Photo Heart Connection Feed

Photo Heart Connection -January 2013

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I've been wandering through January's photos for the past few hours, editing and attempting to choose my "Photo - Heart Connection." I bounced back, forth, and sideways among several of them, many of my choices focusing on catching glimpes of rare January light.

I kept coming back to this one, though, for many reasons.

I'm drawn to the timelessness of it...

...a father and son connection, much treasured

...two boys, one 28 and one 4, throwing sticks in the water

...a reminder that life is precious, and that while we may not have much in the eyes of the world, we're not lacking for wealth

...that many of our cherished moments having nothing to do with modern technology or the latest gadgets

...that you can find warmth on a cold January day

Thank you, Kat, for helping me to slow down and remember just how much life has given to me.


Photo Heart Connection - October

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Look at those eyes...this little one is so intent on his grandpa. He's just finished signing the word "more," as in "More bubbles, please, Grandpa."

Our Alex was diagnosed earlier this year, with a 25% speech delay, along with a delay in fine motor skills. His pediatrician caught it, and from there, Alex was tested. His receptive skills are advanced, but he just couldn't make those words come out.

Alex has weekly sessions with a therapist, who visits him at home, engages him in play, and knows how to push a bit. Alex fought us on this for quite a while. But, would you feel if you were pushed (and we've all learned to push a bit now) to do something that just didn't come naturally. And, that you were pushed all day long. Can you say "frustration?" Throw in a few temper tantrums as well.

In the beginning, we worked on signing, so that Alex could make his needs known, rather than mommy and everyone else playing a guessing game. And, it empowered Alex, gave him some control that he didn't have before.

And, the words are coming. Bubbles is a favorite, and so is "DONE!" said with great emphasis. Night-night, dog, cat, piggy, and so on.

His therapist thinks that Alex knows what should be coming out of his mouth, and when he can't make say what he wants, gets even more frustrated. It's a bit of fine push to make him get those words, but to not push so much that he rebels against anything that smacks of talking.

All of this fasciantes me...the brain is so complex, and you and I take so much for granted. Babies learn to just happens. Except, some times it doesn't.

Our Alex will be fine in the long run, and we're grateful for that.

In the meantime, he smiles at his grandpa, says "more" and then "Bubbles." And to celebrate the progress Alex has made, and also, because, he just plain loves Alex, grandpa obliges.

This little one, with all his struggles to do what you and I take for granted, has my heart.

Here's to the doctors who diagnose, the therapists who put up with temper tantrums, and to the families who work with this and so much have my heart as well.

Photo Heart Connections

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Just a week ago, I wandered through my sister's yard, shooting some photos as everyone finished up getting ready to go to breakfast. The tiny things drew me, this little whisp of a dying flower, going to seed, no bigger than a quarter. In fact, not much bigger than a dime. Quiet beauty, basically unnoticed by most of the world...just going about its business. The whispy bits delighted me, and I can't quite put into words why it tugs at me. Maybe, it's the beauty in its aging, maybe because it signals another change, one that I can't control. I'm learning to appreciate what the changes bring, whether or not I wanted those changes.

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I'm sneaking my August connection in here! The first week of September brought the beginning of school and all the craziness that entails. By the time I caught my breath, the time to link up had passed me by. I love the texture in this photo, and I love my sister's concentration as she figures out her new macro lens. The two of us generally head up towards Lake Erie right before school starts, and we both get lost in our cameras...whether it's Lake Erie, the beach, or downtown Philly. Many, many happy memories here!

Photo Heart Connection

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Not the day we had with sunny skies, cooler temps, a wonderful tiny little farmers' market, one of the neatest used book stores around, and a wine festival.

Sunny skies? Not at all...the rain sluiced down our backs and we shivered our way through the farmers' market.

Yes to the book store; we toted out bags of books to be savored and enjoyed.

And here's where the magic began; the owner recommended a restaurant called "Magnolia," a huge converted seed factory - one of those places where we couldn't afford to do dinner, but we could enjoy a heavenly lunch.

In the middle of that cool rainy day we munched on warm rosemary bread, fried green tomatoes, and delightful sandwiches. Handmade quilts hung on weathered wooden walls and tiny informal bouquets, no two alike, dotted the tables. We chatted our way through our meal, taking a bit of time to slow down and connect.

We re-emerged into the rain, now drizzling, and decided to call it a day. There would be other wine festivals to be enjoyed. It seemed to be a day meant for relaxing rather than doing.


August Break 2012

Photo Heart Connection: June

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June presented me with so many photo ops, and I seem to have taken advantage of every one possible. So many still await editing, and I'm happily playing here.

