Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Garden, Beginning, Middle and End...

2 things. Wow, it has been a month since my last post and I did not post anything on the blog about this years garden. To close the gap a bit, the last day of the outdoor pool could not have ended any better given the perfect weather that day, and taking in all the hundreds of laps I clocked in by the end of the season, I was grateful beyond words. As one of the lifeguards said, 'You have just been a swimming machine this summer!'. Best thing I could have heard. So, to back track, to around Memorial Day. I bought a 3 tiered raised garden bed KIT. I had to build it. Seemed simple enough, but, as has been stated here before on many other projects, it was more work than anticipated...and it took a ton of soil. With the help of our neighbors, drilling some drainage holes on the floor board we bought to keep the soil in place, and the brand spanking new palettes we found outside of a shop, whose owners said, 'Please, take them off of our hands!' I was on my way.
 I bought small heirloom tomatoes, white eggplants, green peppers, strawberries, 6 varieties of basil for eating all summer and then to make pesto to take us to next summer, flat leaf parsley, which we have also been enjoying all summer as well, and dill. The strawberries died almost immediately, replaced them with something else (I forget), and it died, then replaced that with cucumbers which had blight, so that little corner never happened. 
That said, I have never had tomatoes grow so fast and with such strength in their stems. They are still blooming, and I have hundreds of them. The white eggplants were beautiful to watch bloom and grow from a lovely purple flower to a baseball sized eggplant. I cut back 10 of them just yesterday and cooked up some eggplant parm. There are ALLOT of seeds in these small guys, so, they can border on bitter. But, the Boys enjoyed it, along with the fresh basil and pesto made from scratch included in the ingredients. It was a great moment in the kitchen, and I froze 7 healthy portions!! I am in the process of dismantling, the large, beautifully weathered terra cotta pots of basil, making pesto like a machine. Last summer I froze 58 4 oz. containers, and so far, as of today, I have 41. The nights have been cool, so time is of the essence. All in all a great garden, yielding a bounty for us as I harvest the haul. I am a grateful little gardener, still busy busy busy, just like the bees who have graced us with their presence all season....
It is hard to imagine what will happen..
...but in a short amount of time, THIS!!!
The whole gift giving plants and herbs...
Strawberry leaf which never took, but so pretty..
White eggplant showing herself...
Strong and tall, still blooming...
Cut back bouquet of 6 basil varieties for pesto...
Last but not least, just yesterday, 10 of these babies...more still growing!!!
'Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce.'
                                                           Jeremiah 29:5

Post script: By days end, there are now 51 frozen 4oz. containers of pesto!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

What I Learned at the Pool This Summer...

So, it was my first day back at the pool this Summer. June 2. I  had  great anticipation upon getting  back in the water. What would this year look like, I wondered.  How many laps would I manage, especially after a long winter. It was a beautiful day. I think I eeked out 36 laps,  which was good. They were not done all at once but over the course of the afternoon. 4:15ish rolled around and I decided to  head out. As I was leaving, I was met with, what felt like a swarm of yellow bathing caps. I looked around and saw many young teenagers, many. I asked a woman who   had   been   speaking with  one  of the adults, who were all these kids???  THE SWIM TEAM, she replied. I was in formed that they would be there everyday, like  clockwork at  4:15PM, stay until 6PM,  Monday- Thursday,  that  they were taking 4 of the 6 lanes, and that the adults would have to 'share'. I left  feeling,  well,  annoyed  would  be  the  correct word. I remembered last Summer,  at the end of the season, around now,  when  school  started,  that THE SWIM TEAM invaded the pool. It/they felt very invasive. 

