Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 16, 2016

Chasing Waterfalls

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 6:00 am
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One of my early summer adventures this year involved a couple of my favorite things. A day spent with both my daughters, having fuzzy Teddy along for the ride and photography. I feel lucky that I got my girls to agree to go on this ride-along with me! The four of us piled into my car and headed west to the Chester-Blandford State Forest, about a 50 minute ride from here.

I had hopes of taking some really spectacular pictures of rushing water, but it probably should have occured to me that late June of a fairly dry spring wouldn’t be the time for wild water. However, we enjoyed an easy walk through the shade of trees and followed a path that eventually turned out at a small fall that I imagine could be quite pretty when flowing at full capacity. I took this picture with Meghan in the shot to give some idea of scale.
megfall

Sarah and Teddy waited near the bottom while Meghan climbed up to do a bit of exploring.
sarahted

My best shot of the bunch I took:
waterfall1

So not a glamorous rushing thundering waterfall shot, but a good day! Sunshine, a walk, my daughters, my dog, and my camera – time well spent.

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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!

July 7, 2014

Soothing Sunday and Monotonous Monday

Sunday, the 17th day of summer, brought a new, soothing experience for me. I tried hot yoga for the first time. My regular workout routine has been on hold this week due to my back acting up and I’d been hearing quite a bit about hot yoga from my sister and other people too. It seemed like time to give it a try.

I wasn’t sure what to expect walking into the super-heated room. I don’t know what the exact temperature was but it wasn’t overwhelming. I sweated, that’s for sure! The instructor’s voice was soothing, and he was helpful to newbie me in getting the correct form for poses. I enjoyed the experience and would definitely do it again sometime.

I continued my soothing day once again enjoying the new-found comfort of the air mattress in my pool. I thought it would be nice if I could show you my view as I lazily floated, drifting in gentle circles. I was wearing sunglasses, so to make the photos as close to what I was seeing as I could, I added the polarizing filter to my lens to be my camera’s “sunglasses”.

floating view 1

floating view 2
Hi Meghan!

floating view 3

pool ducky

In a very unusual situation for us, just Meghan and I were home for dinner Sunday night. So, like with Sarah the night before, we enjoyed dinner al fresco. After dinner we watched the movie “Dirty Dancing” – Meghan had never seen it before.
Dirty_Dancing

Can you believe it has been 27 years since that movie came out? Ay-yi-yi!

Day 18 turned out to be a kinda blah day. A day for errands and making appointments, just going through the motions.
Reminders

I ran errands while hubby worked on fixing our leaking A/C. We have central air and it was leaking water all over the basement.

Teddy hid from the heat in his playhouse cave.
Hiding from the heat

For not knowing what was for dinner when I started the day, I turned out a pretty good one in my opinion. A little mixed grill of kebabs with help from Cooking Light magazine:
kebabs for dinner
The ones on the left are yogurt-garlic chicken with zucchini and the ones on the right are southwestern style beef with cherry tomatoes and avocado.

February 13, 2014

Here we snow again…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:14 am
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Silly dog! Doesn't know when to come in from the snow!

What’s that saying about not being smart enough to come in from a storm? I seriously wonder about Teddy sometimes. This picture is actually from last Wednesday’s snow day, but I am home again today for a snow day. **Sigh** School vacation is next week so today feels like a waste for a day off, but what can we do?

Here’s what I’m going to do. Right now I’m writing a blog post. Want to see my pretty breakfast from this morning?
Pretty breakfast

Remember that I told you recently that I’ve been doing my best to add good protein to my diet? By my calculations that breakfast contains about 25 grams. I recently learned about Ezekial bread as a source of good protein. Have you heard of it? It’s interesting. To me it tastes like whole grain bread but with a denser texture because it is made with sprouted grains rather than flour.

I plan to exercise later this morning too. I’ve got all this time on my hands so I think maybe I will try something new today. Thursday is usually a rest day with the routine I’ve been following, but I think I need to get this body moving. I’m intrigued by Jillian Michael’s newest video “Yoga Inferno” so I may give this a try. Amazon Instant Video is a great tool to have around on a day like today.

