Is it here yet?

Pretty White Daisies
February 2007

What I'm Listening To: You Don't Have To...by Andrew Balkwill

  • Andrew Balkwill MYSPACE

  • Not here it isn't.

    Today was another cold and rainy day. There seems to be a lot of these lately. As I have gone from blog to blog the past week, I see a common thread of people yearning for spring. People are ready for the snow to melt and for flowers to bloom, for the gray skies to go and for the blue ones to take their place. I am wanting this too.....desperately. I am ready to feel the warm sun on my face again.

    I snapped this image today. I really am hoping for a macro lens at some point because tend to shoot A LOT of closeups. You probably won't believe me when I tell you that these daisies are well over two weeks old. Can you believe that? They must be holding out for spring too! I wanted to capture these before it was too late and share them with you. The whites, yellows and greens are so fresh and the reflection of the flowers against the window just makes the image so whimsical....very springlike!

    I hope that you like this and that it brightens your day wherever you are in the world....



    Tunes and Tones
    February 2007

    What I'm listening to: The Catalog Song by Before Summer Ends

    All of you bloggers know that being captivated is always just a page load away. Over the past few weeks, I have been commenting on a few sites of a group of friends that I only know through this blogland. It is the familiar scenario of one blog led to another and so on. You understand. They are pretty amazing guys with all sorts of talents in photography and music. They are regulars here on my blog so you may have seen them around already.

    After putting two and two together I realized that Corey, Kyle and Jake have a band called Before Summer Ends. (I know guys, it took a while for me to figure it out...sorry). Corey is the drummer, Kyle plays bass, keys and backup vocals and Jake plays guitar and keyboards as well. The fourth member Cobey (Coreys brother) sings lead vocals and plays guitar. I checked out their bandsite & myspace page and was completely hooked and of course ordered their CD. Please check it out their music and blogs, tell them what you think and pass along I sent you!

    Evan's site is where this story all started because his was the first of the sites I visited. I would see comments from Corey and Jake on his images he posted. He also has taken a lot (if not all) of the band pics for Before Summer Ends. Now I sometimes see photos as having an Evan-esque quality. Obviously it has left an impression on me. He is a spectacular photographer not to mention the other pursuits he has going on. One visit to his site and I was wishing I had picked up a camera at his age...very talented.

    I have written before of how much I love music. It stirs up feelings that are hard to describe but surely I would never choose to live without. Check out my post from November called Melodies to read more there. I don't want to rewrite that post. Here I want to share what joy I get personally to watch flourishing talent like this as it unravels. It makes me a happier person and makes my life that much more sweet to be living. Not only am I challenged as a photographer but I love listening to their sound which simply pleasing to me. So thanks guys!

    I took these images today of John's guitar I bought for him a few years ago. There were a couple of shots I liked so I posted both! I would love to hear what inspires you...faith, music, art, family, friends...do tell!

    Check out these links...

  • Corey's Photo of the Day

  • Kyle's Daily Photo

  • Jacob's Daily Photographs

  • Before Summer Ends MYSPACE

  • Before Summer Ends

  • 2.26.2007

    Crimson and Sunshine

    Light in the Underground
    February 2007

    After a half term break here from homeschooling, we had planned a trip to the Science Museum for the day and also went to an IMAX show. It was alot of fun for all of us. As we went from the South Kensington tube station we walked a long underground tunnel that had exits for all the museums that are in this area. The V&A Museum, the Natural History Museum and some others are here. We were running frantically because we were meeting our HomeEd group there and I had gone the wrong way on the train...YIKES. Luckily, Sadie was paying attention and said something or we would have been late. As we were making our way in the tunnel walkway, there were rays of light pouring in from above at different points. I didn't have time to look then but on our way home I had a feeling I might have my pic of the day for you. I was right.

    I took this on our way home. When I finally looked up I saw where the light was coming from, I was pleasantly surprised. Some of my favorite colors are shades of reds...so to see this deep crimson iron with the sunshine coming through was quite appealing to me. What made someone think to color something that no one would probably give a second glance too? How many people actually look up to see where this light is coming from in the midst of their busy lives?

    I love the thought process to take something mundane and ordinary and give it a splash of color to make it interesting. I also noticed how many people stopped and looked up because they saw me taking this picture...maybe they appreciate it like I do....or maybe they think I am crazy. Let's not go down that road.

