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I won’t lie to you.  I was pretty stressed out yesterday.  Not over big issues. It was just a day that lots of  things needed to get done and not enough time to do them all. Life happens, right? My focus was split into what felt like a million directions.   But as per usual, I survived and the world continued on as it usually does. No one else seemed to notice how stressed I was. Nor should they, I wasn’t falling apart. I maintained my sensibility.  Until my girlfriend called me.  She was my outlet. I was able to do that healthy thing called unloading…and I felt much better.  It’s important to do that.

Equally important; we need outlets to vent, outlets to create, to cry, and oh we need to laugh.  And we need to laugh LOUD.  Those little L O L’s have their place in the world.  There are many ways to de-stress.  My photography is huge in my life. I get lost in that world that calms and grounds me.   My creativity in the Arts is another one.  Our theatre group is knee-deep into the rehearsal process of an extremely wonderful comedy, “Looking”, by Norm Foster.  Now there’s an outlet. It’s been a life saver as I navigate my way between jobs.

A good cry is another great outlet.  Do you ever catch yourself looking into the mirror after  a good tearing jag?  We often worry that people might notice we have just cried.  Why do we DO that!  It’s the most natural thing in the world. What a beautiful sight!  Red swollen eyes after a good session of sobbing and sniffing is evidence of another wonderful healthy outlet.

I wonder if I look just as beautiful laughing as I do crying!  OMG, I love the ugly laugh!  And it’s good for you too!  Wouldn’t a prescription request look great if it said: Ugly Laugh, 3X a week for what ails you!  Add in a dose of knee slapping, table pounding, foot stomping, try not to pee yourself ab work out;  and we should be good to go. Forget the prozac and the ativan.  Let’s just go for the laughs.  It is more contagious than a virus. And way better for you!  Before you know it people are laughing with you. How healthy is that!

 Laughter is a people uniter that bonds us  in ways that are hard to explain. Conversation can bond us…but throw in some laughter and it seems to speed up the process!  We can’t fake laughter. We can try but it doesn’t work and isn’t near as much fun.

After my stress  filled day yesterday we had a line run  for our upcoming play. This script is so well written that we are constantly discovering new and funny nuances.  Kudos to Norm foster and his brilliance.   Throughout the course of our evening combing through Acts 1 and 2  and running our lines we found ourselves bent over into full fledge ugly laughs.  All of us. Honestly, we were near death!  Okay, so no one actually died.  Do you think I was still feeling stressed after that?

It is our hope that our audiences are blown away by a fun evening of gut wrenching laughter when they come out to see our show.  We are working very hard to make that happen. And we have the satisfaction of taking our audience away from their everyday stressors in life.  That’s when we know we have done our job.   The process that begins with memorizing lines to the point of believability when we step onto that stage is all worth it. It involves hours and hours of work and dedication involving many people.

And the bonus?  A few of our own ugly laughs along the way.  Have a great day everyone.  Wishing you all the happiness and laughter you can possibly want!

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This has been a weekend of gratitude,  sadness,  excitement,  joy, anger, and feeling awestruck.  Welcome to the ebb and flow of mixed feelings in such a short time span.

We are excited about the graduation of a loved one into the Police Force. Sad about the departure of our dear Pastor  who is moving on to another Parish.  Happy to have started a DIY project. This weekend is laced with so much gratitude for people, for nature, and for our loved ones both near and far.

Let me start with the  HAPPY death of the embarrassingly old green carpet now lifted off  our living room floor.  The sanding of the hardwood  will begin later on this month. Hopefully sooner than later, but we are doing this in manageable small bites to make it easier. We have a life to work around. For sure it will be done before the end of September.  Already it is a huge improvement. It’s going to be STUNNING!  We love the character of our old home.

It’s a beautiful long weekend and we aren’t going to enslave ourselves entirely to indoor work. It is LABOUR DAY after all.  Ripping up the carpet has only taken about an hour from start to finish with clean up.  It is barely making a dent into our precious time off.

