Monday, January 25, 2010

Mind Shift

The quote on the picture:
If we cannot fix the animal mind inside of ourselves,
then how can we expect to achieve world peace,
how can we expect to make the whole world a single flower?

I made this picture from one of my sunflower photos I took. It was shortly after 9-11 and I had been thinking alot about why we as humans want to destroy one another. I cannot remember where the quote came from and I think it must have been anonymous. After watching the events in Haiti it reminded me again of how the world can come together to help a nation with such an outpouring after a tragedy such as the earthquake, but we cannot live in harmony because we want to fight over our differences in our spiritual beliefs. I also have to wonder about where was all this aid before the earthquake.  Haiti had problems before the earthquake hit and not many seemed to care. It just seems so sad that it takes a catastrophe such as this to make us take note of the daily suffering and devastation that surrounds us. We continue to live our comfortable lives not caring for others until the shifting of the ground causes a shifting in our thinking.

Maybe today should be the day that we all find one thing we can do to make our world a better place, not just for ourselves but for those in our neighborhood, our country or our world.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

You blink and they're gone..........

My picture for this week is a graphic I made to use on the swim schedule for last year. Like many sports teams they make a poster to post in businesses around town. The high school is large enough that it generally doesn't make sense to try and have all the team members, so the seniors receive a little special attention and recognition by being featured. The picture on the surface probably isn't that impressive, however let me share some background. The boys wanted the white t's and jeans, so I thought maybe we could grunge it up a bit with being in front of an old building where I love to take pictures. I also used one of my very favorite products, a filter for photoshop called, Topaz. LOVE IT! Well, the picture itself should have been fairly straight forward except for the day of the pictures, not everyone was available. Not giving up, we shot without them...... Now some would have said too bad, so sad, you just won't be in the picture, but not me, the mother in me wanted all of them in it.

We set up with the five that showed up and did what we could. I took two more the following week at the school and then the other two separately when we could. It was kind of a challenge but I think we managed to pull it off and no one knew they weren't all there at once. The boys were even amazed and it gave me the opportunity to remind them not to believe everything they see in print.

The seniors from last year were very special to me, considering one of them was my own baby. When I first saw this picture again it made me think how quickly it all passed. From a sputtering little toddler in the bath tub to a gigantic fish in the pool. And at 6'4" when he wore his full body suit, he was quite intimidating, like a big shark. It still makes me smile when I think of the first time I saw him with that on......... oh my. He even had a little speech he made at the end of the year about his "magic suit." I remember once the paper was interviewing after a meet where he had done particularly well and he was quoted as saying, "it was the new suit, I just felt faster" or something like that, he took a lot of ribbing about that for a while. At the end of the year I made books for the coaches and each kid had a page and was encouraged to write a personal note to the coach and we typed it and included it in the book. I used the poster picture for the cover and another picture of many of the medals for the back. It turned out really well. And in Brett's graduation book, I included a page about the "magic suit".

Looking back it is hard to believe that one minute they are needing a bandaid because they fell and skinned their knees and are sure they are going to bleed to death  and the next they have blood running down their legs from trying to shave their sasquatch-like legs with a disposable razor. (swim parents will get that...)

I know the phrase- you blink and they are gone - is so cliché, but it is so true. And now I've blinked.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Tranquil Dawn with the Manatees

This is a picture taken at Three Sisters Spring in Crystal River, Florida. We were there to swim with the manatees. Manatees are a funny creature - as ugly as a mud fence but as sweet like a big, dumb puppy. They love to follow you around and are curious little creatures. Did I say little? - they are huge, like a cow with flippers instead of legs. Matter of fact they are sometimes referred to as sea cows. They like to be scratched on their mossy covered skin. Their curiosity has lead to very sad endings for many of them because they get cut by boat propellers and tangled in fishing line. If you ever have the opportunity to swim with these ugly, yet adorable creatures....... DO IT!

