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Week 46 – remember this …

November 18, 2012

focus52BlogTaking this week’s prompt to a different kind of level.      I’m in an interesting place right now, and have been extremely contemplative.   And I want to share what I think all married couples should remember, and it is this:

No matter how long or short you’ve been married, always take the time to appreciate your husband or wife, and remember the promises you made on your wedding day.

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dividerMake sure that you know your spouse, find out what makes them tick on a regular basis.  Because we all change, evolve, discover new things about ourselves.  New interests, new hobbies, new passions, new needs.    Know those things about each other, and try to spend time doing what’s important to the person you love.   And ask him or her to do those things with you, the things you hold close to your heart.

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dividerI spoke the following words to my husband Rich, twelve years ago next month.

I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

And I have kept those promises, and will continue to do so.

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dividerBut I’m realizing now that loving and honoring includes much more than saying “I love you” and being together.    Meeting each other’s needs on all levels is what matters.   Emotional, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, financial, mental – we each have a set of needs that have different priorities.   We are not the be-all and end-all but we need to help each other realize each other’s dreams.    And it’s important to remember to reach for those dreams together.

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It’s never too soon to rediscover your spouse, but if you wait too long, it could be too late.


Week 45 – signs of November

November 18, 2012

focus52BlogSigns of November … an unusual prompt to some degree.  I mean, for me it’s hard to really see November until much later in the month.   And having a November birthday, I like to think of November being MY month.   But I wasn’t ready to feel that the first week of this month (especially since this are the last weeks of my 30s … I enter a whole new decade at the end of the month).

But an overnight freeze helped me out with an obvious sign of November, and that’s the end of October.   The jack-o-lanterns from Halloween are collapsing due to the cold and to the passing of time beyond Halloween.



The leaves on the ground are multicolored … I feel like this photograph does not do the colors justice.   The way the morning sun was striking the leaves, which had originated mostly from our crepe myrtle trees, was just beautiful.   And I love the contrast between the grass, which is still vibrant from all of the rain from Sandy, and the mulch which has been baked in the sun all summer, with the leaves in the crevice in between.

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And November brings the last of the trees in our backyard to a fire-red display.    You can see the bare branches to the left, and the branches to the right have lost more leaves than the tree in the middle.    These are my favorite trees to look at in the fall, I just love the reds.  It’s been a week since I took this photo and that tree is now bare, all of the leaves are on the ground, no longer a pretty red, but more of a reddish brown and waiting for the rake to pile them up for kids to jump and play …
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And that is how November started out where I live…

Week 44 – spooky

November 18, 2012

focus52BlogWeek 44 coincided with a few other things – Halloween, hurricane Sandy, and the crash of my hard drive.  I’ve been trying to recover from the third ever since.    I’m thankful that I paid for an online backup service.  But you can’t just download a terrabyte of photos and files from the internet.   I’ve spent hours trying to recover the data, and finally decided that my time was more important than money, and have paid to have my backup provider send me a drive with my files.   It’s on the way, can’t wait to have it!

Meanwhile, I was able to recover my current working files via both download and connecting the bad drive temporarily (it is in the freezer, and only works for a short period of time, limiting how much I can pull from it).   I am slowly working towards catching up on both photo edits and blog posts.

With that being said, here’s my Focus 52 photos from that week, along the spooky theme. 🙂

Sandy blew through our area on Tuesday October 30th.    She managed to blow down my metal skeletons in the front yard (my 6 year old thought spider webs would be a good idea on the skeletons this year).    This poor guy was seriously leaning the morning after Sandy.    I righted him to his normal “standing” position after I photographed him.
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The spider managed to stay put in the tree through the strong winds and rain.   Meanwhile, the fake web didn’t fare as well.   It caught some leaves, and was also pushed back closer to the tree.    It was kind of a mess, actually.
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And this spooky site belongs to one of the neighbors in the pipestem by our house.   My younger kids refuse to trick-or-treat there because they’re always scared of the place.   I ran back over there once I was done walking the kids around, as I wanted to capture it while the lights were still on.   I love the skeleton in the tree, and the scary bat thing hanging from the light post.  But what I love most of all is the light coming from the jack-0-lantern, such a wonderful accident in this photo captured at night (no flash, and I stood very still so that I could get a slower shutter speed to try to get it all).

