Thursday, October 31, 2013

All Hallows Eve

Nocturnes graphic courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

A turkey buzzard obliged me with some shots back in September that I kept tucked away waiting for the perfect opportunity to use them...and what better day than today, a day when all things creepy, spooky, and frightful will be afoot when the sun goes down.

Happy Halloween!!!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Tale of 2 Eyes

Man, you people are the best, no I mean it, the absolute BEST!  I can't even get over all of your sweet comments and encouragement you've left me over the last week.  If anyone ever needed a reason to blog, all they have to do is to look at the unconditional support so many give when they leave comments, it's like a big shot of kindness topped with a huge helping of heartfelt thank you one and all!!!

So...about the art show, and trust me, you aren't even going to believe this, but I swear it's true!  Last week Mr. Tide went to the eye doctor because he's been having issues with allergies throughout the summer, but it had gotten worse and his eye was somewhat bloodshot so he went and had it looked at.

When he got home he informed me that he had developed an infection, but that the doctor said not to worry because they see this sort of thing happen a lot during the change of seasons.  Good enough we thought, and he began his eye drops to take care of the issue so that he would be in tip top shape to go with me on Sunday, which was still a couple of days away.

Then on Saturday morning I woke up with one bloodshot eye, but we thought, well I must have gotten something in my eye, because we had changed sheets, scrubbed everything in sight, just on the off chance that it was contagious.  And he had caught his infection so quickly that there was no way it could have transferred to me, plus I didn't have the allergy issues he had which brought his on in the first place!

So I called the eye doctor, who promptly informed me that there wasn't anything he could do, but he would see me on Monday.  I explained that I had an art show the next day, and that he had prescribed drops for my husband just a day or so before, so could he please help me out...the reply was a kind but firm...see you on Monday!!!

So as weird as I was about not wanting to go to the art show 3 weeks ago, the moment I knew I COULDN'T go, I was dying to go!  Yes, I'm so weird sometimes, and when I'm told I can't do something, well then I'm determined to do it...go figure!

When I woke up on Sunday morning I actually ran into the bathroom to look in the mirror to see if my eye had gotten better, but it was actually worse.  So here I was with the perfect outfit to wear, freshly cut and colored hair (I had my hair appt. on Wednesday), and we had even made arrangements for someone to let our dogs out!

I thought I would be relieved to have to cancel, but instead I was like a caged animal all day long wondering how the night would go and thinking that it was worse not knowing than it was to go!  

So, to make a long story longer, we didn't go, and I have no clue whether or not my eagle picture was selected by anyone!  I sent an email to the organization that hosted the fundraiser and they sent me a very polite reply saying that they would be sending out letters to all of the participants next week, to let each of us know the status of our yay yours got picked, or hey come pick your artwork up!

The irony of this whole thing...the picture I donated was called Eagle Eye...and it was my eye that kept me from going!!!  Oh, and see that pretty picture of the water and the fall foliage up above?!  Well my friends, that is how I got the infection to begin with!  Despite my crazy sanitizing efforts to rid us of any chance that Mr. Tide could infect anyone else, we neglected to clean the eyepiece on my camera!!!  Yup, the man almost NEVER uses my camera, but just a few days prior he took it out and snapped a few shots of the trees overhanging the water and an egret...which none of those shots turned out!

The moral of the story, well there isn't one, except that  my husband should stay away from my camera (I'm kidding), and that just when you think you don't want to do something, well  something may just prevent you from doing it, and you'll wish like heck you could have done it!!!

I've spent the last few days putting drops in my eyes 4 times a day, washing my hands every 20 seconds, and going nowhere.  I've watched lots of movies though, and I did wander around in the backyard a little, so all's well that ends well...and besides if I was feeling a little blue I was always able to read your wonderful comments!!!

I hope you each have a very happy week, and when the letter comes bearing the good news or bad about my artwork, you'll be the first to know!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Keeping Calm

I have so many wonderful comments and emails that have been left for me over the last few days, and I want you to know that I appreciate them all!  I also want to welcome all the wonderful new visitors who have come here via Kate's blog!

I've been busy since last weekend working on magazine stories which have had very tight turnaround times...just a few days in most cases.  I think this style of writing might be best for me because it gives me less time to "write" each piece in my head for weeks, which I've been known to do.

But it has made for a little less sleep this week, including the fact that I interviewed one homeowner until 1:30 in the morning - the interview didn't start until after 11 pm because of scheduling issues and deadlines.  The funny part is, we talked for 2 1/2 hours and never even spoke about her home, so we spoke again the following morning for another 3 hours and this time covered all the house stuff.

It has actually been a while since I've done any freelance writing, but doing these stories has reminded me of how much I miss meeting these amazing homeowners.  What ends up in the story that goes to print is just a fraction of what I find out about these people and their homes, and I love hearing all the interesting tidbits and back stories on the items in their houses which reflect their style, their history, and what truly makes their house a home!

