Textures

“Anything looked at closely becomes wonderful.”

– A. R. Ammons

Once again, the oddball pictures I take when I’m out and about have been put to good use- this time for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Textures. It was difficult deciding which to choose. Lucky for me, I see another photo challenge coming up in a few weeks that also uses the theme “Texture” so I am able to hold back a handful for the next one.

Thanks for stopping in!

-Kat

Small Wonders

“Those who find beauty in all of nature will find themselves at one with the secrets of life itself.” – L. Wolfe Gilbert

There is such peace in nature. When I need to clear my head, I find that taking a walk surrounded by trees, water or both helps me to sort things out. Since I began taking pictures, it’s become even more therapeutic for me. As I have been slowly learning how to use my camera, I discovered that I enjoy taking closeups. Flowers, leaves, weeds and more are the perfect subjects! And the concentration helps me to chase out unwanted thoughts and to focus on the beauty in front of me. It seems like we are so busy that we forget to take time and be present in the moment.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Kat

Daily Post- Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

I wish…

A recurring theme keeps appearing in my life- people telling me that I need to take time for myself. This is something I’ve heard on and off but recently, well meaning, caring people have been gently insisting that I need to recharge, regroup and relax. (And since they don’t all know each other, that’s a signal to me that it’s time to listen.)

What’s your wish?

Happy Sunday!

-Kat

This post is in response to Weekly Photo Challenge: Wish prompt.

Where I Am

I’m at a crossroad. I’ve been here for awhile now…..each time I thought I might choose a path, something stopped me. Most recently these were family members with health issues but those have been managed, or as best as they can be. When I saw Weekly Photo Challenge: The Road Taken and Daily Prompt: Ruminate, the two seemed to intersect, leading back to my crossroad again.

I never planned to have a career in retail and it wasn’t what I studied but that’s where I ended up for over 10 years. It proved to be a bad fit while raising three small children. I was blessed enough to have a supportive husband who knew that my heart was at home with our children and by tightening up the purse strings, I was able to stay home with them for their entire childhood.

So much of what I experienced while on the mom road was what I expected. There were school days, some sports and tons of kids activities. Having band kids, I spent as much time driving kids to and from rehearsals and performances as I did chauffeuring them to school. There were endless concerts, shopping for dresses, college visits and finally dorm rooms.

Over the years, the roads took us to some exciting and beautiful places and we created family memories all over the country, complete with all the ups and downs that accompany family vacations.

While I expected grandchildren somewhere along my journey, I did not expect them quite yet. My grandsons have been such an unexpected surprise. They bring me such happiness and joy that I don’t even mind being a young Nonna. To be honest, as I have been camping at this latest crossroad, they have been the reasons that I haven’t moved on. When you become a grandparent, you are able to apply your parenting experience and know what works and what doesn’t. You are able to rock your grandson much longer than you did his daddy because you know how fleeting these moments are and you can fully appreciate every precious experience. You are able to live more fully in that moment because you aren’t caught up in the whirlwind day to dayness of being a mom.

 

desk-solitude 1Another unexpected find on my road has been this blog and returning to writing. I have such admiration for those moms of little ones (and older busy ones) who manage to produce posts. I knew that I wanted to write, but there was never time. As I have been idling at this crossroad,  I realized that there will never be time unless I make a concentrated effort to write. I am learning to acknowledge and work to provide what I need in order to write,whether it is a quiet place, time, or a working laptop and access to Google Docs.

I know that the time to move is approaching and I will be taking steps farther into a new phase of my life. I’m considering classes or a new job or both. I want to spend more time on this blog and writing in general. And I definitely want to have time to enjoy my grown up kids and the cool adults they have become as well as the little guys and all the sunshine they bring.

I’m not sure where this road will take me. I’m a tad bit nervous. But I’m also excited. So much of my life has been spent raising my family- and I don’t regret a single moment of it. I do have to admit that I’m curious to see who I am when I’m not being Mom and where this road is taking me.

mountain path

 

A Dog and Her Kids

ari-and-cj

“The dog was created specially for children. He is the god of frolic.”

Henry Ward Beecher, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Every dog should have their own kid or two to take care of. Our dog, Ari, is proud to be the self-appointed caretaker of seven year old CJ and two year old Beej. She takes this position seriously and doesn’t hesitate to protect her kids from anyone she views as a potential threat…..even if that person happens to be their own father! One thing is certain- there’s no mistaking the love between Ari, CJ and Beej!

 This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: A Good Match.

 

 

Solitude

“Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.”

-Pablo Picasso

desk-solitude

“Solitude, whether endured or embraced,

is a necessary gateway to original thought.”

-Jane Hirshfield

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“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.”

-Albert Einstein

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“The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.”

-Thomas A. Edison

This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude.

Happy Saturday!

