Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

January 30, 2016

As I See It

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 4:50 pm
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A month into the new year already and this is my first blog post of 2016. I’ve been full of inspiration for blog posts and they just haven’t come to fruition. My favorite bloggers have been inspiring me and I’ve seen some really great things that have been making me go, “Oh I should do something like that!” Amy over at PlainMama has started blogging regularly about gratitude – I loved what she had to say in this post. Two bloggers came back from semi-retirement recently as well: Scott at Views Infinitum was first to re-enter explaining about a challenging 2015 and then Gerry, of Torch Lake Views, much to my delight popped back on the scene. Sybil, up there in the north, moved from Eastern Passage to Sacksville and has started sharing the romps of her and her fourlegged friends once again. Katie the princess sheltie and her mama Dawn at Change is Hard, have had all kinds of adventures to report on in recent weeks. Despite being harrassed by Winter Storm Jonas, Robin has kept a steady stream of beautiful photography and well wishes and thoughts over at Breezes at Dawn. And who can forget Carol of Wanderings of an Elusive Mind – blogger from the other side of this country, but with whom I so often agree with her sentiments, sometimes I feel like we must have been related somehow in another life! Then there’s Mike at Picture Day – carrying on with the things I always say I want to do – get out there with the camera and get better at photography.

Look at all that inspiration! So many ideas, so much lack of blog post writing.
In the context of a walk I took today with Teddy, on a fairly mild January day, here are some of the thoughts that have been meandering through my mind. I took the Rebel with my 50mm lens attached on this walk for two reasons – its a nice lightweight lens so I didn’t feel burdened on the walk and they say 50mm is approximately the view of how we see with the naked eye, so you’ll see my walk as I saw it, for the most part.

our stop
Teddy at the first place we always stop on our walks. Missing Daphne here as no matter the weather she always wanted to lay down in the water

Gratitude. Joy. Confidence. These are concepts I’m doing my best to focus on for 2016. Time to really put the work into discovering and taking care of me. Does that sound selfish? I hope not. It isn’t meant to be. The joy of having my girls home for their winter break from college, and their subsequent returns to school, have redoubled my determination to find my true happy place, who I am outside of being a mother – motherhood defines me, but not every part of me.

"Daphne's" creek
“Daphne’s” creek (how I will think of it from now on) not frozen over

Heartache happens but it doesn’t stop the world from going on around us. Like this creek, we continue flowing with time. My wishes are to keep progressing and getting better in a holistic way as I flow through time.

the tunnel path
Along the “tunnel” path

This is a familiar sight, that feeling of a natural tunnel – the feeling is intensified when the weather is warmer and the green fills the scene, but this is a piece that feels unchanging and constant to me, that part of life that gives you the foundation you need to deal with….

cleared out
Formerly filled with brush, this section of path has been mowed down

…change. Change – some of us try to fight it, some of us welcome it, but it is inevitable. I’m learning to welcome it. There was a time I dreaded it, but I think I’m seeing things more clearly now. Don’t simply accept change – create it. Take the new circumstances and make them your own.

Doggy blink
Blinking against the wind

No closing your eyes and pretending whatever the problem is will go away. We all have those days when we’d rather just pull the covers over our heads and tell the world to leave us alone. A good friend recently said to me, the obstacles we encounter are just bumps in the road. We will get over them and move on to bigger and better things.

shadows
Shadow of Teddy and me – connected by leash and by heart

As I continue on my journey, I have a sense of authenticity in my mind-body-spirit connection; it is becoming real and tangible for me. I’ve been calling it a fitness journey but it is really so much more than that – it is a journey to who I’m meant to be!

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September 7, 2015

August Dreaming

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 9:37 am
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It is Labor Day here in the USA – a day to celebrate work by playing all day! For most people it is also the day that feels like the end of summer, even though that isn’t “official” for 16 more days. It has been a beautifully warm and sunny long weekend in the northeast, and I hope you’ve been enjoying whatever you’ve been up to. I’ve been taking my baby steps toward adjusting to both girls being off to college, reaching out to friends for help along the way.

Maine sunset
a memory of mine from August

Today is also the day to have a look back at August. At the end of July, I made the suggestion that we play along with I Heart Faces August photo challenge in the loosey-goosey style of the “When I Feel Like It” way.

As of this writing four bloggers posted pictures for the August photo hunt.