    Kudos to whoever works for the London Transport that came up with this idea.


    A Different Perspective

    Eros pointing South
    February 2007

    I was asked by one of you if I had any more statue images. While I do have some, I don't snap many statues because I want to capture something that isn't so obvious. Does that make sense? I do stop to admire their beauty but I won't always walk away with a picture. After thinking about this for a bit, I realized that I need to start snapping statues more and noticing the details...they aren't ordinary, they are quite interesting. So today I was out to find another subject and challenge myself by having a different perspective than usual. Here is what I found...

    We walked up from the underground into Piccadilly Circus. Those of you who have been to London surely have been here. It is located in the heart of London's West End theater district. Here you would you see the big neon signs, lots of red double deckers and black taxis. It reminds me of Times Square in NYC minus the double deckers.

    The Shaftesbury Monument Memorial Fountain has become a London icon since it was erected in 1892. It is the first statue in the world to be made of aluminum and was built to commemerate the philanthropic works of Lord Shaftesbury. It is topped by Eros, the Greek god of love and sometimes it is also known as The Angel of Christian Charity. To protect the statue against the bombings during World War II, the government took the statue off the top and then reessembled it again when the war was over.

    I have stood here many times and watched as others have snapped pictures and posed. I have to say that I never really was that taken by it at all. But as I studied it through my lens, I really liked the curves and the look on his very purposeful face. The beautiful wings that are so full remind me of strength. I will definitely be back to this spot to share a different view on another day.

    Would you be interested in more statue images?


    The Second Round

    Cozy Lights...
    February 2007

    Before I do my post for today I want to thank you all for your encouraging words to me. It means a lot that each of you take the time to visit here daily. It brings me joy to know that you like what you see! Tonight is going to be short because I am a bit tired.

    This evening we made a visit to the local pub....again. My husband has a friend in from the States and he took us there for a night out. This is one of the things that everyone wants to experience when they visit...a traditional British pub. The Castle to me, embodies the idea of a pub. The dark walls, the fireplaces, the old wood tables and chairs, and the dim lights. Very, very cozy.

    I snapped this as we were waiting for our food. I like these lights on the wall there. If you notice that the tops of the shades are very dark because of the constant use over time. I just liked the way these fixtures looked and the light coming from them was very warm. As I write I am getting more tired just looking at it...



    Sweet Blessings...

    So Many Treats!
    February 2007

    For the better part of two years, my friends and family have been trying to convince me to take this hobby of mine to the next level and start a business of sorts. My photography is quite personal to me. When I take an image, I feel as though a piece of me is in it. For some reason, I have an immense fear of someone thinking my work isn't worth what I may think. I know that this feeling doesn't come from God. So I have prayed that it will leave me. Starting this blog has really helped with these insecure feelings. Mainly because of all of you...your support, advice and encouraging words...thank you all!

    Now for the story...

    The Doll's House on the Hill is a cafe that I have written about before on my blog. It has such a warm and inviting atmosphere that it keeps me going back week after week. In February, I ordered their Luxurious Hot Chocolate Abyss. It was so pretty that I snapped a picture (check the post from February 1st). Before I left I told them I would be posting it on my blog and to check it out. A week later when I went back, the owners said they loved the blog and asked about paying for some of the shots to use in their marketing with the possiblity of taking more for them. I was so excited....NERVOUS and excited.

    Today I met with Katina and Jo to show them all the photos. It was so fun to sit and talk with them. Three girls chatting and cutting up. It was a blessing for me to spend time there and get to know them better. They were supportive of my talents and shared how they had always wanted to run a restaurant but had been in the workplace for years. I found it amazing that these self-assured women probably had felt (or are still feeling) some of the same things that I have felt lately. Despite that, they had a passion and they stepped out and pursued what they wanted. It was a great afternoon with two new friends.

    As we met, they found several images they liked and we are going to be talking more next week. More than that though, I am so grateful for that chance to sit and share my gifts with them. I felt as though God gave me a very safe place to have my first "business" outing. Isn't that wonderful that He did that for me? That He is that personal that He puts His hand in my everyday life....every hour, minute and second. He will do that in your life as well....


    A Glimpse of Victory

    Gilded Figure of Victory, Buckingham Palace
    (click on her to see her grandeur)
    February 2007

    What will I do when I no longer have all these inspirations to share my photography?

