Blog Archives

Back to Business as Usual.

I’ll admit, I’m still torn as to whether I should keep on blogging about Walt Disney World or go back to life as we used to know it here at TD365.  So what I’m thinking is this;  I’ll write about what I feel like writing about.  Cause, well…  that’s what I’ve done for the last few years here.  LOL  Why change it now.  😉  That doesn’t mean I’m done writing about Disney, it just means I’m going back to writing however my muse pulls me.  Sound good?

Now, I think I’m going to cuddle my sleeping girl for a bit.  Watch a little streaming TV with her Daddy.  Then tuck myself into bed for the night.  I’m missing Bran tonight.  He would have commented on my last post…  and written to me on FB today.  I have a feeling my one FB post would have prompted a good laugh between the two of us.  Losing a much loved friend really freakin’ sucks.  😦

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A cornball view of spirituality and a patch of dirt.

There are few things as truly good for the soul as dark rich soil and all the life contained within.  Of course, there are few things as jarring for the body as cultivating a yard gone to meadow and then planting said yard with perennials.  So while my mind and heart sing out a blissful YES, my body wimpers, sobs, and groans in protest – but it’s worth it.

One of the greatest tools for ripping apart the surface of a yard yet to become garden is the Garden Claw.  And for my parent’s purchase of said tool years ago I am grateful.  It takes some work; jabbing it into the ground, twisting and wrenching, ripping up that tough top layer filled with root and unwanted growth.  My arms were already sore from the previous begun cultivation, but without this particular tool?  I can’t imagine the work it would have been.  With all the tree roots in our yard, there was no mechanized way to really dig in – and I don’t mind having the chance to feel truly involved with this process.

There isn’t much that’s all that gratifying about jabbing, twisting, and pulling up clumps with the Garden Claw…  nor is there much to take joy in while you use your hand fork to rake through the mess pulling out unwanted plant and root – inch by inch.  Shaking loose the dirt held within each clump.  But the next step?  It makes it all worth the effort!

Feeling that dark rich soil that waited for you, hidden just beneath?  It’s pure heaven.  Watching and discovering the infinite life contained within stirs the soul in ways nothing else does.  Connecting with the Earth at the most basic level, on your hands and knees as you commit each tiny plant to it’s home.

I’m not a gardener.  I don’t know the names of all the crawling creeping things within the soil, nor do I know the names (common or proper) of the perennials we planted the last couple of days.  But I do know that we all need to find a way to connect to our Earth.  If you ever need to see deity, to feel the Earth breathe life and to know that we are all connected?  There is no simpler way to do so than to pick up a trowel and go find a patch of dirt that has been lying in wait for someone to tend it – to turn it from dirt to soil.  To create with it something amazing.

A bit cornball?  Maybe.  But that’s me.

Goodnight iPad (a modern bedtime tale) & We Give Books

Two things to share tonight.  🙂  One is the We Give Books website/program.  It’s simply too awesome NOT to share.  And the other is a book we stumbled across while there.

Goodnight iPad screenshot from We Give Books

"Goodnight iPad" screenshot from the We Give Books website

We Give Books is an incredible website where you can read new, classic, and popular Penguin Books titles to you children…  for free.  That’s right.  FREE.  We only discovered the site this afternoon and have already gone through seven titles that were brand new to us (the girl loves the Ladybug Girl books).

You can sign up for free (there’s that word again) using your FB or Twitter account, or the old fashioned way by filling out a form.  Then you choose a campaign to support…  which is where We Give Books gets even better – yep.  Better than free!  Can you imagine?  What happens next?  Just pick out a book and start reading.  When you get to the end, a button will show up that says “give a book”.  Click it.  Know what that means?  It means a book has just been donated to whichever campaign you chose to support.

Check it out!!!  Seriously!

We Give Books – www.wegivebooks.org

Now while you’re there, you have to look up “Goodnight iPad”.  It’s way too freakin’ awesome.  A parody on the classic bedtime story “Goodnight Moon” for those of us who are plugged in.  It really is fabulous, and, no joke, it had my husband and I laughing out loud as we attempted to read it to the kid.  😉

So, there you go!  Two fabulous discoveries!

Now get reading!

Dear Photograph…

Looking for something to inspire me.

I find, I sometimes, need a bit of a kick-start.

Sometimes I just keep hitting “stumble” until I find something that makes my soul say WOW!

One day, I hope people will find my “Power of SHe” project and find that it offers them the same fuel that these people offered me.

I’m feeling quirky and a little off…  I had a few things I thought about blogging today, but none of them fit just right.  So I went off a stumbling in search of a little inspiration.  Sometimes it works, sometimes I just get ticked off by the lack of anything valuable out there, the lack of vision.  Today though?  Today it worked.  Today I found “Dear Photograph“.

The idea is to take a photo of a photo in the place it was originally taken, and write a little note to the photo… sharing in a few sentences why it is of value.  I may just have to go through the albums of old photos sitting on my mother’s shelf and see what I can come up with.  🙂

Here’s a tiny taste of what you’ll find there:

dear photograph

Dear Photograph,
My grandpa doesn’t recognize me anymore, but he still smiles every time I show him this picture. I hope that deep inside he remembers how much I loved hanging out with him..

