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Entries in Liam (21)


Summer Finds

It's so easy in the summer to just go poking around in all the lovely spots where surprises await you...For some insane reason I have a love of little chairs...and this summer I found two lovlies, one of which I'm posting here today for my Friday Summer Finds..I think as I grow older I want to surround myself with all the things I never had as a little girl growing up...and so the desire for small chairs, dolls and all pretty thing things come from that inner child.  I'm so happy that that long ago part of me is finding it's way into my life now.

I found this lovely chair at an Antique store in Bridgton Maine one weekend when I was out with my son..not only is he a Meditation and Yoga instructor, he is also a licensed carpenter who knows his wood and his when we saw this chair and I fell in love with it, he assured me that it was old, authentic and of a very good quality wood. He thought it would look good with a plant sitting on it, so I figure this is a good comprise...because the old watering can was another one of my finds on a different day out and about..I love how wabi sabi it is ..the colors are and earthy and the hydrangea was fresh when it started out but I just let it dry and now it is a perfect compliment to my can.

I just love my dream cup, my find at TJ Maxx at the very beginning of the summer...I have posted it before but really, all summer long, it has been a "dream" to not only photograph but to use ...there is power in holding it and looking at that word as I sip my afternoon tea.  A constant remind that dreaming is good for the soul...and when it holds my tea, it fills me with warmth and comfort.


Speaking of comfort...this is where it happens for me in the summer.  A gift from my son three years ago for Mother's day, which has become an ongoing project for me, with so much help for my husband. Each year we plant a new kind of flower, testing to see what grows in the most shaded area of the yard. We find, and carry, rocks of all sizes to fill the space in the circle.  Chris laid the garden out but Jim and I have worked on completing his design with the rocks.  Almost done, but so much fun to work on. This year we were able to find the trellis at a flea market...craziest thing.  First thing we saw upon entering the flea market.  The guy had about 3 of these, in different designs..he was going out of business and there it was.  Jim says he couldn't have bought the wood for what this cost.  We brought it home and Jim put it together..It jus really defines and finishes my meditation garden..Oh, and that little rocking chair is the one I mentioned earlier.  I found this sweet thing at my local consignment perfect condition and strong enough for the boys to sit on...Jim says, no more chairs...hmmm, we'll see.

I just wanted to post this view of the garden so you can get a sense of what it is really like...although it is small it is peaceful and quiet...Buddha is sitting in the far back, meditation chimes hang from the right side of the fence and I have a lovely bench with a pillow and red cushion where I sit and read with my tea..the kids gave us the bench, engraved with a hummingbird, several years ago for our anniversary...who knew it would fit so well in this garden now...I love this space...not only for the peace, comfort and pleasure it brings..but also for the joy in knowing how loved I am now by the people who surround me...that little girl inside is finally feeling the love that was lost for so many years as a child. I find it interesting that of all we possess, it is these gifts of the heart and hand that matter most.


Finally I found, over this summer, as the boys grow, it is so important and FUN, to just slow down, be in the moment and get out in nature. Nothing restores the heart and soul like a walk in the woods, or a run if your a little boy, and to just be.  On this day, we walked, we talked and we skipped along the trails.  Have you had a conversation lately with a 4 year old who knows so many things about birds and bugs and life.  How about a chat with a 2 year old who sounds like he was born in the North End of Boston and uses his hands and expressions to tell you about rocks and how to throw them...these kind of days, so short in the scheme of life, remind me to slow down, breath and just simply smile at the fullness of gifts given and received...ah yes, summer finds...I hope you found some that will carry you through the long winter also...


"your are the keeper of your own struggle.  And you are the keeper of your own impatience. Frustration. And grace too.  Of the generosity of your own heart.  You are the keeper of your gratitude and courage.  Your bravery and intention.  Exhale."  

From bella Grace.... I love this, my new magazine find...




Their Softer Side

Sometimes it takes awhile to figure out where we are connect to what we like.  Stepping out of the box is not easy but it's the only way to advance and learn..finally after many tries, we find that we love this new learning...this new angle of creating...and so it is for me with my Still Life nature, I'm a Nature photographer.  Winters can be long and cold and snowy and after doing all the nature shots I like, I was left with months of grey...everywhere I enter Still Life.  I have struggled with it.  It does not come naturally but finally I am beginning to see it's value and also to see that I am learning to see light and color and softness in a new way...

This weeks lesson in Be Still is to take a look at a body of work that we have done and to find a connection in the photo' see what we are shooting more of and how it is evolving...when I did this I became aware of the fact that I really like portrait work lately..with two Grandsons I guess that isn't a surprise...but they delight me in so many ways..and Still Life does not mean just flowers or set-ups.  It means those moments of life...lived by two little boys..and when I can catch them in quiet moments it become a Still Life memory. Along with that I love the softer side of  my photographs lately..I would see it in others work and so I worked at it and it is just so much fun to do...not just in portrait work but also in every other still life that I've done lately.


