get out of the heat!

Yes to the lyrics,

Yes to the tune,

Swing to the melody,

And dance to the moon!


This is a celebratory piece for sure. I was procrastinating a term paper in comparative religion, and the assignment is now “officially submitted.” Who would have thought that a class I chose to take for “fun” would turn out to be so brutal!? Anyway, my fear and dread is now over and it feels marvelous… almost makes me want to dance!

I’m upcycling today. Or recycling. This was originally my abstract Salsa Dancing art, and I thought it would be fun to make it more literal. I think the colors alone are enough to energize and improve the mood. If you like bright colors anyway. Now… I tried to make the dancers more conspicuous than the girl that I hid in Unraveling, so I’m hoping these two are visible, even without the cheater glasses.

I’m going to take a peek at my short story later and see if I can add to it tonight. As for now, it’s getting hot and I think it may be time to visit the kiddie pool…

Peace & Love!


Word of the Day Challenge: Yes

Faith to Fly


Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.

Rabindranath Tagore

Another recycled image today! I had forgotten about my “feather close-ups” that I wanted to dig into some months ago. When I saw the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Abstract in Black and White I went searching and found one that I had done, and I re-did it. I like it! Feathers are so beautiful.

Last night I had my new student orientation. I was SO glad it was on Zoom because I felt so bad. What are the odds of that!? Anyway, today I ordered my books, and Monday is my first day EVER attending a University. How exciting! I think I’m a little nervous. Even if it is virtual for now. Anyway, I’m looking forward to starting this new chapter, and I have faith that the journey will be fulfilling and rewarding.

That’s about all for now.
Peace & Love!!
—Janet

Tree Party

tree

When the zephyr appears,

We flutter and sway,

A waltz in the wind,

An impassioned ballet.

If the squalls should arrive,

We’ll shake, and we’ll sing,

Let loose of the branch,

Square dance in a ring.

The birds will take part,

Building homes for the new,

Whistling with joy,

Loving chirps, or a coo.

It’s a party, my friend,

Nature offers with glee,

Come join, all are welcome,

Better yet… it is free!


The image is another recycled photo; our Ginkgo. That tree is huge, and it just keeps growing, and growing…

Anyway, I was working on it last night and this afternoon, and was tickled when I saw the Word of the Day Challenge: Zephyr. How fitting!

Not to bring up the elephant in the room, but my walking came to a halt—just for this week. In case anyone is curious. It’s been pretty hot, like in the high 90’s, so I took a little break. We put up a little pool in the backyard, to soak our feet in, and watching the birds play inspired the poem.

That’s about all for now. Peace & Love!
—Janet

Beautiful Storm

I started working on this image during my “time out” yesterday. I feel wonderful today, and very well rested. The beach scene is not quite where I wanted it to be, but it will have to do. For now. Striving for perfection is exhausting, so it’s “good enough.”

I’ve come to the conclusion that—even with this extra time we’ve all been given—it’s still possible to burn out. Too much sleeping, overeating, excessive introspection, and even (in my own case) an overdose of blogging. Some of it isn’t visible; it’s the unseen things we do behind the scenes—thinking about what to share, writing and editing, scratching the whole shabang and then starting over—that sort of stuff. Assuming I’m not the only one who does that!

Yesterday I REALLY dug in and I’m almost finished cleaning and organizing my space (the old bedroom / desk / work area). Wednesday is my new student orientation at the University— which, unfortunately, is now on zoom instead of face to face—and then the following Monday my classes start. Yay! That being said, I’ll be too busy to over-introspect or overdose on blogging, so that’s really good news. Anyway, it felt SO good to clean and organize. Sometimes I think cleaning is good for the soul. It helps us heal, and everything looks so pleasing afterwards. Like a fresh start!

I thought I’d do a Daily Gratitude because that’s how I feel today. After writing about my struggles with the ALL or NOTHING syndrome, and trying to find some kind of balance, I see something very beautiful in that storm, something I’m very grateful for…

Sanity: The ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner.

Although it’s not official, I’ll stick to the definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I’ve done that before! And I blamed everyone around me for the destructive tornado that seemed to follow me wherever I went. Not until recovery did I learn that it was me. I was the cause. It was MY storm.

