…to 2016. ⛵️👋😉
But I’m so happy it was because it meant that I was (almost in the clouds) spending a gorgeous day with my awesome son and my beautiful sister last weekend. This was about 40 minutes before the game started and just enough time for me to catch my breath from “the climb.” Hahaha!
Happy to have escaped Hurricane Matthew’s wrath this weekend and praying for those who didn’t.
He will soon be a memory — the sun always comes out again in Florida. I like that about Florida. 🙂
A few weeks ago I was asked to give an interview with ShutterLogic Magazine. I really enjoyed the process and sharing it with all of you and then someone suggested that I give it a permanent home here on the blog by including it as a PDF, so voila!
View as PDF
If you haven’t read it yet, I hope you will. It’s best enjoyed with a cup of coffee and some nice music. 😉
Thank you ShutterLogic Magazine and Peter Fenech for being so kind to ask and for making it such a joyful process. You’re the best!
Bet you won’t be surprised to hear that I LOVE fireworks, and I absolutely love going over to my brother-in-law’s place and watching the fireworks over Clearwater Beach — just awesome!
Of course, I use my iPhone for pics, and if you want to do the same, here’s what I do that helps to keep things simple so that I can also enjoy the fireworks and time with my family, and still grab a few shots.
The light tends to be the best toward the finale but the finale itself can overwhelm the camera so don’t just wait for the end. I almost always shoot in video mode because shooting stills in video not only gives you a wider/taller shot it also brings the scene in a bit closer but if you’re already really close to the fireworks you may not need it. You’ll have to decide once you’re there.
Turn video on, let it auto focus at first (it may be enough) and fire, fire, fire! Hahaha! Oh, and keep that camera still people. If you can remember, try to get all of the firework in your shot. If you’re really close you may want to back out of video mode and shoot in regular photo mode.
Lots of apps to take them into afterward to sharpen and color correct if necessary, and it likely will be necessary. Currently, I have Adobe’s Aviary and Photoshop Fix and Google’s Snapseed installed on my phone. I spent a couple of minutes and used Aviary (to color correct and sharpen the image) and PS Fix (used the healing tool to spot remove two bright lights at bottom of the image) on the photo I shared on this post.
Have a great time, enjoy your weekend and I hope you get some great pics! I’ll post another one after the weekend and tell you what I did so that you can work on yours if you’d like — just let me know — happy to share the process. 🙂
P.S. I heard that the app Camera+ now lets you take long exposures (which means leaving your shutter open for a longer period of time so that you can capture the firework trails), so I think I’ll try it this weekend, you might want to try it, too. 😉
There is something absolutely magical about an old stack of books and just in time for all your bedtime stories tonight. 🌟
Happy Father’s Day weekend to all the fathers out there.
This is my dad, holding my older sister, he was 19 years old and in the Navy when this photo was taken. He’s a charming, sometimes silly, grandpa now that makes me laugh just about every time I see him. Growing up he was quite…hmm…Navy? Hahahaha! I think he even had my mother organize the canned foods by days of the week. 😆
Showers (for the five of their children) were timed. Learning how to change the oil and tires for “the” car was a requirement for all and instruction was held with precision drills, even though four of his children (the girls) secretly rolled their eyes the whole time. 🙄 Lol!
In his house I learned that “taking care of yours” matters. Your choices, your responsibility, your family…
I learned that good times roll, hard times fall, people fall and people get back up. I learned to tell the truth and tell it all, to love,
to forgive, to appreciate and to live.
Maybe it wasn’t always easy but maybe that’s okay. 😉
Thank you Dad. ❤️ I love you.
Very excited to be in the car and headed to Gramma’s…
Yittle: “Can we talk a-l-l the way to Gramma’s?!”
Me: Of cour…
Yittle: Cutting me off says, “Yay! I love to talk and play and have fun! You know Mommy?!”
Me: I do know that about you Yit…
Yittle: Cutting me off again says, “Sometimes, my friends say that I’m hyper because I’m always the same — even if I’m not really feeling the same — I’m still the same to them, you know Mommy?”
Me: Now, let me finish because I think I know what you mean but what, exactly, do you mean?
Yittle: “I mean, sometimes, if I’m feeling grumpy or they’re feeling grumpy or something I don’t act that way towards them because I just want to play and have fun so I’m just the same, you know?”
Me: Okay, yes, I see. Does that ever get tiring for you?
Yittle: “Nope! Never. I don’t want to rain on their parade ’cause then they’d have all these wet parade props and the parade would be over and then what? We’d be done playing and sitting around looking…looking like we wished our awesome parade hadn’t been rained on and who wants that?!”
Okay, I’m sorry, this may not have been my finest parenting moment but I about drove off the road in a fit of giggles!! And then Yittle started giggling so much that I did have to pull over and after I wiped the tears of laughter from my eyes I HAD to unbuckle, jump out, go around, and give her a great big hug and while I was there…
Me: Yittle, honey, you are one of the most amazing people I have ever known and I think it’s wonderful that you have such a positive attitude. Now, tell me what you do when you need to reach out for support because that’s just as important as having a good attitude, right?
