Thursday, December 29, 2011


for the past nine months, i have been trying to teach myself photoshop. this is not an easy thing to figure out on your own.  in an effort to learn stuff faster, i started poking around the internet. i followed blogs, read 'recipes'... and i experimented.  endlessly.

this week, it became an O B S E S S I O N.

being that i am on vacation, i wanted to go to cape cod but that didn't happen. i didn't read a book or take a walk, or go for a ride, or go shopping, or even watch HGTV.  nope.  didn't do much of anything, except experiment with photoshop.   i got up at 530am and went to bed at 11pm.  with my computer on my lap.

i am exhausted but i learned a lot.  and mostly from kim klassen.  her website and blog, along with the people that post there, have not only been a great resource for learning, but also a huge source of inspiration.  and because of how much i already learned there, i decided to take a photoshop class from kim klassen cafe.  a real class.  i already signed up, i paid and i committed.   i am scared (commit?? eeeek!) but more than that,  i am really excited!

now i have to figure out how to retain what i learn... not only on photoshop but on blogger, too.  i have to start over, re-learn, every time i use it.  i need a hard drive accessory thing for my brain, with a folder for how-to's...

meantime, i am posting some experiments... hopefully, i can remember some of how i created them :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

a safe little hidey-hole...

each year, i take the week between Christmas and New Year's off from work.  its time for a rest after the craziness at work and the stress to have (and deliver) a wonderful holiday at home.   i usually spend hours - or days - putzing, reading, snacking, resting...

and i reflect.   on the year behind me, along with the year in front of me...
i SO look forward to this one week because it is all mine.  joey is at work, so i don't feel like i need to chat, explain, eat a meal...nothing.   i can do whatever.   i LOVE it :)  

and the best part of this week is that, in my mind, it is a FREE week.  it's not part of 2011, nor is it part of 2012.   it's a safe little hidey-hole.    an in-between week that has no goal from 2011 to live up to, no dream for 2012 to push thru, no p r e s s u r e from either the inside out, or the outside in.   the only thing i really want to have accomplished at the end of the week is to gain a little bit of self-awareness.  

this year, i decided to look forward first.  where do i want to be at the end of 2012?  what do i want to put into this coming year, what do i want to get out this coming year?  

last year, i needed to see way into the future, i needed to take action towards retiring.  so we bought the house at cape cod.  huge deal for us, HUGE.  and, now that we did it and can look back, it feels right.  phew...

this year, what? 
this year, i need to move forward.  i think, besides the house, 2011 was a year of replaying things that worked for me other years. . .
  • i did photo hunt word of the day in 2010, and different versions of it in 2011.  all fun but not as impactful as the original to me.  
  • i did events at work that had worked other years, tweaked them for 2011, all fun but not with the success i was hoping for, or had seen in the past. 
  • i went for rides, i gardened, i connected with friends on facebook...all good stuff but not the same level of fulfillment anymore. 
eek.  what was wrong???
i felt confused a good part of the year.  makes me kinda sad when i look back,  i was a little bit lost.  but, as i look back from this little hidey-hole of my in-between week,  i think it was all as it should be.  i think it was a time to take sideward steps.  i hung on to 'stuff' this past year, and i think that was ok.   i kept learning and refining, tweaking along the way. 

but maybe its now time to let go...
letting go is never easy for me, and i'm not sure what i need to let go OF yet, but i am feeling some twinges of something new poking at me, in a good way.  i am also feeling the start of a new outlook for the new year...
not yet ready to put it in words, but for the first day of my favorite week, i've got a happy smile and a light heart and that's really all i need today :)

Monday, November 28, 2011


this is the 32nd holiday season i have worked at this job.
none of them have been easy but some have been harder than others. first, it's retail and that, in itself, brings a pile of issues as anyone who's ever worked retail during peak season knows. second, it's also portrait photography, and with that comes another pile of emotional stuff brought on by parents who want images of children at their best, at the cheapest price ever.   third, it's people management.  managing people who are dealing with the first and second issues already mentioned.  nothing about it is easy.