Having a sound mind and the wherewithal to think and sort through my whirlwind of thoughts, from different perspectives, is something I’m truly grateful for. It is in that storm that the answers hide.

I’m ALSO grateful to all of the readers, my friends. Every comment (or like) encourages me, and your words have helped me to see or realize new things. 

I know it’s a bit strange to lump together sanity and readers (friends), but actually it’s not. This is a difficult and unusual time we’re all in. Life is “different” right now, and it will be different for quite some time. Being there for each other is part of what keeps us sane. So, if you ask me, I’d say that the two go hand in hand.

Thank you for reading, and for being there!

Peace & Love…
—Janet

Selfies


CAUTION: To avoid injury, please remain at least 6 feet away from the cliff’s edge (and other people) before you pan in and shoot.


This is another shot from my old hike to “the Hollywood Sign.” I was working on the “sketch” effect and wasn’t even sure what I’d do with the image, until I saw the 3 things challenge. The man’s shirt is what originally caught my eye: Young, Broke & Fabulous. Something I could really relate to. Hey, two out of three ain’t bad! 😉


#ThreeThingsChallenge: Injury, Shoot, Pan

Unraveling


The chaotic bold,

Hides her shadow.

Underneath this bravado,

She shrinks.

Her quilted facade,

Is unraveling,

And soon…

She will be revealed.


As I was putting this post together, I realized a couple of things. First of all, I’m not comfortable writing words that aren’t bursting with sunshine and happiness (except for my occasional rants, or whispers of self-doubt). Let’s say it another way. This poem is not about me. Ha! It did, however, remind me of what I’ve mentioned before, about feeling like an impostor at times. That being said, maybe the piece was constructed by my subconscious mind.

Secondly, although the featured image started out as a total abstract (which was originally some very blurry lights), after thinking about the poem I did an alteration—and now I can’t resist the urge to share it with you! If you didn’t notice already, there IS a girl curled up in there; the woman who’s unraveling. So, now that I’ve told you… I guess it’s not so abstract after all.

I hope you’re able to see her, and not just a blob. I was going to make her even more subtle—and not say anything at all—but then, what’s the point? And I’m not so sure I like her there. I’ve saved my original, so it may come back another day, with a different (more uplifting) message.

That’s about all for now. Peace & Love!!


Word of the Day Challenge: Quilt
RDP Tuesday: Bravado

Femme Fatale

black cat

Cold-hearted feline,

Smugly bats her eyelashes,

Struts across the lawn.


If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that my Haiku was written for our cat “Gypsy” who thinks she rules the roost (and likes to ignore people). BUT, she was nice enough to pose for the featured image, so I’ll cut her some slack.

We love Gypsy. She waits at the front door and signals us with the cutest and meekest meow, so we’ll let her in. Then she sashays her way straight to the back door and waits again, for us to let her out to the backyard. I guess she’s too good to use the gate. Ha! Anyway…

Thanks for reading.
A good afternoon to you all!
—Janet

Written for Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge: Cat and Bat

Weathering the Storm


Not much required,
To get through the storm,
Here’s advice I was given in life:
Drive a modest abode,
Keep the tank full of gas,
Ne’er forget…
Your Swiss Army knife.


So… maybe I’m NOT the sharpest tool in the shed. It’s the 19th of April and I’ve just learned (via Google) what NaPoWriMo stands for! With just 11 days left, I find out that it’s National Poetry Writing Month. Ha! One would think that—with my unusually low tolerance for curiosity—I might have inquired about this sooner. Anyway…

The image is another photo from yesterday’s walk (with 1 or 2 hours worth of playful editing included). LOVE the RV!

That’s about all for now. Peace & Love!


Written for RDP Sunday: Swiss

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.

A Good Harvest

strawberries

Today was a beautiful day.

It felt like summer this morning so I took my walk early. I wanted my energy level to be high. Exercise seems to be the “in” thing right now because there were people everywhere. Walking, jogging, cycling… I was constantly zigzagging across streets, making sure to stay 6 feet away. How weird that feels! I try to acknowledge everyone—offering a smile, a wave, or a friendly “hello”—just to let them know I’m not trying to be avoidant. Or rude.

