Greetings and welcome. Here are my thoughts and ramblings about my life as a writer, photographer, and artist. Life isn't all sunshine and flowers. I weave my way through as much heartache as joy to discover wondrous hidden treasures bubbling my soul. I cover numerous topics bouncing from one to another like a butterfly going from flower to flower. These explorations are fascinating. I hope you enjoy and find inspiration of your own. Namarie.
My morning writing has me thinking
about the lessons learned over the weekend. I’m always excited when I learn
interesting things. I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong, even when
embarrassing. If I make a mistake and I am wrong, I’ll own up to it and do what
I can to make it right.
For instance, one of our rules with
the newspaper is in only covering local news. I wrote about an event and left
out names of those who did not live in “our” area. Someone sent a letter. I
feel bad. It’s a wake-up call. Sometimes in my trying to be fair and do things
right, I do not look at the entire picture. I’ve been trying to make rules and
guidelines stricter than needed.
1. I realize even though there’s a
“rule,” we have to be flexible. Sometimes I need to look at a bigger picture
and see all who would benefit from the information.
2. Trying to be fair and treat
everyone (and every town) exactly the same is unrealistic. I was afraid that if
we allowed something in one area, it would open it up to others expecting the
same. I now understand that each instance and story needs to be treated as its
3. I’ve also come to realize that
treating everyone the same is not fair. Some people need more molly-coddling
(and yes, I fit that category) especially dealing with artists. This is how it
is. We are all humans and need to be treated with respect and not put in a box
designed to make us all alike. We are not all alike. We may have similarities,
but we also have differences and all aspects of a person deserve respect.
4. One of the reasons I love my editor
job at the newspaper is that we pride ourselves in being small-town/local. All
of the above has to be realized to maintain the type of integrity we want with
the InterTown Record. We want to be able to recognize individuals and not just
see a group of people as a whole or entire town. When people are no longer seen
as individuals, the individual no longer matters and they become numbers and
statistics that are easily written off.
This is what has happened in this
country. Individuals no longer matter and the “good of the whole” has been
swallowed by big business marketing and the country’s leaders protecting an
elite few. “Good of the whole” is now just a term to benefit whoever or
whatever group or business is saying it.
It’s up to us to keep our local
flavor and protect our people by giving them recognition when they deserve it
and by telling their stories. (And that’s impossible when an organization gets
too big which happens with buy-outs and all that... but that’s another subject.)
Most people living in the smaller towns do so to have that community-mindedness.
We love to walk down the street and have neighbors and passersby wave. It’s
great to know that should something happen, neighbors will step up to help.
I love the opportunity to tell
people’s stories and to give them recognition they deserve. Everyone has a
story. Everyone has an interesting life. All the media-hype and sensationalism
are not needed. Instead of focusing on all the negative going on in the world,
how about we tell individual stories of the wonderful people who live around
I was asked by personal chef, Barbara Bridgewater, www.feastofnh.com, of Bradford to shoot
photos to update her website. Many of you heard me mention how I love watching
the cooking shows on TV, but I’m a fussy eater and don’t like to cook. Meeting
Barbara was a great opportunity to learn more about cooking and food.
Yesterday I did my first stint at photographing food. I’ve
heard about spraying food with something to make it look more vibrant and
pleasing in photos. My mind struggles with that as I’m a photographer who works
hard to make a photo look real and Barbara is a chef who promotes healthy
eating. (The spraying of a chemical to make the food look better just doesn’t sit
so well with me… of course, I could be wrong.)
We had an enjoyable couple of hours. I got to
taste-test, too, which added to the enjoyment, and she provided take-home
containers giving me a delicious meal for later. I never eat asparagus because
I didn’t think I liked it, but she made it look so good, I decided to try it.
It was yummy and I will be eating asparagus again.