I had a brand new experience while roaming around near the creek with my camera yesterday. It was an absolutely stunning Sunday morning.  I snook out for a couple of hours before church.   Nothing grounds me like my mornings outdoors with my camera.  It was so awesome. This day as an amateur photographer is one that I will never ever forget.

I still can’t believe that I didn’t run when I  heard the  typical Wow/Growl/Warning sound of a  huge wild cat of some kind in the distance.  I say huge only because I could tell by the sound that this wasn’t some stray barn cat left out to fend for itself.  This was a much larger animal.  I stood very still to determine where it was coming from.  I was more intrigued than frightened…which kind of blows my mind now that I am writing about it.  I heard it at least three or four times and then it stopped. Was it watching me?  I don’t think so.  My guess is that it was further away than that.   What a privilege to hear such an incredible sound.   I calmly walked to the sanctuary of the car and collected my thoughts before losing myself again in the rays, the roads and the rising mist.  In a previous blog I shared the bear poop story and how I have adapted my way of thinking to accept that there are sights and sounds that belong out in nature.  This was no exception. I don’t profess to be the bravest person out in the wild.  I am not. But I have developed an incredible level of respect for nature, and for those who inhabit it.

This level of respect is not shared by everyone.  I cannot understand why there are those who think it’s okay to drop coffee cups or garbage anywhere they please.  People who do this:  WHAT ARE YOU THINKING??  I challenge anyone to tell me what is okay about this abhorrent behaviour.  The garbage disturbs me much more than the roar of a wild cat. I know this is a small percentage of the population that do this but man oh man, I would love to have a discussion with some of these people. It is just so upsetting to see garbage among the beauty.  It not only makes me angry,  it makes me sad. It is one of those things that ought not to be , and yet so easy to NOT do.  But people still think it’s okay.  I don’t get it.

We can’t control the actions of others. But we can lead by example. We have passed our respect for the outdoors on to our children and we have no doubt they are passing it on to our beautiful grandchildren. We have so much to be grateful for!  I am having a moment of missing my son and beautiful daughter-in-law and our adorable grandsons!  We are so very Blessed with the best. As I have blogged before; we truly do have it all.

The carpet is gone, the sun is shining , the BBQ tank is filled.  We are filled with gratitude for our family, our friends,  our home, and all the sights and sounds of the beautiful outdoors. Time to kick back and take a break.   Maybe close the day with a sunset hike on Manitoulin followed by an ice cream stop on the way home.

Who wouldn’t want the good life!!!   The  secret is simple.  Love who you love, and do what you love!  It’s all good.

 

 

 

I need help.  I really do.  My camera is dormant today.  I have some work to do.  About an hour ago I decided to undertake the daunting task of cleaning up my computer desk.  Actually I just lied to you. I decided that this task needed doing at the beginning of summer.  It’s almost September.  I am a the master of procrastination when it comes to stuff like this.  The  chaos of paper,  foreign looking cords that look like they belong to my computer,  old pay stubs, cell phone bill statements,  staplers, pens, pencil cases,  you name it;  it  resides on my desk.   It might look tidy sometimes…but I camouflage well when need be. I am smart. This unit has doors that CLOSE!

But today is the day.  It has to get done now for an upcoming project. We are getting ready to sand our hardwood floors.  (Anybody care to offer me a free trip across Canada and I will come  back home when it magically gets done by itself??)  This job has been on our mind for years.

We LOVE our old house.    We have kept the charm of the old kitchen cupboards and accented with modern finishes and it looks gorgeous.  We did a big job a year and a half ago;  the dining room and entryway have been updated because of the need for insulation.  So the whole room was gutted and done up nice.  The walls are painted ‘squash blossom’ , the perfect colour for my photos Rainbow Sun and  Faraway Forest.  Looks stunning.

We vowed the next job would be the hardwood floors.  We called someone for quotes to do it for us. Last night we decided to save that money and put it into something beautiful like a couple of area rugs or another piece of my photography done up for the walls.  We committed ourselves to do this. But OH MY.   I have actually asked people to saw my legs off should I even think about taking on another do it yourself project that requires this much work. I never learn!

