Sunday, November 29, 2015

thankfulness, shown in some of this year's photos, part 1 of 2

post #260
     First of all, I am thankful for this blog and the opportunity it gives me each week to check in with my work and see what photos I took that mean something to me.  This week and next week, I'll be looking through this year's photos with my "grateful glasses," which I believe I wear part of every day of the year. Of course not everything I see with them will show up in these two posts. So, if you know me, and what you might expect is not shown, worry not - there are those pesky space considerations, AND sometimes I don't have the    right photo of something for which I am truly thankful.

      What looms largest is the weeklong cousin camp that took place at the house in August!  We had so much simple fun -- and I took some happy photos, some of which were already posted a few months ago.


most recent photo of cousin camp director (photo taken in Massachusetts)

      And now for a photo of the missing cousin, who had a summer job he couldn't neglect and in another state. Here is Nik setting up his drums at his house:

       Next, the two siblings together. Guess which one is showing us his or her college dorm room! Bravo for a good start to your new endeavor and its adventures!! 

     Now, as always and often on this blog, I celebrate the beauty of where I live.  I am thankful all these images show up in my life, especially when I happen to have my camera with me....

   I am also grateful for such moments as unexpected skies, and for the lone cow then standing there "in reflection"....and within reach.

       With these beautiful Appalachian hills come wonderful Appalachian neighbors and friends, who help me out, make me laugh, and who are patient with me and my camera.


       This is so much fun to do, so MORE NEXT WEEK Should I say, "until then, just keep on truckin'?"

Sunday, November 22, 2015

a tribute to the French, from a fan

post #259
       I have been neither to Mali nor to Beirut, but I have been to France. In light of the recent attacks by extremists in all three places, I figured one thing I could do was share here some of my photos from France, a country where I lived for a year as a high school exchange student when I was 16.  I have stayed in contact all these years with the family I lived with, in Alsace in eastern France. In May 2015, I was able to spend a week in France visiting  various "family members" as well as some other friends of mine who live in Rennes.         
      Needless to say, I deplore thoughtless destruction of human life and the impetus to impose a single set of values on all the lives in the world. It happens in democracies as well as in dictatorships, and we have to work hard all our lives to nurture fairness and tolerance and respect for the world and all the peoples in it. 
      Now some views in France, an imperfect place like any other but certainly not deserving of random terrorism.  No one is. Anywhere. Isn't it about time we all take up working toward more global cooperation rather than increasing fear and hatred and divisions based on the behavior of extremists? We can take a photo of Pluto but we can't work together to solve hunger, poverty and inequalities?  The reason I was an exchange student to France way back when was because my school was part of the school exchange project set up by the Quaker organization (called the American Friends Service Committee). It sought to reestablish trust and understanding between nations after World War II. They set up these  exchanges in schools in France, England, the USA and Germany. I felt so fortunate to be part of that effort.  Each of us had a small role to play, which added up in the long run to something bigger.
My French "nephew" Frederic taking his son to school

Frederic taking me to the airport, via the River Seine.

modest Mariko, my longtime friend

in this famous park in Rennes

and at the market on a Thursday morning.

Mailys and her children, in Paris, on the train

        SECOND, FOOD:
a market in Rennes

my French "sister", Maud, in her kitchen in Mulhouse
Maud and donkey (?), during our long afternoon walk

a stork nest, in Alsace

a stork overhead

in the Rhine Valley of Alsace, looking toward Germany



          and in the VOSGES [Mountains]:
looking from Alsace over the Rhine River to the Black Forest in Germany

Annette and a friend come to the mountains for a Sunday walk.
un cafe, s'il vous plait....

       It should go without saying that the idea of not welcoming refugees to our country is insanity!  We Americans allow any kind of person to own a gun and then some of them wreck havoc and kill children, yet we shouldn't reach out to people in need because of atrocities in their own countries?  Give me a break.  Fear may be convenient, but it is not helpful in the face of tragedy.  Merci, mes amis, et a la semaine prochaine, Ann

Sunday, November 15, 2015

recent photos during my travails with the iPhoto to Photos transition

post #258
       Even though I am still struggling with the finer details of the new PHOTOS software on my Apple laptop, there has been progress. It helped to be in Lexington Friday where there is an Apple store. I went there, and I quietly insisted they help me. Right then. I live two hours away, I pointed out. No, coming in again and taking my chances in the morning is not an option.  And then Adam walked by; I was told I could ask him 5 minutes of questions.  Well, I can ask anyone 5 minutes of questions since that is how I think. But Adam ended up staying with me until I could ask almost all my questions! Now, even if I can't remember exactly how to get where I want to be, I at least KNOW that place exists and can be gotten to. SO I am vastly encouraged and no longer totally freaked out. Isn't that a pretty good definiton of progress?
         My plan today is to try sharing some recent heretofore inaccessible photos.  Please just celebrate along with me if indeed that is what I manage to accomplish.  

      First, here are some views while driving back from the county seat where I paid the property taxes and picked up my refurbished laptop.  Thank you, Maynard!

       Along the way, I passed this former two room school, now a community center with lovely cliffs to the left. The schools in this county were consolitdated in the early 70s. 

     More views along the way -- I do pull off the road in order to make such photos...

      Two terrific teens -- close friends with each other -- brought up a whole load of wood from a waiting pile in the our woods. Half the load went on to the porch, see below, and this remaining half was on its way to the barn.  Thank you, J and J!  And thanks, F, for preparing the pile last fall!

      This last photo is the home of one of my neighbor's. I like the way the tree in front of it has lost enough leaves -- but not all -- so that the house is visible behind the screen of branches yet remains part of the glory of the season; it ends up, sort of, hiding in plain sight.

         If anyone has had trouble downloading the photos in this post, please leave me a comment to mention that.  I am not 100% sure yet if everything I did was exactly what needed to be done. Thanks! Using the Anonymous option after clicking on Comments lets anyone send a comment my way.  Next week I may be able to share some of my photos from France, in recognition of the senseless yet serious tragedy there this week.