Tag Archives: photography

The Small Joys in Life

 

I decided not to neglect my blogs anymore. Writing is one of the sure things that bring me joy. I’ve not spent a lot of time doing it lately because I have let other things get in the way of my joy. Funny how we do that sometimes. We worry about our spouses, our jobs, our children, or our parents. Perhaps the worry is for our pets, or the bills, maybe even the housework (okay not the housework; no one said that, ever).

We live in this world of instant gratification. Sometimes we forget the value of the simple things that might not seem like much, but they really are important. That first cup of coffee in the morning. Being cuddled up on the couch in a pair of worn jammies. A journal and a pen in hand. The cat laying close by. The warmth of the sun shining through the window. A good morning greeting from a child. So many positives to be thankful for.

Our neighbors have begun putting up Christmas decorations. I love seeing the red bows pasted on the window sills of their house. It reminds me of the season.

The leaves have covered our lawn. I’ve raked them no less than three weekends in a row. Today I look out and see that the trees have dropped leaves and covered the lawn yet again. We compete with the squirrels to find the hidden treasures underneath all of those brown crunchy leaves. This year the pecan trees brought forth a huge harvest. My mouth is watering for the famous Captain Morgan’s Pecan Pie. 

With the holidays upon us I consider the people who struggle during this time of year. The struggle is real because I experience it too. I have such high expectations of what the holidays should be. I set myself up for failure so often because when they don’t turn out the way I portray them in my mind, it turns into a huge disappointment. It depresses me. Sometimes I start my depression even before the holidays arrive. Tall Cool One reminds me I am not in control (sometimes I hate that truth). I am learning to just be thankful for the things I have and the things I can control. It is a slow process but a sure one. It is a reminder… joy is an attitude. What are the small things that bring you joy?

FLASHBACK

Think about last year right around Labor Day weekend, or maybe even Christmas time. Flashback to the things we were doing, activities we enjoyed, trips we took.  Think about the  visits to the grocery store that seemed trivial just such a short time ago.

Flashback to the days of walking into the restroom and seeing the sign that encouraged employees:  ‘Employees must wash their hands before returning to work’. I remember seeing so many people in these rest rooms that never paid attention to the signs. I guess they thought because they were not employees it didn’t pertain to them. 

Flashback to the days when toilet paper and paper towels filled at least a whole isle at the grocery store. The days of going in and picking up the weekly supply. The days of not having to stand in line and wait to be let in the store.  The days of not being allotted one package to each customer as if we lived in a communist country.

Flashback to more important events. Fellowship on Sundays and hugging fellow believers. Visiting your elderly parents at the nursing home without concern of spreading a sickness to them. Sunday afternoon dinners with your grown children and having all the grand kids run around the house. Just plain getting together with family and friends for cookouts and fun times.

My flashback is September last year … I seriously hope we get to do it again.



Flashback to a time when our world once was different. What are we going to do to make sure things don’t get worse? Do your part. Listen to our leaders. Don’t ignore what is happening.





Welcome to the A-Z Blogging Challenge. This year I think it will bring a lot more people together with the epidemic going on right. Being quarantined means more people will flock to the web looking for things to do. This is a great way to meet new people. Maybe you will read something new, find a new hobby, or just be entertained by some random musings. Whatever the case may be, stay safe, drink plenty of liquids and enjoy the trip.

ZEAL was lost

I failed to complete the A-Z blogging challenge by the deadline. Posting today, but I’m a day late and a dollar short. Better late than never, right? Maybe so, but I’m mad at myself for not taking the time to write and post yesterday. I let other things take priority of my time. It’s easy to do that as a writer, isn’t it? We feel like we can put other things ahead of our writing and get to it later. At least that is the case for me. Maybe that’s why I’ll never make any money as a writer. (Bwaaaa!)

Writing is one of those “hobbies” like anything else, if you are going to succeed and do well at it, you have to do it all the time, with zeal. Practice, persevere, and write diligently. Never give up. Quitters never win and winners never quit.

