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.

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

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.

divider-clipart-divider_line_med
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.
 

Leeann_EthnicFlava_jenntags12-vi

five-minute-friday-7_small

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.

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

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

Leeann_EthnicFlava_jenntags12-vi

five-minute-friday-7_small

Uncategorized · Writing

Represent {Five Minute Friday}

Giving Up

“Represent” is a topic/word giving me grief over the many possibilities.

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

My original aim (of this blog and my writing) was to stay true to myself without causing pain to others1 and, at the same time, try to do all things with mindfulness, kindness, and empathy.

This objective slightly changed. , I cannot worry about others to remain true to myself and my history. I am still concerned about causing harm or anger thus always mindful of how I do or say things. But, this is my story and journey. I am representing myself and my truth.

What is my truth?

  • I am a fallen, forgiven Believer in the one true God, our Creator.
  • I think I can be a writer since I love to play with words.2
  • I lack the self-confidence to pursue writing, photography, and so much more. I don’t have faith in myself to try.

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

  1. I was mostly worried about what my family would think. Everything they thought, did, or said often cut me to the core. No longer. Note: This is part of the reason why I have no faith (confidence) in myself to pursue things such as writing or even selling some stuff I make. This is a hard thing to overcome.
  2. Writing has always been a way I communicate without the possibility of being misunderstood (or misunderstanding others). I am unsure if my being deaf has anything to do with this fact about me. But, I was always the weird, sensitive, and passionate girl that no one understood. I’m sure it’s due to my upbringing (deaf of a hearing family) and genetics. I’ve always marched to the beat of a different drummer and this often ostracized me within society.Leeann_EthnicFlava_jenntags12-vi

five-minute-friday-7_small

Uncategorized · Writing

Spontaneous (Five Minute Friday)

Giving Up

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

I prefer routines and plans. I am not fond of change either. Not many folks think of me as spontaneous. But, I can be impulsive at times.

I disrupted my routine this morning to grab my camera. Snout Nose butterflies were flittering all over our Crepe Myrtle trees and bushes. They have been swarming by the thousands here for several days. I stood out there in the muggy heat and snapped away.

Another spontaneous event was yesterday upon receiving notice that Jeeps were in a parking lot at a new business called The Trailer Park. We took off to check out the new place and viewed about two dozen jeeps. I was thrilled to discover that a small bakery exists offering gluten-free products. We shall return to have some snacks and drinks when the weather is cooler.

I can be spontaneous if it’s something I enjoy. It can be photography, nature, attending spur-of-the-moment events, road trips, etc. Road trips require me to throw food in a cooler or seek out restaurants along the way due to dietary restrictions. It’s not as simple as jumping into a car and hitting the open road. But still…

Spontaneity may not be natural for me, but I have learned to bend, flow, and enjoy the ever-changing winds of life.divider-clipart-divider_line_med

Leeann_EthnicFlava_jenntags12-vi

five-minute-friday-7_small

Writing

View (Five Minute Friday)

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

We’re in the middle of a drought. Water is precious. I wasn’t in the mood to shoot pictures all week long. I didn’t feel like setting up anything. I couldn’t think of anything I’d like to do (shoot). I was going to skip submitting an image to 52Frames1.

I do not want to force or stress about anything. So, submission isn’t a high priority for me anymore. Picking up my camera every week is more important to me whether or not I gain an image that fits the theme of the week. I desire to keep my skills alive. The only way to do that is to pick up the camera and keep shooting.

It misted rain early Sunday. I was so happy. I went outside and shot some macro pictures of a few surviving wildflowers with insects. I ended up slightly soaked and with one image that qualified for the theme. I liked it very much despite being imperfect. So, I submitted it at the last minute and called it done.

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

  1. 52Frames’ theme was “water”.

This free writing. For some reason, despite having the word prompt in mind, this ended up having nothing to do with the prompt except maybe a subtlety towards a point of view. 

Leeann_EthnicFlava_jenntags12-vi

five-minute-friday-7_small

Writing

Forget {Five Minute Friday}

I am still learning and growing. Thus, my random thoughts may or may not be biblically correct.  Just be aware that these words (thoughts) of mine were written on the fly.

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

If God washed away my past when I confessed to Him, why do I hang onto it – to constantly remember, bring up what I did wrong, and ask for forgiveness?

He forgives, wipes away the sin, and forgets. If he forgives and forgets, I must also forgive myself and press forward. It’s not easy because this is human nature — this is me.

Guilt can be pervasive and all-consuming. I’m learning this is wrong. To keep bringing it up and remembering is not trusting in Him and His promises.

What matters is the now. Not the future. Not the past. Only the present (matters).

I must press forward, trusting in Him. Walk and talk with Him every day, every moment, deliberately casting the whispers of lies aside — believing, trusting, and placing my faith in the Lamb who washed my sins away.

It’s not easy. It’s getting easier. The whispers of lies are few and far between these days.

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

Leeann_EthnicFlava_jenntags12-vi

five-minute-friday-7_small

Writing

Together {Five Minute Friday}

True friends are always together in spirit.
― L.M. Montgomery, 
Anne of Green Gables

divider-clipart-divider_line_medDan and I are both introverts. We both do not willingly volunteer personal information to strangers. As for myself, it can take a body eons before I can trust them enough with me.1 Most folks don’t have the patience to stick around for the long haul.

The few friends I can call upon in times of trouble are a dime in a dozen. There is one I have known for over 20 years. And yet, we have never met face to face. We are like pen pals who stalk one another over the internet intending to keep in touch.

We are very different in life experiences. And yet, we are soul sisters in Christ. I can count on her for prayers. And likewise, she me. We often vent to, pray for, encourage and support one another. She’s the sister I never had.