Love, Laura

So head on over to Dear Photograph, it’s url is easy enough to remember:  http://dearphotograph.com/
One day, maybe I’ll have my own entry there:  “Dear Photograph…  what can you tell us about the passage of time and the failings of memory?”

Inspiration Ad Hoc

I tell ya…  as a blogger who insists on doing it daily, there are times when inspiration comes fast and furious.  My muse presenting me with a gay cornucopia of delights, any one ripe and plump for the choosing, a myriad of ideas all flowing eagerly forth…  and then there are days like today.  When any type of inspiration, ad hoc would be great.  But no.

My muse, you see, is fickle.  She likes me best when the body isn’t tired, the flesh isn’t weak, when I’m not weary from a day filled with work.  She only comes a’calling when I’m bright and peppy, when I myself am a joy to be around.  I’ll admit, I like me best on those days too.  So I can’t really blame her all that much.

I like my work the way I like so many other things, in moderation.  Too much work, and well?  Then you get this.  Boring drudgery of a blog post.  😉  But all is not lost.  Soon we will be through with the backlog of photo edits – freeing me up to work as I am happiest, editing my photo shoots the same week they were shot during.  And then?  Then my muse will return with vigor.  Strong and thrilled again with life.  You’ll see.  🙂

Gentle Be!

I have to be honest…  i haven’t yet decided what to write about tonight.  I’m feeling a general disdain about a great many things tonight, and any one of them would likely make a good blog post.  Nothing like righteous indignation to fuel a blog post.  But then I remind myself that I have made the decision to choose joy whenever possible.  And there is no joy to be found in those topics.

I can’t say that I am feeling joyful tonight.  I can see my way through to calm, or even peaceful…  but not joyful.  I’m too tired and road-weary for that.  So, I think, tonight I will just leave you with this:

My Inspiration!

Nothing in the world makes me happier than my baby – who isn’t such a baby any more (as she always insists on reminding me).  Tonight, when I arrived home from my last shoot of the day, she began posing for me – wanting to be my only subject.  Little does she realize that she is my constant inspiration.  She is what motivates me to constantly improve myself and my work.  She is my subject, even when she isn’t there with me.  I’ve always believed that every piece an artist creates is a self portrait, and as you can find me in all of my work, I can find her there as well.

four year old in a fedora

Choosing to be Inspired.

I’m one of those people who has always found inspiration to be easy.  I’ve always been inspired by whatever surrounds me.  Whether I’m out in the grandiousity (I know, another one of my made-up words) of  Mother Nature or just laying on the floor with one of my dogs…  I find inspiration near by.

What is key, is choosing to be inspired.  Just as one can choose joy, one can choose to be inspired.  Even in a mundane task, like doing the laundry, our choice is there.  Do we feel the warmth of freshly dried towels (whether sun dried or straight out of the dryer) and choose to be taken in by it?  Relishing the fragrance and texture?  or do we power through, refusing to allow our senses any enjoyment from the moment?  Inspiration, like joy, is a choice.

We are constantly surrounded by opportunities for inspiration.  My daughter inspires me multiple times daily.  Now, what serves as her inspiration? LIFE!  Children haven’t learned to suppress their joy and their inspiration…  life just flows through them.  They soak up all they can, and like a sponge that is too full, it flows freely through.  You just have to be a willing vessel, there to catch it all.

Yesterday Lily-Ann painted me a horse.  Her work is becoming more and more true to life, while still retaining that immediacy and fluidity of childhood art.  I love that she uses found objects without any prompting.  In this instance a bit of cotton fluff became the horses blanket.  I’m sharing, in the hopes that a little of my current inspiration can also flow through to you.

Here are a couple other pieces she created for me earlier this month.  Her work requires less and less explanation these days.  It’s a pretty cool development, especially considering only four months ago we had just discovered straight lines.  Before that everything were circles that swirled indefinitely…

Today’s Joy

Wanna know where I found today’s joy?  It was in something unexpected, that I’ll admit started out as a chore.

I host scrapbooking challenges at both PDP and ESS, and I normally love creating things for them.  But the date kinda snuck up on me, and this afternoon I suddenly realized that I needed to have a wordart piece finished, uploaded, a layout built around it, and all of it posted by tomorrow.  ACK!  That’s more stress than fun.  And seeing how my focus is “personal joy”, stress is rather contrary to that in most every possible way.

With this stress hanging over my head I began looking through my photographs hoping for some inspiration to strike.  I find it nearly impossible to create anything worthwhile when it’s forced.  Muse is essential for me in the creative process.

Stumbling upon a series of images I took at the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo back in September, everything started rolling.  And soon I had created, not only a wordart, but an ENTIRE mini-kit.  Even better?  This mini-kit (unlike my first kit) is almost completely created using original elements.  Items created from scratch, by me.  Only a button and a bow were designed using CU products from other designers.  Not too shabby for my second kit.

I have to admit, I’m super excited about this one.  I really do think it’s beautiful.

With my first kit I had a lot of trepidation, and I was concerned about whether anyone would like it, download it, or use it.  This time?  I KNOW it’s a good kit.  I’m very proud of it…  and it all centers around my photography.  This kit was created with heart.  I can’t wait until tomorrow when I can share it with the world.  Until then?  We have to make due with one of the photos that inspired the kit.

Sika Deer

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