What Counts?

“Some people think only intellect counts: knowing how to solve problems, knowing how to get by, knowing how to identify an advantage and seize it.  But the functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion, and empathy.” – Dean Koontz

Courage, Love, Friendship, Compassion, Empathy

 

A Lenten Reminder

 

In mass Sunday and again today the deacon and priest both emphasized that Lent is a time for prayer.  Both the priest and the deacon discussed the fact that many people give something up for Lent – a Lenten sacrifice to honor God.  Both, suggested that instead of, or in addition to, giving something up, we should commit ourselves to doing something to grow our faith, to bring us closer to God.  The suggestions included doing random acts of kindness throughout the Lenten season, joining a Bible study, reading the Bible ourselves, and/or saying an extra prayer every day.  The one thing to remember about prayer is that it needs to be with the mindset “if-it-be-God’s-will”.  As humans we tend to think that whatever we want or need is what God should grant us.  However, He answers prayers according to His will and the fact that he knows what is best for us – something not easy to remember and believe in.  Joni Eareckson Tada said it beautifully – “One of the main reasons we need to pray with an “if-it-be-Thy-will” attitude is that it’s so easy for us to make mistakes and misread God’s will.  Countless times I have fooled myself into believing the prayers I prayed were for God’s glory when actually they were for myself.”  A fault of mine as well.

The Cross - A Lenten Reminder

The Cross in Black and White

President’s Day – Quotes and Photos

“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” – George Washington

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” – Abraham Lincoln

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” – Abraham Lincoln

Old Glory

Waves of Freedom

Contemplation

“How can I be useful, of what service can I be?  There is something inside me, what can it be?”  – Vincent Van Gogh

Do you ever think like Van Gogh?  I do.  I’m still contemplating the answer…what can it be?

Contemplation

Stepping Stone

Life is just one giant stepping stone.

One Step and then Another

How to Say Thank You

Have you ever wanted to thank someone for something, but a simple thank you just wasn’t quite enough?  Maybe a time when someone did you a favor by watching  your child for a little while, or sewed something for you because you don’t know how to sew, or maybe gave you advice, or simply listened when you needed to talk something through?   I was pondering what to do for someone very wonderful who did something very nice for me recently and I couldn’t decide what to do. I couldn’t put a monetary value on what she had done for me so I didn’t want to simply purchase a gift card.  It wasn’t personal enough, and, at the same time could be offensive it the monetary value wasn’t quite right.  As I was thinking it through, I asked another friend of mine for an idea other than a gift card.  She knew I liked to bake and suggested I deliver a homemade baked-good as a thank you.  Of course I’ve done this in the past, but my ever aging brain didn’t think of it this time, for this specific instance.  As soon as it was said, the light bulb went off and I knew just what I was going to do.  I thought of a little something I could purchase that would be meaningful – a book on a topic we are both interested in and will present it with a batch of homemade cinnamon rolls.  Who can resist the savory aroma of a warm cinnamon roll?  Ooey and gooey in the middle with lots of butter and a mixture of cinnamon and sugar in a sweet pastry frosted in coffee flavored vanilla frosting, and hand-rolled just for them?   Grab your morning cup of coffee and imagine…..or stop by your local bakery!

Good morning!

The Frosting

A Bright Beautiful Day Ahead

And of course I leave you with a black and white version of the melt in your mouth treat.

Quotes in Black and White – Day 8

“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.” – Benjamin Franklin

This quote applies to so many aspects of life – we need to cherish who and what we have for one day they may not be with us.

The Fall

Quotes in Black and White – Day 1

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter their life by altering their attitude of mind.” – William James

This quote alongside this image reminds me of the book “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.  In the book a boy visits a tree, at first on a regular basis, but then less and less, until there is only a visit when the boy, who now grown into a man, needs something.  Over time, the tree gives the boy adventure, nourishment, shade, a boat, a place to rest.  All for nothing in return.  The tree gave the boy everything it had. But still, the man never seemed truly happy.  It is a great book to teach selflessness.  Which, doesn’t really go hand in hand with the quote, however, if you think about ruts that humans tend to get into,  ruts where they can’t find happiness, it does.  Until people make decisions to change, life goes on as is, and the unhappiness or emptiness stays ever present.  Love and gratitude are often  emotions that can, when let into the heart, make a magnitude of change within a person.