Mike over at Picture Day decided to do an approximately weekly look at August. He started off here, and added more here, here, and here Did I get them all Mike? I enjoyed following along with Mike’s thinking process and seeing the very creative results!

Carol at Wanderings of an Elusive Mind did three posts on the challenge. The first one is blended with “Share Your World” questions, she continues in this post and finishes, with a little kick-start from her muse here. I always enjoy Carol’s photos from the other side of this country and from her travels all over the world, and these did not disappoint!

I was sure that Robin at Breezes at Dawn would find a unique way to present her August photo challenge. She created a beautiful post, showcasing her month here. Robin pointed out how this challenge ended up being a fun look back at the month for her and mused that maybe it could be fun to wrap up a month in a similar way from time to time. I like that idea too, but won’t be making any blog promises!

Sonali at Dreams Hope Destiny started out with a happy post here and continued with some more shots in this post giving us fun look at her part of the world.

In the spirit of reaching out, I extended the invitation to a couple bloggers who really seemed to want to participate in this challenge but perhaps ran out of time. If they happen to add posts today, I will happily add them to this wrap up.

I’m sure you’ve already seen my posts for this challenge, but if you missed any of them my three posts are here, here and here.

As we transition to the next season, I’m beginning my transition too. My heart is still heavy with ache for the two big pieces who are no longer here on a daily basis. I’m still thinking and sorting and trying things out and wish to maintain a presence here in the blogosphere – connecting with all of you is something I enjoy. I’ve been touched by your comments of support and hope to continue this sharing as I find my way.

July 15, 2015

Stepping Back In

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:22 pm
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bleeding heart

Hello Blogging friends. It has been well over a month since I’ve posted. Time for me to try jumping back in again. I recently commented to Robin and to Carol that I’ve been having trouble getting back into the swing of things even though I am out of school for the summer and have much more time on my hands. Where should I begin? Which stories and photos are worth sharing? I started scrolling back through the shots on my memory card when I remembered that way back in May, Dawn invited me to do the Five Photos, Five Days challenge.

dahlia

I continued my scrolling, now with a purpose. Which five shots could I tell a story about?

can't remember their name

Now, as you may recall, I’m not one for sticking strictly to the “rules” when it comes to blog challenges. I often like to find a way to make something my own. If I remember correctly the “rules” for this one were only to post a photo 5 days in a row with a story, fiction or nonfiction, to go along with it and to invite another blogger to join in each post. Well, here I am making my own so-called rules.

dahlia

First of all, I think the Five Photos, Five Days challenge was out and about long enough ago that any of you who are regular visitors to my blog who might enjoy this sort of thing have probably already participated. Honestly I’m wondering if I will still have regular readers after this blogging break – I guess I will find out! If you are that soul who hasn’t been invited but would like to participate, consider yourself invited!

mandeville

Secondly, I found 6 photos that I have inklings of stories to tell in my head at this time. Right now, it is my plan to do Six Photos, Six Days.

peony

And third, regarding the fiction vs nonfiction aspect of the stories, I feel like I could possibly create a bit of a whimsical story to go with each of the photos I’ve chosen, or at least maybe the beginning of a whimsical story, but that I’d also like to give you the real story behind the photo. I think these shots can help “catch me up” a bit with what I’ve been up to.

lupin

So that’s my plan. Whether it really works out that way, I don’t know. I haven’t written the posts yet, so I guess we will see over the next few days.

iris

In case you were wondering about the flowers meandering through this post, they are flowers you would’ve seen had you had the chance to meander about my yard at various times throughout the spring and early summer. Many are in the ground, and long since passed by, while some are in containers around my deck and still blooming.

poppy

These were all taken with that 85mm lens that I was so thrilled to have purchased this past March. The shots are all SOOC, completely unmessed about with in editing programs. I’m still extremely happy with it and it is becoming my “go-to” lens unless I need telephoto or wide-angle.

peony

Post number one should be up tomorrow… and away we go….

April 6, 2015

5 Years of Blogging!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 5:21 pm
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Wow, it has been 5 years since I began this blog – WordPress kindly reminded me when I logged in today. I remember not knowing how long I would keep this up when I began, but here I am still blogging when I feel like it. You just never know when a post will show up around here!

I hadn’t planned to blog today, but since today is the 5 year anniversary, I thought why not?

Back when I began, Meghan was a freshman in high school, and Sarah was still a middle-schooler in 7th grade. Meghan is nearly finished with sophomore year of college now and Sarah will be graduating from high school in 2 months.

