january 5, 2016

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“This year:

Find a creek, river, lake, or ocean, and be still beside it for a time. Sit by an open fire and watch the flames. Sit on the porch and lie on the grass. Light candles. Take a deep breath. Write a letter to someone.

Discover something new everyday. Learn. Tell stories. Listen to old people. Ask them questions.
Do something nice for others when you can and don’t hesitate to be kind to yourself.
Read actual, real books and newspapers.

Spend an entire day without looking at your phone. If you feel the urge to post a selfie everyday, take a picture of some other beautiful thing instead. Remember that there is power in moderation.
Learn to cook or bake something new. Enjoy every meal. Savor your food. Drink water.

Be completely quiet. Turn your favorite song up as loud as it will go.

If someone makes you feel bad all the time, get away from them. Laugh with others. Laugh while you’re alone.

Spend time with animals. They make us better people.

Don’t judge. Think this: “There but for the grace of God go I” or “Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Forgive others. Forgive yourself.”

~ Silas House, from “What I Know: a Prayer Essay”

 

winter warmth
winter warmth

 

This evening I attended a yoga class at The Massage Center in Dudley Square. It’s the first organized yoga class I’ve been to in at least a decade. I love yoga, but I always do it on my own, and less often than I used to. Boy, do I feel it. I needed a kickstart to get me back into it. This was the ticket. Plus, it was in Dudley Square which I love. It was built in 1881 as the city’s third school. The twin staircases remind me of Shakertown architecture. That they’ve left the Christmas tree up – and Santa hats on the two horse statues – put a smile on my face, too. What I love most about Dudley Square is that, for most of my college years, I lived just behind it. So, in some strange way, it feels like home. Yoga in Dudley Square. Two of my favorite things. I win Tuesday.

december 13, 2014

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“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under its roof.”
~ Barbara Kingsolver

 

Christmas cheer (instagram)
Christmas cheer (instagram)

 

Today is the last sequential date of the century, ending an 11-year run. 12/13/14. The first being 01/02/03. Many of us may never see a date like this again in our lifetimes,” said my friend Jimmy Duckworth. I hadn’t realized the magnitude of the date until he pointed it out. This is just one in a long line of wonderful, scary, glorious, momentous, and sometimes little but important, things I’ve experienced in my near-fifty years. To mark the occasion, I decorated the house for the holiday, well, as much as the cats would allow anyway. I filled out my Christmas cards. I made chili. Christmas movies played in the background. My pitiful little tree that doubles as a house plant may be in its final Christmas season, but I’m ever so thankful for its years of service, and for the cats letting me do something to cheer up the place. 12/13/14 was a pretty ding dang awesome day full of Christmas cheer and blessings all ’round.

 

decorate (instagram)
decorate (instagram)

december 24, 2013

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Christmas is what you make it.” ~ Lisa Banyai

light bright (snapseed)
light bright (snapseed)

There are a lot of people in this world whose Christmas is less than joyful. Some have no children for whom Christmas is wondrous. Some are far from their families. Some suffer self-imposed Grinchness for whatever reason; maybe because they’re single or because they just don’t like the holiday imposition. Saddest of all are those who have lost loved ones near the season. This last point hits close to home this year with Sunday’s passing of Charlie Conley. Our families have been tied together for decades. He was like a brother to my mother, and an uncle to me. Friends, this life is short. Be grateful for every day you draw breath, for every day your loved ones draw breath, for every moment you are given to feel the warmth of the sun, count the stars in the night sky, smell fresh cut grass, taste sweet wine, or meet a stranger with a smile. You don’t have to celebrate Christmas to do these things. Do them every day, and maybe your light will help someone in need to navigate this season. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza, Sweet Solstice, whatever your flavor, give thanks and be happy.

december 15, 2013

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All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” ~ Buddha

pfffttttt
pfffttttt

I finally managed some lights for my poor little tree that doubles as a house plant the other 50 weeks of the year. Meanwhile, our hero was displeased that all her protecting me by throwing out expired foodstuffs came back to haunt her today. Key ingredients for the planned homemade pizza came up missing. Guess who had to replace them? Nevertheless, her displeasure was no match for the twinkly lights as she enjoyed that pizza above all others and the spirit of Christmas brought great delight. A jolly day indeed.

december 30, 2012

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Leap, and grow your wings on the way down.” ~ Les Brown

if you no place to go
if you no place to go

I continue to experiment and learn HDR. Though these examples are clearly subpar, in large part because of the high iso, I learned a lot in their making as I continue to enjoy the new wide-angle lens. Any day spent learning is a highly successful day in my world.

november 24, 2012

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If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting the rest of our lives.” ~ Lemony Snicket

season’s greetings (camera+)

My little house plant tree doubles as a Christmas tree since I don’t have space for a real pine. It’s no less festive than a big tree. The camera+ app makes the lights look old fashioned, like the big bulbs we used to have when I was a child. I loved those bulbs in their reds and greens and yellows and blues. Still, I love my little tree with its UK white and blue lights. It makes me merry and bright!