As the evening progressed, and I was processing this information, I started to get mad. The woman I spoke with earlier was very matter of fact...'The adults will have to share 2 lanes!!!'. I lost sleep that night, and first thing the next morning, I called the Corporate Office. This phone call was on the heels of the Stanford swimmer who had been on trial for rape. He was/is the fruit of the 'entitled' sportsperson, be it swimming, football, baseball, golf, soccer, etc. We have seen it in many different venues, college and professional. I explained to the nice man I was speaking with that it seemed rather unfair that people, adults, who work hard, get off of work around 4 or 5pm, who have paid their monthly fees, should find themselves at the pool, looking forward to a quiet, therapeutic swim, only to realize that they would have to share a lane (they are not very wide, and you know, I am tiny, sooooo...) with another adult. Could there be a compromise, maybe the kids could have 3 lanes and the adults 3 lanes. I went on to say to him that they were sending these kids the wrong message!!! We are here, so you have to leave, period. And as they progress in life, to the next swim team or the next sport, we are here, I am here, so you have to leave. Entitled. It is an ugly word. Wrong wrong wrong. (Do not misunderstand me, I am all for organized sports. I grew up playing organized sports.) He told me that I sounded very passionate about swimming and that he would get in touch with aquatic director. I thanked him, wished the SWIM TEAM well, and we said our good-byes.

A few days later, I received a call from the very young sounding aquatic director. I repeated my concerns about sending these kids the wrong message, that it was also wrong that they thought it was okay for two, 200 pound men, or two, 150 pound women to share a lane, after having worked hard all day, etc. I was met with a wall. Seriously, as if I were speaking to a wall. She did her utmost to make my every word invalid, that it was perfectly fine for adults to share lanes. She did not ask me one question about myself. Clearly there was not going to be any sort of compromise. THE SWIM TEAM had the pool. 

I had to regroup. THE SWIM TEAM had won the battle. I decided, the best thing for me would be to go earlier in the day, and leave around 4pm. What was interesting as well, that every time I checked in, for about the first 3 or 4 weeks, I was met with a friendly face, which immediately, once my name came up on the screen, changed. It was palpable. I was determined, and frankly, did not care one way or another if there was a red flag next to my name. I simply wanted to swim. Which is exactly what I have done this summer. Hundreds upon hundreds of laps. I remained sunshiny and polite, and I have met some wonderful people at the pool. I have received some unexpected compliments along the way. I have not seen one yellow bathing cap, I have not crossed paths with THE SWIM TEAM since that first day, June 2. My plan worked. 

So, in light of what we have just witnessed at the Olympics, with the bad behavior of a few entitled members of THE SWIM TEAM taking over headlines (the Media is a whole other post, which will probably never be written here), this is what I have learned at the pool this summer. I had never witnessed 'entitled' first hand until my short, but somewhat profound encounter with THE SWIM TEAM on June 2. It is up to the ADULTS to teach our children, and the children in our charge, starting at a very young age, that it is NOT OKAY to push anyone aside because you have arrived, that it is NOT OKAY to think that you are better than anyone because you belong to a team, that it is NOT OKAY even if you have won Gold Medals at the Olympics or if you are on the Stanford SWIM TEAM to be anything other than a kind, compassionate, empathetic, human being. I think, I pray, that the children I encountered were young enough, that here is hope that they will not believe the terrible lie and that 'entitled' will never be a part of their vocabulary, even if the word itself is never spoken.

I have 2 full weeks left before the outdoor pool closes. I have had a great great time at the pool this summer, and, in a way, I feel very much like I WON THE WAR!!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

What's Old is Made New-ish, DIY!!

The chosen one...
I have Mom and Dad's bridge table and chairs. I always remember them being there, which renders them antiques (and, me as well)!!! They have never been recovered or reupholstered and after all this time, they were looking pretty shabby. So, I decided to have a go at it. The thought stayed with me for a while until I actually pulled off the worn material from one of the chairs. It was nasty, just because the chairs are old. The all important question of what to cover them with, also stayed with me for a while. We recently went to the Cherry Creek Art Festival in Denver, where I got allot of great ideas for framing my photos, and that was good. However, as the day went on, we wound up going into a store which carries only handmade wares from around the world. I spotted some beautiful material. I touched it, I stayed with it for a time, and then I realized, I have drawers full of Mom's old tablecloths!! Why spend 100's of dollars for a piece of material when I have my own stash at home. That's when it all kicked in. As soon as we got home, I immediately started rummaging through my drawers and found this one. I love this tablecloth, and it had a hole in it which was un-fixable. I double checked to make sure it did not have napkins to go with it. It did not, so, I was ready to proceed.
Laundry mark from Ding-Ho laundry...
As always, I see the finished product in my head, but, the work is always more than anticipated. This was no different. Just getting the stripped seats unscrewed and off of the chairs was a to-do, as they had not been touched in decades. The answer was easy, 3-In-1 Oil. Once that was done, I laid out the table cloth, then, with a deep breath, took a scissor to this precious material. Interestingly, I found the laundry mark, which was on all of our linens and tablecloths growing up. I will never forget the many many trips to Ding Ho Laundry, on 20th street off of 1st Avenue, picking up carefully wrapped packages of crisp, clean linens. This little piece of material, with the number on it will be saved.

