Can you taste the salty air? Is it coming from the wind or the sea?
Taste and see.
Staring into the face of the ocean awakens every part of the human spirit. It feels like stepping into a postcard, and becoming one with the scene.
Instantly, the senses are awakened…
Visually the beauty of the sea is grand, alluring and exquisite. Forever changes, yet never completely predictable. Nothing compares to this display of majestic magnificence.
The sound of waves knocks on the shore continuously, but seems to somehow recognize its boundaries. Pushing and pulling, breaking, rolling forward, and then backward.
The ocean feels salty, grainy, wet and could be compared to liquid velvet (if such a thing existed) or a giant comfy blanket. As the ocean holds the ingredients of serenity, the wind creates the motion and the sun provides the warmth.
Surrounding the sea like a massive fog is the scent of salty air. There is no other smell anywhere on earth that identify a place as profoundly as the salty air of the ocean. The smells and distinct odors of the ocean have been known to trigger and conjure up memories as early as childhood. Hmm.
What do you see when you are staring at the ocean?
Do you hear what I hear?
How does the sand feel between your toes?
Does the salty air remind of anything in particular?
What will you remember about the Summer of 2015?The crazy shark attacks, the exceptionally hot temperatures or just spending time with friends and family.
The summer season is officially over. The tourists are gone home, the kids are back in school and summer vacations are over. But the summer still lives on for many of us who reside on the coast. I prefer to think of Summer in three seasons:
Season 1: Perfect weather, lots of beach parking and dogs at play on the beach.
Season 2: Fun festivities everywhere, vacations, water sports, and hot sun.
Season 3: Tourists are gone, parking availability, and more room on the beach.
Summer memories should be savored, so I take tons of pictures. Memories slip away, but the photographs last forever. I’ve learned how to use some of the gadgets on my Nikon this summer like shooting in manual modes, and learning to develop raw images. I’m getting better, but definitely have some work to do. How do you think I’m doing?
Fortunately, I live on a beautiful coast where photographers are plentiful. And with a little occasional help from my friends, like a local photographer Phil Mancuso, (who by the way captures spectacular sunsets and nature photographs), it’s a little easier. Through his help, I’ve been able to recover goof-ups (like accidentally erasing my files). In addition to local photographers, making friends with the photographers through the blogosphere world has allowed me to learn a few new tricks along the way.
Photojournalism and photography is fun, and rewarding. Especially on those long dark days of Winter when you just need to be reminded of good times and Summer fun.
The camera lens becomes an integral part of your own personal, subjective experience and allows you to view the world in a unique, distinctive way from everyone else. With the camera, the world is similar to a buffet waiting to be devoured behind your camera lens. Your fun job is being the one who sees the object potential, choose the right angle and reveals a story. A story perception only you can build, unfold and remember.
Sometimes photos will reflect a state of mind, happiness, loneliness or just a mood, and other times a photo is just the simple reality of the content in the photo, nothing more nothing less. You are the author of your photos and it’s your story.
A creative writer, and traveling photographer Nihar Pradhan shared this…
“Lines and light both are vital to photography, though the light is visible, but the invisible lines matter”
I don’t always remember the exact day of the Summer I take a picture, but I will remember the events surrounding it. It’s like a melody you hear on the radio that sounds like a memory of a real life Saturday night. Photos conjure up strong memories to cherish forever. How many times have you heard the most beloved item in a home other than a person or a pet are the photo albums? Or seen loved ones that are separated desperately hanging onto a picture? And rightfully so, they’re little pieces of our existence, excerpts from our journey in life.
The most valuable advice I would give someone new to photography would be… Take the time to label, date and tag your photos as you go.
Invest the time to learn how to organize your photo apps on your computer making retrieval easy. Getting control of my photo folders and itemizing information made sharing my pictures with friends simple, and blogging 90% easier. Trust me on this one and opt for the easy way:) Don’t give up and remember there is no right or wrong photo; only a photo, and a better photo. So Snap Away…
Here are some of my Summer 2015 photographs.
Wrightsville Beach Bridge
Seagulls on the ferry
Did Labor Day end the Summer season for you? How will you remember the Summer of 2015 long after the sun steps back? Share your tips on photojournaling or your favorite Summer memories.
I discovered an adorable video posted onI love dogs.comI must share. There’s a Senior Pet Sanctuary in Maryland, known as The House With A Heart that has inspired me to get the word out about their good works.
