Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Working on Poetry

Many deadlines are coming up for poetry contests.
Always a challenging creative time.
(Photo of a bunny on our back lawn nibbling his dinner. )


Unseen and uninvited,
they continue to visit.
Shouting their unwanted messages:
You can’t do that! You're not a poet.

I try to stop them,
but I don’t know who they are.
Invisible enemies, not my friends
though sometimes their voices are familiar.

Pressuring me to think this or that,
become someone different
than I know I can be.

Quieting those voices
brings inner peace as the
voice of the Spirit quietly whispers
love and acceptance by my Father.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Submitting Poetry

The road to NOWHERE ends somewhere.
Without direction, I WANDER unaided.
Later, I realize the SIGNS along the way
GUIDING me carefully back to beginnings.

WISER for my aimless wanderings,
better able to LEAD others forward.
I reluctantly BEGIN again
the journey to somewhere NEW.


Sunday, November 28, 2010


How do you decide which to enter in a contest?
Help, tell me which you think is best. The category is paper.

I like this last one best-clean, yet detailed with
dead leaves and winter photo in the unopened news.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Article #126 Wisdom Comes With Age

When the gray hairs start to appear and your nest empties, you know you are one of those “senior citizens.” Looking in the mirror, you can’t imagine how you aged so quickly. It’s been a long journey filled with daily challenges and lessons to learn. Now you are “more mature,” there should be some wisdom you have gathered that you can share with your loved ones.

You may find that your family is too busy to even slow down long enough to speak to you on the telephone, let alone visit you. In order to communicate with them, you may have to get into their online world of emailing, texting or Facebooking to make contact. (Photo of my grandmother, mom and me as the new mom with my first son. Now I'm the grandmother of five and my mother and grandma are gone. My first son is a father.)

Forget the “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks” idea and become acquainted with the new technologies available to help you link up with your family. No computer? Visit your local library or a neighbor. Take a class. Ask your grandkids for help, they’ll love to teach you how to use the computer and its many programs. You may even become the recipient of their old outdated computer.

Soon you’ll find yourself looking forward to electronic visits with family, if you live some distance from them. “Skyping” will seem natural as you talk face to face with the aid of a computer camera and a mike for free online. Now is the time to share what you’ve learned with your family about life. Don’t be shy, encourage them now in their daily struggles. Find opportunities to listen and communicate. Open your mouth and share your experiences. Be supportive. It’s time to share the wisdom you’ve picked up over your lifetime.

Retelling stories from your life and how you solved problems that came your way can help your posterity, and even become a guide for them. Just thinking of what you want to say to your family can help you understand better the lessons you've learned. You hold the key to your family legacy, traits and values handed down from your parents and grandparents that won’t be passed on IF you don’t find your voice. Touch the hearts of your children and help them along their path as they follow in your footsteps. The holidays are a perfect time to share memories from your life with your family. It will be cathartic for you and a treasure to your family.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving photos

Well, it's fun to be together as family and enjoy feasting. Son Jeff is taking the photo, son Daniel and his wife Tina were our hosts and cooks. Grandkids everywhere-five of them.
Happy grandmother holding Lorien with her parents Jeff and Rachel on the couch. Below the cooks Dan and Tina. A closeup of Lorien with her Thanksgiving book. We also talked with son Frank, Nedret and their son Hakan on Skype from Santa Fe, NM.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Using Photoshop Elements

Happy Thanksgiving today. I've been having so much fun with my photoshop elements program. Even though I don't understand much about it, I'm just playing around or experimenting with adding interesting effects to otherwise boring photos. So how do you use it? Open up a photo in your software, then go to File-Duplicate to make a copy of it, so your original is safe. You still have the original, if you don't like your experiments. Then with the copy go to Filter menu and click on Artistic or other options-try out the different techniques. I'll do some examples now. Here's my original photo:

Then applying Artistic-texture

This one's radical and very artsy-stylize:

How about pixelate?

Or distort-ocean ripple:

Then there's colored pencil.

