Home On The Range

Home On The Range

I’m very excited to introduce my first in-depth attempt at a photo manipulation art piece! I used another photo of mine as a texture and added the lovely birds from Obsidian Dawn (http://www.obsidiandawn.com) to add additional focal interest.

Many thanks to my friend Laura for encouraging me to head into this arena and for her valuable assistance!

Reflecting in an Unknown Place

It is always an interesting experience seeing something up close that you have driven by dozens of times but never really saw.  An ideal example for this is the pond in Fort Dodge, Kansas, near the Kansas Soldiers’ Home.  While on our Backroads Photo Adventure Day, Laura directed me to this pond (which is surprisingly only about 5 miles from my house), and I immediately fell in love.  I literally had no idea of its existence, even though I drive on that highway every time I go to Wichita.

After our rather exhausting day, it was nice to put our feet up, relax, look through photos from the day and just talk.  The colors, as you can tell, were gorgeous – the blues of the pond nicely reflected the oranges from the outcrops of benches and the greens from the surrounding foliage.

I can see this being a place I frequent when the weather turns warmer (it’s supposed to get down to 10 degrees for a low later this week!), armed with my Moleskine and Pitt Pens and ready to create.  I love discovering (or, in this case, being shown) new places, especially ones right in my backyard!

DSC_0272

Put Your Feet Up

DSC_0290

Sit A Moment & Catch Your Breath • “Sometimes you get a glimpse of a semicolon coming, a few lines farther on, and it is like climbing a steep path through woods and seeing a wooden bench just at a bend in the road ahead, a place where you can expect to sit for a moment, catching your breath.” – Lewis Thomas

DSC_0269

The Pond at Fort Dodge

DSC_0289

Pondside Grasses

DSC_0286

Ripples & Reflections

DSC_0280

Ripples & Reflections II

DSC_0279

Bokeh Blur

DSC_0293

A Story of Three Leaves in Disguise

A Not-So Brief Update

Hello! It has been quite some time since I’ve posted something other than a brief poem or photo on my blog. To say that the last couple of months have been crazy is a huge understatement!

In mid-October, someone I went to school with, traveled with, and who was part of our work family passed away in a car accident. It was incredibly shocking and I still haven’t wholly processed what has happened or that I won’t see him again. It’s one thing to see these kinds of thing in the news and think, “That could never happen to anyone I know” or “I feel bad for that family; I’m just glad it wasn’t someone I know.” It’s tough to write those words, but I think it’s being honest that those thoughts do run through our heads, regardless of intention. It was a blow when I actually knew the person in those news stories. I can’t imagine what his family must be going through, but I know it can’t be easy, and my thoughts are with them and another family in our community who has been dealt a particularly unfair dash of loss over the last couple of months.

Unfortunately, I was unable to go to that friend’s funeral because I was scheduled to go to Austin for a training for work. Despite the circumstances (all of us who went had either known or knew of the person who was killed), we had a great training and were able to fit in some fun activities, ranging from having fun and site-seeing on both sides of Sixth Street to visiting the gorgeous Texas State Capitol building. I believe I accomplished everything I wanted to on that trip outside of work commitments, including eating a delicious donut concoction from a Gourdough’s food truck (yes, bacon WAS involved)! As I have time to go through pictures, I will post more about that trip to Austin, including some pictures I took with my new camera! (New camera- blah! Another blog post is in store.)

In good news, the company I work for just recently launched the iPhone – the reason for my trip and something I have been wanting for many years! This has added some level of stress and further responsibility at work, but it is gratifying to see something I’ve worked on in bits and pieces for so long come to fruition. I can’t wait to travel with it next month to Florida – this camera is awesome!! And I am having fun discovering new apps that will hopefully help me keep on track with my creative endeavors.

Speaking of Florida, in just a short couple of weeks, I will be flying down to the Fort Lauderdale area to spend a week with my awesome friend and mentor, Laura, who you may remember spent a day with me taking pictures on the backroads of Southwest Kansas back in September (I will be posting more of those pictures soon!). We will be spending a couple of days at Walt Disney World, a place I never thought I’d want to go, but now that the opportunity has presented itself, I can’t wait to see and experience! I’ve heard from many that it is a magical and awesome place that can’t be described with words. (Cue any suggestions for Downtown Disney, Magic Kingdom and Epcot!)

Speaking of Laura, we are starting something I’m really looking forward to – weekly challenges or goals to help keep our creative gears running. This last week, our goal was to process and post 20 pictures (we both have WAY TOO MANY photos in our archives that we’re both itching to get through), and this coming week, we are focusing on writing a piece integrating two prompts from http://www.magatsu.net/art/index.php: “a gondola” and “evening glow.” I haven’t written anything substantive for a while, and with that combo, I think I am ready to get back in the game!

It’s hard to believe that the Thanksgiving holiday is just around the corner for those of us in the United States. I, for one, am grateful for many things – my family, my friends, my job, my dreams, and even those (many!) weaknesses that keep pushing me to become a better person.

In light of recent events, I am particularly grateful for life. It becomes more real after these events just how little time we have here and how we can have absolutely no warning, in some cases, of when our end is near. I haven’t really feared death in and of itself since I was much younger, but I am anxious and more aware that I won’t be able to accomplish everything I want to before that day comes. I have lots of things I want to do, and one of those things is to get back into shape. I haven’t been “in shape” for quite some time (ever???! Lol!), the last being the summer of 2012 after I had lost almost 30 pounds. In the subsequent year, I’ve gained that back plus some, letting myself and those who cheered me on down. I know, deep inside, that in order to accomplish my travel goals and see my beautiful niece grow up into a bright young woman (to say nothing of the rest), going forward, I have to give as much attention to my body as I have to other aspects of my life. Intellectually, I know what I should be doing, but putting that into practice will be a huge goal going forward.

Whew! I think that’s enough rambling for one night! I will be posting pictures from my Backroads Adventure Day with Laura, as well as a similar outing with my brother, throughout the next couple of weeks. And I pledge to do a better job of posting as I go about daily life, as well as fun updates from Florida!

Have a great week!!