Weekly Photo Challenge: Opportunity

Being in the right place at the right time (with the right lighting, right equipment, etc, etc) is a set of circumstances that doesn’t always come along.  This week’s photo challenge was about “opportunity” and although I have a picture from this week, the best examples I have for this challenge are actually from two weeks ago.  (Please don’t tell!)  The first two photos are from Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  My husband Bobby and I went on a drive through the park and on one of our last stops before heading home we saw a six point buck nibbling his way across a field.  We were easily within 10 feet of him and I was able to take some pictures before he headed back toward the tree line.  It was definitely right place, time, etc!

The next picture was also taken that day at one of the cabins located within Cades Cove.  (If you’re not familiar with Cades Cove, it is a valley in the mountains with abundant wildlife, preserved homesteads and buildings from the original settlers, and beautiful landscapes.  It’s listed in the national registry of historic places – check it out if you’re in the area!)  The first cabin on the “loop” drive has a sign about someone named Bob writing their name inside the historic cabin.  It was really amusing to me to see my husband (Bob) standing next to the sign.  Well – you’ll understand!  🙂

Bob was here - I have proof!


The last picture is the only one in this post that was actually taken during this challenge week.  It’s from an abandoned building in this area and it was the perfect combination of lighting and season.  In another week or so the remaining leaves will have fallen or turned brown for the year, so it was great luck that I happened by at sunset and captured some nice photos.

Hope you’ve enjoyed!



Weekly Photo Challenge: Possibility

The weekly photo challenge this week was “possibility”, and even though the ‘challenger’ hoped people would vary the interpretation of her meaning, I kind of like the suggestions she used in her post.  She talked about how much she enjoyed traveling (or just seeing her hometown in a different way) and photographing doors, windows, pathways, etc, and looking at them in terms of all the possibilities on the other side, at the end of the path, etc… I enjoy taking photos of pathways, doors and windows as well.  I’m still on track with a personal challenge to take a picture a day for a year, and there were two days this week that I took pictures perfect for this challenge.

On Sunday I took some pictures in town at an abandoned factory.  Several pictures were of doors and windows, so I’m only going to include a few that haven’t already been posted as part of my Etsy shop…  The second group of pictures is from Monday afternoon’s hike at a nearby arboretum.  Hope you enjoy!  🙂


Busted windows...


Light in the window.



No admittance.


Arboretum path up the hill.


Wooden walkway across the stream...


Weekly Photo Challenge: Comfort

Beautiful rainbow down the road from my house...
My husband is an essential part of my life... (Snorkeling is great too!) 🙂
Mom's cookies! Mmmmm....
The beach (this is the Gulf of Mexico) is a refuge for me.
All good stuff!


Figuring out what “comfort” meant to me was pretty difficult – I had trouble narrowing down the options.  🙂  The rainbow is symbolic of my true source of comfort, but I couldn’t leave it at that!  I had to add my husband, mom’s cookies, THE BEACH!  There were several contenders for this challenge… The last pic is (obviously) a group of things: grilled cheese sandwiches, warm & comfy socks, books – lots of ’em! – ’cause they’re one of my favorite “escapes”, and all the seasons of the Friends tv series.  (No matter what kinda mood I’m in, there is always at least one episode that will cheer me up!)  Enjoy!

Cinematic Magic

Driving is usually pretty relaxing for me.  I enjoy many versions of it: taking in the scenery, hanging my arm out the  window and making “waves” in the air current, quiet moments of silence and reflection, or singing along LOUDLY with good (and sometimes bad) music…  While I was driving home yesterday I engaged in the latter, with mostly good music.  After singing along with several popular hits, a great song came on the radio that not only has musical emotional power, but has cinematic emotional ties as well.  It’s one of those songs with the power to transport you to another place or time.  Like a track on the internal soundtrack you have filed away as background for the big moments of your life.  Once connected to a moment or memory, it becomes linked forevermore.  Do you know what I’m talking about?

