10 on 10 for January

Good light is hard to find in our house at any time, but it’s even worse in the winter. Luckily there seems to be one or two pockets of light to be found in at least a couple locations in our house. For this months’ 10 on 10 I thought I’d share ten images taken in those pockets of light. This post is part of a monthly blog circle. To continue the circle, following a group of photographers all sharing ten images from either a theme or a day or simply the previous month, follow the link at the bottom of this post.

To continue this blog circle visit Nikki Gould’s beautiful work!

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December 10 on 10: Winter Woes

I’m tired of winter and it’s barely begun.

I hate the gray days, the lack of sun, and the cold.

It has me completely unmotivated to take photographs and if I do take them I really have no desire to share them.

But, for the sake of consistency and for my own sanity during these winter months, I have been taking photographs.

The 10 on 10 is part of a blog circle and to continue the circle you can click on the link at the bottom of the page.

 

To continue the circle visit Caroline’s blog! And if you have a blog and want to join us, please do. You can find us on Facebook and join us in January!

10 on 10 November: Calming my Racing Thoughts

This is part of a 10 on 10 post I do with a fun group of photographers. We share ten photos from the previous month on the tenth day of the month. Find the next blog to follow at the bottom of my post.

______

My mind will spiral away into a hundred directions if I let, especially now on the day after my son’s eleventh birthday. It will wind down a future road we haven’t even seen yet and veer off trails along the way into a dark wood of the unknown.

He hugs me now, asks for me to sit with him and if he can just sit with me. There will be days when he won’t ask anymore, won’t want the hugs and the affection and I’ll regret the times I chose cooking or cleaning or photo editing over his hugs.

I feel the panic rise within me at the idea of him not asking for me to put my arms around him one day and I have to chase the thoughts away and focus on today not tomorrow. It’s a constant struggle for me, an over thinker, to stay grounded in the moment and not swerve into the future or sometimes even the past. But the past is gone. It doesn’t hold the same power of fear as the unknown, the unseen world of what’s ahead.

Each day I have to ask God to help me focus, to help me calm the racing thoughts that invade my spirit and to quiet the voices that whisper unspeakable horrors that could await me or my loved ones.

It’s a spiritual battle my mom reminds me and she gives me verses to write down and read daily. And I have been because without them my thoughts take flight and not in the way that lifts a person but in the way that drags a person down into a pit of fear, doubt, and destruction.

So today I focus on him. On his smile, on his laughter and on how he loves me, how he lets me hold he still, how he still likes to tell me about what interests him and what he dreams about, how he still holds my heart eleven years after I first held him in my arms and saw my soul in his eyes.

To continue the circle visit Caroline’s blog.

10 on 10 for October | Athens, PA Photographer

This is part of a monthly blog circle and collaboration with a group of ladies where we feature ten photos from either one day, one activity or from the previous month. Please find the link to the next person at the bottom of the post and follow the circle around. If you are a photographer and want to join in you can link up with us in our Facebook group.


September was unseasonably warm and October is showing it’s going to be the same. During the unseasonably warm weather Little Miss must have been hit with an extra burst of sass-driven energy because she’s decided she doesn’t need to listen, go to bed or sit in her car seat.

Her antics, and the fact I’m alone with her most days while The Boy is at school, means I seem to have quite a few more photos of her these days than him, but I assure my readers he is still creating his own brand of comical and hyperactive moments. 

These are just ten of our visual highlights from September and the beginning of October.  

 Here is Little Miss showing some of her sass, which she's always had, but seems to be showing up more and more these days.
Here is Little Miss showing some of her sass, which she’s always had, but seems to be showing up more and more these days.
 Licking the mixer with grandma's homemade mashed potatoes on them.
Licking the mixer with grandma’s homemade mashed potatoes on them.
 The Boy - procrastination expert. He was supposed to be in bed.
The Boy – procrastination expert. He was supposed to be in bed.
 The weather was so warm we actually swam in my parents' pool in the end of September, which, of course, is unusual for our area.
The weather was so warm we actually swam in my parents’ pool in the end of September, which, of course, is unusual for our area.
The story behind this photo:  Me: “Oh my gosh, it was so sweet how you all were protecting Little Miss today while you were in that Nerf war.” The Boy: “We weren’t protecting her. We were capturing her. Like capture the flag. Whichever team had her won.” Me: “So you were saying ‘We’ve got the baby!’ because you were capturing her?” The Boy: “Um…yeah. Of course.”
 Little Miss has developed a stuffed puppy obsession and there are about 15 being dragged around the house most days. She also tries to take all 15 with her for every car ride.
Little Miss has developed a stuffed puppy obsession and there are about 15 being dragged around the house most days. She also tries to take all 15 with her for every car ride.
 Here we are in reality. Messy van, messy kid who seemed to live on lollipops for the month of September.
Here we are in reality. Messy van, messy kid who seemed to live on lollipops for the month of September.
 Someone has decided she is going to be a dragon for Halloween and she wanted to wear the costume as soon as she got it.
Someone has decided she is going to be a dragon for Halloween and she wanted to wear the costume as soon as she got it.
 This was not a set up image. This was her chasing her brother who was pretending to be a knight, slaying a dragon.
This was not a set up image. This was her chasing her brother who was pretending to be a knight, slaying a dragon.
When I asked her to step back into the light she said “OK! I stand in the light!” She knows what mama likes when it comes to pretty light and my pretty girl.
A “tragic accident” on our front sidewalk one day. In reality, The Boy put the bike on him and made it appear as if she’d run over him. Pretty ingenious in this mama’s humble opinion. She’s full of sass and he’s full of drama and craziness.