The tools...
Work space from above...
Before and after...
Before and after...
One singular sensation...
The Girl...
I used the tablecloth itself as a grid, because, well, you see the pics. I carefully cut the batting and 'stuffing'. The wood seats are so thin, but extremely sturdy (they really do not make things the way they used to), I was not sure the upholstery nails I bought would work, I thought they might be just a little too long, but, most thankfully, they worked. The first chair was the hardest to do. I could see that there was no way I could hammer these tiny, sharp nails into the seats without doing permanent damage to my right hand, which was attempting to hold the nails in place. After trial and error, I wound up using one of my jewelry tools to hold the nails and, lo and behold, it worked very well. Hammering, I might add is an excellent way to vent, to express frustration, oh, I don't know, about a few things. I took my time finishing this project. The Art Festival in Denver was the weekend of July 4th, and I completed everything yesterday. I polished the chairs and Scotch-Guarded the newly covered seats. Getting them screwed back on the chairs, was also a to-do, as some of them would not 'take', at first. I was determined, and now all 4 seats are secure! Each chair is a little different, as you can see, but I like that. And of course, The Girl, with her million places to curl up, picked the used work sheet. The chairs have been re-distributed around the house, all of us very pleased with the 'new' look of what was old, made new-ish!!! Do it yourself....

Sunday, July 10, 2016

April/Nisan, 2017/5777, Tremendous Significance

This is the photo I chose for the month of April/Nisan, 2017-5777 for the calendar, 'REFLECTIONS'
Given the tragic events of the past few weeks, I have found it impossible to blog. No words of mine could possibly express the horror we have witnessed from such senseless loss of precious lives. I feel at times like, #Icantbreathe, eleven times over. I have been posting on social media, the root meaning of the names of each of the Hebrew months. As the Jewish calendar begins in October, 2016 for the New year of 5777, that is where I too began. I am now up to April/Nisan 2017/5777. I gather the information I post from various web sites and pull the information I feel is most relevant, without boring anyone to tears. One very important thing I learned when we visited Israel many years ago, is that nothing, no placement of a rock to the construction of a building is placed or built without tremendous significance. An example would be, when entering the gates of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, the signage is 3 dimensional. It was created this way for a purpose. The purpose was and is for birds to build nests within the lettering so that visitors might hear the birds singing as they enter!!! What a stunning idea. It is no different that each of the root meanings for the Hebraic months hold tremendous significance. As I began researching the month of Nisan, I found that it has tremendous significance for today, hence the blog post. I usually end each post with a scripture or a poem, but, today I begin:

"God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
 though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea."
(Psalm 46:1-2)

"Passover, occurs in the month of Nisan. Passover is really a month long celebration. Over and over it is referred to as the "month of spring", the "month of redemption," the month of Nisan, and so on. The word Nisan (נִיסָן) itself might come from either the word nitzan (נִצָּן), meaning "bud" (Song 2:12), or the word nissim (נִסִּים) meaning "miracles," both of which suggest physical and spiritual resurrection in our lives. Others think the word comes from the verb nus (נוּס), meaning "to flee," both in relation to Israel's flight from Egypt and Egypt's flight from Israel (i.e., when the pursuing Egyptian cavalry fled (נָסִים) before the sea closed upon them (Exod. 14:25, 27). We also see this usage in the verse: "The wicked flee (נָסוּ) when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion" (Prov. 28:1). The devil's power is found in the lie.  If he can make you afraid, you will not think clearly. Establishing your faith in the truth will embolden you to deal with the lies and distortions that are intended to enslave you in fear. The truth will set you free. 

