The earth has music for those who listen. George Santayana

I’d Rather Be…

Today I’d rather be a dog.  Our dog Finn to be precise.  His day started with a nice walk followed by breakfast next to the heater.  Late morning meant it was time for a nap in his favorite sun spot then a second trip outside so he could patrol the yard looking for squirrels while carefully listening to the wind. It’s now 2:30 pm and he’s curled up next to Ryan for you guessed it, another nap.

I have paid bills, cleaned the kitchen, driven around town doing errands and am now organizing paperwork for taxes while looking out my window at the very trees in the picture above.  Finn’s favorite place for listening to earth’s music.  Maybe I’ll turn up my office heat and open the window so I can share the song.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  I’d Rather Be…

Advertisements
Quiet time together

Wordless Wednesday 2-28: Quiet Time

Waiting…

“The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without them.”
― Stanley Coren

Labor Day has come and gone, our summer weather is turning to fall and after a long stretch of quiet days Ryan is back to school enjoying his junior year.  Dogs always notice when a routine changes and Wednesday morning two months of Ryan’s undivided attention came to an end. Finn watched with worried eyes as he packed a lunch, picked up his backpack and walked outside for the traditional first day of school picture.

Finn spent the day waiting, curled up by Ryan’s computer chair ready to jump up and welcome him home.  New routine firmly in place until next summer.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Waiting.

 

 

 

Dogs are our link to paradise…

Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.

Milan Kundera

My goal for today was to write an Earth themed post for the Weekly Photo Challenge but I’m still in the previously mentioned photographic dry spell and unless I wanted to recycle another forest related image my options were limited to new product shots for our Etsy store and Finn from last weekend.  Hmm…

My next thought was to look for quotes that contained both the words “earth” and “dogs” as a way to tie my one new shot to the challenge but all I found were hundreds of dog quotes.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good dog quote but what I really wanted was one perfect quote that brought these two things together in a way that made it seem like this was my plan all along.   Like I set out to take a shot of Finn lounging on the grass (earth) to illustrate my carefully prepared essay.

Now it’s posting time and I still don’t have a beautiful mother earth essay but I do have a dog photo, a quote that speaks to me and a story about Saturday afternoon on our grassy hill.

Many of you know we adopted Finn as a rescue dog.  He’d been facing doggie death row, was afraid of everything, could barely tolerate people touching him and any sudden movement or new interaction set him off into fits of barking.  Anything to keep the fearful object/person/smell/animal/car far away but the one thing he relaxed for was looking at John, Ryan and I together.  It’s been a long road for Finn as we’ve slowly introduced him to new people, a few kind dogs, several trainers and his friend and walking buddy Colleen.  Basically anything we could think of to give him a chance at a normal life and the opportunity to just be a dog.  He’s slowly become comfortable in the backyard but last weekend was the first time he successfully relaxed in the front yard.  Yay Finn!  He was with us for hours as we tried to reclaim flower beds from weed-pocalypse 2017 and dutifully followed me around and around when it was time to clean up the buckets, clippers, yard waste bins and rakes.  We were both tired, the sun was out, the grass was dry and the little hill in our backyard looked like a nice quiet place to sit and catch our breath.  For a few special minutes we were not bored, we were at peace.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Earth.

My Year In Pictures: November Week 4

Well November is almost over and the holiday season is in full swing but for me the biggest sign that December is coming are our rapidly shrinking daylight hours.   I try to ignore early Christmas music and decorations but there’s no hiding from the fact that there are only about 8.5 hours between sunrise and sunset today and if there’s cloud cover my outdoor lights might be on all day long… Typically this is when we turn to indoor activities and the first three images are from our latest escape into popular culture.  Sunday afternoon was a great time to see Dr. Strange and if you get to the theater early enough you can sit where ever you like. 🙂  I started Christmas shopping (shhh don’t tell Ryan) and am already trying to prepare myself for the inevitable post-holiday read-aloud as he shares every single piece of Star Wars trivia in this new book.  All 2500 pieces.  We added one final candle to our Etsy shop and I had fun with the new portrait setting on my iPhone capturing summer flowers that haven’t gone to sleep for winter.  Speaking of sleep I’ll close the week with a cozy shot of Ryan and Finn relaxing at Grandma’s house after a great family meal.  This is the only place where Finn is allowed on the bed and he makes the most of it spending as much time as possible curled up at Ryan’s feet.

I’ll be back with a new post in a few days but if you don’t want to wait please join us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about any of the images but you don’t follow me on these accounts please feel free to click here for IG, here for Twitter and here for FB or select a photo from the Instagram previews in my sidebar.  You don’t need an account at either place to view my photos, everyone’s welcome.

My Year In Pictures: October Week 3

I know I felt scattered and pushed for time last week so I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that the resulting set of images is a random grab bag of topics but I’m still a little impressed I managed to include dark shadows, Halloween decorations, ugly Christmas sweaters, a Lego Liberty Bell and a grumpy dog all in the same post.  Whew!  It looks like the only unifying thread is the fact that they all happened to me which is in fact the point of this daily photo exercise so I hope you enjoy the gallery.