I know it will be STUNNING when it is done.  Can’t wait to get to the other side of this project when I am blogging about how worth it all this  was.  It’s the work involved between now and when we get there that kills me. We have two rooms to do.  We have to jimmy rig some kind of walkway over the floor to get to the bathroom so that we can live here while we do the work. Sounds interesting!  I am excited about the finished product!

Meanwhile I have to get back to clearing out the junk on my desk.  Arrrrgggh.   Could we not just set it on fire and get a new one for our brand new and improved living space.  Got a match?  A chainsaw?

Love. Breathe. Eat. Drink. Pray. Sleep. Pay the bills. Run errands.  These are a few of the basics of  day-to-day life.   It is VITAL to take some time to do something you LOVE to do.  At the end of life you want to be celebrating what  you DID, not  lamenting with regret for the things that you wished you had done  You deserve nothing less than that.  Life is a gift and it is meant to be lived to the fullest. It’s no one’s responsiblity but our own to make that happen.

As promised I am posting a photo from my morning out yesterday.   What a fantastic outing!  I went to a few locations to get a taste of the forest and then on the way home I took a detour for a walk  along the riverbank.  It was hard to choose which image to share with you tonight.  I have a couple of beautiful keepers from both locations.  I settled on “Coming In For a Landing” This heron kept me entertained for such a long time.  It was wonderful.   Such a majestic creature!

My sale with homesav and posterjack is coming to an end in a couple of hours.  The week flew by.  It’s been such a GIFT to participate in this.   I cannot believe the number of visits that have come to this blog!  Thank you so much for leaving your comments,  “liking”,  or just coming by to read.  I don’t look at this as an ending but a time of new beginnings.  An exciting time indeed!

Meanwhile I will continue to love, eat, pray, drink, run the errands, and oh,  that other fundamental of my life…I will continue to do what I love. Doing what we love  should be included in the ‘basics list’ of what it is to live this experience called life.  But it is often the one that is most overlooked.

I hope this inspires some of you reading this to include something you are absolutely passionate about into your ‘Basics List’  Life is a gift that is meant to be lived to the fullest.  We all have challenges.  All the more reason to find yourself, your passions,  your goals and aspirations. And just go for it.

I don’t know why, but I can’t stop thinking about  my photo, “Handmade” tonight.   A simple, yet intricate spider’s web. Just doing what needs to be done to get by.  We all have to do what we have to do to live.  I don’t know about Praying, but at least the spider doesn’t have to pay bills!  One can only marvel at  the value and beauty of such hard work to survive.  Talk about the master of web design! Every picture tells a story.  It is such an honour and privilege to be given this gift to enjoy and share with others.

It is my hope that my photography speaks to your truth as it does to mine.  Good night everyone!

Until next time,

Kathy

 
Coming in for a Landing

It is 6:30 in the morning. I have one eye on my computer screen and one at the window.  The sun is teasing me.  It has been a bit of a dry spell  (photographically speaking). I have been getting up most mornings and discovering that the sunrise is hidden behind an overcast sky. Maybe writing about it will help ease my angst.  Some mornings are perfect to get out with the camera but I am not  always free to go due to an appointment or a commitment of some kind.  I feel summer slipping through my fingers. But we cannot control the weather.  Instead, I have to wait it out like everybody else who is off work and wanting a good weather day.  Hopefully this dry spell will soon end and I will be clicking that shutter again soon.

I am a bit bummed out.  Sometimes we have to reframe our thinking when we are feeling that way.  I accidentally clipped someone’s car the other day. No one is hurt, it wasn’t that serious.  But it turned out to be a lot more costly than I expected it to be. Getting out with my camera helps me deal with things when I am feeling a little unsettled.  Hopefully I will see a nice glow coming through the window so I can lose myself for a couple of hours.
While I wait for that glow, I may as well debrief my accident. I am sure that will help me reframe my thought processes surrounding this not so Blessed event; my first collision.  It was Saturday morning and my girlfriend spontaneously called me to get together.  We decided to go to the Farmer’s Market.  It is about a 20 minute drive…more like an hour down the back roads if I have my camera.  🙂  We stumbled upon a yard sale.  I scored on a bunch of “Grandma’s House” toys.  Love those deals.  As I backed out of the driveway there was a little clunk.  My heart sunk.