Back when I began, I was still shooting photos with my frustrating Olympus camera. Now I’m still using my first DSLR, my Canon Rebel, but I am happily learning and growing with new lenses for it. Has my photography improved? I hope so, but I’m still creating photos that make me happy!

Back when I began, I was very casual about my health and exercise routine. Today, I’m continuing my fitness journey. I’m happily maintaining the weight loss I achieved last year and I am working on building strength. I’ve moved on to weight-lifting routines and am hoping to achieve a new level of fitness.

Back when I began, I was still hoping to become a social studies teacher at my middle school. Those dreams are pretty much dashed now, but I’ve moved on to a new goal. I am actively studying to pass the state test that would allow me to become licensed as a middle school math teacher.

Back when I began, the Red Sox won their opening day game against the Yankees. Today I am enjoying watching the Red Sox beat the Philadelphia Phillies on Opening Day (it is the 7th inning with a Red Sox 4-0 lead as I type this post)!

Opening day

Back when I began, we were enjoying record-breaking high temperatures in April of 2010. It certainly has NOT been that way around here recently, but I have hope that spring is finally coming through. We have a cloudy but mild day today.
Today
I will take it! And a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee to go with it!
DD

Over the course of 5 years, much has changed but much has stayed the same!

December 24, 2014

Twas the blog post before Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:45 am
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Time for my annual traditional blog post, with apologies to C. Clement Moore! (You can see the last three years’ Christmas poems here, here and here.)

Twas the day before Christmas
and there is plenty to do.
But my first thought this morning?
Write a blog post for you!

My day will entail
cooking and cleaning – no trip to the mall!
I’ve a long day ahead
but feel rather calm ’bout it all.

My yard has been cleaned
of all the debris.
I paid a guy
to do this for me!

Clean yard

I’m out of school for 12 days
on this holiday break.
A well deserved rest
students and staff we will take

Grinch

There’s no snow on the ground.
This Christmas will be green.
But there are other
fun sights to be seen.

Christmas Collie

When my gift wrapping began,
it was a bit of a fright,
Wrapping chaos
but I worked my way through
by the end of last night.
Ready to go

So now I face Christmas Eve morning
with a list long as my sleeve,
and a hope this bad poetry
won’t cause you to leave

before I’ve had the chance
with all of my might,
to wish you all Merry Christmas
and to all a good night!

July 1, 2014

Wrapping Whimsy

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 9:43 am
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Comic "relief"

The whimsical photo hunt did what I was hoping for – it brought a lot of fun and happy and silly photos to this little blogging community. In a month that was at times trying, visiting all your posts made me smile. We had 10 whimsical participants, my own being the 11th.

In case you missed any of the fun, here is a little summary of what we got to see.
Robin of Breezes at Dawn was the first. Robin found quite the array of whimsical sculptures for us to enjoy. I loved the dancing bunnies.

Dawn of Change is Hard came next. Dawn had some funny little visitors to the garden for a glass of wine one summer evening. Thanks for the adorable little scene, Dawn.

Amy-Lynn from Flandrum Hill was the third post and found a little whimsy out in nature. I loved the idea of imagining just what could be found on the other side of that door.

Mike of Picture Day showed us his love of toys in his post. “Pool Vader” especially tickled my funny bone.

Carol of Wanderings of an Elusive Mind posted a fun variety of whimsical shots. I just loved “Cat in the Hat” and thanks again, Carol, for helping to inspire this photo hunt!

Sybil from Eastern Passage Passage played along with a post that slightly pushed the definition of whimsical. That’s totally fine by me, since you all know how I feel about so-called “rules”, but does anyone else get the feeling that Sybil has an unusual affinity for poop? LOL!

Isa from Isathreadsoflife found a unique group of whimsical photos. Those shoes trying to keep the balance are how I often feel in day to day life!

Kathy of Lake Superior Spirit found the time to play along with a whole park full of whimsical sculptures. They are all so much fun and so creative I’d be hard pressed to name a favorite, but the final photo of the moon and stars taking off for adventure seems to be the very definition of whimsy.

A new-to-me blogger from a blog called Purpleborough posted a cute shot of crazy little flamingo. Thanks for participating purple!