    The first place that I had to see when John and I visited London a few years ago was Buckingham Palace. I just couldn't believe that I was standing in front of this palace that I had seen and read about in storybooks. What girl doesn't like to see a real life fairytale?

    I was nine years old when I watched very early one morning as Lady Diana wed her Prince Charles. I can't begin to tell you as a young girl the wonder that I had that day....the carriage, the dress, the kiss. Did any of you watch their wedding on that clear July day in 1981(obviously, boys don't need to answer)? Years later I would realize Diana was a little girl on that day just like me. Very young, very naive. No doubt the pressures of having to grow up in such a public way were incredibly painful. I think we all know the rest of her story. As for me, I grew up and found my prince that God had prepared just for me. I am so thankful for him.

    I have been back to Buckingham Palace MANY times since that first time I stood at the gates. Everytime I go, my eyes are usually fixed on this figure that adorns the top of the memorial to Queen Victoria in front of the palace. This was built in 1911 to honor the longest reigning monarch in British history. She ruled for 64 years. This romantic, winged figure is named Victory. I can't even count how many photos I have taken of her. A few days ago I snapped this one and it's my favorite. I love her gilded color and her feminine but strong stance.

    Her beauty captivates me....what do you think of when you see her?


    Keeping Faith

    Hill Steeple
    February 2007

    I am quite fond of old church buildings and steeples. In London and I'm sure in other areas of Britain, there are so many small English churches that are big on character and set in picturesque villages. To me...that is the perfect combination for the snapshot I would have to get!

    This particular small church is along the beaten path that I call home. The hard thing for me is...this isn't a church anymore. This gothic-style Baptist chapel opened in 1862 and after years of use it was sympathetically turned into office space. Sadly, this has happened to many churches. How discouraging when a congregation can no longer sustain its members or cover its financial expenses and they are forced to close their doors. Something to ponder. I would love to know what you think about it.

    Could this sky be any more blue? It was the perfect backdrop for this lovely steeple...so I had to capture it. Maybe at some point years ago there was a cross adorning this. If so, I would have liked to have seen that too.


    Can't Get Enough...

    Can you get any closer?
    February 2007

    I definitely have two history buffs on my hands so we really can't be living in a better place these days. I told you all that you may see a few more images from the British Museum and this was one of my favorites. I love to see the amazement and wonder in a child's eyes as they are soaking up something they find interesting.

    It is the wonder that is seeping from this photo. Can you see Sam in the foreground....his nose pressed against the glass as he listens to the audio about this exhibit? He cannot be listening more intently, his hands at the ready to touch them...if only! These Scandanavian chess pieces are carved from walrus ivory (so NOT politically correct these days...but beautiful anyway). They were found in Scotland and date from the mid-12th century. Amazing.

    After seeing this, Jack wants to take up chess.


    Historic View

    Nelson's Column, Trafalgar Square, London
    February 2007

    I spent the day touring in the city again with my friend and the kids. It is always nice to hang in the city. I have written a lot about my neverending exploring here so tonight I am going to just share an image I shot that I like quite a bit.

    I took this walking up to Trafalgar Square. The statue that you are seeing is of Lord Nelson, the Admiral who led the Battle of Trafalgar against the French forces. It was built in 1840 and the metal on the the column was made from captured french guns. And for an extra tidbit of info that you may not know....when distances are measured from city to city around the world, distances to and from London are measured from Nelson's column here in this square. Pretty cool factoid, huh? So today you are getting a photo and a bit of history.

    This view caught my eye as we were walking and I am so glad that I captured it. I love the light, the statue through the dark columns, and the patterned pavement. I hope that you all like it and that you like a small history lesson...FYI, there will be no test on this. :)


    From Our Lips to Him...

    Time of Worship
    February 2007

    Hallelujah! O my soul, praise God! All my life long I'll praise God, singing songs to my God as long as I live. Psalm 146:1 (The Message)

    We made a journey into the city today for Hillsong Church. It is a vibrant church of 20, 30 and 40 somethings that meets in the Dominion Theater on Tottenham Court Road (home of the WE WILL ROCK YOU musical). I tell you....if you are looking for an awesome worship experience, this IS the place. Hillsong started in Australia and is well known for their worship CD's that you can find in stores and online via iTunes. They also have churches in Paris and Berlin where they are sharing Christ's love and preaching the Gospel.