The soft side of still like reminds me to slow down, take time before pushing that shutter button..compose more thoughtfully and just let the color fade away into it's own background. The mood changes with the softer side of allows for quiet reflection.  Although this is what I'm working on right now...there will always be a place for the more vibrant, colorful and vivid color that makes me smile in a different way...I'll never lose my love of nature and green grass, bugs and trees.  I'll also always welcome joyful, animated and flashy photo's, fast cars and galloping's a big world out there...and I love shooting it all.

 “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” ~Unknown


Looking For Papa

I'm not quite sure who is the most fortunate in the threesome of "boys" it the little boys or the one very sweet Big boy..I do know that their "game" is having fun.  Whenever they are together you can be sure Papa is right in the middle, not only taking good care of them but totally enjoying his experiences with them...It's like being a Dad all over again, without any of the for me, I get to witness it all and take the photo's...and yes, I get my fair share of love also....but today is Papa's Day..and the boys are coming to Maine...and I can guarantee you...there will be lots of Papa request.. and he never says No...



Jaxson and Liam both know that if they have any problems with any toy, bike or something that needs batteries, Papa is the fix-it man...and you know what...he always gets it right...lots of times, during the day, I hear a little voice calling "PAPA"...and I know that a repair job is needed..I love that Jaxson looks on, just to make sure Papa knows what he's doing...and Liam also has his lists of request during the day also...Papa is a busy guy when the boys are around.


All Jaxson has to do is smile that smile and flash those baby blue eyes and Papa becomes putty in his hands...actually, we all do...who can resist such sweetness...He's a charmer and a manipulator for sure..

Liam learned to trust in the process with Papa...he is always there to catch him when he falters or leaps in the wrong direction..Papa's arms are always stretched out to comfort and hold them whenever a hug is needed or a story read.  He gives them the assurance that they need and then they move forward again..

The boys have been walking a path with Papa since Liam was a toddler...holding hands as they go, they navigate through conversation and trust...learning of life and of each other...comfortable in their stride and building beautiful memories...these moments are some of my favorites and I'm sure both Papa and Liam would agree...Jaxson, starts this year to be able to walk the paths with Papa...should be just as beautiful.

Maine the way life should be for both grown men and little boys...Freedom to be outside and experience all that is most prescious in life.  Learning how to steer the boat and swim...learning at the feet of a Grandfather all life's most important lessons...but mostly learning how to value time and love.  To smell pine needles and watch the sunset, to hear the cry of the toast marshmellows or make smores on an open camp run and yell and cook on the grill...all the time, with your Papa close by watching over you..and at night...two boys tucked in between a Papa and a Nana, storying the big bed.  Bliss

Wherever these two boys travel in life...I know that they will take all the love and lessons of a very special Papa with them...they are his entertainment and his the same sense, they are very fortunate to have such a loving and attenative Papa....a Papa who, like small children, doesn't know what the word No means when it comes to being a great Papa...yes, is his word for them, not matter what they want...

Happy Father's Day Papa....the boys are here.

"Great fathers get promoted to grandfathers"


"a grandparent has the wisdom of long experience and the love of an understanding heart."


Last photo taken by Jenna Barton of the boys...but I just love it...

Although my blog is used for all my photography, it's main purpose has always been a journal to my family. Some day..I hope that all of my children will have the desire to read it and understand my love for please excuse me if sometimes it takes a more personal turn...on the other hand I love when anyone visits. 



When Old Is New Again

I am someone who gets caught up in all the latest gadgets, bells and whistle...I'm a gatherer by nature I think? If I read a review about a great book, I have to have it now.  When in France I loved the shoes there..oh I could have gotten the same brand when I got home, probably for less money, but no, I had to have them right then and there and I wanted them to be from France..the same thing happens when I listen to Kim Klassen tells us about all the great books she loves, or the props she uses and then she gives us the list in our on-line class, I go like crazy to research it and find it.  My photography community is wonderful..the people are great at sharing and answering questions..and if you admire someone works, they more than likely will tell you how they have accomplished their style...and then I sit and ponder and plot.. 

I love to take photo's of the boys..and I've used all kinds of a matter of fact, recently I just bought the 24-70L 2.8 because it would be good for both still life and the boys...indoors..still not what I was looking for for outside is however great for still life..along with my 35mm.  For awhile now I've been following two very creative and unique photographers of young children and the out of doors...their photo's were sharp as a tack...they had a great bokeh background and the photo's just popped.  I have faved many of their shots on Flickr and just love what they do...and always..I'm thinking tri-pod.  Well that is great if your kids stand still but I wanted to shoot them in all their daily activities...sooo, finally, I got up my courage (because I didn't know either one of them) and I wrote to them...and guess of them wrote back.  We had a was informative and lovely...She told me that she used a prime 85mm...and that was how she got those shots..of course her subjects were cute and somehow she did get them to pose and her creativeness in composition was outstanding...I'll have to work on that. 

