photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Posts tagged “flowers

Two Days to Go

I spoke with my adviser today who confirmed that I have 25 credit hours to go before I receive my B.S. in Psychology. I need 120 total, and I have over 100 already, but my problem is that I need 36 hours of upper level courses in my major. So, I’m buckling down and preparing to finish up my final year. I have two finals to go (which I’ll take on Saturday) and then I get to take the summer off. I always feel so haggard by this point, as if I’m clawing my way through the finish line- one bloody fistful after the next.  We worked out my schedule for the fall; it looks like it’s going to be:

Personality Theory
Evolutionary Psychology
The Psychology of Learning
Statistics for Health Professionals

That’s a barrel of wild fun if I’ve ever seen one.

Time to veg out on some cooking shows with my culinary masterpiece: a baked pork chop with a can of cream of chicken dumped on top. Gourmet! Strangely, I get a sadistic thrill eating my lukewarm slop while watching those prissy chefs grate truffles over imported foie gras.

Today’s walk: Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.4 (Clearly still obsessed with dandelions)
dandyMJdandymj2

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A Very Special Thank You to a Very Special (Extended) Family

I’m far too excited to sleep. I’ve only got 2 weeks left in the semester! I’ve been up for hours researching Master’s programs and trying to decide if I want to move away when I begin working on my PhD. That’ll be a few years from now but I’ve actually been thinking of moving much sooner. My kids are all grown and everybody’s on their own, pretty much, but I can’t leave my mother, so I’m sticking around this ole town. At least for a year or two more. (But it’s in the cards.)

The major hurdles are over this semester and I’ve only got my term paper on OCD to tighten up and two finals remaining. That’s reason to celebrate. 🙂 The mood around the house is jovial and I’m feeling packed full of love!

For anyone who may be reading this who has chosen to follow my blog and has offered your support over the weeks, months, and years, both emotionally and artistically, I want to take this time to thank you. I started out writing this blog so that my kids could have a piece of me when I’m gone. And, so perfect strangers might read my story (BIO) and see my pics and be inspired. I’ve had a lot of hard knocks in this world, but they’ve only served me. I like to tell people that the more cuts you have in your stone, the greater your shine, and that’s so true.

What’s started out as a lone walk through bloggie land (more than three years ago) has turned into me claiming several hundred of you as family, and you certainly are. You’ve supported me, held me together (stapled, tied and glued!), encouraged me when I was downtrodden, and made me laugh when I thought it impossible. I love all of you. ♥ Oh! And thanks a whole heap extra for encouraging me to hang in there when I wanted to quit school (a million times)!

Thank you guys- friends and strangers alike. Here are some flowers for you. 🙂 MUCH LOVE. xo And Oloriel, if you’re reading this, the 2nd pic is especially for you. I thought of you when I was editing it- it totally reminds me of you. :0)

Taken two days ago- Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.4 vintage film lens
(I’m totally in love with this rocking lens.)

1cherryblossomsCOLOURmjfloral4flowerpower

One more thing. SAMI, if you’re reading this, I want you to know that I MISS YOU VERY MUCH. I hope things are well, and I hope you’re still toughing out that journalism major! I also hope “other situations” are better too. I miss our many chats. Lots of love to you. X


A Very Special Thank You

Yesterday was such an awful day for me:everything was so dark. Ever the optimist, I know that these times are cyclic. They’re bound to happen and they’re inescapable but they won’t last forever. I hadn’t felt so depressed in a such long time. Since Chance (my dog) ripped my ring finger open, I’ve had to hand-write all of my notes in my classes. Today, I took 33 pages of notes (33!) on dissociative disorders, fugue, and the predispositions of unipolar and bipolar disorders for monozygotic and dizygotic twins. (33 pages!)