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

  1. I think this is why Dan and I do not have many true friends, just acquaintances. However, we stuck with one another through thick and thin. We have each other. I thank God for him.

Leeann_EthnicFlava_jenntags12-vi

five-minute-friday-7_small

Writing

Be {Five Minute Friday}

Upon learning what the word prompt is last Friday, I played with words as I’m wont to do from time to time. I got busy this morning and forgot to write on the fly. So, I thought I share this imperfect poetry with you all. At the very least, I hope it makes you smile.

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

I’m learning to be, to be me.
Life is not about them; it’s about Him.
The third verse1 is better than the first.
Now matters, past shatters.
future hope, Heaven’s dope.
Rest, chill, and be still.
listen, pause…

Stuck; this went amuck.

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

                                                  1. phase of life

Leeann_EthnicFlava_jenntags12-vi

five-minute-friday-7_small

Uncategorized · Writing

Chance {Five Minute Friday}

I pondered upon the word “chose” (choose) only to discover the prompt is “chance.” I had to do a complete mental about-face and blanked. So, here am I, taking a chance and jumping in with two feet unprepared.

Note: These are my thoughts and memories. Other folk’s memories may be different from my own. I’ve learned that this is okay.

divider-clipart-divider_line_medLife is full of chances.

Do we go forth and do it?
Or be like a turtle and hide?

I’ve done both. I had to do what was best for me at that moment in time. Some chances I took were not the best decision for me. And others turned out to be one of the best.

At one point in my life, after my first year in college, I ran away to Maine (my Gram and Great Uncle) for the summer to rest and recoup. My father endeavored to discourage me. I needed to go. I needed to get away from it all as I was in a deep dark state of depression and despair caused by an overwhelming sense of failure.

I took money out of my savings account, purchased the cheapest plane ticket I could find, and left everyone and everything behind. Dad tried so hard to discourage me in all ways. For the first time in my life, I resolutely said no to him. I knew in my heart that folks would leave me alone up there in Maine.

I needed time. I needed to be left alone. Let me be.

To rest.
To heal.
To ponder.

I felt loved unconditionally during my stay. I could be me as I am.

My only sorrow was the refusal to go on an outing with one of my Uncles and his family. I did not feel comfortable with the idea of camping with them. I said no.1 I needed more time to be alone. I also suspected my father had a hand in my Uncle’s invitation. I’m not going to lie. This thought angered me. It caused me to dig my feet and be resolute in my decisions. He had to try to control me even from afar.2

I did not want to go back to college and Texas. What I wanted to do was run and hide. But, I was not brave. I was also broke. I was a deaf woman with no prospects of gaining a living even through a mediocre job.3 I didn’t have a clue how to survive or what to do to thrive. I felt lost without any kind of guidance (that did not come from my father or immediate family).

So, I went back a little healthier in mind and soul.
I had made a few personal decisions to save my sanity.

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

  1. Despite my refusal to go, My uncle and his family still came up to the farm and tried to talk me into going with them. The end result was their poor puppy ended up getting severely hurt. The aunt angrily confronted me when I was alone. I firmly told her it was not my fault as it was allowed to be free. I was glad of my firm decision to not go with them as she never made me feel accepted. Fortunately, the dog survived after undergoing a long trip to an emergency vet and surgery. The leg was saved and he healed fine.
  2. I discovered through my Gram that my dad did try to control me and my time. He was angry upon discovering I was staying with my Great Uncle at his farm. My Poor Gram. She was upset. She told me I was an adult and should be free to make my own choices and decisions. However, I wish she had told me what my father tried to make her do before I made the decision to accept my Great Uncle’s invitation. Also, my gut feelings about dad were correct. My Uncle was only being a loving brother to my dad seeking to get me away from the very folks who loved me as I am and let me be.
  3. I did manage to find two jobs later. A temporary one of which I quit on the first day due to sexual harassment. The other was at the University’s hotel as a maid. That was a wonderful time as I gained a little monetary independence from my own father. He tried so hard to discourage me; but, I refused to listen as finding and holding a job was one of my personal decisions. This was important to me.

Leeann_EthnicFlava_jenntags12-vi

five-minute-friday-7_small

Uncategorized

Propose {Five Minute Friday}

Note: This is a free writing exercise.

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

We did everything backward on the long road to marriage except the dating part1. We purchased the diamond ring I was eying for 50% off and got engaged on the spot without a proposal.2 It was not a big deal to me as I’m often pragmatic and dislike forced romantic overtures. Yes, I know. I’m weird like that.

As a side note, I prefer other stones over diamonds. I’m a rebel and dislike conventional things women are supposed to love, including roses. I would rather receive wildflowers, living plants, and balloons.

Anyway, I have digressed.

This one ring caught my eye with the simplicity and beauty of a diamond. It’s the only traditional thing on the road to this marriage we have besides following my mother’s dream of a traditional wedding for her daughter. (I would have preferred to get eloped but did not want to disappoint my parents.)

We bought a house months before our wedding.3 We purchased our bed just before the wedding ceremony. We moved the stuff we wanted to keep into the home. However, we did not live in it until after we returned from our honeymoon.4

divider-clipart-divider_line_med

  1. We dated for three years and knew one another for about five years total before getting married.
  2. Dan did officially propose to me months later at Walt Disney World where we went on vacation together. It was a beautiful spot and a memory I will not forget. But, I felt so awkward through the spontaneous proposal.
  3. We watched the home being built and we loved the fact we could keep the trees we wanted. This was very unusual as most new home builders raize the land which I severely dislike. There is no need to do this before building structures.
  4. Dan’s surprise. We flew to Florida and hopped on a cruise to the Bahamas.

Leeann_EthnicFlava_jenntags12-vi

five-minute-friday-7_small