In light of the conditions of this present evil world, we cry out for the Messiah to return now! We want His deliverance. Most politicians, by definition, exhibit the Pharaoh-like lust to control and exploit people.  They are called "the lords of the darkness of this world." This is the nature of the corruption of those who crave power over others. Today, so many people live in fear because they believe the propaganda of the "princes of this age."  We must always keep in mind that reality centers on the LORD God of Israel, not in appearances and the rhetoric of political or media figures. Melo khol ha'aretz kevodo: מְלא כָל־הָאָרֶץ כְּבוֹדו, "the whole earth is filled with His glory (Isa. 6:3). And the LORD God of Israel cares about people's liberation from deception and tyranny. The story of the Exodus is His everlasting rebuke to all the world's dictators and should cause every politician to soberly assess their fate...  The time is coming when His judgment will fall upon all the "kings of the earth who take counsel against the LORD and against His Annointed" (Psalm 2:2). 

'The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.'  Ecclesiastes 1:9

It is also noted that, Nisan is the first month of Spring. When it arrives, something about the increasing light, the warmer air, and the sprouting vegetation, may enhance our feeling that life is a gift and a blessing. Deeper within this instinctual feeling is the recognition that life is given to us whether we ‘deserve’ it or not. This is a deep level of humility, and it brings forth a tremendous sense of gratitude. During the eight days of Passover, as we eat matzah, the bread of humility, we should strive to internalize this idea. Life is a miraculous gift descending from above. It cannot be earned, only humbly received. According to one opinion, Nisan is when human life was created."

 And I end with the scripture on the calendar for April/Nisan:

'Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.'
                                                                                                       Isaiah 11:1

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


This is the photo I chose for December/Kislev-Tevet, 2016/5777
So, the 'REFLECTIONS' calendar is up and running. It has been really interesting thus far, putting the work out there, and then just waiting to see what happens. I have received numerous orders through my Etsy shop, Lilleypics. One even shipped to Israel!  I have received some touching feedback, like having a review written up in the NY Times, but I am the only one who knows. Here are a few of the comments:

'Ours arrived yesterday to much fanfare. Full-tilt viewing party to admire the calendar page by beautiful page. So great to see all these images nice and big and well printed. Looking forward to having them up and marking the months ahead. Lovely!'   Dan Friedman, California

'Amy, My husband and I celebrated our 50th anniversary today. We sat out on the patio early this AM and I told him about you and your photography. He wanted to see. So, I showed him the calendar. He and I absolutely LOVE your photos. You are gifted and God certainly put these frames in front of you for you (like no one else) to capture. Thanks for sharing.'  Melinda Rose, Texas

"Museum quality.'  Dee Dee Woodman, Colorado

'It's every bit as beautiful as your blog described.  The photographs are extraordinary, the concept is unique, and the quality is superb.  You are so creative...'  New York City

'Your Jewish calendar is beautiful. Absolutely exquisite and a labor of love.' Susan Benesch, Rhode Island

''Intoxicating, I am overwhelmed with joy for you!'  Suzanne Levinger, Florida

'Look what just fell from Heaven!' Neil Van Wright, New York City

There are a few more months until the calendar begins in October. I have plenty in in the wings, awaiting their new be continued...

'The scepter will not depart from Judah,
    nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belong shall come
    and the obedience of the nations shall be his.'
                                      Genesis 49:10

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

'Reflections', Jewish Calendar

Front Cover
Back Cover
October-January, 2016-2017/5777
February-May, 2017/5777 
June-September, 2017/5777
The discussion began last Summer. Suggestions were coming in. It's time for a book Amy. I want to buy some of your 'Reflection' pictures, are they being sold as cards? You need a 'thing', like choosing a major for college.  I batted a few ideas around with my friend Cornelius. He is an award winning children's book illustrator, and knows a thing or 2 about publishing. Helpful, very helpful, but, I still did not know what to do with the pictures to bump them up a few notches from a $4 card. Then, one day in January, like a golden nugget spilling into my spirit, the inspiration came. Make a calendar using the 'Reflection' series of photos, and use the Jewish calendar year. Well, everything inside of me leaped for joy, knowing that this was exactly what I was to do with the pictures. That very day, Cornelius happened to call. 'I've got it, I've got it, I've got it!!!', I said! His response was priceless. I shared the inspiration with a handful of people, and each time, the response was priceless, in the best possible way. I saw the finished calendar in my head, but ohmygoodness, I had quite the journey to get there.

