(almost) wordless wednesday

I was playing around with my camera and lighting yesterday. For most of the shots of this still life I kept the sunlight and the shadow of the blinds away from the table, but as it turns out, this one with the shadow is my favorite. Maybe I should drag out my paints and attempt to paint it?

I have discovered that the unasked-for accident can be the salvation of what you are doing. ~ Stephen De Staebler

See other Wordless Wednesday participants here…

happy new year!

This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life. ~Anonymous

grateful gifts

I’ve been busy trying to catch up on holiday shopping and housework lately, doing iStock photos, and putting up a few Christmas decorations. But I’m not really in the mood to put up the Christmas tree this year, it’s a big one because we have a high ceiling in the family room.  Mr. bookbabie seems a little bummed about that idea however. I don’t think it’s a ba-humbug Scrooge kind of thing with me or depression because my mom is gone. I just think I’m worn out and putting up the tree feels like one more chore to do.

The last months of my mom’s life were pretty intense, then she died (also an intense, emotionally charged experience), and then I went right into planning mode for her memorial party. And now it’s the holidays. It seems like I could use some downtime to process this past year. My mom’s illness and death. My son and daughter-in-law losing the baby. I don’t know. Then again, maybe processing/dwelling on what’s happened isn’t really necessary. I don’t want to get stuck in that woe-is-me place where melancholy and gloom rule the day.

Hmm, okay Mr. bookbabie, we’ll put on some holiday music, light a fire in the fireplace, and put up your giant Christmas tree this weekend. Because through all the sadness and the loss of late you’ve been there by my side and for that I am truly grateful. Your love gave me a soft place to land during this most difficult year, so yes, you shall indeed have your tree my dear.

No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope or fear;
But, grateful, take the good I find,
The best of now and here.
~John Greenleaf Whittier

play doctor for me

I’m enjoying taking holiday photos for my iStock account like the one above. Tomorrow Mr. bookbabie has agreed to play doctor with me. That is…he’s agreed to dress up like a doctor so I can take some stock doctor pics. (Then again if he’s a good doctor model maybe I’ll be his patient afterward and let him examine me!)

“Live out of your imagination, not your history.”
Stephen Covey

hangin’ on

After ten days of the November drearies the sun came out yesterday and the temperature hit sixty! I decided it was a good day to run errands so I spent the afternoon running around gathering the necessities for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, which for us officially starts on Saturday when my sister and her family fly in from California, yay! I grabbed my trusty Canon G9 on my way out the door resolving that one of my errands would be to spend some time driving aimlessly and enjoying the lovely day. The photo below is from Maple Street in my town, I want to live on that street someday and you can see why, it is especially pretty this time of the year. The photo above is from a Japanese Maple in my own backyard. The leaves are slow to fall in Michigan this year, they don’t seem quite ready to give up and face the cold winter months and I am so very grateful for their tenacity!

picture this

Me and Mr. bookbabie went for a drive on Sunday afternoon. We went to the University of Michigan Botanical Gardens, a pumpkin filled landscape center, and to a lovely city park in Ann Arbor along the Huron River. The sun was warm, the sky watery-blue, and the air had that cool, crisp scent of autumn clinging to it that makes you want to dig out your favorite old sweatshirt and buy a jug of apple cider. We’ve been making an effort to, as they say, stop and smell the roses lately. To not only live in the moment, but to slow down, breathe deeply, and understand that the present moment is all we ever really have, we can’t change the past or control the unfolding future. It’s such a relief if you can do it, let it all go and stop living in your head, but of course it’s easier said than done. I think we all have something that can nudge us in the right direction though. For me and my husband it’s photography. When we’re out taking pictures our attention is on the world inside the viewfinder; the subject that has caught our eye, the way the light paints and colors the image in front of us. Maybe photography is really just our way of feeling like we actually do have a smidgen of control over life. We focus on one small square at a time, choosing the moments that we want to capture and hold on to.

groovy graffiti

I’d like to say that I took this cool photo of a wall of graffiti, but my protégé, Mr. bookbabie, actually snapped this one. We spent the afternoon on Sunday in downtown Detroit capturing some urban scenes and I think this is my favorite of the bunch. We had a great time, wandering around taking pics and talking to people. It’s funny, when you’re draped with camera equipment people are so friendly and much more willing to stop and chat with a total stranger. We ate lunch in Greektown sitting at a bar in front of several flat screen TV’s and watched the British Open and the baseball game that was going on a few blocks from us. The Tigers lost, Harrington won, and all the while I tried not to think about my mom’s continuing serious health problems. I failed of course, but I am learning that all you can do sometimes is put one foot in front of the other and keep moving. There’s a line from a poem by Emily Dickinson that I love, “Hope is a thing with feathers that perches in the soul.” Isn’t that just what hope feels like? Like a pair of tiny white angel wings wrapped around your breaking heart, holding it together.