-Kat

Rain

“The rain, rain, rain
Came down, down, down
In rushing, rising riv’lets
‘Til the river crept out of its bed
And crept right into Piglet’s”

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day

It has been a particularly rainy and windy last few weeks. Ari, who is not fond of rain and/or wind, has not been happy. Last week she had to go outside and do her business in a torrential downpour- twice. This is a pup who will hold it forever if she feels that weather conditions are unfavorable. Poor girl! We are keeping our fingers crossed for drier days as we welcome the fall colors!!

This post is working double time in response to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Liquids and The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O.

Cee's BW Challenge

On the Edge

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Looking out at the river from the pier’s edge- May 2016

“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” -Kurt Vonnegut

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Creek running under the bridge- May 2016

I am definitely not a “live life on the edge” kind of person. You can see from the pictures above that I am content to view the world a safe distance away from the edge. As I looked through photographs looking something suitable for this prompt, it struck me how much I prefer to have my feet planted firmly on the ground.

Some people love to live on the edge. They seem to thrive and grow as they teeter on that precarious edge.

Those people tend to drain the life out of me. They can be great fun but for me, in much smaller doses.

“When one jumps over the edge, one is bound to land somewhere.” -D. H. Lawrence

Don’t get me wrong- I have ventured close to the edge a time or two in my lifetime. (I did not like it.) Fear of the unknown plays part in my dislike. I will admit that. But there is more to it. Sometimes it’s not fear- just a lack of interest. Do I really need to “know” those things that I haven’t experienced if I have no desire to know them? I think that there are things that I might have gained when I was younger, if I had lived (or just ventured occasionally) closer to the edge.

My view from a few feet back can be pleasant. It is often quite revealing. I’ve learned so much about human nature, observed so many details and nuances that would have been missed if I had been standing at the edge, ready to jump. And it is those many tiny things that energize me and motivate me. They feed my creativity.

And so I will continue to stand back here and keep an eye on things. If I’m curious, or so moved, I might take a few steps closer to the edge to get a better look.

(But not too close.)

Thanks for stopping by!

-Kat

This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Edge.

Saturday Morning Walk

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”  -Henry David Thoreau

It was the perfect Saturday morning. Not too hot. Not too cold. Sun shining. Clouds- but not too many. And two lovable companions.

Little Beej is a year and half old and loves to go for rides in his stroller. He is usually silent, just taking in the view like a sponge. He loves trees and leaves most of all.

Ari, on the other hand, keeps things lively. She pees her way up and down the block, stopping to let leave her mark long after she is dry. She warns every biker within view to BACK OFF, even if they are a block away and have no intention of crossing our path. She is selective in her interaction with other dogs. The feeling is mutual because the dogs always respond in kind.

Both Beej and Ari enjoyed watching the train pull into the station. Then we made it to the fountain and had the farmer’s market in our sights when Ari decided enough was enough. As self-appointed protector of all children, she severely reprimanded a father who swung his daughter up in his arms. She scolded the mother who took her child’s hand to lead him back in the opposite direction. Her enforcing tone is loud and piercing.

She was voted out of the town square unanimously. We left amidst her frenzied protests and annoyed people glaring our direction and everyone was relieved when we were back on our block, well away from any signs of activity.

And as we walked up to our house, Beej began his own protest when he realized that the walk was over.

Overall it wasn’t that bad of a start for a Saturday and I really couldn’t ask for a sweeter pair to keep me company.

Happy Saturday!

-Kat

This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning.

Season Now

I never knew what the name of this song- The Circle Game by Joni Mitchell-  was and I had forgotten it until now when I was searching for appropriate music to accompany this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Seasons.

beej and star wars

I find myself in a season I had not anticipated. 15 months ago when Beej was born and the baby equipment slowly overtook our house, I found myself plunged head first into the world of a newborn once again. Because Beej is my son’s child, I was experiencing it from the new perspective as grandparent. Watching this little guy, who looks so much like his daddy- but opposite in coloring, grow from infant to toddler these last 15 months has been been amazing.

beej and ari on ari's bed

He is a curious mixture. He is the living embodiment of his dad in so many ways. He is very curious about how things work and spends much of his time examining his toys, discovering all the secrets they hold. He was born with a larger than life personality, just like his dad. He is always smiling and looking for the humor in every situation. And if there is no humor to be found, he will find his own, often laughing hysterically at things only he finds amusing. That really is his daddy all over again.

Beej reading

My son and his family moved in a few months ago while waiting to move in to their new house. I have been granted the gift of seeing this little guy daily. I am so grateful for this time. Because he was here, I was able to build on his interest in books. He has an extensive board book library and every day he spends hours either looking at his books, examining each picture or flipping through to simply look at his favorite pages. On any given day, we read the same book 5-10 times. One day, we estimated that between me, my son and my husband, Beej heard Goodnight Moon 20 times.

beej and ari reading

He loves Ari and she loves him in return. She has endless patience with him and he adores her. He loves to cozy up against her when she’s in her bed, usually holding one of his dog books- either Baby Einstein’s Dogs or Go Dog Go.

Whether it is reading his favorite books, stacking blocks or rocking in my chair listening to our favorite songs at nap time, I will cherish this season in our lives as the special gift it has been.