The calendar begins in October 2016/5776, which marks the Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah which literally means, 'The head of the year.' The first full day of the New Year is October 3, 2016/5777. I began by researching Friday night sunset times, which, with candle lighting, marks the beginning of Shabbat, or Sabbath. Initially, I included 21 U.S. cities and Jerusalem. When it came time to transcribe that information onto the computer, it was impossible to include all those cities, given the layout I had chosen. I wound up transcribing the sunset times for Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Jerusalem. Included in the calendar are Jewish Holidays and holidays celebrated in the U.S. and around the globe. All of the Jewish Holidays can be Googled, for those of you not familiar with their meaning(s). 'Transcribing the information onto the computer', being operative words, was where the bulk of the challenges took place.

I have never done a full blown project on the computer. That said, I found a number of web sites which offer, 'make your own calendar'. Everything seemed complicated, really complicated, and I did not know where to begin. I had the pieces of the puzzle, but I was lost. I finally found a wonderful company called Mixbook, and I was on my way. (I have to give them a huge shout out. From the beginning of my communication with them, their customer service was outstanding, and remained so, right up until the calendars were delivered to my front door last week). So many decisions had to be made. Which layout to use for the front and back covers. Which 'Reflection' pictures best represented each month, what scriptures was I to share and where was I to place them? I did not even know how to line things up. But, with prayer, allot of prayer, quietness, patience and perseverance, the calendar started taking on it's own life. 

I started working on the calendar in February and I received the first copy, to proof, 2 weeks ago. I was overwhelmed by the quality of the reproduction of the photos, the quality of the card stock used. I say card stock, because it is beyond paper, it is archival. Mixbook did an outstanding job and I am so deeply grateful. I will be calling on them again. Yes, there are a couple of things which I would tweak if I do another calendar next year, but, off she goes! I am selling the 'Reflections' calendar in my Etsy shop, Lilleypics. (click on 'Lilleypics). It is 12" x 12", and spiral bound. The photos are 10" x 10" and would look beautiful in a frame! This calendar is for everyone!!!!!

On the back of the calendar, I said, "It is my prayer, that those of you who see this calendar are inspired, and blessed, knowing that G_d is the painter, as this collection of photographs would not and could not be, without His mighty hand, G_d is the Creator.'

'In your seed, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you obeyed my voice.'
                                                                                    Genesis 22:18

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Back Yard-ish

For those of you who are not active on social media, or do not have Instagram, Facebook or Twitter accounts, these are just a few of the pics I have taken these past couple of weeks while either looking out, from the back of the house, on the deck or walking in Cherry Creek State Park. For those of you who are active on social media, I repeat. Never for a loss of wildlife and nature, be it sunrise, sunset or even moon set, I never know what the day will bring from the second I open my eyes in the morning! One of my favorite pics is of the very pregnant prairie dog. It was not until I came home and saw the pics on my iPad, did I see how full with baby prairie dogs she is/was. I am guessing she has given birth by now. She scurried into their underground condo as I was quietly snapping away. The male stayed in his 'I am watching you, don't even think about getting any closer' stance. The coyote, as if staring right at me, was literally yards away looking for a mid-morning snack. Very happy to keep my distance and get the shot. Thank you excellent zoom on the camera!
Mr. & Mrs. Prairie Dog, expecting...
Don't even think about coming any closer lady...
Foraging for a snack...morning..
My forever affection for Bunnies..
'And the evening and the morning were the third day.
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night;
 and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, 
and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
And to rule over the day and over the night,
 and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.'
                                                                                    Genesis 1:13-18

Morning moon set...
One of the many many walking/bike/horse dirt paths with the snow capped Rockies as a constant backdrop!!

Friday, May 6, 2016

'For Good', For Mom...

This is a reunion piece for these two gifted Ladies. It is known that there was tension between the two during their triumphant run on Broadway, so I have to believe that this song carries so much more truth/weight, for them now. I certainly hope so.