I was reading through the list of facts about the manatees and was struck by the similarites and also the differences between them and the male of the human species, we'll call them MENatees........ read for yourself........
Similar = Green
Differences = Red

Manatee (and Menatee) Comparison Facts

  • Average Manatee 10ft long weighing 800-1200 pounds.
    OK, maybe not the male himself, but I would say most men have some hunk of metal or fiberglass in their garage that fits this description.
  • They have been known to reach 13 ft and 3500 pounds.
    Like I said above.........
  • When born they are 3-4 ft long and 60-70 pounds.
    Can you say NFL player?
  • Manatees are herbivores meaning plant eating animals.
    omgosh, feed a man salad only and he will be certain his demise is readily at hand
  • Manatees replace worn teeth throughout their lifetime.
    RIIIGHHTTT, ever try to get a man to go to the dentist......ain't happenin'
  • Manatees have fairly good vision and can distinguish between colors.
    As long as what they are looking at a blonde in a bikini....... socks on the floor? What socks on the floor?
  • Manatees cannot survive in temperatures below 68 degrees (20 Celsius).
    Men? Ice capades show? NO........Duck blind or Deer Stand........ heck yah!
  • Manatees spend 6-8 hours a day feeding.
    No expounding necessary.
  • Manatees surface for air every 3-5 minutes.
    During football season....... men surface for ..........beverages.
  • Manatees do not form permanent bonds when breeding.
    What is it Beyonce says? If ya liked then you shoulda put a ring on it......
  • Manatees can stay submerged up to 20 minutes.
    This does not work for men - I tried, he started to turn blue after 10.
  • Females mature for breeding at about 5 years old and 8 years old for males.
    Females always mature faster........ wait a minute.........that would imply that men eventually do mature.......
  • On average one calf is born every 5 years.
    That is about how often men notice something needs to be done around the house without being told. And by golly you better notice because he is going to keep bringing it up for the NEXT 5 years!
  • Gestation period is about 1 year long.
    The same amount of time it takes a man to digest a stadium hot dog.
  • Mothers nurse young for up to 2 years.
    We're just going to leave this one alone.
  • Manatees may live as long as 60 years.
    As long as they learn to at least pretend to listen to their mate.
  • Manatees do not have eyelashes.
    One word......guyliner.
  • Manatees prefer water 3-7 feet deep.
    Much higher than that and the water starts to run into the hip waders.
  • Manatees eat 10% to 15% of their body weight each day.
    Don't deny it men would if you could.........

    Since I didn't end up with any good digital pics of the manatees, I borrowed the one. Listed is also his blog, which you should check out:

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Porcelain Hearts

Some hearts can be likened to Grandma’s fine china. Passed down from generation to generation, kept under the protection of display case, where all can view it but are not to touch. Only being taken out on special occasions, for all to admire and very cautious when using so as not to damage it. Only those who are aware of it’s fragile state are allowed to handle it and then replacing it carefully back in it’s case. It becomes a part of only the utmost important occasions but never day to day use. But why? Why even keep something if you are too afraid to use it? We should want to use and share our hearts everyday, like using the fine china to eat grilled cheese sandwiches, the crystal goblets to drink lemonade. We should respect it and be gentle with it but want to make memories with it, take it out of the display case and give all a chance to experience it’s beauty. Every chip, a story, every broken plate, a lesson - never to be perfect again, only hope that for each piece lost, a replacement can be found. And maybe, just maybe when the time has come for it to be passed along, the memories created by using our heart will have provided all those around us with a generous and satisfying helping of life served with a beautiful presentation.

Monday, January 04, 2010


I have decided if nothing else, I am going to try to post a picture of the week. I will tell a bit about the picture and what if any changes have been made.

I took this picture as I was on my way home from work one day. It was growing beside a fence and I jumped out and snapped the picture. I needed a background picture for a poem. I cropped out the sunflower, off centered it and enhanced the color. I created a background and then used a photoshop filter to create the watercolor look.