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Week 43 – all in a row

October 28, 2012

focus52BlogWhat does one do with an “all in a row” prompt?   I thought of a few things, but then I remembered that my son’s 11th birthday was this week.   I mean, it’s not like I forgot it was his birthday, but I didn’t think about his candles being “all in a row” until about Tuesday of this week.   It’s a nice coincidence that 11 candles can be lined up in a row, and still look really cool.

I love when a prompt meshes with happenings in my house, it makes Focus 52 a lot more personal to me.

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As I wrote this blog post, it occurred to me that it looks like I took the first photos AFTER the last photos.   And that’s not the case.  They’re in chronological order.    But I do wash and reuse our candles.   I’m a frugal mom, what can I say?   Do you reuse your birthday candles?  Or do you toss them and just buy new ones?  I know it doesn’t break the bank to buy new ones, it’s just something I’ve always done because my mom did it.

Week 42 – up close

October 21, 2012

focus52BlogI love a reason to play with macro photography.  I don’t have a macro lens, but I do have a converter that I use with my prime lenses to take macro photographs.

I had a lot of fun with these pictures.    It was threatening to rain that afternoon, and so I was hoping that it would hold off until I was done taking pictures.   And it did manage to hold off on any rain, until much later that night.  Gotta love it when nature cooperates with a photographer!

So without further ado, here’s my “up close” photographs.

A full dandelion seed globe awaited my camera and me at the edge of our front sidewalk.   I’ve never photographed one of these on a macro level, and now I’m not sure I can NOT photograph these macro.  Just so pretty up close.

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I pulled some of the seeds out to see how that would look, and it’s definitely really neat!

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The wind was blowing, and these wanted to be set free.   They’re still holding on to each other so they’re not flying in the breeze just yet – if so, there’s no way I’d be able to focus on them.

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I have a miniature rose bush in my backyard, and I love that it’s still blooming.    Love this close up shot.

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This bud is maybe the size of my thumb, probably a little smaller

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I never realized the intricate details on leaves before this.   Just very cool to see.   This is a leaf from one of our maple trees

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Hope you enjoyed this macro peek at my yard this week

Week 41 – autumn color

October 14, 2012
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focus52BlogI was excited to pursue autumn color this past week.   And I did take a lot of photos, but not so many of the kinds I was hoping to take.   I was going to Central Park in New York City for the first time ever, and I thought for sure I’d find plenty of autumn color there.   After all, they are 5 hours north of us, and our leaves are already starting to turn.    But I found that was not the case.   The autumn colors I had been hoping for just weren’t ready to be on display.

We were in NY for a wedding, and the reception was at the Boathouse in Central Park.   We walked through the park from the church, and I was armed with my camera in one hand, and my shoes in another (heels + my feet are not a good combination!).   There was a lot of beauty in the park but the sun was setting and I was feeling sad about the lack of beautiful color.   And my feet were COLD!

But then we arrived at our destination, and I saw a little maple tree growing out of a big rock right next to the building.    And it had all of the colors I had been looking for!

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Don’t be fooled by the bright light in the background, it really was twilight, and the sun was just at the horizon.   I had to bump my ISO to 1000 to get this photo.  Do you see all of the green behind the rock and little tree?   That’s what the whole park was like!   Lots of green (with some yellow, but not enough to count).

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But I’m happy with this little tree, growing out of a big rock.   It definitely has a place in the scheme of things, a prelude to the autumn colors to come for the rest of the park in the next few weeks …

I didn’t realize I had so much crafting stuff!

October 11, 2012

While I was working on the craft room, all of the contents were moved into the adjoining room.   My craft table is taken apart in the foreground, the shoe organizer that used to hold my Cricut cartridges is hanging on the bathroom door.   The plastic storage boxes hold my many supplies.

Here you can see so many more of the storage boxes …  and the wooden crate in the foreground here ended up becoming something really quite cool!

Another view of the boxes, surrounding the futon where we watch tv in the basement …


This is kind of like moving – you don’t realize how much stuff you have until you have to pack it all up to move.   I couldn’t believe everything that came out of that room!!!!

These photos were taken back in May, and since then everything has either been returned to the craft room or given away.

Just thought I’d share the insanity that invaded the main part of the basement for a couple of months while I worked on transforming the former guest room into my personal craft cave (if the men can have a man cave, then I can have a craft cave – seems appropriate since I’m in the basement with no natural light).