In the end we had a lovely conversation and I was really impressed with her sharing...and since I had recently bought the 24-70 I didn't think I could press for another lens so soon...but I stored the information. The problem with me is once I have the never leaves my head until I make a definite decision.  Oh I let it sit there for about two weeks and bam...I was off to Hunt's and B&H doing my research...shocker...the prime 85L series 1.8 is around 2,000.00.  Well that wasn't going to work right I set in on that shelf in my brain...marked "ideas".   It has been there for awhile now but for some reason this week I started thinking about it I went to my "lens shelf" and found my 35mm and took that outside..and shot the boys with it all day...really nice photo's, really nice, but not the look I was trying to capture...and then, when returning that to the closet I saw my prime 100mm macro...BINGO.

I took that lovely out and thought, well if an 85 is good, why can't I give my 100 a try...and I was off and running..I have used this lens many times for my macro work and I love it for that.  It's a prime lens, 2.8.  I have also used it for portrait photography...up close and tight shots...but on Tuesday I used it for every kind of shot and I was amazed at the sharpness, clarity and the bokeh that I love.  I went shopping in my own closet and found a treasure.  I have since culled those photo's and I'm sharing some of my favorites here today for Friday's Finds..and what I found this week is that perhaps we should take more time to check our own supplies before rushing off on a treasure hunt..I am so happy right now with my closet find..and I can't even begin to tell you how exciting it was to upload and view the boys through this new/old lens...the only thing that I'll have to work harder on is focus because the focusing field is pretty precise but when I got was magical...all the photo's here today are mostly SOOC except for a bit of desaturation.  I wanted to share with you what the lens is capable of doing..not what I'm capable of doing in lightroom or Photoshop...that will come another what about that 85mm lens...I can't say I'm done with the wanting of it or the researching of it, because my understanding is that it's a pretty fast lens, but I have put in on the back burner for awhile and I'm going to keep working with my 100mm...see how it goes, you know.  Maybe next week I'll start looking around here for photo props.  Who knows what I'll find when I start opening up draws and closets...and for sure there must be some boards I can steal out of Jim's workshop...






"You don't get the same moment twice."


Cowboy or Polo Player in Training

I live my life by my lists.  Most days I know what I should be doing all week but even then, on a daily basis, I will write a list. It helps to physically write it and it also feels lovely to cross things off my list as I complete a task.  Some days though, in the process of working down the list, I will come across something on it that leads me astray.  That is what happened today..and so the day passed without completing my list.  What I did accomplish though was so much more fun and hopefully it will someday be a special memory for this little guy that I love so much.

On my list for today was to download all my waiting cf cards from camera to computer.  Well I made a good start but that was about it..first card in was of Liam yesterday at his riding lesson.  I just watched those photo's loading and they were so precious I had to play with them.  With him being sick a few weeks back and me being away he has missed 4 weeks of riding lessons so yesterday he was very excited to see and ride his Penny.  We went prepared with carrots for treats when the lesson was over and I swear this boy had a smile the entire time we were there.  It was very nice for him to be amongst his furry friends and it was so wonderful for me to see him in his element of joy.  Because I had so much fun playing today I thought I would share his day with all of hopes it brings a tiny smile to your faces also..

Before Liam can ride his horse he has to brush her with 3 different kinds of brushes...He knows them all now and what brush to use when...then he has to help get her saddle, blanket, halter and's more work than I would be willing to the end of his riding lesson, he has to repeat the brushing and returning of her gear.

Once Penny is ready Liam takes the reins and because it's still cold here he walks her from the barn to an inside rink where he gets to ride her.  Pretty cute to watch them go along...

 Off they go..Penny is a good follower and Liam is a great leader..not an ounce of fear in either one of them..

Time to ride..Liam's favorite part of course...He stands on the mounting block and now knows how to put his foot in the stir-up and hop over.  In just four months he's learned so much.  This is where his face really lights up..when that horse trots, he's in heaven..and I get the biggest kick out of him..I wonder already if this will be something that Jaxson loves also..

 Today was a good day...he did his first very small jump and trotted several times...trotting is his favorite thing to the end he learns to put his leg over and slide down the horse, with help of was a very good day for Liam and now he walks Penny back to the barn...brushes her and then like all of the end of a task, we like a treat...Penny gets her carrot..but Liam being Liam..he brings  carrots for his two other favorite horses so off we go to feed his friends...

Liam leaves the barn with a spring in his step..feeling good about his time spent here at Myopia.  Who knows how long he will love the company of horses but for now it makes him happy and the horses seem to like him to...I do believe they know a kindred soul and Liam is that for sure...

So you know that list I started today and never finished.  It will be there tomorrow and perhaps I'll add a few more things to it and make some progress.  What I do know is that yesterday and today are the things that give real meaning to my life...and these "little boy" days are as long as I can...I'll keep trotting along behind these guys...just like Penny does.