Writing

Instant {Five Minute Friday}

 Giving Up

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.
Dorothea Lange

Note: Last week’s 52Frames photography theme was animals.

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I made it a goal to go outside every day (except Monday and Sunday) to take pictures with our new 100 – 400mm long lens. I have to use a monopod because the lens is heavy. On the first day, I went out with the full expectation of shooting birds. I fully expected to start shooting immediately. I waited and waited for something to come along. Talk about wanting instant gratification. 

After about 15 minutes, I decided to see if my neighbor’s chickens were out. I ended up shooting and obtaining a decent picture of one of them.

When Tuesday rolled around, I prepared to be out there for some time. It was an exercise in patience and endurance because it was cold. (I do not handle cold weather well.) I sat, walked the property, and waited for quite some time for something to come along. A Kestral finally showed up. I was thrilled with this opportunity! 

On Friday, I spied a vulture in a tree quite a distance away. It took off and flew low like it wanted to land nearby on the ground. So, I went to the front yard to see if I could spy any. I saw one on a fence post and decided to hike down the road to get a closer shot. Much to my surprise, there were five of them. I’m so glad I took a chance to hike because I obtained a picture I love.

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I obtained a shot of a mockingbird Wednesday. I also went out Saturday to shoot some goats during a goat roping event. I decided soon after that I am not into sports photography, I am not inclined to learn how to shoot anything sports related. It’s not my cup of tea.
 

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Review · Writing

Like {Five Minute Friday}

Light Painting (2019) divider-clipart-divider_line_med

I’ve been doing some stitchery every evening while watching TV with my husband. It’s been Bones1 and Wednesday2 lately. Bones is what we watched many moons together. So, it’s perfect to have on while stitching because I’ve seen it before and do not need to “hear” it to understand.

Regarding Wednesday, I used to watch The Addams Family3 as a kid. So, I assumed I’d enjoy this series. I didn’t think Dan would be interested. Neither did he. He got sucked into the show while I watched the first episode. So, it became something we viewed together and finished last night.

I must confess I liked the show even though it was on the dark side. It had mystery, humor, horror, and the unexpected. The flavor is what one expects of Tim Burton4 but toned down. The mystery aspect kept us on our toes. Dan and I kept guessing the person intent on harming was between two or three individuals.

I got to thinking that the whole good versus evil was interesting and twisted. Here you have a dark girl fighting for good. And, the one person (in the past) bent on destroying odd people was hiding under the “good” ala wolves in sheep’s clothing. So much like real life. Seriously. Too many people hide behind legalism and cause a lot of chaos and pain for others.

All in all, I felt that Wednesday was well-done.

divider-clipart-divider_line_medAnd now, we need to find something else that we both would like to watch together besides Bones.

  1. Bones (Amazon Prime)
  2. Wednesday (Netflix)
  3. The Addams Family
  4. Tim Burton

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Writing

Laugh {Five Minute Friday}

Dan felt intensely happy (and exhausted) upon removing the engine.
October 2017
By the way, he cut off that beautiful beard a few months later.

Ecclesiastes 3:4: “A time to cry and a time to laugh.”

divider-clipart-divider_line_medI met my Great Aunt Verna many years ago while attending a youth camp in Maine. She, my Gram, and Aunt Vera were cooks. I thought she was the saddest person alive. She rarely smiled.

All three were having an animated conversation, and suddenly, they burst out in laughter. Aunt Verna radiated with joy. Her smile was so beautiful. It only lasted a few seconds before she returned to her sad self.

I saw the emotion across her face and knew that, for some reason, she felt guilty for laughing. It only made me feel sad for her.

I think anyone should not feel guilty for laughing; joy is for everyone. There is a time for sorrow (or guilt), but joy comes in the morning.

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Writing

Extreme {Five Minute Friday}

Hover Fly on Sticker Burrs divider-clipart-divider_line_med

I couldn’t attend to mowing and yard care early this past summer. Dan took care of mowing when he could. It wasn’t until August I was well enough to mow. I still didn’t have the strength to do much else. As a result, the sticker burrs1 went out of control. It’s extreme.

For the first time in years, I had to start from scratch to get the immediate backyard under control once more. It’s for Abby Gail’s sake. She loves to go outside and explore. It’s also for our sanity considering sticker burrs are not fun when tracked into the house. We do take off our shoes immediately; but, the bane of our existence still manages to get all over the house. This place needs a mudroom very badly.

It was tough going for a while using a shovel to loosen the soil underneath and then bending over to pull them up with gloved hands. I made it a goal to go outside and pull at least 10 of them at a time. Dan would quietly join me from time to time using the shovel. He worried about me. But, I was doing fine even though the effort tired me out immensely.

I am thankful for the Next Door app as it was there I learned of a gadget that will make uprooting the plants easier. This man pulls them up regularly due to having a dog. He showed off the tool he was using and, due to many requests, he provided a link. I immediately placed an order for one.

