The weekly photo challenge word is “Summer”.
Holding the string, at the other end of this kite are a couple of boys and their Dad. The kids were thrilled when the kite caught the wind and really took off. It was a beautiful sight; and seemed the epitome of summer.
(Click to enlarge.)
I know, I know…. The “Blue” challenge was last week… suffice it to say, that blue week was a busy one for me – though not at all blue. On the contrary, it was a lovely week because half of it I spent soaking in the sights and sounds of the blue sea.
I met this woman in blue on the beach. She was staying in the same hotel I was in.
(I don’t know how to spell her name, but it sounds like Iah.)
She’s from Somalia and was so friendly, with a great smile even though I didn’t capture it fully in this photo, unfortunately.
Anyway, she saw me taking photographs and asked if I’d come across a key she’d lost – her hotel key. I hadn’t but I offered to help her look for it until I saw how she was looking – picking up the seaweed, shaking it and shuffling the sand that the seaweed had been sitting on.
I’ve seen too many creatures in the seaweed to get too close. So, I found a stick and helped.
We never found her key, but we chatted a bit. She asked me to take a picture of her with a handful of seaweed. I said sure (later I captured more photos of her scooping through the weeds that I was too wimpy to touch).
She asked if she could have copies of the picture and so I gave her my email address to contact me,. but she never has. Maybe she’ll see this post…
Yesterday I had the great fortune of seeing the dreamy, magical and brilliant show, Odysseo, playing in Miami. It was an amazing experience. We were front and center – close enough to smell the horses and see the sweat glistening from their beatifically coiffed coats.
I didn’t have time before the show to focus on this weeks’ photo challenge, which asks us to capture an image that says”through,” but I think the glow of the lights and the complicated structure beneath the bleacher seats works pretty well for my interpretation of “through.”
I had my camera with me and as we entered the Odysseo big top to see the show, it was impossible not to notice the massive scaffold-like structures underneath the enormous bleacher seats. The purple glow that washed through the bleacher support beams, came from the stage lighting. I love the wild effect the purple lighting made through the bleachers.
Below are a few of photos of the underside of the bleachers. The photos with a TV screen, were hanging on the outside frame of the bleachers and showed some of the dramatic moments from the show.
Photo of bleacher support beams with TV showing scenes from Odysseo:
Photo of bleacher support beams with TV showing scenes from Odysseo:
Photo of bleacher support beams with TV showing scenes from Odysseo:
Below is a you tube video that I think you’ll enjoy. There are a lot of YouTube videos of this remarkable show. Follow this video to more YouTube links about the show.
- “Odysseo” Gallops Into Downtown Miami (miami.cbslocal.com)
- Big Top Going Up In Downtown Miami For New Show (miami.cbslocal.com)
- Cavalia’s new show ‘Odysséo’: Rare performance that surpasses original (pbpulse.com)
This weeks’ photo challenge word is “indulgence.”
How in the heck can I find a photo that epitomizes the word ‘indulge’ in my world? Hah! I constantly indulge in something, it seems.
Well, you might say that I indulge in most everything I do. In phases. There have to be phases because if one spent their days indulging in everything, it would be a bit much!
So, like the moon has its phases, so do my indulgences have phases.
I imagine we indulge in something because it gives us pleasure. (Chocolate, shopping, eating, desserts, hobbies and grandchildren are a few indulgences that spring to mind.)
Blogging is one indulgence that gives me pleasure. Although I spent last week away from my blog – which is very unusual for me – it was due to indulging in the pleasure of my new job!
Tomorrow will be the start of my second week at my new job. . I’m indulging in the pleasurable sense of security and freedom from stress that this new job has brought into my life…..
However, as for capturing an image of indulgence…. Well, I had to think about this one!
Friday I indulged myself and purchased a new bike. That indulgence is to cure, with exercise, another indulgence: Food!
I bought a pretty Schwinn 26″ bike that has 21 speeds…. Why do bikes have 21 speeds now? I don’t need to indulge in all those speeds But, all the bikes I looked at had 21 speeds!
