Back in the Saddle

I’m back in the saddle, or at least on the horse. The saddle may have to come later.

It was my intent to post something much sooner. I said at the outset of creating this blog that it was my goal to post daily, or close to it. It seems I lied. My post frequency has been closer to weekly, or certainly that’s what it seems anyway. ‘Things’ just get in the way. Poor reason/excuse I know. I haven’t even posted photos for the Weekly Photo Challenge lately (to be honest I’m not even sure what the topic is.

The summer has been proceeding at a pace unforeseen or unexpected to me. In many ways it’s just been a spring and summer that has taken on a schedule that I don’t like. I’ve done numerous trips, by car and within 1000 km (~600 mi.). Some have been for pleasure and a few have been to see or support loved ones in need. That being said, I appreciate that I shouldn’t lament the reasons, and I don’t, it’s the time away from my castle and my ‘stuff’ that I lament. That and my apparent inability to manage my time effectively when I am at home.

One thing you do get is to see a bunch of interesting stuff when you’re on the road. This gent was operating the espresso machine at a coffee shop on the road called “Deadwood Junction and Tarnished Turkey Cappuccino Bar”, one of my favourite haunts while en route to Kelowna or back home from a visit to my grandson.

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You can see it hasn’t been all bad. It’s just that since I retired last year I often feel overwhelmed and under capable to handle my various stresses, most or all self inflicted. Plain and simple I see my world as full of these opportunities and things I want do, and certainly there’s no shortage of things I should do. There’s always cutting the lawn, doing dishes or the laundry, shopping, cooking, washing or maintaining vehicles etc. etc.. Never mind the fun stuff like camping or seeing my grandson.

Woe is me, my life is sooo tough isn’t it. Just smack me upside the head.

Like camping was such a hardship. While I didn’t post much I did do some journaling, and what a view. The photo doesn’t do it justice, albeit this was with my phone.

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Early retirement has provided me with challenges I didn’t see coming. Many people have asked me since I retired “What do you do?”, or “How do you stay busy?”. I just laugh. Life is so full, how do I get to do everything I want to, that’s the question.

So if you have any time management tips, or ways you think may help me in my time of need please let me know. I’d love to hear. In the meantime I’ll mount up and ride into the sunset of my golden years……

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

Ok, I had to do it. Pictures of grandchildren are at some point mandatory. In this case he, my grandson Madden, is standing “Up”. This is not the first time but certainly one of the first. He looks like such a little man.

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Also where I thought I might have some difficulty finding something else “Up”ish, in fact I found a number of shots that could be tied to the “Up” concept (albeit loosely in some cases). Enjoy.

This weeks photo challenge is “Up”. As always to see additional posts please go here, to the Weekly Photo Challenge page.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

My first thought when hearing of this weeks challenge was how to portray ‘Change’ in my life, that kind of personal ‘change’ was top of mind. For any that have followed this blog you may have noticed some ‘change’, both in the format etc. of the blog but also in my perspective(s).

But that display of change was not to be. In my yen to find that all elusive portrayal of change I elicited the opinion of my wife, and asked her:

“What does change mean to you?”

Of course being a women (kidding!!) she described the monetary kind of change, the visual of coins and paper money, the change that is not only being removed from our monetary system and society but also the changing of  it’s forms as well.

Here in Canada we’ve removed 1’s and 2 dollar bills from circulation and ‘changed’ them to Loonies and Toonies, coins of some uninteresting alloys. These are not official names mind you, just nicknames come about due to their design. We are currently in the process of eliminating the penny. How you stand on that I don’t know.

So below is my (our) interpretation of what ‘Change’ can mean, showing a broader perspective of all change and narrowing it down to just the paper dollar and Loonies. This also gave me an opportunity to play with some of my camera toys, a remote trigger and my extension tubes. I can already see lighting is so important.

Enjoy.

As always you can check out the other interpretations of ‘Change’ on the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge page.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Colour

My most recent experience with colour is on a trip last weekend to Portland, Oregon, for the Portland Swap meet.  We traveled down the Columbia River valley through and area known as “The Columbia River Gorge”, or by some just “the gorge”. It was a beautiful trip and while the the weather was spotty with rain and cloud on those occasions where the sun peaked out it was breathtaking.

The greens of the many types of moss, and the baby green on the trees or the early green of the hillside grasses caused me to gawk out the window the whole trip. I will apologize in advance, some of the photos were taken out the window of the moving car. We were under time constraints to get to the swap meet in a timely fashion.

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Day in My Life

It seemed to me if any day in my life might be interesting it would be a day with lots of activity. Easter fit that bill.

Starting on the Good Friday our company began arriving, with first on the scene being my daughter and her family. Soon after our niece, nephew, sisters and brothers in law, and various attached children came into attendance.

The Easter festivities began in earnest on Saturday with a family dinner but the photos here are from Sunday, when we had an Easter egg hunt with a wiener roast to follow.

Well, needless to say I think everyone had fun. At least I did, or what I can remember anyway.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

Looks like I totally missed the last Weekly Photo Challenge “Lunchtime”, in fact somehow I’ve missed the whole week. When I look back I can’t believe it’s been as long as it has since I last posted. I had such high hopes that I would put out at least a couple posts. Anyway, there I go again, sounding suspiciously like a confession.

You can read about the challenge here, and again we are asked to do a Phoneography submission where the snap was taken with one of our devices, in my case an iPhone 5.

At any rate here’s one of my submissions toward this week’s topic “Future Tense”. My photo was taken of some Snowdrops standing perkily in my garden. They have just recently poked their heads above the snow (there was snow, honest) and brought the future prospect of Spring.