I hope you enjoyed the A-Z challenge. I hope to continue to post more often than annually. Maybe you’ll join me.

Cheers.

Abecedarian

day 1

Abecedarian is the name of the game,
Bona fide contestants looking for fame.
Creative craftiness is part of the plan
Deliver the message to your fellow-man.
Enjoy reading others as they play, too,
Follow their blogs, they might follow you.
Grab your keyboard and just start typing
Hell it’s easy, the words are ripening.
Indulge yourself into the spur
Juxtaposition enhances blur slur.
Kick the muse for innovation,
Let’s write our own inauguration.
Make up stories, and write a blog
Never mind that barking dog.
Organize your thought process,
Prioritize that office mess.
Quiet now, let me think
Rhetoric only used in speech
Saved for when you need to preach
Time is of an essence here
Usage to the point and clear
Valedictorian’s will gloat a bit,
Weary writers will benefit.
Xylography was before what blogged
You’d value wood-working the prologue
Zip-a-dee-doo-da, zip-a-dee-day, my-oh-my, what’s your A-Blog today?

A-Z Blog Challenge

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2015] - Life is Good

Make sure to check in will all the other bloggers that are participating in this challenge, oh and leave comments. Writers love to hear what people think about their musings.

Good Morning

The Write Photo Challenge

Good morning

 

Good Morning

 Another day is breaking through

The sky from night has turned to blue

Crickets chirping and birdies singing

Anxious for what the Lord is bringing

When we dwell on what’s not right,

We miss the things within our sight

A simple sunrise, a new grown flower

The chance to breathe for one more hour.

 Forget the things you cannot change

Focus efforts within your range

God has a plan, that’s why you’re here

Do what you do and do not fear

Ask for His help, he’ll give to you

Abundantly more, as each day breaks through

Take the Challenge

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Got a funny picture, maybe a funny story? Need a little get up and go because yours got up and went?

Check out the new blog and get ready to share your thoughts and ideas.

Share a story, share a photo… look for snapshots to give you a little inspiration, a quote to get your camera clicking.

Go ahead, take the challenge, you know you want to.

The Write Photo

Where Splendor Rests

March 13

 

Where Splendor Rests

 

How beautiful upon the mountains

Are the feet of him who brings good news,

Who proclaims peace,

Who brings glad tidings of good things,

Who proclaims salvation …

“Your God reigns!”

 

~Isaiah 52:7

 

In the deadness of winter when everything seems lifeless, hopeless, if you search you will find the beauty atop the mountains. God sees in us what we cannot. Where we find ennui, He provides potential. The Lord controls every power on the earth.  I hope this thought brightens your day and encourages you to look at life with new perspective.

Blank Canvas

March 12

Dog laying at her feet

Blank canvas, sweet retreat

Brand new dream fills her mind

Yesterday’s worries far behind

Outside snow squalls in winter air

Studio warmth leaves her without care

Brushes strategically lined for use

“Let’s get started,” whisper’s her muse

Flick of her wrist, paint cap flies

Nimbly brush canvas before vision dies

Illustration in her mind indeed quite splendid

Creation of colors combined well blended

♥♥♥

 

Dignified

March 11

Dignified

Passing it by, or toward it folks stride,

Upon the weathered slats their bottoms reside.

Many will contemplate schemes with pride,

Others in shame and grief undignified.

Promises made while adulterers lied,

Broken-hearted lovers sat here and cried.

Hopes and dreams shattered and defied,

Crying over a pet which recently died.

Long walks to find a place to hide,

And consider how life could be simplified.

Whether eating lunch that’s been deep-fried,

Or watching with patience the out-going tide.

A place with friends to sit and confide,

Deeper into their lives, information pried.

Secrets and agreements can’t be denied

By sundry a traveler this bench occupied.