and thanksgiving comes right in the middle of all this.  i think, of all the holidays, it's the one that means the most to me. i live every day striving to 'appreciate the moment'. it's my lifetime goal and defines a huge part of every thing i do.  and yet, i'm wishing my life away, longing for january, or retirement, or a day off, or at least night time when stores are closed and i am F R E E . .

this thanksgiving, i got sick.  i felt it coming on tuesday and fought it but on it came. today, six days later, i am still fighting it. but the one good thing that came from it all is that i took sunday off.  i decided that nothing was going to pull at me for one whole day. 

i started stuff and stopped when i felt like it. unfinished. 
i wandered thru the internet, visiting blogs and websites that i like.
i browsed facebook whenever i felt like it, i played solitaire without guilt.
i ate snacks, many snacks.

and i took a picture ride.
my favorite lens is in the shop, my other lenses are acting up, the bags of bread for the geese are piling up and i was having picture-ride withdrawal.  so i went for a ride.  

and there is where i found what i was looking for.
its where i ALWAYS find what i am looking for.

i found F R E E D O M...

so, the hell with january, or sleeping. 
i am going back to going on a picture-ride every day.  not just snapping a shot on the way to work. or running out to shoot something because i need to post for last week's photo hunt. 
but an honest picture ride just for me. 
a time set aside to appreciate the day and the moment. 
a few minutes of F R E E D O M...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

time out...

i decided tonight that i needed some time for me.
i needed a time out from work.

so i went on my favorite blogs,
looking for inspiration...
looking for peace of mind...
looking for relief of some sort...
looking for me.

i found everything i was looking for,
and then some.
thank you blogger friends-who-are-strangers.
you were just what i needed :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

a m a z i n g...

time to catch up...
its been a busy 100 days since i wrote on here. 
its a beautiful morning, sun is shining and sky is blue. the storms are gone, and so is the humidity.

birds are chirping,
bunnies are snacking on the grass...

i'm sitting at cape cod, still amazed that we did it.  bought a house? with land to garden?? at the cape???  wow.  it is really hard to believe, doesn't feel real most of the time. 

i remember when we were as close to homeless as i ever want to be. we got a place, but slept on the floor for six months because we couldn't afford a bed.  ate tomatoes from a neighbors garden for breakfast lunch and dinner because we couldn't afford food. 

we have much to be thankful for... besides our family and our health, both first on the long list of things i appreciate. but we are employed. we have worked hard, saved - money and stuff - and now can bring a dream to life.   a m a z i n g...

a house at the cape.  i remember coming here as a kid, it was bigger than Christmas morning, more exciting than our birthday... a week of beaches, games in the cottage at night, singing in the car, sand in the pants, exploring on the rainy days...  we all cherish those memories and thank mom and dad for the joy that we all remember as cape cod back then.  

and i thank them again for the joy of cape cod today.  without them, and their legacies, i would not be sitting on my couch at the cape on this beautiful morning.  i hope, mom and dad, you are here with me now.  i hope you see how you touch my life, our lives, the whole family, still today... 

you may be gone from our sight but not from the cape. as you brought us here when we were kids, we each bring you here each time we come back... 
memories for a lifetime.
a m a z i n g....

Thursday, May 12, 2011

what lies ahead...

today i am making a commitment. 
to myself.

i am going to walk the road i am on.
i am going to look for the light, the joy, the little things.
i am going to measure me myself.
i am going to block out the outside voices,
   so i can hear the inside voice.
i am going to listen to myself
with all of myself.

i am going to choose HAPPY.
even if that choice changes the direction
of the road i am on.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

self help

i am feeling like  i need a mental slap. 
i have such a short-term attention span, can't seem to focus on anything long enough to move forward at all. 

it's time for words of wisdom from a self-help book. 
i'm going to open to just any page and find a purpose for today on that page...

and here is what was there...

along with "Listen with all of all of you"
i think i just got the mental slap i needed.