I should really refill my new bird feeder too. I don’t think I’ve shown you this one.
New feeder

I have a long history with bird feeders, and trying to find the right one. I’ve had squirrel proof ones that the squirrels have destroyed. I’ve had suet feeders that starlings and grackles do a number on almost immediately. More recently I bought glass tubed ones to prevent critters from wrecking them, but these are bad for the winter I’ve discovered. Any wet weather followed by freezing temperatures causes the seed to be stuck in ice. Now I’ve got this plastic feeder. It has a squirrel baffle on the bottom, and drainage holes too. It is easy to fill by sliding it down the pole you can see underneath.

Mr Cardinal

I think Mr. Cardinal is waiting for a refill! My apologies for the blur on some of these shots. I’ve been playing with my iPhone camera’s zoom. On the small iPhone screen these look fine of course, but blown up for computer size, not so much. I admit I’m drawn to the ease with which I can share these photos as well. I added the Flickr app to my phone and now I can just drop my shots into Flickr in no time.

Are you having a snow day where you are? What are you planning to do today? Working on my photo hunt is something you could try to pass the time!

March 18, 2013

Stripping Away the Color

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 6:00 am
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When Scott announced his photography assignment for this month, I wasn’t sure I would participate. Black and white photography!I thought to myself, oh dear, not a favorite for me.
For me photography is all about color – yes, composition and subject are huge parts too, but I just didn’t know if I could find any of my photos that would be interesting enough to present in black and white. I don’t react well to black and white photography as a general rule. I’ve had this pre-conceived notion in my head that black and white is always moody.
However, to show my support of Scott’s tenacity for bringing us new assignments every other month ( I know how much work it is to write those wrap-ups from when I did the photo hunts), I decided to peruse my archives to see if I could find some shots of interest. I believe I still like these photos better in color, but I can see some appreciation of the subtleties of black and white as well.
In this first picture, Meghan had asked me to take a picture of her in an arebesque on pointe so that she could use it for an art project.
b&wmeg
In removing the color from this photo, I noticed shadows both on the walls and in the mirrors that I hadn’t seen in the color version. I think that adds some interesting movement to the shot that wasn’t in the color one. The Christmas decorations still hanging on the walls are little less emphasized in the black and white version as well.

For this photo, it occurred to me that Teddy could make a good subject for black and white photography since he is really a study in contrasts to begin with.
b&wteddy
Teddy has a truly expressive face, and at times it is quite comical, but black and white seems to bring an unusually sorrowful look to his usually clown-like face.

I chose to include this last shot in the black and white assignment because when I originally posted it in color in the “What Winter Means to Me” assignment, my mother happened to comment on how much she liked the “black and white” photo of my backyard! There was very little color in the original, so I decided to see what it would look like completely stripped away.
b&wyard
The photos don’t look extremely different, but I think the black and white looks more like bad weather is imminent.

For a transitional month, so lacking in natural color, this black and white assignment turned out to be one that I could work with afterall! I am, however, very much looking forward to the colors of spring!

Scott’s assignment isn’t due until this Wednesday the 20th if you think you’d like to join in!

December 30, 2012

Well that was unexpected!

At least it was unexpected by me.  For reasons unfathomed by hubby or myself, we set out to visit friends living about an hour away in a very “country” section of Connecticut yesterday afternoon – without checking the weather forecast!  On Friday I had noted that Saturday’s forecast was calling for an inch or two of snow.  Eh! I thought, what’s an inch of snow?

Our arrival in Woodstock CT was greeted with a very slippery driveway – a covering of snow over some previously frozen ice.  All the husbands from my group of friends, plus daughter’s boyfriend, worked at getting my little red Ford unstuck from the bottom of the driveway.  With several of these helpful souls pushing and my driving and trying to steer up the upward curving driveway, we arrived at the top with several fewer layers of rubber on my tires.

After that eventful start to our get-together, we settled inside for drinks, food, conversation and laughter with dear friends.  Outside, the snow continued to pile up.  We noticed snow plows passing by several times on the country dirt road.  My husband’s concern for our travel home deepened as the night went on.

By the end of the evening, when everyone was wishing to head out for home, the driveway had pretty much been blocked off with a snowbank from the passing plows.  Husbands again went to work clearing the way.  My hubby lamented several times about our lack of checking the weather foreccast.  If we had realized what we were in for, we most certainly would have chosen his 4-wheel drive Chevy Suburban to travel in.  Usually my car is our travel-vehicle of choice due to its better gas mileage and smaller number on the odometer.