Also, I have made a huge leap by stepping outside my box over the last couple of weeks and I've pretty much made some end roads into blasting so far outside my comfort zone that I can't even really see it in the rearview mirror.  I am actually participating in a fundraising art show this weekend, and I have to admit that I'm kind of terrified!

 The fundraising concept is pretty cool...a bunch of talented local artists donate pieces of their artwork and each piece of art has a minimum value of at least $185.00.  Then, buyers purchase a ticket for $185.00 (or $150.00 for members of the art organization) and that ticket admits 2 people to a reception with heavy hors d'oeuvres and drinks, and they get to go home with one piece of art.  For the week prior to the reception, ticket holders are able to preview the artwork available at the gallery, and rank their favorites.  To make it fair there are a few more pieces of art available than tickets sold, and over 100 pieces of artwork have been donated to date.  Are you still with me?...I swear this isn't a word problem! 

On the night of the fundraising event, which is held in Annapolis, Maryland, the ticketholders then come to socialize and choose a piece of artwork based on a lottery system.  So if they call your ticket number first, you get first pick of any piece of art at the event...and even if the artwork is valued at $500.00, for the price of your ticket you get to go home with that piece of art!  Pretty cool, eh?!

Here is where the nerves come an artist, if as the lottery progresses and pieces of art get picked, if your piece isn't being picked, and the night is drawing nye, well you get the's kind of like being picked last for the sports team back when you were a kid!  That analogy was actually listed in the testimonial from one of last years contributors....yikes!  Of course if you hear huge sighs from the crowd when your piece is picked, well that could be quite a confidence booster, so it could go either way.

Even though this whole thing makes my stomach churn, I have committed to go to the event and hope for the best!  If things go great I will hear sighs, and if not, I will be coming home with my image which is one I had printed on metal and is still one of my favorites, so I have to look at it as a win/win.  And I also look forward to meeting face to face with someone who loves my art enough to pick it...something I've not really gotten to do since so many of my sales are done online, or through retail outlets, such as galleries and wonderful shops!

So, if you are still reading this, thank you, because even I'm a little confused after all that typing about my neurosis!  Knowing that I've been a little on edge, my sweet husband came home yesterday with a beautiful batch of sunflowers, the ones pictured in this post!  He knows me well, and he knows that for me, flowers have healing until I set foot into a room full of art enthusiasts on Sunday, at least for now, I am calm. 

I hope that each of you have a wonderful weekend, and that you find your own sense of calm, or at the very least a big bouquet of flowers to brighten your world!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Remains of the Day

As some of you know, from my last post, we had a guest here over the weekend.  It was a short but sweet visit amounting to just under 24 hours.

Our guest was Kate from Chronicles of a Country Girl, a blogger I have long admired.  I have always been drawn to Kate's beautiful images, but even more so to her kind, honest, and heartfelt approach to blogging.


I've only met one other blogger in real life (Connie), and I'm happy to say that both she and Kate are exactly the same in real life as they are on their blogs. 

I am always a little nervous to meet new people, though you would never know it by how much I ramble on once I do, it's part of my nervousness I think.  And though my rambling never really diminishes, I do settle in to a more comfortable pace once I get to know just takes a few meetings.

I think I worry whether I'm truly showing someone a good time, whether they are comfortable, and whether or not I'm conveying the southern style hospitality my mother instilled in me.  

Though our dogs barked a lot, especially because there was a party going on across the street, and the weather didn't fully cooperate so that we could go kayaking, or even spend much time outside, Kate was a very gracious guest.

She gifted us with a lovely candle, bottle of chardonnay which we shared by a bonfire, and she was even thoughtful enough to bring Quinn and Misty Belle some yummy organic treats!...thank you again!

She easily conversed with our children, connected with our dogs and gave them lots of love, leaving us all sad to see her go when she left after breakfast on Sunday.  The pups were a little put out that their new friend had disappeared so quickly. 

Kate has a calm presence, an easy going manner, and an amazing outlook considering all she's been through in the past few weeks, months, and years.  I'm so glad she took a chance and drove all that way to come see us, and we hope it will just be the first of many visits to come.

Thank you Kate, it was so wonderful to have you with us, if only for a short time! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Happy Weekend

We have company coming this weekend, in less than 24 hours to be exact, and while I should be cleaning, I'm taking pictures of fall décor...doh?!

I think that's the beauty of getting older, you don't care if everything is perfect, just whether or not you have good food, good wine, clean towels, and a calm disposition to offer your guests.  Or maybe it's just that as you age, you only invite people to your home who you know will like you for you...not how well they can see their reflection in your shiny mopped floors.

This will be the first time I've met this person in real life, though we've been friends for several years, thanks to blogging.  Her blog was one of the very first ones I ever visited, and one of the ones that inspired me to start my own.

So, unless she turns out to be an axe murderer, or I do, I should be back next week to tell you about how it all went. 

I hope you all have a very Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

You know, I think we all question why we blog from time to it worth the effort, do we really love still putting forth that effort, and does anyone really care about what we put out there?