On my first bike-ride I tried changing a speed and ended up locking the pedals for a few minutes…. I eventually figured out how to unlock them. Thankfully. I was a few blocks away from home and it looked like rain and I didn’t want to walk the bike all the way home.
Then, when I finally pedaled home and attempted to stop the bike – I fell off!
Yup! I fell off of my new bike – skinned and bruised my knee, and bruised my arm above the elbow because I fell partly on the pavement and partly on a parked car. (The bike is okay. The car is okay. I’m okay too.)
The reason I fell? After I’d fixed the gear issue, I decided to adjust the saddle, but I moved it too high for my height. It caused my feet to be nearly six inches above the ground. Then, when I got home and tried to get off the bike, I tried to leaned to the left and land on my left foot, but the saddle was too high to allow that, so BAM! Down I went with the bike on top of me! (My first thought was the hope that no one saw me…. no one did!)
So, as far as a photographic representation of indulgence…. I’ve decided to illustrate it using these 3 Flamingos. For hours I indulge my passion for making photography look like art… I do love to sit at the computer and play with the images I photograph.
Here are yesterday’s indulgences – I was working on flamingos.
Here’s my Flamingo On End:
This is my Soft Flamingo:
I’m a novice at it still. However, I can tell I’m getting better the more I work at it.
And, one reason photography is an indulgence for me is because the work (on the photos) constantly evolves… at least for me.
Next week, or next month, when I look at these 3 Flamingos again, chances are they will change. It’s all part of my indulgence in the learning process, and realizing there is evolution in it. And that’s a good thing!
The weekly photo challenge this week is a tough one. The word is “regret.” I looked through all my photo archives and I found a few photos that would maybe resemble the emotion “regret.” But, not really. Regret is a complex emotion, not easily recognizable in a photo because it could look like so many other emotions. Regret is pensive, but pensive is not “regret.” Regret can be sad, but sad is not “regret.”
You see what I mean?
Regret is a multifaceted emotion – layered with either a tinge or a great deal of sadness, or anger, or longing, or remorse.
Regret may consist of angst, too. Regret rears its elusive head over things we did, or didn’t do; things left unsaid; things left undone after it’s too late to change the things we did. Generally. saying “I’m sorry,” cures the regret. Well, in fiction and other fairy tales that’s true.
Regret also takes the form of wishing we could turn the clock back to redo or undo things. (If only life had the same “undo” or “redo” button that Microsoft Office and other software has.) Wouldn’t it be nice if that”Easy” button in the Staples televisions commercials really worked?
So, I found a couple of photos that captured an element of regret. I have a photo of a butterfly whose wings are badly damaged and who is clearly close to death. But, when I saw that photo tonight what I felt was sadness and then I realized I regretted taking the photo.
Another photo I looked was of my niece with a sad and pensive look with tears forming in her eyes. She wasn’t feeling regret, she was having one of those meltdowns that all kids have when they don’t get to do what they want to do. It wasn’t regret. Does a 6-year-old feel regret?
And then I had a picture of a Florida Panther that was really cute. He has his forehead between his paws, down on the grass as if he’s trying to scratch the top of his head on the ground. And I almost chose that photo because it was as close as I thought I would get to embodying regret. Of course, I know the panther was just giving his head a good scratch in the grass so it really didn’t look regretful. And after all, the more anthropomorphically realistic our animal photos are, the more we love them – the funnier they are. And funny is fun but it doesn’t say “regret” plus the photo is a bit blurry – horrors!
So, I kept looking for photos and nothing said “regret” to me. I looked up the dictionary meaning, too:
1. To feel sorry, disappointed, or distressed about.2. To remember with a feeling of loss or sorrow; mourn.(verb)To feel regret.
(noun)1. A sense of loss and longing for someone or something gone.2. A feeling of disappointment or distress about something that one wishes could be different.3. regrets A courteous expression of regret, especially at having to decline an invitation.