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Spring Snowdrops

I had to sneak into the backyard to get this and while the iPhone takes a decent shot it is lacking in some of the finer adjustments you might find on a better standalone camera. For that reason I’ve taken the liberty of adding another, similar, shot taken while there was snow showing.

snow, Snowdrops, spring
Snowdrops in Snow

Enjoy, and as always….please don’t hesitate to comment.
Cheers

Weekly Phoneography Challenge: My Neighborhood

Technically this Weekly Photo Challenge is a ‘Phoneography Challenge’, to be taken with a phone or other device with a camera installed. In my case it would be my iPhone 5. You can check out the link to the Challenge criteria here.

The question over how ‘neighborhood’ should be spelled arose quickly. In deference to my ‘neighbours‘ to the south I will spell it their way.

When I first learned of this weeks challenge I was a bit intimidated, however once I opened up Lightroom (my newest favourite photo software) I quickly relaxed and said to myself, “self, do not be stressed”. It appeared upon further examination I had a few shots I thought worthy of entry.

Part of the question, in my mind, is what constitutes ‘Neighborhood’, or ‘Neighbourhood’, and if not taken too literally it could mean anything in your field of living. I am assuming some latitude here.

The shot below was taken a couple weeks ago of the Kootenay Lake, from a vantage point on the shore of the lake. It was a beautiful ‘spring-like’ day, a cool breeze wafted off the lake and the optimism of life carried me forward. This location is about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from my home, still within a broad description of neighborhood.

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Kootenay Lake

The next shot is a view from my deck taken about 3 weeks ago. You can see the disparity of the weather, and such is common here in the Kootenays. Did I tell you I yearn for Spring?

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View from my deck

The next shot however is pushing the boundaries, even in my mind, of what the neighborhood is. If, some may say, it’s anything in your immediate vicinity then this picture will comply, however even though I was in the vicinity of the Sonora desert I don’t really think it fits the bill. I guess I just thought it was neat, and although it’s not technically a good photo it has a certain something (at least to me).

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Sonora desert

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

Lost in the Details ….

“The devil is in the details.”
-German Proverb

When the Weekly Photo challenge was first put out my first thought was macro, however seeing as I don’t have a macro lens (yet) I would have to come with something else. The quandary dogged me for a while until we were at my grandson’s 1st birthday and one of the children’s parents showed up on a new motorcycle, a chopper with less than 10 km on it.

The bike was a beauty and while I know next to nothing about choppers I can appreciate beauty and the art of the detail when I see something that exhibits those traits. The art involved, and the craftsmanship and vision one must have to both conceptualize and bring to fruition something on this level. The devil is definitely in these details.

motorcycle, chopper, engine, motor
Details in the divine

Moving Forward

Forward, what does it mean? Moving forward? Paying it forward? Likely there are many more forward ‘adverbs’. ( I think it’s an adverb. While english is my mother tongue ‘English’ is not always my strong suit). In fact ‘Forward’ is this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge topic.

I’ve been thinking alot lately about what Forward means for me, and to me.

I’ve felt somewhat stuck in a slump the last few days and whether it’s the weather or just my cyclical moods I cannot say. I do know I’ve been reducing my meds and of course that’s the first thing I think of when my mood changes.  As well I sometimes think the doldrums are contributed to by feeling housebound, but after all whose fault is that? It’s not like I’m tied to my chair, get off yur arse and git outside, like my Dad used to say (not really, but sounded cute).

I’ve found it more challenging to write lately too, whether it’s in my journal or on one of my blogs, and that’s not good. I kick started things off today though by reading some blogs written by others and that gave me enough inspiration to do some journaling. That in turn led to finishing off the Weekly Photo Challenge post, and that led me here…..

Part of the moving forward concept was where to go with this blog. The original purpose of this blog was to write about how I felt while I was dealing with this illness called Depression, and generally speaking I feel much better now. In fact there’s some question in my mind whether the diagnosis was completely correct. Should I continue to write? I do have other blogs, perhaps I should just let this one die a natural death and move to one of the others? So many questions.

Those that follow this blog will have seen that the theme of this blog has changed, that’s one way to move forward. In fact this change was more an ‘oops’ that a conscious move to mix things up. I’m not sure whether I’ll put it back or pick another theme. But I digress.

Perhaps the best way to begin moving forward is to get off my butt and get some fresh air. Somehow the great outdoors always invigorates me. So here’s me…..moving forward….moving…..forward.

Til next time..

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

The Weekly Photo Challenge, or topic, “Forward”, presented me with a bit of a photographic quandary this week, a true challenge. That’s not really unusual I guess, the ‘challenge’ part. I find myself often challenged, in many ways. My concern was how best to capture the thought.

The keyword ‘Forward’ did seem timely though. Moving forward is something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately. The question is ‘How’. The answer: perhaps another post (don’t want to bore you fine people here).

In this case, for the Weekly photo challenge, the forward I had in mind was forward (ahead), to the future.

So many times I think we go forward in the same manner this river rushes, to and fro, so much turbulence and violent activity. No apparent plan, only rushing to our destination.

rushing water, turbulence
Rushing forward

Another perspective or possible method of moving forward would be like the photo below suggests, still to the future but with strict guidelines and parameters. Rigid, unable to divert from the intended path, just moving forward and perhaps not even knowing to what destination. Perhaps even into the fog.

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Going forward

Or finally, maybe we are much as the roadway here portrays, meandering through life in a ‘laissez-faire’ style of living. Comfortable, old fashioned and relaxed.

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Meandering road

Hmmm, what kind of ‘Forward’ movement do you subscribe?