Sher Polvinale and a crew of big-hearted volunteers take care of dogs and cats who’ve lost their families, by no fault of their own. It’s a place set up for senior dogs and cats to live out there “golden years” in a safe, comfortable haven. As senior animals typically have medical problems, the need for money to purchase medicine is of great importance. I have a senior dog who is sick, and I know personally how the expenses add up for medicine and care.
To visit the website to learn more about the Sanctuary or to donate, you can click here for information.
This particular story stands out to me for several reasons that centers around a passion for animals, combined with heroic stories about random acts of kindness in humanity. It’s refreshing against the daily backdrop of so much negative in the news.
Pet Ownership Never Stops
Why I know pet ownership never stops? I have two senior Yorkies, Grace (14 years) & Mercy (13) and they have brought our family much joy over the years. Pet responsibility is a serious commitment of caring for your pet throughout the changes of the aging process. It’s not always fun and it’s sad to see your furry friend struggle with health issues as they age. It’s also tough to know when it’s time to say goodbye and set their little spirits free.
My dog Mercy has struggled with a collapsed trachea for 6 years. After years of MEDs attempting to ease the honking his pancreas failed. The little guy gets 2 insulin injections daily, 2 doses of hydromet syrup, and theophylline to help with the cough. Amazingly enough, he doesn’t mind the shots and seems to know when it’s time to get them. Three months ago Mercy lost his eyesight and his hearing is deteriorating quickly. With dedicated treatment and support from our Vet. Dr. Chris Coble and his team at the Port City Animal Hospital, he seems mostly happy. Mercy has multiple complicated health issues, but he remains steadfast with a strong will to live. Only in the recent weeks have we seen his health declining.
As I’ve been advised by many specialist including State Vet Hospital – when a dog loses interest in food it may be nearing the time to say goodbye. Mercy still has a good appetite and forgets about his sickness when he goes outside, but I know the time is near. I will not let him suffer in pain, however, I would never shorten his time for my convenience.
Animal lovers, like me and most of you (if you’re taking the time to read this) can never seem to explain these strong feelings we have for our pets. Love comes in many forms, invisible to the human eye, demonstrated by actions, responsiveness and behavior.
He has been my buddy for so long and the thought of putting him to sleep is almost unthinkable. …
The video is sweet and I hope you enjoy it. I know older dogs are not as cute or playful as the young ones, but they are ours, puppies, mid-life and seniors.
I have seven dogs, but each one is special and unique, just like us. Here are pictures of my pet family. The (4) Australian Shepherds are Father, Mother, and the two sisters…Have a favorite one?
And here is most of the gang, minus Joy – the white Maltese, RIP
And that’s our dog family…
Woman Starts A Senior Dog Retirement Home For Unwanted, Older Pets – You Have To See This
Click on the link below to see the short video clip.
A dream dinner party for 8 guests at your home, who’s invited? Let me set this up… You can invite 8 guests of your choice, to your home for dinner – sound fun? Play along and let your imagination loose. You might learn something new about yourself. Your guests must be alive and living today to be invited. No fictional Disney characters or dead poets are invited to this party, save them for your next gathering.
Creating my list was easy until I started thinking about how different each guest is from one another and the possible awkwardness it might present. I thought about how the guests would converse with each other, and if the evening would have fluidity? And how I could possibly make it interesting for everyone.
I thought about where I would seat each guest with precision. And where I would place myself… So I wouldn’t miss a whisper from a single guest. Who would I sit next to me? (Maybe I could cut a hole in the center of the table and sit where the candles would be???) As silly as it may seem, for a hot moment, the thought did pop up in my head. Moving on!
There are many details to sort out like which tabletop flowers, what plates to use and what to serve. I mean, the dinner is the important thing, after all, it is a gathering for dinner, to eat. All I wanted to think about was the list of questions I had for each guest.
Your list might be all the same kind of people (people who have much in common) or very different interest, like my list. Either way, it’s your party, your list and you get to orchestrate the whole event exactly as you want.
For some of you, the list will require some thought as you struggle to decide who you find most exciting or who has been a life long influence for you. Six on my guest list were easy… While the other two I debated over. Here are the 8 guests invited to my party.
Stephen King, Writer
Nicholas Sparks, Writer
Stevie Nicks, Musician, Fleetwood Mac Band
Stephen Tyler, Musician, Aerosmith
Donald Trump, Entrepreneur
Sarah Palin, Writer & politics
Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse
Beth Moore, Writer & Christian Bible Teacher
Do you find this to be an interesting list or an impossible mix of extreme liberal and conservative people? Could they learn something from each other? Would they?