Anywho, with Mother's Day coming up on Sunday, I just changed my profile pic, again, on Facebook to my favorite one of Mom and Me. I wrote, that just the other day, Monday, I said to Jimmy, laughing at myself,  'Do you think Mom believed me, when (as she was in a coma) I told her, I'll be okay, it's okay to go...'  Good thing she couldn't respond, because in reality, nothing could have been further from the truth. It has taken a few years, but, I am good now, I am, this beautiful song, is for Mom...because I knew you..

Happy Mother's Day Ladies!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Passover 2016/5776

Auburn, NY, probably 1946
I usually look for a painting of Moses parting the Red Sea, or maybe one of the blood of the Lamb on the doorposts and lintels: 'Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.' Exodus 12:5-8 But, today would have been my Dad's 94th birthday (top left) and I am feeling very full. So, as I was looking for a pic of him to post, I found this one, and in that fullness came a flood of thoughts about Passover, which begins tomorrow night at sunset. We were very blessed as kids to have my Mom's parents and my Father's Mom live down the street, (in Stuyvesant Town, it was up a hill and around a curve...) along with cousins and cousins cousins. Passover, always celebrated with the traditional Seder, Manischewitz wine, which were allowed to dilute and drink, my Gram's never to be repeated handmade gefilte fish, matzo balls which actually floated when cooked (I am still working on this...4 ingredients and I still cannot get it right!!!), the fun of searching for the Afikoman ( a half-piece of matzo which is broken in two during the early stages of the Passover Seder and set aside to be eaten as a dessert after the meal...whoever found it, usually received a dollar bill!!), and simply being together. Since those wonderful days, we have lost many along the way, and we are scattered across the country, but the tradition, of celebrating the Jewish people being delivered from the hand of the grasp of the terrible one, remains well intact. It is written: 'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments-- I am the LORD. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance...' Exodus 12: 12-14. I look at this picture, and I know that that permanent ordinance lives on in me and my Son, and his Sons yet to come, because of these people, my Family, and the many generations who came before them. It is amazing and stirring. So, as I attempt to make another round of matzo balls which actually float and are edible, we are deeply grateful to be celebrating yet another Passover together, whether in Spirit or not.

Happy Passover!!!

'On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you.…'
                                                                                                     Exodus 12:16

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Labor of Love!!

So beautifully colored, thought out, labor intensive...
And framed...
Comforter, so skillfully crocheted by my Grandmother decades ago, still in use today...
Victorian doorknobs, 1 & 2,  circa, 1900, drawn by Me, from the Big House in R.I.

Today is National Siblings Day, so I include, Sibling-In-Law, i.e, my Sister-in-Law, Sheila. She has found a great way to spend some quiet time, midst her very busy and demanding job, and life in general. Upon discovery of coloring in, what to me look like the most elaborate Victorian doorknobs, Sheila has turned this wonderful hobby into a few 'labor of love' pieces, which she has signed, framed, popped in the mail to some very happy recipients. 'Moi' included. It came on Friday. I liken this gorgeous labor intensive piece to the crocheting of a quilt, or cross-stitch works, which were so carefully hand crafted by my Mom, Grandmother, Great-Aunt. Each, a treasure, withstanding the test of time.

Even though I have said it many times over at this point, I so appreciate the time, dedication, thought and love which was put into this beautiful drawing. Along with the colors of the matte, which my Brother chose, although without thinking, he said, our camp colors of blue and 'gold'. We have found a place of honor to hang it where the blazing Colorado sun will not touch it and make it fade or alter the colors in any way. 

So, many thank you's again, dear SIL!!!

'May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
    establish the work of our hands for us—
    yes, establish the work of our hands..'
                                         Psaml 90:17

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Landscapes Art Exhibition, Special Merit...

