Photo Challenge

One of my New Year's Resolutions or Goals was to get to know
 my new camera a little better. 
 I found a 30 Day Photo Challenge on Pinterest
 and decided to give it a try.  
 I'm only about half way through, 
have skipped a few days here and will post more pictures later,
 and there may be some that I simply will not be able to do
 because I don't have the right software or hardware.  
Sooooooo here we go.......

Day One
(For this, the hardest challenge so far, I set up the tri-pod
 and used the timer on my camera. 
 I shot pictures for two hours 
and every time I went back to my camera
 to check the results,
 some old woman 
had jumped in front of me and was on the viewfinder. 
 I finally gave up and let her stay.)

Day Three
Black & White

(This old phone should just be photographed in black and white,
don't you think?)

Day Four

(This was fun - texture was everywhere and I can't pick just one)
 (Krumkake - pronounced Crum Ca Ca
 - a Norwegian North Dakotan Delicacy)

(Snow - a North Dakotan Normalcy)

(A Frosted Spruce Tree)

Day 5
High Angle

(View from the top of the stairs
-stairs that still need refinishing, I might add)

Day 6
Low Angle

(Can you guess what it is?

It's how my kitchen light looks from the floor!)

Day 7

 (Trees silhouetted in a sunrise
across the street from my house)

Day 8

(This day I drove west in the snow and chased the sun 
until I finally got a few good shots

Then while home in Texas
I found another sunset out behind my house where 
yard chairs were waiting for friends to join me)

Day Nine

(Bokeh, as explained in my tutorial, 
is the "aesthetic quality of out-of-focus areas of a photograph",
-it has something to do with a thing on the camera called aperture.
All I know is that focusing on something green in the kitchen window 
is much better than focusing on endless winter)

Day Ten
Lens Flare

(Oh, this is the most fun!
On this overcast day, I walked around the block trying to get some lens flare
but I wasn't tough enough for however cold it was
and the kind of clothes I was wearing,
so I tried it inside
with awesome results.  See also Day 8 for another lens flare)

Day Eleven

(Winter landscapes in North Dakota are sort of monotone

but I found more contrasts 
south of the river in the Roosevelt National Park

where buffalo still roam)

Day Twelve

(This is Copper
wondering why I wasn't throwing his ball...

and this is precious Elijah
two weeks before his successful life-saving heart surgery)

Day Fourteen
Light Painting

(typical night scenery in Western North Dakota
 -pump jacks lit by natural gas flares.)

Day Eighteen
Frame within a Frame

 (which also qualifies under day 1
 Self Portrait)

I'm learning a little about my camera and photography in general,
but still can't quite figure out how to 
make aperture, shutter speed, and iso
work together.
And what is that f thing?

But I want 
you to know
that I know
National Geographic
is not going to be knocking on my door -

But I do appreciate YOU for stopping by!

I hope your life if full of breath taking sunsets, 
lovely landscapes.


Happy Valentine's Day!

"Nana", he asked with watery eyes, a glowing nose and a croaky voice,
"I don't feel good. Will you go buy a box of candy for my girlfriend?" 
 WHAT?!  He's just a baby! 
 Taller than me, shoes the size of his dads, and a tenor voice. 
My first grand baby. 
Where did the years go?

Candy for his girlfriend?
Of course I will. 
 Then I tell him that I still have the box from my first box of valentine candy. 
 And not only do I have the box,
but the box has a lock of that sweetheart's hair in it. 

"Nana, that's just weird.  Don't tell Papa."

I'm pretty sure that long ago sweetheart didn't ask his grandmother to help him with the task. 
 I am also pretty sure that the candy came from the downtown drug store
 and that he had a chocolate malt at the ice cream counter the day he bought it. 
 That same sweetheart has been buying me chocolate and jewelry for 40 something years.
  Sometimes he brings me roses and honeysuckle blooms
from the yard for no occasion at all. 
 And yes, I still have that box and a lock of his hair. 
 Where did the years go? 

