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Featured, Moments, Travel

Oh, Peter, you say the most thoughtful things.

June 5, 2017

“All those years I thought that it was power that brought responsibility. It’s not. I was wrong. It’s responsibility that brings power. It’s knowing what needs to be done that brings strength. And courage.” — Peter Parker


I was in New York this weekend and found myself looking out onto a lot of not my usual perspectives. Gave into my inner Peter Parker and had a lot of fun doing it too. I don’t think it’s the last time I’ll try something like this.


Especially when it gets…reflective.

Happy Monday everyone. I hope your week is a good one. 🙂

Featured, Moments, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

“So Mom…how do you win again?”

May 25, 2017

With less judgment and more forgiveness. When we can just “be” without having to “be right.” When beauty isn’t only in the “eye of the beholder”
but we know it of ourselves (on the inside). When…

“Uh, Mom, that all sounds great, but I just meant it about this card game we’re playing here?”

Hahaha! Right. I’m sorry Yittle. Okay, so each person gets seven cards…wait…can I get a hug?

Silly mom. 😉

May we all be winners every day. 💛

Black and White, Featured, Moments

The best date nights…

May 21, 2017

The best date nights always have rain.

I love the rain and date night.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone and if you can remember, check back here tomorrow for something (a little) different. 😉

Black and White, Featured, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

I want to be just like the woman at the coffee shop when I grow up.

May 12, 2017

When I was around 20 years old and playing in a band full time, I would stop by the coffee and donut shop, near my apartment, after the gig. You’d always find me and several other regulars there, night after night, winding down from our “shifts” with coffee and a donut.  

Or was that the reason we were there?

I knew that, for me, it was more about visiting with the woman behind the counter than it was for any coffee or donut — but oh the donut! The reason it was so good was that she knew I liked the maple glazed kind so, when she saw me coming in, she would take one and drizzle extra maple on it just for me. She’d greet me with a smile and a hug and tell me how happy she was to see me and then she’d always ask how the gig went? 

But here’s the best part.

She listened (really listened) to what I had to tell her. She’d laugh and smile her beautiful smile — I mean, who wouldn’t want that coffee and donut?! She made sure I knew I was special and she knew how special she was to me. Then one night, many nights into this coffee shop routine, I looked around the room and saw on the faces of others what I felt inside — welcomed and cared for — I mattered. If to no one else, I mattered to her and so did they. 

I listened to her conversations with them, as much as I listened to my own with her — this woman — this wise and beautiful woman was in her way…well, healing people from the inside out. Over the years I watched from across the room as laughter erupted, tears fell, and anger subsided. I don’t know what all the stories were about, but I do know they were made better by her. 

One person — one beautiful, wise, kind and caring woman — intently listening to people and making a difference in their lives.  What a gift! Making people feel…no, scratch that, making people understand that they matter and sometimes (by my observations) for the first time. I felt privileged to watch it happen. 

I was reminded of those times as I watched my mother from across the room, listening to my Yittle, just as beautiful as she was all those years ago in the coffee shop. Listening in that special way that she has always listened, and as I saw the look on my little girl’s face (a look I have seen on so many faces before), I felt privileged all over again. Privileged and grateful that my children have this beautiful woman in their lives to listen and listen well. 

Mom, in case I haven’t told you lately, you pour the best cup of coffee — ever. And when I grow up I want to be just…like…you.

Happy Mother’s Day — I love you.

I wrote this a few years ago, and it has now become a tradition to share it every year. As Mother’s Day approaches I’d like to wish all the mothers who are reading this a Happy Mother’s Day! — I hope your day is special. 💐💝🌺

Black and White, Featured, Nature, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

White Rabbit Road

April 10, 2017

I was having lunch with a friend last week when she asked me what I look for when I go out to take a picture?…

Me: “Huh? You know, Kathy, I don’t really go out to take a picture. I’ve thought about this but what happens, really, is that I come up on a story and it excites me, fascinates me or stops me in my tracks with how beautiful I think it is and then I take a picture. Even if it’s just a moment story I’ll want to capture it. I giggle under my breath when someone calls me a photographer because I really feel like a story gatherer.” Hahaha!

I love stories. I love to hear them, have them told to me, read them, write them…

I come from a very large family and when I was young we gathered a lot and the kids would sit satellite around the adults and listen to them talk and tell their stories. True and some not true stories (at least, I hope they weren’t all true). Hahaha! They were about good times, great times, bad times, terrible times, funny things, sad things but whatever they were about (good or bad) they were always told, somehow, with fondness. Can you imagine? My mother, father, four uncles (heck, one of them wrote songs where he talked his stories over music), both of my grandmothers, grandfather, aunts…it’s amazing really to have so many in one family. My mom always jokes that it was because “we didn’t have money so that’s how we entertained ourselves.” Maybe but I think we were luckier than just not having money — those people were (and are) special and I’m so grateful for them and what they added to my life, to how I see things, to how I want to see things.

Like this moment story on the way back home from taking my Yittle to school. I turned the corner on a foggy morning and I could have sworn I saw my white rabbit (in his usual hurry) dashing off into the fog and trees. I just had to stop and let him know I noticed. 😉

Happy Monday everyone. 🐇

Black and White, Featured, Food and Drink, Moments

“Are you Grumpy Cat?”