    This morning was good for me spiritually. It was a time to come to the feet of my Savior and be with Him, to praise His name in word and song and to have fellowship with other believers. My soul was renewed and filled with His love for me. I snapped this pic as we were singing. The theater was packed like a rock concert and hands across the place were reaching up to God in praise. It was awesome! I am hoping that in some small way the excitement I was experiencing is coming through this image....

    If you are interested in knowing more about Hillsong Church London go to: www.hillsong.co.uk and check out their praise CD titled Hillsong London.


    A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words....

    Pic of a Pint
    February 2007

    I am really hoping that the saying in the title of my post is true! I am tired and the picture has to explain it all tonight! One of my friends is here from the States and so we had to go to our local pub to hang out. The Castle is a hop, skip and jump from our home and so we went for a pint (or two) and then ordered the Wheat Beer and Lime Battered Fish and Chips. You cannot come here without having this and it is the best fish and chips I have EVER eaten in London. It was great to catch up with eachother next to the warm fireplace with no concept of time. It will be an afternoon that I will always remember.

    The people were so welcoming to us and some of the regulars offered to buy as many beers as I needed to get the pictures I was wanting...VERY NICE! They must be art lovers to make such an offer! I even was passing out my blog address so they could check it out later....

    I snapped this image on our first round. I liked the color of the beer and the lime floating just under the head. If you ever get to the Hill, make sure that you stop for a pint at the Castle and tell them Anna sent you! Thanks to them for being so kind to us! We will be back but now I am off to bed.....


    Picture in a Picture

    Two Shots in One
    February 2007

    This post has been hard for me because all of you liked the post yesterday so much! Oh the pressure! I am just kidding. Thanks for all your encouraging words...my husband and son enjoyed reading all of your comments!

    OK, here I go...

    In London there are spaces marked for motorcycles and scooters to park. They are cool to look at when lined up so neat like they were this day. We were on our way to the Apple store (which happens to be my favorite hot spot here!) and I caught this image of a building in the rear view mirror of one of the bikes. My family hurried down the street and of course I stayed behind and got out my camera. This is my finished product. I just thought it was interesting to look at and very unexpected. When I looked at it closer, I realized also that it was a reflection of the top of the Apple store where we were walking. Anyway...cool shot I think.

    Hope you are having a good weekend!


    Stealing a Moment

    Father and Son
    February 2007

    This one is simple.

    I captured this moment between John and Jack on our way to the museum the other day. We were coming up out of the underground near Oxford Circus on the escalators. It was sweet glimpse and was gone as soon as my shutter released. I am so glad that I got it. The way the photo was shot seems like a moment frozen in time between the two of them...and yet the world is still going at a rapid pace all around them. Much like the way things are daily in life. We are always wanting to savor each second with our children in the midst of the chaos of our daily routines. Sometimes that is harder than it seems. But not here...and not today.

    As a wife and mom, I could look at this image forever.


    A Garden of Friends

    Shades of Orange
    February 2007

    No doubt you can see why I took these images. It was a cold London afternoon and on our way to the museum we saw these being sold by a street vendor. Beautiful! I love flowers...all kinds, all colors. The vibrant hues definitely caught my eye and made me take a closer look through my lens.

    I couldn't have planned this post more perfectly for Valentine's because I wanted to write about friendship. I have a friend in the States whose favorite flowers are Gerber Daisies. As a matter of fact, I can't see them without thinking of her. After seeing these yesterday, I reminisced. Remembering times where my stomach hurt from laughing so hard together and other times that were incredibly painful because of complete vunerablity and fear. I was hoping she was doing well. These are the times that make up friendships.

    One of the hardest things about being so far from home has been maintaining my sweet friendships that I feel so blessed to have been given. They bring me so much joy even from an ocean away. It is tough we aren't involved in the day to day praises and struggles that friends share. There are times where I feel completely disconnected from them. But I am there just the same in my heart for each of them and I hope they know.

    Happy Valentine's Day to my cherished friends...you are treasured and missed. I love you dearly.

    Shades of Pink

    *** When you get a chance please visit some of the sites that I have put up on the sidebar to the right. These are the blogs I visit daily. Most of them are photography sites but a few just make me smile and uplift me...ENJOY them and please tell them that I sent you! Bloggers like comments! :)


    A Family Affair

    British Museum
    February 2007

    My apologies that my post is so late getting up. We have spent the last 9 hours in the city exploring the British Museum and wandering the streets together as a family. It was an awesome school day and a perfect follow up to yesterday! I couldn't resist posting these three images and I hope that you like them. I shot so many pics, you may see a few more from this day before the week is out.