When the Claw Weeder2 arrived, I immediately went outdoors to test the tool. Oh my goodness, what a lifesaver! I can pull many more plants in a one-time frame than the old method. It’s also easier on me physically. The immediate backyard area is now under control once again.

However, the rest of the land is not. I have not seen so many stickers burrs during our time here (10+ years). It’s a horrible situation. I plan to pull up as many as I am able to and then do extreme maintenance.

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  1. Also known as sandbur or grass burrs. Cenchrus
  2. Claw Weeder

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Writing

Write 31 Days: Me (Day 31)

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Have you ever read Rose is Rose comics? I used to be a fan of that strip. Rose is a prim and proper housewife and mother who lets her inner child or biker chick (“Vicky”) out once in a blue moon. I loved her “let it be” tree. Lean up on the tree and set her worries free. And her “dungeon of resentment” always made me smile.

I identified with her – a lot. She can be me. It’s not often I can identify with a character. I do have a few.

If you don’t know, I’m a lover of fantasy books. I became hooked since my first1 in high school. I picked up “The Mirror of Her Dreams”2 by Stephen Donaldson in the early 2000s. I identified so much with the main character, Terisa Morgan. She didn’t fit in and had to have mirrors around her to confirm she was real. I cannot tell you how many times in my life I felt invisible. She belonged in another world where she was a powerful mage (sorcerous), a world through mirrors.

When I write, I often use 3rd person view and even 2nd person with me behind the pronouns. I think it’s the way of distancing myself. It enables me to work through things. There have been occassions where I finished writing and then changed “you” to “I.” When I did my bio (“About“) on 52Frames, I wanted it to read as if someone else wrote it. I wasn’t too persnickety about it either. I think I need to update the bios here and there.

By the way, I love old words. Words that have fallen out of favor. I tend to use them on occassions. Sometimes I think I have an old soul – a fondness for words and things no longer used.

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  1. The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. This is part of a trilogy and recently, a TV series. I watched the first episode. It veered from the books too much for me.
  2. Part of Mordant’s Need. The duology was well-written and popular. The books are still being printed and sold. I kept my two on a shelf and have read both several times.

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Writing

Write 31 Days: Yes (Day 30)

five-minute-friday-7_smallBelow took me about 30 minutes. I was feeling creative. So, I started jotting down words and then turned them into Haikus. Surprisingly, the middle lines seem to rhyme? It’s rough and can use more work. it’ll have to do. Hope your day goes well!

divider-clipart-divider_line_medNo. It’s difficult to say.
The minute I rise
Am I well? I count the spoons.

Yes, a future covenant.
I must not say ayes
even when longing to take part.

I must not make promises.
I must not tell lies.
The truth is always maybe.divider-clipart-divider_line_med

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Writing

Write 31 Days: Lost (Day 29)

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I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.
Vincent Van Gogh
{Quote is often attributed to the painter; but, it is unverified}
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I can put my mind, heart, and soul into a project and lose track of time. Because I lack self-confidence, I often think it’s not good enough. It’s rubbish. Trash. Why do I even try? What a waste of time.

I wrestle with these kinds of thoughts constantly.

It’s difficult when I have no faith in myself or my abilities. Nothing I ever did was good enough growing up. So I often did not try or just did stuff for pure pleasure and hid my work.

I can recall using one hand the number of times I recieved positive comments or encouragement for anything I did during my public school years. Band (Bass Clarinet) was the only thing I was confident I was good enough doing. I received ones in UIL solo competions and received medals.

However, the band director didn’t have the confidence in me to be able to march. I was the only sophomore alternate. And, no way was I going to be an alternate as a junior. Since herefused to let me play in band and skip marching, I told him “I quit.” His expression was one of surprise. I informed my parents of my intentions that night.

My father later convinced me to stay in band for another year. I was very reluctant. I learned later that he called the director to give me a chance. It turned out that the director regretted NOT putting me in from the beginning.

I’ve digressed.

It think it is due to this lack of positive encouragment or praise that I cannot handle commendation, postive comments, etc., well. If I get a rare verbal positive comment, I will go into an anxiety driven meltdown that causes me to get lost for a few days, if not weeks. I did not know how to handle them. Someone once lectured me to accept them at face value and say “thank you” whenever someone gave me a positive comment. That helped me enormously socially. However, my internal mind still screams. divider-clipart-divider_line_medI ran across this meme quote quite a few weeks ago and saved it. It fit me to a T.

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Writing

Write 31 Days: While (Day 28)

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Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
~ John Wooden ~

Foreword: I looked for ideas to write upon since I was stuck with this prompt. I saw the above quote and a memory came to my mind. I decided to write about it.

Background: I had just returned home from working in England (UK) for six weeks and was in between places looking for an apartment to live in. I’d been dating Dan for some time and I had come to know and trust him. He worked overseas at the time and came home every two or three weekends for approximately 48 hours. He’d arrive in the states late Friday night and leave Sunday afternoons.
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I informed my parents one Friday night that I was going to Dan’s place in the morning and staying overnight because it was a long drive. My dad said no, giving me vague reasons as to why. He thought that was the end of the discussion.