Any of these could be used to make interesting greeting cards or wall photos. All made from the same simple photo. Amazing...try it sometime. Click on photos to make them larger.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Last Choices


14. FAVORITE COLOR-which one do you like best?

15. FAVORITE TIME OF DAY-Sunset or sunrise



18. PHOTOSHOP (EDIT)-which do you like best?
A-Palm leaves with Artistic-ocean ripple efffect:

OR B-Weeds with Artistic-Cutout special effect

OR collage with 3 different Artistic effects-dry brush, film grain and neon glow,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More Categories

7. PEOPLE/PERSON-a photo of me at age 5 with pioneer stuff

8. SHAPE(S)-I like this one best...

9. WATER-I like the reflections in the pond of the bird.

10. TEXTURE(S)-still trying to decide on this one. Which do you like best?

11. MOTION/ACTIVITY-swimming away

12. ANIMAL(S)-a new photo added today from our back yard...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Contest Time

I'm entering some photos in our local camera club contest. All photos had to be taken this month and somewhere in our retirement community. It's a fun way to learn to use your camera better. Click to make the photos larger. It was a scavenger hunt looking for 18 different categories:

1. ROCK(S)-a very big one with interesting layers

2. FRUIT-taken with my camera phone while out walking

3. SHOE(S)-boots, I am married to a Texan!

4. FLAG(S)

5. PAPER(S)-this was a difficult category for subjects, I used a cardboard shoebox.


More categories in tomorrow's post...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Favorite Hobby?

I took some photos of my hubby (photo above) doing his favorite hobby-RECURVE TARGET ARCHERY. He's been doing it since his college days about 1960, which is 50 years ago. I too started a hobby that same year though Allen and I hadn't met yet-GENEALOGY.

Do you have a hobby you've participated in most of your life? I've dabbled in many hobbies. One pastime DANCING became my career for ten years and my major in college. Throughout my life I've tried various activities like: weaving, embroidery, knitting, sewing, beadmaking, basketmaking, pottery, drawing, watercolor, sculpture, puppetry, guitar, ethnic cooking, rock art study, costume making, woodworking, carving, stained glassmaking, card making, and scrapbooking to name a few. The only hobbies I still pursue are: photography, cardmaking, reading, computers, genealogy and writing. How about you?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Change of PLANS

We cancelled our trip to Texas to head to Idaho
to look at possible land for a summer place, BUT
blizzards came to the area we were going to visit.
So we're still home, plans change-they sometimes do.

Understanding how to be flexible and adapt to
changes is so necessary then making the best of it.
New opportunities will open up as one door closes.
Now we'll plan for April and exploring Idaho then.

In the meantime we will visit with family in Utah
celebrating Thanksgiving together and bonding.
Family time is so rare in our society, I'm thankful
for Thanksgiving and other holidays that bring us closer.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Article #125 Grandparenting

All my life I’d looked forward to becoming a grandmother. Because of my sons’ divorces and my oldest son not marrying until he was 35, it didn’t happen until I was 58 years old. I remember my own maternal grandmother who at age 40 welcomed me as her first grandchild, but wouldn’t let me call her “grandma” because she was too YOUNG. I called her “Auntie” instead. Well, I was more than ready to be called “grandmother” in my late fifties. (Surprise, my first grand children were twins and girls!)

My first grandchildren came miraculously as another son and his wife were unable to have their own children, so they adopted. What a blessing to suddenly have twin grand daughters 9 months old. I love being a grandparent, and do understand now why young people have the children. It's draining to try to keep up with two lively toddlers. I can only look on with amazement at their parents who seem to have unlimited energies and care for them 24/7. I guess I did that too when I was their age, with my own four sons.

More grandchildren have been added with six total now plus my 16 step grandchildren from my husband’s four daughters. That’s exhausting just to think of 21 descendents in all. One of my step grandsons is married, so it won’t be long now till we could be great grandparents. Life is definitely “what happens while you are making other plans.” (Photo with the now 12 year old twins Emilee and Heather, our youngest addition Lorien soon 1 years old and three boys-Nathan, Hakan and James.)

Now it’s the empty nest or retirement days. No longer needing to work to support ourselves, we have free time to pursue our hobbies and interests which include visiting family. Reflecting back on all that life has taught us, we try to counsel with our children through their challenges. It becomes clear why we are still here, to assist our family through this journey called “life.”

Grandkids are our reward for surviving as parents. They love us unconditionally. We can spoil them because we aren’t their parents. Disciplining them is not our job, just enjoying them. I remember my own grandparents with fondness. Now I know why. They always had time to listen to me and genuinely cared about my life, feelings and problems. Grandparents are enjoying the fruit of their labors as parents. For those without grandchildren, nieces and nephews can fill this same need as you become a beloved aunt or uncle.