As I waded through the plethora (love this word!) of images, pictures kept murmuring, "Pick Me." But this one grabbed my heart.

I am a water baby - not in the sense that I'm in it, but that I need/want to be near it, to smell the salt air, and to feel the sand between my fingers and toes. I want to be searching for bits and pieces of shells with colors and patterns that catch my eye. They find their way into my pocket and eventually coming home to a space in my studio.

I played with this image just a bit...adding a little sepia to it, aging the colors a bit. It's just as gorgeous in its original form, but I wanted to give it a touch of timelessness.  A man and his dog, walking the coastline, beach goers in the distance. And, those clouds...sheer gorgeousness! This is the scene that dances through my dreams; this is what I close my eyes and imagine in the dead of winter.

Photo Heart Conenction: May

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This one tugs at my heart; each and every time I wander through May's shots, this one evokes an "ah" and a deep sigh of contentment.

This is the one that makes me stop in the midst of all the date entry, conferences, lesson plans, admin work, correcting, and such to refocus myself and think, "This is why I teach. This is why."

Huntley Meadows enveloped us in peace and wonder; for the most part we disconnected from technology and delighted in spotting the frogs hunkered down in the mud. We watched an egret catch her breakfast and jumped back when we came eye to eye with the ribbon snake. We identified the red wing blackbird and wished we could sun ourselves, along with the turtle, on that log.

We collected a water sampling at two spots along the watershed and reliazed that yes, it does clean the water. We knew it said so in the book, but proof stared us in the face - a connection between book knowledge and real life

74 sixth graders, accompanying parents, and of course, the three of us - their teachers - disconnected from computers, phones, and other than a few cameras which were just that...cameras and no other bells and whistles...instead connected to nature.

Good Morning, Sunshine

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Blinked open my eyes on Saturday morning and smiled in delight. Early moring sunshine filtered through the window and danced its way through these tiny vintage bottles.

Snuck out of bed (DH snored gently...well, maybe not so gently!) and grabbed my camera - macro lens of course!

Click. Click. Click...until DH muttered, tossed and turned.

Little scraps of magic to be sure! Go here to see all the other pretties!

Also sharing here: a href="">studio waterstone


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My father adored his family; over and over and over again, he remarked at how very blessed he was with his wonderful family. All through our lives, he created connections, each and every chance he could.

So, as I wandered through April's photos, searching for a photo-heart connection, this one simply grabbed at my heart, no questions, no hesitation. This one was it.

A great photo? No. Lighting, composition, etc. all need something. Dad looks positively disheveled, unkept in so many ways.

But, this precious hour and a half visit makes me smile, because for the first time in over a year, I saw and experienced the dad I knew  - the dad with a twinkle in his eyes, the dad whose sole mission was to make you laugh. A lost connection was  back.

You see, my dad has dementia, has had it for some time now. A stroke in March 2011 accelerated the dementia, and most visits, he has no idea who I might be; some days, he really doesn't even know I'm there. His words are incoherent, and he rarely makes any sort of sense.

On this Saturday, as we entered the room, his eyes lit up, he smiled, and called us each by name. Those few seconds alone made a 3 and a half hour drive worth it. We've all taken our parents for granted, never imagining that it would ever be our mom or dad felled by dementia, that it would be our mom or dad who wouldn't know us. After all, how could that ever be, when we were the light and center of their world for so long?

And, even when our brain tells us that this is happening, our hearts refuse to acknowledge it.

For whatever reason, dad was in fine form. He teased us, laughed, and cracked jokes until we were bent over double and wiping tears from our eyes. As the aides strolled by, he looked at them and announced that he could do nothing with us as we were all drunk.

For an hour and a half, there was magic. My dad knew me. I've missed that so much, I can't even begin to describe it.

I don't know if I'll be this blessed again; he may know me he next time, or he may never know me again. But this day? This day was a gift.

Something Out of Nothing

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Only 31 days, but so many photos! When I opened up March's folder, this one made me smile, and honestly, I had forgotten it. Phil and I wandered through Reston, VA, one day, happily window shopping through this sorts of places that I can't afford, but a great way to get some inspiration...just a great artist's date.

This display just made me smile and grin. These upcycled pinwheels filled the windows of a very exclusive women's clothing store, one of those where I couldn't begin to afford the wares. I snapped several shots, thinking what a good reminder that you don't need a lot of expensive stuff to create something eye catching - that art comes from inside you and not from the perfect supplies.  (Not that I mind some new supplies!) I love the creativity and the light heartedness of them. Perfectly unpretentious, but wow, so much fun.

Head on over to Kat's blog and follow the linky links to feast on some wonderful photography and read why these particular shots connect with people's hearts.