The week started with a shot in the dark of street light shadows through my front door followed by two Halloween candles we shipped from our Etsy store.  Finn has decided the best way to survive this wet and stormy season is to sleep with one eye open and John continues his quest to take over the house with spooky vignettes.  We still have two holidays to check off before Christmas but the ugly sweaters are ready and waiting on store shelves however if you’re like me and want nothing to do with Christmas shopping let’s both be distracted by this amazing reproduction of the Liberty Bell created entirely from Lego pieces.

I’ll be back with a new post in a few days but if you don’t want to wait please join us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about any of the images but you don’t follow me on these accounts please feel free to click here for IG, here for Twitter and here for FB or select a photo from the Instagram previews in my sidebar.  You don’t need an account at either place to view my photos, everyone’s welcome.🙂

My Year In Pictures: March Week 3

Random is the first word that came to mind tonight as I clicked through this set of seven images.  Appropriate really since I feel like we’re just flying through each day trying to be present at every appointment and commitment while making time for a quick breath and moment to appreciate the world we live in.  If all I can squeeze in is a second to stand still and snap a picture of something random but pretty then I’ll do my best to make that image count. 🙂

Our week started with anxious Finn watching the door to keep track of every person and creature walking down our street.  At least he held still long enough for a portrait.  Monday Ryan and I walked past this sign in a shop window and it sparked a long conversation about what it means to have “freedom of speech”.  Tuesday is a shot of some pretty moss that looks like fern fronds and Wednesday I stopped to pick up a postcard about Washington State for a 1st grade project about the United States.  Thursday all I had time for was aiming my phone up toward the ceiling as I rode an escalator but I liked these pretty butterflies floating overhead.  Friday’s discovery was this cheery box of candy and Saturday night ended at the gym so John and Ryan could swim and I could get a good workout in the cardio room.

Coming soon I’ve got a great set of new photos almost ready to share here from our latest March adventures and if you’d like to follow along in real-time don’t forget I post my daily photos on InstagramTwitter and Facebook. If a once-a-week blog read is more your speed my weekly recaps will continue here along with caption notes containing editing information for each photo.

A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up January with Hipstamatic (week 3)

After a difficult stretch mid month we were ready for a quieter week here and I think all of us had their fingers crossed hoping for a few days to catch our breath.  Looking back I see we did indeed find a little peace mixed in with a few signs of spring and one big change that was well overdue.

Sunday morning started with this nice moment next to Finn at his favorite spot on the top of our stairs.  He spends hours here every day watching the yard and street for signs of squirrel activity and If you look closely you can see the windows reflected in his eye.  Monday afternoon was the first time this year I could see daylight at 5:00 pm and Tuesday morning I tried to take a quick photo of the first cherry blossom spotted during our morning walk.  I guess it was still too dark for proper focus but the pinkish blur is enough for me to know spring is coming. 🙂

Wednesday I took Ryan and his crutches out for a visit to Starbucks and Thursday we posed for a moody selfie in our new-to-us car.  My tried and true vehicle of 8 years finally told me it was finished with long commutes so we made a few calls and found a great deal on a car that will carry us through many years to come. Friday afternoon I stopped to look at this interesting piece of art made from strips of leather inside a wood frame and Saturday we drove north to my parents house for a nice lunch and a welcome distraction for Ryan as he is truly tired of our couch.  This photo is of a few books resting on their coffee table.

Next week closes this project and I’ll have the final shake-it-up post ready soon along with an announcement about what I have planned for the next 12 months… So, for one more week I’ll say:  Each photo was taken with my iPhone 6 using Hipstamatic’s “shake to randomize” function then posted without any additional editing. If you like a particular combination and want to try it at home just click on the image to see the lens, filter and flash used.  For variety I continue to add new lenses and filters so if you want to try Hipstamatic but are unsure how to start let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up December With Hipstamatic (week 5)

It’s fitting that on the day I decided to check off the last remaining items from three old “to-do” lists I’m ending it by writing a post that bridges the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.  It’s a day to clean house, both literally and figuratively and according to WordPress my three-year blogging anniversary.

Sunday’s photo is the image that prompted my post about the many shades of Finn and Monday’s is a slightly out of focus close up of the Amaryllis blooming in our kitchen.  Tuesday we have the National Geographic’s Climate Issue  and Wednesday afternoon Ryan and I waited in an endless line at Barnes and Noble with nothing to look at but cat calendars so he could spend his gift cards.

Thursday’s photo captures the cool blues of a Washington State December on the water and Friday I stopped in front of our local movie theater to capture the different lines of people waiting outside.  The line on the left is for the next Star Wars showing while the line of white-robed people on the right are brave members of the “Edmonds Uplift Society” sharing a few cans of Rainier Beer before marching down Main Street as part of the 10th annual Polar Bear Plunge.  The week ends with this sign that proves some churches really do have a sense of humor. 🙂

Each photo was taken with my iPhone 6 using Hipstamatic’s “shake to randomize” function then posted without any additional editing. If you like a particular combination and want to try it at home just click on the image to see the lens, filter and flash used.  For variety I continue to add new lenses and filters so if you want to try Hipstamatic but are unsure how to start let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Challenger’s Choice (Shades of Finn)

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve joined Sally’s weekly photography challenge but I’m ready to end the year on a high note and jump right back in with two images for this week’s theme of challenger’s choice (animals).