I thought about it and was conflicted. I believed in honoring my parents and yet, I wanted to see Dan. In the end, I made my decision to go. I wanted to see Dan as it has been two or three weeks since we’ve seen each other.

Dad had a conniption when I tried to quietly slip out of the house early in the morning. He was not happy. He asked me point blank, “what about your reputation?” I felt hurt. (I quietly walked out on him.) I was 25 or 26 years old, and he was worried about my reputation?  He didn’t trust me (or who I chose to be friends with). What’s worst is he didn’t know me.

This fact bothered me for years.

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I found out quite sometime later that a sister-in-law and a brother had to run interference on my behalf. Dad was more than unhappy and was going to confront me. My sister-in-law and brother convinced him to back off. He had to let me go and trust me. Thankfully, fortunately, Dad listened.

I understand the reasons for folks’ distrust in others. I, myself distrust others until I first get to know them (their character). The quote at the beginning of this post says it all. Reputation is what others impose their views and values upon. It’s assumed. It’s akin to gossip in my mind. You don’t know the person(s) and you’re judging the (or their) situation(s).

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Writing

Write 31 Days: Hidden (Day 27)

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I see old things and wonder about their past. I get melancholic. Who used it? What was their history? If the world is indeed a billion years old, our lives are but a blink of an eye. In a matter of a decade, folks are slipping away. It saddens me.

I think of all those who touched my heart and are now long gone. A generation will soon have passed. The ones I hold in my heart and mind will not be in anyone’s heart and memories. That saddens me.

Can you imagine millions and millions of people toiling through history doing their best to raise a new generation? And yet, history only remembers a few select few. Even some of these figures are getting erased from history in favor of a new narrative.

If this has been ongoing for thousands of years, then what is truth (of history)?

The way I think and feel is probably why I love Ecclesiastes. Everything is meaningless. There is nothing new under the sun. Round and round it goes. Generations come and go. Wisdom is better than folly. There is a time for everything.  At the end of it all, only God matters.

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Writing

Write 31 Days: Dream (Day 26)

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This is being written up without thorough editing as we are expecting a delivery in which we must move our cars. I am legally deaf. So, I must frequently look out the windows. As a result, my focus isn’t completely on this writing effort.

I can have dreams and nightmares that are very odd and vivid. Thank goodness they are few and far between. I am going to write about the latest dream I had a few nights ago. I had trouble falling asleep. I finally fell asleep and woke up around 4:00am. I had difficulty falling asleep again. I was restless, snuggled up to my husband, and eventually fell asleep.

divider-clipart-divider_line_medWe (Dan and I) were in a room in a seemingly black-and-white world with tinges of color. I was on an ugly chair and soon noticed water up to the cushion seat. It was flooding. I watched it flow from left to right noticing some oily slick spots.

Somehow, we ended up landing on a high bed – the type you need a step stool for. That’s when I noticed the mattress was squishy. The water had risen. I suddenly realized our cat was missing.

The scene shifted slightly. The water was gone, and we were looking for our cat. We were calling out for Sadie and looking in all the places a cat could be. I suddenly noticed a door open slightly with brilliant light flooding in and two young toddlers, a girl, and a boy, escaping. The girl slipped out first, but the other hit the edge of the door and stumbled back. I saw Dan reach out to the boy to take care of him. My mind knew the cat could have slipped outside. So, I went out the door.

The scene shifted to a vibrant lush backyard garden-like atmosphere. The greenery was green as it could be. The flowers were vivid. A Serval with large fangs was strolling up a path toward me. A fence to the left of it marked the boundary of a garden spot. A cat’s head popped out of some brush. I was thankful the fencing was in between the Serval and her.

The cat recognized me and immediately headed toward me. I panicked due to the presence of the wild cat. I calmly but quickly approached the Serval. I gently picked it up to turn it around and encouraged it to go back the way it came. In the meantime, the cat reached me on the left. I reached down to grab it by the scruff of the neck while watching the Serval. I cradled her in my arms.

The scene changed to being back inside the black-and-white place. I put the cat down on the floor. I noticed it was a light orange cat with darker brownish legs. The legs seemed out of place with the cat’s body. They were beefier, with the muscles profound, while the rest of the cat’s body was sleek and lean. It walked like a bionic robot dog.

divider-clipart-divider_line_medI suddenly woke up and thought the whole dream was rather strange and senseless.

The name of the cat was odd as our current cat’s name is Abby Gail. Sadie was the name of an old street dog we took care of for almost a year before she passed away. Our real-life cat looked nothing like the dream cat. In fact, none of my cats had the markings or the coloring of the dream cat. I also thought the cat’s body with different legs and the way it walked was rather odd.

And the Serval, for me to pick up and guide that wild cat safely? Um, no. Not going to happen in real life.

The whole switching from black-and-white to color and back within the dream was… I don’t think I ever had a dream (that I remember) do this before.

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