Monday, February 8, 2016

A New Day

We woke up, had our breakfast.  The kids went off to school.  I jumped right into my normal morning routine while my husband headed out to clean grain.  Nothing  has changed.  Life goes on.
But wait, someone who has been in our lives for a very long time is gone.  Shouldn't there be a substantial pause? 

Every time I think about what our family went through this past weekend, my stomach turns, and it is a frequent thought.  I'm wondering how everyone is doing.  We so quickly went our separate ways, and it feels awful.  I want to gather our little family together and have an entire week to just be together, talk about Uncle and recognize the enormity of how our lives have changed.  

But everyone is dealing with this in their own way and I pray that everyone is okay.  I hope they understand themselves and how it is they are dealing with the loss, and that they are taking care of themselves.

I've known Uncle Mike for the past twenty years, while my husband and children have never known a life without him.  The Ostapovitch farm as I know it has been around for about 110 years, and Uncle was there for 100 of those years!  I imagine that even the trees on the yard will notice that someone is missing.

The bottom line here is that change is difficult, especially when nothing has changed for such an incredibly long time.  It is near impossible for me to imagine the farm without him, and every time I allow myself to think of this, my chest hurts.  

Things will change now. I don't know what that is going to look like, but we will find our way. Traditions that can be kept will be.  Who will say grace at our next family meal?  I'm not sure, but it will be one of those painful moments that we will all have to go through.  We will go through it together, and we will figure it out.

I'll leave this post with a picture of the sun.  Whether is is rising or setting is entirely up to how you you chose to see it.  That's all life is after all, our perspective.  Is Uncle resting at the end of a very long day?  Or has he been greeted with the most magnificent sunrise and beginning anew?  Either way, I am so happy for him.

Whenever I am planting my glads, harvesting cucumbers or drinking a strong wine, I will be thinking of Uncle Mike and how he helped to teach me that living a simple life, (not an easy one), is the best life.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

An Update and a Critter

It seems like it has been such a long time since I posted anything, but it's only been a week and a half. The past ten days have been filled with many ups and downs, plenty of uncertainty and more than a few tears.  Our Dear Uncle continues to struggle, and it is very painful to watch.  We all feel very helpless in times like this. There is little to do, other than just be there for him and send him all of our love.

On a completely different note, I have had a photo that I have been wanting to capture and share for some time.  It is of our little crested gecko, Chocolate.  She has the most incredible eyes.  They are a deep gold with all sorts of interesting detail.  She is such a sweet little fun pet to have and the easiest thing to care for.

I'm sharing this photo on Eileen's blog for her wonderful 'Saturday's Critters'.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sending Out a Thank-you

I know someone who it seems, is in the process of dying.  How long will it be?  That's anyone's guess. Everyone seems to have accepted it, and yet, none of us are prepared for the change it will bring to our family.  It is a family that is continuing to get smaller in numbers.  There was a time when it was growing.  Our elderly were healthy and babies were being born.  It was wonderful, and we all felt good about living. Now, there have been no births for 10 years and in that time we have lost several people.

I also know someone who to her core, is a caregiver.  A nurturer through and through and to a fault. Do we let her take it all on herself, this entire process of holding the hand of our loved one as he prepares to leave?  She would let us.  And it would be easy to take advantage of that because we all have busy, middle age lives.  

In a perfect world, she would be spending her late years gradually slowing down and enjoying her time worry free.  Maybe people would even take care of her for a change.  Wouldn't that be something?  Too often, what we deserve and what we actually get are separate things.

There is no way to take over her role in this situation, but we can help ease the burden of it.  As for my small part in this family, I can offer time, and food and acknowledgment. 

I was not thinking about this when I was working on this next image, but it seems to fit the words. Another macro image of the same flower, but a different angle and much closer. I get a sense of motion when I look at this image and also, I find it very calming.

I've shared this with Stephanie's 'Roses of Inspiration'.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Macro Mosaic

Wanting to practice my macro, I snipped a flower from a bouquet my wonderful husband recently delivered to me.  I know, I know, hardly original.  And it isn't, and it was an obvious choice, but it's good practice, and now I have yet another photo suitable for making cards.  
I did process it in 4 different ways.  I can't pick a favourite.  I see the potential in all four shots.  I'm going to try cropping it in less obvious ways, and see if I can't create something a little more unique that way.
What do you think?  Do you have any ideas for some indoor macro shots I could try?