The first round photos came out OK; not great, but
passable. This is a learning experience for both of us. We both have ideas on
how to do better. I got up this morning with my mind overrunning with
suggestions and I couldn’t wait to get to the computer to email her. We are
inspiring each other. Hey, I’m willing to work for food! We’ll need to work out
details so we are both satisfied.
What’s interesting about Barbara is she’s a
vegetarian, her husband prefers meat, and they have relatives who require
special diets. This means she has the expertise to create tasty meals to fit any
client’s tastes and requirements. Also, her prices are reasonable and she is
planning to offer delivery in the local areas. She does all the grocery
shopping, prep work cooking, and she provides directions on heating and storing
leftovers. Imagine having your meals cooked and delivered!
I’m excited about this direction. I totally believe
that we all have something we are good at and it’s great when a barter-type
system can be worked out. In this case, I can take photos and help with writing
a blog/articles and I’ll make a little money and get some delicious meals in
return. What’s also good about this type of work is that it isn’t something
that requires specific times, so we work on the project when opportunity or
timing allows or as needed.
I spent the morning editing the rest of the photos
from Day 11 of the trip. Andrea and Lance Brownell had taken me to Homosassas
State Park. What an amazing place. I took well over 100 photos. I couldn’t help
it. I edited 60.
The flamingos look wrong… they are more orange than
pink. That was because it was mating season and they turn a more coral color
than what you normally think for flamingos. I printed out one of the photos in
8x10. The orange is pretty, but I’d rather have a photo of the flamingos in
their more natural color. Still, it will make a bright splash on my wall when I
get the picture matted and framed.
Homosassas State Park is part wild life refuge, zoo,
and rehabilitation area. Some of the area was caged and other areas were open
and wild birds would also visit. Black vultures were all around in the trees
waiting for an easy meal and would fly to the feeder boxes shared by flamingos,
egrets, swans, herons, and more. There are many types of birds including bald
eagles, red-shouldered hawks, and osprey which are being rehabilitated.
There’s a Florida panther, red fox, bob cat, and other
mammals, too, along with a hippopotamus which has been a resident since 1964.
What impressed me was how clean it was. The water in the streams was crystal
clear. The staff takes very good care of the property and their charges.
I would so love to go back there someday and now that
the pictures are edited, I can work on the story. I use the photos along with
notes and journal to help me remember the day. The photos help to better
describe because sometimes I feel my descriptions are not so great. I want to
I get so busy I forget to take a moment to write the blog.
I’ve made it to Day 11 in writing and editing photos
of the trip to Florida. Day 11 was an awesome day. I was staying with Andrea
and Lance Brownell in Citrus Springs and they took me to Homosassas Wildlife
State Park. It was a beautiful park and I took many pictures of birds and
animals. Some birds are wild and come and go at will. Others are being
rehabilitated from injuries. Some were in single cages (and all areas had
plenty of room for them to move around). Others were in more open shared areas.
Flamingos, swans, pelicans, storks, and various other
birds all co-existed together. Black vultures hung out in the tree tops and
would fly in to share food. The colors and textures were amazing! Even
expressions on various birds’ faces caught my attention.
What was also impressive was how clean the place was
and how well-cared for all the animals and birds were. I was surprised how
orange the flamingos were. I always thought they were pink. I learned they turn
a coral-color during mating season.
I’ve edited 36 photos from this one day so far. I will
be lucky if I can include four in the book. Then when it comes to the picture
book, I still won’t be able to do all. I hate having beautiful photos go to
waste. Maybe I’ll make cards or prints. I don’t know if anyone from here would
want southern photos, but many people vacation in Florida, so maybe I could
make some sales.
The writing is tough, in a way. On one hand, it’s
wonderful reliving the experience. On the other hand, it’s making me want to go
back so bad. I look at a picture and think that I should have done it another
way or taken other angles. I wish…
No, I can’t be regretting anything. It’s tough because
I have the travel bug and want to see everything again, see areas I missed, and
be able to take more time and not always be hurrying on to the next place. I so
loved it all!
The sad thing is, I probably will never ever be able
to afford to go again.