Uncategorized · Writing

Nourish {Five Minute Friday}

Note: as always, for Five Minute Fridays, this is free writing and adding superscripts afterward for clarification.

Shot July 2019

Just write.

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The word nourish is a difficult prompt. I had trouble centering my mind upon this topic. I’m also having difficulties with this week’s 52Frames theme, Common Object. What should I write? What should my Common Object be? I’m feeling a tad unenthused about both challenges.

The last three weeks have been lovely for me regarding photography. For all three weeks, I did macro and nature. These are my favorite things to do and shoot. I’m seeking to improve my images somehow through lighting or lenses (or both).

There’s something about pursuing the best macro shot of insects while leaving them alone that nourishes me. I can spend 15, 30, or even 45 minutes stalking a butterfly forgetting the world1 that troubles me.

I discovered through an investigation of last week’s theme2 that I’m an ethical photographer. I do not capture bugs or mess with them3 to get the optimal shot. I have a severe dislike for the idea of causing harm to any living creature. After all, quite a few are struggling to survive in this current world.4

After three weeks of pursuing nature shots, I’m finding myself reluctant to return to the ordinary world of photography challenges. But, I have another genre5 I’m interested in doing. I must obtain knowledge of other photography mediums to gain the necessary skills to pursue this particular style.

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Intentionally did not keep track of time.

  1. This includes illness(es): chronic and otherwise.
  2. Last week’s theme: Inspired by a Photographer
  3. This includes cooling them down or freezing them in order to stage/pose the insect
  4. Going excinct. Monarchs and bees are a couple among many.
  5. Surrealism

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Uncategorized · Writing

Stamps (#writephoto)

I have been missing this fun challenge; so, I went looking for a similar one and discovered someone else is hosting this with the blessing of the first host. I’m both sad and glad. I’m sad because Sue Vincent is no longer with us but happy this goes on in her memory.

Here is my “first” entry with this blog.  I will not be a regular with this endeavor as I do this exercise when I’m inspired or have free time. Free time I had on hand for this entry. I did this free writing style for five minutes adding links or subscripts afterward to provide more details. So, this is a result, a portion of my history. 

I am hoping in the future to play with words to create poetry or short stories. This is what I love to do and originally used these prompts for.

Stamps – Image by KL Caley
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I’m different from my father and two younger brothers who collected coins. I became bored with the same old faces and didn’t have an interest in the value of money.1

But then I discovered stamps.

Every single design had a reason for being created. There is a history behind each one. The stamps still attached to an envelope with the cancellation tell a part of their travels. I’d bring them out from time to time and gaze upon them. The variety of colors, designs, and history caused me to wonder about their stories.

Even though Dad didn’t see the value in collecting them, he encouraged me. He gave me a USA stamp album. However, I ended up with scores of international ones. 2

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  1. Many vintage and antique coins have a greater value than the actual mint and often increase as the years go by. 
  2. I no longer collect stamps. I never gained an interest in collecting things just for the sake of their value (and the increasing thereof throughout the years). It did not help that at heart I’m thrifty and a cheapskate. It was difficult to give them up; but, I couldn’t see a good reason to continue collecting stamps.

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    #WritePhoto – Stamps

Photography · Uncategorized

Framers Friday: Face a Fear


Death (Grim Reaper)

Here is what I wrote:

“There are two events in everybody’s life that nobody remembers. Two moments experienced by every living thing. Yet no one remembers anything about them. Nobody remembers being born and nobody remembers dying. Is that why we always stare into the eye sockets of a skull? Because we’re asking, “What was it like?” “Does it hurt?” “Are you still scared?”. ~ Doctor Who, Season 9, Heaven Sent

Believe it or not, I fear death & the dead or dying. When Doctor Who said the above quote, it stuck with me. I hope I didn’t creep anyone out with this image. But, I’m sure I did.

