Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Shoot Out--Water

There are so many ways to search for water. It is one of the basic elements. Also, I am a water-sign. I've included sky-water (clouds), a lake that we walked around for a 5K for the AWA and Wildwood--the beach. I also included droplets on leaves. Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Purpose Driven in Darkness

The more I watch the news and work with children under five who have experienced more trauma than most adults, the more dedicated I become to a greater purpose. I know I am not the only one as I see through blogs that I follow as well as people that I've met, there are many of us who strive to do some good on this Earth. It is a blessing to be a force for love and compassion and a gift to be working towards this. The darker the room, the more a single flame can light it up.

There is no perfection when striving to be a force for good because we are all human. However, it is a choice to live for a better world. It starts with loving and being good to ourselves. Mother Theresa, an icon of compassion and love, described every step she took as blissful because she was full of love. Another quote of hers is, "Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired." It begins with loving ourselves and then letting it radiate outwards. Therefore, instead of feeling despair when reminded of all the darkness in the world, remember it as a wake-up call to be part of the cure.

Even the smallest of kind acts to the smallest of creatures matters.

Friday Shoot Out: Painting the Town Red

Anyone that knows me would describe me as someone who thinks in the abstract which makes my approach to this shoot out out of the norm for me. I took the assignment literally and found red things that I found interesting. The orange cat with the red flowers is one of my parents' six-toed cats. The butterfly was taken a few months ago at "The Butterfly Pavilion" in Colorado. "The Butterfly Pavilion" is a really nice museum, great for kids and adults, which includes a butterfly pavilion which has many beautiful species of butterflies. I saw many people with cameras practicing their craft.

I have always loved butterflies. They are like flying art, delicate and strong. Also, they are a powerful metaphor for transformation. (so much for not being abstract!)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Walking the Dogs

I am posting this because I know some of you are real animal lovers like me. Yesterday, I did a 5K for the local AWA. There were many people walking dogs and all the dogs were so well-behaved! This is a picture of one of the dogs up for adoption who was so sweet and laid back. I walked with my sister. This summer, I am going to volunteer with M (my boyfriend John's daughter) at the local animal shelter. I hope everyone has a wonderful day (including all the animals)!

I just want to add that there are free ways to help animals. One way is to help is to go the this blog: and click on the daily puppy--the puppies are so adorable on this site. This blogger is trying to build a no-kill shelter in Georgia.

Also, if you go to this site and click on fund foods for animals, you will also be helping animals--for free!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Shoot-Out Transportation

This one was a challenge for me because, where I live, there is not a huge amount of public transportation. If we did have it, I would happily avail myself of it. Having a car is a responsibility and a huge headache at times. I have a car with less than 30,000 miles on it and yet I am having problem after problem. Right now, the battery and check engine light are on and the mechanic does not know why. Now, I have to take it to the dealer to get the "computer reset"--whatever that means! Plus car insurance is an expense. All things considered, a bus ride or subway ride sound quite nice!

I did include a NJ Transit Bus which I do see around now and then. And, I included bigger vehicles from a corner near me where they are building a CVS. And, of course, a shot of the open road!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Art of Love and Kindness

Love and Kindness, as many of us know, are the core of a good life. As I often go on and on about, love and kindness to ourselves is key in being able to express it to others. What is also a core part of my belief regarding these two concepts is that expressing love and kindness can be seen as an art. There is no limit to the amount of love and kindness that can be shown and there is no limit to ways we can show it. It starts with ourselves and learning new and creative ways to be kind to ourselves. For me, it is allowing myself to do all the artistic things I enjoy without beating myself up about the quality of what I produce. I love to draw even though I am not particularly talented in this area.

Then, it can spread to people (and all living things) in our lives. One of my favorite things to do is give a gift that really fits the person I am giving it to. This is a real challenge sometimes which is how it becomes an art. For my friendly readers, I’d love to hear about some creative ways that you have been kind to yourself or others. Have a great day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Friday Shoot Out Gardens--Sorry I'm Late!

Here are some pictures from the Garden State! I've also included my "balcony garden" that I am hoping produces some tomatoes and cucumbers. We shall see! I am an amateur when it comes to growing things--my thumb is lightly yellow, hopefully heading to green.

My friends, I have a request of you. Many of you who are doing the friday shoot outs have a lot of great knowledge about photography. I use a digital sony right now, a very basic, everyday camera. I have wanted a really "nice", professional grade camera for a long time but they are extremely expensive. I have begun putting a little aside every week for the camera. I want to make sure that when I do get the camera that I get the "right" one since it really is an investment. I would really love any views on the best camera when you want to get "serious" about photography. Thanks!!! You guys rock!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Ripple Effect: Kindness Matters

Oprah today showed a celebrity, Will I Am, give four full scholarships to students who would not be able to go to college otherwise. This story reminded me of the importance of kindness and the theories of "the ripple effect" and "paying it forward". In Will I Am's case, he was from a single parent home and he said that his mother "raised him right." By her choice to be a good parent and work hard to make sure he was decent despite his friends ending up in jail, on drugs, and school drop-outs, she paved the way for his future actions, which has now turned into giving four young men having a better future who might also "pay it forward" and someday show an equal kindness. Sometimes, we do not know where our kindness towards others will lead, but I believe a kind act is never wasteful.

I think it is important for us to be more aware of kindness, what it means, and how to increase it. It has the power to change the world. Kindness starts with the self. The more kind we learn to be to ourselves, the more we are kind to others, even when we are not paying attention. Happiness breeds. It can be like a contagion just as misery can be. So, what kind thing will you do for yourself today? I'm going to hug Johnny (double kindness)!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday Shoot-Out Architecture

Hello, everyone. Here are some of my pictures for the shoot-out. I'm not that far from Atlantic City so I included some of the pictures of buildings I've taken there. Hope you enjoy!