    After our snow day last week, we bundled up once again and made our way into Central London. In history we have been studying Egypt, so we were excited to go to the British Museum to see their extensive exhibits of mummies and Egyptian artifacts. The boys were frantic busy bodies while John, Sadie and I could hardly keep up with them. For me it was rewarding because a few times they started explaining facts and stories we had learned together the past couple of weeks. It was great. Jack and I will be going back very soon. Next time, we agreed we will be taking sketch pads and pencils so we can illustrate everything that fancies us while we are there.

    The top photo was taken from the top floor of the Museum looking into the court facing the library on site. The lines here still mesmerize me as I look at this image. The bottom two pics are of the kids. Each of these photos were caught when they weren't expecting it. Sadie looks like she could be anywhere else but there...and the boys in their wonder, wouldn't be anywhere else in the world. For the record, I think she had fun too! :)

    A million miles away...

    Listening closely...


    Words of Wisdom

    Gate at Waldron Cottage
    February 2007

    This post could technically go under my Manic Monday heading (see February 5th post) but I am refusing to fall into being predictable on Mondays. Today was probably the toughest day since I started homeschooling. The boys' weren't listening, I found myself impatient and my teaching plan of "things to get done"...wasn't getting done at all. The minutes were going by SO slow....

    I was pulled out of my increasing funk by one of my sons' Jack, who said so matter-of-fact to me..."Teachers have bad days too Mom." That comment surprised me and then it made me feel better. So from the Egyptians to the Creation, we got on with our day and all was well. I wanted to share this story with you all. I hope to remember those words from him when I am being hard on myself or things aren't going as planned. God is in those times too.

    I snapped this picture on another afternoon stroll in our neck of the woods. I can actually feel the warmth in this picture. I really like it. I decided to post it because it resonates with me today. In the midst of exasperation and frustration this afternoon, I felt the sunlight on my face through the words of an eight year old boy....hope. No doubt the Lord was focusing me through my son.


    Looking Down

    View in the Puddle
    February 2007

    This morning started out as a very cold Sunday with gray skies. By noon, the sky was as brilliant a blue as I had ever seen it. It was beautiful. We have been going to a church that is a five minute walk from our home. As the five of us made our way there, I nuzzled my chin down in my coat shielding my face from the freezing wind. When I did, I got this wonderful view of the trees reflected in the puddle at my feet. Don't they look pretty? Of course I pulled my camera out of bag and started shooting.

    I sure am glad that was paying attention as I looked down because I like this image a lot.

    Have a great week everyone!


    Getting Warmer?

    Admiring No. 10
    February 2007

    After my post "Pajama Day", one of my regular commenters requested I find a warm picture to post....soon. Here you go Sarch...because of you, I decided to post an image from a few days ago before the real cold weather hit.

    I snapped this as a secondary shot because I couldn't get the one I wanted. There is a home that always keeps its gate closed when I walk by...this day, it was partly open. I wish that I could show you a picture of a beautiful blue door in the sun with a large tree hanging over the entry way. I can't because I couldn't muster up the nerve to walk through the gate. I had the kids with me and had the fleeting thought of having one of them run in there and I could take the picture quickly. But I didn't. Instead I opted for this photo. I really like it because of the weathered brick, the blues and greens in the background and the little spots of sunshine hitting the leaves.

    Mark my word though...I will get that photo I wanted! I just need to be patient.


    A Friendly Reminder

    More Neighborhood Charm...
    February 2007

    While I have been showing you all the quaint nooks and crannies of our neighborhood, I wanted to make sure that I included this image. Parking is highly sought after because the Hill is surrounded by the narrowest of streets. Drivers are constantly having to weave in and out of parked cars to make there way through the traffic. There are very few driveways so it is mainly first come first serve street parking. Because of this, it is taken very seriously by the residents here as you can see....

    On an outing I noticed one of our neighbors had put this sign on their garage. John and I have had a pretty good laugh over this one because we really were shocked to see this displayed. We especially liked that it was in two languages just in case you didn't understand English. There were no thoughts about compostition or imagery here. I captured this simply because it made me laugh and that is one of the things I love to do most in my life.