Yittle: Still giggling a little says, “Mommy, you know what I do — I rain on your parade! Hahahahaha!”
Me: What?! You just said you didn’t do that!
Yittle: “I said I didn’t do it to my friends but (whispering now) you know I rain on yours sometimes (now talking in a normal voice) but it’s because you do really awesome things with wet props and parades Mommy and sometimes I wind up forgetting they were ever rained on.”
Oh God, thank you for my children — they are a gift to my soul.
By the way, I begged her not to go to Gramma’s but apparently it is a magical wonderland not to be missed. Just like the ride over there. <3
The human looked up and said, “You are so beautiful and you shine so softly — it makes me feel happy, warm, peaceful to have found you.”
Kindness blushed and said, “But I was never meant to be found, I was meant to be given.” And then Kindness wrapped herself around the human, giving more of herself to them, and asked that they share her wherever they went.
I like that about Kindness. 💛
Once upon a time there was a little girl who had three uncles: The Business Man, The Cowboy and The Hippy and she loved them all and as a little girl, she only knew she loved them but as she grew into an adult she began to understand just how blessed she was to have them, these characters, in her life. They are gone now and she thinks about all of them often but on this day she was just thinking about…
He drank too much, cussed too much, fought too much, married too much and got in way too much trouble. “Life is hard!” And he made it harder (certainly on himself) but man, was he full of life! If it were possible to be so full of life as to be bigger than it, then that’s what he was, bigger than life. Well, certainly, louder than it. Hahahaha! He had one good eye, one re-attached finger (she was always told not to ask) and one bad temper but he also had the love of every person who truly knew him — especially the children. Sure, men were terrified of him as he growled and frothed at the mouth “son of a bit%@!” so that he could set them straight, but all she could do was giggle because she had been given “that wink.” The one that he would give that said, “Don’t worry about what you’re seeing or hearing, I’ve got this under control.”
Married four, no five, times? However many times, it’s safe to say women loved him but clearly being “full of life” means you can also be full of something else but, luckily, young nieces didn’t have to stand in judgement of that. Whew!
Oh and he had the best quotes! Like, “Never follow a snake into its own hole.” That was one of her favorites,
she felt it had served her well her whole life.
Anyway, it had been about fifteen years since she had seen her cowboy uncle when she suddenly found herself with the good fortune to sit down by the lake and talk with him. She didn’t really have the time that day but the opportunity was too great to let any more time pass between them so she sat down. She had thirty minutes — she spent an hour and a half. They shared memories and stories and laughed and cried (he would have said the sun was in his eyes) and sat quietly, grateful for the time together.
The very next day my mother called to tell me that my cowboy uncle had passed away…
Oh how I cried…I cannot begin to tell you but then I looked out onto this lake and the bench we sat on and I knew he’d be here and I knew that’s why he had come the day before and I knew I would be replaying that day and our conversation forever
and all I could hear was his voice in my head saying,…
“Son of a bit%@!” and then “that wink.”
And oh how I laughed…and now I get to raise a cup to him each morning as I can just imagine him sitting on the bench where we sat or cussing the gators or enjoying a sunset in the evenings and it makes me happy.
There is a playground — a glorious giggled filled, dust filled, leaf filled, jumps and leaps filled playground and all the children love it! And all the children hate the bees that make their nests in a few of the tables, fences and trees there. Well, not just bees but wasps. Yes, the dreaded wasp! Now, there aren’t enough of them to keep you from having fun, just enough to keep you cautious. Unless you’re my Yittle’s friend…
Yittle’s friend’s mother: “It’s okay Sweetie, the bees won’t bother you, just stay away from them and they’ll stay away from you. Go play. You don’t want to miss out on all the fun and getting to play with Yittle do you?”
Yittle’s friend: Anxious and teary eyed looks to my Yittle and says, “I’m sorry Yittle but I can’t go onto the playground with you — I’m afraid of those bees! I’ll just wait here.”
I watched as Yittle tried to work out in her head what to do, looking from her friend to the playground and not saying a word.
Yittle’s friend’s mother (trying again): “Go on Sweetie, you’ll have fun!” (Insert big, hopeful, mommy smile here).
Yittle’s friend: Now not just teary eyed but trying to hide that her tears were falling.
Yittle: Stands quietly beside her friend another minute or so and then simply says, “I’ll hold your hand…”
It seemed like a lifetime of silence but then, miraculously, the little girl took Yittle’s hand and went onto the playground with her.
Yittle did not promise her friend that the bees were gone, or that they wouldn’t sting her and, in fact, she didn’t even promise they’d have fun but what she had offered her friend was much more than any of those promises, because her simple offer came with the promise of…I’m willing to do this with you — bees or not, stings or not, fun or not, scared or not…“I’ll hold your hand.”