My reasons are plentiful for each guest. An appetite for inspiration, curiosity and motivation just for starters!
King has inspired my imagination beyond limits, yet I continued to reach for his novels. If I had to pick a favorite writer, he definitely gets my vote. In my opinion, King is the best writer alive today, on the planet. I’ve read almost all his work and have never been disappointed. If you are not a fan of the King’s style of horror, I highly recommend his books on writing, “Top 20 Rules For Writers” and “On Writing and A Memoir of the Craft”. I promise you will learn something useful with takeaway value.
Nicholas Sparks, a North Carolina writer and once the professor at Carolina who has risen to fame with simple love stories like “The Notebook”, “Message in a Bottle”, “Safe Haven” and dozens more. His books are transformed into blockbuster movies and usually filmed here locally, in North Carolina. A male writer, gifted with a compelling point of view combined with a knack for developing slow unfolding love stories. Sparks brings a unique storytelling style that leaves a large female audience yearning for more. Bestseller list, after bestseller list – seems to happen easy for him.
Stevie Nicks belongs in a class of her own, unlike any other female performer. Stevie performs solo and is the lead singer for the British band, Fleetwood Mac. A self-made megawatt legend, who had a dream, pursued it with great passion.
Stephen Tyler, a likable musician who rocked stages around the world with the band Aerosmith and continues to perform solo recently breaking into country music. Aerosmith was America’s rock band with mega hits like “Dream on” and “Walk This Way” that leave jingles forever in our heads. His book “Noise Inside My Head” was surprisingly a good read with a candid, picturesque inside view of life as America’s top rock band. He is soulful, mischievous and bubbling over with the joys of life.
Donald Trump is a famous and outspoken businessman, who is a well branded name that has developed a hugely successful empire. As his rising political popularity soars, so does his charisma, determination and tenacity. Support him or not – he is vivacious, and an interesting personality.
Sarah Palin is a conservative, brave woman. She is a trailblazer in US politics. Anyone who hasn’t heard of Sarah Palin is living under a rock, considering her popularity and fame. I love her Facebook page! Her posts are opinionated, interactive, courageous and brutally honest. Despite her constant criticism Sarah presses through every battle (and there have been many) with great stamina and big patriotism, unmatched by any other female politicians to date. No, she is not perfect, but she is Sarah Palin and she doesn’t have to be. She is real.
Franklin Graham is a Humanitarian and Evangelist, son of America’s Pastor Billy Graham. Franklin founded Samaritans Purse, one of the largest evangelical relief aid organizations in the world, helping over 240 countries in catastrophic events. Often times, Samaritans Purse is the first on the scene to help.The Graham’s family faithfulness and devotion to Jesus Christ have astounded me my entire life. I stand in total awe of this family! I could spend months conversing with Franklin about spiritual topics and humanitarian subjects.
Beth Moore is America’s favorite Bible teacher. She is a brilliant, a witty writer and speaker who can bring the old and new testament scriptures alive with an applicable and simplicity message. A powerful, dynamic Proverbs 31 woman in every way. Beth is an extraordinary role model for millions of women of the Christian faith around the world.
There were a few favorites I had to leave off the guest list, 8 chairs was the limit. I did discover a couple of things about my own list that surprised me. I spent thirty years in the fashion industry and not a single designer made the cut. I love photography, but there was no one I was willing to remove from the 8 selected.
A fun and healthy hobby I enjoy with my family is putting together puzzles 1000 plus pieces. In this post, I will share some simple tips to help you puzzle faster and easier. I created photo journals during the process on some of my favorite puzzles, from the beginning process to the end.
This is what you will need:
Chose a puzzle that you love
1 piece of large poster cardboard, any color
1 bottle of Elmer’s puzzle glue
1 sponge or large paint brush
1 frame, puzzle measurements
A big dose of determination
Let’s start with this puzzle photo of an Indian Chief in completion, to get you motivated.Isn’t it gorgeous?
Here is a list of things to do to organize 1000 tiny puzzle pieces.
If you are newbie to larger puzzling, I would search for puzzles with many colors and objects to keep it easy and interesting. I get bored working with the same color.
Great lighting is mandatory or you will die, not really, but you will struggle visually with the pieces. I use 3 bright lamps, LED lamps and place around the puzzle.
Place the puzzle pieces on a flat uncluttered surface.
Make sure no pieces are left in the plastic wrap.
Stand the empty box up in your work area for visual reference.