Monday, May 2, 2011

'you are magical'

spring in new england is a wonderful thing...

it may have been a long time coming this year,
but as always, it was worth the wait.

today i want to celebrate LIFE.
with all the news of death - tornado damage, japan, bin laden -
i need to focus on life.

i walked for hours over the past few days,
wandering and pondering,
through the paths of fanny stebbins wildlife sanctuary. 

as my vacation came to an end, i found that the beauty of life renewing itself was exactly what i needed. 

looking forward, watching good things come to life gives me hope...
as i was wandering back to my car, i came across this last bit to ponder...
there in the path was a message -
from somewhere to someone,
a message written in the dirt...

so in the hopes that i can tap into this magic,
i pray for a future
where peace and life
is a cause for celebration world wide.

Monday, April 25, 2011

change of plans...

all i wanted to do on my vacation was wander and ponder.
but somewhere in the my brain was a list of things i intended to get done on my vacation such as garden, paint the office, introduce outside guy to the inside gang, go to cape cod and buy a house, take pictures and submit to the big contest at work, start exercising, write more...
so i started off by breaking my arm...

i believe that changes the plans. the whole list is up in the air. i have to figure out some new techniques for brushing my teeth or feeding the cats. or feeding myself, for that matter.

i believe that now, i may just wander and ponder...
not a bad way to spend my vacation after all,,,

Thursday, April 21, 2011

hanging by a thread...

a week of vacation is calling my name...and i am answering that call with every cell in my body.

i don't go on vacation officially until friday night.
but the relaxed and FREE marie is standing at that finish line and waving me on.
i see her.
i want to be her.
i am almost desparate to be her...

the problem is to stay mentally at work until that moment.
it ain't easy...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

a good day...

it was a brutal winter.
spring isn't making any friends either.
but instead of whining on this cold gray day, i am going to remember the lesson from the winter and look to see the beauty that is so easily missed...

Monday, April 18, 2011

change it up...

i am finding myself stuck in a few ruts...

from the food i eat, to the time that i eat it all the way to the pictures that i take at the places that i take them - i develop patterns. in a big way.

so this week, i decided i am going to change it up. all week long.

i will have to watch myself however that i don't turn this into a new weekly pattern, called 'change it up' that i then do for the next freaking year :)

Friday, April 15, 2011


it was a good morning :)
looking out the window for outside guy, i saw Hope. and God. and a new Beginning...
a new day starts, the sun peeks through the trees, shining on the new buds forming on the magnolia tree. spring is here.

Life is good.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

what did i do?

it took me a year and a half to rescue Outside Guy. and what a beautiful cat he is! but for 2 months to the day, he lived in my office, closed in because he fought with the other cats. we spent a lot of quality time together, cuddled up, reading each other's mind.
i have to believe that letting him go on a beautiful spring day like yesterday was the right thing to do...i have to believe i read his mind, which said "i love you mommy and i will be back. but i would like to run free for a time..."
please be good, be careful and come home soon, outside guy. your mother misses you terribly and is hoping she read you right. come back buddy and stay safe...

the gang has an eye out for you...

Monday, April 11, 2011

the road back...

around a year ago, i changed my life. i discovered what blogging was, created this blog to feed my spirit and ultimately found the road back to me.

what a year it’s been...

i took pictures every day. i reconnected with old friends and made a lot of new friends. i put work on the back burner. turns out, i also put the blog on the back burner. and even though there were some tough moments, this will go down as one of my favorite years.

i feel like i got back my art. like all that lay dormant came back alive, my own personal springtime. its time now to start writing again. i want to know my soul like i once did. how did i end up living on the surface for so long? what's in there now that i'm 56 years old? what did i learn?

now i look to the road ahead...