Act of Kindness

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Act of Kindness

Jenna sat at her desk staring out at the park across from the office building where she worked. On any given day, fifteen to twenty-five homeless people would cluster in the botanical garden around a fire which they built with debris and other trash collected. They would warm themselves until the police arrived and dispersed the vagabonds.

The deadline for the project Jenna was working on was fast approaching and her boss would be expecting the power-point presentation within the hour. She hadn’t left her desk in six hours, not to urinate, get a cup of coffee and she couldn’t remember if she ate breakfast or not. She was tired, and her usual imaginative artistic muse was on temporary hiatus. It was absolutely critical that she come up with a marketing slogan to get this client for Dunbar and Henderson.

Her cell phone beeped and a message popped up on her computer screen. Mr. Henderson wanted to speak with her in his office. Oh, great, she thought. She picked up the notebook with the marketing project and headed into her boss’s office.

“Jenna, just got a call from Tilson’s Bakery. They won’t be here until the end of the week. Got a couple more days to work on that project. Just wanted to give you the good news personally. And I want you to know, I really appreciate all of your hard work.”

“Thank you, sir.” Jenna wasn’t sure what to say or think. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders. Normally under pressure she did well with creative thinking, but this project was a little more difficult than she anticipated.

Back at her desk with a bowl of soup and some crusty bread, she read the notes she had taken for Tilson’s Bakery marketing project. She looked out the window and noticed a woman in disarray pawing through the trash cans strategically placed in the park. She pulled a brown paper bag from the can, pulled out something and popped it in her mouth. A minute later she spat it out, and wiped her tongue with the back of her hand.

Jenna put on her coat and carried the food down the elevator, out the lobby and across the busy street. The view of the green was quite different at eye-level than it was from her cubical on the fourth floor of the office building. She looked around and noticed the grass compact from the travel paths of the vagrants. Finally she saw the woman sitting against a tree.

“I just want to give you this. It’s okay, it won’t hurt you.”

The woman cowered like a feral cat.

Jenna sat the bowl of soup and bread on the ground. “I’ll just leave it here for you. Have a nice day.”

When Jenna got back to her desk, she opened the marketing plan for the New England Bakery. She wrote across the top, A Small Act of Kindness Can Change a Person’s Whole Perspective. Underneath she wrote, for every item purchased, Tilson’s will donate fifty percent to the local soup kitchen to help the homeless.

Off to the Carnival

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Off to the Carnival

Going with your friends to the fair,
Eat all you want without a care.

Go on all kinds of fast paced rides,
Tilt-a-whirls and water slides.

Visit the barns of pigs and oxen,
Until the smell becomes quite toxin.

Eat candied apples and vinegar fries,
Play a game, and win a stuffed prize.

The Ferris wheel is very pleasantry,
Are you afraid of heights, is it too scary?

After that you’ll need a rest
Drink some beer, the very best.

Save the favorite ride for last
Asylum Pendulum you’ll have a blast

Going to the fair with your new-found friend
Little did you know you’re life would end.

~ Excerpt from The Salt-Water Killings

Chapter 7- The Salt-Water Killings

 

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Brianna Pike and her husband moved from Hemet, California to the east coast in the late nineties. Although she had lived in California all her life, for some reason she felt New England beckoned her. When she met Tom the store manager of Wal-Mart was making a very big deal of the situation. Tom saved Brianna a lot of embarrassment by discreetly talking with the manager and the police officers. She still had to go through being booked and the mug-shot session and fingerprinting down at the station. She also would be on probation for the next year, but Tom saved her the humiliation of being handcuffed and taken away like a criminal. It wasn’t the first time she was in trouble with the law. She had been caught shoplifting at other places but this was the first time she had actually been booked for the crime. It wasn’t that she couldn’t afford the items. It was an addiction. It was a game to her to see if she could do it without getting caught. It made the adrenaline flow inside her, and getting caught was more intense than the excitement of getting away with it. Now her record and fingerprints were in the system for the world to know.