I've shared this post HERE for Mosaic Monday.  There are always plenty of wonderful links to visit and I caught a glimpse of at least 2 beach posts.  I could definitely use a beach sometime soon. Although, the weather here was so mild yesterday, I actually took my hat and mitts off while out for a walk.  It felt so good.  I feel far more connected with nature when I can feel the breeze and hear the birds.  It's supposed to continue throughout the week, so I 'm looking forward to several walks a day. My doggie will be beyond happy!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Top 5 Books of 2015

I had a hard time finding what I wanted to share for Amy's 'Five on Friday' link party today, but I really wanted to take part in a little online activity, as it is nasty outside, so time in the house will be generous.
I was busy entering another book into GoodReads, and was curious to see how many books I added to the read list in 2015.  I wasn't all that impressed, and would like to read more this year, and that is as close as I will come to a resolution.  But, I easily picked out 5 of my favourites and had my topic for today's post.
Starting with number 5:

5). Let The Elephants Run - David Usher  
     A book about understanding the creative process, how and why it works.  I found this book encouraging and it helped me to slow down on looking too far ahead with an idea, and then squashing that idea before it ever had a chance to become reality. It taught me that inspiration can come from anything and if you let it, will run in the most unexpected of directions.  I did some of the exercises, and got a kick out of them.  Overall, it was just a fun book that ended up changing my life in the subtle ways I view myself in relation to the world. So thank-you Mr. Usher!

4). Around The World in Eighty Days - Jules Verne
     A classic, but one I hadn't read, and was glad I took the time to.  It was an easy read, fast paced and quite short.  Maybe I should read more like this to lengthen my list for this year.  Like the main character, Phileas Fogg, does with everyone he meets, this book left an impression on me, and although I haven't, it would be worth looking into the whys of that.  I enjoyed it, would recommend it, and will eventually read it again.  Maybe that is my problem, perhaps I shouldn't reread books, because I don't add them to my list twice.

3). The Stone Diaries - Carol Shields
     A novel that takes you from birth to death of an ordinary woman.  That was all I needed to hear for me to pick this one up.  I related to this book.  The simple observation of one's own life.  I do it all the time, and was eager to read about someone else's experience with it.  The fact that it is fiction is irrelevant.  It is the perception that matters here.

2). Drowning Ruth - Christina Schwarz
     This book mislead me,   I was confident with where I thought it was going, and then a little blip here and there would have me second guessing my ideas.  I read this book in a short amount of time due to the author's talent with this.  I just needed to know what the heck had actually happened.  I've never read a mystery that intrigued me the way this one did.  I wouldn't even categorize this one as a mystery, although I suppose it  is.  It just doesn't read like you would expect a book of that genre to.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants something out of the ordinary.

1). The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls
     I could go on and on about this book.  This author's memoir has helped me to shift my own perception of what it means to be a family.  As a matter of fact, it is still working it's magic.  Weeks after finishing it, I am still considering it.  How we can be completely connected and at the same time live entirely separate lives from our families, is something I have always struggled to balance.  This memoir has helped me to move forward in my understanding of how to not let the negative overpower my memories and current experiences with my family, but even more than that, to turn what I thought was negative into a deep and powerful understanding.  That's a life-changer. And that is why I read.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My First Macro Shot

We had a beautiful and unusual morning today.  It was cloudy and snowing from the North and clear and sunny to the South.  After taking Bear for a nice long walk, I grabbed my camera and went to sit with him for a while on my garden swing.  I was waiting for a snowflake. This was my first attempt at photographing something so tiny and delicate, and maybe not the best subject for my first try at macro, but I liked the way it turned out and decided to share it. The flakes are standing on the edge of the arm on my swing. What do you think?

A special thank-you to my wonderful Husband for the macro lens!  I think I'm going to have a lot fun with it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Retreating Back to July

I guess January is getting me down.  It has been so unbearably cold, and even though I have been outside everyday with the exception of one this past week, I have not enjoyed my time out there.

I decided I needed to see photos of my gardens and yard.  The severity of the differences between seasons is surreal.  I've lived here all of my life, and still they amaze me.  

Unfortunately, the only season that seems to linger on forever is Winter.  I wasn't ready for it this fall, and I'm already aching for it to end.  I know I'm not alone. 

It sure has improved my mood to see these photos, and remind myself of the impermanence of this cold period.  It will pass, and I will feel lighthearted again.  Sooner than later, I hope.

I am sharing this post HERE for Roses of Inspiration.  Thank-you so much Dear Stephanie for hosting.