OH WOW, I am out of here…the glow is happening.   Gotta go! Will be back soon…..

I’m baaaaacccck!   It is now almost 9 in the morning. A couple of hours have passed since I left you in the middle of my accident story.

Wow, what accident?  What insurance policy?  I have totally let that all go.  WHAT A MORNING OUT THERE.  Whoa,  I had to pinch myself a few times.  I went down that off-road trail I often talk about.  Wow.  Beautiful. Stunning. Exquisite. After taking many pictures,  I walked back to the car believing once again that I am forever changed by this experience.  Those sunrays!! Some things are worth waiting for. Oh those fleeting moments are just that…now you see it and now you don’t.  Sometimes just changing a lens or a camera setting takes up enough time to lose that glowing moment around those trees.  That is what I LOVE about all of this.  You only have minimal opportunity to capture some of these exquisite moments in time.  It’s not like I am in a studio and I can set up the lighting.  Mother Nature just doesn’t work that way.

I decided to go exploring a little further down the road to discover more of Mother Nature’s finest work.  I don’t know yet, but I must have taken 3oo photos this morning.  I tried to come home, I really did, but my car went straight instead of turning left. I was drawn to go down to the river before coming home.  Another wow moment…lots of wow moments.  It was just so pretty.  I took a lot of pictures of a Heron who just happened to be fishing in the mist.  He was far enough away to not be bothered by me. I walked along the muddy/rocky riverbank and that in itself was a test in balance.  My new running shoes don’t look so new anymore.    My thoughts surrounded saving my camera first should I fall.  What a ludicrous thought. Ha Ha I think that same thought every time I go there.  I hope I captured some keeper shots this morning!  Whether I did or not, it is always fun trying.

Am I bummed out now?  NOoooo.  I will still have to deal with that reality when we bring the written estimate to the Insurance Company.  But seriously?  Is this the end of the world?  Probably not.  When I first told Mike about the accident I  was a little apologetic at first…but of course he just patted me on the back and told me not to worry about.  My girlfriend and I made up a song about  it; ‘Lord, it hard to be humble, when you crash into somebody’s car’….sigh. Got to see the humour in life!  Mike and I turned it into something else and had a glass of wine with dinner that night to celebrate my first collision!  We have choices when it comes to crap like this.  We can wallow in the misery or look at it from another point of view. We choose not to wallow. It’s a collosal waste of time doing that sort of thing.  Life’s too short to spend time fretting on things we cannot change.

So what. We will figure it out.  Meanwhile we might as well look at the bright side of our life and watch for the morning glow……because IT’S ALL GOOD.  Will share one of my captured moments from with you next time.  Have a great day everybody!  Thanks for reading.

Kathy

Each time I write about one of my photos, I relive that whole experience of when I actually captured it.  The photo “Almost Missed It” was similar to the Rear View Mirror story when I captured Follow Your Road.  Through my written words, I keep trying to articulate what is like out there when I am doing my thing.  I could go to the same location three days in a row and each day offers something fresh and new. It never results in  that “same old same old” feeling.

I was on my way home.  Thinking I was done for the day something drew me back for one last look.  I went up and down the road a few times and when I saw that light hit that corner…WOW.   If it wasn’t for the tangible evidence of the image file that I have  then this would feel like a dream.  I still feel that feeling of being totally awestruck.  I almost stopped breathing a few times.  How does one articulate this! It was one of those defining moments in life when I knew that I would be forever changed.  I remember whispering out loud;  “What did I ever do to deserve THIS?”   It was that beautiful!  And then the answer came to my mind almost as soon as I asked the question;  ‘You showed up.’

Honestly it is truly humbling sometimes.  I showed up.  Wow.  And to think I  Almost Missed It!  Or did I?