When she found out that Tom was from Maine, she knew it was fate. The desire to move east summoned her even more. It would be a place to start over. To stop the steeling and do something different with her life. Tom, a truck driver, was able to get a transfer to a New England trucking company. Brianna took correspondent courses to get her real estate license for Maine and New Hampshire, and they found a quaint cape in the town of Camp Eaton. She had been working for the Tidwell Company in South Portland for about three years when she first heard the story of the Salt-Water Killer.

It was just after lunch when Brianna punched in the code for the lock at 221 East Atlantic Avenue. She remembered looking at the house when she and Tom first moved to Camp Eaton. She was kind of surprised it hadn’t sold yet. It was a cute little cottage, but not big enough if children were part of the package. She and Tom were planning to have children at some point in their lives, but hadn’t gotten around to it.

The dust bunnies floated through the air in the afternoon sunshine. She wrote herself a note to have the Merry-Maids come in and do a quick once-over sweep and dust. She pulled open the drapes that gave view to the harbor and the jetty, and smiled, pleased the tide was in. It was so much prettier when those ugly mud flats were covered with water, and the scent of fish wasn’t quite as strong. The white caps crashed against the stone wall that crept out into the Atlantic Ocean.

John and Martha Beckett pulled in the yard right on time. Brianna loved new clients who actually showed up when they said they were going to. John and Martha’s credit checked out very well in the low seven hundred score. Not many people fell into that category these days. That was a huge plus when it came to commission. More times than not, people would come to view a house, and not even have the preliminary paperwork done. There were more these days who were no-credit, no-shows, and didn’t even bother to call to cancel. She hated that aspect of selling real estate. When she found what looked like a good prospect to sell to, she did all she could to make her sales pitch a winner.

“Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Beckett?” She offered her right hand. “I’m Brianna Pike. Nice to meet both of you.”

Mr. Beckett shook her hand, Mrs. Beckett did not. This struck Brianna oddly, but she brushed it off. Maybe Mrs. Beckett was shy, or maybe she was just in a mood. Women were funny that way, and that was one thing Brianna learned quickly in the business of real estate. Go for the one that is interested, but try not to ignore the other. Don’t let the detached one discourage your sales pitch either.

“We’ll start with the kitchen. Would either of you like coffee or a soda? It’ll only take a minute, I have a Keurig in the kitchen.” She always brought the Keurig with whenever she was showing a house. It usually impressed her clients when they could have whatever flavor coffee they wanted while pondering thoughts of signing a 30-year mortgage contract. She also was an avid coffee drinker and liked that every cup was fresh, never that sludge that typically came from the bottom of a coffee pot.

She guided them towards the kitchen. “Unless you have any questions?”

“I have a question,” Mrs. Beckett said, still standing just inside the front door.

“Marti, come on, we talked about this.” John put a hand on her shoulder.

Marti pulled away from her husband. “Tell me, Ms. Pike, what do you know about Sheila Nelson?”

Brianna looked at Mr. Beckett, and back to Mrs. Beckett inquisitively. “Should I know Sheila Nelson?” She looked at the notes on the clip board of the house.

“You don’t know anything about her?” Mrs. Beckett’s question was more like an interrogation. She scoffed and walked over to the bay window, arms crossed over her nonexistent chest.

“That’s enough, Marti.” Mr. Beckett put a hand on his wife. “I’m sorry Ms. Pike, you’ll have to excuse my wife.”

“Do you know Sike Nukpana?” She pressed.

“Marti, enough.”

“I’m really sorry, but I don’t know who you’re talking about or why I should know these people.”

“Well, maybe you should have done your homework before you decided to sell this house. Why do you think all these houses along here are for sale?” She pointed up the street.

It was true, there were four or five houses just on East Street alone that were for sale. Not unusual for a small town. A lot of times families would live in little compounds together. When one family decided to move, a lot of time the rest would pack up, and follow suit. But, it wasn’t the case for these houses. None of the residents were related. Brianna did know that, because she had the names of the other homeowners as well as the agents who were handling the sales. Sometimes agents would barter with each other to get sales, so they all took turns at showing the houses to their clientage.