To continue this month’s circle, visit Anna Hurley’s blog!

 

10 on 10 September: the summer that went too fast

Summer flew by before it even started it seems.

Suddenly here we are in September and the weather is letting us know to prepare for winter as temperatures are dropping. I completely missed the 10 on 10 in August but I’m glad to be hosting one for September with a great group of photographers. This is a blog circle so you can follow each post to the next, each one full of beautiful photos and stories. See the bottom of my post for the link to the next person. We are also open to new members in the coming months so if you  want to participate,  find our group on Facebook .
This month I thought I’d share some photos from summer’s end, or our last couple of weeks of summer when we tried to cram in as many outside  activities as we could.

On this day we headed to a state park in Ithaca, N.Y. and visited a large waterfall. I blogged about this day in a post called The Doom And Gloom Park Ranger And The Kindness Of Strangers

We visited a favorite campground with a pool and some friends before school started. My daughter and a friend’s daughter like to hang on the fence around the  pool and small splash pad.  I have a similar image from the same spot last year. 

For the rest of the summer we mainly spent time in our backyard, enjoying the warmer and longer days.

We also enjoyed time at my parents in the country, tasting blueberries off my dad’s blueberry tree and eating  watermelon.

Be sure to continue the circle by visiting Anna Hurley’s post.

 

 

10 on 10 for July and all that jazz

Today is the day I showcase ten photos from the previous month as part of the 10 on 10 Lifestyle blog circle.

June was a month of discoveries and for me I discovered, or shall I say, finally admitted I am never going to have a photography business. Eight years of rejection is enough. We are told to keep pushing forward on our dreams but sometimes I think we have to know when one dream is dead and gone. That dream I had apparently was not God’s plan for me, at least not while I live where I am living now. 

I have gone over and over in my head, trying to find the correct formula to make this business a success, but none of it has worked. Friends have assured me it’s not me or my photography, but even with price reductions no one would hire me. And without clients there is no budget for advertising so it’s a real catch 22. 

I have even considered maybe I need to change my style, how I edit and what I shoot, but know that changing who I am to fit someone else’s view isn’t healthy for me over all. At that point one has to ask themselves if the dream has become an idol above all else. In my case, it’s possible that has been happening so laying it down is what needs to happen at this time. 

In between the sadness of finally giving up on photographing clients, there has been fun with the children-water hose fights and pool time at their grandparents and simply exploring in general.  

Be sure to follow the circle around by visiting Lauren Cypher next! 

10 on 10 for June

Suddenly 10 on 10 is here! This is a post to share ten photos from the previous month on the tenth day of the month, or ten photos from the same day posted on the tenth day of the month. Follow the  circle around. (which I think is only two of us this month!) by continuing to Anna Hurley.

Field trip with his class.
Field trip with his class.
Messy days.
Messy days.
Exploring.
Exploring.
Weed blowing.
Weed blowing.
Puddles.
Puddles.
Golden.
Golden.
More weed blowing.
More weed blowing.
Garden.
Garden.
More puddles.
More puddles.
playground  
playground  

10 on 10 for May

This post is part of the 10 on 10 blog circle with some other fun bloggers and photographers. To continue the circle click on the link at the end of the post.
 

Spring has finally started to come to the area with some warmer days, though you wouldn’t know it the last couple of weeks with all the rain and chilly temperatures.

We’ve been able to get outside and explore more and more, which is a welcome break from being stuck inside watching cartoons (my daughter is newly obsessed with a South Korean created cartoon called Tayo the Blue Bus and it is severely annoying.) or playing video games (my son’s main obsession.)

The only drawback to the warmer weather is my children expect an outing every day after school, which can often make dinner, homework and then bedtime late. Still, the lateness is worth it if it is a full day of fun and some sun, which seems to make almost any day better.

Please continue the circle by following Jacque at Ollipop Photography.