I was about ready to skip this photo challenge when I remembered what I’d bought tonight at the grocery store!!!!! And I said, out loud, BINGO! Talk about regret…. There’s guilt there, too….. Double whammy.
Mind you, I bought this in the grocery store tonight after I’d had a HUGE steak dinner at Outback Steakhouse.
After all, they say, it’s best NOT to go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, right? Well I went to Publix grocery store, still full as a whale, and look what I bought and what I immediately began to eat?!!!!!
So, here’s my chocolate chip-yummy-frosting-early-valentine-to-myself-definition of regret…. 🙂
This week the word for the photo challenge is, ready.
This little guy is deciding whether to jump into the water.
To splash or not to splash? That is the question!
He stood there a while just looking into space. Perhaps he was just dreaming, or maybe he didn’t like the water fountain. Or, maybe he was wondering if he needed a bath. Do birds decide when they’re ready for a bath? Maybe!
He seemed leery about the water fountain. He wouldn’t jump in until the fountain stopped…
Then the water suddenly stopped and he was ready….
And then, not two seconds later, big splash!
Love those splashes!
He is having a grand time, until another bird came and he flew away…. you can see the wake he left!
Click on any of the photos to see a larger version.
This week’s photo challenge is to find a photo that says “simple.”
I know some kid, not too tall though, put this on the tree in his front yard one Halloween and there it stayed for a very long time. Simple. Unadorned. Sweet but kind of spooky in a weird Halloween kind of way.
I took this picture in late December, 2011, in Winterpark, Florida.
There’s a wonderful boat tour in Winter Park that traverses Lake Osceola and some of the little canals that finger off of it. The canals wind around some of the beautiful estates and the boat-houses that go with them.
We were all over the lake and it was a perfect day to be on the water – sunny, with just a bit of a cool wind. It was lovely.
I was particularly looking forward to photographing the flora and the fauna, the magnificent trees, and the abundant variety of birds that populate the lake.
Unfortunately, I forgot to change my camera lens for the trip. I had the macro lens on the camera, but needed a zoom. I still got some fairly good pictures, but not many. Soooooo if there is time, I will simply have to go back and do the trip all over again!
When I have a chance to go back, hopefully on Monday, I’ll share pictures of the lovely trees that are just covered with Spanish Moss. I did get one good one of the Spanish Moss, below.
Isn’t it amazing? The tour guide on our boat told us that the term “Don’t let the bed-bugs bite,” literally resulted from using Spanish Moss to stuff mattresses! Back then, apparently, the moss was not cleaned before it was stuffed in mattresses and pillows. The items were sold bugs and all.
Ford Motor company stuffed their car seats with the Spanish Moss, too. When an entire fleet of Ford autos were recalled as a result of customers complaining of bugs and bug-bites, the slogan, “Itching to drive a Ford” was born!
I’m sending you a Christmas tree. Well, a wannabe Christmas Tree, I suppose! It’s really a Cypress tree standing in the middle of the lake. Someone has attached ornaments to it and I can’t resist sharing it and wishing everyone a joyous holiday.
Sending you warm wishes for a merry Christmas and a happy fifth day of Chanukah!
I know this is going from the sick to the sublime and I’d intended to write more about the military disposal of US Soldiers…..
Well, this story was flat-out more important.
This is a Flat Stanley story (the travel-driven picture-project that first-graders trick you into doing for them).
Well, in truth, my brother was tapped to do this project for Elizabeth, our niece, but he roped me in knowing I’d never flat-out refuse.
Below is the story for Elizabeth’s first grade class about Flat Stanley’s travels in Winter Park, Florida
Flat as a pancake, he was. Naturally you’d think he would squeeze-in and fit anywhere. Well, that would be true if not for the wind. You see, the wind was his problem. He was so flat the wind would lift him up and take him away quicker than you could say “pancake.” When the wind blew him hither and yon, he’d be very lost and a little bit afraid.