Last week it was 30+ pages on schizophrenia and psychotic disorders, and that’s just one class; there are three others. So, life has been a blur of mania and depression and lots of it (note-wise). It’s really no wonder that I’ve been a bit depressed, seeing how I haven’t seen the outside of my bedroom in days and I’m consuming 30+ pages of hardcore psychiatric disorders daily. The bright side is that I’m retaining 90% of what I’m studying and don’t have to look twice at my notes. Once they’re written down, the info. is locked in, pretty much. But still, yesterday was horribly black.

Until, that is, I received a knock at the door.

There was a special delivery and he brought me these!

ImageI knew immediately who they were from. My very special friend “Y”. (No, she’s not a spy, but she is fiercely private, just as I am. So respectfully, she’ll remain anonymous.)

And then my bitter scowl turned into this! (That Proactiv is good stuff, man.)

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I figure that’s the least I owe you, Y. 🙂 (And yes, those are your flowers in the background.)

Nobody’s ever sent me flowers before. (I know!) Thank you a million times over. You’ve been there for me over the years more than anybody else. You’re a GEM and I love you dearly. My icky clouds have passed over and I’m feeling right as rain again. (I had no idea I could be bought with flowers. I’m so cheap!)

Thanks again so much for showing that you care. Love you. xo

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Black and White

I’m thinking about setting my camera to monochrome and not shooting in colour (or allowing myself to) for one whole year. I know it sounds crazy but that’s the kind of thing I like to do. When I look out into the world, I see in black and white. I see lighting mostly- shadows and ranges of exposure- tonal ranges. I can stare off in a room full of people and be in my own little world (I’m sure it looks like I’m deep in thought) but really, I’m converting a branch, a table, a moving mouth into monochrome and watching the shadows and lighting change places in my mind.

This is what my creative eye is doing no matter where I go or who I’m with and I rarely deviate. When I went to Southern Illinois with Josh, he wanted to fish, so he fished; but I wanted nothing more than to run up into the hills with my camera. Blossoms were opening up everywhere and colour was shooting to life all around me but the most beautiful thing I saw was a stark branch, unadorned and unassuming.

I painted it black and white in my mind and it was so very beautiful. I gave it a pretty pink coat in Photoshop, but I shot it in monochrome in natural lighting- all manual, naturally.

I call it simply:

 Blush

ImageI love the dancing bokeh in the background.

Specs: 50 MM 1.8 II/manual focus/manual exposure/natural lighting
Shot in monochrome/Canon Rebel T3i/Sh. sp.: 1/800th sec
F/ 1.8/ISO 100

I was inspired by the cranberry hue after seeing my friend, Ingz, from Redbubble (THE most amazing fine art site in the world- don’t waste your time at Fine Art America/FAA)  do the same in one of her pieces. She’s an amazing artist- so clean and elegant. I’m expecting some new equiptment soon- particularly another Lensbaby and this time, it’s coming with the pinhole/zone plate. I could just cry. :0) (Thanks again for all of your prayers in that department, Soul Walker. XO)

Maybe I’ll accept my own monochrome challenge.
(We’ll see.)


Stress Level: Blowing Gaskets

Today has been an unusually stressful day. I’ve been working on my new art site, which I won’t reveal until it’s completely finished. It’s definitely in its embryonic stages. I have so much school work to catch up on and we’re financially strapped, as usual. Some of my photography art acquaintances have Donate to PayPal tabs up on their sites and many are actually receiving donations. I can’t bring myself to do that. I will work hard to sell my art work instead; that means pounding the virtual pavement and hobnobbing with the elite in the art world. Nothing to complain about, I assure you. But work is work, and I’m so limited on time these days. To put it simply, school is eating me up alive. Research, essays, and reports: my head feels like it’s in a pressure cooker, or an olive that is being slowly squeezed of its precious substances. The arachnoid cyst on my brain stem is acting up again and the pain is relentless and intense, but it doesn’t slow me down- it should.

It’s snowing outside- March snow. I should be taking a Psychology exam but I’m going to pop an Ambien and call it a night. It’s 1:00 a.m.

I just needed to write something.
I should cry.