Goodbye, little buddy. 10 on 10 for February | Athens, PA photographer

This is part of a 10 on 10 blog circle project where we post ten photos on the 10th day of the month. To continue the circle visit Jamie Machin’s blog

For 13 years you open a back door to let him out into the back yard; you feel him lick your hand when you open the front door, from his perch on the back of the couch which he’s jumped up on to greet you; you grumble because he’s in your foot space on the bed, again; you yell at him because he’s lifted his leg on your laundry; and you feel at ease because there he is, next to you on the couch, curled up against you to remind you someone loves you when you don’t even feel like you love yourself.

 

And then, one day, you notice he can’t move as well anymore. He’s slowing down. He’s sleeping more. He stops eating. Still, though, he finds a way to lay down with you on your bed, follow you and lean into you for attention, and you think about how blessed you are to have a creature so loyal, so dedicated to you even when you weren’t the perfect companion.

 

The vet said his body temp was 95 and should be 100-105 and that his blood glucose was so low it showed either cancer or liver disease and there was almost nothing they could do unless they hospitalized him and tried to pump him full of drugs. Even then they couldn’t guarantee he’d survive and he’d probably suffer even more. She said she didn’t think he’d even make it on the one hour drive home.

When I used to cry like this he’d come up and lick my face. He was always there when I was heartbroken. He knew I needed him, maybe even more than he needed me.

I feel so lonely here in this house, this evening of the day he didn’t come home. I know that sounds weird. I’m not alone. My family is here. God is here. But our little Copper offered me a sense of normalcy even when the world was spinning around me.

Sometimes you think, well it’s just a dog…right? But he wasn’t just a dog. He was family, he was a friend, he was comfort when nothing else was, he was normal when the world didn’t make sense; he was steady when everything else was off balance.

He knew when I needed comfort and companionship. Though it looked like he was seeking attention for himself by standing next to me and waiting to be petted, I think he knew I needed that time to slow down and touch him and be reminded that at least something was right with the world and he would be there when others couldn’t or wouldn’t be.

You are so missed, my little Copper, our “muttsley”, our mutt, our rescue pup, our very best friend.

Copper the day before he passed, falling against Gracie from weakness and needing comfort. 
Copper the day before he passed, falling against Gracie from weakness and needing comfort. 
Holding Copper's food dish that he could no longer eat from while her daddy carries the puppy to the car to be seen by another vet at a more advanced facility.  
Holding Copper’s food dish that he could no longer eat from while her daddy carries the puppy to the car to be seen by another vet at a more advanced facility.  
A boy and his dog.  One of many good-byes as his condition worsened.
A boy and his dog.  One of many good-byes as his condition worsened.

“Beau” a poem by Jimmy Stewart

 

He never came to me when I would call
Unless I had a tennis ball,
Or he felt like it,
But mostly he didn’t come at all.

When he was young
He never learned to heel
Or sit or stay,
He did things his way.

Discipline was not his bag
But when you were with him things sure didn’t drag.
He’d dig up a rosebush just to spite me,
And when I’d grab him, he’d turn and bite me.

He bit lots of folks from day to day,
The delivery boy was his favorite prey.
The gas man wouldn’t read our meter,
He said we owned a real man-eater.

He set the house on fire
But the story’s long to tell.
Suffice to say that he survived
And the house survived as well.

On the evening walks, and Gloria took him,
He was always first out the door.
The old one and I brought up the rear
Because our bones were sore.

He would charge up the street with Mom hanging on,
What a beautiful pair they were!
And if it was still light and the tourists were out,
They created a bit of a stir.

But every once in a while, he would stop in his tracks
And with a frown on his face look around.
It was just to make sure that the old one was there
And would follow him where he was bound.

We are early-to-bedders at our house–
I guess I’m the first to retire.
And as I’d leave the room he’d look at me
And get up from his place by the fire.

He knew where the tennis balls were upstairs,
And I’d give him one for a while.
He would push it under the bed with his nose
And I’d fish it out with a smile.

And before very long
He’d tire of the ball
And be asleep in his corner
In no time at all.

And there were nights when I’d feel him
Climb upon our bed
And lie between us,
And I’d pat his head.

And there were nights when I’d feel his stare
And I’d wake up and he’d be sitting there
And I reach out my hand and stroke his hair.
And sometimes I’d feel him sigh
And I think I know the reason why.

He would wake up at night
And he would have this fear
Of the dark, of life, of lots of things,
And he’d be glad to have me near.

And Now he’s dead.
And there are nights when I think I feel him
Climb upon our bed and lie between us,
And I pat his head.

And there are nights when I think
I feel that stare
And I reach out my hand to stoke his hair,
But he’s not there.

Oh, how I wish that wasn’t so,
I’ll always love a dog named Beau.