I'm also pretty sure that I won't be greeted at the North Dakota airport
with flowers and candy when I fly in tomorrow. 
I'll probably be glad for my warm coat and snow boots,
because I know that another day he'll come in with a little something special
 to let me know he still loves me. 
Happy Valentine's Day to my sweetheart!
If you have a sweetheart -
 Make every day Valentine's Day!



For this I flew 1200 miles to Texas
 then drove another 250 more miles to Dallas. 

For this I stressed and dreaded being the 
oldest, fattest, flabbiest, most out of shape woman there.  

For this I was going to ask my body to do things it doesn't want to do

The event was Jesus at the Core.

Up to now, I had done some Holy Yoga a couple of days a week, 
but honestly
I liked wearing yoga pants better than 
actually exercising.
(You know.... If 60 is the new 40, 
then yoga pants are the new double knit!)

I sat on my mat and looked around – and yes,
 it was just as I suspected 
– they were all younger, thinner, and fitter – than  me.

This awesome daughter of mine reached out to steady me
 when I wibbled and wobbled while trying to balance
 on one hand and one foot. 

 When I came short reaching for the floor,
 she handed me a foam block to lean on that said,

 “Steady the weak hands
 and make firm the feeble knees” 
(Isaiah 35:3 American Standard Version). 

That's the reason I am doing this, right?
 I tried to focus on those words
 instead of the ice pick in my heel,
 my grinding ankles,
 and angry knee.

  Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.  

And I got through the first session without passing out on my lovely pink mat. 
 I DID IT!  
exhale…… whew!

Then we came back the next day … for more…..torture

I was ok until they said we’d be doing some cardio
…as in moving a lot
…heart attack for sure.

“Just do what you can do,” she said, 
so I got on the back row when the music cranked up. 
 I didn't know the snappy-jazzy songs, but I heard Jesus 
all through them.

And I moved. 
 I did what the instructor said to do.
  Good so far. 
Then I realized that I wasn’t just moving and dancing, 
I was actually smiling, then I was laughing and breathing.
  This was loads of fun and it didn't hurt….today!

During our next break, one of the leaders stopped me and said, to me….
drum roll….are you ready?
“You were ROCKING out there!”  
Me? Rocking?  Flabby old granny???? 
 Yee Haw!

It was so much fun that I bought two dvd’s 
and told my man back in North Dakota to clean me a place in the basement!

It was an excellent week-end.  
Our spirits were ministered to when we worshiped
 with a music team from another church – 
at the beginning of the event and again at the end.

 Our souls  were transformed and encouraged by Bible Study,
and anatomy teaching about aches, pains, and cores.

And with our bodies
we worshiped and strengthened our spiritual cores.

 Actually, we worshiped with our whole spirits, souls, and bodies.

"And the very God of
(harmony, security, safety, prosperity)
(separate and purify)
(complete, perfect)
And I pray God your
(disposition, influence, breath)
And Soul 
(feelings, desires, affections, not dissolved by death, also breath)
And Body 
(physical body, that which casts a shadow)
Be preserved blameless unto the coming
 of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Thessalonians 5:23

I have been tending to my soul and my spirit pretty well,
but not my body - I've not been whole.
I've been out of balance.
(and consequently, I can't balance).

So if you are in the same place I am, 
there is hope for us.
We have to keep moving
and get strong!

For more information on Holy Yoga – click here
For more information on Revelation Wellness – click here
If you live in Midland, Texas
 – you can find Stretch Connection (Holy Yoga) classes at Stonegate Fellowship
or Holy Yoga at Art and Soul.

 “Energize the limp hands,
 strengthen the rubbery knees.
  Tell fearful souls, ‘Courage! Take heart! 
 God is here, right here, 
on his way to put things right and redress all wrongs.  
He’s on his way!  He’ll save you.’”
 Isaiah 35:3-6 (The Message)

and ....

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