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keep your peepers open!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

slow step it

Walk slowly.

Don’t rush.

Each step brings you to the best moment of your life,

the present moment.

Jimmy Fallon likes to slow jam it, Thich Nhat Hanh suggests we slow step it and I say as you do either, always...

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photos from my stay at The Boar's Head

Sunday, February 23, 2014

serene seating

During the winter months, I don’t often wish to have a seat anywhere outside for any length of time; I arrived at a place that, when I stood on my private balcony and then went out to walk the property changed my mind completely. The Boar’s Head in Charlottesville, VA, a gorgeous escape 2 ½ hours from Washington, offers much more than a just selection of spots to stop, rest and take in the peace.

Serene sums it up for me at least this time around because I will be back, would love to see the spring scenery. Visit if you can and…

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ps…stay tuned for more photographs from this location in upcoming blogs!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


In contrast to the spoken and written word, a picture can be understood anywhere in the world. It can bridge the chasm created by differences of language…It is a means for universal communication.
– Andreas Feininger

Capturing images that speak volumes without uttering a sound…I hope to do that with my work.

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Sunday, February 16, 2014


I am taking Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction; week 2 homework includes doing one every day activity mindfully -- notice everything, engage all senses -- and logging it. What would I pick? As it turns out, my activity picked me and here are the first three experiences:

2/13 - Is it a snow day? Couldn't get downstairs fast enough to get out in it, the snow was up to the ridge of the front door and if it hadn't been so soft fluffy, I could have walked out and across a sea of white. Snow was heavy to move as I pushed the door open. Cool warmth of snow falling morning air felt very cold in my nostrils. Gray scene filled in with white flakes still making their way to earth. Icy hard branches rustling in the slow wind tinkled in my ears, stepped out into snow that came to the top of my black patent leather rain boots. Interrupted that perfectly undisturbed sea in front of me by moving snow aside with my feet. Snow dropped into my boots shocking my ankles with a sudden chill! Tromped down the hidden steps making fresh tracks to make my way around back to clean 10 inches off the car. No way to get to work IS a snow day, hooray!

2/14 In a rush this morning to get downstairs and into the cab; car is snow-blocked into my parking space behind the building, lucky a cab arrived at a decent time. Took time to notice turning and hearing the key click in the lock despite my hurry though I don't recall my steps. Opened the downstairs door to sparkling melting snow, the sun bright in the horizon; the steps and sidewalk looked like tan beach sand against the white, it had been shoveled though there was still a footprint path through the smooshy snow that led out to the cab. Air felt and smelled warmer than yesterday, not as biting.

2/15 Opened front door, nose assaulted by chemical scent of cleaning products from yesterday in the stairwell; took each step one at a time noticing the crunch of salt under my sneakers, the stillness of 8:00am on a Saturday in the building while a slight pain in my right knee engaged in a conversation with my body. Before opening door to go outside, looked out window, a squirrel was scampering in the remnants of three-day-old snow. Stepped out into cold drops of rain meeting the beads of hot sweat on my forehead cooling me after a vigorous 45-minute session on the treadmill. Looked around the horseshoe cul-de-sac at the no longer white snow, my breath in front of me further clouding an already overcast morning and gulped in the day. Anticipating a warm cup of tea, headed back upstairs to grab camera to photo document the experience.

Amazing to me what we don’t notice though we do it daily and the minute and major differences that occur while doing that familiar thing one day after the other. No thing is the same today as it will be tomorrow nor is it just like what happened yesterday so be in the moments of your day. Your life will surprise you if you…

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

write words

In winter all the singing is in the tops of the trees…

Now the blue heron wades the cold ponds…

Photographs captured on brisk winter mornings accompanied by lines written by Mary Oliver, a poet who speaks a language that harmonizes beautifully with my sight.

