An Acrostic Poem for Gratitude

I recently participated in Gratitude Week 2017, an annual offering from the lovely Michelle GD.  It was a week of reflection upon blessings, both large and small.  During the week Michelle also posted an acrostic poem on ViewFinders, a photography site that she contributes to.  in her post she expressed a desire to see what we would include if we were to write an acrostic poem on Gratitude.  I decided to give it a try.

{An acrostic poem is easy to construct.  You pick a word and write it vertically on a sheet of paper and then next to each letter write a word or sentence that begins with that letter.}

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Gifts of the season.  Any season, really.  The muted tones of winter, yellow buds of daffodils in spring, deep verdant green of summer,  the burst of warm colors each autumn, every season enchants and delights me.

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Renewal.  The start of the new year, the turning of the page, fresh vigor after a restful sleep, I am thankful for the opportunity to begin again, to start anew.

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Apples, in all their iterations.  Apple pie, apple crumble, apple sauce, apple butter, apples and cheddar cheese...the list goes on.  Come September you will find my crisper filled with Macoun apples.  They are my favorite apples, bar none.  

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Tea is my go-to comfort drink.  I start my mornings with a cup along with breakfast and the newspaper.  In the afternoon you will often find me seated cozily on the couch with a steaming cup warming my hands and a favorite magazine on my lap.  And, of course, tea always tastes best when sharing a pot with a friend.

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I love the inception of an idea, that moment when as an artist I begin to imagine the possibilities for the canvas in front of me, that a-ha moment, when a spark turns into a flame.

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Tealights.  Especially during the winter months.  The soft glow they cast, chasing away the gloom of a too-early evening, cheers me.

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Updates from these three.  Two of my girls live overseas and one in Brooklyn.  Whether it be by phone, Skype, WhatsApp, or simple text, I relish our conversations and always look forward to hearing from them (although nothing beats spending real time together as a family).

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Dog.  Not just any dog but this guy, our Popeye.  Our little man.  When he's good he's very good.  When he's bad, he's...well, you know how the saying goes.  Mischief maker, charmer, endlessly inquisitive, I am thankful daily that he came into our lives.

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Enamored.  I am enamored of so much; my husband and daughters, my family and friends, sunrises, sunsets, the phases of the moon.  These are all big and wonderful parts of my life.  But I am also enamored by the small things, the (as Michelle GD so eloquently describes) tiny, tiny moments.  The delicate skin of a garlic bulb, the skeleton of a hydrangea.  The tap, tap, tap, of my fingers on my laptop, and the slow steady chimes of our clock.  Popeye's paw on my knee, my husband's arm draped across me as we sleep.  All this and more, I love and am thankful for.

And you?  What are you thankful for?  I'd love to know.

If you would like to see Michelle's original post click here.  You'll be so glad you did.

Londontown

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention. 
Be astonished. 
Tell about it.   ~Mary Oliver

It was a trip I had been anticipating for months.  A week in London, visiting my eldest daughter.  Throughout the week we talked, we laughed, we shared stories.  We went to the theater, explored Oxford, practiced yin yoga at her favorite studio, had high tea with her friends.  It was lovely.

Since Kate had to work, I spent most of the week exploring London on my own.  I had thought about bringing my trusty Canon with me to photograph the sights, but decided instead to just depend upon my iPhone 7+ and was pleased with the quality of the shots.

Marylebone Neighborhood, near the street where she lives.

Kensington Gardens

"london is a roost for every bird." ~Benjamin Disraeli

 

Because I was traveling solo, I was able to visit museums to my heart's delight.  Over the course of two days I wandered through the National Gallery of Art, The Victoria and Albert Museum, and The Royal Academy of Arts, where I saw an amazing Matisse exhibit.  I got about mostly by walking and taking the bus, and never tired of the street life.

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Chalk art outside of the National Gallery.

Piccadilly Circus

P {for Pantry}, where I stopped for a cappuccino and pain au chocolat

"If you're curious, London is an amazing place." ~David Bailey

One of my favorite days was spent at Covent Garden.  When I set out that morning, I had no idea what to expect.  In my mind I was picturing a traditional English garden.  You can imagine my surprise when I arrived and discovered instead a bustling hodgepodge of shops and restaurants.  

Tucked down an alley near Covent Garden was Neal's Yard, named after Thomas Neale, a vibrant and colorful hodgepodge of herbal remedy shops, smoothie cafés and New Age shops.

"London opens to you like a novel itself.... It is divided into chapters, the chapters into scenes, the scenes into sentences; it opens to you like a series of rooms, door, passsage, door. Mayfair to Piccadilly to Soho to the Strand."

~Anna Quindlen, Imagine London

 

During my final morning we took a walk through Regent's Park.  We strolled past playing fields, a pond, canal and Queen Mary's Rose Garden.  Although it was long past their season, many of the roses were still in bloom.

"London's like a forest... we shall be lost in it." - Mary Elizabeth Braddon

 

My trip ended all too soon, especially the time spent with my daughter.  Although I was happy to return home to my husband and Popeye, I am already looking forward to when I visit London again.  There is so much left to see of this beautiful city.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                   

 

A Shift in Perspective

Have you ever stopped by the lovely photography blog titled Viewfinders?  It is a collaboration of 15 amazing photographers dedicated to recording the world around them.  Yesterday I read a post written by Deb Achak titled Freelensing.  Freelensing is a photography technique where you create a new perspective of a subject by detaching the lens from the camera and then manually holding the lens close to the camera body and playing until you get a focus point.  

....Deb does a much better job of explaining the technique in her post!

I was intrigued by the idea, especially how it can cause a shift in your perspective of the subject you're shooting.  I decided to try it out myself.  For the shots below I used a 50mm lens and my Canon EOS T3:

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This shot evokes such a dreamy mood, doesn't it?

This shot evokes such a dreamy mood, doesn't it?

I love the light leak in this shot.

I love the light leak in this shot.

I had varying degrees of success with my first attempts at freelensing, but I do like the way this technique brings a softness to photographs.  Unfortunately I was the only one home when I was playing; I would have liked to try it out using one of my daughters or husband as my subject.  My Yorkie, Popeye, was just not interested in being my guinea pig!

If you want to read a little more about this technique, I recommend you head over to Viewfinders and read Deb's post.  You will be so glad you did!

October

What is it about October that just makes me feel all is well?  Could it be the cool, brisk days, the earlier sunsets, the burst of color across the trees?  I am not sure; all I know is that October is my favorite month of the year.  

In celebration of October here are some of my five favorite autumn quotes:

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I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.  ~ L.M. Montgomery

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Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.  ~George Eliot
 

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Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower. ~ Albert Camus

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Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go. ~ Unknown

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Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile. ~ William Cullen Bryant