August 22, 2017

Solar Eclipse and Moon Bubbles

The Solar Eclipse 2017 was yesterday and although we were not located in its direct path, excitement over this event was extreme throughout Michigan and in our house. Two of my brothers and a good friend live on opposite sides of the United States and were in the "Path of Totality" - how wonderful is that? I planned to walk during the eclipse and convinced my daughter that it would help her remember the moment of the eclipse if she joined me - which she was more than happy to do. Sans NASA approved glasses, we assured each other we'd not look directly at the sun.
Waiting for the Eclipse

I shared with her my thoughts that when an event as pure as an eclipse occurs it is as if a new beginning for each of us has occurred. We have a clean slate from that day forward to: make changes, start a new path, try something different.  As in New Years where we make resolutions/goals, or a birthday when you might reevaluate your path - we can view these events as a start to change or an embracing of  current life choices. I shared that I felt a newness or adventure in myself and hope she will be open to ruminate what these events mean for her.

I've been exploring Art Journaling and purchased two notebooks for this purpose the evening before. Eclipse Morning I met at a favorite coffee shop with two friends, one of whom is an artist, who told me about a class being held at her gallery this Saturday on, wait for it ... creating an ART JOURNAL! - and in the timeline of the Eclipse. I signed up immediately. Although art is not, most definitely not, my gift or talent, I've always carried a predilection or desire to be an artist of sorts. So, trying something new, different, challenging seemed the ticket to post-Eclipse direction. I look forward to learning about this method of expression and also have some ideas of my own.

  • using quotes which I've collected from movies, books, other media
  • adding pictures cut from magazines or old photos
  • embellishing the pages by writing short thoughts about it
  • discovering techniques for adding color
  • exploring my abilities as an art journal-er

I shot this picture with my iPhone 7 on our 2017 Eclipse walk after my daughter showed me the unique shadows from the sun/moon effect - and explained why they occurred. The scattered and numerous moon beam shadows were everywhere ... surreal. I call them moon bubbles ... what a celestial gift.


August 15, 2017

Blogger's Block

I'm at a bump in the road with Blogger’s Block – an uncomfortable condition where ideas, thoughts, and even words are struggling to be placed on “paper”. I researched Writer’s Block and learned that a change of environment might help - so am visiting a new coffee shop where my large white cup is holding a bold, black brew, and am listening to contemporary folk music … my large table (a great find) is clean and free of distractions. Two professors are sharing the other end talking about their upcoming classes but find this as white noise in the background. A Garmin can passively lead us to our destination – but I’m now in the writing driver’s seat with no GPS, on my own, literally. So am brainstorming various thoughts to help loosen up my grey matter and my fingers to see if that breaks the chains of this oppressive block.

I take every possible opportunity to drive the roads less traveled.
Often great adventure is around corners: hidden gems, undiscovered shops, stunning scenery. To balance out the good, occasionally we have found ourselves hopelessly lost. My husband and I would calmly chat as if we knew exactly where we were and try to end this little adventure of the lost, attempting to distract our brood by telling stories or sharing, what my husband and I think are leg-slapper jokes.

I own nice cameras but prefer to take pictures with my iPhone 7. I’ve taken photography classes, belong to two photo clubs, and yet, my realm of comfort lies with my mobile phone. Having “experts” share how they photograph scenery, sports, flowers, nature, landscapes … the hours spent looking for a perfect shot … the F-stop, aperture, shutter speed, sun and moon conditions …. blah blah blah! I have spent countless wasted hours silently comparing my (lack of) expertise to these photographers. My level of interest went down as I knew I’d never measure up or to be taken seriously as a photographer/blogger. Not being a passive woman and to distance myself from comparisons, I plan to leave these clubs and begin a comfort with myself taking “good enough” shots with my iPhone, occasionally shooting with a camera. All are synced to my iPad for easy editing, posting, and developing. For my emotional health - the right choice.
I read books about people who love books, bibliophiles, women's true adventure stories, and the stories behind recipes in cookbooks. My collection of these genres is ever-expanding. Give me a comfy chair, coffee, and allow me to vicariously live another's life for an hour in the comfort of my home, bookstore, or coffee shop. Through my reading adventures, I discovered a town in England where bookstores are around every corner. Sixpence House by Paul Collins takes place in the Welsh countryside in the village of Hay-on-Wye, a Town of Books, boasting forty bookstores. In Deep Water Passage: A Spiritual Journey at Midlife by Ann Linnea, I kayak around Lake Superior with her during a summer of cold, wind, rain and sleet. I sit transfixed on the edge of my figurative kayak imagining her battle with heavy winds while safe shore is unreachable in this frigid, people eating lake. A Year By the Sea by Joan Anderson is inspirational in a strange way as she takes a year away from family living by herself in Cape Cod. Although I’m not planning to take a year away from my husband, I love reading about the insights and freedom she experiences in this daring move.

Cooking is not (yet) my gift. Owning a plethora of cookbooks and food magazines, I think like a cook but without the expertise or desire to create these recipes. I’d like to train myself to take a chance and am inspired to when finishing my “Where Women Create” magazine. In my head, my kitchen is magical and I find myself planning new designs for this very tiny, galley room. I’m blocked by previous cooking experiences with crockpot liver stew, putting orange juice on All Bran for breakfast, mushy meats … but, there is always hope. One of my favorite movies, Julie & Julia, has Julie Powell cooking each and every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year’s time. Julie began documenting this experience in a blog, which led me to begin blogging. So, in a way, I am a cook.

I save fun words and unique sentences. I enjoy the spiciness of what others have written to me over the years … and I save these gems – and clip your unique way of speaking and writing. Yes, I am a plagiarist of you as you are blindly creative, and your word treasures feed my muse … are at times fun and blog worthy.

A New and Exciting Coffee Experience

It takes a village to raise a coffee lover. My own village included my Swedish grandmother, who poured her coffee into a saucer and drank fr...