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

music to my ears

As much as I love music, turning on the radio has long since been second nature for me when I get in the car. Thank goodness for Pandora, a great source for new sounds, though sometimes by the time I hear them the tunes have been around for years, which is how I found First Circle by Pat Metheny Group. The title cut is one that calls for the volume to be turned up so it feels like I’m at a live concert right in my own living room, one that deserves to be played loud as you lay back, eyes closed and let the music and the voice of Pedro Aznar take you on a journey. His vocalized sounds not words are haunting, exhilarating, soar. When the last note drops like a huge exclamation punctuating the air, I applaud; it’s that good for me! The energy from start to finish is truly exhilarating, joyously lifting me each time I hear it.

Pandora also recently exposed me to more soul stirring music missed upon its release -- Chico Pinheiro’s There’s a Storm Inside and Anthony Wilson’s Campo Belo. Pinheiro is a Brazilian guitarist/vocalist who, as I began to listen to the original compositions mixed in with familiar songs, reminded me of Toninho Horta, though he does have his own sound that in one review was described as seductive…I agree. Wilson, an American jazz guitarist, went to Sao Paulo and teamed with Brazilian musicians to record a sensuous collection of all original creations with a Brazilian flare. Get a glass of some elixir for this one.

Finally, Pandora coaxed me to sample and then I bought too darn hot I Wanna Be Evil by Rene Marie, the very cool horns of Oceana by Till Bronner and picked up hard to get Storytelling by Jean-Luc Ponty, something I have on vinyl and cassette, a find for sure. Wow! Writing all this tells me I have purchased more new and familiar scintillating music for my ears than I realized. What can I say? Personally, I still like the tactile feel of a record, tape or CD in my hand so no downloading for me. Regardless of how you like your music served, sample these and…

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ahead of down

For the past week right into this one, I’ve been preoccupied with skipping a few steps ahead of some something that I wanted to stay ahead of. You know that feeling that you can’t always name that starts nipping at your heels, coming on without warning, until it attaches itself like an unwanted leech. Last evening down just consumed me. I moved through my office like a zombie as I prepared to head home knowing I would climb right into bed and pull the covers up. My body was agitated, felt like it needed constant, continuous stretching. I wriggled around trying to be still; no position was comfortable until I finally dozed off.

This morning I woke having no real thoughts about what I was going to write about today; the text message reminding me of an anniversary answered all the questions. The passing of people at such a young age awakens a sadness in my soul. Most recently, a member of my extended family, two days from now marks one year that a very close friend left us, and it was during this month two years ago that I found out that someone I loved so deeply had taken his life.

Today I sit down with down to remember all of my angels who watch over me from above. Actually, as I close my eyes missing each one for very different reasons, I feel their presence and smile as they lift me up.

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

road less traveled

My BFF never takes the same route back to her home that she took in previous days. I’ve been sampling a page from her road guide, turning off before my exit, using a different lettered street as I go from the west to the east side of town instead of my tried and true, and forking to the curve that calls to me instead of going straight. One of my favorite diversions is any ride in Rock Creek Park especially when I need to get out of the bumper-to-bumper that moves by the dictate of un-synced traffic lights. A sudden feeling of peace washes over me when I make the turn that takes me down a hill into a place that I frequented for picnics, barbeques and just a getaway with my grandparents as a child. The trees and shrubs covered in greenery or without, flowers in spring and summer, the constant flowing brook sometimes iced over, trails that lead from the road into places yet to explore, tunnels that come out of nowhere, bridges at eyelevel and the many overpasses seen from below make the ride a pleasure of treasures, different each time I’m there. The one thing that is a little frustrating for me is not being able to pull over whenever I wish to take photos. I find myself rolling down the window for some fast clicks when the cars are moving slow (I’m not the only one who gets off the main drag during rush hour however, we still move faster) or if I come to a parking lot to pull into that is close to what caught my eye a few yards back.


Not only is taking a road less traveled creative and fun, it also satisfies my curiosity about where I would end up if I went that way instead of this and is actually a really smart move. Familiarity with where the highways, byways and streets lead will save time and stress when traffic is a nightmare and who knows, maybe a life in an emergency situation, so be adventurous and…

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