“It’s my understanding that the quarry has a lot of people upset, and that is the reason they have decided to sell.” Brianna reviewed her notes on the house. “Am I missing something?”

“No, you’re not. That is why all of these houses are going so cheap. Most of the people have been here for years and having the traffic, not to mention the dirt and dust from the quarry have people packing up and leaving. They tried to fight it, but more people want the revenue than the neighborhood.” Mr. Beckett had done his research.

“Shelia Nelson was raped!” Mrs. Beckett huffed. “And then as if that wasn’t enough after he finished doing his business with her, he slit her throat and then tied her body to the buoy out there where the mud flats start just before the lighthouse.” Mrs. Beckett pointed out the bay window.

“What? That’s horrible.”

“Alright, I think we’ve taken up enough of your time. Obviously my wife is not ready to take advantage of the low price this house is selling for.” Mr. Beckett directed his wife to the door.

“But wait, I don’t understand.” Brianna, flabbergasted, didn’t know what to say, or ask.

“The Salt-Water Killer. You should have known about that before coming down here telling people what a great deal they are getting you should be telling them how a young girl lost her life on the beach out there and then as if it weren’t enough that she was brutally raped by an older man, he tied her body to a buoy as if he were showing off his kill.” Mrs. Beckett literally spit the words out of her mouth.

“I’m sorry, Ms. Pike, that we have wasted your time.” Before she could ask any more questions the Beckett’s were in their car, backing out of the drive-way.

 

 

The Salt-Water Killings is currently in proofing stages and should be available later this year.

Puppy Breath

March 6

Instructions to live by from Puppy Breath


When enjoying the pleasures of life:

Sleep soundly
Live simply
Eat enthusiastically
Play vigorously
Love wholeheartedly

When something is not right:

Stand your ground
Grit your teeth
Bark fervently
Don’t back down
If that doesn’t work, pee on the floor

When you greet someone you like:

Run to welcome them
Smother them in sloppy kisses
Dance around and shake your whole body
Make silly sounds from your throat
Always be loyal

When there is opportunity:

Never pass up a chance to go for a ride with a friend
Always be willing to take the scenic route
Romp, jump and play, go for a walk every day
Dig until you find what you’re searching for
Learn new tricks, even if you’re an “old dog”

We all can learn something from our faithful friends… we should give them more credit than we do.

Hegira

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Departing the dwelling
so constant and sound
To venture into
unsettled ground
So many options
lay before a man
A bit overwhelming
if there’s no plan
Over a wide open sky,
the squally blue sea beckons
Decisions are made quick
sometimes within seconds.
Opportunities endless,
contingent on choice
Roads there are many,
heed your inner voice
Without sharp guidance
or experienced advice
The milieu is tempting
to naïve titmice.

Dazbar’s Run

March 3

Dazbar’s Run

Five bodies buried deep, beneath the snow fast asleep.
What kind of secrets will they find, when Old Man Winter’s left behind?

Love
Respect
Trust
Loyalty
Honesty

Love conquers all who give a care, put them together, they become a pair.
Add Respect and give it a whirl, nothing better between boy and girl.
Along comes Trust with a necessary twist, the perfect addition to this Ménage à trois tryst.
Loyalty brings added pleasure; will Respect and Love will equal the measure?
Honesty is the crucial ingredient essential to a fruitful commitment.

Five bodies buried deep, beneath the snow fast asleep.
Wake them up before they die, true Love needs them it’s no lie.
Respect got lost in all the haste, of seasons changing and new challenges faced.
Trust fell behind in Dazbar’s Run, went instead to have some fun.
Loyalty is lagging but not lost yet, still wants to be part of this duet.
Honesty found another host, and that lack of support is needed most.