The Giving Tree

Today is a Special Day

Today is a special day – My father’s birthday.  Had esophageal cancer not taken his life in April of 2005, he would have been 66 years old today.  Although I think of him often, January is an exceptionally emotional month for me.  I think it is a combination of things;  the “letting-down” of the very hectic holiday season, the quiet house, the short, gray days, and the memories of celebrating my birthday alongside my father’s when I no longer can.  He always tried to be the first one to say “happy birthday”.  Which meant, if you were no longer living at home or visiting the home we grew up in, he called you and woke you up bright and early to start your birthday.  My sister and I have adopted this habit, just to keep his “birthday” spirit alive.

A birthday tradition – To honor my father and celebrate his birthday, every year my children and I send him balloons.  This tradition actually began at his funeral.  Between my sisters and I, my father had six grandchildren ranging in age from 3 to 15.  To help them be a part of the funeral and burial, we gave them balloons at the grave sight to send to Papa in heaven.  Instead of doing this on the anniversary of his death every year, we opted to send him balloons on his birthday.  Today we chose 12 blue balloons – 6 + 6 (to represent 66) = 12.  When thinking about this event this morning I had great ideations of photographs for tonight’s blog.  Unfortunately, between the very cold day, my daughter being ill, and my son’s moods being a little uncooperative, the pictures I had envisioned posting tonight are not what you will see.  However, I’m not going to complain.  The kids had fun saying happy birthday, and the monochromatic images resulting from our afternoon fanfare are quite nice.

 

3 of the, now 9, Grandchildren

The Blue Balloon

Monochromatic Travels

The third image reminds me of the children’s book and 1956 movie titled “The Red Balloon”, written by Albert Lamorisse, in which a red balloon (Le Ballon Rouge) takes on a life of it’s own and follows a boy around Paris.  If you have not seen the movie, or red the book, I highly recommend it (it’s a favorite picture book at our house).  You can read more about “The Red Balloon” at the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Red-Balloon-Criterion-Collection/dp/B0012Z361M.  I think it only fitting that this book came to mind as one of my father’s favorite past times was reading – mine too!

In addition to my father’s birthday, it is also my dear friend Sue’s birthday.  Happy birthday Sue!  I wish you many more health-filled, joyful years!

100th Post

When I set out a year ago to share my hobby and passion, my goal was to touch people with my photographs and words, alike.  As I reach the milestone of 100 posts today, I am pleased to be able to say that through comments received from my readers, I have achieved my goal.  It is comments like the one I share below that motivate me to keep blogging, to keep sharing.  The comment below made me think of the image beneath it.  The author of the comment didn’t know it when she wrote it, but her comment really was the “X” that marks the spot for my blog this evening.

The second image posted this evening reminds me of the phrase “don’t look back”.  I took a big leap last January when I began this journey into the world of professional photography and began sharing my passion publicly.  Many times I’ve questioned my decision and wondered if I shouldn’t be the pharmacist I was educated to be instead of changing my life course, taking more classes, and throwing myself out there for the scrutiny of the public.  But alas, I cannot look back.  I know I was led to do this, I know I am making people smile with my work, and it makes me so happy to be able to accomplish that, especially in the world we are living in today – so many people facing so many difficult situations.  No more looking back, just moving forward and focusing on becoming the best photographer and writer I can be!  Hoping along the way that I am, in some way, encouraging others to follow their dreams and passions as well.  It can be frightening and overwhelming, but it is worth it!

I leave you tonight with a couple of interesting images taken during an outing with my family along the Delaware River Canal on New Year’s Day and a BIG thank you to my family, faithful readers, and fellow bloggers for your support and appreciation.

Comment:

Robyn,

I want to THANK YOU for sharing your wonderful gift of photography with the world! I have spent the past 4 hours looking at your photos and reading your beautiful blogs! You are very talented and I’m positive your “hobby” will bring you much success!

Fondly,

ms

"X" Marks the Spot

"Don't Look Back"