Even though I decided a long time ago to put on my blog what I want, not what I think others want to see, and have given myself permission to only blog when I feel up to it, or I have something I think is worth putting out there for others to see, the hope is always that someone else will love it too.

It has been really freeing to accept those principles, and so when others respond to something I love, well it makes me really, really happy, but also very, very thankful!

Thankful that something I created caused a reaction in someone else, and grateful that I found this medium of photography that helps me to connect with friends, family, and even perfect strangers!

It pushes me to keep going, to push through pain, frustration, equipment limitations, and dreaded self doubt in order to make those connections and to hear your see my art not only through my eyes, but also through yours!

Creating for the sake of creating is lovely, but creating and knowing you've touched someone, no matter what you create, well that my friends is the reward!  And I have to say that it squashes down all the other things that keep us all from being creative human beings who have the ability to make this world not only more beautiful, but so much more compassionate and connected.

So thank you, for visiting here, even when I don't post, even when I don't post house things like I once did, and walking this creative journey with me.  Thank you for inspiring me in ways you receive no credit for, in ways you aren't even aware you are motivating me, and for just looking, smiling, and hopefully going on to be more creative yourselves.

I appreciate each and every comment you left on my last post, I really never thought that a bunch of images of birds on a blog that had started out as one talking about home decor and decorating would inspire such wonderful, thoughtful, and heartwarming comments, but then I shouldn't be surprised should I?  I've been lucky to have always had wonderful readership, smart, insightful readers who give freely without expectations...but still, I am blown away, and wanted to let you know that I never take it for granted!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Monday, October 7, 2013

All Things Winged

This weekend was a beauty, a true indian summer weekend, with warm temps and sunny skies!  We were also having unseasonably high tides due to the wind, so Mr. Tide offered to paddle me around in the tandem kayak so that I could rest my shoulders and back and also so that I could hopefully take some pics of wildlife.

We decided to wander way up to the headwaters of the creek, where the marsh grasses grow tall and the eagles live.  Though we've never found a nest, we know there must be one up that way somewhere, probably too far for us to reach before the tiny trickle of water is completely blocked by overgrown wetlands.

I was so happy I felt up to going, but even happier that I was able to use my big lens for at least awhile, taking frequent breaks waiting for something to fly overhead.  Of course when I got back, I had to play around with the images I had captured.  On the one above I gave it a bit of a 1950s nostalgic look to it.  I told Mr. Tide that I could see it in a hunting lodge from the 50s, probably decoupaged onto a large wedge of wood...remember those?!

The images in this post were taken over several days, and even though I was sore from shooting the first day, I couldn't resist going out and trying again because it was so nice to be on the water again, and I wanted to take full advantage of it while I could!  No pain, no gain right?!

I was glad I pushed myself, because I captured some wonderful images of eagles on one of the days.  I always have trouble catching them in flight, especially from the land, as they often fly behind the trees before I can focus on them.

And the same is true for herons, they are so quick to fly away long before you get anywhere near them, but if you sit patiently in a kayak, sometimes they fly right past you.

This particular heron was perched high atop a long needled pine tree out in the open part of the creek, and surprisingly he or she was more than happy to let me snap a few shots before taking off.  It's the closest I've ever gotten to one and with the setting sun, the light was perfect!

But by far, this last image is my favorite.  This egret let me take some pictures of it perched atop this piling, but then it decided it was time to take flight.  I love that it had only one tiny claw touching as it lifted is a quintessential "bird taking flight" pose in my mind!

There is something about winged things that makes me smile each time I see them....well most things, just not bats!  The quote below is so fitting for each of these images, so I will leave you to ponder your own winged destiny.

“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you're going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”
― C. JoyBell C.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Thank you all for your wonderful, caring, and kind comments on my last post.  Though it saddened me to know that so many of you have been through accidents with similar injuries, your thoughts and suggestions as I navigate a new way of doing things were greatly appreciated!

In other news, we are part of the furlough affecting so many government workers right now.  I won't get all political, because who knows what I might say, so instead I will simply say that my heart goes out to people living paycheck to paycheck who will be so greatly affected by the nonsense in Washington.  How selfish for those in power, those with money, to be so flippant about people's lives and the well being of those they claim to represent.  Ok, rant done! 

Instead of lamenting the time off without pay, we have decided to spend it together catching up on things around the house and just enjoying one another's company.

I have also ventured out over the past week and taken a few shots of wildlife in the area, like the gorgeous Egret above who seems to enjoy hanging out on some dead branches of our maple tree.  This tree overhangs the water and is actually not far from our dock, so it's an ideal spot to hang out in between tides, ie. meals.  I was amazed that it let me sit on the dock in a chair and snap away, only looking up when nearby herons would squawk.

This morning there was lots of fog hanging over the fields, so I took advantage of the misty conditions and took some shots of a deer family nibbling on the freshly mown grass.  We have several sets of twin fawns right now, some of which are still fairly young, so I hope they will grow quickly before wintertime sets in and the temps drop.

Nature truly can be a soothing reminder that even under the harshest conditions life goes on.  I hope each of you can find some time to spend in nature this week!