April 8, 2017

Last night, around 9:00 p.m., I wandered up to my now favorite coffee bar and ordered a coffee. I couldn’t help but notice the brusqueness with which the man behind the counter took my order and “offered” some “advice” for the coffee I was taking away for someone else. I further paid attention to how he answered a woman who stopped to ask him for directions and when my young daughter and niece sat down at the counter (not realizing they were with me) I had to gently offer, “They’re with me” before he said something we’d have all regretted. Hahaha! I watched him for a few more sips and then became so intrigued by his grumpiness (he even managed to dry off the cups in a grumpy way) that I simply could not control my curiosity any longer and so I asked, “Are you Grumpy Cat?”

What happened next is what I love about people, about life, about coffee. Hahaha!

Grumpy Cat: “No, I’m Sleepy Cat.”

Me: Well, that explains it, Sleepy Cat can often turn into Grumpy Cat. Why so sleepy?

Sleepy Cat: “I have a 9 week old at home and I haven’t slept in nine weeks. I’m just tired. I apologize if I’ve been grumpy.”

Me: My hands immediately go into prayer position and I start to squeal with excitement (probably NOT what Grumpy/Sleepy Cat was hoping for) and I say, “First, congratulations! How wonderful! And, no wonder you’re so tired. Tell me, do you have one of those swinging bassinets?”

Sleepy Cat: “Actually, I do but…”

Sleepy Cat and I had a wonderful little chat and he wound up smiling (dare I say, giggling) and showing me photos of one of the most beautiful little nine week old babies you’ve ever seen. What an unexpected, awesome, cup of coffee. Now, Sleepy Cat, likely won’t remember me but I’ll remember him because he was once Grumpy Cat and when grumpy cats smile they have the most incredible smiles — the ones you never forget.

Have a great weekend everybody and if you happen to run into a grumpy cat remember he might just be a sleepy cat in disguise. Silly Sleepy Cat. 😽

Featured, Moments, Nature

The sweetest thing about a sunrise is the new beginning it brings to each day…

April 5, 2017

…so this sunrise, this new beginning, seemed appropriate for my site being back up and running. I’m so lucky, so blessed that I get to pass this tree every day and a lot of mornings there is a lovely layer of mist or ground fog hovering around just like on the morning I took this photo. Some mornings Yittle, my husband and I leave for the trip to school with enough time to stop and capture the start of a beautiful day — sometimes, we stop even if we don’t have the time. Hahaha! Yittle used to be concerned but once, a long time ago, I explained that while it is important to be on time, there are also times I will happily be late if it means stopping to enjoy a beautiful moment like this one with them.

Have a beautiful, peaceful, Wednesday and I look forward to spending time again with all of you here.

Featured, Tips, Travel

Re-running this post because it’s the absolute, one thing, that will make a difference in your iPhone (or any camera phone) photography — I promise.

April 4, 2017

In the Summer of 2014 my husband and I went on an amazing trip that included Prague and Budapest. My parents went as well and my dad (a man with a great eye and who loves to take photographs) forgot his “real” camera at home, so he says to me…

“Well, you use your iPhone and I love your pictures! I’ll just use your mother’s phone on the trip. Better than nothing right?” (Wink)

Right.

Fast forward to the two of us standing at the front of this beautiful church in Budapest.

Dad: (Whispers) “Okay, I just stood next to you and took the same shot but it doesn’t look like yours. Why?”

Me: (Whispers back) You didn’t take the same shot. You took (a) shot. One that I knew (the second you picked up the camera) wasn’t going to be what you wanted.

Dad: (Not whispering as much and sounding a tad offended says) “What?! How could you know that?!”

Me: (Suppressing a giggle) Because you were missing two things: intention and a tip.

Dad: (Actually, not whispering at all now, says) “I definitely intended to take a good picture! Now, what’s the tip?!”

Me: (Poking the bear) I know you wanted a good picture Dad but did you believe you could get it with that phone?

Dad: (Now squinting) “Little girl.”

Me: (Uh oh!) Okay, okay! All I’m saying is…I can always tell what kind of a shot someone is about to get with their phone by the way they pick it up.

My dad’s trouble started when he said, “Better than nothing right?”

Why intention matters?

I’ve never watched a single photographer that picked up their camera to take a shot (they really, really, wanted) that didn’t pick it up with a swagger of confidence that their tool…ruled!

Wait. What?! Hahaha! (Moving right along).

So Dad, if you’re going to use your phone to take photographs—own it! Once you intend to take a photo with it, it’s no longer your phone, it’s a camera and, by the way, the absolute best camera you have at your disposal so treat it that way. 

Friends have heard me say that it’s important to examine your heart (always) because the spark of your true intentions will still be burning in the flames of your results. Turns out it’s true for taking photographs as well. 😉

And the tip? 

Some people don’t realize that when you take a regular photo with your iPhone the image doesn’t fill the width of the screen. It only fills about 70% of the screen. So when I want a shot that’s wider (where the image goes all the way to the edge of the screen) I first turn on video, focus on the area I want and then take the photo (when video is engaged, a white button will appear below the record button and that’s what you’ll use for taking stills). Because it’s taken in video mode the shot is wider. This is also a good trick for when you want something closer (without having to use the zoom—please, please, don’t ever use the zoom on an iPhone.) LOL!

Dad: (Smiling, whispers) “Now, was that so hard?”

Hahahaha!! Nope. 😉

Matthias Church, Budapest and  Shot with my trusty iPhone.