Start by turning all the pieces right side up, separate by grouping of color initially.
Puzzle Pieces Grouped By Colors
Obviously, there will be many shades of every color, group light to dark within groups.
Now you are ready to work on the frame. All frame pieces will have a straight side, pull the frame pieces together and create the puzzle border. Below is a picture of the puzzle I am working on now. A border example is easier to see in this puzzle photo.
Easy, right? Now you are ready to start developing the puzzle. Here are photos of the Indian Chief puzzle in progress.
After you finish the puzzle, it’s time to slide a piece of large poster cardboard (available almost everywhere) under the puzzle to prepare for preserving. Be careful with this maneuver, you don’t want it crashing to the floor.
Now it’s time to cover the puzzle with puzzle glue. Elmer’s puzzle glue is the best. Usually one coat will secure the pieces into place, occasionally it takes two coats. Put the puzzle away and wait 24 hours for it to dry.
Hopefully you will want to frame your masterpiece. Frames for puzzles are not easy to find. I would recommend checking local craft stores, but you might have to buy online, especially if your puzzle is an odd shape or size. And be sure to save the puzzle box, it has the puzzle measurements on the side.
One thing I learned the hard way – check the floor each time you leave your puzzle area for any pieces that may have fallen off the table. My dogs have eaten several puzzle pieces over the past years. Luckily, my husband is crafty at making missing puzzle pieces. He constructs them out of cardboard boxes, and then matches the paint with the puzzle. Once we worked on a 2000 piece puzzle all summer, yes… it seemed like an eternity and 1,999 pieces later, a piece was gone. Panic attack, but lesson learned – don’t lose pieces.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Let me know if you have any questions. Do youenjoy puzzling? I would love to hear your tips and shortcuts or see photos of your masterpieces. After puzzling for years, I have accumulated a lot of puzzles, but my favorite one is the “Wizard of Oz”. It has bright colors, characters galore and Dorthy’s red sparkly shoes. Do you have a brand puzzle you favored?
This week I’m working on a sweet “cupcake puzzle”, how about you?
Thinking you might be off the beaten path, lost, or wasting time?
Don’t turn around, keep going. Chances are, you may be feeling uncomfortable, confused or anxious about taking the scenic route when you knew the old way was a sure thing. Sit tight – these feelings are temporary and will pass.
“Life is a journey, not a destination”
Only travelers who have an appetite for adventure will benefit from the this kind of road. Others you might pass on this route are probably dreamers and risk takers. They are not in a hurry nor fearful of what lies ahead. Their radios are blaring and the windows are rolled down. The patrons of these roads are not deceived by the familiar patterns of life that disguises itself as a false sense of security robbing them from the true panoramic view. Instead, these roads less traveled are pathways of opportunity to be embraced, dreams to be realized, and spirits to be awakened.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things”.
The popular, busy, heavy traveled road is frequented by the most. I wouldn’t call it a “happy trail” since most of the drivers are rushing and multi-tasking. How could it have expectations of an interesting journey when it’s referred to as the “beaten path”. Even when overhead flashing lights are blinking for caution and attention, the need to keep up with the pack is the only unction realized. So we stay with the pack, bumper to bumper, fearful of losing our place or God forbid – someone jumps in ahead of us. These drivers are all about following the traffic and conforming to the mundane meaningless trips. Sometimes even ignoring the rules, trapped in the comfort zones and blocked in on every side. Ignoring the danger signs all around them and insensitive to all the open exits available.
Occasionally it’s the detours that force us to the roads less traveled. Other times, it’s the crossroads that changes up the familiar route and provides a much larger view. A view that stirs up a tapestry of images that awakens the soul. Suddenly, in sight is “hope street” that leads to “dream avenue” and merges with “freedom lane”. The views are intoxicating and the everyday mundane becomes a distant memory blinded by a blue sky so big it conjures up heavenly thoughts. Simple scenes like horses grazing in a field become images burned in our memories. Oceans and rivers absorb our beings with curiosity of where they begin and end. The smell of the salty sea absorbs our senses and releases memories of past vacations and childhood days of building sand castles.
It really doesn’t matter what road you are traveling. What really matters is if you are inspired by your daily view. Are you having fun? At the end of the day when you reflect back on your day – did it contribute to your life or take away. Consider these thoughts;
Be open to take an occasional side road
Be mindful of crossroads
Be aware of the intersections
The road less traveled takes courage to explore and – know this – most travelers never return to the mundane highways, but instead, become addicted to the lure of the journey on the road less traveled,