This was a tough exercise in which I had only Saturday night to shoot. This will be one that I will revisit in the future as I’m not happy with how this turned out. My first experience using smoke bombs & it was scary too.

Additional Details:
Canon EOS Rebel T5 with Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens
1/125 f/8 100 50

As usual, I didn’t have enough space on the 52Frames site to write down what I did to achieve this image. 

I built this dummy-like thing (with the help of my husband) using a cement cardboard tube for the body, a stick of wood with old washcloths to form the shoulders, and chicken wiring to form (shape) the hood and neck. The upper arms were sticks of wood attached to the shoulder and I attached the arms/hands (halloween yard art) using screws and zip-ties.  I DIY’ed a tube out of empty toilet paper rolls and black duct tape for some smoke to go down the arm.  I used a cheap cosplay robe and a halloween skull to complete the outfit. The wooden shoulders, chicken wiring, and front of cardboard cement tubing was painted black as to not show up via light. I placed and arranged this thing on two concrete pavers in our backyard with a DIY black backdrop.  Note: we had all of these items except the halloween props and robe.

I set speed lights on both sides of this figure thing. I really wanted to give it some backlighting too; but, I was unable to figure out how to do that with the time constraints. After I was satisfied with the lighting situation (with a few test shots), a smoke bomb was carefully inserted into the cardboard tube (via the top). An assistant during the shoot (my husband in this case) is highly recommended. I had him handle the smoke grenade. He also held a posterboard in front of skull to allow smoke to build up and then he took it away. I was able to get quite a few shots; but, only two usuable images with what I envisioned for this endeavor.  Of course, both images fell short of what I envisioned.  I think it would help immensely if I could somehow figured out how to have backlighting on the figure as to show the shoulders, robe, and hood more. (The light stand was not tall enough to put light over the backdrop.) So, I’ll figure out how to rig up a system to use in the future. 

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Uncategorized · Writing

Prayer {Five Minute Friday}

Foreword: my writing went deeper than I intended.  It’s not my intention to offend folks; but, this is free writing. This is me: my writing, my thoughts, my journal. divider-clipart-divider_line_med

For the longest time, I had the mindset that God couldn’t use failure like me. Slowly but surely, through devotionals and bible study, I realized the falsehood of that particular mindset. God does indeed use folks: those who failed (made mistakes), those with depression, etc.1 The truth of this has set me free.

I know I can go directly to the throne of grace in confidence with Jesus as my high priest, intercessor, and mediator as long as my heart is right with God.2 I can pray anytime and anyplace. He knows me.

I am constantly catching myself and going directly to God to help me overcome the negative things and thoughts. It isn’t easy; but, it’s becoming easier knowing He is with me. He still uses folks like me.

My life has purpose. What? I have no clue; but, I am content to wait upon God as He holds the future.

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  1. Some examples: Elijah (didn’t want to live anymore), King David (a murderer), Jonah (fled God), Peter (who denied Christ 3 times), , Job (depression), Jeremiah (wrote Lamentations), and many more.
  2. Hebrews 4:14 – 5:3

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Uncategorized · Writing

Still {Five Minute Friday}

Foreword: Social media has become so much more than what I’ve touched upon below. Due to the gradual internal changes within facebook and now Instagram, It’s no longer a way for me to make connections. Maybe I’ve given too much expectations of the platforms. But, I find social media is too much work for me these days.

divider-clipart-divider_line_medSocial media do not give me the clues I need to gauge truth or lies. Behind the words, are there smiles in the eyes? Is there a storm brewing inside? I speak from history observing, questioning, and wanting to be of service. Words lack these very things I need to gauge truth or lies. People create facades to hide behind. Constant positivity causes me to question perspectives. Where is the truth?

After all, life is not all roses without thorns.