One day the wind blew him, still flat as a pancake, to Elizabeth’s First Grade class. All of Elizabeth’s friends immediately loved him. (Well, he was cute. They couldn’t help but love him.)
Elizabeth was the first to talk to him, she said, “What’s your name?” “They call me Stanley,” he told her, “and I don’t know where I am. Am I somewhere special? ” he asked a little sadly.
“Yes, you’re in our class! The kids screamed happily. Then Elizabeth asked, “Where did you come from, Stanley?”
“I don’t know. I blew in,” said Stanley, starting to cry. “You see, I’m flat and so any wind takes me places and it’s scary.”
“Oh my,” gasped Elizabeth. “Yes,” cried Stanley, “If you blow on me, I could end up anywhere, that’s how flat I am.”
Really crying now, Stanley said, “I am so flat, I fly anywhere the wind blows me. But I want to go places by choice, not just where the wind wants to take me.” Then poor Stanley said, sniffling, “That’s why I can’t stop crying. I want to go places where I am loved.”
“We’ll help you, Stanley!” cried Elizabeth! And all the kids cheered, “Yes, we’ll help, too!”
Quietly amazed, Stanley asked, “You will? You would really help me? Even though I could fly away and be lost any minute because I’m so flat?”
“Yes,” promised Elizabeth. “You should go to places that are fun and where people will love and take good care of you.”
“Yes! But, I’m so flat! What if they don’t like me?!” Stanley cried.
“It’s okay to be flat, Stanley. You are you and you are loved! We’d love you if you were big or too tall; small, or too wide; Fat or too flat, Stanley!“ Elizabeth assured Stanley. “Flat is fun, Stanley! You should be proud to be flat, Stanley! Elizabeth’s classmates all exclaimed.
Then, Elizabeth said, “I know! We’re going to call you Flat Stanley!”
Stanley got excited, and jumping up and down he hollered, “Yaaaaay! Okay! I’ll be that name.” Stanley was roaring happy and said, “I’ll be Flat Stanley! I always wanted two names! I always wanted to have a first and a last name. I’m Flat Stanley now!” said Stanley as he jumped, or rather floated, up and down on the air!
Then Flat Stanley paused, and said, “But, I don’t know where to go. Where will I go?”
Elizabeth had a great idea, and said, “I know! Since you are flat, Stanley, we can mail you to lots of fun places! We will mail you to our aunts and uncles and friends, too. They’ll take you places and you’ll be loved, Flat Stanley,” said Elizabeth, excitedly.
Another kid chimed in and said, “Yeah, and they’ll mail you back to us so you can tell us all a story about your travels!”
And so the travels of Flat Stanley began. Elizabeth sent Flat Stanley to Winter Park, Florida. He had fun in Winter Park. Oh, he had loads of fun!
Here are the things Stanley saw and the places he went in Winter Park, Florida.
(p.s. Flat Stanley had fun, but is very happy to be back in Elizabeth’s First Grade Class again.)
Click to enlarge the picture:
During Thanksgiving vacation, in Orlando, this was the constant dog dance:
My little 10 pound, sweet and docile bundle of love, Jazz, was not so sweet when it came to hanging around Buster.
Jazz had Mad-Cow disease – or something – because if Buster was in the vicinity of Jazz, or if he got too close, fa-get-a-bout-it! Jazz became a wild growling snapping machine, attacking Buster like a Great Dane might.
In all honesty, it was funny to see them running around, Buster begging for some play time, Jazz growling and snapping.
Buster would have loved to play with Jazz. Poor Buster, he tried really hard to tame the wild music in Jazz. Nothing worked. Jazz only either ran away or turned and attacked.
This was somewhat of a good game to Buster – for a while anyway. Eventually, as in this photo, Buster gave in and sat bemused and humbled – not understanding.
Just before taking this shot, they were moving in circles around the patio with Jazz as the aggressor. They moved so darn fast it was difficult to capture them. This is the only halfway decent photo I was able to get.