Bearyweather from Bear in Mind lamented that she thought dipping into her archives would be cheating, but please remember how I feel about “rules” Ms. B – they are just guidelines as far as I am concerned. I just loved all your whimsical animal shots and you are so right, is there a more whimsical animal than a bear cub?

If you didn’t see my silly little bit of whimsy, you can find it here. Whimsy was not presenting itself to me in the month of June, so I had to create my own with a visit from Scooby Doo and some friends to my garden.

Thank you very much everyone for all your enthusiastic participation in this photo hunt. I had great fun visiting your posts – they all put a smile on my face and in some cases really did make me laugh out loud.

June 20, 2014

66 Days of Summer

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 12:16 pm
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focus.jpg (1 of 1)

Today is June 20th. The first day of my summer. The official first day of summer is tomorrow, but my summer vacation begins today. A couple months ago, I had talked to Kate Austin about this idea I had about a photo or theme for all the days of my summer vacation this year. I know that I was inspired by something that she is working on, but that something is escaping me at the moment. Unfortunately Kate has decided to discontinue her blog, Crossroads, and has deleted it, so I can’t find what originally inspired me. Kate is still posting her beautiful shots at the link I provided up there, so I’m hoping we will still be interacting.

I doubt that I will be posting daily. As much as I would like to challenge myself to that, I know that at times over the summer it will simply be impossible. I will, however, do my best to keep track of my photo or theme for each day and post as often as I can.

For today, day 1 of summer, a theme has already emerged for my day: maintenance

I did maintenance chores on the hot tub:
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I’m planning to do lawn maintenance this afternoon:
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And I am planning to maintain all the hard work I’ve done to improve my health and get my body into better shape:
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Since I finished the 10 week regimen of T25, I’m working on a hybrid schedule of workouts to try to maintain my fitness level, and maybe even move up to a new level. I don’t know what I am capable of, but I’d like to spend some time finding out!

I haven’t forgotten about the whimsy photo hunt, but I think I will officially extend the deadline to Monday June 30th. To those of you who have already submitted your posts, thanks so much! I will be around to see them soon.

February 28, 2014

It’s “Z” Wrap Up!

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 6:04 pm
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It’s Z wrap up, get it? Z like the end of the letters and Z like speaking with an outrageous French accent?

Where are my Monty Python fans?

The return of the photo hunt seemed to be a popular idea as those of us in the northern climes battle our way through this very cold and snowy winter. By February, we’ve had about enough of this and I think the photo hunt turned into a welcome distraction. We had 8 wonderful participants in the
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themed photo hunt this month.

Sybil jumped on board almost immediately! She had her photo hunt, in which she tried to fool us a bit (and succeeded!) posted the day after I announced the hunt!

Next came Dawn, with some very lovely reminders of my favorite time of the year in her photo hunt from the south. Ahhhhhhh!

Robin played in her wonderful Robin way – going far above and beyond the general photo hunt requirements. Faithful readers of Robin’s blog are familiar with Robin’s creative style and were treated to not one, not two but three pretty posts leading us to her chosen word.

Mike thought maybe his choice of words would be a little too familiar to his regular readers, so he mixed up his letters in attempt for it not to be too easy for us. He has a beautifully photographed array of indoor shots leading us to the place that I believe you would find Mike right now if you were to go looking for him!

I was happy to hear that Michaela had decided to play along. It had been a long time since I’ve posted a photo hunt and even longer since she had participated. We had no mystery to figure out over at the Daily Click because we were told that she decided to use her name as her word. Michaela showed us a gorgeous display of her tack-sharp photog skillz.

Carol’s life these days has been a flurry of household activities and get ready for her upcoming cruise (very jealous here, by the way!). She found a perfect word with perfect photos to remind us all of what she has been up to lately.

Isa decided at the last minute that she’d like to play too, and asked if archived photos would be okay to use. You know how loosey-goosey the rules are around here so I said “but of course!” Isa has a colorful arrangement of beautiful objects, but I must admit she stumped me good. Our friend Sybil from up above was the smarty who first figured out Isa’s word!

Nye also came in with a last minute submission. She tricked me a bit by using her first photo to represent two letters rather than one. In the comment section where she revealed the answer, she reminded us about the rule of thirds in photography – that’s where she wanted us to look to discover the real clue to her letters. Nicely done Nye!

If you happened to miss my own photo hunt photo hunt (no that’s not a typo 😉 ) you can find it here.