What followed was a white-knuckled, foot-shaking, stiff-necked, 20 mph ride home.  Living in New England, of course I’ve driven in snow before, but I found something about last night’s ride scary.  The roads in Connecticut were snowy and slippery and not well lit.  I was the responsible driver for my family and daughter’s boyfriend. I was the protector, at the time, of three young lives in my backseat.  Several times I wanted to pull over and ask hubby to drive, but we were afraid of losing momentum and ending up stuck in the snow with those tires now missing a bit more tread than they had arrived on if we dared to stop the car.  So onward, slow and steady, we made the trek home.

In the morning, I had a look around.

what I woke up to this morning

This was definitely more than an inch or two!

Although it wasn’t fun for driving, the dogs certainly found it fun for playing!

Chase time
Teddy and his stick
Dog tug-of-war 2
Dogs consider stick
Golden retriever snow portrait
Collie snow portrait

All is well that ends well, right?

Announcement:  Today is the beginning of a new week and at midnight tomorrow into Tuesday we ring in a new year.  How about we go for that dinner photography blog-along I mentioned a little while ago?  Take pictures of your dinner for about a week any time between now and January 13th – that’s two weeks from today, then post the pictures, along with a description, in a blog post.  Leave me a link in the comments in this post, and I will write a wrap up to send everyone around to maybe get some new ideas for dinner.  As I stated before, it matters not to me if your dinners are fancy or plain, homemade or pre-made, take-out or eat-in, vegetarian or carnivorous.  Like to use recipes?  Post a link if you like!  Prefer to do “a little of this, and a little of that”?  That’s okay too!  Just show me your food!  Due dates are loosey-goosey! 😉

December 27, 2012

Dogs, a little snow and a Fire!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 4:42 pm
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Some of you may remember that I am not a huge fan of winter, but that even I was wishing for a touch of snow to make things look pretty outside.  The winter storm that just finished piling on the mid-west and made its way here to the northeast last night dropped a few inches here.  Then it rained heavily this morning and washed a lot of it away and left piles of slush.  I’m looking out the window right now at what appears to be what the weatherfolk refer to as a “wintery mix”.  Just messy, not pretty unfortunately.

Christmas morning snow

Christmas morning also brought a touch of the white.  It wasn’t enough to cover the lawn, but the dogs enjoyed it.
Daphne love snow

dogs play in the snow

We had a peaceful Christmas morning.

Christmas morning tree

stuffed stockings

the girls with gifts

Christmas collie

Oh, and you must be wondering about that fire in the title! No, it wasn’t that kind of fire, it was this kind:
New Kindle Fire!
Dear hubby surprised me with a Kindle Fire for Christmas. We had decided we were buying them for the girls for Christmas – imagine my surprise with being presented with one myself!

Later in the day we welcomed family for dinner, gift-giving
The stuff of Christmas

and desserts galore.
Desserts Galore

The new dishwasher hummed quietly throughout the day!  Tell me about your day in the comments if you like!

July 30, 2012

As Summer Wears On

Hard to believe it is nearly August.  Summer is passing too quickly!  A friend posted this on Facebook recently and I couldn’t agree more:

Four weeks from today I will be back in school, so I’m trying to remind myself to enjoy every moment.  Here are some moments I’ve recently enjoyed:

IMG_8616

We celebrated my younger daughter’s 15th birthday with family and friends.  Her actual birthday is this Thursday, so I can’t help thinking about how 15 years ago at this time I was so huge and uncomfortable.  It was a nasty hot summer – kind of like how it has been around here recently – and nothing I did seemed to feel better.  15 years ago!  Wow!

Then:

And now:

Sarah1

We got some much needed rain this past weekend – unfortunately during Sarah’s birthday party.  I think the absolute heaviest was exactly when my husband was cooking at the grill:

Police department issued rain gear came in really handy!  Photo credit to Meghan and her iPod – she was more on the ball that I was.

In the quiet moments between shopping and cleaning and otherwise preparing for the party, the butterfly bushes provided more photography opportunities.  A couple of yellow tiger swallowtails have been happily cavorting:

yellow swallowtail 1

yellow swallowtail 2

yellow swallowtail 3

I found this species very interesting too:
Butterfly Bush collie

I think its Latin name is “collius buddlejollius”  😉 (okay who remembers that obscure reference from an earlier post?)

