Monthly Archives: December 2011

It’s all in the side trips

How did time get away from me? Have I really been so busy that my writing has become a detour this month? I hate when that happens.

 The month began when I presented a Positive Job Searches workshop for the Paralegal Association of Florida, First Coast Chapter. I have to admit I was a bit nervous because I normally do resume workshops for high school kids. It turned out to be great fun. The participants had many interesting questions and a few great tips of their own to share. I was glad I went with the “old school” workbook approach instead of the PowerPoint because it’s so much easier to remember when you can mark the handouts up as you go. The positive comments on the evaluation are just the encouragement I need to take the workshop on the road at a future date.

 Aprons have become my new sewing project. It’s funny how one small birthday present can grow. Working without a pattern has been a bit of a challenge, but no two are alike this way and I am figuring out shortcuts as I go. Embellishments after I finish them are the tricky part. After all, a pocket is just too ordinary. My lace trimmed paisley Thanksgiving hostess gift was mistaken for an early Christmas present. Must have been because I dug in the ribbon box and found a fancy gold ribbon to dress up the plain white tissue I wrapped it in. Can’t wait to break in my new Christmas M&Ms apron. It’s not too soon to start the holiday baking, is it? I have started flipping through my recipe file. I am debating several cookie and candy ideas.

 The only reason I have had time to search for recipes is because I have spent a week of decadence otherwise known as vacation. The best parts of it were spent with my Florida family. Thanksgiving was just the right amount of rushing around – last minute trips to the store because I changed my recipe selections – to get the sweet potatoes out of the oven just in time to cool slightly before I hit the road. To paraphrase one of my favorite newspapers “a great feast was had by all.”

 It was not the only great feast I enjoyed during my vacation. The other, most elegant feast, was a meal of PB&J and fruit eaten al fresco with the twins before we began a great nature walk searching for nuts and pinecones to use as holiday decorations. It was a wonderful afternoon of silliness as we searched for treasures to take home.

 Maybe the month didn’t get away from me. It seems to be pretty full of interesting adventures after all.

Indiscriminate Photography

PB&J? Check. Fruit? Check. Camera with new batteries and empty data card? Check. Time to meet the girls for girls’ day out. That means an exciting picnic and nature walk at the Girl Scout camp.

The girls are on the look out for objects to turn into holiday decorations. I am on a mission to gather images for a new needlework idea. I have been reading about other artists’ art quilts for long enough. It is now time for me to jump in and see what I can create. I have always loved the lines and colors that blend so well in nature, so it’s logical for me to go to the woods in search of lines.

 Too bad I left my logic at home that day.

In fewer than four hours I had filled the data card with 88 images. You’d’ve thought that I had never taken photos before. 88 images of what? Ok, upon review, there are about 10 cute photos of us girls. The rest are shots of trees, leaves, nuts, berries, fungus, and flowers.

 To most people this is a boring photo of the side of the trail. So, what was I thinking? Look, the light is making yellow sparkles!  I want to try a sketch of the curved and straight lines the trunks branches and leaves make.

Uh, huh. The Lansing kids are correct. I am a bit crazy.

But what a bout this one? It’s not boring, is it?

Tipped over trees. Sounds like an assignment I might have given my students: what happened to the tree? Nope. Not the assignment I have in mind. This one could be an interesting study in black and white. Look how the dirt clumps have fallen out and left holes.

Wait a minute. What was my point? Oh yeah, digital photography will turn me into an indiscriminate photographer if I am not careful. I used to think much more critically when I had a camera in my hand. I normally had a roll of 36 exposures and another in my pocket for two weeks of vacation. That meant I couldn’t take all 72 photos on the nature walk; Thanksgiving dinner and family photos required me to save at least a roll for that event.

That is so not true today. I can take a photo like this

and delete it because it looks like a fuzzy stick instead of the lizard the girls and I imagined it could be.  After all, not all of us can see an alligator like this from the walking path.

All this thinking has made me tired. Perhaps it’s time to take a nap under this canopy of Spanish moss.