The song was Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer”.  A song, for me, that is inextricably associated with a scene in a fantastic movie.  (It’s also tied to a hilarious scene in a “Friends” episode, but that’s another story altogether!)  The movie is “Almost Famous”, Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story of a young journalist trying to make the most of an amazing opportunity while traveling with an upcoming rock band and their bandaids.  (Not groupies!)  There’s no way to summarize the movie adequately, so if you haven’t seen it you should bookmark this page, go experience it and then come back and we’ll compare notes!

“Tiny Dancer” is just one song in a soundtrack FULL of gems, but it is a pivotal moment in the film and perhaps my favorite scene in a list of many.  It begins with Elton’s lovely piano as background music for tension filled silence of a group of  characters and swells, adding one voice at a time, to an entire bus full of people singing joyfully and without abandon.  It underscores the ability music has to bridge any gap or difference and connect. It shows how, regardless of the number of struggles or battles, these people will always have a commonality.  A unique and beautiful way to communicate and resolve their differences without ever having to ‘say’ a word.  And the scene itself!  Even without all of the layers of meaning and the use of music as a vehicle to move the story forward, the scene is like the best love letter.  It starts simply and sweetly with something familiar and layer by layer it becomes a complete, heartfelt whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts.

I don’t know if I’ll ever fully understand why this particular scene resonates so strongly with me.  It’s not my favorite song.  It’s not a song that has deep, personal connections for me although I’ve always liked it a great deal…  And it’s certainly not a singular event in an otherwise dull cinematic experience.  Yet, it moves me just the same.  Crowe manages a magic that fills my chest and leaves a lump in my throat even though I couldn’t tell you why.  Like the group on the bus, I find myself pulled in and singing along with the same sense of camaraderie and glee.  And, much the same as he begins it, Crowe ends this masterpiece of a scene as simply as it began.  William, our young journalist, looks at Penny and tells her, “I have to go home.”  Surrounded by the people who have come to represent his true family, she responds, “You are home.”


(Although I would NEVER recommend taking the scene out of the context of the movie, lest you cheapen the emotional effect of it, you can view a You Tube video of “Tiny Dancer” from the movie here…)

Weekly Photo Challenge (of Last Week): Sunset

I was reading the Daily Post blogs last weekend and noticed that they do a photo challenge each week.  That was right up my alley – I love to take pictures!  Since I had committed to at least one post a week for the rest of 2011, I figured it would be a good way to keep up with my blog… If nothing else got posted, at least I could do the weekly photo challenge.  That’s all fine and well if you read the fine print.  Apparently the challenge begins each Friday and you’re supposed to blog before the following next challenge goes up.  Oops!  Well, I’m finally with the program.  🙂

With all the hoopla of getting Etsy stuff up and going earlier this week I was running behind with my post about “Sunset”.  Pictures had already been pulled, so I thought I go ahead and put ’em up today and catch up with the challenge in a more timely fashion next week.  So, here’s a couple of my sunset choices!

Post a week – 2011!

I’m a little late getting with the program, but I’m going to cut myself some slack since I just began my blog a few weeks ago.  Apparently WP has a post-a-day/post-a-week challenge for 2011.  I was reading my WordPress news yesterday when I discovered this fact and found out that November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  Who knew?  Well, actually a lot of people knew!  Yours truly excluded… Since the chances of me posting every day are slim to none, I’m going to commit to a post a week instead.  It would certainly be beneficial for me to write each day.  I’m out of practice and my vocabulary is on a downhill slide, as evidenced by language in recent posts.  Maybe after I’ve finished my photo-a-day quest I can focus more time on writing.  Maybe I’ll be lazy – who knows!  🙂

Back to the original topic of discussion – post a week.  I’m doing it.  Once every seven days I’ll be here – for better or worse – so mark your calendars… (and send me a reminder if it looks like I’ve forgotten! haha!)