Thank you so much everyone for your enthusiastic participation! I’ll do my best to come up with some other fun hunts throughout the year.
Happy end of February too! Spring begins in just 3 weeks! Let’s hope it feels like spring really soon!

February 4, 2014

A Blogger Contrived Photo Hunt!

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 4:52 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

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You know what? You blogger-readers are pretty darn awesome. I mean that.
In my last post, I lamented my lack of inspiration photographically as of late. Helpful people that you are, many of you jumped in with suggestions. Robin and Sybil commented that maybe it was time to do a photo hunt again. Robin’s idea was an “around the house” photo hunt. Sybil’s thought had to do with using the letters of the alphabet. Two interesting suggestions. Here’s what I propose:

Choose a word. Or two. Or three. It really doesn’t matter. It could be your name – real name or nom de blog. It could be a favorite noun, verb, adjective or interjection. Anything is fine. Now go find pictures of stuff around your house, objects not letters, to represent each letter of your chosen word or words! Get it?

For example, if I chose “CAT” as my word, I’d need to shoot 3 photos: one photo of an object that starts with “C” – like a cookie maybe, one photo of an object that starts with “A” and one photo of an object that starts with “T”.

We could even throw a little twist into to this one! Don’t tell us what your word is when you post your photos; let us try to spell out your chosen word in the comments. I will leave this part up to you to decide – if you would rather tell us what your word or words are before presenting your pictures, that’s okay too. But it could be a lot of fun for all of us to go around to each other’s blogs and try to figure out the word puzzles. So what do you say? Does that sound like fun? Maybe a good way for us to break out of these winter doldrums?

It would be great if we could have lots of participation in this photo hunt, so if all you wonderful readers wouldn’t mind sharing this photo hunt with your blog readers, I’d be oh so appreciative! Let’s say this photo hunt is due in three weeks – by Tuesday, February 25th. You remember how this works, right? Leave me a link in the comments of this post when you post your photo hunt. And if you need more time, just let me know. Deadlines are really loosey-goosey around here! Questions or comments? Feel free to leave those too.

September 22, 2013

I’m Still Here!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 9:32 am
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Hi there friends! It has been two weeks since I’ve written a blog post, and I thought it was about time I jumped back in. What has been keeping me away, you may ask? I’d like to be blaming my new best friend, but that so far does not seem to be the cause. Who is my new best friend, you may ask?
Dream come true!
Yes, it is here, the power is connected and the water is hot! Ahhhhh!
I really can’t blame Monsieur Le Hot Tub because I’ve been using it at night before I go to bed and that has never been a blogging time for me.

In addition to the installation of the hot tub, a tumble of activity has caused me to be away, I suppose. Since I last blogged, Sarah has started her on-road driving lessons with the driving school. I’ve spent some time getting her familiar with the car. Meghan stopped by for a quick visit before heading to the Big E. The last time I went to the Big E was two years ago. You can see a few posts from my visit then if you like. In this one, a bunch of animals have a crazy conversation. Here, I did a photo assignment for Scott Thomas. This one is a slide show of a ride down the big yellow slide.
One of my uncles also passed away last week, so I had some quiet visiting time with family.

This weekend was Family Weekend at Clark University. Sarah and I headed out to visit with Meghan. I took the girls to lunch yesterday at a place that used to be a favorite when I lived in the Worcester area so many years ago, O’Connors Restaurant.
Out to lunch
(I wish I had a photo without the stranger standing in front of the place, but this was a quick snap I decided on at the last moment)
It is a great Irish-themed restaurant with a wide variety of choices on their menu with all sorts of great Irish memorobilia and knick-knacks on the walls. This plaque was in the booth where we were seated:tee-hee

The rest of our girls’ day continued with shopping at a local mall (treated both girls and myself to some new shoes, woo-hoo!), Chinese take-out for dinner in Meghan’s dorm and a show on campus called “Clark’s Got Talent”. There were definitely some interesting acts. I told Meghan she should have auditioned with one of her lovely pointe dances and taken one of the top prizes for the night!

I had a great day spending it with my two daughters. I don’t remember the last time the three of us had a nice day like that. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.

I haven’t really picked up my camera in recent days (the photos above are from my phone), but today is the official start of autumn. Soon New England will be awash in beautiful color, so I am hoping to find the time to get out with the camera and try to capture some of it. I hope the final days of summer treated you well and that autumn brings you, as one of my blogging friends Carol likes to say, enough.

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