Folks on social media do not behave like they do in real life. Taking the time to write out your thoughts with others in mind is extremely important. War of words breaks out, and friendships are no more.1

I’ve begun to realize that reality is often a facade too. Social cues and clues may be lies. As a result, I do not know what’s truth. Whereas I once thought I knew someone, I feel as if I gained insight through words into how they truly feel towards another.

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Social Media (for me) is too quiet and scary at this moment. It reminds me of a cat calmly patiently waiting to pounce. It’s too still.
I am sensing a disturbance in the force.
Ha!

  1. I’m often not a participant in verbal discussions due to deafness. These are my thoughts based upon observation.  When folks have conversations and discussions, they may get loud due to not feeling heard; but, they seem to be more thoughtful and/or respectful.

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Uncategorized · Writing

Treasure {Five Minute Friday}

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I’m at heart a collector. I used to collect postal stamps in my youth. Unlike coins, which my father and brothers collected, postal stamps told stories. As I got older, my thrifty nature conflicted with the desire to collect stamps. They also took up space and collected dust. So, as hard as it was for me, I stop collecting them.

The only thing I collect or hoard these days, besides books, is mini Lang boxes. For some unknown reason, the Fingers store sent me two invites to get one free the year I graduated from high school. So, I ended up with two of them. I loved those things. One of them became a small personal memento holder.

Throughout the years, whenever I spy one at an antique store, a flea market, or yard/garage sales, I’d immediately check it over for the condition and price. If the condition is good and the price is right, I’d purchase it.  The last one was purchased a couple months ago from an antique store in Huntsville, Texas.

The boxes are currently holders and containers in addition to being used to display items. I’ve lost count of how many I have. The last count was twenty-two. I do believe it’s now twenty-four or twenty-five. And not all of them are the same. I have what I call Tall Boys. They are rarer, taller, and older than the ones I received when I graduated.

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My mindset has changed throughout the years. I no longer collect dust makers. In fact, I’ve gotten rid of many with the exception of books I plan to read. The Lang boxes are a different story. They also have a purpose (function).

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

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Uncategorized · Writing

Complete {Five Minute Friday}

What I originally free wrote this morning had nothing to do with the word prompt. I had great difficulty coming up with something just for this prompt.  So, I just started by writing what the word means (to me).divider-clipart-divider_line_medComplete can mean entirety. Such as from the beginning to the end, The Alpha and the Omega, etc. Complete also has the meaning of it’s finished, done, or thorough. A project accomplished, An assignment done, etc.

I have a few UFOs (UnFinished Objects). I don’t feel inclined to begin work on them again soon. There’s the Gypsy wife quilt with blocks and strips still hanging on the design wall. And, my birthday table runner is still a work in progress. I haven’t picked up sewing in a very long time.

I just haven’t felt like doing much until recently.

Photography is saving my mind and life1 . It’s forcing me to get up, be creative, get active, etc. I don’t think Dan understands how much I need this activity despite the confusing “negative” criticism I may receive that makes me feel like a failure. (eg. “I don’t understand the photo… I’m confused” w/o an accompanying explanation as to why.) He doesn’t like it when I get upset and feeling like crap because of one person’s viewpoint.2

I have digressed. I do have plans to get back into the sewing room. I was in the process of redesigning/reconfiguring the space when the effort got derailed with painting and applying polyurethane on shelves.3

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  1. Photography is more for my mental and physical health along with my creative bent. (I’ve always been into and interesting in photography. So, it’s something I’m passionate about.)
  2. It’s difficult to explain. He tells me it’s just one person (comment) of many and I shouldn’t take it personally.  But, I feel if one person is confused, then I failed. period. How many others out there were confused by my image and just didn’t say so? I feel as if all the positive comments I get are a farce half the time anyway.  I rather get positive constructive criticism (eg. the horizon is tilted) than just pure positive comments that doesn’t help me improve (e.g. this is a cool picture of —-).
  3. As soon as the work on the shelves for the guest room is done, I’ll reclaim the space and begin anew.