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Overbooked and Understaffed

Lately, life seems to be flying by. This is what things look like to me right now:Image  Museum of Modern Art/man studying exhibit/New York, New York
Canon Rebel XSI/Sigma 17-70/Handheld/manual focus/manual exposure

I’ve recently discovered that I’ve been grossly misplaced and put in the wrong class at my school, Vincennes University. I was signed up for Public Speaking (via advisor) and added to a course whose professor is now retired, and has been for some time. When I went to submit my assignment, I was told that one of the professor’s cohorts had taken over. When I shared this with the staff that misplaced me, I was told that the replacement class was full.

(Here we go.)

Needless to say, I straightened out the mess, and although I am now officially eight weeks behind in the new class (again, erroneously on the school’s part and at no fault of my own), I am somehow the first in my class to submit my 13 question and answer discussion on various parts of the speech and communication process. I’m not sure if that’s pretty darn impressive on my part or pretty pathetic where my classmates are concerned. Eight weeks in and not one assignment submitted to the discussion board? (I’m hoping I’ve screwed something up somewhere, but that’s not likely.)

Either way, I’m excited to be assigned a professor who is not only proficient at his job, but he’s a little tougher than most, and I love that. High-pressured, extensive assignments are what drive me. I actually asked to be moved out of a class once because the professor stated in his syllabus that a “book” wasn’t necessary in his course, and instead of using any academic references, he chopped his syllabus into six sections and asked that we use that as our “material” for the duration of the class. I reported him immediately and was told that several other students had done the same thing. I wasted no time in being moved into a more challenging class.

I’m also going to be scheduling three book readings for my children’s  book, Peanut Butter Soup, in the local tri-city area: all cities that I went to school in. Tomorrow is the actual Read Across America Day, which coincides with Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and while I would love to do the book readings then, I’m so crunched for time I’m going to have to set back the dates to the following week. I ordered three paperback copies today that are being overnighted to me. I’ll be able to sign them and contribute one book per school library. School readings aren’t the time or place to promote your book. (That’s what book signings and media taps are for.) School readings are all about connecting with the kids, planting some very important seeds, and shining the spotlight on the kids and listening to them. It’s also the time to remind yourself (if you’re an author, such as me) that you are not a rock star and it is not about you. It’s all about the kids.

I was told by one of the school’s staff at the last book reading, that she had never seen her class respond to anyone before in such a way. She said it was like therapy for the kids.  🙂 That’s the best compliment that a children’s book author can possibly receive- it was for me, anyway. They also gave me a round of free tickets to the school’s play, and a bouquet of fresh wildflowers. It was the school I went to as a child, and I was incredibly honoured to be able to go back 34 years later and share my life with those kids.

My wildflowers given to me by the school:
Image Lensbaby Composer pro-Double Glass Optics f/4/Manual exposure/manual focus/natural lighting

“Are you rich?” One of the kids asked me. (I laughed.)

“Are you?” I asked him.

“No, but you wrote a book. You’re not rich?”

“No,” I said to him, smiling. “In fact, I’ve never been rich, and barely had any money at all when I wrote this book.” I said. “You don’t have to have a lot of money to do things you want to do in life. You just have to have the desire and willpower,” I said.

By the time I left one classroom and made my way to the next one, the class had already heard that I sing too, and yes, they made me sing a song, A capella, which I did, gladly.

“Why aren’t you on American Idol?! Dang! You can sing!” One of the girls said.

“Because then I would be all rich and famous and I wouldn’t be here with you. And I’d rather be here with you.” I answered.

It wasn’t a “book reading”, it was an event. I’ve never had a better time in my life.

Tonight Josh and I are headed out of town for some much needed R&R. My mom is under the weather and I’ll be fixing her a delicious meal, finishing up a Behavioral health (model) project, enjoying some ginger & lemon tea with an unhealthy dose of pre-calculus, and cramming in some Jeopardy. (Yes, that’s how I relax…)

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