    I hope this photo makes you laugh as well or at least smile! Have a great weekend!


    Pajama Day

    Snow on the Hill (Click to see the snowflakes)
    February 2007

    You know what my favorite part of school was when I was younger? You guessed it...the snow days when we were given a reprieve from books and tests. Turns out that I feel the same as an adult. Nine days into homeschooling and we had our first snow day today. OK, I know what you are thinking...it's homeschool. Yes, we still could have had school but our day was planned to go into the city and visit the Natural History Museum. I had to be creative fast. It ended up that there were massive delays and some closures on the bus and rail system. What is a mom/teacher to do? We had our first pajama day. Our courses included: snowball making with ease, drawing hot bubble baths, how to make the perfect hot chocolate and of course reading under your covers 101. I like to call it our Plan B schedule.

    Before we realized that we wouldn't be making the trek into London...John and I had bundled up the kids and packed up for a day out as a family. We were all very excited. After waiting for the 258 bus for over 40 minutes (they come every 8 minutes) we knew the scene wasn't going to be pretty as we explained to the kids there would be no museum visit today. Plan B was thought up at that moment and we made our way home.

    I took this photo as we walked back. I have several shots of this weather vane on many different days. For some reason I have not chosen to post them. But today I really liked this shot. It was the white sky, the black roof peeking through the snow and that aged copper verdigris standing out that made this so nice to look at on this particular day.

    Eleven hours after we walked away from the bus stop, four inches had fallen here on the Hill. It really was beautiful today. Time to rest and prepare for school tomorrow. Stay warm wherever you are....


    Full of Charm

    A cold delivery
    February 2007

    Well, I decided that I shouldn't go very long without sharing this photograph. After my post from the 4th called "From Lines to Curves", I felt this was a much needed follow up. Please scroll down and see it if you haven't checked it out. All the elements I wanted are present and accounted for...a wire basket, full milk bottle, full juice bottle, and a porch...OK, you can't see the porch but trust me...it's there.

    I took this today on a "field trip" around the neighborhood. I was so glad to see these sitting out where we decided to take our walk. It was like they were just waiting for me to stroll by with my camera. Home delivery never looked so good...and quaint!

    My work here is done for now...


    So Inviting...

    Aqua door on the Hill (click it to see it closer...)
    February 2007

    I just love this photo. I should do a blog dedicated to various front doors here in London. Every few feet in our neighborhood you can see a different color, style and knocker. I have posted some of my favorites that have caught my eye when I've wandered the streets. Our family called suburbia home in the States. The Hill is more of an ecclectic area and it is definitely older than where we were living. It has been a welcome change for us to reside daily somewhere that offers us a completely different lifestyle. I know that each one of us has things that we are treasuring about our little corner of the Earth here.

    The boys and I were on a walk today during one of our breaks and we passed this home. I am using the word home instead of house intentionally because I get a warm feeling by just standing outside their gate (of course it is a white picket fence). This seems to be much more than bricks and mortar even though I haven't been inside. I have been eager to capture this particular door but my timing was never quite right. I never want to scare anyone by taking pictures of their home. Can anyone say stalker? Anyway, I snapped the picture no problem and we were on our way.

    There are several elements that I like in this image....the hardwood aqua door, the weathered stone archway above it, the wrought iron fence in the bottom left corner and the seeded glass windows. It is a bit sad to me that homes aren't made like this anymore. All the more of a reason to enjoy looking while I can!


    Manic Monday

    The cross
    February 2007

    It may be the six days of homeschooling that have finally caught up with me tonight (yes, I said 6 not 60). I feel like such a lightweight. While my kids are doing well (I think), I am exhausted and in need of rest...again. That seems to be happening a lot lately.

    You know how some people do Wordless Wednesday's on their blogs? I could NOT wait that long...this is my MANIC MONDAY post. I think this could catch on too! This image seemed appropriate for what I am needing today, along with the few extra hours of sleep that I have been depriving myself of lately. I am a notorious night owl which doesn't mix well with my new "teacher" hat I am trying on these days! Some habits are going to have to change to keep this crazy pace.

    For the record, I am not having a MANIC MONDAY post every week. I can be very resilient and will only use it when necessary.


    From Lines to Curves...

    An empty milk bottle
    February 2007

    I have always been keen on lines and symmetry in photographs. I like them to be clean and crisp and take my eye across the picture. I decided to seek out and capture something different today. I really should try to mix it up a bit or I may become WAY too predictable.