'Lakeside in Colorado'
This pic of the gorgeous snow capped Rockies while standing at the lake in Cherry Creek State Park, was one of the first I took with the new camera. Still playing, allot, with the powerful zoom, I have been testing the waters, so to speak. I continue to enter on-line photo contests, and have started a gallery on the National Geographic "Your Shot' page, along with hundreds of thousands of other amazing photographers from around the globe. I have received notice from National Geographic, 2 times, of one of my pics 'trending'. Meaning it has received attention from the on-line community. This happens to hundreds of people, daily, on Nat. Geo, but, it happened to me...exciting!! I just received notice this morning that 'Lakeside in Colorado' received a Special Merit nod from the judges from the Light Space and Time On-Line Gallery! This is what was posted, for those who were awarded this recognition:

'The art which was selected for the Special Merit Category is any art from the various media categories that we believe could have also been placed in the top tier of the entries selected.  The only reason that this art was not selected for the top tier was due to the size constraints of this particular competition. Otherwise, the Special Merit art, in many cases, is interchangeable with any of the best art that we selected elsewhere.' 

This works for me and I am about to crown the new camera, my trustee little Sony. Below is one of the National Geographic pics which was trending, along with a week filled of birds. A Bald Eagle, a Hawk, with full zoom from the house, and two Pelicans. I was happy to be able to be closer to the Pelicans, as I was standing on the shore of the lake just yesterday at Cherry Creek State Park. Unfortunately, Mr. Eagle did not want to cooperate on the big screen...

April is upon us, and here, your can feel Spring literally ready to explode...more to come...
Reflection from early March sunset, using the Diptic app, trending on Nat. Geo...
Mr. Hawk...
American White Pelican...a very big bird..
....and two...
(links to pages highlighted)

“Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom and spread its wings toward the south? Does the eagle soar at your command and build its nest on high?  It dwells on a cliff and stays there at night; a rocky crag is its stronghold.  From there it looks for food; its eyes detect it from afar."
                                                                                                          Job 39:26-29

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Mary, Mary and Salome...The Women!

Annibale Carracci, 1590
"When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. "Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid."  Mark 16: 1-8

Oh my goodness, can you even imagine??

To All who rejoice in the empty tomb, 
Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Windy city on Monday made the skies change and change and change...
...and change...
...all to give us this beamy sunset...
Playing with the zoom...the Rockies are at least 25 miles away, and this peak, 14,000 feet in elevation!!
Macro, lamplight, soft sweet Girl...
Similar to looking for a new place to live, I have a list of priorities. First question, 'Do they accept animals, cats?' When looking for a new camera, first question, 'Does it have Wifi?'. In both instances, the response was a resounding 'YES!!'. However, when rubber officially met the road, and we were literally hours away from signing a lease on a house, the rental agent called and said no animals, no cats allowed, and guess what, when I started toying with the new camera, I discovered that it had no Wifi. Even with my on-line research, and assuming that it actually did have Wifi, I missed this huge piece of information, or lack thereof. So when the instance of the 'no cat house' fell through, we found another house, this one, which is so far greater than we could have imagined.  Back to Best Buy we went this past Saturday, new camera in tow, having talked to the head of the camera department, who felt terrible that I had received misinformation. No worries, I said, what else do you have...knowing that there was something better. Lesson learned from the house debacle. Indeed he did. It was a step up from the original Sony I purchased 3 days earlier. In the 3 years since the purchase of my trustee little Nikon, technology, as we all know has grown in light year speed, rendering my old camera relatively extinct... (so sad). Anywho, I came home with a solid, small enough for my little hands, crazy intense zoom, (I'm thinking eagles, hawks, coyotes, mountain tops,  sunrise, sunset, and Lord knows what else!), and, yes, Wifi. 

You have to be somewhat, at least a little, technology literate and brave, I think, to delve into setting up the Wifi. Even with the instruction manual, help from Sony's web site, I only needed Edward's help one time, and that was finding the key pad on the camera, which needed to be registered and synced to Sony's web site on my computer. There were downloads and passwords and apps and immediately being thrown into the deep water. SWIM, if you want this camera to work!!! I could not possibly repeat the steps it took me to get there, but all I know is that the Wifi is hooked up, and it, like the powerful zoom, is crazy fast. Like any new piece of technology, it will take me a while to figure everything out. Already, I have found features, then lost them, wondering where they went, how do I get back there??? But, what I do know is that this camera is challenging my eye, making me sit with it to see what we can do together, and eventually, in time, it will be my trustee little Sony. 

...and, just because it is so pretty, and interesting. A Diptic pic of some Tulips I took with my iPhone the other day @ Whole Foods...