We all have times in our life that we examine our belief system.  I know that I was meant to be there that morning.  And I know that I am meant to do what I do.  I don’t fully understand it.  But maybe we don’t have to get it all the time.  All we have to do is just show up.

Almost Missed It

Sunray Showers

Actually there is more than one bear poop story. But the first one is the most poignant! 🙂  I am sure a bear story would be a little more captivating but I will share that one when it happens. I see a lot of deer when I am out and about but so far I haven’t come face to face with a bear. Just it’s poop.

In one of the video clips that will be seen probably both on the Homesav site/YouTube,  I am standing on a trail where I captured both Enchanted Forest and Sunray Showers. Standing there with my videographer brought me back to one of my early morning excursions:

It was about 6 in the morning.  I parked my car near the trail and headed down the path with camera around my neck, cell phone in my pocket and a nice loud whistle (just in case!)  Then I heard a rustling sound. The first thing that came to mind was that drill etched into my brain; ‘look as big as you can, flap your hands and make a loud noise’ I repeated this a few times in my head. I resisted temptation to run. Oh but I wanted to! Sometimes that instinct to do so isn’t in our best interests. I heard the rustling again and I momentarily froze as I repeated that drill in my head. Then I thought the whistle!  I will blow the whistle.  God, I am so brilliant in a crisis. Just as I grabbed the whistle a tiny wee little squirrel came out of the woods, froze and momentarily stared at me.  Suddenly he bolted as fast as he could and as far away from me as possible. Sheesh. That was my bear. How humiliating.

As I walked further down the path I started to relax again and remembered my purpose for being out there.   My heartbeat settled and I continued on with my trek.  And there it was.  Bear poop.  I was raised in Northern Ontario. I know what that looks like. That little squirrel did not drop this one!  In that split second I questioned my sanity and considered going back to the car.  But then those darn sunrays!  They pull me in every time.  I simply cannot walk away.  Once my camera was focused on the beautiful light and the rays and the trees…I was utterly lost in that beautiful world again.  The fear completely left me and I was captivated by the incredible beauty of the forest.  The sounds of the birds, the feel of the air on my skin.  Even as I write about this, I am re-living that  inner sense of wonder and well-being.

So now what do I do when I hear a rustle in the woods?  Nothing. I keep going.  It is just one of the beautiful sounds that belong there.  And the poop?  Well, I just walk around it.  It belongs there too.

Whenever I look at Enchanted Forest and Sunray Showers I think about the beauty of not only that day,  but the beauty of overcoming a fear.  A fear that could have stopped me from doing something that I absolutely love.  A beautiful gift indeed!

Kathy Read the rest of this entry »

Today is my birthday.   Today is also my husband’s birthday.  I used to want my own day, but now I think it is just kind of fun.  We had a nice dinner celebration last night.  It was held outdoors with family and friends,  just a beautiful day!  As we watched our grandkids running around,  I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate!  Today  Mike and I are just relaxing and enjoying our garden and hanging out at home.  We very rarely do that thing called “nothing”  but this kind of nothing is one that counts as time well spent.  I love Piers Morgan’s question;   “how many times have you been properly in love”   We are truly Blessed!

We are also celebrating my Capture the Colours Photo contest win.  Every now and then we experience something that is just so surreal at the time.  That is kind of how this is. Since winning, I have been sent on a photo shoot,  have had a few interviews, I am tweeting, blogging and just trying to figure it out as I go along.  So for this blog I am flying solo without a hand to guide me through the mechanics of it.   I hope I am successful!

All of this happened because of one simple thing; my passion for photography.  One of my mantras in life is simply put “Do what you love!”   If I didn’t take the time to gift myself with those precious hours of total immersion into photography,  I just can’t imagine what that would be like.   I would certainly be robbing myself.  Getting out there heightens all human senses!  Even the feel of the air is different.  It’s just incredible. The sights, sounds and smells of a Northern Ontario forest is just about as good as it gets!

DO WHAT YOU LOVE.

Kathy