    I shot this image this afternoon in between preparing for another busy week of homeschooling. I love the curves in this photo along with the hues and contrasts. Not to mention the very thick glass that gives the bottle weight that you can feel just looking at it. I hope that you also like it. This photo is another example of the quaintness all around me. As I used to walk the boys to school, I would see the wire baskets with two bottles of fresh milk on the steps of a few homes. Yes, some families still have it delivered in bottles by a milk truck. Isn't that a charming piece of the past?

    That is how easy it is to put a smile on my face!

    Hope you all have a good week!


    Another Light Show

    John's light (click to enlarge)
    February 2007

    What do you do when it is 9:15 at night, you're exhausted and you need to post your blog? With no pics "blog ready" in my camera from today I was getting nervous...I had to get creative and quick. I got our new lamp, a white wall and started shooting and experimenting with my camera. I really liked this image above because of the way the light sweeps across the frame. It is warm and soothing. Every now and then I like to use sepia or black and white tones in my editing but this one is exactly as I shot it...with no changes. I am very happy with it. It made me want to crack open a book and start reading (for those of you who don't know me, that is a big deal). The image below is from a different angle of the same lamp. I like the very clear contrasts of light it offers.

    In the rush of getting my post done, I inadvertently came across a couple of gems that I didn't expect. I think they are already two of my favorites. I love it when that happens...

    If you have not seen my Light Show (Part One) post from December please check the archives to the right.


    This was Rest?

    Carts Lined Up (click to enlarge)
    February 2007

    Before my kids were homeschooled (just a week ago) this was where I went to get rest. That is right..there is nothing wrong with your eyes. I used to go to the grocery store. When the kids were in school I would find solace at the store. It was far from the laundry, dust, wiping, scrubbing and sweeping that was calling my name at home.

    Well, those days are long gone. How do I know? Today we all went to the grocery, all four of us. I will be fair and say that my kids are great and it wasn't that bad with them. But one thing it wasn't...restful. I took this photo as we made our way inside with our list. I was really drawn to the orange, blue and chrome here and and you know I like those neverending lines. Unfortunately, my kids got a taste of the awkwardness I feel sometimes when I want to "get that one shot." While taking pictures in public I am keenly aware of the people around me but usually is doesn't stop me from snapping. My 13 year old daughter was appalled that I was making them wait as I leaned over a bunch of carts to capture this image (although this one was her favorite). At least I crossed something off my TO DO list for today....#6, make my teenage daughter embarrassed...check. My work here is done! :)

    On a different note, I wanted to give a quick update on my first week with homeschooling. The week went very well. The kids did great and I am loving the time that I am getting to share day to day with them. I wouldn't trade it for anything. We are trying to work out some things regarding schedules and timing but on the whole it could not have gone better. I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers for us.

    I just know that God is carrying us everyday and there is a real freedom in that for me...

    FYI, if this pic looks familiar it is...I posted a similar one back in October in black and white. I like both of them but the colors in this are so vivd I had to revisit this subject. I am so glad that I did!


    An Hour to Rest...

    What a treat!

    I will set the scene. We finished our day of school and my husband returned home so I could leave for a break and get some time to myself. I am sure that I don't have to tell you that he didn't have to say it twice! I was out the door in a flash. There probably was smoke from behind me as I rushed out not looking back. Hehehe.

    So there I am with a couple of mindless magazines (imports from the US) for skimming in my bag, my camera and this hot chocolate. Not just any hot chocolate mind you...it is the Luxurious Hot Chocolate Abyss at my favorite cafe The Doll's House on the Hill. I just love the warm atmosphere there. The mismatched tables and chairs, the smells of homemade cakes and cookies mixed with teas and coffees. There is an array of cups and saucers that remind me of my grandmothers china cabinet from when I was a young girl. The views over the rooftops and chimneys of the Hill out towards Windsor, England are spectacular. And today was one of those London clear days when the skies were that brilliant blue. It just couldn't have been more perfect...

    I snapped this shot as I got settled in my chair and opened up my magazine. Why? Simple. It is just pretty. I love the whipped hot milk, the fluffy colored marshmallows, the powdered chocolate with the real whipped cream. I mean really, what is not to love? It was a time just for me to unwind and reflect back on my week.

    As Ieft they told me they would see me next Thursday...same time!