Sunday, February 28, 2016

a snow story and a spring bouquet

post #273
       Today is almost leap day! It's very warm outside and the daffodils are showing leaves! I had my exhibit reception on Friday, 5-7 pm, but I am not ready yet to revisit any of these events for today's blog post. I still need some processing time. So I have decided -- before winter leaves us all together -- to share the story I recorded in photos of mailing a birthday card on a Tuesday to my step grandson turning 20, whose birthday would be two days later. The card would not have time to arrive by his birthday, so I resorted to taking some photos to document via email how hard I worked to get his card in the mail.  (Note: there had been no mail on the Monday because of the three day weekend.) 

 1. AT THE HOUSE, holding the envelope, with me dressed and ready to start out for the mailbox

2.  GOING OUT the front door (see last week's post) and walking up the steps (ditto)

3. WALKING THE QUARTER MILE to the road and the mailbox, with the driveway not yet plowed

4. SOME SOGGY AREAS ON THE DRIVEWAY, and a culvert needing attention -- later

5. CROSSING THE ROAD TO THE MAILBOX, which requires some liberating

6. LOOKING BACK toward the driveway, on the right, imagination required

 7. PUTTING THE STAMPED CARD into the cleaned up mailbox -- evidence of my trying my hardest to get the card sent on its way (For some reason, the trusty red flag chose this day to fall off. Maybe the passing snowplow dislodged it somehow?)

8. LOOKING BACK, FROM NEAR THE DRIVEWAY ENTRANCE, to the mailbox (and card within) with just as much fog looking east as there was looking west  

9. I RETURN TO THE HOUSE, with every hope that the mail will run this day (it does) and the card will be received in Massachusetts (it is, eventually), with a thank you to the US Postal Service and to Regina, our mail carrier!

10. LATER THAT DAY, my neighbor Jason comes down on his four wheeler to make sure all is well. It is. I appreciate the visit and enjoy seeing him!

 11. I am reminded that I haven't yet posted the two photos of him wearing the t-shirt for this year's Senior Class. I probably love the shirt more than he does, but he let me take photos even so. First from the back:

the front reads: Senior Year / Just kinda do it
12. Three photos remain for today, providing some cheerful color for this time of year. The first two views are of the unexpected bouquet my sweet daughter sent for Friday's reception. I thank you!

 This last photo is an evening winter sky, in the north, from the side door of the house. It really looked just like this. Keeping my eyes open keeps me happy. And this blog does, too.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

stone steps

post #272
       Recently I have spent a lot of time with my front steps.
I would sweep them, 
  watch snow cover them over, 
     sweep again, 
        shovel off ice, 
           admire their sturdiness
              and beauty, 
                 remember the dogwood petals 
                      that fall and cover them in April
                          and so forth, onward and upward. 
       And not so long ago it took a lot of concentration just to walk up them, during my time with a sore hip -- lead with the right leg, pull up the left to join it, one step at a time.
         This morning I realized I haven't ever done a post featuring these steps -- a fine example of taking something right in front of me for granted! I photograph them all the time, so what is there not to love here. It is also a way to celebrate the fact that my leg is now better, and I can run up the steps, take them two at a time, or just enjoy them along the way.



Jason says these are deer tracks!


Melva to the rescue


         There are more step photos, and there will continue to be new ones. It should be noted that the rocks for these steps came from an old chimney, which is what gives them their distinctive texture. Our hillside is now their resting place

Sunday, February 14, 2016

snow storm #2, after being very cold overnight

post #271
       Snow storm #2 is on its way, followed by some rain, snow showers, etc., etc. I didn't get to go where I wanted to today or tomorrow, so, to cheer myself up, I decided to practice using my iPhone to make some photos around the house, over the course of an hour this afternoon. Even I need a reminder sometimes that making art out of disparate moments can indeed be good for the soul. I had a great time. I feel better. Not less "weathered," but better. I am using those photos for this week's post.
        First the setting. Wood cook stove fired up. Green plants happy near the sliding glass door to the deck -- especially the yam I kept dry and sprouting all summer, until plopping it on top of  some soil in December, where it promptly ran off with itself. I think I like the sun in that south-facing location as much as they do.
looking into the opened fire box of the wood cook stove (see three posts ago for more stove photos)

adding the view of the side of the stove, from above, with the lid still raised so that the fire is visible

a cactus unfazed by timing or expectations

view out the living room window, looking west
the internet radio, for listening to weather reports I forget at my peril are for Colorado or Minnesota instead of local...

 Temps inside, outside, recent high, last low, amazing, next to a French friend's lovely birth announcement.  Salut, VICTOIRE
        Then of course there are the birds to care for, in exchange for their beauty and antics.   

getting low on seeds in the trash can, but at the same time the almost empty can makes it easier to fill up the feeder without spilling seeds everywhere

voila, filled! with Rosemary for company.....

hung up once again

Soon all is back to normal.
      Another photo, this time showing evidence of creative activity: what usually hangs on these hooks is currently in my exhibit in Morehead!  So while the world waits, and the walls wait, maybe some of my beloved beauties are finding happy new homes.

        At the same time, the dining room (this house doesn't really have one) table gets covered again, for paper-for-notecards cutting. I just received an order for more cards, from the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, next to Interstate 75.  
     Then here's this last photo, the only one from yesterday. It shows what the guest bed looked like last night at 10 p.m.  Surface covering seems to be a favorite pastime here, kind of like what the snow is currently doing to all the outside surfaces!

        Slice of life time is over for now. Thanks for sharing the fun I had pulling this post together.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

links, thinks, and a photo exhibit tease

post #270
        So much sun today -- which this time of year nicely warms our south facing house. I'm almost ready for some more snow, but hopefully not so much all at once!
       Today I have two links, take 'em or leave 'em, but first some shots from my photography exhibit at the Rowan County Arts Center.  Several readers have indicated they liked seeing the setting up process, so this will be a kind of follow-up report from last week's post. 

a banner outside the Arts Center building -- my name up in plastic! Nice!

The first of several "snaps" of the place without the long tables and the photos leaning up against the sides

from my series following a few milkweed plants for a year

the visitor guest book -- page 1 --

and some cards for sale that match the hanging photos, a few smaller/unframed versions for sale as well, along with copies of Counting on the Woods, a poem by George Ella Lyon, and my photos.

Here is a favorite photo  -- my neighbor Sandy's cat whom I discovered snoozing there when I got into my car one day to return home, with the Destination perfectly placed. I give it the title of "on the way." I'm always glad when I have my camera in the front seat of the car and am ready to go.

I would like to give two links today, and the first is for George Ella's newsletter. Being Kentucky's Poet Laureate for two years has kept her even busier than usual, but I am awed by the amount of work she manages to pull off, including her quarterly newsletter. She is unfailingly original in words and in person. 

The other link is for the great conference coming up with information about gifted kids, put on annually by an organization that I was part of for many years, the Kentucky Association for Gifted Education. They have made such a difference in our state, and, in this time of budget cuts that push the needs of children aside, I think it is even more important then ever to stay informed and to speak up for the importance of each child receiving the education they need and deserve. I hope to be able to go to at least a day of the two day event, Feb. 22-23.