Doesn’t Jazz look like a little monster?! But, in reality, Jazz is loving and docile, as is Buster. Jazz just refused to entertain any playtime with Buster.
Oh, and for humans dealing with this dog war, it got somewhat dangerous. When Jazz jumped up into one of our laps (which was often – he’s a lap dog), and if Buster was anywhere in the vicinity, Jazz would turn into a shaking, growling, snapping maniac.
Twice a human arm got in the way of Jazz’s teeth. Well, pillows, blankets and newspapers got in the way of his teeth when he turned into the monster, too. What ever got in the way of his snapping jaws got in the way of his rabid snapping jaws! Of course, he’s so little his bites didn’t break skin, and he never hurt Buster, though he sure tried!
I felt badly for Buster – he’s a loving and gentle puppy and wanted so badly to befriend Jazz. Well, Jazz only tolerated Buster when he was in his crate. That’s when Jazz did his happy dance.
I love the idea of finding a photo that says “wonder.” I settled on this photo of my niece, deep in thought, wondering about …. something!
And a swing, of course, is wondrously fun….
Hey Internet. Jazz here. Remember me?
I’m still here even though she took my picture away! I’m still here.
You remember me now?
My face used to be all over the place in here. Remember that handsome picture of me?
She replaced me with a dead butterfly.
Heck if I know why.
Those butterflies were real once, I guess.
My picture is better than a dead butterfly, okay?
It gets me sad. I can’t explain it. I’m not really a good explain-er of things. I’m a dog, after all. (By the way, this is new to me, so don’t expect me to wax-poetic here, okay?)
So I’m here instead of her – the lover-of-dead-butterflies-better-than-me.
I’m here because she just kicked me off her lap.
She said, “Jazzy, I need my lap to read the paper,” and told me to get down.
I wish I could make decisions around here for once in my life! I was comfortable, too.
Well, the plain truth is: I hate it when she sits there crinkling the paper. She says, “I’m reading the paper, Jazz.” Oh? Well, “Ruff-ruff, I don’t care,” I say. But I do care.
All she’s doing is crinkle crinkle crinkling that paper and it’s LOUD, and it drives me up the wall!
Don’t get me wrong, she is the best human any dog could want. Lots of other dogs in my neighborhood dig her – and I hate that! I hate when she’s cool with the other dogs, it really kills me! It’s like a knife in my heart.
I can’t help my jealousy, I was born that way. People don’t understand me because my tail won’t stop wagging even when I want it to.
She knows how jealous I am and she gets mad. Sometimes she even raises her voice at me and I really hate that. She doesn’t get it – she’s mine – she’s only mine.
She lets any human sit on my couch. They move my things around. They play with my pillows.
The worst is when some human is so big they can’t feel when they’re sitting right on top of my toy. I go out of my mind when they do that and they always do.
When they get in my face because I’m acting nutty, it really makes me crazy. Sweat comes pouring out of my mouth and my tongue hangs on the left of my mouth and it looks stupid and I scratch at the humans legs and at the couch and all they do is yell at me!
But, it’s MY TOY THEY ARE SITTING ON!
They don’t care that it’s MY TOY!
Well, I don’t care that my long nails scratch their pale skin!
I scratch like crazy but then I keep getting yelled at and I really hate that, but it sure doesn’t stop me until she gets involved and all of a sudden I’m where I really want to be – in her arms.
Home is when I’m in her arms.
I’m in one of her arms actually. I am really balancing on her shoulder. (I rest my feet on an elastic thing that’s across her body and under her shirt – she calls it an over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder thing.)
So, I can balance real good ’cause my legs and chin hang over her shoulder and it’s the best. I works perfect UNTIL she moves to talk to another human. I go crazy when she does that with me on her shoulder!
I can’t even stand it when she’s looking at another human! I hate it. Can’t help it. I hate it. I do.
Jealousy is my only flaw (except for the five times I pooped in her bathroom and once on her bed). I really had to go, okay? I told you I have only two flaws! That aint’ too bad for a dog, right?