Hokey Pokey Support Group

Unfortunately, my second attempt at posting this blog entry stands no chance of being as witty as the original, so I’m not even going to try.  (It was only a matter of time before I inadvertently deleted something because of distractions, huh?)

Anyway!  Today was good.  I was able to accomplish several of the remaining tasks toward getting my Etsy shop open, had lunch with a great friend that I haven’t seen in a while, and found something that has made me smile several times today.  (okay – once I even giggled until I snorted thinking about it…)

I was at the store today, trying to check things off my to-do list, when I walked past a display of shirts.  One of the shirts was particularly amusing so it was something I had to share.

You have to admit – it does have a certain appeal!  Mom got such a kick out of it that she immediately posted it on her Facebook page – hopefully it has also made you smile.

If it’s not up your alley, or you don’t need a place to turn yourself around, perhaps you’d prefer one of the other gems I’ve found online…   (go check out the other shirts they have – I’m sure you’ll find one cheeky enough to make you smile!)

Did either of those work?  Perhaps you prefer pirate related shirts…?  🙂

“S” is for Slapawitz

During the past few months I’ve made several adjustments to my daily routines and observations – I don’t have to get up for work each morning, no matter how much time I have or how much I do I’ve realized my house will never be ‘clean’, the dog is much needier when there is a human continually available.  One of the changes I’ve made has provided equal amounts of frustration and satisfaction, but that is something I’ll have to come to terms with since it’s a project I’ve committed to follow for a year.  In a nutshell – I’ve challenged myself to take at least one photo each day whether it is something mundane or something spectacular.  This commitment has forced me to stretch myself as a photographer since I don’t always leave myself much time to find potential subject matter, but it has also been great fun and helped me grow artistically.

For some reason, perhaps forever mashed down to the deepest levels of my subconscious, I decided that I would approach the photographs for each day of September with different guidelines than prior months.  In retrospect, I kinda wish I had stuck to the original parameters, but I’m a little over halfway through so I’ve decided to stick it out.  The brilliant idea that began the madness was the decision to make each PAD (photo a day) a picture of something beginning with the letter ‘S’.  (“Who knows where thoughts come from?  They just appear…” Empire Records)  Sooooo – to make a long story short, I keep going out each day and searching for a new ‘S’ to photograph.

Yesterday’s choice is slightly abstract, but easily my favorite picture of the ‘S’ endeavor.  I chose to use “Slapawitz” as my photo of the day and I think it turned out great!  You’re asking what a “Slapawitz” is and I understand your confusion.  Let me just say – Slapawitz isn’t a ‘what’, it’s a ‘who’.  My pop, actually.  Most people know him by a more benign name – Smith (which I should note, is still an ‘S’) – but there are those that also know his other incarnation – Izzy Slapawitz.  If you haven’t ever followed wrestling, you may still be scratching your head and looking at your screen blankly.  In order to remedy that I would recommend you take a few moments and Google “Izzy Slapawitz” to see what you find.  Go ahead!  I’ll hang out here and wait for you to come back!

Well, if you took a moment to search him out, you were probably directed to any number of wrestling websites featuring a crazy haired man described as a wrestler and manager mainly during the 70’s and 80’s, and linked to such people as the Devil’s Duo, Randy Savage, and Cowboy Bob Orton Jr., to name a few.  Before you ask – yep.  That’s my pop.  I spent a lot of my childhood booing him at wrestling matches and waiting to play in the ring after the matches were over.  ha!

Future posts will certainly pertain to that subject, but for today I just wanted to reflect on the fact that yesterday was the first time I had seen him work a wrestling venue in more than 20 years.  It was as much fun as I remembered it and I was extremely happy and proud to use him as my ‘S’ of the day!  Love ya, Pop!  🙂

Slapawitz has still got it!
Photo of the day!

Observations from an artist, photographer, and dreamer…