When I opened our Etsy store in November I knew it would mean a lot of extra work and that my hands would have to make a choice each evening between blogging and creating something new to list in the shop but sometimes these two endeavors can coexist and last night I found a way to do both.

Of all the things John and I have learned to make this year and of all the big ideas we have on our future “to do/to learn” list I never expected these little wool dryer balls to be our most viewed and best-selling item.   I hand-roll each ball but my fingers can only take so much winding before cramps set in so after each ball I take a little rest to shake things out.  Last night I discovered this is just the right amount of time to edit a photo so today you get to see my break-time handiwork.

I like both images for different reasons so since I missed last week’s black and white challenge I decided to go ahead and share the pair.  The original photo was taken over Christmas weekend with my iPhone 6 while Finn was waiting for John to come back inside.  The black and white was edited in VSCO cam using the LV2 preset while the color version was edited in Oggl using Ray Mark II and Estrada 83. I like elements in each photo but would love to hear what you think.  Black and white or color?

A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up November With Hipstamatic (week 2)

If I had to pick one word summarizing the past week I think I’d choose “stormy.”  Our surprising Pacific Northwest drought is coming to an end as a series of “Pineapple Express” weather systems have delivered more rain in the past 10 days than we usually see in the whole month of November with plenty more to come over the next 48 hours.  it’s dark when we leave for work and dark long before we come home making each day feel like a bad opening sentence ( It was a dark and stormy night…).  Recent attacks around the world weigh heavy on our minds and every day seems to present new challenges.  Ours are quite small in comparison but challenges all the same.

Sunday is a down and dirty capture of the last of our red maple leaves waiting for someone to clean the deck and Monday night this little face was waiting for me at the end of a painfully slow 2.5 hour commute.  Tuesday’s photo is a different take on my favorite tree theme, these black and white evergreens are from a large wood-cut art installation outside of Ryan’s Tae Kwan Do classroom.

Wednesday night we went enjoyed a rare weeknight treat and spent the evening watching Daniel Craig in the newest James Bond film and Thursday nights dog walk brought Ryan and I past the first house on our street to have their Christmas lights shining brightly.  I’ve seen plenty of strange floral displays around shopping malls but whoever planned the fall themed pots in this particular mall must have really run out of ideas.  Every intersection had several of these large planters filled with big pumpkins and gourds plopped down on top of fake leaves and a few sad mums.  Hmmm.  By the time Friday night arrived we were really fed up with the dark, rain, wind and cold but poor John had one last surprise waiting.  A flat tire in the middle of a deserted park-and-ride lot.  It was 7:00 pm and there was so much water on the ground neither of us felt up to crawling around with a jack and a spare so I drove him home and we called AAA first thing in the morning.  Here is a shot of the flat culprit in the back of his car.

Storms come and go but we feel very fortunate to be here in a warm house with the opportunity to reflect on the days we’ve had and make plans for what’s to come.   My blogging pace will be a little slower than usual for the next several weeks as I’m working hard to get an exciting new project up and running (details coming soon!) but I’ll still be looking for the beauty in every day moments and trying to capture them in all their random fun via Hipstamatic.

Each photo was taken with my iPhone 6 using Hipstamatic’s “shake to randomize” function then posted without any additional editing. If you like a particular combination and want to try it at home just click on the image to see the lens, filter and flash used.  For variety I continue to add new lenses and filters so if you want to try Hipstamatic but are unsure how to start let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

 

A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up October With Hipstamatic (week 3)

October is finally settling into a true fall like feel here in the Pacific Northwest.  Apples are dropping, leaves are turning and scarecrows are popping up all over town.  Our Indian summer continued through mid-week with one last stretch of 70 degree days but by Saturday afternoon rain returned and the clouds look like they are settling in for a long stay.

Ryan and I went for a walk together Sunday afternoon and after finding this shiny red apple laying by the side of the road we both wondered if someone from Snow White has moved into the neighborhood…  Monday I took the long way to my car instead of the short cut over the sky bridge in order to snap a photo of this face carved into the remains of a tree trunk and for Tuesday you get another shot of my backyard trees.

Wednesday’s photo is one of the Edmonds 2015 Scarecrow contest entries and Thursday evening I liked this confused bunch of rhododendrons.  They put on a great show every spring but this is the first time I’ve noticed blooms in the fall.  Friday’s photo is of Finn modeling his new plaid coat.  Since his left side was shaved for surgery and most of the remaining fur on his right fell out due to stress he’s been a little chilly during our morning walks.  This should fix it. 🙂  Saturday I found a neglected corner of our backyard for a photo-op so here is one of many old wood piles left by the previous owners in all it’s black and white glory.

Each photo was taken with my iPhone 6 using Hipstamatic’s “shake to randomize” function then posted without any additional editing. If you like a particular combination and want to try it at home just click on the image to see the lens, filter and flash used.  For variety I continue to add new lenses and filters so if you want to try Hipstamatic but are unsure how to start let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.