July has been pretty full of good summer fun – check my archives if you’d like to see what I’ve been up to – and August has plenty more to offer.  Meghan is going to have her senior portraits taken next week (YIKES!  I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around the fact that my older daughter will be a senior in high school in 4 weeks!  How the heck did that happen?) and our family vacation to Maine comes up in less than 2 weeks.  And don’t forget – the “Ends of the Earth” photo hunt is in August too.

January 28, 2012

Did I sleep through February?

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 2:45 pm
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IMG_7213

It sure felt like I must have today.  As the dogs and I went for our walk today, I’d swear it was late March.  The sun shined in a cloudless sky
IMG_7212

that reflected in large puddles
IMG_7216

and patches of melting ice
IMG_7218

At 45°F in glorious sunshine, I thought I must be taking an early-spring rather than mid-winter walk.  We meandered our favorite path through mud and muck without complaint.
IMG_7214

Teddy thought it a fine day for a stroll through the freely flowing stream, while I enjoyed taking this handsome collie profile with sun-sparkly water in the background:
IMG_7220

The calendar did indeed say January 28, not March 28 when we arrived home.  If this is Mama Nature’s way of perhaps righting some wrongs of last year, I will take it! Thanks, Mama, for a lovely day!

December 11, 2011

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling too…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:46 pm
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Can you believe Christmas is only 2 weeks away?  The past few days have been a flurry of activity in preparation for the upcoming holiday.  Many miles have been logged by hubby and me as we’ve gift shopped, Christmas tree hunted and made multiple trips to get  what we needed for decorating.  Had there been snow on the ground, a sleigh ride probably would’ve been more efficient!  As we got busy putting up the tree, I put my iPod on Pandora and chose Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” as my “station”. That’s one of my favorite Christmas songs.  Want to see a clip of one of the cutest dances ever to that song? Okay:

Yes, that’s my Meghan, about 5 years ago.  I wish I had video available to post of the whole dance – it was adorable.

Okay, ahem, sorry about that little diversion. I still have “Sleigh Ride” stuck in my as I heard it in many variations throughout the weekend, hence the title of my post tonight.

In the process of putting up the tree, we discovered that my favorite strings of red, white and green lights – alternating on single strings- were burning out and we wouldn’t be able to use them.  This saddened me a bit because I have never been able to find exact  replacements for them.  We bought individual strands of red, white and green to help fill  in a few years ago, but those weren’t working this year.  I don’t know if it was the tree or us, but nothing we tried seemed to make it look right.  Then Meghan offered to pop out  lights from the 3 different colored strands and pop them back together to make 3 new strands of the type that I like.  I sat down to help and got a lot popped out pretty quickly.  Upon attempting put the lights back in, we discovered the different bulbs would not go on the other strings of lights!  ARGH.  We gave up and went and bought different lights.  But not before Teddy had a chance to try out the decorations:
IMG_6976

IMG_6977

IMG_6979

After much more work than it should have been – there were issues with the stand too **SIGH** – the tree was finally done:
tree

That was yesterday.  Decorating continued today with putting up my Christmas village.  I told you about my village last year in this post.  The village changes a bit each year in the pieces I choose display and how I choose to display them.  I have two sections of village this year.  The first section is my downtown/suburbs area:
village1

This year I added a quiet “countryside” area:

village2

When I get around to pulling out the tri-pod, I’ll show you some of the neat close-up details on some of these pieces.

My back is aching, and Christmas tunes are still playing in my head, but I feel very accomplished at the close of this weekend.  My Christmas shopping is not done, but a large chunk has been taken care of, and the decorating is done.  Unless I decide it’s not.  I have another idea in my head, but time will tell whether I actually do it. We have a party to go to next weekend, and sometime in the next two weeks, this house needs some serious cleaning since we are the hosts of Christmas dinner.  OH, and I still need to get my 4 seasons assignment for Scott posted!

I was going to write several posts tonight and schedule them for later in the week, but I don’t think the back is going to allow.  Hopefully, I’ll get a couple more posts in than I did last week.  I hope your holiday preparations are coming along nicely for you!

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