Why am I getting defensive?
I’m sorry, okay?
That’s not like me. I’m a pretty happy kid, usually.
If you wanna know the truth, I’m itchy ’cause I didn’t sleep good last night. It’s her fault.
We went to sleep real late because she had her tablet that glows that she reads from. She reads in the bed with that thing when all I want to do is sleep.
That’s about the extent of what she does anyway. She sits on the couch, sits at the computer. Sits on the couch; sits at the computer. Sits on the couch; sits at the compu…. Well, you get the picture?
Sometimes she takes me out. Me and her and her mom (my Grammy), we take my bed and other stuff and we go in my car. I like to be in the back, in my bed where I can see her. When she stops she looks back at me and says sweet things and it feels so good and makes me and my tail so happy.
We ride in my car to a house where there are three other humans – one who is small and blond. There are two dogs there and I tolerate them. There’s a bird and two fish. And they got some grass, too! Man, that back-yard is long and wide! There’s nothing like that yard! There are a lot of stories to smell in that grass – all kinds of stories to smell. I’ll tell you some of the stories I’ve smelled there when I get a chance to sneak back to her computer.
You know…. She goes out a lot without me. I like to go with her. I used to cry when she left me alone. I’m okay now about it. I deal with it now, you know? Now I just sleep and dream until she comes back.
Dreams are awesome, too! Dreams are cool – when they’re good dreams.
When they’re not good it’s not like dreamin’ at all. It’s nightmarin’.
Uh-oh, I really gotta go! She’s coming!!!! See ya!
It was not a very good day for the Miami Dolphins football team; they lost. I’m not a football fan, but my brother and sister-in-law are Dolphins season ticket holders. They went to today’s game and my mom and I got to babysit for my niece! She’s 6.
We had such fun, as usual. She held class (loves being the teacher). First she tested my reading skills. I did pretty good, she said.
Then I fell in line behind her (my dog behind me), and I followed her upstairs. “NO TALKING IN LINE”, she screamed. I obeyed from then on.
I then attended Jewelry Club and Dance class. I did very well in jewelry making, she said, and gave me an A+ (probably because I made her a necklace of plastic, colorful beads). In dance, however, I only got a B.
For the dance class, she had me sit and wait in the “classroom” (one of the bedrooms), while she went out and prepared herself to teach the class. In a few minutes, she came in with hot-pink gloves to her elbows, glasses, high-heels, and a pink dance bag. Before she came in, she stood at the open doorway and pretended to talk to other students. She said her goodbyes to them and reminded them to practice their steps!
Then she came in, closed the door, and marched to “her desk” (the bed), looking very important and official. She ceremoniously pulled on each finger of the hot-pink gloves until they were both neatly set aside; and took out her notebook which held her choreography and dance notes. The dance notes consisted of lines and arrows drawn with blue and red crayon.
Before we danced we had to practice a little bit and so we did our ballet positions: First position – feet apart. Second position – feet together at the heels. Third position – one foot points left, the other foot points right with about a foot of space in between. Fourth position – you bring the heel of one foot to rest on the middle arch of the other foot. Fifth position – both feet are held tightly together, but toes on one foot face North, and the toes of the other foot face South. Oh, and then we did our plea-a’s, and our spins and leaps and turns, and on and on until I couldn’t go any more!
So, now I’m home, and exhausted and ready for dreamland. But, before I go, I want to share the “Family Rules” she created and which my sister-in-law framed.
I love every rule but my favorite is number 6.
Friday finally came!
I had an intense couple of weeks at work. I have been in the classroom for the last two weeks, all day, training the newest University Call Center employees.
I took mom to her hairdresser tonight, and Toni, mom’s hairdresser, wanted to braid Elizabeth’s hair. It was adorable!
Elizabeth is still here, entertaining us, which is why this is such a quick post!
Okay, gotta run, Elizabeth is still up and asking me to dance!