Monday, January 30, 2012

Foggy Street


Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.
Emily Dickinson

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Year Ago Today

What were you doing a year ago today?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

This week in iPhone photos

For my friend Karen - adults playing kickball in the neighborhood park:

Rain at rush hour didn't prevent a friend from joining me for supper:

Discovering a restaurant in the west end - West Egg:

The take home :  coca cola cupcake

Beautiful watercolor post card from a friend (it didn't arrive this week, but I photographed it because I've been enjoying it on my table this week):

Another post card from a friend with my favorite saying:

Monday, January 23, 2012


LOVELOVELOVE the gray/green trim color...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Study Date?

from an area coffee house near Emory...

Monday, January 16, 2012


My paternal grandmother's birthday is today.  If she were alive, she'd be 99.  I thought about her today and wondered how I could celebrate her.  I had a couple of errands so it was mid afternoon and I hadn't had lunch - I was headed to my next errand when I happened to think about how any time we traveled to Montgomery from Troy, we would eat at Krystal.  My grandmother loved them!

Now my grandmother was ahead of her time - there was no Coke in the fridge, no chips or packaged cookies in the pantry.  Meals were balanced: a protein, a yellow and a green vegetable appeared at each meal.  Lots of poultry and fish, red meat and pork only occasionally made the menu.  I remember wishing we could have Pop-Tarts for breakfast but she was unyielding!

That made it especially fun to know how much she enjoyed a trip to Krystal since fast food was an unusual event.  So, in honor of her birthday I had 3 cheese Krystals and a small diet Coke.

Happy Birthday, Grandmother!

Monday, January 9, 2012


Time is inevitably going to pass and one year from today, you can find yourself in the exact same spot you're in now, you can find yourself further away from your goal or you can find yourself closer to your goal - so where do you want to be a year from now?

Ali Edwards tweeted this, and it took my breath away.  It took my breath away because I've been reflecting on how last year seemed to fly by.  I was also thinking that I didn't know how to define my dreams.  And then I read this and  thought how easy it would be to be at home on January 9, 2013 having made no progress other than passage of time.  

I don't know about you, but I want to be closer to my goal.  Whatever it is.

[here's the post where the phrase came's worth the read ]

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolution

Last November, I treated myself to an adventure.

I went to a photography workshop in NYC that took me far outside my comfort zone.  I was certain that I would be the junior member of whatever group assembled. By junior I mean less experienced, less talented, less technical.  Just less. I mean, I emailed the workshop coordinator and asked about who typically attends - his response was that they had a wide range: from Joe McNally to those new to photography [Joe McNally?  A National Geographic caliber photographer might be in my class?  Ack!]   This was not my day job, know what I mean?

But, it seemed like an opportunity that I shouldn't pass up:  I could afford it, I had not taken a major vacation in a few years, I missed the connection I once had to my photography and what if the photographer conducting the workshop decided to stop?  I'd been looking at the workshop for a year and thinking "one day I will do this".

So I signed up, paid (gulp), booked a flight, booked a hotel room, booked my dogs into the boarding kennel.  I evaluated my equipment.  Bought a backpack.  Googled the NYC weather forecast.  Several times. Bought a couple things to wear on the trip. Borrowed a rain poncho.  Asked some folks to look at some photos to help me create a 'portfolio'.  Resolved to take at least a photograph a day until I left since I had not shot much during 2011.

I figured the first session when we would go through the 10 sample images would be the toughest.  And then everyday life got busy and I didn't have much time to fret.  But I did say to a couple of people what I said above about being the person who was sort of the junior person.  And one of those people let me have it for having that less-than mind set.  Huh, I thought.  I'm just being realistic.  I mean, it's not my day job. You know?

Finally the date arrived.  I packed, dropped off the dogs, called the security patrol with my travel dates, called a cab and stepped into the unknown.

On the ground in NYC, my cab driver and I looked at each other in confusion - his GPS said we were at the hotel but neither of us could see the entrance until finally he looked at me in the back seat and said "there it is!"  We were both relieved - he could get his next fare, and I would not be on a dark block in Chinatown wondering where the hotel was.

The next morning, I set out for the studio and my iPhone GPS failed me and sent me in the wrong direction (you aren't thinking user error are you?).  No matter - I figured it out and had plenty of time before 8:30.  A guy on the street stopped me and asked if I needed directions and then asked if I'd been to NY before.  We had a nice chat and he said 'with that smile, you're going to have a good day".  

And I did.  Every day for the next 5 days.  What happened next was amazing.  The class.  The venue.  The Photographer. The photographs.  The experience.  Me.  

I made 3 rules for myself for that trip the Sunday night before falling asleep:  Be Open.  Be Willing.  Be Present.

Be Open: Accept what is going on.  Let things come to me.  Don't hide behind sunglasses and iPod earphones. Smile at people.

Be Willing:  no making up my mind in advance of the facts.  Trust the workshop leader - I mean, he had my money and all that feedback from former students.  Do what he suggested to the best of my ability. Get the experience I deserved.

Be Present: No blackberry.  And very little iPhone.  iPhone is there to serve me, not for me to serve it and the interwebs.

That week was the right person, the right time, the right place and it all equaled the right experience.  I can't help but believe it was the mental posture I adopted on Sunday evening before falling asleep. I admit it was easier to do since I was not in my everyday routine.  Everything was different.

So I sit here on January 1, 2012 and I wonder what is possible if I take that same perspective on the new year?

Be present - no time like the present. one thing at a time.  multi-tasking ain't all it's cracked up to be. focus.

Be willing - take the opportunities that are part of everyday.

Be open - see what's right in front of me without making it more or less.

I think 2012 can be the best year yet.

Happy New Year!


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