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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

Headed Home

It feels like New Year’s Eve.  Tomorrow will be my sales debut with homesav and posterjack.   This part of my love for photography is a brand new journey for me.  I went out with my camera this morning.  It was very foggy and not the most ideal conditions for photos.  But it was exquisite being there! I brought my coffee and went for a drive down Black Creek Road, unrolled the window and just listened.

I listened to the birds and the jumping fish.  I heard a loon in the distance.  A tranquil setting indeed. I also  spent some time listening to myself as I think about tomorrow when my photos will be seen by people from all over.  I am excited and nervous at the same time.  Talk about put myself out there;  through this written word and now my photos that represent  what I love to do.  Wow.

I have been Pinning, Tweeting,  Blogging and doing my video clips.  I have done interviews with Radio and Newspapers.  I am having a blast.  But most of all,  I am going out and revelling in the wonder of the outdoor world. I am waiting for those fleeting moments when the conditions are just right to capture something beautiful to keep for all of time.

I sit here with gratitude to everyone involved who is sharing this incredible journey with me.  What a celebration and joy it is to have so many people share this wondrous time with me.  Thank-you to my beautiful family for supporting me and loving me as we go through this together!  Thank-you to my dear dear friends who put up with my constant excitement.  I know that your encouragement and shared excitement is genuine.

A special thanks to Amanda at  homesav.  You are a great mentor.  Thanks to posterjack for your phenomenal work.  Thanks to everyone who have been following my blog.  it is truly humbling that you care to read what I have to say here.

Thank-you,  Thank-you,  Thank-you!

It is one of those things that comes in and out of my mind as a fleeting thought and then forgotten again.  What if a life circumstance took my ability to get out of bed every morning and head out the door with my camera in tow.  Would I ever be able to give up my world of photography?  My brother was in an accident once and the first thing he did when he woke up  from surgery was test to see if his right index finger could move.  I probably would have had a similar thought if I had an accident that threatened the use of my hands.

But what if there was something else to entice me away from this great passion?  Would you give up doing something you love for a million dollars?  I would!

I would give up eating decadent chocolate in a New York Second.  No doubt that it would be hard. I might need a watch dog of some kind to wrap my fingers with a hammer every time I am tempted to reach for it, but hey, if I had a million dollars I could afford to hire someone to do that for me.  I would give up canned green peas and cooked turnip 🙂  Although a hammer wielding friend would not be needed for these.

Online surveys  ask what one would be willing to do for a million dollars.  They cover everything from eating used gum off the street, to swimming in a tank of live sharks,  to similar  fear inducing  actions that often includes gross stomach turning events. Reality television pulls in a big audience to showcase people doing  some disgusting things for the almighty dollar.

So it would be easy for me to give up peas and turnips. Giving up chocolate would be a challenge.  But man oh man, don’t ask me to stop taking pictures.  My passion is not for sale!  Not in a million years would I even consider it.

If I had to let go of my mornings out in beautiful nature without my camera in hand I would be giving up a piece of  my soul.  It would be like saying goodbye to a part of myself that I am so deeply passionate about.  I couldn’t imagine missing out on the joy of capturing these beautiful moments in time.  It would mean not experiencing my photo; ‘Hovering’   That morning was something I will never forget.  Seeing that mist hovering over the field!  Capturing the light!  Being there in that moment at that time..wow!  The joy of capturing these images is not for sale.

You can’t replace something that is irreplaceable. I am not willing to give up this beautiful gift that feeds my spirituality and shapes me into being more of who I am meant to be.  Can’t even imagine it.  Life is just so precious.  We need to devour every treasured moment of it with our family, our friends and all the things that bond us Take the time for a little self-care.  It goes a long way and it has a snowball effect on everything and everyone else around us.

Hovering

We need to discover what it is that we love to do, and we need  to gift ourselves with the time to do it.   If you don’t know what that is yet then just try something new.  You might be surprised.

You might even love it enough to say;  “not for a million  dollars…….”

I have so much to learn! I am not what one would call Blog Savvy.  I am still trying to figure out Backtracking,  Widgets and Pings.   As I attempt to navigate my way around this blogging arena,  I have embarrassed myself by hitting the ‘LIKE’  button without realizing  that I just announced to the world that I liked my own blog entry!!  I was mortified.  Learning the ropes  requires a good sense of humor!  At the end of the day we just need to accept that the learning curve is a work in progress.  So for now,  I release the meaning of widgets and pings into cyberspace until it is time for me to learn them.  I forgive myself!  Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Meanwhile, I need to concentrate on doing what I love and that is taking  pictures!   I have to wait as  Mother Nature is giving us some much-needed rain.  We  need it but I am craving a sunrise and sunset that we can actually see!  Not to mention that we are hitting the peak time for the most prolific meteor shower of the year.  We have incredible starry nights in Northern Ontario and I can’t wait to sit under that amazing August night sky as the meteors shoot across the universe!  It is truly something to behold.  The Perseids makes it that much more spectacular. But for now it is raining and I am getting ANTSY!

Patience is a virtue but  I can’t wait to get back out there with my camera.  Now that’s a paradox.   A patient person can wait.   All of this nature inflicted delay of gratification is getting to me.   I have taken some lovely photos on cloudy days but I need sunlight to light up the Morning Glories that are blooming in the backyard.  They are one of my very favourite flowers to capture when the light is just right.

Morning Star is one such treasure.  That LIGHT!  Oooooh, what a gift to share this beautiful image!  I have seen it a thousand times and I still get shivers no matter how many times I gaze at it.   Some people are quick to share their responses to it. Some comment on the light.  Some gasp and say ‘HOW DID YOU DO THAT’!  (I crawled right in and clicked the shutter). Others just look at it in silence and you just know it is speaking to them in some way.

All Widgets and Pings aside; I am sticking to my passion of  capturing beautiful moments in time, and sharing those with others so that they might also be stirred by this stunning world around us. That is the very essence of why it is that I do this.

Centuries ago Aristotle gave us that beautiful quote;  “The Soul Cannot Think Without a Picture”

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 »