So long 2014, welcome 2015!

I plan to take my Christmas tree down tomorrow.  The fur boys have been very active this evening like they are excited about the New Year, hmmm.  Thankfully, the tree survived the 8 days it’s been up.  No ornaments broken, though a couple have been batted onto the floor.  A few of the lower branches have been nibbled on but it could have been much worse.

I have taken some photos of the tree but really wanted my tripod which had been in the car until today.  So I say goodbye to 2014 and this year’s Christmas Tree with these shots.  Some are taken with the Holga special effects lenses Ray gave me last year for Christmas and the rest are taken with my new baby, the Tamron 16-300mm.

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Have a wonderful, healthy and prosperous New Year from our hearts to yours!

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One Little Word 2015

My One Little Word for 2015 is MOVE.

Move my body more (as in exercise) in pursuit of better health – I want to walk daily for 30 minutes.  I want to give Yoga a go.  

Move forward and let go of past hurts, disappointments and my perceived failures.

Move my creativity forward with classes/projects in photography and card making to feed my soul.

Move out of this tiny apartment and into a home that Ray and I will purchase together. Those that know me will be shocked that this isn’t first on this list.

My OLW for 2014 was Enjoy and I think I embraced that word pretty well this year.

The obvious way for me to find enjoyment is to find new things to photograph.  I travelled to 2 photogenic spots along the Eastern Shore and Chesapeake Bay in May and September.  I took hundreds of photos, trying different settings on my camera and I enjoyed every moment.

I also drove back home monthly to enjoy time with family members.  I’m thankful to understand that they are the center of my happiness.  Being able to fly to Kentucky to meet my newest grandson Chase and spend quality time with his brother Chance and their parents brought the purity of enjoyment front and center.

As someone who has struggled with depression for many years at different ages of my life, I see how easy it could be to go down that dark path again.  I constantly remind myself to focus on the good in my life.  Focus was my OLW in 2013 by the way.  Wisdom was my word for 2011 but I can’t seem to remember if I had a word in 2012.

One Little Word is Ali Edward’s brainchild.  I wish I had her gift of journaling.  She is leaving quite a legacy of love for her children in her scrapbooks.  To read more about this project, please visit her website here.

 

Feline Friday with Video

Video

I hope you had a Happy Christmas!  I was so busy that I didn’t post a holiday message yesterday.

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Ray and I enjoyed opening our presents and then we were entertained with the fur boys playing.  I had the light bulb moment to video their antics instead of capturing still images.

Here are Max (black and white) and Bud (orange tiger stripe) having fun Christmas morn – video.

 

50 and 1 day

Yesterday was the big one!  My arrival into the nifty-fifty club and I’m not talking about camera lenses, lol. I’m a low-key kind of girl but I asked for a party for this big milestone and my sister Brenda went all out for me.  We had the party on Sunday.  Bren fixed a gluten-free lasagna and attempted to make a gluten-free version of my favorite cake that I haven’t had in 9 years.  It was pretty tasty!

I’m grateful to my loved ones that came during this very hectic time of year.  I mean Deb especially since she came all the way from the mountains and she works retail!  I had a wonderful time and was especially thankful that Jeremy was there and is taking amazing care of himself!

Ray took me to dinner last night for my official birthday and then we went shopping for more Christmas presents.  I even got to speak with Chance who is normally so phone shy with me.  I didn’t burst out crying when Brandon told me that my little grandson said he wanted to come see me!  Instead I grabbed that moment and will treasure it because I’m grateful that he and I have such a bond.  I miss my Kentucky family!

Here are some highlight photos that Ray so nicely took to document my special day —

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Photos include Jeremy, Mom and my sisters.  Ray took all of these shots for me.  A photo of the two of us was taken but I haven’t gotten it from Deb yet.

It was a fantastic birthday!

Christmas Spirit NOW

I apologize to you, dear readers, for taking a very quiet hiatus.  It felt quite loud to me though because I do agonized when the muse is silent.  But after a very hectic week at work I am now on my Winter Break and I’m off until I go back to work on January 5, 2015!

This afternoon Ray brought out the revolving tree stand and our Christmas Tree and set it up for me.  We scratched our heads for a while with connecting the lights but that worked out as well.  The original plan was to set the tree up and leave it undecorated until Monday so that Max could adjust to it.  It’s his first Christmas you know.

But we did something while we were out earlier today.  We purchased a cat tree for the fur boys and Max has really had a good time on it.  Bud is still not sure how he feels about it.

Since Max was into his tree I went ahead and decorated ours.  I mean it was going to bug me to leave it until Monday.  It makes me so very happy to pull out cherished ornaments that have sentimental value to me.  Then I smile while unwrapping newer ornaments that have been given to me/us or that Ray and I have purchased.  It’s a very eclectic mix of ornaments and colors.  Happy!

I’m also extremely happy to have used my birthday/Christmas present from Ray!  A 16-300mm Tamron lens.  The ultimate lens with so much variety including macro.  I am very thankful that Ray understands my love for photography.  This does it for me.  I’m not a woman that is into diamonds and other jewelry.

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From the car using the 16mm setting

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Using the 300mm (zoom)

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In Red Robin (low light). Ray is used to me snapping away:)

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Ray took this one of me

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Boys meet your tree

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Max loves it!

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Not sure how long that feather thingee will last

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Bud doesn’t know if he likes it yet

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Couldn’t resist this

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Ray is my Santa Clause!

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Not a full view yet. I don’t know where the tree skirt is…

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See it does Macro! I’m so in love with this lens.

Tomorrow we will be spending the day with family.  Those that can will be helping me celebrate my birthday (a day early).  I can’t wait to have this lens with us.  Ray will be snapping the shutter for most of the day, I’m sure.