Five bodies buried deep, beneath the snow fast asleep.
There is a time for everything, flowers will bloom and birds will sing.
Respect and Love are quite a pair, never apart in this affair.
Trust is every relationship desire, without it the mind will conspire.
Dig it up for it’s not lost, just hiding below the surface of frost.
Loyalty is there just hiding out, needing nourishment in times of drought.

Five bodies buried deep, beneath the snow fast asleep.
Dazbar’s Run has had a go, with these five characters we all know.
Love conquers all to those who care
Respect follows Love to make a pair
Loyalty and Honesty make things work
But without Trust it’s all berserk.

Five bodies buried deep, beneath the snow fast asleep.

Sunflower

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Burst of yellow petals,

Mindless green leaves

Seeds tucked away

For feathery thieves.

Tall and slender

It rises above

Towering over the garden

With motherly love.

Sunshine smile

Rises in a sky of blue

Perfecting the backyard panorama

Like no other floral will do.

My First Post…

New to the world of blogging, but not with capturing a perfect shot. Please help encourage her work and like her page….

Robyn Ann Photography (Blog)

Hello blogging world. I am new to this type of thing. Yes, I do my share of Facebook posts, and occasional tweets on Twitter but I have never just sat down and wrote whatever was on my mind for the world to see. Usually I will just comment or tweet something to do with the picture I am uploading. This will mainly be a place for me to upload my favorite photos and possibly a short story to go along with them. I thought since this was my first post I would tell you a little bit about myself and what my “blog” would be about. Since I am more of a photographer than a writer my stories will be short and dull, but my photos will be remarkable and intriguing. So, if this sparks your interest follow me while I CAPTURE life.

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Leo

Leo

Is not judgmental, won’t ever hold a grudge,

If it’s attention he wants, your hand he’ll nudge.

Bringing joy all day long into the wee hours of the night,

So smart he knows when things are not quite right.

A comforting paw laid gently on your knee,

And a whine at the door when he has to go pee.

While sleeping his leg twitches as he chases rabbits,

Waking up with a wagging tail waiting for giblets.

Riding in the car with his head out the window

Where ever you go, he’s committed to follow.

There’s something special between master and dog,

Not a word spoken, instead silent monologue.

Loyal and faithful he’ll be till the end,

He’s not just a dog, he’s man’s best friend.

Dedicated the best dog friends in the world.

A Simple Sunrise

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A SIMPLE SUNRISE

 Glowing orange ball

slowly introduces itself to the horizon

Sea mist fills the air

from crashing salty waves.

 

Stormy clouds give way

to a clear blue sky,

Outgoing tide

wipes the shore clean

of footprints and debris.

 

A new day is breaking,

new dreams,

new hopes,

new goals,

new plans.

He wonders what he’ll do today,

as he stares at the calendar photo

from his prison cot.

Wagon of Life

BudHorses

Hitched a ride on the wagon of life,

Experienced fortune, fame, and strife.

Everything that glitters is not gold,

Fortune and fame make the young grow old.

Happiness cannot be bought, you see,

Money just covers-up the difficulty.

 ♣  ♣  ♣

Hitched a ride with a funny old man,

Fell into his deceitful wicked plan,

Drinking alcohol, and smoking some pot,

A young one’s mind, is easily taught.

Toxins ruin a body, and won’t make change,

Outlook not good — perspective looks strange.

 ♦  ♦  ♦

Hitched a ride with a long-haired hippie,

His buddy, a dog, whom he named Nippy.

Read from a big, black book every night,

Till the sun set low, and there was no light.

“What’s in the book?” I asked him one day

After he answered, I went on my way.

 ♠  ♠  ♠

Hitched a ride with the Man Jesus Christ,

Now made new, because He sacrificed.

Quenching thirst from a bottomless cup,

If He chose you, He never gives up.

This wagon of life is never-ending,

It’s the hottest new phase — now trending.

 ♥ ♥ ♥

Winter

Snowcold

ice cold

Winter: Snow is pleasing, ice be freezing.