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Uncategorized · Writing

Need {Five Minute Friday}

The below are tiny bits of jottings from yesterday. I felt the urge to write frequently. So, I did on a post-it list pad. I had many things on my mind including this word prompt. The below are all written within 30 minutes (give or take a few). I’d jot something down. Return and jot more stuff down. It just rose from within me. I felt the need to share this even though I think it’s pretty bad due to the fact in all over the place.

I added the superscripts and hyperlinks for this post.

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This is my life. I’m failing in living miserably.. I’m doing the best I can with Jesus.1 I want to live life fully.

I can’t live as long as I am with him…2, 3 But, would I still live if I wasn’t with him?4

Can He still use me? The imperfect, lacking in grace,5 girl? Who fails Him daily?

I can’t be around perfectly smiley, have all the answers, folks. “Just have faith.” “Cheer up.” Instead of listening and getting down to the bottom of life, pat toxic positivity answers are the response.

Life is… complicated.

My faith isn’t lacking. I know He can move mountains. Maybe, I don’t want to be healed.6 Maybe I don’t want to be fixed. A good listener is worthy friend.

I gave my life to Jesus.
I want to live a life for Him.
Barriers to true freedom tied me down, especially in my youth.

  • finances
  • family
  • fear, especially fear

I want to be a bridge. Not a barrier.7
I need honesty.8

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I need thee oh I need thee 
Every hour I need thee
Oh bless me now my savior 
I come to thee
~ written by Annie Hawks, hymn: I Need Thee Every Hour

  1. Walking with Him daily
  2. as in live the faith filled servant life
  3. my husband who is agnostic
  4. I had to ask myself this question. Could I life a full life without my husband? All I have is excuses and fear.
    e.g. This current pandemic has violated folks’ civil rights especially those with disabilities. I’ve been muzzled by the masks. I need someone with me out there as a interpreter. Dan willingly fills that role for me nicely. I hate this current world especially within the medical establishment. I feel as if I’ve returned to the days of my youth where all conversations concerning me fly over my head and I’m left in the dark feeling defenseless/helpless because no one would explain or tell me what’s being discussed. Fortunately, unlike my youth, Dan tries to keep me in the loop. I trust him completely. The latest doctor of mine has been kind to write down and draw diagrams on paper towel concerning my diagnosis and give them to me. This puts me at ease.
  5. This is in regards to the fact I’m not the lady society expects who walks gracefully in high heels and wears makeup beautifully. I’m a tomboy. And a klutz which is why I don’t like high heels. Poor core balance.
  6. John 9:1-12 There are folks out there who believe the reason for my deafness is either my parents or I sinned (before birth) or I am lacking in faith. In fact, my Great Aunt Francis believed and said this very thing in my youth. It shocked me. But, I trusted in God in regards to the answer to “why was I born deaf?” John 9 came to me about a year later as an answer. God can use me as I am.
  7. I don’t want to be the reason folks do not come to Christ.
  8. I desire and need to be honest, live honestly, & etc.  I also need others to be their authentic selves.

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Pets · Photography · Uncategorized

Framers Friday: My Daily Routine

Will Work for Kitty Crack

Here is what I wrote:

Pet photography is HARD! Especially with a cat! This is Abby’s version of “wave”. I could never teach her to “sit” and “wave” at the same time. Instead, she stands, stretches out her paw(s), and “claws” the air. So, her version is acceptable to me. It’s different from her “stand” as her paws are relaxed. We regularly get together during the week to do tricks.

Back in January of 2020, my Great Uncle didn’t believe she can do tricks. So, I had Dan videotape her. The videos are not great; but, they worked as proof. LOL. In the first video, she did fabulously until the end. The second is her doing the sit/stay/come correctly. Feel free to view them.

https://leelenfest.smugmug.com/Pets/i-LQ8RGKN/A
https://leelenfest.smugmug.com/Pets/i-6833WMT/A

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