Still no photographs from the streets. I ordered a super lightweight backpack to carry my water, camera, and music… so after Saturday I’m ready to rock and roll. Now let’s hope for some good photo-ops!

And if not, that’s alright too. On my walk… I realized that I’ve got to stop building these expectations. That’s what the problem has been.

I need to Just BE. Just ENJOY.
Stop thinking and worrying about plans… and Just DO.


Things are as they are, we suffer because we imagined different.

That’s about all for now, thanks for reading!

Walk Stats: 3.46 Miles / 1 Hour, 19 Minutes / 8,484 Steps


About the Image: My mood was so elevated after soaking in all of that sunshine that I roamed the backyard to see what I could share. I’ve been watching these hanging strawberries and this afternoon they were begging for a selfie.

Rejoice!

painted spring

Where flowers bloom, so does hope. —Lady Bird Johnson


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 4: 4-7 (NIV)

Happy Easter Everyone
Stay healthy, hopeful and positive… and Rejoice!

Mesmerized

sunset

Today is my experimental day.

I finished my WordPress course and started another condensed class: Web Development II. That being said, I’m trying out a little CSS to create a border and padding around my image.

What stinks is that I have no idea if it will work in the reader… I’m guessing that’s a big fat no, but I’m doing it anyway. It works on the blog itself, so that will just have to suffice if need be.

The photograph was taken last week when the sky was full of pinks, oranges and blues. It took a while to find the energy (and patience) to open Photoshop since the laptop gets worse every time I use it. If I didn’t know any better I’d swear that Microsoft installed a virus with one of my updates so I’d go out and buy a new one. They do that you know. Or so I’ve been told.

Anyway, I’ve also been testing out Pixlr X for free online photo editing. After some experimentation in there… I came up with the strange, unidentified flying lights for the sky. Since the colors in the sky seemed so surreal, I wanted to give it a fantasy feel.

Last but not least, I must confess. I stepped on the scale today. Never again will I vow to stop doing that. It only increased my temptation and shot my curiosity level through the roof. Needless to say, nothing has changed… but that’s OK.


Better to rest on plateau than to fall down mountain.
—My Own Proverb


In the Distance

Turquoise Lake, Colorado

I think this photo was made for color, but I thought the lake and mountains in the distance were perfect for Cee’s Black & White challenge today.

Also… I found an interesting quote that I’m going to keep in mind when I go back to school…

The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.

Ansel Adams

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. 🙂

A Day in L.A.

I was all prepared for a quiet day at home—on day one of the new year—when my friend Sherry dropped by and snagged me! We went hiking at the Old Zoo in Los Angeles.

This is one of the many photos I took, and it’s a favorite of mine.

It’s an old animal enclosure of some sort, and it looks a bit scary—but it’s colorful!

Rainy Day Art

Well… I have been at this a good part of the day. It’s raining again and the fireplace is ablaze. This is kind of crazy stuff. Just having some fun with the water and some artsy effects.

Teardrops in the Japanese Maple

Reflection in the driveway

A rain drop on the Christmas lights

More Japanese Maple droplets

That’s all for now. Just enjoying these rainy days!

Preparing for Take-off

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. Chinese Proverb

I got a bit of a crow in the walnut tree next door. It’s not a pretty tree (if you ask me), so I did a little crazy stuff to it. I like his stance—he looks very brave. And for some reason every bird around here is ALWAYS behind a branch. It’s like they do it on purpose!

That’s going to change though. Believe it or not, I FINALLY picked up the SUV that my friend and her husband gave  me. It’s HUGE! It will be great for hauling furniture someday. So, I’m super excited about that.

It’s a major, awesome, wonderful Christmas gift.

I have wheels again!

 

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…

Inside Our Ginkgo

inside-gingko

Our Ginkgo is too tall to get the whole tree into a good photograph, so I decided to get inside of it and look up. I kind of like how it came out!

Below is a black and white, from another angle. I’ve always loved black and whites, but there’s so much color around lately, it’s hard not to show it. I really DO like this one! Except it’s really hard to see the details or outline of the leaves.

I realized today that I lost my glasses awhile back and am so used to not wearing them that this is probably the reason I have a hard time seeing through the lens! Go figure.

ginkgo-bw